Links 8/28/14

Giant panda ‘faked pregnancy for extra treats and nicer accommodation’ The Telegraph

CEO Desmond Hague caught on camera kicking Doberman puppy in lift of luxury condos Sidney Morning Herald (skippy). Hague’s firm is Centerplate, owned by private equity firm Olympus Partners. So that explains the puppy-kicking part, but why was Hague dumb enough to do it on camera?

Reality show plans to send winners to live on Mars The Scotsman. Can we send Desmond Hague, too?

The Matterhorn Interview – Video interview with Ambrose Evan-Pritchard Matterhorn Asset Management. Pritchard: “We’re stuck in some kind of bad equilibrium…. It may ultimately require some from of debt [pause] jubilee down the road. A lot of people are going to lose a lot of money, but that’s not necessarily damaging for the economy.” Also endorses “the Chicago Plan.”

Rosenberg: the Next Recession Could be 4 Years Away Pragmatic Capitalist

Central bankers face ‘confidence bubble’ FT

What did quantitative easing accomplish? Econbrowser


How the Fed’s Regional Structure Affects Monetary Policy Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “The structure of the Fed promotes a diversity of views and helps to avoid a groupthink mentality.”

MBS Settlements–Following the Money Credit Slips

IMF’s Christine Lagarde placed under formal investigation FT “[S]uspicion of negligence in a political scandal.”

PBOC Resolve Tested as $6 Trillion Shadow Banking Industry Sours Bloomberg. Also, hmmm.

State Dept. Overseers of Contentious Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Workaround Have Industry, Torture Ties DeSmogBlog

TPP: Expansive Rights for Big Pharma, Expensive Medicines for U.S. Consumers Eyes on Trade

Google Wanted Autonomous Vehicle Driver Interventions Kept Quiet The Truth About Cars

Code Club cofounder resigns after being ordered not to criticize Google Pando Daily

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Fusion Investigates: How did America’s police departments lose loads of military-issued weapons? Fusion

‘I Could Have Stopped Them’: Ex-CIA Lawyer Defends Waterboarding Decision Der Spiegel. “The CIA reports directly to the president and responds to his wishes. It does what it does in secret, with no messy political debates.” Indeed. And we know how Obama hates “messy political debates.” Might interfere with new slush funds fundraising for El Presidential Library.

Michael Brown’s Mom Laid Flowers Where He Was Shot—and Police Crushed Them Mother Jones. Stay classy, St. Louis PD!

Sign at TX School: ‘Teachers Armed, Can Use Any Force Necessary’ FOX. State-sanctioned ammosexuals.

The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism Times

Obamacare Enrollment 2015: How Many People Will Sign Up Next Year? (Public Support for Obamacare Is About to Turn a Corner) Part 1 Health Beat

Timothy Wu for Lieutenant Governor Editors, Times


Blackwater Guards Recklessly Shot Iraqis, Prosecutor Says Bloomberg

Obama weighs expansion of military campaign in Iraq The Hill 

Obama and Congress Play Hot Potato with War Powers in Syria Time

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia HuffPo (LS).


NOTE: I’d link to Times stories where Michael Gordon has a byline, did that not reward a disinformation campaign on Iraq WMDs.

Breakthrough hopes dented as Ukraine accuses Russia of new incursion Reuters

Ukraine crisis: T-72 tank shoots hole in Russian denial BBC

Russian Paratroops in Ukraine: Lost in a Game of Thrones (Video) Moscow Times

Ukraine’s Hryvnia Currency Continues Free Fall WSJ

Class Warfare

Market Basket Revolt Ends as Arthur T. Demoulas Wins Bid Bloomberg

This time is not that different, long-term unemployment edition FT

Employers Aren’t Just Whining – the “Skills Gap” Is Real HBR. Pay higher wages because markets. Problem solved.

Where Are the Brazilian Introverts? Times

Argentina Set for National Strike as Economic Woes Deepen Bloomberg

Tykhe’s Nonexistent Urn and Senate Election Probabilities: Over at Equitable Growth: Philosophy of Probability III: the Philosophizing Brad DeLong. Good thing that “important private information sets” are randomly distributed among the populace. Oh, wait… 

38 maps that explain the global economy Vox. Headline overeggs the pudding, but we really are entering a golden age of data visualization.

Garry Winogrand at the Met: The Genius of His Reviled Late Works Artnet (gallery).

The News Summer From Hell and the End of Optimism Moyers & Company

Antidote du jour, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens:


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. Sufferin'Succotash

      That critter looks the same way as I feel before the first cuppa coffee in the morning.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My first reaction was, oh, wonderful pampas grass (a mistake any one could have made, with the pine trees in the back on the right and the sereneness of the photo). Better look up some appropriate haikus to go with it.

      Either way, a great way to start the day, meditating on our plant friends.

      Thank you, Lambert.

    1. zapster

      “Ukraine crisis: T-72 tank shoots hole in Russian denial”

      Why on earth are we republishing this nonsense? There is zero evidence in either of the photos provided to show that that isn’t a photo from inside Russia, or from some military encyclopedia. This hysteria over a “Russian invasion” is smoking-gun-mushroom-cloud nonsense to cover for starting a shooting war with Russia. There is NO Russian invasion.

      Those young unfortunates are NOT Russian paratroopers–they’re too young, for starters. That’s been debunked all over the place. They’re thought to be a batch of green border guards probably nabbed just inside Russia, and held by a battalion with a penchant for torture.

      None of these hysterical fear-mongering pieces present any verifiable evidence whatsoever, again.

      Kiev has been “announcing” imminent victory for so long that the only way they can explain their ignominious defeat is to conjure up an unstoppable force from Russia. The reality is that they’re a bunch of incompetent, demoralized conscripts who can’t fight their way out of a paper bag (or Novorussian cauldrons) no matter how much hardware we give them.
      “you wanna die for this government?”
      Three guys, one mortar
      Here’s what’s really going on:
      The Southern Front Catastrophe
      As has been pointed out by numerous analysts (including Robert Parry and Ray McGovern and others), when the Russians invade, it’ll be unmistakeable.

      1. Brindle

        On the RT site I found this report w/ video of protests is Kiev over the Kiev governments miserable performance and incompetence in the civil war.
        I used the Google News “search” and the there was not one article on the protest.

        The Western media seem to be taking orders from US/ NATO in Ukraine conflict as to what to cover and what to pretend never happened..

        1. BondsOfSteel

          …and RT (Russia Today) is free, open media? Ha!

          Western media is guilty of group think, pandering to their audiences, jumping to the story before the facts, and just plain laziness and stupidity. They do not take orders from NATO or the US government on what to cover.

          Even at it’s worse, Judith Miller, it was seduced by power and privilege… she was not taking orders.

          OTOH, there does seem to be a load of evidence of RT being even less reliable than FOX News:

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Well, I don’t know about “taking orders,” but there was a lot more going on than mere seduction. Bush’s White House Iraq Group was tasked with, among other things, planting pro-WMD stories in the press, and did so many times.

          2. YankeeFrank

            Okay, so when, in 2004 the NYT didn’t publish the spying story before the election at the request of the Bush admin that was what, journalistic integrity? If you actually think the US media doesn’t take marching orders from the government you are seriously delusional. There are even CIA embeds at the major media outlets running psyops, as there have been since at least the 1990’s. Its all couched as something else and I’m sure they don’t wear CIA badges…

            Seriously, there is no other way to explain the wall to wall propaganda we get on Ukraine, Venezuela, Iran, and every other major foreign policy disaster of the United States. You are correct that there are other biases at work as well, making it all too easy to claim they are the reason for the propaganda, but if you think that RT is more biased on issues that affect the powerful you just haven’t been paying attention.

            1. Ned Ludd

              Another example:

              Why Are 6000+ Reporters Keeping the Government’s Non-Secret?

              The name of the top spook in Afghanistan was disseminated via email to 6,000+ reporters as part of an attendance list of senior U.S. officials participating in a meeting with President Obama during his surprise visit with U.S. troops. The government spotted the error and asked journalists not to post it.

              They agreed.

              Ted Rall didn’t agree. He was going to publish the name, at the news site Pando.

              There is no longer a “we.” Pando fired me over the weekend, along with the investigative journalist David Sirota.

              This is what happens to your press job when you don’t follow government orders.

            2. Banger

              Check out Operation Mockingbird–I think we’re in v. 4.4 at this point. This stuff has been going on for along time. Almost 100% of what the MSM reports on when it comes to National Security comes directly from US intel agents and power-brokers.

          3. Ned Ludd

            Do you need constant orders to do your job properly? If so, your boss should hire someone smarter.

            Treat government lies as truth, or you do not get invited to the briefings. People in the press are smart enough to know what their bosses want.

          4. zapster

            If you research RT’s claims in the Novorussian and Ukrainian blogs, it’s turned out to be pretty straight-up accurate, on this war, at least. No doubt the Kremlin makes it’s own demands now and then, but so far, I haven’t been able to catch them in anything that’s faked or even very inaccurate (sometimes when a story is breaking, details turn out to be incorrect, but they’re corrected later.)

            In any case, there are a set of standards you can use to determine how wrong a story is likely to be–the main one being “is there any way to corroborate it?” Do photos have landmarks, coordinates, signs, anything that can be used to confirm location and time? Are sources named? So far, nothing coming out of Kiev or the State department even makes any attempt to provide any facts that can be traced.

            1. vidimi

              i think what it comes down to, is that in a conflict at its most simplified, one side is right much more than the other. one side, therefore, needs propaganda; the other not nearly as much.

      2. Banger

        The coverage of the war in Ukraine is extremely bad. Lies upon lies upon lies at every turn with nary an exception in the mainstream. It’s as if there is a meeting every day of a Central Committee of the Crony Capitalist Party (CCCCP) and they lay out the facts and news of the day and all the propaganda organs say exactly the sane thing. In the last in reporting on the Afghan or Iraq war there were these little pockets of truth in the reporting–and there still maybe but I have seen little of it. Is ayn this despite the fact I don’t trust what is coming out of Russia either but I know that in their reporting the Russia media has been a source of some accurate stories. Frankly I’m surprised that it is this bad, cynical as I am about the MSM.

        The story now is that just when Ukrainian forces were about to completely wipe out the rebel forces after victory after victory the Russian invaded. That’s their story!!!!! As for MH-17, well the Rssians shot that plane down to win sympathy for their cause!!!???

      3. Lexington

        Why on earth are we republishing this nonsense? There is zero evidence in either of the photos provided to show that that isn’t a photo from inside Russia, or from some military encyclopedia.

        If you read the article you should know that the IISS analysis was based on video footage, not a photo. Why would Russian tanks inside Russia have Ukrainian separatist markings? Well, maybe if the Russians were planning on handing them over to the separatists -or operating them inside the Ukraine themselves…

        The article does note that the date and location where the video was shot has not been independently confirmed.

        Those young unfortunates are NOT Russian paratroopers–they’re too young, for starters. That’s been debunked all over the place. They’re thought to be a batch of green border guards probably nabbed just inside Russia, and held by a battalion with a penchant for torture.

        Yeah, because you need to be at least -what? 40?- to qualify for a parachute course. Jumpin’ out of airplanes isn’t a game for the yun uns.

        In any case I must again point out that the photo caption identifies the “young unfortunates” as Russian soldiers, not specifically as paratroopers.

        Kiev has been “announcing” imminent victory for so long that the only way they can explain their ignominious defeat is to conjure up an unstoppable force from Russia. The reality is that they’re a bunch of incompetent, demoralized conscripts who can’t fight their way out of a paper bag (or Novorussian cauldrons) no matter how much hardware we give them.

        I’m not going to get into an argument about who is winning and who is losing, because in the fulness of time that question will be settled on the battlefield. I will however invite you to take a moment to think about the unthinkable – that the separatists are facing imminent defeat – which based on the evidence currently available appears to be the most likely outcome to anyone whose brain hasn’t yet been zombified by Saker (“Novorussian cauldrons”? Really?)

        If the separatists are facing defeat then Putin will have a choice between accepting a major blow to his prestige or invading the Ukraine. At that point the stakes become MUCH greater for all involved, including NATO.

        Also, you can bet the rent that Putin is already straining every nerve to render all aid short of direct intervention to the separatists. If the separatists are defeated Putin will then be faced with a choice between to extremely unpalatable alternatives. The logic of the situation dictates that it is in Putin’s best interest to do everything possible to ensure the separatists aren’t defeated.

        I have to say I’m disappointed -though frankly not surprised- that the obvious Realpolitik implications of the situation have apparently eluded many who claim to be fervent admirers of Putin’s strategic genius.

          1. Lexington

            Do actually have any idea who Ian Bremmer is, or any coherent argument as to why he should be regarded as especially authoritative on this subject, other than the fact he happens to be telling you exactly what you want to hear?

            1. OIFVet

              Ian Bremer is a name. That’s something compared to Michael Gordon’s eternally anonymous officials.

            2. vidimi

              he’s a neocon. my point was that even neocons are starting to accept what kiev still cannot.

        1. OIFVet

          “the separatists are facing imminent defeat – which based on the evidence currently available appears to be the most likely outcome to anyone whose brain hasn’t yet been zombified by Saker”

          The problem (for you and the Glorious Junta) is that they are not facing a defeat, imminent or long term. They are on the offensive while the junta is moaning about a “Russian invasion” and going through a fourth round of reserve call-ups, and opening over 1,000 criminal cases against soldiers for “desertion.” Someone is zombified alright, but it ain’t by Saker. Who, truth be told, is rather grating with his Christian Orthodoxy, but that is a whole different matter.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            “Imminent defeat” of the separatists has been predicted for about six months now. I think we can count on another desperate false-flag event very soon, well before a scintilla of evidence is produced on MH17.

          2. Lexington

            As I’ve already said, there’s no point in arguing.

            In the last two weeks 3 senior Russian commanders have suddenly resigned, including Alexander Borodai, the erstwhile president of the self proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”, and Igor Girkin (a.k.a. Strelkov), the “defence minister”. And btw the fact that the senior positions in the People’s Republic were being held by Russian nationals with close ties to the security apparatus in no way, shape or form implies that Russia was doing anything to aid the insurgents. Only dead eyed automatons who read the Guardian would dare even suggesting such a thing.

            Similarly, the fact they are now fleeing like rats abandoning a sinking ship does not in any way imply that, to paraphrase Emperor Hirohito after Nagasaki, “the situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage”. Clearly the cusp of a great victory for Mother Russia is the most obvious time to suddenly decide they want to spend more time with their families. I bet Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group agrees -and not just because his firm has the Russian government on its client list.

            1. OIFVet

              You keep hanging on to those resignations, meanwhile the supposedly “fleeing rats” up and fled in a very counter offensive way all the way to Mariupol, causing quite a bit of frothiness amongst the Junta and its dead-enders, yourself included.

              1. Lexington

                Now I’m officially a “junta dead ender”? Does that come with retirement benefits in South America or something?

                As I said, the issue will eventually be sorted one way or the other on the battlefield. However, to return to my previous point, it behooves everyone to start thinking seriously about the implications of a Russian invasion, regardless of how you believe events are unfolding in the Ukraine, because that is potentially a game changer with profound strategic implications, including for the long term relationship between the West and the Russia and between Russia and the states of the “near abroad”.

                1. OIFVet

                  Has it really escaped your attention that the neocons have been trying to goad Russia to get involved and that the latter has tried to avoid it? Where the fuck have you been this past few months? Every couple of weeks Rassmussen and the State Department brew up another fake outrage over a made-up junta allegation and come up with yet another round of sanctions without ever producing one piece of evidence to back them up. There was MH17, which after it served its purpose has disappeared from the media radar, then there was the “Russian armor” the Glorious Junta “destroyed” that no one ever saw, then there was the humanitarian convoy, and now this “invasion” that no one has evidence of. All faithfully amplified by the MSM for the benefit of its zombified audience, yourself included. But here you are talking about the “profound strategic implications” instigated with your dmned tax dollars. Wake the fuck up already.

                  1. Doug Terpstra

                    Well said. The string of false false-flags is laughably amateur, except for MH17; that was heinous. I think it was the Guardian that broke the myth of the Russian convoy, subsequently destroyed by the glorious junta. Part of the convoy apparently escaped back to Russia, but the rest was simply vaporized, leaving not a trace of evidence, oddly enough not even scorched earth.

                  2. Lexington

                    Has it really escaped your attention that the neocons have been trying to goad Russia to get involved and that the latter has tried to avoid it? Where the fuck have you been this past few months?

                    In a place where we heard about Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, in violation of its treaty obligations.

                    Where were you? And in light of the foregoing how can you claim that Russia was “trying to avoid” involvement in the Ukraine? This is something Putin has clearly willed, and is perfectly consistent with his previous actions in Georgia and Moldova.
                    There was MH17, which after it served its purpose has disappeared from the media radar, then there was the “Russian armor” the Glorious Junta “destroyed” that no one ever saw, then there was the humanitarian convoy, and now this “invasion” that no one has evidence of.

                    I’ve argued elsewhere here that I believe the most likely explanation of MH 17 was that it was shot down by Ukrainian separatists, and/or their Russian allies. Still waiting for a persuasive counterargument on that one. As for the rest, I don’t think it’s particularly relevant whether the “junta” actually destroyed an armor column, or has problems with a supposed aid convoy, or whether its claims of an “invasion” or justified. It’s a given that both sides are going to spin developments in a way which they perceive to be most beneficial to themselves.

                    All faithfully amplified by the MSM for the benefit of its zombified audience, yourself included

                    I’ve asked you before to cite examples of me slavishly repeating received wisdom from the MSM, and I’m still waiting. To take one example, I’m not aware of any MSM outlet that has discussed Russian policy in Crimea within the context of the Budapest Memorandum (not saying it hasn’t happened -given the volume of coverage it almost certainly has, but it’s never been a prominent theme in MSM coverage).

                    You accuse me of being “zombified”, but your only evidence is that I point out evidence that Russia’s actions are no less cynical and self interested than those of the West. I hold the West and Russia to the same standard and find them both wanting (while also recognizing that Ukrainians themselves have a core interest independent of either side, which I feel has been a crucial element almost completely ignored by partisans on both sides, who treat them as pawns in a game between the US/EU on one side and Russia on the other). You maintain that this is a clear “black vs. white” or “good vs. evil” narrative in which one side is almost completely wrong and the other almost completely right.

                    My reading of history, partial and deficient as it may be, makes me very suspicious of such narratives.

                    1. OIFVet

                      “Russia’s annexation of the Crimea”

                      After Crimea voted for and asked to join the Russian Federation. The right of self-determination is paramount.

                      “I’ve argued elsewhere…Still waiting for a persuasive counterargument…”

                      Your “arguments” are divorced from reality. And you are not out to be “persuaded”, your have your false narrative and you are sticking to it. The silence of the West on MH17 is quite…persuasive.

                      ” I don’t think it’s particularly relevant…” Oh, you don’t? WTF happened to you concern over the “profound strategic implications”? All of a sudden you are not concerned over a concerted propaganda effort that seeks to push us into a conflict? Typical fucking wingnut giveaway.

                      “I’ve asked you before to cite examples of me slavishly repeating received wisdom from the MSM, and I’m still waiting” You haven’t. But the entirety of your writings on the topic are proof enough. What you did ask me for is to give you examples of my nuanced view Putin. Which I did: And which demolishes your fucking “You maintain that this is a clear “black vs. white” or “good vs. evil” narrative” strawman.

                      Lookie here Lexi, if you want to have a debate I suggest you do away with your bush-league BS tactics. I ain’t got the time for amateurs. You come here spewing nonsense about the alleged “zombification” of those you disagree with and then pretend that you have some sort of “standard” by which you judge things. You don’t, it is a rhetorical device you whip out in the process of “demolishing” the strawmen of your own making. It may work on Yahoo and the Pravda on the Hudson but this is qualitatively more sophisticated audience here.

            2. Doug Terpstra

              One of your “fleeing rats”, Borodai, only resigned to make way for a native of Donetsk. This is from the Guardian, a source you seem to approve of:

              ‘“I am a Muscovite. Donbass should be led by a genuine Donetsk native.'”

              “However, Borodai made it clear that he would remain closely involved. He added “’that even if I spend much of my time in Moscow, I will serve.'”

              So that resignation is not at all what you imply, nor is Strelkov’s status, which the BBC (another presumably approved source), only states as whereabouts unknown. No wonder you didn’t offer a single link. Even your trustworthy sources don’t support your claims. You sound like an unhinged Russophobe.

              1. hunkerdown

                Nailed it. Speaking of fleeing and rats, Putin calls upon the Novorossiyan Army to open a humanitarian corridor to Russia for unwilling Ukie conscripts.

                Note that the Novorossiyan Army *is* a well-regulated army now, not an insurgent group, so the departure of Strelkov and friends from command isn’t that unusual, and I don’t know that anyone, especially in the West, is entitled to know where Strelkov and friends are, lest he fall into the hands of NATO, who don’t deserve a single win anywhere.

              2. Lexington

                ‘“I am a Muscovite. Donbass should be led by a genuine Donetsk native.’”

                I’ll walk you through this very slowly: why do you think Borodai only decided “Donbass should be led by a genuine Donetsk native” when it became apparent the separatists were staring defeat in the face? If this actually reflects his genuine beliefs why did he agree to become president of Donbass in the first place?

                So that resignation is not at all what you imply, nor is Strelkov’s status, which the BBC (another presumably approved source), only states as whereabouts unknown. . No wonder you didn’t offer a single link.

                You want a link? Here’s your link.

                From the BBC no less.

                With Borodai confirming Strelkov’s resignation.

                To quote a favorite conceit of Putin’s apologists, you’re playing checkers.

                Come back when you’ve ready to play chess.

            3. zapster

              Strelkov, and the other commanders have not “resigned.” They were replaced with Ukrainian politicians who could engineer a nation, not just fight local brush wars. Strelkov is reportedly still involved in the implementation of that plan, helping to organize a genuine army, quite successfully, which is now executing the counteroffensive that’s currently chasing the oligarchy out of Mariupol.

        2. Doug Terpstra

          You’re supposed to sip the Kool-aid, not mainline it. When you write “based on the evidence currently available”, are you referring to reports from Kiev, NATO, Kerry, or the NYT? Because when anything starts with “Ukraine says…”, or “Poroshenko reports…”, it’s pretty much the equivalent of Baghdad Bob: “we have them on the run!”. First, they’d have it wrapped up in thirty days, but now that they’re getting stomped, it’s “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” with evidence from Digital Globe showing a line of fuzzy blobs that must be, trust us, Russian tanks.

          Sorry, but Google has better resolution of our patio furniture. After the Nuland-Nazi coup, Putin’s “invasion” of Crimea, Russian shelling, a destroyed (rather vaporized) Russian convoy, the Russian-assisted shootdown of MH17 (w/out a shred of evidence — STILL) the credibility of Kiev, NATO, and Western MSM is simply zilch, zip, nada.

        3. zapster

          >>Why on earth are we republishing this nonsense? There is zero evidence in either of the photos provided to show that that isn’t a photo from inside Russia, or from some military encyclopedia.

          >>>>If you read the article you should know that the IISS analysis was based on video footage, not a photo.

          And why, precisely, would I believe what they “said” without any way to corroborate it independently? The very first headline I saw on the captured troops screamed “Russian paratroopers captured.” However, even Russian soldiers are unlikely to surrender without a fight and carry all their docs on them into a zone where they’re doing covert ops. In any case, the debunking of that is widely published, so I’m not going to repeat all that.

          The point is they provide nothing that can be independently corroborated.

          And now, of course, they’re denying the existence of Russian troops, as well.

      4. Carolinian

        “Tubes” Gordon has a new one out under his own byline about the latest NATO charges based on Digital Globe. Here’s the proof that the satellite photos represent Russian assets:

        Another dated Aug. 23 shows Russian self-propelled artillery units in firing positions near Krasnodon. Near the artillery units are logistical vehicles that NATO said were probably carrying ammunition.

        “This configuration is exactly how trained military professions would arrange their assets on the ground, indicating that these are not unskilled amateurs, but Russian soldiers,” NATO said in a captioned description of the photograph. “Russian artillery systems like these have recently shelled Ukrainian positions outside the city of Luhansk in conjunction with a separatist counteroffensive to attempt to break the Ukrainian siege of the city.”

        Clearly Holmes’ science of deduction at work.

        Also NYT Kramer was on Newshour tonight. The announcer kept pressing him to tell about that Russian tank column he saw but he hedged and said he was told about it, didn’t actually see it. A lot of war mongering going on based on rumors.

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          The subject of the rather dodgy evidence concerning the purported Rooskie Invasion of Ukraine was under discussion over at Moon of Alabama. One contributor to the thread posted a link to the satellite photos. Poster Yonatan replied to these photos in this way:

          The NATO document headline is “New Satellite Imagery Exposes Russian Combat Troops Inside Ukraine”

          i) the dates of the five images are 21 Aug, 23 Aug, 20 Aug, 23 Jul (x2) – hardly new imagery.

          ii) image 3 is 50 km inside Russia, image 4 is 6.5 km inside Russia and image 5 is a wider shot of image 4 showing the border.

          Two out of the five images are over a month old and three out of five show sites well inside Russia, so there is a nice bait and switch going on.

          So, this demolishes the credibility of at least three of the photos, and since most of the equipment being used in the civil war is Russian in origin, it would be unsurprising that those remaining images of equipment likely within the geographical borders of the Ukraine would be of Russian equipment . Some of this is used by the Ukrainian military, some of this may be captured equipment now under the command of the Novorossian military. There is no way of telling from this evidence, therefore, whose equipment it is; clearly, leaping to the conclusion that elements of the armed forces of the Russian Federation are on the territory of the Ukraine bespeaks a mind predisposed to that conclusion.

      5. Veri

        I don’t know where the IISS is getting their experts from… maybe clown school. Kontakt-5 is used by Russian and Ukraine. The USSR has had it since 1985. The modern Russian variant is called Relikt. Ukraine is (and will have been soon) a major supplier for the Russian military. Putin is putting an end to that.

  1. gonzomarx

    Closed shop at the top in deeply elitist Britain, says study
    Elitism so embedded in Britain that it could be called social engineering, social mobility commission concludes

    38 Degrees is planning a day of action on Saturday to protest and inform about the TTIP

    and am I a bad person for finding this a little funny?
    Cops TV crew member and suspect killed by Omaha police during gunfight
    Officers opened fire while disrupting a robbery, killing a member of the crew filming the Fox network television show

    1. abynormal

      re, Cops Kill Cameraman…”Personally I will live with this forever,” Schmaderer said. “If I’d have known that this would happen, of course I wouldn’t have done it.”
      Langley Productions’ president, John Langley, and executive producer Morgan Langley attended the police news conference in Omaha and said police had acted professionally.
      …there it is! MSM supports ‘war on citizens’.

      “He didn’t know the right people. That’s all a police record means in this rotten crime-ridden country.”
      Chandler, The Big Sleep

      1. James Levy

        Well, you can say “they acted like a bunch of gun-crazed psychos” and be reviled and nothing will happen anyway (that’s the beauty of immunity, and largely that’s what the cops have so long as most of the victims aren’t white property owners) or you can kiss ass and all will be well. Moral courage isn’t just lacking in our society, it is vanishing.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Um . . . . rewrite:

          We Americans are too exceptional to be elitist.

          Damn. Somewhere in there is a good saying.

      1. ambrit

        Oh, ho! Nothing personal kj1313, but this is an exercise in manipulation of numbers.
        The Independent piece focuses on economic numbers. Nothing is said about social services or quality of living. Notice that Sweden, which most of us would love to live in, is also near the bottom of that list? All it really does is to show that America is just a class ridden as Europe. Here, we call our aristocrats “the .01%.”

    2. Banger

      These police killings we have seen in recent years are lynchings. Racism is back with the new Jim Crow (worse than the old on in many ways) come to us from the prison industrial complex. You can see it on Fox News in their obvious racism that reminds me very much of my childhood–same tired arguments racists made then are made know by those monsters on Fox.

      Bad as racism is the sheer cowardice of the police astonishes me. I remember a video of a crazy black guy waving a knife and a gaggle of cops about 15 feet away just all decided to empty their guns in the guy that I was pretty sure I could have taken myself without a weapon with maybe one trained martial artist along with me just in case. I was ashamed watching that–it deeply offends that small part of me that honors the warrior spirit–that is no way to live–if you take up arms then be prepared to respect that spirit–at least that’s my view. The only comfort we can take is that cowards die a thousand deaths.

      1. MtnLife

        I was thinking earlier today about the sheer cowardice and excessive violence that’s brushed over by the “the officer just wants to make it home to his family” excuse. So, why don’t we ramp up their armor and tone down their arms? They can play Army-man wearing the full body armor/helmet so they have nothing to fear and they go back to using a .32 6-shooter, no extra ammo, and true accountability through elimination of any scenario where the officer could feel threatened. Or maybe full Robocop suits and no guns at all.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Maybe a golf cart, a camera, a radar gun, and a cell phone. They can call a RESPONSIBLE authority figure if they ever see some some real shit go down. That way, they’ll still be able to perform their primary duty as revenue collection agents.

      2. Ulysses

        “The only comfort we can take is that cowards die a thousand deaths”
        Is that an echo of the famous, and very far from cowardly, Paolo Borsellino?

        “Chi ha paura muore ogni giorno, chi non ha paura muore una sola volta.”

    3. Jess

      Actually, I find watching COPS to be valuable, providing you do so with the correct mindset. A typical event is that they pull over some poor schmuck — often black or Hispanic but also plenty of lower income whites — for something like a broken taillight. Then they perform the obligatory “Do you mind if I search your car, because I’m gonna search it anyway”, find a small quantity of drugs, and haul the guy off to jail. When they do have to subdue somebody, there is an unmistakable air of both fear for their own safety and excitement at shoving the guy’s face into the ground with a knee on his neck. (Usually, because as was noted by others here recently, he failed to promptly “comply”, which includes asking why he’s being detained or why he should grovel on the ground.)

      Watching COPS on a regular basis will inform any sentient being about three things:

      1. The utter hopeless stupidity of the War on Drugs.
      2. The police mindset which fosters the climate for events like Ferguson.
      3. The fact that with enough traditional blue collar jobs and an end to the War on Drugs, we would need a lot fewer cops.

      1. cnchal

        The fact that with enough traditional blue collar jobs and an end to the War on Drugs, we would need a lot fewer cops.

        The fact that with enough traditional blue collar jobs, cop jobs would have some competition. Same with military jobs.

        I sense a vicious circle, at tornado speed.

    1. abynormal

      i asked myself the same question while reading PBOC Resolve Tested: “China’s debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio was about 250 percent at the end of June, up from about 150 percent before the government rolled out its stimulus campaign in 2008, according to research by economists at Standard Chartered Plc.” ….”There will be short-term contraction of related businesses, but in the long-term it’s helpful to prevent systematic and regional financial risks,” the central bank said.

      “We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act.”
      Laurence Olivier

      1. Paul Niemi

        I have been watching the price of copper as an indicator for China since April. I figure it will fall when China runs out of money. At first it fell from 325 to 290 and went back up over a month. Since then, it has fluctuated, declining 5 percent then going back up suddenly in multiple short squeezes, it seems. Today it is headed down again. When they do run out of money, they will be selling everything not bolted down. Even now, it looks like they are throwing the furniture into the boilers to maintain speed. Got to keep up appearances.

          1. Paul Niemi

            When the price of a commodity is supported, above the market price, the cost of the support program goes up year after year. The reason is that the higher price of the commodity encourages new producers. But it takes time for new production to come on line, so such programs can exist a few years. Remember dairy price supports? Each year the cost of the program went up steadily, until the support price was legislatively lowered below the cost of production. We were giving away free butter, and cheese, and powdered milk filled silos all over the place in the early 1980s. In the end, the price of milk to producers crashed. It must be the same, with all the assets which have been supported by the big banks, be they in the U.S. or China. As copper, supported in China because banks lend money against it, piles up unused in warehouses, the cost of continuing to support the price will climb until they let go. Then it will crash, collateral will be insufficient for the loans, and the result will be insolvent banks. The phenomenon of lower demand juxtaposed with higher prices can only go on so long. This applies to stocks too. When free money supports higher stock prices, lo there will appear more stocks to support, and the cost will mount until the rug is pulled out. My second prediction is that the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi will fall against the Dollar. That is because the loans backing the currency will be increasingly non-performing, especially as collateral is depreciated. When the loans in a currency are no good, the currency is not backed by the promise of future work. So that sums up my little hobby horse for the year. Now it will be back to reading that book by Randy Wray, but not before I have finished reading about the Deep State in Homer’s Illiad.

              1. abynormal

                i knew what you meant, Thanks for taking time away from your great reads.
                im not a currency master but this move could buy much needed time…

                Russia’s Gazprom Neft to Sell Oil for Rubles, Yuan
                Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September. According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.

                Gazprom Neft will not only accept payments in rubles; subsequent transfers via the ESPO may be paid for in yuan, the newspaper reported.

                1. Paul Niemi

                  I think Putin was in the weaker position and had to accept yuan for gas. He may have his druthers. The thing is, when the U.S. initiates sanctions on a country, its funds in the U.S. can be seized. Trading Rubles for dollars would become more risky. I’m just guessing, I don’t really know.

  2. Jim Haygood

    The Old Grey Meretrix of 8th Avenue has a splashy feel-good story on Medicare, which commences with the modest lede,

    ‘You’re looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the American economy.’

    Okay, I’m sitting down now. The meat of the story is the journo’s exultant discovery:

    ‘In 2019, the C.B.O. now estimates the United States will spend about $11,300 in 2014 dollars to care for each person in Medicare. That’s down from around $12,700 since 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act became law. Now multiply that number times the 62.5 million people who will be in the Medicare program.’

    Do the maff, oldsters: that’s a hundred billion we don’t have to spend on yo droopy asses!

    Entirely missing from the tale, though, is any acknowledgement that these per capita costs are still double or triple those of other developed countries. In fact, old-school budget balancers will recognize the modus operandi here: project an [unrealistic] 10% increase in next year’s budget, settle for 5% [still 3% above inflation], and then proclaim that ‘we cut spending 5%’ [from a wholly notional, inflated baseline].

    Beltway baloney, version 2.0 (organic)!

    1. Banger

      One of the many skilz that propagandists use and another argument for the fact that these government organs are nearing the 100% propaganda mark with every passing day.

    2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      It is pretty astounding that a country that proclaims itself to being based on the free markets and efficiency can ignore the fact that every other developed country does better in health care spending via cutting out the fat cat oligopolies.

      1. cwaltz

        Because……..communism and socialism……boogedy boogedy boo! The rich really have to be laughing their asses off at how easily manipulated over 80% of the population is and how you can convince them that this system is fairer than ones that adopt aspects of socialism despite the overwhelming evidence that it isn’t.

        1. hunkerdown

          I believe most USians don’t want a fair system. They want a system that allows them a sense of superiority and are willing to sell off all their dignity for that mess of pottage.

  3. David Lentini

    We Need Econ Professors With Intellectual Honesty Skills. But Schools Won’t Pay For That.

    The “skills gap”, like JFK’s infamous “missile gap”, is a contrived misdirection to serve two connected purposes: First to bamboozle the public into thinking our public education is inadequate; and (2) to bamboozle the public into thinking that the public should restructure public education to provide free training for businesses. The function of the public is to provide cheap labor for the élites.

    Of course, the propaganda needed to sustain this campaign, which has been waged with varying intensity since the Progressives reformed public education starting in the 1890s, has to be brought to the near-élites as well as the general public. Articles like this bit of stringy tripe from that hotbed of intellectual analysis brought to you by the letters “H”, “B”, and “R”, are for the near-élites to buck up their courage in the face of real analysis and to give them the basis for writing op-eds in the local papers to scare the public. In short, it’s propaganda to drive more propaganda.

    I suspect that most NC readers won’t fall for the gaming in this latest slimy salvo. But let’s run through it anyway.

    First, we start start with the conspiracy straw man. The critics can’t be right, and therefore there must really be a problem, because there’s no way so many businessmen would conspire to make this up. Well, one might think that decades of economists and business schools teaching that the way to profit is to unload as much cost on to others, especially the public, would create a class of business owners who are always looking for an angle to reduce wages and make the public pay for training. In fact, we have over a century of this effort in the history books. So, the argument is hollow. There’s no need for a conspiracy when the “conspiracy” is the conventional wisdom.

    Second, since the author can’t find a real fire he makes more smoke and heat instead. Having assured us that something is true about our what our whinging wizards of Wall Street are crying over, because it can’t possibly be a conspiracy, our author then tells us … “The issue is confusing because the skills required to work with new technologies are hard to measure.” In fact, because it’s hard to measure, the critics must be wrong. And if they’re wrong, the by implication he must be right, and all we need is to wait our the cycle and use “macroeconomic policy” (*COUGH* More QE *COUGH*).

    Third, “people” complained about finding skilled workers before the recession, so this must be cyclical. See the points above. This is about changing public education, not increasing employment. And didn’t he just say that you can’t define the skills problem? So how can you compare the two periods when you don’t know what you’re talking about?

    Fourth, the author spends the rest of the piece doing what economists seem to love most—discussing “technology” and “skill” by cherry picking specific jobs and technologies and then generalizing to everything else. So, graphics arts and computer programming—perennial favorites—are used to explain how hard it is for businesses to hire in fields where they can’t tell who can be trained. So, the point is that hiring should be risk-free. By implication then, it’s the public’s responsibility to make it so. See the points above.

    Fifth, the jerk brings us full circle by arguing that if there really was a skills shortage businesses would be paying more—Just look at Silicon Valley. Again, the cherry picking is obvious as is the sudden discovery that “technology” and “skills” are defined by what happens in the Valley.

    And the major conclusion: Businesses need to make jobs more attractive to skilled workers and retrain them. Even though no one knows what the “skill” are and there is not shortage anyway.

    And of course, “Policy makers also need to think differently about skills, encouraging, for example, industry certification programs for new skills and partnerships between community colleges and local employers.”

    In other words, make the schools produced certified workers for business at the public’s expense.

    1. Banger

      Good points! In fact “skills” aren’t the problem–the problem, such as it is, lies precisely the opposite direction–schools concentrate too much on “skills” and not enough on learning to reason and think clearly. Let me put it another way needed skills change rapidly but the ability to think and solve problems stays with you forever. Put me in any employment situation that doesn’t require some graduate degree or certification and I’ll learn the required skill in a month or two–I’ve done it several times. But employers want that skill right out of the box–IT employment is often short-term and they want people for a few months and don’t have time to allow you to train yourself or train you–they want you up and running with understanding the latest Javascript libraries as if you had been working with them for months or years. Most jobs don’t require that much training–but employers just don’t trust the process of training–they don’t want to hire someone who looks like they would be good because he or she might leave any moment thus they want the public to provide the training.

      Usually you retain skilled employees if you treat them decently but that doesn’t seem to be something big corporations have much interest in.

      1. abynormal

        ?”doesn’t seem”?…they KICK PUPPIES
        “And so Harry became proficient in the task of cleaning up vomit.”
        Julia Quinn

        1. ambrit

          Hey aby, lighten up. In China, they EAT puppies. Besides, what was a puppy doing unattended in an elevator anyway? (That executive couldn’t have been associated in any way with the unfortunate puppy. The doggy was an asset after all. What kind of an executive would trash an asset? [Oh, wait…])

      2. diptherio

        Careful there, man. Suggesting that our schools should teach critical thinking skills is getting dangerously close to sedition. That’s like suggesting that laws should apply to everyone equally–it’s something our benevolent and merciful leaders just cannot allow (don’t worry though, it’s for our own good).

        You keep talking like that, and you’ll have a cup of hemlock headed your way in no time.

        1. optimader

          “Suggesting that our schools should teach critical thinking skills is getting dangerously close to sedition.”
          They do already if you seek out the curriculum that uses them. Whether one chooses to exercise them in life? That’s another question all together

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I agree and for that reason, I believe leadership skills, among other skills, can be taught, developed and learned, even if one doesn’t possess them right out of the box.

        This pertains to the discussion the other day about leaders.

    2. James Levy

      I’ve been looking for a job for a year and a half. I’ve expanded my search WAY beyond what I used to do for a living (teach History at a university). The think I’ve noticed pouring over job ads day after day is that every job has been Taylorized out the yin-yang. The lists of required skills and EXPERIENCE is as long as your arm, and if you don’t have exactly the skills and experience the employer wants, then you are completely out of luck. They aren’t going to interview an interesting candidate with a subset of the skills and no experience. They want someone who they can slot in and that person can take up the job from day one.

      I used to tell my students that if they developed superior reading, writing, and verbal communication skills there were few jobs they could not do. That turns out to have been a lie, or at least a gross distortion of reality on my part. What those skills would help you do is learn how to do most jobs well. But you are no longer offered that option. You have to know how to do the job before they hire you to do it, which is a huge change from 30 or more years ago. Employers don’t care when I go for a writing job and tell them that I’ve published two books plus numerous articles and book reviews. They want to know if I have writing the exact material they want written for them now, and if not, adios. It’s completely demoralizing and quite embarrassing.

      1. Banger

        The fact is, James, that they want people to fit slots not people who think and try to solve problems. Recruiters and HR people are rewarded by what they bring on paper not what they bring as real human beings.also, they want to weed out anyone creative or potentially innovative because, in their experiences bosses like obedient servants who don’t rock the boat. Things need to be predictable and calm at least for the most part.

        For this and a myriad of other reasons we need to drop out of the system and build a new economy and we can only do that by banding together somehow then find a need and meet it. I feel for you because you’re clearly full of intelligence, sensitivity and spunk all of which puts you in a bad light in the world of jobs.

        1. Ulysses

          True dat! Maybe James should do what some of my own ex-academic friends have done and go full-bore blue collar. If you learn how to actually lay floors or do plumbing, or wiring, or whatever, your skills are in demand. My buddy– who taught art history at Yale– now tells potential clients that he “used to teach school in Connecticut,” letting them think that he was a middle school shop teacher or something.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That superior reading, writing and communication skills should be basic and sufficient for many jobs is, or was, the reality of a humanized world.

        That it is no longer the case merely reflects the complete triumph of the humans-as-machine-parts ideology, each with limited number of applications.

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        You didn’t lie to your students or in any way distort the truth. For you particularly, that would be very difficult to do. The encyclopedic specificity of job requirements is done as for economic reasons more than anything else. It simply costs money to screen or even pre-screen large numbers of candidates so they stick that stuff in as a way of getting the candidates to do it to themselves. Of course it’s short sighted and self defeating in terms of getting high quality candidates, because it encourages trickery and exaggeration and even lying by desperate people, but since when has the trend been for business/education (is there a difference now?) to be moving in the direction of quality? The upper management is becoming more and more – in ugly three dimensional reality – like the Mafia with polished accents. What you are confronting is the hard nosed nasty destructive day to day reality of it.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Long qualification lists are also a frequently used filter when a candidate has already been chosen from within but HR requirements or even regulatory agencies insist up giving outside candidates a “fair” chance. Finally, some of those jobs are non existent and the companies are only advertising so as to fulfill some requirement or other.

          The economy sucks, really really sucks right now.

          1. MtnLife

            One of the local resorts recently had an opening for a parking lot coordinator: bachelors required, masters preferred. There was some sort of experience requirement too but I was already laughing too hard (mostly in an attempt to not cry at the state of the economy) to read it.

      4. GuyFawkesLives

        The longest corporate job I retained, was one that I only showed up to sales meetings. I didn’t do conduct the sales contacts I was supposed to. I did not deliver the samples of product I was supposed to. I did not do the job at all.

        What I DID do was compliment my ignorant boss daily.
        I retained that job for over 5 years. Left on my own terms. LOL

      5. JTFaraday

        Maybe you should join the “Versatile PhD” community, which evolved out of an old fashioned e-mail list dedicated to non-academic career options for PhD students that began way back in the 1990s, known then as “wrk4us.” I read it on a regular basis in its early years, almost right from the start, and it was a well trafficked community of people in just your position. PhD students are subjected to a lot of baloney about their lack of worth, in my opinion.

        I thought it was an informative and helpful community although I eventually signed off when the signal to noise ratio pushed my limit, (and that was before the financial crisis). I suppose my irritation was accentuated by the fact that I didn’t have a PhD– I took a job– and I viewed these people as privileged. But, I always figured I’d check in again sometime, and you just reminded me of it.

        It now boasts “premium content”– I don’t know what that means as I haven’t read it in years, but apparently some school affiliates purchased subscriptions. There’s a brief intro at the Chronicle link and sign in here:

    3. cwaltz

      That article read as so disingenuous that I had difficulty forcing myself to finish it.

      “We see it in the high pay that software developers in Silicon Valley receive for their specialized skills” Really now. Do they mean the software developers that basically have been cheated out of income thanks to a behind the scenes no poaching agreement that companies like Google, Apple, Intel and others made behind closed doors?

      If they are going to use examples of free market wages being reflective of skills then they should at least have picked a category that didn’t have a huge lawsuit due to the ownership class engaging in market rigging.

      1. jrs

        And if they pay is still a little bit too high (ie a living wage in Silicon Valley) we’re doing what we can to lower it! Now please write your congressperson to pass the immigraiton bill ….our lobbyist are already in contact with them (lots of big tech firms lobbying for the immgration bill wtih it’s increased skilled labor immigration).

    4. Jay

      Agreed. Another economics article where the comments are more valuable than the institution’s (in this case Harvard Business Review) headliner. The comments section should be at the top; the original article is the troll.

      I wish there was a widespread meme we could apply to articles and proponents of economic conventional wisdom, starting with the proposition that since it’s from HBR or the Chicago school, it’s just simply wrong to begin with and can be summarily dismissed. I can’t think of any mainstream institutions that haven’t thoroughly disgraced their credibility with bullshit like James Bessen’s article.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As a default, it is useful to be skeptical of every thing – lest we become victims of the logical fallacy of argument by authority – we come across, including this comment, in the beginning, before adopting some tentative positions afterwards.

    5. Carolinian

      @Lentini. Late to comment on this but seems to me you are taking a blunderbuss to a fairly anodyne blog post. His concluding grafs:

      What is hard to measure is often hard to manage. Employers using new technologies need to base hiring decisions not just on education, but also on the non-cognitive skills that allow some people to excel at learning on the job; they need to design pay structures to retain workers who do learn, yet not to encumber employee mobility and knowledge sharing, which are often key to informal learning; and they need to design business models that enable workers to learn effectively on the job (see this example). Policy makers also need to think differently about skills, encouraging, for example, industry certification programs for new skills and partnerships between community colleges and local employers.

      Although it is difficult for workers and employers to develop these new skills, this difficulty creates opportunity. Those workers who acquire the latest skills earn good pay; those employers who hire the right workers and train them well can realize the competitive advantages that come with new technologies.

      I don’t see anything in there about “free training for businesses.” Indeed his suggestions strike me as being fairly unexceptional. Clearly rapid technological change has created a skill problem in certain jobs that involve computers and software. And that’s really all he’s saying. It’s a small point, not some neoliberal manifesto.

      1. jrs

        But it’s a catch 22. He seems to think that the only valid way to learn the skills is on the job. I can see some point in that. But you can’t usually get in the job without the skills.

      2. David Lentini

        @Carolian. You need to get clued in on this issue, which has been going for a few years now. And characterizing the entire ‘blog post by quoting a few “anodyne” paragraphs is just cherry picking. I responded to the author’s whole pile of b.s. argument.

        If you want to rebut my argument, go ahead and try, but at least make an effort and stop using straw men and read the whole piece like I did.

      3. David Lentini

        @Carolinian. You need to get clued in on this issue, which has been going for a few years now. And characterizing the entire ‘blog post by quoting a few “anodyne” paragraphs is just cherry picking. I responded to the author’s whole pile of b.s. argument.

        If you want to rebut my argument, go ahead and try, but at least make an effort and stop using straw men and read the whole piece like I did.

        1. Carolinian

          Sorry but I believe you are the one who is reacting to an existing controversy, not the specific article. The two paragraphs I cited were not random but the author’s conclusion. He’s making a rather limited technocratic point that both business and education are not adequately dealing with the new cyber environment that requires computer skills for a wide variety of jobs. Do I need to be “clued in” to all the context you claim is missing to simply report what the author is saying? At any rate he seems to be throwing a bone to both sides of the larger issue. Like I say, it’s anodyne, not exactly bomb throwing.

          1. David Lentini

            There’s far more to the article than the two paragraphs you claim are his “conclusion”. Since you refuse to read and discuss either his entire article or my full rebuttal, there’s no point in continuing this exchange

  4. Banger

    From The News Summer From Hell and the End of Optimism by Marty Kaplan

    Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed by a surface-to-air missile fired from Ukrainian territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists. You did not need to be a conspiracy theorist to connect the dots from its 298 dead passengers and crew to Vladimir Putin.

    This is how propaganda works. People take a story repeated a hundred times and believe it is true. There is no proof that anything of the kind happened–there is no proof of anything as far as MH-17 even that it was downed by a missile–yet because it was repeated often enough people like Kaplan, a perfectly reasonable and decent guy, believes it’s true. And this is precisely what drives me crazy about the liberal-class and most progressive–they don’t know how to think and the don’t know that modern propaganda was invented in the USA in 1917. This is also what drives me crazy about American intellectuals and, in particular, academics–they rest their huge edifices of thought on clarly unexamined and demonstrably false assumptions. Now Kaplan may be right that, somehow, Putin found it useful to shoot down a jetliner to arouse world sympathy for his cause just as like the overwhelming number of liberals still believe that Assad gassed his own people when he was, at that time, winning his civil war until (mysteriously) ISIL arose from the ashes of the insurgency (how did that magic happen exactly?). Fine all that narrative may be true but there is no proof and to make those assumptions is intellectually lazy at best.

    As for the whole “optimism” rap–sure, it’s healthier to be optimistic which is why I am optimistic–I need to be to help others and I do and my own effectiveness, minor as it is, makes me feel optimistic–it helps that I believe in living in the moment–does make things look much better. As for the events that have happened this summer–as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say “it’s always something.”

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Interesting that you zeroed in on what looks like an off-hand sub-point of a bigger thesis. In fact, it tastes more like a mickey, a nasty paralytic coated in the syrup of optimism. Just swallow it, don’t give it a second thought; and don’ worry, be happy!

      In fact, the conspicuous absence of evidence in the MH17 shootdown, after six weeks is now all but incontrovertible proof of intentional mass-murder by Ukraine in likely collusion with the US/NATO. The evidence exists in Western clutches, and the lack of transparency is a damning admission of guilt by those who possess it. Had Putin been implicated, the tapes, flight data, photos, and other forensics would have gone viral on MSM weeks ago. Anything published later will have the taint of tampering. Anyone have an alternate coincidence theory?

      It would be interesting to hear your or anyone’s take on Kaplan’s other little “throwaway”:

      “In early July, the Gaza war began. Some saw it as a necessary response to an existential threat. Some, including me, were heartbroken by its human cost and despondent about losing all hope of reaching a two-state solution.”

      Some saw it as necessary, others heartbroken, but surely not a racist war crime? I suppose one has to be suitably polite in the Jewish Journal.

      1. vidimi

        agree with your assessment. i get the feeling that these guys try to define the boundary for what is acceptable discourse on the left to ensure that the main arguments go unchallenged.

  5. Ned Ludd

    The leader of labor unrest in Argentina is Hugo Moyano:

    Moyano reached an agreement with the right-wing National University Round Table (CNU) to jointly establish the Peronist Union Youth (JSP), in 1973. Moyano’s entry into politics was made amid fast-growing tensions between the far left and far right fringes of Peronism, shortly after the end of its political banning. A staunch opponent of the Peronist left, he joined the JPRA, a rightist counterpart to the influential, left-wing Peronist Youth (JP)…

    I wonder how much USAID money ends up in Moyano’s pockets.

  6. James Levy

    About those “messy political debates”: isn’t that, like, the definition of democracy? Nice to know we have people living off the people’s dime who don’t believe those very people have a right to know about, and participate in, what their government is doing in their name.

  7. david battabong

    (faithful) non-USA reader of NC links respectfully requests the links from the New York Times be labelled as such, instead of simply ‘Times’. TIA.

    1. Kim Kaufman

      me too – pet peeve that NY Times becomes “The Times” when I’m in Los Angeles and we have the Los Angeles Times. I grew up in NYC and understand the NYC-centric mindset, however.

  8. Brindle

    re: Michael R. Gordon & NYT

    Useful to revisit Gordon’s critical role in the Bush administration’s rollout of the Iraq “Mushroom Cloud” PR blitz of 2002:

    —Cheney and the others are referring to a story by the Times’ Judith Miller and Michael Gordon (see September 8, 2002) that Iraq had tried “to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes” that American experts believe could be used in centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. The story is attributed to “unnamed administration sources;” Miller and Gordon do not inform their readers that the story comes from Cheney’s office. In essence, Cheney planted disinformation in the New York Times, then cited the Times article to prove his contention.—

      1. Brindle

        Same as it ever was.
        From the MoA link:

        —Notice that one author of the NYT piece above is Michael Gordon, who, together with Judith Miller, wrote sensational reports about proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The current head of NATO who is promoting war against Russia, Fogh-of-war Rassmussen, said 11 years ago: “Iraq has WMDs. It is not something we think, it is something we know”.

        These folks and the western news agencies that promoted the WMD in Iraq claims are now claiming a Russian “invasion” in Ukraine only to retract it when the damage is done. Warmongers. All of them.—

        1. Carolinian

          Apparently Gordon as the Times’ Defense Dept correspondent supplies the anonymous administration quotes for these stories. Readers have complained about this widespread granting of anonymity to the public editor

          “I beseech The Times not to facilitate government acting like the Wizard of Oz — behind a curtain — when even stated reasons for doing so make no imaginable sense,” David Steinhardt of Hancock, Vt., wrote, complaining about “pointless blind quotes from government officials that can easily serve to mask unaccountable half-truths and lies.”

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        The BBC is as bad, or worse, than the rest of them. Note one paragraph in thier report about the T 72,

        Whilst date and location are unconfirmed [emphasis mine], he [the so called military specialist] says the operator of the convoy is apparent: flags associated with the separatist movement are clearly displayed and some vehicles feature bright green areas, a common feature of separatist armour.

        Now that the author admited to not having a clue as to where the pictures were taken, he goes on to use the assumption of location as the foundation for his claims that Russia is sending troops as well as supplies into Ukraine.

        More and better BBC garbage! More and better pure officially approved propaganda! Slurp!

  9. Bene

    Giant panda ‘faked pregnancy for extra treats and nicer accommodation’ The Telegraph

    I had an ex-girlfriend who used to do that whenever they tossed her in jail. It worked too.

    1. tyaresun

      Does not seem to work anymore. They had handcuffs on during childbirth for an acquaintance’s daughter-in-law.

  10. abynormal

    Ebola spreads to Nigeria oil hub Port Harcourt
    the WHO can’t? won’t? or has lost count

    “More than 240 health workers have been infected with Ebola – a rate which the World Health Organization (WHO) said was “unprecedented”.”
    “Meanwhile, an international health consortium says that a trial vaccine against Ebola could be given to healthy volunteers in the UK in September, followed by trials in The Gambia and Mali.”

    “And nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.”
    Robert Frost

    1. susan the other

      almost makes you wonder if a lot of health care workers were given experimental vaccines which gave them ebola and magnified the epidemic… but the WHO isn’t gonna tell us about how incompetent they are… I shouldn’t be so suspicious

    2. BondsOfSteel

      People are being people. They start to feel a little sick… since the early symptoms look like the flu… they tell themselves they have the flu and hide or flee.

      It’s almost logical. If you actually had the flu, would you want to go to an Ebola clinic? Everyone dies there. Isolation conditions are poor… reusing gloves, crappy facemasks, questionable hygiene, and they are overwhelmed. Even the doctors/nurses can’t protect themselves in these conditions. If you didn’t have Ebola, chances are you soon will… after all… everyone dies there. (At least that what you’d think…. ironically, it’s mostly the early treated cases that survive, and with treatment MSF has got survival rates up to ~50%.)

      Plus, there are a lot of crazy conspiracy theories…. like how Ebola doesn’t really exist… or how it’s actually caused by vaccines.

      People are stupid.

      1. abynormal

        Stop the bus and let my brother jack off BOS…How are uninformed people, through NO fault of their own, stupid?

        Lack of Information breeds Confusion and spreads Fear…rightly so People are Scared.

  11. Dan

    Surprised the newer CFR/Foreign Affairs piece hasnt been highlighted on this site (Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People). Maybe Ive missed it.

    It seems very MMT on its face. I probably wont be able to go through it till the weekend but I have been hoping to see it critiqued here as a preview.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like an interesting article.

      Looking forward to seeing it posted and discussed here.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks for the link.

          It’s a must read.

          I like the idea of the people spending, to replace the ineffective government spending mentioned in the article.

          As for the concern about potential inflation, that can be addressed with a wealth tax, draining money from the system.

    2. susan the other

      I was surprised by the sanity of that article too. Where was it (ZH)? Anyway it sounded like a reversal in thinking.

    3. elbridge

      Also, DOES seem somewhat MMT-ish in the sense that First the Guv issues debt to purchase return-giving securities, that would fund the payout…….gotta love that slug of new net financial assets, eh?
      “” Central banks could issue debt and use the proceeds to invest in a global equity index, a bundle of diverse investments with a value that rises and falls with the market, which they could hold in sovereign wealth funds.””
      ……. “”After around 15 years, the funds could distribute their equity holdings to the lowest-earning 80 percent of taxpayers.””
      So it might be a solution for a 2030 problem, if it wasn”t for the fact that the CB is issuing its own debt.
      And here, ‘debt’ means debt.

      Compare the logic(?) there presented with the Citizens Dividend advanced under the Kucinich Bill to reform the money system, so that the demand-induction comes from the Guv’s money-issuing power.

      Sec. 507.

      Initial monetary dividend to citizens
      (a) In General

      Before the effective date, the Secretary, in cooperation with the Monetary Authority, shall make recommendations to the Congress for payment of a Citizens Dividend as a tax-free grant to all United States citizens residing in the United States in order to provide liquidity to the banking system at the commencement of this Act, before governmental infrastructure expenditures have had a chance to work into circulation.

      The effective date being six months after passage means we’d have a generation of citizens dividends with the Kucinich proposal, rather than having something for the grandchildren when they reach voting age.

  12. Bill the Psychologist

    Puppy Kicking: “………but why was Hague dumb enough to do it on camera?”

    Because people with rage issues act out irrationally and can’t help themselves, which is why the puppy was rightfully removed from his care, and hopefully the friend who owns it will never consider letting it near him again, at least when he (Hague) is unsupervised. The friend is fortunate the animal did not have an “unfortunate accident” which it didn’t survive.

    1. abynormal

      HI BILL, you haven’t come around here enough…ive missed you!

      “It looked as if a night of dark intent was coming, and not only a night, an age. Someone had better be prepared for rage…” Robert Frost (links are leaving me frosty today’)

      1. susan the other

        Those (I think pre WW2 poems by Frost, one of them using the Pacific Ocean as a metaphor – what an irony now…) were spine chilling. He had a very clear feeling of how bad things were going to be. I love them too, but they hurt.

      2. Bill the Psychologist

        Thank you Abynormal, I have professionally always been drawn to your kind……….

    2. bob

      The “rage issue” was an outburst that lasted for a few moments, at most. The story details the longer term abuse of the animal, locked in a filthy cage without food or water.

      Which is worse? I tend to find the longer term abuse more reprehensible, and more telling about the character of the person. I’m not defending either part, just pointing out that the video was a small part of the abuse.

      And noted last night– The SPCA can raid C-level execs? Are they the only people left with that power?

    1. ewmayer

      Ah, but according to the Angry Vet piece, the reason is the same as that for the GOP’s recent silence on the topic:

      It’s because Obamacare is working, that’s why. Even Bloomberg says so…

      AV also appears to have some weird fetish about Hillary in chainmail. Which is OK – whatever works for ya, dude – and is not to say the GOP is not clueless, but these types who wax wise on their blogs and *still* think there are any substantive differences (outside the rhetoric, that is) between the 2 parties instantly lose all credibility in my book.

    1. abynormal

      Piaget: The Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 12yo)
      Piaget determined that children in the concrete operational stage were fairly good at the use of inductive logic. Inductive logic involves going from a specific experience to a general principle. On the other hand, children at this age have difficulty using deductive logic, which involves using a general principle to determine the outcome of a specific event.

      “I craved strong sweets, but those
      Seemed strong when I was young;
      The petal of the rose
      It was that stung.”
      To Earthward, Frost

      1. cwaltz

        That’s what I don’t understand, who I their right minds hands a tool capable of taking human life to someone who is incapable of abstract thinking and you would barely allow to cross a street by themselves because even skills like understanding spatial relationships and judging distance are still being formed. It’s a recipe for disaster. *shakes head again*

        1. vidimi

          my only quibble with what you said is “tool capable of taking human life” should be replaced with “tool whose only purpose is the taking of human life”.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      From what I understand, it hurts a lot less when a 12 y.o. shoots you in the head.

  13. craazyman

    We’ll be attending the Gary Winogrand show wearing something stylish — probably a t-shirt, dirty sneakers and cheap wrinkled khakis from Target and a sweater from LL Bean or maybe a hoodie. How can a man take over 1 million photographs and not have a few worthy of hanging on a wall? It seems inexplicable, but it is quite possible. There are people who can do this if they try, and then they put them on Flickr or some other equally odious testament to humankind’s ability to avoid any hint of aesthetic refinement. In the old days they’d be relegated to a scrapbook with the slight concession to craft of the hard copy print. This was usually shiny and devoid of any of the subtleties with which nature imbues color, but at least it was an effort of some sort. Not like today, when the ghastly computer screen functions as the manifestation of the “creative impulse” (in air quotes, where the phrase certainly belongs). Why is it so hard to take photograph worth looking at? This is question few ask and even fewer answer. What they lack in judiciousness they make up for in quantity. However, the quantity serves not, like it did with Mr. Winogrand, as an abundance from which select jewels can be plucked, but as a waterfall of visual puke emanating from an ocean of nausea. It perhaps has anthropological value, if one is interested in baboonery and doesn’t have their fill of that with political and financial news. There may be some attracted to the prospect of a third locus of baboonery in the world. But for those who aren’t, Mr. Winogrand presents reason for optimism. It’s not as easy as it looks, to take a million pictures and have a few hundred worth hanging in a world class museum. It’s not as easy as getting a 10-bagger by buying anything your impulsiveness tells you will double. You’d think that would be easy, but it’s not, unless you’re lucky. With photos, luck isn’t good enough. You can’t get lucky that often, even with 1 million. Even with 10 million. You really have to know what you’re doing, since you can stand anywhere and point a camera in a spherical universe of possibilities. There’s an infinite number of photographs takable at any point on earth. It’s best to narrow the topic. When you get good you can pull a Eugene Atget, but that’s a hell of a lot of work.

    1. ambrit

      Hey crazy;
      What era will you be going in costume as: 50’s beatnik, 60’s hippy, 70’s discothete, 80’s decadent, or 90’s clueless? Anything after the millennium, well, the less said, the better.

      1. craazyman

        I don’t have to wear a costume to look clueless.

        Not sure if I’ll go in a Paul Stuart blazer with Alan Paine sweater and Church’s hand-made English shoes or if I’ll low-ball it and look like a tramp. Could be either way. I might still look like a tramp if I don’t shave or comb the hair.

        However, I won’t go wearing a khaki photographers vest with a Leica M3 ostentatiously hanging by a leather strap around my neck projecting a superior-knowing-air at whoever looks at me. No way.

        1. ambrit

          The Wife just said that I could pass for the Platonic Ideal clueless one and just send my shadow to the exhibit. (Ouch!!!)
          For local shows I generally go chicless. Gently used cargo pants in charcoal gray. Sensible black lace up leather shoes, from the Salvation Army boutique no less. One of several wonderful and colourful Alexander Julien short sleeve shirts. And, of course, basic black wide suspenders. Then I can go and exude the miasmic aura of an artistic aesthete. Oh, the joy! (No canapes at these functions alas.)

          1. craazyman

            that’s pretty sporty for a straight guy! it sounds like you do have aesthetic refinement. You’d never know I do, you’d never know I’m a smart, thoughtful, sensitive guy with fantastic artistic perceptions– in fact somehow I look ridiculous no matter what I put on, probably due to bad tailoring and lack of a wife to kick my butt into nice clothes. Is your wife ultimately responsible for your success? How bad can a man look wearing wrinkled stained pants, a t-shirt, running shoes with stains from rain and mudd and a badly tailored sport jacket? Pretty bad. But I was so lost I thought I looked kind of cool, as if I never got past 31 years old. What a delusion. It’s like Oedipus, waking up to the blinding light of truth. I don’t know how it happened but something clicked in my head & I realized it’s time to look good in public. That’s the task and challenge.

            1. ambrit

              Try and associate with some art students. No, not the avant-garde! Try some interior design folks or a portraitist. Quiet, soft spoken cultured people are everywhere around us. They do not cry out for attention though, and thus must be cultivated. Can you be avuncular? If so, I’ll lay money that you’ll be out with some sensitive young thing shopping at the cheaper boutiques and the better thrifts in no time.
              I suspect, but am loath to admit to myself, that Phyllis has worked hard to civilize me. Not exactly like taming Enkidu, but close.
              Another thing would be to find someone, not necessarily a professional, to act as capillotimist for you. [Excruciatingly affected way of saying barber.](It’s a real word. H.G. Wells used it in “The Sleeper Awakes.”)
              Good luck in your new life! (Since you aver you have made no ten baggers in the financial field, perhaps it’s time for you to have enormous success in the other.)

              1. JerseyJeffersonian

                Approximating the taming of Enkidu? There wasn’t a prostitute involved was there? If you catch a clue, there might be something in it for you, o hairy one…

                1. ambrit

                  There’s a Temple involved there somewhere, I think. I’ve grown meretricious as I age, so there is that. (I love water sports, if that’s what you mean.)

        2. optimader

          “I don’t have to wear a costume to look clueless”
          That’s an ascension to a higher station in life/enlightenment when you can consider first impressions irrelevant.
          Tartan plaid shirt/shorts, white socks and brown suede Chukka boots.. or nicely broken in wingtips.

          1. craazyman

            that sounds like a shuffleboard outfit!

            or maybe Saville Row bespoke attire an proper Englishman would wear out walking the hounds.

            sometimes it’s hard to tell :)

            Are the wingtips from Cleverly or Graziano & Girling?

              1. EmilianoZ

                Wow! NC commenters are not only the most intelligent, knowledgeable individuals, they’re also the most stylish. I wish I had enough money to afford these. They must make you look like a prince.

              2. JerseyJeffersonian

                I still am hanging on to several fabulous pairs of woolen pants that are either real tartans or quite nice plaids. They no longer fit me, sadly, as I am not the skinny guy that once I was.

                But perhaps, more in keeping with my needs nowadays, I could use some nice tartan overalls, maybe in one of those muted “hunting” tartans frae Scotland. Hoot, mon, potting caladiums would n’er be the same agin. Couple it with a tam o’ shanter in a neutral color, and I’d be set.

                This would drive my poor wife crazy.

    2. Kim Kaufman

      The article referred to his photos as “unresolved.” Critics and others like to be spoon fed what to think. Winograd does not do that. They look like arresting images on my smallish screen and an America that’s hard to generalize about or compartmentalize. Good art, imo, should make you think not tell you what to think.

    3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      If you really want to impress, nothing says “in-control” like a flight suit/codpiece combo (accessorize with brush-clearing tools).

      1. ambrit

        LOL! As the late Molly Ivins would have said; “A Shrub joke!”
        Unfortunately, the present lot are still trying to run things using the same playbook.

    4. Jim Haygood

      ‘How can a man take over 1 million photographs and not have a few worthy of hanging on a wall?’

      Indeed. Every man needs a few well-hung portraits.

  14. Benedict@Large

    Employers Aren’t Just Whining – the “Skills Gap” Is Real – HBR

    This is more nonsense. The skills gap is self-imposed by employers refusing to train new employees anymore. They want the state to just hand them their profit margins gift-wrapped, meanwhile retaining the ability to tell the state to go to hell if it wants anything back. Capitalism for and by adolescents.

    1. cwaltz

      It’s worse. They want a disposable, cheap workforce. It isn’t just about not wanting to train new workers but about not wanting to fork over their profit margins to retain capable people. As far as the labor market is concerned when they holler,” jump”, the resource market is supposed to ask, “How high?” They are so ignorant that they can’t draw a line between instability in the workplace environment with labor continually cutting benefits, eroding real dollar value of wages and shipping jobs wherever it is cheapest at a whim with the problems they are facing. A worker today gets NOTHING for being loyal to a company except a couple of months of unemployment when that brand decides that they cost the company too much. So why in the world should a worker bend over backwards for companies that go out of their way to tell us how disposable an American worker is(ask for more and you’ll be outsourced or replaced by a robot.)

      1. jrs

        Besides these companies have ever incentive in the world to want a vast OVERSUPPLY of skilled labor. Don’t they? One way to get that is to complain there’s not enough skilled labor when there is.

  15. JTFaraday

    re: “The News Summer From Hell and the End of Optimism,” Moyers & Company

    ““What fresh hell is this?” — the question Dorothy Parker asked when her doorbell rang — now applies to the news. If you’re staying informed, you’re licking the razor.”

    A good media analysis today in Salon, on the right wing reaction to Ferguson in light of the Trayvon Martin case:

    “things moved more slowly when it came to making George Zimmerman a hero. Fox News and most of the rest of the right virtually ignored Trayvon Martin’s killing for months, and even when they suddenly snapped to, it took a while for them to adopt Zimmerman as one of their own. Now, in contrast, it’s all happening at warp speed.”

    1. jrs

      Zimmerman – it may be harder for the right (and it definitely is harder for straight on establishment liberals) to side with a vigilante than to instinctively side with the cops. Never mind the cops seem on a much bigger murder rampage overall.

  16. abynormal

    (YeP the Russians did it)…JPMorgan, Four Other Banks Hit by Hackers: U.S. Official
    “The attack led to the theft of customer data that could be used to drain accounts, according to another person briefed by U.S. law enforcement. The two people, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is continuing, discussed the incident after Bloomberg News reported a breach on banks earlier today.”
    “The Bloomberg report said the FBI is investigating whether RUSSIAN HACKERS attacked JPMorgan and at least one other bank in retaliation for sanctions on the country over its involvement in the Ukraine military conflict. New York-based JPMorgan declined to comment on whether it was a victim of hacking, while saying the bank has multiple layers of defense to fend off data thefts [just not the thieves/themselves].”

    “Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.”

    1. Jagger

      So if your bank account is drained due to a hacking attack, is the customer out of luck or is the bank held responsible? Or is the FDIC insurance on the hook?

      1. abynormal

        i get the feeling Anton Siluanov could supply us with definitive answers, long before our vampires answer the phone.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The next recession could be 4 years away.

    It’s like, the next time you will pass out is still 4 minutes away. Enjoy your economic waterboarding in the meantime.

  18. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    I spent the morning reading quotes from Upton Sinclair. If you like or crave intellectually honest ideas about, and deeply thoughtful observations/criticisms of, the world, Sinclair is a real antidote.

    Then, I ran across the following link, which leads to one of the greatest pieces of socio-political/intellectual criticisms I have read in a long time. The clarity of thought is astounding. The acidity of the truth is hydrochloric. The disdain for those who would be hypocrites is untempered. Buffoonery is mocked to the full extent it deserves to be.

    I think I’ll spend the remainder of the day writing an essay (not that I flatter myself that I could ever carry the stones of either of the authors noted, above).

    1. susan the other

      A good reason to read today’s link to the Lars Schall interview with Ambrose Evans Pritchard. Don’t be fooled by the low key, soft spoken Q and A. Just imagine Obama or Yellen or Kerry making similar comments. Wow.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        On the Evans-Pritchard video: I very rarely link to videos without transcripts, because who has the time to sit glued to one’s computer screen being a passive consumer for a half-an-hour? But I linked to this one because I felt that Evans-Pritchard was saying truly extraordinary, mind-boggling things; and this is a guy who works at the Torygraph! In a way, it’s reminiscent of Willem Buiter — then of the FT, and also on the right — calling his shot at Jackson Hole and getting hooted off the stage, or whatever they did to him. So I highly recommend giving that video a listen. (You don’t have to watch; Evans-Pritchard, being an elite Brit, speaks in completely coherent paragraphs, so the visual channel is not needed.)

        1. elbridge

          Thanks a lot for posting that.
          Pritchard, in grasping for workable solutions to the debt-saturation ( a bad equilibrium), calls the IMF-research paper by Kumhof and Benes at ‘absolutely extraordinary’….and correctly defines it partly as taking away the power to create money from the private banks…..and giving those powers over to governments….(See Martin Wolf and Adair Turner). .
          So, obviously, government does not NOW have that power…..(MMT)…
          And obviously, those of us advocating ‘public money’ solutions, even based upon the Chicago Plan, are not the crazies you make us out to be.
          Water over the dam.
          Pritchard calls for there to be a public policy discussion in this regard.
          Same as Minsky in w.p. No. 127.
          So, now, how will NC help us all have that discussion?
          Because it WILL be had.
          Because it’s OUR money system.
          And we NEED your help.

    2. Banger

      Everyone should make themselves familiar with Upton Sinclair–thanks for reminding us. Great prose always provides inspiration and real dividends. Also, don’t cut yourself short. It was possible in those days to achieve clarity–very hard today–we live in a Harry Potter world of spells being hurled back and forth–very hard to think clearly. A few years ago, looking through my fathers effects I ran a cross some stuff I had written in my youth–well-written and fairly–not that I was “right” but… you know….like….whatever.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson



        I swear, when I was 18, I knew everything, and was damned sure of it. Every year since then, it has gradually been revealed to me exactly how little I know.

        Now, I’m not sure of anything, except that I’m not sure of anything.

        ; )

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      13 is a very unlucky number. He probably wouldn’t have died if they had kept it up.

    2. Banger

      Indeed, how can anyone comment other than say that the police state just keeps on coming–that’s what most people seem to want.

  19. abynormal
    “As the hunger epidemic has spread, people higher and higher up the economic ladder have begun to feel its effects, too. The emergency food assistance network Feeding America reports that 27 percent of those suffering from food insecurity aren’t eligible for food stamps, because their incomes are too high. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of food stamp recipients with PhDs tripled. And according to a recent survey of 600,000 Feeding America clients, roughly 10 percent of the non-profit’s adult client base are current students.”
    “The truth is, this country is creating multi-billionaires through appalling acts of mass deprivation and larceny. Inequality is a structural problem, but hunger is a [Violent] crime.”

    1. TedWa

      Too funny, he ate too much to get out of the hole he dug. Thanks for that, nice to see nice people doing the right thing for those less fortunate.

  20. bruno marr

    RE: Summer from Hell

    Marty Kaplan can’t distinguish a natural occurrence (Napa earthquake) from pure, human-created hell (Israeli bombardment of civilians). What is Hell going to look like when western media has to admit that Russia (Putin) had nothing to do with MH17 disaster?

    1. abynormal

      looking forward (with dread n horror) to following this project…Appreciate Link

      “Whether homicide, suicide or accident, every four hours a child’s life was taken by a bullet during the 11-year period from 2002 to 2012. That’s the equivalent of the Sandy Hook massacre every three days.”

  21. Vatch

    “38 maps that explain the global economy”: Map 29, showing the global distribution of billionaires’ wealth, answers a question I had about Spain and Mexico recently, in Although Spain has 23 billionaires, and Mexico only has 15, since Mexico’s richest man has 20 billion more dollars than Spain’s richest man, was Spain really “reconquering” Mexico? The map shows that the Mexican billionaires have $149,5 billion, and the Spanish billionaires have $99.5 billion. No reconquest; there’s just a sharing of serfs and property by the plutocrats.

  22. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    “Michael Brown Audio Aired By CNN Authenticated”

    I tried to only listen to the recordings of the gun shots, but the exchange that follows in the related news segment is very interesting (once again, perception/personal context being key).

    For those who listen to the recording, now that it has been authenticated, what, if anything, does it lead you to believe.

    I’ll say what I think, after anyone else wants to chime in.

    1. MtnLife

      The audio expert calls it 6 shots followed by 4. Brown was shot 6 times from the front so at least 2 of those first 6 hit. I’m going to go further and say the 4 wounds (actually more, they don’t seem to count the graze wounds plus exit/reentry) on his right arm (possibly pectoral wound too) came from that first volley given clustering and the reports of a struggle. The cop then stepped out of the car and put the last set in his neck/head, the last one going through the top of his head as he dropped. That’s my best hypothesis given what we know.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        It was a lot of shooting. I think that the pause between shots was the point where the choice to continue went from being questionable to criminal (I also did not hear a warning shouted before the second series of shots). There’s still not a police report, so there’s no telling what the officer’s version of events is going to be (the longer it takes, the more questionable it will be — kind of like the black boxes from the shot-down Maylasian

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson


          Also, and outside the recording, the entire incident — regardless of the events that led to the confrontation, seems to be both reckless and overkill, by a wide margin (I don’t see that there was an imminent danger to anyone in the moments before the policeman rolled up).

  23. ewmayer

    o California Senate approves measure banning warrantless drone surveillance | Reuters — The “gigantic loophole” is strong in this one:

    Other public agencies would be able to use drones, or contract for their use, to achieve their “core mission,” so long as that mission is not to gather criminal intelligence.

    So now we just continually (and nontransparently) expand the “core mission” of our various public agencies who quickly find 24/7 drone-flying to be “an indispensible public service/safety tool” and thus by accident also “gather criminal intelligence” which we of course would be foolish not to act on. Problem solved!

    o Insurers pay more tax on executive compensation under Obamacare: study | Reuters — Ah, so Obamacare is really about “making the tax system more progressive”. Gotcha. I feel much better about the crapification of the “health insurance” part of it, now.

    And on a lighter note:

    o Hello Kitty is Not a Cat | — A purrr-fectly shocking revelation! The pointy ears and whiskers would, however, beg to differ.

        1. abynormal

          i owe you…been looking around but can’t find english reporting. kinda looks like birthday candles but my gut knows better

  24. elbridge

    The Matterhorn Interview – Video interview with Ambrose Evan-Pritchard
    Pritchard: “We’re stuck in some kind of bad equilibrium…. ” ……..endorses “the Chicago Plan.”
    So we have Evan-Pritchard, also the Financial Times’ Martin Wolfe, and also former top financial regulator in the UK, Turner, all endorsing the Chicago Plan public money concept, this ‘public money’ being the monetary platform of the Green Party USA..
    But we progs on NC do not endorse it……..why?

    Whenever you’re ready.
    We’re ready.

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