Morning Reads: 16 December 2013

There was only one football game on Saturday but it was a good one. Navy has added another year to the continued dominance over Army. A glorious unbroken streak since 2002.

In other news:


Go get a flu shot.
Something doesn’t quite add up around the Columbia County Tax Commissioner.
Are we finally going to have this discussion or is it just going to devolve to a screaming match like usual?
Metro Atlanta school systems looking at more flexibility and choice. (My AJC)
Since starting new cities is all the rage these days, maybe the city of South Fulton is next.


Sad Day, No SEC football till Bowl games start.


Nobel Laureate refuses to publish in leading science journals.
Sprint wants to buy T-mobile, here’s why.
Federal Court strikes down part of Utah’s bigomy law.
Pope Francis responds to Marxist accusations.
Kim Jung-On executes his uncle, the second most powerful man in the Hermit Kingdom.

Everything Else

Need some new music?
Peter O’Toole passed away.
Jameis Winston (QB-FSU) wins the Heisman.


  1. benevolus says:

    That North Korea story is fascinating. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but it’s like the country is owned by the Kim family. It is their toy to do with as they please. He can even have his uncle executed.
    You would think in a communist country there would be something like a parliament that would choose the best leader “for the people”. But they do it by birthright! (And force I suppose!) Doesn’t seem very communist to me.

      • Eric The Younger says:

        DPRK functions differently than the other communist countries. The closest comparison country would be Cuba, but since Raul has taken over there’s been some liberalization. China and Vietnam are very different from thirty years ago and, consequently, very different from DPRK. If you put it on a linear scale, DPRK would bean outlier in the extreme.

        • Harry says:

          He refers to a “parliament that would choose the best leader for the people”. If you mean the Central Committee and Politburo, those were and are always under the control of the leader. Elections are a sham.

    • Lea Thrace says:

      That’s cause it isnt a communist country. It is a totalitarian dictatorship. It’s just easier for media and talking heads to get people riled up by calling it communism.

        • atl_man says:

          Not really. See below. In practice, a dictatorship or other totalitarian regime is the only way to maintain communism for any length of time. That was why the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China, Iran (theocracy with a command economy) were all totalitarian. Once people see that they don’t get the benefit of their hard work and individual talent or initiatives, they sour on it. That was why the VOLUNTARY kibbutz experiment in Israel failed, for example. Folks who had ability and initiative got sick of it and left. Totalitarianism is the only way to keep voters from doing the same thing.

      • atl_man says:

        As much as I would like no not endorse Harry’s tubthumping, a communist economy with a democratic or republican (small ‘r’) political system is something that only exists on theory but is impossible to implement in practice. The reason is that the productive portion of the electorate will inevitably demand the right to own private property, and if it is denied to them they will cease to be as productive as they are needed to be. China and Viet Nam have both already agreed to a degree of private ownership and are consigned to the fact that even more will be necessary down the line. Cuba and North Korea are holdouts only because they have remained authoritarian, which is the only way to prevent people from demanding private ownership and eventually getting it. But China and Viet Nam will both transition from communism to social democracy within a few decades. Fidel Castro held onto power for so long because social democracy was precisely what he was trying to avoid.

        • Harry says:

          The only question is will transition be peaceful? It’s hard to imagine a peaceful outcome in China, because the communist leadership appears to be determined to resist democracy.

          • atl_man says:

            That is a good question. However, as time goes past, the hardliners from the Mao era and a couple of generations after that will go on from the scene. Pretty much everyone will only be familiar with post Nixon detente and the end of the Cold War. And there will continue to be an increasing body of work (failures in Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Viet Nam, North Korea) that command economy/central planning does not work.

            Keep in mind: a lot of what keeps these creaky regimes going is hostility to the capitalist world (meaning the United States) in their propaganda. If the populace figures out that we are not a threat to them, then what do they have? (It is kind of like how blaming the embargo for all of their problems and as evidence that American capitalists wanted to take over and put a Batista back in kept Castro in power all those years.) So I think that they will chose very slow liberalization over another Tianamen Square.

          • saltycracker says:

            The dragons have been released. China has a bunch of billionaires surrounded by hundreds of millions of peasants. No idea how it will evolve but not as Russia with a Putin and his Oligarchs. China’s leaders will prefer to economically dominate but the people might not be patient. Just pray they don’t take our lead and divert attention militarily.

        • Lea Thrace says:

          I agree and therein lies my point I suppose. Communism can only truly exist on paper. By nature of its structure it can never succeed in the real world.

    • atl_man says:

      Sorry. This became inevitable when Clinton signed the first major trade pact with China and Bush sealed the deal by allowing China into the WTO. So this is entirely bipartisan, beginning with Bush Sr.’s embrace of NAFTA (which Clinton strengthened). Anyone who wants it to quit needs to stop electing neocon (or neo-liberal) globalists. But trying to find a leader on either side that isn’t a neo (con or liberal) globalist is like finding a needle in a haystack because the press immediately labels such people as “extremists” (especially if they are GOPers) and the state and national party and the bundlers don’t give them money. (I still remember the freakout that everyone had when Rand Paul questioned the value of foreign aid, for example.) But so much as questioning globalism (economic or political) puts you on the margins of either party these days.

        • atl_man says:

          I hope so. The Ron Paul moment was nice, but the neo-cons and the mainstream media crushed it like a bug with a huge boot. Liberals/progressives who question globalism get similar treatment.

          On the left, folks are more concerned with identity politics – black/womens/LGBT/Hispanic whatever – issues to be concerned with this stuff. And on the right, unfortunately the people who PRETEND to be the ALTERNATIVE media – Fox News, talk radio etc. – are bought and paid for by the globalists. But I hope you are right.

  2. D_in_ATL says:

    60 Minutes aired a great piece of propaganda last night. Nestled in between Viagra and Depends commercials was the biggest piece of journalistic crap I’ve yet seen from MSM. This follows on that ridiculous Amazon story and the Lara Logan make-believe. I have to wonder whether anyone in corporate media actually sticks their heads outside the bubble anymore.

    • atl_man says:

      I do not watch 60 Minutes (or television at all generally save an occasional cartoon with the kids, and even that is giving way to Netflix, Amazon Prime and similar or the occasional sporting event). Please elaborate?

  3. saltycracker says:

    Thought the Pope’ s comments were interesting and worth reflection particularly the magic business. Maybe he’d be ok if capitalists were better at regulating the size of the glass.

  4. atl_man says:

    The Jan Jones crowd has the ultimate goal of forcing Atlanta to form a combined government with what is left of Fulton County after they strip away north Fulton to form Milton (and include areas that were never in the original Milton County but were always Fulton but that is neither here nor there). If the South Fulton City is created, that would render that plan moot.

    Also, it would be yet another shot across the bow of Fulton County political leadership, which is problematic (to be kind). So I really do not see a downside.

  5. atl_man says:

    The “discussion on race” in this context makes no sense. Blacks don’t support baseball. Haven’t since the 1980s. Blacks do not buy tickets, merchandise or even watch on TV.

    Also, while the “safety” nonsense is overblown – the next Braves fan who is victimized by crime will be the first – we have to ask ourselves if the Braves would have been as willing to abandon a majority black upscale area, one that is pretty much similar to the place that they are headed to now except majority black. If the Braves were leaving Prince George’s County, Maryland (65% black, median income $73,000 a year) instead of going from a clearly economically struggling area to a much better one, then we could have that debate.

    Also – and Cobb County residents and other supporters of this deal were quick to point out – it is not as if the Braves are moving to Forsyth. Cobb County is 30% black. The state average? 30.5% black. And that particular portion of Cobb, where the Braves are moving, contains a disproportionate share of Cobb’s black residents (it is very near Lisa Cupid’s majority black county commission district). So something does not have to be majority black – or in an area controlled by Democrats – in order to not include blacks. Going from a place that is 65%-75% black to a place that is 25%-35% black shouldn’t be depicted as somehow “getting away from black people.”

    The whole urban/black and suburban/white paradigm needs to be discarded because it is outdated. Far more blacks live OTP than ITP and have for well over a decade. If we are not going to ask those blacks why they “abandoned the city” then there is no justification for making the Braves move a racial incident either. But no one asks blacks who choose to move to suburbia (and are increasingly resorting to charter schools, private schools and homeschooling) why they are doing so because no one in the (mainstream) media wants to know or publicize the answer. If it becomes commonly known that Cobb’s 30% black population moved there for largely the same reason that the 70% white population did, then that makes it pretty well impossible to claim that whites leave ITP SOLELY because of racism.

    That being said, I reserve the right to call them the “Cobb County Sprawlbrave Scalawag Turncoat Traitors”, avoid them like the plague and root for them to fail because of the negative impact that their leaving has on my city. I guess I can root for them to at least make the world series, because that would help the regional and state economy, so for them to make the world series and lose in the bottom of the 9th in the 7th game over and over and over again would be the ideal scenario.

  6. xdog says:

    I believe the Braves’ move to Cobb is more a land play than a stadium play. When they get their hotel built and fill the other bars/restaurants/lounges they’ll build, the take will dwarf what the Braves generate.

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