Links 4/13/15

How to grow your own furniture: Eco-friendly designer uses special moulds to guide branches into ready-made chairs, tables and lampshades Daily Mail

Paintings Have Become Increasingly Blue Smithsonian

Global recovery at risk of stalling FT

Flash Move Haunts Bond Traders Heeding Dimon’s Warning of Crisis Bloomberg

Wells Fargo Warms Up to Risk WSJ

Futures brokers feel strain from low interest rates and red tape FT

The $9 Trillion Short That’s Seen Sending the Dollar Even Higher Bloomberg

US companies on course to return $1tn to shareholders in 2015 FT

Blackstone’s Real Estate Muscle on Display in GE Deal WSJ

Macroeconomists need new tools to challenge consensus Wolfgang Munchau, FT. “The night they re-read Minsky,” to recycle a riff from that great blogger, Paul Krugman.

Clinton Launch

‘Everyday Americans need a champion’: Wealthy Hillary Clinton finally enters formal race to be president with video telling middle class voters ‘the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top’ of the economy Daily Mail

Candidate Profile: Hillary Clinton The Onion

Hillary Clinton makes it official: She’s running Des Moines Register. And: AP, Bloomberg, Economist, Guardian, Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, NYT, WaPo.

Where They Stand: Clinton on issues of the 2016 campaign WaPo

The Definitive H&H Hillary Clinton Scouting Report Blooomberg

Why Wall Street Loves Hillary Politico

What Hillary Clinton Would Need to Do to Win NYT

Why Hillary Clinton Is Probably Going to Win the 2016 Election Jonathon Chait, New York Magazine

There’s Nothing Inevitable About Hillary TNR

The most depressing presidential campaign of your lifetime began today Felix Salmon, Fusion

Emanuel and Rauner: Linked at the wallet Crains Chicago Business


Greece and lenders head back to technical talks Ekathimerini

Russia’s Gazprom Counting On…Greece? Forbes

Greece defends bailout tactics as latest deadline looms Guardian

Why Europe Needs to Save Greece Project Syndicate

German lenders should write off half of bonds from Austria’s Heta – Bundesbank Reuters

SNP Bounces Back From Scottish Independence Defeat WSJ

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

As the trial of the century comes to a close, we are left with few answers to nagging questions about the FBI and the Tsarnaevs Privacy SOS

Undercover Mounties pushed pressure-cooker bomb plan on accused terror couple, court hears National Post. The accused “were taken on a three-day holiday in the Okanagan by the RCMP so they could relax while working on their terrorist plan.”

NSA dreams of smartphones with “split” crypto keys protecting user data Ars Technica

In a cameras-everywhere culture, science fiction becomes reality Los Angeles Times

Spy Satellites Spotted ‘Disguised as Space Junk’ Moscow Times

Emails Reveal Discord Over Blackwater Charges NYT

New DARPA project aims to do away with IT updates ZD Net

Black Injustice Tipping Point

So… the NYPD Just Broke an NBA Player’s Leg The Nation

Key Events in the Police Shooting of Walter Scott AP

Empty Ebola Clinics in Liberia Are Seen as Misstep in U.S. Relief Effort NYT

Alabama mayor arrested, police chief hurt in scuffle over government lockout FOX

Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations (PDF) Good Jobs First. From their Subsidy Tracker.

Where Do Firms Go When They Die? The Atlantic

The World’s Top Software Stock Is Surging 1,300% in Kuala Lumpur Bloomberg. “Cloud-based software for property companies.” I’m told that Malaysia makes Thailand look like a model of probity. Just saying.

Chinese conman undone as 17 girlfriends turn up at his hospital bedside Asian Correspondent

He Fought the Law Literary Review

Do You Have An Obligation To Rat Out Your Friends? Another Word For It

Retro Read: Dear Fellow Bloggers, Let’s Stop Promoting Fast Fashion The Fashion Law

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education The American Scholar

The financial lessons of ‘Game of Thrones’ Reuters

New Mann Paper Predicts End Of “False” Pause Reporting Climate Science

The world of threats to the US is an illusion Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe

Antidote du jour (via):


Near Sacré Cœur.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: As the trial of the century comes to a close, we are left with few answers to nagging questions about the FBI and the Tsarnaevs Privacy SOS

    “It was him.”

    Quite the “defense.”

    Sounds like the FBI and DHS got just what they paid for, and the flailing “war on terror” got the shot in the arm it needed.

    1. James Levy

      My wife was outraged because the man pleaded guilty yet they ran an entire expensive show trial just to pander to the groundlings in Boston. All they needed, once they got the confession, was 15 minutes before a judge to find him guilty and then one day for the “two minute hate” and then pronounce sentence. If this happened in a foreign country our pundits would all be scoffing and denouncing it for the show trial it is.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “If you’re 52 or younger, you’ve never voted in an election where a Bush or Clinton wasn’t a candidate, running mate or in the administration.”

      From a ZH post entitled “It’s a Bush-Clinton World…..And It’s Your Job To Vote For Them.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A long time ago, they resolved differences like this with, er, political marriages.

        A Christian princess and a Hindu prince…happily ever after.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Right honorable candidate A and the daughter of right honorable candidate B…May peace reign forever…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sorry, forgot to add: May your combined fortune multiply googol-plex-fold, with many Presidential Libraries to come.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              One house shall supply all the kings and queens in Europe and another in the New World.

              It’s like deja vu all over again.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                History (history experts will tell you) will record this as the Hundred Year Battles of the Stinking Roses.

            2. craazyboy

              “many Presidential Libraries to come.”

              Nope. They just need to add new wings to the existing Bush and Clinton libraries.

              Hope the families had the foresight to buy the land next door.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Behold, a child will come into this world uniting the two great ruling houses, correction, uniting this great nation.

                Henceforth, people of the right political shore will make love, check that, make loving gestures, to the people of the left political shore.

    2. fresno dan

      Do You Have An Obligation To Rat Out Your Friends? Another Word For It

      “Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
      So, take this case in Oklahoma:

      Tulsa police Sgt. Jim Clark, who investigated the case, on Friday determined that the shooting was not a crime and did not violate department policy.

      “Reserve Deputy Bates did not commit a crime,” he said. “There’s no other determination I could come to.”

      So I would say it meets the criteria for negligent homicide or manslaughter. As well as the laws worded with regard to bribery when officials do not do their jobs. But somehow I think if I were to report this…there would only be the sound of ….. crickets….
      Laws of the US: only to screw the little people

      1. hunkerdown

        “To live outside the law, you have to be honest” has apparently flipped to “To live inside the law, you have to be dishonest”.

        At this point, if winning is a felony, the only winning move is to flip the table.

    3. fresno dan

      Whoops – I don’t know how that (comment about police in Oklahoma) got posted again. I think when I used to post something the “post comment” command automatically went blank, and its not doing that now….

      Well, anyway, what I meant to say is perhaps with Bush/Clinton we can dispense with all that yammering about the freedom, and choice, and how wonderful democracy is as it becomes obvious its all a big marketing scam and that the average person in the US has absolutely no influence upon the laws or policies of the US and we can all go to a bar and do something useful, like cry in our beer, because going to the polls is a waste of time.

  2. ambrit

    The Felix Salmon piece on Hillary Clinton is inferior to the Onion piece. In it he regurgitates many of the demonstrably untrue, or, at the least disingenuous, Democratic talking points. “..any difference between [Clinton and Obama] will be de minimis in comparison with the gulf that will separate Clintons policies and her Republican opponent’s.” Come on now! Has he been living in a parallel universe these last sixteen years?
    At least the Onion mentions that she is married to the former Attorney General for the State of Arkansas. Which fact gives her a gravitas sorely lacking in her opponents. If she can survive being married to Bill, much less thrive, and become an expert on cattle futures to boot, she has the requisite skills for the job.

      1. ambrit

        Rule 1: No blue suits!
        Rule 2: No blue dresses!
        Rule 3: No blue states!
        Rule 4: No blues for Allah! (With apologies to the Grateful Dead.)

    1. Tom Allen

      What do you expect from a Fusion article? Univision meets Disney meets Google and Apple, all carried by your local branch of the cable monopoly. But it’s pitched for “a young, diverse, and inclusive millennial generation” so you know it’s hip and cool!

    2. craazyboy

      ” she is married to the former Attorney General for the State of Arkansas”

      Background all vetted. Good job MSM. We can move forward now. Always forward…forward….

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You are making many ex-democrats and progressives into legions of the vast right-wing conspirators.

      Please stopping this Hilaryous nitpicking.

      Sadly, Republicans were at least 20 years ahead of the rest of us. They were doing this to her in the 1990s.

      1. craazyboy

        She’s certainly turned the tables. Jebbie has to run on an anti-neocon platform – and Hilary can promise to dump Obama Care in favor of Bob Dole Care.

    4. hunkerdown

      Amazing what writing under a Peterson grant for the Columbia Journalism Review can do for the soul, innit? Salmon has become exactly the quisling employable Establishment tool the CJR pretends not to love to churn out.

  3. Ben Johannson

    Regarding bonds:

    We now see the negative effects of Fed “forward guidance” and undue concern for expectations of capital markets. When coupled with continued lagging of global economic recovery their efforts to create stability are fueling longer periods of instability by the sheer volume and inconsistency of signaling. There would be fewer problems if the Fed would simply act at a time of its choosing and allow a one-off adjustment rather than spendong months or years trying to prime markets for policy shifts. Bring back Marriner Eccles.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They ought to leave ‘global economic recovery’ alone for a while, at least not chanting that mantra every second every day, and focus on sharing what we have now.

  4. milesc

    Re NSA dreams of smartphones with “split” crypto keys protecting user data Ars Technica

    The obvious problem being every other country (inc Russia, China, etc) will want access to those keys or keys of their own. We’ve already seen China talk about plans to force tech cos to install backdoors if they want to do business in China and, with no sense of irony, Obama directly criticise that plan.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Smartphones and watches.

      What’s next – I-trash compacters, I-vacuum cleaners, I-death-beaters and I-countertop-desalination units?

      They will all be monitored by Budgets-Unlimited Inc (We Do It Because We Have the Money).

    2. Disturbed Voter

      Don’t communicate with anyone, unless you could do it without blushing, since your Big Mother is listening in ;-) They have amplified eavesdropping ears to listen to non-electronic conversations too … so keep any bad thoughts to yourselves.

      Of course everyone will want backdoors to everything … because the governments are all in this together. This was the problem that Blackberry recently faced in India … and since Blackberry was forced to concede, this put US government Blackberry devices on the endangered species list and nearly put Blackberry out of business … they are going to hardened iPhones etc instead. With government iPhones … our Chinese partners already have a back door, since they are made in China.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Can science deliver telepathy?

        Will you get any research grants in that field?

        Answer: Only after they know how to listen in. (“Ve must have orda.”

        That’s how science advances, has been that way since the first guy trying to impress a would-be world conqueror.

        1. Disturbed Voter

          The Hungarian cannon maker, who built the cannon that breached the walls of Constantinople in 1453 for Sultan Mehmed II … was actually killed when his super cannon blew up on him. Sadly after it had proved its effectiveness. He had initially offered his services to the Emperor in Constantinople, but the Emperor was unable to raise enough money … something the Sultan had plenty of.

          So yes, one can impress would-be conquerors … but if you fail to survive, will you still get paid? ;-)

          1. optimader

            So yes, one can impress would-be conquerors … but if you fail to survive, will you still get paid? ;-)

            First make sure your playing for the right team.

            According to Gordon Thomas, the assassination of Bull had been sanctioned by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Nahum Admoni sent the three man team to Brussels, where the Mossad agents shot Bull at his door-step. Within hours after the killing, according to Thomas, Mossad was engaged in distributing false stories to the European media, alleging that Bull had been shot by agents from Iraq.[28]

            The Project Babylon was stopped when supergun parts were seized by Customs in the United Kingdom in November 1990, and most of Bull’s staff returned to Canada. The smaller test gun was later broken up after the Gulf War.

  5. rich

    Conflicted Alaska Publisher Says Borrow Big and Invest

    Alaska Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff, the wife of Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, started off today’s column stating she bought the paper to offer increased economic coverage. Her column reads more like influence economic development.

    Besides oil, Alaska has another vital resource — huge cash reserves and assets. This, in turn, provides us credit and the ability to borrow money against it. And with today’s low interest rates, it may be the perfect time for our state to borrow. We could then take those cash loans and invest them in the markets, and earn a rate of return much higher than the interest we pay. Anything we’d earn above the interest rate could be used to help fund government.

    We have approximately $100 billion in our various investment accounts — more than 15 times the amount of cash the state spends annually at current spending levels — that includes the Permanent Fund, state savings and investment accounts, and state employee retirement funds. That could secure billions in working capital at low rates.

    Borrowing money to invest in financial markets hardly seems a purpose or function of state government. Rogoff gives the impression of guaranteed money from the spread between low borrowing rates and high investment income. It’s not.

    There seems to be a move to lever up state and local governments prior to the full implementation of new pension accounting rules. This is precisely the wrong time to borrow against state employee retirements funds, most of which are badly underfunded.
    Rogoff could’ve performed a public service by informing citizens where they can find predictable earnings of 10% per year. Corporate junk bonds aren’t at that level.

    Rogoff did not mention where Alaska would get this level of return. Might it be private equity underwriters and hedge funds? Besides her marriage to a Carlyle Group co-founder Alice Rogoff Rubenstein is a Senior Advisor to Pt Capital, an Arctic based private equity underwriter (PEU). Pt Capital’s website stated:

    who do you think gets SCREWED in this story……..?

    1. cnchal

      And with today’s low interest rates, it may be the perfect time for our state to borrow. We could then take those cash loans and invest gamble (with) them in the markets, and earn a rate of return much higher than the interest we pay.

      Alaska, a future victim of a Ponzi scheme.

      Carlyle Group mission statement: We strip mine society for our benefit.

      who do you think gets SCREWED in this story……..?

      It is always the little guy. Theft by plutocrat, is the crime.

      Georgie is starting to win me over. Got gold?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Will all the central banks please return all their gold to the peoples of the world?

        Gold, like the popular mini skirt of the 60s, is a matter of personal preference. Let those like it, keep it. Let those who detest it, throw it before the other group.

        When peace breaks one day, when there are no more nuclear bombs, thieving politicians and international bankers will want something to check and balance each other or the new hegemon monetarily, sovereign or no sovereign (yes, you may be sovereign in your own realm, but there is only one global sovereign, good for anywhere it goes shopping).

        1. craazyboy

          We can’t go back on the Mini Skirt Standard anymore. There’s not enough Mini Skirt.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You don’t need to buy a paper to increase coverage of your opinions.

      There are cheaper ways…mind altering GM foods (and solve world hunger simultaneously), brain implants (with an additional benefit of a more compliant, correction, peaceful society), etc.

  6. Ned Ludd

    Russia’s help to Greece, quoted from Forbes:

    • Greece expected to ‘receive significant financial dividends for the [Gazprom] pipeline’s operations’
    • Russian natural gas covers 66% of Greece’s energy needs.
    • Russia’s government said it will remove its ban on Greek agricultural goods

    Now, Tsipras needs to beware the U.S. government’s “Kiev” strategy.

    1. alex morfesis

      what kiev strategy ?

      cuba for crimea deal is complete…
      russians wanted control of sea of azov in return for cuba

      that way there is no nato capacity to make direct naval movement
      against russian territory thru Ukranistan once Kiev joins nato
      and the eu in five years.

      russians want buffer zone to lower long term military costs…

      game set and match…

      russia helps greece and brings turkey and greece together…

      but maybe its time for Glezos to be made a colonel tank leader and
      have him lead a parade of greeces 1400 tanks…

      down kozraktar by the waterfront
      in budapest…

      you know, to show the world hellas is willing to protect europe as a good Nato member…

      all those northern europeans want greece to be more like them…more germanic…

      well, every time foreign creditors asked germany for money, they had a military parade
      with tanks…

      at smythe blarney…
      we take money the old fashioned way….

  7. Romancing the Loan

    The Nation’s choice of what stories to highlight (Walter Brown is a much bigger story, since it was so clearly routine) doesn’t speak well of it. To direct attention away from the brutality of how the lower class is policed and safely back onto how terrible it is that rich nonwhite people suffer the same indignities as their lower-class brethren. I see other stories like that a lot from the professional liberal press – a wealthy college kid being made to get down on the sidewalk (and ruin his expensive suit!) is the supposedly sympathetic response to hearing about someone else’s kid being murdered. And that “So…” faux-hip headline! It makes me grit my teeth.

    1. different clue

      I wonder if the point of this Nation story is not being missed. Perhaps the point is that the NYPD attacked the wrong person of color this time, and may be made to suffer some measure of vengeance. And if the NBA players and industry people can inflict legal-system vengeance upon the NYPD and upon the particular NYPD perpetrators in this case, they may be able to help the extension of such vengeance to the police perpetrators in
      the Garner case and in other cases like that.

      The infliction of credible and visible legal-system vengeance upon police perpetrators may delay ( or even deny) the day when self-undisclosing segments of black America silently begin to discuss the silent formation of “Leopard Societies” in the American context for the purpose of quietly dealing with police perpetrators in non-traceable ways. Because if certain segments of black America feel driven to THAT illegal extreme, then society will be even tenser than now.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    To the shareholders in 2015 – $1 trillion from US corporations.

    Equally distributed, that’s about $4,000 per man, woman and child in this country. For a household of 4, that’s $16,000.

    “If you need money, that’s where to look. No need to print more.”

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The world of threats…an illustration.

    Below: Two cats in antidote du jour.

    We mentally construct our perceptions of threats and of the universe, just like cats do theirs.

    We just assume our constructs are more refined.

    1. ambrit

      Our constructs are more refined.
      Those cats make me think of an American Impressionist watercolour, or a Matisse canvas. Braque would have them two concatenations of geometric shapes. Nolde would have them as lines in a pastel field.
      Much as I love the moggies, they remind me a little too much of narcissist bankers, or spoiled ‘celebrities.’

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They sort of look like color fields…or maybe I just need a new pair of glasses.

        1. ambrit

          When she wants to consider the colour balance in a painting, my wife will often take her glasses off. “Then, you are concentrating on the fields of colour, and not so much on the drawings’ balance.” Cezanne was famous for balancing both colour and design in his work. The really good painters can ‘balance’ the canvas just with the distribution and relationships between fields of colour.

  10. hemeantwell

    Re the Kinzer threat assessment piece, he apparently believes that if one argues that the world is less threatening to the US than our neocons claim, to be taken seriously he has to chant the Aggressive Russia mantra:

    Last year, after Russia began encouraging upheaval in Ukraine, NATO decided to “suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia

    So the US has to do Containment 2.0, but it just won’t be so difficult and dangerous. I’m not going to bother to review all the areas of interstate contention that he considers, but just imagine how much less threatening the world might appear if he were capable of assessing whether Their aggressiveness is a response to US aggression. But because he’s blind to US culpability, in the style of a 19th c. naval strategist Kinzer talks about oceans protecting the US. Instead of this moat-think, he might also think about a post-imperial foreign policy, though that’s hard to do if you’ve got to feed capitalism.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Where do firms go to die?

    Where to Third World nations go to die?

    Do Third World nations (or others you can imagine) come into the world without violence?

    Which Third World nations (or others you can imagine) go out peacefully? And what can we learn from them?

  12. Zephyrum

    I was struck by this passage in the disadvantages of an elite education article. It was more true in 2008 when he wrote the words, but may be a pipe dream for our children:

    You can live comfortably in the United States as a schoolteacher, or a community organizer, or a civil rights lawyer, or an artist—that is, by any reasonable definition of comfort. You have to live in an ordinary house instead of an apartment in Manhattan or a mansion in L.A.; you have to drive a Honda instead of a BMW or a Hummer; you have to vacation in Florida instead of Barbados or Paris, but what are such losses when set against the opportunity to do work you believe in, work you’re suited for, work you love, every day of your life?

    1. James Levy

      I agree. Inflation in key “maintenance” costs (house, car, insurance, repairs) seems out of all proportion to inflation in most other aspects of life. The basic items that once defined middle class existence are available to fewer and fewer people in this “winner take all” society. A genteel existence without a job that delivers well over the median income is hard to come by.

    2. jrs

      Can you afford to live in NYC or L.A. at all? Never mind the mansion or in Manhattan. Vacations? What’s that? Don’t we all take staycations these days? (if they’ll let us take the time off at all) All the way to Florida? You mean you actually take vacations out of state? (unless of course you live in Florida).

      No: you must do work you hate, without reward. You will neither get rich nor be happy in your work and retirement is probably not much of an option for your generation. You will watch the world fall apart around you. You will pass the homeless everyday on the commute to work. You will go to your alienating job. You will thank your lucky stars you have health insurance if you do.

  13. fresno dan

    Do You Have An Obligation To Rat Out Your Friends? Another Word For It

    “Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
    So, take this case in Oklahoma:

    Tulsa police Sgt. Jim Clark, who investigated the case, on Friday determined that the shooting was not a crime and did not violate department policy.

    “Reserve Deputy Bates did not commit a crime,” he said. “There’s no other determination I could come to.”

    So I would say it meets the criteria for negligent homicide or manslaughter. As well as the laws worded with regard to bribery when officials do not do their jobs. But somehow I think if I were to report this…there would only be the sound of ….. crickets….
    Laws of the US: only to screw the little people

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We have a duty to rat out robber barons and too big to fail banks.

      Moreover, we need to rat out corrupt government officials an power abusing police officers.

      Too many fail to do.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Conman with 17 girlfriends.

    In Old China, a man could have 17 wives.

    Now, only 17 girlfriends in New China.

    Luckily (though necessarily Confucian-ethics compliant, as producing a male heir is paramount under that old and re-emerging system of belief), as we embark on this new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank project, in their early attempt to replace that global reserve currency issuing hegemon, there have been no reports of tributes of Korean virgins to the Middle Kingdom, a not so sagely chapter in the history of Imperial China.

    For those yearning to jump out of the frying pan of global violence, the soft, decadent glow of the dragon’s fiery breath awaits.

  15. Chitownrdh

    Re Emanual and Rauner. Why does the author not mention that Rauner and Emanuel will have to deal with speaker Madigan. He is a force to be reckoned with. I always thought that Madigan was in office too long and had way too much power, but I am very happy he is there to tame down Rauner’s austerity as well as Rahm’s neoliberal privatize everything agendas.

  16. Antifa

    DARPA’s goal of writing an operating system that will run on any computer hardware that comes along in the next ten decades is commendable, but likely a pipe dream. They may produce a very robust OS and desktop apps, but 100 years of hardware progress is beyond anyone’s ability to guess about.

    Computers will be something you implant into human skulls in 50 years, or inject under our skin, and they will be biological. Or they may take the form of multiple nano-computers flowing through our bloodstream while cooperating with one another as a single supercomputer keeping us all healthy and super smart and globally connected to one another, like army ants. In such a world, there will be no use or need for politicians as representatives of the population. The consensus of the people will be a matter of data that’s always available, instantaneously, worldwide — the result of one endless conversation between everyone.

    Like those endless conversations at the Occupy camp in Zucotti Park about how we should govern ourselves — except in the future the group consensus will be global, and immediately available. Hey — with all the jobs being done by robots as of 2050, we’ll have nothing better to do all day than talk, talk, talk about how we want to live and keep living, here on this planet.

    One question though — DARPA isn’t going to let this project touch the ancient, incompatible operating systems at the IRS, are they? That’s a delicate house of cards network over there. If they can keep going on Windows 95 for the coming century, who are we to complain?

    1. craazyboy

      They’re gonna upgrade the IRS with 8 bit computers – so they can only audit small income numbers.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Fighting inflation is not an urgent concern right now.

        To some, they believe, to be consistent with their world view, tax evasion is friendly fire, via illegal means, in the fight – a good fight – against deflation/disinflation.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Tax evasion – “I am saving money from being destroyed!”

        “I am a patriot!!!!! Ask my economist lawyer. He/She will update your understanding.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          This here is a quote from some time in the distant future:

          Tax paying, an act of cowardice in the face of our deflation enemy.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe I am trapped in some sort of theoretical economics thinking, but if deflation is immoral, don’t we have a moral duty to oppose it by all means at our disposal?

    2. Disturbed Voter

      The revolution will not be televised nor computed. Techno-triumphalism is snake oil in George Jetson clothes. The actual DARPA proposal involves self adjusting software that can adjust to both hardware and software changes automatically. Can you spell Solyndra … good citizen?

      I actually work with software systems 40 hours per day … and it is mostly crap-ware. Nobody is willing to pay for the good stuff … that is why they want software that never has to be updated, because the budget guys are total idiots armed with spreadsheets that they don’t understand.

  17. JEHR

    Re: Paintings being blue.

    I have a batch of art postcards which I have collected over the years after having visited many galleries and museums. I attached about 50 of them (without framing) on a wall in my basement which has a window at the corner. Over 15 years I noticed changes in the way my postcards looked and that was that most of them had become predominately blue in colour with all the other colours having faded or disappeared altogether. I thought it must have something to do with the colour spectrum and the longevity of blue over the other colours.

    I’m sure there is a scientific reason for the above observation.

  18. docg

    If you want to argue that the “global warming” hiatus is due to “natural variations in the climate,” then you must be willing to concede that the earlier warming phase (from 1979 – 1998) might have been due to “natural variations” in the first place. While Mann’s paper includes much in the way of scientific research to back up his claim, so do the 50 odd other papers offering equally “scientific” alternative explanations (e.g., see Unless Mann were to systematically evaluate each of these to demonstrate how his is the superior theory, we have no basis for favoring any one over the others — or taking any of it seriously.

    Honoring Occam’s Razor (see et seq.), the simplest explanation is that ALL the “climate change” hysteria is based on pseudo-science pumped by media hype.

    1. dSquib

      That one thing can have one kind of explanation tells us nothing about explanations for any other phenomena. The “hiatus” – really just a brief slowdown in temperature rise – is trivial next to global temperature rises for the last 70 years. 1979 – 1998? No. 1998 was an El Niño year which meant a spike in temperature that was not matched until 2005, but the upward trend continued.

    2. hunkerdown

      Appeal to ignorance. Now, who f—ing cares whether any given theory is “right” when all it means is that liberal Anglos, the very same arrogant bourgeois twits who seem to believe that ambition is not a mental illness, get to keep breathing and continue torturing and genociding the rest of us?

      I mean, if we were all sitting around in the parlor having an intellectual lark over whether changing the thermal properties of the atmosphere by adjusting quantities of IR-absorbing gas is possible, that’s one thing, and I think the answer is pretty obvious. It takes an American to want to keep poking the bear, knowing full well what *could* happen if you succeed, and then once you do, whine that you didn’t knooooow and that everyone owes you a new face.

      1. different clue

        Ohh . . . . I don’t know . . . plenty of Australians voted for “Poke the Bear” Abbot. . .
        I have heard that some Russian leaders support Warming the Global in hopes of turning Siberia into Miami Beach.

        China is certainly adding to the carbon skyload.

        Americans are not the only Warmocaust Deniers and Warmocaust creators. Not anymore now.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Spy satellites disguised as space junk.

    Surveillance bugs also disguised as garbage in your building…creative!

    Even more creative – bugs as bugs, as in, listening devices disguised as roaming cockroaches through out your house. Beware of the pest control guy though. He/she may make the situation worse.

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