Links 10/18/18

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1021 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, extending our reach.

Dems damp down hopes for climate change agenda The Hill

Retired admiral says climate-change research may mean ‘our survival’ Stars and Stripes

Fixing the Climate Requires More Than Technology NYT. In fact, in requires a strong, functioning State, but apparently it’s still taboo to say something like that in a headline.

We’re just beginning to understand the toll climate change takes on mental health Grist

U.S. Shale’s Glory Days Are Numbered

Uber considers spinning off self-driving car unit FT

Did Uber Steal Google’s Intellectual Property? The New Yorker. Nice people we have at Google:

One day in 2011, a Google executive named Isaac Taylor learned that, while he was on paternity leave, [robot car maven Anthony Levandowski, who later left for Uber,] had modified the cars’ software so that he could take them on otherwise forbidden routes. A Google executive recalls witnessing Taylor and Levandowski shouting at each other. Levandowski told Taylor that the only way to show him why his approach was necessary was to take a ride together. The men, both still furious, jumped into a self-driving Prius and headed off.

The car went onto a freeway, where it travelled past an on-ramp. According to people with knowledge of events that day, the Prius accidentally boxed in another vehicle, a Camry. A human driver could easily have handled the situation by slowing down and letting the Camry merge into traffic, but Google’s software wasn’t prepared for this scenario. The cars continued speeding down the freeway side by side. The Camry’s driver jerked his car onto the right shoulder. Then, apparently trying to avoid a guardrail, he veered to the left; the Camry pinwheeled across the freeway and into the median. Levandowski, who was acting as the safety driver, swerved hard to avoid colliding with the Camry, causing Taylor to injure his spine so severely that he eventually required multiple surgeries.

The Prius regained control and turned a corner on the freeway, leaving the Camry behind. Levandowski and Taylor didn’t know how badly damaged the Camry was. They didn’t go back to check on the other driver or to see if anyone else had been hurt. Neither they nor other Google executives made inquiries with the authorities. The police were not informed that a self-driving algorithm had contributed to the accident.

C’mon, let’s be fair. Who keeps track of collateral damage?


EU summit on hold as May fails to convince leaders of Brexit progress Irish Times. It doesn’t matter that May was permitted to address the EU summit; she wasn’t on the agenda. The address was a courtesy, no more.

Germany preparing for no deal on Brexit, says Merkel Deutsche Welle

Et tu, Boris? 12 Brits who will shape Brexit Politico

The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity British Politics and Policy, London School of Economics

U.S. Stalls U.K. Bid to Stay in $1.7 Trillion Market Bloomberg

European Commission Threatens to Reject Draft Italian Budget Der Spiegel

The Psychologicals LRB. Irish novelist Anna Burns.


Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says NYT. I know I may be overly counter-suggestible, but audio nobody has been allowed to examine, proferred by an anonymous intelligence official, in this case Turkish, isn’t “evidence.”

‘The greatest embarrassment’: Inside the kingdom, Saudis rattled by handling of Jamal Khashoggi case Independent (Olga).

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression Jamal Khashoggi, WaPo and Jamal Khashoggi’s final appeal Editorial Board, WaPo

Commentary: Khashoggi case shows America’s collapsing Mideast clout Reuters

Saudi Money Flows Into Silicon Valley—and With It Qualms WSJ

A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War. Buzzfeed

Israeli reporter for ‘New York Times’ praises AIPAC at closed event: ‘You’ve got our backs’ Mondoweiss


China’s Factory Heartland Braces for Trump’s Big Tariff Hit Bloomberg

China’s Great Leap Backward Foreign Policy. The Blob on Xi vs. Deng.

Cambodia construction boom built on ‘blood bricks’ and slavery – report Reuters

Indonesians underestimate how bad nepotism is for the economy Asian Correspondent

India’s central bank has finally removed the biggest roadblock for e-wallets Quartz

The empty seat on a crowded Japanese train: 10 years on, the ‘gaijin seat’ still grates Japan Times. The story is more optimistic than the headline.

New Cold War

The Russia investigation shadows Trump’s presidency, but few Democrats campaign on it Los Angeles Times

Mueller Ready to Deliver Key Findings in His Trump Probe, Sources Say Bloomberg

Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election NYT. Plot twist: It wasn’t the Russians after all! It was the Saudis!

The Autocracy App NYRB

Trump Transition

Donald Trump to pull US out of postal alliance in latest move targeting China South China Morning Post and White House Announces That the U.S. Intends to Withdraw From International Postal Agency Government Executive

Mitch McConnell Calls to Cut Social Security, Medicare Newsweek

Trump socialism and housing finance Credit Slips

Trump team makes controversial change to allow chicken plants to operate at faster speeds WaPo

What if there was a prize for food sovereignty? New Food Economy

Democrats in Disarray

Democrats won’t defeat Trump by becoming the Trumps of the left Max Boot, WaPo. Has anybody made the “Max and his brother Jack” joke yet?

Hillary Clinton’s Master Class in Distraction NYT

Imperial Collapse Watch

WEAPON SYSTEMS CYBERSECURITY: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities (PDF) GAO. I can well believe that DOD is an enormous IT clusterf*ck, but I’m also leery of studies like this, because of the obvious implication that another round of enormous spending on weapons built like Ferraris is what’s needed, an enormous windfall for IT, which (a) wrote the code for the vulnerable systems in the first place, and (b) hasn’t demonstrated an ability to secure anything else.

Guillotine Watch

Inside the Washington area’s most expensive homes for sale WaPo. Check out the interiors. The actual Versailles was far more tasteful.

Class Warfare

The American Economy Is Rigged Joseph Stiglitz, Scientific American

A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell Seattle Times. Law enforcement for profit; the tow company has a city contract, so no wonder it felt free to ignore a judge.

Iceland’s Lessons for the #MeToo Era Foreign Policy. Lysistratic non-action…

A Blue Pill Is Stopping HIV, World-First Study Shows Bloomberg (original).

Maker Movements Should NOT Endanger School Libraries, Librarians, and Reading Nancy Bailey’s Education Website

Living with Dolly Parton Long Reads

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on October 18, 2018 by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered.
To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

Leave a Reply