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Off-topic => The rest => Topic started by: JimD on January 26, 2015, 05:18:13 PM

Title: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 26, 2015, 05:18:13 PM
While I try hard I am certainly not the most articulate writer.  JMG does not suffer from that affliction and is one of the best at presenting the realities of our situation.  Below is his most recent piece and it is spot on about much of what I have been trying to say recently.  There has been no one better at explaining the situation over the last 10 years. 


Quote
One of the things my readers ask me most often, in response to this blog’s exploration of the ongoing decline and impending fall of modern industrial civilization, is what I suggest people ought to do about it all. It’s a valid question, and it deserves a serious answer.

Now of course not everyone who asks the question is interested in the answers I have to offer. A great many people, for example, are only interested in answers that will allow them to keep on enjoying the absurd extravagance that passed, not too long ago, for an ordinary lifestyle among the industrial world’s privileged classes, and is becoming just a little bit less ordinary with every year that slips by.  To such people I have nothing to say. Those lifestyles were only possible because the world’s industrial nations burnt through half a billion years of stored sunlight in a few short centuries, and gave most of the benefits of that orgy of consumption to a relatively small fraction of their population; now that easily accessible reserves of fossil fuels are running short, the party’s over.

Yes, I’m quite aware that that’s a controversial statement. I field heated denunciations on a regular basis insisting that it just ain’t so, that solar energy or fission or perpetual motion or something will allow the industrial world’s privileged classes to have their planet and eat it too. Printer’s ink being unfashionable these days, a great many electrons have been inconvenienced on the internet to proclaim that this or that technology must surely allow the comfortable to remain comfortable, no matter what the laws of physics, geology, or economics have to say.  Now of course the only alternative energy sources that have been able to stay in business even in a time of sky-high oil prices are those that can count on gargantuan government subsidies to pay their operating expenses; equally, the alternatives receive an even more gigantic “energy subsidy” from fossil fuels, which make them look much more economical than they otherwise would.  Such reflections carry no weight with those whose sense of entitlement makes living with less unthinkable.........

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-mariners-rule.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-mariners-rule.html)

He has a few dozen other "must reads" you can find on his blog.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: crandles on January 27, 2015, 02:56:45 AM
Quote
There’s a certain irony in the fact that 2005, the year this study was published, was also the year when conventional petroleum production peaked; the transition would thus have had to begin in 1985

3 facts to check (are there any other facts to check?)
1. Report published 2005? Yes

2. Report stated something along lines of "the transition would have to begin twenty years before conventional petroleum production reached its peak and began to decline"?

Well report has two scenarios one starting 10 years before peak and one 20 years before peak and says
Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world oil peaking helps
considerably but still leaves a liquid fuels shortfall roughly a decade after the
time that oil would have peaked.

3 2005, the year when conventional petroleum production peaked?

Unconventional petroleum has been growing so this from BP statistical review

Production*
Thousand barrels daily 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
World 77639 81054 82107 82593 82383 82955 81262 83296 84049 86204 86754

doesn't mean this is wrong. The report does state world oil production at just under 80 million barrels per day in 2003.

Searching every occurence of conventional did not lead me to a source for the level of unconventional rather than conventional. However assumption used include:

Under business-as-usual conditions assumed by the WEC, Venezuela
would have production of 6 MM bpd in 2030  -- 5.5 MM bpd beyond
production of 0.5 MM bpd in 2003

Current plans [for  Canadian oil sand production] are for production of 3 MM bpd of synthetic crude oil from which refined fuels can be produced by 2030. This is above current production of
0.6 MM bpd.

Together with production figures
Canada 3003 3080 3041 3208 3290 3207 3202 3332 3515 3740 3948
Venezuela 2868 3305 3308 3336 3230 3222 3033 2838 2766 2643 2623

Seems to suggest that the actual increase of 4.647 MM bpd is unlikely to have been exceeded by increase in unconventional production. Therefore it seems that conventional oil likely did not peak in 2005.

Perhaps fracking should be counted as unconventional? US has increase in production of 2.45 MM bpd from 2010 to 2013. So if you think fracking should be considered unconventional peak conventional oil would be 2010 at the earliest rather than 2005. If report had known about fracking then it would have been regarded as one of its 'mitigation' strategies and the problem wouldn't have been seen as so serious. Of course using fracking in advance of peak reduces the effectiveness of this 'mitigation'.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: wili on January 27, 2015, 06:17:59 AM
Jim, this looks like an author you may appreciate:

http://booklocker.com/books/6266.html (http://booklocker.com/books/6266.html)

Already Extinct
by Minoru Kyo

 'We don't understand the problem;

we couldn't do anything about it if we did;

and we wouldn't do anything about it if we could.'
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: johnm33 on January 27, 2015, 11:56:24 AM
Crandles I'm pretty sure JMGs own definition of conventional is land based wells that aren't too deep, but his writings are too prolific for me to even begin to know where to look. Probably anyone who could make a profit at 18$pb is a good proxy.
 On the breakdown of society in the way JMG describes i think it's still a few years off. Our current situation looks to me better expressed by the analogy of how elephants used to 'control' african savanah before rifles came along. Elephants would eat anything and since their numbers constantly grew, at some point, of climate stress?, there would not be enough grasses or low branches on trees for them to get by then they push over all the trees that they can, then they starve,along with everything else, then the whole ecosystem regenerates. The financial sector has consumed all of the productive resources, and has established multiple claims directly or indirectly on all capital assets, which cannot be serviced, now they're pushing over the trees.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 02, 2015, 05:33:44 AM
Well the latest JMG post is another good one.

Quote
All things considered, 2015 just isn’t shaping up to be a good year for believers in business as usual. Since last week’s post here on The Archdruid Report, the anti-austerity party Syriza has swept the Greek elections, to the enthusiastic cheers of similar parties all over Europe and the discomfiture of the Brussels hierarchy. The latter have no one to blame for this turn of events but themselves; for more than a decade now, EU policies have effectively put sheltering banks and bondholders from the healthy discipline of the market ahead of all other considerations, including the economic survival of entire nations. It should be no surprise to anyone that this wasn’t an approach with a long shelf life.

Meanwhile, the fracking bust continues unabated. The number of drilling rigs at work in American oilfields continues to drop vertically from week to week, layoffs in the nation’s various oil patches are picking up speed, and the price of oil remains down at levels that make further fracking a welcome mat for the local bankruptcy judge. Those media pundits who are still talking the fracking industry’s book keep insisting that the dropping price of oil proves that they were right and those dratted heretics who talk of peak oil must be wrong, but somehow those pundits never get around to explaining why iron ore, copper, and most other major commodities are dropping in price even faster than crude oil, nor why demand for petroleum products here in the US has been declining steadily as well.

The fact of the matter is that an industrial economy built to run on cheap conventional oil can’t run on expensive oil for long without running itself into the ground. Since 2008, the world’s industrial nations have tried to make up the difference by flooding their economies with cheap credit,...

Quote
.....The problem we face now is precisely that the unimaginable is now our reality. For just that little bit too long, too many people have insisted that we didn’t need to worry about the absurdity of pursuing limitless growth on a finite and fragile planet, that “they’ll think of something,” or that chattering on internet forums about this or that or the other piece of technological vaporware was doing something concrete about our species’ imminent collision with the limits to growth. For just that little bit too long, not enough people were willing to do anything that mattered, and now impersonal factors have climbed into the driver’s seat, having mugged all seven billion of us and shoved us into the trunk.

As I noted in last week’s post, that puts hard limits on what can be done in the short term. ..........

Quote
...... It’s a common phenomenon, and I propose to get ahead of the curve here by proposing, as raw material for reflection if nothing else, something that’s utterly unthinkable today but may well be a matter of necessity ten or twenty or forty years from now.

What do I have in mind? Intentional technological regression as a matter of public policy.

Imagine, for a moment, that an industrial nation were to downshift its technological infrastructure to roughly what it was in 1950.........

It gets better if you read it all.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 02, 2015, 05:47:09 AM
Crandles

JMG counts conventional oil as it was counted in 2005 terms.  How oil is referenced today is very different and much of that change is synonymous the types of changes you see in economic statistics to make them look better.

Conventional oil production did indeed peek circa 2005.  Total production did not of course.  But the definition of Peak Oil and what would occur in energy production over time has proven very accurate.  To such an extent the oil industry has spent considerable effort in trying to discredit it.  Sort of like the climate change denial industry.  Some of the players are the same.

We are riding what was then called the "bumpy plateau" of oil production.  We are at the point where in order to produce sufficient oil we have resorted to going after the unconventional sources which were not worth drilling in the past.  These sources are very expensive to drill and result in much less energy return on investment.   We have not yet reached the point where there are significant declines in production of conventional oil.  But that day is coming regardless of whether we deal with climate change or not. 

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 05, 2015, 03:19:59 PM
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/02/as-night-closes-in.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/02/as-night-closes-in.html)

No one explains better why what we are doing will not work.

[quote....]I encountered Overshoot for the first time in a college bookstore in Bellingham, Washington in 1983. Red letters on a stark yellow spine spelled out the title, a word I already knew from my classes in ecology and systems theory; I pulled it off the shelf, and found the future staring me in the face. This is what’s on the front cover below the title:

carrying capacity: maximum permanently supportable load.

cornucopian myth: euphoric belief in limitless resources.

drawdown: stealing resources from the future.

cargoism: delusion that technology will always save us from

overshoot: growth beyond an area’s carrying capacity, leading to

crash: die-off.
..[/quote]
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 06, 2015, 05:55:31 PM
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/man-youve-never-heard-saved-life.html (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/man-youve-never-heard-saved-life.html)

Quote
A Man You’ve Never Heard of Saved Your Life

On October 27, 1962, a man you’ve never heard of saved your life …

It was at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the U.S. and Soviet Union were on hair trigger alert for World War Three.

And an order to launch a nuclear missile against Americans was actually given by the commander and political officer of a Soviet nuclear submarine.

One man stopped global nuclear war....
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 18, 2015, 06:23:03 PM
A superb piece and it should be mandatory reading for anyone in a policy position in the US or EU.  I worked a lot in the middle east during my career and spent some time studying the cause and effects of our problems related to that part of the world.  There can be no denial that the US and the EU have made bad decisions on what to do and how to handle the issues of the Middle East absolutely every time they decided to do anything.  Every action they took made things worse.  The primary reason for such incompetence is their utter ignorance of who they are dealing with.  This article goes a long way towards filling in the voids in their brains.

The US is almost certainly going to put boots on the ground in Iraq/Syria in substantial numbers fairly soon.  Is this a good idea or not?  Do we have a chance of winning?  Why have we lost every time we have tried so far?  What don't we understand?  If your opponent is doing everything possible to goad you into a fight what are the odds that he thinks he has any chance of losing?

It is long, but well worth the time.

Every dollar spent in war is a dollar taken away from dealing with climate change.

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/ (http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/)

Quote
What ISIS Really Wants
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.......
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Laurent on February 23, 2015, 06:03:21 PM
I don't know if it is a must read.

Climatology versus Pseudoscience book tests whose predictions have been right
http://loetitiacuisine.com/2012/08/21/tempehs-maison/ (http://loetitiacuisine.com/2012/08/21/tempehs-maison/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on March 09, 2015, 09:37:45 PM
http://www.ianwelsh.net/ethics-101-the-difference-between-ethics-and-morals/ (http://www.ianwelsh.net/ethics-101-the-difference-between-ethics-and-morals/)

This article goes a long way towards explaining why our current culture and civilization does not work as it should.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on April 04, 2015, 03:29:18 PM
Everyone should be able to find themselves in this story.  Which temple do you worship at?

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/04/atlantis-wont-sink-experts-agree.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/04/atlantis-wont-sink-experts-agree.html)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on August 10, 2015, 09:20:23 PM
Cross posting this link from the Empire thread as it deserves wide distribution.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/pentagon-prepares-century-climate-emergencies-and-oil-wars-2021134422 (http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/pentagon-prepares-century-climate-emergencies-and-oil-wars-2021134422)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 12, 2016, 05:13:03 PM
T.S. Eliot, 1944

“In our age,” Eliot said, “when men seem more than ever prone to confuse wisdom with knowledge, and knowledge with information, and to try to solve problems of life, in terms of engineering, there is coming into existence a new kind of provincialism, not of space, but of time; one for which history is merely the chronicle of human devices which have served their turn and been scrapped, one for which the world is the property solely of the living, a property in which the dead hold no shares. The menace of this kind of provincialism is, that we can all, all the peoples on the globe, be provincials together: and those who are not content to be provincials, can only become hermits.”

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 27, 2016, 04:49:05 AM
Quote
The Death of Capitalism

Let us state the obvious.

Capitalism has failed
.

It has failed because it failed to deal with climate change.  This was a forseeable, and foreseen disaster.  We knew it, without any reasonable doubt, by the late 70s. If we had acted then, we could have stopped the worst of it.

We did not.

The death count will be in excess of a billion people. I think, given the way that damage counts keep coming in above prior estimates, and given how vicious cycles act, that the death count will be in the billions.....

Capitalism’s great claim to being a superior form of organization for production and distribution of goods and services is that it is best able to account for costs and benefits: It produces that for which people are willing and able to pay.

People weren’t willing and/or able to pay to stop climate change. In part, this is because actors with money were able to obfuscate both the science and the situation, spending millions on doing so, and buying the political process. In part, it is because climate change’s worst effects were expected to take place AFTER the death of the people who needed to act to stop it.

If you were 30 in 1980, you are 66 today. If you were 40, you are 76. If you were in the decision making class, overwhelmingly allocated to those who were 50+ in 1980, you are 86 today.

People who were in their prime and during their decision-making days, when we needed to act on climate change, were making a DEATH BET.

They bet they would be dead before the worst results of climate change happened.

They will win this bet.

This was a RATIONAL thing for them to do
. I want to repeat that, because too many people think “rational=good.” It does not. It was rational for them to discount a future they would not see.....

Could it be that the most ardent supporters of the various forms of BAU are making this same bet?  Capitalism also failed because we live in a finite world and it cannot function in a sustainable manner.

http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-death-of-capitalism/ (http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-death-of-capitalism/)

Quote
The responses to my article The Death of Capitalism made something clear:

Most people don’t know what Capitalism is.

We need two definitions.....

http://www.ianwelsh.net/what-is-capitalism/ (http://www.ianwelsh.net/what-is-capitalism/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 01, 2016, 04:35:53 PM
I see a lot of these folks around where I live in the summer.

http://graphics.latimes.com/retirement-nomads/ (http://graphics.latimes.com/retirement-nomads/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 09, 2016, 03:03:38 PM
Interesting piece.  Kind of the opposite of today in terms of climate, but coincidently the time period covers the rise of Islam and the collapse of empires.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2076713-125-year-mini-ice-age-linked-to-the-plague-and-fall-of-empires/ (https://www.newscientist.com/article/2076713-125-year-mini-ice-age-linked-to-the-plague-and-fall-of-empires/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on July 12, 2016, 04:46:14 PM
This is so spot on.  This tendency, which is celebrated in our culture, is one of our greatest weaknesses and the source of almost all of our great failures.

It runs rampant throughout both the Black and Green BAU camps.

Quote
In his first inaugural address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared, “So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is … fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
FDR was wrong. Far worse than nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror is nameless, unreasoning, unjustified optimism which leads to catastrophic blunders that would not have occurred if potential costs and risks had been properly weighed in advance. The greatest thing we have to fear is … optimism itself............

In my former profession we had a saying often repeated to inexperienced officers, "Optimists die young."  This was said in an attempt to get folks to actually analyze a problem and weigh its potential risks and costs with an eye towards what odds of success might be achieved.  This allows one (some of the time) to perceive what the core of the problem being worked really "is" and thus improves the odds of success because one then focus's on primary issues and not symptoms of them. 

http://thesmartset.com/our-greatest-enemy-optimism/ (http://thesmartset.com/our-greatest-enemy-optimism/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: johnm33 on July 15, 2016, 10:36:28 PM
Another from the Archdruid
"That, I’m convinced, is one of the major forces behind the widening failure of climate change activism, and environmental activism in general, to find any foothold among the general public. These days, when a scientist like Tyson gets up on a podium to make a statement, a very large percentage of the listeners don’t respond to his words by thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know that.” They respond by thinking, “I wonder who’s paying him to say that?” That would be bad enough if it was completely unjustified, but in many fields of science—especially, as noted earlier, medicine and pharmacology—it’s become a necessary caveat, as failures to replicate mount up, blatant manipulation of research data comes to light, and more and more products that were touted as safe and effective by the best scientific authorities turn out to be anything but. "
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/scientific-education-as-cause-of.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/scientific-education-as-cause-of.html)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on July 16, 2016, 03:15:38 PM
John33

Yes.  I have a young relative who is a degreed chemical engineer who works for a NYC advertising firm.  His clients are the big pharma companies.  He helps write the text to all the commercials which are intended to convince the public to run down to their physician and get a prescription for the latest fad drug.  And we see all the time what a good idea that is.  Science in service to humanity...not.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on July 26, 2016, 03:56:02 PM
A very interesting sentence in the first paragraph.  Excellent article.

Quote
Writing up articles on climate change is difficult these days. Last week alone, 46 new papers and reports were published. I am certain that there are many more. The figure only refers to the sources I usually consult. I try to read all abstracts and all articles I find interesting, but sometimes I shy away from it: it is just too depressing. According to Naomi Oreskes, a great number of climate change scientists (she interviewed most of the top 200 climate change scientists in the US) suffer from some sort of mood imbalance or mild or serious depression. It is easy to understand why: we see the climate change taking the planet apart right in front of our eyes. We also clearly see, right in front of us, what urgently needs to done to stave off global disaster on an unprecedented scale.

http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/how-climate-change-is-rapidly-taking-the-planet-apart/ (http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/how-climate-change-is-rapidly-taking-the-planet-apart/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sesyf on July 28, 2016, 01:25:32 PM
JMG has just put up an article about 'http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.fi/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.fi/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html)' about why the different climate activists etc have not been able to achieve results... main issue in his opinion is that the message has been only doom and warnings - that people need also something positive in the messsage etc. and that in many aspects the relevant experts haven't succeeded politically...

In comments are already several thoughtful comments on this - and probably there will be lot more later... one that I did not much notice was that for many ordinary people the threats are somewhere in 'far' future or that 'they will think of something'.  Also the discussions in this forum show that issues are complicated and all that - how to communicate those so that enough people in all layers or classes of our societies really take action? I have no idea...
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 28, 2016, 04:57:58 PM
JMG has just put up an article about 'http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.fi/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.fi/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html)' about why the different climate activists etc have not been able to achieve results... main issue in his opinion is that the message has been only doom and warnings - that people need also something positive in the messsage etc. and that in many aspects the relevant experts haven't succeeded politically...

In comments are already several thoughtful comments on this - and probably there will be lot more later... one that I did not much notice was that for many ordinary people the threats are somewhere in 'far' future or that 'they will think of something'.  Also the discussions in this forum show that issues are complicated and all that - how to communicate those so that enough people in all layers or classes of our societies really take action? I have no idea...

Personally, I suspect that the failing is on the part of those who do not understand that major (but not complete) socio-economic collapse is going to occur by 2060.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: ritter on July 28, 2016, 05:44:22 PM
JMG has just put up an article about 'http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.fi/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.fi/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html)' about why the different climate activists etc have not been able to achieve results... main issue in his opinion is that the message has been only doom and warnings - that people need also something positive in the messsage etc. and that in many aspects the relevant experts haven't succeeded politically...

In comments are already several thoughtful comments on this - and probably there will be lot more later... one that I did not much notice was that for many ordinary people the threats are somewhere in 'far' future or that 'they will think of something'.  Also the discussions in this forum show that issues are complicated and all that - how to communicate those so that enough people in all layers or classes of our societies really take action? I have no idea...

I've been working locally on adaptation efforts (fledgling, though they may be). It's a difficult message. To be accepted, one must first acknowledge that we've failed to mitigate. Failed is not an easy sell to most people. Especially when we're only now getting serious about mitigating CO2 (reductions), at least in the Bay Area. Couple that with the fact that there are no palatable solutions to 7+ billion people living on finite resources, the majority of which are trying desperately to gain our Western standard of living, and it's no wonder scientists' messages are lost in the wind.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 28, 2016, 09:41:41 PM
Here is a link to a mini-documentary that James Cameron prepared on climate change for the DNC convention.  Most people to not yet understand that with exponential functions, we are only just now experiencing (depicted in the documentary) the tip of the climate change iceberg in the near future:


http://notrealitytv.org/ (http://notrealitytv.org/)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sesyf on July 29, 2016, 11:42:46 AM
And as an anecdote of how the governments, press, nearly everybody thinks: today's paper had the editorial demanding more growth and so on, BAU etc. And to insult all the intelligent people on this forum, more growth -> more energy and resource use and so forth...

No politician wishes or dares to say that current situation/economy/whatever is as good as it will ever be, it could be downhill from now on...
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 24, 2018, 06:29:31 PM
I'm posting this here to just catch attention rather than in the morass of the Trump threads where it will get largely missed or lost in the blizzard of comments.

The reason Trump got elected is largely completely missed in the angst of Trump Derangement Syndrome.  Here is a serious in-depth piece of research which is logical, comprehensive and compelling.  Additionally it carries in its analysis a huge strategic threat to current Democratic perceptions of where they are and where they think they are going to be in mid-Nov following the next election.

It is almost a small book in length so don't try to read it all at once, but rather in pieces where you have some time to digest it.  If you just do not have that kind of time then the old adage works pretty well; "Follow the money." (Figure 1, pg 82 is really insightful).  In that if you concentrate on the money trails and the very useful tables at the end and the timeline of expenditures the picture becomes pretty clear on what really happened.

Re: this Nov.  After seeing what strategic spending accomplished in 2016 think how motivating it will likely be for the 0.1% to spend a billion or so of those untold billions of new monies provided by the huge tax cut which resulted from the rather medium amount of dark money which flowed into the Trump campaign in the last 6 weeks or so. The cost/benefit analysis is a no-brainer.

https://www.ineteconomics.org/uploads/papers/Ferg-Jorg-Chen-INET-Working-Paper-Industrial-Structure-and-Party-Competition-in-an-Age-of-Hunger-Games-8-Jan-2018.pdf
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on January 24, 2018, 10:59:07 PM
Thaks for the Ferguson et al. reference. This will bear reading carefully, and the datasets are quite good. I would also pay close attention to the references (although I note Gilens and Page is missing.) I list some points that struck me immediately. The similarity of Clinton campaign financing to the Romney campaign is particularly striking.

-- begin excerpts

In 2016, Donald Trump attracted a higher percentage of small contributions than President Obama did in 2012.

...

In 2016, Bernie Sanders was sui generis – not at all comparable to Ron Paul, whose 2012 campaign was hoisted aloft in part by a Super PAC funded by Peter Thiel and other mega-donors (Ferguson et al., 2013). He was exactly what he appeared to be, something truly new under the American sun.

...

Many rebelled as they listened to commentators tell them that the US economy was really doing better than it had in many years and that they should be celebrating America’s exit from the Great Recession. They were unmoved by the chorus of conventional politicians trying to sell old nostrums that by 2014 were plainly obsolete for them in their communities. The reality of the Hunger Games was just too obvious and empty slogans no longer appealed, they just disgusted or enraged. When two politicians broke through the big money cartels that dominate both major parties, popular enthusiasm surged almost overnight to seismic levels, shocking elites in both parties and flummoxing the entire American establishment.

...

only appeals that can be financed have any prospect of making it into the political arena

...
In front of millions of people who probably had never heard anyone press such issues before, Sanders argued for implementing single-payer health care and getting big money out of politics. He also tackled the college debt problem head on, saying that the first two years of college should be free and proposed a plan to forgive student debt. The response was overwhelming.

...

Most astonishing of all, though, was how Sanders financed his effort. This was the real secret of his “revolution”: Money just kept pouring in from small contributors. We have checked carefully to see if Sanders, like Obama in both 2008 and 2012, perhaps received large sums delivered in small doses from big donors (Ferguson et al., 2013). He did not. The entries for big business in Table 5 come from scattered small contributions from firms where large numbers of individuals contributed. There were essentially no big ticket contributions from top executives and, a fortiori, no Super PACs.

...

The result is evident in our Table 7, in which – with the possible exception of 1964 – the Clinton campaign looks like no other Democratic campaign since the New Deal. The Clinton campaign reached far into sectors and firms that have rarely supported any Democrat. The strong resemblance to the profile of the Romney campaign in 2012 in many (though not all) particulars is striking (see, again, Table 3, above and the industrial breakdowns presented in (Ferguson et al., 2013).

--end excerpts



Read the whole thing. I intend to reread it.

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 25, 2018, 04:08:46 PM
JimD


Thanks so much!
I'm taking your advice and slowly savoring everything. The first 20 pages are a must read for those still beating the "Russians Stole the Election" meme.


Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 25, 2018, 04:46:29 PM
JimD


Thanks so much!
I'm taking your advice and slowly savoring everything. The first 20 pages are a must read for those still beating the "Russians Stole the Election" meme.


Terry

When one lives in an echo chamber, all the world can seem to be a dream.  However, when Mueller presents his evidence that echo chamber bubble world may well be popped.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 25, 2018, 11:13:37 PM

When one lives in an echo chamber, all the world can seem to be a dream.  However, when Mueller presents his evidence that echo chamber bubble world may well be popped.

I impatiently await results as well.

Just for fun what do you think we will see when Mueller finishes up?

Here are my guesses.

1.  They ALL have lied to the FBI, but that is not a big deal when it comes to high level govt folks so I don't expect that this will amount to much. Maybe some will get this hung around their necks but I doubt it lands on any of the high principals with any meaningful force.

2.  Kushner - money laundering and tax evasion via his companies activities, possible RICO charges
3.  Ivanka - nothing
4.  Don Jr. - maybe obstruction of justice and/or, conspiracy to
5.  Eric T. - nothing
6.  Bannon - nothing

7.  Trump - maybe obstruction of justice and or conspiracy to. But if so there will be no impeachment by a Republican Congress - just a slap on the wrist

8. The Trump Companies - money laundering and tax evasion is highly likely and there is naturally a RICO aspect to this.  This all predates candidate Trump but is within the scope of the investigation. But I suspect that hanging it on the Trumps personally is unlikely to be possible as they have dealt with such things before and survived them.  Note that they have been audited over and over again and nothing could be stuck to them.  Trump survived a RICO charge related to his university by paying 25 mil to settle with no admission of guilt.  They have decades of experience in this and access to the best lawyers and accountants available - thus getting by the audits and worming out from under charges.  If you are good at this you might get squeezed and have to accept a fine but not admit guilt, but most of the time you just walk.  Literally all of the very wealthy do this to avoid taxes and very few ever pay a price.  There are quite a few of the highest end law firms in existence who's main business is figuring out how to launder the money without getting so far outside the law that someone goes to jail (I know someone in one of those firms who has this exact job description- and it pays really well).  The best that the USG have in catching these folks are almost always one step behind the folks in the law firms hiding the money.  Kushner does not appear to have the experience and expertise to get away with this like the Trumps - his dad should have been teaching him but Christie put him in jail.  But we will see.

9.  And nobody else matters (channeling Metallica).
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 25, 2018, 11:43:21 PM

When one lives in an echo chamber, all the world can seem to be a dream.  However, when Mueller presents his evidence that echo chamber bubble world may well be popped.

I impatiently await results as well.

...

The Mueller findings/indictments before the midterm elections is just one important consideration.  Also, we should consider that GOP gerrymandering is currently under assault by lower courts and that the Women's movement has taken as square aim at the whole slate of GOP-held congressional seats (to flip to Democrat, or Independent, seats).  It seems likely that the Democrats will soon (January 2019) the House and that with luck they have a short at controlling the Senate:

Title: "Women Overwhelmingly Want Democrats to Win This Year’s Midterm Elections"

http://time.com/5112246/women-democrats-midterms-poll/

Extract: "A new poll shows Democrats have an edge leading in to this year’s midterm elections, bolstered by support from women nationwide.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll, released Monday, shows that 51% of registered voters say they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, compared to 39% who said they would support a Republican.

Democrats have an even larger advantage among female voters, with 64% saying they would vote for a Democrat over 29% who said they would choose a Republican. By contrast, 42% of men said they would vote for a Democrat, while 51% said they would vote for a Republican.

The Democrats’ 12-point overall lead is the most significant gap in a ABC News/Washington Post poll since 2006, according to the Washington Post."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 26, 2018, 03:38:02 AM
I don't know how successful the Democrats will be, but according to this website, at least they are trying to fight GOP initiated voter suppression:

Title: "Let America Vote is leading the fight for voting rights."

https://www.letamericavote.org/about/
&
https://www.letamericavote.org/about-jason/

Extract: "The Democratic National Committee appointed Jason chairman of the Commission to Protect American Democracy from the Trump Administration to fight back against Republican efforts to make it harder to vote for eligible Americans across the country."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 26, 2018, 04:07:59 AM
Yes I have read that.

But what I find more indicative is looking at the past and what has transpired.

The single most important item when election day comes is the state of the economy.  The current economy and its upward trend point towards a GOP advantage.  Add in the tax cut, the ability of the administration to hold the line somewhat on raises in the federal funds rate, a possible large scale infrastructure program, and a fairly strong global economy to the mix and one can hazard that the economy will be strong in the GOP favor come Nov.

If you look at those funding numbers in the post above you will see that it was a timely infusion of money into the campaign which appears to have a large pay back.  But that being given Clinton machine still out spent Trumps by about 500 million.  The GOP is not going to let that happen in Nov or 2020.  Expect at least parity in spending.  Those 1%ers who spent their money so wisely will have taken note and have already been prefunded (or rewarded) for the next round of electons by the giant tax cut they basically paid for.  That is a well they will be loath to stop drinking from.  This will favor the GOP once again.

Democratic Party strategy - an oxymoron.  The Party leadership has already committed to the same basic operating plan which it has been following for years and executed so well in the last election.  They have done everything they can to throw the Progressives under the bus and to disenfranchise them again.  Clinton lost just as much due to Sanders supporters staying home (like I did) due to their disgust and anger with the moderately conservative Republican Democratic leadership.  I freely admit I hate those people and hope they all choke on their dinners.  Back to the point - they are repeating the same mistakes they made last time.  This does not help them in any way.

Another factor is that some of these likely democratic winners will be even more conservative than the Clinton camp.  The new guy in Alabama I guarantee will have a strongly conservative voting record and if Sinema beats out the fascist Arpaio here in AZ she is already the leader of the Blue Dogs in the House so ... no liberal there.  There will be others as well.

And there is always the Presidential option to start a war which tends to result in additional support for the party in the WH.

Just saw your post about voting rights as I finished this.  Most voting rights and gerrymandering cases are going to run into a conservative judiciary not inclined to change current practices much if at all I expect.  By the time the Republicans are finished packing the courts in 2020 or 2024 the conservative bent of the courts will out live most of us reading here.  If the Democrats were really serious about voting rights the most important program being run out of the DNC for the last 30 years would have been a 24/7/365 effort at registering voters - but no that's never been what they do.  I better end here as I can really get into a rant about this long term failure of theirs as it has driven me crazy for longer than I can remember.

I do expect the Democrats to gain seats in Nov but I expect that they will not gain as many as they are presently assuming.  They have a great affinity for screwing up winning hands.  And Nov is a long ways away of course and either side could implode over something we are not even aware of today.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 26, 2018, 04:17:24 AM
I thought I was done for the night but right after I submitted the above post I finished reading an article I was working through.

It ends with this and is talking about Tom Perez the head of the DNC.

Quote
That the Democratic National Committee tolerates its chair frequently shuttling to Rhode Island to teach a college course while the Democratic Party is supposed to be going all-out to defeat Republicans this year tells us a lot about the quality of the current DNC leadership.

This is exactly what I am talking about.  Complacency vise a sense of urgency.  Perez was put in by the freshly defeated Clinton machine to defeat the Sanders backed candidate.  And then he set about purging all the of Sanders supporters he could from any positions of power in the party.  Then he went back to sleep. And they all went back to their tired ways.  Think how different the DNC would be if it had someone who was passionate and motivated to kick the Republicans to the curb?
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 26, 2018, 05:53:33 PM
In midterm elections the DNC traditionally plays a minor roll, & in 2018 the Democrats are counting largely on grassroots groups to carry themselves over the goal line.

Title: "Grassroots Democrats helping the left wrestle back power in the United States"

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-14/democratic-blue-wave-presents-midterms-struggle-for-republicans/9324500

Extract: "Usually parties won't bother running candidates in seats they don't think are competitive, but grassroots Democrats are bucking that tradition.

Grassroots groups and women 'aren't going away'"
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 26, 2018, 08:08:59 PM
If Trump refuses to testify under oath, fires Mueller and/or pardons Russiagate defendants (like Manafort), then the Democrats could ride a blue wave to a midterm landslide.

Title: "Mueller mania and midterm madness"

http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/370851-mueller-mania-and-midterm-madness
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 26, 2018, 08:43:21 PM
The GOP hit-teams are looking more like Keystone Cops than like Democrat killers:

Title: "With the Mueller bombshell, the GOP’s grand conspiracy theory falls apart"

https://www.salon.com/2018/01/26/with-the-mueller-bombshell-the-gops-grand-conspiracy-theory-falls-apart/

Extract: "Trump couldn’t get his henchman to fire Mueller, and backed down. His defenders are left looking like idiots again"
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Susan Anderson on January 26, 2018, 08:48:16 PM
Quote
This is exactly what I am talking about.  Complacency vise a sense of urgency.  Perez was put in by the freshly defeated Clinton machine to defeat the Sanders backed candidate.  And then he set about purging all the of Sanders supporters he could from any positions of power in the party.  Then he went back to sleep. And they all went back to their tired ways.  Think how different the DNC would be if it had someone who was passionate and motivated to kick the Republicans to the curb?

Such a tired biased argument. The "Clinton machine"? There is some truth about the old guard and the old ways being a problem, but these exaggerations are not helping.

Enough with the purity monster and circular firing squad.

Nobody around here is "complacent".
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 26, 2018, 09:47:44 PM
It is possible that Ted Cruz's Senate seat could be in-play in November:

Title: "Is Ted Cruz in Real Trouble for 2018?"

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/ted-cruz-real-trouble-2018

Extract: "A new poll paid for by Democratic Political Action Committee End Citizens United shows Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, within single digits of his likely Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found Cruz ahead of O’Rourke 45 to 37 percent among 757 Texas voters polled by phone and online. It also may have revealed at least one reason for Sen. Cruz’s apparent weakness.

Some questions in the poll focused on the influence of special interest money in Texas, which 53 percent of respondents thought was a “major problem” in the state and only three percent said was “not a problem at all.” Nearly half of those polled, at 48 percent, think Ted Cruz is more responsive to “big campaign donors” than “ordinary Texans,” compared to 33 percent who believe the incumbent senator is more responsive to ordinary Texans."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 26, 2018, 10:32:46 PM
Quote
This is exactly what I am talking about.  Complacency vise a sense of urgency.  Perez was put in by the freshly defeated Clinton machine to defeat the Sanders backed candidate.  And then he set about purging all the of Sanders supporters he could from any positions of power in the party.  Then he went back to sleep. And they all went back to their tired ways.  Think how different the DNC would be if it had someone who was passionate and motivated to kick the Republicans to the curb?

Such a tired biased argument. The "Clinton machine"? There is some truth about the old guard and the old ways being a problem, but these exaggerations are not helping.

Enough with the purity monster and circular firing squad.

Nobody around here is "complacent".


Susan
You echo the sentiments of JimPettit on the Corporate Democrats thread, and I hope fervently that both of you are right.
I believe that JimD though was speaking of complacency at the level of top DNC figures. Their disregard for the progressive wing is difficult to deny.
To my admittedly jaundiced eye it appears that the DNC has become more concerned with keeping the corporate taps open than in broadening their voter base.
If 2016 taught us anything it taught us that the DNC could lose seats and the presidency, even as they raised and spent far more money than their opposition. JimD's paper illustrates this.


Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 26, 2018, 10:40:05 PM
ASLR
I don't see how the last 4 of your posts are at all related to the subject at hand?


JimD had re-opened this thread as a place to discuss the paper he presented and I fail to see how you are addressing these concerns.


If I suddenly began posting election material in one of your Antarctic threads, what would your reaction be?
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 26, 2018, 11:20:42 PM
ASLR
I don't see how the last 4 of your posts are at all related to the subject at hand?


JimD had re-opened this thread as a place to discuss the paper he presented and I fail to see how you are addressing these concerns.


If I suddenly began posting election material in one of your Antarctic threads, what would your reaction be?
Terry

My posts were made in response to JimD's Replies #26, #30, #33 & #34.  If JimD finds my posts to be off-topic then I will gladly cease and desist.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 26, 2018, 11:49:26 PM
Ok well back to the main thrust of the thread then.

Check this out.  It is excellent.

https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 27, 2018, 03:11:28 AM
Ok well back to the main thrust of the thread then.

Check this out.  It is excellent.

https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235 (https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235)


Wow!
That's extreme.


In Canada we've experienced a few school shootings, (Wiki lists 7) so the problem isn't entirely locked away between America's borders. Whether these can be excused as simply mimicking the crimes we view on the news doesn't alter the fact that kids kill kids here as well.


Opioids are used here also, though not apparently at the rates seen Stateside. In Ontario our drugs are free for anyone under 25, and for those over 65 at a very reasonable dispensing fee that is waved for anyone in financial distress.


Our social net is still quite robust. I'd never witnessed poverty until I moved to the States, and it's been well hidden again since I returned to Canada.


Life expectancy for Canadians is the highest on the continent, and compares well to even the best in Asia and Europe. Single payer healthcare is almost certainly the major reason.


Umair's final paragraph:


[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.84)]But that is America’s task, not the world’s. The world’s task is this. Should the world follow the American model — extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue — then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food — junk media, junk science, junk culture, junk punditry, junk economics, people treating one another and their society like junk — that America has fed upon for too long.[/color]


is the most damning. Lots of insight, but no solutions, for America or Americans.
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 27, 2018, 03:29:50 AM
JimD


On page 32 your paper touches on American healthcare.
Hillary made what I believe to have been a sincere and impassioned case for single payer some decades ago.
Candidate Hillary, perhaps because of her newfound reliance on major donors, ran away from the one issue that would have assured her win. At some point amassing campaign funding became more important than winning, or saving millions of Americans.
We may not get the leaders we want, but perhaps we get the leaders we deserve. :(


Terry

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Susan Anderson on January 27, 2018, 08:08:56 AM
Yes, that "Underestimating American Collapse" is an accurate description of how bad it is becoming here. The copycat killers, the proliferation of weapons, the fear, the hatred, the paranoia. Even in progressive Boston, a lot of kids are being bullied or bullying based on race, religion, poverty, etc. Crime is moving into some of the more prosperous areas as well.

The great divide. People like me, comfortably off, are catered to with toys and privilege. I'm on the low end of comfortable, but there is a gulf between me and your ordinary working stiff with a low-paying job unable to get by. It is collapse. They are forced to use credit, and rates there are usurious (well over 20%). [And compared to climate refugees in their millions, these people are "well off".]

However, if, as I think, climate change is going to be truly horrible in a couple of decades, this may become irrelevant. Consider Puerto Rico, a whole country gone powerless, with (human) vultures skimming the cream.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 28, 2018, 03:10:13 AM
Yes, that "Underestimating American Collapse" is an accurate description of how bad it is becoming here. The copycat killers, the proliferation of weapons, the fear, the hatred, the paranoia. Even in progressive Boston, a lot of kids are being bullied or bullying based on race, religion, poverty, etc. Crime is moving into some of the more prosperous areas as well.

The great divide. People like me, comfortably off, are catered to with toys and privilege. I'm on the low end of comfortable, but there is a gulf between me and your ordinary working stiff with a low-paying job unable to get by. It is collapse. They are forced to use credit, and rates there are usurious (well over 20%). [And compared to climate refugees in their millions, these people are "well off".]

However, if, as I think, climate change is going to be truly horrible in a couple of decades, this may become irrelevant. Consider Puerto Rico, a whole country gone powerless, with (human) vultures skimming the cream.

Perhaps we should steer capitalism away from neoliberalism:

Title: "Neoliberalism Is Taking a Steep Toll on an Entire Generation's Mental Health: Study"

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/neoliberalism-taking-steep-toll-entire-generations-mental-health-study

Extract: "The source of your unhappiness may not be chemical or emotional but a product of our economic system. According to a study from Psychological Bulletin, neoliberalism is producing generations of young people who are increasingly demanding, both of each other and themselves.

So what is neoliberalism, anyway? Despite what the pundit class might have you believe, it's more than a glib pejorative for the policies of corporate Democrats and the GOP, although both parties have embraced a neoliberal model to varying degrees. Mike Konczal offers the following definition at Vox:

"'Neoliberalism' encompasses market supremacy—or the extension of markets or market-like logic to more and more spheres of life. This, in turn, has a significant influence on our subjectivity: how we view ourselves, our society, and our roles in it. One insight here is that markets don’t occur naturally but are instead constructed through law and practices, and those practices can be extended into realms well beyond traditional markets."
...
"Even young people without diagnosable mental illnesses tend to feel bad more often, since heightened other-oriented perfectionism creates a group climate of hostility, suspicion, and dismissiveness—in which the jury is always out on everyone, pending group appraisal—and socially prescribed perfectionism involves an acute recognition of that alienation," Meagan Day adds ruefully. "In short, the repercussions of rising perfectionism range from emotionally painful to literally deadly.""

See also:

Title: "Under Neoliberalism, You Can Be Your Own Tyrannical Boss"

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/01/under-neoliberalism-you-can-be-your-own-tyrannical-boss


Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 28, 2018, 05:52:56 PM
Another interesting item in light of my previous item.

Remington Outdoor Company inc.  Makers of cool outdoor equipment such as the Bushmaster (Sandy Hook!) series of assault rifles and a host of other cool toys.  They are having something of a debt problem.

This debt problem for our local arms industry is widespread due to Trumps election and the subsequent decline in concern over the 2nd amendment being restricted - gun sales are always a lot lower when a Republican is in office vice a Democrat.  Arms makers prefer Democrats as they are good for business (remember this little tid bit when we get to the end of the post).

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-remingtonoutdoor-debtrestructuring-ex/exclusive-u-s-gunmaker-remington-turns-to-debt-restructuring-advisors-sources-idUSKBN1FF2B6

Now some of you may not know it but Remington is owned by Cerberus Capital Management.  Of some fame due to its ties to the Bush family, its Chairman of Global Investments is Dan Quayle (yup), and it has ties to The Carlyle Group (nuff said there).

It is kind of instructive who Cerberus donated money to in the 2016 election. Out of the top 20 we find:

Rubio (1)
Clinton (3)
Ryan (4)
Trump (8)
Sanders (10)
Kaine (12)
Schumer (14)
Gillibrand (19)


https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/toprecips.php?id=D000021907&cycle=CAREER

Just another reason why it would not be friendly fire if I got out my guillotine and lined up the Democrats for processing.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Susan Anderson on January 29, 2018, 07:35:27 AM
I seem to have given the wrong impression about who is violent and pro-gun - it's not democrats, we're trying to get some restrictions, and Massachusetts has been one of the best. The bullies are being enabled by Trumpians, who are making it OK for their kids to be openly racist, and for muslims and the homeless and the powerless "unwashed" to be publicly attacked. I personally am nonviolent, and I don't expect to find anyone with a gun in any of the places I go, though I may be mistaken. Boston is a city, but we're more open-minded than not, and as they say there are no atheists in the trenches it's hard for a Bostonian to deny climate change these days.

As to donations, I'll take your word for it (OpenSecrets I trust). Note Bernie Sanders, who is your ultimate anti-"neoliberal" is high on the funding, because he's had to oppose gun restrictions - he's from Vermont. By the way, Reagan was a neoliberal. The term gets thrown around sloppily, and is also confused with liberal, which is almost identical with progressive as it is used now. Some of you seem to have bought some oversimplifications and propaganda that fails to make distinctions between victims and perps.

But if you're planning to come after me with a guillotine ... hmmm
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on January 29, 2018, 08:35:24 AM
Cereberus is much bigger than just Remington. They have their fingers in all manner of pies. Thus their strings encumber many politicians.

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 29, 2018, 03:32:02 PM
Susan I think you have a reply coming but I have to say that there are too many ways to interpret your post and I do not understand what you are trying to say.

I fully understand what a neo-liberal is.  I also think that differentiating between main stream Democrats and Republicans is an exercise in futility.  I see little to any value anymore in either of the big parties.  Both follow some form of BAU and have no real intention of trying to deal with climate change and carrying capacity issues.  Existential problems both.  Since both parties are fully wedded to doing everything they can to maintain current US levels of standards of living and global dominance they are both bankrupt.  If either of them steps up and starts to advocate and implement programs which have a realistic chance of fixing things I will be right there.  But it ain't going to happen.

So watching politics is sort of like following the Super Bowl.  It is just for amusements sake.  We are just riding the descent into collapse like the band on the Titanic.

BTW I have a pitchfork in the shed too :)





Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 29, 2018, 04:16:15 PM
Oh! Here is one.  Don't even try not to cry.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/surgeon-on-separating-siamese-twins-the-first-time-i-cried-in-the-operating-room-a-1189755.html
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 29, 2018, 04:41:29 PM
An interesting follow on to post #43 above.

Note the source

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/underestimating-american-collapse/
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Susan Anderson on January 29, 2018, 10:58:56 PM
@JimD, well, I kind of get what you're going after, and to some extent we will have to agree to disagree, while in others I'd say we agree more than you're likely to acknowledge. I'm an old-fashioned Democrat, and for a good Democrat you've likely never heard of I'd recommend Ed Markey, who along with Elizabeth Warren, represents me here in Massachusetts. He's a serious environmentalist, as is his wife, a former admiral (!).

If you have a pitchfork for me in case the guillotine doesn't work, that's too bad.

I do not agree that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, and I've been politically active all my life, as was my mother before me (and father).

I thought Bernie's position on guns might get you to realize that nobody is a saint and we have to work with the world the way it is. People from abroad sometimes have some odd ideas about us. TerryM and I came to an agreement some time ago when I provided a list of what I stand for, and we realized it was the means, not the ideals, that separated us. My opinion, demanding perfection enables the enemy. But we may be f***ed anyway give the slow pace of progress at the best of times.

I'll try to come back and correct some of my writing failures later, but that's a quick synopsis of how your response got me.

Reagan was the original neoliberal. Democrats are not by and large neoliberals. The modern locution "progressive" is what I used to call "liberal" when Republicans used the "L" word as an insult. Tacking on "neo" makes it sound like its opposite, which is why I brought up Reagan. He and his people originated a lot of this rot.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on January 30, 2018, 12:34:01 AM
Susan

It is interesting that you seem to think I would not understand that no one is perfect and that I need it explained to me what a neoliberal is  and what a progressive is.

To me you seem a little idealistic and somewhat naive.   And that you are missing what I am saying and painting it with your interpretation of what I should be saying.

While it is true that at the registered party affiliation level one finds some distinctions between R's and D's that is not what I am talking about (though the differences are not huge depending on the specific subgroup one is talking about).  I am talking about the leadership.  All major Democratic leaders are full fledged neoliberals who are beholden to Wall Street and/or 1%er interests.  If you are going to argue that with me then we really do have little to say with each other as all one has to do to see this is the case is to follow the money and their policies.  Clinton, Pelosi, Schumer, Biden, Obama, etc are paid in full members of this group.

That these people do not care about and will not do any meaningful thing for working class people is shown by their long years of actions as opposed to their yakking during campaigns.  It is also shown by their years long effort to do everything in their power to disempower anyone who actually does try and take care of regular people.

You may be an old fashioned Democrat but they are not.  The policies of Obama were almost an exact mirror of those of Bush 1.  The national security strategy of all of them has been in complete sync with what we now call the moderate wing of the Republican Party and we used to call the conservative wing.  They are empire builders and rush to find a way to exert military force.  Clinton is the poster child for this type of behavior.

These people need to be swept into the dustbin of history.  They will never take meaningful action to truly fix the inequities in American society as they are paid for by the 1%.  Being in those pockets also means they will never take actions to solve things like climate change which could result in a diminishment of US power and wealth.  Which has to happen if we are to solve that problem.  The phony fight between the right and left over climate change is just a parsing of different forms of BAU.  It is clear to anyone who wants to look that what the Republicans want to do will not solve the problem.  But the powers there know that perfectly well.  I understand that and have tried to explain to folks here many times what they are intending.  There is some logic in their approach in an extreme sense.  What I find galling with the Democrats and all the phony green BAU people as I call them is that they market their policies and actions as if they will actually solve the problem when any logical, rational, mathematical look at those policies will clearly show they will not work.  So they are lying just as much as the other side. 

I could go on but have no real interest in it as I don't expect anyone any more to pursue meaningful policies and the realist in me never has expected a solution - just that bit of the young idealist left in me from long ago still hopes.  Unfortunately we have already passed most of timelines which we needed to meet to prevent disaster - so disaster is what it is going to be.
 Human nature is pretty inflexible and as a species we have never demonstrated the kind of ability to deal with a situation like this.  So we won't.  We will continue to behave exactly how we have behaved for the last 10,000 years. 

Don't be so worried about my pitchfork.  Long before I make it to Mass someone here in AZ will be certain to gun me down if for no other reason than to get their hands on my very cool assault rifle.  :P



Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2018, 01:15:47 AM
Susan,

You shouldn't be too concerned about survivalists with pitchforks and/or assault rifles.  The real concern is the far-right's push for a police state, as discussed in the linked Salon article.

Best,
ASLR

Title: "Far-right media pundits are now calling for a police state"

https://www.salon.com/2018/01/29/far-right-pundits-are-now-calling-for-the-death-of-trumps-opponents/

Extract: "Some of Trump’s critics feared he might become a dictator. On the radical right, his fans are now hoping he will

While he is notoriously stubborn and self-assured, President Donald Trump is also famous for being susceptible to the power of suggestion.

Given how the president and his close admirers tend to bring out the worst in each other, it’s particularly concerning how the most vehemently pro-Trump media outlets are going far beyond the sycophantic blather of “Fox & Friends” to outright calls for the president to jail or even execute people he doesn’t like -- particularly if they happen to be investigating connections between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

People have mocked the idea that Trump could become a dictator. What's clear is that many people he likes are telling him to become one."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 30, 2018, 04:25:52 AM
I fear the Police State is already upon us. When is the last time that you remember, when any National Police Force attempted to cut short the term of a President, or a Prime Minister?



It's never occured in Canada, Britain, France or Germany, to the best of my knowledge. Perhaps someone more familiar with the postwar history of Europe could chime in?


Mueller wasn't even vetted by the House or the Senate AFAIK, but somehow his power has grown to exceed that of the President's. Comey, with his very public on-off-on investigation into Clinton had some effect on the election's outcome. When is the last time that a National Police Force injected itself into an election in such a manner?


Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on January 30, 2018, 07:15:11 AM
Mmmm. Harold Wilson. BBC had a documentary on it. On youtube.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=y6v1VxB5Lss

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson_conspiracy_theories#Alleged_1974_military_coup_plot

The only bit of the story that surprises me is that Cudlipp states that Mountbatten declined to take part, although that was possibly because Zuckerman had already stated it was treason and had walked out. But as someone once told Mountbatten, "Dickie, you're so crooked, you could eat a nail and shit out a corkscrew."

I just remembered another one: Gough Whitlam.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/23/gough-whitlam-1975-coup-ended-australian-independence

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/24/boyc-m24.html


Those two are just the ones that came immediately to mind. No doubt there are more, which are yet concealed.

sidd




Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 30, 2018, 10:11:45 AM
There was an attempt in Canada when the CIA tortured a Canadian ambassador to death. The coup as I recall was not successful.


We appear to be living in a post-democratic era.


Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2018, 05:07:48 PM
Terry,

A coup is not required to form a police state.  The linked article makes it clear that the Nazi party "… gradually exerted more and more repressive controls over its people in the lead-up to World War II.  In addition to the SS and the Gestapo, the Nazi police state used the judiciary to assert control over the population from the 1930s until the end of the war in 1945."

If you can't appreciate that Trump is following a similar path (politicizing the police/DOJ and the judiciary) to a police state, then I hope that you live long enough to learn something from modern history.

Title: "Police state"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_state

Extract: "Nazi Germany emerged from an originally democratic process, yet gradually exerted more and more repressive controls over its people in the lead-up to World War II. In addition to the SS and the Gestapo, the Nazi police state used the judiciary to assert control over the population from the 1930s until the end of the war in 1945."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on January 30, 2018, 05:45:00 PM
Terry,

A coup is not required to form a police state.  The linked article makes it clear that the Nazi party "… gradually exerted more and more repressive controls over its people in the lead-up to World War II.  In addition to the SS and the Gestapo, the Nazi police state used the judiciary to assert control over the population from the 1930s until the end of the war in 1945."

If you can't appreciate that Trump is following a similar path (politicizing the police/DOJ and the judiciary) to a police state, then I hope that you live long enough to learn something from modern history.

Title: "Police state"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_state (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_state)

Extract: "Nazi Germany emerged from an originally democratic process, yet gradually exerted more and more repressive controls over its people in the lead-up to World War II. In addition to the SS and the Gestapo, the Nazi police state used the judiciary to assert control over the population from the 1930s until the end of the war in 1945."


Total agreement!
I've watched coups from Chile to Cuba to Ukraine & a police state may or may not result.
The police in the US however have been out of control for much longer than the last year.
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: gerontocrat on January 30, 2018, 06:10:59 PM
Terry,

A coup is not required to form a police state.  The linked article makes it clear that the Nazi party "… gradually exerted more and more repressive controls over its people in the lead-up to World War II.  In addition to the SS and the Gestapo, the Nazi police state used the judiciary to assert control over the population from the 1930s until the end of the war in 1945."

If you can't appreciate that Trump is following a similar path (politicizing the police/DOJ and the judiciary) to a police state, then I hope that you live long enough to learn something from modern history.

Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Egypt are all following Plato's route from Democracy to Tyranny, and some have used Trump's words - " The media is the enemy of the people" - and the Daily Mail's (UK) words - "the Judiciary is the enemy of the people".

In the USA, perhaps the two most significant happenings in recent years have been jerry-mandering of political boundaries and allowing super-PACS to take over the democratic process.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2018, 07:01:43 PM
Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Egypt are all following Plato's route from Democracy to Tyranny, and some have used Trump's words - " The media is the enemy of the people" - and the Daily Mail's (UK) words - "the Judiciary is the enemy of the people".

In the USA, perhaps the two most significant happenings in recent years have been jerry-mandering of political boundaries and allowing super-PACS to take over the democratic process.

All good points (and I can add voter suppression laws), and I also note that both Israel and Philippine are democracies that appear headed towards police states without the need of a coup:

Title: "Rebranding Israel as a State Headed for Fascism"

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bradley-burston/rebranding-israel-as-a-st_b_580538.html

Extract: "Wrote Boaz Okun, the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronot’s legal affairs commentator and a retired Israeli judge, of Israel’s ban on Noam Chomsky: “The decision to shut up Professor Chomsky is a decision to shut down freedom in the state of Israel.

“I’m not speaking of the stupidity of supplying ammunition to those who claim that Israel is fascist,” Okun wrote, “rather, of our fear that we may actually be turning that way.”

&
Title: "Philippine administration steps up police-state measures"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/03/31/phil-m31.html

Extract: "At the instigation of the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, steps have been taken this month to intensify the so-called war on drugs which is being used to prepare police state measures against the working class."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Susan Anderson on January 30, 2018, 08:09:54 PM
@JimD, thanks for the clarification. Your interpretation of what I said is as inaccurate as mine of you, so perhaps we're even, except for the false character reading, but even there I may be equally guilty.

Quote
Anthony Euwer
As a beauty I'm not a great star,
There are others more handsome by far.

—But my face—I don't mind it,
—Because I'm behind it—
It's the people in front that I jar.

It is largely useless without extended communication to support either of our points of view, and even then I suspect you would stubbornly stick to your opinion that victims are perps. I'll continue to insist that there is almost no equivalence between liberals and neoliberals, and that this result of trolling is unhelpful at best. As we fight with each other, the real criminals are laughing all the way to their highly armed banks and hidden assets and poisoning our beautiful earth.

I am assured that you are assured of my good intentions, and you have reassured me as to the same, and no doubt you will return to explain how you are right and I am wrong. Women are used to this, though perhaps that's additionally unfair of me.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2018, 08:50:46 PM
I am assured that you are assured of my good intentions, and you have reassured me as to the same, and no doubt you will return to explain how you are right and I am wrong. Women are used to this, though perhaps that's additionally unfair of me.

It looks like women power could be US's secret weapon, if were are smart enough to use it:

Extract: "New research reveals $1.6trillion boost to US economy of more opportunities for women"

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/women-jobs-us-america-trillion-dollar-economy-norway-a8102161.html

Extract: "Only half of American women are active members of the workforce, according to research by Standard and Poor's

Researchers said 44 per cent of American women were participating in the workforce in 1972, a similar rate to that of Norway.

However, by 2016, the world’s largest economy had fallen behind - around 65 per cent of Norwegian women were employed, compared to just half of their US counterparts.

Standard & Poor's estimates if women in America had taken up work at the same rate, the US economy would today be $1.6trillion bigger, an extra $5,000 for every person in the country."
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Martin Gisser on January 31, 2018, 10:44:43 PM
I also think that differentiating between main stream Democrats and Republicans is an exercise in futility.
I'm sick an tired of this stupid excuse. You folks seriously deserve an evil clown president like Trump. (But then, the planet can't afford it. Else I would just laugh at your "great nation"). Hillary wont be any better, yeah yeah, blah blah. (BTW, who was the first to advocate developed-world healthcarei in the U.S.A.?) You 'Merricans seem to be blind to the outrageous stupid and bullshitting and corruption that stands for the so-called GOP in Washington.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: SteveMDFP on February 01, 2018, 01:47:34 AM
I also think that differentiating between main stream Democrats and Republicans is an exercise in futility.
I'm sick an tired of this stupid excuse. You folks seriously deserve an evil clown president like Trump. (But then, the planet can't afford it. Else I would just laugh at your "great nation"). Hillary wont be any better, yeah yeah, blah blah. (BTW, who was the first to advocate developed-world healthcarei in the U.S.A.?) You 'Merricans seem to be blind to the outrageous stupid and bullshitting and corruption that stands for the so-called GOP in Washington.

Yep.  At least this American sees a massive and important difference.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 01, 2018, 04:50:16 PM
I also think that differentiating between main stream Democrats and Republicans is an exercise in futility.
I'm sick an tired of this stupid excuse. You folks seriously deserve an evil clown president like Trump. (But then, the planet can't afford it. Else I would just laugh at your "great nation"). Hillary wont be any better, yeah yeah, blah blah. (BTW, who was the first to advocate developed-world healthcarei in the U.S.A.?) You 'Merricans seem to be blind to the outrageous stupid and bullshitting and corruption that stands for the so-called GOP in Washington.
Yep.  At least this American sees a massive and important difference.


The linked 'The Hill' op/ed piece discusses evidence that the 'Deep State' no longer represents the 'establishment' (ie mainstream Democrats and Republicans) but rather the Trump administration:

Title: "Davis: ‘Deep state’ existed in ’16 – but it elected Trump"

http://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/371755-davis-deep-state-existed-in-16-but-it-elected-trump

Extract: "The visible tip of the iceberg was James Comey’s Oct. 28, 2016, letter to Congress. All data proves that, but for that letter 11 days from Election Day, Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.

But evidence suggests that below that iceberg tip was, in effect, a “deep state” campaign, comprising certain active or former FBI agents, mostly from the powerful New York City office, former NYC Mayor and pathological Hillary hater Rudy Giuliani, and the vast right-wing media complex (amplified by the Russian government and bots)."

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 02, 2018, 08:38:56 PM
A rare instance of walking the talk.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43349-do-we-really-need-to-fly-meet-the-climate-scientists-walking-their-talk

2 round trip plane flights here in the last 10 years. 
 
one to my brothers funeral
one to my daughters wedding
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 03, 2018, 04:25:11 AM
One of my favorite authors.  Andrew Bacevich

Quote
How We Got Donald Trump
(And How We Might Have Avoided Him)
By Andrew J. Bacevich

The present arrives out of a past that we are too quick to forget, misremember, or enshroud in myth.  Yet like it or not, the present is the product of past choices.  Different decisions back then might have yielded very different outcomes in the here-and-now.  Donald Trump ascended to the presidency as a consequence of myriad choices that Americans made (or had made for them) over the course of decades. Although few of those were made with Trump in mind, he is the result.

Where exactly did Trump come from?  How are we to account for his noxious presence as commander-in-chief and putative Leader of the Free World? ...

....So who’s at fault? Ultimately, we -- the American people -- must accept a considerable share of the responsibility. This is one buck that can’t be passed.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

So what follows is a review of roads taken (and not) ultimately leading to the demoralizing presidency of Donald Trump, along with a little speculation on how different choices might have resulted in a decidedly different present......

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176379/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_american_paths%2C_chosen_and_not_%281989-2018%29/#more
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on February 07, 2018, 04:40:27 AM
A reasoned look back. Not necessarily the instances I'd have picked to illustrate Trump's path to the presidency, but none that I'd argue against.
Vietnam, and the protests that ended it, were a necessary part of making this presidency, as was the Koch Brothers financing of the Tea Party.


The post electoral period owes more to "The Tailgunner", any number of "color revolutions', and "The Bill and Monica Show". I hope it somehow ends with a return to some semblance of democracy, but fear this is but the opening act for Trump II, and Trump III.


Interesting times are upon us,
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on February 07, 2018, 05:17:51 AM
PBS is airing a show called "The Gilded Age" that traces historical roots of plutocrat takeover of US government more than a hundred years ago. Quite refreshing, PBS has been more an apologist for Empire of late.

I crosspost to the "Economic Inequality" thread.

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 13, 2018, 04:35:42 PM
There is a good reason that the plutocrats don't give a rat's rear about working class people.  They don't plan on needing them in the future.

Making it easy to decide to strip their resources from them and then to discard.

https://ifr.org/ifr-press-releases/news/robot-density-rises-globally
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Neven on February 13, 2018, 04:46:51 PM
There is a good reason that the plutocrats don't give a rat's rear about working class people.  They don't plan on needing them in the future.

Making it easy to decide to strip their resources from them and then to discard.

https://ifr.org/ifr-press-releases/news/robot-density-rises-globally

Will there also be robots that keep consumer culture and economic growth going? What does it mean to be rich if all poor people have been replaced?
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 13, 2018, 06:03:00 PM
Oh I don't know maybe it means you won and have control of everything perhaps?

We live in a world which has no future in its present configuration.  What can't last ...won't. 

So what do we end up with is the real question.  Pretending that green BAU things like ev's and some solar panels are going to allow all of us to continue to live the high life and that the party will just keep going on is naive and immature.  We are long past the point of being in a position to fix this mess. Big change is coming.

IF the world clearly cannot support its current population, and definitely not its coming population that, does not in any way mean that those who are in a position to take advantage of 'any' situation will not take advantage of this one.  "Never let a good crises go to waste." - Winston Churchill. 

If you are a plutocrat then you work hard to continue the process of accumulating as much real wealth and power as you can (the Trump tax plan anyone - the Trump infrastructure plan anyone).  You strip resources from those below you and eliminate the need for them as much as possible.  Robots, automated factories, automated mining, AI driven programs which eliminate the need for mid-level workers, etc.  Advances in AI and robotics will eventually eliminate the need for most of the worlds workers.  AI, as ASLR has mentioned, will eventually be able to far outperform anyone but a human genius in technology development so they will not need hardly any engineers or scientists- let alone a bunch of obnoxious humanities majors or poor people of any kind. Do you think Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos intend to take any regular folks along on their flights of fancy to space and beyond for instance.

Once you get rid of all but a few hundred million of the riff raff and have all this nice technology developed to take care of you the world can be a paradise.  Maybe Musk's children will have their big estate, formerly known as Southern California, to themselves, their vassals, some appropriate amount of muscle, and the few serfs they might still require.  Gates's family can have Washington.  Bezos somewhere.  And so on.  Who cares how high the sea has risen or how hot it is.  It will all be fixable over time and since there will be hardly anyone around anymore the loss of carrying capacity will not be a major issue.  Rich people only want to interact with other rich people anyway - and any hot girls they can get their hands on of course.

Look back to when you first started paying attention to this mess.  Note how minuscule the meaningful progress has been.  Basic human nature has triumphed just as one should have expected it to.  There is no rational reason to expect different results going forward.

We are living in the middle of one of those terrifying science fiction novels about the end of the world.

lol. 
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on February 13, 2018, 06:04:34 PM

Will there also be robots that keep consumer culture and economic growth going? What does it mean to be rich if all poor people have been replaced?
I think it's too late to rail against robotics. That horse has left the barn.
We desperately need to revise our systems of distributing wealth.


Can we somehow imagine a system that rewards mindfulness and compassion, while still providing some minimal sustenance to the egotistical narcissists within our midst?


Those who, like Bruce and sidd, struggle to minimize the carbon footprint of our food supply deserve far more of the pie than the marketeer that brings pomegranates to our table as she sucks the last of California's water. But she deserves a slice if only for the fact that she is a sentient being.


I recognize some of the problems, but finding solutions is going to be much more difficult.
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Neven on February 13, 2018, 06:27:30 PM
What I mean is that human workers are put in a treadmill where they are forced (consciously or subconsciously) to spend their earnings which then flow to the mountain of concentrated wealth. If you replace these consumers with robots, what happens to the mountain of concentrated wealth?

Thanks for the answer, Jim.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on February 15, 2018, 04:39:09 PM
An illuminating take on the structure of the Trump presidency.

Who would have known?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/trumps-advisor-network-is-not-as-unprecedented-as-its-made-out-to-be/553148/
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on February 16, 2018, 01:54:37 AM
Three articles:

Mishra reviews Coates in the London Review of Books: "We Were Eight Years In Power"

"A racist society can’t but fight a racist war,’ James Baldwin wrote in 1967 ... only now, with a white supremacist ensconced in the White House, that those same hardheaded liberals – who did so much to create a climate of opinion and a legal regime in which black and brown bodies could be seized, broken and destroyed outside all norms and laws of war – are coming to grips with ‘America’s Original Sin: Slavery ... "

"The intimate relationship between America’s internal and external wars, established by its original sin, has long been clear."

"As the original exponent of centrist liberalism, Arthur Schlesinger Jr, charged, they had become too prone to ‘nourishing prejudice, magnifying difference and stirring up antagonism’ – in other words, blacks were guilty of identity politics."

"[Obama] not only expanded mass surveillance and government data-mining operations at home, and ruthlessly prosecuted whistleblowers, but invested his office with the lethal power to execute anyone, even American citizens, anywhere in the world."

"Embodying neoliberal chic at its most seductive, Obama managed to restore the self-image of American elites in politics, business and the media that had been much battered ..."

"The rising disaffection with a narcissistic and callous ruling class was signalled in different ways by the Tea Party, Occupy, Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders’s insurgent candidacy. The final blow to the Washington (and New York) consensus was delivered by Trump, who correctly read the growing resentment of elites – black or white, meritocratic or dynastic – who presumed to think the White House was theirs."

"The realisation that economic conditions and religion were as much markers of difference as skin colour made Nina Simone, Mohammed Ali and Malcolm X, among others, connect their own aspirations to decolonisation movements in India, Liberia, Ghana, Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine. Martin Luther King absorbed from Gandhi not only the tactic of non-violent protest but also a comprehensive critique of modern imperialism. "

" Perceptive about the structural violence of the new Jim Crow, Coates has little to say about its manifestation in the new world order. For all his searing corroboration of racial stigma in America, he has yet to make a connection as vital and powerful as the one that MLK detected in his disillusioned last days ..."

"As long as Coates is indifferent to the links between race and international political economy, he is more likely to induce relief than guilt among his white liberal fans. They may accept, even embrace, an explanation that blames inveterate bigots in the American heartland for Trump. They would certainly baulk at the suggestion that the legatee of the civil rights movement upheld a 19th-century racist-imperialist order by arrogating to the US presidency the right to kill anyone without due process; they would recoil from the idea that a black man in his eight years in power deepened the juridical legacy of white supremacy before passing it on to a reckless successor. The intractable continuities of institutional brute power should be plain to see. ‘The crimes of the American state,’ Coates writes in one of the introductions to We Were Eight Years in Power, ‘now had the imprimatur of a black man.’ Yet the essays themselves ultimately reveal their author to be safely within the limits of what even a radicalised black man can write in the Atlantic without dissolving the rainbow coalition of liberal imperialism or alienating its patrons. "

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n04/pankaj-mishra/why-do-white-people-like-what-i-write

the next is a moving elegy for Appalachia couched in visuals:
 
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/06/what-youre-getting-wrong-about-appalachia

and the last:

Chris Hedges reviews "Age of Anger"

“To destroy a people,” Alexander Solzhenitsyn noted acidly, “you must sever their roots.”

"Western elites, rather than accept their responsibility for the global anarchy, self-servingly define the clash as one between the values of the enlightened West and medieval barbarians. They see in the extreme nationalists, religious fundamentalists and jihadists an inchoate and inexplicable irrationality that can be quelled only with force. They have yet to grasp that the disenfranchised do not hate us for our values; they hate us because of our duplicity, use of indiscriminate industrial violence on their nations and communities and our hypocrisy. The dispossessed grasp the true message of the West to the rest of the planet: We have everything, and if you try to take it away from us we will kill you."

" The idea of Mikhail Bakunin’s “propaganda by deed” is, Mishra writes, “now manifest universally in video-taped, live-streamed and Facebooked massacres.” It grew, he writes, “naturally from the suspicion that only acts of extreme violence could reveal to the world a desperate social situation and the moral integrity of those determined to challenge it.” These imported ideas filled the void left by the destruction of indigenous beliefs, traditions and rituals. As Mishra says, these jihadists “represent the death of traditional Islam rather than its resurrection.” "

" “The modern West can no longer be distinguished from its apparent enemies,” Mishra notes. "

" The mandarins who spew this self-serving narrative are, as American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr called them and their ilk, the “bland fanatics of Western civilization” “who regard the highly contingent achievements of our culture as the final form and norm of human existence.” "

" In the latest stage of this gruesome reciprocity, the heirs of Zarqawi in ISIS dress their Western hostages in Guantanamo’s orange suits, and turn on their smartphone cameras, before beheading their victims. "

" an ultimate stage in the radicalization of the modern principle of individual autonomy and equality: a form of strenuous self-assertion that acknowledges no limits, and requires descent into a moral abyss."

"  The self-alienation of humankind, Walter Benjamin warned, “has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order.” "

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/12/age-anger

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Sebastian Jones on February 16, 2018, 06:35:02 PM
An illuminating take on the structure of the Trump presidency.

Who would have known?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/trumps-advisor-network-is-not-as-unprecedented-as-its-made-out-to-be/553148/

The Clinton White House was notoriously chaotic. However, it was more of a party atmosphere than a burn the world down vibe.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: liefde on February 17, 2018, 05:23:01 PM
May I also jump in with some Must Read sites, or at least some of the posts on them are way above what many wouldn't dare write about;
https://un-denial.com/welcome/
https://jult.net/
http://witsendnj.blogspot.nl/

Then there's ex-MicroSoft employee Jamen Shively with some interesting honest ideas for 'a future': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXaog8iTq1I

Be warned though, all of the above are not suitable for those suffering true depression or similar mental conditions.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: liefde on February 17, 2018, 05:32:50 PM
Terry,

A coup is not required to form a police state.
At some point the insane self-entitlement of the (stupid) wealthy is going to show its true face. Afraid to have to share some of their wealth with the exploited poor of the world. At some point maintaining global extreme disparity is going to crash. I think we're almost there. Herds of starving poor people forcing big airplanes to drop them off somewhere rich, where armies of police and military will have to try and contain the bloodshed of the herds of hungry poor that no longer see a future with purpose, they'll storm the barricades, governments will force police to use rights to hurt and taser at free will. And then that scene will be copied by all the trigger-happy violent deluded wealthy pricks that think they have it so hard because they make only $1000 a month, with 3 meat-eating dogs and 2 guns. And then all bets are off. With a bit of luck extreme weather and extreme heat will take some of the strength out of them, but police state is part of the deal. It starts with governments attempting to keep the walls of wealth up, keeping outsiders out, keeping the slavery up, so the peanuts, coffee and chocolate can keep coming in, but the humans can't. Then those humans give up. Stop working. The End. ;)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: ivica on March 02, 2018, 02:51:06 PM
A bit late but will do no harm (also, fits in a few threads):

The elites “have no credibility left:” An interview with journalist Chris Hedges By David North 6 October 2017

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/06/hedg-o06.html
or
http://www.unz.com/article/the-elites-have-no-credibility-left/

< Did Russians swing the election to Trump? No. Did Corp Dems swing the election to Trump? Yes. >
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on March 13, 2018, 09:23:45 PM
Rob Urie on the faux duopoly of politics in USA, pointing out the hemorraging of votes from both parties and the growing independent vote.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/12/democrats-and-the-crisis-of-legitimacy/

He brings up an idea

"a strategy of systemic legitimation in that it implies choices outside of the duopoly Party system that don’t exist."

that links to Wolin's "Inverted Totalitarianism" but does not here explore it further. I would have liked to see more on that line.

sidd

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Iceismylife on March 13, 2018, 09:41:42 PM
The middle income earners in The US have been abandoned.  Time for a revolution in politics.

 
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on March 13, 2018, 11:21:06 PM
The middle income earners in The US have been abandoned.  Time for a revolution in politics.


True, but abandonment of the poor and also the wealthy is also true.


The votes and money of most the wealthy are no longer needed by either party as industrial and corporate money as watered down the donations of all but the richest, most motivated of the wealthy.
The Koch Brothers are corporate donors, not billionaires with an attitude. They invest in politics to increase the returns on their corporate investments.
Addleson is a committed zionist who made his fortune in a business that used to be illegal in all but one state. His donations are both ideologically driven and designed to keep his businesses from being legislated out of existence.


I doubt that I need to defend my claim that the needs of the poor have been ignored by both parties.




The link that sidd posted above does qualify as a must read as it explores the huge losses that the Democrats experienced under Obama. 1,000 seats and 20% of their membership fled the party.
Clinton's program of carrying on with Obama's programs didn't fly when she ran for the Presidency.
Both parties were hemorrhaging voters, and neither party's leaders gave a damn. The corporations were on board and that was enough to assure that party insiders made lots of money whether their respective party did well at the polls or not.


Most of us will have no truck with the Republican Party, so the Democratic Party is the only one we have a chance of influencing.
As long as the Party's allegiance is to corporate interests the poor, middle class, and even most of the wealthy have no voice in how their country is governed. Welcome to the Oligarchy.


Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: johnm33 on March 13, 2018, 11:46:07 PM
There was a speech made when Cuba was first taken over by the US. it included something like "Oh they can have democracy, they can vote for whoever they like, but all the candidates will be our chosen men" Seems the trial worked out so well they decided to move it home.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Iceismylife on March 14, 2018, 12:23:54 AM
The middle income earners in The US have been abandoned.  Time for a revolution in politics.


True, but abandonment of the poor and also the wealthy is also true.


The votes and money of most the wealthy are no longer needed by either party as industrial and corporate money as watered down the donations of all but the richest, most motivated of the wealthy.
The Koch Brothers are corporate donors, not billionaires with an attitude. They invest in politics to increase the returns on their corporate investments.
Addleson is a committed zionist who made his fortune in a business that used to be illegal in all but one state. His donations are both ideologically driven and designed to keep his businesses from being legislated out of existence.


I doubt that I need to defend my claim that the needs of the poor have been ignored by both parties.




The link that sidd posted above does qualify as a must read as it explores the huge losses that the Democrats experienced under Obama. 1,000 seats and 20% of their membership fled the party.
Clinton's program of carrying on with Obama's programs didn't fly when she ran for the Presidency.
Both parties were hemorrhaging voters, and neither party's leaders gave a damn. The corporations were on board and that was enough to assure that party insiders made lots of money whether their respective party did well at the polls or not.


Most of us will have no truck with the Republican Party, so the Democratic Party is the only one we have a chance of influencing.
As long as the Party's allegiance is to corporate interests the poor, middle class, and even most of the wealthy have no voice in how their country is governed. Welcome to the Oligarchy.


Terry
I was raised a Republican,  I didn't leave them, they left me.

When I was a kid I thought Ronald Reagan was the best ever.  Now I see what his long term policies did to America and I think he was the worst ever.

The population of America has been sold out.  Time for a new start.  Don't try to get the corporate influence out of the dems.  Start over.

 
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on April 10, 2018, 06:12:43 PM
Very informative article.

Quote
...Over time, water has filled the abandoned stopes, where it reacts with the pyrite in the exposed rock and becomes acidic. Heavy metals previously trapped in the conglomerate rock – including known toxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead – readily dissolve in the acidified water. This toxic soup has been rising steadily; in many spots it has ‘decanted’ onto the surface or into the water table. Thousands of people – farmers, informal settlement residents, and others with no access to alternative sources – use this water for irrigation, drinking and bathing....

Quote
....This is not a matter of consumer choice or carelessness. Rather, the high contaminant content results from a deliberate strategy on the part of fuel brokers such as Trafigura and Vitol. These commodity traders blend the fuel stocks that they purchase from refineries, using different recipes for different destinations. Taking advantage of relaxed (or non-existent) regulatory limits across much of Africa, commodity traders maximise their profits by creating high-sulphur blends that are outlawed in Europe and North America. The Swiss NGO Public Eye found that some amalgams in Africa contain up to 630 times more sulphur than European diesel. Much of the blending takes place in the giant port region of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, but the process is so cheap and easy that it can be conducted on ships, off the West African coast. Traders unabashedly name these blends ‘African-quality’ fuels, as they are saleable only on the continent – often in the very same countries that produced the initial stocks of crude oil. Such ‘dirty diesel’ is a significant part of why Lagos air contains 13 times more particulate matter than London air.

When these practices were documented by Public Eye in 2016, brokers insisted that their actions were legal. Which was true. European limits on sulphur in fuel stood at 10 parts per million (ppm). North America offered polluters a bit more leeway, with 15 ppm. Across Africa, however, the average limit was 2,000 ppm; Nigeria, the continent’s largest oil producer, had a standard of 3,000 ppm. ...

Guess where all those diesels vehicles which no longer meet EU regs are going to be sold?

When the time comes, and it will, when we can no longer feed all of the world or its not in our interest to do so, which locations are going to be cut off from supplies and allowed to wither away?

https://aeon.co/essays/if-we-talk-about-hurting-our-planet-who-exactly-is-the-we
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: ivica on April 12, 2018, 12:23:23 PM
Ugo Bardy - Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/the-empire-of-lies-reloaded.html

Quote
By the time of Augustine, the Roman Empire had become an Empire of lies. It still pretended to uphold the rule of law, to protect the people from the Barbarian invaders, to maintain the social order. But all that had become a bad joke for the citizens of an empire by then reduced to nothing more than a giant military machine dedicated to oppressing the poor in order to maintain the privileges of the rich.
...
But democracy has become a ghost of itself: how can citizens make an informed choice after that we discovered the concept that we call "perception management" (earlier on called "propaganda")?

Comment by Miguel MartinezApril 11, 2018 at 4:18 AM:

Quote
I just put on line what I believe to be the best analysis ever made of how people can be deceived and enticed into war:
http://kelebeklerblog.com/2018/04/11/death-himself-cannot-set-the-nations-dancing-without-the-music-of-the-passions/
Vernon Lee wrote it over a hundred years ago, at the beginning of the Great War (World War Two, and the current wars in the Middle East, are just a footnote to that war).
She later wrote a much longer commentary to this short text, which is also well worth reading.
The rough beast is truly slouching, not far from Bethlehem.

"It is hard to describe the sick feeling of powerlessness, as the masters of the world prepare yet another war."

No quotes from "THE BALLET OF THE NATIONS (http://kelebeklerblog.com/2018/04/11/death-himself-cannot-set-the-nations-dancing-without-the-music-of-the-passions/)", read it.

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on April 30, 2018, 05:54:05 PM
http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/labor-2030-the-collision-of-demographics-automation-and-inequality.aspx#chapter1

This is the best comprehensive analysis of where the global economy is going over the next decade which I have come across.  It details changes with HUGE implications for all of us and especially for any chance of dealing with climate change and declining carrying capacity (the 2 most important items on our to do list).  In sum automation and the declining economic prospects of the working and middle class are going to be driving the governmental bus.  There is not going to be much slack for dealing with long term problems.

It is very long and very detailed and requires a little effort to read it all the way through - but it is really worth it.  Read this and think about what it means and how much harder it is going to make dealing with the long term issues over the short term political/economic issues.

The below quotes are just referring to the United States.

Quote
...By the end of the 2020s, automation may eliminate 20% to 25% of current jobs, hitting middle- to low-income workers the hardest. As investments peak and then decline—probably around the end of the 2020s to the start of the 2030s—anemic demand growth is likely to constrain economic expansion, and global interest rates may again test zero percent. Faced with market imbalances and growth-stifling levels of inequality, many societies may reset the government's role in the marketplace....

...Our analysis shows automation is likely to push output potential far ahead of demand potential. The rapid spread of automation may eliminate as many as 20% to 25% of current jobs—equivalent to 40 million displaced workers—and depress wage growth for many more workers....

Wage depression will cover another 25% of the workforce.  This is devastating.  New job growth is expected to lag the job losses by 50%- so the old adage that technology creates just as many jobs as it eliminates will not hold - which it hasn't been doing in any case for a couple of decades already.

Quote
...At lower prices, we will see increased demand for some products, which will offset some displacement. Without it, the total reduction in employment would rise to nearly 30% of existing workers, or almost 50 million workers in the US. To put these numbers in context, during the Great Recession, US employment fell rapidly from its peak in January 2008 to its trough in February 2010 by nearly 9 million jobs, or 6.3% of total employment....

If the above increase in demand does not occur then it is 50 million jobs and total workforce disruption goes above 50%..

Quote
..Our analysis shows approximately 80% of all workers will be affected in the coming decades by some level of wage stagnation, displacement or a combination of the two (see Figure 26)....

The analysis also indicates that contrary to what we might desire economic inequality is likely to significantly 'worsen' between now and 2030 not get better. 

There is lots more in the article that is valuable reading and food for thought.  I highly recommend it.

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Alexander555 on April 30, 2018, 06:08:19 PM
If 80 % of all workers will be effected. There will not be much left from the financial markets. Nobody will be able to pay back it's debts. Pension funds will all collaps.......
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on April 30, 2018, 06:26:22 PM
If 80 % of all workers will be effected. There will not be much left from the financial markets. Nobody will be able to pay back it's debts. Pension funds will all collaps.......

It specifically mentions pension issues and states that government pensions below the level of national ones (USG Federal pensions for instance) are in real trouble.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on April 30, 2018, 07:43:16 PM
Jim
Prior to reading your link.
I'd recently read something by a UT prof. that stated that the US Military, even though they're almost always looking for raw meat, won't allow anyone in with an IQ of less than 83. There is no work that they are capable of handling. This represents 15% of the populus.


He then states that these lower 15% have even greater difficulty fitting into a modern industrialised civilian society, and that as robotics increasingly takes hold this % will increase, rapidly.


He asks the question of how we will provide for these unemployables as their numbers dramatically increase.


This has already started, and baring an economic collapse will be glaringly evident within this decade.
Terry - now I'll get on with the task of reading your link  :)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Alexander555 on April 30, 2018, 08:00:45 PM
It reads as a complete disaster. They are chasing productivity gains with their automatisation. That means making more items of a product in the same timespan. That means they have to sell more and more constantly. They are just creating giant pile of cheap trash. It's a drama for climate. And for this disaster the west is printing money day and night, otherwise they can not sell more and more constantly. And still you have fools that want higher productivity gains.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on April 30, 2018, 09:57:21 PM

Jim
Here are some quick notes on the first 3 chapters. The piece seemed quite US centric, skimming over problems of healthcare, or assuming they were universal, ignoring the MIC gorilla in the room and assuming capitalism as the way forward.


#1

Wasn't India involved in the global economy when part of the British Empire? (prior to 1950)
Not all become dependant at 65, some work, some invest, some live by charging rent.
If autonomous vehicles alone reach maturity millions of drivers re-enter the workforce.
I see the "end of work", at least for a substantial portion of the labor force, as a reality.
I see automation as relieving labor shortage problems - and then some.


#2


Automation in education is something I see now and increasingly in the future.
I see automation increasingly marginalizing growing segments of the populace. The 15% who can't be productively employed now will grow at possibly an exponential rate. Robo-cops will keep them from becoming effective Luddites.


#3


Longer hours and more working years can be avoided when not economically required.
The inequality they forecast may simply not be viable. A cultural breakdown is probable IMO.
If increasing numbers are marginalized or forced out of the labor force the wealthy will be forced to provide make work, generous welfare, acceptable entertainment. Bread and circuses.


I'll finish the link later, but there is plenty just in the first three chapters to discuss.
Terry

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on April 30, 2018, 10:16:15 PM
Terry

Yes the jobs analysis numbers were done for the US.  It wold be asking a lot to try and get numbers for places like India and China due to a paucity of data.  But the same trends would apply as this is technology based change.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2018, 01:12:07 AM


Jim
I understand what he's saying about the lack of new labor resources, but really believe that automation is going to drive any of those concerns to the back of the line.


Having been marginally involved in some of the changeover WRT food service equipment I can tell you that when it comes, it comes fast, hard, and changes a market segment virtually overnight. Modern Impinger conveyor belt pizza ovens appeared and within less than two years it was just about impossible to buy a conventionally cooked pizza. The 5 major pizza oven manufacturers all came on board at once, a majority of the parts were interchangeable, and everyone in the business, or who thought that maybe they'd like to get in the business bought one.

Dishwashing machines in major casino are the most expensive and complex mechanical thing in the building. They're installed, then the building is built around them.
How many kids did each of them put out of work?
The weirdest machine I've ever seen made bagels. Mixed the dough, kneaded it, stretched it, folded it, tied it in a knot, cooked it, rolled it out on a conveyor belt and didn't need anyone in the same room.

Not robots in the normal sense at all, but machines that did one task with astonishing speed and precision, and with very little human supervision.

Remember back when a bartender made your frozen margarita, or pina colada? Now he holds your glass under the spout and pulls a lever. Still plenty of bartenders, but what ever happened to the bar boys? With an automatic ice machine at your back, a glass washer to your side. and a mug froster under the bar who needs a bar boy, and what would he do with his time.

The bar boys and dishwashers were pretty far down the food chain, but where are they working now? How many dealers went home forever when they installed a row of blackjack machines? They're probably hanging out with the dealers that lost their jobs when the poker machines were installed.

One small industry.

When Makita came out with a battery operated drill/driver that actually worked it probably increased my efficiency by 5%. If so every 20th tech had to find a new trade.

An autonomous fleet of Ubers plus a driverless Semi that works puts every professional driver out on the curb. And some of those jobs paid a decent wage. Where will they look for work? How will they make the payment on that double wide trailer that the robots built?

If you look good, have great people skills, and are smart as a whip, someone might have an opening for you. Probably not much money, probably not permanent, but possibly enough to get by until you're laid off.


If you were bright enough to groc calculus in high school you might find a job behind a cash register. In the depression airline stewardesses needed to be registered nurses, as well as having tiny waists, wonderful skin, and being under 25.

Fortunately I'm an old man with serious health problems. If everything goes well, no climate change problems, no major wars, and no sudden economic downturn, it will be an ugly life. If anything gets screwed up, it will be a horror.

Gadds - I've depressed myself :'(
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2018, 09:16:18 AM
Jim
On through the next chapters.


#4
Very turbulent times in the 20's are predicted.
High unemployment and labor shortages? I see massive unemployment crippling everything. No buyers with bucks. Back to Autonomous Uber again, if I'm happy calling for an EV ride from wherever, I'm probably not employed in the automotive industry, nor the energy industry, nor steel, aluminum, car radios or accessories. Traffic cops, and the communities they support will be on life support.
We saw Walmart eat communities and spit out destitute towns that had their street lights repossessed. Well, Amazon is eating Walmart for lunch. Who can afford stop lights when there are no drivers to ticket? Who can afford cops that sit around waiting for the next alleged perp? How do you pull off the perfect heist when your car turns you in and drives you to jail?


Jeeze
I'm off on a rant again
Sorry


Automated production will lower prices, but not low enough to offset the wages of those it has displaced.
We haven't yet recovered from the Great Recession, and I'm not convinced that we ever will.
He next speaks of elder spending as driving the economy, then in the next paragraphs exposes the poverty of retiring Americans. If government subsidies are required to sustain the old, they can't spend enough to support the very taxpayers that are expected to shoulder this burden.
The virtuous circle he speaks of requires startup cash, and the government doesn't have anything but outstanding debt. How long before that lifeline is snapped?
He's convinced that America will lead the automation wave. How? Why would a factory set up here? Labor is expensive, and not particularly productive. American STEM students don't lead the world. Most of the easily extracted resources have been extracted. Our infrastructure is decayed, and America's government hasn't made a lot of friends.
Higher interest rates will simply add to the backlog of repossessions and foreclosures. Lending institutions don't need parking lots full of used vehicles, and the dispossessed workers will set up camp in the foreclosed real estate.
He sees growth at 3%, I hope we can tread water. - what would we do with 3% more stuff?
He talks of jobs teaching AI machines, but AI machines will perform all of this work.
Back to soaring interest rates. - somebody needs to be able to pay them.
Apre the boom he sees bust. I concur with the prediction of the bust.
He bemoans Japan's "lost decades". They look OK to me.
Noting that his "virtuous circle" sustained by the elderly would require unsustainable taxation he abandons this pipe dream. Good.
America's safety net is found wanting.
Both dropping export markets and dropping wages are addressed.
He sees "governments" stepping up to save the safety net. I see "governments" fleeing their obligations.
Wow! I don't really think he's much more optimistic than myself.


#5
Governments will intervene in the market.
Higher taxation will be required. Turnips can't give blood no matter how hard they're squeezed.
More authoritarian governments, less democracy - it's what the people want?
"Businesses have managed to prosper and thrive in all these eras." One of the eras mentioned was the depression?
He again addresses safety nets, and immigration policy.
Baby boomers and Social Security, that's a thorny one.
Globalization seen as good unless your GDP growth per person is low.
More Boomers vs Social Security
All in all a greater need for tax spending, and a diminishing pool of tax raising sources.


#6
There will be Blood - for tomorrow's investors, or of tomorrow's investors.
Hedge all your bets.
Long Term plans to increase resilience?
End of the middle class.
This section seems to be instructing businesses and investors on how to weather a cyclone. Be prepared to run in any direction or staying put. Aaukk!


Conclusion
He ends with statistics showing that were not going to live that much longer anyway, perhaps in an effort to end on a high note.


Don't feel obligated to read all or ever part of the above, It was more a free association exercise rather than a well thought out response to a rather ponderous article.
I think everyone is going to get hurt in the maelstrom that is coming. Those who aren't the brightest and most adaptable will be hurt the most.


Good luck to all
Terry

Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Sebastian Jones on May 01, 2018, 06:23:57 PM
After reading the intro and the chapter headings, it appears to me that the consultancy that produced this report is primarily convened with constraints on growth.
Considering that growth is at the root of our ecological crisises, this is no bad thing.
I concur with Terry that the "lost decades" in Japan should be viewed as a potential roadmap for how to navigate a post growth future. I'll take a deeper look tonight.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on May 02, 2018, 06:31:00 PM
Terry

I dropped this link in the Cafe topic for Neven a few days ago.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/08/wave-of-agriculture-robotics-holds-potential-to-ease-farm-labor-crunch.html

It describes advances in agricultural automation/robots. Note the strawberry picker will eliminate 30 workers for each machine.  The automation in ag is astonishing.  These types of advances will stongly orient towards much larger farming operations as they are perfect for the use of capital to buy the equipment and then use it efficiently.

These trends are exactly the opposite of what most of us think ag should be doing as we fly straight into the storm of climate change.

Surviving climate change absolutely requires we dramatically reduce population. Automation/robots dramatically change the demand for low skilled workers.
Declining carrying capacity means we will be short of food for everyone.
Rich people have no intention of giving up their lifestyles.

So.  If our policies, cultural desires, and technological trends are left to themselves the above leads to a straightforward solution does it not?  I for one have been saying for years here that, if we are unable to adjust civilizational practices to deal with climate change in a manner which takes care of everyone (as we are clearly not able to do) then we will take the opposite approach.  And that approach is to allow the situation to 'prune' the excess growth.  That is, we can't feed everyone, we have no pressing need for people with no skills or who are in excess to needs so it is just easier to 'arrange' for them to not be able to find viable ways to survive.

A harsh argument.  But also a rational and logical one.  TPTB seem to be making this choice to me.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on May 03, 2018, 12:26:55 PM
  And that approach is to allow the situation to 'prune' the excess growth.  That is, we can't feed everyone, we have no pressing need for people with no skills or who are in excess to needs so it is just easier to 'arrange' for them to not be able to find viable ways to survive.

A harsh argument.  But also a rational and logical one.  TPTB seem to be making this choice to me.
Jim
Ramping up eugenics is more than just harsh. "Letting nature take it's course" may sound more humane than lining the "deplorables" against the wall and shooting, but to my mind it's no more acceptable.
Is surviving for an additional generation or two at a cost like this really worth it?


Somehow an effort has to be made.
 A world wide one child policy?
 Enforced vegan diets?


TPTB need to be reigned in, not encouraged.
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on May 04, 2018, 01:19:29 AM
Ontario is apparently experimenting with cash payments to the less well off. $24,000/year per couple.
When I've more information I'll post it.
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on May 08, 2018, 08:52:01 PM
Are you in a BS job?  Most likely.

Quote
...For a number of years now, I have been conducting research on forms of employment seen as utterly pointless by those who perform them. The proportion of these jobs is startlingly high. Surveys in Britain and Holland reveal that 37 to 40 percent of all workers there are convinced that their jobs make no meaningful contribution to the world. And there seems every reason to believe that numbers in other wealthy countries are much the same. There would appear to be whole industries — telemarketing, corporate law, financial or management consulting, lobbying — in which almost everyone involved finds the enterprise a waste of time, and believes that if their jobs disappeared it would either make no difference or make the world a better place....

...If one includes the work of those who unwittingly perform real labor in support of all this — for instance, the cleaners, guards, and mechanics who maintain the office buildings where people perform bullshit jobs — it’s clear that 50 percent of all work could be eliminated with no downside. (I am assuming here that provision is made such that those whose jobs were eliminated continue to be supported.) If nothing else, this would have immediate salutary effects on carbon emissions, not to mention overall social happiness and well-being.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Are-You-in-a-BS-Job-In/243318?key=17K21y7n_SjUZ04t4-9d7tInUaJwcLDdV_QpNsCZfqsG3f961B4gZ2-LQanQQNUSTHpDSl9ZMUdlWmNRZTZzX0g4eTAydXgwRTRPc0R2WG1RZDdqcWx0SnlZZw

It would figure that an article like this would have the longest link in history.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: JimD on May 20, 2018, 05:03:39 PM
A Pulitzer prize winner.

Quote
Charlie LeDuff anticipated all the problems that Trump’s election made plain to the rest of us—then he fell into the Hole himself.

https://www.weeklystandard.com/matt-labash/anticipating-trumps-america-charlie-leduff-gets-a-little-bit-of-real-people-in-detroit
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on May 20, 2018, 08:31:21 PM
Another along the same lines was (requiescat in pace) Joe Bageant.

http://www.joebageant.org/

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on June 04, 2018, 11:39:13 PM
Looks like I must read this book. And the next one he is working on.

https://www.cjr.org/special_report/seymour-hersh-monday-interview.php/

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: oren on June 24, 2018, 06:45:37 PM
Are you in a BS job?  Most likely.
Kind of late but thank you JimD, that was an interersting read.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: NevB on June 25, 2018, 01:26:56 PM
A Pulitzer prize winner.

Quote
Charlie LeDuff anticipated all the problems that Trump’s election made plain to the rest of us—then he fell into the Hole himself.

https://www.weeklystandard.com/matt-labash/anticipating-trumps-america-charlie-leduff-gets-a-little-bit-of-real-people-in-detroit

Thanks Jim. I don't have time to read all the links but I'm glad I read this one.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: jacksmith4tx on July 07, 2018, 09:52:07 PM
I am reading a new book by Carlos Rovelli - The Order of Time. The book combines physics, philosophy, neurology and psychology to explain how time is integrated into our perceptions of reality and why it may be the key to the grand 'Theory of Everything' by reconciling general relativity and quantum mechanics.
Search for his name and book title and there are several videos where he explains the book and some of the topics it explores.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: jacksmith4tx on July 16, 2018, 08:05:52 PM
I found this new book (Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect) by Judea Pearl very interesting and relevant to the discussion of using AI and machine learning to analyzing large data sets. Deep into the book (about chapter 10 I think) he mentioned using these new techniques with climate models by adding causal reasoning algorithms.
https://www.quantamagazine.org/to-build-truly-intelligent-machines-teach-them-cause-and-effect-20180515/

Quote
In his new book, Pearl elaborates a vision for how truly intelligent machines would think. The key, he argues, is to replace reasoning by association with causal reasoning. Instead of the mere ability to correlate fever and malaria, machines need the capacity to reason that malaria causes fever. Once this kind of causal framework is in place, it becomes possible for machines to ask counterfactual questions — to inquire how the causal relationships would change given some kind of intervention — which Pearl views as the cornerstone of scientific thought. Pearl also proposes a formal language in which to make this kind of thinking possible — a 21st-century version of the Bayesian framework that allowed machines to think probabilistically.

Pearl expects that causal reasoning could provide machines with human-level intelligence.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: TerryM on July 17, 2018, 05:30:11 PM
jack
Doesn't the BASIC if - then - else structure assure that cause and effect are built into all but the simplest of algorithms?
AFAIK similar logic gates are present in all digital or analogue computers, so I'm unsure what new framework Pearl is proposing.
Terry
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: jacksmith4tx on July 17, 2018, 06:12:51 PM
TerryM,
I think he is proposing a non-Boolean approach to conditional branching. If you have been following all the hoopla about the new AI chips from Nvidia, Intel and Samsung it's because they are doing this in hardware too.
If you know where to look on the internet you can download a copy and read it (wink,wink). Alternately you can setup some custom filters on Google and read what other computer scientist have to say about his approach.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: jacksmith4tx on July 20, 2018, 02:24:18 PM
This news ties in to both the books I recommended. "The Order of Time" and "Why".
https://phys.org/news/2018-07-reversing-effect-quantum.html

The work has some profound implications. "The most exciting thing for us is the possible connection with the arrow of time," says Thompson, first author on the work. "If causal asymmetry is only found in classical models, it suggests our perception of cause and effect, and thus time, can emerge from enforcing a classical explanation on events in a fundamentally quantum world," she says.

Next, the team wants to understand how this connects to other ideas of time. "Every community has their own arrow of time, and everybody wants to explain where they come from," says Vedral. Crutchfield and Mahoney called causal asymmetry an example of time's "barbed arrow."

Most iconic is the thermodynamic arrow. It comes from the idea that disorder, or entropy, will always increase—a little here and there, in everything that happens, until the universe ends as one big, hot mess. While causal asymmetry is not the same as the thermodynamic arrow, they could be interrelated. Classical models that track more information also generate more disorder. "This hints that causal asymmetry can have entropic consequence," says Thompson.

The results may also have practical value. Doing away with the classical overhead for reversing cause and effect could help quantum simulation. "Like a movie playing in reverse, sometimes we may be required to make sense of things that are presented in an order that is intrinsically difficult to model. In such cases, quantum methods could prove vastly more efficient than their classical counterparts," says Gu.

On a related note I see the Chinese have a new world record in quantum computing by entangling 18 QBits.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/chinese-researchers-achieve-stunning-quantum-entanglement-record/
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: iamlsd on July 22, 2018, 09:01:55 AM
Does any know what has happend to https://robertscribbler.com/ which is giving a domain expired message?

Not sure if this is the right spot to ask this but Robert Scribbler is "a must read" for me along with this site of course.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Neven on July 22, 2018, 11:44:12 AM
That doesn't look good. I hope Robert will be back soon.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Reallybigbunny on July 22, 2018, 12:43:55 PM
I have been trying to access his site for some time since his somewhat erratic last post. Please come back Robertscribler!
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Telihod on July 22, 2018, 12:49:59 PM
His youtube channel is very active. He has posted 5 videos yesterday.

https://www.youtube.com/user/LuthielV/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/LuthielV/videos)
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: gerontocrat on July 22, 2018, 04:30:35 PM
His youtube channel is very active. He has posted 5 videos yesterday.

https://www.youtube.com/user/LuthielV/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/LuthielV/videos)

Message on the domain reads:-
Quote
This domain expired, and it has to be renewed before it is lost.

We already notified this site’s owners. However, renewing expired domains becomes more costly and complicated as time goes by. We want to make sure they got the message.

If you know this site’s owners, please get in touch and remind them to renew this domain before it’s too late.
Sounds a bit final to me. Perhaps he has decided the well-written word just won't reach the audience he is looking for, that perhaps only react to videos and tweets?

So I plonked a query on the comments thing on youtube.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: ritter on July 23, 2018, 06:14:11 PM
Up and working this morning.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: sidd on September 20, 2018, 08:56:48 PM
Sanders has a reflection on Merton in the Orion:

“The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness.”

 “We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous.”

"Merton did not live to witness how thoroughly we have tainted the rain."

" “We believe that any end can be achieved from the moment one possesses the right instruments, the right machines, the right technique.” The hubris that has led us to devastate our home planet now prompts us to imagine we can continue our plundering and pollution by employing even more grandiose technology ... "

" We abuse and exploit Earth for the same reason we abuse and exploit one another: because we have lost a sense of kinship with our fellow human beings, with other species, and with our planetary home."

https://orionmagazine.org/article/conscience-and-resistance/

sidd
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: Red on November 14, 2018, 11:23:39 AM
I'm unsure how Vaclav Smil is viewed here or Alice Friedemann for that matter but here is a book review posted over at:
 http://energyskeptic.com/2018/book-review-of-vaclav-smils-energy-transitions-history-requirements-prospects/

Preface.  In my extract of the 178 pages in the book below, Smil explains why renewables can’t possibly replace fossil fuels, and appears to be exasperated that people believe this can be done when he writes “Common expectations of energy futures, shared not only by poorly informed enthusiasts and careless politicians but, inexplicably, by too many uncritical professionals, have been, for decades, resembling more science fiction than unbiased engineering, economic, and environmental appraisals.”

Yet Smil makes the same “leap of faith” as the “uncritical professionals” he criticizes.  He remains “hopeful in the long run because we can’t predict the future.” And because the past transitions “created more productive and richer economies and improved the overall quality of life—and this experience should be eventually replicated by the coming energy transition.”

Huh? After all the trouble he’s taken to explain why we can’t possibly transition from fossil fuels to anything else he ends on a note of happy optimism with no possible solution?


Title: Re: A must read
Post by: ASILurker on December 07, 2018, 01:47:43 PM
What Lies Beneath

THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF EXISTENTIAL CLIMATE RISK

BY DAVID SPRATT & IAN DUNLOP | FOREWORD BY HANS JOACHIM SCHELLNHUBER
Revised and updated August 2018

From the introduction:

In his book 1984 , George Orwell describes a
double-think totalitarian state where most of  the
population accepts “the most flagrant violations
of  reality, because they never fully grasped the
enormity of  what was demanded of  them,
and were not sufficiently interested in public
events to notice what was happening. By lack of 
understanding they remained sane.”

Orwell could have been writing about climate
change and policymaking. International
agreements talk of  limiting global warming to
1.5–2 degrees Celsius (°C), but in reality they set
the world on a path of  3–5°C of  warming. Goals
are reaffirmed, only to be abandoned. Coal is
“clean”. Just 1°C of  warming is already dangerous,
but this cannot be admitted. The planetary future
is hostage to myopic national self-interest. Action
is delayed on the assumption that as yet unproven
technologies will save the day, decades hence. The
risks are existential, but it is “alarmist”  to say so.

http://climateextremes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/What-Lies-Beneath-V3-LR-Blank5b15d.pdf


Lurk369:Best of Bookmarks
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: vox_mundi on January 23, 2019, 11:24:14 AM
Chris Hedges goes full-on 'medieval' with the climate denying 'Christian right' and corporate rape of the planet.

Confronting the Culture of Death
http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/chris-hedges/83130/confronting-the-culture-of-death
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: b_lumenkraft on January 23, 2019, 01:11:34 PM
Why? To bring on the end of days, Armageddon and the Second Coming.

Holy moly! I bet the same people think Muslims are dangerous ...
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: gerontocrat on January 23, 2019, 01:31:16 PM
Whoops  - pressed remove instead of modify

Quote
Quote from: vox_mundi on Today at 11:24:14 AM
Chris Hedges goes full-on 'medieval' with the climate denying 'Christian right' and corporate rape of the planet.

Confronting the Culture of Death
http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/chris-hedges/83130/confronting-the-culture-of-death
the climate denying 'Christian right'

I am personally convinced that many evangelical Christians (perhaps especially in the USA) are sure that climate change exists, hope that it will happen very quickly, and hope that we will accelerate our burning of fossil fuels.

Why? To bring on the end of days, Armageddon and the Second Coming.

The narrative has many strands. It was reported that amongst many evangelicals, the movement of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and worsening of relations between Israel and Palestine combined with the US's unconditional support to Israel are welcomed. In their view this is part of the process of creating Greater Israel (from the Med to the Red Sea) with all of Jerusalem as its undisputed capital. This is also a necessary condition for Armageddon and the second coming.

There is a concern amongst some commentators that there are some weirdos surrounding Trump who encourage policies that contribute to political instability, populism and conflict either through this religious conviction and / or belief that such actions will help Trump to maintain popularity with his voter base. "4 more years!!"

Perhaps I will be asked for links. I will not provide. Life is depressing enough already. Poking around in those places in the www I will no longer do.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: gerontocrat on January 23, 2019, 01:39:40 PM
Why? To bring on the end of days, Armageddon and the Second Coming.

Holy moly! I bet the same people think Muslims are dangerous ...

You are wrong according to those who are true to their beliefs.. Muslims and Jews are regarded are necessary tools as part of the slide to war, plagues, fire, floods etc etc etc. that presage the Second Coming.

Of course, come the Second Coming, they perish as do all (including most Christians) except the "True Believer" Evangelicals. The concern is when such weird loonie beliefs move out from the murky shadows on the fringe towards the centre of power.
Title: Re: A must read
Post by: vox_mundi on January 23, 2019, 02:58:28 PM
It doesn't seem like neither of you actually read the short piece at the link.

Edit: But this part is correct ...
Quote
... The concern is when such weird loonie beliefs move out from the murky shadows on the fringe towards the centre of power.