07/20/2014 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: On “The Making of Global Capitalism” by Diomedes77

As a first group diary, this will be fairly narrow in scope and ambition. There have already been numerous excellent reviews of The Making of Global Capitalism, and a symposium over at Jacobin. It’s a bit too late at this point for me to try to compete with any of that, so I thought I’d just intro one of the most important books of the last decade, in hopes that it might spark debate here.

Leave it to the Canadians to get things right — or left, as the case may be. Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin are both Canadian professors, socialists, and schooled in Marxism, but unlike their American peers, not subject to automatic censure and scorn. As this group is no doubt aware, socialists and/or Marxists in America are pretty much shut out of public discussion, demonized without a hearing, and absent from debates in a field they should dominate. No “school” of economic thought comes close to the rigor, objectivity, depth of analysis or independence of the Marxians, and no analysis is more needed in our day. But in America, the system and its willing executioners have effectively silenced them.

Again, this is not the case in Canada, or Europe, where a far healthier, but still less than optimum diversity exists.

More after the fold . . .  

Sunday Movie Showcase

Rant of the Week: John Oliver – Wealth Gap

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Wealth Gap

On This Day In History July 20

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

July 20 is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 164 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1881, Sitting Bull surrenders.

Five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers.


Hunger and cold eventually forced Sitting Bull, his family, and nearly 200 other Sioux in his band to return to the United States and surrender on July 19, 1881. Sitting Bull had his young son Crow Foot surrender his rifle to the commanding officer of Fort Buford. He told the soldiers that he wished to regard them and the white race as friends. Two weeks later, Sitting Bull and his band were transferred to Fort Yates, the military post located adjacent to the Standing Rock Agency.

Arriving with 185 people, Sitting Bull and his band were kept separate from the other Hunkpapa gathered at the agency. Army officials were concerned that the famed chief would stir up trouble among the recently surrendered northern bands. On August 26, 1881, he was visited by census taker William T. Selwyn who counted twelve people in the Hunkpapa leader’s immediate family. Forty-one families, totaling 195 people, were recorded in Sitting Bull’s band. The military decided to transfer him and his band to Fort Randall, to be held as prisoners of war. Loaded onto a steamboat, Sitting Bull’s band, now totaling 172 people, were sent down the Missouri River to Fort Randall. There they spent the next 20 months. They were allowed to return to the Standing Rock Agency in May 1883.

Formula One 2014: Hockenheimring

Practice saw Susie Wolff have an impressive session at the wheel of a Williams but clearly Mercedes is the class of the field even though Hamilton had a wreck in Qualifying and starts in 20th.  He blames his brakes.

The Hockenheimring is not exactly Rosberg’s home track despite his protestations, but it is in Germany and Mercedes is having a good year which is raising expectations.

In other off track action Maldonado is making an early commitment to Lotus for next season.  Rosberg likewise with Mercedes.  Ecclestone has started his bribery trial in which his defense is- I didn’t give him a bribe so I could take over the company at a discount, I gave him a bribe so I could cheat on my taxes!

Nice guy.

On offer will be Softs and Super Softs.  The Super Soft is about 2 seconds quicker per lap, but is only good for about 10 laps before it starts to show it’s age (today’s race is 67 laps).  Pirelli is predicting a 2 or 3 stop race.  Only Raikkonen, Grosjean, and Hamilton will be starting Softs.

What’s basically preventing Hamilton from starting last (15th in Qualifying and a Gearbox penalty) is that Ericsson must start from pit lane AND serve a Stop and Go because they didn’t seal the car last night.

Pretty tables below.

The Breakfast Club (The Sea Again)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.png

Sea Fever

by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Why our brains love the ocean: Science explains what draws humans to the sea

By Wallace J. Nichols, Salon

Since time immemorial, humans have been captivated by water. And the reasons go beyond evolution

It’s only recently that technology has enabled us to delve into the depths of the human brain and into the depths of the ocean. With those advancements our ability to study and understand the human mind has expanded to include a stream of new ideas about perception, emotions, empathy, creativity, health and healing, and our relationship with water. Several years ago I came up with a name for this human-water connection: Blue Mind, a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water, from the color blue to the words we use to describe the sensations associated with immersion. It takes advantage of neurological connections formed over millennia, many such brain patterns and preferences being discovered only now, thanks to innovative scientists and cutting-edge technology.

Breakfast Tunes

For those of you who never raced the wind on the open sea and why so many are drawn to the ocean, I give you Wind.

Le Tour 2014: Stage 15, Tallard / Nîmes

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Rafal Majka was clear by :24 at the finish but it sure looked as if Vincenzo Nibali was leaving something in the tank.  He barely even got out of the saddle to attack twice in the final 4 km which has the grouchy also rans talking about doping again, but frankly, he was never challenged except by the pure climbers and all of the top GC contenders are out of range for one reason or another.

On the stage it was Rafal Majka, Vincenzo Nibali (:24), Jean-Christophe Péraud (:26), Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet tied at :50, and Tejay Van Garderen (:54).  At under 2 minutes you had Frank Schleck (1:01), Laurens Ten Dam (1:07), Leopold Konig (1:20), and Alejandro Valverde BelMonte, Haimar Zubeldia Agirre, and Pierre Rolland at 1:24.  There were 5 more riders under 3 minutes behind, 6 under 4, 4 under 6, and 9 under 9.  Everybody else was farther back than that.

In the General Classification it is Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (4:37), Romain Bardet (4:50), Thibaut Pinot (5:06), Tejay Van Garderen (5:49), Jean-Christophe Péraud (6:08), Bauke Mollema (8:33), and Leopold Konig (9:32).  Everybody else is more than 10 minutes behind.  For Points it is Peter Sagan (361), Bryan Coquard (191), Alexander Kristoff (172), Marcel Kittel (167), Vincenzo Nibali (134), Mark Renshaw (118), André Greipel (117), and Greg Van Avermaet (115).  Everyone else is 28 points behind.  In the Climbing championship it is Joaquim Rodriguez and Rafal Majka tied at 88 with Vincenzo Nibali at 86.  Everyone else is 37 points behind.  In the Team competition it is AG2R, Belkin (12:42), Sky (38:16), Astana (46:10), Movistar (47:44), and BMC (51:01).  Everyone else is over 1 hour behind.  In Youth it is Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot (:16),  Michal Kwiatkowski (14:34), and Tom Dumoulin (47:18).  Everyone else is over an hour behind.

Today’s 138 mile stage, Tallard / Nîmes, is down hill with bumps and then flat, flat, flat.  There are no rated climbs and the Sprint Checkpoint is a little less than 50 km from the finish.  In short it sets up for a bunch sprint if the sprinters have any legs left after the Alps.  It is exposed and cross winds could break up the peleton.

Oh, and tomorrow is the last rest day.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: This Sunday’s guests on “This Week” are: Secretary of State John Kerry;  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).

The roundtable guests are: ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz; Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass; New Republic Senior Editor Julia Ioffe; and Wall Street Journal White House Correspondent Carol Lee.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are: Secretary of State John Kerry; Rep. Peter King (R-NY); and Martin Indyk, the former U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Special reports from the field: Mark Phillips in Ukraine; Clarissa Ward in Moscow; and Holly Williams in Gaza.

On his panel are: Peter Baker, The New York Times; David Ignatius, The Washington Post; and Kim Strassel, The Wall Street Journal.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Sunday’s MTP guest are: Secretary of State John Kerry

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are Secretary of State John Kerry; Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); the House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX); and  Robert Turner, Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza City.

Her panel guests are The Atlantic‘s Peter Beinart; Michael Crowley of TIME magazine, NPR’s Steve Inskeep and CNN commentator L.Z. Granderson.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Cameron in new EU sanctions warning to Russia over plane

 20 July 2014 Last updated at 07:13


Tougher EU sanctions against Russia will be needed if Moscow does not change its “approach” to the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, David Cameron has indicated.

The PM said the EU should stand up for its principles, amid claims Russia-backed rebels were involved.

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said it may be “time to make our power, influence and resources count”.

The Russian ambassador to the UK warned sanctions would have a negative effect.

Alexander Yakovenko said he regretted recent decisions by the US and EU to impose sanctions, claiming it “can only encourage the Ukrainian authorities to continue violence”.

Sunday’s Headlines:

The day the Rana Plaza garment workers died: New documentary tells the stories of those who survived the collapse of a clothing factory near Dhaka

New hope for Antarctic Ocean?

Aid workers free after month in captivity in Darfur: UN

Chinese tourists abandon Vietnam after oil rig row

Record-Breaking Wildfires Bear Down on Washington Communities