Links 11/24/17

November 24, 2017

How Sweden’s arctic ‘millipede town’ Kiruna is slowly moving CNN

‘It’s wild’: Wacky weather in Nunavut breaks records CBC

The Uncertain Future of Bitcoin Futures Bloomberg. Yves: “And Levine likes everything Wall Street does, particularly ‘innovations’.”

Has the Silicon Valley Hype Cycle Finally Run Its Course? Vanity Fair (Re Silc). Wait, let me ask my pet AI…

Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race Pro Publica. There are days I think all Silicon Valley really has going for it is impunity.

Tech meets tradition in a new wave of Islamic finance Nikkei Asian Review

What to Expect From Asia’s Big Central Banks Reshuffle Bloomberg

Letting the Air Out of Bonds Handelsblatt Global

Orbitofrontal Cortex: A Neural Circuit for Economic Decisions Cell. Readers?


Corbyn has seen the light on Brexit. Now he’s taking the fight to the Tories Guardian. Yves: “Important.”

TAKEGOVER Leave campaign boss Michael Gove has won Theresa May’s backing in a cabinet tussle over clean break from EU The Sun

The real price of Brexit is hidden in the Budget small print The New Statesman

A shortage of trained personnel will fuel UK’s post-Brexit customs crisis’ The Loadstar

Predictions for the UK economy may be gloomy but are reasonable FT

The Fantasyland version of Britain is alive and kicking – and driving Brexit Open Democracy UK

Today the UK died a little Medium

Social Democrats considering renewed ‘grand coalition’ with Merkel: reports Politico

Five Signs a New Grand Coalition is in the Cards Handelsblatt Global


Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last The Moustache of Understanding, NYT

EXCLUSIVE: Trump’s ‘ultimate deal’ seen as ultimatum to Palestinians Middle East Eye

Syria – This U.S. Occupation – Or “Presence” – Is Unsustainable Moon of Alabama

Libyan government says investigating migrant ‘slave market’ reports Reuters

Battered Bangladesh risks everything on unsafe factories Lowy Institute

LME probes cobalt supplies after complaints over child labour links FT


What a debt crisis in the provinces says about governing China The Economist

China cuts import tariffs, including on baby milk powder South China Morning Post

Investors place bet on Chinese drugmakers FT

Chinese police detain seven in multi-billion underground currency scheme Reuters

The Chinese classical-music revolution up close The Spectator


Every second person in India has been duped, says a new study Quartz. Not cloned; scammed.

Can biodynamic farming solve India’s agricultural woes? Deutsche Welle

New Cold War

Special Report – Nuclear strategists call for bold move: scrap ICBM arsenal Reuters

* * *

Facebook will let users know if they liked Russian-linked election propaganda ABC

The Memo: Mueller probe grinds on, with no end in sight The Hill. Cf. “Though the mills of God grind slowly, Yet they grind exceeding small.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Retribution.

Trump Revealed Israel’s Secret Syria Raid to Russian Diplomats Newsweek

Tax “Reform”

Corporate Taxation in a Modern Monetary Economy: Legal History, Theory, Prospects Rohan Grey and Nathan Tankus, Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity

Sex in Politics…. Not!

How DC Predators Target Interns The American Conservative

Trump and the ‘information cascade’ created a cultural reckoning Gillian Tett, FT. Tett invokes the Hegelian dialectic (!).

Anita Hill and her 1991 congressional defenders to Joe Biden: You were part of the problem WaPo

We’ll Be Paying For Mark Halperin’s Sins For Years To Come Buzzfeed

10 big things: America’s polarized politics Axios. Interesting list, but the final item — “1. How American politics went batshit crazy” — “in the past 24 years” treats liberals and Democrats as having no agency whatever in the process. That seems odd.

Democrats in Disarray

DNC’s fundraising woes continue with worst October in 15 years CNN

Democratic Party: Discouraged, Disgusted, Dysfunctional Counterpunch (Re Silc): Re Silc: “Last para. True on so many issues, not just sexual assault.”

Donna Brazile: Bill Clinton Should Hit the Campaign Trail for Democrats in 2018 The Intercept

Is Roy Moore Losing? FiveThirtyEight. Several polls show a steady erosion of support for Moore. OTOH, the accuracy of the predictions turns on assumptions the pollsters make about the composition of the electorate. Pollsters got that wrong in Virginia 2017 (to the advantage of Democrats) but also in 2016 (to the advantage of Republicans).

The Values That ‘Values Voters’ Care About Most Are Policies, Not Character Traits Politico. Suggesting that liberal cries of “hypocrisy!” are misplaced, unless their goal be virtue signaling.


This literal gravy train is here to ruin Thanksgiving The Verge (with video). In general, I am here for trains.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade in NYC had police snipers and heavy security Business Insider

Thanksgiving help for the homeless: ‘We haven’t seen numbers like this since the Great Depression’ Los Angeles Times

Guillotine Watch

‘Entitled’ Beverly Hills parents drive kids’ soccer ref to quit: ‘I despise you’ Guardian

Class Warfare

Study: 26% of Hurricane Harvey Reconstruction Workers Said They Experienced Wage Theft or No Pay Latino USA

Workers at Amazon’s main Italian hub, German warehouses strike on Black Friday Reuters

Wealth inequality has been increasing for millennia The Economist. Applies the Gini coefficient to neolithic societies.

Why did we start farming? LRB. James C. Scott’s Against the Grain.

From inboxing to thought showers: how business bullshit took over Guardian (Plutonium Ken). Wait, let me consult a thought leader….

Antidote du jour (via):

It’s not the tryptophan, or the carbs, but the cat nature. And thanks to Richard Smith for giving me the chance to level up my cat game with this anti-antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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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