Links 9/23/14

Thanks so much for all the advice about my RSS reader mess! As those of you who read comments may have seen, someone from Feedly showed up and provided enough information that I was able to retrieve the account. I got many terrific suggestions re RSS reader options. Once I come up for air (which the way my life is these days is at least a month away), I’ll do some research and make a decision.

Hamster Wheel Standing Desk helps you stay fit at the office Gizmag. Furzy mouse found this, but I guarantee Lambert would like one as a Christmas gift.

Cargill fires first shot in legal battle over GMO trade responsibility Reuters

Rockefellers join anti-fossil fuel drive Financial Times

Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions Post Carbon Institute

Hedge Funds Make Record Bet on Lower U.S. Diesel Prices Bloomberg. Oil is one of the last commodities to fall. Another sign of deflation risk.


World Bank Says Ebola’s Spread May Have Catastrophic Cost Bloomberg

Ebola virus, HCWs infections and personal protective equipment Virology Down Under. Not to go all alarmist, but as Lambert notes: “Ebola via aerosols…”

Manufacturing Rebound Relieves Growth Concerns in China Bloomberg

China’s Scotch Indicator Is Signaling Disaster Business Insider

Thousands take part in reform protest as student class boycott starts South China Morning Post. Lambert: “This is actually a huge story.”

Euro Zone Business Growth Slows In September As Prices Keep Sliding: PMI Reuters

Draghi mulls QE to revive deflating Europe MacroBusiness

Has the Euro Been Saved? Triple Crisis

Obama Furious Because Putin Won’t Return His Calls Russia Insider (Chuck L)

US DECLARES WAR ON RUSSIA – AUSTRALIA THREATENS PRESIDENT PUTIN’S SECURITY AT G-20 SUMMIT John Helmer. Since Australia is (sadly) America’s poodle, Obama should hardly be surprised by the cold shoulder from Putin after antics like this.


Pentagon: US, partners begin airstrikes in Syria Associated Press

Australia’s Prime Minister Gives a Master Class in Exploiting Terrorism Fears to Seize New Powers Glenn Greenwald, Intercept. Really sad to see what is happening in Oz. It was a bastion of (comparative) sanity when I lived there ten years ago. Of course, they did elect Tony Abbot.

America’s Never-Ending War Project Syndicate

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google wants to control our lives Guardian


U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms New York Times

Obama thwarts tax inversion deals Guardian

When Humans Lose Control of Government Atlantic (furzy mouse). The problem of a rules v. principles base system.

Comcast to FCC: We already face enough competition, so let us buy TWC ars technica (Chuck L)

Oregon Residents Challenge the State “Right-to-Farm” Law The Progressive

In Texas Textbooks, Moses Is a Founding Father Daily Beast

Whither Markets?

Alibaba: Wall Street Would Rather You Don’t Kick the Tires Pam Martens

Time to worry? Russell 2000 hits ‘death cross’ CNBC. Also relatively large uptick in VIX, in case you managed to miss that.

U.S. Home Sales Falter as Investors Pull Back Wall Street Journal. Quelle surprise!

US tries to revive mortgage bond market Financial Times. Beyond pathetic. Treasury is now trying to revive a market it helped slaughter by standing shoulder to shoulder with the sell side to stymie pro-homeowner and pro-investor reforms (abuses of homeowners too often ultimately lead to investor losses).

Class Warfare

Prada Drops After Profit Drop, Weak Second-Half Forecast Bloomberg. Are the well off but not uber rich starting to feel a pinch? But then again: Jimmy Choo plans to list shares on LSE MarketWatch

Sense on Stilts: Eight Graphs Showing a Quarter-Century of Wealth Inequality and Age Angry Bear

Professors on Food Stamps: The Shocking Exploitation of Toilers in the Ivory Tower Salon

Rent ‘unaffordable’ in third of UK BBC

The Next Crisis – Part two – A manifesto for the supremacy of the 1% Golem XIV (Chuck L). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

links giraffes

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. tomk

    The link to Virology Down Under was very interesting but was arguing against those who are thinking that aerosol transmission of Ebola is happening now. The author questioned recent recommendations for enhanced protective equipment (powered respirators) and suggesting that resources might be better put towards training in proper use of the current gear and improving working conditions, and educating on known risks. She suggests that enhanced protective equipment could lead to a false sense of security, and wasn’t needed based on what it now known.

    1. Mark P.

      ‘The link to Virology Down Under was very interesting but was arguing against those who are thinking that aerosol transmission of Ebola is happening now.’

      Quite. Lambert may speculate that Ebola can mutate/be transformed into an aerosol, but Lambert also wouldn’t know what a envelope glycoprotein precursor was if it bit him in the face.

      With each new scary disease outbreak in recent decades these scenarios about airborne-transmissible strains of the non-airborne disease in question — from HIV onwards — have been pushed. Yet they haven’t happened. And in the case of Ebola there’s a particularly long list of reasons to do with the virus’s basic structure and action why airborne transmission is unlikely.

      Have we got any hard evidence that that’s likely to remain the case? Yeah, we do. As it happens, in a former life I talked to scientists in the USSR’s Biopreparat program — including Ken Alibek, who ran the damn thing, and Serguei Popov — which methodically poured years and lots of resources into trying to weaponize Ebola as an aerosol.

      They couldn’t really do it. They did come up a fairly recondite strategy whereby you might weaponize Ebola pretty terrifyingly — the more adventurous among you can do a search on ‘binary inoculary’ and try figuring it out — but that strategy doesn’t involve aerosols and essentially amounts to transforming Ebola into a non-classical agent.

      Ultimately, we’ll learn some interesting stuff from beating Ebola. But it’d be far more worthwhile to pour the same resources into beating malaria, which continues to kill about two-thirds of a million people — predominantly, children — annually.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Vigilante justice:

    Two Palestinians alleged to have kidnapped and murdered three Israeli youths in June were killed in a shootout with Israel’s forces in the West Bank city of Hebron, army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said today.

    Israel says Amr Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh, militants linked to the Hamas Islamic movement that rules the Gaza Strip, kidnapped the Israeli teenagers who were hitchhiking in the West Bank on June 12, and then killed them.


    Trials? We don’t need no stinkin’ trials!

    Had there been one, though, the article goes on to detail that it would have taken place in a military occupation court:

    ‘One family member, Hussam Qawasmeh, was indicted in an Israeli military court for allegedly helping to organize and aid the kidnapping.’

    Democratic values, comrades!

    1. susan the other

      At the time it was the pretext for bombing the Palestinians into the stone age. Then facts emerged that there had been no kidnapping at all. Not by the Palestinians.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet this morning:

    The Israeli military said Tuesday morning it had shot down a Syrian fighter jet that had ‘infiltrated into Israeli airspace,’ the first such incident in at least a quarter of a century.

    ‘We cannot tolerate any penetration of the Israeli airspace, so we had to shut him down even though we understand that his intention was not to attack us,’ Brig. Gen. Ram Shmueli told reporters in a conference call, saying the aircraft had penetrated half a mile into Israeli territory.

    ‘We are not involved in the war on Syria, and we don’t have any intention to be involved. We have to keep our borders safe on one side, but we have to make sure we are not part of this war.’


    Why would Israel want to get involved in Obama’s ‘war on Syria,’ when it has a proxy — big, retarded Uncle Sam — to do its bidding?

  4. DIno Reno

    Take note Scotland on what is happening today in Honk Kong because this is your fate now that you have made a pact with the Devil. Your promised reform package will likely wind up a victim of your colonial master’s priorities much in the same way as Hong Kong is now being dealt with by China. But unlike you, dear Scotland, Hong Kong was never given the option of becoming independent. Had they been so blessed, I guaranteed they would have not squandered the opportunity like you and become a laughing stock to those who cherish freedom and self-determination. The people of Hong Kong are taking on a monstrous foe at great risk to their safety and prosperity. Their courage is something the “fierce” Scots can now only ruminate about in their distant past.

      1. hunkerdown

        Polemic is not twaddle.

        But this silly Western conceit that any matter is setlled so long as there are more people who agree on any one course of action over any other… who loves divide et impera, other than the imperators?

  5. diptherio

    Re: Profs on food-stamps

    I’m not surprised at all. I used to be a little shocked when some “obviously” middle-class person in front of me in line at the Food Farm would pull out that little blue and gray card to pay for their groceries…now I’ve gotten used to it. I think more of my roommates are on food stamps than not and they all work (at least) one job, some of them for the gubmint (Forest Circus mostly), some for private industry, but everybody in the same boat: precariously employed and poor as all get out.

    People are trying to improve their prospects and their pay, but it’s rare for someone to accomplish it. One friend just completed his second stint of legal training (getting a tax certificate or something) and still can’t find work. People with advanced scientific degrees are seriously considering heading to the Bakken oil patch for a few years, just to make some money. It’s truly pathetic.

    I’ve noticed that older people have a difficult time imagining what the situation is like for young people nowadays, at least those for whom the system has worked reasonably well (note that last clause, I am NOT boomer-bashing, just making an observation about my experience). My boomer father actually told me that “we had a bad recession in the 70s, too” when I started to rant about the depressing job prospects in our economy today. The unspoken implication made me so mad I had to shut my mouth to keep from screaming at him. The implication, of course, is this: “if you’re not making it as a middle-class American, it’s your own fault and complaining about the state of the economy is just excuses and sour-grapes.” I feel like a lot of people just don’t get how things have changed–well, a lot of people existing comfortably at or above the median income level.

    1. John Zelnicker

      We did have a bad recession on the 70’s (yes, I am a boomer). However, it was relatively short-lived and the job market recovered quickly enough. There was also nowhere near the issues we have with the housing market unable to recover due in part to younger workers being debt-burdened from school, lack of living wage jobs, financial extraction by the elites and all the other problems made obvious by the GFC. Your father, with all due respect, is not remembering that era accurately. There really is no comparison to the economic problems we face today. We also did not have the austerians pushing their damaging agenda.

      1. sleepy

        I think the key for me in comparing say 1974 to 2014 is the fact things back then were so much cheaper relative to wages. I rented a house in New Orleans for $65/month. With minimum wage at c. $1.70 an hour, one working person could make the rent in 6 working days.

        Beyond that, many boomers have young adult children and are fully aware how difficult it is for young people to make a go of it nowadays.

        1. Propertius

          The non-dischargeable student debt explosion is a catastrophe for today’s young adults (and yes, I am a boomer). When I graduated, I had no debt, which made it infinitely easier to get established. I can’t imagine how I would manage under today’s conditions.

    2. Carolinian

      Well I am a boomer and I’ll readily state that my generation had it a lot easier than the preceeding or succeeding. There was that Vietnam business–which I escaped through a college deferment–and I’m not a minority which helped as well. But the country was prosperous enough that you could get by even on the then much more generous minimum wage. It was also a time when labor wasn’t so beaten down and even work in crappy jobs got a bit more respect or at least toleration. Also worth noting that the US population was barely more than half what it is now.

      Interestingly this middle class nirvana led many young people of the time to reject the whole thing. Of course it’s easy to romanticize poverty when you have no experience of it and know there will always be some sort of safety net (parents, government) to bail you out. Still I’m not sure that impulse was so very wrong. Materialism is the American disease and we’ve infected the rest of the world. The boomers “sold out” in the end, but later generations may not have that choice. Perhaps they’ll end up being poorer, but better off.

    3. MikeNY

      Yeah, every time I hear somebody from Yellen to Crazy-Eyes Suzy Orman to retirees spouting their curdled old bromides of financial advice (start saving early! buy a used car! own, don’t rent!) I think: there is someone who is totally invested in the status quo, who will not recognize the system is broken, because they profit by it.

      1. Propertius

        Oh, that’s all good advice – it’s just impossible to follow. When you’re carrying around a huge burden of debt in a stagnant job market, there’s no way to save or own anything. Who knew we’d look back on double-digit inflation as “the good old days”?

    4. McMike

      In the 1970’s many people could still raise a family and own a house and car on one income, people stayed in one job for decades, and retired with a pension and social security.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        Except that now they’re trying to take back all those comfy pensions – like in Detroit and other places.

        1. cwaltz

          Yep. It’s downright scary that these courts have basically told retirees that the money that was promised to them is dischargeable debt. If I were a worker today there is no way I’d base my decision on deferred wages- not when so many businesses and now, even cities have managed to get away with reneging on paying those deferments as promised.

    5. Eclair

      Diptherio, much as I love you, I will take exception to your comment that older people can’t imagine how difficult times are now. I’ll be 74 next month. My activist friends range in age from 23 to 76. Most of my friends who are my age seem to be aware of what’s going on; they’re just resigned to it. But most of my neighbors, from the young families up through the retirees, live in a little bubble of contentment, a kind of “I’ve got mine because I worked for it, life is good and don’t bother me about those losers who won’t get up off their butts and work.”

      I don’t know what makes some of us have this constant itch in our heads, constantly reminding us that there is so much injustice in the world and get out there and do something to set it right. There are just some days that I wish it would go away and leave me in a smug and peaceful place to enjoy my retirement.

        1. proximity1

          I think you’re right: It is a conscience. On the other hand it doesn’t actually separate us from all other beasts. First, we are beasts, too. Second, while our moral sense, or conscience, is apparently rather more evolved than other animals as far as we can tell, the fact that we have whatever precisely a conscience is is something we owe to the co-evolutions of our biological and our social precursors. Twain was mistaken in saying that humans are the only animal that blushes or that needs to.

      1. diptherio

        It’s not essentially a generational thing, I think: it’s a class thing. To paint with an overly broad brush (as always): If you’re generally making it in our society, then the system seems basically just to you. If you’re not making it, the system seems unjust. People whose working lives started in the 60s or 70s have better odds of becoming and staying middle-class than those of us whose working lives started this century. That is rapidly changing, of course, as everybody is squeezed harder, but I think that generational differences in life experience leading to (overall) generational differences in attitude seems a reasonable theory.

        But there are plenty of people my own age who totally disagree with me and share the attitude that was so frustrating for me coming from my pops. Again, these attitudes seem to break down along life-success lines. This casual observation might be supported by the breakdown of the Scotland Yes/No vote the other day. The younger you are, the more willing you are to write-off the old system–perhaps because they have no memory of it ever working for them. Other polls of attitudes (like those towards “socialism,” for instance) have had similar findings.

        I know I can get awfully preachy, and judgmental–please, don’t take it personally. By all means, enjoy your retirement. Just, when your son or daughter (or grandchild) has a little breakdown to you over the difficulty of making their way in the world today, don’t tell them they just need to work harder or get another degree–don’t imply it’s their fault. You probably wouldn’t do that anyway, but I suppose that was the point to me even commenting on the generational thing.

        1. cwaltz

          I disagree with your assessment. Folks born in the 60s and 70s are just as screwed as this generation. The folks who were born in the 60s are the 50 year olds that got laid off this recession cycle and now can no longer find employment. Unlike the millenials that never actually have had the time to accumulate anything many from Gen X saw their networth plummet.

          It’s also this category of individual who essentially after hearing their entire adult life that they had to contribute more to Social Security to procure the same retirement as their parents that is being told by the government who happily took more of their income to tighten their belts and retire later because SOCIAL SECURITY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PAY OUT WHAT IT PAYS NOW. So not only has their wealth diminished but this age group has very little time left to prepare for their retirement. I’m not trying to diminish the fact that millenials have it hard. However, they have time to figure things out. They’re learning that in today’s economy loyalty doesn’t pay. They’re learning that a traditional education may not always pay off. They’re learning to be mobile(it may turn out to be somewhat of a blessing in disguise that unlike the Gen X folks they won’t be saddled with an immobile household when their employer decides their services are no longer needed.) Some of things they’re learning are going to be bad for us as a civilization(education may not always pay off but it often fuels advancements, businesses are already whining that they are having difficulty retaining talent because workers have decided to reciprocate with the lack of loyalty and not wait around for an employer to not need them) and some will be good(let’s face it less demand for consumables and things like cars will benefit the planet). What I really dislike though is this idea that any particular generation thinks just because the problems they face are unique to their generation that the other generations have no idea about hardship. It’s not reality. Hardship is micro and perspective matters in micro. While it may seem hard to not be able to afford that education that might make you upwardly mobile, it’s equally difficult to know that you can no longer afford the lifestyle that you were once told you could have if you studied and worked hard. I guess we can argue for hours if it is more difficult to know that you’ll never be able to afford a house than to have one and lose it but I think it would just be smarter to admit that both are pretty horrible outcomes. There’s enough misery to go around.

          1. Mike S.

            The person to whom you are replying referred to ‘people whose working lives started in the 50’s and 60’s’ not ‘people born in the 50’s/60’s’.
            These would seem to differ by one generation.

        2. Carla

          diptherio, I always appreciate your comments and your point of view so much — thank you! Despite being one of the “basically making it” boomers, I find our system incredibly unjust and am horrified at the prospects for my daughter’s generation and those that will follow. The callous attitude of too many of my boomer cohorts is distressing. I am aware how little my own efforts had to do with my relative good fortune up to this point in time, and it could all turn on a dime in any case. By the way, plenty of people in my age group are struggling mightily in this economy. You are not alone. Nor a loan.

    6. tongorad

      Our national religion of cradle- to-grave competition, ever-increasing workloads and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps has only intensified during this current period. A byproduct of fear, perhaps. They’ve got us by the balls.

      I’m grateful for having a job, but it seems that every day there’s a new duty or obligation. I feel like I’m drowning, and I think it’s safe to say that every else does too. Of course, no one dares to complain or resist, since there’s a n army of people waiting to take your job. Try talking about alternatives or solidarity and you’re regarded as a loon.

  6. McMike

    Fox News reader gets the memo:

    In their story about the air bombing last night, the Fox news reader repeated the term “War on Terror:” four times in a short segment; the gratuitous repetitive linking of the attacks and the GWOT was overt, clumsy, and painful.

    That’s branding, baby!

  7. McMike

    re GMO laws.

    Nothing says democracy like an emergency blanket preemption passed as a rider in special session for an unrelated bill.

  8. McMike

    The problem with a principle based version of laws.

    The author seems to have missed that since the Constitution started out as a basic principle, we’ve spent the last two hundred years with an array of laws and court cases trying to figure out how to apply it to specific situations.

    The cat and mouse game is not only that specific laws invite specific loopholes, but vague principles invite abuse as well.

    “I know it when I see it” simply is a poor foundation for law. We need a system that does both.

  9. proximity1

    RE: “When Humans (sic) Lose Control of Government” (The Atlantic)

    Sub-head: “A decades-long obsession with writing excessively detailed laws had made it impossible for real people to get anything done.”

    on the other hand, making it impossible for the real people leaves the un-real people where they prefer to be–in control of government.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I agreee with you that the 500+ page bills serve no purpose related to clear legislation or citizen concern and input to the law making process. Law is complex –but NOT that complex. The complexity serves to remove laws from the people. The length and complexity very deliberately serves to make laws unfathomable (without undo efforts) and difficult to legislate. Too many bills are gobs of candy (not for you and not for me) and bitter costs (which are!) wrapped together in a lengthy unpallatiable, unfathomable wad of complex verbiage. Any bill past a length of 50 pages (to give a generous margin) should be voted down no matter the content.

      1. Rostale

        In consideration of Obamacare, (pass it to read it) I though a good idea would be requiring bills to be posted online for a set amount of time before being voted on, with amount of time being based on the length of the bill in such a way to discourage excessive length (want your bill to be 2400 pages long, better be prepared for the citizens to have several weeks to look it over)

  10. Ed

    I didn’t think the Atlantic article about bad laws and bad regulations was really an argument for principles based vs rules based regulations. I think it was an argument against laws that are 584 pages or 900 pages. There is nothing wrong with rules based regulations. Just don’t make bad rules. Rules that take over 500 pages to write are bad rules.

    1. Banger

      In defense of these laws and regs, they were made because society itself is incoherent and divided and nobody trusts anybody. At some point something has to break. We cannot continue to live in a culture based on fear, greed, selfishness and gaming the system. It can last for a couple of decades or more but it makes for ever increasing misery and stress.

      Personally, I think we have to try to eliminate most laws and regulations–but that’s another story.

      1. James Levy

        “nobody trusts anybody”–BINGO! What you need are a set of goals and principles and a cadre of intelligent people to actualize those goals and principles and a clear, simple, and swift review process if you disagree with their decisions. We don’t trust teachers to teach, judges to judge, regulators to regulate. We live in an age of obsessive Taylorized micromanagement that business owners always decry when it is focused on them but insist upon for everyone else. We have dumbed down everything we can to make everyone interchangeable cogs so that they cannot use their independent knowledge and experience to control production and regulatory processes. We live in this collective mind-fuck where everyone is implored to “upskill” themselves while every business is doing its damnedest to de-skill jobs so that they can hire drones cheap to do the work. This basic reality is papered over with nonsense about a few thousand jobs in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street that still demand odd specialty skills We need good jobs for 150 million people, not fantastic jobs for 500,000 people, but those 500,000 people control everything and know nothing about life among the 90% of the population treading water or sinking.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Agree +100, BUT the “managerial demiurge” seems unrelated to efforts to make laws long, inclusive of “candy”, jargon transfixed, and near impossible for a layman or even a consciencious legislator to comprehend. It seems most likely the work of lobbyists (actually the legal teams feeding them with text for our laws). If their piece of “candy” is sufficiently clear to stand up in purchased court they have no concern for other skew candy.

        2. Glenn Condell

          ‘What you need are a set of goals and principles and a cadre of intelligent people to actualize those goals and principles ‘

          What could possibly go wrong!

          Amen to the comment about two-track Taylorisation; none for me but lots for thee.

          ‘the “managerial demiurge” seems unrelated to efforts to make laws long, inclusive of “candy”

          It seems to be based on a probably natural tendency to grant the arguments of power priority over those of the powerless, but also it’s a function of Dunbar’s Law, where each human can really only relate emotionally and intellectually with up to 150 individuals. When administering small community groups admin worked because the relationships were ‘covenantal’ (you had to explain yourself to people you knew, and look ’em in the eye) but as numbers grow past the limit managers don’t know the managed personally and so the relationship becomes ‘contractual’, with lawyers to dispense the injustice, based on rules and procedures developed to handle the increase but which cut the decision-making head off from the ethical heart.

          ‘It seems most likely the work of lobbyists’

          Decision-makers don’t know the people whose lives they affect (in flyover country) but they know lobbyists all right, with some estimates putting the number of them on a par with those working in government.

      2. McMike

        Problem is, under the libertarian principle of your right to punch ends at my face get bogged down when the punch is toxic pollution and my face is a local stream.

        The law evolved as a push me pull you hodgepodge of regulations trying to clarify how much was too much, and industry trying to get loopholes.

        That said, we have entirely too many laws. But the only way we are going to reverse that is a neutron bomb.

        1. Banger

          Life exists on the balance point between order and disorder–too much of one or the other and we have serious problems. Right now we have too much order and that very order is destroying society through increasing disorder. Ironically to balance the equation we must seek disorder to initiate the right kind of order because this one is toxic–this should be obvious,

      3. Oregoncharles

        Once again, this reminds me of something my father said years ago. He was an investment manager, so he saw a cross-section of business life. Back in, probably, the 70’s, he ruminated to me on the financial value of a mostly-honest, non-predatory business environment. Distrust costs money, a lot of it, as you have to take more and more precautions. At the time, he was contrasting the US with, say, Mexico and other 3rd-world countries, where you had to bribe people to do their jobs. But it applies in spades to a regime of purchased POLICY, where bureaucrats will do their jobs but the jobs themselves have been corrupted.
        Things have gone a long way downhill since then. He had a clear sense of how spoiled he’d been by the time he died.

        1. Glenn Condell

          ‘Back in, probably, the 70′s, he ruminated to me on the financial value of a mostly-honest, non-predatory business environment’

          And then along came Gresham…

    2. fresno dan

      I find it amazing that anyone would be concerned with the distinction – when we have examples of millions of forgeries with regard to remarkably detailed and settled law with regard to how to document mortgages – and how many prosecutions for forgery – with VOLUMINOUS and IRREFUTABLE evidence? (none???).
      It is often said we are a nation of laws not men….and that sounds right pretty. But if the men won’t enforce the laws (cough, cough…Eric Holder…coughs out lung) it don’t do you much good.
      However, we are blessed with a constitutional scholar leading the country so that we don’t have to worry about rules versus principals… (sarc……i.e., they both are ignored with convenient)

  11. David Petraitis

    I found this to be the most clear explanation of the Ebola “aerosol” risk factors.

    Early aerobiologists were not able to measure small particles near an infectious person and thus assumed such particles existed only far from the source. They concluded that organisms capable of aerosol transmission (termed “airborne”) can only do so at around 3 feet or more from the source. Because they thought that only larger particles would be present near the source, they believed people would be exposed only via large “droplets” on their face, eyes, or nose.

    Modern research, using more sensitive instruments and analytic methods, has shown that aerosols emitted from the respiratory tract contain a wide distribution of particle sizes—including many that are small enough to be inhaled.5,6 Thus, both small and large particles will be present near an infectious person….
    The current paradigm also assumes that only “small” particles (less than 5 micrometers [mcm]) can be inhaled and deposited in the respiratory tract. This is not true. Particles as large as 100 mcm (and perhaps even larger) can be inhaled into the mouth and nose. Larger particles are deposited in the nasal passages, pharynx, and upper regions of the lungs, while smaller particles are more likely to deposit in the lower, alveolar regions. And for many pathogens, infection is possible regardless of the particle size or deposition site.

    It’s time to abandon the old paradigm of three mutually exclusive transmission routes for a new one that considers the full range of particle sizes both near and far from a source.

    Being at first skeptical that Ebola virus could be an aerosol-transmissible disease, we are now persuaded by a review of experimental and epidemiologic data that this might be an important feature of disease transmission, particularly in healthcare settings.

    And further on the contamination of surfaces:

    Experimental work has shown that Marburg and Ebola viruses can be isolated from sera and tissue culture medium at room temperature for up to 46 days, but at room temperature no virus was recovered from glass, metal, or plastic surfaces.23 Aerosolized (1-3 mcm) Marburg, Ebola, and Reston viruses, at 50% to 55% relative humidity and 72°F, had biological decay rates of 3.04%, 3.06%. and 1.55% per minute, respectively. These rates indicate that 99% loss in aerosol infectivity would occur in 93, 104, and 162 minutes, respectively.

    Hope this dispels some myths and fears.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      One of the things going for us is that Ebola is not a respiratory disease. Coughing and sneezing are not usually associated with it. However, it would be interesting to see how much more contagious someone with the flu and Ebola would be. Would the flu cause it to be more airborne? The viruses don’t have to merge… only infect at the same time.

  12. Jackrabbit

    The Next Crisis – Part two – . . . Golem XIV (Today’s must read)

    Similiar conclusions may be draw by those who read NC and other blogs. It is good to see people connecting the dots. The trick is how to inform a wider audience about how the world is changing AND what it might mean to them. The public tends to be too trusting and reactive.

    H O P

    1. Banger

      The public tends to support stability–that’s then problem. Those of us who have connected the dots need to provide two things: the first is succor for comrades and the second is to provide a viable alternative path that can be simply explained probably through some kind of visual media. I have a friend who wants to do something of that sort.

  13. Eeyores enigma

    It seems to me if I had been the one to link to the Golem post I would quickly be derided and dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”.

    He lays out in great detail exactly what I always say when commenters get all hung up on how it is all Obamas fault.

    There is no POTUS at the wheel. It is a relatively small group of wealthy individuals and corporation who control the advisors to the POTUS who dictate policy. Hell they frequently even write legislation for the legislators as has been documented many times over the last many years.

    Can we now stop refrencing an individual when talking about how bad things are, and implying that if we could only get the RIGHT individual in office THEN things would be different? We do not live in a democracy so stop acting as if we can democraticaly tweak this country into what we all need and want.

    1. TedWa

      Ohh, I believe Obama can be blamed when considering his 180 degree turns from his campaign promises. The liar in chief talked brave but ended up being a cowardly narcissist. If he knew he was going to be a coward he should never have run for office. We needed change and he said he was the man to bring it and wasn’t. People don’t like being fooled. So yeah, he deserves the blame and scorn.

      1. Propertius

        Personally, I think the voters who were too dim to realize that his flip on both public financing and telecom immunity were indicative of a basic dishonesty share some of the blame.

    2. Bill Frank

      Totally agree. Realizing that elections have morphed into a meaningless exercise is like crossing the last bridge from fantasy land into the real world. Too scary for many to cross. Fantasy land is so much easier.

    3. Banger

      Clearly true. One of the things the left has a problem with is realpolitik. It’s hard for a leftist to understand that the ruling elites don’t care about morality only power and they will not and cannot listen to appeals of that kind except at the fringes–and those members of the ruling elites who are on the fringes must be cultivated to help them in their power struggles with the majority of the elites who are mainly pirates or crazed by the elaborate flattery systems that surround most of them.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        I agree that it’s Obama’s “fault” but it might not help getting this message out. People will agree with the message but then attributing blame to Obama might create a resistance – this happened to me recently with someone was agreeing with me on the nature of the economic problems but the minute I mentioned Obama – she took offense. It was interesting and instructive. And in truth, Obama is just a puppet and it could have been any willing and ambitious politician. As Glen Ford said, he’s the most effective evil. Otherwise, a good but chilling read.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Barack Obama “is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” How dare you say it’s his fault?

    4. TedWa

      I just don’t agree that he should have any excuse for what he’s done and those that, for some reason or another, do seek lame excuses for him are inexcusable apologists. True what you’ve said about politics being controlled by the elite and that the 2 parties are just different sides of the same bad coin, but that should not be an excuse for him after raising hope as he did. He had the whole country on his side and a democratic Congress and really could have brought change but blew it. All IMHO.

    5. Carla

      The Next Crisis is indeed essential reading. Thank you so much, Yves, for including the link.

      Those who haven’t already may want to consider the “We The People” 28th amendment: We’re building a movement.

      1. Carla

        P.S. The “We The People” amendment essentially states that 1. Only human beings and not corporate entities have constitutional rights; and 2. Money does not equal speech.

        1. Propertius

          So, you believe that the government should be able to (actively rather than passively) censor The New York Times because it’s owned by a corporation and the therefore shouldn’t have First Amendment rights? Be careful what you wish for.

          How about getting to the root of the problem and overturning Buckley v. Valeo instead (which is what you’re suggesting in point 2).

          1. Carla

            Here’s the complete text of the We The People Amendment.

            House Joint Resolution 29 introduced February 14, 2013

            Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

            The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

            Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

            The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

            Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

            Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

            Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

            The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

    6. Oregoncharles

      1) Agree with you completely – except that
      2) Obama remains legally and morally responsible for the actions of the administration. More important, the President serves as a figure of speech for the current regime – which very likely is the kind of shadowy cabal you describe. (Maybe not all that shadowy – probably the very figures we see on the news every day, especially the ones with a lot of money.)
      We still theoretically have representative democracy, in which we choose politicians to “represent” us and then remove them when we don’t. In theory, our political choices set the government’s agenda. That means it’s still important who’s at the wheel, even if they aren’t the real driver.
      Personally, when I talk about Obama I’m basically doing negative campaigning, trying to convince people the Democrats are a lost cause and it’s time to try something new. Amazingly hard lift.

    7. cripes

      Eeyores enigma:

      Yes, Golem’s series, which is discovered a few days ago, is scarily prescient and accurate–he’s basically taken a step back and drawn outlines from the recent past into the near future and constructs scenarios which, when viewed objectively are hard to deny.
      Chief among them is the recognition that the supreme “leader”; that is, the idiot in the white house, is leader of nothing, and by extension, the entire “democratic” process (always a republic, to keep the rabble from trying to influence politics) is a farce, power residing in the permanent power centers, now almost completely dominant, that have been working assidiously at this project for decades–long before Reagan, who was their, well, watershed moment.
      Fifty and ninety years ago Edward Bernays and C Wright Mills explained this pretty well, one as a critic and the other promoting elite decision-making for the rest of us. They hate working/poor people and any system that provides even a semblance of representation to the servant classes.
      Yes, Obama is a nothing burger, but Obamaism is a device whereby the aspirations of working people, minorities, etc., and their milquetoast liberal allies are reduced to pathetic sycophancy in defense of a fraudulent,–and now utterly indefensible–corporate tool. Clintonism, too.
      Ovverall, it’s hard to find fault with Golem’s interpretation, although I’m going to read Part II next.

  14. Luke The Debtor

    Fracking Rant

    Trying to have a serious discussion about the safety and risk profile of shale gas fracking is maddening. For starters, the fact that I work in the industry and have actual professional exposure to fracking and well design is seen by many to somehow disqualify me from talking about it. Nevermind that I’m a specialist in well containment, safety, and spill prevention systems. “Industry insiders can’t be trusted blah blah.” Which is the equivalent of saying one of GM’s auto engineers shouldn’t be trusted in the subject of car performance.

    If you don’t want to listen to people who do this professionally, how the hell are you going to find anyone with any expertise?

    The ensuing lack of exposure to anyone with a shred of technical competence on the subject has dreadfully clouded the waters. This should be a boring and entirely uncontroversial issue. It pains me deeply that I have to keep arguing about it.

    The core problem seems to be that the anti-fracking activists aren’t aware of the correct terminology or processes for what they’re opposing. That makes it impossible to have any sort of meaningful technical discussion on the issue.

    There is nothing wrong or immoral about fracking. The Germans (Siemens) are now buying into modern oil and gas technology. Maybe they got tired watching GE develop new technology while reaping the rewards.

    1. abynormal

      “The core problem seems to be that the anti-fracking activists aren’t aware of the correct terminology or processes for what they’re opposing.”

      we already did the coloring book could there be a game with prizes i don’t know about? yeppie

      “I would much prefer to suffer from the clean incision of an honest lancet than from a sweetened poison” Twain

    2. McMike

      Utter nonsense. Akin to saying: guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

      Oil companies kill the earth, and fracking is the gun.

      The term Fracking serves as a perfectly suitable shorthand to describe the range of problems that come with contemporary O&G extraction, including casings failures, industry shortcuts, well abandonment, seismic issues with injection, surface disposal issues, accidents and leaks, methane flaring and leakage, toxic chemicals, air & water pollution, and industrialization. It is fracking that enabled the boom of extraction on steroids. it is fracking that creates the much larger amount of water waste to deal with.

      Fracking is a highly toxic process that irreversibly contaminates the earth and water. It is fracking that takes millions of gallons of water per well and contaminates it forever with toxic chemicals.

      You cannot wash your hands of downstream processes. It is fracking that is the first link in the chain of responsibility for the rest.

    3. James Levy

      Um, does this guy realize that GM is getting hammered because its engineers came up with an ignition system that can kill people and occasionally does? His use of the GM example makes him look like an idiot, even if he has some expertise in this subject. And since this is a relatively new technology for mass use, does he acknowledge the limits of his own knowledge and expertise in the long-term ramifications of fracking? And the leaking methane risk? And the toxins in the injected fluid that neither he nor anyone else will tell us about (“trust me” is not a scientific or engineering principle that anyone need respect). I am really sorry if being a credentialed white guy no longer commands immediate credulity the way it did back in the good old days of thalidomide, DDT, the Tuskegee Experiment, and above-ground nuclear testing–alas, he was born too late.

      1. jrs

        If environmentalist ever seem like absolutists it may be because they are, and it may be merely because they have to be because they feel they are up against an absolutist system. An absolutist system because they don’t see anything that will naturally constrain or anything in our captured system of government that will constrain destruction of people and planet for profit.

    4. Vatch

      “Which is the equivalent of saying one of GM’s auto engineers shouldn’t be trusted in the subject of car performance.”

      Uh, in the recent ignition switch scandal, we learned that GM auto engineers can not be trusted. Possibly a hundred or more deaths in that scandal. Similarly, I am very skeptical about anything that is said by a subsea hydraulics engineer in the oil or gas industry. Deepwater Horizon, anyone?

      1. tomk

        My understanding of Deepwater Horizon is that the engineers knew well what was likely to happen but were overruled by bureaucrats. I’m not suggesting that fracking can be done safely, but I don’t think anything is accomplished by reflexively dismissing input from people actively involved in whatever controversial issue happens to be under discussion. Even though their perspective is influenced by excessive focus and the fact that their livelihood is dependent on a certain activity (war, resource extraction, providing medical care, finance, marketing…) they may be worth listening too, for only then will they listen, and they are in a position to make changes.

        1. Vatch

          You’re right – nobody’s opinion should be reflexively rejected. Similarly, nobody’s opinion should be automatically accepted, simply because that person is an “expert”. Readers of NC know just how suspect the opinions of economic “experts” can be. And people in both the auto and the fossil fuel industries have done a lot to ruin their own credibility. I don’t care whether they are “bureaucrats” or engineers. They’ve told too many lies. The Upton Sinclair quote is apropos:

          “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

        2. optimader

          My understanding of Deepwater Horizon is that the engineers knew well what was likely to happen but were overruled by bureaucrats.

          This was an exercise of BP executives deluding themselves that a business can be run staffed entirely with contractors. BP was not running the job and the casing was poured wrong using a substandard hydraulic cement mix. entirely avoidable. Then the tragedy of tragedies was that they were given carte blanch to pour fantastic amounts of Nalcos Corexit as a dispersant, which is a known mutagen and very persistent ( does not breakdown). BP’s fine was inpart calculated on estimates of floating oil so they had every incentive to sink it as an even more toxic brew than just crude oil.

      2. jrs

        I knew an old engineer who had worked at one of the big American automobile companies. I was young and naive and talking about how things could be made more fuel efficient and they confirmed yes cars could be made a lot more fuel efficient but the car industry refuses to do so and just shook their head. I never found out more. It’s always added a little bit of credibility in my mind to theories that the industries have secret patents and so on. But I don’t really know of course. If there’s hard evidence I’m not aware of it.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I worked at GM Delco division years ago, and heard unhappy stories from the engineers deaigning the onboard computer for high-end Cadillac cars, complaining that there were too few protections from glitches on the power supply to the computer. Problem was that 2 mils of cost x 20+ million copies came to real money. Besides, there would be lost profits from the repairs not done.

      3. davidgmills

        Usually it is the bean counter who forces the engineer to cut corners. Most engineers, if given the opportunity, greatly over-engineer. Over-engineering is just part of their DNA.

    5. Doug Terpstra

      Vatch is right. It’s an empty preemptive rant without a shred of evidentiary value. Summary: “Trust me. I’m the expert, and I know the jargon, so shut up about the hazards … And BTW, combustible water is perfectly safe.”

      1. McMike

        The “fracking has nothing to do with casing” meme is part of a coordinated industry spin campaign that’s been around for a while.

        It’s basic misdirection moving-the-goal-post derived sophistry, with a touch of appeal to authority thrown in here.

    6. jrs

      “But I’m going to win that argument, because saying we should stop making oil/gas wells right now is basically a death sentence for 6.5 billion people. The planet and economy can’t currently support the world’s population without fossil fuels. Maybe someday, but not today and not for decades to come. ”

      So has “Mr Expertise” talked to any climatologists before deciding to write this sentence and being SO SURE the world can support 6.5 billion IF we extract everything that’s profitable to extract and pump it into the atmosphere? If not how can anyone take him seriously when he refuses to learn the basic facts?

      If people are anti-intellecutal, it’s not a virtue, but it’s perfectly understandable as a reaction to being battered by nothing but shills that keeps telling them to believe industry BS rather than there own lying eyes. Something like climate change is complex but people know something is up if you can set the local water on fire …. like maybe that’s not normal? :)

      1. davidgmills

        The basic facts are that Antarctic ice extent has broken a record in the satellite era for nine days in a row and that global ice extent this week was actually higher than it was for the same time of the year in 1979. And the satellite temperature data, the most accurate there is, has shown no warming for 17 years ten months.

        So get your data right before throwing stones.

        I am no fan of the oil and gas industry, I think we need to move to thorium and liquid flouride reactors which are magnitudes safer than any other form of energy. But harping on CO2 when we have so many other problems that are easily verifiable just gets my goat.

  15. dcb

    in regards to the next crisis, part two. I can not understand how the author can fail to tie in the nsa security apparatus, NIDDM, the “big brother” state. I have effectively been making the same diagnosis as the author for 6 years.

    1. Ed

      I think the author is British, but that is not much of excuse because state surveillance is even more extensive in the UK by most reports than the US. It does help to have a written constitution sometimes.

  16. abynormal

    Three dead after shooting at UPS facility in Birmingham
    The shooting happened shortly after 9 a.m. in a complex near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

    A person, wearing a UPS uniform, walked into the facility and shot and killed two people, both believed to be UPS employees.

    The shooter is dead after apparently taking his life.

    There are reports the shooter was fired Monday.

  17. Jackrabbit

    US DECLARES WAR ON RUSSIA . . . John Helmer

    The headline is sensational and misleading. One could say that there is an economic war but we don’t have to look specifically to Australia for evidence of that.


    But there has been a declaration of war of sorts that has not garnered the recognition that it deserves. It was issued by Henry Kissenger on August 29th after the US-backed Ukraine’s military defeat. Kissinger’s ‘declaration’ is oblique so it is easy to miss. It is couched as the primacy of the US-led Western “World Order”. Kissinger’s statue and the context in which his thoughts are conveyed are what make his Op-Ed so notable. I wrote about it at NC saying:

    My reading is that Kissenger is asserting that the US can and should do whatever it takes to keep the US preeminent – even if that means ignoring allies and/or the post-war international structure (UN, UNSC). That exceptional! message comes through loud and clear despite his ‘triage’ formalism.
    . . .
    God Help Us.


    Kissinger calls for building new structures to better reflect how power relations have shifted (multi-national corporations, a feeble Europe, etc.). This seems reasonable on its face, but is undermined by his:

    1) ignoring the complaints that the US has acted to undermine sovereignty (color revolutions, covert and unilateral action, crippling economic sanctions, etc.);

    2) ignoring the origin of conflicts that he mentions as challenges to the “World Order”; and

    3) urging the US to not back down from its (exceptional!) leadership of the World Order
    So its not really about power sharing and respect of sovereign interests but about finding a way to fit intransigents into the US-enforced oligarchical NWO.

    Kissinger describes the current “World Order” (he refrains from using the term “New World Order”) as one which follows and is vitiated by the Western tradition. I think many would disagree with the notion that the oligarchical ‘NWO’ is the inevitable or logical outcome from the Western tradition. One is left with the impression that this reasonable elder statesman can not really separate himself from the neolibcon mindset: exceptionalism // you’re with us or against us // doubledown.

    H O P

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Helmer has been running a series which he calls “US Declares War on Russia” so seeing one piece in isolation, yes it seems trivial. But the stuff at the G20 is utterly childish.

    2. Jackrabbit

      I should’ve added Kissinger’s World Order ‘triage’ (my term for his attempt to reform/repair the World Order):

      To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

      For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions’ histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America’s exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.

    3. Jackrabbit

      It might seem like I harp on this a bit but . . .

      This is the Dean of the American Foreign Policy establishment talking past the other side while trying his best to appear reasonable, concluding with a suggestion that the US should act on its own whenever it feels like it because . . . exceptionalism. Along the way, he co-opts Western history to justify and sanctify US/neolibcon efforts.

      Hey, as a US/Western person, I celebrate the Western tradition as much as the next guy. But does the neolibcon US government really reflect the will of the people? Is it really acting in the fullness of the Western tradition?

  18. proximity1

    “Rent ‘unaffordable’ in third of UK” (July 2013) BBC

    And things have only worsened since then in much of the country. Ed Miliband pledges (to Labour Party conference members in Manchester) to rebuild the nation–a project he expects to extend over ten years.

    1. paul

      No, he’s promising to do fuck all for ten years, even if he gets in, which he was specifically selected not to do.

  19. trish

    Just saw this: Hamster Wheel Standing Desk helps you stay fit at the office “…I guarantee Lambert would like one as a Christmas gift.”

    so maybe a GoFundHamsterWheel for Lambert?

  20. susan the other

    Post Carbon. Krugman’s Errors. Richard Heinberg (End of Growth). Refutes Krugman’s superficial view of our cirsis. Heinberg has the thesis that the end of growth is a natural phenomenon. It came about because we exhausted our resources and polluted our atmosphere to the point of ocean rise everywhere. He points out all of K’s fallacies better than the Oil Price posts. Heinberg is an advocate of a crash mobilization to do renewable infrastructure. We do not have long to achieve this. He alluded to diesel fueling transportation, which as I once understood, is made less toxic (but less warming?) by adding uric acid. New franchises for truck stops: Diesel & Pee. Maybe not. The thing required to achieve our salvation is a tradeoff. What can we give up in order to achieve the industrial growth required to change to a renewable world? Because it is a zero sum equation as far as the atmosphere is concerned. So let me suggest something immediately doable: stop producing cars and stop driving them. Do auto-share or work on your computer until the hapless “government” gives us sufficient public transportation (don’t hold your breath for those twits). And practice conservation in every aspect of your life. We are the consumers. We actually do have the power. Krugman’s miscalculations are very dangerous.

    1. BondsOfSteel


      The actual threat? Pink sequins on the ‘B’ on the Brisbane sign which Putin might possibly drive past:

      Oh, the gays! How frightening! *sheesh* I wish I had that 5 mins back from reading the article (and following the internal links).

  21. Winston

    Re:Thousands take part in reform protest as student class boycott starts

    I smell something fishy. Huge protests usually paid for by big pockets.

  22. Winston

    America’s Never-Ending War Project Syndicate

    India used proxies to separate half of Pakistan. Pakistan has never forgiven it. Kashmir has been in dispute since partition for a reason. Same time it did that it attacked Siachen glacier and swallowed Sikkim. The author of this article uses selective arguments.. Jihadis are growing because of deep pocket support, well illustrated by plenty of material available online.

    India has refused to allow a vote in Kashmir, the kind the UK allowed Scotland. They must have been squirming in their seats watching that.

  23. gordon

    Revolutionaries like to appeal to the past. The past they appeal to is often mythical, but that just reflects the revolutionary nature of what they’re trying to do. So the Parliamentary party in 1640s England showed a deep interest in Magna Carta, the enactments of Edward III and other mediaeval lumber; French Revolutionaries appealed to a mythical State of Nature; eighteenth-century liberals talked earnestly about an Original Contract on which political society was based and now Texans have discovered Moses was an American.

    Of course it’s all rubbish, but an appeal to the past remains a useful aspect of revolutionary propaganda. Maybe it’s because it conceals the really radical and new nature of what the revolutionaries are trying to achieve. Or maybe dragging in well-known historical names lends respectability to what otherwise might be percieved as a self-interested power grab.

  24. cripes

    Eeyores enigma:

    Yes, Golem’s series, which I discovered a few days ago, is scarily prescient and accurate–he’s basically taken a step back and drawn outlines from the recent past into the near future and constructs scenarios which, when viewed objectively are hard to deny.
    Chief among them is the recognition that the supreme “leader”; that is, the idiot in the white house, is leader of nothing, and by extension, the entire “democratic” process (always a republic, to keep the rabble from trying to influence politics) is a farce, power residing in the permanent power centers, now almost completely dominant, that have been working assiduously at this project for decades–long before Reagan, who was their, well, watershed moment.
    Fifty and ninety years ago Edward Bernays and C Wright Mills explained this pretty well, one as a critic and the other promoting elite decision-making for the rest of us. They hate working/poor people and any system that provides even a semblance of representation to the servant classes.
    Yes, Obama is a nothing burger, but Obamaism is a device whereby the aspirations of working people, minorities, etc., and their milquetoast liberal allies are reduced to pathetic sycophancy in defense of a fraudulent,–and now utterly indefensible–corporate tool. Clintonism, too.
    Ovverall, it’s hard to find fault with Golem’s interpretation, although I’m going to read Part II next.

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