Links 6/12/19

Mass anomaly detected under the moon’s largest crater Phys.org. It’s the aliens’ stranded interstellar vessel. Because Everything Is Like CalPERS, they’ve have been looking for it here on Earth; that’s why all the UFOs. Hopefully, they read Links and will redirect their search.

Still snarling after 40,000 years, a giant Pleistocene wolf discovered in Yakutia Siberian Times

US regulators ill prepared for next downturn FT

How to spot a recession The Economist, The Sahm Recession Indicator.

Bond Markets Are ‘Almost Taunting the Fed’ With Global Rate-Cut Bets Bloomberg

Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns NYT

Global Emissions Rose the Most in 7 Years, BP Review Shows Bloomberg

Photos: Severe flooding prompts states of emergency, leaves 3 dead in North Carolina AccuWeather

USDA Slashes Corn Yield Estimates, Leaves Soybeans Unchanged AgPro

Renewable Energy Costs Take Another Tumble, Making Fossil Fuels Look More Expensive Than Ever Forbes

U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990–2013 (PDF) USDA. Handy chart,

China?

Hong Kong protesters begin night vigil as extradition anger mounts Agence France Presse

Hong Kong protesters block access to government headquarters Al Jazeera

Occupy II:

Hmm:

Democracy in Hong Kong Council on Foreign Relations. Chinese media is blaming the US for the Hong Kong demonstrations. We’re not that good.

* * *

Forget the trade war — a bigger conflict between the US and China is playing out right under our noses Business Insider. The “One China” policy.

From rare earths to soy, the trade war will force the US and China to diversify supply South China Morning Post

Apple’s US iPhones Can All Be Made Outside of China Industry Week

Paper tiger Mekong Review. On the South China Morning Post

How China’s government should help its backward regions Economist

Brexit

May’s Brexit deal ‘will not be renegotiated’, says Juncker FT

Macron says he would back Merkel if she runs for EU leadership Reuters

Europe’s banking watchdog warns on wave of dirty money FT

The Conspiracy to Discredit Brazil’s Left The New Republic

Syraqistan

Trump’s Iran Crackdown Isn’t Enough to Stop Hezbollah Foreign Policy

Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo Stat

Boeing 737 MAX

Stabilizing 737 production is Boeing’s priority, CFO says Leeham News and Analysis

Trump Transition

State AGs sue to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger Politico

Anger at Big Tech Unites Noodle Pullers and Code Writers. Washington Is All Ears. NYT

News publishers seize moment as Congress amps up tech scrutiny Politico

Buried, altered, silenced: 4 ways government climate information has changed since Trump took office The Conversation

Jury can’t decide on charges against Arizona border activist AP

In El Paso, Border Patrol Is Detaining Migrants in ‘a Human Dog Pound’ Texas Monthly

Is CBO Forecasting Good Enough for Government Work? NEJM. Requires login, but worth it for health care policy mavens.

Our Famously Free Press

Google Just Killed One Of Crypto’s Biggest News Sites Safe Haven

Journalist Says Twitter Suspended Him for Displaying Book About Far-Right Daily Beast. David Neiwert. Shockingly bad. Grossly incompetent.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Photos Of Travelers Coming In And Out Of The US Have Been Hacked And Stolen Buzzfeed

Obtained Records Show ICE Is Using ALPR Databases To Reconstruct Targets’ Lives TechCrunch. ALPR: Automatic License Plate Recognition.

Amazon’s facial recognition boss wants the feds to hurry up with regulation Recode

Guillotine Watch

Jeff Bezos, Drew Houston, and a group of other tech execs traveled to a remote Italian village to meet with the fashion designer Silicon Valley is obsessed with (and whose sweaters can cost $3,000) Business Insider

Class Warfare

16,000 people in L.A. now live in cars, vans and RVs. But safe parking remains elusive Los Angeles Times

Racism as a Public Health Crisis Inequality.org

Stop Polluting Our Green New Deal Jacobin

What Will the Farms of the Future Look Like? Grassroots Economic Organizing

The Day the Music Burned MSN

Antidote du Jour (E. Mayer):

E. Mayer’s sister writes: “Someone just posted these photos on Nextdoor from San Rafael. It was so hot out today that a raccoon was lounging on their porch in the heat like this… Too funny.” E. Mayer responds: “What I can’t figure is, wouldn’t it be cooler in a shady spot under a bush or in a burrow? All that little guy needs is a raccoon-sized drink with a little paper umbrella in it. :)”

See yesterdays 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.

160 comments

  1. Tomonthebeach

    Nort Carolina Floods – A case of here we go again again?

    This state and its southern twin seem to routinely be nose-deep in H2O. Clearly the state spends more time worrying about who uses public toilets and whether NeoNazi groups rights are protected than ensuring residents and businesses are not forced to emigrate due to floods.

    I wonder if the legislature has forgotten about biblical vengeance for sinning – ya know – the bit about raining 40 days and 40 nights.

    Reply
    1. doug

      Yep, I keep waiting for our NC legislature to end global warming.
      The 12 inches of rain has nada to do with our R idiots in control. I don’t follow your logic.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        no, they can’t end global warming, they could join with states that are adopting global climate policies on their own despite Trump as a broad attempt to mitigate global warming (see Inslee’s US Climate Alliance). But no it’s unlikely they go far enough and yes federal coordination would be better.

        And yes regardless, it’s not going to help with the flooding problem right now. Maybe there are local environment changes they can make to mitigate the damage, because where mitigation is possible it should be happening. Sometimes cr@p just happens.

        Reply
      2. Carolinian

        Really. And ixnay on the “southern twin.” The two states are very different.

        In fact we are in a bit of a drought right now after a winter of constant rain.

        Reply
        1. Sam Adams

          But with a matching plethora of R idiots to pass around from Greenville to Charleston and back again.

          Reply
    2. Cal2

      They were complaining about drought a couple years ago.

      Maybe God is “Clearly” smoting them.

      Glad he has a spokesman on N.C.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The feeling is, that both NC & Texas overprayed their hand in the midst of a drought, and Sky Daddy responded in kind.

        Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    Mass anomaly detected under the moon’s largest crater Phys.org.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Well, I guess the race for ‘Rare Lunacy’ can’t be far off, and it’d have to be something worthwhile in order to make us earthlings waste a tremendous amount of resources to do a rhodium trip.

    A nearly pure gigantic deposit of gold could be more interesting though, from a greed standpoint.

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        When our fearless leader had prototypes of the wall made and displayed in Tijuana-adjacent, the first thing that came to mind was monoliths from 2001 A Space Odyssey, ha!

        Reply
      2. urblintz

        Never read the book (shame on me) so I don’t know how it was described but after watching “2001” I decided that Kubrick’s visualization of Clark’s prediction was:

        …the i-phone

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Spoiler alert: The monolith is the movie screen!

          In the book, it was a pyramid type object. Kubrick was unhappy with the way the model turned out, so they went a different way.

          Reply
          1. Lodro Chuwo

            Oddly, both points were raised in a book I read recently, American Cosmic by D.W. Pasulka. Her basic premise is that a new religion is in the process of creation, but the best parts are about the weird and interesting people she met in the underground UFO research community.

            Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Probably from the Chinese Moon Rabbit (see Wikipedia, Moon Rabbit) pounding with a mortar and pestle.

      Reply
  3. Off The Street

    That Daily Beast article about Twitter will be one of many across platforms. Samizdat movements can appear anywhere, not just behind the old Iron Curtain but increasingly behind a Silicon Curtain.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      What do you think this great website is?

      I have gotten high school dropouts to read it as well as tradesmen, parents of kindergartners, doctors lawyers etc.

      Information is revolution.

      Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    Under the authority’s new model, most lots would require multiple security guards working 12-hour shifts. While existing lots accommodate five to 10 cars, new ones would need to operate with no fewer than 25, and 95% of the spots must be full every night.

    The authority identified 10 lots that operators could use for free. But they are scattered around the county — many of them far from the areas with the most people living in vehicles, according to 2018 data.

    Two are in the Antelope Valley, where RVs and campers predominate among the homeless population. One is at a juvenile probation camp, the other at a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility.

    16,000 people in L.A. now live in cars, vans and RVs. But safe parking remains elusive Los Angeles Times
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sticking homeless-not vehicleless people in outer motorgolia seems a bit harsh on denizens in the City of Angles depending on a spare rectangle to lay their ride down for the night.

    And the ICE parking lot would be perfect for those down-n-outers that blame ‘Meskins for all that ails them. It should be Hispanic free, no?

    Reply
    1. Summer

      I’m thinking of the stacked trailer neighborhoods seen in the movie “Ready Player One.”
      How is this “ok” for the future?
      This is the future capitalism lays claim to, always claiming the brighter future….
      Tick-tock…

      Reply
      1. KevinD

        the people in the U.S. who have brighter futures are not the least interested in those who do not. Empathy died in this country right alongside Facts.

        Reply
      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        To be fair, the events in that movie took place after the Bandwidth Riots and Corn Syrup Wars…

        Reply
    2. jrs

      I sometimes wonder if this is why Yang has some popularity. Oh I’m unlikely to vote for him, but I mean most of his popularity seems pretty superficial, but does he have entirely rational appeal to desperate people as well?

      Being that people like in that article are specifically turned down for government aid because even though they are homeless they somehow aren’t far enough gone (but they are the easiest to help, if only they could get any!). Arguments about how paying for a UBI might mean reductions in other government aid come across as rather clueless about the whole situation. These are homeless people who can’t get aid …

      Being that these homeless people are often working. Being that neither healthcare (as important as that is, and it is very important, still shelter is often lower down on Maslow’s hierarchy) nor a $15 minimum wage is necessarily going to get them out of living in their car (minimum wage is ALREADY $14.25 in Los Angeles, it’s not that radical a raise, especially as it periodically increases anyway).

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I suspect he has a few aspects:

        -one, a social ID aspect. Look how much mileage the Kennedys got out of being Irish Catholic.
        -the distaste of Team Blue politics. Not having problems such as O’Rourke’s fossil fuel donations is a huge plus. Not voting for Pelosi all these years as a leader is an asset.
        -libertarians who don’t like country pop music and want to assure everyone they are multi-cultural by nominally supporting someone who isn’t black but not white.
        -many of his ideas though not practical like many ideas often seem new and exciting to people when they first hear about them. Because the narrative of Yang doesn’t exist, his “ideas” are more prominent than “Democratic Socialist Sanders” or “Liz I’m every Indian Warren”. Not that Yang would propose this (hes a libertarian), but an NHS style system sounds great. The problem with an NHS style system in the U.S. is the healthcare crisis is now and unlike the UK when the NHS was implemented our society is significantly less regimented than the 1945 UK when the government was basically running everything anyway. As ideas are discussed we often stop discussing bad or impractical ideas which leaves room for them to be brought up again because no one is actively dismissing them.

        -then there is the “easiness factor”. Yang is an “ideas man.” All we need to do is listen to his “ideas.” Its no different than the lobotomy everyone who repeated the “Obama’s got this” and the “nerds are in charge” mantras.

        Reply
        1. Oh

          To me UBI is a dumb idea. Why the top 10% should get UBI defies any logic. Yang is a podcast guy. Doesn’t really intend to help the unwashed masses. The DimRats want as many primary candidates as possible so that they can dilute the vote for Sander, Gabbard and Warren. Yang fulfills that requirement.

          Reply
          1. jrs

            It would probably be inflationary, cheap necessities would be better.

            But I can easily imagine viewing $1000 a month being the best thing they are EVER likely to get from government and much appreciated (although really the landlords will probably take it all, but if one could imagine that and costs NOT going up, wowza).

            You can’t live on it necessarily, but it seems many of these homeless from the article are ALREADY employed, as that’s directly mentioned and as they are scheduling things around work hours. Social workers for homeless people have to schedule things around work hours! Minimum wage is already $14.25 an hour.

            Reply
          2. Procopius

            The top 10% should get UBI because that makes it cheaper to administer, and as much as you may resent them (I surely do) they are citizens as much as you and me. I hate the way Centrists love complicated eligibility requirements to decide who is worthy and who is not.

            Reply
            1. Kurt Sperry

              I’d be surprised if it wouldn’t cost more to exclude the top 10% than to include them in an UBI. Administrating eligibility requirements would be just a big hole in the bucket delivering the benefits. Just like billing and administration in health care are a huge and wholly unnecessary waste of resources.

              Reply
    3. Cal2

      Why don’t the synagogues and churches just allow people to park in their lots at night without participating in “a program” or “under the authority”?

      It’s their land and furthermore, they pay no property taxes on it, so it’s a logical place to park the homeless as they see fit.

      The only logical thing that Milton Friedman ever said was:
      “You cannot have a welfare state and open borders at the same time.”

      My thesis, were it not for illegals in Los Angeles, there would be a surplus of inexpensive apartments and homes for working homeless people to live in as well as plenty of jobs.

      Reply
      1. Oh

        The churchgoers would stop attending if they see homeless people in the parking lots. They’re for the most part virtue signallers not virtuos people like elites.

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        The only logical thing that Milton Friedman ever said was: “You cannot have a welfare state and open borders at the same time.”

        What, you didn’t like his assertion that the only purpose of a corporation is to maximize the returns to the shareholders? Do you have a source for that quotation? I don’t recall that the phrase “open borders” was much used before 2010.

        Reply
      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        And Milton Friedman supported Open Borders in order to bankrupt the Welfare State. Or so I have read.

        Reply
  5. zagonostra

    Nice juxtaposition of Cucinelli, Italian fashion designer favored by Silicon Valley billionaires, and 16k people living in their cars in LA…isn’t it a wonderful world we live in?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Hate New York City
      It’s cold and it’s damp
      And all the people dressed like monkeys
      Let’s leave Chicago to the Eskimos
      That town’s a little bit too rugged
      For fido and me to curl up

      Parking on the Imperial Highway
      With a yapping Bichon Frise at my side
      Santa Ana winds blowing hot from the north
      Here we will abide

      Roll down the window, watch out for cops
      Living by the beach, baby
      Don’t let the music stop
      We’re gonna park it till
      We just can’t park it no more

      From the South Bay to the Valley
      From the West Side to the East Side
      Everybody’s very happy
      ‘Cause the sun is shining all the time
      Looks like another perfect day

      I love L.A. (we love it)
      I love L.A. (we love it)
      We love it

      Look at that mountain
      Look at those trees
      Look at that bum over there, man
      He’s down on his knees
      Look at these castaways
      There ain’t nothing like ’em nowhere

      Century Boulevard (we love it)
      Victory Boulevard (we love it)
      Santa Monica Boulevard (we love it)
      Sixth Street (we love it, we love it)
      We love L.A.

      I love L.A. (we love it)
      I love L.A. (we love it)
      I love L.A. (we love it)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcADqxnQA_4

      Reply
    2. Olga

      The article ought not to be skipped… but just in case: this is worth reading to know how our sweet billionaires talk to each other (and yes, my coffee almost ended somewhere else, so read it only on an empty stomach):

      ” brunellocucinelli
      Over the last few days we have welcomed here in Solomeo my friends from the Silicon Valley, a place that is far away in distance but so close to my soul.
      How could I ever thank these guys, whom I consider the young Leonardos of the third millennium, for coming to visit me to our Solomeo, the Hamlet of the Soul, seat and source of all my dreams, a place where we strive to pursue the highest ideal of an economy imbued with humanity? I see it as a great honour.
      Together, in these days of friendship and reflection, we have confirmed once again our respect, safeguard and promotion of what has always been seen as the deepest treasure of people, the highest evidence of the original nobility of man, the utmost expression of freedom and moral supremacy: the soul.
      Although we deal with economic affairs on a daily basis, we have approached the ideals we uphold with the elegance of a noble discussion. Our ideas for the future entail the joy of a technology subject to humanity.
      The soul feeding the economy has been a dream and a gift of life, before becoming an idea.
      If the soul was ever imbued with ideals, well, over the past few days we have all felt it inside our heart.
      If humanism was ever reborn in the heart of our fellow human beings, over the past few days we have witnessed this joyful event.
      Our thoughts go out to the future of our children and those coming after us, endless happy years, and expression of a fascinating energy. That’s why we believe that it’s just fair not to bridle our dreams but rather to plan for centuries, for millennia to come.
      These days in Solomeo have turned out to be some sort of “Symposium on Soul and Economics.”
      I want to thank from the bottom of my heart my loving guests who came to honour me with their presence Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff (attending via a magnificent open letter addressed to the entire group), Ramin Arani, Ruzwana Bashir, Paolo Bergamo, Dick Costolo, Lee Fixel, Reid Hoffman, Drew Houston, Lynn Jurich, Sarah Leary, Alec Ross, Ned Segal, Rob Speyer, Nirav Tolia (who deserves my greatest gratitude for organizing with patience and passion this magnificent meeting), Trevor Traina.”

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’m dealing with a billionaire at work. He was talking about one of his colleagues and said “he made me 25 bucks”.

        It took me a minute to understand what he was saying. He was saying that this business associate had made him *25 million dollars*. But he was using accepted billionaire shorthand to refer to that quantity of money.

        I’m still reeling.

        I don’t think people really understand the ether bubble these people live in. Or the quantities of money we’re talking about: just Bezos alone has grabbed one hundred and fifty thousand million dollars

        Reply
  6. Roger Smith

    RE: Racism as a Public Health Crisis

    Milwaukee’s novel approach to combating racial inequality should inspire other cities.”

    What is that “novel approach”? Declaring racism a public health crisis, then… uh… inspiring other cities to do the same? This article has zero information on what the city’s, seemingly bloviating, stance is mechanically/functionally going to do for anyone. This is likely why the author had nothing to say. Apparently this is just a shock tag to try to get people to pay attention more, which is all Identity focuses politics has to offer, ginned up outrage and further division. Also, what the heck is all of this reference to “black and brown” people? Do policies of the past contribute to economic hardship today, absolutely, is framing it based on token attributes going to do anything? Absolutely not. All we get is more radicalization and incitement of violence. For as much bogus nonsense is made about RT, why is the Root not subjected to warnings and shadow bans for its overtly extremist content? How is it that different from Stormfront?

    Reply
  7. Amfortas the hippie

    re; what future farms will look like
    consolidates and solidifies pretty much exactly what i’ve been on about since i obtained political/economic consciousness.
    I’m currently buried in an exponential link-wander…the agrotrust(https://agrariantrust.org/resources-list/) is particlarly useful.
    and this one is infuriating: https://www.localfutures.org/wp-content/uploads/Insane-Trade-Factsheet-Final.pdf

    and from here, a myth rendered into fact:https://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/food-agriculture/solutions/expand-healthy-food-access

    =>”Farmers growing fruits and vegetables—known as “specialty crops” in the world of farm bureaucracy—are largely left outside this system. It’s harder for these farmers to obtain credit or crop insurance, which makes their work a much riskier proposition. And if commodity-crop farmers want to branch out and plant fruits and vegetables, they may find that the terms of their subsidies actually prohibit them from doing this.

    In short, policy puts fruit and vegetable farmers at a disadvantage compared to their peers growing commodity crops. If we want a more abundant and affordable supply of healthy food in our markets, we need to make it easier—not harder—for farmers to grow it.”

    I’m pleased to see this sort of thing outside of the enclaves it was confined to not so long ago.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. rod

      I agree this post was packed with ideas that enable visualizing a future repairing/treating many of todays ‘illnesses’
      best link for me in that article was this list:

      https://agrariantrust.org/resources-list/ it is toward the end.

      it is helpful to know that many others are working hard on solutions. It enables one’s own imagination.

      Reply
      1. rod

        many years sgo I read this:

        Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management
        by Maurice G. Kains and J. E. Oldfield | Jun 1, 1973

        and have been trying to get there ever since

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          aye! that was a foundational book for me, too.
          My first goal in life…to be a Philosopher, living on a mountain and wearing robes…fits neatly with my second:Jefferson’s Yeoman Farmer.
          but the Holy Market left all that behind, and i can’t not think that a big part of the drive towards the monopoly/monopsony/cartel system we have today has been to eradicate the independence and allergy to being embedded in their abstract systems that comes with having one’s own means of at least subsistence.
          another 3 books that are near enough in this category that influenced my worldview:
          https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1113155.The_Conquest_of_Bread
          https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57586.Giants_in_the_Earth

          and https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/529626.Sometimes_a_Great_Notion

          the latter, for a lesson in Stubbornness.

          Reply
        2. Alfred

          Five Acres and Independence was first published, as simply Five Acres, in February 1935. It was originally credited to M. G. Kains as sole author. A “revised and enlarged edition” appeared in January 1940. I am looking at a copy of the ninth printing (New York: Greenberg, July 1941), when Kains was identified on the title page as “Special Crop Culturist, U. S. Department of Agriculture” and an academic. Maurice Grenville Kains died in 1946. Greenberg was quite an interesting publisher; see http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/archival/collections/ldpd_4078838/ . James E. Oldfield, an animal scientist with Oregon State University, contributed an introduction to the 1973 Dover reprint of the “revised and enlarged” Greenberg edition. Kains’s book is thorough and clearly written, so it leaves no doubt as to the very considerable challenge that subsistence farming presents. I believe that “five acres” derives from a rule of thumb holding that 1.25 acres will yield an annual sufficiency for one person; hence five acres would be the minimum required to feed the proverbial family of four. Perhaps someone can either confirm or refute that?

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            as for acreage needed, it depends on your dietary preferences.
            energy dense carbs take more doing.
            the alternative is a food forest with year round abundance….something that is quite rare, today.
            we evolved to wander around and eat.
            try that wherever you live to appreciate just how different we’ve inadvertently made our world.

            Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Great ideas! But how will you bell the cat?

      The recent flooding will most probably result in driving out more of the remaining small and medium size farms and further consolidating the giant agrobusiness farms. As long as we live with a government of the Corporate Persons, for them, and by them all these great ideas for a better future will wait until after the collapse. Best to collect them now, practice and learn them, preserve the knowledge and pass on what you can. We live in dark times growing darker toward a long night.

      Reply
    1. shinola

      Yeah, right. This is something new???

      I guess the author of the article never heard of J. Edgar Hoover, that paramount of impartial integrity.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        indictment # 241 of the Vichy Dems: trusting the frelling FBI.
        (when it suits you)

        nobody should ever again trust the FBI.
        Jeez.
        this is NOT hard.
        only rudimentary thinking needed.
        can you avoid peeing on yourself more often than not?

        Reply
  8. diptherio

    Speaking of social media platforms banning people for being political, Facebook has recently banned Luis Razeto Migliaro, South American activist, organizer, academic and author. GEO has been running monthly installments of his book Solidarity Economy Roads. His posts about building economic arrangements based on solidarity, rather than the profit motives apparently ran afoul of FB’s guidelines…in some way that they refuse to specify.

    A series of toots from one of my colleagues:

    From Luis Razeto:

    “THEY BLOCKED ME
    Facebook blocked my blog Láminas Conceptuales, saying that “it includes content that others on Facebook have reported as offensive.””

    His blog is here: https://luisrazeto.blogspot.com/

    ———————–

    Luis Razeto’s Facebook banning story gets more interesting. First FB said people have objected. Now they say his content violates their community standards (“El contenido infringe nuestras normas comunitarias”.). I looked — it is a series of slides, each presenting a different concept, such as
    “Humanizing the Economy” or “Elites and Masses”

    Razeto is asking people to upload slides that they like to whatever social media seem appropriate to them. I will upload some here and on FB…
    ——————————-
    FB blocked this post of mine:

    The prolific Luis Razeto Migliaro has created a series of “conceptual slides” that FB has banned, first because someone deemed them “offensive,” now because they somehow violate community guidelines. It’s really weird. Please check them out and help circulate them if you like. https://laminasconceptuales.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      On the other hand, Facebook has been getting in deep in other countries in being political. They recently appointed a Kateryna Kruk as a Facebook public policy manager for Ukraine. Here is that story-

      https://112.international/article/facebook-appoints-manager-for-ukraine-what-does-it-mean-40503.html

      But the people at RT know this young women from elsewhere-

      https://www.rt.com/news/461006-ukraine-facebook-odessa-fire/

      She was even awarded a Freedom Award (there is that word again) by the Atlantic Council which is a tell. Facebook must have know what this woman was all about but still hired her.

      Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            CITIZEN!!!
            Global Research is a Proscribed entity….working for the RUSSIANS!!!!”
            Please report to your nearest device.

            Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    There’s an interesting symmetry of perfect camping spots on worn out manicured grounds in cities that would be perfect for homeless, and yet fore!closed upon golf courses just sit there, hackers won’t be an issue.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      All that inviting, well manicured green is probably too toxic for habitation. OTOH the idea of a mass occupation of private golf courses is immensely appealing.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The sliver lining to our President wasting so much time on the links, is the possibility that he’ll be the one that finally kills golfing, by association.

        Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            {…in a hushed tone}

            He’s got a chance to sink this one and the tent goes from right to left living in the rough of a bunker where the course goes up & down, and he has a good look in his stance, solid contact, and the stakes are in.

            Reply
      2. Kurt Sperry

        Yes, I knew a greenskeeper for a golf course, you really don’t want be rolling around on those perfect-looking lawns.

        Reply
    2. ambrit

      H–l! Expropriate empty malls and renovate them as “communities.” If the City won’t do so, perhaps it’s time to ‘squat’ those buildings. (There’s an anti-business plan for you. Anti-SWAT teams.)

      Reply
  10. John A

    Apropos the standalone item about the Boeing Max, , the Leeham news post is telling: It seems the management are more concerned with ‘brand management’ than fixing the problem, which would basically mean, scrapping the Max and starting from scratch with a new design for the more energy efficient engines
    namely to quote

    “Boeing has pulled people from across the company to work on safely returning the MAX to service. It has brought people in from outside the company, specifically for brand management and crisis management, Smith said.
    “We’re very clear-eyed on the brand,” he said. “We’re putting any resources required inside and outside the company to help us restore the MAX brand, and then obviously, the company brand.”

    I for one, will next step foot in a Max.

    Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I usually hate buzzwords, but I think “brand” is a useful tell. Boeing is bringing in people to rehab the “brand” instead of knowing the “brand” of Boeing was safety (my mom for Boeing many moons ago; their “brand” was being safer than the regulating agencies and competition; Boeing nixed an airplane deal done under State department oversight because the buying country didn’t want to take the Boeing engineers just the planes. Boeing said no and told State off, protecting the brand, even though it was a new and major market.).

        Boeing has been living off of “brand” fumes. The problem is Boeing not the “brand.” The execs are giving themselves away. With the search for “brand” experts, it’s clear Boeing simply wants the fumes of the brand back, not the conditions that created the brand.

        Reply
    1. Procopius

      The problem is that if they scrapped the MAX it will take them at least ten years to replace the revenue stream. Meanwhile their competitors (mostly, I think, Airbus) will be getting all the sales and all the big(ger) bonuses, and they won’t be getting any bonuses at all. It may be they didn’t initially intend this, but I suspect they are going to decide their best (most rewarding for themselves) course is to loot the company and let it slide into bankruptcy.

      Reply
    2. Kurt Sperry

      Yes, in the mindset of neoliberalism, serious problems are always dealt with almost solely as a public relations matter. Upper management is never at fault, it’s always a “misunderstanding” in public perceptions that must be managed rather than one of the actual issue being addressed. MBA-schooled CEOs can never fail; only be failed. This is particularly dangerous where public safety and engineering are involved, such as in air transport.

      Reply
  11. Svante

    So, the GND might just morph into a war between Lowe’s & Home Depot? With, separate but equal “Garden Centers” on either end (and ICE rounding up day laborers on the organic/ regenerative end?) Resilient suburban homes/ gardens with CCW permit housewives schlepping GE sinsemilla into town in Geeley Volvos sounds like a Black Mirror “reality” episode; but I’m pretty sure, it’s happening?

    https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/06/suburbs-definition-census-data-way-of-life/591343/?utm_source=feed

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is interesting. For paper ballots, we don’t need much in the way of special machinery, so they must be more worried about localities switching or not replacing older machines (what if they were made without planned obsolescence?). They probably want to look like good guys because optical scan machines are just as stupid as electronic voting machines if you think about it.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        I haven’t read this but first thought was of Democratic NY state’s announced continued trip down the rabbit hole of unverifiable voting results. That is they are about to approve paperless touch screen voting. If you are an optical scanner voting machine producer that is the loss of a major market. Profit motivated not ethics motivated.

        Personally I don’t trust either one, although the touch screens are much lower on my trustworthy scale. Paper ballots counted by hand in public is my standard. To paraphrase it isn’t the voter who is important, it is the person who counts the vote. The less you can oversee that count the more likely the count bears no resemblance to the will of the voters.

        Reply
  12. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit:

    Interesting take here on probable future PM’s real strategy – a snap October election:

    Johnson knows all of this. So a Brexit plan founded on fiction rather than fact probably isn’t the plan at all. It seems that his isn’t a strategy to achieve a better deal, but rather to create a collision with reality from which he will benefit. Perhaps the goal of his plan is to provoke a confrontation with the EU, while sounding reasonable to a domestic audience. That’s why he calls no deal a “last resort”, and has promised both to discuss the Irish border as part of the future relationship and to unilaterally recognise the rights of 3.2 million EU citizens living in the UK. The intention is to set the stage for a snap general election in October, where he will blame an intransigent and unreasonable EU – the same game he has played for nearly 30 years.

    If an October general election does occur, no deal will in all likelihood be the Conservative manifesto, a political imperative created by the rise of the Brexit party and by May’s years of foolish posturing that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. Expect Nigel Farage to stand down his army of Brexit extremists once he has achieved his goal of radicalising the Conservatives. Meanwhile, Labour’s strategic dithering could turn out to be a colossal error. If the right unites but progressive remainers splinter between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Greens, then Johnson could be handed victory.

    Reply
    1. vlade

      I find late Sept/very early October GE very believable.

      I don’t think Farage would just diband, I think he’d most likely do a deal with Tories and split the seats with them, going in for a coalition.

      If it did happen, and Labour lost, Corbyn would be bodily carried out minutes after the results were announced. No (former major) party leader loses two elections in row and survives.

      Reply
        1. Colonel Smithers

          I forgot to add that a Tory victory, whether led by Johnson, would lead to the end of Corbynism. I agree with PK and can see the younger supporters drifting to the Liberals and Greens.

          I have come across Old Labour stalwarts, sometimes on the right, but not Blairite, who think Corbyn is the Tories’ secret weapon, wittingly or unwittingly.

          Reply
        2. PlutoniumKun

          Thanks Col., if that poll is genuine – and I’d have my doubts seeing as it plays so neatly into Johnsons storyline – then its very depressing indeed. The thought of Johnson being in charge in the face of a no-deal with a clear majority to play with… it could hardly be worse. Failing to win in those circumstances wouldn’t just be curtains for Corbyn, it could destroy the party, the fight to take control afterwards would see a huge outflow of members and supporters I think.

          Vlades point is good I think – Farage would never just stand back for the Tories, he’d extract a price, and that price would well be a free run at a few seats (not least for himself) and a cabinet position.

          The only good thing in that outcome would be seeing the faces of the DUP as they realise they are going to get flushed away in favour of the Tories new love, Farage. All current studies I’ve seen indicate that Northern Ireland will be the region worst hit by a no-deal exit.

          Reply
          1. Anonymous2

            I agree one should be sceptical of anything in the Telegraph.

            It is worth remembering that the Tories thought they were heading for a landslide victory in 2017 but it did not work out that way. However it is easy to see Johnson doing a deal with Farage. That could get 40-43% of the vote but probably not more. An effective campaign emphasising the likely damage of a no-deal Brexit could probably cut this back, however.

            The question is whether there will be such an effective campaign from the opposition. Labour/LibDems/Greens need to avoid dividing the anti-Tory vote to deliver a Conservative defeat. I am not confident that they would do that. I have long worried that we could be in for something of a re-run of 1983 when the Left split their vote and gave Thatcher a landslide victory.

            The Left in the UK have been shooting themselves in the foot for over 40 years now. I fear there may be more of this self-harm to come.

            Reply
        3. ChrisPacific

          I have to say, the seven paragraph word for word transcription of what Sajid Javid ‘is expected to say’ was one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen in a political article. (“He will continue… He will say…” etc.) I kept trying to figure out if it was satire.

          Reply
  13. Louis Fyne

    Of course the West would never tilt to authoritarianism or flat-out corruption (whether from the right or left)

    https://mobile.twitter.com/lizzie363/status/1138779004004065280 (photo accompanying tweet)

    Lizzy
    @lizzie363
    THIS IS WHY CASH IS SO IMPORTANT!! Economists singing the praises of a cashless society are actually arguing for authoritarianism!!!
    Quote Tweet

    Christy Choi
    @jchristychoi
    · 1h
    People lining up to buy tickets instead of using their public transport cards, worried that their ride history will be used against them as evidence of their participation in the #NoToChinaExtradition protests today

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      Thank you for the link that in turns links to the original report. Acording to the report technology progress is a big factor to be blamed on inequality in advanced and developing countries. In advanced countries “skill premium” is blamed while in developing countries technology drives “financial deepening”. It is uneasy for me to buy this explanation in all its extent. I believe that it is the “extreme capitalism” that has taken its hands over technology to be blamed rather than technology itself. The “skill premium” idea is in my opinion rooted in a deceitful belief on meritocracy. I believe that most of all highly paid positions aren’t held by technology masters but by the praetorian guardians of the oligarchy.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        I have always been doubtful of the technology explanation. Granted, technology shocks have provided opportunities for greedy people with connections to powerful people to seize more wealth, but the technology changes are not the cause in and of themselves. If different laws and policies had prevailed the inequality could have been ameliorated. Same with educational differences. They do not, of themselves, explain the huge inequalities we see. The drivers, it seems to me, are inheritance, monopoly, and collusion.

        Reply
  14. PlutoniumKun

    Paper tiger Mekong Review. On the South China Morning Post

    Interesting background – I’d always wondered about the SCMP – its always been a lively and relatively reliable source of information despite it never being quite independent. How it will manage long term with Jack Ma owning it is another question though – it will be an interesting bellwether for just how much criticism the CCP will tolerate as Ma needs cooperation from the government for Alibaba and his other brands to operate.

    Reply
  15. Ignacio

    The link sources increasingly require, if not subscription, at least registration which I refuse even If I think I miss something interesting. I have noticed this trend has grown in the last month.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Funny you should bring that up ..

      Just today, what serves as our local news rag (owned by a Canadian Honcho, no less), instituted a limited ‘clicks’ digital version policy … which, evidently polecat has used up, which is news to me !! As if the grey screen-out of visual annoyance wasn’t enough ! So, if I want to peruse the crap that they publish, I either need to wait until the NEXT month to use up my precious several ‘freedom’ clicks …. or sign up for a paid subscription, which I haven’t had for years, being that they spew out much AP/REUTERS faux stenography, BIG Bidness, Big Authortarian, local Goodoldboy sycophancy … so screw them !

      Reply
      1. Nancy kramer

        Just put several different browsers on your computer or phone. When you are maxed out on one browser switch to another. This generally gets me through the month for free with most subscription media.

        Reply
    2. LarryB

      You can get around a lot of them by turning off JavaScript for that site, might miss some of the fancier “features”. Private browsing works quite often, as does navigating from Google search page.

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        Thank you LarryB. I have loaded a “disable javascript extension” for that. Let’s see how it works

        Reply
  16. Brindle

    Biden & Women—another instance.
    Wisconsin progressive confronts him about reproductive rights.

    –“A clarifying point: this was absolutely and undeniably an intimidation tactic. He leaned forward, raised his voice, tried to grab my arm with his free hand. For a hot sec I thought he was going to hit me. Don’t make excuses for his actions in my comments anymore pls & thank”–

    https://twitter.com/thelocalmaniac8/status/1138675278933348352

    ….click on link for photo:
    –“Told Biden we need someone stronger on reproductive justice, and after his reversal on the Hyde Amendment, we asked him to protect assault survivors. He said “nobody has spoken about it, done more, or changed more than I have”. I told him we deserve better”–. (link:
    https://twitter.com/thelocalmaniac8/status/1138575498437681153/photo/1) pic.twitter.com/YDtS4Ehs2d

    Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its even better because many poor people will suffer and die from other preventable illnesses with current healthcare technology. Biden won’t work to prevent this as it would be hard. With Joe’s support of fracking and the release of cancer causing chemicals and air pollution, Joe is creating all kinds of people he can cure.

        Short of the development of nanites capable of monitoring our cells on 24/7 basis, the idea of “curing” cancer is infantile as cancer has many causes and represents many kinds of the cells going haywire.

        Reply
          1. polecat

            I don’t know what the solution is, ambrit … how does one treat such a malignancy ?? …. excise the whole mass ?? .. serve copious amounts of Beyond Meet – while being the first to try-out the new 5G roll-out ?? … free pr0n ?? .. cough drops endorsed by GW ?? .. radiation therapy ….?? from orbit ! .. just to be sure … ??

            Tis a conundrum, no ?

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Yes. Tis a puzzlement.
              The idea of “radiation therapy…from orbit” sounds very much like the plot of Philip K Dick’s magnum opus, “VALIS.” (Vast Active Living Intelligence System.)
              If I remember correctly, Dick supposedly had an epiphany while recovering from dental surgery. Interesting side effect that.

              Reply
  17. Frank Little

    Gotta love how the US press celebrates people blocking the street when they’re protesting China or Russia and complain about the nuisance when it happens here. The police kill unarmed black kids with no consequences and for some reason when people block the street here there’s no such solidarity.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its like airplane crashes (not the Boeing ones which have gone down the memory hole at least in the msm instead of the 24/7 speculation about black holes that might have sucked a plane). Rich people often fly and are on planes that crash. 1 in 6 kids who are food insecure in the US in 2016 aren’t newsworthy and are even indicative of a golden age prior to Trump. But those hungry kids don’t bother Wolf Blitzer. He’s never going to see them.

      Reply
    2. Svante

      Foreign places are BAD and should incite protest, so we can rescue their natural resources from our tyrannical puppet (who tried some of whatever drug we installed him to export, and got uppity). Protestors in ‘Murika hate Jesus, are stoned hippy perverts inciting urban demographics, miscegenating away freedum & our precious bodily fuids.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Here is something that came to my mind ( an old hippy anti-war protestor)

        Jesus is just alright with me. Jesus is just alright. I don’t care what they may say. I don’t care
        what they may do…He is my friend, Jesus. He took me by the hand, led me far fom this land, Jesus.

        Arthur Reid Reynolds

        Reply
        1. Svante

          I was fascinated, and we were trying to guess just how the media would deal with des gilets jaunes? Y’know… it’s FRANCE, but these folks kinda look like they’re harried WalMart shoppers, protesting deisel surcharges (it’s like they were almost US suburbanites, only not waddling to their F450 in crusty RealTree™ Snuggies® to fetch ’em up uh blue flavored Slurpee). It were real confusing. They seemed to be’ like ‘baggers, devoid any of the inebriate grandiosity, meth amphetamine eyes and silly ass MAGA hats? They seemed to be rioting amongst the kind of upscale shops you seldom see white folks burning in Little Rock. But they despised Macron, so how bad could they be?

          https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/06/chernobyl-hbo-ukraine-tourism-tips-instagram-influencers/591517/?utm_source=feed

          http://brightberrypress.com/MOF&GReview.htm

          Reply
  18. Carolinian

    WSWS reports another airline crisis–the crew uniforms.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/12/aair-j12.html

    “You have to understand that these uniforms are not resale clothing. At Lands’ End, the shirt you wear is not the same as my uniform. That’s part of our problem because the airline, in public statements, compares our uniforms to retail items by the same companies. But they put chemicals like formaldehyde in our uniforms, and a lot of other things we don’t know about, to make it durable.”

    Heather took medical leave in August 2018 after she began experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, elevated heart rate and fatigue. “Then I started having anxiety. I almost dreaded going to the airport. Why was I having these feelings? And this young flight attendant said that the heart monitor on her watch saw heart-rate spikes.”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      This is getting to be almost a standard story this. I can recall twice stories like this appearing in Links in recent years, and yet the airline companies keep on doing it. Those burn marks on that poor woman was nothing less than brutal and the airlines don’t care and the unions don’t care. What is wrong with these people?

      Reply
  19. Summer

    Climate change / financial markets

    “Coca-Cola, for instance, has noted in its financial disclosures that water shortages driven by climate change pose a risk to its production chains and profitability…”

    Water shortages would literally kill the demand for their products and others.
    In this scenario, keep your production chain or keep your customers?

    What is really being discussed?

    For crying out loud – water is the basic need. I can’t imagine Coca-Cola’s profits being…I mean what kind of…who really should give a rat’s about Coca-Cola-s profits when the hypothetical scenario involves something as elemental as drinkable water being threatened?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      s/ You’ve obviously been wearing the ‘tinfoil hat’ too long. Time to take it off for a while and soak up some of those “soothing, calming radiations, brought to you by your snack food sponsors.” /s
      Drinking water sources have been under threat from industrial sites for over a hundred years now. Look up the maps of just the “depurposed” Ammunition Production Facilities in America. Many of them are Superfund sites, with contaminated groundwater and shallow aquifer water sources. Those are just the tips of the Toxic Icebergs.
      Read, long: https://www.jmc.army.mil/Docs/History/Ammunition%20Industrial%20Base%20v2%20-%202010%20update.pdf

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Didn’t know that Coca-Cola actually uses any water in their products. Thought they just melted GMO corn syrup into a slurry for liquid used in their secret formulas. Wait…production under water…

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          It sure don’t taste like water, I’ll admit. Now if they’d only put the coca essence back in it….

          Reply
  20. Jim A.

    Re: Hong Kong protests. In the back of my mind, I wonder whether it is a coincidence that the case that is used as a reason for this law is a man that fled Taiwan to Hong Kong. That may be an attempt to make this law more palatable to people in Taiwan. After all, to a real degree, the integration of Hong Kong into the PRC was supposed to demonstrate that the PRC would be able to absorb Taiwan without too much difficulty.

    Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Reading the “Forget the Trade War” piece, I find myself wondering if the CPC is paying the writer, along with the US State Department ex official (lobbyist?)

      And here again the whingeing kowtow to the “century of humiliation”, as if that self-evidently justifies anything Beijing does today to occupy and colonize what are today sovereign and distinct societies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang and elsewhere. What is so sacred, exactly, about the old Middle Kingdom that there will be no ‘justice’ until its borders return to the status quo ante when Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape?

      No doubt the ‘humiliation’ of losing the Danzig Corridor and Alsace-Lorraine after WWI was an emotional ‘third rail’ for Germany too. So what?

      Try this as a thought exercise:

      “Anything where Great Britain is interfering with Canada hits a national third rail.”

      To the Americans, Canada’s independence is both a product and a reminder of America’s century of humiliation, when America was occupied by British Redcoats and then thrown into decades of chaos and civil war after the War of Independence.

      “It’s the mythology they’ve told themselves for years,” Thornton said.

      “Fifty Four – Forty or Fight!” didn’t make good policy in 1845 and it doesn’t today.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        Your point is not made stronger – or more comprehensible – by linking totally unrelated historical events.

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Beijing is being selective in invoking China’s century of humiliation, without asking Russia to return Vladivostok.

        Reply
  21. Craig H.

    > Journalist Says Twitter Suspended Him for Displaying Book About Far-Right

    “If they’re not even able to distinguish anti-extremist content from extremist content, they have a serious problem,“ Neiwert said.

    I am speechless. But I will link to a clip of Monty Python Life of Brian you cannot say Jehova which seems relevant.

    stoned for saying jehovah

    Reply
  22. Summer

    Re: The Day The Music Burned

    “If you don’t own your masters, your masters own you,” Prince.
    That sums up a lot of it for the artist.

    As for UMG’s stammering over the issue…it’s obvious why. The entire catalog – the masters – was part of the value all of these companies claimed when they sold and is the basis for a lot of their long term value that is still claimed.
    Hush-hush indeed…

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      A friend had linked this one earlier. I think the author is a little overheated over whether Steely Dan’s master tapes survived (they did). One could point out that a large chunk of silent movie heritage has disappeared because nobody cared to preserve them. Television shows have been lost because the original networks decide to save money by recording over the tapes. The fire may have been of commercial importance to the popular music business but many of those artists were long ago screwed out of their proper compensation and don’t own the masters. Millions of vinyl copies keep the work alive which is more than you can say about those silent movies.

      Reply
  23. pjay

    Re: ‘Chinese media is blaming the US for the Hong Kong demonstrations.’ “We’re not that good.”

    I’m sure that many of the tens of thousands of demonstrators are sincere. I’m also sure that there are probably mixed motives among them. But though we may not be “that good,” I have no doubt that Western intelligence is taking full advantage of this situation to stir things up that much more.

    Here is the general pattern: mass demonstrations emerge, along with stories in the Western press about how China (or some other “authoritarian” country) is threatening its indigenous “pro-democracy” movement. Said country accuses the West of “collusion,” the Western press scoffs at the obvious clumsy propaganda. Slowly information trickles out that much of the collusion story was true and Western media coverage was distorted. This happens over and over again. This was the case with Tiananmen and the Hong Kong “umbrella revolution” of 2014, just as it has been all over the world.

    Personally, I tend to favor authentic democracy and fear authoritarian rule. But objectively, China has legitimate reason to fear “pro-democracy” movements in vulnerable Autonomous Regions (or Salafist movements for that matter). The CCP is fully aware of what happened to Russia in the 1990s and to many other countries where “color revolutions” have “blossomed.”

    Hopefully the obligatory “I am not a China apologist” is not necessary here. Also, surprisingly, I thought the CFR article was fairly informative. But these days, my default mode is to *assume* any story about China (or Russia, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, North Korea, etc.) is distorted if not complete propaganda, then work my way through various sources until a more complete picture emerges. Am I wrong?

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Didn’t a media compnay run by Beijing buy advertisement trying to sway Iowa support for Trump around the time of the mid-term elections (2018)?

      And it has been commented that Zhongnanhai hopes Biden or other D candidates would be better for them as the next US president. That would be a motive, with the above precedent, though we have no evidence.

      And while the US has motive and precedents, there is no evidence, so far, these protestors in HK are connected to us.

      If we assume any government (Moscow, London, Beijing, etc) acts, with all options available to it, to protect its own interests, it can not rule out the regime change choice.

      Reply
      1. LuRenJia

        Just wonder whether you’d see it in western media even if evidence does exist?! As a whole, western,especially US, still “controsl” or “makes” the narratives so I’d take the same approach as pjay.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That approach (pjay’s) should be universal.

          For example, Chinese should be skeptical of Chinese media’s coverage of the West (the Chinese equivalent to the current discussion).

          The only difference, as far as I can telll, is that here in the west, people can comment that maybe the US is involved in HK (evidenced by pjay’s comment), but in PRC, are citizens allowed to question if Beijinig is engaging in ‘regime change’ Trump?

          Reply
    2. Matt

      Sure, the US can and does provide millions of dollars and training to activists in “enemy” countries. But to think that this somehow makes the US able to conjure mass demonstrations out of nothing is something I don’t buy.

      Tiananmen, for example, came after hundreds of small scale student protests throughout the 1980s; the 1989 movement was made up of many students and non-students of different organizations with very different view about how protests should unfold. Many even opposed the hunger strikes that took students to the square. To suddenly drop in in 1989 and suggest that Tiananmen protests were mostly a Western plot because Western intelligence spirited some conspirators away is lazy I think.

      This is an old trick of governments everywhere. Didn’t the US government suggest that most of the civil rights movement was just blacks stirred up by foreign communists? Especially during the 1930s, the Communist Party USA was an important force organizing blacks in the South and urban areas like Chicago (see the excellent book “Red Chicago” by Randi Storch), decades before the Freedom Riders of the 60s. Yet this same party’s leadership was subordinated to and heavily funded by Moscow. Does that mean the US government was right? I just don’t believe social movements work this way.

      Reply
      1. pjay

        Thanks for the history lesson, but you are criticizing a straw man, not my own argument. I did not say, nor would I, that the US could “conjure mass demonstrations out of nothing,” especially not in 1980s China and not in Hong Kong today. As I did say, I believe many of the Hong Kong demonstrators were sincere, and (in agreement with you) that there were undoubtedly mixed motives among them. I will also state here that it is too early for someone like me to know what’s really going there. I am *not* saying the protests are not real, or that they have been “conjured” up by US intelligence agents. Rather, based on past cases, sources cited in MSM coverage, etc., it is likely that (1) Western intelligence is involved with sectors of the protests to try and take advantage of the situation; and (2) Western media coverage is providing a one-sided picture, drawing from such assets and others with pro-Western views (of which there are many in Hong Kong).

        In the case of Tiananmen, I agree with your description as far as it goes. I would never make a silly argument like the Tiananmen protests “were mostly a Western plot.” It was, indeed, a very complex historical situation with many different groups and motivations both among demonstrators and within the government. What has been shown to be true is (1) there *was* collusion by Western officials and intelligence with some of the demonstrators in an effort to influence events; and (2) the Western press coverage of these events was totally distorted.

        My main point was to recommend approaching mainstream media coverage of such events with extreme skepticism, and consult a variety of sources to try and get a more complete picture. To me, laziness is accepting the mainstream narrative as the Truth. It rarely is.

        Reply
  24. anon in so cal

    Love the raccoon in the Antidote photo!

    So, the Jeff Bezos / Silicon Valley / Cucinelli circle jerk / summit took place in Solomeo, in Central Italy. This is part of the “Third Italy,” where the Italian Communist party used to be popular and whose soft budget constraints and other policies nurtured the rise of Italy’s famed “industrial districts.” (bespoke artisanal products).

    They got clobbered by competition from China, etc.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.0066-4812.2006.00566.x

    https://www.gq.com/story/brunello-cucinelli-jeff-bezos-solomeo-summit

    Reply
  25. anon in so cal

    Horrible situation discussed in the Washington Post:

    In the Guatemalan highlands, coffee farmers are abandoning their cafetales, due to globally plummeting coffee prices. Guatemala and other highland coffee-growing areas grow arabica coffee, aka shade coffee, which is crucial bird habitat.

    Cheaper robusta coffee (sun coffee), grown in South East Asia, especially Vietnam, is driving down prices. Don’t know if the article mentions that this involves razing tropical virgin forests, destroying habitat, etc. (can’t get past the paywall)

    This is also driving out-migration from Guatemala to the U.S.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/06/11/falling-coffee-prices-drive-guatemalan-migration-united-states/?utm_term=.e5259aebecfc&tid=sm_tw

    Reply
    1. jrs

      climate change as well, but which one is the crisis of the moment?

      i guess its lots of things:

      “And now troubles with the coffee industry are causing even more to leave. The roya outbreak in 2011 decimated 20 percent of the coffee crop, having a particularly devastating effect on higher-end Arabica varieties. The leaf rust outbreak has only been exacerbated by climate change, with “warmer temperatures spreading the disease to higher altitudes” and also “[increasing] the frequency of droughts, floods, and cold shocks, which can decrease, or at times completely destroy, production.”

      At the same time, countries like Brazil, Vietnam, and Honduras had particularly good yields, leading to a drop in the price Guatemalan coffees could fetch. Whereas producers were at one time able to get $170-180 per 100 pounds of coffee, prices today stand around $110, lower than the cost of investment it takes to produce the coffee.”

      https://sprudge.com/a-guatemalan-coffee-crisis-is-leading-to-greater-rates-of-migration-135133.html

      Reply
  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    You asked: “any indication protesters are setting up camp for the long-term?” Survey says… https://twitter.com/fryan/status/1138616218766544896

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
    💯Fergus Ryan

    @fryan
    Replying to @antd
    that would require people hunker down though, wouldn’t it? Is there any indication protestors are setting up camp for the long-term?

    —-

    They are ‘modern’ protestors setting up for the long term, looking at the pictures.

    No cast iron pots for cooking.

    No vegetables wrapped in banana leaves, to last the long term (probably will rot soon).

    Don’t see anything to suggestion all meals will be prepared from scratch.

    On the contrary, the photos suggest a typical 21st century outing.

    Reply
  27. crittermom

    The raccoon in today’s antidote is absolutely hilarious! Love it. What a photo capture! Made me lol.
    So many possible captions come to mind…

    A perfect antidote to the often depressing news.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Ixnae on the raccoondae .. especially after some made an attempt to eat my fish, making a bloody mess of the pond !! .. then, adding insult to injury, making a racket (at 2 in the morning) whilst noshing on our ‘just ripening’ muscats.. 1st crop ever .. grape juice running down their little chins as they hissed at yours truly !!

      If I found one lounging in one of our chairs, it’d be liable to be transformed into a cap !

      Reply
      1. polecat

        I really wasn’t serious about the cap quip. After going a couple of rounds with Rocket and his pals, I developed half of a plan .. I went so far as to construct a hog fencing enclosure around, and over the whole raised bed that contains the pond – no raccoon issues there. When the bog plants get growing, the hummers use the top fencing as a resting perch, so that’s an unintended plus. I use a spray deterrent around the grape trellis as they ripen, seems to do the trick, so far …
        See, I’m no heathen !

        Reply
        1. crittermom

          No worries. I have heard they can be quite the pest!

          I’ve only seen one crossing the road from a distance, despite the fact they are found in both Mich where I grew up, & in Colorado, where I spent over half my life.

          They used to be sold as pets, but from what I read they turn mean when they get a year old, no matter how lovingly they were raised. I had a friend that had one for a while. Very
          destructive, getting into everything.

          I don’t have any photos of raccoons, but do have some cute photos of rock squirrels.
          When I searched the net to find out more about them, all I could find were ways to exterminate them!
          I guess they’re quite a pest, as well, tho’ I never had any problems with them the last place I lived. They’d sit on the windowsill watching me as I worked on art!

          Reply
  28. Wukchumni

    Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns NYT

    Buried, altered, silenced: 4 ways government climate information has changed since Trump took office The Conversation
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Its almost as if the first title says that there definitely isn’t a
    Santa Claus, while the second headline has 4 proofs that he exists.

    Reply
  29. Wukchumni

    Pence is headed to Yellowstone NP tomorrow to visit Old Faithful, and the hope is that he gets left behind.

    Reply
      1. newcatty

        Yeah…hmmm, visiting Old Faithful. Maybe Elder Pence thinks that gracing a NP with the grand name of Old Faithful will be special for his glory to the Lord ( as he sees Him). Would be a funny thing if he did get taken up to his heavenly home at that place. Uh oh…poor Yellowstone…imagine the rush.

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        I always thought that film a bit of a sick joke but I would take comfort in knowing that nearly all the world leaders would be left behind. Do those who get raptured suffer “surviver’s guilt” then? What about their trauma of being separated from their loved ones? I would admire more those left behind who would have to take on adversity than those who bailed without even asking. What if some of those asked to go back because it would be the right thing to do for them. Endless theological questions here.

        Reply
  30. ewmayer

    “Mass anomaly detected under the moon’s largest crater | Phys.org. It’s the aliens’ stranded interstellar vessel” — No, it’s Moonbase Alpha! Supposedly the costume designer for that series, Rudi “Bruno” Gernreich, went to his grave still miffed that his bell-bottomed velour lounge-lizard costumes weren’t considered for the first few Star Trek movies, as well.

    Reply

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