Links 9/6/14

A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina Nature (photos). Dreadnoughtus!

France and Friends: Merkel Increasingly Isolated on Austerity Der Spiegel

Neo-liberal capture of the policy making process in Europe Bill Mitchell

BP prepares for long battle over oil spill negligence ruling FT

Be grateful for drizzle LRB. HFT.

Jobs Report

US unemployment rate falls to 6.1%, but job creation hits eight-month low Guardian. Good timeline and wrap-up.

A Tale of Two Jobs Gaps: Private-Sector Recovery and Public-Sector Stagnation Benjamin Harris (Hamilton Project) Brookings Institution. Having done their best for at least a generation to drown government in a bathtub, neoliberals are now investigating why government employment is down. Rather like the murderer who enthusiastically joins the hunt for the body, choking back tears when interviewed on TV.

Don’t Blame Boomers For Unemployed Workers Leaving The Labor Force FiveThirtyEight

Are the Job Prospects of Recent College Graduates Improving? Liberty Street

Breaking Down the Freelance Economy HBR

Amakudari Revisited The Epicurean Dealmarker. Moelis + Cantor. Why? (天下り amakudari, “descent from heaven” a.k.a. “the revolving door.” Yves update: amakudari is not the same as revolving door!!!! It is reserved for top Japanese officials who have spent their career in top bureaucratic positions, which carries vastly more social status in Japan than working in the private sector. So amakudari is basically a way of pushing those bureaucrats out but giving them a respectable position to “fall” from. Hence “descent from heaven.” When I was at Sumitomo Bank, the person who was in charge with the relationship with the Ministry of Finance (the regulator that Sumitomo cared about) was NOT a former MOF official, which is the reverse of how revolving door jobs work here.

Hillary Clinton promises her New Year’s resolution will be to tell us whether she is going to run for president by January 1st Daily Mail

The Non-Wave Election The National Journal

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The U.S. Government’s Secret Plans to Spy for American Corporations  The Intercept. Not a smoking gun. But a gun nonetheless.

Snowden Tally Cryptome

James Clapper, Bates-Stamp, and Gutting the FISA Advocate emptywheel (ChuckL). Clapper is as slippery as a bucket of eels.

Meet the shadowy tech brokers that deliver your data to the NSA ZDnet

Etsy CEO to Businesses: If Net Neutrality Perishes, We Will Too Wired

Facebook ready to spend billions to bring whole world online: Zuckerberg Facebook

Why data is the key to inclusive growth World Economic Forum. And oddly, that data isn’t being collected!

One Reason Women Fare Worse in Negotiations? People Lie to Them Slate

Peter Thiel disagrees with you Fortune

How to see into the future FT. The Good Judgment Project.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Steve H.

    ‘I asked Murray for her tips on how to be a good forecaster. Her reply was, “Keep score.”’

    Which is why I culled the site herd about a year ago, which left NC at the top of a smaller heap.
    Self-awareness is a positive attribute.

    Here’s a quote I’ve been mulling, flawed but intriguing:
    “[Realpolitik] is a natural behavior for a species smart enough to simulate futures and skip ahead to inevitable outcomes.”

    1. Banger

      The article you referred to is very good some ideas presented are excellent some not so good. A bit confused, but I love reading people who are thinking about things with a little more depth. I have to counter Venkat here in saying that technological change does not necessarily change power-relations in significant ways. The IT revolution, in fact, did give impetus to a more libertarian movement and a more self-centered culture but, frankly, the same large corporate forces that were in charge in 1980 are even more in charge in 2014 and hold a tighter grip on society than they did back then. And maybe that’s what he means–the change that could have happened never did because IT, with always the richest being able to exploit it, actually further ensconced the wealthy in their power. More cable, more diversity did not bring about more diversity in political power–in fact the opposite occurred.

      Anyway great link thanks!

      1. Steve H.

        Banger, very good example. ‘…hold a tighter grip’ is like Soros’ manipulative function, strategically adapting in a non-deterministic way. If a competitor is getting too much a handle on your predicted behaviors, then random or paradoxical responses could undermine their model.

        I also agree with you on technological change. It is absolutely the case that individuals have greater power; one person with a power drill can outproduce two with hand drills, and the information available online is staggeringly more than what was available just a couple of decades ago. But that relationship, how much more power has been gained by corporate entities, swamps the individual gains, at least at the big-picture scale.

        I’m still hoping someone will be clever enough to discerne an alternate path.

  2. abynormal

    slate, women fair worse in negotiations: (cough)
    from PT: “The results for one other personality trait are totally obvious. That trait is responsibility, as measured by a scale by the same name that picks out people who are responsible, honest, ethical, dependable, and reliable. Responsible people were less likely to tell lies than less responsible people – especially the kinds of lies that are self-serving”
    “People’s descriptions of the quality of their relationships with people of the other sex had nothing whatsoever to do with how frequently they lied. It was different for same-sex relationships, though. People who had higher-quality same-sex relationships (not just sexual ones) told fewer lies overall, and especially fewer self-serving lies, than people with same-sex relationships of lower quality.”

    “When a man is penalized for honesty he learn$ to lie.” criss jami

    1. MtnLife

      I wonder if the historical/genetic propensity for male violence has anything to do with it? Lies, being violations of trust, can cause severe emotional reactions. Not like us men haven’t shown a disposition towards rash, unpredictable, and violent behavior so maybe we have a subconscious bias towards avoiding any actions which might trigger that behavior, lies included. It might also explain why women will lie to other women just as often because they don’t have an innate fear of violent repercussion.

        1. diptherio

          That has become, for whatever reason, the standard routine for all my comments here lately. Although this morning, I’ve noticed that if I refresh the page about 10 seconds after posting (and having my comment go ‘poof’) it shows up. I’ve already started thinking about this as the ‘new normal,’ but hopefully it isn’t.

        2. Tim Mason

          If you want to sound out the question of the relationship between gender and violence, be sure to have a look at Victoria Burbank’s ‘Fighting Women; Anger and Aggression in Aboriginal Australia.‘ Burbank observed the women she was working with to be just as aggressive as the men, and just as ready to resort to violence. Given the conditions under which Australian First Peoples have lived since the English invasion and landgrab, and in particular the devastation to which many of their communities have been reduced, plagued by alcoholism, and varied modes of social breakdown, it would be foolhardy to generalize to far from Burbank’s data, but it does throw some light on this matter.

        1. abynormal

          re, “Athens says that women have simply been discriminated in the selection and coaching of violent behavior.”
          do you think media is or has closed this discrimination gap? we have a generation of youtub’rs (where violence is celebrated) coming to fruition..

            1. optimader

              on the flipside research (his primary studies of real people in prison not just white paper shuffling) concludes the affects of media (movies,music and videogames) have a low correlation coefficient as a conditioning element in the violentization process. Its a hands on coaching process ultimately. Not to say media isn’t an aesthetic/recreational reinforcement of the process (something violent people recreationally find satisfying) –> the use of shooter videogames at military recruitment centers might be their for a reason (a tool to filter potential recruits that are already in the violentization process?– my speculation)
              read/listen to the book, a real eyeopener.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        There are instances where honesty can be much more damaging, to the teller and the listener, than a lie.

        1. James Levy

          Yes, but that’s like the “ticking time bomb” excuse–certainly a real possibility but in a fleetingly small number of cases. One should never confuse a rare necessity with a convenient expedient.

        2. diptherio

          That’s so true. Just think of all the damage that was caused when some jack@ss decided he needed to be straight with young Adolf and just tell him that his art was scheisse and he’d best look for another vocation…

    2. zephyrum

      The study cited by the article fails to address the inherent bias that the subjects were all MBA students. The results may not hold for the population at large. Anecdotally, I find misogyny to be more common in the business world (than in say, arts or technology.)

      1. neo-realist

        “I find misogyny to be more common in the business world (than in say, arts or technology.”

        Racism too.

  3. Sam Adams

    The more I read, the more it’s becoming clear the stage is being sent for violent upheavals. The only people who seem prepared are the 1% who control vast resources to create opposition and small security zones.

    1. Jagger

      Look at the oligarchs in Ukraine with their own private militias. When governments fail, the warlords take their place. And you can’t be a warlord without being ruthless and having the resources to supply, maintain and pay an armed force. I suspect most oligarchs fit that description fairly well.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, that’s what the elite want. They are prepared for it, they have the materiel and the strategies for it, and they enjoy it. So it would be really smart to fight on their ground, right?

      1. James Levy

        Lambert, that’s why I’m against all this “break it up” talk. Disuniting extant political entities is not, in most cases, going to open the field to let a hundred flowers of people-power bloom. It is going to open up the doors for oligarchs with money, hired guns, and the local politicos in their pockets to lord it over us. Smashing up this or any other state at this time will only empower those who already have power, and any gain on their part is a loss for the vast majority of us.

      2. Ulysses

        I don’t think chaos and upheaval are usually good for most people. On the other hand, we of the third estate might still be under the thumbs of the church and the nobles if the violent cataclysm hadn’t occurred. Sure there was a counter-revolutionary reaction after Waterloo, but we have never gone back to purely hereditary rule by the landed nobility. The collapse of the Western Roman Empire was mostly a disaster, but the serfs and townspeople of medieval Europe enjoyed more liberties than the slaves of the ancient Greco-Roman world.

        You could have made a strong argument, in 1600 B.C., that no one should never, ever challenge the rule of the Pharoah, since at least obeying the rule of the priests and the will of the divine ruler– as a slave– was predictable and secure, if limited. Or, if one was an Aryan bourgeois with a conscience in 1938 Berlin, why fight the Nazis on their ground? They are bigger and meaner than we are!! It really is always too late to start actively resisting evil until the moment that those who benefit from their evil system can be made to voluntarily change for the better, out of the goodness of their own hearts.

        “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.
        Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Frederick Douglass, 1857

        – See more at:

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Bunch of bodies heaped on my side of the scale though, in the revolutions of 20th Century, with not a lot on the positive side; I don’t see much reason to argue about should have been done in 1600BC.

          Anybody waving the revolutionary flag, especially from an armchair, had better be willing to take account of that, is all I’m saying. And I don’t see a lot of willingness. If I had to choose a path to universal suffrage, for example, I would choose the reformist British path, rather then the revolutionary French one. I don’t see the Reign of Terror as a romantic thing.

          1. Tim Mason

            Without the ghastly example of the French Revolution, the Anglo-Scottish ruling classes would have had little reason to cede as much as they did. It was the sans-culottes who instilled a fear of the Dangerous Classes in the hearts of British patricians.

      1. Ulysses

        I am not an advocate of violence, but stopping the illegal expropriation of one’s ancestral home, and the irreversible destruction of one’s way of life seems to me a clear case of justified self-defense!

        1. GuyFawkes

          Then, tell me why so many Americans have willingly walked away from their homes? Tell me why those 14 million Americans have not taken up arms and walked on Washington? Tell me.

    3. craazyman

      that’s what reading too much will do to you.

      That’s why Plato banned tragic poets from The Republic. I’m not criticizing. I’m empathizing. I’ve been there — deep in that swamp of addiction to narrative morosity & fatuous profundity, Examining mathematical equations of culture with a cerebrality that deludes itself with self-consistent masticulations of the myopia of other people’s self-consistent masticulations of media meta-narratives.

      I was out shopping today & people were happy and alive everywhere. That’s reality. It was amazing. Like walking through a field of spinning flowers under a sun that yellows the entire air with light (sorry to be so florid, no pun intended).

      There’s not a snowball’s chance in heck of violence. People are moving on. Moving on without the Garbage Barge of History. The night mare of history. They’re inventing reality as they go through it, like people will, and we’re not going to be a part of it. All the politicians, all the economists, all the critics, all the commenters, even me, and you. We’re all dead-enders. We had our day. Now it’s for somebody else. Somebody with vision and inspiration and all we are is abstractions on the shelf of history. Sorry to be so blunt. But that’s reality.

      The only consolation you have is this: When they’re old, you’ll be young somewhere again. Hopefully you’ll have learned something from your time here. LOL

    4. optimader

      “the more it’s becoming clear the stage is being sent for violent upheavals”
      Yes, maybe but can we do that after tonight’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians?
      this country has a looooooong way to go before a violent revolution if that is your point.

    5. Glenn Condell

      ‘The only people who seem prepared are the 1% who control vast resources’

      Resources are secondary: their control of government and media matters more. If you own the media you write the narrative (the opening gambit) and if you own the government you ultimately own the monopoly of officially sanctioned violence (the fall back position)

      It isn’t the resources they control per se so much as the fact that they control the resources, and that there is no political counterweight to challenge let alone change this.

      ‘When governments fail, the warlords take their place.’

      You could probably put that formulation the other way around in many cases… what looks like two events is really just two sides of the same one.

  4. Jim Haygood

    President Obama bin Golfin’: “There was unanimity over the last two days that ISIL poses a significant threat to NATO members, and there was a recognition that we have to take action.”

    Which NATO member would that be? Turkey is the closest one to Syria, and has reported no cross-border attacks that would invoke the NATO collective defense guarantee.

    Meanwhile, the press in Canada (also a NATO member) lays it on thick:

    A Canadian frigate with 250 sailors, HMCS Toronto, is joining a U.S.-Ukraine training exercise in the Black Sea, as NATO builds up its presence in the region while tensions remain high in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. The operation, while planned some time ago, is certain to escalate tensions with Russia.

    Canada announced $4-million to help Ukraine and NATO allies counter a newly bellicose Russia.


    Do maple syrup and poutine cause mental disability? Who knew hockey stirred up such aggression? Better take them maple leaf flags off the backpacks when traveling abroad: it’s like asking for a punch in the nose.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Our allies do not want to spend more revenue on military spending in a deep recession. Or really ever. So whatever the true purpose of those comments by Obama about NATO are pointless.

      When playing chess or ‘Go’ it is advisable for a wise player to know when they’re beaten and concede gracefully. Our political leaders are neither wise nor capable of realizing when they’ve lost. That would require a degree of self-reflection and intellectual depth they by and large do not possess.

      ”UKRAINE… ROUND 3… FIGHT!!!”

      The time to exit gracefully was right after Crimea seceded from Ukraine. Whether the cease fire holds or not Russia still wins. If the separatists take Odessa and the rest of historical ‘New Russia’ then Putin will have another route for a pipeline to Europe that will connect through Romania and the Balkan states. Just another opportunity for Putin to humiliate the West.

    2. optimader

      “there was a recognition that we have to take action”
      recognition = weasel word
      “An international conversation needs to take place, as for me, off to for 18, let me know how that went”
      It would be nice if BHO golfed even more.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps it was no coincidence he was at Stonehenge yesterday, with its east-west axis to observe the winter and summer solstices.

      It’s time for Operation East-West (sounds like a dating service), to open up a route from Anchorage to Moscow to London.

    4. frosty zoom

      “Do maple syrup and poutine cause mental disability? Who knew hockey stirred up such aggression? Better take them maple leaf flags off the backpacks when traveling abroad: it’s like asking for a punch in the nose.”

      unfortunately our nation is ruled by the viceroy harper, an evil lizard being. the shame this evangelical petrogovernment brings upon us everyday is embarrassing. this band of goons would have had us with tonga and nicaragua as part of the “coalition of the coerced” in iraq. i guess if you sleep with dogs, you wake up a jerk.

      as to the globe and mail, well, the thompson oligarchs own that one.

    5. JEHR

      We Canadians are not becoming more aggressive. It is our PM who is grand-standing for voters at home (we have about 1.5 million people of Ukrainian extraction on the prairies): he does not represent in any way the majority of Canadians. He will be getting us into two wars even though he has reduced defense spending by 10 % and has ignored the care of the veterans from the last war. I am ashamed of him and his big mouth.

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        How do people who don’t represent a majority of the citizenry get elected in any ostensibly democratically elected governmental system, in the first place?

        Harper has not been good for Canada.

        1. frosty zoom

          remember, only one person elected george junior.

          as to the viceroy, well, he’s done his paymasters well.

          fait accompli!

  5. Andrew Watts

    RE: James Clapper, Bates-Stamp, and Gutting the FISA Advocate

    I’m not sure how I feel about any of this when it hasn’t been formally established and put into practice in front of the FISA court. It’s nice to see that they’ve accepted the existence of a public advocate… even if it was made clear that this was non-negotiable. Perhaps Director Clapper simply doesn’t want the public advocate acting behind the ODNI’s back.

    It looks like the Director of National Intelligence will have a significant role in determining the level of involvement of the public advocate in FISC proceedings. The intelligence community probably doesn’t want much special advocate activity involving counter-intelligence cases. There wouldn’t need to be any excessive scrutiny where probable cause is an open and shut case.

    RE: Snowden Tally

    I hope the entire Snowden archive is released for public viewing someday. It’d be rather classy of the NSA if this was available at the National Cryptologic Museum’s Library. Assuming Greenwald or somebody else with access to those documents donated a copy to the museum.

      1. Andrew Watts

        The way things are shaping up we will not be governed by a secret court or laws for much longer. We’ll be able to regularly see the legal decisions and justifications that are being used to conduct intelligence activity that concerns the rights of ordinary people. While maintaining the ability to contest these decisions. That’s winning compared to what we had before in the post-Warren Commission era.

        1. Ulysses

          Let’s hope that comes to pass. I’m very much less optimistic, given that the NDAA indefinite detention without charge provisions are still the law of the land, after the Obama administration (thrice!)appealed decisions of Judge Forrest– finding this unprecedented elimination of the ancient Common Law principle of habeas corpus unconstitutional on its face.

          Here’s a very straightforward recognition by Judge Forrest that under the NDAA we have entered into a post-Constitutional world:
          “The due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment require that an individual understand what conduct might subject him or her to criminal or civil penalties. Here, the stakes get no higher: indefinite military detention — potential detention during a war on terrorism that is not expected to end in the foreseeable future, if ever. The Constitution requires specificity — and that specificity is absent from § 1021(b)(2).”

          Today, if some unaccountable spook so desires, you can be put on a secret watch list, no-fly list, or even seized and detained forever with no provision given for the notification of your family, no phone call to a lawyer, nobody even knowing if you are alive or dead. Until the surveillance/security state starts respecting the Constitution once more, we are all in Guantanomo!!

          1. psychohistorian

            But, but, but, they let you have a copy of the bible. What more do you want?

            Because sports, media, faith, ignorance, etc.

            It is amazing to me the energy in the Seattle area around the start of the Seahawks season. I see humanity facing extinction or at least serious lifestyle disruption and death from various potential sources (economic, climate disruption, nuclear pollution, etc) and I guess until folks start dying in droves the focus is still “Party On!!!”.

            1. Andrew Watts


              It really makes you wonder if a society of consumers is capable of sustaining a democratic government… Wait a minute, the Seahawks actually won a Super Bowl?! That’s a pretty big deal ’round these parts.

            2. jrs

              But how does one keep the focus, how does on keep from being splintered in a world that is constantly pulling one apart? So that our economics is a separate topic from the environment. So that even lefty blogs can’t keep a hierarchy (the hierarchy is that ultimately nothing matters if the planet isn’t livable, although that doesn’t mean short term suffering should be overlooked). So that in this economy we barely have time to focus on anything but work and keeping our heads above water even though the species is facing extinction. So that maybe many people have decided all there is to do is enjoy the ride as best they can for the next few years before everything comes apart?

          2. Andrew Watts


            Senator Leahy’s version of the Freedom Act has to do with revising the Patriot Act and the FISA bill provisions that were passed in the wake of the warrantless wiretapping scandal. The NDAA is a whole ‘nother constitutional shredding, civil liberties violating, post-9/11 can of worms. I’m not saying that the advocate on the FISC won’t have anything to do with it. We’re just not in a position to determine anything concrete at this point.

            If we really want to make real progress on NDAA we’ll probably need to kick out another party leader of the House. Ideally we’d be able to ditch’em all but I’m not nearly that optimistic or deluded. As I’ve said right before Cantor got kicked to the curb… primaries.

          3. jrs

            Yes in truth the real reason why one is horrified about the whole LOTE spectacle is things like this. Not purity, not the desire to complain and be cynical (although that may exist) but just the horror in contemplating horrible things.

      1. optimader

        I sent this to a musician friend that is knowledgeable in the field of Tibetan music and other nonwestern time scales/harmonics etc. would like to hear what this example represents. For my superficial aesthetic, it would make a great wall stencil… cloud like

        1. abynormal

          thats it…cloud like. id like to hear what your friend says…whenever he gets back to you please shove it under one of my post. i’ve saved & will know your reference.

    1. frosty zoom

      that’s cool. i checked out some more and found this:

      “”The MS belongs to the ‘Yang’ tradition, the most highly involved and regarded chant tradition in Tibetan music, and the only one to rely on a system of notation (Yang-Yig). The chant consists of smoothly effected rises and falls in intonation, which are represented by complex curved lines. The notation also frequently contains detailed instructions concerning in what spirit the music should be sung (e.g. flowing like a river, light like bird song) and the smallest modifications to be made to the voice in the utterance of a vowel. On the whole, Yang chants are sung at an extremely low pitch and at a lingering and subtly changing pace, allowing full expression of the chanted text. Such texts as these would have been used as a mnemonic device by the Master of Chant in a monastery in leading the monastery in the performance of a chant. This type of graphic notation of the melody line goes back to the 6th century. It records neither the rhythmic pattern nor duration of the notes.””

      ultimately, however, it’s just more lines and dots on a piece of paper, like any attempt to transcribe music — a very inaccurate map to help you find something extremely complex.

      remember, no two playings of beethoven’s fifth will ever sound the same even though it’s all “written down”.

      here are a many, many pages of attempts to breakdown the sound/notation of tibetan chanting:

      can you show everything in the u.s. on a map?

      1. diptherio

        I keep waiting for the female-focused version of Hooters to emerge. I imagine it would be called Nutz or Jimmys and feature Chip and Dales-type waiters in speedos. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this isn’t a thing yet….

        1. paul

          Yes, you could mark it as empowering for women to stuff cash down g strings, just as its empowering for them to have it stuffed in theirs.
          Or something like that.

          1. diptherio

            I occasionally think about setting it up as a performance art piece, just to highlight how wrong Hooters is.

            I knew a girl who had worked as both a stripper and a waitress and she said that she felt more secure as a stripper, since there were very clear boundaries and a bouncer nearby to enforce them. She never had to put up with unwanted groping by customers as a stripper…not so as a waitress. So Hooters has managed to combine the two into what I can only imagine is a not-very-fun job.

            I weep for our culture.

    1. abynormal

      yes! all sorts of treasures in todays links. i’ve read how the ‘flow’ of america goes east to west and then flushes back over all the states. Enron/energy being a negative example…hopefully co-ops will be a positive. the time is ripe!

      1. frosty zoom

        actually, the “flow” of america goes north/south and flushes all over its manyfist destiny “partners”.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Diptherio, the world needs a “Poor People’s PayPal” so that talented but impoverished people can raise funds online instead of doing yard sales or begging.

      Any thoughts?

      1. diptherio

        Well, here’s one, off the top of my head:

        I was talking with the founders of Symgen the other day and they’re putting together a customizable crowd-funding platform that is a little different than you’re typical kickstarter clone. The idea is that the crowd-funding platform will be available to groups for a monthly fee–those groups can then host crowd-funding projects on their website’s new crowd-funding platform and pay for the monthly fee by taking a percentage of the projects’ fundraising (say 5%).

        So Yves, for instance, would pay Symgen to set up a Naked Capitalism Crowd-funding page on the site (hosted by Symgen, technically) and could then have Dave, Mathbabe, Hugh, yourself, whoever, crowd-fund their projects through the site’s platform.

        It took me awhile to wrap my head around the idea, but it might have some potential. It’s still far from ready for primetime, though. Here’s what they’ve got so far:

        I’m not sure that that gets to your “paypal for poor people” idea, though…

  6. oliverks

    I was surprised by the description of Breakout Labs,
    “Though it is rare, if not unheard-of, for a charitable foundation to donate tax-advantaged dollars to for-profit companies, the Thiel Foundation is no ordinary charity.”
    Either the reporter is confused, or the marketing is misleading. Their terms are fairly onerous.
    1) Repayment of “grant” at 3x cap
    2) Shares in new company at next funding round based on grant amount
    3) Accelerating warrants for more shares of the company, depending on funding triggers
    I will say Breakout Labs is much more interested in funding tech, than traditional VCs, but the idea that it is a charity is preposterous. It is very much in it for the money.

  7. Jim Haygood

    We paid for this war, and nobody’s going to stop us having it:

    Hours after the Ukrainian government agreed with pro-Russian separatists to stop fighting as of 6 p.m. local time yesterday, EU ambassadors in Brussels drew up the 28-nation bloc’s second package of economic penalties against Russia over its encroachment in Ukraine.

    “A cease-fire, yes, good news; a peace plan would be better news, but the sanctions go ahead,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters yesterday at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.


    C’mon, hit us. Or we’ll poke you again with a sharper stick.

    1. Jagger

      I agree. The West wants to cripple Russia and needs to keep the tension high.

      I wonder when China will start playing this game. Start funneling money and weapons into say Mexico, overthrow the government with a chinese friendly leader or maybe start funding some US extremist groups? China may have the money to start playing this game. Although China really doesn’t have to look at stirring up armed violence in the US. They just need to start buying politicians. They couldn’t pull off an Isreali type of governmental control but could still buy substantial control.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        China is already arming extremists in America, they’re called drug gangs, they have Chinese made AK47 imported from the LA ports from the Red Army Controlled corporations for exporting. They are used to shoot up the streets and buses of Philadelphia, among others. Terroristic enough for ya yet?


        “But Mr. Speaker, that is not all. Last year, it was Cosco that delivered to the State of California 2,000 AK-47’s. The company that builds the AK-47’s, the company that negotiates the trade of AK-47’s around the world, the company Cosco, all set up by the PRC, the People’s Republic of China, owns. They do not report to department heads. Their CEO is Communist China, all owned and coordinated and controlled by Communist China. Yet, they delivered over 2,000 AK-47’s into our country, with the intent of selling these arms to our inner cities to disrupt, to disrupt our inner cities, and disrupt our political environment within the United States of America.

        At the same time, the Clinton White House accepted both Cosco and the gunrunners themselves in a White House coffee. I will later show the direct tie between the $366,000 that was conducted to the DNC by the White House recipients and Chinese investors to allow Cosco to gain this favored status.”

        Greedy Wall Streeters aren’t the only death dealing profit seeking scumbags in the world. How do you think all of these arms get into the cities with no arms makers or guns shops selling foreign made assault rifles? You really think the cops are getting paid off to look the other way when machine guns are being used against them on their beats? Here’s another idea, Russian sanctions against all Russian guns and ammo from being sold in America. And sanctions against them setting up factories in America to get around the sanctions for importing them here. This is the best gun market in the world. Let’s cut them out of at least that much business that we definitely don’t need, AK47s, leave them for the movie makers prop departments.

        1. alex morfesis

          machine guns being used against them on their beat…???
          did your remote get stuck on the murdoch network…life may not be great for the undertrained and over managed police officers in this country, but really, is it necessary to go over the top to suggest american gangs are using weapons that they do not even know how to handle, let alone shoot….you did notice what happens when some vladimir “Raz” putin sized person shoots an automatic weapon right ? it sorta does not sit there like a paper napkin….scrawny little drug addict stick figures holding weapons as big as they are…have your doctor change your prescription or get a better doctor…

          yes the chinese are more than just greedy, they are evil and desperate in their attempts to hold onto power…and if that means causing disruptions in america, then that is what they will do…to think otherwise is to not understand the world for what it is…most people miss the obvious…the french work hard globally to make america look bad so their corporate hegemons can sell their products in countries which have been taught to “hate bad bad america”…in greece, it was glossed over that the “famous” and nefarious Nov !7 movement “terrorists” were really trained by the French…no journalist crying about the CIA station chief in Athens being offed by someone trained by French Intelligence…

        2. Andrew Watts

          Excellent find in the Congressional Record. It really makes me wonder what the Iranians have against such shamelessly open bribery.

    2. gonzomarx

      trouble is these guys don’t seem very good at it, other than keeping the military industry complex bandwagon rolling. but then again maybe that’s the point…(the old adage, evil or stupid?)

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Government’s Secret Plan To Spy For American Corporations.

    Big Government and Big Business at work.

    Also a clear demonstration that they are separate entities from the Little People.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Economic espionage is relatively common throughout history. After the American Revolution the United States paid bounties (a.k.a. bribes) to skilled workers to come to this country and set up the beginning of our industrial factories. Like copyright piracy it isn’t necessarily right, morally or legally, it just happens.

      Snowden probably included this information in this archive to put pressure on foreign governments into allowing him asylum. Which only proves that his original plan didn’t include a long term stay in Russia.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Job Prospects…Recent College Grads.

    If education is about careers, jobs and contributing to the GDP, then how much have we wasted resources on these human parts that should be going into the machine but are sitting idle, even in an ideal world with GDP sharing (i.e. not having to worry about money)?

    If education is about enlightening ourselves, then the wisdom learned should be pouring out every second, every where to benefit us all, and none of the resources spent was ever wasted.

    1. diptherio

      I’ve been meaning to share this for a few days. This seems like the type of thing you’re into, MLTPB:

      Growth = Poverty ~Prof. Vandana Shiva at the 2013 Festival of Dangerous Ideas

      As she points out, if you consume only what you produce (and vice versa) you don’t “produce” at all, in standard economic lingo. So we’ve defined growth as extraction, which is obviously unsustainable. Growth = groaf & groaf–>poverty.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks, Diptherio.

        I think about groaf, GDP, life, poverty, work, etc, and if we can strive for the goal that one’s access to health if life should not be tied to employment, then,it’s only a bit further to go to say we aim for a world where one’s access to a happy life is not tied to work either.

        Basically, GDP sharing.

        Then, we don’t go to war on Nature (Go GDP groaf!!!) every time the 0.01% loot too much from us, making many of us redundant (high unemployment, low labor force participation).

        Because Groaf has nothing to do with wealth sharing and happiness in life, in that world.

  10. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    Furguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson should be in shackles, and awaiting a speedy trial for:

    Obstruction of Justice

    Fraud — specifically, wire fraud.

    Commission of a felony, under the color of law.

    It’ll never happen.

  11. gonzomarx

    Green leader brings a streak of red to party conference

    Green party in buoyant mood as leaders focus on taking the fight to Labour

    There’s poverty in the UK, but we are better off calling it inequality (using ‘inequality’ over ‘relative poverty’)
    “..Nobody, in the Beveridge sense of the term, is lacking the means of subsistence: nobody is “poor”. But it is a society that is also starting to look uncomfortably feudal, and many economists think it is overwhelmingly likely to be our future.”

  12. abynormal

    Asteroid Zips by Earth This Weekend
    free webcast featuring telescope views will be streamed live at
    beginning at 10 Eastern tonight.

    Sky-watchers, take note: An asteroid is going to whiz by our planet this weekend. Asteroid 2014 RC, aka “Pitbull,” will make its closest pass 25,000 miles over New Zealand about 2:15pm Eastern tomorrow, reports USA Today
    . Nobody will be able to see the 60-foot-wide rock with the naked eye, but
    notes that a free webcast featuring telescope views will be streamed live at
    beginning at 10 Eastern tonight. This one will miss us, “but it’d be great if we can use this sort of near-miss to rouse us from our species-wide slumber, and make asteroid detection more of a priority,” writes Joseph Stromberg at Vox

    under the milky way (tonight)…the church ‘ ))

  13. Dirk77

    For the last few weeks, my smartphone tends to freeze while visiting this site. The problem is remedied by turning off JavaScript and reloading the page. Has anyone else had the same problem? My phone is only just slightly over a year old, so this problem seems odd.

  14. jgordon

    Well you all do like cross posting from The Automatic Earth quite a bit. Just thought I’d point you to this wonderful and insightful post in case you missed it:

    “There’s not an economist who doesn’t promise a return to growth, or to prosperity, if only some model (s)he believes in is followed. More stimulus, less stimulus, the ideas and theories and models seem to run the gamut, but actually they’re all the same. They’re goal-seeked. Economics as a whole, as a field, is. There are no theories that seek not to return us to growth. As if eternal growth is a natural law or a god given right.”

  15. Brooklin Bridge

    Awfully considerate of Hillary to promise an audience by New Years day as to whether or not she will accept the coronation.

    It seems the number of people telling her to spend more time with her grand children is growing day by day, yet I believe she still has a huge following.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Note: Whether or not she will have a grandchild this year does not seem matter to their point.

  16. The Short Helicopters

    For the bathetic extreme of your Big Brother files,

    Traffic Corporal Allen Hill, playing soldier. “The more information we provide, we run the risk of security concerns, operations security, the security and the risk of our pilots, our crews,” Hill said, in his deepest big-shot soldier voice. This is Minneapolis, for chrissake. Who is this ASVAB waiver scared of, Mary Tyler Moore?

    A “family” reunion. The weekend warriors are now scraping the bottom of the barrel for those guys who stand in the street and go like this. No, not elderly crossing guards, worse, traffic cops. Not even the really high-candlepower aces with the 104 IQs,

    but the gumshoes we pay to jerk black guys around. And here they’re flying them around like littIe retard Peter Pans. At my family reunion I want some 9K38s so me and Sis and Gramps can help Darwin make these pongids go extinct.

    1. Massinissa

      Political and Economic Independence are not synonymous. Even if Scotland becomes politically independent, it will be economically dependent on both GB and Europe.

      1. OIFVet

        Scotland is actually contributing far more to the Exchequer than it gets back, just like Northern States in the US. Most of the fossil fuel riches in the North Sea are in Scottish waters. It will do very well without England. And the EU? Do you really think that the EU will actually be of benefit to Scotland? The EU, just like the City in London, is a parasite that sucks out resources from the periphery, enriching the Elites while impoverishing everyone else. Here is an article by Irvine Welsh on the broader implications of the Scottish independence movement: May we see an ever increasing fragmentation in Europe, and may it spread to every place else. Small is beautiful, and gives the power to the people.

        1. psychohistorian

          It really depends on who your banker is…..the US Fed/City of London or the BRICS

          I think at some point China is going to tell the US to back off Russia….and hopefully we will be smart enough to do so.

  17. Kurt Sperry

    France and Friends: Merkel Increasingly Isolated on Austerity Der Spiegel

    Isn’t it odd how reportage deliberately and almost unfailingly labels neoliberal policy “reforms”? Who could possibly be anti-reform? Nobody would do unambiguously evil sh*t and sell it as reform, right?

    “Structural reforms”, “far-reaching structural reforms”, and “reform friendly”, “reform” is just a loaded cipher, giving no clue about what it actually means. What are you, reform unfriendly?

    1. John

      Bonus fact, the NATO charter says countries in a shooting war (civil or otherwise) cannot join NATO.

      Raise your hand if you think that little legality will stop them from moving into the Ukraine.

        1. psychohistorian

          Hey, the IMF is funding the Ukraine coup so the memo is out there somewhere rationalizing this strategy.

          Little do the Ukraine public appreciate the debt burden that this international dust up is going to cost them and the kids of their kids. The collateral damage of empire maintenance.

          1. John

            I’m getting a good laugh because I *JUST* started reading the foundation on friday. I’m half-way through book two now.

            You know your empire’s in decline when you can’t keep GDP growth above (official) inflation.

            It strikes me that the first rule of psychohistory, is that to work, the participants in question must be unaware of psychohistory.

            1. psychohistorian

              I read the Asimov trilogy back in the late 60’s as I was starting my computer career but went on went on to study macro econ and future studies to get a BA….grin.

              I just play a psychohistorian on the intertubes.

              I am really this guy:

Comments are closed.