Links 8/4/19

The Secret Life of Kudzu Scientific American

How Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis The Atlantic. Are we likely to see a climate Minsky moment?

Temperature impact on GDP growth is overestimated vs. Reply to Rosen: Temperature–growth relationship is robust PNAS

Arctic wildfires: How bad are they and what caused them? BBC

Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water Frontiers in Chemistry (PM).

The Problem With Greta Thunberg’s Climate Activism Christopher Caldwell, NYT. “Democracy often calls for waiting and seeing.”

Brexit

Johnson suffers baptism of fire in a chaotic week FT

Fintan O’Toole: Ireland can stop a no-deal Brexit. Here’s how Irish Times (VE: “It would require some real guts from Sinn Fein. More importantly, if Sinn Fein believes that no-deal Brexit will make it so much more likely that there will be a successful unification vote, it would be counterproductive for them”).

Secret report reveals government fear of schools chaos after no-deal Brexit Guardian

China

Hong Kong’s General Strike on Monday will include workers from Hong Kong Disneyland Boing Boing. Links to useful threads.

What Hongkongers should know before going on strike on Monday Hong Kong Press Press. “Collective labor action is a tough sell in the world’s most capitalistic jurisdiction.”

Twin rallies after tear gas clashes in Hong Kong tourist district Agence France Presse

Triads at Yuen Long:

Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) is Hong Kong’s public broadcasting service.

Hong Kong voter registration skyrockets to biggest gain since at least 2003 – with huge increase driven by ‘dissatisfaction’ over extradition bill crisis South China Morning Post

* * *

Inside the circle of trust Science. CRISPR babies.

Persistent Political Engagement: Social Interactions and the Dynamics of Protest Movements Leonardo Bursztyn, Davide Cantoni, David Y. Yang, Noam Yuchtman, Y. Jane Zhang, NBER

Damming the Mekong Basin to Environmental Hell Project Syndicate. And geopolitical hell, too, since China controls the Tibetan headwaters.

Venezuela

U.S. Headed Toward Blockade of Venezuela, Trump Official Says Bloomberg

Venezuela: the political stand-off fuelling an economic collapse FT

How Lava Jato Destroyed Brasil’s Future Brasilwire

New Cold War

After the INF Treaty: Unwritten Laws Instead of Agreements? Valdai Discussion Club

RussiaGate

Russiagate Is Deader Than Ever Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg. On the same page as WSWS!

US federal court exposes Democratic Party conspiracy against Assange and WikiLeaks WSWS

Trump Transition

New Defense Secretary Immediately Faced With Challenges In Iran, UK Defense One

Pentagon Chief in Favor of Deploying U.S. Missiles to Asia NYT

America’s Indefensible Defense Budget NYRB

2020

White House Considers September Roll-Out of Health Plan, DJ Says Bloomberg

COVER STORY : The Power, the Glory, the Glitz : Marianne Williamson, an ex-nightclub singer, has attracted many in Hollywood with her blend of new-time religion and self-help–and alienated more than a few Los Angeles Times

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders Stood Together on Radical Progressive Ideas in the Democratic Debate Teen Vogue. Whatever “radical progressive” might mean.

Report: More Than 30M Voters Purged From Rolls in Last 5 Years Governing

A democratic socialists event arrives in Atlanta at key moment Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Open Borders Resolution — DSA National Convention 2019 DSA. “Be it resolved that DSA supports the the uninhibited transnational free movement of people, the demilitarization of the US-Mexico border, the abolition of ICE and CPB without replacement, decriminalization of immigration, full amnesty for all asylum seekers and a pathway to citizenship for all non-citizen residents.” Passed.

Gunz

What We Know About the Mass Shooting in El Paso Texas Monthly

Dayton Shooting: Suspect and 9 dead, at least 16 wounded in Oregon District Dayton Daily News

Our Famously Free Press

TV networks vowed to cut back on commercials. Instead, they stuffed in more Los Angeles Times. NOTE: I’m sorry to hear about the Los Angeles Times’ shortfall in digital subscriptions, not least because they have avoiding building their subscription base by terrorizing their readers, as the New York Times has done with its gaslighting strategy. I think the LA Time’s reporting has really improved in the last year, and it’s a useful counterweight to Izvestia on the Hudson and Pravda on the Potomac. So if you live in the area, do consider whether the Los Angeles Times is a civic insitution worthy of your support.

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

The “Girls” Were Always Around Slate. Our elites take a meeting.

The Talente (PDF) Vanity Fair. From 2003, still germane. “Since Leslie Wexner appeared in his life — Epstein says this was in 1986; others say it was 1989, at the earliest — he has gradually, in a way that has not generally made headlines, come to be accepted by the Establishment. He’s a member of various commissions and councils: He is on the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of International Relations.” Lots of unnerving detail, too.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The History of Enslaved People at Georgetown Visitation (PDF) Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School

Guillotine Watch

Top Kidney Charity Directed Aid to Patients at DaVita and Fresenius Clinics, Lawsuit Claims NYT. Headline less informative than the deck: “A whistle-blower said the leading charity favored patients from the major dialysis chains because the companies were its biggest donors.”

Marty the grocery store robot is a glimpse into our hell-ish future Mashable

Class Warfare

Yes, America Is Rigged Against Workers NYT

Dirty Money Spotlights Role of Family Offices as Enablers Bloomberg

The Colorado Rapids casually let everyone know that the plague still exists in 2019 SB Nation. More encouraging than it might seem: “Everyone know the p-dogs are flea and disease infested little varmints, but they are also a crucial part of the local habitat so it’s a balancing act.”

Florida health officials declare public health emergency for hepatitis A USA Today

I assure you, medieval people bathed. Going Medieval

Relentless positivity alone will not achieve results FT

Antidote du jour (via). For Owl Awareness Day:

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

330 comments

        1. ambrit

          Yes. Unless the outcomes of the prescribed “treatment” are worse than the disease. Immunotherapy was like that for Phyl. I’m always hopeful that the Placebo effect will kick in.
          I am conflicted as to how to deal with the obvious snakeoil salescreatures out there in the Medical Wild West.
          We hope that your wife is doing well.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            well as can be hoped, and so long as the creature doesn’t adapt to the drugs….we’re very fortunate.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Thanks.
              Despite what the many appeals to authority claim, we know very little about our bodies.
              Medicine should cease being a profession and return to being a ‘calling.’ Like politics, remove the money and ‘things’ become so much easier to manage.

              Reply
  1. Ignacio

    The arrogance of economists trying to isolate and quantify the effect of temperature on GDP growth is astonishing to me. Climate scientists would be very wary to make predictions without signalling high uncertainty even for something much more directly associated with temperature. For instance glacier melting

    Reply
    1. Farragut

      AC, your link goes to an amateur Youtube video, rather than Sky News. Can you try again? I’d love to see the Aussie piece.

      Reply
        1. Randy G

          Oh — It is an interesting video precisely because the woman is NOT a corporate ̶s̶t̶o̶o̶g̶e̶ –er, journalist. However, definitely not an Aussie accent!

          Reply
    2. Anonymous Coward

      Darn it, copied and pasted the wrong link, and didn’t check my work.

      Here’s the Sky News link.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFCVut00nsI

      The above, incorrect video, of Precision in her car is low production value, but I found to be a very revealing take on Kamala from another black woman who clearly is undecided on her and makes some good points. However, not the link I intended, just the last one in my copy-paste buffer.

      Reply
    3. Otis B Driftwood

      Here’s the link to the segment on YouTube:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFCVut00nsI

      The conversation that occurs in the 2nd half of the segment is a bit strange. They rightfully mock the obsession our neoliberal elites have with Russia, but I had a WTF moment when it was offered that Trump has “largely delivered” on ending our imperialistic wars.

      But then I remembered Sky News is another tentacle of the Murdoch media empire.

      Caveat emptor.

      Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “Open Borders Resolution — DSA National Convention 2019 DSA.”: ‘Be it resolved that DSA supports the uninhibited transnational free movement of people, the demilitarization of the US-Mexico border, the abolition of ICE and CPB without replacement, decriminalization of immigration, full amnesty for all asylum seekers and a pathway to citizenship for all non-citizen residents.’ Passed.

    ‘Be it also resolved that we have determined that in our fight against Donald Trump, that we can safely ignore the millions of votes of people worried about illegal immigrants to America, the millions of votes too of workers facing downward wage pressure due to competition against illegal immigrants, and finally that being woke is far more important than actually winning the 2020 Presidential election.’ Passed.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Yes, but do not be surprised if they actually come out and say something like this. Idjuts! Sometimes when I try to write satire, I know how the people at the Onion feel when they try to write something more outrageous that the headlines.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          Where can I get a dose of that fabulous DSA conventionier acid .. ?? Anyone ?

          … cuz you’d have to be trippin – Biggly !! – to buy into that resolusion.

          Reply
        2. Ignim Brites

          Well democratic socialists cannot really be historical and dialectical materialists, i.e. scientific socialists. However, they undoubtedly have the memes of scientific socialism floating aound in their (collective) consciousness. So indifference to actual bourgeois electoral dynamics might be expected. Lenin, however, would no be amused by this particular infantile delusion. Neither woud Stalin or Mao for that matter.

          Reply
            1. KLG

              I was a member of DSOC from 1977 until the merger with NAM! We would never have been so…well, stupid. William Winpisinger, Nat Weinberg, Doug Fraser, Barbara Ehrenreich, Mike Harrington, and a host of others would have seen this coming a mile away. DSOC ineffective? Yes, but you had to be there.

              Reply
            2. EricT

              I don’t think they mean wide open borders. They mean everyone who comes in is documented. If an employer is paying under prevailing wage to an immigrant or citizen, they go to jail or face a stiff fine. If a documented immigrant enters into a wage cutting arrangement, they will be deported for fraud. Immigration is fine, but you need strong labor laws for it to work. And I’m sure the DSA favors strong labor laws.

              Reply
              1. KLG

                Yes, all that is very nice, and it might even be true. But it doesn’t matter what you favor if you give your opponents the cudgel with which to beat the life out of your organization. Those of us of a certain age remember those traffic safety public service messages: “He was right, dead right.”

                Reply
            3. jrs

              It’s a kind of pathological individualism this refusal to join something unless one agrees on everything. I guess everyone has their litmus test issues though (this I don’t care what you stand for on everything else if you are for/against this forget it).

              But politics MUST must by definition involve getting involved with others. Politics in one’s own head is a adolescent fantasy. I don’t disparage anyone’s individuality and freedom of thought, good, but that’s NOT politics!!! The left is not huge and infinitely diverse to have an endless array of left choices to get involved with (maybe at it’s hayday you could be an anarchist or a communist or – ok back to present reality). So what is one going to be involved in if they are refusing involvement if they don’t agree with everything? If it’s just the Sanders campaign well that’s still more political involvement than most, so no harm, no foul. But still if one really wants to be involved and know what’s going on and how things can be pushed left locally too … there isn’t much else out there, the DSA is what brings a lot of different issues together. But there are small groups that seem somewhat effective (these are often focused on the homeless, criminal justice issues etc.) and ineffective (environmental groups mostly, broad “left” groups other than the DSA etc.). The groups who do nothing but spew hot air and go down endless rabbit holes are numerous. So if not the DSA then what? The purity of one’s own head is not a substitution.

              Reply
          1. John k

            Me too, though never a member.
            Really reduces their effectiveness on other issues. And maybe tars other progressives… probably forces Bernie to reiterate that he’s not for open borders. Distracting from m4a, 15, gnd, etc.

            Reply
              1. pjay

                Adding: I live in the midwest — flyover/deplorable country. But Bernie has considerable appeal here. This kind of issue, along with Russiagate and reparations, is extremely damaging to what is left of any hopes I might have about 2020 (and those are pretty damned slim already).

                Reply
                1. Carey

                  And this type of event is so very common among the so-called
                  Left that one wonders if there’s
                  some kind of invisible™ hand at
                  work..

                  Reply
                2. Michael Fiorillo

                  But virtue-signalling is so much easier and comforting than actual politics, which involves meeting and talking to people where they are, and in their language.

                  I’m afraid that what passes for the Left in this country, to say nothing of the #McResistance TM, is hopeless… but then again, what do you expect and what kind of Left is it when actual working class voices are absent?

                  Reply
          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            As a current DSANOLA member, im disappointed too. About to canvass Uptown for a Peoples Candidate Marguerite Green for Louisiana Ag commissioner. VOTE OUT MIKE STRAIN. Very peculiar that a group as large as us isnt running local, state, and federal candidates in the New Orleans Metro area :\

            Reply
    1. jeremyharrison

      Yeah, I read that and thought, “Does the person who posted this think this is a GOOD thing?”

      Your 2nd paragraph absolutely follows the 1st paragraph, and will be bellowed through megaphones in the 2020 campaigns.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        only they objectively aren’t un-electable, or at least candidates they have backed aren’t, it’s one major reason many people have joined the DSA because they get people elected. And they are hardly irrelevant. But in your mind they are I guess.

        I mean it’s not a political party.

        Reply
    2. marym

      At a time when anti-immigrationism is being used by factions within the elite (who don’t give a family blog about workers’ wages or lives) to promote white supremacy, authoritarianism, and state and personal violence, this is irresponsible and dangerous.

      I say this as someone pro-immigration to a degree that’s probably overly idealistic; and unconvinced that “pressure on wages” is an immigration issue more than a capitalist greed and government neglect/hostility issue.

      I really hoped open borders was a minority opinion within DSA, not something they would embrace and thus both fail to address the actual challenges of this issue, and undermine their credibility more broadly.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        amen.
        without some global labor rights/union movement to curtail the rentseeking labor arbitrage, what’s the point in such declarations?
        sadly, it’s probably much easier to renationalise capital(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_control), and put it back in a pen where it can more easily be caught and disciplined.
        …and only then try to get to work on the globalisation of the New Deal(there’s been some meaty stuff linked here on that, the last few days. thank you all)
        given the apparent difficulty in “taking over” the Democratic Party, how would one go about taking over the WTO/IMF/BIS?
        absent a few actually lib/prog/socialist billionaires(think me winning the lottery), we’re left with grabbing the broom and beginning at our doorstep.

        Reply
      2. jrs

        well it depends on who their base is. If it draws heavily from immigrant communities then this is the position that logically represents them (well overall probably, I mean I do realize such communities are not uniform). And as a grassroots bottom up driven organization …

        I mean some may just be idealists, communism was certainly intended to be international, and if anyone is just reading straight from the book of Marx. But I suspect some is just a grass roots bottom up position taken for more organic reasons.

        It is not a politician parsing the best middle ground for maximum electibility, so saying that this is what it *should* be is going to be alien.

        Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          Put simply, cities love and need immigrants. DSA’s mostly urban. Cities transform immigrants into Americans, who move to the suburbs and learn to resent immigrants (except the ones blowing their leaves) like good Americans. That’s the American economic growth model until recent decades, and it’s why we have ‘sanctuary cities’ but not ‘sanctuary cow towns’ where immigrant meatpackers unemploy locals (who’d previously unemployed union stiffs at railroad’s end in Chicago–who were mostly immigrants).

          Cities need immigrants, as do greedy employers. City people aren’t threatened by them. Rural economies, like the meatpacking hells of the high plains and the agro-industrial farmlands, are affected by cheaper supine labor, though god knows they have bigger enemies.

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            This. Its detrimental to my goal of Uniting Rural, Suburban, and Urban workers in New Orleans tho. Fn CITY SLICKIN CARPET BAGGERS lol. But seriously lots of out of towners from the Coasts unfamiliar with the territory.

            Reply
        2. marym

          I read the resolution. They want to build international working class solidarity, fine, but it’s unclear to me amid the Whereas’s how open US borders would facilitate that. Sure, borders and border enforcement agencies are tools of capitalism under capitalism. So are courts and congresses and taxes. It doesn’t follow that eliminating them is a tool for undermining or replacing capitalism.

          I don’t have any knowledge as to whether immigrants are a substantial part of DSA’s constituency, or if they’re broadly in favor of open borders, or socialism, or just want policies that keep their families and communities safe and allow for family migration and humane border procedures.

          Anyway, despite my grouchiness thank you for the food for thought you’ve provided on the subject.

          Reply
      3. Michael Fiorillo

        I agree with you, and I taught English as a Second Language for over two decades in a 100% immigrant public school in Queens, NY, devoted solely to educating recent immigrants.

        And I can also tell you that a large majority of my students would disagree with the DSA resolution (at least the open borders part) because we would have these discussions in class. As is often the case, the kids were much more sensible and grounded in reality than their elders.

        Reply
    3. jrs

      What votes do you imagine are being ignored? Those of DSA members in their internal organization? I mean the DSA is not the 2020 Presidential election. Issues with the 2020 candidates and their positions on immigration have not much to do with this. The DSA is not even the Bernie campaign although people might equate them, the DSA supports Bernie. Bernie has never shown support back.

      And what about the millions of voters and you better believe it they exist, who know immigrants, who fear immigrants they know being deported etc.. I mean illegal immigrants of course can not vote, but there might well be millions of voters on both sides.

      Reply
    4. Ted

      I can’t understand why anyone thinks open borders are a left or progressive position, and citing Lenin only worsens the claim (turns out Lenin believed in a unicorns and other mythological creatures, like the inevitability of communism for example). Since the DSA can only be talking about open borders in the US, then what they are suggesting is that all sectors of the American economy that are not already walled in (i.e., those who live off rents and investment income) will be exposed to the most ruthless competition from all and any in the world who are qualified or trained to do particular jobs and able to do so. This does not have the effect of making things better “over there” but rather in worsening things substantially right here. Wage incomes as a result will crash while employment insecurity will rise, not just for unskilled workers but in every sector as millions from Europe, Africa, South and Central America, South Asia and East Asia flood the labor market at all skill levels. This means that US employers can pick and choose any worker they like from anywhere in the world so long as they meet two basic criteria (1) they are cheaper and (2) they do not complain about their work conditions.

      What this yields is not a great “equalization” and net improvement of the living conditions of labor, but a radical worsening of inequality, where the capitalists, rentiers and the investment classes become richer and richer, while wage earners become poorer. Exactly what we see everywhere where neoliberalism runs amok (like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco for example — never mind Shanghai or Guangzhou). Anyone who thinks living conditions for millions in a global city like Los Angeles are universally better than in “3rd world countries, needs to spend some time out in the real world driving through the Barrios throughout the city, with a final stop in the heart wrenching homeless encampments on skid row — third world conditions that are to be found all over this wealthy country and all the more so since “open borders” and “open markets” became the mantra of neoliberals everywhere — including those who fancy themselves on the “left” like members, apparently, of the DSA.

      Reply
    5. Aumua

      I see open borders as more of a long term goal. Obviously we’re no where near ready for it today. It’s not even really a goal, but it would be more of a side effect. If as a species we succeed in working together to solve our collective problems, then national (and other) borders aren’t going to matter so much any more because the living conditions everywhere will be acceptable, if not great.

      How real are these borders ultimately? Looking at Earth from space they don’t exist. They exist in our mind. We can change our mind. Of course if humanity fails to pull its head out of its butt then we probably won’t survive and none of this will matter. I’d like to think that this is the spirit of the DSA’s position, but who knows.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        As long as there are humans on this pale blue dot, there will be borders … however malleable they may be. Only when Homo martiancanaliensis var. ‘Elon’ begins to show it’s metal, will the people of Gaia become as one !

        Reply
    6. Ignim Brites

      Is Bernie Sanders actually a member of the DSA? It is most unfortunate that for the frission of being regarded as a revolutionary he represents himself as a socialist. He weighs his movement down with all the baggage that goes with socialism. What us the point of that? So he can be regarded as a mensch?

      Reply
    7. McDee

      Just yesterday I was considering joining DSA. Not now. If you put the working class first you do not endorse a plan to undercut wages and working conditions. Who wrote this, a cockroach capitalist mole in the DSA?

      Reply
    8. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember having written in the past that if the DSA really did support the evil and immoral concept of Open Borders, that would mean the DSA is an evil and immoral organization.

      So the DSA has indeed endorsed the evil and immoral concept of Open Borders? The DSA is an evil and immoral organization.

      Reply
    1. Polar Donkey

      Between the CRISPR baby guy in China ,Epstein’s butterfly minds, and the Marty robot designers, this is why you can’t let scientists and engineers run amok. It is like they haven’t ever seen an episode of the Twilight Zone of Outer Limits.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Seriously. That Slate/Epstein link seems to indicate that none of those scientists minded that their host resembled a James Bond supervillain. Maybe the eggheads weren’t watching enough movies.

        Reply
          1. John

            Epstein is just a repetition of the old, frequently repeated tale of Chance Gardiner in Being There…a plagiarized tale, although well told, by Jerzy Kosinski who was supposed to have copied a ’30 Polish novel. That copies a 19th Cent German novella by Gottfreid Keller, Kleider Machen Leute. Clothes Makes the Man.
            It is an old and constantly repeating story of grift, lies, deceit, fraud and the gullibility of strivers and sycophants who should know better.
            The Peter Sellers movie of Being There was hilarious and informative. Lambert is so right when he comments, “ruled by Harkonnens”
            May Epstein live long, prosper, and sing like a bird.

            Reply
            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Jeff Epstein last scene in 2000!!! Gross.

              Matt Groenig
              Alfonso Cuaron
              John Cusack

              Time to shower.

              Reply
          1. pjay

            Co-opt the “meritocracy,” which in turn works to convince the rest of us awe-struck rabble that this all works for our own good (after all, it works pretty well for them). A time-honored part of the hegemonic process.

            Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      My Dog! what a sickening example of fawning over a psychopath….which seems perfectly obvious even without all the kiddyfiddling and sex slavery.
      Like the Court of Louis Xvi with thongs
      all those movers and shakers…our very own aristocracy…”trusting him completely” with all that money, yet not being able to put their finger on why, exactly.
      it’s ludicrous.
      if we simply must have an elite, can we at least not have a more competent and a little less destructive one?
      I hope all the books get opened, and that there’s video.
      Downal wyth Bluddy Behg Hid

      Reply
      1. bassmule

        “Fawning.” For sure! and “Denial.”

        “According to police reports, Epstein told at least one of his alleged victims that Marcinko had been ‘purchased from her family in Yugoslavia.’ On this topic, and many others, [Epstein’s former neighbor, the psychologist and computer scientist Roger] Schank offered a defense:

        “What does that mean, a ‘sex slave,’ ” he said. “This is a thing I don’t like the media for, because they come up with these ideas. ‘Sex slave.’ He bought her from her parents, and yes, he was having sex with her, her and 17 other girls.” He added: “I didn’t see her as being underage. I did occasionally talk to her because she was around a lot. She didn’t seem like a child.”

        Reply
  3. upstater

    +1. I cannot imagine a more misguided “policy” of open borders, until such time that global poverty is radically reduced or eliminated. Which ain’t gonna happen any time soon.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Boyd

      Curious how they square Open Borders with support for Medicare For All. Hard to imagine voters supporting both of those propositions.

      Reply
    1. jeremyharrison

      Lambert, is this comment serious or sarcastic?

      I ask because my general sense is that most people, both on the Right, on the Left, and in the Middle all seem to speak with one voice that off-shoring of labor is obscene, and hurts the American worker.

      And I often argue with these people. Having lived in multiple countries, some of which are quite 3rd world, although I’m an American, I tend to see the same value in humans, regardless of where they live. And while labor arbitrage certainly brings down wages of Americans, it also does my heart good to see people in very poor countries being lifted out of serious poverty. They might have jobs that many Americans would find unacceptable, but the folks who have them, for the most part, take them gladly, compared to their previous circumstance.

      I take a lot of heat for this, and would be curious to hear you elaborate on your comment.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I am not presuming to answer for Lambert.
        The problem with such, “but it pulls some poor people from Third World country X up out of poverty” is that it also keeps some poor people in this country down in poverty. The original argument assumes a smooth and homogeneous world economic system, where all inputs are fungible. As the persistent phenomenon of nationalism shows, this assumption is false. Poverty is often a function of place, not personality.
        Also, the wage arbitrage system negates the “all people are of equal value” thesis. The individual human being is transformed into an individual number. The differences in treatment accorded to each class are profound. Numbers, after all, are essentially tools. Human beings are not.

        Reply
        1. jeremyharrison

          “Poverty” as you term it, is quite relative. What passes for poverty in the US would be enviable to many in the 3rd world, who either live, or had lived prior to getting new job opportunities, with no indoor plumbing, electricity, sanitation, etc.

          So yes, labor arbitrage drives wages down in richer countries, while bringing them up in 3rd world countries. The decline in percentage of people living in “poverty” in China is huge (of course, the standard of “poverty” in China is much lower than the US). But the bottom line is – the folks in China (and elsewhere) have seen their standard of living come up from horrid conditions to something they prefer, relatively.

          Of course, as you say, you’re not speaking for Lambert, who commented that labor arbitrage is a good thing, while you seem to be taking the position that it’s not.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            An item that we both may have missed this morning is that the distribution of available resources is also not standardized around the world. So, if one is to make the argument that the standard of living in America should drop somewhat in order to lift the standard of living in the Third World, one must somehow assure that the drop in the standard of living in the “First World” is evenly apportioned across all class lines. If just the ‘lower orders’ are forced to make all of the sacrifices while the ‘upper classes’ stay comfortable, then your internationalist communitarian project falls to bits in internal squabbling and political conflict.
            Again, I am arguing against labour arbitrage due to the supposition on my part that the world is not a seamless unitary politico-economic continuum.

            Reply
          2. jrs

            I don’t think you get it. And it’s pretty easy to see people living without indoor plumbing, sanitation etc.. They are called the homeless.

            But even on a level above this, are you really arguing food insecurity isn’t poverty. But also there is a social aspect of poverty, and in America is it is social shunning and powerlessness. Any view that ignores this, does not even see people as part of a society, at all. It focuses entirely on the relationship of people to things (do they have indoor plumbing etc.) and ignores all relationship of people to others and their society.

            Reply
          3. Efmo

            I don’t think labor arbitrage is really working all that well at pulling a majority of other countries’ poor workers out of poverty. I seem to recall reading in a few places that international corporations aren’t really contributing all that much to higher living standards in third world countries. What we’re seeing, instead, is a tiny sliver that are doing very well (just like here in the U.S.) and the rest scrambling for crumbs at the bottom. That sliver skews the numbers, but I don’t think we’d be hearing about workers in China jumping out of buildings, for example, if things were going so well. On top of that issue, the U. S. forces most countries to practice austerity economics anyway, which makes things even worse. Finally, I find it very objectionable if you insist I earn lower wages in the U. S. to help some meritocrat in another country to do well, but at the same time I have to pay inflated U.S. living expenses. You can’t have it both ways.

            Reply
      2. roadrider

        They might have jobs that many Americans would find unacceptable

        The jobs are “unacceptable” to Americans because the working conditions and wages are kept such that only desperate people would accept them. This is obviously done to enrich the business owners and not an essential aspect of the jobs. They could offer better wages, benefits and working conditions but clearly prefer to use virtual slave labor. If the jobs truly cannot support wages, benefits and working conditions “acceptable” to Americans should those jobs and businesses exist in the first place?

        Reply
        1. Brian (another one they call)

          no one has mentioned forced inflation as a cause yet. Our problems are not naturally occurring, and natural solutions won’t work on forced circumstances imposed by government. The capitalist way involves impovershing most by decree and design.
          I am always amused by those that think we can grow our way out of a situation caused by non organic growth. I find this idea rather cancerous.

          Reply
      3. Annieb

        “They might have jobs that many Americans would find unacceptable . . .” Some of those jobs perhaps, but many offshored jobs were taken from Americans. And other jobs were created offshore to take advantage of lower wages. For example, the other day I had to set up some new home technology and the customer service was in the Philippines. Nothing new about this and becoming more and more common.

        One of the reasons is that if call center staff is cheaper companies can offer a cheaper service to Americans. And, the services being somewhat equal, we are all going for the cheapest product. So I, as a retired person trying to save money, admit that I am part of the problem. My ideal solution is to keep the call center jobs in the USA and for the corporation to be satisfied with lower profits. And I do realize that is pie in the sky for almost all corporations. Another solution is to boycott the most egregious corporations

        Reply
        1. foghorn longhorn

          The problem is that the cost savings of automation, offshoring and downsizing are NEVER passed on to the end user.
          They go into the corporate pockets or into the executive suite pay package.
          Trickle down does not work, period.

          Reply
      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Lambert, is this comment serious or sarcastic?

        Ironic, signaled by “actually.” (This was mean to respond to The Rev Kev’s comment on the DSA open borders resolution, but I misplaced it.

        Lenin’s “Capitalism and Workers’ Immigration” is listed in the reading material at the end of the resolution. After a plus ça change description of the global market for labor power, Lenin concludes:

        The more backward the country the larger is the number of “unskilled” agricultural labourers it supplies. The advanced nations seize, as it were, the best paid occupations for themselves and leave the, semi-barbarian countries the worst paid occupations. Europe in general (“other countries”) provided Germany with 157,000 workers, of whom more than eight-tenths (135,000 out of 157,000) were industrial workers. Backward Austria provided only six-tenths (162,000 out of 263,0O0) of the industrial workers. The most backward country of all, Russia, provided only one-tenth of the industrial workers (34,000 out of 308,000).

        Thus, Russia is punished everywhere and in everything for her backwardness. But compared with the rest of the population, it is the workers of Russia who are more than any others bursting out of this state of backwardness and barbarism, more than any others combating these “delightful” features of their native land, and more closely than any others uniting with the workers of all countries into a single international force for emancipation.

        The bourgeoisie incites the workers of one nation against those of another in the endeavour to keep them disunited. Class-conscious workers, realising that the break-down of all the national barriers by capitalism is inevitable and progressive, are trying to help to enlighten and organise their fellow-workers from the backward countries.

        Fair enough. Then again, that didn’t quite happen, did it? Hence “Socialism in One Country,” etc. Does DSA really imagine itself able, at its current stage of development, to achieve what the Bolsheviks could not? Gonna make door-knocking for Sanders pretty hard, if anybody reads this resolution…

        Reply
        1. jrs

          Taking an anti-immigration position would also make door knocking for Sanders or other more local elections (have we forgotten that they aren’t just a wing of the Sanders campaign? that they fight for local candidates etc.) hard in many parts of the country as well – probably most border states frankly. It’s not so clear cut it would advance them electorally everywhere they are involved, even if they were that cynical. And does that demographic even align with many people who would vote for DSA supported candidates? It’s an incredibly divisive issue though, no doubt about that.

          Reply
          1. pjay

            Are you equating opposition to an “open door” policy with an “anti-immigrant” position? If so, that certainly adds to the divisiveness of this issue.

            Reply
        2. Olga

          Wow, Lambert – maybe that was the point: to scuttle any success in knocking on folks’ doors for Bernie?

          Reply
        3. martell

          Lenin? They’re citing Lenin? From 1913, so before WWI? Sadly typical. The quoted passage includes a prediction to the effect that national barriers and, it would seem, nation-states will break down. He even calls this inevitable. Yet, by and large, the wars of the 20th century were driven by nationalism, including the war that would break out the very next year, which was kind of a big one. Lasted a long time. Some people even called it “the Great War.” I think they stopped calling it that after the next big one, which was caused by fascism, one of the most noteworthy political innovations of the 20th century (completely unanticipated by Marxists) and an avowedly nationalist movement (or set of movements). Seems like Lenin got quite a few things wrong. And that’s really not surprising in retrospect. Though he seems to have been a politician of some skill and great good fortune, he was also intellectually committed to the very worst aspects of Marxism: scientism, combined, oddly enough, with German metaphysics. So, in the quoted passage, we get some grade school level math (because this is scientific socialism, and math is scientific) combined with assertions about how history must unfold. This this is the person to whom DSAers turn when debating immigration policy in the US in 2019.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            I object to your criticisms of Lenin. He was a very far-sighted thinker. It is just that his predictions are so far-sighted that none of them have come true yet.

            Reply
        4. Darthbobber

          Within a very few years, the USSR had, in addition to very tightly controlled external borders, a system of internal borders and passporting, requiring government approval for some movement within the USSR.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            With all the shootings, expect that system to be formally imposed within America soon. (For your safety, of course.)
            Remember when crossing the border into and back from Canada was easy? Now look at us.

            Reply
      5. Oh

        Isn’t it hypocritical for people to rail against open borders when they cheerfully buy products made in the less developed countries (where labor is much cheaper)?

        Just saying….

        Reply
        1. Kurtismayfield

          Capital and materials can easily pass across borders. Labor cannot. Name a country in the world that has a more liberal immigration policy than the US. I can’t think of one.

          Reply
        2. John k

          No.
          People that rail against open borders of course recognize if we erect stronger border and trade barriers their future low cost options would be reduced… presumably also thinking that as the low cost option goes away the demand for local production will rise, boosting demand for local labor.

          At the same time nearly everybody buys what they must have at the lowest price available, even those that recently lost their job because it moved to Mexico and China. Nothing hypocritical here.

          IMO these views are what elected trump, and DSa voting for open borders helps re-elect him.

          Reply
          1. jrs

            I see it as ENTIRELY the reverse. Immigration was not a huge issue when Trump got elected, at all, people may have been hurting economically of course, but immigration wasn’t necessarily blamed. Trump made it the issue and this has lead the left and most Dem party candidates (who aren’t all that left) to adopt open borders at least in talk, as a reaction to Trump.

            So electing Trump is WHY we have prominent people pushing for open borders. Electing Trump is going to lead to open borders eventually.

            That may not be what Trump voters wanted but blowback is a b1#ch. And anyone who thinks madness on the level of Trump wouldn’t have blowback …

            Reply
            1. Darthbobber

              Hmm… I recall massive agitation over the complex of issues surrounding immigration predating Trump by many years. It surfaced significantly in both the Republican primary and the general election in 2000, and has remained a hot button issue since.

              The massive deportation under Obama, the dream act, the rather loud “conversation” about a path to citizenship, proposals endorsed by Mrs Clinton, among others, for fencing and additional enforcement on the border, everify, Clinton’s opining as secretary of state about the importance of not letting central American children in, these things would not have been happening without politicians having seen this as a “big” (IE threat to electability) issue.

              Reply
            2. praxis

              Trump has certainly used illegal immigration as a brawling arena, however to say it wasn’t a huge issue before Trump opened his mouth is disingenuous: the record amount of deportations during the Obama administrations, for example.

              People have been hurting economically because they have been left to the mercy of predatory, casino capitalism for the past forty-odd years. The promise of cheap slaves/things, credit and divine right to demand imperial tribute from the rest of the planet seems to be unraveling.

              Part of the capitalist (Ahem Trump) agenda has been to source labor from illegal immigrants (farms, machine shops, construction etc). If there were no immigrants, there would have to be some redistribution of the proceeds of production (higher wages etc). As noted else where, lower production costs (labor) do not always transfer to lower market prices. Right now, it is quite fashionable to merge, fire/downsize or offshore labor and with that freed cash flow, buy back shares.

              Reply
            3. Carey

              “..Immigration was not a huge issue when Trump got elected..”

              Say what?

              Oh, immigration was a huge issue indeed;
              your reasoning for claiming otherwise
              is not clear at all, to me.

              Reply
        3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I think that the DSA shouldve Closed the Borders for the transnational movement of businesses. That makes more sense to me.

          Reply
        4. Anonymous

          Is it absurd to suggest that whoever in favor of open borders must show their support by

          1. Tearing down fences surrounding their homes,
          2. Keep their front doors unlocked at all times.
          3. Don’t lock their cars when parked in public places, and keep the key in the ignition ?

          Reply
          1. polecat

            No … not absurd, at all .. and while we’re at it, they can empty their 401Ks, saving accounts, and gift such to any and all newcomers ….. and lets not forget any jewelry and whatever one’s credit one might have obtained. Glorious ! What’s formerly mine (how little that might be) is now YOURS .. What’s yours .. is also YOURS as well. Just ask the likes of Pol Pot .. they’ll set you right … into the ground !!
            THAT’S what I see when I hear ‘open borders’.

            Reply
        5. drumlin woodchuckles

          No, it isn’t hypocritical. It is only incompletely thought out. Closed borders should be complemented by Closed ( Protectionized) national economies.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I suspect that Lambert is throwing some shark chum into the waters to see what bites so I’m game. Labor arbitrage is good – and it isn’t. It depends on what level you are talking about. If you are talking about nationally, then it works. The reason for this is that the cost of living is – very roughly – the same throughout a country like the United States so there is a limit on how far or how often a workforce can be found to produce goods or services. There are hard limits here.
      Internationally it sucks as you can always find a workforce in some third-world country to do the same work at a much lower cost. But the only reason that they can do so is because the local cost of living is also much lower and so these offered wages may be adequate buy local standards. Thus you are talking about the competition between a $8 an hour worker versus a $8 a day worker. Wage workers bear the full brunt on these differences though usually people on salary try to rig the game to try to make sure that it does not effect them much.

      Reply
      1. sd

        Just gaming this out.

        If there is an open borders policy, workers will leave low wage areas for higher wage areaas. Over time, in theory, wages for labor would equalize as there would be no low wage vs high wage areas remaining.

        It would depend a bit on training and education. Suppressing both could create workers with limited skills which could be used to hold down wages. However, if they are a small group and no one wants the work, they could demand higher wages.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > wages for labor would equalize

          The neoliberals deindustrialized flyover on exactly on exactly that premise. (“Equalization” was accomplished with union-busting, threatented plant closures, etc.). So I would say that “same sh*t, different” day would be a thoroughly appropriate response for those who, it would seem, DSA regards as deplorables.

          Reply
          1. sd

            What role do tariffs play?

            Moving plants from northern states to southern states with cheaper labor escaped any possible threat of tariffs. Followed next with globalism and sending manufacturing overseas, again without tariffs.

            I’m not arguing for or against open borders. Just trying to understand the unintended consequences whether positive or negative.

            Reply
        2. Nancy Boyd

          Yes, look how well that natural equilibrium has played out in San Francisco.

          Low wage workers have been coming there looking for higher wage since the days of Farm-Aid.

          They end up living in their cars, just like teachers and community college instructors now do, and then finally move to the Central Valley, with its double digit unemployment rates.

          Meanwhile the high wage workers’ salaries go stratospheric enough that they can buy up all access to the supports people need to live, like housing, or privatized education and transportation, and charge nice fat rents to supplement those stratospheric salaries.

          Reply
        3. Left in Wisconsin

          If there is an open borders policy, workers will leave low wage areas for higher wage areaas.

          If we accept this we have already lost the game. Until very recently, it was widely held that people only left their ancestral homes when they were driven away. Now many of us have accepted that it is completely normal to relocate to a completely new environment (language, culture, etc) for slightly higher wages. What this belief/policy will inevitable entail is a massive relocation of educated elites from places where they are already in short supply to places where they are already overabundant. And we will continue to wonder why the places we encourage brain drain from are sh1tholes.

          Reply
          1. Darthbobber

            Yes, there are a few wee obstacles to the frictionless mobility of labor power beyond the existence of borders and the attitudes of the government’s of destination countries.

            Reply
    1. Carla

      I concur. My breathing calmed down and became more even as soon as I saw it, proving it to be a true antidote to the horrid NOTD. Thank you so much, Lambert!

      Reply
          1. polecat

            I could be wrong, but wouldn’t a gaping pair of talons in and of themselves be considered an assault weapon .. at least in the eyes of an unlucky rodent ?

            Reply
        1. polecat

          Its been my impression that the new-new left congress members are all for open borders, which to me is a no go. Their basically saying “Who needs national sovereignty?” .. bring EVERYONE IN ! With the ‘Pie’ slices becoming ever thinner – waffer see-through even – I don’t see a Glorious Socialist Kumbya happening on a Glorious Global Level.

          Que Ned Beaty giving his windup boardroom speech to
          a confused Howard Beal in ‘Network’.

          Reply
          1. Carey

            I’m going to say it:

            ‘The Squad’ are very photogenic, controlled opposition, and as such, “their” support for
            open borders is no surprise to me.

            Electoral Politics is a time-wasting snare.

            Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Who is the Democratic Socialist of America endorsed candidate again? Because I am a Sanders Socialist and I’m not open borders (amnesty/citizenship/political asylum to all who want it but can we not literally play into the hands of our political enemies please?) and now quite frankly I hope DSA does not publicly endorse him.

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “What We Know About the Mass Shooting in El Paso”

    We also know two more important things about the shooter. The first is that he wanted to murder as many men, women and children as possible before the police arrived to stop him. The second is that he did not want to die after committing these murders. How do we know that? Because he was wearing shooting earmuffs. If he was going to die in a shoot-out with the police, then he would hardly be worried about damaging his hearing now, would he?

    Reply
    1. jeremyharrison

      Actually, if the manifesto that is allegedly his, is his, he absolutely intended to die. Not sure how he managed not to.

      I’m not keen on giving him a voice, but wth…. It’s certainly racist, and nationalist, but also quite anti-corporatist. He despises the influx of Hispanics, which he sees as threatening the European-based US culture, but lays the blame on the corporations who seek downward pressure on wages, and politicians, both Dem and Repub, who do the corporations bidding.

      Needless to say, his “solution” is twisted and obscene.

      https://drudgereport.com/flashtx.htm

      Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          So was the guy in Dayton. El Paso “managed not to die” by surrendering, probably the instant he saw law enforcement. Second thoughts, I assume.

          If he’d been black? First, they rarely do this sort of thing (at least outside of gang battles); second, yes, surrendering might not have helped.

          Reply
      1. Antifa

        As he proceeded, he saw multiple people die. That will change anyone’s mind about the romance of martyrdom.

        Reply
      2. marym

        Hispanics – people of Spanish and Native American ancestry – have been in what is now Texas for centuries and millennia respectively.

        Rather than propagate the slaughtering-indigenous-people feature of “European-based US culture”, the “anti-corporatist” murderer and his ilk should try assimilating into the actual US culture, built with the contributions of all of us and our ancestors; and recognizing their working class allies, rather than imagining themselves as authorized violent enforcers of some imaginary world.

        Reply
        1. Brian (another one they call)

          Do we, in the U.S. have a culture? Is it war? Is it the keeping up with Jones? The punishment of others? disneyland?
          Could someone weigh in?

          Reply
          1. foghorn longhorn

            We’re a nation of born liars, that’s for sure.
            It’s why we (the other) gather here, one would suppose.
            No BS allowed.

            Reply
          2. jrs

            I think it is work. I think that’s what U.S. culture revolves around near entirely.

            But even then work without real respect for working people. Work as slavery and work slavery as culture. And of course money as god.

            Reply
          3. marym

            We have a culture of many roots. Within all of its diverse elements is lots of bad, stupid, and good. If we don’t think doing battle against the bad and the stupid on behalf of the diverse forms of the good, we got nuthin.

            Reply
          4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Our culture is self rule. Being Happy. Yeeting the Rich.

            AND PILES OF COCAINE, BAYYBAYY, YEEHAW!

            Also id say working hard too.

            Reply
      3. polecat

        Not that I condone what he did, but he was what, 19 yrs old, testosterone levels perhaps waaaaay past 11 on the dial ?? … Behavior meds in the mix ?? … Poor upbringing ? … Hyper News/Pundant driven hate ??

        Is everyone turning Kazinksy now …. ?

        Reply
      4. Aumua

        There is some overlap between what this guy is saying here (as well with Tarrant’s ‘manifesto’) and the open borders discussion above. I wonder if NC is willing to go there?

        Reply
    2. Tinky

      You may be correct, though I suppose that it is also possible that the shooter might have simply wanted to enhance his focus on the task at hand.

      Also, if he was concerned about his health and well-being, would he not have also worn a bullet-proof vest?

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Possibly, but wearing a bulky bullet-proof vest may have drawn suspicion that it may actually have been a suicide vest which would have earned him a police sniper’s bullet to the head. That Auckland shooter also took care that the police did not kill him by surrendering. Come to think of it, that mass killer of children in Norway also made sure that he was able to surrender to the police. It’s like people like this like to kill the innocent, but do not want to die themselves.

        Reply
        1. Greg

          You mean Christchurch.

          Auckland is the biggest city. Chch is the city with the worst luck. Wellington is the capital.

          #nzgeography

          Reply
      2. Merf56

        Yes. As a target shooter I can tell you hearing protection is vital to aim and concentration. He wanted to get max kill imho.

        Reply
        1. Wyoming

          Re; the earmuffs.

          There is another more likely and troubling possibility.

          He wanted to enhance his survival and chance of killing more people. Are they noise cancelling ear protection? Can’t say from the pictures but it is possible.

          Such devices kill the sound of the gunfire and allow the shooter to hear people’s voices and tell the direction they are coming from.

          Reply
      3. APB

        Too many anomalies in the narrative that the cops are promoting

        1. The shooter enters the store in cargo pants and a black v necked t shirt. He is arrested wearing chinos and a black v necked t shirt. I guess he must of grabbed a pair off the rack and took the time to change.
        2. The Manifesto is a fairly well written articulate rant and screed against Hispanics and the “invasion”. Hard to reconcile with a poorly educated 21 year old. Plus all the killed and wounded were Americans; not Hispanics.
        3. In the initial press interviews, many witnesses reported seeing 3-4 black garbed men with hoods, carrying weapons and entering the store just before the shooting started. The consistency of these eye witness reports should make one question the constant meme of the “lone shooter”. Even the playback audio from the police initially at the scene mention several shooters.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          this reads like a script written by people that claimed sandy hook was some kind of false flag. people get confused during events like this, you’re going to get accounts all over the place.

          Reply
        2. ambrit

          Release the CCTV tapes from this store in their entirety and this issue should clear itself up quickly. These places have security cameras rolling all the time. Something of the alleged ‘advance scouts’ must have been recorded. The MSM has pictures of the lone shooter. Why not the advance team?
          If the Authorities do not release the security camera tapes by tomorrow, then I’ll start to get ‘conspirational.’

          Reply
    3. Annieb

      Another thing we know about the shooter is that he was clearly a psychopath. Instead of talking about ear muffs we need to be asking how our society is creating these killers. I think psychology tells us that a person needs to be extremely damaged in order to become a psychopath, either through weird genetics and/or severe abuse early in life. Other countries are not producing these mass killers in the same quantities as USA . Or if they are then we just haven’t seen them acting out nearly as much. We need to take a very close look at the way children are raised and socialized in this country, i.e. violence as entertainment is one easy focus to start with.

      I know everyone must be as extremely disturbed and horrified by these sick, repulsive events as I am.

      Reply
        1. Annieb

          Well, thanks for the interesting reading suggestions.I have read Ames “Going Postal”. I will take a look at the other one.

          Reply
        2. Monty

          These extreme sociopaths are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. Our society wants you to believe there is something wrong with the canaries.

          The campaign message of Marianne Williamson is all about this. There is a chronic sickness of our collective psyche. It has been caused by the neoliberal project and the sociopathic “rules of the game” we are forced to play by. Things can not get better until this has been addressed.

          Reply
        3. Olga

          Thanks for book tip – will read it. It has seemed to me for quite some time now that the undoing of the US will (or, is) be caused by the very predatory form capitalism, which it has cultivated to such a perfection. We will be undone by greed (in the same way country’s defense capabilities are undermined by the greed pervading MIICC).

          Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        A while ago there were stats posted here showing that the U.S. is not an outlier in overall violence, but is (high) in homicides. The difference is the lethality of the violence in the U.S., and the cause of that difference is almost certainly guns. A violent person with a gun can do a lot more harm than with a knife…

        Reply
      2. Aumua

        And another point to consider is the concerted, well organized online brainwashing campaign by white nationalist/white supremacist groups to draw in and recruit susceptible minds, especially those of young people. This has been going on for quite a while, and I’ve been commenting on it for years here. Recent events are bringing it more into the national awareness, and I don’t know what the result of that is going to be. Because the propaganda of these organizations is also percolating into the mainstream. They start out with the more “I’m a reasonable guy” kind of arguments, and progress inexorably to full on race war agitation and antisemitism.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            I can remember a more innocent time when the ACLU defended the American Nazi Party head, George Lincoln Rockwell’s right to speak out in public. The basic exception to the First Amendment’s blanket defense of speech is actual incitement to violence. Who makes that call is very important.

            Reply
      3. Oregoncharles

        Annieb: Second that. I think the pretexts are much less important than the drumbeat of killings, on various pretexts.

        Reply
    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Reading his Manifesto, i feel like CNN pushed him over the edge with their framing of questions at the first debate. “Giving all illegals Healthcare,” and “Do you support Open Borders?”

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      The fix is in.
      I could be wrong after all and the Dem ticket in 2020 will be Clinton/Harris. I keep thinking that a two woman ticket would be more palatable to the American public than a woman superior to a man. (We haven’t come a long way, baby!)

      Reply
      1. Whoamolly

        I fear that the Clinton/Harris fix is in, too.

        I hope to heck I am wrong. Someone mentioned that the Epstein Affair might sink Clinton, but I’m not so sure. We are in a strange, strange political territory.

        Reply
        1. John k

          If they nail bill there will be al lot of dems going… poor Hillary, maybe if she gets the pres she’ll feel better…

          Reply
          1. Tvc15

            The fix does appear to be in. Headline from The Hill today, “Harris shows she can take debate punch after Gabbard attack”. Really, in what family bloging reality is that true? Now that they are scrubbing her record, the MSM can continue smearing Gabbard as an Assad apologist and a Putin puppet.

            Reply
          1. ambrit

            Remember what I told you yesterday padawan polecat. Time to nads up.
            Here however, I must degrade myself, (can that even be done?) and resort to Mel Brooks making fun of George Lucas and say: “The Farce is with them!”

            Reply
              1. ambrit

                As David Allen Coe sings, sort of, “It’ll only hurt for a little while.”
                Who would have ever guessed that there would be a musical category of “Dirty Country?” True ‘deplorables’ music. What’s next, Redneck Rap?

                Reply
                  1. ambrit

                    It’s funny in a sick joke way, but most real nasty racial and ethnic insults are pretty specific. When Phyl is mad at me, she’ll call me “Mick.”
                    I have yet to encounter a good basic insult based on class lines. Somehow, the epithet “Elites” doesn’t have the cachet of “n—-r.”
                    For what it’s worth, most of the Black people I have worked with have co-opted the ‘n’ word. I once asked, all innocently, if anyone could play that game and was gently but firmly advised not to. “When White folks say that word, they usually mean it. We usually don’t, unless it is aimed at someone we don’t like. It’s complicated, dig?”
                    Language in all it’s glory and strife.

                    Reply
                    1. ivoteno

                      it is indeed, as you said, “complicated.”

                      my preferred class based insult would have to be “the poors.” once that particular “you said the quiet thing out loud” oopsie filters down to the serfs enough times they might get a bit upset, despite their more superficial differences.,

                    2. ambrit

                      ivoteno;
                      I try to use ‘deplorables’ in that sense, but it usually comes out as a simple descriptor. Most of the ‘good’ insults have a history and development arc that seems to display alpha and beta testing phases.
                      Developing memes looks to be more of an organic endeavour. True popular memes seem to arise spontaneously.
                      The old term of Wyrd, or Fate seems to fit the process. Hah! Mystical agency!

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If they actually run the actual literal Hillary Clinton again, I will vote for the actual literal Trump again.

        Reply
  5. Olga

    A very interesting piece from Alastair Crooke
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/03/citadels-america-elites-fractured-and-at-odds-with-each-other/
    “A significant shift is underway in US policy circles, it seems. Luce’s final ‘take’ is that “it is very hard to see what, or who, is going to prevent this great power rivalry from dominating the 21st century”. It is clear that there is indeed now a clear bi-partisan consensus in the US on China. Luce is surely right. But that is far from being the end of it. A collective psychology of belligerence seems to be taking shape, and, as one commentator noted, it has become not just a great-power rivalry, but a rivalry amongst ‘Beltway’ policy wonks to show “who has the bigger dick.”
    To me, this is just another nail in the coffin of a quaint idea that the US is somehow not involved in HK protests.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for link. If you add in today’s Epstein stuff it’s clear that elites in the US and probably throughout the West have a reality problem and need to get more useful hobbies like pottery or knitting. World domination isn’t likely to be something they are good at–judging the results so far–and they are taking the rest of us down with them or threatening to do so.

      This is why plain talking in the manner of Gabbard is a threat. What will they do if the masses finally cry “basta!”

      Reply
    2. Plenue

      The issue isn’t whether we’re ‘involved’. Of course we’re involved. The issue is whether we’re driving or orchestrating them. It is entirely possible for the CIA etc to be agitating around the edges while at the same time hundreds of thousands (or more) Hong Kong citizens are genuielly taking to the streets.

      Reply
      1. John k

        The latter has to be the case… and I too would protest against being extradited to a police state where people simply disappear.
        I can imagine all the really wealthy have business dealings with China… and I can imagine that lot really terrified by the prospect of such extradition, and would be willing to spend a few bucks – anonymously, of course – on some banners. As has been speculated.
        So certainly cia might be involved… but so may be many other actors. And the hundreds of thousands of marchers are of course concerned local. And China has worked with triads before.
        Pretty murky from over here.

        Reply
      2. Olga

        There is no doubt that particularly some of the young ones feel discontent. Perhaps genuine – perhaps caused by brainwashing (as that very interesting comment from an HK resident posted here y-day, or the day before, from MoA explained (I’ve lived something similar, so it made a lot of sense to me)). Yes, folks in many countries feel discontent. But only in a few they go out to beat up police and invade govt buildings. Something else is going on. The extent to which US is involved is less relevant than the fact that it is involved.
        A while back, there was a great French documentary on how to do a colour revolution. The process of bamboozling and co-opting the young, enthusiastic, and naive people was painfully laid out. It is very easy to do – precisely because the young ones’ optimism is bubbly, extensive, and oh so easy to manipulate. Very few later realize that they were being had.

        Reply
      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        The violent “protesters” could really be Communist Chinese agents painting a fake picture of “violent Hong Kong protesters.”

        Reply
      1. praxis

        I appreciate MoA’s stuff but sometimes I think ‘B’ gets a little to invested in whacking at the shadows of US hegemony/imperialism.

        The HK protests are real; the grievances against China’s slow, yet steady, erasure of HK’s sovereignty are real. Take a look at crowd sizes a month ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUgsfB3MZ08).

        The use of the protests by the US to poke a stick in the eye of China doesn’t undermine the cause of the protestors.

        Reply
  6. Musicismath

    Re: the DSA endorsement of “open borders,” I’m reminded of Adolph Reed’s recent quip that “it’s a problem when anti-socialism is branded as socialism.” There’s more than just the usual sloppy thinking going on here, whereby “liberal” and “left” are assumed to be the same thing. It’s more that elements in the current left (or “left” or “fake left”) are actually resuscitating aspects of classic nineteenth-century liberalism—precisely the ideology that the traditional left defined itself by opposing. The moralising liberalism that advocated market-based solutions, championed charities and voluntary action rather than the comprehensive state provision of social services, and defended imperialism and mass migration on humanitarian grounds.

    If we’re going to trace the genealogy of the “open borders and identity politics” style of “socialism” that now seems popular on Twitter, it’s this form of classic liberalism that I’d want to argue is the root of it all, as opposed to anything genuinely “left.” It’s all there—the suffocating moralism; the constant appeals to personal virtue as a measure of political seriousness; the centrality of the non-profit sector to it all. All of these things seem closer to the liberalism of the 1880s and 1890s than the social democracy of the twentieth century.

    The doctrine of open borders also has a clear nineteenth-century analogue and forerunner—the colonial ideology that championed mass migration to European settler colonies in the new world on humanitarian and economic grounds. The American Colonies and the US had “open borders” with Europe for 300 years. Australia had “open borders” with Britain for a century, as did New Zealand and Canada. This mass movement of millions of settler bodies was justified in liberal discourse on the basis that the immigrants would have much better lives in the new colonies; that they would fuel economic development there; that they were in any case fleeing oppression or destitution or famine in their homelands; and were simply preferable to whatever populations happened to be living there before.

    To me, it’s clear that “open borders” is to a large extent simply reheated nineteenth-century settler-colonial ideology. It’s surprising to me that few others seem to see the connection. Then again, your average self-identifying socialist open borders fan would also be extremely likely to identify 19th-century settler colonialism as a major historical atrocity, so I doubt they’d appreciate the parallel being pointed out to them.

    Reply
    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Open borders in the US, to the extent they ever existed, existed solely for the benefit of European immigrants. See the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1862 – your analogy of the DSA position to the treatment of immigrants in the 19th century is preposterous.

      Reply
      1. Musicismath

        The settler colonial project between the 16th and early 20th centuries involved the movement of many tens of millions of people (a large figure at a time when the global population was only a few hundred million). Those movements were large enough to permanently change the population make up of multiple countries. They are absolutely the closest historical analogy we have in modern world history for what actual open borders would look like.

        Yes, of course the passenger lists on those ships were “restricted” in certain ways due to what we would nowadays see as racial discrimination. But this isn’t how it would have been seen at the time, when there were multiple other “axes of oppression” acting on those immigrants (religion; class; specific ethnicity). Remember that in the late 19th century, there were believed to be at least 8 separate European races (with their own imagined hierarchy of superiority and inferiority). There was no such thing as a catch-all category for “European immigrant,” nor was each European nationality seen as equally desirable.

        But my wider point is this. This modern “migration period” is now widely viewed as an utter disaster—in environmental terms, in terms of land disputes and conflicts between settler and indigene, and in terms of justice for indigenous peoples, whose consent for the importation of millions of migrants was usually never sought, and who were simply perceived as an encumbrance once they were exhausted as a source of labour. Why would a second wave of this, even if conducted under the soundest of anti discrimination principles, achieve outcomes that were any different?

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          My understanding is that for the first 100 years or so US borders were more or less open although citizenship was restricted to whites. Many Chinese freely came before they were excluded. For much of its early history the country was thought to have a labor shortage and high wages (certainly in the opinion of various capitalists).

          And as retold by a link here the other day much of the indigenous population was wiped out by European disease before mass migration.

          Regardless of whether we have any labor shortages now, it’s obviously political suicide for the Dems to adopt that DSA resolution. If the Dems really want open borders perhaps they should start with highly paid professionals such as doctors. We definitely have a shortage there.

          https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-doctor-monopoly-is-killing-american-patients/

          Reply
          1. Darthbobber

            Steven Hahn’s “A Nation Without Borders” which covers US history from about 1830 to the eve of WWI foreground both the openness of the border to immigrants, and the open an undefined nature of the border itself, as the various factions within the Republic agreed on the pursuit of an at least continent-wide empire from very early on.

            Our wave of immigration also fit within the massive population dislocations of the 19th century, during which time nearly half the population of Europe relocated internally or externally as access to the land was lost in the brave new liberal world of marketization, enclosure and trade. My father’s ancestors relocated here because the land they’d lived on was cleared of humans to make way for sheep.

            Reply
            1. sleepy

              “The Death Ship” by B. Traven is an excellent novel dealing with the immediate aftermath of WW1 and its effects on immigration on those who lost their old citizenship or acquired unwanted citizenship in those newly formed nations.

              Apparently too, passport control in Europe was only loosely applied before WW1 but afterwards was applied with a vengeance where being one of the newly defined stateless meant you were the scum of the earth.

              Hannah Arhendt has a good deal to say about this in one of the sections of “Origins of Imperialism” citing the contradiction between the Declaration of the Rights of Man as universal with the subsequent interpretation that it was only enforceable and applicable to citizens of a nation state. If you were stateless, you were denied those rights.

              Reply
    2. Summer

      It’s also the type of “liberalism” that has a good deal of ideological inheritance from the eugenics movement. That’s seen in the concern over the “quality” of immigrants.

      Reply
    3. psv

      I hadn’t considered the linkage to the 19th century before. In the second paragraph, you mention the “centrality of the non-profit sector to it all”, are you maybe referring to the “championed charities and voluntary action” in the first paragraph?

      I see there you mention market-based solutions as part of that liberalism as well. Open borders as a way of suppressing the cost of labor on the market is a point more familiar to me, and am wondering how the non-profit sector fits.

      Reply
    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > If we’re going to trace the genealogy of the “open borders and identity politics” style of “socialism” that now seems popular on Twitter, it’s this form of classic liberalism that I’d want to argue is the root of it all, as opposed to anything genuinely “left.”

      It’s not socialism. It’s avocado toast liberalism.

      Thanks for this useful comment.

      Reply
      1. martell

        I don’t know about that. When have socialists placed value on particular politically organized communities, especially politically organized communities of people sharing a common language, customs, or other traditions, including political traditions? I mean aside from emergencies, when nothing but (cynical) appeal to the love of a particular community could effectively motivate people to fight and die at the behest of the socialist regime. I can think of no reason, in principle, why socialists should be any more concerned for the preservation of such communities than liberal champions of the market.

        Reply
    5. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      YUUUUP

      THIS IS WHY THE WORKING CLASS WILL WIN. The Bourgeoisie is using the exact same playbook as before and with technology the Proletariat is more knowledgeable and flexible than ever before!

      #AdaptAndLIVE

      Reply
  7. Quanka

    While I appreciate the NYRB article on obscene defense spending, it hems and haws at the question of “how did this happen?” — Its called legalized bribery and corruption in the form of a privatized campaign funding system.

    Can we just stop dancing around the issue and talk about how corrupt our society is for christs sake??

    Reply
    1. Monty

      I just checked with our sponsors, but I am afraid that the answer is ‘no’, otherwise we will find ourselves getting demonetized.

      Reply
  8. Tom Stone

    The victims of these mass shootings are also deaths of despair.
    On a related note, my County is reducing the number of “Mental Health Beds” by 2/3 …

    Reply
    1. dearieme

      The victims of these mass shootings are also deaths of despair.

      That’s an interesting proposition. Might they also be viewed as part of the consequence of the 60s/70s fashion for closing lunatic asylums?

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Yes, a good point, dearieme .. which, unfortunately, has exacerbated an admittedly awful, and growing homeless problem. What to do with the ones that truly need to be institutionalized, who by law, aren’t … thereby giving the homeless an even bigger Scarlet H then would otherwise receive.

        Reply
    1. ambrit

      The plague fleas already live in the temperate zone. I’m worried about the mosquito borne diseases: West Nile, Equine Encephalitis, Malaria, Dengue Fever, Martian Lung Rot, etc. etc.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I wonder how many of the dirtbag-germbag species of ticks will be moving north with warming. In part because easier winters will allow more tick-host rodents and deer to survive.

        A lot of the tick diseases are as nasty as some of the tropical diseases. The ever-wider spread of ticks will also make obsolete the vision of re-foresting the suburbs. The suburbs will not be turned into forests for millions of little germ-bag ticks to hide in. Probably, in fact, lawns will be kept as aggressively short as lawns were kept in the Panama Canal Zone ( 2-3 inches I think) to deny ticks any grass to hide in at all.

        And if that Asian tick . . . the Jumping Longhorn Tick or whatever it’s called . . . spreads everywhere, lawns will be replaced with concrete yards to deny the Jumping Longhorn ticks of the short sunlit grass which apparently THEY like to hide in.

        Reply
  9. Amateur Socialist

    Will LEO at multiple levels start detecting and disrupting White Nationalist Terror? Domestically? Maybe they could ask Google/FB/Twitter for help.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      sure. just as soon as the white nationalists/nazis start advocating for universal healthcare,free college and an otherwise egalitarian and relatively nonviolent order.

      Reply
    2. Amateur Socialist

      I keep worrying that as the frequency of these attacks increases the existing LEOs are going to be hamstrung by two difficult issues:

      1> A genuine inability to sort dangerous potential killers from the massive numbers of “typical” racists. (I tend to believe this is how the Tsarnev brothers got lost… The FBI clearly looked at them and went “meh, just routine anti-semites”)

      2> The problem of white supremacist sympathizers within those LEOs. I suspect some organizations are already riddled throughout and probably have to be shut down completely and reformed e.g. ICE/CBP.

      Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “Marty the grocery store robot is a glimpse into our hell-ish future”

    I am going run out a theory here. The name of that robot is Marty. Forgetting the fact that that robot looks like it needs some serious attention from the working end of a double-barreled shotgun, I think that I may know the origin of its name. There is an old 1955 film of the same name starring Ernest Borgnine about a small-time butcher named Marty. It was redone as a musical back in 2002 and I am guessing that somebody remembered the name and decide to use it here as sounding “friendly”-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_(film)

    Reply
      1. John

        Marty can be fun to mess with in my grocery store. Little passive aggressive bumps and nudges. I will also take the opportunity to box it in with a grocery cart if that arises. Of course, they probably haven’t installed Punisher app yet…although I did consider that.
        For a tech gospel that say to move fast and break things…some things have not been completely thought thru.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          It also has a recharging area near the front entrance. There are signs warning shoppers not to block that area. However, one could park a shopping cart in that area. Y’know, just for giggles and grins.

          Reply
    1. human

      Marty is an innocuous, gender ambiguous name. The above comments only reinforce this focus session analysis, as absurd as it is.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        I think ‘Marty’ is supposed to sound cozy, friendly, and salt of the earth; just like the ‘cookies’ on these computers, which
        have nothing at all to do with the common meaning of the word.

        Orwell was right

        Reply
  11. Merf56

    Maybe I am just having a bad day.. or week.. with all the awful goings on in the country and world…… but the two Epstein articles and what I have read lately about him just totally demoralized me.
    The numbers of ‘respectable’ people, ‘smart’ educated people, scientists, pols, et al who could not see through Epstein and who STILL defend him has just staggered me. People whose ideas I respected in some cases. George Mitchell for gods sake…..
    Is this what most people are or blithely accept in others??
    I thought I was a realist but I had no idea what lies beyond the surface of , apparently most people….
    As my mother and others used to say…If you lie down with dogs….

    Reply
    1. shtove

      If you lie down with dogs….

      … you get a warm front of stink-breath.

      What did Senator Mitchell say? I did a search, but couldn’t get beyond Vanity Fair’s reference (even when I sausage-fingered “epstain” into the search-hole).

      Reply
    2. dearieme

      Where do people draw the line? Obvs in showbiz if you don’t go to parties involving sexual molesters/casting couch impresarios, you’d go to very few parties. But outside that world? Surely child molesters should be ostracised? Or maybe not if there might be a buck in it? Oh God.

      Reply
      1. Tom Doak

        The old Upton Sinclair observation has been repeated often, but here it is again:

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

        From all these scientists’ perspective, the girl could be nineteen and there’s nothing to see here, so would they really risk funding for their work unless they saw something very blatant? And it seems that in most situations the scientists were there with their agent or with a group of their peers [or Bill Clinton or Donald Trump!], in which case it’s even less likely for someone to stand up, if they sense that the others do not see it as a problem.

        [Not saying you and ambrit are wrong in any way. Just saying it’s easy for people to look the other way, rationalize that it’s none of their business, etc. etc.]

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Your comment also highlights another critical aspect of these Epstein ‘lovefests,’ the power relationships involved. The scientist types are dependent upon wealth, and or the gatekeepers to said wealth, for funding for their particular niche endeavours. So, when interacting with ‘wealth’ they will tend to self censor for otherwise selfish reasons, such as one’s personal advancement through increased funding. The thresholds to action recede from mere appearance of impropriety to observation of actual harm.
          True independence of mind is very hard to find.

          Reply
    3. Summer

      “The numbers of ‘respectable’ people, ‘smart’ educated people, scientists, pols, et al who could not see through Epstein and who STILL defend him has just staggered me.”

      When grovelling for money, good character and decency often gets thrown out the window.

      Reply
      1. Ember Brody

        “One of the things I’ve argued is that there is a lot of stupidity in the United States, and it includes large numbers of people with high IQs. There are people running around with high IQs – David Brooks, for example – who are in fact little more than bad jokes, and yet are worshipped as sages.”

        Morris Berman, Prophet.

        Reply
    4. Nancy Boyd

      It’s like with those who try to leave Scientology: in joining they had to reveal the skeletons in their closet, and now the sect has material for blackmail and extortion. Those two forms of pressure are highly effective.

      I have no illusions about what even the best of men can engage in, given alcohol, drugs, party atmosphere, pressure from other men. Fraternities and intelligence agencies have proved that over and over again.

      I’ve read that the number one search word, for porn, a 100 billion dollar industry, is “teen.”

      Having been a fourteen year old girl, that doesn’t surprise me at all.

      I’m not saying any one particular man has to fear revelation. I’m saying there is a great swath of elite men who do.

      Reply
      1. Annieb

        Excellent point. I am sure the rest of us who have been 14 yr old girls will totally agree. We know what it has been like to live in this predatory society.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          It might be more intense for 14 year old girls, but teen boys suffer from predation as well. The big downfall event of this society that I can identify is the sexualization of the young.

          Reply
        2. newcatty

          Yes, I have been a fourteen old girl in this country. Epstein and fellow and sister travelers are being exposed for evil and predatory behavior. Though I understand the explanation that men can engage in predatory behavior when under the influence of alcohol, drugs and party situations, the allusion to even “the best of men” can “succumb ” to peer pressure is ,imo, another example of “boys will be boys” rationalization for selfish, cruel and predatory behaviors. It’s also, likely, that even if not partaking in the sexual abuse of underage girls, that turning a blind eye to it ,by Epstein and others , is absolutely inexcusable and the participants of being witnesses to the behaviors incriminates their behavior. Another, fact to consider: rationalizing the elites selling out their souls for Epstein’s support is not justification for that choice. Also, much attention on the elites involved in these circles…notice that there is some satisfaction that they may be brought to some kind of comeuppance or ,even, justice. The reality is that children are being trafficked, sexually abused, not just by “elites”, but by all classes, races, ethnic groups, organizations and that men in all of those groups pay to use children. As well as sexual abuse happening in homes, schools, institutions and other places in the country. It is true that sexualization of children is reinforced in this society. Why is this sexual abuse of and predation of boys and girls allowed to exist in this country?

          Reply
          1. sleepy

            Thank you. I dont have any answers other than the law works for some and not for others.

            It’s not only the elites who benefit from the double standard, though of course they benefit the most, but predators in general benefit.

            Reply
  12. JacobiteInTraining

    “…I assure you, medieval people bathed…”

    Hear hear for the small helping of informative links on a daily basis that are not depressing/anger-inducing but are instead informative and, yes, sometimes just a little escapist.

    Yes – absolutely we all need to keep abreast of news, events, and developments…but no – none of us should obsessively follow digital news and links constantly. Bad for the psyche. Should spend at least as much (if not more) time in nature, and allocate a large amount of ‘digital time’ to nice things, interesting things….maybe even historical things.

    To get back to the soap – Lindybeige is an amusing source for medieval stuff, in a not-deadly-serious ‘popcorn’ sort of way. Humorous, he often is. Here is a sample link where he touches on more then a few of Hollywood’s myths about the medieval age, including things such as relative cleanliness vs dirt, so go take a break from serious stuff for a bit, and have a watch and listen…and maybe even a chuckle:

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

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Lindybeige is great and he has a ton of videos on all eras and subjects. Anyway, there is something hinted at in that article but not mentioned and that was the fact that once both men and women bathed together. There was no self-consciousness like there would be today as they had not drunk the Calvinistic kool aid. Even nowadays there would be all sorts of scandal and repercussions arising out of something like this happening as it would be seen as sexually charged. I first became aware of this practice of mixed bathing a very long time ago when I read the words of an English vicar criticizing the bathing practices of his parishioners during early Victorian times. No, it is not what you think. When he went down to the river to bathe with others, he found that the men would bathe in one area and the women in the other and he criticized this saying that when he said that as a young man that both sexes would naturally bathe together but because of 19th century moralizing, the sexes now were separating themselves. And we still have not shaken off this 19th century Victorianism.

      Reply
      1. JacobiteInTraining

        Interesting point!

        I come from a (mostly) Finno-ugric background, and as a teensy babe all the way up to the modern era of wrinkly-balding-me….the family and extended family does the sauna thing. Guys, gals, kids, ancient ones, all together in the dry heat. The oldsters typically win, staying in the longest at the hottest!

        While a certain amount of ‘mental preparation’ is given verbally to friends or in-laws who do *not* come from the sauna-culture background is given, regarding the fact its guys and gals together, in the buff, all the time….I don’t really recall those rules ever being changed to fit anyones delicate puritan sensibilities.

        If ya don’t want to OK….but all the rest of us get our heat, or soak, or roll in the snow (in season), just as the forest gods made us….and as it has been since, I assume, the earliest days of yore when someone first discovered that a sauna was a great way to relax with the fam and get squeaky-clean!
        :)

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        You weren’t a hippie, were you? Even now that’s the norm at hot springs or the Oregon Country Fair.

        Reply
    2. marieann

      Thank you for the video, it is so funny. I had not heard of this guy Lindybeige.

      Whenever I mention to people that I no longer take showers they look horrified as they take a step away from me.
      It seems to be a given that showers/baths are the only proper way to get clean and no one can fathom how else to wash…..of course I never tell them that I don’t use liquid soap.

      Reply
      1. JTee

        Agreed on the article. The hipster lingo kind of spoiled it for me.

        Ha ha! Surprising at first, the coat of arms, but then seeing the name of the town it made perfect sense. And presumably in these types of towns, this bathing has a therapeutic or restorative purpose?

        Reply
        1. ewmayer

          Yes, the alleged restorative powers of bathing in hot mineral (think eggy sulfur smell) springs were prized by the likes of the Romans … still used that way by the locals and spa tourists from all over Europe. The word “spa” derives from a similar hot-spring town in Belgium, and such locales are found all over Europe, there are multiple “Badens” in German-speaking Europe, Spa in Belgium, lots of such places in France, and of course Bath in England.

          Reply
        2. Oregoncharles

          Several such “therapeutic” springs around here. Come to think, our well water smells like that, too; maybe we’re missing a business opportunity..

          Reply
      2. Carey

        “Fun article, but I found the gratuitous swearing to be distracting and detracting.”

        Yes. It’s a little disheartening that the younger set feel the need
        for the (very lame, formulaic) cursing in an attempt, I guess to
        be noticed / taken seriously.

        Reply
  13. richard

    re Let Me Assure You Medieval People Bathed
    highly recommended!
    erudite and full of fun swearing, for some reason

    Reply
    1. DJG

      richard: I liked the article, although I couldn’t figure if the U.S.-style swearing is a display of erudition or not–the writer claims that she lives in London. In some respects, the writer is trying to dispel prejudices of the English-speaking world, which has many prejudices. In the Mediterranean world, it is well known that people bathed.

      More on the Aleppo soap, which is also made in Palestine: The Middle-East Bakery, a couple of blocks from my place here in Chicago, still carries said Medieval Soap. It is made with the leavings / inedible oils from olives. A nice example of how to use every part of a wonderful tree.

      A friend of mine in Italy has been investigating women professors and women physicians in the Medieval Era. They also used baths for therapeutic purposes.

      Schola Medica Salernitana and the Women of Salerno

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_of_Salerno

      The curriculum studiorum consisted of 3 years of logic, 5 years of medicine (including surgery and anatomy ), and a year of practice with an experienced physician. Also, every five years, an autopsy of a human body was planned.

      Quite advanced. I think that Anglo-American culture is constantly projecting its snobbery on the past. This shows up in U.S. feminism with its fixation on one or two marginal figures (Artemisia Gentilleschi is the perfect example), queer theory (gay people didn’t exist till 1988!), and transgender theory (which is warmed over radical dualism passed through U.S. Methodism).

      And I won’t even get into the weird ideas that people have about the quality of the cookery in the Middle Ages.

      But we’re so advanced! We should go and show those benighted Venezuelans a thing or two!

      Reply
      1. richard

        well, the swearing wasn’t the erudite part, that was the cheerful part ;)
        what was the quality of the cookery in the middle ages? this is probably out to lunch (sorry for the pun), but what I think I know is that people in europe during that period ate more simply, lots of grains and porridge, no sugar or caffeine of course, not much meat because the right to hunt was restricted. Some benefits to this: much better bones and teeth than would be typical during the renaissance, for example. Taller, better health. Anyway, please set me straight or enlighten further if you have time and energy.
        ps – just realized “cookery” and “diet” aren’t really the same thing…oh well

        Reply
  14. Darius

    My exposure to kudzu in Japan was as a common starch added to food. Much finer than corn starch. They pronounce it kuzu.

    Reply
  15. ChiGal in Carolina

    okay, Marianne is a nice grace note on the stage, voicing deeper truths that otherwise don’t even get mentioned, but clearly doesn’t have the temperament/critical thinking skills to do more than that.

    narcissistic control freaks need not apply!!

    Reply
          1. Musicismath

            It’s an aside in the (brilliant) “Iowa Circus” RS piece posted here last week:

            Christ, I think. This woman is going to win the nomination

            Reply
          2. whoamolly

            Taibbi writing in the Rolling Stone about watching Marianne campaign in Iowa:

            “Christ, I think. This woman is going to win the nomination.”

            ‘Trump, she says, can’t be beaten by conventional thinking. “[He is] not just a politician,” she says. “This man is a phenomenon. . . . The only way we are going to defeat a phenomenon at the polls in 2020 is by creating a phenomenon.”

            https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/iowa-2020-election-democrats-taibbi-858522/

            Reply
            1. dave

              Also anecdotal, but my facebook and twitter feeds have more Yang, Gabbard, and Marianne content than all others combined. By far.

              Reply
    1. Momty

      I think the best critical thinking aid I have come across recently was the Jimmy Dore show about Bari Weiss when she was on the Joe Rogan podcast.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS-sxJFn6O0
      Whilst it was hilarious to watch her floundering, it was also a keen reminder to audit what you believe. Where did these beliefs we hold come from and how much credence should you place in them? Many of the ideas floating around in our heads we picked up via osmosis in the form of soundbites or headlines (memes), and we don’t even realize it. Can we vouch for the truth behind them? Not usually, but there are millions parroting what they heard regardless.
      If you take a moment to read past the “narcissistic control freak” memes and listen to what she is really saying, it is very important stuff indeed. Just another smear campaign to discredit someone with a dangerous (for them) message. (see also Tulsi “assad apologist”, Bernie “crazy crypto commie” etc)

      Reply
      1. jrs

        If you are arguing that someone’s whose most famous work is based on “a course in miracles” and who has no political experience, should be president then no,1000 times no. Now other things are plausible: that she is a nice person (maybe she is), that she makes some good points, that some people may have found her books helpful. But as president? No, 1000 times no.

        Reply
        1. Monty

          Have you read it? I am an atheist myself, and I don’t particularly care for the religious vocabulary and metaphors of the books. I thought she was another Sedona charlatan “Secret” proponent based on what I heard… So I listened to some long form interviews a and read a bit more of her work, to try to understand what was going on. Once you strip away the religious chaff, the core of what she is saying resonates with me, and she is very convincing and eloquent about with it. There is something very wrong with our society and I think we can all see it.

          She seems to have at least as firm a grasp on what’s going on around the world as the rest of them on that debate stage. e.g. Her reparations answer was very compelling compared to anything else I have heard on the subject. Most politicians are obviously just corporate shills paid to look the other way whilst their benefactors screw us all. One of the reasons why Trump was so popular was precisely because he wasn’t a creature of politics. Why not have a national figurehead who is championing a genuinely better world, instead of just rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic? Think big!

          Reply
        2. Geo

          Agreed 1000 percent. Add to that the fact she’s “Oprah Approved” – same Oprah who unleashed Dr. Oz and Dr Phil upon the world – and she’s a definitive no vote.

          Reply
        3. Aumua

          Fun fact: 25 years ago I was a follower and practitioner of A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I’m not sure if it helped me or not. I certainly had some budding heavy addiction issues that interfered with my practice of the principles it put forth. I’ve thought about maybe revisiting it from time to time.

          Reply
      2. polecat

        I think it delves from whatever that secret sauce is that’s in that Shake Shack grub ! Makes one instantly phobic, to lasting effect … I mean, look what it did to/for the ‘I’M With HER demolition crew …

        Or maybe it’s just the pure grain alcohol & rain water doing its magic, enhancing one’s precious bodily fluids.

        Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon Chief in Favor of Deploying U.S. Missiles to Asia”: ‘On Saturday, Mr. Esper was careful to say that the deployment of any American missiles to Asia would be “conventional” in nature and within “I.N.F. range.”’

    Yeah, I bet he did. But here is the quandary. Suppose that the US sets up nests of these missiles in places like South Korea, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, etc. How are the Chinese to know if these are really conventional missiles or nuclear missiles? There is no way. The Russians are faced with the same problem with the missiles that the US have set up in eastern Europe. You know…the ones to defend Europe against Iranian nuclear missiles. So the only possible military solution that the Chinese can have is to target those same missiles with actual nuclear missiles. Tough luck if you are in a country that agreed to have these missiles installed.

    Reply
    1. David

      It’s easy enough if you assume the Chinese have a reasonable satellite reconnaissance capability. You’re not talking about “nuclear” missiles as such, but missiles which could carry either a conventional or a nuclear warhead (though their flight characteristics would not be the same). Nuclear warheads are stored in highly secure and very well protected special facilities, which would have to be built in the countries concerned, and which are pretty unmistakable. Specialist units would need to be deployed to maintain, guard and operate the missiles, together with secure communications. The warheads themselves would need to be transported securely from the US (as far as is known the US has no nuclear warheads in this area, and none outside the US except for some air-delivered weapons in Europe). Few Asian governments would be enthusiastic about hosting nuclear weapons, especially since they would have to be mobile, to avoid being caught by a Chinese attack, and deployment has to be practiced from time to time, even with dummy warheads. So it would be next to impossible to keep the existence or numbers of such weapons a secret. There would also have to be a reason for the US to do this, when they have nuclear missiles embarked on submarines. A more likely target, for conventional warheads, is probably North Korea.
      The Russians, by the way, are well aware that the missiles in Eastern Europe are interceptors, and don’t actually have warheads of any type. Their concern is not that the interceptors are a threat to their missiles (for technical reasons that’s not possible, and anyway there are only a handful of them) but rather that the US might continue to develop the technology, and come to believe that it could build an invulnerable, Star Wars style defensive array, which the Russians think would be very destabilising.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        “as far as is known ….” By whom ?? John Bolshevik Bolton ?? .. Leonid Lindsey Grahamcraker ?? .. the Zombies who run Nato ?? .. Who ?
        I certainly wouldn’t trust, our Government, the MIC, InTelligents, forget the MSM …. to set me, or any of my fellow soon-to-be carbon-based toasted plebians straight on the anti-matter !

        No, we won’t known until we all see the whites of the ‘boogieman’s’ hydrogen eyes !

        Reply
        1. David

          Oh, marginal organisations like the Federation of American Scientists, and various arms control study groups.

          Reply
          1. steelyman

            “(as far as is known the US has no nuclear warheads in this area, and none outside the US except for some air-delivered weapons in Europe)”

            Isn’t Incirlik Air Base in Turkey the storage site of some NATO nuclear weapons? Or do you consider Turkey to be part of Europe? There was a big brouhaha a couple of years back during the attempted coup against Erdogan and units of the Turkish army loyal to the latter surrounded the air base including the NATO/US weapons storage area. I don’t recall all the exact details but I think this incident was covered by Pat Lang at SST.

            I also suspect nuclear weapons are present on Diego Garcia. Trump recently ordered the Pentagon to station some B-52s over there. Pretty sure nuclear tipped cruise missiles are part of the B-52 range of munitions.

            Reply
    2. bwilli123

      I would think the Indonesians might react badly to missiles being sited on their doorstep. They already did so to the prospect of a US base in Darwin.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Australia is helping the US build a port outside of Darwin as they do not want to use Darwin as the Chinese have leased it. Recently they built a $40 million road was constructed to there from Darwin, a project which was completed quickly and was said to be for “improving access to fishing areas.” Guaranteed that there will be a lot of funny business that will be carried out there and perhaps the desire would be to station missiles there as well. I am sure that the Indonesians will love that-

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-23/navy-port-us-darwin-glyde-point-gunn-marines-gunn-military/11222606

        Reply
  17. michael hudson

    Re damming the Mekong Delta, back in the 1970s we were warned at the Hudson Institute that the World Bank’s engineer in charge of designing and placing dams had a problem as a child of being a bed wetter.
    For what it’s worth.

    Reply
  18. Craig H.

    > Inside the circle of trust Science

    Well done article. I had never realized the way they got the experimental subjects. They were mid 30’s infertile couples who were willing to do anything to get pregnant. That’s like Hollywood mad scientist.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s the theory of stochastic terrorism. Which AFAIK doesn’t answer the question about why the message works in some places and times and not others. I paired the DSA link with the Gunz* section for a reason.

      * Really a misnomer at this point, but that’s what we’ve been using.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        One could say that currently American society has a serious problem with neoliberalised stochastic terrorism; America has always been a fairly violent, well armed society in a history going back over three hundred years and there are a number of heavily armed, violent, dysfunctional, often dystopian nations especially in Latin America and Brazil, but the epidemic of mass shootings especially of schools, stores, and public entertainment seems to be almost entirely a 21st century American phenomenon.

        Furthermore, the poorer, class ridden, and heavily policed we become, the more mass shootings that there are with little connection being made in the mainstream media.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      While the President can set a tone, I think this is a misdirection. We have mass murders on all sorts of pretexts, and some for no apparent reason at all. A fairly high percentage are at work places (including schools, young people’s workplaces), though these weren’t . I think our problem is mass murder, the pretexts being largely irrelevant. (I remember the first, the Texas Tower massacre; that guy had a brain tumor.)

      Why do certain people decide to go out and kill a bunch of strangers? Everybody is exposed to Trump; only a very few “hear the message.”

      Which is also Lambert’s point, I think.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Only a very few aside from those actually working for him, that is. And they seem to be merely sadistic, rather than mass murderers.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          IIRC, the era of mass shootings started with the USPS (Going Postal) after its first big cutbacks and work speed-ups. How can it be an accident that the more poor, stressed, and atomized society becomes the more violent it is. Add that it is those ostensibly racist Deplorables, who do tend to have the most guns and on whom the rise of Orange Julius is blamed, it becomes easy to blame the use of gunz as the cause, instead of a symptom of the consequences of the 10% aka, the Credentialed Class, aka the American neoliberal nomenklatura increasing corruption, oppression of the 90%, and the destruction of the bottom 20-30% of the American population.

          Blaming President Trump’s racist dog whistling, while a factor, is also deflecting the previous fifty years of Neoliberalism’s growing destructiveness. As is the alt-Right.

          Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      No idea who Matt Cameron is, but it’s a fair point about “messages.”

      Found myself wondering what “message” he would say was being sent by democrats, particularly in the first debate, and since. Seemingly unanimous support for changing the law to “decriminalize” illegal border crossings, and “healthcare,” education and a path to “citizenship” for anyone who manages to cross the line. Two candidates vying to be the democrat candidate for president of the united states speaking, presumably to voters, in spanish, a language most americans don’t even understand. Vehemently villifying as racist “white nationalists,” “24/7,” anyone who dares to object. Openly denigrating “whiteness” in a way that would never be permitted when referring to those “of color.”

      So, Cameron doesn’t like the word “invasion.” What word would he use?

      And, having read the anonymous blog post discussing stochastic terrorism (linked), I think a good case could be made that there may be more than one in this scenario.

      http://stochasticterrorism.blogspot.com/

      Reply
    4. Tom Doak

      I clipped this from a news story on the shooting; didn’t write down which source:

      “The El Paso police chief said Sunday that a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly before the shooting has been linked to the man arrested in the attack on the border city. The writer expresses concern that an influx of Hispanics into the United States will replace aging white voters, potentially turning Texas blue in upcoming elections and swinging the White House to the Democrats.”

      The person who first started making that argument was not Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have been crowing about the inevitability of demographics for years now.

      Reply
  19. Oregoncharles

    “The Secret Life of Kudzu”
    I’ve talked about the uses of kudzu a number of times. Nice to see it confirmed. I was hoping to see more detail about the uses, but once could look them up. The medicinal and textile uses were new to me.

    It’s a good example of the loss of information when plants or animals are moved to a new environment. Another, also Japanese: Pawlonia, aka Empress Tree. It’s planted as an ornamental, a large tree that covers itself with purple flowers in the spring. In Kentucky, it took off and started spreading through the fields. Farmers were cursing and ripping it out – until they found out how much the Japanese would pay for the wood, which is used in traditional crafts and is scarce in Japan.

    And another, a variation: Anybody else remember Euell Gibbons’ books on wild foods? In the one on seafood, he praises mussels at some length, then comments that they’re little harvested on the West Coast; apparently, in crossing the country, people had forgotten that mussels are edible. I see imported ones in restaurants, but the rocks are coated with them (above the starfish line – I used to live at the coast). I wouldn’t want to see the coast stripped of mussels, but they’re free, easy, and very tasty. The hard part is getting the sand out; if you don’t have a way to hold them in salt water, collect them well away from the beach.

    Good luck to the South in learning to eat kudzu. We don’t have it here, knock wood, but I’ve seen wisteria behave similarly, and wisteria is poisonous. Doesn’t prevent me from growing it – only saw it running wild the one time.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Oh, take my word for it, wisteria can go wild. I’ve seen those lavender blossom trains trailing from the crowns of forty foot tall water oaks in the bottom lands of the Bogue Chitto River. The wisteria also has several colours of blossom. Seeing white and lavender wisterias twined around the same tree and blossoming forth is sublime.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          Could be so. We have two big wisteria vines climbing up several thin and tall trees at the back of our little inner ring older suburban plot. The flower cascades go on up to twenty-five feet above the ground in spring. These ones are lavender. The vines are tough and grow quickly.

          Reply
      1. polecat

        We lived on a property where the dead walnut tree, which straddled on the property line between our house and the one next door, was only held up .. until a windstorm decided otherwise .. by the neighboring ancient wisteria – it had thick, twisted vines – big around as my thigh – twisting throughout the walnut’s crown .. as well as coiled around the neighboring house’s service lines !! .. that one could easily mistake for ships’ rigging !

        Reply
  20. Oregoncharles

    “Inside the Circle of Trust” – “Because the Chinese government has revealed little and He is not talking”.

    May we conclude that Chinese elites are reserving this power for themselves?

    And/but: look up “The White Plague,” by Frank Herbert. Getting scarier by the day.

    Reply
  21. ewmayer

    “Russiagate Is Deader Than Ever” — Bloomberg op-ed author Bershidsky – whose B’berg recent-articles list reveals he’s got a bug up his butt about Teh EvilPutin – just can’t help himself … at the very end he engages in a nice little exercise in projection by parroting the establishment-narrative:

    As for Trump-Russia, the Democratic candidates appear to have made the right decision about it. During Tuesday’s debate, the word “Russia” was heard exactly twice, from Senator Amy Klobuchar, who criticized Trump for pulling out of an arms control agreement. Perhaps the story will float up again as the campaign goes on – but it should stay buried. There are more legitimate reasons to push back against President Vladimir Putin’s regime: His aggression against neighboring countries, his ruthless suppression of protest, his support of other murderous regimes, and so on. In U.S. elections, it’s the voters who decide, regardless of whether Putin helps a candidate by sharing some kompromat.

    Hmm, when I think “aggression against neighboring countries, ruthless suppression of protest, support of other murderous regimes”, Putin’s Russia isn’t the first country I think of. Guess I need to be force-fed remdial MSM Kool-aid!

    Bershidsly, in a maudlin 2014 op-ed he wrote in the Moscow Times noting that he was leaving Russia after its “annexation of Crimea” (note that Firefox gave me dire warnings and asked me to confirm multiple security exceptions before allowing me to view that page), reveals himself as a big fan of the Western elite looting project that was in full swing under Yeltsin:

    I want to confess that I did something foolish once when I was young. Back in 1993, I abandoned my university studies in California and returned to Moscow. European nations had signed the Maastricht Treaty and I dreamed that Russia would join the European Union.

    It seems I was not alone. Former President Boris Yeltsin said, “Europe without Russia is not Europe at all. Only with Russia can it be a Greater Europe, with no possible equal anywhere on the globe.”

    Yeltsin died, as have many other people and ideas since then. After the annexation of Crimea, it became clear that not only Turkey and Albania, but even Ukraine would join the European Union before Russia does.

    And a few paragraphs further on, even says the following, apparently unironically:

    I would love to not only see how future events unfold in Russia, but to play a part in them by helping to create a truly free press — the kind that, as in the U.S., would publish the revelations of men like former National Security Administration leaker Edward Snowden.

    Jeebus, what a tool.

    Reply
  22. CarlH

    Re the 2003 Vanity Fair piece on Epstein-
    I found it interesting that the walls of the entrance way to Epstein’s absurd NY mansion were covered in eyeballs (manufactured for soldiers injured in war). Was this a subtle hint to his important guests of what he was really up to? A hint they would never recognize as such until it was too late? I can hear the thoughts going through one of his marks head now- “Jesus, he even lined the foyer with eyes. He was telling me he was watching me the whole time and I still took that 14 year old up to that room! What have I done?”

    Reply
  23. barrisj

    Bad week for the Second Amendment…from last Sunday to this morning, four mass shootings: Gilroy CA @ six dead; Southhaven MS @ two dead; El Paso TX @ twenty dead; Dayton OH @ nine dead. Usual calls for “better mental health intervention” schemes, but much fewer on mass disarmament…and the beat goes on.
    Have to place massively armed US population in the same box as runaway global warming:
    yeah, real serious, but waddya gonna do?

    Reply
    1. Plenue

      There is literally zero genuine political will in this country to do anything to the second amendment. No one can even be bothered to do tweaking around the edges, like taxing ammunition into the sun. Even attempted shootings of congresscritters hasn’t changed that.

      I think the 2nd will be the last one standing, as the country burns to the ground. And as it burns, the gunnuts will be cleaning their rifles, telling themselves they need their guns ‘in case’ their other rights are threatened.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        There is nothing they can do, but they can’t admit that. There’s multiple hundreds of millions of guns already out in private hands and so banning sales of some types of guns or an ammo tax isnt going to change anything. That horse already bolted and closing the stable door now doesn’t help.
        It would take decades of door to door raids to clean this mess up, and that’s never going to happen, so we might as well let everyone tool up to their hearts desire. Just to be fair.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          In Margaret Atwood’s MaddAdam trilogy, she describes how the various security services merged to form the CorpsSeCorp – an all encompassing private force that had their grubby hands in EVERY pocket that made profit, taking a percentage of the proceeds. They were able to get legislation passed banning all firearms ( for the public’s own safety, of course .. wink wink) – to own one was to be met with a rather harsh outcome ! This was in a future where governments, the elites, and the science brainiacs resided in guarded/gated high-security ‘compounds’ while the rest of society .. the ‘pleeblanders’ .. lived in the rundown suburbs .. living by their wits end in a rather disfunctional environment, both ecologically and economically.
          Now I ask you all, do you see any parallels with what I described in that fiction, to what is going on in real life ??
          I sure as hell do !
          If you think removing guns will make for a non-violent, safe and secure society .. well, I highly doubt you’ll get your wish ..
          I think Margaret was ‘bang-on’ .. if you’ll excuse the pun.

          Reply
            1. polecat

              Then I guess it’s safety for tyranny’s sake ! Because THAT’S what’s in store – for the mopes – if the trends continue as they have .. courtesy of Big Money/Power, with the help of their minions.

              Reply
              1. Plenue

                ‘what’s in store’

                You know we already don’t have habeas corpous, right? Guns have done exactly nothing to stop creeping tyranny.

                Reply
        2. milesc

          There is no way of taking all the guns away, that is correct.

          That doesn’t mean change can’t happen. A ban on new gun sales would be a start. And a gun amnesty; pay people to hand in their guns. Consider it a very long (generations!) and very slow process. Over time, fewer people will own guns and fewer idiots/psychopaths will have far-too-easy access to weapons.

          Or accept that mass killings are an unfortunate but predictable result of second amendment freedoms. It is what it is and no, video games are not to blame. Just the availability of guns makes mass killings inevitable.

          Google “roof Koreans” for a great example of the flip side of gun ownership.

          Reply
  24. Carey

    ‘America’s Collapse: #2 in a series- An Economy Based on Plunder’:

    “..We can conclude that plunder of natural resources and the ability to externalize much of the cost have been major contributors right through the present day to the success of American capitalism. Michael Hudson has described the plunder process in his many books and articles (for example, http://www.unz.com/mhudson/u-s-economic-warfare-and-likely-foreign-defenses/ ), as has John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

    Essentially, capitalism is a plunder mechanism that generates short-run profits by externalizing long-run costs. It exhausts natural resources, including air, land, and water, for temporary profits while imposing most of its costs, such as pollution, on the environment. An example is the destruction of the Amazon rain forest by loggers. The world loses a massive carbon sink that stabilizes the global climate, and loggers gain short-run profits that are a tiny percentage of the long-run costs.

    This destructive process is amplified by the inherently short-run time perspective of capitalist activity which seldom extends beyond the next quarter..”

    https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/01/americas-collapse-2-in-a-series/

    Reply
  25. anon in so cal

    Tulsi Gabbard reached the 150,000 donors goal. Hopefully her poll numbers qualify her for the next round of debates.

    “We’re reached our 150k donor goal! It’s time the establishment takes our message seriously. This is a campaign powered 100% by the people! Join us to help build a bright future .”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Well, both Google and Twitter have done their best to make sure that she and her message is hidden through deliberate, out and out censorship. Next one up to bat is Facebook.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I never thought that I’d live to see the day that politics would steal an idea from auto racing; Poll Position.
        (I shall refrain from making the obvious pun on your ‘handle’ pardner.)

        Reply
    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Ugh my Socialist friends are all drinking the Antifa Kool Aid. Apparently Gabbards a Fascist cuz she Met with Assad, Supports Apartheid in Israel, and Wore a BJP Sash which means she supports Modi whos also a Fascist.

      I went ALL CAPS in my response :)

      Reply
  26. Jack Parsons

    Yeah, I’ve wondered for a long time if Brexit would cause Irish unification, or another round of Troubles.

    Cs are outbreeding Ps in the North, the public school numbers are very clear.

    Reply

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