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April Thread

by Bjinse Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 10:04:38 PM EST

It was a bright cold day in April, and the threads were striking thirteen.

I hate to be a Remoaner but...
(Theme song : Little Remoaner, by the Ramones, c. 1978)

Brexit is getting too close to home for me. Elder Daughter, currently finishing her four-year fine arts degree in Glasgow, had been intending to come and live in Lyon.

Now she intends to stay another year, to secure permanent residency. Bah.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 02:12:23 PM EST
On the bright side, Glasgow is Scotland!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 03:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the French hadn't revoked the Auld Alliance in 1903, she would have the right to Scots citizenship
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 04:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I presume that is what Trump will call him, if he actually becomes the nominee. Check the following video at 53:00. More at Naked Capitalism
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"I said, `You're not getting the billion.' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: `I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money,'" Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

"Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.


The general prosecutor's official file for the Burisma probe -- shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials -- shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 04:35:20 PM EST
Can't mix characters. I bet it stays at creepy Joe.
by generic on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 06:37:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Populism, or Its Opposite? - J. W. Mason

A more charitable reading would be that populism describes the elevation of popular support over other criteria of legitimacy, such as law or business support or professional expertise. This is a reasonably clear definition that fits most common uses of the term. But does it fit developments in the real world?

Populism, or Its Opposite? - J. W. Mason

In Brazil, Bolsonaro did win the popular vote -- but only after the previous president was removed from office in what was effectively a soft coup, and the country's most popular politician was banned from running by the courts. This judicial preemption of democracy is the opposite of what is usually meant by populism.

[Long list of other example]
by generic on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 08:16:21 PM EST
HLS Review | Segregation by Citizenship, March 2019
In 1954, Jacob Javits, then a New York representative to Congress, "protested the use of prisons" on the ground that detaining noncitizens in penal institutions was "disruptive . . . of our social concept of the purposes of a prison."90

There are two ways to understand this objection. As Javits argued to the press, housing detainees in prisons scrambled the distinction between criminal and civil incarceration, casting all immigrants as criminals.91 Confining detainees in prisons also violated prevailing norms around the use of penal institutions. The mid-twentieth century was the height of the rehabilitative ideal, a theory of punishment in which prisons serve to reform criminals through individualized, therapeutic treatment.92 This conception of punishment presumed prisoners' eventual release and reintegration into the United States.93 Holding detainees -- a class of people not yet admitted into the polity, who might ultimately be expelled -- in prisons undermined this vision of "corrections" and conflicted with dominant assumptions about the relationship between prisons and American society.

BONUS popular, modern fallacy:
54 See LUCY E. SALYER, LAWS HARSH AS TIGERS: CHINESE IMMIGRANTS AND THE SHAPING OF MODERN IMMIGRATION LAW 3 (1995). As Professor Hiroshi Motomura has noted, federal laws regulating the movement of "free blacks and slaves" can also be understood as early immigration laws. HIROSHI MOTOMURA, IMMIGRATION OUTSIDE THE LAW 65 (2014).

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 08:52:32 PM EST
92 See CHARLES BRIGHT, THE POWERS THAT PUNISH: PRISON AND POLITICS IN THE ERA OF THE "BIG HOUSE," 1920-1955, at 306-07 (1996); Edgardo Rotman, The Failure of Reform: United States, 1865-1965, in THE OXFORD HISTORY OF THE PRISON: THE PRACTICE OF PUNISHMENT IN WESTERN SOCIETY 169, 169 (Norval Morris & David J. Rothman eds., 1995). I do not mean to endorse the rehabilitative ideal, nor to suggest that it was ever in fact achieved, but rather to highlight the conflict between a model of punishment in which prisoners are presumed reformable and one in which they are presumed deportable.

Hence the deterioration of a thesis, commanding equal protection of US citizens and "aliens".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 09:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has inadvertently been sending members of the public looking for advice on encouraging pollinators to a website advertising escort services.

The Bees' Needs campaign, launched in 2014 by the then environment minister Lord de Mauley, called on the public to do more to help insect pollinators by growing more nectar-rich flowers, leaving patches of land to grow wild and cutting grass less often.

However, the site now displays a list of hundreds of British neighbourhoods, all of which link to a site offering "independent escorts".

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 02:37:25 PM EST

by generic on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 05:55:48 PM EST
by generic on Fri Apr 12th, 2019 at 03:52:00 PM EST
by generic on Fri Apr 12th, 2019 at 04:46:53 PM EST
The true feasibility of moving away from fossil fuels -- Gail Tverberg

Any kind of governmental organization requires energy. Having a single leader takes the least energy, especially if the leader can continue to perform his non-leadership duties. Any kind of added governmental service (such as roads or schools) requires energy. Having elected leaders who vote on decisions takes more energy than having a king with a few high-level aides. Having multiple layers of government takes energy.
Is today nothing else but epic fights for long-term monarchies are commencing? If not the Bushes, the Clintons or the Trumps in the US, then who? Comfortably, the same old faces in the UK, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands? How will Brussels evolve?  

Today's view of the equality of the sexes is likely to disappear because sex differences will become much more important in a low-energy world.
Woke progressives would be the sitting ducks of the epic selection episode, as ever?
by das monde on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 06:06:25 PM EST
Gibberish. If you want to show that lower energy consumption leads to bad outcomes you need to show the causality. Showing that civil wars, embargos, and austerity tend to educe energy consumption is an utter trivial result that tells us nothing. The idea that Venezuela's problem have anything at all to do with renewables is riseable. And look at the plot he has for Syria: according to him energy consumption per capita remained high, though stagnating until the country collapsed into war. None of his first 5 examples are connected to his central thesis in any way. I stopped reading after that.
If you want to look at societies that had to adapt to lower energy consumption I suggest Cuba and North Korea after the USSR's collapse.

But I want to comment on your first quote, because it is nonesense in an interesting way. Doing things takes more energy than not doing things. Which tells you very little about whethter they will be done or not.
The radio warnerd podcast is currently doing a mini series about the 100 year war, which is very much relevant here:
It happens around the beginning of the Little Ice Age, following a period of several hundred years of population expansion and no major famine in western Europe. So this is one example of societies having to adapt to a general decline in available resources. They did so poorly, and then the plague arrived. Now, England had a parliament and France didn't. Yet, as it turned out, the parliamentary system helped them to act much more uniformly than the much richer and highly populated France.

by generic on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 07:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
None of his her first 5 examples
by generic on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 07:31:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know? Can't ask? Go with what you know.

Gail Tverberg's; Tverberg's

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 10:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She is looking at what it will take to maintain our current level of activities. At least her claims [1] and [3] are worth serious attention: The impact of alternative energy sources is smaller than commonly believed. Energy consumption plays a bigger role in our lives than most of us imagine. If you won't imagine anything new without seeing Laplacian causality, you won't notice anything before it is too late. Everything is moved by energy, we are just positioning ourselves in its way. Also look at water supply limits in Yemen, Syria (and even Florida).

For relevant examples of lower energy consumption, better look at the Midwest states that voted for Trump. Or Brexit voters, gilets jaunes. Critical theorists (ever unsatisfied and more demanding) will be the last to notice that causality.

Things are either going up, or down. Apparent stability usually masks a slow decline, where the goods supply is struggling to provide bread, circus and social justice. Look at the imperial Rome, with even Augustus struggling to get grains from Egypt at times. Military triumph celebrations became a rarity, and good emperors had to be great stoics.

Nature and humans developed significant anticipation mechanisms for energy flows. These causal factors are harder to notice in complex meshes of interdependent relations.

by das monde on Mon Apr 15th, 2019 at 05:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Therefore penises rule.

<just fucking stop>

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 15th, 2019 at 09:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being crushed by monopoly power does not equal insufficient energy, unless you want to metaphorically link finance with energy, in which case the whole discussion becomes irrelevant.

Conflict between elites is a thing. Class conflict is a thing. Sometimes systems do have to respond to outside shocks, but people are also capable of fucking things up all on their own in the process of pursuing their own petty agendas.

It's worth asking the question of whether the modern world is facing a situation of actual impoversihment, compared to our recent past (as the energy theory seems to be suggesting), or whether its a case of the concentration of wealth (demonstrated by both history and experiment to be largely inveitable) leading to gross distributionary imbalances. Are current problmes in the world fundamentally supply or demand issues?

I always wonder about theories like this, trying to make everything look as if a problem is the inevtible working of nature. But I am not convinced by arguments which suggest that an animal which is being bled dry by parasitic leeches is suffering primarily from reduced blood flow.

by Zwackus on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 05:22:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is how good times end: everyone is demanding, not many are really supplying.

Elites do not even have to rationalize their perceptions and preferences. It is enough to rely on hierarchical primate instincts, both dominant and submissive. Incidentally or not, the discipline of those instincts largely safeguards primate populations from Malthusian perils. Not seeing this dynamics in hierarchical or territorial species is like not seeing genetic evolution beyond cell biochemistry.

Humans venture to be smarter with Keynesian or Marxist economics - but somehow the trust in greenhouse welfare is never deep. Instead, people become bitter like in the USSR. Abundance is not trusted even in r-selected species.

It is not really that we are vitally running out of resources. Instead, the fabulous bonanza of fossil fuels, technological progress, intensive agriculture, popular entertainment, mass consumption is ending. The signs are noticed by elites and lowly Trump, Brexit supporters, but not by comfort loving middle classes. The latter see either glorious progress or final destruction. Most likely though, the next 850 years will be normal Dark Ages, with populations surviving in primal ways in areas endowed with not-too-terribly-spoiled environment, modestly providing institutions, and fortunate choices of leaders.

by das monde on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 06:45:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not exactly a theory since those have to be testable. For those we can at least demand that causes should precede results.
by generic on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 08:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a theory since those have to be testable
Not a true statement of facts.

A theory expresses belief in (probability or "faith" performance) a particular design of phenomena, or events of which intangible or tangible, natural or mechanical, or combining foregoing constituents; a fiction.

People may or may not agree a theory presented by its author; a theory may not even be available to any number of people for argument; but among those who agree a theory, the truth of the theory is self-evident in that agreement so assembled, in both the subjective and objective commitment of the decision, namely each person, enumerated.

Whether or not people other than the theory's author require argument of its principles and manifest truth, and which types of theory, as if to produce agreement among themselves is a cultural artifact of a society.

The method which the author or other people, select, by agreement, to argue a theory is also a cultural artifact of a society. Let us note, "the scientific method" advocates 100% predictability from the product of any theory, measureable.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 12:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
also defined "observed", which is a whole other kettle of ... METACOGNITION!!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 12:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I plead lack of sleep.
by generic on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 04:24:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When countries have reduced their energy consumption per capita by significant amounts, the results have been very unsatisfactory.

This hypothesis is completely untested. No country has voluntarily reduced its energy consumption per capita. Various countries have encountered economic or political collapse which caused reduced energy consumption.

The challenge of the next thirty years is engineering reduced energy consumption in a sustainable and equitable manner, rather than through societal collapse.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 02:20:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Check East European countries. You can google for "energy consumption romania" or such, and get World Bank graphs.
by das monde on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 02:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tverberg's thesis is that to save the global economy, we must ramp up energy consumption.  Leave it to an insurance actuary not to see the forest for the trees.
by rifek on Mon Apr 15th, 2019 at 06:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That author can not have looked at any real, existing monarchies. Efficient is not a word that describes them. All decisions needed to be made by a small group means that all decisions needs to travel up through through the underlings to those high-level aides, who in reality will be focused on how every decision affects their position in relation to the king.

And then this:

"When an economy doesn't have enough energy, its self-organizing feature starts eliminating pieces of the economic system that it cannot support. The financial system tends to be very vulnerable because without adequate economic growth, it becomes very difficult for borrowers to repay debt with interest. This was part of the problem that Greece and Spain had in the period when their energy consumption per capita declined. A person wonders what would have happened to these countries without bailouts from the European Union and others."

Yeah, no that is not it. Spain and Greece got economic problems because of the conditions of the so called "bailouts" which in reality were bailouts of French and German banks through those economies. And with austerity came lower energy consumption. The author may not know that, but you do. Right?

by fjallstrom on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 10:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British monarchy was more efficient and smarter than the French, obviously.

Effective causes in Greece and Spain were surely banking matters. But I am open to the possibility that the creditor pressure (or say, Reaganomics post the Club of Rome) were indeed blunt tools to prevent some Venezuelan mess further (or increasingly closer) down the road.

Incidentally, Turchin just posted his theory on mysteries of wealth and inequality cycles.

Howard Odum has a more conventional scholarly following since the 1970s on the energy centrality.

by das monde on Mon Apr 15th, 2019 at 05:45:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched "Every Day"
(dated April 14, 2019)

In Germany, four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone [...]

In February, vandals desecrated and smashed crosses and statues at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, France, and mangled the arms of a statue of a crucified Christ in a mocking manner [...]

In France, two churches are desecrated every day on average. According to PI-News, a German news site, 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) were registered in France in 2018. This represents a 17% increase compared to the previous year

And Newsweek, last month:
Catholic Churches Are Being Desecrated Across France -- and Officials Don't Know Why

France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration.

Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.

[...] the historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday, Le Parisien reported, although no one was injured. Police are still investigating the attack, which firefighters have confidently attributed to arson.

by das monde on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 06:46:51 AM EST
I was wondering just how fast the far right would come up with insinuations and soon-to-be viral fake news about Notre Dame. I did a quick Gloog to see and didn't find much. I have to come to ET to come across this shitsmear.

I'd tell you to get lost, das monde, except you already are.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 07:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fake Newsweek, right? Nothing in the French media?

I rather have certain limits and see hard choices. Nothing is certain in this fake or sanitized social cirque, but the tabu on questioning this kumbaya sensitivity is an irresponsible dictate in the complicated, limited world. Do you really think that the Chinese or Arabs won't surpass white men in racism, misogyny, ugly colonialism? Post-modernity will need (really) toxic overlords, after all?

Say please, and I go lost.

by das monde on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 08:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your first "source" is the Gatestone Institute:

The Gatestone Institute (formerly Stonegate Institute and Hudson New York) is a right-wing[2][3][4] anti-Muslim[a] think tank with a focus on Islam and the Middle East. The organization has attracted attention for publishing false articles and being a source of viral falsehoods.[5][6][7][8][9](Wikipedia)

which cites PI-News :

Politically Incorrect (commonly abbreviated PI) is a mainly German-language Counter-jihad[3] political blog which focuses on topics related to immigration, multiculturalism and Islam in Germany and Western societies. A condensed version of the weblog is available in English.[4] The blog's self-declared goal is to bring news to a wider public attention which it perceives to be ignored or suppressed in the mainstream media due to a pervading "leftist political correctness."[5] It describes itself as pro-American, pro-Israel, in support of fundamental rights and human rights and opposed to the "Islamisation of Europe".

Newsweek is a blah-blah American weekly that is not an authoritative source on European society.

As for French media, they do report on incidents of this kind. Also on desecration of Jewish and Muslim places of worship. More balanced than your insinuations under the wannabe header of "This is coming up fast".

Say please, and I go lost.

I don't think anyone reasonable says please to a little proto-fascist.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 08:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If authorized sources won't touch this subject uber alles, that is a proto-fascist censure. Who else beside those committed to bringing news to a wider public attention [that is] ignored or suppressed [by] political correctness covers that?
by das monde on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 08:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have yourself a slice of "political correctness".

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 12:41:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Below par for my attention
by das monde on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 02:56:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are entitled to judge you by the sources you cite.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 02:42:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There ought to be a law for that titled "Citations".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 03:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly you didn't look very hard

Both your RT and your Newspeak articles clearly have their source in this article published in Le Figaro at the end of March.

Two high school kids set fire to an altar and broke some furniture. They got caught on videosurveillance.

Figaro, being a conservative paper, adds a bunch of numbers they got from the police.

The article from Libération puts the numbers in perspective : anti-religious acts reported to the police in 2018 : 541 antisemitic, 100  anti-muslim and 1 063 anti-christian (mostly thefts and desecrations of churches, which are very soft targets because they are almost always empty)

And here are some numbers from the Ministry of the Interior

But you are, of course, free to prefer far-right secondary sources to learn these facts which political crectnis conceals.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 03:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is stealing from the collection box classified as anti-christian, or is it merely theft? From a conversation with the sacristan of S. Maria d. Vittoria, I gather that this is a serious problem in Italy.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 04:02:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is a significant rise of vandalism of Christian churches in France and Germany this year. Die Welt reported somewhat larger numbers than Figaro. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confidently reported as well. Incidents like in Saint-Sulpice were far from petty.
by das monde on Sat Apr 20th, 2019 at 06:33:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least it wasn't the Jews.
Prominent settler rabbi, Shlomo Aviner, ruled today (Tuesday) that burning churches outside of the Land of Yisrael "isn't our job for now", but as for the Holy Land, "the issue is more complicated". Aviner seemed to leave the question of burning churches in the Holy Land to the questioner.

Aviner, who draws a public salary as the rabbi of the major settlement Beit El and is also the rabbi of a prestigious yeshiva (Ateret Yerushaliam, formerly Ateret Cohanim), is considered to be one most important rabbis of the religious nationalist sector.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 17th, 2019 at 06:47:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jokes and their relation to the unconscious, pp 1615-1820.
Pt. A. Analytic Part. faulty reasoning
"The Great Rabbi N. was sitting and praying with his disciples. Suddenly ..."

No AI in humor: R2-D2 walks into a bar, doesn't get the joke

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 01:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< pick teeth, suck vigorously >
Poll: Church membership in US plummets over past 20 years
(longer than that, dude)

I don't know about that.
"political party division (by two), which is exactly what they are paid to produce."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Apr 18th, 2019 at 12:47:09 PM EST
Poll: Church membership in US plummets over past 20 years


David Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political science professor who studies religion's role in U.S. civic life, attributed the partisan divide to "the allergic reaction many Americans have to the mixture of religion and conservative politics."

"Increasingly, Americans associate religion with the Republican Party -- and if they are not Republicans themselves, they turn away from religion," he said.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 20th, 2019 at 04:30:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
VAR refereeing reminds me this:

by das monde on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 05:45:32 AM EST
Apperantly there is an upcoming Peterson - Zizek debate. Here embetted in full:

by generic on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 10:46:16 AM EST
by das monde on Fri Apr 19th, 2019 at 11:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Sat Apr 20th, 2019 at 03:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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