Links 8/24/14

Lambert here: Readers, we seem to have had a scheduling kerfuffle this moring. Hence the fragmentary and hasyt hasty links section, now complete. Sorry about that!

Injured Koala hit by a car brought back to life by quick-thinking rescuer who gave him MOUTH TO MOUTH resuscitation Daily Mail

M6.0 – 6km NW of American Canyon, California USGS

6.0 quake jolts Bay Area; damage, at least 70 injuries reported Los Angeles Times

Fire, injuries after 6.0-magnitude Northern California quake San Francisco Chronicle

Calif. quake photos, updates take over social media USA Today

Iceland volcano: Aviation risk level from Bardarbunga lowered BBC

Jackson Hole

Special Edition Grand Central: Live from Jackson Hole! Wall Street Journal

Top Central Bankers Gather in Jackson Hole, Wyo.: Why This Is Bad News Forbes

Yellen wavers on interest rate hike as job uncertainty bites AP

Pressure builds within Fed to signal new policy course Reuters

Yellen wavers on interest rate hike as job uncertainty bites AP

Autor Paper at Jackson Hole: Automation Is Polarizing the Labor Market WSJ

Mario Draghi Gave A Fantastic Speech On What’s Wrong With Europe, But He’s Still In Denial On One Big Thing Business Insider

Draghi at Jackson Hole Mainly Macro

Fed’s Bullard: Europe is biggest risk to outlook Market Watch

BOE’s Broadbent Says Labor Data Is Key in Post-Crisis World Bloomberg

Fed’s Lockhart not convinced economy ready to lift off Market Watch

An Unfinished Chapter at Countrywide Gretchen Morgenson, Times. Jail time? I crack myself up sometimes!

Dynegy cuts exposure to wholesale power with deals worth $6.25 billion Reuters

Nightmare of debt deflation stalks Europe FT

Companies fear radical turn in Argentina FT

Canada: Is The Canadian FATCA Lawsuit A Pyrrhic War? Mondaq (furzy mouse). Expats and trade geeks pay attention!


Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities WaPo

Timeline for a Body: 4 Hours in the Middle of a Ferguson Street Times. They left the body in the street. For four hours. In the summer sun. Seems like a new twist in whacking black kids.

Mike Brown Law. Requires all state, county, and local police to wear a camera. White House Petition.

We Finally Got One of Those Animals’: Community Organizer in Ferguson Recounts Arrest FDL

Obama orders review of military equipment supplied to police The Hill. Visionary minimalism!

In Defense of Looting The New Enquiry

Black caucus stumps where Obama can’t Politico.

Congress turns Wikipedia into forum for pranks, battle The Hill

The Crooked and the Dead New Yorker

Iraq, etc.

The Fishy James Foley Video Moon of Alabama

U.S. strikes in Syria against Islamic State would be hindered by intelligence gaps WaPo

Islamic State Poses Imminent Threat to U.S., Hagel Says Bloomberg. Ooooh, factional infighting!

Enough lies, the Arab body politic created the ISIS cancer Al Arabiya. Not sure who sponsored this…


Petro Poroshenko warns of ‘constant military threat’ on Ukraine FT

Ukraine marks defiant national day, rebels parade captives Reuters

‘Nowhere Is Definitely Safe Anymore’: Inside the Besieged Ukrainian City of Luhansk Vice. Luhansk not taken, apparently.

Class Warfare

The Good King’s Return Jacobin. DeMoula’s (and also).

Dollar stores in battle to double down on the poor Reuters

40% of U.S. on Welfare; Obamacare Expands Welfare by 23 Million; More on Welfare Than Full-Time-Employed Global Economic Trend Analysis. Sectoral balances and the reproduction of labor power.

Robots could murder us out of KINDNESS unless they are taught the value of human life, engineer claim Daily Mail

The Enclosure of the American Mind Times. They don’t call it a sheepskin for nothing.

The Hi-Tech Mess of Higher Education NYRB.

Twitter Pollutes The Timeline Techcrunch

Stealthy, Razor Thin ATM Insert Skimmers Krebs on Security

China targets own operating system to take on likes of Microsoft, Google Reuters

Under the Knife New Yorker. Health care in China.

Why I would hire someone despite a typo in their CV FT. Don’t encourage them.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. ron

    Live in the East bay, the earthquake was a rocker, but nothing broke or no damage to the house. The area were the quake hit is a major wine storage area with numerous warehouses filled with wine from floor to ceiling, expect to see major loss of wine. Many of the old Napa downtown brick buildings along with many prefab buildings were impacted.

      1. jrs

        Probability would say: no, most earthquakes are not pre-quakes to anything. Of course sometimes they are …

    1. Steve

      I live in San Rafael, about 40 miles from Napa. The quake woke me up to see the bedroom walls moving, but no damage.

    2. anonymous123

      I’m in the East Bay too, and it woke us up with a lot of rattling, but no damage either. Everything seems status quo around here. People we know in Napa sustained a lot of damage though.

  2. JohnB

    “Top Central Bankers Gather in Jackson Hole, Wyo.: Why This Is Bad News”
    I was thinking to myself “How did this article make it into links? It’s abysmal, not unlike something you’d read from Reason magazine…” – then I noticed that the author is ‘Steve Forbes’, editor-in-chief.

    That guy is worryingly and staggeringly clueless.

    Libertarians have done a good job of pitching their garbage successfully, to people in a position of power/monetary-influence; this is something MMT’ers/Post-Keynesian’s should start doing – if MMT is going to get somewhere, it can’t rely on crowdsourced funding, it will need to get the attention of lots of very rich/powerful folk.

    1. Wendy

      With respect, when it comes to Libertarianism it’s the ones “in a position of power/monetary-influence” like Steve Forbes that are DOING THE PITCHING of the Libertarian PR, they are not the ones being convinced.

      Being convinced is for us proles, ya see.

      Libertarianism has never been able to hold its own in the “marketplace” of ideas (or in reality). It survives because it has powerful sponsors, the 0.1% (now that they’re already rich off non-Libertarian policies, that is, or inherited wealth), who have consistently backed, supported and preached Libertarianism. An interesting article that reveals this history is here, which I believe was a Link in NC (or from another NC reader) some months back.

      The influence of someone like Steve Forbes is of course enhanced in a culture that reveres people with money, like we do here in the US, so that Steve Forbes or Steve Jobs can say It, and It’s popularly perceived to be gospel, even among so-called “progressives”. Steve Jobs was actually an illegal wage-suppressor in an industry-wide conspiracy, but somehow popular culture leaves that tidbit out when revering him and his “genius”. I’m not as familiar with Steve Forbes’ transgressions against the very laborers who made him rich, so I can’t cite one now, but I’m quite sure they’re there.

      1. JohnB

        It’s likely a bit of both – some of the wealthy promoting Libertarianism while being conscious that it is a lie, and some of the wealthy being themselves affected by promotion of Libertarianism, believing it is true.

        There are the wealthy people who act cynically, and then there are the wealthy who are naive or useful-idiots – either way, MMT/Post-Keynesian views should be targeted for promotion among the wealthy, both to compete against the heavy intellectual lobbying they will receive from Austrians/Libertarians/free-marketeers, and to find the intelligent and good among them, who will be interested in promoting MMT/PK views, because of how it can benefit society.

        The best that MMT’ers and such can do, is to first pitch it to the wealthy, and when it starts to catch hold there, enough non-crowdsourced funding can then come to properly pitch it to the public – we may be a decade or more away from having politically-influential progress still, if small-scale and crowdsourced funding, is relied upon.

        1. jrs

          Really though do you find that the wealthy stick to consistent libertarianism (as misguided as it may be) or do you find that they become more and more authoritarian (of a conservative wealth and MIGHT makes right variety – it goes without saying they don’t become some kind of left authoritarian)? I think THE LATTER. Sometimes the wealthy start libertarian (tech area wealthy might) but the inexorable logic of wealth and pretty soon they may as well be goose stepping.

          1. JohnB

            You can’t classify them as being any one thing – they are as diverse in views as the rest of the population, and you only need to find the few among them (even if only a tiny proportion), who may be sympathetic with MMT/PK views.

    2. diptherio

      Yeah right! Good luck with that one.

      I didn’t buy this line of reasoning when Ralph Nader presented it in his book “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us” either, and I’m a huge Nader fan. Newsflash: the Super-Rich have been in control up till now and this is what they’ve given us. Why would we think they’re going to start caring about the little people now?

      If we have to depend on the rich to fix our problems, we are well and truly f*@%ed. We have to be the change ourselves. If we don’t make the world a better place for ourselves, ain’t no one else gonna do it for us.

      1. JohnB

        Simple fact is, you need money – massive massive amounts of money – to make progress politically. Money = power, and that is more true today than it’s been in a long time.

        Relying on small-scale blogs and crowdsourced projects, instead of seeking funding from the very wealthy, is like Occupy relying on community-level decentralized-decision making, instead of acknowledging that some hierarchy and centralization is needed to be effective.

        Right now New Economic Perspectives are pushing to fund a TV/radio program promoting MMT views, and I’ve donated 500 quid to it myself – and I don’t make a whole lot of money:

        I’m a bit depressed to see that this is still a relatively modest project though (not to detract from it: I very much encourage it, and they are doing a great job – it’s important work), I would like to see something like that done, but with the funding multiplied a thousand times – and they seem to be having trouble with even the relatively tiny target of $30,000.

        Wealthy does not equal evil/bad. They’re just like the rest of the population, some good, some bad, some genuinely interested in promoting a better society and funding causes which promote this, some interested in funding causes that aim to destroy any attempts at a better society.

        If you want to see serious funding for promoting MMT and other views, you simply need to find the wealthy who are interested in funding that stuff – it’s far too important a topic, and far too urgent for the entire world, to be overly puritan and insist on funding it only at a crowdsourced or community level.

        If it’s going to have any effect, it simply needs a gigantic wadload of money to back it – and the theory/economics is all perfectly sound and convincing enough, to go about effectively convincing wealthy folk, to part with money to help push it forward – please promote it to them more, so that can be done!

          1. JohnB

            At the pace we’re moving at right now, yes, I’d say so (again, not to detract from all the incredibly good work that has been done – a really great job has been done with the resources available) – it just needs to be taken to the next level, which (in my opinion) it’s all more than ready for.

            Look at the Libertarian/NeoLiberal think-tank network, and Imagine what could be done with MMT/PK views, if you had even a fraction of the political firepower and funding that think-tank network has developed.

            You don’t have to discard your principles by pitching/promoting it all among the wealthy, if that (pitching it to the wealthy, for funding) is what it takes to get it promoted on a wide enough scale, that’s what should be done.

            1. diptherio

              That’s a recipe for letting the wealthy co-opt our orgs. It happens all the time. Once you start taking money from someone, once they are paying your bills, it is very hard to go against their wishes or do anything that might annoy them. Money rarely comes without strings. We shouldn’t be seeking it at all from the wealthy, we should be figuring out how to use the tools we have to accomplish our goals, with whatever finances we can muster. If some wealthy person wants to pitch in, great!–but once you turn yourself into a beggar at their door, you’re losing your autonomy.

              Don’t get me wrong, if you know some rich folks, proselytize the bejeezus out of them, but let’s not make begging for money our main priority, or any priority at all. That’s the justification for all the money-grubbing and malfeasance that goes on in politics right now: “We have to play nice with the big boys because we need their money to win our campaigns. We have to spend five hours a day making fundraising calls because you have to have money to win elections!” But that line of thinking simply shows a lack of imagination. Look at the 5 Star Movement in Italy, or this kid.

              We need to be thinking more like them.

              1. JohnB

                That’s a recipe for voluntary powerlessness. Like it or not, money = power, and you need it to be effective politically these days.

                Much of the entire point of MMT, is to remove the power that money provides the wealthy and oligarchs, by returning democratic control over the creation of money in the first place – once it becomes mainstream, it will be almost impossible to co-opt, because it arms the public with enough economic knowledge to prevent that.

                Accepting money from the wealthy isn’t going to magically corrupt it – all it needs is that push to the point of critical mass in public awareness.

                1. abynormal

                  “Accepting money from the wealthy isn’t going to magically corrupt it” toofu*kingfunny

                  “There are a lot of people who still don’t get it. They don’t get it that these guys are playing for keeps, that they are going after you, that they are not going to leave any little bit left for you. There’s only one thing that the ruling circles throughout history have ever wanted, and that’s everything. There’s only one thing they want: all the wealth, the treasures, and the profitable returns, all the choice lands and forest and game and herds and harvests and mineral deposits and precious metals of the earth, all the productive facilities and gainful inventiveness and technologies, all the control positions of the state and other major institutions, all public supports and subsidies, privileges and immunities, all the protections of the law and none of its constraints, all the services and comforts and luxuries and advantages of civil society with none of the taxes and none of the costs. Every ruling class in history has wanted only this: all the rewards and none of the burdens. Their operational code is, We have a lot. We can get more. We want it all. And if you don’t know that, you’re in a sad place. If you know that and you don’t know anything else, you know more than if you know everything else and you don’t know that.”

        1. diptherio

          People like to say that “money is the root of all evil,” but that’s misquoting the sacred scriptures (or old book, as you will). The actual line is “Love of money is the root of all evil.”

          To simplify: some people get rich by accident, others because they love money. Others become rich by accident but grow to love money. Anyway, loving money and doing the right thing where money is involved are not two things that live easily together in one person. As a Jewish carpenter once said, “you can’t serve two masters…you can try, but you’ll just end up hating the one and serving the other.” Love of money tends to be the psychological master that all too often wins out in the wealthy…how else can they justify to themselves hoarding so much wealth while so many suffer?

          So what we have to look for, apparently, is a super-wealthy person or persons who can outspend the other super-wealthy persons who will undoubtedly fight against sound fiscal policy…and that super-wealthy person has to also not be an especial lover of money, because the policies we’re recommending will probably decrease the social, political, and economic influence of people like him/her/themselves.

          Like I said: good luck with that!

          Meanwhile, we’re building a new economy in the deteriorating husk of the old one.

          1. JohnB

            Your argument is basically “all the wealthy are immoral/evil”, and you base this on wafer-thin logic, with zero evidence.

            Out of all the wealthy people out there, there are many who are good and moral, and there will be some who can be convinced to fund promotion of MMT/PK views, if they are made aware of those views – maybe enough, to kick-up promotion of MMT/PK views, to the point of reaching a critical mass in public attention.

            Awareness of this topic needs to reach that critical mass (at which point funding is unlikely to be a problem), and funding from the wealthy could give it one hell of a kick on the way towards achieving that goal.

            1. jrs

              Uh no … it’s not zero evidence. Have you read any of the psychology studies that talk about how wealth affects people’s psyche/viewpoints/empathy/etc.?

              1. JohnB

                You’re generalizing from part to the whole – that’s about as accurate as saying “some of the unemployed are lazy, therefore all of the unemployed are lazy/scroungers” – just replace ‘unemployed’ with wealthy, and ‘lazy’ with immoral/evil.

            2. diptherio

              No, my argument is that focusing our energy on getting money from rich people is a losing strategy…as the Democratic party has proven so dramatically. Even when they win, they lose (or rather, we lose) because their dependence on financial donors makes them unwilling to address certain issues.

              It’s not the rich I have a problem with, it’s poor strategy.

              1. wbgonne

                We will get “better” rich people when the culture demands it. Right now, despite some cross-currents, the larger culture glorifies the Rich. Accordingly, the Rich feel impregnable and invulnerable and they laugh off those who criticize them. When the culture shames the Rich for their gluttony we will see noblesse oblige instead of neoliberal atrocities. That itself won’t solve our problems but it would be a big help. When, as now, the Rich are praised and envied they have no incentive to do anything but continue. It’s human nature.

                First change the culture, the laws and everything else will follow. It may not work or it may not work quickly enough (global warming) but there is really no other way. Mock the Rich. Shame the Rich. Make them nervous and uncomfortable. Make them amenable to sharing.

                1. JohnB

                  *sigh* – ‘the rich’ are not one homogenous group, talking about them as if they are just promotes ‘black and white’, ‘Us vs Them’ thinking, which polarizes people and prevents them from looking at the fact, that there are wealthy people out there who can greatly help with achieving the goals MMT/PK’s aim for.

                  It’s the same kind of idiotic polarization, that you saw within Occupy – except there it was about strict decentralization/non-hierarchical management, when an effective political movement needed some centralization/hierarchy.

                  To dismiss the idea of accepting help from the wealthy who are sympathetic to MMT/PK views, is needlessly puritan and self-defeating.

                  1. wbgonne

                    You misread my comment and should read it again. I agree it will be helpful to have rich people helping the nation and the world instead of doing harm as they — as a class — most certainly do now (I’m sorry if that statement offends you). Of course, it won’t be “all” rich people being helpful (talk about idiocy), but there are some who can be reached. I am suggesting a means to this end.

                    1. JohnB

                      Okey, apologies – I misread that; I think just directly lobbying/reaching out to the wealthy, showing them MMT/PK theory and convincing them, would be enough by itself – it shouldn’t be that hard a sell really, as (for people with the right amount of patience and critical thinking ability), it’s pretty easy to see sense in it all.

                      Just need to reach a handful of the right people, to be able to get something rolling.

            1. diptherio

              There’s a bunch of great Cooperative/Solidarity Economy groups out there right now. This is our time. Cooperation Jackson, in Mississippi is doing awesome work too. Pretty much any of the area of the country you live in, there’s something cool going on right now. Time Banks, Community Gardens, Co-ops of all varieties, Housing and Land Trusts, etc. etc. etc.

              It’s always in times of economic hardship that people rediscover the value of cooperation and solidarity. I think of it as the silver-lining of living in difficult times.

              1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

                Reminds me of The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’:

                We’ll be fighting in the streets
                With our children at our feet
                And the morals that they worship will be gone
                And the men who spurred us on
                Sit in judgment of all wrong
                They decide and the shotgun sings the song

                I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
                Take a bow for the new revolution
                Smile and grin at the change all around me
                Pick up my guitar and play
                Just like yesterday
                And I’ll get on my knees and pray
                We don’t get fooled again
                Don’t get fooled again

                Change it had to come
                We knew it all along
                We were liberated from the fall that’s all
                But the world looks just the same
                And history ain’t changed
                ‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war


                I’ll move myself and my family aside
                If we happen to be left half alive
                I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
                For I know that the hypnotized never lie

                Do ya?

                There’s nothing in the street
                Looks any different to me
                And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
                And the parting on the left
                Is now the parting on the right
                And the beards have all grown longer overnight



                Meet the new boss
                Same as the old boss

                All it takes is one generation until all of the old lessons are lost, and we begin, again.

        2. Vatch

          Hi JohnB:

          “Wealthy does not equal evil/bad. They’re just like the rest of the population, some good, some bad, some genuinely interested in promoting a better society and funding causes which promote this, some interested in funding causes that aim to destroy any attempts at a better society.”

          Mostly true. There is great variety among our masters, but there is one area where they are in almost universal agreement. They endeavor to protect their existing wealth. A few of them are willing to forego some future income by supporting reform of the income tax laws. And a few are willing to limit what their heirs can inherit. But I can’t think of any who truly, sincerely, wish to alter our society so that the people who are already in the top 0.001% are indistinguishable from the people who are merely in the top 0.1%.

          Wealth preservation is the primary goal of the oligarchs. It’s one of their defining characteristics.

          1. JohnB

            Again, like diptherio, you’re generalizing to such an absolute degree, that it is inherently fallacious.

            It is highly unlikely that all of the wealthy are like that (if they are, where is the evidence showing that all are like that? There is none – only evidence showing that someare), and you only need to find a small number of wealthy, to give promotion of MMT/PK views, a massive boost.

            I mean, a crowdfunded project is having trouble reaching a $30,000 goal – how hard do you think it would be to find enough wealthy folk, interested in funding that? Or even in funding it 100x or 1000x?

            They’re not all ‘evil’, and many of the wealthy are just as frustrated at how things are as we are here.

            1. abynormal

              Your the Generalize’r…’they’ve’ had plenty of time to fulfill your rich fantasy!
              Rich-Poor Gap Widens to Most Since 1967 as Income Falls

              from 2013:
              #1 The lowest earning 23,303,064 Americans combined make 36 percent less than the highest earning 2,915 Americans do.

              #2 40 percent of all American workers (39.6 percent to be precise) make less than $20,000 a year.

              #3 According to the Pew Research Center, the top 7 percent of all U.S. households own 63 percent of all the wealth in the country.

              #4 On average, households in the top 7 percent have 24 times as much wealth as households in the bottom 93 percent.

              #5 According to numbers that were just released this week, 49.7 million Americans are living in poverty. That is a brand new all-time record high.

              #6 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

              #7 Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

              1. JohnB

                You don’t show how I’m generalizing, and you are presenting the rich as if they are one homogenous ‘evil’ group, thus implicitly generalizing…

                1. abynormal

                  your understanding of my ‘evil’ presentation is YOUR problem…

                  “Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.” Herbert

                2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

                  Are they not their brother’s keepers? The wealthy are evil if they have too little compassion to overcome their greed.

          2. Vatch

            Hi JohnB,

            Names, please. Which oligarchs are actually abandoning the ownership and control of the bulk of their property? Please note that many apparently generous billionaires retain full control of the money that they donate to their foundations. It’s only the earnings (interest and/or dividends), and not the principal, that is actually donated to charitable projects. And even if they do devote principal to their charitable projects, they do so at a rate that allows them to remain billionaires. The tax deductions generated by donations can be quite lucrative, e.g., buy a Van Gogh twenty years ago at a high price, and donate it to a foundation now, and take a deduction for tens of millions of dollars above the original price. No need to pay a fee to an auction house! Anyhow, here’s a list to choose from:


            Prove me wrong!

      2. abynormal

        anne rivers siddons/peachtree road…i briefed because i grew up around the area and she covers old money ‘land grabs’ and architecture after ww2. i threw the book across the room when she remarked, ‘only the wealthy understand what the poor need and how to care for them’. did she even bother to comprehend her research and HER OWN STORY?

        “I have committed my life to helping the poor, and I believe that if more companies followed Wal-Mart’s lead in providing opportunity and savings to those who need it most, more Americans battling poverty would realize the American dream.”
        Andrew Mr. Atlanta Young…hid the slum n squalor from nat’l teevee during the marches

    3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      We have every tool in the book to fix our wagon, but we’re just too lazy and afraid to use them.

      Labor is the source of ALL capital.

      The wealthy might not be evil (I can’t think of anything more evil than hoarding a resource you will never need, while you fellow humans do without — it’s called greed, and it didn’t used to be a virtue).

      If you think that money does not CAUSE evil, you need to ask yourself Why TF Buddha and Jesus both chose to rid themselves of possessions, before they became free and counseled us against grinding down the poor.

    4. davidgmills

      I see Forbes is using the cloak closet metaphor. Printing money is like printing up claim checks hoping they will produce coats, he says. We must go back to the gold standard, says he. Those halcyon days of yore when we printed ten claim checks for each cloak in the closet and let the chumps believe we actually had the cloaks.

      Time for MMT.

    1. diptherio

      This amatuer “documentary” provides a view of the war from the East Ukrainian side:

      Warning, the content is graphic. But if you want to get an on the ground view, this is about as raw and real as it gets. I could only make it through 50 minutes of it last night…it was just too much.

      (If anyone speaks Russian/Ukrainian and can provide confirmation of the accuracy of the subtitles, that would be appreciated)

  3. Jim Haygood

    From yesterday’s Telegraph link ‘Nobel guru fears it may be nigh impossible to stop deflation’:

    ‘We may be caught in a trap. Demographics lie at the root of this malaise. The collective mind knows that the pension/welfare structure is untenable. Many people are retrenching pre-emptively, en masse, in most of the mature industrial economies. They are discounting a “future stream of primary surpluses”.

    ‘If this is broadly true, it means that any use of fiscal stimulus will be neutralised by the countervailing actions of taxpayers, and may even be a net negative. Deficits become “deflationary”, threatening a self-fulfilling effect that becomes almost impossible to stop over time.’


    Hard to prove, but it’s an intriguing hypothesis. Universally, as countries become developed, the birthrate drops. In some countries (e.g., Russia, Japan, Italy) the population is now shrinking. Nominal growth should fall accordingly. But does that mean real growth must fall too, if the monetary system was leveraged upon a mistaken premise of endless growth?

    In any event, Planet Japan will be the test case, as it probes the outer limits of extreme debt in conjunction with population decline. How’s that swingeing consumption tax increase workin’ out for y’all, mina-san?

    1. diptherio

      I think someone pointed out yesterday that Russian population is actually growing…if you count immigrants…which why wouldn’t you? Just sayin’.

      The hypothesis here, if I understand it, is that if you can convince the “collective mind” that the future is gonna suck really hard, it might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe true, but not something I’d be building policy around–other than to avoid.

      1. Ned Ludd

        I think this is a different article; but a few weeks ago, Mark Adomanis addressed “3 Things Barack Obama Got Wrong About Russia”.

        Obama’s statement is a perfect example of why I so frequently write about a topic as seemingly obscure and boring as Russian demography: people from the US political elite almost always make huge mistakes when talking about it. Russia’s population is not shrinking, it is growing. The Russian population isn’t just growing in 2014, it also grew in 2013. And 2012. And 2011. And 2010. And 2009. […]

        In today’s world, it is not that difficult to get accurate demographic information, and it’s a little bit disconcerting that no one on Obama’s team was able to do so.

        1. steviefinn

          Not hard to imagine that the population started growing after the Neo-Libs & their policies were turfed out.

          1. Ned Ludd

            U.S. elites are extraordinarily hostile towards Russia. They probably intended to destroy Russia’s economy and society.

            Russia Is Finished

            Internal contradictions in Russia’s thousand-year history have destined it to shrink demographically, weaken economically, and, possibly, disintegrate territorially. The drama is coming to a close, and within a few decades Russia will concern the rest of the world no more than any Third World country with abundant resources, an impoverished people, and a corrupt government. In short, as a Great Power, Russia is finished. […]

            The hostility that Russians feel toward their government comes not from some innate lack of civic duty but from the terror, violence, and deceit that have since the late Middle Ages characterized the way in which their rulers have treated them. This repression has roots in a history very different from that of the West—a history that gave birth to the civilization of Russian Orthodox Christianity. In 988 the principalities of Kievan Rus’ (the predecessor of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus) accepted Christianity from the Byzantine Greeks, rather than from the Romans…

            Talk about holding a grudge.

            1. John Jones

              The author doesn’t seem to know who the Romans and ‘Byzantine Greeks’ are. He gets his history wrong. Which is any wonder he gets Russia wrong and offends every civilization he mentions that is not ‘western’
              He sounds like someone who thinks western Europe good eastern Europe bad.

            2. Yata

              “U.S. elites are extraordinarily hostile towards Russia. They probably intended to destroy Russia’s economy and society.

              Been a mainstay of U.S. foreign policy through the likes of the Rand corporation, Team B, Committee on the Present Danger, PNAC. The spawns of this ideology are a virtual who’s-who in national security and the Pentagon.

        2. Carolinian

          Playing casual with the facts is just Obama’s way of dissing the Russkies. For him this is all one big pissing contest.

      2. susan the other

        So why don’t we look at the concept of “profit” as stg. new, like a reverse-profit? We can’t hang on to the idea of profits and increase and gain if our prevailing delusion is going in the opposite direction. Deflation is what they call it but deflation is based on disappearing profits and it simply allows progress to fail because that is how it has always happened. This synthetic and incomplete economic process is not written in stone except in the fantasy world of money. Life goes on everywhere and always on this planet without so much as a nickel or a dime. Natural processes do not trade in derivatives or profits on derivatives. Nor should we. It is pyramid scheme – all false wealth. All pointless.

    2. Ben Johannson

      ‘If this is broadly true, it means that any use of fiscal stimulus will be neutralised by the countervailing actions of taxpayers, and may even be a net negative.

      Ricardian nonsense out of the neoclassical playbook, requiring one to assume economic actors as text-book rational and able to accurately determine future policies. Not one shred of evidence confirming ricardian equivalence has come to light, although I’ve certainly come to expect this sort of right-wing claptrap from you, Haygood.

      No one with half a brain buys this any more, not after four years of Europe waiting for investor confidence to save the day.

  4. Ned Ludd

    The Ferguson police report about the incident says it began at 12:02 p.m. and that Wilson called it in at 12:43 p.m. The body remained in the street for four hours.

    A witness posted about the shooting at 12:04pm, followed by a picture of a police officer standing over Michael Brown‘s body at 12:05pm. Why did it take Wilson so long to call in?

    1. Ned Ludd

      The above quote, taken from the Washington Post, appears to conflict with the timeline assembled by the New York Times:

      According to police logs, the county police received a report of the shooting at 12:07, and their officers began arriving around 12:15. Videos taken by bystanders show that in the first minutes after Mr. Brown’s death, officers quickly secured the area with yellow tape. In one video, several police cars were on the scene, and officers were standing close to their cars, a distance away from Mr. Brown’s body.

      Around 12:10, a paramedic who happened to be nearby on another call approached Mr. Brown’s body, checked for a pulse, and observed the blood and “injuries incompatible with life,” said his supervisor, Chris Cebollero, the chief of emergency medical services at Christian Hospital. […]

      It was not until 12:43 p.m. that detectives from the county police force were notified of the shooting, according to county police records.

    2. trish

      From the article: “homicide detectives were not called until about 40 minutes after the shooting.”
      I find this even more egregious than the body left for four hours, and that says a lot. Maybe I don’t know enough about when homicide is called after a murder, but it seems like a lot of time to me…correct me, someone?

      And the body left lying there…chillingly suggestive picture that brought to mind what I’ve read (and seen on documentaries) of death squads (US funded, trained) throughout Latin American history. Hints, anyway. As if left an example to others in that area..
      Likely more realistically, however, is that it shows incredible racist disregard & disrespect to all others in the neighborhood (not to mention the family). On top of the whole crime…

  5. Ned Ludd

    Emma Quangel watched and wrote about the “fishy” James Foley video:

    As the shrouded menace grabs James Foley by the chin and begins to saw away at his neck, the movement is exaggerated and there is no blood. Fade to black. Fade up on the photo of a body that may be Foley’s. Fin. […]

    Why is this man’s disappearance and alleged murder a casus belli that we are not allowed to review, one that journalists are steadfastly refusing to investigate?

    And of course, we should ask the producer of this video – allegedly an ISIS guy – why bother to put something up that looked so weird, possibly fake? The organizing strategy of ISIS is clearly one of terror and nightmarish presentations of gore. Why did they leave it out for the Americans?

    After the video fades to black, a still image of a decapitated body appears “whose face is covered in blood. And there is no way to say that it’s James Foley.”

    1. Ned Ludd

      I just noticed that Quangel’s article is the last link in Moon of Alabama’s post. Bernhard notes:

      Few others have seen the video. It was, on behalf of U.S. officials, aggressively blocked on Youtube and Twitter even deleted accounts that linked to the video. Hundreds of other ISIS videos showing very graphic beheading of Syrians and Iraqis second by second were never censored away like this. […]

      ISIS is the typical cartoon supervillain the U.S. creates whenever it wants to propagandize for more wars. It is the best possible enemy. ISIS allows for ridiculous threat inflation that will probably give Obama new wide-open congressional Authority for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq and probably in Syria and elsewhere.

      Quangel currently lives in Amman and commented that people there view ISIS as a C.I.A. operation. “ISIS somehow manages to confirm all the West’s deepest and most closely-guarded prejudices about Muslims and Islam while serving Empire”.

      1. Banger

        The video of the “beheading” was described by a MSM operative as sophisticated and seemed professionally done. It very much seems to be a theatrical piece–the UK connection kinds of clinches it for me–the UK is a surveillance state–how could a state which, like the US, has no problem just killing people it sees fit to kill without trial allow Islamic terrorists to travel wherever they please.

  6. diptherio

    Re: Ferguson
    I’ve been listening to Welcome to the Cruel World this morning. It’s all very relevant right now…{sigh}

    Can we all pitch it to rent a huge PA system so that our sisters and brothers in Ferguson can blast this at the 5-0?
    I’ll Rise ~Ben Harper, words by Maya Angelou

  7. cwaltz

    Well color me not surprised that it isn’t low wage workers who have been being replaced by robots but those that are in the middle. I’ll say it again, robots aren’t a threat to the workers who come in to work and have to clean and stock in addition to their primary function for high 4 figure- low 5 figure incomes. Though I will say this as more and more workers are added to the low wage sector I think we’ll finally be able to put to rest that the jobs these people perform are easy and that the people who perform them are just idiots and slackers(coming soon to a Burger King and McDonalds near you DISPLACED middle wage workers who figured that their superior education would ensure they never had to do menial labor like THOSE PEOPLE.) Quite frankly if I were a McDonalds worker I’d welcome a kiosk maybe then I’d get time to actually clean the dining area correctly and stock.

    If middle class America were smart they’d realize they are being conned with the whole the people on the bottom don’t deserve to make $15 because they aren’t smart and hard working like you are(and you should totally let shareholders and top brass collect the benefits of a profitable organization.). Soon enough, as this article points out, there is a very good chance that they may be forced to ask “Do you want fries with that” to pay their bills. More than a few of them may end up losing out just like the folks in 2008 who thought they would always be commanding high 5 and 6 figure incomes. They’re coming for the middle range workers before they get to that bottom rung folks because it makes more sense for that bottom line.

    1. jrs

      “If middle class America were smart they’d realize …. ”

      The middle class DOES realize that (whether or not they consciously acknowledge it). They know it in their bones. They know and believe it with every cell in their body. They probably see it in their dreams. They know it at the deepest level of knowing, in the collective middle class unconscious, they know.

      And how do I know they know? Duh!!! Look not at what they say politically, whatever political position they are arguing today right left centrist libertarian, but what they DO. They stress endlessly, absolutely endlessly about what K-12 schools to send their kids to. This is 50% of middle class parents social conversations! They know this ain’t no meritocracy where you work your way up from the bottom if only you are hard working and smart enouigh (for some that may be possible but they know it’s not the norm). They know that everything depends on how kids are set up very early in life. That know that one wrong slip and it’s poverty to their kids. Or they wouldn’t be that way. While it may cause massive cognitive dissonance, when it comes to things that really matter to them (not political justice) but like their kids they know. Everybody knows …

  8. TedWa

    “40% of U.S. on Welfare” The author conveniently left out that 100% of the largest corporations in America are on welfare. Even McDonalds got bail out money in 2008. I wonder which welfare costs taxpayers more?
    More can’t see the forest for the trees reporting.

    1. abynormal

      so did Pizza Hut and they have school lunch contracts

      “The poor spend all their free time drinking. It helps cope with the terrible drudgery of obtaining food stamps. An ethic of alcoholism prevails among the upper class too, but they use leisure to deal with it.” Bauvard, The Prince Of Plungers

      “I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for that kind of appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”
      Grover fill my tumbler to the rim Cleveland

  9. abynormal

    i enjoyed this early this am : Paul Ehrlich on Distress Signals from Earth
    about 3hrs…might can find it under an obscure archive. i laughed b/c he covers marginal returns a 7yr old can understand.
    “A steady stream of reports on the deterioration of the environment is issued. There is a brief flurry of media coverage. The corporate-funded climate change deniers make counter claims. We wake briefly to the crisis then most of us lapse into a couch potato stupor. Neoliberal dogma and an almost mystical belief in capitalism makes almost certain that little will be done to avert coming calamities. Charades called climate summits offer nothing more than photo ops of smiling world leaders and vacuous press releases. We blithely turn our heads away from reality. As the ice caps melt it is not just penguins and polar bears that are in danger. The wider implications for the planet and humanity are profound. What level of catastrophe is it going to take for business as usual policies to change? Will we hear the distress signals from Earth?”

    1. susan the other

      “Neoliberal dogma and an almost mystical belief in capitalism makes almost certain that little will be done to avert coming calamities.” It is way past time for us to take a critical look at our sacred capitalism. And the thing that capitalism guards jealously – profits. Debt is not a problem because debt is a form of agreement. Like a proto-exchange mechanism. Profit on debt is a different animal altogether. Wherever a profit is taken it is taken from the natural balance of things. From the environment. From human labor. Which creates a negative debt like a pyramid. And this is how it all ends, in panic and confusion because we have created a total mess. And we don’t have a clue how to turn it around.

      1. abynormal

        “And we don’t have a clue how to turn it around.” TT Paul heckled Monsanto’s ‘feeding 2 billion more people’ with ‘how do they plan to irrigate wheat with blue gold’?

  10. cwaltz

    Uh someone should tell the douchetastic Mike Shedlock that Social Security isn’t a “welfare program.” People pay into the system for YEARS. Some will receive a return on their investment, others won’t be so lucky(For example, the Social Security Administration got to keep all of my brothers income that he contributed since he died at 40 and they’ll get to keep all of my spouses and my money placed into it while we were working since we now fall under railroad retirement.)

    I found it particularly idiotic considering he took the time to discount veterans benefits which aren’t something you vest in except for in blood and sacrifice, unlike Social Security where you are investing a portion of your income to secure your retirement. It isn’t like the DoD is taking money out of people’s checks to cover their retirement benefits.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Yup. Sometimes he’s rational, other times he’s no more than a freekin’ Jingo.

  11. Eureka Springs

    “Mike Brown Law. Requires all state, county, and local police to wear a camera. White House Petition.”

    If one likes this idea then why, oh why would you omit federal police from such a petition/law?

    1. Ned Ludd

      “So: imagine a murder-case in which 298 innocents are slaughtered, and in which there are only three suspects (here: Ukraine, the pro-Russian rebels, and Russia itself), and one of those three suspects has veto-power on the making-public of the ‘investigation’ into that crime.”

      The investigation provides cover for the crime. A person might start to think that the entire system is corrupt…

      1. Carolinian

        Saker claims he has heard a similar statement from a Dutch, not Ukrainian source. In any normal world a refusal to release all the information would be considered outrageous after all the melodramatic accusations following the MH17 crash. But as the Bush/Cheney period demonstrated, the elites are perfectly comfortable “making their own reality” and expecting the press to accept. So I don’t think the above report can be dismissed out of hand.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      No mention of US of A involvement in the agreement. But I’d be surprised if all those NSA intercepts didn’t come in handy when “suggesting” this course of action to the signatories.

  12. trish

    “scheduling kerfuffle (I love that word) this morning”…no one drew a concealed handgun did they? never know in this country…

  13. James Levy

    Noticed something that should be brought to the attention of Economists, if they would care to consider such a problem (yea, right): I have been searching like crazy for work. I was a university professor. So I check every education-related and local job venue I can. What do I see? Hundreds of jobs for child care and early education teachers. Buckets full of them. The same outfits and districts are constantly looking for people. Yet, the price of the service never goes up! You’d think if you had a job category in which there are always more jobs than people to fill them, the compensation for those jobs would rise dramatically. But when it comes to child care, early education, and nursing, the apparent desperation of employers to find qualified employees never sees to raise the wages in any significant way (certainly for child care and child education). How would those wild and crazy Ph.D.s in Eco find a way to explain away that conundrum?

  14. Emmet

    I see that stupid post by Mike Shedlock is sweeping the interwebs this weekend. More people on welfare than doing homest work!!! What an ignorant tool and, sorry Lambert, but you are a little of a tool for posting without some kind of sugeon general’s warning too.

    There is no “welfare” in this country like the old AFDC system after 1996. Yes, there are a few means tested targeted subsidy programs like foodstamps, section 8, and medicaid that very low income people can apply for (and often not receive!) but these cannot and do not pay for everyday living costs. Moreover, simply counting the number receiving be benefits, masks the amount of benefits (which are often tiny amounts on a monthly basis and simply not enough to sruvive on). Also, these are means tested and adjusted down as one’s household income from work goes up. Oh, and then there’s that wee little point: many benefits have a work/education requirement & there is often a lifetime cap on the number of years one can be eligible for these benefits.

    So, what Mike did in his post is either ignorantly or maliciously contrast an imaginary group called “welfare recipients” ( read “lazy bums” I suppose) and “hard working” americans (employed labor force participants). There are no such mutually exclusive groups in this country. What I suppose Mike is trying to do in the wake of Ferguson is pile on the emerging webtastic orgy of “poor bashing” — I am guessing just the opening round that will be a major campaign startegy for the republicans this fall (when is it ever not the case). Shame on Mike Shedlock and, sorry again Lambert, but shame on NC for passing his malice along by linking to his post.

    1. Vatch

      Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? There are plenty of welfare recipients in the U.S.!

      Goldman Sachs
      Bank of America
      General Motors
      Ally Financial (GMAC)
      ad nauseam…

      And of course, the defense contractors who are kept afloat by the steady supply of government sponsored wars.

      1. cnchal

        Words. What they mean depends on who’s talking

        Aren’t money managers welfare recipients as well? If it wasn’t for the welfare of Fed money printing, what would they have to manage? Gold bricks?

        As to your list, it seems as if 100% of big business is on welfare.
        Phillips was on welfare when they killed the Sparta, Tennessee lighting plant and moved it to Mexico.

        Politicians fall all over themselves to make sure that if Volkswagen comes knocking, they take your money, and give it to them. Theft, bribery and corruption. But lets not call it welfare.

        1. jrs

          100% of big business on welfare? I don’t know. But you don’t get BIG without government contracts and connections. Now the government contracts are sometimes for legitimate services. But there’s no such thing as mythical free enterprise on the BIG scale in this country without the state.

  15. different clue

    In defense of looting? By Willie Osterweil? How supreme over anything are the marginal white merchants who get looted? How white are the marginal black storeowners who get looted? How white were the marginal Korean
    storeowners who got looted in the Rodney King riots? How much pain did the Supreme OverLord Whites really feel? Eh?

    I hope in all sincerity that Sick Willie Osterfuck gets his own dwelling unit looted good and hard, And his car stolen too, if he has one. It can be his contribution to the cause, since I doubt he “gave at the office”. (And no, his article wasn’t a “gift”. Not if he was PAID for his article).

    1. jrs

      Noone should loot mom and pop type business (yea even if the owner are jerks). Large corporations though, like the neighborhood Walmart, I didn’t see anything …

  16. New School of the Americas

    @ Trish 2:41 excellent point about that great American tradition, leaving the corpse to plump up and stink so the campesinos know who’s in charge. You know who would totally get that? The UN representatives of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. So happens they’ll all be on the Human Rights Council when the US gets roasted next March.

    With the entire US government worth shit to its people, the only legitimate authorities we have are in Geneva. Any US NGO or rights defender can submit a “stakeholder report” to them at
    with guidelines here,

    There’s plenty of technical assistance available,

    First-person accounts are top priority. Let’s hope the good people of Ferguson give the Council lots of detailed disgrace that the world can throw in the US government’s face.

  17. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Well, I’ve finally decided that the cost of not owning guns outweighs the potential risks.

    I’m surrounded by rednecks, armed to their gills. Even some of my family (which just became extended, once more — the new folk having been told by my step-son that I was an “unpatriotic liberal”). When I got to my grandson’s b’day party, last week, new granddad decides to play the national anthem at full blast, just as I exited my car with my wife, and while I was saying hello to the others in attendance. I don’t know this dickhead from Adam, and he doesn’t know me (except for whatever he was told by my step-son).

    Last night, I went shopping for guns. Decided on what they call a 30+1, semi-auto .40 caliber assault rifle, an 8-shot 12 ga. shotgun, and an automatic 13+1 semi-auto, .45 handgun (but no bullets or shells for any of them — and if my grand pappy was alive, he’d kick my ass for the assault rifle and the handgun). It’ll set me back about $8K.

    When I receive delivery, I’ll be better armed than all of them. I won’t let them fondle my new weapons, and I won’t go shooting with the redneck contingent.

    Now, I’m the scary MF. Worst nightmare for them: A bleeding heart liberal armed BEYOND my gills, and much better armed that they are.

    I know how to shoot, but I doubt I’ll be firing any of these, any time soon (actually, I might never fire them). Although I might open-carry the assault rifle (unloaded), at the next family function.

    I can out 2nd amendment all of them.

    I’m a fucking PATRIOT.

    1. ambrit

      Mr. S;
      $8K for those three guns? My heavens man, you’re being way overcharged!
      I’d say:
      1 Springfield XD .45 13-1 =$490
      1 Mossberg Maverick 88 12ga 8 shot pump =$298
      1 LAR-40 CAR A4 =$1260
      These are all factory MSRPs by the way.
      Enjoy your next barbque/turkey shoot!

        1. ambrit

          OK, now I get it.
          An idea for housing those shootin irons; build a wet bar that swings open to reveal an arms bazaar! Get likkered up and then shoot up the town!
          Another idea; drive up to the next family gathering playing Ted Nugent as loud as you can stand. Then innocently ask any redneck there if he or she has ever read the lyrics to a Ted song. Loads of laughs!

          1. abynormal

            bahahahahaaaa! Johann should also poor urine all over himself before attending the next yahoo event…that was always one of Nugent’s bragging points.
            Sorry Johann, a real Patriot must also pass the smell test
            (knee slap’n w/tears)

            1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

              I believe Nugent shit himself, too — another über patriot. But that was only to avoid the draft.

          2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            The nephew and his wife (who works for the Heritage Foundation, actually attended a Nugent concert recently. I doubt the music was the reason.

            1. ambrit

              Sorry to unload on you Johann, I generally like your comments, but the nephews wife works for the Heritage Foundation? Actually gets paid? Not an unpaid “intern?” Wow man! She must be up there in management. I would say, more power to her, but, you know, the Heritage Foundation and all.
              Knowing that, I can sort of empathize with you. It must be difficult being the only adult in a room full of kids.
              Keep the faith baby.

      1. craazyman

        I’d get about 12 Winchester 30-30 lever action rifles like you’d see in the movies and stand them up in a beautifully carved and polished gun case where a man can look at his gun and admire it while drinking a whiskey with a wood fire burning in the background. The most beautiful gun ever made. If you’re gonna get yourself in trouble with fire-arms you might as well go down in style, possibly attired in a waistcoat (with a touch of riotous color to rivet attention) and leather western boots. If somebody wants a pistol, a matching period piece made by the Colt company would be acceptable, housed in a leather holster laying casually acorss the back of a wooden armchair uphholstere in red and violet silk.

        Ratter than the national anthem, preferred musical accompaniement would include fiddle music from the Civil war era or some piano tune you might here in a saloon late at night when only a few sad patrons remained and the piano player really wanted to show his stuff — perhaps something by Beethoven.

        That would impress the in-laws and possibly awaken their sense of style and savoire faiire. It’s hard to get an American to think clearly if they eat at McDonald’s and shoot a assault rifle. That will numb the body and the mind. Reading a contemporary translation of the Bible will numb the soul. The King James is the only way to go. That should be laying on the table beside the fire and gun rack. Nobody will argue about anything with a man who styles with that degree of gravitas. They’d be ashamed.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson


          If someone were to pull a knife on me, I’d run.

          I will not carry the handgun, and I will not keep it bedside. It will remain in the safe, except when I show Bubba + Co. If I ever sell it, it will probably be unfired.

          A 12 ga. shotgun, filled with small shot will obliterate someone at close range. I’m surprised Dick Cheney’s victim didn’t have his head blown clean off.

          1. MtnLife

            Congrats on your purchases! Nice selection. The only thing I would like to say is I disagree with your statement about the handgun remaining unfired. Owning a weapon with which you are not proficient or at least comfortable/familiar with isn’t the safest or most responsible choice. That applies exponentially if you do decide to carry but a 13 stack .45 is a little too large to be a concealed carry piece anyways.

        2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          I was looking for a gun like Chuck Connors used in ‘The Rifleman’, but I don’t think it would look appropriate with my usual attire (smoking jacket and ascot).

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Making a point is important.

        I’m around these gun-crazed people constantly, here in Ol’ Virginny. If you think they’re not just itching to cut loose on someone (anyone) — who just happens to be different than them, in sometimes imperceptible ways — you haven’t been paying attention. (At the b’day party, guns were out, and compared — and it wasn’t just my step-son and Joe Bob Redneck, the über-patriot — the neighbors went home and got theirs, too).

        These folks (not just my relatives), WANT to shoot someone. I want to be the last person they think about, if worse comes to worse.

        Keep in mind, I haven’t been a gun owner for years (and never a handgun), and I have no experience with semi-autos or assault-type guns (although I have had extensive experience with a wide variety of shotguns and rifles FOR HUNTING).

        That said, I bought top end guns: LWRC Six8 AR-15 — not a .40 cal., as I thought (6.8mm), but not what the guy referred to as a “plinker” or “varmint gun”, either (.22 or Nato rounds); Remington Versa Max Semi-Automatic 12 Gauge (Granddad would like this shotgun); and a glock G30S (I will probably never shoot this gun, but I will show it off to the gun nuts). The LWRC looks plenty nasty and I’m sure none of these goobers could afford one. Honestly, after all of the flack I’ve taken over being anti-gun, these folks will shit themselves, that I’ve seemingly “come ’round.” Plus accessories (trig locks, cleaning kits, etc.), , plus a really good gun safe. Now, I just have to practice spitting and looking half-crazed.

        I didn’t join the NRA.

        I’m a liberal, but not a fool.

        1. James Levy

          The shotgun looks nice but the handgun is ugly as sin. My father was issued a Colt .45 when he landed on Guam during the battle. He was a Seabee and his outfit was trying to get an airfield up and running with the fighting just down the road. Since he was on the edge of the jungle in his pup tent, they gave him a .45 to keep under his pillow. He said it didn’t make him feel any safer as he knew he couldn’t hit bupkis with it. He was a good shot with a Springfield or his M1 carbine, but .45 pistols had way too much kick for him.

          1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

            I told the salesman I wanted a BOOM!, not a bang!

            I don’t think I’ll ever handle this gun. I was taught to never even hold a handgun. When I said my granddad would kick my ass, I wan’t kidding. Handguns were for killing people, and WE DON’T DO THAT.

            Granddad could be a crochety old coot, but he was a stand up man, but he loved us, and I can’t remember but once when he was wrong about anything.

        2. cwaltz

          There are at least 2 of us in the Ol’ Dominion state who really aren’t that fond of guns. I will say this though not all of the gun nuts are unreasonable(my hubby is one of them) and not all of the problems we’re having with weapons are entirely their fault. There is a database, however, when the government created it they didn’t really specify who MUST go on it, whether being on it would be permanent or FUND the darn thing so that someone is entering data into it. Is it any wonder that even though we have rules in place to keep guns out of the hands of ill folk that they still get them when the system in place has holes in it that a mack truck can be driven through.

      1. skippy

        Amends in advance….

        And some people are confused… as to why sawed off Dbl Barrel or semi auto shotguns are so frowned upon… especially with double – triple ought express shells…

        skippy… on another note… one wonders what kind of cognitive disposition people would have if – Stand Your Ground – was re-branded “Sitting Target [Duck]” Law…. ummm…

        1. ambrit

          Agreed on both. My idea is that “stand your ground” laws are an attempt to create a loosely organized militia for each region. In the “Occupied” territories of Europe during the Nazi Dominion, a lot of the ‘dirty work’ was carried out by local yahoos. “Stand your ground” clubs will be next. Then on to “Ideological Cleansing” of State controlled areas. If you don’t believe that there are non State controlled locales, try running down many inner city streets yelling “N—-, n—–, n—–!” and see how long it takes the cops to drag your sorry a– out of trouble.
          As for short barrel shotguns; #4 buck is the preferred ‘home defense’ load. Heavier shot would easily penetrate todays sheetrock walls and harm others in the house.
          The real problem with all this is motivation. How many people enter a violent confrontation with the idea of killing someone else already in their mind? That’s where I believe the English rule that you must tell any intruder into your house to leave before initiating combat of any sort sounds reasonable. You have done two very important things. First, you have made the ground rules clear. Second, you have prepared yourself to react appropriately. If the intruder doesn’t go, then fine, a suicide request. If he or she does start to leave, you’ve avoided bloodshed, a rational outcome. Plus, you’ve shown yourself that you are capable of handling your own problems. Self possession is the key.

  18. Jess

    Regarding Michael Brown’s body being left out for four hours: At first blush, this sounds cruel and disrespectful. But on closer examination I think it’s more than likely the result of normal — and necessary — police procedure. The time line says it was something like 35 minutes after the shooting before the county homicide were notified. Figure both they and the coroner’s team need time to arrive at the scene from wherever they are. It’s my understanding that in most jurisdictions it’s illegal to move the body (aside from life-saving measures) before the coroner performs his on-site exam. And because of both the potential for community unrest and the possibility of wrongful-death litigation, all the law enforcement agencies I’m familiar take exacting care in how they treat the crime scene in officer-involved shootings. Documenting the scene with video, taking measurements, etc. In fact, the familiar chalk outline of the body is to facilitate continued investigation even after the body is finally removed. I know in Los Angeles a deputy DA from a special division responds to every officer-involved shooting. If this is protocol in St. Louis County then they also had to wait for the DA and his team to sign off on their inspection of the scene. I can also imagine that if they had acted with haste in removing the body there would have been cries of “Coverup!”

    Of course, none of this is intended to excuse the officer’s actions. But it will be interesting to see if meticulous documentation of the scene ends up being helpful in getting the officer charged with and convicted of murder. (Of course, if they left the body out for four hours and then it turns out the crime scene was not meticulously documented, that’s just more fuel on the fire.)

    1. abynormal

      ive witnessed ‘police procedure’ up close & personal…the body IS covered immediately while the scene is cordoned off. Michael’s mother & neighbors brought out sheets to cover his body and were refused. Whisked away in a blacked-out SUV gave it ‘Enemy of the State’ stamp of approval.

      “To the rulers of the state then, if to any, it belongs of right to use falsehood, to deceive either enemies or their own citizens, for the good of the state: and no one else may meddle with this privilege” ~ Plato

  19. Andrew Watts

    Why ISIS is a threat to Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism’s deferred promise

    “The House of Saud fought the religious regimes that emerged after the Arab Spring. They allocated a huge budget to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt in order to prevent the emergence of a model of Islamic rule that competes with and undermines the legitimacy of the Saudi regime. But there appeared from within the Wahhabi arena people who carry a competing project and who have inflammatory ideas, religious justifications, military and human power that make them a potential alternative in a divided environment.”

    It’s a good article despite it’s length on Wahhabism and it’s complicated history with the Saudi Arabia. Given that the Islamic State has a significant amount of potential followers in the country itself an external invasion is not the only means of overthrowing the monarchy. Which is just as true of Jordan as it is of KSA.

    1. Jackrabbit

      McCain meeting with Baghdadi (head of ISIS)

      For those who care to look, there are other evidence and claims associating Bagdadi/ISIS with US-Israel-KSA.

      The Fishy James Foley Video (posted in today’s links) and The James Foley Video is Obviously Fake

      Its not only the faking of the video, but the disappearance of the full video from the net. What should be the most gruesome part of the video was left out of most reporting and now is difficult/impossible to find (I haven’t found it). Those who have seen the video say that the beheading part shows no blood when there should be lots. The US ‘authenticated’ the video and Obama gave a news conference about it. It is suspected that only US/Western intel agencies could have pulled the video from the net.

      Plus, see my comment (and exchange with Andrew Watts) from yesterday.

      Fearmongers and warmongers are using Foley’s ‘beheading’ to push for bombing Syria and an continuing/extended global war on terror (GWOT). They don’t want you to look beyond the ‘facts’ that THEY provide and the MSM reguritates.

      H O P

      1. Jackrabbit

        To make it more clear:

        After ISIS took Mosul, there was talk on blogs about why ISIS had been ignored, and how strange it was that ISIS had threatened and attacked Sunnis and claimed to have taken the mantel of leadership from Al-Queda but had never threatened Israel or the US.

        Weeks later, after taking little, if any real action against ISIS, the US provided aid to some refuges and bombed (they say) some ISIS positions (apparently with few casualties). And KSA and US are only now saying they are ‘concerned’ about ISIS which appeared seemingly out of the blue in the ME where US-Jordan-Israel-KSA,etc.expend HUGE resources to know everything that is going on.

        Here’s a (somewhat!) relevant question: If the ISIS threat is sooo bad, and was overlooked, then why haven’t we seen people getting FIRED from incompetence? Obama delivered a speech a West Point that praised our leaving Iraq just weeks before ISIS burst on the scene. Damn, if I were made to look so foolish, I’d want someone’s head.

        And lets not forget: 298 innocents may have been ‘executed’ in the MH-17 crash. Yet it appears that US, Ukraine, and others may be withholding info that could tell us who did that.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Because nobody is ever fired for incompetence. Nobody was fired for the ObamaCare website disaster, either. Elites have total impunity, is the takeaway here.

          1. Jackrabbit

            Well, this dog-that-didn’t-bark is just one of of the many facts and circumstances that lead to a logical conclusion that is counter to the establishment narrative.

  20. Reno Dino

    It’s not what Russia took to into Ukraine with its humanitarian convoy, it’s what did they take out? Reports where that most of the trucks where empty or only partially full going in. Putin pulled off an Ocean’s Eleven heist of Ukraine’s crown jewels, whatever that is. Gold, tooling, nukes, or ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

  21. abynormal

    Thomas Frank interviewing Cornel West @ Salon

    Frank: One last thought, I was talking to a friend recently and we were saying, if things go the way they look like they’re going to go and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and then wins a second term, the next time there’ll be a chance for a liberal, progressive president is 2024.

    West: It’d be about over then, brother. I think at that point—Hillary Clinton is an extension of Obama’s Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, national surveillance, national security presidency. She’d be more hawkish than he is, and yet she’s got that strange smile that somehow titillates liberals and neo-liberals and scares Republicans. But at that point it’s even too hard to contemplate.

    Frank: I know, I always like to leave things on a pessimistic note. I’m sorry. It’s just my nature.

    West: It’s not pessimistic, brother, because this is the blues. We are blues people. The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark. That’s different.

    (im hoping a singing fat lady runs)

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Superb must-read interview. I love Cornel West; makes me want to shout AMEN!

        Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency , a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free.

        “…we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. We got played … he pimped us.”

        “…But look who’s coming around the corner. Oh my God…”

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Our best hope, of those currently in politics, is Bernie Sanders. Based on his record, I doubt he’s anything but a fair, open minded, rational politician (if the latter isn’t a contradiction in terms).

          He doesn’t stand a chance.


  22. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Didn’t think I’d get the flack (sheesh — sorry for the pun), I did when I made my gun purchase comment.

    I want to be very clear about my reasoning.

    As I have said, previously, I live on the southern edge of the Great Northeastern megalopolis — just inside Redneckistan, in Cantor’s old district. I moved here 2 years ago from Reston, VA — a liberal hole in a conservative donut.

    I’m a white dude, who passes, on looks alone, for “one of the good ol’ boys.” That perception stops when people who are comfortable around me drop their PC and speak their minds. As soon as they drop the n-bomb, are openly anti-semitic (my wife is a Jew — strange that her sons are rednecks who don’t want anyone to know their heritage), “liberal” this or that, or talk of the “lazy” unemployed, etc. — I will stand up to them. I don’t give a damn how big they are, or how tough they look. People freak when a liberal stands up to them.

    If you don’t interface with this demographic, you have no idea just how far around the bend southern white folk have gone. They don’t simply love guns and violence, they rely on guns for testosterone, and actively plan for violence (and I’m not talking about defense). Don’t think that the police will come to your rescue if any real crap ever goes down, because the police are by-and-large, rednecks, too.

    My propensity for active resistance — especially among a group of people who don’t like people like me, has kinda’ made me a target for derision and resentment (but not to my face, until lately).

    Now, normally, I’m a strapping big fellow — 6′, 225, solid muscle, nicely scarred face, and well trained in both boxing and innovative fighting techniques (such as breaking a bottle to defend myself or wailing someone with the nearest object at hand). These skills were developed as a run-away teen, living on the street. I have never started a fight. I’m polite, concerned, tender, and generally a Christian (philosophically). I love my neighbors and try to love my enemies. My greatest pleasure is photography.

    Since I filled out in adolescence, I have never been the first fellow you want to F with. Appearance is most of any confrontation.

    Anyway, shortly after moving here, I developed a really nasty cancer (docs are all surprised I’m here, as the original prognosis was 6 months, and I’m at two years). Currently, I weigh 155 lbs. (up from 145. If I disclose what type of cancer, people will know — it’s very rare), and have all of the residual ailments radical chemo and massive abdominal surgery/organ removal can vest on a person.

    Suddenly, people who gave me a wide berth are no longer . . . respectful (for lack of a better word — maybe ‘polite’ would be better).

    As a result, most stops have come out. People who would never have dreamed of it, now try to bully me. Mostly because I’m a filthy goddamned ni**er-loving liberal. I still don’t back down, but I cant always stand up (literally), either. Nonetheless — I’ll still get within an inch of someone’s face, if the situation requires it.

    Which brings us full circle to appearance being the most of any confrontation.

    I want every redneck in this county and in my extended family to know that I’m STILL the last guy you want to F with.

    Does he have a gun? Who knows? They will, however, know that I OWN guns. I might be packin’ right now.

    And I will speak my mind freely, and without fear, as I always have.

    abynormal: Thanks for the urine comment. May you someday wear a catheter.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      My wife read my comment and thought I should clarify: My greatest pleasure is still sex. Photography comes in a distant second.

    2. abynormal

      except for the cancer…i know exactly where your coming from. im born and raised in Georgia…ive met the nicest folks you ever laid eyes on Until too many open their mouth. im banned from all family gathering(s)…fine with me. but ironically im the first they call when sick or in need of post medical attention.
      i reside near some of the largest mcmansions and largest or fastest cars in the state. one day back when we first went into iraq i was sitting in traffic when i noticed a bumper sticker on a black SUV…it read ‘My SUV Loves Iraqi Oil’. it took me a minute to believe what i was reading…i had to pull over and admit i sat and cried. im only grateful i had just dropped my daughter off at school. redneck is a mindset and they pop up in all sorts of geography’s.
      im very sorry for your cancer battle…all i got to offer is comfort and hope from my heart Johann, where you’ll remain.

      “Along with the concept of American Dream runs the notion that every man and woman is entitled to an opinion and to one vote, no matter how ridiculous that opinion might be or how uninformed the vote. It could be that the Borderer Presbyterian tradition of “stand up and say your rightful piece” contributed to the American notion that our gut-level but uninformed opinions are some sort of unvarnished foundational political truths. I have been told that this is because we redneck working-class Scots Irish suffer from what psychiatrists call “no insight”. Consequently, we will never agree with anyone outside our zone of ignorance because our belligerent Borderer pride insists on the right to be dangerously wrong about everything while telling those who are more educated to “bite my @ss!”
      Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        My honest apologies for my comment, and it is retracted (if that can be done).

        I have also noticed that we are the ones the family calls when they need something (usually money).

        After last weekend, my wife has sworn she will not attend anymore of these events, and all gifts, from here on out, will be savings bonds (are savings bonds still around?).

        BTW: Don’t feel sorry for me. I haven’t had much pain (morphine and other opiates), although withdrawal was ghastly (if anyone ever has to go through it, trust me on this: Go to a head shop and buy an herb called Kratom. Non-opiate that bonds to opiate receptors. Forbes has a good article on it. Stops symptoms within 15 minutes, and completely legal). Cancer at middle age is more unfair (?) than scary. I would have gladly given my life for any of the other patients in the chemo ward, especially the breast cancer patients — they lose their hair AND their breasts. Glad I don’t have to go anymore.

        Oh, lord help me — I’m mostly Scots Irish (from a long line of Kentucky coal miners). Our heads are so hard, I’m surprised they make us wear hard hats.

        Peace to all.

        1. ambrit

          Be of good cheer! You’re beating the cancer and sound like you’re getting better. My wife says she’ll remember you in her prayers at night. She has lived without fear most of her life too. She tells strangers that they’re full of s—! [And then tells me to ‘explain to them where they’re wrong honey’.] I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
          Treat yourself well.

    3. MtnLife

      Best wishes for your health (CBD oil!). I spent a couple months on the NC/SC border so I totally understand your situation.

  23. abynormal

    from CME site: Futures & Options Trading As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group is where the world comes to manage risk. CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather and real estate.

    uhhhh Houston… “the CME confirms all Futures products will have a delayed opening due to technical issues with NO estimated opening time.”


    Per CME GCC communication system, “Globex 17:00 market open will be delayed.” cc: @RANsquawk Michael McKerr (@mmckerr) August 24, 2014

  24. Paul Tioxon

    Razor thin skimmers are installed at gas stations, ATMs etc. I get cash back at the US Post Office, and most food stores, including Costco, and drug stores. In store point of sale card readers in high volume multi lane checkouts, not thinly manned department stores or Walmart, are less vulnerable to this scam. Anything outside is to be avoided.

  25. Roland

    John B, you don’t need to proselytize our glorious bourgeoisie about MMT. They’re all over it.

    The world’s bourgeoisie have benefited themselves enormously from the unlimited expansion of fiat money. They have never gotten so rich so fast as they have post-Bretton Woods.

    The bourgeoisie already got the sort of MMT they want. The bourgeoisie love it. The bourgeoisie are going to keep it until somebody takes it away from them.

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