Links 10/11/14

A Brief History Of Car Colors — And Why Are We So Boring Now? Consumerist. This is a pet interest, since I am old enough to remember the days when cars came in lots of fun colors. When did you last see a car in robin’s egg blue, for instance?

Robot learns how snakes climb dunes BBC (David L)

What Scientists Really Do New York Review of Books

There’s a Methane ‘Hot Spot’ the Size of Delaware in the American Southwest Motherboard (Chuck L)


Before Discharge, Dallas Victim Had Fever of 103 Degrees New York Times

New York City’s JFK airport begins enhanced Ebola screening program Reuters

The fight to save the last Ebola-free district in Sierra Leone Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Why Africa Can’t Handle Ebola: the Destruction of the 3rd World Ian Welsh

China just overtook US as the world’s largest economy, IMF says Christian Science Monitor (1 SK)

Germany needs to fix its economic model Financial Times. A little late to be saying that now.

Dam breaks in Europe as deflation fears wash over ECB rhetoric Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

An ‘atomic bomb’ is hovering over France’s economy Anatole Kaletsky, Financial Times

Will Spain suffer an Irish bust? BBC

Files Unsealed from the Cold War failed evolution

‘Russia leaned on Cypriot MPs to nix across-the-board haircut’ Cyprus Mail (AP)



What Young Ukrainians Are Fighting For Political Violence @ a Glance

Russia under Pressure: “Russia Moves Ruble Band in Biggest Intervention Since March” Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser


ISIS Intensifies Siege of Kurdish City in Syria Despite Strikes New York Times. Translation: “Air strikes are not dislodging ISIS.”

IS/Coalition War Game – Move 1b – Forecast of events until 5 November 2014 Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

U.S.-Qatar Alliance Strains Coalition Wall Street Journal

SOF is Oversold. – Mass Counts Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Holder And FBI Looking To Stop Civilian Use Of Strong Crypto DSWright, Firedoglake (furzy mouse)

Brands Are Scanning Your Selfies And Party Photos To Look For Their Logos Consumerist. I must confess to not understanding why anyone would want to take a selfie. This makes me glad to not understand.

Mine Your Digital Business Project Syndicate (David L). But if you must take selfies….

Twitter’s First Amendment Suit & the Warrant-Canary Question Just Security

Yes, Your E-Book is Spying on You LinkedIn (David L)

Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany Intercept. Plus: Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, Moved to Moscow to Live with Him.

Thinking Like Corporations Is Harming American Universities Noam Chomsky (furzy mouse)

Bank of America’s No-Bid Prison Contract Facing Criticism in Congress DSWright, Firedoglake.

A Wells Fargo Employee Emailed The CEO Asking For A $10,000 Raise And He CC’d 200,000 Other Employees Business Insider (Jeff)

Whither Markets?

Dow Erases Gains for the Year New York Times

Investors Gird For Scarier Days In Markets Reuters

Look at the Economy, Fight the Illusion of Normality, Feel the Weirdness. Fabius Maximus, Wolf Street

Class Warfare

Private jets expensed using hedge fund fees Financial Times (Li). This is really really bad, although common. Basically, just about no one who flies on private jets in the US pays for them themselves. It’s either a corporate expense, or fund managers find a way to charge them to investors. Private equity guys do this routinely, but in most cases, they’ve actually written their limited partnership agreements to allow for that (so that means shame on the investors for not putting in some curbs). By contrast, hedgies sit at Bloomberg terminals. There’s no justification (unless you are talking perhaps a distressed investing fund or short fund where they might want to go do serious due diligence in some oddball locations, but even then it is an awfully big stretch) for the use of private jets.

Bank Clients Might Be Unfairly Denied Accounts New York Times Quelle surprise!

FedEx Workers At New Jersey Facility Reject Union Representation Reuters

Is There Capitalism After Cronyism? American Conservative

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

surfing duck links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    86′ i bought an 82′ 280zx off a woman that never grabbed 5th gear. an talented childhood friend talked me into breaking it down that night (or id never get around to it) and stripping it to its bare metal. made a few modifications and painted it Bryar Blue…a one year color on the 72 corvette. took 6 coats before the color even began to appear. we actually sanded every other coat of clear and on the last coat we added the ever so slightest hint of crushed pearl. 1st time i pulled it out of the garage my pardner in crime said, ‘watch this’, placed my drivers lic. on the hood and told me to read the numbers…i could and i blew sparks. people would argue over the color because it was so deceptive… depending on the time of day or that days weather or even the season the car was a spook. funnest couple of months creating that Aby car…sold it 6yrs later. (BK years…before kid)

        1. craazyman

          faaak she let her man Al take nudie pics of her. can you imagine nude pics of you all over the internet? I mean really. They might even show up in museums! Jesus.

              1. craazyboy

                Holy bazoombaas craazyman! That was in 1919 too. I know some women had tits back then, but didn’t they burn women at the stake for it?

  2. abynormal

    bit more detail on Pri$on Contract$…”When inmates are released, JPMorgan steps in, issuing high-fee payment cards to distribute money from their prison accounts, which include earnings from jobs and money their families send them. JPMorgan’s no-bid deal to issue debit cards for various federal agencies began in 1998, was extended in 2008 and eventually expanded to include cards for federal prisons. Fees from former inmates make up most of the bank’s compensation for these cards, documents show. A separate Treasury document from 2013 said that about 50,000 released prisoners had been issued cards and listed fees of $2 for withdrawing money from an ATM and $1.50 for leaving an account inactive for three months. 121 institutions housing 214,365 inmates. Since 2000
    Inhumanity is the keynote of stupidity in power. ~Berkman, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist

    1. ginnie nyc

      Hey, JP Morgan Chase has also been handling all public benefit transactions on public benefit cards (“Medicaid card”) including Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP) and cash payments since they were introduced in New York State over 15 years ago. If you want to withdraw the cash award, ca-ching! If you have a problem accessing benefits off your card, you end up speaking to a Morgan Chase operator.

      Of course, if you have a third-party trust in New York State (for disabled children – and disabled adults who can’t afford the Medicaid premium), who is getting the initial deposit of 3 months income, and monthly fees for mis-handling your money – yes, that’s right – JP Morgan Chase!

      Jamie Dimon is an even bigger scumbag than you thought.

      1. Irrational

        And now all your data have been hacked… what could go wrong? is I believe a popular question on this site!

      2. Ulysses

        “Jamie Dimon is an even bigger scumbag than you thought.” This is terrifying to contemplate!! How can such inhuman piles of crap not just turn into piles of hot ashes reeking of brimstone??!??

  3. jjmacjohnson

    Yes, Your E-Book is Spying on You. The other is a real jerk. Pretty saying suck it up and accept. What a joke.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Hollywood Reporter:

    A second National Security Agency whistleblower exists within the ranks of government intelligence. That bombshell comes toward the end of Citizenfour,a new documentary from filmmaker Laura Poitras about NSA informant Edward Snowden that had its world premiere on Friday at the New York Film Festival.

    In the key scene, journalist Glenn Greenwald visits Snowden at a hotel room in Moscow. Fearing they are being taped, Greenwald communicates with Snowden via pen and paper. While some of the exchanges are blurred for the camera, it becomes clear that Greenwald wants to convey that another government whistleblower — higher in rank than Snowden — has come forward.

    The revelation clearly shocks Snowden, whose mouth drops open when he reads the details of the informant’s leak.

    A second person within the NSA who actually refrains from using the constitution for toilet paper? Awfully far fetched, but let’s hope it’s true!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I realize this is strictly tin-foil-hat stuff, I believe Operation Neo-Barbarossa to capture Snowden in Moscow is now not so urgent.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In fact, it got only as far as Donetsk, far short of Volgagrad.

        The only consolation is at least no field marshal has been captured.

  5. Banger

    On Ian Welsh’s piece on the Africa and the third world. While he touches on some important topics, the plantation economy, the IMF and its neoliberal policies he leaves out the main cause: full-spectrum corruption and neo-colonialism. The fact is that much of Africa is dominated by a class of professional criminals and martinets whose main interest is either personal enrichment or enrichment of their tribes. This is all fed by massive inputs of capital by the World Bank and other financial entities and oil companies as well as U.S. “aid” to these countries that have done virtually nothing to help real people. Africa has also become the trash can of last resort for the West–the home of toxic waste of all kinds.

    We have the capacity to handle Ebola or any other major outbreak of disease but our leaders do not want the human race to have that capacity. But worse, I don’t believe the average citizen wants to have that capacity because our culture 24/7 broadcasts values that go against any kind of deeper morality in favor of radical selfishness. These sorts of plagues whether caused by malignant groups who want to cull the population (there are increasing numbers who believe that) or simply are a result of natural processes are a call to arms to those of us who understand that we are all connected in a globalized world and we can’t just ignore whole continents like Africa and consign their lives to misery. We are quite happy to live in a society that cares little for its fellow citizens why would we care for Africans?

    In the end, neoliberalism, is a worse disease than Ebola–it is a system that destroys culture and civilization to be sure but also attempts to systematically destroy the human soul.

    1. abynormal

      What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn. ~African proverb (…the horror & the pain of missed opportunities)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Ebola virus is physical, whereas neoliberalism is a concept with physical consequences, in the same way we have physical violence and emotional/spiritual violence (which can have physical consequences).

      There are more victims of neoliberalism and more fatalities, not just humans but Nature also. On the other hand, Ebola is more visible, and its devastation more immediate, so human people get more worked up for it (with only one non-human victim, a dog in Madrid, so far) due to the same mental defect in our brain that makes killing a terminally sick person with, say 1 month to live, a crime (and rightly so), but not someone whose constant nagging, while living with you, shortens your already stressed-out life by 10 years…probably because it’s ‘beyond the scope of our scope (or what we can study). Who’s to say that was not what motivated Socrates, partly, to take the drink? (Ok, I am digressing too far now).

      I don’t know which is worse – neoliberalism or Ebola – when it’s all said and done, perhaps centuries later. Maybe we can glimpse a hint – Ebola is getting much more attention, that is to say, they have done a good job in telling us that there is nothing to see, nothing visible, here in Neoliberal-stan.

    3. trish

      “much of Africa is dominated by a class of professional criminals and martinets whose main interest is either personal enrichment or enrichment of their tribes.”

      I think he mentions the African looter-criminals here:

      ACT I: “and even those countries in which the leaders didn’t steal the money…”

      ACT II: “on the bright side, while not enough hard currency has been created to develop, or even stay ahead of your loans, enough exists so that the leaders can get rich”

      “neoliberalism, is a worse disease than Ebola–it is a system that destroys culture and civilization to be sure but also attempts to systematically destroy the human soul.” So agree…

    4. James

      In the end, neoliberalism, is a worse disease than Ebola–it is a system that destroys culture and civilization to be sure but also attempts to systematically destroy the human soul.

      Nailed it!

  6. Jim Haygood

    Here’s a stiff whiff of colonialist paternalism from a valued Operation Mockingbird partner, the NYT:

    What is the point of raising and spending many millions of dollars (the Palestinians say $4 billion is required) to rebuild the Gaza Strip just so it can be destroyed in the next war?

    Ending this depressing cycle will require … [making] sure any rebuilding program … strengthens the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate committed to peace with Israel, while weakening Hamas, Israel’s implacable enemy.

    SSDD … this is the same logic that led the US and Israel to nullify the 2006 Palestinian elections when their stooges failed to win in Gaza as expected. When we don’t win, we just kick over the chess board and storm out. That’s managed democracy.

    Funny how Israel never gets labeled as an ‘implacable enemy,’ despite blowing up Gaza and Lebanon over and over.

    1. MikeNY

      The only way I can understand our policy in the ME is to start from its conclusions:

      1) Israel is inviolable, and
      2) We have an absolute right to all the hydrocarbons under the sand.

      Our government will embrace any set of propositions and any logic that leads to these two conclusions.

  7. dearieme

    “Thinking Like Corporations Is Harming American Universities”: not to worry, the cleverest youngsters will accordingly shun academic careers and go off to do something else.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sorry, I read it as “thinking, like corporations, is harming American universities.”

        The mistake is natural for me, in my defense. As a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a heart person first, not a brain person first.

  8. Ep3

    Re: car colors.
    Yes, I have been wondering the same thing. But as always, my theory falls back to the tried and true “show me the money”. Tho car paint is more durable and rust resistant, my guess is that our current pallet of dull colors helps to generate quicker turnaround at the dealerships. “Tricoat artic white” won’t look “new” after a couple years, like mint green would. I will say that white hides dust much better than black, so from a purely maintenance perspective that helps in my choices. And so when you live in a state like michigan, your mint green car will wear and tear faster than a color that can absorb such abuse.

    1. abynormal

      as i age, remaining under the radar becomes pricele$$…Dark colored cars are least likely to get pulled over because they stand out less to the human eye.

      “There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”
      Wendell Berry

    2. nobody

      Well, there is Mazda’s soul red:

      “Mazda created a new paint process for the 6, using two colored coats of paint rather than the usual single color and clear top coat. The base coat has a high concentration of aluminum flakes, forming a highly reflective layer. On top of that goes another coat of paint, a semi-translucent layer with the high-chroma, very intense red color. Light shines through the top layer and is reflected back by the metallic coat. The result is a shimmering, radiant finish that appears to glow when caught by the light, while the parts of the car in shadow appear very dark.”

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When we only buy, we are limited to what we are offered.

      When we make our own, we have more choices.

      Once, I thought creativity was picking the right colors for my interior decoration…or working with a sharp interior decorator (which I never could afford anyway).

      Now, I rather muddy myself in the pottery studio making my own tea bowls (we have robin’s egg glaze, yeah)…nothing refined like the Ming blue and white, but at least they are the expressions of my soul.

      I guess what I am saying here is that, why can’t they sell unpainted cars so you can get one to paint it the way you like yourself?

      1. ambrit

        A good bit of the modern automobile today is plastic. For years now Detroit has made body parts from injection molded plastic, said plastic coloured with pigmented plastic chaff mixed into the base before forming. I have seen it done in Bay St Louis at a GE plastics coloration plant. The color is shipped in very big fiberglass bags on 18 wheeler flatbeds. The stuff is similar to the fill used in beanbag chairs. Ordering an auto in the colours you like is feasible, but not the same, I admit.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe someone wants to paint a vampire squid on his/her car…creative type, I suppose.

          Can he/she order that?

          1. hunkerdown

            A friend of mine mused about picking up a bunch of vinyl clings for her black New Beetle, with triangles containing text like “Outlook not so good”, “Better not tell you now”…

    4. Kim Kaufman

      also EPA has been coming down hard on paint chemicals (because they can; paint industry does not have a strong lobby) so a lot of good pigments are not available any more. :(

      1. hunkerdown

        Lead doesn’t have a strong lobby, though the private corrections companies, knowing the connection between lead paint and violent crime, are probably discussing it in hushed tones.

  9. diptherio

    Could Faircoin be the First Global Commons Currency? ~David Bollier

    It’s hard to find many co-operatives with the kind of practical sophistication and visionary ambitions as CIC – the Catalan Integral Cooperative – in Spain. CIC describes itself as a “transitional initiative for social transformation from below, through self-management, self-organization, and networking.” It considers the state unable to advance the public good because of its deep entanglements with market capitalism — so it has set about building its own working alternatives to the banking system and state.

    Since its founding in May 2010, CIC has developed some 300 cooperative projects with 30 local nodes, involving some 4,000 to 5,000 participants. You can get an idea of the impressive scope of CIC’s work through this interview with Enric Duran by Shareable magazine in March 2014. It’s fairly clear that CIC is serious about building a new global economic system – and not just as a rhetorical statement. CIC builds real, working alternatives, showing great sophistication about politics, law, economics and digital platforms.

    CIC has now started Fair.Coop to help build a set of free economic tools that will “promote cooperation, ethics, solidarity and justice in our economic relations.” A key element of the Fair-Coop vision is a cryptocurrency, Faircoin, which has been designed to adapt the block-chain technology of Bitcoin with a more socially constructive design. (Faircoin relies less on “mining” new coins than on “minting” them in a more ecologically responsible, equitable ways.)

    […] will consist of a number of other vehicles beyond Fair.coin. They will include:

    Faircredit, a worldwide mutual credit system for exchanging goods and services via Faircoin.
    Fairfunds, a group of faircoin donation vehicles for various types of projects. The funds currently include the Global South Fund, the Commons Fund and the Technology Infrastructure Fund.
    Fairsavings, a “multisignature digital wallet which forces a minimum savings period of six months.”
    Faircoop wallet: a linked P2P multisignature wallet.
    Fairmarket, a source of faircredit to people who use faircoin.

    The remarkable ambition of is to become a system of globally coordinated networks that link local projects. The basic idea: “to hack the foreign exchange market by inserting the cooperation virus as a tool for global economic justice.

    The cooperation virus…it’s more contagious than Ebola, but with better side-effects.

    1. ArmchairRevolutionary

      It still appears to be based upon bitcoin theory which has the problem of inelastic quantities of coin. I have seen one interesting solution that would dynamically change the number of coin in all wallets based upon a mixed bag of commodities. This would address the price stability issue that bitcoin has, but it still would not address the issue that holders of bitcoin have an incentive to hold bitcoin as long as they believe more people will use bitcoin. I think if someone could provide a solution for this, then I think you will see a successful crypto-currency from a technical standpoint. It then has to get past the government tyranny hurdle.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “CIC describes itself as a “transitional initiative for social transformation from below, through self-management, self-organization, and networking.” It considers the state unable to advance the public good because of its deep entanglements with market capitalism — so it has set about building its own working alternatives to the banking system and state.”

      I am curious to know how many agree or disagree with that.

      1. Glenn Condell


        If governments (for whatever reason, ours is elite capture, but the Archdruid provides many other causes) cannot provide basic political goods – sound money and regulated markets, access to justice, peace, liberty, security, infrastructure etc – then local alternatives will arise which attempt to address the shortfall, so I agree that such approaches are necessary.

        But they are not sufficient. Even if networked with each other, such systems can’t conduct foreign policy or accomplish infrastructure projects of national importance. Localism can’t replace nation states at least in the short term, so the challenge would be to gradually introduce such measures as complimentary to the existing system, or as an alternative, not as a flat-out oppositional replacement.

        The current corruption is bathwater, the government is the baby. Let’s not throw the latter out with the former. If it’s broke, fix it rather than throw it away. By all means invent ways to circumvent the predations and crapifications and general entropy of government but recognise that without it (or even worse, with it as an implacable opponent) all locally blooming flowers are at great risk.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Glenn, I agree.

          I believe when we fix the current corruption, we will also have the money the baby needs; while giving more money to the baby doesn’t, by itself, lead to less corruption.

          Cleaning up the government, then, is a dual-natured ‘quantum’ act.

  10. William

    Getting blasted by a video ad (off-screen) days after donating for good journalism reminds me of the old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
    So NC, where does more annoying ads fit into your vision? Is it really necessary to have in-your-face ads? I mean, how much revenue are we talking? Is it really worth degrading your site for?
    NC has been my daily go-to for some 10 years or so, but this really takes off the shine.
    Ah, but there is a silver lining. I need to get out more anyway.

    1. Lambert Strether

      If there were no ads, we’d need to reboot the fundraiser and run it for another couple of weeks. Is that your plan?

      The ads have to run. NC does constantly monitor to keep them down to a dull roar; the ad people push, we push back, in a continuing cycle.

      1. trinity river

        Thanks for blocking the ads advertising russian and asian women as zerohedge does. I sure you would be paid more.

          1. Clive

            Russian and Asian women looking for husbands ? I don’t get those ads… Which kinda-a begs the question, where am I going wrong ? All I get is a pic of the London financial district skyline with a tag saying “Access high-value projects… Usually reserved for the largest investors” and a specialty bookstore. They might as well put up one for the “Dull as ditchwater schmuck who’s still gullible to fall for an obvious financial scam dating agency”.

            Bring back those “how to lose your belly using this weird old tip” ones please. I’m still kicking myself that I missed out on that one.

            1. craazyboy

              Easily solved. Hit a few porn sites and the google bots will update your preferences for the NC ad bots.

              They don’t pay programmers the big bucks for ignoring the customers’ wishes!

      2. hunkerdown

        Display ads are an understandable, necessary evil. But video ads are counterproductive to this conviviality thing….

        1. Lambert Strether

          Do they autoplay? That is evil. If they don’t, I don’t see an issue. Still pictures, and a still picture of something that moves if you click on it. What’s the diff?

    2. Jillionaire

      I was tickled when early one morning the front page of NakedCap had two adds for a Bombardier executive jet, one add very large.

      I was greatly relieved that both ads were gone a few hours later – my hastily placed order was safe.

    3. alex morfesis

      the ads you see are exclusive to you…most sights dig into either your cookies or your current open windows or tabs…I love messing with the bots by having all types of open browsers for things i have no interest in what so ever…love watching big blubber fall for my little honey pots…artificial intelligence…hah…me no worry…

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That is sort of correct.

        We do have ad campaigns that many readers see (even those aren’t for all readers; some are targeted to specific geographic regions).

        But regulars (people who visit the site more than once a day) are pretty likely to see “remnant” ads. Our ad service has a big inventory of ads they display based on what they think a reader wants to see. So for instance, when I’ve just bought vitamins, I get all sorts of ads from dietary supplement companies.

        1. Jillionaire

          I’ll just have to stop buying office and apartment buildings and jets on line when I visit NC.

  11. abynormal

    WASHINGTON—In an effort to bring the United States’ transportation network “into the 21st century,” President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious new high-speed rail plan Friday that will fly Americans to Japan in order to use the island nation’s extensive, state-of-the-art train system.

    According to the president, the $80 billion initiative will subsidize airline tickets between the U.S. and several major Japanese cities, allowing the American people to enjoy all the benefits of a modernized network of high-speed trains as soon as their international flights touch down in the East Asian country…

    1. craazyboy

      I’m sure Obama meant land in Osaka, take the high speed train to Tokyo, takeoff from Tokyo and return to your city of choice.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China overtaking America as the largest economy.

    That’s what is important for the 0.01%, isn’t it?

    Forget China’s per capita GDP is lower than America’s.

    But a bigger economy means more resources to extract from for its supreme leader, its generals and its neoliberal overlords, never mind the per capita numbers…except perhaps the ‘per 0.01%-capita’ numbers. A bigger GDP divided amongst a smaller number of business partners simply means a bigger profit share per partner.

    What really matters for the Little People is per capita GDP, and more importantly, the distribution of wealth.

    1. Jim Haygood

      This chart illustrates that in one generation, China lifted its per capita GDP by an amount that took the US two generations to achieve in the 19th century:

      Adjusted for purchasing power parity and hedonics (meaning that 21st century China has better and cheaper stuff than the US did in the 19th century, when you couldn’t buy a car, a cell phone or antibiotics at any price), China likely has reached the living standard that the US had in the 1920s as mass consumption took off.

      China’s boom has created a middle class of 300 million people, where none existed 40 years ago.

      1. Paul Niemi

        They are adding banking assets at one trillion US every four months to hold it all together. Now at $27 T. I’m still watching the price of copper, which after losing almost ten percent in the last month is being defended at around $300. When that lets go, their shadow banking system will go with it. Real estate is already crashing. State-directed lending is going to be discredited in the historical context from what will happen.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In fact, my guess is more will leave now than 40 years ago, because there are more people than 40 years ago, and they can now, (if only by taking profits just before their housing bubble bursts).

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In comparison, not many Americans were eager to migrate to Britain, the reigning empire then, in the 1920’s.

        Perhaps this Chinese boom is different the early American boom…something is missing.

  13. MikeNY

    The Wolf Street piece on the economy is very good esp on the paradigm and Kuhn. It’s fascinating, in a grotesque and pathetic way, to watch mainstream economists struggling desperately to keep the rattling, sputtering asset-led, demand-driven model chugging along. Gaffers tape, baling wire, paper clips, Band-Aids, hairpins … they’re trying them all, to keep it on the road. Meanwhile the hood is open, steam pours from the radiator, and the back fender kisses the asphalt.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘… the back fender kisses the asphalt …’

      Load a ton of horse manure in your vehicle, and you’ll get the same effect. ;-)

      Crap … my Nobel Prize vanity plate got bent from scrapin’ the pavement …

  14. Fíréan

    (After Khalil Gibran)
    Pity the nation whose people are sheep
    And whose shepherds mislead them
    Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
    Whose sages are silenced
    And whose bigots rule the airwaves
    Pity the nation that raises not its voice
    Except to praise conquerers
    And acclaim the bully as hero
    And aims to rule the world
    By force and by torture
    Pity the nation that knows
    No other language but its own
    And no other culture but its own
    Pity the nation whose breath is money
    And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
    Pity the nation oh pity the people
    who allow their rights to erode
    and their freedoms to be washed away
    My country, tears of thee
    Sweet land of liberty!
    —Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    1. psychohistorian

      Pity the nation
      who’s dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
      has been stolen by the elite of our species
      Pity the world desecrated by a species that has no respect
      and wallows in the suffering of others

      Pity our world and pity ourselves for our hubris

  15. craazyboy

    “China just overtook US as the world’s largest economy, IMF says Christian Science Monitor (1 SK)”

    “Germany needs to fix its economic model ”

    YA! Population 90 million Germany needs to move away from zis 3 billion population “Export Driven Asian Economic Model”

    Und Achtung!!! Before it is too late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Und start acting like a developed country vith wages und environmental respect alzo!!!!!

    Und fix your school system und heathcare system vile you are at it!! You vant to be fat dumb sickos????? Zink about zat a minute, von’t you, please. Danke.

    Ozervise you turn volrd into toilet bowl populated vith slave labor !!!!! Alzo too Ebola.!

    Next thing you know you can only get job in military!!! Take it from zumvone who knows zes zings.
    Get vith it Germany ! Ozervise we vill call you nasty names like “greedy psycho-sociopath neo-conliberal” !!!!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Ambrose is talking about the ECB going beyond QE-lite to full spectrum QE.

      Had he bothered to look at the many QE’s here in the US, he would know it would just enrich the already rich over even more.

  16. fresno dan
    There are villages in the most remote tribal areas of Pakistan in which these context machines are such a constant, noisy presence that drones are sometimes called bangana, a Pashto word for wasp. While they linger, no one on the ground knows whether their mission is surveillance or assassination. It is this combination of inscrutability and remote power that makes them such a maddeningly seductive and destructive tool of foreign policy. In May 2012, a drone strike destroyed a residential block in the Yemeni city of Jaar. Fifteen minutes later, the drone fired again, into the same houses, so that some people who had come to help the wounded were themselves killed. A pregnant woman died. A 65-year-old taxi driver, rushing to help members of his family after the first strike, saw “seven or eight” bodies scattered around him. No one seemed to really understand what, or whom, the drone had been pursuing, or even who was operating it. Some eyewitnesses who spoke with NPR were certain they had seen a gray American jet, “like an eagle.” Those talking to the London Times were convinced the plane had been black and Saudi. Perhaps the aircraft they’d seen had nothing to do with the strike at all.

    More From
    Benjamin Wallace-Wells

    The Plot From Solitary

    The Blip

    Obama Can Stand Up to Enemies Like ISIS, But Finding Allies Is the Real Challenge

    The places where drone strikes have been most common are places accustomed to violence and war. “In Pakistan, things fall out of the sky all the time,” the country’s former president Pervez Musharraf is supposed to have said. Things dropped from drones tend to fall more exactly in place. American drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia have killed between 3,200 and 5,400 people since 2002, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, by whose accounting about one-fifth have been civilians. ……

      1. hunkerdown

        I’m not one to interject Bible quotes into *every* conversation, but an alert believer might suspect Revelations’ “locusts with the heads of men” have landed, as it were.

  17. Johann Sebastian Schminson

    “Before Discharge, Dallas Victim Had Fever of 103 Degrees”

    Interesting that the fatal flaw of capitalism might be triggered by an honest-to-god plague — not a run on banks or an endless regional war or resource depletion/global warming. I’m not suggesting that Ebola is the Big One, Elizabeth, but this administrative F-up simply does not bode well for the future of public health. If stressed in the slightest, the Rentier Health System will fold like a cheap suit — even more quickly than the banks did (and it can’t be bailed-out by taking administrative action or allocation of fiat anything). A pandemic would be relatively quick, and would leave the survivors to benefit from much of the tech developed, up until now (good luck with the poisoned areas).

    The future Orwell foresaw in ‘1984’ didn’t anticipate something like Poe’s Red Death (notice that Oceania has no Ministry of Health).

    BTW: Who the hell is our Surgeon General, nowadays? I remember Koop and Elders (and I had to think damned hard to remember her), but the position seems to have been relegated to the level of Poet Laureate.

    1. Ed

      Health in Oceania was handled by the Ministry of Plenty. The purpose of the government of Oceania, according to O’Brien, was to perpetually torture its population, which means they had to maintain a balance between keeping its subjects alive while leaving them in destitution. Much of this balance was maintained by the Ministry of Plenty.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The best defense is offense.

      To me, it was arrogant to say, ‘come over to North America, we have the best medical system in the world to defeat you.’

      Oops, our geography, at least amongst doctors, is not that great. Where is Liberia again?

      The Art of War strategy is to take it to Africa, with the best drugs and the best medical fighters, right from the start. Throw everything we got at it. Shock and awe…something like that, from the start.

      Stop exploiting Africa would also be nice as well.

      Stop with this ‘we have an Atlantic Wall’ stuff.

  18. flora

    Data analitics and the loss of net neutrality: user generated data on web browsing, site visits, etc creates a gold mine for companies to sell. Losing net neutrality can reduce the ease, speed, convenience of connecting from web point A to a slow access web point B. Diminishing the usable net world for most users will also diminish the accuracy of the data collected as a predictor of user interests. The sampled world will be a subset of the whole internet world. The telco and big media drive to enrich themselves will come at the expense of big data’s accuracy about real user preferences. Interesting conundrum.

    1. hunkerdown

      So why would they care about animals’ behavior in the wild when they mean for them to spend their lives in the dairy pen?

  19. Howard Beale IV

    I always loved Forest Green bodies with beige interiors. Too bad few manufacturers released cars with even a dark green interior.

    Oh well, my Prius is paid off, so I’m gonna see how long I can make it survive in Minnesota winters.

      1. craazyboy

        1964 XKE Jag convertible, British Racing Green, tan leather interior.

        Guess right or wrong?

        ( In Britain they had the kickstarter on the right side of the car)

      2. Clive

        Et tu, Lambert !

        You can insult our food (that’s fair enough)
        You can insult our pioneering lurch into neoliberalism (yes, indeed, we’re really just Milton Friedmans’s historically accurate theme park)
        You can insult our spelling (feel free to drop any superfluous letter “u”s you don’t like)

        But when it comes to our cars, that’s the limit.

        I’ll take your Jaguar Series III and raise you a 1986 Cadillac Eldorado. A friend of mine’s dad (he was something to do with professional wrestling I recall) had one of these, and a rarity it was in Britain too at the time. It cut quite a dash, with its glossy paint job, red leather interior, polished chrome alloys and obligitary V8. An automotive Pia Zadora, on paper, it had everything you could possibly want.

        Until you showed it a corner.

    1. abynormal

      Sweetie, at $140,000 id have to live an die in it…when kiddo & family move back home tight will be an understatement.

      1. frosty zoom

        uh, ¿do you think it would cost so much if it were in mass production?

        how much would a handmade dodge neon cost?

  20. zephyrum

    In “What Scientists Really Do” (New York Review of Books), Priyamvada Natarajan seeks to “shore up respect for science”. Actually she’s defending a priesthood model, where everyone else should defer to the pronouncements of the scientists because of their sacred practices. She calls scientist’s predictions for a century in the future “data” and defends their accuracy because of their popularity among scientists. This immediately after an anecdote illustrates that even the best scientists can be wrong in their predictions. Natarajan attempts to justify this dichotomy by the “provisionality of science”, which she asserts is misunderstood by the general population.

    Actually I think scientific provisionality is not being rejected due to lack of understanding; it is being rejected because it’s a lame justification for a history of poor-quality predictions.* From the perspective of the average person, scientists conduct rituals (the scientific method), perform incantations (algorithmic processing of data sets), and generate arcane scripture (journal papers), which they then interpret like any shaman reading the entrails of a sacrificed animal. If these interpretations and predictions turn out to be accurate then the scientists demand obeisance to their religion. If they turn out to be wrong, then it is merely “provisionality” no matter the consequence. The rational human must therefore assign credibility weightings to scientific pronouncements; it would be irrational and superstitious not to.

    In order to “shore up respect for science” scientists need to be more open and transparent about the strengths and limitations of science, shed the argumentum ab auctoritate fallacies, and stop demanding worship for science. There is a higher order of thinking than merely science, which includes science but is not restricted to it. Best of all, everyone can participate.

    *Prediction quality in recent decades depends on the field of science. Physics? excellent. Climate? totally wrong in the past (“an ice age is starting now” in the 1970s), but probably getting better. Weather? Formerly poor but now quite good. Medical studies? variable at best. Economics? Ahem.

    1. Synapsid


      The purpose of the natural sciences is not to make predictions. The purpose is to learn about the natural world, and the way to do that is to propose an explanation–a hypothesis–of the aspect of nature that is being studied, and then check, by reference to nature, whether what we expect (from the proposed explanation) holds up. If it seems to, then the work is published in the peer-reviewed literature, and anyone can try to duplicate the work or publish comments and criticism of it. It’s a recursive process, an evolving series of approximations to a more accurate understanding of some aspect of nature.

      The work will always be provisional; we will never understand, completely, any aspect of nature–there is no scientific proof. We can’t prove that the Sun will rise tomorrow, though we can make a very strong argument that it will.

      For all:

      Read the article. Zephyrum’s assertions are just that.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have always said, ‘learning for learning’s sake.’

        Because we will never know completely, but only provisionally, it’s hard to justify meddling with Nature.

        Not only do we not know if the next meddling will blow up the universe, we have no way of knowing how close we are to doing that.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If you are rich, you can buy a lot of things.

        For example, the brain’s plasticity means, to be happy and healthy at old age, one has to learn
        new skills, like a language or a new game, constantly. Being rich makes it easier to do that, though it’s not possible for those not rich. But there is absolutely no excuse if you are rich.

        The flip side of that plasticity of the brain is that rote routines, like assembly line work, or flipping hamburgers all day long, are damaging to one’s health, switching off one’s brain plasticity. It’s not really help to give people jobs like that. If we want to help, we have to do more than that.

    1. frosty zoom

      i always look for guitars with natural finishes. the junky wood is used for stuff that will be painted.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Just a comment about dining places in general.

      While many insects are considered good protein sources in many parts of the world, restaurants would be mistaken to give you extra protein, without your asking for it, and try to charge more.

      1. craazyboy

        The French word for cockroach is cafard. Don’t ask me why, I’m trying to concentrate on restaurant marketing techniques at this moment. So….

        Cafard Au Jus?
        Cafard Flambé?
        Cafard Pate (sp) on toasted baguette slices?

        Haven’t dined French in quite a few years. Sometime between 0 BC and ZIRP I think it was. So I’ll need to do some window shopping first before arriving at some suggested menu pricing.

  21. ewmayer

    Twisted Ivy Harvard Students Say US Bigger Threat To World Peace Than ISIS | FoxNews

    Of course in the mind of the warmongers at Fox, the answer is “obviously ISIS” and any dissent is “twisted”. Looking at world history post-WW2 – far longer than Fox’s attention span – paints a starkly different picture. Maybe the Harvard kids actually are showing some admirable sense here, while still in school and not yet having had to completely toe the State/Corporate “approved narrative line” as most Ivy grads do post-graduation, at least if they want to “be as successful as their education warrants.”

    (BTW, I should offer a back-of-the-hat-tip to rabid Islamophobe Karl Denninger, on whose site I first saw the article link.)

    1. hunkerdown

      Oh, that transpersonal exclusion stuff is a strategy of all authoritarian groups. Simply replace “feminist” with “holy” and “misogynist” with “heathen” and you’ll get a sense of the religious fervor among the Social Justice Augustinians.

      If, as humans at large, we’d learned to beat down the orators instead of listen to them, we would be living in a much more convivial world today.

    2. ewmayer

      Aside: Speaking of Fox douchebaggery, here on the TV side – rarely watch Fox TV but just now came home and was planning to watch game 1 of the NLCS on Fox, but because I can’t stand the blowhard announcers and ad-ladenness, muted the TV and tuned into the local radio for audio … only to quickly discovery that the scheme wouldn’t work because Fox’s telecast is delayed a whopping 30 seconds. Now why would they need that? One wonders, and although I suspect the official excuse is to guard against random fan nekkidness, the real reasons may be a rather less benign control of content.

      Anyway, that made my decision easy – TV off, but if there’s a really interesting-sounding play or controversy, well I have 30 seconds to tune back into the TV to watch that. Thanks, Fox! And make sure to pass my thanks up to The Dark Lord, HRH Sir Rupert.

    3. MikeNY

      Well, I can see how Faux News got confused. Lots of people confuse Dr. Frankenstein with his creature.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Dow Erases Gains For the Year.

    Already our ueber-smart billionaire fellow passengers (in the first class section of the space ship) are said to be shorting the stock market.

    Heads, they win. Tails, they win.

    Trillionaire-hood, here we come.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sorry, you can’t buy an apartment in this building…you’re only a billionaire.

      Only trillionaires are allowed by the board.

      “We don’t care that you bet against the Imperial Currency and won. Only tirllionaires. How many times I have to repeat!!?!?!?! Now, I am mad. A mere billionaire!!!!”

      1. trish

        billionaires can start calling themselves the middle class.

        and then we’d see that obama is fighting for the middle class, finally. though then we’d have to redefine all those below.

    2. abynormal

      seems Jamie D. has raised ‘concerns’ about the shadow banking ind. (again).
      …another words we’ve been warned.
      192 pages of pure Horror:

      In a summary of the report, the IMF estimated the shadow banking industry at $15 trillion to $25 trillion in the U.S.; $13.5 trillion to $22.5 trillion in the euro area; $2.5 trillion to $6 trillion in Japan; and about $7 trillion in emerging markets.

      Not included in the summary were estimates of the size of shadow banking in countries including the U.K., and Gelos said later at a press conference said the industry globally exceeds $70 trillion, citing figures from the Financial Stability Board.

      “Why do people always assume that volume will succeed when logic won’t? – Damon”

      L.J. Smith, The Return: Nightfall

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How much shadow banking does China, the emperor-wannabee, have?
        Going back to the number 1 GDP in the world, I believe, if we add up our colonial GDP, from Guam, Puerto Rico, parts of Japan, Europe and the Middle East, our ‘Imperial GDP’ is still greater than the Chinese imperial GDP (to include partially from Vietnam, North Korea, etc).

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the last Ebola-free district in Sierra Leone:

    “The strictest measure was to draw a ring around the district and restrict who went in or out. The mountains helped. But so did checkpoints, where guards stood armed with thermal thermometers and chlorinated water – and a pass system that prevented most residents from leaving. Visitors needed a local resident to vouch for them.

    Aid groups such as Doctors Without Borders have criticised such quarantines, which exist in several regions of Sierra Leone, arguing that they only worsen suffering.”

    That is the $64,000 question.

    1. abynormal

      i don’t usually offer up fiction suggestions but im in the middle of this book and it is Outstanding
      A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel — an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.

      Suzana AAHPM humanities and spirituality interest group (American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine – is thrilled to feature Cutting for Stone as this year’s book club selection.

      deep bow to this man

  24. Glenn Condell

    Annals of Our New Panopticon (Australian edition)

    The ‘terror raids’ of a few weeks ago had the Murdoch-led media in a tizzy, and greased the path for both a war we have been instructed by Washington to fight, and a raft of new ‘anti-terror’ laws which would have the felicitous side-effect of criminalising investigative journalism. 800 cops involved, a paltry few arrests, and now, the sword that was to behead one of us members of Abbott’s (I kid you not) Team Australia turns out to be a plastic toy:

    As usual, Leunig nails it:

    There has been a huge rise in reported attacks (many of them only verbal) on Muslims in religious attire in this country since ISIS cropped up. See here for an example (not involving a Muslim, just someone who looks different) of the clay being moulded by experts and licenced by the dominant media narrative:

    But all is not lost. Journalism is not quite dead yet in the MSM. This guy Ben Grubb, an IT writer at the Sydney Morning Herald, has been all over this story. He is cheeky.

    ‘But, after more than a year of phone calls and emails and a private mediation session, it still hasn’t released the information or answered my one key question satisfactorily: the government can access my Telstra metadata, so why can’t I?’

    Even better, another cheeky reporter Josh Taylor requested ‘access to Attorney-General George Brandis’ metadata’ which resulted in the Attorney-General’s Department calling that metadata “personal information”. What’s good for the geese evidently not good enough for the ganders.

    Best of all, a Labor politician, the Man Who Should Be King Anthony Albanese, has decided it’s time to clear his throat and and stake out some territory not owned by the neoliberal war and police state consensus of the right, the banks, the media and the US Alliance (the silent but palpable background to all important decisions made here). The leader, Ben Shortstop or something like that, chosen I guess as a ‘safe pair of hands’ is such a small target he has shrunk to quantum scale, a barnacle on the hull of the juggernaut. He must have a rick in his neck from all that nodding.

    1. craazyboy

      Sure wish in these articles they would detail out exactly how they are “fighting Ebola”. Some sort of martial arts technique we haven’t heard of yet? Close the borders and bomb the place with food and chlorinated water. We know how to do that. Ship in the hazmat suits – the locals can figure those out.

      Since we barely know squat about Ebola – some recon researchers would be useful. Find out a little more about transmission paths. They think fruit bats may carry it. A bat is a flying mouse. The research they’ve done so far uses guinea pigs and – wait for it – mice – so rodents are carriers. We don’t want American rodents to be carriers. Or Euro rodents, or Asian rodents.

      ONE study has been done so far on how long it lives outside the human body – could be up to 6 days. CDC advises hospitals to wash down everything with disinfectant every 24 hours. But then there would be the rest of our public places. And doorknobs. And that healthy salad you promised yourself to eat on a regular basis – salmonella be damned!

      Lets make it two studies, at least.

  25. abynormal

    corporations makes bank on every failure imaginable. heroin use has been on the rise, and ANY relief to break the habit should be on the front line!

    Meet The Scientists Who May Have Found The Cure For Drug Addiction
    Researchers are closer than ever before to finding a cure for dependence on stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine. But will big pharma and the FDA stand in the way?

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