Links 10/3/14

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The Lost Donkeys of Science by Abraham Loeb Project Syndicate (Chuck L)


NBC News Freelancer in Africa Diagnosed with Ebola NBC (Deontos)

Quarantined woman in Dallas frustrated CNN (Deontos)

Delay in Dallas Ebola Cleanup as Workers Balk at Task New York Times

Did Electronic Medical Record-mediated problems contribute to or cause the current Dallas Ebola scare? Health Care Renewal

Hong Kong

Hong Kong CEO Vows to Stay, Offers Talks Wall Street Journal

Talks accepted amid HK stand-off BBC

In Pictures: Hong Kong’s Democracy Standoff: Beacon of Hope Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

How Will the Standoff in Hong Kong End? Foreign Policy

Mario Draghi’s QE: too little for markets, too much for Germany Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Draghi Dithers as Europe Deflates Bloomberg. The fallacy continues to be to think that this is a problem the ECB can solve. The ECB can only tinker at the margins. Lack of demand is a fiscal, not a monetary, issue.

Lagarde warns of ‘new mediocre’ era Financial Times

The ECB’s ABC of ABS is missing a few letters Bruegel

Remote-controlled helicopter carrying explosives blows up in Vouliagmeni ekathimerini

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Federal Appeals Court Rules Evidence From Warrantless GPS Tracking Does Not Have to Be Suppressed Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

The NSA’s Private Cloud Bruce Schneier

Judge Rejects Obama Administration’s ‘Deeply Troubling’ Effort to Close Hearing on Forced-Feeding at Guantanamo Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate New York Times

Chase Data Breach Hit 76M Households, 7M Businesses; Account Info Not Stolen Consumerist

Hacking and Systemic Financial Armageddon Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Bernanke Turned Down For Mortgage Refinance; Questions Abound Michael Shedlock

Payday Loan Startup That Promised to “Kill” Finance Now Total Disaster Gawker

Wither Markets?

If You’re Looking For Signs Of A Bubble, IPOs And M&As BOTH Hit New Highs Business Insider

The Federal Reserve is making a major shift in interest rate policy CNBC

Fed Showing Lots of Patience Holding Off On Rate Hikes, Fed’s Bullard Says WSJ Economics

NED DAVIS: Gold Will Plunge To $660 Business Insider

The Role of Character and Ideology in Prosperity Ian Welsh (Chuck L)

Class Warfare

A Secret of Uber’s Success: Struggling Workers Bloomberg

Why is our Infant Mortality so Bad? Mark Thoma

Antidote du jour (Kevin H):

Red Fox Kit links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ned Ludd

    In Scotland, some people never paid Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax. Labour councils want to use voter registration information, from the independence referendum, “to pursue poor people for Thatcher’s tax”.

    Alex Salmond is right to move to block attempts by Labour councils to use the new voter registrations for the referendum to catch people for twenty five year old Poll Tax default. […]

    The referendum showed Labour and Tory to be united in Scotland. Seeing the Labour Party now determined to pursue poor people for Thatcher’s tax should drive home the lesson.

    1. paul

      I think they just want to discourage timewasters from voting.
      85% turnouts? That’s veering dangerously towards political engagement.

    2. paul

      Labour are deeply troubled at leading in the polls for the upcoming general election.
      Despite lacklustre campaigning, crummy policies and a completely useless leader, they still look better than the tories.
      This cannot stand and I’m sure they’ve got what it takes to turn this situation around.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Just in case they win, Labour is embracing austerity and promising to extend Tory policies that they denounced just last year.

        Women are the losers in child benefit cuts, says LabourJanuary 2013

        Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance booksSeptember 2014

        Child benefit would be reduced in real terms by an incoming Labour government, [Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer] Ed Balls will announce on Monday as the party tries to convince voters it is ready to make painful cuts in order to balance the nation’s books. […]

        The highly symbolic move on child benefit is designed to persuade voters that Labour could be as tough as the Tories in making sensitive cuts. […]

        “This is our task: not to flinch from the tough decisions we must make and to show the country that there is a better way forward.”

  2. Steve H.

    Infant mortality:
    “Not only do mothers sometimes kill their own children, they are almost never insane when they do so. On the contrary, for a mother to murder her own child is an evolutionary adaptation without which our species would not have survived some of the environmental and social disasters of the past. What’s more, the actual reasoning behind this is so simple that a straightforward simple equation in four variables is sufficient to provide a reliable estimate of the probability that any particular mother will murder any particular infant: the age of the mother, whether or not this child is the gender that the mother wanted (which, itself, turns out to be easily and universally predicted based on only two variables, the mother’s social status and the predicted reliability of the food supply), the child’s birth weight (and to a lesser extent other indicators of long-term viability), and her estimate of whether or not attempting to nurture this particular child will only get both her and the child killed.”
    – This is a fascinating article for a number of reasons.

    1. jrs

      And maybe those who meet that criteria, who don’t kill their kids, just treat them really badly, neglect them, and hope an unfortunate accident happens to them or something, Although that is even more depressing to think about than infanticide.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Acting skills will get you a long way:

    An unidentified man posing as a member of Congress made it into a secure area backstage at President Barack Obama’s appearance at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner in Washington Sept. 27, according to a White House official.

    The unidentified man said he was Representative Donald Payne Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, the official said. One member of the White House staff determined that the man wasn’t Payne, and another asked him to leave, the official said. He did so without incident and wasn’t detained.

    The Secret Service did its job by screening everyone who attended the dinner, including the man, said Brian Leary, an agency spokesman. “This guy went through security, fully screened,” he said.

    Being a Member of Congress used to bring all kinds of perks. Now our 535 rubber stamp wielders are so obscure, nobody even knows they are.

  4. Sam adams

    I am surprised the media have latched onto HIV to equate the Ebola pandemic. One was extremely difficult to transmit with an exceptionally long incubation, Ebola is extremely easy to transmit without intimate contact with a 21 day incubation. Containment, palliative care and allowing the virus to burn out of the population is viable means of containment absent a cure and vaccination.

    1. bmeisen

      The parallel that I see is Katrina and not just because of geography – the authorities are again relying on market mechanisms and individual freedom to tackle an evil, gloomy invasion. Results will be the same I predict – Dallas residents running en masse and the Ivy residential complex going up in flames.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Most likely Ben Bernanke’s mortgage refinancing got turned down because he no longer has a verifiable salary from an employer. Banks aren’t about to take a punt on what their computers see as a new self-employment startup (public speaker) with no prior years of earnings. He’d probably do better telling them he’s a gigolo who gets paid strictly in cash … ‘I only come out at night.’

    1. Vatch

      Your hypothesis makes a lot of sense — he’s no longer employed. Ironically, he probably makes more money from public speaking and consulting than he ever earned as the boss of the Fed.

    2. fresno dan

      “But rather than a simple matter of tight versus loose, the real dynamic in the mortgage market right now may be one of a lack of flexibility.”
      Ironic, but poetic justice. One word – hedonics. You know, how we are all so much better off cause we have me-phones. Of course, health care, education, and housing costs have gone up much faster than the stuff you don’t actually need to live.
      So no, its not a lack of “flexibility” – its a lack of good sense, and the same lack of thinking that equates cheap phones and big TVs to watch mindless drivel (I’m looking at you CNN….) as well as the dozens of ways extra charges for health care are not covered by health “insurance” – that grinds down the middle class.

      So, Mr. Bernanke gets to see how the banks actually work.

  6. abynormal

    excuse me Mr. Disease Detective, i have a question…CDC says you have “enough man power”:
    The two teams (10 ea) should have more than enough manpower to reach and follow up all the contacts that Duncan may have had in the days he was contagious, said William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who is not directly involved in the effort.
    and with Vickery Meadow home to about 25,000 people and more than 30 languages spoken among immigrants HOW THE F*CK IS THIS POSSIBLE ?

    1. abynormal

      um one more question…this time around will there be more than one nurse deciding ‘How Sick Is Sick’ ?

      Classmates at the schools that kids from Duncan’s apartment attended “have close to zero risk” of getting Ebola, because the disease does not spread from people who are not sick yet, Schaffner said.

      Daniel Bausch, a professor of tropical medicine at Tulane University, said that Duncan was likely not very contagious when he went to the hospital the first time and was discharged because he didn’t appear to be all that sick.

      1. diptherio

        Oh good, that’s all fine then.

        Adding, in re this little SNAFU: Delay in Dallas Ebola Cleanup as Workers Balk at Task, don’t we have some robots that can do this? I mean, practically every day I hear about how our mechanical dopplegangers are going to put us all on the dole, so why can’t we get some of those things to go clean-up the ebola vomit? Robot revolution, my heiny….

        1. abynormal

          Good One! …send in the mexican robots to clean the vomit cause the american ones are to busy detonating bombs for the rentiers

      2. abynormal

        wanna bet that back in Daniel Bausch’s hey day, he claimed to get his girlfriend only a little bit pregnant.

        “I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.”
        Al Pacino

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        The arrogance of these “experts” is staggering. I agree with bmeisen above–this is Katrina unfolding in real time.

        One of the MANY insane aspects of this situation is the apparent lack of awareness on the part of actual “healthcare professionals” of the myriad of vulnerabilities inherent in their systems. After months of hype, how does any nurse or whatever, upon being told TWICE that a patient has recently arrived in the US from Liberia, EFFECTIVELY JUST WALK AWAY????

        What in god’s name could that person have been thinking? Oh, Liberia. But he doesn’t “look sick”!!!!

        At that point, a reasonably competent “professional” should have moved heaven and earth to make certain that the patient did not leave the building, and that the decision makers were PERSONALLY “communicated” with. To the point of calling the head of the hospital if no one else would listen, or even physically barring the door.

        That such inexcusable complacency has been repeatedly referred to as a “misstep” is some kind of surreal joke. Every member of that hospital’s staff as well as that of the CDC should be hanging their heads. Instead they are still on the morning news shows talking about how difficult it is to “catch” ebola.

        May I remind everyone that the two aid workers were wearing full hazmat suits when they “caught” it. And now an NBC photographer has been infected. Presumably he didn’t have much “contact” with infected “bodily fluids.”

        No need to evacuate NOLA. The levies will hold. They were built by the ARMY Corps of Engineers after all.

        Until the CDC descends in full force on Dallas with professional hazardous material clean-up crews and an army of trained medical personnel to monitor the residents, and deal swiftly and surely with any subsequently infected individuals, I will not believe that they have any kind of a handle on this situation.

        And according to the “quarantined woman in Dallas,” that ain’t anywhere near what’s happening.

        1. abynormal

          a reasonably competent “professional” should have moved heaven and earth to make certain that the patient did not leave the building
          American Exceptionalism is about to meet its Reaper

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Money is power.

            And Money makes the world go around.

            With our ‘Exceptional Currency,’ we are exceptional.

            “We don’t adjust our imperial monetary policies for others; others adjust their monetary policies to keep us with us.”

        2. katiebird

          Are we supposed to believe that this family’s quarantine experience is a workable template for future Eboloa cases. I’m not talking about epidemic levels, just individual cases…..

          How many families will willingly stay in their contaminated homes?

          This happens to be a family with one adolescent child and he seems to be complying with the quarantine (for how long though — I’m trying to imagine myself at 13 being stuck in an apartment for a month.) But what about families with more children. Or the adults.

          These are (so far) healthy people and they have no access to an exercise area (or libraries — I would go insane without access to library books). This family has a balcony. But, whose to say the next family will — are we seriously thinking we can lock people in apartments without access to fresh air? Or exercise? No exercise for a month?

          And just living. This family is staying out of the contaminated bedroom and sleeping in the living room. Who came up with THIS idea?

          What is the REAL plan for this? Did all those disaster plans that were developed after 9/11 really leave these issues (and the dozens I haven’t thought of yet) unaddressed?

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            From the “Quarantined Woman in Dallas” article:

            “But (authorities) said we shouldn’t throw anything away until they can get back with me,” Louise said.

            That hadn’t happened as of Thursday evening. Men in trucks from Cleaning Guys, a company that specializes in hazmat and biohazard cleaning services, was turned away for lack of the necessary permit to transport hazardous waste on Texas highways…”

            A company called “Cleaning Guys” apparently accepted the “job,” but was TURNED AWAY for the lack of “permits.”

            “Cleaning Guys,” wash your hands five times a day, avoid bodily fluids imported from West Africa (because people have the “right” to travel–not Habeas Corpus or freedom from unwarranted searches but TRAVEL.)

            THAT’S the plan. There is no plan.

            1. cwaltz

              It would have been nice if instead of bragging about how much more superior our health care system was to Liberia’s they’d have actually come up with a plan to handle Ebola here. Apparently the plan was to brag Ebola into submission and pray that it never called our bluff.

          2. Ned Ludd

            How many families will willingly stay in their contaminated homes?

            It does not appear to be voluntary.

            The orders, known as communicable disease control orders, are permitted under the state’s health code. Violations could result in criminal prosecution or civil court proceedings. Police cars were stationed at the complex Thursday to keep reporters out and the family in.

            1. cwaltz


              Someone should tell them that if they shoot these people that their blood is a transmissible means for the disease to spread. *shakes head at stupidity*

              Let’s hope if it comes to that they don’t leave any bodies laying around for hours a la Michael Brown.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                How about we tell them that ebola can’t survive exposure to kevlar instead.

                Or, we just don’t tell ’em anything, and just let them “enforce” the “law.”

            2. katiebird

              I get that it’s the law. And I’m not against quarantine — what else can we do?

              But why must the quarantine take place in the contaminated apartment? It’s so random. Where will we quarantine a homeless person if one should become in close contact with an Ebola patient?

              Some people have roomy houses with a yard. Other people are living in their car and people everywhere in between.

              It’s not humane to keep people locked up in whatever happens to be the last place the landed.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Haven’t we built many camps for situations like this one?

                This is a homeland security issue.

                1. Ned Ludd

                  For tuberculosis, there were sanitoriums, but people who were suspected of having TB got housed with people who actually had TB.

              2. Jagger

                ————But why must the quarantine take place in the contaminated apartment? It’s so random.———–

                If the quarantined people are not presently contaminated, the longer they stay in the contaminated apartment, the more likely they will also become contaminated. It is not humane to keep those people in that apartment. They should be moved to a non-contaminated location and quarantined there.

                1. quixote

                  The Ebola virus does not survive drying out so there isn’t going to be active virus even in the bedroom after about 24 hours. However, certainly initially, sleeping in the living room was a smart thing to do. The family is currently housed elsewhere in Dallas, location not publicized to keep the media circus out of it. There’s outside space and they do go outside.

                  Two people who know what they’re doing could well be adequate for contact tracing in a country like the US. Contact tracing here is not that hard.

                  There have been a number of cases of similar hemorrhagic fevers brought in from overseas in the US. In the last ten years, there were something like 10 cases of Marburg fever and one of Lassa. They’re caused by related viruses and spread like Ebola. You’ll notice you never even heard of those cases and they went nowhere.

                  That’s because viral hemorrhagic fevers *of that type* really can’t get going in a country where practically everyone is registered with the authorities in one way or another and where there is adequate medical care.

                  The really huge incompetence in this saga is the nurse and attending doctor who let the patient be sent home the first time after he told them he’d just come from Liberia. That boggles the mind. All the other overhyped scenarios people come up with are, really, unnecessary and not useful.

        3. Banger

          Even I am surprised at the nonchalant attitude taken towards the Ebola virus here in the U.S. This is a dramatically more dangerous matter than “terrorism” or ISIS but has had little official attention–and the NYT casual refusal to see that we live in a globalized culture where people are passing in and out of airports and boats all the time–when human trafficking and illegal immigration is rampant world-wide WTF is wrong with those half-wits? Maybe the officials (I consider NYT reporters and editors as public officials) are, like some of us, waiting for the end of the world as the song goes. Maybe we welcome some plague to cause the changes that the powers-that-be spend most of their time trying to stop. We are a perverse lot.

          1. petal

            One of my friends from uni is a state public health worker. I got a message from her this morning berating me for posting an article about, and being critical of an infectious disease doctor saying there was no chance of it getting here, etc. She said everything is under control, the CDC is doing a great job, our health system is totally prepared and capable of handling this, everything is working perfectly, etc etc. However, I don’t know of anyone I work with who thinks everything is under control-they think the CDC’s a joke (we’re talking EH&S people, immunologists, other researchers, etc). We’d been talking about it for weeks-how porous things are, how easy it is to travel, how all it would take is a person getting on a plane, how dysfunctional it is between all of the groups involved in tackling a situation like this, and how patchy things are across the country(different states with their different laws and varying resources spent on public health and health care). It’s become laughable now, and I get the feeling a lot of people are thinking “there but for the grace of god…” rather than putting much faith in the public health sector and the federal and state governments. I really hope things change for the better after this but I’m not holding my breath.

            1. Auntienene

              Where is the US Public Health Service and the Surgeon General? I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen them mentioned at all.
              From their site, their mission:
              Rapid and effective response to public health needs
              Leadership and excellence in public health practices
              Advancement of public health science
              Where is Richard Widmark when we need him?

              1. abynormal

                foreshadowing (stephen king style)…Wednesday, October 01, 2014
                Flu Vaccine Delay Impacts Supply to Private Physicians (WTNH-News 8)
                Signs outside major retail drug stores are all across Connecticut but the Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed there is a shipment delay. “There’s a delay,” epidemiologist Mick Bolduc explained. “A couple of the major manufacturers are behind schedule by a few weeks with their shipments to private physicians.”

            2. fresno dan

              One word for ya: BSE
              No one ever imagined that a disease of sheep could spread to cows that could vector it to humana…..but evolution never imaged that humans would feed sheep offal to cows…..

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When unemployment is below 6%, who has time for EBOLA?

            Give people happy news – that’s what they want, never mind the previous narrative about raising rates and low unemployment.

            “Today, we must manufacture good news or at least make the DOW go up.”


            1. abynormal

              the big E hasn’t changed its mode of transmission…YET

              A research team led by Sanders and collaborators from the Univ. of Iowa established that the Zaire strain of Ebola virus could enter the epithelial cells that line the human airway in a paper published in the Journal of Virology in 2003. The experiment used a pseudotyped virus, which was built with the Ebola virus envelope proteins, or outer shell. The inside of the virus was that of a retrovirus to prevent replication of the Ebola virus and to more easily separate the functions of the outer and inner portions of the virus, he said.

              “We were studying at the cellular level how the virus enters cells and showed it could enter human airway epithelial cells,” Sanders says. “However, there are many factors beyond its ability to enter these cells that influence how a virus is transmitted. To be airborne it must be present on tiny droplets from a cough or sneeze and must be able to live outside of the body for a certain length of time. This is not how the virus is currently known to spread, but it is evidence that it has some of the necessary components for respiratory transmission.”

              Sanders, who also has expertise in the transmission of viruses from animal to animal and animals to humans, also points to the influenza virus as an example of how a virus can switch from one mode of transmission to another. In birds, its natural host, influenza virus infects the intestinal tract and is transmitted by feces. In mammals, such as humans, it is transmitted. Only a small number of mutations are required to alter the host and mode of transmission, he says.

              1. HotFlash

                In mammals, such as humans, it is transmitted.


                Is something missing here?

                PS — Edit, I *love* you!

  7. Ned Ludd

    • “The risk that anyone will contract Ebola in the United States is extremely small.”
    – New York Times Deputy International Editor Lydia Polgreen, quoting the first line of the September 30th version of their Ebola Q&A.

    One day later:

    First case of Ebola confirmed in the United States

    The original text is gone from The New York Times website but lives on thanks to Twitter, which included a screenshot in Polgreen’s tweet.

    1. Banger

      And it came from an international editor! That person understands very little about the world which is consistently reflected in NYT reporting. Guess what? We live in a globalized world! One that has a substantial underground/illegal economy.

      1. Ned Ludd

        When I think back to school, students attracted to journalism were not particularly analytical or inquisitive. Instead, writers for the student newspaper were very deferential to authority.

        From the Twitter screenshot, which shows the original first sentence in full (emphasis added):

        The risk that anyone will contract Ebola in the United States is extremely small, experts say.

        Who are these experts? Better not to name them, so they suffer no consequences when wrong. And because it is so easy to change a web page, The New York Times can rewrite their own history, erasing and changing details in their previous articles.

        1. HotFlash

          Well, as high school ‘jjournalist’ I was analytical and inquisitive, also a huge questioner of authority. That is why I got bounced out of journalism school in my first year of uni. Didn’t know then to stay under the radar :)

          1. Ned Ludd

            The campus newspaper, where I went to school, criticized a student environmental group and then refused to print my response. I got into a long argument with the editor, who said that he did not have to print my response, and he would not print my response, simply because he did not like the group.

            Whenever I wonder why mainstream journalism is so awful and deceitful, I think back to that editor.

      2. Ned Ludd

        The original text of The New York Times story is laughable, for anyone familiar with the U.S. health care system.

        The risk that anyone will contract Ebola in the United States is extremely small, experts say.

        Doctors across the country are being reminded to ask for the travel history of anybody who comes in with a fever. Patients who have been to West Africa are being screened and tested if there seems to be a chance they have been exposed… If someone were to bring the virus to the United States, standard procedures for infection control are likely to contain it.


        On September 25, she took him to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where, Louise said, hospital staff were told twice that Duncan had come from Liberia. But “they did not ask” him anything about Ebola, including whether he’d had contact with anyone with the disease in Africa, according to Louise. […]

        Dr. Irwin Redlener, a professor at Columbia University’s school of public health, called the handling of the quarantine ‘hair raising.’ […]

        One Ebola expert, Dr. Alexander van Tulleken, also said the federal response to the first Ebola case on U.S. soil seemed troubling.

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          Well, perhaps due to the shining excellence of our educational system, none of the “health professionals” who were informed that the man had just come to the US from Liberia even had a clue that Liberia is in the Western part of Africa, hotbed of the Ebola epidemic.

          Wut, ya gotta know geography to work in public health? Is that cuz o’ that globalization, or sumthin’?

          Fat, dumb, entitled sitting ducks. That’s us, folks. American Exceptionalism, and the arrogance that it engenders may have one big ass price tag.

            1. lambert strether

              No. Liberia is part of Russia; short summers, long winters. The Trans-Liberian Railway crosses it.

                1. JerseyJeffersonian

                  You guys are nothing but a pack of cards!


                  There’s even a reference to that library just a little bit down the script; unfortunately, it got all burnt up. Sad, that. I work in a law library, but maybe burning that down wouldn’t be so bad. You know, as a corollary to the principle that first we’ll kill all the lawyers. But then I wouldn’t have a paycheck, and that won’t fly. So ultimately, I guess I have to reconcile myself to my status as a running dog lackey of legalism. Ah, Radio Peking…used to listen to shortwave radio. Sent ’em a reception report, got a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book from them. Went well with the Christmas cards I got from Radio Havana with little figures of Fidel in a red suit and hat. Dad did classified work for the Gubment, so that probably raised a few eyebrows somewhere in the bowels of the security state. Got my own file started early, too, as a side benefit. Whoo hoo.

                  Don’t know about the Russian or Siberian angles, but I think these guys might be able to get you a good deal on a Christian atmosphere…

    2. lulu

      Reading an article at CNN about “…the Cleaning Guys, which was hired to sanitize the apartment…” not having the “proper permits” to clean the patient’s apartment, I was surprised that the writer had occasion to use the word “homeland” in the article. And of course the TV show of the same name starts an new season… so maybe we will see a campaign now to rehabilitate this much maligned word.

  8. Brindle

    re: Hong Kong

    The Foreign Policy article repeats what is the major mis-truth the Western MSM promotes in their coverage of the protests—that Beijing is reneging on an aspect of the election law. This simply false. The election law is anti-democratic in that the candidates for the Chief Exectutive are chosen by a Beijing approved committee, but that has always been the case.

    —” The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.”—

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hong Kong CEO vows to stay…


      That sounds a lot like we are talking about a corporation.

      Who is the chairman?

      1. Yonatan

        It sounds a lot like the City of London, where it is Government of the Corporations, by the Corporations, for the Corporations.

        You will know this sort of protest is real when it happens in the City.

  9. Doug Terpstra

    Gee, is anyone else but Mish just a bit skeptical about BS Bernanke’s inability to refinance his mortgage? A guy who can call Jamie or Lloyd at 3am, has a major book deal in progress, and can pay off his mortgage with cash after three speeches? Seriously?

    With housing bubble 2.0 on the brink, I smell a new push for subprime. Apparently, what we really need is looser credit standards and more leveraged debt. That’s what all the usual MSM pundits have concluded … no questions asked. Americans are amazingly credulous.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Really. Bernanke as “every man.” Lordie!!

      But it could be good for our consumer economy. I know I’m going to have to go out and buy a taller pair of boots. The poop is getting pretty deep.

      1. Ulysses

        I think hip-waders are in order! What really startles me is how man Americans still cling to the BS delusion that we are living in a “free country” with all the mounting evidence to the contrary.

        John Whitehead sends out a wake-up call:

        “What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse. Since then, we have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance. The bogeyman’s names and faces change over time—Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and now ISIS—but the end result remains the same: our unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security….

        Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and the like—all sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—a recitation of the Bill of Rights would understandably sound more like a eulogy to freedoms lost than an affirmation of rights we truly possess….
        Consider the state of our freedoms, and judge for yourself whether this Constitution Day should be a day of mourning, celebration or a robust call to action:
        Americans should not be silenced by the government. Yet despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described therein are under constant assault. Increasingly, Americans are being arrested and charged with bogus charges such as “disrupting the peace” or “resisting arrest” for daring to film police officers engaged in harassment or abusive practices. Journalists are being prosecuted for reporting on whistleblowers. States are passing legislation to muzzle reporting on cruel and abusive corporate practices. Religious ministries are being fined for attempting to feed and house the homeless. And protesters are being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and forced into “free speech zones.” But to the founders, all of America was a free speech zone.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


          We have to be careful to not confuse ‘free speech zones’ with ‘speech free zones.’

          You don’t necessarily desire everything that has the word ‘free’ in it.

  10. Banger

    Hear a BBC report on NPR from Donetsk that was not hostile and actually talked to real people about the situation there. Seems like the mainstream is moving towards accepting the de facto emergence of Novorossiya after all the huffing and puffing I’ll blow your house down by NATO. Now, the propaganda organs seem to be moving in the directions of accepting reality–Novorossiya will become yet another virtual country like Kurdistan. What about the rest of Ukraine? Will it hold together?

    But most important here for the planet is what steps the U.S. and NATO will make now. Was the problem that the Europeans did not want to follow the U.S. into a new Cold War? Or did the finance oligarchs, as I believe, simply nix more aggressive sanctions and military measures? How will this effect the “war” against ISIS which is one of the strangest wars I’ve ever seen with factions within a number of countries seem to be undermining or fighting each other at the same time they’re fighting/aiding ISIS.

    1. Carolinian

      ISIS is the new boogeyman. Hard for the media to walk and chew gum villain-wise. Ukraine is so last month.

        1. lightningclap

          I think the false-flag FAIL with MH17 didn’t help. We never did get our “proof’ of Putin’s involvement, despite the all-seeing 5 eyes. Oh, that’s right, there was a tweet or youtube video…

          While there are competing factions in the MIC, it’s hard for them all to go along with the WWIII agenda when those promoting it are so transparently FULL OF DOO-DOO.

        2. scraping_by

          Sadly, no. The Neo-Nazis still run the place, NATO boots are on the ground, and the IMF and World Bank are merrily inflating the national debt number. Some of the booty was kept out of their hands, but they’ve grabbed enough.

  11. MikeNY

    In other news, Christine Lagarde remarked that there may be some ‘problems’ with the Ptolemaic conception of the solar system.

    1. Banger

      Lagarde is asking for pump priming of economies around the world in order to avoid the major problems she lauded to in her speech. When she speaks of “mediocrity” she means growth lower than the power of individuals and companies to service their debts. Economic growth has to be at least 4% to both service debts and meet the demand of population growth. While a figure of 3% would have been ok back in the day, today! with higher debt I don’t think it will work.

      So then, the IMF which preached austerity in 2008 is finally coming into something resembling sanity–is it too little too late? Are governments strong enough to adopt higher spending policies? We’ll see.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        That explains loans do not emerge from thin air, but loans represent borrowing from the future.

        “We need tomorrow’s growth today to pay for those loans.”

        Soon, 4% won’t be enough.

        We will need 5%, 6%, and more.

      2. MikeNY

        Pardon my snark. The geniuses at the Fed haven’t figured out that their model is broken, so why should Ms Bain-de-Soleil Lagarde? I won’t even start on GROAF.

        *smacks head into desk*

  12. JEHR

    The antidote du jour reminds me of the foxes I have seen this year–two of them. One was carrying a kill probably back to the den for its pups and the other was just roaming about looking for a handout. A coyote mother made a den in the back of our tree-covered property and her two pups came into our yard and were sunning themselves on the gravel in front of the garage. They were healthy looking little guys. Just the other day I saw one of them who is now a “teenager” and he looked pretty thin and scraggly. We often hear the singing of “bands” of coyotes at night and it is a mysterious and chilling sound.

  13. LaRuse

    I am surprised that everyone is so surprised by the (lack of) care Mr. Duncan received when he visited the ER the first time, even after he reported his travel.

    What do American hospitals routinely do whenever a minority without insurance comes into the ER? Process them out the door as fast as possible.
    It seems to me that the American population had some idea that the first ebola victims to present would be affluent white people and that all efforts would be made to clamp down and get them well. That is not the case, at all. The early victims in the US will be more Mr. Duncans of the world: relatively poor and assuredly not carrying American health insurance, and no likely way to pay for service in cash. It doesn’t matter what he came into the hospital with; the outcome for him would have been the same. Sub-standard, rushed care, with a cheap prescription for a broad spectrum antibiotic, and rush him out the door.

    That is the EXACTLY what American health “care” looks like if you aren’t wealthy or well-insured.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We could use, in America, a Barefoot Doctors Corps, filled with volunteers who are genuinely passionate about fulfilling their Hippocratic Oath.

      “…whatever may be the rank of those who it may be my duty to cure, whether mistress or servant, bond or free.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        We could use, in America, a genuine “healthcare” system.

        And I think we could even afford to provide shoes.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Who needs “straw sandals” when technology (and China) has given us CROCS.

            Loads and loads of Crocs.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                I hear tell that, in some segments of the population, fashionable footwear is quite irresistible.

    2. cwaltz

      Pssst It isn’t just minorities or people without health insurance for that matter. I made two trips to the hospital to get a kid with a 103.8 degree fever treated. Our health care system is set up to maximize profit. They do as little as they possibly can unless you insist that they actually do something for excessive amounts of money they charge for their services.

    3. Ned Ludd

      The wealthy and well-insured own the media corporations, and the deputy international editor of The New York Times believed and re-posted complete nonsense on September 30th.

      The risk that anyone will contract Ebola in the United States is extremely small, experts say.

      Doctors across the country are being reminded to ask for the travel history of anybody who comes in with a fever. Patients who have been to West Africa are being screened and tested if there seems to be a chance they have been exposed… If someone were to bring the virus to the United States, standard procedures for infection control are likely to contain it.

      Living in a corrupt country, there is no accountability when elites are wrong. Instead of acknowledging their mistake, The New York Times just erased the evidence that they were wrong. Lydia Polgreen linked to the article on twitter before it was “updated”, so Twitter preserved the evidence; otherwise, it would be gone.

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        Well, you know, an International Editor for the NYT, even a Deputy International Editor probably has little time for paying heed to hoi polloi and their problems, as they are undoubtedly already booked, spending time with the other sleek and savvy people talking about matters of pressing concern among the Transnational Elite.

        I mean, what could you possibly learn from studying or – shudder – spending your valuable time amongst the hot hungry masses (H/T Ian Anderson)? All that one really needs to know will be imparted to one directly by the ultra rich or, at worst, by their technocratic lackeys.

      2. ewmayer

        Ah, but you see the sage NYT editor was entirely accurate – the patient in Dallas didn’t *contract* Ebola in the US, he contracted it in Liberia and brought it back duty-free.

        How dare you question the perspicacity of “the experts” and their media spokespeople? It’s un-American, as any Colorado school board member would tell you.

        Now, if the Dallas patient turns out to have infected someone there, well, that might call for a GFC-style “who could have foreseen?” editorial with lots of verbiage conveying the “exceptional” nature of the latest “unexpected event”, such as “perfect storm,” “unaccountable laxness of the ER staff” and the “need for a national conversation” – or wait! Even better – a “global war on Ebola”.

        And of course the Dept. of Fatherland Security will be promoted as the best “first-line defense”, meaning need for a massive increase in funding.

  14. barrisj

    Yet another compelling analysis of the real intents behind the Cheney/Bush/Obama “war on terror”, which can be restated as “war for terror”, as what many writers have called “blowback” is indeed baked into US foreign military policy goals for the last two decades or so. Permanent War in the Orwellian “Nineteen Eighty-Four” sense has been a semi-official US objective for years, and continued creation and suppression of “terrorist” groups is the main engine driving this lunatic Leviathan:

    A War for Power

    President Obama’s bombing of ISIS in Syria has prompted opposition from many prominent liberals, blasting what they regard as a doomed strategy. “American policy on this issue has so far been both incomprehensible and counterproductive,” writes the Intercept’s Murtaza Hussein.
    But it is only incomprehensible and counterproductive if one assumes that the US government is sincerely trying to “eradicate” ISIS. The standard liberal analysis has American elites bumbling into another war, oblivious to the consequences, unwittingly acting against their own interests.
    How much death and destruction would American terror warriors have to cause before their ostensible opponents rejected their claims of noble intent? During the thirteen years of the “war on terror,” actions of the United States government have consistently and predictably strengthened anti-American terrorist groups. To chalk this all up to stupidity — rather than unstated imperial imperatives — is to choose ignorance.
    The American “war on terror” has been terrific for jihadist groups. According to famed FBI interrogator Al Soufan, Al Qaeda had about four hundred operatives on 9/11. Today, the group numbers well into the thousands, with thriving affiliates in several countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Its wayward cousin, Islamic State, rules over millions of people in territory the size of the United Kingdom.
    One need not accept the hysterical warnings of American politicians to recognize that the ascendance of ISIS is a serious problem, especially for the people of Iraq and Syria. If you use the official goal as a gauge, the “war on terrorism” is a disaster.
    This isn’t news to US government officials, who have access to both intelligence reports and Google. To tell them that their war is creating blowback is to tell them nothing they don’t already know. (The CIA, after all, coined the term.) No doubt some in the security and political establishment believe violence is the best way to fight terrorism. This is who they are and what they do. But other forces are obviously at work.
    America’s enabling of terrorism goes well beyond military action against them. The US response to the uprisings in both Libya and Syria reveals a government willing to empower terrorist groups in pursuit of its actual core goals: amassing wealth and combating Iran, which is itself a largely economic priority in that Iran is the primary threat to American hegemony in this oil-rich region.
    Many liberals recognize the economic imperatives at stake, yet these rarely enter their analyses of the “war on terrorism.” Without an awareness of economic motive — or, if you prefer, “geopolitics” — certain military moves of the United States make no sense.

    As the author notes, the past several years have seen a massive expansion, e.g., of Africom, which, early in the Bush years, had a mission but no easy point of entry into African affairs…well, Nigeria (Boko Haram), Mali (AQIM), Somalia (al-Shabaab), et al have since changed radically the US military posture in Africa, and the US now has dozens of “anti-terrorist partners” throughout the continent. I keep maintaining that given the propensity (and rewards for those in the military, economic, and political elite) for war as the first option, the US’s imperial objectives seem unchallengeable for the foreseeable future, and the so-called “blowback” is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      The War on Terra is a self-evident breeder reactor for US merchants of death, who are making a killing in a perpetual war machine. The more enemies we kill, the more we create, and this is a feature not a bug. I shudder to imagine the fate of the neocon architects of this holocaust if justice ever prevails. ISIS/Saudi methods would be merciful and civilized by contrast.

      And in Africa:

      “President Barack Obama on Tuesday fully waived sanctions and lifted bans on international military, education and training assistance to Yemen, Rwanda and Somalia applied under the Child Soldier Prevention Act, said deputy assistant secretary Michael Kozak.

      “Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan werealso given partial waivers for specific military purposes …”

      Well waivers for arms sales certainly shouldn’t be held hostage by moral niceties after all, even if Congolese atrocities make ISIS look like apprentices.

  15. McMike

    News of the WalMartification.

    Having destroyed much brick and mortar main street retail with tax-free on-line sales, Amazon next step is to…. buy up a bunch of empty stores and do brick and mortar retail.

    I just threw up.

      1. optimader
        RadioShack to get liquidity boost via replaced facility: Sources
        1 Hour Ago

        I really hope RS survives, where else can I go buy one (1) 300ohm resistor to fix a remote control or a cap to freshen up an aging garage stereo preamp ?? RS actually has the occasionally superb/high value audio devices that sneak under the radar that are super inexpensive and get sold out to people that are aware.. Unfortunately the typical America consumer is too superficial to dig a little deeper to find values. When I was a kid (Tandy) Radio Shack offered great DIY electronic kits, for the typical kid now you might as well be suggesting they build a Mars Rover. It’s too bad.

        1. McMike

          Yeah, I built a shortwave radio, and other stuff from kits. Then in my electric guitar and stereo days bought all sorts of cables and connectors at RS.

          The irony here is that Amazon has had a large role in killing RS.

  16. abynormal

    1:03pm A patient is currently being treated for Ebola-like symptoms at Howard University Hospital, in Washington.

    “We can confirm that a patient ​has been admitted to Howard University Hospital in stable condition, following travel to Nigeria and presenting with symptoms that could be associated with Ebola,” University spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton wrote in an email.

    “In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection-control protocols, including isolating the patient. Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health,”

    all’s well…

    1. optimader

      Don’t Panic! Fortify yourself for the weekend

      Cocktails > Long drinks > by base-ingredient > mixed-based

      Ebola recipe serve in Pitcher alcohol 28%
      Scale ingredients to servings

      6 oz tequila
      6 oz vodka
      6 oz dark rum
      6 oz gin
      12 ozsweetened pineapple juice
      6 oz whiskey

      Mix all ingredients together in pitcher. To add a cooler edge, throw in some crushed ice and a touch of cinammon.

      Read more: Ebola recipe

  17. Benedict@Large

    The ECB can only tinker at the margins. Lack of demand is a fiscal, not a monetary, issue.

    Over on the MMT side, we’re busy trying to point out the shortcomings of this view. To whit, lack of demand is not the problem; lack of employment is. The difference being the trap the US Keynesians fell into that led to their demise. If lack of demand in the problem, you can fix that by throwing money at it (which the US Keynesians did). Except the problem comes back as soon as you stop. If instead we insist that the demand is actually generated by people’s own labor (which so many are frustratingly offering without response), you build into the system the feedback loop you need to sustain that demand. (You also tighten up the labor market, which moves money out of profits and back into wages, helping to close the wealth gap. Note that where Piketty sees war only as eliminating capital and thus leveling wealth, war also GREATLY tightens the labor market, which probably does more to that end.)

    1. ewmayer

      Or, more briefly:

      “We MMTers are so clever that, alone among ‘mainstream’ economics faiths, we’ve figured out that destruction of a once-vibrant middle class via decades of looter-elite-favoring fiscal, legal and corporate policies might actually have negative consequences for the long-term health of the economy.”

      You’re welcome.

  18. FrenchToastPlease

    It nearly makes you think this all was planned out. What hospital spokesman in the world would come out and talk about something like this that has so much liability involved in every word?

  19. Vatch

    This will air on or around Oct. 14.

    “New data from the Food and Drug Administration shows that the sale of antibiotics for farm animals is on the rise, amid concerns that their use is contributing to increasing drug-resistant infections in humans.”

    The routine use of antibiotics at factory farms shouldn’t merely be regulated; it should be prohibited outright. This is like mountaintop removal coal mining and fracking. All of these activities should be as illegal as falsifying mortgage documents. Oh, wait a minute, ….

  20. scraping_by

    re: Wonga

    Wonga’s death spiral shows all business depends on social conditions. They were trying to move into the loan-sharking space without the necessary abilities to make it work.

    Organized crime runs their loan-sharking business on terrorism, official compliance, and indifference to long-term effects. Wonga tries to substitute legal mumbo-jumbo for busting kneecaps, and it really doesn’t have the same effect. They can’t bribe law enforcement with cartons of cigarettes and the occasional fifty; The Bag has to be more significant and more regular. And now that the story’s made the media, larger numbers of people know it’s a disaster to do business, shrinking the customer base.

    If you’re not the Mafia, don’t try to be the Mafia.

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