…behind the curve [DOT 14/10/21]

or round the bend...

…being as I didn’t get this done on time there’s a chance I might backfill it some if I get the opportunity later in the day…call it evidence of poor time-management, if you will…but I think it’s probably fair to say that I’m not the only one to find that navigation the last not-so-little while is not without its frictions

The past week’s government reports showing inflation running at an annual 5.4 percent pace and a labor market in unusual turmoil offered a head-snapping portrait of a $21 trillion economy trying to regain its footing. Even as payroll growth slowed to its lowest monthly total since late last year, Americans empowered by greater leverage quit their jobs at a record pace, according to the Labor Department.

The news offered further evidence that the pandemic has triggered economic aftershocks that policymakers are struggling to understand, let alone quell.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/10/13/september-inflation-cpi-fed/

…some points of which are rougher than others

Dollar Tree recently announced that higher freight costs — one element in rising inflation affecting consumer prices nationwide — are forcing the company to abandon its just-a-buck policy. Dollar Tree, with 15,000 stores in the United States and Canada, had already been testing prices up to $5 at its “plus” and “combo” stores, but had resisted pressure from investors in recent years to ditch the dollar barrier in its traditional stores.

…although I don’t think “it’s unfathomable that President Biden and progressive Democrats contemplated an inflation-stoking $3.5 trillion social spending plan“…so…as far as the author of that one about the dollar stores is concerned I probably don’t know what the hell I’m talking about…& it would certainly be fair to say that when it comes to the intersection of trade, finance & politics there’s definitely a lot I can’t fathom

For months, a battle over the status of Northern Ireland has been the thorniest legacy of Brexit, even sparking a conflict known as the “sausage wars.” Now, Britain has upped the ante by demanding that post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland that it agreed to two years ago be scrapped and replaced.
[…]
The protocol aims to resolve one of the most complex issues created by Brexit: what to do about the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which remains part of the European Union.
[…]
“Today’s package has the potential to make real, tangible difference on the ground,” said Maros Sefcovic, vice president of the European Commission, the executive body of the 27-nation bloc, adding that this amounted to an “alternative model for implementation of the protocol.”

But he offered no concession over a demand made on Tuesday by Britain for a completely new agreement, one that would remove any role for the European Court of Justice, the bloc’s top court, as an arbiter in disputes. That idea had already been rejected by Brussels.

https://www.nytimes.com/article/uk-northern-ireland-protocol-eu.html

…but I do know the DUP were pulling some shit last week about threatening to withdraw from things mandated by the good friday agreement to try to get their way on a tenuously stretched point of principle to do with talks about that protocol…while another familiar source of shit-stirring went at it in characteristic fashion

The UK government always intended to “ditch” the Northern Ireland protocol, Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings has claimed.

In a string of tweets, Cummings said the flawed Brexit deal had been a way to get out of the electoral doldrums and “whack [Jeremy] Corbyn”, and “of course” the government should be allowed to “sometimes break deals… like every other state does”.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/oct/13/dominic-cummings-says-uk-always-intended-to-ditch-ni-protocol-brexit

…so there’s plenty of gasoline being poured on that fire…which I’m sure is definitely the sort of thing that part of the world has plenty of time to figure out at its own pace

“It is adapt or die,” the head of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd, said in a statement accompanying a new climate change report.

The report warned of rising sea levels, increased river flows and significant strains on England’s public water supply amid soaring global temperatures associated with the changing climate. It urged the government, businesses and broader society to engage in adaptation and mitigation strategies, “rather than living with the costs of inaction.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/10/12/england-climate-change-adapt/

…well…enough time, then

Clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are advancing so rapidly that the global use of fossil fuels is now expected to peak by the mid-2020s and then start declining, the world’s leading energy agency said Tuesday.

But there’s a catch: The transition away from coal, oil and natural gas still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, the agency said, at least not unless governments take much stronger action to reduce their planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions over the next few years.
[…]
Current energy policies will still put the world on track to heat up roughly 2.6 degrees Celsius (4.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 compared to preindustrial levels, the report found. Last month, the United Nations warned that such an outcome would be “catastrophic,” noting that countries are already suffering much higher risks of deadly heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires after just 1.1 degrees Celsius of global warming to date.
[…]
The report noted that many countries are contemplating more forceful action, at least on paper. More than 50 countries, including China and the United States as well as the European Union, have now announced targets to get to “net zero” — that is, to reach the point where they are no longer adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere — over the next few decades.

If every country followed through on that promise, the world could potentially limit total global warming to around 2.1 degrees Celsius by 2100, the report found. But even this outcome is far from assured, since most of the nations pledging to go net zero have not yet enacted policies to achieve those goals.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/climate/global-fossil-fuel-use.html

…still…if you look long enough…or possibly elsewhere…you might at least see signs of saner heads prevailing

That said, I am pretty excited by the awarding of the prize to Angrist, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Card, of the University of California, Berkeley; and Imbens, of Stanford University. A lot of excellent articles about the Nobel have focused on how these scholars upset conventional economic wisdom on topics such as the minimum wage and immigration. I want to focus instead on the tools that the three developed. These tools are powerful yet easily graspable, like a good pair of pliers.
[…]
The beauty of the Nobelists’ work is that it’s about the real world. Finding fruitful natural experiments requires not just cleverness but a deep understanding of the phenomenon being studied.

Here Are the Cool Economic Tools that Just Got a Nobel [NYT]

…whatever the hell is going on I sincerely hope there are a bunch of people involved in a lot of it that are a bunch smarter than I am because to be honest if I’m going to get anything done today I probably need to not spend it wondering about stuff like how things are going in the various parts of the world where it seems like we’re way the hell past plan B

The United States and Israel have warned that they are exploring a “plan B” for dealing with Iran if Tehran does not return in good faith to negotiations to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.
[…]
The US warnings came as the EU chief negotiator Enrique Mora travels to Iran with a message that the talks are in deep crisis, in the latest attempt to convince Tehran to return to talks. A European diplomat said: “It is now up to Iran to unambiguously state its intention and explain its choice to the international community and its own citizens.”

Malley will in the coming days travel to the Middle East to consult on how the US and its allies will respond if it decides it is necessary to break off the talks designed to reinstate the 2015 agreement constraining Iran’s nuclear program.
[…]
US officials believe they cannot wait indefinitely since Iran is developing irreversible nuclear knowledge, taking it closer to the ability to build a nuclear weapon. It has built up a stockpile of highly enriched uranium at 60%, experimented with uranium metal based fuel at 20%, restricted UN nuclear inspections, developed 1,500 advanced centrifuges capable of producing uranium and declared it will use advanced centrifuges at its Fordow site.

Israel, which has not shown a reluctance to bomb Iranian nuclear installations in the past, has been pressing for the US to recognise the new regime in Tehran is ideologically opposed to the nuclear deal known as the JCPOA.

Russia is also urging Iran to return to the talks quickly and not to try to undo the progress made in the first set of talks.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/13/us-and-israel-exploring-plan-b-for-if-iran-does-not-resume-nuclear-talks

Even the incursions by Chinese warplanes have a context, as they came during exercises in waters east of Taiwan by naval vessels from the US, Japan, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand. The aircraft were apparently simulating attacks on some of those vessels. Beijing should be wary, however, of taking out its anger at other countries via constant pressure on Taiwan. That is the route to ever greater tensions and a heightened risk of military accidents that could spill over into war.
[…]
Most fundamentally, future decades of peace across the Taiwan Strait depend on recognition that military conflict would be a disaster for Taiwan, China, the US and the world. Quite aside from the hideous human cost of any fighting, any war would overturn a global order under which Taiwan and China have both prospered mightily, to their own benefit and that of their trading partners. Beijing and Washington would emerge from such a conflict to a world riven into hostile blocs. Whoever the ‘winner’, all would lose.

The choice across the Taiwan Strait is between a tolerable status quo and a disastrous conflict. That will not change. On all sides, therefore, the need is for common sense, calm and cool heads.

The acute dangers of a conflict over Taiwan [FT]

…it’s a good thing the weekend is nearly here because I have a feeling the world could use some time off…we’ve all got a lot on our minds after all…it’s easy to understand how you might want to get away for a while…it’s hard to keep up with it all…so I get that sometimes even when you think you know what’s in your luggage you might be mistaken

Late last month, Kristi and Jared Owens were checking their luggage at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Texas for a trip to Las Vegas when Southwest gate agent Cathy Cook said the bag was overweight. They could check it as is for a fee, or move some stuff into their carry-ons.

Like most people, the Owens wanted to avoid the fee, so they opened up their suitcase to rearrange their belongings. That’s when they discovered Icky, their five-pound rescue chihuahua, hiding inside one of Jared’s cowboy boots.
[…]
The Owens were mortified, and they were worried that airline staff would think they hid their dog on purpose.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2021/10/13/stowaway-dog-southwest-icky/

…but I confess I don’t get how you don’t know you’ve packed some things in particular?

Transportation Security Administration agents have caught 4,495 firearms at security checkpoints so far this year, marking a 20-year record.

The discoveries are rare but up sharply, the agency said. So far in 2021, officers have found 11 guns in carry-on bags for every 1 million passengers screened, the TSA said. When the previous annual record of 4,432 guns was set in 2019, the rate was 5 firearms per million passengers screened.

It’s unclear whether passengers are more clueless or reckless, officials say, or precisely what is driving the increase. A decade ago, agents found 1,320 guns on passengers, according to TSA. Agency officials didn’t point to changes by officers themselves to the explain the increase.

“We believe that more people are carrying guns with them,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. “The most common excuse is that they claim that they forgot that they had their gun with them.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/10/13/tsa-record-guns/

…if you go as far as that WaPo piece you can come to your own conclusions about the top 10 airports for that stuff statistically…but on the subject of statistics

Even before the pandemic upended school, test scores in both reading and math declined for 13-year-old students, the first drop registered in a half century in testing meant to measure student proficiency over time.

The data showed declines among the lowest-performing students, but not those at the top, suggesting that educational gaps that pervade the U.S. system are becoming larger, not smaller.
[…]
Student scores remained, across the board, higher than they were a half century ago. But the new results showed overall declines for 13-year-olds since 2012, with drops concentrated among the lowest-performing students. Similar drops have also been registered on a separate, similar assessment designed to measure short-term trends, with those scores declining for those at the academic bottom and rising for those at the top.
[…]
The national tests are better at explaining what happened than why, though there were some clues. A survey that accompanied the test results found increases in the number of students who said they never or hardly ever read for fun on their own time. In 1984, 9 percent of 9-year-olds said reading for fun was rare. That rose to 11 percent in 2012 and to 16 percent in 2020.

Among 13-year-olds, in 1984, 8 percent said they never or hardly ever read for fun, rising to 22 percent in 2012 and 29 percent in 2020.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/10/14/nations-report-card-scores-falling/

…then again…I don’t know if I’d care to find out what percentage of what I wind up reading counts as fun…& who’s to say who’s smarter about what

Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that?
I don’t know one child with a full time job…and children.

bill hicks…in case that part wasn’t obvious…couldn’t seem to find it as a clip

…either way…while this continues to hang in the air

The picture of Donald Trump’s scheme to get the Justice Department to help him overturn the 2020 election has been significantly filled out in recent weeks. First came the disclosure that conservative lawyer John Eastman had authored a memo outlining the steps by which this would take place on Jan. 6. Then came a major report from the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing Trump’s pressure campaign to get the Justice Department to lay a predicate for that Jan. 6 plot.

So just how close did we come to an actual stolen election — stolen by Trump?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/13/how-close-were-we-an-actual-stolen-election-stolen-by-trump/

…&

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot issued a subpoena on Wednesday to Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official under President Donald J. Trump who was involved in Mr. Trump’s frenzied efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The subpoena seeks testimony and records from Mr. Clark, a little-known official who repeatedly pushed his colleagues at the Justice Department to help Mr. Trump undo his loss. The panel’s focus on him indicates that it is deepening its scrutiny of the root causes of the attack, which disrupted a congressional session called to count the electoral votes formalizing President Biden’s victory.
[…]
The subpoena was the 19th issued in the House inquiry, and it came as the panel braced for a potential legal battle with at least one prospective witness, Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump who has refused to cooperate. The leaders of the committee threatened last week to seek criminal charges against Mr. Bannon in response.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/us/politics/jeffrey-clark-subpoena.html

…well

Twitter is struggling to curtail covid-19 misinformation and hate speech originating from the fringe social network Gab and migrating to find massive audiences on the platform, according to a report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The group, which studies and advocates against extremism and antisemitism online, wrote that while Twitter has beefed up its policies against such content, it “has not addressed the ease with which users are able to drive traffic to hate and misinformation hosted on outside sites.”

Case in point: Links from Gab, the alt-social network known as a haven for conspiracy theorists and white nationalists, are getting massive traction on Twitter, the ADL found. The fringe site, with its laissez-faire approach to content moderation, has become a refuge for users sharing that type of content, which Twitter and other major platforms have cracked down on.

The ADL found that during a two-and-a-half month stretch, more than 112,000 posts on Twitter included links to Gab and may have reached as many as 254 million users. The issue, the ADL wrote, is that the 50 Gab links most shared on Twitter “were rife with conspiratorial content and misinformation, some promoted by Gab itself via its verified Twitter account.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/12/twitter-is-serving-gateway-gabs-conspiracy-theories-study-finds/

…for whatever reason

Flodr argued that Parnas and Kukushkin were well aware of U.S. election laws that prohibited straw donations from foreign sources. She told jurors that text message and email evidence will prove the pair purposely sought to hide the true source of the donations and “blatantly” violated the law.
[…]
Parnas also allegedly lied to the Federal Election Commission about the hefty contribution to the Republican fundraising committee, which prosecutors say amounted to another straw donation. “[GEP] didn’t exist in the way a real business does,” Flodr said.

Large donations that were not really his own, prosecutors allege, bought Parnas access to events with political heavyweights — including a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser attended by Trump around the 2018 midterm elections.

Prosecutors argue Giuliani associate Lev Parnas knew donations he funneled were illegal [WaPo]

…we have to deal with it in a world where the answer some isn’t clear enough to stop it being one that includes this sort of thing

The event kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance — to a flag that was present “at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on Jan. 6,” according to Martha Boneta, the Republican emcee of the event. Bannon whipped up the crowd of several hundred by repeating Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election and predicting Trump’s return — in 2024, if not before.

“We’re gonna build the wall. We’re going to confront China,” Bannon said to cheers. “We’re putting together a coalition that’s gonna govern for 100 years.”

In a tweet after the rally, McAuliffe denounced the event.

“Glenn Youngkin was endorsed again tonight by Donald Trump at a rally where attendees pledged allegiance to a flag flown at the deadly January 6th insurrection. Beyond disturbing, this is sick. And Glenn is honored to have Trump’s endorsement,” McAuliffe wrote.

Trump calls in to rally hosted by Bannon for Virginia GOP candidates [WaPo]

…then this kind of thing is surely going to the bare minimum of what’s going to be needed

A Colorado judge on Wednesday prohibited a local official who has embraced conspiracy theories from overseeing November’s election, finding she breached and neglected her duties and was “untruthful” when she brought in someone who was not a county employee to copy the hard drives of Dominion Voting Systems machines.

The effort by Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R) to ferret out supposedly hidden evidence of fraud amounted to an escalation in the attacks on the nation’s voting systems, according to experts, one in which officials who were responsible for election security allegedly took actions that undermined that security in the name of protecting it.

Colorado county clerk who embraced conspiracy theories is barred from overseeing elections [WaPo]

…whatever you do…at least consider putting your time into something constructive?

Conservationists are on the hunt for “citizen scientists” to spot walruses from their own home to help track populations of the creatures and give scientists an understanding of how many are left in the wild.

Keen-eyed members of the public are being asked to scour images of the Arctic taken from space for the blubbery mammals and report any sightings to WWF and the British Antarctic Survey, as part of a census of Atlantic walrus and walrus from the Laptev Sea.

It is hoped half a million people worldwide will join the Walrus from Space research project, and look through thousands of high-resolution satellite images – a task too gargantuan for researchers to complete alone.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/14/walrus-from-space-census-seeks-public-help-to-spot-animals-in-satellite-images

…I’m just gonna take a moment to contemplate the phrase “walrus from space”…some things you just don’t expect first thing in the morning

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22 Comments

    • …it’s like a moebius loop of finger-pointing…& it’s genuinely hard to tell whether he or boris comes off like the bigger asshole as a result…or I guess arsehole if we try to be culturally sensitive to that sovereignty business they both seem to get so worked up about?

      • Cummings is just a purely horrible person, right? Is that too simplistic? I’m genuinely curious to hear others’ feelings on this.

        I will admit that I read about him only in The Guardian, but their coverage seems to be fair. I stay away from opinion pieces in general and try to draw my conclusions from the straight-up news coverage. But I’ve never read anything even remotely close to “he might have a point there” in regards to this asshole.

        • …the thing about this is to me it presents at least two rabbit holes…the second one of which is very much to do with how much we tend to get wrong (&/or right) about things when we only really absorb any information about them at several removes from anything resembling a primary source…so although I feel like I could get into that at possibly inadvisable length I’ll skip past it except to say that I’ve paid at least more than cursory attention to dominic cummings since before he wound up with the job he still seems to be throwing a tantrum about losing…& on the whole “just a purely horrible person” does seem like a pretty fair estimation to me

          …that said…there’s at least some senses in which he has in fact been basically right about some stuff…not in the sense of “he might have a point there” so much as his descriptions of some stuff have been lamentably accurate…it’s not so hard to pull off when you played a pretty big role in ensuring that the thing you’re describing is lamentable…but I guess if I were to try for a comparison I might be tempted to go with stephen miller…sometimes the fingerprints all over something that we like to think is the business of elected representatives…or some of the shit those representatives say…are very clearly those of some asshole who has less business having any input in that than even some of them…despite the low bar some manage to set

          …put it this way…if you think of brexit as a journey it’d need to be one on a multi-lane highway with lots of traffic during a hollywood action movie…an elevated one so that you could always blow up a section to create an instant cliff-edge at a moment’s notice…& in this analogy it’s basically gridlock from A to B while everyone curses the traffic & lots of people wish they could have their old commute back since the bitching was just as bad but the traffic was undeniably less of a nightmare

          …dominic cummings would be your deranged villian with a masterplan for some sort of megalomaniacal heist that from his perspective will turn out just great provided the massive truck he’s aimed down the middle of that road makes it over the line even if he has to superglue the throttle to the floor & lash the steering wheel in place with nothing but substack posts & a knowledge that the press will pay attention if you say the quiet part(s) loud…he knows a lot about the truck because he designed it specifically to mad max its way through that gridlock…& for a good stretch of its trip he was driving the thing

    • Yeah. “Forgetting” you have your gun pretty much undercuts all the arguments for having one. You can’t protect yourself with it if you forgot where you left it. It’s pretty telling that the spokesperson views it as an “excuse.”

      I’ve traveled a LOT, and I’ve occasionally forgotten to pack things (like a belt once — a surprisingly nightmarish scenario). But I’ve never once packed something and forgotten it was in there.

      • When my state got rid of permit requirements for concealed carry, I briefly carried a .380 in the breast pocket of my jacket, just because I could.  I eventually stopped, partly because I would forget it was there.  In my coat.  That I was wearing.  Literally on my chest.

        • I can see that but you weren’t packing for a trip. I gotta believe you would pat your pockets before you got in the security line. And I can’t believe you’d leave it in your carry-on bag. My carry-on sits in the hallway closet when it’s not in use. Leaving a gun in there wouldn’t be terribly helpful in a crisis. “Excuse me, home invader, can you wait a minute will I go through my luggage?”

  1. The first manuscript I ever wrote some 20+ years ago was about a war between China and the US over Taiwan.  I thought I could be the next Tom Clancy (LOL.)  I was a decade too late.  If I wanted to be published I should have written about a boy wizard named Larry Votter.

    The scenario I outlined was this:

    China’s Communist Party took a hard line (coup against Deng Xiao Peng) and whose arrogance crushed the economic miracle aka the real estate market to collapse, then economic ruin then a need to focus anger on an outside target (Taiwan.)

    To make matters worse, there is the discovery of a large oil field in the South China Sea

    The US is at first reluctant to avoid a fight (I pictured a GOP admin along the lines of GHWB not a moron like Trump.)  Then after a US Navy Carrier Battle Group gets attacked, goes all in.  Economic turmoil.

    Losses on both sides.  Heavier on China’s due to the technological/naval war fighting experience imbalance.

    Soon, they wanted to go nuclear.  The US ends up doing a Yamamoto airborne assassination mission on the Chinese leadership.

    Governments on both sides fall over the economic impact.

    The main character was a Chinese-American naval aviator pushed by loyalty of homeland vs culture.  I ended up meeting someone later who could have been that guy.  He was a USMC F/A-18 aviator.

    Anyway, it could have been better.

    I had about 320 pages (roughly 600+ pages in novelized format) which wasn’t bad size wise unlike a lot of Clancy or other best selling authors whose book lengths are borderline ridiculous (it’s not the Odyssey.)

    However, the fears of a Chinese economic downturn (Evergrande and debt/wealth concentration in Chinese real estate) could be a justification that China uses to invade Taiwan. The economic costs to the world be ruinous thanks to MBAs and Walmart who outsourced manufacturing to China.

    One thing not in China’s favor even now is their military. In the novel I had to bump up Chinese naval and amphibious capacity to make my scenario work (not quite Red Dawn levels of delusion.)  Their naval situation is better now, but still very weak compared to the forces they need to actually invade Taiwan and to fend off the USN.  Other issue is that China’s military is based on two styles.  One is a modern well equipped military, but it is very small compared to the other bloated obsolete People’s Army.  Also lacks any real modern military experience since 1979 (about the only thing that US forever war provides.)  And no naval experience to speak of. Copying doctrine is one thing, but actually doing is another. Something 3rd world militaries who beat up their own citizens have found out when faced with actual experienced military powers.

    I’m pretty sure the Chinese leadership knows this too.

    I’m not saying China doesn’t want Taiwan, but the price is too high for everyone involved.

    At this point all this is a paranoid mental wanking exercise by alarmists.

  2. I’m way behind on Vice News episodes I recorded but this one is fucking crazy!  This really shows the end game when desperation meets misinformation.

     

  3. This is kind of late and à propos of nothing but:

    STOP THE PRESSES! Or stop typing on your keyboards.

    Nicholas Kristof is leaving the New York Times. Below are excerpts the press release the Times printed, and some info they left out from wikipedia, along with my trenchant commentary.

    “Nicholas Kristof is leaving the newspaper as he considers running for governor of Oregon, a top Times editor said in a note to the staff on Thursday.”

    That’s weird.

    “In July, Mr. Kristof, who grew up on a sheep and cherry farm in Yamhill, Ore., said in a statement that friends [unnamed sources, which the Times swears should only be deployed as a last resort, but comprise something like 90% of their reporting] were recruiting him [I bet they were] to succeed Kate Brown, a Democrat, who has been Oregon’s governor since 2015 and is prevented from running again by the state law.” One of the friends might be: “[Kristof] has attributed many of his progressive views to his mother Jane Kristof, who formally served as treasurer of the Yamhill County Democratic Central Committee and currently serves as both her precinct committee-person and the coordinator of the Yamhill County Democratic Think Tank.”

    So, a rural farm boy made good. That is refreshing–Wikipedia: “the son of two professors at Portland State University”

    Did “Nick” go to Portland State University? Wikipedia: Harvard University, BA; Magdalen College, Oxford, BA; American University in Cairo.

    Wikipedia: “[Man of the people] Kristof was a member of the board of overseers of Harvard University, where he was chief marshal of commencement for his 25th reunion, and is a member of the board of trustees of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.”

    The Times: “’Nick is one of the finest journalists of his generation,’ A.G. Sulzberger, The Times’s publisher, said in a statement.” A sly dig from Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, whose family has owned the Times since 1896, and whose leadership is hereditary, like the Saxe-Coburg Gothas Windsors in the UK and the Romanovs in Czarist Russia. Sulzberger, at 41, is still “growing” in the job, and Kristof is 62.

    Continued young Sulzberger: “He didn’t just bear witness, he forced attention to issues and people that others were all too comfortable ignoring.” Oh? Can I list 100 people and another 100 topics the Times wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole? And another 100 people and 100 topics that the Times was forced to cover because everyone else already had?

    Wikipedia: “Nicholas Kristof argues that sweatshops are, if not a good thing, then defensible as a way for workers to improve their lives and for impoverished countries to transform themselves into industrial economies.” I…I’ll just let that one pass.

    I could go on. His wife is Sheryl WuDunn, fellow (former, I think) Times reporter, which, fine, sometimes workplace romances work; most often they lead to disaster, and almost always are frowned upon.

    I’ll conclude with this, from wiki: “In 2018, Kristof and his wife began converting his family’s cherry orchard in Yamhill, Oregon to a cider appleorchard and vineyard.”

    In 2021 you are nobody unless you own your own vineyard. Just ask the Pitt-Jolies, who are wrangling over Chateau Miraval, as part of the longest divorce proceeding of the modern age.

     

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