‘Masters’ of negotiation

Iran

There is a new blog post entitled, “War with Iran may be inevitable.”

International Crisis Group, “Averting the Middle East’s 1914 Moment,” August 1, 2019, https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/205-averting-middle-easts-1914-moment


Kashmir

There is much more to this[1] than I can take on right now. I will say this: It is a catastrophe in multiple ways.

Niha Masih, “India revokes special status of Kashmir, putting tense region on edge,” Washington Post, August 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/india-revokes-special-status-of-kashmir-putting-tense-region-on-edge/2019/08/05/2232fcd0-b740-11e9-8e83-4e6687e99814_story.html


Uber

See my previous blog entry entitled, “Watching the ridesharing shit go down the toilet.”

Edward Helmore, “Will Uber ever make money? Day of reckoning looms for ride-sharing firm,” Guardian, August 4, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/04/uber-ride-share-lyft-ipo-earnings


Guns

As of today (Aug. 4), we are 216 days into 2019. In the US over that time, more than 1,300 people have been injured or killed in mass shootings, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive.[2]

216 days. 292 mass shootings.[3] Thanks, Donald Trump. Thanks, Mitch McConnell.

Katherine Ellen Foley, “The 292 mass shootings in the US so far this year, mapped,” Quartz, August 4, 2019, https://qz.com/1681082/the-292-mass-shootings-in-the-us-so-far-this-year-mapped/

Valerie Bauerlein, “Mass Shootings in El Paso, Dayton Leave 29 Dead,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/mass-shootings-in-el-paso-dayton-leave-29-dead-11564962534


Trade

Between Brexit[4] and Donald Trump’s attempt to bully China,[5] I see a lot of arrogance.

Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a master negotiator by any means. But I’ll tell you all a secret based mostly on my B.A. and M.A. in Communication: Approaching any negotiation with arrogance is likely to piss off other side, leading it to dig in its heels. And here, call this a two for one deal: The line between a constructive attitude toward a negotiation and arrogance isn’t even remotely a fine line.

It also helps if, unlike how the Trump administration is handling Iran,[6] one is clear about what one’s goals are in the negotiation.

What we’re seeing instead isn’t even remotely what you can call “being tough.” It’s called “being stupid.” Which seems pretty much to be how the stock markets are seeing it.[7]

David J. Lynch et al., “Treasury Department designates China a ‘currency manipulator,’ a major escalation of the trade war,” Washington Post, August 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-lets-currency-plunge-below-7-a-decade-low-after-trump-adds-new-tariffs/2019/08/05/c7415db6-b754-11e9-8e83-4e6687e99814_story.html

Akane Otani, “Stocks Fall Sharply as Yuan Reels and Trump Jabs at China,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/stocks-yuan-drop-sharply-as-trade-spat-intensifies-11564981961


  1. [1]Niha Masih, “India revokes special status of Kashmir, putting tense region on edge,” Washington Post, August 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/india-revokes-special-status-of-kashmir-putting-tense-region-on-edge/2019/08/05/2232fcd0-b740-11e9-8e83-4e6687e99814_story.html
  2. [2]Katherine Ellen Foley, “The 292 mass shootings in the US so far this year, mapped,” Quartz, August 4, 2019, https://qz.com/1681082/the-292-mass-shootings-in-the-us-so-far-this-year-mapped/
  3. [3]Katherine Ellen Foley, “The 292 mass shootings in the US so far this year, mapped,” Quartz, August 4, 2019, https://qz.com/1681082/the-292-mass-shootings-in-the-us-so-far-this-year-mapped/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The hatless mad hatters,” Not Housebroken, August 4, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/04/the-hatless-mad-hatters/
  5. [5]David J. Lynch et al., “Treasury Department designates China a ‘currency manipulator,’ a major escalation of the trade war,” Washington Post, August 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-lets-currency-plunge-below-7-a-decade-low-after-trump-adds-new-tariffs/2019/08/05/c7415db6-b754-11e9-8e83-4e6687e99814_story.html
  6. [6]International Crisis Group, “Averting the Middle East’s 1914 Moment,” August 1, 2019, https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/205-averting-middle-easts-1914-moment
  7. [7]Akane Otani, “Stocks Fall Sharply as Yuan Reels and Trump Jabs at China,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/stocks-yuan-drop-sharply-as-trade-spat-intensifies-11564981961

‘Greek’ death to die

‘Greek’ death

At Swarthmore College, so-called “Greek Life,” the extension of high school level demands for conformity and misogyny,[1] celebrated with drunkenness and violence, including manslaughter and rape, will come to an end.[2] Good riddance.

Zipporah Osei, “After Protests, Swarthmore Will End All Greek Life on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2019, https://www.chronicle.com/article/After-Protests-Swarthmore/246279


China

Yet again, the self-proclaimed master negotiator (“trade wars are easy to win”) demonstrates his incompetence. But the Chinese haven’t been doing much better.[3]

Thomas Heath, “U.S. stocks suffer big across-the-board losses as trade war escalates,” Washington Post, May 13, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/13/dow-plunges-points-market-open-investors-fear-escalating-trade-war-threatens-economy/

Joe McDonald, “China announces tariff hikes on $60 billion in US goods in retaliation for Trump penalties,” Boston Globe, May 13, 2019, https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2019/05/13/companies-bracing-for-china-retaliation-tariffs-dispute/uNsoHVoEHyqa2FHtNpVxHI/story.html

Akane Otani, “Stocks Post Their Worst Day in Months on Trade Anxiety,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-stocks-stumble-on-renewed-trade-anxiety-11557734434

Lingling Wei et al., “Frustration, Miscalculation: Inside the U.S.-China Trade Impasse,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustration-miscalculation-inside-the-u-s-china-trade-impasse-11557692301


Russia

James Marson and Thomas Grove, “Moscow’s reputation for subterfuge surfaces in waters off Norway,” Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-that-whale-a-russian-agent-the-beluga-wont-tell-11557576036


Julian Assange

Dominic Chopping and Jason Douglas, “Sweden Reopens Julian Assange Rape Investigation,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sweden-reopens-julian-assange-rape-investigation-11557739279


Ritual

Terry Bookman, “Reveal Parties: What Do They Really Reveal?” Tikkun, May 10, 2019, https://www.tikkun.org/reveal-parties-what-do-they-really-reveal


Pittsburgh

Clairton turns out not to be very far from where I live—I drove through it a couple times yesterday. It was a rainy day, so the smell of sulfur dioxide wasn’t strong, but it was present.

Jessi Quinn Alperin, “Clairton, PA, wants to be clear: Residents demand accountability from U.S. Steel,” Environmental Health News, May 13, 2019, https://www.ehn.org/clairton-coke-works-air-pollution-2636784943.html


Binyamin Netanyahu

Donald Trump is surely jealous.

Raoul Wootliff, “Netanyahu said to plan bill to override High Court, safeguard his immunity,” Times of Israel, May 13, 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-said-to-plan-bill-to-override-high-court-safeguard-his-immunity/


  1. [1]C. J. Pascoe, Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School (Berkeley: University of California, 2007).
  2. [2]Zipporah Osei, “After Protests, Swarthmore Will End All Greek Life on Campus,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2019, https://www.chronicle.com/article/After-Protests-Swarthmore/246279
  3. [3]Lingling Wei et al., “Frustration, Miscalculation: Inside the U.S.-China Trade Impasse,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustration-miscalculation-inside-the-u-s-china-trade-impasse-11557692301

Hurricane Florence

This page will load slowly, due to satellite imagery.


There are two new blog posts:


Updates

  1. Originally published, September 12, 1:23 am.
  2. September 12, 6:02 pm:
    • It seems that Donald Trump thinks his administration did a great job with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He said this at a briefing in anticipation of Hurricane Florence which appears to be taking direct aim at North Carolina.[1]
  3. September 13, 4:41 am:
    • How do you know that the Philippines are one of those “other” places, where human lives and property don’t matter as much? I’m only now finding out about Super Typhoon Mangkhut.
  4. September 13, 12:54 pm:
    • CNN stopped just short of calling Donald Trump a liar for denying that about 3,000 people died in Hurricane Maria.[2] But apparently, this is how Trump deals with failure.[3]
    • Hurricane Florence has begun already moving onshore in North Carolina. But it will only make landfall in the next few hours. The New York Times explains some hurricane-related terminology.[4]
    • Jennifer Rubin utters the I-word.[5] (Hurricane Maria)
  5. September 14, 4:04 pm:
    • After making a beeline that seemed directly aimed at my friend’s house, Florence made a hard left turn, skimming the North Carolina coast, finally making landfall very near to Wilmington (figure 1).
    • Paul Manafort is “flipping”[6] and Jennifer Rubin thinks she already knows what he knows,[7] but then, so does everybody else. And who knows? Maybe they’re all right. But I’m beginning to suspect we’re all getting way ahead of the evidence. (James Comey)
  6. September 14, 9:55 pm:
    • So Robert Mueller is going to a lot of effort, all to write a report that Rudy Giuliani says the Trump administration will likely seek to bury. Some legal experts want to offer Mueller a road map from the Watergate era for getting his report out.[8] (James Comey)
  7. September 15, 4:51 am:
    • Florence isn’t done yet (figure 2). The center of the storm has nudged over into South Carolina and back toward shore. It looks to me like it might head back to sea where, I guess, it could regain strength.
  8. September 15, 5:21 am:
    • Saved an image of Mangkhut crossing the Philippines (figure 3). I’m still hearing a lot less about this storm but, for now, I’m keeping the latest available immediately below figure 3.
    • Niall Stanage is a little better on the significance of Paul Manafort “flipping.”[9] I just think we need to slow down here and wait to see what Robert Mueller actually gets, that is, assuming we can.[10] (James Comey)
  9. September 16, 12:38 am:
    • The latest imagery seems to show Florence has now, after a feint toward the South Carolina coast, moved a bit inland. It looks to me like it is still drenching North Carolina.
    • Deanna Paul is a reporter for the Washington Post. But apparently before she was a reporter, she was a prosecutor in New York City. She thinks Paul Manafort flipped because he was facing a “functional life sentence.” She doesn’t appear to take into account that Donald Trump was dangling a pardon.[11] (James Comey)
  10. September 16, 6:54 am:
    • While this probably says at least as much about my own coverage (which has rarely focused on ‘natural’ disasters and relies heavily on English sources) as it does the mainstream media, Typhoon Mangkhut finally hit my news radar as it reached China (figure 4). The Washington Post story includes mention of the damage and casualties in the Philippines and mention of it reaching mainland China[12] (where it looks to me is where the eye is) but focuses Hong Kong. The Guardian does a little better, giving the Philippines its own story[13] in addition to including mention in its story on the impact on Hong Kong.[14]

Florence

You won’t find this link on my Weather Satellite Photos page because I haven’t updated that page. But I finally went through and tried to refresh some of the stale links I’d been using to download weather satellite photos. In fact the one for the U.S. East Coast is still live, but the photographs uniformly have roughly the rightmost third blacked out. So I started a new series for the east coast.

In fact, I have a childhood friend who now lives directly in the path the hurricane now seems to be taking (which now seems unusually straight). She and her husband have evacuated, but of course, they couldn’t take their house with them.

Fig. 1. From the run on September 14 at 7:00 am: After making a beeline that seemed directly aimed at my friend’s house, Florence made a hard left turn, skimming the North Carolina coast before making landfall at or very near to Wilmington.

Fig. 2. From the run on September 15 at 4:00 am: Florence has edged over into South Carolina and back toward the coast. It looks to me like it might be headed back out to sea, where, presumably, it might regain at least some strength. In the meantime, North Carolina continues to feel the effects.

Karen Zraick and Christina Caron, “Landfall, Storm Surge and the Waffle House Index: Hurricane Terms and What They Mean,” New York Times, September 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/us/hurricane-season-terms.html


Hurricane Maria

The Whiner-In-Chief, also known as the delusional, raging Narcissist-In-Chief, is at it again. As if he ever stops.

Trump’s outburst should remind us of several troubling facts. First, whether he is lying (or is simply a victim of his own self-delusion that he is incapable of error) is beside the point. He’s not functioning as a president or any other officeholder should. He cannot comprehend facts, process them and take appropriate action. He is, in a word, non-functional.[15]

And yes, I’m wondering what to make of a so-called leader who, instead of emphasizing a need to do better than Puerto Rico, focuses on, not merely defending, but actually implausibly praising an indefensible past performance,[16] even as catastrophe looms in the Carolinas.

Josh Dawsey, “‘Never give an inch’: Trump keeps touting perceived failures as successes,” Washington Post, September 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/never-give-an-inch-trump-keeps-touting-perceived-failures-as-successes/2018/09/12/12801b80-b6a9-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html

Jen Kirby, “Trump keeps trying to rewrite reality on his Hurricane Maria response,” Vox, September 12, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17851122/trump-comments-puerto-rico-response-hurricane-florence

Betsy Klein, “Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’” CNN, September 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/trump-puerto-rico-death-toll/index.html

Jennifer Rubin, “What we learn when Trump says crazy stuff,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/what-we-learn-when-trump-says-crazy-stuff/


Typhoon Mangkhut

This link hadn’t gone stale, so the 72-hour gif was available as soon as I found out about this storm.

Fig. 3. From the run on September 15, 4:00 am: Mangkhut crossed the northern edge of one of the Philippines’ main islands.

Fig. 4. From the run at 5:00 am on September 16. Typhoon Mangkhut has reached China.

Lynzy Billing, “‘Wiped out’: Philippine region in direct path of Typhoon Mangkhut counts cost,” Guardian, September 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/16/completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-httpsviewergutoolscoukpreviewworld2018sep16completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-tuguegarao-city

Shibani Mahtani, “Severe typhoon hits Hong Kong, Southern China after taking at least 30 lives in the Philippines,” Washington Post, September 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/severe-typhoon-hits-hong-kong-southern-china-after-taking-at-least-30-lives-in-the-philippines/2018/09/16/c042c372-b973-11e8-b79f-f6e31e555258_story.html


Golden Showers

Jennifer Rubin, “Not even Republicans trust Trump on Russia,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/not-even-republicans-trust-trump-on-russia/


James Comey

Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett, “Manafort will cooperate with Mueller as part of guilty plea, prosecutor says,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/manafort-plans-to-plead-guilty-to-second-set-of-charges/2018/09/14/a1541068-b5c9-11e8-a7b5-adaaa5b2a57f_story.html

Jennifer Rubin, “Trump can start panicking now: Manafort will cooperate with the special counsel,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/14/trump-can-start-panicking-now-manafort-will-cooperate-with-the-special-counsel/

Niall Stanage, “Manafort pulls surprise on Trump with Mueller deal,” Hill, September 15, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/406813-the-memo-manafort-pulls-surprise-on-trump-with-mueller-deal

  1. [1]Jen Kirby, “Trump keeps trying to rewrite reality on his Hurricane Maria response,” Vox, September 12, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17851122/trump-comments-puerto-rico-response-hurricane-florence
  2. [2]Betsy Klein, “Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’” CNN, September 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/trump-puerto-rico-death-toll/index.html
  3. [3]Josh Dawsey, “‘Never give an inch’: Trump keeps touting perceived failures as successes,” Washington Post, September 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/never-give-an-inch-trump-keeps-touting-perceived-failures-as-successes/2018/09/12/12801b80-b6a9-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html
  4. [4]Karen Zraick and Christina Caron, “Landfall, Storm Surge and the Waffle House Index: Hurricane Terms and What They Mean,” New York Times, September 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/us/hurricane-season-terms.html
  5. [5]Jennifer Rubin, “What we learn when Trump says crazy stuff,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/what-we-learn-when-trump-says-crazy-stuff/
  6. [6]Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett, “Manafort will cooperate with Mueller as part of guilty plea, prosecutor says,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/manafort-plans-to-plead-guilty-to-second-set-of-charges/2018/09/14/a1541068-b5c9-11e8-a7b5-adaaa5b2a57f_story.html
  7. [7]Jennifer Rubin, “Trump can start panicking now: Manafort will cooperate with the special counsel,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/14/trump-can-start-panicking-now-manafort-will-cooperate-with-the-special-counsel/
  8. [8]Charlie Savage, “Legal Experts Urge Release of Watergate Report to Offer Mueller a Road Map,” New York Times, September 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/us/politics/mueller-report-grand-jury-watergate.html
  9. [9]Niall Stanage, “Manafort pulls surprise on Trump with Mueller deal,” Hill, September 15, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/406813-the-memo-manafort-pulls-surprise-on-trump-with-mueller-deal
  10. [10]Charlie Savage, “Legal Experts Urge Release of Watergate Report to Offer Mueller a Road Map,” New York Times, September 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/us/politics/mueller-report-grand-jury-watergate.html
  11. [11]Deanna Paul, “I was a prosecutor. Here’s what stands out to me about Manafort’s deal with Mueller,” Washington Post, September 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/15/i-was-prosecutor-heres-what-stands-out-me-about-manaforts-deal-with-mueller/
  12. [12]Shibani Mahtani, “Severe typhoon hits Hong Kong, Southern China after taking at least 30 lives in the Philippines,” Washington Post, September 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/severe-typhoon-hits-hong-kong-southern-china-after-taking-at-least-30-lives-in-the-philippines/2018/09/16/c042c372-b973-11e8-b79f-f6e31e555258_story.html
  13. [13]Lynzy Billing, “‘Wiped out’: Philippine region in direct path of Typhoon Mangkhut counts cost,” Guardian, September 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/16/completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-httpsviewergutoolscoukpreviewworld2018sep16completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-tuguegarao-city
  14. [14]Hannah Ellis-Petersen, “Typhoon Mangkhut: more than 100 injured in Hong Kong,” Guardian, September 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/weather/2018/sep/16/typhoon-mangkhut-to-china-as-philippines-death-toll-rises
  15. [15]Jennifer Rubin, “What we learn when Trump says crazy stuff,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/what-we-learn-when-trump-says-crazy-stuff/
  16. [16]Jen Kirby, “Trump keeps trying to rewrite reality on his Hurricane Maria response,” Vox, September 12, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17851122/trump-comments-puerto-rico-response-hurricane-florence; Betsy Klein, “Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’” CNN, September 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/trump-puerto-rico-death-toll/index.html