Links 3/29/15

Savannah Great Horned Owls – Branching/Fledging; Decorah Eagles – First Hatch 2015 Crane-Station, Firedoglake

The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age VoxEU

Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal Washington Post (Chuck L)

China’s Credit Overdose Project Syndicate

Frenzied speculative activity in China’s equity markets Walter Kurtz

Slowdown in China Charles Schwab (Chuck L)


Tsipras says he seeks no rift with Europe Reuters. Looks like Greece has capitulated on privatizations. The Piraeus port deal is back on. And Tsipras is making cooperative noises, walking back some defiant growls by his foreign minister. [Update: the Greek government actually capitulated on the Piraeus deal in February, but it is in the news again because the binding offers were due in in late March]

Opposition tells Tsipras to get control of his party ekathimerini

No Grexit, No Grexident. The IOUs are coming…!? Keep Talking Greece

Varoufakis denies resignation rumours as Bundesbank accuses Greeks of “gambling” away trust Telegraph


Russia to join China-backed development bank: official China Post

Why Sanctions on Russia Don’t Work Project Syndicate

What’s $3 Billion Between Enemies? Ukraine and Russia Battle Over Debt Terminology WSJ Economics


NYT Publishes Call to Bomb Iran Robert Parry, Consortium News

The Self-Destruction of Israel Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Arab Airstrikes Against Yemen Reportedly Could Continue For Months NPR (furzy mouse). Notice the sanitized “Arab” as opposed to “Saudi”?

Oh, and consider the next layer of obfuscation: It suits everyone to pretend this is a solo Saudi act Asia Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Drones Beaming Web Access Are in the Stars for Facebook New York Times

Which Companies Are Buying the Election? New York Times (furzy mouse)

War budget might be permanent ‘slush fund’ Politico (EM)

Stephen King hammers Maine governor for doubling down: ‘He’s not man enough to admit he made a mistake’ Raw Story

Indiana Law Denounced as Invitation to Discriminate Against Gays New York Times. A day late to this story.

Corporate Giant Salesforce Tells Indiana: Goodbye Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Old King Coal Stricken; Prognosis Grave Daily Impact

Janet Yellen Needs a Lesson in Culture Wall Street Insight and Indictments

Stanley Fisher’s Faulty Logic On Higher Fed Interest Rates CEPR

Reality Check: The Next Boom Is Not Upon Us Morningstar

SEC illustrates regulator too cozy with the industry it regulates David Sirota, SF Gate (Michael C)

How Wall Street Middlemen Help Silicon Valley Employees Cash In Early Wall Street Journal. The SEC is again missing in action.

At U.S. Companies, Time to Coax the Directors Into Talking Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Dismal Scientists

Microeconomic origins of macroeconomic tail risks VoxEU

Class Warfare

The gender pay gap Bruegel. Note the gender pay gap is markedly lower in supposedly more sexist Australia.

A lawyer shows up at a ‘right-to-work’ hearing. And … cue the laughter. Upworthy

Intelligent robots must uphold human rights Nature (furzy mouse). I dunno. If I were smart enough to be self aware, I’d be seriously not happy with the idea that I would die a permanent death. Humans at least have the comfort of being able to entertain the idea that there might be an afterlife.

Lead prosecutor apologizes for role in sending man to death row Shreveport Times (Dallas G). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour:

baby-goat links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are you saying a Creator may get into creating, but has no exiting strategy.

      “Let me create first, and worry about everything else later.”

      Creation to Creator: “But why?”

      Creator: “I am still working on that now.”

    2. optimader

      I’m self aware. I can touch my nose with a fingertip when my eyes closed and ski though trees set narrower than my shoulders (ok, with my eyes open). I am also pretty damned dissatisfied w/ the inevitability of my certain death, date an time to be defined. But the operative word is inevitability, so best to work with it rather than be unhappy because there is no influencing it in the full course of time.

      The way I see it is if I really got it wrong and there is an “afterlife” that allows retention of a legacy corporeal awareness, well then,,, fantastic!
      I just don’t waste this short corporeal existence worrying about it.. Surely if there were some consciousness behind a Grand Design, there is no reason to expect it would be so venial to really care whether or not I had “faith” in the absence of evidence. What would be the point of that?

      1. B. Examiner

        I’d bet (with your life, not my own!) that since you’re a pretty decent chap that your logic is sound except for this part: “in the absence of evidence.” The existence of Joni Mitchell was evidence enough for me! As are tropical fish. As are tropical birds. As is a beautiful face. And except for Joni, those are rather frivolous things.

        So what you mean to say is “in the absence of PROOF”, not evidence since it abounds.

  1. PlutoniumKun

    The article on China’s equity markets reminds me of the old (presumably apocryphal) story of the Wall Street investor who bailed before 1929. He said he knew it was time to get out when shoeshine boys were giving stock tips – this meant there were no more mugs left to sell to. It was also frequently said in Ireland a few years ago that the time to stop putting money in property was when taxi drivers started telling you about their Bulgarian buy to let apartments.

    It does seem that the recent surge in Chinese equities is based on nothing more than a rush to get money out of property. It doesn’t bode well when inexperienced investors are throwing money around rather desperately.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Too much money rushing in and out of bubbles.

      Do they have too much money?

      Do they need more new money?

      By the way, a lot of their money is in fact our money. The money is not being used to stimulate their or our economy. They ‘have to’ put it in our Treasuries.

    2. sd

      Car bubble….if you can fog a mirror, you can get a car loan at the moment. I found myself thinking recently, “…wow, I wonder how xxxx can afford a new luxury car…” as we had chosen to buy a much needed “new” to us but used car last year.

      I had the exact same thoughts about real estate back in 2007….

    1. EmilianoZ

      Great article, but I wish he had said something about the relationship (if any) between the Yemeni Shia and Iran.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I think the essential answer is ‘very little’. The War Nerd has written elsewhere about it – there is very little evidence of any Iranian influence in Yemen. The Shia of Yemen are mostly Zaidi or Ishmaeli, and they have very little religious connection with mainstream Iranian religion. The Saudi’s are always happy to call out about Iranian interference (this was the excuse for going into Bahrain and killing and imprisoning Shia protestors), but in reality the Iranians seem to be more opportunistic than strategic in interfering outside their boundaries. And not least, there are major logistical problems in sending weapons from Iran to Yemen, the whole country is very tightly monitored. The Yemen insurgency is almost entirely domestic in origin – but it suits everyone to call out ‘Iran’ to justify Saudi/western interference.

        We shouldn’t forget, by the way, that 40 years ago Yemen was a very modern country – you can find pictures of women walking down the streets of Aden in miniskirts without the slightest problem. War Nerd has elsewhere written about how an unholy alliance of Islamacists, the British and the US combined to destroy the secular forces in Yemen as they were considered too close to Nasser and potentially communist.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Years ago, a Congressional committee subpoenaed documents pertaining to a project I was working on. My boss and I made the rounds, interviewing high-powered D.C. attorneys. One particularly feisty litigator, Stanley Brand, advocated scorched-earth resistance. All the others merely suggested playing for time. To a man, though, every one of them warned us not to even think of destroying documents. You can go to prison for that.

    If Rep. Trey Gowdy’s claim is proven true, that Hillary Clinton deleted emails after Oct. 28, 2014 when the State Department demanded her files, she’s got a much bigger problem than a stagnant campaign. Destroying evidence is a career-ending criminal offense. Even with the legal impunity of political royalty, it can lead to disbarment.

    1. Gareth

      Scott Walker, as Governor, had his staff destroy a hard drive that had been subpoenaed by John Doe investigators. He got away with it, arguing that the drive had been damaged during routine computer maintenance, with a screw driver and a hammer. It all depends on how much clout you have. Millions of dollars for lawyers and a some bought-off judeges can work miracles. These people don’t live by the same rules that you and I do.

        1. Hellary

          Well, it’s Bill. You remember the dress? Ever since the internet came about he spends lots of time in my office, where the servers are located, browsing the internet.

          I don’t want to get into too much detail, you understand, but lets say that Bill may have been responsible

          He’ll put that cigar anywhere.

        2. optimader

          of course the wink-nod absurdity is that at the bare minimum the “official” email” of the SofS is not archived on mirrored server harddrives that the average14yo could pick out at Computer Depot can set up in an hour.
          Great example of the awesome techno-power of the office of SofS that is administrating life/death policy decisions, right? ” that drone launch directive didn’t get confirmed? Give me a sec, I’ll just check my junkmail file! Oh, here it is with linkin frriendme and chinese widget sales emails…mmmm, oopsie I think I just deleted everything!”

          I wonder which other cabinet level offices are so professionally administered?
          Time to start spooling up the odious subpoena-plea bargain BS.

      1. Ned Ludd

        A hammer? I wonder what other tools his staff used for computer “repair”. Staple guns? Pneumatic nailers? Sawzalls?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Anyone who has a magnetic personality will also have that problem.

            Also, never adopt a dog that has eaten previous owner’s homework.

          2. optimader

            her formatting consultants
            Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros –

            HRC’s doom is that she is very vain and indulges herself with waaaaaaay too much self attribution shit talk .I can barely watch her being interviewed.
            I can only imagine her email trail was a train wreck in this regard, hence the flunky w/ the neodymium screwdriver tidying up the more offensive 1s & 0 s

    2. Andrea1

      What am I missing or misunderstanding about the H. Clinton e-mail scandal?

      From the naive outside, it would appear that if all (or the bulk, whatever) of her e-mail was ‘private’ on her own personal server, the State Dept. had no register of it, no access to it, and just no (or few) e-mails to or from H. C. This was not a problem? It was not noticed, or let go, considered normal? Very strange. No wonder she just shrugs it off as nothing to see here.

      Anyone sending her e-mail or receiving some would see something like *h.clinton@privateserverXZY765* (insert whatever it would be, look like) as opposed to ** (or whatever it would be, I just typed that out on spec and lo and behold it is underscored as an existing address.)

      Granted, many ppl would have noticed nothing, or would have noticed a ‘difference’ but thought nothing of it. She is special, after all. But what about anyone in the know, security types, the diligent and curious, not to mention her opponents or enemies, all those in Gvmt. who knew the rules and would note such an oddity or violation?

      1. participant-observer-observed

        It must be naive to think no one has copies of the deleted emails, especially if they were “private.”

        CIA, Mossad, Wikileaks, GOP, Microsoft, Verizon; the more interesting question is who does not have them!

        1. optimader

          Considering that most email by convention is at minimum a bilateral interaction, I’d think Team Hillary must be thinking about the status of said deleted emails archived w/ other parties involved in the more interesting interactions. I’d also speculate some of the most Fantastic ones are emails she sent to herself!… “Dear Diary,…”

          Bottom line, figure that anything that gets injected into the interntz when you press Send will forever leave a virtual trail of breadcrumbs back to its home.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          She said in her very defensive press conference (basically) that her recipients at State have copies, so why is this a biggie?

          The problem is she claimed (I listened carefully) that the recipients were all at State. Hogwash. As the Secretary of State, she at a minimum communicates regularly with people at Defense and probably Treasury too (terrorist finance).

          Any FOIA of her would normally be directed to State and would get it all. Now you have the mind-numbingly difficult task of looking all over the friggin’ Administration. And what about official communications to people outside the US government, like foreign ambassadors, for starters?

        3. hidflect

          That opens her up to blackmail then.

          “Madame Clinton! As a very good friend I will be sure to delete that email you sent me about approving arms shipments to those anti-Assad forces who turned out to be the ISIS rebels that executed those Americans. Now.. about your upcoming foreign policy stance declaring the West Bank settlements fully legal in the eyes of the USA..”

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      If Rep. Trey Gowdy’s claim is proven true, that Hillary Clinton deleted emails after Oct. 28, 2014 when the State Department demanded her files, she’s got a much bigger problem than a stagnant campaign.

      You’re right, but
      Assuming that even political Royalty couldn’t get away with this, then there is only one outcome; Trey Gowdy’s claim will simply never be proven or it will be proven at the bottom of a very deep and narrow shaft just prior to a cave-in. They key differences to the warnings given to the project you were working on as relates to Hillary’s alleged deletion of public emails are, “Years ago” and “political royalty” and there has been sufficient shifting of the ballast toward corruption on a massive scale in the interim as well as an inside acceptance of American Royalty (the flowers of said corruption) so that it will be arranged thus: your assertion will never be tested and thus never contradicted.

      Think, for instance, of Clapper and perjury: -from Jonathan Turley’s blog (Notes From America’s Animal Farm…)

      You may recall that when Clapper appeared before the Senate, he was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.”

      We now know that was a lie. Later, Clapper admitted to giving a false answer to Congress but explained that his testimony was “the least untruthful” statement he could make. Yet, of course, that would still make it an untrue statement — which most people call a lie and lawyers call perjury. Indeed, when Roger Clemens was prosecuted for untrue statements before Congress, he was not told of the option to tell the least untrue statement on steroid use.

      We have come a long ways in the last fifteen years, since the constitution was used for something other than wipes for royal asses.

      You are meticulous, well researched, not prone to hyperbole (except for you humor) and have a nasty habit of being right, but the idea of Hillary even being significantly slowed down by this seems to defy the way gravity now works in Washington.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        And speaking of hyperbole, is it even constitutional to say negative things about the queen before she has finished her second term?

  3. Ned Ludd

    Syriza continues to shift to the right. “Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis told China’s official Xinhua news agency that Athens will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, a flip-flop from its previous position.”

    From Thursday’s Links, I highly recommend “Lies and Deceptions on the Left: The Politics of Self Destruction”.

    In all these countries faced with difficult times, the middle class leaders of the Left feared the problem (capitalist crisis) and feared the real solution (radical transformation). Instead they turned to the ‘only solution’: they approached capitalist leaders and sought to convince business associations and, above all their financial overlords, that they were ‘serious and responsible politicians’, willing to forsake social agendas and embrace fiscal discipline. For domestic consumption, they cursed and threatened the elites, providing a little theater to entertain their plebian followers, before they capitulated!

    In 2009, Ezra Klein defended Obama’s socialism-to-save-capitalism. “In the case of the financial crisis, socialist policies were understood as the alternative to the collapse of capitalism… This has been, at least in the Obama administration’s estimation, socialism-to-save-capitalism, which rather distinguishes it from the project of more traditional socialists.”

    1. James Levy

      When one group of people own and control everything in society not directly under government control, it is mighty hard to rule without them. This is why right-wing parties are the natural rulers of society; it’s not that the Left “doesn’t want to govern”, as has been thrown around on this site, but that the Left has to either govern with those who already own and control most of society or they have to displace them, and nowhere is there a consensus to displace them. If you’re the Labour Party in Britain and you move into Number 10, you will see that the land, the banks, and the corporations are owned and controlled by perhaps 10,000 people, and they are well aware of what their interests are. You can either divide them (tough but at times it works), negotiate with them, capitulate to them, or dispossess them. Those are the options. If they are feeling particularly paranoid or angry, then you are faced with a crisis of governance, and most of the time if you live under the rule of law and support the idea that people have a right to the things they own then you’re over a barrel and will have to give in. Leon Blum was a really nice guy and ostensibly a Socialist but when he needed to boost armaments production in the run-up to World War II he knew he could either follow the path of least resistance by giving the capitalists what the wanted (an end to the 8 hour day and a rounding up and silencing of the “troublemakers”) or he could take them on directly and face a repeat of what was happening in Spain at that very moment. He turned on the working class and gave the capitalists what they wanted and they gave him his weapons. I don’t like this reality, but it clearly is the reality we live in.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        My remarks on this topic are based on the views of DC insiders. They say that the left does nothing to prepare for governing. They do not identify and develop young people with potential, do not track them into roles where they get experience. It’s every man for himself, unlike the right, which is systematic in developing farm teams out of which they have a very deep group to select and advance leaders of all sorts. The additional, considerable advantage of that approach is that the people who are being developed for bigger roles have shared understanding and experience as to how to get things done, so they collaborate far better than the left. Left-leaning people in positions of power don’t even do things that don’t involve planning and organizing, like mentoring, while that is common on the right.

        The beef is literal: the left takes no steps to prepare to govern. This is consistent with what Richard Kline argued in an earlier post, that progressives merely want to be morally correct and win arguments and are squeamish about exercising power. And he also debunks your “the right is too powerful” argument:

        1. Ned Ludd

          In every leftist group I participated in, there was one person who derailed any attempt at effective action, often with bizarre non sequiturs. I once got publicly berated for successfully fundraising for a group. The person berating me stammered about, and they finally proclaimed that the group was against money and therefore fundraising was off-limits.

          This person later followed a very establishment-friendly career path.

          It only takes one person to derail a group. Then you get a vicious cycle where motivated people leave, and the group becomes hopelessly useless. Over time, the entire left has become dominated by these useless groups.

            1. hunkerdown

              Nailed it. Individualistic societies don’t do a very good job of considering the commons, especially after a dozen or two generations of breeding awareness of the commons out of the working class.

        2. Andrew Watts

          It wasn’t always that way nor was it a perfect system. Senator Moynihan’s “farm team” produced more than a few neo-conservatives that have caused nothing but trouble for this country. The results aren’t always disastrous though. I’m fairly certain I recall hearing that Jeff Merkley gained experience working as a congressional aide under Senator Hatfield before he was at the CBO.

            1. optimader

              This is an archived piece written by a researcher, Linda Minor that peels the Condi Rice – Bush-Clinton onion. A fascinating piece of work when she was w/ SandersResearch will probably be the deepest reading on her you’ll find.

              June 16, 2004
              Can We Handle the Truth?
              Part two: Who Created Condi Rice?
              By Linda Minor

              ….Condoleezza Rice, who was selected to work for the first Bush
              administration, as well as the current one, thus constitutes a
              component of a network that supports, and in turn is supported by,
              the Bush political agenda. By focusing on the institutions funding
              Condi Rice throughout her life we may ultimately gain a clearer
              picture of how those institutions fit within the decades-old Bush
              family network. If successful, we may also get a glimpse of what this
              network plans to do in the future.

              Condis talents were recognised when she was very young by successful
              members of the community of which she became a part, and those
              talents were amplified by concentrating resources into her
              educational development and providing remuneration for her
              achievements in the form of fellowships and professional career
              opportunities. These professional plumsas those of us who have
              struggled hard to find gainful employment well knowdo not always
              grow on trees; that is, not unless those trees are located within a
              well-cultivated orchard. While reading this essay, the reader should
              be able to picture Condi walking through such an orchard, and being
              handed ripe plums as she strolls from one tree to another. The reader may wonder to whom that orchard belongs….


              I’m sure part one is archived out there somewhere, I’m glad I found this copy to refresh my bookmark

              1. optimader

                …A Patsy Picks a Plum

                With this background in mind, consider that Prescott Bush and the
                elder George Bush have acted as political fronts for this network
                which assumed power within the American government at the same time
                that the Federal Reserve System became law. The full force of that
                power was used to administer Americas role in the war that followed.
                The Bush family has rendered loyal service to this network, as will
                be shown in subsequent essays. Why would Meyers successors, now
                controlling CBS and the Washington Post, now abandon a member of the
                family they helped put into political power? To answer that question
                we must return to the orchard which nourished Condoleezza
                Ricestudied here only as a member of that network, rather than as
                the national security expert she has been touted as.

                In an earlier piece we posed the question: Is Condoleezza Rice a
                patsy? In the world of psychological operations (psyops), a patsy
                refers to a decoy deliberately inserted into a psyop to deflect
                attention away from a team performing a special activity (such as an
                assassination or coup ditat), thus allowing the team time to escape
                unnoticed while the patsy takes the blame. Psyop is a word used in
                intelligence circles to describe the entire operation, including a
                cover-up by media, designed to manipulate psychologically the belief
                mechanisms of the nation for political reasons.

                It appears that Condi was groomed most of her life to be used in this
                way. She is not an actual decision maker, but a mere shield, as is
                her boss, George W. Bush. They have served their purpose by getting
                America involved in the war in Iraq. They are now disposable. In
                future essays we will study the opposition candidate, John Kerry, and
                find that he, too, was spawned by this same network. Can we handle
                the truth that American elections are, therefore, meaningless?

                The plums we will describe here can be identified from reading
                Condis curriculum vitae, ignoring all the contrived spin.
                Notwithstanding her high marks at university and other impressive
                awards, her credentials are weak. She has never been in a role that
                required her to make decisions. At her appearance before the 911
                Commission, she reiterated time and again: But no one told us we
                needed to DO anything. She was accustomed to taking orders and not
                asking questions. Further examination into each aspect of her resume
                should help us discover who created the current National Security
                Advisor. By examining her cv, her walk in the orchard, we can see the
                interaction of interests and capital that led her from early days at
                the piano to the right hand of George W. Bush…..

        3. James Levy

          You are mistaking the Democrats for the Left and ignoring the obvious historical examples I cite. You are also ignoring the fact that the Left would have no such abundance of sinecures to “ripen” their talent. And you provide no causal agent for why the Right does one thing and the Democrats another. Not a very powerful rejoinder.

    2. B. Examiner

      “In the case of the financial crisis, socialist policies were understood as the alternative to the collapse of capitalism… “ Ezra Klein via Ned Ludd

      More accurately: Socialism for the rich was needed to save a system based on socialism for the rich at the expense of the poor, aka “capitalism.”

  4. craazyboy

    “Stanley Fisher’s Faulty Logic On Higher Fed Interest Rates CEPR”

    Or, might as well be
    “CEPR’s Faulty Logic On Higher Fed Interest Rates CEPR”

    More Econ 101 blather which may or may not be applicable to a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

    1. susan the other

      I missed Stanley Fischer in the CEPR title in the article by Dean Baker. (?) Is he being blamed as the leader of the position that will certainly go down? Since: There is no growth. The global economy and all its tributaries have reached a point of no more profit. So that means no more interest. But the silver lining is that we can now, since we don’t know any other way to go forward, pour as much money down a rathole as we want. Interest rates are pointless. A good rat hole is what should be required by law. Who cares how many billions the world pours into environmental cleanup and pollution prevention? In terms of capitalism, that’s money down a rathole. And good riddance. Since it will never produce the inflation that destroys people, only the inflation that destroys privateers. The thing known as “profit” or gain or return or any other nonsensical euphemism for pillage has run its course. That money, which had been frantically reinvested to produce more profit, is now recognized to be counterproductive. Too bad. And the balancing factor, the good thing here, is that we really need a sink hole into which we pour all our idiotic “inflation” (aka wage inflation) so that should be the restoration of the environment.

      1. craazyboy

        The link was wrong – it went to the Dean Baker article. You have to do a search on
        “Stanley Fisher’s Faulty Logic On Higher Fed Interest Rates CEPR”
        to get to the article…that has that title.

  5. Jim Haygood

    From ‘NYT publishes call to bomb Iran’:

    The Times’ article by John Bolton, a neocon scholar from the American Enterprise Institute, was entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” It followed the Post’s op-ed by Joshua Muravchik, formerly at AEI and now a fellow at the neocon-dominated School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins.

    Let’s make it an MSM trifecta with this important contribution from Fox News:

    The U.N. Human Rights Council wrapped up its latest session in Geneva on Friday, March 27 by adopting four resolutions condemning Israel. That’s four times more than any of the other 192 UN member states.

    Four resolutions on Israel. And one on Iran. Where there is no rule of law, no free elections, no freedom of speech, corruption is endemic, protestors are jailed and tortured, religious minorities are persecuted, and pedophilia is state-run.

    As usual, this pro-Israel advertorial doesn’t even address the substance of the UN resolutions. It merely slimes the sponsors as unfit to comment.

    And who is the author of this tendentious screed, one Anna Bayefsky? ‘Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust.’

    Yep … nobody here but us objective, dispassionate observers with no ax to grind, scribbling for the MSM to help our best, most important ally on earth. It’s doin’ Yahweh’s work.

  6. Keenan

    RE: Intelligent robots:

    The author writes:
    For example, if we were to allow sentient machines to commit injustices on one another — even if these ‘crimes’ did not have a direct impact on human welfare — this might reflect poorly on our own humanity.

  7. Jeremy Grimm

    @Lead prosecutor apologizes — While I sympathize and agree with Attorney Stroud’s shame and anguish for the part he played as a 33-year old prosecutor of Glenn Ford; while I sympathize and agree with his self-judgment ” … as a young 33-year-old prosecutor, I was not capable of making a decision that could have led to the killing of another human being.” The very first question I must ask is where was the judge? I don’t believe a 50 or 60 year-old judge is any better at “making a decision that could have led to the killing of another human being” but what happened to the role of the judge in assuring that defendants get a fair trial?

    The processes of advocacy are supposed to lead to a best approximation of the “Truth” of things. Our present system can no longer rightly claim to be an advocacy process. The mindless thrust of quantitative measures over qualitative measures in our “justice” System has degraded the entire system. The contest of advocates in seeking “Truth” has become just another game to win as captured in Attorney Stroud’s admission “I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Worse still, the notions of advocacy bless winning as justice allowing those with less ability at introspection than Attorney Stroud to smugly drink to both their victory and the service of justice. What kind of culture have we become that the quality of our “justice” can be measured on a balance sheet counting wins and loses?

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      The truth of your comment is embedded in the very fact that the SC allowed the death penalty to be reintroduced into our judicial system. Such an act of hubris is in itself contradictory to the concept of justice.

    2. Foy

      Yep, sadly everything is a competition…

      I think Attorney Stroud’s letter should form a part of every Ethics subject in legal courses going forward (do they still have Ethics as a subject?). I’m not sure I’ve read anything like it before. I’ve always found it amazing that when it is subsequently found that an innocent man was convicted, the prosecutors/police/judges etc involved seem to have little or no regret for their poor actions or empathy for the convicted, if they were responsible for it. And then, as in the Glenn Ford case, they disgustingly fight his compensation every step of the way after 30 years in prison.

      Stroud’s letter shows more than anything else how our opinions and view of life can change profoundly as we age and can lead to enormous regret (for those with a heart) and unseen consequences at the time of action or opinion. Very hard to teach that, but studying his letter would be one way to do it. He is clearly tormented by his failure and lack of perspective as a young 33yo prosecutor but now has had the courage to says so. His expression says it all. For someone with a conscience his situation must be a difficult thing to live with, those without quickly move on with their lives it seems. And it’s incredible that Glenn Ford apparently bears no bitterness towards those responsible for his incarceration (his expression is profound as well). That’s Mandela like. A far better man than me…

  8. cwaltz

    It’s been funny to read the “Christians” whining about the intolerance being heaped upon them by those that support the LGBT community. I guess they missed the whole entire “reap what you sow” portion of the Bible. If you behave in a way that supports intolerance towards a particular portion of humanity then you shouldn’t be surprised that other people can act as you do towards YOU. Bless their poor little hearts.

  9. Brucie Bruce

    Self-awareness does not imply a survival instinct, nor necessarily an awareness of death.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I can see someone suicidal as an example of self-awareness without a survival instinct, but are there other examples?

      1. hunkerdown

        Beg to differ. Suicidality’s not a lack of survival instinct, so much as said instinct succumbing to other, more intensely personal concerns. Martyrdom is much the same thing, but with transcendent concerns taking the place of the personal ones, if only apparently and posthumously. Then there’s the question of whether survival “instinct” is adaptive for any particular situation.

    2. abynormal

      Mercy when it doesn’t…ignored fear/stress And suicide prevail

      How many roads you’ve traveled
      How many dreams you’ve chased
      Across sand and sky and gravel
      Looking for one safe place

      Will you make a smoother landing
      When you break your fall from grace
      Into the arms of understanding
      Looking for one safe place

      Life is trial by fire
      And love’s the sweetest taste
      And I pray it lifts us higher
      To one safe place

      How many roads we’ve traveled
      How many dreams we’ve chased
      Across sand and sky and gravel
      Looking for one safe place

      Marc Cohn

  10. docg

    “I’d be seriously not happy with the idea that I would die a permanent death.”

    “Nothing that is can ever cease to be.” Parmenides.

    1. EmilianoZ

      μή, φίλα ψυχά, βίον ἀθάνατον
      σπεῦδε, τὰν δ᾿ ἔμπρακτον ἄντλει μαχανάν.

      Do not yearn, O my soul, for immortal life!
      Use to the utmost the skill that is yours.


  11. Greenguy

    If anything this shows that, especially in non-core states without major natural resource exports, leftist reformism is a bankrupt strategy. Syriza is capitulating because in the choice between radical rupture with the EU and capitalism, it has blinked and chosen the German noose instead of EU exit, collectivizations and democratization of the economy.

    If the Syriza’s left faction has any support it would move to rally the population and force a leadership vote that ousts Tsipras and the reformists or, if not, it would split and campaign against Syriza’s reformist faction.

    1. ambrit

      Agreed. The danger is that this plays directly into the hands of the ‘right wing’ parties. The Eurocrats may believe that a divided Greece will be easy to rule, but, divided for how long? Far Left groups can make common cause with centre right parties on a Nationalist platform. “First we save the Nation. Then we squabble about the details.”
      The real danger lies in the Eurocrats forcing Syriza into a shotgun marriage with far right groups in the interests of “stability” and “progressivism.”
      I’m still holding to my prediction of Civil War by early 2016.

  12. Richard

    If the Little Ice Age article is valid science, why was it not published in a peer reviewed science journal.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Most of VoxEU’s articles are summaries of articles that are or are expected to be published. And economics articles are peer reviewed.

    2. PF

      There may be more to it than the VoxEU blurb covers. It probably could be published in a peer-reviewed economics journal. It probably couldn’t be published in an earth science journal. Nor could one publish a work of amateur economics in an earth science journal. Anecdotes about about freezing rivers etc, and the rather impressive advances of alpine glaciers carried more weight before the 1960s, such as in the works of Lamb. More modern data from palynology, stable isotopes, sediment cores, tree rings etc take front stage now. The authors don’t seem to be aware of the high degree of serial correlation in climate data, which calls for different analysis techniques.

      The WMO defines climate series in terms of a running 30-yr average. So anything that takes multiple years in a 25-year running average is climate, by definition. It makes a difference to human societies, even if someone says, “Oh, it;s just a Slutsky effect!”

      Climate scientists are used to having economists dropping by to explain things, though usually it’s someone from the Hoover Institution, or the “Freakonomics” guys.

    3. hunkerdown

      Absolutely no system that depends on rents can be trusted to act in the public interest. Not one, not ever.

      Try again without an appeal to authority?

  13. ProNewerDeal

    Would it be possible for some US House Reps to threaten impeachment for Treason against any TPP supporters, including 0bama, JohnB0ner, etc, on these 2 grounds:

    1. It is Treason to give up US Constitution-defined power delegated to the US Congress to a private cartel of 3-person private pseudo-judges that are corruptly owned by un-democratic, unaccountable Oligopolistic MegaCorps.

    2. The process where the TPP is hidden or partially hidden from most Congresspersons, and definitely hidden from the citizen voters & the media, is also possibly Un-Constitutional.

    Could a lawyer, with expertise on the US Constitution, and how the mechanics (“sausage making”) of the US Congress & Exec branches are legally supposed to operate, comment on if Impeachment could be a legally valid tactic. (Note: I realize that legal validity would be a necessary yet insufficient factor without Actual Courage from a Congressperson, to actually publically accuse that Emperor 0bama & his kabuki fake-enemy colleagues like JohnB0ner have no clothes).

    1. Eureka Springs

      It’s a great question people keep asking but nobody dares say yes it is treasonous. Probably because if the answer is yes, then one will quickly have to realize we have long past that bar on multi-systemic levels. My question is if it isn’t treasonous, then what would be?

      We already have so much secrecy. Secret FISA courts, all sorts of secret intel agencies, pervasive secrecy at just about all areas of Gov’t, secret law, secret budgets. Congress seems to prefer not knowing as much if not more so than they don’t want us to know.

      1. ambrit

        At this point, any effective counter measures are ‘illegal’ and proscribed. The accent, do notice, is on “effective.”

  14. Gladio

    The Boston Marathon cleanup crew is hard at work. When the criminal masterminds shot MIT campus cop Collier, the Officer Tippit of Boston, his buddy Dick Donohue got there right away. Then Dick Donohue got shot by a lawman. Go figure. That big gunfight, nobody else on the blue team got hit. Another cop, John Moynihan, saved Donohue’s life to the usual mawkish acclaim. Career-limiting move. Moynihan just got his brains blown out by a corny desperado.

  15. Jeremy Grimm

    I am having trouble entering comments. The field for website no longer shows until I enter a comment. I had been entering a comment and immediately editing the comment to add the website information. Most recently I entered a comment and nothing came up to edit. I waited for about a quarter hour and tried again but now was warned by WordPress that I was entering a duplicate to my earlier comment which as far as I could tell didn’t get into the comments hopper.

    I’m running with Firefox on an older install of Ubuntu – 10.4. I recently used Ghost to shut off all trackers after having my browser lock up waiting for the growing list of trackers to respond on this and really on most sites. Please advise. Chances are this comment won’t show up so I guess I intend it for your webmaster if this comment shows up anywhere at your end.

    Also I would leave some trackers and counters open for your website if I knew which ones counted in your favor or if all help you I could whitelist your site. Some of the other sites though are quite problematic. The Times had so many trackers and counter I finally quit going there to scan through their headlines (besides the headlines there seem more and more out of touch with what’s really going on in the world.)

    I was able to add the URL information!

    1. hunkerdown

      Ubuntu 10.04?! Bloody hell, you’ve got less than a month before that release goes off LTS and you’re in the same unsupported boat as people still running XP. Please, if you can, please update.

      Anyway, what’s happening is that, since WordPress’s comments engine is not particularly robust or efficient code, your comment submission takes a few seconds to get into the database and Cloudflare doesn’t get the page containing it in time to serve it as a *timely* response to your post. Because your #comment-9999 fragment isn’t ready just yet, you land at the top of the page rather than where you expected. Try counting to ten and reloading that very page; the cache will likely be fresh enough by then.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      We no longer have a field for URL information.

      1. It is used almost solely by spammers

      2. We have found that URL entries can crash the entire site. It takes me over an hour each time, working with the webhost, to strip them out manually, comment by comment, the few minutes the site is up, to clear the problem up.

      We don’t display URLs when comments are posted, so there is NO point in having them and lots of downside to us. If you can add them, there is something seriously wrong.

  16. EmilianoZ

    If I were smart enough to be self aware, I’d be seriously not happy with the idea that I would die a permanent death.


    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.

    Roy Batty

    1. optimader

      This final R. Batty monologue was a quintessential career moneyshot for Rutker Hauer.

      I’ve often thought this would be a great banner for a blog.

Comments are closed.