Links 9/13/14

HR Sends Out Reminder Email About Not Scrawling ‘Revenge’ In Blood In Conference Room Onion (Li)

Brain Trauma to Affect One in Three Players, N.F.L. Agrees New York Times. Three concussions or more lead to cognitive impairment. Oh, and after the well-known sinner of boxing, the next on the list of sports that mess up your brain is soccer. Heading the ball also produces swelling of the brain, albeit not as bad as a concussion, but heading the ball is done frequently and casually in soccer. Soccer moms should be vigilant and they aren’t.

Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas Slate. A positive development. Time for funding for new ventures to move into other arenas besides that related to computers and communications technology.

Comment: Outrage as EU blocks democratic challenge to US trade deal (gonzomarx)


Investors pull £17bn from UK as banks ratchet up Scottish independence pressure Telegraph

Polls: Scottish Vote Too Close to Call Wall Street Journal

Scottish referendum: The issues that may decide it/a> CBC

Here Is The Complete List Of Companies Planning To Leave Scotland If It Goes Independent Business Insider

Why Scotland Should Vote Yes Jacobin


Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories Guardian (Lance N)

Gaza and the threat of world war Asia Times


US, EU levy sanctions on Russia despite cease-fire U.S. News

Sanctions Launched to Staunch Russian Involvement in Ukraine Truthdig

Energy slides after Russia sanctions Financial Times

What impact could this round of Russian retaliatory sanctions have on Europe? Open Europe

Ukraine to Delay Part of EU Pact Opposed by Russia Wall Street Journal

Ukraine President Says No Military Solution To Crisis, May Need To Decentralize Power
DSWright, Firedoglake


ISIS Strikes Deal With Moderate Syrian Rebels: Reports Huffington Post

Ex-NSA chief: Airstrikes like ‘casual sex’ The Hill

Nations Trying to Stop Their Citizens From Going to Middle East to Fight for ISIS

Some Links On That “War On ISIS” Moon of Alabama New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Murky World of Third Party Web Tracking MIT Technology Review (David L)

Key hits back at Greenwald’s claims of mass surveillance 3News. Richard Smith: “Obviously, it *is* Greenwald and Dotcom in cahoots. If GG is on form this will be as embarrassing for the New Zealand government as his other Snowden stuff was for other governments.”

Elizabeth Warren the message machine Politico

Teenager offers creative solution to California drought ABC7 (EM)

Illinois sheriff admits misconduct in cyber stalking case, resigns Reuters (EM)

New York Times visits Youngstown, discovers huge and nonexistent transformation Dan Fejes

Judge awards $4.4 million to lawyers in Arizona racial profiling case Reuters (EM)

How ‘Keynes’ Became a Dirty Word Bloomberg

Whither Fed?

The 10-Year Yield Climbs a Bit: Whussup with That? Jared Bernstein

Global banks retreat as the US and China tighten in lockstep Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Federal Reserve Creates Financial Stability Committee Wall Street Journal. Our tweet: “Rather than do something about asset bubbles, Fed forms committee to watch them.” Comment via e-mail from someone who knows Yellen personally: “It means they are going to continue with low rate policies and wish to be seen to be watchful, as bubbles build.”

Class Warfare

Fed economists: America’s missing workers are not coming back Washington Post

America’s Poor, Deeper in Debt Than Ever Bloomberg

Contingency Plans Jacobin

100 Best Novels, in Translation, Since 1900 CounterPunch

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

links polar bear mother snuggles baby

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ben Johannson

    Re the Fed financial stability committee:

    Yellen doesn’t give a bit of credence to Minsky’s work. If she did the Fed would be searching for ways to buffer our economy to weather financial cycles rather than wasting its time on the folly of ensuring “stability”. Ways like the Jobs Guarantee and possibly an additional income guarantee.

    1. elbridge

      That the Fed were watching the causes of financial and economic instability, it would be looking in the mirror, directly at the federal reserve banking system, puzzled.
      What’s wrong with this picture?
      Could it possibly be our system of money?

      The ‘instability’ effects in all cases are dependent upon the ‘pro-cyclicality’ causes therefor.
      The private money and banking system’s inherent pro-cyclicality provided Fisher’s Number One rationale for ending fractional reserve banking, a position much later supported by Minsky based on his deeper understandings of how 100 Percent Money would actually work to restore “systemic” stability.
      And it is for exactly the same reasons as Fisher that Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf called for ending fractional reserve banking, and why Ambrose Evans-Pritchard called for the ‘radical’ Chicago Plan proposal of the IMF to be on the table.
      The issuance of money without debt, money that once created would remain permanently in existence, would provide the stability needed to achieve our growth potential without inflation or deflation.

  2. abynormal

    John Pilger Asian Times piece cements sadistic power.
    “Why must we live in this state of perpetual war?
    The immediate answer lies in the United States, where a secret and unreported coup has taken place. A group known as the Project for a New American Century, the inspiration of Dick Cheney and others, came to power with the administration of George W Bush. Once known in Washington as the “crazies”, this extreme sect believes in what the US Space Command calls “full spectrum dominance”.
    Under both Bush and Obama, a19th-century imperial mentality has infused all departments of state. Raw militarism is ascendant; diplomacy is redundant. Nations and governments are judged as useful or expendable: to be bribed or threatened or “sanctioned”.
    On July 31, the National Defense Panel in Washington published a remarkable document that called for the United States to prepare to *fight six major wars simultaneously*. At the top of the list were Russia and China – nuclear powers.”

    like i can now ‘Lease’ a new iPhone so like none of this like really effects me ya know….

    1. Banger

      And they are fighting wars and instigating conflicts for no reason other than establish a dominator state. What is the nature of this Imperial State that enforces rigid hierarchies and class structures, i.e., neo-feudalism. Why? Because the neocons and their increasing ranks of supporters among the ruling elites want to be able to have complete “freedom” to do whatever they want–whatever their whim dictates. If they want to make their castles a fantasy world out of the Marquis de Sade they will without consequence. Their world is the world depicted, as I frequently mention, by Stanley Kubrick in the movie Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick warned us that this is what the world is becoming and may already be.

      We can dither here on what the Fed will do and unemployment rates and interest rates and all the trivia of “economics” (a bogus discipline) and it is certainly interesting and does point, ultimately and obscurely to precisely what you are pointing at today–but we need to get to the meat of it–we are, unless we act emphatically in our lives, going to inhabit Hell in short order. Some years ago I was fascinated by the work of M. Scott Peck particularly his book The People of the Lie where he goes into the problem of evil and describes it very well. The neocons and their acolytes (humanitarian interventionists) are examples of evil which fits rather neatly into his definitions. As an aside, I’ve encountered both types of people in my life and they are evil by Peck’s definition.

    2. Eeyores enigma

      Pilger is wrong!

      It’s all Obama. He is the one steering the country to total chaos and all we need to do is get someone else in the position of POTUS and things will be ok.

      1. abynormal

        he’s not that smart nor original and awarding the idiot unmerited recognition is why the next POTUS will be more an idiot than previous idiots!

        1. diptherio

          There was a short-lived movement to add a sarcasm punctuation mark (did I read that here?). It was going to be this: ¡

          I know that looks like a lowercase “i”, but it’s actually an inverted exclamation point. I was going to suggest we start using it, but now that I see what it looks like on the screen, I’m not so sure…

    3. dearieme

      “Under both Bush and Obama, a19th-century imperial mentality has infused all departments of state. Raw militarism is ascendant”: which 19th century Empire was remotely as war-happy as the present USA? I can’t think of one off-hand. Not even a fast-expanding Russia.

  3. Jim Haygood

    MDV, comrades: has your planet got it? It’s Multi-Decadal Variability, and it could be serious:

    European Joint Research Center researchers analyzed surface temperature records going back to 1850 to “separate natural variations from secular” ones.

    Scientists discovered three hiatus periods in the temperature records — 1878 to 1907, 1945 to 1969 and 2001 to today — and concluded that these “hiatus periods coincide with natural cooling phases – the multidecadal variability (MDV), most likely caused by natural oceanic oscillations.”

    “The scientists therefore conclude that the MDV is the main cause of these hiatus periods during which global warming decelerated,” according to JRC.


    Ah … this is the familiar ground of TA (Technical Analysis). Just as the S&P has entered into a minor-degree Wave IV flat correction, so global temperature seems to have hit a Fibonacci resistance, and is consolidating before its next impulse wave rally.

    But in both cases, a lower-probability outcome obtains: a crash. Meaning, in the case of climate, a fresh ice age.

    Boomers probably will skate through to their heavenly reward before the Hudson either freezes over permanently, or else ends up lined with palm trees on the balmy Jersey City coast. Still, it’s something to think about. Got firewood?

    1. JL Furtif

      Please remember that over 90% of the stored energy goes into warming the (deep) ocean, and about 7% goes to melting some ice in Greenland, Antarctica or otehr mountain glaciers.
      So everything you read about surface temperatures going up or down or pausing (NOT), only relates to about 3% of the energy. The 97% will definitely come back to haunt us.
      Case in point. El Niño/La Nina are ocean-wide “sloshing events”. During the last serious El Niño event (1998), not only got the world quite hot (allowing the more stupid among us to scream for more than ten years that warming had stopped), but about 25% of the world coral reefs just disappeared. Just imagine a long hot summer at the end of which no Amazon rainforest remains. Now wake up and realize that that already did happen in 1998.

      1. Banger

        Amen and keep commenting. Climate science is a difficult field for so many reasons–but one of them is that it deals with a complex system which I consider about as close to being “alive” as it could be. As someone who studied systems analysis, I’m stunned by the fundamental inability of the vast majority of educated people to use those insights as well as the insights of non-linear change, complexity, catastrophe, and chaos theory to begin to grasp the kind of danger we are in. Collectively we just don’t want to look–we live in an age of moral and physical cowardice so that’s no surprise. This phenomenon of not wanting to see the obvious no matter how stunningly obvious it is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

        1. MikeNY

          It is difficult, and not being expert in chaos theory and such, it makes my head hurt. I believe it on the authority of so many people who do seem to understand the math, but also from a gut feeling that decades of pumping gases into the atmosphere must have *some* effect on it.

          1. frosty zoom

            you have a room with 1000 plants and 1 candle.

            every hour take away one plant and add a candle.

            rinse and repeat. toasty and warm.

            and to those who say, “it’s just the wobbly sun”: forgeteth not that oil et al. is stinky old sunshine, too, so we get double sun”shine” when we set it free.

            1. ex-PFC Chuck

              One of the less remembered travesties of the Bush 43 administration is the cancellation of the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. By being positioned at the L1 LaGrange point it would be able to measure both the solar energy being radiated from the Sun to the Earth as well as that reflected and radiated back from the Earth, thus enabling the calculation of the net energy being absorbed by our planet. The finance-energy cabal no doubt didn’t want a powerful new form of evidence of the downside effects of burning fossil fuels just as they were plotting to throw down multi-billion dollar bets on fracking, but they also couldn’t resist the temptation to put a finger in Al Gore’s eye, the satellite’s most vocal promoter.


          Banger you’re right about the complexity and like my father the theoretical mathematician overlook the simple arithmetic: too many people too much stress on planet, society and other things collapse. Even a kid can figure it out. Dad’s reaction? That’s MERE reckoning!

      1. Jim Haygood

        This could be correct. Water indeed has a lot of specific heat; that’s why it’s such a great coolant.

        But just as we are nowhere close to modeling supply and demand accurately enough to forecast stock, bond and house prices, climate models come nowhere close to succeeding at short-term forecasting. Whether they have long-term forecasting validity remains to be seen.

        Momentum is well-documented in financial markets, which in turn resemble ‘fat-tailed’ natural processes such as floods. If temperature is going up, the best prediction is that it will carry on rising. But climate mo-mo-ers will never catch turning points. Mo-mo don’t work for that.

        1. wbgonne

          “This could be correct. ”

          That’s what the science indicates. If you have contrary peer-reviewed science please link to it.

          It is a mistake, IMO, to compare economic forecasts with natural science. Economics is human-based, while science is external reality. The AGW phenomenon is perfectly clear: more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap more heat. It is quite simple. How that extra heat is distributed around the earth is a complex matter but one thing is certain: the planet is getting hotter. If the models are correct, at some point soon there will be a spike in surface temperatures because the oceans will stop absorbing all the heat. It has nothing to do with “momentum.” It is science.

            1. Karl

              Scientific knowledge does change from being more specific to more general over time with the accumulation of data. The specific knowledge that certain gases trap the Sun’s energy will always be true. There may be unknown dynamics that counteract this warming, but only fools would rely on unknowns to make a dangerous path safe.

            2. wbgonne

              “Because as we all know, scientific conclusions never change.”

              As Karl notes, some do, some don’t. The law of gravity, for example, doesn’t change. The principle that greenhouse gases trap atmospheric heat won’t change. Nevertheless, the implications of the scientific principles — the application of those principles to real-world conditions — are often revised based upon new data. And when it comes to AGW, almost every revision has been for the worse, likely because climate scientists are hounded, abused and vilified by Big Oil’s minions into being overly cautious.

              Science is not opinion. It is not religion. It is the rational basis for an enlightened society. When you choose to ignore science, you have returned to the Dark Ages, just like the Islamic fanatics. Unfortunately for everyone except the plutocrats, our national policies are predicated upon just such denial.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Sometimes, only a tyrant can free the prisoners he locks up (only he knows the combination) or a spell can be undone by the magician who casts it.

                Perhaps the problem caused by science can only be undone by science.

                For my money, it’s EZ to choose between Less Feeling or Great Waste – the answer is neither. There are many ancient teachings predating science inspire us to care for Nature and not waste resources but to live a simple life.

            3. optimader

              Science strictly speaking never has conclusions, it has theories that , as Karl alludes to, are refined.
              Economics and science are not analogous (file under: Taleb, Black Swan, Fooled by randomness). Economics is not necessarily rational, Science is

              1. cwaltz

                Considering that there are scientists out there that are paid to start from a conclusion and work their way back I’d argue that the practice of science is not always rational either. Anything involving humanity, who trends toward self serving behavior, is going to be hard pressed to be called rational at all times, whether it be the practice of science or economy.

                  1. cwaltz

                    I tend to be a bit of a cynic. I don’t think you can separate humanity from self interest so you’ll always have portions of people doing the right or wrong thing for the wrong reasons whichever subject they may practice. I do confess though that I do sometimes wish we could take the economic interest out of things. It’s sad when people get hurt because people who practice science want a particular outcome and suppress anything that indicates otherwise(I’m thinking of Big Tobacco rather than Big Oil while typing this.)

                  2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    ‘If you don’t behave, you can’t have the toy (to beat up on other kids).’

                    As science projects get more and more expensive, only the rich can afford them (directly or, through captured government, indirectly).

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    And when not rational humans breed with rational science, the offspring can doom Nature.

                    Some sort of quarantine might be needed…unless humans become wiser.

          1. cwaltz

            Uh- science is also to some extent human based. Particularly, in the case of global warming. There are factors involved with calculating what will happen that are based on humans and our potentiating what is happening on the planet. The reality is the economic models that economists put out and the models that scientists put out to project are not set in stone. They calculate by past behavior and by inputting factors that are variable. While I understand that the largest greenhouse gas-water vapor- is not something that humans directly impact, the indirect impact definitely is something scientists track.

            1. wbgonne

              Human beings put the GHGs in the atmosphere. Science does the rest. If we stop burning fossil fuels we will slow AGW. If we don’t, AGW will worsen. It really isn’t that complicated. There’s no mystery.

              1. cwaltz

                We definitely are a variable in global warming, how much of one is the part that is open for debate and why it is so hard to say x is going to happen by y . That being said, the planet once warmed itself up to support life after an ice age so that supports that some of what we do (or don’t do) may end up not changing the outcome dramatically. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t stop hurting the planet for the sake of doing the right thing.

                1. wbgonne

                  In that instance, yes, because I was responding to a question that questioned the human component and I was crudely distinguishing those things under human control — how much GHG we put into the atmosphere — versus things beyond human control, such as science and natural forces. How that is “telling” eludes me but, frankly, I find discussions with AGW deniers profoundly depressing so I’ll just choogle on out.

    2. afisher

      Meanwhile back in reality land – most are missing the Icelandic Volcano activity that has been ongoing for >2 weeks. The current height of the extrusion / spatter cones have grown to 70 meters (about 3/4 the height of the Statue of Liberty. There are daily updates by a blogger who lives in Iceland over at DKos ( Rei) – she is worth following if you want daily updates / great pictures. For watching: and there is a second cam – click on next arrow… How about a blog:

      The 2 written accounts contain links to official info sites. It really is amazing stuff these folks are writing about.

      1. Banger

        We’re scared?

        As I said in another comment–we live in the age of moral and physical cowardice and as such die a thousand deaths—multiplied by the vast majority of Americans that is a awesome bit of genocide!

        1. davidgmills

          Banger: I know we have crossed paths before. Can’t remember which website — probably one that one or both of us was banned from. Anyway good job on the 9/11 stuff. We got our shots in. Can’t do much with those who continue to put their heads in the sand.

          1. optimader

            You got your shots in, just too bad they make no sense.
            That aside, it would be interesting to read, in broad brush strokes, your scenario for how the explosive demolition of the three buildings (four including the Pentagon?) would have been organized, rigged and executed in 24/7 occupied buildings.
            How many demo experts would be required for such an undertaking? Gross estimate of mandays??
            How much explosive and separate charges, how many miles of det cord, how was it all stealthfully put in place and wired, removed drywall at night installed and reinstalled/mudded and painted before the morning type As showed up to work at 6am?? Where possibly was the detonation board where what must have been horsedick thick bundle of cable terminated? Who do we think was the project manager as it were that got all this contrivance together?

            As well, what was the point of hijacking commercial jets and flying them into the buildings if they were all wired be taken down??
            BTW, how about the Pentagon, was that wired for demo too? By whom?

            We must agree that it would be a huge undertaking, no? Organized by..???

            1. Banger

              How all this happened is not the critical issue–we have to deal with the evidence we have not wallow in speculation. The chief fact is that the government obstructed justice and did not investigate the events using forensic evidence. We have to agree that the government used the stupid “war” argument to circumvent normal procedures fo investigating building collapses and airplane crashes as well as a criminal act.

              1. alex morfesis

                the reality ignorers of 911 do need some details…to at least shake them out of their computer screen induced autism like misdirection of attention.

                The pentagon section that was blown up was mostly empty as that part of the building was being repaired…and the tiny tiny hole that manifested into a collapse of the section was probably induced by too much water being poured on the small fire by the brilliant men in red who somehow did not trip over any major airplane parts while getting to the outer wall (must have been some type of super secret disintegrator ray…hey that explains all those lost billions spent by California MIC enterprises).

                As to WTC start with Magic Plumbing and Heating Inc. on 93rd Street in Brooklyn and follow up with Sakher ‘Rocky’ Hammad and what appears to be an American Father that was there and then was gone.

                Then fill in a little with… Tennessee driver’s license examiner Katherine Smith died Sunday in a fiery car crash, a day before she was to appear in court.

                Now if you bother to get some data on the cars owned by Rocky and his family, you might have noticed that the cars were purchased in the Chicago, Illinois area…from a car dealership that many would find…its just confusing how all those wonderful saudis must be giving tithes to a certain mullah… I am sure its all just a strange set of coincidences…and one does not have to wire an entire building to bring it crashing down…last time I checked war footage…dropping a bomb in the right spot almost always does the trick. The WTC was built on the cheap in the middle of a massive real estate downturn. There were design flaws and the New York City Building Department Inspectors were denied full access to the construction of the buildings and when they attempted to complain, they were all fired under some NYT and Village Voice make believe “bribery” scandal…now since they all chose to accept the offer of resignation, somehow the evidence just was not there and the charges were withdrawn…

                actually…its late…it dont matter…most dont care enough to think so why waste energy on those who refuse to accept the obvious since it might interfere with dead space between the ears…

                the facts of these disasters always are left as little crumbs to scare the curious and induce the capable into some sad acceptance of the ultimate power of the pharaoh and the pyramids…(those are greek words so who knows what the egyptian actually called them…)

                the idea is to scare the aware into doing nothing…

                you don’t really want to believe me do you…

                I am sure there is some trade magazine somewhere…that will explain for you the steel reinforced asphalt in oklahoma city…what you didn’t notice the special steel reinforced asphalt where the truck we are told, was parked…????

                you do remember oklahoma city right…all those tin foil hat types who ignored the most obvious clue…the steel reinforced asphalt…it must be true…maybe it was some special batch…experimental batch made by one of those California MIC firms…what you didn’t notice…the asphalt under the truck…the noise maker didn’t leave a crater…but hey…to the victor go the history books…its been that way for over two million sunsets…as abe probably meant to say…ya only gotta fool enough of the voting public for one day every four years to let them feel good about this “participatory” democracy thing…

                that participatory thing…those folks in HK are not too happy they have to have the political bosses decide which candidate they get to choose…those things have no negative results right…certainly not when it happens in america…

                Madoffs all time high was on March 10, 2000 (you do realize that Nasdaq is really the Madoff trading system right…they did teach you that in high school)…what happened on March 9, 2000 ??? we ended up with the dumb and dumber as the “proscribed” candidates…because…

                “After what must have been a painful appraisal Wednesday, Mr. Bradley decided that it was in his best interest to end his campaign. This is a conclusion that Republican Sen. John McCain may soon have to face. The cause of political reform will suffer a setback when both men withdraw.”


                ok go back to sleep…the scary reality accepter boogie man is going away now…

            2. ogee

              Actually Opti,
              The figuring out and proving who did it is one question. The figuring out the how is another.
              The scientific working hypothesis is just grappling with “what” brought those buildings down.
              The idea that every conceivable facet of the story must be proven before anything can be known is a fools way of thinking, or hiding from thought, as it were.
              Seeing how events fit into what is possible with any and all known physical realities, is what a scientific inquiry is for. The group architects and engineers are working on this. A prosecutor would need these other answers before any prosecution could take place, but that is irrelevant to the initial inquiry.
              You are asking for answers to questions that are irrelevant at this time.
              After the fact that people realize the towers were demolished, then we all know who is responsible, in general. Meaning the people who chose not to investigate the original crime. While we know dick cheney didn’t don a work uniform and wire anything, the orders to proceed without any standard controls must have come from the top. That is how things work. We know bush and Obama are not willing to do their jobs. They choose to ignore the fact that in the universe we live in, three buildings will not just fall down symmetrically, on the same day… when it has never happened before or since. And there have been similar buildings with greater fires that this did not happen to. and I would wonder where the engineers who advise the insurance industry come down on whether to assume that now, high-rise buildings may just fall down because of a fire.I have heard of no change in policies, based on science, they merely protect themselves to say they are protected from terrorist attacks.
              And a guess as to how, there is the design of the space around the elevator shafts giving access to many of the interior structural columns. And an anecdotal story I would be curious to know the veracity of from a friend who would get coffe in the towers every morning who said that many of the upper floors were closed the week before 9-11 for wiring work…. but that is a rumor…. anyone else remember anything like that? or not?…..
              But I knew someone whose crew put the glass on the top 13 stories of one of the towers when it was built, and there are lots of spaces in that building, the public would never see.
              But really you need to stop asking the wrong questions and concern yourself with the important ones first.

      2. abynormal

        my exact sentiment Dip!

        abynormal September 13, 2014 at *3:09 am
        3 Grenade Launchers …to subdued or kill 1 or 2 armed and dangerous students?
        “The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornadoes in order to blow out a match.” Shaun Hick

        1. optimader

          Grenade launchers! Times they be a chang’in, we only had archery in gym class. Man would my old H.S. grounds-keeper be pissed about the divots.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                When all children belong to the state, we will be there.

                Or maybe we are already there. News travels a bit slow here.

            1. optimader

              “Are we aiming to become another Sparta”
              That would require a bit of reframing of the sexual predator laws.

  4. Banger

    While looking at the WaPost’s story on labor-force participation rates and their long term trends (nothing new there) I saw another story called Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today” by Valerie Strauss. Why is this important? Because it strikes at the heart of our assumptions about education and society.

    One of my pet peeves has been the nature of American education. I raised four kids, mainly, in superior school systems (I chose to live where I did, mainly where I thought my kids would get the best education) and I was struck by the fact that what I knew to be the case in developmental psychology, cognitive science and so on seemed to play little role in the educational system and classroom instruction. The cited article talks about the increase in ADD/ADHD and other problems that may be a result of educational practices themselves.

    The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters are a thing of the past. Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Lets face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem.

    Plato emphasized storytelling, games, dancing, and physical activity as essential to childhood development and not begin the three Rs until age ten. But Plato was interested in education not what today passes for “education.” Children fidget today because they are trying to move as they should and this should be obvious but isn’t. Why are we doing this sort of education? I don’t think the educatore are very interested in human development–they are interested in turning out subjects of the State. Yes, teachers usually care about the children under their care but they themselves are stuck in a highly regimented and fascistic hierarchy that they can do nothing about–their input is not wanted.

    …many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement. In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time.

    Hmmm–this is what you want for your children?

    Children are going to class with bodies that are less prepared to learn than ever before. With sensory systems not quite working right, they are asked to sit and pay attention. Children naturally start fidgeting in order to get the movement their body so desperately needs and is not getting enough of to “turn their brain on.” What happens when the children start fidgeting? We ask them to sit still and pay attention; therefore, their brain goes back to “sleep.”

    What is the point here? Maybe, just maybe, we want those brains turned off–this should be obvious. We have prepared these children to be, for the most part, dependent, weak, passive, obedient, repressed, easily manipulated (remember we give these children drugs to moderate their behavior), resentful, and compliant. I rarely meet younger people today who feel they enjoyed school. We want compliant children not educated ones. And this extends to the rest of society and we need to understand here what is happening. The inverted totalitarian system that Chris Hedges (influenced by Sheldon Wolin) describes so well is the reality we live in and which the educational system seeks to prepare children for.

    This is intolerable–and at some point we have to make a decision in our lives and say “no!” to this system. It is anti-humanist, anti-spiritual, anti-joy. Maybe the labor force participation rate is going down because more people are realizing that making the effort to humiliate yourself in front of your masters in begging them for a job so you can be treated like crap and further humiliated may not be worth it. Maybe it is better to be on the hustle or on the street or in jail even.

    What kind of world are we building? Why aren’t we asking the deep question we must ask? If we want to educate our children we need to ask these questions because the State will twist them into mishapen human beings huddled over electronic devices where the virtual world seems more rewarding than the meat world. I recommend reading Shelley Turkle on this subject.

      1. Jagger

        I always thought anxiety and sleep problems were associated with pre-alzheimers. So when it comes to the anxiety/sleep meds, are we talking correlation or causality? Because correlation does not necessarily imply causality. Just wondering.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I have long wondered about the spike in Alzheimers. It has to have a significant environmental component.

        Even in ancient societies, there were always some people who lived into their 80s and 90s. My father did a genealogy, and everyone in his family in the 1700s lived into their 80s.

        Yet nowhere in literature do you see descriptions of old age that resemble Alzheimers, with its distinctive feature not just of loss of memory (senility) but erasure of personality. This is a distinct, modern disease, and its emergence is not being treated as novel.

        1. trish

          I agree. there has to have a significant environmental component.
          Inflammation is a feature in Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative diseases (not to mention autoimmune disorders which seem on the rise as well). environmental estrogens have to play some role- estrogen-mimicking pesticides, plastics, etc…and then of course the the neurotoxic pesticides …the ones likely harming our pollinators and other organisms along with us. You simply can’t dump this much sh*t in the environment without causing harm.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It sounds like our schools are like prisons…physical prisons and mental prisons.

      “Always be prepared!”

      1. trish

        well, and they’re good enough for nearly a million black men. and they earn a nice profit for the corporations running the prisons. in many cases a good guaranteed occupancy, rate to boot.

        A start perhaps on any necessary “containment” of any disorder and disruption from a “people’s revolution?” from the Jacobin article above, so I guess I’m a bit off topic here…but “cages” made me think of this unbelievable thesis “plan”…anyway, from that piece:
        “What are the yardsticks for collecting, evacuating, and interning either militant or pacifistic minority groups; or dissident, potentially disloyal elements; or law-abiding citizens whose only offense is accident of color? Where would the internees be kept?” That was from the 70’s. Seems pretty pertinent today.

  5. diptherio

    Re: Companies leaving Scotland.

    A bunch of banks…boo hoo for Scotland, huh? I guess the next time the banksters run their institutions into the dirt, Scotland won’t have to worry about whether or not to bail them out. Who isn’t saying “good riddance”?

    As for all the other scaremongering I’ve got one word: extortion. That’s all it is, pure and simple, extortion

      1. Carla

        Re: Scottish referendum:

        “US citizens have no counterpart. On big questions — going to war, entering international trade agreements, amending the constitution — citizens have no direct role. ‘Executives,’ ‘Representatives’ and ‘Courts’ have all the authority. No provision exists in the US Constitution for direct democracy on issues…So much for the US being the ‘greatest democracy in the world.’”

    1. Fíréan

      Re Banks leaving Scotland.
      Alex Salmond explains, in this video recorded Q&A, the technicality of any bank moving their respective registered head office from Scotland to a location within England ( or elsewhere), and that contrary to media reports at least one of the banks said to be considering moving the head office is already located in London.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If only there had been more antebellum banks in the South, so they could threaten to leave, so many lives could have been saved…

      Moral lesson du jour: More banks, more non-violent ways to maintain ‘peace*.’ (sarcasm, don’t shoot the messenger, the joke delivery man, a free-lancing one at that, probably mis-classified one, but don’t tell the IRS).

      *It is not profitable to shoot serfs. On the other hand, free roaming hunter-gathering barbarians (not civilized by debt, grain diet, sedentary lifestyle and brainwashing) – they must be dealt with by force.

  6. diptherio

    For your edification:

    Building Cooperative Power: Stories and strategies from the Connecticut River Valley ~new book from Levellers Press.

    Building Co-operative Power introduces the history and concept of worker co-operation and relays past and present stories of worker co-operatives in the Connecticut River Valley. It offers practical insights on co-op governance, management, communication and conflict highlighted by cautionary tales and sagas of personal transformation of current and former co-operators. It addresses obstacles and opportunities for building a co-operative economy and making worker co-operatives an increasingly important part of the U.S. economy. The authors outline a regional vision based on strategies of worker co-operatives in the Connecticut River Valley as a guide and inspiration for co-operative development in any region.

    You can read the introduction here.

    A Practical Utopians Guide to the Coming Collapse ~David Graeber

    If, on the other hand, we stop taking world leaders at their word and instead think of neoliberalism as a political project, it suddenly looks spectacularly effective. The politicians, CEOs, trade bureaucrats, and so forth who regularly meet at summits like Davos or the G20 may have done a miserable job in creating a world capitalist economy that meets the needs of a majority of the world’s inhabitants (let alone produces hope, happiness, security, or meaning), but they have succeeded magnificently in convincing the world that capitalism—and not just capitalism, but exactly the financialized, semifeudal capitalism we happen to have right now—is the only viable economic system. If you think about it, this is a remarkable accomplishment.

    How did they pull it off? The preemptive attitude toward social movements is clearly a part of it; under no conditions can alternatives, or anyone proposing alternatives, be seen to experience success. This helps explain the almost unimaginable investment in “security systems” of one sort or another: the fact that the United States, which lacks any major rival, spends more on its military and intelligence than it did during the Cold War, along with the almost dazzling accumulation of private security agencies, intelligence agencies, militarized police, guards, and mercenaries. Then there are the propaganda organs, including a massive media industry that did not even exist before the sixties, celebrating police. Mostly these systems do not so much attack dissidents directly as contribute to a pervasive climate of fear, jingoistic conformity, life insecurity, and simple despair that makes any thought of changing the world seem an idle fantasy. Yet these security systems are also extremely expensive. Some economists estimate that a quarter of the American population is now engaged in “guard labor” of one sort or another—defending property, supervising work, or otherwise keeping their fellow Americans in line. Economically, most of this disciplinary apparatus is pure deadweight.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Then there are the propaganda organs, including a massive media industry that did not even exist before the sixties.’

      John Pilger’s essay in the Asia Times, linked above, touches on this theme:

      ‘The jargon is “controlling the narrative”. In his seminal Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said was more explicit: the Western media machine was now capable of penetrating deep into the consciousness of much of humanity with a “wiring” as influential as that of the imperial navies of the 19th century. Gunboat journalism, in other words. Or war by media.’

      With the advent of broadcasting — cheap, universal in coverage, not requiring literacy, and appealing to emotion rather than reason — the dream of managed democracy came true. Control the official narrative, and the rubber stamp of ‘democratic’ endorsement at the polls is a piece of cake.

      Remedy? Probably to ban ownership of multiple media outlets. Let ten thousand bloggers bloom.

    2. Banger

      I just want to commend you for keeping the ideas about cooperatives in the current discourse. They, or variants thereof’ are essential to moving us a direction that is more human and less mechanical and coercive.

      Most people would not be able to go in that direction but those that recognize the blight of contemporary capitalism should look into it.

      1. diptherio

        “Most people would not be able to go in that direction…”

        I don’t know why that would be the case. I’m currently working my way through Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice and I just read that the Great Depression was the time when the most Black co-ops were formed. Hundreds, and many quite successful–you could tell the successful ones because they were generally burned down by the local racists/competing businessmen.

        There’s this myth that co-ops are for middle-class white people or hippie new-agers. Not so. Historically, it has always been the poorest and most oppressed (i.e. those for whom the present system is not working at all) that have been the biggest promoters and practitioners of cooperative economics. I’ll point you to Cooperation Jackson and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund as contemporary examples.

        1. Banger

          Most people are tied into the mistrust and alienation that capitalism breeds even when they are well disposed toward cooperatives and cooperating.

  7. Keith Howard

    The California kid’s water fence idea would be illegal in Colorado, I believe, under longstanding law. Somebody else owns the water that runs off my roof. Even a rain barrel at the roof gutter outlet is illegal. I guarantee that there are wealthy CO law firms that will fight to the death to maintain this law.

    1. John Zelnicker

      “Somebody else owns the water that runs off my roof. Even a rain barrel at the roof gutter outlet is illegal.”

      Seriously?!? WTF?!?
      I’m not doubting you, but I have never heard anything quite so outrageous.

      1. Banger

        Not exactly illegal but in some states like Colorado you need a permit to collect rainwater. Their argument is that the water is public and belongs I the water table–the reasoning is a bit bizarre but there you are.

        1. lordkoos

          I’m not sure if it is still the case (I believe it is), but for years in Seattle it has been illegal to collect rainwater.

      2. abynormal
        “It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.

        After constructing a large rainwater collection system at his new dealership to use for washing new cars, Miller found out that the project was actually an “unlawful diversion of rainwater.” Even though it makes logical conservation sense to collect rainwater for this type of use since rain is scarce in Utah, it’s still considered a violation of water rights which apparently belong exclusively to Utah’s various government bodies.

        Utah isn’t the only state with rainwater collection bans, either. Colorado and Washington also have rainwater collection restrictions that limit the free use of rainwater, but these restrictions vary among different areas of the states and legislators have passed some laws to help ease the restrictions.

        In Colorado, two new laws were recently passed that exempt certain small-scale rainwater collection systems, like the kind people might install on their homes, from collection restrictions.”

        ive heard about paid informants in OR…water bounty hunter$ (outrageous doesn’t come close)

            1. optimader

              Even Bush’s crap is classified top secret. According to our Austrian sources, Austrian newspapers are currently abuzz with special security details of George W. Bush’s recent trip to Vienna. Although the heavy-handed Gestapo-like security measures meted out to Viennese home owners, business proprietors, and pedestrians by US Secret Service agents and local police before and during Bush’s visit received widespread Austrian media attention, it was White House “toilet security” (“TOILSEC”), which has Austrians talking the most. The White House flew in a special portable toilet to Vienna for Bush’s personal use during his visit. The Bush White House is so concerned about Bush’s security, the veil of secrecy extends over the president’s bodily excretions. The special port-a-john captured Bush’s feces and urine and flew the waste material back to the United States in the event some enterprising foreign intelligence agency conducted a sewage pipe operation designed to trap and examine Bush’s waste material. One can only wonder why the White House is taking such extraordinary security measures for the presidential poop. ….

    2. Kurt Sperry

      The “water fence” is as far as i can discern nothing more than a redimensioned centuries old rainbarrel system with the marketing pizazz of a clear plastic bait and switch sales model and an “uplifting story” to add gloss (and slimy green algae by the ton if it were actually made that way) to the pitch. The “production” version would inevitably be a line of big, ugly opaque probably black or dark green petrochemical plastic water tanks plumbed in series that would do nothing tanks arrayed more conventionally would.

    3. Skeptic

      In my jurisdiction, about ten years ago, they passed a new Environment Act. All the fuzzy-wuzzies were overjoyed. Read the FINE PRINT! Under this new act, all underground resources were the property of the Government including water. Well, they have not started taxing wells———YET. They could also see the FRACKING writing on the wall.

      In this regard, in this same jurisdiction, property tax assessment is theoretically based on all the property surrounding, on and IN the home. Right now they do not tax the property IN the home but, once they get those RFID chips up and running, just wait for it. Just run by the house with a scanner and here’s your bill. Thank you.

      Every nickle and dime must be squeezed for the 1%.

    4. McMike

      Actually the water is mostly privately owned. It’s not government property, it is private property.

      Ever gallon you store is a gallon that doesn’t flow to Lake Powell, to be released for use by its “owners” (such as farmers, and citizens of nevada for their lawns and southern californa for their swimming pools).

  8. Brindle

    re: ” Outrage as Eu blocks democratic challenge….”

    “raises transnational capital to the status of the nation state itself”

    This is the goal of decades relentless neoliberalism—the dark at the end of the tunnel:

    —–That mechanism has been questioned by the German and French governments, as it effectively raises transnational capital to the status of the nation state itself. The new powers are already being used elsewhere under other treaties, as in the billion-dollar challenge being brought by Philip Morris against the Australian government for loss of profits as a result of the country’s public health requirement that all cigarettes be sold in plain packaging.—-

    1. Carolinian

      How many divisions does Monsanto have? At the end of the day it’s financial system coercion that is the only enforcement mechanism for this corporations as sovereigns nonsense. It shows why the CFR types see a multipolar world as a real threat. TINA must reign in all things money.

      1. Banger

        Of course Monsanto may not have army divisions but it has a security service and contractors who would be willing to break a few legs–it could raise, like most large corporations, a small army if it felt it needed to.

      2. Brindle

        ….”why the CFR types see a multipolar world as a real threat”…

        Why the Ukraine crisis is just a pretext for the imposition of sanctions on Russia. The Kiev coup was just the first step that allowed the economic and financial war against Russia.

  9. Eeyores enigma

    “Teenager offers creative solution to California drought ”

    So many issues with this.

    First off I personally know of several patents for water storage walls which is what a fence is. Most are for passive solar but some combine both. They have been around for 25 years or more.

    The water would need to be filtered going in treated in some way to keep bacteria from growing and filtered again when needed. In most applications this would require a pressure system.

    Water stored above ground, especially in thin tanks will become very hot, even if all white. This increases bacteria growth and makes for very unpleasant potable water applications. Hot water applications are a small fraction of the total water storage.

    Installation will be complicated and expensive (in addition to the huge expense of inefficient flat tank construction) and must be heavily reenforced with steel beams driven very deep as CA is very active seismic region.

    You could have 25% of homes in SoCal with these fences, something that could never possibly happen but lets say what if, one years worth of rain wouldn’t even compensate for one day of agricultural irrigation demand which is the real issue with the drought.

    There are a dozen other problems with this “invention” but the worst part of it is it feeds into the technocopianism that keeps people from acknowledging the problem and doing something real about it.

    As it is everyone is secretly scared $#1tless about all of the converging problems facing mankind but they mindlessly, blindly pray for a new Bill Gates to arise from the basement of his parents house with the latest technology that will save us all from the brink of disaster and make us all rich at the same time.

    1. Antifa

      Excellent points.

      It’s a legal nightmare scenario as well. Building codes typically stipulate that yard fencing sits a few inches in from your actual property line. Yard fences are usually shared between yards — typically one homeowner will build a pretty fence, just within their property lines, and they own it thereafter. Their neighbors on three sides get to enjoy the back side of the fence, like it or not. Or they can put up their own fence.

      This ‘water fence’ notion will most likely lead to multiple-ownership fences everywhere, because sharing the cost of a single, larger fence will be less, and because the alternative is for everyone to put water fences up side by side, a few inches apart, just inside their property line. How do you perform maintenance on such fences — hire four-year olds to crawl in there and patch any leaks?

      If only a single, shared fence is put up, homeowners will have to come to contract terms with different neighbors on all three sides of their property about the ownership, location, use, and water rights of such a fence. And such rights must be transferable with property sales, written into the deed like an easement. These are not simple problems, in legal or human terms. If you share a water storage system with three different neighbors, you’ll have to write into your deed three different agreements that involve the different sizes and catchment of everyone’s roofs and gutters, and agreements on how much water can be taken, and for what purposes. If just one neighbor changes their catchment size — up or down — four property deeds need to be renegotiated.

      Then you have the problems of vandalism, water theft, and the whole question of public water rights. Who owns the water that falls from the sky — the owner of the property it falls on, or the public? That’s a question guaranteed to end up in the courtroom, because whatever water you hoard from the sky is really being taken from the commons. The more homes hoard water, the less there is in the local creek, river, and reservoir. The people who depend on those public water sources will claim they are being robbed.

      For the money, it would be more efficient to set up a solar-powered system that recycles virtually all wastewater from the household back into potable water. We have the technology. It just needs to be miniaturized to fit into individual homes.

      Think ahead the twenty or so years such a fence can be expected to last in operating condition. California in 2035 — in a landscape where it no longer rains, really, recycling your urine, bathwater, and dishwater is not just viable, but necessary.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Beware of technocopians!!!

      “You’re so smart! You mean I don’t have to get off this couch and the problem will go away? Don’t turn off the AC just yet.”

  10. rich

    Billionaire Power Player List Lacks Rubenstein

    A new list assessing billionaire political power is out and it’s missing Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein. How is #12 Mark Zuckerberg more politically influential than Rubenstein, a man who’s call is taken at any time by U.S. Presidents, Cabinet members and Congressional leaders?

    Carlyle located their private equity firm in Washington, D.C. precisely for the purpose of exercising political power. After thirty years on the Potomac Carlyle is now so synonymous with dirty political water it cannot be seen.

    “Obama had reached out to the business community, they just haven’t liked all of his decisions and some of his rhetoric. But generally, I think the administration is quite open and accessible.” (David Rubenstein)

    “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” (John Kenneth Galbraith)

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”(Carl Sagan)

    It wouldn’t do to put David Rubenstein, a PEU and Brookings board member, in a poor light.

    1. optimader

      “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” (John Kenneth Galbraith)
      That would be people of privilege like….. his son Peter.

  11. Joe

    Re: Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas
    Whenever I think of Facebook, Uber, etc., this little ditty by the Rolling Stones called dirty work runs through my head:

    Living high, sitting in the sun
    Sit on your ass till your work is done
    You lazy mother, your hands are clean
    You pull the strings and you got the clout
    There’s something filthy living in your mouth
    Pushing your buttons you get away free

    You let somebody do the dirty work
    Find some loser, find some jerk
    Find some dumb ass do it all for free
    Let somebody do the dirty work
    Find some loser, find some jerk
    Find some greaseball, yeah

    It’s beginning to make me angry
    I’m beginning to hate it
    You’re a user, you’re a user
    I’m gonna shake you

    Let somebody do the dirty work
    I never see no grease on you baby
    Never roll your sleeves up, do you, never baby
    Let somebody do the dirty work
    Find some f*cker, find some jerk
    Do it all, do it all for free…

    1. abynormal

      Good One!…toe tap’n while bang’n head on desk.
      also Good to see you stomp’n around these grounds again! ‘)

  12. Doug Terpstra

    Re: ISIS, Obama Makes George W. Bush Look Like a Constitutional Scholar. (Michael Krieger)

    Quoting Bruce Ackerman in NYT: “[The-lesser-evil’s] declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.”

    Worse yet(?), it’s a feint. ISIS is a US-Saudi-Israeli Frankenstein spawn designed to serve as the latest-greatest bogeyman terrorist vehicle for full-spectrum dominance. ISIS is the excuse to provoke Russia by bombing its ally Syria. Are “serious” FP analysts blind or simply pretending not to see this?

    This is madness. It looks as if the biblical prophecy of Israel’s nuclear immolation, followed by much of the globe and dramatic global cooling, draws nigh.

    1. Banger

      Some FP people are not blind to this but they see the covert operatives that dominate the deepest parts of US policy as a natural phenomenon like rain or storms. It does not occur to them to question the policies of the Deep State because it would get them ostracize or fired at a minimum. On the other hand, many of them are so used to not seeing this force that they deny its existence–this is particularly true of journalists.

    2. Synopticist

      “Are “serious” FP analysts blind or simply pretending not to see this?”

      I don’t know any more. I used to think I understood. Why they’re not screaming from the rooftops about the utter insanity of western policy, epitomised by John Kerry asking the Egyptians for troops in Syria but refusing to invite Iran to the new anti-ISIS conference is something I can’t wise up to. Where are the so-called independent think tanks and analysists ?
      Part of the reason is that the FP establishment has been corrupted by arab oil money. In the UK it’s especially Qatari money. They’ve hired and bought the loyalty of formerly respectable institutions like Chatcham House and the Royal United Services institute, organisations which retain an aura of integrity and probity. The same is true of the Brookings institute in the US. These groups are now funded or hosted by Qatar, which means they self-censor as well as getting strong armed. Don’t underestimate the raw power of qatari money-these guys bought the world cup. But that effect isn’t enough on it’s own, even when you factor in journalists aspiring to get a tax free al jazeera job. Something else is going on.

      It didn’t used to be like this. This is new. Less than ten years.

      1. Banger

        Everything in Washington is Israeli-centered as far as policy is concerned and Israel and Saudi Arabia are now close allies.

        1. Synopticist

          Yeah, I figure everyone reading this has already factored in the Israeli and saudi influence.

          But something HAS changed in the last few years. Maybe the NSA full spectrum panapticon is another part of it, perhaps the oligarchs are leaning more heavily than they used to after getting away with looting the financial system.

      2. Eureka Springs

        New? Does Kuwait ring a twenty three year old bell… tiny country bringing us to war? And every time I see or hear the word Qatar I hear the word Exxon even louder.

        1. Synopticist

          Yes, the newness is in foreign policy experts not saying Kerry’s a frickin idiot. If Rummy had come out with the sort of sh*t “57 varieties of stupid” has been mouthing lately he’d have been utterly pilloried in the UK and in continental Europe.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Funny you mention the ‘FP establishment.’ While Commander-in-Chief George W. Obama orders limited droning, his more hawkish ex-Sec State Hillary Rodham Cheney wants ISIS to be pummeled like Gazans.

      Fourteen more years!

  13. pgrommit

    Whither the Fed, you ask? Here are 2 posts that dovetail nicely, setting the stage for the next crisis.

    1) Brian Gilmartin at Fundamentalis looked negatively at the amount of liquidity in corp. bonds.

    2) Pam Martens at Wall Street On Parade reported on the Fed’s new definition of “high quality liquid assets”:
    “The Federal regulators adopted a new rule that requires the country’s largest banks – those with $250 billion or more in total assets – to hold an increased level of newly defined “high quality liquid assets” (HQLA) in order to meet a potential run on the bank during a credit crisis. In addition to U.S. Treasury securities and other instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (agency debt), the regulators have included some dubious instruments while shunning others with a higher safety profile.

    Bizarrely, the Fed and its regulatory siblings included investment grade corporate bonds, the majority of which do not trade on an exchange, and more stunningly, stocks in the Russell 1000, as meeting the definition of high quality liquid assets, while excluding all municipal bonds – even general obligation municipal bonds from states with a far higher credit standing and safety profile than BBB-rated corporate bonds.”

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  14. Brindle

    Rolling out new product in September: It’s A Hillary World

    Talk about multi-tasking…

    “She is building stamina through tough new workouts with a personal trainer and yoga. She is talking about how to address income inequality without alienating corporate America.”

    Fluff piece’s main meme might be that Hillary’s in fighting shape:

    “Mrs. Clinton is getting in better physical shape, a necessity for any potential candidate who faces the rigors of the campaign trail. Friends said she has more energy and has also been practicing yoga.”

    1. Carolinian

      Make it stop!

      Plus Bill has been doing the rounds promoting the anniversary of Americorps. A full court press.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘She is building stamina through tough new workouts with a personal trainer.’

        Followed by a thorough kneading by her personal masseuse, then a light meal prepared by her personal chef, while awaiting her personal shopper’s return from Rodeo Drive in a contributor’s Gulfstream. Designer pantsuits rock!

        Yes, after all those years of sacrificing her health for the nation, Hillary is availing herself of the modest comforts enjoyed by ordinary middle-class Americans.

        If only I could reach out to my base via their iPads while they’re on the treadmill, she muses. Or perhaps just appeal to their financial advisors … excuse me, agent Jeeves, could you pop over the neighbors and borrow some Grey Poupon?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Unlike other commanders in chief, she aims to be more Iskander of Macedon like.

          Now, no one can complain about our leaders not personally charging into battle.

          1. sd

            Dream team adversaries that the Republicans would be fools not to run: Colin Powell with Condoleezza Rice as his running mate.

      1. abynormal

        Yes & No…obviously many hard lessons to learn by the masses. my bet is she’s not going to make it. reading between pr lines…this is a spin over a personal medical crisis.

  15. DJG

    Jacobin’s piece on voting yes for Scottish independence is impressive. Jacobin may be leading in one way toward better leftist analysis (rather than the usual U.S. liberal-ish talking-stick crap). At least the writing is good and cogent. Three repercussions of a Scottish yes: Catalonia shares a similar history. It wasn’t in union with Castile until Ferdinand and Isabella (yes, those two). It attempted to separate since. The languages are different–Catalan is more fun than Castilian, for one thing. Think of Catalonia as the Portugal that got absorbed. So a Scottish yes is going to lead to agitation in Catalunya. Conversely, we are going to see “buffer-state” fandangos. Belgium, the ultimate buffer state, should just come apart. Whether that means an independent Flanders (or the highly unlike union with the Netherlands) or an independent Wallonia (imagine the French taking in the Walloons–rich!), we’re likely to see further extended Belgian political crises. Then there’s the northern Italians–but the problem is that the many mini-states of northern Italy were buffer states, designed to blunt Italian power between the middle ages and the Risorgimento. (Exactly like Germany.) So Italy isn’t in the same situation, regardless of the brilliance of the Serene Republic of Venice. Further, the successor states posited, like Padania, aren’t viable–unless lots of Italians want to live in an equivalent of rump-Austria in eternal provincialism. And while we’re fragmenting Italy, why not bring back the ultra-glorious Papal States? (That ought to play well in Bologna.)

    1. Banger

      It’s so hard for me to imagine an independent Scotland. As polls show there is a deep division between men and women on the subject–usually women tend to be more conservative (don’t want change) because they are much more susceptible to fear than men in my experience–or at least admit to it. It seems, for example, that the US media has convinced large numbers of women that ISIL is a serious threat to them.

      1. frosty zoom

        party like it’s 1707..

        “A Scots rabble is the worst of its kind, for every Scot in favour there is 99 against”. daniel defoe


        “We’re bought and sold for English Gold,
        Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation.” rob burns

      2. frosty zoom

        “I am not afraid; I was born to do this.” saint joan of arc

        “I did not get on the bus to get arrested I got on the bus to go home.” saint rosa parks

      3. cwaltz

        It has nothing to do with being more susceptible to fear. Women are more risk averse because we tend to be the primary caretakers of progeny. Stability and routine is something that helps us raise children in a healthy manner. If their worlds are constantly shifting it makes it difficult to teach them and cultivate behaviors like trust.

  16. DJG

    Re: Youngstown and the NYTimes. Undoubtedly, the NYTimes is unaware that there is an arc from Sandusky and Columbus to Pittsburgh that ekes out a living in post-industrial poverty. In Youngstown, the factory jobs and unionization now exists as labor at the Taco Bell and other chain restaurants along strip malls on the edge of town. Smaller cities in Ohio like Zanesville are creepily falling apart. I recall driving through the area listening to a show in NPR in which an urban planner chirpily talk about turning factories into part: Deindustrialization and deurbanization. Why not shut down the post office, too, and usher in the Dark Ages? Sheesh.

  17. Tatanya

    re Asian Times link….Irrational, dark, evil forces are fully in control. “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” ~Cicero

  18. Howard Beale IV

    Candain PM Harper OK’s potentially unconstitutional China-Canada FIPA deal, coming into force October 1:

    From the First Nations group: “Under the terms of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, approved by PM Harper on Friday, China can sue Canada in secret tribunals to repeal national and provincial laws that interfere with Chinese investments, including laws limiting construction of the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.

    The treaty allows the government to engage in secret negotiations to vary its rules and laws to avoid harm to Chinese assets, or to pay public money to Chinese companies, and only publish notice once the matter is final and settled. The way the deal is structured, it can’t be undone, even if the Canadian courts find it to be unconstitutional, without consent from China. More significantly, it overrides existing treaty obligations to Canada’s First Nations, allowing Chinese investors to force the Canadian government to grant access to aboriginal lands that are technically not Canadian territory.”

    1. abynormal

      WoW & WoW:
      G&M Aug 17, 2014: “Not all China’s problems are directly related to the land its companies acquired. Some could not have been predicted.

      However, recent high-profile troubles have brought China’s record in Canada’s oil patch into sharp focus.

      Among trouble spots, PetroChina has yet to pay its partner, Athabasca Oil Corp., for its 40-per-cent stake in the Dover oil sands project five months after exercising an option to acquire it. Athabasca chief executive officer Sveinung Svarte said this month the two sides have a timetable for closing the deal, but declined to give details.

      Meanwhile, PetroChina’s parent company, China National Petroleum Corp., is investigating embezzlement at its global subsidiaries, including PetroChina, with unknown ramifications on Canadian operations.

      Executives tied to the Canadian business have been detained in China in recent weeks.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe the money is tied up in bailing out some Chinese banks or is going to Russia now.

        With crude down around $90/barrel, and heading lower, maybe they’re rethinking oil sands.

        1. abynormal

          it’ll come out and with it…that large canadian public pension black hole. seems they’re banking on a big maybe. some serious crazy times

        2. optimader

          Rethink they may but China decided as State policy to “book” foreign oil reserves, and these happen to be some of the most marginal, their bad and too fking bad.
          The Chinese were counseled at the industry level that trying to lock up foreign reserves on a global commodity like oil is a fools gamble that could put them in an upside down position, yet they forged ahead because their leaders are basically paranoid.
          They don’t get it. oil is a mercurially priced commodity that has a carry cost for everyone that consumes it. There is no free lunch. The opportunity lays in investing in using it most efficiently (wisely), not trying to lock in a “something for nothing deal” (from a global perspective.

    2. frosty zoom

      kinda ironic:

      “Chinese laborers in British Columbia made only between 75 cents and $1.25 a day, paid in rice mats, and not including expenses, leaving barely anything to send home. They did the most dangerous construction jobs, such as working with explosives to clear tunnels through rock.[14] The families of the Chinese who were killed received no compensation, or even notification of loss of life. Many of the men who survived did not have enough money to return to their families in China, although Chinese labour contractors had promised that as part of their responsibilities.[15] Many spent years in isolated and often poor conditions. Yet the Chinese were hard working and played a key role in building the Western stretch of the railway; even some boys as young as twelve years old served as tea-boys.”

      from qwiki:

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They also went Cuba, Panama and many other places. And volunteers went to France during WWI to help the Allied cause.

        Apparently the oldest Chinese restaurant in the Americas is in Panama city.

        1. prostratedragon

          Neighborhood restaurants serving “Comidas Chinas y Criollas” conquered death back in the 1970s in upper Manhattan.

          Skip the Chinas, order the Criollas.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        Progress – today, many Chinese would-be mothers go into labor in many comfortable maternity motels in California.

        How they get their visas or escape the INS in broad daylight here is the big mystery.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Chinafornia Dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…

            – congratulations to the Chinese mamas and papas, on your American-citizen babies.

  19. pepsi

    Re: The Israeli intel veterans

    The comment about using medical problems and sexual orientation certainly puts israel’s propaganda about being the most gay friendly state into the middle east into the spotlight. (Not true in orthodox areas certainly, and not true compared to most of Lebanon either)

    We love to help gay palestinians! By forcing them to snitch on their friends and family lest we out them to the community! Pink Israel! We love gay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. frosty zoom

    plus ça change:

    “Another obstacle was that the proposed route crossed land in Alberta that was controlled by the Blackfoot First Nation. This difficulty was overcome when a missionary priest, Albert Lacombe, persuaded the Blackfoot chief Crowfoot that construction of the railway was inevitable. In return for his assent, Crowfoot was famously rewarded with a lifetime pass to ride the CPR.”


  21. susan the other

    About Future Tense’s “Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas” – must be Onionesque. I can think of hundreds of apps to eliminate the middlemen banksters, the middlemen phone and tv monopolists, the middlemen ‘faux representatives’ and on and on. There is an infinity of apps yet to be designed that can save the world. Literally. Just app the bastards off the planet.

  22. Carolinian

    Regime change 101.

    In Iran, a group that could not change the government through the democratic electoral process appeared to make a strong “democratic” case to change the government through social pressure. A mass minority protesting in the streets produced a cry heard more loudly around the world than a silent majority in a secret polling booth. It was still the minority, but – in such cases – “democracy” can be wielded as a weapon against democracy. If you can’t bring about the government you want in the polls, bring it about in the streets.

    Funny how protests in this country are assiduously belittled or ignored by the MSM whereas demonstrations in certain select countries are front paged at every opportunity. Chavez said there would never be a coup in Washington because it doesn’t have an American embassy. Or, he might have added, a NYT foreign bureau.

    Anyhow, of some interest.

    1. pepsi

      I’ve always wondered how the media side works. Does the state department whisper something to a man on the board of directors who whispers it to the editor? And then the other papers follow whatever the nyt does?

      1. Carolinian

        One theory is that big time journalists and government officials all go to the same tony schools and share similar backgrounds and feel they have to show class solidarity with their fellow wonks. It wasn’t always so. Newspapermen were once more humble types who came up through the ranks–the blue collar intellectuals as David Cay Johnston called them.

        Plus journalism is an insecure profession these days . You don’t want to make waves, could be bad for your career. And the above applies double to editors who make the decisions about what gets covered and how. For example recent NYT managing editor Bill Keller was (I believe) the son of an oil company executive–not exactly blue collar.

        1. optimader

          If you don’t step in line you don’t get invited, its all about access, socialization and comfort, it used to be about poking around the soft underbelly and banging away at a Royal typewriter while smoking ciggs and drinking shitty coffee to produce something that makes the target uncomfortable when cracking the paper open at breakfast. Journalism has lost most of it’s patient gritty rouges.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From Evans-Pritchard:

    “The yield on 10-year US Treasuries – the benchmark price of global money – has already jumped 20 basis points to 2.54pc since mid-August as it becomes clear that the US economy has survived its Winter wobble and is moving into an incipient boom”

    It’s your fault if you can’t see the incipient boom.

    “The other, by staff in Washington, said the reason why millions of people have dropped out of the workforce since the Great Recession is mostly “structural”, the effects of ageing and shifting technology.

    The implication is that the economy is close to the critical turning point (NAIRU) when a shortage of workers starts to set off wage pressures”

    Blame those human workers that can not (for the time being) be replaced by robots. They are going to demand higher wages. Hurry up with more AI research and robot perfection. Otherwise, we might just have to make milk more expensive to ‘properly incentivize’ human workers. Dang, where are those smart robots they promised?

    1. cwaltz

      I don’t think the MOTU have figured out that someone needs to build those “smart robots” and that the cost of building them is going to be passed on to them. Someone should also tell them that making education cost prohibitive is going to set them back too. I sure do hope they don’t run out of brown people to exploit before then. /sarcasm.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Masters of the Universe.

        In the future, any one single robot can be so powerful that transforming Red Mars into Green Mars is a piece of cake.

        And so, they send off to various planets a billionaire for each rock in space and every one of the billionaire can live comfortably off his/her new home, managed by the assigned robot.

        When they keep each billionaire ignorant of the existence of other billionaires, every one lives happily.

        But if the ‘experimenter’ injects the knowledge of other billionaires’ existence, soon, schemes are hatched to ‘conquer the universe.’

        And so, we come face to face with this peculiar Homo Not-Sapiens’ trait – to climb a mountain simply because it’s there, and greed knows no bound. One day, you are happy and the next, you have to conquer your neighbor as soon as you are smart enough to know his/her existence.

        And once you have your first billion, you can’t wait for your second.

  24. The Cancer Industry Files

    I don’t believe that the proudly sociopathic, destructive, racist, classist, ageist and misogynist Silicon Valley culture should be trusted to fund anything of social value:

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    Bra Day, another metastasis

    I was stunned to get this in my inbox today.

    Dear Ann,

    Boobs are so much more than just “the girls” or “melons.” They’re fabulous. They make us feel sexy, whether we’re in our best outfit, lounging around in our favorite flannel PJs, or just bare butt naked. This fall, we want to spread this sensation of beauty and breast empowerment to breast cancer patients and survivors, as well as women nationwide.

    Many women who undergo mastectomies aren’t adequately informed about breast reconstruction options and reimbursement. In order to help raise awareness of these available options, we’re celebrating National BRA Day 2014 (October 15), in affiliation with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with a grassroots social media campaign using the hashtag #WHATSUNDERHERE.

    Each participant receives a t-shirt with the #WHATSUNDERHERE hashtag on the front. In addition to the t-shirt, each kit comes with a set of cards with fun and thought-provoking sayings, such as: “Is Cancer Free,” “Looks Great Naked,” “Will Not Take Cancer Lying Down,” among others.

    AirXpanders – a local Bay Area [Silicon Valley] company developing a new, patient-assisted, needle free tissue expander for breast cancer patients following mastectomies – invites you to join us for this exciting campaign. Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day . ….

    Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll get the kit out to you in the next two weeks!

    Best regards,

    Liz Lieber

    So I wrote back. The letter is below. But this time I am giving you all an action item:

    1. If you see any of these hashtags, I want you to use the hashtag back #mycancerisnot4sale. I want you to use that hashtag every time you see any of these facebook games or anything in October. If you like, point people to my blog or another blog to educate them about what is really going on.

    2. I left the name of the person who wrote and presumably composed this horrible letter at the bottom so feel free to contact her with your thoughts. (Trust me, this is not a private letter, many bloggers received it).

    3. I want you to contact the American Society for Plastic Surgeons and let them know how you feel about “Bra Day. Let them know you are sick of the disease of cancer being reduced to the part of the body in which it appears.

    The Executive Vice President is Michael Costelloe, (847) 228-3336. Email is

    Heather Gates is the Director of Communications, (847) 981-5408, Maureen Jouhout is the Senior Manager of Marketing and Communication (847) 709-7501

    The Board of Directors President is Robert X. Murphy, Jr., MD (His email address is not listed but in keeping with the way they do things it may be

    4. And, we must contact AirXpanders, the company who is trying to viral market this expander product in such an incredibly crass way. They are reachable via twitter.

    Scott Dodson, President & CEO
    Barry Cheskin, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
    Twitter: @Airxpanders

    AirXpanders Inc.
    1047 Elwell Court
    Palo Alto, CA 94303

    650.390.9000 Main
    650.390.9007 Fax

  25. gonzomarx

    let me rephrase that and sorry if a double post (whiskey!!)

    an activist writes: To my friends in Labour
    (a lot of home truths and it one of the reasons why I think it will be a yes)

    and a break down of one of the polls
    “Age breakdown panel base the sunday times poll: 16:34 57% Y: 43% N, 35-54 55% Y: 45% N, 55+ 38%Y: 62%N …over 55s just save Union” and “46% of Scots polled think Westminster bluffing on currency union vs 35% who think not”

    Scottish polling round up

    Foreign Office caught asking Spanish press to undermine Scottish independence

    Will he, won’t he back Yes? Rupert Murdoch tours Scotland
    Inside Maryhill Food Bank

    and for something completely different
    The Meaning of Liff at 30
    Douglas Adams and Doctor Who

  26. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Regarding Chinese labor (and human labor, generally), above:

    ALL capital comes from labor. Always did, always will.

    In the beginning, the bison did not hunt themselves, the clay didn’t form itself into utensils, and the fruit rotted on the ground. None of these things had value, until the labor of people turned them into useful, valuable commodities.

    There may have even been those creative and insightful individuals who thought of doing something with these things, but who, for one reason, or another (perhaps they were too busy simply trying to survive), didn’t pursue their ideas. Again — without laboring towards making their ideas realities, they failed to create capital.

  27. The Cancer Industry Files

    (An addition to comment 29, the ‘reply to’ comment function doesn’t appear to be working.)

    Yes, that ghastly email was venally and indiscriminately targeted at (and that – no doubt: On Line!, scientific[!] algorithmic!, privacy free! – absolutely unsolicited MARKET targeting warrants a whole dedicated pitch fork REVOLUTION in and of itself) women who more than likely were missing at least one real breast, if not both – worse, many are missing pieces of vital organs – [ghastly email was venally targeted] in order to:

    spread this sensation of beauty and breast empowerment to breast cancer patients and survivors ™ $$$$

    Indeed, from a (paraphrasing the Siicon Valley Spiel here) from A Promi$ing Silicon Valley IPO™ $$$$, there’s no shout out for human empowerment, though those $pecial Wanker Boyz&Girlz are willing to obscenely profit off of Brea$t EMPOWERMENT!™ $$$$, via those whose breasts – along with, many times, vital organ parts – are either gone or permanently scarred and ridden with pain.

    from Ann again:

    Dear Liz,

    Breast cancer is not about breasts, or sex, or, God help you, “melons.” It is a horrible disease that takes the lives of good men and women, like your mother, like your sister – like me.

    In the past three years, I have done 7 different chemo drugs. I have done 3 targeted drugs. I have had half my liver removed to try to remove the cancerous part. I have had part of my liver ablated. When those things didn’t work, when cancer grew back, I had gamma knife radiation. I got sepsis and was seconds from dying and it took months to recover. And recover for me does not mean health. I have lost my job, my son has grown up with a terminally ill mother – I’ve lost my body and I have lost my energy. Reconstruction and breasts is the least of my worries and is the least of the worries of most of us who get this disease.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Cancer is big business. Way bigger than it should be. OTOH, survival rates are up. Women undergoing chemo after mastectomy have the worst of situations. They lose their breasts and their hair, they get to be poisoned for the pleasure, and they still might die. Prosthetics (even wigs and head wraps during chemo), can help. Makeup and jewelry are just as important (or unimportant), as ever. After healing, reconstruction is an option, but to sink to a rank “awareness” campaign like these self-serving parasites did is beyond the pale.

  28. alex morfesis

    myopic stupidity cause job loss…

    youngstown piece is great example of what is wrong with the whole notion of job creation…the only thought of most manufacturing firms and business owners is how can I compete with my fellow american firms and beat each other up inside the barrel…the jobs did not die because of china or japan or thailand (1996) or taiwan or pakistan…they died because most american business owners are idiots and bankers love lending to passive buffoons…the world is full of countries moving on fracking (please no sidebars about fracking being good or bad) I am sure there is not a sole in that firm that was described who speaks anything other than english and would have no clue how to find sweden on a map, let along angola…no one even tries…giving up without even attempting to get the word no out of the mouth of a prospect…a nation with immigrants from every nation on the planet (and all the languages that some try to act americans cant speak), and no industries using the FREE communication system (five bux a month unlimited on my cell for international calling is basically FREE) there is ZERO excuse…other than the fact the vast majority of the elmer fudd business owners of this nation are USELESS…

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