Links 11/11/18

Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California Grist

Save the Climate, Eat Less Red Meat Bloomberg

What is the financialisation of food and why should we care? Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute

Using No-Till this Fall USDA (!).

Cobalt’s supply shock a painful warning to carmakers FT

Inside the Crazy Corruption Scandal That Ensnared Leonardo DiCaprio and the Hollywood Elite Daily Beast

7-Eleven accused of weaponizing ICE raids to shed troublesome franchisees Boing Boing

Social media growth is over in the U.S. — which is its most valuable market Recode

New study claims Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are linked to depression MarketWatch

The inside story of Quanttus, a failed health tech start-up whose alumns are now health leaders at Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and other giants CNBC. Failing upward?


Brexit negotiators say draft treaty is close FT. EU diplomats crying “wolf”? Again?

‘We must vote against the deal’: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Brexiteers unite with the DUP and publicly vow to torpedo Theresa May’s Brexit plan if it threatens the Union as four Remainer ministers ‘prepare to resign’ Daily Mail

Jeremy Corbyn meets head of MI6 for first time amid snap election fears The Telegraph (UserFriendly). UserFriendly: “LOL snap election in the cards?”

Brexit in Name Only: Causes and Consequences By Dr Lee Jones Briefings for Brexit. Not sure a “clean Brexit,” which the author regards as the road not taken, was possible either.

The City has been threatened before — it will be just fine after Brexit Financial News

Adding kitties to politics improves Mimi’s posts. r/forwardsfromgrandma, Reddit


U.S. and Saudi officials have heard tapes of Khashoggi’s killing, Turkey’s president says Los Angeles Times

Ten Years Gone: Iraq and Afghanistan Vets on What It All Meant The American Conservative


China steps up drone race with stealth aircraft

China has developed a virtual anchor to deliver the news CNN

No Left Turn in Russia Carnegie Moscow Center


Estimating India’s nuclear weapons-producing capacity Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

India’s ruling BJP turns up Hindu nationalist heat with renamings, statue plan Reuters

Trump Transition

Trump and Macron find common ground after defence spending row FT

Jaworski’s Road Map May Not Guide Mueller Lawfare

Navarro tells Wall Street ‘globalist billionaires’ to end ‘shuttle diplomacy’ in U.S.-China trade war Politico

The VA Shadow Rulers’ Signature Program Is “Trending Towards Red” Pro Publica

On this World War I anniversary, let’s not celebrate Woodrow Wilson WaPo. I’d say Wilson exemplifies the Peter Principle for university administrators, except Wilson wasn’t incompetent.

Democrats ride monster fundraising to take the House, GOP successfully picks its Senate battles Open Secrets

Dear Democrats: Don’t be corporate stooges too Nick Hanaeur, The Hill

Florida recounts begin as tensions escalate across state CNN

State elections observers have seen no evidence of criminal activity in Broward County Miami Herald

Realignment and Legitimacy

Who’s the Real American Psycho? Maureen Dowd, NYT. “War criminals-turned-liberal heroes are festooned with book and TV contracts, podcasts and op-ed perches.” A bit stunning to see a sentence like that in a MoDo column.

Rebirth of a Nation Jonathan Taplin, Harpers. “On the one hand, his administration may represent the consolidation of minority control by a Republican-dominated Senate under the leadership of a president who came to office after losing the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Such an imbalance of power could lead to a second civil war—indeed, the nation’s first and only great fraternal conflagration was sparked off in part for precisely this reason.” Hoo boy. The Civil War wasn’t “sparked” by an imbalance of power; one of those powers was the Slave Power. I mean, it really takes brass ones to erase the Abolitionists, but that’s what Taplin does (“in part” is doing a lot of work, there, even when coupled with “precisely,” a nice dodge). His piece is a brilliant illustration of process liberalism, an object lesson that elite liberal Democrat factions would prefer to break up the country (“you will rule or ruin in all events”) rather than soil themselves by asking for votes in rural areas (and the ask is easy). Scholten in IA-04 and Golden in ME-02 — the nation’s second-most rural district — would be disappointed, though perhaps not surprised, to hear this.

Scum vs. Scum Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Our two states Capitol Fax (JB). Of Illinois.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Amazon’s Smart Doorbell Is Creepy as Hell Medium (GF).

Class Warfare

Tech C.E.O.s Are in Love With Their Principal Doomsayer NYT. “He worries that because the technological revolution’s work requires so few laborers, Silicon Valley is creating a tiny ruling class and a teeming, furious ‘useless class.’” Jackpot!

Capital Hill Democracy

“This System Is a Moral Horror” Jacobin

Be Afraid of Economic ‘Bigness.’ Be Very Afraid. Tim Wu, NYT. The URL (likely autogenerated from the original title): “fascism-economy-monopoly.” Not quite so anodyne….

Camille Paglia: It’s Time for a New Map of the Gender World (interview) Quillette

‘Phenomenally saddening’: inside the sordid world of America’s for-profit colleges Guardian

L.A. Band Threatin Faked a Fanbase To Land a European Tour No One Attended Metal Sucks

Bug Bounty Hunter Ran ISP Doxing Service Krebs on Security

Specification gaming examples in AI – master list Vraikovna (more here). “A robotic arm trained to slide a block to a target position on a table achieves the goal by moving the table itself.” But aren’t these specs basically how evolution works?

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on November 11, 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.

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