Links 9/9/14

No Glass Ceiling for Worker Bees New York Times

Healthy Body, Unhealthy World? OilPrice

From Pine Beetles to Disappearing Glaciers, NASA Scientists Tell of “Dramatic” Planetary Changes TruthOut

Exclusive: Safety concerns dog Boeing 787 – Investigations Aljazeera


Liberia: Ebola Hits Liberian Police, 1 Infected, 18 Quarantined At Depot AllAfrica (Deontos)

African Nations Working to Lift Ebola Travel Bans Wall Street Journal

China’s Borderline Belligerence Project Syndicate

China’s Military Gets More Bang for the Buck Bloomberg


Could Scottish Independence Set Off a Cascade of Secession? American Prospect

The ‘domino effect’ from Scotland’s referendum is increasing demands for independence in Italian regions EUROPP

Please Scotland, Blow Up The EU Ilargi

Britain faces storm as giant global investors awaken to break-up dangers Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. What fun for all those global rich who hoovered up London properties. Of course, the fence-sitters may see a cheaper pound as a new buying opportunity.

Peru anti-logging activists murdered BBC


Russia aims to choke off gas re-exports to Ukraine Financial Times

EU adopts, but delays, new Russia sanctions DW

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Tech industry groups ask US Senate to ‘swiftly pass’ NSA curbs PCWorld

Snowden Could Testify Against NSA in Switzerland International Business Times

Google Is Target of European Backlash on U.S. Tech Dominance New York Times

Cars engulfed as rain sets record for Phoenix Washington Post (EM)

Miscarriage Isn’t Illegal, But It’s Increasingly Treated With Suspicion RH Reality Check. Aiee.

Lew says tax inverters threaten US budget Financial Times

U.S. consumer credit soars in July with biggest gain since ’01 Reuters. Contrast with lackluster retail sales in July.

Fed to Hit Biggest U.S. Banks With Tougher Capital Surcharge Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Blogs review: The shift in the Beveridge curve Bruegel

Growing Inequality Problem Will Get Worse, Says HBS Study Value Walk

Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor New York Times

Nature of evil isn’t so banal, disturbing new research suggests Japan Times (Lambert)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

links fuzzy chickens

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. lolcar

    Would it be too “conspiracy theoryesque” to suggest that “Britain faces storm …” is 99% scripted last minute theatre to swing the vote ?

  2. proximity1

    RE: SCOTLAND’s REFERENDUM on its member-status in Britain’s Union

    [ Could Scottish Independence Set Off a Cascade of Secession? ]

    My take:
    Westminster is desperate–and so are the disaffected Scots.
    What “Westminster” (i.e. British government’s “Establishment” political class, ) has studiously avoided–and must avoid, at all costs, including the loss of the campaign itself– in all its efforts to campaign against an eventual descision by Scottish voters to leave the union with the rest of Britain, is this simple and cardinal fact: the seccession vote is a desperate one, prompted by Scottish people’s recognition that British governance has utterly failed them as far as repsonsive and responsible democratic practice is concerned.

    The particular details of the issues of separation–the currency to be used in a post-Union Scotland, etc.—make not the slightest difference to that key issue: British government is, and by all indications shall remain, a democratic failure. And that is precisely how Westminster wants things to be, no matter what its leadership, from pseudo-“Left” to Right, may say to the contrary. Scots who intend to vote “Yes” are very simply fed up with the undemocratic status quo and they are determined to use their vote to at last do something in the face of an implacable Westminster which shall never, ever, short of extreme duress, do anything to remedy its deliberately undemocratic rule. And those who intend to vote “no” –or who argue that case–either don’t agree with that judgment, cannot understand it, or do not care about it.

    1. Jim Haygood

      David Cameron’s negative marketing — threatening Scotland with loss of the pound sterling and even terrorism — is a blazing neon sign saying ‘get the hell out’ of union with the hideous, perfidious English.

      So deluded is this poor man that he cited NATO membership as a benefit to staying in the UK. Send Scottish kids to the Ukrainian front: they’ll either earn a medal, or be shipped home in a box. Winning!

      1. proximity1

        It’s the British version of a world-wide phenomenon. Cameron is sincere about NATO and sincerely does not understand the bubble in which he lives and moves –along with his fellow prime ministers or heads of state. Ed Miliband (Labour) thinks the same way, as does François Hollande (Parti Socialiste) and John McCain (Republican Party) and Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama (Democratic Party) Angela Merkel (Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands). This is the mirrored-view as seen in the same things from Russia or China as well.

        1. Carolinian

          “Cameron is sincere about NATO and sincerely does not understand the bubble in which he lives and moves –along with his fellow prime ministers or heads of state. Ed Miliband (Labour) thinks the same way, as does François Hollande (Parti Socialiste) and John McCain (Republican Party) and Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama (Democratic Party) Angela Merkel (Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands).”

          Who knew the world was going to crap because of so much sincerity? I think an apology is owed to these people.

    2. James Levy

      This was a largely unplanned process. British Parliaments did not really “check” the power of the King after 1688–they gradually usurped it and added it to their own power to tax and to legislate. Over time all sovereign power found its way into Parliament, and then into the House of Commons. So long as tradition, an alert press, and a true Opposition retained some energy and vigilance, the system could work for the benefit of many, if not everyone. World War II and Margaret Thatcher destroyed the balance. World War II created an apparatus in MI5 and MI6 that was all-encompassing and secret, effectively beyond the law. Margaret Thatcher abandoned all traditions of restraint and so demonized the Opposition as to cast them and any rational check they might have on her policies out the window. She was the first Prime Minister in peacetime who saw her role and operated as what the Prime Ministership had become, an elective dictator with the unlimited powers of a monarch and a legislature. This was abetted by the rise of the professional politician and the fall of the old order oligarchy (which Thatcher, the commonest of commoners, detested). Now you had a Parliamentary Party that was not made up of local notables and independent men of means, but a bunch of party hacks entirely beholden for their perks on the PM. You went in the 20th century from parties made up of factions dominated by leaders whose opinions the PM could not ignore to a Parliament, and then a Cabinet, of lapdogs. This is the history that one must take into account when considering the situation in the UK today.

      1. Christopher D. Rogers

        @James Levy,

        Yes and No James is all I can say. First, given its Parliament that is sovereign in the UK, then Parliament if it wills it can disband both MI5 and MI6 – that goes without saying because Parliament, and not the security agencies are sovereign.

        As for the rot that has set in, well Mrs. Thatcher has a lot to answer for, particularly given that in 1979 the UK’s senior cilil servants were a conservative bunch to say the least – do read Tony Benn’s diaries to get a handle on this. Given this conservative nature of the UK’s civil service, which Thatcher branded an enemy, she began bringing in outside advisors and politicising the civil service itself with essentially “yes” men, epitomised by the Poll Tax.

        All of this Parliament could recover from and remedy, unfortunately, its the actual quality of Parliamentarians that is now in doubt within Westminster, many seeing being an MP just a career move, rather than a vocation or one of passion to represent the interests of constituents and the country alike – a record number of the 2010 input of Conservative MPs are leaving Parliament after one term, which is unprecedented. So, in essence, its the growth of the professional politician that’s the problem and a tendencies by all three legacy parties to make policy via focus groups composed of those who reside in those constituencies that are called “marginals”, that is those 60-80 constituencies that essentially determine who will govern in Parliament.

        Obviously PR would have bypassed this pressing issue, but the establishment legacy parties on the whole were and are opposed to PR. Until we get regular types elected as MPs expect no change, and you cannot become an MP unless vetted by one of the three main legacy parties, all of which are dominated by adherents of neoliberal economic orthodoxy. Obviously you can stand for a smaller political grouping, but “first-past-the-post” makes it difficult to break the system, unless its in the Celtic fringe – the exception being Brighton’s MP who is a Green.

        Let us not forget tribalism as well, for despite all evidence that all three legacy parties are right of centre political groupings and all addicted to neoliberalism, those left-of-centre folks keep voting for anyone wearing a Red Rosette, and the same applies to Conservatives voting for neoliberal fundamentalists behind a Blue Rosette.

        So, until some kind of PR is introduced, or the public stop voting for fraudsters, we can expect politics to continue much as it has done in Parliament for the past 30 years. Obviously if Scotland leaves the Union matters may change, because then we have a real constitutional crisis, one the legacy parties had not planned for, and one which may end up actually introducing both PR and a federal structure to our dilapidated and undemocratic system of governance. Hence my support for Scottish independence, for without Scotland the status quo cannot continue on its present trajectory.

        1. Banger

          Good comment but…

          The security services in the UK like the US are subject to the sovereign officially but because they have the power to do things not MP, PM or President can do they have a competitive advantage over whoever is officially running things. If they don’t like what an MP is doing there may be strange men following the MPs children–men who have no direct connection to the intel service in question. We consistently underestimate the power of thuggery in the world of politics.

          1. James Levy

            The only power in Britain that could get rid of MI5 and MI6 is the army. The spies and secret police would move against any government before that government to put a bill through Parliament to disband them. Remember, it is they who “defend the realm”, and the PMs are just faces that come and go–that, I would bet my house, is the way they see it.

          2. Christopher D. Rogers


            It’s not the MIC or security services that drive UK policy – if this were the case we’d see far greater expenditure on our military, which has been cut to the extent that its unfit for purpose, as is our not-so-independent nuclear deterrent. Just think, we now have two aircraft carriers, neither of which has any aircraft. Our security services are also answerable to the “Crown”, although its Parliament that wears said crown, but the fact remains both our armed services and security apparatus operate under the auspices of the crown, which essentially means they are no way as corruptible and power mad as their US equivalents – indeed, we still have notions of “independence” and working for the benefit of the state, rather than the benefit of ones own pocket.

            The actual issue with the UK presently is the power of the City of London, which is effectively a sovereign power within a sovereign entity, and this extends to Parliament itself. Hence rather than the military, police or security services being the enemy of the people, its the power of the City that is the actual enemy, with a few inside our security services doing its bidding, rather than the Crowns.

            However, change is possible, and as stated, events in Scotland may precipitate this change. And one things for sure, Mr. Cameron does not wish to go down as the Conservative Premier who lost Scotland, it was bad enough for Lord North and William III with the Americas, so the political and economic fallout from separation will be large, and this is from a rUK perspective and not an independent Scotland that can forge a new identity after more than 300 years being tied to Westminster. This being good news for Wales, not so good news for the English establishment though, which it would seem has been outfoxed by the canny Scots.

            1. Synopticist

              The british security services are AT LEAST as powerful in the UK as the CIA in the States. They have a genuine lock-hold over the media, which is riddled with SIS assets.

              1. hunkerdown

                The British intelligence community also have prior restraint on the press, don’t they? Judging by recent editorial stances, Alan Rusbridger, on account of the TEMPORA releases by way of Snowden, is no doubt under unofficial instruction to bridge no Rus for the foreseeable future.

    3. Skeptic

      Go Scotland! Beware a Canadian style theft of your Yes Referendum as happened to Quebec in 1995.

      Maybe the poor, once again enslaved Irish will gain heart from your endeavour and regain their lost independence.

    4. JCC

      And then there is this from Krugman:
      “Next week Scotland will hold a referendum on whether to leave the United Kingdom. And polling suggests that support for independence has surged over the past few months, largely because pro-independence campaigners have managed to reduce the ‘fear factor’ — that is, concern about the economic risks of going it alone. At this point the outcome looks like a tossup.

      Well, I have a message for the Scots: Be afraid, be very afraid…”
      The Banks are all saying the same, disaster ahead, which tells me that separation is probably a wise move :)

  3. Ignim Brites

    The day is rapidly approaching when anyone opposing New York secession will be regarded as a monotheist.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      More smaller states may be the trend.

      Puerto Rico
      Donetsk People’s Republic

      1. ambrit

        Tibet caught my eye.
        Tibet shows how far an imperial mindset will go to enforce it’s will. China claimed Tibet, as it does just about all of Asia, on the basis of earlier Imperial adventures going as far back as they wished. The South China Sea controversy is another example. The point being, a hegemon will impose it’s will as long as it can get away with it. As far as China is concerned, the best we can hope for is for China itself to collapse into civil war after an economic collapse. Maybe then Chinas ‘neighbours’ can breath a sigh of relief. (I’m afraid I see America entering a similar, though not as severe, historical progression.)
        A central government does not have to be weak, merely ineffective.

        1. different clue

          I have read that China retook Tibet for the resources and not just for sentiment. i have read that China refers to Tibet by the traditional nickname of “Western Treasure House”. Likewise, China’s claim to all the South China Sea is driven by resource-despair as much as anything else.
          It is not just a sentimental effort to recapture past hegemonies.

          China may be a better New Great Hegemon than America was in its day. And as I sometimes remind various anti-americanitic posters from Australia and New Zealand . . . ” and aren’t you the lucky lads . . . you will live long enough to find out.” And with any luck and justice, they will indeed live long enough to find out.

          1. ambrit

            The two do not have to be antagonists. Many early hegemonies were based on resource extraction. South Africa and Rhodesia come to mind. The list is well nigh endless.
            I’m not so sure about China being a better hegemon. I had a first generation Chinese Texican roommate at University. He clued me in to the meaning of the ideograph used for “The Nation of China.” It meant the “Middle Kingdom”, as in halfway between heaven and earth. Guess where all us round eyes were located.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As countries become smaller, so too, we hope, will banks.

        But it’s hard to imagine the latter will happen.

    1. craazyboy

      More Ukraine news!!!

      In another report released by Reuters today – for those that didn’t know there is a World Pole Dancing Competition – Ukraine is Number 1 !!!!

      Here in the US these past few days it has been a great time to remember old Joan Rivers jokes. My personal favorite is “Bo Derek is so dumb she studies for a pap test.” hahahaha.

      Happy New Cold War, everyone!

      1. Neal Deesit

        My favorite Joan Rivers put-down: “Elizabeth Taylor? She’s got more chins than a Chinese phonebook.”

  4. Jim Haygood

    Euro fudge:

    [Sanctions] endorsed by leaders of the European Union’s 28 member states normally go into effect within hours. But Finland, hard hit by the Russian ban on food imports, and some other countries anxious to see whether the cease-fire holds in coming days, appealed for a slower schedule.

    Some smaller European countries, notably Slovakia, had argued strongly against new sanctions, warning that they would only hurt Europe’s anemic economic recovery and were “meaningless.”

    Imposing new sanctions, Ms. Ashton said, “is a very difficult and complicated procedure.”

    1. scraping_by

      “How canst thou say that!” answered Don Quixote; “dost thou not hear the neighing of the steeds, the braying of the trumpets, the roll of the drums?”

      “I hear nothing but a great yapping of poodles,” said Sancho…

      –Apologies to Cervantes

  5. abynormal

    China’s borderline belligerence: the elephant in the room, Uranium no longer ‘incidental’ ?
    “It was reported that negotiations with Russia for additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam were proceeding with an escalation of price because of this vendor liability sub-clause, in this case involving Atomstroyexport. The original Kudankulam agreement said that supplier liability ended with delivery of the plant. US diplomatic sources are similarly opposed to supplier liability after delivery, and GE-H, Westinghouse and Areva sought changes to the law allowing vendor liability. Westinghouse says it will await India’s ratification of the CSC before offering to supply equipment to India. Basically, plans for building reactors from Russian, French and US suppliers are at a standstill as of late 2013, and India’s private sector suppliers are also affected.”
    It is the growth and modernisation of China’s nuclear arsenal and its assistance with Pakistan’s nuclear power program and, reportedly, with missile technology, which now exacerbates Indian concerns. In particular, China’s People’s Liberation Army operates somewhat autonomously within Pakistan as an exporter of military material.

    Indian security policies are driven by:

    its desire to be recognized as the dominant power in the region;
    its increasing concern with China’s expanding nuclear weapons and missile delivery programs; and
    its enduring concern about Pakistan, with its nuclear weapons capability and now the clear capability to deliver such weapons deep into India.

    It perceives nuclear weapons as a cost-effective political counter to China’s nuclear and conventional weaponry, and the effects of its nuclear weapons policy in provoking Pakistan is, by some accounts, considered incidental.

  6. Banger

    As I’ve said many times Climate Change/Global Warming is the defining issue of our civilization. We, collectively, have decided to ignore the issue and the possibility of catastrophic consequences inherent in the problem. This dovetails into the story about the not so much banality of evil story which says, essentially, that it isn’t only “authority” figures that influenced Milgram’s subjects but the ideology of furthering science and progress that motivated or partly motivated the subjects to do evil–and that makes sense. We do nothing about Climate Change because we believe in capitalism and the ethic of selfishness and that collective problems are irrelevant.

    So we need to see this is, chiefly, a moral and philosophical issue.

    1. James Levy

      It is hard for me to talk about this because I went to school in Britain and it is the only place I’ve ever felt completely whole and at home in. But, does anyone think that the Scots are going to pump less oil if they become independent? Everywhere people don’t want to band together to solve problems, they want to head for the exits. This is true for the Preppers and the Libertarians and the “break it up” regionalists and the secessionists everywhere. No use fighting city hall, just let me go off to do whatever the hell I want to and not have “big government” screw with me. But this ethos makes those who want to change the situation we are in weaker, not stronger, because to stand up to the powers that are taking our world over a cliff we need numbers and ubiquity. As I said the other day, the People’s Republic of New England couldn’t possibly afford to take its aged nuclear reactors offline or stop cutting down trees and working the coastal fisheries to extinction, because given our numbers and limited resource base, that’s what we’d have to do to import oil, food (imagine a New England winter without coffee and tea!), medicine, and spare parts (forget about new cars and luxury items). We can only tackle the big ecological problems by pooling resources and adjusting conditions across continents and across the globe. The problem is too big, too far gone, for cute local solutions (and there are many localities dominated by business and Evangelical Protestant interests that have no intention of doing anything about Climate Change–what are we going to do about them if they are independent, too, and able to do whatever they please–go to war?!?). Coming together, not breaking apart, is the way out of this mess.

      1. Christopher D. Rogers

        James sir,

        Does anyone think the Uk or Scotland for that matter is going to extraction less oil in the forceable future?

        However, you forget one important element, initially Scotland will need all the hard currency it can earn from North Sea and Atlantic shelf oil reserves, but unlike the UK, which uses said revenues to service debt repayments – the second largest debt per person in the world, Scotland will not have to service as much debt via funds raised from oil, and instead can invest these in research and development for alternative sources of energy that are both sustainable and more friendly to the environment.

        Just remember, in the late 70s Scotland was a powerhouse in the R&D of renewables and Thatcher closed it all down via a death with 1,000 cuts. So, the short term answer is Scotland will pump, but in the knowledge that peak North Sea reserves was attained at least 10 years ago, I won’t discount oil be found on the Atlantic shelf and exploited, but ultimately, the Scots are a lot more savvy than their English brethren and fully aware oil is a finite, rather than infinite source of energy – so expect a greater emphasis on renewables, but, what ever the case, every last drop of oil recoverable in the North Sea will be extracted over the next 30 years, but to who’s benefit, that really is the question. If its the UK, it will be to the benefit of the City of London. If its Scotland that does the pumping, it will be to the benefit of the Scots, and hopefully the environment once alternative sources of energy are built. They will not be built period if Westminster has its way as the money is already spent – hence the wobbles on the markets for the past 48 hours.

    2. Brindle

      ….and also a basic human survival issue. The planet will survive but the human relationship to the planet will be very unstable.

      From the Truthout piece:

      —When asked if he believed it was possible for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to collapse in rapid fashion, his response was a blunt “Yes.” And the consequences, by any measure, would be dramatic. If all the ice sheets and glaciers melted in Antarctica, the Arctic, and Greenland, there is enough ice in all of them to raise sea levels by an astounding 80 meters globally.—

      1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        We might be in for some proverbial “interesting times.”

        And we thought our grandchildren would be the ones afflicted.

        1. jrs

          Do you ever have the thought of suicide pills or another suicide plan if things got bad enough, on the planet I mean? I do. I’m not suicidal, I don’t advocate suicide as a solution, it’s just the collective future is so dark I gotta wear shades.

          1. sd

            Karma. It’s pointless to commit suicide. You just come back to repeat another life. Whatever pain you thought you were avoiding will simply wait for you.

      2. jrs

        Some have made the point life as such on the planet may not even survive, never mind human life. And I imagine it is possible if enough climate feedback loops are triggered it will make ANY life on earth period impossible (for the same reason there’s no life on mars). We’re already in the middle of the 6th great extinction. We plan to take all the other species down with us I guess. So the planet may not do just fine without us (except as a lifeless rock).

        1. ambrit

          Some of the earlier Great Extinction events were much more severe than this one looks to be. Life survived, but in radically new forms and interrelationships.

  7. steviefinn

    Yes seen that, no evidence from the supposed perpetrators allowed ( The Russians ), Germany’s ‘ Der Freitag ‘ have picked up on it. They have syndication rights with the Guardian – i wonder what they will make of it as it kind of challenges their earlier war mongering reaction to the event. As to the bodies, unfortunately there might not have been much left of them. It seems as though there is a growing disatisfaction in Holland with the official version of events.

    1. GuyFawkesLives

      Biggest item from this article: “new foreclosure starts rose in July for the third month in a row.. ”

      I have been talking about the next round of foreclosures…..the HAMP modifications resetting. HAMP mods were scheduled for a 5 year re-set. That, to me, was ridiculous from the get-go. So, you provide the pretender lender with a new legitimate contract, you sign a loan mod that says you cannot use your former claims against these bastards, and this loan mod is only good for 5 years. So, essentially, you kicked the foreclosure can down the road for 5 years, but eventually the bastards will take your house.

      Those of you NOT suing these criminal thugs and taking these bullshit loan mods are the fucking problem! Take the bull by the horns and go to town on these criminal thugs’ asses! Get into COURT!

    2. GuyFawkesLives

      BTW, the reason that this article isn’t gaining any traction? People continue to believe that the foreclosure story is so yesterday……while they watch their neighbor move. It is the biggest WTF moment of US history.
      14 million families.

      1. James Levy

        You are so right. And when the consortia that bought up all those houses in 2009-11 at distressed priced and turned them into rentals, only to find them a black hole, start to dump this will really go south quickly. Banks don’t want to foreclose because that will drive down the value of the assets they have left in the form of housing stock they already control or are going to foreclose on down the line. The people at Counterpunch have been following this closely from the beginning so I must credit them with alerting me to this ticking time bomb.

        1. ambrit

          Phyllis and I have been looking for a nice older home with an acre or two for two years now. The tell for us was the foreclosure “auctions.” If the property didn’t get a high enough bid from the general public, the bank itself would step in and bid their break even price, just to keep the notional value of the loan up. Then the house would go on the real estate market asking the “full” price. If, after a few months, the property didn’t get any nibbles at the “full” price, it would be pulled off of the market. Wait a year and relist it at the previous “full” price. We saw that pattern endless times when we dug and looked at the ‘price history’ on the real estate internet sites for properties we were interested in.
          As for the Rental Mafia, didn’t they buy most of these properties at deep discounts in exchange for bulk purchases? (Someone more savvy please advise.) Unless, of course, their strategy was but another version of the toxic assets tranche scheme. (How do you say “Investor Beware” in Latin? That should be carved over the entranceway of every bond traders office.)

    3. Jim Haygood

      ‘Note that states that have a judicial foreclosure process, where the bank must prove their right to foreclose on a homeowner in court, are marked by a red asterisk … only four states still have more than 4% of their mortgaged homes in the foreclosure process, and all are judicial states: New Jersey at 6.1%, Florida with 4.8%, New York with 4.6%, and Hawaii with 4.1% of their homes with mortgages in foreclosure.’

      New York and New Jersey, comrades: the Peoples States where things that are broke just stay broke. Both are headed by knuckleheaded lawyers, so maybe they like that judicial process.

      Gov. Christie of NJ just got hit by a 7th bond rating cut during his term, so he’s got his fat fingers jammed in the pension fund cookie jar for petty cash again. Foreclosure constipation keeps NJ’s economy slow and sluggish, but the Oaf of Office has bigger things on his walnut-sized mind.

  8. trish

    No Glass Ceiling for Worker Bees

    “elitism with a populist streak.”
    “elite” forager bees are not hoarding, skimming, thieving scamming, for themselves. they are working for the good of the hive. period. They are populists through and through.

    Not elite with a streak of supposed populism like some of our star “philanthropists,” the ones the NYT and other MSM like to feature and paint as heroes for giving away some of their oft ill-gotten largess to some societal good of THEIR choosing.
    Doing no harm is not even a part of a bee’s picture. These “elite” bees are just more productive populists. and the question why, is there a purpose (hence the rise to take their place when removed), the fluctuations in activity, the differing life histories….now that’s interesting. And no surprise that individuals bees vary, that their histories vary. they are individuals if a part of a “super-organism.”

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      From another viewpoint, this study would seem to indicate a lack of sociopathy among bees.

      To more accurately map our social order, bees would have to encourage pointless parasitism as being good for the hive.

    1. curlydan

      If I were Snowden, I’d be careful of going to Switzerland. That’s where the Swiss temporarily nabbed Polanski as a favor to the U.S. and jailed him for awhile.

  9. diptherio

    Re: Credit Up, Spending Flat

    Oh my Goddess…my head just exploded.

    Put these two stories together with last week’s report showing that everyone who’s anyone (i.e. the bottom 90% of the income spectrum) has lost ground financially and what do you get? One great big ball of confusion.

    So what’s going on here? My guess would be that 1) people are making less money, especially taking food and fuel price inflation into account, so they are 2) putting more purchases on the card, even though they’re buying the same things as usual. Add in a dose of liar’s…er…sub-prime auto loans for the credulous and you’ve got increased credit use without any increase in sales (excepting, perhaps, used cars).

    But I’m probably just being a pessimist. This is probably all “good for the economy”…

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Can’t vouch for any of the sources, but this seems as good as any:

      And, a more partisan take, linked to because of the Bernie Sanders quote:
      “The major issue of our time is whether the United States of America retains its democratic foundation or whether we devolve into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires are able to control our political process by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who represent their interests.”

  10. rich

    Bureaucracy consumes one-quarter of US hospitals’ budgets, twice as much as other nations
    Health Affairs study says single-payer reform could save $150 billion annually on hospital overhead

    A study of hospital administrative costs in eight nations published today in the September issue of Health Affairs finds that hospital bureaucracy consumed 25.3 percent of hospital budgets in the U.S. in 2011, far more than in other nations.

    Administrative costs were lowest (about 12 percent) in Scotland and Canada, whose single-payer systems fund hospitals through global, lump-sum budgets, much as a fire department is funded in the U.S.

    The study is the first analysis of administrative costs across multiple nations with widely varying health systems. It was carried out by an international team from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and the Netherlands, and was coordinated by researchers at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the London School of Economics.

    The researchers analyzed detailed accounting data that hospitals reported to each nation’s government. The data covered virtually all hospitals in each nation. The research was funded by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund, which played no role in the study.

    Hospital administrative spending totaled $667 per capita in the U.S., vs. $158 in Canada, $164 in Scotland, $211 in Wales, $225 in England and $325 in the Netherlands. Comparable dollar estimates could not be calculated for French and German hospitals because of accounting differences. However, their hospital administration costs were about 20 percent higher than in Canada and Scotland, but still 40 percent below the U.S. levels.

    The study found no evidence that the high U.S. administrative costs translated into better care or yielded any other benefits.

  11. Carolinian

    A little more on Dr K–just takin care of bizness like Obie, future President Clinton

    Kissinger wants to be seen as having done during the Vietnam war what any American in his position would have done. And since from the American public there has been little opposition to Obama’s use of drones, Kissinger hopes to liken himself to Obama and thereby shed his image as a war criminal.

    There’s no doubt that Obama’s use of drones has been cynical, counter-productive, and indeed a criminal exercise in extra-judicial killing. But for Kissinger to claim that more civilians have been killed by drones than he killed by carpet bombing Cambodia is outrageous, absurd, and patently false.

    The Bureau for Investigative Journalism has been the leader in documenting the effects of America’s drone wars. Its estimate of the number of casualties in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia since 2002 is at least 571 and at most 1225 civilian deaths.

    In the four-year secret bombing campaign of Cambodia which Kissinger instigated, “the U.S. dropped 540,000 tons of bombs, killing anywhere from 150,000 to 500,000 civilians.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      In Dr K’s (Kissinger, not Kevorkian) other-worldly calculus, probably it takes a hundred Cambodians to equal one Arab terrorist. Problem defined away!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Interesting new branch of mathematics.

        In that case, how many Nagasaki-sans = one Cambodian?

  12. Irrational

    Re. miscarriage: I never understood what business men (mostly) have telling women what to do with their bodies?!? What if they carried the unborn and had to care for the offspring, perhaps the result of “legitimate rape”? [Sarcasm warning]

    1. hunkerdown

      Reproductive choice becomes a rather more complicated issue when one discards the neoliberal framing of children as a lifestyle product, little more than yuppie status symbols on a charm bracelet or throwaway contracts written in flesh, and start thinking of the resources. A good question to kickstart this line of thinking is, “Why should women (or couples, or anyone else) have an unquestioned, unilateral right to commit and consume everyone’s common pool resources, for decades at a shot?”

        1. hunkerdown

          There are always young, childless debt-slaves who make useful cogs to take up the slack for those who believe that they are entitled to their coworkers or underlings’ time to subsidize their childrearing (that’s how it was where I was in dotcom boom 1.0: parents left at 4:30pm on the dot; everyone else stays late). Who are you *really* stealing time from, again?

          1. Garrett Pace

            When some locals act up against a foreign occupier, the by-the-book response is to punish the rest of the community. Then they keep each other in line and the profits flow unimpeded.

  13. Code Name D

    Hay Yves. The Science Cafe in Wichita Kansas, hosted by the Kansas Citizens for science, is always on the look out for speakers. I understand you guys are not that far from here, would you be interested in speaking about MMT?

  14. different clue

    About that “Snowden to testify in Switzerland” article . . . if Snowden physically goes to Switzerland, he risks being kidnapped, renditioned, or killed. He would better serve his long-range mission by staying in Russia where an experienced well-resourced intelligence agency can protect him from other experienced well-resourced intelligence agencies.

    But he’s a big boy, and he will make his own decisions.

  15. JM Hatch

    The Banality of Evil… seems pretty intact when I look at the US Football, the money stepping in to cover up so everyone can go on making money (ala the cover up of pedophilia / child rape at Penn or Rice beating his wife in an elevator.)

  16. Ray Phenicie

    Snowden Could Testify Against NSA in Switzerland
    “Last month, Snowden was granted a three year residence permit by Russia – the country that he has sought asylum in since June last year.”
    I am surprised that no one has at least speculated on the possibility that this is the real reason for all of the political action the US is taking against Russia. Ukraine is just a pawn in the game.

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