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Messages - sidd

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Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: November 10, 2019, 08:02:17 PM »
Scahill interviews Taylor at the intercept: organized economic disobedience as political weapon

" conversation has been framed around populism, warnings about unruly people we can’t trust. But I think for me, the problem is actually that we’re living in the age of minoritarian politics, minoritarian control."

"the message that wealthy, powerful people want to hear, which is, sorry lowly people, you can’t have nice things."

"we essentially have a system, an electoral system where bribery is legalized in terms of campaign contributions"

"there’s a bigger thing they’re afraid of though because what this means to have universal health care is to decommodify this huge industry, and it’s to connect decommodification with democratization, right? Maybe there are huge areas of social life that should not be not just subjected to the market extremes but actually taken off the market completely, right? And that’s very threatening to the status quo."

"Because once you start decommodifying one area, well, why not others? Let’s take education off the market, right? Let’s take housing off the market. What would it be like to live in a home that you don’t have to pray appreciates in value that’s not actually a speculative asset or someone else’s speculative asset?  ... more of social life should be public, should be decommodified. That’s what democracy entails and that is deeply threatening to a ruling class."

" this reduction of democracy to that: to whether or not you can just get to the voting booth "

"I found young people who are keenly aware of their own status as an economic and social elite, who recognize — they had no delusions — they recognize that the empowerment of the majority of people would mean that they would lose some of their privilege ... they basically said, we don’t want democracy."

"it was convenient for capitalists to speak in terms of democracy, to wrap themselves up in that mantle, right. They don’t need it anymore "

"the best example of that to me is George Washington, the first president, who was this vicious real estate speculator who basically, why did he want the American Revolution? So, he could speculate on stolen indigenous land. So, let’s just not deceive ourselves. "

"What if debtors had been organized, mortgage holders had been organized? So we try to organize people around what type of debt by their specific creditors and say we need to engage in collective bargaining ...$1.6 trillion of student debt is $1.6 trillion of leverage. Let’s start using it."

"since 2015, we’ve helped win over a billion and a half dollars of debt relief. "

"A million people default every year, but they do it individually ... Hey million people who are defaulting, step out of the shadows and become a political force."


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: November 10, 2019, 06:26:43 AM »
Speri interviews Karakatsanis at the intercept on the criminal injustice system in the USA:

"The American legal system ... has been an instrument of ruling class oppression. The legal system, from its founding, was about preserving distributions of wealth and property and white supremacy. "

" if you don’t attack the underlying systems of oppression that lead to a problem, a court ruling isn’t going to solve them."

"we use terms like “law enforcement,” which make it seem like we enforce all laws against all people, when in fact law enforcement in this country just enforces some laws against some people. The language that we use is really important."

"It’s just a really significant bureaucratic achievement to transfer that many people and their bodies and their lives into government-run cages. And to do that, the system basically has to ignore the main constitutional rights that are provided for in the Bill of Rights"

"The way that law is enforced reflects distributions of power in our society."

"If you actually think that its purpose is controlling certain populations, oppressing certain people, conserving the hierarchies of wealth and power, then it’s actually functioning very well. And the people who’ve been running our criminal legal system for decades aren’t stupid. They weren’t trying to do one thing but woefully failed, they were trying to do what the system has been doing, which is to keep certain people controlled."

"It’s a massive bureaucracy, and what do bureaucracies do? They try to expand and preserve themselves."


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: November 10, 2019, 06:19:40 AM »
Some may recall my post in June about a friend, now dead.,1482.msg207954.html#msg207954

I went by an stuck my head in the door, found her crying. They're coming after his wife for the medical bills. the only money left is from a life insurance policy, and the couple had some equity in the house. Both together fall far short of the bills. They gonna put her on the street.

What really worries me is that there are firearms in the house, and she might use one on herself.  I might have to go over and take em away, tell her that i'm gonna get them appraised. Hate to see another death of despair.


the thread "Global economics and finances - impacts"  in "Policy and Solutions" has some previous discussion. Mebbe take it there ?


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 07, 2019, 08:37:43 AM »
Re: " Feed / energy, transportation energy, farm tractors, water pumping, and the house / barn "

Took me about three years to get that done. You need at least a year because farming is so seasonal. Then one has cold winters and such that blow out your heating budgets ...


Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: November 05, 2019, 09:05:58 AM »
Yes that quote seems backwards ...


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 05, 2019, 01:44:47 AM »
Johnstone on propaganda:

" framing more and more debates in terms of how the oligarchic empire should be sustained and supported, steering them away from debates about whether that empire should be permitted to exist at all."

"They get people debating whether they should elect a crook in a red hat or a crook in a blue hat, rather than whether or not they should be forced to elect crooks."

"They get people debating whether or not a group of protesters are sufficiently polite, rather than debating the thing those protesters are demonstrating against."

"They get people debating how many US troops should be in Syria, rather than whether that illegal invasion and occupation was ever legitimate in the first place."

"They get people debating how much government support the poor should be allowed to have, rather than whether the rich should be allowed to keep what they’ve stolen from the poor.
"They get people debating whether Fox or MSNBC is the real “fake news”, rather than whether the entirety of mainstream media is oligarchic propaganda."

"They get people shoving against each other in opposite directions, while they swiftly build a cage around us all."


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: November 05, 2019, 01:39:59 AM »
Hedges is pessimistic at truthdig:

"Our democracy is not in peril—we do not live in a democracy. The image of our democracy is in peril."

"No one is held accountable. A servile press treats these mandarins with near-religious veneration. Generals and politicians, many of whom should have been cashiered or put on trial, are upon retirement given lucrative seats on the boards of the weapons manufacturers, for whom these wars are immensely profitable. They are called upon by a fawning press to provide analysis to the public of the mess they created. They are held up as exemplars of integrity, selfless service and patriotism."

" This is the role of America’s executive: Personify and humanize the empire. Do so with pomp and dignity. Barack Obama ... excelled at the game."

"The impeachment of Trump, despite the enthusiasm of the liberal elite, is mostly cosmetic. The entire political and governmental system is corrupt."

"We, the American public, are spectators. An audience."
[comment: Trump understands this better than many of his opponents. And he is very good at reading the audience.]

Hedges quotes Wolin: "the much-lauded stability and conservatism of the American system owe nothing to lofty ideals, and everything to the irrefutable fact that it is shot through with corruption and awash in contributions primarily from wealthy and corporate donors."

"We will get, with or without Trump, tyranny."


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: November 04, 2019, 01:36:58 AM »
I've been following Boghosian for more than a decade now, and i like his work. But i must point out the importance of this para in his SciAm article, that shows how the game is rigged from the start:

“What if I stay for 10 flips of the coin? A likely outcome is that five of them will come up heads and that the other five will come up tails. Each time heads comes up, my ante is multiplied by 1.2. Each time tails comes up, my ante is multiplied by 0.83. After five wins and five losses in any order, the amount of money remaining on the table will be:

1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.83 x 0.83 x 0.83 x 0.83 x 0.83 x $100 = $98.02

so I will have lost about $2 of my original $100 ante.”

Following Bogossian's notation let the fraction won or lost be w. The simplify the case above to just two transactions. The most probable outcome is that you win once and lose once, for a net resultant wealth of (1+w)(1-w)=1-w^2 which is strictly less than one. Your probable outcome in a repeated game is a loss of wealth.  In general for N repetitions of this game, the most probably outcome is (1-w)^(N/2)  * (1+w)^(N/2) =  ( 1 - w^2)^(N/2) strictly less than one. With some work you can show by summing over all the expected outcomes in pascal's triangle that you will lose.

The rest of his work is showing how this game screws you and some mitigating and exacerbating factors. Nice read all about it. The second paper in the references to the article can be found as open access at arxiv.


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: November 04, 2019, 01:17:04 AM »
Johnstone on Syria:

"We were told that the US must intervene in Syria because the Syrian government was massacring its people. We were told that the US must intervene in Syria in order to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East. We were told that the US must intervene in Syria because Assad used chemical weapons. We were told that the US must occupy Syria to fight ISIS. We were told that the US must continue to occupy Syria to counter Iranian influence. We were told the US must continue to occupy Syria to protect the Kurds. Now the US must continue to occupy Syria because of oil."

" arguing over which narratives are the correct ones rather than whether or not there should be an illegal military occupation of a sovereign nation at all. "

"It is not legitimate for the US empire to occupy Syria for any reason. At all. “Because oil” is not a legitimate reason. “Because Kurds” is not a legitimate reason. “Because ISIS” is not a legitimate reason. “Because Iran” is not a legitimate reason. “Because Russia” is not a legitimate reason. “Because freedom and democracy” is not a legitimate reason. “Because chemical weapons” is not a legitimate reason. And those who are driving this illegal occupation know it, which is why they keep shifting to whatever’s the most convenient narrative in any given moment."


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: November 04, 2019, 01:14:35 AM »
Fisk is pessimistic on Middle East uprisings:

" they have all made the same mistake that millions of Egyptians made in 2011: they have no leadership, no recognisable faces of integrity. And – the greatest tragedy of all – they don’t seem to be interested in finding any."

"Without leadership, they will be overwhelmed."


The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: November 02, 2019, 10:28:00 PM »
Cole on Assad commenting on Trump:

"[Assad] expressed his happiness that Trump is president of the United States, “because he is the most transparent, so he says, ‘We want the oil,’ and this is the reality of American policy.'”  ... I tell you he’s the best American president, not because his policies are good but rather because he is the most transparent president.” "

 “All the American presidents commit all the political sins and crimes and take home the Nobel prize, and they give every appearance of defending human rights and the ‘advanced’ and American or Western principles but they are in fact a gang of criminals who represent the interests of the American lobbies, i.e. the big arms and oil and other corporations.”

“Trump speaks with complete transparency; he says, “We want the oil. This is the American political reality since at least the end of the Second World War: ‘We want to get rid of so-and-so. We want to provide a service in return for money.’ This is the American political reality. What do we want more than a transparent enemy?”


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: November 02, 2019, 10:23:00 PM »
Two nice papers for USA

1) Marston et al. 2015 on "virtual"  (incorporated in food and other material) groundwater transfer

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500457112

I attach fig 1

2) Lin et al, 2019 on food flow

doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab29ae

I attach fig 5 B showing top 5%  food flow at county level

Both open access.


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: November 02, 2019, 01:05:08 AM »
Slave markets in your pocket: Google, Facebook, Apple

"The sellers almost all advocated confiscating the women's passports, confining them to the house, denying them any time off and giving them little or no access to a phone.

The 4Sale app allowed you to filter by race, with different price brackets clearly on offer, according to category.

"African worker, clean and smiley," said one listing. Another: "Nepalese who dares to ask for a day off."

When speaking to the sellers, the undercover team frequently heard racist language. "Indians are the dirtiest," said one, describing a woman being advertised.  "

 "Trust me she's very nice, she laughs and has a smiley face. Even if you keep her up till 5am she won't complain."

"You will find someone buying a maid for 600 KD ($2,000), and selling her on for 1,000 KD ($3,300),"

"no significant action has been taken against the platforms"

" at the time of publication, hundreds of domestic workers were still being traded on Haraj, Instagram and other apps"


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 02, 2019, 12:59:24 AM »
Hasan interviews Chomsky at the intercept:

" they’re going after Trump not on his major crimes but because he went after a leading Democrat. Does that remind you of anything? Yes. Watergate. They didn’t go after Nixon on his major crimes. They were off the record. It was because he had attacked the Democratic party. "

"Is it the right thing to do? I mean, Trump is impeachable 100 times over. You know, he’s a major crook. There’s no doubt about it. Is it politically wise? I frankly doubt it."

"Bernie Sanders is a decent person. I like what he’s doing. To be quite frank, his major policies would not have surprised President Eisenhower very much. He’s a progressive, New Deal Democrat. Politics has shifted so far to the right during the neoliberal period that things that were sort of conventional and mainstream 50-60 years ago now sound radical. "


The decrease in melt is for all of antarctica, not the Amundsen/Bellinghausen sea alone. If anyone has a citation  on Amundsen/Bellinghausen melt, that would be useful. I have not the time and energy at the moment to derive those from microwave observation from SSIMS .


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 01, 2019, 08:56:16 PM »
Brilliant expose of the commoditization of language: Newspeak is here

"In poetry and other forms of literature, words acquire value based on the type of emotions, mental landscapes and history they evoke. For Google algorithm however, the value of a word fluctuates according to the power of the industry that uses and advertises it ... emotionless commodification of language has helped Google become one the most successful and wealthy companies in the world."

"I wanted to give language its agency back as human, emotive language, rather than as a training set, or as a vehicle for the flow of advertising capital around digital spaces, which is what it is increasingly becoming."

"linguistic capitalism occurs when the economic value of words – their exchange value – negates their value in their communicative, or aesthetic sense, with potential collateral effects on the wider discourse. :

"if words are now tied to an economic derivative value that is more and more distanced and decontextualized from its other – more liquid – values, then do they risk becoming subprime?"

"in Oceania, this control of language is overtly deployed as a means of controlling thought, whereas in linguistic capitalism, the political and social effects of this semantic determinism go largely unnoticed, or are somehow dismissed as a quirk, a glitch, or as an acceptable trade-off for the wider perceived benefits of Google’s systems."

" we are lulled into a sense that we have any control or agency by the aesthetics and ubiquity of technologies like Google, and more and more this has extreme political consequences. "

Read the whole interview with Dr. Thornton:

In fact, read her dissertation:


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: November 01, 2019, 06:07:31 AM »
Salatin has described detail of how difficult it it to get USDA approval of a slaughter facility. That was in another state, but i imagine CA is worse. I have helped set up one such, for fowl, in PA and it is quite difficult.


Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 31, 2019, 07:55:33 AM »
We seem to be burning oil worldwide at the rate of 6ish terawatt, and we generate about 2.5ish terawatt electricity. Assume foraminnit that all that oil is being burnt for motor propulsion, and that if we were to replace all oil motors with electric we would get a factor of three. Thats still 2ish more terawatt we need to generate renewably over and above the 2.5 we generate today.

These numbers are of course, squishy, but i see the electric utilities become much bigger in our brave new electrified world.

I cant believe the electric utilities and falling over themselves to take over the fossil oil transportation market. If i were AEP for example, i would be partnering with every EV manufacturer in the country right now and building out generatin and charging networks as fast as i could.

O i forgot. All that matters to the execs at AEP is this quarter returns and share closing prices.


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: October 31, 2019, 07:37:46 AM »
Well, the atlantic council used to be principally NATO propaganda arm, but these days they aint too particular. They will take your money and write what you tell them to. Look at the recent funders, or have a wander down grayzone way.


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: October 30, 2019, 09:48:19 AM »
Re: [Trump] mirrors 40% of the USA

Thats funny. For decades, close to 100% of the USA was happy with the USA raping the third world to fuel their oligarchy, with some crumbs to the rest. As long as the populace could enjoy some semblance of the American Dream they had little problem with their government's bloody ventures abroad.

Now that the grip of Empire weakens, Empire must eat its own, impoverish its own; those impoverished turn to a demagogue who lays bare the terms of the country's deal with the devil. As neven points out, he ripped the mask off,  and that cannot be forgiven by those who profited for so long from Empire, yet cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that it is founded upon evil, as all Empires are.

I find that the bottom of the income distribution are far more realistic about the relations of the USA and the world, and their own hellish situation, than the top ten percent. Their children die in wars, they lose their jobs when their factory moves abroad, they get kicked off welfare, they pull their own teeth, they hide from ambulances, they kill themselves out of despair. They see the elites sail away in an economic bubble shielded from consequences, consequences they suffer daily.

Things aint working for a lot of people in the USA. So they elected Trump to break things. Unless a candidate can come up with a convincing vision to build something that just might work for them, they'll keep electing Trumps.

Empire as presently constituted cannot stand. But can the USA surrender hegemony as the UK did and resign to a twilight of past power ? Of course the UK did it only after being broken financially and otherwise after two great wars.

We shall see.


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 28, 2019, 05:19:41 AM »
Presser at propublica on medical debt in Kansas town: The system, the judge, the victims and the vultures

"medical debt collection day, a monthly ritual in this quiet city of 9,000"

"Some wore eye patches and bandages; others limped to their seats by the wood-paneled walls."

"had to take a day off from work to be there ... if he didn’t show up, he could be put in jail."

"four months pregnant, she had reported a money order scam to her local sheriff’s office only to discover that she had a warrant; she was arrested on the spot. A radiologist had sued her over a $230 bill, and she’d missed one hearing too many. Another woman said she watched, a decade ago, as a deputy came to the door for her diabetic aunt and took her to jail in her final years of life. "

"Judges don’t need a law degree in Kansas"

"The first collector of the day was also the most notorious: Michael Hassenplug, a private attorney representing doctors and ambulance services. Every three months, Hassenplug called the same nonpaying defendants to court"

" If debtors can post bail, the judge almost always applies the money to the debt. Hassenplug, like any collector working on commission, gets a cut of the cash he brings in."

"Some debtors who have been arrested owed as little as $28."

"Since the Affordable Care Act of 2010, prices for medical services have ballooned; insurers have nearly tripled deductibles — the amount a person pays before their coverage kicks in — and raised premiums and copays, as well. As a result, tens of millions of people without adequate coverage are expected to pay larger portions of their rising bills."

"The sickest patients are often the most indebted, and they’re not exempt from arrest. In Indiana, a cancer patient was hauled away from home in her pajamas in front of her three children; too weak to climb the stairs to the women’s area of the jail, she spent the night in a men’s mental health unit where an inmate smeared feces on the wall. In Utah, a man who had ignored orders to appear over an unpaid ambulance bill told friends he would rather die than go to jail; the day he was arrested, he snuck poison into the cell and ended his life."

"collection attorneys have turned this courtroom into a government-sanctioned shakedown"

"Each time she woke up, she repeated: “Don’t take me to the hospital.” "

"Biggs was still on the hook for the bill that had landed him in jail; bail had covered only part of it, and the rest was growing with 12% annual interest. The hospital had garnished his wages, and the radiologist had garnished his bank account, seizing contributions that his family had raised for Lane’s care. Living on $25,000 a year, Biggs couldn’t afford to buy insurance. His family was on food stamps but didn’t qualify for Medicaid, a federal insurance program for people in poverty. Other states were about to expand it to cover the working poor, but not Kansas, which limited it"

"five perfectly maintained motorcycles, Yamahas and Suzukis, were propped in a line. To their left, nine pristine, candy-colored cars were arranged – a Camaro SS with orange stripes, a Pontiac Trans Am, a vintage Silverado pickup with velvet seats. He [Hassenplug] toured me around the show cars, peering into their windows, and mused about what his hard work had gotten him."

Read and weep:


Re: Eocene, deep ocean heating

There is no way that we heat the deep ocean to 10C in the next few hundred year. 

Surface now, that's a different matter ...


There is a barbaric custom in high energy fizix to define h=c=1 (dimensionless)
some go further and define e=1 also

in that spirit  i suggested to some of them hi energy fizicists that  they denotate imaginary numbers in base pi and real numbers in base e

for some reason that never got much support


Consequences / Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« on: October 26, 2019, 11:12:34 PM »
Amazon on fire: Harvard and US pension plans to profit

Farmlandgrab has detail:

"the Cerrado fires are also linked to other US-based financial interests: the Harvard University Endowment and TIAA, the private pension fund"

" TIAA and Harvard University have collectively spent over $1 billion on Brazilian farmland, making them two of the largest owners of farmland in the Cerrado."

"TIAA and Harvard's farms overlap with the areas of the Cerrado where there has been a heavy concentration of forest fires over this period."


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 26, 2019, 11:08:09 PM »
angryarab at consortiumnews: US media is the voice of the war lobby

" When Trump acts tough in foreign policy, he is praised ...  If he shows softness in foreign policy, he is fiercely criticized for harming U.S. national security interests."

"The U.S. media is now the voice of the war lobby and they wish to have the U.S. maintain a military force in almost all Arab countries.  And once an American occupation starts, the media does not want it to end."

"The notion that the U.S. led an effort of Arabs and Turks fighting side by side was a propaganda ploy. And the media highly exaggerated the role of YPG and U.S. troops in defeating ISIS"

"The U.S. was in Syria for reasons that have nothing to do with the Kurds, and the U.S. media exhibit great hypocrisy when they again feign humanitarian concern for people in Syria — Arabs or Kurdish.  U.S. media have warned against “unreliable” and brutal Syrian rebels fighting with Turkey: but those are none other than the Free Syrian Army which U.S. politicians and journalists alike had promoted. "

"The U.S. media are proving to be more eager for war and military intervention than the military establishment itself.  They exhibit great concern for the plight of empire precisely because they are an actual arm of empire."


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: October 25, 2019, 07:18:48 AM »
Sjursen at truthdig accuses a rogue's gallery of warmongers:

"For years, I’ve published searing critiques of America’s senior generals and admirals for their failure to speak out publicly against U.S. foreign policy and warmongering. "

" in a rather dark bit of irony, the — mostly retired — generals have turned my advice on its head ... Unfortunately, they’ve chosen to do so in the name of continuing perpetual war "

"the hint of deescalation in a single theater of a region-wide endless war has sparked an unparalleled, even hysterical, outcry from former senior military officers intent on maintaining the hyper-interventionist status quo. And why not?  The failed “war on terror” has defined their careers; it’s all they know. It doesn’t hurt the generals’ pocketbooks either to maintain the forever wars — a huge percentage have gone to work on the corporate boards of various defense contractors right after retirement"

Votel: "worried about a potential ethnic cleansing or genocide of those Kurds.  Funny — while he commanded the very pilots and intelligence analysts who abetted and enabled the Saudi terror war on Yemen, he apparently felt no moral compunction to speak out."

Mattis: "yet to win a war or advise a commander-in-chief that a mission was ill-advised and impossible — and morally. Though normally viewed as a man, first and foremost, of integrity, his record demonstrates the opposite ... chose to resign as Trump’s defense secretary not because of his military’s support for a slow-boiling Yemeni genocide, which he defended before Congress, but because the president merely hinted at a modest troop withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan ... didn’t resign or speak out over the Pentagon’s conduct of undeclared and unsanctioned wars– in Yemen, Syria, Libya and West Africa"

Petraeus: ", a convicted criminal who shared classified information with his mistress whilst serving as CIA chief "

" nearly two-thirds of post-9/11 vets say they believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the military engagement in Syria “were not worth it.” "

"To question generals and oppose endless war is a risky endeavor. Just ask Rep. Tulsi Gabbard"

"despite the veneer of vacuous hyper-adulation of veterans, one’s uniform and combat record won’t save him or her from a smear campaign."


The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: October 25, 2019, 12:46:29 AM »
Eucador on deck: time for some sweet, sweet liberation


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 24, 2019, 11:51:49 PM »
Krugman recants:

"during the 1990s, a number of economists, myself included, tried to figure out how much the changing trade landscape was contributing to rising inequality. They generally concluded that the effect was relatively modest and not the central factor in the widening income gap."

"Does the surge in the trade deficit explain the fall in employment? Yes, a lot of it. A reasonable estimate is that the deficit surge reduced the share of manufacturing in GDP by around 1.5 percentage points, or more than 10%, which means that it explains more than half the roughly 20% decline in manufacturing employment between 1997 and 2005."

But the words stick in his throat. He qualifies:

"It’s possible, and probably even correct, to think of these models as accurate in the long run."

"Consensus economists didn’t turn much to analytic methods that focus on workers in particular industries and communities, which would have given a better picture of short-run trends. This was, I now believe, a major mistake — one in which I shared a hand."

"To make partial excuses for those of us who failed to consider these issues 25 years ago, at the time we had no way to know ... "

That's your fucking job. You should have known. It's called due diligence. Before you screwed over a an entire generation. But of course, it's too late. There is no alternative.

" Rapid change now appears to be largely behind us: Many indicators suggest that hyperglobalization was a one-time event"

"We might have done things differently if we had known what was coming, but that’s not a good reason to turn back the clock"

Fuck off Paul. You sold a lot of people out. Of course, they weren't your kinda people anyway, they didnt count. Until they elected Trump.

I used to see him on the train to NY from Princeton in the early 2000's. By then the gutting of what remained of  the rust belt was almost complete.  Pity I didnt take the opportunity to kick him hard in the crotch. Someone should drag him outta his tony NY apartment and send him to live on a few hundred bux a month from a pizza delivery job in section 8 housing in Lordstown with no health insurance.

He might last a week, before one of the kids of the families he put on the street caps him.


Re: if Thwaites gateway does have ice cliffs with heights above sea level of much over 100m, on a retrograde bed slope, in the coming decades

If and when Thwaites manifests cliffs of substantially over  hundred meter, then even on nonretrograde bed the cubic to fifth range of power dependence of discharge on height implies a truly monstrous discharge rate, comparable to at least MWP1B. And destabilizing Amundsen basin destabilizes all of WAIS  as Leverman shows.

That said, a great deal depends on human behaviour. We might get 2m SLR by 2100, but we should try an ensure we dont get to 10m in 2200.


My previous post contained an error. The sentence "Currently we have ice cliffs over 100m" should read "Currently we have no ice cliffs over 100m"


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 22, 2019, 05:40:33 AM »
Keeping it in the family: Jones at wsws on nepotism in UAW

"Derik and Justin Jewell, sons of former UAW Vice President for Fiat Chrysler Norwood Jewell, gave their ok to the agreement with GM that sanctions the closure of the historic Lordstown Assembly Plant and there other facilities in Warren, Michigan, Baltimore, Maryland and Fontana, California, and lifts any cap on the use of temporary workers."

"Norwood Jewell pleaded guilty earlier this year to taking $40,000-$95,000 in illegal payments for travel, lodging and other perks from Fiat Chrysler officials"

" the UAW covered $213,000 in Jewell’s legal fees last year and his two sons continue to be employed by the UAW International at its misnamed Solidarity House headquarters in Detroit, making over $120,000 each annually. After Norwood Jewell resigned from his post in 2016 the UAW still paid him a full year’s salary of over $200,000 in 2017 and 2018."

" six of the top negotiators for the 2015 Fiat Chrysler sellout have been convicted or implicated of taking bribes by Chrysler executives to keep them “fat, dumb and happy” or misusing union funds for their personal benefits."

"Another UAW official, David Shoemaker, who added his signature to the GM sellout, may be familiar to veterans of the former Pontiac truck manufacturing complex. David Shoemaker is the son of former UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker. The younger Shoemaker first got his cushy, annual $139,000-plus position on the International UAW staff in the wake of the 87-day strike in 1997 at the Pontiac truck manufacturing complex."


That Clerc paper is interesting. Given the absence of aerial cliffs over 100m, i find it difficult their stability analysis. Surely we ought to see at least a few cliffs over 100m ?

I find Parizek's picture more convincing.


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 21, 2019, 08:47:23 AM »
Savage again at jacobin:  no Damascus moment, just gradual disillusionment

"I didn’t acquire radical politics simply through reading Marx in college (though it certainly aided the process). Nor did I become irredeemably frustrated with liberalism merely by absorbing some abstract argument about its flaws. I didn’t have a Road to Damascus revelation while thumbing through some volume by Chomsky or David Harvey."

"No, that instinct owes much more to watching Barack Obama summon forth a tidal wave of popular goodwill, then proceed to invite the same old cadre of apparatchiks and financiers back into the White House to carry on business as usual despite the most punishing economic crisis since the Great Depression; to seeing the “war on terror” become a permanent fixture of the global landscape long after its original architects had been booted from the halls of power, courtesy of supposedly enlightened humanitarians; to witnessing a potentially monumental hunger for change be sacrificed on the altar of managerialism and technocratic respectability."

"The animating mission here is less to combat injustice than to efficiently manage discontent"

"Etiquette above equality, manners before morals, procedure ahead of program, conciliation over conflict, private vice over public good"


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 21, 2019, 08:42:20 AM »
Weird, this thread was locked, i had to unlock it ? wonder if i clicked the lock button by accident.

Nyhoo, here is the state going after dead folks homes for medical bills:

"her mother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. For a while, one of Tawanda’s brothers cared for Edna, but he was sick himself and died in 2004. A guardian of the state admitted Edna into a nursing home and signed her up for the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth. Tawanda was relieved that her mother was being cared for while she was busy arranging her brother’s funeral. But when she arrived in Boston from Brooklyn, where she and her husband had settled, she heard rumors about MassHealth “robbing people of their homes” as reimbursement for their medical bills."

"A representative for MassHealth told her not to worry: If she took her mother out of the nursing home, the agency would remove the lien and her mother could continue to receive Medicaid benefits."

" the end of 2009, when Edna died, at home, in Oliver’s arms. Afterward, Tawanda received a letter from the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, which oversees MassHealth, notifying her that the state was seeking “reimbursement from [Edna’s] estate for Medicaid payments made on her behalf.” For Edna’s five years on MassHealth, she owed $198,660.26."

"Tawanda’s hair started falling out soon after. She and Oliver, who was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, had no savings and no jobs. “I said to myself, I don’t care what they do to me. I can take care of myself,” she told me. “But I couldn’t have my dying husband thrown out into the street.”"

"She and Oliver had a combined monthly income of just $1,400, well below the threshold to claim financial hardship, and she had taken care of her mother at home for more than five years. But Tawanda told me the state rejected her requests for both exceptions"

"  “what they didn’t tell me then was that they had the right to reinstate” the claim on the property after her mother’s death.  "

"Bill Clinton signed the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program into law as part of his deficit-reduction act in 1993. Previously, states had the right to seek repayment for Medicaid debts; the new law made it mandatory."

" the overwhelming majority of estates are not worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2005, the Public Policy Institute of the AARP published a study of the first decade of mandatory estate recovery. Massachusetts, it found, recovered an average of $16,442 per estate in 2003, in total offsetting a little more than 1 percent of its long-term-care costs that year. That made its efforts among the most effective in the nation. In Kentucky, by contrast, the average amount collected from an estate was $93; the state recovered just 0.25 percent of its long-term-care costs."

“It’s a terrible program, it’s a punitive program, and it doesn’t do anything to reimburse the billions of dollars spent,” she told me. “The purpose of recovery was to support Medicaid and bring money back, but how? By collecting anything from the poorest of the poor? It’s ridiculous.”

“It says I owe the state of Kansas a half million dollars or they’re going to take my home.”

"the state can collect his house and land, worth an estimated $40,000, to put toward his wife’s debt."

" If my mother stays on Medicaid, the state will almost certainly take our house when she dies; if she transfers it to my or my brother’s name, her Medicaid benefits will be suspended. Unable to afford other insurance options, and unable to go without insurance as a cancer survivor, she has no choice but to remain on the government program."

"it’s possible to protect your assets by putting them into an irrevocable trust or transferring a deed to a family member before you reach retirement age."

" The mortgage-interest deduction alone—a set of housing subsidies that primarily benefits Americans in the top 20 percent of the income distribution—cost the federal government $66 billion in 2017. By comparison, letting every family of a Medicaid recipient keep their property would cost just $500 million, according to 2011 data "

" a 56-year-old secretary in Nashville, told me she’ll be homeless when the state forecloses on the house she’s been living in for the past eight years to collect on her late mother’s $171,000 Medicaid debt. "

" “No, we’re not able to reduce the bill,” she said was the state’s response. “Go live on the street, live in a box under the bridge. We don’t care; we want our money.” "

"for the first time in her life, Tawanda Rhodes didn’t vote. When Election Day came she pulled up in front of the polling station and sat there for a minute, then drove off. “It did not make me feel good,” she said. “But I felt like, Vote for what? No one cares about me.” "


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 19, 2019, 09:16:34 PM »
Eubanks at the guardian on the merciless state:

"75-year-old Tim Pegues"

"received a letter from IDHS warning he owed the agency a $7,866 overpayment. They openly admitted that the overpayment was their error"

"set up a payment plan: $5 on the 25th of every month. At that rate, it would take him 131 years to clear the debt. Even this modest payment was a significant loss for him. “A lot of people don’t think $5 is a lot of money,” he said. “But if you don’t have it, it’s like a million dollars. It could be a meal: a can of pork and beans, a loaf of bread.” "

"He wrote the check every month for the next 16 years."

"he received a letter from the Bureau of Collections thanking him for his $5 payment in March 2018 and informing him that it was too late to appeal against the overpayment decision."

" I’m 75, about to be 76, and the fights I’ve had wore me down. I’m tired. They keep saying you’re in the golden years, but I ain’t found no gold.” "

"After the cost of billing and postage, appeals and case management, Illinois is losing money collecting from people like Pegues. "

Read and weep:


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 17, 2019, 11:29:40 PM »
From the belly of the beast: Former health care shill Wendell Potter on industry efforts to kill the poor

" I led public relations for Humana"

" I began working behind the scenes to help craft a strategy to protect the bottom line of the health insurance industry — by manipulating and misrepresenting democratic will so that the public rejected the very policies that would have delivered the reform they sought."

"Our efforts paid off. "

" The reality is that U.S. health care is a classic example of market failure. For a free market to function, consumers need to know how much a good or service will cost them and then decide whether to purchase it accordingly. But price transparency is largely nonexistent in health care. Moreover, patients often lack agency in the treatment they receive. An unconscious victim of a car accident, for instance, has no ability to decide on the procedures being done or caregivers operating on them. Yet when they are revived, they will be responsible for whatever bill is sent out."

"the outfit running the industry’s propaganda campaign is a Washington PR firm that last year launched a group called the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future "


Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: October 15, 2019, 11:12:35 PM »
Re: tesla auto drive and ethics

Tesla full auto ain't  there yet. Someday.  We'll know it there when insurance companies start offering a break for using full autodrive or the car companies offering insurance for full autodrive. Tesla and volvo have been making noises about it, but i think volvo has pushed out their timeline.

That said, consider smallpox vaccine, to which there is a small chance of fatal reaction. That did not prevent governments from inoculating me and hosts of others against smallpox. I think it's a good thing they did, but, then again i didnt die, so i'm biased.


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 15, 2019, 09:59:45 PM »
The rich are different. So are their feces. Starr at sciencealert on economic differences writ large in sewage:

"In wealthier areas, biomarkers were consistent with a better diet. "

" Wealthier and better educated areas also had much higher concentrations of the biomarkers associated with eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as grains. All of these are associated with a healthier overall diet."

"In lower socioeconomic areas, there were significantly higher levels of prescription medication for treating depression (desvenlafaxine, amitriptyline and citalopram), chronic pain (opioids such as methadone, codeine, tramadol and oxycodone, as well as pregabalin, for neuropathy) and blood pressure (atenolol)."

"They were even able to link demographics with specific types of antidepressants. A higher proportion of labourers were prescribed desvenlafaxine. Amitriptyline was most often prescribed to people who didn't finish high school. And people taking citalopram tended to live alone, and were often separated or divorced."

paper (open access) at PNAS: doi:10.1073/pnas.1910242116

article at


Re: around here the gospel is that the real enemy is the corporate Democrats

Wait, what ? Now i'm confused. I thought that was a different thread. On this one, I thought Trump was the real enemy.

I demand clearly delineated areas of fear, uncertainty, doubt and enemies !


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 15, 2019, 12:51:27 AM »
Hobbes at huffpo: meritocracy or idiocracy ?

“There’s a lot of talent being wasted because it’s not able to rise, but there’s also a lot of relatively untalented people who aren’t falling and end up occupying positions they shouldn’t,”

"the likelihood of the rich passing their status down to their children — “stickiness,” in economist-speak — has surpassed the likelihood of poor children remaining poor. "

" “The greater the inequality, the greater the impact on opportunity,” Fishkin said. “There’s a self-fulfilling class anxiety among the middle- and upper-middle class because they sense that the spaces are scarce now. There are fewer secure jobs. And the scarcer they are, the more valuable they are.” "

“There’s a fixed number of people who will be upper class in the future, and elites have the tools to make sure that their children are among them,”


Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: October 15, 2019, 12:46:35 AM »
Glories of the free market: human flesh, bones, skin and profit

"by the time a coroner’s investigator was able to examine Jinde’s 70-pound body, the bones from her legs and arms were gone. Also missing were large patches of skin from her back."

"OneLegacy, a Southern California human tissue procurement company, had gained access to the body,"

"The case is one of dozens of death investigations across the country, including more than two dozen in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, that The Times found were complicated or upended when transplantable body parts were taken before a coroner’s autopsy was performed."


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 14, 2019, 07:11:02 AM »
A thoughtful look at bridging divides: the practise of "generous listening"

"the essential step is “replacing judgment with curiosity,” "

 “The value is that you can staunchly disagree with someone, but also humanize the person.”

“People don’t change their minds, they just change their opinion about the other side,”


Consequences / Re: Global Dimming - The aerosol masking effect
« on: October 13, 2019, 06:03:54 AM »
Re: Hansen, aerosol forcing, 2013

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-7091-0973-1_2 , technically in published 2012, but has extensive discussion of aerosol effect

Hansen and Sato, Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change, A. Berger et al. (eds.), Climate Change, Springer-Verlag Wien 2012

2013 was his royal society paper too, but the one cited above has better review of aerosol.


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: October 12, 2019, 08:18:44 AM »
A skeptical look at soil CO2 capture by regenerative grazing: Grunwald at politico on Steyer farm

"1,800 acres of coastal scrub and grassy hills an hour south of their San Francisco home"

"a system that mimics the wild buffalo herds that once roamed America’s grassy expanses."

" 110 mooing, cud-chewing, manure-dropping specimens, aiming to produce evidence to back changes on the agricultural operations that cover half the land on earth."

"Steyer and Taylor have sunk more than $10 million "

 “Our cows have two beautiful years here, and then one bad day.”

"the ranch is actually storing less carbon than it was in 2014; only nine of the 42 sites sampled by Point Blue showed improvement, 20 registered declines, and only two achieved the ranch’s carbon goals for 2020.  Porzig speculated that California’s severe drought may have artificially depressed TomKat’s numbers, and noted that soil carbon tends to be a lagging indicator that can take years to improve in measurable ways. "

" His cattle’s scores for body condition, pregnancy rates, and weight gains are solid and improving. The herd is healthier, even though it no longer receives deworming medication, and the land is healthier, too, even though it no longer gets sprayed or mowed to control weeds and brush."


The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 09, 2019, 06:31:03 AM »
Tomdispatch is a site worth reading, if only for Engelhardt's introductions to the articles.

" Donald Trump was always the symptom, not the cause. He was the suicide bomber whose way into the White House was paved by twenty-first-century Washington. Now, he’s there -- beyond there -- with that same heartland crew still supporting him, roof collapsing or not. All in all, it’s quite a spectacle and who likes such things (especially when focused on him) more than... you-know-who. Today, TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich considers the latest chapter of that very extravaganza and what to make of the impeachment spectacle that has swept us all away. What “high crimes and misdemeanors” actually lie behind it? Or, to be more precise, what high crimes and misdemeanors put The Donald in the White House in the first place?"

This is the introduction to Bacevich on impeachment. Bacevich expands on an article by Moyn in the Guardian:


"For liberal and conservative centrists, inured to taking turns in power for decades, Trump’s rise in the Republican party and his success in beating Hillary Clinton within the appalling rules of the American game was the real affront."

"the centrists are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power. Trump’s shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavoury than the fact that neither of these sides are able to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality."

"Centrists simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility. Meanwhile, rightwing Republicans hope to benefit from his ascendancy, doubling down on tax cuts. No wonder progressives’ greatest fear is allowing the first group to return to the failed policies that produced Trump himself, and the second to capitalise on his rise to entrench their rule indefinitely."

Bacevich amplifies:

"The effort to boot the president from office is certain to yield a memorable spectacle ... A de facto collaboration between Trump, those who despise him, and those who despise his critics all but guarantees that this story will dominate the news, undoubtedly for months to come."

"The looming threat posed by climate change, much talked about of late, will proceed all but unchecked. For those of us preoccupied with America’s role in the world, the obsolete assumptions and habits undergirding what’s still called “national security” will continue to evade examination. Our endless wars will remain endless and pointless."

" the most probable: while the House will impeach, the Senate will decline to convict."

"while Trump is being pursued, it’s you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place."

"These centrists share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in “American global leadership,” which they define as primarily a military enterprise."

"Trump’s critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? "

"What are the real crimes? Who are the real criminals?"


The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 09, 2019, 12:45:49 AM »
Ryan at wired on the unfeeling rich:

"I was in India the first time it occurred to me that I, too, was a rich asshole. I’d been traveling for a couple of months, ignoring the beggars as best I could. Having lived in New York, I was accustomed to averting my attention from desperate adults and psychotics, but I was having trouble getting used to the groups of children who would gather right next to my table at street-level restaurants, staring hungrily at the food on my plate. "

"There were no shelters waiting to receive them. I saw them sleeping in the streets at night, huddled together for warmth, like puppies. They weren’t going to spend my money unwisely. They weren’t even asking for money. They were just staring at my food like the starving creatures they were. And their emaciated bodies were brutally clear proof that they weren’t faking their hunger."

"With what I’d spent on my one-way ticket from New York to New Delhi, I could have pulled a few families out of the debt that would hold them down for generations. With what I’d spent in New York restaurants the year before, I could have put a few of those kids through school. Hell, with what I’d budgeted for a year of traveling in Asia, I probably could have built a school."

"I wish I could tell you I did some of that, but I didn’t. Instead, I developed the psychological scar tissue necessary to ignore the situation. I learned to stop thinking about things I could have done, but knew I wouldn’t. I stopped making facial expressions that suggested I had any capacity for compassion. I learned to step over bodies in the street—dead or sleeping—without looking down. I learned to do these things because I had to—or so I told myself. "

"people in expensive cars were four times more likely to cut in front of other drivers, compared to folks in more modest vehicles. When the researchers posed as pedestrians waiting to cross a street, all the drivers in cheap cars respected their right of way, while those in expensive cars drove right on by 46.2 percent of the time, even when they’d made eye contact with the pedestrians waiting to cross. Other studies by the same team showed that wealthier subjects were more likely to cheat at an array of tasks and games. "

"people of higher socio-economic status were actually less able to read emotions in other people’s faces. It wasn’t that they cared less what those faces were communicating; they were simply blind to the cues. And Keely Muscatell, a neuroscientist at UCLA, found that wealthy people’s brains showed far less activity than the brains of poor people when they looked at photos of children with cancer."

“It is beginning to seem that the problem isn’t that the kind of people who wind up on the pleasant side of inequality suffer from some moral disability that gives them a market edge. The problem is caused by the inequality itself: It triggers a chemical reaction in the privileged few. It tilts their brains. It causes them to be less likely to care about anyone but themselves or to experience the moral sentiments needed to be a decent citizen.”

“What we’ve been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across this country,” said Piff, “is that as a person’s levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases.”


That Stokes paper referenced in the conversation article is 


open access. I have commented implications for Amery at,2578.msg232196/topicseen.html#msg232196

That paper references and earlier paper by Alley et al.  (doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2018.03.025 )  who evalued antarctic ice shelf vulnerability to hydrofracture. The measure of vulnerability is the fraction of ice saturated firn. I attach a figure showing that most ice shelves are vulnerable.


The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: October 05, 2019, 07:33:35 AM »
Re: "illegal" extortion

The USA runs the biggest extortion racket in the world, comes of being an empire. They extort concessions from other countries all the time.

There is some pearl-clutching over extortion of foreigners to aid US presidential candidacies, but those laws are usually honored in the breach. I have mentioned Nixon sabotage of Paris talks on Vietnam war, whch was hidden by Johnson (?!) but a more recent example is the Reagan candidacy delaying iran hostage release against Carter.


This post could fit on many threads since it is directly related to ice collapse, but since the results are for Helheim, i post here.
There was a paper earlier this year by Parizek and many of the usual suspects:  doi: 10.1130/G45880.1

on the mechanics of calving at Helheim. It is a very good depiction of what actually happens: first there is a slump on the freeboard section, followed by a "falling upward" rotation of the submarine section that is no longer weighted down by the freeboard. I attach fig DR2 from the supplementary but i strongly recommend the whole paper. I shudder to think of this happening on Thwaites.


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