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April 14, 2017

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Easter still got here, despite the administration's slights aimed at the Vatican. Tax Day still got here, no matter what Bannon or Ryan might want. The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out.

How scared should we be over this Korea thing? I dont watch TV so I dont konw how the media is playing it. Eeryone else seems to think about it less taht they did abou that big bomb. But Im wondering just how craxy trump and the other guy are.

And ow mwny pwope they will kill. Arent the janpanese concerned abou thtis?

How scared should we be over this Korea thing?

Not sure how scared we should be, but I'm not at all comfortable. I read somewhere that if a nuke test is going to happen it will be by about 10 EST tonight. So I'm on edge, and then I'm going to try not to worry.

LJ's view of things would be most appreciated.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

Of course, the State Department rank and file who develop and issue these warnings may not be in the loop soon enough to warn holders of U.S. passports and our diplomats to get the hell outta Dodge, because State really doesn't have Cabinet status any longer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yl-WkGAR2w

Pro-Assad Trump Republican Alex Jones requires a bullet in the head:

https://mediamatters.org/blog/2017/04/14/report-traces-how-alt-right-spread-pro-assad-propaganda/216035

How scared should we be over this Korea thing?

On one hand, the North Koreans sound off every year about the US/Korea joint exercises. And, routinely, we give them about the attention and concern you would give bratty children. Usual result, nothing much happens.

On the other hand, this year we are lead by someone who has trouble bringing himself to ignore such things. His instinct, on display so far, is to bluster and threatened.

So how scared we should be depends on A) how badly we think the North Koreans will react to reciprocal verbal posturing (which is not what they are accustomed to), and B) what kind of craziness, beyond verbal obnoxiousness, we think Our Leader might decide fit his fancy of the moment.

So how scared we should be depends on A) how badly we think the North Koreans will react to reciprocal verbal posturing (which is not what they are accustomed to), and B) what kind of craziness, beyond verbal obnoxiousness, we think Our Leader might decide fit his fancy of the moment.

Okay so now I
m scared

i'm trying to think of who might be capable of writing our satyricon.

hunter thompson's dead. pynchon has the outre imagination, but he might not be cynical enough.

funny times, these.

It's the start of the school year here and I've been so pressed for time that I've not been able to watch the TV shows that address that or look to see what has been focussed on in the newspapers. It seems that there is a lot more attention has been on Trump and trying to explain him, which makes sense because Trump is a new phenomenon and NK being belligerent is probably at the point of background noise, though this might also be me as I go into a sputtering rage whenever I have to use any mental energy to figure out what Japanese are saying about Trump.

The dispatch of the Carl Vinson carrier group had me a lot more worried when Trump was banging on China, I don't think that NK is in such a permanent state of ill-will that sending or not sending wouldn't make much of a difference. Today is 15 April, which is the birthday of the founder, so if I screwed this up, you can laugh at me tomorrow, presuming I'm still alive.

Though I tend to think that NK feels much more threatened by actual detente and they have realize that what went on between Trump and Xi was more like looking at a cheap mood ring, so they won't really bother. Again, you can laugh at me tomorrow if that is all wrong.

Pro-Assad Trump Republican Alex Jones requires a bullet in the head:

has caused a disturbance in the Force. Ease off on the accelerator a bit please?

Thanks, lj.

What's going on here (you don't say open thread, but the question suggests it) in the North Country is that a mad chaffinch has been throwing itself at our kitchen window for two days, hard enough to mark the window. Scaring it off does no good, it stays away for a while then comes back. I looked it up in desperation, apparently this is not uncommon at this time of year (so *timely*), when the male birds do this because of protecting their young nearby, and seeing threatening reflections in the glass. Common or not, I'm quite scared for it, because it's only a little thing and surely will give itself the bird equivalent of concussion (although it's not always head/beak, it seems to be whole-body). The RSPB website says you can put cling film (US: saran wrap) on the outside of the window, but this window is difficult to get to. Also, Mr GftNC, who is normally very good at animal and particularly bird rescuing, is taking a rather laidback approach to this, and discouraging any efforts of mine.

I thought this piece of news might make a change from military confrontations, murder and mayhem!

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/armageddon-the-devastating-consequences-second-korean-war-20187?page=2

we put a bird feeder in the yard when we moved into our current house. within a month, our windows had killed a dove, a hummingbird, and a finch. so we got rid of the feeder, which stopped the birds from coming around.

GftNC, that reminds me of the cliff swallows that build their nests (mud structures, kind of like wasps' nests) under the eaves of my house and the barn. Sometimes in the late spring I stick my head out the window to see if I can get a quick view of the babies, and the birds respond by calling the whole neighborhood's gang and flying in circles, toward me and away, toward me and away, making a very recognizable alarm call. I always try to tell them to chill, but they don't speak English. ;-)

More seriously, I don't keep my head out there for long, because they should be using their energy getting food for the babies, not trying to chase me away.

One thing that we find sometimes helps: dirty windows. Apparently the dirty breaks up the reflection just enough for them to figure out that it isn't a real threat.

So we stop washing them. And, a couple of times, we have actually brewed up some (slightly!) muddy water and applied it. Ah, the things we do for the wildlife.

I can't wait:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/04/14/alt-right-ringleader-mike-cernovich-threatens-to-drop-motherlode-if-steve-bannon-is-ousted.html?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

Some of these Cernovich fantasies regarding Clinton were mentioned here as fact during the campaign.

More, actually less, on North Korea:

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a54522/north-korea-threat/

Cernovich.

hah hah. the GOP let the crazies come in as seat fillers, and now they won't leave.

wj: dirty windows - I had actually thought of this, but at the moment Mr GftNC's line is "the RSPB says this is common, the bird is obviously not hurting itself or it wouldn't be coming back" (he hasn't mentioned the possibility that if this behaviour was harmful to the bird it would have been bred out of the population, but I'm waiting for it!)

JanieM, your description of the nests reminds me very much of those of swallows (or actually I think they are swifts) which build their nests mainly out of their saliva, I believe, in caves, and which are then harvested for Birds' Nest Soup (which I was often served in banquets in HK in less wildlife-sensitive times). I agree, I keep looking at this idiotic bird and thinking "Why are you wasting all this energy which you need to feed, or otherwise raise, your young?"

Cernovich

When he says he has explosive material that he will publish if Bannon is sacked, wouldn't that have to be material about Trump? Because nasty material about Democrats wouldn't seem to be much of a deterrent.

Sure, trump and company.

Loose cannons everywhere we look.

Our front window kills about one robin per year (American Robin, like four times the size of your chaffinch). Local experts say that they are typically young birds that think the dark space is under heavy foliage where they can get away from whatever sort of raptor is after them.

Thanks to the count for the two articles, here is a third.

The National Interest article is pretty funny, with it's "oh my god, the Walmart will be empty" followed by 'oh btw SK and Japan would be devastated' I don't know if Halpin is writing for his audience but I hope the other folks at the SAIS take the piss out of him. And the listing order has a certain amount of plausibility, certainly with the current administration (and probably a lot of Americans), which is
1. Those are American citizens you are messing with!
2. What do you mean I have to pay more for this?
3
4
.
.
.
257. oh long time allies countries turned to slag

This article discusses reason 257 for not ratcheting up tensions with NK.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-korea-preemptive-strike_us_58f08af1e4b0da2ff85fc53b?google_editors_picks=true

Don't know if this is "timely" but the thread I should put it in is long gone, so...

Hearkening back to all the DNA talk (esp. for hsh), this from a BJ commenter:

I just saw this crazy story about a couple in Missisippi who were going through IVF treatment who found out they were twins. Apparently their parents were in an accident and they got adopted out to two different families, met in college, got married etc. That’s fucked up. It’s like a Lifetime movie or something. I can’t even come up with an ewwww because it’s just messed up.

I knew of a case something like this when I was a teenager. It was just a couple of teens dating, not people already married and trying to have a child, and thought they weren't twins, they were full siblings. The adults in their world realized it and told them.

I also know of a case where a man had two families that didn't know about each other until after he died, and probably never would have if he had had his way.

It seems like it may not be all that hard to be walking down the street and passing close relatives you don't know you have. Or, even falling in love with them. DNA testing will surely change the likelihoods, but it's kind of spooky.


"a man had two families that didn't know about each other" -- This happened in my family, back in the 1940's. My aunt surprised everyone, when in her 40's she married this guy we'd never met. They did everything together, they even dressed alike (my aunt had always dressed like a man, in fact we all thought she was a lesbian, albeit without girlfriends) and then as a further surprise, she had a daughter. Then somehow, I don't recall, or maybe I never knew, they discovered that his name was not A__ E__, but E__ A__, and he had a whole nother family, and he disappeared from our family and was never mentioned again.

I vaguely recall some study involving a small New England city where family trees went back quite some ways. The study included detailed blood typing, as this was in the days before DNA stuff was available. The whole thing got canceled with a vague statement to the effect of "casual bastardy is more common than people think."

I suspect there's quite a few divergents between family trees and biological trees.

"casual bastardy"

Decent band name.

Americans are a peculiar people. Entire political movements are founded by idiots who spend a third of their time thinking about it, a third of their time pursuing it, and a third of their time in high dudgeon that others are actually doing it and whatever free time is left preventing women from preventing the further issue of bastards, the bastards.

It's 2017 and Cernovich can get big press by vowing to out casual bastardy among a group of people for whom bastardy is a way of life and we tune in on the edge of our seats hoping to pick up tips on the very casual bastardy we're outraged to hear about.

One could say that we've always been totally screwed, ha ha.

Korea:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/04/15/dprk-failed-missile-launchtest-open-thread/

Meanwhile, our domestic enemies up the ante:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/04/15/todays-berkeley-beat-down-planned-action-by-the-alt-right/

Turkey just embraced its inner Putin.

Turkey just embraced its inner Putin.

people are just baffling.

people are just baffling.

There's a significant segment of the population which values security above almost everything else. And a nice strong father figure gives them that feeling of security. Especially if he can manage to convince them that the world is full of threats, which he can protect them from.

The UK is screwed for sure.

The US can get rid of Trump, Brexit is forever and our government completely clueless, not that this could be worked out in some way, it's an utter disaster. The best case scenario is that we crawl back in ten years time begging the EU to let us back in.

people are just baffling.

They are, and that's the main thing.

But a little bit of election fraud goes a long way. Not that it was decisive in Turkey, but there were shenanigans going on. And in other countries where it was close, the UK and the US ... problematic at the very least.

"The US can get rid of Trump"

I don't know about that. He's reaching Godhead status in his own godhead:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/04/its-easter-mar-lago

I'm an agnostic, but let me join God in hawking up a big fat "SpittooY!!" to trump's fake good news about the risen trump.

GAAAA! The shit that republicans will swallow.

I wonder if trump partook of the little cracker this Easter morning.

By which I mean did he meet with racist filth Sessions.

On the other hand, the US now seems to be afraid of terrorist babies:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/apr/16/baby-us-embassy-interview-visa-esta-terrorist

I remember wondering what would happen if I ticked that box when I was a teenager... and why anyone would ask such a stupid question, I think back then it was actually about assassinating the president.

it's an utter disaster. The best case scenario is that we crawl back in ten years time begging the EU to let us back in...

It's not good; I'm hoping it's rather short of utter disaster. As for begging to get back in, I think that extremely unlikely in the timeframe you suggest.

I suspect both the Brexit vote, and the Turkey debacle, might well have been tipped the wrong way by the Syrian crisis - a real humanitarian and geopolitical disaster.

"the US now seems to be afraid of terrorist babies"

They're all terrorists at age two, amirite?

Re: Brexit. There needs to be 20-30 years for the old stupid morons that voted for it to die off, THEN a re-entry to the EU can be discussed. But there is a way to speed up the process, if only someone in Britain had the courage to pursue it.

I hear the Count might be available to help, after he clears up a vicious trumpian infection on his side of the pond.

Brexit is daft, but it's not that big a thing. In a few years time the parties will come to more-or-less sensible agreements about free trade and movement of labour, and life will go on.

In a few years time the parties will come to more-or-less sensible agreements about free trade and movement of labour, and life will go on.

If you asked me to bet, at this point in time I'd bet that within 15 years the wheels come off the EU project entirely. But I'm a pessimist who believes that global trends currently favor fragmentation, not unification. I give the US 20-45 years before there's a peaceful partition.

I'm with novakant, I think it is a disaster, being made worse by weak leadership masquerading as strong leadership. I only disagree about crawling back, because there I am afraid I rather agree with Michael Cain - I fear there may be no more EU to crawl back to, and that Brexit may have made this more likely. Michael Cain, I referred recently to your partition plan/theory when talking about any plan to hive off the South, but I couldn't remember its details. Was it just East/West, or was there something more subtle there (I suspect so)?

There needs to be 20-30 years for the old stupid morons that voted for it to die off, THEN a re-entry to the EU can be discussed.

Well, from the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (which Britain declined to join), to the creation of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1960, to Britain joining the EEC in 1973, was rather less than 20 years. So it may be that the British can think better of their actions faster than you think. Of course, they might face the same hurdle as they did in the 1960s, when De Gaulle vetoed their membership a couple of times.

Have you seen anything on whether the EFTA would be willing to see the UK rejoin? I thought I saw something suggesting that Norway was looking like opposing that, too.

The Norwegians had the good sense to stay out in the first place (given the demands made by some EU members at the time) but to keep up good relations (as long as no fishing is involved).

Whilst we may think we are truly screwed, spare a thought for the Turks. That was noted above, but this makes the point graphically:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2017/04/17/the-results-of-turkeys-referendum/

The results of the referendum were razor thin (even ignoring the claims of fraud). But they look to be what they will be living with.

wj, I regard what's happened in Turkey to be one more in a litany of extremely depressing developments around the world. Even if there was some finagling going on, which seems quite likely, there was still a sizeable proportion of the population prepared to essentially give up on democracy. After Brexit, and Trump, I really am starting to despair of people and their willingness to buy the most flagrant, self-interested scaremongering. Nigel's last sentence:

I suspect both the Brexit vote, and the Turkey debacle, might well have been tipped the wrong way by the Syrian crisis - a real humanitarian and geopolitical disaster.

may help to explain some of it, but the pure idiocy and lack of insight of the reactions is utterly despair-inducing.

there was still a sizeable proportion of the population prepared to essentially give up on democracy

i'll just note that this is one of the goals of the Russians' disinformation campaign. it's also part of how they stage-manage their own fake democracy.

I regard what's happened in Turkey to be one more in a litany of extremely depressing developments around the world.

I have long asserted that support for the contemporary version of western enlightenment is a minority position globally, and a majority position in most developed countries only when the economy is working well for everyone. It is easy to forget this when you consider how much progressives/liberals have won over the last century and jump to the conclusion that the battle is over. Not so.

I suspect both the Brexit vote, and the Turkey debacle, might well have been tipped the wrong way by the Syrian crisis - a real humanitarian and geopolitical disaster.

It is rather a wonder that people don't recognize that a major cause of the Syrian mess is having an autocrat in charge. It seems like even minimal thought would suggest that recreating that situation would be a bad idea. But apparently not.

I referred recently to your partition plan/theory when talking about any plan to hive off the South...

GftNC, I'm purely an east-west guy. I can point to a 500-mile wide buffer in the middle of the US that is steadily emptying out (and has been, with small exceptions, since 1930). With that as the dividing line, I can describe a variety of things where the western states resemble each other and are different from the eastern states: water, fire, large public land holdings, dying forests, ballot initiatives, attitudes toward renewable energy, physical population distribution, etc. I'm not the only one that comes up with maps that look like that; look at the last map in the NYTimes article linked to below.

Let's keep it timely... yesterday the LA Times ran a fresh story about the State of Jefferson and other split-California and California-secedes proposals.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/03/21/climate/how-americans-think-about-climate-change-in-six-maps.html?_r=0

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-california-secession-20170416-story.html

Born in Ohio, I've spent all but 22 of my 67 years in New England (30 of them in Maine), and I don't like that east-west dividing line at all.

Damned if I'm going to be shuffled off into the same bin as the reborn Confederacy. :-(

One of the problems (one, of many) with an East-West split is that much of "The East" would not want to put up with NYC, and much of "The West" would similarly would not want to put up with CA.

Besides, Hawai'i would go it alone, re-establishing the Hawai'ian Empire under the secret heir Barry (First of His Name), Conqueror of America.

Okay, it might not be 'automatic'. I think that according to traditional rules there has to be a surfing contest.

My suspicion, for what it's worth, JanieM, is that any hypothetical conditions under which 38 states would vote for an Amendment with an exit clause would involve more than a two-way split. Various blocks would have to all agree that they were better off without the others. Their reasons would no doubt be different.

I would change Snarki's geography somewhat. There's a surprising amount of the country that, IMO, would be happy to be quit of the entire NE urban corridor. As for the rest of the West and CA, I'll quote an anthropologist friend of mine: "The modern West is defined by its suburbs, and western suburbs from LA to Seattle to Denver and points in between are all more like each other than they are like any place east of the Great Plains."

There's a surprising amount of the country that, IMO, would be happy to be quit of the entire NE urban corridor

As you wish.

See ya later!

also, it might be useful to know where the line between 'suburban' and 'urban' is.

these guys say 4 of the top 10 most urbanized states are in the west. 8 of the top 20.

3 out of the 10 least urban are in the west, too, so there is that. then again, 3 of the 10 least urban are also in new england, including the least and second least.

i'm sure the suburbs in the west are, in fact, largely of a piece. i just wonder how many people live in them.

also, my exposure to western suburbs is admittedly limited, but within my limited experience, they remind me an awful lot of long island.

Ha ha, Maine is first again! ;-)

P.S. I mean if you turn the map in Russell's link upside down.

Oldest, whitest, least violent crime, and least # of miles of paved roads per capita.

Some of those are old factoids, and others shift from year to year. Not googling right now.

And not all of them, of course, are things we rejoice in.

to me, the big differences between east and west are the ratio of public to private land ownership, and water.

population distributions kind of follow from those. it seems to me.

there are obviously lots of others, but those seem like the salient points.

As someone who lives here, in the West it's all about water, water, and water. Public vs private land is important, but in large part because it impacts who has water and rights to water.

If you live east of the Mississippi River, I'm not sure you can imagine just how big a deal water is for us. Even when, like this year, we aren't in the midst of a drought.

If you live east of the Mississippi River...

About one set of states farther west than that. The last map on the page linked to below is a good one: the blue line indicates where available annual precipitation matches the demands for agriculture, sans irrigation. Even that understates things; the Willamette Valley in Oregon is drier than Phoenix or Denver during the critical months of July and August (no monsoon in Oregon). They get enough water annually, but storage and management is still important, especially for high-value crops. I have in-laws in Parsons, KS where they get almost 45" of annual precipitation, which drastically changes outlooks -- see second link.

https://mi.water.usgs.gov/projects/WaterSmart/background.html

http://randompolicy.blogspot.com/2012/07/east-vs-west.html

i'm sure the suburbs in the west are, in fact, largely of a piece. i just wonder how many people live in them.

Denver metro area, 2.7M. Denver proper, 660K. San Francisco metro area, 7.6M. San Francisco proper, 860K (San Jose is now larger.) Salt Lake City metro area, 2.4M. SLC proper, 200K. LA metro, 13.1M (Greater LA CSA, 18.7M). LA proper, 4.0M. As you noted, urbanized areas dominate population in the West except for some very low-population states. Suburbs dominate the urbanized areas.

An important regional difference: eastern cities are characterized by large numbers of small suburbs, western cities by a small number of large suburbs (there are a number of historical factors driving this). I live in a NW Denver suburb that is a city of 115,000 in its own right. On the other side of the metro area is Aurora, population 345,000. Bigger than any city in NY except NYC. Bigger than any city in PA except Pennsylvania. Bigger than any city in IL except Chicago. Bigger than any city in Alabama or Mississippi, period.

Bigger than any city in PA except Pennsylvania.

Should, of course, read bigger than any city in PA except Philadelphia.

Denver metro area, 2.7M. Denver proper, 660K.

I'm in Boston metro, which is about 4.6M, to Boston proper's 660K.

It is, perhaps, not apples to apples, because "Boston metro" includes a lot of places that are, properly, cities. Cambridge, Somerville, and so on. Net/net, urban to suburban ratio here is probably about like Denver.

It's true, we have lots of geographically small municipalities, all jammed together, instead of fewer but larger. But we still end up with a great big sprawl around Boston.

"Boston metro" is, geographically, the eastern third of the state excluding the cape, and is on its way to swallowing up Worcester. Granted, by western standards it ain't much of a state, land-area-wise, but nonetheless.

Maine actually is kinda big.

My experience with the west is mostly around Phoenix, which really does remind me of long island, only much drier. I can't really speak for other places.

I definitely recognize that the west has issues we easterners don'the have, and vice versa. I also think there is a north vs south dynamic, and also a coast vs inland dynamic, and also a city vs suburb vs rural dynamic.

plus historical culture and legacies.

I'm sort of with you, I think we're at a kind of impasse which will require some profound shifts in our social and political organization to get past. and I don't see that as a necessarily bad thing.

my wish is that we can sort it in peaceful and generally non-harmful ways.

we'll see how it goes.

Why do "suburbs" cluster around "cities"? Especially when they're big enough to be major cities in their own right?

Would suburbs have flourished absent federal highways?

Will suburbs continue to flourish when the boomers get well into their dotage?

I have nothing against suburbs except for the fact that I can't see myself ever living someplace where the only way to get a bottle of milk, a pack of cigarettes, or a postage stamp is to fire up the old car and drive several miles.

--TP

geographical barriers aren't going to do it.

most states have their own left/right divides: islands of liberals in seas of conservatives. you can't draw a contiguous border that connects those liberals cites without including lots of rural areas; and you can't connect those cities to cities in other states.

and even my rural area, located near the very liberal Chapel Hill, NC, isn't all that conservative. (20 miles south, sure).

so: no.

I find it truly distressing that people are seriously talking about dividing the country up.

First, the margins in many of the states that were lost to Republicans was very thin. Our country is at an unusual demographic tipping point, where older white Americans feel that their lock on American culture is threatened. They're dying.

Second, as cleek noted, the urban/rural divide is way more significant than other geographical indicators, and even that isn't reliable.

Third, it seems selfish to want to improve the situation of only like-minded people. If tolerance and diversity is part of people's value scheme, learning to accommodate people who are different is part of that challenge. Diversity isn't a Gap ad - some people, some views, some cultural practices, aren't a beautiful as the models seem to be.

Fourth, often people get along fine for awhile, until something comes up that divides them. This is true in small groups, such as families, and large, such as countries. Dividing up the country doesn't mean that these dynamics will go away. And it certainly wouldn't be as easy a fix as divorce, which isn't easy.

The United States has incredible promise, still, as a country. People who are fortunate enough to live in a state with mostly like-minded people have a lot of power to make their own jurisdiction less vulnerable to the current national catastrophe, and can go a long way to help the rest of us pick up the pieces.

(As I write this comment, a newsflash tells me that Theresa May is calling a June election, so clearly Brexit isn't solving everything in the UK. Why would division make things better here?)

"Our country is at an unusual demographic tipping point, where older white Americans feel that their lock on American culture is threatened. They're dying."

Which is why they elected people to kill off affordable care for people under 65 (Trumpcare!), turn Medicare into a 'coupon' program (Ryancare!), and destroy Medicaid that they'd need for to pay for their final years in a nursing home (GOPcare!).

May all their wishes come true. Quickly, so that the rest of us (aka, "those who survive") can get busy with making American great again.

Which is why they elected people to kill off affordable care for people under 65 (Trumpcare!), turn Medicare into a 'coupon' program (Ryancare!), and destroy Medicaid that they'd need for to pay for their final years in a nursing home (GOPcare!).

Purity voters (and nonvoters) were instrumental in this. (Not nice to acknowledge, I know.)

Third, it seems selfish to want to improve the situation of only like-minded people.

my concern is not really about only helping like-minded people. I just want the wheels to basically stay on. and i'm not sure they are staying on.

there are a lot of things in the public sphere - really important things - that are going unaddressed, because we can't agree on the most basic things.

a minority of the country is basically able to put on the brakes, so no progress is made. i'm not talking about 'progressive' progress, just progress. forward motion.

i'm tired of having public debate be about stuff like who gets to use the bathroom, or whether people with psychiatric disorders should be able to get guns. or whether we should build a 2000 mile long 30 foot high wall to keep out people who want to come pick our freaking lettuce.

it's pathetic. we're turning into a nation of snotty spoiled frightened children.

exhibit A: POTUS Trump

I'm really not looking to live in a pristine ghetto of like minded folks. i'm just looking for function rather than dysfunction.

we don't have that now.

we don't have that now.

We had it a few months ago though, so what happened in the meantime is a much more urgent issue than whether we need to divide up somehow.

we don't have that now.

We had it a few months ago though

i suspect 'conservatives' feel the opposite.

i suspect 'conservatives' feel the opposite.

Perhaps not.

Try and draw a contiguous border around this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/calexit-leader-louis-marinelli-russia-2017-4

Courtesy of Balloon Juice

I think a preliminary to dividing America up would be to have the crazy people among us, a burgeoning demographic in the many tens of millions, wear silly identifying hats, call a conference among them promising swag and mediocre food, say, in Texas, and while they are deciding who among themselves is the maddest of the hatters, build a wall around the lot of them with a non-retractable dome on top.

Moscow girls are really hip.

https://patribotics.blog/2017/04/16/carter-page-went-to-moscow-with-a-tape-of-donald-trump-offering-treason-for-hacking/

Courtesy of Juanita Jean

Third, it seems selfish to want to improve the situation of only like-minded people. If tolerance and diversity is part of people's value scheme, learning to accommodate people who are different is part of that challenge.

Well, sure. One big problem with this, though, is that valuing tolerance and diversity is one the things we don't seem to be like-minded about.

To clarify (pronoun trouble!), by "we," I mean people in the US generally, not you and I, sapient.

sapient,

Just for the record, I don't believe the east-west split will be based on the things that people are bitching about today. I think the fundamental cause is energy, and electricity in particular. There are other things that are contributory to a partition being feasible (and possibly inevitable) but who uses what bathrooms isn't on that list. It's not going to happen in the near term. The fault lines will be much clearer in 20 years, but any actual partition will be closer to 45. (It's frustrating making predictions when I almost certainly won't live long enough to see if I'm right.)

who uses what bathrooms isn't on that list

yes, that appears to be an East coast bugbear. folks out your way mostly seem to avoid getting their knickers in a twist about stuff like that.

mostly.

maybe I need to move to eugene.

"I just want the wheels to basically stay on. and i'm not sure they are staying on."

I just want the people trying to remove the wheels to get crushed under the bus when the wheels come off.

It would be better if the wheels don't come off, or if innocents are not crushed, but it's not clear we have that choice.

I just want the people trying to remove the wheels to get crushed under the bus when the wheels come off.

I'm okay with that. I just don't see a way to do that by drawing geographic lines. In fact, I don't see a way to do that, except for throwing the obvious ones off the bus, the ones who we can name.

I think we're at a kind of impasse which will require some profound shifts in our social and political organization to get past

I think that actually we only need one shift. And that, primarily, a reversion. We need to get back to the point where mobility, both economic and geographic, is the norm.

As I see it, the biggest reason for the splits we have is that people don't find themselves interacting with new and different people. And don't expect to. They end up with minimal practice.

And the reasons for that are that there is less moving around than there used to be. Yes, kids in rural areas leave to seek their fortunes and don't come back. And maybe change jobs a couple of times early on. But after that, most people, most of the time, stay put geographically and professionally.

Plus, the odds of someone improving their relative economic position have dropped substantially. If you were a Baby Boomer and the son of a carpenter or an auto mechanic, you could reasonably hope to end up a multi-millionaire. (Nothing like a certainty, of course. But not a fever dream either.) A fair number of us did; and many more would have with a little decent fiscal management.

Fix those two things, and the amount of social and political shifts that you would have to see drops a whole lot.

Just can't resist sharing this line from Richard Cohen on Trump's policy consistency:
"If policies were gender identities, Trump wouldn’t know which bathroom to use."

Zing!

Fuck politics hate and rage. I NEED art.

Naoko Yamada 20 min youtube video.

Introduction to a genius. At the very top of the best most exacting critically acclaimed animation studio in the world, this 32 year old woman already has a resume she could retire on.

And the many shots that brought me to tears within this summation are not about action and spectacle like Miyazaki, but about illuminating the quotidian, about showing what is sacred in the ordinary and everyday.

Rie Matsumoto, another 32-yr-old woman anime director, OTOH, is renowned for spectacle and action. It is fun to watch that industry, for as long as the current bubble lasts, move women into prominence, and how it changes visual presentation.

(Now, carry on with what apparently entertains you, interminable variations on Trump and Repugs suck)

Posted by: wj | April 18, 2017 at 02:15 PM

Are you serious? How widely and deeply do you think we can distribute the opportunities to move to NYC and become a multi-millionaire? The baby-boomer era is collapsing into omnicide exactly because of the lottery economy neoliberalism engendered with fantasies of personal and economic mobility.

No, provide security and stability to the least of us and bring down the best, force the talented and ambitious to serve the less lucky. It isn't "to each according to the abilities."

Whatever. Hopeless. Hope to die and not have watch it all burn.

Are you serious? The country is full of opportunities that don't require going within a thousand miles of NYC! And don't require becoming involved in arcane financial work.

I confess, by "multi"-millionaire I meant more like two. But I know a lot of people who have managed it, by getting involved in IT or medical technology or various other fields. (Not to mention some guys working the fracking fields.)

And that stuff has happened in places all around the country. You have to be willing to move to where it is happening, and you have to be willing to change companies occasionally to grasp a new opportunity. But it's pretty widespread, even if it isn't available in every tiny hamlet.

There is however the growing problem that those at the very top (and, especially, their children) are apparently immune to falling. At all. If those at the top can't slip, it makes it far more difficult for anyone else to rise. I'd like to see some really massive inheritance taxes for exactly that reason.

Remember, a million dollars isn't what it used to be.

Someday, we'll live in a million dollar house. This one.

No longer a joke.

How widely and deeply do you think we can distribute the opportunities to move to NYC and become a multi-millionaire?

Not all that long ago, in a galaxy about 10 miles from me, there was a lumberyard based near Boston that provided a fairly generous profit sharing plan to its employees.

A number of long-time employees ended their careers shifting lumber and selling paint and appliances as millionaires. And that was back when a million bucks actually amounted to something.

It ain't rocket science. There's lots of money flowing around, it's just not flowing into most folks' pockets.

I want to comment on bob's point about women in anime, which was
It is fun to watch that industry, for as long as the current bubble lasts, move women into prominence, and how it changes visual presentation..

I agree this is great, but...

at my middling 3rd rankish university, located in the Japanese boonies, we are now having a number of women move up to the upper levels of the admin as bucho etc. And I've told them (or at least tried to tell them) I think it's really shitty that they are getting a chance precisely at the time everything is going to hell, at least in Japanese higher education.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/08/national/media-national/higher-education-keeps-overreaching/#.WOjy87t941I

While higher ed in Japan is particularly dysfunctional, I feel like it extends to most of society that women who are being given chance are going to be blamed in some way for the rot we are experiencing. In fact, a lot of this future, where those who were not on the inside are given the keys just as the house is burning down, looks like petulance, with the idea that if those with privilege have to give up some of that privilege, by god, everyone else is going to suffer.

If that sounds strange, I look at my state, Mississippi, and I think how it and the rest of the Deep South basically chose to remain backwards because they didn't want to deal with all the ramifications that treating African Americans as equals would entail. After the Civil War, I can see that a little. 150 years later, not so much...

Bob later writes
The baby-boomer era is collapsing into omnicide exactly because of the lottery economy neoliberalism engendered with fantasies of personal and economic mobility.

One reason that Japan was able to weather a decade of non-growth was that those fantasies of mobility are attenuated. However, I don't think they are attenuated enough to deal with the rest of the world going to hell in a handbasket...

Lj, at 6:07

Well, yeah, although Naoko Yamada works at Kyoani, the very best employer in the industry, as a superstar with successful product I still doubt she makes the yen equivalent of $100k a year for 100 hours a week. The average director makes around $50k.

The basic twenty-something artist drawing frames or inbetweens makes around $400 a week for 100 hour weeks. In Tokyo, yes you read that right. $400. They are paid by frame. The industry is a nightmare.

In general, Japan's moves to neoliberalism, like globally, involves in part what has been called, not intending sexism, the "feminization of production." Not completely new.

Young women, I think because they retain ties to the Patriarchy and stay in part in old roles work harder, smarter, longer (endurance)...and cheaper. And work better with others and take orders more willingly etc.

The difference in neoliberalism is that women are "empowered" to move into management positions. This is quite an incentive, and nice to be appreciated, and fun to work with a crowd*.

Kyoto Animation is getting sued for discrimination incidentally. By a guy.

I have mixed feelings about this situation, maybe idiosyncratic, not being a fan or having much use for building families and piling up possessions. Artists, or wannabe artists, in their twenties don't need money or free time. They need materials, guidance, opportunities, distribution. There may be a great injustice that van Gogh died poor....the money is not why you start a rock band.

*factoid, which if you have watched the linked video, shows that too much credit has probably been given to Naoko Yamada. Your artist drawing frames for anime, if they are fast experienced and good, is expected at most to do 500 frames a month. Lets say 150 a week.
That is 20-30 seconds of a 23 minute weekly show. "Yes, I can tell so-and-so did the first 2 seconds there is what fans say." Which means on just that segment of production, there are 50-60 artists drawing the show. And that is not counting fillers, colorists, backgrounds, sounds.

I can't think of a more collaborative art form, unless maybe skyscrapers.

And I am aware of all the suicides and death by overwork stories.

I never said I liked Japan, I just find it interesting.

Things have been kinda crazy here, with many services (and rehearsals) during Holy Week AND with (beloved) trans-Atlantic relatives staying with us - both events culminating/ending on Easter - so I'm even less compos mentis than usual and have nothing to contribute to the discussion about unifications and separations except one tiny factual point that I retrieved from my sputtering memory (and then confirmed with Wikipedia, which is considerably more reliable).

To wit, someone miles above in this thread said "Well, from the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (which Britain declined to join), to the creation of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1960, to Britain joining the EEC in 1973, was rather less than 20 years."

Uh, no. The ECSC was founded in 1951, which is rather more than 20 years from 1973.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Young women, I think because they retain ties to the Patriarchy

Bob, what do you mean by 'retain ties to the patriarchy'? I tend to think it is the lateness of Japanese women getting what women in the West got earlier, as well as the way they received it (though an American imposed constitution rather than an indigenous development) which may be what you mean, but I'm not sure.

I appreciate the insight into anime, I've been more trying to figure out the language, and have not really thought much of the production, but I see a parallel in what you say and the celebration of collaborative process of US animation films as a progressive art form, particularly Snow White, which blew up when Disney broke the animator's strike in 1941, going back on promises of profit sharing and accusing the organizers of being backed by communists. Can't find the source of that observation, but a few links about the animators' strike in 1941

http://www.awn.com/animationworld/disney-strike-1941-how-it-changed-animation-comics

I knew that Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo, was one of those pushed out, but I didn't realize that Hank Ketcham, was another one. The story of the real life Dennis the Menace is pretty sad.

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

But the main lesson is that the Man is always going to screw the little guy, whether you are drawing cels for Snow White or picking strawberries.

Bob, what do you mean by 'retain ties to the patriarchy'?

Umm, my dissident feminism. For instance women's Patriarchal roles included less aggression and competitiveness, more cooperation, kindness, nurturing, negotiation etc. These are good things, maybe. But neoliberalism is in part about using our virtues and affections against, monetizing and commodifying what we love. And global, not unique to Japan. And that you are aware that your affects are being commodified doesn't really help.

But the main lesson is that the Man is always going to screw the little guy

I am not entirely clear about this for Japan. Yes, the little artist is overworked for miserable pay, but I am not sure if there are monsters at the top raking in the billions like in the West. It could be so, though the economics of the industry are somewhat opaque. But one impression I have had is that profits are plugged back into the business* rather than the CEO's pockets, at least more so than the US model. This is changing of course.

*or to the partner banks and corps (Kodansha) in order to keep global predatory finance out.

**the only rich I hear of are a very few mangaka. Some voice actors retire young, comfortable, but not wealthy.

Just checked Hiyao Miyazaki, who should be rich off anime if anybody. Guessed at $50 million, very nice house, don't know how much of the Studio Ghibli, stock and real estate and IP rights are included.

Steven Spielberg: $3.7 billion.

is there a word for a word that doesn't mean anything because it gets redefined every time it gets used?

is there a word for a word that doesn't mean anything because it gets redefined every time it gets used

Sure, well maybe two, "academic school" or field. Imagine where we would be if fogies cranks yahoos and other anti-intellectuals had insisted on the Newtonian definition of "physics"

A word like "quark" is also defined by the ones who use it, not by the ones who don't understand it and don't want to.

i'm going with 'Humpty'.

ex.

"Neoliberalism" has become a Humpty.

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