Links 12/5/14

Jaws of life: Extraordinary footage emerges of beachgoer slicing open a pregnant dead shark to save her pups and lead them to the ocean Daily Mail (martha r)

Electric eels deliver Taser-like shocks PhysOrg

Astronomers Are Getting Ready To Take The Image Of The Century Business Insider (David L)

Bitcoin 2.0 gives the dreamers focus — but only without the hype Financial Times

Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century? MIT Technology Review (David L)

Friendly gut bacteria ‘help to attack malaria’ BBC (David L)

2014 To Be Hottest Year Ever Measured Scientific American (martha r)

Exhausted by a House That Saves Energy New York Times (David L). FWIW, this is much more about having made bad design choices than sustainability/energy conservation per se. But that’s an important lesson to be reminded of if you are thinking of going this route.

Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane NASA (martha r)

Can Japan Reboot? Project Syndicate

Hong Kong Protesters Considering Retreat WSJ China Real Time

ECB paralyzed by split as irreversible deflation trap draws closer Telegraph

The ECB winter of discontent Bruegel

Juncker’s Sound of Silence Project Syndicate


Will Russia, Germany save Europe from war? Pepe Escobar

Ukraine’s forgotten security guarantee: The Budapest Memorandum DW

Putin Just Announced A Massive Foreign Currency Bailout For Russia’s Collapsing Banks Yahoo (furzy mouse)

Nuclear Incident Leaves Doubts Over Ukraine’s Energy Security OilPrice


Why Assad Refuses to Step Down Stephen Gowans (hunkerdown)

Asking Christians about Tolerance of War Consortiumnews (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden, please call Jill Abramson Capital New York

White House (Ab)Uses Ferguson To Promote More Surveillance Moon of Alabama

ROMNEY INSIDER: He’s Running Business Insider

Smith & Wesson misfire: Rifle sales drop 50% Fortune (furzy mouse). An Obama-as-lame-duck indicator?

Enviro Groups File Motion to Intervene in Defense of Denton Fracking Ban Steve Horn

Black Injustice Tipping Point

‘Chokehold’ protesters swarm New York City for second night DW

N.Y. Police Chokehold Evidence to Stay Secret as Protests Spread Bloomberg

Cleveland Police Cited for Abuse by Justice Department New York Times

U.S. SEC’s Stein says Bank of America waiver policy is ‘breakthrough‘ Reuters

Wall Street Demands Derivatives Deregulation In Government Shutdown Bill Huffington Post

Oil Shock

US oil reserves at highest since 1975 Financial Times

Brent Drops From 4-Year Low as Saudi Discounts Deepen Price War Bloomberg

Here Is Oil’s Next Leg Down Ilargi

Commodities tomorrow: Saudis say oil to stabilize around … CNBC (furzy mouse)

Extreme oil bears gamble on $40 crude Financial Times

Whither Markets?

Gross Urges Investors to Take ‘Chips Off’ Table Amid Low Returns Bloomberg

Roubini Sees “Mother of All Asset Bubbles”, But Claims Bubble Will Not Burst Until 2016 Michael Shedlock. Only problem is Roubini also made a call for 2013….

Central bankers are either too arrogant or too humble FTAlphaville (Richard A)

Banking: Financial firefighters Financial Times

Class Warfare

Few Options for Homeless as San Jose Clears Camp New York Times

The Red Cross CEO Has Been Serially Misleading About Where Donors’ Dollars Are Going ProPublica. More overpaid administrators at big not-for-profits.

Which U.S. Cities Have the Biggest Income Gaps? WSJ Economics

Voting With Your Feet: Aaron Renn’s New Donut New Geography

Shake-up at The New Republic: Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier Are Out New York Times. Leon Wieseltier is gone???? He was the anchor of the “back of the book” and hugely productive. I did a study for TNR in 2000. Getting rid of Wieseltier, not just from a quality perspective, but from a crass raw economic perspective (I not only saw the numbers but redid their P&L on a department cost basis), is insane.

Antidote du jour (mark w):

cute baby wolf links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. bob

    I’m laughing out loud at this one-

    Exhausted by a House That Saves Energy

    5,000 sqft? Design choices? Yes, that’s a bit of the problem. Some of their comments show how completely removed from reality, and their supposed “environment”, they really are.

    More than enough people willing to help you build the dream though. Just open up your wallet and buy some more free!

    1. bob

      Overheard conversation at a very high end eco-sustanable-wellness”resort” this summer-

      “Hunny, we need a chick coop, we could get free eggs and meat!”
      “what do you feed the chickens?”
      “oh! I saw a magazine article with PLANS for a coop with a place on top to grow greens to feed them”

      That settled it, there were plans. I couldn’t help laughing at the thought of her feeding the chickens in white uggs and a pink camel hair coat. Dry-clean only.

    2. cwaltz

      5000 sq feet for 1 home for 2 people is insanely large. I would think with that size the children and grandchildren could move in with them not just visit.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It could fit about 100, as I recall a scene in Doctor Zhivago where Omar, if I recall correctly, went back to his pre-Revolutioary home.

        1. Ivy

          But wasn’t that Dr. Zhivago scene revolting? The gimme attitude of the squatters and the lack of recognition of a rule of law such as property rights.

          1. abynormal

            revolting is that it was a result of an economic caste system…”squatters” turned the table and imitated the ubers.

            Yeah, a storm is threatening
            My very life today
            If I don’t get some shelter
            Lord, I’m gonna fade away

            War, children, yeah, it’s just a shot away
            It’s just a shot away
            War, children, yeah, it’s just a shot away
            It’s just a shot away, hey, yeah

            Oh, see the fire is sweepin’
            At our streets today
            Burnin’ like a red coal carpet
            A mad bull lost its way
            Gimmie Shelter

    3. Clive

      Yes, and building it in that climate zone too. It is the most important consideration in determining a building’s energy demand after size. Of course, the article implies the couple have family close by and I am of the view that proximity to family is one of the key determinants in having a happy retirement (assuming you get on with them, that is !) so moving away might not have been an option. But the effect of adding that much space in an area with severe winters meant it wasn’t the brightest idea.

    4. CuJo

      Unless it’s for an entire community, 5000-6000 Sq. ft. isn’t sustainable.

      Lop a 0 off the size of the house and it’s already more sustainable, even without the solar panels, wood heat, etc.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Here is a stark contrast between more technology and less consumption in addressing Global Warming.

        More technology means the ego can justify that 5,000 sq ft home.

        Less consumption would have pointed toward a 500 sq ft home, even though it might come with less fancy bells and whistles to impress one’s social inferiors.

        But less consumption is far less sexy than a Tesla, I suppose.

        1. bruno marr

          Here’s a link to a better solution. (u will have 2 paste it; link function no workee)

          It’s a 1000 sq. ft. home, off-grid, fully self-contained, and looks like a regular home. Built in 1990 for $77/sq. ft.. Built today the photovoltaics/electronics/lighting would be much improved. And while hydronic heating is slow to respond to rapid heating needs, hydronic heating maintains a more comfortable temperature perception with your body (radiant) and is very compatible with photovoltaics (low energy pump motor). Today’s PV electronics are all modular now (cheaper) and LED lighting uses half that of fluorescent.

          The folks in the article are “tinkerers”, not thoughtful.

        2. susan the other

          Less consumption (of technology) translates into conservation on several levels. One thousand sq ft is plenty big for two people who are 70 and can’t handle the hands-on maintenance of a house. Any house. So I agree 500 sq ft is even more livable. And the grandkids can have sleeping bags. The one single thing a house needs to be “sustainable” is passive solar in the winter and good shade in the summer. Not high-maintenance innovations. And if we cut out the lawn and shrubs we can have rocks, perennials and enough veggies to eat well from June to December. The low tech stuff is the best. Funny how even when we are 70 our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

          1. abynormal

            Funny how even when we are 70 our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.
            …and they’ve raised their children with even bigger eyes

            my great grandmother sue-sue raised 7 kids in a 4rm house…all became professionals that eventually owned their own businesses and one was an admiral. today one out of seventy may be so lucky. seems we’re going to have to ride this train to the end of the track…maybe then your points of sustainability will be appreciated for the prosperity they will bring.

          2. cwaltz

            We have 6 and a small menagerie in 1008 square feet(3 bed -2 bath). It hasn’t always been fun(3 teenage boys in one room= drama and messes) but it is doable. It makes you pare down AND try to use every inch of space you have efficiently.

  2. Jim Haygood

    When producers try to defend themselves against high inflation … animals attack:

    Dec 4 (Reuters) – Argentina’s state bank has moved to bolster the country’s reserves by reducing credit to soy farmers holding onto an estimated 8 million tonnes of last year’s beans as a hedge against one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

    Government-controlled Banco Nacion has told its branches in the Pampas farm belt to stop financing growers who are denting tax revenue by hoarding soybeans. Argentina is the No. 3 exporter of beans and the top supplier soymeal feed used to fatten up cattle and other livestock around the world.

    If the credit crackdown works and farmers are forced to sell, there will be an increase in Argentine supply as the year ends. More soybean selling would let the government collect more of the 35 percent tax that it puts on exports.

    The country’s main farm group says that of the 12.9 million tonnes of soybeans being held back from the market, 8 million will be swapped for seeds, fertilizers and other inputs. With inflation estimated at about 40 percent, soybeans have replaced the local peso as a unit of value.


    The Widow K.: as farm-friendly as Roberto Mugabe. If you see soy, say something.

    1. hunkerdown

      Agribusiness has little to do with farming and everything to do with resource extraction. Reuters isn’t fit for toilet paper. And soybean oils are a significant component of processed so-called “food”.

      Whiny businesspeople and their entitlement complexes, I tell you what…

  3. lambert strether

    Sounds like Vidra is TNR’s Tina Brown.

    No more Bell Curve.

    No more Iraq war cheerleading.

    [wipes tear]

    What a shame.

    1. TedWa

      Thanks for the link, very good. He’s got my vote for President any day. Dream ticket for me would be Sanders / Warren

      1. hunkerdown

        Remember, VPOTUS’ role in politics is to broker power and draw hatred away from the titular “boss”. A vote for Warren is a vote for imperial fuckery and there is no way to get around that.

        I’d rather have Kucinich in the veep seat. I don’t even know if he’s dispositionally capable of doing dirty deals.

        Of course, all this presupposes that machine politics is even remotely functional, or that “revealed preferences” in political economy amount to squat in policy, or that party machines exist for any other reason than reproducing machine politics.

  4. steviefinn

    I suppose that with tools like infra-red. x-ray, ultra-violet & whatever, there might be something to see, otherwise if a black hole is just that, it might be a tad bit disappointing & then unconvincing to sceptical scientists who don’t believe that they exist. I would think that they would need the surrounding area included to provide contrast & if the current theory is valid – it’s definitely one of those stand well back pics.

    Hopefully the results will not turn out to be a disappointment & will add to the knowledge of the great mystery, even for the often physics confused like myself.

  5. DJG

    Wow. A Harvard case study just for me, a member of the Ownership Society with 12.5 shares in my SEP. Walgreens wants to merge with Boots. Boots supposedly is mainly in the U.K., except that it’s headquartered in Switzerland. The seller of Boots stock, though, is some AB Holdings or other of Gibraltar. Probably in a post-office box. And the result will be that Walgreens will cease being an Illinois company and move to being a Delaware company (the Gibraltar of the States). What could any of this have to do with the core business of Walgreens, which is being a pharmacy? And who stands to make scads of bucks?

    1. DJG

      So I voted my proxy: No. Those mighty 13.7 shares of shareholder democracy will save Walgreens from its managerial foolishness, no?

      1. steelhead

        LOL. It’s just like my eight shares of Union Pacific Corporation and twenty shares of Met Life which I inherited.

    2. proximity1


      Alliance Boots GmbH is a multinational pharmacy-led health and beauty group. and also increasingly develops and internationalises its product brands. The company has a presence in over 25 countries including associates and joint ventures and in 2013/14 reported revenue in excess of £23.4 billion.[1] The company was formed by the merger of the British high street pharmacist Boots Group and the pan-European wholesale and retail pharmacy group Alliance UniChem in 2006.

      Alliance Boots was initially a British plc listed on the London Stock Exchange. In 2007 it was bought out in a private equity transaction by AB Acquisitions Limited. Alliance Boots GmbH was established in Switzerland during 2008 and is a direct subsidiary of AB Acquisitions Holdings Limited, a company which owns 55% of Alliance Boots GmbH’s shares. AB Acquisitions Holdings Limited is jointly controlled by Alliance Santé Participations and three private equity investment vehicles advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). Stefano Pessina and Ornella Barra, who serve on the Board of Alliance Boots GmbH, are also Directors of Alliance Santé Participations. The remaining 45% of the Company’s shares were acquired by Walgreens on 2 August 2012. … …

  6. Carolinian

    Re Wieseltier: Not everyone such a big fan.

    For me the New Republic died sometime around the Martin Peretz takeover. Subsequently Alex Cockburn used to regularly make fun of the mag until Navasky told him to knock it off. Naturally those mourning today are the ones who think the neocon/neoliberal TNR a good thing. Wieseltier may well have been brilliant–like I say haven’t been reading it–but seems he was very much on that team.

    1. annie

      wieseltier has written despicable reviews in nytbr–itself reliably neo-con–and i’m sure his bias reigned at tnr. i do not read it, having boycotted since andy sullivan, editor, featured charles murray’s racist crap on the cover. i’m recalling how viciously leon savaged nicholson baker’s delightful ‘checkpoint’–anti-bush way before it was allowed.

      1. Propertius

        having boycotted since andy sullivan, editor, featured charles murray’s racist crap on the cover

        Moi aussi.

  7. DJG

    The problem with The New Republic is that it lives in a kind of nostalgic bubble: The days of those great articles, Henry Fairlie and TRB and such. The days when they used to send back a little prepared note if you wrote a letter to the editor. And even when it was headquartered in New York, before it went to Washington and got thoroughly corrupted. But I subscribed for years and remember Marty Peretz foaming virtually at the mouth. I remember an article that posited that unionized auto workers made too much because they made more than the typical journalist. I recall Andrew Sullivan telling us all about the hair preparations he was using to defeat male-pattern baldness. This is the path of American liberalism. Not so pretty.

    1. Banger

      TNR was a regular part of my life during my early life–I opposed the Vietnam War as a result of reading TNR in the mid sixties and it was not just a great magazine for truth (such as it was possible to get in those days) but was literate and well-written. Today TNR is a very poor bit of pretentious BS, for the most part. It’s editorial policy is Neocon-lite and American Exceptionalist-heavy. It reflects the thinking of aging yuppie opportunists that have swarmed into Washington starting in the 90s. They are, to my mind, largely semi-literate and ignorant of history and the world as it is outside their elite universities and prep-schools and summer watering holes. If the tech-types kick them in the ass–I’m for it!

      1. JTFaraday

        …I don’t know. I’m thinking.

        It seems to me that both groups are imbued with a sense of their own inherent (even genetic) superiority And, with that, with their own right to rule. They have different ways of accomplishing that, but again, what they share is their sense that no one and nothing– no inferior person or law or legal or philosophical tradition– can or should stand in their way.

        So, I’m choking on all of them to tell you truth.

  8. New Deal democrat

    A note about the employment report: those not in the labor force, but who want a job now, rose yet again, and are now almost 800,000 higher than one year ago (this number is the “real” number of “missing workers” who don’t appear even in the U-6 unemployment rate.) This can be tied directly to Congress’s cutoff of extended unemployment benefits.

    While real wages rose slightly, and we are seeing a decline in part timers and rise in full timers, the participation rate made no headway at all this month, and as set forth above, actually went backwards – again.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hopefully, that – more volunteer serf wannabes, sorry, that’s 0.01% lingo, for you and me, job seekers – will keep wage inflation down and extend the bubble in 2017.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Broom Hilda — she’s gone country (lookit them boots):

    The music video is country-themed, with an undisclosed singer blaring lines like, “Guys, put your boots on and let’s smash this ceiling!” and, “She fights for country and my family, now it’s time for us to stand up with Hillary!” Images of Hillary Clinton with her husband and daughter flash across the screen throughout the three-minute video.


    Wait till that dumb-ass cowboy finds out she wants to grab his gun, tax his truck and geld his horse (if not him too).

    Next — Hillary makes a video with Jimmy Buffett:

    Wasted away again in Hillaritaville
    Searchin’ for my lost dirt on Rand Paul
    Some people claim that there’s an innnnnnnnn-term to blame
    But I know … it’s muh own damned fault

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Jim, what is the latest in the crystal ball for the next S&P target, as oil continues its death march to $60/barrel?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Nobody knows where the S&P is going, though plenty of pixels will be wasted discussing the subject.

        Given that Nov-Jan is the most seasonally positive 3 months; that the pre-election year is most positive year of the 4-year presidential cycle; and that the S&P reached a new record high today, it is more likely to rise than fall.

        And if it doesn’t, then high valuation trumped seasonality.

      1. Vatch

        Did you even read my very short message? I said that this does not excuse what the Ukrainian government was doing.

      2. optimader

        News Flash-.-.-.-.-. war sucks, that includes urban guerilla war in spades.
        Pretty fast on loose w/ labels on these threads.

        So, read the article, this constitutes genocide by whom? Those shooting rockets out of a civilian urban environment, those returning fire, or those denying accesss for humanitarian aid.

        1. OIFVet

          Depends on the paint color of the trucks that attempt to deliver said humanitarian aid. If they are painted white, the trucks constitute an nvasion force and are to be denied entry. If they are painted in woodland camo pattern, then they are proclaimed to be a humanitarian mission attempting to deliver humanitarian and democratic 155mm artillery rounds to schools, hospitals, local government buildings, and well dug-in shut-ins who resist this humanitarianism. I think Kalashnikov may have gotten the idea to rebrand from these fine folks.

        2. Jackrabbit

          Good catch optimader. Its not genocide – but the extent to which they have targeted the civilian population probably amounts to ethnic cleansing.

          H O P

          1. OIFVet

            Indeed. All it takes is a little bit of state-sponsored terror campaign. Then the refugees fleeing the violence can be deemed to have left “voluntarily.” BG did just that in the mid-1980s with the so-called “revival” process aiked against the ethnic Turkish population. The ones that refused to change their names were terrorized into seeking refuge in Turkey (anywhere from 300,000 up to 500,000), leaving their property behind. Instead of refugees, the state labeled them “permanent tourists” and took their property. Ethnic problem ” solved”. Very shameful chapter in BG history.

              1. OIFVet

                Shameful, what happend to Poland. Is that justification for the cleansing in Eastern Ukraine? And let us put on the record the parts that the article omits: that before Molotov- Ribbentrop, Stalin desperately tried to sign a pact with the West but was rebuffed. He warned the West of what will happen, but the West hated communism too much to ally itself with the SU. Plus, Henry Ford, Prescott Bush, IBM, etc did robust business with Hitler. Profit uber alles. The west was quite convinced that by rejecting Stalin’s overtures it would leave the SU wide open to be destroyed by Nazi Germany. So Stalin signed with Hitler and Europe became the first victim, giving the SU more time and more strategic depth. So well played, West, and tue Russians thank you for buying them the extra time to gear up for war.

                Presenting half-truths is another form of lying. I expected better from you. Of course Putin will see nothing wrong with the pact, he sees it as a necessary move to defend Mother Russia, which is his ultimate goal and responsibility. Unlike today’s BG “leaders”, who have completely sold off BG’sovereignty and national interest. Or the leaders of any other EU/NATO state. It’s the whole point of Atlanticism and “free” trade treaties, and Putin refuses to play by the US imperial rules. Hence the hate. Why is it so damned hard for some regular readers of NC to understand what is going on, given all the information and resources provided by our hosts?

                1. JerseyJeffersonian

                  Speaking to the conduct of Bulgaria’s misleadership class (and that of other of NATO’s poodles), President Putin recently had this to say:

                  “My Bulgarian colleagues have always told me that whatever happens, they would certainly implement South Stream, because this corresponds to their national interests. But here, unfortunately, this did not come to pass. If Bulgaria is deprived of the opportunity to act as a sovereign nation, then they should at least demand money from the European Commission to compensate for their lost profits, because direct revenues to Bulgaria’s budget alone would have been no less than 400 million Euros a year. But ultimately, this is also the choice of our Bulgarian partners; it seems they have certain obligations. Still, that’s not our business – it’s our partners’ business.”

                  Perhaps there’s a message in there for Merkel, Hollande, and others.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Yeah, what happened felt very humiliating and shameful. Yet the reaction of the misleadership class following the announcement was even worse: impotence, lies, deflection, denial, rationalizations — these are still ongoing. The misleadership tried to argue that it was just following the EU “laws” (Third Energy Packet), never mind that these were aimed at Russia specifically and were passed AFTER the South Stream agreements had been signed. The misleadership also wanted to make the EC appear to be a party to the agreement so as to minimize their own guilt, only for the EC to come out publicly to state that it was not a party to the agreement, and that furthermore there are no grounds for EU compensations for BG. So the country was used as a pawn by the EU and the US (let’s remember McCain going to Sofia to issue the imperial order in early June), and then disposed once it had outlived its usefulness. So no South Stream, and now BG will be dependent on its former colonial master, Turkey, for its energy needs. Its an insult added to the injury.

                    Is anyone still wondering why I so vociferously oppose neocolonialism and why I understand and support Russia’s determination to preserve and protect its sovereignty? Do you not see what is happening to those who made the “choice” to join NATO and EU, only to be ruled by yet another master? That this “choice” was sold by the comprador elites to the masses, and by Soros-controlled NGOs, think tanks, and media, as well as US government-controlled foundations? How can you support all THAT in Ukraine? Because you better believe that this is exactly what is happening there too. And then you have the gumption to bemoan the rise of right wing populism and nationalism everywhere in Europe. As if it would have taken a genius to foresee this development. Americans with their short historical memories forgot what happened to the Weimar Republic and what that led to. Its on you too if it happens again.

                    1. John Jones


                      Do you think south stream is gone for good even if the current Bulgarian elites lose there positions?

                    2. OIFVet

                      It’s gone for good JJ, regardless of what happens next in BG. The Russians have signed the agreement with Turkey. Sure, this new pipeine will eventually find its way toHungary and Austria, but it will bypass BG at all costs. The whole point of South Stream was to bypass the unreliable Ukranians and thus ensure secure and uninterrupted flow. To the Russians, BG has now proved itself to be as unreliable as the Ukraine. It’s the cost of being a puppet.

                2. Lexington

                  And let us put on the record the parts that the article omits: that before Molotov- Ribbentrop, Stalin desperately tried to sign a pact with the West but was rebuffed. He warned the West of what will happen

                  Good grief, stop talking before you embarrass yourself even more.

                  Maybe by explaining how the evil West also forced Stalin to inflict the Holodomor on the Ukraine.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Good grief, too late for you not to embarass yourself. Like almost a year late. Noted Stain apologist Solzhenitsyn (sarc alert for the clueless like Lexi): “The Great Famine of 1921 shook our country, from the Urals, across the Volga, and deep into European Russia. It cut down millions of our people. But the word “Holodomor” (death by hunger) was not used at that time. The Communist leadership deemed it sufficient to blame the famine on a natural drought, while failing to mention at all the grain requisitioning that cruelly robbed the peasantry.
                    In 1932 and 1933, when a similar Great Famine hit Ukraine and the Kuban region, the Communist Party bosses (including quite a few Ukrainians) treated it with the same silence and concealment. And it did not occur to anyone to suggest to the zealous activists of the Communist Party and Young Communist League that what was happening was the planned annihilation of the Ukrainians. The provocative outcry about “genocide” only began to be take shape decades later – at first quietly, inside spiteful, anti-Russian, chauvinistic minds – and now it has spun off into the government circles of modern-day Ukraine. Russia’s parliament was correct this week to vote that the famine should not be considered genocide.
                    Still, defamation is easy to insinuate into Westerners’ minds. They have never understood our history: You can sell them any old fairy tale, even one as mindless as this.” Solzhenitsyn’s reponse to Bush Jr’s ignorance.

                    Dude, that last paragraph describes YOU perfectly. Far from hanging your empty ittle head in shame as any normal person would, you continue to polute this space with your aggressive know-nothingness.

                    1. skippy

                      The great bit is the use of the lamarckian use-inheritance to inform policy’s which exacerbated the problem. A mental infection transported from where… eh.

                    2. OIFVet

                      Just imagine if Russia used the wholesale extermination of Native Americans as a pretext to stir trouble in the reservations… I hate to generalize about a whole nation, particularly given the abundance of intelligent and well-informed people here, but America is probably the least self-aware nation in the world, whose sanctimonious lecturing of others has long ago stopped being funny.

                    3. Lexington

                      You know OIFVet I used to think your mindless regurgitation of the Russian blogosphere mafia’s talking points simply reflected a certain gullibility. Now I’m starting to think you’re a card carrying member of the mafia yourself. First you present a historiography of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that is so far out in left field it could well have come from a Soviet era school text, then you attempt to defend Russia’s honour in the matter of the Ukrainian famine (something which btw Russian apologists never acknowledge as a factor in quality of the Russian-Ukrainian relationship, cause you know it’s all about Ukrainian neo-Nazis…) by relying on the authority of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian nationalist writer who was an admirer of Putin. What could possibly be wrong with this picture? Here’s some names for you: James Mace. Robert Conquest. Stanislav Kulchytsky. Unlike Solzhenitsyn they have made substantive contributions to the historiography of the Holodomor. If we’re going to debate history maybe that would be a much better place to start.

                    4. Lexington

                      America is probably the least self-aware nation in the world, whose sanctimonious lecturing of others has long ago stopped being funny.

                      At long last – something on which we can agree!

                      I’ve made the same point myself many times.

                      And just so there is no misunderstanding…I’m not American.

          2. optimader

            “Fact: The US has not released crucial info related to the MH-17 downing.”
            A more detailed comment vaporized, so I will ask, what crucial information is being withheld by the US?

            1. OIFVet

              The Aegis radar data from the floating coffins permanently stationed in the Black Sea comes to mind immediately. Satellite data comes next.

            2. Jackrabbit

              To expand on OIFVet’s reply:

              Russia released radar info about MH-17 and challenged the US to do the same. The US ignored the request.

              1. Optimader

                Yes, well i posting a couple links for you but by golly they were disappeared! Thats fine, do your own DD, –the sat imagery that saturated russian media re: MH17 was proven to be crudely forged, you may google it i wont waste my time.

        3. kyria

          Yes, genocide. As defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948.

          “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
          (a) Killing members of the group;
          (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
          (c)Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
          (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
          (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

          1. Lexington

            I really shouldn’t have to point this out but…taken at face value, that definition is so broad it could be applied to almost any instance of armed conflict, including the Combined Bomber Offensive against Germany during World War II.

            Funny, I don’t remember Arthur Harris or Carl Spaatz being tried as war criminals at Nuremberg….

            1. OIFVet

              So who would be trying the victors, those who lost? What an inane argument. I hope you didn’t burn too many neurons while forming it. Also, “war criminal” is redundant. War IS crime. I learned that by being in one. All the talk about there being “good wars” is utter nonsense; war dehumanizes people no matter the reason stated to justify the crime.

    1. Yonatan

      Brought to you by the Ukraine Ministry of Truth.

      Here is a screen shot shown on a Ukraine TV news program illustrating how the people defending Slavyansk from Nazi attackers supposedly shelled housing behind them. The claim is the wind caused the rockets, mortar shells, and artillery rounds fired at the Nazis were deflected mid flight by some mysterious means, possibly the wind. Note even this Ukraine BS places the militia correctly, between the residents and the Nazis. The TV transmitter mast of the hill at the right of the image was the site of a Ukraine artillery site. The site is currently visible on Google Earth to the south east of the town, as is the large military base behind it away from the town. Google Earth shows that the mast has been shot down as it it lies crumpled on the ground. This artillery base was the target of the anti-Nazi militia’s shooting.

    2. Gareth

      The Ukrainian army and it’s allied neo-nazi militias routinely set up their artillery and rocket launchers in the middle of villages, so as to shell Donetsk and Lugansk, while limiting the ability of the rebels to respond. Donetsk has been shelled mercilessly for months, despite the imaginary cease fire, but you won’t see this reported in the American media because everything, absolutely everything, is the fault of “pro-Russians”.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bubble to burst in 2016???

    What do speculators in the meantime?

    Can they afford to leave a few mansions, private islands and private jets on the table, and risk not being invited to the next Vampire Squid Ball, as they climb down the social ladder (relatively speaking, of course)??

  11. fresno dan

    “In retail, wholesale, leisure, and hospitality—which together employ more than one quarter of this age group—real wages have fallen more than 10 percent since 2007. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that most of this cohort are seeing their pay slashed, year after year. Instead it suggests that wage growth is failing to keep up with inflation, and that, as twentysomethings pass into their thirties, they are earning less than their older peers did before the recession.”

    Just because the whole “inflation solves everything” argument so annoys me. As Mish says, inflation in what you NEED (e.g., health insurance, education), deflation in what you don’t need (TV’s). Everybody in America will be employed when the average wage is the same as a hod carrier in Bangladesh… (and the 0.01% captures not 90% of GDP gains, but 99.9%….)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Don’t forget deflation in the most important area – wages.

      In any case, there is the 0.01%’s definition of inflation and the little people’s definition. Inflation is like light that exists in two states – it exists as defined by the two parties simultaneously.

    2. Benedict@Large

      “inflation solves everything”

      AA-R-G-H !! Indeed, that and negative interest rates are the most inane ideas out there, and the only reason they are being floated is because monetarism has completely broken down and these are the only way to breathe life back into its rotted corpse. Alas, it seems that ideas do not die in economics; only the people who hold them do.

      1. fresno dan

        yeah, I forgot the most important thing – deflation in wages. But economists and their aggregates – GDP is rising!!! Yeah….for very, very few.

        For a good example of an economist thinking having a me-pad makes everything OK, see
        Look at comments for demolition of the idea.

        You know, it was world toilet day a few days ago. Toilets, and the water systems to maintain, are actually very expensive. Having cell phones in India probably doesn’t harm the economy, but please don’t pretend its a substitute for real increases in the standard of living…
        “India’s dreadful sanitation, uncontrolled use of antibiotics and overcrowding coupled with a complete lack of monitoring the problem has created a tsunami of antibiotic resistance that is reaching just about every country in the world,” said Dr. Timothy R. Walsh, a professor of microbiology at Cardiff University”

        But building and maintaining real water sanitation systems is expensive. But the idea that mindless drivel incessantly propagated over Facemyself book is progress doesn’t help.

  12. Carla

    Re: the Red Cross. I think part of the problem is, they have a monopoly on the collection and sales of blood. In NE Ohio, there’s no place else I know of where I can donate blood. And monopoly positions always corrupt, IMHO.

  13. OIFVet

    Justin Raimondo: The War Against the ‘Trolls’. “Poor Anne Applebaum. Every time she writes one of her interchangeable neocon screeds on how Putin is responsible for all the world’s evils or why we need to invade this or that country, her mortal enemies – the commenters! – launch an attack. They wonder why we should listen to anyone who was such a big fan of going to war in Iraq, and – when she’s writing about US foreign policy in Eastern Europe – they make acerbic references to her routine refusal to disclose that she’s married to the former Polish Foreign Minister, and a citizen of Poland, relationships that just might possibly have an impact on her worldview. Her latest neocon screed is designed to put an end to her torment: now she wants curbs on online commentary and a ban on online anonymity. There’s all this “rude commentary” out there, you see, an alarming proportion of it directed not only at her precious inviolable self but also at her fellow neocons.”

    Yes, how dare commenters expose hypocrisy and neocon propaganda. It’s so rude! Some need to grow thicker skins, or better yet, stop spreading propaganda and disinformation.

    1. Carolinian

      On the Newshour last night they had a bit about a new book (by a Brit) that says Putin’s huge popularity within Russia is strictly a result of image manipulation by state owned or controlled media. It didn’t seem conceivable to the doofey Margaret Warner or her guest that there might be any substance to Russian fears about the West or to popular support for Putin as a competent leader. I got disgusted and hit the clicker.

      Of course I may be yet another victim of insidious Russian propaganda but somehow the ole bs meter seems to tell me who to believe. Meanwhile one wishes our so-called journalists had a little more of that objectivity they are always prating about.

      1. OIFVet

        Well, let us give the Brit author and Maggie the benefit of the doubt. The USUK “leaders” are only slightly more popular than VDs domestically so they may be projecting our domestic situation onto Russia. I mean, we have Transformational Barry of the clan Nobel Peace Prize as prez, while all the Ruskies have is Vlad the Imperialist. I feel so magnanimous having written this :)

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ECB…deflation trap… from Telegraph (Evans-Pritchard hidden behind that).

    Mr Draghi denied that the ECB is complacent about the deflation risk or that is succumbing to paralysis. “Let me be absolutely clear. We won’t tolerate prolonged deviation from price stability,” he said.

    Yet he pleaded for more time to study the effects of the oil price crash and gave a strong hint that there would be no further decisions on monetary stimulus until after the next meeting in January. The governing council discussed possible purchases of every major asset “other than gold” but has not yet agreed to go beyond the current mix of covered bonds and asset-backed securities.

    Which deflation?

    Oil price crash – that’s deflation (and as the Russian Ruble plunges, maybe inflation over there). But why is that a ‘risk,’ especially for consumers?

    Unless, the deflation they consider risky is banks’ share-price deflation.

    So, again, it’s ‘whose inflation’ and ‘whose deflation.’ And ‘whose unemployment numbers?’

  15. susan the other

    Pepe Escobar was looking at the reality of war against a true superpower (Russia) but what was he thinking? That a solution is to give Poland back eastern Poland, Germany back Prussia, and Russia back Ukraine? And while we’re at it let’s give back to the nomads all the land they used before WW1 in the Middle East; let’s return African tribes to their homelands; Native Americans to theirs, and so on, so we can all start all over again squabbling over this or that side of a river or a gold mine. The reason borders break down is greed. It is the one good argument for globalization. But globalization does not work at all because it has sadly become just another greed-scam to divest people of their wealth. And at this point in the course of human civilization all trust has been destroyed. Only real politics – grown from the balance of fairness and social justice – will serve to rebalance human relations. That will be a long time coming. (Because our econmies are now based on greed alone.)

  16. Fred

    So the Ukrainian government put in place after decade and $5 billion of the National Endowment for Democracy’s spending are upset that a ‘memorandum of understanding’ is not the same as a defense treaty ratified by the US Senate? My, my. The Russians are pretty damn upset that all the promises of not expanding NATO Eastward to the Russian border weren’t kept either. As to the nuclear weapons, thank God for Soviet computer programmers whose codes the Ukrainians couldn’t break.

  17. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the informative link to the Huffington Post article about the so called “Too big to fail” banks’ ongoing efforts to transfer their derivatives exposures to the taxpayers by booking their derivatives through FDIC-insured subsidiaries. That they would use the threat of a government shutdown over this issue, as stated in the article, is revealing.

    I have been wondering about the magnitude of unrecognized losses that have been sustained by both banks and systemically important entities on derivatives contracts as a result of the material decline in the price of oil since June 30, as well as potential indirect exposures at oil sector borrowers and companies providing goods and services to the sector, and possibly other unforeseen secondary developments. I truly hope my concerns about these developments are de minimus.

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