Links 11/22/16

New Onslaught Of Airstrikes In Aleppo Hit World-Famous Cat Sanctuary Huffington Post. Cyndy: “This one is breaking my heart, airstrikes hit Aleppo Cat Sanctuary. I learned of this news today from a Facebook page dedicated to Alaa Aljaleel, The Cat Man of Aleppo – and his mission of love and hope.”

Activist establishes Dumpster Divers Defense Fund to help ‘food waste warriors’ TreeHugger. Good. I see people rummaging through grocery store garbage and it would be beneficial to legitimate them.

First power drawn from tidal turbines off the coast of Scotland ars technica (Chuck L)

Office Depot caught claiming out-of-box PCs showed “symptoms of malware” ars technica (Chuck L)

The code I’m still ashamed of Medium (Dan K)

Is Microsoft Purposefully Degrading/Crashing Internet Explorer to Bully Users into Upgrading to Windows 10 & Edge? Wolf Street (EM)

CAN HYPOTHERMIA SAVE GUNSHOT VICTIMS? New Yorker (guurst). Not the US now has more people dying from gun injuries than in car accidents.

China?

$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore ‘Scares the Hell Out of Everybody’ Bloomberg. Wonder if it will starting sinking like that condo tower in San Francisco.

If you’re happy with it, Canberra will sell Australia to China MacroBusiness

India Cash Train Wreck

How India’s Cash Chaos Is Shaking Everyone From Families to Banks Bloomberg. So much for the “let them do make digital transfers” armchair experts:

Of India’s 1.3 billion population, less than 300 million use the Internet. Of the total number of Indians who own a mobile phone, only about 26 percent have smartphones, which are essential to run payment apps.

Demonetisation resulted in chaos and loss of trust in govt: Lawrence Summers Financial Express. J-LS: “Welcome to the party! Larry finally weighs in, echoing what NC has been saying for nearly two weeks now.”

Threadbare Demonetisation: The Cycle of Life Stops in Modi’s India The Wire (J-LS)

Brexit

Nigel Farage would be ‘great’ UK ambassador to US, says Donald Trump Guardian (J-LS). Theresa May must be losing her mind.

Zionists’ weapon of mass destruction against UK’s left Electronic Intifada (Sid S)

Angela Merkel wants to be liberal Europe’s answer to Donald Trump Spectator (J-LS)

NATO chief Stoltenberg calls for military alliance to enlarge euronews (furzy)

Elections if No wins referendum, Di Maio tells ANSA Forum ANSA

France foils new terror plot, seven arrested euronews (furzy)

Gov’t spokesman calls on IMF to ‘stop sitting on fence’ ekathimerini

Ukraine/Russia

Putin moves his missiles in new threat to Europe The Times

Syraqistan

Will Turkey Present Trump with a Fait Accompli in Syria? Defend Democracy

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

Clinton fights demand for more information on emails Politico

Trump Transition

A Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump YouTube. Only 122,000 views as of midnight EST. Intends to make immediate use of executive orders, first of all to withdraw from the TPP. Among other things, I hear this as going after H1-B visas. Driving a wedge in Silicon Valley!

Reaction: US President-elect Donald Trump to dump TPP BBC

Trump, on YouTube, Pledges to Create Jobs New York Times

Donald Trump’s Popularity Surges New York Magazine

Can Trump succeed? Voltaire.net (Chuck L). Awfully broad brush.

Top network executives, anchors meet with Donald Trump CNN. Bill B: “Served up generous slices of humble pie by a billionaire driven by messianic vengeance against anyone who opposes him. Eat hearty!”

For Trump and GOP, ‘Obamacare’ repeal is complex and risky Washington Post

Battle brews over Trump’s foreign policy Defend Democracy

The Koch Brothers’ Favorite Congressman Will Be in Charge of the CIA Nation (furzy)

Reinstating A Muslim Registry Is Literally At The Top Of Kris Kobach’s Agenda For Trump Administration Huffington Post

As a Sex Worker, I’m Terrified for the Next Four Years Vice (resilc)

White Nationalists Salute the President-Elect: “Hail Trump!” Atlantic

The death of net neutrality begins today Next Web (Randy)

Paul Krugman, Who Proposed Fight with Fake Outer Space Aliens to Stimulate the Economy, Now Worried About Quality of Trump’s Spending Michael Shedlock (EM). Actually, Kruggie thought they were real space aliens, having spoken to John Podesta, but couldn’t bring himself to admit that.

2016 Post Mortem

ObamaCare’s Supposed Beneficiaries Turned Out For Trump Forbes. Important. But in reality, Obamacare’s biggest beneficiaries were Big Pharma and the health insurers (despite all their kvetching, Medicaid expansion was very profitable for them).

We Are All Deplorables Chris Hedges, TruthDig

Harsh truths about fake news for Facebook, Google and Twitter Financial Times (David L)

NYT Advocates Internet Censorship Consortiumnews

Ron Paul reveals hit list of alleged ‘fake news’ journalists RT

Why the Media Cannot Deal Effectively with Donald Trump Benjamin Studebaker (Brant). Today’s must read. But a curious blind spot: Trump campaigned on creating more “good jobs,” which is tantamount to increasing wages.

NoDAPL

Exclusive Video: #noDAPL Protestors Share Experiences of Police Repression Real News Network

McCarthyism today: The Professor Watchlist (Sid S)

The 60 Minutes Interview George Soros Tried To Bury Off-Guardian (margarita)

U.S. Stocks Close at Record Highs Wall Street Journal

Insurance fund for US pensions could be insolvent by 2025, agency director warns WSWS (Judy B)

Class Warfare

Lowe’s Unveils Lo Bot, The Bilingual Robot That Is Eager To Please << CBS San Francisco (resilc)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Antidote du jour (furzy):

hippos links

Credit: Naked Capitalism

249 Comments

  1. Media story is interesting although Postman said it all amusingly and at length 30 years ago. But why oh why must we fall into the use of “media” as a singular noun? News organs are not all alike, and “the media is” reinforces the distorted view of a monolith. Latin teachers of the world, unite!

  2. Cats will survive us at this rate Yves…. where many breeds of dogs won’t…. too specialized thingy…
    Disheveled Marsupial…. on that note what is going on with Roubini…. gone to the dogs – ????

  3. Nah….Roubini’s been too wrong with the binturongs!
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binturong)

  4. The fact that Trump chose YouTube to deliver his message about the transition and his 100-day plan should be the death knell for the mainstream media. Especially since it came right on the heels of Trump’s explosive meeting with a who’s who of MSM exectuives and anchors wherein Trump tore them all new assh*les for their biased, shoddy work.
    It couldn’t be clearer that Trump intends to ‘disrupt’ the symbiotic relationship between the White House and the MSM and just communicate directly to the public through social media. His use of Twitter during the primary, his ability to garner 10’s of millions of dollars of free publicity during his run, his refusal to allow press access after winning — all of it points to an intention to leave the old MSM paradigm behind as an outdated relic, only to be used under certain conditions as it suits him. Quite amazing.

  5. Romancing The Loan

    Great point.
    The MSM still has enough money that it’s not going to lose power without a fight. Censorship by private near-monopolies isn’t censorship by the government (so no 1st issue) and many (but not all) of the relevant billionaires are on the MSM’s side so some might play along. Let’s see how their demand is received by the public and whether Trump is suddenly a supporter of net neutrality/common carrier restrictions on, say, Google’s ability to delist ideologically opposed sites.

  6. That was Bernie’s strategy too. Straight to youtube, twitter and facebook. I can’t find it but a map of Bernie vs. Hillary and High Speed internet penetration was uncanny.

  7. Fireside chats coming up next? Death knell may be a bit strong but Trump seems to know quite well who his enemies are. Broadcast television in particular has always been vulnerable to government pressure because its wealth stems from a licensed monopoly over a portion of the public airwaves. Here’s betting that if Trump’s approval ratings go up the networks at least will start sucking up.

  8. Maybe Trump will get Clinton’s nefarious TeleCom Act of 96 undone, and de-monopolize the public airwaves.

  9. G. Greenwald also has some comments.
    The Intercept
    Media Stars Agree to Off-The-Record Meeting with Trump, Break Agreement, Whine About Mistreatment
    A glittering array of media stars and network executives made pilgrimage on Monday to the 25th floor of Trump Tower to meet with the president-elect. They all agreed that the discussions would be “off-the-record”: meaning they would conceal from their viewers what they discussed. Shortly after the meeting ended, several of the stars violated the agreement they made, running to The New York Post and David Remnick of the New Yorker to whine about Trump’s mean behavior.

  10. If it’s as so described, it’s rather disturbing. We need to keep a watchful blind half-eye on those few malevolent media stars who violated their agreement……Launching into a radical running protest of Trump to go all the way to the NY Post & New Yorker so this evil twofer could drive a stake through the heart of Trumps’ media game plan instead is quite alarming…..It could be just as effective as Hogarth’s Gin Lane and Beer Street, that other evil twofer which helped reform alcohol law in yee olde englande. And look what happened then! Today those enchanting English tea shops have been taken over by run-of-the-mill pubs! The English are fizzing with fury over their stiff upper lips on that one! Hmmph!

  11. NotTimothyGeithner

    Jeff Zucker: Yikes, he said he hates everyone at CNN.
    Blitzer: I’ve never met “everyone.” Does he do the millennial reporting?

  12. Yeah, you’re right — maybe death knell is overstating it. But Trump swims in the social media sea like he was born to it.
    And the availability of free, instant, global distribution of text, images, audio and video allows Trump (or anyone) to sidestep conventional distribution channels with the click or tap of a button.
    More importantly, it looks like Trump intends to lead by example when it comes to embracing new media and leveraging it for maximum impact.
    There’s no doubt Trump is using that capability as a huge bludgeon with which to beat the MSM into submission. He doesn’t have to come crawling to the MSM for coverage – they have to come crawling to him.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    He’s taking on the other MIC – Media-Industrial Complex.
    Communicate directly with the people, like Sanders grassroots fundraising from the people.

  14. This is what Bannon is for.
    Lots of what Trump wants to do (a lot of things that don’t fit into the partisan templates) are going to face immediate resistance from one or both of the parties, who have all the traditional press on their side.
    If Trump is going to get any traction at all, he needs to go over the heads of the press gatekeepers and directly to the people who voted him in.

  15. Either that or he’s just a whinger. First we get the whinging about SNL, then Hamilton, and then MSM… all in one week and before he takes the Presidential seat.
    Unfortunately we’ll probably have to listen to 4 more years of his narcisistic “waa waa, you don’t like me” crapola.
    He really needs to grow a pair.

  16. NotTimothyGeithner

    This is great. As long as Trump is focused on whatever mean thing someone has said, he isn’t working, and Washington doesn’t function without the President.

  17. I’m not sure making the incredible discovery there are horsies in the middle of the race track at the Kentucky Derby is quite what we need in our President. Yes, he probably does need to grow a pair too, or rather, a bigger pair, but I’m coming to the conclusion we live in the age of vulnerability hence stupidity….so fear runs amok and we all end up dimly thinking worst-case scenarios about pretty much anything and this displaces any aptitude we may have for an ounce of rational risk-assessment……

  18. @ emma
    … not to mention a growing number of people finding themselves actually living their worst-case scenario, turning all the social contract promises ever made to them into arrant lies and deceptions. fear does tend to run amok when you really cannot pay the rent or see a doctor when your child is sick, and so on.
    a nation in fear–how bizarre/ironic, when USA remains the most powerful, ruthless, and affluent empire ever to lord it over the earth. will we go out not in fire, or ice, not with a bang, or a whimper, but with a chicken little scream of terror in response to mere reality?

  19. It’s a global phenomenon to varying degrees aletheia33. Traumatic fear is commonly seen among the many casualties of successive neoliberal governments. And both flourish faster without a leash. So we need to tune in to our fear to switch both off.
    Failing that, perhaps the best treatment now for our fear would be a transfusion of some of that newly developed Peter Thiel blood fluid, eh?! Tweeted to us beyond borders, beyond boundaries, and beyond the outer peripheral parts of a 140-“character limit” message by that incredibly strong and patriarchal velvet-cloaked KKK Grand Wizard playing Presidential poker with us all, but who may well end up less popular than the Spanish Inquisition if he doesn’t do as Bernie advises…..
    Perhaps we could even get a stash of ‘Trumpiflu’…..Or better yet, look into the merits of constructing altogether, an incredibly efficient flame-throwing Bernie device!! 😉

  20. yea for flamethrowing bernie.
    as lambert says, we have to kill it with fire!

  21. On the other hand, if the establishment keeps lobbing Trump eephus pitches right into his troll wheelhouse, why shouldn’t he take a whack at them?
    “Let’s see, a chance to play to my Acela-hating base by playing kayfabe vs. the liberal-infested MSM, Hamilton and SNL? Yes please.”

  22. Uh … not to change the subject … but there is no ‘g’ in whine ….
    carry on ..

  23. It is British English usage polecat. Maybe even Beeb Usage, but do not hold me to that, please.
    See: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/whinge

  24. It’s a colourful rumour realised in a specialised flavour of nationalised traits (that we’re two nations separated by a common language).
    I just made that ditty up while doing the hoovering.

  25. well … OK then ……

  26. Yes, believe. Clive is right; cleverly crafted as bite sized bursts of beatific badinage.
    Also, not just the United Kingdom and America, but England, North and South, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, the Manx, and all those overseas dialects. (Though, technically, the Isle of Man could be considered “overseas.”)

  27. : Why the Media Cannot Deal Effectively with Donald Trump
    ‘You can have the traffic, or you can have me kill your credibility. Your choice.’
    Carrot AND Stick. Mule moves in one direction.

  28. The problem is that just about every profession has successfully marketed itself as sufficiently too complicated for the layperson to understand. Economists and Government do this, but they are not the only ones. Media outlets start from the assumption that we are all rubes and need to be hand held along the way if they are going to cover anything of substance in any direction. They don’t want to commit the time or effort into doing that because they think that they will lose most of their audience. That quickly becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, if the news can’t be bothered to educate the public the public is left in the dark. That just keeps getting worse and worse. Until we are left with a public that can’t think past Identity politics and a media that is forced into 24/7 coverage of someone they think is the 2nd coming of Hitler.
    Like most things wrong in the world, the Clintons had a hand in it. Thanks Telecommunications act of 1996.

  29. All this extreme lowering of the expectation bar for the Trump administration will be an immense help to him going forward. At least consider the possibility this is by deliberate intention and he’s playing us.

  30. I take exception to the idea that using social media is a way to communicate ‘directly’ with the public. Twitter, Facebook, et. al., are walled gardens that one needs to sign up for and then agree to play by their rules. Some of us are not interested. I think it sets a dangerous precedent.

  31. And, as mentioned in the recently linked article about quitting social media, it’s designed to be addictive.
    Methinks that it would be better for us, individually and collectively, to spend less time on social media and more time in social reality.

  32. Social media, two that. Compernolle has written extensively on this, and while email can have the same effect as social media, he considers it a good medium for one-way info flow. If limited to reading them 2 or 3 times a day, as batch loads.

  33. If NC had not posted a link, and these comments weren’t here, I would never have seen DJT vid.
    Too many people are under the impression that ‘everyone’ has access, or wants access, to social media.
    When they talk of ‘Winning the internet’, or ‘Internet memes’, they really are talking about Twitter of Faceborg, or whatever SM flavor of the day. Those of us who think these ‘services’ are abput mining us for every detail of our lives, often have no clue as to what the rest of you are on about.
    (Pepe the Frog?)
    I am on the internet, the real one, most of the day. No ‘social’ media. I have to spend way too much time trying to decode the horses**t that people are blathering about, in order to make sense of the rest of the stories. When I do go in search of some insight, it usually is not worth the time.
    I know that this puts me at a disadvantage, because I do not get ‘shared’ things as they happen, and actually have to seek out news.
    But if want, I can go days without hearing from anyone. Bliss.
    Just a reminder, if it is free, you are the product, not the client.

  34. You are not in the group they are targeting. Millions of buffoons are.

  35. I suppose the rest of us will have to rely on Yves, Lambert, and others to read Twitter,
    “so I don’t have to”.
    While I love you guys, it does make me somewhat beholden to a different set of ‘gatekeepers’. Sigh.
    I would love to know what is being said by certain parties, in real time, but I have reasons beyond the obvious ones, to not be on social media.
    Like ‘cyclist’, I feel it is very dangerous. At least to me and my interests.
    People I know thought I was crazy, because I didn’t have an unlisted landline. Now they all went from having personal websites, to sharing their whole lives (and their children’s) on F-Book and Twatter.
    Things that make ya go Hmmm.

  36. I look at Facebook, mostly for the comedy value, but it has almost become unbearable. Twitter is garbage: the ultimate result of a culture which reduces every thought to a ten-second soundbite.

  37. F-Book and Twatter! I like that. And who are these twits?

  38. I too would sneer at social media addicts, but I know too many smart and erudite people who absolutely love this crap. A old friend’s public output looks like an unintelligible chunks of hashtags, and other equally obscure (to me) responses. To his credit, he knows me well enough to stick to e-mails or phone calls.

  39. Pepe is most definitely not worth your time but this is the best explanation.https://gimletmedia.com/episode/77-the-grand-tapestry-of-pepe/

  40. The Trumpening

    The most important Trump related news yesterday was the speculation about Tulsi Gabbard possibly being named Secretary of State. NeoCon heads are exploding and the usual suspects are already trying to take her down, at least on Twitter.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/democratic-rep-tulsi-gabbard-consideration-trump-cabinet/story?id=43696303
    This would be a most brilliant choice by Trump on multiple levels.

  41. The DNC, I’d wager, would be speechless at the utter gall of Trump to do such a thing …. and would ALSO try to quash (through their minors in CONgress) said appointment, out of shear spite !

  42. i would think she might have some difficulty with accepting that appointment, on principle. doesn’t she then become a minion of the antichrist?
    oh wait, to decline such an “opportunity” would be to go against everything that everyone most basically believes in in USA. absolutely everyone of all stripes would think she was simply crazy. except for mebbe a few NC readers and other fringe elements.

  43. And today’s Rice-Davies Award goes to…
    NATO chief Stoltenberg calls for military alliance to enlarge [euronews]
    Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Europe for not doing enough to help Turkey tackle terrorism…[c]alling for increased cooperation in Ankara’s fight against Kurdish separatists…
    Obviously a journalist with an iota of integrity would have written “… Erdogan slammed Europe for not doing enough to help Turkey tackle Kurdish seperatists whom he lables as terrorists“, but journalists and integrity are increasingly akin to oil and water.
    Edit: I just read the second Euronews story on the France “terror plot” which offered 0 information other than claims by the French security forces saying how awesome they are to have foiled a terror plot (more Rice-Davies). Today is my first experience with Euronews, and it hasn’t been a good one.

  44. Rule #1: assume all news is really disguised propaganda, at worst; or
    Rule #2: assume a lot of mis-information or dis-information; then
    Rule #3: Do a little research to discover opposing viewpoints/ information if available
    Rule #4: If you still are confused or cannot determine the truth or reality, go back to Rule #1

  45. Euronews is a consortium of state broadcasters. Usually very dull.

  46. Sorry, but the Lowe’s robot, as well as the the army of people in orange aprons at Home Depot, are there to deter shoplifting (there’s a small underground economy based on returning items to HD for gift cards). Helpfulness (e.g. knowledge) and cheerfulness are not the same thing.

  47. That sounds like insider knowledge — is it?

  48. Thanks for sharing this with us. There is an important meeting being held right now at the Security Council of the UN on Water. The UN Security Council is holding an open debate on Water, Peace and Security with briefings by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Danilo Turk, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace; Vice-President of the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) Christine Beerli; and Sundeep Waslekar, the President of Strategic Foresight Group (SFG).
    See here for detail: http://webtv.un.org/live/

  49. Obamacare’s Supposed Beneficiaries — broken link

  50. Lambert Strether

    Fixed, thanks.

  51. ‘broken arrow’

  52. ‘broken care’

  53. re: Is Microsoft Purposefully Degrading/Crashing Internet Explorer
    I run Windows 7 in a virtual box. The software I run on Windows became extremely slow. But I got it running as good as ever by turning off “check for updates” for the Windows system. Previous to this change I had simply turned off automatic updates. On my virtual box the Windows system process of checking for updates though not installing them began about two minute after startup and used 50 percent of the processor from then on. I turned on another virtual CPU and it still used 50 percent. Google for it and it will often be referred to as a known bug. A known bug that’s been around since XP. The MS recommended solution is to turn on automatic updates so security and performance fixes can be installed.
    Mine was to put a red x near the update flag on the tray.

  54. Thanks for the insight into the ongoing Window crapification of Windows. I’m out of the loop for such technical knowledge but very very much appreciate all the knowledge shared.

  55. Trump on HB-1 work visas – it would be nice if he would begin a gradual drastic reduction/elimination of them. My income would likely go up and the many and increasing Indians in the Boston area that have displaced American workers and driven up rents would be go home probably. NPR won’t be able to do many more programs on the fusing of many diverse sub cultures and influences of Indian music in the SAN Fran area but I can live with that and maybe mutual fund companies like State Street and others will hire Americans not just to train their Indian replacements.

  56. Ditto here. One company interview in downtown Chicago I had recently was quite revealing. I don’t mind coding in a crowded room where 75% of the staff are south asians. I do mind salary offerings comparable to what I made out of college. I’m finding many senior dev positions are really “Team Lead” positions with significant management of off-shore “talent”. Depressing.

  57. Several years ago I was performing contract work at State Street located next the the IT dept. The entire staff was Indian. Not 75%, not 90% – 100% — except for 1 person in the middle of the floor was a white male American. He was the manager. And that doesn’t even get into the off shored support sfaff located in India. Several people from State Street have mentioned they are training their Indian replacements…don’t know if those Indians stay here in the Boston area or return to India and perform the jobs.
    And it’s other mutual fund companies too, not just State Street – JPMorgan, Brown Brothers…they all do the same thing. Bring in foreigners to replace American workers.
    This likely helped cause the end of my 5 yr relationship with my partner who I prized greatly. When we met I was employed full time at good money. Now I make less than half of what I did in a good year on contract work which is never year round. After we broke up he finally said what I suspected was the real reason for leaving me: “You haven’t had a job in 3 years.” Not entirely true as I part time tend bar and do get contract work, but point taken. I am in a different income class than when we met. I get it. I read here at NC that is the leading cause for broken relationships. He didn’t get the have the life he expected to have when we met and he can do better he is very attractive young and personable person.

  58. Amazing how life can so quickly unravel when your income is decimated. And we are still sharing these stories 7+ years into an economic “expansion”? Google “Andrew Joseph Stack”. and Section 1706 of Tax Reform Act of 1986. Democratic Senator Moynihan’s little Lap-Dance for IBM and other large software firms.

  59. Sorry about the break up, but you just may have encountered the dreaded “silver lining” effect. He will forge ahead to whatever self delusional life he wants. He seems to have embraced the “wealth equals happiness” myth. You sound sadder but wiser. You are better off; fewer delusions and better problem solving abilities as a result. No, I am not arguing that “poverty builds character.” Often, said “character” built is bad character. Finally, your ex-partner won’t be young and attractive for very long. Age will creep up and hit him over his head one fell night. Someone will call him Mister, or, horrors, Grandad.
    Anecdotally, the same “crapification” process you described as occurring in IT work is at play in construction as well. Several light commercial job sites I have looked at in my search for work recently are now heavily Latino in crew composition. This includes so called “skilled trades” like electrical, plumbing, and carpentry. The only ones benefiting from this are the owners and contractors.
    I live in the Deep South. One joke current around here is that Mexico won’t have to fight a war to get the southern third of America back. They’re merely displacing the older population. Another wag suggested that, just as the White man did to the Natives with smallpox and other ‘European’ diseases, i.e. killed them off, the Latinos are doing the same to the Anglos with cheap drugs.

  60. Your definition of personable and mine differ.
    I hope you find someone who chooses you because of who you are as a person instead of because of how much you can bring into the relationship in terms of money.
    I get that having money can definitely improve the outcome of relationships sometimes but it should not be the be all and end all. Some of my best memories in my own 20+ year relationship have been when we were broke as broke can be and the MOST we had was each other to depend upon.

  61. Ditto that.

  62. Yes, doubly ditto’ed. You are better off without. Be glad you found out sooner rather than later, not after a material proportion of your life or whatever. Consider yourself lucky that you’re free of such a bad deal.
    Plus, shallow materialistic people tend to get worse with age, not better. What I keep hearing described as “mid life crises” are more often than not disillusioned people not “achieving” what they “think they’re supposed to have”. And I’ve seen some cases of “mid life crisis” go on twenty years or more. And start at 30-something.

  63. timbers,
    Very sorry to hear about your career troubles and your relationship troubles.
    But believe me when I say, “He did you a favor by leaving”. I’m sure it doesn’t feel like it, but your ex doesn’t understand hardship and what relationships are really for. You’re lucky it didn’t take 10+ years to find out.
    When time passes and your ex gets older and faces health problems or other difficult circumstances, that person will become very lonely, very quickly and realize what a mistake they’ve made.

  64. @timbers
    I have been somewhat in the same boat. I have $100k in student debt hanging over my head and the income I expected when I signed for it fell laughably short thanks to 2008. I have had 1 serious relationship since school, and while we didn’t break up exclusively over money, money is the reason I refuse to even put myself out there. There is essentially no chance I will ever be able to pay off my debt and the squalor I live in to try and make ends meet is too depressing to try and introduce someone special into the mix.

  65. I like Dmitry Orlov’s take on this all-too-common experience…
    “Collapse early, and avoid the rush!”

  66. Otis B Driftwood

    At my shop we’re discouraged from looking to H1B-1 candidates unless we can’t find a U.S. citizen to fill the position. And as far as the Bay Area goes, everyone wants to work at Twitter, or FB or Google, etc. The competition is intense for good software developers, whether they are U.S. citizens or here on a visa. And as I noted in another thread recently, we’re having much better success lately with college-level hires.
    I don’t mean to diminish your experience, and I have stories to tell myself about the failures of off-shoring and the “penny wise, pound foolish” thinking of executives in software development companies. But at the same time, I don’t blame the H1B workers for being here, nor the people working for slave wages in far away places. They’re workers, just like you and me.
    You should also know that, increasingly, a lot of those people from India and Pakistan are U.S. citizens, born and raised. And many more are naturalized U.S. citizens. As American as you and me.

  67. I don’t blame them either. I do think their culture is way too deferent to hierarchical authority. Why wouldn’t American companies want to hire them?

  68. This, right here, is my problem with the commodity fetishism of ethnicity that Democrats call “diversity”. Why wouldn’t the managerial class want to dilute the uppity white laborers with them? A naturalization certificate melts nothing.

  69. It’s more than just the culture. An H-1B worker is dependent on the goodwill of their employer to a much greater degree than an American worker. If they want to get a new job, they have to apply for a new visa, which is time consuming and expensive (and can typically not be done start to finish in the 2 weeks they are permitted to remain in the country if they are terminated, even if they find a new job right away). This allows employers to get away with much more where H-1B workers are concerned, because they can’t just quit and find a new job in the way that a US citizen or permanent resident could.
    I’ve seen presentations from recruitment agencies that quantify this advantage in dollar terms and explicitly advertise it to employers as an argument for hiring H1-B workers over Americans.

  70. Otis B Driftwood
    November 22, 2016 at 9:26 am
    I don’t mean to diminish your experience, and I have stories to tell myself about the failures of off-shoring and the “penny wise, pound foolish” thinking of executives in software development companies. But at the same time, I don’t blame the H1B workers for being here, nor the people working for slave wages in far away places. They’re workers, just like you and me.
    You should also know that, increasingly, a lot of those people from India and Pakistan are U.S. citizens, born and raised. And many more are naturalized U.S. citizens. As American as you and me.
    No diminishment taken, but the fact is the numbers of HB-1 has increased and is likely to increase greatly over time, because Obama recently allowed spouses of HB-1 workers to take jobs. If you are savvy as to how foreigners get into this country with fake marriages, you know taht one action by Obama could potentially nearly double the HB-1 numbers allowed to work. And that doesn’t even get into any actual increase in HB-1 official numbers, which I think have been increased also (could be mistaken abt that though).

  71. Katniss Everdeen

    I figured you’d get some serious push-back when I read your initial comment.
    But the fact remains that, given the serious levels of un- and under-employment existing in this country currently and the social upheaval it’s causing , there is no excuse for a policy like HB-1 visas. It and all others like it should be abolished, those now occupying those positions required to train their american replacements and return to their countries of origin.
    Especially if they are “developing” software for such things as driverless trucks or robotic replacement of manufacturing workers. At some point, the social costs of technology that displaces humans will need to be considered when evaluating the “benefits” provided by these “innovations.”

  72. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It’s interesting that making the condemned dig his/her own grave, a pre-medieval practice, should be so much alive in the hi-tech industry.
    Can’t these smart guys (and gals) think of something more better, sorry, superior?

  73. I had to do that once in order to get the severance package. It was incredibly humiliating, and almost convinced me to get out of the software racket.
    But since then I’ve built up enough of a nest-egg that, should it ever happen again, I’ll be able to walk out on the spot. I advise anyone else in the “industry” to do the same if you at all can.

  74. We don’t need driverless vehicles, what we need is vehicleless drivers…

  75. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nice chiasmus.

  76. Thank you for another new word. I added it to my text file of new words. /NOT sarc I do have such file and do add new words hoping to increase my vocabulary — Thanks!

  77. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    You’re welcome.
    That’s how one learns. I used to keep a notebook of new words and ideas I picked up, and, as a part of cultivating my creative self, my own thoughts and neologisms (and I should do that again – it just seems there’s not that much time. I used to live by myself, but now, my 84 year old mother and my brother live with me).
    Master Zhaozhou (or Josho in Japanese) was over 60 and the abbot of his Zen monastery when he decided he did not know enough. So, he resigned and wandered around China for decades, vowing to learn from anyone he could…fortune tellers, fish mongers, waiters, laborers, potters, miners, beggars, etc. He then returned and lived well past 100 (died at the age of 119 – that’s what it says in Wiki 778 to 897). This was over 1,000 years ago (see Zhaozhou Congshen, Wiki)

  78. In contrast with the many provincials that bitterly threaten to leave the US due to our manifold problems, very real and some imagined, there is a long line of ppl holding their breath to enter this country, including those subject ones that get packed on the H1b express train.
    I don’t blame a single one of them acting in their self interest, ultimately we all do.
    The real issue is the corruption of the legislative system that passes these congenitally unfair laws to beneficiate special interests that want to operate in this country with “global” advantage.
    I have no problem with East Indians perse, but they have a very rigid cultural pecking list code that is not inclusive. It is their nature and i have watched it evolve in several companies, particularly in commercial IT depts.
    What i have observed is they tend to hire exclusively from their social pool, as distinct from just cultural demographic, and the social order is enforced in and out of the work enviornment.
    Maybe this is the immigrant story but there is a twist. At a certain critical as the corporate think sets in, positions and entire departments that make absolutely no sense to “offshore” migrate to India w serious crapification results.

  79. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is it hubris to think all cultures can ‘pot-melt’ as quickly as we assume?
    Some did quickly, some took centuries, others still on-going.
    Witness the Amish in Pennsylvania, Chinese in South East Asia, Dravidians after Indo-Aryan migration into the sub continent, etc.
    On the other hand, Spartacus’ revolt gladiators came from different backgrounds, so it was possible to unite.
    Let’s not assume one will like something from another place right away (due to enornous peer pressure), nor if one doesn’t like it initially, one will not like it later.
    So, it’s OK to say one doesn’t like something if that’s how one feels. At least, that’s genuine.
    Maybe you’ll like it later.

  80. Witness the Amish in Pennsylvania, Chinese in South East Asia, Dravidians after Indo-Aryan migration into the sub continent, etc.
    None of them are being aggregated in this Country by financially connected corporate interests through a special Visa program to be used as a blunt instrument against prevailing domestic wages.

  81. To be clear, I enjoy the cultural diversity in this country. And my comments about Indians are impart derived from observation of Indian friends at large family/guest events. like graduations and birthdays…

  82. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    When I first ran into the vegetarian culture, I was not too thrilled.
    “What, no meat!?!?!?”
    Now, I am mostly that.

  83. oohhhh.. they know how to cook…
    What I am still looking for is an antique Indian Karahi, the Indian analog to a wok but hand beaten carbon steel thick on the bottom and tapering to the perimeter. Heavy like a cast iron pot. All I see is stamped junk.
    A long time friend’s mom had one handed down from her grandmother and she used it for simmering the most fantastic curries and making pori ( flash fried puff bread).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puri_(food)
    good stuff…

  84. East Indians have a surprising way of becoming American over two generations — like all the others before. How long does it take for a 2nd generation East Indian to marry a Korean or Chinese or Caucasian or Black or someone like me — a mutt? America will become like Brazil — a good thing I think.
    As for the place of H-1B workers — scabs are scabs — no matter where they come from. And scabs only come through their greater need and greater oppression.
    Labor must organize across International boundaries just as capital did. I don’t how that might happen but when — and it is when not whether this happens — our oppressors will have hell to pay.

  85. I don’t consider H1-b works as scabs, they are people that are trying to improve their existence.
    The fact that they are topical is due to Domestic issues higher up the food chain.
    East Indians have a surprising way of becoming American over two generations
    Personal observation:. Two Indian families I know, very genteel nice friends. Both sets of parents my ageish, first generation, grabbing the brass ring and all that.
    Their kids progressively did everything to culturally rebel from the ethnicity through high school. Now in colleges, HUGE 180degree about face, it’s all about being indian, Indian sorority ( female kids obviously) Indian food ( used to hate it) Indian attire.. you get the theme. We are amused.
    They are fiends but I could never travel with them.. UTTERLY complicated people to be within a larger social context. Everything seems to have a couple extra steps.
    One of the families built a new house, the big hous they no longer need. just a disaster project after they took the contractor over the edge. Open house party in the yard. Big BUUUUZZZZ, I track it down to a lighting transformer.
    Me: “maybe you want to get this wired correctly before it burns your house to the ground?”
    ****.. “It’s not supposed to sound like that?”
    Me: “nooo , I don’t think so”
    *****” should I shut it off?”
    Me: ahhhhhhhmmmm yeah kill the breaker and go get a screwdriver and a plate of Samosa for me”

  86. I could never travel with fiends, either.

  87. Contrast “people that are trying to improve their existence …” with people with “greater need and greater oppression.” I think we agree more than we disagree in this matter. I do not blame H-1B Visa workers for trying to get a better life for themselves and their children — indeed I honor them for that. But scabs are scabs. I believe the scabs of past were driven by much the same honorable purpose as H-1B workers. But both undermine pay. I do not blame scabs. They are but even greater and more exploited victims.
    In case you thought I am anti-foreign or anti-Indian — Vishwakarma chides me for the poverty of my works. I lived in and deliberately chose to live in a community with a large Indian and Pakistani and Chinese and Korean and Caribbean enclaves [the Latinos who worked on the lawns and some Caribbeans driving local cabs envied our great good fortune in affording the apartments where we all lived] … in the hopes some of their values might rub off on my own mixed children. Perhaps you miss the heart of my comment — “Labor must organize across International boundaries just as capital did.”

  88. As a former H1-B worker I am sympathetic to your arguments and have made some of them myself in the past. But I think the structure of the H1-B program leads to it being used as a weapon by employers against workers (I suspect by design). Because it is a nonimmigrant visa, the H1-B says: we want you to come and work for us, but we don’t want to provide you with a path to residence/citizenship or any of the rights and privileges that come with that status. This becomes a tool for exploiting the H1-B workers themselves and weakening the relative bargaining position of American workers, who can’t be similarly exploited.
    I do think that some level of employment-based immigration is desirable, but the way it’s currently implemented is exploitative, breeds resentment, and (like most US labor policy) favors big business. By all means bring people in to work if it’s needed, but let them do it as American residents or Americans so that the playing field is level.

  89. I just can’t see Trump eliminating HB-1 work visas. All wealth comes from labor. It’s not just software and engineering but also medical industries that would be effected.

  90. And are effected … look at nursing staff especially those working graveyards.

  91. nycTerrierist

    Awful news about the cat sanctuary bombing.
    Alaa Aljaleel, The Cat Man of Aleppo, is a true leader, with good works for his neighbors, beast and man.
    The world should honor people like this instead of the scoundrels who gin up the wars.

  92. Avalon Sparks

    Very true, he’s a hero through and through, with more integrity and valor in his little finger than the majority of our US elected leaders put together.
    Kindness and compassion are other resources this world seems to be running out of.

  93. That story brought tears to my eyes. I’ve been following the work of the cat sanctuary, not only because I am an animal lover, but because it was a small sliver of positivity in a very ugly situation. I hope he and the remaining cats find a new haven and he is able to continue his good work for the cats and for the children who love them.

  94. Many videos from rebel-held Aleppo are staged. This is is one obvious example where they apparently forgot to edit the video before uploading it
    This comment on the kitten sanctuary is relevant

  95. Trump on infrastructure – 2nd consecutive day of significant delays in service on the Boston T public transportation and it’s not even snowing. Track problems. Last snow storm we had delays – when I pointed out on FB that Obama was spending money like water bombing Syria while Bostonians can’t even get to grocery stores or work because broken Boston T and I was told that was the fault of Republicans and promptly unfriended.

  96. Giving new meaning to the expression, “the truth will set you free”

  97. filafreshcrew

    You think that’s bad, live in NYC. They closed down an entire line for 2 years to work on the tracks, and they’re not even using that time to upgrade and renovate their filthy dilapidated stations.

  98. MBTA situation is in large part a product of debt and underfunding and is indeed the fault of Republicans (e.g. Weld, Cellucci, and Romney) just not today’s household names.

  99. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    That ‘unfriending’ is one powerful peer pressure approach to democracy.
    Who wants to be unpopular?
    “I am the most unfriended person on social media!!!”

  100. ‘Tis better to have friended and unfriended, than never to have friended at all?
    Facebook sux.

  101. What does this tell you about FaceBook?

  102. Maybe one response to Trump might be to collect his campaign “promises”, sift them a little, clarify them — and use them as a hammer to drive Trump in the populist directions he dabbled with — like public transit.
    Trump seems (?) to care more about his public image than other politicians. That might be used a tool to drive him.

  103. Butch In Waukegan

    If this happens, how will The Donald respond? Obama?
    Hundreds of O’Hare workers to strike next week as part of Fight for $15 protests — Chicago Tribune
    A strike planned for Nov. 29 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport will miss the Thanksgiving holiday’s busiest travel days and coincide with a nationwide day of protests that the Fight for $15 movement claims will be its most disruptive yet.
    The Fight for $15 asserted Monday that after the election of Donald Trump to the White House it “won’t back down” from its activism in the face of an incoming administration it believes “threatens an extremist agenda to move the country to the right.”

  104. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I don’t know if it will work out, but by shrinking supply of labor (border control, *fewer H1B visas and other immigrants…*fewer, not zero, as we are still open to them), if demand stays constant, price should go up… theoretically.

  105. No doubt, but long term. Course elites think long term, we should too.
    Infra, if it comes, would be sooner

  106. #NoDAPL – Water Protector in Critical Condition After DAPL Police Grenade Blew Apart Her Arm
    This has been corroborated from other sources as well. It is absolutely frustrating and unacceptable.

  107. Note my link above. ways you can help. Where’s the Potus on this? Or the Potus-elect? Or anyone but Bernie, who has been vocal.
    Depravity.

  108. nycTerrierist

    Exactly. Where is Potus on this?
    IIRC did he say something like ‘he’s going to wait a couple weeks and see how this plays out?’
    Wtf?

  109. Where’s Hillary? She has the time now and Bernie has to clean out the Dem stables and lead the Revolution.

  110. hiding. i would be also. I hope she and hers are gone forever.

  111. NotTimothyGeithner

    She is probably waiting by a phone for a $250k speech offer and can’t figure out why the offers haven’t come in. Maybe Wall Street doesn’t know she has a lot of free time.

  112. True to form, she made a meaningless, word-salad statement in late October. Bill McKibben who I see as a middle of the road environmentalist tweeted “Hillary Clinton managed to make a statement about the Dakota Pipeline that literally says nothing. Literally”. Another fine example of her “playing not to lose” mentality. 0bama isn’t doing much better–must…leave…with…50 pct plus…approval rating.

  113. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier attributed the blast to protesters and said law enforcement had nothing to do with the explosion.http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/nyc-woman-lose-arm-protesting-dakota-access-pipeline-article-1.2883263?

  114. Yves Smith Post author

    Videos suggest otherwise.

  115. “Objectivity” wasn’t what I intended (I didn’t mean to say what I implied). I missed my cast toward Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffit, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando_Letelier
    and then to Judi Barihttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judi_Bari .

  116. WaPo just came out with a wishy washy both sides blame each other article so I tore the author a new one on twitter.
    https://twitter.com/UserFrIENDlyyy/status/801196712953987072

  117. Yes, Sanders really is the person who should be our next President. As Gaius Publius points out in an article at NC today, it didn’t have to be this way. Sanders would have beaten Trump.
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/donald-trump-my-100-day-action-plan.html

  118. Good link. Here’s what I posted on FB after reading it:
    A brave woman demonstrating at Standing Rock named Sophia Walinsky just had her right arm amputated after being shot by a percussion grenade indiscriminately fired into a crowd by police. I entered her name into a search of Google News trying to find a mainstream news report on this important national story. This is what I got:
    Your search – Sophia Walinsky – did not match any news results.
    Suggestions:
    Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
    Try different keywords.
    Try more general keywords.
    Try fewer keywords.
    The reason I tried to find a mainstream source is that I found some the clickbaity sidebar of paid placements on the side of the report I read uncouth. But I guess in today’s journalistic desert, that’s the only way real journalists can hope to keep the lights on reporting.
    Here’s the link I to the brave journalism with the tacky sidebar:
    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/water-protector-dapl-grenade-destroys-arm/
    What I want to know is where is the putatively prestigious professional press on this important story? Where is Obama? Where is Hillary Clinton? Where are the Democrats? Why the shameful silence? What do they owe to the petro-barons to maintain their cynical silence?
    I spit on your “lesser evil”.

  119. OK, I’ve been corrected on the spelling of the woman’s name. The linked report apparently misspelled her name which accounts for the lack of hits on that spelling. The correct spelling of her last name is “Wilansky”. Maybe the tacky sidebar should have alerted me to expect shoddy reporting.

  120. It has occurred to me on more than one occasion that there is much similarity between the way that the Chinese government mistreats Tibetans, and the way that the U.S. government mistreats American Indians. Both governments are shameful and oppressive.

  121. It is absolutely frustrating and unacceptable.
    +1
    I note, hypothetically of course, that small amounts of thermite could inflict commensurate damage to the pipeline itself.

  122. Re: Trump and Media’s inability to deal with him effectively. Neglected to mention the flip side of all the attention on Trump– their steadfast refusal to give Sanders ANY air-time. The DNC, Wasserman-Schultz conspiracy actions broke me away from the Dims, forevah. Their lack of substantive plan and demonstrated inaction on climate and celebrating and promoting the obvious make-work shift away from a deleterious carbon-based system to a more sustainable future was the last nail.
    Voting: license and consent for all the crap I reject.
    I yam The New Face of an Angry White Older American Male.

  123. Boosting Trump was a Clinton campaign strategy; it’s in the Podesta emails. I suppose it’s possible they never actually put that plan into action, though they certainly welcomed boosting Trump over his primary opponents. So, it’s not really a flipside. Boosting Trump and pretending Sanders didn’t exist were fundamental parts of the same strategy.
    Here’s the memo discussing “Pied Piper Candidates.”

  124. Barmitt O'Bamney

    got a bumper sticker/ t-shirt slogan idear for like-minded curmudgeons:
    I’m deplorable and I vote!
    I considered printing this up at cafepress, but living where I do, it would probably just get my car window smashed, or the paint keyed. My neighbors are all super tolerant enlightened Democrats, without a speck of bias or hatred in their hearts you understand. Love always trumps hate is their motto, unless one is different from them and fails to accept their moral superiority. Then it’s daggers and severed brake lines.

  125. Yup. I’ve experienced that too. I’ve questioned said moral superiority and ended up getting un-friended. (In real life, not on Faceborg.)

  126. There are many small T-shirt vendors who specialize in T-shirts for middle-school soccer teams who might print your shirts for you. Support small business!
    Sorry — the slogan “I’m deplorable and I vote!” already seems dated and a little past it’s sell-by date. Be more radical and think more revolutionary thoughts! If you expect to get your car window smashed or your car key-ed — get a video — press charges! — and come up with a more radical bumper sticker/T-shirt slogan.
    i don’t know your neighbors but “daggers and severed brake lines”? Maybe it’s time to move?

  127. At the moment, Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway says he won’t be prosecuting Clinton.
    I suspect there will be another event where a Clinton prosecution is floated, then quashed, then floated again, and then it’s never going to happen. The powerful don’t pursue the powerful that way. Too many skeletons.

  128. Cynic that I am I’m guessing that a headlong investigation of the Clintons’ skullduggery would bring unwanted attention to Trump’s own dubious finances regarding his foundation and undisclosed tax returns. However, Committee Chairmen are pretty independent, and, I would really love some effort be made regarding what really was discussed during that “Tarmac” chicanery.

  129. They are not going to have time to investigate Hillary, They will be pre-occupied investigating Trump’s numerous conflicts of interest in preparation of impeaching him to elevate Pence to the Presidency.
    I keep hearing that the Trumps are working with lawyers to make everything legal. I don’t think they understand that impeachment is not a legal proceeding in a court of law. it is Congress acting as grand jury and then judge to remove the president for high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump’s conflicts of interests are setting the table for him to remain president for only as long as the Republican Congress wants him to be.

  130. NotTimothyGeithner

    Trump is more popular than the Republicans in Congress with Republican voters. Trump isn’t getting impeached by that group. They threw everything at Trump already and lost.
    The “lock her up” sentiment is the danger for Trump. Republican base voters want Hillary prosecuted. If Trump is perceived as against, the GOP base then things could change, but Republican after Republican tumbled before Trump because the GOP voters simply don’t like the continuing elite Republican class.

  131. I would like to see your fantasy roll call on impeachment.
    Investigation of Clinton is not one of the binary elements in a zero sum game. Just because the election is history doesn’t mean an investigation rolls up it’s carpet.

  132. I think this is the legal precedent that Trump will be relying on regarding his conflicts of interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiHN3IJ_j8A

  133. Could also be a head fake so that Obama sees no need to pardon her.

  134. Breitbart doesn’t seem to be too happy about this.

  135. Kind of goes to show you that the entire cabinet-choosing exercise is a little silly, given that Donald can’t keep an advisor around for more than a few months.

  136. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    Re Obamacare’s beneficiaries voting for Trump, part of saying Medicaid expansion was worthless and so is insisting covering preexisting conditions, is a classic example of taking an interesting piece of data and shoving it into a pre existing viewpoint to support an ideological argument when there’s no real link between the data and the ideological claims. When looking at that interesting datapoint:
    “the single best predictor identified so far of the change from 2012 to 2016 in the share of each county’s eligible voters that voted Republican” is how low the county scores on an index of public health measures. The worse a county performed on life expectancy, obesity, diabetes, heavy drinking, and physical activity, the greater the swing toward Trump.”
    There’s nothing in it that specifically id’s medicaid expansion eligibility, though that’s how the article opens, and even a data point to counter:
    “Polling data suggests that on the whole, Mr. Trump’s supporters are not particularly down on their luck: within any given level of educational attainment, higher-income respondents are more likely to vote Republican. But what the geographic numbers do show is that the specific subset of Mr. Trump’s voters that won him the election—those in counties where he outperformed Mr. Romney by large margins—live in communities that are literally dying.”
    And also:
    “The implications are remarkable. ObamaCare’s main selling point is that it guarantees access to health insurance for people with preexisting conditions — like diabetes and other illnesses associated with obesity, heavy drinking, and a lack of physical activity….”Many of Obamacare’s supposed beneficiaries don’t appear to value the law very much”
    What about cancer? What about genetic diabetes? What about genetic fifty million things and other pre-existing conditions? The idea that there’s any argument that pre-existing condition coverage isn’t valued by people because people dealing with “illnesses associated with obesity, heavy drinking, and a lack of physical activity” voted for Trump is absurd.
    Here’s an alternative hypothesis–note “hypothesis”, not claiming truth:
    When communities are dealing with large amounts of “illnesses associated with obesity, heavy drinking, and a lack of physical activity” they are probably inhabited by large numbers of depressed and angry people, perhaps people dealing with a large amount of financial stress and perhaps a decreased standard of living.

  137. ” ObamaCare’s main selling point is that it guarantees access to crappy health insurance for people with preexisting conditions”. There, I fixed it for Forbes. What good does it do to people who are barely hanging on financially to be forced to purchase high deductible, narrow network plans that are anything but “insurance?” Many people purchase “insurance” and can’t afford to use it. People don’t need access to crappy “insurance,” they need access to medical care, and 0bamacare certainly does not guarantee access to it.

  138. OIFVet
    November 22, 2016 at 9:10 am
    Exactly right. I have been saying for a while that what people THINK of as insurance, and what they are buying, are two different things.
    Kinda like buying those 70$ Disneyland tickets – just gets you into the park, the rides are extra…

  139. Insurance…
    What was it Inigo Montoya said…
    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  140. subgenius
    November 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++!!!
    I think that line actually applies better to health insurance than to the scene in the film in which it was used….. (The Princess Bride)

  141. Mo's Bike Shop

    Inconceivable!
    /runsaway

  142. Katniss Everdeen

    This emphasis on “pre-existing conditions” as evidence of the holiness and indispensability of obamacare is driving me absolutely batty. It has become THE existential issue of the american “healthcare” system.
    Pre-existing conditions are a construct of the american insurance industry, meant to identify those people the industry did not want as customers, because they required medical treatment. In any nation with cradle-to-grave national healthcare they do not exist. In those countries, a sick person is a sick person, regardless of when the illness manifested.
    The “pre” in pre-existing refers to the timing of a diagnosis and the start date of an insurance policy. A diagnosis prior to the start date of a new policy is, by definition, pre-existing.
    So, here’s the bad news. Any person who is treated under a current insurance policy, is creating a “condition” that could be construed as pre-existing in the future.
    My point here is that pre-existing conditions are only real things as far as insurance industry profitability is concerned. As far as “healthcare” is concerned, they are illnesses indistinguishable from any suffered by those with insurance, and should not be regarded differently.

  143. And now that insurance has become a high deductible, high out of pocket rent extraction, insurance companies can make money even from people with many preexisting conditions. Take Type 2 diabetes for example, I have no doubt that the typical person with this condition is low income. It is a desease that really strikes people who can’t afford quality fresh food and have to rely on overprocessed cheap crap, and who experience a lot of stress in their lives. Low income people fit the bill. Yet by virtue of their low incomes, all they can afford is a high deductible policy, with this year’s maximum being $7,150. When we look at the brochures attached to marketplace policies, we learn that managing Type 2 diabetes costs about $4,500-$5,000 per year. So the low income individual is forced to purchase a crappy high deductible policy, and even though he is now “insured”, he is still out of pocket on managing his Type 2. And to add insult to injury, he is told that he ought to be grateful to 0bama and the Democrats for having allowed his “insurance” company to pick his pocket clean. It’s a scam.

  144. Katniss Everdeen
    November 22, 2016 at 11:59 am
    I agree a squillion percent. The construct of “pre-existing” condition has no precedent in “real” medicine. Its like we start dying the second we are born.
    Every single medical condition we get is do to the fact that our pre-existing condition was being ALIVE. Everybody has tumors in them – they are discovered and undiscovered. They are benign and some, at some point may become malignant.

  145. I agree with OIFvet, no reason why most populations should be enthused about the ACA. Also, they’re looking at the wrong demographic, Trump voters (about 25% of eligible voters), when they should be looking at non-voters (about 45% of eligible voters), people in an ostensibly “blue” demographic who were not enthused about HRC. The assumption that poor economic conditions –> Trump vote is less true than poor economic conditions –> no vote at all.
    HRC didn’t lose because people voted for Trump, she lost because people didn’t vote for her and they didn’t vote for her because things like the ACA have decimated the 90%.

  146. Katniss Everdeen

    ……“illnesses associated with obesity, heavy drinking, and a lack of physical activity”…….
    Apparently “deplorable” was too discredited a characterization, so someone decided to just describe the behavior and leave the proof of complete unworthiness to the reader.
    Here’s another alternate hypothesis–
    The shitty law simply does not work as advertised. It has zero “value.” The rational choice is to vote for the person who wants to get rid of it and replace it with something different and, hopefully, better.
    Figuring out what’s going on here is not rocket science. Rhetorical contortion to explicitly avoid saying it, however, is.

  147. Time for some modest proposals?

  148. The mcarthyism today link is a clear illustration of the direction discourse seems to be headed in the US. Tribes will double down and further alienate eachother and outsiders (independents). While creating a fully impenetrable bubble around themselves.
    While new media offers the opportunity to find views that challenge your outlook and exposes one to varying perspectives and critiques, it also offers one the ability to fully control the information one is exposed to.
    Too many appear to curate an impenetrable bubble with new media. This further entrenchs tribalism and divisiveness.
    Things are only going to get worse on the tribalism front.

  149. Would love to know if there is any way for the new administration to compel Loretta Lynch, or any career Justice Department employee with knowledge of the “Tarmac” incident to divulge what really was discussed on that fateful day?
    I understand Trump has announced that poor Hillary has “suffered enough” and won’t pursue either the email debacle or the Foundation Fraud.

  150. Let’s just hope that Trump decides that Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange have also “suffered enough” and that they won’t be prosecuted.
    Strange how the elite, globally, seem to be able to get away with just about anything, whilst god forbid Joe Sixpack forget to declare a few thousand dollars income, some old granny neglect to declare a foreign bank account, or some mid-level seaman inadvertently take a photo of a Navy ship.

  151. They’d have to offer Lynch immunity from prosecution. Then they could subpoena her, and she wouldn’t be able to hide behind the Fifth Amendment.

  152. Gotcha, thanks

  153. Like a shark, trump neither recognizes her as food or as a threat.. or as someone that can serve as a ablative shield.. at this point in time. She presents no advantage.

  154. Punishment or none — I am not a fan of our penal system — the Clintons and Clinton Foundation deserve and require exposure to bright light.

  155. I feel dirty after hearing Soros claim taking from the Holocaust Jews was okay because if he wasn’t there someone else would have been. Best quote from the video:“George Soros is like Donald Trump… without the humility.”

  156. Yeah that video should come with a “bathe after watching” warning. Just disgusting watching Soros brag about his moral vacuity (because markets) and then get praised by the interviewer for his humanitarian work, such as “rebuilding the Ukrainian army”.
    In a decent society, people like Soros would be ashamed to walk the street, much less appear on TV smiling like a cheshire cat.

  157. On the subject of Soros and suppressed interviews, I’m virtually certain Democracy Now gave him a platform to spew his bullshit fairly recently, as in within the last couple years, but for some strange reason I can’t seem to find it now.

  158. We Are All Deplorables Chris Hedges, TruthDig
    The suffering of the white underclass is real. Its members struggle with humiliation and a crippling loss of self-worth and dignity. The last thing they need, or deserve, is politically correct thought police telling them what to say and think and condemning them as mutations of human beings.
    The self-righteousness of the liberal class, which revels in imagined tolerance and enlightenment while condemning the white underclass as irredeemable, widens the divide between white low-wage workers and urban elites. Liberals have no right to pass judgment on these so-called deplorables without acknowledging their pain. They must listen to their stories, which the corporate media shut out. They must offer solutions that provide the possibility of economic stability and self-respect.
    ==================================================================
    I can’t say I pay a lot of attention to Chris Hedges, but what occurred to me when I was reading it was that it acknowledged my point of view (which I certainly believe is objective reality, but I might be biased) and how, what really should not be important at all by any realistic standard, is more important to me than I would have though.
    As I’ve said, Hillary campaigning with all the happy, shiny people did herself no favors…(i.e., the Dem implication that only racists were dissatisfied with the economy)
    I would quibble that it leaves out that there has to be acknowledgement that the Dem Davos glass is responsible for a great deal of this pain, and was active in trying to sweep it under the rug AND uses racial virtue as a McGuffin to hide the unadulterated greed that drives these people.
    But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Slowly, slowly maybe we all will realize that our Oh so virtuous non racist billionaire tech titans and financial technocrats, who conspire to reduce wages through H1b visas, are not tolerant at all, but its just a big scam to hoover up all the money in the world.

  159. Butch In Waukegan

    The Mr. Fish cartoon illustrating Hedges’ article is right on target.

  160. Butch In Waukegan
    November 22, 2016 at 9:40 am
    Thanks for that – I thought it was vaguely familiar….

  161. I have some heartburn with Chris Hedges old-style notions about !848-style barricades and action in-the-street. But otherwise I am one with Hedges view of the “deplorables”.
    Hedges too often places unarmed/brick armed civilians in the streets against Iraq-war trained Veterans of anti-civilian warfare. When civilians armed or Not stand against State supported Military Police — like our “civilian” “police” — they will be crushed, decimated, and severely injured.
    If you don’t count on the venison you hunt-kill-and-freeze for meat — you have no say in the great 2nd Amendment debates — or bullet purchase limits.
    If we’re talking about civic unrest — bullets are small fire ammunition. Better to hit with strong arguments.

  162. Re “armchair experts”
    M-Pesa, the Kenyan system that is already implemented by Vodafone in some part of India does NOT require an internet connection nor a smartphone, it can use the USSD standard, that even Yves’ dumbphone supports (unless it is a CDMA phone, but India is GSM land anyway)

  163. Why the Media Cannot Deal Effectively with Donald Trump Benjamin Studebaker (Brant). Today’s must read. But a curious blind spot: Trump campaigned on creating more “good jobs,” which is tantamount to increasing wages.
    Then Trump himself can call into the program and get some free air time to say whatever he thinks will improve his poll numbers. They’ll take his call because nothing attracts eyeballs more than “Donald Trump responds to controversy about controversial thing Donald Trump deliberately said to generate controversy” and because only one program can have Trump live on air at any given moment in time–time during which that program and its network know that they have a guaranteed ratings advantage against everyone else.
    ==============================================================
    There is some very preliminary evidence that superhero movies may be on the wain…..after all, how many times can the earth be saved before one starts to say, “been there, seen that, I’m bored with it”
    How long will it be before, just like individual auto crashes or gun murders aren’t reported, a Trump tweet won’t be reported? Who will find out first that even the president of the United States can be over exposed – Trump or the public???

  164. The Hedges piece demonstrates everything that’s wrong with Hedges. He starts by lucidly outlining the problem and usefully quoting MLK on the need for universality and then launches into an attack on Trump and people like him as “slick, amoral trolls.” Hedges doesn’t seem to grant that there may be a grain of sincerity in Trump’s expressed desire to benefit the country and lift up the working class. The people who voted for him are therefore desperate fools. Hedges pities the poor but doesn’t respect their intelligence.
    In reality it’s Hedges who misunderstands King’s message that the powerful are people like us only with a lot more money and power. The poor struggling to get by–and therefore possessing much better bs detectors than many of the cosseted elites–likely do understand quite well who and what Trump is. They are desperate but hardly stupid and so see Trump as a leap of faith because what other choice do they have? In that sense it is like the evangelicals. But stepping back the evangelicals have a defensible point when they say you either believe all of it or you believe none of it. Hedges, the onetime seminarian, is on quicksand when he starts lecturing other people about their rationality.

  165. seconded.

  166. I hope you are right about Trump’s sincerity — even a grain of it. “Trump’s expressed desire to benefit the country and lift up the working class” hasn’t seemed so evident after the election as it was before. We can hope.
    Hedges very strongly supported the Greens early on as the only rational choice for all voters — not just the poor.

  167. Down-Ballot, Green Party Grows in Reach and in Votes
    Contrary to the notion according to which the Green Party robustly campaigns only for president, I assembled this list of contenders who — in elections that ended on Nov. 8 — drew at least 5% of the vote. Unless otherwise indicated, these are nominees of solely the Green Party.

  168. Cook County IL Metropolitan Water District (4 positions) Green candidates won 9.52 – 10.11%http://results1116.cookcountyclerk.com/summary.aspx?eid=110816

  169. Elizabeth Burton

    I voted for several Green candidates myself, but that’s not going to accomplish anything unless the Green Party gets organized. As near as I can tell, even this year the goal wasn’t to actual build a viable third party but to get that desired 5% so in four years they can run Jill Stein or some other woefully unqualified candidate for president again.
    If we’re going to discuss the willful blindness of the Democrats, how about we also discuss the willful blindness of the Greens, which party also appears to have a leadership composed of mostly upper-middle-class professionals with healthy investment portfolios who come across to us Deplorables as snobbish dictators swooping in and condemning us for not recycling enough? Other than co-opting Bernie Sanders’s talking points, I saw nothing from Stein that would appeal to anyone except not-Hillary urbanites and suburbanites.

  170. Agreed on the attitude.
    I recently read a ‘car review’ for a chevy volt. The review was for how it did in the winter. Great, according to the reviewer.
    When questioned, he had to admit that it was garage kept. Because everyone has a garage, right?
    Heating an electric car in the cold is a huge draw on power, and limits their usefulness. Keep it at 50 F, in a garage, and it will do OK. Keep it outside, where temps go below 0 F, and you’d get stuck on the side of the road. The same battery powers the motor and the heater.
    The greens have to stop making climate change a local issue. It never was, never will be, and only serves to draw the worst proselytizers to the party, who by the way, have an extra few hundred square feet of space to keep a car. Green.

  171. Other than co-opting Bernie Sanders’s talking points, I saw nothing from Stein that would appeal to anyone except not-Hillary urbanites and suburbanites.
    Let’s not forget Green Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka’s public disdain for Sanders and many Sanders supporters. Hardly a shrewd move on the part of the Greens.

  172. Here in Tucson, the Green Party leadership is a small group of misfits who don’t welcome outsiders. One of my friends tried to help them, but he finally threw up his hands.
    I suspect that the same thing is happening on the national level.

  173. Since Stein ran on a similar platform in 2012, it’s hardly fair to characterize her as “co-opting Bernie Sanders’s talking points”.

  174. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “Let those without environmental sin, cast the first green stone.”
    It’s not so much the deplorables are green with envy, but the tent should be big enough that no one should be morally more superior for winning the recycling contest. People have mouths to feed and jobs to keep. We all do our best and it’s the thought that counts. It may be counter intuitive, but maybe, you get more recycling that way.

  175. re: Is Microsoft Purposefully Degrading/Crashing Internet Explorer
    Almost certainly.
    (The moderation-borg won’t allow me to present an explanation.)

  176. What’s Internet Explorer?

  177. It should be what Netscape Navigator is.

  178. It’s what you use to download a browser on a Windows machine.

  179. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Lowe’s Unveils Lo Bot, The Bilingual Robot That Is Eager To Please « CBS San Francisco (resilc)
    What a relief! At last I don’t have to go to all the trouble of dialing an 800 number to be aggravated by one of those automated phone systems. I can just go to Lowe’s and one will roll right up to me and get in my face.
    The lady bending down and asking the bot for a “human” was pure comedy gold. She should have just yelled “representative” two or three times like I do on the phone, or looked for a 0 to keep pressing.
    I used to decide whether to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s or Ace based on location. Not any more.
    Those techies in SF have lost their minds.

  180. Isn’t “Lobot” the name of Lando’s assistant in The Empire Strikes Back?

  181. Yes, and, as a smidgen of discreditable enjoyment, the Cloud City Lobot perfectly embodies the type of employee Lowes, and I’m guessing every other boxx store, wants. Programmed for narrow tasks and inhibited from independent thought and action.

  182. Ha! It is.

  183. They would do well to keep the damn things in the Bay Area. Out here in flyover, it looks like another good use for a crooked-ass two-by-four. Or maybe a piece of 1.5″ pipe, if I happen to be in the plumbing dept.
    Or if one is technically inclined, you could just mess with it’s comms, and let it crash into posts, and racks.
    “Hey Joe, come over and look at this, it’s the little pecker that took your job…”
    I do love the idea of just standing there, screaming “representative” at the top of my lungs, until the cops come!

  184. http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2015/06/15/cdc-average-american-woman-now-weighs-as-much-as-1960s-us-man/
    Not being married, I would be curious as to what American women think about that. Could some married commentators ask their wives about this on Thankgiving and report back….

  185. Ask our wives about their weight on Thanksgiving?! You’ve set up a death wish trap fresno dan. Confess now, you work for or are from Zeta Reticuli system. Only an alien could come up with such a fiendishly clever way to cull the human herd.
    To be fair(ish), the article says that the average American male is almost an equal percentage heavier now than in the 1960’s as well. So, I’ll adopt the principle of Conservation of Mass, and not try to transmute my life into a ‘Free Fact Zone’ and thus avoid the massive explosion that a transmutation of Mass to Energy would entail. (Short form; I’ll embrace my “Inner Coward” and live.)

  186. There was a time …when ‘full figured’ was a virtue …. look at any painting or sculpture from, say, the enlightenment to the 18th century …. no ‘twiggy’ figures there !
    Just about everything born of 20th century modernity has given people a really skewed sense reality !
    Thanks a lot … Mr.Bernays/Madison Ave …
    .. .and Fraud !

  187. I think that it’s superfluous since men have also gained 30 pounds in weight during the 30 year period(does that make you all almost the equivalent of a 1960s water buffalo or some such blather?)
    There now you have your “American woman” thoughts and the guys can eat their pumpkin, pecan or apple pie in peace.

  188. I’m having shredded pork tacos for my Thanksgiving …. Yuuuuum !!
    this buffalo’s gonna indulge !

  189. Interesting that neither the headline nor you focused on this bit:
    Today’s American male weighs nearly as much as 1.5 American females from the 1960s
    But of course you could still let us know what you think about this.

  190. I am much heavier than even that! Of course I am also ten feet tall, spray tanned, and solid steely resolve…with a copper top.
    Don

  191. Still evolving to the natural equilibrium..
    Mars: 0.38
    Venus:0.91
    (Earth: 1.00 mass units)

  192. [sotto voce] “could you try to explain to wittle wifey what exactly you mean by ‘what do i think about that’”?
    [pours drink (or gravy, if available) down into shirt onto beer belly of husband]
    “… awww, wook what mommy did!!! what do YOU think about THAT, sweetie pie?”

  193. Fresno dan, consider the hive poked.
    The rest of you are just over analyzing the implied joke…:)

  194. NotTimothyGeithner

    This country needs to get away from its celebrity obsession. Jim Crow was still around in December 1963. The innocent American waif didn’t die with a guy who attacked his opponent for being an NAACP member for over 20 years.

  195. Until we are able to look at ourselves honestly (warts and all) we will never take any meaningful step forward.
    To many U.S. citizens treat their country like parents who believe their little snowflakes are NEVER to blame for their bad actions. There is no such thing as “American Exceptionalism.”

  196. nycTerrierist

    Right on.

  197. alex morfesis

    There is gr8 American ecxeptionalism…
    jfk
    rfk
    mlk
    malcolm x
    medgar evans
    Paul Robeson…
    they are all smiling and laughing this thanksgiving
    Most of what they died for or had their lives destroyed over has come to pass…
    stopping them did not stop them…
    Rejoice and remember…the little people have more or less spoken…
    El donaldo is peotus…
    the “obvious” expected party nominees are now stuck having to have thanksgiving with a family they have spent a lifetime avoiding by hiding in politics
    Roosevelt & Co was a banking house when fdr was inaugurated…
    Realities vs perceptions…
    We all sooner or later turn to dust…spending time chasing some distant indignities or injustice takes time away from preventing and disrupting the wrongs that happen today…

  198. Well worth a scan, with much detail on southern Algeria: shia vs takfiri communal violence / an anti-fracking movement & disaffection among the unemployed youth in hydrocarbon industry towns. Sounds like a volatile mix, of which we will probably be hearing a lot more:

  199. not quite sure how to make the links work here:

  200. I think you mentioned something about this. Here is Brock today on NPR. Have your puke bag at the ready.
    Brock Launches Donor Network To Rebuild The Left After Trump’s Victory

  201. Re: White Nationalists Salute the President-Elect: “Hail Trump!”
    Well good thing somebody has dug up the necessary punching bag for the white nationalist movement. Or is it the alt-right? Wait, is that a media thing, or an actual movement? What happened to the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy?’ Not obviously racist enough? Whatever. Now he’s here, ready for his turn in the national spotlight and making the rounds. Never heard of him? Neither has anyone else, except, curiously, the ever suspect NPR crowd.
    http://www.npr.org/2016/11/18/502616373/npr-listeners-react-to-interview-with-alt-right-leader-richard-spencer?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=us
    Perhaps next year’s conference in DC will double in size – to 400 people…

  202. Sad as the Cat Hotel of Aleppo incident is, I couldn’t find out specifically what part of Aleppo it is situated in. Is it in the East Aleppo pocket, or the government held Rest of Aleppo? If East Aleppo it is, than, sad to say, hard times are nearly here. If the jihadis don’t do a deal and leave peacefully, that entire neighbourhood will go through street fighting. I hope that then the Cat Man has a safe basement to huddle in with some of the animals. Better yet, drape a big red crescent flag on the sides of his place to deter violence. Now that I think about it, that would only attract jihadis looking for a safe place to hide out in. Just go with a bunker. Good luck to the Cat Man.
    Incidentally, what ever happened to the capture of Mosul, “We’ll Be Home By Christmas” promise? Fifty thousand Iraqi Government and allied troops versus five or six thousand jihadis an it’s still grinding on? Something doesn’t smell right about this.

  203. It’s close to the hospital that was put out of action last year, and around the corner from two schools that were leveled even earlier. Bombing a cat sanctuary though is surely the act of men who have gone beyond depravity.

  204. nycTerrierist

    Can’t we just have cage matches where world leaders go at it one on one?
    A test of valor! a question of honor!
    Cheaper, satisfying and much less offensive.

  205. But absolutely nothing settled about which man is so great that other men will die for his whims. And that’s all national sovereignty really is.

  206. That gives the offensive forces involved too much credit for omniscience. Most of the munitions used in any air war today are “dumb” bombs. The much feared “collateral damage” is a commonplace in urban warfare. What were the air units engaged aiming at in the first place? If the target was anywhere near the Cat Hotel, then ‘overages’ would be expected. Also, combatants look for any advantage they can find. Setting up shop next to an internationally known site in hopes of thus discouraging attack would be a rational course of action for the jihadis. Sadly, in urban warfare, one goes to attack the opposition where ever they may be located.
    Roughly though, any descent into outright warfare is beyond depraved. It means that rational considerations have been rejected by one or both of the parties involved. Running a war may entail the use of reason. Choosing war does not.

  207. Actually I was trying to point, indirectly, out that the cats will get more sympathy than children.

  208. Sorry. My irony meter is acting up. And yes to your point. Lots of cute kitten videos out there, few cute human offspring videos.

  209. There are most likely lots of US mercs included in the mix … to continue stirring up the hornet’s nest !
    Another Obama ‘legacy’ !

  210. Re: Microsoft degrading Explorer
    Explorer doesn’t need active assistance from Microsoft for it to have crappy performance. It is perfectly capable of accomplishing that by itself.
    When we got a new PC, it came with Windows 10 and Edge. Edge was useless as it seemed like nobody had developed websites to allow it to access them. Maybe it is better now, but Chrome worked fine then and seems to work fine now.
    The organizations that my wife and I work at require Explorer for accessing the secure employee websites. Edge doesn’t work. Chrome doesn’t work. So, if Microsoft wants people to adopt Edge, they need to get corporate and public sector America to set up their internal websites using Edge. Right now, we use Explorer for accessing our employer websites and Chrome for accessing just about everything else, since Explorer sucks for commercial websites outside of our employers’ security bubbles. Chrome also allows for bookmarks to be ported over across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android onto phones and tablets.

  211. Why should I need browser “X” to access and interface with the Internet? What happened to the old idea of wide and common access to information? Is that really so passe?

  212. re: India Cash Train Wreck
    This series is very interesting for a number of reasons. Thanks for posting these links.
    I see Summers is still peddling the “$100 bills in the US are too large for daily use and can be discontinued.” Makes me wonder what world he lives in. Not my world. Maybe Mr. Summers and Mr. Rogoff always use credit cards for daily purchases and from their daily life make several unwarranted assumptions.
    Also, US economists are still pushing for more inflation (of the small variety – 2% or so). On the one hand economists want to create inflation, on the other hand they want to remove from circulation the next highest commonly used $bill above the $20.
    I wonder if esteemed economists ever venture into the real world or if they ever compare their ‘theory 1’ with ‘theory 2’.

  213. susan the other

    Modi caused instant austerity, aka deflation, with his “demonetization”; nobody is acknowledging it. Does plastic avoid inflation? What is this fetish about the black market and big bills? It will just promote black markets and barter to mess with money like this. None of this makes an actual difference in the value of things except that it causes panic demand, aka inflation. Can we just all get real about money?

  214. Today, a $100 US bill is not a large bill; not when it can cost between $60 – 80 dollars to refuel a large 4×4 vehicle (common around here); not when it costs over $100 for a week’s groceries for a family, etc.
    Cash and inflation are unrelated except in use terms: The more things cost, the larger the $bills people use to pay for them. Imagine only being able to use $10 bills today, instead of $20 or $100 bills.
    Summers sounds like he’s still pushing “cashless” by stealth – one $bill denomination at a time.

  215. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Modi’s move was billed as “populist” since it was intended to attack black market payments. If you want to hook up your telephone, get electricity, pay taxes, or do pretty much anything you must have cash ready in a brown paper bag in order to get to the head of the queue. You can probably account for that cash because you are a farmer or a small merchant or small manufacturer. The recipient, however, a civil servant of some kind, has no way to explain that money.

  216. I don’t understand the link between the two. Does more cash/less electronic transactions –> inflation, and vice-versa?

  217. I see a link between Mr. Summers and Mr. Rogoff ….
    … it’s called a two-sided straight jacket ….
    These guys, and their ilk are certifiable … big time !

  218. On the note of gluttonous tech —
    Howes: Willow Run could change how world moves again
    Synder and all the Democrat sellouts of Michigan think Michigan will be a leader in driver-less cars…
    Meanwhile in Flint…

  219. Yeah, tell me about it. My alma mater, the University of Michigan, is going bonkers over driverless cars.
    Uhhh, U-M, here’s a little hint: You know those university-owned and operated buses that travel to the various parts of campus? I’ve been on some that were so packed that I thought I would be crushed. Think you could put some of your R&D talent into fixing that problem?

  220. The Defend Democracy article about Turkey directs to the Guardian story about Farage. I couldn’t find a good link to the Syraquistan story quickly. Sorry.

  221. Stephen Gardner

    On the professor watchlist: it looks like they don’t have a very stable website. I tried to take a look at it this morning but got this error: “Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error: Could not connect to MySQL.”. Evidently their DBMS server is down or there is a communication problem between tha server and the one used for http service. Or if both the http service and DBMS service are on the same machine, the app is buggy. In any case, it seems like it may not be a very professionally done site.

  222. It’s a Joomla content management system installation, apparently half-configured. That, or some infosec profs decided to make a little mess for them.

  223. I’m not sure why the Studebaker media piece qualified as a must read. I was so put off by the poor-helpless-victims-of-circumstances attitude I had trouble getting through it.

  224. Why the Media Cannot Deal Effectively with Donald Trump – Benjamin Studebaker
    When people compare Trump to Hitler, the most relevant point of comparison is not the racism, it’s the Caesarism. It’s the ability to flout established norms and be empowered rather than weakened in the process. Democracy rests on established procedural norms, and Caesarism is the norm-killer.
    Pretty astute observation. I guess I have to confess, I was rooting for Caesar in this election.
    Conversely, I’m reminded of the line from a “Gang of Four” song, “a balance of power will ensure our safety”. But what if the “balance of powers” came upon a win/win/win solution where they benefit, and the common guy was screwed? Back to the article.
    We have an institutional confidence problem, and that is making our most charismatic political figures dangerously powerful, to the point where they are able to manipulate the media and use it as a tool. The media is meant to constrain politicians, not serve them.
    So it seems like we’re locked in an enemy of my enemy type of landscape. My current enemy is the media and the elites that they are presstitutes for. And at some point, Trump could/would wear out his welcome, at which point presumably the media will be re-embraced (if not rehabilitated).
    I wouldn’t say we’re becoming like Rome (or Nazi Germany). If anything, we’re becoming like South America, where it’s a rough and tumble between institutions and charismatics.

  225. Our American Augustus ??

  226. Des anyone know if this is legitimate:? It’s an email from Pension Rights Center/PRC News – something I guess I signed up for sometime in the distant past.
    Dear Kim ,
    Write and call your members of Congress now to urge them to stop a draft proposal that would send shockwaves through the nation’s multiemployer pension system. Powerful members of Congress are trying to attach this dangerous proposal, called the “composite bill,” to must-pass year-end legislation, in this year’s lame-duck session of Congress, just as they did with the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) two years ago.
    Like MPRA, this draft legislation was developed by Representative John Kline (R-MN), the retiring chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Where MPRA gave license to trustees to slash the benefits of retirees, this ill-conceived proposal would allow the trustees of healthy multiemployer pension plans to switch to new inferior plans that don’t provide guaranteed benefits to workers or retirees. Even worse, the bill would allow plan trustees to divert money from the old plans to the new plans – increasing the chances that well-funded plans could fall into underfunded status, threatening the promised benefits of both workers and retirees.
    Don’t let Congress “pull another MPRA” by sneaking another piece of legislation into a must-pass omnibus spending or other bill! Urge your members of Congress to stop efforts to attach the Kline composite bill to any end-year legislation.
    Stand with workers and retirees by telling your members of Congress to oppose the Kline composite proposal, which could undermine the retirement security of millions of workers and retirees who count on their pensions.
    Around this time two years ago, Congress attached the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act to must-pass omnibus legislation – without congressional hearings or input from the workers and retirees who would be affected by the law. MPRA allowed certain severely underfunded pension plans to cut – in some cases by as much as 70 percent – earned pensions for workers and retirees, placing their retirement security in jeopardy.
    We can’t let this happen again. Tell your members of Congress to protect workers and retirees by rejecting any proposal that would further undermine the nation’s multiemployer pension system.
    Thank you,
    Karen Friedman
    Executive Vice President and Policy Director, Pension Rights Center

  227. can’t find much, but what I can find doesn’t sound good. (e.g. here -> http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1e8a3fed-a7ce-42e8-9e2e-455d20b1e97d , from nov 10)

  228. Re: White Nationalists Salute the President-Elect: “Hail Trump!”
    Perhaps an earlier comment did not make the point properly or just got lost… but isn’t it beneath The Atlantic to dignify 200 jackasses (who can legally engage in all the protected speech they want, by the way) in DC with comment? (Nothing is beneath NPR anymore.) Will ‘Hail to the Chief’ trigger people now? But seriously, JSM could post an ad on Craigslist out here and host a bigger UFO meetup tomorrow night… After all, that topic supports a real national lecture circuit. There’re actually scary proposals coming down the pike like a national registry for people of a particular religion, and these idiots are what’s worrying liberals these days?
    In truth though Chris Hedges makes the most relevant point: ‘demolishing the cruelty of the corporate state will do more to curb the racism of the white underclass than lessons by liberals in moral purity.’
    But no one wants to report on that.

  229. Maybe if we came up with a groovy salute….

  230. Remember the conversations about the blood-swapping? This just came up on my news feed. Enjoy!
    “Here we show that heterochronic blood exchange between young and old mice without sharing other organs, affects tissues within a few days, and leads to different outcomes than heterochronic parabiosis.”

  231. Glenn Greenwald totally nails it on the Trump meeting with the media:
    Media Stars Agree to Off-the-Record Meeting With Trump, Break Agreement, Whine About Mistreatment
    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/22/media-stars-agree-to-off-the-record-meeting-with-trump-break-agreement-whine-about-mistreatment/

  232. The push to end net neutrality means ISP’s can alter traffic on the internet to favor their own products or advertisers. You know, like cable TV. This claim rests on the ISP’s “owning” the last bit of wire that connects your home or office to the real internet, which is the system of global trunk lines everybody uses, and over which no one gets the right to alter traffic.
    However; if the lobbyists for the ISP’s do get net neutrality overturned here in America, it will be a Pyrrhic victory. They will be signing their own death warrants as functioning businesses. There are four reasons:
    1) The American public does not like the web being divvied up into fiefdoms like Compuserve, Prodigy, Yahoo, GeoCities, etc. We’ve been there, and we’ve done that. Never again.
    2) Within a decade, internet access worldwide will be wireless, via satellites or high-flying planes or balloons. It won’t reach your door through cables buried underground. The “last mile” will no longer exist, and if any of it does, it had better deliver the same unfiltered and unfettered access the satellites deliver, or it will soon be out of business. Alternatively, the web ten years from now will be optical fiber straight into every room of every building, like they do already in South Korea.
    3) Local cities and towns and states will see the stifling of local business and loss of taxes that web filtering causes, openly defy the FCC, and build their own ISP’s. To hell with your regulations.
    4) The rest of the world is so vehemently against filtering web results that if net neutrality falls in America, most sapient humans of the American variety will simply sign up to an overseas ISP, and get their internet in neutral format.
    For that matter, parking aging freighters or oil tankers precisely 12.5 miles off the American coast and building an ISP on them is another form of ‘satellite’ takeover of the new, filtered internet.
    Net neutrality is a dead end, and the companies pushing it are Luddites. No enduser in the world wants their web filtered, any more than they want to eat scraps off of someone else’s plate three times a day.
    May I suggest that critics of this new plan to turn the American internet into cable TV refer to it henceforth as “the neutered web.” Much better framing than the euphemism “net neutrality,” which means the opposite of what it says. Critics of web filtering are also encouraged to point out endlessly that the web is a global utility, and that no other nation besides North Korea, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are interested in filtering the web. And they do not succeed at it.
    Neither will America.

  233. Sure, there are different ISPs that control last mile access, but who owns all the fiber that goes between? If I recall, AT&T still has quite a bit of that cable, and they’re the ones that are pushing back against net neutrality. Even with the push for more wireless access, that fiber will still be there, and that’s where they’ll want to implement metering.

  234. If you want a REAL open internet, you have to use a mesh network as the physical infrastructure…
    https://www.wired.com/2014/01/its-time-to-take-mesh-networks-seriously-and-not-just-for-the-reasons-you-think/
    http://www.servalproject.org

  235. If the mainstream media collapses, good riddance IMO.
    It’s become less an objective media and more of an American Pravda machine, designed to keep people in line of authority like sheep. Baa. Baa.
    Look at how they covered the Sanders primary for example. It was a deliberate attempt to undermine his campaign, as Thomas Frank detailed in an article on Harper’s.http://harpers.org/archive/2016/11/swat-team-2/?single=1
    The NYT or Washington Times? Newspaper of record? More like a plutocrat wing propaganda piece.
    Most people in my immediate circle regret that Clinton lost. My thoughts are that if she had won, she would stuff her cabinet with her sycophants, Goldman Sachs people, and neoconservatives. In other words, not any better than Trump, and perhaps a lot worse because she seems to relish war with Russia. To be sure, I think Trump will be a disaster, but he may very well be the lesser evil.
    Perhaps the biggest thing the American people have rejected is the mainstream media. That’s great news and great progress!

  236. Another Clinton legacy besides, welfare reform, banking deregulation etc.Bill Clinton ushered in media consolidation;http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34789-democracy-in-peril-twenty-years-of-media-consolidation-under-the-telecommunications-act
    Now we need to demand that Trump and his Congress open up the air waves to more competition.

  237. From Democracy Now headlines this morning:
    Washington Post: Trump Policies Will Hurt Federal Workers
    HeadlinesNov 22, 2016
    Despite Trump’s focus on creating more jobs in the United States, an investigation by The Washington Post reveals how Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are, in fact, drafting up plans to eliminate government jobs and erode worker protections for federal workers. Among a few of the proposed changes that could affect federal workers are hiring freezes, cutting worker benefits and pensions, and eliminating automatic raises to keep pace with inflation.

  238. Keith Ellison – hidden agenda for Neo-liberalism

  239. Explain to me the “let’s get Hillary syndrome”, she’s a politician. The right-wing cottage industry Wurlitzer owes it’s existence to her. Ailes, Rove, most am radio hate mongers would be little known without her. If she could have been charged with something in the last 30 years why wasn’t she? Who will you blame for the ill’s of merica now that Hillary is gone.
    Breitbart is in total meltdown. It’s hilarious to me.

  240. Liberalism itself. And, frankly, there’s a very good case to be made that American liberalism, informed by respectable Northern values and a firm belief in submission to authority, is indeed the cause of many of the USA’s (and America’s) ills.

  241. Looks like I’m going to have to “self-deport” with my options for remaining documented in the US looking to become non-existent.
    H1-Bs remain the only way to “legally” immigrate to the US (unless its family reunification/asylum).

  242. “Among other things, I hear this as going after H1-B visas. Driving a wedge in Silicon Valley!”
    Had noted this some days ago. (I live in SFBA). Stick that in the craw of the Trump-loving Hindu fundies.
    For the Trumpists this should be a cost-free no-brainer. SV, like Hollywood, hated Trump. If they actually do something I predict it will be immensely popular. Governed under act of congress to they’d have to get something by Ayn Ryan. Are H1-B’s executive-orderable?

  243. >McCarthyism today: The Professor Watchlist
    Ahahahahaha, oh man.
    I for one wish our universities were awash in real radical leftists. Hell, we could use some at the high school level as well.

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