Links 6/24/14

How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore’s Law HotHardware

Mining for tweets of gold Economist (furzy mouse)

Climate change: May breaks global temperature record CBC

Abandoned Oil Wells Leaking Methane OilPrice

The Limits of Climate Negotiations Project Syndicate (David L)

China: Smash property stimulus! MacroBusiness

Political tensions could undermine Hong Kong as China’s top financial centre South China Morning Post

A European New Deal financed by the EIB, with ECB QE-backing, is the optimal policy: Now recommended also by W. Münchau Yanis Varoufakis. A solid piece despite the over-long headline.

France faces prolonged stagnation Walter Kurtz

Drones: Advanced “big brother” arrives in Greece unbalanced evolution

Secret Recording Reveals Polish Foreign Minister Thinks US Alliance Is ‘Worthless,’ ‘Bullshit’ DSWright, Firedog lake

Let the Negotiations Begin (Updated) Mark Weidemaier, Credit Slips

Argentina versus the Vultures – simple solution but leave morality out of it Bill Mitchell


Iraq: The U.S. Has No Role In This Moon of Alabama

ISIS: Iraq today and possibly Jordan tomorrow DW

Big Oil Is Cashing In On Iraq Violence OilPrice

Records show how Iraqi extremists withstood U.S. anti-terror efforts McClatchy

The War Nerd: Like it or not, what’s happening in Iraq right now is part of a rational process Pando

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NSA critics hail votes as game-changers The Hill

Greenwald: New NSA disclosure ‘imminent’ Politico

Sharp Rise in Disapproval of Obama’s Foreign Policy New York Times. He has a policy?

‘Is it more Downton Abbey than it is America?’ Now DEMOCRATS tear into ‘imperial’ Hillary after major gaffes about her enormous wealth Daily Mail (Lee S)

Near misses between drones, jets on the rise Washington Post

US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report Guardian

SF cracks down on ‘Monkey Parking’ mobile app SFGate (EM)

Class Warfare

Attractor States in the Business Cycle… Sluggishness is due to low Labor Share not low Productive Capacity Angry Bear

Starbucks baristudents should beware the green mermaid bearing gifts Guardian

Obama’s Move to Help Students Is Not as Forgiving as It Seems New York Times

The Sharing Economy and the Mystery of the Mystery of Inequality Dean Baker, TruthOut

Attack on Clayton Christensen’s theory falls wide of the mark Financial Times (furzy mouse)

Welfare economics: welfare theorems, distribution priority, and market clearing (part 4 of a series) Steve Waldman

Roman Jokers New York Review of Books

‘The United States of Amnesia’: Gore Vidal in Winter Truthdig (Chuck L)

post- America Stirling Newberry (Ian Welsh)

Antidote du jour:

Links Guinea Pig with glasses

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. David Lentini

    Did Petraeus Enable ISIS?

    I’ve been surprised—NOT!—that we’ve heard so little from or about Gen. Petraeus, the Army’s little surger. Is that because his “success” depended heavily on giving money and arms to the Sunnis who now support ISIS?

    1. Carolinian

      In answer to your question re origins of Isis, some excellent fdl imo.

      also Pepe Escobar with excerpt below

      It’s no secret in the Levant that ISIS Men in Black were trained in 2012 by US instructors at a secret base in Safawi, in the northern desert of that fiction disguised as a country, Jordan, so they would later fight as Western-approved “rebels” in Syria.

      1. Cynthia

        I’ll second that. What I particularly like about Pepe is that he can take information that’s depressing and terribly hard to stomach and turn it into a fun read. It seems like he would be a really fun guy to hang out with.

      2. Andrew Watts

        “It’s no secret in the Levant that ISIS Men in Black were trained in 2012 by US instructors at a secret base in Safawi,“

        That’s confusing other Syrian rebel groups like the Free Syrian Army (and Iraq’s security forces) with the ISIS/ISIL. Even if it was true it would be irrelevant to the unfolding events in Iraq. The Iraqi branch of ISIS differs from the Syrian group. Outside of their leadership structure neither of the cells would maintain links to each other since this would compromise their operational security.

    2. Dikaios Logos

      One of the most interesting pieces about ISIS I have seen, and I have been following many international outlets on this, is a piece today in The Seattle Times about ISIS’s funding sources. The article claims to be sourced from internal ISIS documents and that the content of these documents strongly suggests that the original funding from ISIS was not from wealthy individuals in the Gulf, but rather from rackets run in Iraq, largely centered around Mosul, from earlier than 2010-perhaps as early as 2005.

      I have no way of verifying any of this, but it is congruent with what has happened with colonial occupations in other parts of the world and by other actors (e.g. The British in the 19 th century). The occupier’s understanding of the local power dynamics is always woefully insufficient and eventually, that comes to a head.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Things become even more interesting when you consider Mosul was the birthplace of Iraqi Baathism.

  2. Bunk McNulty

    From the story on the new NY Times poll about dissatisfaction with Obama’s foreign policy: “Despite the unhappiness about Mr. Obama’s leadership, 51 percent of those surveyed, including Republicans, Democrats and independents, said they supported his recent decision to send 300 military advisers to Iraq. Fifty-six percent said they supported the use of drones in Iraq…” along with this quote from a 34-year-old Democrat from Salem, Massachusetts: “I understand he wants to fight terrorism, but send in robots, drones. Don’t send in our troops. Our men and women are dying for what?”

    This is how we are now? “Go ahead, kill people, we don’t care. They’re just making a nuisance of themselves. But use the appliances so we don’t get anything icky on us.”

    1. David Lentini

      We live in the technological age. Power is it’s own justification. Morals are so 19th Century.

        1. David Lentini

          Only if you believe that moral questions are important and relevant. The rise of our technological society, as explained by Jacques Ellul in his book of that title, is that “technological” thinking, i.e., always seeking the most efficient means for our ends, drives us to become amoral becuase the means and ends become synonymous.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And when people say we are being dumbed down, perhaps that’s why few ask moral questions.

            Questions like, if we can some day synthesize food directly and safely (or even not so safely) would it then be immoral to be even vegans, as plants would be dying unnecessarily?

            1. hunkerdown

              Well, that’s the thing about how moral questions are answered in practice: pick your double-standard and make it mandatory.

        2. Bunk McNulty

          I think of commodification as the practice that obliterates moral questions. In the fully commodified world, there is only one question, and that is “How much is it?”

    2. Ned Ludd

      Noam Chomsky observed, back in 1977, that “political discourse and debate [in the U.S.] has often been less diversified even than in certain Fascist countries”.

      The overwhelming majority considered themselves to be opponents of the war [in Vietnam], but in general for what they called “pragmatic” reasons: they became convinced at a given moment that the United States could not win at an acceptable cost. I imagine a study of the “German intellectual élite” in 1944 would have produced similar results. The study indicates quite dramatically the remarkable degree of conformity and submission to the dominant ideology among people who considered themselves informed critics of government policy.

      The consequence of this conformist subservience to those in power, as Hans Morgenthau correctly termed it, is that, in the United States, political discourse and debate has often been less diversified even than in certain Fascist countries, Franco Spain, for example, where there was lively discussion covering a broad ideological range. Though the penalties for deviance from official doctrine were incomparably more severe than here, nevertheless opinion and thinking was not constrained within such narrow limits, a fact that frequently occasioned surprise among Spanish intellectuals visiting the United States during the latter years of the Franco period.

    3. Brian

      Is it wise to consider a NYT poll as anything but propaganda? They have repeatedly demonstrated a penchant for taradiddle. And worse, they have done nothing to undo their view of “reality”.

      1. Skeptic

        Go, Brian.
        The NYT has disgraced itself over and over, why bother trying to decode their propaganda. They engage in Toss ‘Em A Bone news, that is, once in a while, they will give you something worthwhile. Well, once in a while is not enough for me. There is enough good, alternative material around to do without NYT.

        Fool me once and I’m gone.

  3. Luke Nolan

    Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: Abbas represents the occupation not us
    “Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is one of the military wings of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, Fatah, formed in 2000 under the command of President Yasser Arafat.”

    “The group said in an undated statement that carried the groups’ logo: ‘In the name of Fatah and in the name of Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat], and all the martyrs and prisoners, we say that we are innocent of the PA President and Fatah leader, the traitor Mahmoud Abbas, because he represents only himself and the occupation.'”

    “The Brigades in their statement address Abbas saying: ‘We ask you to talk about yourself, and if you cannot protect your people and prisoners, then go to your palace, your companies and your money outside of Palestine, which you gained at the expense of Palestine, which you abandoned along the blood of the martyrs.'”


    Netanyahu resurrects controversial terrorist house demolition policy
    “Israel will demolish a house belonging to a convicted terrorist, renewing a controversial policy for the first time since 2005. The owner, Ziad Awad, has been indicted for killing a Jewish policeman earlier this year.”

    “According to human rights group B’Tselem, some 666 houses of Palestinian activists convicted for carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers were demolished as punishment between 2001 and 2005, during the Second Intifada. An Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) committee eventually concluded that the policy was counter-productive, and incited retribution. ”


    Kerry in Kurdistan to urge leaders to be part of national government
    “The new territory includes vast oil deposits the Kurdish people regard as their birthright and foundation for the prosperity of a future independent homeland.

    With full control of Kirkuk, the Kurds could earn more on their own, eliminating the incentive to remain part of a failing Iraq and leaving them in the strongest position ever to secure the city many Kurds consider their spiritual capital.

    Still, the Kurds have slowly moved to securing oil deals with Turkey and international companies, moves that Washington regard as illegal because the oil wealth should benefit all Iraqis, not just a few.”


    Import the law: EU to send Kosovo-style mission to Ukraine
    “The EU will send a two-year law enforcement mission to Ukraine that will overhaul its police. And the Ukrainian military is to receive assistance from NATO to become a formidable fighting force.”

    ” Earlier NATO announced that it would assist Ukraine in reforming and beefing up its armed forces. Members of the alliance are expected to form a trust fund to finance the process after a meeting in Brussels later this week, according to a Brussels source in the alliance cited Monday by Itar-Tass.

    The assistance will not involve supplying weapons to the civil war-torn country, leaving the decision on offering such deals to individual member states. “

  4. Jim Haygood

    ‘If Argentina wants to keep paying the exchange bond holders, they should redenominate all outstanding liabilities in the local currency under a specially enacted Argentine law, therefore bringing all resolution claims etc under the aegis of the Argentine legal and banking system.’ — Bill Mitchell

    Argentina would dearly love to do this. But what are bondholders going to do with eight billion pesos, payable at an Argentine bank?

    Pesos can’t be wired overseas, so they would have to be converted to dollars from the Argentine central bank. But when bondholders attempt to wire those dollars out, U.S. correspondent banks are sure to notice the unusually large amounts and refuse the transaction in compliance with U.S. court orders.

    ‘The best thing for Argentina would be for its government to announce to the world that it will never borrow again,’ says Mitchell. You’re dreaming, man. But we appreciate the hat tip to a balanced budget!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can the bondholders wire the dollars to say, Chinese correspondent banks in China first, before wiring them to Europe or America?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Probably not. Chinese banks also use U.S. correspondents, since dollars are not their native currency.

        More importantly, China has strict capital controls. You can’t just wire funds there, without approval. China has no incentive to accommodate primarily North American and European bondholders.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I guess those with connection (guan xi) in China, who do business in Argentina, can then buy dollars from the bondholders at a discount.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “The other option is to just default outright. The mainstream press is claiming that the Argentine government cannot afford to default because it needs the foreign capital.

      That is one of those lies that divert the problem away from the obvious solution. The Government of Argentina issues its own peso. It doesn’t need to borrow in order to spend. Why then get tangled up in these complex arrangements with bond holders?”

      I could SWEAR I’ve heard that somewhere before. The part about issuing its own currency and not needing to borrow in order to spend. The OBVIOUS solution part. Possibly in reference to a country that shall remain nameless, but begins with “U” and ends with “s” and has two words in its name.

      One other quote from the article that struck me as familiar (as well as strategically brilliant):

      ” The best thing for Argentina would be for its government to announce to the world that it will never borrow again and that it will therefore not provide ‘investment’ opportunities for hedge funds etc who have no interest in the welfare of the Argentine population and only want to get financial returns.

      1. financial matters

        Yes Bill Mitchell is on board with Michael Hudson on the dangers of borrowing in a foreign currency and with MMT in sovereigns spending money into their own economies to generate employment.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s easier said than done, as the economic hit men would be out of business when countries no longer have to borrow in dollars.

          Only one country is immune, in theory.

          I don’t think the World Bank lends in local currencies…at least not often.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Argentina…issuing own currency, no need to borrow to spend.

        I suspect, like you, that only one country can get away with it, inviting more resentment at her exceptionalism.

        The idea might be a little more persuasive, though not by much (unless we are talking about money creation via the people), if it’s one global currency under a one-government world.

        At present, there are too many imperial-currency-pegging countries that are not monetary sovereigns. And there may be more in the future.

        1. Calgacus


          It’s easier said than done, as the economic hit men would be out of business when countries no longer have to borrow in dollars. Only one country is immune, in theory.
          . . . Argentina…issuing own currency, no need to borrow to spend.
          I suspect, like you, that only one country can get away with it, inviting more resentment at her exceptionalism.

          Well, this theory is wrong – and as far as I can see, not even stated. All normal (that is non-Eurozone) countries are immune. It is very easy for countries to not borrow in foreign currencies, in dollars. They do this by: Not. Borrowing. Dollars.

          I do it every day. Being in the USA I have borrowed in dollars. But I have never borrowed in Euros. I have never borrowed in pounds. I have never borrowed in Renminbi. I have never borrowed in yen. Argentina can do the same. (And understands this better than others now.) Canada can do the same. Etc.

          The USA is exceptional in no abstract, structural way . The difference between the USA & the UK, say, both trade deficit countries issuing currencies used as reserves is one of degree, not kind.

          A side point is that imho it is not a good way of saying things to say that Argentina does not need to borrow in order to spend, as Bill Mitchell does. Its spending – issuance of the debt-instrument called “currency” is borrowing under a legitimate meaning of the word – somewhat different from bank borrowing – but completely different from selling one’s own bonds for one’s currency, which is not “borrowing” at all, under any rational construction.

          The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. (Steve Biko) . I would go further – it is really the only weapon. The power of this weapon, the strength of the mind-control is demonstrated by the nearly universal acceptance of completely baseless fallacies, that are never even argued for, but just baldly asserted – like that MMT applies only to the USA, that MMT needs some modification for open economies. And that only the USA can get away with not borrowing in foreign currencies.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeefz

            How about getting the World Bank to lend in local currencies?

            Do we ever need to borrow from the World Bank?

            Speaking of oppression and the oppressed, why must money be created only via government spending, and not via the people spending it into existence?

            1. Calgacus

              How about getting the World Bank to lend in local currencies?
              Why would a state need to, or how could it borrow in its own currency? The best thing to do with the World Bank, the IMF and other international financial (loan-sharking) institutions is to terminate them.

              Speaking of oppression and the oppressed, why must money be created only via government spending, and not via the people spending it into existence?

              Normally, “People spending money into existence” = “people going into debt.” This is not a particularly good thing, and we have too much of it already. What do you mean by “People spending money into existence” otherwise?

              In the real world, money is created by social institutions like governments or banks. Because money is a social thing – a quantified, cancelable social relationship between a creditor and a debtor, recognized and negotiable in some society, some community. Again, it is very hard to see your meaning.

              Generally, stories of Money Creation by the Little People don’t end well, although here are instructions on the procedure.

              1. F. Beard

                Speaking of oppression and the oppressed, why must money be created only via government spending, and not via the people spending it into existence? Beefy

                Good question. Surely the government can and does GIVE fiat into existence to the people and then they spend it. And even SOME fiat could be essentially debt-free so an increase in sovereign debt is not necessarily the result except purely as a book-keeping result that should perhaps be labeled “Private Equity”.

                You’re right Beef, the monetary sovereign need not and should not make all fiat creation decisions as to what the new fiat will be spent on.

                So a BIG can work just as well as a JG without any concern about misapplication of the population’s time, energy and morale.

                1. Calgacus

                  You’re right Beef, the monetary sovereign need not and should not make all fiat creation decisions as to what the new fiat will be spent on.
                  So a BIG can work just as well as a JG without any concern about misapplication of the population’s time, energy and morale.

                  As I’ve noted before, what Beef is saying is not at all clear. If it just means the Little People becoming more indebted – we have had too much of that already. If it means they can get money when they want – to discharge indebtedness: Great But there is only one way to do it: a JG.

                  I write about a BIG alone vs JG alone. As I’ve said before, I’m fine with a smallish BIG – but with the infinitely more important mighty JG to protect and embiggen the intrinsically feeble BIG. A BIG cannot work as well as a JG, because it is highly inflationary – especially the classic BIG = money for nothing for everyone. Can’t work. JG = money for something. Can work.

                  How one can oppose people getting together and deciding how to work when they want, I don’t understand. That’s the JG, not the BIG. How can one misunderstand that,the JG, as the “misapplication of the population’s time, energy and morale.”? It is the JG worker who wants to “misapply his time”, who is DENIED the right to work by the BIG bureaucrat/criminal/capitalist.

                  This new boss, same as the old boss who says in a lordly manner to the lesser person: “The BIG I give to you out of my magnificence is all you are due. I prevent you from “misapplying your time” to do something for society. Because you are a piece of shit.” But this BIG bureaucrat con man / entrepreneur would never cut his lordly self off from public spending this way, the way so many of the 99% let this con man rob them of their right to public money. He is not insane, not insane that way at least.

                  The bad guys know all this. They’ve understood it forever. They love the BIG versus the JG. Because they know the BIG will be meaningless, or just get restricted so much that it, the BIG, is “degrading” – but the JG, “work cannot be made so degrading.” So the “degrading” BIG is Good. Not-degrading JG is Bad. That’s a quote from William Nassau Senior around 1850. The bad guys may have learnt nothing. But they have forgotten nothing, and the good guys have forgotten so much.

                  The BIG bad idea is that if we just give enough money to everyone, there will be no inflation (ha!) and that it will automatically mean everybody has all the money they want (ha!). That there will be no unemployment in the BIG flatulent utopia. (ha!)

                  Naked BIGgism is just a retreat into the commodity theory, capitalist oppression denying the nature of money, thinking that enough spending will make “free market capitalism” – “government non-intervention” – no “makework” magically “work”. It just can’t. It is preposterous. There will always be people forced to be unemployed in the JG-less utopias that Beard and so many present. They are the primary victims, and the rest of society, robbed of the fruit of their labor are secondary victims. Where is their restitution? I say, help them, especially the unemployed “rob” those who have robbed them. Robbed them by their illogic, which anyone can see is an insult to the intelligence, if they just slow down and try to follow the accounting.

                  1. F. Beard

                    BIG = money for nothing for everyone. Can’t work. Cal

                    No. It equals money for what people want to work at. Most people will work even if it is not required for their living.

                    But if you want to organize a Federal volunteer work program along with a generous BIG, then have at it.

                    Besides, you dodge the justice aspect. Theft requires restitution/reparations not that the victims should have to work.

                    1. Calgacus

                      Besides, you dodge the justice aspect. Theft requires restitution/reparations not that the victims should have to work.

                      Dodge the justice aspect! I emphasize it ad nauseam! Justice, morality isn’t merely the most important aspect of money & finance. It is the only aspect.

                      What about the victims of the utopia you or so many others propose? Fine, do whatever you want, no banksters, apply every scheme for “monetary reform”. But what then? What then? Why is it so important to deny people jobs that they want to have?

                      Why do you think it is possible for the government of the utopia to be omniscient, to know exactly how much to spend to not inflate, and to anticipate everyone’s wants and how much they will work “even if it is not required”? I keep on asking, and am never answered – I think the most you’ve said is “Are you daft?”

                      I am quite daft – if denying that such divine omniscience is humanly possible is daft. Think it through – and see that that is what you and other utopia designers are claiming – divine omniscience.

                      MMTers support JGs and BIGs. The only way a BIG could work is if it had a JG along with it. So logical BIG supporters should support the JG. But it seems more important to many, most BIG supporters that THERE MUST NOT BE A JG.

                      Really, which is more important to you, Beard – that there be a BIG, that the banksters are punished, or that there not be a JG? I am genuinely curious.

              2. F. Beard

                Generally, stories of Money Creation by the Little People don’t end well, although here are instructions on the procedure. cal

                I thought you were going to include instructions on creating a common stock company since shares in equity are a form of private money that incidentally requires NO debt at all.

                1. skippy

                  All human contracts are credit – debt arrangements e.g. even your religious beliefs are a form of debt arrangement FFS~~~

      3. F. Beard

        The ethical way to keep a fiat strong is to allow genuine alternatives* for private debts thereby abolishing the stealth inflation tax and thus FORCING monetary sovereigns to spend and tax wisely.

        *Which also requires removing all government privileges for any of them, including banks and credit unions.

  5. Anon

    Argentina versus the Vultures – simple solution but leave morality out of it Bill Mitchell. Not sure if things are still being edited, but this doesn’t link to anything (as of 8:41am).

      1. ewmayer

        Sorry, I don’t follow links which are unaccompanied by even the most rudimentary description of content.

  6. Jim Haygood

    ‘With their party’s most enduring marriage of convenience falling apart, the Obamas are free to cut the Clintons loose – and Hillary is left to defend herself.’ — Daily Mail article

    Marriage of convenience? Oh, my! No more access for that reporter. Or for the New York Post, reporting on an historic dinner at the White House, 1 Mar 2013:

    “You have to use your organization to aid the candidate in 2016,” Bill [Clinton] pressed Obama.

    “Really?” Obama replied in a tone of undisguised sarcasm.

    The two men went back and forth over the subject of where the money for Obama’s campaign organization had come from and how to allocate funds for the 2016 presidential election. Bill raised his voice. So did Obama.

    As Bill Clinton went on about his managerial experience, Obama began playing with his BlackBerry under the table, making it plain that he wasn’t paying attention to anything Clinton had to say. He was intentionally snubbing Clinton.

    Obama answers him while chasing a fly
    Saying death to old wives who would whimper and cry
    And dropping his BlackBerry he points to the sky
    Saying the moon’s not muslim, it’s wiccan

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Interesting and surprising… surprising as the two couples seem to have so much in common.

        Perhaps ‘opposites attract’ is we need when we look for friends and partners.

        As a compromise, this mediator humbly suggests a 2016 candidate (not so 20th century) both families can live with – Chelsea (she is not Hillary).

        1. Propertius

          And she’ll even be constitutionally eligible then! Can Jenna Bush be far behind?

  7. Christian

    On “SF cracks down on ‘Monkey Parking’ mobile app”

    “It’s a fair business for anybody,” Dobrowolny said. “It’s not just for rich people. If you think you can get that money back when you leave that parking spot, you can earn back the money when you leave the spot.”

    This pisses me off with most technophiles I talk to today. Their heads are so up their smartphones they can’t see that many people cannot afford a smartphone or the monthly bill it comes with, never mind the upfront money and time to make their life one long hustle. They are making money of of people trying to make money, they are nothing new, just a repackaging of exploitation.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      They are not in red. They are in orange.

      We cannot control how your computer renders our design.

      You can adjust your monitor or use preferences in your browser to change the color of links to whatever you want.

  8. McMike

    Google = the crapification of web search.

    I increasingly find Google less than useless for anything besides mainline retail product searches.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Google = the CREEPification of web search

      Every time I start typing a search question and the “goog” fills in exactly what I was going to say, I actually look over my shoulder while thinking, “Where the hell did THAT come from?”

      1. McMike

        All they need is your zip code and last few searches….

        In truth, I think there is a fascinating research project in there. A few billion people on the internet, and we all ask the same damn questions. Is that nature or nurture?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I get the opposite…Google fills in what I don’t have in mind, often shutting down my effort to enter the search words, as it refuses to yield its presumptive, and incorrect, attempt at mind reading.

        1. McMike

          They got that attitude from Apple (and Facebook quickly copied)… We Know What You Want Better Than You Do – and will will lock you out from doing anything else.

          Life under the ol’ Borg Bill Gates seems like the Wild West by comparison.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Can’t blame them.

            They are rich and powerful. So, they must know everything and know everything better.

            1. F. Beard

              I’d be rich myself if I had only started reading and believing the Bible earlier say, age 30 or so. If I had been brought up on it, I might be a billionaire philanthropist – making it faster than I could give it away.

              Oh well, better late than never since:

              Isaiah 40:30-31

              Psalm 92:12-15

  9. dcblogger

    Gun nuts are terrorizing America: The watershed moment everyone missed

    Here is a truth so fundamental that it should be self-evident: When legitimately constituted state authority stands down in the face of armed threats, the very foundation of the republic is in danger. And yet that is exactly what happened at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch this spring: An alleged criminal defeated the cops, because the forces of lawlessness came at them with guns — then Bureau of Land Management officials further surrendered by removing the government markings from their vehicles to prevent violence against them.

    1. Eeyores enigma

      “…legitimately constituted state authority stands down in the face of armed threats…”

      This is exactly WHY we have the 2nd amendment. If you don’t think we are living in extreme times you are not paying attention.

      “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Socialist.
      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

      1. McMike

        So where were all these right-to-graze zealots when the Feds brutally cracked down on the OWS protestors across the nation?

        Cheering, perhaps?

    2. ambrit

      First, legitimately constituted state authority stands down means that someone considered the downside to be worse than the upside of this. So, back off and get them some other way. Al Capone was nabbed on tax charges, not bootlegging charges. As for removing identifying signage, well, it’s only logical. Just another form of camouflage. This isn’t the first time. American history is replete with ‘criminals’ defeating law and order. Sometimes the ‘criminals’ are real crooks. Sometimes they end up pillars of the establishment.
      Finally, the biggest cohort of gun nuts I can see are the Police Forces and Military. What ever happened to Sheriff Andy not carrying a gun? Funny how the nations soul has coarsened.

      1. McMike

        The poor conflicted incoherent political right.

        They spend decades cheering every growth in scope, power, tactics, and weaponry by the police. They pooh-pooh abuses of civil liberties and lies by cops, they deny the existence of the concept of due process, they demand strict sentences and zero tolerance, they cheer the war on drugs, they decry the public defenders as crime enablers, they cheer the Patriot act and shove it down our throats with fascist fervor, they endorse mass armed violent crackdowns on peaceful protestors and union pickets, they endorse preemptive arrest and free speech zones, they give carte blanche to border agents, and on and on.

        Now, when one of their own faces down the police over his refusal to play be the rules of land lease by its owner, they go apoplectic over the federal police.

        Well freaking duh.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        “Finally, the biggest cohort of gun nuts I can see are the Police Forces and Military.”


        From dcblogger’s link: The message implicit in such products was but rendered explicit by the “patriots” Jerad and Amanda Miller, speaking to reporters from Bundy’s spread back in April: “I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and push us around or something like that. I really don’t want violence toward them, but if they’re going to come bring violence to us, well if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it.”

        And from today’s Guardian link on the increasing militarization of US police forces: “Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using paramilitary squads to search people’s homes for drugs,” the ACLU writes. It adds: “Neighbourhoods are not war zones and our police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies.”

        If you don’t want people to feel that they NEED guns because they are under siege, don’t start a g*dd*mn WAR.

        1. McMike

          As deeply opposed as I am to our militarized police and fascist culture of suspicion and confrontation – and I am a firm believer in the entire Bill of Rights including #2 – let’s be honest and admit that the right wing gun crowd has been looking for excuses to arm itself and prepare for existential confrontations of one sort or another for as long back as I can remember.

          And this same group, when it is not IT’S ox being gored, has been perfectly willing to sign off on a litany of federal and police power expansions – sign off, hell, they’ve demanded it.

          The right seems genuinely surprised every time the power they granted the Feds to crack down on bad guys and liberals is turned around and pointed at them.

          1. MtnLife

            What’s really depressing is the NRA, and their zealous right wing beliefs, is really the only option for gun rights. I can’t bring myself to support them in any way but tacit approval for standing up to the zealot lefties. Feels eerily similar to middle east politics where you have to turn a blind eye to one set of crazies to stave off another.

            1. James Levy

              Where are these “Lefties”? Where are they in a position to “take away my guns” i.e. cut off your dick? Nobody wants your shotgun. Nobody wants your Winchester 70. They want semi-autos with 30 round clips out of the hands of the public, because the public does not need such weapons for anything short of committing mass murder. Period. If gun nuts hadn’t fought any rational gun control FOREVER we wouldn’t be in this situation now.

              I’d trust those “Lefties” over, as Mike said, the nuts arming themselves to the teeth for the Turner Diary race war they are dying to get underway. And although the police suck the alternative war of all against all that the gun nuts are gleefully preparing for is going to be infinitely worse.

              1. optimader

                “Nobody wants your shotgun. Nobody wants your Winchester 70. ”

                As for me, a Winchester Model 1886 40-82 and a Damascus barrel 12 gauge
                Both are a hoot and many people want them.

          2. fresno dan

            I have a little philosophy and political discussion group I attend.
            Most people understand the basic element of “fair play” or live and let live, whats good for the goose is good for the gander, etc., etc.
            But out resident gun advocate, if you ask enough questions, is clear enough that guns should be in the hands of white, Christian, republican, males – the good guys.
            And of course, the police always tell the truth.
            Except for the one strange fact that they are “always” pulling him over.
            …..I have a tendency to believe the situation will correct itself at some point.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “Gargling” while Rome burns.

          I think that qualifies as innovation. Or disruption. Or whatever.

          At least it’s better that “fiddling.” What the hell is “fiddling” anyway?

          1. optimader


            “What the hell is “fiddling” anyway?”
            Go hang out at the Primate House at your nearest zoo for a little while

    3. Paul Tioxon

      We did not miss the point in Philadelphia or from what I read and see on TV, Chicago. And all of the other urban war zones. More than a few gun shops have been forced to close down by federal authorities because they were simply ammo dumps for organized and not so organized crime. One, located across the street from the Philadelphia FOP HQ, that’s the cops union in the city, was a mainstay for cops to buy police supplies. Of course, the fact the dozens and dozens of guns sold annually were used for murders and traced back to their straw purchasing right across the street from the thin blue line’s stupifying inability to at least put the one surveillance camera on the public that would have protected the public from gun shot wounds and death would be too much to ask for. At least the Feds drove them out of business after the ATF determined that 20% of all guns taken from Philly crime scenes were from the notorious gun shop turned merchant of death.

      The people who were arrested in protesting this shop won for us all in the end. A lot of the back bone came from church going goody 2 shoe types that have more balls than a Marine battalion. That and other people who joined in after their lives were dragged into the bloody mess of gun violence when their family and friends were shot. That number is in the thousands in the city and once it happens to you, it does not fade from memory like a TV news item.

    4. hunkerdown

      Why are the quislings so loud lately? That’s twice this week I’ve seen barely-subtle exhortations to conformity and submission to authority in beigeois journalism.

        1. hunkerdown

          Of course! When it comes to Fordist culture, you can have any color as long as it’s…

  10. fresno dan

    Interesting from the aspect that world GDP is about 25% higher, according to the IMF since 2005.
    Now that is something, because I don’t know a single person who is a quarter better off (sure, I know some people whose nominal income has increased, but basically no one has had any significant increase in real income.
    So again, either somebody is eating all the increased pie, or there isn’t any pie (my pie theory is that someone is eating all the DEcreased pie)

                    1. Paul Niemi

                      Have it your way. The statement, “Rome wasn’t buildeded in a day,” is still a true statement.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If you save a cat from being killed by a car, as it tries to cross a street – can we count that in the GDP?

        (Just asking questions here. I find asking questions to be the best way to avoid being brain washed. That is, asking questions keeps the brain unwashed, or dirty).

        1. fresno dan

          Hard to say – you have the increased amount of grain saved due to the mousing the (saved) cat would have done. On the other hand, the mouses that would have survived if the cat had died, and therefore would have been eaten and more grain would have had to have been planted and harvested to make up for the grain eaten by mouses…(apologies to Bastiat
, as well as more mouse catching devices purchased, would all have increased GDP.
          But as far as I know, the GDP calculations do not consider how many excess mice there are due to cats run over by cars. And we don’t even consider that the number is a wash, because an equivalent number of mice are run over by cars.

          Of course, it doesn’t calculate how many songbirds are killed due to cats, but everybody knows that songbirds have no GDP value….
          And on the other hand, how much celiac disease is prevented by the higher price of grain discouraging consumption of wheat containing products? This is course diminishes the income of gastroenterologists…..

          and in the immortal words of Garfield, “show me a good mouser, and I’ll show you a cat with bad breath…”

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Yes, the saved cat can be counted.

          “Growf” WILL occur. Whether it occurs or not. Otherwise the stock market’s rise would not make any sense.

          See how that works?

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Edit alert: I wrote, “Otherwise the stock market’s rise would not make any sense.”

            I meant to write, “Otherwise the stock market’s rise would not make any CENTS.”

            Oops. Wait. What???

            There is a valid reason that older Americans have been deemed permanently unemployable.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Starbucks baristudents or Starbaristudnents for short, I guess, if everyone is doing this game.

    Too bad it was only in passing in the article it was mentioned that a better way was to pay workers more.

    What a ‘non-management-ego-boosting’ novel idea.

  12. OIFVet

    US student is rescued from giant vagina sculpture in Germany: “Police confirmed that the firefighters turned midwives delivered the student “by hand and without the application of tools”. The mayor of Tübingen told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he struggled to imagine how the accident could have happened, “even when considering the most extreme adolescent fantasies. To reward such a masterly achievement with the use of 22 firefighters almost pains my soul.”

    In defense of the student, he looks like the type who has not been anywhere near a vagina before, real or a sculptured one.

  13. Jeff W

    “Political tensions could undermine Hong Kong as China’s top financial centre” South China Morning Post

    The question is political tensions from whom? The locals seeking electoral reform or Beijing seeking to deny it?

    Joseph Cheng, Chair Professor of Political Science at the City University of Hong Kong, takes this view:

    It appears that if Beijing decides to deny democracy to Hong Kongers, it may well be able to do so, but then the HK government will lose legitimacy in the eyes of many of the city’s residents, leading to a very polarized society.

    It will be extremely difficult for the Hong Kong government to achieve effective governance under such conditions. At the same time, Beijing’s policy towards Taiwan will also be bankrupt. So the general scenario is that if Beijing chooses to ignore this, they may well be able to impose its system on Hong Kong, but then the price will be high.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hong Kong should ask democracy for all of China or not at all.

      It’s easier to gain support inside and outside of China that way.

      As Hong Kong is China’s top ‘financial centre,’ with money from all over the world, including the West, China’s choice is either special status for HK and global money, or the same, equal tight control as the rest of the country, with maybe Shanghai becoming the new top financial centre.

      It’s a case of realpolitik and realeconomik. Here money talks.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        ‘…with Shanghai becoming the top new financial centre (and finally a chance to assert her new found hegemony).’

  14. FederalismForever

    From France Faces Prolonged Stagnation: “Hollande’s big tax increases did not produce the results expected.” But what are the odds that those on the Left who view sharply higher tax rates as a panacea for all of the world’s ills will take this real-world counter-example to heart?

          1. F. Beard

            nor for the faithless! Dares plenty out to get ya in Nature such that Supernatural help is required, I’d bet and do too.

  15. optimader

    Many buttons/little time/wrong language..comforting.
    Personally, I will not fly in Asiaanything other than maybe a small STOL plane that I would feel competent to land.

    “…The NTSB also determined the pilots had insufficient training on the plane’s automated control systems. In the understatement of the year, acting NTSB head Christopher Hart told reporters: “We have learned that pilots must understand and command automation, and not become over-reliant on it….”

    Interestingly this could be an almost direct cutout quote from Adm. H Rickover when testifying about over reliance on layers of automation of nuke power plants in the wake of 3mi island. the Nuke NAVY under his watch minimized layers of automation to keep the human in the loop for situational awareness/safety reasons. Probably applicable to some degree w/ modern aircraft, although they have been optimized to the point of being awkward to fly w/o reliance on autopilot features. When the shit hits the fan though, it would be nice to think the P.I.C. has a clue

  16. aliteralmind

    Thus is my first time seeing the links on the website–which I’m happy to do, in order to support you guys–and not in the RSS feed, but it’s pretty hard to read on a mobile device. Lines are not word wrapped, so every paragraph shoots off the right side of the screen.

    If you add

    To the top the page (and ideally on every page), anywhere in the tag, it should automatically format things properly, no matter the device. Desktop users should not notice any difference.

    1. aliteralmind

      Darn it. The HTML tag was hidden. Here it is agin, with square brackets:

      [meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width”/]

      It can go anywhere in the [HEAD] tag.

  17. aliteralmind

    I should say that the lines *are* word wrapped, but on a mobile device, when looking at a whole paragraph, the text is ridiculously small.

  18. Abe, NYC

    So the day has come when RSS articles are truncated. This severely restricts the ability to read them on mobile devices.

    Spent the evening experimenting with my Android RSS readers (Feed+ and JustReader), trying to get them to fetch articles from the web. If my understanding is correct, Instapaper and Google fail to mobilize NC properly; they don’t seem to have an issue with most other blogs, I checked Michael Pettis and Calculated Risk. So I have to download full original HTML, which is very difficult to read on a smartphone.

    A humble request, then… if truncated articles are here to stay, it would be nice if the site were compatible with Instapaper or Google mobilizers. But that would likely require a major overhaul…

    Any tips are appreciated.

  19. Swedish Lex

    On US police increasingly acting as heavily armed Sturmabteilungen:

    A US lawyer friend defended a client (bankruptcy and possible pending but farreached white collar collar crime).

    The client, sleeping in his home at 4 am with his wife and kids, was woken up by 4 SWAT(sika) pointing automatic weapons with flash lights in his face (and in that of his wife). A full platoon of them entered the house and searched for assets (as in possible cash, not drugs, weapons or uranium).

    My friends client is a pacifist who has never owned a gun in his life.

    The same SWAT procedure has happened twice!

    My US friend explained to me that the authorities, investigating the white collar stuff, seek to put psychological pressure on the client by terrorising him and his family. The intention is to weaken him with a view to settle a deal.


Comments are closed.