Yves could use a referral to a CPA who handles small businesses. If you can help, please contact her at yves-at-nakedcapitalism-dot-com. –lambert
‘Everything is Burning’: Australian Inferno Continues, Choking Off Access to Cities Across Country Common Dreams. The map mentioned in the article.
Arctic Soil Governs Whether Climate Change Drives Global Losses or Gains in Soil Carbon Geophysical Research Letters. Had to leave this one on the cutting room floor from yesterday’s post.
First case of measles since 1999 confirmed in Travis County KXAN. Austin, TX, new home of Andrew Wakefield. Good job, Andy!
Ed Miliband to join review of Labour’s election failure BBC
Boris Johnson made politics awful, then asked people to vote it away Open Democracy
An evolving 6-point plan for British Labour Bill Mitchell
Court Rules British MI5 Agents Can Murder, Kidnap and Torture Bloomberg
French strikes: A marathon everyone is forced to run Politico
French railway company SNCF backtracks on plan to cancel children’s Christmas train service ABC (KW). Amazing that there is such a thing; how civilized.
Thousands protest in Iraq as deadline for new PM looms France24
Bolivia announces entry into Lima Group to resolve Venezuelan crisis Reuters. “Resolve.”
Buzz over Venezuela’s Guaido fades as Maduro holds firm Associated Press
Redesigning the Venezuelan Judiciary / The Venezuelan Constitutional Crisis (807E) Stanford University Law and Policy Lab. Good to know our regime change team can hit the ground running.
How murder, kidnappings and miscalculation set off Hong Kong’s revolt Reuters
In Hong Kong, a Vast Citizens’ Network Keeps Watch on the Police. NYT
* * *
Rising copper prices reflect surging Chinese demand Nikkei Asian Review
China’s $1.3tn global spending spree will collapse, says top US official FT
He had won the victory over himself:
The subtitles are very slightly more readable in this version of the video (via reddit). pic.twitter.com/3YbR57DIiG
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) December 21, 2019
India is at risk of sliding into a second Emergency FT
Citizenship Act protests: 16 people killed in Uttar Pradesh, 131 arrested in just one district Scroll.ins
CAA+NRC Is the Greatest Act of Social Poisoning By a Govt in Independent India The Wire
No need for Indian citizens of any religion to worry about CAA, NRC Times of India
Just who are you calling a liar, PM? The Telegraph
New Cold War
Russia’s Lavrov says Nord Stream 2 will be launched despite sanctions: Ifax Reuters
You Say You Want a (Russian) Revolution? Pepe Escobar, Consortium News. “Martyanov gets straight to the point: ‘The introduction of hypersonic weapons surely pours some serious cold water on the American obsession with securing the North American continent from retaliatory strikes.'”
White House predicts Pelosi will yield on impeachment delay Associated Press. “‘The leverage is our hope that four Republican senators will stand up, as 20 years ago, we saw in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and say, this is much bigger than our current political squabbles,’ [the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois] said.” Oh.
If Trump’s Impeached, Then Why Can’t a Senate Trial Start Now? Bloomberg
Why Senate Democrats are the real challenge to full impeachment trial Jonathon Turley, The Hill. The headine is deceptive. This is a useful review of past impeachment practice.
Dems Fear Impeachment Could ‘Embolden’ Trump Daily Beast. A little late for that, surely?
“80% sure that Mifsud is dead”. What has become of the Russiagate professor? InsideOver (Furzy Mouse). This seems to be the online site of il Giornale, a large Italian daily newspaper. It certainly is odd that Mifsud has never been interviewed by a major news venue, hasn’t testified in any investigation, and hasn’t signed a book deal or gone on TV, given that his weird meeting with Trump campaign advisor Papadopolos is said to have sparked the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign.
May the Space Force be with you. Here’s what we know about the US military’s newest service Defense One (KW).
Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US USA Today
ICE signs long-term contracts worth billions for private detention centers, dodging new state law Desert Sun
Our Famously Free Press
Lies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: First-Hand Account Tareq Haddad
Congress showers health care industry with multibillion-dollar victory after wagging finger at it for much of 2019 WaPo
Scoop: Buttigieg fundraiser dangles influence for cash Axios. Bundler: “If you want to get on the campaign’s radar now before he is flooded with donations after winning Iowa and New Hampshire, you can use the link below for donations.” Wonderfully clarifying. Suggested campaign theme song:
Lots of millenial nostalgia for this, I am sure. Come on down!
Michael Moore on ‘Useful Idiots’: ‘If the Election Were Held Today, Trump Would Win’ Rolling Stone
Big Brother Is Watching You Watch
Twitter censored my tweet, locked my account Yasha Levine. The violation notice:
Impeachment witness and Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan: “[I]t isn’t just our national interest to make sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front lines .” How is this different in substance from what Levine said? Does Twitter have some bizarre, West Wing-style delusion that “fighting the Russians” — on the “front lines” no less! — doesn’t involve any killing? @jack should restore Levine’s account forthwith.
Former IDF intelligence personnel likely tied to UAE spy app, report says Times of Israel. TikTok, not to be confused with the Chinese TikTol. Somebody should ask Neera Tanden about this.
Imperial Collapse Watch
What ‘The Afghanistan Papers’ Got Wrong United State Institure for Peaces. It’s not the lies, it’s the delusions.
6. Views of foreign policy Pew Research Center. “Roughly seven-in-ten Americans (73%) say that good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace, while 26% say that military strength is the best way to do this.”
America’s competitiveness problem FT (original).
Number of older people diagnosed with malnutrition trebles in a decade Guardian (KW). Everything’s going according to plan!
An Addict, a Nurse, and a Christmas Resurrection LongReads
NORAD Tracking Satan for the Holidays due to Typo Duffel Blog
Eating chilies cuts risk of death from heart attack and stroke, study says CNN. So make that egg-nog spicy!
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.
“NORAD Tracking Satan for the Holidays due to Typo”
Yeah, this is a pretty common mistake this. New Zealand’s “Wellington Paranormal” had to deal with something similar recently-
And then there’s this:
Children’s Holiday Letters to Satan
Kathleen Turner, as Satan, reads and responds to children’s unwittingly Faustian missives. Starts at minute 2:30.
Why do I feel certain that The Derivatives Trader in Chief will be flying a path restricted to places like Davos, Burning Man, the Hamptons, Wall Street, various bourses all over, etc. etc.? And, of course. all the Treasure Islands everywhere! (Thanks Saint Nick (Shaxon!))
on Twitter someone posted that Santa was shot down over Northern Syria
Lots of likes
>What the Afghanistan Papers got wrong
The “Afghanistan Papers” are not the “secret history” the Post says they are. What struck me as I read them, was how drearily familiar it all was…The real problem is not that bureaucrats and politicians lied to the public, but that the institutional incentives of our foreign policy often encouraged them to lie to themselves.
And why would they “lie to themselves?” The article doesn’t dig deep enough. Rather than accept that the Afghanistan war was a failure, viewed from the trillion dollars plus dollars spent over 18 years, maybe it was a resounding success. Maybe instead of the WaPo doing a retaliatory “expose” it really is just running cognitive interference.
Yes, if it was a failure, lessons can be learned, but what if it went all according to plan, what if there really never was a desire to stamp out the poppy trade or root out the terrorist, what if there are more nefarious forces at work? Or, maybe I’ve come to a point in when I read any MSM story my first instinct is what’s their angle, where do these bread crumbs they are dropping for me lead to, or away from?
An English fellow I knew was the master of understatement, and when he related that he made “a small but useful profit’ on something, it meant he caught a whale, but claimed it was a minnow.
‘Bread crumbs’ is a nice way of describing making money on a war you really don’t want to ever see the ending of, as it’s just too profitable and to quit cold turkey would doom the bottom line.
The article is basically right. My own experience with the subject and in the country is a lot less than that of the author, but this accords with what I saw and heard. In fact it was worse than that, because this series of stories is confined to the US, but many other nations were involved as well, as was a complete alphabet soup of international organizations from the UN and the EU downwards, with almost no real coordination and often conflicts of objectives and interests. In spite of many attempts, there never was an agreed strategy, and within a couple of years people who’d been involved were saying basically what these articles are saying now.
Why? Well two reasons in my experience. First is the sunk costs problem. The longer an operation like this goes on, the longer it will go on, because it becomes progressively more difficult to explain why you are pulling out when all this money and all these lives have been apparently wasted. So the temptation is to stay and just hope that next year things will get better. There are also lots of mega-political reasons for the US not to pull out which have nothing to do with the country itself – NATO leadership, image vs Russia etc. etc. These things are important for some people. As a result, rather than asking yourself what you are trying to accomplish, you wind up trying to accomplish what you think you can do – destroying poppy, for example, was never part of the original plan, but became so because in theory it could be measured.
In addition, the military in every society are very mission oriented, and, whilst they are in the field, will try their best to make whatever the politicians want them to do work. It’s later that they start to have doubts. After all, nobody will follow a General who tells his men that the whole thing is a waste of time, whatever they may privately think. This is a well-known problem in all counter insurgency wars.
So no, it’s not the Pentagon Papers 2 – all this has been known to anybody interested for a good fifteen years, and I’ve heard many people, military and civilians, say these sorts of things when they come back from the front, even if they tend to be professionally optimistic when they are there.
“Professionally optimistic” is doing a lot of work there.
I don’t doubt the specifics of what you say, but all this professional optimism is the problem.
Now nobody wants to be the one who “lost” Afghanistan, negotiating the terms of America’s surrender to the Taliban will have awful optics.
I like what the Chinese did with the Uighur concentration camps: they declared that all of the Uighurs had now “graduated”.
Maybe get one of the Taliban guys to lose the headcovering and robes, put him in a suit and tie and have a “historic” signing of a “peace deal”.
(They won’t have footage of helicopters being pushed off the decks of aircraft carriers but maybe they can drive multi million dollar tanks off a cliff or something)
I keep hearing John Kerry’s question “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” on Vietnam.
Wonderful isn’t? 48 years since then and 44 years since the last helicopter flew off the embassy’s rooftop in Saigon and we haven’t learned anything except being better propagandists, crooks, liars, and credulous fools.
Speaking of officers encouraging the troops, “leading,” I recall a scene in one of the several Notagainistan documentaries quite a few years ago, where a colonel in the US Marines (going from memory, I did not bookmark the video) was heating up his troops for a New Push into I believe Wardak Province,, or maybe Kandahar. Telling the Troops to keep in their fighting hearts the knowledge that this was going to be the operation that broke the back of The Enemy, that they should remember every moment of it so they could tell their grandchildren that they were part of the great victory in this noble effort.
Quite the locker room speech, as I recall it — late enough in “the war” that his delivery was pretty insincere, and the growled responses from the Troops made it unclear what muddled motivations they might have, after a couple of “deployments” getting blown up by IEDs and “kicking in doors in Kandahar…” And in the rest of the world: http://vvawai.org/archive/wot/kicking-doors.html
The documenters were good enough to point out that said colonel had helicoptered in to the marshaling area for the Big Push, then hopped back into his nicely appointed personal Blackhawk and flown away. Leading from the rear…
“Professional optimism,” indeed. All of a piece with today’s discussion of CEO compensation (aka “looting.”)
Correct me if I am wrong, but prior to our invasion of Afghanistan there was no poppy problem because the Taliban did not permit it to be grown. Poppy growing for cash crops only began after the insurgency to pay for weapons to fight the US forces there. So that is more a measure of blowback than an initial aim of the invasion.
Further, I distinctly remember the Taliban saying that they did not have the ability to root out AQ themselves, and just before the invasion they actually invited GWB to send in the troops to get them. The fact that GWB ignored this invitation in favor of an invasion makes the entire process a measure of blowback rather than progress.
It just strikes me that this was always just an excuse to start a war that accreted yet more excuses to stay in one.
Right up there with going without a plan. By refusing the hard choice to keep all the competing factions out of power (Taliban, Northern Alliance, Warlords) and refusing to have new deal/bottom up extensive reconstruction plans for rebuilding they guaranteed Afghanistan would not recover but remained mired in conflict and corruption.
Instead they went placeholder revenge war until they could get the ill conceived invasion they wanted.
The hubris is endless. All that was required to ensure “a good outcome” would have been to have that plan “to keep all the competing factions out of power (?Taliban, Northern Alliance, Warlords,” and then to have a “NewDeal.bottom up rebuilding ([sic — one can’t “rebuild” what was never built in the first place].” Just “keep them out of power.” Say what?
Then, that land of “tribes with flags” would somehow “recover” (from what — the invasion and destruction of all that “war” stuff?) and “democratically” avoid all the conflict and corruption that are endemic to the terrain. A War College pipe dream, as in opium pipe? That somehow a Middle Class and Constitutional Rule of Law and Chambers of Commerce and all that would grow out of the rocks and brambles?
Choosing to empower warring factions and rebuild the opium trade which that did wasn’t hubris? We already know that it did little or nothing for the majority of the population. If you are going to kick out a ruling party maybe not pick the successors especially when your choice is based on who will take bribes to traffic guns and disruption to neighboring areas.
We have never really tried a real hearts and minds operation. Seeds, farm equipment, tools, schools, roads, building supplies… and providing the time and space to use them.
I don’t think there was a chance of there being no military response. Saner and better respected leadership might have been able to do something limited and directed, but not one better idea between doing nothing and what we did appears to have ever been considered.
And not only that, but don’t forget that not all that long before invading Afghanistan, Dick Cheney and crew were meeting with the Taliban in TX to discuss a possible pipeline – https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/01/10/bush-enron-unocal-and-the-taliban/
It was not long before 9/11 that Cheney and crew had the Taliban in the US and took them around to Disneyland, I kid you not. I have no idea what they thought that would do for religious fundamentalists.
They always had big plans for the Middle East. In lots of areas.
Never forget that Cheney had barely gotten sworn in before he was on a diplomatic junket to The ME and Europe to try to drum up a coalition to address the problem of Iraq. Funnily enough saner people tried to tell him the problems were Israel, Palestine and yes terrorists fixated on those areas. That didn’t stop them from having plans for an invasion of Iraq on Rumsfeld’s desk seven months later on 9/11.
Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq and Syria are exactly like South Vietnam. If American Elite and Technocrats admitted that the US Army was middle of a Civil War, invaders, and on the side of warlords; they’d admit that it is pointless except to profit from the death and chaos. None of the wars are in Americans’ best interests. That realization ends the money flow. Corruption is the applicable term.
It would be like Boeing admitting it killed 346 people and will kill more unless they have a cultural change and spend money for the right people and rebuild an organization that works together to build and fly airliners safely.
Yeah that article was just another “ but we had good intentions” riff. As you suggest, the reason people keep “ failing” in these spectacular ways is that there is a lot of money to be made in “ failure”, especially when accountability amounts to people saying “ but we meant well— we just didn’t understand”.
what if there really never was a desire to stamp out the poppy trade
When the US began arming the Mujahiddin back in ’79, it was accepted that opium smugglers were ideally suited to smuggling weapons into Afghanistan. And when the US invaded in 2001, it was in support of the Northern Alliance, well known for their involvement in the opium business.
Since then, one of the few areas of development in the country has been the refining of opium into heroin domestically, rather than exporting it raw.
No, there never was a desire to eradicate poppy.
The whole Afghanistan campaign (after the first year which was generally successful at achieving its limited goal) has reminded me of the Tet offensive in Vietnam where entire divisions of North Vietnamese soldiers infiltrated areas, including major cities, and no locals would tell anybody. If you have that little support of the local population, then there is no way you can “win a war” without simply simply creating a police state where everybody’s every move is monitored or committing genocide and wiping everybody out.
If the US couldn’t identify partners that could get the population support, then the whole “nation-building” exercise (a tacked-on goal) was doomed to failure. If the police and soldiers aren’t willing to fight for their government, then there isn’t much purpose in creating one.
I think the biggest US foreign policy failure is generally the assumption that everybody wants to be just like the US. The Marshall Plan and Cold War were able to create stable democracies in Western Europe and Japan where there weren’t ones before. But these are the exceptions to the rule. Most other countries have started with or reverted to strongmen or simply devolved into chaos.
Then there is the installing the corrupt and often very partisan leadership to run the countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Vietnam while pushing away any honest, or at sincerely patriotic, leadership. It seems that being good for business is more important than being good for a country, forget about winning a war.
When is a CIA asset not an asset?
When the asset is made up out of thin air.
Somebody should make a movie out of this. Yes, Ghost Writer comes close and I highly recommend it if you’ve not seen it. But this takes it a big set forward.
Of course, the director will have to be especially attentive to character development. That could be difficult unless it’s thought thru.
Cue the book and the movie: Our Man in Havana.
While not strictly speaking CIA, still a good match for a whole network of assets made out of thin air, vacuum cleaner parts and unchecked hubris.
Top recommendation, Polar Socialist. Alec Guinness by way of Graham Greene makes for an excellent combination to poke fun at the whole world of state-sponsored spycraft.
From “A Few Good Men:”
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: “I’ve got Markinson.”
Capt. Jack Ross: “Markinson is dead. There is no Markinson.”
Life imitates art.
timbers: The story posted today is bizarre indeed. So the university consortium (Agrigento doesn’t have its own university and the plan is to continue to sponsor a branch of the University of Palermo) wants a leader and ends up with Mifsud?
From Italian Wikipedia, entry Agrigento:
Agrigento, oltre ad essere sede di varie scuole medie superiori (alle quali sono iscritti anche studenti provenienti dalla provincia), ospita una sede distaccata dell’Università degli Studi di Palermo. Il polo universitario della provincia di Agrigento nell’anno accademico 2008/2009 contava 3.613 studenti iscritti, così suddivisi nelle 6 facoltà attivate nella sede decentrata
Mifsud, head of a small branch of a major university? Odd. And then he starts grifting.
Yet Agrigento is the home turf of Andrea Camilleri and, supposedly, one of the models for his city of Vigàta. This story is definitely something for Inspector Montalbano.
Background: Il Giornale was founded by Indro Montanelli, who was a “classic” Italian conservative. He was notoriously stubborn. Kneecapping didn’t stop him. One of the products of Il Giornale is Marco Travaglio, who founded Il Fatto Quotidiano. So the source is legitimate. I can’t find an Italian version of the article, which is strange.
But the oddities of the obviously dodgy Mifsud and the hapless Papadopoulos are just part of the whole saga of the current palace coup.
No wonder Nancy Pelosi can’t figure out to send the charges to the Senate.
Link Campus University is a spook university:
George Papadopoulos says Mueller report ‘shows that I was clearly set up’ AP
And from Wikipedia:
Regarding “the mysterious audio file sent to the editors of Adnkronos and Il Corriere della Sera”, that was found to be fake by the “expert in forensic sciences, one of the most important in Italy working in the field”, it is interesting to note that NATO-aligned propaganda outlet Bellingcat claims the voice in the recording is authentic (i.e. Mifsud).
Bellingcat deciding to “investigate” something is always a giant red flag.
On the issue of the Yasha Levine tweet, I know a few people who work on tracking ToU violations for various social media companies (or more usually, subcontractors to those companies) and they show an open disinterest in doing anything but achieving their daily targets (and the targets seem to consist of banning a certain number of users per hour). Its almost entirely a box ticking exercise so far as I can gather from talking to them. So the best thing is to make a fuss over any particular ban so its taken to the attention of someone who is marginally less bored and more senior to get it overturned.
His account appears to have been restored.
Based on what? An account lock stops him from posting anything new. I don’t see anything new.
ditto, no activity at all since the censor.
This is key to the issue (emphasis mine):
While I can imagine the tweet as a stand alone being tagged by someone not allowed the time, or not taking the time, to determine context, I can also imagine Yasha being targeted. First he writes about Surveillance [Silicon] Valley, now he’s writing about the State Department using Immigrants As a Weapon, which seems to me to be a vast subject, with an age old, ugly history; and, he has almost 22K ‘followers,’ not to mention those who aren’t on Twitter and read his comments.
If you are not a blue check saying that you are going to kill someone or something is usually an automatic ban. Usually these are not overturned unless you’re famous enough.
Since Levine did not “say he was going to kill someone” how do you translate this into a pertinent observation?
It was OK when former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell said the US should kill Russians and Iranians in Syria. And he wasn’t parodying some lunatic arguing for impeachment.
Twitter’s speech code specifically exempts friendly government officials.
As the days go by I become more convinced that the impeachment drama was used to cover up the passing of the usmca and axing of the venture capital in health care bill and containing surprise medical billing
“We’ve started to realize it’s not us versus the hospitals or the doctors, it’s us versus the hedge funds,” said James Gelfand, senior vice president of health policy at ERIC, a group that represents large employers.
Adding, they”ll send the articles to the senate when they’re looking for another fig leaf, gotta keep some dry powder…
and finally, has anyone else noticed that the term “rare bipartisan support” is always there when policies favoring the overclass are being implemented?
My thought too. When they do send it, keep an eye out for what the other hand is doing!
Maybe they will send the two Articles of Impeachment to the Senate in about six weeks – just in time for the Iowa Caucus.
This farce of an impeachment is not just to distract from a bill or two, but it is part of the ongoing political kayfabe to keep us all looking at the wrong things.
From the KHN article on surprise billing
“surprise medical bills, which generally arise when an insured individual inadvertently receives care from an out-of-network provider.”
How did “inadvertently” get in there when it is a revenue generation model? Asymmetry of information is always how profits are made.
I like to invert the model and estimate the outcomes for a lot of these fictions: if working class people controlled the upward distribution of wealth, how would society be different?
Yves has posted about how private equity firms specifically make this a business model.
If the democrats controlled the Senate and refused to allow witnesses at Trump’s impeachment trial, what would we call that?
Trea$on & $edition ! But they control the House, so all is contained, right? …. oh, wait ..
“Netanyahu calls ICC war crimes probe anti-Semitic”
In breaking news, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today accused Netanyahu of being anti-Gentile and intend to lay charges against him for this. Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Jordan and several other countries offer to bear witness against him while Saudi Arabia & the Gulf States say they will offer character references in his defense.
Government imposes gag on ICC controversy
Dec 22, 2019 @ 15:47
The Israeli government in its weekly session on Sunday classified as secret all references to the decision of the International Crimes Court in the Hague to probe Israel for offences in “Palestinian areas.” The ministers passed the subject over to the security-policy cabinet. PM Binyamin Netanyahu again denounced the Hague court: “While we are moving forward in new areas of hope and peace with our Arab neighbors, the ICC in The Hague has taken a step backwards. On Friday, it finally became a weapon in the political war against the State of Israel.”
I mean, technically Arabs are also semitic.
Which is why anti-semitic meaning exclusively anti-jewish is a bit strange.
Seems to me that anything Netanyahu dislikes or which he feels is a threat to him he labels as anti-Semitic. After a while, who listens.
Umm, the US Prezdint, Senate, House… ever heard of Anti-BDS resolutions and legislation?
I think the Democrat establishment has decided to throw Mayor Pete under the bus. This is why Warren went after him and some donors appear to be stabbing him in the back. A fascinating situation to watch.
Was driving cross country on debate day listening to NPR as much as I could stand. More than the combined total of the last fifteen years. They played up Pete as if he were a sports star about to wipe every opponent off the playing field. And they never mentioned Sanders by name but included a clip of his voice saying something along the line of “of course taxes will have to go up” at least a hundred times.
And their impeachment Dem/Donald derangement syndrome made me wonder just what kind of drugs have they put in the coffee/water cooler.
Intentional dumbing-down of all who listen without question or nausea.
Mayor Pete’s base is upper-middle-class, middle-aged, moderate-to-liberal-leaning, white people. Which is pretty much NPR’s core donor base. Their Buttimania could just be fan service, like the most recent Star Wars movie.
Gotta move them tote bags!
It’s painful for me to agree that the early efforts of so many journalists of integrity have evolved into what you noticed today. I trusted Noah Adams despite him never pleading to be my trusted news friend or emotional support in hard times.
so much of the bare language–nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and their linking language is replicated by varying ‘personalities’ that I find it difficult to believe that talking points are not circulated by NPR Editors hourly.
I am also increasingly agitated in my listening by being force fed soooo many stories about Pop Culture ‘hooked’ to a ‘news’ item–like Hanukah Shopping events filed under Religion.
Sympathy, Eureka Springs. We listen to NPR on long trips; usually the choices are Religion, Country or NPR. Or Sports Talk Call-Ins. I invariably end up banging my head on the dashboard (not while it is my turn to drive!) and/or screaming into thin air.
Yikes! You could get an old mp3 player and fill it up with your favorite music and podcasts. It would completely transform your car travel experience. If you don’t have a hook up for the player to the stereo, you can get great FM transmitters for 20 dollars or so. Good luck!
When going cross-country, I usually just enjoy the scenery, and there is plenty f it.
i got out of the habit of listening to the radio a long while ago. we’re in an in between major markets place…where if the wind is out of the north, we get stations from abilene and san angelo…out of the south, san antonio.
none very good reception.
only local stations(2, in different towns) are porter wagoner fans that at least have live coverage of the ball games(for wife,lol. i can’t stand it)
so i just got used to having music in my head when on the road, and literally forget that there’s a thing called “radio”..
When I was bicycling around the country, I carried a harmonica. Didn’t play it while I was riding, but boy, would I pull that thing out in campgrounds.
Never became a good player, but gawd, that little Hohner was fun!
Well… when we drive the 2 hours each way to San Diego, usually at least once a week, my wife reads the NC links and commentary. Sometimes she’ll save the comments for the trip home and get so excited when she refreshes the page and…, ”There are 243 comments, that should keep us.”
re: Strikes in France – Polico
The latest stand-off between government and unions is familiar to the French, who are protective of their social welfare privileges, preferring the status quo and distrusting novelty. These privileges were inherited from a time when politics still had something to do with social justice,and when the state could afford to be generous. But its coffers are emptying, (my emphasis)
And how did those coffers get empty? hmmmm… We saw the same play in the US during the neolib Reagan admin. Tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations, increased mil spending, and decreased safety net and social program spending … Now about those recent large, huge tax cuts in France for the wealthy and big corporations….
adding: in the US pols are still making masssive tax cuts for billionairs and big corporations – 60 of America’s largest corporations in the US paid no federal taxes last year.
At the same time, both parties say there isn’t enough money to continue Social Security, as we know it, because of deficits. They say Social Security is the budget problem. right….
France’s govt is doing the economic same trick, imo.
adding: I listened to part of an NPR report on the French strikes. It was a first person account by the young US reporter (judging from her voice) living in Paris about how the strike was affecting her. She started out well enough, then complained that the strike makes it hard for her nanny to travel to-from her apartment, making it a terrible hardship on the nanny, and upsetting her childcare arrangement. Then her real complaint about the strikes was aired: it’s making it ever so much harder for her, the intrepid reporter, to travel to all the upscale holiday parties she’s been invited to. (Oh, the humanity!)
NPR foreign correspondents today; “My nanny is inconvenienced. I am inconvenienced. Workers’ pensions are all well and good, but what is that compared to my inconvenience?!”
Not exactly Eric Sevareid reporting from London during the blitz…
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting!
In China’s history when the largest landowners, the wealthiest individuals connived or bribed their way out of paying taxes and the burden shifted down the income scale, the result sooner rather than later was an uprising that ended with a new dynasty.
Why is there always more money than is even asked for for the “defense budget”, but social security and medicare are budget problems?
This is a constant in Chinese history, even the French Revolution was set up by the exclusive taxation of the poor and middle classes. Eviscerating one’s sources of income while weakening the overall economy including the general population does not make for a strong state able to withstand an unanticipated emergency. Somehow people keep doing the same thing over and over.
There is also their entrapment in the Euro zone, which undermines their fiscal policy space, eh?
Looks like mayor pete has a following. The 1% have spoken through their puppets.
Just read the same article a few minutes ago and thought of what Yves had said today of those hired by Mckinsey, “the firm tries very hard to hire individuals who are very insecure and want badly to do well, including at the firm.”
Looking at that poor guy in that reddit video in the chair, you think that they could at least give him a blinky light to beep yes or no with-
The again, you see those manacles being used in the west where they have to hobble as they cannot actually walk so are we so different?
No BEeeepin kidding ! I’d be wearing a vacant stare too if t’was me confinded to that ‘chair’.
“are we so different?”
“Beep .. Beep” ‘we’ have to take to a standing ovation before the court… no comfies for us !
The second link is interesting for making Unions look inhuman and part of the problem. Let’s roll this story back about 3 years.
So, cut funding for prisons; cut necessary levels, to insure safety, prison guard staffing; watch as prison violence escalates; then print a story where the Union leader, trying to protect his remaining too small workforce from the rising violence, sounds like an inhuman bad guy in the story. Neolibs gotta love that angle.
I’m seeing the same thing in my US state over the past several years. The politicians’ answer is not to increase staffing of unionized prison guards or spend more on safety for state prisons, but to outsource prisoner housing to the private sector. Neolibs love that angle.
Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” applied to govt funded and run prisons.
“‘Everything is Burning’: Australian Inferno Continues, Choking Off Access to Cities Across Country and ”
Scott Morrison has been a very busy man since he got back from Hawaii after cutting his week-long holiday short by one day. He cuddled up to a baby animal, said that compensation for volunteer firefighters was not a priority and was not the “right” way, dumped all over that Greta Thunberg, said that the Army has been called out though nobody has seen them, has rejected calls to bring forward a meeting of States to discuss bushfire management but will wait till March of next year and said that now was not the time to discuss what is happening.
There is nothing like good, solid leadership – and this was nothing like good, solid leadership.
That map of all the fires in Aus is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen on the internet.
Morrison is kind of a neo-Nero, fiddling around as everything is burning.
In the 1500’s, a cave in Rome was accidentally discovered with wall paintings. In fact, it was a just room in Nero’s Domus Aurea, which had many more such rooms. Soon, artists like Michaelangelo and Raphael were lowering themselves into such those rooms or caves to study the Roman masters. The new style was called grotesque, from the word grotte for caves.
So, if you think wine caves are grotesque, you may be making a linguistic or art history link.
A two pack of Buttigieg stories, showing that all the Atlantic should be asking for Christmas is a clue…
First, they’re confused about why people in the Democratic pre-primary season aren’t flocking to Mayo Pete when he’s enthusiastic about maintainjng establishment power and welcoming “former republicans” to the fold. As if “Radical Centrism” hasn’t passed its sell by date yet.
And then, they’re confused about why young people don’t like Mayo Pete. Clearly it’s jealousy for his success and not his noxious ideas mixed bland centrism.
It’s pretty clear Mayor Pete is running for President for two reasons. His own gratification and to receive big payouts from donors after his time in office. He has nothing substantial to offer to anyone. People in Indiana don’t even like him enough to support him for a state office. He hasn’t done anything worthwhile in little South Bend to show any promise for higher office either. His history and accomplishments vary between meritocratic box checking and crude virtue signaling. He’s the political equivalent of a bunch of old rich men trying to create a boy band out of whole cloth. There’s nothing there. And the people at the Atlantic can’t figure out why voters don’t like him???
My interpretation of Mayo Pete is: identity politics for white, middle-aged, middle-to-upper-class Americans.
NC linked to a poll the other day that showed that 97% of his supporters were white, compared to around 47% for Bernie and around 70% for Klobuchar, the next highest after the Mayor.
Most Democrats hate Republicans (true technically any vote will do when it comes to an election, but it’s often more emotional than rational and not going to be much of a selling point to Dems, that you are attracting the other tribe they hate and kumbaya).
There is the problem of him not being qualified of course, and not likely to win. The annoying part is centrists seem to have picked the least promising centrist candidates ever, so if we are stuck with a centrist, it’s going to be one that seems to have little shot of winning.
Democrats hating republicans? Evidently not when they are DINOs, like Senator Peters (MI).
But, seriously, I am tired of those in the grip of Trump derangement who say that they will vote blue no matter who the nominee is. I just wish they would sit out the Democratic primaries and leave the selection to people who actually follow and mull over issues.
I hope the people saying that will be ok voting for Bernie Sanders if he wins the primary.
I sort of doubt it though.
“Captain, I thought you a rational person .. but I’m afraid that you fail to understand the seriousness of the situation. These dumb, not-to-be-trusted beasts are blue on the backside, red on the front … whereas WE’RE Red on the Backside, and Blue on the Front !”
“Can you not see how inferior these useless scum are ?? – Their Whole Entire Side Of The Coin Has To Be Annihilated !!”
I saw where some celebrity was defending him and his donors and described him as “guileless “. I was flummoxed. Guileless? He may be over his head as mayor and as candidate, but there is nothing real there.
I do look at records, but Buttigieg has always struck me as the smart kid B*ll Sh*tting their way through an assignment when ever I hear him speak. Donors buying a Trojan horse I get but I don’t know how anyone sees sincerity.
I’d like to see a list of his accomplishments in office. What? There isn’t one. Oh, wait, apparently he was really good on fixing the potholes in the roads.
Kind of like Obama, when I encounter the faithful, I pretend to go along, and then ask “what do you think were Obama’s best three things he accomplished while in office?”
Squirming in chair, followed by vague platitudes, followed by “he would have done a lot if he wasn’t blocked by Republicans…
He’s the political equivalent of a bunch of old rich men trying to create a boy band out of whole cloth.
But Pete is no Justin Timberlake! C’mon. Let’s get serious about boy bands.
(ensconced in odd looking metal sedan chair confinement}
Authorities: “why did you make fun of everything fully deserving of it, on the internet?”
Me: “I was drunk with delusions that humor could cut through the bullshit we’ve been forced to endure.”
#BlueLivesMatter with Chinese characteristics. /s
Remember when some cop arrested 65-year-old, cane-using, Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates on his front lawn in tony Cambridge, Massachusetts, because his feelings were hurt by something the Professor said…and Obama invited that cop to the White House?
I think that the professor said: “Get the family blog off my porch!”
Re Bill Mitchell–his theme is that the Labour disaster is all due to the failure of the party to follow their working class base–if that is their base–and support Brexit. I believe that was Clive’s theme as well. This is definitely not my topic but any Remainers care to rebut?
It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems–aka our Blairites. People like Hillary denounce the deplorables and Obama calls them bitter clingers but these verbal targets were once the backbone of a party that stood in opposition to the party of the bankers and finance. The prob for the Dems is that their new, hoped for diversity base isn’t large enough to replace the former great unwashed base. Perhaps that’s Labour’s problem too. We have a party of the people whose leaders are (in secret when not in public) batting for the other team.
All polls indicated that around 40% of Labour supporters were Brexiters, 60% Remainers (of course the intensity of support might be different). Those were mostly the older working class ‘old Labour’ types along with some ideological left wingers. Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.
In the months after the referndum, people like Owen Jones tried to convince the Remainer Labourites that they had to accept the result of the referendum and fight for the “softest” Brexit possible (I remember because he was bringing that up in his post-mortems after the election). And of course, most Remainers were having none of it. They came up with “The People’s Vote” and eventually Jones and the rest of the Labour bigwigs got on board.
But objectively, Brexit will be, and can only be, a disaster for Britain and most pro-Brexit voters are badly misinformed, so what were Labour leaders supposed to do? It looks undemocratic to stop people from shooting themselves (and you too!) in the foot, but are you supposed to just let them pull the trigger?
The constituency where I canvassed, the divide was very clearly generational – the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark. I have not seen any national data on this – has anyone else?
Thank you for your service.
>>the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark.
That would seem to match up with survey data.
>>I have not seen any national data on this
Here you go.
Thank you. A very interesting read.
Yep, chechout the 3rd chart on this post. Very generational split moving from Labour to Tories with age. 18-24 yos voted 19% Tory, 67% Labour, and it virtually reversed when looking at 65yo+ which voted 62% Tory, 18% Labour, with an almost linear movement inbetween. I think someone linked to this a few days ago
> Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.
I would say that what Labour ended up doing was suicidal, quite evidently. Labour (and Corybn’s) problem was existential, the fractured base (not merely by age, but geographically and by class) bequeathed to them by Blair. I would say that Mitchell’s proposal is not like suicide, but like an animal caught in a trap chewing off a leg to escape — the leg, in this case, being PLP. Of course, if Labour wants to be the party of London professionals, that’s fine, but rebranding from “Labour” might be in order.
Rebranding from Labour –
Richard North has been running some interesting material recently, including today, raising the question to what extent the traditional working class still exists in England in the sense it was once understood. I have no real insights into what is clearly a very large topic but I found todays piece especially interesting.
I am doubtful Labour wants to be the party only of London professionals – there are far too few of them to win elections. At present it is clearly the party of the young. Any strategy for its future needs to take this into account. Although I am old myself I know a fair number of the young in the UK through my children and their friends. They are having a very hard time of it as their jobs are very insecure and their prospects of owning their own homes/better quality housing are far poorer than those enjoyed by the boomers. They also face a high risk of being made redundant at 40.
Rather than a class-based analysis of UK politics I wonder if a generational analysis – boomers v the rest – would not be more fruitful at present. Though of course you can see this as a rich/old versus young/poor struggle.
>>rebranding from “Labour” might be in order
Labour lost biggest among the pensioners, who by definition, are not labouring. The reason they lost all those Northern towns was that they had so many pensioners.
Doing deliveries on a bicycle, teaching children, and keeping the elderly alive, meanwhile, are all labour, even if they don’t take place in a factory or a mine. Certainly not “professional” in the traditional sense.
Labour’s error was failing to build a legacy media operation (print, TV, radio) to reach the pensioners, and not turning out the younger vote.
My reading of it is that Labour has always had a core vote of older, conservative (with a small ‘c’) voters, who voted Labour out of habit and class unity. When I first moved to the West Midlands back in the early 1990’s I had dealings with a number of local labour politicians – I was taken aback at how right wing they were in many respects. These were old style, trade union, working men’s clubs types. I think Brexit became the ‘wedge’ issue that separated those Labour types from voting Labour. Whether this was a one off, or permanent, only time will tell.
The other question of course is whether young Labour voters will turn conservative as they grow older – this has long been a phenomenon (even Churchill joked about it). Anecdotally, much of Camerons success was that he prized away a chunk of fairly liberal metropolitan types from Labour – not a huge number, but enough to win. It may be that the Conservatives have found that in winning parts of Labours working class base, they have sacrificed a lot of their inroads into more educated metropolitan/suburban voters.
RE: “Eating chilies cuts risk of death from heart attack and stroke, study says” CNN
Talk about adding some “pep to your step”…
Chili peppers of any type are known blood thinners, might have something to do with it. Causes blood vessels to dilate and blood sent to the surface to “cool off” hence the flushed faces from spicy food. They are also reputed to cleanse cholesterol and give cancers a hard time.
we got sent on a Caribbean cruise for our honeymoon, and came near enough to a tropical storm that my ankle was killing me. Pre-painkillers.
ship’s infirmary had no icy hot or anything, for some reason…weird, since prolly 80% of the passengers were 65+. so i begged the cooks for some whole jalapenos and made my own, dammit.
—very gingerly, very sparingly rub the pepper on it, then lotion, which was well supplied–the capsacin pain distracts one’s nerves from the bone pain, etc. and also dilates the blood vessels in the swollen ankle, so when i put my foot up, the swelling was able to drain away.
That’s an upside for me. I’ve been known to eat the hot stuff like I have a madness!
Though I do take breaks…
Boeing just grounded their CEO on a permanent basis, merry MAX mess.
Boeing, Boeing, gone:
Boeing Fires C.E.O. Dennis Muilenburg [NYT]
I’ll be more impressed if they try to claw back compensation from the last few CEOs.
The CEO takes the fall for the board. Replacing him with David Calhoun is the exact opposite of what they need. Like PG&E stocking their board with wall st types as a way to get out of bankruptcy. Doubling down on their mistakes as Yves or Lambert would say. Hopefully, Calhoun and the whole board will be gone to Hell within a year.
Boeing CEO gone;
A fine essay from JK Kunstler today:
THANK you for this bwahahahaha he makes my day. Great reading!
Carey: Thanks. Yes, it is a good diagnosis, with many good insights–and some good advice about renewal through framing and geography near the end, when he even gets a tad sentimental.
our one remaining town, and county, has so far managed to avoid the big box wasteland development model…even outright rejecting walmart’s overtures some 26 years ago.
but the Square currently is emptying out.
it comes and goes, of course…but what’s driving it now is silliness that Kuntsler would easily recognise: not selling what people who live here want or need(antique/junk, and dress boutiques, and now a couple of wine tasting rooms/cellars(cheapest local bottle is like $40))….and the handful of already (locally) wealthy folks who bought up everything during the GFC thinking that we’re Austin(100 miles away, by crow), and charging rents that would fit well there, but are far too high for here.They even tried to copy and paste a bunch of Austin city ordinances(zoning, signage, etc) onto this close knit, tiny and isolated place…instigating much division and acrimony(borne by the city, not the richy riches that pushed it).
It’s this latter bit that causes the curious ephemeral farmer’s market phenomenon: someone pulls up a truck, or sets out a table in an abandoned lot to sell local produce, and, if successful, the City swoops in to “manage it”…which kills it outright.(this, on behest of the one, shitty grocer, fer sure.)
the entire foreign trade policy of this county is geared towards hunters and wine people from the city with discretionary income and a love of ranch chic…exactly the demographic that is shrinking the fastest,lol.
(I’ve been pushing mom to let me build a couple of “tiny house”/funky cabins in the woods, to be specifically marketed towards the lower orders…day of farm work for 2 nights B&B, otherwise cheaper than dirt.
because working folks might like to get out of the city and kill a deer…or look at Nature…too…but there’s nowhere to go without a platinum card(note that state parks require reservations, using plastic, sometimes a year in advance))
Picked up Ernie Pyle’s Brave Men for a buck last month, and it’s his newspaper columns from the front in 1943-44, and it would’ve been when Kuntsler’s little burb was at it’s most useful stage or not too far after the war, probably in the 1950’s.
I had of course heard of him, but had never read his work, and quite the observationist he was, and the book is largely about the soldiers he hangs out with and gets to know.
It’s a peek @ America peaking.
Pyle was from Albuquerque, and his former home is (or at least was when I was a kid) a city library.
‘Open Borders are a Trillion-Dollar Mistake’:
Editor’s Note: Last month, Foreign Policy ran an article, “Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea,” which advocated for Open Borders. So for all those who say, “Oh, no one supports Open Borders,” here it is in writing! Every point made by author Bryan Caplan, an economics professor, is refutable, and, while the piece is long, we believe it’s important “for the record” to counter all of his points.
As I first read Bryan Caplan’s “Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea” in Foreign Policy, besides disbelief, my thoughts were that this person must not get out much or must not read much. A quote from writer Upton Sinclair came to mind as well: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
And some BBC coverage of the bombings in Sweden (now apparently spreading to Denmark): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50339977
Reddit comments on Muilenberg:
I don’t claim to know anything about this, just passing along some posts that I thought were interesting.
That’s Boeing for ya! The man replacing him is a financial officer because they don’t see an engineering problem creating dead people, they see a PR problem affecting stock price.
They’re lucky this thing called algorithm trading exists to jump on every PR produced headline.
Boeing surely is as toast blackened.
“The introduction of hypersonic weapons surely pours some serious cold water on the American obsession with securing the North American continent from retaliatory strikes.”
What American obsession? It’s well known that just a handful Russian ICBM’s or SLBMs level the country.
Read “Raven Rock” by Garrett Graf. It talks about the US government command and control efforts to just survive a few hours into an attack.
Re: Michael Moore.
Having seen his film, Michael Moore in Trumpland, close to the 2016 election, I was aghast at his creepy paen to Hillary rather than using his skills and formidable wit to support Bernie in the primaries when it may have mattered. I just can’t trust him.
I agree, I don’t trust Moore. I was hoping the recent Useful Idiots interview of him would ask some challenging questions, but no.
The only serious take-down I’ve seen recently of Moore comes from my favorite truth-teller, Jimmy Dore.
Michael Moore supported Bernie in the 2016 primaries.
But after Bernie got cheated, he threw his full support behind Hillary. He’s going establishment now. Recently he went on a Panel (and what a Panle) at MSNBC to help smear Tulsi Gabbard. He is no longer who you think he is.-
So what’s going on at Stanford’s law school? In today’s links we have the quote from Pamela Karlan which is in essence supporting the Ukrainian coup engineered by the US and also a link to a class at Stanford Law where a select few lucky students can help overthrow the Venezuelan government too.
Anyone care to explain exactly where the boundaries are between government, corporations and academia these days? Do they even exist? Sure sounds like there’s a spook or two on the faculty there.
Boundaries between the tripartite body you speaketh of are, how shall I say .. highly ‘permeable’ …. allowing viscid, stinking, and toxic superfluousness to pass through all ways, unhindered, leading to political inflamation.
The only thing that seems to slow down this obviously acute dissonant infection, is with the introduction of an orange hirsute phage, applied orally !
> Do Indian Muslims need to worry about CAA or NRC?
> There is no need for an Indian citizen of any religion to worry about the CAA or NRC.
Oh, well okay then.
Re:”Lies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: First-Hand Account” Tareq Haddad
A little exercise of journalism skills beforehand would have revealed to him that Newsweek has long been a project of Operation Mockingbird.
Always have to pour on the grains of salt with anything you take from that mag…
“Always have to pour on the grains of salt with anything you take from that mag…”
After that long-winded introduction from the writer, keeping the salt nearby…
Just sayin’: you can’t be too careful.
RE: “6. Views of foreign policy” Pew Research Center. “Roughly seven-in-ten Americans (73%) say that good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace, while 26% say that military strength is the best way to do this.”
What would be more interesting would be a poll of people in the military with the same question.
And how could that not be a more important metric than who considers themselves a Democrat or Republican?
“Court Rules British MI5 Agents Can Murder, Kidnap and Torture”
Does this mean that agents will no longer be able to get the coveted double-O status anymore? That would be a bit of a bummer if I was an agent. Sort of like taking away the big trophy highlighting your career as you battle SMERSH.
Utterly shameless: “Netanyahu calls ICC war crimes probe anti-Semitic “