Links 1/14/16

Ringling Bros. Circus Elephants To Retire By May 2016 NationofChange (furzy)

The Bigger Story Behind the Killing of Cecil the Lion That the Media Overlooked Alternet

Kangaroo in ‘grieving’ photos may have killed while trying to mate, scientist says Guardian (DR. Kevin)

200-year-old shipwreck found during hunt for missing Malaysian plane (+video) Christian Science Monitor

Pilots rely too much on automated tech, DOT says Engadget (guurst)

Copyright law shouldn’t keep me from fixing a tractor. Slate (resilc)

Aldi joins Coles and Woolies in microbead ban Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Need Surgery, Will Travel New Republic (resilc). I know people who go to Eastern Europe for serious dental work. You get German materials, which if anything are better than we use here, and you can find dentists and oral surgeons every bit as good if you know where to go.

To Better Cope With Stress, Listen to Your Body New York Times (David L). Junk science alert! A reader challenge to identify some of the reasons why.

Jakarta

Multiple Explosions Hit Indonesian Capital of Jakarta Wall Street Journal

Six Killed as Massive Blasts, Gunfire Rock Jakarta, Indonesia NBC (furzy)

ISIL claim responsibility for deadly Jakarta gun and bomb attacks euronews (furzy)

Mr. Market is Still Very Unhappy

Stocks Take a Beating as Alarm Grows Wall Street Journal. That was the story as of yesterday’s close in the US. This is the pre-opening update: Stocks Resume Slide on Oil Concerns

Asian Markets Follow U.S. Lower New York Times

Markets in for slower and bumpier climb Financial Times. Notice the “don’t lose faith” subtext.

China?

China Shares on Track to Close in Bear-Market Territory Wall Street Journal

Chinese Debt Bubble About to Burst Real News Network (Sid S)

Official: Draghi confirms the colonial mechanism of the euro-dictatorship failed evolution

Warsaw’s EU spat stalls German-Polish engine Politico

Poland is backsliding on democracy, and the EU is powerless to stop it Slate

Why UK’s EU referendum will be nothing like the last Politico

Refugee Crisis

North Africa Exports Rape Culture to Germany World Affairs Journal (resilc)

Syraqistan

Iran: Lifting the veil on Tehran’s cultural life France24

Iraq and the Kurds Are Going Broke New York Times

2016

Clinton attacks produce windfall of campaign cash for Sanders Washington Post. So if you REALLY want to poke a stick in Hillary’s eye, do so now by giving to Bernie! This is a way to punish her for telling lies, when in the past telling lies has been hugely profitable for her and Bill.

Will scandals simply overwhelm Hillary Clinton? Reuters. Resilc: “CSI Clintoon is a new show this spring.”

Why Is Hillary Clinton’s Polling Slipping? Atlantic (resilc)/ Great title but the rest of the article undercuts it, trying to say that either the polls are wrong or the Bernie bump is temporary.

“The Big Short” and Bernie’s Plan to Bust Up Wall Street Robert Reich

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump running neck-and-neck in Iowa.

Donald Trump’s Iowa Ground Game Seems to Be Missing a Coach New York Times

Ted Cruz financed Senate campaign with Goldman, Citibank loans. Slate (furzy)

Ted Cruz Didn’t Disclose Loan From Goldman Sachs for His First Senate Campaign New York Times

Rick Perry lobbying for Florida dental insurance company. Slate

2016 Primary Calendar and Results New York Times

Jeb Bush’s leadership PAC is trolling Donald Trump. Again. Washington Post

On Ted Cruz’s dismissal of ‘New York values’ Washington Post

Angry White Men

Oregon Standoff Update: Ammon Bundy Armed Ranchers Occupation Costs Government $75K Daily, Judge Says International Business Times

Treasonous Bundy-led militia prepare to open kangaroo court Boing Boing (resilc)

U.S. Church Puts 5 Banks From Israel on a Blacklist New York Times

Multnomah County approves $9.6 million settlement with controversial mortgage registration firm Portland Tribune (Steve M)

Al Jazeera America to shut down in April CNN

Delayed oil projects total nears $400bn Financial Times

Class Warfare

Pay Is a Battle Ground as Bankers Don’t Accept Cuts, Thiam Says Bloomberg

U.S. Will Track Secret Buyers of Luxury Real Estate New York Times

Are luxury condo purchases hiding dirty money? (+video) Christian Science Monitor

Uber is getting dangerously close to undermining its own business model Quartz (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Zane: “Wednesday afternoon at our basement window in Rochester, Minnesota, about 17 blocks from the Mayo Clinic. The tomcat’s name is Peaches. The deer did not share her name.”

deer and cat links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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213 comments

  1. petal

    Local coverage of Bill Clinton’s campaign stops yesterday.

    One from another station.

    One from another station.

    Hoping to have a firsthand report from tonight’s Bernie Sanders town hall at Dartmouth tomorrow morning. Cheers.

  2. juneau

    Al Jazeera: good riddance. I can never disassociate their network from their video of the web publicized kidnapping and murder of WSJ Journalist Daniel Pearl. I suppose it is unfair to their current employees and their apparently stellar reporting. Just cannot forget.

  3. abynormal

    CNN sure expressed exuberance in their video announcement. i’ve tuned into A J late night ‘specialty’ segments…huge boots on the ground journalism! Had Ta Go…maybe:

    “Al Jazeera said it would not give up on the American market entirely. The memo indicated that the company plans to “expand its existing international digital services” in the United States, with more details to be released in the coming months.”

    The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.
    Carl Sagan

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      The story on the AJ website led with the fact they’ll be expanding their coverage digitally during the coming year; the part about the US site closing was at the end of the story. It’s telling that all the mainstreamers jumped on that part and buried the part about how eventually all the people who couldn’t get AJ directly because they didn’t want to pay for premium cable they wouldn’t otherwise use will soon be able to do so.

      Funny how that worked out.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I understand there are portable vagina and oral cavity simulators available out there too. And of course all kinds of lubricants. Why just send manshapes to the idiots? Maybe some “release” would get rid of the evil unbalanced humours that are plaguing these sorry souls?

    2. Rex

      One wonders if the government is using the Bundy occupation as a magnet to lure wanted militia into surfacing for arrest. They should give an ultimatum for the group to leave, then follow with actions. Cut off utilities, deny resupply (material support for terrorism?), cordon the scene and prevent entry, jam cell phone traffic, etc. The cold would soon bring some results. The kid glove approach for white ‘ranchers’ is getting to be embarrassing, IMO. Though it does seem to pay off in embarrassment for the movement.

      1. Gio Bruno

        My guess is that the NSA has been monitoring the Yeehawdists conversations and compiling a list of potential federal crimes/conspiracy complaints for federal court. When the lawyers get the specific evidence they need these “radicals” will find themselves seeking legal counsel that has Federal Court certification.

        1. JTMcPhee

          It would be interesting to bookmark this notion/prediction and come back and see if that happens. Kind of like the predictions that so many young bucks in the Casino would be trading the contents of their flash drives for more lenient sentences when the G-men prosecuted the fokkers who crashed the thing we call an economy for pleasure and moolah and giggles…

        2. Andrew Watts

          Why would the NSA need to be involved? The FBI has the sovereign citizen movement and militias thoroughly infiltrated. HUMINT > SIGINT in this case. Nobody is under any imminent danger.

          Everybody needs to chill out and send them more dildos and gay porn. The potential for psyops is virtually unlimited when it comes to religious extremists.

      2. hunkerdown

        1. That the occupiers have zero allies off the ranch.
        2. That no possible government action will create any blowback from the occupiers or allies.
        3. That the occupiers + allies + anyone else accept or acknowledge your self-appointment as referee and master of framing, and will comply with your directives, or anyone’s outside their own.
        4. That people want to establish a precedent whereby whingey bourgies shouting “COOTIES” decide who lives and dies.
        5. That the government necessarily has the upper hand in the whole matter here, especially after repealing COOL regulations.
        6. That there is any moral value more important than obeying your betters.
        7. That acting like vindictive, conformist fourth-graders ganging up on the slow kid isn’t embarrassing.

        Seems like you’ve got about seven things to explain away or address head-on (gasp!) before your comment applies to the situation. I mean, does the bourgeoisie have any answer to problems other than having the cops beat the underclass [as the occupiers no doubt fancy themselves] harder?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Hmm. The Bundys are ranch owners, right? Sounds to me like they fall right into the “whingey bougie” bucket, especially given the subsidies they collect (and their attitude toward public land).

          That doesn’t mean I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the “progressive” framing and/or snark; it’s all based on cultural markers and there’s no politics behind it but tribalism.

          All that said, I love the dildo shipment and the 55-gallon drum of lube. That’s GENIUS! And a man needs something to oil his gun with, so it’s truly generous, considered in the right light….

          * * *

          I sympathize with the idea of occupation; I really do. But it seems to me there’s a ton of projection going on; if (just to pick one scenario) the United States breaks up into warring states, these guys aren’t going to end up being the warlords; they’re clowns.

    3. Pookah Harvey

      Here’s a video taken by Pete Santilli, member of the militia take-over and conservative talk show host who has been acting as a Bundy spokesman, at a Harney County community meeting. Bundy has stated he’s there for the locals. Check out the locals response to Pete.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC1D-jHvyCU

    4. GlobalMisanthrope

      Anybody know how many of them are out there? I’d like to send them each a DVD of “Falling Down.”

      1. Andrew Watts

        No more than 20-30 people from what I’ve heard. It depends on the time of day. The total number shifts and varies because some have located themselves in Burns part-time. There is also a few of the wives and children of the militants.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The world would have been a lot different had we evolved to procreate by hugging.

      “I feel an urge to hug you.”

      “Safe hugging. Put a plastic bag between when you hug.”

      “Hug you!!!”

      “No, hug you!!!”

      :”You dumb hug.”

      But no need for dildos in that world.

  4. Kokuanani

    Bernie ought to establish a separate category for contributions that come in because of the lies of CHELSEA Clinton. Her talk was really shameful.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I think it is hysterical than she is being sent to New Hampshire as if that will help! First, she reminds everyone that the Clintons are dynastic. Second, she’s lived a totally pampered life, which generally does not go over well in generally poor and temperamentally frugal New England (in Maine, for instance, older women who are natives rarely dye their hair or wear makeup. They’d all be mistaken for aging dykes in New York but his is just women being allowed to look old up there).

      And trying to appeal to the youth vote, where Bernie also has a demonstrated advantage, is likely to backfire. And that’s before you get to the fact that New Hampshire is one of the oldest states in the US. Median age is 41.1 years, well over the median of 36.8 for the US overall and higher even than for Florida.

        1. Pavel

          I guess Chelsea’s indifference to money explains that “job” she had at NBC (IIRC it was that station) for $600,000/year doing pretty much nothing. Nice work if you can get it — or if you’re related to one ex-prez and one candidate for prez.

          That indifference also explains pissing away $3 million on her own wedding. I wonder how much of that came from “donations”?

          That entire family epitomises greed and dishonesty and has done for decades now. Go back to the very beginning when Hillary turned $1000 into $100,000 via dubious futures trading — and didn’t report report the gains on her income tax.

          Grrrr.

          1. allan

            And then there are her ongoing gigs at NYU, first as
            `assistant vice provost for the Global Network University’
            and then as `co-founder and co-chairwoman of New York University’s Of Many Institute, a program for “multifaith” education, which “supports a new generation of religious and civic leaders who, deeply rooted in their own religious and spiritual traditions, reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together.” ‘

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Many people were shaking their heads over her futures trading prowess in 1992.

            These people were looked upon as either jealous (or evil, or something) or not being able to focus on the bigger issues (must compartmentalize).

            Then, later, “Let him go back to business of running a nation.”

        2. Liz

          The gem of the Daily News article: C. Clinton lives in a $10.5 million dollar apartment in Gramercy Park!!!

        3. Optimader

          Well… Naturally the more you have, particularly that which you did not earn, the less one might “care” about it. For chelsea it is basically a bottomless entitlrment bucket.
          An amazingly dead political ear (but at candid w/ her perception, if not incredibly naiive).

          I hope she doubles down on her charm campaign for HRC. Maybe how much it costs to hire a pediatrician as a live in nanny?

        4. afisher

          She is living the same pampered live style that every other 1%er gets…let’s remember that DT has his own gaggle, must like Romney.

          1. optimader

            fwiw, no. more like 0.1-0.01%

            Decapitating (for tax purposes) the 1% end of the curve (rather than the <0.1%) are wage derived income rather than dividend (rentier) derived income. The right side of the curve is where the middle class was plundered to in the unsustainable manner we have observed.
            Someone can sharpen this up
            Ref:
            http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-02-14/there-s-rich-then-there-s-the-0-01-

            I doubt that ANY wage derived income folk are hosting seven figure wedding soirees?

            1. optimader

              make that
              Decapitating (for tax purposes) the 0.1% end which is predominated with wage derived income is where the rubber meets the road.

              That really got mauled in my GUI

        5. jrs

          It’s not about caring about money for most people, it’s about survival. Caring about money as such, to pursue more like a wall street trader or something for money’s sake, itself speaks of VAST privilege.

        1. Jim Haygood

          I’d like to be their pizza guy …

          *hands Chelsea their pie*

          ‘Thank you. Here’s a hundred tip, Jeeves … errr, Jim.’

          *pats me condescendingly on the head as Marc fields a call from Goldman Sachs*

          ‘Now bugger off, Jim, and don’t spill your guts to the journos about whether I’m “showing”.’

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I am just wondering how much of this is because we have an alternative to Hilary, even though I have never been impressed by her.

          2. nigelk

            You think they actually answer the door when a pleb comes to deliver provisions?

            These people deserve all the contempt. ALL of it.

          3. Lexington

            *hands Chelsea their pie*

            ‘Thank you. Here’s a hundred tip, Jeeves … errr, Jim.’

            More like absentmindedly takes the pizza while checking her engagement calendar on her iPhone, then closes the door in your face. No tip.

            To these people “in service providers” (Robert Reich’s term of art for service economy droids) are like furniture, and treated accordingly.

            Except like nigelk says, in this world people don’t answer their own doors. How outré.

      1. Pavel

        Ha ha, Politico is reporting that Citizens United is now asking for Chelsea’s emails as well.

        Citizens United sues for Chelsea Clinton emails

        The conservative group Citizens United filed a lawsuit Thursday demanding access to emails Chelsea Clinton exchanged with five top aides to her mother, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, while she served as secretary of state.

        “We want to see much more about what Chelsea Clinton was up to because she now has put herself out there on the campaign trail, along with Bill Clinton, as a lead surrogate,” Bossie said. “She is somebody who has been a player, a senior adviser to her mother….She is an officer, somebody with fiduciary responsibility at the Clinton Family Foundation.”

        Some emails between Chelsea and her mother have already emerged during the release of tens of thousands of messages Hillary Clinton kept on a private server as secretary. One exchange featured prominently at a House hearing in October where Hillary Clinton testified about the lead-up and response to the deadly attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. In those messages, Hillary Clinton told her daughter (who used the pseudonym “Diane Reynolds” when emailing State) that the attacks were carried out by “an Al Queda-like group.” Committee Republicans said that statement was at odds with what Clinton and other administration officials were saying publicly at the time, namely that the assault was the product of spontaneous anger and protest over an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.

        Chelsea, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and go back to your $600K/year job at NBC.

        1. Pat

          I’m not sure that job exists anymore. She was so embarrassing on camera it was pathetic. I think they got the five or six stories she was supposed to do and they have now parted ways.

          I suppose it was a decent gamble, the Jenna Bush thing has worked out for them.

          No, she will have to make due with the paid speeches and the cushy job with the Clinton Foundation. (Where I’m sure if we were able to look into it, she is paid over $17,000/week for being named Clinton and nothing more.)

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe she thought an AQ-like group could be spontaneously angry, upon viewing some profane video.

          If that’s all the Republicans got, Hilary should have no problem keeping Chelsea out. They need more or we need more.

  5. Carolinian

    Here’s an interesting story about the legal ramifications of drone use and the case where a homeowner downed a neighbor’s drone with a shotgun.

    The drone was owned by John Boggs, a hobbyist, who told authorities he was trying to take pictures of the scenery. He argues in a lawsuit filed this month in U.S. District Court in Louisville that Merideth did not have the right to shoot the craft down because the government controls every inch of airspace in America.

    The FAA claims privacy concerns are not part of its mandate. However Peeping Tom laws could apply. Ultimately the Supreme Court may have to decide.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/01/13/you-may-be-powerless-to-stop-a-drone-from-hovering-over-your-own-yard/

    1. craazyboy

      I think there are laws about discharging firearms into the air…because the bullets or shot invariably fall back to earth at some point.

      1. diptherio

        Use of firearms within city limits is generally prohibited, except in case of zombie apocolypse. Even here in backwoods Montana, we only allow archery in town. If’n ya want to shoot yer boomstick, ya gotta take it outta town. But yes, you are allowed to hunt deer in town…with a bow. I bet you could get away with harvesting a few drones that way too.

        1. optimader

          Even here in backwoods Montana, we only allow archery in town

          Interesting, I think if I had the unenviable choice, I’d rather be the unlucky recipient of errant buckshot at 60yards than one of those nasty razor barb tipped hunting arrows. Ouch! :oO

      2. optimader

        I’d expect discharging a paintball gun would be legally considered a much more benign infraction compared to discharging a shotgun in a prohibited location.*
        As well, for the purpose of disabling a drone, a paintball gun potentially has a range advantage over a 12ga w/ birdshot.

        * (That said, if one were to shoot that shotgun straight-up, allowing the shot reach it’s maximum elevation, the kinetic energy of the shot falling back down at terminal velocity is inconsequential-(think hail). Unlike, say, shooting your fellow birdstalker in the face wherein the potential energy of the explosive charge predominates -or- a more massive projectile falling at terminal velocity (think artillery shell)……F=MA.)

          1. optimader

            should have truncated
            “Unlike, say, shooting your fellow birdstalker in the face…”
            -to-
            “Unlike, say, Cheneying fellow birsstalkers…”

            I claim all rights and privileges to this new descriptive adjective and assign free use to all in the future.
            Afterall, it’s more succinct..

  6. Croatoan

    RE: “To Better Cope With Stress, Listen to Your Body”

    First, there is NO case where anxiety is good for the body. If you are using it to “get things done” you are simply killing yourself for your job. I could post a hundred pubmed links on the topic but we all know it is obvious.

    Second, they are making the assumption that the “over reaction” is a bad thing! Their reaction might be the correct reaction and a NORMAL response to the threat, and the people who do not respond might actually die at a higher rate when they try to be “resilient”. The assumption here is that we are SUPPOSED to be calm and docile in the face of a threat (for example, a banker or a boss). I say: nope.

    This article is a plant by corporatists who are trying to convince you all that THEY, the actual threat, are not the problem, you are just OVERREACTING and need to meditate and be mindfull, “tell me how you feel”, and calm down and get your work done. They are just tryingto find ways to extract more rent from you before you die.

    Maybe we should be less resilient, yeah?

    But on the science, I will say it is trash because the participants were “self reporting” their lower internal awareness. But why wouldn’t they have lower internal awareness? Why the hell would I look at how I am feeling when a tiger is attacking me? Did Ben Carson do this study? Sheesh.

      1. Croatoan

        Ask yourself, when you walking deep in nature; “Do I see chaos or order?”, and you will understand why man destroys nature. It is perfectly uncontrolled order.

    1. Jay

      I don’t understand the need to single this out as “junk” science. Scientific studies are routinely reported to mean far, far more than they actually prove, so there’s nothing new there. That’s just the way science is reported, and then what happens is that scientists join in to the trend to exaggerate the significance because it gets them attention.
      But it’s an interesting study.
      And what do you mean , “they are making the assumption that over-reaction is a bad thing.”? I think it’s fairly accepted that we over-reacting to every little stressor in our modern environment—i.e. activating “fight and flight” when most of which are not physically dangerous–contributes to a heightened state of anxiety and to long term health consequences.
      So what is wrong with trying to study ways to do less of that. To me it makes sense that listening to the body is a major, perhaps first step to being able to deal more effectively with stress.
      As someone who’s had type one diabetes for 40 years, –a dangerous, stressful condition with both immediate risks and long term risks that are unavoidable—and yet I’m in quite good health, listening to my body has been key. Working on ways to listen to my body has been key, and saved my life. So I call bullshit on the idea that this is necessarily some corporate plant article.

      1. Jay

        ….and sorry for grammatical errors in this reply. I’m typing in a hurry. I’m still mystified by the thought process behind singling this out as junk science. Is it because it addresses the mind-body connection? Is it that pointing in the direction of greater awareness of your own body leads to woo-woo acceptance of something so weird and strange as meditation or, spirituality? Or is it something more prosaic than that?
        I am curious.
        Gotta run.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Hint: go look at how the study was done and the assumptions. That is what I am trying to train readers to do, rather than just accept the headlines and the assertions about what a study “proves”.

          1. Jay

            That’s a reasonable goal. I completely agree with you there….and I admire and enjoy this site and the work that you do immensely, Yves!!!!
            It seems to be the default way of reporting scientific studies in the press, as if one study “proves” some very broad assumption or set of assumptions.

            That said, I wouldn’t call it junk science. I’d just call it a study in which the scientists have discovered some fascinating correlations and which they’ve come up with claims that deserve to be part of the mix, and argued with, tested further, etc.

            Which is what science is supposed to be. A single study presents part of the picture, a very small part, usually. Add them up, over decades, study and argue about them and try to figure out the big picture, and things slowly come together to reach conclusions, which still can often be disputed in small or big ways depending on the differing assumptions that we all bring to the picture. You can’t really prove that much with one study like this.

            To really make any cogent arguments about the methodology of the study you’d have to read the paper.

            To me the biggest red flag in this study seems to be the assumption that this ability to tamp respond to stressors successfully by tuning in to the body (and being in a mask that makes it hard to breath is stress) applies to such a large concept as resilience, I suppose.

            But I don’t see any claims in the article that this “proves” it. It just sets it up further questions to be studied. It’s such a rich field of inquiry.
            I would also want to know more about the neuroscience behind the claim that they make that some people are “listening” to the body and others, not so much. But the only way to know if that’s valid or deeply significant would be to, again, read the paper, and also, probably, to have some experience in the field. So either you take them at their word or you don’t.

            To me, the hunch behind designing the study is perfectly reasonable.

            It is, however, very likely based on questions raised by the desire to study the effects of practices such as meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness, which often involve heightened body awareness.

            So I get the idea behind questioning the reporting of studies like this in the press, I guess I still don’t see how this really stands out that much. And reading the comments of other responders (“this study is garbage”) I sense a very strong bias against the idea or even legitimacy of inquiring into the body-mind connection, at least in some of the comments.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        THIS STUDY IS GARBAGE!

        First, the sample is only 48 people. That’s already garbage. Too small a sample.

        Second, it’s not clear the study was double-blinded, so researcher bias could have influenced the results. The way the study was set up, they were looking for a body control connection and they found it! How tidy.

        Third, they assert that athletes and special ops people are better at “handling” stress. Do they have any actual proof that an elite athlete is subject to more stress than say, a short order waitress, which actually has been studied as a high stress job? And do they have proof that they are minimizing the physical costs, like studies of their telomere length (which will show wear on DNA) v. ordinary people? Many athletes actually break down physically in middle age due to the wear and tear. They are not a notably healthy population, despite how great they look in their prime. I have no idea re special ops type either way.

        Fourth, the control group is subject to stress where they are required to be able to swing into PHYSICAL action quickly. Both athletes and special ops people are physical competitors; special ops people are screened for a high baseline physical condition. They almost certainly have to be in contact with their bodies because both are athletes. That may have NADA to do with the stress management component, assuming they do it better. Most people who are subject to stress instead are faced with whether to react verbally first and then physically. You can imagine completely different centers of the brain might be involved.

        Fifth, self assessment is garbage. Go look at Dunning Kruger Syndrome as one example.

        Sixth, not that one should generalize from anecdotes, but my personal experience contradicts the study.

        1. Jay

          Oh..I just saw that this is you too,Yves. Sorry, I just disagree. I’m not a scientist, I’m a musician. But to me, a basic part of mastery of things that involve the body involves working very closely with awareness of the body in some way, so it makes sense to me as a premise.
          These are all reasonable enough objections, so I won’t even argue with most of them. But the basic finding that people who were most able to respond successfully to the stress of barely being able to breath were the ones that were closely monitoring their bodies is compelling to me. I don’t know what it proves beyond that simple observation, I don’t see how you need a sample size much larger than 48 to see a pattern there.
          I’m guessing what you mean by double blind in this case would be for those who interpret the results/readouts to not be invested in the body control connection or not know what kind of result they are looking for? Granted, that would be nice. However, I don’t see the body control connection is such an extraordinary claim to make.

          Other than I’m highly suspicious of most broad conclusions reported by scientific studies and just enjoy perusing and parsing them and watching the parade go by.

        2. dk

          Sorry, this has been bothering me for days.

          Fifth, self assessment is garbage. Go look at Dunning Kruger Syndrome as one example.

          Please reexamine Dunning Kruger, that’s not at all what their studies found. Competent people could assess their own level of skill accurately. They tended to under-assess the difficulty of their own skill; their self-assessment was accurate, their relative assessment less so.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Huh? If you are talking about relying on self-assesment as the basis for making a study, Dunning Kruger proves it’s garbage. My comment stands.

            The only way to establish who made an even remotely accurate self-assessment was by making an INDEPENDENT, OBJECTIVE check and then comparing the two. With a large subset making a 180 degree inaccurate self-assessment, it demonstrates that self-assessment is unreliable. Similarly, 80% of drivers rate themselves as above average.

            Moreover, this test had the participants make a relative assessment! It was clearly relative to an implicit norm.

            1. Skippy

              Sorry Miss Legs…

              “Competent people could assess their own level of skill accurately.”

              Wow just another failed attempt to ascribe “rational” actors seeking utility or something, which at the end of the day is a rhetorical dead end.

              Skippy… its like determining if Christians sitting in the iron chair stoked red hot were competent people assessing their own individualism.

          2. craazyman

            since none of youze guys are good at self-assessment, I’ll assess all of youze

            You all have horrible calendar reading skills!

            This is from 3 day ago!

            Isn’t it so over by now?

  7. allan

    Unprecedented: Simultaneous January Named Storms in the Atlantic and Central Pacific [Weather Underground]

    The earliest named storm on record in the Central Pacific, Hurricane Pali, formed on January 7, and now the Atlantic has joined the early-season hurricane party, with Subtropical Storm Alex spinning up into history with 50 mph winds in the waters about 785 miles south-southwest of the Azores Islands. The average date of the first named storm in the Atlantic is July 9; the Central Pacific also typically sees its first named storm in July.

    So, humanity is making Gaia step up her game. Is there a problem?

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        In the French novel “Colère” (rage) the earth is likened to a dog shaking off fleas. That is, us.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Medical tourism.

    Its a very interesting topic – I’m surprised more Americans don’t use it as the cost of many medical procedures are a fraction of US costs around the world. Even in the UK its not uncommon for people to travel for procedures where there is an NHS waiting list (hip replacements in particular), and I know medical professionals in Ireland and the UK who have gone to Hungary for dental work. It used to be common for British and Irish to go to France for eye laser surgery, it was a fraction of the price for whatever reason (I suspect sometimes doctors are free-loading on public equipment).

    Its particularly common on Asia. Bangkok is full of people undergoing medical treatments from China and neighbouring countries. In some respects, this makes sense – a concentration of medical facilities results in better outcomes – I met several Bhutanese who travelled to Bangkok and Kolkata for cancer treatments – Bhutan is simply too small to support a full range of cancer facilities, so the government actually underwrites the trip.

    But ultimately of course, its a way for the wealthy to get better treatment, or to avoid facing up to the poor quality treatment in their own countries – many Chinese, and not just wealthy ones, do not trust their own hospitals and will pay out of their own pockets to get treatment in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.

    1. guest

      But ultimately of course, its a way for the wealthy to get better treatment

      It goes both ways.

      In Switzerland, for instance, which has an excellent though expensive health care system, trips to Hungary for major dental treatment have become popular to take advantage of lower costs there. Dental treatment costs are not reimbursed under the standard health insurance (compulsory for everybody, with exactly the same coverage for medical procedures across all insurance providers, by law), and optional, complementary insurance packages including orthodontic care are very expensive.

      Simultaneously, hospitals are setting up VIP suites for wealthy patients from Gulf States and Russia coming to Switzerland to be treated by the best surgeons and medical specialists. The objective is of course to make a profit from those “premium” customers.

      A similar situation exists in the UK, with people travelling to Asian countries (Thailand already mentioned, I read about India too) for the more expensive treatments not requiring long hospital stays, while UK health facilities are geared up to accommodate rich patients from other countries.

      Because of widely differing legal rules, there is also a lot of medical tourism across Europe when it comes to fertility treatment — artificial insemination, genetic check-ups, egg donors, surrogate mothers, etc.

      It seems that there is a significant, albeit still not too visible, medical tourism of US citizens going to Mexico for faster medical consultation and cheaper drugs — from what I understand it is a word-of-mouth thing — the Hungarian dentistry in Europe has been a matter of open ads (e.g. in newspapers) for many years.

      Health care is a business, so it increasingly caters for rich foreigners instead of the local population. Where might Thais and Hungarians go for their dental treatment?

    2. Goyo Marquez

      Re: Medical care arbitrage
      FWIW Here, on the Mexican border in rural California, across from a Mexican city of close to a million, the local school district offered teachers the option, cheapest option available, of Mexican health insurance. From what we’ve heard the facilities and doctors associated with the Mexican health insurance are pretty nice. Down side? Some suggested that if you have to go to an ER in the U.S. they’ll ship you to Mexico rather than treat you.

      Another teacher reported that some insurance companies pay for their members to be treated in other countries. Vancouver was mentioned. Rumor has it they’ll fly you and a guest, put you up in a really nice hotel while you’re being treated, and they still save money.

      In neoliberal economic terms, there are obviously barriers to competition for medical services in the United States.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Friends of mine in Phoenix drive down to Yuma AZ and walk across the border to San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, where there are dozens of dentists.

        They had a reco for a U.S.-trained dentist in San Luis, and are extremely pleased so far after several visits.

        Their Phoenix dentist hates it that they shopped for price. It’s … it’s … undignified and unprofessional to have to compete! Not that U.S. dentists can compete, with U.S. overheads, insurance, regulation, etc.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In Shohei Imamura’s “In search of unreturned soldiers in Thailand,’ he interviewed one such ex-soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army in Thailand, who was practicing medicine as a living there.

      That was made some time in the late 60’s to early 70’s. Apparently, he bought his license to practice medicine, I think one of his compatriots claimed that. I wondered too about how he could have passed the examination there.

  9. Benjamin

    You link to an article that is exploiting the horror of the Cologne attacks (and police inaction) for anti-immigrant purposes. To illustrate, that article links to a Reuters report that says, “In Cologne, where a 100-strong force of officers continued their investigations, around 40 percent of the complaints included sexual offences, including two rapes”—in a city of over a million people.

    As horrible as the harassment and attacks are, the media is presenting this like some type of sexual invasion in plainly racist terms. NC should not be joining in the chorus.

    As an aside, the orientalist “Syraqistan” header is obnoxious, as well.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      So if a woman is groped but not raped, that’s supposed to be fine? Seriously? There were widespread reports of women being groped, and not just a harmless little butt pinch in a crowd, but pushed, grabbed, with I suspect a decent proportion very much afraid it would get worse. There are even reports of women with a date being groped by multiple men and their date being unable to stop it.

      If you think that’s OK, you can go to hell And that goes double for your concern trolling.

      1. Benjamin

        I did not say it’s okay; I did not even suggest that any of it is okay. I apologize if that was how the comment came across. Also, I wouldn’t agree that a “little butt pinch in a crowd” is “harmless,” and I seriously doubt that the two reported rapes are the only ones that took place. My point is that the horror of the attacks is being exploited for an anti-immigrant agenda, and the article you linked to, while ostensible “nuanced” in its distinction between the Levant and North Africa, is playing right into the chorus.

        Perhaps a clearer illustration is the conflation of acts of theft with sexual assaults to create an aggregate number of “attacks.” The “neutral” and “balanced” Reuters even put Donald Trump at the top of their story for good measure.

        1. Lambert Strether

          We pay attention to links that readers suggest. Do consider providing alternative sources, which, in addition to saving a good deal of time, would actually add value to the thread. Thanks.

        2. GlobalMisanthrope

          You make a good point about the numbers. It tracks with a point I’ve been trying to make (but moderators won’t let my comments on the subject through—we’ll see what happens this time) about the lack of context in the reporting, given that sexual harassment is apparently a big problem in Germany.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve seen no evidence that the media have used racist terms in portraying this – quite the contrary, there seemed an understandable reluctance to overemphasise the background of the alleged perpetrators. Are we supposed to ignore the fact that this seemed to have been deliberately organised, and that most of the men seem to have been North African?

      There is clearly a problem, and refusing to discuss it for fear of sounding racist is not helping anyone, especially the majority of decent refugees who I’m sure are as horrified as anyone else. This cannot be allowed happen again, and the only way it can be prevented is finding out exactly what occurred.

      1. Benjamin

        If you Google “Cologne attacks,” nine of the first ten stories that come up put the refugee/immigrant question in their headline.

        From what I gather, the police have done a terrible job at addressing the problem, and even turned a blind eye to it—but the approach that emphasizes ethno-religious/national origins/culture is designed to address it through deportation, not other prevention or enforcement measures.

        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          Get it together. Cologne is in Germany. The allegations of police covering up sexual assaults was in Sweden.

          And, anyway, if the assaults were by North Africans, they were by North Africans. What should have been reported? It’s sensational in the eyes of racists.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The question is why the police have done a terrible job at this, but are always good at breaking up occupiers.

          Is it because the public can not be easily incited to rage about beaten protesters?

          Or because the public can be easily shocked at finding people whom they are sheltering are not helpless weaklings, but products of tragedies inflicted upon their nations from abroad, including the host nation? They have faced death, seen wanton destruction. Have imperial adventures turned these human victims into beasts?

      2. Pavel

        Is it so hard to accept that the Muslim religion generally does not treat women as equals? I realise there is a wide spectrum of beliefs and cultural practices across the religion (just as there is in the Christian and Jewish faiths).

        But clearly some followers of Islam are (to my mind at least) viciously anti-woman. Cf punishing women who have been raped; the barbaric (again, to my mind) restrictions on clothing; the so-called “honour killings”… In the UK many of these have been reported but not investigated properly by the police for fear of offending Muslims.

        NOTE: I am happy to rant and rave about various Christian and Jewish “traditions” as well. I pretty much don’t like any of the nasty Desert God’s followers’ practices. And of course for all the West’s complaints and paranoia about “Muslim violence”, it was the “Christian” United States which dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the “Jewish state” of Israel which killed 1500+ civilians in Gaza just the other summer. Blood on all their hands!

        But back to the topic: many Muslim men do not treat women as equals — simple as that.

        1. Dinsdale Piranha

          Ditto on the crappy bearded Desert God of itinerant herders whose cramped taboos were imposed on half the world.
          More to the point, I strongly suspect that the bulk of these refugees are from the regions most affected by the conflicts- basically middle eastern version of loutish American rednecks. Also, I loathe the PC reflex to find excuses for these villains. Just because someone’s a refugee doesn’t absolve them of responsibility to comport themselves as good guests.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Yes. Someone pointed out that a lot of these guys were probably thugs back home, too. And being a good guest is very much part of ME culture.

        2. Inverness

          It’s best to avoid the “many Muslim men…” thing. It reeks of orientalism. You can’t generalize about the world’s second most practiced religion. It’s like saying that most Christians bomb abortion clinics, or most white American men go postal. There are over one billion followers, and there’s a tremendous amount of diversity within those adherents. Honor killings and FGM are far from practiced across the board. There is a world of difference between how Islam is practiced in a rather secular country like Lebanon, compared with a fundamentalist state like Saudi Arabia.

          1. Pavel

            Well I did try to emphasise that there is a spectrum of beliefs and practices (as you point out as well). And I said many which you say is “like saying that most Christians… or most white Americans”.

            There is a huge range in these expressions of faith. I’ve seen examples myself in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. I’ve also seen almost the entire range (judging from dress and other practices) in London, for that matter.

            A pox on all extremist, violent, discriminatory religions — that sums up my attitude. Arguably the (nominally) “Christian” United States has been responsible for more murders the last 30 or 40 years. But for barbaric religious practices (against e.g. women and gays), I think the Saudis and other extremist Muslim sects take the current prize. Happy to be corrected.

            1. Inverness

              I get what you’re saying, although I cannot say I find religion to be the root problem. While some Christian rhetoric has been used by George Bush, the real bloodlust has other origins (greed, militarist fantasies, colonialism). Using God to justify invasion is just a way to justify war crimes.
              ISIS takes an extremist, violent form of Islam, which is not surprising: their actions are a horrific response to colonialism. Islamic expression has a long history in anti-colonial movements in many Muslim countries.

            2. guest

              But for barbaric religious practices (against e.g. women and gays), I think the Saudis and other extremist Muslim sects take the current prize.

              Well, two years ago the world was in uproar about the gang rapes of both tourist and local women in India.

              At that time, the “culture of rape” amongst Hindus was much discussed — with gruesome evidence about large scale rape, with impunity, of lower-caste women, and references to a number of rather shocking practices (forced marriages even of children, assassination of unwanted wives / daughters in law, and a reminder that the Indian government had to repeatedly prohibit the self-immolation of widows, as late as 1987).

              I am not sure which one gets the prize for barbaric anti-feminine violence.

              1. Oregoncharles

                India has very similar problems to Egypt – and was ruled by Muslims before the British. Come to think, British Victorianism probably didn’t help, either.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  You’re right about the Mughal rule, though lower caste women and sati predate the Muslim invasion of India.

                2. Oregoncharles

                  Afterthought: the places with severe demographic problems – that is, grossly overpopulated – are bad places to be a woman, because reproduction itself is devalued. Unfortunately, immigrants often bring their culture with them.

                  Densely-populated bits of Europe, like the Netherlands, escape the effect because they’re also very prosperous; they’d be in trouble, too, if their wealth went away. And today, we have technical approaches to birth control, instead of keeping women down. That’s one reason it’s so important to get contraception into those places – and the more religious ones resist it, to their own detriment.

          2. vidimi

            i have no problem saying that the wahhabi sect of islam, which is becoming the dominant form thanks to saudi efforts, is toxic. that’s not to say that all islam is inherently toxic, but a very large and visible part of it is. i’ll also say that about evangelical christianity and ultra-orthodox judaism.

          1. Oregoncharles

            He’s talking about culture clash, without using the word – but apparently his own culture clashes, too.

          2. coboarts

            I’ve recently purchased Saker’s “Essentials,” and I highly value his insight and ethical stance. I read the linked article the other day. As I read it it became clear that Saker is really “old school” in his views about women. I don’t think that he is incorrect about the way that much of the world views western women, but I don’t have much respect for the views of much of the world. In a truly decent world, one where human sexuality is understood as a beautiful part of nature and boys are raised to respect girls and women as equal partners in life’s creation… well then girls can wear clothes as protection against the elements and boys can cherish the delights of the natural world. As I know it has been stated before, it’s too bad that we didn’t descend (ascend?) from bonobos.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Not just how the world view western women, but westerners, including kids.

              When they want to get back at a neoliberal economic or military empire, and can’t, they will, instead, go after imperial women and children.

              Cowardice, yes.

              Connection to imperialism? You decide, keeping in mind, for example, how the Vandals acted. They were not self-hating for wanting to have Roman matrons for trophy wives. Given a chance, they would take revenge on helpless Roman women and children. That’s the dark side of humanity. We can be such cowards.

      1. samhill

        Anyone but me wonder if Cologne is a fabrication? Concocted by anti immigrant, anti Merkel’s welcome policy, right wing (outright fascist) elements in Germany, if not in coordination w/ Euroland fascists? Could be wealthy right in the media, deviant sectors in the police force, military, and government have orchestrated this? I find difficult to believe illegal immigrants trying to be low-key, and people with: asylum papers, residency, welfare, subsidised housing, probably family of some sort, likely a job of some sort, would ever risk everything for something as stupid as a groping wilding binge. Maybe two, three crazy stereotypical, repressed, vengeful muslims lusting for western blonds lost it but hundreds of wilding immigrants? All with so much to loose for such mindless gain?

        In the USA when it was necessary to propagate and reinforce the concept and reality of Jim Crow, in both the mind of the oppressor and oppressed, or just to have some Saturday night lynching fun, what was the meme/trope always used – the easiest, laziest, most inflammatory and effective, hardest to scrutinize or verify fiction unleashed? An attack on women. Over the decades of Jim Crow and the hundreds of lynchings we all know not a single accusation was true. Again, so much to loose for such little mindless gain. (Only animals would act that way, but then “the others” always are animals.)

        So, maybe, right-wing media and factions got some of their nazi wives and girlfriends to “come forward” and file fake complaints? The rest would take care of itself.

        Wag the dog? Like the BS from the first Iraqi war, recall the invasion of Kuwait and the dumping babies out of incubators. Who the hell loots incubators? Heavy, zero resale value. Or the govt of Iraq mounted an invasion of Kuwait with its infinite trillions of oil wealth so that the Iraqi state medical system could benefit from a couple hundred grand in looted incubators? Or when they were on the run in retreat with napalm falling on them, the one thing on their mind was to grab some bulky, heavy, practically useless machines to hump back home? Turned out the eyewitness crying, traumatized “nurses” on global media blitz were all wives and daughters of Kuwaiti royalty sitting out the war in London.

        I’m not a fan of civil unrest, certainly not looting, wilding, groping, but when I see the use of such lazy tropes (babies, christian women, dark skinned men, unhinged animal instincts, etc) my BS detector goes way off. I ask myself, where’s the real gain? Not saying it’s not true, sometimes a hateful, mindless riot is just that, but still, putting it out there.

        1. low_integer

          What went on in Cologne is called “taharrush gamea” and is apparently considered acceptable behaviour in some muslim countries, especially Egypt. I highly doubt it was orchestrated by AfD or PEGIDA.

          1. samhill

            “taharrush gamea” Googled it – yow! it’s all over google, and apparently all over western media, hmmm. New to me, new to everyone, likely vintage champagne to opposition research. Pop!

            Hard to guess from far away and through the internets. Maybe a NCer in Cologne can report?

              1. Lambert Strether

                Exactly. Of course, just because the incident was real, or at least not fabricated, doesn’t mean it won’t be used tendentiously; that’s why I was hesitant about it at first.

        2. Oregoncharles

          Too many people, mostly women bu tincluding male companions, reporting this rash of crimes.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Too many victims in that perpetrators’ Emmanuelle-Kristal-Nacht.

            Too many suffered in that Night of Long Groping Hands.

        3. Paul Tioxon

          I didn’t know there were black helicopters in Germany. On loan from black ops, psyops, pop ops? Maybe Bill Cosby is ALSO a victim of Ku Klutz Klan deep, undercover dish served really cold revenge too! You know, it’s just all made up to divert our attention from overlords and stuff. Nothing goes on that does not come from the overlords, I mean, duh, why do you think they are overlords? Because people do stuff on their own when they feel like it sometimes? How is that even possible when the black helicopters are everywhere swooping down and stuff?

        4. vidimi

          it could be, but unless there is some specific evidence to suggest that may be the case, i don’t see why it should be considered

      2. winstonsmith

        Part of the year I experience NC only through text-to-speech software (long story). It took me a very long time to figure out who Sarah Kisten is.

    3. tegnost

      I have no problem with Syraqistan, indeed it sums the convoluted US military adventures up quite nicely. Also, NC is not an anti immigrant site, it’s a “look at what thou hath wrought” site, and this is yet another case of how syraqistan has created what some may consider unintended consequences. I think, but am willing to be corrected, that women’s rights in the ME and north africa are not the same as we experience here in the West. When the cultures are forcibly interfaced as in this case there’s apparently some messy backlash…hoocoodanode?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Keep in mind that we have been shoving Hollywood culture – including Western aesthetics, Western ideals of physical beauty – down on them.

      2. Antifa

        Syraqistan

        We could call the region what it is — PNACistan, named for the Project for a New American Century, aka Pax Americana aka The Bush Doctrine aka The War on Terror.

        The goal was regime change throughout the region, starting with Iraq. They were gunning for the whole Middle East, which would eventually put American troops and bases right inside Russia’s southernmost neighbors. Oo-rah! Squeeze ’em hard. Also known as the Short n’ Curlies Doctrine, Hearts and Minds, or simply wars of aggression.

        The current Mess Nobody’s Got A Handle On in the Middle East is as far as they’ve gotten, because the neocon Project for a New American Century drove right off the rails the moment it got rolling. Never mind that, it’s just a bit of creative chaos.

        And it’s been, “We create our own reality” as we ride off in all directions at once for fifteen years now, with no sign of letting up. Just signs of running out of plane loads of freshly printed C-notes to throw down the rabbit hole.

        Perhaps the most telling indication of the Project’s current status is their flagship website, NewAmericanCentury.org If it had been this way in 1997, we’d all be better off today.

        Another good name for the region would be Pox Americana . . .

    4. Oregoncharles

      No, the article is not racist, although it could be wrong. Culture isn’t race. Totten specifically draws a contrast between Egyptian and Syrian or Lebanese behavior. Both are Arab and Muslim, but they act very differently, according to him. That’s culture. (It may be a bit more than just culture: the whole Middle East is worn out and overpopulated, but Egypt is extreme, as well as grindingly poor. Rats act this way when overcrowded, too.)

      You’re misapplying “racist” in a way that is now quite common, but grossly misleading. Culture is learned, unlike “race,” and people are responsible for their actions.

  10. allan

    Howard Dean, Now Employed by Health-Care Lobby Firm, Opposes Bernie Sanders on Single-Payer [Intercept]

    Howard Dean is the latest in a string of Hillary Clinton supporters to charge that Bernie Sanders is wrong to support a single payer health care plan. The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee claimed on MSNBC last night that Sanders’s reforms might result in “chaos” because “trying to implement it would in fact undo people’s health care.” Dean added: “That is something people should be concerned about.”

    Another surprising validator straight out of Cass Sunstein’s playbook.

    1. Pavel

      Hmm… unlike, say, the actual chaos that has been released by Obama’s ACA? Look at what is happening to the insurers, the exchanges, and the actual patients?

      1. Pavel

        The “Affordable Care Act” should be more aptly named the “Inaffordable Insurance Act”. If they (Obama et al) had really been concerned about delivering universal medical care then obviously Single Payer would have been easier, cheaper, and more effective (as Lambert in his excellent “Obamacare Clusterfuck” series at Corrente documented).

        1. JTMcPhee

          Can we all get together and call it “UNsurance”?

          UNsure if you can afford the policy, UNsure whether your meds will be on the formulary next week, UNsure about the care you get from “providers” who are “on the plan” and whether they will be next week, UNsure about where your “personally identifiable medical information” has migrated to and populated other cells in other wads of code, UNsure if you can withstand the assaults of copays and deductibles and rising premiums, on and on and on…

    2. Gio Bruno

      This whole medical insurance/ single payer haggling on the campaign trail misses two large points: Medicare is single payer AND there is plenty of money to pay for it if you reduce military spending. (And the medical professions are much more attainable as a career than “missile maker”, or “digital spy”, or green beret.)

      We can have a better life if we DEMAND it!

      1. Lambert Strether

        It pays for itself when the nation as a whole is considered. And of course, as MMT teaches, taxes don’t fund Federal programs anyhow. What Clinton is desperately trying to do is force Sanders into the “Progressive Give-Up” box, where “How are you going to pay for it?” is always the trump card.

        It’s depressing to see Clinton — and the Democratic establishment — coming out against universal health care (especially after Clinton explicitly supported it in 2008), and then use explicitly Republican anti-tax/anti-big gummit talking points, but then again every time they do that, such good will as they still have on their party’s balance sheet evaporates a little further.

        Frankly, considering the damage these greedy, corrupt, lying weasels are doing to the party, a hostile takeover is fully warranted. I just hope Sanders doesn’t let comity stand in his way when the decisive moment comes.

    3. ProNewerDeal

      A physician, & Governor of a state (VT) that borders Canada. Dean also implemented his 50 State Plan as DNC Chair, which was more successful in the supposed DNC goal of elective D pols than the record of losers like Rahm Emmanuel or Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. It would appear Dean has a high IQ. For Dean, I am guessing Evil & not Stupid. Dean, what happened to your Hippocratic Oath? Or did you take the Hypocrite Oath? Deeply Disappointing.

      “I’m gonna violate the Hippocratic Oath! Then I’m gonna shill for the US Sickcare Mafia to continue blocking MedicareForAll, thus being part of the Mafia’s Mercenary Murderers that kill 30K USians per year! Piyaaa!”

      Cry & then Laugh: Dave Chappelle as Howard Dean: https://youtu.be/EtsWKFMYJJs Piyaa!!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Dean has had questionable views before. His stance on Social Security caused his numbers to drop in Iowa and New Hampshire before his famed scream.

        I like Dean’s views on how to build a party, but there was a reason many of his voters jumped to Kerry and Edwards rapidly beyond a gaffe when George W. Bush was President.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    re: North Africa exports its rape culture to Germany.

    Sadly, there is some truth to this article. In my various travels I’ve met many women who say they would never return again to certain north African countries because of the treatment (although oddly there are striking exceptions, one tall blonde friend of mine said she never had any problems), while there is little or no problem in other arabic/muslim countries such as Syria or Lebanon. And the same problem arises in some European cities (or indeed, so I’ve been told, parts of New York) with a prominent population from certain North African countries.

    However, the article doesn’t help itself by pointing to the economic success of muslim-american immigrants – immigrants to the US and Canada are overwhelmingly from higher socio-economic backgrounds, its simply not the same thing as refugees who are usually from the poorest and least educated backgrounds.

    Swedish Lex gave an interesting link yesterday about the Norwegian approach – where they actually sit down and sometimes using actors and real situations explain to immigrant men how local women behave and expect to be treated, and it seems to be successful. I can’t think of any other way of approaching this.

    1. craazyboy

      Actually, I think the concept is hilarious. It assumes the gropers, gangbangers and rapists don’t know what they are doing, and that ME women enjoy these approaches which is why it’s all just a cultural misunderstanding. hahahahaha. Sometimes the world cracks me up.

    2. HotFlash

      And I knew one woman who said she’d never go back to Rome. She had the effrontery to slap a Velo-riding butt pincher and he came back and punched her. That was years ago. She quite liked France, tho, and has been back many times.

      1. Inverness

        New York City was pretty bad for me, and frankly lots of women. On a weekly basis, there was always something. (I’m describing the late 90’s and the aughts) Don’t get stuck in a subway car that’s so crowded, there’s no room to move. So you just might have somebody…just use your imagination. And don’t think there will be people to try and stop it. It just goes on. My experience: it’s a “mind your own business” kind of town, when it comes to that stuff.

        Montreal, however, is a place where the men are better- trained. Not a paradise, but there is some serious feminism going on there, and men are admonished for behaviours that I honestly don’t find offensive (like opening doors for women.) The flip side is that, in my experience, they are less likely to behave like brutes in public. I’m also no longer in my twenties, so that helps, too. In Quebec, You also see a good amount of working women in hard-hats and working cranes. I think that helps, too.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The number or density of people present alters behavior. If I saw a parent hit a child, I and anyone else would say something, but if I saw the same thing in a crowded area, I and anyone else, so would naturally assume a person closer or with more expertise would respond.

          Montreal still has a small town vibe, where you are responsible to what is occurring around you. New York outside of a home neighborhood is a mega city where you need to move along or you cause disruptions. Rome is a crowded city much like New York if not worse.

          1. Pavel

            I spend a fair bit of time in MTL and my standard joke to US friends is “what do they put in the water here–lithium?” The people are incredibly friendly and helpful.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I’m inclined to think its less to do with feminism or population density, than particular cultural issues. Back in the 1980’s I briefly lived with a cousin on the upper west side in NY in a predominantly hispanic area. My cousin told me there was one street she could not walk down because of catcalls and harassment. I’d walked down there with her, and nothing happened, which I found pretty weird as I was a weedy nerdy 19 year old, so I didn’t think I’d be all that intimidating. But when I followed her one time, indeed, it was constant. But the thing is, this street was known for a particular nationality – other streets, similarly poor, with lots of other hispanic guys hanging around, were perfectly ok for her. Similarly, as I mentioned above, there is a huge difference between Arabic cities – in the old days Syria or Beirut or Amman were absolutely fine cities for women to travel alone (I can’t say from personal experience, but when I was there I met many female travellers and almost all said they had no problems), there would be little harassment, unlike countries like Morocco or Egypt. Within North Africa, Tunisia would have a much better reputation than others.

          Its not just about treatment of women – I love to cycle tour. In some countries, harassment, kids throwing stuff at you, etc., is the norm. In other, equally poor and remote countries, people, including kids, are lovely and respectful. Sometimes its geographical with the same ethnic group – Tibetan kids in Tibet can be horrible little shits – ethnic Tibetans in north India are the complete opposite.

          So I do think a lot of it comes down to certain behaviours being considered acceptable in some societies, in others, not so. I suspect a lot has to do with cultures where there is a strong tradition of respect to yourselves and others.

        3. craazyman

          That’s For Sure

          that’s kind of weird. i’ve lived in New York so long I remember Mayor Ed Koch. I’m a totally straight hetero guy who is not married but I’ve had a few long-term girl friends that might as well have been wives. Two anyway. And shorter-term monogomous girfriends too. I also have a sister who’se lived in New York on and off for two decades

          all of them were subway riders.

          in all those years I never heard one, ever, not one single time, remark about any sort of inaappropriate behavior on the subway. I’m just being honest about the experiences of the women i have been very close to. Any of them would have told me, the day it happened, if it had, without the slightest hesitation

          I’m certainly not saying it never happens. I wouldn’t know. I’m in my own world, as are most people, when commuting iin the subway. I’m lost in my own mind and wouldn’t notice if, 45 people away in a crowded subway car stuffed like a sardine can with people pushed up against each other, somebody was taking liberties. I wouldn’t have any way to know.

          I only had one experience myself. i was walking one evening on a very crowded subway platform and reached with my left arm to adjust my coat or shoulder bag on my right shoulder. I was walking rapidly and dozens of people were closely packed streaming by. As my left hand rose to chest level a soft fleshy thing hit it. Evidently a youngish woman had walked into me, certainly not on purpose, and after her chest impacted my hand she shot me a dirty dirty look. Strangely, a female voice from just a few feet away said quite loudly, directly at me, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t your fault”. The young woman had already walked yards away and probably didn’t hear. It all happened so quickly i’m astonished anyone even noticed. But I looked at the woman who spoke and said “I know it wasn’t, but thank you anyway.” Some people are cool and real, and they make it all worthwhile. Thank God for them. That’s for sure. I hope I’m one of them. I try to be anyway.

          1. Inverness

            I wouldn’t assume because those female friends didn’t discuss subway groping with you that it did not happen. People often avoid these topics. When my incident occurred, the violator was quite loudly making obscene sounds, so it was pretty obvious what was going on to a lot of subway riders.

        4. hunkerdown

          I’ve an acquaintance in Montréal who used to work as a cam girl and adult model. Maybe she’s biased, but according to her, gender politics are so much less toxic. For one thing, a guy in a bar buys a woman a drink. It is well-known and accepted that what the guy is owed is a polite thank-you, full stop. That American women seem to think that social grace is beneath them is telling. For another, it’s much easier for guys to get laid up there simply by following Wheaton’s Law and being an interesting person, as contrasted with Americans who seem to prefer to play power games than reindeer games.

          Might it be that you’re seeing equality, rather than feminism?

          1. Inverness

            No, I am seeing women who are more assertive and have fought for representation in the trades, etc.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That is not to say if they haven’t ‘exported’ that problem to Europe now, if it is confined to North Africa, it would be OK.

      “European women may look more imperial (and it’s not their fault, for most imperial women look like that), but North African women, and women elsewhere, are just as deserving of respect.”

  12. GlobalMIsanthrope

    Re: Will scandals simply overwhelm Hillary Clinton?

    Hillary on a podium with Bill Cosby, who looks as grotesque in the photo as he seems today.

    The whole Trump video takes maybe 10 seconds. But it indelibly calls to mind the memory of the country’s embarrassment at Bill Clinton’s behavior

    Hey, Optimader. This is what Titus Pullo and I were talking about.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It doesn’t even have to be scandals, but the U.S. has been dominated by the Clinton name for over 20 years with little substantive policy to show for it. Are you ready for Hillary? Wait, what do you mean ready, she’s bee here for decades. Quite simply, Hillary was the failed point person for Healthcare in the 90’s, a celebrity senator from a safe seat, a failed Presidential candidate despite virtually every advantage imaginable, and Secretary of State when she knocked over a couple of countries.

      Fatigue without scandal might have done her in.

      1. Pavel

        “Knocked over a couple of countries” is putting it mildly. How about overseeing the diversion of weapons from Libya to so-called “Syrian moderates” which ended up going to ISIS and AQ groups — something HRC and her team (and pal Sid Blumenthal) were aware of at the time?

        And she has the nerve to preach “gun control” to Sanders!

        Ross Douhat has an op-ed in today’s NYT in which he urges Bernie to be a bit more forceful and say something like this:

        Look, as a senator Hillary Clinton cast a reckless vote for the Iraq war, which cost thousands of American lives and led directly to the rise of ISIS. As secretary of state she treated national security cavalierly, exposing classified information to our enemies, and also led us into a second disaster in Libya — where ISIS now has a stronghold as well. Why would you trust this woman to handle Syria, or Ukraine, or any other crisis? The record is clear: A vote for Hillary is a vote for recklessness and hawkishness, for Dick Cheney’s secrecy and George W. Bush’s interventionist folly, for disasters that no liberal should support.

        The Tempting of Bernie Sanders

        I still can’t believe Hillary hasn’t taken more flack for her SoS fiasco in Libya.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Too many Democrats accepted the idea of a “Democratic smart war” and don’t want to acknowledge it’s just colonialism by another name or that the President is a thug. The Benghazi elite, who wanted to grab power before Gaddafi died or instituted constitutional reform, we backed weren’t as powerful as the Blue Raj.

          R2P is the 21st century white man’s burden.

          1. tegnost

            I get major pushback from elite dems when I suggest the libyan mess is at the heart of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh problem. Watching football last weekend saw a commercial for the benghazi movie, what is it with these politically relevant spin zone war movies?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Of course you get push back. With five minutes and access to the Internet, it was very easy to see why knocking over Gaddafi would be a disaster if you knew nothing but how to ask questions. Those elite Democrats, I know the type, are all brilliant, caring people who have every episode of the “West Wing” memorized. Libya undermines every preconceived notion about themselves which is why they went from saving thousands of lives, to tens of thousands of lives, to hundreds of thousands of lives…to did you know Gaddafi invented ebola?!?! as a rationale for their poor behavior. Basically, these people are addicts who need it hit rock bottom.

              1. Andrew Watts

                Hah. I was wondering what television shows that demographic overwhelming watched. It makes complete sense.

                You are what you watch.

        2. optimader

          “How about overseeing the diversion of weapons from Libya to so-called “Syrian moderates” which ended up going to ISIS and AQ groups

          Wasn’t that a CIA operation that went pear shaped when the “consulate”(read:safehouse) was ransacked and burned and the ambassador that bit off a little more adventure than his paygrade?? Not sure HRC was overseeing that, probably more like bitching about the CIA bogarting State Dept resources.

          As an aside, the day that Bengasi event went down, as nothing more than a curiosity I went to the State Dept website and there was no Bengasi Consulate identified on the consulate list…I thought that odd

      2. fresno dan

        very good points – all fancy font resume, illustrious appointments, grandiloquent chattering, and not one deed.
        Reminds me of Peter Sellers’ “Being There” except Hillary lacks Chance’s succinctness….

  13. andyb

    The FBI investigation may not lead to an indictment, but will still have consequences, not only in the presumption of guilt for Hillary, but also for an embattled DOJ who will have to explain the prosecution of Petraeus for far less.

  14. Vatch

    Copyright law shouldn’t keep me from fixing a tractor. Slate

    Utterly perverse! At this point, one could make a joke about how many people are needed to change a light bulb, except it wouldn’t be funny.

    1. John Parks

      Being in this niche of business I can relate that there are more than a few John Deere owners who have parked their tractors, liquidated them, and refusing to take them to JD for repairs.

      GM is also pushing for this protection to apply to their automobiles/trucks etc.

      I can not imagine in what scenario these corporations think that buyers will not choose more owner friendly products.

      1. hunkerdown

        The TINA scenario, either because all heavy-equipment companies have fallen onto the precious-intellectual-essence bandwagon or because environmental regulations require that all emissions parts be effectively tamper-proofed. Get your Chinese-knockoff GM Tech II scan tools on Aliexpress while you can.

  15. JTMcPhee

    Speaking of what economists recognize, there’s this brief article in my very local paper, which paper is very stolidly in the “idiot neoliberal” camp (letters and columns full of Kochpoints and repetition of the “everyone knows evil liberal media” trope):

    “Economist: Don’t Get Comfortable,” http://www.tbnweekly.com/pubs/largo_leader/content_articles/011316_lle-02.txt Lots of wonderful economializations, how good things are in Tampa Bay, BUT,

    “…Despite being in the midst of a gradual recovery, Sean Snaith, economist and director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, told area business leaders Jan. 7 that signs are pointing to another recession.

    “I’m more worried now about recession than I have been in some time,” Snaith said during the annual breakfast presented by the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce based out of Largo. “I’m not suggesting or forecasting that it’s imminent, but I’m concerned. And one thing that I can tell you with 100 percent certainty is that there will be another recession. I know that is going to happen.”” {Sun will rise tomorow…

    And

    “…“We are now 6 1/2 years into the economic recovery nationally. … The Great Recession of course was the worst recession since the Great Depression. This recovery is historic as well. It’s the weakest recovery since the Great Depression,” he said, noting that the average GDP growth compared with previous recoveries also has lagged.

    Snaith cited the global economy for his forecast, and said business leaders in Tampa Bay need to pay attention to countries such as China, Brazil and Canada because they do and will play a pivotal role in the area’s future as the region becomes a bigger player around the world.

    “Globalization and international trade are going to be key and important drivers from Florida’s economy going forward, but right now the rest of the world is kind of a drag,” he said….”

    Of course, at a Chamber of Commerce idiocracy gathering. “Comfort ye, my people…” But watch your 6…

  16. HotFlash

    Loved this story!

    Jeb Bush’s leadership PAC is trolling Donald Trump. Again. Washington Post

    Jebbie’s Right to Rise complains that Trump is mixing his personal and corp resources in his campaign. Well, if corps are people, then why can’t they be president?

  17. JTMcPhee

    Re Great White Hunters:

    Texas Hunt Lodge allows the opportunity to hunt and harvest the Trophy Buffalo you’ll want to hang on your wall…in fact, we hold multiple Bison World Records for Crossbow, Archery, and Handgun. Year round, we offer awesome World Record Class Trophy Buffalo Hunts. There are no seasonal restrictions on hunting the Buffalo, or Bison, in Texas, which makes it a suitable trophy year round.

    We typically let our hunters choose the method of hunting Trophy Buffalo that they prefer. Hunters of Trophy Buffalo can choose the Spot and Stalk method, Bow Hunting, Rifle Hunting, Black Powder, Safari Style Hunting, Handgun, as well as hunting from a Blind. We can accomodate hunters of any age and experience level, as well as hunters which have physical disabilities or may be confined to a wheelchair.

    You will typically see from 4-7 Buffalo while hunting with us. Our Record Class Buffalo bulls weighs 1200 -1500lbs, and have horns in the 17-20 inch range, some great Buffalo World Record Trophies have been taken recently. View some recent photos of Buffalo on our Ranch!

    Trophy fees are $3500 for “meat buffalos” and $5500 for “trophy buffalos.” The bed and board are pretty cheap…

    http://www.texashuntlodge.com/buffalo_hunt_package.asp

    What an effed up species we are…

    1. nycTerrierist

      Disgusting. They mention hunters with physical disabilities…ALL of them are morally disabled.
      Poor specimens indeed.

    2. craazyboy

      Putting aside the disgustingness of trophy hunting in general, a buffalo has about the ugliest mug you can imagine, and why anyone would want one mounted to the living room wall is beyond me.

      1. Antifa

        It’s all about the aroma, which only grows more poignant over the years.

        And while it is not a treatment, it is a salve for erectile dysfunction.

    3. James Levy

      How can you possibly take down a buffalo with a hand gun? You’d have to stake the thing down and pump a dozen .45 caliber slugs into it to kill it. Cruel and insane.

      1. bob

        I’d like to see it. And no, you don’t get any backup or transport assistance. You and your sidearm vs the buffalo.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And put the bear skull in the middle of the cave.

          Not for decoration, but to appease or assume its spirit.

          Then imprint your hand on the wall. You wonder at or are awed by your own center-of-the-universe-ness.

        2. optimader

          The progenitors of English Football fans?
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-Smashed-In_Buffalo_Jump

          The buffalo jump was used for 5,500 years by the indigenous peoples of the plains to kill buffalo by driving them off the 11 metre (36 foot) high cliff. Before the late introduction of horses, the Blackfoot drove the buffalo from a grazing area in the Porcupine Hills about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) west of the site to the “drive lanes”, lined by hundreds of cairns, by dressing up as coyotes and wolves. These specialized “buffalo runners” were young men trained in animal behavior to guide the buffalo into the drive lanes. Then, at full gallop, the buffalo would fall from the weight of the herd pressing behind them, breaking their legs and rendering them immobile. The cliff itself is about 300 metres (1000 feet) long, and at its highest point drops 10 metres into the valley below. The site was in use at least 6,000 years ago, and the bone deposits are 12 metres (39 feet) deep.

    4. bob

      This is all done within a fence too. It may be a very large fence, but it’s a fence.

      You can’t sell “wild” meat. But, put a fence around the animals and it’s all good.

      Perverse, and a huge source of income and tax credits for the lords (same thing, for multi-millionare estate owners).

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t get our species.

      We can retire elephants (finally!), but keep caging chickens.

      And when we say, we love salmon, we mean we will kill and eat more of them for their omega-3.

      “We humans love you. That means you must die.”

      And we will continue to kill buffalo, tuna, dogs (in Vietnam and other places), etc.

  18. curlydan

    Definite truth to the article about Clinton’s attacks generating Bernie’s cash. About a month ago, her increasing attacks on Bernie and single payer pushed me to give Bernie $50. Now, I’m about to put a Bernie bumper sticker on my car (big step for an introvert like me), and I just liked him on Facebook–maybe giving my northern Louisiana relatives seizures.

    Bring it, Hil! Make my bank account suffer and my conservative acquaintances flinch.

    I’ve been impressed by Sanders’ email communications so far. They definitely play up the attacks by Clinton as well.

  19. Dino Reno

    Send money to Bernie because he is Trump’s kryptonite. That “insane communist” as Trump has taken to calling Bernie is in possession of an idea and can’t be bought. His take down of Trump will be spectacular.
    Clinton is Trump’s dream opponent.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Something funny might happen on the way to the forum (to take the throne).

        And the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

        I think it’s early to celebrate any scenario.

  20. tony

    You might be interested in Zizek’s view on the Cologne, and other, attacks:

    “It wasn’t the simple urge for satisfaction of sexually starved young men – this could be done in a more discreet, hidden way – it was foremost a public spectacle of installing fear and humiliation, of exposing the “pussies” of the privileged Germans to painful helplessness. There is, of course, nothing redemptive or emancipatory, nothing effectively liberating, in such a carnival – but this is how actual carnivals work.

    This is why the naive attempts to enlighten immigrants (explaining to them that our sexual mores are different, that a woman who walks in public in a mini skirt and smiles does not thereby signal sexual invitation, etc.) are examples of breath-taking stupidity – they know this and that’s why they are doing it. They are well aware that what they are doing is foreign to our predominant culture, but they are doing it precisely to wound our sensitivities. ”

    http://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2016/01/slavoj-zizek-cologne-attacks

  21. fakie wallie

    RE: U.S. Will Track Secret Buyers of Luxury Real Estate,

    A trial program, running from March to August in two markets, and well advertised? Just how are they planning on catching anyone?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe they’re cooperating with the Chinese anti-corruption drive.

      “We will return the favor. Anything you would like us to do for one of your multi-nationals?”

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      If they make it go away cheaply, what is the beef? That’s the whole point of announcing it, It will reduce activity by 80-90%. The more careful lawyers and brokers will stop doing this, And remember how banks were told they’d have their licenses yanked for money laundering violations. They are at risk too.

      The brokers make a fortune on these deals. Brokers are not politically connected (well save maybe Alice Mason but this is not her clientele, she does society types). All they need to do is prosecute one. Or a private banker. White collar people are terrified of going to jail.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Jakarta Indonesia…Istanbul…refugees in various countries.

    I think, we are right (because it’s the only humane, decent thing to do), but lose to the argument that we take in refugees at our own peril.

    We lose, but history will prove us right…in the future, but we still lose, now.

    We win, though, that is, we win now, if we say they are victims of neoliberalism and imperial adventures financed with greed and easy imperial money.

    1. Antifa

      Are you suggesting we see to their needs and integrate them into our nation, then send the bill to Wall Street?

  23. Oregoncharles

    “Treasonous Bundy-led militia prepare to open kangaroo court”
    Amusing, and a bit clueless. The Bundys are imitating tactics from the left. The Black Panthers waved guns around and threatened to defend themselves (unsuccessfully), to say nothing of MOVE, who were bombed by the police in violent standoff; how many “occupations” have there been? It’s a standard student tactic, even before Occupy. And symbolic “courts” are a regular theme. Granted, they aren’t combined with the threat of violence – I’m glad I don’t live in Burns, though I’ve been there.

    None of that means they’re right, or their “cause” is anything but greedy and anti-social. But condemning their tactics is hypocritical. Their actions at Bundy Ranch, where they pointed guns at federal agents doing their job, are another matter. I still think it’s bizarre, dangerous, and revealing that they got away with that.

  24. Massinissa

    When people call Islam a violent religion, I used to point out that Indonesia, the worlds largest muslim country, had very little violence based on religious extremism. Most terrorism in Indonesia was either by or against communists or similar political things.

    Now that Isis has proven it can recruit even in Indonesia, I may no longer able to do that. This is a terribly sad day for me.

    1. Andrew Watts

      You’re not alone. I thought Indonesia would be immune to religious violence given their relatively high level of tolerance between various sects.

    2. Lambert Strether

      It only takes a few. And our imperial policies might be thought of as a cracking tower for producing extremely refined forms of hatred from feedstock of violence and war.

  25. clinical wasteman

    Re ‘Stress – it’s all in the body’ etc., the following was mostly written 10+ years ago but still seems to apply:
    A ‘stress’ diagnosis is a nice way to medicalize pesky material conflicts. It shifts the focus from cumulative concrete causes of misery to their effect in the form of personal symptoms. When did an Action Plan’ against ‘workplace stress’ ever ‘treat’ the workplace? The point is always to adjust the individual (the container of stress symptoms) to suit the conditions. Corporate Mindfulness just spells out the stakes a bit more bluntly than usual: dear disturbed/disturbing worker, please stop thinking!
    See also: http://www.wealthofnegations.org/

    1. 3.14e-9

      Boy, you are not kidding. I figured this out 20 years ago, when I got a job working in a spanking new office building in downtown D.C. Within two weeks, I was getting migraines and my nasal passages were constantly inflamed. I went to the doctor and got allergy medication, which helped. Then about a month later, the office got rearranged. Cubicles were removed for an old-style newsroom “bullpen.” Management said they did it to foster better sharing of information, but it clearly was to pack an additional five or six people into an already inhumanly crowded space. When my colleagues were talking, I couldn’t hear my phone conversations. The job was stressful by nature, and being packed in like sardines put me over the top. I complained to the office administrator, and I can still remember her response: “You know, there’s stuff you can take for that.”

      It was an exempt position, and in barely a month, I’d already worked two 70-hour weeks. I quit, moved to a small town, and started freelancing. Ironically, one of the best things about the job was that I had complete health coverage (for a very small payroll deduction), and I was covered through the end of the month. I hadn’t had health coverage in years, so I did everything in those few weeks — complete health checkup with all the routine prevention, dental, and a new pair of eyeglasses. Very fortunate indeed, because I went another 20 years without health coverage, until Obamacare — which isn’t worth squat, but that’s another whole story.

  26. Ping

    Re: The media missed the larger story of Cecil the Lion killing

    The Safari Club International is headquartered flying under the radar here in Tucson, AZ and by showering money in Congress and wildlife reg entities has subverted the definition of conservation while their high powered legal dept has weakened or eliminated species protections for decades in order to sustain voracious trophy contests involving the killing of over 320 species includig rare and endangered for top honors.

    Representing not the traditional hunter who consumes common game but the 1% ‘s craven recreational killing, they also litigate to exterminate wild horses which the public has repeatedly voted to protect and our iconic predators which share habitat with trophy species.

    It is a HUGE untold story of money, politics, subversion of conservation, curating a perverse subculture and one that deserves a documentary.

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