Links 4/29/15

This fox is the best thing since sliced bread! Clever animal takes scraps of meat and a loaf… and uses them to make a five-decker sandwich Daily Mail

Signs of Subsurface ‘Alien’ Life Found in Antarctica Discovery (CL)

Catastrophe deals threaten reinsurance sector ‘collapse’ FT. “[A] team of business school academics has found that some companies are now packaging together catastrophe risks in a similar way to the carving up of subprime mortgages by big banks before the financial crisis.”

Warren Said to Join Vitter in Seeking to Curb Fed Crisis Lending Bloomberg. Warren seems quite busy!

SEC Investigating Whether Bank of America Broke Customer-Protection Rules Wall Street Journal. Another cost-of-doing business fine.

Warren probes insurers’ sales incentives for annuities Los Angeles Times. Here’s how the incentives work: “As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”

5 Things to Watch at This Week’s Fed Meeting WSJ

Central banks choose Pythonesque approach as new tool FT

Goldman Predicts Record Year for Financial Engineering Wolf Street

Canadian Solar Sees Panel Shortage in Second Half on More Demand Bloomberg

With its own Tweet gaffe, Twitter spectacularly demonstrates its own intrinsic Catch-22 Pando Daily

Russian Assets Regain Appeal for Investors WSJ

The populist surge has peaked but it will leave a bitter legacy FT


Sidelining Varoufakis Won’t Solve Greece’s Real Problem The New Yorker

Did Alexis Tsipras just banish the risk of “Grexit”? Fortune

Official: Tsipras exposes Euro-banking mafia and its puppets the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens (CL)

Are Creditors Pushing Greece Deliberately Into Default? Social Europe. All roads lead to the ECB…

ECB’s Coeure says Grexit not a scenario ECB is working on – magazine Reuters. Then again….

UPDATE 1-Bundesbank head: euro state insolvency possible without system collapsing Reuters

Envoy Predicts Greece Will Stick With Euro Bloomberg

Did Greece get promised a deal on t-bills? FT


President Obama on Freddie Gray’s Death: “This is Not New, and We Shouldn’t Pretend that It’s New.” White House

Baltimore Been Burning Ebony

Bloods and Crips Members Say They Want “Nobody to Get Hurt” in Baltimore Protests Mother Jones

Nonviolence as Compliance Ta-Nehesi Coates, The Atlantic. The headline is poor, being freed of context. Of Gene Sharp’s 198 Non-Violent Methods of Protest and Persuasion, #198 is Dual Sovereignty. That’s hardly compliance.

Why Baltimore Rebelled Jacobin

Resistance Isn’t Always Rational Reason. “We needn’t endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for.”

Mobtown U.S.A. Baltimore Common-Place

Baltimore mom: “I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray” CBS.

NICKEL & DIMED TO DEATH: Is a long-standing Philly cop ‘technique’ to blame for a Baltimore fatality? Will Bunch, Philadelpia Inquirer

Dirty shooting ranges poison police Reveal. Somebody should test the Baltimore range.

Education Reformer Jeanne Allen Says Baltimore Riots Are A Call For More Charter Schools Perdido Street Schools. While the embers still smoulder. At least during Katrina, charter advocates had the common decency to wait ’til the hurricane was over before making their play.

‘A New Way of Writing About Race’ NYRB


Bernie Sanders To Announce Presidential Run Vermont Public Radio. As a Democrat.

Billionaire Auditions Spook Conservatives Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton vows to rebuild state parties after Obama-era wipeout Politico

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails contain few revelations: sources Reuters. Now that’s a shocker.

Clinton logo goes rainbow for same-sex marriage arguments CNN

No clear answers on same-sex marriage: In Plain English SCOTUSblog

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

CIA Manager Who Had Been Removed From His Job Is Back ABC

Far from tolls, New York gathers location data through E-ZPass Autoblog

The Police State is already here Mathbabe. This is about local police departments and young people. One can’t help wondering if Baltimore’s high schools were surveilled, and if the surveillance prompted the initial fracas — at a high school.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Assassination as Policy in Washington and How It Failed: 1990-2015 Counterpunch. The powers that be tend to double down on #FAIL, so let’s all hope they don’t apply this policy domestically.

Richard Holbrooke’s Diary of His Diplomacy NYT. Richard Holbrooke kept an audio diary because “in today’s Washington, he did not feel it was safe to write anything down.”

Class Warfare

Bumble Bee Foods, 2 others charged after employee died in pressure cooker Los Angeles Times

Income Inequality Is Costing the U.S. on Social Issues NYT

This Is How Fast America Changes Its Mind Bloomberg

The Job Guarantee would enhance the private sector Bill Mitchell

Texas A&M Prof Fails Entire Class For Cheating, ‘Ridiculous’ Behavior Talking Points Memo. It’s a “strategic management” class…

5 reasons why online Big Data is Bad Data for researching social movements Mobilizing Ideas

How to crack many Master Lock combinations in eight tries or less Ars Technica. Well, I’m OK, since I never go to a gym, hence don’t have a locker there.

Antidote du jour:


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. frosty zoom

    a comment from the local paper regarding the baltimore mom reprimanding her son:

    “Maybe if the Baltimore Police had a mom like that they wouldn’t have severed a man’s spine or killed a 100 other folks over recent years.”

    1. skippy

      As the Irish comedian said… dad could always settle the house down [12 kids] by throwing a chair through a wall, yet he could save money by buying a suit at the reject shop, one arm a bit longer than other.

      Skippy… tho once on his own experienced an event where a lady was smacking her kid for demanding behavior in public, to whit he said, is that necessary, her reply was it was to teach respect, his reply was, so if I smack you in the head will you respect me?

      1. barrisj

        Other reports had “social media” chatter circulating through Ballymore high-schools about doing a “surge” that afternoon, and the coppers then appeared fully kitted out in paramilitary riot gear in the usual “show of force” posture…which, of course, virtually guaranteed the angered response from the students. And, of course, prompts the question: are such police tactics provocatively deliberate? Well, of course they are, because the outcome is always “senseless violence by a mob of thugs”…”why are they burning down their own neighbourhoods”, all the usual handwringing from white people well removed and insulated from a segment of the population forever under the repressive thumb of “the authorities”, and who are completely unable or unwilling to empathise with people victimised by racism and willful disregard of their collective plight.

  2. Ned Ludd

    Bernie the Bomber’s Bad Week

    Bernie [Sanders]… went to the Kennedy School at Harvard for six months and came back with a new relationship with the state’s Democrats. The Vermont Democratic Party leadership has allowed no authorized candidate to run against Bernie in 1990 (or since) and in return, Bernie has repeatedly blocked third party building…

    The unauthorized Democratic candidate in 1990, Delores Sandoval, an African American faculty member at the University of Vermont, was amazed that the official party treated her as a nonperson and Bernie kept outflanking her to her right. She opposed the Gulf build-up, Bernie supported it. She supported decriminalization of drug use and Bernie defended the war on drugs, and so on….. […]

    Recently, Bernie championed in Congress the dumping of Vermont’s nuclear waste near Sierra Blanca, Texas, a low income border community with a mostly Latino population that is overwhelmingly opposed to the dump project. […]

    The overwhelming majority of the people present were against Sander’s [sic] support for the bombing… and his active support for every US intervention since he has been in Congress–Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia, Zaire (Congo), Albania, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia.

    This essay was written by Will Miller in 1999. Miller was an anti-war activist, union organizer, and Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department of the University of Vermont who died in 2005.

    1. TedWa

      He’s against Wall St and against these trade deals and wants to save SS by raising the income threshold – and a lot of other good things for we the people. Choice between Hilary and Bernie? Bernie 100%
      Going against Wall St and trade deals would probably wind down wars faster then faux withdrawals.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Sanders is often for (or against) the right thing until it really counts. Obamacare was a good example.

        1. cwaltz

          Two clear arguments for Bernie though are a) he actually presents the left’s side of an argument even though he ended up voting for Obamacare, he was one of the first to actually propose and advocate a single payer system. b) In Congress, there are very few people from the left who know how to get something for their vote. Usually they start in the middle and the result is we end up on the right, Bernie IS one of those people who seems to at least get something for his compromises. For example, he did vote for Obamacare but one of the concessions he procured included increased funding for free clinics. While that may not seem like much for anyone who has health insurance it’s a lot for those that can’t afford health insurance or those that might have a “catastrophe” plan that is unaffordable.

          At this point, I’m not completely advocating for Sanders(I’d want to know more about his foreign policy positions) but from a domestic standpoint he isn’t godawful.

          1. hunkerdown

            Sanders is the new Kucinich: the token Democrat who proves the Party’s heart branding is still in the right place. Mommy can play off of it and vouchsafe to us about How The Real World Works. I don’t think there’s much more to it than that. If the MSM lets leftist rhetoric into the papers, it’s because it suits the outcomes the overclass desires.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Or he gave up the unequal struggle for a billion or so (IIRC) in health care clinic money for the state he represents.

          Bottom line for me is that anything that opens up the Democratic race, and especially from the left, is a good thing. I don’t expect much more than that, and I’ll be pleased if I get anything more than that.

          1. cwaltz

            Free clinics operate all over the country(my state has 61 of them including one in Christiansburg) so the increased funding he managed to procure actually wasn’t just a win for his state.

            I’m cautiously optimistic about what Bernie means to the debate, if not the race(I doubt he’ll win.) I’d be more optimistic if I didn’t think the Democratic Party wrung concessions out of him before agreeing to allow him to run under their banner. My opinion is the Democratic Party itself is as dirtyand bought as the GOP.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              My opinion is the Democratic Party itself is as dirtyand bought as the GOP.

              Complete agreement. And your points on Sanders are fair, but I very much doubt anything un-sanitized/vetted will be allowed to escape onto a nationally public debate. Sanders will be allowed to make some “leftist” sounds as long as he is addressing his sleeve. And we will get the stray news broadcast where he is allowed 24 – 25 seconds of ‘radical’ talk followed by quickly moving on to the next story.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Great link (Miller’s essay) as was your link yesterday on the Greek government backtrack on the Gasprom deal.

      Bernie Sanders willingness to “bend” (I think “sell out” is often justified) goes way beyond what has been described in other threads here as constraints imposed on him to get anything done for his state. Our system as it has evolved in the last 40 years is crushingly effective at bringing political and judicial people into the overall corporate/military line, no matter how good one’s original intentions are or how far left (or right) one’s stated position might be. We have passed some sort of invisible line where reform seems herculean if possible at all.

      It’s almost as if there is some sort of force making an FDR type (in full bloom) almost virtually impossible.

      1. hunkerdown

        The corporate mediation of almost all aspects of society, perhaps? If nothing can get into your eyeballs without paying a toll and suiting the gatekeeper’s interests, if you’re strongly discouraged from seeing the actual state of play by branding exercises and guilt-by-association (see Husting 2007)… you’re not even living in your own context anymore; much less acting upon it as such.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Fairly authoritative hearsay: back a couple of elections, the Green Party actually approached Sanders to run for President. He refused; our national representative’s comment was that Bernie was “very comfortable” in the Senate and working with the Democrats.

      Nonetheless, running as a Democrat is purely symbolic, because, famously, he isn’t one, so he’s a carpetbagger, an opportunist, and will be treated accordingly by DP voters.

      OTOH, I’m grateful that he isn’t running as an independent, as that would split the left-wing vote. This way there will be clear choices in November – unless somebody else splits the Left, as Rocky Anderson did 4 years ago.

      At this point, much depends on the kind of campaign the Greens can run next year. That depends on a lot more people turning out and probably contributing money. With Hillary in the race, and maybe Jeb as well, we have a rare chance to exploit the outrage.

  3. scott

    Interesting ~180 year old quote from the Common-Place article. Who would have thought?

    “Many of our most esteemed citizens wink at it–the poor have suffered, they could not get redress through the law, and so they have sought it in their own way, as ruinous as it may be to the interest of our city–the cries of widows and orphans are loud, and they will be answered.”

    1. hunkerdown

      See, this here is exactly why “moral reformers” (with quotes) need to be taken out into the streets and discouraged from opening their arrogant mouths again. Usually, after the third beating or so, people learn to keep their ambitious noses the f— out of others’ business.

      And that is exactly the attitude we need to start taking to these delusional persons: danger to self and others.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Why go offshore to raise funds? ‘Cause that’s where the money is!

    Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a “memorandum of understanding” agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative” is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow “the same protocols.”

    There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, Frank Giustra says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP (Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership).

    “You need each individual donor’s written permission to allow us to disclose their names,” he says. “We’re not going to go to 1,100 people. But we’re certainly going to go to the big ones—a couple hundred grand and up—and just see what they say. Now, they can say no. But we’re going to try.

    Just as O.J. carries on his dogged search for the real killer, Frank Giustra pleads for transparency from his donors to the Clintons.

    AH HA HA HA … Hillary Rotten Clinton: corrupt to the freaking core.

    1. skippy

      And you point is that the Clinton dynasty is a kissing cousin of the Bush dynasty which is only separated by PR marketing?

      1. MyLessThanPrimBeef

        They probably took money from some nefarious Martians that they don’t want people to know about.

  5. Paul P

    A Job Guarantee must look good to someone without a job. So, I’m all for it. FDR created 11 million jobs in a eye blink during the Great Depression.The jobs programs were so successful that they were soon cut back and phased out. A comparable program in 2008 would have eliminated unemployment.

    I’m glad that Bill Mitchel analyzes the Job Guarantee and comes out in favor of it. But when I read the analysis, I find myself saying, “Wait a minute, this is wrong.” The productivity problem has been solved. We can produce everything we need of housing, doctors, teachers, economic security, and have a lot left over for space exploration, sports stadiums, and whatever. So, why must some out of work people be made to suffer? Bill Mitchel’s analysis is crammed to fit the confines of a system that works by not providing for everyone. It is a system that needs to be redesigned.

    Nothing new said here, of course. But, to say it again with a quote from Herbert Marcuse, which is from memory: “The housing crisis exists not because the system isn’t working. It exists because that’s how the system works.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimBeef

      Speaking of the FDR years, it took more than, or about, 10 years for the global dislocations, disturbances, imbalances that remained in the system after the 1929 stock market crash to work their way through to finally erupt in a full blown world war.

      So, maybe we think we are smart, this time around, by propping up the markets, but underneath, the same forces are still at work, for the reason that the elites think the same way today as their predecessors did the last time – they think they can preserve and expand their privileged positions.

      We still have a few years to go (the 10th anniversary) before we know fer sure we are indeed smarter for having successfully dissipated those menacing energies…if the weak (peoples, nations, classes) of today are better (or can be made – disciplined, trained, educated – better) at absorbing the unbearable burden than their forebears.

  6. kj1313

    I know there was some trepidation when Warren first ran for the Senate and while I am not a fan of her foreign policy she has exceeded my expectations on the economic front.

  7. steviefinn

    Probably because I am a limey, in regards to the current mayhem in Baltimore, somewhere I have no real knowledge except from 2 fictional TV series : ” Homicide – life on the streets ” & ” The Wire “, my thoughts on this subject are I suppose, obviously informed by the above. The latter I think brilliantly highlighted how corruption in all systems of control resulted in a situation, that I imagine is probably much the same in most American inner cities. A situation where blacks & whites and probably other rethnic groups are dipping their beaks at the expense of those at the bottom.

    Perhaps the only difference here in where we are all heading is the race factor, as in this case the long suffering black population is at the sharp edge of the Neoliberal wet dream. It’s all very tragic & if the 2 TV series have any basis on reality, which I suspect they have – there are many good people stuck in a system that due to an unfortunate familiarisation of a cancer I had through a loved one – reminds me of a form of brain tumour named a Gliablastoma multiforme, which is impossible to operate on due to it growing though tentacles, that like couch grass in a rockery, insinuate into every crevice.

    I watched a video the other day from Nomi Prons called ” All the president’s bankers ” which amongst other information I have read seems to point to the conclusion that TPTB at about the time of Nixon decided enough was enough, & were determined henceforth to crush the progressive movements successes from the sixties & seventies.They are certainly doing a good job & while playing Marvin Gaye’s ” What’s going on ? ” the other night, I thought that he, MLK & many others are perhaps fortunate they don’t know what has been going on & is what going on now, in comparison to those days when there was at least some hope that things could get better.

    The rockery will eventually collapse in on itself from rot unless it is taken apart & rebuilt on a better foundation after the roots of corruption have been removed – much easier said than done of course & maybe all anyone can really do is to mitigate the symptoms of the infestation.

    1. Jack

      All of the David Simons is about as close to reality as fiction gets. The Wire especially is one of the few works of fiction that I’ve ever seen that seems to have a real understanding of how things actually work and tackles the concept of institutional stagnation. You could replace literally every character, from the cops on the street to the mayor himself, and nothing much would change. No matter how genuinely idealistic (like the new mayor played by Lord Balish) someone may be going into a job, the institutional pressures will ensure that they become more or less like the person they replaced.

      At one point Simons called The Wire something to the effect of “a treatise on the inability of a modern American city to begin to solve its problems”.

  8. nobody

    Somebody should smack Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts upside the head. A mom acts to help minimize the very real possibility that the thugs in blue he commands will murder her son — she doesn’t “want him to be a Freddie Gray” — and he says she did what she “embarrassed.” I wish more civilian authorities would take charge of their police departments.

    1. diptherio

      “I wish more civilian authorities citizens would take charge of their police departments.”

      There, fixed it for ya’. Not sure I trust the “civilian authorities” any more than the uniformed ones….just sayin’

      1. Jack

        I wish police would realize that they are citizens to. What’s more, they’re civilians. They’re a type of armed citizenry, and they need to stop talking about those they police as ‘civilians’, as if they (the cops) were not civilians, but some form of military.

        “A watchman is a civilian, you inbred streak of piss!” – Terry Pratchett

      2. hunkerdown

        I wish more citizens would stand up and assert their authority without being so authorized by their betters.

  9. financial matters

    UPDATE 1-Bundesbank head: euro state insolvency possible without system collapsing Reuters

    “”Turning to France, Weidmann said the euro zone’s second biggest economy after Germany had a particular responsibility to put its public finances in order after repeatedly missing deficit targets.
    “A currency union… can only reach stability when its member states run solid budgets…France is an important role model in this regard,” he said.

    Last month, the European Union gave France two extra years until 2017 to cut its budget deficit to within prescribed limits, extending the deadline for the third time since 2009. “”

    Money is a relationship that should lead to a well-functioning economy rather than a ‘solid budget’. France doesn’t seem to be too eager to become an austerity role model.

    1. James Levy

      What perplexes me is that Bernanke could arrange a sinecure at any of the top universities in the country, lecture widely, and be wined and dined and never have to worry about home, car, healthcare, or vacations for the rest of his life. But no, he’s got to grab, grab, grab like some hideous caricature. It’s disturbing and unnerving. What’s worrying him? Why do this? What deep insecurity or ugly impulse is making him so grasping? What basic flaw in his character drives him to such unseemly behavior? Or has the age where behavior could be perceived as unseemly passed?

        1. Ivy

          The Bernster said to himself, “If Bubba could rake in all that dough, why not Helicopter Ben, too?”

          1. MyLessThanPrimBeef

            One needs at least a billion dollars to be able to live forever, with the technology need to reach immortality being so close to that final breakthrough.

            That’s why he works… and hard. Not just now, but has always worked hard, even through his QE years.

            Perhaps a basic guarantee income for him would have been better than asking him to get a job. We’d be living in a safer world.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              BIG affects paychecks only; it is a check, period. However, the Jobs Guarantee puts the baseline not only for wages, but for working conditions, under democratic control. That’s why the JG empowers workers, which the bread and circuses approach advocated by BIG does not.

              1. skippy

                BIG is reminiscent to scraps under the masters table or hand outs at the back kitchen door and it seems a variant of BIG is what help establish intransigent economic problems – like Baltimore – check kettling as it were.

                On that note “Baltimore Residents Urged To Stay Indoors Until Social Progress Naturally Takes Its Course Over Next Century”


                Skippy…. although the “Authorities Believe Man Radicalized While Serving 18 Years In Congress” is fav for the day….

        2. James Levy

          When White (I recall that as his name but could be wrong) said that to McCarthy, it actually worked. It swayed people. It embarrassed McCarthy and led to his censure. Today, it would be like hurling a marshmallow at an Abrams tank. So how did we get here? I’m an historian and it beats the hell out of me.

          1. hunkerdown

            A lack of decency was a rebuke back then; today, it can be something of a point of pride. Must be something to do with the generation gap between teens and their parents being enhanced by hydraulic fracturing in the form of divisive propaganda.

            1. MikeNY

              a point of pride

              Yes, indeed. Gordon Gekko, Ayn Rand, etc. Perhaps a better admonishment for our day would be, “Have you no sense of shame, sir, at long last?”

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      It seems to me that long ago in Massachusetts, it was illegal for unmarked police cars to patrol the highways. Regardless, police cars were always VERY clearly marked (in all the states I drove in).

      Recently, on MA highways, I’ve seen totally unmarked police cars, where even the license plate is made to look ordinary and the flashing lights are all concealed, pulling cars over for traffic violations (usually speeding). It’s part of a mind set change that is very troubling.

      1. James Levy

        Yes, police are there to prevent crime and accidents, not sneak up on them. Establishing and maintaining a public presence is crucial in that enterprise. Hiding the police car is just stupid. It is inviting people to break the law, not deterring them from breaking the law. But my wife told me when I mentioned this on a trip that the purpose of police is to raise money, so I guess I stand corrected.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Your wife gets right to the point, but still, it seems they did a brisk business in the past without resorting to KGB tactics. They are broadcasting distrust and animosity; the state is spying on you, has eyes everywhere, and can nab you when you least expect it. It seems to suit a new darker mentality of the officers which was probably always there but kept in check by training and policy. But the policy has changed dramatically from deterrence and (a sense of) cooperation to more of a sinister omnipotent authority and that is as or more alarming than the officer’s enthusiasm for it.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How do we hapless citizens tell the genuine ones from faux cops when they are totally unmarked like that?

        “Freeze. Oh, hi. I am from the government. I am here to help. Can I see your license and insurance please? That’s a cool-looking Smart Watch you have there. What is your social security number again?”

  10. GlennF

    Wolf Richter: Manufacturing Falls Apart in the Middle of the US
    Maybe the manufacturing sector needs to come into the 21st century and start making things relevant to a growing industry instead of a dying one. Solar power installations are growing 20% per year; wind is growing even faster. Manufacturing the components for these industries seems like a no-brainer. Instead, mid west manufacturing is stuck in the dinosaur age, literally depending on their remains. In Texas, wind power growth is off the charts ( Now is the perfect time to switch with low interest rates and government incentives in place to reduce costs for start ups. Instead, the dinosaurs that are the manufacturing sector are destined to go the way of their namesakes.

    1. JTMcPhee

      But those dinosaurs are going to squash and eat a bunch of us on the way out. And too many of their “executives” and “shareholers” and “bondholers” will jump off the dying saurians, land on their agile little feet with lots of help from their “people,” and escape the Armageddon by wafting off to sunny shores with more luxury left than they rationally could know what to do with…

      “Eat the immeasurably wealthy!”

      Duke Power, and our “legitimately gerrymandered” Red Legislature and felon-manqué governor Skeletor and his pet Public Service Commission, are doing a great job of flattening the demand for and availability of solar systems for homes and businesses. They’ve gotten rid of those pesky little $1.3 million a year set-asides for the puny little set of grants that past, less cruel and grasping, legislatures made them budget for — too big a drag on their guaranteed monopoly profits. While we ratepayers have to pay to decommission one nuclear plant that engineering hubris f__ked up by cutting a hole in the containment building resulting in splitting of the shell all along where the tensioned steel bands supported the concrete. And we ratepayers also are “legally” required by the Rentiers to pay several billions as “advance costs of construction” for another nuke plant that will never even be started, due to “markets.” And of course the federal “green” incentives will disappear, likely never to revive, at the end of next year.

      Stupid f__king humans.

  11. evodevo

    Re: Texas A&M Prof Fails Entire Class For Cheating, ‘Ridiculous’ Behavior – this was discussed the other day on the Pharyngula website. “Management” ?? Really ?? Sounded to me like the prof was a nutcase. I have taught at the HS, community college and University levels, and there is NO way any of my classes would have gotten that far out of control. He wasn’t teaching in some sort of “Blackboard Jungle” situation – he obviously is not cut out to teach. I can’t believe Texas A&M employed him that long. And failing the entire class for the egregious behavior of a few is what is actually ridiculous.

    1. hunkerdown

      You mean people don’t go to vo-tech universities to learn how to serve and survive in the workplace? Delivering unearned punishment is pretty much what’s expected of managers in the testosterone-marinated world of Bizniz, isn’t it?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What did Tom Wolfe write about cops? They all become Irish? That’s a line in “Bonfire of the Vanities.” When Ed and I reported “The Corner,” it became clear that the most brutal cops in our sector of the Western District were black.

      Is it the same with politicians? The most brutal politicians in our sector are 99percenters/liberal/progressive/the same ethnicity as us?

      And why is that? That seems paradoxical.

  12. Benedict@Large

    Dirty shooting ranges poison police

    Just check out their shoulder-to-neck area. See all that bulked up muscle? That’s not from daily sessions at the spa. That’s from steroids. Now check out the CDC website for the effects of steroid abuse? Pretty good match to how cops are acting these days, isn’t it?

    You want to clean up the policing problem real quickly? Mandatory testing for steroids. Frequently.

  13. Brooklin Bridge

    Bernie Sanders To Announce Presidential Run – Vermont Public Radio.

    Whee! check out the comment section to that announcement in case you imagine that public radio is for lib-i-ruls.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Alien life…Antarctica:

    “One of the big questions now is is this finding regionally specific, or are there many locations in Antarctica where we have conditions that have created these subsurface environments for life,” Ross Virginia, an ecosystem ecologist at Dartmouth College, told Discovery News

    My money is on many locations.

    Life is amazing.

  15. Bev

    Gene Sharp’s free on-line book, “From Dictatorship to Democracy, A Conceptual Framework for Liberation“:

    Audio version of Gene Sharp’s book, “From Dictatorship to Democracy, A Conceptual Framework for Liberation” : Online Library in choice of many languages

    Boston Celebrates Gene Sharp Day
    To honor a lifetime of study on strategic nonviolent action, the city of Boston has proclaimed that April 27 will henceforth be known as Gene Sharp Day!

    Einstein Institution 2014 Newsletter and Appeal
    December 2014
    Dear friend,
    In a world that often seems filled with violence and oppression, it is easy to understand why many people have lost grounds for hope in a different future. At the Albert Einstein Institution we see powerful daily examples of why the conditions of war, oppression, and the rule of violence are not inevitable. Around the world, people are refusing to accept that bleak future by using careful thinking, wise planning, and courageous action to conduct powerful struggles for freedom.

    For more than thirty years, the Albert Einstein Institution has been promoting knowledge and understanding of nonviolent struggle as a powerful alternative to violent conflict through research, publications, translations, workshops, and consultations. With your past support for our work, you have helped people facing difficult situations access the knowledge that has brought greater effectiveness to their struggles against dictatorships and other oppressive systems. As described in the 2014 edition of the Nonviolent Struggle newsletter, Hong Kong’s recent struggle for universal suffrage has revealed yet again the importance of advance preparation and access to knowledge in planning a struggle and how this planning can help to prepare people to act effectively in times of crisis.

    In spite of its massive potential however, promoting the use of nonviolent struggle without providing the skills and knowledge required for success is dangerous for those who might use it against powerful opponents. We must remember that as people conducting nonviolent struggles innovate and learn, so also do their opponents. That is why it is critical that we continue to help develop and share tools for nonviolent struggle for social and political change to the people who need them.

    To do this, we need your help. Please join us in meeting this challenge and helping us to advance our unique mission.

    Your contribution, whether it is $10, $25, $100, or $1000, is critical to the continued operation and expansion of the Albert Einstein Institution. Please give as generously as you can to help us promote greater freedom through nonviolent means. Your contribution can be made through the Network For Good.

    Thank you,
    Jamila Raqib
    Executive Director

  16. RanDomino

    “violence doesn’t work”

    Odd, there seems to be a national conversation on racism, police, and the economy starting immediately after large riots in multiple cities over the course of months.
    Probably unrelated.

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