Links 1/30/15

The new Bloomberg site is the worst redesign evah. What were they thinking? I’m going to wind up not using it if I have any alternative. Was that the aim?

The true story behind Groundhog Day Inhabitat (furzy mouse)

Shoplifting Suspect Calls 9-1-1 On Walmart Security Guards Following Him Around Consumerist

Bill Gates on dangers of artificial intelligence: ‘I don’t understand why some people are not concerned’ Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Google’s Growth Is Slowing Down Business Insider

Jack Ma takes $US1.4b hit as Alibaba dives Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Flywheel calls bullshit on Uber’s claims that it’s three times bigger than SF’s taxi industry Pando

New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies New York Times

‘US sleeping as China courts Thailand’Thai Visa (furzy mouse)

EU reforms to break up big banks at risk Financial Times


A question of respect (or lack thereof)… – the Greek veto over Russia that never was Yanis Varoufakis

Greek government will seek ‘common ground’ – EU’s Schulz BBC. You need to keep your eye on the money, as in the upcoming negotiations on the debt. Everything else is a sideshow. And so far, the Germans are not budging. The Dutch finance minister is going to be in Greece tomorrow, so that will be the first clue as to how far apart the two sides are (and don’t kid yourself, they are far apart).

EU parliament president ‘expects clashes’ but no ‘rash decisions’ from Greece DW. The German take on the same meeting.

Russia would consider aid to Greece if asked – Siluanov Reuters


RAF scrambles fighters to intercept Russian bombers BBC (furzy mouse)

EU fails to agree new Russia sanctions Financial Times

Bank of Russia Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rates Wall Street Journal

Conscription of People, Cars, Businesses in Ukraine for Mindless Slaughter; Entire Villages Leave to Avoid Servitude; Hop on the Bus Gus Michael Shedlock


Simultaneous Attacks in Egypt’s Sinai Kill 26 ABC (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A Year After Reform Push, NSA Still Collects Bulk Domestic Data, Still Lacks Way to Assess Value Intercept

What Your Facebook Posts Mean to US Special Operations Forces Defense One (furzy mouse)


US Government Grows Increasingly Frustrated with Judge Challenging State Secrets Claims in No Fly List Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

Obama on budget collision course Financial Times

Obama’s Climate Plan Could Threaten U.S. Forests Politico

Jackson Lears: Clinton’s Creed London Review of Books

The Republicans: Divided & Scary New York Review of Books

Professor Fired for Criticizing Israel Files Lawsuit Against University of Illinois Intercept

St. Louis meeting on police oversight degenerates into an angry brawl Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Bankruptcy Valuations: A Pair of Modest Proposals Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Yellen Tells Senate Democrats U.S. Economy is Strong Wall Street Journal

Stop Trying to Make Financial Literacy Happen Helaine Olen, Slate

Falling Prices Spread Pain Far Across The Oil Patch Wall Street Journal (Brian C). As predicted.

Class Warfare

Child Health Care and the Class Divide Counterpunch

Manhattan Condo Shock for Euro Buyers Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

The American Dream Dissipates at Record Pace Wolf Richter

Ten Tall Tales on Trade Counterpunch. Today’s must read. US Trade Representative tells multiple, abject lies to Congress about pending so-called trade deals.

Antidote du jour:

passed out panda links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Jim Haygood

      Bloomberg’s redesign obviously was inspired by … Windows 8! Ah ha ha ha … I found myself wanting to reach out and touch all them colorful little tiles, though I’m not viewing the site on a touch screen.

      The former ‘/quickview’ extension which I bookmarked to sidestep the Fisher-Price themed home page (ages 4-6) is gone. If anyone rediscovers it (or the equivalent), please let me know.

    2. Hue

      I actually like it. Though, could do without the big Bloomberg Business logo.

      Thanks for the Slate piece. Great read.

    3. Chauncey Gardiner

      Impairment of functionality in older version of Safari leads me to believe they either didn’t test it in older browsers; or as Yves pointed out (and like I believe those behind the scenes at Yahoo Finance have done), they are trying to either force mass migration or curtail public use of the site.

    4. petal

      I usually check into Bloomberg each morning, but the morning the new design came out, my brain couldn’t handle it (couldn’t find anything, and it seemed illogically set up) so I left lightning fast. Haven’t really been back since and it will probably be permanent.

      1. sd

        Bloombergs redesign is a nightmare. The information is not presented in an orderly manner. I was having a great deal of trouble just pairing photos with articles. It’s bullshit design of the highest order. Or they really do not want anyone to read their articles.

        As an experiment, I just looked at Bloomberg on my phone. It was much easier to read and navigate. So my guess is that whoever is behind the redesign intends for Bloomberg to be read predominately on phones in which case, why not just use an app?

    5. Ronald Pires

      Ouch. The thing is actually painful. I won’t be using it. I’d have no idea where to find anything on it.

  1. marenm

    I love the Bloomberg redesign.
    Here’s the thing: I bet you never noticed the best redesign you’ve ever seen.

    It’s so nice to see someone actually trying something new and somewhat challenging. Every single major news website looks the same and the monolithic culture of web design gets depressing (especially to someone like me, a designer). And the fact that it came out of such a bureaucratic environment is pretty awesome.

    i mean, have you seen the 404 page??

      1. cwaltz

        It’s been my observation that if you ignore idiots they don’t always go away and sometimes their idiocy multiplies.

  2. diptherio

    Re: Russian bombers over English channel

    Sculpting an adequate new doctrine of deterrence to try to combat Russian adventurism has become one of the top priorities for many Nato member states after the Ukraine crisis.

    Ahh, yes…Russian adventurism.

    1. craazyboy

      hahaha. Actually this is getting too Orwellian for me. Let’s call a spade a spade – we need a cold war with Russia so the MIC/Nato can justify spending for an arms race with China – where all our western factories are located now. Like we need an enemy to destroy the Western World. hahahaha. shit.

      Oh well. Might as well have some fun forecasting Reuter’s future headlines.

      Ukraine Unification – Tear Down That Wall, Putin!

        1. Vatch

          $500 million, not $500 billion, according to the link that you provide. It’s still a lot of money, but your exaggeration is misleading. Anything for a good propaganda sound bite, eh?

          1. OIFVet

            Typos happen. Look at your keyboard. Not even comparable to the purposeful cheapening of Snowden’s and Manning’s deeds. Nothing is sacred when it comes to indulging in the daily two minute Russia hate, eh?

            1. Vatch

              Yes typos happen, and I’ve make more than a few myself. I looked at my keyboard, and “m” and “b” are not adjacent. I suspect you had a Freudian slip of your fingers. You wanted to believe the absurdly high number, so you typed it.

              I don’t hate Russia, and my messages to NC have been far less hateful than yours. I object to the imbalance in the comments that seem to blame the oligarchs of the West for almost everything, while ignoring the misdeeds of oligarchs in other parts of the world.

              1. OIFVet

                They are one key apart, and for those of us who type using ten fingers it happens from time to time. Good to see that you are branching out into Freudian analysis, but all I am “guilty” of is failing to edit before submitting.
                Propaganda is hate, you are yet to see an anti -Russian propaganda piece and not breathlessly post it here as “serious news” proving the inherent evilness of Russia and Putin. How many times does Yves have to explain her position on Russia and Putin (which I completely agree with) before you deign to acknowledge it as a principled opposition to US policies rather than an endorsement of Putin and Russia? Plenty of links to opposing POVs have been posted here. Which only serves to highlight how you, a self-described opponent of US neolibcon policies, only post links to its propaganda. So what is this if not good old Russia-hatin’?

              2. cwaltz

                I’ve not seen that to be the case at all. And quite frankly it’s disturbing that if you think this an oligarch vs. oligarch thing that you consider it national money well spent to indulge “our” oligarchs. Quite frankly they are indulged too much- I suspect it’s why they have the hubris to believe they are exceptional when they look out for their own interests but others are bad guys when they do the same darn thing.

                1. Vatch

                  I didn’t say that I think it’s money well spent. It’s not. I suppose I could have been more clear when I said this:

                  It’s still a lot of money

                  As for oligarch vs. oligarch, more often it’s oligarch vs. everyone else. That’s true whether the country is China, Russia, or the U.S.

                  1. cwaltz

                    This is not a case of oligarch versus everyone else. The reality is we were spending money over there to push an agenda-our agenda. The Russians are just pushing back. The sad thing is the poor Ukrainians caught in the middle with neither sides oligarchs overwhelmingly concerned about what is actually in the interests of the Ukrainian people. That’s why they were suffering before and that’s why they’ll continue to suffer under the “benevolent” IMF that we have a controlling share of.

                    Again it is a little disconcerting that in a time where we were cutting food stamps here that the US government was wasting money attempting to influence Ukrainian citizens and force a tipping point. Surely you can’t believe the billion that we spent(admittedly over a decade) could not have been better spent in our own backyard?

                    1. Vatch

                      The Russians pushed the Ukrainians through their corrupt proxy Yanukovych, the Ukrainians pushed back, and soon multiple players were pushing in different directions.

                    2. cwaltz

                      The country was pretty evenly divided on which way to move forward and even now you have people in Ukraine willing to die to maintain their ties with Russia. I feel fairly confident that halving pensions and other conditions the IMF has made as part of its “help” probably doesn’t make this administration much more popular then the Russian aligned one. Again you are making this a people vs Russia thing without considering the fact that we poured a billion dollars into the region to foment revolution. That wasn’t done because our government was kind and benevolent- it was done because it was in our oligarchs interest. The fact that the money being spent was never up for public discussion cements this as an oligarch vs oligarch thing. And if it didn’t the fact that we’ve picked people for their government and that the vice President’s kid is over there speaks volumes to me.

                    3. optimader

                      The sad thing is the poor Ukrainians —–and Russians—–caught in the middle with neither sides oligarchs overwhelmingly concerned about what is actually in the interests of the Ukrainian—-and Russian—- people.

                      The prevailing notion here that Putin is anything but just another thieving Ahole who has done the Russian people disservice w/ his slowmotion train wreck which goes well beyond the idiocy of “annexing the Crimea” still amazes me. Oh I forgot they had a vote! … w/ a plurality that would make Ceaușescu swoon.
                      I await the Alaska, Texas, New Mexico, Cali and Hawaiian Island “referendums”! Maybe Missouri should have one too? HAHAHAHA.

                    4. OIFVet

                      “…with neither sides oligarchs overwhelmingly concerned about what is actually in the interests of the Ukrainian—-and Russian—- people.” Indeed. So we went exported a budding US oligarch, Hunter Biden. Because we care. He will show them. As will Monsanto.

                      “The prevailing notion here that Putin is anything but just another thieving Ahole…” Maybe he is a thief, I don’t know. You obviously have access to financial records and such that allows you to state that with such degree of certainty. Assuming you are correct, apparently he isn’t nearly the thief our vodka-besotted lover of democracy, freedum, and free markets Yeltsin was. How I know? The very real improvement of the standard of living for regular Russians, which our man Yeltsin and his merry band of oligarchs had completely destroyed by getting their grubby little hands on everything. So in our exceptionalism-lensed worldview, that very real improvement in the quality of life in Russia becomes a “slow-moving train wreck”. OK then. Thank goodness for the kind and friendly US of A, overthrowing governments and instituting economy-saving sanctions. All so selfless of the Empire to instigate a brawl and then punish the kid that wouldn’t submit to getting freedum-spanked…

                    5. optimader

                      “You obviously have access to financial records and such that allows you to state that with such degree of certainty.”
                      Yes, first hand knowledge from people w/ direct contact from via oil/gas sector in Russia..

                      “Assuming you are correct, apparently he isn’t nearly the thief our vodka-besotted lover of democracy, freedum, and free markets Yeltsin was”
                      Order of magnitude bigger thief than Yeltsin. But Yeltsin is an irrelevant comparison, the subject is Putin. Yeltsin was an unsophisticated drunk who inherited the economic equivalent of an applecart that was pushed over. Putin was able to clawback and institutionalize his own model of payup theft. Far more sophisticated predatory behavior IMO.
                      Yes there are may bad people in the world, but it isn’t a zero sum game and doesn’t make Putin less of an Ahole.

                    6. OIFVet

                      The biggest reason Putin is an Ahole, which you forget to mention, is that he won’t allow the US to roll over Russia. It’s that simple. For all of you who are so concerned with thieving oligarchs and criminal political class, I suggest you turn your gaze closer to home — our whole system constitutes a criminal enterprise, and it has a much more immediate effect on our lives than anything Putin does. Let us deal with our Aholes rather than pouring rhetorical fire and brimstone upon other people’s Aholes. After all, it wasour Aholes who started this $hit in Ukraine in the first place. So easy to condemn Putin for actively foiling our plans to bring NATO to his borders, yet you and some others here have the hardest time acknowledging that we instigated this crisis in the first. Perhaps it is latent American exceptionalism, perhaps it is myopia, I don’t care — the fact is that Anglo machinations instigated a Slavic fratricide. Just proves to me, as a Slav, that the Empire is a bloodsucking parasite upon the rest of humanity.

                  2. cwaltz

                    If it was not money well spent who do you think was responsible for deciding it should be sent there?

                    (Hint:It wasn’t a conversation had in the public domain and we never would have known about it had Nuland’s conversation not been taped.

                    The fact that we didn’t advertise we were spending this money in Ukraine speaks volumes about this not being a oligarchs vs “people” thing.

                  3. optimader

                    “The biggest reason Putin is an Ahole, which you forget to mention, is that he won’t allow the US to roll over Russia…”
                    Actually OIF I would challenge you to find a single post where I express interest in my country having any official interaction w/Europe/Russia/Asia beyond basic mercantile policy administration.

                    I do agree Putin has little affect on my day to day, but I still recognize that he is a thief and an Ahole, as I originally pointed out.

                    The biggest reason Putin is an Ahole, which you forget to mention, is that he won’t allow the US to roll over Russia. It’s that simple. For all of you who are so concerned with thieving oligarchs and criminal political class, I suggest you turn your gaze closer to home — our whole system constitutes a criminal enterprise, and it has a much more immediate effect on our lives than anything Putin does. Let us deal with our Aholes rather than pouring rhetorical fire and brimstone upon other people’s Aholes. After all, it wasour Aholes who started this $hit in Ukraine in the first place

                    1. OIFVet

                      I didn’t say you agree with/advocate this. But I am quite fed up with people putting this on Putin as though he acts in a vacuum. It was our meddling that started this $hit. I am also quite fed up with all of the accusations about the Crimean referendum without offering one bit of proof about fixing the voting. Why is it so damned hard for Americans to accept the fact that ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who constitute the vast majority of the population, would like to be part of Russia. Just because you don’t want to live in Russia doesn’t mean that ethnic Russians feel the same. Not everyone sees the West as the promised land, as the ultimate expression of civilization. The Russians at least had the decency to let their empire collapse peacefully. The American Empire, OTOH, is hellbent on dragging everyone down with it as it enters its final stage. Some civilization.

                    2. OIFVet

                      PS As to Putin being an Ahole, the US is reaping what it sowed in Russia in the 1990s. It supported a drunken, democracy destroying fool in Yeltsin. It was also US economists supported by the State Department that wrote his economic programme and then not only looked he other way as Yeltsin gave rise to the oligarchs and looted everything, but partook in the looting as well. It is what accounts for the rise of Putin. The US was looked upon quite favorably in the early 1990s in Russia (78% approval), today only 14% of Russians view the US favorably. The decline in other parts of Easter Europe and some places in Western Europe is almost as bad. Can’t blame it all on Putin’s propaganda. Russia tried to play by Western rules, only to continue to be treated as a vanquished enemy by the US and encircled NATO. This is the most profoundly tragic, hubristic mistake imaginable. So there you have Putin, and call him him an Ahole. An Ahole we helped bring to power. Hate to quote Herman Cain but, “Blame yourself” for allowing imperial hubris and elite greed to squander a golden opportunity to set on a course to lasting peace.

          2. Doug Terpstra

            Not above a bit of petty baiting, huh? It’s an obvious typo, and quite common actually, as Lambert or Yves made exactly the same slip just two days ago, re: Kochs raising $889 billion for the $2016 selections. Such typos of correct spelling are even more common now with auto-spell-checkers, and actual propaganda is always more subtle than a 1000x exaggeration. Your little jab only makes it appear that OIFVet’s effective schooling has left your panties slightly askew.

            1. Vatch

              On the contrary. I was merely quoting some petty baiting that he directed towards me elsewhere on this page. He has a very long history of making nasty comments, and I’m not going to lie back and enjoy it.

              1. OIFVet

                If calling you a hypocrite and citing your own words to prove it constitutes “nasty”, then I am indeed guilty as charged. Last time I did it was in reference to the Crimean referendum, and pointed out to your history of talking about the importance of voting as supporting evidence. Voting in USA=good, voting in Crimea=bad. Quite nasty, indeed. Then there is your self-proclaimed opposition to neolibcon policies, while refusing to acknowledge the US involvement in the coup. How very nasty of me to point out your attempt to have your cake and eat it too. Take care Vatnik.

                1. Vatch

                  If you believe the ridiculous Crimean results, then I have a bridge in New York to sell to you. That referendum had fraud written all over it in giant letters.

                  As I have explained on numerous occasions, I believe that the U.S. was heavily involved in the choice of the interim government leaders after Yanukovych was overthrown. I happen to think that the Ukrainians were the ones who got rid of him. I might be correct or I might be wrong, but that doesn’t make me a hypocrite.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Why is it ridiculous that ethnic Russians and Russian speaking Ukrainians (84% of the population) would want to be a part of Russia rather than the Ukraine of the US-backed junta? Because the salaries and pensions in Russia are much higher? Because they are gluttons for IMF punishment? The only thing ridiculous is your inistence on denigrating the results of the referendum without offering ANY proof of fraud except your worthless say-so.

                    As to the coup, explain, again, why Nuland and Pyatt were discussing whom to install as their puppet more than two weeks before the coup happened? Lucky timing? If you believe that you must be stupid. Personally I don’t think you are stupid so that leaves hypocrisy/tr0lling/exceptionalism/dishonesty. It is the height of weaselly wording to say “Yeah, but the Ukies did it themselves.” As if one of the ways we influence and destibilize other countries is not money, of which we spent $5 billion in Ukraine. That buys influence, lots of it.

          1. OIFVet

            It will be about as effective as the Maginot line and our border wall with Mexico from military standpoint. It’s about symbolism, though I doubt it conveys what they want it to convey.

            1. hunkerdown

              I suspect it conveys what they want it to convey, if not necessarily what they want to *be seen wanting it to* convey. Power is a complex thing, with a real and an imaginary part…

            2. Doug Terpstra

              Yup, the resurrection of the Berlin Wall should work just as well for Israel and the Saudi kingdom. Only in Ukraine’s case it’s likely intended to keep its deserters in, rather than Russians out. The West is thus replicating its old nemesis the USSR. Brilliant. Totalitarianism is so unimaginative.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Get a brand new wall made in China for $200 million – this, even after thy are hiking the minimum wage over there.

                If you can live with a used one, maybe $50 million – that comes with all the American tourists you can lodge and feed.

                Life is…’great.’

    2. Yonatan

      Russian adventurism on the same day as the solemn re-enactment of Churchill’s funeral. If that doesn’t get the famed British stiff upper lip fully stiffened, I don’t know what will.

      “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender” (Churchill, speaking between drinking bouts)

      These days, ‘fight’ seems to mean whine over imagined horrors whilst ignoring the real horrors the British are promoting elsewhere (Syria, Ukraine etc). In celebration of this reality I offer the saddest song played on the smallest violin.

  3. ambrit

    Hitting the paywall again, Part Infinity.
    The RAF vs. Russian bombers story, attributed to the BBC, actually goes to the FT.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Normally, when I can’t get around the pay wall, I try to just imagine what the article says.

        “Imagination, use it or lose it!!!!!!!!’

  4. OIFVet

    Greece Wants a Debt Break. What About Its Poorer Neighbors? “For much of the rest of the EU, debt forgiveness could be equally damaging, undermining future efforts to manage European finances while providing a precedent for other countries to default on their obligations. In countries like Spain and Ireland, agreeing to help Greece could undermine support for centrist governments.” Austerity and banksters in the EU are under attack! Man the barricades lest the attack accomplishes a wider EU breakthrough! The possibility of the common people getting a fair shake is simply too scary for the EU to contemplate. What say you, BG lemmings? “It’s very difficult to make the point to a worker in Bulgaria that they should give part of their taxes to help people in Greece who are richer than they are,” said Ruslan Stefanov, director of the economic program at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia. “If you are spending money like that in Greece, you should spend money in Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries. This is an argument that is being made by politicians here… Greece has been receiving EU funding since 1982. I mean, come on, it’s been quite lavish funding,” Stefanov said. “Is this not a Marshall Plan?” Apparently it is much easier to make the BG taxpayer give money to banksters. I think I just threw up in mouth a little bit. NGO-grant intelligentsia like Stefanov are the house negro equivalent of Marie Antoinettes.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Ten Tall Tales on Trade Counterpunch. Today’s must read.

    I would assume that any congressperson who seriously accepts the responsibility of participation in these “hearings” would be aware of the realities of past “free” trade agreements the author cites.

    And, since the author is “research director of Public Ctizen’s Global Trade Watch” with a website at, you’d think his name would have come up in any preparative “research” these same SERIOUS congresspeople did. I’m sure the author would have gladly provided them all of the research he’s done on the subject, and I’d even bet that he would have been willing to help committee members form follow-up questions to what have, by now, become the same tired old lies Froman was likely to tell.

    So, DID these esteemed people’s “representatives” push back at all? Or was their time always too conveniently up?

    Of course the first thing I’d like to know, having seen video of similar past “hearings” is, did they take attendance?

    1. Jef

      The only thing they have learned over the years is not to pass out the checks right there on the floor of congress.

  6. Jagger

    For some reason, I get the feeling that military coup in Egypt may not stand. Since the ballot box didn’t work, looks like other options are being considered. So what happens if the Suez Canal and Egypt falls to ISIS? Egypt is Sunni. Israel certainly won’t be happy. And when Isreal is not happy, our ruling class is not happy.

    1. MartyH

      And when our Ruling Class (Klutzes?) are not happy, they send piles of pictures of dead presidents to “friendly thugs” who go fix the situation … or not.

  7. zephyrum

    I’m not worried about artificial intelligence. My concern lies with idiot humans connecting weapons, nuclear power, and other dangerous peripheral devices to a computer system that combines the intelligence of a thermostat with the complexity of string theory. In spasms of unexpected, emergent behavior there will be a lot of collateral damage.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My computer only is equipped with rudimentary A.L, but it is sending some Artificial Love* to Gates for commenting on Artificial Intelligence.

      Sincerely Yours
      Your humble Artificial Lover

  8. afisher

    1. H/T to Yanis for clarifying the useless MSM whine.
    2. Agree, Bloomie redesign sucks – nearly unusable.
    3. Texas is at it again: Teachers will have the right to shoot and kill your child if the teacher feels threatened. And of course they can not be charged for this killing. ( HB 868)

    4. Study our of Wisconsin – “right to work” doesn’t help the overall economy – but that is only when some care about the employees, not just CEO and stock dividends.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian


      Texas teachers be packin’. Just sayin’. Ready, fire, aim. The “reasonable man” doctrine is for pussies. Why not just deputize all of the teachers, and eliminate all the hoo haw that might arise from this legislation. I mean, officers of the law are already pretty much exempt from consequences for “unfortunate” lapses of judgment; they were in fear for their lives, after all!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Like NAFTA and GATT, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enabling act for multinationals to move freely to where it is cheapest to produce while securing access to where it is most profitable to sell.”

      I’m kinda worried about the fact that, these days, if Pat Buchanan wrote it, I want to read it. But, when you’re right, you’re right.

      The most valuable american national resource isn’t fracked hydrocarbons or endless farmland or infrastructure or industrial capacity or “intellectual” property. It’s access to consumers. Hundreds of millions of consumers, with a capital C, who literally demand the opportunity to mortgage their, their children’s and their country’s futures to BUY things. ANY things, regardless of how worthless.

      And there is no price of entry. Access is better than free–we spend years beating the international community over the head, demanding that they take it.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Insightful comment, Katniss. Thank you.

        Wonder if it has anything to do with the petrodollar and the role of Bucky as the global reserve currency?

      2. susan the other

        I do agree with you that access to “consumers” is the engine of capitalism. So then, when somebody (who will remain ever secret) brings down the consumer by stoppingcold credit and destroys demand, confounding everyone and confusing any analysis, what exactly do we have? When consumers are shrouded by banksters, who are middlemen taking their trade and commodity cuts, then what do we have? No free markets. But still debt repayment is demanded. And even tho’ the vacuous media whines about austerity, repayment is never examined as dependent on the system. This is pillage.

  9. Vatch

    The U.S. government arrests and prosecutes Bradley Manning, and hopes to do the same to Edward Snowden. Russia arrests Svetlana Davydova and incarcerates her in Lefortovo prison. The two imperial governments are run by similar people. From the article:

    Svetlana Davydova, 36, was arrested last week by a group of men in black uniforms who burst into her apartment in the town of Vyazma, west of Moscow, her husband Anatoly Gorlov told AFP.

    She was still breastfeeding their youngest child, a two and a half month old girl, when she was taken away, he said.

    The woman — who faces between 12 and 20 years in prison — is being held at the high-security Lefortovo jail in Moscow, her lawyer Andrei Stebenev told AFP.

    Davydova’s husband told AFP that his wife, who had taken an anti-war stance over the Ukraine conflict, phoned the Ukrainian embassy last April and apparently told them the local military base in Vyazma was empty, suggesting soldiers there had been deployed across the border.

    She also apparently informed embassy staff she had overheard a serviceman saying troops of the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, would be sent on a mission.

    The troops would wear plainclothes and remain away at least until elections.

    Davydova suspected the troops would be deployed to Ukraine which held presidential elections last May, Gorlov said.

    The fighting between Moscow-backed separatists and government troops broke out in eastern Ukraine in April.

    1. OIFVet

      Did she also draw a map of troop movements in the sand, like Geraldo Rivera? Unless she did, I find her arrest to be a total overreaction to a neighborhood busybody. But comparing her with Snowden and Manning cheapens what they did. Anything for a good propaganda sound bite, eh?

      1. Vatch

        You are ignoring one of the salient points of this situation. The “civil war” in eastern Ukraine is more than just a civil war. It’s also a low level invasion by the Russians. Obviously it’s not a major invasion; the Russians could conquer Ukraine if they chose to do so. It’s just enough of an invasion to prevent the Ukrainians from winning against the separatists.

        1. OIFVet

          Got proof of this Russian “invasion” , Psaki? I don’t doubt the Russians have sent advisors and equipment. So have we. Breaking news: that’s what happens when we engineer the overthrow of elected governments in countries bordering other powers. The Ukrainians are victims of US hubris, but it is so US-exceptional of you to blame Russia for defending itself from NATO’s creep toward her borders.

            1. OIFVet

              Again, where is your proof they went to Ukraine, rather than on field exercises? It is impossible to hide that many people and their materiel from satellites, yet all the West does is point fingers without offering one bit of evidence.

              1. Vatch

                Ha! The Russians wouldn’t have arrested Davydova if their troops had just been on field exercises somewhere. They would have just refuted what she said by providing proof of what really happened.

                1. OIFVet

                  Or perhaps attempted treason is considered a crime there as it is here? Again, where is your proof of them Ruskies invading the glorious Banderastan?

                  1. Vatch

                    Read up on “the Little Green Men” (who really aren’t so little). And here’s an article that you will very likely reject as propaganda:


                    In August, Russian military vehicles have openly crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk oblast (including Mariupol), massing over 40,000 army units near the Ukrainian border.[72][73][74][75][76][77][78]

                    Russia denied allegations of its involvement in eastern Ukraine[79][80] whilst Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine,[81] comments made by rebel leaders such as Zakharchenko,[82][83] and statements such as that of the head of the Russian Union of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers, Valentina Melnikova indicated that Russian service personnel were fighting in Ukraine.

                    1. OIFVet

                      If Wiki says it… citing the Kiev Post, NYRB, NYT, WaPo, BBC: they should have posted the State Department press packets for all I care. Some of the referenced pieces are titled “Ukraine says…” The paragraph above the one you pasted contained the following gem: “Russian supplied Buk…” Good lord!

          1. craazyboy

            Mossad might send in some covert Nazi Hunters to help maintain the internal “balance of power”. Could happen?!

            1. ambrit

              Could be a bad move for the Mossad. There have to be some unrepentant Nazis old enough left who can remember who in the local Jewish Sanhedrin of that time sold their fellow Jews out for exit visas. A big embarrassment all the way around.

        2. Robert Dudek

          It’s more like the Spanish civil war, with both sides getting support from outside powers. The difference is, Novorossiya is not attacking Kievan territory, whereas the junta has repeatedly targeted residential areas in the breakaway republic.

            1. cwaltz

              Yes, it’s their fault for siding with Russia. How dare they not accept the government we helped install?

              Nazis that overthrew the last government = freedom fighters
              People who are helping the Russians in hopes for a more Russian aligned government = separatists that deserve whatever they get.

              Got it.

                1. OIFVet

                  Oh my, Euromaidan psychoanalysis? What’s next, US calling out Russia for being an aggressor as it wages warfare worldwide? Oh wait, it did that already. Irony is dead as far as the “maidan” is concerned. Why should it be any different from its $5 billion sugar daddy?

                  1. optimader

                    Actually I believe it is Russian psychoanalysis (source).
                    Im not too big on psychcobabble either, but I find it as credible as discrediting the maiden revolution to merely the handiwork of Nazis and US. If rank and file Ukrainians were not involved it would have failed.

                    1. OIFVet

                      “If rank and file Ukrainians were not involved it would have failed.” Not necessarily, it would have simply relied on more brutality to achieve the goal. Historical examples of US-sponsored coups relying on brutality by the few abound. Instead of the “heavenly hundred” false flag op, it would have been the heavenly tenthousand or some such. As it is though, some small number of sheeple did follow the US-bought Ukie werewolves from Lvov. And now that they are seeing what the junta and its Western backers have wrought, the majority of the population is voting with their feet and dodges the draft. Russia seems to be a very popular destination for Ukie draft tourists… Ironic in a very fitting way.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Rich People’s Poetry Corner (following billions lost in Alibaba):

    Tis better to have made trillions an lost, than never to have that money at all.

    Hope this will inspire us serfs to excel ever upward!


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Of course, there was the other inspirational poem:

      For I can afford to pay for Metrolane
      and take the lane less travelled by
      And that has made all the difference
      (in how fast I get home to share dinner with my family).

  11. Chauncey Gardiner

    Link to Bloomberg site in this morning’s links regarding impairment of site functionality resulted in my reading their article on the increase in the Revolving Door between the Fed and the banks they supposedly regulate. (See:

    Related chart below headline is particularly interesting in that it demonstrates pervasive “We know that You know that We know.” Among other unsavory features of this system, assures everyone behaves in accordance with the current dogma or suffer oblique punishment.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ten Tall Tales of Trade.

    Regarding all trade deals, if this is what happens

    1. we sell them more financial ‘innovations’
    2. they sell us more toys and gadgets

    then, it’s a lose-lose proposition.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bankruptcy valuation.

    Can a morally bankrupt person file one and get a new start in life?

    “I filed Chapter X. All my sins have been wiped out.”

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    US Sleeping…China Courts Thailand.

    While Russia and Greece share the same Orthodox religion, there are many, many Buddhists in China and Thailand, and in fact, Thais came from China originally…maybe five or six thousand years ago, from as far north as Shantung, plus, the more recent immigrants from Fujian and Guangdong in the last few hundred years. King Taksin was one.

    Saw it on a travel documentary that there are way more ethnic Chinese in Bangkok than Thais.

    It’s not too difficult for China to court Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Southern California and a few other places.

    1. craazyboy

      Will Little Saigon hold out against the commies or will they capitulate too?

      Better Red Than Dead?
      Sure you can buy my old little house for $700,000 American Dollars?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I read somewhere, if you work in the private sector, you will need 3.5 (or 35, can’t remember) houses like that to retire comfortably.

    2. lord koos

      That’s a bit simplistic. Thais come from quite a variety of different backgrounds and ethnic groups. Once you get outside of Bangkok you can see a wide variety of ethnic types, and Bangkok, while it is predominantly Chinese ethnicity, is only 20% of the Thai population. As well, the upper-class Chinese Thais who pretty much own and run Thailand are not much loved by many Thai citizens.

  15. steviefinn

    The Mish video is truly horrible & a good illustration of the disgusting mess left over from when the killers in high places toss a match & then turn & walk away, safe in the knowledge that it will not happen anywhere near their town.

    1. OIFVet

      It is a horrible viewing. I disagree with Mish, the video does not really help Novorussia’s cause. Givi pistol whipping the colonel and making the captives eat the Ukie flag patches, and allowing the physical abuse of POWs by civilians is simply unacceptable. I understand the anger but there is something to be said about rising above the level of your enemy (something a woman in the video advised, and was duly ignored).

      1. steviefinn

        Unfortunately I cannot think of any populations as a whole who manage to rise above in this kind of situation, but rather very many examples of war bringing out the worst in people. The whole thing reminded me of those WW2 newsreels that are used to illustrate war documentaries which are somewhat somewhat neutered by repetition & time – unlike this footage which was of the now & extremely raw.

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