To this day, whenever someone describes him or herself as "Persian", I assume their family worked for the Shah. (I realize that in that comment he only says "sympathetic to the Shah" but somehow in my memory that became "worked for the Shah", which only testifies to ogged's wiles.)
After a few blissful post-ablation years of being free of afib, I'm having episodes again, and so it was that I found myself in the Denver airport La Quinta last night with a flight to catch in the morning when, sure enough, I went into afib. I've been having episodes for a good twenty years now, and I've experienced a change in the culture from walking into the ER, showing afib on the EKG, and zap, getting the electrocardioversion and being sent on my way, to having folks in the ER being extremely reluctant to do anything about afib without a cardiologist around. I had to be particularly insistent last night to bring the two attending ER docs, who didn't want to do it, around to cardioverting me so I could get on my flight home. Because I'd Ubered over to a teaching hospital, a resident had presented me with a list of possible adverse outcomes: stroke, cardiac arrest, pulmonary edema, and a couple of others I've forgotten. Yeah yeah, I signed and said let's do it. Just before they put me under, one of the attendings came over and said, oh, there's one more thing that should have been on the list, and at the end he'd added "death."
The thing is, everyone wants to author the story of Jane. The famous director Allan Harkness called her "in one word, a French horn." The less-famous director Alan Hankress called her "in three words, a French horn." But is she? Really? Can we remove the girl from the nudity, and the actress from the horn? At least for long enough to write about it?
Via E. Messily
A pack of two EpiPens cost about $100 in today's dollars in 2004. The list price now tops $600. Some emergency medical services buying directly from medical supply companies pay even more -- upwards of $900 for a pack of two. The company said the price increases over time "reflect the multiple, important product features and the value the product provides," but declined to provide specifics about those features.
What terrible people. "Late-Stage Capitalism!" has become my newest "Christ, What an Asshole!"
via E. Messily
Nick S. writes: Odd but fascinating article.
Has a number of great anecdotes about Clinton, and does fill in a real gap in the coverage of her. At the same time, it's surprisingly poorly written compared to what I expect ftom Ezra Klein. It's poorly structured; seems too ambitious in parts and not sure how to connect the various threads. I don't think that's just a stylistic issue -- it feels like these are provisional thoughts and Klein is still mulling over the questions and what counts as an answer. But very much worth reading (for the Greenstein stories if nothing else). Also, considering the section on the press at the end, this post that Brad DeLong highlights seems connected.
Actual attachment theory, not the Dr. Sears crap. It's weird how completely absent fathers or second parents still are, whatsoever. I mean, it's 2016. I more-or-less buy the theory, though. Up until you get sub-types and sub-sub-types. (Sure, a quiz.)
Minivet writes: 17: Compliance in Asia
In Versailles, the treatment of Asian matters was so odd and lurching you get the impression all the Americans and Europeans had a very difficult time treating them as human beings, or keeping track of commitments, switching back and forth between dismissiveness and accommodation.
The big issue was the Shandong peninsula, which Japan had already taken over from German control in 1915, and now expected formal confirmation of its control. The US counseled China to speak up against Japanese occupation of Shandong, which turned out to be embarrassing because they didn't realize the Entente had already secretly promised it to Japan. A new Western proposal was made for Shandong to be a mandate, which Japan hated; because of all the trouble they were simultaneously getting from Italy over its own territorial demands, the West backed down. There was a huge wave of protest from students and other movements in China, which ended up never signing the Treaty of Versailles as a result; however, they did later sign Saint-Germain and get admission to the League of Nations.
During this time, Japan also tried for a symbolic victory that would rally China and India around it, explicitly putting racial equality into the Covenant of the League of Nations. In essence, however it was debated on the surface, the problem was that the Western leaders mostly did not believe in racial equality, the concept threatening their imperialist domains, and the Asians thought of the concept as symbolic of their recognition on the world stage rather than including absolutely everyone (like Africans). The language was heavily watered down, then passed by a majority, then vetoed by Wilson anyway.
So both China and Japan came away very angry and disillusioned with the emerging Western institutions. But Tooze cautions against reading into these events what mostly happened later: this was not the point when Japan steered a course away from liberalism. Rather, Japan's leaders wanted to be chummy with the great powers (especially the US) rather than rely on the international institutions being clumsily created. China, for its part, started looking to powers that would treat it as an equal - like the Soviet Union, which renounced its old unequal treaties and its territorial possessions in China in a 1920 agreement.
18: Fiasco of Wilsonianism
This is the big morality play in US history as taught in our high schools, where Wilson failed to get the US to ratify the League of Nations treaty, the major issue being Article X, committing members to assist other members' territorial integrity and political independence. I'm not surprised to find that this was conveyed simplistically to me in high school, painting treaty opponents as isolationists, when in fact the majority of them were now in favor of some kind of muscular international policy, just a more unilateralist, less rule-bound way. They were concerned that Article X made a commitment to be international police that cut out Congress's constitutional right to declare war (I don't see that in the article text, which is just 58 words). In the counterfactuals he's so fond of, Tooze suggests that the treaty could have been made to work if Wilson had not been so mulish about it being his sublime creation, and had sought minor concessions to appease Henry Cabot Lodge's faction. The UK and France would have hated some of the other reservations that faction had, but they could have been made to acquiesce. Tooze also suggests including at least some Republicans in the Versailles negotiating team could have smoothed things out from an earlier point.
So Wilson waged a huge campaign trying to bypass the Senate and get the American public on his side - hello, bully pulpit! - but failed, and the US never did enter the League. Wilson had a stroke (it was often his wife acting for him for his last 16 months in office), and other members of his cabinet got more of a free hand.
At the same time, with war's end, there was great economic and social turmoil - continued inflation with all the wartime spending, which could not be halted without a big economic contraction. Under the gold standard, inflation was a huge practical problem for the government because it meant gold was flowing out of the country, and it weakened the national credit as it made lenders much more skeptical of their future repayment. Across the world, there were mass strikes as workers were constantly under threat of wages not keeping up with prices, as well as race riots in the US.
But it was also another missed opportunity - unions in the US had gotten a new level of political recognition and role, but were still not really legalized. AG Palmer had been friendly to organized labor before his elevation. There could have been a different political settlement, a Wagner Act 15 years early. But instead there was a return to union-busting (federal action against the rail and steel strikes of 1919 confirming this) and they were left out in the cold once more. The Palmer Raids, Red Scare, etc. were part of this.
I assume another reason there was such a delay in hiking interest rates, given prevailing norms, was that nobody wanted to be politically responsible for the recession that would result, and if possible waited for other countries to take the lead. The US eventually started it in January 1920, hiking interest rates way up: prices collapsed, with wages following several months later; lower prices of course greatly harmed small farmers, who were a precariat for years to come (helping fuel the KKK). Europe was to follow this deflationary path (next chapter).
The Democrats bore the brunt politically, with Harding beating the Democratic nominee Cox by a 26-point margin, and the Republicans winning a supermajority of the House. But Tooze emphasizes the Republicans, who would be in the White House the rest of the decade, were not isolationists but "triumphant nationalists", who were willing to intervene muscularly - if unilaterally - on the world stage. They also didn't really care that their policies would slow European recovery, with tariff hikes reducing European export power, and hawkish interest rate policy and a new influx of gold choking off the extension of international credit from New York.
Tooze never mentions the flu epidemic or, in this chapter, women's suffrage; I'm curious how all that played into these years.
Also, don't miss the sincerely-meant "even the progressive New Republic opposed the treaty"!
Everybody seems to love Pokemon Go. This made it sound appealing-ish.