Links 7/17/13

The Cats’ House in San Diego closes, cats go east Associated Press

Giant panda Lun Lun shocks handlers as she delivers rare twins at Atlanta zoo – the first in America for 26 years Daily Mail (Lambert)

Upgrades Slow as ‘Wow’ Factor Fades Wall Street Journal

Foreclosing the Future: The World Bank and the Politics of Environmental Destruction TripleCrisis

Black Stuff Found Around Eastern Japan May Be Fukushima Nuclear Fuel Nancy Foust, Firedoglake

Nissan resurrects Datsun Guardian. I have a soft spot in my heart for Datsun, since I drove one as a teenager.

Universities in U.S. Besieged by Cyberattacks From Abroad New York Times

On refrigerants and Cypriot euros A Fistful of Euros

Card transaction fees to be capped under EU proposal Financial Times

Syria refugee crisis a new Rwanda, UN says Aljazeera

Israel bombs Syria from Turkish base – claim and counter-claim Golem XIV

I Hereby Resign in Protest Effective Immediately Brandon Toy, Common Dreams (Deontos)

Canadian house prices set new record MacroBusiness

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Unitarian Church, Gun Groups Join EFF to Sue NSA Over Illegal Surveillance
Broad Coalition of Organizations Team Up for Freedom of Association Lawsuit

NSA leak fallout: LIVE UPDATES RT (Deontos). At points, you need to read past the Russian spin, but the American is pretty thick too. Notice that Wikileaks says US has sent extradition requests to Venezuela et al even though Snowden is not there. I hope the recipients have fun sending bureaucratic responses as to why the request is invalid.

Email exchange between Edward Snowden and former GOP Senator Gordon Humphrey Glenn Greenwald

Russia receives Snowden temporary asylum request Human Rights Watch

Travyon Martin/George Zimmmerman:

New Trayvon lie: Media, LAPD falsely report “rowdy” protests Salon

Richard Cohen Is an Unreconstructed Bigot Gawker

In Our Defense, These Were Some Pretty Fucked-Up Laws And We Were Ordered To Deliberate In Accordance With Them Onion (Lambert)

Obamacare penalties spawn ‘skinny’ plans Politico. A feature, not a bug.

Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50% New York. Are these NYC HMO benchmarks valid reference rates? I’m an old fart who has an individual plan in NYC, I’m not restricted to an HMO or a PPO, and all the rates they are touting here are way higher than what I pay.

The Battle to Save New York University Intensifies Pam Martens

BP sets up ‘snitch line’ for fraudulent Deepwater Horizon damages claims Guardian

Barclays fined for fixing US power prices Financial Times

Central Banking Needs Rethinking Amar Bhide and Edmund Phelps, Wall Street Journal. I don’t agree with all of it, but they do call for the Fed to do less macroeconomy meddling and a hell of a lot better job regulating banks.

Funding securities purchases with reserves Sober Look

How Concerned Should We Be About June’s Sharp Jump in Inflation? Economonitor

John Lanchester asks what is to be done about the banks London Review of Books

Protecting Capitalism Eliot Spitzer (Chris E). Free ebook! Download now!

Antidote du jour: A Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/Adventure Islands baby aardvark:


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    1. jrs

      You know I could swing by the W today and see first hand and I think I might. What I know: there was no evidence the next day in Hollywood that there had EVEN BEEN PROTESTS – there wasn’t like the trash you see on a parade route, so it was all normal.

      I also followed the twitter feed on Crenshaw that night, if you could get past all the useless moralizing filling up airspace tweets by people who simply *WERE NOT THERE*, the tweets of those who were actually were there told a mixed story on whether there had been some behavior that went past non-violent protest. Most said no. I’m going with there probably was to a small degree in the Walmart but that most people at the protest were well behaved and that it was nowhere near a riot.

      1. jrs

        ok post is in the wrong place, the above post of mine is obviously about the Treavor Martin protests in L.A.

      2. Butch in Waukegan

        Hey, no problem, but doesn’t Rahm stealing money from inner city schools, on the one hand, and the unpunished murder of a black teenager say a lot about our country?

      3. Lambert Strether

        I followed the Crenshaw feed for the United States section of the last Datapoints on Global Political Risk. I didn’t think the violence was substantial — you could almost see the editors sexing up the headlines — and I specifically did not link to the W story because it smelled funny. If you get different information from the ground, I’d love it hear it.

  1. from Mexico

    @ “New Trayvon lie: Media, LAPD falsely report “rowdy” protests”

    This article points to two realities:

    1) Criminal “justice” in the US is completely broken, beging populated by self-serving, pathological liars, and

    2) The Fourth Estate in the US is completely broken, being populated by self-serving, pathological liars.

    Both the criminal justice system and the Fourth Estate operate in the United States with all but absolute impunity. Accountability is non-existent. It reminds one of how Carlos Fuentes described the same phenomenon in Mexico:

    Yet the deeper reason for the crisis has simply to do with democracy in Mexico. The secrecy surrounding our economic realities is related to the absense of something well known in Anglo-Saxon law for which there is ot even a proper term in Spanish: accountability, checks and balances…

    –CARLOS FUENTES, A New Time for Mexico

    1. from Mexico

      And the distortions, half-truths and outright lies being peddled by our criminal justice industry and the Fourth Estate have real consequences.

      The Justice Policy Institute commissioned a study, “OFF BALANCE: YOUTH, RACE & CRIME IN THE NEWS,” which begins by speaking of the consequences of all the lies and deception:

      [Y]outh of color in California were more than eight times as likely to be incarcerated by adult courts as White youth for equally serious crimes… [Y]outh of color are treated more severely than White youth at each stage of the justice system, even when charged with the same offenses… [A]n in depth study of youth prosecuted as adults in 18 of the largest jurisdictions in the country, found racial disparities similar to the earlier reports, and raised serious concerns about the fairness and appropriateness of the process.

      The study then moves on to take a look at the strategy employed by the Fourth Estate and the criminal justice industry to achieve this double standard: the creation and propagation of anti-black youth stereotypes:

      There is evidence that stereotyping is affecting the treatment young people experience at the hands of the juvenile justice system. According to a 1998 analysis by University of Washington researchers, court reports prepared prior to sentencing by probation officers consistently give more negative portrayals of Black youth even when controlling for offense behavior and prior record, thus leading to harsher sentencing recommendations for Blacks. Professor George Bridges concluded that “The children would be charged with the same crime, be the same age and have the same criminal history, but the different ways they were described was just shocking.”


      At the same time Americans are fearful of youth crime, they are more likely to exaggerate the threat of victimization by minorities. Twice as many White Americans believe they are more likely to be victimized by a minority than a White, despite the fact that Whites are actually three times more likely to be victimized by Whites than by minorities.

      The study then speaks of the tactics used by the Fourth Estate and the criminal justice industry to create and propagate the anti-black youth stereotypes:

      Finding #1: The news media report crime, especially violent crime, out of proportion to its actual occurrence.

      Finding #2: The news media report crime as a series of individual events without adequate attention to its overall context.

      Finding #3: The news media, particularly television news, unduly connect race and crime, especially violent crime.

      Finding #4: Few studies examine portrayals of youth on the news. Those that do find that youth rarely appear in the news, and when they do, it is connected to violence.

      1. from Mexico

        And for a great example of a criminal justice industry hack who is completely, totally detached from reality, take a look at this interview of Angela Corey, the State Attorney in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court. She operates under so many false assumpitons and delusions that, with folks like her running the show, the innocent verdict was almost a foregone conclusion.

        She says she has 32 years experience as a prosecutor, but what becomes obvious is that she hasn’t learned a damned thing in those 32 years, other than to get her distortions, half-truths and outright lies – that is her talking points – down pat.

        Corey first implicates the judge for striking the two black jurors from the panel. I’m sure the judge is just as much a product of our self-serving “justice” industry as Corey is. So in this contest of error vs. error, wrong vs. wrong, unreality vs. unreality, there is no doubt that plenty of blame exists to go around.

        But casting aspersions on the judge, even though this charge is most assuredly justified, does not exonerate Corey, who goes on to reveal the Alice in Wonderland world she lives in as follows:

        ANGELA COREY: I speak as a prosecutor who has been doing this for 32 years and I can tell you that when we analyze a case it has nothing to do with the race of the defendant or the victim. We look at the evidence, the proof, and who was the victim. It’s based on the circumstances not the race.

        ANDERSON COOPER: You don’t believe in our justice system there are inherent biases…?

        ANGELA COREY: We don’t see that the way you are portraying it… Jurors tend to listen to the evidence and vote on that evidence… You always base your decision to charge on the evidence and the law. This was a case about the law, and we knew it was a tough case. It hinged on justifiable use of deadly force, and quite frankly whether a person is white or black, male or female, when there is any arguable claim of justifiable use of deadly force, there is not an immediate arrest because we don’t want to start a speedy trial. That is a legal concept. It has nothing to do with race.

        James Baldwin summed up people like Corey most eloquently:

        The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed that collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that… The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.

        –JAMES BALDWIN, The Fire Next Time

        For empirical confirmation of the great divide in perceptions and realities that Baldwin speaks of which separates white America from black America, there’s this study:

        Despite what some may wish, America is not a post-racial society. Policies that ignore these dramatic differences in perceptions among groups, and the disconnect between perceptions and reality, threaten to cripple efforts to reduce disparities and strengthen the U.S. economy for the benefit of all.

      2. peace

        I agree regarding distortions.

        I was particularly surprised by Democracy Now’s choices of footage and images on Monday. They seemed incongruous when coupled with Democracy Now’s verbal interpretation of peaceful protesting. At 17:26 minutes into the report they display an image of 2 men on the hood and roof of a car. Additional nightime arial footage shows protestors who appear to be circling around a car. These images suggested to me that the protest devolved into violence. However, in Manhattan’s rally until 10pm I witnessed only peaceful, respectful marchers with cars and taxis honking their support. The protest seemed to break up peacefully without incident.

      3. peace

        Thanks for this link.

        Research on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination support the conclusion that biases often pervade societies. These biases are maintained by individuals, societal norms, and institutional structures and practices. I was shocked to see a billboard in Mexico City in 1998 caricaturing a janitor in blackface. I am irritated whenever colleagues and friends confide their racist beleifs in me because I’m a white man — and this helps me understand when discriminated individuals are suspicious or hesitant around me.

        I am aware of racial segregation visibly depicted in Census maps. I make an effort to display tolerance and to voice my egalitarian beliefs. I acknowledge my privilege and incorporate that into my interactions with others.

        peace, love and harmony unfortunately still coexist with alternative social dynamics

      4. Gmarks

        Why the fuss? In Chicago, black boys kill each other with impunity – along with innocent bystanders – on a daily basis.

        If this trial sends a message to every other hoodie… that they might DIE if they go looking for trouble in white neighborhoods… then he didn’t die for nothing.

        Sorry… Hamilton’s Rule. I am hardwired – and so are you – to empathize with those who look and act like you. It’s an evolutionary strategy by the brain to enhance cooperative behavior for the good of the groupl.

        I share NOTHING in common with the black hoodies in Chicago or any other nasty urban jungle.

        I am GLAD there is fear in the hearts of some hoodie who may be waiting for me in Los Angeles as I run to my car in the empty lots of downtown. If he thinks I’ll shoot him, that’s GOOD.

        1. from Mexico

          Gmarks says:

          Sorry… Hamilton’s Rule. I am hardwired – and so are you – to empathize with those who look and act like you. It’s an evolutionary strategy by the brain to enhance cooperative behavior for the good of the groupl.

          This is another example of the sort of distortions and half-truths being fabricated and proagated by cultural chauvinists, as well as those persons, as the Rev. Martin Luther King put it, who “gain prominence and power by the dissemination of false ideas, and by deliberately appealing to the deepest hate responses within the human mind.” The reality, as King frequently noted, and as the scientist Paul Zack explains in this lecture at The Science Network, is of course far more complex:

          The distortions and half-truths peddled by folks like Gmarks have just enough truth to them to be verisimilar, and are plausible to an assorted lot of psychopaths, sociopaths, and other lesser characteropaths, as well as a larger group of individuals plagued with emotional hang-ups. “So that a Jesus of Nazareth or a Mohandas Gandhi, can appeal to human beings and appeal to that element of goodness within them,” as King put it, “and a Hitler can appeal to the element of evil within them.” Or as the psychologist Andrew M. Lobaczewski explains in Political Ponerology:

          The oversimplified pattern of ideas, devoid of psychological color and based on easily available data, tends to exert an intense attracting influence on individuals who are insufficiently critical, frequently frustrated as a result of downward social adjustment, culturally neglected, or characterized by some psychological deficiencies of their own.

          The end result is nihilism. As Michael Allen Gillespie observes in Nihilism Before Nietzsche:

          Natural necessity, chance and contingency, subconscious passions and drives, the structure of economic and political life, and many other factors determine us in ways we do not understand and cannot ultimately control. At our best and most courageous, we confront the questions this world poses and in our own limited ways seek to answer them. This quest, however, is not without its dangers. Questions disrupt and unsettle our lives and we are often all too ready to accept partial truths and gross simplifications to escape from their perplexity. The tragedies of our own century have taught us, however, that it is better to suffer the anxiety that questions engender than to give overhasty answers to them.

        2. ChrisPacific

          A few questions for you:

          If the roles had been reversed (i.e., if Martin had been the one on trial for killing Zimmerman) and the trial had resulted in Martin being acquitted, would you still say it was the right outcome?

          If not, how would you propose changing the law so that your preferred outcome was achieved? Or are you suggesting that courts should decide cases on some basis other than Federal and state law?

        3. peace

          Kin preferences in cooperation exist, yes; but cross-species cooperation exists too. In “Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution” Kropotkin described how species benefited from cross-species cooperation – even cooperation among predator and prey.

          1. peace

            And how could I forget; the antidote du jour often centers on sweet cross-species nurturing and cooperation.

    2. diptherio

      I happened to see that Press TV (the Iranian gov’t propaganda outlet) was livestreaming on YouTube the night the verdict came out. And decided to joint the other dozen people watching it. They were showing “live” coverage of rioting in LA…serious rioting. I’m not sure what footage they were using, but from the subsequent descriptions I’ve read, it sure wasn’t of the TM/GZ verdict protesters.

      Interesting, at least to me, that both the Iranian and US propaganda machines were trying to spin the protests the same way…although for entirely different reasons, one suspects.

      1. neo-realist

        I suspect that Iranian state media presents footage of rioting to show that America is an unjust, racist and fascist country, everything opposite to what it proports itself to be while American Corporate media wants to paint opponents to the Zimmerman decision as violent anti-american commie scum that requires a police state response (thereby legitimizing the police state apparatus).

  2. rjs

    i wouldnt go so far as to say i have a soft spot in my heart for any automobile, but if they would reissue the 1970 datsum (or the 1964 dodge dart, for that matter), i’d buy one at the first opportunity..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I remember fondly the sustainable Donkey Age.

      Did donkey riders use to honk at each other, or cut in front of another donkey driver?

      I think not.

      It was a peaceful age.

      Best of all, donkeys are compostable.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We probably need to exclude housing prices from the core inflation index or use its rental equivalent.

      Wait, I think we are doing the latter already.

      Phew, no inflation there.

  3. Ned Ludd


    You missed the link for “I Hereby Resign in Protest Effective Immediately” by Brandon Toy, who “served the post-911 Military Industrial complex for 10 years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor.” He remarks:

    At the time of my enlistment, I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naïve, and misled. The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal.

    In Some Thoughts Concerning Education, commenting about how conquest and violence are talked about, John Locke wrote, “what humanity abhors, custom reconciles and recommends to us, by laying it in the way to honour.”

    All the entertainment and talk of history is nothing almost but fighting and killing: and the honour and renown that is bestowed on conquerers (who for the most part are but the great butchers of mankind) farther mislead growing youth, who by this means come to think slaughter the laudible business of mankind, and the most heroick of virtues. By these steps unnatural cruelty is planted in us; and what humanity abhors, custom reconciles and recommends to us, by laying it in the way to honour. Thus, by fashioning and opinion, that comes to be a pleasure, which in itself neither is, nor can be any.

      1. Susan the other

        Hello America! and also Hello Ban Ki Moon! from his 2011 statement which was summarily ignored, about how the current economic system is a “recipe for disaster and a global suicide pact.” Indeed it is. The blame is on the pusher. The World Bank Group (when did those nitwits add ‘group’ to their name?). We’ll have to ask the Department of Redundancy. The World Bank is a bogus and completely failed institution run by fockers.. We need a new bank that handles Anti-Develpoment. Because we live in a black and white world. Or are the elites willing to look at shades of gray finally? No, they’re just faking it.

  4. F. Beard

    re Central Banking Needs Rethinking:

    1) The monetary sovereign (e.g. US Treasury) certainly has no need for a bank.

    2) The private sector can certainly create private money solutions that do not require a central bank or any other privilege from government.

    So who HONESTLY needs a central bank?

    1. optimader

      ..So who HONESTLY needs a central bank?..

      It’s that age old question of needs vs wants. If you gave me one, I promise to feed it from the treasury, take it for a walk every day and pick up the money in a bag.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Ames is a little hard on Snowden in that article, but he’s also echoing a widely held opinion about him among anti-Putin forces in Russia. He’s also wasting his time trying to engage with whatever the Twitter zombies have to say or think.

  5. direction

    Congratulations go to Senator Jar Jar Binks of planet Naboo on the birth of his first baby gungan!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It reminds me of Amlash beaked spout jugs from Luristan, Iran, circa 1700-1300 BC.

  6. Leviathan

    The exchange between Sen. Humphrey and Ed Snowden literally brought tears to my eyes. For even the tiniest shred of political courage and human decency is a balm these days. Bless him.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      I agree, this communication, and especially Snowden’s reply, should go into the history books as part of the history of Patriotism in our country, on a par with Nathan Hale, John Paul Jones, and similar.

      If his eloquent reply does not make the history books, we’ll know that he, and our Constitution are dead.

  7. F. Beard

    re Central Banking Needs Rethinking:

    Heck, central banking is only about 450 years old. A few more centuries thinking about how to make a usury for stolen purchasing power cartel work properly should do it – assuming we survive another Great Depression induced World War or two.


    Lately I’ve come to think I’m just taunting the blind. Except you think you can see.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Beware of anything with the word center or central in it, like for example,

        Financial center
        Power center
        Military center

        It’s better to go with peripheral banking…or people banking.

        1. rich

          The Return of Lawrence Summers, Mr. Spectacular Failure | The Nation

          Tell me it’s a sick joke: Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, the guy who tops the list of those responsible for sabotaging the world’s economy, is lobbying to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. But no, it makes perfect sense, since Summers has long succeeded spectacularly by failing.

          Why should his miserable record in the Clinton and Obama administrations hold him back from future disastrous adventures at our expense? With Ben Bernanke set to step down in January, and Obama still in deep denial over the pain and damage his former top economic adviser Summers brought to tens of millions of Americans, this darling of Wall Street has yet another shot to savage the economy.

          Summers was one of the key players during the Clinton years in creating the mortgage derivative bubble that ended up costing tens of millions of Americans their homes and life savings. This is the genius who, as Clinton’s Treasury secretary, supported the banking lobby’s successful effort to make the sale of unregulated bundles of mortgage securities and the phony insurance swaps that backed them perfectly legal and totally unmonitored. Those are the toxic bundles that the Federal Reserve is still unloading from the banks at a cost of trillions of dollars.

          Read more:

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Is he going to preserve or expand his ‘legacy?’

            We should be especially concerned about the latter.

            ‘His work is not done yet…’

  8. fresno dan

    “Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, believes the FISC might now see the law in a way that allows the government to compel changes—at certain times—to computer systems to aid surveillance. “One never knows with a secret court, but it seems extremely unlikely the FISC would order a company to fundamentally redesign their software or network architecture to enable interception,” he says. “It is certainly possible, however, that if Microsoft was independently engaged in a redesign, they could be ordered to do it in a way that enabled compliance with a surveillance order, within limits.”

    Yeah, kind of hard to figure out things when you have “secret courts.”

    Black is white
    War is peace
    Coercion is voluntary

    1. BondsOfSteel

      Considering that the government has been forcing changes on Microsoft for the past 15 years on anti-trust issues, one wonders how hard they would have to twist.

    2. Nathanael

      Thankfully, the government has precisely zero ability to order the developers of free & open source software to do anything, because they’re completely decentralized.

      The next problem is hardware. People hated the idea of the Clipper chip, but you can bet the NSA is going bring that back if it hasn’t already. Open hardware next.

      1. hunkerdown

        Open software? Not a solid defense. People hide malicious behavior in plain sight for fun and recognition, and chilling security holes in popular software can sit around for months or years before they’re discovered and patched. Besides, indirect attack such as measuring and exploiting data-dependent timing variation is a hot area of research right now.

        Open hardware? Not a solid defense. There is no way to cheaply or non-destructively verify that a chip made on most modern processes has no covert circuits embedded on the silicon (NSA-controlled cryptographic keys, secret registers, bus monitors listening for magic access sequences), and useful integrated circuits are not at all amenable to garage-scale manufacture.

        As for the mass production of corrupt hardware (as we might reasonably call a device that responds to ulterior interests despite the direction of its possessor or owner), it’s back around already. Some ARM SoCs, especially for mobile, have separate processor cores for applications and baseband communications, to prevent malicious or misbehaving applications from interfering with network operations too easily. Commonly, the apps processor (power-hungry and user-accessible) is subordinate to the baseband processor (low-power and not user-accessible). The degree of subordination could vary from power, reset and a bidirectional message box on up to everything the apps processor can do plus supervisory control of the CPU, I/O, and even memory functions. Since the apps processor has only limited access to the baseband processor’s state and usually only through well-defined channels, the baseband processor would be an ideal place to conceal a communications monitor.

        Desktops are catching up to mobile, thanks to Intel’s Active Management Technology. Essentially the same deal: another microcontroller inside the computer/device that has the ability to listen to the network, perform many of the same functions as the user CPU and switch the CPU on and off. There is already a “keyboard controller” core as a standard part of the legacy PC architecture that does much the same housekeeping, but is far too limited to reach those levels of corruption.

    3. wunsacon

      >> Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, a nonpartisan think tank,


      I recommend surrounding the following words in double quotes:
      – “research fellow”
      – “nonpartisan”
      – “think”
      – “tank”

      Oh, well, maybe “tank” doesn’t belong in that list. After all, these lobbyist groups are figuratively “at war” in pursuit of their agenda.

  9. man

    the shutting down of independent news blogs continues…after oil drum,daily bell seems to be closing down its shutters…
    my guess is NSA spying is scaring away writers

  10. fresno dan

    “Perhaps the most damning aspect of the RUC’s methodology, however, is that, while its members often spend quite literally hours debating if a certain procedure takes three minutes or just two, the RUC never so much as flicks at the question of how much—or even whether—a procedure actually benefits patients. This failure, which is part of a broader flaw in federal health care policy, is enormously damaging to the practice of American medicine. Among other things, it means that many patients wind up undergoing expensive procedures for which more effective and less costly alternatives are available.”

    Maybe that’s why we spend twice as much for health”care” and but get half as much health as those paying much less…

  11. tongorad

    Union Letter: Obamacare Will ‘Destroy The Very Health and Wellbeing’ of Workers

    The leaders of three major U.S. unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, have sent a scathing letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, warning that unless changes are made, President Obama’s health care reform plan will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

    If that’s not bad enough, the Affordable Care Act, if not modified, will “destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans,” the letter says.

    Perhaps the Unions will withdraw their support and deal-making with these viscious anti-worker corporate Democrats? I doubt it, but perchance to dream.

    1. Nathanael

      They probably will. It’s gotten to life-and-death levels for unions and several unions have already broken ranks over other issues.

      This is a bit of a sideshow, though it is an indicator. Breaking ranks with the corporate “Democrats” is an early step. The point at which you will know things have gone into high gear is somewhat after that, when the “old left” organizations throw their weight behind some “new left” organization which is yet to make a major appearance on the scene.

      1. Nathanael

        For reference, UNITE-HERE and UFCW are much more left-wing unions (more aware of the dangers to their workers) and the Teamsters tend to sign on to radical statements. I’d expect nothing less from these three unions.

        This would mean more if it had been signed by the right-wing unions like the UAW.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Well, the SEIU national shouldn’t have funded the career “progressives” to censor single payer and ban its advocates, then. We’re in real “First they came for” territory here.

  12. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the editorial from the WSJ titled “Bhidé and Phelps: Central Banking Needs Rethinking; The Fed’s monetary policy is hazardous, its bank supervision ineffectual.” I am unable to access the article (The linked website says access requires a paid subscription, and I refuse to support Murdoch entities.)

    I will respond that I completely agree with the title to the article. There is a huge price tag attached to the current structure. It is also not difficult to imagine what the American people could have done with $50-$85 billion per month in Cash that has gone into the black hole of the financial system for the past five years. Although I favor a monetary sovereign approach, if we are to have a central bank and a debt-based monetary system, then why aren’t we allowed to vote on who is appointed Fed Chairman, with his or her term renewable bi-annually based upon the People’s vote, just as with our congressional representatives?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      For the WSJ, you can put the headline in a Google search field and access it from there. I’m not sure what the restrictions are, but I could access the article that way when not being logged in (and when I clicked from that article to the home page, there were all sorts of articles I could not access). That is also true for the FT.

      The NYT will also let you access up to 5 articles a day from Google.

      Weirdly, the Telegraph doesn’t allow for going via a search engine, you get only 10 free articles a month, but if you use a different browser, you get another 10.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Thanks for the tip, Yves.

        Last four paragraphs of the article particularly resonated.

  13. peace

    re: Universities in U.S. Besieged by Cyberattacks From Abroad

    The timing of this article implies “they’re stealing electronic data from us so we’re justified stealing from them.” States cannot justify violating treaties and laws to fight anonymous criminal acts. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Yes, there may eventually be blowback from Snowden’s revalations but this article seems timed to provide justification for the U.S. vacuuming up all of China’s electronic communications. Unfortunately, Chinese students may be incensed knowing the U.S. used the Chinese University of Hong Kong as its conduit.

    1. wunsacon


      The timing of this article suggests propaganda.

      Worse, WHO do university research professors work for? I would be willing to be that China isn’t trying to crack the Lit Hum department ftp site.

  14. barrisj

    Re: Zimmerman trial…Juror “B37” has been running her mouth since the evening of the verdict, not doing herself or the verdict any good by her comments, by the way. Her latest revelation from her thought process is this: “…”When George confronted him . . . he could have walked away and gone home,” the woman, identified only as juror B-37, said of the 17-year-old victim in an interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “He didn’t have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight.”
    Wait, what? You mean NOT “Stand His Ground”? Good ol’ George can “stand HIS ground”, but the darkie should have just taken the shite from Zimmerman and slunk away – presuming good ol’ George would have allowed him just “…to have walked away and gone home”. And this woman was one of 6 votes to convict!!!

    1. barrisj

      Woah…huge error…last word in comment is NOT “convict”, but should have been “exonerate”.

  15. Andrew Watts

    RE: Email exchange between Edward Snowden and former GOP Senator Gordon Humphrey

    The irony of Snowden’s situation is that he, more so than any other American, will truly understand what it means to live in a police state by being in Russia. This experience can be summed up in two words: total control. That’s why I’m a little skeptical when I read…..

    “Further, no intelligence service – not even our own – has the capacity to compromise the secrets I continue to protect…….”

    “You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.”

    I don’t know who I feel more embarrassed for; the intelligence officer who actually wrote this amateurish propaganda, Senator Humphrey who is far too trusting, or Glenn Greenwald who should probably know better.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Perhaps the message was in part directed at those who sponsor and engage in torture. I join the former GOP senator in his expression of sentiments. This matter is very sad.

  16. diane

    From Black Agenda Report (DO VISIT, IF UNCERTAIN, FOR CLARITY as regards Trayvon Martin’s recent ‘sentencing’ – while YOUNG and MURDERED.)

    07/16/13 Glen Ford Hunger Strike in the Empire of Dungeons

    Solitary confinement is the ultimate tool of the man-breaker, narrowing the scope of human activity to the bare functions of processing food into waste.


    For a person so restricted, the only mode of resistance available is to refuse to eat. California is one of only three states in which prison doctors are prohibited from force-feeding inmates. However, there is a loophole. The State Supreme Court ruled 20 years ago that forced feeding can be used to protect the “custodial environment,” that is, the discipline and security of the prison. If the authorities believe that allowing holdouts to continue their strike until death would be disruptive of the prison order, they could probably get away with forcing tubes down hunger strikers’ noses, like in Guantanamo Bay

    (bolding mine. please pardon if a duplicate, the first post resulted in a trip to a site page can’t open ‘error.’)

    1. diane

      Odd, I actually used the correct ‘blockquote’ HTML coding, after the phrase “So:” (I know, because the comment I posted, had already been written on a text documen from which I pasted my comment) but the paragraph that followed did not indent.

      The paragraph that starts with “For a person so restricted…” is directly quoted from Glen’s piece.

      (and ditto my above (except, sorry if triplicate, this time), comment about my first post ending up on a site can’t open page)

      1. diane

        Might as well try that one more time, to see if the indented quote, from Glen’s linked piece, works this time, and to post the comment as it was intended to be visualized, and separate as to who wrote ‘what’:

        From Black Agenda Report (DO VISIT, IF UNCERTAIN, FOR CLARITY as regards Trayvon Martin’s recent ‘sentencing’ – while YOUNG and MURDERED.)

        07/16/13 Glen Ford Hunger Strike in the Empire of Dungeons

        Solitary confinement is the ultimate tool of the man-breaker, narrowing the scope of human activity to the bare functions of processing food into waste.


        For a person so restricted, the only mode of resistance available is to refuse to eat. California is one of only three states in which prison doctors are prohibited from force-feeding inmates. However, there is a loophole. The State Supreme Court ruled 20 years ago that forced feeding can be used to protect the “custodial environment,” that is, the discipline and security of the prison. If the authorities believe that allowing holdouts to continue their strike until death would be disruptive of the prison order, they could probably get away with forcing tubes down hunger strikers’ noses, like in Guantanamo Bay

        (bolding mine.)

        1. diane

          It may not have shown on your receiving end, but when I pasted the comment, it was showing from the MS Word document I pasted it from – which was in Print layout view with Paragraph marks and other formatting (spacing etc.)marks viewing on – with the open blockquote coding showing as correct and intact. When I pasted it the exact writing the second time (where the blockquoting worked), I noticed and corrected the problem: oddly, there was a space between two of the letters in the word “blockquote” though no spacing mark shows at all on the word document. I don’t have a clue why there isn’t a spacing mark on the word document though it pasted with a space in it, negating the coding.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Word’s HTML is notoriously flaky and hideous. If there was a space in the middle of the open tag wp might have filtered it — and rightly, it’s a broken tag.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Word does not convert to HTML. Their claims are completely misleading. I actively discourage people who submit copy to NC from using Word. I not only have to put in all the HTML coding myself but I also have to strip out stupid stuff Word does.

            1. diane

              I wasn’t using word to convert to HTML. I entered the coding myself on a word document, which I have been doing when posting comments for a very long time now and haven’t noticed that problem before (where it wasn’t something that I mistyped). There was clearly some quirk going on, though I haven’t a clue what, as to why the inserted space didn’t show on the document, though it pasted with a space in it. And yeah Microsoft does suck, unfortunately I’m stuck with it, for a number of reasons, as are so many others.

  17. JTFaraday

    re: The Battle to Save New York University Intensifies, Pam Martens

    “Now, a group of faculty have penned an 8,800 word treatise (which reads like a civil complaint for a lawsuit) calling for Martin Lipton, a legal icon on Wall Street, to step down as the Chair of the NYU Board of Trustees for failing to take the growing scandals seriously.”

    No offense to NYU’s self declared quality control crew– that would be the much referenced faculty (genuflects)– but about 80% of that tedious letter reads more like this to me:

    Which may or may not be a parody of the classic rap video “Dre Day,” but who can say.

    When they’re quoting comments from the NY Times in order to shed light on their own workplace, when they’re asking permission from the corrupt Administration and Board to form a faculty committee in order to investigate… the corrupt Administration and Board, it becomes apparent that what the NYU faculty actually expects is that someone else will magically fix everything for them.

    So, get cracking on it, Gawker. Step to it. The NYU quality control crew will then evaluate reader comments to discover their own workplace.

    There are days when the MOOC can’t get here fast enough.

  18. Jackrabbit


    The National Security Agency revealed to an angry congressional panel on Wednesday that its analysis of phone records and online behavior goes exponentially beyond what it had previously disclosed.

    Wednesday’s hearing was the second major public congressional hearing about the NSA’s surveillance activities since the Guardian and the Washington Post disclosed some of them in early June. Unlike the previous hearing on June 18 before the House intelligence committee, members of the House judiciary committee aggressively questioned senior officials from the NSA, FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


    “The statute says ‘collection’,” congressman Jerrold Nadler told Cole. “You’re trying to confuse us by talking use.”

    Congressman Ted Poe, a judge, said: “I hope as we move forward as a Congress we rein in the idea that it’s OK to bruise the spirit of the constitution in the name of national security.”
    Inglis, Cole and Robert Litt, the senior legal counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, also argued that the surveillance activities were restricted by the oversight of Congress and the Fisa court. Legislators challenged both contentions.

    Congressman Spencer Bachus said he “was not aware at all” of the extent of the surveillance, since the NSA programs were primarily briefed to the intelligence committees of the House and Senate.

    Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren revealed that an annual report provided to Congress by the government about the phone-records collection, something cited by intelligence officials as an example of their disclosures to Congress, is “less than a single page and not more than eight sentences”.

    Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, challenged Litt’s contention that the Fisa court was “not a rubber stamp”…

    1. diane

      welp, not to make things seem even more desolate than they already are, but ….. I live rather close to Zoe Lofgren’s district (in Sly Con Valley, … the SUNNY!!!! EMPIRE $TATE of California) and she has not attempted even fucksquat about the stunning amount of Homeless who used to be considered “good citizens” residing along the Guadalupe “River” (a stream, with a dead human body sometimes floating and not to be discovered …for quite the while), a hop, skip and a jump from her “Office” ………, let alone the racism, classism, humanitarianism, genderism, ageism, CORPORATE MILITARIZATION which clearly funds her JAWB.

      (second try after hitting a site won’t open page)

    2. Paul Niemi

      The way I would put it: In Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on NSA surveillance activities, the Members suddenly realized they could all lose their reelection races in 2014 because of the NSA scandal, so they feigned stupefaction by the facts revealed and backed away like crawfish from any imagined responsibility for the mess.

  19. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to the article by Nancy Foust about radioactive materials from Fukushima being found in various locations in Eastern Japan. As a resident of the Eastern Pacific, I have been following the underreported effects of the Fukushima disaster with active interest.

    Despite the very long-term adverse health and environmental effects from this terrible event, it could lead to wider use of constructive energy solutions in a broader context:

  20. mookie

    It only took one year and nine months to arrange, but next week I’ll finally have a chance to fight the criminal charges L.A. filed against me for reporting on the city’s violent paramilitary crackdown on OccupyLA.

    For those late to the story, my legal troubles started late at night on November 30, 2011. I was outside City Hall in downtown L.A. trying to report on the LAPD’s eviction raid on the OccupyLA encampment, when I realized that I was penned in by a wall of cops and not allowed to leave the area. The City of Los Angeles had imposed a strict “media pool” policy: all reporters not officially sanctioned by the LAPD were not allowed to approach the OccupyLA camp during the raid, let alone report from within the camp itself. Only a handful of local news organizations were admitted to the media pool; the rest had to stay in a special media pen set up by cops a safe distance away from the action. It was for our own protection!

    Bewildered journalists were told to make do with the Twitter feeds of the accredited reports that were beamed into the safe media zone.

    It struck me then, as it strikes me now, that a city can’t simply strip journalists of their rights just because officials want to prevent an icky PR spectacle. So I decided to tough it out and take my chances out where the action was. And that’s how I found myself penned in with the protestors, frog-marched to a waiting prisoner transport bus and locked up for two full days, along with the 300 other people arrested that night.

    City of Demons Yasha Levine, NSFW

  21. mookie

    These days you can’t throw a rock without hitting some muddle-headed affluent white dude who spends his nights stroking his multiple chins and pondering the question of the lazy poor, convinced as he is that there are plenty of jobs and the problem is that prideful or uncommitted or historically anachronistic (that’s Brooks’ take) folks just won’t suck it up and take them.

    David Brooks Wonders Why Men Can’t Find Jobs: Comedy Ensues Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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