Links 12/20/14

World’s deepest fish found: Ghostly snailfish is found lurking 27,000ft below at the bottom of the Pacific’s Mariana Trench Daily Mail

Ibuprofen boosts some organisms’ life spans Science

The Cold-Medicine Racket Atlantic. The magic of the marketplace!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Continues Getting Cash From Firms Managing Chicago Pension Money David Sirota, International Business Times

Volcker lambasts Wall Street lobbying FT

Bitcoin backer gets two years prison for illicit transfers Reuters. Yves: Prosecution futures.

Guest Contribution: “Why Are So Many Commodity Prices Down in the US… Yet Up in Europe?” Econbrowser

A Brave New World Credit Writedowns

UBS raises single-aisle production gap concern in lower oil price analysis Leeham News and Comment

Déjà Vu All Over Again The Archdruid Report. “Demand destruction” seems to have wide application.

Markets will win game of chicken with Fed FT. “Every time it seems that we are finally drawing to an end of easy money, something (or things) in the world go wrong.” That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

Cuba not returning to capitalism despite U.S. deal: Castro’s daughter Reuters

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls WaPo. Here is the research paper.

Guns, cannons, swords: TSA has record-breaking haul in 2014 Runway Girl Network

Did CIA torture violate Nuremberg ban on human experimentation? McClatchy

Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA’s Torture Scandals The Intercept. Hmm. The director of the airport used for the Polish black site Stare Kiejkuty mentions a woman meeting one of the torture flights… And Greenwald mentions Bikowsky took a hand in at least one torture session….

What Kind of Revolutionary, Exactly, Is Bernie Sanders? Bloomberg

What does Elizabeth Warren want? FT

Congressional Leaders Reject Wall Street’s Push for Deregulatory “Trade” Pacts Eyes on Trade

Race relations suddenly a top concern of Americans McClatchy. Elite breathes sigh of relief as “income inequality” goes on the back burner. Hopefully, walking and chewing gum will one day be possible.


Ukraine crisis: Obama orders ban on Crimea trade BBC

On another front Economist. Ukrainian energy and corruption.

Ruble Advances as Cash Crunch From Higher Rates Supports Demand Bloomberg

Putin’s Christmas Show The New Yorker

What SYRIZA says about Greece’s economy, its debt and the euro  Ekathimerini


Texas City plumber’s truck ends up in Syrian war Galveston Daily News (Jim Haygood). It’s hard to picture anything other than the truck coming direct from Texas. So how does that happen?

Diseases are spreading in Syria: WHO Daily Star

U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria Have Cost $1 Billion ABC

Turkey to ‘start training’ Syria’s moderate rebels by March France24

The War Nerd: More proof the US defense industry has nothing to do with defending America Pando Daily. Massive takedown from The War Nerd.

Class Warfare

The Crowdsourcing Scam The Baffler

Bowling Alone or Bowling at All? The Effect of Unemployment on Social Participation Ruhr Economic Papers [PDF].

The GOP’s “Jobs Bill Joke” (and other 2015 LOLs Economic Populist

‘Why the Innocent Plead Guilty’: An Exchange NYRB

Predatory Fining and Mass Surveillance Marginal Revolution

Man can’t challenge $280K tax bill he probably doesn’t really owe, Pa. court says Patriot-News (furzy mouse). Philly sends out huge, “made up” delinquency notices to get taxpayers “to induce the targeted taxpayer to contact the city’s revenue department.”

Message to Booleans: It’s an additive world, we just live in it Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

Open Garden raises $10.8M to build a “Second Internet” — for the people, by the people Pando Daily. A “mesh network.”

Podcast links: freed from pixels Abnormal Returns. Interesting straw in the wind….

Our Jury Is In on “Serial” The Marshall Project

Colbert’s pitch-perfect finale: “Stephen Colbert” breaks character at last Salon. The perfect kayfabe master.

The Troll Hunters MIT Technology Review

Writing Machines LRB. On realism and the real.

Mandy Rice-Davies, Profumo affair model, dies aged 70 Guardian (JL). “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”

Why you should SHAKE your bottle of bubbly to stop it overflowing: Actually decreases the pressure, say French boffins Daily Mail.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. abynormal

    re, congressional leaders reject wall st push for deregulatory trade pacts:

    “TPP and TAFTA negotiators are also contemplating pre-crisis rules that would threaten commonsense prudential regulations such as restrictions on derivatives and other risky financial products, measures to keep banks from becoming “too big to fail,” firewalls to protect our savings accounts from hedge-fund-style bets, capital controls to prevent financial crises, and a Wall Street tax to counter speculative and destabilizing bubbles.” this could get someone shot unless they aim the torpedo’s in this direction…

    not to worry… 2013/Politico: Many lawmakers also accuse China of manipulating its currency for an unfair trade advantage. However, Beijing is not a member of TPP talks and would be directly affected by any currency rules in the agreement only if it decides one day to join.

    stop the bus an let my bro jack off… The banks that settled with the two regulators on Wednesday are HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. Bank of America also entered into a settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Wednesday.

    The F.C.A. and C.F.T.C. claim that the traders at different banks met in online chat rooms and colluded on trading strategies, particularly in the moments before a fix was determined, so that their own banks could profit.

    In one instance, the British regulator said a trader at Citigroup made a $99,000 profit based on trades executed in a 33-second period ahead of the E.C.B. fix after colluding with traders at four other firms.

  2. abynormal

    cia doesn’t want torture leaders name released because there are sicko’s that could hurt her…

    love those active oxymoron’s!

    1. RUKidding

      torture lady don’t want to be tortured, herself. but what she ordered was “necessary”… for freedumbs or something something… down the rabbit hole we go…

    2. hunkerdown

      Behind every seeming contradiction, there is an act of exclusion. Sorry aby, they’re just not that into us.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Judge Jed Rakoff, author of the ‘Why the Innocent Plead Guilty’ article discussed in the NYRB link, is same Judge Rakoff who is reported (in the Reuters link above) sentencing Bitcoin backer Charlie Shrem to two years in prison after Shrem’s guilty plea in September to ‘aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmitting business.’ (Gasp, what an awful transgression — missing paperwork!)

    It all stacks up: Nixon-Agnew’s 1970 War on Drugs; Reagan-Bush’s 1984 sentencing guidelines; Reagan-Bush’s 1986 Anti-Money Laundering Act, which extends the War on Drugs into finance. Today, as one of the NYRB contributors states, ‘Even a misdemeanor trial that once took a day can now take a week. Which is why in New York City, where I practice, there are none.‘ (And no Sixth Amendment either — goodbye to all that.)

    It took less than 40 years for the War on Drugs to obliterate criminal trials, altering the criminal justice system beyond recognition. Since the Gulag very selectively targets the underclass, the middle class doesn’t care until their kid or nephew gets into life-changing trouble for a minor offense, and they find out how utterly harsh, punitive and inflexible the conviction mill has become. Like 1930s Germans, Americans (including juries) have a ‘disinterested disposition to punish,’ making the USA a quite dangerous place unless you keep your head down and your nose clean.

    1. fresno dan

      Man can’t challenge $280K tax bill he probably doesn’t really owe, Pa. court says:
      “That refusal left Tucker, despite his finding that the city’s tax figure “was unsupported by any evidence,” with no option but to dismiss the tax appeal on grounds that Lerner had waived his right to challenge the validity of the assessment. Her court is “constrained” to uphold Tucker’s “reluctant” decision, Leavitt concluded.”
      Yeah, and basically we have gone where you have to prove your self innocent, instead of the state proving that your guilty – but you already knew that….

      We HAD an interesting law and philosophy, embodied in the Constitution, of restraining the state…no more.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have always thought that the inference in the Constitution is that BIg Brother is guilty until proven innocent (thus the ‘if not stated here, then it’s reserved for the People or the states), whereas the People are innocent until proven guilty.

        Based on that alone, I believe all new money, as much as we desire and have no problem printing, should go to the People directly and immediately..

        1. davidgmills

          It is going to ‘the people.” But “the people” is a small club, and as George Carlin liked to point out, you are not in it.

  4. Bridget

    ” It’s hard to picture anything other than the truck coming direct from Texas. So how does that happen?”

    Via Mexico. Lots of used vehicles not desirable for resale here are towed to Mexico 3 and 4 at a time.

    1. McMike

      Yeah, it’s odd that anyone finds it odd. I picture all those Chinese plastic crap container ships back-hauling all those stolen Honda Accords somewhere.

      Now what is a mystery is how all that American sports team and brand logo paraphernalia clothing makes it to poor African countries. Actually, no. In my imagination, I see boxes of unsold seasonal and faddish cheap Walmart clothing heading on that same back-haul route.

      In fact, if you pay attention to sports playoff games, you will know how fast winner adorned logo-wear is available, (hint: immediately). This can only mean that two sets are printed, ready for either possible outcome.

      Somewhere, entire container ships full of Dewey Beats Truman tshirts are sitting on a dock with nowhere to go.

        1. vidimi

          indeed. saying that the trucks went to mexico just shifts the question to how did they then get from mexico? you end up doubling the number of your assumptions: an occam’s razor fail.

          it’s uncontroversial that the cia has been supplying the syrian “moderates” so it’s not that much of a stretch to suppose that that’s precisely how this truck got there.

        2. McMike

          Nah, the CIA would ship brand new $80,000 Hummers.

          Besides, even amongst that gang who can’t shoot straight, surely one bright light would have peeled off the logo decal.

          It’s not that hard to imagine brokers in the middle east buying used American light pickup trucks for a second act.

  5. fresno dan

    A prosecutor actually going after a police officer? I’m thinking the victim was a high ranking AARP official…
    Now, there is something in this that is interesting – the cop didn’t know there was a videotape camera in the area, or was he so brazen that he thought it didn’t matter, or was he just going by past experience that the prosecutor never charges cops???

    1. cwaltz

      San Francisco is far from a inexpensive region of the country. I suspect the issue is this cop assaulted the wrong person. He didn’t pick on someone without any resources.

  6. Jackrabbit

    President Obama’s News Conference (A Summary)

    Only calls on female reporters. Questions focused on North Korea and Cuba (I think 9 or 10 of 13 questions). No question on Russia/Putin/Ukraine, Syria/Iraq/ISIS. Obama defends Keystone as merely helping Canada get its oil to market (he’s also concerned about costs that the US – not the world – might have to bear due to climate change: sounds like he wants a small transit tax on the oil). Last question about race relations allows Obama to comment on the ‘state of Black America’.

    Video and Transcript

    H O P

      1. cwaltz

        That Obama he’s such a meanie doesn’t he know if he is going to be exclusive then he should only answer the questions of white male reporters, not the cootie filled girl folk? Next thing you know the guy will only be answering the questions of those uppity people of color who also get all the neat freebies.
        (tongue firmly in cheek because I’m pretty sure this would have been a non story if it had been him answering the questions of just the white male reporters.)

    1. Andrew Watts

      There isn’t any good news out of Syria/Iraq. US Central Command is “looking into reports” that American troops engaged IS outside Ramadi and you gotta believe the reporters were told beforehand to not ask about it. The Kurdish Peshmerga broke through to Mt. Sinjar but the evacuation of the people trapped by IS “ran into logistical problems”. You see, IS mined all the roads in and out of the area, then they apparently launched a counter-attack.

      Meanwhile in Syria, the Kurdish forces in Kobani re-captured ground that’s been traded at least three times in the past couple of weeks. The Syrian Arab Army failed to encircle Aleppo and al-Nusra took two Syrian bases in the northwest part of the country. A group of rebels who held the Golan Heights swore allegiance to the Islamic State so now they border Israel too. IS also destroyed quite a few border checkpoints along the Iraqi border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Just in case anybody didn’t get the memo about Sykes-Picot.

      And finally, my favorite story of the week about life inside Ain al-Asad military base from the BBC. Spoilers: They were there to cover the offensive into Hit… it failed before they got there.

  7. McMike

    re crowdsourcing scam. “all consuming paternalism”

    Yes, I have been trying to put my finger on this. These days, the tech makes me increasingly claustrophobic. Literally physically fidgety.

    I’m trying to pinpoint when it rolled over. Used to be each new wave of tech was liberating, new possibilities and capabilities opened up. I remember the days in the late 1990s and early 2000’s, as an information junkie and business manager, technological constraints evaporated, and there was this brief period when you could do anything if you had the time and money, and company culture became the only limit.

    Somewhere in the timeline – amongst the unholy trinity of Facebook, Google, and Apple – that all changed. Now Google won’t let me search what i want to search, and keeps trying to steer me towards what it wants me to see, whereby even blunt basic literal search functionality is removed/hidden/ignored. Page after page of nonsense results that have nothing to do with what i asked for. Deliberately obscuring results for web sites even that I specifically ask for.

    Facebook won’t let me decide what my news feed sees, and imposes algos and filters that decide which updates I get to see (mostly paid ads), an imposed restriction that cannot be overridden, and trying to alter this relationship even a little is a process that is deeply buried and constantly relocated and reconfigured, and seemingly ignored by the software anyway. Meanwhile, they experiment with their “customers” emotional states like nazi prison camp doctors, viewing their subjects as no more worthy than lab rats, Showing the same amoral detachment of a video game culture of geeks who all secretly wish they could be the guy to blow up Islamic weddings with drone missiles for real.

    Apple, meanwhile, is so arrogantly and tightly controlled that a subculture of illicit modifications emerged that calls itself jail-breaking. Apple makes no pretense that even if you buy something, they still own it. And Apple’s major preoccupation seems to be finding ways to restrict your use of your stuff to their platform. Apple is built around a workflow of their choosing, and there is no other way. Photos are to be taken on the phone or moved into the phone, not the other way around. Period. Meanwhile, simple functionality, like bulk-deletion of your inbox, remains bizarrely and stubbornly disabled. The only available explanation for the stubborn refusal to allow such basic productivity tasks can only be understood as sadistic passive aggressiveness. Apple just wants to remind you they are in charge and you are helpless. Never get off the boat.

    Apple too makes a practice of making their grudging concessions to people who want a little control over their devices as painful as possible. Constantly hiding it in new rat holes, and changing the way it works, and secretly disabling it or rendering it moot anyway. This company that cannot figure out how to allow bulk deletions is genius at creating a fifteen-step system for turning off (some of) the spyware features.

    God help us, we used to loath Bill Gates as the Borg King. Yet his platform, in comparison to the contemporary peers, was a paragon of liberty, transparency, openness, and creativity. It did not tell me how I should do my work, or what I should want to see. It was built on a premise of asking me what i wanted to do. At least not by comparison.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “When It Changed.”

      I suspect when cookies became a thing, though I’m not sure cookies are anything but a symptom. And I can’t even remember when that was.

    2. different clue

      If an organization tried to rebuild and recreate the “search” the way searchers remember the “search” used to be and/or the way they would like it to be, how would such an organization keep itself and its search engine alive long enough to attract the attention and support of people who wanted good searches? How would such an organization support itself and pay its people? Ads but in a more restrained way than Google does? Subscription fees?
      Does such a thing as . . . have a future?

        1. different clue


          I know the page does not exist. I knew that when I made up the name. I think the name is a good one. “Shinolasearch” says it all. So now the name is out there in case anyone can create a “shinola search” reality to attach the name to.

      1. hunkerdown

        Pretty much any public-minded Internet application is living on angel-funded time.

        Every home should have its own Internet mail slot without some FedEx insinuating themselves into the transaction.

        1. RWood

          Take another look at Blade Runner–there’s getting the advert message across. Coming soon to the pipple, usn’s.

    3. DJG

      Just came back from finishing the Christmas shopping–some small gifts like ornaments and wine for the cooks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day–to McMike’s comment and Baffler article. The Baffler points out the overwhelming desire for monitoring and self-monitoring. What I noticed today is that amid all of the monitoring and pseudo-accessibility (cell phones everywhere), that is, personal privacy, there is a decline in basic standards and expectations related to privacy and money. Electronic receipts, stores that don’t want to give any receipt, stores that don’t mark prices on certain items. It reminded me of Lambert’s recent comments on privacy for the rich only–and I’d offer the basic definition that privacy is the area that one demarks as the zone that others can’t steal from (house, car, one’s person, one’s giant estate in the country). The narrowness, tawdriness, and mediocrity of so many software applications in the telecom state mean that we are watching privacy and a certain expectation of what makes us human dissolve.

      1. hunkerdown

        One way of elaborating “because markets” (neoliberal commandment #1) is that the only proper, valid principles of exclusion follow from economic activity.

        Also, you shouldn’t approach gift horses as if they were bartered, unless in fact they were.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Sherman was, by contrast, the most grimly sane American ever born

      The above quote from near the end of your first link brought to mind a fascinating book I read a number of years ago entitled A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness. The book, written by professor of psychiatry Nassir Ghaemi, argues that some of history’s most competent leaders in times of extreme stress have had serious bipolar issues, and Sherman is one of the top names on his exhibit list. Others are Churchill and Lincoln. It’s a fascinating book for people interested in this sort of stuff.

  8. sd

    Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, sociopath.

    It’s important to brand aberrant people – especially those who torture – as exactly what they are which is members of society who should be isolated from the general population to prevent further damage. Instead, I imagine she will profit from her role much as Henry Kissinger, Oliver North and Colin Powell, have profited from theirs.

    1. abynormal

      could you imagine a blind date with the sadistbitch?

      Many offenders derive pleasure and satisfaction from sadistic acts of humiliation. To these, inflicting pain is fun. They lack empathy and so their victim’s agonized reactions are merely cause for much hilarity.

      Moreover, sadism is rooted in deviant sexuality. The torture inflicted by sadists is bound to involve perverted sex (rape, homosexual rape, voyeurism, exhibitionism, pedophilia, fetishism, and other paraphilias). Aberrant sex, unlimited power, excruciating pain – these are the intoxicating ingredients of the sadistic variant of torture.

      Still, torture rarely occurs where it does not have the sanction and blessing of the authorities, whether local or national. A permissive environment is sine qua non. The more abnormal the circumstances, the less normative the milieu, the further the scene of the crime is from public scrutiny – the more is egregious torture likely to occur. This is especially true in totalitarian societies where the use of physical force to discipline or eliminate dissent is an acceptable practice.

  9. vidimi

    hi lambert,
    i am having comments get lost. one on police cameras in links from 3 days ago and another more recently on the jared bernstein healthcare article. should i repost them (well, i won’t bother with the police one in links anymore) or are they stuck in moderation?

    1. McMike

      They are stuck. Try and repost them, and you will be told it is a duplicate.

      It’s Murphy’s law of commenting, the odds of a post you are really happy with disappearing is inversely proportional to the likelihood that you backed it up first.

  10. anonymous123

    Is anyone else having an issue when they access NC from Safari on iPhone, where one of the mobile ads causes some sort of spam? Every time I use the website and try to leave a comment, I get brought to the iTunes store to download a random game. It looks related to the mobile ad on the bottom of the screen. I very deliberately don’t click/scroll anywhere near the ad but still get brought to automatically to the iTunes store after it sends me through some website called Cronos Tracking (or something similar). I don’t use my iPhone to web browse much at all, and I don’t generally click on links, so I don’t think I picked up some spam elsewhere. This only happens when I visit NC. Anyone else having the same issue?

    1. McMike

      Yes, alas, NC is frequently nearly unusable on the iphone. Between the app store hijacking, really aggressive popups, and occasionally, banners that lock the screen and require a hard start to recover.

      It is in fact the most compromised site I visit by a long shot.

      Yves et al are aware of it. Not much they can do about it apparently.

      So, I either suffer through, or take it as a hint to cut the cord and engage with the outside world.

      1. optimader

        agreed, it has gotten very bad recently, to the point of just automatically redirecting away from NC when the page opens.
        hard to believe it is a viable way to channel an iTunes app purchase?
        Ultimately it is an iphone/apple failure to police it’s environment, a big disincentive to retain the iphone platform when I replace the present phone.

        1. OIFVet

          It’s a problem with android too, though not as bad by the sound of it. Redirects to the play store, or if not that the browser shuts down. I went to a Firefox browser and that solved most of the issues with redirects and shutdowns, leaving the occasional browser crash. Trying to type a comment from a mobile platform remains quite frustrating though, it’s like there is some sort of script related to the comment field that causes some really funky things like the cursor moving someplace else in mid-sentence. If someone can recommend a browser I would appreciate it, Firefox is probably not as good as it gets for android but I simply don’t want to spend that much time testing different browsers right now.

  11. ho

    re: cuba

    what happens if, when not isolated from the west, they slowly become a functional modern economy?? I’m no fan of marxism-leninism, and i know ussr wasnt totally isolated, but what if genuine cooperation makes that much of a difference? They may be a unique case because, to put it simply, castro isnt trully a “bad guy” like stalin or mao, people would be shocked to hear he was one of nelson mandela’s idols…

    …or disd I eat too many psychadellic mushrooms this morning??

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cuba not returning to capitalism…Castro’s daughter.

    I don’t know much about her, and I assume she is capable, but I hope there are other voices in Cuba, whether agreeing or disagreeing, because it would be disheartening to see dynastic families everywhere – the Kims of North Korea, the Clintons, the Bushes, and from yesterday’s links section – doctors, the Red Princes of Beijing, male blood descendants of Confucius, the imperial family of Japan, the UK, etc.

    1. Benedict@Large

      “Look, I can appreciate that it’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a police state whose police forces routinely murder civilians (and whose top political leaders have engaged in torture of prisoners with impunity), but Cuba did the right thing.”

      — Comment on the NYT website

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I had a dream that I saw a bumper sticker on the back of a car: Caution, Human Driver On Board!

    Most robot driven cars tried to stay away from it.

    My personal opinion? We have to concede cars to robots and stay with what we do better – riding horses. I have not heard of any robot jockeys yet.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nuremberg ban on human experimentation.

    Maybe some economists will not like what I am about to say, but when you implement untried, untested (by FDA, for example) economic policies on a human population, that’s a crime against humanity.

    So, for example, you have to test different dosages of, say, MMT on groups of volunteers first before any implementation, even if the theory appears sounds on paper.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My proposed experiment would be to print, as much as we want, and give that new money to, not everyone (that’s full implementation), but to a group of volunteer retired seniors or people below the poverty line and see how that works.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wish they had run a stress-test, and disclosed the result of that, on retired seniors living on fixed income, before implementing ZIRP.

      That’s another involuntary human experimentation.

      ‘We will do it and see how many will survive.’

      1. ambrit

        Thought leaders often speak of the Financial Cabal as a “Gang.” This is sound usage as the present trajectory of our society is aiming squarely at Tribalism as the optimal survival strategy. What else is a ‘gang’ if not a tribe? So, not so much how many individuals will survive, as which tribes will survive.
        The retired seniors stress test was not carried out because the quants advising the Cabal knew full well how ZIRP would effect seniors on fixed incomes. Naturally, lacking social engagement, said quants rang no bells. The lack of any tocsin was the infamous “dog that didn’t bark in the night.” After all, the quants don’t work for us, do they? Such a reduced engagement with the wider world is yet another indication of the enclosing of the public good.
        I’m slowly learning that I should not worry about when Neo-Feudalism springs forth full blown, like Athena from the brow of Zeus. Rather, I should watch the signs and portents for the slow aggrandizement of the Neo-Feudal class. The balance is constantly tipping. It makes me almost believe in Fate.

  15. Jim Haygood

    A federal district judge in Pa. has ruled Obama’s ‘executive action’ on immigration unconstitutional.

    It’s about as sarcastic a court decision as you will ever read. Excerpts from Obama speeches in 2010 and 2011, directly contradicting his action in 2014, are cited at length. (Talk about transgressive.)

    Here are the quotes that made me laff out loud:

    ‘President Obama contended, in his televised address, that his Executive Action is ‘lawful’ and akin to actions taken by other presidents, both Republican and Democratic. The sole citation to authority in the president’s speech was from the Old testament: Exodus 22:21.‘ /snarc

    ‘[Defendant] is in ‘no man’s land’ under the Executive Action. However, … the Court concludes that he is more ‘family’ than ‘felon.’


    LOL! Great campaign slogan for Depublicrats: ‘more family than felon’ (SM)

  16. OIFVet

    So is South Stream a go or no go? “Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Friday urged Bulgaria to issue in timely manner all permits relating to the construction of the seabed section of the South Stream gas pipeline project.” Russia Asks Bulgaria to Issue South Stream Construction Permits. Also some weasel words from the Bulgarian PM: ““Our country is obliged to stand by its obligations to prepare for construction work, in particular, for the seabed stretch of the pipeline and issue the required permissions…If Gazprom terminates the project despite the permissions issued by Bulgaria, it will be its fault, not Bulgaria’s,” Borisov said.” EU asks Russia to go ahead with South Stream. That’s pretty rich coming from the PM of the country that froze work on South Stream after the EC and John McCain pressured it to do so. I would compare Borisov to a peasant, except to do so would be an unfair insult to peasants. He is a regular target for late-night TV lampooning due to his incoherent, grammatically incorrect yet highly bombastic remarks, delivered in Shopski dialect (google it) that most Bulgarians associate with aggressive ignorance in the Know Nothing vein. Borisov also has a well-known organized crime past, which has been the topic of some of the diplomatic cables that were released by Wikileaks. That makes him a compromised figure that is a prime target for external manipulation. To now hear him try to pass the blame is really quite irritating.

  17. Tnayrb

    Re: Mark-1 Plumbing truck used by ISIS

    This appears to be photoshopped. The weapon isn’t even in the bed of the truck.

Comments are closed.