Why New Zealand’s White Island Erupted Without Warning Scientific American
Top Polluters Told to Do More to Fight Warming: COP25 Update Bloomberg
How a closed-door meeting shows farmers are waking up on climate change Politico
Greenwish: the wishful thinking undermining the ambition of sustainable business Real World Economics Review
Boy on the floor photo prompts Boris to add larceny to mendacity Guardian. Johnson: “I’m sorry to have taken your phone, but there you go” (!!). More here. And here:
Get Boris GONE!!
Boris Johnson couldn’t even look at 4 year old Jack lying on the floor with pneumonia devastating collapse of our NHS by 9 years of Tory rule pic.twitter.com/CMvkpBWe5G
— ARTIST TAXI DRIVER (@chunkymark) December 10, 2019
Brexit: a lack of focus EU Referendum
In U.K. Vote, Online Disinformation Is the New Normal NYT. The UK, you say.
France set for further transport chaos on sixth day of pension strikes France24
France’s regulator AMF fines Morgan Stanley 20 million euros Reuters
Why Italy’s Bridges Keep Collapsing Bloomberg
What really happened in Iran? Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
Hong Kong offices become new battleground in protests FT
Human rights are universal, which is why the United States stands with Hong Kong Hanscom Smith, South China Morning Post. Hanscom Smith is the US consul general for Hong Kong and Macau. We should try them!
* * *
There’s an app for that. Important thread:
This is a short Weibo story that tells you many other stories about China. Yesterday, some Weibo users posted abt an app called "社会扶贫" (Social Poverty Alleviation). It's a crowdfunding app designed by CN State Council's poverty alleviation office…1/n pic.twitter.com/6nwIjzkzGL
— Toni (but what’s your *real* name?) (@tony_zy) December 9, 2019
Seems an odd approach for a putatively communist nation to take.
Venezuela’s Civilian Militia Surpasses Target, Reaches 3.3 Million Members Venezuelanalysis
Brazil to send security force to indigenous land after two shot dead Reuters
Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India New Yorker
US agency completes implementation of H-1B electronic registration process for 2021 cap season The Hindu
Seven-Eleven Japan failed to pay 490m yen in overtime pay Nikkei Asian Review
Suu Kyi set to make history in Hague genocide case Agence France Presse
New Cold War
Russia, Ukraine agree to ceasefire by year-end at Paris talks Deutsche Welle. The Blob must be furious.
It’s Time for Ukraine to Let the Donbass Go Foreign Policy
Trump impeachment: House Democrats to announce at least 2 articles of impeachment Tuesday USA Today. That’s today!
Senate looks for holiday truce on impeachment trial Politico
FBI was justified in opening Trump campaign probe, but case plagued by ‘serious failures,’ inspector general finds WaPo
The FBI Inspector General’s Report Has Bad News for Democrats, Too Eli Lake, Bloomberg. The deck: “The party is increasingly becoming the chief defender of the national surveillance state.”
‘The Interagency’ Isn’t Supposed to Rule WSJ
Trump Offers Hunter Biden Job In Energy Department Based On Oil Industry Experience The Onion
As Secret Pentagon Spending Rises, Defense Firms Cash in Defense One
Compromise defense bill expands benefits, creates Space Force Politico
Amazon lawsuit blames Trump for loss of Pentagon cloud contract Reuters
California Could Lose $2 Billion of Budget Surplus Due to Feud With Trump KQED
Democrats pick Hillary Clinton as 2020 frontrunner in new party poll New York Post. Now they’re just trolling us.
Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX was plagued with production problems, whistleblower says Seattle Times. “When [Ed Pierson, a former manager on the Boeing 737 MAX production line] met with [the head of the 737 program, Scott Campbell] in July 2018, he said, he again urged Boeing to shut down the MAX line. Pierson had spent decades in the Navy before joining Boeing and said he told Campbell that he had seen the military stop exercises over less serious concerns. In response, he claims, Campbell said, ‘The military isn’t a profit-making organization.'” Boom. As we say.
UnitedHealth Group: 2020 Revenues To Eclipse $260B Forbes
Everything’s going according to plan:
Gallup finds 1 in 4 Americans say they have put off medical treatment for a *serious* condition because of the cost pic.twitter.com/pHUNuo2Euo
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) December 9, 2019
Medicare For All Would Improve Hospital Financing Health Affairs. See also NC here.
Imperial Collapse Watch
Empire, Twenty Years On NLR. Dense, but as always with NLR, rigorous, agree or disagree.
‘We Committed Copyright Infringement and Want to Be Sued by Disney’ Fortune (dk).
Why the profit motive fails in education The Conversation
Investigating cooperation with robotic peers PLOS One
File an Information Request with Every Grievance Labor Notes
Man who ate the $120,000 banana art installation says he isn’t sorry and did it to create art CNN. Duchamp would be proud:
This grocery ad though #AffordableArt pic.twitter.com/WfolRWqnoB
— Rachel Cheung (@rachel_cheung1) December 10, 2019
The first effort to regulate AI was a spectacular failure Fast Company
How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real The New Yorker (TH). The public relations campaign for Agency begins. Good background, though.
When did societies become modern? ‘Big history’ dashes popular idea of Axial Age Nature
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.
“Senate looks for holiday truce on impeachment trial”
So the Democrats have been at the throats of the Republicans and visa versa the past few months with law after law either being trashed or ignored. But now that Christmas is almost here, they both get together and decide to leave it off and start it off next year? Seriously? I think that what we are seeing is a Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog relationship between the two parties-
Where’s your Christmas spirit? Isn’t this the season of putting aside differences and coming together in harmony? Why let a years worth of accusations of treason get in the way of their holiday plans? The “fate of the nation” can surely wait until the new year. For now, they have lobbyist cocktail parties to attend and gifts to open!
Yes. A celebration between the trenches. The Red Baron not shooting up Snoopy when he can.
UnitedHealth Group: 2020 Revenues To Eclipse $260B
Headquarters Minnetonka, Minnesota
Is it any wonder why Amy Klobuchar (Senator from Minnesota) is up on that Democrat debate stage denouncing Medicare for All?
And it’s why those Partnership for America’s Health Care Future ads are stalking me all over YouTube. You’ve probably seen them. They paint a picture of one-size-fits all, government-run health care.
Well, Partnership, you are really wasting your money. If I didn’t support Medicare for All before, I really do now.
See?? This is proof the system works! No taxation without representation! The people have spoken, and they have representation! //sarc
GM completely retooled during WWII to make tanks. Then retooled again after the war for peacetime. At some point we will need to retool > 50% of the entire American economy: the MIC, the HIC, and the WIC (Wall St)
The Nature article is mainly about the trendy use of “big data” to make inter-society comparisons that are cross-temporal as well as cross-cultural. Interesting, but what really struck me were the value judgments attached to this Axial Age, whether or not it took place in the way that its “inventor,” Karl Jaspers, theorized.
Jaspers’s theory advances these two points:
1) Developments during this Axial Age, like the “publication” of the Code of Hammurabi, represent “advances” in human society; and
2) These “advancements” were built on top of Platonic/Zoroastrian dualism and monotheism.
Jeremy Lent’s The Patterning Instinct, essentially a survey of anthropological, historical and sociological research over the past 30 years, comes to exactly the opposite conclusion:
1) The hierarchy between human and human and between humanity and the Earth appear as a consequence of the human turn to a more sedentary life supported by agriculture. These were not “advancements” in and of themselves.
Human-to-human hierarchy made life so bad for the common Jane and Joe in the period of initial transition to agriculture that human life expectancy dropped substantially from hunter-gatherer days. Human-to-Earth hierarchy has led us to our current ecological disaster.
2) Monotheism and Platonic dualism combined to make the ill effects of these hierarchies even worse. Monotheism’s transcendent, anthropomorphic god became the object of worship and reverence rather than the animistic spirits with whom hunter-gatherers interacted. Platonic dualism, refined into Descartes’s “mind” separate from mechanistic matter, has contributed to our regarding the Earth and all its non-human creatures as resources to be exploited.
It’s good that there’s so much interest these days in re-evaluating who we are, why we’re here and how we relate to the world around us. As those monotheistic religions lose their hold on many, we’re groping around for other ways to orient and understand ourselves. It’s really been a question almost my entire life. I remember that old Time “Is God Dead?” cover from the Sixties. And I remember Joni Mitchell’s quandary:
Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock” (audio link)
Thanks for opening up this subject–without wading into some deep issues the surface is often misunderstood.
We live at a time when history is pulling in many directions. We are, fundamentally, a consumer society thus money is the bottom-line determiner of morality. Now most healthy people don’t really believe that all there to determine social worth is money but, basically, without a vigorous religious tradition or metaphysical/philosophical framework we can agree on that is reality.
We are missing some basis for morality over and above money and power. Some are retreating into tradition and orthodox religion–Rod Dreher at The American Conservative is an articulate defender of that point of view and urges believers to establish their own communities so that their values can be re-enforced. I believe this is simply impossible. I live around conservative Christians and they may have feelings about traditional morality but they live a consumerist-based life; the rest of their beliefs are abstract and follow whatever formula their pastors preach on Sunday but then go ahead and ignore all the fundamental teachings of Christianity the rest of the time. Even New Age-(my general POV) people will talk a good game but when push-comes-to-shove they have to have a job and live in the world and buy stuff to demonstrate their identity cause that’s what we do.
People, particularly on the left, are talking about making a more compassionate society yet voted for Clinton, Obama, and now still support Biden who are distinctly center-right politicians whose values are quite simple–if you got the money you can play, otherwise we have jails or the street. To have a compassionate and healthy society there has to be vigorous values based on solid metaphysics beyond self-interest, consumerism and the culture of narcissism. This is why we can do NOTHING whatsoever about any real issues we commonly face other than chase chimeras, illusions, delusions and bizarre myths of American Exceptionalism, sentimental emotionalism about pets (children are no longer as winning as they once were), climate-change denialism, paranoid fantasies about the UN, Muslims, Jews, Russians and the absurdity of identity/tribal politics—all this sort of thing is common on cultural left and right.
Yet, most people I know have strong moral instincts about what is right and wrong and would probably agree whether they were conservative Christians or Wiccans. I believe both neuroscience and social science show that there is a kind of Natural Law morality that starts with some traditional virtues we all know like generosity/compassion, truth-telling, courage, and some level of self-control and awareness but they can’t be the basis of a culture without a metaphysical framework. How we translate all this into a viable social morality in the midst of a culture that preaches the opposite values with a smiley face is something we will have to find out somehow.
there has to be vigorous values based on solid metaphysics beyond self-interest
I think, on the contrary, we need to base our values solidly on our self-interest. We need to recognise we are now determining the future of ourselves and our planet. Do we continue to be atomised individuals who ‘have a job’ and live in a world controlled by dark forces like The Market, the 0.1%, and the (deep) state, a world becoming worse by the minute, with the ever-present threat of global nuclear war hanging over us, or take collective control of our destiny for ourselves?
Basing our values on anything other than our self-interest seems, IMO, to lead only to more metaphysical mystification.
I’m not sure we have a clear enough idea of who the “self” is these days to figure out what its interests might be.
Self or selves?
Most of the time, I think I’m operating with just one.
Exactly what I think is the problem. Until we learn to see ourselves as responsible for what we do to our societies and our planet, I see myself as up against it all. I might as well go for it, earn tons of money, snort loads of cocaine, live a high impact lifestyle affecting millions of others, and say “Well, what can I do about it anyway?”
Seshat was Egyptian goddess of record keeping. She did not have a cool zoo morph head and a google image search was not fruitful. My other question was not answered. Is there a difference between a social historian and a historical sociologist?
The best part was definitely the graphic of the different Axial Age proposals. From Big Age to little age it was:
1400 BC – 600 AD
650 BC – 550 BC
Also I checked wikipedia and they said the biggest thing happening in 600 BC was Babylonians killing Assyrians.
Craig H. — yes, there is a difference between a social historian and an historical sociologist.
In short, history and sociology are different and distinct disciplines, so even if they look at the same thing (say, the ancient Near East), an historian and a sociologist are going to come at it from very different perspectives.
Generally speaking: sociologists are social scientists, like economists, psychologists, political scientists, anthropologists (mostly); they tend to be more interested in discerning larger “laws” of human behavior, tend toward a more quantitative approach in recent decades;
Historians are humanists, and thus more of a family relation with students of philosophy and literature, tend to be far more interested in the particular, the contingent, the concrete leading to the abstract, rather than the abstract leading to the concrete.
Now, there is a lot of good interdisciplinary work being done, but as platonic types, I think the above holds mostly true.
(Full disclosure: I am an historian by training).
Wow! Joni Mitchell was such a young/talented/deep artist..thanks for link.
Joni Mitchell is alive, at 76 not so well, and living in Los Angeles.
To be clear, the cited article presents Jaspers arguments to shred them. The value judgments about primary origins drop out when societies who were not linked to Jaspers’ primary sources, are shown to create a similar cohort of factors indicated by the proxy measures. The article provides validation for your view that Jaspers was incorrect in this.
But it disagrees with Lent’s assertion about western/Greek influence, which I suggest falls into the same trap Jaspers fell into. On p.144, he cites Jaspers without critique. I’ll note Lent’s purpose in writing the book is aiming at a new synthesis worldview for our modern problems. As such, he is surveying the surveyors: Thom Hartmann, Dawkins, Alan Watts… There are as many interpreters as there are original sources in his footnotes. Lent holds a BA in English Lit, and an MBA, and we could say he is trying to create a narrative for a better world. I’m not mad at all. I’ll just give a caution about his scholarship, and thus his implicit assumptions.
Thanks for this comment. I had not noticed that Lent cites Jaspers.
I had a similar reaction to the portion of Lent’s book that touched on an area where I have some academic background: the Hebrew bible. The theory of the origins of monotheism that Lent picks, while held by some, would not have passed muster in the environment I was in. No role for the Ugaritic city states. No monotheists until Second Isaiah. Essentially nothing original or pre-Exilic in the entire corpus of the Hebrew bible. I can imagine how that would have gone over in the institution where I saw a visiting prof shredded for suggesting some limited sections of Leviticus came from the Middle Assyrian laws.
With all that said, Lent’s book provides a nice, very readable, introduction to this topic of cultural transformation or whatever it ends up being called. Our current social and cultural stalemate has been going on for 50 years with little or no move toward some kind of new synthesis. In the meantime, we have a declining life expectancy because of suicides and ODs, waterways measurably polluted by anti-depressants and a complete collapse of any kind of ethical or moral standards in the business and and political worlds.
And if any kind of new consensus worldview is to emerge, wouldn’t it be nice if that worldview had two characteristics:
1) it “fits” human proclivities as they can best be determined by current scholarship; and
2) it is compatible both with human empathy and human love and awe for the natural world of which we’re part.
The Axial age is about the concept of a personal god becoming widely accepted. As with older concepts and organized religion, it requires adherence to a belief system. We are still firmly embedded in the axial. An evolution to a new “worldview” would be possibly replacing the concept of Deity with an acceptance of reality. Reality, as in gravity, doesn’t require belief. The new acceptance of reality frees one of the need to filter ones thoughts through a preconceived screen. Some people believe in science but science is not a belief system. It is a process for discovery. Individual progress will come about when the need to believe is abandoned. The new age, or new consensus worldview will arrive when pursuit of reality is widely accepted. The doors of perception open when the heavy goggles are removed.
While a little tedious I liked Robert Bellah’s Religion in Human Evolution. A more modern look at the Axial as a step in the evolution of society and individual thinking about place in the cosmos.
He demonstrates that the transition was very much about deity becoming personal rather then the tool of kings (crowd control). He looks at more remote societies such as Hawaii.
I think we could consider the axial as a phenomenon spread through time and humanity
Yes, thanks for this. Advancement? No thanks. I need the Code of Hammurabi like I need a smart fridge.
A good beginners take on what you explained is laid out in Ryan Christopher’s “Civilized to Death”.
To me money is just a symbol of stored food, or rather, my share of stored food.
Summa awilum… Yeah, that characterization struck me too.
Yeah, Christopher Ryan is another one, like Lent, writing about this. Jimmy Dore even did a long interview of him about Civilized to Death
About that money as stored food symbol, I’m still pondering the depth of meaning of that Piraha saying:
I for defective reasons always visualize the topic as the Starving Marvin episode of South Park.
Sally Fields warehouse in the middle of the desert filled with food for those in need, where she resides over all of it as Jabba the Hut.
aye. the dualism/descartes problem.
you reminded me of one of my favorite philosophers that nobody’s ever heard of:
i was introduced to him by one Longsword, a Canadian prairie philosopher who used to run Dark Age Blog, and now runs the Chrysalis(https://longsworde.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/towards-social-renewal/)
I lean pretty far towards the Nietzsche of Zarathustra and the Gay Science(with the socialist jesus mixed in there), but that doesn’t mean i can’t agree with…or take gems from…folks like Huessey…or Rod Dreher, for that matter.
Zarathustra’s version of the Great Commission….that, since we killed god, we are responsible, now, for performing his functions…is important to me.
in the feedstore, etc, i find i must use jesus-speak to approach this, which Uncle Freidreich might find hilarious.
but there we are.
that conversation must be had, far and wide.
who the hell are we? how are we connected? what’s our responsibility to one another and the planet?
we’ve taken all this for granted, in various ways, for so long…a problem made worse by the american philosophical tradition of dismissing metaphysics, then the whole neoliberal project of instrumetalisation and eviscerating the Humanities…underlain by a habitual, performative right wing parody of Xtianity.
like everything else, we pretend…and insist that everyone else pretend…that “everything’s fine”.
I engage in moral discourse with random people, and they are always shocked and surprised when(if) i finally come out as a non-christian:”how can we agree on all this, if you don’t even believe?”
but “there, but for the grace of god, go i” doesn’t really require god, when you get right down to it.
i’ll end the ramble, because it’s a pain day…cold and wet and nasty….and i’m too metaphysical(ie: medicated) to do this justice.
Darn. It’s a great stunt, but I was kinda hoping they were going to actually challenge Disney’s copyright hegemony.
“Disney now has until 2023 to figure out how to extend that date once again. In 5 years or so, we can probably expect to see stories about proposed changes to copyright duration, once again. It is unlikely that a company as strong as Disney will sit by and allow Steamboat Willie to enter the Public Domain.”
How Mickey Mouse Keeps Changing Copyright Law
Recent Disney production credits all use steamboat willie as part of a newly created logo. The lawyers are working on it.
They cut the ears off the hats though.
Disney has to protect their ancient IP given Iger’s allergy to anything new. They’ll probably bring back Steamboat Willie as a digital animation just as they made a shot by shot remake of The Lion King only digital. They could bring back Walt too using the photo real animation style of The Lion King (its good).
“Democrats pick Hillary Clinton as 2020 frontrunner in new party poll”
And in another poll, it was found that nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as an ally. So which is the truthful poll?
Pretty sure there are some bloomberg lurkers hear about, so here is some friendly advice.
Stop showing trump in your tv ads, you damn morons.
Everybody knows who the president is and it is just more free pub for him.
Come on now. So, about half of those polled wanted Biden, Clinton or Bloomberg? CNN did a poll a few weeks ago, and it showed Pete what’s his name doing well. About half of those polled were registered Republicans that don’t plan on actually voting in the primary. CNN didn’t bother to mention that.
that poll with Hillary in first was conducted by Mark Penn’s organization
take it with an entire shaker of salt
that poll with Hillary in first was conducted by Mark Penn’s organization
In the age of Trump and a Democratic primary featuring Joe Biden and Mayo Pete, the idea anyone would give Mark Penn money at this stage is easily the most ridiculous thing you will hear this month. It might be the winner for 2020.
Oh yeah, well you try to milk a bunch of money out of rich people that are attempting to rig the system again. I doubt you could do as good of a job as Penn in taking their money and producing things with as little value. There’s a talent in that.
Ok ok, so the polls were a little off in 2016. This time it’s different! /s
I believe that late night convenience stores are cutting back severely in South Korea (where Seven Eleven is also ubiquitous) because of new laws on paying night time and overtime rates. I do love that in so much of Asia you can pretty much graze good convenience food at any time, even in the smallest town, thanks to the Seven Eleven and Lawsons and Food Marts pretty much everywhere (for the record, IMO Lawsons rice balls are marginally better than Seven Elevens, but its a close run thing). But that convenience comes at a price as I saw often with drained and exhausted looking (mostly very young) staff when dropping in late at night or very early morning.
In Korea, the convenience store was the center of my universe. Booze, bus cards and coffee had me on a first-name basis with a few checkout clerks. I always felt bad for them but their jobs seemed kind of chill. They could just hang out and play phone games or read a book with their down time.
I do worry about people in Korea and Japan … Can anybody survive 50 meters without access to a prefab riceball?
Where were you located, btw? I was in Seoul and eventually “made it” to HBC. It was a great scene for a hot minute
> Afghanistan Papers
Does impeachment not seem but a distraction when viewed in light of below? Can one really get behind holding Trump accountable when those leading the charge are no more than one side of this Janus-faced corrupt oligarchy that has been in power for way way too long?
It’s that after 18 years encompassing three presidential administrations from both parties, no one has been held accountable for the vast U.S. taxpayer dollars—not to mention, blood, sweat, and tears—wasted on a vast exercise for a purpose that even the principle players seem unable to identify.
These papers show a clear attempt to mislead and deceive the American people about the extent of the administrative and bureaucratic waste and incompetence that was occurring. What these interviews reveal is mind-blowing; that no one has been unaccountable is criminal.
Exploding SIGAR! (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) report.
New, if not news, thanks!
Did we really need the “Lessons Learned” report to understand this?
Afghanistan was invaded, and the Northern Alliance, a gang financed via the opium trade, was installed in power. Since then, the only real economic developments have been the resurgence of opium production, and the refining of opium into heroin in Afghanistan rather than exporting it raw. All this was well known at the time of the US invasion: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/nov/25/afghanistan.drugstrade
What other result did anyone expect from a bunch of big-time smack dealers?
No, WE did not need “The Lessons Learned” to understand the epic bi-partisan sting that was/is the forever war in Afghanistan. The BLOB needs to know that we know “The Lessons Learned” and we’re on to them.
Now, will anyone listen to Tulsi? Oh, f**k, no.
I’ve heard a lot of people in the US are listening to Tulsi and liking what they hear, including many soldiers and vets. I think it’s your mainstream media and the Democratic Party leadership and its sponsors that don’t want anyone to listen.
I find the quote jejune. “Mind blowing”? I don’t think so. I have never known a federal government or bureaucracy that was not based on lies and misdirection. The US military, with 74% approval ratings prove the success of systematic propaganda and mind-control. The fraud is obvious to anyone trained in the school of Machiavelli, and realpolitik. Americans are Charlie Brown endlessly trying to kick a football held by Lucy. Every time we say, “we’ve been fooled” how shocking, I never would have thought because every American is, literally, reborn every day as if history was no more real than a Seinfeld rerun.
“Eighteen Years In, two parties responsible, no one accountable”
That pretty much sums it up. Not sure if it makes me more depressed or just dead inside. Years ago it would have outraged me. I got called every name in the book protesting those GWOT wars yet most people now have just moved on and forgotten we’re even there. Almost two decades of being “that guy” who always brings up what is being done in our name in other lands: Giving people “Guantanamo Diary” for Christmas presents, putting three years worth of savings and four years of work into making a film about what happens to returning combat vets in the hopes that might have an impact. When I mention the wars to others nowadays they’re like, “Oh, that? Didn’t Obama’s/Trump end those?” Or, they’ve just tuned out completely.
I think I’m beginning to get an taste of what was meant by that old saying in the black community, “I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired”.
Our corrupted government and the profiteers should all be hooded in the back of a cargo plane and dumped off in Iraq and Afghanistan to stand trial. Probably get at least as fair of one as Saddam did for his crimes against humanity. But far too many Americans either don’t care or actively support the people who’ve done this. I think the Dems “lesser evil” talk in ‘16 broke me. That’s about the time I felt the outrage turn to depression. It’s when I realized they know, but are OK with it. Ok with Fallujah babies, OK with arming/funding Al Qaeda in Syria, OK with bombing children and families of “bad guys”, OK with ever-rising suicide rates for combat veterans. “It’s not me, so I don’t care”. And the profiteers and politicians know this so they just get more brazen each day.
Geo your sentiments are well summarized.I too have encountered that same sicking sense that “Americans either don’t care or actively support the people who’ve done this,” though I think the former is a function of ignorance where as the latter is a manifestation of evil and much more difficult if not impossible to remedy.
The “lesser of two evils” is the the more effective evil as Glen Ford at BAR noted with respect to Obama.
The majority of the fawning over the 1% cannon fodder that you see the propaganda machine in the MSM playing fast & heavy, is aimed @ the 99%’ers that didn’t enlist.
It’s a very effective shaming device essentially shouting to the 99%, YOU ARE SO NOT WORTHY.
On AI regulation Albert Cahn complained, “the task force was given no details into how even the simplest of automated decision systems worked.”
The essential mechanism is elementary: garbage in, garbage out.
Not to disparage the importance of responsible waste management!
Its quite something when Bloomberg magazine is openly saying that it was the privatisation of the road system that is to blame. I wonder if the writers boss has noticed.
And there appears to be a poison pill in the contract: “Autostrade’s concession runs through 2042 and includes a costly break-up clause that requires the government to prove serious negligence in maintenance works.”
After a focused and succinct job of laying out the facts, the authors do what they are paid by Boomberg to do…ignore the obvious conclusion and blame the bridge collapses on global warming
If anybody asks you what you mean by “neoliberalism” here is a concrete story that they will certainly understand, and the poison pill clause is all the more reason why the French should have simply mothballed their guillotines.
A privatization contract is not a privatization contract without multiple poison pills.
Ba Dum Bum CHHHH
The writer’s boss is busy subverting democracy. Maybe they’re feeling emboldened like the kids when mom and dad go away for the weekend?
I mention to Italians how crazy it is to have the nation’s major highways, the autostrade, in private hands and am generally met with a rolleye/shrug.
The two major lines of communication between Tuscany and the Emilia-Romagna crossing the Apennines, the privately operated A1, and the E45 state road, are completely dependent on long bridges and tunnels. Most of the peninsula is seismically very active and there was just a significant earthquake in Mugello not far from the A1 between Florence and Bologna. If bridges are falling down from lack of maintenance, even without earthquakes, what does that say about the likelihood of having adequate seismic margins in place?
Both those Apennines crossings are wonders of engineering, well worth the drive just to admire their sheer audacity. On the E45, the state road, there will always be significant stretches of one lane in each direction due to roadwork, That may be a good sign, even if it isn’t fun to drive through.
Since Hunter B. Will soon have experience with the Child Support bureaucracy, perhaps a posting @ Dept of Health and Human Services is in order?
He will soon have to present his Financial info. to the Judge.
Re: Brexit and the election.
Wild weather and lots of rain predicted for polling day. Anyones guess who this will benefit – probably the Tories.
I see Sterling has gone up on the latest polling, indicating a strong possibility of a Bojo clear majority. And we know of course currency markets are never wrong. Lots of indicators that Labour candidates are feeling pessimistic. It also seems that the SNP screwed up their campaign, and have frightened Ramainers back to the Tories, gifting them maybe a dozen seats north of the border. The Lib Dems are in freefall nationally, but it may not matter if their groundgame is as good as it seems to me in the crucial target constituencies.
It seems some are suggesting that Labours best strategy could be to pretty much concede defeat, and this may encourage soft Tories into a protest vote for the LibDems or BP or whoever, if they feel its not a good idea to give Bojo too much of a majority. This seems a bit of a forlorn hope, but it might just help swing a few constituencies.
The odds seem very strongly now that the Tories will, almost unbelievably considering their incompetence, win a majority on Thursday. There are counter-narratives out there, but I think they are increasingly clutching at straws. But its not beyond the bounds of possibility that the pollsters have been wrong again, and at the very least it will be another hung parliament.
Re: Polling Day weather
Don’t know if the rain will suppress Labour turnout. The number of people being mobilized for knocking up is huge. And it is being very specifically directed at marginals.
Momentum is redirecting Polling Day volunteers out of major cities. Places to stay overnight for the next few days are being found for free. And coaches leaving major cities all over Britain are leaving regularly over the next two days (seats are £5). Thousands of people are moving around. From the ground, that is not a Labour Party giving up. But none of us know what will happen..
lots of people are going to decide with the pencil in their hand.
That’s great to hear, I can only wish everyone involved good luck.
It is indeed the case that bad weather is traditionally thought to help the Tories. This time, though, the Tory strategy has been to try to steal ‘traditional Labour’ voters who want to ‘get Brexit done’. So may be, if ‘traditional Labour’ voters are the ones who do not vote in bad weather, the effect may be different this time around?
I was talking to a Labour party member in West London yesterday. He did not try to extrapolate from one constituency and was not overconfident but said that the word is that Johnson may be in trouble in Uxbridge. The expectation of course is that, if he does lose the seat, he will just push someone out of a safe Tory seat and re-enter the Commons that way.
Thank you. Fingers crossed. I have heard that Ian Duncan Smith, formerly George Smith, is in trouble in Chingford and, down the road from me, Steve Baker is in trouble in High Wycombe.
I won’t be shedding tears if Dominic Grieve fails to win in Beaconsfield, also down the road, as there’s no difference between him and Baker apart from Brexit and prison reform.
Thank you, Redlife. Good luck.
I am hearing more support for Labour in true blue Buckinghamshire. There has been nothing like that for 35 years. The demographics, due to flight from expensive London, may be the reason.
While the SNP have certainly screwed up with their ‘stop brexit’ campaigning, I don’t see how they’ve pushed back remainers to the blue tories, as the house jocks are foursquare behind the UK prime minister.
Their ‘stop brexit’ message is rather undermined by their leading MEP (and most useless oxygen thief), Alyn Smith, jumping to the good ship westminster.
The treatment of Neale Hanvey in Cowdenbeath, stitched up by an inner cabal led by the above, has been shameful.
I’ll still be voting for them, but a few might not be able to hold their nose, and there are a lot of narrow margins out there.
They could gain 10 seats or lose 10, neither result being particularly deserved.
“It’s Time for Ukraine to Let the Donbass Go”
I actually agree with Foreign Policy here. To be honest though, where they say “The Donbass and its residents have been the war’s greatest losers. Thousands have died in the fighting; houses and infrastructure have been destroyed.” they omitted to say who was doing all that killing and who exactly was destroying all those homes and that infrastructure. I doubt that the people of the Donbass were doing it to themselves.
But since the Dobass is at the center of all that ‘corruption and criminality’, then cutting it loose would make the Ukraine a paradise. After all ‘the progress Ukraine has made in the last five years’ the place is becoming a beacon of freedom and democracy. Well, except for all those Nastys that is. Yep, let the Donbass rot and gnash their teeth with envy looking at the Ukraine and how it works out for them. Maybe old Joe & Hunter can come back and give them some pointers on democracy.
Interesting fact about the situation in Ukraine, similar to the USG lies about Afghanistan. Russia never invaded, although it has supplied the Donbass rebels. And Crimea was never “stolen” as it legally voted to be Russian (close to 70% of the population is ethnic Russian). BTW, you should all know that coincidental with Nuland’s coup in 2016 there were plans drawn up to rehab the Russian naval base in Crimea for US use.
BTW, you should all know that coincidental with Nuland’s coup in 2016 there were plans drawn up to rehab the Russian naval base in Crimea for US use.
Do you have a link for this please?
Here’s the theory. More background on Crimea than any evidence.
Thank you. I’d always assumed they had their eyes on the naval base in Crimea, not only for their own use, but to deny it to Russia, but you’re right, the hard evidence seems pretty weak.
Years ago I linked to a contract let out by the US Navy for some building/s in Crimea which was before the 2014 putsch. It was on a US government website so it was all legit. Apparently they did not want to wait till they got their hands on the base itself.
Thank you. Sounds like the ‘school for spies’ mentioned in the article.
2014 I think you mean
In the year 2017 a USA naval base was being established in the Ukraine Black Sea port of Ochakov, in the proxiimity of the Crimea, following the loss of the opportunity to use the peninsula.
link : https://quemadoinstitute.org/2017/08/18/new-us-naval-base-on-ukraines-black-sea-coast/
Foreign Policy’s recommendation to “let the Donbass go” is laudable. But the rest of the article, sadly, regurgitates the US regime change narrative. It could have been written by Victoria Nuland, herself, such as,
“It was out of the Donbass that came his [Yanukovych’s] corrupt Party of Regions. And it was the Donbass that opposed popular pro-democracy uprisings in 2004 and 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s occupation of the eastern Donbass in the summer of 2014 effectively disenfranchised its voters. That was bad for the voters, but it enabled pro-democratic forces in unoccupied Ukraine to win the presidency and control of the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in 2014.”
Translation: “residents of the Donbass opposed the US-supported, if not directly engineered, Maidan putsch, in February 2014. Putin came to the aid of the Donbass in the summer of 2014 as its residents were being slaughtered by Banderite Nazis, who comprised part of the US-installed Poroshenko puppet regime.”
See embedded video. The US-based Ukrainian diaspora, of which the author of the article is a part, has been actively funding the war on the Donbass, and even the MSM admit it:
The Art of Crowdfunding War Bloomberg
Some of the background to Hardt & Negri’s Empire, 20 years on:
Latour’s: We have never been modern
Particularly their stress on the “constitution”, regarded as a system both hiding the connection between while mediating the technological/capital world with the social/social reproduction world.
thanks for the Latour link.
always wanted to read that.
Pete Buttigieg on Bernie Sanders
When Pete Buttigieg was a high school senior, he wrote a prizewinning essay praising Bernie Sanders. Here, we republish the essay in full.
Minus the Arsebook tracking id:
Pro-tip – you can almost always sanitize the link by trimming off the question mark and everything to the right of it.
“Russia, Ukraine agree to ceasefire by year-end at Paris talks”
The talks could have completely collapsed – by design. A few hours before they were due to meet and talk, and by an amazing coincidence in timing, WADA put a four-year ban on Russia playing in the Olympics & the 2022 World Cup under the Russian flag or having the Russian anthem played for any medals won by Russia. This will not only cover the Tokeo Olympics next year but the Winter Olympics in 2022 as well. America, China and host country Japan are expected to benefit on the medal tally board because of this.
And to pile on the pressure, ‘The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution Monday condemning Russia’s occupation of Crimea and the city of Sebastapol and urging the withdrawal of its military forces “without delay.”(https://apnews.com/161008cbd430455c75403cbbfdd89f2f). But Putin won’t fold on the Donbass as he has said if not done right “I can imagine what would happen next. There will be a Srebrenica.” And he is right. It would be a massacre that would never be reported in the media or protested by any western government.
If this wasn’t enough, a bill has been proposed by Republican Senator Cory Gardner called “S. 1189: Stopping Malign Activities from Russian Terrorism Act” to name Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. I guess that the art of irony is not dead after all. Next Tuesday Lavrorv is supposed to meet Pompeo to discuss Ukraine, Syria, arms control and “other issues” between the US and Russia and I can only imagine what will be said between the two. My guess is that Pompeo will tell Lavrov ‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’
Blame it on Canada?
You are not banned if you boycott.
In 1980, we did that voluntarily, with not much to do with being banned, if I recall correctly.
Perhaps Beijing can show solidarity and boycott as well (instead of being expected to benefit Russia being excluded).
Russian troops also got between Turks and their proxies, and the Kurds minimizing what could have been a much larger slaughter by Erdogun in N. Syria (not that anyone in the US blinked).
Evil ruskies, always trying to minimize bloodbaths…
While the Democrats have spent the past 3 years yammering on about Russia President Trump has been doing this –
What Trump has done to the courts, explained
Also Patrick Leahy appears to be an idiot.
Why does it appear that nobody is talking about the Washington Post’s Afghanistan Report?
Because it shows that Democrats = Republicans and that isn’t what we need to put front and center when the Democrats are trying to “save the Constitution and the Republic.”
Since a vast majority of the lies occurred during the reign of St. Obama (the first?) when will someone ask him for an explanation? No scandals my ass!
Scandals are when you play the game in such a way as to undermine the game — so Obama & the dirty glass of water could be a low level scandal. But faking war successes will only become a scandal when it threatens to bring the system down, see for example the Russian Empire in 1917.
No D != R: they are distinct but overlapping subsets that are functionally reinforcing. Let’s call them “moieties”. They are really different — they have different people, playing different roles, but they are related and working together.
Let’s say the obvious things first — there’s an internal dialectic to the show, and pretending that they’re the same (even if only for rhetorical effect) is quite destructive.
The two wings of the same vulture.
I would have said “predatory bird,” but those are beautiful.
In other news…water is wet!
This information or Pelosi admitting that they all new there were no WMDs in Iraq, or any other “revelations” about Imperial exploits causing the deaths of millions changes nothing. Who in the last 50+ years has killed more innocent women and children and destroyed more basic infrastructure leading to the suffering and early death of millions more?
Only one country has deployed nuclear weapons on civilian populations, twice. EVER
Care to hazard a guess?
Oregoncharles, went to sleep at a reasonable hour last night.
Re the Obamas’ new oceanside purchase in Martha’s Vineyard.
Floor level looks to be approximately 4 to 10 feet above sea level. It’s hard to judge from pictures, but it is definitely not on a cliff, a hill or even a rise.
And when the next big hurricane to hit the NE coast puts a foot of water in that spacious well appointed master bedroom, oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the press about the suffering that the Obamas are enduring. The humanity! The humanity!
Wasn’t he the one who was bragging about the fracking boom? Karma.
Well! Since Mr Obama is already washed, it will then be up to Mrs Obama and the Obamalettes to right the shinking sip.
And here we thought they were smart, as well as greedy.
Not widely known, but there is a good chance of a major East Coast tsunami when a volcano on the Canary Islands (IIRC) collapses.
According to the NYT, we’ve spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan in the past 18 years, which averages $111 billion per year.
It is estimated that the total amount of tuition charged by all of the nations public colleges and universities combined is $70 billion per year.
Which means we could bring our troops home, fund public college tuition for all students in America, and we’d still have $40 billion per year left over.
The next time someone asks you how we would pay for free college, you ask them why they haven’t complained about the cost of an endless war in the most useless place on the planet.
The profile of William Gibson contains the quote, “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” The article that follows begins with the observation that the “Axial Age” was far messier that Jaspers suggests. In other words the Axial Age, or a simulacrum of it, was not very evenly distributed.
“The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games,” the novel explains, “in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks.” By “jacking in” to the matrix, a “console cowboy” can use his “deck” to enter a new world:”
Change the word “in” to nearly the same as its antonym, and guys have been doing this for millennia in the real world.
Former Monsanto CEO Ordered to Testify at Roundup Cancer Trial:
“Former Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant will have to testify in person at a St. Louis-area trial set for January in litigation brought by a cancer-stricken woman who claims her disease was caused by exposure to the company’s Roundup herbicide and that Monsanto covered up the risks instead of warning consumers..”
Until corporate execs face *real heat*, nothing’s going to change except the theater.
Enjoying the entire $120k banana art kerfuffle. I agree, Marcel Duchamp would have been proud indeed. The creator’s careful positioning of the downward-sloping banana, together with the duct tape which both holds it up and is upward sloping, is clearly a metaphor for neoliberal markets supported by the state (of course, that interpretation could just be me. After all, the creator, Maurizio Cattalan, is a relational artist.) But never mind, soldiering on with rank speculations about the concept behind the art… it literally represents the demise of the banana as a victim of climate change with it being temporarily held in position through artifice, or… um, well, it’s simply Dada art… and the subsequent consumption of the banana by hungry humanity was merely part of a premeditated artistic statement on the temporary nature of the status quo, no?… :)
Exclusive: Nearly 175 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting
“Boy on the floor photo prompts Boris to add larceny to mendacity”
Tory trolls have tried to debunk this photo in a campaign and claimed that it was staged but the internet was not having any of that-