Links 7/12/14

The Trouble With Brain Science New York Times (David L)

Hair-raising technique detects drugs, explosives on human body Science (Chuck L)

Satellite data shows livestock emitted more methane than oil and gas industry in 2004 PhysOrg (Chuck L). Remember, that was pre-shale gas fracking.

C.D.C. Closes Anthrax and Flu Labs After Accidents New York Times (David L)

New Bank Leak Shows How Rich Exploit Tax Haven Loopholes International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Deontos)

BRICS to launch bank, tighten Latin America ties Agence France-Presse (Nikki)

US-China relations: Head to head Financial Times

China’s Food Safety Issues Worse Than You Thought Food Safety New (Deontos)

George Magnus: Asia looks vulnerable as Fed prepares to change its tune Nikkei

The Message of Espirito Santo Mohamed El-Erian, Bloomberg

Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge France24 (Nikki). Don’t expect the French to take this lightly.


Israel to ‘resist Gaza pressure’ BBC

A Ground Invasion of Gaza Will Achieve Nothing But More Bloodshed Real News. Um, isn’t that the point?

Stop Saying ‘If X fired Rockets at U.S.’: It’s Racist, & assumes we’re Colonial Juan Cole (Nikki). Um, the US is racist and imperialist, but there is still merit in the argument that differences of degree can be differences of kind.

Israel Is Bombing Gaza Back to the Stone Age to Get Hamas … But ISIS – NOT HAMAS – Claims Credit for Attacks Against Israel George Washington


Watch this caliph rip Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Prince Bandar back in the Driver’s Seat in Riyadh Wayne Madsen. Per discussion yesterday in comments.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Websites censored by Google (Chuck L)

US knew about Snowden file destruction at UK newspaper RT (Deontos)

PapaDick and BabyDick Try to Sustain the Terror Industry Marcy Wheeler

Imperial Collapse Watch

On Israel, Ukraine and Truth Counterpunch

No Lessons Learned at the NYT Robert Parry. Consistent with reader discussions, but useful for those who want a link to send to open-minded friends and family.

Berlin Spying Prompted U.S. Offer Too Late to Sway Merkel Bloomberg

Infrastructure and Spaghetti Investing Huffington Post. Translation: The US should have a more explicit national policy, rather than our current industrial-policy-by-default determined by who is the most adept at lobbying and vote-buying.

The Costs of Obama’s Housing Mistakes Keep Piling Up Dave Dayen, Fiscal Times

Is the Supreme Court Out of Order? Bill Moyers

Engine fire triggers new turbulence for Lockheed’s F-35 jet Reuters. EM: “LOL@ ‘quick and affordable.'”

Deadliest, Rarest Form of Plague Contracted Near Denver Bloomberg. Not to worry, they had it back in 2004…

Shaving New York: Lyft receives cease-and-desist on eve of expansion Pando

Cynk’s Frenetic Trading: An Important Lesson WSJ MoneyBeat – WSJ. EM: “SJ conclusion: ‘Cync’s trading isn’t the sign of a market bubble.’ That whole ‘DotCom Bubble 2.0: Social Media Edition’ is just a figment of the imagination, apparently.”

Fed’s Lockhart: Still Sees First Fed Rate Boost Some Time in 2015 WSJ Economics. Batten the hatches!

The Government Just Posted Its First Four-Month Budget Surplus In Years Business Insider. And you wonder why GDP growth went into reverse and retail sales are flagging?

Gallup Slams Lid On Hopes For US Economy Wolf Richter

Class Warfare

L.A. port truckers strike; dock worker talks on hold Produce News (Paul Tioxon)

Port Truckers Continue Indefinite Strike; Dockworkers Forced Back to Work Long Beach Post (Paul Tioxon)

A Class of Its Own Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate (Chuck L). Rodrik is one of my favorite economists.

Freedom of Thought in a Vacuum of Patronage Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

Links monkey hugging dog

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. JohnB

    I ‘subscribe’ to NC (recurring donation) – any chance of a bonus for subscribers sometime down the line, where they get access to a password-protected RSS feed, showing full articles like before? (if it’s not too difficult to get going)

    Seems a perfect way to solve the problem, of many readers preferring full RSS feeds, while still allowing NC to get ad-revenue income from clicks, and subscription-revenue from full-RSS-feed readers; I find myself reading stuff here less (mainly just checking the daily links), whereas seeing it all in RSSOwl is a lot handier.


    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Gotta say, John, this incessant, juvenile whining about RSS feeds is getting really old. I’ll bet you’re even congratulating yourself on being FIRST in Comments. And you didn’t even have to read anything.

      You remind me of the kid in the grocery store who’s gonna scream and stamp his feet until his mother buys him the Fruit Loops. You’re a pest.

      I want a “bonus.” I make a regular “donation.” “EVERYBODY” feels like I do. If you don’t give me what I want, I’m just gonna “read less.” That used to be be referred to in my house as, “Cuttin’ off your nose to spite your face.”

      If the form in which information is provided is more important to you than the information itself, it’s YOUR loss. Becoming informed is not a passive activity. Most of the time you have to WORK for it. If you’re willing to limit the information you consume to only that which is presented to you in your preferred technological format, well, that tells me all I need to know about you (and any comments you might make.)

      Yves has repeatedly and patiently tried to explain the reasons things are the way they are and still you and your fellow whiners will not quit. I WANT MY FRUIT LOOPS!!!!

      Give it up, already.

      1. JohnB

        Whoa, calm down there – that was very vitriolic. I haven’t posted a comment on NC in weeks, so I don’t know what you are on about with ‘incessant’.

        My request was politely worded and I am not making any demands (if it doesn’t happen, fair enough – it’s not going to affect me being a subscriber) – I don’t believe my request is in conflict with any of the reasons Yves gave either, I’d say it compliments them.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          At least you didn’t call me a bully. We girls go all, like, “girly” when that happens.

          But the fact remains, if you need to be spoon-fed, switch to Facebook. From what I hear, they got all your RSS “newsfeeds” right there.

          1. Gentlemutt

            Well, there goes another lost subscriber.

            You are not helping Yves by being hostile to subscribers, or anyone else for that matter. Please be so kind as to consider the effect your conduct will likely have before acting.

          2. hunkerdown

            Still a bit wistful about the demise of Google Reader. There was a pretty decent full-feed user script that would fetch the whole article, strain out the text, and drop it right into the feed. Alas…

        2. toldjaso

          “what you’re on about” — the tell of the BritButthead expecting Easy Street his way from “Yanks.”
          Katniss is on higher ground, purrfectly.

  2. Paper Mac

    Re: The Trouble With Brain Science – spot on and timely. “Radically premature” is a most excellent description.

  3. Ned Ludd

    The myth that “liberals are peacemakers”:

    In his 1859 essay On Liberty, to which modern liberals pay homage, John Stuart Mill wrote: “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end.” The “barbarians” were large sections of humanity of whom “implicit obedience” was required. “It’s a nice and convenient myth that liberals are peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers,” wrote the historian Hywel Williams in 2001, “but the imperialism of the liberal way may be more dangerous because of its open-ended nature: its conviction that it represents a superior form of life.” He had in mind a speech by Blair in which the then prime minister promised to “reorder the world around us” according to his “moral values”.

    Pilger’s article is a damning account of “hostility to political truth-telling” in the liberal press, a press that instead promotes imperialism, totalitarianism, and “corporate propaganda [which] is insidious, contagious, effective and liberal.”

    1. dearieme

      Liberalism has degenerated into a secular religion; naturally it will have its jihads.

        1. toldjaso

          Bene@large is a trollbot? Sounds like a comment from H.A.L. failing, since his “reply” to the cogent comment above his does not compute (except perhaps in a quantly malware way (just saw Kubrick’s “2001” again last night, reminded of “how it works”).

        2. hunkerdown

          Civil religion is a recognized sociological concept. And dearieme, in this case, has specified a narrative that is in line with recognized sociological concepts and the facts on the ground.

          Hits a bit too close to home?

    2. ohmyheck

      That link coincides with a video I watched yesterday, by the author in that piece, John Pilger. Even though the title is “The Invisible Government”…(oh for gawd’s sake, Lambert, I can’t help what they chose to title it) he doesn’t talk about such things at all, he talks about how in the past 20 years, “Liberalism” isn’t liberal at all, on either side of the pond, and how journalism is merely the propaganda arm of a government…which is what Robert Parry is discussing in the Links today.
      Here’s the 4-part video, if anyone has the time:

      1. Ned Ludd

        Thanks. I found a playlist that includes all four segments (although the last segment is unfortunately cut short). Some interesting comments about the BBC.

        John Pilger: A second study, by the University of Wales, shows that in the buildup to the invasion, 90% of the BBC’s references to “weapons of mass destruction” suggested that Saddam Hussein actually possessed them, and that by clear implication, Bush and Blair were right.

        We now know that the BBC and other British media were used by the secret intelligence service, MI6, in what they called “Operation Mass Appeal”. MI6 agents planted stories about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, such as weapons hidden in his palaces and in secret underground bunkers. All these stories were fake.

        But that’s not the point.

        The point is, that the work of MI6 was unnecessary; because professional journalism, on its own, would have produced the same result.

        Listen to the BBC’s man in Washington, Matt Frei, shortly after the invasion: “There is no doubt,“ he told viewers in the U.K. and all over the world, “that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially now in the Middle East, is now increasingly tied up with American military power.”

    3. David Lentini

      Arguably the three freest men of the 20th Century: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. They could do what they wanted, when they wanted, to whom they wanted.

      Liberalism has its limits.

      1. Benedict@Large

        Hitler was liberal? No, the Weimar government was liberal. It was the fall of Germany’s liberal government that opened the political space for Hitler’s rise. As for Hitler’s “socialism”, it was socialism for corporations, not for the people. You know, just like the US today.

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          It was more socialism for Aryans, a group even the believers couldn’t agree on definitions for. They got socialism and everybody else got labor camps or dead.

    4. Abe, NYC

      I stopped reading Pilger about 2 or 3 years ago, around the same time I stopped reading Mish, and for the same reason: it was just too disgusting. For Pilger to quote Orwell approvingly, is like for Rand Paul to quote Karl Marx.

      Lest we forget, Orwell kept his intellectual honesty until the end. A lifelong socialist, he could not help realizing that Animal Farm and 1984 will be on the banner of right-wingers for centuries to come. Yet he wrote them, because he simply couldn’t blind himself to what he saw in the USSR and Uncle Joe when the latter was a very popular figure – and he saw it better than anyone, including the army of Russian intellectuals and their supporters in the West.

      John Pilger, by contrast, having barely pulled his tongue from Chavez’s anus due to his untimely death, already has it firmly buried in Putin’s. Maybe he imagines that prostituting himself to a neo-Stalinist Russia brings him in league with Maksim Gorky or Alexei Tolstoy, I don’t know. But his quoting or mentioning H.G.Wells or George Orwell is nauseating. A distinguishing feature of these two, and other true socialists, is bravery and intellectual honesty. The likes of Pilger will justify anything and anyone – Holodomor, Katyn, Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge – as long as the perpetrators are opposed to the “Great Satan.”

      And that, of course, gives the it the ultimate justification, since they can legitimately claim that the opposition is just as dishonest and corrupt as their own side. And so the Great Satan lives on.

      1. OIFVet

        OK, we get it: you really don’t like Pilger. That’s fine, but it does not make his message any less true. Neither does it make him the Great Scapegoat you are so eager to make out of him. His great offense: his sympathy for Putin and Chavez, plus the low blow of his Pilger’s implied sympathy for the Khmer Rouge and the likes. The horror! As soon as you come to and get off the fainting couch you so theatrically flopped on to, I will expect a full accounting of the unspeakable evils inflicted by Putin and Chavez upon humanity. You are just as shrill as the mainstream propaganda media, and your tactics are just as underhanded. Here you doing your level bourgeois best to manufacture false outrage on behalf of the neolibercon reaction against anyone and anything that stands in their way. As if Putin and Chavez are the ones who ushered in the age of permanent economic and conventional warfare upon mankind and any country which has the misfortune to be of strategic or resource importance, killing many millions in the process. For all their many faults the only reason why they are the propaganda-approved targets for demonization is because they dared to stand up to the empire, nothing more and nothing less.

        Also, neo-Stalinist? This coming from the guy who tries to whitewash the Ukie neonazis as nothing more than exuberant and passionate nationalists… For a supposed progressive you have a funny way of always coming down on the side of the neolibercon imperial agenda and its unsavory henchmen. Because Putin and neo-Stalinism!!! I bet prior to that it was Saddam and WMDs.

        1. Abe, NYC

          Where Putin’s henchmen are not active in Ukraine, Russians go about their lives speaking their language and electing a President. Wherever Putin’s henchmen are active in Ukraine, people’s livelihoods are destroyed and they die by their thousands, Russians and Ukrainians alike. Under the pretext of protecting them, he led them to slaughter. That is unspeakable enough for me. The essence of Pilger’s article and your own stance: “American imperialism bad, Russian imperialism good.”

          Then Pilger laments the lack of high-profile radicals. Well, maybe if he was lying less and didn’t turn a blind eye to Putin’s crimes he would have a better chance of gaining profile. The way it sounds now, what he really laments is his inability to become an Ann Coulter of the left.

          And Russia is neo-Stalinist all-right, although the stalinization receives very little coverage in English-language media. While the mythical Ukrainian Nazis poll at 1.5%, Putin is set to rename Volgograd back into Stalingrad. The image of Stalin is being actively whitewashed, and the Duma is about to pass a law (or has already) that makes it a crime to challenge the official line on the role of the Soviet Union in WW2. Territorial conquest is firmly on the agenda. Ultra-nationalists marches gather tens of thousands of people in the middle of Moscow and proceed unimpeded even as opposition marches are brutally dispersed and their leaders jailed.

          1. OIFVet

            Translation: “I got nothing.” You sure do try to hide behind your self-proclaimed “progressivism” but here you are cheering on a junta and its “democratic” puppet masters across the Atlantic, which overthrew the legitimately elected government of Ukraine using American-supplied dollars and neonazi street thug muscle. “Oh, but they poll at only 1.5%” says Useful Abe, conveniently neglecting the fact that 1) they were handed control of the security apparatus, and 2) them that has the weapons and the willingness to use them, has the power. And the neonazi scum does have the real power now, even if it is hidden behind the puppets Porky and Yats for appearance’s sake. One of the junta’s very first acts was to overturn the language law which guaranteed the minorities the protection to use their own languages. And while the junta reversed itself, this revealed enough about its intentions and those of their neonazi muscle to give any sane ethnic Russian serious doubts about their safety and freedom. If any had any doubts, they sure were dispelled following the Odessa Massacre of ethnic Russians, an operation carefully planned and executed by the neonazi thugs of the Pravy Sector.

            But sure, let’s blame Evil Putin for all this, this is who the Department of Neo-Colonial Administration and its mainstream propaganda media tells us is the boogeyman du jour. Oh the nerve, daring to stand up for his country’s interests! And Pilger’s nerve to point out the propaganda media’s duplicity in spreading lies to justify the actions of the Empire, he best be destoyed, and fast. So enter Useful Abe, sounding just like any Pravda on the Hudson or Izvestiya on the Potomac scribe, launching a personal attack on Pilger without even trying to address his article’s substance. Because Putin!!!

            Goes to show how today’s “progressives” have become little more than glorified cheerleaders for the neolibercon imperial agenda. Little wonder they can’t convince even their supporters to vote for their “progressive” candidates, as Stoler’s republished entry amply demonstrates. They are no different than mainstream Democrats, who are in turn just the other wing of the one-party political system that we have. Sure, blame Pilger for that, it sure will help your “progressive” cause.

      2. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        Orwell was also a colonial official whose anti colonialism didn’t prevent him from condescending to brownish people.

        1. OIFVet

          People like him rarely bother to acknowledge details that don’t fit their preferred, Official Washington-approved, narrative.

  4. Julia

    For weeks the intel sock puppets have been planting this slogan in threads: ‘Germany’s not really pissed, they’re just angling to get Five-Eyes status.’ Bloomberg is still shoveling that out with their ‘too little, too late,’ catchphrase.

    Memo to Rogers: Get it through your thick skull, Rain Man. They don’t want to be part of your totalitarian state.

    1. Lexington

      Or Merkel is just playing hard to get for purposes of domestic political consumption. Time will tell.

      Bernhard at Moon of Alabama may have proclaimed the death of the American-German alliance, but he gives no persuasive justification for this declaration, and in my book his credibility is already badly battered by his demented pro-Putin rants during the Ukrainian crisis.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Press reports say that after five hours of meetings in New York yesterday with the special master appointed by Judge Griesa, the Argentine team went home without encountering the holdouts who were present in a separate meeting, and without setting a date for another meeting. So default on 30 July is 99.99% certain.

    Argentina pleads, with some validity, that settling with the holdouts would dangerously deplete its foreign exchange reserves, which fell from $52 billion in 2011 to only $28 billion now. But why did this happen, during boom times for Argentina’s principal exports of beef and soybeans?

    Answer: deliberate policy choices. Agricultural exporters face a harsh 35% tax, intended to force more supply into the domestic market, in a vain attempt to suppress high inflation. In a similar manner, the peso’s dirty float is pegged at an overvalued level. At the official exchange rate, a peso buys 12.2 US cents. But on the street, the peso is worth only 8.4 cents, suggesting that the official rate is about 45% overvalued.

    An overvalued currency, of course, cripples exports and subsidizes imports. A misalignment as extreme as Argentina’s is enough to drain reserves, even with a record soy harvest and buoyant commodity prices. A new president to be elected in 2015 will have to fix this incoherent mess: not simply to pay the creditors, but because it’s unsustainable.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      According to Charles Hugh Smith: (emphasis mine)

      ” An honest government will eventually default on its unsustainable promises; a dishonest government (the default setting everywhere) will print money to fund the promises until its currency loses purchasing power as a result of either inflation or some other flavor of currency crisis.”

  6. MtnLife

    Re: China’s Food
    ” the people who are willing to work for the kind of low wages that make it possible to process U.S. chickens in Chinese plants and export them back to America cost effectively.”

    Is transcontinental shipping really that cheap where you can ship a bird to China and back, while having it butchered, for less than $4? Even the mobile processing units around here charge less than $4/bird if you chill yourself and they come to you! Stationary places will do a bird for $5 including chilling and shrink wrap. What a way to waste oil and increase unemployment locally.

    I should have known to read this article AFTER eating but unfortunately meal time is the only “free” time I have to visit NC, my time taken up with chickens/ducks, garden, and business. I occasionally sneak in while waiting for coat of shellac to dry. Thanks to Yves, Lambert, and the whole range of intelligent, civil posters here who help keep my sanity!

      1. Eureka Springs

        I find it nearly impossible to believe as the article asserts the Chinese people don’t understand/comprehend clean handling and refrigeration (even if not available) of meats from processing thru grocer or restraunt kitchen makes a great deal of difference.

        But then, my mind boggles at the fact we do our level best to grow and or process our food there as well.

        Free markets and government secrecy will be the spiritual and physical death of us all.

        1. nycTerrierist

          “Free markets and government secrecy will be the spiritual and physical death of us all.”

          Well put in a nutshell.

      2. MtnLife

        I missed the Sparta article the first time around, depressing. What really makes no sense is most of the processors here already use a great deal of cheap, illegal immigrant labor, so the only savings I can see would be an EPA issue with the biohazard of thousands of chicken remains each day. Other than that or some lemming herd mentality mentioned in the first article, the only possible motivation would be to truly drive the US to 3rd world status so our labor can “compete” on a global level. When they can treat US workers the way China does theirs the transformation will be complete.

        1. nycTerrierist

          Yes, it’s the race to the bottom for labor.

          Also an unsafe way to evade any regulation whatsoever.
          Speeding up production (due to greed) and no inspections (also due to greed)
          …what could possibly go wrong?

        2. fresno dan

          I agree that something doesn’t make economic sense. I think its like all those mortgages given to people who obviously couldn’t pay the loans – theres a lot of chicken sh*t. You just have a big grift to cover the whole thing.
          CDS: chicken default swap
          MBS: mortgaged broiler securities
          CDO: chicken down obligation
          CDO squared: enough chicken down for a down coat
          CDO cubed: enough chicken down for a sleeping bag
          Foghorn Leghorn : Angelo Mozilo

        3. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          Doug Henwood interviewed the author of the Sparta piece on his podcast. Worth chasing down.

    1. cnchal

      From the article.

      What about large multinational food corporations operating in China? Don’t they have sanitation and food safety standards equivalent to those in the United States?

      I don’t think so. Shuanghui International, China’s biggest meat products company (which purchased Smithfield Foods last year for $4.7 billion), has been plagued by constant reports here in this country of meat infested with maggots, customers succumbing to food poisoning, and random testing that shows illegal levels of bacteria and illegal additives such as clenbuterol in their meat. Negative Chinese articles about Shuanghui were pulled off the web in advance of the Smithfield purchase, but you can still read about the problems here.

      Now that the Chinese own Smithfield Foods, we know who to boycott. It is a continuation of crapifying everything they touch or make.

      The whole trade with China deal is so disgusting on every level, now we will be directly poisoned by them.

      Why do you think many farmers in China use unsafe chemicals on the food they grow?

      The government limits the profit farmers can make off their goods in order to control inflation. As a result, many farmers have a hard time making ends meet, so they seek ways to improve per acre yields via chemicals. It is well-known (and feared) in the cities that farmers set aside a plot for their own personal use upon which these chemicals are never used. But plots that are growing produce to be sold are highly contaminated to make them profitable. Hence we have issues like last year’s exploding watermelons. An unknown chemical was added to watermelons to make them grow faster and bigger, with the unexpected result that they exploded in the fields.

      Exploding watermelons? Unknown chemicals? WTF?

      I think Kat is right. Something else is going on. Crapification in the extreme.

      Just like Philips crapified their lighting division by shutting the Sparta plant and moving it to Mexico. Whether through stupidity or sadism the results speak for themselves. It is worth repeating that at the same time this plant was being closed, Philips was getting a multi million $ subsidy from the taxpayer.

      Now remember, those same sadistic or stupid “business leaders” like the ones at Philips, are at the TPP trade deal table, with their legal carving knives, and we are their food on the plate. I hope we make them barf.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Good old dirigiste France, fighting changing technology with the magic of price controls. From the France 24 article:

    France is proud of a network of bookstores it says is “unique in the world” and crucial for culture to reach small towns.

    These outlets are fiercely protected by French law. Since 1981, discounts of more than five percent off the cover price of new books have been banned, a measure aimed at preventing large chains from engaging in aggressive price wars with their smaller rivals.

    Nevertheless, book sales in France have slumped, with a 4.5 percent drop in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to government figures. Data also showed that 17 percent of all book purchases in France were now made online, and that figure was growing. In 2003, it was just 3.2 percent.


    ‘Preventing price wars’ — how European is that? Let’s just fix prices so we can all make a comfortable living.

    Meanwhile, French readers with limited pouvoir d’achat are doubtless combing Russian and Chinese pirate sites, where costly tomes are downloadable for rien du tout.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I’ll see your French, and raise you one German:

      Amazon uber alles! (No umlaut on this keyboard.)

      1. hunkerdown

        Reason #7 to go Linux and never look back: the Compose key. Compose ” u = ü. Compose ^ 2 = ². And so on.

      2. ewmayer

        For those who don’t want to diddle around with char mappings, there is no need to get fancy: On a standard ascii charset, if you want an umlaut just follow the vowel in question with a “, e.g. ascii u”ber alles. It need not look pretty, as long as it makes clear what is intended in a non-jarring fashion.

        For similar reasons, Germans have long used double-s as substitute for the scharfes s, ß.

        You can do similarly in Spanish (“El Nin~o”) and French (“Meet mon fiance’, Pepe LePew”).

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps that was the motive for their two strikes (before disconnection) piracy law from a few years back. Not that such laws are particularly effective anyway.

      If I’m not mistaken the French are also the European leaders in farm supports–keeping all those charming little villages in business. They are willing to accept the higher food prices in exchange apparently. The same could apply to books.

      1. toldjaso

        This is the model for the “buy local” meme now everywhere. The “American” vice of “shopping price” at all times has been the shovel for digging the graves of American manufacturing – small business – small farming. The Road to Hell is paved with the stepping stones of avarice by any name, paving the way to WinnerTakeAll. Community or Slavery, take your pick. The French model is the model of working people’s solidarity in action, where everyone can make a living, while “making a killing” at the expense of others is contemned. France tries still to preserve its Middle Class — especially the professional and industrial “bourgeoisie” so detested by the .01% who back ZeroSum Monopoly “Capitalism” and “Communism” alike.

        As the American Middle Class has been stripped of its means of autonomy, it finds itself being subsumed into the “working class” formerly called the “proletariat”. The TopDog’s golden pendulum swings toward “Communism” in the West, with the same momentum that it swings toward “Capitalism” in HSBC-model “China”. What’s not to like?

        1. hunkerdown

          But they also haven’t yet cut down their safety net, have they? Books might be a reasonable expense for an unemployed person, not a Hillary’s Hard Choice to trade vs. eating.

  8. Howard Beale IV

    Uh, Yves, that bubonic case in Denver is current-the LAST case before this one was 2004.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, that’s what I meant, that this disease isn’t as unheard of as the scary headline implies. Trying to calibrate the degree of concern one should have.

  9. Banger

    What exactly is the point of this new Israeli killing spree? Is it linked to the situation in Syria/Iraq? Why are Palestinians hurling rockets at Israel that they know will be intercepted? What’s the dynamic here? Well, we never find out from the MSM. We have no clue about what is going on there or why. We have no idea who ordered the gas attacks last year in Syria, we have no idea how ISIS/ISIL popped out of nowhere to take over large swaths of Iraq. We have no clue why the Iraqi army suddenly collapsed in the face of radically inferior forces. We don’t know why there was, all of a sudden, such a focus on Ukraine. But I do know this that these things are all connected–not in a neat tidy way because the actors are varied but nevertheless connected.

    I do know this that unless you understand that there is a set of arrangements I call the Deep State and Lambert calls “the ruling class” that exist above the official governments in the world nothing makes any sense. The evidence of this “State” is overwhelming and, in my view, irrefutable. I hope we can talk more about this matter as things unfold.

    1. David Lentini

      I think much of it has to do with Netanyahoo and his cronies here, in the US, and in Saudi Arabia in power for as long as possible. Of course, he doesn’t mind the slaughter of Palestinians and Arabs as part of the Terrorism Theater™. But the real point is the maintaining the hegemony of our hidden State and making sure he’s a player.

    2. Eureka Springs

      A surprising set of naive questions, even from you. It’s like you wake up every morning like it’s 1957 – Leave It To Beaver and you have to start all over again.

      The U.S. Britain sponsored/backed Israeli killing spree of Palestinians is always ongoing… Think of it as gulag management until the genocide is complete. As for how Iraq and Syria relate…. in short its Shock Doctrine Rahm Emmanuel over and over again – a matter of never letting other manufactured crisis go to waste.

      All of your questions can be answered several ways… including with these questions… when is the last time an oligarch lost money or got killed? When is the last time rule of international war crimes law was pressed against these most egregious repeat offenders? How long will it take most Democrats and Republicans in the USA to find themselves to be the utterly despicable excuses for human beings that they really are?

      1. Paul Niemi

        One has to ask the questions. And ask them again, and again, and again. This is the nascent beginning of reform, and it has power. It is better than throwing up ones hands and saying, “I am powerless and I can’t do anything about it!” Nor is it a primal scream. It is a reasoned and reasonable strategy.

      2. Banger

        I used to love Leave it to Beaver and I’m sure I’ll never get over it, but, gee Wally, I was just saying that these are the questions we should be learning about in the MSM but aren’t. Having said that, I actually do not know what is going on even on the level of plots within plots and the curious operation of the Deep State that I’ve been following for decades none of this makes sense–it’s really kind of insane. And even the “serious” press seems to be half-awake as if they’re no longer sure what the Party Line is and they’re kind of floundering about like a headless slow-motion chicken.

    3. toldjaso

      Yes, they are all connected. The head-to-foot work of research at explains it all for you.

    4. Jim

      It would be great if there could be more serious discussion/debate on the nature of the Deep State, the nature of our contemporary U.S. Big State and the absence on the Left of any theory of the State.

      From my perspective, the Left does not have a theory of the State because Marx and Engels never really developed one. Marx never wrote a critique of politics only a critique of economics.

      Marx was wrong when he argued that the dissolution of the bourgeoisie State was sufficient for the elimination of the bureaucratic State (ie. think former Soviet Union).

      It may be the case that the problem of bureaucratization (which I would argue is at the foundation of both Deep State and Big State) could begin to be dealt with through an examination of a genuine federalism linked to more populist local cultures engaged in various types of direct democracy.

      1. Banger

        Excellent points. My guess is that most people at NC do believe something like a Deep State exists and I recommend reading Peter Dale Scott for starters. The reasons people, even here, shy away from discussing the subject is that it would force people into the forbidden territory of “conspiracy theory” which, if entered into guarantees you expulsion from not just any chance to be taken “seriously” by the MSM, but also the radical left almost in toto. We would have to re-examine the Assassinations of the sixties and that’s really touch because too many people would have to admit that they ignored <prima facile evidence that the official versions are, at least for JFK/RFK hits, were the result of a conspiracy. After which, what then?

        It is my contention that the failure of the left is tied to many things, big money in the DP, identity politics but above all the denial of history implicit in accepting at face value the Warren Commission “findings” and the results of the Sirhan trial and the autopsy that proved Sirhan did not kill RFK. Everyone would have to admit that a) they were wrong; and b) they were cowards and did not want to really look into it as was the case with me for many years–I did not want to know the facts in these cases–I was suspicious but let the matter lie dormant. And then if we understand how the obvious truths surrounding those cases that have been meticulously researched over the years by thousands of dedicated researchers whose work is completely ignored in not just MSM outlets but almost all left-wing blogs and left-academics. This is why the left has no believable Narrative.

        So the question is–how in the world has this Deep State been able to hold the Narrative?–this is even a bigger issue than the assassination and other events that were products of covert operations. We can start with the Creel Committee and trace the evolution of this State through everything from our external wars to our wars on drugs.

        1. MtnLife

          People are very afraid of being labelled a member of the Tinfoil Hat Club as they have been ostracized and marginalized since long before I was born. On top of that, our educational system is based on memorization with near zero emphasis on critical thinking (smart enough to work the machines, dumb enough not to question anything). Most, if not all, of our man made tragedies since JFK have serious flaws in the physics of the official story but the general public cares little about things like basic Newtonian physics, engineering, and materials science. The real problem is trying to convince those that have believed it for 40-50 years. Those are the ones who most believe in the American Dream and this would shatter the illusion they’ve lived under for most of their lives. A comfortable fantasy is generally preferred to an uncomfortable reality.

          1. toldjaso

            Again, recommended is — certainly complementary to Naked Capitalism in all seriousness, but with a broader take. Prof. Scott’s Deep State work is a solid part of the frame of far-reaching, deep investigation at Global Research, which features a vastly comprehensive Living Body of Work by serious researchers reporting their discoveries and trenchant analyses, in fields far and wide that find common ground at the site. This is Work for Love, the love of truth and of humanity, demonstrating what fully human thought and effort are good for. The site now features in its daily fare and in its archives a Cornucopia of viable knowledge for serious seekers of truth in our time. It is tempting to liken the site to the mythical “cauldron” of infinite nourishment found in Celtic Mythology. (“CELTIC MYTH AND LEGEND: Poetry & Romance” by Charles Squire, With Illustrations in Colour & Monochrome after Paintings by JHF Bacon ARA & other Artists (n.d. [post 1904], The Gresham Publishing Company, 34 Southampton St. Strand London).

            The Naked Capitalism commentariat can “fill in the blanks” of a vast history of Capital Chicanery at the Global Research site, to feast on well-researched essays complementary to the pointed critiques posted at Naked Capitalism, which Yves and Lambert corral into a fine focus in order to suit her site’s particular purpose.

            This is solidarity for the reality-based, de-fogging, ACTUAL “intelligentsia” ignored if not contemned through “TinFoil” and other branded calumny. This is what democracy is good for: real intelligence springing from the hallowed ground of Earth, from the vital ground of the “Electric Universe” as it were. We are living lightning rods, saving the House Divided by the Hegelian Dictators for their sole profit. Get Excited and Carry On.

            1. cnchal

              Thank you for the globalresearch link.

              I have not trusted the MSM in decades. My term for them is “lying sacks of shit”.

              At the top level of the MSM, here is an article by Charles Lewis, Why I left 60 Minutes.

          2. tomk

            Like your comments but I think memorization is unjustly maligned, and is actually not nearly as big a part of primary education as it used to be. I see memorization as analogous to an athlete’s working out in the weight room. It can be overdone but it builds muscles that will make the critical thinking that much more effective.

        2. Vatch

          Conspiracies do occur. Some conspiracy theories are true, but it can be hard to know which are and which aren’t, because conspirators often do things in secret. A problem that seems to afflict some conspiracy theorists is a tendency to exclude the uninitiated. If a person doesn’t accept concepts A, B, C, and D, then he’s considered an outsider, and communication becomes very difficult. Some conspiracy theories seem a bit like religious dogma, and I think that inhibits the believability of those theories for many people.

          I’m skeptical of theories that subsume multiple conspiracies under a giant master conspiracy. Conspiracies exist, but I don’t believe that there are a few spider like people pulling the strings that control vast events. Instead, I think that many conspiracies conflict with each other; some fail, some are partially successful, and a few accomplish what their plotters hoped would happen.

          1. Banger

            Why are you so focused on theorists who you probably have never read? Have you read, for example, Jim DiEugenio? He is probably the best all around expert on JFK research. Poke holes in his arguments if you can. As I told Lambert, just look at the facts–either the Coroner’s report on RFK is real or it isn’t–if it is then there was a conspiracy to kill RFK–end of story. If you can’t see that simple thing then what can I say. Forget “conspiracy theories” get specific–get down to brass-tacks look at EVIDENCE!!!! Stop critiquing something you probably know nothing about. To be fair there are swaths of misinformation books and sites. If there are conspiracies of the sort I’m talking about then there are going to be intel operations to spread disinformation and confusion as we all know the intel agencies do anyway. Since I’ve been at this for awhile I know where to go for accurate info or at least the most accurate infor. In the end, I’m sure nobody has all the information.

            1. Vatch

              1. I agreed that there are conspiracies. There are legitimate questions about many important events such the Robert Kennedy assassination.

              2. Your angry response confirms what I said. Communication is difficult when one side is shouting at the other side. People do not always share the same interests. A person whose interests differ from yours may not want to spend many hours digging through the evidence about an event that does not especially interest him. The need to earn a living limits the amount of time that is available for such activities.

              1. Banger

                I’m not angry just emphatic–just weary of having to state the obvious to people–nothing personal; however it seems not peripheral but, rather central, in understanding what is happening and has happened–particularly, if I’m right and we are in a state of collective denial about assassinations. What more are we in denial of? That’s really my larger argument.

        3. Lambert Strether

          Well, if somebody could show me a methodology that doesn’t end with half the popultion being “crisis actors” I, for one, would be grateful. #Justsaying.

          1. Banger

            I would love to show you something, Lambert, but your usual clarity and coherence is not present in your comment–so I will just guess what you mean. One of the favorite left-wing attacks on CT work is that “everything is a conspiracy” and “it can’t happen here” sort of thing. All you have to do, and it is fairly simple, is look at the evidence–that’s it. No need to draw endless lines between endless dots. Just look at the f-cking evidence man–that’s all I’m saying. As I’ve told you before–the Noguchi Autopsy is either a fake or it is real–if it is real then RFK was killed by somebody other than Sirhan–that’s all you need to know. Now, thankfully, there are is a ton more of evidence to all the cases I mentioned that are pretty straightforward if you want to go through them I’d be glad to do so.

            1. Lambert Strether

              No thanks. Every time (and by “every” I mean 100%, all the time) one of those conversations starts it ends up in a massive hairball of conjecture (and impossible to moderate).

              And at the end of the day, we’re essentially guessing about the details of (say) machinations in the Yankee clubhouse between the players and the coaches. But the essential point is that Steinbrenner owns the team, which we knew to begin with. In other words, we’re looking at a peculiarly intense form of Inside Baseball, just not the kind Kos plays. At the best, at the very best, we get “disorder in the front office is affecting the players on the field.” And what then?

      2. Tiresias

        My personal application of Occam’s Razor predicates me never to ascribe to malice or intentional conspiracy what can be explained by serendipity and/or stupidity.

        Belief in a “Deep State” as an explanation for the apparently chaotic events on a world-wide stage upon which cast of billions is simultaneously engaged in an unscripted drama seems to me just an atheist’s equivalent to the inscrutable, omnipotent machinations of the God of the religious.

        1. Banger

          Well that’s, forgive me, the easy way out and utter nonsense. I’m asking people to look up at the sky and describe the color–is it blue? Ok, we agree, That’s all. Just to take the assassination as an example, as I said and you chose not to acknowledge, look at the evidence. That’s it, just look at the evidence and read up on history. Occams razor cuts both ways–you think that the simplest explanations are what you say it is because you are, in my view, culturally condition by a culture of denial–denial is an essential part of our everyday life in the U.S. in particular and the West in general.

          As I commented to the others–either the Noguchi’s autopsy is real in that case there was a conspiracy to kill RFK or at least cover it up or it is fiction. The same goes with the millions of hours assassination researchers have spent digging up evidence for scenarios other than the official one. You either step up and make a real critique of what I’m saying or you don’t.

          I say these assassinations were conspiracies and no one here has ever questioned that other than generalities like Occam’s razor or “everything can’t be a conspiracy” which I never claim “everything” is a conspiracy–these are weasel words. Step up and contradict what I say or don’t comment. BTW, I’ve mentioned the RFK murder at least a dozen times and no one has contradicted my facts–no one!

    5. craazyman

      How is this any different than what happened in the Bible? It seems to me more and more that things happen, and there are people, and elaborate narratives arise that tie the things to the people with causality. Sometimes it seems reasonable, this causality. But sometimes, and more and more to me anyway, it seems like the causality resides in unseen, unnamed, hidden (OK, even “occult”) factors — and the people and the things that happen are by products of those higher factors, projections of them, puppets of them. This isn’t a very insightful or original idea, I’ll admit, since it’s what 20th century psychoanalysis was all about at an individual level and what myths are about at a cultural level. This isn’t to absolve individual actors of responsibility or free will, but the same things happen over and over and over again. Even though the people change, the things themselves, the things the people do, they don’t change. It’s almost like actors in a play, actors who change but the play itself is always the same. Every once and a while, the play itself changes, but this happens rarely and usually as a result of some kind of complete destruction. Although not always. Sometimes it happens through ideas alone. But rarely. Whoever is in charge of all this, they must be a big Gorilla. hahaha. A Big Gorilla with a big stink. Hold yer nose. That’s all you can do, I guess.

      1. Jim

        Crazyman, you raise, for me, a profoundly important point when you state: “It seems to me that more and more things happen, and there are people and elaborate narratives arise that tie the things to the people with causality. Sometimes it seems reasonable, this causality. But sometime, and more and more to me anyway, it seems like causality reside in unseen, unnamed, hidden (OK,even “occult”) factors–and the people and the things that happen are byproducts of those higher factors, projections of them, puppets of them.”

        I know that I have something akin to a biological impulse to try and tie things together.

        In my more sane moments I see this impulse as partially representative of my inability to deal with or accept uncertainty.

        Somehow, if I don’t know for sure I think I become paralyzed.

        Yet if uncertainty is somehow foundational the perhaps we have an ethical basis for always acting generously–because we do not know for sure.

        1. MikeNY

          To get momentarily metaphysical, if you believe in freedom of the will, you ALWAYS have a justification for acting generously: it’s your choice.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Venezuela, an oil producer with 30 million people, now has fewer international flights than impoverished Cuba and Haiti:

    Venezuela’s isolation from the global air traffic network deepened as United Airlines joined the roster of carriers cutting flights in a dispute with the government over cash trapped in the country. Service will be pared to four round trips a week from the current daily offerings, a 43 percent reduction, effective Sept. 17, United said yesterday.

    American, the world’s largest carrier, announced a 79 percent pullback in Venezuela service in June, paring the busiest U.S. schedule in the country to 10 weekly trips starting July 1. On July 7, Delta said it will go to one weekly Atlanta-Caracas flight instead of daily effective Aug. 1.

    “We are isolated as airlines have reduced flights to the U.S. by more than 80 percent,” Jesus Ernesto Ortiz, president of Caracas travel agency Happy Tour Group, said yesterday. “Venezuela is going to receive less flights than Cuba or Haiti.”


    With the bolivar’s black market value at 1/12th the official rate, and inflation screaming at 61%, Venezuela has become a Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory of economic dysfunction.

    As ol’ Fyodor Dostoyevski used to say, ‘So things are bad? Well then — let them get even worse!’

    1. toldjaso

      Will flights be re-routed to Bush Dynasty Paraguay, being that aTop Flight airport is ready and waiting there? Is it time for the Winners Take All to turn the screws of Peak Water Monopoly Profits onto the thumbs of Peak Oil Children of Lesser Gods? Will the Bush Vice tighten round the parched throats of “Latin Losers” expected to cough up the rest of the fossil fuel, so that the fast PhallicToys of Big Club Boys can project their virility massively on Target Humanity? Will the Winners Take All complete their genocides of competitors-for-resources with metallic violence, nuclear annihilation, or will they simply confiscate the potable water supply meant for Winners Take All In Perpetuity?
      “What is the Bush Family’s Interest in Paraguay?” at:
      Ask yourself if the Bush connection to the Black Eagle Trust Fund made 9/11 “worth it” (to quote another 1%er, while recalling the ethics of their kind in the character “Christian Szell” of “MARATHON MAN” (1976) and the warnings of Dr. Robert Hare anent the moral potential of psychopaths, the *Snakes In Suits*.
      Here’s how! — later changed to: — entitled:
      “Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001” —
      yes, because it’s their “business” to possess and control the planet, and We are “just visitors” (For this POV see “The Good Shepherd” ((2006) directed by Robert De Niro). Haven’t you heard? The “Southern Hemisphere” is “destined” to survive the next “holocaust” (historically the living sacrifice by fire to Molech), which is to take place across the depopulated scorched earth of America the Beautiful, above the deeply buried treasure-stores accessible through tunnels of the 1%, where the military elite may reside with 10 babes to a man, according to the vision of Dr. Strangelove in “Dr. Strangelove” by Stanley Kubrick.
      Research it yourself, to determine your next move.

      1. ohmyheck

        And read Russ Baker’s “Family of Secrets’, to connect plenty of dots, not just to your comment, but to quite a few upthread.

        Craazyman asks The Question— history keeps repeating itself. Same play, different actors, same outcome. Why?
        Collective amnesia…what?

        1. hunkerdown

          Shame I (and therefore probably most others) can’t find Toynbee’s A Study of History online anywhere without paying for it. I have a thing about paying for the work of dead people.

            1. hunkerdown

              Thank you! Unfortunately, their DNS seems to be having “problems” of a certain sort and I can’t get to it just now. After ogee’s review below, the abridged version might be enough to do the pathological analysis I want to do. I’ll keep trying. Thanks again!

          1. ogee

            Arnold Toynbee, was a member of the british roundtablers group created by cecil Rhodes and other british empire nuts.These people took an idea which was illustrated for them by a speech by john Ruskin in 1870 at oxford.Cecil Rhodes and a handful of others were the driving force in a group that spawned other groups up to this very day. In 1891, they became known as the british roundtable group,roughly. This group ,with their hold over money,political clout, and media ownership sought to make the world safe for british federalism and british federalists, from the unwashed masses.Most notably, by 1919, when the group created “the royal institute of international affairs” in England. or “chatham house’ as it is also called. In America they created “the council on foreign relations”
            Remember, American blue bloods are blue, because their English cousins relate them to royalty,nobility,and aristocracy.The aristocracy won out because allowing new blood in from time to time, was a dynamic force.
            The council on foreign relations was the face of the American establishment, and is only now, less important.But a look at it’s current roster, compared with who was in before, shows WHO is the tool for decision making.
            Of course the thing is, the RIIA, and CFR were created as “associations of helpers”. THe circle of elite, is less well understood.
            Nevermind Toynbee. Read carroll Quigley’s, “Tradgedy and Hope” 1966/72(Its publishing was suppressed in 66, but was finally out in 72.The john birch society (first Koch infiltration group) erroneously called it a conspiracy. But really, these people are the nexus of power. they are the networks that have bottomless checkbooks, and friends in all the right places.They control by the fact that their members are the heads,and middle brains in the federal gov’t/all branches, the big banking houses,federal reserve,big industry, industrial complex strongmen of every ilk. Owners of mass media etc.
            Look at one snapshot(these days it is not the powerhouse group it was between 1924-1984… but it is still mighty…..

            1. ogee

              I also have Toynbee’s outline of history.
              It is propaganda. HG wells was better…… but really, they don’t really say anything, compared with carroll Quigley. Quigley names names, and goes into actual details…..little details where Toynbee might say britian acquired the suez canal….. Quigley notes how disreali buys the stock with Rothschild money. And the exact amount.

              1. hunkerdown

                ogee, thanks for the suggestion. I should have been more explicit as to my interests, which are more in the script outline than the playbill (as if the plot changes much between failed civilizations), and to be honest I’ve never seen cosntructing indictments as much more than woolgathering and an attempt to build psychological distance. It’s certainly not going to inform the guillotines! Today, “do they toe the party line in mass media?” is a sufficiently effective heuristic for friend-or-foe identification, had I any interest in doing so..

                System dynamics, however, are endlessly useful in almost any matter, and I’m particularly interested in Toynbee because of the surprisingly resonant conclusions and analogies Archdruid Greer has managed to draw, in part from it and other confessions of the aristocracy. In this case I’m not looking so much for unvarnished historical fact and whose credits went where as trying to build a theory of mind of imperial civilizations. In that endeavor, projecting my own or anyone else’s prejudices onto the adversary isn’t so useful to that end as having the perp confess in their own words, and especially watching them critically appraise past civilizations to polish up their own’s image — “this time it’s different” is pretty reliably a cry of desperation and denial, yet a constable in every citizen’s pocket overhearing every conversation is enough of a concrete difference in the capability to predict, locate and neutralize dissent that I can’t dismiss its panoptical impact so glibly, even if every electronic device were bricked tomorrow and we all had to cook up new folk religions just to get through the day.

                1. ogee

                  I find great old books at used book stores,flea markets,estate sales and the like. There are a lot of old people, who have great books lying around that when they are dead, their kids see them as trash.
                  Toynebee, is a voice. I do think for a general descriptive timeline, HG wells was better. And Quigley’s tome”Tradgedy and Hope, a history of the world in our time”; at 1300 pages was really covering economic history of each of the countries of the west.from 1895 to the then present @1960….But really all three of those people were from “the same group” literally.Variations of opinion are normal even when people are “on the same team”.Quigley just happened to be the one who didn’t believe one of the major forces shaping recent history ought be “secret”.

                    1. ogee

                      I haven’t seen that website before,but it looks as if it has nothing to do with Quigley.,or his work.
                      Disinformation 101, anytime a story should be kept quiet, the thing to do is make up 20 similar sounding stories, all used to mislead. The reality is even when people try not to, often they mislead others with not true understanding, and poor communication of ideas.
                      The rothschilds and rockefellers are just some popular names, the other real heavy players are all around them.The group is stronger than any one family.

  11. Paul Niemi

    The day’s news could be better, and people are on edge. I have looked for uplifting stories and, except for Raju the Elephant redux, it is mostly dreary. People are being bagmen, they are in conflict, they are acting in bad faith, diabolical plots are everywhere, the weather is lousy, death and destruction and betrayal, Israel, Palestine, Iraq! But I can find peace and harmony and beauty. This ties in with Ukraine, because Sviatoslav Richter was one of the greatest Ukrainians to have ever lived. Something good came out of that country, and this is to prove it. He is in his prime in 1972, and there are not too many sick people coughing in the Moscow Conservatory during the recording. Beethoven, opus 109, sonata no. 30, takes one to a safe place to explore. It is very beautiful and uplifting:

      1. Paul Niemi

        3 to 2 in favor of bodily integrity protected by privacy rights. You are right; that is uplifting, and I am grateful for Vermont this day.

  12. Mbuna

    Re: A Class of Its Own/Dani Rodrik- Rodrik has too much 20th century thinking in this article to be convincing. An excellent example of this is Rodrik saying that these corporate moguls are dependent on government action for stability in markets and that they will take shelter under the governments umbrella when economic storms hit. The 21st century paradigm is that by and large the big corporations pretty much own the government via campaign donations, super pacs, lobbyists, ALEC, etc. and the corporate ownership of government is increasing with each passing year. Who would argue, given the Supreme Court decisions these last few years that the top court is anything but the lapdog of its corporate and plutocrat masters. So the plutocrats will effectively tell the government what it wants and the government will follow orders. I mean
    look at the outrageous TPP which is nothing less than a corporate wish list and the government is bending over backwards trying to make it happen. This is why I cannot take Rodrik seriously here. In reality, the line between corporation and government has blurred.

    1. hunkerdown

      Both paradigms can coexist without interference. Rodrik describes the situation from the standpoint of the mechanisms; you enumerate some of the means by which the corporate class gets that action (ISDS etc.) and that umbrella (QE etc.). There are still system boundaries with fairly sharp lines in general, but it’s not so much a merger, in my eyes, as a hitching of wagons and joining of teams.

      Try Wedel’s Shadow Elite (or Lambert’s summaries on Corrente) for a decent working model. There are few observed phenomena in US governance for which it doesnt account.

    2. toddjaso

      “So the oligarchs will tell the puppets of their plutocracy what they must do” (suggestion, since a plutocracy replaces a democracy when the state is run by oligarchs dictating policy [sweetened for some with bribes]). In our case, our “government” (Constitutional representative government of/by/for the People) was replaced by the “governance” of a global oligarchy via puppets-in-office/technocrats-in-position, turning our constitutional republic/democracy into their plutocracy. An oligarchy is not a form of state government, it is the ruling “elite” governing a plutocracy, which is the name for “governance” by an oligarchy directly and/or through their puppets in “governance” (it is written that the BIS created this word “governance” which has ominously replaced the word “government” in states, becoming a “tell” of intention to replace “governments”.)

  13. Carolinian

    Just getting to the Chinese food article which was one of the most disturbing things on this site lately. Industrial food production meets totalitarian/authoritarian government…about as scary as it gets.

    Worth mentioning that regardless of what happens with chicken, a great deal of our seafood already comes from China, Vietnam, Thailand. For example it is almost impossible to find tilapia in the supermarket that hasn’t been grown on Chinese fish farms. And there were lots of stories lately about those giant shrimp being caught by slave labor boats in Thailand.

    It all makes you want to stick to good old peanut butter sandwiches. Surely our all American peanuts aren’t being adulterated. Oh wait….

    1. hunkerdown

      And it’s all Pacific fish anyway. At least you can find it when the lights go out…

  14. Jay M

    the cathexis of the media massage to one over-endowed segment of the communication media audience seems to be fatal self-pleasure

Comments are closed.