Links 9/30/14

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HALF the world’s wild animals have disappeared in 40 years: Humankind held responsible as familiar species lose battle for survival  Daily Mail

Meet Miracle Mike, the Colorado Chicken who lived for 18 months without his head Scientific American (Robert M). Eeew.

Explore the ocean LIVE with Dr. Robert Ballard and the Corps of Exploration Nautilus Live (Chuck L)

Statistician Creates Mathematical Model to Predict The Future of Game of Thrones Physics arXiv (furzy mouse)

Japan volcano: Search suspended as eruption intensifies BBC

Hong Kong surprises itself with the exuberance and spontaneity of protests Guardian (furzy mouse)

No, Shanghai Can’t Replace Hong Kong William Pesek, Bloomberg

37 bank branches closed in Hong Kong South China Morning Post

Stunning Drone Footage Shows Just How Enormous The Hong Kong Protests Really Are Business Insider

A Look at Just How Much China’s Housing Downturn Could Hurt GDP WSJ China Real Time

Vietnam eyes US weapons Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

Draghi the Euro Breaker? Francesco Saraceno (MacroDigest)

Catalonia independence vote frozen CNN

Syraqistan

Taking Both Sides In A Civil War (Which Has Many More Sides) Atrios

US Bombed Wrong Refineries in Syria; Iran Seeks to Stop Oil Price Slide; Sanctions Won’t Impede Arctic Drilling Michael Shedlock

Why the Showdown with Islamic Extremists Is the War the Pentagon Was Hoping For Alternet. Ahem, “hoping for”?

Defense contractors already are reaping the bounty of the all new unwinnable war Daily Kos

Time for America to dump “homeland”… Thom Hartmann (furzy mouse). Someone else notice the creepy (as in parallel to Nazi Germany) massive uptick in the use of the word “homeland”. How many Americans even have real homes these days, given the level of bank predation towards mortgagees and rise in renting? This usage manages to be Orwellian on more than one level.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

New Intel Doc: Do Not Be ‘Led Astray’ By ‘Commonly Understood Definitions’ Dan Froomkin, The Intercept. The NSA has it own definitions and sees fit to use them in communicating with the public…without telling the public what its pet terms mean.

Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car New York Times (Chuck L)

MIT Sensable City Lab MIT (David L). I like this even less than the idea of my refrigerator talking to my coffee maker behind my back.

Yes, the Health Care Industry Is Conspiring to Steal Your Money Firedoglake (Chuck L)

How One Man With a Lighter Crippled America’s Air Travel System NBC

The Re-invent Democracy Platform and MMT Joe Firestone, New Economic Perspectives

Two Views of Finance Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate

Wither Markets?

Dollar’s rise threatens EM carry trades Financial Times

Small Investors Flash Warning Sign Wolf Richter

Forget Hong Kong and Pimco — junk is driving this market Yahoo Finance

Greenberg suit claims AIG was penalised Financial Times. Godzilla v. Mothra!

Class Warfare

The Pay Gap Is Much Wider Than Most Americans Think: Study Huffington Post

Income Inequality 2014: Ahead Of Midterm Elections, Harvard Study Says Americans Grossly Underestimate Inequality International Business Times. Points out election implications.

The Next Crisis – Part Three – The World Turned Upside Down Golem XIV. Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (Lance N):

Borzois Singing links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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72 comments

  1. trish

    re Income Inequality 2014: Ahead Of Midterm Elections, Harvard Study Says Americans Grossly Underestimate Inequality

    It’s workin’! Public still ignorant!

    just a quick search:

    2012: We’ve been brainwashed: It’s no accident that Americans widely underestimate inequality.
    http://www.salon.com/2012/06/14/weve_been_brainwashed/

    2010:
    Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/23/americans-support-wealth-redistribution_n_736132.html

    bet on this same story next year?

    1. barrisj

      Agreed, as reading any story in the media or online about the consequences of massive inequality or how the Forbes 400 accumulated their wealth draws a significant response with the recurring theme of “hard-working Americans hitting the jackpot and the socialists who are trying to take it away from them” or its variants. There remains deeply embedded in American culture the notion that if one is poor or lower working-class, IT’S YOUR FAULT! And the corollary to that mindset is: GET THE BLUDGERS OFF THE GOVERNMENT TIT! No, the ruling plutocracy have made sure that the anger and malaise permeating American society is diffused into all other directions other than where it should be directed. And because of that, the 1% are secure in believing that “democracy” will continue to serve their interests, as opposed to those of the 99%. Elections are but a figleaf and ruse, disguising what the reality is and will forever be.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Neocon Democrats onna roll:

    A host of Democratic Senate hopefuls who rode anti-war sentiment into office in the past decade are running for reelection now as hawks, staking out hard-line positions on the latest upheaval in the Middle East. The candidates are quick to note the differences between then and now — a years-long military mission with boots on the ground versus the airstrikes President Barack Obama has launched in Iraq and Syria in the past month.
    But it’s also true that that no one wants to get tagged as soft on terror in a conservative-tilted election year that’s seen foreign policy jump unexpectedly to the fore.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/2014-elections-senate-democrats-iraq-syria-111445.html#ixzz3EnwheidQ

    ————

    Remember … there is only one War Party.

    1. Banger

      The pols are just responding to the reality of politics. The people, once again, want war–all it took was the public beheading of an American (as the Church Lady would say “well, isn’t that convenient”) and now you have a way to enter into the Syrian Civil War! It’s just that simple! Americans do not react to these things thoughtfully and they fall for the same crap time after time after time after time. Next time there’s a lull in pressure for war just get some Arab or Russian to kill some American on a video and off go the bombers, cruise missiles and drones.

      Stop blaming the politicians–they’re prostitutes who moan on cue–if you want to blame anyone blame the mainstream media propaganda organs who won’t cover the real news.

      1. MikeNY

        I largely agree. Which is why I again and again revert to the thought that ‘small is beautiful’ in human affairs, and that we would be better off with smaller polities. Perhaps they would be more responsive to human need and voter control. At least their ability to inflict harm would be reduced…

        1. James Levy

          Take a look at Europe in 1100 or China when the central government fails (they don’t call it the Warring States Era for nothing) and you may be disabused of your assertion. Local democratic control is a good thing, but only in the context of an over-arching government that has the power to keep the peace. The guys who wrote the Constitution may have been oligarchs, but they were not dumb.

          1. Banger

            I’ve been thinking a lot about this sort of thing. Right now I’m pretty clear that the current system is hopeless and toxic on many levels. Yet, what is the alternative? If we move towards dismantling the system won’t we get something worse and fall into our own version of a Road Warrior world? As I ask myself that question a couple of things come up for me. First is that the world we live in right now is so radically different that I don’t think history can offer us any help other than tell us that we are in utterly unknown territory. Second that there does exist, already, a kind of structure underlying all the state and corporate structures, and that is the sum total of informal networks that make up the internet–nothing even remotely resembling this has ever existed. We could, theoretically create our own organizations if we had the wisdom and could removed a lot of ego needs. Of course that is unlikely.

          2. MikeNY

            Don’t you think the US is now the world’s pre-eminent ‘warring state’? I bet much of the ROW regards us as such. We certainly aren’t a peaceful hegemon.

            That said, I don’t believe there is a utopian solution. Original sin, and all that — there is a grain of truth in it. The question for me is, how to tame the mischief-making beast that the US has become in the world? And how to make democracy more responsive to human needs.

            1. davidgmills

              The US has bombed something like 27 or 28 different countries since WW2. I doubt any other country comes close to this amount.

      2. Ned Ludd

        ”Stop blaming the politicians–they’re prostitutes who moan on cue–if you want to blame anyone blame the mainstream media propaganda organs who won’t cover the real news.”

        The politicians and the media are different heads of the same war machine. It makes no sense to blame one and excuse the other.

  3. Banger

    I urge readers to read Tariq Ali’s interview with Patrick Cockburn on Syraqistan. Cockburn further illuminates what happened when ISIS attacked the Iraqi Army and why if folded up. I guessed, originally, that probably the Army officers had been bribed since many of them changed into civilian clothes and fled the scene. I had read reports that the Iraqi Army was very corrupt and that Army officers bought their commissions but figured it was just the usual corruption of many militaries around the world. I was wrong. The Iraqi Army was actually set up to be corrupt from the git-go and this amazes me.

    … a colonel of a battalion nominally of 600 men would get money for 600 men, [but] in fact there were only 200 men in it, and would pocket the difference, which was spread out among the officers. And this applied to fuel, it applied to ammunition… At the time of the fall of Mosul there are meant to be 30,000 troops there. In fact, it’s estimated that only one in three was there. Because what you did was: you joined the army, you got your full salary and then you kicked back half that salary to your officer, who spread it among the officers. So I remember about a year ago talking to a senior Iraqi politician, and who said look: the army’s going to collapse if it’s attacked. I said surely some will fight, he said: no no no, you don’t understand. These officers are not soldiers, they’re investors!

    So if Cockburn knew this and the Iraqi general knew this then the U.S. authorities knew this as well! Remember, the U.S. still has a massive presence and a huge embassy in Baghdad so they knew. It is possible, because it has happened, that the embassy was told (by someone big) to not to forward these reports so they would not appear in briefing papers. Even so, this fact would make you wonder because its pretty critical. If the U.S. knew that the Iraqi Army was fake then why did it withdraw?

    Either way you go it was obvious that ISIS would prevail in Iraq and everyone knew it–which is why ISIS felt free to attack and take over most of Sunni Iraq. Similarly, the Iranians must have known that there was no Iraqi Army though its clearer why they would want that–they want a breakup of Iraq so they can dominate the Shia areas completely rather than worry about the Sunnis and Kurds.

    It also begs the question of where the money went that was spent to train the Iraqi soldiers–if it was a fake army why was Washington spending all this money? Were officials also getting kickbacks? Or was it the private contractors that have almost completely corrupted the U.S. Federal Gov’t?

    Cockburn goes on to give a pretty good analysis of the situation there that we ought to keep in mind as things develop.

    1. James Levy

      Superb. Adrian Goldsworthy in his book How Rome Fell makes a similar argument about the late Roman Army, one that the “Late Antiquity” people hate–that all the evidence now points to rather small-scale raids and migrations during the latter years of the Western Empire and that the units listed in the Imperial records were about as solid as the ones Hitler was moving around on his maps while in the Berlin Bunker. Vast amounts of money were being disbursed from the Imperial coffers to pay for troops who could not possibly have been there because bands of 5-10,000 Germanic warriors were roaming at will through areas where multiple legions were supposed to be based. Where, Goldsworthy asks, were the legions? His best guess: on paper, being used by their officers to draw monies for non-existent soldiers. But just like in Roman times, you probably have a bureaucratic conspiracy of silence (here probably even more than over there) to cover the malfeasance.

      1. wbgonne

        I am looking for a book that details life for “average” Romans while the Empire declined. Will “How Rome Fell” work? Thanks.

        1. Jagger

          Just watch the HBO Rome series. Actually it is very good but the timeframe is not during the decline of the Roman Empire. Too bad Barbara Tuchman never did a book on the Decline of the Roman Empire.

          !!!!!Hurray, an edit button!!!!

        2. James Levy

          No. Goldsworthy is a military historian. He is interested in what the army and the central government were up to. You will find that those who do deal with the average person are hopelessly split in their interpretation of those times. The material anthropologists and economic historians will tell you that things went from bad to worse. Cultural anthropologists and intellectual historians committed to the “Late Antiquity–there was no Fall or Dark Ages” paradigm will say that things just changed. The battle is at least as much methodological and ideological as it is evidence-based.

          1. wbgonne

            Thanks for the reply. After poking around a bit I’ve ordered “The World of Late Antiquity,” by Peter Brown.

        3. Ulysses

          Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity (1971), John Curran, Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century, , (2000). are good starting points, but the bibliographic references in Goldworthy’s work are far more up to date.

    2. TedWa

      “If the U.S. knew that the Iraqi Army was fake then why did it withdraw?” Bush’s war contract with Iraq was up and the US withdrew because the Iraqi government would not give American soldiers total immunity for war crimes going forward. That’s what America wanted. Was the Iraq army a set-up and the US leaving knowing this, a spiteful act for them not allowing us to stay? Knowing that they could use that fact later? Like now. Hmmm

      1. Paul Niemi

        Look on the bright side: leaving in 2011, we saved $150 billion we would have spent up to now, if we had stayed.

      2. Banger

        Interesting. But the U.S. could have forced Maliki to change all that. Anyway, at the time, the American people wanted out at all costs.

        American soldiers really did fight for nothing other than making the situation far worse. Where I live there’s a strong presence of veterans and they are, generally, pro war and believe they fought for something in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan–they didn’t but still people “honor their service” to “preserve our freedoms” and so on and so on. The attitudes are so integral to American life in the heartland I can understand how nobody wants to talk about reality. If these guys ever sat down and through about things beyond the usual sentimental view of the armed services they’d be really, really pissed.

  4. Eureka Springs

    US Bombed Wrong Refineries in Syria

    I rather doubt this is the wrong target in Uncle Scams eye. After all we created the IS monsters and hitting Assad or wealthy Syrians oil/money supply is likely the real goal. And Uncle Scam is only happy when bombing and lying. Anyone ever hear what ultimately happened to that oil tanker in the Gulf of Mex? What about all other shipments of looted Syrian oil? Funny how these are not captured or bombed while they could be so easily tracked by satellite.

    As b at Moon of Alabama has pointed out for quite some time if US wanted to harm itself, I mean ISIS IS ISIL Qaeda Nusra Daash then they could easily see and hit large ammo supplies, tanks, trucks etc… all out in the open desert.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Well, at least we didn’t hit an aspirin factory or anything.

      Our surgical bombing has been refined to near laparoscopic precision, except when we operate on the wrong knee (so to speak).

  5. Steve H.

    Re: Golem on Law.

    “…a senior executive from Goldman was talking about all sorts of things and mentioned that Goldman’s view was that once clients were wealthy enough, certain consumer laws didn’t apply to them.”
    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/536/transcript

    “Remember Lehman? When the investment bank failed, unsecured creditors (and remember, depositors are unsecured creditors) got eight cents on the dollar. One big reason was that derivatives counterparties require collateral for any exposures, meaning they are secured creditors. The 2005 bankruptcy reforms made derivatives counterparties senior to unsecured lenders.”
    – Yves

    1. Tony

      This is incalculably stupid. The risk of having a sovereign counterparty is that they just decide not to perform. That’s what makes them sovereign. And to lament how unfair it is to break a contract? Boo hoo. Put on your grown-up pants.

      So, suppose you get this international kangaroo court. And suppose they rule that the naughty revolutionary can’t renege on the contracts signed by his deposed predecessors. The sanctions will be imposed by whom? Probably the same entities that currently sanction sovereigns for reneging on deals – other sovereigns.

      Any government – democratically elected or otherwise – is perfectly capable of reneging on a deal and paying the consequences for it. If somebody wants to write a playbook for how that’s going to happen in the future, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But to start from the assumption that reneging on a contract is somehow a moral failing or breach of ethics is plain absurdity.

    1. Jagger

      Well, it looks like we have an answer today for yesterday’s speculations on home grown Hong Kong riots or another sponsored color revolution. Wonder how much money we sunk into this project in 2013? Austerity my foot.

      ——So lets look up the usual source of such exquisite fragrance. The 2012 annual report of the U.S. government financed National Endowment of Democracy, aka the CCA – Central Color-Revolution Agency, includes three grants for Hong Kong one of which is new for 2012 and not mentioned in earlier annual reports:
      National Democratic Institute for International Affairs – $460,000
      To foster awareness regarding Hong Kong’s political institutions and constitutional reform process and to develop the capacity of citizens – particularly university students – to more effectively participate in the public debate on political reform, NDI will work with civil society organizations on parliamentary monitoring, a survey, and development of an Internet portal, allowing students and citizens to explore possible reforms leading to universal suffrage.
      So the U.S. government in 2012 (2013 numbers are not yet available) hands over nearly half a million to “develop the capacity” of “university students” related to the issue of “universal suffrage” in the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive.
      Two years after the money starts to flow from the U.S. government university students in Hong Kong provoke street riots with demands exactly on the issue the U.S. government money wanted to highlight.
      That is just some curious coincidence – right

  6. Banger

    I urge readers to check out Udo Ulfkotte currently #7 in Germany’s best seller list. He reveals that he was paid by the CIA to slant and create stories and he claims that, in the U.S., there are outlets that are run by the CIA. Here’s the video.

    This commentary from The Project Avalon Forum (Christian):

    Reaction by the mainstream? Utter silence. The author was told privately by a well-known German news anchor that there’s a complete stop on his book, that nobody is allowed to touch it and that everybody is very nervous. Allegedly, there was a secret meeting of publishers in Frankfurt last Wednesday. They agreed that whoever brings it up in the editorial offices will be put on an exit list.

    RT picked it up, and so did the second largest Spanish daily, El Mundo.

  7. Bill the Psychologist

    I subscribed this year, but it should amount to more than my past subscriptions over the year. Thanks for all your hard work. Sorry it couldn’t be more.

    BTW, the website has been lagging all morning for me. Already the wait to post this message has been 4 minutes +……..

    Just now got an “unknown error” from the website…….this is after 5+ minutes of lag.

    OK, still lagging, going to walk the dogs, it’s now 10:14, I tried to send the message at 10:09, will try again in ~40 minutes.

      1. different clue

        One could also make a habit of saying it in German every time one says it. Department of Heimland Security. like that.

  8. Max

    Someone else notice the creepy (as in parallel to Nazi Germany) massive uptick in the use of the word “homeland”

    No more than the use of the word “folks” to describe adversaries. Love that the same term is used to describe both Al Qaeda and the middle class. Or this stupefying NSA propaganda.

    1. Vatch

      Indeed! Yet, in one respect, Greenberg may make a good point:

      ‘He cited Citigroup as an example of a bank that received Fed loans at a “fraction of the interest rate” that AIG was charged, even though Citi was accused of misrepresenting the mortgage securities it sold, while AIG did not face similar allegations. Citi and other banks have paid billions of dollars to settle financial crisis-related cases.’

      Other financial corporations really were coddled by the Fed and the Treasury Department. But the solution isn’t to give money to AIG or AIG shareholders. The solution (part of it, anyway) is to prosecute the executives who caused the collapse.

  9. Jim Haygood

    This is mostly anticlimatic, since Argentina had already wandered off the reservation. But it’s now in contempt of court:

    Argentina was found in civil contempt of court by a U.S. judge as it prepares to shift control over payments of its restructured debt from New York to Buenos Aires.

    Griesa said he will rule later on a penalty. Elliott Management’s NML Capital and other hedge funds that hold the defaulted bonds asked the judge to fine the country $50,000 a day until it complies.

    “The decision by Judge Griesa has no practical effects beyond providing new elements in the defamation campaign being waged against Argentina by vulture funds,” the foreign ministry said in a statement after the ruling.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-29/argentina-found-in-contempt-of-court-by-bond-fight-judge.html

    ————

    Meanwhile, today Argentina’s dólar blue blasted to a new record of 15.75 pesos (from around 10.00 pesos at the beginning of 2014) as the Widow K’s Flake-o-nomics policy goes full retard. Onward to twenty!

    Got Franklins?

  10. barrisj

    Strictly OT, but have noticed flaky operation at NC this a.m…several “Error 520” time-out messages, and when one attempts to resend a comment, there appears a WordPress “duplicate comment” message, though the message never got posted.

      1. abynormal

        your loyal followers are here.

        Please don’t Stress Y & L…this happened last year and it was temporary.

        “When you study great teachers… you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style.” Glasser (thanks for being great teachers)

        1. Lambert Strether

          No, this is good, it flagged a problem, which is good at least when there are visible technical changes we made.

          Caveat: We don’t need to know every little slowdown, of course; it’s a big Internet. But when we’ve installed a lot of new stuff, a heads-up is useful.

          1. alex morfesis

            slowdowns are sometimes just individuals and their own cookies trying to figure out which ads to throw up and try to chase you around with (sorry about the syntax for those who curl up into a fetal position when exposed to derelict english usage). I like driving the cookie monsterz crazy by having twenty unrelated sites open at the same time and watch the little buggers on the lower left of the screen go zonkers…but every once in a while they decide to crash my computer in revenge…oh well…

      2. Propertius

        And they think you’re joking. Reminds me of my first boss who, when faced with a balky (7-track, no less) tape drive on a CDC 6600, walked over to the controller, flung the doors open, and proceeded to slam his fist quite vigorously against the logic cards therein. The drive proceeded to work perfectly, at which point he informed me “sometimes you just need to re-seat the modules.”

        If this doesn’t work, buy a bigger hammer ;-).

  11. ambrit

    Calling Dr. Tremens!
    The U of M(agonia) data hub has receded into the Outer Limits. Or, as Milton will famously say, “They are also servers who make us stand and wait.”
    Curiously, I made a comment on this thread on Chrome earlier, that does not seem to exist in this version of reality. The entire comment thread was somewhat different. Some comments there are not in evidence here. We are in a quantum entanglement?
    I just checked back on Chrome, and now it mirrors this version.
    Hmmm… Forget the zanies and wine, it’s time to get back between the buttons.
    Peace and love y’all.

  12. Lambert Strether

    If any of you were experiencing slow loads the morning, the guy we send to the back room to kick the server reported back with a technical problem, so we deactivated the new comment block in the sidebar, and reactivated the old comment block. So we’ll send the new comment block back to the shop, and hopefully find and fix the problem.

    Sorry for the slow loads, but sometimes installing new functionality at NC is a bit of a high wire act, since it’s not like there are two NC’s in the world….

  13. Brindle

    Hillary Clinton discloses her support as Sec of State for the 2009 Honduran coup. Like Libya, Iraq and Syria U.S meddling and actions have had a negative result for the inhabitants.

    —The homicide rate in Honduras, already the highest in the world, increased by 50 percent from 2008 to 2011; political repression, the murder of opposition political candidates, peasant organizers and LGBT activists increased and continue to this day. Femicides skyrocketed. The violence and insecurity were exacerbated by a generalized institutional collapse. Drug-related violence has worsened amid allegations of rampant corruption in Honduras’ police and government. While the gangs are responsible for much of the violence, Honduran security forces have engaged in a wave of killings and other human rights crimes with impunity.—-

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/9/hillary-clinton-honduraslatinamericaforeignpolicy.html

  14. Jim Haygood

    Peeps flee the tax hells of the Northeast:

    The Northeast is losing clout in Washington as citizens flee the high-tax region. The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington.

    Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent.

    While the states from Pennsylvania to Maine had 141 House members in 1950, they are down to 85 today, a drop of some 40 percent. California and Texas combined have more House representatives.

    “This result is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. This migration is shifting the power center of America right before our very eyes. The movement isn’t random or even about weather or resources. Economic freedom is the magnet and states ignore this force at their own peril,” said the ALEC report.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/northeast-loses-40-of-house-seats-as-people-flee-high-tax-states/article/2554143

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      I wish someone would mention this to the builders and construction companies in MA. They seem to chew up land and build, build, build entirely independently of buyers or shoppers. It is possible this activity is triggered by satellite data analysis indicating the presence of trees or birds or other such threatening indicators.

    2. Vatch

      Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent.

      Wow, that’s great news for Massachusetts and Connecticut. Human overpopulation is the world’s number one problem. It would be great if the rest of the country would find more ways to inhibit the cancer of growth. What we really need is ways to make the population start dropping (without kllling anyone).

      Places like Texas, Florida, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada are the new population horror zones of the United States.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If each congressional vote reflects a certain number citizens, declining populations will have fewer congressional votes.

      It would be unusual to say an area (state or region) should have the same number of congress persons if there are now half or twice as many people as before.

      The thing to be grateful about is they still have 2 senators per state as their populations continue to shrink.

      I don’t see how they are being ‘bled dry of representation in Washington.’

      Who knows, eventually, they might have one senator representing 100,000 people over there, whereas in some states, one senator has to work for 10 million people.

  15. Brooklin Bridge

    It’s somewhat doubtful the technology to remotely shut down an automobile is restricted in practice only to cars sold to high credit risk borrowers (and that is already criminal on multiple levels) and only by initial user consent expressed in the contract. Certainly there is no branch of the MSM that would make so much as a peep to disclose the information if anyone and everyone could be “shut down” at any time. The feature can probably be enabled for any automobile. If not now, as soon as the car comes equipped with wireless access (but note that is hardly the only way such a feature could be implemented).

    1. hunkerdown

      Jackie Speier, then a California Assemblywoman, proposed a bill to mandate similar technologies in all new cars to be triggered by law enforcement, apparently without the least bit of shame. She was eventually “punished” by inheriting Tom Lantos’ US Congressional seat.

      It only takes the next police chase that kills some random “middle-class” family somewhere and makes the national news to pull such things into the sphere of reasonable discourse.

    2. different clue

      As such technology becomes more widely known and feared, it could open a market niche for strictly analog cars . . . if such things haven’t been outlawed.

  16. barrisj

    While regular posting on hiatus, may I ask if this website – or WordPress – allows posting of an image in the comments box. I can’t recall ever seeing, e.g., a photo reproduced directly, only links to an image. The ability to add in an image to a comment can be quite entertaining, as I’ve seen (and done meself) on other blogs.

    Cheers

    1. hunkerdown

      Meh. It gets artlessly and excessively used before too long, in my experience. It also takes up lots of storage space, exposes attack surface on the server, and retrieving them isn’t necessarily the most efficient operation either.

      A picture is only worth a thousand words; any non-trivial image file consumes several times that space. Better to just write the original thousand and use your imagination. It’ll be great!

  17. barrisj

    The Nobel Peace Laureate and his shite military got a nice prize today, when the US and Afghanistan signed a “bilateral security pact” that ensures US “boots-on-the-ground” presence through 2024, 2024! No doubt this pact includes a SOFA clause that specifically shields US soldiers (and contractors) from Afghan law in the – of course, “rare” – event of criminal acts by the occupiers. And, naturally we also read that US defense leaders greeted the signing of the accord with enthusiasm.…no, seriously really? “…with enthusiasm”? Why not, as Afghanistan continues to provide a real-world laboratory for US COIN strategies and weaponry for development elsewhere, in Murka’s struggles to maintain “full-spectrum dominance” across the planet.


    New Afghanistan pact means America’s longest war will last until at least 2024

    Bilateral security deal ensures that President Obama will pass off the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/30/us-troops-afghanistan-2024-obama-bilateral-security-agreement

  18. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for today’s “Must read” article from Golem IV about the effort underway to grant primacy to the rights of global corporations and banks under international corporate law over democracy and sovereign nations’ laws. After reading the post, I found myself wondering about the content of the unusual two days of meetings between recently elected Indian Prime Minister Modi and Obama, together with Modi’s meetings in NYC with top U.S. corporate CEOs. It would be interesting to know whether proposals were extended in exchange for India’s support of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.

    http://www.ndtv.com/article/cheat-sheet/pm-modi-president-obama-hold-talks-at-the-white-house-10-developments-600010?curl=1412132803

  19. Yonatan

    “Time for America to dump ‘homeland’…”
    It looks like there was a cost for sneaking all the hardcore Nazis out of Germany into the US immediately after WWII.

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