Links 1/20/16

The Woman Who Made Science Beautiful Atlantic

Denmark sets world record for wind power consumption TreeHugger (resilc)

We cannot afford another digital divide Financial Times (David L)

How Much Would Donald Trump’s American-Made iPhone Actually Cost? Motherboard (resilc)

Mr. Market is Still Not Happy

Global Stocks Resume Selloff Wall Street Journal

Global Stocks on Brink of Bear Market Bloomberg

Cramer: Charts show huge sell-off could be coming CNBC (furzy)

Big Bank Stocks Have Been Crushed: Here’s Why Pam Martens and Russ Martens. Important.

Why crude oil prices keep falling and falling, in one simple chart Vox (resilc)


China’s Currency Isn’t Dominant Yet Bloomberg

Capital flight from China worse than thought Financial Times

Refugee Crisis

Economists on the Refugee Path Project Syndicate (David L)

Cologne puts Germany’s ‘lying press’ on defensive Politico

Danish town says pork must be served at public institutions Guardian (furzy)

Obama changes tack on Russia, calls up Putin Asia Times (margarita)


19,000 civilians killed in Iraq in 21 months: Report CNN (furzy)

Guantanamo guard: ‘CIA killed prisoners and made it look like suicide’ (Alan C)

The Lousy Case for “Standing By” the Saudis American Conservative (resilc)

The Islamic State wants you to scapegoat Muslims, warns Australian prime minister Washington Post

Gun battle rages at Pakistan university BBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

When Money Can’t Buy An Army American Conservative (resilc)

A Deadly Deployment, a Navy SEAL’s Despair New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Terrorism Act incompatible with human rights, court rules in David Miranda case EM: “So a bunch of High Lords deem that Miranda’s ‘detention was lawful’ even though the law under which it was made is itself unlawful. Lord Kafka will be pleased to hear of this.”

BBC journalist Rana Rahimpour stopped from flying to US BBC


2016: Why the GOP Primary Could Be Even Crazier Than You Think POLITICO (furzy)

South Carolina’s Republican Primary and a Party on the Brink Atlantic (resilc)

Robert Gates on the GOP field: ‘They don’t know what they’re talking about’ POLITICO (furzy)

Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump CNN (furzy)

GOP Drops Acid Palin Endorses Trump American Conservative (resilc)

CNN/WMUR Poll: Bernie Sanders trouncing Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire CNN

Warren Buffett Raising Money For Hillary Clinton Amid Democrats’ Calls For Probe Into Mobile Home Business International Business Times

Debunking the case against Sanders: Bernie’s liberal critics, like Jonathan Chait, resort to fatalism and blind trust in the status quo Salon (Jeff W)

Supreme Court to decide whether Obama can shield millions of immigrants from deportation Los Angeles Times. Yours truly said at the time the move was dodgy.

Bizarre Contract Dispute Putting Thousands Of Migrant Children At Risk Huffington Post

One Chart to Explain Politics Today Wonk Wire (furzy)

Meet Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s First-Ever Primary Challenger: Tim Canova Glenn Greenwald, Intercept (resilc). I hope he gets lots of out of state donations. Would serve her right.

The Secrets of Charles Koch’s Political Ascent Politico (margarita)

Jane Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’ Book Reveals Koch Brothers Paid Firm Run by Former NYPD Chief to Smear Her DeSmogBlog

How a Weapons Trafficking Case Brought Puerto Rico’s Political Status Before the US Supreme Court Global Voices (resilc)

Forget El Niño: California May Never Get Out of Drought, UC Berkeley Prof Says SFWeekly (Alan C)

The Flint water crisis and the criminality of American capitalism World Socialist Web Site (Judy B)

It’s not just Flint — every major American city has hazardous amounts of lead hurting kids Vox. Resilc: “Sorry, the Afghani army needs more training.”

How Does Your State Size-Up? One Diagram Comparing State Economies How Much (furzy)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Freddie Gray case is Band-Aid to Baltimore’s bigger problem CNN


Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence Henry Giroux, Bill Moyers

Davos: Chief executives ‘more pessimistic’ about growth BBC

Oil Market Tests Banks’ Ability to Weather Losses New York Times

Antidote du jour (Nikolai Zinoviev):

polar bear family links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Juneau

    Water: Bottom line:Always filter it. If you can possibly afford….
    Lead poisons adults too. The article overlooks this point understandably since children have more to lose re: productive years.

    1. russell1200

      Children not only have more “productive” years, they are also more susceptible to negative effects of low level lead poisoning in absolute terms.

      1. Bev

        The harm to Flint Michigan having to put up with a Governor who did not win:

        2014 Governor Election Sensitivity Analysis: Voter Registration and Turnout
        Richard Charnin

        In comments: Your Mi-Michigan True Vote Model shows Democratic Candidate for Governor Schauer won over the anti-science, 6,000 year old earth nut Republican Synder who should never have taken office. To the people of Michigan, Snyder should go to jail for poisoning drinking water and election fraud:

        Dear Gov. Snyder: You Have to Go to Jail

        “I’m asking everyone who agrees with me to sign on to this petition and call for your arrest.”
        by Michael Moore

        1. Bev

          spelling correction:

          Michigan True Vote Model shows Democratic Candidate for Governor Schauer won over the anti-science, 6,000 year old earth nut Republican Snyder

    2. subgenius

      Filtering isn’t really enough to deal with our levels of pollution (and reverse osmosis is a massive energy hog)

      Distillation, that’s the ticket – although you probably want to eat really good food, or take supplements, to replace the leeching of minerals etc…

  2. Robert Callaghan

    All work and no water make China a bad boy.
    The Himalayans are heating 2X faster than all earth.
    50% of China’s rivers gone since 1990.
    75% of their lakes and rivers are poisoned.
    60% of their groundwater is poisoned.
    50% of their farm land is poisoned.

    50% of soy grown in South America is fed to China’s pigs.
    Their rainforest is cleared for crops and its rainwater shipped to China.

    In 15 years 40% of humanity will be short of water.
    In 15 years 2 billion people will be extremely short of water.
    Today, over 1 billion people walk a mile each day for water.

    In 60 years human agriculture will end due to soil erosion and degradation says Scientific American because we are now losing about 24 million acres of soil worldwide per year and this number will increase.

    Lloyds of London predict civilization will end by 2025.

    Eating meat will deplete our soil and fresh water way faster than we can effect a 100% renewable energy transition. Without massive meat and energy demand destruction, a 100% renewable energy transition is unsustainable.

    Here’s why:

    It takes 1 ton of coal to make 6 solar panels.

    Electricity production is only 18% of total world energy use.

    82% of total world energy use is not electrical generation.

    After 20 years, solar-wind energy production is up from 1% to 3% of total world energy use.

    Solar-wind power are projected to provide 6% of total energy use by 2030.

    It takes 10X as much solar-wind energy to close 1 fossil fuel power plant simply because they are intermittent.

    It will take 10 X 18% of total world energy use to close all fossil power plants.

    And, it will take 4 X 82% of total world energy use for a 100% wind-solar energy transition.

    These figures do not include massive electrical storage and grid infrastructure.

    Such infrastructure is hundreds of millions of tons of materials taking decades and additional trillions of dollars.

    Solar-wind systems last 30 years meaning we will always have to replace everything all over the world again 50% sooner than fossil sources, again at 10 times their rated power. But it won’t matter because we’ll be too busy starving and dying of thirst to replace all the current solar panels and wind turbines we got now.

    Eating meat will destroy our soil and water faster than we can switch to renewable energy.

    1. jgordon

      Regarding the 30 year lifecycle of solar, that’s highly doubtful considering the new cheap solar panels arriving from China. How about 15 years? 10? Maybe 1-2?

      Anyway, I think innovation will save us. Let’s go pray to the gods of Science, Soma and Progress like the rest of the sheep; you’ll feel so much better going into the abattoir that way.

      1. Robert Callaghan

        innovation productivity is declining and any engineer knows scalability is always the big hurdle. Greenies always announce some “new scientific breakthrough” as if it mattered. It’s not like they are going to close existing solar factories down just because some scientist discovered a more expensive way to make solar energy.

        1. Synoia

          innovation productivity is declining

          Nah. It just being done in Wall St because that,s where the pay is best.

          Got link for you assertion?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Innovations are not always good.

          We ignore at our own peril not preparing to survive progress.

      2. Optimader

        Just scanning this and I’ll observe these sorts of superficial lists although entirely well intentioned can tend to proliferate and misinform.
        (Eg: what exactly does “It takes 1 ton of coal to make 6 solar panels.” actually mean?)
        Better off to make a couple points that can be supported with original source information.

        Just my 2 Yuan

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For me personally, it’s ‘when in doubt, consume less and drive less,’ sort of defensive posture.

          Not too many known side effects, except maybe less GDP, which can be countered with People’s money, I suppose.

          “Billionaires beware. Every time you guys wreck the economy, the Little People will get more money from the printing press, directly and immediately.”

          As for China, all I know lately is there is a black market hunger for Australian baby formula.

          1. tiebie66

            Exactly. But that contributes to the lack of aggregate demand which excites so many economists. It seems that, to save ourselves, we have to put ourselves out of work.

        2. craazyboy

          The general point about solar (and wind) not even coming close to saving the world as we know it valid. There is a general lack of understanding about what “capacity factor” is for intermittent sources. I read in the press all the time that someone “added 100Mw of solar capacity”, like those Mw are just as good as conventional power plant Mw.

          However, if 7-10 billion humans turn vegan and start grazing at the bottom of the food chain, I don’t think that will save the world, either.

          1. optimader

            The general point about solar (and wind) not even coming close to saving the world as we know it valid.
            Absolutely, at best the parity digit in energy production/consumption

            There is a general lack of understanding about what “capacity factor” is for intermittent sources.

            Absolutely, the bane of an intermittent source.

            A third point is the resource diversion and TIME to create a meaningful solar (wind) power capacity is an abstraction for most people. Supergrid and Storage remains the missing links to solving the issue intermittency.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We should also try these additional steps.

            Sleep early, turn out the lights soon after dusk and migrate (the old fashioned way) seasonally to avoid unnecessary heating and air conditioning.

            1. optimader

              I prefer get up late,
              turn out the lights soon after dusk;
              .. pour a Jameson’s and CRANK Mile Davis, John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Jaco Pastoreous, old King Crimson, my man Muddy… and the like, the list is endless … at 250W/side!

              We must make some energy use accommodations for quality of life, no?

              I do like the concept of living on lines of latitude, that is my planned eventuality.

                    1. voxhumana


                      with Eddie Hazel’s remarkable solo electric guitar work. It’ll make you weep and pine just for the sake of weeping and pining…

                1. optimader

                  Kind of Blues, that’s a regular standard… Never tire of it, it’s an aural narcotic for me.

                  As a point of information most releases of Kind of Blues have been issued at the wrong playback speed. …The record has been remastered many times during the compact disc era, including the 1986 Columbia Jazz Masterpieces reissue…
                  most notably, the 1992 remastering that corrected the speed for side one, which had been issued slightly off-pitch originally..

                  MDavis was obviously one of the greats, but beyond his genius, I know two musicians that played for him, one of whom I went to H.S. with, interestingly enough.

                  MDavis would mentor musicians for a few years and move them along. Mentoring including teaching them how to commercially organize themselves. Historically musicians, jazz and blues musicians in particular, would be financially cleaned out by managers and/or recording labels.

                  Here’s an album that should be in any jazz aficionados collection
                  Jazz At Massey Hall (OJC) Live, Original recording remastered

                  So the story goes Charlie Parker plays on a Grafton saxophone (plastic) because he was so strung out on heroin he pawned his own sax before the gig. A great and historic album

            2. susan the other

              migrate seasonally. I’ve been wanting to suggest that the first infrastructure project should be north-south trains. And sensible eco housing at destination. Who wouldn’t want to summer in the north and winter in the south?

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Any economy of the people, by the people and for the people would have that, and People’s Money.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      As a typical lying, dishonest fraud, you could never convince anyone with your misleading facts that have no relationship with the truth, THE WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the truth. Passive solar design for buildings can reduce heating and cooling energy consumption to near zero and in more and more instances, produce more energy than they consume. That’s right, our built environment can begin to be widely designed as a social based energy producing grid. And that’s before slapping panels on the roof. The continuing diminishing electrical consumption by higher and higher efficiency electronics, such as the disappearance of the 100 watt incandescent light bulb, replaced by the 7watt led light bulb, right now, not 35 years from now, is a perfect example of technological simplicity in solving a problem.

      You and your ilk and others on this site that are well meaning, but just do not follow what is going on right now in the non fossil fuel world, depend more on Oilprice for opinions about an emerging industry and an environmental policy war from people who have spent a lifetime following oil and gas and coal and whose paychecks depended entirely on following those industries. It is no secret that the amount of alternative investments in sustainable energy is so microscopic as to be almost irrelevant. What is not microscopic is the worldwide change in policy that is a tectonic shifting in that it has appeared at all. Nothing shows this more definitively than in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


      The shift in manufacturing the means of solar energy production within the kingdom of Saudi Arabia allows all of the previously consumed oil to be free for export for the nations stupid and weak enough not to quickly move off of fossil fuels. The other announcement from the kingdom, that hard fought for control over the means of production of oil on their lands will be relegated to a public corporation with a possible IPO of the Arab oil company, ARAMCO. The Arabs are cashing out, taking the money and running and letting someone else be the last dealer in oil as commodity. The end of the oil era.

      And finally, Obama has ordered the Bureau of Land Management to halt for a 3 year review, all new coal mining leases on federal lands. It seems that 40% of the mined coal for burning in power plants comes from public lands. Stopping that because it is in direct opposition to the new policy goals of COP21 is the other shoe that dropped this week.

      1. diptherio

        I know a guy in Three Forks, Montana who designed a zone 8 greenhouse that passively heats itself and his living quarters, which are attached…and did I mention he grows guava and figs – in freakin’ Montana!

        Smart design and conservation are where we should be looking, but the big money’s in chasing pipe-dreams of unlimited solar and wind energy, so…

        1. polecat

          Just look at the insane waste that goes into your standard, traditional, conventional stick-frame housing construction techniques……….no consideration for other, less obtrusive, and more energy efficient building methods! The housing industry, in its’ current form, needs to die!

        2. jimmt

          That’s cool. I’d like to see it sometime. Not that it would work here or in Missoula as they have something called the Sun during the winter on the east side of the divide. I think the sun was out a couple of weeks ago but I wouldn’t swear to it. Not that it matters as skiing has been great. No southerly migrating for me.

      2. theinhibitor

        “Passive solar design for buildings can reduce heating and cooling energy consumption to near zero and in more and more instances, produce more energy than they consume.”

        You missed the entire point of the post. You see, to make solar panels you need to expend a LOT of energy. To make the conduits, batteries, etc. you need even more energy. The efficiency of a solar panel may be high, transportation and storage is incredibly low (like 20%). What your assuming is that everyone lives in SoCal and has $35k to spend on solar panels. The fact of the matter is, personal consumption of power i.e. you typing away at your computer at home, isn’t really the issue.

        The issue is that the entire agricultural industry on this planet uses oil and petroleum byproducts. What the post was getting at, which is correct, is that we are already screwed when it comes down to feeding ourselves AND shifting to a renewable energy source. To put it in layman terms, we are nearing the end of plucking all the low hanging fruit.

        And you mention a ‘worldwide’ shift in policy. I don’t think any government would ever care enough until it is too late. It is, like everything nowadays, a treatment of symptoms, not preventive action. Let me give you an example: how did our government ever allow the bottling of water? plastic microbead production? The dominance of monocultures like corn and soy? Glyphosate? The Haber-Bosch process (nitrogen fixation at industrial level)? Pumping of aquifers? I don’t think you realize how deep the problems run. Renewable energy is just the very tip of the iceberg.

        1. Propertius

          The issue is that the entire agricultural industry on this planet uses oil and petroleum byproducts.

          Or, as the late Shah of Iran observed back in the ’70s, “Oil is too valuable to burn.”

        2. Lord Koos

          And even at this late date, you see no major conservation programs being put forward by most governments, and certainly not from the resource-hungry USA.

        3. Adam Eran

          Now, now…agriculture is important and certainly has gone very far down the rabbit hole of petroleum burning. Michael Pollan reports industrial agriculture burns ten calories of petroleum to produce one calorie of food.

          That said, permaculture would solve a lot of this. Google “Greening the desert” with Geoff Lawton, or if you want the same principles explained for farm-sized agriculture, Mark Shepard. Let’s not just be problem shouters, let’s be problem solvers.

          1. polecat

            We have a small amount of raised bed garden space. We also have fruiting trees, bushes, and vines. every bit of kitchen scrap gets put into one compost bin, mixed with the laying hens manure & straw, along with the occasional yard trimming. It gets aerated weekly. then, after about 6 mos., the batch is transferred to a 2nd bin, where the earthworms do their magic for another 6 mos. or so. At the end of a year the compost is ready to use. Better than ANY commercial compost you could buy on the market!

              1. polecat

                I also add any leftover charcoal from our woodstove to the yard(in addition to said compost) to our yard…the fungal organisms fine it to their liking, helping to convert essential elements & minerals to a form that the plants can use. We waste nothing!

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Perhaps one day, we can turn publicly financed gladiator parks into community gardens and compost centers.

              That’s my dream.

              Teach kids to reject violence. Show them the way to growth by embracing nature. Love your vegetables.

        4. Propertius

          The Haber-Bosch process (nitrogen fixation at industrial level)?

          Well, that can certainly be done away with almost immediately, at the paltry cost of a few billion human lives. I think it’s hardly in the same league as the bizarre American love affair with bottled water.

        5. different clue

          Passive solar design means super-insulating buildings, pointing their light-harvesting windows towards the south and southwest, designing for best wind-driven ventilation in the spring/summer/fall, etc. “Solar panels” have nothing to do with passive design.

          I have offered links to innovative solar thinkers before. Now I will just name a couple of names which people can look up if they want to. Steve Baer. Peter van Dresser.

      3. Synoia

        Passive solar design for buildings can reduce heating and cooling energy consumption to near zero

        Yes it can. For NEW buildings.

        What’s your proposal, tear everything down and rebuild?

        1. Paul Tioxon

          No, I haven’t missed any point. I don’t want to write a book every time some anxiety ridden crackpot pipes up with his litany of purity. In 1965 you and the other doomsayer would be a bold visionary. In 1970 your or him might even be an esteemed speaker at Earth Day in Philadelphia, PA in Fairmount Park. In 2016, this unending sobbing and hand wringing is just a personal disability to overcome fear. The anxiety blame assigning crybabies haven’t figured out or are just too young as of yet, to function fully in the world in a way that makes a difference. Anxiety producing fear mongering which triggers the flight of fight response, debilitates active political responses all from the self appointed luminaries of political correctness.

          It does not matter that right now, we need coal to burn to run solar panel plants, wind mill turbines facilities or any other sustainable means of power production. Obviously, any review of power production will show coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power produce the overwhelming amount power for the US and the rest of world, except Germany or Japan, which completely abandoned nukes. There is simply not enough factories producing enough panels, solar turbines or concentrated solar mirrors. Eventually, the solar factories will install their own products on their roofs. But since there are not enough in existence right now, that is impossible. And a criticism based on a barely developed industry still dependent on the industries it will displace is not a criticism at all, but a simple minded polemic, a sophistry that is easily dismissed by pointing out that all economic development goes through a historic process of growth which will eventually overtake the preceding social orders.

          Babies feed off of their mothers, children are helplessly dependent on their parents for many years, but they do grow up and live independent of the people that carried them. The net energy of solar power is right now less than all of the energy needed to produce it. However, the flaw in this point is that eventually, ALL OF THE OIL, GAS AND COAL WILL BE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          So geniuses, what do we do then if we do not build solar and wind and fuel cell factories now at a “net loss” of BTUs? Cash in our stocks and bonds and use that pile of cash to burn to keep warm? Yeah, that’s the ticket to unsustainable fossil fuels, have money to burn.

          As far as petro chemical input blather, please go to:

          They wrote the book on that slice of ecology activism. Farms and cities can work together in a heliocentric economy.

          1. heresy101

            Thank you Paul for some real information and not the sky is falling or that we can never get off of oil! There are some solar freaks who don’t comprehend renewable’s and electricity but they are compensated by the ignorance by people on sites like this. I used to like to read comments on this site but the ignorance drives me nuts because I am an energy professional that has worked on $250M of renewable energy and our rates below other utilities (except those with plants that are paid off).

            Talking about using coal (actually more likely natural gas because coal is out of the market now) shows a surprising lack of perspective for those that consider themselves financially literate. Solar power (PV, not concentrating solar) ranges in the $60/MWh range and bigger projects such as Austin Energy are $50/MWh. What those who talk about PV panels miss is that capital expenditure is only required ONCE every 25 years. Do the levelized cost and compare to coal or natural gas (even at $2/MMBtu); there is no energy cost. Repeat, there is no energy cost for 25 years! We can use wind (at $35/MWh) and gas to generate at night until storage costs come down and they are dropping fast.

            Passive solar is great and should be pushed for remodel or new construction but renewables such as PV, wind, geothermal, and biogas (not ethanol which is welfare for ADM) are the future of energy until the Koreans start selling Thorium reactors like they sell Hyundai’s.

          2. different clue

            It is good to see Acres USA being referrenced more nowadays. They have a monthly issue-prining of 22,000 copies which is not a lot for a nations of 300 million. They are also too small to do the mass advertising which might attract more readers. So it is up to “more readers” to find their own way to Acres USA.

            By the way, Acres USA is also describing the facts and cases of livestock growers who are net-carbon-suckdowning more than they are gross-carbon-emitting. Eat mob-grazed moved-fast-from-paddock-to-paddock meat and you are paying professionals to suck down more carbon than what they emit. If their shinola meat costs ten dollars a pound, that is the price of ecological correctness.

            People who would rather eat two dollars a pound carbon smokestack shitmeat can just die in the rising heat.

    3. fritter

      I’m not sure there is much of a point in there. The pollution in China was outsourced (or imported) along with the jobs. There’s plenty of pollution to go around though, just ask the people in Flint. There was no meat production involved.

    4. Dave

      “75% of their lakes and rivers are poisoned.
      60% of their groundwater is poisoned.
      50% of their farm land is poisoned.”

      Yes, but assWhole Foods still sells “organic” food grown in China, “certified” by Quality Assurance International rating agency.

      Plus there are plenty of junk food purveyors that use Chinese meat and produce. At least they don’t pretend to be organic.

    5. Lord Koos

      Shrinking glaciers in the Himalayas suggest a thirsty future for both China and India. Likewise west coast drought in the USA.

  3. Robert Callaghan

    I can’t believe you guys let me post the truth.

    Humans and livestock caused 80% of species extinctions.

    99% of Rhinos gone since 1914.

    97% of Tigers gone since 1914.

    90% of Lions gone since 1993.

    90% of Sea Turtles gone since 1980.

    90% of Monarch Butterflies gone since 1995.

    90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.

    80% of Antarctic Krill gone since 1975.

    80% of Western Gorillas gone since 1955.

    60% of Forest Elephants gone since 1970.

    50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.

    80% of Western Gorillas gone since 1955.

    40% of Giraffes gone since 2000.

    30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.

    70% of Marine Birds gone since 1950.

    28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.

    28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.

    Humans and livestock are 97% of all land-air vertebrate biomass.

    Humans and livestock were 0.01% of that biomass 10,000 years ago.

    Humans and livestock use 50% of earth’s land.

    Humans and livestock consume 40% of all earth’s annual land chlorophyll biomass production.

    1. Vatch

      We’re in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction event, and it’s entirely caused by humans. Human overpopulation and overconsumption worsens just about environmental situation. There are occasional exceptions that are caused instead by greed or stupidity, such as the horrible lead poisoning scandal in Flint, Michigan. But usually, too many people using too many resources causes the world’s major environmental problems.

    2. fresno dan

      I agree – and yet, there are those who say that the Japanese and Europeans have got to start f*cking moar!!! to produce consumers! to keep the economy going!!!!
      I imagine technology will provide us with handy pocket size DNA detectors so that when we all eat nothing but soylent green, you can test your lunch to make sure your not eating your grandma…
      Waiter! there’s a grandmother is in my soup!

    3. different clue

      Livestock didn’t cause all the extinctions or near extinctions you referrence. Pure human action directly against the animals concerned did much of that. The impending extinction of rhinos and elephants is due to Chinese-demand-driven strip mining of ivory and rhino horn. The word “poaching” hardly begins to cover the industrial strip-mining style intensity of it.

      Boycotting China ( and maybe other Asia) into such desperate utter poverty that not one single person in China is rich enough to afford ivory is the only way to save the elephant at this point. ( Unless someone can suggest an effective extermination-program targeted against the on-site elephant strip-miners active in Africa which could exterminate all of them before they can exterminate the elephants). I can understand liberal humanitarians not wanting to adopt either of these approaches. But then please let us not have those liberal humanitarians pretend they want to prevent the extinction of elephants.

      Now . . . I can think of another way to save the rhinos. Their “horn” is made of dead inert-type fingernail protein called “keratin”. If the rhinos were all darted and tranquilized, and the dead inert part of their horns were filled with polonium 210 ( that radioisotope used to kill that Russian dissident in London), then every rhino horn strip mined from a strip mined rhino would reach the final buyer stuffed full of polonium 210. The final users would ingest painfully-lethal-within-weeks amounts of polonium 210 and would die as they deserve, in open view of everyone they know. If every prospective rhino-horn buyer got the point before all the rhinos were killed and de-horned, then the rhino strip mining would stop. If they didn’t get the point fast enough, they would at least die from polonium 210 poisoning as they deserve.

  4. alex morfesis

    Mr buffets neighborhood…textron financial…floor plan financing and derivatives…say goodnight charlie…it has been an interesting 6 months in my life…wells fargo played footsie with a gov dred scott appointed judge whose job was to sweep properties into the hands of self proclaimed note holders…

    Payback time…

    Handled legal support on a case where textron had provided floor plan financing…rv and mobiles tied to berk/hath…derivs were basically guaranteeing transaction while claiming to be arms length simple old every day biz deriv…sorry charlie…some of us have read thru the connecticut gen re lawsuit paperwork from 2005…captain free float bytes the dust ??

    1. Christopher Fay

      Gee whillikers. Now that is something that I wish was clearer about past-sell-by-date grandpa. It sounds like one structured fraud on top of another, and then 9 stream chess with the derivatives. You should try spelling that out with some more clarity so we can bronx cheer from the cheap seats.

    2. Synoia

      Is the concept of a sentence too much effort for you? If you want to communicate in text messages, do it on your phone.

      1. alex morfesis

        I tend to do novelettes and thought it might be better to keep it short…
        Oh well…
        Not sure what part you did not see through…
        Floor plan financing is done for retailers to handle inventory…
        Textron used its previous aaa rating to raise cheap capital.
        W/B and his partner charlie are wells fargo investors.
        Wells argued that it was the note holder on a mortgage brokered loan. I knew better. Gov scott helped lenders by placing temp judges and witholding judicial funding unless the chief judges gave foreclosure cases to his politically appointed bank lovers. In my discovery requests they convinced the court that my questions were frivolous insisting they were the note holder. The politically appointed judge rubber stamped it. After i gave them a stipulated judgment they “magically” discovered that FNMA was the note holder and asked the court to assign the judgment. Then they got a sale date 60 days prior to what was stipulated and ran the advert in a local kock family supported “vanity business” publication that has a distribution of less then ten newstand sales per week.

        This “disclosure” was my way of saying thank you to berkshire for its support of the upstanding citizens brigade members at wells…

        I dont play nice…

      2. alex morfesis

        some helpful data from the FDIC (mayhaps) on portfolio risks just prior to the great conversion

        from page 16

        Manufactured Housing, despite its reputation as the worst performing ABS sector for investors since the demise of gain-on-sale accounting in 1998, reports 90-day Delinquent Balances similar to some other viable sectors. United Companies Financial Corporation (which sought bankruptcy protection in 1999) reports 90-day Delinquent
        Balances at 8.26% on their Manufactured Housing Loans, while Wilshire Funding and Indy Mac follow at about the 5% level. Conseco, viewed as one of the scoundrels of the
        industry shakeout after seeking bankruptcy protection in 2002, reports 90-day Delinquent Balances at only 0.92%.

    1. Steve Gunderson

      So how much would an iPhone cost if built in the US?

      The article just says its hard to find 1,000 workers willing to move across the country at the drop of the hat for minimum wage.

  5. Ignim Brites

    “Forget El Niño: California May Never Get Out of Drought, UC Berkeley Prof Says”. Curiously, the main reservoir for SF and the Peninsula has been full throughout the drought.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Curiouser-ly, that reservoir serves a lot of above-average income zip codes. I know because i grew up there.

      1. different clue

        I agree with Nowhere. A reservoir serving strictly homedwelling residents will get sucked down way slower than a reservoir serving cropgrowing farmers. Of course if any cropgrowing farmers hear about that reservoir, they might start demanding some of the water.

    2. nowhere

      Why is that curious? The big reservoirs are for farming interests in the Central Valley. Transfers to municipal storage are, sorry, drops in the bucket.

      The curious bit will come when all of the ground water is depleted in the Valley and the reservoirs are running low again – then the competition between providing water for humans vs water for almonds to ship to China will really begin.

      1. Ignim Brites

        It has declined in past droughts. It is fed by Hetch-Hetchy so maybe state is preparing to take down that dam? Any rate, astute observation about agricultural use of water. Thanks.

    3. subgenius

      Also, dangerous to make predictions based on past behaviour when you hit a breakdown of old patterns…

      The climate is destabilising – what new patterns establish, and when, is as yet unknown.

  6. scott

    When the World Socialist Web Site is turning on Obama, you know it’s bad. Talking Socialism while handing out favors to corporations and privatizing infrastructure…. Shame!

    1. Propertius

      I don’t see how anyone could ever have thought President Obama ™ was a socialist. If he were a socialist, I’d have voted for him.

  7. rich

    Billionaire green activist Steyer says not yet ready to back Clinton, open to Sanders


    Steyer said Clinton’s position on energy and climate – which calls for increased use of solar and wind power, lower oil use, and a revamping of the aging U.S. oil and gas pipeline network – was good but needed some work. (here)

    “I don’t think she’s fully fleshed out everything she has to say about energy and climate,” Steyer said. “I think that as the campaign goes on I would imagine she will put out more detailed plans of exactly what she thinks. I don’t find what she’s said inadequate, but I don’t think it’s complete yet.”

    Sanders has a climate agenda that on its face appears to resonate more closely with Steyer’s – an aggressive move away from fossil fuels, including a ban on hydraulic fracturing. But he has also railed against billionaire influence in politics and has pledged not to accept cash from big donors. (here)

    Steyer said Sanders’ views on big money “certainly wouldn’t disqualify him for us, I can tell you that.”

    “What Bernie Sanders is talking about, which is trying to get back to a more perfect democracy, is something that we support too.
    We just think that the idea of … wishing the rules were different and then pretending they were, is something which, unfortunately, probably would be disastrous from the standpoint of energy and climate,” Steyer said.

  8. Robert Callaghan

    Well, if you are going to let me carry on, then stay calm.

    Stacey and Max did a good show today where I learned 2 things.

    After cell phones the market price of sardines stabilized dramatically.

    The reason France attacked Libya was because the French have a common currency market in West Africa that the Libyans wanted to usurp.

    You may wonder how I know all this. It’s because when I am hungover I can hear my dog communicate telepathically with aliens and after carefull consideration of this I consult the vast sentient intellect of my bellybutton lint before commenting.

  9. meme

    Ta-Nehisi Coates criticizes Bernie Sanders in his Atlantic story “Why Precisely Is Bernie Sanders Against Reparations?” for being more direct than Hillary when asked whether he supports reparations. Hillary gets a pass for evading the question (as does Obama for that matter). Bernie’s response:

    “No, I don’t think so. First of all, its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil. Second of all, I think it would be very divisive. The real issue is when we look at the poverty rate among the African American community, when we look at the high unemployment rate within the African American community, we have a lot of work to do.

    So I think what we should be talking about is making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free, basically targeting our federal resources to the areas where it is needed the most and where it is needed the most is in impoverished communities, often African American and Latino.”

      1. vidimi

        the correct reply should have been: “depends on what you mean by ‘reparations’. if by ‘reparations’ you mean undoing the structural disadvantage faced by black youths today then i am all in for reparations.”

        1. Inverness

          Valid point, vidimi. Were there equal access to safety, education, employment, housing…reparations would be less of an issue.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Can’t Coates line up some economists to evaluate and numerize all the money and other wealth that he wants “reparated?” So the evil white folks of today, like me, who are living so high on the hog, can see what they are argued to owe?

          Lawyers in personal injury and wrongful death cases have rafts of experts that will tell the jury to the penny how worthy, or worthless (plaintiff, or defense), a person’s pain and life are. Of course let us not extend the calculus to include the profits to the slave-takers in the Africa of the past, who did pretty good selling their fellow people of similar background down in the swamps of the Bight of Benin and such places. Because the people who rule there now and have for a long time have done a bang-up job of stripping and enslaving and killing fellow Africans. An honest selection of the set of inputs to the calculus would include just what, exactly? Depends on cui is expecting to bono…

          And will there be a nice cut for the DNA Sorters who already for a couple hundred bucks can supposedly figure out what part of each claimant is “black,” actually shades of red and gold and ochre and brown, versus “white,” actually cream and pink and yellow and tan, forget about those with Asian and “other indigenous” coloration and heritage, so that the algorithm will know what percent of the total ought to be credited to the account of each claimant?

          What it boils down to? Just a demand for preferential wealth transfer, based on victimhood and merit, as selectively defined and directed? MLK knew better, about what the best focus for a remedy for it all was.

          And what part of the pie will be subject to divvying up among the claimants? The 0.01ders already have dibs on the most of everything. If they ain’t drug down, and the rest of us don’t stop living like the cicada in the fable, it all devolves down to Soylent Green, Mad Max and a circular firing squad… Grab what you can, sauve qui peut!

          Stupid effing humans.

            1. PWC, Raleigh

              Wow, that piece from Paul Street at is strident and very nicely put together.

              I admire the contributions that Ta-Nahesi Coates has been making to public discourse, but Paul Street provides a valuable critique.

              Ta-Nahesi Coates’ dominant lens through which all history is filtered is White Supremacy as *the* seminal American belief. In his narrative(s), a rigorous inclusion of the much broader (and much truer) lens of class struggles and class warfares would make for a much longer (but much truer) book.

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps Sanders has been reading Bruce Dixon.

      I’m a lifelong socialist, somebody who believes political mountains can and must be moved. But when proponents of reparations don’t even try to discuss what the needed political coalitions might look like, what sectors of society we need to win over to make reparations happen, or how many years or decades all this might take, are they acting like a political movement, or like something else? What kind of political movement advances no measures, discusses no plans, takes no responsibility for advancing its own just cause? The answer is that movements don’t behave like that at all. But brands do.

      Brands neither say what they mean, nor mean what they say. Brands are stories, brands are narratives contrived to get specific emotional reactions, to pull real or imagined memories, sights, smells or feelings from a target audience. To do this brands operate outside of and independent from fact and/or logic. Reparations is not a movement, it’s a brand.

    2. Darthbobber

      I’ve never understood (really) how Coates and others think that there’s something “radical” about viewing the collective and cumulative results of this aspect of an interconnected web of oppressions as “solvable” by basically conceptualizing Black Americans as a big individual whose been hit by a drunk truck driver and using the principles of Tort Law embedded in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence to “make them whole.”

      (And has the past ever been “fixable” except when it was the present?)

      Also interesting (to me) that the Coates piece hits the Atlantic in this same short window as the Krugman, Chait and Klein hit pieces. Has he now joined the ranks of the liberal gatekeeper nomenklatura?

    3. different clue

      Fuck Mister Coates. God damn Mister Coates, Let that Obama-loving piece of shit just come out and support Billary. He knows he wants to, and we know it too.

    1. Christopher Fay

      We will see whether the big bank donors at some point get jebby about their investment in Mrs. Clinton. We all want to save the world, but if I’m backing a loser, you can count me out.

    2. Bev

      About Bernie:
      Attacking Wall Street and the Corrupt US Political System Makes Sanders a Genuine Revolutionary
      Rethinking Bernie Sanders
      by: Dave Lindorff
      Bernie – The new Comic Book Bio (by Ted Rall)
      It can cure Stupid
      A personal note from Greg Palast

      (Ted) Rall’s Sanders was not the intellectual child of Karl Marx. Rather, he was the child of Eli Sanders, a low-ticket salesman whose commissions barely covered the rent on a one-bedroom flat in Brooklyn – except when they didn’t cover it and Sanders’ parents would fight.
      Bernie is also a quick primer on “Pot-hole Socialism.” For example, as Mayor of Burlington, Sanders brought a minor league ball team to town, built affordable housing, balanced the budget and took care of business. Bernie was a government executive even Paul Ryan could love (if Ryan weren’t a sick, duplicitous shill for billionaires.)

      The book’s opening is a particularly enjoyable I-didn’t-know-that history of the Democratic Party’s “moonwalk,” sliding right while pretending to defend progressive views. It’s the betrayal that created Bernie’s movement, not just his political moment.

      To Bernie’s Supporters:
      Another Presidential Election Year Featuring Unverified and/or Unverifiable E-Voting Begins: ‘BradCast’ 1/7/2016
      GUEST: Election integrity watchdog Bev Harris of…

      (Bev) Harris tells me (Brad Friedman), describing some of the ways election integrity advocates can try to force the issue a bit. Among her suggestions: “You can go [to the polling place at closing time] and snap a picture of what those [computer tabulated] results are with your cell phone and compare it with, at least, what they report” later on.

      Microsoft (backdoors to NSA, CIA) wants a dominating say in Iowa?
      Iowa caucuses go high-tech
      But now both parties will use a Microsoft smartphone or tablet app to report the results from each precinct caucus back to the state party on election night. In addition, the Democrats will host a tele-caucus for Iowa residents who are out of the country, allowing them to vote via a conference call system.

  10. Steve H.

    This video (about 7 minutes) is as good as I’ve seen about why Trump’s skills are Tremendous:

    Hat tip to ZenPundit, with a shimmer of frisson to Lambert for colored words.

  11. Robert Callaghan

    Bernie Sanders already sold out to Clinton, his voters just don’t know it yet, In an interview with Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader said Bernie Sanders already announced he would support the winning Democratic nominee without holding out for policy concessions.

    Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer co-sponsored a senate bill that would allow government to control 60% of carbon any future carbon tax dividends as proposed by James Hansen. Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein are funded by the Rockefellers to spearhead public acceptance of this government control of carbon taxes. This is exactly the opposite of what James Hansen proposed, which is that carbon taxes be directly deposited 100% to you, the private citizen, with 0% for the government and corporations.

    Environmentalism in the 21st century is about money and NOT the environment.

    62 old white guys own as much as 3.5 billion people do. James Hansen’s 100% private tax dividend will unite rich and poor, left and right for a common cause. McKibben and Klein are divisive and confrontational. Personally, I strongly believe that carbon tax dividends should be issued in a new world electronic currency so that all humanity will unite in a common cause.

    If you read my earlier post, you will notice that eating meat will destroy our soil and water faster than we can switch to renewable energy. The problem with this is that 7 billion people are NOT going to stop eating meat and wasting food just because it may offend us and we ask them nicely, but 7 billion people will stop eating meat if include a carbon price on meat consumption. Everything is related.

    Our survival is not something we get to pick and choose from like in a restaurant menu, eating meat is.

    1. Lambert Strether

      What a shame that to win, Sanders has to appeal to Democratic voters, who expect him to support their nominee. How easy it would be, were that not so! (Of course, a promise to support is pretty vague, and it’s not even clear Clinton would take advantage of it; and its implicitly conditioned on a level of fairness, like avoiding caucus fraud, like Obama in Texas, 2008.) This is all, all “a week is along time in politics” stuff, and neither Nader nor Hedges are especially adept in that field, are they?

      1. Steve H.

        “Clinton Ends Bid and Endorses Obama JUNE 7, 2008.”

        Winners don’t need the endorsement of Losers! Winners just WIN!

      2. Roquentin

        Hedges is such a clown sometimes. He annoys me more and more often. He still thinks like a preacher, having gone through the seminary, and his primary concern is a sense of moral superiority completely divorced from all pragmatism. I place some of the blame for our current political situation on the likes of him and Chomsky (although, in Noam’s defense I saw a recent interview with him where he didn’t completely disparage voting). I have zero patience whatsoever with people who are more concerned with keeping their hands clean rather than trying to make the best of a shitty situation. Yes, our political system is corrupt, broken, and owned lock, stock, and barrel by wealthy corporate oligarchs while giving only minor pretense to popular sovereignty. However, it’s the only system we have. Sitting on the sidelines and holding out for some kind of naive utopia is useless an vain. “I’m too good to vote for these assholes.” We all know they are assholes and the system is a sham. It’s a shame you’re too delicate to get involved.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think they belong to the ‘let the ancien regime go’ brigade.

          For some of them, the impact might be minimal, and for others, they don’t care if they are devoured by their own Revolting Father.

    2. Vatch

      I’ve found that it’s more effective to advise people to eat less meat than to demand that they give up meat entirely. And if one does give up eating animal based products, be sure to take a vitamin B-12 supplement. The alternative is dementia.

      Your false comment about Sanders selling out to Clinton has be well answered by Lambert.

    3. HotFlash

      I believe that it is the Dem Party’s primary he is running in, and he isn’t even a Democrat. It seems only courteous of Senator Sanders to agree to their rules, don’t you think? I also think, though, that 1.) he entered to win, 2.) he doesn’t own his voters, and not even all of his delegates. So I c’alate that he ca’lated the he could afford to accept this wager and the DNC had been outmaneuvered. About time!

      Wonder if Hillary made a similar agreement?

    4. different clue

      Eating ecologically correct meat mob-raised and fast-moved on multi species pasture will fix more carbon than it emits. Non-stupid and non-disinformed people either know this, or are learning about it in places like Acres USA.

  12. Chromex

    It is difficult to believe that if the GOP actually DID drop acid, that the outcome would be the Trump Palin alliance. In fact, I would state that the whole 2016 mess that the GOP and this country finds itself in would be a damn sight better if the GOP HAD dropped acid. The article header is a slander on acid.

      1. ambrit

        “..what’s Hillary?”
        Well, I flash on uncontrolled, mass ingestion of Ergot. Bizarre behavior, unrestrained narcissism, delusional thinking ending in agonizing death. Remarkably similar to todays’ American political parties’ behavior.

        1. Chromex

          Hillary could also be described as meth, which generally has the characteristics noted above for ergot

      2. Hidflect

        Hillary is scopalomine (sic). You do whatever you’re told by people who have total control of you.

    1. Vatch

      If a Presidential candidate were to state that the Egyptian pyramids had been used as grain storage silos, I would suspect that he or she was hallucinating. It might be hard to determine whether the hallucinations were induced by LSD, another drug, fever, or schizophrenia.

  13. Robert Callaghan

    Today is a big day on the markets, and since I’m feeling especially ranty and hungover, I will continue.

    Recently, it was announced that China is burning less coal while continuing to grow, proving once again you CAN reduce emissions and have economic growth. This was announced after China admitted to burning more coal than official figures indicate. Also, if anyone believes in China’s growth numbers, then I have some real estate in Florida for sale. This is a common narrative for the McKibben-Klein socialists. Klein says renewable energy will provide 6X as many jobs as fossil fuels provide. She’ll mention how a tiny little country next to the ocean gets 40% of its power from wind turbines like all we have to do to fix things is to copy Denmark, who just happen to have a smart grid next to German energy markets. A smart grid in North America will take decades and trillions of dollars to build. 50% of Northern Europe’s “renewable” energy comes from burning wood they import from all over the world. Northern Europe also imports soy and palm oils that they mix with diesel fuel and burn in their cars. Then they lie about their emissions. Renewable energy is unsustainable. McKibben and Klein work for the Rockefellers, and everything you are told about environmentalism is a lie. Environmental groups depend on donations to survive and they have found that false optimism and a victim-perpetrator narrative work best to open wallets. This is why you are told renewable energy is cheaper than shit and will save the planet. The reason solar panels are so cheap is because China controls 75% of the world’s solar market and they ship them all around the world on giant container ships. The real reason solar panels are so cheap is because China has a super low currency, they don’t really enforce environmental laws and they don’t pay their workers shit. If we can’t even tell the truth about the environment and energy, we are not going to save life on earth. This is not really hard to understand.

      1. Robert Callaghan

        Exactly right about hoarding coal. The data mines are so big in China, you can make them say anything you want. Data mining in China is always dirty dangerous work.
        This is why I roll my eyes when I hear yet another eulogy for coal’s demise.
        China builds enough highways each year to cross the U.S. twice over.
        China buys nearly 20 million new cars per year.
        China is building 6 new nuclear plants per year until 2030.
        China wants 400 nuclear plants by 2050.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you could construct a great wall, 2,000 years ago, and rebuilt over the millenniums, and if you are proud of your own civilization, there is nothing you can’t build.

  14. Robert Callaghan

    Life laughs at us.
    We got enough oil to burn the world twice over, yet banks are going broke loaning money for exploration. Low oil prices won’t last forever, they’ll last just long enough to destroy our financial system. It’s doubly ironic that the ’08 crash was ignited by high oil prices and this one ignited by low oil prices. We got too much oil as it is and the world is going broke because we can’t find more. That’s why I don’t understand it when people think austerity should end and green energy will provide 6X the jobs fossil power does. Such magical thinking is literally insane. It ws Marie Antoinette who said let them eat cake, but we want to have our cake and eat it too.

  15. Robert Callaghan

    All the smog in China actually cools the earth and prevents it from heating up too fast.
    When industrial civilization crashes, this cooling will stop and earth will very quickly jump up into a new state of heat equilibrium.

    What people don’t really get is that financial collapse will precede industrial collapse and yes, it can always get worse. Europe can barely handle a few million refugees, now just imagine billions. And believe me, they’re coming. In 20 years, equatorial regions of earth will be uninhabitable long before we go extinct.

    If you got money, buy food and store it. It won’t save you, but it won’t kill you either.

    1. Lord Koos

      That equilibrium, if it happens, won’t help. There is a tipping point for this stuff — by the time an industrial collapse would happen, billions will have already died.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe it’s my tolerance of heat and humidity being projected here, but equatorial regions today are hardly inhabitable for a modern person, unless accompanied by a personal air conditioner.

      1. Lord Koos

        I prefer heat to cold, and lived in a 4th-floor room in northern Thailand through the hot season with only a fan and some nice cross-ventilation. With properly designed dwellings it’s not too bad. Working in that heat is another thing altogether though…

  16. tegnost

    loony at .68 cents for 1USD, will we see .50 cents, if so will canadians come to the us to work the wage arbitrage?

      1. tegnost

        the other side of the coin is how much stronger can the dollar actually get?
        maybe canada will be the one wanting a wall…..

  17. DJG

    Wowsers, Yves: The five articles under Syraqistan sum up the ruination that the U.S. has been engaged in, both the destruction of others and the self-inflicted wounds. A way of thinking about the situation from Tunisia to Pakistan and the U.S. role is to recall how the U.S. screwed up Latin America for a hundred years or so–to the point of helping to overthrow the government of its giant, Brazil. The result? Americans aren’t all that welcome in Latin America, and the U.S. has learned (somewhat, qualified) not to meddle so much. Now, why do our political elites think that the same tactics will work in the Middle East? So our strategy should be no strategy: Pull out. (And leave our friends the Saudis and the Israelis to their own nefarious devices.)

  18. allan

    University Of Phoenix Can Start Receiving Military Tuition Assistance Again

    On Jan. 15, the University of Phoenix was notified by the Department of Defense that it would be removed from the probationary status on which it was placed in October and would once again be eligible to accept funds from military students using tuition assistance benefits.

    The university has repeatedly come under fire for its recruitment practices targeting veterans and active-duty military, which some critics have called “predatory.”

    File under Corruption, Class Warfare and Imperial Collapse (because if you have to not only feed your young to the meat grinder of Empire, but then victimize again those who return, something is amiss).

  19. Kurt Sperry

    How Much Would Donald Trump’s American-Made iPhone Actually Cost? link is missing its “h” from “http”.

    1. craazyboy

      The last sentence in the article is

      Jobs’ response: “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”

      So there we are then. TINA.

        1. ambrit

          Sorry to disagree but, as recent history shows, eg. Irak, Syria, Afghanistan, Lybia, one country enters, chaos leaves. Taken to its’ Neoliberal extreme, all countries enter, big Corporations leave. I’ll go out on a limb and call it ‘Operation Thunderdome.’

      1. aka

        Jobs, jobs jobs …

        I smell Stockholm Syndrome, don’t you? To a bunch of hypocritical Calvinists?

        I have no job but yet I work. Incredible, isn’t it? /sarc

        1. craazyboy

          In a previous life I was in the capital equipment biz. In the 80s and 90s I did get factory tours of a few electronics manufacturing plants in America. So I’ve actually seen and touched them. Before America got so helpless that Asians have to do everything for us.

          1. aka

            To Asians, it maybe a step up or two from following a water buffalo all day with a plow.

            But to Americans, “Been there, done that.”

            It’s time to move away from an emphasis on jobs to an emphasis on meaningful work, not to mention justice.

            Btw, since I’m retired that’s all the work I do – work that is meaningful to me and I love it. With a few more resources, I could do even more meaningful work, meaningful to me, by definition.

              1. aka

                I’m not arguing for one life style over another but for justice.

                Of course, if Asians have been pushed off their farms unjustly (and I suspect they have been) that’s a different story.

                But from what I’ve heard, even women in the Amazon prefer modern washing machines to beating laundry on a rock down at the river.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  But it would be educational for boys and men to at least get that experience once in a while.

                  Similarly, to get in touch with our inner cave-person, we desire to camp out and eat over a camp fire.

                  1. aka

                    “But it would be educational for boys and men to at least get that experience once in a while.”

                    Yes, don’t knock a potentially comfortable lifestyle for all of us until one has tried the alternatives.

                    I’m reminded of Laurence of Arabia where he loves the desert but the Arabs themselves?

                    Prince Feisal: “No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees. There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing.”

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      A true Bedouin neither loves nor loves not the desert.

                      He or she simply lives.

                      It’s more a late 20th century person to ponder deeply about loving this or that.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Would his American-made iPhone make this a better society?

      Maybe it will cost more, but more people would have to resort to writing letters and watch fewer videos…or stop staring into the palm of their hand(held smartphone).

      Maybe it will create a shortage of workers, with wages increasing, and more workers able to retire early to find satisfaction not in their pre-retirement jobs, but their work.

      Would that be a better society?

  20. Joe Renter

    We as a species have really done a fine job to endangering the life of the planet. I think this year will be a very interesting one for the so called capitalist market. When the big fall/crash happens I believe there will be an opportunity for a different economic model to be implemented. Really there is no other choice for the future. We are running out of time as the life systems start to collapse. I know it is taboo to think of that there may be such a thing a spiritual event that will do a reset at the last monument for getting out of the mess we are in, but I believe it is about to happen. In all periods of history a leader has come forth in the tome of need. This time is no different. Be prepared. This leader will not be for one group or for the followers of one religion, but rather for all of humanity.
    There will be a new source of clean energy that will be reveled that will be given to us. No doubt there will be a number years of hard work to clean up the mess and change the old ways of thinking. The power of the status quo is great and entrenched. Most people are basically good and are willing to share and work for future of the planet and mankind. It will take a commit from all of us.
    Take you bothers need and make it a measure of your own.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When I read about the bloated balance sheets of central banks, i always wonder, does it really matter?

      Central banks can create as much money as they want, can’t they?

      Why does it matter whether they government securities or my securities? And I can sell them a lot.

    2. craazyboy

      “Fun Fun Fun” – Beach Boys

      Well Janet gots her punchbowl
      And she’s put it away now
      Seems she forgot all about the market
      And the market is sad now
      And with the market crashing
      Janet’s flipping bonds as fast she can now

      And we had fun fun fun
      ‘Til Janet took her punchbowl away
      (Fun fun fun Til Janet took her punchbowl away)

      Well the hedgies can’t stand her
      ‘Cause she walks looks and talks like an ass now
      (You talk like an ass now you talk like an ass)
      She makes Dow 20000 look like a long way away now
      (You talk like an ass now you talk like an ass)
      Benanke tries to catch her
      And explain she needs negative rates now
      (You talk like an ass now you talk like an ass)

      And we had fun fun fun
      ‘Til Janet took her punchbowl away
      (Fun fun fun Til Janet took her punchbowl away)

      Well you knew all along
      That the market was gettin’ wise to you now
      (You shouldn’t have lied now you shouldn’t have lied)
      The market took your money
      And bid stock prices up to the sky now
      (You shouldn’t have lied now you shouldn’t have lied)
      But you can rescue the market
      ‘Cause we gotta a lot of things to do now
      (You shouldn’t have lied now you shouldn’t have lied)
      QE sounds good and negative rates too now

      And we had fun fun fun
      ‘Til Janet took her punchbowl away
      (fun fun fun ‘Til Janet took her punchbowl away)
      (fun fun fun ‘Til Janet took her punchbowl away)
      woo ooooo oo oo ooooo wooo

  21. ambrit

    I read the Cramer link and noticed that the analyst he quoted said that 1830 was the support level for the S&P. As of this time, the S&P is at 1830. Below that was said to be a real ‘bottomless pit.’ S&P 1300 in a month?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Where is comrade Haywood? At Marketwatch, they are screaming ‘One and Done.’

          Will that provide the rocket fuel for the final parabolic ascent?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We need something exceptional to produce extraordinary popular delusions and madness.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Those who said ‘plunge’ may have to re-think and protect their Big Short…for now, it looks like teamwork is paying off.

  22. optimader

    this link works, the one posted seems dead.

    The article is BS, three comments

    1.) the logic in the article sucks

    2.) the writer apparently doesn’t understand what “making” actually
    means! Rather he is using “assembling” is a synonym for “making”.

    3.) the writer never does offer the headline conclusion. So how much an iphone made in America cost??

    hint1 to author: maybe the “American made” cost is what it should cost, the spread being an unsustainable externalization?
    hint 2 to author: maybe if they cost “more” they would also have to be “made” to last longer and be repairable ??

    Like I said yesterday, I still have a ~40yo TI calculator/ Beautiful piece of engineering and craftwork–made in USA

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It started with annual spring and fall fashion shows. Gotta have something every year. That went all the way to 1800s, I believe.

      And it was a new car model every few years or ever year.

      Then, gotta have to the latest running shoes.

      Today, you are a verifiable Luddite not keeping up with newest version smartphone. Not need for durability, when you will throw it away soon.

      “My master, everyone’s brain has been washed and conditioned, unlike his/her hair. Some of them don’t wash their hair or use bad conditioners.”

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      According to the article, iphones assembled in America would cost $50 more than imported ones.

      It would seem that, in the face of Trump’s 45% tariff, the concept of TINA takes on a whole new meaning.

      I do agree with steve jobs, however, when he says that the jobs are not “coming” back. They will need to be forced.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I would go for it at $50 more if it is also stodgier, even Soviet Union like stodge, if it means less fashion-dependent, but more durable.

        Cost = acquisition cost + (expected lifespan x maintenance cost)

        Compare over a selected time period.

      2. Optimader

        Assembled not made.
        MY POINT IS the high value middle class upper middle class jobs are not assembling phones, thats robot work.
        . It is the human resources reqd to create and support the infrasturucture which create the bits that are then assembled! –as well as the bits that are assembled into the automation systems that assemble the phones….
        Assembly work is the equivalent of a bread sandwich

    3. cyclist

      Those SR-5x calculators were ubiquitous among the physical science majors in my undergraduate years. Once I could afford it, I switched to the even more solidly constructed Hewlett-Packard programmables for the RPN (mine still works – also made in the USA).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The rentier strategy is to add a new feature every year so you look forward to getting a new one.

        “Overcome your inner Luddite. Update your Perfect 2015 model with our new Perfect+1 2016 model.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Never associate your products with imperfect – Marketing 101.

          So, it’s perfect, perfect+1, perfect+2, etc.

        2. Optimader

          Annual model year changes was the marketing scheme of Sloan at GM, that was a strategy to crush competitiors that fould not finance the perpetual retooling, and extracted quality (shorter life) from componetry –particularly the consumer contact surfaces and interfaces

    4. subgenius

      Yep, actually manufacturing an iPhone with what is actually in-country puts the price in the millions – all the tooling etc is essentially advanced prototyping. I remember reading an article that indicated the production rate would run to maybe 5000 units a year if manufacturing iPhones (I think this was for the 5)

  23. petal

    Thank you for the link about Maria Sibylla Merian. Great article. Passed it on to some young ladies of middle school age. I know they will enjoy it and it will inspire them.

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence Henry Giroux, Bill Moyers

    “Guns are certainly a major problem in the United States, but they are symptomatic of a much larger crisis: Our country has tipped over into a new and deadly form of authoritarianism. We have become one of the most violent cultures on the planet and regulating guns does not get to the root of the problem Zhiwa Woodbury touches on this issue at Tikkun Daily, writing:

    We are a country of approximately 300 million people with approximately 300 million firearms – a third of which are concealable handguns. Each one of these guns is made for one purpose only – to kill as quickly and effectively as possible. The idea that some magical regulatory scheme, short of confiscation, will somehow prevent guns from being used to kill people is laughable, regardless of what you think of the NRA.

    I believe I recently tried to make this point, although my opinion was, shall we say, not well-received.

    Apparently, I am not the only one who realizes that a violent culture cannot legislate, tax, insure, compensate or preach away that same violence when it is turned inward and begins to destroy the very culture itself.

      1. JTMcPhee

        It’s like how one’s body will scab over and try to granulate the eruption through the skin of a militant malignancy — if there’s enough health and nutrients to provide the necessary energy, the process can repeat, up to the point that the cancer has so emaciated the corpus that there’s no fixing and covering possible. At which point…

    1. perpetualWAR

      “One of the most violent cultutes”…….

      I always have a problem with this terminology. I worked with a Turkish man who recounted stories from his youth. He told of walking home from school and finding no home, as his family lived in the slums built with scrap building materials and no permit. These slums would randomly be bulldozed and all the families’ possessions lost. He told of being so poor that, for money, he endured being raped by a military general repeatedly.

      To me, these stories represent a very violent culture. Yet, most Americans live in relative safety.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s what we choose to focus on.

        Your story reminds me of the culture people claim to have been export to Cologne. Would that purported culture also be violent (to women, though men fool themselves to think they are exempt)?

  25. Pakhet

    I despair for my island and my people. It’s good to see lots of talk these days about slaves and Natives. But don’t forget about U.S. colonials in PR, but also in Guam, American Samoa, the Marianas, Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Virgin Islands. That’s almost 4M people living in the U.S.’s indentured servant states. If you pray, pray for us. If you fight for justice, fight for justice for us.

    …De un Puerto Rico de ensueño…yo soy puertorriqueño sin na’ pero sin quebranto — Roy Brown, Boricua en la Luna

  26. Tertium_Squid

    Navy SEAL suicide

    “Commanders were no longer judging successful deployments by the tried and true standards of enemies killed on the battlefield, but by the number of casualties their own people suffered,”

    Tried yes, but true?

  27. Antifa

    Yeah, all those guns are for zombies.

    Zombies are any and all of the myriad social and financial problems that we can’t face, can’t grasp, can’t solve, can’t touch, but we can’t ignore or get away from them. Every time you turn around, they’re in your face, inhuman in their persistence, blindly grabbing for your life. Drought, floods, rising oceans, no jobs, war wherever you look, change coming too fast to grasp . . .

    Individual Americans can’t solve systemic global problems. Only all of us together can tackle them. Right now we need a modern Marshall Plan in about six directions at once, and we aren’t doing anything like that. We’re kicking every can down the road, squeezing one more day, one more week, one more quarter out of what we’ve got. And most Americans have got less every day. It’s getting scary this far out on the limb. You can feel it beginning to break.

    List here every derogatory, dehumanizing term for other social groups you can think of, from thug to beaner to wop to liberal to wingnut to raghead and a lot worse. Those are zombies. What’s a zombie but a dehumanized threat to your God-given right to stand your ground?

    Some cops feel threatened by an unarmed zombie running away, or raising both hands and looming in public. Some citizens are so beset in their lives by hordes of zombies that they finally lash out and go shooting at the mall, the nearest school, at work, or right out the window of their car. Who do they think they’re shooting? Zombies.

    “There. I’ve done something effective,” they feel. “I’m not helpless, after all.”

    What’s the American solution to every problem? War. War on Drugs, Terror, Poverty, Education, Abortion, Christmas, ISIS, Immigration, whatever. Bomb it, shoot it, lock it up.

    Even the promise of high tech solutions saving us all at the last second means handing over our fate to some techies out in Silicon Valley or MIT or somewhere overseas, which only adds to our sense that we have no idea of when or where help is coming from.

    A nation of scared, angry children, armed to the teeth. Because zombies.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Agreed on all of us working together.

      And elections should not be about one knight jousting another.

      Too individualistic.

      Who will be on your team? How is the chemistry on that team? What qualifications for team members?

      “I don’t think you can do this individually.”

      But one on one jousting seems to be a tradition going back to the Dark Ages.

    1. craazyman

      I think the women are getting hotter. Maybe that’s the reason. They’re heating up the atmosphere! They should tone it down, Stop looking so hot! You can see photos now from all over the world and they’re everywhere. Maybe they should wear those pants suits that make them look frumpy and no skirts that cling to a hot butt. At least the ones on the bus. Even a relaxed and loosely clothed look can be hot. It doest have to be tight butt stuff. Then there’s the Youtube videos by Rhianna. Those alone raise the temperature. Nobody has ever thought off this, perhaps because it wouldn’t be considered scientific. but if science doesn’t study something how would it know in advance. That’s a real conundrum. That’s not a very hot word. No hot women would use the word ‘conundrum’. they’d just say something like ‘I don’t know’ and they’d change the subject.’ They can do that and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  28. Synapsid

    The article from Vox about oil price repeats the same error that we see–it’s all we see, I’m afraid–about how much crude oil costs.

    It says that you can buy a barrel of oil currently for $27. No. That’s the futures price on NYMEX. Futures are bets between two agents, bets on what the price of oil will be at some specified time, as I understand it. The price of a barrel of oil at a given time, though, depends on the quality of the oil and where–from which WELL, for heaven’s sake, and where it IS–you buy it. Right now the range in price at the wellhead is from $1.50/barrel to who knows what. You can expect the wellhead price pretty much anywhere to be less than the futures price on NYMEX–futures prices do NOT involve the SALE of CRUDE (though they can, but actual sales are minuscule compared to the volume of contracts traded)–they can’t, because they would total up to much more crude than there is on the planet.

    Time for more port, I think.

  29. ekstase

    “The Woman Who Made Science Beautiful” –
    What an amazing life, in science and in art. These kinds of people, who just keep going, unheralded, are really precious.

  30. low_integer

    Re: The Islamic State wants you to scapegoat Muslims, warns Australian prime minister Washington Post

    While I am not a huge Turnbull fan (for a variety of reasons, one of which is that he is all in on the TPP), I must admit he is talking sense here.

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