Links 4/2/19

These tough-looking monkeys eke out a living at 11,000 feet National Geographic

City watchdog ordered to probe London Capital & Finance collapse FT

How to Deal with Chaos in Climate and Politics Scientific American

Report on devastating Canadian climate change a far bigger issue than Jody Wilson-Raybould: Neil Macdonald CBC

Flooded Farmland: Should You Adjust the Lease? Farm Journal

In Florida, Doctors See Climate Change Hurting Their Most Vulnerable Patients NPR

FAA says ‘additional work’ needed for Boeing software fix FT

Suspicions of Bribery Cast Shadow Over Airbus Der Spiegel

Brexit

House of Commons rejects all Brexit options — again Politico

Ian Dunt live tweets the House of Commons debate (RS): “Alright we’re off. Another day of spirit-sapping emotional disintegration awaits.” Thread:

The legal choreography of the United Kingdom’s Article 50 extension – and a serious problem ahead Preiskel & Co (RS).

Markets not properly pricing in a no-deal Brexit — ECB vice-president FT

For Many British Businesses, Brexit Has Already Happened NYT

Venezuela

Trump has a Russia problem in Venezuela WaPo

Don’t Mention the ‘Red Line’ The American Conservative

Syraqistan

Algeria protests: President Bouteflika to quit before 28 April BBC

Killed by cholera, Yemeni doctor knew he was fighting ‘disastrous’ epidemic Reuters

India

India is about to hold the biggest election in history. Here are the numbers Los Angeles Times

EC Has Asked Modi Govt for Power to Act Against Voter Bribery 4 Times – and Been Rejected The Wire

Nine months after floods devastated Kerala, paddy farmers in Kuttanad reap bumper harvest The Scroll (J-LS).

Not even one in 10 Indian techies wants to join a startup, survey shows The Scroll

Asia’s pollution exodus: Firms struggle to woo top talent Agence France Presse

In Papua New Guinea, witch hunts, torture and murder are reactions to the modern world South China Morning Post. Paging Silvia Federici.

China

China purchases could undercut Trump’s larger trade goal NYT

Taiwan Just Became A Huge Variable In The China Trade War Forbes

Xi Jinping speech from six years ago resurfaces to ‘send message on trade war, leadership’ South China Morning Post

New Cold War

“Long Peace” and Nuclear Weapons Russia in Global Affairs. From the abstract:

Technically and politically, a land-based regional war between Russia and the United States is now more likely than in the 1960s and it may be a great temptation for politicians. In this situation, nuclear weapons will hardly serve as a deterrent. We often forget that the use of nuclear weapons is not a military but a political factor: using them requires a top-level approval. Such an approval is unlikely not only during a limited war on the territory of a third state but also during a full-scale war. It would be appropriate to recall the “chemical precedent” when great powers fight without resorting to their weapons of mass destruction.

RussiaGate

Leaked Mueller Report Proves Barr Lied; Collusion Theorists Vindicated Caitlin Johnstone. I hate National Disinformation April Fool’s Day, so yes, note the date.

“This Is Spy-Hunting”: Inside the Dark Heart of the Mueller Report Vanity Fair. Goalposts moved to counter-intelligence, as opposed to obstruction of justice.

The U.S. Needs a Post-Mueller Reality Check Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg but also No, Russiagate Isn’t This Generation’s WMD Bloomberg

The Mueller Report Extends, Not Resolves the US-Russia Stalemate Valdai Discussion Club

Trump Transition

The White House whistleblower bombshell, and what it could mean WaPo

White House immigration plan may call for commission on future visas McClatchy

Massive disaster relief bill stalls in Senate over Puerto Rico dispute WaPo (or more pointedly 2020 Democrats reject GOP call to back Iowa disaster aid Roll Call).

2020

Second woman alleges that Joe Biden touched her inappropriately WaPo. “Second student alleges that Joe Biden condemned her to a life-time of debt slavery.” Funny what we can say, and what we can’t.

How the Trump Era Is Molding the Next Generation of Voters NYT. Three years isn’t an “era.” The relentless posturing, for pity’s sake.

Health Care

The winning health care message will be about out of pocket costs Axios. #MedicareForAll being free at the point of care, so….

Compare Medicare-for-all and Public Plan Proposals KFF. No plan that preserves the private health insurance husiness should be called a “public plan.” Neera and Beto’s “Medicare for America” is not listed, I suppose because it has never been embodied in actual legislation.

How we can bypass Mitch McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate to get Medicare-for-All now Salon. Through interstate compacts in the Blue States. I’m dubious, because I think #MedicareForAll needs to come from the currency issuer, otherwise it will get slashed in the first recession after its passage. And then the cries of “It doesn’t really work!” will begin.

Higher consumption of sugary beverages linked with increased risk of mortality Harvard School of Public Health

Kaiser Permanente, Associated Black Charities paid Baltimore Mayor Pugh almost $200K for ‘Healthy Holly’ books Baltimore Sun

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook may pay publishers to put their stuff in a dedicated news section Recode. Maybe if it weren’t Zuckerberg making the offer. We’re all still paying the price for his “pivot to video,” which damaged newsrooms everywhere.

Class Warfare

Plain Dealer lays off a third of unionized newsroom staff Cleveland Plain Dealer. “The Guild said in a statement that The Plain Dealer had a unionized staff of 340 journalists two decades ago. That soon will be reduced to 33.”

The Real Working Class Is Invisible to the Media Jacobin

Is philanthropy broken? – The Spear’s essay Spears

‘Bias deep inside the code’: the problem with AI ‘ethics’ in Silicon Valley Guardian. The thought of Silicon Valley engineering ethics into code should make your blood run cold.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

153 comments

  1. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    With regard to Brexit and Ian Dunt’s tweet, film enthusiasts may be interested to hear that Richard Drax is the great grandson of the person who inspired Ian Fleming’s Bond villain Hugo Drax.

    Richard Drax’s tenants in Dorset may well say that there’s little difference between the fictional Drax and their aristocratic landlord.

    Just how bad, in the same way as one asks about Hillary Clinton in 2016, was Gordon Brown so that an Old Etonian like Drax could get elected in 2010, as if a relief from New Labour.

    Reply
    1. Redlife2017

      Now when you said Drax, I immediately thought of View to a Kill and Christopher Walken: https://jamesbond.fandom.com/wiki/Max_Zorin thinking that he played Drax. Which if you see a picture of Richard Drax (https://www.independent.co.uk/topic/richard-drax) it works pretty well. Unfortunately Drax was awesomely evil, but not really someone you’d think could get Grace Jones into bed, although Lady Victoria Devon and Countess Labinsky isn’t bad.

      But this just shows the deficit of good villains anymore. Who out of the following would be able to get Grace Jones, Pussy Galore, Xenia Onatopp or even Dr. Holly Goodhead in their bed? I mean Tony Blair? Prince of Darkness Mandelson? Michael Gove? Boris Johnson? These boring pasty faced white dudes have had their day. Unfortunately Sajid Javid doesn’t quite measure up to the bar of “am I as awesome as a Bond Villian”. Chuka Umunna is a paper thin tiger. Dude floats away with a mild breeze. I mean, at least with Blair, you figure he’s totally into really proper villainy – but at this point we all roll our eyes at him and just wish he would go away (yes, I know, tell the 1 million+ dead Iraqis that, eh?).

      Apologies to the moderators as I have put quite a few links in…

      Reply
      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Redlife.

        Firstly, a big :-).

        At HQ, it’s being discussed to whom the dirt on Javid, including the latest claim about being a school governor, should be offered, Labour (nah, Corbyn doesn’t do knifing) or Tory (Johnson being the favourite as he has good contacts / supporters, especially the many female journalists he, ahem, knows well, from time at the Spectator).

        It’s not just a dearth of good villains, but a dearth of Tory toffs to whom one could tug one’s forelock. The current cabinet really don’t cut it. One hopes that Synoia pipes up as we came across quality toff villains at school and when starting out at work.

        Speaking of Umunna, yuk, what sort of person gets his tailor to boast how much he spends on tailoring? Not a proper toff, that’s for sure!

        Reply
        1. Redlife2017

          Yes, I love Corbyn, but dude is too sincere sometimes for his own good. He’s crafty as all (a politician for sure), but knifing? He needs a few more vicious killers who are true believers in his entourage (I’m thinking of this). But I do worry he has a bit too much of the McGovern in him…

          Hunter S. Thompson first encountered George McGovern (Democrat for President) in the men’s room at the Exeter Inn in New Hampshire during the 1972 Presidential Campaign: “People have been asking me about it ever since–as if it were some kind of weird journalistic coup, a rare and unnatural accomplishment pulled off by what had to have been a super-inventive or at least super-aggressive pervert. . . . The point is that anybody could have walked up to that urinal next to McGovern at that moment, and asked him anything they wanted–and he would have answered, the same way he answered me.”

          “Which harks back to McGovern’s problem. He is probably the most honest big-time politician in America; Robert Kennedy, several years before he was murdered, called George McGovern ‘the most decent man in the Senate.’ Which is not quite the same thing as being the best candidate for President of the United States. For that, McGovern would need at least one dark kinky streak of Mick Jagger in his soul.” Both from Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

          Reply
          1. ex-PFC Chuck

            An acquaintance of mine was hit on aggressively by McGovern when she was a hot blonde right out of college volunteering on one of his early campaigns in South Dakota in the 50s. However he backed off hurriedly and with profuse apologies as soon as she made clear that he had badly misjudged the situation.

            Reply
            1. chuck roast

              Thank goodness I’m not a youngster anymore, because these days I have no idea what would qualify as simply making a pass at a woman.

              Reply
              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                You, sir, are a Toxic Male.

                No more holding a door open, smiling at someone of the opposite sex, or telling them they look nice today. Blasphemer! Don’t you know that we are destined for a gender-neutral future paradise? Citizens wishing to procreate (yuck) can indicate their interest using the approved U.S. Federal Government Universal Commercial Code Intimacy Initiation Contract Form App to sign the required documentation. The App has easy-to-use buttons to instantly report any contractual violations: 1. He touched my arm; 2. He called another woman “she” (not the contractually-approved gender pronoun); 3. He bought me a rose (unauthorized gift-giving suggestive of a desire to increase intimacy outside of agreed parameters).

                “Vive la difference” – Catherine Deneuve, 2018

                Reply
      2. WobblyTelomeres

        Regarding Xenia Onatopp, played by the actress Famke Janssen. I quote wikipedia:

        Following her high-school graduation, Janssen studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam, which she later called “the stupidest idea I ever had.”

        There ya go, Redlife2017. Got you covered with an economics reference.

        Reply
      3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Hugo Drax is all but forgotten as a new Drax emerges from Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy played by former UFC fighter turned actor Dave Bautista.

        I prefer the new one of course.

        And Bautista is a badass also starring in Bade Runner 2049 and Hotel Artemis.

        To me hes picked up where Dwayne the Rock Johnson left off after becoming a super star.

        That said i also prefer the new bond movies starting with GoldenEye…

        Reply
        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, JHB, or should I say merci.

          Bautista would like to be in the new one, working title “Shatterhand”. Filming begins soon at Pinewood, down the road from where I live in Buckinghamshire. Lea Seydoux has signed up.

          I hope you enjoyed the Tennessee Williams festival in la Nouvelle-Orleans.

          I am Creole, but not from Louisiana, which I visit every couple of years. I understand Louisiana Creole.

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            I work at the local Saenger Theatre where we sell Stella. Everytime someone orders one, i pop the tab and yell super loud-

            STELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH

            Lol.

            And i hope Bautista lands a role in ‘Shatterhand.’

            MERCI BUKU FOR REPLYING!!!

            Reply
        2. Redlife2017

          Ha, of course! But Bond is a funny one. Like some things in life, it’s about what you grew up with. A View to a Kill is a TERRIBLE movie. But the song is great (ah, the 80s!) and how can a person not love a movie where a very old Roger Moore beds a very amazing mid-80s Grace Jones? Uh, hmmm…may have answered my question there.

          But weirdly it makes my point even better for the new Drax versus the British inbred Drax…

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            I personally love ‘Live and Let Die’s’ song. Haha not so much the Voodoo of the movie.

            Reply
  2. Carla

    Re: Is philanthropy broken? I recently read Anand Giridharadas’ “Winners Take All” and it has a very simple point that will not surprise anyone here: we cannot expect the people who benefit from a system to change that system.
    P.S. — Love the antidote!

    Reply
    1. DJG

      Is philanthropy broken? [Thanks, Carla. Yes, an interesting article.]

      And yes, I just had a telling moment about how much philanthropy is the self-licking ice-cream cone that Lambert Strether often mentions. I bought the latest issue of Streetwise from our local vendor. The lead articles are on runs for charity. The entry fees astound. The rules astound. All of the disease and social-problem charities have staffs to support. But it is the disease charities I wonder about especially–there are dozens and dozens of them (with walks and 5K runs and marathons). Why do they exist? Should they exist? Do they simply deflect charity into a social event? And how much money goes to those suffering from said disease?

      So even charity is somehow privatized and made neoliberal.

      And dismantling these charities is going to make genuine reform more difficult, because what meanie wants to shut down Rare Disease Charity and its 5K Fun Run? But eventually they may have to go.

      Antidote of the day: Great. Does anyone have details? Who are these little elephants?

      Reply
      1. Shonde

        “Antidote of the day: Great. Does anyone have details? Who are these little elephants?” Yes, great antidote. Are they twins?

        Reply
      2. Pat

        Those rare disease charities which will be the easiest to dismantle are probably the ones doing the most actual charitable work, IMHO. Forget them for the meanwhile. Go for the ones that are not so rare, that is where the money is. And if you really want grift and BS go after the ones without the runs think rich people’s pet charities aka slush funds.

        No drug company is going to fund research in treatments for the disease that hits 1 in 300000 people, that is always going to be on those passionate about it. And how do they fund the research without the means? It is one more blot on the cruel nature of our system, research not limited by researcher availability but by lack of future profits. Mind you if we had a sensible healthcare policy with no financial ROI expected …

        Reply
        1. Jeotsu

          About 20 years ago there was a biotech company in Boston that was entire focused on rare diseases. (I’m no longer in Boston, or int h trade, so I haven’t kept up with what they are up to nowadays.) There was a logic to their business model — diseases with no known treatment were “easy” to find new drugs for, as the bar was really low. Your treatment needed to be as good or better than existing drugs (of which there were none, so easy!), and you just had to make sure that drugs+side effects was slightly better than living with the untreated disease.

          The catch? They were dependent on “well insured” patients who could afford a drug cost of $100K+ per year. So on the one hand it was drugs for rare diseases, but on the gripping hand it was a predatory model.

          The company was also rumoured to treat and pay its scientific staff poorly, but I never worked there so take with appropriate salt.

          Reply
      3. Harry

        Charity has wonderful tax breaks. It would be a shame to waste those breaks exclusively on do-gooders.

        I know I am on the more cynical end of the spectrum but I thought it was well understood that wealthy people in the US set up their own charities to reduce their tax exposures and give them slush funds to use for important goals. College entry bribes for kids. Pocket money and resume padding for teens children – a seat on the board for young Chad? And you think the Mistresses’ lifestyle should come out of post tax dollars? Are you nuts? Why pay for her dinners and lunches when you can have it deducted by the IRS as a charitable expense?

        Yes Dengue fever really is terrible and someone should do something about it. Which is why we are in this darling trattoria having the porcini risotto!

        Look even Donald Trump has his own charitable foundation. Its the neo-liberal way!

        Reply
      4. chuck roast

        My concern is that when we finally begin focusing on the basic pathology of corporations and begin dismantling and reforming them, it will be the the philanthropies and the 501-C-(3)’s that will come to their rescue. While the spotlights will be on the corporations, the footlights will be uncomfortably on these associated grifters.

        Without corporate largess most will go the way of the dinosaurs.

        Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      Exactly. I remember reading a few years ago about Warren Buffet’s son who is the head of his charitable foundation. The son noticed the problem with philanthropy when he’d be in a big room full of potential donors and noted the rich people in one half of the room would be trying to solve a problem caused by the rich people in the other half.

      Reply
    3. WheresOurTeddy

      Rutger Bregman at Davos regarding how no one will talk about raising taxes on the rich: “I feel like I’m at a fireman’s convention and nobody is allowed to mention water”

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Trump has a Russia problem in Venezuela”

    Trump not only has a Russia problem in Venezuela but now a Chinese problem as well which oddly enough is not getting much media coverage in spite of the fact that that Chinese force is larger than the Russian one. Nor is it attracting the usual threats from Trump and Bolton about hellfire raining down on them come to think of it-

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/chinese-army-arrives-in-venezuela-just-days-after-the-russian-miltary/

    Meanwhile, things are not going so well with self-elected president Greedo. He went to a working class suburb which would be a bastion of Maduro’s supporters – probably to kick up a fuss and get himself arrested to get more support. Instead, it was the local cops who had to bail him out and let him exit the area. I guess that as time goes by and things fizzle out, he will spend the rest of his life going around bars, trying to pick up girls with the line ‘You know, I was once the President of Venezuela’.

    https://www.rt.com/news/455308-guaido-police-caracas-rally-venezuela/

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      Thanks for that Chinese army link. This is pure speculation on my part, but I’ve suspected they’ve been more active than has been reported based on the sudden reluctance of Colombia to participate in the aid charade. Soldiers on the ground certainly ups the ante.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        I wonder about that “soldiers” on the ground. The uninformative story I read about the Russians said it was about 100, and they might be there to perform maintenance (i.e., repair) the SA-300 anti-aircraft missiles that Venezuela bought. The suggestion was that they might have been damaged by the power blackouts, which seems unlikely since no reliable weapons system is going to be dependent on local electricity supply. I don’t think it is enough to trigger a war, but Heaven knows what Bolton and Pompeo think. They are crazy persons.

        Reply
    2. djrichard

      I didn’t realize the Chinese contingent was actually larger than the Russian one. Which does make it clarifying, why isn’t there the same bellicosity from US warmongers over that?

      If I were Russia, I would take it personal. Probably the reason they’re recognizing that a regional war without nukes between US and Russia is getting more probable. Per that other link that Lambert provided. Is there a “ticking clock” for something like that?

      Anyways, ZH has more on the warmongers https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-02/cnn-wapo-demand-trump-further-escalate-tensions-russia

      Reply
      1. Jeotsu

        The last decade (and the last 5 years in particular) have been absolutely insane for US-Russian relations.

        Donetsk/Luhansk, MH17, Crimea, “Election Interference”, Skripal poisonings, all the varied sanctions imposed due to these events.

        I don’t know exactly what happened in all those events, and I’m certainly not saying that Putin is some angelic figure, but it is clear that a fair fraction of what is told to western media consumers is flagrant BS. I’m a biochemist by trade. I’ve handled Serine protease inhibitors (aka nerve agents). The Skripal case makes me twitch at the obvious impossibilities. And that shatters any trust I have in any other “Evil Ruskies Did IT!” official narratives.

        I remember after MH17 the Russian response was a simple “we know exactly what happened.” I bet they do, whatever it was that happened. We’ll never find out.

        The sanctions the US has been piling on feel very 1930’s US-Japan-like. And we are very, very lucky that Russia has had incredible strategic patience. I do wonder some times if that patience is them simply hoping they can last until the US has a serious social-economic collapse(which various US political forces do seem intent on bringing about).

        Reply
        1. Olga

          VVP = Absence of Malice
          And yes, Russians are waiting for sanity to return to the US (hoping it is just on some temporary hiatus or been sent to outer space to gather dust). It will be a loooonnnnggg wait.
          But when one is dealing with 1000-yr (or 5000-yr) societies, nothing seems impossible.

          Reply
    3. wilroncanada

      The Rev Kev
      “Once I Was the King of Spain,” an old Moxy Fruvous song, done semi-a-capella, one of their Can-pop songs of the 90’s. Naomi Klein, then writing for the U of Toronto Varsity (the student newspaper) hated them and their musical satire, more of a statement on her sense of humour than theirs.
      Later, one of their number became infamous, pre-Me*too.

      Reply
  4. Zuango

    Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook may pay publishers to put their stuff in a dedicated news section Recode.

    Zuckerberg strikes a nerve in me, the creepiness nerve. He’s symbolic of the out of control greed driving this nation to the brink. Time to break up FB and the other tech monsters.

    Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          And so is the soft drink Fanta. It was invented in Germany in 1940 as they could not get hold of Coca-Cola syrup and so used local ingredients like whey and apple pomace. After the war, Coca Cola grabbed back their facilities and brands and took possession of Fanta as well. If you drink it then, you support Nazis-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanta#History

          Reply
          1. Svante Arrhenius

            Man, I jus’ LUVZ me sum Aldi’s. If not for the draft, I’da put my student loan into BMW and just grafted polyploid hops onto cannabis roots to… ah, NEVERMIND! Where I’m living, we’ve i8 & Maybachs bashing into each other, because the owners haven’t read the manuals, while my kraut designed Slovenian robot built Hyundai languishes 200mi away, due to the $870 parking here.

            https://medium.com/@kevin_33184/clinton-superpac-founder-who-fueled-attacks-against-bernie-sanders-dont-poison-2020-primary-6ce55c15e85

            Reply
              1. Svante Arrhenius

                I’m HOPING he’s not losing his great Shadowproof? The one Matt Taibbi, Aaron Maté interview we all posted (that friggin Alternet slapped up, apparently as click-bait cage rattlin’ raw meat) finally included reference to all the REAL journalists, astute bloggers, prescient editors, diligent educators, stupendous candidates, loyal life-long Democrats have been fed to the 9.9% slavering jackals during this progrom, to stomp out anything remotely reminiscent of actual Democracy or progressive spirit.

                Reply
                1. flora

                  Your reference to the MT AM interview on Alternet reminds me of this Matt Taibbi interview quote:

                  MT: I think there was an element of Russiagate, and still is, that does have a logic to it. it’s a very dark logic. If you saw what happened in 2016, the political situation was that the ruling neoliberal consensus was under fire from all sides, from radical right movements both in the United States and in Europe; from leftist movements, both in the United States and Europe. The overwhelming voter sentiment everywhere had to do with the rejection of the international global consensus. You saw votes like Brexit, a complete repudiation of a number of things. But Russiagate as a political solution, as a response to that electoral phenomenon, has been extraordinarily effective. Because what it’s done is it’s completely changed the attitude of a huge portion of the population, which now sees the international security services, the global consensus, as the only saviors who are going to rescue them from the evil Trump. And therefore, we have to pursue this case and celebrate authoritarianism and celebrate the FBI and CIA and their heroism, and the European Union and NATO. This story has had some benefit from a propaganda perspective as well.

                  The MSM hysteria and political apparent disorder and mayhem might have some order to it after all. If this were a StarWars movie, the title could be “The Neoliberals Strike Back.”

                  Maybe that’s part of what’s behind the UK politicians/MSM apparent hysteria and disorder, too – neoliberals striking back at voters who reject the international global consensus (after giving it a 30 years tryout to see if it worked as promised). My 2 cents.

                  Reply
                  1. Svante Arrhenius

                    Funny, to me it’s more like Babylon Berlin? I’d posted the closing sequence of “Cabaret” a while ago, where a stunning boy sings a sweet haunting melody, in a lovely park… until the zoom includes the swastika & everybody joins the chorus, “tomorrow belongs to ME!” Turns out, YouTube® has a warning up… ist VERBOTEN!

                    Reply
                    1. Procopius

                      When I was assigned to 3rd Armored Div HQ in Frankfurt there was a German civilian employee in the office. He had been lucky enough to be in a Wehrmacht unit that was assigned to Norway. He complained that Hitler had played on Germans’ idealism. Anyway, I find that song from Cabaret haunting.

        2. Shonde

          Thanks for the resilience.org link. Lots of thought provoking material. I assuredly need to read it again when I can give it the time it needs.

          Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        My god – those eyes. Can you imagine what the love child of Mark Zuckerberg and Elizabeth Holmes would look like?

        Reply
    1. Summer

      I’ve never seen a sector of business so coddled.
      Even the wild and loose financial sector had their times of reckoning (as short lived as they were).

      Reply
  5. zagonostra

    > The Real Working Class Is Invisible to the Media

    That’s because, as Margaret Thatcher pointed out, “there is no such thing as society.” I find it interesting that it is in reality the “individual” that is empirically false. The emergence of consciousness, “self”, is made possible only by virtue of humans beings being essentially social (George Herbert Mead).

    The functioning of Working Class and class privilege is rendered invisible by the Media for good reason, to keep the distribution of power perpetually in the hands of the ruling elite who financially sustain them…

    Reply
    1. Whoamolly

      The new audience that the media seeks, as described in the Jacobin article, is exactly the same as the new audience that the Democrat party has embraced.
      The well graduated, well employed professional class.

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        An old question, updated to 2019.

        How many divisions of donors does the Pope have?

        The latter-day wanna-be political leaders all envision themselves as pontificators, so why not go all in?

        Reply
  6. Svante Arrhenius

    Trump = Putin = Russia = Communism = BernieBros®
    Post Powell Memo New or 3rd Way Democrats exist as a reaction to Blacks, Women, Latinos, LBGT, Greens… basically, our tag-team kleptocracy exists to protect 1% patrons from US. The top 10%, who populate monopoly media, government and their “intellegentia,” is the sole perspective presented. Whenever ExxonMobil, Bayer-Monsanto, the FIRE Sector, AIPAC, Boing, Amazon feel threatened by uppity freshman congresswomen, well… has anybody else beenawaiting the new season of Gomorrah?

    https://shadowproof.com/2019/04/01/interview-with-aaron-mate-collapse-of-russiagate-conspiracy-theory/

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Definition of the MSM by a poster yesterday bears repeating:

      “The press is the rich paying the upper-middle class to tell the middle class that it’s all the poor’s fault”

      Reply
      1. Svante Arrhenius

        When we were in school we figured it was how the K & C Street thugs got their drug addled know-nothing kids to pay off the ivy league schools, mamon et papa’s business associates got them into? We can’t all be as honest, incorruptible & astute as Omarosa or Rachel?

        Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Second woman alleges that Joe Biden touched her inappropriately”

    I can see Biden giving his testimony in a court of law on the stand-

    Lawyer: “Mr. Biden. Did you come up close behind that woman, sniff her hair and plant a kiss on her head?”
    Biden: “Umm, yes I did.”
    Lawyer: “Mr. Biden, is it not true that you grabbed a women by her neck, pulled her to your face, and rub noses with her?”
    Biden: “Yes, I did that too'”
    Lawyer: “And was there not another case where you tried to kiss a13 year-old girl on the head?”
    Biden: “Yes, that is true”
    Lawyer: “Mr. Biden, is there anything that you want to say to this court?”
    Biden: “Well at least I didn’t have dinner with any of them alone.”

    Joe Biden. “Alleged” front runner for the Democrats for the 2020 Presidential elections.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I feel like Biden would have taken a swipe at millennials and praised Strom Thurmond’s manners in this scenario.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        “Joe Biden responded to accusations of inappropriate touching on Sunday, saying he didn’t believe he had “acted inappropriately” but would listen to suggestions that he had.”

        Reference story here.

        I love that he doesn’t believe that he acted inappropriately. As if that’s the standard by which one person who touches another person is judged by. I also enjoy the details from the article stating that he will listen to “suggestions.” I don’t see this candidacy working out well for anyone. Maybe the DNC/DCCC/Wall Street should just fast forward to trying to get Abrams into office?

        Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Now, it appears Biden’s team is countering with how he is the target of a vast conspiracy orchestrated by Bernie Sanders, the Jew. Biden has a default setting.

            Reply
        1. Pat

          Hey this is the guy who tried to defer apologizing for the mockery of the Clarence Thomas hearings and the mistreatment of Anita Hill by making it all about the committee and ignoring that he was the chairman of said committee and calling the shots.

          He has more cover on the student loan mess as his contribution is less obvious but I now expect his probable response to highlight how much he did do by misrepresentation when that becomes mainstream.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Lost in all this is Biden allowed Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court. Not only did he harm victims of one man, Biden allowed that man to harm every American.

            That old, “but the Supreme Court”, argument of Team Blue won’t get much mileage with Uncle Joe.

            Reply
    2. Off The Street

      Now they ask: Could you show me where in your wallet Joe Biden touched you?

      That senator from the state of Bankcardlandia has a lot of baggage that oppo researchers have been itching to display.

      Reply
    3. Chris Cosmos

      While I don’t like Biden the politician I find this obsession with “touching” by the politically correct mainstream media as vomit-inducing for me and others I know. Touching is a beautiful thing–we can endure long without it if you know anything about child-development. In other societies touching is allowed but, increasingly not allowed in this country for fear it might be interpreted as “sexual” whatever that means. Sex, dear beloved, is a part of human nature and a healthy part. The problem comes from our tendency to throw out babies with the bathwater, to seek (always) the most coercive and draconian methods to stamp out human nature so, in my view, we can easily slip into the robotic future by making humans robotic and robots more easily human.

      If you are feeling you are being inappropriately touched then do something don’t just stand there! I have a friend who loves humans and likes to hug–he feels restricted today and he has zero interest in assaulting females. Do we really want to continue in the already cold and sterile world of transcending the flesh through digital communication?

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Count me as feeling like your friend.

        34, White, Male, and loves PDA.

        Like a Bull tiptoen around a china shop…

        Reply
      2. ArcadiaMommy

        You bring up child development and I agree that children need to be held and hugged. However, the people who have an issue with Uncle Joe are grown women. I don’t want some old weirdo I don’t know hugging me, kissing me, smelling my hair, etc. So if your friend who “loves humans and likes to hug” feels constrained by that, that is not my problem. My guess is he hugs a disproportionate number of women.

        I will add that it’s very awkward/difficult to “do something” in social and work situations. My experience is that the person engaging in this behavior knows this and takes advantage. It is creepy.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          Ok, whatever. My point is that we over-sexualize hugs–you did not address that. Have men used hugging in the past to get a sexual thrill? I think it happens but the assumptions of many women today is that yes, touching does equal sex. My friend’s wife of nearly a half-century is a formidable person who would not take kindly with her husband taking liberties. But it’s interesting that this is your assumption so I guess you’ve swallowed the Kool-Aid so to speak. I think we need to err in the direction of touch, again, if someone is creeping you out, say something or do something as I said. As for Biden, a lot of that stuff on the news and the willingness for women to accept it is confirmation bias. BTW, have you noticed that women can pat or caress children but men cannot? The same goes for hugs. The same goes for compliments–my wife told me not to give compliments to women unless we are good friends because she knows how any slight indication of attraction would or could be mistaken–and since we deal with the public in our business that’s a no-no.

          Reply
          1. cm

            Creepy. Did you see the C-Span video of Jeff Sessions brushing off Biden’s attempt to grope Sessions’ grand-daughter (who appeared to be about 6-7).

            Here’s a clue for you – hugging a non-friend is inappropriate, especially when a) there’s a power imbalance b) the recipient is under 10.

            Is this rocket science?

            Reply
          2. ArcadiaMommy

            I have not swallowed any kool aid just have been dealing with bizarro harassment for about 30 years. And I am in my early 40s. You seem so clueless on this issue that I would advise you to not err on the side of touching. And yes, some men use hugging to get some sort of thrill. I regularly get pulled in for full hugs in business settings and the men aren’t hugging each other. Re: compliments, why not give a compliment about a nice thing someone did, an accomplishment, they made you laugh, etc.? It comes across as sincere and is way more appreciated.

            Reply
            1. wilroncanada

              My wife hugs friends and acquaintances. I used to but I do no longer, even if offered. Completely gunshy as result of complaint from a woman who hugged me, and then complained later.
              I wrote yesterday about a minister friend, a hugger, who never closes a door with a woman, even during confidential counselling. It didn’t stop a clergy-groupie from trying to seduce him right in front of me.

              Reply
        2. Oregoncharles

          I, also, have a problem here, because I live in a subculture – hippy – where hugging is normal social interaction. (Judging by the screen name, so does Chris Cosmos.) It isn’t something I was used to initially, but it’s a defining characteristic. And yes, a couple of those hugs were especially memorable. That doesn’t mean they weren’t innocent at the time.

          Eclair clarifies one of the social dynamics going on – but assumes that it’s negative. Among other social animals, this kind of contact serves to reassure junior members as well as to express dominance. And once again, in the case of children that assurance is crucial. There are plenty of ugly skews in our social hierarchies, some of which are being corrected, but I’m not convinced that means we should deny our animal nature.

          The danger both I and Chris C. are concerned about is making our society even more alienating. It’s already making people sick and distorting our attempts at governance – arguably, we’re in completely over our (animal) heads.

          It’s really that hard to move away, even in social situations? Seems to me it happens all the time – in my experience, most women aren’t defenseless. Maybe they aren’t giving themselves credit. Of course, children are another matter. Politicians are supposed to kiss babies and shake hands – but a 13-yr-old isn’t a baby and he didn’t offer to shake her hand, which would have been cute.

          I’m not defending Biden; he’s a good example of the party’s worst face, and it looks like he was persistently indiscreet, as well as slipping well over the line.

          More to the point, the social goalposts are moving. I think we need to be much more aware of where they’re going and of our human nature. A whole new etiquette is forming in the shadows; where is it taking us?

          Reply
          1. newcatty

            Oregoncharles, an important point you make is that you do live “in a subculture-hippy.” That hugging is normal social interaction is “a defining characteristic ” is a part of your world view in your culture. FWIW, my spouse and I were hippies in our younger days. We still embrace most of the values and policies of that time. But, other than in a hippy subculture, the fact that society is becoming more alienated, is much deeper in causation, then the absence of hugging people. In my comment below I point out my thoughts in more detail. Until we have a society, not just hippy subculture, that is truly , based on generosity and kindness, then social goal posts will have to be guided and placed to respect those not living in hippyland.

            Reply
      3. Eclair

        In the US/anglo-saxon society, touching, at least in a non-intimate/family/friends situation, is bound up with perceived social status. We are allowed to touch those who we see as socially or economically inferior.

        An extreme example: no one touches Queen Elizabeth. Except, of course, Michelle Obama. And the photo of that ‘transgression’ made the news for days.

        This allows most adults to touch children (unless they are black/brown adult males touching white children). It allows most men to touch women, except a low status man is not allowed to touch a high status woman.

        As an older white female, I often found myself touching (putting my hand lightly on a shoulder or arm) younger women, with whom I had just a casual acquaintance. Or, I did until I became aware of what I was doing.

        For part of my working life, I was perceived as fairly high status, or under the protection of a very high status male, so nobody touched me. When I worked as a perceived low status female, I grew adept at ducking, giving the icy stare, or, if it was an equal status male, a light swat.

        There have been numerous studies on this phenomenon. I think the rules are complex and often so embedded in our social code that we do not even realize what we are doing. And so, it is fairly easy to ‘break’ a rule without being aware that we are transgressing.

        Perhaps our political system would do well to institute a mandatory training session for would-be candidates, male and female. Just pointing out and explaining some of these embedded rules might save a lot of political careers. Of course, there are a certain percentage of people who are totally clueless or think that none of the ‘rules’ apply to them.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          Great comment–thanks. However here is my opinion–the rules suck–not because rules suck as rules but because of what they indicate about status and it’s unacknowledged “status” in society which reflects our attitudes about human worth and what Riane Ensler called “dominator culture”–that’s what sucks to my mind anyway.

          Reply
          1. newcatty

            The dominator culture, among other reasons, is a result of the lack of any true society that respects and cares for its members. The fact that touching others for any reason other than real affection between family members and friends is not acceptable. Even with family and friends, touching is actually an intimate exchange of energy. There are lots of family members who I do not want to touch me. As an older woman I have also lived through the unwanted and creepy “touching” actions by men. Like most women this usually starts in early adolescence, and, tragically, often younger. It’s incredibly naive and arrogant to conflate unwanted touching by a man to jumping to lecturing people on the fact that “sex is natural part of human nature and a healthy part”. Indeed, it is; but in order for it to be kind and loving it must always be consensual between adults. Not talking about teenagers making out in the car. Though, that too is sexual, and should always be consensual. I would not like a man, who even “loves people” to hug me when meeting him. I would find it inappropriate and unwanted. It really doesn’t matter if his intent was just “friendly”. It is arrogant because he doesn’t know if it is wanted at all.

            Reply
          2. ChrisPacific

            I think what women are telling us is that they want the problem with inappropriate touching, creepy males and general sexual harassment resolved first, and if that means a bit more alienation in general then that’s a price they are willing to pay. If and when we solve that problem (and problems with inappropriate physical contact revert to occasional mistakes rather than the systematic, gendered thing they are today) then we will be in a position to adopt a healthier approach as a society.

            I do, generally, agree with you. But I am not comfortable prioritizing physical contact as a social need over the right of women to be safe, respected and comfortable in their environment.

            Reply
      4. ShamanicFallout

        Well, I think I agree that the puritanism and fear of sex plays a part in this and that it can definitely become a kind of hysteria, but if you can seriously look at the pictures and videos of Biden with those young girls, tweens and teenagers and think that’s part of “touching is a beautiful thing” I have to wonder. Does it look normal in any way? Should these girls have “[done] something don’t just stand there” as you say?

        Reply
  8. David

    For those following the story, the BBC article on Algeria is basically correct. There has been little more in the French and Algerian press this morning but feverish speculation, and demands for all sorts of change from different parts of the political spectrum. Bouteflika has said that before leaving he wants “ensure the continuity of state institutions’, which can be taken a variety of ways. In simple terms, nobody has any idea what’s going to happen next.

    Reply
  9. Brindle

    2020….
    I don’t know much about Buttigieg but he kind of comes across as a more nuanced and perhaps more intelligent Beto. “access to health care” is a phrase that means insurance companes get their slice or veto over any program.

    “We need to invite individual people to assess how their individual lives changed—how their safety, their income, their access to health care, their gun rights, their marriages—have actually been affected, if at all, by what goes on in Washington.”

    https://newrepublic.com/article/153424/pete-buttigieg-political-genius

    Reply
  10. allan

    Valerie Jarrett Looks Back on the Obama White House [New Yorker]

    NY: How did your idea of political power change between when you arrived at the White House, in 2009, and when you finished serving, eight years later?

    VJ: … What I was unprepared for when I arrived in Washington—and it took me a good while to figure out—is that the Republicans were willing, in the middle of the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, to put their short-term political interests ahead of what was good for the country. …

    NY: If this had been clear to you and everyone in the Administration on January 20, 2009, what do you think you could have done differently?

    VJ: I think we would have done the same thing, and that is try, because it seemed unbelievable to us, and we felt that we owed it to the American people to try mightily to change their minds. So we tried all kinds of strategies to get the Republicans to come to the table and meet us not even halfway—just a little bit of the way. …

    Had we known that there was nothing that we could do that would persuade them to come on board, we still would have felt like we had to try, because it’s important that the American people see us trying to do that. I think we would have employed the same strategy. If I’d known that there was nothing we could do, I still think we would have thought, Well, let’s just make absolutely sure, because it’s a lot better if it’s bipartisan. …

    The fantasy of bipartisanship is a mighty strong drug, and its victims will be with us for a long time. Or not.
    But not to worry, VJ has landed on her feet:

    In addition to advising [the Obamas], she currently serves as a board member of Lyft, and is a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      The Obama Boys piece nails this. These people were playing a reality show version of the West Wing. Pretenders, all of them.
      Ultimately our strategy failed.
      What if you knew going into it it would have failed?
      We would have done the same thing because we owe it to the people to fail.

      Loser mafia.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The spectacle of bipartisanship is easier than actually working. There is a reason Sanders holds and held powerful positions despite not being a risk to defect to the GOP and not being a Democrat or a guy who made it rain through corporate contacts. Filling out March Madness brackets and yukking it up on a Late Night show are much easier than trying to determine how policy will affect existing markets.

        They have book deals and likely didn’t work too hard while in the White House which has been known to cause burnout. The blogs of yesteryear use to laugh at the long tenured staff of the W White House as a sign they weren’t working too hard.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes and unfortunately the entire Overton needs a complete realignment, not “bipartisanship”. So Bernie stays wrongwrongwrong on RussiaGate and Syria and AIPAC and even Massive Military. We need to split the egg enough to get it into the omelette pan…not just put a few cracks in it

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      The Republicans were extremely lucky with the enemies that they had. Nice to see though that VJ is failing up, no matter how much damage she and her ilk did to the country. Got a gig in three major sectors I see-
      In politics via advising the Obamas – check!
      In business via being a board member with Lyft – check!
      In academia via the University of Chicago Law School – check!
      All she needs now is a gig in the industrial-military complex and maybe a tour of duty with a think tank and she will be set for life.

      Reply
      1. Robert McGregor

        “Kiss-Ass” rules! She’s not going to say anything to go against Obama; he’s her ticket to riches (Obama advisor, Lyft board member, U of C Law School). She doesn’t care about the truth; she’s just interested in advancing her career.

        Reply
    3. Olga

      “VJ: … What I was unprepared for when I arrived in Washington—and it took me a good while to figure out—is that the Republicans were willing, in the middle of the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, to put their short-term political interests ahead of what was good for the country. …”
      First, …”it took me a good while…” – what kind of a naive boy/girl scout is she? She aspires to be a presidential adviser, and she did not know that short-term interest rules Washington?
      Second, in 2009, BHO had majorities in sen/house… they just had to get the Dems on board and do what was right! Oh, but we forget – visions of short-term interest apply to all!

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        The Dems have frantically tried to cover over that revealing period when the Republicans were irrelevant, and got rid of that control ASAP. Thanks for the reminder.

        Reply
    4. Summer

      If V.J.’s life was on the line and it was up to us to stop it, what would she think about…”Hold on, we have to get the Republicans to agree to save you or it’s not worth it.”

      Reply
  11. Mark Gisleson

    Thanks for the Farm Journal link. First time I’ve read it since I was a kid (there was always one or two cartoons in all the farm magazines).

    Reply
  12. Jason Boxman

    Is the pivot to video why virtually every single news article linked to every day that I read seems to have a stupid video playing? I use uBlock Origin to identify the CSS and nuke the video from the page, but it’s tiresome and Google wants to remove the feature that allows uBlock Origin to work — surprise!

    I remember when the Internet was text… and you could read it, annoying repeating background images not withstanding.

    Reply
  13. Summer

    Re: Facebook and news publishers
    “That’s a major pivot for Facebook, which has tried several strategies to work with news publishers but with a few exceptions hasn’t paid them directly for their content. Instead, the company has tried to entice publishers to share their stuff on Facebook by rewarding them with eyeballs, or a share of advertising dollars.”

    I still laugh at how news organizations fell for this.
    They rewarded Facebook with eyeballs and advertising dollars because people wanted news on Facebook.

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    These tough-looking monkeys eke out a living at 11,000 feet National Geographic
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A very interesting article…

    You rarely see black bears above a certain altitude in the Sierra Nevada, as there is little to eat once they get above treeline typically.

    I’d guess less than 10 out of 900 encounters have been @ over 10,000 feet, which is the pika & marmots hood’ as far as 4 legs goes.

    Reply
  15. flora

    re; “or more pointedly ‘ 2020 Democrats reject GOP call to back Iowa disaster aid’ – Roll Call”

    Heck of a job, Brownie Dems.

    Reply
  16. Summer

    Re: Facebook and News Publishers

    It just boggles my mind that Facebook is practically laying claim to the idea of a digital news feed. The newspapers had this decades before Facebook existed. News rooms were getting news feeds via computer network from the likes of AP back in the lalte 80s.
    Woulda…coulda…shoulda guys!

    Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “FAA says ‘additional work’ needed for Boeing software fix”

    That’s FAA talk for saying that the Boeing has a fix where if there is a dispute between the two sensors, that the 737 Max Flight Control System will spit out a coin for the pilots to flip to guess which sensor is giving the correct reading.

    Reply
    1. barrisj

      And what really isn’t helping Boeing in this disaster are the claims about making “more robust” software changes…as a commenter several days ago remarked, with a passenger aircraft, there are no degrees of “robustness” in systems operation, either it’s 100% or it’s not as yet certifiable.
      Meanwhile, the Feds really playing hardball v Boeing – from the Seattle Times:

      Grand jury subpoena shows sweep of criminal probe into Boeing’s 737 MAX certification
      After two fatal crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX, a federal agent served a grand jury subpoena Monday seeking information from an aviation flight-controls expert and consultant as part of a sweeping and aggressive criminal investigation into the jet’s certification.

      The expert, Peter Lemme, a Kirkland-based former Boeing flight-controls engineer who is now an avionics and satellite-communications consultant, has no direct personal knowledge of the airplane’s development or certification but he did a detailed analysis of the October crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX. He was extensively cited as an expert in The Seattle Times, and subsequently in multiple press accounts, including in The New York Times.

      That the investigation is seeking information from someone with peripheral knowledge of the MAX’s certification, someone outside Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is highly unusual and shows the Department of Justice is casting a very wide net.
      […]
      https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/grand-jury-subpoena-shows-sweep-of-criminal-probe-into-boeings-737-max-certification/

      Reply
    2. VietnamVet

      This is an interesting inflection point. The use of one sensor on a control system that can crash the aircraft all by itself is criminal. Will the oligarchs who are currently at war come up with a comprised resolution or will another battle break out between USA/UK and Europe, Russia, or China? The two sensor fix has a 50% chance of being wrong. The pilot decides. This may work if the pilots have flight simulator training and they aren’t distracted. The real fix is a new fly-by-wire system with triple or quadruple redundant computers, electronics, and sensors including gyroscopes. Europe and China could require this for valid safety reasons and delay re-certification of the 737 Max for months if not years.

      Reply
  18. Carey

    ‘Big Tech’s Challenge to Our Humanity’:

    Electronics have fundamentally altered our minds, our education, our children—with little hope to reverse it all

    “..The idea that the young, because they are “digital natives,” understand computers better than adults is pernicious and false. Most of them, like adults, are unconcerned and clueless as to the tech infrastructure they depend on. They use a small number of applications that guide and shape their social lives, studies, entertainment, and taste. Technologically uninhibited, unsuspicious of any downside, they have few inner defenses. According to The Wall Street Journal, the video shooting game Fortnite collects data, constantly modifying itself to entice and captivate players. The game currently has enough market power to make or break sales at Best Buy, the big electronics retailer..”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/big-techs-challenge-to-our-humanity/

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      As the French Christian anarchist philosopher Jacques Ellul wrote almost six decades ago technology/technique has its own agenda and that is to take that part of the human brain that solves problem and not only make it sacred but make all of life about establishing methods and algorithms for what? Why do we have all this technology? What problems are we trying to solve? What of the other parts of our psyche–do they have value? These are questions we all need to ask. The reality is that human beings are moving into becoming more like machines and will, eventually, if we continue in this way, will become virtual machines as machines will become virtual humans.

      While climate change is our main external challenge which we aggressively refuse to deal with, the tyranny of technology and algorithms is our main internal challenge which we also aggressively refuse to deal with. Yet, though we are a small minority, there are increasing numbers of us who see something in this and are trying to do something about it. We need to overcome the tendency of our society to be alienated and “individual” and join with others. If we have family, children, friends, grandchildren these crises are where our responsibilities lie.

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        Chris Cosmos, 12:19 pm
        When I think of the kind of technique or technology created without real purpose except convenience/laziness, the ubiquitous leaf blower always comes to mind. Replacing a rake, which helps to support healthfulness, with a heavier, electricity-gobbling or gas-guzzling piece of “equipment,” because it’s “technology.”

        Reply
      2. Sanxi

        Nah. There is a lot of danger in over simplifying a complex philosophical take into a few sentences. And IMNSHO he got it wrong, which makes me guilty of violating my own rules. The point of philosophy is in being practical. Technology in computers mostly now is sustaining large systems that shouldn’t be sustained and on are in terminal decline for technical reasons. The tech singularity can’t be achieved because, as I’ve made the case here on NC there simply aren’t enough reasons on earth to do it.

        Reply
    2. Dr. Roberts

      I see this all the time. I’m a digital native myself, but I grew up with 90’s era digital technology, which was crude enough that it required you to learn a certain amount of technical detail to work with effectively. I also experienced the development of the internet, at least from AOL onward. Even my knowledge, while better than most, was largely superficial until I started studying computer science in school, and I was spending a lot of time using computers both in school and at home from the time I was 6 years old.

      Today the mobile touchscreen paradigm with its tightly integrated app ecosystem means kids can grow up using technology extensively while scarsely understanding what a file or directory is. Even the ability to type or use a mouse is atrophying. Meanwhile the underlying technology is buried under ever more inaccessible layers of abstraction. Technological power is going to remain in the hands of large, well-funded organizations with the resources to buy engineering talent, even though an alternative constellation of free open-source platforms is more developed and accessible than ever, simply because of the way large tech companies package and sell their products.

      Reply
    3. jrs

      So gambling is called gaming and so are video games. But obviously these are two separate things with the same name. Or are they, the same addiction programmed into say slots at a casino, is programmed to get one addicted to video games. The lines blur, maybe they really are rather the same thing.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The Hoover Dam Lodge casino near the dam of the same name has been our starting point for kayak trips on the Colorado since around the turn of the century, it used to be a humdrum money losing concern called the Hacienda Casino, and is the future of gaming in that there isn’t one human dealing blackjack or working the craps table or roulette wheel 24/7 as it used to be when perhaps 40 earned a living doing so during the Hacienda days. Games of chance are no different than what you might find on the internet, as they’re all just computer programs. The casinos haven’t yet figured out to make a robot cocktail waitress, but must be working on it.

        There’s a quiet feel to the house of chance as no coins are used anymore, and back in the day hitting a couple of cherries on a slot machine paid off with a tremendous clank of exactly 3 Quarters hitting the metal pan below, reverberating loudly as if to say “another winner over here, YO!”

        Reply
  19. Summer

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/04/right-wing-groups-are-training-young-conservatives-to-win-the-next-meme-war/

    This article from Mother Jones says the “left” can’t meme like the “right.”
    It takes an ecosystem of media to meme – not just the internet.
    And what passes for the “left” in the USA is completely reactionary, and lets the “right” set the terms of the debate.
    The “left” media reposts and regurgitates and debates every little thing the “right” says in ways that are not reciprocated.

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I find this hard to believe.

      That young, evangelicals are better at meme making than punk satanists? Gtfo…

      Reply
      1. Bob

        They aren’t punk satanists. They are punk statists. Consider the fact that antifa is upset that Hillary lost

        Reply
      2. Summer

        The liberal MSM can’t resist their memes.
        If they don’t talk about right-wing memes they might have to talk about left-wing memes.

        Reply
  20. marym

    Re: KFF comparison of health insurance proposals

    The CAP plan is “Medicare Extra for All (Link).

    There’s a bill HR 7339 – “Medicare for America” (Link) which Vox says “shares a lot of similarities with” the CAP proposal (Trigger warning: Jacob Hacker opines – Link).

    An extremely quick look at the bill:
    – A public option on the exchanges as a “transition”
    – Automatic enrollment for newborns, people with no insurance, people already on Medicare
    – Employers “may offer” enrollment (small 2022, large 2026 !!!)

    Private insurance remains in the form of Medicare Advantage:
    “(1) IN GENERAL.—It is unlawful for a private health insurer (other than an insurer with respect to a Medicare Advantage for America plan under part C of this title or qualified employer-based coverage) to sell health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under Medicare for America under this part.

    Means-tested premiums, deductibles. and copays continue.

    Reply
  21. Alex

    The Guardian article’s focus on the race and gender make up of ethics boards seems completely misguided to me. Do they seriously think that if a certain corporation had 10 rather than 6 women, of whom the necessary percentage would be black, the results would be different??
    Shame that they are just missing the point completely given how much is at stake here and that there are much more effective solutions starting with the regulation aimed at disclosure and transparency.

    Reply
    1. boz

      I also thought it was weak.

      The classic we need diversity…BUT BUT NOT THAT DIVERSITY…pulling out a single, innocuous looking tweet to casually dismiss any kind of conservative view.

      Rather ironic (if unsurprising) for an article discussing the need for diversity when it comes to AI and ethics (a statement with which I would wholeheartedly agree).

      The Guardian has really put the blinkers on and gone downhill.

      Reply
    1. Steve H.

      5G tangent: I was wondering about how much it’ll cost to install 5G in my college town from mall-to-mall: estimating $25 million?

      “Cost: the cost of connecting a small cell is not significantly less than
      connecting a macro tower, with estimates of between $5,000 and
      $15,000 per location. For a small cell that serves only a couple of
      hundred people, the cost accounts for a far larger share of day one
      capex compared to the macro site.:
      : sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S073658531830830X

      This made me laugh for a long and many times:
      “The hotspot device itself (Netgear’s Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot) will be sold separately by AT&T for $499, while it offers the service for $70 per month for the first 15 GB. With a theoretical peak throughput of 300 Mbps, it’s conceivable that this device’s initial bandwidth allocation could be completely burned through in less than seven minutes’ time.:
      : zdnet.com/article/what-is-5g-everything-you-need-to-know/

      Ten bucks a minute? Even at 1/1000 the estimate, it still adds a buck-twenty onto that Netflix movie. Now That’s a Bezzle!

      Happy to be disconfirmed…

      Reply
    2. notabanker

      Singapore was 4G island wide at least a year before the US got it to work in NYC. Phones are sold by independent stores all over the island. Locked phones are illegal, they must be open to all carriers. Number portability is mandatory, and easy. There are literally thousands of shops you can take a phone in for repair, and it doesn’t take long to figure out which ones are reputable. The government owns SingTel and has every incentive to do just the opposite. Go figure.

      Reply
  22. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “THE NUCLEAR BASIS OF “LONG PEACE” — [disclaimer: I only skimmed this long read] — I hope the thinking in this link is not representative of the strategic ‘thinking’ of any nuclear power:
    “Perhaps, an ideal solution to this problem would be “a light version of nuclear weapons,” such as neutron bombs which destroy organic matter and inflict minimal damage on infrastructure.”
    “Modern types of nuclear weapons are not suitable for large regional wars. Therefore, they may either die out (which, in fact, has happened to chemical weapons, which are now being destroyed) or adapt to new conditions and become an integral part of future regional conflicts.”
    I started Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Doomsday Machine” and I’m not far into it but he’s already portrayed the Fail-Safe system as anything but fail-safe and suggested the effects of even a ‘limited’ nuclear exchange [‘limited’ is a very slippery term in this usage] could threaten life on this planet.

    Further on the link asserts:
    “The U.S. bid to build a new world order, made back in 1990 (Bush, 1990), requires accomplishing three tasks: abolishing the UN Security Council in its present form; dismantling Russia’s military-industrial potential; and securing international recognition of the right to intervene in intrastate conflicts.”
    “However, there are more and more reasons for the leading players (the U.S., Russia and, possibly, China) to enter into a major military conflict.”

    Our rulers are insane!

    Reply
    1. barrisj

      Just an extension of the long discussion here several days ago on the MIC and the Permanent War Doctrine…foretold nearly 60 years ago by the publication of NSC-68, which is generally considered the blueprint for US “national security” policy at the dawn of the Cold War, and carried forth as an article of faith right up to the present:

      NSC-68
      United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, better known as NSC 68, was a 66-page top secret National Security Council (NSC) policy paper drafted by the Department of State and Department of Defense and presented to President Harry S. Truman on 7 April 1950. It was one of the most important American policy statements of the Cold War. In the words of scholar Ernest R. May, NSC 68 “provided the blueprint for the militarization of the Cold War from 1950 to the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s.” NSC 68 and its subsequent amplifications advocated a large expansion in the military budget of the United States, the development of a hydrogen bomb, and increased military aid to allies of the United States. It made the rollback of global Communist expansion a high priority. NSC 68 rejected the alternative policies of friendly détente and containment of the Soviet Union.[1]
      […]
      This document is critical to understanding the Cold War with its effect on similar national security pronouncements such as President George W. Bush’s announcement of a “War on Terror” in September 2001 and the National Security Strategy document of 2002.[16] It is not only related to documents such as the National Security Strategy March 2005, but also provides insight to current US foreign policy.[17][not in citation given] Implementation of NSC 68 shows the extent to which it marked a ‘shift’ in US policy — not only toward the USSR, but toward all communist governments. By signing the document, Truman provided a clearly defined and coherent US policy that did not really exist previously. Furthermore, it can be argued that NSC 68, as proposed by the council, addressed Truman’s problem of being attacked from the right following the “red scare” and Alger Hiss case. Although not made public, NSC 68 was manifested in subsequent increases in America’s conventional and nuclear capabilities, thereby adding to the country’s financial burden. While NSC 68 did not make any specific recommendations regarding the proposed increase in defense expenditures, the Truman Administration almost tripled defense spending as a percentage of the gross domestic product between 1950 and 1953 (from 5 to 14.2 percent).[18]

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68

      Reply
    1. carycat

      having judged Lincoln Douglas debates at local competitions and Haaaarvard the last couple of years, my observation is that the article is correct about the positives but too polite about the crapification that infests the higher levels of competition. if you walk into the final rounds at Harvard without a recent exposure to debate, you may think you are witnessing performance art – a monotone rapid fire torrent of run on syllables punctuated where you can distinguish half the words interspersed with loud gasps when they finally run out of air.
      the dynamic of gaming the rules to win with the tactic of “spreading” and the positive feedback of professional judges and coaches promoting this as the way to win (debate camps that train “spreading”) is quite expensive for the debaters but lucrative for the trainers. i feel bad for the bulk of high school teachers who try to inculcate critical thinking and clear communication skills to see that trumped by shock and awe tactics.

      Reply
  23. barrisj

    All Hail the Unicorns dept.: LYFT down another 2pts, and CNBC sez the short-sellers are taking large positions…also, CNBC is saying that “the Street” is treating LYFT as a IPO proxy, and that valuations of other companies in the IPO queue could be influenced by LYFT near-term market performance. Which also suggests that LYFT quarterly reports will be viewed far more critically than the pre-IPO cheerleading implied. Underwriters goosed the pricing of LYFT, trying to generate a “buy now” momentum on the opening, but that flamed out quickly, and now the stock will probably trade down until a more “realistic” price is reached. Retail investors, beware the hype.

    Reply
  24. Wukchumni

    A disabled U.S. Marines veteran has received a $250,000 settlement from the U.S. government after a national park park ranger allegedly used excessive force to arrest him over the use of a handicapped parking space.

    Dominic Esquibel of San Diego sued the Department of Interior and the National Park Service, among others, for assault, false arrest and false imprisonment over the 2012 incident at Sequoia National Park east of Fresno, California. The civil rights case was scheduled to go to trial last week in U.S. District Court but was recently settled.

    https://taskandpurpose.com/dominic-esquibel-national-park-lawsuit

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      Wukchumni, to be fair to local police, U.S. Park rangers are the worst face of law enforcement.

      They enforce not only federal and state law, but are often transferred in from who knows where with zero local knowledge, and are hired using extremely lenient standards and preferential hiring preferences, then are handed a gun.

      The death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by a five time deported illegal alien, was actually caused by a park service employee who left her gun in plain view in her car in a city with over
      36,000 car break-ins a year. And she did not lose her job. Those are not typos.
      https://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-kate-steinle-murder-immigration-2017-12

      From the article:
      “the park employee later admitted to trying to stop Esquibel because she wanted to save the parking space for a co-worker who was coming to replace her at the end of her shift.”
      $250,000 of our tax dollars to this poor guy and she gets to keep her job for a few decades and collect a nice pension?

      I think it would be optimal for damage awards against law enforcement to be paid from either her own pension in this case, or collectively, from the pensions of their department, squad, station, or whatever small group they belong to. Peer pressure to behave and act in a cool manner would benefit everyone.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The reality of the situation since 9/11 in the National Parks is more law enforcement rangers, less interp rangers.

        The way it goes in terms of hiring, is veterans get a huge preference over civilians, and there’s no way of knowing, but the arresting LEO might’ve been a veteran as well. There are few other jobs for which they are qualified to work in the NP’s for based on their military service.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I saw the film “Broken Arrow” back in 1996 and when the co-pilot (Christian Slater) managed to get out of the plane by ejecting, only to be arrested at gun point by a Park Ranger I was thinking WTF. Is she serious? Is this what happens in real life enough that it makes its way into a film? I hope that they do not do the same when they look for people lost in the park. I can see it now when a Park Range finds a lost hiker-

          “Freeze, sucker! Get on the ground! Get on the ground now and let me see your hands! Put those cuffs on, now!”

          Reply
  25. now&again susan

    Leaked Mueller Report Proves Barr Lied; Collusion Theorists Vindicated

    Considering all the confusion and insanity already engendered by this topic I believe it was a mistake to have written this satire. A respected journalist known for her clarity of thought ought to leave such mockery to The Onion.

    Reply
  26. Jef

    “…witch hunts, torture and murder are reactions to the modern world”

    Sounds like they got it about right.

    Reply
      1. Cal2

        More like the USA is supposed to follow the trail blazed by PNGuinea…

        “Multiculturalism and diversity are our strength.”

        By that measure, PNG should be a world powerhouse.

        Reply
  27. Cal2

    The “Real Working Class”, Jacobin.

    Most of the rust belt jobs, the important ones economically, where tool and dies were used, the mechanics, machinists and factory workers, were and what’s left of them, still are carried out by mostly white or black males, no matter what the pencil necks and Harvard theoreticians at Jacobin think.

    Hint: Per their picture, Los Angeles is not a place Trump won.

    We live in a California blue county. Several Trump supporters we know are Hispanic women immigrants who work in food service industries:

    “We don’t tell nobody but you, we voted for Trump. We’re sick of our neighborhood being ruined by criminals and people taking our jobs. We followed the rules.”

    While the Jacobin article has an interesting take on adverting demographics forty and fifty years ago, it has little relevance to its own headline.

    The DemoWhig Party better get their shit together with Bernie and Tulsi or they will become history, not historical.

    They tried Hersterical with Hillary. Look how that worked out?

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      The Jacobin article also pointed out that the working class has been eliminated as a class from media coverage. It happened right along with its abandonment by the Democratic Party. So while the details of the article might be problematic, its core point of the working class abandonment is true.

      Reply
  28. Kris

    Highly recommend this article on the invisible global supply chains where exploitation and imperialism actually reside. “To understand the nature of today’s economic imperialism, it is therefore necessary to leave the realm of exchange in which so-called free trade is dominant, and enter the “hidden abode of production,” where the existence of extremely high rates of exploitation, revealed by unit labor cost analysis lays bare the very essence of globalized monopoly-finance capital.”

    https://monthlyreview.org/2019/03/01/global-commodity-chains-and-the-new-imperialism/

    Reply
  29. Andrew Thomas

    Re: dealing with climate and political disruption. Nothing about marijuana being legal now? At least in a lot of places. I’d love to indulge, but I’m sure it would lead me back to the hard stuff- tobacco.

    Reply
  30. JBird4049

    Asia’s pollution exodus: Firms struggle to woo top talent

    As a Californian who occasionally enjoyed the lovely brown air as a child, I have to ask what was leadership of those countries especially China and India thinking? They should have created and enforced the appropriate pollution controls in factories and vehicles. It would have cost money and it would not have prevented pollution, but the pollution would have merely been painful rather than catastrophic. Too late now as there is going to be an epidemic of lung cancer.

    Reply
  31. Savita

    Look at the difference in spin between these two versions of the same story. About Guiado being stripped of immunity, in Venezuela

    The first, from SBS News Australia – it’s one of the two government public broadcasters
    The second from the Guardian UK

    Hint: the first one is impartial. The second is horribly skewed.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/venezuela-s-guaido-stripped-of-immunity

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/03/venezuela-juan-guaido-stripped-of-parliamentary-immunity

    Reply

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