Links 4/1/15

Backpacking birds prove long-shot theory Globe and Mail (Andrew S)

Woman, 38, Flashes Google Street View Camera, Crosses Off Item On Her Bucket List Smoking Gun (Tim F)

Name Calling Lapham’s Quarterly (Dr. Kevin)

Antarctica records unprecedented high temperatures in two new readings Guardian

Biopolymer Derived From Crustaceans Could Combat Military Mortalities Chemical & Engineering News (furzy mouse)

Russell Brand: ‘The Reason Fox News Can’t Talk About Mental Illness Is Because Fox News Causes It’ Alternet

Cops: Uber Driver Took Woman to Airport then Went Back to Rob Her House Gawker

Reserves in emerging markets shrink Financial Times

China’s Big Stock Market Rally Is Being Fueled by High-School Dropouts Bloomberg (EM)

The Podemos revolution: how a small group of radical academics changed European politics Guardian (Margarita)


What Austerity Looks Like Inside Greece New Yorker

A mishap should not seal Greece’s fate Martin Wolf, Financial Times. Includes some ideas on a managed Grexit.

Greek talks stymied Reuters

Markets are Likely to Shrug Off a Greek Tragedy MarketPulse

No ‘bad thing’ if Greece leaves euro: Warren Buffett CNBC


Howling in Donetsk Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch

US Military Will Train Neo-Nazis In Ukraine DSWright, Firedoglake


Obama Personally Tells the Egyptian Dictator that U.S. Will Again Send Weapons (and Cash) to his Regime Intercept

U.N. Warns of ‘Total Collapse’ in Yemen as Houthis Continue Offensive New York Times

The War Nerd: To lighten the mood, here’s the cheery tale of Dammaj Pando (bob)

Deciphering the Mideast Chaos Consortiumnews (furzy mouse)

A bold new Arab vision…for 2009 Washington Post (Chuck L)

The Great Game in Afghanistan (Twenty-First-Century Update) TomDispatch (Bob H)

How Gates the Foundation and Western Countries Are Plotting to Take Control of Africa’s Agriculture Alternet (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

After Snowden, The NSA Faces Recruitment Challenge NPR

Facebook tracks all site vistors, violating EU law, report says ITWorld

U.S. Supreme Court: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure Atlantic

Southern District of NY: Defamation Suit Dismissed, State Secrets Cited New Zealand Herald (Nikki)

Judge Rejects Panetta Review FOIA Because Review Is True Marcy Wheeler

Imperial Collapse Watch

The U.S.: Inept Diplomacy, Indispensable Currency Angry Bear

Stop Smoking the Democrack Counterpunch

Benghazi panel summons Clinton Washington Examiner (Jim Haygood). OMG, the panel that couldn’t find a real scandal has one drop in its lap!

White House hopefuls test limits on political donations Financial Times (Jeff S)

Arkansas passes Indiana-style ‘religious freedom’ bill criticised as anti-gay Guardian

Walmart attacks Arkansas religious freedom bill for sending ‘wrong message Guaridan

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney Private Equity Funds Pay Extra Fees To Compliance Chief (MC). A particularly ham-handed form of private equity grifting.

Class Warfare

Welcome to Ohio State, Where Everything Is for Sale (chinabeach) Chronicle of Higher Education

Every young person should see the Fed’s startling numbers on student debt Sovereign Man (EM)

Even After Walmart Got Busted in Court for Stealing Workers’ Wages, It’s Trying Not to Pay Up Alternet

‘Wealth creators’ are robbing our most productive people George Monbiot, Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Making the Rich and Powerful Work for Everyone Ian Welsh

Antidote du jour:

cute_horse links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    Hillary-gate … you would think that someone who participated in the Watergate hearings, would know better than to keep any records of their activity at all, let alone keep them illegally, provide only redacted copies, and leaving gaps in what is turned over. Nixon did all of this with more primitive technology.

    Boehner should demand the physical server be turned over … because the CIA can recover the data … provided that it wasn’t proprietarily encrypted … in which case the NSA can help. Commercial email encryption, we can assume, already has an NSA back door. But Boehner is all show and no go.

    1. hidflect

      If the server was wiped to DoD standards (which is an option in most common wiping software) which overwrites every sector 27 times then no data will ever be recovered.

      1. Disturbed Voter

        In my corner of the DoD … for PCs that are going to be reused internally, we reformat the hard-drive, but we use a strong magnetic device to eliminate data from hard-drives that are not going to be reused … and that is for non-classified. For classified hard-drives you engage in actual physical destruction. Much of the official business she was doing, would have been classified, and you don’t even process that on ordinary hardware, but on hardware approved for classified use.

        As far as treating all government employees alike … our cleaning ladies have their own PC workstations, but they don’t handle anything classified or sensitive … and they aren’t running for President.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          They didn’t always destroy hard drives! A buddy of mine bought used NeXT computers from the NSA years ago, in the mid 1990s. They of course did have their hard drives in them.

          He said they were the cleanest machines he ever saw.

          1. ozajh


            Someone stuffed up badly at NSA, then.

            When I worked at the (Australian) DOD, my last job was in Network Support for an Unclassified (OK, Restricted, which is the same thing in DOD-speak) development network. Whenever we disposed of hardware, the FIRST thing we did was pull out the Disk Drive(s) which were then either retained as spares or boxed up and sent to a crusher.

            As I suspect is not uncommon in large organisations, we made do with a lot of warranty-expired ex-Production kit, especially servers. I have clear memories of scrounging around for Disk Drives whenever we inherited a server from a system classified above Restricted, because it would always arrive empty.

            We had the same policy as Disturbed Voter describes, only even more so. Reformat if reusing (and not reducing Classification); physically destroy otherwise or when in doubt.

    2. wbgonne

      Here’s what I would do to investigate. I’d call Hillary in for a transcribed, under-oath interview (which is happening, I believe) and I would get from her the names of all the people she regularly emailed while at State. I would then subpoena the Hillary emails from all of those people.

      1. Jim Haygood

        I would talk to her IT people — the ones who [according to Hillary’s lawyer David Kendall] reset the server to delete emails after 60 days. Did they really do that less than six months ago, as Rep. Trey Gowdy claims? On whose orders? Where are the server backups from before that date?

        Hillary Milhous Clinton is making the same mistake as her nemesis Nixon, stonewalling and tampering with evidence to the point that the cover-up looms larger than the original offense (if any). She’s doing a great job of keeping this uncomfortable issue on a low boil, as it slowly fulminates.

        1. wbgonne

          Well, that’s also so. Team Hillary may well have destroyed evidence in a pending investigation. But I am looking for ways to retrieve the emails she deleted. IMO, this story won’t engulf Clinton unless some incriminating content emerges. As you say, the story won’t end, it will remain at a low boil (and I already see Clinton’s poll numbers falling significantly) as things stand. And, yes, Hillary reminds me very much of Nixon. Paranoid, self-pitying and defensive.

          1. DanB

            This has the same texture as Mitt Romney refusing to make his tax returns public: it will simmer as a rallying point as Hillary’s numerous nemeses use it to illustrate her deceptiveness, haughtiness and potential corruption; this opens the door slightly more for a Draft Warren move.

        2. reslez

          Evidence of what, though? This is a whole lot of hot air. The main issue for me is privatizing the communications of a high government official (to put it in Lambert terms). It’s standard in corporate IT to establish a retention policy and delete everything past an arbitrarily-decided age on a rolling basis. Including backups. It’s nothing to do with hiding evidence (that is just a side benefit). A motivating factor is the explosion in electronic data and corresponding costs of discovery whenever there’s litigation. If you have a policy in place you vastly minimize the amount of stuff available to discover. It’s perfectly accepted in the legal world, and though it may seem shady to a layperson it’s commonplace. As for officials and politicians using private emails, well this appears to be a popular strategy to avoid discovery. While you and I may dislike it, it’s a stretch to call out one politician when they all do it. I think you need evidence of wrongdoing before you can call out a coverup. In Stewart’s case, there was alleged wrongdoing and the coverup was simply easier to prove in court. In Clinton’s case, all I hear is a lot of ??? and not much actual allegation.

          1. sleepy

            But the government isn’t a private business and those emails are ultimately property of the US government. And while private businesses may well have the policy you describe, the US government has a different policy which Hillary is expected to know and to abide by.

            And that policy is that those emails are archived, with access made available to future scholars and researchers.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        In Clinton Land…
        – Oral sex doesn’t count as Infidelity. (Bill)
        – Deleting old email doesn’t count as Destroying Evidence. (Hill)

        My suspicion is the emails Hellery wants to keep hidden are dealings with Clinton Global Initiative CEOs with topics about juicy Gubmint contracts.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          My theory is that it doesn’t matter whom we elect, because the aliens are really smart (smarter than us), and they don’t abduct just anybody, but our elected leaders, alter them and return to execute their orders.

    3. AQ

      I don’t understand why this is even an issue. Doesn’t the NSA already have it on their server farms?

      Any person Clinton communicated with in the government via a government email address would be backed up by the government… unless it’s not. Email across the wire is plain text unless both sides are using encryption software on all of their client side devices so unless the massive NSA internet sweeps are purposefully excluding people, I don’t really understand the problem as it pertains to Clinton individually. If, of course, the NSA is excluding people and the government itself is not backing up it’s data, then there’s a very big purposeful hole. Which may or may not be a good thing depending.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Have you missed that the NSA is not in the habit of responding to subpoenas? I can’t believe anyone is treating this as a serious line of discussion.

        1. AQ

          Trust me, I get it.

          But the drill-down issue ultimately has nothing to do with Clinton and her “personal” decisions (even if she’s at the heart of it right now) aka she can’t do that unless she had buy-in from the and approval from the top.

          I don’t like it. I don’t think any government official should be able to skirt the rules and if the NSA has the authority to scope up the info then it gets used by all. Again, I acknowledge today’s reality of FOIA. On the other hand, much of what we’re talking about doesn’t require NSA scope-up.

          Where are all of the emails to the other government officials? Why weren’t they automatically archived? How many other government officials are using non-government email addresses?

          Go after Clinton, fine. As long as one cleans house at the same time and does the same thing for every other government official/employee at all levels (federal, state, county, city/town). If not, then Clinton is nothing but a political distraction/freakshow.

          I, for one, am very tired of the lack of accountability but it’s been going on for decades and is only getting worse. If Clinton is nailed to the wall for this, will accountability for all be possible? If so, what’s necessary to push it all to all levels of government everywhere?

        2. AQ

          And I’m going to add my own PS.

          Recovering emails. There are two systems typically involved on a corporate level. One is the data retention on the email server application itself. The other is backup of the server itself. Delete an email from the application, it may be possible to recover that from the email database.

          Backups: In my experience, most companies do incremental backups. Meaning that they take a full server backup and then everyday they add the new day’s data aka snapshot. Just because the email is gone from the email application does not mean it’s gone from the backups. It may be but it may also be recreated by restoring the full backup and adding the daily incrementals and reviewing the log files. Very time intensive and no guarantee but to simply say it’s gone is inaccurate. Ask any email administrator who has had to recreate an email database after a critical failure or when they asked to track a specific employee’s messages.

          1. Jim Haygood

            At this point, even the log files — if they show that data was wiped after Oct. 24, 2014 when the State Dept first asked for the files — would constitute a smoking gun.

            When the government asks for records, and you start destroying them after the request, that’s asking for a jail term.

            1. wbgonne

              I might be mistaken but I expect that Team Hillary will say they complied with the State request by turning over the emails they did (State) and deleting the rest (personal). Unless there was a specific requirement that ALL emails be preserved (or disclosed) regardless of whether they related to State business, I think Clinton’s legal position won’t be affected by post-request destruction. It certainly smells worse and gets her deeper into Nixon-land, however.

      2. vidimi

        Any person Clinton communicated with in the government via a government email address

        and therein lies your failure. clinton’s most juicy conversations would have been with business leaders and foreign diplomats, not necessarily other employees at SD.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This is a ridiculous defense from a practical standpoint too.

          FOIAs are directed at specific agencies. They are not government-wide because (among other things), IT is not centralized across the government.

          So to get at Hillary’s communications, even within USG, you need to go to EVERY agency and have them search.

  2. wbgonne

    How Gates the Foundation and Western Countries Are Plotting to Take Control of Africa’s Agriculture Alternet (furzy mouse

    Beware neoliberals bearing gifts.

    And on a related topic, why aren’t pointed questions like those raised in the article being aimed directly at Gates, Clinton and the others running these neoliberal takeover foundations? The first step for thoughtful change is recognizing the problem. I read plenty of articles nowadays by poeople bemoaning these neoliberal money-grabs. So the first step has been achieved, at least in part. The next step, however, is to get from ethereal criticism into the faces of the human beings propagating these greed-addled policies, and that hasn’t even begun. Until the SuperRich begin to squirm, until they stop feeling safe and comfortable in their cocoons, they will continue to ravage the rest of the world at will. But how to make the oligarchs and their handmaidens squirm with pointed questions when we have a fully-corporatized mass media and an increasingly ignorant (by design, IMO) populace that is either uninterested, oblivious or in cahoots? Don’t we have a functioning news media any longer?

    1. Benedict@Large

      Don’t we have a functioning news media any longer?

      When did we? But to be more precise, Clinton sold it with his media consolidation, and yes, that would be the same Clinton who is now pocketing his fortune on it. We should have let the slime ball be impeached.

    2. hunkerdown

      The “impartiality” marketing schtick of the past century and a half was only an apparent aberration — they simply shifted their allegiance from local power centers to powerful interests in general. (Whig dharma!) Now we have the synthesis: news media that pretends to support local power centers but now works on behalf of oligarchy as a principle.

    3. tongorad

      Beware neoliberals bearing gifts.

      The most terrifying words in the english language: “I’m an investor and I’m here to help.”

  3. Jim Haygood

    “We feel this [religious freedom] legislation is counter to this core basic belief and sends the wrong message about Arkansas, as well as the diverse environment which exists in the state,” [WalMart] said in a statement.

    Minutes of the last meeting in Arkansas:

    1976 (January 1) – Sodomy (or buggery) ceases to be illegal in Arkansas due to legislative code reformation.

    1976 (February 12) – James (Sammy) Black and Willie Henderson engage in an act of fellatio while being held in the drunk tank of the Little Rock city jail. Attempts to prosecute them fail.

    1978 (March 28) – Governor David Pryor [Democrat] signs new law criminalizing sodomy.

    1985 (June 22) – The first annual lesbian/gay pride march, rally, and celebration takes place in Fayetteville, starting from the Federal Building and ending at Wilson Park.

    2002 (July 5) – Arkansas State Supreme Court in Jegley v. Picado et al. (2002) holds that Arkansas’s sodomy law is unconstitutional.

    2006 (June 29) – Arkansas State Supreme Court in Department of Human Services v. Howard et al. unanimously strikes down a ban on gays serving as foster parents.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Intolerance — It’s what Jesus would do (apparently). The Christian Taliban have arrived in the US.

      Sounds like a Repub playbook tactic to create a wedge issue for 2016. All is proceeding according to The Plan.

      1. different clue

        Well, if we had a New Deal Revival Party, which we don’t, the Plan wouldn’t work so well.

    2. sleepy

      Wal Mart’s sense of equality extends to the right to rip off wages of straight and gay employees alike.

  4. John Jones

    US Military Will Train Neo-Nazis In Ukraine

    Don’t the members of the U.S military that will train Neo-Nazis in Ukraine feel any sense of guilt?

    Can’t they object to training Neo-Nazis? It must be against some sort of military conduct they can point to
    in not having to do so.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Orders are orders. Like Adolf Eichmann, they’ll follow them or get court martialed.

      1. James Levy

        Well, yea, you’d get in trouble, but that’s one case the JAG would never allow to see a courtroom. You’d get a reprimand and that would end your career, but they’d never push it past that because the US government and the US Army do not want the beliefs or actions of our “allies” exposed in a court of law.

    2. Ned Ludd

      I went to school with a guy who, for a few years, spent much of his free time drawing swastikas and laying out plans for the coming Fourth Reich. He later became quiet about these views, but I imagine some of the ideology stayed the same, since he later joined the air force and “joked” about bombing innocent villages.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All the political correctness campaign does is to change the outer appearance, doing nothing about the heart or the root cause.

        Humans respect money (unfortunately) and to play that game, it means, ideally, we all have the same access, as members of the da People, to new money, as a first step.

        1. barrisj

          Doesn’t all of this remind one of the old “School of the Americas” era, where US Special Forces would train up battalion-level units of “security forces”, National Guard, “Presidential Guard”, whatever, from various Latin American countries under the thumb of brutal dictators or autocrats for the express purpose of waging war against their own respective people as part of the “war against Communism” in the Western Hemisphere. So today we see contingencies of Special Forces “trainers” in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and latterly in countries once part of the late Soviet Union (Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, et al), all with the intent of promoting a variety of objectives, many contradictory, as part of US “leadership”. “Creative Chaos” lives on, resolutely ignorant of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  5. diptherio

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year….

  6. fresno dan

    Name Calling Lapham’s Quarterly (Dr. Kevin)

    “Like a female llama surprised in her bath”

    I just don’t know what to make of that. How is that suppose to be an insult? But maybe I will start using it in heated exchanges on message boards:
    You sir, are as a female llama, taken by surprise as she bathes….

    Yes, yes, that will do nicely….

    1. abynormal

      hey buddy…”“This condemnation of technology is ingratitude, that’s what it is. Blind alley, though. If someone’s ungrateful and you tell him he’s ungrateful, okay, you’ve called him a name. You haven’t solved anything.” Pirsig, ZAMM

      …i hilariously ponder if Pirsig & Gonzo ever got within a foot of each other bahaahahaaa

      Breathe. Breathe in the Air. Don’t Be Afraid to Care.


      1. fresno dan

        Thats pretty good (video link) but I think if would actually have been an improvement and much MORE gonzo, if instead of “you godd*ma bast*ards) Thompson had substituted “you bathing llamas”
        I’m sure the people at the video store would have been quite flummoxed and possibly very frightened…

  7. Mark martin

    Seems it’s the same problem Hilary’s good friend Martha Stewart had. The coverup trips her up,

  8. Vatch

    “Even After Walmart Got Busted in Court for Stealing Workers’ Wages, It’s Trying Not to Pay Up Alternet”.

    Criminy! I guess the billionaire Walton siblings don’t have enough money.

    By the way, there’s an error, typo, or ambiguity in the linked article:

    “Walmart employees have over $187 in damages they can collect from a successful wage theft lawsuit, but the company is arguing that each victim should get their own lawyer.”

    Another article says this:

    “Individual workers could receive from about $500 to $5,000 or more, “depending on tenure” at the company, said Michael Donovan of Donovan Axler, lead attorney for the plaintiffs.”

    This is more than $187, but there’s still not going to be much left over for the employee after she or he pays legal fees, assuming Walmart is able to require each plaintiff to have his own lawyer.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Graccident looms larger:

    Germany’s Spiegel news magazine is reporting that Greece might not meet the €450m loan repayment due to the IMF next week.

    Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutzis has apparently told the paper that, without fresh bailout aid, Athens would be forced to miss this payment.

    Voutzis also warned that Greece only has enough money to last until mid-April, and would prioritise public sector wages and pensions if its creditors fail to release some of the €7.2bn aid currently being withheld.

    So I goes to the landlady,
    I said, “You let me slide?”
    I’ll have the rent for you tomorrow
    Or the next day, I don’t know

    So I said, let me slide it on you know people,
    I notice when I come home in the evening
    She ain’t got nothing nice to say to me

    But for five years she was so nice
    Lord, she was lovey-dovey

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Our global busy-ness:

    (we project our will globally)

    Compare that to China’s regional busy-ness:

    Asia Co-prosperity Ring, sorry, Infrastructure Investment Bank
    The New Silk Road

    It’s obviously they are just regional…a long, long, long way from taking sole possession of the ‘indispensable currency,’ and thereby making us work to earn it and watch over our fiscal spending or peg our sovereign money to theirs (can’t print as much as we want).

  11. Vatch

    Here’s a chilling article about Burundi that describes how overpopulation makes life worse for people. There is some hope, because some Burundians are realizing the need for effective family planning, but this could be too little, too late.

    In one of Africa’s most densely populated countries, brothers are killing brothers over the right to farm mere acres of earth. There’s just not enough land to go around in Burundi — and it could push the country into civil war.

    “At 10,745 square miles, Burundi is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland, but it holds nearly twice as many people: about 10 million, according to the U.N. Development Programme, or roughly 40 percent more than a decade ago. The population growth rate is 2.5 percent per year, more than twice the average global pace, and the average Burundian woman has 6.3 children, nearly triple the international fertility rate. Moreover, roughly half a million refugees who fled the country’s 1993-2005 civil war or previous ethnic violence had come back as of late 2014. Another 7,000 are expected to arrive this year.

    …in 1970 the average farm was probably between nine and 12 acres. Today, that number has shrunk to just over one acre. The consequence is remarkable scarcity: In the 2013 Global Hunger Index, Burundi had the severest hunger and malnourishment rates of all 120 countries ranked. “As the land gets chopped into smaller and smaller pieces,” McDonald says, “the pressure intensifies.”

  12. vidimi

    i like russell brand but i disagree with him blaming the germanwings massacre on mental illness. lubitz had to have been suicidal, but he didn’t just kill himself; he murdered in the first degree 149 people. those people and, by extension, their loved ones were not collateral damage in a desperate man’s suicide but were the targets of an evil decision to take as many people down with him as he could. the horror that those people went through in their final moments and their loved ones must now live with is heartbreaking.

    blaming this on mental illness or depression can only stigmatize further those people who suffer from them but don’t have any violent tendencies nor entitlement issues.

      1. vidimi

        as much as i would like to see big pharma get sued, this looks to have been premeditated beyond what you could attribute to a psychotic episode, which would be over in hours.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Anecdotal evidence is proof of possibility. If it happened, it can happen, and given long enough, will happen.

    1. hunkerdown

      Anything to disabuse yourself of even the possibility that you might do the same if it came down to it. Typical bourgeois posturing.

      1. vidimi

        spare me your buzzword trolling. i’ve had years of depression and never dreamt of taking it out on anyone else. this was an evil act planned over the course of weeks.

        1. spooz

          What gives you the idea that, because you suffer from depression, you know everything about how other people experience it? Your limited experience says little to nothing about how using and withdrawing from psychiatric drugs can effect another person. You’ve already proven you know nothing about psychosis. Your speculation is simplistic and biased.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China stock market bubble…high school dropouts.

    The sad fact is, college grads have done more harm to the world than high school dropouts.

    Atomic bomb research and development
    Inventing GMOs
    Cars bought in the last 100 years
    Financial weapons of mass destruction
    Nuclear power plant meltdowns
    Littering on Mt. Everest
    Best surveillance money can buy
    Neoliberal ideas only PhD can come up with

    1. hunkerdown

      The academy itself is far too precious to do anything useful for humanity as anyone outside the academy sees it. It’s time for them to return to a more monastic mode of living and leave us out of it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I would also challenge the elite university on this:

        It’s EZ take an A high school student and turn him into a B college student.

        But a really good university takes a C high school student and turn him/her into an A grad-school students.

        But, alas, the so-called ‘great schools’ take the EZ way out.

  14. shinola

    “Facebook tracks all site visitors…”
    This is the “well, duh” article for today.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From yesterday about McDonalds minimum wage.

    Two things:

    1. higher min. wage.
    2. higher minimum nutritional content per each Big Mac

    For every business, there are at least 3 parties:

    1. Employer/owner/management
    2 Workers/employers
    3. Customers/clients

    Thus, for example, profit sharing should be shared among
    A. Management
    B. Workers
    C. Customers.

    So, let’s not forget higher minimum nutritional content.

    This ties in with health care.

    Of course, they went after Big Tobacco for the cost of caring for sick smokers. Is there also a legal theory for high fructose corn syrup or GM foods? Or for insufficient ‘enlightenment’ among high school graduates – i.e. defective ‘educational’ products and product liability?

    1. Eureka Springs

      So, let’s not forget higher minimum nutritional content.

      I’m imagining McD’s line cooks slipping a supplemental pill/powder/slime under the cheese-like substance melted onto the meat like substance much like we might sneak worm medicine to dogs…. and calling it higher nutritional content. Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it….)

      1. reslez

        > I’m imagining McD’s line cooks slipping a supplemental pill/powder/slime under the cheese-like substance melted onto the meat like substance much like we might sneak worm medicine to dogs…. and calling it higher nutritional content.

        That’s essentially how all those “high in protein” “foods” are made. Take a look at the ingredient list and shudder. Whatever the latest food fad is, the manufacturers figure out the cheapest way to juke the nutrition panel on the label. I suspect the additives, like multivitamins, are almost useless in terms of actual nutrition.

  16. vidimi

    also, glad to see george monbiot featured in the links more often. i’ve been posting links to some of his columns in the comments from time to time.

    1. Chris in Paris

      +1 todays column was so edifying that I followed him on twitter. Brilliant writing.

    2. barrisj

      Monbiot has been railing for years at the “wide-boys, spivs, and chancers” ethos that has transformed the UK into a grasping plutocracy, with its nerve centre in The City, and whose manifest greed and acute selfishness has also resulted in economic inequality similar to that in America. But to no avail, as David Cameron, if returned to office, promises to double-down on “austerity”, extending the pain to the lower orders for several more years. Ah, whither Blighty?

      1. hunkerdown

        Perfidious Albion is perfidious. Vapid celebrity worship is built right into the culture and government. Run, Lot, run!

  17. Carla

    Re: Imperial Collapse Watch — I just finished reading “National Security and Double Government” by Michael J. Glennon, Tufts University Professor of International Law.

    This short (118-page) book explains exactly why U.S. foreign policy did not fundamentally change from the Bush to the Obama administrations, and is unlikely to change substantively under President Cruz or President Warren or President Clinton or President Jeb Bush.

    If you’re curious about this subject, do read the book. It’s not getting much play in media outlets, and there’s a reason for that. I got it out of the library.

    Here’s a link to a brief review, followed by a Q&A with Professor Glennon:

      1. Carla

        Glennon very specifically distinguishes between the “Deep State” or “Shadow Government” and “Double Government.” I’ll tell ya, it’s worth a read.

  18. Pookah Harvey

    Latest from Varoufakis if negotiations fail, “We ‘ve had enough, we ‘ll run on Bitcoin.”

    “This is the smartest move to beat corruption and tax evasion, all transactions will be recorded to the Greek Ministry of Finance new secure and dedicated Bitcoin servers and we ‘ll be able to track transanctions at any given moment,”
    He has previously discussed using a cryptocurrency for use in the Euro periphery, so each country can create their own payment system backed by future taxes and denominated in euros.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I fear our hero’s (surveillance state) cure may be worse than the (tax evasion) disease.”

      At the end, the state will go easy on the oligarchs…at least in fascist states, according to the not-well-known book, “The Secret History of Mars.

    2. Pookah Harvey

      Sorry, I didn’t click on the last link about technical details that sent me to the wikipedia article on April Fools.

  19. PQS

    Re: New Yorker article on austerity in Greece….

    Well worth the read. Despite the grim headline and a few grim anecdotes, there is hope there, with people organizing together to form clinics, factories, and alternative means of distribution of goods.

    Enough hope, I’d say, to cause the neolibs to stay up all night worrying about it.

    Also a good, brief rundown of How It Got to Be This Way in Greece. For a long time, I’ve been telling those who ask (and there aren’t many) that what’s going on in Greece is like our massive bank bailouts, but imagine if we bailed them out AND cut eveyone’s Social Security check in half. Imagine the suffering and how angry people would be in order to just get a taste of it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I’d offer a strong second on the motion to have everyone read the New Yorker austerity article.

      One part of the How the he77 did they get there ” chain that I missed is in this bit of the piece: ”
      Years of such corruption and tax evasion, coupled with reckless expenditure—as a share of G.D.P., for instance, Athens spent almost twice the E.U. average on military purchases—pushed the Greek state into massive budget shortfalls, prompting the government to borrow heavily.” Particularly that part about wasting real wealth and people’s futures on “military sh_t.” Are the numbers readily available to draw a box around how bad that was? Our neos chortle that Reagan spent the Soviets into disappearance. Projection?

      1. John Jones


        Are they supposed to stop the constant entry of Turkish air force jets and Turkish naval vessels into Greek territory with rocks?

      2. John Jones

        So with out corruption and tax evasion in Greece the trade deficits to the core E.U and euro countries would not have damaged Greece? It sounds like the article is talking the same garbage of all about Greek corruption and tax evasion if it does not bring up that topic. Which has caused far more money to leave Greece than the tax evasion and corruption peanuts. Plenty of very corrupt countries with very large tax evasion have far more powerful economies than Greece.

        Greece needs to fix that before fixing any internal problems of corruption sand tax evasion.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Crustacean biopolymer…combat mortalities.

    As always, do we think about Jevon’s Paradox and maybe with this, we send our boys, and girls, into more dangerous missions…until we yearn for the next ‘technological breakthrough?’

    Is that the same thinking into and out of trouble? Insane!

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