2:00PM Water Cooler 10/10/14

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Hong Kong

HK squillionaire Jimmy Lai: “I am sure the whole world will wish it had spoiled kids like these” [Economist]. Protester study corner at Occupy Admiralty [Twitter].

Hacked recordings released, between Lai and Taiwanese protesters experienced in mass street protests and “high-stakes activism” [Asia Times]. There’s starting to be a lot of oppo, but whose oppo isn’t entirely clear.

Protesters regroup and take to the streets again after government rejects talks [Reuters].

The protesters are well equipped to sit it out, with supply stations stocked with essentials. They also have makeshift showers and dozens of tents pitched where they can sleep.

Shorter: Funding.

Mong Kok home of the “scrappiest” protests [McClatchy].


Emirates head Tim Clark points out the transponders were disabled from the flight deck, and ACARS is hard to disable and pilots aren’t trained for it. So how’d that happen? [Der Spiegel]. Clark: “MH 370 was, in my opinion, under control, probably until the very end.” At some point, we’ll write this one off with “we’ll never know” [Bloomberg] but not, apparently, yet. 

CNN’s aviation analyst Miles O’Brien: The Boeing 777’s underfloor equipment bay “hatch” allows access to circuitry and fuseboxes, is outside the cockpit door, and commonly not secured [CNN].

An official report from the Australian Transportation Safety Board on how MH370 went down based on a simulation [International Business Times]. There will be “ongoing refinements” in the search area [Daily Mail].

2014 and 2016

Kansas “independent” Greg Orman, hoping to unseat Roberts and caucus Democrat, wants to cut Social Security [Salon]. And you thought Democrats had given up on the Grand Bargain!

In unrelated story, squillionaires rush to helicopter drop pallets of cash to Orman campaign [Politico].

Hillary Clinton’s stand on the “Grand Bargain” at Colgate University last year:

In reply to a question about long-term budget deficits, Mrs. Clinton touted the sort of compromise Mr. Obama has embraced. She suggested something akin to Mr. Obama’s “grand bargain” –  a deficit reduction package that includes both tax revenue increases and adjustments to Social Security and Medicare.

“What has worked is a compromise where, yes, we raise revenues for a certain period and we go and look at entitlements to see what is fair and can be done without really disadvantaging either existing beneficiaries or people who are going to rely on these programs …” Mrs. Clinton said.

“Without really disadvantaging.” So what does that mean? People might feel they’re disadvantaged, but won’t “really” be, because hedonic adjustments? Like a cheaper brand of cat food?

Gwyneth Paltrow to Obama: ‘You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly” [McClatchy]. Well, power is an aphrodisiac. Obama’s quote:

Most of the gains in our economy go to the folks who are in this lovely yard—and the average person has not seen their wages or incomes go up in the last 20 years”

Thought balloons over the heads of “folks” in the yard: “Good job!” and “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

Paul Ryan’s Hachette book becomes easily discoverable, gets a 25% discount, and ships immediately, unlike other Hachette authors [McClatchy]. What, no ads from Jeff’s house organ at WaPo?

Voter ID laws successfully shrink electorate for youth and blacks in Kentucky and Tennessee [WaPo].

Another trial balloon for Mitt Romney [Times]. Dear Lord! If we’d elected Romney, income inequality would be even worse, the economy would be in a permanent recession, and we’d probably be at war. Oh, wait…


Cuomo proposes creation of state Office of Faith-Based Services [Daily News]. A twenty-point lead and he’s pushing a Bush program from the year 2000 (A.D.)?! Cuomo didn’t “have to say that,” so just like Clinton and America’s imperial mission and blowing wedding parties to pink mist, he must really believe this stuff!

Cuomo proposes to fund new Tappan Zee bridge with some of the $4 billion in bankster settlement fines [Journal News]. The crash and then the bailouts were the largest upward transfer of wealth in world history, and all New Yorker’s get out of it is a lousy toll bridge? So Cuomo actually is selling a bridge, here. I never thought I’d see that done in real life!

Stats Watch

Import and Export Prices, September 2014: “Year-on-year, import prices are deep into the deflationary zone at minus 0.9 percent.” “When excluding agriculture, export prices also fell 0.2 percent on the month and are unchanged year-on-year” [Bloomberg]. On imports, cheaper oil, and cheaper goods from EU owing to the strong dollar [Reuters].

Rapture Index: Steady [Rapture Ready].

News of the Wired

  • North Carolina Wells Fargo employee emails CEO for $10K raise for all employees, and CCs 200,000 other workers [Charlotte Observer]. More like this, please.
  • Microsoft’s Nardella to women at Grace Hopper conference on equal pay in tech: “Settle down. Believe in the system and the right things will happen,” later calls his remarks “inarticulate” [Bloomberg]. They seem perfectly articulate to me. UPDATE Hat tip to his interviewer, Maria Klawe, who called bullshit at once. Nardella has since apologized [BBC].
  • Pew: Many U.S. companies are now offering female employees permanent, unpaid maternity leave [The Onion].
  • Bill Gates fined over $40,000 for illegally storing horse manure [Independent]. Finally, accountability for Windows 7.
  • Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer to make Tumblr into YouTube [Business Insider]. Well, I wish she’d bring back the 1998 version of Yahoo Mail first. It worked great, wasn’t bloated with JavaScript, and didn’t fail for 24 hours at a time, like my account just did. That said, Mayer’s plan might make sense for a reason nobody’s mentioned: The most vicious, bottom-feeding comment threads I’ve ever encountered have all been on YouTube. If Tumblr somehow builds a better online culture, that might be a reason to switch.
  • Apple’s Jony Ive, in interview: When you eat something that’s bad, you assume the food is bad. But when you use a bad product, you assume it’s you [Business Insider]. True, and that’s how the tech dudes get away with it!
  • Word of the day: Solastalgia [Maine Environmental News]. Not sure about the Jung part, but it’s a neat word!
  • The cost of a Calvin [Uproxx] (the revered comic figure, not the dour theologian).
  • US firms have brought suit in ISDS trade tribunals nearly 130 times in the last 15 years and won billions because markets [Independent].
  • How the Phoebus cartel engineered short-lived light bulbs because markets [IEEE Spectrum (!)].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant, and I forget what it’s called:


I like the tapestry-like look of the “mess” — no bark mulch for me! — because it reminds me that the complexity of the systems we as humans build is as nothing beside the multilayered complexities of even a small patch of a small garden.

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. dearieme

    It’s a nasturtium (as you probably knew): the flowers are edible and add colour to a salad. Bet you knew that too.

    1. jgordon

      That is definitely the tastiest plant I’ve yet found–like wasabi with a crisp texture. I only wish they were perennial where I live.

  2. Jim Haygood

    ‘Bill Gates fined over $40,000 for illegally storing horse manure [Independent]. Finally, accountability for Windows 7.’

    Perhaps you meant Windows 8, the one that tries to serve both keyboard and touch screen devices. Windows 7 is probably Microsoft’s best effort to date [which is not saying much], though it took them 28 years to finally make a reasonably stable and usable operating system. Even so, now and then its polished mask slips off, revealing the primitive, saurian DOS skeleton still lurking behind the curtain.

  3. Jim Haygood

    BAGHDAD — Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have infiltrated one of Baghdad’s outer suburbs, Abu Ghraib which is only eight miles from the runway perimeter of Baghdad’s international airport.


    Abu Ghraib … rings a bell … didn’t we use to have a freedom facility torture center there, starring Lynndie England?

    One hopes the ISIS lads will behave better than ours did.

    1. afisher

      Which means that there has been no real movement by ISIS – read a map – this is already Sunni territory and media keep ignoring reality of miles / km IOW- non-news. Do you really believe that these guys want to get in a block by block with Shia – who are in charge of Bagdad? I’d guess NOPE!

  4. abynormal

    not a comfortable quarantine… http://www.mynews3.com/content/news/story/mccarran-international-airport-flight-quarantine/LJWYMIjKHUmqaWhi5Cn7KA.cspx
    Currently on a plane stuck on a Las Vegas tarmac that flew out of JFK. They won’t let us off the plane because of an ebola scare.
    — Frank Esposito (@FBEsposito) October 10, 2014

    Two sick passengers, woman and child, came from Africa and have a fever. They aren’t from a country in Africa with an outbreak though.
    — Frank Esposito (@FBEsposito) October 10, 2014

    Passengers not showing any other symptoms other than the fever. CDC is now on the scene.
    — Frank Esposito (@FBEsposito) October 10, 2014

  5. DJG

    More from Nadella: “Because that’s good karma,” Nadella continued. “It’ll come back because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust.”[Wikipedia adding to the quote from the Grace Hopper Conference] [Ahhh, cheesy “diversity.” That explains it. I guess that I truly AM ready for Hillary now. Because a Grand Bargain from Hillary will be Good Karma.]

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hong Kong, Lai, Taiwan…

    “Lai apparently knew about the ability of government surveillance authorities to secretly turn on cellphones and turn them into microphones).”

    That’s interesting.

    Time to dump one’s cell phone?

  7. JohnB

    Are there any MMT’ers who support removing the power to create money, from banks? Or those who support public banking? Why are these views not more common among MMT’ers? (there seems to be a bit of disagreement between MMT’ers, and those holding these views, but I don’t know the exact arguments)

    1. not_me

      MMT’s purpose is to save the banks from themselves and there’s no shortage of such tools of injustice, it seems.

      As for public banking, pray tell how it is to avoid violating equal protection under the law? Are the rich to remain more so-called creditworthy than the poor under public banking? Or shall they be charged the highest interest rates rather than as now the lowest? And shall the poor have interest-free loans as they should, if not outright grants as compensation for at least a century of systematic oppression by government subsidized banks?

      Let’s hear the proponents of public banking get specific with regard to who shall have the public’s credit and who shall not. A repeat of Gosbank is probably not the way to go.

      1. skippy

        You gotta love the pandering to the crowd comment followed by the wizen reply dripping unsubstantiated inferences.

        skippy…. think I saw this shtick in a tent as a kid.

          1. skippy

            What I don’t get is the need for such campy approaches, nor the impenetrable cementitious rigidity on one hand, and yet on the other, an equally impenetrable either.

            Skippy… one can only imagine this game being played out in halls of stately adjudication, over the decades, for wide eyed advancement needy impressionable freshmen. Whilst latter on the overpowering need to retch, after an epiphany, makes ones own wants a cornea HD movie reel. Popcorn not an option!

    2. James

      I’m pretty sure we’re at the point that MMT is merely an academic exercise with no real purpose. Could we conceivably print more money to deal with our current social ills? Of course, and we always could. Better question, why didn’t we, why don’t we, and why won’t we actually ever do it? Because we don’t actually care to deal with our social ills. Never have, don’t, and in all likelihood never will.

      But the larger question is, of course, will simply creating more money, in absence of actual human life sustaining natural resources to support it solve anything? And the answer there is, unless you’re a simpleton dolt born-again capitalist, of course not.

      So I guess the final question is, do you believe natural human sustaining natural resources are infinite and/or infinitely substitutable? If you do, I suppose you can continue to believe that this little experiment in human delusion can go on, for now at least. If you don’t, as I don’t, you have to suspect that the proverbial “jig” just might be up.

      So I guess you could say that I’m in the camp that says regardless who creates it, MONEY is MOST DEFINITELY NOT the answer.

      1. James

        Or more succinctly, while the amount of money in circulation is not the problem, the distribution of it most certainly is!

        Western economists will argue over that forever, simply because they equate “profits” with “earnings.” Risking previous monetary profits, likely stolen as well, as investments in future projects based on subordinates’ labor, does not entitle said investors to untoward profits based purely on that risk.

        Indeed, perhaps they should risk a bit of that fat back bacon off their amply marbled fat asses as well from time to time!

      2. not_me

        MONEY is MOST DEFINITELY NOT the answer. James

        Except it is, part of it that is. The government-subsidized banks have driven the population into onerous if not unpayable debt. The just solution is something similar to Steve Keen’s “A Modern Debt Jubilee” which does not disadvantage non-debtors. Keen’s proposal also advocates restrictions on new credit creation so as to prevent the distribution of new fiat from fueling a new bubble.

        Keen thus proposes restitution and reform and they compliment each other since reform without restitution would be highly deflationary and restitution without reform could prove to be highly inflationary. One hand washes the other.

        1. skippy

          The question begging is why wages were not tracking productivity and the gap between the higher quintile wealth and others exploded exponentially. The credit issue is also acerbated by the mob that wanted to deregulate and lower taxes, enabling this massive stored potential to ultimately explode in such spectacular fashion.

          As far as your libertarian government = ebv’al enablers one should take note of who was driving the free market agenda wanker mobile, which ran over anyone who dared shouting danger in their way, during this entire episode. Which then brings up the question, who was supporting this quasi religious cults ability to increasingly influence government policy. Yet when this misadventure spectacularly goes wrong, Gnostic sorts stand around the institution their influence corrupted shouting… ebv’al.

          The best part is now they want to resort to solutions to the problem by seeking knowlage from antiquity, same reference point they used to flesh out their collectives opines in the first place.

          skippy… the really silly bit is – they now suggest chump change is metered out in order to, supposedly, provide restitution for the lack of productivity sharing in the past, which will be used to back fill the criminally issued credit they were given as a substitute, in the first place. Which at the end of the day just makes all the criminal realized profits based on the aforementioned miscreants actions legit…. great plan… huzza!!!

      3. not_me

        As for the filthy rich, restrictions on real property ownership are the solution. No one, for example, should be able to buy another person’s heart, no matter how much money he has even if someone should agree to sell his. Likewise, no one should control more than his share of the agricultural land in a country.

        And politically, real property restrictions are much more intuitively justice than stripping the rich of their money. That’s why bigamy is outlawed in the US since it is obvious that no man should have multiple wives, no matter how much money he has, at the expense of other men having none at all.

    3. JohnB

      So…anyone know an answer, to the original questions, on the disconnect between MMT’ers and monetary reformists? :)

      1. skippy

        Monetary reformists believe they suffer in a fractional reserve-based monetary system and generally promote full reserve banking [which is not currently in practice anywhere in the world]. In addition most want interest free loans or social credit as some call it. The key bit is that this mob views reserves of less than 100% constitute fraud on the part of banks or in their opinion counterfeiting.

        The one thing this mob is not forthcoming with is such a system would lead to quite allot of lending ending up in a unregulated shadow system [think derivatives]. So on one hand you have average wage sort stuffing earnings into a central gov bank for compelled savings [saving = investment template tropes] herd management, on the other hand, we go back to the wild west style of personal contracts are personal privacy mugs game for those that like to climb the social ladder a bit quicker [knee caps and sexual favors an option].

        At the end of the day they hate gov regulations and work their fingers to the bone trying to concoct a system which needs none, due to its physical state, and lack of human agency. Perfect mouse trap syndrome.

        Skippy… all this coming from the same mob that laid the playing field for the GFC, through deregulation. Some times you have to take the car keys away from the growing senile before we all end up in the ditch or dead.

        1. JohnB

          Aren’t they a bit more varied in their views than that though? I think the Positive Money crowd seem pretty reasonable, though they don’t know a great deal about MMT/Post-Keynesianism.

          That’s a good point though, that re-regulation of banking goes hand-in-hand with re-regulation of finance, and you have to solve both sides of the problem (with monetary-reform/public-banking, dealing with just one side).

          1. not_me

            IF we are going to have government subsidies for private credit creation then government regulation thereof makes sense EXCEPT you then run into the problem of violation of equal protection under the law.

            The true solution requires the recognition that government is FORCE (And I’m pro-government, btw) and that the private sector should ONLY be voluntary cooperation with government subsides for none. But if the government should subsidize, it should only subsidize the needy, not the so-called creditworthy rich.

            1. skippy

              1. The Government subsidizes everything, so this cat and mouse game of voluntary vs, forced is stealing time and oxygen from productive inquire and mostly a observer problem, born of antiquity, for some.

              2. as far as positive et al systems go the heavy use of nomenclature like positive, real, natural, etc, sets off my divinity wind alarm. Next in terms of theory, advocates of the proposal appear to hold a monetarist belief that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, suggesting that controlling the money supply will control inflation. This ignores not only supply-side factors but the effects on demand of alterations in non-government net-saving intentions. Which is further complicated by its non democratic state wrt governments capacity to create new money (NFAs).

              3. If they were so concerned about half the stuff they were on about, why not just nationalize systematically important banks and make them public utility’s. Nationalizing big banking would be a way of partially euthanizing financial rentiers. Interest payments on loans to corporations, once received by a nationalized bank, would function like a tax. The part of profit that would have gone to financial rentiers would instead be captured by the government. If desired, these funds could then be distributed as a dividend to citizens, in this way giving everybody a share in the rent. Alternatively, the interest payments could just be treated as destroyed money, which would provide more room for public spending in other areas.

              4. It makes the same mistakes as bimetallism because it continues to propagate the wrong model of confusing money with value and all the historical problems that notion creates.

              skippy…. If Milton was for it, one has to highly question it… eh…

    4. Benedict@Large

      You’d do best to stay away from comments on MMT on this site. Way too much of it is real head-up-the-ass stuff by people who’ve been reading too much Ron Paul crap. Personally, I’ve given up trying to correct what these people say, as there’s simply too much of it, and it’s quite obvious these people are not interested in actually learning MMT before they offer their opinions on it.

      As to the specific answer to your question, JohnB, banks do not create money. The money multiplier is an accounting mistake, and does not exist in the real world. — As for public banking, I suspect most MMTers would be fine with it, but it is not part of MMT. MMT is economics, and who owns banks is a political decision.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Bank of England says that banks create money. But you know more about it than they do? Hmm…impressive.

      2. JohnB

        Ah, well I’m short on a good public place to discuss MMT, so this will have to do ;) (open to suggestions on where I may find good public discussion of it though? A forum would be interesting – blog comments are an awkward format if you want to discuss something specific. NEP is good but not as high traffic as here)

        I’ve encountered exactly what you say though: Libertarians/NeoLiberal posters/commenters tend to do all they can, to block discussion of MMT – usually in quite a wrenchingly condescending way; I don’t give up though ;) the last 3 years of my economic self-education, can partly be summed up as “arguing with Libertarians” (a lot to learn from debunking them).

        Ah, on bank creation of money: I don’t believe in the money multiplier either, but I do believe in ‘endogenous money’, and that banks create money when they give out loans – Steve Keen describes it well, in wonkish-detail, in this appropriately-titled article ‘The Myth of the Money Multiplier‘.

        1. ChrisPacific

          There is plenty of good discussion of MMT here although the noise level is high. A lot of commenters object to it because of a kind of proof by contradiction argument based on the (false) premise that MMT equals infinite wealth for everyone. I have some sympathy for them as I thought the same thing for a while, and it’s a somewhat difficult concept to get your head around. Pro-MMT commenters aren’t blameless either, as few of them have the patience for the kind of endless repetition of the basics that is needed for discussion in a public forum like this one, and they’re inclined to hand out reading assignments as a result (which can be taken as patronizing depending on how it’s handled).

          1. JohnB

            Ya that’s a pity – you get that from Austrian’s a bit too – “here, read this multi-hundred-page tome and get back to me”, though I suppose articles isn’t as bad.
            I always try to explain stuff in my own words, as least the I learn something myself from it along the way as well.

            Wish there was a better/central place, like a proper forum or something, for discussing MMT – it’s the low signal-to-noise level that does make it hard to discuss, because as you can see, it’s hard to get a focused/on-topic discussion.

  8. jrs

    The climate crisis and western economics:

    This is the best part:
    “The ‘state of nature’ canard features prominently in Mr. Krugman’s worldview as well. The basic frame is that economic growth benefits us all, that draconian measures to solve global warming will cause more harm than good and that simple technical solutions like higher fuel efficiency standards and slowing transport ships down to boost their fuel efficiency will solve the problem” .
    “To be clear, there is no objection found here to raising fuel efficiency standards and other incremental moves toward environmental resolution. Good luck getting around the trade agreements long supported by Western economists that are designed to thwart such efforts.”

    Ouch but that personal Krugman attack is too on target. Anyone that has or does support the trade agreements is themselves destroying the means of countries to address environmental problems even if the will was there. Because the trade deals are not just trade deals of course but corporate rule. Krugman shilled for trade for years and years and years. Whose side is Krugman really on?

    1. James

      Still haven’t figured out the politics of it. That the details seem to be rather… curious so far, goes without saying. A link to MH17 and all that? Haven’t seen a convincing one yet, but then again, I haven’t been looking. There’s almost certainly something there, but what that is remains a mystery.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      My only comment about MH370 is as an Australian taxpayer. Our Neanderthal Prime minister Abbott has seen fit to spend $80M and counting on a goose chase looking for it in the Indian Ocean…while slashing Grandma’s pension, decimating universities, and making research scientists double as janitors.
      As Travis Bickle said “someday a real rain is gonna come and wash the scum away…”

  9. Jeff W

    Re: Hong Kong

    Chief Secretary Carrie Lam basically says to the protesters, “Well, we would have talked to you but not about the thing you’re protesting about“ and “If you keep protesting, we won’t talk at all”—a non-responsive, almost incoherent response that seems calculated to maximize the numbers of protesters, if not infuriate them completely. (She left today to attend a “regional integration forum” in Guangzhou this weekend, to be joined Sunday by Chief Executive CY Leung.)

    Peter Lee says

    …the pro-democracy movement is coordinated and financed by a group of clever, determined, and ruthless bigwigs who are using the student demonstrations as part of a sophisticated political campaign against the Hong Kong government to achieve some electoral reforms.

    It’s not clear (to me, anyway) what the dynamics are. Pro-democracy “media mogul” Jimmy Lai said yesterday he hasn’t talked to the student leaders or to Benny Tai, one of the founders of Occupy Central, just a day after it was reported that he had “said key leaders of the protests were considering forming a single body to handle the rest of the campaign…”—so whom exactly is he talking to? I have no doubt that the pro-reform players are talking to each other and coordinating—they’ve been handling this situation too well not to be.

    1. MsExPat

      I live in Hong Kong, know many of the players involved here personally, and no one I know has ever heard of Peter Lee. I doubt he actually lives here for his pieces are third party reports based on articles in other media. His contention that the student protests are bankrolled by Lai, who is the puppet master, are ludicrous, as is the rest of his “deep conspiracy” agitprop that feels very much like it is being funded by Beijing, which is scrambling to prove the protests are foreign plots.

      If Lai or any other mogul is “bankrolling” these protests it is difficult to see evidence of it on the streets, where there is almost no money being spent. Unlike, say, the Red Shirts in Bangkok, who had elaborate stages and sound systems, coordinated signs and t-shirts, etc, the Occupy protesters have cobbled together microphones and cheap speakers or loud hailers –some are on loan from the sundry pro democracy parties, others belong to individuals. Indy bands bring their amps. People and small local merchants donate water and food–I watched this happening, and even helped unpack and distribute stuff myself in the first days. All the banners, shirts, public art–all handmade. Protesters bring their own tents, food, guitars, iPhones., buy their own instant noodles. Nothing “matches” in the way that it would if a handful of moguls sending out money and supplies from distributors.

      Everybody loves a conspiracy, everyone loves to believe people and events are being moved by some black hand. But based on my sources as well as my witness Peter Lee’s conspiracy ravings are not an accurate nor a worthy analysis of the extraordinary reality happening now on the streets of Hong Kong.

      As for Gartner and who spilled the beans on CY, the money right now in town is on “disgruntled former associate or employee” , not BJ.

  10. Tom Hickey

    Back in 2008, I said that O was a snake in the grass and that if McCain won it would be a catastrophe but if O won it would only be a disaster. Why this wasn’t obvious to progressives then, I don’t know. It sure was when he started making initial appointments, like Rahm, Larry, and Timmy, and dissed the left to Rachel Maddow at their first interview. Downhill from there.

    1. Benedict@Large

      This wasn’t obvious because the press simply wouldn’t report on Obama’s history, and especially would not report on his links with the Chicago real estate mob. There was no way Obama was going to help distressed homeowners when he had earned his bona fides bum rushing the blacks out of Cabrini Green, an scam referred to by the press as “community organizer”.

  11. Propertius

    Well, I wish she’d bring back the 1998 version of Yahoo Mail first. It worked great, wasn’t bloated with JavaScript, and didn’t fail for 24 hours at a time, like my account just did.

    I’d settle for bringing back the old version of My Yahoo.

Comments are closed.