Links 10/6/19

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‘Incredibly rare’ monkey born at Australian zoo Channel News (furzy)

Report Shows ‘Stunning and Dramatic’ Scenes of Thawing Permafrost in Siberia That ‘Leaves Millions on Unstable Ground’Common Dreams

150 Years of Mirza Ghalib: How His Genius Took the Ghazal to New Heights and Depths The Wire

Spanish police plucked from ocean by drugs smugglers they were chasing Guardian

Thomas Cook handed over millions to 30 advisers in dying days FT

Class Warfare

Is the NCAA’s Abusive Wage Cartel Finally Going Down? American Conservative

Even High-Income Millennials Fear They’ll Need to Work Forever BNN Boomberg

Lyft and Uber Are Having a Terrible, Awful, No-Good Time Vice

My University is Dying Chronicle of Higher Education (User Friendly)

“Very few white-collar workers at P&G really do anything…” Big. Matt Stoller.

Has Capitalism Become Our Religion? Nation. UserFriendly: “Well I can’t say I am totally on board with this but some decent points.”

Lawyers accuse Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes of not paying them for defending her in a civil case and say they have ‘no expectation’ that she’ll ever pay them due to her ‘current financial situation’ Daily Mail (BC)

A Tesla Recall? NHTSA Could Review If Model S And Model X Should Have Been Recalled In May International Business Times


A man jumped from the bushes for a birthday surprise. His startled father-in-law fatally shot him. WaPo

Joshua Brown, key witness in Amber Guyger murder trial and neighbor of Botham Jean, shot to death in Dallas CNN (DK)



Fearful of Lula’s Exoneration, His Once-Fanatical Prosecutors Request His Release From Prison. But Lula Refuses. Intercept. Glenn Greenwald.


China Is Breeding Giant Pigs the Size of Polar Bears Bloomberg


The Iraqi people are in revolt – pushing the post-Saddam Hussein settlement to the brink of collapse Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

The infamous murder of Jamal Khashoggi Qantara

MBS must shelve his vicious war in Yemen Asia Times. Pepe Escobar.

A year on from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and Saudi Arabia is lurching towards hysterical chaos Independent. Robert Fisk

Iraq protests: All the latest updates Al Jazeera


Misery of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan would be global Ars Technica

New Cold War

Russia is helping China build a new missile attack warning system, Putin says CBS News

UPDATE 1-Russia’s Rosneft seeks euros for all new export deals -documents Reuters (The Rev Kev)


Hong Kong protesters defy mask ban as city grinds to halt Agence France-Presse

One Hundred Days of Protest in Hong Kong Der Spiegel

How Chinese money is driving Southeast Asia’s tech start-up scene SCMP


Brexit: round in circles


Who should run against Trump? How about Hillary Clinton? San Francisco Chronicle. Willie Brown. Kill me now. Seriously, readers should have fun shredding this. Does this mean Willie’s not supporting the ambitions of ex-squeeze Kamala Harris?

WATCH: Elizabeth Warren Lied About Losing Public School Teaching Job Because She Was ‘Visibly Pregnant’ Mediaite. UserFriendly: “She is pathological.” Wowsers. Trump will be all over this.


Sanders and Warren transform how presidential campaigns are paid for Politico

The Invention of the Conspiracy Theory on Biden and Ukraine New Yorker. UserFriendly: “the new yorker gets it’s knives out for Solomon of the Hill, but do they strike blood?”

Waste Watch

Billionaire-backed foundation contributes $300M to new plastics initiative Waste Dive

UserFriendly: “Not that the MSM would ever touch this because it makes trump voters look good, but remember back when Trump called Baltimore ‘rat and rodent infested’? This kid who was a volunteer and door knocker for Trump got a bunch of MAGA’s to go clean up Baltimore. They have been at it since then.”

737 MAX

Boeing Reportedly Scrapped 737 Max Safety System as It Was Too Expensive Interesting Engineering

Singapore to decide what’s fake and what’s real Asia Times (The Rev Kev)

Trump Transition

How Tim Cook Won Donald Trump’s Ear WSJ

In the Land of Self-Defeat NYT (re Silc)

The ‘Never Trump’ Coalition That Decided Eh, Never Mind, He’s Fine NYT (The Rev Kev)

Impeachment, Brought to You by the CIA Counterpunch

U.S. airlines grapple with ‘unfair tax’ that adds to aircraft supply disruption Reuters (The Rev Kev)

Trump Signs Proclamation Restricting Visas for Uninsured Real Clear Politics (UserFriendly)

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. UserFriendly

    WATCH: Elizabeth Warren Lied About Losing Public School Teaching Job Because She Was ‘Visibly Pregnant’ Mediaite. UserFriendly: “She is pathological.” Wowsers. Trump will be all over this.

    He sure will, once she has the nomination. He already regrets nailing her with pocahontas too early.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Yeah, I’ve noticed they suddenly went full-bore on the Biden-Ukraine story. I think they were holding that one for the general, but the whistleblower-impeachment story forced them to drop it earlier than they would have liked.

      Trump knows he can use Biden as a human shield because team dem NEVER turns on a ‘made man’ like Biden.

      It seems to be working well enough for now, even if the support for impeachment is creeping up.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        I look forward to Bernie taking the lead and Trump tweeting about his…um…let’s see…
        oh he was arrested once! What for? Oh…protesting segregated housing…what else do we have?
        There is so obviously one person who would not just defeat Trump, but trounce him.

    2. Utah

      The thing about this story that bothers me the most is that it feeds into the (mostly false) narrative that women are hysterical and liars and aren’t to be trusted. There are probably multiple truths to this story. Maybe she was fired because she couldn’t get her teaching certificate while she was pregnant, etc. But by telling half truths, that makes women look bad, and won’t secure her the general election vote if it’s used against her- which it will be.

      1. uncle tungsten

        Actually Utah, part of that narrative that women are liars and aren’t to be trusted applies to only two women in the primary, Harris and Warren. The rest doesn’t apply at all.

  2. Stadist

    My University is Dying Chronicle of Higher Education (User Friendly)

    I would say there is increasing trend, thanks to computerized automatization, that the need for many traditional middle class occupations is decreasing. This story I would somewhat include in same category.

    In my country they are already running university course lectures as online videos with associated forum for people to represent question. And if you actually think about it, this is far more efficient. The student can stop the lecture (video), find extra information and if there is still a problem a question can be made, but in this case the question will be far more refined than what would happen during lecture. One could easily run courses for even 1000 people like this.

    People have been talking long time about automatization starting to make many white collar occupations obsolete, I think we are really starting to see this happen in reality now.

    1. Acacia

      Have you ever taught at a university?

      This system of online lectures would not work for many courses in the humanities, in which students are expected to write essays and discussion is an important part of the classroom experience. That won’t stop the MBA-equipped admins from trying to impose it, of course.

      1. Jesper

        I suppose it depends on the university. I went back to university a couple of years ago and the size of the classes made it impossible for students to have much, if any, interaction with the teacher. The essays graded (due to time constraints) as CVs are read – look for buzz-words and/or sentences spoon-fed during lectures. Discussions? Well, depends on who you happen to discuss with, as again due to time contraints, the teachers are not available much so the discussions might be less than developing…
        New Public Management and neo-liberalism hasn’t done much to improve quality, quite the opposite and some might say that the plan was to first crapify and then go for the online/automated (cheap) solution.
        On a personal note then I’d say that my engineering studies taught me to think for myself, my humanities studies taught me to repeat back what the lecturer wanted. Might be due to the different times, engineering studies are close to 30 years back and since then universities including humanities have been exposed to the NPM and neo-liberalism for quite some time.
        (Latest philosophy-discussion I overheard at the university library was about how to memorise the names of philosophers, I am sure that doing so improved the grades but as for improving the knowledge of the subject then…)

      2. tegnost

        The idea of online ed is to stop hiring human teachers and give the money to silly con valley instead, who can then track and silo each student for further profit. My friend the college student is forced to use Mymathlab, and doesn’t like it, but too bad, TINA… The socratic dialogue? No… It would seem that what we need are people who follow instructions, not people who ask questions. Efficiency is not all that maybe?

      3. Trent

        I don’t disagree with you being a History major myself, but consider how many things we see in the news day in and day out that we know are stupid and against the interest of many but continue to happen anyways because TINA. America and the world pursues money, nothing else. In this age of fraud you’ll hear many say they are doing it for some virtuous reason only to find some fraud abit down the road. Also Mr. Market isn’t very impressed with those that have humanities degrees.

        1. inode_buddha

          “Also Mr. Market isn’t very impressed with those that have humanities degrees.”

          This is why I support bacteria — it’s the only culture some people have.

      4. John Beech

        This presupposes the existing method you cite is actually a good one. Of course, I have a view that is a bit more diverse in that if you can learn it as a hobby I don’t think it should be a degree. I like history. Like it a lot. Chapter and verse in some areas. Would sooner become a divinity student and learn to clip the wallets of old folks like the mega church pastors than become a history professor – pretty much the same line of work if you reflect on it other than the professor is clipping the tax payers and the students.

      5. Chris

        There have been so many of these articles in the last two decades. Aside from the original essays by Professor X and his great “In the basement of ivory tower” none of them are worth reading IMO.

        The West has been actively making occupations which rely in the humanities less valuable for years. We have actively said that state funding of public institutions is not a priority. We have actively said that private institutions can accumulate historic amounts of money and spend none of it on education – tax free. We have actively said that research driven institutions are superior. You can’t get grants that pay for overhead in psychology or english or theology or even sociology. You get them in chemistry, physics, engineering, business, etc. The humanities have no answer to that.

        Undergraduates and the education of undergraduates actively takes resources away from professors doing research and getting grants and patents. It makes a tremendous amount of sense from the perspective of the institution to minimize and commodiitize the education of this class of student so they get the tuition money without requiring a lot of work. It makes all the sense in the world to outsource teaching to a low paid, flexible work force of grad student TAs or adjunct profs with no tenure and no union.

        And we can sit here on this board and logically point out that none of what the class of administrators at these institutions find significant actively benefits students. Lazy rivers, fancy gyms, cafes, hotel style dorms, top sports programs, VR rooms at libraries, never ending fund raising campaigns, alumni weekends, and on and on, do nothing to increase the value of a degree. Nor do they guarantee that a student will learn what they need to learn during their time at the institution. In the current mode, all that window dressing attracts parents and other investors and justifies administration salaries. Logic won’t change that these places are run as businesses now and the customers these businesses serve don’t care about the humanities.

        So schools in places like North Dakota are going to be starved to the extent that they don’t offer a return to their customers. It won’t matter whether the state is drowning in money or not. They’re never going to recover to what they were until the entire system changes.These profs can either adapt or get into another profession.

        Please don’t mistake the above for an endorsement of that position. I’m not saying I agree with that concept of higher education. I’m saying it’s reality. A reality which means we need less colleges with english programs. Which means we need fewer professors of english. People want their investment in a college education to give them skills that make them directly employable. Universities would rather pay for fancy bells and whistles than salaries for tenured professors. The writing has been on the wall for a long time.

        I don’t even think electing Bernie and making college tuition free will fix this. All that will do is shift higher ed into a top tier system where the “haves” get what used to be considered a traditional college experience and the “havenots” get something that legislators will starve for funds whenever they get the chance.

        1. Titus

          Chris , “Undergraduates and the education of undergraduates actively takes resources away from professors doing research and getting grants and patents.” Not sure where you getting your info, but at UofMichigan here’s how it works, I get paid 50k for every engineering or science class I teach. But, any grant I get, where I pay my self anything, THAT gets subtracted from my teaching earnings. As to patents, I must share them with the University. If I didn’t teach, I’d loose my medical and matching 401k. Also that 50k is depends on maintaining a rating of 3.5 out of 5 by students grading me. The really money is course in athletics we’re the coach makes $7.9 million. I am consider a ‘university’ scholar so that’s the best deal anyone is getting.

    2. New Wafer Army

      I have to strongly disagree. I am currently doing a masters degree and teaching is by way of small seminars. There is just no substitute for the dynamic, interactive, personal experience of face-to-face learning. The small class then meets informally for coffee afterwards and we delve even deeper into the subject.

      We also help each other out with personal stuff and I cannot over-emphasize the importance of networking. The social aspect is also important. I benefit so much from meeting people in-person. As an aside, attending university in person helped me move from the working to middle class. I met and later married a doctor, which would have never happened on-line. Her social circle then helped me find middle-class employment.

      1. Futurebroketeacher

        I’m also in grad school and when my classes are small, it’s a much better overall experience. Unfortunately none of my fellow colleagues want to grab a meal or coffee after class despite my efforts to organize such a thing. I want social networking to be a part of my future student’s education, it’s more important than learning advanced math. None of my colleagues seem to grasp this.

    3. Olga

      A very depressing view. Confirms that neo-liberalism kills arts, creativity, education. Not enough of a profit margin to bother with… And no, don’t think this can be chalked up to automation only. Efforts to gut universities’ funding started long before online courses were a glimmer in their creator’s eye.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Have universities actually seen their funding cut though? Honest question, I don’t know.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          State universities have seen their state funding cut for decades . . . ever since the Great Rolling Tax Revolt. Tuitions have gone up as part of the State universities effort to make up for dropping state taxpayer-funded support.

            1. Oregoncharles

              A building boom at Oregon State, too, but then there always is. Universities have a separate building fund to make sure there’s always plenty for the contractors to do.

            2. Acacia

              That’s because some universities are moving into the RE business. One of the largest property owners in lower Manhattan? NYU. As for the rationale, and where this money is coming from, it might have to do with the arms race in higher education.

        2. ChiGal in Carolina

          University of North Carolina system including the flagship location in Chapel Hill, hugely.

    4. Whoamolly

      There’s a good argument that Naked Capitalism is a sort of University online.

      Discussion, research, and instruction works well here, so I see no reason similar model wouldn’t work as a course with 1000 attendees. Add testing, certification, textbook, collaborative exercises and voila!

      1. Acacia

        Would you like to sign up to grade 1000 seven-page research essays every quarter? You’ll have two weeks to read, mark up, and assign all the grades. You’ll get many students who are not native speakers, so their papers will have many ESL problems, but the diversity office will frown upon you grading them down for that. You’ll need to attend online pedagogy seminars that discuss how to do this in a standardized fashion, because you’ll need to give each of the 1000 students constructive comments, so they can improve their research and writing skills. Naturally, you’ll be on a temp contract, non-renewable after three years, and it’ll be part of your “apprenticeship” in higher education, so you’ll have no right to organize a union with the others similarly tasked.

        Also bear in mind that the funding will depend upon the credential of the NC university, which will be competing with traditional, non-virtual universities that don’t do this 1000 students in one online class thing.

        Not interested? Yeah, didn’t think so.

    5. Ook

      Taking that “online is so much more efficient” reasoning to the next level, no need to get a pet dog when there are all these YouTube videos of dogs online. The viewer can re-watch cute episodes endlessly, and there’s no shit to clean up. It’s really much more efficient, don’t you think?

      And come to think of it, no need to date when there’s online pr0n available in unlimited quantities. Much more efficient, and cheaper than dating too.

      1. Monty

        Phew! Cummings is off the hook. Wouldn’t you know it, it was all the Suburban Republicans℠ fault! Move along…

    1. tegnost

      Pro tip, if you don’t do things that will embarrass you in the future you are less likely to be embarrassed in the future. There was a comment or something yesterday I think that only 10% of people make moral choices. I take that to mean that only 10% of choosers consciously consult their moral core. It helps to see the bible et ai. as a contract between peoples that contains a lot of basic info that one does not necessarily need to be read, a lot is common sense, don’t chase after your neighbors wife, that could cause some trouble…most people don’t need to be told that, some people will do it anyway. There is an old saw that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Unfortunately for Obama and Cummings, you don’t always get forgiven…

      1. Titus

        I made that comment, it not so such that people don’t use their moral core, it’s that for all intents it just doesn’t exist. Very undeveloped. Right and wrong is entirely different (the rules) that good v bad (values). People can be trained to use it, but it’s a lot of work.

        1. flora

          …its not so such that people don’t use their moral core, it’s that for all intents it just doesn’t exist. Very undeveloped.

          Not too surprising after 40 years of a neoliberal “there is no society, there are only individuals” ruling paradigm, imo. ‘The one and the many’ shrinks in meaning to ‘each against all’.

          1. flora

            Or, to put ‘each against all’ another way: each ‘rational actor maximizing his own utility’ against all other ‘rational actors each maximizing their own utility.’

              1. flora

                Thanks for the link. Talking to my neighbors and people outside my group – even just a ‘hi’ – is a great antidote to the MSM’s nonsense.

      2. Procopius

        I can’t remember which sermon it was, but the Buddha explained the five precepts in terms of how he would react if somebody did those things to him. “If somebody would take one of my possessions without my permission, I would not like that, so I do not do that. If somebody should have intercourse with my wife, or my daughter, or a ward I am responsible for, I would not like that, so I do not do that.” The prohibition against drinking and drugs is because they prevent you from thinking clearly, so you will not be able to understand the Dhamma and be freed from suffering. No need for an invisible guy in the sky to threaten punishment.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          and Western philosophy and the Judaeo-Christian tradition has the Golden Rule* –do until others…

          *or used to: the autocomplete on this device offered State but not Rule; sure I like the warriors but sheesh!

  3. Carla

    Re: Even High-Income Millennials Fear They’ll Need to Work Forever

    WOW — To me, some very big news in this chart is the percentages of high-income millennials who fear that “I will always need to work for healthcare benefits.”

    For those under 29, it’s 0%. For those 30-34, it’s 13%. For those 35-38, it’s 8%.

    This says to me that those millennials are confident that employer-based health insurance will be replaced with another “system.” Could it be M4A? It is divinely to be hoped that they demand it, come hell or high water.

    1. Dan

      “Elect Bernie if you want to avoid working until you die to enable health insurance.”

      Short version: BERNIE, or TRUMP

      That would make a good political slogan, wouldn’t it?

  4. paul

    RE: Nothing
    I was looking at the state broadcaster this morning and there was no coverage of a march in Edinburgh today.

    52 weeks of protest 320 km away in Paris and no reporting, so a cheerful and forceful one 600 km somewhere outside Westminster is hardly of concern.

    Was at an independence march yesterday in Edinburgh.
    Some estimates put it at 200k.
    Best placard “Will dig ditches for free”
    Wonderful time.
    here’s a little video

    Only violence I saw was a lady behind me getting an egg thrown at her by some unionist toerag.

    There was some opposition, about 20 (surrounded by police), who all looked like they couldn’t find anything better to do on day release.

    Craig Murray looks a lot healthier in real life.

    Nice to have something positive to do on a dreecht weekend.

    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      Interesting, thank you & good luck.

      Unfortunately I cannot get your video link to work.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Tell me about it, thanks again.

          Enjoyed the Grousebeater article too & the comment that mentioned the recent DNA study in Iceland which showed that 97% of male DNA is Norse in origin, while around 90% of female DNA is of Irish origin….very Viking & perhaps the ideal DNA mix needed to stand up to bankers, or perhaps as Taleb argues City State size is much more ideal for such resistance etc.

          1. paul

            I always resist reading too much of these things, very environmental/structural me*

            *one side of my ancestors were Normans (1166), the other were county Wicklow long before.

            The variation of stock in my generation,I have seen as a caution.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              Yes I tend to agree with that – I myself am a mongrel from all of the parts of the British Isles who exported their countryfolk to industrial cities as fodder for the Industrial revolution. There are skeletons aplenty in that wardrobe which the above it all members of my extended family would very likely rather not know about,

              There is a branch with the rare Scottish name of Dalgarno which is of Norman origin who all ended up as coal miners in England, some of whom died in a cholera epidemic in a place that was in the early 19th century described as an iniquitous slum.

  5. Stadist

    A man jumped from the bushes for a birthday surprise. His startled father-in-law fatally shot him. WaPo

    Aren’t actions supposed to be punished based on what actually happened as result of these actions? Basically they are taking the stance that the shooter is not responsible for shooting because it wasn’t his intention to shoot, as he was startled? What kind of justice system will we end up having if the intent, or lack of intent, is more important than what actually happened? Thought crimes, anyone?

    I’m of the opinion that if you end up killing someone even accidentally through your own actions, then you have to carry responsibility for that. What should intent matter?

    1. a different chris

      That *is* the law if you are, say, drunk behind the wheel of a car. There are a lot of ways you can be convicted for “manslaughter”, at least if you aren’t a corporation or pretty rich. But welcome to Ameruca, F(amily blog) Yeah!

    2. dearieme

      What should intent matter?

      In common law jurisdictions it’s mattered for time out of mind.

      1. witters

        But not, deareime, without any sane – and so consequence sensitive – assessment of the event itself – viz., hysterically killing someone.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Maybe it’s just a footnote, but there is a considerable part of both criminal and civil law where “intent” is either (conveniently, from the government’s perspective) presumed, or where no showing of intent or mens era is required. Here’s one example, discussed for business-generating by Arnold&Porter, with a nice look at how “the law” gets changed via lobbying (in this instance, to require proof of awareness, i.e., intent, that dumping sewage sludge and bypassing treatment systems was a violation of the discharger’s permit.)

        Parking violations are subject to strict liability, as are many “driving while intoxicated” crimes. Here’s a California explanation of strict liability for criminal negligence, no proof of bad intent required: And there are quite a few areas where “strict liability” is applied in civil law contexts here in the US: (remember the old axiom, of course, that “Free Legal Advice” is worth every penny you pay for it.) California has law that is similar to other states:

        1. ambrit

          A quibble if I may.
          The ‘old axiom’ is predicated upon a level playing field in regards to ability to procure
          quality legal representation. Such is manifestly not the case in America. When everything is treated as a commodity, and said commodities are valued in terms of money, the distribution of money and the concomitant pricing of ‘goods’ in said money become determinative.
          Basically, any attempt to decouple any ‘goods’ from a money valuation, such as the case of “free” legal advice, is a revolutionary action and must, from the perspective of the ruling elites, be degraded and if possible, destroyed.

          1. inode_buddha

            I think that your quibble is the locus of everything that is wrong in the current US system. Well said! To which I would add, not just the pricing of goods, but also services such as medicine…

          2. Procopius

            That’s one reason why, despite its flaws, the military justice system since 1947 has been better than the civilian system in any state. Every defendant is guaranteed at least one defense lawyer, and he (they?) are able to use the same assets as the prosecution to pursue evidence. Moreover, to insure that the prosecution doesn’t have more skilled lawyers the lawyers (judge advocates) alternate on defense and prosecution, so a lawyer who prosecutes a drug charge this week might be defending against a different drug charge next week. There are still problems with command influence, but, hey, in the civilian system there is still malicious prosecution, overcharging, and kooky judges.

          1. Procopius

            Well, insofar as I understand it, in Buddhism intent is what determines whether karma (decision) is wholesome or unwholesome. However, karma is merely a law of action and reaction, or cause and effect. There is no capricious god deciding whether your acts should be punished or not. Causes produce effects. It’s complicated because the result of the karma may not follow immediately. If a man kicks a dog in one lifetime he may starve to death in another lifetime, or be reborn in a hell world or as a ghost. The effect would depend to some extent on his intent, whether he intended to cause pain or was simply indifferent to the suffering he caused. I have no idea what BoyDownTheLane is on about.

    3. taunger

      Intent is a backbone element of criminal law in US. Always has been. Lack of intent often leads to no conviction or lesser conviction. This is not new.

      1. KLG

        What does intent mean? He clearly intended to fire the gun, and a brainless bullet hits what gets in its way first, in this case a human being. What he did not intend to do was kill is son-in-law. Sympathy, yes, for his family. For him? Maybe. Legal “sympathy”? Not so much. The man is clearly guilty of manslaughter, at the least. He acted recklessly and intended to fire the gun and the bullet killed someone…Not murder, because his specific intent was lacking. But his general intent was to shoot someone. And no IANAL. Obviously.

        Just another good man with a gun, I reckon. In Florida.

    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      Seems like this was a literal “shoot first, ask questions later” scenario.
      Also I’m really curious about the previous night’s “altercation” with a different relative. It kind of sounded like the guy was already loaded for kin, so to speak.

    5. curlydan

      “Guns don’t kill people.” Father-in-laws being startled by son-in-laws jumping from bushes for birthday greetings kill people.

    6. Romancing The Loan

      So, yeah, normally in common law you can be convicted of murder for exactly the circumstances here, because the jury can infer the intent required for murder (“malice”) from doing something reckless (shooting at an unknown person you couldn’t see) that caused a plain and strong likelihood of death. Mistaken self-defense can bring you down to manslaughter (a true claim of self-defense is a full acquittal) if the jury believes that you really thought you had no choice but to shoot.

      The Florida Stand Your Ground law appears to be an additional, statutory affirmative defense that is crazy overbroad and lets you shoot Mormons and salesmen with near-impunity if they try the doorknob.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        Added that mistaken self-defense means not just that the jury believed you but (and this gets to the nub) that belief was reasonable given what you knew at the time as measured by a reasonable person (so functionally the jury themselves).

        So being a weirdo who jumps at shadows doesn’t save you even if you’re sincere.

    7. Daryl

      So it is okay to take human life as long as they surprise you, and you’re on your own property.

      What assurance do we have that twitchy fingers here isn’t going to do this again? Is it safe to have this person living in society and allowed to own weapons?

      I think not.

    8. Titus

      Intent in the case of accidental death, doesn’t matter at all. If you kill someone cop or not you are guilty. Given the facts of the case, probably a 5 year rap, out in 2. But, as a felon, going to hard to find another cop job. May loose all benefits as well. Feel really bad for the daughter.

  6. John A

    Re San Francisco Chronicle and Hillary rematch:
    “Depression over the current field was swirling through my head the other day when I popped into the office of my friend Steven Kay and saw that famous picture of Muhammad Ali standing victorious over Sonny Liston hanging on the wall.

    That’s when the light went on: “Rematch!”

    Except Ali won both bouts. The rematch even more comprehensively than the first one. Which is exactly what will happen if la Clinton steps back into the rink, in my opinion.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “You’ve got to think she and the party learned something.”

      apparently not,lol.
      Prescience is boring.

      1. rowlf

        Using “The Producers” (1967) as a business model? The political version of the Omni Consumer Products ED-209?

    2. urblintz

      She’s so enamored with self that the ignominy of losing twice to Trump probably doesn’t occur to her.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s hard to imagine what kinda out-of-touch a person would have to be to even make this suggestion. “Depression over the current field” would be nothing compared to the feelings that would ensue if this stupidest of stupid ideas was ever realized.

      “Willie’s World” must be quite a place. I wonder what planet it’s located on.

      1. JBird4049

        Brown is shrewd political operator and has been for over 50 years, 40 in office, 30 in the state assembly with 15 as the speaker and a term as as the mayor of San Francisco. The only reason he left the assembly was because of term limits passed by state proposition; it was put on the ballot by his enemies to get rid of him. It was the only way that they could. He has been called Slick Willie for good reason.

        I have read some of his columns and he is sharp with a far better understanding of California’s politics than I will ever have and I am a lifelong Californian and political junky.

        His last column is a joke. His casual, even flippant, dismissal of both Sanders and Warren is baffling. The adulation of Clinton as not only as a person and politician, but as realistically capable of winning the presidency is just freaking bizarre.

        Either he is having a breakdown or the California Democratic Party is. I have not yet heard anything about the former, and since he is well connected to the party, I think the latter is true.

        California’s upcoming campaign season is going to be so interesting in the “house is burning down way.” I think I need to get back to checking out local politics again in a serious way.

    4. Otis B Driftwood

      So glad I cancelled my subscription to this neoliberal rag back in ’16. I reckon Brown et al are deflated by the sputtering and wobbly campaign of Harris, who is now polling behind Andrew Yang in CA. So yeah, at least there is this bit of good news at a time when there this so little to go around.

  7. lakecabs

    The Invention of the Conspiracy Theory on Biden and Ukraine

    I think the point everyone is missing is that corruption is legal.

      1. kiwi

        I can’t believe that NC even linked to the article (by Mayer). Mayer writes is as if Biden bragging on tape about witholding funds until a certain prosecutor was fired never happened.

        1. Acacia

          I was also surprised. After Mayer’s article, I read the also-linked “Impeachment, Brought to You by the CIA” at Counterpunch and felt refreshed.

  8. DWD

    Honestly, The Elizabeth Warren story seems much ado about nothing.

    As is my wont, when I see something like this, I look up the source.

    First line of their Wiki, “Mediaite is a far right news and opinion website founded by political pundit Dan Abrams. Mediaite has published numerous false stories, as well as shared deceptively edited videos and photos.”


    1. The Beeman

      In the video she clearly says she did not have the required credentials and course credits to continue teaching. So she went home and had more babies. According to her own words on the video

      Which is the true story?

      Fired for a baby bump which was legal at the time or quit because she did not have the credentials?

      Then read her “plans” – I did – I find plenty of unworkable and worthless ideas. She writes nice sounding titles for the plans but she fails to present details that support achieving the high minded goals.

      For example reducing points on loans to induce more minorities to become homeowners is laughable. Who wants to get on a debt treadmill without a solid job and how do her plans achieve that?

      Her reduce lobbyists idea is laudable but will not survive a constitutional challenge. I don’t think you can prevent people from petitioning the government for redress of grievances which is what lobbying is at its most basic level. For a lawyer and Harvard Professor to not know that speech is very hard to regulate due to constitutional protections is difficult to understand.

      Her idea that bringing farming back to 1980 will solve anything is a joke. Read Wendell Berry’s The Art of Loading Brush – he explains what is needed. And it is not 1980s industrial farming

      Liz Warren – another phoney baloney candidate.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Assumes all lobbying is speech. There are categories, or there were until the Supremes and Congress “protected” money as speech (which is what, in most instances, lobbying is — buying a desired and profitable and/or liability-extinguishing result from the legislature, or getting the courts packed with Chamber of Commerce-friendly judges) that at least ought to be proscribed. But yeah, in the present Empire, the courts would smack down any restrictions on lobbying that somehow managed to sneak into the US Code. That’s not a “constitutional challenge” except in the sense that “constitutional language” would be interpreted to bar the restrictions. Hey, we got AIPAC as a great example of inside-baseball “not illegal” gaming, and of course the long success of the NRA…

      2. DWD

        I think Bernie should be president.

        I have thought that for a long time now.


        When a site is known for, “deceptively edited videos and photos” it gives me pause.

        The truth is that people prey on other people by giving them what they want whether it is real or not.

        If this story is picked up and shared by more legitimate media, I will be more impressed.

        But people lie. And they do it effectively.

        1. The Beeman

          Agree on Bernie – I traveled back home to vote for him during 2016 primary in NY. Wouldn’t vote for Hillary.

          I don’t see any cuts in the video and is from a credible source. Watch EW carefully – she seemed perfectly at ease – not an adversarial interview

      3. Dan

        “reducing points on loans to induce more minorities to become homeowners is laughable. Who wants to get on a debt treadmill without a solid job and how do her plans achieve that?”

        It’s not “her plans”, it’s her backers’ plans. Who profits and who loses?
        One family’s loss is another corporations gain.

        Your choice America;

        Bernie, or Trump

      1. Plenue

        I agree it’s a pattern. I was willing to let it slide with the application thing, on the grounds that maybe she was just young and stupid (though I don’t think she’s ever apologized for it). For the cook book, someone pointed out here it was just a disposable fundraiser item, and it was for a native fundraiser, so even if she was talking up her very tangential native heritage it wasn’t for her own benefit. And in the pre-internet days she probably didn’t even know where the recipe was from.

        These two most recent ones though appear inexcusable. The only possible defense of the elopment one is that she genuinely believed it; that it’s some bit of incorrect family lore that she never bothered to investigate.

        Policy is all (and she’s mediocre at best in those terms), but her repeated apparent deceit for her own benefit doesn’t bode well.

        1. VietnamVet

          I will vote for Elizabeth Warren rather than Donald Trump or the Green Party candidate instead of Joe Biden. The lesser of two evils. Her grandfathers were a Hardware Owner and a Building Contractor in a small town in Oklahoma. She is a boomer Sooner. She is even more connected than Bill Clinton from the neighboring state of Arkansas; but, a very much married women with kids. Their native cultures are very similar. Each got out the best they could; up into the Elite. Both could tell stories.

          1. pretzelattack

            yeah they made it out the best way they could, now they sell out people in a similar situation and profit greatly from doing so. not going to vote for either, cause a more protracted train wreck is still a train wreck, and imo that’s the best these types of politician will give us.

    2. Big River Bandido

      The (new) Elizabeth Warren story simply reinforces the image that will kill her candidacy.

      The constant attempts to play up her “populist” roots continually backfire and show her instead to be just another elite Harvard liberal, slumming in Cedar Rapids, playing Lizzie Hayseed and coming across for all the contrived effort like Dick Nixon on the beach in wingtips.

      In other words, she’s a phony. People can see that in Toledo and Milwaukee and Janesville and Flint, and there you’ve basically duplicated the 2016 dynamic that elected Trump in the first place.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “‘Incredibly rare’ monkey born at Australian zoo ”

    So it has not been named yet. Since the monkey is red-haired and it is living in Australia, there can only be one possible name for it – “Blue”

    1. ambrit

      Would this be one result of Australian Christo-Zionists trying to breed the perfect red heifer and going horribly wrong?
      If this is the best the Third Temple cultists can do, we don’t have to worry about the End of Days coming any time soon.

        1. ambrit

          Politicians of any and all persuasions had better not ignore religious agendas if they want to stay in power. Marx wrote, “[Religion] is the opium of the people,” way back in the 1840s. Opium is powerful stuff. I speak from experience. It is hard to ‘put down,’ even when the will to do so is there. Religion is even more insidious, for it dwells and works within the mind.
          I have read about the American Evangelical ‘program’ to engineer the Red Heifer. The article you provided says that this baby moo cow was born of an Israeli cow artificially ‘impregnated’ with a “..frozen embryo of a red angus cow.” I would love to see where this ‘imported’ cow embryo came from. Perhaps Texas or Oklahoma would be my best guess for it’s origin.
          I expect the Rapture Index to soar on this news.

        2. pretzelattack

          you’d think the evangelicals would have faith that the almighty creator of the universe could produce a ref heifer without their help.

  10. dearieme

    A man jumped from the bushes for a birthday surprise. His startled father-in-law fatally shot him.

    (i) I’ve always thought there was a case for culling the twerps who perpetrate “practical jokes”.

    (ii) Congrats to the birthday boy: one shot and he got him right in the heart. Better than the average cop, eh?

      1. JBird4049

        It is misanthropic, but as I loathe practical jokes myself, I can understand the sentiment. Although I might be a bit curmudgeonly myself.

        1. pretzelattack

          first they came for the practical jokers, which turned out to lead to a cull of internet trolls.

    1. Titus

      Your saying because you font like practical jokes, that murder is ok? Or do you believe what you said in the first place?

  11. dk

    Re: China Is Breeding Giant Pigs the Size of Polar Bears Bloomberg

    “Some Pig” – Charlotte

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Also note in connection with the recent NakedCapitalism article U.S. Healthcare Industry Could Be Decimated by China Trade War, Chinese pigs are the major world supplier of precursors and manufactured products for several key medications including the anticoagulant Heprin, the Zostavax live Zoster virus vaccine, and more, see listing page 5:

    Some insulin and thyroid supplement products also uses porcine precursor components.

      1. hunkerdown

        In case they do go feral, their recent parade leaves no doubt they could handle it. Insulin too cheap to meter!

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      chinese swine is where the annual flu varieties are incubated, too.
      just saying.

      (and on this…that origin story for influenza once was assumed to be because humans, pigs and ducks were living in close quarters…ie: village life, swapping diseases, with pigs being the go-between species. now that china is moving towards, 1. a more urban populace, and 2. CAFO operations(without ducks and peasants), i wonder if that relationship is changing…)

    2. Craig H.

      Unless the woman in the Bloomberg photo is over six foot ten inches tall I don’t think there is any way that pig is over 400 kg. It is not the size of an average adult polar bear.


      It’s just a big pig. Pigs get really huge without super-ordinary management. That pig on your Green Acres re-runs is a midget.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        In Toledo (Spain), we had lunch in a place decorated with boars’ heads that were quite literally the size of bulls’ heads. Quite unforgettable.

        Some kind of Pleistocene hangover, I assume, with the large specimens extinct today but their genes still running in their smaller descendants. Like porcine Neanderthals?

    1. The Rev Kev

      After reading that article, I found mention in a comment about the Cod wars between Iceland and the UK. Hoo boy, the UK were actually sending the Royal Navy & Royal Air Force against Iceland’s patrol ships and the conduct of the British fishing boats was nothing less than despicable-

  12. Henry Moon Pie

    Impeachment by the CIA–

    Urie’e article gets it right:

    During the Clinton years, American economic advisors were sent to Russia to advise the Russian government on how to reorganize the Russian economy along neoliberal lines. As true neoliberals, the American advisors looted the country. The result was the worst economic catastrophe in Russia since WWII. Lest this come as a shock, this is what America does. The CIA is the logistical arm of American smash-and-grab. Out of this crisis, Vladimir Putin rose to power.

    And it’s not just Russia. See how Hunter rushes in to profit when the Obama administration ousts Yanukovych. It would be interesting to see who has made their way down to Brazil to profit from that situation. It’s become a new profit center for American business. The CIA targets a country’s leadership. When it falls and the puppets are installed, it’s time to make some easy money.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I heard that ever since Maduro retained power, Hunter Biden has been crying into his beer because he was never going to get that promised Board position on Venezuela’s oil company.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      it’s sad that my view of the world lines up so well with Mr Urie’s,lol

      this: “However, the other left, the part of the country that supports Donald Trump because they despise the manager class that has spent the last five decades dispossessing them for the benefit of the oligarchs, doesn’t get its news from NPR or the New York Times….”

      and the idea that the cia/etc are bringing the tactics used in el salvador, iran, and so many other places, home…is what keeps me up at night.
      ontological chaos, combined with FUD, rampant Precarity, and an incessant, pernicious whispering in the collective ear that “those people over there want to kill you and rape your daughters”…while the Bosses harvest what’s left of the world and fly off to well appointed galas in diamond encrusted doomsteads in malta or new zealand.
      the only Us against Them that matters is the vertical one…base of the pyramid vs the little pointy thing at the top.
      “Finally I understand
      The feelings of the few
      Ashes and diamonds
      Foe and friend
      We were all equal in the end”-Pink Floyd, Final Cut

      1. inode_buddha

        Last I heard, it is completely verboten for the CIA to operate on US soil. Nothing stopping a few friends in the Mossad or MI5 tho…

          1. inode_buddha

            True enough. It is then a rouge organization that needs to be outed publicly. Names, locations, dates, etc.

        1. Titus

          The law was changed after 9/11. CIA does subject to their ability (really not the smartest people I ever met), what they want.

          1. inode_buddha

            News to me, thanks for the heads-up. America lost a *lot* in the aftermath… in such a way that it makes me wonder.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Best. Article. Ever.

      Each paragraph better than the last.

      Never forget:

      Despite occasional warm gas passed in a leftish direction, establishment Democrats never had any intention of allowing a left political program to move forward. After four decades of asserting that they ‘believe’ climate science, the moment has arrived when the only political path forward is to take on their donors. Whatever your assessment of their motives, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have no intention of doing this.

      Following the electoral fiasco of 2016, the DNC defended itself in court by arguing that it has no obligation to provide a fair and open primary. In fact, the DNC ran a disinformation campaign against Bernie Sanders, used Superdelegates to overturn primary results, miscounted and misplaced ballots in crucial state primaries and violated its own charter in the allocation of funds to the candidates. In other words, they stole the primary election.

      Unless the dems “allow” Bernie to actually compete for and possibly win the nomination, there is no reason to believe they have changed their ways, as succinctly and accurately detailed above. If it takes repeated defeats at the ballot box to get rid of them, then that’s what it takes. After three years, I’m convinced that a bad democrat is far more dangerous than Donald Trump ever thought about being.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        If the people that run the Democratic Party make it the political arm of the CIA, I will vote Republican from the top of the ticket to the bottom until the Democratic Party has gone the way of the Whigs.

        1. Chris


          It’s bizarre to see the Dems being attacked so easily from the left. By Republicans!

          They either need to have a come to Jesus moment or go away.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Same here. It would be “deplorable” not to. But I think there’s no “if” to be reckoned with–it’s already done.

      2. apber

        I think we are going to see a brokered Dem convention. Out of the ashes will emerge a well known savior, a Bloomberg, perhaps an Oprah.

        1. Chris

          She’s tanned, she’s rested, she’s had way too many brunches, and she’s back from her latest book and speaking tour! It’s Hillary Clinton! #withherforever #thepartyismine #one_clinton_to_rule_them_all

      3. Jason Boxman

        True enough. Obama was going to whack social security. That only failed because the Republican freedom caucus didn’t think it cut deep enough.

        1. Big River Bandido

          The timing of the Clinton impeachment is what ultimately nixed the so-called “Grand Bargain”. As soon as they smelled blood in the water (a hallucination), the Republicans decided they could make more political hay by impeaching Clinton than collaborating with him. In so doing, they ironically and unwittingly did the country a great service by killing the “deal”.

    4. Nonna B

      To move forward to the present: check the Sunday September 29 2019 article in the Chicago Tribune i ( known here on middle America’s flyover as conservative
      ) “US envoy sought end to corruption.” In it you will note that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was removed from her position to Ukraine by the current administration in May. The full article has quite a bit of information about the push by the now unseated representative Pete Sessions, in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, requesting her removal because basically he claimed she had ‘disdain for the current administration.’ And the bit about a meeting in New York between Giuliani and Ukraine’s former prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko. Much more added information in the article that if nothing else, suggests a deep dive into the reasons for a respected diplomat’s early removal during a sensitive time.

      1. kiwi

        Big deal. Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president. If they can’t bear to support policy, they should resign. These types of employees, across any agency, should be cleaned out by any president who thinks policies are being undermined.

    5. Montanamaven

      Urie’s article is dead on…not new… but needs repeating. Read “How Harvard Lost Russia” for details of the looting. This is also classic “Shock Doctrine” of creating a crisis and then going in to loot a country or a city like New Orleans after Katrina i.e. “smash and grab”. It’s also the subject of John Perkins” Confessions of an Economic Hitman ” books. My favorite expressions from the article besides “smash and grab” are “the NPR Tote Bag Crowd” and “and the “not so bright left”. Biden has always been a dim bulb. The guy you get stuck next to at a bar or in a corner at a cocktail party who is super full of himself and mansplaining stuff on overdrive. I would have liked to see Trump v. Biden for the comedy, but looks like might have to settle for Trump v. Shushing Fibbing Librarian. Not only has Trump pulled back the curtain and exposed the little man behind it with the levers. But the little man is also buck naked. Interesting times1

      1. SoldierSvejk

        Lucky for us that “mainsplaining” sometimes results in a bit of truth for our unwashed ears. Like the time he talked about firing Ukr prosecutor, or explaining USA’s manipulation in the Middle East by supporting jihadists. Or is it just the case of even a broken clock being right twice a day?

        1. foghorn longhorn

          It’s really looking like they are clearing the deck for the good ship clinton. Gropey Joe is being excised, lieawatha is busy shooting herself in the feet, bernie ain’t gonna happen again. Meanwhile hill and chel are making the rounds on late night and the view, bill is incognito due to le affaire epstein.
          They’ve updated I’m with her’s software and put a new coat of stucco on her.
          She can’t make a whole election campaign so they have to wheel her out on a furniture dolly at the very end and proclaim TINA.
          Welcome to back to the future.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The age we’re in could be described as F*ing Go Ahead and Do It, The Sheeple Are Too Numbed and Panopticonned To Say Anything About It Anyway.

            And so this would be the piece de resistance for the Democratic Party: They’re With Her, because as hubby Bubba said Where Else Are They Going To Go.

            Curl up and die. That’s what they want for you.

  13. Jesper

    The writings about the end of capitalism seem to fulfill the need for distraction from what can be done and what can be changed. Some things within capitalism might be natural laws, other things are most certainly not natural laws – they are laws written by humans and enforced by humans.
    Capitalism is to me one description of the world that we live in, if seen as such then capitalism cannot die but it can change.
    There are some changes that can be made and it would improve the lives of many. Increasing the length of paid vacations, increasing the length of paid parental leave, lowering of the pension age. Doing those things would tilt the balance from employer/capitalist towards the employee. It will be noticed which employees are doing something useful and which are engaged in pretending to work – cleaners, nurses etc would be noticed when they are not working and some efficiency experts and some managers etc will not be missed at all.
    As far as I can tell then another one of the driving factors behind not reducing the working hours is that the workaholics wants to make/maintain the relative happiness-level in their favour. What if someone worked only 30 hours per week and was as happy as the person working 60 hours per week pursuing a career? The workaholics appear unwilling to risk seeing that the choice to work 60 hour weeks is not the only path to happiness as then they might have to re-evaluate their lives.
    And for those of you who do want to work 60 hours per week then start your own business – then the legal limits on working hours will not apply and another benefit would be that the capitalist/owners share of the work would also be yours.

    1. notabanker

      This assumes useful wage paying jobs are available to people that need them. That people actually receive pensions. That people can afford to go to a university to be trained in becoming, a nurse, or accountant or whatever and still be able to eat and sleep in shelter. Not to mention indentured servatude for decades to pay off those student loans, and oh yeah, don’t have a health problem, you’ll go bankrupt, unless you have a nice gofundme following.

      I don’t mean to denigrate your suggestions here as they are noble, but this is replacing the shocks and tires while ignoring that the drivetrain is out of commission.

    2. Summer

      “Some things within capitalism might be natural laws, other things are most certainly not natural laws – they are laws written by humans and enforced by humans.”

      With science under the influence of capitalism, there is still room for debate on what are considered “natural laws.” And from there I could see more of economic theory attaching itself to “natural laws” for legitimating TINA.

    1. rowlf

      If you are wandering around Alabama the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is a good time. A lot of the exhibits look better than what we remember. Being a former race mechanic it is interesting to see how some mechanical problems where handled.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Second on the Barber Museum. They even have Gary Eagan’s duck that he tossed in a ditch a few miles north of my house.

      2. foghorn longhorn

        Yeah, would to like to make that trek one day, for sure.
        They are featuring John Britten’s V1000 on the web site.
        Would love to see that work of art, up close and personal.

        1. MichaelSF

          There is a Britten at the Eling’s museum in Solvang CA. A plus is that you also get to eat lots of Danish pastries on the visit to Solvang.

      3. MichaelSF

        The end of season AHRMA vintage roadrace national was at Barber this weekend. I’ve got friends who went back for it, but while one did well (clinching 2nd overall for the year in two classes) the other (who has also been 1st and 2nd overall in prior years in those two classes and builds the motors for the other racer) had his second crash out event in a row, leaving him with bupkis for the season.

        The way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one and go racing.

        The Barber Museum is supposed to be quite the deal, but I’ll never get back there to see it. But I’ve seen plenty of cool old motorcycles so far, when I went to the Quail Lodge show this year with a friend I was able to ID pretty much everything for him and tell him about “I remember when those were on the showroom”. So it goes when you get old. :-)

      1. foghorn longhorn

        So did any of you maniacs ever make it out to Carlsbad CA for the USGP?
        We went in 75, 76, and 77. Did the Suzuki School of Motocross after the 75 race, got to ride the track on the Wednesday after the race. IT WAS AWESOME.
        The link is Harry Klemm telling the story of him and Rocket Rex Staten.

        1. jef

          Saw DIck Mann race there in early 70’s. All these screaming 2 strokes sip by then this low throaty 4 stroke BSA would fly by. Soon it was the BSA then all the 2 strokes following behind.

        2. MichaelSF

          My last MX race was at the CZ World Championships in 2016. Both Klemm and Staten were there. My friend who drove up from L.A. to NorCal to let me race his very nice 400 CZ got a photo of himself with Staten, who is a big hero of his. He was over the moon at that.

          It is a cool vintage MX event, with more CZs then you are likely to ever see in one spot anywhere else. Several of the factory riders from the 60s/70s came over to ride, and there were also people like Brad Lackey wandering around.

  14. Carolinian

    Re The Nation on capitalism–there’s a lot to chew on there but the interviewee seems to be advocating a switch from the current capitalist/consumerist opiate of the people back to the original opiate that the Marxists railed against. It’s certainly true that Christianity provided many ethical precepts that are now sorely missing. However it’s also true that those precepts were widely ignored by Christian practitioners up to and including the Popes. Meanwhile romanticists like Ruskin were bizarre in their private life. It could be that we need to simply dump the opiates altogether and embrace a true rationalism rather than the fake version represented by Ayn Rand and current capitalism.

    1. David

      I think the point is that human beings are not rational, and attempts to construct societies as though they were (of which capitalism is correctly defined here as the latest) are bound to fail. To say human beings are not rational is not to say that they are completely irrational, still less that they should be. But stop any passing behavioural psychologist and they’ll tell you that human behaviour is largely driven by the subconscious and by emotions, and that what we think of as rationality is largely just an afterthought, a gloss we put on ideas and opinions which are emotionally driven. It follows that you can’t satisfy people’s wider and higher needs through rational behaviour. I doubt whether anyone who has worked through half a dozen competing loan offers to find the most cost-effective one feels any real sense of fulfilment at the end. Human beings need structure, meaning, shared beliefs and rituals to be happy and to make sense of their lives. If they aren’t offered them by institutions, they’ll go and find them elsewhere. (Identity politics is an example of a substitute religion.) All religions offered these shared structures and rituals to some extent, and it was that, rather than the personal behaviour of the priests, that brought people together. Liberal individualism, as its name suggests, has nothing to offer but eternal and unceasing competition for wealth, rights and power, which is why so many people turn away from it.
      I’ll have to read the book, but I’m not sure that I’d see capitalism as a substitute religion, except in the banal sense that all intellectual structures are bound to have points of resemblance to religion, since religion got there first. It might be better to say that capitalism belongs to a class of pseudo-rational ideas, where assumptions (like that of rational choice) are then blindly implemented without taking account of reality. Just as if you believe that humanity is divided into “races” and that Darwin’s theory applies to them, you massacre tens of millions of people, so if you believe that people are rational economic actors, and nothing more, you wind up with our present neoliberal nightmare.

      1. Carolinian

        any passing behavioural psychologist and they’ll tell you that human behaviour is largely driven by the subconscious and by emotions

        Or some scientists might say by instincts and chemicals. Guess what I’m saying is that the problem is less a reliance on rationality than an unwillingness to let go of the irrational, even in science, when it comes to looking at ourselves. In other words it’s not that we are choosing rationality but rather that we aren’t nearly rational enough. With things like AGW breathing down our necks, not to mention world destructive weapons, human behavior is going to have to change.

        1. witters

          “stop any passing behavioural psychologist and they’ll tell you that human behaviour is largely driven by the subconscious and by emotions” – from which it follows that “the behaviour of any (and all) passing behavioural psychologists is largely driven by the subconscious and by emotions” – Now what?

      2. ewmayer

        “All religions offered these shared structures and rituals to some extent, and it was that, rather than the personal behaviour of the priests, that brought people together.” — Well said … I would go further and say that it is the shared structures and rituals more even than the particular collection of metaphysical/mystical beliefs of any given religion that bring people together. That also provides the counter to e.g. Richard Dawkins’ militant – and arguably unscientific – anti-religionism: some form of religion is a nigh-universal feature of human societies, because the attendant social group cohesion provides survival and thus reproductive advantages of precisely the kind required by Darwinian selection to operate on.

        1. Carolinian

          I would agree that religion can be better than no social cohesion at all and many poor people depend on their churches for support. But as we see right now in one country after another religion can also be a very big source of social division. Some of us would contend that the real human struggle is between rational and irrational. If we have some divine spark then our reason must surely be it.

          1. inode_buddha

            There is one paleo/early Christian religion whose canon of scripture includes the phrase:

            “The Glory of God is Intelligence”

            (and some of their scripture is truly remarkable in this respect, IMHO)

            1. Oregoncharles

              Name? A source on them? Or is it Neo-Platonism? I certainly don’t consider Plato a paragon of rationality.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      “embrace a true rationalism” begs a lot of questions, and soon we’re right back where we were,searching souls and minds for adherence to the orthodoxy of the day.
      I’d rather a focus on orthopraxy, and…at least on an interpersonal level…giving each other the benefit of the doubt,where at all possible… and the right to be themselves.
      jesus and james, instead of paul.
      “what is faith without works?”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I guess that this means that in case there was ever an appeal by Amber Guyger against her sentence, that it would be no longer possible to hear the testimony of the main witness against her.

        1. Romancing The Loan

          No, the confrontation clause isn’t an issue – she got her right of confrontation when her lawyer cross-examined him at her trial. It would absolutely be admissible at any retrial.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          @Monty – According to CNN, his mother ,”suspects foul play”.

          Because she’s an adult black woman from America with eyes and ears. This reeks to high heaven.

          First, Texas lets us know an innocent black man’s life is worth 10 years of a white murderer’s life. Let that sink in.

          Then they murder the witness who helped that insufficient modicum of ‘justice’ be done at all.

          This society is sick and many days I can’t abide it. If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention, or you’re part of the problem.

          I need to go for a walk in the woods with my dogs.

          1. JBird4049

            I do tend to downplay racism as the root of all evil especially as it it used in our neoliberal world to downplay class oppression. Really, shouting racism over everything is like shouting wolf.


            When I do read of stuff like this however, my first, second, and last though is still assassination. There have been far, far too many instances of such, and often by the police themselves and, if one doubts this, reading today’s link to the Verge might change opinions.

            Despite everything, America has improved in someways, but racism still is deep, deep within us.

            1. JBird4049

              Maybe, I am sure being a white man would have helped, but shooting someone to death in their own apartment because you supposedly mistook it as your own is a bit much.

              The officer could have been a blonde blue-eyed Dudley Do-Right and the victim a coke dealing pedophile but mistaking someone else’s kitchen as your own is kinda impossible especially if you or they have lived in a place for any extended time; people expect not to be shot dead making dinner, class or race notwithstanding.

              Even in America’s currently growing police state there were going to be negative consequences of some kind for the officer no matter what. It was just the haggling over what they were going to be. Being a police officer got her out of doing life or being given the needle.

      1. Romancing the Loan

        No, prior recorded testimony is admissible – same motive and opportunity to cross-examine.

        My first suspect would be Guyger’s love struck partner.

      2. SoldierSvejk

        I’d think an appeal would rely on record evidence. No need to talk to witnesses again. Unless defense introduces new and different evidence/facts. All depends

    2. inode_buddha

      Few things inspire violence in me. Police abusing their powers is one of them. Likewise corporate malfeasance. I’ve been practicing nonviolence for 30 years, but sometimes it is strained. Other examples include Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin.

    3. smoker

      And it also appears that news was suppressed till this morning, although it happened Friday at 10:30 PM Central Time, in Dallas; can’t imagine why. I wonder who is appointed to make the call to stifle the press across the country – and the ‘pond’ – do they have a title?

      Gut rending and horrid.

      1. neo-realist

        I believe that demonstrations and unrest may have been more likely on a Saturday when people have more energy and time to react on hair trigger feelings than a Sunday when more people are chilling out going to church and watching football. The shock and anger over the incident gets to dissipate, if not totally disappear, over the work week with a lower likelihood of disturbances.

        1. smoker

          Deliberate national news suppression, I’m pretty sure the Governor of Texas was alerted immediately upon identification (he was alive when the ambulance arrived/pretty sure he had a drivers license in his pocket/if not his car he had been reportedly exiting was traceable); then DC; then State Governors, police departments and Main Stream News all across the US were notified by the wee hours of Saturday morning.

          Looks like even the Dallas Morning News didn’t note his identity till 5:30PM Saturday:

          Man fatally shot apartment complex near Dallas Medical District suspect-loose
          [URL derived original title – smoker]
          By Marc Ramirez and Jennifer Emily
          10:30 PM on Oct 5, 2019 [I guess that Saturday time stamp, which jibes with the URL date, 24 hours after the October 4th assassination, was the last time the piece was updated – smoker]

          Updated at 5:30 p.m. with the victim’s identity

          A key witness in Amber Guyger’s murder trial was shot and killed Friday evening at an apartment complex near Dallas’ Medical District, authorities said.

          Joshua Brown, a neighbor of Botham Jean’s and Guyger at the South Side Flats apartments, was slain about 10:30 p.m. in the 4600 block of Cedar Springs Road.

          Sounds like yet another Dallas bullet cover up also. While the Jean’s attorney has stated that a medical examiner told him Joshua Brown was shot in the mouth and chest, this from the same Dallas Morning News piece:

          A preliminary investigation shows Brown was shot in the back and thigh, a government official said on condition of anonymity.

          (my first post of this appears to have disappeared in ‘the cloud’)

  15. JTMcPhee

    Under the heading “Nothing is ever what we think it is,” there’s this from OffGuardian: “WATCH: Udo Ulfkotte — Bought Journalists,” Interview with a German war reporter who tells a lot, unfortunately in German only, no English translation yet, in a book on his experiences with phony war reporting to gin up popular support for idiotic violence. The link is to an interview which has been rendered into English.

    Operation Mockingbird is alive and well, and there aren’t enough honest hands to even begin to wipe the fraudulent cow pies off the white walls of reality…

      1. JBird4049

        Oh come on, you can buy a used copy for only a thousand dollars and looking on worldcat, which accesses much, if not most, of the world’s libraries, including just about all of the American ones, there are a three whole copies in English available! /s

        If it was really about publishing costs, there would be an ebook available, but there is not.

    1. notabanker

      Thanks for that link, from the comments this gem:
      “The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, ‘If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.’
      To which Diogenes replied, ‘Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king”.”

    2. cnchal

      Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, ‘but which pay-media can I trust?’

      Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I’ll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won’t be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won’t pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?

      Either way, I don’t want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.

      Thank you JT. Confirms my natural bias. The only reason to pay attention to the MSM is to determine which lies we are expected to believe.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Brexit: round in circles”

    So I was sitting around today when a thought occurred to me. Back in February of 1861, seven of the thirty-four States decided to secede from the Union and to form the Confederate States of America. Suppose that President Lincoln, in order to avoid a bloody Civil War, had decided to agree to this proposal. So a delegation is sent from Montgomery, Alabama to Washington DC to negotiate how this is to be done. At this point, the Confederate delegation and Government go about it in the exact same way that the UK has with Brexit. Can you imagine?
    It was been three years and three and a half months since the Brexit referendum back in 2016. If Washington had to put up with the same antics from the Confederacy, I think that they would have gone to war just to put an end to it.

    1. Carolinian

      In fact Lincoln had to get the foolish South Carolinians to shoot first in order to start his war. What you left out of your analogy is slavery. The North and the South were far more at odds than GB and the EU. Many of the Southerners were true fanatics as they must have been to defend their peculiar institution.

        1. Titus

          If I may Rev, read A. Lincoln: A Biography by Ronald C. White. I have read many books on the Civil but if you want to understand the ideas of how it started to how those ideas changed to how it ended, no book is better. You will become Abe for the duration of your reading. It is an amazing piece of writing.

          1. JBird4049

            Rev, even for the the times, the the larger slave holders views on slavery were extreme. The more opinion went against even passive support for slavery, the more they pushed on the “positive value” of slavery including violence against people and using political and legal corruption, not only in the South but also in the North.

            Titus, I know you were talking to Rev, but thanks for the recommendation.

            1. The Rev Kev

              There was lot of fanaticism going on back then. I heard that school text books at the time had stuff like ‘If a two Southern soldiers can bet eight Yankees, then how many Southerners does it take to beat X Yankees.’ I have Ken Burns “The Civil War” in my collection and I remember one old dude in it that was a real fanatic for the cause right at the beginning in ’61 and who was pushing everybody for war. Anyway, when the South lost the war four years later, he wrapped himself in the Confederate flag in his chair and shot himself. I am sure that in his own mind that he was being a patriot but what he was actually doing was to let others have to clean up the destruction that he had done so much to release.

              1. JBird4049

                I think I know who you are talking about, although I can’t remember his name. He had the honor of firing the first cannon shot at Fort Sumter. His actions compared to what Robert E. Lee or James Longstreet did after the war were a cop-out.

                  1. rowlf

                    You may want to search out the poor re-enlistment rates of the original Southern volunteers, the Confederate Home Guard and what part the Southern churches played in supporting the CSA before and during the war. Why did the poor fight?

                    I get a kick out of the free market types and state’s rights folks who sabotaged the CSA internally by their beliefs.

                    1. The Rev Kev

                      It was tragic that war. In Ken Burn’s series at the end, they talked about a regiment of volunteers who had gone away to war. Not sure where from – Alabama I think. When the war was over, there was about a large platoon of survivors that returned as that was all that were still alive.
                      General Joshua Chamberlain talked about that at Appomattox at the surrender- how the brigades of Confederates had shrunk to regiments in size, regiments had shrunk to company size and so on. It was all that was left.

                    2. JBird4049

                      In the North, regiments tended to be raised from a state’s general population while in the South while the regiment might be the fill-in-the-number of state whatever, those regiments were raised from entirely from individual towns or maybe a county. It might be most of the adult men of working age as in 15 to 50 in a place. So a town could have most of that population killed or wounded in just a few battles.

              2. VietnamVet

                There is a lot about the Civil War that simply isn’t discussed. Every Robert E Lee statue should remain so Americans can be reminded to be thankful that he surrendered at Appomattox and did not go to the hills. Deep down, I think that the Confederate Elite were defending the income streams using red necks not fighting for their survival. With defeat, the Elite survivors metamorphized into Jim Crow sharecropper exploitation.

                The Trump Impeachment and Brexit are quite similar to the late 1850s. Elites are fighting over their income streams, once again. Facts and morality have disappeared. The incompetence astonishing. Clearly whatever is happening is not the best for Americans or the British. If the radical nationalists can get the globalists to try to re-seize power, everything will splinter apart to their benefit. The only chance for globalists is peace and end inequality. But then they would have to be self-aware. Fat Chance.

  17. Amfortas the hippie

    thanks for the Mirza Ghalib thing.

    reminds me of Rumi…or the Baul’s of Bangladesh.

    “The man of my heart dwells inside me.
    Everywhere I look, it is he.
    In my every sight, in the sparkle of light
    Oh, I can never lose him–
    Here, there and everywhere,
    Wherever I turn, he is right there!”-Rabindranath Tagore

  18. xkeyscored

    The Iraqi people are in revolt – pushing the post-Saddam Hussein settlement to the brink of collapse

    Two recent Debka articles relate to this.
    First, The hidden hand stirring up unrest in Iraq at cost of 100 lives, 4,000 injured: Sadr at Tehran’s behest
    Iran is behind it all. Why else would Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr have visited Tehran on Sept. 11, let alone been photographed with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Gen. Qassem Soleimani? Garbage, if you ask me.

    Second, and much more ominously, Israel’s security cabinet to hold session
    In full: “Rising war tensions with Iran have prompted PM Binyamin Netanyahu to call a special security and foreign affairs cabinet meeting for Sunday. The ministers will also review intelligence reports of plans by Tehran to stage a surprise offensive
    Building up to a preemptive attack on Iran itself?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Bibi has a vested interest in forming a government beyond being out of work. He’s probably the only member of the current/interim government with those problems. I wouldn’t be shocked if he started to pull the camouflage in public outfit to pull members of the Blue and White into his coalition.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Iran is behind it all. Yeah, that is why the protesters are demanding that Iranian forces get out of Iraq and Iraqi protesters have set fire to the Iranian consulate in Basra. Like you say, it is garbage.

      1. xkeyscored

        Garbage, sure, but so was all the “Iraq has WMD and Sadaam Hussein’s in bed with Osama bin Laden and they can kill us all in forty-five seconds” stuff.

        Didn’t stop it being used as a pretext for attacking Iraq.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Russia is helping China build a new missile attack warning system, Putin says”

    It took an eleven-dimensional thinker like Obama to force two mutually competitive nations like China and Russia to work together and form a military pact. If China is now getting Russia’s defense systems, that means an attack on China is no longer possible and which means that countries like Japan and South Korea are now more vulnerable. Thanks Obama.

    1. xkeyscored

      Hmm. It equally means that China-friendly countries like Cambodia and North Korea are less vulnerable.
      China has a long record of not attacking countries it doesn’t border, and has shown little interest in empire building (though that may be changing, as it feels the need to protect its enormous investments around the world). I’ve read articles suggesting that China and South Korea are working together behind the scenes to end North Korea’s international isolation and bring it into a joint NK/SK/China economic thing, with benefits for all three. (Japan seems more interested in maintaining its special relationship with the US, and continuing to regard China as an enemy.)
      Contrast that with say the USA, which hasn’t fought a border war for ages (war on migrants excepted), but never ceases attacking and threatening countries on the other side of the world. Cambodia and North Korea can both attest to this.
      I’d say South Korea and Japan have comparatively little to be worried about from China. It may have new defences, but it does not seem to want war and instability, and there’s little doubt the US could still make life a lot harder than it is doing with its current sanctions, tariffs and so on.
      The US has a long track record of aggression toward countries that displease it. China has yet to display anywhere near the same belligerence. On the contrary, its entire Belt and Road initiative requires continued and improving stability throughout Eurasia if it is to work.

    2. Olga

      Not to contradict you too much, RK, but I doubt that this is OHB’s doing. The truth is that in 1999, Russia finally figured out that nothing would stop the west (i.e., US) from getting what it wants. The Munich speech VVP made was in 2007. Treaties between the two date back to 1998 (from wiki):
      “In December 1998, at the end of Prime Minister Li Peng’s visit to Moscow, Russia and China issued a joint communique pledging to build an ‘equal and reliable partnership’. This reinforced the Sino-Russian view that the United States was their main competitor in the global political scene. Chinese President Xi Jinping presented two pandas to Moscow Zoo at a ceremony with Vladimir Putin on 5 June 2019.
      In 2001, the close relations between the two countries were formalized with the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, a twenty-year strategic, economic, and – controversially and arguably – an implicit military treaty. A month before the treaty was signed, the two countries joined with junior partners Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The organization is expected to counter the growing influence of the United States military outreach program in Central Asia. The PRC is currently a key purchaser and licensee of Russian military equipment, some of which has been instrumental in the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army. It is also a main beneficiary of the Russian Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline ‘.

      While OHB contributed toward RF and PRC getting closer together, he is not the cause. Pentagon has a fundamentally confrontational policy toward both and it is not a surprise that they should cooperate:

      Last point: given that war is now the substituting for US foreign policy, how can cooperation between two countries that oppose such an approach toward the world be considered a bad thing? If they can save just one country from being invaded by the benevolent west and left in chaos – it would have been worth it.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Thanks xkeyscored and Olga for all that extra material. I suppose that George Bush laid the real groundwork and Obama developed the strategy to its logical conclusion. I am going to say that the fracture point for Russia was the 2007 Munich speech when Putin put the west on notice for what it was doing. Neither Russia or China is going to buckle under the threats of the US and both countries have enormous experience with high diplomacy behind them to develop their interests and do not rely on their military to get what they want. I really would like to meet the genius though who thought up the idea of re-starting the Cold War and trying to crush China. Maybe in some dark alleyway somewhere with a handy construction site nearby who has just had a concrete pour…

      1. Olga

        Unfortunately, China is an existential threat to the US – both to the elites and the empire. It must be destroyed. It will be either it or China, since the empire cannot exist in a multi-polar world. Now, its elites could – but they have yet to figure out to make money long-term. So they are panicking a bit… but I’d not be too worried about them.
        Russia and China are natural allies. If they could only persuade some in Asia and the EU to join them, it’d be curtains for the US and its disruptive ways.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Remember Putin’s vision of an economic federation going from Vladivostok through to Lisbon? It could still happen.

  20. chris wardell

    Bourgeois culture, any culture, can only stand if it is rewarded. In prior times bourgeois culture was fundamentally supported by the upper classes, who invested in America, creating vast wealth. They modeled sobriety, hard-work, risk and reward. The working classes modeled the behavior through church and labor unions, standing together for each other and nation.
    The wealthy have abandoned America, and the working classes have abandoned religion, unions, and each other. Into that void steps cultural anarchy.
    Bourgeois culture requires hard-work, and discipline. It requires accountability, primarily of the wealthy. I tire of articles that lament the loss of culture without holding those accountable who have abandoned their responsibilities.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      i’d love to see a graph that depicts an x-axis of “1980-present” and a y-axis of “utterances and printings of the phrase ‘rule of law’ in public discourse in the United States”

      my guess is it would show sharp decline the closer we get to the present.

      1. xkeyscored

        Can’t find a graph, but I did find these.
        Rule of Law: What Does It Mean? – Robert Stein, 2009 – fairly short and simple
        All of these programs collectively have been referred to as the rule of law movement. A threshold question, as we begin this Symposium, is what do we mean by the words the rule of law? It’s a phrase that has been used with increasing frequency in recent years. The words are often invoked to support a variety of political agendas. “Support my proposals,” we are frequently urged by speakers from all points on the political spectrum, “because this or that will promote the rule of law.” Government leaders, judges, scholars, lawyers, speakers of all backgrounds invoke the rule of law as both the means to an end and as an end in itself. Everyone, it seems, is in favor of the rule of law.
        The phrase has become chameleon-like, taking on whatever shade of meaning best fits the author’s purpose. But without a clear definition, the rule of law is in danger of coming to mean virtually everything, so that it may in fact come to mean nothing at all. One scholar, the late Harvard political theorist Judith Shklar, has written that the phrase “has become meaningless thanks to ideological abuse and general overuse . . . . No intellectual effort need therefore be wasted on this bit of ruling-class chatter.”
        I disagree with Professor Shklar. Because of its potential to inspire individual actors and inform political and social change, I believe it is important to rigorously identify a meaning to the rule of law. To the extent we can more clearly identify the principles and values that are inherent in this concept, we can more effectively bring about the political and legal reforms that aare necessary to advance it.

        (Goes on to examine what Dicey and Hayek had to say about it.)

        and this, which is tediously long (54 pages) and academic and I haven’t read it:
        The doctrine of the rule of law in the twentieth century – Noel B. Reynolds, 1985

        1. Titus

          If as it is said the ‘winners’’ write history, they also do one other thing – they write the laws, which should never be confused with doing justice.

      2. The Rev Kev

        A lot of times we do not even use the phrase the ‘rule of law’ but use instead the phrase a ‘rulel based order’. When asked to explain the difference, a H. Dumpty said “When I use a phrase, it means what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

    2. notabanker

      I read the Monica Potts condescending neoliberal proselytizing masquerading as an NYT editorial today (In the Land of Self Defeat) and immediately thought of my visit to Tuol Sleng in Phnom Phen. Reading the comments that range from ‘those poor ignorant people’ to ‘sorry not sorry for you being lazy and fat’ I fear we are headed for very interesting times in the USA.

      1. notabanker

        Trump isn’t the problem, he’s the symptom. And my overall point here isn’t Trump = Pol Pot, it’s that there are consequences to writing off massive swaths of people beyond the number of likes you get on facebook. These people that are sitting back and pontificating about how they are so much more deserving of their lifestyle than these racist white trash are going to have a really difficult realization one day if we do not address the core problems facing this country.

      2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Mirrored in the UK to a certain extent – have come across similar comments & worse directed at Brexiteers. I can understand the frustration to a certain extent but I do wonder who is really stupid.

        Using the word Chav is quite common :

        n. Used as a disparaging term for a poor or uneducated young person, especially one who behaves in a brash or vulgar manner and wears ostentatious clothing and jewelry.
        n. A working-class youth, especially one associated with aggression, poor education, and a perceived “common” taste in clothing and lifestyle.

        I have an old friend who is soon to retire as a social worker in a very depressed part of a Northern city who has dealt with people throughout his career who match the above description & according to his experience & that of his colleagues, Chavs for the most part never bother to vote for anything.

      3. Carey

        >I fear we are headed for very interesting times in the USA

        ..almost like our elites™ want it that way

        1. Massinissa

          Why pay one half of the non-elite to kill the other half when you can use propaganda to do the same job much more cheaply?

  21. notabanktoadie

    re Even High-Income Millennials Fear They’ll Need to Work Forever :

    Everyone has to work (even staying in bed can be a chore) and it can be quite satisfying. So what they must fear is the need to keep a job forever, not work itself.

    And what is MMT’s (current) “solution” to this? Why a Job Guarantee to supplement wage slavery to the private sector with wage slavery to government!

    Come on MMT guys. You can’t do better than a 1930’s solution and a perverted version of the Protestant Work Ethic that ignores justice?

      1. notabanktoadie

        To start with ALL fiat creation MUST be for the general welfare.

        That would eliminate all welfare for the banks and the rich such as:
        1)* Interest on Reserves
        2)* positive yields on other inherently risk-free sovereign debt
        3) a lender of last resort
        4) asset buying from the private sector

        and replace those with an equal Citizen’s Dividend for all fiat creation beyond that created by deficit spending for the general welfare.

        Also to MAXIMIZE the good that fiat creation can do for the general welfare, including an equal Citizen’s Dividend, we should eliminate all other privileges for the banks such as:

        5) deposit guarantees instead of inherently risk-free accounts at the Central Bank for all who desire them
        6) free use of the Nation’s fiat beyond an individual citizen(s)** exemption up to a reasonable amount as a natural right of citizenship

        so as to MINIMIZE their ability to create deposits for the private welfare of themselves and the so-called “worthy” of what is currently the publics’ credit but for private gain.

        Disclaimer: The above are just some reforms needed apart from any amelioration and restitution for the real harm the present system has caused. Nor do they solve the problem of economic rent which is a real problem, not a monetary one, though it no doubt has roots in our current, unjust monetary system.

        *To give credit where it is due, MMT proponents would abolish 1) and 2) but would to their discredit:
        a) provide unlimited deposit guarantees to private depository institutions (for FREE – not that any premium can honestly cover systemic risk)
        b) provide unlimited Central Bank loans at ZERO percent to private depository institutions.

        ** I.e. Individual citizens might rent out (negative interest) or otherwise share (in exchange for equity?) their unused negative interest free account space at the Central Bank.

      2. jrs

        make all necessities free or very low cost. If healthcare is free, if rents are kept very low, etc. what is there left for rentiers to grift off of? Luxury goods? Let them have it.

    1. inode_buddha

      Rather than banging on about the money supply/distribution,–
      (“The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed”)
      we could try Nixon’s idea of Wage and Price controls.
      Yeah, that Nixon.

      Bonus, the wage and price controls would get the ratio of CxO compensation under control relative to wages, without having to touch the tax code.

      Of course, I think the tax code needs to be touched, in a very filthy way, such that capital gains are 2x labor, and we can bring back the rate schedule from the Eisenhower era.

  22. Portlander

    RE: Brexit
    Guardian says Labor won’t support anyone other than Corbyn as interim PM after NC vote (if such a vote happens). Corbyn promises an early election if PM. BUT if it’s just for a few months until a new election why must it be Corbyn? Anyone would do. This is probably mere Labor posturing, but maybe Labor is serious because a quick election is not really the plan?

    This may have been discussed in previous NC threads, but any comment on this scenario: Remainers expect the EU to offer a 2-year extension, not a 3-month extension, and because of this, the caretaker PM could plan to stay on for this much longer duration. This would explain the tussle over the “caretaker” PM now by the opposition and getting “the numbers” for a new PM before a NC vote. This should be easy for such a short term. Any views on this possibility? Or is the simpler explanation best: they are all all hiding behind Corbyn’s unpopularity to avoid an NC vote and calling an election they’d all lose?

    Of course, I guess we’ll all find out soon enough when/if a NC vote is held!

    1. ChrisPacific

      You could just as well ask: why shouldn’t it be Corbyn?

      Ideally, I agree – anyone would do if the primary goal is to prevent a No Deal. But politics is always going to be political (if you’ll pardon the tautology). If you don’t think Corbyn standing aside for someone else as caretaker PM would be weaponized and used against him in a subsequent election campaign (“even your own party didn’t trust you to lead!”) I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. Why must he be the one to sacrifice career for country, when so many others who are actually in a position to do something about it have failed so dismally on that count?

      Granted he would be in a much stronger position if he had actually been able to come up with a coherent Brexit policy. But if he doesn’t want to stand for election as the one thing UK opposition parties considered less desirable even than a No Deal Brexit, I can hardly blame him for that.

    2. Carey

      To this observer, very much on the outside, it looks like no-deal has always been the only
      acceptable outcome for the Few. Shepherding that delicate outcome is taking awhile, is

      one opinion.

  23. scarn

    To add to that excellent Robinson article:

    If you have free time and you want a Sanders victory, get to work! The campaign has how-to-help videos on youtube that you can use as strategy guides. You can download the BERN app and use it to provide the campaign with info about potential voters and your own activities. Most urban and suburban areas should have campaign events that you can attend so that you can network with other supporters and provide each other with solidarity and support. If you aren’t shy, join the phone call banking, which is also managed online. Don’t just hope that the guy can pull this victory off – do your part to get us all there.

  24. barrisj

    Re: The New Yorker Jane Mayer article…not mentioned in her piece is that Lutsenko unequivocally walked back his allegations to Solomon regarding former ambassador Yovanovitch presenting Lutsenko with a “do not investigate” list, earlier discredited by several State Dept. diplomats. In fact, it seems that Lutsenko first contacted Solomon about his “revelations”, and really was playing him, since Solomon relied almost exclusively upon Lutsenko and his “sources” in several of his Hill articles. However, as Lambert noted recently, John Solomon suffered “defenestration” at The Hill, as his stories began to unravel. However, those articles still get cited on ZeroHedge and Raúl Inargi’s Automatic Earth, amongst other outlets.
    Now, the question is: did Giuliani prompt Lutsenko to run his “revelations” past Solomon originally, with perhaps a promise of putting in a good word for him to Zelenskiy? Ukraine for years has been a corrupt oligarchy, and fertile ground for machinations by foreign players, e.g., Paul Manafort, and few if any politicians have escaped the taint, an ideal circumstance for the Trump crowd to exploit, as we have seen to date.

    1. Carolinian

      I checked and couldn’t find any support for Solomon’s leaving (to start a new site) as being other than voluntary. Got any links?

      And Mayer’s column is in the category of “who are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” Is she contending that Burisma hiring the Vice President’s son for 50 k per month for mysterious duties was on the up and up? Oh wait she doesn’t mention that but instead merely attacks those who do mention it as rightwing operatives full of consipiracy theories. The article is practically devoid of any real content other than identifying fishy looking associations in a similar manner to many….conspiracy theories. Perhaps one of these years a MSM outfit will do a real investigation of Biden and his son’s activities and then we will have some unambiguous facts. If others choose to investigate then it could be because nature abhors a vacuum.

    2. Acacia

      Jane Mayer takes a page out of the disinformation playbook. CIA memo #1035-960: “The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. … [E]mploy propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    I read that “pigs like polar bears” article. The caption to the photo said ” this pig weighs as much as a polar bear”, which is different than “being the same size as”.

    The pig is just a very big pig. And a pig fed well enough to carry several hundred pounds of fat can weigh as much as a polar bear. Plus pigs are rounder and thicker anyway.

    So ” pigs as heavy as polar bears” seems very possible.

  26. Carey

    Listening to Harry Shearer’s show just now, a parody of Donald Trump.
    Yeah, cute, yeah. All the Smart People get to laugh at Trump; the same
    Smart People who’ve been undermining and feeding off of the carcass
    of USA USA for the last forty years, most especially *its citizenry*.
    Similar tone to the Monica Potts NYT piece in links: We So Smaht, and you People Stoopid.

    We’ll see how that works out, and, particularly, who knows how to do what..

    PS: I *like* Shearer- he pops balloons better than most anyone- but
    ignoring just why Trump came to power is head-in-the-sand stuff.

      1. Carey

        Oh, yeah- I heard that live, too. Good stuff; I’d just like to see him
        lay off the knee-jerk Trump! stuff. There may be imperatives I’m not
        aware of, though; I’m guessing there are.

  27. MichaelSF

    The end of season AHRMA vintage roadrace national was at Barber this weekend. I’ve got friends who went back for it, but while one did well (clinching 2nd overall for the year in two classes) the other (who has also been 1st and 2nd overall in prior years in those two classes and builds the motors for the other racer) had his second crash out event in a row, leaving him with bupkis for the season.

    The way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one and go racing.

    The Barber Museum is supposed to be quite the deal, but I’ll never get back there to see it. But I’ve seen plenty of cool old motorcycles so far, when I went to the Quail Lodge show this year with a friend I was able to ID pretty much everything for him and tell him about “I remember when those were on the showroom”. So it goes when you get old. :-)

      1. RMO

        “The way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one and go racing.”

        I never got a chance to find out because the BC provincial government sold Westwood Racetrack and the developers turned it into overpriced houses and a golf course the year I finished high school and started earning money. Geoff Duke was at one of the last (maybe the last) vintage races and he said Westwood was a “beautiful, miniature Nurburgring”… and the track and all the woods around it got razed and paved.

        1. MichaelSF

          I raced at Westwood in 1987, it was fun and an attractive place. But it was a long drive from the SF Bay area so I only went once.

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