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  • The Yale prof is dead right, and it’s sad considering the true talent that lurks among the student body. I’ve held for at least four decades that he best higher education experience is to be found at the classier liberal arts colleges like my much lamented but apparently revived alma mater Antioch College. But it’s a different time, and students are afraid for their future in ways we couldn’t imagine a half-century ago, when our only fear was nuclear annihilation.

    Learning and teaching are extremely time intensive. Time is money. Who’s got the time and who’s got the money?

    As to young Yalies, they are either super rich or just plain-vanilla rich overachievers. They can be in the top 0.1 percent of the wralth and incme distribution, but at least half of them are going to below average at University (not that this impinged on the careers of George Bush and John Kerry!). It’s got to be a bit of a downer when your purpose in life is not learning how to live it, but to be superior to others.

  • Why did you people waste your time on a zionist trill? It’s not as if the swill he spews hasn’t been spewed by him before under a different handle. New same, same old racist spew.

  • Who were the abstainers? That’s a more interesting question. The US vote was entirely predictable. It would have been news had they not voted no. The countries that abstained would have lked to (or would have been forced to) vote no, but were fearful of their public and the US let them off the hook for the time being. How did France and Britain vote?

  • Knut commented on the blog post What do you get the person who has everything?

    2014-07-18 05:32:04View | Delete

    The flight was 200 km off course to the north. The height restriction is irrelevant. What’s relevant is who set the flight course. Local papers full of anti-Russian screeds from the usual sources and their fellow travelers. Trally quite astonishing how lockstep it is even after all these years. One commentator even mentioned Assad’s gas attack, as if informed people didn’t know it was a false flag (which uninformed people who are the mass of the population don’t). The misinformation is massive.

    As to who dun it, I believe it was the Ukies helped by CIA. The Ukies are on the verge of losing their war against the pro-Russian separatists. The junta had worked out adeal with the oligarch of Donetsk who in turn suborned one of the leaders of the resistance to turn the city over to the Kiev regime, which would be covered by a ‘truce.’ The bulk of the offensive was in the east along the Russian border and was intended to roll up the resistance militia from the rear. Instead, the pincer got surrounded and cut off between the resistance militia and the Russian border, out of arms, food and water. The plane was somehow guided to a place where it was shot down to provoke a truce long enough to resupply the troops and I think get the regime back into Donetsk. It’s a hail Mary.

  • The whole business strikes me as either a collossal fuck-up by the Junta trying to make a false flag in a situation where the Russians have complete and perfect intelligence, or a last ditch effort to get a cease fire to save he 3,000 to 5,000 Ukie troops surrounded at the edge of the Russian [...]

  • Knut commented on the diary post President “F**k You Peasants” Says, “I Can’t Be Bothered With You Anymore!” by kbki202.

    2014-07-16 17:46:18View | Delete

    Speaking only for myself, I knew nothing about the man, and knew more than nothing about Mrs Clinton. It was a toss-up for a long time but I went with the big Zero because Clinton was surrounded by known sludge like Penn and Lannie Davis, while Obama’s sludge was unknown. He is terrible. He’s not [...]

  • Knut commented on the blog post Piketty’s Ugly Projection for US Inequality

    2014-07-14 05:47:04View | Delete

    Great post, as usual. Piketty’s book is more than economics, or to put it differently, conventional economics is less than it should be, and deliberately so. Questions of moralitu and legitimacy are inherently connected with income distribution, and they are not reducible to a compartment called ‘personal values (in the sense of meaning ‘my values are mine and no ne else’s and it’s no damned business of yours to judge me). This has been the economist’s cop-out since the 1930s, when it was articulated by Hayek, Mises, Lionel Robbins and other members of the Austrian clique, and popularized by Milton Friedman.

    The fact is that economics is about social interactions, and not all of them can be reduced to the paradigm of scarcity and resource allocation. And the latter cannot be cooped up in a little box xalled ‘economcs’ so that we don’t have to think about them. Piketty is destroying empty boxes.

  • Knut commented on the diary post Summer Signs Confirmed by Deena Stryker.

    2014-07-13 08:27:01View | Delete

    Nice post, Deena, and obviously on target, to judge from the trolls who came out of the woodwork to protest it. As you say, it’s a gist, not a trend, and the change will take longer and cost more lives than most of us think. I am reminded of the dying phases of the Thirty [...]

  • Knut commented on the blog post Terror Alert! Teenager Arrested for Online Jihadi Romance

    2014-07-08 10:04:48View | Delete

    This exactly what one would expect of a bureaucracy lokng for a mission where there is in fact no mission. People get promoted for finding new things to be scared of. There is also self-selection of stupid assholes into the bureacracy ad well, plus graduates in ‘Terrorism Studies (I kid you not!). We are well on our way to Hannah Arendt’s banality of totalitarianism. Since there are not lkel to be many lve-struck girls lke the one in questin here, the FBI will be forced back to its basin of radical college professors and unwary internet luriers who have the misfortune to inform themselves about things they are not supposed to know (but are also not supposed to inow that they are not supposed to know). Posting certain articles in the Bill of Rights is sure to get you on a list. Even mentioning it will, as the words are surely keys in the dragnet.

  • There remain a couple of steps before we become a full-blown totalitarian state as opposed to a half-blown one. The heavy lifting of surveillance and creation of blackmail situations has been accomplished, but the actualization and brutality are yet to come, apart from exceptional cases like Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou. A totalitarian state is expensive, and the foot soldiers have to be recruited from a fund of wannabe upwardly mobiles for whom it offers both an outlet for aggressive impulses and opportunity for social advancement. In my view the most likely basin of candidates are small town Christan fundamentalists. The other feature is that some with actual power has to have the incentive to go the whole route. This will only happen when our political elite start murdering each other. I think we are some way from that point, but one never knows, and when the Praetorian Guard is installed, the terror will begin.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Funny how all that works

    2014-07-07 04:43:23View | Delete

    I find it hard to believe she could be to the right of Obama. If she is, it’s the sweet spot between the rock and the hard place.

  • Knut commented on the diary post 1776: A Good Thing or Not? Reflections on the American Revolution by stewartm.

    2014-07-06 13:06:43View | Delete

    Like almost everything in real life the Revolution was a mixed bag. The ideals were real (in the degree ideals ever are), and the leaders, men like Franklin and Washington, were exceptional men for any time and by any standard. They had a dream, to cite another remarkable man. But by the 1760s America had [...]

  • Knut commented on the diary post F-35 Burns on Runway During Testing by williamboardman.

    2014-07-04 15:03:49View | Delete

    The Zeppelin had its teething problems, too. You just have to be patient.

  • O bama is down there with the worst, that’s for sure, but if he keep’s out of a nuclear exhange, he will have earnrd his pension. People don’t appreciate how fae Reagan lowered the bar for success.

  • Very revealing table, though onehas to admit that Uzbekistan does not immediately come to mind as one of your freer countries. Maybe it has something to do with what you want to do with your life. If you don’t want much, it doesn’t take much to feel ‘free.’ I’m a bit surprised by the US ranking. On objective and the above-mentioned subjective grounds I would have expected it to be a lot lower–somewhere between Gabon and Panama.

  • Knut commented on the blog post Obama Uses War Powers To Send More Troops To Iraq

    2014-07-01 08:00:35View | Delete

    I think so, too. We’ve seen this script before.

    If the Republican House is going to Impeach him, this is as good a reason as any and better than most. I wonder how our troops will be getting along with the Russians and the Iranians who are also charged with ‘protecting’ the regime. Will we see a stand-off pissing contest, ‘y protection is bigger than yours’?

  • Knut commented on the blog post ISIS Declares Caliphate In Syria And Iraq

    2014-06-30 07:17:46View | Delete

    I’m not sure what to make of this. If I declare myself the Queen of England will anybody obey my commands? This will be settled on the ground. We are not back in the 8th century.

  • Thanks so much everyone for showing up. Like mathematical economics, I’m played out, too.

  • How can that be? Everything in the book is so basic and clear, one would think that this all would have been the standard stuff of economics over the decades.

    Conspiracy of silence. And increasing self-referential work. Plus authoritarianism. People on the outside don’t have the faintest notion how authoritarian economics is as an academic discipline. The pecking order is much more defined than in other fields. That is one reason why this book is so Revolutionary. He has overturned all the basic assumptions that maintain that pecking order.

  • I think there is a big difference between the children of the super rich of this generation and that of the Belle Epoque. The Belle Epoque was still dominated by aristocratic values — essentially values that came from being instructed in the Latin and Greek classics. The wealthy bourgeoisie may have been richer than the old aristoctracy (though not everywhere), but they aped them. You can see this in early 20th-century architecture, and locally in the novels of Henry James. They aped those who still considered themselves their betters. And whether the aristocracy was in fact any better is besides the point. They were carriers of a tradition which deep roots in the moral and ethical thought of pre-world war I society.

    That’s gone for good. The rich today are like Paris Hilton. The wannabe rich are like Nicholas Sarkozy. For them, money is the measure of personal worth. Piketty is a bit of a throw-back. He was educated at Ecole Normale Supérieure, which is the most exclusive post-graduate school in France, entry by competitive examination only. I have taught these students. They are spectacular. They also (at least in the Humanities and Social Sciences) have to do eight years of Latin to be considered for admission. This gives a lot of tradition, which the vulgar rich don’t get, don’t want, and don’t even know exists.

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