Links 7/1/13

Seattle fireworks too scary for baby bald eagles Reuters

Scientists Discover Thriving Colonies of Microbes in Ocean ‘Plastisphere’ Science Daily

Global Bonds Dive for Second Month as Stocks Lose $2.7 Trillion Bloomberg

Historic Mistake Watch Paul Krugman, Times

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, Stupidest-Man-Alive Where Was DeLong’s Brain on August 10, 2007? DeLong-Is-Really-Stupid: Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch Weblogging Brad DeLong. Kudos!

A change of guard at the Old Lady Editorial, FT

An Unstoppable Climb in C.E.O. Pay Gretchen Morgenson, Times

Jefferson County Files to End Bankruptcy, Adjust Debt Bloomberg


Millions flood Egypt streets to demand Mursi quit Reuters

Anti-Morsi protests sweep Egypt Al Jazeera. Sadly, no Tahrir Square cam or live blog from AJ this time.

Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi faces mass protests: live updates Guardian

Live: Egypt Protests Online WSJ

‘Biggest protest in Egypt’s history’: LIVE UPDATES RT

More Shots Fired in Egypt’s Transitional “Truel” Dart Throwing Chimp

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

#PRISM : let’s have a look at the big picture Reflets (SW). Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.

Growing Alarm: German Prosecutors To Review Allegations of US Spying Der Spiegel

New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies Guardian

‘This Week’ Transcript: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange ABC News

Edward Snowden and the American Condition Jacobin (SW)

Secret no-fly list blamed for American’s Bangkok nightmare LA Times

The Middle East Plague Goes Global Foreign Policy

Obama to Africa: you need to do more McClatchy

Mysteries of the middle class Chrystia Freeland, Reuters

India’s jewellers become frontline in gold battle FT

Family Matters: The Most and Least Expensive Cities to Run a Household in America Mint (CB)

Pawnbrokers Thriving as Poorest Aussies Bear Brunt of Slowdown Bloomberg. Guy pawning an edge trimmer. He should sheet mulch his lawn and grow vegetables.

Gillard’s Fall LRB

Canada Tries to Outmaneuver Pipeline Opponents

The Coming Arctic Boom Foreign Affairs

Defeat Hackers with Biomimicry HBR

SCOTUS Rules Again . . . Angry Bear. DOMA wasn’t the only case.

The Light of the World is in You: It has not been Overcome Left in Alabama (KF)

Svanholm Story: Throw Greed Away and Find Happiness Ohmynews. Danish intentional community interviewed by Korean blog.

Antidote du jour (more Fat Cat Art, much more):


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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. Skeptic

    Growing Alarm: German Prosecutors To Review Allegations of US Spying Der Spiegel

    Ah, someone once again “looking into allegations …”. Seems like Looking Into Allegations is a bigger business than actually ever prosecuting someone. The LIA program at work. They must be teaching this at our infamous Law Schools by now along with How To Destroy The Constitution.

    If serious, Germany, first of all, give Snowden asylum. After all, he blew the whistle for you.

    Secondly, one suspects that the Germans are just miffed that they weren’t in on the PRISM PARTY. After all, Merkel herself is an ex East German Communist.

    Recommended to all is the movie The Lives Of Others, about the STASI and how it works. Going on all around us today. Still available at a famous file sharing site but maybe not for long.

    1. Inverness

      Excellent film. Of course, the primitive Staasi wishes it had the kind of spying technology the NSA has.

    2. LucyLulu

      Reading these articles, its reported the EU knew their conversations were being recorded. Furthermore, Germany was one of the US’s third-level partners in its information sharing agreements. As such, it received the results of some of the intelligence, albeit sanitized, collected. The outrage being expressed appears to be for the sake of appeasing the citizenry.

    3. neo-realist

      Lives of Others is also on the “flix”. I should consider moving it up the list.

    4. Shutter

      “Looking into allegations” is the modern equivalent of Mickey Rooney saying “Hey gang, lets put on a show”

      All singing, all dancing. All the time.

      1. The rabbit hole

        Failed, this site doesn’t accept magnet:?


  2. Skeptic

    Pawnbrokers Thriving as Poorest Aussies Bear Brunt of Slowdown Bloomberg. Guy pawning an edge trimmer. He should sheet mulch his lawn and grow vegetables.

    “grow vegetables” indeed. I live in a rural area where one hundred years ago the folks round here grew all of their own food. Now, with the power of advertising, they have vast expanses of unused lawn around their houses. These they mow while sitting astride RIDEM lawnmowers, using 15-25HP ICE engines burning up those increasingly expensive fossil fuels. Vast also are many of the behinds sitting on those mowers which help to also fuel SICKCARE costs. When the mowing job is completed, they adjourn to the couch to catch up on the latest news in pesticides, fertilizers and lawn care products.

    Luckily, there is supposedly water on Mars which we can use to export the above Humanity to the rest of the waiting Universe.

    1. direction

      there’s quite a few gems buried in the original Reddit thread.

      “An Irishman goes to a building site for his first day of work, and a couple of Englishmen think, “Ah, we’ll have some fun with him!” So they walk up and say, “Hey, Paddy, as you’re new here make sure you know a joist from a girder…” “Ah, sure, I knows” says Paddy, “twas Joyce wrote Ulysses and Goethe wrote Faust.”

      1. AbyNormal

        Indeed Direction.
        Why was Werner Heisenberg sexually frustrated? Because whenever he found a position, he lacked the momentum; and when he had the time he didn’t have the energy…

          1. charles sereno

            Disclosure: I’m unqualified to enter this discussion because I’m a total prude. Nonetheless, I’m completely comfortable as an observer because I know I cannot believe anything I see.

      2. diptherio

        IronSkyPost contributed this gem:

        Q: Why do KGB agents visit your house in groups of three?

        A: One to read, one to write and another to keep an eye on the two dangerous intellectuals.

        1. direction

          and wilsonism says:

          “Your mother is so classless, she could be a marxist utopia”

          1. Paul Tioxon

            The Dali Lama visited the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. After the VIP tour, he was hungry and went over to Joey “Bag’a Donuts” Hot Dogs and Tourist Trap Cart.

            The Dali Lama read the hotdog menu:

            With Mustard and Relish

            When it was his turned he asked Joey to make him one with everything.

            Joey gave him the dog and asked for $3. The Dali Lama gave him a $100 dollar bill. Joey put it in his wallet and then served the next customer in line.

            The Dali Lama then demanded change.

            “Change comes from within”, said Joey.

    2. ChrisPacific

      Two mathematicians are in a bar. The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of math.

      The first mathematician wanders off to the bathroom, so the second guy calls over their waitress. He tells her that in a few minutes, when his friend has returned, he is going to call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer “one third x cubed.”

      She repeats “one thir — dex cue”?
      He repeats “one third x cubed”.
      She asks, “one thir dex cuebd?”
      “Yes, that’s right,” he says.
      So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself, “one thir dex cuebd…”.

      The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something about basic math. He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first laughingly agrees. The second man calls over the waitress and asks “what is the integral of x squared?”.
      The waitress says “one third x cubed” and while walking away, turns back and says over her shoulder “plus C!”

  3. petridish

    RE: Jefferson County Alabama

    “The bankruptcy is tied to a sewer refinancing tainted by political corruption. In 2009, JPMorgan agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over payments its bankers allegedly made to people tied to county politicians to win business.”

    This appears to be a creative (or inaccurate) use of the word “allegedly” since “a total of 21 officials have been found guilty of corruption due to accepting bribes” which implies that somebody BRIBED them.

    “Political corruption,” on the other hand, is QUITE accurate since the affair features the always entertaining political hackisms of one Spencer Bachus of the great state of Alabama.

    1. AbyNormal

      im deeply disappointed in my trackin abilities. i can’t locate an extensively researched bloomberg article i saved from years ago. the journalist covered the munies mkt and JPM…actually showing huge bonds bubbles from towns of TX, NY & SE states. ive witnessed bloombut articles disappear…maybe this is one of them.

  4. S

    AJ isn’t providing a live blog from Cairo this time around, because AJ is a mouthpiece of it’s Qatari owners, only with an English accent. It’s essentially a branch of their foreign ministry.

    Qatar has been backing the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood for years now, just as it’s been backing the Syrian rebels and before that the Libyan. It’s the biggest funder of Hamas since they fell out with Iran. They’ve been running around the middle east buying political friends like crazy, and alienating a lot of people in the process. They are leveraging their money and their western contacts to create a very active foreign policy.

    This has been going on for a while now, and a lot of it is to do with dynastic rivalry with the Saudi royals. Compare the noise Qatar is making with Kuwait, larger and richer, but which doesn’t feel the need to prance around the world stage.

    1. Massinissa

      The Qatari’s are having some bumps in the road though. Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated recently, purportedly because he has wasted billions of dollars and untold political capital failing to oust Assad. His health wasnt impeccable, but he was more than capable of continuing his reign if he saw fit.

      Personally, I say good riddance. I hope the next guy wastes a few billion dollars too. Though hopefully this time in a way that doesnt have thousands of people dieing in the crossfire.

      When the elites of the world play geopolitics, its small people, like the average Syrian, that are harmed the most from the hubris of the powerful, such as the Emir of Qatar.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, I read some tweets from AJ on some sort of royal transition in Qatar that read like they were dictated by the Royal Public Relations Office. Appalling, though I suppose no more appalling than anything by the Bill Keller or The Moustache of Understanding.

  5. Jagger

    Unless you want to take a shower, don’t read the comment section of the Foreign Policy article on the Middle East Plague.

    I guess it shouldn’t surprise me anymore how low some dregs of humanity can sink. And no one seems to find any problems with the comments. Definitely makes me wonder about the readership of the Foreign Policy site.

    PS: I wonder if it would slow down the NSA if we didn’t have to include our email address when we post a comment.

    1. LucyLulu

      “PS: I wonder if it would slow down the NSA if didn’t have to include our email address when we post a comment.”

      Naaah. Your IP address is included in your transmission (each packet or metadata) to the site, which is an even better way to track down what computer the comment is coming from.

    2. Massinissa

      Good lord. Is this foreign policy website cater to racists or something these days? Because the number of people thinking this is a good thing is absolutely revolting.

      But the terrifying thought to me is… Does the average person in the West think like that these days? That theyre perfectly willing to have the Muslim ‘Other’ die of a disease, and not only that, are more than willing to gloat about it, and say the victims had it coming?

      Things like this cause me to doubt humanity. Has the modern world robbed people of all compassion, that we are unable to sympathize with foreign peoples even when they are diseased?

  6. LucyLulu

    ReL Unstoppable Rise in Executive Compensation

    The House Financial Services Committee has recently voted on a bill that would repeal the Frank-Dodd measure that requires disclosure of CEO pay and the ratio to average worker pay. It passed with broad bipartisan support.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stupid, stupid, stupidest person alive.

    We continue to relate to others via smartness, cuteness or money.

    It’s always

    the smartest/stupidest person of the world
    the prettiest/ugliest
    the highest paid/lowest paid

    It’s rarely

    the most compassionate person of the world
    the kindest
    the most empathetic

    I hope I am smart enough today…just for one day.

    1. AbyNormal

      daily debasements aside…your post are favoring to me
      hope you have a great week Prime!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thank you, Aby.

        I don’t know Mr. DeLong personally, so this is not directed at him personally, but more a general statement. I find usually that people with ego want to be

        1. if not the smartest, then the stupidest
        2. if not the kindest, then the cruelest (thus ‘love to hatred turned’)

        There is never any middle ground (how else to get attention?).

        ‘Today, the most ardent communist. Tomorrow, the most ruthless capitalist!’

        ‘I was the best in my Communist Youth Brigade,’ said the Chinese/Russian billionaire.

        If you put that person in ‘the world’s most uncompetitive person contest,’ he/she would want to be competitive and win that as well.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Maybe a more helpful question is this:

    Whom does the NSA not spy on?

    Ex-presidents? Supreme court justices? The White House spokesperson?

    Those who have nothing to hide, especially those who go out in public naked (there is nothing to hide) or let his/her toilet door open (there is nothing to hide there, don’t worry), maybe they can respond to that question…

    1. ambrit;

      Dear MLTPB;
      Assuming that the NSA is run by average humans, the agency spies on EVERYONE!

    2. Massinissa

      They probably dont spy on God.

      But they probably spy on every living human, including other NSA agents. And probably Mao Zedong’s corpse too. You know, just in case he wakes up. Better safe than sorry right?

  9. AbyNormal

    Superweeds: How Biotech Crops Bolster the Pesticide Industry
    GE crops were supposed to improve yields, lower costs for farmers and reduce agriculture’s environmental impact. Yet nearly 20 years after their introduction, genetically engineered crops have not provided the benefits promised by the companies that patented them.
    …resistant weeds will not be solved with the intensified use of older, more toxic herbicides like 2,4-D and dicamba.
    “You’re a mad scientist,’ said Maggie, in what may well have been intended as a reassuring tone. ‘We don’t expect you to be nice. We just go to bed every night hoping you won’t mutate us before we wake up.’

    Dr. Abbey blinked at her. ‘That’s…almost sweet. In a disturbing sort of a way.”
    Mira Grant, Blackout

  10. F. Beard

    Apropos of nothing except 1984 and the bankers’ pathetic attempt to save their self-respect, I notice the wiki article on “Causes of World War II” has been edited to remove the Great Depression as a cause.

    But here’s an edited out paragraph:

    The main causes of World War II were nationalistic tensions, unresolved issues, and resentments resulting from World War I and the interwar period in Europe, in addition to the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s. [bold added]

    1. Massinissa

      … Wow.

      Is it just me or has there been a large amount of Great Depression revisionists recently?

      1. F. Beard

        It might be interesting to trace down the wiki revisionists for someone with the appropriate temperament.

        But there’s an eternal place for liars and it ain’t pleasant.

        1. Synopticist

          Ah, you shouldn’t have given me that link.

          I’ll be up all night arguing with myself over the Mason-Overy debate, the primacy of domestic politics and social imperialism versus foreign politics, intentionality, and the three way power split between the Hitler and his immediate followers, the industrial combines (especially IG Farben) and the army.


  11. from Mexico

    Here was Samir Amin’s take on the uprisings in Egypt and Syria from an interview in March, 2012 (translation mine). He foresaw what was going to happen back then:

    The Arab world in on the front line. Why? Because the Middle East was chosen by the United States…as the priority region for its attacks. What does it pursue in this region? To liberate the region from dictatorships? No, it is to destroy the countries….

    Let us look at the Syrian regime, the Ba’athist regime, since 30 years ago, a regime that is undemocratic, autocratic, but popular nationalism… That is to say, a program that is realized from above, without self-government from the base, from the top but fulfilling at the social level, at the national economic level, and at the international level. This regime exhausted, and when this happened, in order to maintain power, it had to give way to allow neoliberalism. It opened the door to the great social degradation that created the basis for the revolts. Thus, it is neoliberalism, sustained by the same people that originally had bet against it and later capitulated to it, that fuels the revolts.

    Now we can talk about the details. The Ba’athist regime, confronted with the revolt, must ask: “What helps the imperialists?” What helps the imperialists is what we call the free army of Syria: for the most part it is composed of mercenaries that do not come from Syria, foreigners, Turks from the region of Antioch, Al Qaeda mercenaries from Afghanistan and who knows where else, supported by the local Muslim Brotherhood. “What is their program?” What they have declared, they use the phrase: “to tear to shreds” the Christians, Alawites, Shiites, and Druze, that is to say, half the population. Is this the democracy that the West supports? Now, fortunately, the free army of Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood are very isolated because the real movement of opposition, that is to say the spontaneous popular movement that is democratic and progressive, never wanted solidarity with them. But they remain nevertheless….

    I’m going to take the case of Egypt. We can say that there are two blocks: a movement and a block. The movement is made up of very diverse followers: politicized youths, which have a spontaneous sympathy for the left because they are against the police state and the current social order. There also exists the traditional local left, that is to say the traditional Egyptian communist party… There’s also a new independent workers’ union… Then there are the small farmers because with the neoliberalism there has been an acceleration of the expropriation of the small farmers… There also exists a series of social movements, of rights, women, democracy, etc. These movements and their analysis of the system is very superficial…

    Opposed to this is a reactionary block, which consists of the high command of the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, which has the backing of the United States, and with that Europe and the “grand democracies” of the Gulf, that is to say the emir of Qatar and the king of Saudi Arabia. Its strategy is to hold elections, as quickly as possible, to obtain an Islamic majority in the parliament, and to pursue the same fundamental alliance of the army and the Muslim Brotherhood that existed in the era of Sadat and Mubarak.

    In Egypt, there are two legitimacies, the legitimacy of the polls, the elections, that is not very strong in the political conscience. The Egyptian people say that “The elected parliament is the parliament of money, and the parliament of the people is the street.” From the street come the movements and the fight. They say also that we’ve live 60 years without a parliament, so we can live 5 more years without a parliament. What is important is not the parliament, but the political and social struggle. Therefore, there are two legitimacies, the small legitimacy of parliament and the legitimacy of the movement. In Egypt, the conflict between these two is very visible and it will become much more so, in the sense that the conflict is going to worsen day by day.

    In Syria the conflict is less visible. It is less visible because the regime still appears to have control of the street because the popular movement does not want to associate itself with foreign intervention or with the murderers of the Muslim Brotherhood, but neither does it want to be a prisoner of the regime. Therefore, it is very foggy. And unfortunately the initiative remains in the hands of the regime. That is to say, that in some moment the regime should come to understand that it cannot confront the imperialists without the support of the people. And it cannot obtain the support of the people using police power. It should abandon, not the capitol, but neoliberalism to reestablish a redistribution of wealth, to increase employment, etc.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Putin cut a deal?

      Russian President Vladimir Putin says that National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia.

      Putin insisted Russia is not going to extradite Snowden, however, refusing a demand from President Obama that Snowden be returned to the USA to face charges of espionage.

      “Russia has never extradited anyone and is not going to do so,” Putin said.

      “At best,” he said, Russia exchanged its foreign intelligence employees detained abroad for “those who were detained, arrested and sentenced by a court in the Russian Federation.” Putin said Snowden should choose his final destination and go there.

      1. AbyNormal

        Dear Dear Putin…when Snowden’s safely off Russian soil, he should warn Putin thru the press, ‘I won’t leak your business if you cease condemning Russian citizens speaking out against your regime…release Pussy Riot! Until then your fair game too…later gator pumps n bag’

      2. from Mexico

        In Latin America there’s a great deal of speculation that Nicolás Maduro could grant Snowden asylum. Maduro is currently in Moscow for meeting of gas exporting nations and to sign an agreement with Putin.

        According to reports coming out of Venezuela, Maduro has the authority to grant Snowden asylum on the spot, and here’s a video of a talk he gave where he leaves no doubt that he would do so:

        “If on Monday Snowden sends a solicitude for asylum, the government can grant it immediately, expedite the travel document so Snowden can leave Russia and even send a plane for him,” says the report. “Everything depends on whether the Russians will allow Snowden to leave and whether they allow the Venezuelans contact with him.”

        “Nicolás Maduro goes to Moscow for Snowden”

            1. AbyNormal

              most beautiful words i’ve heard spoke in decades!

              i will take this with me…Snowden voices the truth that give me hope

              thanks Inverness for locating & sharing them

  12. JEHR

    Re: Canada outmaneuvering opponents. We have a Prime Minister who decides what he is going to do (in this case build pipelines and scrape the tar sands clean to obtain the oil to do so) and then he faces the fallout that descends on us all instead of consulting with the aboriginals and the environmentalists about how they are going to be able to contribute to the discussion. What then follows are a lot of deceptions and lying to make the case for the decision that has already been made by our government.

    Harper really does not like environmentalists and the government calls them “radicals” and even suggests they are akin to terrorists. Harper does not care for protecting the environment as we have so much of it lying around that nobody is going to notice a little dispoilation here and a little poisonous sludge pond there.

    Harper has no intention of moving into the 21st century where we should be investing in alternative energy sources and he is missing the opportunity to set a good example by supporting alternative energy resources for the future.

    We are doomed to these kinds of actions from Harper until 2015!

    1. mk

      maybe 2015, but you could also experience what we here in the US experienced when we elected Obama, a person who will do the exact opposite of what he said he would do if elected.

      the beat goes on…

  13. charles sereno

    Re Egypt:

    “The leader of the second largest Islamist party, Younis Makhyoun of the Salafist Nour party, urged Mursi to make concessions to avert bloodshed and presented himself in an interview with Reuters as a potential mediator.” (Reuters)

    This oxymoron, a salafist as a mediator, is a telltale sign of some possible serious crumblings in the regime. However, what starts well most times never ends well.

    1. Massinissa

      When salafists are considered moderates, and are advocating PEACE, it should be readily apparent how how bonkers and authoritarian the Morsi regime truly is.

      As much as I would like to see the Morsi regime go, however, Egypt is still probably going to get worse from here. Whether or not he stays in power. (Though I still think getting rid of the bastard is worth a shot)

        1. Massinissa

          Not sure it will be able to: I dont remember the 1960s having highly rising food prices. The main problems in the 1960s were predominantly social instead of economic, including but not limited to civil rights, gay rights (Stonewall Riot), and Vietnam, and all those things were at least partially ameliorated.

          Egyptians are rioting partly because of authoritarianism, but largely because it is simply becoming too difficult to live. The unemployment is very high, and food is terribly expensive. The population is being desperately squeezed.

          If Egyptians cant adequately feed themselves and support themselves, they simply will not stop rioting, and should not. They have no choice. Remember, the lowest parts of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs are the most important. Until the government does something to secure the bottom parts of that hierarchy for the people, the unrest in egypt simply will. Not. Stop.

          From February, but still relevant:

          1. charles sereno

            I concede your main point. Yet Egyptians were controlled earlier when food prices underwent an even more shocking price rise. I still think their present ethos bears an uncanny resemblance to my remembrance of the 60’s.

          2. Synopticist

            It’s a huge, scary problem. A civil war is quite possible, and some sort of army intervention seems odds-on. Which way will they go?

            However, there’s an even bigger problem long term. Egypt has surely hit it’s enviromental limits. it used to be a great food exporter, now it has to import. The tourist trade has crashed. Ethiopia is building a 4.5 billion dollar dam upstream on the Nile. There’s 80 million people living there now, a century ago there were 4 million.

            1. ambrit;

              I wouldn’t be surprised if a century from now, there will be 4 millions living there again.

  14. Jackrabbit

    PrivacySurgeon Blog Discussion With Former NSA Contractor Wade Madsen

    Discusses the collusion and complicity of european allies in spying on their citizens but ends with this:

    Madsen also expressed anger over the NSA’s hypocrisy over Edward Snowden.

    “Snowden is being roundly condemned by many who say he had no authority or right to provide the public with details of NSA snooping. But what right or authority did NSA director, General Keith Alexander, have to provide information on NSA surveillance at five meetings of the global Bilderberg Conference – two in Virginia and one meeting each in Greece, Spain and Switzerland?”

    “Alexander claims he is protecting the American people from a constantly changing number of terrorist attacks. In fact, he is providing information to elites on the methods NSA uses to spy on labor, student, religious and progressive organizations.”

    “When Alexander leaks to the elites, he’s thanked. When Snowden does it, he’s called a traitor and a coward.”

  15. from Mexico

    Bradley Manning contingent at San Francisco pride parade:

    As much as San Francisco Pride’s Board would’ve probably liked to have Bradley Manning and his supporters absent from any Pride 2013 recap, it is noteworthy to say, after two months of controversy, they were the largest non-corporate contingent — with over 2000 folks — and they even danced to Michael Jackson in a flash mob that delighted the crowds.

    Bradley Manning and Glenn Greenwald: When it comes to LGBT role models and heroes, it doesn’t get any better than that.

  16. Susan the other

    LeftinAlabama. Dr. Abston. The light of the world is in you Frodo. Our votes are disconnected from policy/government but Single Payer will happen. A very Christian attitude. Listen up arch conservatives. You are conservative is so you cannot be morally hoodwinked. And furthermore, who wants to import injections from a compounding lab in Bangladesh – raise your hand. This Doc is right about the whole argument. Single Payer is coming. Hey, maybe they can still write some CDSs on failed Obamacare for a few years. I’ll abstain like Dr. Abston.

    1. Susan the other

      And another thing about national health insurance. The last link about Svanholm Denmark. A sustainable community where you buy in by giving 80% of your income to the community. It is the only sustainable-community model and everyone is pretty happy there. Of course, they admit they couldn’t do it without national health insurance. Duh. Svanholm is the Shakers without Calvin. It could become the model for every rural town in America seeking sustainability.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sounds like a real community.

        I would love to hear more about it.

        20% for discretionary/personal preference thing, instead of 100%…flexibility, another good idea.

  17. charles sereno

    It’s been more than 60 years since Nat Cole’s Mona Lisa. If you measured that span of time from his recording into the past, you would’ve bumped into Tom Edison! Great picture, nice song. Some things are still free.

  18. Hugh

    Krugman is concerned that the “taper” talk has decimated the bond market and he counsels “Talk of extended easy money can help the economy now precisely because it makes the Fed sound like it’s not a conventionally-minded central bank, eager to snatch away the punch bowl.” But the ZIRP and QE have never been about helping our economy, but the money economy of the rich and elites, Krugman’s people in other words. There is a punch bowl but it is not for us.

    1. DolleyMadison

      EXACTLY. People like krugman have been spiking the punch for far too long while expecting the rest of us held prisoners of their war on the economy to drink our own urine.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not ‘to drink our own urine,’ but to drink the shaman’s urine.

        In other words, this trickle down economy is a ‘Fly Agaric’ economy.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He or she takes the first sip, then pisses into a bowl.

          We then all drink from the bowl and go on our journeys as well.

    2. Ms G

      Thanks Hugh, for filling in the unspoken in Krugman’s pontifications — that the easy money he thinks the Fed should be doling out is for his people (the rich).

      By referring to “the economy” Krugman slithers out of making explicit that his species of “economics” — whatever it is — is an ideology to support the distribution of collective assets to the .01%, the rest of Americans be damned.

      It will be a cold day in hell when Krugman uses his NYT Op-Ed Throne to declare that every American should have access to the Fed Discount Window to borrow as much fiat as they want at .075% interest with no fees and indefinite repayment terms.

      What a toady and a tool.

      1. davidgmills

        Where is that discount window anyway? I want to see what they do to me if I show up with my hand out.

    1. AbyNormal

      Hey Dolley…i thought it would be interesting to do a basic search for legalities of chalk usage around the world…

      Ten-year-old girl warned by Kent police that hopscotch lines are ‘illegal’ and constitute ‘criminal damage’, claims father
      Angry father told local press that officers had frightened his daughter
      A spokeswoman said: “We are trying to trace the officers who are reported to have made this comment. From the circumstances described, it would not appear to have been necessary to advise the young girl that chalking a hopscotch grid may be criminal damage and illegal.”

      Avoid ant-killing chalk: It’s toxic, illegal

      On July 12, 17 people were arrested during a scuffle between protesters and police at Dowtown L.A.’s ArtWalk. The protest spurred from a recent police crackdown on chalking by members of the Occupy L.A. movement outside the offices of the Central City Association at Hope St. and Wilshire Blvd.

      Jail for using chalk on sidewalk? City needs to erase this error
      So says the city of Orlando, which recently arrested — and jailed — one of the Occupy Orlando protesters for writing in chalk in front of City Hall.

      so it looks to be an issue within the developed world…third world still hangin on to its marbles/chalk

      “They say even death can’t cure idiocy.” kubo

  19. ScottS

    Re: Defeat Hackers with Biomimicry HBR

    I stopped reading after:

    The lesson is simply that modern organizations should work under the basic assumption that almost anything electronic is now open source. My colleagues in climate science learned this the hard way when politically motivated hackers stole and released thousands of emails sent among scientists.

    This person has no clue what they are talking about. They mean “transparency.” A patent is transparent in that you can see how something works, but you aren’t free to use it, so it’s not open source. R&R’s data was “closed source” in that you didn’t get the raw data or detailed formulae to reproduce their results. It wasn’t “closed” because we don’t see personal emails with gripes about working on Mondays and pictures of cats.

    Okay, I kept reading, but regretted it:

    The biological world is also open source in the sense that threats are always present, largely unpredictable, and always changing.

    Not even close to the definition of open source. “Threats that are always present, largely unpredictable, and always changing” apply just as well to closed source.

    Here’s an example of “open source” biology: Gut bacteria in Japanese people borrowed sushi-digesting genes from ocean bacteria. Bacteria “teach” one another how to digest sea weed with no obvious selfish benefit.

    But I digest.

    A full-spectrum approach favors generalized health over specialized defenses, and redundancy over efficiency. Organisms in nature, despite being constrained by resources, have evolved multiply redundant layers of security. DNA has multiple ways to code for the same proteins so that viral parasites can’t easily hack it and disrupt its structure. Multiple data-backup systems are a simple method that most sensible organizations employ, but you can get more clever than that. For example, redundancy in nature sometimes takes the form of leaving certain parts unsecure to ensure that essential parts can survive attack.

    So we aren’t even talking about transparency anymore — we’re talking about robustness. Another attribute that applies just as well to closed as open source projects. The only robustness inherent in open source is that if someone “in charge” of a project quits or dies, then anyone can pick up the baton and run with it. That doesn’t seem to be what the article is suggesting — that if the CDC fails to contain an outbreak, some yokel should step up and take over the effort.

    There may be sacrificial systems or information you can offer up as a decoy for a cyber-predator, in which case an attack becomes an advantage, allowing your organization to see the nature of the attacker and giving you time to add further security in the critical part of your information infrastructure.

    This has been around forever. It’s called a Honeypot.

    I recall pulling out a notebook to jot some ideas during a meeting I had at the venerable Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. I was quickly and discretely chastised by my host, who informed me that one does not take notes in the Cosmos Club. No one would say this rule has hampered the many expeditions supported, deals created, and confidences shared in the Club’s 135-year history, but it has preserved their integrity in a perpetually leaky city.

    So… we shouldn’t be “open sourcing” information? I’m lost.

    There are organisms that avoid security problems altogether. Certain deep-sea animals are so far removed from any competition that they live quite easily in their isolation. Unfortunately, they don’t evolve and change, they don’t transform resources or innovate — in fact, they don’t do much of anything. Provided you want your organization to grow and innovate, you can’t reject technology altogether and you can’t wall yourself off from all threats. The best bet is to do what the most successful organisms on Earth do — accept the risk and adapt to the changes.

    So… the shark isn’t successful because it hasn’t changed in its millions of years as an apex predator? I guess it should use more open source software so it can evolve into a flightless bird or a lizard that can re-grow a tail. Obviously, being a shark is uncool.

    1. JTFaraday

      This is a pretty outrageous claim. What are we going to do– pillage the Inca?:

      “In April, CUNY announced that Petraeus would do a stint as a visiting professor of public policy at the school’s Macaulay Honors College, leading a seminar on “developments that could position the United States…to lead the world out of the current global economic slowdown.””

      1. Hugh

        That’s actually quite funny. Pretty much anyone around here knows more about economics than David Petraeus. Or perhaps I should say most here know a great deal about economics whereas Petraeus knows close to zilch and what little he does know is wrong.

        We used to call this kind of gig wingnut welfare but that falls too much within the old left-right paradigm. It would be more accurate to call it elite welfare. Since I doubt he can sing either maybe for his next welfare gig he could, like Jennifer Lopez did recently, give a concert for some Central Asian thug dictator. I hear it pays even better.

  20. vachon

    “Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.”

    Hahahahaha! Brilliant (and true!).

  21. charles sereno

    ““There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know,” Franken said.” (Senator Franken)

    Once a joker, now a joke. Senator, you’re not a “bad” guy; you’re a “bought” guy.

  22. charles sereno

    It’s been reported that President Obama is fighting his way through a barrage of wet-noodle, verbal lashings from his European allies. Stalwart VP President Biden is running interference, aided and somewhat shielded from attack by his sturdy scalp hair implants harvested from his nether regions.

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