Links 6/3/18

Tampa Bay Times

BBC (Clive)

The Guardian. His many histories– of Venice, Norman Sicily, Byzantium– have given me much pleasure. RIP.

FT. A welcome break from all Trump, all the time.  Read Frankopan’s amazing book, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World– which hauls the Silk Roads back to a front and centre position.

Guardian. Follow up from yesterday’s link.

Prospect

Intercept. Although I’ve linked to both a review of and an excerpt from Hersh’s new memoir before, I include another review especially for readers who missed those earlier links.

North Korea

USA Today

Brexit

Independent

EUReferendum.com

Facebook Fracas

Tech Crunch (The Rev Kev)

Syraqistan

Al Jazeera

New Cold War

Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

FT

Gunz

USA Today. UserFriendly: ​”Because you know porn didn’t exist in the 70’s​.”

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Co.Design (Chuck L)

Which?

Bleeping Computer (Chuck L)

Phys.org (Chuck L)

Science (Dr. Kevin)

Trade Tantrum

The Hill

FT

Trump Transition

NYT. The Grey Lady: “In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, ‘if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.’” Moi: Well, I guess that’s one view of the scope of presidential power… Pass the popcorn.

NYT. Nice hagiography take-down by MoDo– she’s clearly not drinking the Kool-Aid Ben Rhodes is pouring.

New York magazine

Think Progress (UserFriendly)

The Real Deal

Politico (UserFriendly)

New York magazine. Andrew Sullivan. Don’t agree with all he’s written but material to ponder here.

Class Warfare

The Hill

(The Rev Kev)

Eudaimonia (UserFriendly)

Washington City Paper (Paul R)

Trailer parks may be the Twin Cities’ most endangered form of affordable housing MinnPost (UserFriendly)

Independent

Jacobin (UserFriendly)

New Republic

Intercept

Democracy (UserFriendly)

Motherboard

Intercept (UserFriendly)

Marshall Project

India

WaPo

Guardian

The Wire

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

151 comments

  1. Wombat

    Wow-World Cup 2018: Neymar and Messi Mastercard campaign to starving children branded ‘disgusting’ Independent

    So are the goalies blocking would be goals- denying 10 thousand children meals?

    Reply
  2. fresno dan

    The $580 Co-pay Marshall Project

    Despite their toll on inmates’ individual finances, the fees don’t add up to much on prisons’ balance sheets. In Illinois, the $5 co-pay brings in about $400,000 per year—not enough to recoup the administrative costs of running the program, according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess.
    ====================================
    Just as on the outside, the real goal of co-pays is to punish…..(what are people on the outside guilty of??? being poor)

    Reply
    1. Eclair

      Reading this article disgusted me; I know our criminal justice system sucks, what with private prisons and what is essentially slave labor that benefits wealthy corporations, not to mention the torture of prolonged solitary confinement …. but this, charging prisoners outrageously expensive co-pays, is beyond the pale.

      Being an inmate in our inhumane incarceration system is, in itself, enough to cause mental and physical deterioration. But, then, to set up co-pays as a gate-keeping mechanism! .

      Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          i seem to recall one story in which the healthcare in one prison was being provided by a veterinarian, but don’t remember any details. so much crap to keep up with. which was not the same prison that was ing the prisoners dogfood.

          Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Congresswoman says pornography is a root cause of school shootings”

    This doesn’t sound right. Rep. Diane Black reckons that the rise of pornography is a “root” cause of school shootings. I won’t go into what that particular term means in Australia but when she says that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, how can that be when they are watching pornography?

    And is that a Robin Redbreast by any chance? Whatever it is, it’s beautiful.

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      June 3, 2018 at 7:31 am

      If your not fully grasping the root…..cause, your just not watching the right porn…..

      Reply
    2. Sylvia

      The difference today is accessibility. Children are watching porn on their cellphones. It’s ubiquitous. Young boys especially are apparently really into watching porn and then expecting this in real life.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yeah, because pornography was always out of reach….where is the Tipper, Holy Joe Lieberman, and HRC smut alert triumvirate when we need them? If only they had made more headway on outlawing rap music instead of working to destroy the economy, roll back regulations, and blow up half the world…they might have stopped kids from wasting so much zinc they go blind.

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Accessibility.

        It’s like guns, another ‘freedom to or freedom of’ issue : too much accessibility leads to calls for zero accessibility (ban).

        Another is the cycle of money: create money, destroy money, create money, etc.

        Reply
      3. UserFriendly

        read the article, she is specifically talking about the kind 100% available in the 70’s

        Pornography, it’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To make money today, you have to deliver to wherever the customer is, and not grocery srores, which can be considered not really accessible.

          Reply
      4. Plenue

        Porn is at least as ubiquitous in Japan. Whatever the problems in that country, mass killing isn’t one of them.

        Reply
    3. J Sterling

      Speaking of “root”, they’re evolved to follow wild pigs digging in forests, and now keep human gardeners company. Once in Europe I realised I was being watched by a robin, and crouched down by the path, found a twig and started digging. He got really interested, and flew nearer to follow the action.

      Reply
    4. JTMcPhee

      And of course huge “participation” in first-person shooter games of massive violence mostly untrammeled by any “redeeming social value” (except, like Reagan said, “training a new generation of fighter pilots/troopers with really fast reflexes”) has nothing to do with any of this, maybe?

      Seems like anomie and amok ( , it’s not like some people aren’t aware of phenomena) are increasingly integral, of one can use that word, to “Modern Times…”

      Reply
    5. WheresOurTeddy

      oh are we back to demonizing porn instead of video games? went to the link but wasn’t really necessary to know this is from a clueless old white woman who has probably never struggled financially in her life.

      Reply
    6. crittermom

      The Rev Kev:
      The antidote is adorable, but not an American Robin. It does appear to be a fledgling by the downy feathers at the front of its wings.
      It looks like a small bird & with its tiny beak, my best guess would be some kind of warbler?
      In any case, it is beautiful.

      Reply
  4. Rob Whitman

    Hi all,

    In Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone piece posted yesterday on Seymour Hersch
    is a link to Hersch’s LRB piece on the killing of Osama bin Laden. Must read imho. You really
    get to see why he is the best.

    Reply
    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Yes, I linked to both of those on Friday. For those who missed those links, I repeat them here:
      “ Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi. And an excerpt:   TLS. Seymour Hersh. Today’s must reads.”

      Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          makes more sense than the absurd “we buried his body at sea out of respect for muslim traditions”.

          Reply
    2. Carolinian

      If memory serves Hersh got some pushback on his OBL story with claims that his sources may have been unreliable. Still it’s a safe bet that the Hersh version closer to the truth than the Obama/Brennan version.

      Reply
        1. Plenue

          Or the 9/11 ‘truther’ who thinks Obama was just trying to distract from ‘questions about his birth certificate’ is full of it, and the reporter of My Lai is correct.

          Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Obama – Just Too Good for Us”

    He actually said: “What if we were wrong in being so right? What if we were too good for these people?” and “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early”? Really? Maybe while he was at it, he might have been considering changing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ for another tune more aligned with his personality for when it was played for him-

    Reply
    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for the laugh! Always cracks me up when people write about narcissism in the Oval as if this is a uniquely Trumpian thing.

      I’m not a huge MoDo fan, but sometimes she hits one for six, and I think she did so here.

      Reply
      1. ChrisAtRU

        I dunno … it didn’t fly into the stands, that six … it might have barely crossed the boundary, just outside the reach of a feverish fielder in pursuit. I know … I’m being harsh. Perhaps I can salvage some good “feels” by channeling my inner Lambert: “Well, when you’ve lost MoDo …”

        Reply
        1. Musicismath

          Yeah. It was short and wide outside off stump, no pace on it, just begging to be hit really, and Dowd reached out (no real footwork involved) and just sliced it wide of the wicketkeeper. And because Obama was too focused on his Netflix deal to post a third man (or any slips even) it trickled down to the unguarded boundary behind the wicket. Four runs.

          Reply
      2. John Wright

        On New York Times op-eds like this one that criticizes Obama, I like to view the “Readers’ picks” to get an idea of how the Times readership is trending as these are the comments that readers, as a group, up voted.

        In my opinion, the top fifteen Readers’ Pick comments are critical of Dowd and supportive of Obama.

        The NYTimes readers don’t blame Obama and the DNC for helping install Trump because they promoted HRC as the only viable candidate.

        These comments may demonstrate that Obama was very, very, good in promoting the Obama brand and creating the impression in many that he fought the noble fight.

        Meanwhile, Obama and his justice department and defense department took good care of the elite.

        Reply
    2. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      June 3, 2018 at 7:50 am

      OH that is a good one! I think that is the wittiest, most apropos link I have seen at NC, and NC commentariat has provided some hilarious links….

      I just saw the movie “Get Out” and SPOILER ALERT – dont read this if you haven’t seen the movie!
      why are you still reading this? you have seen the movie?
      anyway, I think most people could figure out from the premise of the movie that the white guy prattling on about how he would have voted for a third term for Obama is……

      Reply
    3. Donald

      The first quote is not really a quote— it is Dowd’s interpretation of what he meant. I think her interpretation is probably correct, but no, Obama isn’t narcissistic enough to say it that bluntly.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        When Neil Armstrong passed away, Obama’s staff posted a photo featuring Obama gazing into the dawn sky in tribute to Neil Armstrong instead of a photo of, oh I don’t know, Neil himself. I would judge that his staff read his personality correctly.
        I would not be surprised if those quotes were entirely accurate. Remember, this is the man that told his aides that he’s “Really Good At Killing People”. Or how about that other quote “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” when talking about his fellow Americans. Nope, those quotes ring true to me.

        Reply
      2. Pat

        Maybe, I’ve only found excerpts, and as I do not have the book it was or wasn’t.

        That said according to multiple sources he is actually quoted in the book as having said that he had set up the economy well for Trump. Which I’m pretty sure most here would acknowledge is both a grandiose assessment of the results of his (Obama’s) actions as President and deeply mistaken about the state of the economy.

        “I’ve got the economy set up well for him,” Obama said. “No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon.”

        Well I should say mistaken unless you interpret the second phrase as saying he set the economy up to have no relationship to the facts and no consequences for those ripping off the public. Well then, go Obama.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The narrative of the “Summer of Recovery” put forth back in 2012 was important. They just decided to declare victory because the rich were doing well. Politically this is a disaster for Team Blue as they can’t really run against the Trump economy when its just more of the same as the economy they declared to be wonderful.

          My gut feeling is there was an added emotional attachment to the Hillary candidacy as a chance to reset the clock on 2008 by certain elements who threw their lot in with Obama and couldn’t speak out as they attacked all his critics from the left. Since Hillary was attached to the narrative of Bill’s economy, she couldn’t really set a counter narrative that would reflect the truth as Bill’s economy was simply buoyed at the top by the tech boom and Y2k hiring. It represented a decline for most of the country.

          Reply
      3. voteforno6

        I do remember that Obama had a habit of referring to cabinet secretaries as “his” Treasury Secretary, etc., rather than “the” Treasury Secretary. That always struck me as being a little on the narcissistic side, even for politicians.

        Reply
    4. DanB

      Obam’s comments -worldview actually- allude to Brecht’s poem written after the 1953 uprising in East Germany:
      “After the uprising of the 17th June
      The Secretary of the Writers Union
      Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
      Stating that the people
      Had forfeited the confidence of the government
      And could win it back only
      By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
      In that case for the government
      To dissolve the people
      And elect another?”
      Bertolt Brecht

      Reply
    5. Carolinian

      Fortunately not all ex-presidents are puffed up narcissists. Jimmy Carter (with Secret Service in tow) visits a North Carolina McDonalds, orders a senior coffee.

      Reply
    6. Summer

      This is another nursed in the bubble comment:
      “Maybe we pushed too far,” the president continued. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

      Nobody fell into a tribe like he did with the Beltway tribe.
      And again, 10 – 20 years too early??? WTF? They still think that retread, salvaged from the garbage Heritage Foundation health insurance industry bailout was “progress”.

      Reply
    7. Lord Koos

      Not that I’m a fan, but Obama could have been referring to being a black president when he said “10-20 years too early”?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It still reeks of excuse making given election results. What would say Obama being so futuristic have to do with Hillary? It doesn’t make sense as he was elected President twice and defeated the equivalent of an incumbent in the nomination contest.

        The argument might make sense if he had lost in 2008 after defeating Hillary. This is a guy who interceded with the Democratic caucus to save Joe Lieberman. Yes, Republicans said crazy stuff. Well, duh. Its what they do. They’ve been doing it for years. Obama is hardly the first and won’t be the last. The whole attempt to win Republicans over was an asinine strategy which is maybe what MoDo was getting at when she mentioned Obama overlooking his own VP and supporting HRC given the decline in minority turnout for the Clintons and Team Blue in the 90’s.

        Reply
  6. b

    The Prospect piece on the World Cup is pure Russia bashing by a Brit who is disappointed that the 2018 WC did not come to his island.

    Boring. I also says nothing about the issue claimed in the headline.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Agreed. It reads as if he is trying to put visitors off going to the FIFA World Cup in Russia. It starts soon so I expect something from the dirty tricks department to come up soon in the news. Remember how back in 2014 US athlete Kate Hansen posted a video supposedly showing a wolf prowling the hallways of the athlete’s accommodation? Later it came out that Jimmy Kimmel put her up to it (at whose suggestion?) but could you imagine if another country had done that at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics back in 2002? There would have been hell to pay.

      Reply
      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Makes me want to get on a ‘plane and attend the World Cup– despite it probably being impossible to get tickets, and also very difficult to snag a visa at this late date to travel to Russia on my US PP.

        Reply
        1. jo6pac

          Last I read Amerikans were leading tickets sales for the World Cup. I guess the propaganda doesn’t work well on Soccer fans.

          Reply
    2. voteforno6

      Well, if the Capitals win the Stanley Cup, there will be at least a couple of Russians that people in D.C. will be celebrating.

      Reply
    3. pretzelattack

      here’s a story i missed from a few days ago

      apparently the fsb came for our yahoo mail. also i guess they poisoned the water in flint, and made that volcano erupt in hawaii.

      Reply
  7. fresno dan

    America appears to be pioneering a new kind of poverty altogether. One for which we do not yet have a name. It is something like living at the knife’s edge, constantly being on the brink of ruin, one small step away from catastrophe and disaster, ever at the risk of falling through the cracks. It has two components — massive inflation for the basics of life, coupled with crushing, asymmetrical risk.
    ….
    Well, a strange thing has happened to the American economy. While it’s true that things like TVs and Playstations have gotten cheaper, the costs of the basics of life have skyrocketed. All the things that really elevate people’s quality of life — healthcare, finance, education, transport, housing, and so on — have come to consume such a large share of the average household’s income that they have little left to save, invest, or spend on anything else. And what’s worse, while the basics of life have seen massive inflation, wages and incomes (not to mention savings and benefits and safety nets and opportunities) for most have stagnated. The result is an economy — and a society — that’s collapsing.
    =================================================
    I read Michael Shedlock, and I think he has said it best over and over again: Deflation in what you don’t NEED (another flat screen TV) to LIVE, Inflation in what you do NEED TO SURVIVE (medical care).
    I used to think the unemployment statistics failing to capture the true state of the job market was a flaw – now I see it is PORTRAYING the job market as it is designed to…by those who control the job market.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      I’m suspicious of themes/memes that seem to suddenly appear in little nooks all over:

      Even if it’s in regards to something I already firmly believe(we’re too damned busy, as a rule)

      Reply
      1. whine country

        Some people work to live and some live to work. While this has always been true, it is clear that many more have moved to the latter category, which is sad. 😒
        Thank you for your links.

        Reply
    2. jrs

      He seems to have an odd case of American exceptionalism in reverse. For instance homelessness is a global problem. By some estimates 1 in every 200 people in the UK are homeless. The UK is a neoliberal example if ever there was one, oh sure, but it’s not a U.S. example. But really homelessness is becoming global.

      Reply
    3. Wyoming

      I read Haque’s posts all the time. Sometimes I don’t agree and sometimes, I must admit, I do not recognize what he is talking about.

      But this post is so good it is hard to find any reason to fault it. I really agree with what he says here and much of it is why I have evolved into a committed socialist.

      Reply
    4. laura

      America appears to be pioneering a new kind of poverty altogether.

      I’d say that America is revisiting an always present for some kind of poverty. The Jungle is as relevant now as when written. The Supreme Court is on a tear to return us to Lochner, and immigrant communities are as marginalized and exploited as they have been since forever.

      Reply
    5. Olga

      To me, at least, the article perfectly captures today’s US. Should have been labeled a must-read.

      Reply
    6. tooearly

      how about the most insidious form of inflation: degradation of the quality of every service we use ?

      Reply
  8. Jeff

    Bye, Chrome: Why I’m switching to Firefox and you should too Co.Design (Chuck L)

    The author has already forgotten that the first browser was invented by Mozilla (which was a company back in the ’90s). After it got killed by Microsoft and its Internet Explorer thing, it reinvented itself as the open-source and free Firefox model.

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      Actually… the first browser was called WorldWideWeb and it looked like this:

      Then came Mosaic, which was licensed by the team that created Netscape, which is the basis for Firefox.

      There was also a text based browser called Lynx, which is still available.

      I comment knowing that this is a Lambert subject – I could be missing something :)

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        It should be mentioned that Internet Explorer version 1 was also based on the Mosaic code. I suppose you could consider Mosaic to be the Ur-Browser.

        Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Maybe, but in Israel there is a Kosher internet () as well as a Kosher search engine (). Does that count?

            Reply
    2. Carolinian

      From the story

      The “out of the box” element of Firefox’s privacy protection is crucial. Chrome does give you many privacy controls, but the default for most of them is to allow Google to collect the greatest amount of information about you as possible. For instance, Google Chrome gives users the option to tell every website you go to not to track you, but it’s not automatically turned on. Firefox offers the same function to add a “Do Not Track” tag to every site you visit–but when I downloaded the browser, the default was set to “always.”

      This is a weak tea complaint against Chrome (the mentioned Firefox default is quite recent) but some of us do agree with the notion that Google is already far to much up into our web lives already and it’s worthwhile to go with an alternate company for a browser. Quite likely, though, this just means you are being spied on by someone else.

      Reply
  9. Livius Drusus

    Re: Why America is the World’s First Poor Rich Country. Haque mentions that Americans are not that wealthy because so much of our income is eaten up by the outrageous cost of healthcare and other essentials. He is right and it brings up a point that Dean Baker makes which is that for all of the complaining about Trump’s protectionism in the mainstream press the United States already practices protectionism on behalf of the wealthy. We practice selective protectionism. Here are just a few of Baker’s many articles on the matter.

    Protectionism is only bad when it is used to protect the wages of factory workers and other people who are low on the status totem pole. This is why Trump is so hated by many people on both sides of the aisle. His other policies like gutting social welfare, tax cuts for the rich, and destroying government agencies are just standard Republican policies and would not really garner much hatred on their own outside of left-liberal circles. Some centrist Democrats would even try to reach a deal with him, maybe forming a Cat Food Commission. No, Trump’s real sin is that he pointed out that globalization is a deliberate policy to screw over American workers and not just a force of nature that we all must accept. He violated one of the key doctrines of the neoliberal bipartisan consensus by pointing that out.

    Reply
  10. Pat

    The comments on Dowd’s column regarding Obama’s clueless self regard are interesting. The Times picks make one think their readership is finally forgoing the kool-aid. But that is rapidly corrected by reading the Readers’ picks. Mind you, I can’t really blame them, it isn’t as if the Times was really reporting on the state of America for the past two decades. Or more.

    Reply
  11. Pat

    A couple of interesting items from Deadline.

    First the failure of a plan to bring film production upstate, one which a cursory reading of the article indicates there were a whole lot of losers, including tax payers for a plan that Andy Cuomo claimed would bring 350 jobs to the county. It is still going on, but…

    And then a rather snarky article about Obama’s latest fund raising junket in Hollywood. Okay, not as snarky as I would be, but still with more bite than I would have expected.

    Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Defense industry braces for hit from Trump tariffs”

    Shoulda guessed this one. Slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium imports will naturally raise the prices of the same in the US according to that article and the military uses a lot of that stuff. One of those new Ford-class aircraft carriers, for example, runs to about 100,000 tons and a lot of that would be steel and aluminium. Now start thinking about other weapons like ships, aircraft, tracked vehicles & building as well and all that will add a lot to the bottom-line costs of the US military. Label this under economic blowback.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As if the government has ever said “no” to the mic because the price tag was too high.

      Gratuitous crocodile tears.

      Reply
    2. Jim Haygood

      Defense Secretary James Mattis in February agreed with the administration that the imported metals are a national security issue.‘ — The Hill

      Imported steel arguably was a national security issue … way back in 1962, when JFK got his panties in a twist about it.

      Fifty-seven years on, steel is a dirt-cheap commodity, available in near-unlimited quantity from every continent on the planet. Chairman Mao even imagined mini steel mills in every peasant’s back yard, though that proved to be a step too far in democratizing steel production.

      Big Steel have been feckless, grasping whiners ever since WW II, hiding behind political protection schemes while failing to ever become competitive. Appointing tunnel-visioned steel magnate Wilbur Ross as US Secretary of Commerce was a disastrous choice by the Orange Charlatan, who has surrounded himself with some of the worst people imaginable (e.g. John Bolton).

      Protecting a cheap commodity while crippling the value-added finished products made from it — which employ 20 to 30 times more workers than basic materials — is the essence of flake-o-nomics. It will take a couple of years for the resulting impoverishment to set in, but when it does, this may be our best shot ever at eradicating the US middle class. /sarc

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Mao was right in another undisclosed democratizibg dream of his – a smartphone in every peasant’s palm.

        Here, he was not just 10 or 20 years ahead of his peers, but at least 50 years.

        Then there was his promotion of barefoot doctors. Perhaps here, he also forsaw the pollutions (air and water) from soles wearing away when we wear shoes.

        Reply
    3. blennylips

      Now start thinking about other weapons like ships, aircraft,
      chinese microchips +%22us military weapons%22&ia=web

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It sounds like, as hard as it is now to do this, it will be impossible to do in a few years.

        Reply
    4. Eureka Springs

      Ha! As if the defense industry won’t just take higher prices and mark them up more. Several years back the Koch Brothers got the AR legislature (which was still controlled by D’s in one House and the Gov. at the time) to give them a very sweet deal on a steel plant just south of Memphis on our side of the Mississippi. And the AR teachers pensions invested heavily in it as well. I’ve been wondering who really benefits from these tariffs and suspect the usual culprits are hiding in plain sight.

      Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      Really?

      “Does anyone think that Dowd could explain what the Clinton “email issue” even is? It’s just pure villager mad libs, as is particularly obvious when someone like Dowd throws it into the rote Clinton narrative gruel”

      That’s not a takedown, that’s just adhominum. Not permitted on this blog IIRC.

      I think we all know that the email issue was Sec’y Clinton having an insecure private server (in the basement of her home) that she used for government communications. If anyone did the same in their job, they would be immediately fired. That’s why it was so outrageous.

      Reply
      1. voteforno6

        There was also the mishandling of classified information on that email server. If someone on the worker bee level pulled that stunt, that person, at the very least would’ve lost his/her security clearance and job.

        Reply
        1. sd

          And, when asked, they scrubbed the server clean and deleted emails. Deliberately. Federal law requires they be saved.

          Reply
      2. Jim Haygood

        Even more outrageous is that had hackers not revealed Hillary’s private email server, she had no intention of EVER turning over those official records to the State Dept.

        Her rationale was that her official correspondence could be pieced together post facto from the many recipients’ email accounts — a massive data manipulation project which was never going to be undertaken.

        Quite aside from questions of legality, Hillary’s casual contempt for the accuracy of the historical record of her tenure as Secretary of State speaks volumes. If one sees a cabinet position as a mere stepping stone to the oval office, then who cares about one’s lowly days of apprenticeship?

        Anyhow she got to visit 110 countries or so. Shame that all that jetting about failed to yield any frequent flier miles. :-(

        Reply
        1. Craig H.

          The NSA has every e-mail Hillary has sent or received since before 1992. Theoretically the Justice Department could have anything they want any time they want.

          They don’t want it. For all practical purposes it is a tempest in a teapot.

          Reply
          1. pretzelattack

            so not prosecuting powerful people is ok cause they can cover it up. or, at worst, a “tempest in a teapot”. i guess all the bank crimes and torture crimes were meaningless, too, since they weren’t prosecuted–for all practical purposes.

            Reply
          2. Kurt Sperry

            They’d have to parallel construct their case though wouldn’t they? They cite anything sourced from NSA and then NSA data would potentially discoverable. All of it.

            Reply
  13. a different chris

    So many columnists can’t follow the most basic aspects of cash flow, they just stenographerate:

    is expected to raise costs for the U.S. defense industry, biting into its bottom line…. that ultimately leads to increased costs for the taxpayer,”

    The taxpayers. Not the defense industry, which is always getting cost- from Uncle Sam even when it supposedly isn’t. And those direct costs will be spread across all the taxpayers, but the money itself will stay in the economy. Of course it will no doubt “flow upward” like in every other situation, but if we are to have any chance of clawing it back it needs to stay within our borders.

    Reply
  14. Summer

    Re: Why America is the First Poor Rich Country
    “It’s a uiquely American creation it’s extreme capitalism meets Social Darwinism by way of rugged self-reliance crossed with puritanical cruelty…”
    I think the phrase “extreme capitalism” is redundant. The American economy is basically Social Darwinism by way of mythical, rugged self-reliance crossed with puritanical cruelty and evangalism. The USA can’t be comfortable unless the rest if the world lives exactly the same way as it does. Wonder where it got that from???

    But not to say other countries with their related elites don’t already have their versions of it: from monarchies (a bit Social Darwinism is built in to any kind of system that still incorporates a monarchy, the Hindu caste system, the kleptocracies of China and Russia, etc).

    Reply
    1. Olga

      For someone who travels a lot and lived/lives in other societies, the last sentence in the above comment sounds like the person completely missed the point of the article. It is not that poverty does not exist elsewhere – it does – but the one in the US is manufactured (darwinism/puritanism – greed, in other words) and completely unnecessary (as in not inevitable).

      Reply
      1. Summer

        I’m getting at what the article is not about.
        I know that the article is about the USA, but the poverty everywhere is manufactured. It’ a global elite. Not only a USA elite.

        Reply
  15. dcblogger

    New Film “Discreet Airlift” Documents the Struggle to Hold U.S. Officials Accountable for Torture

    Reply
  16. BobWhite

    While at the NYC meetup last night, during a conversation with another attendee (John), he mentioned an interesting skit from SNL with the brilliant (late) Phil Hartman as Ronald Reagan, Mastermind…
    Just watched it and it is great:

    Some references are extra interesting, such as the phone call deal with Iraq… :-)
    Enjoy…

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      Can’t see this, get a msg “Sorry! Both the streams tested for this video had an http error code and can’t be leeched. Reverting to normal youtube embed.” Then, presumably at Youtube, “not made available in your country.” Should I cue the Twilight Zone theme?

      Reply
  17. Craig H.

    > LEAKED EMAILS SHOW GOOGLE EXPECTED LUCRATIVE MILITARY DRONE AI WORK TO GROW EXPONENTIALLY

    Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept

    The only way I would pass this information to the intercept is if I came across somebody else’s hardcopy coming off the group printer near my cubicle and I could unobtrusively swipe it. No way would an electronic copy on my e-mail account go anywhere not explicitly authorized.

    That somebody would do this tells me Big Brother ain’t so big yet.

    The other thing which is intriguing is these twelve people who quit their jobs who haven’t really been quoted about their views. If you read that open letter to google to quit working on project maven and the like it is not so easy to classify the folks who wrote it. It seems to lack the common partisan lingo to the degree that I cannot tell if the writers are more liberal or more conservative. Given the company’s employee demographics the odds are obviously not conservative but it’s not clear from that letter. Maybe they all belong to the pirate party.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Supposedly Google has said it will do what those employees want–when the contract runs out in 2019.

      Here’s the NYT spin

      it is not unusual for Silicon Valley’s big companies to have deep military ties. And the internal dissent over Maven stands in contrast to Google’s biggest competitors for selling cloud-computing services — Amazon.com and Microsoft — which have aggressively pursued Pentagon contracts without pushback from their employees.

      Reply
    2. Summer

      Re: Military contracts are the destiny of every tech company…

      They really avoid saying how much they are a part of tech/internet history. They get bothered about that fact, like talking about slavery. Their tied in history is really glossed over.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        It may be glossed over and SV’s “don’t be evil” idealism may be largely bogus, but one should point out the economy of California itself and large parts of the rest of the country are tightly bound with the MIC. The military technology used for weapons has also given us the jets that many use to fly around and the thing we are talking on right now. If the discussion is about the military’s influence on corporate America–surely not the same as slavery even for us pacifists–then it’s going to be about a lot more than just Google.

        Reply
        1. Summer

          And really any discussion of the USA’s economy and stock market is lacking without mention of the MIC influence.

          Reply
          1. skippy

            Cough…. TRW… sniff good times…

            Aside, whilst gallivanting around posh L.A. burbs I remember one discussion about a wayward young Uni student with deep family connections. Concern was if she did not watch out her rebellious antics might preclude getting a job which has government contracts or working for anyone with government contracts.

            So a fair bit of that wealth present during the poolside BBQ was related to government contracts.

            Reply
        2. Lord Koos

          Is there any real reason that technological innovations have to be driven by the military? Things could be funded in other ways and with other goals in mind. The way it is now, a lot of tech seems to trickle-down from weapons research.

          Reply
          1. polecat

            Much of which, I would wager, is vaporware on crack, with the end result being contractors, MIC echelon, and our adorable CONgress folk making colossal bank …. regardless of any proposed system’s viability, let alone seeing them ‘on/below budget’ !

            Reply
      2. precariat

        My first thought too is how curiously the writer attributes the military contracting of the ‘consumer’ tech sector to the need to ‘grow revenue.’ That these companies bumped into the MIC/IC as one bumps into an acqaintance on the street. The internet is a government project that became commercialized. The IC and military have been there from the beginning. They *were* the beginning. Any writer who glosses this over is catering to Silicon Valley branding – a myth. I would like to read Yasha Levine’s book.

        Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Is the World Done With Liberal Democracy?”

    Nope, not at all. But the World is absolutely and totally done with Neoliberal Democracy!

    Reply
    1. David

      Same thing. Liberalism was incompatible with democracy from the beginning, and has grown much more so ever since the end of the Cold War meant that the ruling classes were no longer frightened of ordinary people. Neoliberalism is just another name for liberalism with the gloves off. Any system of radical individualism which puts the interests of individuals above the interests of society as a whole, and so benefits the rich, the powerful and the well-organised, is incompatible with democracy. Arguably, it’s incompatible with a civilised society.

      Reply
    2. J Sterling

      Democracy is down on liberals at moment, and liberals are responding by becoming down on democracy. Darn those deplorably inferior types having the vote!

      Reply
  19. Class of Facebook

    Regarding Facebook the most under-commented aspect is class.

    The SF tech-elite do not allow their children to use their own products and I understand it. The devices and apps are mostly developed for passive consumption, not for production. Try to write a book on an ipad or iphone.

    ”Breaking down teen use of Facebook by household income, 70% of teens from households making under $30,000 per year report using Facebook, while just 36% of teens from households making $75,000 or more are on the platform.”

    Any theories here why this is true?
    Poor working families dont have the time to watch the usage because they are doing their 2-3 jobs to get food on the table and as a consequence Facebook becomes what vcr and dvd did before: substitute child-care?

    No money for alternative activities? A lot of sports have become an equipment-driven activity – even running, as well as privatized access to football pitches etc.

    Rich parents understanding of the effects of and aversion to data-collection about them (but not about others)?

    What else?

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      Certain types of trends, especially tech-related ones, start at the top and work there way down? So the de-Facebookization at the top shows what the rest of the country will get to a little later?

      Reply
  20. Devon Bowers

    With regards to the Frankopan article on Financial Times I know that a lot of the time folks can’t get past FT’s paywall and whatnot, so I took the liberty of .

    Reply
  21. fresno dan

    Experts frequently blame this on the high prices charged by doctors and hospitals. But less scrutinized is the role insurance companies — the middlemen between patients and those providers — play in boosting our health care tab. Widely perceived as fierce guardians of health care dollars, insurers, in many cases, aren’t. In fact, they often agree to pay high prices, then, one way or another, pass those high prices on to patients — all while raking in healthy profits.
    …..
    Imagine if other industries treated customers this way. The price of a flight from New York to Los Angeles would be a mystery until after the trip. Or, while digesting a burger, you could learn it cost 50 bucks.Patients who want to know what they’ll be paying — let alone shop around for the best deal — usually don’t have a chance. Before Frank’s hip operation, he asked NYU Langone for an estimate. It told him to call Aetna, which referred him back to the hospital. He never did get a price.
    ====================================
    health insurers are Widely perceived as fierce guardians of health care dollars – that is news to me. I have no doubt that some independent doctors and clinics get shafted, but I suspect health care insurance is just like the real estate or gambling industries – its all percentages and the more you spend the more they get.

    Reply
    1. Sid_finster

      Moreover, very few people really have or can readily acquire the expertise to know when a given procedure is necessary vs nice to have, or why a given doctor charges more than market for the same course of treatment, and whether that is really justified. No, health.com is not a substitute for medical school.

      This goes double when you’re flat on your back in the middle of North Dakota, and there’s only one hospital in a hundred mile radius.

      Reply
  22. cm

    ”Because you know porn didn’t exist in the 70’s​.”

    If we are really interested in school shootings, look at the SSRI medications. They are about the only new thing here when looking at school shootings in 80’s vs. today.

    Reply
  23. JTFaraday

    “Congresswoman says pornography is a root cause of school shootings USA Today. UserFriendly: ​”Because you know porn didn’t exist in the 70’s​.””

    I hesitate to advance a thesis on why school shootings, but I grew up in the 70s and 80s and kids’ access to porn and all things sexual is very, very different today. Mainstream entertainment is also very different.

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      I told my teenage nephew the other day that he’s probably seen in the space of a few months a thousand times more smut than I saw in my first 30 years of existence. He shrugged and then checked one of his phones.

      I’ve become that uncle.

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      So are computer games/shooter simulations. Each one trying to out-gore and out-anomie the last (though I’ll grant that some provide bits of playing field officer and working squad-level tactics, up to the point that the goal is to be the sole survivor…)

      Donkey Kong and Pong, these are not.

      When the question of effects of shoot-em-up ‘games” has come up in the past, a lot of people spring to the defense of the ‘right to choose to shoot” and lay out different arguments and rationalizations for why wholesale killing with all kinds of combat weapons is A-OK or at least not all that bad… Kind of like when one talks about gunz being bad, or what’s going on over in Gaza…

      Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the 70’s, there was a lot more human interaction.

      You at least had to go up to counter and ask, how much for these?

      ‘Enjoy’

      ‘No, no, no. I need them to finish my research on human sexuality.’

      ‘Oh, good luck then. Hope you get that PH.D.’

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        MyLessThanPrimeBeef
        June 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

        I read Playboy for the erudite, profound, and scintillating musing of Hugh Hefner, expounded upon in the “Playboy Philosophy”
        Occasionally, not more than 6653 to 7827 times per issue in my perusal of the philosophy, I would inadvertently …come upon a page of unclad pulchritudinous young women. Why such photographs were included in Mr. Hefner’s treatises, I really cannot say. But as they were included, it was unequivocal that Mr. Hefner wanted me to devote as much, IF NOT MORE, time to the careful study and evaluation of these photographs…undoubtedly to ponder the meaning of life, existence, and breasts.

        Reply
  24. George Phillies

    Prosecutors did not hand over evidence…

    On one hand, given the timing, the press skips over the point that Obama appointees and hires were part of the problem. At least this article does not blame Trump.

    The attack on O’keefe, in the original article, does not make sense except as left hatemongering. O’Keefe clearly did forward his videos to the Feds. The folks who did not hand over the evidence were the Feds, not O’Keefe.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      they didn’t say or imply o’keefe failed to hand over the videos, anywhere in the article. prosecutors or anyone else relying on o’keefe for evidence is clearly a bad idea, given his conduct in the acorn case. i’m surprised veritas handed over any exonerating videos at all, after the editing in the acorn case, but i guess they knew the cops and prosecutors could be relied on to filter those out.

      Reply
  25. Lord Koos

    Vancouver real estate prices — that horse left the barn quite some time ago, these solutions would have helped people more if they had been implemented in 2008.

    Reply
  26. Susan the other

    Great Jacobin link, “Sacrificing at the Altar of the Euro.” Thomas Fazi (super writer). It sounded like Fazi had been paying very close attention to Warren Mosler and Stephanie Kelton. And he synthesized it beautifully. Italy should have its sovereignty back. And the ideological Left might want to get out of the way. One genius thing MMT does is it precludes externalizing costs… because it is no longer necessary. Just think how benign this attitude is: it also precludes frantic financialization and profiteering which are the great destabilizers. I think both socialism and capitalism are doomed to failure because they just don’t wanna pay their own bills. Consider the USSR – it collapsed because it did not provide sufficient social goods and services – profitabiity had nothing to do with it. In fact the USSR externalized costs with the best of them by exploiting and neglecting their environment and cutting back on social services. Give me MMT any day.

    Reply
      1. Grebo

        In fact, having read the article now, I can say that large chunks of the text are lifted directly from the book.

        Reply
  27. George Lane

    Over 24 hour livestream in support of Julian Assange, now a little more than halfway through, featuring interviews with various figures. NYU media studies professor Mark Crispin Miller scheduled for 3pm EST, Lee Camp at 6pm EST:

    Schedule:

    Reply
  28. JTMcPhee

    Under the headings of Imperial Collapse and many others, anyone needing more nose-rubbed-in-it exposure to where that missing $21 trillion in “defense” spending went, here’s a little blast from the past, a little drop in the ocean of all the venality and corruption, from a 1993 GAO report on just one leak in the vault:

    Foreign Military Financing to Israel and Egypt

    Since the Camp David Accords in 1979, the United States has provided billions of dollars in security assistance to Israel and Egypt. These funds were provided to encourage a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and to promote stability and security ln the Middle East. Through the mid-1980s, security assistance to Israel and Egypt included loans, some at high interest rates which contributed to economic problems in these countries. Since fiscal year 1985, Israel and Egypt have not been required to repay their military assistance loans. [US students, on the other hand…] Moreover, since fiscal year 1989, Israel and Egypt have received all their military assistance in the form of grants. FMF grants to Israel and Egypt together constituted about 67 percent of the total FMF budget for fiscal year 1992….

    Dotan Affair and Subsequent DOD Audits Revealed Program Weaknesses

    The disclosure that Dotan and a senior official of General Electric Company had defrauded the U.S. government of $40 million in a commercial contract financed by the Foreign Military Financing program revealed the vulnerability of the commercial channel to collusion between contractors and foreign officials. According to information available to us, Dotan defrauded the Israeli government, and in turn the U.S. government, by working out various schemes with General Electric to create pools of funds for personal use and for unauthorized projects.

    Since the Dotan affair [a puny $40 million “diversion” of “defense dollars,”https://www.wrmea.org/1992-august-september/another-israeli-rogue-operation-targeted-against-the-united-states.html ] DOD audits have found that U.S.-financed commercial contracts are vulnerable to abuses by contractors. In a number of contracts awarded by Egypt and Israel, auditors uncovered evidence that contractors may have improperly used Foreign Military Financing funds to (1) pay questionable commissions, (2) reimburse foreign officials for travel expenses, or (3) make payments for items that were not of U.S. origin….

    There’s lots more, with examples from the few cases where “the government,” or a whistleblower triggering a qui tam action, has tried to plug the holes.

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED that there is thieving going on in this complex!

    Interesting that there are only references to references in Wiki, and scant unmassaged references in the search engine results — one might question the absence of a main entry under “Dotan affair.” But that is just tin foil, of course… never happens in the REAL world.

    Reply
    1. Grebo

      (3) make payments for items that were not of U.S. origin

      That is unforgivable. The rest is kind of the point.
      I’m surprised their debts have been forgiven, perhaps they were considered sufficiently captured and their geopolitical value as going concerns exceeded the value that could be squeezed out by further ruining them.

      Reply
  29. Susan the other

    Also, about Germany, Deutsche Bank, and the euro. I woke up at midnight last night thinking about 50Tr in derivatives stashed in DB’s American Branch depositary. Sounds like the Fed had good reason to sanction DB. Haven’t heard what happened to the proposal to put big balance-sheet banks in a tax base sufficient to bail them out.

    Reply
  30. Bean Counter

    Re Seymour’s book

    It would be far more interesting to me (also likely horrifying) to read a collection from the hundreds of aspiring journalists over the decades who lost their jobs, their profession, or even lives (like Gary Webb) by insisting on telling the news versus the News Stories™; which two words news outlets always seem to use. Do those words News Stories bother anyone else, isn’t that an oxymoron?

    Speaking of which this, from , was sickening to me on so many levels:

    How do we balance the relationship between reporters and sources?

    This is a timeless question that journalists in our newsroom are constantly aware of. Deputy Editor Steve Mills lays out a spectrum of possible journalist/source relationships and specifics to consider with each. The fundamentals? Reporters shouldn’t lie to sources. Reporters shouldn’t give advice to sources. Reporters and editors — not sources — decide what a story is and when it’s ready to publish. Which brings us to another question …

    It reminded me of a brutal, potentially life threatening personal experience I had in Silicon Valley in my early twenties. I wrote a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News about it when I was naive enough to think journalist’s main interest was providing the public with actual news. the Mercury didn’t publish it but a famed San Francisco columnist wrote near a full page on it. While acknowledging I had been victimized, the person utterly changed the perpetrator’s white ‘apple pie’ identity to that of an evil Arab. It was mind boggling and horrifying to read, and I knew, given his popularity, and my position as a single nobody, taking him on would only bring me misery. Story indeed.

    I wrote one other letter to the press – over a decade after that – which was also ’published’ at length. While the experience was not near as bad as the first time, it was still twisted beyond recognition. It’s the last time I wrote a letter to the press, the experiences were disabling, you tell them the news of your experience and they write a Story to ’cover’ the news.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      You are certainly right that the industry’s self serving claims of altruism are about as credible as Silicon Valley’s. I had a newsie friend back in the 70s who was highly offended by the Sally Field movie Absence of Malice for its suggestion that the press is not always the upright institution it pretends to be. Apparently in his book Hersh talks about his struggles to get major articles into papers like the WaPo (which took the My Lai scoop and then completely redid it).

      But surely things have gotten worse in the last few decades of decline, closures and mergers. Some of us would contend that Watergate itself did journalism a lot of harm. They began to see themselves as TV stars and power players.

      Reply
  31. Bean Counter

    Re: LEAKED EMAILS SHOW GOOGLE EXPECTED LUCRATIVE MILITARY DRONE AI WORK TO GROW EXPONENTIALLY Intercept

    The September email chain discussing the recently inked deal included Scott Frohman and Aileen Black, two members of Google’s defense sales team, along with Dr. Fei-Fei Li, the head scientist at Google Cloud, as well as members of the communications team.

    ….

    The Google executives discussed the potential for a public relations fiasco from the Project Maven contract. Whether or not to reveal the deal was a point of concern.

    “This is red meat to the media to find all ways to damage Google. You probably heard Elon Musk and his comment about AI causing WW3,” wrote Fei-Fei.

    “I don’t know what would happen if the media starts picking up a theme that Google is secretly building AI weapons or AI technologies to enable weapons for the Defense industry,” she continued. “Google Cloud has been building our theme on Democratizing AI in 2017, and Diane and I have been talking about Humanistic AI for enterprise. I’d be super careful to protect these very positive images.”

    And speaking of Thought Leaders of Historically heavily DOD Funded Stanford University, it’s unfortunate that the Intercept author didn’t also note that is also The head of Stanford University’s AI Lab.

    (discovered via Yasha Levine: )

    Reply
  32. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: Common Sense … near 50 degrees Centigrade — While it is true that common sense practices, beginning with real concern for the problem can help deal with 50 degrees Centigrade, at a level of humidity conveniently passed over in the “Upside” blurb, the present increase in the land temperatures have not come near those levels predicted for the Earth future less than a century from now. One of the comments to this blurb suggested a link at ScienceDirect which seems to provide more extensive information beyond the Guardian’s happy-face mini-story. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095263514000399]

    The link becomes more interesting if you follow the embedded link describing the Guardian’s Upside series made possible through “a grant to theguardian.org by the US-based Skoll Foundation, which is dedicated to accelerating entrepreneurial and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.” Follow the crumbs to the Skoll Foundation [skoll.org] and in the financials description: “The Skoll Foundation advances its mission through two separate entities: the Skoll Foundation, a private foundation, and the Skoll Fund, a supporting organization associated with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.” Then look over the board of directors:
    Jeff Skoll
    “the first full-time employee and President of eBay, where he experienced firsthand the power of combining entrepreneurship, technology, and trust in people.”
    Larry Brilliant, M.D., M.P.H.
    “Author, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur”
    “He previously served as the Skoll Global Threats Fund’s President and CEO, the Vice President of Google, and as a founding Executive Director of Google.org.”

    Skoll is “partnered” with Sundance Institute – Stories of Change, NPR, Public Radio International PRI, the PBS News Hour, HarperOne (to publish co-branded narrative nonfiction books. Written about or by recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship), BBC, and Doc Society – Flex Fund (“deep expertise in the translation of art into social change”). Skoll has strategic partners including Social Progress Imperative (SPI), and TED. I didn’t find an affiliation with the Atlas Network.

    Is it being overly paranoid to wonder whether the Atlas Network of Foundations has a mirror network focused on positive media spins? Are the Silicon Valley uber-rich building their very own networks of foundation money and media spin ? — After all, the Power Elite are a multi-headed beast. The better people of Silicon Valley have already given us so much so I suppose it isn’t nice to look gift horses in the mouth — unless they’re large, on-wheels, and crafted from wood.

    Reply
  33. Jeremy Grimm

    One thing particularly troubled me about the NakedCapitalsim get-together and that was the large numbers of old white men with gray, white, and no hair although their numbers aren’t really what bothered me –the more of us the merrier — it was our proportion relative to the rest of the gathering. [I also noticed a failing of old men, myself particularly and assuming others share my condition, we seldom have an opportunity to talk with anyone interesting and when the opportunity arises — we have trouble shutting up. And maybe I listen less than I should because I just don’t hear as well as I used to.]

    I must note the venue we shared for this gathering was more than accommodating with the relative quiet they provided. I greatly appreciated being able to listen — and talk too much — without need to filter out the latest in five sports events blaring on as many flatscreens all competing with louder and louder, jarring music. Thank you to those responsible for finding and reserving this excellent meeting place. I hope it will be available for future gatherings.

    Have most or many young people somehow disengaged themselves from the topics we discuss at NakedCapitalism? A woman much younger than I raised this question and answered it asserting that those she knew of her generation and those younger were all unquestioning of things as they are, mindless of their crumbling futures, and oblivious to history. If so, what explains that disengagement?

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      While I’m at it — a young man much younger than I raised a very disturbing question. How safe are we expressing our opinions at NakedCapitalism? And to avoid any possible misunderstanding I must state this question in no way questions the web security at NakedCapitalism. This question is asked within the frame I can best describe as follows: NakedCapitalism is among the most prominent sites where matters sometimes contrary to the interests of the powers-that-be are critically and openly discussed. Does the Eye-of-Sauron scan this county more and linger more than upon other portions of the lands outside the heart of Mordor? How many lurk here, only, for fear of falling directly under Sauron’s gaze?

      Reply
      1. blennylips

        You’d best assume everything digital is collected.*

        Later, data dredging (x key scoring) can build just about any story that serves the needs, if you become a target, or need a nudge… But real time monitoring is probably pretty rare.

        *Utah’s got the old NSA Data Center, now Facebook’s going to build a similar vault right down the road. Add in the Granite Mountain Genealogy Vault and you got the start of a .

        Reply
      2. Enquiring Mind

        Expect that anything you contribute on any site is viewed by various active and passive monitors. You may try to use software and hardware tools for some slight peace of mind.

        Reply
    2. Andrew Watts

      I don’t think the younger generation is disengaged from reality as much as you think they are. The majority of people under the age of thirty-five are attempting to grapple with the nihilism of their predicament and existential despair of their circumstances.

      The individuals that aren’t busy trying to survive and/or grimly facing their future prospects have rich parents. The internal struggle between youthful idealism and embittered cynicism explains the massive popularity of television shows like Rick and Morty*.

      *My favorite episode of the show is the third season’s “The Ricklantis Mixup”. It deals with one of Marx’s major themes about how workers are alienated from their own labor under a capitalist system and how capitalism commodifies discontent and sells it.

      Reply
  34. The Rev Kev

    “Londongrad oligarchs are being forced back to Russia’s embrace”

    If I was a Russian oligarch, I would be getting my stolen money out of London before Brexit takes place next year. After that the UK is going to be in need of lots of money and being Russian makes you a target. I understand that one well now Russian oligarch has already gotten Israeli citizenship to help cover himself. Considering that these same Russian oligarchs got their money by rorting Russia of billions at the cost of impoverishing their fellow citizens I have no sympathy whatsoever. Here I am reminded of what was told to one wounded Marine back in WW2 by a doctor; “Son, the only place that you will find sympathy is in the dictionary – right between s*** and syphilis!”

    Reply
  35. precariat

    “America is the first poor rich country”

    Censorship of the true state of economy for Americans

    The innovation of poverty on what statistically is deemed an average income. The reality of a predatory, extractive economy where an “average” income cannot provide the basics of food, housing, transportation, education, and healthcare is a critical issue, one that cannot , will not, be dealt with by neoliberal corporations, politicians, institutions. Much better to to lie with cooked books and cut the ‘problem’ Americans out of consensus reality.

    Reply

Leave a Reply