Links 6/22/13

Beagle-boxer-basset wins World’s Ugliest Dog Associated Press

Couple Orders Tie From Banana Republic, Gets Folders Full Of Sensitive Employee Info Instead Consumerist

Why NASA’s latest photo of Alaska is freaking people out Seattle Post Intelligencer (Lambert)

Qantas toolbar to monitor your web activity The Age Qantas seeking to become a PRISM partner.

China Financial “Crisis” Eases? Global Economic Intersection

Sweeping Protests in Brazil Pull In an Array of Grievances New York Times

Brazil protests – what is going on? Vincent Bevins (Lambert)

The two videos that explain Brazil’s protest movement Washington Post

Not ready to post on Brazil Corrente. Lambert is frustrated with limited and often perplexed English language commentary and lack of sufficiently extensive media coverage (like the live cam in Tarhir Square or the tool that allowed you to see tweets all over Egypt) to provide sufficient raw data to allow him to do some analysis of his own. Anyone with leads or sources in Brazil, please pipe up in comments.

EU fails to agree on bank bailout rules Financial Times. Quelle surprise!

Another shameful day for Europe as EMU creditor states betray South Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Tumult in Athens: Greek Government Wobbles as Coalition Splits Der Spiegel

McLibel leaflet was co-written by undercover police officer Bob Lambert Guardian. Getting harder and harder to tell conspiracies from reality.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

In Depth Review: New NSA Documents Expose How Americans Can Be Spied on Without A Warrant EFF (Lambert)

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications Guardian. The NSA does legal arbitrage.

Mysterious privacy board touted by Obama has deep government ties Guardian. Shorter: the NSA investigation will be led by part of the problem.

U.S. charges Snowden with espionage Washington Post

NSA Whistleblowers For Dummies, Part One and Part Two, Mark Ames, NSFW

Aaron Swartz, Plea Leveraging & The Bordenkircher Problem bmaz, emptywheel

Ex-Enron CEO Jeff Skilling to leave prison early CBS (Lambert). Not that early, though.

Nurses, Environmentalists Lead Keystone XL Protest in San Francisco Real News Network

Consensus Emerging With Economists That U.S. Economy Based On Rents Not Production DSWright Firedoglake

Bond selling hits US homebuyer costs Financial Times versus Housing Seen Shrugging Off Loan Rate Rise as Banks Loosen Bloomberg. But if you read closely, the premise is banks will accommodate momentum buying. Isn’t that what got us in the last mess?

MORGAN STANLEY: Captain Bernanke Piloted The Global Financial Airplane Into A ‘Negative-G Pushover’ Clusterstock

The Fed: Bullard slams Fed taper plan, says timing was off MarketWatch. More on this tomorrow…

The world is still being held hostage by its rotten banks John Plender, Financial Times. Money quote: “In effect, the UK and much of the eurozone appear determined to repeat the mistakes that inflicted stagnation on Japan for the past 23 years, but with more financial risk.”

Financial Sector Thinks It’s About Ready To Ruin World Again Onion (Triple Crisis). Dunno when I’ve seen the FT and the Onion on the same page…

How Austerity Has Failed Martin Wolf, New York Review of Books

Antidote du jour (martha r):


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    1. from Mexico

      What a strange place China has become.

      Neither fish nor fowl, it is spared scrutiny and criticism because for the right it is the great new capitalist hope, and for the left it is the last great bastion of communism.

      1. Chris Rogers


        Not too sure about that comment you just posted on China, I’m very much left-of-centre and have never considered China is a ‘communist’ society’, purely based on the fact that Marx predicted that Communism would occur in the most industrialised nations – namely, Germany and the UK – when writing his most famous tombs, instead, the reverse actually happened, be it Russia, China, Vietnam or Cuba – all largely agrarian societies.

        Further, any form of social welfare that was apparent in china pre-1979 has been stripped away – its one of the main reasons the poor in China save as hard as they do – out of fear over old age and ill health, matters in a socialist or communist society should not exist.

        I do think China represents a Capitalists wet dream, particularly given all state subsidies to new businesses in the form of cheap land and cheap factories, never mind the less than US$400 per month the lucky Chinese factory worker enjoys.

        Indeed, due to the Chinese central government trying to change focus from an export-orientated to a consumer-orientated society via above inflation salary increases for the masses, many assembly factories are now either relocating to cheaper Asian countries, or looking at relocating – the chosen destinations being Vietnam, Philippines, Burma and Bangladesh, i.e., in these nations a wage of US$200 per month is deemed fantastic, and again, none of these nations have any social welfare we in the West, and I mean Western Europe here, take for granted – perhaps they can learn from their Brazilian peers.

        Whatever the case, only a moron would consider China socialist, or actively support its supposed leftwing credentials – its a totalitarian state with trappings of capitalism and no trappings of socialism, unless we are referring to the Chinese masters!!!!!

        1. from Mexico

          That’s not the view from Latin America, as this article illustrates (my translation):

          The Cuban leader Fidel Castro confirmed that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is a “great admirer of China” and “the greatest defender of socialism” in Latin America…

          “President Chávez, great admirer of China, has been the most adamant defender of socialism as the only system capable of delivering justice to the peoples of Latin America,” said Castro…

          We hear similar Manichean framing from the Mexican left: US is the bad capitalist in decline, and China is the good socialist on the ascent, and in the end good China will overcome bad USA. Here’s an example:

          1. Inverness

            Well, China is exciting for people on the right because it’s an example of how you can have the ever-present centralized government which strongly favors business. Post Deng Xiaoping, there isn’t much for the masses — my impression is it’s just communist in name only, without much for the majority who is poor. I can’t imagine sweatshop labor conforms much to any kind of leftist revolutionary model.

            I wonder what it is that those on the left in Latin America admire? Is it that a former developing country is overtaking the big bad USA? That could make sense to me. But I’m interested in clarification.

          2. Inverness

            It looks like China is investing quite a bit in Latin America and Africa. You could have some stroking of Chinese business-egos to encourage them to come to their neck of the woods. Of course, if they are also importing their kind of labor standards, that is bad news for workers.

          3. D. Mathews

            I have always seen Castro as more of a nationalist with a strong anti-imperialist belief. Historians have long debated whether Castro, once in power, was pushed by the Eisenhower administration into the arms of the communists, or if he had come to power with the intent of converting the island to communism all along. I believe the debate about Fidel’s intentions was largely settled by Allen Luxenberg in his 1988 article “Did Eisenhower Push Castro into the Arms of the Soviets”, (Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 1 pages 37-72.)

          4. optimader

            Did Hugo Chávez represent the “view” from Latin America? I don’t think so — nor F Castro.

            As D Matthews speculates F Castro was merely a Cold War proxy for the USSR after Batista turtled over and the US miscalculated Castro was a nuisance that would not persist.

            As for China, yes, neither fish or fowl(communist vs capitalist). I’ll go with Fascisti

            noun \ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi-

            often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

          5. Massinissa

            Just because China defends socialism doesnt mean it IS socialist.

            As the aspiring anti-imperialist power, China wants to support any resistance to American rule that it can, out of simple opportunism.

            So it happens to be supporting the Pink Tide. Because that is as you know one of the major movements against American Imperialism in America. Did you expect them to support South American Capitalist puppet states of America like Columbia and Chile?

            That China is most certainly not socialist does not prevent them from opportunistically supporting socialists. Your logic is really flawed and obnoxious today mexico.

          6. from Mexico

            @ Massinissa

            But the examples I have cited do not entail China supporting socialists, but socialists supporting China, with the added implication that China is quite the socialist mecca.

            Some on this thread have already invoked the No True Scotsman argument to excommunicate Castro from the socialist faithful. What about Hugo Chávez? Was he not a true socialist either? It may be news in Gringolandia that many socialists in Latin America, including Chávez, were/are avid fans of the Chinese regime. But let me assure you, such knowledge is no secret in Latin America. This is an empirical reality, nothing more and nothing less.

            This of course does not mean that all socialists in Latin America share Castro’s or Chávez’s opinion of the Chinese regime. Far from it. There is no one, for instance, who has better socialist credentials than Dilma Rousseff. But neither Rousseff nor Lula before her, also quite the socialist, were anxious to jump in bed with China, nor do I think you will hear them applaud the Chinese the way Chávez or Castro did.

            It seems to me that many socialists do not deal with diversity of opinion within their own ranks very well. Of course that’s probably true of any group.

          7. from Mexico

            optimader says:

            Did Hugo Chávez represent the “view” from Latin America? I don’t think so — nor F Castro.

            Now you’re straw manning, either that or not following the thread. My comment was in direct response to this comment by Chris Rogers:

            Whatever the case, only a moron would consider China socialist, or actively support its supposed leftwing credentials…

            My response to this was “That’s not the view from Latin America.”

            And let me assure you, what Chris Rogers said is not the view from Latin America. That is, of course, unless you consider Chávez and a great many more Latin American “socialists” to be morons.

          8. optimader

            Sr. Mexico

            No strawman..

            “That’s not the view from Latin America.”
            My issue with your statement is your rather proprietary claim “the view” rather than “a view”.

            “Whatever the case, only a moron would consider China socialist”
            The only issue I have with this claim is “only” is too inclusive, as perhaps some uniformed people that are not moron might also consider China to be socialist.

            BTW, I don’t think Hugo Chavez was a moron, I would reserve that for , say, Pol Pot.
            I think a more nuanced assessment of HC is that he was primitive and a unfortunate product of Spanish colonialism.

            As a minimum, HC (and Venezuela) would have likely been better served getting political/economic advice from Norway rather than a failed rube dictator in Cuba.

        2. sufferinsuccotash, stupor mundi

          I believe it was I.F. Stone who once described the Soviet Union as the “the world’s biggest company town.”
          It’s been at least 40 years since the Left in this country–outside of the certifiably wacko Progressive Labor Party which was eventually taken over by Lyndon Larouche–regarded the PRC as anything besides a bastion of despotism.

        3. Lambert Strether

          I can’t imagine anyone serious thinking of China as socialist since Deng came in, along with “To get rich is glorious.” (I’ve heard that Chinese use political slogans to date events, rather like “back during the ‘Hope and Change’ campaign.”) Presumably some on the left (whatever that is) are serious.

          Adding… Socialist, let alone communist, I should have said.

        4. Paul Tioxon

          The Chinese will define themselves on their own terms and have allies around the world who are friendly to their staying outside of the set of victimized nation states, which are dominated by the core capitalist states, the USA being the leader. The Chinese are Chinese First, and will place firmly under their control, any process or useful social construct that makes China strong and beyond undue external influence. During a time of capitalist dominance, socialism prevailed. The long term internal debate among Chinese leaders, included the “Capitalist Roaders” those that would go down the road of capitalism or more precisely, using the market mechanism for economic development vs central planning.

          The Capitalist Roaders won out the day, but in China, the market is placed into the service of China, rather than China being placed into the service of global markets. Of course, it’s a two edged sword, but there is only the CCP and People’s Army, and some very rich people from Hong Kong, making China stronger. Whether they will explode from the same inequities that are already stressing their social order to the breaking, the same inequities that are launching a thousand riots around the world, will be played out in the coming decades. But, socialism has been attenuated and not completely abandoned and the wealth is being spread unevenly, but it is being spread. The Capitalist Road is dominant and will continue until it is counter-productive to the over all goal of making China a powerful and wealthy nation that is respected around the world, particularly by the USA and its allies.

          It is not a Western style democracy, and got where it is with the CCP leading the way, not Wall St. It is socialist in that regard. As long as the ultimate decision making power lies with the Party, it is socialist. That is why Cuba and Venezuela will say it is socialist, because the political appartus that runs the state, makes policy for the state, also makes policy for the economy. But, the way in which its economy behaves tells the story of the market, and in that sense, it is not socialist, much less Communist at all. The CCP lets other entities have operational control over the economy, the over all policies are beyond the reach of mere billionaires in that nation.

      2. Massinissa

        Mexico, as one of Naked Capitalisms resident socialists, I think anyone who thinks China has been communist in any way shape or form since Deng Xiaoping to be an absolute idiot. Surely any socialist or communist who hasnt gotten the memo that the CCP is not communist is not worthy of the name.

        The only thing China might be a bastion of is perhaps anti-imperialism, but thats only because The Empire has no other opponents.

        1. from Mexico

          Well then you must believe Hugo Chávez was an “absolute idiot,” because he certainly extoled China as a model of socialism and communism. In this you are in complete agreement with Chris Rogers, who charged that “only a moron would consider China socialist, or actively support its supposed leftwing credentials.”

          Prominent socialists in Latin America are not nearly so narrow-minded. Take Brazil’s ex presidente Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, for instance. This article explains that Chávez has a very strong relationship with China. However, it also explains that this does not exclude a Brazilian alliance with Venezuela. The article quotes Lula as telling Chávez that “your victory will be our victory.”

          I don’t remember Lula or any other prominent Latin American socialist ever calling Chávez an “absolute idiot” or a “moron” because of his frequent adulation the Chinese regime.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Well, no. First, anyone can make an idiotic statement without being an idiot. For example, a President might make a demonstrably false claim for reasons of state; to maintain an alliance, for example. That is why, second, I’m not sure I’d make an argument from authority about Chinese political economy by citing Hugo Chavez (though I’d certainly be willing to have bought cheap fuel from him when he was selling it). So, third, we see that the ad hominem (“You must”) has no logical basis.

          2. Massinissa

            Chavez said China was socialist? Wow lol.

            My bad lol. My apologies Mexico.

            Though I must say, that wasnt the smartest thing Chavez said

          3. optimader

            “I don’t remember Lula or any other prominent Latin American socialist ever calling Chávez an “absolute idiot” or a “moron” because of his frequent adulation the Chinese regime.”

            And I think you would have to draw deep to cite any other head of state referring to another head of state an “absolute idiot” or a “moron”

            As far as Chavez groveling “adulation (of) the Chinese regime”, could it be somehow related to hard currency from China while Chavez was choking Venezuela’s golden goose (the PDVSA)? “…Back in 2007 China had made the decision to pull out of Canada and to concentrate its investments in Venezuela instead. Since that time they loaned Venezuela over $20 billion in return for a commitment for oil exports that were to reach 1 mbd in 2012. The date to reach that target has now slipped to 2015 as overall production has continued to decline…”

        2. Jessica

          If I were Chavez and I knew the US was gunning for me and had already run one coup against me, I would be friends with any powerful rival of the US who wanted to be friends with me. If I were Chavez and the Chinese were willing to be my friend and they claimed that they represented the Martian High Command, then I would have greeted them at Caracas Airport with a huge sign saying in Spanish, Chinese, and English (for Big Brother of the North), “Welcome to Earth, Martian High
          But did Chavez take domestic measures within Venezuela to imitate China in any way?

      3. Chris Rogers

        I think Optimader has hit the nail on the head, to all extents and purposes, China resembles a fascist state, rather than a Socialist or Communist state – yes, we have the anti-imperial nonsense, so better not mention Tibet or Taiwan for that matter.

        i stand by my original comment – any one who thinks China is Communist is either a ‘moron’ or taking coin from China – whilst I always respected Chavez, he was delusional if he thought China was a Socialist bedfellow – we learned in the late 20’s and 30’s in the UK left that the Soviet Union was no workers paradise, and still educated leftwing progressives from the Bloomsbury set were happy to visit the USSR and espouse how wonderful it was – evidently the secret police did a good job – indeed, one of the reasons Communism did not take off in the UK was due to the fact that many actual leftwingers were fully aware the USSR was quite a nasty state for the workers, never mind critics, such a shame our masters replicate all the bad bits to keep us under the thumb.

        As for Castro, well, the Cuban revolution, like its Vietnam one was nationalist in nature, however, leftist forces were at the vanguard of said nationalist forces and quite undemocratic ones at that – that said, I’d rather live in Cuba than either China or Vietnam.

        1. optimader

          The Cuban Revolution was more like Round 2 just waiting outside of Havana while the Batista regime organized there luggage filled w/ plunder.

          Fidel was never much more than just a useful idiot for Nikita Khrushkiev to use in his very unfortunate miscalculation to counter obsolete short range theater ballistic nuclear missiles in Turkey that ironically, JFK was planning on withdrawing.
          Unfortunate about NK, had he not taken himself out, much of the Cold War debacle may have been short circuited.

  1. 4D

    Yves, it would be great to get a little more information about the Antidote du jour pics. Even just a line please?

    Sometimes its not always clear what they are, or where they are from.

    These two cuteys look like Mountain lions, but would like to know for sure.

    1. sleepy

      I think they’re bobcats. Lynx would be my second guess, but I believe lynx are gray.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Researchers Show How a Car’s Electronics Can Be Taken Over Remotely” – New York Times.

    Because many of today’s cars contain cellular connections and Bluetooth wireless technology, it is possible for a hacker, working from a remote location, to take control of various features — like the car locks and brakes — as well as to track the vehicle’s location, eavesdrop on its cabin and steal vehicle data, the researchers said. They described a range of potential compromises of car security and safety. […]

    In their remote experiment, the researchers were able to undermine the security protecting the cellular phone in the vehicle they bought and then insert malicious software. This allowed them to send commands to the car’s electronic control unit — the nerve center of a vehicle’s electronics system — which in turn made it possible to override various vehicle controls.

    The NYT article says the report is “a follow-on to similar research these experts conducted last year”. In their earlier research, “Experimental Security Analysis of a Modern Automobile”, the researchers used “momentary access to the vehicle… to embed the malware within the car’s existing components and then disconnect.” The paper said a valet would have enough time to compromise a car. Once the malware is inserted into the car:

    Indeed, we have demonstrated the ability to systematically control a wide array of components including engine, brakes, heating and cooling, lights, instrument panel, radio, locks, and so on. Combining these we have been able to mount attacks that represent potentially significant threats to personal safety. For example, we are able to forcibly and completely disengage the brakes while driving, making it difficult for the driver to stop. Conversely, we are able to forcibly activate the brakes, lurching the driver forward and causing the car to stop suddenly.

    The New York Times says that the researchers, from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington, delivered their latest report to the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board.

    1. Goin' South

      Nixon would have loved to possess that technology when he went after Jack Anderson.

      From the Mark Ames piece also in the links:

      “Nixon realized that if the spy scandal went public, it would damage him much worse than the Jack Anderson leaks — losing him the right-wing voting bloc, and dragging him into open conflict with the US military. Nixon quietly put the leaker, Yeoman Radford, out to pasture — and instead focused on taking down celebrity columnist Jack Anderson.

      The White House brought in their “Plumbers” to plug Anderson — as in plug him for good. They drew up plans to dose Anderson’s steering wheel with LSD; they looked into staging a deadly car accident in a “well-known deadly road curve” in DC; they met with a CIA doctor to procure untraceable poisons; and they considered staging a deadly DC mugging. Before they could agree on the best way to snuff Jack Anderson, they were sent to bug the Watergate offices of the Democratic Party, where they were busted by a rent-a-cop, and the whole thing came crashing down.”

      Surely our government would never go after a pesky reporter like that today.

      1. Tom Allen

        Are you suggesting that the CIA might be involved in some sort of … conspiracy? Why that’s just crazy talk! Or else we’ve known about it for years, so YAWN, old news.

      2. from Mexico

        The filmmaker Scott Noble just released a new 11-minute film, The Politics of Conspiracy Theory. He shows how the MSM dismisses out of hand bona fide conspiracies as the crazed imaginings of conspiracy theorists, while it unabashedly sells the most nonsensical and evidence-free conspiracy theories to the public.

        As usual, I very much liked the comments by Michael Parenti, which begin with the following observation:

        Conspiracy theory is a term that is used whenever anybody ascribes conscious intent to people with power.

        1. Goin' South

          Hey, they’re just trying to shield our beautiful minds from the unpleasant truths about what they do in our name.

          It’s all motivated by their boundless love and compassion for us.

      3. Ned Ludd

        Stephen Checkoway, one of the researchers from UC San Diego, gave a talk on the paper at the 20th USENIX Security Symposium, in August 2011. “We can just call the car and then transmit our malicious payload to it and take it over… We could just record the data into a MP3 and then play our ‘song’ right out of an iPod and directly into the phone, and this was sufficient to take over the car.” The next step sounds like something out of The Manchurian Candidate.

        As soon as you compromise the car, you don’t have to launch your attack. You can just sit around and wait until some later point. And so, we used a number of these to build basically four different types of triggers. We had proximity triggers, where if the car was within range of a transmitter, then it would trigger; it would do whatever its malicious code said it was supposed to do. We had a broadcast trigger that used the radio data system, which is used for displaying artist and track information on your [FM] radio, when you’re listening to it. Then we used bluetooth and cellular, for triggering, for short or long-range.

        Checkoway also talked about accessing the car’s microphone (used for hands-free calling) and GPS receiver for surveillance. “I’m going to… notice that the car started moving. And so, I’m going to enable the audio exfiltration†. And after a few seconds (due to buffering), we’re going to hear them talk. And, remember, this audio is from my computer, 1,500 miles away [from the car].”

        † In computer security, exfiltration is the unauthorized release of data from a computer system.

        1. Lambert Strether

          From the Department of No! They Would Never Do That!

          Adding… This reminds me of Neuromancer where literally anything that could be digitally controlled was a potential weapon.

        2. Susan the other

          Have to insure the car will crash and burn. I doubt they would ever do that with 4 commercial airliners simultaneously on the same morning.

        3. Ms G

          1,500 miles away from the car — and he’s jiggered it so it all comes up on the iPod on his desk.

          This is the drone of surveillance.

      4. optimader

        …Nixon would have loved to possess that technology when he went after Jack Anderson…

        Backward connecting of dots. Why resort to such spectacular complication, life is not a james bond movie. If Nixon wanted to eliminate Jack Anderson, G. Gordon Liddy would have been happy to take him out for a final boat ride Dexter style.

        Your car behaving badly? put it in park.

        1. Propertius

          Depending on how many of your car’s systems really are “fly-by-wire”, putting your car in “park” may or may not do anything. If your automatic transmission is electronically controlled, actual gear changes may be done under software control, and moving the gear selector would be just another “input” that the compromised software might ignore.

          1. optimader

            Next time you’re in a rental car w/ no deductible insurance , take it up to ~60mph and put it in park and report back.. Of course this is for a vehicle with an automatic transmission. A manual trans mission? put it in neutral (and pull on the hand brake)

            A parking pawl is a device fitted to a motor vehicle’s automatic transmission in order for it to lock up the transmission. It is engaged when the transmission shift lever selector is placed in the Park position, which is always the first position (topmost on a column shift, frontmost on a floor shift) in all cars sold in the United States since 1965 (when the order was standardised by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)), and in most other vehicles worldwide.

            Industry Specifics [edit]

            The parking pawl locks the transmission’s output shaft to the transmission casing by engaging a pawl (a pin) that engages in a notched wheel on the shaft, stopping it (and thus the driven wheels) from rotating.

            Most vehicle manufacturers and auto mechanics do not recommend using the transmission’s parking pawl as the sole means of securing a parked vehicle, instead recommending it should only be engaged after first applying the vehicle’s parking brake. Constant use of only the parking pawl, especially when parking on a steep incline, means that driveline components, and transmission internals, are kept constantly under stress, and can cause wear and eventual failure of the parking pawl or transmission linkage. The pawl might also fail or break if the vehicle is pushed with sufficient force, if the parking brake is not firmly engaged. Replacement can be an expensive operation since it generally requires removing the transmission from the car.

          2. Ned Ludd

            @optimader –

            “It is engaged when the transmission shift lever selector is placed in the Park position.” It is supposed to be engaged. In modern cars, the car’s functions are controlled by computer software, which researchers at UC San Diego and the University of Washington were able to maliciously alter.

            Modern automobiles are no longer mere mechanical devices; they are pervasively monitored and controlled by dozens of digital computers coordinated via internal vehicular networks… We also present composite attacks that leverage individual weaknesses, including an attack that embeds malicious code in a car’s telematics unit and that will completely erase any evidence of its presence after a crash.[…]

            Indeed, one recent estimate suggests that the typical luxury sedan now contains over 100 MB of binary code spread across 50–70 independent computers—Electronic Control Units (ECUs) in automotive vernacular—in turn communicating over one or more shared internal network buses [8], [13]. […]

            Since [the 1970s], such systems have been integrated into virtually every aspect of a car’s functioning and diagnostics, including the throttle, transmission, brakes, passenger climate and lighting controls, external lights, entertainment, and so on, causing the term ECU to be generalized to Electronic Control Units. Thus, over the last few decades the amount of software in luxury sedans has grown from virtually nothing to tens of millions of lines of code, spread across 50–70 independent ECUs [8].

            Stephen Checkoway’s presentation, from the 20th USENIX Security Symposium, discusses their latest research as of August 2011. “Many aspects of cars are now controlled by tens to hundreds of computers that we call Electronic Control Units, or ECUs, running millions of lines of code on a whole host of different architectures that are connected together by a number of shared [internal network] buses… We showed that taking control of one of a number of different ECUs was sufficient to completely compromise the car.”

        2. Ned Ludd

          In their 2010 research paper, Table 1 lists “some of the most important ECUs in our car”, which they later went on to attack. A sample:

          Engine Control Module
          Electronic Brake Control Module
          Transmission Control Module

          This research was first presented to the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy three years ago. The researchers had to reverse engineer how the Electronic Control Units (ECUs) worked. Even from this starting point, their ability to compromise the car was immense.

          Over a range of experiments, both in the lab and in road tests, we demonstrate the ability to adversarially control a wide range of automotive functions and completely ignore driver input — including disabling the brakes, selectively braking individual wheels on demand, stopping the engine, and so on.

          Stephen Checkoway, one of the researchers from University of California, San Diego, talked about their updated research at the 20th USENIX Security Symposium in August 2011. One of his first slides shows how ECUs are interconnected. “In fact, many of these ECUs can be reprogrammed, even while driving, so one consequence of this is that any compromised computer in the car can reprogram another computer, and then code can lie dormant, until it is triggered at some later time.” Sounds a bit like a James Bond movie.

    2. craazyman

      Just read Mr. Hasting’s 2010 Rolling Stone article on Gen. McCrystal, for the first time.

      I’m so pathetically disconnected from many aspects of reality,

      I thought it was flattering. I’d be flattered if I were Gen. McCrystal. It was a robust portrait worthy of Frans Halls, not to mix metaphors. And it was no smear job. It was judicious and balanced.

      I don’t see what the problem was. Everybody is a bit weird if you drill down far enough and Mr. Hastings certainly drilled down. What a talented journalist he must have been, and what a loss for the rest of us.

  3. Skeptic

    Couple Orders Tie From Banana Republic, Gets Folders Full Of Sensitive Employee Info Instead

    “…Regrettably, human mistakes happen and this was one of them.”

    Maybe not a “mistake” at all but done by a disgruntled employee in the Shipping Department who knew the action would not be traced to them. The System depends on the peasants, debtors, flunkies, underlings, gofers acting in predictable ways and not taking any adverse action.

    As a youngster, I worked in the Shipping Department of an electronics company. There was a particularly obnoxious front office person who treated the shipping staff like peons. One day an order came through with this person’s name on it and it mistakenly designated a shipment weighing over a ton to go by air freight to the Yukon! All the staff knew this was a mistake but everyone worked feverishly to fill the order and get it on its way before the mistake was realized. This was done. The store owner in the Yukon blew a gasket at the cost of the freight bill and this front office person was fired. This story became legend in the shipping department and was often fondly retold. In addition, the front office treated the back office much better after this incident knowing they had some power.
    The 1% depend on compliance by the 99%.

    So, the Dismal Science might consider investigating how Productivity declines as Oppression rises. This could be an element in the current malaise. Maybe call it Manning-Snowden Syndrome.

    NC readers have any such anecdotes?

    1. diptherio

      “So, the Dismal Science might consider investigating how Productivity declines as Oppression rises.”

      I would guess that you are right that productivity and oppression have an inverse relationship, except perhaps in the extreme cases of slavery/imprisonment. However, I can tell you from experience that oppression, strictly speaking, isn’t even required.

      The typical capitalist business enterprise is rife with perverse incentives that lead to productivity losses even in best case scenarios. This is because, imho, being an employee of another person is a kind of “soft oppression.”

      For many people, whether they are conscious of it or not, being placed in a position where “theirs is not to reason why” creates an underlying sense of resentment towards those whose jobs are to reason why. I.e. feeling like you are a cog in a machine with no voice and no scope for autonomous action is a belittling and degrading thing no matter what, and it is a position that more and more of us are finding ourselves in. And so, consciously or not, we strike back in the only way we can, by slacking off.

      My employer slash best friend (OMG, I just did that slash thing, without even thinking about it…yikes) and I just had a little tiff over this specifically. He thought I was getting pissier than normal and arguing with his decisions a lot. Upon self-examination I found that he was right. Though he’s my bro, being (essentially) his programmable robot while we’re at work just…gets to me. It wasn’t a problem when we started, but five years down the road…

      At first, I thought maybe I was just getting sick of the work. Recently, however, I scored a little side gig, working on my own account, and found that I don’t have a problem with the work at all…when I’m making my own decisions. The same tasks, when directed by somebody else, become much more tedious and unpleasant.

      If we are concerned with productivity or (what is more important) creating psychologically healthy working situations for people, we need to alter the design and structure of our businesses. Worker owned co-ops, are my preferred alternative.

        1. subgenius

          funny you should say that…3d printer is a little down the line – but the 3 laser cutters, the plasma cutter and the cnc, not to mention a wide assortment of more regular tools are already in place in a secret lair deep in the hood here in hell-A…

          3d printers are a little way off in actual usefulness (unless you want to sculpt sugar)…metals and ceramics are more my speed…

          1. Lambert Strether

            Still… It would be fun (caveat I’m not an organizer) to Occupy a space with a co-op workplace that produced tangibles. Give ’em away in the first month as marketing… Who doesn’t like “FREE!!”? Like a Maker space that could be helicoptered in, encamped and decamped very rapidly. It would build on the library aspect of Occupy, rather than the General Assembly aspect. And definitely pre-figurative.

            Just a random thought, and maybe dumb because the machine tools could be pricey and the cops would destroy them. Still, millions of dollars of space in the discourse for one $10 machine might not be such a bad investment….

    2. Shutter

      Anecdotes about hierarchical incompetence? Well, way back in 1970 while in the Air Force I was a bad boy. My punishment was to be transferred from Biloxi, Mississippi’s Diddy Bop school to an admin position in California. But before that transfer, they (the ever-present ‘they’) decided to punish me and gave me three weeks of KP. Went over the first day early, found the list of the KP victims, erased my name a split second before some staff sgt walked in and yelled at me ‘what the hell are you doing here dipshit?’.

      ‘I’m looking for Building 1533 Sergeant’ (full well knowing it wasn’t the building I was standing in).

      ‘Its across the parade ground you idiot’ he grunted.

      I walked out of the building, back to the barracks, changed into my civilian clothes, hitched a ride down to New Orleans and spend the next three weeks partying right thru Mardi Gras.

      Sometimes sheer audacity in the face of abject stupidity can work miracles.

  4. Skeptic

    Nurses, Environmentalists Lead Keystone XL Protest in San Francisco

    XL opponents should be aware of massive flooding in Alberta, home of the monster Tarsands. Some attribute this to climate change.

    “The normally tame Bow and Elbow Rivers that course their way through downtown Calgary, Alberta, have taken over the city, transforming Canada’s fourth-largest city into North America’s Venice. A slow-moving storm system, coming on top of an unusually wet spring, has produced massive flooding across southern Alberta, prompting tens of thousands to hastily evacuate sections of Calgary, and producing surreal images of the city’s landmarks, such as the Calgary Stampede grounds, under several feet of water. ”

    The irony of this massive Schadenfreude is that the Canadian Government,proponents of XL and subsidizers of the Tarsands disaster, will now bail out Alberta for its flooding disaster. Double Down Disaster Capitalism.

    1. JEHR

      But, being a skeptic, too, (and having been born in Calgary), I do not think anyone will put those two events together–the CO2 increase in the atmosphere with the flooding. The flood is being called a-once-in-a-hundred-year event but when it happens again in about 10 years, the powers that be may have to reconsider.

      There is also the environmental aspect to consider as the rains occurred in areas where logging has been done and there no longer are available trees needed to suck up the moisture.

      Oh, we human beings are so stupid!

      Also see the video on ice calving in the Arctic by Balog ( )

  5. Ned Ludd

    I recall a dissident, referring to the Chinese government, drawing a distinction between what you know and what you suspect but cannot know. In a society where the government acts in secret, and people do not trust authorities, people will speculate about what is really going on.

    “Where there is darkness, crimes will be committed. The guilty one is not merely he who commits the crime but he who caused the darkness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., quoting Les Misérables (“If the soul is left in darkness…”).

  6. JGordon

    Regarding “How Austerity Has Failed”.

    It’s annoying to me that most people can not think. What they have in place of thought is memes that are handed down to them from the corporate media, which they then incessantly parrot. That is not true of all people everywhere admittedly, but it’s generally true for Americans.

    The “debate” between austerity and stimulus is a false choice fallacy, a Manichean dualism where neither option reflects the reality of what we actually have to do.

    Anyway, I just read that 50% of Americans are disengaged from their jobs. Another 20% on top of that are so disgruntled that they actually go out of their way to sabotage their employers. Another article that I just read said something like 70% of Americans are also on prescription meds, the most common being antidepressants, coincidentally I’m sure.

    Now think of that. If the point of society and economics is to make people happy (and I mean, that’s ostensibly what’s being claimed isn’t?) then isn’t our society and economic system a complete failure? I mean, why in the hell wouldn’t you want the economy to collapse? It’s going to happen anyway; but if you all start thinking positively about it now you’ll be in a lot better situation after it goes down. Just think about it.

    Arguing either for austerity or for stimulus are both arguments for the best way to keep our current broken system going. And that’s just brain dead.

    1. Massinissa

      Gordon, im from the entirely opposite side of the aisle here, but I agree with you completely.

      Really-existing-capitalism is clearly not working. Any kind of stimulus is at best life support, no matter how big it is, and it cant get over structural problems that have been in place for decades if not longer. No matter how much is spent on stimulus at this point it would only be a sugar pill to the corrupt really-existing-capitalism of today. Clearly the system is broken: The goddamn thing needs to die for something better to take its place.

      I would wish the successor to be some sort of socialism, but realistically I find that unlikely. But I cant imagine much of anything being much more inequitable than the crypto-fascism of today.

      To be fair though, while I want really-existing-capitalism to die, I do hope I dont die in its death throes…

  7. Steve

    Couple of Brazil links:

    “June 20th. The party-free people are fascists, as I suspected all along. Well maybe not all of them, but they have definitely bought into the idea that mainstream media has been pouring into them. This time, violence does not come from the police. It comes from the flag-clad people. They forbid the participation of anyone carrying flags that are not Brazilian flags and beat people up, burn flags and impede the people from MPL (who by the way, are not affiliated to any party) from staying on the street without fearing for their physical integrity. There are around 100.000 people on Paulista Avenue. Skinheads join the scene and things get grim. Left-leaning people leave, as the Brazilian flag is projected on one of the biggest buildings on the avenue, belonging to the Federation of Industry of the State of São Paulo. Media says everything is running smoothly and that people are celebrating as if it were the World Cup and that the people have overcome ideology, as if tearing and burning flags weren’t ideological.”

    1. Juneau

      Brazil link (H/T Poet) identifying the uprising as started by the left and co-opted by the extreme right….
      posted on“1 Reddit, interesting but a little lengthy

      “From what I’ve seen, today’s protest was very much akin to this 1964’s Walk. The MPL’s protests have been hijacked by the right, and since the left won’t leave the streets to them, conflicts and confrontations are sure to take place. And, what’s more dangerous, the police is now ignoring it, waiting for the popular clamor to call them back into action, so they can take over, possibly together with the military. There are rumours of a state of siege being prepared on the government dark corners.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m getting the same read from other sources. It’s as if — and one shouldn’t project our situation onto anyone else — Bloomberg countered Zucotti Park by turning over an adjoining park to an Open Carry rally. Very clever.

        If the MPL are the “free pass” group, they cancelled their rally for just that reason.

        So far as I can tell, however, the uprising hasn’t been co-opted (yet) in its entirety (though I suspect the protest you describe is where the “middle class uprising” (against taxes, of course) is coming from. Here’s another description of a reactionary march.

        It seems to me that the “Boycott the World Cup” campaign is a good dividing line and something to watch; the reaction can’t possibly accept or compromise on that, and probably makes money on it; certainly the media barons do.

    2. AbyNormal

      some background of personal losses incurred, in the name of national development(s)…regardless of what brazilian leaders would like us to believe its not only about bus fair & medical needs.

      Brazil: Concerns for the security of human rights defender Alexandre Anderson and his family

      the road to rio: brazil’s forced removals

      Survival Alert: Brazil Dismantles Democracy in Assault on Indigenous Rights

      A Brazilian indigenous man has been shot dead in an area disputed by cattle ranchers and the Guarani ethnic group in western Mato Grosso do Sul state.

      Another factor accounting for the rising tide of millionaires are high executive and banker salaries, which Morales said often beat those paid in the US. He noted it’s common for Brazilian investment bankers to make a $539,000 ($1m reais) annual bonus these days while CEOs can make an average of $75,000 a year.

      According to other bankers, Brazil’s booming real-estate industry has also generated huge wealth as property values have doubled in recent years and are poised to increase further, especially in Rio de Janerio, as the city girds up to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

      Individuals with a net worth ranging from $539,000 – $2.7 million ($1m-$5m reais) make up the bulk of the new millionaires, Morales said, adding that most private banks tend to individuals whose net worth falls below $5.4 million ($10m reais).

      1. Massinissa

        Im sort of glad Fox News never coopted Occupy.

        Though that would have been sort of entertaining, I must admit.

    1. sleepy

      “It’s citizenship and not economic power that must be heard first,” she said.

      While talk is cheap and most likely little will come out of any proposed reforms, I think it’s noteworthy that Obama would never make such a statement.

          1. Massinissa

            Yeah, because IMO Roussef is just another capitalist who happened to be a Marxist 40 years ago. Sort of like Merkel, but less bad (and admittedly better marxist credentials, since Merkel wasnt thrown in prison for 3 years for being an anti-government guerrilla)

            But its a different, more leftwing climate down there, so their center right wing (most ‘left’parties, no matter where they are, are center right. See Obama, Barack H.) has to pretend to be leftwing, unlike the Democratic Party, which basically tells the American left its center right but the leftists are mostly too stupid to believe it.

            Just another capitalist painting herself pink. Nothing new.

          2. from Mexico

            @ Massinissa

            I think you’re being unfair to Rouseff.

            Brazil has many, many problems that are a product of centuries of colonial and then neo-colonial rule. But with these demonstrations she has been handed an opportunity to achieve greater social justice and fairness. Whether she has the political acumen to do that, however, is an open question. I don’t think she’s generally viewed to be as adept as Lula. However, if she fails this test, and the right returns to power in Brazil, the consequences will be devastating, not just for Brazil, but for all of Latin America. None of the other smaller countries trying to make a stand against neoliberalism stand a snowball’s chance in hell without Brazil leading the way.

            A friend of mine is quite a student of Brazil and has many Brazilian friends whom he communicates with daily, and especially since these demonstrations broke out. He also speaks Portuguese fluently and follows the media closely. He would like to see Mexico follow in the footsteps of Brazil. I’ll review the issues as he sees them one by one:

            1) Residential rents are far higher than in Mexico. Brazil is a highly urbanized country and something like 80% of the population lives in cities. There are 40 Brazilian cities with a population of 1 million or more. Most, but not all, of these cities, because of land use restrictions put in place at the behest of real estate speculators, have grown upwards instead of outwards. The supply of residential units is closely controlled so that rents remain high. Land use restrictions do not fall under the aegis of the federal government, however, but of local governments.

            2) Transportation is much more expensive than in Mexico. There is no public transportation. All transportation is private, even the trains, and price regulation is almost non-existent. The local bus, for instance, in Sao Paulo is about 3x what it is in Mexico City. The owners of these transportation make astronomical profits.

            3) Taxes are much higher than in Mexico, but less regressive. The VAT in Mexico is 16%. In Brazil it is 23%. Total taxes in Brazil amount to 32% of GDP, as opposed to 12% in Mexico. Corporations in Brazil pay hefty taxes on a progressive scale, whereas in Mexico they pay almost nothing. This has caused much dissatisfaction amongst the right, which prefers a situation like in Mexico. When Lula took office 50% of Brazilians worked in the informal sector and paid no taxes. He organized all this so that almost everyone now pays taxes.

            4) Public health care is about on par with Mexico, but when Lula implemented higher and more taxes on everyone he promised free, top quality, universal healthcare. This promise has not been kept.

            5) Public education is about on par with Mexico, but again when Lula implemented higher and more taxes on everyone he promised top quality public education. This promise has not been kept. About 25% of Brazil’s population is black. Because blacks were matriculating in far less percentages than whites, Lula implemented affirmative action, mandating that private schools’ enrollments more closely reflect the general population. Blacks were provided scholarships. However, most blacks are products of the public school system, which is not good, and so do not have the proper preparation for university. This has created a disaster, with great dissatisfaction for almost everyone involved.

            6) Security is about on par with Mexico. However, local governments in Rio and Sao Paulo have built walls around the favelas and there are checkpoints to enter and leave, which is humiliating for the residents of these poor neighborhoods. As my friend put it, “We had the Berlin Wall, now we have the Sao Paulo Wall.” The police in the favelas treat the residents brutally. With the demonstrations, the middle class is getting exposed to the police and getting a little taste of their heavy-handed policing methods.

            7) The employment situation in Brazil is far better than in Mexico, because there is full employment in Brazil and anyone who wants a job can find one. This is a result of Lula’s policy (actually a continuation of Cardoso’s policy) to increase internal demand. Massive amounts are being spent on infrastructure: roads, ports, refineries, bullet trains, etc. all which create employment opportunities.

            8) Pay in Brazil is much higher than in Mexico. The minimum wage is about three times what it is in Mexico. This is once again part of the Lula strategy to spur internal demand. It has, however, caused great dissatisfaction amongst the middle class which can no longer afford to have the housekeepers, drivers, gardeners, and other domestic servants that they were accustomed to only a few years ago. And of course business doesn’t like it either because it drives up their costs.

            9) The news media is better in Brazil than in Mexico. Brazil has one public television station that is friendly to the government. All the other television stations are privately owned and are extremely reactionary and hostile to the government. In Mexico, all the television stations are right-wing, so there is no alternative to right-wing television programming in Mexico.

            10) Most of the investment for the World Cup is private. The public is not properly informed (remember there is a massive disinformation campaign going on by the privately-owned media) of where the money is coming from and where it’s going, so many of the complaints in this regard are not legitimate. The destruction of people’s homes and the way the people are being treated is another example of the middle class for the first time coming in contact with the police.

            So that’s a bird’s-eye view according to my friend. I have no references other than what he told me. He believes the chances that the right will prevail are low, and he thinks if Rouseff plays her cards right she can use the demonstrations as political capital to achieve more incremental reforms, and as you can see there is plenty of room for reform. But all these reforms will be hard-fought, hard-won and will not come easy.

          3. Massinissa

            I suppose youre right Mexico. I think I was in a cranky mood earlier today.

            I guess im just impatient with small change. Its a bad habit.

            Thank you very much for the post.

            Sorry I too think I was being sort of unfair earlier today.

          4. Massinissa

            Mexico thank you very much. Now that ive cooled down I understand the sense of what you say about Roussef.

            Again I apologize for being so overly cynical on Roussef before.

            I guess its partly the Democrats fault that im so cynical and pessimistic, even in regards to other nations… Sigh…

          5. from Mexico

            @ Massinissa

            It looks to me like the left in Brazil is pretty fired up. It wants to figure how to keep the energy going and capitalize on it for further reform, hopefully more structural reform.

            Emir Sader, for instance, looking beyond the immediate battle over the increase in bus fares by private companies, notes in this article that “the movement put in discussion a fundamental question in the fight against neoliberalism — the polarization between the interests of the private sector and the public sector — about who should finance the costs of an essential public service that should not be subordinate to the interests of private business, motivated by profit.” So maybe there will be a push to take public transportation out of the hands of the private sector altogether.


            Here’s a story about 76 groups from the left representing unions, political parties and social movements who met in Sao Paulo and it looks like they have on their agenda making the media more democratic, reducing working hours, suspending the auction of sub-salt leases, political reform and prioritizing investment of public resources in education and health care.


            It looks like everybody on the left is concerned about the violence and believes it can only hurt them. For that reason the Movimiento Pase Libre that called the first protests said it would not call for any more.

      1. from Mexico

        Neither would Erdoğan or any other of the US’s puppet dictators it keeps propped up around the world.

  8. Michael Hudson

    Re Brazil, here’s the problem as Lula’s own party people explained to me:
    He made a deal with the banks to back him as president, and he would do their bidding. He gained popularity by “soft” reforms and subsidies for the poor. But he did nothing to cure Brazil’s STRUCTURAL problems or threaten its oligarchy.
    So when his successor took over, she inherited the mess he made. Like Clinton and Obama, Lula did not turn on his campaign financiers to “do his own thing.” Like Yeltsin and Putin, he remained loyal to “the system.”
    So Brazil is nearly back where it was. All the cosmetic fixing-up that can be done has been done. The disease was in the bone, not the skin.

    1. D. Mathews

      While not disagreeing with you, I wonder if you have read the book Brazilian Multinationals: Competences for Internationalization, by Afonso Fleury and Maria Tereza Leme Fleury. I recommend it. Here is a review.

      1. Massinissa

        Lambert, according to the opposition hes probably a Communist, free mason, illuminati, cultural marxist, anarchist, jewish, muslim… Thing… Devoted to destroying the ‘brazilian way of life’.

        Thats usually how the far right works. Add a bunch of negative associations to your enemy hoping at least a few of them stick.

      2. Massinissa

        To be fair though, Roussef WAS associated with Marxist guerilla groups back in the 60s. Got jailed for it between 1970-2, even!

        But IMO shes probably a capitalist now. Lots of reds who get political power turncoat. I mean, noone thinks Angela Merkel is a commie anymore, right?

        1. jessica

          Roussef was a communist (or the like) in an American client state with a homicidally anti-communist military. Merkel was a communist in a communist dictatorship. They can not be compared.

    2. Massinissa

      Has anyone EVER turned their backs on their big financers?

      If anyone has ever done it, it was either someone important, or over four decades ago.

      Which is why I am sort of sceptical of a Warren presidency, or any other presidency, overcoming the economic elites. Its pretty much against the logic of the political system.

  9. AbyNormal


    Official: Tennessee water complaints could be ‘act of terrorism’
    Nashville, Tenn. (The Tennessean) — A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director warned a group of Maury County residents that unfounded complaints about water quality could be considered an “act of terrorism.”

    “We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously,” said Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources, according to audio recorded by attendees. “But you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.”

    1. JEHR

      I love these female firebrands! We need more of them, not just as politicians, but as leaders of countries in the world.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Hear! Hear! Clare Daly makes our legislators look like invertebrate effeminate eunuchs.

  10. Susan the other

    FDL. DSWright. “Wall Street in truth is a parasite extracting rents from the real economy that WS itself weakened thru creating a financial crisis due to reckless greed and criminality.”

    Stiglitz and Krugman coming over to the Hudsonian side and speaking out against rent seeking capitalists sucking the life out of the economy via the FIRE industry!

    “Industry” here is a euphemism of course. So question: if this truth goes mainstream fast, what’s a Fed chairman to do? What does an end-stage corporate capitalist “society” do now?

    I think the word ‘productivity’ is getting confused with ‘production’.

  11. jrs

    Today’s #safedata update. Using Tor and encryption targets you for NSA survielence. This is why trying to fight the NSA as an individual is like fighting climate change as an individual (although, I support *ALL* symbolic protests, in fact it’s high time for all and any type of protest all the time, live your life as one giant protest but):

    “Thus, in the NSA’s view, if you use Tor, the protections for a US person simply do not apply.

    More appallingly, the NSA is allowed to hold onto communications solely because you use encryption. Whether the communication is domestic or foreign, the NSA will hang on to the encrypted message forever, or at least until it is decrypted. And then at least five more years.”

  12. Hugh

    I wouldn’t worry too much about mainstream economists focusing on how rents dominate our economy, if it’s just Stiglitz and Krugman. Both are Establishment liberals, that is they play to liberal and progressive audiences. Both feel free to criticize aspects of our politico-economic system, Stiglitz more than Krugman, but neither challenges the legitimacy of that system, and certainly not in a sustained fashion. They are hardly alone in this. MMTers don’t really either.

    My impression of Stiglitz is that he is the more liberal of the two. Krugman is much more the Democratic tribalist. On the other hand, Krugman is much more the popularizer. He actually makes some attempt to engage with the great unwashed public, or at least the liberal slice of it, even if it is through a neoliberal rag like the New York Times. Stiglitz pretty much stays in his ivory tower, only leaving it to go to some other privileged venue.

    From the viewpoint of sites like this one though, it can hardly be said that Stiglitz and Krugman are opinion leaders. They sometimes enunciate the thoughts we are having, and sometimes have had for a long time, but that’s just it. They seldom lead us to these thoughts. On a particular issue, either we or they may have the better insight, but in terms of our analysis of the system, we remain light years ahead of them, and given their ties to it, we likely always will.

    1. Massinissa

      Heh, besides Socialists and Anarchists, I cant think of many folks who call the current system ‘illegitimate’. And I dont think any anarchists have ever won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Anybody who reads the Federalist Papers would call the current dispensation illegitimate. Obama’s “disposition matrix” combines executive, judicial, and legislative functions in one branch, which Madison called “the very definition of tyranny”; it’s exactly what the separation of powers was meant to prevent. And I don’t have Madison’s views on secret laws and secret interpretations — as in the NSA scandal — to hand, but it’s clear that such are not compatible with a sovereign people. Of course, for the informed and logically minded to regard the current dispensation as illegitimate is not the same thing as seeing a legitimacy crisis; there would have to be a lot more factional splitting for that to happen, and so far, legacy party kayfabe is preventing that quite successfully.

        1. Massinissa

          “Everyone who read the federalist papers SHOULD call the current dispensation illegitimate.”

          There. Fixed it for you.

          Most of the intellectual elite, even if they have read the federalist papers, still ultimately think the government is legitimate, no matter what the fuck it does. We has elections right?!! *facepalm*

          And I forgot Libertarians earlier. Need to give them credit where credit is due. Many of them are perfectly willing to call out the governments illegitimacy whenever they can. But with the exception of the far left and the libertarian leaning far right, not really many folks are as upset about the infringements on our liberties as they really should be.

          The far majority of the country views the government as ultimately legitimate, even if some of them think the president is illegitimate for being a muslim socialist born in Kenya.

          But anyway Lambert, wasnt Hugh talking about the ECONOMIC system, not the government?

          Oh my bad, he said political economic system. I thought he just meant economic system. My bad my bad! Sorry Lambert, I thought Hugh was referring explicitly to the economic system.

          Really-existing-capitalism is in my mind as illegitimate as our current government, though.

  13. Hugh

    Re AEP’s article on the eurozone, I liked his final paragraph:

    “Nothing has been solved. The eurozone’s creditor powers are playing a cruel game, doing just enough to keep this wretched entreprise alive and to protect their own commercial interests, but not enough to solve the crisis. The torture is endless. The cynicism plain to see. And the willingness of victim states to accept their plight so lamely is simply staggering.”

    This is not a bug, but a feature. It is the essence of kleptocratic looting. The only point on which I would disagree is his use of “victim states”. The local elites and kleptocrats who run these states are perfectly willing, as we have seen over the years of this crisis, to both loot and see their countries looted. The victims are the 99%s of these countries. And the question regarding them, not just in the South, but in the UK, the rest of the EU, the US, and China is what will it take before they revolt against this criminality which is slowly and inexorably strangling them?

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