Links 4/25/19

The Mind Behind Early American Protectionism American Conservative

Capitalism’s Great Reckoning Project Syndicate.

The Lost Art of Deadline Writing The Atlantic

Indonesian Companies Fined for 2015 Climate Disaster Have Not Paid, Group Says Climate Liability News

Antarctica: Thousands of emperor penguin chicks wiped out BBC

How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks Aeon

International slow-walking — and threatened cuts to aid from the Trump administration — could exacerbate a burgeoning ebola outbreak in the Congo. Foreign Policy in Focus

When No News Isn’t Good News: What the Decline of Newspapers Means for Government Governing

Pendulum is swinging towards creeping restrictions across AfricaThe Convesation

Waste Watch

How China’s ban on plastic waste imports became an ‘earthquake’ that threw recycling efforts into turmoil SCMP

Charlotte Talks: ‘I’m Scared For My Future.’ Local Teens Push For Action On Climate Change WFAE (martha r)

Green New Deal

No Silver Bullets Jacobin

Why seaweed is strangling Mexican tourism, and how science could help MIT Technology Review


Bernie Sanders Made a Lot of Money — and He Wants It Taxed TruthOut

Joe Biden Is a Fraud, Plain and Simple Truthdig

Tesla Reports Loss, as Elon Musk Talks of Raising Capital WSJ

Class Warfare

Who Begs To Go To Prison? California Jail Inmates Marshall Project

Older Americans are twice as likely to work now as in 1985 Investment News

Supreme Court rules in favor of businesses seeking to block class-action lawsuits The Hill

The U.S. Prison Population is Shrinking Marshall Project

Measles Cases Reaching Highest Number In Decades, New Research Finds CBS Philly

737 Max

Five things we still don’t know about the Boeing 737 Max crisis WaPo

Abysmal Conditions for Refugees in the Greek Islands Der Spiegel

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Facebook expects up to $5B FTC fine Politico

Will Netflix eventually monetize its user data? The Conversation

How Big Tech’s cozy relationship with Ireland threatens data privacy around the world  Politico

Health Care

Opinion: Why do Americans pay more for drugs? Marketwatch


Assange’s Imprisonment Reveals Even More Corruption Than WikiLeaks Did Caitlin Johnstone


Russiagate was journalist QAnon (Part 1) Substack. Matt Taibbi


Why doubts about China’s Belt and Road Initiative persist among its neighbours SCMP. Third of a four part series; Lambert ran the first segment yesterday.


In India’s democracy, Muslims feel increasingly marginalised Al Jazeera

Election Commission Accused of Violating MCC for Delaying Action on Modi The Wire

Narendra Modi’s Varanasi nomination draws huge crowds BBC


What Revolutionaries in the Middle East Have Learned Since the Arab Spring Counterpunch

Trump Transition

PEPE ESCOBAR: War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff Consortium News Pepe Escobar

End Of Sanction Waivers For Iran’s Oil Will Hurt Trump’s Voter Support Moon of Alabama

A new study says Trump’s tariffs aren’t hurting Europe much and could have a bigger impact on the US Business Insider

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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    1. Ignacio

      From the article:

      An obsession [of technocratic administration] with targets and timetables distracted from the imperative to continuously organize for a just and sustainable tomorrow

      I don`t know if it is an “obsession with targets and timetables” or the unwillingness to do the hard work of transforming those targets in detailed projects with its processes, workflows, bottleneck identification etc. There is a vacuum in my opinion.

  1. The Rev Kev

    “The U.S. Prison Population is Shrinking”

    I’m pretty sure that electing Kamala Harris as President of the United States would solve this problem in a jiffy.

    1. bellicissimus

      This is simply a discreet reminder to the prison industrial complex to give early and give often for the upcoming election. It’s is fully candidate-agnostic, anyone will do, as long as the amount is sufficient.

    2. Cal2

      “Your sick child missed a day of school, or your car broke down so you couldn’t get them across town to the school to which they were assigned for diversity purposes and you were unwilling to put them on public transit with homicidal bums, or you couldn’t lose a day at work and you couldn’t afford a taxi?
      Go straight to jail, do not pass go.

      Kamaleon is a cop. That’s why she moved her campaign across the country to Baltimore where people don’t know her record.

    1. Wukchumni

      In a great loss, the antidoe? went extinct in between being posted and final version of the links. It’s hoped that a taxidermist can capture the look of when the breed was alive, for all posterity.

    2. Kokuanani

      Must be a problem with the posting. That’s my rescue mastiff mix, Frances. Her pic appears at the very beginning, but not at the end. I wrote to Jerri-Lynn. Hope it gets fixed soon. Frances deserves to have everyone see her.

        1. Kokuanani

          Uh-oh. Busted. I didn’t read yesterday’s Water Cooler until today. But Frances’ picture appeared at the TOP of today’s Links for me.

          Glad everyone got to appreciate her gentle beauty.

  2. Steve H.

    > Why doubts about China’s Belt and Road Initiative persist among its neighbours

    The crux: debt trap or jubilee? It has always been the bankers prerogative, down to the smallest of scales, to choose which debts to pursue and which not. Decisions, decisions…

    A musement: could China transfer US bonds to other countries to pay off their dollar debt, in exchange for, well whatever? Probably would not, but Pakistan presents a test case. If China’s primary means is transport reach to the west, it can afford significant costs for supreme benefit.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks”

    Medieval monks always did have a problem with being distracted and with being bored. There are books to be found created by monks when copying other books that have notations saying that they are bored and tired and want to go back to their cell. That the candles are making their eyes ache. The same sort of stuff, I heard, is also to be found embedded in the code of programs written by bored code-writers. Always thought that those monks were on the wrong track with their whole approach so I will quote the words of Jerome K. Jerome here-

    “(Speaking of the Cistercian monks) A grim fraternity, passing grim lives in that sweet spot, that God had made so bright! Strange that Nature’s voices all around them–the soft singing of the waters, the wisperings of the river grass, the music of the rushing wind–should not have taught them a truer meaning of life than this. They listened there, through the long days, in silence, waiting for a voice from heaven; and all day long and through the solemn night it spoke to them in myriad tones, and they heard it not.”

    1. urblintz

      Note written in the margins of an illuminated manuscript found in Irish monastery, circa 9th century:

      “I do not know with whom Edan will sleep.
      But I do know that fair Edan will not sleep alone.”

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’m pretty sure that it was you that mentioned this poem last October after which I made sure to keep a copy of it on my computer. If so, thanks for the heads-up.

        2. urblintz

          Samuel Barber wrote a song cycle on these texts: Hermit Songs. I sang them throughout my career, including in a recital at Ireland’s Wexford Festival. They always elicited a great response and were particularly appreciated in Wexford!

          The “Pangur” song is particularly fetching, as the cat slowly strolls up the keyboard playing delicate cat paw chord clusters: “…each with his own art, neither hinders the other. Thus we live daily, without tedium and envy.”

        3. urblintz

          Samuel Barber wrote a wonderful song cycle on these texts: Hermit Songs. I sang them throughout my career, including at Ireland’s Wexford Festival and whereas they always elicited a great response they were particularly appreciated by the Irish audience.

          The “Pangur” song is particularly fetching, as the cat slowly creeps up the keyboard, creating delicate cat-paw chord clusters for the accompaniment: “each with his own art, neither hinders the other. Thus we live daily, without tedium and envy.”

      1. Mac na Michomhairle

        These annotations continue through the Irish language manuscript tradition and give a very enjoyable view into the lives of the writers up into the 17th century and then a depressing view through the 19th century.

        1. WJ

          I am rereading Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation and so I particularly appreciate your rueful observation.

        2. Marcus

          A Benedictine monk in the 1300’s is said to have run, sandals and robes flapping, to tell the Abbott: “Father John, Father John, I found a mistake in the text! It’s not celibate, it’s celebrate!”

            1. ambrit

              Being monks of the period, I believe that Holy Scripture had to be in Latin, (or Greek, if you knew it,) while Annals could be in the vernacular.
              Someone correct me if I have strayed into error.

        3. laughingsong

          17th century, yeah. If I remember correctly 1691 ended with the Flight of the Earls; that’s the era of struggle with the tudors when they went all Anglican, followed by the flight, the Plantation, and the awful Penal Laws.

          Above MLTPB mentions one of my favorite films (big fan of Kila’s music as well); I always love Aisling’s Song.

          You must go where I cannot,
          Pangur Ban Pangur Ban,
          Nil sa saol seo ach ceo,
          Is ni bheimid beo,
          ach seal beag gearr.

          Brother Aidan actually speaks the translation as a dialog:
          There is nothing in this life but mist,
          And we are not alive,
          but for a little time.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      From the article:

      Say that you wanted to learn the sequence of the zodiac. Thomas Bradwardine (a 14th-century university master, theologian and advisor to Edward III of England) suggests that you imagine a gleaming white ram with golden horns, kicking a bright red bull in the testicles. While the bull bleeds profusely, imagine that there’s a woman in front of it, giving birth to twins, in a gory labour that seems to split her up to her chest. As her twins burst forth, they’re playing with an awful red crab, which is pinching them and making them cry. And so on.

      A more advanced method for concentrating was to build elaborate mental structures in the course of reading and thinking. Nuns, monks, preachers and the people they educated were always encouraged to visualise the material they were processing. A branchy tree or a finely feathered angel – or in the case of Hugh of St Victor (who wrote a vivid little guide to this strategy in the 12th century), a multilevel ark in the heart of the cosmos – could become the template for dividing complex material into an ordered system. The images might closely correspond to the substance of an idea. Hugh, for example, imagined a column rising out of his ark that stood for the tree of life in paradise, which as it ascended linked the earth on the ark to the generations past, and on to the vault of the heavens. Or instead, the images might only be organisational placeholders, where a tree representing a text or topic (say, ‘Natural Law’) could have eight branches and eight fruits on each branch, representing 64 different ideas clustered into eight larger concepts.

      I believe this can also be called making a “memory palace”. The trick is to create an image for whatever it is you want to remember, the more outlandish the better, and then associate that image with a physical location. I recently read Moonwalking with Einstein which discusses the people who compete in memory championships around the world (yes this is actually a thing!). It’s not a how-to book, but the author does give a brief description of how to construct a memory palace of your own.

      I did it and it really does work – I was able to remember a fairly random string of info for weeks after the fact when normally my mind stores new info like a sieve.

    3. Anonymous2

      Die Grosse Stille is worth watching for a different perspective.

      I have had some contact with Cistercian monks (not easy to meet hermits of course) and found them very impressive people.

    1. Doggrotter

      Another rancid old pol shuffling up to the trough, too bloated and stupid to know what’s happening.
      I am a fan of Trump for the simple reason that he has so outraged so many pseudo Dems. Yes I love him every time he exposes the Dems as a bunch of money grubbing whores (sorry to all actual whores, can you find a new collective name so as not to be continually insulted by being compared to pols).

      “LBJ how many babies did you kill today” when dems were embarrassed by war. Obviously the pay has gone up a lot since then.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        I have the same sentiments about most Democrats and certainly nearly all Democratic Party politicians, operatives and mainstream media Party presstitutes.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Stop posting links like that one! I just let out an audible groan.

      I’m on federal jury duty today. Trying to be quiet.

  4. zagonostra

    >Older Americans are twice as likely to work now as in 1985

    It is grotesque that in an age of automation and mechanized production that the proportion of people having to work in order to survive is trending higher.

    We do not have a government that represents the General Will. The General Will in the political sense as originally formulated by Rousseau, to the extent that it was expressed, has been subverted by the professional mangers of public opinion in tandem with byzantine rules and regulations designed to stymie its expression through the electoral process.

    The 10 minutes I spent listening to CSPAN’s call in show driving to work this morning, hearing callers rail against Russia and Trump leave me dejected and pessimistic that much will change in my life time.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      I think the general will is, in fact, mainly malevolent and cruel in a kind of unfocused way. It is particularly marked when people on what I thought was the left have suddenly turned into right wing fanatics about Russia, free speech, political correctness, identity politics, and the fanatical hatred of Trump that reminds me of the book 1984.

      1. zagonostra

        I was thinking of the “General Will” in terms of what I remember from a PolSci course I took as an undergraduate. It was used by Rousseau in a very distinct way that contrasted with Social Contract theories of Hobbes and Locke and, by definition, can’t be “malevolent and cruel” by definition.

        A quick web search yielded below which is close the the residual memory I have in mind.

        The idea of the general will is at the heart of Rousseau’s philosophy. The general will is not the will of the majority. Rather, it is the will of the political organism that he sees as an entity with a life of its own. The general will is an additional will, somehow distinct from and other than any individual will or group of individual wills. The general will is, by some means, endowed with goodness and wisdom surpassing the beneficence and wisdom of any person or collection of persons. Society is coordinated and unified by the general will.

        Rousseau believed that this general will actually exist… He held that there is only one general will and, consequently, only one supreme good and a single overriding goal toward which a community must aim. The general will is always a force of the good and the just. It is independent, totally sovereign, infallible, and inviolable.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          We are so far from the General Will that it is no longer even visible from here, a cabal of billionaires have seized the globe and run the planet as their own personal plantation where everyone is enslaved to their monstrous moral depravity.

          A blogger on another site said “America has seen some very, very evil people…many have buildings and bridges named after them.”

          But we still think we’re the good guys, and that this is the best of all possible worlds…so the bils can continue to sprinkle a few crumbs and the rats will scramble madly for them…and be happy just to get a few more crumbs than the next rat.

          But the tide of hungry rats with no crumbs at all will grow and grow as all of the planet’s resources get concentrated ever upwards. Eventually one guy will own the whole thing, then we can drown him in a bathtub and usher in a new age.

          These are dark times and getting darker. I try to fill my days with light and love but sometimes it’s pretty darned difficult

          1. zagonostra

            All too sadly I agree with everything you said, and the world of the mid 18th century is not the world I live in today…yes file the day with your “light and love” to the full extent you are able…

    2. jrs

      meanwhile old people even on death’s door work, I know it, they work even though they are sick sometimes with many chronic diseases that impair their functioning, lung and heart conditions that leave them nearly keeling over at work etc.. But in America it sometimes seems there is no such thing as retiring. Dying at work is so American.

  5. Wukchumni

    The crime patterns began emerging in the last year: crews of thieves employing inventive techniques to gain entry and ransack scores of cars, homes and businesses in Southern California and across the nation.

    As investigations and arrests ramped up, detectives noticed another key commonality: The suspects were Chilean and had gained entry into the U.S. with easily obtained visa waivers.

    “It is a growing problem,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. “They’re very sophisticated. It’s a hot zone in Southern California.”

    In the 1980’s in L.A., all of the sudden Colombian nationals from ‘the school of the seven bells*’ had taken up residence in the City of Angles, their game being subterfuge, such as poking small holes in a diamond dealer’s car, and then following said jalopy until it had a few flat tires, overwhelm the mark on the side of the road, steal his ice, etc. It was a really bad problem in particular among those who dealt in ‘smalls’ of value, be it a high end watch dealer, a bullion dealer, etc.

    Here’s a 1989 LA Times article about them:

    Gem dealer Tom Schneider gazed out of the Pasadena restaurant toward his van, where $330,000 worth of precious gems were locked inside. Three men, who had followed him from a gem show, were prying open the van with a crowbar. Schneider ran outside as the thieves roared off in their car with the uninsured jewels. He couldn’t chase them; a tire on his van had been slashed.

    “Probably three minutes had gone by,” Schneider said. “It was devastating. I’m still paying that bill off today.”

    Schneider was among the many victims of what law enforcement experts say is a tightly organized, nationwide ring of thieves. Trained in pickpocket schools in South America, they steal more than $500 million a year in this country.

    Law enforcement officials estimate that the ring has 2,000 members, primarily Colombian nationals based in Los Angeles and New York. They travel in teams around the country, stealing precious gems, diamonds, rare coins, traveler’s checks, expensive suits and even jeans.

    *to graduate, a student of larceny would have to pickpocket someone wearing 7 little bells on their coat-where buttons would normally be, without making a sound

    1. polecat

      So, the solution is to capture, try, and imprison them if found guilty … then, once behind bars, allow them to VOTE !

      That just precious …

      1. EricT

        If the prison population numbers are used to figuring out the congressional districts, then they deserve to vote. Otherwise, people who live around prisons receive disproportionate political power to those who don’t.

      2. flora

        What…? Columbian and Chilean nationals here on visas aren’t US citizens and being imprisoned doesn’t change that.

        US citizens in prison are still US citizens.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          US prisoners of war held by other nations – I think they should be able to vote in US elections, but not those elctions of the countries holding them.

        2. polecat

          Give the Democrat elite some time … they’ll figure out, for purely cynical reasons, a voter’s loophole to allow non-citizens to vote, in .. or out of confinement, as a way to game the process ! .. I know that the Republicans have their own methods as well, but it’s blatantly obvious by now that Team Blue is NOT beneath practising a little (or a lot !!) of skullduggery when it suits their corpserate agenda.

      1. Wukchumni

        Unless the TMT’s were around in the early 80’s, they must’ve appropriated it from the Colombians (The donkey show & pachyderm party are Columbians, as they toil in the District of Columbia, er Humordor)

      2. newcatty

        A big and exciting story from a friend in an upper middle class area of So Cal. The neighborhood was being targeted by Porch Pirates! Easy pickings. Never heard what solution was or is…

        1. wilroncanada

          Sounds like a Newfie joke. What were they using to steal porches? Front-door loaders?/s

          1. newcatty

            Wilroncanada…lol, like Newfie humor. No front-door loaders needed, just pick-up trucks, vans and yard worker vehicles.

    1. Doggrotter

      Hi Freedom. How dare you insult the wife of the husband of the people who Earn lots of money and Love Hrc and also worked very hard as a Doctor in an ER department. It’s a tough life being a tv/moviestar/next president of la di funging daa. What do you know anyway

      1. Doggrotter

        Also I need brain surgery, I’m sure George is the Man to do it, he has played a doctor. I know he hasn’t played a president, but how hard can it be. Afterall it looks like The Donald can do the job, it can’t be that difficult. (being President, not being a Brain Surgeon)( maybe I will get my brain surgery elsewhere)

  6. Roger Smith

    RE: Joe Biden is a Fraud…

    Well yes and this article is chock full of details but none of that matters. This guy is recorded on video, repeatedly groping women and children, sniffing their heads, etc… That is the end of the story. This is not some ‘relic of the past thing’. I’d almost give him a pass on the weird comments, if they hadn’t been paired with the obviously improper physical contact. This was never normal behavior and it is beyond disgusting that anyone would accept this, regardless of Biden’s overall commitment to being a corrupt moron.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yes, it’s important to note Biden has been a POS before those videos were accessible. Despite his predilections, Biden was embraced by Team Blue types and allowed to make policy. He is exhibit 1 of why the Senate needs to abolished. The dominance of Delaware by financial industries protected him for years, and Senators wield far too much power to have these kinds of electorates.

      This is about his friends and allies too. Whether it’s been his support for segregationist policies, attacking victims of sexual harassment and the subsequent confirmation of Clarence Thomas, or just making getting an education more difficult, Joe Biden is an evil man who had allies and people who looked the other way. This isn’t a man who is from another time.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This isn’t a criticism of Obama. His VP short list was otherwise hideous (Bayh and Kaine) and more likely to run in 2016 and lose or win then lose in 2020. It pulled Biden out of the Senate where his demeanor had made him particularly dangerous.

        1. Teejay

          NTG: Obviously you beg the question. “… his demeanor made him particularly dangerous.” Which was?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Biden isn’t without a certain charm. He’s like McCain, and he can project an aura of confidence. Iowa and NH primary voters take their role seriously, so he never went and nowhere but the less serious such as msm types love Biden’s style.

            Evil people who make it this far usually aren’t screaming lunatics. They aren’t necessarily smart or or even not stupid but they are put together to a certain extent.

        2. Summer

          “His VP short list handed to him by the financial sector and MIC was otherwise hideous…”

          Fixed that for ya!

        3. Spring Texan

          yeah, I was very relieved he picked Biden over Bayh and Kaine.

          Which doesn’t mean I have any use for Biden now.

      2. pjay

        “Despite his predilections, Biden was embraced by Team Blue types and allowed to make policy.”

        Right. The value of those policies to the money people is the foundation for his long career. Solomon’s contrast between the Biden reality and his portrayal by the media is important. It is also depressing, because my own anecdotal (but long) experience is that most people buy the “working class Joe” myth — the media manufactured image. While Biden’s groping might turn off a few liberal Clintonites, I doubt it would have any more effect on the general public than Trump’s p***y grabbing. OTOH, his past performances in Presidential campaigns are encouraging.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Bill Clinton is exhibit one, but his numbers did collapse in 1992. My memory Is hazy on the time line.

          Still, the Trump ET tape was leaked by a Bush relative, an actual Bush family member. I think George W was a unique figure to the GOP, but the feelings that let Reagan beat 41, gave a doofus such as Santorum a shot against Mittens, etc shouldn’t be overlooked. The wrong people brought the tape forward and it benefited the wrong people (the Clintons). Long term abuse of the electorate factors in. Biden unlike Trump circa 2016 is part of DC and the same abusive establishment. Do they forget Clarence Thomas was nominated by 41.

          I believe many Hillary voters chose her because she is perceived as a secret liberal or champion of women’s rights thanks to manipulation of emotional identity. The ability for Biden to build this coalition is limited.

    2. Arizona Slim

      And who can forget this classic, from the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings:

      Biden to Anita Hill: “Are you a scorned woman? Are you writing a book?”

    3. cm

      I had forgotten about his run ins with plagarisim.

      I look forward to articles explaining why millionares can discharge their real estate debt via bankruptcy, but millenials can’t discharge their college debt via bankruptcy, all thanks to Gropy Joe!

      1. Robert McGregor

        Cm, Great way to put it, “I look forward to articles explaining why millionares can discharge their real estate debt via bankruptcy, but millenials can’t discharge their college debt via bankruptcy, all thanks to Gropy Joe!” Remember the Real Estate millionaire, Trump, has declared bankruptcy some four times. It’s a great juxtaposed image–the as***** Trump declaring bankruptcy multiple times and still flying around in his private jet, while thousands of millennials scrape by in their parents’ basements, maybe subsisting on ramen’s noodles, while they struggle under their student debt loads.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Maybe it will slowly dawn on people that we now have two legal systems, not one.

          Seems to me in the mid-18th century a few farmers in an English colony on the far side of the Atlantic got tired of that sh*t and decided they should set up a completely new system.

          Pity it didn’t last.

    4. William Beyer

      When I click on the link, it says “phoney” instead of “fraud.” The article’s title uses “fraud.” Lawyers?

    5. Robert McGregor

      Since Biden has been around a long time, he has been drinking the kool-aid of financialization, oligarchs, and the MIC for decades. This makes him our worst possible choice for 2020. Any of the other old centralists would be just as bad–Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Obama). If Harris, Beto, or Butti had been in power for decades, they would be the same. The paradigm has changed, and so far the main representatives for the new paradigm are Sanders, Gabbard, Warren, Gravel and each break out from the old paradigm to different degrees.

    6. WJ

      Although I agree with you that protecting young (and old!) women from sexual harassment and nonconsensual affectionate quasi-sexual touches is an important issue–I am a proud owner of a (synonym for domestic cat) hat myself!–I do not think it is as important an issue as ensuring the continued strong existence of the DNC and its many corporate, big union, media, and donor relationships.

      These relationships ensure that the DNC and the Democratic Party is able to throttle, control, and coopt any grassroots movement that threatens the stability of the US. (By “the stability of the US,” I mean the “expected investment returns and profit margins of the top 1% job-creators).

      The Sanders’ movement seriously threatens this stability, and if left unchecked might easily lead the US to adopt the kind of welfare-state model of capitalism that has ruined all the Scandinavian countries of Europe. (Their taxes are like 70% or something I heard! I would not have *any* incentive to job-create in such a country. Would you?!)

      That is why I am backing Biden, despite my belief that, theoretically, sexual harassment is an important issue that needs to be addressed. But it is not as important as securing the future stability of the country (ie. my bank account).

      Once everything is back under secure meritocratic or oligarchic control (they are the same thing basically), then we can address the sexual harassment issue.

      So I think people who emphasize Biden’s many public instances of unsolicited nuzzling of less powerful and much younger women are putting the cart before the horse.

      Let’s make sure that the student debt payments keep on flowing to the job creators, that taxes on the 1% and on corporations remain very low, that we all keep getting 7-8% returns on our instruments, etc. THEN we can address the otherwise all-important issue of sexual harassment.

      1. pjay


        Many will see this as an excellent reproduction of conversation at a Biden fundraiser — which it is. But I fully expect to see it as an editorial in the Times or Post very soon.

      2. Chris Cosmos

        I don’t have a big problem with Biden’s affectionate tendencies even though we are in an era that sexualized all forms of touching–a sure way to increase the incidence of depression, drug abuse, and anxiety. I guess that explains something about our tendency towards cruelty and hatred of compassion. It also explains our over-the-top love of animals because it is legal to touch them!

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m getting it on my computer using Firefox but I also use NoScript so if there was a way to disable javascripts on your browser, that might help. If you are not sure how, Google it for your browser for instructions.

    2. Robert McGregor

      Googling it just now did not work for me either! Have to admit the “$100” is the new “paywall high” of what I’ve seen. None of this $7 per month, $10 per month or even $32 per month. None of this “download this academic article for $33.” No. “Just a flat $100” will get you in. They don’t even have the decency(?) to make it an “accounting verified” or “commercial sounding” odd number like $49 or $98. No, a flat $100, like a “donor dinner:” “Tickets for the Hillary donor dinner are $2000.”

  7. Brindle

    2020….Identity Politics & Sanders

    Yesterday there was a political event that had many of the 2020 Dem candidates participate–“SheThe People” in Houston, TX. It was to a large degree an identity politics event.

    The atmosphere was at times raucous—kind of like how “The View” TV show can be at times.

    The Bernie Sanders portion is interesting on different levels. The questions directed to him were very much a “kiss the identity politics ring” exercise and Bernie to a large degree avoided doing that. I’m not sure if he did that on purpose or if he was not aware of the trap nature of the questions. Several people in the audience heckled him a few times–which became the main meme for the MSM coverage of the event.
    Joy Reid of MSNBC was one of two moderators—that tells you plenty about which part of the Dem party was behind this forum.

    The Sanders segment starts at 2:14:30 or so.

    1. djrichard

      This isn’t all that different than when the BLM reps got in his face in the 2016 run. Bernie has to be ready for this type of stuff. Not so much to defend himself or to even sell his policies/prescriptions. He needs to start cutting deals with these parties. They represent a voting block, no different than any other voting block.

      So what are the concrete material benefits they want? At the constituent level of this voting block in particular. Be earnest about it. And to make it real, how can they share the risk with Bernie in seeking that?

      And make the leadership of this voting block a centerpiece. At the very least, put them in the middle when brokering the deals. And maybe offer them some other positions of power too, assuming he wins.

      Now it may play out that the leadership is disingenuous and doesn’t really want to play with Bernie, that the whole idea is to undermine him in favor of other candidates. That doesn’t mean that Bernie can’t make earnest inroads with this voting block anyways, in spite of the leadership that purports to represent them.

      This is what politics is about.

      1. Brindle

        Yes, Bernie doesn’t play the game the way the identitarian leadership wants him to—I think they want him to just go away. The followers are a different story and he needs to understand them better and use language that resonates,

      2. ChrisS

        +1 to these comments; even if Bernie is able to expand the Dem primary electorate, the identity politics-focused block is always going to be sizeable. If he wants to avoid the brokered (read: fixed) convention that Lambert alludes to, he has to reach some of them.

      3. Geo

        So what are the concrete material benefits they want?

        That the problem. What concrete material benefits many of these groups do want are often either contradictory or micro-targeted. Crafting policy for the benefit of one targeted group is rarely effective unless it’s to allow that one group into already established policies others enjoy (civil rights, gay marriage, etc).

        If you want to make your brain melt read a discussion thread about women’s rights between trans women activists and cis feminists. As someone who has been an ally to both groups my entire life I just slowly back away from those debates – mainly because it’s not my debate to be part of – but also because the issues that divide them are beyond any reconciliation my feeble mind can conjure up.

        In my useless opinion on the subject, Identity politics has become a way of dividing marginalized groups from organizing together behind common causes and catering to it will only allow that fragmentation to get worse.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I recommend looking up the recent debate between two famous American feminists in Australia. One of the participants, Roxanne Gay, threatened to sue, so you cant see the video only read reports about it. Apparently Liberal Feminists are trying to eat their own. In this case, a conservative critiques the MeToo movement.

          Identity politics is a dead end of ideas.

      1. Summer

        “She The People” is run by people with the job title “Thought Leader”…and all that implies.

        1. Chris Cosmos

          Indeed! And these very people insure that people will vote for Trump just to avoid the disgusting totalitarian order these enthusiasts seem to favor.

        2. Carolinian

          Joy Reid one of the hosts. Clearly Sanders is going to have limited support among the Hillary rump. Sounds like the audience was out to get him, and Gabbard, before either opened their mouths.

          This is of course the great dilemma for Sanders supporters–how to reform a party that is designed not to be reformed. Perhaps it’s not unlike the prob Corbyn has faced in Britain.

          1. WJ

            I think the typical audience for these kind of events, while they are going to be hostile to Sanders and Gabbard initially, can in the end be won over by them if engaged in the right way. See comments above.

            Lots of these people are simply uninformed and have been lied to by “Thought Leaders” per above.

            Sanders needs to go on the attack and convince the audience that his policies will actually help more women and people of color than anything the She-Ra People hosts support. He needs to be willing to call out merely “symbolic” gestures wrt race and sex as the oligarchic distractions they are. The people can handle the truth but they need to be told it first.

            By adopting this strategy, Sanders would turn the tables on the Joy Reid crew, putting them on the defensive. He needs to view these hosts and identity politics leaders as equivalent to Fox News hosts. They are both hostile to him for the same reason, only the Fox News hosts are more honest about that reason.

            1. Sanxi

              I don’t think so. What your suggestion requires is agility that Bernie doesn’t have, at least not in crowds. Second, what is to be gained by directly engaging rather than by proxy, at least now? This seems very zero-sum.

      2. Yikes

        Faux News really is trying to get Sanders elected. Not to many women of color are going to be watching Faux News, but a lot of old white people who’d vote for anyone that gets jeered at by same will be.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          President Sanders could be a huge clickbait/ratings money maker for Fox the same way Trump has been for the liberal corporate media. Outrage sells.

      3. Partyless Poster

        I think he should respond the way he responded to the reparations people, make them get very specific first.
        A lot of the problem I have with the identity crowd is they never propose anything concrete,
        Its always “end racism!” like you can just do that with some law.
        Make them spell out exactly how you can end racism.
        Even the BLM people never (as far as I know) advanced an actual legal agenda to prevent shootings and if they did maybe that’s what should get pushed instead of slogans.

        1. djrichard

          I think Bernie has more opportunity here than he realizes. He can have some kind of dialogue like this …

          “Look, you can partner with another pol. And I’m willing to wager any other pol you’re partnering with will be happy to simply defeat Trump (assuming they can) and “declare victory” with that such that they’ll become more flexible and allow their true constituency to assert their will, e.g. to put the country back on the path to global capitalism. And you can be sure that that pol will then prefer to forget any deal they had with you.

          Or you can partner with me; deliver for me and I’ll deliver for you. Let’s work together to find out what you want me to deliver. The constituency I already have doesn’t want global capitalism. Neither do you. I think we’ll find there’s more than that is in common, more than many realize. But let’s not leave it at that; let’s get specific and build it into our pact.”

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Charlotte Talks: ‘I’m Scared For My Future.’ Local Teens Push For Action On Climate Change”

    This and similar articles do give some hope. Just so long as it does not end up like the Children’s Crusades because of the treachery of adults seeking to capitalize on this movement-

    1. Cal2

      These teens should pledge and follow through to never own a car or truck, never fly and to forsake central heat, to plant a food forest where they live and to have only one child.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Why? We get to say alcohol is bad for you, even if we drink. We get to say speeding is bad for you, even if we occasionally drive too fast…

        Or do you always have higher standards for people who try to tell you about better way of living?

      2. Anon

        In a world they didn’t make? Careful, they may decide to stop paying for your Social Security benefits!

      3. jrs

        The hypocrisy argument reaches it’s final riductio ad absurdum: when teenagers are blamed for future actions they MAY take, because they are trying to change their society so that there might be a world for them to inherit.

  9. Kokuanani

    Jerri-Lynn – That’s my rescue pup, Frances, who’s the antidote du jour. But as someone noted above, her picture does not appear at the bottom of Links. ????

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Why seaweed is strangling Mexican tourism, and how science could help MIT Technology Review

    Its not just tourists seaweed can strangle, it can shut down nuclear and coal plants. This is likely to be a recurring problem worldwide as warming oceans mix with farm nutrients washed out to see.

    1. nippersdad

      It seems like there is nothing so effective at exploiting a resource as finding a market for it. Feeding it to cattle has been shown to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the amounts of methane they produce, so maybe the losses to tourism (which would also reduce carbon footprints) caused by seaweed can be made up by just feeding it to the cows. Though I have very serious doubts as to the ultimate value of carbon trading, this sounds like something ripe for the picking (so to speak) in a variety of markets.

  11. Wukchumni

    Oh dear dept:

    Years ago, friends had a 10 year old Golden Retriever, and they were up in Sequoia NP @ the Wuksachi Lodge in the parking lot with their pooch, when 3 deer formed a skirmish line about 100 feet away in a very ‘don’t family blog with me’ fashion, and they couldn’t figure what was with this posture, and then it dawned on them that a somewhat porky GR resembles a mountain lion for those animals with less than 20/20 vision, that are used to being eaten by the same.

  12. jfleni

    RE: Supreme Court rules in favor of businesses seeking to block class-action lawsuits.

    What do you know: The plutocrats ALWAYS #### the
    peasants (do tell!). Time to PACK these clowns once and for all!

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Better yet, pass legislation that takes “personhood” away from corporations and goes back to the original corporate charters that existed early in the 19th century.

      1. Cal2

        Or, just the opposite, treat them as people, with all the responsibilities and vulnerabilities of humans:
        If in a trial a corporation is convicted of a crime by their fellow citizen jurors, they are punished the same way as a flesh and blood criminals,
        either by suspending their charter, or license nationally, or in a state, for given period of time, like a prison sentence,
        or by executing them, permanent revocation of their charters and license to do business.

  13. PlutoniumKun

    The Mind Behind Early American Protectionism American Conservative

    General consensus doesn’t get much more general than U.S. and European economists’ nearly universal support for unrestricted trade and opposition to most or all forms of economic protectionism.

    More than 1,100 economists signed an open letter in May 2018 warning Congress and the president against “misguided calls for new tariffs.”

    In December PolitiFact cited an untold number of “economic experts” and “specialists in international trade” (four were quoted) to debunk a putative claim that “protectionism offers Americans the road to riches.”

    The free-trade consensus is so broad that Trump’s case against it is viewed with remedial disdain, as one of the negotiator-in-chief’s fleeting, laughable enthusiasms. The Harvard Business Review cites “the greatest economists in history” in its case against tariffs, while National Review’s online editor Charles C.W. Cooke tweets, “I’m still waiting for hard evidence that Donald Trump actually knows what tariffs are.”

    While this is true, I think the missing words are likely ‘English language economists’. As Ha Joon Chang has pointed out, numerous successful countries have ignored this, knowing full well that free trade benefits flow primarily one way – to established prosperous developed nations. Presumably they didn’t work this out in a complete intellectual vacuum. While the influence of Anglo-American economics runs deep, I strongly suspect that textbooks in German, Japanese, Chinese and other languages tell a very different story.

    1. pjay

      My memory is not what it used to be. But it seems like back in the early 1980s, when it was Japan that was going to take over the world, and the other Asian Tigers were rising, and the US was going through “the worst Depression since the 1930s”, etc., there was considerable tolerance for heterodox trade policy discussion. I remember special issues of Business Week about “Industrial Policy,” and I clearly remember reading articles about List and related economic arguments. None of it had any effect, of course. But during periods when major cracks appear in the orthodox wall, challengers sometimes get airplay. Perhaps economists ignored such musings back then, but there did seem to be some serious discussion in the business press.

    2. Carolinian

      One thing the article doesn’t point out is that tariffs were a major source of US government revenue in the pre income tax days. And while the article doesn’t afford much space for mainstream rebuttal, my understanding was always that protectionism was considered acceptable for “developing” nations–as the US was in the 19th century–whereas dominant trading nations prefer free trade. Indeed post ww2, when much of the world was buying manufactured goods from America, it probably worked out well for us. Perhaps better economic minds than yours truly could discuss…..

  14. jfleni

    RE: How to Opt Out of Airport Face Scanning: Don’t Fly.

    Better yet – Don’t shave! Or shave once and then every ten days. Their tiny little minds
    will go completely bonkers!

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Bernie Sanders Made a Lot of Money — and He Wants It Taxed”: ‘The Post ran a remarkable article over the weekend about Silicon Valley billionaires literally living in fear of torches and pitchforks outside their gated manors.’

    If I was a Silicon Valley billionaire, I wouldn’t be worried by torches and pitchforks at all. That is very old school that. I would be more worried about RPGs taking out the main gates, long rifles with infra-red scopes taking out any mercenaries, errr, guards and maybe an ATGM slamming into the manor to take out a wall. Come to think of it, hard too for an escaping private jet to flee to another location when the runways has trucks and cars parked all over it. Not that I have been thinking about such a scenario. Nope. Not at all. No siree.
    This article does remind me of something else though. There was mention of FDR but does anybody else notice that (from what I can see) in modern American politics, that FDR remains The One Who Must Not Be Named?

    1. Wukchumni

      Teddy seldom rates a mention, and he’s the antithesis of the current occupant…

      “We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”

      “I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”

      1. GF

        Wukchumni, I am placing this because of your interest in the fracking around your area.

        The BLM has posted this: The 45-day public comment period begins on April 26 and ends on June 10.

        1. Wukchumni


          It’s a Frackingstein monster of a thing, and we look to be surrounded by a sea of red on the map you linked to as far as proposed sites go. I’ll protest mightily and thanks for the prompting…

          There’s a fair schwag of farmers or Big Ag on the valley floor that would sell out toot suite to Big {money losing} Oil, mainly on account of the aquifer about to hit salt water intrusion in many areas-combined with lower ag prices, and well water has always been around 40-50% of irrigation, but when it went to 100% during the drought, is when the race to the bottom began in earnest, to the outer limits underneath.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Lets try organizing the Armed Guards too with our powerful Marxist critiques!

  16. JohnnyGL

    Brace yourselves, the ‘open borders’ true-believers are on the march, again!

    Here’s one of my favorite parts. The writer actually addresses, to his credit, the most ‘open borders’ place we’ve got right now….the Gulf states! But hold on, watch this brush off….

    “But such examples should not be viewed as arguments against freedom of movement—rather, they prove the vital need for any left version of open borders to be paired with a robust campaign for equal rights for all workers, regardless of origin.”

    Gotcha, so we’re supposed to organize workers and form unions while simultaneously making it dead-easy for employers to haul in plane loads of scabby-strike-breakers?!?!? My god, did this author ever crack a book on what the 1800s were like here in the US for mine workers trying to organize and improve working conditions??!?!

    The whole humanitarian case for open borders seems to me to be rooted in a lack of understanding of how the world works, primarily in three areas.
    1) They misunderstand power relations. Open borders for individual people sounds sort of empowering at a glance, but open borders for corporations is MUCH MORE empowering for them.
    2) A massive dismissal/devaluation of the value of community. Where are those arguing for a right to STAY IN PLACE?!?! It would be nice if advocates for community building and protection from things like eminent domain, gentrification and other disruptors of communities had a loud megaphone like the open borders crowd.
    3) A misunderstanding of symptoms and causes. Migrant flows come from capitalist and imperialist exploitation, both directly as a goal (give me your land and go somewhere else so I can drill for oil on it) and as a form of blowback (your land has been eroded by the pressing need for cash crops). Address root causes, not consequences. Capitalism and imperialism need to create poverty to empower the powerful prime movers and disempower ordinary people. Opening borders does nothing to address this, it’s only putting a crappy, disruptive, imperfect bandaid on a gushing wound.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Also, how much is the neo-liberal thinking evident in this kind of stuff:

      ““The bottom line is that if even one in 20 people currently in poorer countries could work in richer countries, that would add more value to the world economy overall than removing every remaining policy barrier to goods-and-services trade—every tariff, every quota.” If borders were opened, economists, both conservative and liberal, predict an enormous overall boost in global GDP, which would ratchet up by around $40 trillion—a 60 percent rise.”

      Who’s GDP????

        1. JohnnyGL

          This appears to be the money quote:

          “Thus, existing dentists or taxi drivers have a strong vested interest in supporting restrictive licensing barriers preventing others from entering their profession and competing against them. Exactly the same is true of existing immigrants, who frequently face new immigrants as their most direct economic competitors, and hence may often become strong opponents of further immigration.”

          My personal experience with immigrants shows more of a mixed-bag. Yes, some would like to shut the door behind them, but, also, many are entrepreneurs and small business owners themselves and often like to have a steady pool to hire from.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “International slow-walking — and threatened cuts to aid from the Trump administration — could exacerbate a burgeoning ebola outbreak in the Congo”

    There is a good reason why countries like the United States should open their wallets and fund fighting Ebola in places like the Congo. The reason why is because it takes a passenger jet only about 21 hours to travel from Kinshasha, Congo to New York city in the US.

  18. Eureka Springs

    “We’ve done this in other areas of health care. Let’s do it here,” Warren added in a subsequent post. “If providers deliver quality care to black moms, they’ll make more. If they don’t, they’ll make less. Don’t just observe and debate racism in health care. Make providers pay until this crisis is fixed.”

    Horrific liberal framing and should make many wonder whether she has improved expanded medicare for all in her mind with any sincerity at all?

    Hospitals and actual health care professionals – the real ‘providers’ should be doing this at half of the GDP we spend now. Poor people only seek health care at the time of last resort. Quality care cannot happen when every thing is last minute.

  19. Whoamolly

    I asked for three more free subscriptions to Matt Taibbi’s online writing. And got them!

    First come first served.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Taibbis writings helped me understand the economics of poor people screwed over by big corporations and police.

      For me hes up there with Zinn, NC, Hudson, and Frank.

      Ive been watching a ton of YouTube and Reddit and those commenters are ripe for some sick, dank memes featuring our local ‘Warfighters.’

      Adios, Seal Team Six
      Hola, Cyber Team Cinceaux

      Would yall (yves and lambert) be opposed to me reposting yall on other social media and making ‘Jimmy Dore-esque’ video clips?

      1. Whoamolly


        If you dont get free trial subscription in email it probably means I either mistyped or failed to decode the email addresses above.

        Otherwise, to subscribe to Taibbi or read samples his site is now called untitledgate, and it is here:

  20. Wukchumni

    When No News Isn’t Good News: What the Decline of Newspapers Means for Government Governing

    For all intents & purposes our once a week newspaper died a fortnight ago.

    It was no great shakes, typically 14 pages long and 6 minutes of reading time required, but it’s more than that, as it was the last physical newspaper i’ll ever subscribe to, more than likely.

    There were no services requested, nor was there really any public mourning. One person quoted in the next to last issue of the doomed periodical wondered where he’d get something to start fires with now?

    It’s all online now, and will get lost in the shuffle.

  21. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    So. Depressing. The Times Picayune building sits empty while Louisiana burns.

  22. barrisj

    While the Ship of Fools that is the May govt. continues to flounder upon the shoals of Brexit, life continues on a downward spiral for many in Britain:

    Food bank use hits record high as emergency supply packages surpass 1.5 million in 12 months, figures show

    Food bank use has soared to record levels, with the number of emergency supplies distributed across the UK having risen by nearly a fifth in one year, new figures show.

    Campaigners said it was “shameful” that a growing number of Britons were unable to feed themselves after data published by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank provider, revealed 1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies were distributed in the year to March 2019 – a 19 per cent rise on the previous year.

    More than half a million of these (577,618) went to children, fuelling concerns about rising child poverty, after government figures last month revealed that the number of youngsters living in absolute poverty had increased by 200,000 in a year – to a total of 3.7 million.

    The figures have also prompted renewed criticism of the government’s flagship welfare reform, universal credit, as the Trussell Trust said issues with moving onto the new system were a “key driver” of increasing need, primarily due people having to wait five weeks for payment under the new system.

    3.7 million children considered living in poverty, and the numbers growing. Long waits for payments under the Universal Credit “welfare reform”. Ever-growing emergency food needs. The Austerity Age claims its victims.
    For a depressing and (not-so) fictional account of life amongst the economic marginals in today’s Britain, I heartily recommend the great Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake”, an account of a widowed joiner/carpenter in his late-50’s who suffered a serious heart attack, had to leave work upon orders of his cardiology consultant, and his efforts to try to obtain the equivalent of a disability allowance in the face of a cold and mindless bureaucracy…the film left us stunned by its portrayal of how the benefits system is highly adversarial and biased against its claimants, and how elements of the “Catch-22” syndrome – a measure or policy whose effect is the opposite of what was intended – has afflicted those who are most in need.

  23. zagonostra

    >Glen Ford – Stop Sanders: The Year of the Corporate Long Knives

    Below has some stinging language/rhethoric but for the most part, Glen Ford articulates many of the comments I read here,off the beaten path, at NC,

    …it’s simply the job of corporate Democrats to defend corporate interests, especially when Medicare for All is supported by 85 percent of Democrats (and even 52 percent of Republicans), and an amazing 92 percent of Democrats (and 64 percent of Republicans) support a Green New Deal. The Democratic Party is the first line of defense of corporate America, the place where progressive legislation can be smothered in its crib and super majorities are corralled and neutered. Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic leader precisely because corporate moneybags trust her to neutralize the party’s base at every stage…

    The corporate Democrats will thwart Sanders’ presidential bid — by any means necessary. The national security state folks may kill him. It is inconceivable that finance capital — which is to the Democratic Party what Big Oil is to the Republicans — will tolerate a financial industry-slayer in the White House, or accept Sanders opening up the Pandora’s Box of social spending on education and all the other “rights” he talks about. This is anathema to the ruling class in the 21st century, and they will not allow such agitation to triumph in either of their houses: Democratic or Republican. The Lords of Capital have paid the cost to be the boss of these institutions, and will not be defied. This season may be the final showdown between supermajorities of Democrats and the corporate party apparatus whose job is to betray them.

    1. Cal2

      “The national security state folks may kill him….”


      That’s why Bernie needs as his V.P., She Who Shall Not Be Named, an athletic 38 year old who surfs, is a combat veteran and who is even more frightening to them, to take over should he suffer a mishap.

      Question: Is Facebook prosecuted under anti-trust laws?
      Were it, it could write off one third of the fines, forcing we sucker taxpayers to make up for it.

      Per the Internal Revenue Code

      “…a business may not deduct two-thirds of any damages paid for violation of the federal antitrust laws. (IRC § 162(g)

    2. Sanxi

      Beware, Sanders view’s represents the suffering of the people, you shut him down or AOC, then you’ve got real trouble. The inequities don’t go away until they do and since people really don’t have much left to loose, history isn’t going to rhythm it’s going to repeat.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Joe, Joe, Joe. Enough with the verbosity.

      Hey, I may not care for Donald Trump, but I do think that his four-word slogan says a lot: Make America Great Again.

    2. The Rev Kev

      “America’s coming back like we used to be”

      So would another way of saying that sentence be “Make America Great Again”?

  24. pretzelattack

    how about joementum squared? catchy? the biden tsunami has begun to form, and centrists are on fire.

  25. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The Lost Art of Deadline Writing

    Thanks for that – good sports writing truly is a lost art. This bit seemed off though, decrying the lack of female sports writers in the anthology:

    Jenkins is one of just three women writers included in Schulian’s book, alongside 43 men. This ratio may accurately reflect the gender breakdown of newspaper sportswriting over the past 100 years. But it looks ridiculous; it is ridiculous. Wouldn’t a Library of America anthology have been the perfect occasion to find a way to even things up?

    Well, no. If there weren’t women sports writers, why should the anthology pretend that there were? History should document what actually happened, not what people living in the present wished had happened. Enough with the identity politics already.

    And the article doesn’t mention this one (perhaps because it was originally printed in one of the Atlantic’s competitors, the New Yorker), but John Updike’s account of Ted Williams’ last at bat in his final game is one of the best pieces of sports writing I’ve ever come across, and I get choked up every time I read it.

    From Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu:

    Fisher threw the third time, Williams swung again, and there it was. The ball climbed on a diagonal line into the vast volume of air over center field. From my angle, behind third base, the ball seemed less an object in flight than the tip of a towering, motionless construct, like the Eiffel Tower or the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was in the books while it was still in the sky. Brandt ran back to the deepest corner of the outfield grass; the ball descended beyond his reach and struck in the crotch where the bullpen met the wall, bounced chunkily, and, as far as I could see, vanished.

    Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs—hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn’t tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted “We want Ted” for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back. Our noise for some seconds passed beyond excitement into a kind of immense open anguish, a wailing, a cry to be saved. But immortality is nontransferable. The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he never had and did not now. Gods do not answer letters.

    1. Sanxi

      No, I think not, good Sports Writing is all around, you just need to know where to look for it or listen to it. The poetry of it has changed, but then that’s true of any age and any time: words change, new meanings arise, and things once far off, indiscriminate, take shape previously unknown to us. The ear gets used to new rhythms. It is as if, to say music has died, it has not, it has changed as we changed. What has been left behind are like scars which like the grooving of frowns records how much of us, are already written down.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Yes you are probably right. As I get older I do make an effort to not be one of those people who thinks nothing is as good as it was in the good old days, but sometimes it slips in anyway ;)

        Among modern writers, being a Boston fan I do like Bill Simmons. He wrote some really good stuff several years back but I don’t know what happened to him. He sort of faded after getting the axe from ESPN. I’ve taken a peak at his Grantland website but don’t see him there much.

        Part of the problem is I used to read SI regularly as my dad has always been a subscriber but I never subscribed myself – they must still have some good writers. If you have any other good ones to suggest, please do!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Simmons has the Ringer which has a relationship with HBO Sports. He does Podcasts, and I guess the rumor is he’s more involved with the recruitment and development of the Ringer’s writers than he would want to say as a mentor. There are too many podcasts and videos for my tastes, but there are good articles. Based on replies to his twitter feed, it looks like Simmons podcasts are still the Boston homerism you are used to.

          Full disclosure, Simmons printed an email of mine in his mail bag long before Grantland existed.

  26. newcatty

    Geez…Centrist chosen one, Biden, doing doing a version “Make America Great Again”. Actually more sinister and emotionally pointed propaganda. An appeal to the same triggers in people:we were exceptional in every way. Men were the kings of their own castles(even if just his own house). Men can , once again, “touch with affection” any girl or women…like the good ole day’s. Women will be glad to be respected and valued as ,well, you know , the fairer sex, again. America’s Manifest Destiny is in Biden’s capable, experienced and groping hands. Now, I can take a nap.

  27. Carolinian

    Re GPS–apparently there are car dealers who sell their low income customers cars with these GPS tracker devices. If the borrowers miss a payment then they shut off the engine and the repo man knows where to find them. Needless to say this dangerous practice is controversial.

  28. Carolinian

    Bradley Whitford is — hold on to your hats, here, folks — a star of West Wing, portraying White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman

    Was he ever in anything else? I’ll have to pull out my IMDB. On course if Paltrow is on board then that makes it all ok (snark).

    1. Carolinian

      Oops…above meant for today’s Cooler….working off two tabs here. May need stimulants.

      1. ambrit

        If you’re working off of Two Tabs, then you might need a Shaman “Spirit Guide” to help you navigate through the wordy worldliness that is the compassionately communing commenteriat…

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