Links 3/16/15

German city uses hydrophobic paint to splash public urinators with pee ScienceAlert

Algorithm Clones Facial Expressions…And Pastes Them Onto Other Faces Physics arXiv

An Autonomous Car Is Going Cross-Country for the First Time Wired (furzy mouse)

Estimating Burden and Disease Costs of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Glenn F: “This is an important study showing that Big Ag’s chemicals, especially the endocrine-disrupting type aren’t just making us sick. They’re making the world’s economy sick, too.”

Aging Baby Boomers Hold On to Drug Habits Wall Street Journal. Assuming you had them to begin with….Notice the under-emphasis on economic stresses as a cause.

Myanmar regresses Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

Australian households awash with debt: Barclays Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Is China’s slowdown worse than economists’ projections? Sober Look. Mish raised this issue last week.

German rescue fund takes over Duesselhyp bank after Heta problems Reuters (Richard Smith)


Why smoke and mirrors are safer than cold turkey Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times. I should post on this but I just don’t have the gas.

Greek state not facing a cash shortage, says PM ekatherimini

Syriza – a Necessary Compromise or Avoiding an Inevitable Conclusion? Real News (Nikki)


NATO and the Two Central Conflicts of the Ukraine Crisis Unz Review (Chuck L)

Ukraine conflict: Vladimir Putin ‘was ready for nuclear alert Guardian

EU Unlikely to Extend Russia Sanctions at Upcoming Summit Moscow Times

Ukraine creditors form negotiating bloc Financial Times (furzy mouse)

Book prize judges criticise decision to axe Putin exposé Guardian. Richard Smith: “Cartoon bogeyman stuff of a slightly different kind.”

Pakistan church bombings: Twin blasts kill 15, wound 78 in Lahore Times of India (furzy mouse)


Op-ed calls on Israel to nuke Germany, Iran Times of Israel (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How to Build a Safer Internet of Things IEEE Spectrum (Chuck L). How about not building one at all? I can see my future: buying high quality stupid apppliances on eBay. I bet recent vintage SubZeros last a long time, and they won’t rat you out on how often you buy milk or have an attack of the munchies.

Halifax is Testing Heartbeat ID as a New Banking Tool Thai Tech. Not only does the idea of voluntarily providing a biometric ID give me the willies, but I guarantee that this device will produce false negatives. For instance, a sufficiently high does of stimulants (caffeine, or the performance drug of choice, Adderal), will jack up your heart rate and going on a hard cardio routine can lead to irregular heartbeats.

A Police Gadget Tracks Phones? Shhh! It’s Secret New York Times. Balaji: “But your readers knew this already.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Green Light for the American Empire Ron Paul. Heresy101: “With only a few libertarian slip-ups, Ron Paul nails it.”

Medicare Panel Faults Payment Fix as Too Weak Wall Street Journal

Two LAPD officers shot, wounded in Florence Los Angeles Times (furzy mouse)

Man, 20, Is Arrested in the Shooting of 2 Officers in Ferguson New York Times

Tax inversion curb turns tables on US Financial Times

The End of “Patient” and Questions for Yellen Tim Duy


Junk-Rated Oil & Gas Companies in a “Liquidity Death Spiral” Wolf Richter

US shale shows remarkable resilience Financial Times

How Does Wall Street Work? Only One-Quarter Of Investment Bank Revenue Comes From Activities In The Real Economy International Business Times. The underlying Bank of England report is informative and accessible.

Class Warfare

Working Minority Families Are Twice As Likely To Be Low-Income As Whites WSJ Economics

As “Right To Work” becomes law in Wisconsin, a reminder of its inventor’s racist past Mark Ames, Pando

Antidote du jour (martha r). “Colugos are also known as Cobegos or flying lemurs. However, they are not actually lemurs nor do they fly. Colugos are nocturnal, tree dwelling animals that can glide through air like flying squirrels. They can grow to around 16 inches in length, the size of a large squirrel. These awesome animals are found in South Asia and are threatened mainly by deforestation which lead to habitat destruction.”

colugos-9 links

colugos-6 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. wbgonne

    Is China’s slowdown worse than economists’ projections? Sober Look. Mish raised this issue last week.

    This might explain why carbon emissions were flat last year (assuming that to be so). After all, as the world’s mass manufacturing center China is now the center of the real economy, which is based on factories and things and consumers and the middle class. Since the middle class — here in America and around the Western world — continues to be pummeled and can’t spend money it doesn’t have, it makes sense that the country supplying those goods to those people would suffer. So the aggregate world economy including financialization and the 1% may be growing but the real economy of the world, exemplified by China, is actually shrinking.

  2. craazyboy

    Dizzy the Quadcopter’s Debut

    Here’s Dizzy’s Birthday pics. She’s 500mm in diameter and weighs around 1200 grams, including the 400 gram battery. When she gets older, she’ll easily lift and fly well (assuming her Master helps) carrying a Gopro clone cam and 2 axis stabilization gimbal – which add about 300 grams. Hoping for 15 – 20 minutes flight time with the 4200mah, 16.8V Lipo battery with no payload. Might be half that with camera. Flight time also varies a lot depending on how fast she flies. Hovering is the most efficient.

    Been having high March winds the past few days – but hopefully with Dizzy will try lift off and Maiden Voyage today if the wind calms down enough.

      1. craazyboy

        Wow! That is some bike riding and some aerial filmmaking. I’ve read Hollywood is interested in using drones(filming) much more than they have so far. I’d guess your friends may already be doing that.

        Got back from the park and Dizzy successfully completed her first short test flight. Everything works, but I think I may need to play around with flight controller tuning a bit.

        It will take some practice until I can fly these things as well as you see the experienced people do in the youtube vids.

  3. Jef

    “… Only One-Quarter Of Investment Bank Revenue Comes From Activities In The Real Economy”

    I have been pointing this out for a while now. I would also point out that it is most likely less than 1/4 and that those revenues are extractive and not beneficial to the real economy.

    1. Ed

      I’ve been pointing this out too, and will broaden it. The main source of income for the 1% at this point is the government creating money and giving it to them. This will last as long as they are able to exchange it for goods and services in the real economy, which is slowly collapsing.

    2. cnchal

      Yesterday, hunkerdown left a great link with regard to the encroachment of 3D printers into patent holder rights, and in it was this.

      John Locke’s labor mixing principles also support this framework. Locke’s theory of property ownership holds that personal property is acquired through a human mixing his labor with natural resources.

      In Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government, he questioned what right an individual has to claim a piece of property when the planet was given to all of humankind in common. Locke reasoned that each person has property in his own body, so any labor from the body and the “[w]ork of his [h]ands” is property owned by that person.

      When a person mixes labor with something, the person removes it from the common state of nature and acquires a right to ownership.

      Now, it all makes sense. The Wall Street wizards have figured out a way to define money as a natural resource, and are mining it with computers, just like bitcoin, but backed by the Fed.

  4. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Man, 20, Is Arrested in the Shooting of 2 Officers in Ferguson

    Ok, so the purp’s alibi is that he wasn’t shooting at the cops, he was shooting at someone else. Ok, well then it’s All Good. hahaha.

    But what catches my eye is that the city trots out DA Robert McCulloch to make the announcement. The same guy who pretty much orchestrated the grand jury to get Darren Wilson off. So when does the next riot start? I wanna be near a teevee. :-)

    1. Lambert Strether

      Maybe this time they’ll learn from experience and not re-schedule the presser for seemingly no reason until the evening hours, and tell the National Guard to stand down. Since there’s always an ***hole, the sequence of events that followed was so predictable it might well have been designed.

  5. Vatch

    “These awesome animals are found in South Asia and are threatened mainly by deforestation which lead to habitat destruction.”

    One of the many examples of how overpopulation is damaging our world. The planet’s large and increasing human population means that there is greater demand for wood products, so the forests are cut down to meet this demand. There’s greater demand for food, so some forests are cut down to be replaced by farms. People also need places to live, so some forests will become residential areas. Bad news for the colugos and other species that live in forests.

  6. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT:

    David Lane’s goal now is to get 1,000 pastors to run for public office, and their potential support has drawn a virtual pilgrimage of conservative candidates eager to join the tours Mr. Lane organizes to Israel.

    Last month, Mr. Lane took 60 members of the Republican National Committee to Jerusalem at a cost, he said, of about $500,000. A trip to Israel with Bobby Jindal is planned for July.

    Did Jesus seek public office? No. He ignored the government (‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s …’) and local bylaws (don’t work on the sabbath) until it executed him.

    When pastors run for public office, it raises a legitimate question as to whether their churches should be stripped of their non-profit tax exemption, which is incompatible with supporting particular candidates and parties.

    With his Bible-thumping fanaticism, Lane helps pave the way for IORs (Israel Owned Republicans) like Scott Walker, who said last weekend that the U.S. has “an ally in Israel, and we should start acting like it.”

    A Republican win in 2016 is the price we’re gonna pay for coronating a non-viable D-party candidate, the lovely Hillary Milhous Ceausescu. As Bob Dylan plaintively asked, ‘Is there a hole for me to get sick in?’

    1. Carolinian

      Wouldn’t he Dems be better off if the AIPAC crowd migrated to their natural home, the Republican Party? Not that there’s much hope for the Dems in any case.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      I wonder if Dylan asked that same question during his visit to the Obama White House to perform for the royalty?

    3. optimader

      I karumba, D.Baggery 101
      Over two hours, Jindal, 42, recalled talking with a girl in high school who wanted to “save my soul,” reading the Bible in a closet so his parents would not see him and feeling a stir while watching a movie during his senior year that depicted Jesus on the cross.

      Jindal’s session with the Christian clergy, who lead congregations in the early presidential battleground states of Iowa and South Carolina, was part of a behind-the-scenes effort by the Louisiana governor to find a political base that could help propel him into the top tier of Republican candidates seeking to run for the White House in 2016.
      Wait, haven’t I seen this movie?
      …does not have an obvious pool of activist supporters to help drive excitement outside his home state. So he is harnessing his religious experience in a way that has begun to appeal to parts of the GOP’s influential core of religious conservatives, .

      1. LifelongLib

        Lots of people find that a different religion (or non-religion) speaks to their condition better than whatever they were born into. Fine. The mistake is to believe that whatever worked for you will work for everybody else, and to use force (i.e. law) to impose it.

        1. optimader

          Agreed, everyone should privately practice whatever religion or spirituality they want I fthts the way they swing. The operative word is privately .

    4. cwaltz

      Oh Goody. Then we can have our Christian equivalent of Imams and herald in our own version of theocracy.

      For all the Christians talk about how awful the ME is, they certainly seem anxious to have the same kind of rule over here.

      1. James Levy

        Here’s one from the right-wing playbook–if their churches don’t pay taxes, they don’t get to vote or run for office. You pay to play. You can’t be a representative of a tax-exempt institution and make decisions about how to spend my tax dollars.

    5. fresno dan

      I’m so old, I remember when right wingers hated Jews. Of course, as Jesus was a Jew, descended from a long, long line of Jews, not exactly logical. But somehow, the current situation doesn’t seem like an improvement…

      1. sleepy

        I’m so old also that I remember that the loudest advocates for separation of church and state and for no state funding of religious schools came from Southern Baptists who, in the 50s and 60s feared any hints of government assistance to Catholic schools.

        1. optimader

          feared any hints of government assistance to Catholic schools

          I’m so old that I remember when Catholic was code for Irish

    6. Benedict@Large

      I find it interesting that every one of these theocracy advocates assumes that once theocracy is implemented here, it will be THEIR brand of theocracy.

  7. Brooklin Bridge

    German city uses hydrophobic paint to splash public urinators [is it peeors or peeeys?] with pee

    How admirable the philosophy of punishment over practiality. Spend a fortune to punish drunks for peeing – do they even notice the wall is peeing back on them? Do they care? How about wind or the clever drunk who pees at an angle as if he were making a bank shot? Back in the 60’s and 70’s, they used to install public urinals instead. Just goes to show how hopelessly impractical they were back then. I don’t know about German cities, but in Paris most of those are now gone, along with sane legislators, and it is both inconvenient and costly to go in train stations or cafes.

    Ah well, progress…

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      I’m just waiting for the paint to be hooked up to the internet so the NSA, or whatever the local equivalent, can scoop up the kind of data it so richly deserves.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Indeed, if they are not meticulously pulling the wings off of periphery countries in a manner to extract the utmost pain, humiliation and human suffering, they are playing expensive practical jokes on their own outcasts. Punishment is the common theme.

    2. optimader

      This was on DW news last week. They showed film of late night peeers(sp?) dancing around when they realized they were their own collateral damage. I never really conceptually understood the practice. Does the wall help the process? Europeans in general need to get w/ the program w/ (free) public restrooms.
      Last time we were in Madrid, (2007ish) Atocha Station has one set of smallerish public restrooms in the entire station. Absurd.

      (Atocha also has the worlds best calamari sandwich at the standup bar-best food in Madrid IMO)

      1. susan the other

        Do I have a deal for you! This (no sarc) is begging for a green solution. In China, western China per stg I saw on PBS, they collect what look like 100-gallon (black plastic monsters) barrels of pee collected by some local pee collector, or individual peeists’ donations. It is a broth to die for for health/pharma researchers and synthesizers. They can extract all sorts of compounds. So that’s just one possibility. Up until now we have been so filthy that sewage control was imperative to prevent epidemics. And lately we have been talking about the value of human urine. And even poop transplants. Think what a difference this might have made in Dickensian London!

        1. craazyboy

          If you believe what Neal Stephenson writes in “The System of the World” (I do), then urine did make a big difference in 17th century London. The hero, Jack Shaftoe, began life as a homeless street kid, but pulled himself up by the sandal straps when he decided there is a future in collecting huge amounts of urine and drying it in a pond. The initial market was smelling salts (ammonia) for Noble Women affected by fainting spells. (this happened frequently) Eventually, someone probably figured out it made good crop fertilizer too, but IIRC Jack took advantage of his newfound economic mobility and was off to other adventures.

          However, nowadays I can see the long neglected market of smelling salts for Noble Women making a comeback!

          Now, about the poop transplants. I can’t say for sure, but my guess is this is a rumor started by people hoping to be poop donors – buzz marketing and all that social media stuff. The other thing is, the body is supposed to reject poop, so a transplant wouldn’t hold. It just doesn’t ring true, to me.

          1. Oregoncharles

            It’s real. Gut bacteria turn out to be extremely important, and some people have the wrong ones. It’s really the bacteria being “transplanted.” Originally done with colonoscopies; I think it’s now done using special capsules.
            In all seriousness: makes a huge difference for some people.
            Will wonders never cease.

          2. JerseyJeffersonian

            Well, you would be fainting all of the time, too, were you constrained by fashion to be strapped into some whalebone-reinforced corset that not only restricted your breathing, but also rearranged your internal organs.

            Nowadays, I see no sign of a revival of corsets. Certainly not in our “let it all hang out” culture.

            1. hunkerdown

              That’s as may be on the Turnpike, but elsewhere, the hipsters and literati are steadily taking up steampunk and renfaires, both of whose contemporary fashions incorporate the corset or similar waist binding device. Tightlacing still seems pretty rare, so most wearers’ organs will surely remain about where they were.

        2. reslez

          Collection of urine was big business in ancient Rome as it is highly important in industries such as tanning, cloth-dying, laundering and so forth (soap was a later invention). Its usefulness has remained recognized throughout the ages up to modern times when, before the discovery of guano islands and similar deposits in South America, medieval church walls were scraped as a source of saltpeter for the production of explosives and fertilizer (but mainly explosives). Yes, the build-up of centuries of peeing churchgoers had economic importance.

  8. fresno dan

    How to Build a Safer Internet of Things IEEE Spectrum (Chuck L). How about not building one at all? I can see my future: buying high quality stupid apppliances on eBay. I bet recent vintage SubZeros last a long time, and they won’t RAT YOU OUT on how often you buy milk or have an attack of the munchies.

    That’s because they have never been subjected to enhanced interrogation. Put a couple of gallons of butter brickle ice cream in that sub zero, unplug it, and it will sing like a bird…
    Your ‘frigerator has been monitoring you for a long time…it just wasn’t connected to the internet.

    1. Pepsi

      I can imagine a profitable business of jailbreaking internet enabled fridges and washing machines

  9. SCO! SCO! SCO!

    Re Ron Paul’s wistful musing that the US empire can’t go on: But what is there to stop it, he wonders.

    How about India dropping its linchpin non-alignment policy to join the SCO, perhaps with Pakistan, in a regional security arrangement that knows how to resolve their dispute without blowing shit up? How about the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, with British support? How about an EU army, fake like NATO’s but independent of the US? How about China winning all those hearts and minds?

    The US regime seems to be intensifying an orgy of coercive interference and aggression. The world agrees the USG’s the greatest threat to peace. But a lot of the menace looks to be impotent thrashing by a senile and degenerate state. Look at SWIFT taking Russia’s side, or the EU balking US aggression in Ukraine despite Europe’s political fragility. At the bathetic extreme there’s the comedy gold of US PNGing elder statesmen of that fearsome axis of Bolivarian evil, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

    The nuclear umbrella is now Russian. The world sees a chance to get what it wants most: state responsibility and international criminal law to restrain US government aggression. The US government has to decide whether to take its rightful place as a mediocre member of the international community, or start a world war. The first option is kind of depressing. To effectively dislodge this parasitic state you’d need the world war.

  10. craazyboy

    Europe has always been PayGo.

    During Oktoberfest, waiting in long lines at the sparse number of porta-potties was considered a waste of time, or not even possible, by many.

      1. fresno dan

        I remember when I was in Paris in ’76 or ’77 when I was stationed in Crete and took some leave.
        At first I thought it was just those round billboards, and than I realized you could go into them….and lo and behold, you could pee!!! What a brilliant idea. (tho as I recall, kind of sexist in that they were formatted only for males).

        I remember when I was a child and they built the Fresno downtown mall (this was an outdoor mall where they turned a street into a pedestrian walkway. They had these public restrooms – the idea that the public sector addressed a necessary human function seemed appropriate. Funny how that has been entirely “privatized”

        1. Kurt Sperry

          There is but one remaining pissotière left in Paris, on Blvd. Arago, just outside the old prison currently under renovation. They’ve been replaced with high tech self-cleaning units free of charge to use, paid for by the advertising signage affixed to them. You can get a good feel for the general degree of civilization of any city by the presence or lack of public toilets.

          1. optimader

            You can get a good feel for the general degree of civilization of any city by the presence or lack of public toilets
            I agree with that litmus test. Not sure why I am coughing this up, but in Europe our procedure is to find the nicest Hotel in the area, walk in and there is always a nice bathroom (yeah, so don’t look like a refugee).
            People lament and gnash their teeth about McDonalds, cultural debasement etc etc.. but an excellent alternative is ANY McDonalds anywhere on Planet Earth… in Europe specifically..

            1. Kurt Sperry

              This isn’t entirely true. I, in dire need, tried to enter the McDonalds near the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II* to let gravity prevail and they had a huge bouncer at the door like at a nightclub. When politely queried if the restroom was public he pointed towards a line of customers twenty minutes deep and stood firmly in the way of the bathrooms. Milan isn’t good for public restrooms, I had to run to Parco Sempione a few blocks away to find relief under a willow tree.

              *This franchise had been kicked out of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II two years before and last I knew were suing the City of Milan “free trade” style for millions of euro in “lost profits” over it.

              1. optimader

                You should have walked your bladder over to the lobby pissatorium At Park Hyatt Milan. two minute walk to pee in the lap of luxury (literally).


                1. Kurt Sperry

                  In Italy, I generally just duck into the nearest bar and order a coffee to use the wc, but in central Milan there are essentially no Italian bars in the usual sense, just places trying to be upscale foodie places with maybe a barista out by the sidewalk to keep people like me from ordering a coffee to use the bathroom. Bigger touristier cities in Italy operate on a different and colder system to normal Italian practice, you’ll quickly know if you are in a tourist zone with its separate unwritten rules if you have to pay for your coffee before it is served–if this is the case you’ll also pay more for a table and probably be overcharged for everything in fact. In Milan, as in Rome and Florence, once you get outside the touristy centro normal friendlier rules will reapply. The public restrooms in these larger cities–if you can find one–will charge something like 50-75 cents but there will be an attendant on duty keeping the place neat and they will often be impressive marble clad mini palaces as well. In smaller, less touristy cities and towns the public restrooms will be free and easy to find.

                  1. optimader

                    Yeah, not too big on the tourist areas.. When were in Rome we’re w/ friends that grew up there so we just integrate into their program, always something interesting.
                    Next time your there, a most remarkable museum in the backwaters
                    this mosaic looks like a photograph at 5 yards, uncanny:

                    Ever been in the Arrezzo/Anghiari/Caprese Michelangelo areas? I like these places.

                    1. Kurt Sperry

                      I’ve been nearby that museum, not too far from the old gasometro and testaccio hill. Area was a bit umm Detroit last I was there. Interesting looking mix of steam punk and Roman classical sculpture. I need to give Rome some more time, last couple of times it’s just been a waypoint between Anghiari and FCO.

                    2. optimader

                      Yes, these are three places I disappear to for a good while. If you haven’t been here,
                      ask for a tour of the looms. We spent a week w/ friends in Vogognano (Subbiano) that grew up in this geography. Lovely area indeed. A different perception of time when the uninterrupted history is so deep

                    3. optimader

                      Area was a bit umm Detroit last I was there.
                      That’s a good description, but in reality no where near as rough. We went first thing on a Sunday morning so pretty deserted. I tell you, it’s a very cool place. We had a couple fun days w/ our friend who we affectionately call “the snob” he knows every off the radar hole in the wall in Rome, blasting down roads w/ the mirror folded kind of in the late night theme of
                      The Great Beauty

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The idea of a driverless urine-receptacle robot powered by the very substance we impart to it may have just arrived.

          We will have a bunch of them roam the city at all times, and using a similar app for getting a taxicab, we can hail the nearest one from a smartphone.

          “R3D3, come over here. I have some business to conduct with you. I am going to give you some free energy.”

    1. tongorad

      I guess we need an Uber for public toilets…or not.
      All hail the conquering disruptors!

      1. Lambert Strether

        I don’t see why we can’t combine the two services. Pop the lid of the trunk, and there you are. I’m picturing a huge image of Travis, smiling, as a target.

  11. fresno dan

    How Does Wall Street Work? Only One-Quarter Of Investment Bank Revenue Comes From Activities In The Real Economy International Business Times. The underlying Bank of England report is informative and accessible.

    “For a long time, we took for granted that all these activities are useful simply because they exist,” says Thomas Phillippon, a professor of finance at the New York University Stern School of Business who studies the efficiency of financial services. “Now we have the challenge of deciding what’s useful or not.”
    When you ask Wall Street what it does, the reply generally is that investment banks direct capital to enterprises that need it most. Like an irrigation system, the financial sector routes incoming investments to thirsty recipients that hope to grow.

    But a broad new analysis by the Bank of England shows the lion’s share of global investment-banking revenue derives not from services to the real economy but from purely financial activities.
    Certain lines of business appear to have only tenuous connections to the real world. Securitization, which generates an estimated $10.5 billion a year, involves bundling large numbers of debt agreements into products that can be bought and sold as single units. This was a prime driver of the subprime mortgage crisis, in which banks cobbled together thousands upon thousands of questionable home loans and packaged them into mortgage-backed securities and even more convoluted products. These investments were then pushed on institutional investors such as insurance companies and pension funds.

    Wall Street banks will respond that their innovations help the financial system run smoothly. When you take money from an ATM or make deposits into a retirement fund, a vast and invisible network of financial technology makes it relatively painless on your end. Meanwhile, the expansion of industry and private commerce is impossible without someone willing to take on risks to help companies proliferate.

    “Wall Street banks will respond that their innovations help the financial system run smoothly.”
    Astounding that they say that. More astounding that they have so bought off the government that it is accepted…

  12. fresno dan

    A Green Light for the American Empire Ron Paul. Heresy101: “With only a few libertarian slip-ups, Ron Paul nails it.”

    What I get out of it, despite the fact that we essentially control the world, is we HAVE to be at war.
    (Planes are hijacked, and despite decades of that happening, it has never occurred to anyone in the United States to lock the cockpit door.) So we go to war against not one, but two countries. Despite these countries, and any other Mideastern country not having nuclear weapons (ahem, Israel), intercontinental missiles, submarines, aircraft carries, intercontinental bombers, etc., we still have to be over there. Despite the fact that it appears we make it worse for the people there, and destabilize the world more.

    Other than Ron Paul, is there anybody in elected American politics today who offers a critique of the view of America as the global hegemon…or more delicately put as “the indispensable nation”?

    Our politics today is like going to an ice cream shop, and you can have vanilla, or you can have Neapolitan, but the strawberry and chocolate are all gone, so you just get vanilla, but they still call it Neapolitan…
    Is there really such a consensus???

    1. James Levy

      At the top–yes. All powerful institutions get to select their executive and administrative cadres from a self-selected bunch of people who want in on that powerful institution. This, as C. Wright Mills pointed out 60 years ago, leads to a uniformity of worldview at the top that needs no official policy of indoctrination to enforce. You either go along with the program or you don’t get to rise in the institution–be it bank, Pentagon, or university. You internalize the rules and values of the institution or the institution spits you out or at best blocks your further progress up the ladder if you happen to be fantastically useful at the level you currently inhabit (the army is full of terrific colonels who know damned well they’ll never make general because they have too many opinions that would rock the boat).

      Everyone believes in American hegemony because it is flattering, it fills the elite with self-importance and a sense of historical mission, and a vast amount of money and power come to those who push the project along. They also believe it because not believing it would raise questions no one wants to answer, and you don’t rise high in this world asking questions that no one above you wants asked, forget about answered.

  13. craazyman

    Is that antidote the Mothman? Whoa that looks like something John Keel saw down in West Virginia. It was about 6 or 7 feet tall and flied 50 mph without moving its wings. Then he got home to his motel and heard beeping sounds.

    At one point I tried to correlate outbursts of Fortean phenomenon with states of the economy but didn’t get very far. Partly it’s a quantification problem, partly a classification problem, which makes any kind of meaningful regression difficult. The best one can do it is a rough regression using categorical variables. But then you might get an “end of the world” prediction. and if you short based on that and you’re right, it won’t matter.

    “I should post but . . . don’t have the gas” -YS —— That reminds me of a rush hour morning in the 1990s at a Lex Avenue subway. A stringy meth head looking young dude was panhandling by the booth, talking to the floor in chaotic rambling monologues. Then I heard him emit this string of words: “I always had more brains than gas, and I never had enough gas to drive a piss-ass motorcycle around a cheerio.” Whoa! How good is that! I mean really. That’s just so “there” it’s amazing.

    1. aletheia33

      i suspect that if yves is lacking the gas to post on greece, that is a very bad sign for greece. :)

      that said, a certain “greece fatigue” seems to have set in.
      is it a type of “compassion fatigue”?
      yes, but that’s not all.

      i pray those on the ground may not run out of gas, but they can hardly be blamed if they do.
      meanwhile, their adversaries in the war to own them, at least at the moment, seem to have deep, deep tanks.

      not even to mention, to be literal, the quiet, lethal global struggle for control of oil transport routes.

  14. direction

    Was in Myanmar in January when a lot of this disruption was beginning to stir. Heard about more concerns with the conservative anti-muslim buddhists making waves there at the time, but also had a chance to talk with a friend who lives there about dealing with the government from his position with a Burmese NGO. In some ways it might just be the “two step forward, one step back” process of slow change as military generals currently in power feel their loss of control and claw some back. He indicated that the government was internally split, and it was difficult working on policy change because the government/military split was so divisive.

    As for the red band brigades, it’s worth noting that: “According to Article 128 of the Burmese Code of Criminal Procedure, if an unlawful assembly refuses to disperse, magistrates and police station chiefs have the authority to raise a male civilian force in order to break up the gathering and assist with arrests. The article was enacted in 1898 as part of the imposition of British common law as a means to deter any public assembly containing more than five people. It has remained on the books since.”

  15. direction

    reports coming in from Vinuatu where hurricane Pam hit with 200 mile/hr winds. Interesting quote attributed to the World Bank: “policymakers at a UN disaster meeting in Japan do not seem to understand the pressing need to tackle climate change, the World Bank warned Sunday”

    More from:

Comments are closed.