Links 12/22/18

Are you oppressed by Christmas? Blame the patriarchy! Globe and Mail (Dr.Kevin)

Ice skating, live reindeer to soothe record U.S. holiday travel rush Reuters (EM)

Top 10 Charts of 2018 Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. JTM: “What you would expect from the U of Chi.”

We’re losing monarchs fast—here’s why National Geographic (David L)

Ecocide as Creative Destruction Counterpunch (martha r). Important.

There’ll be a domino effect as we trigger ecosystem tipping points New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Bloomberg

Gatwick drones: Two arrested over flight disruption BBC

Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time PhysOrg (Dr. Kevin)

Scientists Find a Brain Circuit That Could Explain Seasonal Depression NPR


EU, US, Canada demand China release arrested Canadians DW


Last Week Tonight Recruits Gilbert Gottfried to Read Obscure Brexit Provisions and Bigfoot Erotica Slate (John C)

Corbyn: Brexit would go ahead even if Labour won snap election Guardian. The slow motion implosion of Corbyn is sad to see, particularly since he is making unforced errors.

Corbyn’s real failing is his refusal to lead The Times

Government should admit that the UK will not be ready for no deal Institute for Government

How Businesses Are Preparing for Brexit, Deal or No Deal Bloomberg

Yellow Jackets head to Portugal Politico


Trump made the right decision to quit Syrian conflict Asia Times

First Fallout Of Trump’s Decision To Withdraw From Syria Moon of Alabama

The Other Gulf State That Is Manipulating U.S. Mideast Policy Loeb Log (resilc)

The shape of things to come – TTG Sic Semper Tyrannis

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Secret Experiment in Alabama Senate Race Imitated Russian Tactics New York Times (Kevin W)

ACLU To Feds: Your ‘Hacking Presents a Unique Threat To Individual Privacy’ ars technica

Inside the Pentagon’s Plan to Win Over Silicon Valley’s AI Experts Wired (David L)

Google has a new review process for handling controversial projects after the backlash over its censored search product for China Business Insider

Imperial Collapse Watch

American Ships Are Sending the Wrong Message Overseas TomDispatch

Trump Transition

US government partially shuts down over border wall row BBC

Shutdown begins as lawmakers wrestle over Trump’s border wall The Hill

Why Trump Needs a Border Wall Shutdown Fight New York Times (resilc)

Fox News Calls Out Trump for ‘Flipping a 180’ on Shutdown Blame Daily Beast

Syria, Mattis, Afghanistan, shutdown: Trump ends year in chaos Reuters. EM:

Insofar as ‘chaos’ refers to the neocons getting their knickers in a twist over an end to the military adventures and terrorist-creation-programs in Syria and Afghanistan, I’m all for it! The U.S. and the rest of the world can use a lot more of that kind of chaos.

Elites United in Panic Over Syria Pullout, Afghanistan Drawdown (resilc)

Trump’s omnishambles foreign policy The Week (UserFriendly)

Is Trump’s Plan for Syria a Withdrawal or a Surrender? New Yorker. Resilc: “The liberal press would hate trump if he found the cure for cancer. We are out of a rat hole, give the man some credit for common sense vs the neoconjobs.”

Bernie: Breaking The Cycle Of Mediocrity And Mendacity DownWithTyrrany

House Progressives Want to Get Out of Afghanistan Next Intercept

Why three Kansas Republican lawmakers left for the Democratic Party. Slate

PE HUB Wire Highlights, 12.21.18 PE Hub Newtwork (Kevin W). Reporter not happy with CalPERS goal of reducing transparency.

Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town Medium. Brian C: “Amazing fail.”

Uber employees working on self-driving cars feel their cars are safer but their careers are stuck, according to leaked employee survey Business Insider (David L)

Trump Discusses Firing Fed’s Powell After Latest Rate Hike, Sources Say Bloomberg

The Donald’s 60% Gone – But No Cigar for CNN David Stockman, AntiWar (resilc). Useful. Trump has still not undone all of the Trump rally.

Class Warfare

Michigan Nurses union donates $9 million to cancel medical debt WJBK (martha r). More than 10x as much as the Rolling Jubilee gimmick, and looks like a better process for selecting recipients too.

Third Of Americans Thinking About Leaving Country To Live Abroad Study Finds. Resilc: “75% don’t have enough cash to buy a ticket.”

Another Year of American Collapse Eudaimonia and Co (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour (martha r):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Are you oppressed by Christmas? Blame the patriarchy!”

    Patriarchy may be a very loose term. I read about this lesbian couple where one partner was complaining about the other in how she tried to boss her around, wanted to know where she was going, wanting to control the money, clothes, etc. You would swear that it was a married husband and wife going by the disputes but it wasn’t. It was like one partner had assumed the role of the patriarch here which confused the other partner no end. So yes, patriarchy can be a very loose term in practice.

    1. Lee

      Having been married to a female control freak, all I can say to that is amen.

      A couple of points in the article stood out for me.

      Some men don’t do much emotional labour but work long hours. Some work in dirty, dangerous jobs where they are sometimes killed. Nobody writes books about how mistreated they are.

      Species survival dictated that men are more expendable than women. Our over the top reproductive success has obviated this imperative, but the behavior has deep genetic roots. And, yes, there are books written about the effects of combat on the human psyche and the wounds of work.

      Still, there’s a good question here. Why, after 40 years of feminism, has so little changed? The feminist explanation is that patriarchal oppression extends its stranglehold down through the generations. My explanation is that too many women are masochistic perfectionists. The Christmas juggernaut isn’t spread by men. It’s spread by women’s publications and by Pinterest, which bedazzle you with images of Stepford wives dressed in hand-knit reindeer sweaters decorating cunning little Christmas cookies.

      The author describes the horrors of Christmases past such as when hubby, who is being helpful in his own ways, finds time to take a nap on the couch, while she agonizes resentfully over the gift list.

      Her solution to the problem appears to be not that he should be more like her but that she should be more chill like him. Stay sane out there.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Not sure I’ve ever met a couple of any kind in which one partner was not more dominant. To see that as male-like/patriarchal behavior misses the point. In matriarchies, one partner is also usually dominant. Equality in a relationship is an odd thing to seek out. Even equitable marriages usually divide labor. I’ve never had a partner whom I did not defer to on various matters and in some cases, a majority of the decision-making.

        But the point about physical labor is very true. And when working in the world’s largest tire factory, only 10% of the workers on the floor were women. But not women you would want to pick a fight with. A normal range of appearance, but scarred knuckles, bruises and cuts just like everyone else who worked in that factory.

        I was a shop steward and an activist, and very much a second wave feminist. More so than many of my women coworkers but only in that I, a single guy, had time for that stuff. Most of them were single moms and left the feminist organizing to the women in pantsuits. I’m pretty sure that’s when feminism took a wrong turn.

      2. Spoofs desu

        “Some men don’t do much emotional labour but work long hours. Some work in dirty, dangerous jobs where they are sometimes killed. Nobody writes books about how mistreated they are”

        Good point—in the same vein, why is there no academic research/resources on why it seems all homeless people are men? I suspect it would result in something that is not consistent with the “official”, acedemic narrative.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’m seeing more homeless women as of the past few years, but white men tend to dominate the action.

          1. XXYY

            I believe the common statistic is that 70% of the homeless are men.

            But this doesn’t prevent horrified media articles about how 30% of the homeless are women!

            I assume once 100% of the homeless are men, all will be well.

        2. aletheia33

          nobody writes books about what?
          anyone read any labor history lately?
          the industrialization of the west?
          south africa?

          what am i missing

          1. Wukchumni

            There’s a forlorn lass on Lover’s Lane (a real name of a street in Visalia) holding a message on cardboard aloft.

            She’s probably in her late 20’s, and I see her about every month or so making a turn @ an intersection I frequent, and she’s gone downhill quick, meth or heroin more than likely.

          2. Eclair

            I spent every Monday at the Catholic Worker House in Denver, when we lived in Colorado. We always had women staying there and I listened to their stories. The long-time homeless women said they always made a point of looking ‘not homeless,’ i.e., dressed well, didn’t walk around with a big backpack or loaded shopping bags, because as soon as they were spotted as homeless and thus vulnerable, they were more likely to be raped.

            So many women were homeless because they were fleeing an abusive relationship; could be a partner or, in the cases of younger women, parents. Because one room at the House was reserved for couples in a ‘committed relationship, i.e., not necessarily legally married,’ we saw much abuse first-hand.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I see many older homeless women in NYC. They aren’t rape candidates. Also some young ones, including a particular one I gave money to that the women at my salon said I shouldn’t, that she has a drug habit and that’s what the money goes to.

              I distantly knew a woman who became homeless, a stage 4 alcoholic. Long story there.

              In NYC, the biggest single cause of homelessness is the high rents, and that seems to apply to women as well as men.

              1. run75441


                It was attending “Show Down In Chicago” when I started to see the young homeless wandering on the streets. It was not common.

                At Wacker Drive and Michigan (the river) and across from where London House (saw Gene Krupa there as an 18 year old) used to be, I ran into the first young person who obviously did not belong, sitting, leaning against one of the Wacker Drive bridge pillars. Sitting on a blanket with her cat and reading a book. I thought she was maybe taking in the crowd except for the cup in front of her and the man who had purchased a sub sandwich for her, talking to her about not finding cat food.

                She had been evicted after losing a job from what I had found out in talking. I always carry a wad of one dollar bills in pocket so as to not reach for my wallet. I left a couple of $dollars and asked if she had a resume. This I would later give to my daughter-in-law who was a HR Director.

                Having grown up in Chicago proper, I was used to wandering its streets and looking to see what was happening with the city and looking at some of the buildings I had worked on as a laborer – caulker. I once ran into Chicken Charlie on that very same Wacker Drive, the Tuck-pointers I labored for explained who he was.

                There were typically many Vietnam Vets panhandling on the streets. With a few simple questions, I could figure out if they were authentic or not. Others it was a little more difficult. Losing a dollar or two was not worrisome to me.

                U3 is low and Participation Rate is also low which the later indicates slack in the Labor Force. It has been so since 2009 when Show Down took place. PR for those > 64 is historically high. It is hard for people to retire. Low end Labor is amongst the easiest to automate and reduce the Overhead costs of business. I suspect it will not get much better.

          3. Geo

            True. Living on the streets is dangerous but especially for women. I’ve known a few homeless women and even the toughest ones have horror stories of the assault and abuse they’ve suffered.

            Most I’ve known have found shelters for women or live in the cars out in the woods alone.

            I don’t know the stats but I highly doubt there are more homeless men than women, just that homeless women are much less visible.

            1. Wukchumni

              Thought experiment:

              Homeowners in Paradise that were newly homeless post Camp Fire, had long ago been aced out for the best pee’d-à-terre spots by the 2,000 homeless living among them pre-conflagration. Would there be a pecking order if the 2 sojourners were to merge?

              Granted it was an extreme situation that leveled the playing field, but we should expect more of those resulting in similar ‘fryaspora’ events as the May to December romance with an old flame rages anew.

            2. Amfortas the hippie

              30 years ago, when I lived in Austin…I had the occasion to know a lot of homeless people. There were sub-tribes…most of the older men were veterans(‘Nam) and couldn’t handle domestication, or had been screwed over in some way that was not surmountable.
              There was also what were known then as “Dragworms”(The Drag is Guadalupe street, up along the UT campus)…young people,(male and female in equalish proportions.) with abundant tattoos and piercings and quite natty dreads.These were less friendly than the vets…apparently due to cops etc….but beer is as honey to bees in winter…
              this group fell into two categories: 1. kids who had chosen this lifestyle with more or less open eyes. lots of anarchist talk. and 2. kids who had run off from abuse.
              These latter always insisted that they were of the first kind: Choice Makers(gr”heretikos”).
              The girls were, as a rule, fierce and hostile…quick with a blade. One learned to keep one’s tongue,lol.
              This bunch traveled a lot. hitching and riding freight, wandering around the country, doing seasonal work.
              The homeless families were elsewhere….I knew of a big camp off of east Oltorf in some undeveloped woods.
              the vets and the dragworms avoided these places…they weren’t welcome, and the homeless families ran sort of a tight ship, given circumstances. Night Watch and such.
              I spent far less time among these folks. I’d occasionally see them on the Drag, but not enough for observation.
              I would be interested to see how things have changed since then among this population.
              But we don’t even bother to get an accurate count of these folks, let alone try to understand them.

          4. wilroncanada

            Her in Canada’s lotus land (Vancouver Island) during a severe storm two days ago, a homeless woman in her late 20s was killed in her tent when a tree fell on it. One day earlier, when I stopped at a light in town, another young homeless woman was panhandling. I took her to a nearby eatery and gave her money for a meal.
            Two young homeless women in two days.
            The majority of our homeless men are handicapped, or native, or both.

    2. Wukchumni

      One aspect of the holidays I can do without, is the constant implication on tv commercials that we all give ourselves new cars for Christmas.

      I get it, this was always the deadest time of the year for sales traditionally, and you got hep to making us think we’re a bunch of scrooges if there isn’t something shiny on the driveway with a bow on it…

    3. Norm de plume

      This sensible piece by Laura Kipnis is a good companion to Margaret Wente’s, and a counterweight to some of the more strident ‘look at me-too-ism’ in the Guardian.

  2. Dairyqueer

    I think you mean DownWithTyrrany. The extant typo is a word that’s out of fashion in much the same manner as the n-word.

  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: Third Of Americans Thinking About Leaving Country To Live Abroad.

    Most people can’t make the move even if they want to. Finances, work and family responsibilities prevent moving abroad from being a realistic option for most Americans. Despite all of the talk about our new globalized, cosmopolitan world the truth is that most Americans only live 18 miles from their mother. Americans have actually become less mobile over the last few decades and this is especially true for working-class Americans.


    I think this reflects the huge chasm between how the upper and upper middle class live and perceive the world and how the rest of the population lives. For all of our social liberalism when it comes to certain issues, ordinary Americans are still a fairly traditional bunch. They are still very much rooted to place and rely on family networks to help them survive.

    This is why there is so much frustration among elites when they tell Americans to move and Americans don’t move. For most Americans moving would probably not increase their economic standing that much and it would result in the collapse of their social networks so moving doesn’t make much sense unlike for say a professional couple that can afford to move to and live in a big city because they will likely have good jobs waiting for them.

    1. Sutter Cane

      Most people can’t make the move even if they want to. Finances, work and family responsibilities prevent moving abroad from being a realistic option for most Americans.

      Exactly. I was in a unique position in that I grew up rural and poor, but became a musician who was lucky enough to get to tour and travel extensively in Europe, something nobody else from the area I grew up in ever got to do. I was in an underground kind of band and ended up sleeping on floors more than in hotels, so I got to see how average people in European countries live, as opposed to Americans. Let me just say that the quality of the floors I was sleeping on was vastly improved!

      I considered becoming an expat, and I have a few musician friends who did, but the only ones who were successful pulled it off by marrying someone overseas and being adopted into their family network. Otherwise, the language barrier was too high for someone educated in the American public school system. While I have managed to get into the bottom rung of the PMC in the US for my day job, that wouldn’t have been likely in any European country. I can work an office job here, but would probably be in a service industry job or a day laborer overseas, so it wouldn’t really be much of an improvement for me, materially.

      Of the friends who tried, and didn’t marry anyone, one tried to move to the Netherlands, stayed with some friends there, and worked some different manual labor jobs while trying to learn the language. He never made a go of it and returned to the US after a few months, when his savings ran out.

      One friend who was successful became a bartender in Switzerland and has stayed there. Bartender seems to be one of the more transportable working-class professions. However, I have no desire to be a bartender here in the states, so doing that in another country isn’t any more appealing.

      So in summary, yes, for a working class person to pack up and start a new life overseas is quite difficult.

    2. Wukchumni

      The fact is a good percentage of Americans can only hope to move to a bigger city in the USA, on account of economic apartheid. Forget about moving overseas…

      Do you think somebody that owns a home free & clear in Akron or Detroit, is going to be able to move to Seattle, Denver, San Diego or Boston?

    3. drumln woodchuckles

      If indeed the elites are frustrated by ordinary Americans not moving for this or that as much as the elites would like, perhaps a rising refusal-to-move by ordinary Americans would really be a spoke stuck in the elites’ spinning bicycle wheels.

      1. ambrit

        The problem with this is that the labour economy has become, to a large extent, globalized. If foreign “cheap” workers cannot be found for something, the guiding elites force the local labour force to act like they accept the downward wage spiral dynamic. I have seen jobs idled for months when the local labour wouldn’t accede to management’s wage suppression demands. In construction at least, that is when management makes resort to Construction Coyotes to bring in cheap foreign labour, even skilled labour. I hesitate to say this, but if the next downturn is as bad as 2008, then we will see “foreign” workers burned out and probably lynched. Not, alas, the managerial class that enabled this, but the pawns.

        1. Wukchumni

          Would there have been the same ire against all Irishman post potato famine, here? Oh yeah, big time. Same with Dagos, Bohunks, Nips, {insert next ethnic slur here}

          In 1890 the census showed the frontier was closed, are we ready to pull up the drawbridge on other people earning to be free?

          Purely anecdotal, but a friend from Orlando* who owns a construction biz, who I ski with, related that he found that Mexican workers were the mainstay of his business, with his right hand man being an ‘illegal’. All of them being indispensable in that their work ethic and ability to get the job done, won them out over domestic tranquility, er born & bred Americans. He said it wasn’t the pay being any more or less, that had nothing to do with it.

          My only brush with a lack of defame, on the inside.

          * might be the best downhill skier in Florida!

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Huh? You seem to miss that there WAS huge ire against the Irish. Tons of signs for jobs saying that Irish should not apply. Irish weren’t considered to be white until well into the 20th century.

            What your construction boss says is garbage and you ought to know it.

            By having illegal workers, he has all sorts of leverage over them, including not paying them overtime, not having to observe OSHA standards, not paying the employee and employer share of FICA, etc.

            This is absolutely about the money and it is pretty stunning to see you offer obviously questionable assertions up as truth. “He would say that, now wouldn’t he?”

            And per your earlier claim, since when is it Americas’s responsibility to provide jobs to foreigners? The only reason we did so historically was because we had resources we wanted exploited, primarily arable land, and we perceived we were short of people.

            1. Wukchumni

              The one guy was ‘illegal’, the rest were American citizens of Mexican heritage. No different an Italian-American or Latvian-American.

              I asked him if it was about the money, and said it wasn’t a consideration. The issue was that longtime citizens of our country were more prone to have substance abuse issues, be late for work, shirk work, etc. These were his words, not mine.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                They aren’t “Mexican workers” if they are American citizens. You misrepresented them and specifically said they weren’t “born and bred Americans.” Mexicans are the least likely group to go from being green card holders to citizens ( Moreover, the cost of the process of obtaining citizenship is one of the big reasons Mexicans with green cards don’t become citizens. That would seem likely to be an issue with not-well-paid construction workers. So I continue to question your friend’s claim that only one worker is “illegal”. Illegal Mexican workers are common in the Southeast, to the degree a few years back that when Alabama greatly toughened up on the requirement that farm workers be documented, the peach crop rotted.

                Now you’ve changed your story. Are you going to change it again?

                The reason I have trouble with this “Americans won’t work hard” is Amazon warehouses disprove that in spades. The work conditions are backbreaking yet Amazon has no trouble filling jobs. Hence I suspect your construction boss is not paying competitive rates and is not paying his guys salaries and paying FICA or not giving them 1099s. Under-the-table pay arrangements cheat the workers by having them not accumulate wage payments for Social Security, among other things.

                1. ambrit

                  Another aspect of the “work ethic” argument is that the division of the monetary compensation arising from the projects completion is skewed towards the ‘investors’ more when labour loses it’s competitive edge vis a vis the ‘owners.’ A sure sign of this to me is that the wages of the workers on housing have stagnated while the prices asked, and often got for the buildings put up, continue to rise. Some of that rise is due to rising materials costs, sure, but the entire rise in price? The return on investment for construction especially, but probably all other labour utilizing endeavours, is the key.
                  I realize that I represent a variety of working class crank, but, and this is a big but, this class in general has suffered a visible decline in wealth and status over the last four decades.
                  Another aspect of this is the difference in attitude between the modern American worker and his or her ‘immigrant’ analogue. The modern American has imbued an ethos of egalitarian social relations, which definitely includes monetary wealth and the standard of living such imparts. In such an ethos, a more equitable division of the fruits of labour is a given. The general ‘immigrant’ has been saddled with a more heirarchical social template. Coming from lands where, generally, wealth is already widely segregated, and rationalized as some form of ‘natural law’ they are easily played off against the locals. Unions played the main countervailing function in this dynamic in years past. I assume that this is why ‘conservatives’ try to destroy unions first in their social warfare. It is no winder that mega corporations like WalMart close up stores that vote in unions. Such threatens to diminish management’s share of the profits.
                  At base, all this is a cosmic morality play, wherein real people suffer and die.
                  Thanks for championing ethics.

                2. JerryDenim

                  Aside from the obvious labor price and regulatory arbitratage opportunities provided by hiring mostly from the black market labor pool, I noticed the phrase “right-hand man”. I’m guessing Mr. Right Hand is also the guy that makes 99% of the hiring decisions for his boss’s construction business. I think once a workplace becomes dominated by one nationality or ethnicity, top to bottom, the the workplace culture automatically assumes a self-replicating logic. If everyone speaks the same language and has the same culture it becomes really hard for an outsider to work as part of that machine. I’ve noticed it’s a real rarity in Los Angeles to see non-hispanics employeed on construction sites. I can’t imagine how a non-Spanish speaker could operate efficiently in one of those environments. Given the many competitive advantages of an illegal/undocumented work force it seems absent regulation and presented with a large pool of excess, illegal labor, industries will hire from that pool until they reach a tipping point where a dominant labor demographic becomes an entrenched part of the business model.

                  1. ambrit

                    This is exactly where unions have their raison d’etre. The ethnic compartmentalization of the labour pool is classic divide and rule methodology.
                    It is fruitful to point out that a “business model” is not the same as an economy. The former serves the interests of a small group of ‘investors, and management, while the latter encompasses the entire effected population. So, it is valid to argue that unions, as a countervailing force to the owning class and their minions, serve the overall well being of the economy as a whole.
                    All this shows up the self defeating nature of the modern obsession with short term thinking and immediate returns.

                3. Wukchumni

                  It isn’t so much that Americans won’t work hard, they tend to want to do jobs that are more computer oriented.

                  Being a order puller for Amazon isn’t that much different than being an orange puller on a ladder, or working at a packing house where the citrus is cleaned and sorted, and culled if necessary.

                  I asked my friend about the non-legal status of his most valued employee, and he was jumping through hoops to get him legitimate, and I specifically inquired about the others, and he told me they were all legally here.

                  He told me the ramifications of getting busted on the work site with non documented employees in Florida, weren’t worth the risk.

                  He related that you might get ‘turned in’ by a competitor in the business.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    Huh? Since when is working in a warehouse picking orders “computer oriented”? You haven’t read about Amazon warehouse jobs, apparently, even though we have linked to them often. They are expected to squat 250 times per shift and walk 12-15 miles. They are not allowed to sit and have monitors that track them and pace them. Amazon warehouses are listed by OSHA as among the dozen most dangerous in the US.

                    And it’s worse at Christmas:


                    1. Wukchumni

                      I’d guess that a citrus picker and an Amazon ‘picker’ work just as hard at their tasks. And while there is no xmas rush in the former, there is a ‘ripe’ rush, where everything must be picked, and quick.

                      And more than likely both are paid similar wages, a field laborer earning $10-11 an hour.

                      Up and down a ladder all day, bringing a load of 40-50 pounds worth to the plastic packing boxes that are 100-500 feet away, and then back up that ladder again, until you’ve picked about a ton worth of oranges and your day is done.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            ” are we ready to pull up the drawbridge on other people earning(sic) to be free?”

            Yes. If the castle is full, we pull up the drawbridge. Not with a laugh or a cackle. Indeed, with a tear in our eye and a tear in our heart. But we pull it up all the same.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          The labor economy has become carefully engineered into a globalized condition through Free Trade Agreements. Abolish the Free Trade Agreements and abolish Free Trade itself, and restore Protectionism by and for ALL countries that want it; and we can de-globalize the labor market over time.

          Abrogating the Free Trade Agreements will make it legally possible to Tariff foreign goods high enough to wipe out their lower-cost advantage due to semi-slave labor, anti-social anti-standards, pro-pollution laws and regulations, etc. Countries with equal or higher labor and social costs than our own would have to compete on quality or other innate qualities of intrinsic value, as some do now.

          1. ambrit

            The present form of Globalism is mainly economic in nature. This ignores the social and political side of the process. Globalism will only really work with a Global government.
            Conspiracy nut hatchery or not, that is the basic equation.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              It doesn’t even have to look like a government. It can look like a rules-based bunch of rules written by the Corporate Globalonial Plantation Masters and presented to the governments of the world to ratify and enforce under the name of Free Trade Agreements.

    4. Robert McGregor

      “Most people can’t make the move even if they want to.”

      Many millennials cannot afford to move out of their parents’ basement, much less move out of the country. Baby steps.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        How many of these parents’ basements have real houses above them? How many of these real houses have real yards around them? How many of these real yards have shade-free zones big enough to turn into gardens able to yield at least a few couple-hundred dollars-worth of fruits and vegetables per year?

        At some point a phase change may occur in the minds of some of the millenials ( and post-millenials and even some pre-millenials) who are living in the basement. This phase-change of the mind may lead them to see the yards around the houses above the basements they live in as sources of modest but real subsistence incomes. An income in food is just as real an income as an income in the form of just enough money to buy the food.

        Suburbia may not be abandonded, abolished, outlawed and razed to the ground the way some Urbanist militants hope. Suburbia may devolve into semi-rural suburban slum neo-villages inhabited by suburban slum-village neo-peasants. Some of these houses may revert to the pre-“modern” pattern of sheltering SEVERAL generations at one time, all contributing something to the neo-peasant survival-in-place of the house and the several generations living in it.

    5. jrs

      why is the professional couple with good job prospects moving again? Moving is an act of desperation, when the job prospects aren’t good, and there’s nothing left to try.

    1. el_tel

      I did exactly the same thing. Not that I don’t recognise the importance of butterflies, but, well, stories about monarchies dying….

      1. Harold

        The bit about asclepias curassavica possibly becoming more toxic strikes me as pretty hypothetical. I don’t believe the study behind it has ever been replicated, but it and its author sure get a lot of PR.

  4. bob

    RE: Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town Medium. Brian C: “Amazing fail.”

    I don’t doubt any of the made up details of the German Cletus Safari. It sounds like Der Spiegel invented their very own Cletus when they couldn’t find one.


    “Or to my office at Springboard for the Arts, where we provide programs that help artists in the region make a living, and directly address the future of rural communities and culture through events like the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, and our Hinge Artist Residency at Fergus Falls’ former state mental institution.”

    How about the name of an artist that does “make a living” there, and not a non-profiteer who makes a living off those trying to make a living there. I’m also not at all sure how the Rural arts and Culture Summit or an Artist in Residence DIRECTLY addresses the future of rural communities, other than to brand “rural” in a better light than Der Spiegel, and give a few PMC’s a high horse the climb down off of. It’s all about the messaging.

    “The median income for a household in the city was $31,454, and the median income for a family was $44,280.,_Minnesota

    How does messaging help that?

    1. jhallc

      “How about the name of an artist that does “make a living” there, and not a non-profiteer who makes a living off those trying to make a living there. I’m also not at all sure how the Rural arts and Culture Summit or an Artist in Residence DIRECTLY addresses the future of rural communities, other than to brand “rural” in a better light than Der Spiegel, and give a few PMC’s a high horse the climb down off of. It’s all about the messaging.”

      I get that It would be nice to read a more in depth article about what Fergus Falls actually represents with respect to Trump’s election,


      if you look back at the 2016 MN primary results you can see that Bernie Sanders won 62% of the vote to HRC’s 38%. So while you may think that Fergus Falls is full of “Woke Liberals” I’m not sure that’s the case.

      and what’s a PMC?

      1. Wukchumni

        We have about 30 ‘artists in residence’ in our little dogpatch here, wood workers, muralists, sculptors, painters, etc.

        I’d imagine they are inspired to do creative things, by virtue of being surrounded by nature and flowing waters, but I can’t speak for them, nor do I know if they “make a living”. Does it matter?

        1. ambrit

          Unless one is “of independent means,” making a living at one’s art is most definitely germane “Starving artists” eventually prematurely cross an event horizon called death.

      2. bob

        Professional Managerial Classes

        Most often found drawing large salaries from publicly supported non-profits for producing PR-

        “Artists Access to Healthcare (AAH) removes financial and system navigation barriers for artists and their families….

        …Springboard provided 8 free healthcare screenings and 23 flu shots.”

        That’s access, very well defined by the PMC’s that get paid very well to manufacture this BS with a multi-million dollar budget.

        1. Aleric

          That is a very cynical view – from closely reading the tax review you could see that Springboard spent less than $100,000 on key staff salaries out of an overall $2 million + budget. About half of which was directly disbursed to artists, and most of the rest was providing legal, business, and logistical support for 1000s of local artists and art groups. From what I have seen of them and the Minnesota Arts Board, (which disburses $40 m/year to artists on a statewide staff of 21 who average less than $50k/year) they are committed people earning less than they could make in the private sector because they believe in the mission. And, yes, there are artists in Outstate Minnesota, both locals and people attracted by the relatively low cost of living and natural beauty.

          1. bob

            How does any of that help address the future of rural communities? Better PR!?

            “From closely reading the tax review you could see that Springboard spent less than $100,000 on key staff salaries”

            I can read too. The head makes $107k a year. Is the head not key enough to be counted?

            “And, yes, there are artists in Outstate Minnesota, both locals and people attracted by the relatively low cost of living and natural beauty.And, yes, there are artists in Outstate Minnesota, both locals and people attracted by the relatively low cost of living and natural beauty.”

            Why put words in my mouth? Where did I ever say that their aren’t any artists in MN? I have no problem with artists. I do have a problem with non-profiteers.

          2. bob

            “About half of which was directly disbursed to artists, and most of the rest was providing legal, business, and logistical support for 1000s of local artists and art groups”

            This is another hidden turd. They did not disperse money to Artists. Everyone of the recipients is listed. All of them are LLC’s or other non-profits.

            It seems that your argument boils down to – there must be non-profits or there will be no artists. I disagree. I think that is a very cynical view.

            1. Aleric

              Everything short of universal health care and UBI/Job Guarantee is a band-aid on the problems of rural areas. Short of that, on the problem vs solution spectrum, I think small-grant arts boards are strongly on the solution side, along with local libraries and public schools.

              Not that there wouldn’t be artists without grants, but artist-personality-type people are not always the best at accounting, making connections with other artists and institutions, or dealing with the getting-paid side of contract law.

              On a society scale it is a small problem compared to the problem of scientist-personality-type people being required to be their own fund-raiser/institutional-representative, but I think it is an analogous social loss.

              1. bob

                Where do you learn how to mix metaphors and metrics? Non-profit school?

                “is a band-aid on the problems of rural areas. Short of that, on the problem vs solution spectrum,”


      3. GramSci

        An interesting Google Translation snippet from Der Spiegel’s explanation of how they finally came to fire Claas Relotius (the author of the Fergus Falls piece)”

        Only a month later, at the end of March 2017, a snapshot from Fergus Falls in Minnesota appears in the SPIEGEL “In a Small Town”. The idea behind it originated in the editorial office in Hamburg [Relotius was an editor-GramSci], not only to demonize the first months of US President Trump from the top down from a European point of view, but also to look at it from the perspective of those who had presumably chosen the great Donald : Americans from the country. The plan was for Relotius to rent in Fergus Falls, meet people, listen, and record a small time image that would make you understand the Americans a little better.

        The plan goes awry and such things happen in journalism all the time. Relotius finds no protagonists with whom he can do anything, he finds no access to the substance. He writes emails home, even to colleagues [?!?, explain please, Herr Spiegel /s], that he is screwed; that he is stuck. He gets into a situation that every reporter knows: There is simply no story, no one can be found. In such cases, quick decisions must be made: Cancel or continue? New start or leave? Looking for a new aspect or driving home?

  5. The Rev Kev

    Wesley Clark in a tweet denouncing war? He must have mellowed over the years. Back in 1999 during the Kosovo War, NATO forces were in a race to occupy Pristina airport with the Russians but the Russians got there first. I will quote from Wikipedia what happened next-

    “General Clark then issued an order for the NATO troops to attack and “overpower” the armed Russian troops. In response, Lieutenant General Mike Jackson refused to obey the order, reportedly telling him “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you”. Jackson has said he refused to take action because he did not believe it was worth the risk of a military confrontation with the Russians, instead insisting that troops encircle the airfield.”

    So for Clark attacking Iraq was bad but risking World War Three was so, so?

    1. Katz

      I belive this is his son tweeting—Wesley Clark Jr.. His politics are less predictable. He was involved in the Standing Rock protests, for example.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Oh my, my bad. I never heard about his son but a quick search showed him to be cut from a different cloth than his father.

    2. harry

      My employer in March 2001, sent a colleague to interview some young officials in Dick Cheney’s office. The quote he came back with was “The road to peace in the Middle East goes via Baghdad.

      So Gen. Clark is just reporting what he saw.

      The decision had pretty much been taken before the cabal took office. They were looking for a causus belli. That it involved utterly irrelevant events just tells you about the quality of the US media.

  6. Louis Fyne

    Please everyone read that “messed with the small town” article about the Der Spiegel fake news.

    …. Everything wrong about journalism + cocooned virtue-signalling globalists, everything that’s still good about America (hope I’m not projecting, lol) (dunno if that medium link was a cross post)

    1. Wukchumni

      One thing rural has all over the big cities, is there is accountability for your actions-for unlike the our metropolises, anonymity is uncommon.

      It’s no different in a little town versus the Big Smoke, we all know around 200 people by name and face (a politician with a good memory should be able to remember thousands) in our lives, but what’s 200 in a sea of 10,000,000, other than a rounding error?

      The Spiegel reporter would’ve never been caught on his lies if he’d gone to a town of big enough size, where people hardly know one another.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Another Year of American Collapse”

    I think that to make sense of this all, it needs to be placed in the context outlined in Michael Hudson’s article today “The Vocabulary of Economic Deception”. You start to see a lot of correlation between cause and effect then.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I skimmed this article. It seems the author is too young to remember the New Deal and all the thinking which led up to it and which was expressed during it. He is also too uninformed and un-educated about the several decades of populist thinking leading to various reforms and to the losing gamble of William Jennings Bryan for President.

      It took several decades of hard overt and covert work to cover up all that prior thinking and introduce this new jungle-law thinking which the author thinks is the only thinking that America ever thought.

      Americans will have to try un-covering , rediscovering and re-thinking all this old thinking in order to de-collapse the society, if that can still be done.

      Sanders’s various runs and other activities open an opportunity for such recover-the-thinking initiatives and projects all over America, teach-ins about the New Deal and the anti-New-Deal on campuses, etc.
      That Zucotti Park Mothership Library was perhaps an effort to gather some of the records of that thinking in a place for people to see and read. Perhaps that was why Bloomberg was so determined to destroy that library in particular before its existence became too widely known.

      Perhaps the list of titles in that little library should be re publicised in place after place, over and over again.

  8. Louis Fyne

    >>Uber employees working on self-driving cars feel their cars are safer but their careers are stuck, according to leaked employee survey

    Or to be cynical, the employees figured out that their options are worthless—as by the time that the market, regulatory framework, public, infrastructure, etc. is ready for robo-cars, any/all of Uber’s (and their competitors) patents will have lapsed.

    like many prior automotive inventions.

  9. Lee

    Third Of Americans Thinking About Leaving Country To Live Abroad Study Finds. Resilc: “75% don’t have enough cash to buy a ticket.”

    Another Year of American Collapse Eudaimonia and Co (Dr. Kevin)

    If upon reading the first article you find that you are among those with no wish to live abroad, reading the second one might well change your mind. Too bad about that ticket price. For most of us the exit door to a decent life elsewhere is effectively locked.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Lee

      BTW if you know of any teachers and social workers who are willing to emigrate, my home county, Buckinghamshire, is recruiting and has / does from overseas.

      I visited colleagues, former and current, in NYC the week after Thanksgiving and heard similar, especially from immigrants or children of immigrants.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Colonel Smithers,

        I would consider it if it wasn’t England. I am sure the housing is just as insane as it is in the suburbs of major US cities, and would you ask anyone to move to England right now with Brexit looming?

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Richard.

          Firstly, I apologise for the delay in reply.

          The area is recruiting mainly high school teachers, especially in STEM.

    2. Oregoncharles

      I wonder how Canada will deal with all the USan refugees piling up at the border – since we can drive there.

      There’s at least one movie with exactly that scene.

      Of course, with global heating Canada will have a lot more arable and habitable land, aside from the flooded parts.

      1. Lee

        They will very politely decline you entry unless you can correctly pronounce “Eh?”

        Actually, I’ve looked into it a bit. Last time I checked, for a retired codger like myself, I’d need to be considerably richer than I am. And I’m not poor…..not yet anyway, and I probably won’t be as long as I’m frugal, a bit lucky, don’t get too sick, and don’t live too long.

        1. Wukchumni

          Working on my dual citizenship up over currently. I’d like to thank Bellevue, Alberta for being there when my Mom was born.


          I liken what’s coming our way to an event that occurred about 20 years before she came along. It has interesting parallels if you think in regards to things financial leading up to the slide:

          “left it in a constant state of instability” & “may have weakened the mountain’s internal structure”

          The Frank Slide was a rockslide that buried part of the mining town of Frank, Northwest Territories, Canada at 4:10 am on April 29, 1903. Over 82 million tonnes (90 million tons) of limestone rock slid down Turtle Mountain within 100 seconds, obliterating the eastern edge of Frank, the Canadian Pacific Railway line and the coal mine. It was one of the largest landslides in Canadian history and remains the deadliest, as between 70 and 90 of the town’s residents were killed, most of whom remain buried in the rubble. Multiple factors led to the slide: Turtle Mountain’s formation left it in a constant state of instability. Coal mining operations may have weakened the mountain’s internal structure, as did a wet winter and cold snap on the night of the disaster.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          How will Canada deal further in the future, when it is 200 million Americans, 100 million Mexicans and Central Americans, and several million assorted Caribbean Islanders storming the Canadian border to get in?

      2. Summer

        How will Canada deal?
        I’ve heard of tv and film crew people from the USA that didn’t get into Canada because of decades old DUIs.

    3. JBird4049

      Effectively, yes unless it gets desperate enough to become practical. Americans can always create their own caravans right? Not to get too apocalyptic here, but back in the Great Depression there were large migrations of the suddenly destitute from state to state, and if things get really bad, I’m quite sure we can go to other countries too. And we are due for the Second Great Depression.

  10. RUKidding

    There was a tweet in the Water Cooler (I think) yesterday from Jeremy Scahill with which I agreed. Basically can’t stand Trump; his Administration is laying waste to our environment & other aspects of our nation.

    However I’m fully in favor & support his decision to withdraw from Syria. Sorry for the Kurds of course, but this mess is best sorted by those living there.

    If Trump gets us out of Afghanistan I’ll back him 100%. That’s a boondoggle & quagmire that appears to inure only to the benefit of the Elites. This is based on anecdotal reports from from friends who’ve either served or worked there.

    Trump perhaps giving the MIC a middle finger is just fine with me. No love lost on my part over the departure of Mad Dog Mattis. Good riddance.

    1. petal

      My liberal friends (incl. one that looked me straight in the eye last weekend and said “I’m(she’s) an activist now.”) are all up in arms about Mattis leaving and how terrible it is. It’s like they are hysterical and hyperventilating at this point-over every little thing. Left the RS article with them. I wish I understood psychologically what is going on with them.

      1. MK

        TDS: Trump Derangement Syndrome

        It’s real and makes otherwise sane people support anything opposite Trump. Like continuing endless war because Trump opposes it.

        Mattis said it was fun to shoot people. And he’s the alleged adult in the room.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        They all have Jonestown Clintonism. TDS is just a surface symptom of the deep-seated Jonestown Clintonism at the heart of all these liberals’ core-psyche and basic soul.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’m glad that there appears to be a tiny light emanating from the end of a very long tunnel, in our leaving a couple of dubious wars, yeah!

      But on the other hand, I kinda feel like an evang that knows that the President they elected is a 2 faced liar, but he says the right things and claims to be religious, so he gets a pass.

      If the Chief Executive does get impeached, the blowback from the MIC will be something to behold, “see, we were right about him, now give us more blank checks!”

      1. ambrit

        If the Chief Executive gets impeached, and removed, remember Slick Willie, the blowback from Flyover Country will be monumental.

    3. Pookah Harvey

      At first I (unbelievably) agreed with Trump in leaving northern Syria. Then I saw Jimmy Dore talking about “Chomsky Says US Should Stay In Syria”. Jimmy disagrees with Chomsky but I had a re-think. I had previously read about the society the Kurds had been developing. Chomsky is concerned that Turkey will overrun Rojava. This is the area the Kurds liberated from ISIS and they have set up a bottom up democracy that is multi-cultural with equal rights for women. This could be an example for societies through out the Middle-East (not to mention the world). IMHO using our troops to protect this area is one of the few good things that our military may be accomplishing.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        So as Lambert pointed out, we should have stayed in South Vietnam because we were leaving the ARVN high and dry? Oh, and we should still be in Nicaragua because the Contras were our allies? It’s the same logic.

        The US should not be in the business of nation-building. Supporting the Kurds is just that. The Syrians treated women extremely well, allowed them to be educated like men, also had high levels of income equality and general levels of education. And there are more of them than Kurds. So by that logic, we should go back in on Assad’s side.

        1. JBird4049

          We should not be in the business of nation building, but we are not in that business; the United States is in the business of half-ass invading entire countries usually for reasons which almost never make sense afterwards.

          After destroying the lives of generations, it’s some fatuous declaration of “victory”, and then to all the people like the Hmong, the interpreters, local guides, soldiers, governmental officials, it’s so sad, so sorry, go die. The Americans who worked with them, and sometimes owe their lives to them, sometimes spend years trying to get the now targeted individuals and their families out, but American governmental officials often successfully block the refugees from immigrating. In Iraq and Afghanistan the excuse given is that the applicants might be terrorists.

          We should not be in the business of nation killing, but if we must, the people who worked or fought for us should be helped. We cannot make them whole, but we can do our damnedest to keep them alive once we leave. Saying so sad, so sorry, go die is not acceptable. Of course, we say that to our own people and their families once they come back shattered. Disposable people and disposable countries.

  11. SimonGirty

    Please, somebody try to read that NYT piece, about the Democrats’ false-flag psy-op in Alabama and ‘splain it to me, with a straight face? Amy Goodman kinda breezed-over it (like the whole “Assad gasses a neighborhood” story) and it really appears like some Atlantic Council geeks got caught pulling more obvious shit, yet again? So the New York Times has to drown it in obfuscatory pleonasm… again? Is this why we’ve appropriated the term, “side-eyes?”

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Everything about that article was just wrong. The Blob has gone absolutely nuts.

      What I would like to have explained is why political ads on the teevee are just advertising and therefore AOK, but when they’re placed on the interwebs it’s social media “manipulation” or “influencing” an election and considered something dastardly.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The off spring of Ronnie Ray gun and Slick Willy are the blob. Obama pushed the reckoning for a bit, but the lack of new blood and internal competition produced a party that could be seized by Trump and one where Beta! mania isn’t a joke. As far as outfits like the military, Sam Grant couldn’t get a job in 1861 without congressional patronage. In under five years, he was the victorious general. He needed plenty of people to blunder their way out of jobs to advance.

        The blob is now dealing with forces opposed to it, and they can’t cope. The reaction to Sirota’s report on O’Rourke is hysterics from neoliberals with cramps. Chris Matthews lamented “that woman Bruening”, and Maddow wept for the families of soldiers who might have to see their deployed family members.

      2. SimonGirty

        The whole: BernieBro, WikiLeaks Russian bots caused Black Lives Matter (anti-fracking, anti-industrial agricultural, anti- FIRE Sector) protests is a tiny bit ripe? In 2000, it was Nader, in ’68 student radicals, in 64 Mississippi Black DNC deligates. We were just watching “Little Drummer Girl” and, sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion: these spook, PR, shill, Social Networking Advocacy Solutions firms are not as portrayed on TV? Rick Berman’s been pulling the same silly BS as Bernays, Hill or for that matter Don Draper (Lucy in Peanuts). I’m guessing, it’s a conditioned response we’re hardwired into? Let me go ask commisar?

        1. JTMcPhee

          Anybody got a view on what kind of political economy “we” mopes want? Or is it all,any more, just “intelligently perceiving” how bad things are for the mopery and the planet we were graced with, and hoping someone like Bernie will appear out of the mists and show us the way?

          What are the elements of a decent, sustainable, homeostatic political economy? An end to Groaf, choking off “trade,” “money out of politics,” building local social networks and autonomy, strangling the corrupt and gluttonous Imperial beast here and in all the rest of the nations, asking (demanding) of every “innovation” and “New! New! Progress!” Thingie whether it will improve or support the elements of decency and and sustainability and all that, putting the Precautionary Principle at the head of every decision about everything?

          As a couple of ideas, at least…

          Something more is needed than just fiddling with “policy details” and grand concepts and kvetching about badness and decline, no?

        2. Richard

          Well, we are wired in this country to blame the person who brings attention to the sociopath’s crimes, rather than the sociopath himself. As J. Dore notes, like a nation of adult children of alcoholics.
          My natural responses to problems, from the time I first began to form opinions on social problems, was pretty much always populist/libertarian left. Growing up in southern idaho, I was always taught to be highly suspicious of approaches like mine, and that the people who brought them forward deserved to be attacked personally. Who were they trying to be? Are they saying they’re better? Immediately suspect hypocrisy and attack personal flaws was the defense response I encountered from nearly everyone.
          Of course those who denounce and whistleblow and resist must have a secret bs agenda. It can’t possibly be dad’s fault you whiner.

          1. SimonGirty

            My big concern, with K Street’s lies, agitprop, false flags, running ALL the planets’ media is: it’s bad, with this old-school, J. Edger Hoover, 1930’s “Ooo… looky, evil ROOSKIS!” What the heck is it going to be like, once the Boomer spooks, con-men and shills die, mysteriously (atop 14yr olds) and competent, young, mostly immigrant bullshit artists go to work on us, with 21st Century equipment, algorithms, motivation and skill sets? I wonder just how many “security or phone videos” we’ve seen, were total fabrications; audio and video altered to prove the mark’s guilt to millions of viewers?

            1. Richard

              It feels like a while since we had one of those kind of liars. Maybe Huey Long? Just estimating here…but it feels like most of our liars in the u.s. stick to complete and utter hs. haha it’s not funny we’re drowning

              1. ambrit

                Well, I imagine that Huey Long got a bad press because he actually built things for the people of Louisiana while he was governor. He taxed the energy concerns and used a lot of that money for public works. Many of the highways still used in Louisiana were built during the Long Administration. He founded the Charity Hospital system, so the poor of the day could have actual healthcare, not just ‘access’ to the promise of healthcare. He picked up a moribund state college and turned it into a major institution; LSU. The Feds, fearing him, held back a lot of potential aid.
                So, Huey was sticky fingered? This is almost a given in American politics. The difference between then and now is that now, the crooks in suits try to take it all, leaving almost nothing for the ‘common’ folk. Long practiced the fine art of largesse, to which he added the concept of Lagniappe. Not bad for a hardscrabble boy from North Louisiana.
                As Trump’s Progress shows, politics is mostly art, not science.

                1. ambrit

                  No, there is scant fiction in the tale of honourable Aethalides. Herald to the Argonauts and gifted with a prodigious memory, he was perhaps a type of Greek bard. Pre literate societies relied on memorization to preserve lore and history. Bards in Celtic cultures had to know thousands of lines of verse, tables of genealogy and often the seasons and astronomy, related to the seasons of agriculture.
                  Frank Herbert in Dune has his mentats train for such mental abilities. Indeed, there is an element of the evolution towards ‘superior humans’ in the series.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    Human capabilities have not yet been fully explored. As an example, it is recorded that Bantu herdsmen of South Africa could describe with great accuracy each cattle in a herd running into thousands but what is more, would notice at once if one is missing. That is just not memorization but some sort of pattern comparison with thousands of elements as well.

                  2. SimonGirty

                    Seneca intermediaries use wampum belts to remember pertinent agenda, memorized in tribal council, y’know? Presenting one’s perspective, could otherwise degenerate into cherry picking, strawman, or red herring type subtrafuge, speciously oblivious to the opposing points of others. Of course, it’s now been two centuries since I’d served in this capacity?

      3. Carey

        A good thing though- maybe the only good thing- is that the NYT is speaking to
        a *smaller and smaller group* with cant-filled articles like this.
        I expect them to get loonier and more frequent.

      4. TimR

        Because TV is under centralized control. On social media there’s a danger to TPTB of some degree of grassroots activism. Imo. Some who are out of the mainstram threaten to pull their friends out with them, by spreading links to alt media. Never mind that alt media is often controlled too; these are gateway drugs. And maybe they want to keep the majority safely in the fold.

        1. SimonGirty

          All any media source has to do, is terrify their marks: left or right, old or young, gender, race… it don’t matter? Just feed them the lies, dreadful future, show them the edge (not what’s OVER the edge!) Get them good and worked up. Then feed them comforting platitudes. Then Google, Facebook, the news-readers will make sure it gets into the exact right heads? The NYT, WaPo, do not CARE about the lowest 80% of their readership any more. They ain’t switching from Audis to Chinese Volvos this spring?

    1. flora

      adding: yes, watching Corbyn’s slow motion implosion has been disheartening, to say the least. It’s possible May is right when she says he has no plan. This should be his moment and Labour’s moment. imo.

      1. Clive

        One thing that leapt out at me in the Guardian article was the dichotomy and inconsistency (you might even call it dishonesty) which has exemplified the Leave vs. Remain debate.

        The writer bemoaned the inability of U.K. society and U.K. politics to work its collective way through the economic polarisation which is all-too-evident here. They called, equally correctly, for, if I may coin a phrase, a kinder, gentler nation which will bridge the divide between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. To try to reach some compromises and some middle ground.

        But interspersed, topping and tailing all this worthiness, dragged by its hair kicking and screaming into the midsts of this quiet and calm reflectiveness was good ole’ Brexit, this time written from a Remain perspective — just as you’d expect from the Guardian, what else could it do? It’s readership would have demanded it, if it had been omitted. Remain was great, we really should Remain, it’s virtually inevitable, oh, look, I can see a pony right now, about to deliver it for us, all you out there on the other side of the screen, you’re Remain’ers and you’re spiffing, aren’t you. Leave’ers are stupid and they caused all this. Aren’t they simply awful? We’ll get another go at the decision, what we’ll need to do next time is talk more about those poor poor people, show ‘em we care, yes, this time we’ll mean it, we’ll really care. Honestly. Then they’ll fall into line and do what we want them to do.

        Neither Remain nor Leave are — either of them — interested in the slightest of doing the kind understanding and acceptance of the contrary perspective called for in the piece. They just want to win!

        And yet, from this yet another rehash, one of a million million rehashes of the unsettled and unsettle-able Brexit debate that have been done over the past two years with many more to come, the writer wants a national healing? While giving “the other lot” a sly kicking under the rhetorical table? Cognitive dissonance is indeed a thing,

          1. Clive

            You’re far too kind about my bemused rambling! Happy holidays and hope to see you (well, read you) in 2019! Ho ho ho, etc.

      2. John k

        Corbyn says that eu rules would prohibit the spending he wants to do to revive industry, clearly he’s right. This explains his quiet support for brexit, which leads to splits within the party similar to splits across the country.
        He probably knows he can’t negotiate a better deal, others would immediately want any such better deal, leading to an earlier eu breakup than would otherwise occur. So he can only talk about a mythical better deal a) as distraction from the coming crashout if he becomes pm soon, or b) to say how much better he coulda done it if he doesn’t post exit.

        1. flora

          I can’t say you’re wrong. But I wonder if this ‘threading the needle’ approach is too clever. I wonder if Corbyn ‘lacks bottom’, as they say, and if Labour is neoliberal now.

          I remember thinking 2008-9 were Obama and the Dem estabs’ moment… and how that worked out. Maybe it was their moment they fully utilized. And the mistake was mine for not understanding what it was the NewDems really stood for.

        2. flora

          If Corbyn quietly supports Brexit (against what he has said in past), surely there are better ways forward than dithering and waffling, imo.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          *Sigh* We, or more specifically vlade and others, have debunked that claim at length, re the state aid rules. Regarding deficits, yes, the EU has its Maastrict rules, but to blame the EU for the UK’s austerity is also an error. The UK was one of the big drivers of the EU adoption of neoliberalism and would have pursued those policies all on its own. And Corbyn is smoking something very strong to think he’s going to be able to pursue a grand socialist agenda when a very depleted civil service will be overloaded coping with Brexit (let alone the budget impacts and the fall in sterling constraining how much deficit spending the UK could do).

          His support for Brexit is the result of long-standing ideological opposition to Europe, and in particular, he has an Oxonian Stalinist as a key adviser (I keep forgetting his name but I am not making up his ideological position; our Richard Smith knows him personally from Oxford and his views have not changed).

              1. chuck roast

                Well, my friends, you may split as many intellectual hairs as you wish, or count your various angels on the heads of your individual pins, but Gilbert Gottfried demonstrates yet again that not only is he The Fifth Ramone, but he has become a truly superior and incorruptable American institution.

          1. John k

            Wasn’t aware of that.
            Seems strange more than half the country voted leave but couldn’t vote out the Torrey’s austerity, though maybe, like here, labor didn’t offer them anything useful. I suppose msm didn’t provide much help.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              The Remain campaign was what the Leave types called “Project Fear” with pundits trotting out stats about how much the economy would suffer, while the Leave types went full bore romantic, how the UK would take back its sovereignity and be able to spend millions more a week on NHS (red busses all over the UK pushing that lie).

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Terrific link! The Guardian must have a splitting headache; they certainly have a split personality letting someone tell the truth among their many many “intrepid” insepid liars.

      That said, it also highlights just how tragic Corbyn’s nose dive, in preparation for his gigantic belly-flop should the occasion arise, is. What these leaders do has very hard, real consequences.

  12. Brooklin Bridge

    Inside the Pentagon’s Plan to Win Over Silicon Valley’s AI Experts -Wired

    Shorter version :
    1) We’re the good guys, really. No honest!
    2) If you don’t develop our killer bots for us, (you spoiled brats), you are a bunch of rotten un-patriotic commie sympathizers that will cost lives of our brave American heroes that go kill the rest of the world just to keep you safe and free to obey those that want to keep you safe and free to obey those that, umm…
    3) So seriously guys, come on back. OK? Please?

    1. Summer

      That’s the good news.
      The bad news is that it another piece of evidence that the govt no longer knows how to do anything but administer public-private contracts.

      1. Procopius

        They don’t even know how to do that. They know how to sign public-private contracts, but they don’t even know how to keep track of where the money goes or is supposed to go.. That’s why we have the complicated story of 21.3 TRILLION dollars unaccounted for at the Pentagon over ten years. It’s not $21.3 T that was stolen, it’s overall a bunch of entries, some debits, some credits, that were just made up to make the two columns come equal because they didn’t know where the money went or why it was still here when it was supposed to have gone. It’s really interesting to read the reports from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. When they did manage to keep track of the money it’s appalling the stupid ways it was wasted.

  13. Vikas Saini

    Have a friend in Fergus Falls.

    DJT won by 20 points but congressman was a Dem (at least as of 2014-2015 — didn’t check this year’s results). At a town hall on health care last summer , said congressman was completely floored when 80% of crowd supported Medicare for All.

    Same friend has told me that many Republicans there hate single payer but support Medicare for All. More evidence that MfA is a great slogan.

  14. Eudora Welty

    The most interesting fact I’ve learned in the past 48hrs of non-stop news is that the November debacle with Trump not visiting a gravesite, which went viral, was a dirty trick played on Trump by General Kelly’s chief of staff. Wow.

    1. ambrit

      Yes. Please give a link if possible. When the military begin to get involved in a nation’s internal politics, there is H— looming on the horizon.

      1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

        In country where there is a “government shutdown” but the military still get its pay, it is already under covert military rule.

        In the case of the US, it seems to have been that way since around 1946.

        Democracy in the US has the appearance of froth in a German beer hall – something that is continuously wiped away.


        1. Procopius

          I would have put the turning point in 1947. That was when the Chiefs of Staff had a conference in Bermuda and created the Missions and Functions Statement that created the Air Force as a separate Service. That was when they agreed that the budget for the military (now called the Defense Budget) would be split into three equal chunks, with the Navy handling the money for the Marine Corps. That, by the way, is why the Army has tug boat captains and crew — they operate the sea ports and the railroads, all surface transport.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Anyone thinks the military is just “beginning” to get involved in the nation’s internal politics?

        First we had the “Bomber gap,” then the “missile gap,” then the Window of Vulnerability. Before that, we had the lies we were all told about the Warsaw Pact, which led to big buildups and accelerated wealth transfer. Every day, smart young majors and colonels invent new “threats” to justify the mechanisms that drive what, half the spending or more of the whole Empire. And create and manage the procurement and acquisition and coverups and corruption and eventually occasionally the deployment of “tech” and “smart” and “disruptive innovation” weapons and command structures.

        The MICC, working with and through a lot of ex-military and “embedded” legislators, has distributed the “joint bases” that can’t ever be closed because local people depend on them for their livelihoods, and manufacture of weapons systems as “job programs” to all 50 states (and outsourced a bunch to other places too. Look at the resumes of lots of Rulers here in the US, and the staffing of “policy making’ positions.

        What kind of political economy do us mopes want, hmmm? And what can we do, what are we willing to do, to make it so?

  15. Summer

    Re: Syria pullout, Afghanistan draw down

    Now with all eyes being directed to “troops,” don’t forget to follow THE MONEY.
    See where and how much of that is now being directed.

        1. Richard

          That was just a ledger daemon, hadn’t you heard? Apparently they were just switching money around between different accounts, and it just added up and added up and now it’s 21 trillion! Hahaha, the world is a lark if you’re MIC.
          Almost have it as good as the money priests.

          1. Wukchumni

            Col. Mustard: Son, we live in a world that has Wall*Street, and those walls have to be guarded by men with computers. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Fed Chief Powell? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Mattis and you curse the military for leaving. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know; that saving Wall*Street from death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And it’s existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, *saves lives*. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on call. You need me on Wall*Street. We use words like dishonor, deceit, royalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you” and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you print your own money. Either way, I don’t give a *damn* what you think you are entitled to!

          2. Procopius

            No, it’s only $21.3 Trillion in a very specialized technical sense. If you have 45,000 flaky debit entries and another 45,000 flaky credit entries, you have 90,000 ledger entries. If you take the absolute number written in each entry and add them up they all total $21.3 trillion, but that number is not real. It does not tell you anything. That’s the real problem. The books do not show the real situation. They’re made-up numbers. In a real book-keeping system you have two columns, debits and credits, and they must have equal totals. If the totals come out different and you just say, “I don’t have time for this,” and you plug in a number that makes up the difference, you have cooked the books. They cannot be trusted, but you cannot tell how big the real deficiency is. That’s the situation with the Pentagon accounting system. We don’t know why there’s money here that was supposed to have been spent, and we don’t know why the money is not there that was supposed to be for spending on this program. They really need to put several hundred, possibly several thousand, people in jail for violating federal statutes on proper accounting, and we don’t know how much has been stolen and how much has just been wasted.

  16. Summer

    Re: Trump Year Ends In Chaos

    “Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally and frequent golf partner, on Thursday praised Mattis, publicly urged Trump to reconsider the Syrian pullout and warned that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan could ultimately lead to another attack on America similar to the one on Sept. 11, 2001.”

    Well, now…didn’t OBL and others say it was the US presence in the Mid East that caused attacks? That’s what actual insurgents in the Mid East complain about.

    Now there are other terrorists who want the USA there and will do anything to keep them there. Will the Senator name them?

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s been a defining moment. You now see clearly who wants American troops to stay in places like Syria. People in the Republican and Democrat parties – mostly the usual suspects. Liberals who used to be on the left but are now occupying the hard right. Hollywood personalities and the media. American allies like the French who part with little blood or treasure but let the US do the bulk of the lifting. You know, I may have missed such stories but I have not heard average American soldiers asked their feelings on the subject nor even people on the street. It is almost like their voices do not really count. Strange that.

  17. Jeremy Grimm

    RE — “Ecocide as Creative Destruction”: This link separates the ongoing mass extinctions from Climate Chaos in a meaningful and frightening way. The link’s causal relation of mass extinctions in largest part to to the processes of industrial farming, fishing, and forestry suggests to me that the forces of Climate Chaos loom that much larger for bringing about further extinctions in the future.

    I am troubled by the author’s assertions about animal agriculture toward the tail of the link. Merely halting animal agriculture wouldn’t change the industrial mindset. A vegan nation otherwise married to the Market as its final arbiter of values would likely shift excess production of grain for feed into further conversion into ethanol for fuel and the newly available food to feed the world’s populations would only grow those populations given no other change than the halting of animal agriculture. To be fair the author did not make halting animal agriculture any more than one of many issues to consider. But what is most problematic — assertions about animal agriculture have shown a remarkable tendency to splay discussion of problems of Neoliberal Capitalism into discussions of the morality of eating beef and pork.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That’s his technique. The prey will wonder closer wondering why there is a lion splayed out in a tree and when they get yet closer for a better look – Bang! Gotcha! As they say – curiosity gets the kills for the cat.

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    I hope I don’t stray too far from today’s links. After reading the link on Ecocide I browsed some of the other offerings at Counterpunch. The frontmost entry “Two Populisms, Not One” included the following footnote which I found especially apt after reading some of the Amazon reviews of Ellsberg’s book on the Doomsday Machine: “Lefties like to quote this aphorism from Upton Sinclair: ‘It Is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding It.’ In my experience within the intellectual and professional classes, the bigger problem has been how the salary prevents men and women from saying publicly what they privately understand to be true.” [“Two Populisms, Not One”, ]

    Many of the comments at Amazon found fault with Ellsberg’s contrast between his actions and those of the many very concerned scientists involved in the programs building the atomic bomb and later the hydrogen bomb. I read Ellsberg’s plea that he alone spoke out not as bragging or self-aggrandizement — especially after listening several times to his discussions at the RealNews — but as both a sad plea for others to stand up too and a mourning plea that our supposedly “free” society had so well collared and muted the voices of its intelligentsia. I am also reminded of Milgram’s experiments, as well as my own cowardice and quiet. Lastly I remembered Ellsberg’s telling of why Szilard migrated after the Reichstag Fire — he didn’t believe the German public was behind Hitler’s thrusts toward war but rather that they would launch no effective opposition.

    Another of today’s links suggested many Americans desired to leave but couldn’t for many reasons. This reminded me of the warning from the old folk song “…whoever treasures freedom — like the swallow must learn to fly.” Where is the place we might safely land.

    1. Wukchumni

      Leaving your country is really a young person’s game. We could’ve emigrated to NZ about 15 years ago on the basis of points, and then we got over 50, and nobody wants you. (unless you’ve got mad sacks o’ cash-are willing to invest it there)

      It also involves breaking social ties, and believe me, it’s hard enough to get people to leave SF with it’s hordes of homeless and filth all over the place for a little town here where none of that exists, and homes are 1/4 as much.

    2. Buckeye

      Never mind the folk song. The proper sentiment should be Thomas Paine’s admonition:

      “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues
      of supporting it.”

      Fleeing is not supporting freedom, it is running from responsibility.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      If you read Ellsberg’s book Secrets, he and the other Vietnam war opponents at Rand believed that if they could only get access to the President and explain to him why the war was doomed, he would withdraw. It was only after he read the Pentagon Papers that Ellsberg saw that every American president knew full well that the US would never win in Vietnam, yet refused to pull out, because it would be too great a loss to American prestige. So the logic of the insiders was more complicated than you suggest.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I should have included a quote from one of the reviews of the “The Doomsday Machine” at Amazon: “Alas, the author wraps this grim information inside an astonishingly egregious ego trip. Parallel with his objective of informing the world of the danger it faces seems to be a completely redundant desire to promote the reputation of the author himself. Redundant because the author’s credentials speak for themselves.” [Delta D., March 28, 2018, a reviewer who gave the book 3-stars] The sentiments in this comment were echoed in many of the lower ratings for the book. I haven’t read Ellsberg’s book yet but this and other of the comments didn’t ring at all true to what I heard listening to Ellsberg in the RealNews series.

      Many of the scientists building the atomic bomb were very concerned about whether and how it would be used but they were afraid to speak out after receiving strong warnings from the American security apparatus. Whether Truman would have given much thought to their warnings is as doubtful as the prospects of Rand insiders bringing an end to the Vietnam War by telling the President how unwinable the war was.

      I’m not certain of this origin but my understanding of the song I referred to was that the ‘swallows learning to fly’ referred to Jews getting out of Russia to evade the pogroms. I believe following the advice of Thomas Paine in that situation would not have ended well.

  19. ambrit

    With the Admin’s indulgence, but I want to ask the commenteriat if anyone else has been subject to what seem to be spearphishing attacks yesterday and today?
    One was “from” an acquaintance from work days, and the other from something calling itself : Danny Glover (Please do not click this link!!!) the link says, info @ ourrevolution . com (Any other spacing gives a possibly dangerous link. Sorry.)
    As the fanboys say; “WTF?”
    (I opened neither of these missives.)

    1. flora

      “I opened neither of these missives.”

      as far as ‘from acquaintance’ goes, that’s a standard scam using online “from” spoofing, unbeknownst to your aquaintance.

      Can’t speak to specifics, but in general, don’t believe or open attachments purporting to be from businesses or delivery services. As in “open this attachment to see packing list” or “invoice”. Big fake phishing attempts. Often these attached “invoices” or “packing lists” will contain bad malware. As in keystroke loggers or other bad form apps.

      If you have any questions about the info in the email , go to vendors online website directly. The direct website connection will have accurate info. Don’t click these email links. and … to repeat… Don’t click these email links. !!!! (Sorry for sounding a bit overwrought.)

      1. ambrit

        This geriatric electro-luddite thanks you.
        What was funny, in the classic ‘bad’ manner was that when I right clicked on the purported sender of the ‘quare’ missive, it had a section in it where it seems to have started out as an “ourrevolution” begging request and been transmorgified into a communication from the ex-coworker.
        Secondly, when I right clicked on the message header and went to “parse” function, a large chunk of my own back and forth with adware came up. (You know the drill. Q: What is wrong with our ad? A: It is the Spawn of Satan, etc.)
        So, there is no such thing as secure communications anymore, if there ever was.
        Finally, as today’s Mantra, I propose: DO NOT CLICK ON THESE EMAIL LINKS!
        Or, for the more traditionally minded of us: “Email Namah Shivaya.”
        Steve Hillage does the mantra:
        Hillage was famous for meditating before performing. Played with a lot of the progressives. Later went into Trance and House music.

    2. flora

      Longer comment lost in mod.
      Shorter: dont’ click links. Don’t open attachments. Even if they look legit.

    3. aletheia33

      i received a similar link “from” danny glover. it links to a standard donation request from Our Revolution.
      i get these regularly–often “from” nina turner.
      or i’ve been massively fooled by someone cleverly faking Our Revolution and Act Blue Express Donation.

      1. ambrit

        If ‘Our Revolution’ is gearing up, then is Sanders telling the DNC, “You won’t take us for granted any more?”

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      I get attacks like that all the time. For years.

      It’s like STDs. The more sex you’ve had/the longer you’ve been on the Web, the more nasty e-mails you encounter.

      1. ambrit

        Ah. I am just late to the party it seems!
        It is ‘funny’ how I just looked at some of these emails and intuited that “something is wrong.”
        One of the smarter women I knew in high school once opined out loud that children were one of the most pernicious STDs known. “They’ll ruin your life! And there is no cure!”
        Happy Christmas to one and all. (And all those other Winter Solstice based religious observances.)

  20. Wukchumni

    SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. December 22, 2018 – During the shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. Most park roads, lookouts, trails and open-air memorials at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited.

    There will be no NPS-provided visitor services at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, including public information, restrooms, trash collection, and facilities and roads maintenance.

    Shit officially doesn’t happen, during a shutdown.

  21. Wukchumni

    Who knows why the Brits picked up a couple in West Sussex to pin the tale on the Gatwick drone there-done that, caper?

    …when the perps were Boris & Natasha

  22. ewmayer

    Re. “Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time | PhysOrg” — we need a catchy name for this burgeoning new field of microorganismic computation … perhaps “primordial-soup-based computation”? “Slime-mold-pseudopod computation” is also good, but alas the initialism ‘SMP’ is already commonly used in the field to stand for symmetric multiprocessing. I kinda like the sound of “Traveling Salesamoeba Problem”, though one wonders what kinds of items might feature in amoebic commerce. “May I interest you in our holiday sale on bulk protoplasm, sir or ma’am? Perhaps a picker-upper for those sagging cell walls?”

  23. The Rev Kev

    “ACLU to feds: Your “hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy””

    Strange, short article this. Mentioned was the hacking of kiddie-porn sites which most people will give the Feds a pass on because why wouldn’t you? Not mentioned was all those times that Homeland Security tried to hack the election computers for several States without saying anything to them before or after.

  24. Carey

    This is long but I think it’s good; YMMV.

    A couple of extracts, not the best ones:

    That ideological formation sets the American working class up for capture by the two proudly capitalist parties—today, by Trumpian right-wing faux populism through which working-class anger is eaten by the reactionary Republican party; yesterday and tomorrow, by kindler, gentler, “we’re capitalist and that’s just the way it is” Clintonism, through which working-class anger is euthanized by the Democratic party.


    European capital didn’t give a damn about diversity and human rights, but was happy to use those tropes as needed to marginalize class-based politics. Anything that would promote the idea that class was passé, and thereby help hasten the victory of the European capitalist classes over national labor movements, was fine by them. (Ecology is a little trickier, but they have some workarounds for that.). Wrapping class disdain in the patter of progressive, universal vs. backward, local values was a shrewd tactic that helped capital misdirect the attention of liberal what the trick actually was.

  25. Carey

    From The American Conservative a few months ago, ‘Houellebecq’s Incel Prophecy: The Alienated and Intimacy-Starved’:

    “The zero-sum Houellebecqian world presents incels as a natural byproduct of the convergence of liberal social and economic systems. According to Houellebecq, the concentration of wealth and property ownership observable as a result of the so-called “free market” (noted by distributist thinkers like Belloc and Chesterton) has now taken deep root in the sexual free market, where attractive, socially peer-validated men and women get the majority of intimacy and sex. Everyone else forms an underclass of sexual tenant laborers snatching for scraps of intimacy from the master’s table. This bitter view is encased in a conception of the West as an empty shell of former piety and order, running out its time in meaningless suffering and decline, a West where everything including one’s personal life has become a reflection of merciless market forces and insatiable egotism. Sexual and romantic value is purely a market reflection, a pale echo of what it once was in a world that’s lost any transcendent telos. According to Houellebecq, the sexual revolution removed family and religiosity as major bulwarks (“the last intermediary communities”) that separated the individual from the vicissitudes of the sexual market. This led to what we have today, a spinning sexual Samsara of emptiness and ennui, not enough sex and too much hedonistic sex, both indicative of the same civilizational decline.”

    1. Quentin

      In short, a universal whorehouse! All that sounds quite biblical, dire prophecy from the eminently initiated.

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      Ha! I find the whole incel paradigm futile, as it ignores the ‘economic’ aspect of the mating game. It seems to focus on very specific wants (hangups) of the Seller, while wilfully ignoring the Buyer(s).

      As unromantic as it sounds, human courtship is explicitly transactional. Both men and women must bid competitively for attention of desired mates. The currency can be largely non-monetary (“he makes me laugh”, “good dancer”, “the Black Dress”), but the value of the offer is always in the eye of the beholder.

      Those too young, poor, proud or clueless to know what to offer, or who can only be satisfied with mates for whom they can’t offer what matters to *them*, simply don’t transact.

      … Or else quit whining kid, and capitalize on your #horridwhitepriv and the Globalization of Everything (assuming you can find the airfare). Poverty is still the greatest aphrodisiac :-/, but these days she knows how to get the best of the bargain. If nothing else, you’ll achieve some perspective on life’s problems….

  26. Geo

    An interesting analysis of Andy Warhol:

    Warhol’s great advance was collapsing any distinction between commercial and noncommercial modes of experience. Maybe it’s never been easier to make the case for his powers of influence because his afterlife has paralleled the rise of neoliberalism—the attempt to turn over all human activity, no matter how sacred, to the marketplace. Neoliberalism is simply Warholism as a theory of governance.

    1. Quentin

      What a gas! The juxtaposition of Carey’s and Geo’s quotes can hardly be accidental. Fate ordained their appearance in succession on Naked Capitalism: Andy Warhol as the epitome of American Civilization, Donald Trump as the proof.

    2. Quentin

      Funny that, ‘Warhol’s great advance’! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, Andy Warhol was a gas, Donald Trump still is, two breathless, windswept blonds who Manhattan spewed out across the world.

  27. Stadist

    -There’ll be a domino effect as we trigger ecosystem tipping points New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

    I have been worried about this and have been telling it to my friends also. Earth is in equilibrium which is changing and has been changing for all of our planet’s history. Change happens naturally like climate studies imply but the humans have significant impact on this change due to carbon dioxide emissions. Problematic part about all this is that the current IPCC projections are based on definitely not-perfect models. If there would happen to be larger problems in some parts of these models these errors quickly compound, and errors are very likely in the models of Earth’s equilibrium systems, mostly with the seas and glaciers, which are difficult to model. Equilibriums are difficult even in relatively simple settings and small changes can cascade unexpectedly in these, i.e. these are difficult to model. To my understanding even many equilibrium-based industrial processes end up being optimised by trial and error rather than purely through modelling, while the modelling does allow some estimations where to begin the optimisation.

    We will have the nearly perfect model of climate ready after 200 years, but currently there are major risks of the climate change, and climate itself, cascading out of control because we can’t model and predict the earth climate system well enough. In other words, we see what happens in 100 years after 100 years. Of course we can also undershoot the predictions spectacularly, but this thought is unlikely to keep your house out of the water should the polar ice caps end up melting well ahead of current projections.
    In the meantime carbon emissions keep increasing and I see very little actual steps taken to bring these down to IPCC suggested levels, while most recent reports seem to indicate polar ice caps melting faster than expected.

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