Morning Ed: World {2016.05.09.M}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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57 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    The Canadians just shows that real life espionage comes with a lot more ineptitude and lack of glamor. I do feel bad about the kids though. They had to reinvent their entire life.

    National borders are going to be the trickiest part of globalization to handle. Having the free movement of goods, capital, and services but more restricted movement of people tends to have many distorting effects on the economy. You need the movement of people to be just as free as anything else. A person born in a poverty stricken place might only be able to move out of poverty by moving. At the same time, the people in favor of the borderless world are the least likely to experience it’s down side. They tend to be very cosmopolitan people that find the idea of national identity old-fashioned at best and have careers that are least likely to suffer from fewer border restrictions. Many people take the idea of national identity very seriously though or have jobs that will have more competition in a borderless world. A lot of people do not want to live in the world where moving to a different country is no different than moving to a different city or county.Report

    • j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

      At the same time, the people in favor of the borderless world are the least likely to experience it’s down side. They tend to be very cosmopolitan people that find the idea of national identity old-fashioned at best and have careers that are least likely to suffer from fewer border restrictions.

      Except for the migrants themselves, but I guess that they don’t really figure in your reasoning.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to j r says:

        Considering that I represent the migrants themselves for a vocation this was a very uncharitable thing to say jr. It was also uncharitable because it was clear from my paragraph that I was talking about the advocates for a borderless world rather than those who will migrate. Part of advocacy is understanding potential objections and the opposition’s concerns rather than just smashing through without concern.Report

        • j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

          You’re missing the point. For whatever reason, you’ve decided to construct the category of “advocates” and portray them as a certain things. Not exactly charitable, but fine. The more important thing is that you have excluded the migrants themselves from that category so as not to trouble your initial characterization.

          Why the distinction?Report

    • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

      LeeEsq: The Canadians just shows that real life espionage comes with a lot more ineptitude

      Ineptitude? They successfully operated under the radar for over twenty years with huge political changes in their own country and not inconsiderable political changes in the country they were operating in. They only got caught because someone like Oleg Burov finally defected and ratted them out.Report

      • j r in reply to Kolohe says:

        This is interesting, because they did operate successfully, but to what end?

        These guys weren’t pulling off high risk-high reward operations on American soil. They were basically sent to infiltrate the world of civil society under Russia’s belief that most of civil society is carrying out orders directly from the American government. Of course, that’s not quite how it works, but the Russians believe it, in part, because that’s how it works in Russia.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to j r says:

          People doing their jobs well on missions that are totally pointless, when they’re not actually ill-advised…is the story of a great deal of OEF & OIF, as well as probably these Canukskis. But that’s not ineptitude.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Kolohe says:

        They didn’t seem to do much intelligence work for most of the twenty years according to the Guardian article. Most of it seems to have just been living an ordinary life and trying to find some ways to install a Russian identity in their boys without revealing too much. When the spies had to start acting as spies than things quickly went down. Anne Chapmen seemed particularly inept as a spy.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:


        The thing I found most interesting about the article is that the FBI was looking at the Russian spies for years and decided to pull the plug in 2010 only after their moll was compromised.

        I would be interested if they gave the Russians any useful information.Report

  2. notme says:

    ‘Brexit’ could trigger World War Three, warns David Cameron

    The pro EU are really desperate.

    • David Parsons in reply to notme says:

      The pro EU tories are an odd lot. I suspect that they look at belonging to the EU as “More money for us. Fuck you.” but that’s not really something that can be used in a PR campaign, so instead they’re flailing around trying to rebrand it as a lion-repelling rock.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    My problem with a borderless world is that it makes assumptions about a monoculture that I’m not sure is justified.Report

  4. About espionage, I have a question that’s quasi-trollish but also quasi-honest: Why should it be illegal during peacetime? I mean, I get that it *can* involve doing illegal stuff–and the Canadian/Russians in that article did at least a few things I don’t have problem calling illegal–but why should simply gathering intelligence for a foreign power with whom the US is at peace be a crime?

    Or maybe my assumptions the law are off and “simply gathering intelligence” in itself isn’t a crime but becomes a crime only when it involves something illegal?Report

    • greginak in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

      Gathering intell is legal. Most intell gathering is done through open sources like the news or business communities. It’s illegal if you gather secret stuff or break the law while gathering.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

      Even if espionage charges become difficult, as long as there isn’t a ‘borderless’ world, agents like Chapman and the Heathfield/Foley team can be arrested and kicked out for identity theft and immigration violations.Report

    • j r in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

      Trollish, honest, but also hopelessly behind the times. The government often charges people with crimes that aren’t really crimes. RICO and conspiracy charges get thrown at groups of affiliated people (could be the Mafia, could be a gang or could be a bunch of young brown men who hang out a lot) in the hopes that one or more of them will give into the pressure and give up the person or people who actually committed the crimes in question.

      If the government doesn’t like what you’re doing, they have all sorts of ways of making it illegal.Report

      • El Muneco in reply to j r says:

        Also, never forget what actually got Capone sent up the river. I will hold forth at more length than almost anyone here on the injustices of the CJ system we have right now – but sometimes justice is best served by nailing bad guys for something they are provably guilty of rather than reaching for the brass ring.Report

  5. notme says:

    Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News

    I think Sheryl Sandberg their CEO should change the title of her book to “Lean Left.”Report

  6. notme says:

    Dem AG from the USVI subpoena demands Exxon correspondence with Heritage, Cato, Mercatus, Hoover, and Reason, among others in climate change racketeering suit.

    • RTod in reply to notme says:

      Good lord. That is terrible.Report

      • Francis in reply to RTod says:

        Why? Publicly traded companies make lots of statements under penalty of perjury. SEC filings, for example. If Exxon knew of the risk of climate change and engaged in a strategy of deliberate deception in coordination with other groups, that correspondence would absolutely be material.Report

        • El Muneco in reply to Francis says:

          I think (at least I hope) he was saying that the racketeering was horrible, not the investigation of it.

          It was bound to happen sometime – there are enough leaked documents to convict Exxon in the court of public opinion, but I’m pretty sure the chain of evidence is too weak to build a Federal case on.Report

          • Tod Kelly in reply to El Muneco says:

            No, I’m saying that the state making an implication that opinion journalism is a form or racketeering — or making a tie between the two in any way — is something that needs to be snuffed out immediately.

            I have zero problem with us moving to a more European system to correct corporate malfeasance than we currently have.Report

            • Francis in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              Tod: There is no evidence that any of the magazines are facing any kind of legal threat. But if Exxon encouraged or, worse, paid for opinion journalism that was designed to create a perception that the science behind global warming was weaker than it actually was, then those communications are relevant.

              The magazines have the First Amendment right to publish whatever they want so long as it’s not libelous etc. But when Exxon makes statements under penalty of perjury, it better not be relying on the apparent existence of “scientific” disputes that it itself created.Report

              • Gabriel Conroy in reply to Francis says:

                Honest question: Where is Exxon making statements under penalty of perjury that it’s not funding that opinion journalism?Report

              • Kim in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                In their financial disclosure forms, the ones the SEC says they have to file.Report

              • Gabriel Conroy in reply to Kim says:

                Do those forms say, “we aver that we don’t fund research about climate change”?

                I suppose I can see that if a company is to be held accountable for how it spends its money, and if the rules require it to report “under penalty of perjury” how it spends its money, and it reports how it spends its money in a way that is willfully misleading, then I can see how that would be perjury or actionable.

                But I’d want the rules to be pretty darn clear about what constitutes “perjury” then. It seems to me an organization, even a publicly traded one responsible to shareholders who have an interest in (and perhaps at right to?) transparency in their company’s doings, retains some prerogatives to determine the kinds of research it funds.Report

              • Kim in reply to Francis says:

                This is pretty dorky, honestly. Go after Exxon for supporting a faked scientific dispute — ExxonSecrets showed that every single person on the “no global warming” side was funded by Exxon, at one point.

                [insert muttering about the freaking punctiliousness of the Green Party]Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Francis says:

          If Exxon knew of the risk of climate change and engaged in a strategy of deliberate deception in coordination with other groups, that correspondence would absolutely be material.

          The ‘risk’ is assessed through dubious general circulation models. The promoters have a history of manipulating data and playing hide the ball with it. Those disputing them include some very eminent climate scientists.Report

          • Francis in reply to Art Deco says:

            The risk is evident from rising sea levels on the East Coast, fires in Alberta and water shortages in India.

            Of course climate historians manipulate data. What would you do if the time of recording was moved from noon to sunrise? The work of the BEST team, for example, on this issue is public. The accusation that the manipulations have been hidden is a scurrilous lie.

            The best estimate is that the consensus among working professionals is around 97%. Even Richard Tol, an economist who has led the charge against the various consensus analyses, admits that the actual consensus is in the high 90s.

            The tiny minority who dispute the consensus — and receive a disproportionate amount of publicity — do not have a workable theory around which they all agree and they cannot explain the extraordinary consilience of evidence supporting the prediction that a doubling of CO2 will lead to between 2.5 and 3.0 degrees C of warming.Report

          • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

            You know about fluid dynamics modeling? Are you also an expert in protein folding and high energy physics?

            Yes, they’re busy tweaking the models. Yes, the models disagree to some extent. Yes, we’re getting better predictions the more time you give the scientists to write the models.

            Who, exactly, are “the promoters” again? I don’t think you and I are going to talk about the same people, so let’s get who we’re talking about straight first, rather than after I start talking.Report