Links 10/30/19

Gender reveal explosion in Waukee second example in as many days of celebration attracting police presence Des Moines Register

New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding Nature

Extreme fire weather could be the worst ‘in recent memory’ LA Times

Despair for Many and Silver Linings for Some in California Wildfires NYT. The front page teaser reads: “Wildfires Highlight the Divide Between California’s Rich and Poor.”

FCC: Marin cell sites failed broadly amid Kincade fire Marin Independent Journal (JBird4049).

California shows the difficulties of hardening the nation to climate change Editorial Board, WaPo. I’m not sure what dead metaphor would be correct, but “hardening” is wrong. The last thing we need is more impermeable surfaces….

Greta Thunberg declined a climate award because the world needs more action, fewer awards CNN

Vatican cardinals linked to missing millions and financial scandal Catholic News Agency (boz).

The Allure and Limits of Monetized Fiscal Deficits Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate (Skippy).

Brexit

U.K. to Destroy Commemorative 50p Coins in Brexit Meltdown Bloomberg (vlade).

Will Boris Johnson’s high stakes election gamble backfire? FT

Why UK election outcome is impossible to predict Politico

Johnson would really rather lose this election, but may not get what he wants Tax Research UK

Could Boris Johnson have passed his Brexit Bill? The UK in a Changing Europe

Tusk says farewell:

 

Venezuela

Journalist Max Blumenthal Arrested And Charged In Political Prosecution ShadowProof

Weaponizing Venezuela’s ex-ruling elite Yasha Levine

Syraqistan

A Sudden-Seeming Power Shift in the Middle East Consortium News

Led by Sanders, Democrats vow to press Israel on Palestinian state Agence France Presse

Saudi Arabia is $3.4B behind on its payments for Canadian LAVs CBC

India

The explosive truth about the link between Chinese fireworks and India’s dim Diwali South China Morning Post

The Koreas

South Korea compares Japan’s ‘rising sun’ flag to swastika as Olympic row deepens Guardian

In South Korea’s dangerous shipyards, subcontracted workers are most at risk Reuters

China?

Xi’s in Charge: What the Fourth Plenum Tells Us about Xi Jinping’s Hold on Power CSIS

China’s Communists hold key meeting amid rising challenges AP

China Steelmaker Default Sparks Debt Contagion Fear in Province Bloomberg

Sri Lanka’s ‘debt trap’ port thriving, Chinese owners claim Nikkei Asian Review

The factory workers at the frontline of US-China relations FT

U.S. set to disappoint Asia with downgraded delegation for Bangkok summits Reuters

Pompeo Drops the Niceties on the Quad: What Now? The Diplomat

New Cold War

Ukraine, separatists both pull back heavy weapons from east AP

RussiaGate

The Frenzy About Russia Has Undermined Progressive Agendas Normon Solomon, Truthout. Apparently, after three years of hysteria about RussiaGate, it’s not featuring in the impeachment “inquiry” at all. Odd.

Impeachment

Democrats unveil impeachment procedures The Hill (Resolution).

White House Ukraine Expert Sought to Correct Transcript of Trump Call NYT

Trump Transition

Is Trump Facing 1960’s-style Revolts? The American Conservative. No.

Navy Reduces Punishment for SEAL in War Crimes Case NYT. While John Yoo has tenure and gigs as a talking head, and Gina Haspel heads the CIA. It’s a funny old world.

Democrats in Disarray

Chelsea, Lately The former First Daughter is, at 39, trying to figure out what her own life looks like. New York Magazine. “It’s not hard to imagine she wouldn’t have at least been considered as a choice by a President Hillary Clinton for, say, secretary of Education or Health and Human Services.”

Guillotine Watch

A decade after massive bailout, AIG celebrated on Capitol Hill Politico

‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations NYT. Because a 75-year-old Walmart greeter and a 75-year-old billionaire are more alike than different. The Times agnotology desk was working overtime on this one.

Class Warfare

State of Health Among American Men Reveals Death and Despair Bloomberg. Everything’s going according to plan!

When Talking About Social Determinants, Precision Matters Health Affairs

How the Rich Are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class Blair Fix, SocArXiv

Democracy is Hard Work Grassroots Economic Organizing. Important.

Jenny Sabin Studio’s “Ada” Embeds AI in Architecture at Microsoft Architect (Nippersmom).

Silicon Valley should take Josh Hawley’s big war on big tech seriously ReCode

Maybe It’s Not YouTube’s Algorithm That Radicalizes People Wired

Everything is Amazing, But Nothing is Ours Alex Danco

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

 

That’s one relaxedx warthog.

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.

216 comments

  1. Henry Moon Pie

    1960s-style revolt–

    From Mr. Patrick J. himself:

    After Berkeley came civil disobedience; the burning of ROTC buildings; and urban riots marked by looting, shooting and arson. Out of that came Richard Nixon’s 49-state landslide, Ronald Reagan, and Republican triumphs in five of six presidential elections starting in 1968.

    The 60s culture wars remain the animating factor for the paleos like Buchanan even to the point of connecting Mario Savio with Watts and Detroit. Those culture wars also gave us the NeoCons, many of whom were liberals like Scoop Jackson or even Trots like Irving Kristol, who then revolted against the revolt of the New Left. Even the 1973 Powell Memo was a reaction to the 60s.

    Buchanan is right. The U. S. went with Buchanan’s manufactured fear and Reagan’s “morning in ‘Murca” rather than dealing with the substantive challenges raised by Savio and others. Here’s a little piece of Savio’s speech, powerful enough to still get old Pat’s adrenaline flowing:

    Well I ask you to consider — if this is a firm, and if the Board of Regents are the Board of Directors, and if President Kerr in fact is the manager, then I tell you something — the faculty are a bunch of employees and we’re the raw material! But we’re a bunch of raw materials that don’t mean to be — have any process upon us. Don’t mean to be made into any product! Don’t mean — Don’t mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We’re human beings!

    The 60s remain a thesis and antithesis looking for a synthesis. Another way of looking at that period is as a choice of paths, and boy did we take the wrong f’ing path.

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      There is no doubt that the impetus of the 60s youth movement scared the crap out of the powers that be. Politically, everything that’s happened since could be seen as a reaction to that cultural shift.

      Reply
    2. coboarts

      That’s the problem with them dang humans. Every now and then one will pipe off that it isn’t about what is wanted of me – but what I want, and this ain’t it. The sad part is that those who understand social engineering, like guiding water in its course, know that a little tweak along the path will send all the rest down whatever drain is desired.

      Reply
    3. neo-realist

      Who needs hardhats types and lefties to confront each other on the street when they have twitter and facebook, not to mention the hundreds of political blogs at their (our) disposal to carry out protest at touch of a keypad?

      The kids of the 60’s and 70’s had a much better economy to go back to than those of the 80’s to the present. If you didn’t get drafted and shot to pieces in Vietnam, you knew that a good job (with or without college), and the ability to save money to purchase a home were real possibilities. Today its a matter of getting the serious credentials from school so one could move on to a good job, while working like a dog at that so-called good job to pay off a huge college loan. Such distraction doesn’t leave time or focus for getting involved in a movement.

      Also don’t underestimate the removal of conscription, with its life and death implications, by the Nixon administration in reducing the passion of opposition to the system among the youth. Now if there’s war or police action, some other guy gonna shot to pieces rather than number one.

      Reply
    1. Colonel Smithers

      Merci, Winston. Je suis d’accord.

      “And unlike Ivanka Trump, she has spent much of her career working on policy.” Is that a joke? Apart from the BBC, which interviews her regularly as a public health and development expert, and her celebrity supervisor and shill, Ngaire Woods, and the Oxford hierarchy that sucks up to the likes of the late Wafic Said and Leonid Blavatnik, no one gives Clinton’s DPhil any more credibility than the one Grace Mugabe got from the university of Zim.

      Speaking of the Clinton Foundation, it’s trying to become a contractor to the UK’s development programmes, thousands of projects around the world and worth millions to contractors, like the Gates Foundation. It’s the same with the Omidyar Foundation and, especially, its Illuminate “arm”.

      Saint Jo Cox, her “handsy” widower and their former comrade Justin Forsyth became rich at Save The Children. Forsyth moved to Unicef when St Jo, whose foundation now funds the White Helmets, became an MP and her widower had “a little, local difficulty”.

      Reply
        1. John A

          Everywhere Chelsea Clinton goes these days, people stop her to say, “I’m sorry about your mother.”

          Surely, that should read “I’m sorry she’s your mother”.

          Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I thought she was announcing a “gap year” after high school.

        Chelsea and the younger Obama girl discussed how cool it would be to just work at a ski resort. The Younger Obama girl when asked for comment, “why does Amy Carter or who was it…Aunt…I can’t…want to go backpacking in Europe?”

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Can’t work out whether this is a puff piece or a trial balloon. I find a lack of awareness here when people decry Trump’s nepotism but the idea of President Hilary Clinton appointing Chelsea as Secretary of Education or Human Services in this article is made to sound like a natural idea.

      Reply
      1. Harry

        Perfectly natural to me. What is US government other than an opportunity for self-dealing and corruption on a large scale?

        Reply
      2. The Historian

        I was trying to figure that out myself. Either way, I’m suffering from severe sugar overload after reading that article.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Simple whitewash to attempt to make these into good people. They are not. Mom is both a war and an actual criminal. Her “Foundation” is probably the largest unprosecuted charity and influence peddling fraud in history, in a nation currently consumed with alleged influence peddling in The Ukraine. Ask the Haitians what they think of her: hundreds of millions raised to rebuild houses there, number of houses built = 8. Probably the most determined and effective opponent to progressive causes of all kinds. No. These are monsters, not just cute brunching gals.

          Reply
      3. marym

        Natural enough in our world now, though still technically illegal. You’d think Clintonistas so concerned with restoring the brunch-enabling pre-Trump rule of law would at least mention that. Also that Trump circumventing the law with Ivanka and Jared was similar to the precedent established in 1993 with Clinton putting HRC in charge of “healthcare.”

        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/3110

        Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          I think the law you cite applies to the civil service, not presidential appointees. JFK made his brother the AG. Can’t think of any examples since.

          Reply
      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        Bill was President for eight years. His wife was a Senator, Secretary of State, and a two time Presidential loser despite being the presumed winner. They’ve dominated American politics. Its not surprising they wanted to leave a successor to carry on their legacy like all tin pot dictator types.

        You can bet it gnaws at Bill at how nothing is being renamed after him. I imagine there is a certain push to keep “hope alive” for the Clinton dynasty. Chelsea is all they have.

        Reply
        1. Off The Street

          When your mum is The Most Qualified Evah, then that makes you even more special, kinda chosen or with the mark of Rodham or hell-spawn or something.

          Reply
          1. Anthony G Stegman

            That is not true. I worked with a young guy years ago named Clinton. (His first name). His parents named him after Bill. There you go.

            Reply
        2. JTMcPhee

          I see, speaking of “naming rights,” that there’s a move afoot to DESTROY Trump by renaming the part of Fifth Avenue that fronts Trump Tower. https://www.washingtonpost.com/

          The #Resistance wants it called “Obama Avenue.” Some 250,000 avatars are claimed to have signed the powerful online petition.

          BHO’s people are holding out for nothing less than “Obama Boulevard.” Trouble in the Legacy Machinery?

          Reply
            1. chuckster

              I believe a compromise is in order here; to help us move forward, why not name it for BOTH Obama and Trump. “Bullshitter Street” has a certain appeal.

              Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                They could make up a combination to honor Trump and Obama both.

                They could call it Otrumpa Way or something.

                Reply
            2. Anthony G Stegman

              In San Jose the airport is named after a politician who isn’t even dead yet – Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. That is a mouthful for sure! Obama and Clinton will need entire counties named after themselves.

              Reply
        3. Grant

          Their legacy will remain though, that’s the thing. Their party was never great, but a few decades before they turned it to the right, it was at least inching towards social democracy. They helped to utterly destroyed that, and I don’t know that their party will ever recover. Certainly those that are ideologically aligned with them, and are of course in the same class, are still in charge of their party. And their party, as a result, is thoroughly corrupt, undemocratic and has little ideological and policy coherence. Their ideas have made things worse, but they don’t let other ideas emerge and don’t allow for the democratization of their party. So, their legacy will remain. Keeping with that legacy, and given that her family still may have a decent financial interest in the DNC, maybe they can give her a position high up in the DNC. Maybe she can become the CAP’s expert on this or that.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The legacy might remain, but in the popular imagination (this is what Bill wants) he will fall into a gilded age, but ultimately forgettable President. He may have had a wretched affect ushering the “New Democrats”, but in many ways, he’s just the offspring of Carter and Reagan and the rightward lurches of US politics.

            There won’t be any statues of Bill Clinton astride a horse in random spots. Kids will say, “hey is that the sweater guy?”

            Reply
            1. Grant

              True, but NAFTA, the WTO, the round of financial deregulations, what the IMF did to Latin America and East Asia during his time, cementing cost-benefit analysis at the EPA, the Telecommunications Act, mass privatizations of everything from prisons to schools, among other things, were disastrous in the long-run. I think he will be remembered in ways that Biden will be remembered, he negatively impacted many people and the country with all that he did. If it wasn’t for the Lewinsky affair, he and Gingrich may have privatized Social Security too.

              Reply
              1. inode_buddha

                It never fails to amaze me how Dem’s don’t seem to realize (or care) that Clinton basically enacted the entire Conservative platform for them. I figured out that the whole game was rigged way back then.

                Reply
                1. Oregoncharles

                  Yes.

                  Republican in a donkey suit – only worse than a lot of Republicans had been.

                  So did the Rs hate him so much? Because he was stealing their “ideas” and, worse yet, their donors. That was the avowed purpose of the DLC.

                  Reply
    3. Arizona Slim

      And here I sit, shouting job ideas at this article. Y’know, digging ditches. Cleaning houses. Waiting tables. That sort of thing.

      Reply
    4. lyman alpha blob

      “It’s not hard to imagine she wouldn’t have at least been considered as a choice by a President Hillary Clinton for, say, secretary of Education or Health and Human Services.”

      Because blatant nepotism is only wrong when Trump does it.

      Reply
    1. Darius

      If he’s successful, I’m sure CNN will say, yeah, but he only succeeded because of Latinos, implying it doesn’t count because he didn’t get enough real Americans.

      Reply
    2. Brindle

      I think AOC could be more important in helping to solidify and energize the younger demographic than the Latino community—she certainly helps there but I think her appeal mostly transcends identity.

      Reply
    3. Arizona Slim

      They sure don’t. And I see it happening in every election in Tucson.

      Turnout in the heavily Hispanic South Side is perennially the lowest in the city.

      Reply
    1. Old Jake

      The Onion seems to have a decidedly liberal bias in its satirical pieces. I wonder why the Right doesn’t have a similar venue. Or would that be Breitbart?

      Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “White House Ukraine Expert Sought to Correct Transcript of Trump Call”

    Well at least the Democrats found a disinterested expert for their case. He’s a veteran and he won a purple heart so there must be automatic respect given here. Just omit the fact that he was born and spent the first few years of his life in the Ukraine. And that he was raised in a part of Brooklyn nicknamed “Little Odessa”. And that his brother is on the National Security Council staff. And that Ukrainian officials sought him out for advice about how to deal with Giuliani. And he sought to re-start military aid to the Ukraine in concert with people like John Bolton but was knocked back by Trump. Otherwise he is a patriot and is a completely disinterested party here. He says so himself.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      Why does the “Ukraine Expert” believe “Its inappropriate for the Ukraine to investigate a US Citizen” for actions made in the Ukraine?

      Reply
      1. marym

        Maybe the expert thinks there’s a US-Ukraine treaty defining the process for such an investigation. Granted Trump is so deeply opposed to nepotism and corruption and so pure in his efforts to combat it that he would be impatient with such a process, but still…

        Reply
        1. Monty

          How is that kind of treaty working out for the parents of Harry Dunn?

          The UK police are powerless in the US. There is of course a treaty of cooperation there too, but the investigators from the UK get what they are given, just as it is for US investigators in other countries. If the other nation isn’t forthcoming with full and frank information, what are the investigators going to do about it? A top level accord can get the wheels turning and motivate fuller disclosure.

          Reply
      2. Katniss Everdeen

        And why does the “Ukraine Expert” think, because the us citizen is running for president, that the american people have no right to know if he’s done anything shady, particularly since said us citizen bragged about having done something that appears shady, and there’s a video.

        Reply
        1. Skip Intro

          If Biden can be controlled by Ukrainian Kompromat, that is a private matter for the Biden family, thank you very much.

          Reply
    2. sleepy

      The same media that’s all aghast about congressmen knocking this “patriotic” veteran as a potential spy is the very same media that had no problem labeling another vet, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Russian asset.

      Reply
    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Looks like a paper pushing Officer getting fat at the Intelligence trough. Id be interested to know how he came by that Combat Infantry Badge.

      Reply
  3. zagonostra

    YouTube algorithms – Wired

    When it comes to radicalization, he says, these are the sorts of factors we should be concerned about—not the effects of each algorithmic tweak.

    Very disappointing academic study. By focusing on the “Alt-Right” they fail to account for the human origin of the algorithms, they don’t occur in a vacuum and they are just as likely to constraint the “Left”. The boxing of the argument in Left – Right terms obscures the power wielded by individuals in deciding what gets recommended and not on YouTube.

    I have seen the degradation of YouTube recommended video sidebar and searches. The purposeful muting of google searches on Tulsi during the debate and after recent HRC exhange, indicates a deeper and more nefarious metastasis at play.

    Steve Crowder (I’m not a particular fan of his but you have to make alliances on behalf of truth when circumstances call for it). Below video submits proof that what is going on is not some auto algorithm but a purposeful decision by someone to skew what information people are exposed to, putting “their” thumb on one side of the scale or not even allowing viewers to assay an alternative argument.

    Just like radio and television were miraculous technologies that held such promise and have become, for the most part, a waste land, I fear YouTube is following the same road.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOByUDv1ftQ&t=4s.

    Reply
    1. T

      “Heart attack, cancels all campaign events” is still in my top five for any Google search including Sanders or Bernie.

      My phone, my apolitical husband’s computer, my work laptop which does not have a static IP address. Guess there just aren’t any other stories.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Fully agree with your comment. YouTube really does put their thumb on the scales, just like Twitter and Facebook. I go through some YouTube videos daily and some of the recommended links to the side are seriously in WTF territory.
      The gist of this article is really specious. As an analogy, it is like people traveling in cars and following the official signs along the sides of roads. When they end up in some outlandish places, they are then blamed for congregating there because that is who they are.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        The bigger question is why do people enjoy watching that kind of right-wing trash and find the arguments it puts forth so compelling?

        I think the article sounds about right to me. My theory is that people are naturally prejudiced and favor their “in group” over outsiders. Experimental evidence seems to prove this in what is referred to as the “Cross Race Effect”. We are usually told to deny this reality, but along came a bunch of personalities on the internet that say it’s OK to feel like that. This resonates with the viewers.

        Reply
        1. zagonstra

          No, your wrong, that is NOT the bigger question.

          It’s not about personal political predilections. It’s about a corporation that controls 90% of searches consciously disabling results and blaming it on algorithms when proof exist that it is intervention by unknown persons representing/working/beholden to who knows who…right-wing trash to you may be a fundamental belief for another.

          Reply
          1. Monty

            You are denying the agency of the millions of people who cant get enough of that trash, and willingly watch and share it. Are you suggesting they were all tricked into enjoying it because You Tube intervened? That seems a bit far fetched!

            Reply
            1. JB

              People identify with messages that they believe explain their pain. They often don’t have either the capacity or access to information to understand a complicated web of forces to explain their dire circumstances. Instead, they gravitate toward the simple messages that appear to align with their experiences or conditioning. Racism has utility, going back to chattel slavery in Europe. I don’t believe in the notion that people are naturally predisposed to hate people who are not the same race, eye color, hair color, height, weight, etc. The concept of racism was and still is used to prevent one race from identifying with another on other grounds (e.g., economic or class). The core problem is when this message resonates, not that the thought can arise or exist. It resonates because people are in pain and they are trying to make sense of it, they are looking for reasons or scapegoats. When people are happy, they don’t have shame, they aren’t looking for scapegoats. I think we are going to need to resolve the underlying pain to defeat the message or perspective of racism rather than the means it which it’s communicated, particularly in a world with so many pathways for communication.

              Reply
            2. Pierre Delecto

              I don’t believe those who are concerned about the impact algorithms have on radicalization are necessarily denying the contribution of the radicalized but it’s a little careless to say that we shouldn’t be concerned about the “effects of each algorithmic tweak.” There are obvious exogenous factors that also aid in creating a fertile breeding ground for radicalization – the ubiquitous promotion of identity politics, ostracism, and social atomization – and steering people to reactionary content that takes advantage of those ingredients makes just as much of an impact.

              I can take my experience with Youtube as an example. I’ll look up a comedian, like Bill Burr, watch a few clips, and then the next day my recommend videos are “Bill Burr OWNS Feminists” and “Ben Shapiro makes college kid look STUPID.” I imagine that if I were the same white, socially awkward kid that I was in high school, exposure to that kind of trash would have changed my outlook radically.

              Reply
          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Thank you. Those of us who believe in free speech must be brave enough to endure points of view we vehemently disagree with. Letting Sergei or Mark Zuck or Bezos dictate what we are allowed to say or think is every bit as pernicious as Stasi or Stalin doing it, arguably worse, even, since it gets a veneer of respectability and even innocence and deniability, or at a minimum a lack of agency.

            Reply
  4. divadab

    Re: AIG feted by Congress

    Stands to reason that a criminal organization is celebrated by its filthy corrupt congresscritters.

    Reply
  5. Pat

    Until the recent hypocrisy regarding the Bidens clear grift and corruption, one of the biggest “rah rah our team do not look behind the curtain” items has been Chelsea Clinton. Her entire adult life is the story of a not particularly talented and mediocre young woman who gladly accepts patronage jobs which don’t last because she cannot even manage to do the little they require. Well that is except on the board of her family’s faux foundation, where she couldn’t be let go. The book thing isn’t working so well anymore either. Eventually there will be no more influence to sell.

    I admit my first thought was Chelsea would be better than DeVos and Azar, but then I thought about the Clinton Foundation in Haiti and realized that disaster and need, whether in housing or education, was just another opportunity to the Clintons. Greed, grift and incompetence make it six of one, half a dozen of the other with or without ideology. At least I won’t have to listen to glowing descriptions of her and her initiatives as the media reports some policy they should be tearing apart.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary and Bill were “stars.” Bill at least would be the equivalent of an actor discovered flipping burgers. Chelsea could be technically proficient and a graduate of all the acting schools out there, but she simply was never going to be a star.

      Billary wanted her to shine, but it is what it is. It might be more noticeable if she had siblings. She’s the third Manning brother.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        I don’t think Hillary was ever a star. I think she was like that slightly “off” actor or actress that Hollywood *presented* as a star, the scandal sheets treated as a star, but it never really happened in retrospect.

        Like Taylor Kitsch (“John Carter” and… and I don’t remember anything else) for a recent example. I know the name, the face even, so that seems to makes him a “star” but not really when I think about it.

        Reply
          1. a different chris

            hmmm yeah there is that…

            But maybe that’s what I was getting at. She was no Natalie Wood to Robert Wagner. I think she was at best Sonny to The Big Dog’s Cher.

            This all makes me want to drown myself, speaking of poor Ms. Wood.

            Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              Natalie Wood was a star, alright. I was the right age – randy high school boy – to feel the full impact. I agree with Ambrit.

              Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          IMO, Kitsch nailed David Koresh in the tv show ‘waco.’ Had no idea the ATF basically burned down their compound and massacred those people.

          And i believe the movie your thinking of is ‘Battleship.’ While somewhat entertaining its almost certainly made in collaboration with the CIA, etc.

          John Tucker Must Die is good.

          Reply
          1. LifelongLib

            FWIW I think it was the FBI running the show when the Waco compound burned. The ATF led the initial assault where they tried to arrest Koresh but was so badly shot up that the FBI took over. Not that the ATF was great either, some people say that if they’d just knocked on the door and handed Koresh the arrest warrant he probably would have surrendered peacefully.

            Reply
            1. JB

              As Gore Vidal pointed out, Koresh was at the grocery store just a couple of days before the raid/fiasco. It’s not like like he was in hiding. They could’ve picked him up while he was pushing a cart in the parking lot.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                The Branch Davidians having pizza delivered to the “hidden” observation place was funny.

                A big problem was the rampant misunderstandings between the Davidians and the ATF/FBI. Add grandstanding, incompetence, politics, and religious true believers.

                As far as the Davidians knew, they had not done anything to warrant the small army, which it was. The ATF had some reason to think that something was wrong. IIRC, the conversion of semi automatic to fully automatic.

                The ATF was trying to justify their existence; they brought reporters to cover the oversized raid.

                The first person shot was probably Koresh while standing, unarmed, at open front door. Nobody knows for sure who fired first. The front door that had the bullet holes was taken by the ATF and disappeared. They claim that they don’t know how.

                I could go into more detail, but I will say it was The Law treating a religious cult following God as they saw it, a compound filled with families and their children, as just an armed gang.

                Reply
          2. Oregoncharles

            ATF started the fight and lost, including serious casualties. FBI picked it up and burned the place down with people in it.

            I still haven’t forgiven the then-left for dismissing the police abuse at Ruby Ridge and Waco because it wasn’t our people. Doesn’t matter, because they’re coming for us next.

            Reply
            1. foghorn longhorn

              Cooper was a badass wide receiver until his injury, Peyton calls him one of the best athletes he ever played with.
              His kid ,Arch, is one of, if not the, top rated prep QB in the nation.

              Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Weinstein made good movies though. I’m thinking Michael Bay. Its poll driven garbage with sentimental goop and claims of being intelligent but its mostly references built on a bedrock of nostalgia of with plenty of sexual exploitation. Also, a reliance on wunder weapons instead of recognition of the backbreaking work and logistics needed to defeat a real enemy. I point to the fortunate discovery in the “Transformers” movie of new rounds that burned hot enough to defeat a Decepticon that could be deployed through orders. Though there may be black characters featured prominently they are still only acceptable as long as they tell the white heroes how good they are.

            And whenever Michael Bay is accused of exploitation, he says something like, “but the underwear model has seven doctorates, she just doesn’t know very much about ninjas and turtles requiring a man to explain it.” Hillary when asked about the economy said she was going to put her husband in charge.

            Reply
    1. FriarTuck

      Does it surprise you that individuals raised in a TINA environment reflexively feel that the only way to spread a message is to commercialize it?

      After looking at some of the source materials, it appears as though:

      1) The source video vilifying millennials looks to be a well-off person trying to solidify their own class status; I’ve personally heard this kind of blather from individuals whose commonalities seem to be as typically conservative, white, older, and financially secure (if not wealthy).

      2) “OK Boomer” appears as a response to those individuals from (1) using generational arguments when lecturing those who have not accepted the kind of ideological permanence that the wealthy have institutionalized.

      3) The Times framing “OK Boomer” as a generational conflict instead of a economic class conflict is a result of the present dominant cultural ideology permeating their editorial staff. If you extend the Times lens, you can clearly see how their staff treats those politicians trying to change the status quo (Bernie) as compared to those who are looking to keep it going (Biden).

      4) Add to that the Times focus on millennials profiting from the meme rather than the substance of the meme being a rejection of the sort of “end of history” type arguments being foisted on the underprivileged and young, it seems to me the Times is trying to discredit any subversive attempt to change the present by punching down by suggesting impure motives.

      Reply
      1. MillenialSocialist

        Well put. I work for a millionaire boomer trump supporter whose first house cost 19,000 in the 1960s and if you hear him tell it, this is the land of opportunity and everyone, rich or poor, always gets what they deserve. Dont get him started on the homeless. You’ll want to punch an old man.

        He is loathsome, like the majority of non-poor boomers.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          This goes deep in the U.S. subconscious, Calvinism of course was about hard work and God bestowing deserved punishment on those who obviously just didn’t work hard enough

          Reply
        2. inode_buddha

          I’ve had bosses like that my whole life, and I’m in my 50’s. What gets me is when they act like they’re being so generous when they have to pay you, as if you owed them.

          Reply
      2. Lord Koos

        I have read that billionaire Peter Thiel promotes these anti-boomer memes. I see anti-millennial stuff on social media as well. It’s just more divide-and-conquer as far as I can see.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      We didn’t get along too well with our parental generation, either.

      I’ve never noticed any gratuitous hostility outside anonymous comments on the Internet; maybe I’m sheltered.

      Reply
  6. DJG

    The Alex Danco article: Everything Is Amazing but Nothing Is Ours (fixing the style for the hapless millennial).

    Wow. It is like something from another world, a world that isn’t physical, that has no problems, that has no delays, no breakdowns, no bad weather. All services. All apps. All dependencies. What could possibly go wrong?

    A quote:

    I think there’s a really strong, counter-trend bet to be made here over the next few tech generations. If the world is going to get reorganized into services and dependencies, so be it; but find what’s air gapped, and find what’s ours. People are smart enough to tell what’s solid and what isn’t. Product teams who go out of their way to give us real, tangible objects we feel that we can own will find a great deal of success.

    The whole article reads like Candide in a world with no political turbulence, no climate crisis, no class warfare. Just a guy and his keyboard.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      being that i’m the closest approximation of a yeoman farmer that i can manage(and a retired musician, to boot), this part leapt out and bit me:

      “This isn’t just a software thing, by the way. New technology generally reorganizes our consumption away from ownership and towards access. 100 years ago, music came from a piano, then it came from the record store, and now it comes from Spotify. 100 years ago, food came from a farm, then it came for a grocery store, and now it comes from DoorDash. There’s no denying that this is forward progress for the consumer. You would not want to go backwards. But there’s a cost. The more you can access, the less it’s yours. ”

      i got out of music because it was far too hard to make any money…later, i got out of farming as a business for the same reason.(I am subsistence, only…a peasant, if you will…which should be a frelling indictment)
      but music still comes from musicians…and food still comes from farmers…it’s just that neither gets paid all that much, and have become widgets in a larger machine….and therefore devalued
      the abstraction this article(sort of) celebrates obscures this. It’s Innovation!…so it must be good, right?
      since money is how we’re supposed to value things…doesn’t this mean that we value robber barons more than, say, teachers…let alone day care workers? or farmers? or musicians?
      in the same way that the waltons seem to have forgotten to consider who, exactly, will buy all their crap when the jobs are all in china or automated…it is just assumed that someone will be there, managing the farmer robots, or coding the music production AI…and that this is not really worth our time to explore.
      almost without exception, when i read stuff like this…including stuff about automation, or see a flavorless tomato with a mexico sticker,or think about robot trucks, there’s a randy newman song that bubbles up:
      “…they’re trying to wash us away…”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrt88oY94IY

      the implicit promise, when i was a kid, was that all this tech and wonder would obviate the need for drudgery…that star trek’s roddenberrian egalitarianism and plenty would be the future.
      that this was the WHY we were doing all this.
      i guess Moloch had other ideas,lol.

      Reply
      1. JacobiteInTraining

        I wasn’t able to afford land down in the valley that was farmable, so instead I got a mountain retreat…tucked into the tall trees. I can grow some spuds, herbs, lots of mushrooms and forest berries, but for real sustenance I have to venture down to the waterfront for fish, mussels, and the like. I guess my peasant occupation will pretty much have to be fire wood cutter, timber-faller, and beam/plank maker and shaper if I’m to acquire any silver after the Jackpot.

        There are deer, and elk too if one ventures further…. but if I did that I would soon be labelled a poacher by the Laird and then might be forced to establish a band of merry men to defend oneself & confront the shire-reave and any other Kings Men who interfere..we all know how that turns out….

        I guess I’ll just have to wait for the plague that eliminates 40-50% of the peasant labor, hope I survive, and then Wat Tyler & I can see about doing some new collective bargaining agreements with the Lairds….

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          come the Jackpot, it’s important to remind said Laird that he, too, is edible.
          and it is not we who will bring things to that sad state, but him.
          he wanted it all, with no consequences…but as us’n’s have been scolded forever, “there’s no free lunch”.
          there’s a recurring theme in the broad sweep of history…the PTB of any given civilisation are always surprised that the little people have limits.
          after bernie, i sadly see the last effort to stave off the cannibal future as a general strike…but i have even less hope of that happening,lol.

          the most depressing part is that it didn’t have to be like this.

          Reply
          1. JacobiteInTraining

            “… it’s important to remind said Laird that he, too, is edible…”

            An auspicious observation, sirrah!! Perhaps his/her liver, served with fava beans and a nice chianti?

            I imagine I could substitute spuds for the favas, and homemade beer for the chianti if needs be. As long as the liver is sauteed well to eliminate parasites. ahem. :)

            Reply
      2. Henry Moon Pie

        When we make our economy a little wheel turning (a reference to William Blake’s “Jerusalem”) in opposition to what we call “nature,” then we set up competitiveness as the ruling principle in our explanation of reality, and in our understanding of economy, we make of it, wily-nily, a virtue. But competitiveness as a ruling principle and a virtue, imposes a logic that is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to control. That logic explains why our cars and clothes are shoddily made, why our “wastes” are toxic, and why our “defensive” weapons are suicidal; it explains why it is so difficult to draw a line between “free enterprise” and crime. If our economic ideal is maximum profit with minimum responsibility, why should we be surprised to find our corporations frequently in court and robbery on the increase? Why should we be surprised when medicine has become an exploitative industry, profitable in direct proportion to its hurry and its mechanical indifference?

        “Two Economies” by Wendell Berry (1983) collected in Home Economics (1987)

        Reply
      3. tegnost

        Thanks Amfortas and DJG, I got a similarly cold reaction to the acceptance and subsequent hand waving off of “dependencies”. My favorite song on this topic is from gillian welch and dave rawlings…Everything is free now. The question is, after all the writers and musicians become hobbyists like most musicians here at nc, whose material will train the algo? I mean I’m going to turn the radio on at work today and there and I’ll hear steve miller and nirvana. Because there’s been no new music? No, because it’s making money for someone who plays on the keyboard, and no, I don’t mean the piano
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_hZWTdc9Us

        Reply
      4. lyman alpha blob

        You and others here may enjoy this movie from one of my favorites, Werner Herzog – Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. If you’re a Herzog fan I wouldn’t say it’s his best, but still better than 90% of the crap out there and musicians may like the very end (which the wikipedia link doesn’t spoil).

        Among others he interviews one of the computer scientists who sent the first internet message, ‘Lo’, thus the title. That guy or one of his colleagues recently wrote an LA Times article that I believe was linked to here where he decries what the internet has become. Tim Berners Lee has been in the press recently saying similar things. I’m a few chapters into Snowden’s book and he makes a similar argument. Everything that was good and beautiful about the nascent internet has been corrupted and monetized and today’s version is nothing at all like what its founders intended.

        The fact that these people have been speaking out recently gives me some small ray of hope that things may change for the better technology-wise, but that’s only going to happen if someone manages to squash the Bezos and Zuckerbergs of the world first.

        Still waiting for that jetpack…

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i thought that film was profoundly beautiful…especially given what it’s become.
          my folks got me a commodore 64,in junior high, but brother quickly spilled a coke in the external hard drive, and that was the end of that,lol. it’s still in mom’s attic.
          and i had a few geek friends in high school(i was a different kind of geek) who had macintosh computers and hacked the dmv and whatnot…and i remember the gleam in their eyes when they’d say all those incomprehensible things about those machines.
          but that(and being the getaway driver at compaq or whatever’s dumpsters) was my only connection to the netverse until almost 15 years later.

          talk about missed opportunities.

          Reply
      5. Lord Koos

        As a semi-retired musician myself, I certainly see your points. It is only recently that there has been a “music industry”, and it’s worth remembering that for millennia people made music with no recordings, revenue streams, record companies, etc. There have been professional songwriters for a few centuries, but their income was strictly from public performance or sheet music sales. In 19th century America many if not most households had a fiddle, piano, guitar, banjo, accordion etc. and folks made their own music. I don’t think music was even considered a real profession until very recently, and outside the celebrity sphere it’s still not given much cred.

        Reply
      6. Plenue

        “musicians… have become widgets in a larger machine”

        What’s the machine? If you’re talking major labels, sure (and that isn’t much different now than it was before the internet).

        But music is in a better place now than it has ever been before. Anyone can do all the recording and editing for little to no money in their bedroom and throw it up on YouTube or SoundCloud. The barriers to entry and distribution basically don’t exist anymore. Something like Vaporwave is entirely a product of the internet age.

        Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I am an old guy — so I see little value in much of the new technology discussed in this article. I saw the move toward software as service as an extension of the existing monopolistic practices of the software and computer industry. We don’t own the software on the machines we cannot repair, that automatically update at the whim of a big software company, and utilize content in the cloud — the cloud that is not ours, while running programs, hidden in background execution, collecting data about us, with possible backdoors included for the benefit of the State Police.

      Software that calls subprograms provided by the operating system becomes dependent on the subprograms names and the methods the operating system uses to access them and how those calls are structured. Microsoft and Apple use this lever to control and extract rent from the many subordinate companies creating software to run on computers running the Microsoft or Apple operating systems. Replicate and morph this simple means for rent extraction and we progress to software as a service, hardware we carry but no longer control. We progress to giving more and more control to a few large, malevolent, Corporations enabling them to extract more and more rent from us — in return for what?

      I suspect a very different reason for this move toward mindless support of software monopoly — different than the article’s suggestion of ‘progress’, convenience, mobility, and so on. Software, computers, and various associated gadgets are become items of fashion. The design of programs is a matter of fashion and keeping up with the latest ‘trends’. In my opinion, the great “paradigm shifts” celebrated at our universities and indoctrinated into the programmers they churn out each year are little more than marketing tools for generating theses and research papers. Each year a new generation of programmers and software designers indoctrinated in the new ‘wisdoms’ enters the workforce to replace older workers trapped in the ignorance of past practices.

      Managers go to trade shows, drink too much Kool-Aid, and come back with plans to replace working software and supporting software tools [e.g. compilers and linkers, software building tools, web design tools] with rewritten software, shiny new programmers, and the latest tools from the last trade show they attended. Shiny new programmers trained in the latest shiny new techniques mindlessly implement — strangely — software designed to fit the latest ideas from Academia that — strangely — fit the latest shiny new ideas for how the big software companies can exercise control and extract rents.

      Reply
      1. cnchal

        Exactly! I view the latest tech as a wasteland, subtracting value from my life, so avoid it like the plague, or as much as I can. Cloud computing is for clowns that trust the ones that have shown over and over again they are not trust worthy.

        I made the mistake of buying a used laptop with Win 10 and haven’t turned the stupid self updating at the worst time piece of crap on for at least a year, and I probably will never turn it on again and if I do it won’t be able to find the internet.

        My dear old Cad-Cam system runs on an old computer just fine and it’s connected to nothing, I can create whatever I want, and own the thing. The advancements in the latest and greatest is that it calls home every few seconds to make sure you are entiteled to use it. If it isn’t hooked up to the internet, you can’t use it. Total crap.

        The sweet spot in computing was at least a decade ago, it’s been downhill ever since.

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          Somewhat OT but I would *love* to get my hands on a older copy of Solidworks for UNIX. Last I used it was 2012, and it was simply amazing.

          Reply
      2. Mel

        The operation of Moore’s Law made computers so small, ubiquitous, and cheap, that all computing is now done in huge remote datacenters owned by giant corporations.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          It took me a while to catch on — old and slow. It is indeed ironic that making computers small, ubiquitous, and cheap should lead to computing done in huge remote datacenters owned by giant corporations. The only thing missing is the paper tape and punched cards — ‘progress’ into a past better left in the past.

          Reply
          1. Mel

            I don’t know all the precedents for that irony. Thorstein Veblen wrote of the Businessman as Saboteur. Thinking as a businessman, if I just let the physical (or engineering, or industrial) process do what it does, there’s nothing there that will specifically make ME rich.

            Reply
  7. Summer

    RE: California wildfires / divide beteen wealthy and poor

    I’m pondering Lebron James driving around the LA area, looking for hotel rooms with his family. What does that really say about his “team” (and not only the one on the court) or him?

    Reply
  8. DJG

    Democracy Is Hard Work. This article is worth reading, just for a reminder of the unique situation and history of the Basque Country in Spain (in case someone wonders again about Spanish disunity).

    Yet the idea that democracy is hard work is currently absent from U.S. culture. In general, the media don’t cover labor issues. The typical working stiff no longer thinks much about the dignity of labor. The older skills-based industries are either gone or have been deskilled. What rules is convenience (the recent postings and discussions of the rise of the unsafe, poorly designed, poorly driven SUV examined just one instance of convenience ruining everything).

    Hannah Arendt is good on work. She’s also good on democracy. So there are some alternative viewpoints to consider.

    And one of the things that I drew from Arendt’s work is that, to remain democratic, one has to cultivate a certain severity in one’s mindset. The democratic mindset–to be successful–has to resist the atmosphere of panic and buncombe and hucksterism that passes for culture in the Anglo-American world.

    What strikes me in current events is that I see certain groups that seem to be bored / scared of democracy (mainstream Democrats), thinly committed to democratic ideals (the Republican Party, Orban of Hungary), and believers that democracy is just not fashionable anymore (Salvini of Italy, for one). So we slouch toward something much worse, when not cooperating, disobeying, maintaining disinterest (in its traditional denotation) would serve us better.

    Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      “The typical working stiff no longer thinks much about the dignity of labor. The older skills-based industries are either gone or have been deskilled. ”

      Well, there’s not much dignity in winning a race to the bottom. Basically it amounts to whoring yourself out to an extortionist.

      Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          Perhaps it is an attempt to gin up intentional misdirection? I have been refining the quality of my tinfoil since discovering NC….

          Side note, you are actually living my dream. Grew up working farms, but I went into industry just as NAFTA came along. Never even made enough to buy the land, just hand to mouth.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            mom sold the far exurban houston homestead, when the greater houston area threatened to swallow it…and bought this place with the cash. no railroads, no oil wells, no timber, nothing THEY would ever want(turns out THEY like our sand!)
            i came out here, after being ground up by the world, in order to do what i talk about…essentially drop out as much as i could, while earning a modest income from the place. But the “market”(holy, holy) for everything i could conceivably do out here changed….can’t make money in farming any more…I’m not in the club.
            so it’s gray and black market produce, and attempting to grow as much of what we eat as possible.(2o acres = a country: pay attention to balance of trade with rest of world outside my “borders”)
            so i’ve dropped out,lol…just without the modest income.
            if the machine grinds to a halt one day, I’ll be better situated than anyone back home, fer sure.
            but, sans a village, it cannot last.
            ergo, all i’m shooting for is to build up the infrastructure(including permaculture) and somehow protect this place, so the boys have a place to retreat to when the world, considerably more precarious now, grinds them up in their turn.
            aside from bernie and aoc,maybe, i can’t think of anyone on teevee who would even understand these considerations.

            Reply
            1. Jeremy Grimm

              It sounds like you have the best plan possible for what the future holds. I hope I might be able to do something similar although I am not so certain my children will be wise enough to retreat while they can.

              Reply
        2. DM

          It’s crossed my mind that diversity is so readily taken up by corporations as it increases the difficulty for the workers to realize they have more in common than not. They then don’t recognize their common foe.

          Reply
      1. jrs

        When work was seen as power it had dignity. Power either over one’s own circumstances (because you have a great deal of say over your work etc.) or the much less obvious power that comes when workers have the means to disrupt or withhold labor and it actually *matters* (working class power).

        But modern times work is mostly purely submission. To work like a slave.

        Reply
  9. diptherio

    Re: Democracy is Hard Work

    Mondragon gets a lot of kudos for being the largest worker co-op in the world, and what they have accomplished in their 70 some years of existence is, indeed, quite impressive. However, their model of industrial scale co-ops joined into one large conglomerate definitely has its downsides. One of them, I think, is highlighted by this research. In small co-ops, the amount of ‘voice’ that any individual has is large, and this goes a long way towards off-setting the stresses that go along with being an owner. In large co-ops like Eroski and the other Mondragon co-ops, the amount of say any worker-owner has in the business is necessarily quite limited, and so you end up getting the stresses of ownership without much if any increase in agency.

    On Reddit (r/cooperatives) we had a little convo about this article. Basque_Pirate, who is a member at a Mondragon co-op (in accounting or something, I think) filled in some of the background for us. Eroski bought another large regional grocery chain in 2007, at the worst possible time.

    As the article states, Eroski had very good years but since the 2007 crisis that hit Spain specially hard, Eroski has been in a continuous crisis.

    They made a huge investment before the crisis hit, buying Caprabo (another supermarket chain based in Catalonia) for 1.7 Billion Euros right in 2007. That investment was a disaster, after the crisis hit, those supermarket stopped being profitable and became a huge burden. Also the consumer behaviour changed and went towards lower price discount shops, hurting Eroski’s core business. The cooperative has been hurting for liquidity for a long time, and if you follow the Spanish news, they had several debt restructurings, (they owe the banks about 1.5 billions still, even though they already payed back 1.8 billion) and this restructuring processes have been very traumatic.

    In the last negotiation the banks were pressuring Eroski to stop being a coop with the threat that they were not going to refinance them and they would go bankrupt. Legally, and being a worker coop, a bank can’t have a controlling stake at Eroski , so the banks wanted eroski to become a “normal” private company so they could take control and sell/liquidate parts of the business and assets that Eroski refuses to sell. In the end, they kept being a coop and they secured funding until 2024.

    But as I said, the process was very traumatic, the risk of default was present every day and it was all over the media.

    Worker co-ops are not a panacea (shock!) and large ones have a lot issues around maintaining their cooperative ethos while still competing with the capitalists. Personally, this is why I prefer networks of small co-ops (like the Arizmendi assoc. in the Bay Area) to large conglomerate co-ops like Mondragon.

    Reply
    1. dearieme

      The largest British worker co-op must be the John Lewis/Waitrose group. I has flourished for decades but now seems to be plagued by the usual difficulties afflicting retailers.

      Reply
      1. diptherio

        I’m not sure how similar the grocery businesses in the UK and the US are, but I know that over here, margins on groceries are razor thin, which makes it tough to compete in that market and also pay the workers (or members) a more reasonable rate than the market standard…which is just to say that competing with sociopaths is hard.

        Reply
    2. Grant

      One issue that Mondragon has dealt with recently was that an increasing share of its workforce didn’t own the enterprise. So, it has had to set a limit on the percentage of its workforce that are non-owners. Any institution though that gets large will struggle in regards to direct democracy, collective action problems and all. So, the democracy will be more representative than direct. Cooperatives are an important means of skills attainment, are internally equitable and democratic and are necessarily place-based institutions. All other forms of non-public enterprise allow for some degree of absentee ownership. But there are challenges in regards to start up funds, there are legal ambiguities as well. In my home state, Illinois, until a few years ago, it was actually illegal for cooperatives to operate in certain sectors. So, cooperatives had to file as traditional enterprises and had to have internal by-laws which established them as cooperatives. I am sure it was fun when it came time to pay taxes for the cooperative. Some states, like Wisconsin and Massachusetts, have really well developed cooperative laws. Most don’t, some are outright hostile to cooperatives. New York City, Austin, Oakland, Madison, Cleveland and others are supporting cooperatives in various ways. Cooperatives tend to be larger than people think though generally, and they do respond to things like recessions in different ways than other non-public enterprises respond to recessions. They spread the pain and reduce everyone’s work hours.

      I conducted research on municipal support for worker co-ops in the US. One article I was the lead researcher on was recently published. If anyone is interested: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07352166.2019.1584531?journalCode=ujua20

      Reply
      1. diptherio

        That is interesting, Grant. It’s the kind of thing I’d love to have a lay-person friendly summary of to post on Grassroots Economic Organizing (geo.coop). If you our someone you know would be interested in writing such a thing, you can contact me/us through the contact page on the GEO website. And I see that one of our members (Jessica) provided some feedback, so it’s only fitting that we help publicize your findings.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Sure, I would love to. I will contact you soon. Thanks for the suggestion. I love Collective Courage, such an interesting and inspiring book. She actually spoke to a graduate class the author of that article and I created a few years ago.

          Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Thank you for that background on Eroski and its problems. Now — the discontent described in the article makes more sense. The ‘explanation’ that “democracy is hard work” had a hollow ring and a bad smell. I think the phrase ‘hard work’ is become much like the label ‘smart’. But it also evokes deep biases embedded in the Protestant Work Ethic credited with delivering us the wonders of Capitalism.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        It’s simple reality though, even if all one wants is to push bourgie electoral democracy in a better direction, it will involve a lot of work. And one might have to do that AND also work for the man (hard perhaps but that depends),if one wishes to also have a roof over the head in the meantime? Yep. And I’m as lazy if not more than the next person, but if we aren’t willing to also do work to make things better in addition to the work we do merely to survive another day, then maybe nothing stands a chance of ever getting any better.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Are you suggesting that dealing with the problems and issues ditherio and Grant identified above are a simple matter of hard work? If so, your suggestion is vague. Hard work at what? Simple hard work as analysis and solution to a problem is indeed simple. Just because someone works hard at something that does not validate or lend moral rectitude to their efforts nor does it solve problems. Work even hard work is not inherently good in-itself.

          Reply
    1. urblintz

      Last sentence in your linked article:

      “The impeachment inquiry centers not on the Mueller report but on Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate a domestic political rival, Democrat Joe Biden.”

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Maybe that’s the reason his zombie “candidacy” is being kept alive with inexplicable “polls” and now a PAC. Without a candidacy, he’s just another corrupt ex-politician who deserves investigation.

        Does the reason to “impeach” go away if he drops out? Could that be the reason for fast-tracking this thing?

        Reply
        1. Tim

          I don’t think legal standing is required for impeachment and trial in the Senate, but I could be wrong.

          If I am wrong, Biden’s life is in danger, as somebody could do him in, assuming he doesn’t drop out.

          Reply
      2. Pat

        Leaving off the important: “rather than the previous President’s investigation of the political rival to his party’s nominee.”

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Law breaking and destruction of critical safeguards and institutions is AOK if “our side” does it, doncha know.

          Chelsea/Biden nepotism = heart warming and wonderful, Ivanka Bad So Bad, lock Him/Her up.

          But Live = Die By The Sword too. If 2020 results in a Dem president then expect impeachment proceedings to begin January 21 2021

          Reply
  10. Summer

    RE: “Everything Is Amazing /Nothing Ours”

    “New technology generally reorganizes our consumption away from ownership and towards access. 100 years ago, music came from a piano, then it came from the record store, and now it comes from Spotify. 100 years ago, food came from a farm, then it came for a grocery store, and now it comes from DoorDash…”

    And everything will be taken from you if you can’t tell the difference between content and distribution.
    Music still comes from a piano and food still comes from a farm.

    Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      … and this line of thinking is why urban dwellers are going to either move, or become extinct when civilization finally collapses. There is enough land to support everyone without living in giant metropolitan pollution concentrators and amplifying the worst in us, while relying on inhumane factory farms that distort the market and ruin the land.

      Reply
    2. Krystyn Walentka

      I got the gist of what he was saying but saying “years ago websites were made of files; now they are made of dependencies” is just wrong. Those websites of the past had several deprendancies as well; electricity, a computer, money, an ISP, a web browser….

      and Summer…music depends on an instrument and the food depends on the soil.

      So is the issue here dependencies or who OWNS the dependencies? The people who made the most money during the gold rush made the most money selling shovels. So if you want to make money, sell the thing people need to satisfy their greed.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Don’t forget air, water, and food — the electricity, computer, money, ISP, and web browser all depend on air, water, and food to keep the user alive. I believe the word ‘dependency’ as used in the article is a special usage. Yes, executing software depends on a range of requirements. I read ‘dependency’ to mean those particular special dependencies written into software that were not necessary to its basic functions — the little additions for convenience, mobility and other values. Yes, “who OWNS the dependencies” is important — but for other reasons. Even if you ‘owned’ all the dependencies like the cloud servers, and multiple web-servers and databases and so on — say you are the owner of Amazon — the software which uses these dependencies is only as reliable as the least reliable element in this set of dependencies. It is only as stable and robust as the least element.

        Reply
        1. Krystyn Walentka

          As a past programmer I know what dependencies are.

          Maybe the issue is not the dependency, but rather, agency. If I have no way to fix a dependency because I cannot see the code I am held hostage by the owner.

          we all have some limit to our agency. Capitalism exploits it.

          Reply
          1. Jeremy Grimm

            As a past programmer who knows what dependencies mean did you really identify “electricity, a computer, money, an ISP, a web browser…” as dependencies for the software you wrote. How did that help with linking and configuration management?

            I think the problem of dependencies is more than a matter of agency. Matters of agency are not unrelated to “who OWNS the dependencies”. Even if you have agency in and OWNership of all the dependencies you might embed in your code — more dependencies means more complexity, means more things that can go wrong or change without your notice. More dependencies makes your code less robust and much more difficult and time consuming to maintain. The push toward software as a service, toward cloud access, pushes code toward crapification. All the convenience and access in the world is worthless when the code crashes.

            Reply
    3. Cuibono

      Repeating that line just in case anyone mises itor mistakes it for anything other than sheer idiocy:
      “100 years ago, food came from a farm, then it came for a grocery store, and now it comes from DoorDash. There’s no denying that this is forward progress for the consumer. You would not want to go backwards”

      WTF?

      Reply
  11. Shonde

    I look forward to the day the old copper landline infrastructure in the streets is declared a national security asset and is thus maintained and extended.
    I was living in San Diego County in 2011 when a major transformer in Arizona went down and all of San Diego County blacked out. My old copper landline still worked. In 2015 Verizon said it was mandatory to change my landline to VOIP since they were no longer servicing the old copper. VOIP needs electricity.
    Today we rely even more on cell service so when I saw the link regarding the cell sites failing in Marin County, CA due to the power outage, I again became outraged that after my move to Minnesota, I was told I could not have a copper connection even though my neighbors have copper connected landlines. What we are told is progress is actually setting us up for communications failure in the event of catastrophe. I wonder if I can get Bernie to make maintenance of the street copper into a plank in his GND.

    Reply
    1. foghorn longhorn

      Not only are they not going to perform maintenance on the old copper network the last plan, I am aware of, was to ‘mine’ the old copper and sell it for scrap.
      Yea progress.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is this feeling about progress something only to people in some countries, and not in others countries where economies have grown quite a bit in the last 2, 3 or 4 decades?

        For example, if a country has grown a lot in the last 15 years, say, do people there still have much to remember fondly (‘My copper landline’ for example, or mabye something else) about from 20, 30 years ago? Will they say, ‘we love progress?’ Or will they eventually also rue, ‘yea, progress?’

        Reply
        1. ivoteno

          i would venture a guess that a few countries might look back fondly to a time when they weren’t being bombed to smithereens for some sort of corporate benefit, but lord knows i could be mistaken.

          Reply
    2. coboarts

      Back in the 80s I participated with San Diego’s Office of Emergency Management. It was common knowledge then that in a big emergency there would be NO communications infrastructure expected to be working. The OEM worked throughout the county with HAM operators to provide the communications links that would keep the county efforts coordinated. I brought this up at a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting in the bay area. It seemed unimaginable to people that their cell phone networks couldn’t be counted on – I just laugh…

      Reply
  12. Mattski

    Eroski: the frustration induced by rising expectations is a real thing. And then you are still “imbricated” in the actual existing system. Wouldn’t workers really rather just lie back and think of England? (Spain? Murrica?)

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      I have spent my life trying to get imbricated in it’s proper connotation into something I’ve written and it it usually comes out a little “off” since it’s so specific. Kudos for for hitting on both the image and the intent!

      Reply
  13. s.n.

    alleged financier…

    Financier and alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, whose death was ruled a suicide by the New York City Medical Examiner’s office, was likely murdered, famed forensic pathologist and Fox News contributor Dr. Michael Baden said Wednesday on Fox & Friends after examining Epstein’s body.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/forensic-investigator-jeffrey-epsteins-autopsy-more-consistent-with-homicide

    …Baden, who has worked on multiple high-profile cases and has examined over 20,000 bodies over a five-decade career, was asked by Epstein’s brother to be at the official autopsy. Baden revealed that at the time of the autopsy, the doctor overseeing the procedure “didn’t think there was enough information to say suicide,” and initially put the status of the case to “pending further study,” before changing it and publicly releasing the suicide ruling.
    Baden also said that any potential DNA under Epstein’s fingernails, as well as on the sheets used to strangle him, has not yet been released….

    Reply
  14. JohnnyGL

    Biden: ISIS Leader Baghdadi Killed “In Spite” Of Trump’s Actions; “Should Stay In His Lane And Listen To The Military”

    Trump should just stop trying to be the boss and recognize that as elected leader of the country, his real job is to just sit back and let the deep state run things.

    Biden 2020: Because the deep state knows best!

    Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      Memo to Biden: Trump is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces as part of his job title and description whether you like it or not. The buck does indeed stop there.

      Whatever the military does while he is in office, will have his name all over it, deservedly or not.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        Maybe Trump has gotten smarter tactically (and knows that Sleepy Joe is the guy to face) because if he delivered your response I would think it would sink Biden for good.

        Why does Joe Biden want to be President? He not only doesn’t want to change anything, he doesn’t even seem to want to do anything, per JohnnyGL. Just glad-hand other oldsters.

        Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “South Korea compares Japan’s ‘rising sun’ flag to swastika as Olympic row deepens”

    Lots of people say the South Koreans should let bygones be bygones but I do not think that it is so simple. Playing a game of ‘What if?’, suppose that America had lost to Japan in WW2 and the Japanese had occupied America all the way to the Rockies and stayed there for the next forty odd years until forced to evacuate when Japan loses a major war against the USSR. Using the Korean template, lets see what would have happened when western America became a Japanese protectorate.
    Millions of Americans are conscripted for labour, the English language is suppressed in an effort to eradicate American national identity, hundreds of thousands of girls and women are forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military, Americans are forced to take Japanese surnames, thousands of American cultural artifacts are destroyed or taken to Japan, Hawaii is formerly made part of Japan, hundreds of thousands of Japanese settlers are given land in America, Unit 731 is set up on the west coast, American children are raised as loyal sons of the Empire. But you get the general idea.
    So how would present day Americans feel about the Japanese now? And what would they say when people tell them that they should ‘get over it?’

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

    Reply
    1. Alex Cox

      I think the outrage over rising sun equivalence to swastikas is pretty bogus.

      If you visit S Korea you will encounter thousands of swastikas. Often lit up neon ones. There is apparently a piety contest between S Korean Christians, who display neon crosses, and Buddhists, who display neon swastikas as a religious symbol.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People in Moscow are looking to working with Germans, and people in Berlin are not looking back at how Frauen und Fraeuein were treated by the victorious Red Army. In fact, Germans, in general, think nicely of Gorby (watched Werner Herzong’s Meeting Gorbachev).

      Are they more exceptional here?

      Reply
  16. scarn

    All I see in that NYT Boomer article is that the kids are all right. Of course, it’s the Times, so they highlight entrepreneurship and business possibilities which turns real underlying social realities into crass advertising. What does the meme really mean? Young people simply don’t respect older people who act like Steinbeck’s temporarily embarrassed millionaires instead of people being exploited by actual millionaires. They reject the whole frame. That’s a great thing for our future.

    Reply
    1. Scarn

      And then there is the irony of this being published in the ultimate Boomer paper (or is that WaPo now), with a focus on commodification. Nobody cool puts a meme on a shirt…

      Reply
  17. Xquacy

    Re: How the Rich Are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class

    From the paper:

    This paper investigates a new approach to understanding personal and unctional income distribution. I propose that hierarchical power — the command of subordi- nates in a hierarchy — is what distinguishes the rich from the poor and capitalists from workers.

    This is a lift and sell and quite a shameful piece of work at that! The “hypothesis” is not “new” in any meaningful sense. The more general version of the otherwise truncated thesis here mentioned, was proposed by Robert Brady in his 1943 classic Business as a System of Power.

    In effect these mean simply that all society, all occupations, all busi-nesses are organized into all-inclusive hierarchies of control and governed in such a way that (a) all competencies are pointed from above and held at the discretion of each superior office in the hierarchy, that (b) all duties and all responsibilities are set from above, and that (c) each superior authority deserves the right at will to extend control to every phase and facet of the activities of each inferior body or grouping.

    More generally, the idea is a foundational assumption of Anarchism, iterated in his own original and unique way by Veblen (who the author incidentally does mention still not revising his claim).

    Reply
      1. Bernalkid

        You get the feeling that if these type of “scholars” can’t find it on the first page of google returns they have discovered a brand new approach.

        Reply
    1. Tomonthebeach

      Aside from the very select group from the tip of a data skew that looks like a leaning power pole, this carefully-analyzed study produces evidence of common sense. Gee, super-wealthy people are powerful and the more wealth they have the more powerful they are. AND, it is all a function of the number of Plebeians they control in the human food chain. Who’da thunk?

      Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Pompeo Drops the Niceties on the Quad: What Now?”

    In reading this, I must admit that I am wondering about one point. The Quad is made up of the US, Japan, Australia and India. OK then. But is the point of this Quad to restrict and box in China or is it in fact to put the other countries of Asia such as Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, etc. into a pen under their control?

    Reply
  19. dearieme

    Am I alone in finding “Gender reveal parties” rather decadent?

    Vatican cardinals linked to missing millions and financial scandal Some things are unchanging in this ever-changing world.

    I also want to say goodbye to you as my mission here is coming to an end. It was awfully good of God to lend you to us, Donald.

    WKPD: Chelsea Victoria Clinton … is an American author and global health advocate.

    I look forward to meeting someone who advocates global ill-health.

    @DJG: certain groups that seem to be bored / scared of democracy You could add the British quislings to your list.

    Reply
  20. Sylvia

    Lambert–I think the current Ukrainegate Impeachment effort is very much a continuation of Russiagate, of anti-Russian hysteria and definitely involves Russia.

    First let’s recall that in June of 2016, 51 “State Department Officials” signed a letter protesting US/Syria policy and demanding US air strikes against Syria? This happened during the Obama Administration.
    “Dozens of State Department officials this week protested against U.S. policy in Syria, signing an internal document that calls for targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat Islamic State.” See https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-state-department-officials-call-for-strikes-against-syrias-assad-1466121933

    I recall this history because it is reflective of the degree of hawkishness including anti-Russian hawkishness (Russia was helping Syria) within “The Borg” ie the US permanent state—including not only the State Department, but the DOD, FBI, DOJ and the myriad of “Contractors” sucking on the government tit. This anti-Russian hawkishness also extends to virtually the entire US main stream media—as we see can hear and see every day on MSNBC/CNN and in the pages of the NYTimes and the WPost. These same people apparently want war with Russia which could result in a nuclear war. They were alarmed when Trump announced his intention to improve US/Russia relations during the 2016 campaign. These are also the people who were either behind or who supported the Russiagate hysteria.

    Here’s the point I want to make—these same anti-Russian hawks also supported the Maiden coup because they wanted to separate Ukraine from Russia to “weaken Russia”—want the Ukraine to join the EU—want the Ukraine to join NATO so NATO bases can be placed right on Russia’s border— support sanctions against Russia including sanctions over Crimea—support Ukraine’s attack on Ukrainian citizens in the Donbas—and support the US providing military assistance to Ukraine to be used to attack these same Ukrainian citizens. These same elements have been almost certainly been the ones who are behind the “whistle blower” complaint, and surely includes the people who have testified in the current Ukrainegate impeachment effort. This implies that Ukrainegate is another phase of Russiagate—this time under the guise of impeachment using Ukraine as the vehicle.

    See this story about the Lt Col who testified yesterday. Given the facts, he may have acted inappropriately in his dealings with Ukrainian officials. Here’s what the NYTimes said and about his actions. (then the paper tried to deny that they said it! ) “Because he immigrated from Ukraine along with his family when he was a child and is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, Ukrainian officials sought advice from him on how to deal with Rudy Giuliani”

    I hope I don’t need to point out that none of the people who have testified in the Ukrainegate impeachment effort, including this officer are authorized to either set US foreign policy or to contradict the instructions of the Commander in Chief. Nor was this officer authorized to contact a foreign government to give advice about how to oppose the actions of his Commander in Chief. Such actions on his part are quite questionable and a potential violation of his sworn duty to act within the chain of command. https://www.zerohedge.com/political/white-house-ukraine-expert-says-he-tried-correct-voice-recognition-generated-transcript

    Now, we may not like it–but the current Commander in Chief is Donald J. Trump.

    Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      “…are authorized to either set US foreign policy or to contradict the instructions of the Commander in Chief. Nor was this officer authorized to contact a foreign government to give advice about how to oppose the actions of his Commander in Chief. Such actions on his part are quite questionable and a potential violation of his sworn duty to act within the chain of command.”

      If White House legal counsel is worth a damn, they will point this out very loudly during impeachment trial, if things ever get to that point.

      They will also bring out every instance of Democrat impropriety re: Ukraine and emoluments, thereby destroying any credibility/legitimacy the Dems might have had. Preferably via video, phone records, and Council of Foreign Relations transcripts (not to mention a certain email server and arms sales)

      …. and simply hoist them on their own petard, for all to see.

      Reply
      1. Misty Flip

        Military oath, “I, do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States of America […]” A.) Notice the hierarchy of allegiances and B.) Presidential orders are always written down. — If cheating in the 2020 election was an Executive Order, everybody might be on the same page. Lt. Col. Vindman has his orders written down, and I’m sure he’s fulfilling his mission by following them to the letter. And if WH Counsel and by extension, the WH, was worth a damn, there would not be an impeachment. But the current occupant is incapable of acting formally in a command capacity, because that requires good faith, honesty, and risking failure. Instead of lawful orders, Guliani is the bagman, and government is conducted by implication. Noice!

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          There would be an impeachment because it is politically motivated, and not because Trump is an asshat (which he is). It has little to do with his fitness.

          There is a *lot* of military/intelligence machination going on behind the scenes, and no, they are not all necessarily obeying anything written or otherwise — at the officer level they are allowed to use their own judgement. Remember, he let then know he is no friend of theirs when he took office.

          Reply
    2. JohnnyGL

      Yeah, I’ve gotten really suspicious of the impeachment case.

      Trump should probably be impeached for a variety of things, however:
      1) we’ve set the bar very HIGH. GW Bush lied us into war and finished out two terms because he convinced people that he kept us safe. Trump’s nowhere near that level.
      2) The Ukraine thing involves a litany of corrupt, bad faith operators. Trump has plenty of company. I’m somewhat of a political junkie like many on this site, and I can’t be bothered to untangle the mess.

      Reply
  21. Summer

    RE: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trump-reveals-plans-for-nationwide-crackdown-and-more-militarized-police/

    “In coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime—which I think is so important—targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high crime cities and dangerous rural areas,” Trump said during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. “Let’s call it the surge.”

    Create more violence using the violently out of control police and then claim he’s the one that can “protect you.” That’s part of the re-election campaign.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      what, pray tell, could “dangerous rural areas” possibly mean?

      should i lock my doors?

      i do have something of a coyote problem at the moment….

      Reply
  22. smoker

    Re: FCC: Marin cell sites failed broadly amid Kincade fire

    Yet another basic need which should never have been run by for profit entities, basic telephones.

    Even without the fires many California phones are increasingly dropping signals, most worriedly from, or to, Hospitals (I’ve both experienced this, and heard this firsthand from more than one nurse at various hospitals). Being in somewhat of a guardian position for someone else who lives an hour’s drive away in a neighboring county, I’m outraged that calls are increasingly dropped – even with landlines, and even in good weather. I’m outraged that that my basic cellphone had a clear connection to that county for years before another avaricious company bought the cellphone company I signed up with years ago. Further, it appears their outlets are telling people if they need to upgrade their phones (because the company insanely refuses to offer replacement batteries for the basic phones they sell) they can’t keep their old phone numbers. Is that legal?

    Further, will the imposition of 5g worsen those connections – or even make them unusable – for those who don’t have and/or want 5g? This Verizon associated site is saying that its 3g phones will be obsolesced by the end of 2019, and that there will be some 4g effects.

    Once upon time the same telephone lasted for multiple decades, landfills weren’t littered with countless toxic and dead batteries and cellphones. The phones actually worked, WELL, even when the power was out. The lines were repaired for free; and people weren’t forced to spend unpaid hours upon hours studying how to best ensure and AFFORD the basic necessity of reliable telephone communications; nor were they forced with changing phone numbers they had for years and the time that takes to update with vital contacts, an even more gruesome task when someone is a guardian for someone else and the main point of contact.

    Reply
    1. kiwi

      All of this wonderful technology is just ruining everything now that the companys’ main focus is figuring out how to make things operationally more difficult and more time consuming so they can charge more for “services” and increase down time for consumers.

      And now, we get to waste time checking our own groceries, without pay or any discount, I might add, in little stations that make it impossible to check items as fast as the clerks do (because they had the longer conveyor belts). At home depot, everyone is now forced to self check out.

      Reply
  23. Misty Flip

    Russian policy has undermined progressive agendas. – Are we still going to pretend a US President is not repeatedly trading in US influence for personal benefit? Does this not undermine progressive agendas? Will a Sanders administration have an easier time increasing domestic expenditures if the Ukraine government collapses or if US troops are killed by a cruise missile strike while shuffling around bases? — If Russian military intelligence did its job like a real superpower, the 2016 election tampering, an influence run at a demented TV personality with a dangle of stolen goods, part of a larger effort to engineer the West’s acceptance of Russian hegemony in Ukraine, would have gone undetected. Or upon discovery, the opposition party would be undermined so thoroughly, having also been compromised, that it would forego counter response in favor of a reformation.

    If somebody shoots you dead, you can relax while nature takes it from there. Leave the assailant to the living. But if you are shot and maimed, not only will you have to plan an immediate defense, you are bound by conflict to your assailant for life. Although Gavrilo Princip stumbled into a second shot at the Archduke, things still got out of hand just because the Black Hand tried to rig the Austro-Hungary’s acquiescence of Serbian hegemony.

    Reply
    1. MOnty

      Intense TDS in extremis! I don’t this kind of disquietude is at all healthy. Please look after yourself and try not to get too wrapped up in things you have no way to control. It’s a recipe for a heart attack or serious chronic depression, nothing more.

      Reply
    2. juliania

      None of that made sense, Misty. Perhaps because you left out a few important sequences like global warming, sea rise, fires in California, South American coup strategies and so on. Oh yes, not forgetting Brexit. I do get that it’s all about Russia but you lost me after that, sorry. But then, still, it was a happy romp through pushbutton issues, as maybe you meant it to be. Needed a snark though.

      Reply
    3. Massinissa

      Wait… Are you saying that Russia buying a few facebook ads is the equivalent of shooting Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

      Also… “part of a larger effort to engineer the West’s acceptance of Russian hegemony in Ukraine, would have gone undetected. ”

      Wait, so the reason Russia allegedly got Trump into power is because… Of Ukraine? If you’re going to go full tinfoil hat, at least make it so the Russians did it for a reason that actually makes sense.

      Reply
    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I think the DNC propped up Trump way more than ‘Russian Intelligence.’

      Russian Policy has been to prop UP progressive agendas, not undermine them.

      If Russia wants to secure its borders from NATO and I hate NATO, then GEAUX RUSSIA.

      Reply
    5. inode_buddha

      You will find that *nobody* around here believes the mainstream Democrat trope…. and they have the long memories and the research to back it up.

      Reply
    6. inode_buddha

      Since when do the Democrats care about corruption? They had no problems with it when Hillary was Secretary of State. Talk about double standards. They need to clean up their own back yard before they go pointing fingers. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, etc….

      And Clinton is just one example, there are dozens more over the last 40 years.

      Reply
  24. Oregoncharles

    “In South Korea’s dangerous shipyards, subcontracted workers are most at risk Reuters”
    My son’s shipyard job was outsourced to South Korea, along with hundreds of others. It was formerly the biggest industrial employer in Portland, now all but shut down.

    And a very interesting graph of industrial injuries, from the article – sorry, I can’t copy & paste the graph, which is active: ” Korea has the third highest workplace fatality rate among OECD countries ”
    In 4th, with the same number: the US, right before Lithuania. 3rd world numbers, again.

    Reply
  25. noonespecial

    Re: Agence France Presse/Sanders

    A comment spoken by Sanders from the article:
    “Who is going to deny that when youth unemployment is 60 percent, when people have no hope, when people cannot literally leave the region — who can think for a moment that you’re not laying the groundwork for continued violence?”

    Alas, below is a link to yet another brick in that wall of desperation and “continued violence”.

    To shudder is one reaction:

    “An Israeli soldier who shot dead a Palestinian minor in Gaza has been sentenced to a month of military community service and demoted to the rank of private, according to reports…

    Footage of the incident shows Helles [the deceased] first standing by the separation fences between Israel and Gaza before being shot in the chest while attempting to climb it during weekly rallies.

    Haaretz reported that the soldier admitted in a plea bargain to firing his weapon towards the child, causing potential endangerment without the approval of his commanders and without acting in compliance with the rules of engagement.

    Israeli media reported that Israeli army sources were provided no evidence that the soldier’s action actually caused Helles’ death and so he was not convicted of a more serious charge of manslaughter.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-soldier-community-service-sentence-gaza-war-teenager-death-latest-a9178071.html

    Some now deleted tweet from 2018 by an Israeli general claimed that every bullet fired by a sniper at protesters knows where it will land.

    Reply
  26. The Rev Kev

    “Brexit”

    I have read this election as being described as the “have you tried turning it off and turning it on again” election. This is the third UK election in what, five years? And they keep on trying to reset the political landscape.

    Reply

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