Links 12/10/14

3 groups doing awesome things for animals Coconuts Bangkok (furzy mouse)

World’s longest train journey reaches its final destination in Madrid Xinhua

A looming chocolate supply crisis, and nine other risks for 2015 Telegraph

Richest Russian Buys Watson’s Nobel Medal, Plans to Return It Bloomberg

New York City’s taxis could get their own app to compete with Lyft and Uber Business Insider

Judge orders Uber to cease all operations in Spain El Pais (Fernando)

Uber’s Background Checks for Drivers Come Under Scrutiny New York Times

Clearing the air around Tor Pando. The lady doth protest way too much. Bob:

I’d sound like her if I tried to take on this hairball. One, very mean, kick in the ass: “Occasionally the stars align between spooks and activists and governments and anarchists.”

…and quinn norton “journalist”, rats out her boyfriend in exchange for immunity and gets a career as a professional apologist. Winning!

There’s nothing technical, just mental masturbation. No discussion of who Tor is, what its policy is, or who decides policy. Just MATH!

I like that word in all caps, very vulgar looking. Appropriate

Pirate Bay goes offline after raid by Swedish police ThaiVisa (furzy mouse)

WHO: Ebola ‘running ahead of us’ BBC. Notice how it disappeared from US news right after the midterms?

Bentleys Woo China to London as Russians Pack for Home Bloomberg

The Yen Is Falling! William Pesek, Bloomberg

Snap election in Greece reignites fears for eurozone Financial Times. Backgrounder here

Greek markets tumble as PM takes big gamble on presidential vote Globe and Mail

Temper Tantrum in Greece; Snap Elections May Pave Way for Eurozone Exit; Expect Bribes Michael Shedlock


Ruble Collapses, Russians Yawn Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg. Consistent with what a businessman who visits Russia a few times a year reported. If Russia can keep its banks afloat, Putin will stay in place (and even if they don’t, he probably does but it is a lot rougher ride)

IMF warns Ukraine bailout faces collapse Financial Times

CIA Torture Report (be sure to read Andrew Watts’ comments in yesterday’s Water Cooler)

Senate accuses CIA of lies and brutality Financial Times

More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program Huffington Post

Report Portrays a Broken C.I.A. Devoted to a Failed Approach New York Times

CIA apologists deceived the nation. Time to put them under oath Aljazeera

Hayden’s testimony vs. the Senate report Washington Post. Lambert: “Magic maker fad spreads.”

CIA torture report seen abroad as proof of U.S. human rights duplicity Los Angeles Times Looks to Nudge Elizabeth Warren Into 2016 Presidential Race New York Times. A reason not to vote for her.

G.O.P. Donors Seek to Anoint a 2016 Nominee Early New York Times. Notice how the big donors want to settle who is the candidate outside the democratic, um, primary process. They appear quite cognizant of how they should have won in 2012 and didn’t and don’t want to blow their current advantage.

Rigging The Wheel: More True Tails Of The New Oligarchy Charles Pierce, Esquire (Pat)

NY police promise to rebuild trust as protests spread Reuters. Talk is cheap…

It’s Not the Old Days, but Berkeley Sees a New Spark of Protest New York Times. “Spark” is an understatement, given the successful closure of major roadways and Amtrak lines. But the fact that the MSM is trying to downplay rather than ignore the protests is significant.

JPMorgan faces $22bn capital hole under new Fed rules Financial Times. So much for that “fortress balance sheet”.

Congress Deal to Avoid Shutdown Includes Victory for Big Banks Bloomberg

US extends StanChart probation period by three years Financial Times

Class Warfare

Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School Professor, Goes to War Over $4 Worth of Chinese Food

Inequality Hurts Economic Growth, for All of Us INET

Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Wage Labor Bloomberg. Notice that this is a Clarence Thomas opinion. He has a history of being nasty.

In pics: barn-find car collection worth £12 million Telegraph. Li: “It’ll make Ritholtz nervous. The cars are incredible, particularly the Bugatti..”

The Left Can Win Jacobin

Antidote du jour (Kevin H):

Red-capped Cardinal

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ned Ludd

    81% of Tor users can be de-anonymised by analysing router information, research indicates

    Professor Sambuddho Chakravarty, a former researcher at Columbia University’s Network Security Lab and now researching Network Anonymity and Privacy at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, has co-published a series of papers over the last six years outlining the attack vector, and claims a 100% ‘decloaking’ success rate under laboratory conditions, and 81.4% in the actual wilds of the Tor network…

    His work on large-scale traffic analysis attacks in the Tor environment has convinced him that a well-resourced organisation could achieve an extremely high capacity to de-anonymise Tor traffic…

    Compare this to Norton’s claim that “there’s no way it could only be a backdoor for the US Government”. Tor developers selectively blacklist rogue nodes, which means they are able to prevent foreign intelligence agencies from deploying relays that de-cloak users, while allowing this capability only to the U.S. government.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Ben Edelman, who “advises clients like Microsoft, the NFL, the New York Times, and Universal Music”, first suggested “that Sichuan Garden refund me three times the amount of the overcharge” – for a $4 mistake on a $53.35 bill (due to outdated prices on the website). He then “referred this matter to applicable authorities” and escalated.

    “On reflection, I suggest making my order half-price — that’s appropriate thanks for my bringing this matter to your attention… When appropriate authorities ask you about this, I’m sure they’ll be pleased to see that you have provided generous more-than-refunds…”

    1. Romancing the Loan

      As multiple people point out, he gets the most rudimentary of Massachusetts Consumer Protection law wrong too, and in a way that may be a violation of the rules of professional conduct. 93A lets you get triple damages IF you get no response to your reasonable offer to settle. The restaurant owner responded and made a reasonable offer right back. So, he misstated the law to his own advantage in a conversation with an unrepresented person. I doubt the BBO would stoop to sanctioning him but if I were his clients, I would take a good long look at how little effort or thought he puts into his little ragegasms, and consider he probably puts even less into his job.

  3. Clive

    From the Bloomberg piece…

    Unsurprisingly, the government isn’t talking much about that crushing debt burden ahead of Sunday’s snap elections. Aso and Abe might want to cut out the winks and nods. Japan — and the world — deserve a real debate about where the yen is headed.

    Clive says: “Fat. Chance.”

    Japan is a first world country with a Banana Republic-esque (that’s often an insult to Banana Republics) approach to governance. It’s a complex set of actors and interests at work, not unfathomable but the limitations of brevity mean we don’t need to go into it here; suffice to say, despite a façade to the contrary, Japan doesn’t “work” like the U.S. does. But U.S. outlets, like Bloomberg, keep insisting on trying to explain things and then query where they diverge from what they think is “right” by applying U.S. framing to Japan. Rookie mistake.

    It’s no use enthusing Japan’s politicians to cut the nods and the winks. There’s really nothing but the nods and winks.

    And where does the U.S. get off on telling other countries how to manage their currencies ? Now, we could argue about the wisdom (or otherwise) of Japan’s economic policies. Certainly, I think they need their heads examined on some of them. But someone really should send a memo to Bloomberg that, when it comes to economic competency, ah-hem, the U.S. really should not be giving advice. Governments and their press apparatchiks captured in corrupt and incompetent big finance glass houses shouldn’t throw golden handcuffs. Or something like that.

    There’s been a definite (but almost imperceptibly gradual) shift in Japan’s attitude to suggestions that it must take its (U.S. dictated) medicine since c. 2007. It’s starting to realise that it might not be the dumbest money in the room any more. Okay, having a stupidity contest isn’t the wisest method of devising economic policy. But I do wish that supposed professional journalists and their political feeders would get out a bit more and actually take the trouble to find out some facts about the subjects of their coverage. Then they might find it best to tone down their “we’re the U.S. and we know what’s good for you” rhetoric where Japan is concerned. I for one would argue that Japan has been following U.S. “best practice” (ha ha) for the past 20 years. And look where it’s got it.

    1. dearieme

      “Japan is a first world country with a Banana Republic-esque (that’s often an insult to Banana Republics) approach to governance.” Wot, like the USA, Italy, …..?

        1. dearieme

          A banana kingdom, if you please.

          Whether we are better run than Japan I have no idea. But better than Italy or the US? Probably, yes.

          1. Clive

            What we need to compile is one of those management fashion accessories which should really be sent the way of the flared trouser and the platform heel — a Balanced Scorecard. We’d have to rate such areas as “corruption in public services”, “bought politicians”, “integrity of the legislatures”, “quality of the rule of law”, “social cohesion” and so on. I think Italy might well win Best Worst with the U.S. second. But good ‘ole Blighty would be a close third. The Peanut Gallery can speak if it wants to here..

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t get why an apple-pie republic is sounder than a banana republic.

            Is it based on nutritional value?

            How about a kale republic?

  4. dearieme

    “Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School Professor” … “has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School.”

    When we have let our house in a college town, we have followed the doctrine of never letting to a student or teacher of business, economics, or law. This chap gives threefold support to our policy. We can recommend engineers (chemical and civil), vets, and archaeologists.

    1. George Hier

      Refusing to rent to any students sounds like a great way to get yourself sued for age discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. I’m not seeing anything that bars you from excluding teachers, but that still sounds kind of shaky to me.

      I am not a lawyer, this does not constitute legal advice, yadda yadda yadda.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “THE SMART’ way to not rent to students of teachers of business, law or economics is to simply ban business, law or economics books in the house.

        Sorry, the SNEAKY way.

        I don’t know if it will work or is legal, but that’s how ‘smart’ people think.

        1. Romancing the Loan

          That won’t work – judges aren’t complete idiots. If you had a no-crucifix policy, that would not prevent someone from winning a suit for religious discrimination. That said, level of education or job as a teacher is not a protected class, so as long as you’re willing to rent to non-student younguns you should be fine. But I suggest limiting it to a “no rich douchebags” policy, and then extending it beyond renting to every aspect of your life.

          1. optimader

            Shit, maybe the resturant needs an I Accept checkbox on the Chinese food website w/ language along these lines as well

      2. dearieme

        “Refusing to rent to any students” has not been our policy: it’s students of those three anti-social disciplines whom we have avoided, along with their teachers. Though we thought we’d prefer research students, our experience with a couple of sensible, mature undergraduates was fine. Of course, that implied sex discrimination: it’s easier to find mature women aged 22 than mature men.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Speaking of discrimination, my cat complains to me that she is not a ‘kept mistress’ of the house and she is not a ‘trophy pet’ either.

          I say to her, “fine. No more glass ceiling for you. You are free to hunt and gather as much and as often as you desire, as well, and be the bread winner if you want. In fact, times are tough. You can be the ‘rat winner’ and bring back dead rats if you want.’

    1. cwaltz

      I wonder how many kids will have to go without so the DoD can have some bright shiny new toys to fight ISIS with?

      Gotta love the empire’s priorities. I wish the darn thing would die already.

  5. JeffC

    Suddenly today NC is unusable in Safari under iOS. There is an undismissable ad popup obscuring a substantial part of the screen.

    Is it time to once again give the RSS feed the entire content?

  6. Chauncey Gardiner

    Revealing piece of nontransparent legislation in the above link from Bloomberg about the budget deal. Interesting that legislation which overturns critical protections under Dodd-Frank is being included in a bill that implicitly threatens a government shutdown unless it is passed. Wonder if this is part of the quid pro quo for campaign funding?

    From the article:

    …”Some Senate Democrats oppose the Dodd-Frank proposal, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Warren in a statement today called the change “reckless.”

    Lawmakers included the measure in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to protect taxpayers against bank losses after souring derivatives trades spurred a U.S. rescue of the financial industry in 2008.

    The Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provided a two-year delay in 2013 as long as banks take reasonable steps to move swaps to affiliates that don’t benefit from federal deposit insurance and discount borrowing.

    Representative Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said in statement the measure would be “risking our homes, jobs and retirement savings once again.”…

    Would like to hear from the party’s other wing about their rationale. To allow Wall Street to book swaps and other derivatives in FDIC-insured banks is to ignore what has occurred and the height of irresponsibility in governance IMO. If the taxpayers, depositors and public are to be forced to cover the banks’ gambling losses, why don’t we just nationalize them and control their speculations for personal gain?

  7. fresno dan

    NY police promise to rebuild trust as protests spread Reuters. Talk is cheap…

    You know, a start would be firing the guy. But not even that small thing can be done. Police unions are now a political force that is de facto undermining our constitutional rights.

  8. fresno dan

    In pics: barn-find car collection worth £12 million Telegraph. Li: “It’ll make Ritholtz nervous. The cars are incredible, particularly the Bugatti..”

    Hard for me to understand. Those cars new, or even acquired used, would have cost a fortune. Why one wouldn’t make sure they were garaged appropriately seems very odd. And even if the original owner got senile, one would think someone would be about that would recognize the value and take measures to protect the investment.

    1. Clive

      My dad knew a farmer (he called himself that, but “landed gentry” was a far more appropriate description) who had so much money he really didn’t know what to do with it all. As a result, he wasted vast amounts. And didn’t even notice. He wasn’t senile or anything, just 0.1% or less rich.

      One day my dad and I were walking near his land and we saw a Jaguar (might have been a Series III, but it wasn’t a V12, one of the straight sixes in c. 1977 or 8-ish — my dad and I were car nuts so we noticed this sort of detail and it’s a incident that stuck with us both) in one of his fields. It was brand new (maybe 6 months or so old at most), absolutely filthy, the leather interior a mess and it was, to our eyes basically wrecked.

      Like I say, we appreciated cars. My dad had to scrimp and save every penny to run a basic Ford Granada (U.K. readers will know what I mean) of which we were hugely proud but it the absolute limit of what he could run to — and I know that, if he could have done, he’d have liked something a bit better.
      So to see this amazing car used as an agricultural run-around was almost sacrilegious to us. It definitely left me with a life-long sense of how the rich are different and how money affects your values and your judgment. And not always for the better.

      I think it was a few years after that we saw the Jag again, rusting away in a barn, obviously by then completely trashed and abandoned.

      The kind of people who could run to that Bugatti (especially at the time concerned) were at another level altogether. Must have been kind-a like Paris Hilton (maybe Paris x10). So I’m not surprised at this story at all. Saddened, maybe, for a variety of reasons, but not surprised.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        Fitzgerald: “The rich are different from you and me.”
        Hemingway: “Yes. They have more money.”

      2. William C

        This reminds me of the recent story of a foreign princeling at Sandhurst. He was on an endurance exercise, found it too tiring so proposed to buy a helicopter there and then to airlift him out.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “…how money affects your values and your judgment. And not always for the better.”

        Money corrupts.

        It corrupts people and governments (made up of people).

    2. optimader

      This sort of hording is a peculiar form of mental illness. In todays market for these cars, it’s surprising a family member didn’t intervene sooner? The valuation is probably conservative, if that is an alloy bodied F California spider SWB it will probably fetch >$15MM, the B Type 57, even if it is a compete VIN number restoration, surely valued in excess of $1MM. The coach bodied Talbot Lagos? who knows..

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That guy could learn something from the Russian who bought the Watson medal in order to return it (hope he doesn’t just stop there. Go and buy, say, Mali’s Dollar debts and return them to Mali would be a poke in the empire’s eye).

    3. Fíréan

      Re. Classic auto collection in France.
      Before more assumptions, or insinuation of mental illness, are made regarding this story I offer the following:

      quote {quote] ” The cars were collected from the 1950s to the 1970s by entrepreneur Roger Baillon, who dreamt of restoring them to their former glory and displaying them in a museum.

      However, his plans were dashed as his business struggled, forcing Mr Baillon to sell about 50 of the vehicles.

      Since then his collection has sat dormant in makeshift corrugated iron shelters and outbuildings on the farm.

      Mr Baillon died about 10 years ago and his son, Jacques, who inherited the collection, died last year.

      Mr Baillon’s grandchildren had no idea of the extent of the collection, calling in car specialists Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of auctioneers Artcurial Motorcars to estimate its value.” [/quote]end quote.
      Far from being a super rich or a hoarder, yet an enthusiast with a passion and dream which alas he was unable to fully materialize.
      There’s more wisdom on this available in the French language media.

      1. Optimader

        Classic hoarder. Several man-lives worth of restoration on rotting vehicles that he was going to get to. Worthless bundles of rotting damp magazines on top of a $12-15MM artifact paeked on dirt.
        Yes, crazy. Dont like crazy? Call it irrational in a classifiable way.

  9. Eureka Springs

    Government backstops swaps and has the audacity to call it a trillion dollar bill.

    The redacted redacted summary of a torture report will lead to not one prosecution.

    The Police/corporate fascist state of surveillance runs amok.

    The police run (shoot) amok and not one gun control advocate that I am aware of has suggested perhaps police shouldn’t have guns either. That silence is always deafening.

    Health insurance as we have it is a human wrong!

    But then, the liberal president is asking that human rights legal requirements be removed from consideration so we can arm and ‘train’ al Qaeda types to keep several countries in chaos and terror.

  10. Expat

    Torture is still the number one story as far as I’m concerned. So far, best interview: Ian Masters (Pacifica) interviewing Steven Miles last night:

    Dr. Miles calm recitation is devastating; this interview will not be widely distributed if the torturers have their way. Vague channels of command, massive public relations (at taxpayer expense), and a torture program that had been refuted by FIFTY years of research prior to its implementation: isn’t there even one honest lawyer who can bring these scoundrels to account?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting, too, to see all those so-called Western democracies on the cooperation list.

      And they are not just, say, 10% of that list. Moreover, the non-cooperation nations are mostly non-Western and often so-called ‘human rights violator’ nations who did not cooperation in torture.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Canada, what say you?

        Germany, what say you?

        Australian, what say you?

        Sweden, home of Nobel, what say you?

        Cuba, what say you? Wait, you are not on the list.

        Great Britain, home to the Magna Carta, what say you?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The link in the text right after the CIA Torture Report heading. Or you can go to yesterday’s Water Cooler and scroll down to the comments.

    1. Garrett Pace

      One of those psychologists is a Mormon. I am surprised at the number of fellow LDS who have abetted this torture regime – Jessen from the article, Jay Bybee, and Tim Flanigan the most obvious. (The other psychologist, Mitchell, is not actually LDS.)

      I have heard that intelligence agencies like to hire Mormons because they tend to be honest, diligent, clean-nose by-the-book types with stable home lives.

      That there is in some cases a lot of ethical flexibility fills me with sadness.

    2. TheraP

      Many psychologists resigned from the American Psychological Association for its failure to unequivocally denounce torture. It is a terrible blot on the profession and can never be adequately atoned for.

      These two psychologists should be stripped of their wealth and shipped to The Hague. Along with all those who condoned, authorized, and pretended to the other way as Crimes against Humanity were committed.

      I wrote against it from a number of perspectives:

      1. jrs

        Being a member of the APA should be a black mark. At least as far as anyone seeking out a psychologist. In the most positive reading, anyone who stayed in the APA was completely politically oblivious (as in: “wait you mean the u.s. govt. had a torture program and the APA was involved?”), and most were probably not that ignorant, it all goes downhill from there.

        1. TheraP

          You are correct. At a certain point it became impossible NOT to know. And to know and not resign, that too became impossible.

  11. Antifa

    The SCOTUS becoming a private guild of super corporate lawyers and nine judges, all dutifully serving the interests of the .01% . . .
    The cold shadows of monstrously tall apartment towers cast across a mile of Central Park, the great public commons of NYC . . .
    The trillions of printed up dollars simply wasted on lost wars and military theater commands all over the world . . .
    The fix is in. The American system is rigged right now to relentlessly suck all value up to the very few at the very, very top, the .01% whose wealth is some 120 times that of a mere member of the 1%. There is a tornado of inequality loose in the land, grabbing everything it touches, and things grow more dire every day, every hour.

    Lenin’s call for “bread and peace” in 1917 Russia wouldn’t fly in America today, where even beggars on our city streets somehow still think of themselves as temporarily embarassed millionaires just waiting for their ship to come in. We have tens of millions of perennially hungry people, and we need to stop making war all over the world, but the average American has yet to personally, inwardly divorce that lying, treacherous harpy called The American Dream. In fact, we still love her so, and will do anything for her favor. Why, we’re all just one Lotto ticket away from being a Carnegie or a Rockefeller ourselves. “Why change the system when I might ride that tornado myself some day?”

    It won’t do to make the motto of the Left in America something negative like “Don’t Tread on Me” or the more visceral “Burn this bitch down!” that came out of Ferguson recently. No, Lenin’s genius was that he called for what the people had to have right now, today. Not what they didn’t want done in their name anymore. Revolutions happen when people just cannot take another day of being where they are, as they are. “Anything but this” is the public mood when empires crash and burn.

    America isn’t there yet, but the hubris and delusional greed of the .01% is driving us ever closer to the day when the public mood will be to seize the banks and to eat the rich to their last stolen nickel. Hunt them down all over the planet and recover everything ever stolen from we the people by their rigged system, by their tornado of greed feeding on our tears, our sweat, our lives, feeding on our children by the many millions, who go to bed without supper because that makes it possible for long shadows to be cast across the commons as an act of pure hubris.

    Maybe “Hey, that’s our money!” will be the phrase that Americans finally rally around, on that day when we can take no more.

    1. Jim

      Our traditional democracy is no longer operable in terms of traditional checks and balance but also because of the institutionalization of a new set of philosophical norms.

      The is now a concerted effort to re-politicize our society in a much more militant way by incrementally moving away from our traditional public norm of equality to a new public norm built around the acceptance of inequality (on both a material and mental level).. A powerful metaphor for this development domestically(which you have mentioned above) is the cold shadows of newly constructed luxury apartment towers gradually spreading across more and more of Central Park.

      On the foreign policy front our endless preparations for war have also tended to legitimize our indigenous elites and their grossly unequal political power as well as reinforce for the average citizen (as do the shadows across Central Park) a sense of subordination and powerlessness.

      Along with the incremental institutionalization of inequality there also appears to be developing among the oligarchy an increasing all-knowing dogmatism which seems to signify an intoxication with the certainty that only they really understand reality.

      Such certainty is profoundly undemocratic in spirit and serves to justify and accelerate the creation of a more and more militant and bellicose politics embedded in greater and greater irrationality.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘Hey, that’s our money!’

      Especially when the people are the ones listed as the plaintiff, and the government (actually the Justice Dept) is the counsel, arguing in front of another branch of the government (this, to me, explains this tortuous arrangement of needing the people as the plaintiff, when we can declare war or conduct surveillance without needing to resort to the name of the people).

    3. financial matters

      And. “Hey, that’s our planet”

      “”The environmental crisis – if conceived sufficiently broadly – neither trumps nor distracts from our most pressing political and economic causes: it supercharges each one with existential urgency.

      Free market ideology may still bind the imaginations of our elite, but for most of the general public, it has been drained of its power to persuade.

      The failure of deregulated capitalism to deliver on its promises is why, since 2009, public squares around the world have turned into rotating semipermanent encampments of the angry and dispossessed.”” (This Changes Everything)

  12. Carolinian

    The Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Labor. This story twins with the Esquire “Rigging the Wheel” and the preference given to eight law firms for all arguments before the Supreme Court (discussed on the Newshour last night). The fact that not a single justice could see the merit of the Amazon workers’ case is amazing to me. Clearly legalisms rather than commonsense are all our vaunted justices care about. Indeed this was the thrust of the PBS discussion. It seems even the “liberal” justices preferred counsel from those corporate law firms due to their familiarity with the niceties of Supreme Court protocol and debate. So much for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

    1. James Levy

      It seems to take no time at all, no matter what background you come from, for the vast majority of Americans who no longer have to toil in dead-end manual labor or service jobs to adopt the belief that people who perform those vital functions don’t need health care, or a decent living wage, or good schools for their kids–no, they need only two things: discipline and oversight to whip them into shape and put them on the road to riches. Scratch an American businessman or professional and for most of them the de facto default belief is that everyone in the working class is a real or potential goldbrick just itching to get a good day’s pay for a lousy day’s work. Among our top 10% I’d wager this prejudice is deeper and more common than race prejudice.

    2. jrs

      Remember vote Dems! There may be no other good reasons to but there is the Supreme Court! You wouldn’t want a bunch of right wingers making crazy rulings would you?

      Wait it was 9-0? It seems to me the most obvious thing in the world so long as overtime law etc. exists and workers fall under it legally, that of course workers should be paid for the things they do at work. Don’t most employees do a certain amount of “overhead” as it were activities not related to their main job duties? The Supreme Court doesn’t understand working for a living might be more like it.

      1. voxhumana

        Every Democrat in the Senate voted to confirm Scalia. The Dems did not even call for a cloture vote for Alito and neither he nor Roberts would have been confirmed without a lot of Democrat votes. Indeed, for many decades the Democrats have been voting for right=wing candidates at all levels of the judiciary.

        The Scotus argument is full of holes. And the Democrats are full of shit.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Or the only way for Democrats to change is to have a near-death experience. But there’s only one way to do that, and that’s for them to actually have a near-death experience. 2010 wasn’t that experience; there’s a bare possibility that …

            … [Finishing my thought here] 2014 might have been. Ian Welsh wrote somewhere (paraphrasing) that the only way for the left to have any power in the Democratic Party is to cause Democrats to lose and be seen to.

            1. hunkerdown

              Lambert? Are you there? You didn’t get struck down by Zeus at the keyboard, did you?

              I remember a case where some psychologist in (IIRC) Colorado killed a young girl through “rebirth therapy”, wrapping her in a tube of cloth and ending up suffocating her. That said, if the Democratic Party does die, the 90% wouldn’t be much the worse for it. Maybe they might learn to talk to the G-d of authority directly instead of through priests trained to glad-handle them.

  13. Clive

    Just to say… I think one of your nefarious advertisers is causing a page load / scripting issues as I’ve been — not every time, just now and again — screwy page rendering. It does seem to depend on which ad is served up.

    Here’s an e.g.

    Win 8.1 IE 11 — screenshot has resized the page to 50% just to show as much of the screen as I can in one image, but still looks the same @ 100% (you just have the scrolling to do)

    Might just be me… everyone can say if they get similar. Tried clearing cache etc. Could all sort itself out tomorrow… usually these things do :-)

    1. Tony Collins

      Hi Clive, it’s Tony here; I help out with tech support for the site. Thanks so much for the screen dump. It’s somehow making your browser render a loosely mobile version of the site. Really odd.

      Could you keep sending the screenshots – if possible, mail them to FAO Tony. I need to build up a picture. As you can probably guess, adverts are entirely served externally, and they bring their own code, design and special beauty.

      Am I right in thinking that your screenshot shows the right-hand sidebar *on top of* normal content? And if you scroll down, would I be right to guess that you’ll see a list of categories *before* you see the main article?

      How long does it normally take to sort out – does a full page reload do it, or is it literally “tomorrow”?

      Depending on which browser you use, there’s “reload” and “proper reload” – CTRL+R or F5 don’t do a full reload, for some reason. They can still reload slightly cached versions of the page. In case you don’t know, the actual reload button (round line with an arrow head near the top of the screen) is usually a better way of fully reloading the page. I’ve got no idea why that should be, surely a reload is a reload. But I’ve found this out when updating design files – the reload button is what it takes to force the page to load properly with the new details.

      Thanks again for reporting this – I strongly encourage people to do the same, and to take screenshots so we can really see what’s happened.

      1. Clive

        Hi Tony — you must be the guy who Yves got you to draw the short straw for NC Tech Support. Here there be dragons :-)

        Yep, your supposition is spot-on. The sidebar moves from its proper location and sits on top of what should be the usual content. And yes, scrolling down, there’s a list of categories, this sits pretty much directly above the main article.

        A page reload does the trick (which is where I get my “dodgy ad” theory from). The next reload retrieves a different set of dynamic ads (a few are persistent of course, but most of the ads are pulled through dynamically, so reloading gets rid of whichever the offending ad is — or at least, might move it to another placeholder where it doesn’t create mischief). As for the reload method, I tend to close the tab, then open up a new — blank — tab. Which I guess does give you a “full fat” reload.

        Will send any reoccurrences to the email address, it’ll be easier to attach a montage of screen shots showing the whole layout that way. Good luck, intermittent bugs with limited diagnostics were the bane of my life when I did support…

        Cheers, Clive.

  14. Chauncey Gardiner

    Revealing piece of nontransparent legislation in the above link from Bloomberg about the budget deal. Interesting that legislation which overturns critical protections under Dodd-Frank is being included in the federal budget bill that implicitly threatens government shutdown unless the legislation is passed. Wonder if this is part of the quid pro quo for campaign funding?
    From the article:
    …”Some Senate Democrats oppose the Dodd-Frank proposal, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Warren in a statement today called the change “reckless.”
    Lawmakers included the measure in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to protect taxpayers against bank losses after souring derivatives trades spurred a U.S. rescue of the financial industry in 2008.
    The Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provided a two-year delay in 2013 as long as banks take reasonable steps to move swaps to affiliates that don’t benefit from federal deposit insurance and discount borrowing.
    Representative Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said in statement the measure would be “risking our homes, jobs and retirement savings once again.”…
    Would like to hear from the party’s other wing and the Republicans about their rationale. To allow Wall Street to book swaps and other derivatives in FDIC-insured banks is to blatantly ignore what has occurred and to place the FDIC insurance fund at risk. If the taxpayers, depositors and public are to be forced to cover the banks’ gambling losses on their derivatives speculations, why don’t we just nationalize these banks?

    1. Jess

      To me this ties in perfectly with the recent story about the new G20 bail-in rules for banks. Yves was dismissive that it could happen here on the grounds that US regulators were all against bail-ins, and that Dodd-Frank prevented it. However, the author of the original article, Ellen Brown, made clear that the biggest looming liability for institutions that might need “resolving” was the massive overhand of derivatives that far exceeds FDIC insurance reserves. This change to Dodd-Frank seems to set the stage for bail-ins. If I’m wrong, anyone please enlighten.

  15. barrisj

    Re: “Torture Report”: much of the details of the “enhanced interrogation” of “high-value detainees” was reported some years ago by the International Committee of the Red Cross, noted below, and commented at length upon by Mark Danner in several issues of NYRB back in 2009. The ICRC report was issued in 2007 for “confidential” distribution, and was published by NYRB in its entirety in the 30 April 2009 issue. Danner’s extensive commentary appeared in the 9 April 2009 issue under the title, “US Torture: Voices from the Black SItes”.
    As Danner has repeatedly pointed out, reporting in the national media started in 2002 regarding “enhanced interrogation”, culminating in the scandalous Abu Ghraib case, which was documented in the Taguba report a year or so later. In addition, I have in my library 8 monographs published in the early 2000’s on US torture of POWs and “detainees” caught up in the Cheney-Bush “GWOT”:

    The Dark Side, Jane Mayer, 2008
    Abu Ghraib: The Politics of Torture, Danner, et al, 2004
    Crimes of War: Iraq, Falk, et al, Eds., 2006
    The Torture Papers, Greenberg et al, Eds., 2005
    Stripping Bare The Body, Mark Danner, 2009
    Monstering, Tara McKiveley, 2007
    Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror, 2004
    Torture Team, Philippe Sands, 2008
    All of these books are replete with vivid details, enabling documents, the lot, which proves beyond a doubt the notorious nature of US interrogation practices pursuant to orders from the WH, DOD, CIA, etc. That torture was employed surely to God is not news; granted there are 6200 “classified” pages of the Senate Torture Report not available for public scrutiny, but the key aspects of these practices are already in the public record, and what the Report does (at least in its summary edition) is focus on the public lies and misrepresentations to Congress by the CIA, US military, and Bush Administration figures. But, we knew all that already, yes? And since the Report stops at the actions of low-level operatives, and deliberately avoids implicating senior people who were actually orchestrating the practices, what does all this tell us that is really new information, anyway? A bit of an anti-climax to be sure, for those of us who have followed closely the conduct of America during its “war on terror” these many years.

    1. prostratedragon

      There is also a Senate Armed Services Committee report that was released in 2009. It gives some insight into the use of psychologists in developing the “program,” and, though I haven’t time for a close reading right now, seems to be saying that what they call “explointation” was an objective of the program.

      In other words, the lack of interrogation experience of the psychologists, whose names were redacted then, but who seem to be Jessen and Mitchell, was not a mistake in hiring, it was a tell.

      Senate Armed Services Committee Final Report, April, 2009

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Especially infuriating is Obama’s dishonest and utterly lame attempt to trivialize these heinous crimes against humanity, while at the same time working furiously to block the report’s release and then trying to redact it to irrelevance. “We tortured some folks.” Yeah, and we droned some brown folks too … and their kids. And we capped some unarmed black folks. So mistakes were made by a few well-meaning over-zealous patriots and policemen terrified of black children.

      Barack Obama should be frog-marched to The Hague right alongside those he is illegally shielding — Cheney, Bush, Tenet, and all their just-following-orders minions. After that he can answer for his pivotal role in the great Wall Street heist and sitting on his thumbs when the police gun down unarmed citizens.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘…Obama’s dishonest and utterly lame attempt to trivialize these heinous crimes against humanity …’

        If you’ve got a Gulag—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

  16. TheraP

    Thanks for two hopeful articles from Spain. Wish we could take that train back and forth from Madrid to China, knowing that Uber has been banned by a judge from operating in Spain, including a ban against Uber’s use of credit cards there. (Judges in Spain have wide latitude and I wonder if we will soon see more Spanish judges indicting Americans for War Crimes.)

  17. Garrett Pace

    Once you get past Feinstein’s self-serving introduction, the report makes for gripping reading. The timeline is helpful – the first thing the CIA did after getting the power to apprehend anyone they wanted was to start developing legal theories to support torture.

    Also, their treatment of Abu Zubaydah is as instructive as it is horrifying. CIA lied and told outsiders they were sure the guy was hiding something, but what they were really doing was satisfying themselves that he wasn’t.

    This is the old “proving a negative” paradox. It was a fishing expedition – cruel treatment to satisfy the idlest kind of curiosity.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…the first thing the CIA did after getting the power to apprehend anyone they wanted…”

      The first thing was not climbing some learning curve from the Russians or North Koreans, but to apprehend.

      It sounds like the potential, or the ability for, terrifying deeds by some parts of the government is always there, lying beneath the surface to be resurrected.

      All it needs is some authorization or funding.

  18. prostratedragon

    I’m getting the same on some sites this week (but not this site). If using firefox, try something like noscript. Otherwise, try stopping the site loading before the infernal thing shows up. Right now, I’m using lynx, an ancient text-based browser for linux/unix.

    1. prostratedragon

      That’s a reply to Clive at 12:41. Clearly, lynx is not in all ways a perfect alternative. (I’m back on chrome:( )

  19. anonymous123

    Re: Berkeley protests, I’m glad the NYT finally picked it up. Things have been escalating here every night, for 4 nights straight. I went to watch for a little bit last night, but didn’t stay for the march to Oakland. People were upset last night because the protest organizers had planned to shut down the City Council meeting, and instead of allowing that to happen our mayor (!) cancelled the meeting. Two City Council members who have been coming to the protests all along spoke out to the crowd at City Hall and denounced the mayor’s action to stifle the community voices.

    Interestingly, last night was the THIRD night in a row that a major highway was shut down (Rt 24 on Sunday, I-80 on Monday, and Rt. 24 again last night). The police tactics last night were still concerning of course…shooting rubber bullets at protesters from atop the highway, liberal use of tear gas. There’s a picture going around of a Reuters journalist who got pepper sprayed. They even arrested a protester who was live streaming the whole thing…which is how many of us were keeping abreast of what’s happening on the ground. Also, on Monday night the police had *planned* for the mass arrests they carried out of ~150 ppl whom they kettled, according to some who got arrested and talked to the officers. I’ve also seen the police use the UC Berkeley campus for staging and found it a bit unsettling that the university is complicit with the police while also sending us emails of support about the protests. When I park on campus for class at night they are sitting there at a kind of hidden parking lot by the law school with their big SWAT-style trucks ready to go.

    Things will probably be quiet tonight and tomorrow due to the major storms and high winds we have coming, but I’ve heard a big big protest is planned again for Saturday, with ~3k people expected. We’ll see if it gets out of hand like it did this past weekend.

    If people are interested, I’m happy to keep sharing what’s happening on the ground.

    1. psychohistorian

      I am interested in and appreciate your reporting of local (Berkeley) protests. I don’t expect to get much of the truth anywhere else and your history of comments at NC gives me belief in your reporting, thanks!

      1. anonymous123

        What’s really fascinating right now is that 500 Berkeley high school students just staged a walk-out and marched from City Hall up to the UCB campus. All these parents are on Twitter, tweeting about how proud they are of their kids being part of the’s amazing to see a new generation of activists sprouting up. It feels like something is in the air here, and it’s pretty cool to see.

  20. timotheus

    NYPD seeks to “rebuild trust”? Easy as 1, 2, 3–indict, convict, imprison. We don’t need sensitivity training, we need justice.

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