Links 2/20/15

Scrawled Insults and Epiphanies New York Review of Books (Nikki)

The Year of the Goat Raymond Lo (furzy mouse)

Water levels in Russia’s Lake Baikal falls to new threshold Bloomberg

Paper-Thin Lenses Could Shrink Cameras and Holographic Displays MIT Technology Review (David L)

Sex redefined Nature (Nikki)

Apple wants to start making cars as soon as 2020 Sydney Morning Herald (EM). The money is clearly burning a hole in Apple’s pocket.

Koch Brothers & Sierra Club Back Tesla Direct Sales CleanTechica (Glenn F)

Everything You Think You Know About Addiction and the War on Drugs Is Wrong Policy.Mic (RR) Important.

L.A. hospital warns 179 patients possibly exposed to superbug Reuters (EM)

Population Is Declining Worldwide, But Inconsistently Across Regions Stratfor (furzy mouse)

Four years after DSK, what became of the Sofitel housekeeper? France 24 (Nikki)

Geneva office raided as Swiss open investigation, citing “recent public revelations” about the bank Center for Public Integrity (Chuck L)


Greece’s abasement gambit and why it has failed…so far Andrew Lilco. Note I don’t agree with his reading, since I don’t see the language as Greece-favorable as he does. But I do agree that Greece was still trying to preserve some wriggle room on some issue, and even that looks to be too much for the Germans.

Varoufakis Meets Euro Partners as Greece Seeks to Avoid Default Bloomberg

Greece wants to save Europe, but can it persuade Europeans? Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Aljazeera

How Germany Is Blowing Up The European Union Ilargi (Chuck L)

ECB Plans to Push Greek Banks to Shed State Debt If Talks Fail Bloomberg

Yes, yes, we know. It’s time to talk about capital controls again FT Alphaville

Investors Still Don’t Think Greece Will Exit the Euro Bloomberg

Greece defiant as Germany tears up last-ditch EMU compromise on austerity Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Germany may have just put the nail in Greece’s Euro zone coffin Fortune

Bundesbank President Adds to Criticism of Greeks’ Request WSJ Economics

Opinion: One last chance for Greece DW Stephen M: “More nonsensical German austerity beliefs from the German press.”


Ukraine: UK and EU ‘badly misread’ Russia BBC (Stephen M)

Kiev accused of cutting off gas to rebels Financial Times



ISIS: A Black Hole in the Heart of the Middle-East – The Syrian Adventure Sic Semper Tyrannis (MJL)

Pentagon reveals plans to retake Mosul Financial Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Great Sim Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle Intercept (Nikki, Andy S). Today’s must read. This is going to create major shockwaves.

Sim card giant probes spy theft claims Financial Times (David L)

California confirms 119 cases of measles in state Reuters (EM)

SILICON VALLEY: Boom will turn to bust Business Insider

Gov. Chris Christie’s Office Made Inquiries In Hunterdon County Scandal, According To Documents David Sirota, International Business Times

U.S. preparing to sue Ferguson police over charges of racial bias: CNN Reuters (EM)

Lenders Step Up Financing to Subprime Borrowers Wall Street Journal

A wary investor’s guide to negative yields Financial Times

Grand Central: Fed Minutes Not So ‘Dovish’ Upon Careful Inspection WSJ Economics

Class Warfare

Walmart Raising Wage to at Least $9 New York Times

Guess Which “Liberal” State Has 500 Laws Aimed at Oppressing the Homeless? Alternet

Ideology Seen as Factor in Closings in University of North Carolina System New York Times. Doug S: “American Taliban.”

Antidote du jour (Richard Smith, via @zacaplus):

disco pelican links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That mouth…

      The Male Darwin’s Frog keep fertilized eggs in its mouth as they develop into tiny tadpoles.

      I imagine it’s not easy to avoid swallowing.

      1. Synoia

        An amazing bird is the pelican
        It’s beak can hold more than its belly can

        Hilair Belloc, I believe, feel free to correct me.

          1. susan the other

            I thought that too, then I thought I was disgraceful for thinking that… so I settled on pelican dance class.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Pelican’s actually “hunt” by slamming their breasts into the water, stunning fish nearby. Only then do they use their beaks to scoop up the stunned fish for dinner.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The more we learn about animal warfare and plant warfare, the more we understand animals and plants in general (and mushrooms, the third kingdom), the more we should be in awe of nature and appreciate the beauty of life.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I have a friend who is a bit of a dim bulb.

        She said that when she saw a pelican “hunt” like that for the first time, she thought it was “having a heart attack.”

        I believe her name shows up in every “low information voter” database that has ever existed.

      3. bruno marr

        Well, my lying eyes tell me otherwise. I spend most of my day 100 meters (or less) from the coastline and the brown pelicans here actually lead with their beaks (head first) into the ocean in a very streamlined profile. A plunge that allows them to actually snatch fish directly. But this is but one method: pelicans are actually scavengers, see this

        1. matthew

          In my experience they mostly feed by hanging around fish and chip shops, then mobbing unsuspecting picnickers. They’re worse than the ibises.

    3. coboarts

      A friend of mine’s father used to call a flight of pelicans the “Mexican Air Force.” That always cracked me up, but being out on the glass flat water of Mission Bay in the early mornings, I had the chance to watch these goofy looking birds come down for the most incredible, long, smooth strafing runs imaginable as they looked for breakfast. The pelican, turns out, is an amazingly graceful creature – wow!

  1. trish

    thank you for Everything You Think You Know About Addiction and the War on Drugs Is Wrong Policy. Important.

    indeed. that the public is essentially unaware of this info (till now perhaps thanks to Hari?), is another example of the gross failure of our MSM. Criminal.

    “The panel said: Decriminalize everything, from cannabis to crack. Take all the money we currently spend on arresting, trying and imprisoning drug addicts and spend it on really good drug treatment. It’s not drug treatment the way we normally think of it — some of it is, but not most of it. It’s drug treatment that learns the lesson of Rat Park.”

    exactly. of course one problem not mentioned, the drug war has been hugely profitable for some…

    1. Paper Mac

      I wouldn’t say the public is “unaware”- when I was first taught about Alexander’s rat park studies in undergrad (more years ago than I care to admit), I was able to find an entry for them on Wikipedia not long thereafter, if I recall correctly. Alexander has been hammering on this stuff for years.

      1. Jef

        The rat study could be applied to humanity in general. With all of the basics provided for, the best in human behavior is the result.

        Instead we repeat over and over that man is evil, greedy, selfish, etc. and use that as an excuse/rationalization to organize ourselves in such a way as to bring out the worst behavior.

      2. anon48

        Why haven’t the people who know in Portugal been jumping up and down screaming about the results, resulting from their change in strategy, to the rest of us rubes? Maybe they have, and nobody’s been paying attention…

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Drugs were banned in the United States in the middle of a race panic. There was a belief — which was obviously wrong — that African-Americans and Chinese-Americans were taking drugs, forgetting their place and attacking white people.’

      Stereotypically, when the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, cannabis was considered the vice of black jazz musicians and Mexican guest workers. Middle-class white folks drank rye whiskey and martinis, and wouldn’t be touched by this crackdown on the vices of the minority-populated underworld.

      Nixon and Agnew knew, in passing the Drug Control Act of 1970, that it would very effectively target minorities, even without explicit racial language. Bloomberg knew that his ‘stop and frisk’ policy in New York City would pack the jails with minorities, as effectively as making ‘walking while black’ an explicit offense.

      The War on Drugs is a war on people. It is as medieval and cruel as chattel slavery. There is no valid excuse for any ethical person to support or participate in this long-running, costly, failed federal program.

      1. Ken Nari

        Jim, the program has only failed if it’s goal was the elimination of drugs. Had it more truthfully been named The War for the Control of the Drug Trade, it would have to judged something of a success. But of course human suffering does not figure in that sort of bookkeeping.

        It’s generally accepted the the U.S. Government got pulled into the drug business in Asia during WWII as a backdoor way of supporting Chiang Kai Shek, and once addicted to huge injections of off-the-books cash, money not authorized or controlled by Congress, it has never been able to get clean. “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia” by McCoy, showed the game was still going on in the ’70s. With the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, access to the Golden Triangle was limited and the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan) became more important. John Gibler’s reporting on the drug trade in Mexico indicates nothing of that scale would be possible without at least –at least — tacit approval of the U.S. government, which determines who stays in business and who doesn’t.

        Some things are almost too evil to contemplate.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You can’t have war without drugs.

        I imagine all the bloody battles in history, like the Battle of Changping, in which 400,000 State of Zhao soldiers were shot dead on order from general Bai Qi of Qin, who cumulatively was responsible for close to a million deaths, involved some drugs.

        The Kamikaze pilots, Hitler, etc…all needed drugs to do what they did.

    3. susan the other

      One way to interpret this instinctively obvious information only now hitting the news cycle is that the profits of the war on drugs have run a bit dry and it’s not cost effective any more. Does this happen when the threshold of consensus is swamped? So that it is even more profitable to make this stuff legal? And yes, by all means make drugs legal. But make it simultaneously illegal to impoverish and deprive people into desperation.

      1. hunkerdown

        Interesting interpretation, and I can see that there could be some truth to it. Though, one can see the narrative of liquidating the public good in there as well — does the state really need to enforce the “drug war” when employers and business insurers will do it for them as a matter of “labor discipline”?

      2. Jessica

        Somehow I put this in the same class as why gay marriage has largely been accepted. I mean I think the deeper social forces are the same.
        With less certainty, I think that specifically those social forces include knowledge workers who are willing so far to go along with the economic hegemony of the 0.1% but who chaff at some of the leftover constriction of private life.
        A general loss of trust in dominant discourse may also be at play. Why does this affect attitudes toward cannabis but not toward economics? Perhaps because plenty of folks who are not elite but not totally excluded from social consideration either have no idea what any other form of economic organization would look like and fear what they might lose in a change more than thirst for what they might gain, but they have direct experience of what legal cannabis would look like: their own living rooms and bedrooms.

    4. jrs

      What’s the lesson of rat park anyway? That to be sober it helps to have adequate stimulation? But (too) late stage capitalism is deadening. That it helps to have social contact, this is to some degree in an individual’s control, but everyone is exhausted and stressed out, and few have that much time or energy for socializing when the day is done.

  2. steviefinn

    Looking through the majority of the links, it’s not hard to figure out that if there were any extra-terrestrial travelers in our cosmic vicinity, they would not want to drop in for a chat. Maybe we have been featured on an alien online planet fail site, with a special section devoted to the loons who claim they have been abducted. Still if they were capable of watching us – we would probably be fairly entertaining in a kind of HBO sort of way.

    I am assuming that a species who successfully mastered inter-galactic travel, would have been capable of not screwing things up as we appear to be doing – maybe they evolved from bonobo type creatures, rather than chimpanzees, as we seem to have, judging from our general behaviour..

    Sorry I am getting old & tend to ramble.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The key to this mystery is this: We humans did not pay for this planet.

      We got it for free.

      And if it’s free, you are the product.

  3. vidimi

    in a sign that first look media is imploding, the intercept published an article about a russian-made orange drone brought down over ukrainian seas being the latest, incontrovertible proof that russia is waging war against the hopelessly corrupt country. needless to say, the readers didn’t appear convinced as it has only generated 41 comments to date, just about all of them disparaging the article.

    i expect there to be another major departure or two in the next few months.

    1. lolcar

      I have to say I’m surprised the Russians were careless enough to pack the box of day-glo orange drones when they secretly invaded Ukraine.

  4. diptherio

    Walmart Raising Wage to at Least $9 New York Times

    Wow! $9/hour is almost enough money to be able to afford to shop at…Walmart!

    Guess Which “Liberal” State Has 500 Laws Aimed at Oppressing the Homeless? Alternet

    Umm….let me see…all of them? Homeless people don’t count as actual people in the US, thus it’s not technically possible to oppress them. If you are homeless, you’re not a person, you’re a problem–no more capable of being oppressed than a piece of litter on the street. If someone picks up a piece of trash and throws it in a garbage can, no one accuses them of oppressing the litter…same thing for the homeless. So glad we live in a “Christian nation”…{weeps bitterly}

    1. jrs

      Many states are already at $9 an hour minimum wage. And if the Dems ever got their $10.10 (still gonna run on that in 2016?), maybe states would already be near or past that in their minimum wage by then too.

  5. Jim Haygood


    A group of House Democrats are calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress next month.

    In a letter to Boehner, the Democrats — led by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Maxine Waters (D-CA) — cite concerns that the speech will undermine the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran and that the invitation was extended without input from the White House.

    “Beyond threatening our diplomatic priorities, the timing of this invitation offers the Congressional platform to elevate a candidate in a foreign election,” they write.

    Nearly two-dozen Democrats signed the letter to Boehner dated Wednesday.

    Renting out the Capitol as a campaign hall? What next, renting it out for wedding receptions when Congress is on break? How low can we go?

    1. ambrit

      Well, just off the top of my head, I remember Clinton ‘gifting’ a nights stay in the White House to ‘exceptional’ people, and several wedding parties for sundry relatives organized by Chief Executives. Then of course, there’s that infamous closet.

  6. J Bookly

    Saw that superbug story on Reuters earlier, with a different accompanying photo of the UCLA Medical Center. To paraphrase the president whose name is on the sign, “We are from a government agency that is supposed to help you, but we’ve decided not to.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s just your typical corporate expansion from the initial business of ‘dear natives, we are here to help, to save your souls.’

      Natives: ‘Why can’t we save ourselves? We want to be powerful like you.’

  7. tyaresun

    The NGOs trying to reverse globalization had no chance. The only organization capable of doing it was the NSA and I think they have almost achieved their objective.

    Thank you NSA, labor across the globe will be thankful to you forever.

  8. Fool

    I have this theory that “Politics” as we know it has almost nothing to do with the actual issues that are a part of our “political discourse” and everything to do with power.

    Consider this paradox: if every member of Congress was told by whichever God they believe in that the War on Drugs was evil, stupid, and should be ended…the War on Drugs would never end! In politics, things only get done via bargaining; that is to say, one side gets (watered down) what it wants by giving something up to the other side. In the context of the War on Drugs — and presupposing both sides wanted to end it (which I believe they do) — why pass such swift legislation…for nothing?

    1. susan the other

      But the underlying point is that society makes decisions that lead to addiction as a choice of the lesser of evils. If society had a safety net providing a minimum of dignity, possibility and hope then drugs would be used recreationally and only minimally. There is that margin for those in a position to profit from the legalization of drugs – the rush to buy and overuse drugs will translate into the trillions before the counterbalancing legislation to provide basic and decent living standards is passed. Who stands to profit I wonder.

      1. Fool

        I lot of people stand to profit, financially or otherwise. (Cocaine would be cheaper, so you can say we’d all stand to profit). My point, though, was more about the paradox of the very idea of “political progress”.

        Here’s an anecdotal example, I remember back in 1999-2000 when Bush was campaigning for office and he and Laura kept harping about the “social issues,” i.e. gay marriage and abortion. I remember thinking at the time — though not even yet a teenager — who actually gives a shit about someone else’s abortion or gay wedding? Fifteen years later, I predict that before Obama leaves office gay marriage will be legalized. The pundits, meanwhile, will come out (no pun intended) and say how much America has “evolved” in the last 15 years….

        But has it? 30 years earlier gays and trannies were to New York’s club scene what French expats are today, so I’m guessing America didn’t just wake up one day and decide not to be bigots (not that we aren’t still bigots or anything…). The more plausible explanation would be that the whole Christian moralizing about gay marriage was simply an abstraction, a divide-and-conquer strategy that would align the “interests” of middle America with the Republican party — until it was no longer politically advantageous to do so. I mean, have the Kochs ever genuinely cared about gay marriage/abortion? Dick Cheney with his gay daughter? Newt Gingrich with his track record of marital honor?

        My point is, the resolution of political issues themselves are a function of political advantage.

    2. hunkerdown

      Not at all true. When the .01% benefit, things get done quickly and effectively. Don’t mistake drama for power.

      1. Fool

        That is because it is politically advantageous to please your largest donors (or bring others on board).

  9. diptherio

    From Freelancer’s Union founder Sara Horowitz via Twitter:

    Sara Horowitz ‏@Sara_Horowitz 18s seconds ago
    Have you been “reverse misclassified”? Like, a client W2’ed you when you should’ve been 1099’ed? Reporter wants to talk. Reply for details.

  10. Asher Miller

    The title you chose for the article on population — “Population Is Declining Worldwide, But Inconsistently Across Regions” — is misleading. Population is not declining. The rate of population GROWTH is declining, though we are still on track to grow for a while yet.

  11. OIFVet

    Poroshenko says evidence shows Kremlin aide Surkov directed snipers in Kiev.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Friday that police evidence showed that a top Russian presidential aide, Vladislav Surkov, had directed “foreign sniper groups” who shot and killed protesters in Kiev a year ago.

    “Just a few days ago, the head of state security told me that, in questioning, special forces operatives gave evidence that the Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov led the organization of groups of foreign snipers on the Maidan,” Poroshenko said, according to his website.

    That’s hardly surprising given the fact that Putin is responsible for everything bad that ever happens. It still doesn’t shed light on what really matters though: did Putin drink the blood of the Heavenly Hundred afterward? That’s what I really want to know.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      While I’m no lawyer, it seems to me that the hardest thing about “evidence” is producing some. But I guess a “website” is as good a place as any to start. Pretty much everything you read on the internet is true, right?

      I also suspect that even Clarence Thomas would have a hard time finding a way around sustaining a “Hearsay” objection to this “evidence.”

      1. OIFVet

        “Pretty much everything you read on the internet is true, right?” Surprisingly large number of our compatriots seem to think so. As to the “evidence”, we launched the Iraq war based on similarly extracted…”confessions” and a vial of baby powder held aloft by Colin Powell in front of the UN General Assembly. None of it is meant for a court room unless Porky decides to launch a show trial with predetermined outcome. It is all about the propaganda and playing to the preconceived notions of the target audience. Russkie haters will lap it up and ask for seconds. Like I said, the only important question left unanswered is whether Count Putin drank the blood of the Heavenly Martyrs…

    2. davidgmills

      I am tickled by the phrase “operatives gave evidence.” It doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be given.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: L.A. hospital warns 179 patients possibly exposed to superbug Reuters (EM)

    Good thing the FDA is on the case. Without them to run interference, these machines might have been decommissioned in 2012 when this whole thing started. I hope we’re spending a lot of money on the FDA. It’s pretty hard to argue that wanting “to raise awareness that the design” may “hinder proper cleaning” is a bold, decisive, robust action in protection of the public “health.” Especially after the FDA itself approved the design and sterilization protocol.

    “Superbugs” have been linked to 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses every year in the United States, and up to $20 billion in direct healthcare costs.

    Heard a discussion of the lack of antibiotic research by a brain-dead pharma industry “analyst” on CNBC yesterday in the context of “superbugs.” She unironically noted that there was a current lack of antibiotic research because there was so little PROFIT in it. Patients only take antibiotics for a short time, and doctors aren’t as quick to prescribe them anymore due to the increasing awareness of the detrimental effects of overuse.

    But the real “sin” of antibiotics, according to this analyst, is that they are CURATIVE. Yes, you read that right. There is little attempt to discover new antibiotics because they WORK, and when the patient is healthy, they don’t need to buy the drug anymore.

    Chew on that one for a second. And then go pop your daily dose of whatever prescription drug you’re going to need to take for the rest of your life. To keep you “healthy.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s why TV shows are profitable.

      It doesn’t cure the fundamental desire for recreation. You need to keep coming back for more.

      Of course, if you learn how to tell your own stories (the most meaningful to because they are from you), sing, throw pottery on a wheel, or any other creative adventures, you have empowered yourself, and you are cured.

  13. Ken Nari

    ISIS as a black hole in the Mideast. Great title, since the more that’s written about ISIS the less seems to be known about it.

    Sentences like this aways swirl by and then are sucked off into darkness: “Al Qaeda central sent in (to Syria) reinforcements from its strongholds in Pakistan,” How many troops can a shadowy terrorist organization call up? And how does it transport them across Iran and Iraq to Syria? How do you move through war zones undetected? Do you carry your rocket launcher with you, or are you given a new one when you arrive? How did you learn to use it? Don’t the Urdu speaking Pakistanis stand out among the Arabs? How do they communicate? I never use WTF, but WTF?

    The glaring hole (not the black one) in the ISIS narrative is who is underwriting the cost? Try to imagine anything but a nation state having the financial resources to support warfare on this scale. The MSM sees this too and is suddenly gushing news on possible revenue streams. Today CNN suggested the oil from ISIS’ 300 oil wells is being black-marketed to people — villagers, I guess — in Turkey. How does anyone use crude oil? Are they selling it in dime bags? And now it comes out ISIS is even selling transplant organs from battlefield corpses.

    In the Year of the Sheep has the American public become so dumb it thinks you swap out hearts and kidneys like spark plugs?

    Apparently no one can get close enough to ISIS to really find out what’s going on — all the videoed horror has made sure of that. ISIS is a mercenary army — but who’s paying the bill? Who can afford to? I honestly don’t know.

    1. bruno marr

      …I don’t either, but it seems the high profile terror images are an easy way for a rather small army to scare the shit out of a civilian population (and confirm the dedication of the inductees). Trained fighters are actually more likely to kill ISIS members since “take no prisoners” has become the rule of this battlefield. It is hard to see how ISIS has any sustainability, even with their ME “bretheren”. At some point, even your supporters want to go about their own lives without fear of being beheaded for committing religous “errors”

    2. different clue

      Well . . . since Saudi Arabia is pretty much run as a Saudi family ranch, the Saudi family overall collects enough money that its richest members could donate a State Sponsor-load of private money all by themselves.
      And since the Lesser Gulfies run their lesser sheikdoms as family ranches ( some nicer than Saudi Arabia), they too have rich family member-leaders who can donate State Sponsor-loads of their own private money.
      And of course ISIS harvested some money robbing banks, and harvests money from “taxes”, ransoms, and other rackets. And they sell oil from Syria to and through their Turkish Erdogist supporters.

      1. Ken Nari

        Yes, certainly they should be brought in for questioning. Still, as the senior inspector says, what is the Saudi motive behind all this evil? To destabilize the Middle East and make Islam look bad? Historically that’s not what the Saudis have tried to do.

        Without a detailed cost analysis, of course, it’s hard to imagine bank robberies, train robberies, muggings, extortion, burglary, kidnapping, body snatching, forgery, shoplifting, pickpocketing, purse-snatching, museum pillaging, check kiting, and stealing the silverware in restaurants all taken together could generated the millions per day such military operations entail.

        As for the oil, it’s coming out of the ground as a sticky, smelly tar and has to go by pipeline or ship to a refinery where it takes incredible technology to turn it into anything usable. What refinery is it going to? And how is the cash transfer being handled?

        1. different clue

          Colonel Lang and his guest posters and all the commenters have discussed this problem in detail among other problems. His site, Sic Semper Tyrannis, is worth a slow careful read. What he/they have had to say about Saudi Arabia in all this cannot be briefestly synopsised, but must be read about in detail. The reading will repay the effort.

          It has to do with Wahhabi-ism, Salafism , Saudi and Lesser Gulfie anti-Shia chauvanism, etc.
          It is worth reading.

          ( A secondary motive has been posited . . . . that Saudi Arabia payed the bin Laddies and others a lot of money for protection . . . . so that the bin Laddies and other Saudi-sponsored Salafi terrorist groups would conduct their terror actions outside of Saudi Arabia. But that only explains some of it. A lot of it is that the Saudis approve and support Salafi Wahhabi beheading-ism within Saudi Arabia and beyond it. Pray it comes back to reach them as well).

  14. hemeantwell

    re the drugs article

    that the roots of addiction aren’t moral failure or physiological compulsion, but rather an existential thirst for connection

    That someone could offer this as news is testimony to the incredibly distorting effects that the pharmaceutical industry, dovetailing with cognitive-behavioral psychology, have had on our self-understanding. It was long understood that drug use was significantly about mediating uncertainties around interpersonal relations, understood in both “real” and internalized fantasy terms. The emphasis on “neurochemical imbalances” by the pharmas has, ironically, played right into the wish to escape from the associated dilemmas and, indeed, to an extent reflects the same wish to omnipotently control one’s relations to objects by regulating emotional states with drugs. Not all CBT types are caught up in a similar flight from the interpersonal world, but it often seems that the emphasis on rationality and right thinking in the service of self-interest can blot out the inescapability of orienting ourselves to the Other.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Silicon Valley, boom to bust turned.

    You can say the same about the Silicone Peaks of Hollywood.

    1. diptherio

      I’m not seeing enough verbatim repetition to assume this is anything more than the result of the author doing a number of interviews about the same thing. You pretty quickly develop “a rap,” and I’m pretty sure that’s all this is.

  16. Benedict@Large

    The Great Sim Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle (Intercept)

    This is called industrial espionage, and it is certainly illegal, both here and internationally. So I expect that any day now, the Holder Justice Department will be hauling out the indictments for the hundreds of NSAers who were responsible for this national embarrassment?

    1. James Levy

      I think when Ian Fleming came out with his seemingly idiotic notion of “a license to kill” he was actually on to something. You see it when the government openly talks about the CIA operating within the United States, something that is statutorially illegal but no one seems to care. You so it with telecom immunity, which was clearing and unambiguously an ex post facto law which is expressly forbidden under the Constitution. My guess is that Congress back in the 1940s and 50s passed a raft of “secret laws” that effectively legalize that which is, on the face of it, illegal (Like the actions of the NSA, which is also legally bound to operate exclusively overseas but that doesn’t matter, either).

    2. hunkerdown

      I doubt “Maria” will come back by to CT today, but perhaps we have this news to thank for the Eurogroup agreement. Even the famously housebroken Dutch might take pause at that, in case Anglosphere promises have any hand at all in their position.

  17. Jagger

    Here is BBC report on the snipers during the Maiden Protests. One man has come forward to state he was one of the snipers. He was anti-government. “He says he was recruited as a potential shooter in late-January, by a man he describes only as a retired military officer. Sergei himself was a former soldier.” Maybe the story will finally come out.

  18. susan the other

    Ilargi on Steve Keen was very good. Reiterating once more that Steve Keen sees the euro problem as one caused by private debt and public surpluses. When governments refuse to deficit spend they actually create bubbles because the private sector must replace government spending to stimulate the economy. But private spending always seems to be done by privateers. So now we know that Larry Summers is in favor of austerity and no government deficits because he has publicly stated he thinks bubbles are the natural force of economics. A free market is a private market, right Larry? Maybe you should check with your bff Wolfgang on that one. It is also arguable that it is natural to be naked in winter and let your body grow hair as fast as it can. But most of the world has long since decided that is stupid.

  19. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to the France24 article about the Sofitel housekeeper who was subjected to DSK’s sexual violence. She appears to be a very private, resilient and remarkable person who is succeeding economically in a difficult industry sector.

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