Links 10/28/19

Kincade Fire forces mass evacuations, burns 84 square miles as containment drops to 5% Sacramento Bee

Climate change: the CMBS angle FT Alphaville. Must-read.

Home Prices Are Sliding in Manhattan’s Costliest Neighborhoods Bloomberg

The private sector alone will not deliver the energy transition FT

So much for a cashless society: Currency is popular again, especially the $100 bill Los Angeles Times


Brexit: EU agrees extension as Boris Johnson looks to trigger UK election — latest news FT

France yields on January 31 Brexit extension Politico

Lib Dems offer Johnson route to December election Guardian. An amendment to the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (!).

Brexit: into the darkness EU Referendum

The long Brexit ordeal will finish off the break-up of Britain Guardian (PD).

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium EU Observer. Belgium has been without a full federal government since December 2018.

Germany’s Left party tops Thuringia election, far-right AfD surges to second Deutsche Welle

Uruguay’s Presidential Election Headed to November Runoff Bloomberg

Argentina’s center-left Peronists celebrate return to power AP


The tip, the raid, the reveal: The takedown of al-Baghdadi AP. Take all of these stories with a truckload of salt.

Pelosi, Schumer call for briefing on death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi The Hill

Attacking the Leader, Missing the Mark: Why Terrorist Groups Survive Decapitation Strikes International Security. April 2014, still germane.

Ahead of Gantz meeting, PM urges broad unity government for sake of security Times of Israel. Bibi: “We need to make tough decisions that require a broad-shouldered government.” See also.

Casting Doubt: Trusting Whistleblowers More Than International Institutions–Syrian CW Attack on Douma Global Justice in the 21st Century

OPCW Losing Credibility As Even More Revelations Surface On Douma Caitlin Johnstone (UserFriendly).


Kashmir is seething — and somebody needs to step in before it’s too late Independent

The Koreas

The Assassination of Park Chung Hee (documents) Money Doesn’t Talk, It Swears

What is the problem with rising dependency ratios in Japan – Part 1? Bill Mitchell (UserFriendly).


Soul-searching for China’s Communist Party elite as they consider way ahead South China Morning Post

China’s Bid for Commodity Price Clout Extends to Natural Gas Bloomberg

Trump Transition

President Donald Trump greeted with boos at Game 5 of World Series, fans chant ‘lock him up’ USA Today. As close to the sound of tumbrils as we are likely to get, from this crowd.

A single weekend showcases the Trump presidency’s highs and lows CNN

Heading off a rail disaster underneath the Hudson NY Post

Secretive military spaceplane lands in Florida after record-long orbital flight Reuters

Impeach DeVos, Not Trump: Democrats should focus on Betsy DeVos’ outrageous mismanagement of the student-loan program Condemned to Debt (UserFriendly).


No, Trump Isn’t Too Stupid to Be Impeached The American Conservative

‘Crisis of confidence’: John Roberts’ impeachment role prompts recusal rumblings Washington Times (Furzy Mouse). Trial balloon.

Democrats in Disarray

Democratic Rep. Katie Hill to resign amid allegations of improper relationship with staffer Los Angeles Times

The battle to keep this country together will be harder in some provinces than others CBC

Health Care

Private equity-backed nursing company linked to serious safety lapses Becker’s Hospital Review


How Europe’s Greedy Lending to Africa Is Driving the Migration Wave That Fuels the EU’s Xenophobic Politics Socialist Economist

Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries NBER

Our Famously Free Press

We sold Pando Sarah Lacy, Pando

Can a ‘nobody’ make a popular, financially stable podcast? Columbia Journalism Review

What Holocaust Restitution Taught Me About Slavery Reparations Politico

Guillotine Watch

Little Donny has such a sense of entitlement:

Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan The Atlantic

Class Warfare

Backfire? Amazon may have just made this election about itself. Seattle Times

Public Monopolies Are a Good Thing Jacobin

Asynchronous Communication: The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive Doist

How aerial technology has changed filmmaking forever The Week

Kyoto’s Gion neighborhood cracks down on photography CNN

Breaking Bread Cabinet Magazine

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (Furzy Mouse):

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.


      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        We’ve come so far from when they blamed the CIA for Obama’s “weakness” because they showed him the real video of who killed Kennedy. It’s amazing how Incredibly “woke” the Cia became in the meantime.

        1. dearieme

          when they blamed the CIA for Obama’s “weakness” because they showed him the real video of who killed Kennedy

          Can you explain that, please?

          1. Pat

            It was one of the numerous meaningless excuses used to explain why Obama was so disappointing regarding our foreign policy/lack of industrial policy/ workers rights/trade…He supposedly was scared straight by getting the real goods on the assassinations.

            As with so many such “reasons” it was just denial that Democratic voters had fallen for a slick snake oil salesman whose only interest was Barack Obama, his bank account and social standing.

              1. witters

                Obama one of them folks that jus’ love the Big End of Town too. Consider what he is proud of:

                (Rice University, 2018)

                “I was extraordinarily proud of the Paris accords because … I know we’re in oil country and we need American energy and, by the way, American energy production,” Obama said at a Rice University gala in Houston on Tuesday.

                “You wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president. That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas — that was me, people,” he added to cheers.

                Obama then said he had a message for anyone in Wall Street who complained about “anti-business” measures.

                “Sometimes you go to Wall Street and folks will be grumbling about anti-business. I said, ‘Have you check where your stocks where your stocks were when I came into office [and] where they are now? What are you complaining about. Just say thank you please,'” Obama quipped.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        According to the Seattle Times article above, Democrats also ran Amazon as the most trusted institution on the US. Perhaps because Amazon and the CIA are increasingly one and the same?!?

        1. JBird4049

          They have trust in the CIA? Maybe it’s because I grew up in the latter half of the Cold War with a family that spoon fed me stories of the Dulles Brothers, Herbert Hoover, and COINTELPRO that I find this an almost unbelievable, even demented, idea.

          Aside from the large numbers of the overly patriotic, but still honest agents, the institutions themselves are only friends with power and the belief that the ends always justify the means.

          Worse, they are like the House of Bourbon; they never forget anything and they never learn anything.

  1. UserFriendly

    I have never hated this country more than I do right know.

    Nerdy guy develops keys to undue ransomware attacks, refuses to take any money from victims. Gets cancer, insured but still racks up medical bills, Gets his car repossessed, wife looses her job, misses 4 mortgage payments and still refuses to charge anyone for the ransomware fix.

    The guy is a saint and the USA is Hell on earth.

    1. inode_buddha

      I can make it better for you:
      We’ve been spending about 3.6 billion per month on military activity in the Middle East for 17 YEARS, and yet here we are arguing about paying for school kids lunches because their slacker parents might not deserve any help.

        1. inode_buddha

          OK, I’m gonna join UserFriendly and start hating, too. That’s just insane, and it sure ain’t capitalism.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Unbelievably under-reported. In 2009 it was all in plain view: TARP debates in Congress, wall-to-wall coverage, Hank Paulsen answering to the people. This time around they decided they could do it all as a backroom deal, away from any prying eyes or any pesky “checks and balances”. No it’s all just “technical adjustments”, business-as-usual. What the NY Fed is doing day in and day out is absolutely outrageous. And note: it’s not to the “benefit” of commercial banks, which could help the real economy through lending and money creation. No, it’s for the primary dealers, so the beneficiary is hedge funds and other big pools of capital. Mostly outside the US. And of course the US Treasury absolutely struggling to just keep the USG lights on with trillions of Treasuries that somebody must buy, or else the paycheck for that staff sergeant stationed in Guam, paid $100K per year to move a paper from one side of his desk to the other before retiring to the beach (and retiring for good at 53) will bounce.

          I am sooooo uninterested in what the Orange Man did or did not say to his Ukrainian counterpart. Nero Schiff can fiddle away all he likes: the whole place is on fire

        3. Oregoncharles

          From the first link: “The New York Fed will now be lavishing up to $120 billion a day in cheap overnight loans to Wall Street securities trading firms, a daily increase of $45 billion from its previously announced $75 billion a day.” – and a miracle! The stock market shot up to a new height (from which, of course, it will inevitably fall).

          Has anyone checked the Fed directors’ investment holdings lately? My guess is a share of that went right in their pockets.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Ugh…if this guy had just learned to code…wait a second…could “liberals” be wrong?

      1. Jason Boxman

        Google had a learn to code badge right on their search page a few days ago when I loaded it up. The popular strategy recently seems to be to “outsource” to fly-over country; maybe it’s cheaper than importing H1Bs now?

        1. Calypso Facto

          Purely anecdotal, personal experience: I’ve worked the last ~8 years in tech, prior to that I did a few years in tech departments of non-tech companies. With the M&A madness since the crash I’ve gone through a series of startups that were bought by behemoths (one a 3-letter acronym everyone recognizes and not for their current quality) and now I’m back at a well-regarded startup.

          Since about 2014 there has been an accelerating push at every employer I’ve been at and most that I interact with or am aware of via my friends and colleagues towards async, remote work via Slack and similar tools (the async communication link from Doist above was good!) and since that has happened I have seen almost no H1-B hires. Even the Notorious Acronym, which publicly was moving away from remote work, was unable to escape this on vast swathes of the technical teams as they were hit with mass attrition in response when they tried to implement it and had to backtrack internally and switch to forced relocations and hirings to transition away from it. And then nobody would show up to the offices, they still worked remotely. And yes, a huge number of those technical workers are in flyover states.

          My current startup doesn’t do H1-B at all and is open about it. They actively seek out cultural fits and train the best fits to do the work. Hilariously, they recently had to expand the hiring pool for a set of jobs that a director wanted to be hired in San Francisco – they couldn’t fill them (salary ranges too high to find someone with the right skillset for a startup). They filled the job within two weeks of expanding the search to flyover.

          1. Krystyn Walentka

            I do not know if this is a good or bad thing. Are these remote workers getting the same salary they would if they moved to San Francisco? I do not understand why it is better to exploit someone in Wichita rather than in Mumbai…

            If a business is not sustainable in your community it is not susatianable.

            1. Calypso Facto

              They’re getting a good salary for a tech worker (110-140k) which is low for a San Francisco tech worker who can command double that if they’re extremely good at their job. Salaries are distorted in San Francisco because of real estate costs.

              I currently live in Oklahoma City (not to far from Wichita, where I grew up!) and I could support a family on my salary. Many of my coworkers support a stay at home wife and multiple children.

              1. JBird4049

                That sounds right. Do not forget that the entire San Francisco Bay Area’s housing is insanely expensive, especially on the peninsula and right into the Santa Clara (aka Silicon) Valley. One bedroom apartments start north of two thousand a month. Two bedrooms at three. And we are talking older or trashy ones.

                So just to be a working class person should mean 50k or more a year. If you can get it, as an hourly wage might start at $16, but really does not rise that quickly. A tech worker might be able to make a go at it, but everyone else is falling evermore behind.

            2. Voltaire Jr.

              If a business is not sustainable in your community it is not susatianable.

              My response:
              Our software serves the world.

          2. Leftcoastindie

            This is good to hear. I’ve been in tech going on 40 years now and the last 20+ years have been a nightmare due to the H1-B visa and the off shoring of jobs in my industry. Incomes (for consultants) are at or less than what I was making in 1997 when I started the consulting side of my career. It’s too late for me but hopefully not for the younger ones..

        2. Robert McGregor

          I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming last week, and the locals are very proud of having their own Google office now in their city. It’s an impressive building with a big “GOOGLE” sign at the top.

          1. Oh

            Fools that they are, they don’t realize that Google will be wreaking untold damage to their lives if it’s not already doing so.

    3. jef

      The guy is playing the game all wrong, of course he is losing. I am always amazed that reasonably smart people are surprised when people stop playing by the rules of the game while still in the game and bad things happen.

      We need to get rid of the game all together and come up with a better one instead of fiddling with the rules here and there. First we need to acknowledge the fact that all the bad behaviour we love to point at is perfectly logical within the context of the existing game.

      We as thinking humans know exactly how a better game could be structured but we are constantly being told that there is no alternative and we buy it.

      1. Geo

        Playing by the rules in a rigged game also guarantees you’ll lose (unless the game is rigged for your advantage). Agree we need to change the game but until then the only way any “little people” can get ahead is to break the rules.

        1. jef

          “If the game is rigged, the only way to win is not to play.”

          100% agree! But most people do that by just playing the game badly like the guy in the story.

          I bet you 99.9% of people don’t have a clue how to “not play” and would never even think of doing it if they did know.

    4. JTMcPhee

      Maybe people here could figure out a way to set up some kind of “ex gratia” payment mechanism to, like, send some money, without strings, to Mr. Michael Gillespie? Better than just hating the country (that big blob), maybe? I have no idea how to go about it. GoFundMe?

      It’s apparent that Capitalism is not going to do a damn thing for someone who will clean up some of their piles of sh_t code problems for just the sense of doing good and beating the bad guys. Here’s hoping no “state actor” decides this young man (and thee other individuals, yes, INDIVIDUALS, who it seems are acting the part of an immune system for this wreck of a global culture…

      I’m in for $20. Anyone else?

      1. Olga

        Yes, we live in a world in which left and right lost their original meaning. Things seem soooo upside down.

  2. Steve H.

    > We sold Pando

    “we pivoted our entire business to a subscription model rather than quit. We withstood a combined threatened $400 million in baseless legal fights.”


  3. Alex morfesis

    The squirrel seems to be trying to remind everyone it is world freedom day….commonly known as “Oxi” day in Greece, when the 4th most interesting man in the world from ithaki, metaxas, famously (at least in Greece) is purported to have told “il duce” and his krewe, oxi in response to a request to allow the Italian Army to occupy Greece.

    Technically the response given by Metaxas was “alors, c’est la guerre” and when the surprised Italian General tried to talk past Metaxas as if he had not heard him the first time, “then” the little ithakan (commonly known to have kept the German high command up at night*) shouted “oxi” twice, before having the insolant fool removed from his presence.

    Metaxas had led a trap for the axis powers, having mimicked their appearances and style to buy time, he had supplied weapons and personnel against the Italian actions in Ethiopia (fellow Orthodox christians) and having attended german military colleges*, read rommels book before Patton ever did.

    500,000 plus greeks were murdered by bullet or starvation for having had the audacity to prove one could punch back against the smoke and mirrors Loni R movie military machine of the “Axis” powers.

    Metaxas not only brushed back the Italians, but then proceeded to take half of Albania from them, only stopping when his spies confirmed Germany had moved Barbarossa from March to June on that fatefule day of November 22, 1940.

    As “mister panos” likes to conclude….

    And to the rest of the world, you are welcome…from Greece…..

    1. The Rev Kev

      And because the Wehrmacht was caught up in the fighting in Greece, Crete, etc. to bail out the Duke’s forces, it threw their preparations for the German invasion of Russia completely out. By the time they launched their invasion of Russia, it was later in the year than they wanted so that in the end, the Russian winter brought the German forces to a stop at the doors of Moscow with the German forces still wearing their summer clothing as the snows fell.

      1. anon in so cal

        Why is NATO ordering up winter gear?

        “#NATO Procurement Agency’s bid for snow camouflages (78.000 sets) & cold weather clothing (€70 mln) – for winter operations -40°C.❗️To prove
        @NATO’s purely defensive military planning?

        Maybe worth procuring history ? on #WW2 (#Stalingrad) ”

      2. Procopius

        What really defeated the Germans in the Soviet Union was the different gauge of the railroads and the lack of roads. It was logistics.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      In a response to one of your comments yesterday, I mentioned having done some archaeology in Greece. We were working a site in Crete looking for bronze age artifacts and while we did find plenty of those, we also found the dog tags of an Italian WWII soldier buried under a rock. The older locals told stories of old men and children (the men of fighting age were already off to war) stabbing Italian paratroopers with pitchforks as they tired to land. Evidently we’d uncovered one of their victims.

      1. ddt

        Think the paratroopers were German. Never read anywhere that they were joined by Italians when Crete was invaded.

        Ζήτω η Ελλάδα μας Μορφεση.

    3. Plenue

      “Metaxas had led a trap for the axis powers, having mimicked their appearances and style to buy time”

      I’m pretty sure this is a gross misreading of history. Metaxas was a committed fascist who hated democracy. He just wasn’t keen on siding with the Axis. But a neutral fascist is still a fascist.

      1. ddt

        Fun fact: Metaxas also tried to do away with goats as he deemed them a scourge on the flora/countryside.

        1. The Rev Kev

          He was right. Get too many and they hammer the vegetation flat which helps erosion of the soiul.

  4. Steve H.

    > Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries


    Figures 3 and 4 (Average Income Rank for Children Born to 25th Percentile [75th], by Father’s Birthplace), and Figure A26 (Average Income Rank for Children Born to 25th and 75th Percentile, by Cohort and Mother’s Birthplace) clearly show a much larger shift for those in the 25th percentile. Given the ““under-placement” of the first generation in the income distribution”, that first generation of those not bringing their own wealth eats dirt for their kids. How much of that could be due to language barrier? 75th percentile looks like it comes in with some wealth and keeps it.

    Also, wow, looks like big differences due to where Mom & Dad come from. It’s outside the scope of the study, but clear as day.

    1. Another Scott

      Interesting article, but it also reveals authors thinking within a cocoon of economics and there appears to be little engagement with non-economic history or primary sources. For example, they state “In the past, immigrants were overwhelmingly white, and so we compare immigrants to the white US-born population in the historical data. Today, in contrast, immigrants are more ethnically diverse.” That is not how people of a hundred years ago would have seen it. Many divided Europeans into races (Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean), and virtually none saw Latino as a race the same way that it is seen today.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “How aerial technology has changed filmmaking forever”

    The use of drones goes back a bit earlier than suggested in this article. I heard that during the filming of the 1993 movie “Gettysburg”, that they used a drone to get some footage instead of using a helicopter which had been more common. Below is a link to a clip which shows the results of this earlier use of drones in filming-

    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      The IMO brilliant & heartrending documentary film ” Human Flow ” uses drones particularly over refugee camps in the ME & elsewhere, to actually enable the viewer to grasp something akin to the true scale of the problem.. One shot in which a drone descends vertically from a great height down onto a camp is stunning.

      1. metannoya

        Thanks Eustache de Saint Pierre.
        all the talk about isis is nonsense; this is where it comes from

  6. JohnnyGL

    The big litany of excuses in politico for why reparations is a bad idea is really pathetic.

    My favorite is the ‘we don’t have good records’ excuse. Really!?!?! Slaves were the 2nd biggest asset class in the country right before the Civil War, you seriously are going to tell me that recordkeeping was sloppy on the workforce that brought in all the foreign exchange from cotton sales to europe?!?!?!

    For those who can’t be bothered to read, it’s a sleight of hand redefining of the issue (as if everything was dandy post-reconstruction) and a giant pile of excuses that amount to “i don’t want to pay more taxes.” And also crudely reducing reparations down to cutting some checks.

    Readers of this site will notice the parallels with excuses about why we can’t do medicare for all.

    “Too expensive” — make the beneficiaries of jim crow, redlining, prison labor, and slavery cut the biggest checks.

    “Too divisive” — no, what’s divisive is the current levels of wealth inequality and segregation. Why is it so difficult to unite the working class across racial lines? Maybe the massive inequality and segregation plays a bigger role than we realize?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not that Bill Clinton was wealthy but his step dad was an auto dealer in the South. Then there are the banks who handled the slave capital. My guess is this would run through the #nevertrump republicans. Then the obvious questions about Hollywood’s marketing of former confederates as heroes through countless movies has to be questioned (John Wayne was at least usually a union officer).

      Stealing land from the locals is disappeared behind time, but MLK would have turned 100 in the last few years. I figure they know if their money came from slaves. 41 and Bill Clinton certainly played up fear of the other, but I bet they are more worried about themselves or their donor friends.

      1. JohnnyGL

        McConnell, Obama, O’Rourke….all have admitted to have slave-owners among their ancestors.

        It’s easy to be flippant about this and say, “no, it can’t be that pervasive and historically important among the ruling classes”.

        But this sort of thing, curiously, keeps popping up, almost as if we’ve got a ruling class here in america and that ruling class (like all ruling classes) has an ugly history that gets airbrushed away.

        1. Calypso Facto

          do native americans get reparations too? what about women? tell me, is there a hierarchy of oppression? who is at the bottom and who is slotted to rise up next when it’s ‘their’ turn?

          what happens when a portion of african americans cannot trace their lineage to slave ownership, are thusly denied reparations, and are STILL the victim of inequality? more money?

          friend, this is a cynical elite divide-and-conquer strategy to split the immiserated working class. how about mass debt jubilee + austerity suffering reparations for the entire 99% plus punitive taxes to prevent billionaires from ever happening again.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The elites in our society are still very much the beneficiaries of slaves, even if its been 150 years. They divide and conquer, but it should be very clear these people who say healthcare would cost too much and hamper innovation are still the beneficiaries of slavery.

          2. JohnnyGL

            “friend, this is a cynical elite divide-and-conquer strategy to split the immiserated working class.”

            What we have in society RIGHT NOW is what you’ve said here. If America made a genuine effort to bring equality to black America, does that not open the possibility for more solidarity, instead of less?

            After all, the racial wealth gap is very real. It’s hard for people who’ve got a little bit of family wealth (some home equity, for example) to build solidarity with people who’ve got practically nothing. There’s jealousy, trust issues, potential for class betrayal by aligning with elites.

            I understand the suspicision, and there’s a lot of reason for cyncism, but the ADOS movement has very clearly been rattling cages. There was a stretch where establishment dems tried to weaponize this against Bernie….it didn’t get anywhere and got uncomfortable in a hurry (Kamala Harris flubbed it repeatedly), so they dropped it.

            It doesn’t get named in the article, but it’s clear the article is a response to the ADOS bunch who’ve been bothering congressional reps who don’t want to give their constituents anything. The elites can’t control it, so they’re denouncing it.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Didn’t answer the question: is there a hierarchy of repression”?

              And I’d add: why is there a time limit? 200 years ago seems random. My people (Huguenots) were slaughtered by Catholics in the 15th century, when do I get my check from the Vatican?

              And certainly a bit more recent: are you ready to fund compensation for the Trail of Tears? I’d think red people in general have an even stronger claim than black ones. Genocide, not just indentured servitude:


              1. The Rev Kev

                I’m pretty sure that the Romans oppressed my Celtic ancestors in the 1st century AD and took some of their land. They used that seized land to build a new town that they called Londinium so I want that land back.

              2. jrs

                If you really believe it’s all 200 years ago and not much more recent. But obviously that isn’t so.

            2. hunkerdown

              Are you aware of just how many “white” people have negative net worth? “Only” about half as many as Blacks, quoth the Fed.

              Although most families do have some wealth, the number with zero or negative net worth (having debts that exceed assets) is nontrivial and varies by race/ethnicity. Nearly one in five black households has zero or negative net worth. The share of white households without any wealth is considerably smaller, at 9 percent. Hispanic and other households fall somewhere in between white and black families on this measure.

              Also interesting is Figure 2, showing how “white” wealth has been the slowest to recover since the GFC.

              One of the oldest strategies to sow discord is to give some slice of a group some benefit and not give other slices of that group that benefit. Far from promoting solidarity, it damages it, intentionally. Indeed, far from dividing elites, such a gift would be accepted with gratitude, since the formerly disadvantaged can now be meaningful participants in the “familyblog you, I got mine” American culture. Context matters here.

              Black bougies like Coates and Bouie are in for reparations, and they know why. It’s the Warren-Summers theory of change: play ball and maybe we’ll let you put your name on this policy document. They can’t play ball if the PMC doesn’t own the field. And here they are, lining up for their job implementing complex eligibility requirements and totting up slights to weigh any individual Black family against another and divide the pie accordingly. It’s their usual MO and I don’t see why the bougies of all races wouldn’t run that same reliable play over again.

          3. Jonathan Holland Becnel


            This is a wedge issue created by the DNC and their Minions to defeat Bernie Sanders’ support from Black people. I hate using Identity Politics to make an argument because people cant be divided into neat, little cubes of data. But most people dont know wtf is going on and assume our Political Parties are there to help people according to their own ascriptive identity.

            The South is Bernies Achilles Heel.

    2. The Historian

      I must say I am ambivalent about reparations. I see it as just an attempt by the elite to assuage their guilt. Unfortunately you cannot undo history and you cannot buy it off. All we can do is learn from it, something Americans are very bad at. And yes, there were some major defects in that Politico article, but the author did make one good point. The time for reparations was during Reconstruction, but unfortunately, Americans at the time were not humane enough to understand what they had done to their slaves.

      How much money will each slave descendent get? It may be enough to put a down payment on a new house, but will it get that person a good paying job so that he/she can afford the monthly payments? It may be enough to get a child a college education, but will it convince some person to hire that child afterwords? It may be enough to buy a person a car so he/she can get to work but will it convince their employer to consider them for advancement?

      And what happens after all that money is spent? Do the elite get to say: “We paid you reparations, now you are on your own and we don’t feel the need to do anything more for you.”?

      Reparations won’t solve the problems keeping blacks from succeeding – those problems are inherent in American society and giving some people money doesn’t change societal views.

      I agree that we should get a huge pot of money together – enough to pay all slave descendents a reparation – but we should use that money to invest in their neighborhoods, to get them jobs and infrastructure to support those jobs, to provide for more and more adequate education, and to encourage more black businesses. Perhaps some of that money should be invested in another Civil Rights movement to change societal mores since the last one was incomplete.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Your concerns are correct ones. Cutting a few measly checks and saying, “okay, we’re done. Guilt absolved.” is certainly a risk.

        The worst programs that get drawn up involve lining the pockets of black media personalities/celebs, corrupt non-profits, and elite power-brokers. Kind of like what happened with Indian casinos.

        But considering that checks got cut for the Holocaust and for the Japanese internment, how can we justify NOT cutting checks for the crimes of slavery, redlining, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, etc?

        1. Oregoncharles

          Checks for both the Holocaust and Japanese internment went to surviving victims. (A friend’s mother got a check for the latter; he did not.) There are no surviving victims of slavery.

          There are surviving victims of Jim Crow – essentially the entire black population. But that poses he sme old question: once check won’ accomplish much. What’s needed are programs to raise the bottom of society.

          Remember also, a lot of surviving ADOS are white – for a long time, anyone who could pass did.

    3. John A

      When slavery was abolished in Britain, the slave owners were amply compensated for the loss of their ‘assets’.

      1. dearieme

        How many lives, how much money, would the US have saved if it had done the same?

        P.S. It wasn’t “in Britain” of course, but in the Empire – mainly the Caribbean I suppose.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Including the Carolinas across the water when the Brits started to add Africans to the existing Native American slave population.

        2. ambrit

          Abolition happened in two phases. First in England proper in 1772, by an opinion of the Bench, ‘Somerset v Stewart’ (See: and later in the two part abolition in the ex-England Territories, first 1807, [the ending of the slave trade,] and then 1833, [the emancipation process proper.])
          As with any political system that allows competing powers, progress was slow.
          The death rate for plantation hands in the Caribbean and South America was horrendous.

        3. John A

          P.S. It wasn’t “in Britain” of course, but in the Empire

          OK mr pedant. When slavery was abolished by the British parliament.

    4. David

      I decided a while ago that I would take these kinds of arguments seriously when their authors suggested that perhaps the rulers and slave traders in Africa who enslaved their own people and sold them to Arab and European traders bore some responsibility, and that their descendants should acknowledge this. Until then, I ‘m afraid it’s just another human rights business opportunity.

      1. JohnnyGL

        If you listen to those who are making a good faith argument in the debate, then yes, you’ll find they very much have issues with the local proxies who did the dirty work of rounding people up to sell to Europeans.

        The way it gets spun in the media is that black Americans are ‘anti-African immigrants’. When it often turns out the African immigrants come from elite tribes and classes within those countries that… guessed it….were slave traders!

        1. polecat

          Let’s not forget that the Arabs ….who we presently curry favor to, also had (have?) a hand in the Slave Trade back in the day .. tho they were equal inopportunity slavers, snatching others not of african descent as well …
          I don’t see any discussion regarding Their exploits, as it purtains to the American Slave Trade. Also .. Where are MY reparations*, where my downtrodden Irish ancestors are concerned .. or, if we were to
          go back even futher in time .. say a millennium × 20, or so .. of my significant other, whose Neanderthal ancestors no doubt were subjugated by those ugly newcomers, the Sapiens ??

          *I care not for recompense .. just an imperfect attempt at showing how far the racial justice rabbit hole goes …..

          1. Monty

            Difference is, your ancestors were not promised 40 acres and a mule by the US government’s Lincoln administration.

            1. ambrit

              My Neanderthal ancestors were promised that those ‘dirty’ Denisovans would not be allowed to move into Neanderthal valleys. Look where that got us.
              Since the Denisovans were probably from the central Asian plains, it must have been an early Russian plot.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Those African rulers and their tribes did a lot more than “round up people to sell to europeans”:

          Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa, and still continues today in some countries.

          Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa, as they were in much of the ancient world. In many African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world. When the Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the local slave systems began supplying captives for slave markets outside Africa.[1]
          Slavery in historical Africa was practiced in many different forms: Debt slavery, enslavement of war captives, military slavery, slavery for prostitution and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa.[2] Slavery for domestic and court purposes was widespread throughout Africa. Plantation slavery also occurred primarily on the eastern coast of Africa and in parts of West Africa. The importance of domestic plantation slavery increased during the 19th century due to the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Many African states dependent on the international slave trade reoriented their economies towards legitimate commerce worked by slave labor….

          I really like the bolded clauses there — “Slavery continues to this day in some countries” (Saudi Arabia. Libya, Others, thank you America, bastion of freedom and law, and the persistence of rent-taking on the backs of unfortunate mopes) and )“legitimate commerce worked by slave labor.” Bezos, are you attending?

          Let me put my bid in for reparations from England for slaughtering a lot of my (distance) kinfolk, “clearing” them off to Ireland, working them as slaves on the land there, and shipping many of them off to the Colonies, including Australia where they were again worked as slaves in “legitimate commerce.”

          Maybe there’s a board game, or some kind of online game, where we can stack up points of pain and dispossession and slave labor, and see who comes up winners. Of course the game design and weighting of points and whatnot would be a “fraught experience.”

          “The arc of history bends toward justice.” Not, I fear, at all true.

          Full disclosure: Father’s line goes through the Scotch-Irish experience of indenture and repression, but mother’s side includes my direct lineal ancestor who was the first white child born to the Mayflower gang, and John Trumbull, colonial and revolutionary bigwig of privilege.

          1. polecat

            One reason that west africans were utilized so much within the Atlantic slave trade, was due to their relative immunity to disease .. chiefly Malaria & Yellow fever .. as well, to some extent, to Dengue fever. When the European exchance began, it brought with it these old world scourges, and with them the mosquitos who happened to hitch a free ride .. with which the native americans and indentured at the time had little (or none) in the way of immunity, and thus ..due to lethargy and high death rates, made the west african slaves better adapted, and hence a much sought after commodity by the plantation owners, over the former demographic groups. A later irony emerged, being that future generations of american born slaves lost, at least partially, their resistance to these old world diseases, whereby they were deemed lazy and shiftless by their betters – the concept of disease transmission via the mosquito had not yet been discovered, the very same diseases that annihilated much of the Caribbean & Central/South American indigenous peoples.

            just an historical fyi ….

          2. eg

            Then you ought to pay reparations to yourself, eh?

            Oh, and those of us already under the cosh in Eire when the sassenachs shoveled your lot on top of us were none too thrilled with that arrangement, thanks very little …

            1. ambrit

              My Irish ancestors went the other bloody way. (For which a distant cousin branch of the family still will not forgive us. [True. And you wonder why people in the Middle East are still fighting over events from the Ottoman Empire period.])

    5. Plenue

      Reparations amounts to collective punishment of people who didn’t commit the transgressions for the benefit of people whom the transgressions were not committed against.

      If you want to talk about leveling proposals to address all kinds of currently ongoing injustices, measures which will inevitably disproportionately benefit black people in particular, on the basis that simply having a pulse should entitle everyone to material benefits, I’m with you.

      “I don’t want to pay more taxes” in fact is a valid critique, at least for the not particularly wealthy majority of the population.

      1. HotFlash

        Paying a lump sum could never *ever* compensate for the lost lives, wealth, opportunity, freedom, and, as many commenters have noted, would put ‘paid’ to society’s debt — and the discrimination could go on. But ‘reparations’ could be considered as (wait for it…) actually repairing the damage done. For instance, a jobs guarantee and/or UBI. I know there are problems with the choices, but I personally know many older, disabled, and otherwise disadvantaged people who here in Canada have secure means of support from govt programs (=~UBI, OW, CPP, GIS, ODSP), and who contribute greatly to our society through volunteering and such, so it’s a call I don’t want to get into at this time.

        But what sorts of things could *repair* the damage done by at least 400 years (2019 – 1619) of slavery, if you don’t count back to 1492 (“They would make excellent slaves.” — C. Columbus). Well, maybe good schools. Since US schools are mainly funded by local taxes, poor neighbourhoods get poor schools. So, school funding, from pre-K through 12 public colleges and trade schools, should be universal and *federal*. And available to anyone at any age.

        Home ownership? Not sure that’s a real priority, but not paying exorbitant rents to landlords, private or commercial, would be a great help. Coops, perhaps, or govt-owned and/or subsidized (careful here, since it can be undone by any administration).

        Reasonable loans for business start-ups? Again, I think coops are a way to go here.

        Medicare for All!!! Totally, including dental, mental health, and prescriptions. Cooperative, locally owned, and/or nationalized (I know youse USians don’t do this much) hospitals and health clinics. As in *not for profit*, as in cooperatively-run, as in no CEO’s at a half million or more salary. Board of Directors are local folks, admin may be pros but not hugely paid.

        I will drop this here, as I have to dash, but later I will try to talk about how divisive this would be not only white/black, but among blacks. I am white myself, just so you know. My family came from Ireland during the clearances and Potato Famine. I compare notes often with my friends who are Indigenous Canadians here — same tactics from the British, similar results, except we got sent over here to take over *their* lands. We have not been able to figure out who owes whom what, but if nobody were suffering, the problem would be a lot less painful.

  7. toshiro_mifune

    The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive

    Because remote workers essentially never leave the office.

    1. Steve H.

      Not saying that’s not an issue, but they effectively controlled for this in their analysis:

      “A 2015 study conducted by Yahoo Labs found that the most common email response time was just 2 minutes.”
      “[Real-time-all-the-time communication] leads to constant interruptions. Interruptions split people’s attention and make it more difficult to make meaningful progress on work.”

      The email response time can happen with remote workers, but they turned off notifications. Theo Compernolle, in “BrainChains”, presented enough to derive a formula for productivity and interruptions. Take the number of interruptions and make it the denominator, under the time spent. So 4 interruptions in a 20 minute session results in 5 minutes of productive work.

    1. ambrit

      My little sister and Mom live in the effected area. The word from the street is that populations of ‘local’ animals are cratering. The slithery serpents will eat almost anything they can catch. Their numbers are growing. They are already adapted to the climate. Promoting Pythons as a ‘varmint’ species with a hefty bounty might help. If that weren’t enough, the locals are really worried about Anacondas. If they become established in the Everglades, only catastrophic sea level rise would solve the problem.

        1. ambrit

          Yes, all snakes do if I’m not mistaken, but we’re talking fifty to sixty foot deep waters. (The geologic record indicates that sea level rises come in large ‘spurts,’ not gradual and uniform accretion. Why this is so is a matter for ‘lively’ debate. [A lot of academic rice bowls will be in danger of fragmentation when Uniformimentarianism finally bites the dust])

        1. ambrit

          I can attest that rattlesnake does taste something like the Persian Fowl.
          s/ Pythons are best served as pate. /s

  8. Wukchumni

    The largest Sequoia: the Sherman Tree was thought to have been named in 1879 by a Union Civil War veteran named James Wolverton, who served under the general, and a friend was researching this, and found that his real name was Joel Wolverton, and he was a deserter whose unit didn’t serve under Sherman as it turned out, and there is no record of him ever being in the area before 1890.

    The socialist utopian group here in the mid 1880’s: the Kaweah Colony had named it the Karl Marx tree after their mentor from the fatherland, and now with new revelations, the plot thickens.

    Was it renamed, so the taint wouldn’t remain?

  9. petal

    When I arrived at work this morning, a coworker was gloating to me about the “Lock him up” chants at the baseball game. She’s a hardcore liberal with TDS. She was ecstatic and saying “It’s going down! It’s going down!” and called him “orange man”, etc. She is 100% convinced he’s going to be removed from office. To be honest, it was really obnoxious.

    1. JohnnyGL

      No surprise that sort of thing pops up in DC.

      Do recall how widely derided those chants were in 2016 as crude, tacky, even dangerous….now, they’re cutting-edge in anti-trump world.

      GW Bush was also widely derided, and is not widely respected by the establishment of team dem and their true believers.

      1. JTMcPhee

        JohnnyGL, re GW Bush, you said “not widely respected.” Did you mean “NOW widely respected by the establishment of team dem and their true believers”?

    2. inode_buddha

      These people never do any actual research beyond the 6-o’clock news, and gut feelings. I know, it’s a PITA. My sympathies, I have had both coworkers and family members wanting to lock up wither Hilary or Trump. I say lock up both and they look at me like I crawled out from under a rock on Mars. And tell me that Joe Biden’s son is dead, and it’s not illegal to own a hotel.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I would also suggest their education is severely lacking in the first place. Not that they need to be experts or even know anything about a particular item, but they so little and lack any kind of frame of references they can only rely on faith and soothing voices of the priest caste (economists, the msm). Addressing their ignorance about the world around them would strike at their core identity.

        Trump didn’t break brains as much as remove the soothing voice. The brains were already mush.

        1. anon in so cal

          Academics are some of those most afflicted by TDS. Many have a very narrow area of expertise and do not read outside of it. Many also do not read alternative media. Some also violate social norms that proscribe introducing politics into regular proceedings.

    3. tegnost

      She probably thinks that even hillary could beat pence…that said I too think trump will be deposed, that stadium was filled with lobbyists and special interests and every dark creature from the blob and they’ll take him down eventually, but it will be a phyrric victory. Those people, as well as your coworker, can’t see any interests but their own and it’s an echo chamber, but the people who supported trump despise those people. There’s never going to be an “I wish I voted for hillary” moment. In a lot of ways it’s still 2016 where a minority of the country composed of wealthy employed insured pensioned and 401k’d people are incensed that the proles don’t know who’s boss, not realizing that they can’t fire us because we already quit. The quip from the billionaire, paraphrased, what happens when 160 million people blow up as they can’t have their crappy insurance anymore? Only 120 million voted in the 2016 election, all those people plus another 40 million are going to complain? The funniest thing is when people who portray themselves as smart can’t do simple math.

      1. petal

        I brought up that it was filled with lobbyists, etc, like I believe was mentioned last week or over the weekend. I was getting at “consider the source” and “gee, why might this group of people have a vested interest in keeping things as they have been(prior to Trump)” but it meant nothing to this person. Fell on deaf ears. They have a one-track mind and were gleeful.

    4. Wukchumni

      I’ve been to 1 World Series game, a $50 Uecker seat in the upper deck way down the right field line for the 2nd stanza of the 1988 fall classic, the game after Gibson’s homer…

      …on the way to the turnstiles, I could’ve sold my ducat for a grandido, so many desperate people hoping for a repeat of the heroics

      Lightning only strikes occasionally in a cloudless sky, and the game was a bit of a happy snoozer, with the Dodgers winning on a shutout 6-0.

      On the streets of L.A. you’d see banners on lampposts with Dodger players on high, now the same lampposts have the names of those that enlisted in our armed forces, and are what passes for heroes.

      An example:

    5. dcblogger

      I don’t understand how Trump could not know that he would be booed at a Nationals games. Hillary carried Greater Washington by a landslide, not just within the Beltway, but all the surrounding jurisdictions. Of course they were going to boo him.
      Trump is a horrible and openly corrupt president. To speak of his critics as having Trump Derangement Syndrome is to willfully blind to his corruption.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With all the lobbyists at the game, you would think they might have found a kindred soul. Lets not pretend this is the mid-summer crowd at an Oakland-Rays game.

      2. Carey

        I prefer open corruption to hidden, genteel corruption; because
        it’s honest, and it will get us where we have to go quicker.

        1. marym

          I’m pessimistic that “trash everything” has any more chance of a good outcome than “restore it to pre-Trump, we’ll tweak it at the margins.”

          1. ambrit

            Turn that meme on it’s head. There are no good “Officially Approved” choices.
            I am constantly amazed at the DNC-bots refusal to back Sanders and win power for a generation.

            1. scoff

              A Sanders administration, with a contingent of commited congress critters, could change the course of multiple generations.

              Young people are paying attention. If we let them down, if we don’t alter our current trajectory, they know their future will be family blogged.

              1. ambrit

                Yes. I knew I was [family blogged] when the DCCC begging letter opened with the statement that; “This’ll only hurt for a little while.”

      3. urblintz

        Excuse me? One can be fully aware of Trump’s corruption (who could NOT be aware, he’s been a criminal his whole life, crimes that went untested in our Democrat-approved-pro-business-look-the-other-way-for-rich-people judicial system for decades) while at the same time be spot on about the Derangement syndrome that spawned a new and more dangerous cold war, revealed the Democratic party as the cheering squad for the National Security State and bagman for the Pentagon and has turned the very meaning of “progressive” on it’s head. Exhibit A: DailyKos

        So, if you’re a partisan who actually believes the absurd mythology of Trump as a manchurian candidate in league with the “evil” Russia, if you have joined in the new McCarthyism promoted by the Clinton machine, if you saw no overt racism in Clapper’s designation of “Russians” as “genetically predisposed” (like his non-responsive “liberal” co-hosts on MSNBC)… and perhaps most important, if you remain uncritical of the Obama White House’s malign economic policies and overt failures, I would suggest you be careful about accusing others of “willful” blindness.

        There was a principled way to take out Trump. 3 1/2 years of Anti-Russian propaganda was not it. Let’s talk about willful ignorance…

        1. marym

          If one doesn’t subscribe to “Russiagate” and was critical of Obama’s policies during the Obama years, is it ok to be ok with people boo-ing Trump for maybe some self-serving reasons along with at least some concern about the cruelty and corruption?

          Like maybe being given at least as much credibility as that given to Trump’s hate rally followers for supposedly caring about something besides celebrating the cruelty and corruption?

          1. Wukchumni

            The rallies are interesting, as it’s a verbal wrestling match with defined bad guys & good guys, and cues for the faithful to jeer or cheer.

            Presumably Clint Eastwood’s chair will come in handy @ some point, having the chief executive bashing it over somebody.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Booing at a ball game is fine. But we have institutions that are intended to serve as checks and balances. One such institution is a presidential election, you know, where the people select their preferred leader? Another institution is the legal system. “Innocent until proven guilty” and all that. We have checks in place that are supposed to ensure that the intelligence agencies are not employed by the then-current administration for purely political purposes.

            And so the Dems hand the Repubs The Doomsday Weapon. Day One of the Biden Administration, the Repubs launch impeachment proceedings against Biden for his thoroughly-documented cut-and-dried-and-provable-in-a-court-of-law Ukraine activities. Just play the friggin’ video of Sloppy Joe doing precisely what Trump is being accused of.

            Really? That’s where we should be going?

            1. marym

              Impeachment is an institutional process. An impeachment on grounds of corruption, self-dealing, and obstruction by the Trump administration would arguably be an effective tool for accountability, but those issues hit too close to home for both parties, regardless of specific Trump abuses.

              A focus on Russiagate-Ukrainegate in supposed defense of “our democracy” by Dems unfazed by voter suppression, electronic ballots and all the other issues of “our democracy” just exposes them as ridiculous.

              However, as far as Dems being responsible for anything a subsequent Republican Congress does, this particular round of “the mean Other made me do it” seems unwarranted:


              With the latest polls showing Hillary Clinton remains likely to win the election on Tuesday, Republicans are preparing for the possibility of a second Clinton White House by promising to make the next four years a living hell. Some lawmakers are talking openly about refusing to approve any Supreme Court nominees until a Republican is elected president, the F.B.I. is investigating both the Clinton Foundation and the former secretary of state’s use of a private e-mail server, and House Republicans have vowed to launch additional investigations of their own. Now, a growing number of conservatives are warning that there could be a “constitutional crisis” if Clinton is elected, and threatening her with impeachment.

              1. scoff

                Seems like TDS works both ways.

                As you said previously,

                is it ok to be ok with people boo-ing Trump for maybe some self-serving reasons along with at least some concern about the cruelty and corruption?

                I’d say it’s fine by me.

                I’d boo Clinton, Bush, Obama or Trump at a ball game (if I could actually afford to go to a game.) Not one of them is owed any respect, and they sure haven’t earned mine.


                Burning it all down might work for forest management, but I doubt it works in politics.

      4. inode_buddha

        Excuse me??!! X2.

        I knew very well how corrupt Trump was when he was elected, that’s why I was so surprised that he won.


        His opposition is equally corrupt if not more so. As far as I’m concerned they don’t have the right to complain about anything, without destroying their own credibility and legitimacy.

        Seriously, this is partisan hack stuff. Hypocrisy via double standards at its finest.

        If you *really* want to be hated someday, try applying the same standards to everyone, equally in all circumstances.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The parties are so deranged they can’t point to the all the “good cops who are given a bad name by the bad cops.” They are just that bad. I mean the GOP field. The presumed front runner stole the 2000 election. Trump skimming on real estate deals and money laundering is small potatoes. The #resistance can shout treason until they are hoarse, but Jeb! really did work to subvert Constitutional rule.

          Let this sink in, the man who oversaw stealing the Florida 2000 election was the “moderate.” What a clown show it was. I mean the #resistance could fit so many people into a hybrid SUV…

      5. cnchal

        > I don’t understand how Trump could not know that he would be booed at a Nationals games.

        To a narcississt, whether you love them or hate them makes no difference. What makes a difference is ignoring them. They hate that.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “The reception for me was HUUUGE. I mean they kept telling me to ‘lock him up’ arble garble Biden is a threat, and the songs of Boo-urns really made me feel great like how we made America!”

    6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Same thing with my cousin and her bf. They somehow think D.C. fans are the common people. Reminds me of Pence sitting during Hamiltons ovation. I think Trump knew this and is riling up his base. The AntiLiberal Vote?

  10. The Rev Kev

    “So much for a cashless society: Currency is popular again, especially the $100 bill”

    Since this appeared in the Los Angeles Times, this is nothing to do with massive sections of California having their power cut lately, making people’s credit & debit cards, Apple & Samsung pay totally useless was it? What is that old saying again? Oh yeah – money talks, Silicon Valley bull**** hype walks.

      1. Quentin

        Not bad: $0.37 buys you $100.37. I’m addicted to handling cash, exchanging it with another person for goods: touch/touch.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ll grant you we’d probably* never go con tango ala Buenos Aries, but how would you like that Rip Van Winkle Benjamin you saved, have the buying power of $1.70?

          * past performance isn’t always indicative of future performance

      2. Mel

        Not the relevant point. If a penny participates in 1000 transactions, then it has facilitated $10.00 worth of business, and it only cost 2 cents.

      1. ambrit

        Snark Alert: “Since you can’t afford the subscription, you don’t deserve to know what’s going on, nor have an opinion on anything. You need to find a job, or a second job, or a third job, or become a freelance coder.” /s

  11. Redlife2017

    Re: Kincade Fire forces mass evacuations

    The future is here and the Jackpot has commenced. I’m now going to take an “uninterested bystander” approach to this so that I can see what possibilities there are. For instance:
    – When do people start evacuating permanently within California out of wildfire areas?
    – When do people start evacuating permanently outside of California? Like a reverse “Okie” migration

    The first will happen rather soon, I would think, as who wants to be in developing world conditions for power especially when you don’t have to? To be fair to my brothers and sisters in the developing world, I’ve been in places considered under-developed that had no problem keeping the lights on more often than not.

    The second will be ugly and will evenutally happen due to the Jackpot. After all, how many people will have much sympathy for Californians? I dare say that in large swaths of the Midwest (including Chicago), there will be little sympathy.

    1. Wukchumni

      The few Californians that make it through a middle America winter will perish in the awful humidity of the harsh summers there, leaving only a clump of clothing on the ground left behind.

      Sure, there will be attempts to ingratiate ourselves, and don’t think i’m not working on my covered dish game, everybody has a casserole to play.

      1. inode_buddha

        My brother’s family was visiting us, just north of Buffalo this summer. From Fremont. It was funny to see them bundle up and shiver in the morning followed by dying in the dripping heat of the humidity at 85 degrees… I told him he should try and get them all out here sometime in February so the kids can try real snow and go sledding and see what real weather is like. And of course, pizza-n-wings and nope springs eternal.

        February is usually the most brutal, with snow up to your butt at least, and -20 degrees for about a month.

        1. Wukchumni

          and nope springs eternal.

          Was listening to the Bills game on the radio on the drive back from kayaking on the Colorado River (no bighorns seen on perilous cliffs en route with a gamboling addiction, but we saw 40 of them @ Hemenway Park in Boulder City afterwards, we were sitting on the grass 15 feet away from 3 large rams chewing on same) and they struck me as the Palookas i’m more accustomed to, an easy familiarity.

          Sheep thrills 45 minutes from the Vegas strip:

        2. Titus

          -20F for a month, that hasn’t happened for about forever. Last year, Buffalo set a new Warm Maximum on February 4th 59. The Average Temperature, November – March: 30.1F. Snows yes. The trend is periods of intense weather but for very short durations.

          1. inode_buddha

            2014, I never forgot it. Polar vortex does it. Because it was -20 at my house, about 20 miles north of Buffalo, for most of the month. I had a $600 gas bill that month.

            1. Wukchumni

              We were around the campfire one night, and my wife (from Buffalo) asked what’s the coldest i’ve ever been in California, and I told her like 15 degrees, and she just laughed.

      2. katiebird

        Yes, We moved to Kansas City from just north of San Francisco. I remember that when I was growing up we got our winter clothes (such as they were) out when the temps got down to 60. And I never saw snow until we moved here.

        That first summer and winter were horrible! In fact, I still haven’t adjusted.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      How many employers in California pay employees on the days when power is shut off? Are only residences affected by the power shut offs? Miss a few days of work here — miss a few days of work there — and it can become ‘challenging’ to pay the rent, or mortgage in a place where those costs eat a large part of everyone’s take home pay. Do landlords or banks offer a pass for days without electricity?

      1. inode_buddha

        How many employers are making money when the power is out? I bet the ones without power aren’t doing too well, and there will be some letters to the PUC or the editor, or somebody… unless there’s some way to claim it on the business insurance.

    3. smoker

      When do people start evacuating permanently outside of California? Like a reverse “Okie” migration

      I’m positive droves would abandon California forever if moving was such a simple thing to do.

      For probably near a century, moving had been considered one of the more potentially traumatizing events in a persons life – for a vast number of reasons too long to list and do justice to; particularly unexpected and forced moves. But I’ve noticed that at some point after 2008, when so very many lost the roofs over their heads – many times along with the loss of a once decent paying jobs in that ugly Recession, particularly if they’d already been crippled by the2001 Recession, which lasted far longer than claimed – editorials in large news publications started publishing pieces poo-pooing that decades long wisdom.

      Additionally, in California, where one third of the population is on [Medicaid] Medi-Cal, way too many California newspapers have touted RV living as a viable option. This, with no mention of such things as: loss of the close by support of one’s social safety net; loss of a mailing and voting address; what happens when the RV is a lemon; water sourcing; sewage removal; near five dollars per gallon fuel expenses and limited fueling sources; parking issues (especially bans); cost and safety of energy supply; vehicle registration and inspection issues; source of covered medical care when needed; where will they work and how do they get back and forth to work, while constantly having to repark the RV, or face the police; the increasing vandalism and threats (including fire setting) to those considered homeless; the toxicity that can develop when two or more people are living on top of each other, no matter how nice they are; and on and on;.

      Of course, such insane ‘journalistic’ advice near always comes from those who haven’t themselves done what they’re so arrogantly suggesting. Many times their Bio and Twitter photos show them smiling like they’re brain dead; who could toothpaste smile like that knowing the exploding inequality and misery of millions of Californians struggling to keep a roof over their heads, despite many having fulltime jobs.

      1. Lord Koos

        California homeowners can definitely move to other states and cash in. Thousands have come here to WA, as they can sell their place in CA, buy a home here, and can put lot of unspent money in the bank. As long as they aren’t moving to Seattle, that is. These immigrants are not welcomed by most Washingtonians. As far as climate-related moves, we have our own fires to deal with here as well, at least in the eastern part of the state.

    4. JTMcPhee

      Any betting on whether the Big Easy gets shut down and migrated to a better site, before the Big Flush of the lower Mississippi meets the Big Tide of some mega-storm augmented by globally using water levels?

      Anyone seen any notes on planning for the transplantation of the Big Apple, or the whole lower portion of the Florida peninsula? From the Group Mind, there’s these offerings:

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Another possibility is that the locks controlling the flow of the Mississippi might fail and the Nola and Baton Rouge would get cut off. I say nows the time to sell ur house in Nola if you want peak market value. After the next crash I suspect prices might not get so high. Like our sea level!


    5. Oregoncharles

      California climate refugees have been moving here for a decade or two: “Evacuate now and avoid the rush.”

      Eventually, of course, it’ll be our turn – and we’re no immune to dangerous wildfires. Several towns in the Columbia Gorge darn near burned down a couple of years ago.

  12. JohnnyGL

    I see very little of the coverage of Baghdadi’s death mentions that he was a US creation and was used as a tool of US foreign policy….even more directly than Osama bin Laden.

    Like most things….prevention works better than cure on the issue of terrorism. If you want to stop terrorism, stop creating terrorists!

      1. Bernalkid

        Was doing my mental auto complete while skimming through the comment and first read and doubletook the line as “he was a US creation and was used as a tool of US foreign policy….even more directly than Obama.” Must have ODS now.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yes, but addressing the creation of ISIS would address “the Surge”, the Obama Administration’s decision to use “The Surge” in Afghanistan, the Iraq invasion all together, etc. Pointing out the policy to provide weapons and money to religious extremists in exchange for a summer time lull in violence which was going to happen away sounds like a scandal.

    2. David

      The Cole article is overdone, like a number of his pieces. This article by Patrick Coburn is more measured. It’s comforting, in a way, to think that “we” are somehow “responsible” for things like ISIS, but in the end it’s just another kind of neo-imperialism, refusing to let the locals have responsibility for their actions. It also means we don’t have to go through the tedious and bothersome business of finding things out and trying understand them.
      ISIS is a particularly virulent manifestation of one tradition in Islam that goes back nearly a century to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The idea is that, instead of being just a private matter, religion should be the basis for the whole organization and management of society. Whether this should be by purely political means, or through violence, was something the MB split numerous times over. The idea of imposing and enforcing an Islamic State by force is not exactly new – the GIA in Algeria tried to do this, and they were probably as vicious and violent as ISIS before they were eventually defeated. The Taliban, Al Shabbab and many others have continued the same policy. In other places, political movements like Enhada in Tunisia have tried to pursue the same idea through elections – the famous ‘one person, one vote, one time’, with mixed success. Salafist preachers, especially from Qatar, are busy spreading the idea in Europe and elsewhere. Al Baghdadi was no great theologian, and I don’t think anyone ever said he was, but he was a typical example of the kind of poorly-educated fundamentalist that you find in lots of religions. But he was not a figure of fun. Nobody in Beirut thought ISIS was funny, in my experience: the Lebanese were deathly afraid of them.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I always think there are symptoms of the fact that Islam was late to the game, circa 650 A.D. If you think about it Judaism already had their team selected long prior. Ditto Buddhism. Ditto Christianity. Most/all players had already chosen sides and declared allegiance. So Mohammed had to institute forced conversions, by the sword.

        A Buddhist would never dream of trying to convince someone to change their religion, but Mohammed had to?

        (Yes yes there were The Crusades etc etc but the top-level principle is valid?)

        1. Lord Koos

          Younger religions are likely to be more zealous in obtaining converts than those that have been around a longer time.

  13. Wukchumni

    Argentina’s center-left Peronists celebrate return to power AP
    1 troy ounce of the barbarous relic value in local currency:

    1999: 300 Pesos

    2019: 80,000 Pesos

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Pelosi, Schumer call for briefing on death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi”

    I heard that they were furious because they were not told about the al-Baghdadi operation until it was a done deal. Trump justifying it said-

    “Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s nothing – there’s no country in the world that leaks like we do. And Washington is a leaking machine. And I told my people we will not notify them until the – our great people are out.”

    And you know what? After the past few weeks, I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t trust them either.

    1. notabanker

      This is why Trump is so powerful. He’s absolutely full of BS, yet speaks the truth by calling out the obvious corruption. His opponents have nowhere to go but “foreign interests”.

      1. inode_buddha

        “His opponents have nowhere to go but “foreign interests”.”

        And then he screws then there. You know, the harder they push on him, the more of their dirty laundry is going to get aired. And they have *lots* of it. It’s not that Trump is clean, he isn’t — but he will air theirs out for sure, making them look like the hypocrites that they are, destroying any credibility or legitimacy.

        1. dearieme

          I get the impression that Trump’s antics over the years are just about lining his pocket: what the British police used to refer to when they mentioned “good honest thieves”.

          The corruption of the creatures of The Swamp seems to me to be much different, a threat to at least The Republic and perhaps to mankind. – rather like what the aforesaid Bobbies referred to as “terrorists”.

  15. notabanker

    Suddenly, a Green New Deal, perhaps with state-subsidised housing insurance for victims of flooding, may not sound quite so bad.

    Lemme guess, the Hamptons, West Palm Beach and Malibu are first up on the list?

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Secretive military spaceplane lands in Florida after record-long orbital flight”

    Obviously our lizard-people overlords need their re-supply of Rigellian spices.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan”

    Bezos idolizes the captain of the starship USS Enterprise-D, Jean-Luc Picard? I’m not sure why. When you look at the character of Jeff Bezos and that of Jean-Luc Picard, I cannot see the similarity. Here is a collection of Jean-Luc Picard’s speeches. I cannot picture Jeff Bazos saying anything like them-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I imagine its a similar phenomenon to Kirk drift where the characters take on attributes of the decade even if makes no sense. Besides miniskirt uniforms being suggested by women, they were significantly longer than the miniskirts actually worn and sold. My guess is the thought process is little more than “Picard is good, Bezos is good, I like Picard and Picard must be like me.” Also Picard could give corporate leadership courses. He would say, I agree do it, and more or less drink tea and read while the four or five who did anything went to work. Leadership!

      The only time Kirk really acts without mind control inappropriately towards a woman was the episode where he suspected her father was a war criminal and he was trying to get information. It was a metaphor for warning not to become like the bad guys in pursuit of villains.

      1. HotFlash

        I once worked at an art school, part of my job was booking models for the various classes, incl portraiture. It was amazing and instructive how often the drawings and paintings resembled the artist more than the model.

  18. Wukchumni

    Home Prices Are Sliding in Manhattan’s Costliest Neighborhoods Bloomberg

    Housing bubble part deux is a different kettle of risk, in that short term vacation rentals didn’t exist in the first go round, and compared to other aspects of the ‘sharing economy’ actually quite profitable, compared to some schlub driving an Uber.

    The Unicorns seem to be in disfavor though, and a housing price crash, combined with a downturn in short term rentals would put about 1/5th of the houses here on the market perhaps, with no way to sell that many of them, a good percentage of which have become really tired looking rentals, with upkeep not being kept up.

  19. Donald

    The articles about Douma are huge if true. It will be fascinating to see how the mainstream press handles it. I think that (if true) they will have to double down on lying or their fake credibility goes up in smoke. I am actually surprised the story got as far as it did in the BBC, but will be even more surprised if it goes further.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      LOL Douma LOL Skripal.

      Reality will not be allowed to intrude on the New Red Menace, it’s much too useful.

      Take a people who are:
      1. European culture
      2. White
      3. Christian

      And turn them into the worst possible boogieman under the bed. We’ve got bombs to sell!

  20. Mike

    RE: The Assassination of Park Chung Hee (documents)

    quote from article:

    Thus began the most serious crisis in US- Korean relations since the Korean War.

    It was a crisis that policy makers and the CIA never saw coming, and was quickly compounded a week later, on November 4, 1979, when militant students raided the US Embassy in Teheran (see the CIA’s rosy analysis from April 1979 of the “outlook for President Park” and the Washington Post‘s coverage of my findings from 2010).

    Many forget that Carter, who is now seemingly well-regarded because he is so distant from his Presidency, was a child of the CFR, and employed the likes of Brzezhinsky to deal with Russia and China via “terror” operations funded and armed by our poor weapons makers (never able to make enough money). The Korean crisis seems to be of a piece with his rescue mission in Iran – no one saw the possible failure, no one could foresee the opposition – as if the CIA were just Joe Schmoe selling hot dogs in the street. Sometimes it pays certain agencies and interests not to see. So who were the coup leaders against Carter, who was destined to not succeed in anything except Afghanistan, and confessing he had sinned in his mind?

    1. Olga

      Carter did not start a war, but yes, he was CFR… his foreign policy was a quiet horror show… we are still paying the price for it. Mainly – the clever idea to weaponise disgruntled believers in Islam against – whatever came along! It worked out great, hasn’t it?

    2. pretzelattack

      camp david. tried to alert the country to the dangers of fossil fuels long before that was popular. decried an inordinate fear of communism when both parties were still playing that card. destined not to succeed and getting sabotaged (as some believe the rescue mission was) are two different things. carter didn’t transform his own party, he was an outsider like mcgovern and trump, and the party establishment hated him. he certainly didn’t originate the us policy of interfering in the middle east and backing one faction against another.

    1. Big River Bandido

      She was odious, a DC swamp creature if there ever was. I imagine a lot of those fauxgressive Democrats who first won election to the House last year had a cold sweat at the news.

  21. Wukchumni

    I’m pretty sure a moose was cropped out of the antidote to the left, as why else would a squirrel look so menacing?

    Chickarees (Douglas squirrel) have what I think to be the loudest voice to body ratio of anything on 4 legs in the Sierra, as they make a lot of noise for such a little thing.

  22. Wukchumni

    Kincade Fire looks to be a grim reaper as there’s nothing to stop it from appointed rounds over Halloween. This will only serve to accelerate cancellations of insurance policies, and i’m not really sure how we would react to the situation if all of the sudden we blew our cover.

  23. WestcoastDeplorable

    Why are we to take all the “Isis takedown news” with a grain of salt when we weren’t similarly cautioned during Obama’s reign when Osama bin Laden was supposedly killed? The bias is strong here methinks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Because al-Baghdadi was reported killed so many times that it seemed that he had more lives than Kenny as in “Oh my god, they killed Kenny!”

  24. Oregoncharles

    ” Belgium has been without a full federal government since December 2018.”

    Of course, the “permanent government” kept functioning just fine – there’s been remarkably little news out of Belgium during that time; compare with Britain.

    Casts some light on the pretensions of politicians, does it not?

  25. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Wow, LA Times on the predilection people have for physical cash.

    Their powerful team of investigative reporters have found the Rosetta Stone, finally deciphering the age-old mystery of why people want cash:

    “The answer, it seems, is that they’re turning to currency as a store of value.

    Who knew? Quick, somebody send an urgent telegram to the world’s central bankers, their relentless march to send interest rates below zero may have met its match. People, it turns out, want money that does not disappear down an inflation or banking black hole. Silly proles!

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