Links 4/21/15

Raccoon climbs 213 metres up Toronto condo tower CBCNews (JEHR)

Cool, Monkeys Are People Now Too Gawker

Down to three wolves on Isle Royale PhysOrg (Robert M) :-(

Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – Where We’re at Now Scientific American (Robert M)

Scientists Perturbed by Loss of Stat Tool to Sift Research Fudge from Fact Scientific American (Robert M)

Resistance to antibiotics found in isolated Amazonian tribe Science (furzy mouse)

How Paypal and Reddit faked their way to traction Medium. The faking principle applies to older marketplaces, like the S&P futures contract.

RBA governor Glenn Stevens says extraordinary world conditions could spark ‘abrupt’ sell-off Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Chinese mobile phone app lets you hire thugs to carry out beatings Shanghaiist. Lambert: “Logical extension of Uber.”

Chinese Property Developer Kaisa Defaults on Dollar Bonds New York Times (EM)

Rio Tinto reveals surprise fall in iron ore exports Sydney Morning Herald. EM: “‘Surprise’ to whom? With China shifting en masse from housing to stock-market speculation, one would expect less demand for housing-related materials. That sort of connection being too subtle, what do the ‘most analysts’ here do? Why of course – blame the weather.”

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index Collapses: China-US Rates Hit Hard, China-Europe Rates Plunge to All-Time Low Wolf Richter

Vietnam asked Philippines to form pact to counter China, Aquino reveals South China Morning Post

Rising Toll on Migrants Leaves Europe in Crisis; 900 May Be Dead at Sea New York Times

Why Europe Lets People Drown Ilargi

Dutch launch criminal investigation into Ubre Reuters (furzy mouse)


Greece to Seize Local Government Cash; Two Year Bond Yield Tops 28% Michael Shedlock

11 Acts Toward a Greek Tragedy Bloomberg


The West Snubs Russia over V-E Day Consortiumnews (Chuck L)

Sahra Wagenknecht: EU Policy Has Destroyed Ukraine and Damaged Europe Russia Insider (Chuck L)

EU set to unveil charges against Gazprom Financial Times

An Arbitration Between Russia and Ukraine? Mark Weidemaier, Credit Slips


Warning Iran, U.S. Sends Two More Ships to Yemen New York Times

“Trade” Traitors

Campbell: The History of the 21st Century Will Be Written in Asia The Diplomat

MSNBC’S JOE SCARBOROUGH PLEADS “GUILTY” ON FAILING TO COVER TPP TRADE PACT Intercept. Duh. MSNBC is part of the Obama messaging apparatus. Since MSNBC trying to hawk the TPP would backfire by eliciting outrage from the non-Vichy left, better to keep mum.

Washington, Though Still Divided, Comes Together on Trade and Other Issues New York Times

Seeking Obamacare alternative, Republicans eye tax credits Reuters (EM)

Florida man says protest flight at U.S. Capitol ‘worth it’ Reuters. EM: “Gotta admire the guy for an innovative form of civil disobedience – that is, what quaintly used to be called ‘free speech’.”

Most of police force quits after tiny Missouri town elects black lady mayor Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Exonerated murder convict rejects prosecutor’s apology New York Daily News

New York City Just Outlawed Running Credit Checks on Job Applicants The Nation

California Drought

Rural Rebellion in Northern California Counterpunch (Carol B)

Water pricing to spur conservation ruled unconstitutional Associated Press (EM)

William Shatner wants Seattle’s water to save California Seattlepi. EM: “At this point that certainly sounds like a better investment than ‘the California F-35’, a.k.a. the CA high speed rail project.”

Game of Thrones Economics: Why Doesn’t Westeros Have A Central Bank? Forbes

Bank of America tries to seize widow’s home while forgetting to mention that her loan was insured Daily Kos (fury mouse)

Ex-Fed chief calls for regulatory revamp Financial Times

Fed’s Bill Dudley is alert to global liquidity storm, yet signals 3.5pc rates Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Cirque du Soleil sold to private equity Financial Times

Class Warfare

Nine Charts about Wealth Inequality in America Urban Institute (Gabriel)

One of Today’s Pulitzer Prize Winners Left Journalism Because It Couldn’t Pay His Rent. Now He’s in PR. Slate

The day I bought steak with my food stamps Patheos

Antidote du jour (@Evelrojaguar):

visionary owl links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. James Levy

    I was reading about the wine growers and the California drought and Ricardo came to mind. I think a corollary to his rule about comparative advantage is that once such a system takes hold the “successful” local industry comes to rule the roost. It follows: you have a comparative advantage making/doing X, so X grows and other industries dwindle. Very soon the needs of X overwhelm the needs of everyone and everything else, as you’ve now effectively placed all your eggs in the X basket. This is Britain today. Thatcher sacrificed everything for The City, and now finance is 20% of the earnings of the entire British economy. Kill finance, and you’ve got nothing to fall back on. Of course, killing the northern California wine industry would still leave you with productive land and a not-too-dense population, but many of the remaining people would have to accept a significant drop in their material standard of living (the ability to “import” goods and services would diminish as “exports” of wine dried up). It would not be painless. But it would free the locals from the control of their “comparative advantage” overlords.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Chinese solution would be to build a Grand Canal from the Rockies, via corvee*.

      * from Wiki:Corvée, or statute labour,[1] is unpaid labour imposed by the state on certain classes of people, such as peasants, for the performance of work on public projects. The obligation of corvée work by tenant farmers on private landed estates has been widespread throughout history. The corvée was the earliest and most extensive form of taxation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization.

    2. YankeeFrank

      The thing you, and apparently Ricardo as well, are missing is the fact of foreign investment such that in this case the comparative advantage is largely flowing to out of town monied interests, draining water resources, land resources and of course money from the local communities. The profits and income from the bulk of these wineries flows to investors outside northern CA. Its highly likely that removing the invasive investors in wine grapes from the land will produce only benefits for the local economy, and perhaps the loss of a few low paying vine-tending jobs.

    3. theinhibitor

      Wine doesn’t need much water to grow so Napa will be fine. In fact, the older the vine, the less water it uses, and the more concentrated the flavor from the grapes. Wine will continue to be one of California main exports for years to come, and the warmer weather will just mean the varietals will prob change to suit the climate change (bye bye pinot noir).

      Its the almonds, rice, tomatoes, bell peppers, oranges, and LIVESTOCK (yeah, cows drink a ton of water) that will go under first.

  2. generic

    Why Doesn’t Westeros Have A Central Bank?

    For none of the reasons given in the article. No wonder though if you think a central bank needs to have the following characteristics: independent, long-lived, and dedication to the public good.

    Nowhere in the list is backing by a sovereign with credible taxation powers. Which incidentally is what is missing in Westeros. The power relationship outside the biggest cities is strictly feudal, the king tends to be at war with his vassals more often than not and the only weird thing is that the economy is monetized to the degree it isl.
    Really how long do you have to spend in economics to be able to read a novel about nobles murdering each other in a naked power grab and then analyze the economy presented without any reference to power at all?

    1. James Levy

      You hit the jackpot! The one thing Economists must NEVER mention is power. Power does not exist. We are all equal in the eyes of the Divine Market. Said market is beyond all control and operates like a beneficent god, distributing good to all and never evil. Our only salvation is total surrender to the almighty market. To mess with it is presumption on the order of blasphemy.

      1. Ulysses

        Excellent comment!!

        I think a big part of the neoliberal cultural/intellectual colonization effort over the last half-century has been to divorce economics from anything related to the actual real world, of real people. In this way “economic arguments” that support absolutely insane proposals, obviously harmful to 99.9% of the planet’s human population, can be made with a straight face.

        1. diptherio

          And then, when rational people complain about the objectively ridiculous policies, the economist can smugly claim that “you just don’t understand economics.” (See the “In Defense of Macro” article linked to here a few days ago for this tactic)

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think, for the more ‘kindly’ experts, they just remind you that you are still stuck in 18th or 19th (maybe even 20th) century economics.

            Maybe it’s such a ruthless field, they even eat their own kind. But, I think that is true for many 21st century fields, unfortunately. Perhaps it’s IQ + HQ* = K**

            *HQ – heart quotient and IQ – intelligence quotient.
            ** K – constant.

        2. Whine Country

          If there is one thing that we should have learned from the events beginning with the GFC it is that economists stock in trade consists solely of the total BS argument that everyone who knows anything is certain that without their policies and influences on our lives, things would be much, much worse without their interventions. I am confident that historians will never be able to understand how we have been duped so thoroughly by this group of charlatans. Think Hank Paulson doing a perfect imitation of Chicken Little: “The sky is falling, the sky is falling, and I need $1 Trillion or we’re all doomed”. You make a good point, Hank.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s never too late to go back to corvee taxation.

        That will show them peasants sovereign power.

    2. Jef

      “Why Doesn’t Westeros Have A Central Bank?”

      Because not one of the Lords of any kingdom and certainly not the Lord of the seven kingdoms would stand by and allow any individual or entity to have that much power. They weren’t dummies and neither was Woody;

      “Despite these warnings, Woodrow Wilson signed the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. A few years later he wrote: “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” -Woodrow Wilson”

  3. James Levy

    Yet another bubble: container ships. Overproduction leading to what we are no longer allowed to call a Realization Crisis:

    “Easy money not only stimulates supply, but it also “allows ‘zombie’ companies to stay in business” though they lose money, he said, and thus they further boosts supply. Something that central bankers simply “don’t get.”

    They don’t get it because all they care about are the fictions on bank balance sheets–hey, loans are assets! So, of course, were mortgages, and mortgage-back securities, and car loans, and student loans, and HELOCs, and the loans to the frackers–assets all!

    We live in a society where handouts at the Discount Window and loans to insolvent companies are just great but money to a mother with hungry children is “waste.”

    A great many innocent people are going to suffer for the sins of the guilty, but let us not kid ourselves that we are not a deeply guilty, or at least seriously complicit, society, where I would wager a solid majority of people have no problem with handing frackers loans to ruin the environment (jobs! growth! the free market!) but recoil at the idea of giving the homeless places to sleep and the hungry food for their empty stomachs (I have to work to get those things–make them or let them die!). If 80% of Americans were simply decent human beings the politicians wouldn’t be able to run the scam they do and the Power Elite would be making concessions for fear of retribution for all they’ve done to this planet. My contention is, the number of basically decent people with a brain and a conscience is well below that threshold.

    1. Ulysses

      “My contention is, the number of basically decent people with a brain and a conscience is well below that threshold.”

      You may be right, but I’m a bit less pessimistic. I have witnessed too many people manage to wake up and start to connect the dots– when given a chance to hear real information, and “detox” their brains from the relentless 24/7 neoliberal propaganda of the MSM.

      I think the more serious problem is that too many people– with a brain and a conscience– lack the courage of their convictions to risk openly defying TPTB. Sharply worded letters to the editor, by themselves, just won’t cut it anymore– as we teeter on the brink of falling into a far more brutal corporatist dictatorship.

      1. jrs

        And of course shipping everything by container ship that’s made in China makes way more sense than more local manufacture. Because trade!

        Yes labor can be substituted for energy, the reverse was the industrial revolution, but it won’t be unless it increases profits to do so. Time can be substituted for energy but that will only happen if it’s better for the bottom line. If the logical step from that fact is to argue for a carbon tax or something, he doesn’t do it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          How high can the Shanghai stock market go?

          I think it will go all the way to the Moon.

          “Every dragon kid will watch it on TV, as the first A-share corporation makes the historic lunar landing.”

          “It’s one step for one stock market, but one giant leap for all bubbles.”

          I mean, after all, we here of the one nation with two coasts, have done our best at bubble blowing. It’s time for Europe and China to take over and do their QE parts, in order to keep the good times rolling.

      2. jrs

        “hard scientists who think they are smarter than economists …” [insert joke here] only don’t those hard scientists not only have scientific but even have actual AGGREGATE economic data on their side? Doesn’t carbon ppm in the atmosphere keep increasing? Isn’t the only time overalll fossil fuel use actually goes down in the current economic system when there’s severe global recession?

        And Krugman’s great insight is we can do more with less? Well his concrete examples are nice, but other than listening to a 50 year old Buckminster Fuller essay where are we? Yes of course more can be done with less. But what does he think about Jeavon’s paradox? But more to the point those ships becoming more efficient haven’t decreased aggregate carbon use. You can at best argue for a carbon tax (with offsets to help the poor) or #fullcommunism to reverse it. But pretending anything will be done at present without even advocating it, is so many angels on the head of a pin. Everyone has seen the shadow of human extinction and “everybody knows”, economists argue about angels on the head of a pin.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘…but recoil at the idea of giving the homeless places to sleep and the hungry food for their empty stomachs.”

      “Food? Free manna from Heaven for believers?”

  4. Praedor

    Ugh. The Republican “alternative” to Obamacare is tax credits? USELESS. I HATE the tax credit gimmick for anything and everything. You need to pay for x NOW with money NOW. Your tax credit doesn’t play out until NEXT YEAR and then AFTER you file your taxes and WAIT for the credit. Future theoretical money is useless today when actual money must change hands. You can’t put off the insurance company or doctor until next year when your tax credit goes through. Subsidies. Subsidies in lieu of singlepayer universal healthcare for rich and poor. Subsidies come now when you need it not a year from now.

  5. Larry Headlund

    Scientists Perturbed by Loss of Stat Tool to Sift Research Fudge from Fact Scientific American (Robert M)

    The title is a bit misleading: the article reports problems for psychology researchers; it is unclear if any scientists were effected. The quandary of null hypothesis testing is hardly new or obscure. I just checked a 1971 textbook I used and the problem is discussed on the very page where null hypothesis is first introduced. Ill advised use of mathematical techniques is notorious in several fields. When I was still in graduate school I organized a group of fellow graduate students with the notion that we would hire out to medical researchers, psychologists, etc. to help them make sure their mathematics was accurate and appropriate. Alas, there was no interest in this kind of service.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We accept we are all graded on a curve.

      “As long as mine is the best, relatively speaking, explanation – relative to others and relative to the past – that is, the best explanation today.”

      “I use bad math. They use even badder, check that, worse math. I am A-OK.”

  6. Peggy

    MSNBC”s Joe Scarborough may not have brought up TPP – but Ed Schultz @ 5pm est has been talking about it.

  7. fresno dan

    “They’ve made concessions on lack of probable cause,” Murphy said of officials. “Running while black is not probable cause. Felony running doesn’t exist, and you can’t arrest someone for looking you in the eye. You have to believe he committed a crime and have an objective basis for that belief. They had none of that.”

    The lawyer and the officials go on and on about that, but if you don’t fire police for improper arrests, you really don’t have any basis to say that police are in ANY way constrained from arresting anyone they want.

    “I understand the community’s frustration. I understand it because I’m frustrated,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I’m angry that we are here again, that we have had to tell another mother that their child is dead. I’m frustrated that not only that we’re here, but we don’t have all of the answers. I want to know why the officers pursued Mr. Gray. I want to know if the proper procedures were followed. I want to know what steps need to be taken for accountability.”

    This is something that happened on April 12!!!!!
    Mr. Gray died on April 19, when the incident started being reported. How it is that someone ends up in a hospital in a life and death situation (and than dies) and the police still can’t answer exactly the circumstances of the arrest, and what transpired to Mr. Gray, NINE DAYS LATER, while in custody is outrageous.

    There should be a number of supervisors, to start, that should be fired for aiding and abetting the lack of documentation that exists in this case.
    Yet there won’t be any firings….

    1. Praedor

      Same disease (lack of any real accountability) exists throughout the system. Banksters can break the law up one side of the street and down the other and they get a wagged finger and then a big bailout and a taxpayer funded bonus. Cops kill people (mainly blacks) and they get a bit of hand wringing, an “internal investigation” and then a “no problem found”. At worst, the cop gets a week or two off (MAYBE without pay) before being allowed to go back to the job. Lack of accountability is what comes with oligarchy.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is a theory that those bonuses are not taxpayer funded.

        That is, taxpayers can’t complain on the basis that their money has been wasted.

        “Henceforth, thou shall not complain that your money being used for $500 toilet seats.”

        “And you can sleep better knowing your money was not part of the funding to purchase Great Game drones. Sweet dreams, my dear.”

    2. Ned Ludd

      [I]f you don’t fire police for improper arrests, you really don’t have any basis to say that police are in ANY way constrained from arresting anyone they want.

      Exactly. “Proper procedures” are toothless when police officers can kill people without consequence. And the media is unwilling to report, clearly, that a police officer killed someone. Instead, Freddie Gray died “of spinal injuries during an arrest”. And when a police officer shoots someone, the media now report it as an “officer-involved shooting”.

      1. barrisj

        Belatedly, the coppers say that Gray was “arrested for carrying a switchblade knife”…the knife was found in his trouser pocket, and unless the arresting copper has X-ray vision, at the very least there seems to be a complete absence of probable cause…oh, wait, he’s black…say no more!

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cool, monkeys are people too.

    Yes, but robots are more than people.

    Robots should have replaced human miners (one of the first priorities for taking over human workers) completely (as in 110%), for mining is a very dangerous job, at least in China – and should be off the Job Guarantee list, if possible – though those human losses are ‘acceptable, but my guess is that the corporations are not willing to accept any robot losses.

    So, yes, robots are people too, but for some, more than people.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is only one question when it comes to robots replacing humans.

        Question: Do you trust a robot to be the commander in chief of our nation and the leader of the free world?

        That’s the only real question and the only real test. Compared to that, replacing truck drivers or auto workers is an EZ task, a child’s play.

        1. ambrit

          As far as robot POTUS goes, I’ve been asserting for years now that Ronald Reagan really died when Hinkley Jr. shot him. The wizards at Disney Animatronics were given the rush job of building a facsimile President from parts in their Hall of Presidents workshop. That simulacra filled out the rest of Reagans two terms. The dementia rumours were just a clever ploy to explain the occasional glitch in the artificial persons’ performance. (It doesn’t hurt that actors in general are portrayed as ‘less than stellar intellects’ in the press. [That makes them more like you and me!])
          Other observers have floated the idea that the POTUS is just an artifact of our ongoing experiment in cybernetics. (You don’t see him, or soon her, wearing the dreaded ‘foil hat’ now, do you?) Anyway, I’ll believe the ‘baleful influences’ idea has hit the Big Time when I see articles on how to tastefully decorate your foil hat in Ladies Home Journal, or Real Simple magazines.

  9. diptherio

    I’m a day late posting a 420 link, which is somehow appropriate, but this one just came across the Twitter feed and I had to share it here, for the Urban Ag angle.

    Marijuana: The Gateway Plant to Urban Farming

    Unexpected benefit from legalizing the weed: it’s waaaaay easier to get people interested in growing things in their yards…apart from grass…well, regular grass…growing grass instead of grass…you get the point…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We’re all farmers now (me and my one mint plant).

      “Charge me the preferential Ag rate for my water now.”

      1. optimader

        Beef, how can it be one mint plant , the stuff grows like an invasive species here! Maybe cut back on the Brawndo?
        In a speech, President Camacho (Terry Crews) gives Joe the job of fixing the nation’s food shortages, dust bowls, and crippled economy within a week; whereafter Joe discovers that the nation’s crops are irrigated with a sports drink named “Brawndo”, whose eponymous parent corporation had purchased the FDA, FCC, and USDA. When Joe has it replaced with water with no change to the crops, Brawndo’s stock drops to zero, and half the population lose their jobs, causing mass riots.
        Joe is sentenced to die in a monster truck demolition derby featuring undefeated “Rehabilitation Officer” Beef Supreme (Andrew Wilson), when Rita discovers that Joe’s reintroduction of water to the soil has prompted vegetation in the fields. Frito shows the crops on the stadium’s display screen, and Camacho gives Joe a full pardon, appointing him Vice President. Joe and Rita find that the time machine Frito spoke of is a wildly inaccurate, history-themed amusement ride. Following Camacho’s term, Joe is elected President. Joe and Rita marry and conceive the world’s three smartest children, while Frito, now Vice President, takes eight wives and fathers 32 of the world’s stupidest children.

          1. ambrit

            I think that’s the “Middle Way” you’re thinking of. (It could also be the “Middle Kingdom,” now that I think of it, but that would be diametrically opposed to Tolkiens Retro Feudal World View. I mean, Peoples Republic Party Chairman Gandalf???)

    1. Michael

      Icelanders seem far more sane than the rest of the world in so many ways, I don’t think what they do really foreshadows much about anywhere else.

      1. sd

        Well, the collapse started in Iceland. Crony capitalism with inexperienced leaders. Privatization of just about everything of importance. Environmental destruction. Then there’s the almost complete collapse of their medical services….

  10. JEHR

    So how well do you think a hedge fund can run a Circus? I give Cirque a very limited future with the hedgie getting big profits.

  11. TarheelDem

    Too superficial a view of MSNBC’s attitude toward the TPP.

    MSNBC is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit. The intellectual property sections of the TPP benefit Comcast and its companion media companies as an industry as much as any other US industry. The orders are coming from the top. It’s self-interest, not politics.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Vietnam refusing China (we have enough imperial money to quack like a hegemon) and her proposed co-prosperity ring?

  13. Lambert Strether

    “RBA governor Glenn Stevens says extraordinary world conditions could spark ‘abrupt’ sell-off ”

    The elites have been panicked for around two weeks now, it seems, just picking up on the zeitgeist; we had Dudley worrying about a liquidity crisis just the other day (and of course, just like last time, it will be a solvency crisis). But I don’t see the signals for why. I mean, the US economy’s going like gangbusters, right?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I’ll take the hook — but turn it back on you.

      What else are you picking up on the Zeitgeist besides the two items mentioned? I’ve felt like things were on the edge for the last couple of years and wondered what kept our house of cards standing. With a bubble in fracking futures, Banking and Investment Companies doing more of the same things that broad down the economy last time, Europe getting worse as each new report comes in, China slowing and boasting its own bubbles, Japan and the US in doldrums, sword rattling in the Middle East, Ukraine and China Sea … I feel like I’m living in some strange reality tv show in the episode called “A Gathering Storm.”

      I don’t see any silver linings in the clouds gathering. For some time now I’ve felt an urge to pull up stakes and get as far away from big cities as possible. Before sitting down to the computer I was reading Greer’s book “Green Wizardry” and thinking I need to learn how to raise chickens and rabbits and save seeds.

      So what has your feelers twitching?

      1. ambrit

        I don’t know about the macro, but as far as micro goes, we’re seeing a lot more poor people aimlessly walking around, as in poorly dressed, obviously drunk or stoned, asking for handouts, etc. The local hobo jungle was forced out to the fringes of the city a year ago, but is still a going concern. People still transit the area on foot with backpacks, sporting that “thousand yard stare.” The city just sold off about eighty derelict properties which were abandoned, and seized for non payment of taxes. One of the ‘flippers’ I know told me that one of the stipulations in the sale was that the building be bought up to code or demolished. Our son speaks of a lot more younger people having to share bedrooms to afford rent. Not just share the apartment or house, but a bedroom too. My observation that no one in the parking lot of the General Dynamics “Heritagefoundationcare Navigators” phone bank can be seen smiling still holds true. (What’s with this? The phone bank is still up and running. Are the Feds finally accepting that the ACA navigation prograsm is going to be an all the time process?)
        If you do “pull up stakes” and head for the country, do your homework and check out the social networks in the areas you are considering moving to. Movies like “Deliverance” and “Straw Dogs” are a lot more realistic than most people can imagine. (I’ve been in some of those places where you meet up with “cross eyed, red headed” and married first cousins.) As a general rule, it helps to hang out in the local liquor store parking lot one Friday or Saturday night and see just how “bad” the locals can be. You’d be amazed at some of the offers you get.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Things around here aren’t good — a lot of closed and closing small businesses. There do seem to be more vacancies in the complex where I live. But what you describe sounds like scenes from a modern day “Grapes of Wrath” or “Road to Wigan Pier”.

          Good advice as far as choosing carefully where to move to. I’ve been through and moved quickly past places in beautiful country easily much worse than where I am. For me the tell was how people treated each other where I’d stop off to eat or get gas, or the smells in the air in otherwise idyllic settings. I tried not to be around at night.

  14. Bev

    Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – Where We’re at Now
    And, human Cognition about Bees that helps the Bees

    Terrific new beehive design doesn’t disturb bees when you harvest honey
    Frauenfelder at 10:24 am Fri, Feb 20, 2015
    The worst part of being a beekeeper us pulling out the honey-laden frames from the box and tearing them up to get the honey. The bees hate it and so do I. That’s why this new hive design, called Flow, is so cool.
    Cedar Anderson and Stuart Anderson have spent over ten years developing the Flow hive. It uses special frames with open cells that allow honey to flow through a pipe when you want to harvest. The bees don’t freak out because there’s no violent home invasion, and I’m sure this non-invasive harvesting method reduces the chance they’ll abscond from the hive (as mine have done). I’ve never seen anything like it, and if it works as advertised this will revolutionize amateur beekeeping.

    Flow™ Hive – “It’s Literally Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive!”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe I will learn to become a beekeeper now. I

      Is there an online school?

      It’s a shame that (growing your own healthy food) wasn’t and still isn’t mandatory in school.

      I would have dropped Introductory Programming in Fortran for that.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Did you subscribe to their Indiegogo offering? You’ll have to follow up with a report if you get one of the flow hives and test it out. I’ve never kept bees and couldn’t right now but a taste mead has peaked my interest.

      Aside from the price — but I don’t know what bee racks normally cost — what appeared to be extensive use of plastic in the design put me off a little. I don’t know what else they could have used instead — it just would have been somehow “nicer” if they used a less “industrial” material.

  15. nowhere

    “Rural Rebellion in Northern California”

    A primary objection expressed at the meeting was regarding wineries that become event centers, complete with restaurants. They host all kinds of non-agricultural events in areas zoned for ag. and as rural.

    You can see the icy, corporate fingers dancing with glee if the TPP passes. Let the lawyers free and the spreadsheets fly on the amount of “expected profits” that are lost because those rural louts in N Cali. have the temerity to establish zoning laws that limit their sprawling corporate tentacles spreading and plunging into what remains of the watershed.

  16. jgordon

    I’m glad to see that my proposal to ship water from all over the US to alleviate California’s drought is beginning to gain traction with Important People. Truly it may take someone as bold and adventurous as Captain Kirk to appreciate the value of this proposal and shepherd it into reality. After all, how can Californians possibly maintain their piece of mind if they can’t water their lawns or grow almonds in the desert?

    1. jrs

      I think desalinization is a more popular but still extreme option. Of course those states are headed for drought as well, it may be a matter of degree, but snowpacks are low throughout the pacific northwest:

      On the one hand you have those who think technology is the answer to everything (just desalinate!) and on the other hand you have those convinced California and it’s agricultural production is of no importance to anyone. So with nothing but lunatics running the entire asylum and feeding the discourse in this country …

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is another option.

        If water wont’ come to California, California shall go to water.

        But only if San Andreas Fault cooperates…

        “This is the governor speaking. We are now slowly drifting into the Antarctic after 40 years in the wild. Finally, the land of frozen water…but water, nevertheless and that’s what you have elected me for…to get you fresh water. “

        1. ambrit

          The big Colorado River water theft was a case of California going to, by aqueduct anyway, the water. Then the water just “followed me home. Can I keep him, huh, huh?”

  17. bruno marr


    My guess: juvenile short-eared owl; breeds north of the 49th parallel, winters south of it. (Just like Canadians.)

    1. Ken Nari

      Good guess. Do they have orange feet?

      I’ve never seen one, but you can hear their mating calls here in Minnesota. Seems funny they’d come down here to find mates and then go all the way back to Canada to raise the young, but maybe that too is the Canadian way.

  18. JTFaraday

    An interesting question. Creative labor is subject to vigorous neoliberalization, and yet, it’s also long seemed to me that it claims the only Left that’s left, at least in the US. One can’t call all so-called “working class” and poor Americans “left.” They have their own ideas about things, as “What’s the Matter with Kansas” attests. Meanwhile, the institutions of organized labor still support the (neoliberal) D-Party.

    It’s not at all clear that a left composed substantially of creative class types would tend to look like the historic industrial left. What might this suggest about the future of the left?

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