Links 10/6/14

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 756 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Our goal is 1000, so please join us and participate via our Tip Jar, which shows how to give via credit card, debit card, PayPal, or check. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current target.

Cerebellum’s growth spurt turned monkeys into humans New Scientist

The Evolution of Sleep: 700 Million Years of Melatonin New York Times

Monetary policy: An unconventional tool Martin Wolf, FT. “Unconventional times call for unconventional remedies.”

American Exceptionalism Thrives Amid Struggling Global Economy Bloomberg

7 Revelations From Those Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes RJ Eskow, Alternet

PEU Tank Cars PEU Report. Private Equity Underwriters.

A Debt Collector’s Day New York Times

Becton Dickinson to acquire Carefusion for $12.2 billion in cash, stock Reuters

The world’s greatest stock picker? Bet you sold Apple and Google a long time ago. Barry Rithholtz, WaPo. This is your brain. This is your brain on stocks.

Is There a Wage Growth Puzzle? Tim Duy. Duy, as does Sober Look below, uses the trope of the market “healing.” Markets are not alive. They do not heal. It’s like some kinda weird neo-liberal animism, except where “savages” think that spirits inhabit trees or streams, economists think they inhabit markets.

How close are the US labor markets to normalization? Sober Look.

Brazil’s Rousseff to Face Neves in Runoff Vote ABC. Rousseff kicks the left, and faces center right.

Emerging markets adapt to ‘new normal’ as commodities cycle ends FT


Kuwait invites oil majors back to develop key fields Daily Star

Qatar’s friends-with-everyone approach rankles some of its Persian Gulf neighbors WaPo

“U.S. strikes in Kobane fail to stave off militants, face limitations” Al Bawaba Sic Semper Tyrannis. We need forward air controllers on the ground….

Ankara urges PYD leader to join ranks of Free Syrian Army against al-Assad Hurriyet Daily News. “Turkish officials signaled a restructuring of the Syrian opposition in the upcoming period and urged the PYD to take part under the roof of the Syrian opposition.” (PYD is a Kurdish party in Northern Syria.)

Tripoli is so dangerous that even Libya’s parliament has moved out WaPo

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Students Say No Retreat as Workers Given Access Bloomberg

Hong Kong protesters at odds over pullback plan AP

For Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists, exhaustion overtakes enthusiasm and hope WaPo


Hundreds of calls, but no new U.S. Ebola cases Politico

Expert ‘would not be surprised’ if new Ebola case emerges in Texas LA Times

When good plans fail: Mishandling of Dallas Ebola case Austin Statesman

Ebola In The US: Hospitals Aren’t Prepared For Outbreak, Warns Nurses’ Union International Business Times (furzy mouse)

Ten high-risk Ebola contacts includes seven health-care workers, three family members Dallas Morning News

How disease detectives are fighting Ebola’s spread Nature. Contact tracing explainer.

Texas Ebola Patient Not Receiving Experimental Medication ABC

The world is warming faster than we thought New Scientist. Antarctic buoys now collect better data.

A Danish company is building a $335 million seawall around New York The Verge

Adapting to plug-ins Economist. Electric cars could help save power utilities from a “death spiral.”

Tribes from US, Canada sign bison treaty Great Falls Tribune

Isolation and hallucinations: the mental health challenges faced by astronauts Guardian

McKinsey’s manicures are a tacky way to nail recruits FT. Zeitgeist watch.

This $1,200 machine lets you make untraceable semi-automatic rifles at home The Verge. What could go wrong?

Insane Video Shows A Pro Biker Pulling Stunts On A Ridge In Scotland Business Insider. These are wonderful stunts, but I think the message they send — that these are the sort of risks you must emulate to make life worth living — is terrible, even lethal. Like start-up culture.

Biogeography of Human Infectious Diseases: A Global Historical Analysis PLOS One

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Clive

    Re: Insane Video Shows A Pro Biker Pulling Stunts On A Ridge In Scotland

    Is it just me that finds the current trend in “YouTube Sensations” disturbing ? And at the root of it, the causation doesn’t seem necessarily to be just your ordinary thrill seekers or self-publicists. The nuance which the MSM typically adds is how so-and-so became a “YouTube millionaire” or, as in this case, someone getting a commercial leg up, basically, getting a job. And it’s not going to be possible to maintain a steady state. What was exciting and novel yesterday is destined to be hopelessly passé tomorrow.

    Apparently, in some countries, as a way out of impoverishment, people take to deliberately maiming themselves to become more “successful” at begging. Business Insider clearly thinks the stunts pulled by their featured mountain bike rider legitimately allows the viewer to similarly share in the risk of him becoming maimed, or worse, in executing these daring dos.

    Of course, it’s a big — big — stretch to say that the death of nice, safe, reliable middle class jobs is what is leading people to become a “professional street trials bike rider”. Perhaps he turned down several offers of £40k p.a. positions with pensions and healthcare benefits. I, though, do wonder…

    1. DIno Reno

      The rider is a professional athlete promoting a product line. Seen in this light, the message is pretty straight forward and does not point to greater economic or social ills. A good dual shock mountain bike nowadays goes for about the same price as a good used care, about $5-10K. The shoes, the clothes, the gloves, the helmet likewise are all aspirational brands. The film targets the top 20% of executives and professionals who can afford the luxury of owning the best. The product demonstration shows how they perform in the hands of an expert. All in all, beautifully done.

      1. Clive

        Yes, I thought that too, until I delved a few links into the Business Insider story (the most detailed of which is The paragraph “As recently as the spring of 2009, MacAskill was an unknown bike mechanic wrenching away at a small shop in Edinburgh.” suggests that job prospects weren’t exactly unconnected with his motivations. And the level and severity of injuries he is experiencing doesn’t sound in the least sustainable to me. But if he doesn’t — or can’t — give his “audience” what it “wants” then it’s back to the bike repair shop for him I guess. I don’t like the implications of any of it, personally. But then, “it’s a free country” isn’t it..?

        1. rusti

          I’ve gotten into rock climbing recently and have met a ton of people who come back to the sport surgery after surgery just because it’s a ton of fun. And even though there are famed free climbers with multiple Youtube videos of them doing death defying ascents, the vast majority of climbers can appreciate the videos without thought towards emulation. I see the risk of the youtube stars getting sucked into the vortex and continually escalating risk, but I bet he’d be doing similar stunts without collecting a check from Red Bull.

        2. optimader

          “But if he doesn’t — or can’t — give his “audience” what it “wants” then it’s back to the bike repair shop for him I guess”
          Clive, get a grip on life, you’ll have less time to vibrate about how others doing no harm to you pursue theirs. I’m sure DM could purchase a few bikeshops at this point and “exploit” aspiring young bike mechanics at the rim trueing stand to do his bidding.

          1. Clive

            I have no issues at all with people doing whatever they want with their lives when their choices are entirely free. But money has undeniably entered this equation. If money hasn’t influenced anything, fine, let him ride his bike on a cliff edge if it makes him happy.

            But if money has influenced his actions, that makes it a wee bit more complicated, doesn’t it ?

            1. optimader

              The logic seems odd to me. If DM and some sponsor choose to exchange services for money how is it any of your business?

              If contributors choose to sponsor Yves and Lambert, who’s passions seem to be long hours of thoughtful blogging, perhaps at the risk various insalubrious health processes, has “money entered the equation” making it “a wee bit more complicated” (read: exploitive?) ??

              I think it’s their choice to pursue their interest in blogging, as well it is DM’s choice to engage in a relationship w/sponsor(s) who pays him to pursue his skills and interests, no? What am I missing?

              1. Clive

                If I thought that either Yves or Lambert were doing the NC blog for the money and that doing the blog was also injurious to their heaths, I wouldn’t read the blog or support it in any active way. I think the bike rider is, in part, doing it for the money and I know as a fact it is injurious to his health, so I won’t support that and wouldn’t wish others to do so either. .

                1. optimader

                  “If I thought that either Yves or Lambert were doing the NC blog for the money and that doing the blog was also injurious to their heaths, I wouldn’t read the blog or support it in any active way.”

                  That’s a generally altruist perspective which we can always use more of in this world Clive. You don’t use any electronic devices produced in Chinese slave labor camps, I mean factories, do you?

                  1. Clive

                    Unfortunately I do. For reasons which I explained in the thread at the time. I also use PayPal which is pretty odious. I frequent a chain coffee shop which doesn’t treat its employees the way I’d like them to be treated. In each of these areas of my life — and others the details which limits of space and on people’s patience mean I can’t elaborate — I make the best compromises I can. They are far, far from perfect. I try to do my best. But failure is ever present. I never, though, stop trying.

                    Which is why I’ll be blowed if I’ll sit back without comment when there is by my reckoning a distinct possibility that some perfectly decent chap is risking serious injury and even a fatality to satiate an unquench-able YouTube audience demanding ever more impressive looking thrills and corporate sponsors hoping to buy some of this pseudo life-on-the-edge glamour. I have a very wide latitude in this example and I choose to use it to send as strong a message as I can. If I’m wrong on this, I’m wrong. And it certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

                  2. Brooklin Bridge

                    You response is in bad faith. Does the economy force people to take risk to “get by”? Oui ou merde. And is this stunt rider an example of that? You bet it does to the first and based on Clive’s research, a reasonable answer to the second is YES!

                    1. optimader

                      A link that confirms D.M. is “forced to take risk to get by”, or forced to do anything for that matter pls.
                      I must have missed that research?

                    2. Brooklin Bridge

                      Again, bad faith. Like a lawyer. Clive’s initial comment makes perfect sense. I doubt your comments could withstand any better the requirement of a hard link to prove every single point you ever make/infer or that you never get an instance, such as this biker risking his ass, wrong while still being correct on the the general argument you are trying to make.

                    3. Brooklin Bridge

                      Also, many sports over the last 40 years have been practiced in ever more dangerous ways. Extreme skiing for instance. It’s one thing to say each participant is just “into” their sport, in isolation, but taken together as a trend where a significant number of people are literally risking their lives more and more one wonders where that comes from. People didn’t generally use to love sports to the extent they would die for it -each time out- and it wouldn’t surprise me if the trend had at least partial origins in the fact that people live more on the edge economically than ever before. True, there were always exceptions such as speed with cars and boats, but outside of those, not the kind of super risk as skiing on vertical slopes where racing with an avalanche is almost guaranteed, or flying off a mountain in a winged suit where the rates of error are so stacked against one that a successful landing is in good measure a matter of luck.

                  3. optimader

                    That reminds me of a joke about a Sicilian boy in NYC who sat down on a park bench next to an old man.
                    The boy opened a paper bag filled with candy and commenced eating it. Piece after piece he ate it unrelentingly, which progressively irritated the old man.

                    Finally the old man said to the little boy: “You’re going to make yourself sick! Why don’t you close that bag and enjoy the rest of it tomorrow, you’ve had plenty!” “Exercise a little moderation and discipline like me and you’ll enjoy a full life to old age!”

                    The little boy looked at him while pulling out another piece and said “Don’t worry, my grandpa’s already told me the secret to a long healthy life”
                    The old man, taken aback by the boys impertinence retorted, “is that right!? Well, tell me tell me then, what is the secret to long life?”

                    The boy licked his fingers and cupped his hand to the old man’s ear and whispered: “Mind your own fkn business”

                    As a matter of fact, I have another idea, maybe instead of offering your heartfelt advice over a public blog to someone whom you don’t know, nor have any idea really about his situation or inclinations why don’t you just send him an email outlining your concerns about evil sponsors taking advantage of him by paying him to do what he enjoys doing.

              2. witness

                NC is successful example of genuine “free enterprise” — as opposed to the imperial fraud called “free trade”. Charitable in the truest sense as well, for this gift to humanity is available even to the poorest of the poor.

            2. tim s

              I think you’ve got it backwards. The money is jumping on his bandwagon, trying to get exposure and finally profit in a parasitic kind of way, as money is inclined to do.

              That he posted his 2009 youtube video when he was a bike mechanic shows that he lives and breathes bikes. He’s most likely living his passion with his unique mental and physical abilities. A poser would have been dead long ago.

          2. Carolinian

            In the spirit of “do your own thing” is it ok if some of us, a few, think mountain biking is one of the dumbest sports ever invented?–a bad bike ride combined with a bad nature outing. I see these people in the woods all the time and I can’t say they usually seem to be enjoying themselves. Lugging a bike up grades made for hiking is strictly for jocks. And it’s hard to appreciate nature when your eyes are glued to the trail to avoid getting pitched over your handlebars.

            I guess you can compare it to other tests of skill like rock climbing but at least there you do get a chance to pause and enjoy the scenery. Put a low friction machine together with steep grades and you are mostly whizzing past the scenery or puffing up it. As a lifelong cyclist I’m amazed this fad has lasted so long.

            1. tim s

              it’s called a RUSH, and on a MTB it’s a pretty damn big one, assuming that the trail is good. It has very little to do with appreciating nature, other than appreciating the obstacles that she puts out there for the rider to get past. Top the adrenaline with an incredible workout, and what’s not to understand?

              If it’s not for you, fine, but to each their own, right?

              1. optimader

                That’s about it in a nutshell, no one claims sports are rational. People do it for pleasure, and the lucky and talented few get paid, pretty simple stuff here, I don’t get the layers of angst.

            2. optimader

              “In the spirit of “do your own thing” is it ok if some of us, a few, think mountain biking is one of the dumbest sports ever invented?”
              Absolutely OK, the dumbest sports ever invented is a long list. But that list really has no relation I can see with the claim someone is exploited for having a different risk/reward assessment than you relative to a recreational or professional endeavor.

      2. optimader

        Danny MacAskill has been doing this for years and is a fantastic cyclist who by the way isn’t endangering anyone else.
        So in the spirit of Pareto, until the dubiously embraced expressions of organized corporate athleticism that more profoundly influence society like: running into colleagues at fullspeed w/ the intent of knocking them down; running back and forth bouncing a ball ’til the joints are crippled; or beating others on a sheet of ice w/ sticks to the glee of legions of voyeurs watching while eating plates of goo and swilling shty beer are reconciled for what they are, maybe it would be fair to not seek out individuals expressing their athletic passion in individual efforts that do no harm to anyone else?

        Put another way, no one has a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to watch or emulate D.M.’s fantastic skills on a bike.

        Anyway, by 6yo logic, blame Warren Miller, he started it!

          1. optimader

            Warren is a great guy, and he lived the life. Last year I skied half a day w/a ~75yo fellow who was in one of Warren’s original films in CO. He’s a mountain ambassador in Telluride a couple days a week in return for a free season pass. Frugal life devoted to his passion, he could pull away from us at will in the trees. Hope I’m in that shape and have his passion at his age

  2. Carolinian

    The NYTimes this morning has this interesting wrinkle on the HK protests: use of a new mesh networking smartphone app.

    The phones communicate through bluetooth or something called IOS multipeer. The FireChat app is also available for Android. Presumably Android phones, if not doing this through bluetooth, have to offer hotspot capabilities (mine doesn’t). More here:

    And here:

    From the latter:

    His team also made a device to extend the range of the Wi-Fi on phones, and thus the range of the networking app, up to 100 times, going up to thousands of meters. They even did something akin to what Google had in mind back in 2011, with one phone hoisted to 50 meters in the air in a helium balloon, then using it to make a call from a phone that has no SIM card.

    Pretty wild.

  3. fresno dan
    Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, for example, chides natural scientists for thinking of growth as a “crude, physical thing, a matter simply of producing more stuff.” They fail to appreciate, he suggests, that growth is about innovation and deciding which technologies and resources to use.

    Allow me to explain why I am one of those scientists who are preoccupied with the physical. Economists are correct in saying that growth doesn’t necessarily require more pollution, more carbon pumped into the atmosphere or more deforestation, even though we’re getting all of the above today. Humans can learn, and we might figure out how to grow differently in the future, separating the benefits from the environmental costs.

    There’s just one crucial exception: energy.
    I’m not sure how economics broke free from the laws of physics and biology. Maybe we’ll eventually leave the planet and live among the stars, escaping the limits of our Earth. Those dreams aside, the physical limits to growth apply as much to us as they would to a colony of bacteria expanding into a jar of sugar water.

    The irony is that economists love to talk about trade-offs and constraints. There are no free lunches, they like to say. Yet when it looks as if the unbridled optimism of economic growth itself is running into a wall, they prefer to look the other way.

    1. Benedict@Large

      To an economist, growth means make more money (inflation-adjusted. It is a completely separate concept to this finite world (and hence growth) idea that others refer to. Every time I hear these two sides squawking, I want to rip my ears out. All this whole USELESS debate is about is two sides using one word for two meanings who end up just talking past each other. Downright silly.

      1. Eeyores enigma

        B@L – Agree completely. Growth as economist and economic/financial bloggers use the term is only relivant in a world where all money is loaned into existence.

        I hate when people talk about growth as if it were a philosophical concept.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When we pay people to meditate, that growth requires minimal energy.

      In fact, by replacing other more energy consuming activities with zazen, the net is actually energy consumption subtraction. But if we pay people enough money to meditate, the GDP will grow.

    3. diptherio

      That’s a very good point: “no free lunches…unless we’re talking about technology–then we assume only benefits, since technology never has any negative consequences.” It’s kind of like how mainstream economists think competition in everything is good…except in economic systems, where any kind of competing model must be crushed and mocked. It’s an interesting mental illness, economics…

    4. susan the other

      Speaking of growth. NYT on the evolution of sleep and melatonin. Way fascinating. No wonder the ancients worshipped the sun. Melatonin jams normal electrical signals so that an organism that would otherwise go hunting and eating everything up like a 24/7 capitalist is forced to chill. Take a little nap until the sun comes up again. But so? Well it would seem that this is the first mechanism for survival. And it recognized the energy dependence of all living things on the sun. Melatonin or some like chemical probably makes plants sleep as well. And did it read this post right – that melatonin is also a chemical component involved in photosynthesis? Kinda like melatonin was a cure, a biological balancing act against the unmitigated insane drive to survive. Cancer cure anyone? Or maybe just a cure for turbo capitalism. In view of the new scientific evidence that has come to light, it is now clear that modern concepts of profit must be discarded. Because blowback.

  4. Banger

    Bloomberg’s rosy view of the U.S. economy deserves some comment here. The U.S. appears to be doing better than the most of the rest of the world–the story ascribes it to paying down debts:

    Now, the U.S. is breaking away from the rest of the world partly because it has made more progress in working off the debt-driven excesses that helped precipitate the worst recession since the Great Depression. Only the U.S. and Germany among major economies have reduced total public and private debt as a share of GDP since 2007, according to data compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute.

    1. James Levy

      When you can print the money the debts are denominated in, it helps.

      What I learned from reading Herman Schwartz (an old professor of mine) of the University of Virginia is that this American penchant for doing just a little better than her competitors has huge ramifications. Those very small differences push money away from other economies and pull them towards the US, making capital cheaper here and more expensive there. This tends to perpetuate the growth differential. This is why the US is so obsessed with financial “innovation”–it gives the US all manner of tools to suck capital away from her competitors and into US markets. This is why our toxic assets were so toxic to the Europeans; they gave us hard currency they had earned from exports and we gave them shite paper. We can just create money via the Fed to buy up the crappy “assets” and hold them in limbo, but the Europeans have to pay off those debts with money they must borrow or earn as imports. Nice scam, Uncle Sam.

    2. ewmayer

      Wikipedia says:

      The U.S. increased the ratio of public and private debt from 152% GDP in 1980 to peak at 296% GDP in 2008, before falling to 279% GDP by Q2 2011. The 2009-2011 decline was due to foreclosures and increased rates of household saving.

      While that does show deleveraging-relative-to-GDP in the time span (they have no later figures), the amount is miniscule, and GDP has been inflated since 2008 by [a] The blowing of yet another asset bubble, and [b] the “new normal” of $1Tln+ budget deficits. Running even a pre-GFC “normal” deficit of ‘only’ $500 Bln would GDP by 3% and cause most of that “deleveraging” to go poof. I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, but when the latest bubble pops, the alleged “deleveraging” will be shown to have been a mirage, as debt-to-GDP will soar well above 300%, pronto.

  5. Banger

    The Goldman tape scandal, as many of us predicted (I was neutral), never went anywhere. Many of us felt this was a critical story–it turned out to mean pretty much nothing at all. Again, this shows the almost absolute power the finance oligarchs have over the media and public institutions. On the othe hand, maybe the finance oligarchs may be the only check on the ambitions of the National Security State as showed by the sudden collapse of the movement towards war with Russia.

  6. dearieme

    “Unconventional times call for unconventional remedies.” Absolutely! Similarly, reckless times call for reckless remedies, stupid times call for stupid remedies, and so on.

    1. Massinissa

      Problem: We are in stupid times and have already tried stupid remedies to fix the economy.

      They didnt work.

      1. ambrit

        It’s the essence of stupidity. The optimal strategy is to try and destroy the present economy.

    2. TedWa

      Putting those that caused the problems in charge of fixing the problems fulfills all those “remedies”. As if those that caused the problems would ever have the moral capacity to fix them. Not.

  7. dearieme

    “Emerging markets adapt to ‘new normal’ as commodities cycle ends”: ah, but is that a new “new normal” or just the old “new normal”?

    1. abynormal

      the rapid rise of the USD offers anything but normalcy for emerging mkts…it’ll be ugly fast. countries that have not carefully tracked the owners and maturity of their debt, will soon struggle with an even uglier surprise.

      example “end of 2012 foreign central banks held about $US40 to $US80 billion of the debt, and their holdings appear to be concentrated in seven countries: Brazil, China, Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia, Mexico and South Africa”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s easy to say a country should avoid foreign currency loans.

        For a small, poor country, there are essential imports that it has to borrow from foreign banks to buy.

        And there are many small, poor countries.

        1. James Levy

          One of the reasons I am against creating more of them, as the “devolutionists” around here seem to image such splintering as a panacea but I see it as creating more powerless victims of the few with the money and the guns.

  8. Jim Haygood

    When comments disappear into the ether, the site navigates back to the top of the thread (the title) rather than to the insertion point in the comments below. Paging back and resubmitting it produces the message ‘Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!’ … indicating that the original comment was received. However, it never appears.

    1. katiebird

      I’ve gotten in the habit of clearing my Firefox Cache every time I come back to NC. Otherwise, it takes hours to see comments. It’s a hassle but, it’s the first time in a year that I’ve been able to follow comment conversations in real time.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It’s not a cache issue. Just viewed the site with Safari instead of Chrome. It’s not there, and won’t be.

        1. Paul Niemi

          I had the same problem. Cache clearing didn’t solve it. Yesterday I manually deleted the cookies from NC, then cleared the cache, then rebooted, and a small comment went through successfully.

          1. Paul Niemi

            OK, my larger comment 2325128 did not go through but vanished after pressing the Post Comment button caused the page to reset to the top. So I’m stuck with flea-sized comments for now, but eventually it will get fixed I know.

            1. John Zelnicker

              Try just refreshing the page after it resets to the top. I almost never have a comment show up when I hit Post Comment, but it is there after refreshing the page (F5).

  9. diptherio

    I’ve been lately remiss in keeping y’all updated on the happs in Co-op land. First the bad news:

    Black Community Empowerment Leader Found Dead in DC Friends are not convinced by the police assessment of “apparent suicide”…

    And now for the good stuff:

    The Commons as an Approach to Governance, Sustainable Resource Management and Social Wellbeing
    Way better than NPR…Interview with David Bollier

    Another World Emerging? Well, Maybe. And last but not least, some deep thinking on what we need to do to create a robust Solidarity Economy.

    There are four core elements related to the infrastructure of regional cooperative/solidarity movements:

    1. A multitude of diverse alternative economic enterprises.

    2. A regional web of co-operative and solidarity economic enterprises which can sustain reciprocal chains of production-distribution-and-consumption of goods and services that connect producers to retailers and retailers to consumers in ongoing communication. Worker co-ops cannot build their own regional economy, nor can networks of community gardens, etc.

    3. A regional web of local mediating institutions that can ground this regional cooperative/solidarity economy into the communities where people live or work or have their deep affinities. (Mediating institutions are local organizations representing the voice and interests of the local people.) This network of networks is essential for the formation of a substantial and loyal customer base as well as the ongoing communication between all the parts.

    4. A social web to link the base-communities, their mediating institutions, second-tier institutions such as same sector networks, and social justice institutions throughout the region to each other. This network of networks is essential for the formation of a substantial and loyal customer base. It is also essential for formation of political alliances based on mutual interests to address the welter of legal, funding, and policy needs to foster a people’s rainforest economy.

    And because October is Co-op Month, Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) is offering free on-line Co-op courses, including “Building an Alternative Food Economy” and “Worker Co-ops 101.” Now you’ve got no excuse for not learning the basics of the co-op model:

    TESA Online Courses

    1. abynormal

      Appreciate the workup and i missed thanking you for Common Day Saturday. THANKS DIP

      ” However, a PGPD spokeswoman would not release any other information on what evidence was found at the scene that led police to conclude that his death was an apparent suicide. An autopsy has not been performed.” (heart & strength to his family & community)

      1. diptherio

        Unfortunately, Carl’s choice of words was somewhat inexact. In retrospect, “Capitalist co-optation” would probably be a more exact phrasing of the problem, since all co-ops are also corporations. And as Lynn Pitman points out, the co-operative structure can be employed to pursue any number of agendas, including rather conservative ones.

        The problem with CHS is that they are indistinguishable from any other giant Ag/Energy conglomerate in their business behavior. The only difference between CHS and Monsanto is the ownership structure, but obviously just having cooperative ownership isn’t enough to stop CHS from engaging in industry-standard levels of malfeasance. And I just saw that CHS added another former Monsanto executive to their roster and they’re also teaming up with Cargill in some joint-venture or other.

        But not many people want to say anything bad about CHS because they throw a lot of money around in the movement. But they are a problem, imho, and one that sorely needs addressing.

        (on a side note, I saw the other day that Mechanical Engineers make an average of $2.2 million in lifetime earnings. CHS’s CEO, on the other hand, makes $6.5 million a year, which I guess means that he does three times more in a year than an engineer does in a lifetime…right…)

    2. neo-realist

      Re: Community Empowerment Leader’s death, his family needs to have a private autopsy done to see if the death really lines up with a suicide. Also need to gather information on whether there were any street people that he double crossed or had it in for him–drug dealers, loan sharks.

  10. dearieme

    “Biogeography of Human Infectious Diseases: A Global Historical Analysis”: the ‘results’ section of the abstract is written in terms of “expected” distributions. Since it doesn’t tell us what the authors expected it is a remarkably bad summary.

  11. zephyrum

    Regarding the Verge article and the $1200 CNC mill. This is a new angle on old news. There are a bunch of machine shops that will allow you to mill your 80% lower receiver into the finished part. The blank is about $150; the milling machine “rent” is under $100. You don’t need to know anything about machining, they’ll fixture the part for you. Just have to push the button to start it so that legally you made the thing.

    In other words, you can make an untraceable, unserialized lower receiver for 20% of the cost of this mill. Google “Outlaw Gunsmithing” for more details on the process.

    1. jgordon

      Although on the plus side this mill will allow us to make some quantity of weapons, should we desire it. “Gun control” was always a futile and pointless endeavor, much like prohibition was. The annoying thing though is having to deal with nosy and unrealistic people who somehow imagine that it’s not pointless. And then inflict their unreasonable opinions on others via legislation. Brilliant.

  12. fresno dan

    7 Revelations From Those Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes RJ Eskow, Alternet

    Long story short:
    7. Goldman Sachs is still run by dicks.

  13. fresno dan

    Is There a Wage Growth Puzzle? Tim Duy. Duy
    “Notice that wage growth is stagnant until unemployment moves below 6% – past experience thus suggests that we should not expect significant wage growth until we move well below 6% (you could argue the response actually began at 6.5%). Thus, it is premature to believe that there has been a breakdown in this relationship. So far, the response of wages is exactly what you should have expected in light of the 1980’s dynamics.”
    Well, what may be missed is the percentage of workers continuing to decline. If a large percentage of people have removed themselves from the workforce, the decrease in unemployment follows – but it may not follow the same dynamic of increasing wages at that particular level of unemployment….

    1. MikeNY

      It’s amazing, the desperation of mainstream economists to show that the model still works. Despite all evidence to the contrary. Even non-neanderthals like Duy come out grasping for arguments that labor markets have ‘healed’, and that we are now on the cusp of the fabled higher worker wage. Halleluia! The only possible conclusion, of course, is that we are “much closer” to tighter Fed policy than anyone thinks, because the one thing the economy can’t tolerate is wage inflation… because markets, doncha know!

      Heads, oligarchs win. Tails, workers lose.

      This is a model worth fighting for??

      1. dandelion

        When I was at school, I was taught that before I looked at what people were arguing, I should look first at how they were arguing: i.e. the definitions they were using. In all this talk about the employment rate or the participation rate, I’m curious: just how are they defining employment? Are the jobs any good? Do they pay enough? Do they offer security and anything close to a sense of purpose? The term itself “employment” and all that it elides and obscures is the problem in every conversation about how the economy is functioning for anyone who’s not an economist.

  14. jjmacjohnson

    ” that these are the sort of risks you must emulate to make life worth living — is terrible, even lethal. Like start-up culture.”

    Also only count if filmed and sponsored by a brand such as Red Bull. Why do something if your the only one who knows it was done is another think these thinks say. Also only if you get paid.

    1. optimader

      “Why do something if your the only one who knows it was done?”
      The satisfaction of accomplishment, try it sometime.

  15. abynormal

    High risk Ebola could reach France and UK by end-October, scientists calculate
    (im posting snips backwards to show costly SNAFU in the making…)
    <"According to the latest Ebola risk assessment from the European Centres of Disease Prevention and Control, which monitors health and disease in the region, "the capacity to detect and confirm cases… is considered to be sufficient to interrupt any possible local transmission of the disease early."
    <"But the disease can also have a long incubation period of up to 21 days, meaning that people can be unaware for weeks that they are infected, and not feel or display any symptoms."
    <"The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not placed any restrictions on travel and has encouraged airlines to keep flying to the worst-hit countries. British Airways and Emirates airlines have suspended some flights."
    <"Air traffic is the driver," Vespignani said. "But there are also differences in connections with the affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), as well as different numbers of cases in these three countries – so depending on that, the probability numbers change."
    <"If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it's only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe," said Gatherer."
    <"It's really a lottery," said Derek Gatherer of Britain's Lancaster University, an expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic – the worst Ebola outbreak in history."

    1. reslez

      They told us it was rabies, so we made a vaccine for rabies. We said it had been tested in Europe, and the drugs it was based on had been tested in Europe. Technically, we never lied. Technically, we never did anything wrong.

      But if someone discovered that it wasn’t rabies…

      Who was going to blow the whistle? The medical profession? We made sure it was a prescription drug so doctors stood just as much to lose as us. Who else? The FDA who let it pass? The congressmen who all voted for its acceptance? The surgeon general? The White House? This was a win-win situation! Everyone got to be heroes, everyone got to make money. Six months after Phalanx hit the market, you started getting all these cheaper, knockoff brands, all solid sellers as well as the other ancillary stuff like home air purifiers.

      But the virus wasn’t airborne.

      It didn’t matter! It still had the same brand name! “From the Makers of…” All I had to say was “May Prevent Some Viral Infections.” That was it! Now I understand why it used to be illegal to shout fire in a crowded theater. People weren’t going to say “Hey, I don’t smell smoke, is there really a fire,” no, they say “Holy shit, there’s a fire! RUN!” [Laughs.] I made money on home purifiers, car purifiers; my biggest seller was this little doodad you wore around your neck when you got on a plane! I don’t know if it even filtered ragweed, but it sold.

      Things got so good, I started setting up these dummy companies, you know, with plans to build manufacturing facilities all over the country. The shares from these dumbos sold almost as much as the real stuff. It wasn’t even the idea of safety anymore, it was the idea of the idea of safety! Remember when we started to get our first cases here in the States, that guy in Florida who said he’d been bitten but survived because he was taking Phalanx? OH! [He stands, mimes the act of frantic fornication.] God freakin’ bless that dumbass, whoever he was.

      But that wasn’t because of Phalanx. Your drug didn’t protect people at all.

      It protected them from their fears. That’s all I was selling. Hell, because of Phalanx, the biomed sector started to recover, which, in turn, jump-started the stock market, which then gave the impression of a recovery, which then restored consumer confidence to stimulate an actual recovery! Phalanx hands down ended the recession! I…I ended the recession!

      And then? When the outbreaks became more serious, and the press finally reported that there was no wonder drug?

      Pre-$@%#ing-cisely! That’s the alpha $#@% who should be shot, what’s her name, who first broke that story! Look what she did! Pulled the fuckin’ rug right out from under us all! She caused the spiral! She caused the Great Panic!

      And you take no personal responsibility?

      For what? For making a little $@%#in’ cash…well, not a little [giggles]. All I did was what any of us are ever supposed to do. I chased my dream, and I got my slice. You wanna blame someone, blame whoever first called it rabies, or who knew it wasn’t rabies and gave us the green light anyway. $@%#, you wanna blame someone, why not start with all the sheep who forked over their greenbacks without bothering to do a little responsible research. I never held a gun to their heads. They made the choice themselves. They’re the bad guys, not me. I never directly hurt anybody, and if anybody was too stupid to get themselves hurt, boo-$@%#in-hoo.

      – Max Brooks, World War Z

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Quote: …”Four years ago, quietly and without public notice, the Obama administration scrapped quarantine plans from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which could have blocked travelers with the deadly Ebola virus from entering the U.S.”

      Appears policy is now in the process of being changed to screening arrivals:

      Also appears to be plenty of political responsibility to go around, including defunding of the CDC on behalf of various interests in an effort to eliminate federally funded research into asbestos exposure, gun violence, etc.
      Myopic vision.

      1. abynormal

        2014 O cut CDC $270 Million

        2013 O cut CDC $57.986 Million

        2012 “While protected in relative terms, NIH is watching a slow unwinding of the unprecedented doubling of its budget that occurred from 1998 to 2003. In terms of purchasing power, NIH’s proposed 2012 budget will be roughly what it was in 2000, according to agency officials.
        Among the CDC programs that would see small funding cuts: occupational safety and health, environmental health, and assistance to states for disaster planning. Those that would get a boost: childhood vaccines, domestic HIV/AIDS programs (including a national campaign to detect disease and focus on prevention in high-risk populations), and programs to battle chronic diseases such as diabetes and smoking-related ailments.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I wonder if the total labor force (humans + robots) participation rate is actually up.

    Maybe the human component is down, but perhaps a lot of young and energetic robots have entered the labor force.

    “Robots are not taking jobs away from humans. They do things humans won’t. In fact, they do anything.”

    That’s why you don’t see unemployed robots idle away their time whining and complaining. (sarcasm).

    1. optimader

      “Robots are not taking jobs away from humans.” –No
      They do things humans won’t. –Yes
      In fact, they do anything.” –No

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Robots are not taking jobs away from humans.

        They are just making more money for robots’ human owners who have so much that they don’t know how to trickle down.

        And robots can not do everything (yet), but anything they can do, they will do, without complaining.

        1. cwaltz

          Actually one of the reasons we aren’t seeing more robotics is they are cost prohibitive. The robots who’ll do anything don’t make any money at all, they cost money. That’s why we still have lots of humans complaining about their crappy jobs.

  17. Ray Phenicie

    The article at NYT: A Debt Collector’s Day gives a much needed review of a collector’s life.
    1. Imagine if the national minimum wage was set at $12.50/hr. Where would the collection industry be? Or if a so called social net were in place? Or a national mass transit system that would allow folks to live without the expense of a car? Or if college tuition were to be abolished and payment transfers from the U. S. government to institutions of higher education were in place to cover the cost of education instead? Or . . .?

    2. The collection industry needs to be forced to clean house and use methods outlined by common practices of honesty and integrity. The NYT should beef up their coverage of this subject.
    This webpage gives details of online stalking involving bill collectors. I have, in my limited experience, witnessed physical stalking where collectors follow people to work, to resorts, to weekend excursions at the beach. The local police will not take the issue seriously and refuse to get involved. A lawsuit would entail a lawyer and time; but this is the only way to stop this practice? Hmmm.

  18. Bill Smith

    “U.S. strikes in Kobane fail to stave off militants, face limitations” Al Bawaba Sic Semper Tyrannis. We need forward air controllers on the ground….”


    From a comment below that article:

    “reporters and live TV on the Turkish side of the border could see and showed ISIS tanks traveling out in the open and changing positions on the eastern side of Kobane. Not just for minutes but for hours. The Kurds in Kobane do not have any tanks.”

  19. abynormal

    O M G…October 6, 2014
    Equifax Reports Auto Loan Growth Continues, Subprime Bubble Not Occurring
    <The total number of new loans originated through June is 12.5 million, an increase of 4.9% from same time a year ago; and
    <The total balance of new loans is $254.2 billion, an increase of 6.9% from same time a year ago and representing nearly half of total new non-mortgage credit originated.
    "Auto sales continue to soar, crossing the 17.4 million mark on an annualized basis for new cars and light trucks in August,"
    <The total balance of auto loans outstanding in August is $924.2 billion, an all-time high and an increase of 10.8% from same time a year ago;
    <The total number of auto loans outstanding stands at more than 65 million, a record high and an increase of more than 6% from the same time last year;
    <Serious delinquencies represent 1.05% of total balances outstanding, a decrease of 8% from same time a year ago;
    <The total number of new loans originated year-to-date through June for subprime borrowers, defined as consumers with Equifax Risk Scores of 640 or lower, is 3.9 million, representing 31.2% of all auto loans originated this year. This is a slight decrease in share from this same time in 2013;
    <Similarly, the total balance of newly originated subprime auto loans is $70.7 billion, an eight-year high and representing 27.8% of the total balance of new auto loans, a slight increase in share from the previous year;
    <Year-to-date in June, the average loan amount for borrowers with risk scores of 680 or lower are increasing the most, showing a 3% increase from the previous year. Loan sizes among borrowers with risk scores of 760 or higher show little change from the same time a year ago;
    < By source, balances on outstanding loans funded by banks, savings and loans and credit unions are at $453 billion, while the total number of loans is more than 31.4 million;
    < Similarly, total outstanding balances for loans funded by auto finance companies is $471.2 billion, while the total number of existing loans is 34.1 million.

  20. Brindle

    I went and saw the #1 box office movie of the weekend, “Gone Girl”, w/ Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the lead roles. Pike could see Oscar nom for her portrayal of Amy
    Without giving away any details—the movie does have issues with misogyny.
    Entertaining film but holes in the plot big enough to drive a road-grader through.

    1. finanical matters

      Here is the BBC report

      “The nurse tested positive for Ebola in initial tests and doctors are awaiting final results, reports say.
      She was part of the team that treated Spanish priest Manuel Garcia Viejo, who died of Ebola on 25 September.

      The priest died in the hospital Carlos III de Madrid after catching Ebola in Sierra Leone.

      Another Spanish priest, Miguel Pajares, died in August after contracting the virus in Liberia.

      The nurse was admitted to hospital on Monday morning with a high fever, Spanish newspaper El Pais said.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think colonial exploitation of Africa, forcing many to migrate, even illegally, to Spain, France and other European countries will backfire.

        How do they screen and quarantine illegals?

        Time to stop taking money out of Africa. Keep it there – invest and create jobs there.

    2. witness

      Is certain tribalDNA immune to this virus, as with “Spanish flu” and “TheBlackDeath” in the past? See Dr. David Kelly’s exposure of “genocide” DNAtargetviruses concocted in elite *retorts* to infect TheOther. Think smallpox-infected blankets brought into Native American habitats as “gifts” by the immunized. Case made in JAMA for “germ warfare” during Crimean War by V.J.Derbes, M.D. ca. 1966, in paper re catapulting of the bubonic plague into enemy camps (Europa) during the Crimean War by the immunized. Do all “Spanish” lack immunity to this strain of Ebola? Are only “Spanish Priests+Nuns” its probable victims, or only Catholic? Dr. Kelly is dead, his truth lives on.
      Investigate, and “follow the money” — BigPharma is all about the do-re-mi to me&mine.
      (DarkRootsBrusselsEU: IGFarben Cartel’s “investment in the human body as its marketplace.”

  21. Vatch

    Texas Governor Rick Perry wants increased Federal spending:

    To avoid an Ebola outbreak, the United States should start enhanced screening and quarantines at borders, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday.

    “There’s only so much that a state can do,” said Perry, whose state is the first to have a patient diagnosed with the disease inside the United States.

    “We appreciate and we applaud the assistance we’ve received from the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies we’ve worked with,” he said. But, he added, “Washington needs to take immediate steps to minimize the dangers of Ebola and other infectious diseases.”

    Customs and Border Protection “should immediately be directed to conduct enhanced screening procedures, obtaining more information about people who are coming from affected areas,” and taking “appropriate steps,” which could be “something as simple as taking their temperature,” Perry said at a news conference.

    He doesn’t explicitly call for additional spending, but that’s implied by what he said. Okay, I suppose it’s possible he wants to reduce SNAP (food stamps) spending so that the Feds can spend more on ebola. And reduce Medicaid. Yeah, those actions are probably what he wants.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The same with the above comment about stopping blowing up Third World countries (militarily and economically) so people have no reason to leave their homes.

      How do they screen underground tunnels?

    2. witness

      Another dynamic may be working: stop trucks drugrunning from Mexico to Montreal transit KC”globalinternalport”.

  22. witness

    “Cerebellum’s growth spurt turned monkeys into humans New Scientist”

    If this be so, then put this information together with that seen on the Internet in a piece now “lost” which made an excellent case for the theory that different DNAsets>”tribes” descendend from different primates. Some strains continue with short oval faces,wide-set eyes, short noses, high arches; some with long noses and flat feet, for example, as the theory seeks to demonstrate with sources and photos. Radical. Worth investigating. Is the innate capacity for “spiritual” life, selfless love, and compassion for humanity perhaps related to this phenomenon?
    Is biology destiny in a sense beyond that contemplated by Dr. Robert Hare?

  23. Brooklin Bridge

    On Ebola, I wonder if any efforts the government makes to protect citizens from it will allow some corporation to sue the government NAFTA/TTIP/TTP style, for profits missed?

  24. barrisj

    “U.S. strikes in Kobane fail to stave off militants, face limitations” Al Bawaba Sic Semper Tyrannis.

    We need forward air controllers on the ground….

    “We”? Who is this “we”? And why are “we” needing anything? Are you actually treating all this as somehow a legitimate action by the US? “We need forward air controllers…”, blah, blah. Say what? Maybe “we” just “need” to get a grip and realise the sheer inanity of current US policy in the ME. “Forward air controllers…” will – what, “turn the tide”, whatevs? Gaaaah, pull the other one. A few more pickup trucks blown up, maybe a coupla tanks…cool, and…then what? More of the same with more “forward air controllers” calling in more strikes? Col. Lang has his moments, but trying to make a silk purse out of this pig’s ear is delusionary, I’m sorry to say.

Comments are closed.