Links 5/5/13

Remarkable survival of Russian space dogs who plummeted 125 miles to Earth when rocket malfunctioned then spent four days in -40C Siberian wilderness Daily Mail

Tender moments caught on Russian dash cams “Default to kindness,” as Ian Welsh says.

Scientists map global routes of ship-borne invasive species BBC

Explosions shake Damascus, Syria blames Israel Reuters

Israel confirms airstrike inside Syria Al Jazeera. “Game changing” weapons, says Israel. Hmm.

Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government? Guardian. Duh. 

The Find Every Terrorist at Any Cost Industry emptywheel

New York’s 9/11 museum to charge fee for admission LA Times. Sure. I mean it’s not like poor people were part.

Personal Remembrances of the Kent State Shootings, 43 Years Later Slate

A march on Washington with loaded rifles Salon

Gun Violence Since Newtown Bill Moyers. Handy map of the externalities.

Peace Agreement Signed on Everest Outside. Good luck with that.

How Austerity Pushed American Colonists to Revolt Bloomberg

UKIP: the victory of the ruling class Stumbling and Mumbling (RS)

Game for a laugh: The PFA awards furore was a joke – and Reginald D Hunter makes the most of it Independent (RS)

Passing the Buck: Siemens Blames Others for Delayed Deliveries Der Speigel

The Depositor Haircut London Review of Books. Cyprus.

Bitcoin vs. Ben Bernanke Online WSJ

The insufferable conceit Macrobusiness

More Bipolar Economic Reporting at the Washington Post CEPR

The amazingly consistent jobs recovery Neil Irwin, WaPo. The lead is the last sentence.

Better jobs reports don’t help this lost generation of unemployed young adults Guardian

Social Security and 2016 Corrente

Deep thoughts on civilisation from Jeremy “Hari Seldon” Grantham FT

Live Blog: Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Meeting WSJ.  “[F]ortunately a lot of oil has been found very close to our railroad tracks. What better place to find oil.”

Genius of Lancashire’s ‘matchstick’ master: This summer’s biggest exhibition reassesses the merits of LS Lowry Independent

Workers’ Rights in Egypt Stalled Two Years After the Revolution Vice

Harvard Professor Trashes Keynes For Homosexuality Financial Advisor. No points if you guessed Niall Ferguson; too easy. (Brad DeLong curates anti-Keynsian dog whistles and slurs.)

“There’s wrong, there’s very wrong and then there’s Niall Ferguson.” Washington Monthly

An Unqualified Apology Niall Ferguson

Patience, Practice and Presence: How Michael Pollan Fell in Love With Cooking PBS Newshour (see also Slate).

Hiring a Guide to the Medical Bill Maze Bloomberg

Luxury brands and ‘The Great Gatsby’ movie FT. And so we beat on….

Letter from Africa: Rites of the dead BBC

Advantage Pyongyang London Review of Books

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Kokuanani

    The computer in the lobby of the Marriott where I’m staying is attempting to block my access to NC — perhaps because of “Naked” in the site name?

    I dunno.

      1. AbyNormal

        i searched around…seems they like to peek into your emails too (be full of care’ )

        If you can’t say “F*ck” you can’t say, “F*ck the government.
        lenny bruce

      2. diptherio

        Maybe it’s due to the recent remarks here regarding Penny P getting the nod for Commerce Sec. She’s a Marriot heiress, no?

    1. from Mexico

      Niall Ferguson is one of the great historical fiction writers of all time, carefully tailoring and rewriting history so that it conforms to his neoliberal ideology. Unfortunately, Ferguson is quite dishonest as he bills his historical fiction not as fiction, but as reality.

      His attack on homsexuals comes at a strange time, since the organizers of the San Francisco LGBTQ Pride Parade have taken a hard turn to the right, rejecting the morality of the Civil Rights Movement and instead throwing their lot in with the neocon and neoliberal faithful which inhabit the Rubenite wing of the Democratic Party:

      Op-ed from The Advocate
      “Bradley Manning and Queer Collaboration: Rescinding Bradley Manning’s invitation to be the grand marshal of San Francisco’s big gay celebration is not what pride is all about”

      As a community, shouldn’t we ask ourselves why we would embrace an authoritarian administration that has made drone warfare, indefinite detention, and myriad other civil rights abuses like warrantless wiretapping a commonplace? Shouldn’t we be questioning and dissenting the way Manning has done, striving for his same level of courage and fortitude? Manning has withstood three punishing years in mostly solitary confinement. The S.F. Pride committee couldn’t withstand three hours of complaints.


      S.F. Pride can still reverse its decision and vitiate Williams’s repugnant statement, but it won’t, of course. S.F. Pride is a business, part of the juggernaut of assimilation, where integrity takes a backseat to corporate sponsorship and straight acceptance.

      Manning wasn’t looking for acceptance when he acted for the greater good, putting others above himself. Manning is a hero, someone who took the hit on the front lines so that others could be more free, giving us the transparency President Obama only promised.

      Pride is supposed to celebrate the fight against oppression. But with these actions S.F. Pride has become a collaborator with a social construct that demands fealty to assimilation rather than justice. It’s ugly, it’s wrong, and it’s made Manning a victim again — first of the government and now, so much more painfully, of his own community.

      Williams and S.F. Pride deserve nothing but opprobrium and shame.

        1. from Mexico

          As a gay person, I am just so angry at what Lisa Williams (who by the way is a Democratic Party aparichnik) and the SF Pride board did that I could spit.

          There’s quite an amazing documentary where Ethan McCord, one of the soldiers who was on the ground and came upon the aftermath of the “Collateral Murder” incident (the video of which Manning has now admitted he released to Wikleaks) concludes:

          I wanted to be that soldier, that hero. So I went, and realized…that there was no enemy. The only terrorists when I was in Iraq was us.

          Another part of the video, with the close-up photos of the wounded children in the van that was shot up in the “Collateral Murder” video, was also heart-wrenching:

          According to McCord, he had seen far worse incidents of the slaughter of children than this, along with unfathomable callousness on the part of some of his fellow soldiers in regards to the children. In the end, McCord and two other soldiers featured in the video couldn’t take it any longer. For anyone with a scintilla of compassion, empathy, and conscience, these incidents, along with the heartlessness of some of their fellow soldiers (like the Sergeant Shirfield who McCord describes), just eats them up alive from the inside.

          McCord’s statement about having witnessed far worse incidents than that recorded in the “Collateral Murder” video is consistent with Manning’s testimony to the court-martial court. Manning’s testimony was recorded and released to the press illegally, because the judge conducting the tribunal had ordered Manning’s testimony to remian secret. Manning testified that he gave Wikileaks another video that showed an incident even more disturbing than the “Collateral Murder” video from Iraq. Of the Iraqi “Collateral Murder” video, Manning said he was alarmed by the pilots’ “delightful blood lust” in the video as they conducted an air strike that killed 12 innocent Iraquis and wounded two children. Afterwards, Manning said in his testimony to the court, the pilots congratulated each other on their ability to kill and maim people so effortlessly.

          Manning testified the other video showed an airstrike in the Garani Village in Farah Province, northwestern Afghanistan. In it between 100 and 150 civilians, mostly women and children, were murdered by a US aerial weapons team. He said that the incident was similar to that shown in the “Collateral Murder” video, but it was “even more disturbing” than the Iraqi event.

          We seem to have come full circle back to the Vietnam era. As Martin Luther King put it: “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

          “There’s something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press,” King continues, “that will praise you when you say, ‘Be non-violent toward Jim Clark,’ but will curse and damn you when you say, ‘Be non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children.’ There’s something wrong with that press!”

      1. David Lentini

        And even more shame on the city of San Francisco itself. There was a time, not that long ago, when someone like Manning would have been made honoary mayor. But the City has fallen into the same slime pit as DiFi herself. My wife and are so glad we moved to Maine.

    2. wunsacon

      Yes. That way he can spend more time writing an authorized biography for Kissinger.

      I wonder what values Kissinger saw in Niall to decide he’s the right guy to write Kissinger’s bio?

          1. DMN

            Why wait? Try reading Robert Kaplan’s “The Statesman” in May’s Atlantic. Apparently,those critical of Dr.Kissinger merely acknowledge their own inability to “…measure themselves against him.” I had to put it down and read the piece on spearfishing instead.

    3. Synopticist

      Ferguson is a hack scumbag, who left the UK to feed upon the rich fatty vein of US right wing grifterdom. If people like Danesh Dzouza can make a carreer out of it, then he, the great anglo-scot historian, can plunder that hoard with his eyes closed. In the UK he had a reputation for inaccuracy and bias, but he figured that wouldn’t matter too much in the US, as he was telling the rich what they wanted to hear.

      Unfortunatelly for him, he’s sloppy and lazy, so he keeps f*cking up. You can’t be homophobic in front of investors any longer, that’s so 2000, all the wall street queers are out of the closet by now.
      And if you’re going to lie about Obama in a newsweek story, do it smartly, like genuine right wing economists have done, not crudelly so Brad de long can tear it to pieces..

      He’ll be kicking himself, because he knows he’s damaged the brand again, and those big money invitations won’t come as frequently.

      1. Andrew Watts

        I bet the United Kingdom is glad to rid itself of it’s third-rate intellectuals. Especially when they eventually land in the United States.

        That’ll show those damn yankees. Y’har, har, har!

    4. lambert strether

      That’s a great link. Oddly, or not, I don’t see anything in Ferguson’s “apology” about running the same riff for 14 years.

      Somebody should ask Ferguson if he believes that Keynes should have been chemically castrated, like Alan Turing.

    5. scraping_by

      Ferguson will have absolutely no trouble at Harvard. If he does, the rest of the Ivy League is open to him.

      My somewhat limited experience with historians from Harvard et. al. has been remarkably consistent. When they hear I’ve from the farm states they’re anxious to inform me that Harry Truman’s presidency was entirely explained by his feelings of social inferiority to the Eastern Establishment Brain Trusters Roosevelt brought to Washington.

      Beside being a non sequitur in the conversation, it’s rather presumptions judgement that political events are exclusively personality driven. The idea that quailing before the sneers of graduates explains more than events or interests gives a lot of importance to academics. Being insulated from the real world in a pit of office politics might narrow a person’s vision to gossip and scheming, but most people operate on bigger issues.

      There’s scholarship and there’s window-peeping. Granted, there’s little journalism in the US these days, just lots of window-peeping, but that’s another story. We were brought up to expect more from juried papers in prestigious journals, and it’s hard to shake off that apparent sham. Sales patter sticks around.

      Anyway, a gossip guy in a gossip place seems good enough for this lot.

  2. JCohn

    Regarding the Corrente link, in Warren’s defense, she did sign onto Bernie and Tom Harkin’s joint resolution opposing Social Security cuts:

    The list of signers (along with Harkin and Sanders: Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D – OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D – HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

    I’m guessing that the red state Dems like Begich and Hagan realize that defending Social Security is still a winning issue. Good for them.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      As the post says, “[Warren] has not said that she would oppose cuts to Social Security under any circumstances whatsoever.” And that’s what she should do.

      Actually, what she should do is call for benefits to be increased and eligibility to be lowered. Then some of us old codgers could get out of the work force and free up some jobs for the young people. Eschaton, at least, is doing the right thing here.

      Finally, the real point of the post is Hillary Clinton. She hasn’t issued a Sherman statement, and a lot of people think she’s running. So her silence is perplexing. Or not!

      And even if Hillary’s not running, you’d think that common human decency would cause her to speak up. She has won a good deal of deserved praise for being forthright on women’s issues, and those impacted by Chained CPI are disproportionately female. So WTF?

      1. Jessica

        My own guess is that this is another indicator of just how solidly the elites are lined up behind social security cuts.

  3. AbyNormal

    re, the amazing consistent job recovery—a commenter remarked: Labor force participation rate 63.3% lowest rate since the 70’s….Retirement is most of that, BTW

    a resourceful commenter replied:
    “Sorry to burst your bubble. Here is the demographic composition of the US by age:

    All ages 306,110
    .Under 5 years 21,265
    .5 to 9 years 20,870
    .10 to 14 years 20,020
    .15 to 19 years 20,886
    .20 to 24 years 21,525
    .25 to 29 years 21,382
    .30 to 34 years 20,202
    .35 to 39 years 19,255
    .40 to 44 years 20,587
    .45 to 49 years 21,989
    .50 to 54 years 21,965
    .55 to 59 years 19,554
    .60 to 64 years 17,430
    .65 to 69 years 12,160
    .70 to 74 years 9,254
    .75 to 79 years 7,088
    .80 to 84 years 5,719
    .85 years and over 4,957
    As can be clearly seen, there are 20 million people from 15-19 entering the workforce, but only 12 million in the 65 age group that is at retirement age.

    Care to revise your statement???”

    1. Larry Headlund

      While not agreeing with the original comment (“Retirement is most of that, BTW”) your figures are not a complete refutation.
      .15 to 19 years 20,886

      .60 to 64 years 17,430
      .65 to 69 years 12,160

      There are plenty of retirees in the 60-64 group. Some of them are involuntary retirees so the analysis is not straight forward.

      1. Wat Tyler

        I am a GE pensioner who was pushed out the door at 56 along with all but one exempt employee at my factory in their mid-fifties. I was offered about 10K/yr till 62 to “volunteer” and I took it knowing the alternetive was being “rightsized” without compensation. So the retirement profile is more than the 65-70 age group.


        1. Wat Tyler

          I should have stated that the 10K/yr “sweetener” I was offered was an addition to a reduced defined benefit pension plan (closed to new GE hires from Jan’13) – not total income. I should also have stated that retiring early was the best decision I ever made (other than marrying my wife of course).


      2. AbyNormal

        Good Catch Larry, while that was not my post at the site…i am interested in the demographic numbers. the 15-24 and the 60-69 are overlapping…but its the 15-24 (imo)that will lead us to a dangerous point of no return.

        im following up here

        here (w/detailed graphs

        and here

        anything you see to add, consider or correct would be muchas appreciated…aby

    2. Procopius

      You know, I wondered about that. According to Paul Krugman, Dean Baker, and Brad DeLong, the participation rate has dropped to 58.5%, not 63%. 63% was what it was at the end of the Clinton Presidency.

  4. Brindle

    Re: “…Kent State Shootings”

    This Project Censored article has a good rundown on facts generally ignored by the mainstream press. There were undercover Agent Provocateurs at work in Kent during the protests.

    —“In 2010, compelling forensic evidence emerged showing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) were the lead agencies in managing Kent State government operations, including the cover-up.”—

    1. ***

      Thanks for the great stuff on Kent State impunity ops by criminal US government officials.

      I suppose that was a rhetorical question, Will American leadership cross the line to kill American protesters again? Gee… ask Robert Roche, knuckle-dragging hitman of the Oakland PD Tango Team, whether he’ll get a mulligan on his cowardly sneak attack on Scott Olsen and all US Marines who keep their oath.

      Good for the Kent State Truth Tribunal, going over the head of the disgraced and discredited US judiciary. But the ICC is still very diffident about holding US government criminals to account, and these particular murders would be a weak case for the ICC: crimes against humanity must be widespread and systematic. The murders were clearly US plan and policy, but were they numerous enough to pass the threshold? Even if you threw in MLK, RFK, and all the other US dissident murders, maybe not. Government murder of unarmed dissidents does not amount to armed conflict. At any rate, the current bunch of ICC prosecutors doesn’t have a very good batting average.

      Rather than going to the International Criminal Court, they could submit a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and a complaint to the Human Rights Council, and if it’s not too late (review of the US is scheduled for October), inject the petition into the UN’s NGO hierarchy for submission to the Human Rights Committee. The crimes are best treated as breaches of CCPR Article 6. Once they’re recognized by independent legal experts, they can be tied back to the wars of aggression for which they were committed. Then the ICC can take a crack at it.

  5. Jackrabbit

    Why is NC perpetuating the myth of improving employment? Did you read Hugh’s Employment Report? Did you read the comments?

    1. Jackrabbit

      Hugh’s Report has unemployment ticking down by .1 to 12.6%.
      That is merely disappointing but when you consider the ‘technicals’: a drop in hours and still lower participation, it is a yet another disaster for this ‘Recovery’.

      PS The best interpretation that I have read/heard was that employes may be hiring more part-time workers to avoid costs of Obamacare (which attempts to explain both the increase in jobs and the reduced hours).

      1. Jackrabbit

        The amazingly consistent jobs recovery
        Oh gee, we could certainly hope for more, but hey, we’re making slow progress :)
        No mention of people falling off the roles or the rise of part-timers, etc.

        Better jobs reports don’t help this lost generation of unemployed young adults
        Takes “better jobs report” as a given. Then bemoans that young people are not participating.

        When people are falling off the roles and full-timers are replaced by part-timers and contract workers, then its easy to show progress in unemployment.

        Among the comments in Hugh’s post is one that says that the reduction in hours is equivalent to hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. How does that represent improving jobs picture?

        1. Jackrabbit


          When deficit hawks liken government budgeting to a household, NC readers are quick to point out that that is not true.

          But when we use the SAME unemployment measure for normal times and a depression, no one bats an eye. Despite the clear bias.

          Furthermore, AFAIK the way we measure unemployment hasn’t changed in generations. It was set up when we still had anachronisms like lifetime employment, unions, and industry.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      How long do you think this guy will last if they let him out into the general prison population?

    1. YankeeFrank

      I find this somewhat hard to believe frankly. If this is the case — that all of our phone calls are recorded and not just the details of the call, the sheer amount of data would overwhelm any storage system almost immediately. Voice data requires orders of magnitude greater storage capacity than mere logging of a few bytes of transactional data. Also, if this was true phone taps would be totally unnecessary. I think what happens is that all calls are scanned but the only voice recordings that are stored are ones that match certain algorithmic patterns of “suspicious” activity and/or where certain key words are spoken. I think this was even discussed at the time of the initial revelations from the NYTimes that were suppressed until after Bush was re-elected.

      1. Ned Ludd

        A commenter at Daily Kos responded at length. I can’t judge the veracity of the entire comment, but I can affirm one point: phone calls would not be stored efficiently using MP3 or AAC files. Instead, modern audio technology for telephone calls would create audio files that are almost an order of a magnitude smaller than the same audio stored as an MP3 or an AAC file.

        First, look at the sampling rates for different types of audio (in kHz):

        • Telephone (narrowband): 8
        • VoIP (wideband): 16
        • CDs and MP3s: 44.1
        • DVDs (fullband): 48
        • Blu-Ray: 96+

        Traditional narrowband telephone calls have an even lower sample rate: between 300 Hz and 3.4 kHz. This means the original, uncompressed digital audio for telephone calls starts out containing much less information than the uncompressed audio coming off a CD, even if the CD stores only voice (e.g. an audiobook).

        Next, take a look at the graph halfway down the page at Mozilla to see how the amount of data increases as you go from narrowband (telephone) audio to fullband (DVD) audio, for various types of audio compression. Also note how bloated AAC and MP3 are for narrowband, since they are technically incapable of storing anything less than fullband or just-below fullband quality, respectively. That is why the IETF, Mozilla, Microsoft (through Skype), Xiph.Org, Octasic, Broadcom, and Google collaborated to develop a new royalty-free audio codec named Opus, which is capable of efficiently transmitting narrowband audio. Narrowband audio stored with Opus compression will create files almost an order of magnitude smaller than narrowband stored in MP3 files.

      2. hunkerdown

        According to a series of tweets Matt Blaze posted this afternoon, “Tim Clemente was discussing a conversation *after* the suspects photos (phone in hand ) had been published. Easy to get regular CALEA tap.”

        If true, any taps may have been authorized by the long-established (Clinton-era) law, and if they can get what they need that way they don’t need more wiretapping authority.

  6. Susan the other

    Bloomberg on Austerity in the EU. The American colonists were a bunch of profligate slavers, smugglers and fanatics. But it was not fair to tax us without representation. So how’s that logic work when you apply it to extralegal/extranational trade tribunals? Today we have a new twist: Corporate ultra representation without taxation.

    And that moose – when you encounter a moose like that on the trail and he/she has that look, get thee behind a tree.

  7. Elliot

    Re: telephone calls being recorded and stored

    Before there was TIA there was Carnivore and narusInsight… this has been going on a long time. I used to know a woman whose nephew worked on carnivore and said back then they were really scooping up everything/everybody.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Project Echelon (run by the US in cooperation with Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) was considered a conspiracy theory back in the 1990’s. The European parliament affirmed its existence in 2001.

      Europeans should make more use of encryption software for sensitive communications to protect themselves against the Echelon spy network, a European parliament report confirmed yesterday.[…]

      According to the report and testimony, Echelon was set up at the beginning of the cold war for intelligence-gathering, and has grown into a network of intercept stations across the globe. Its primary purpose, the report said, is to intercept private and commercial communications, not military intelligence.

      Nowadays, people seem mostly sanguine about their phone calls being intercepted by intelligence agencies, even when they are not suspected of, or being investigated for, any crime. It is the new normal. In 10 years, having the government permanently store all of our electronic communications will be the new normal.

      Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy. […]

      According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

      1. wunsacon

        Scientists are working on “printing” replacement organs. With this digitization of biology, I expect people will be able to manufacture their own WMD. (By comparison, “3d-printed guns” are a non-threat.) In order to keep wackos from misusing this technology, I’m afraid “privacy” will have to go out the window.

        I know that’s awful. But, what else do you suggest, why do you think it’s better, and is it practical/realistic?

  8. grateful mushroom

    Thank you for the links to:
    – Russian video. Goodness never goes out of style.
    – Kent State. Unforgettable.

  9. Hugh

    In the Wapo article on the consistency of job creation, jackrabbit above catches the two big misses. First, large numbers of workers have not been leaving the labor force. They have been defined out of it, which is a very different thing. Second, the article states that most job creation which has occurred has been in the services sector. What it does not say is that most of these jobs are crap.

    It does not explore how crap jobs being created at a glacial pace is supposed to fuel a return to “growth” in either the short or long term. Nor does it address the fact that wages for most workers remain flat to falling. Nor does it question the whole notion of “recovery”. As Saez and others have shown, the recession never ended for the 99%, only the 1%. For the 99%, there has been no recovery. Irwin is not being more realistic by saying that the recovery is going to be a long, hard slog. He is being deceitful that there is a recovery at all.

    On a another topic, re a decline in weekly working hours equaling a decline of 600,000 jobs in the economy, this works both ways. Two points: One, working hours have been bouncing around the 34.4 hours/week range for a couple of years. Two, we are not talking 600,000 real jobs but job (as in “as if”) equivalents. I was just surprised that no one used these numbers to brag about increased “productivity”, the economy doing as much with 600,000 fewer workers.

    I also saw references in the comments to the age and the labor force. First, according to the Census’ American Community Survey estimates, in 2011, the year when boomers began to hit 65, the 45-64 age group comprised 26.5% of the US population. The cohort which would eventually replace them, the 0-19 year olds makes up 26.6% of the population.

    The problem comes, however, from the distribution of age groups in the labor force. In 2010, for example, 45-64 year olds were 38.5% of the labor force while those 16-24 were 13.6% of it. The 16-24 group as it gets older increases its participation in the labor force, but this mismatch raises a host of questions. How many boomers will retire once they hit 65? Will their retirement open up their positions to younger workers? You see it isn’t that a 16 year old would take over the 65 year old’s job. It would be that the 45 year old might move into it, the 25 to 29 year old move into his/hers, and the teen or 20-24 year old moving into that one.

    The point here is that in terms of population, the labor force may not increase (except for immigration) in the next 20 years, but the population is there for the jobs. The problem is in the distribution, and given our current kleptocracy, it will not be managed well or for the benefit of workers.

    1. AbyNormal

      thank you Hugh for expanding on this dire subject…i based my last comment, regarding the younger and middle ages moving into their markets, upon these generations helping the aging generations thru retirement years. We are experiencing cuts to healthcare, commodity inflation (regardless of fed statements), etc…these pressures on the younger generation will further hinder their ability to help aging parents.
      It is obvious there will be no cohesive government policies to help us negate this crisis…its becoming surreal real fast.

    2. Jackrabbit

      Hugh, I’m glad that you weighed in on this.

      It’s very disturbing that the media is all too eager to see the glass half full. The 4th Estate has become a mouthpiece.

      When you consider that the Fed has been pumping $85b of QE since September of last year, ostensibly to improve unemployment, then a report like this should be raising red flags and get a more critical analysis.

  10. USSA

    Bradley Manning’s lawyer is just another good cop sending him up the river. “There is no question that he broke the law. That’s not something that his lawyers are contesting either.” What the fck kind of defense is that? “Yeah, he’s guilty.” That’s the Sirhan Sirhan defense, where your blackmailed lawyer throws the case and puts you away.

    Army Field Manual 27-10 requires military personnel to stop war crimes like those war crimes documented in the records that Manning made public. Manning’s action, even in violation of the UCMJ, was a necessity, a choice of evils, a recognized defense in military law. When the Nuremberg Charter is at issue, international law supersedes the UCMJ. So Manning’s ostensible crimes were not civil disobedience at all but resistance to government crime.

    The so-called defense is comparing Manning’s infractions to war crimes in the abstract – but not to the war crimes that he reported and denounced. The greater evil of the war crimes he reported, that’s Manning’s frickin defense. If Manning said something to undercut that defense, obviously it’s inadmissible because it was exacted under torture.

    The Soviets woulda been embarrassed to put on a show trial like this: CIA censorship and eavesdropping, a joke defense. But when CIA says jump, US courts give em double-dutch.

    1. just me

      I keep waiting for someone to say in court that Bradley Manning HELPED the United States. Friends don’t let friends commit war crimes. Recognizing a problem is the first step to fixing it, but all we get from the govt is that it’s treason to look openly at facts and share information and outrage. In America. Different story in Nuremberg.

      When Jose Padilla’s case against Rumsfeld was tossed, it was the craziest ruling. Court accepted that Padilla had been tortured and that torture was illegal, but then it found a doughnut hole for the years where it was authorized and happened to him. So the law never changed, except it took a leave of absence from 2001 to 2004, said Judge and Torture Memo Author Bybee’s fellows on that court. (I deleted word justices. I just couldn’t say it.) And they mentioned the constitutional test “shocks the conscience” in passing, yet never applied it. Constitution on vacation too. So Rumsfeld and the chain of command up and down remain unaccountable. And I just saw Bidder 70, and the judge in Tim DeChristopher’s case not only kept key information away from the jury but also told them they were not to use their consciences, were not to question anything the judge told them, were not to reach for wisdom, just… crap out. And they did. So DeChristopher went to prison for two years for thwarting an illegal auction (jury couldn’t hear that) and defending home land, while BP… no one went to jail.

Comments are closed.