Links 4/6/15

Hadron Collider restarts after pause BBC (David L)

How Machine Vision Is Reinventing the Study of Galaxies MIT Technology Review (David L)

Harold Wanless’s interview This Can’t Be Happening. Christopher B: “Wanless states that our predictions were conservative, and that we can expect faster feedback cycles from global warming. Scariest prediction? That our grandchildren may not have enough oxygen to breathe in 2100.”

The World Lost an Oklahoma-Sized Area of Forest in 2013, Satellite Data Show Motherboard (furzy mouse)

Monsanto’s “Discredit Bureau” Really Does Exist Daily Kos (Chuck L)

New Report Debunks ‘Myth’ That GMOs are Key to Feeding the World Common Dreams (furzy mouse)

Broken Men And Their Broken System Medium. Chuck L: “If the NFL PTB didn’t have their heads so far up their asses they’d hire Chris Kluwe, who was the Minnesota Viking punter for eight years, to design and lead a Transition-To-Normal-Life program for retiring and discarded pro football players. But they won’t, because his high profile activism in opposition to the proposed anti-gay marriage Minnesota state constitutional amendment pissed them off. As did his calling out of the homophobia of the Vikings’ special teams coach. Kluwe was cut before the next season, the coach remains in place even after a change of head coach. A good case can be made that it was Kluwe’s activism that pushed the “No” vote over the top by driving greater-than-expected turnout of people under 35.”

China Steps Back New York Times

There’s Trouble Brewing In Middle Earth Ilargi. Chuck L: “I found this barely believable quote: ‘Over the three years to 2013, China poured 6.4 gigatonnes of concrete, which was more than was poured in the US in the entire 20th century.'”

Government gives seized plots to landless Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

Meet NATO’s new rapid-reaction task force, now in initial training Washington Post (furzy mouse)

First raw data on ECB QE show asymmetrical purchase patterns; yes, negative rates have a role in it. Walter Kurtz

‘Taper tantrum’ fear if eurozone QE is ended too early Telegraph


Greece moves to quell default fears, pledges to meet ‘all obligations’ Reuters

Greek Finance Minister to Meet Christine Lagarde On Sunday ForexMagnates (furzy mouse)

Early data at General Accounting Office indicate March revenue beat target by €900ml @YanniKouts. So maybe the fiscal surplus is back?

Greek political unrest and deepening debt crisis fuel talk of snap election Guardian. This sounds awfully conciliatory:

Varoufakis said following his unexpected meeting with Lagarde that Greece “intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum”. He said the government also plans to “reform Greece deeply” and to try to improve the “efficacy of negotiations” with its creditors.

Frustrated officials want Greek premier to ditch Syriza far left Financial Times. This helps explain a lot of the wild inconsistencies in remarks over time. Also, note that some of the “we can’t make the April 9 payment” rumors, which the government attributed to enemies in the Eurozone, apparently also came from the leftist wing of Syriza (Ambrose Evansp-Pritchard’s story clearly came from Greek government sourcesO). Finally, note the closing para, that capital controls might boost the popularity of the government.

In Greece, Getting By On The Brink Of A Financial Meltdown NPR

Tsipras will not find salvation in Moscow Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

British Companies Find Oil Off Falklands; Argentina Threatens Prosecution OilPrice


Mysterious Deaths in Ukraine Consortium News (Chuck L)

VIDEO: “We’re not cattle”: Kiev protesters throw manure at US embassy offguardian (Chuck L)


The Iran nuclear deal, translated into plain English Vox (Chuck L)

Why the framework nuclear agreement with Iran is good for both sides Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (furzy mouse)

Netanyahu continues attack on Iran nuclear agreement: it’s ‘a very bad deal‘ Guardian

Dianne Feinstein: Iran Deal Does Not Threaten Israel’s Survival Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s. Washington Post (furzy mouse)

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes TomDispatch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Former NSA General Counsel Rajesh De talks privacy, security, and Snowden DailyDot (furzy mouse)

A rising insurrection against Obama Washington Post (furzy mouse). Important.

Chicago Elections Chief Got Lobbying Contracts from Rahm Emanuel’s Adminstration David Sirota, International Business Times

Unions Are Divided Over Mayoral Race in Reshaped Chicago New York Times

Flint, Mich.: State Water Control Hard to Swallow AljJazeera

Rolling Stone and UVA: The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Report Rolling Stone

What was the single point of failure at Rolling Stone? The authors of Columbia’s investigative report answer that and more Columbia Journalism Review

The True Myths on the Trans-Pacific Partnership CEPR

Wage Growth Remains in Check Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

How Criminals Built Capitalism Bloomberg. Dr. Kevin: “They weren’t called ‘giver barons’.”

Congressional Budget Plans Get Two-Thirds of Cuts From Programs for People With Low or Moderate Incomes Truthout

Free Tuition at Stanford for Families Making Less than $125,000; Free Room and Board As Well for Under $65,000 Michael Shedlock

The Sweet Briar Dilemma: Will Predatory Lending Take Down More Colleges? Truthout (furzy mouse)

Homo Economicus and the Absurd Human Ed Walker, emptywheel (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Oakchair

    Is it safe to add Syriza to the mile long list of left-wing disappointments?
    I can’t think of a left wing government in the developed world that wasn’t a disappointment in the past 20 years… : (

    1. John Jones

      I don’t know about the whole party. But it appears you can add Tsipras and Varoufakis to the list.

      1. Jackrabbit

        Maybe a ‘tell’ is when they don’t actually talk about the plight of their people.

        I wrote, here at NC, how astonished I was that Varoufakis had not taken the opportunity to highlight the hardships faced by ordinary Greeks at this big news conference after the negotiations with the Troika. He had also willingly ACCEPTED the sly wording changes – calling the troika, “the institutions” – and talked of partnership with Europe.

        It was hard to determine at that time if this was just some ploy so I stopped writing about Greece. I’m still not sure that we know enough to say what is really going on.

        PS I was never a Varoufakis fan because his suggested ‘fix’ for Europe seemed to be just attempting to transpose the American model (warts and all) to Europe.

        H O P

        1. John Jones

          A Greek financial minister and prime minister should not talk about fixing Europe. They should be talking about fixing the country they were voted to look after and represent.

    2. RanDomino

      20? Why not 100? The SDP, the Bolsheviks, the Spanish Republicans, take your pick of French governments…
      I keep on expecting progressives and leftists to figure out that change doesn’t come through government, and they keep on not. Maybe one of these decades.

      1. Oakchair

        —-20? Why not 100?
        Because of things called Medicare, Social security, environmental laws etc etc.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They are working on disappointing us furiously on those fronts as well.

          One thing we have to admire is their ‘tenacity.’.

          EOS (End of Sarcasm).

      2. norm de plume

        ’20? Why not 100?’

        They have been successfully house-trained and co-opted in the last 20 odd years, hence the disappointment, shading into outrage, then contempt, then disillusioned resignation.

        They had to be house-trained because in the previous generation there had been several examples of leftist governments which were anything but disappointments to their supporters – Mossadegh, Arbenz, Allende, Goulart… even Whitlam and Kirk among Five Eyes members. Of course none of them lasted long enough to go anywhere near fulfilling the hopes of their brethren. Maybe some fell but most were pushed.

        My point is that the disappointing record of left wing governments is, despite their many shortcomings, not something sui generis. They cannot be allowed to be anything other than disappointing.

      3. Jack

        The Bolsheviks weren’t left-wing. Marxism-Leninism might as well just be called Leninism, because it had precious little to do with anything Marx and Engels ever actually wrote or said. His ‘communism’ was just a different kind of oligarchy, by his own admission. He wasn’t even opposed to dictatorship.

        And I’m not saying this as some kind of bitter communist who’s trying to No-True-Scotsman all the murderous, totalitarian regimes out of the discussion. I’m not at all convinced true communism can ever exist, though it has many individual aspects worth striving towards. But I don’t think there is a single ‘communist’ or ‘socialist’ country in the 20th and 21st centuries that Marx would have acknowledged as having anything to with his ideas. He probably would have had to suppress the urge to not just start physically whaling on figures like Lenin and Mao, had he ever met them.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Fool me again and again, I need it.

      I love how you never stop fooling me.

      I will always vote for you, my dear.

      Yours, forever.

    4. Vince in MN

      Syriza is another of that long line of pseudo-left parties that has failed in the desire to put a kinder and gentler face on neoliberalism. They are as much in thrall to the juggernaut as their more “conservative” brethren. They just want to compromise a little bit, make the exploitation and torture a little less painful. It’s pathetic. Is it any wonder that the so-called “left” is in such ill repute? There is no (and has not been) any indication of risking any of the bourgeois creature comforts they hold so dear. This does not go un-noticed by the suffering masses, and is a sure way to encourage support for the the Golden Dawn type of movements as the grinding down continues.

  2. ambrit

    Yes, I agree, the “Insurrection” piece is important, but for perhaps reasons other than those I’m assuming you meant.
    Presidents in the past have struggled with opposition from Congress. This tension was built into the original Constitution. It was built in for the simple reason that the early American political thinkers knew from experience the shortcomings of unfettered executive control. The “Modern Presidency,” through the use of executive orders and signing declarations, has charted a course back toward the early autocratic style of governance. For whatever reason, this is a reversal of the attempt to craft a system more responsive to the public will. (How we define ‘public’ can be a discussion for another day.) Like them or hate them, the present day obstructionists have a point. The possibility of hypocrisy latent within this obstructionism will become clear once the GOP again controls the Executive branch. Bush 43 is generally blamed for the explosion of executive signing orders, but he is not the only one guilty of their use.
    The final section making a connection between Obama and Lincoln is almost pathetically funny.
    To suggest that the present President is valiantly wrestling with the ‘forces of evil,’ as if he were an avatar of Lincoln, is propaganda, pure and simple. Readers of NC will be struggling to categorize numerous instances of venality, obfuscation, and dishonesty at this point. Simply put; Lincoln was trying to preserve America as some sort of unified political entity. Obama seems to be trying to enable the reshaping of America into some sort of oligopolistic entity. The two are polar opposites.
    During the run up to the War Between the States, the catch phrase was “States Rights.” Today, this meme is more properly known as “Corporate Rights.” A subtle distinction, but an important one.

    1. sleepy

      The civil war destroyed one economic system and hastened the dominance of capitalism in the US. That may not have been Lincoln’s motive at all, at least the capitalism part, but I don’t think the civil war as some purely political unification can be so neatly isolated from those economic results.

        1. sleepy

          Well, yes, and it’s often said that our capitalism is reverting back to some feudal form complete with debt serfs and virtual slavery.

      1. ambrit

        I’m suggesting that this is sociological in nature, not purely economic or political.
        The Civil War actually destroyed the political control of the slave owning class in the south and replaced it with a form of the Northern Wage Slavery system. (Formal Slavery, after all, is an almost pure form of Capitalism.) Many of the old plantation masters easily shifted on over into the controlling niches of the Reconstruction Era. Sharecropping and tenancy put new faces on an old system.
        My quibble with the articles’ implied equation of Obama with Lincoln is that this process is a form of hagiography. The calling up of the “k— the President” quotes is manipulation of the basest kind. There are always nutcases willing to use murder as theatre. If I were to equate the potential death of the present President with the assassinations of James Garfield, or William McKinley, who would get the point? Dredging up the demise of Abraham Lincoln however, puts an almost messianic spin on the narrative. “Lincoln was a Great Man,” is the message. If Obama were to meet the same fate, he too would be a Great Man is the implication. Hah! Pull the other one…

      1. ambrit

        We do know that the “Hidden Hand” guides his every liberational step! All Hail! The Anointed One Approaches! Bow down and give praise! (What’s going on here? Am I channeling a DailyKos editor???)

        1. craazyboy

          The Force is strong in that one. The Sith Lords are out there – but even tho there are only two Sith[Republicans] – they are powerful and immensely evil. The Jedi-bots will protect us from the Evil Empire. There shall be no Death Star completed on Obama Wan Kanobi’s watch and equal human rights will be upheld for any and all aliens they can find in our Universe.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We yearn for the Working Serfs Emancipation Proclamation from the Great Father* in Washington.

      *in today’s post modern world, Great Father and Mother, or Great Baba and Great Mama. Thus, Obi Baba Mama.

  3. ArkansasAngie

    I don’t necessarily believe that Executive Orders are constitutional. Constitutionally I don’t think Congress has a right to simply not to its duty.

    Two wrongs don’t make either of the wrongs right

    1. shane mage

      There is total confusion here. The Arizona law is totally superfluous because executive orders are precisely what they are called–orders to the executive branch, of which the president is the head. No state can “rebel” against one, because they simply don’t apply to the states. If they don’t like one (as if, per impossibile, Obama were to order sus[ension of all federal funding to states’ police departments that don’t protect black lives from rogue pigs) they can go to court to say that would violate some law. The totally corrupt courts would probably give them their way, but that is different from rebellion.

  4. Santi

    I read the FT article the other way round. I think the explanation of the inconsistencies are coming from a neoliberal plot to get parts of Syriza co-opted into the elite “classic” (PASOK, To Potami, even ND offered themselves for a coalition government), trying to accept the MoU as-is. They are making strong noises to get this going. For the moment they are not succeeding, I think. The comment:

    A senior official in a eurozone finance ministry added: “This government cannot survive.”

    reminded me similar things said of Allende back when…

    1. ambrit

      Good heavens. The parallels with Chile hadn’t occurred to me. Also, the Chicago School Ideology is involved in both cases. Hmmm…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I believe we can say, he is no Quisling.

        This was just being sarcastic, Byzantine style, I think: Greece “intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum.”

        Infinity is a long time.

        The same Byzantine style, familiar to many Greeks before the 15th century, and still today perhaps, may be why many of us non Greeks, at various times in the last few months, have been uncertain if anything was or is a not ploy.

        Or maybe it’s just because we are no game theorists

    2. financial matters

      Yes, I agree.

      1) “Tsipras has to decide whether he wants to be prime minister or the leader of Syriza,” said one European official.”

      2) “To win the support of Pasok and To Potami, Mr Tsipras would also have to dump his right-of-centre coalition partner, the nationalist Independent Greeks.”

      3) “In Athens, Mr Tsipras is seen as still unwilling to reveal his moderate side.”

      4) “Despite Mr Tsipras’s continued domestic popularity, Greek opposition figures argue that backing will fade as Syriza continues to make concessions to eurozone authorities and the cash squeeze worsens.”

      5) “Others are less sure. One person briefed on the EU’s negotiating stance said concern was rising in Brussels that if the continued stalemate forced Greece to impose capital controls to prevent a bank run, this could strengthen Syriza’s populist appeal rather than sparking disillusionment among voters.”


      1) Tsipras wants to be both and not an EU puppet.

      2) I think teaming with ANEL was a very smart move. It doesn’t necessarily show his ‘moderation’ but shows his bright strategy in forming a productive coalition.

      3) I don’t think Tsipras has a ‘moderate’ side. He has a practical side of wanting to end austerity.

      4) I also think support will lessen the more they cave to EU proprosals.

      5) This is I think the correct view. I think the Far Left part of the party is their core and true strength which will be needed as the negotiations proceed.

  5. Demeter

    The interview with NSA’s former Legal Counsel was amazing BS and not even entertaining. The only interesting factoid revelations are his CV:

    “Prior to joining the NSA, De worked as a legal advisor to the 9/11 Commission and as a staffer on the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. De also served as the White House staff secretary, personally managing the information flow going to President Obama.

    After three years at the intelligence agency, De left government and now runs a rapidly growing team of over 30 lawyers in the privacy and cybersecurity practice at Washington, D.C.-based law firm Mayer Brown, which represented Ameritrade in one of the earliest high-profile data-breach cases, and the firm he left to join the executive branch during the early days of the Obama administration. (Full disclosure: Mayer Brown managing partner Kenneth Geller is the father of the Daily Dot’s deputy morning editor, Eric Geller.)”

    In other words, he’s a Made Man both for the Obama Team and for the NSA, and has figured out how to cash in on it all.

  6. Working Class Nero

    The Columbia School of Journalism report on the U-Va rape hoax is great reading. What a story! Her hunger for truth at any cost leads our hero and intrepid journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely to smash through the lies and discover the truth behind the deceitful “A Rape on Campus”. Following the ups and downs in Rubin-Erdely’s relentless jihad for truth was so enthralling that I ALMOST forgot that Sabrina Rubin Erdely was actually the author of the original story.

    Imagine for a minute, if you will, that the U-Va gang rape story took place in an African American fraternity, and that as a result a lynch mob of vigilante justice warriors attacked the frat house and broke windows? Would the journalist keep her job and not even specifically apologize to the frat concerned?

    In interviews after the story broke, Rubin-Erdely made it clear it was no mistake that she targeted the supposedly “overwhelmingly blond” U-Va. In fact there were a recent series of college gang rapes featuring African Americans (Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, and William Paterson University) that were making their way through the appropriate judicial systems. But no, Rubin-Erdely knew she would only be safe if she went after cisgendered stale pale males.

    Rolling Stone say she is not being fired because Rubin-Erdely herself did not lie about anything. What she did do was pull a Stephen Glass-by-proxy move. Stehpen Glass was the infamous fabulist who invented dozens for stories that ended up being totally made up. Rolling Stone published several of them. In fact Rubin-Erdely and Glass went to Penn together and Glass was her editor. At one point Glass caught Rubin-Erdely inventing a story. Kind of like an up-and-coming murderer being called out by a young Charles Manson in his youth.

    Rubin-Erdely was smart. Instead of lying, she allowed the subject of her article to tell outrageous stories. The Rubin-Erdely told the story in a way that hid the fact the story was only coming from Jackie. For example:

    She was having an especially difficult time figuring out how to process that awful night, because her small social circle seemed so underwhelmed. For the first month of school, Jackie had latched onto a crew of lighthearted social strivers, and her pals were now impatient for Jackie to rejoin the merriment. “You’re still upset about that?” Andy asked one Friday night when Jackie was crying. Cindy, a self-declared hookup queen, said she didn’t see why Jackie was so bent out of shape. “Why didn’t you have fun with it?” Cindy asked. “A bunch of hot Phi Psi guys?” One of Jackie’s friends told her, unconcerned, “Andy said you had a bad experience at a frat, and you’ve been a baby ever since.”

    A self-declared hookup queen? Doesn’t this lead one to believe the “journalist” actually spoke to Cindy?

    Compare with one of Stephen Glass’ masterpieces:

    On the fourth floor of Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel, eight young men sit facing each other on the edge of a pair of beds. They are all 20 or 21 and are enrolled in Midwestern colleges. Each is wearing a white or blue shirt with the top button unfastened, and each has his striped tie loosened. One of the young men, an Ohioan, is wearing a green and white button that reads: “Save the Males.” The minibar is open and empty little bottles of booze are scattered on the carpet. On the bed, a Gideon Bible, used earlier in the night to resolve an argument, is open to Exodus. In the bathroom, the tub is filled with ice and the remnants of three cases of Coors Light. The young men pass around a joint, counterclockwise. “I’m telling you, I’m telling you, we don’t know what we’re doing,” says Jason, a brown-haired freckled boy from Iowa, between puffs. “We’ve got no mission. We’ve got no direction. Conservatives–we’re like a guy who has to pee lost in the desert, searching for a tree.” The other seven young men nod and mumble in agreement.

    Over the next hour, in a haze of beer and pot, and in between rantings about feminists, gays and political correctness, the young men hatch a plan. Seth, a meaty quarterback from a small college in Indiana, and two others will drive to a local bar. There, the three will choose the ugliest and loneliest woman they can find. “Get us a real heifer, the fatter the better, bad acne would be a bonus,” Michael shouts. He is so drunk he doesn’t know he is shouting. Seth will lure the victim, whom they call a “whale,” back to the hotel room. The five who stay behind will hide under the beds. After Seth undresses the whale, the five will jump out and shout, “We’re beaching! Whale spotted!” They will take a photograph of the unfortunate woman.

    Police in Washington DC have not yet to this day been able to prove conclusively that something terrible did not happen to an unattractive overweight woman at the hands of stoned young Republicans that night. There may in fact be a few true believers and dead-enders who still believe Stephen Glass was speaking the truth.

    Be that as it may, following Rolling Stones current logic, if only Stephen Glass had been careful enough to find a disturbed recovering Republican named Jack, for example, to tell him tat following story, then it all would have been good.

    But the worst omission from the Columbia piece is their refusal to go any deeper into the mysterious Haven Monahan. They barely touch this part of the story because after all this is the most damaging to Sabrina Rubin-Erdely. From Wiki:

    The article uses the pseudonym “Drew” to refer to a third-year student at the University of Virginia who takes Jackie to the fraternity party where the alleged rape takes place. “Drew” gives “instruction and encouragement” to the seven rapists. Jackie’s friends in the story have provided evidence that the man Rolling Stone calls “Drew” was electronically introduced to them as “Haven Monahan” Jackie forwarded messages from “Monahan” and “Monahan” exchanged messages with Jackie’s friends, including sending a picture of “himself” directly to Ryan Duffin. Nonetheless, media investigations have determined that no “Haven Monahan” has attended the University of Virginia the portrait of “Haven Monahan” is actually an image of a classmate of Jackie’s in high school, who has never attended the University of Virginia the three telephone numbers through which “Haven Monahan” contacted Jackie’s friends are registered “internet telephone numbers” that “enable the user to make calls or send SMS text messages to telephones from a computer or iPad while creating the appearance that they are coming from a real phone”; and love letters written by Jackie and forwarded by “Haven Monahan” to Ryan Duffin are in fact largely plagiarized from scripts of the TV series Dawson’s Creek and Scrubs.

    “Haven Monahan,” as reported in the Chicago Tribune, “ultimately appeared to be a combination of names belonging to people Jackie interacted with while in high school in Northern Virginia. Both of those people — who attend different colleges and bear no resemblance to the description Jackie gave of her attacker — said in interviews that they knew of Jackie but did not know her well and did not have contact with her after she left for the University of Virginia.”

    So it looks like Sabrina Rubin-Erdely, instead of being fired and say replaced by a woman from an indentity group that is not hugely overrepresented in the media, will be given official sanction to continue to tell lies, as only as long as these lies are directed against officially declared outgroups, as seen from the eyes of major media elites.

    1. craazyman

      They entered the square, she in the center of the group, fragile in her fresh dress. She was trembling worse. She walked slower and slower, as children eat ice cream, her head up and her eyes bright in the haggard banner of her face, passing the hotel and the coatless drummers in chairs along the curb looking around at her: “That’s the one: see? The one in pink in the middle.” “Is that her? What did they do with the nigger? Did they–?” “Sure. He’s all right.” “All right, is he?” “Sure. He went on a little trip.” Then the drug store, where even the young men lounging in the door-way tipped their hats and followed with, their eyes the motion of her hips and legs when she passed.

      They went on, passing the lifted hats of the gentlemen, the suddenly ceased voices, deferent, protective. “Do you see?” the friends said. Their voices sounded like long, hovering sighs of hissing exultation. “There’s not a Negro on the square. Not one.”

      -William Faulkner, Dry September

      Actually Faulkner taught at UVa for a brief period. I have no doubt he’d understand what happened.

    2. Ivy

      There you go again, noticing.

      In other news, catfish is now off the menu in the Rolling Stone executive dining room.

    3. James Levy

      Because rape on campus never happens and frat boys can’t be bad because they are the hated object of those evil feminazis.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Ding! Of course, unlike a similar panic, this is, actually, about ethics in journalism. But that’s not all it’s about, more’s the pity. Adding, that I live in a college town with a huge party culture problem, so I have either experience or priors, depending on how you want to frame it.

        1. craazyman

          He who is without gin, let him first get stoned.


          I counted 26 paragraphs of the main “story” — if you can call a ponderously pretentious prose selfie a story — before that RS mea culpa actually acknowledged the fraternity in question and the injustice of its false accusations against it. Probly the most pathetically soporific navel-gazing exercise in grandiose journalistic self-obsession I have ever encountered. They still don’t get it. They lost all integrity. That’s just one sentence and that’s the entirety of what happened.

          It’s good news for you bloggers! That’s for sure. Who’d pay money for crap like RS anymore?

          Makes me feel bad for somebody like Matt Taibbi, whose righteous and ethical efforts get undermined when his employer pulls stunts like this. Now anytime something controversial shows up in RS people can say, “Well, aren’t they the idiots who pushed that UVa rape hoax story? yeah, I thought so. So now they’re saying bankers are cheating Amurrica? Crimes on Wall Street? Yeah right.”

          1. Lambert Strether

            Yep. If Whats-her-face was a mole, she couldn’t have created a better splatterfest. Undermines RS, undermines dealing with real rape, when it happens, on college campuses.

            Adding… I have a ton of priors on this, living in a college town. I can normally empathize with the falsely accused better than this. But I can also see this stick being used to gleefully beat down just about any rape accusation that’s made from here on out, and that makes me sick.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Its all very reminiscent of a case in Ireland a few years back when a catholic priest was falsely claimed on national television to have raped a Kenyan woman.

          Irish libel laws are similar to the UK – i.e. very strict. The result was a massive (never disclosed) payout which proved crippling for TV investigative journalism – its has never recovered from the scandal. It is reminiscent of the Rolling Stones case in that a somewhat credulous journalist took a shocking allegation at face value and didn’t bother seeking corroborative evidence.

      2. Working Class Nero

        Because rape on campus never happens

        I cite three recent college gang rapes (Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, and William Paterson University) and this is your take home from my comment?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Oddly, or not, you left out Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Guess that doesn’t fit with the “cisgendered stale pale males” narrative, eh?

          USAGE NOTE 1 FWIW, “cite” to me means link, as in “cite to” a case. You mentioned three examples. Ditto Rubin-Erdely, and all the block quotes. And no, I’m not going to do your work by Googling for them.

          USAGE NOTE 2 “justice warriors” verbiage from the steaming load that is #Gamergate. Is this the part where the “rigorous class analysis” begins?

          1. Working Class Nero

            I’m done here. I have no problem with people attacking my arguments but this continuing nick-picking and hectoring over word usage and rhetorical policing is to me a pretty strong signal that my comments are no longer welcome here. As Keith Richards says: it’s better to walk before they make you run.

            For the record, the second definition of the word “cite” in most dictionaries (from but I also checked in my home dictionary) is:

            “to mention in support, proof, or confirmation; refer to as an example:
            He cited many instances of abuse of power.

            Now being multilingual, I have been known to use in English a faux-ami in the way it should be used in French. So I am far from perfect.

            And no, I did not post links to my quotes because then the comment goes into moderation limbo and then actually would potentially make work for you. Besides the RS article has been taken down and I cannot post a link to the Word copy of it on my C drive.

            So yes, I did CITE three examples of college gang rape but the tardation is strong in both you and James Levy. Levy, who is (was?) a college professor, and is obviously intelligent given some of his previous comments, goes into full blown tard-mode by implying that to denounce as false an OBVIOUSLY false frat boy rape claim is to denounce as false ALL frat-boy rape claims. Now of course if he wanted to argue that Haven Monahan indeed did lead a gang rape of Jackie, I would like to read his reasoning and would respond accordingly. But no, he cannot deny the RS article was a complete pile of BS and so instead he tries to twist my words around and you jump in to support him.

            Your obsession with semantic control is second only to the Hillary Clinton tribalists who police every twitter posting for evidence of negative oops, I mean sexist language.

            Yves, on the other hand, has hit me hard in the past on my ideas, but that I respect.

            But this is also your blog and with the “feral”, “SJW”, and now “cite” bitchfests you have made it abundantly clear that I am not welcome here. So after seven years of commenting, this will be my last. Comment sections benefit from pruning just as much as trees do.

      3. hunkerdown

        How dare you counteract my narrative by showing some of it was based on sordid or false sources, you say?

        I’m frankly inclined to give college kids a (one!) pass, considering that their culture has not only failed them, but failed them with malice aforethought and the same smug looks on their face as with which they presume to blame others for themselves. If you wanted them to exercise consent responsibly, maybe you shouldn’t have closed off every sandbox in which they could experiment. Bourgeois helicopter parenting not only reproduces the problem but criminalizes the solution. Why those people think they deserve any deference given their utter failure at society is beyond me.

        1. dandelion

          Except for the girl in question. Who might be 18 years old. Who might then end up in an ER in terrible shape. Who might then come home and find that, because in the aftermath of her rape, her grades sank, and now her scholarship’s been revoked. Who with those terrible grades can’t transfer to another college. Who ends up leaving a fine liberal arts college to work minimum wage retail. While her rapist, no doubt, graduates just fine and ends up, I’m sure, earning 7 figures, since our economy rewards sociopathy. So who gets the pass here, exactly? Sorry, my fingers are trembling. I’m that helicopter mother who had to pick up my daughter in the ER, and I’m that helicopter mother who received nothing but stone-faced shrugs from a campus administration whose party culture closed down every ER in the county on the night in question, and I”m that helicopter mother who worries what my daughter’s future’s going to be like, without a degree, and what it will take to get her back onto a campus so she can get a degree, and how she’ll do that without a scholarship she’d worked hard for. Boys in this country — not all boys, but many — have a serious entitlement problem when it comes to the bodies of girls. Girls play into that — yes. But they’re the ones who bear the enormous price when things go wrong. So I don’t give any college boy a pass. Not one.

          1. savedbyirony

            Jameis Winston (#1 draft pick) – “No more!” (because it’s a high profile PR campaign that properly prevents, investigates, brings justice and solves all)

      4. dandelion

        It’ll be interesting to see the response to Jon Krakauer’s book “Missoula” when it’s published, about the rape culture at the University of Montana. I know this reporter screwed up — but actually a lot of women have been writing about rape for a long long time. I think Krakauer’s book will get serious attention, no doubt because he’s a serious journalist and will have done solid investigation, but also because of the simple fact that he’s a man — and the world gives more credence to a man’s voice than a woman’s, even when he’s speaking about the experience of women.

    4. EmilianoZ

      Had Stephen Glass written for Hollywood rather than TNR, he’d be the new Aaron Sorkin by now. Funny how the wrong career choice can turn talent into liability.

      1. Working Class Nero

        True, Hack Heaven could have been turned into at least a made-for-TV film. And in a film adaptation of the stoner wingnuts’ prank, Lena Durham would have knocked it out of the park as the victim. But if you read about Glass it becomes clear he was a bit of a psychopath and so it was the thrill of getting over on people that drove him to write.

        Not surprisingly, Sabrina Rubin Erdely has several projects in development in Hollywood. And given the number of people in elite circles who just don’t want to stop believing, surely in a couple years “A Rape on Campus” will be made into a true crime movie.

        1. ambrit

          I’ll call my sister, the one who works for Hallmark, and see if they are interested.

    5. myshkin

      I don’t read RS much, once upon time I wouldn’t miss the good doctor’s ramblings, er, reportage. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 captured the moment better than most other scribblers of the time.

      Taibbi’s work was also worth a read, his great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money, wasn’t exactly Gray Lady but still worthy journalistic work that not many other publications were doing, mostly blogs like Naked Capitalism.

      Michael Hasting’s Rolling Stone story on the good general McChrystal was an unconventional take down of US policy elite at work.

      I don’t know how this story plays out, I’m not following it closely either but I like the way Jan Wenner has protected his writer and editor so far. The rape story is obviously not of that gonzo style that Rolling Stone helped launch but the journalistic tradition inherent there should be remembered.

      Interesting that CM chose a Faulkner passage, Wikipedia says that Thompson’s gonzo style was inspired by Faulkner’s notion that “fiction is often the best fact.”

      1. lord koos

        If you like conspiracies, the takedown of General McChrystal would be a perfect motive for any action that diminishes Rolling Stone’s credibility.

    1. psychohistorian

      In the world of almost naked capitalism private finance is never discussed but to me this is a tell that the “smart money” is not only ready for this but it is part of the plan.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I did see the Summers piece. I liked this quote:

      We may be headed into a world where capital is abundant and deflationary pressures are substantial. Demand could be in short supply for some time.

      Thoughts? Sounds like “Mission Accomplished,” to me, though Summers doesn’t present it that way.

      1. craazyboy

        hahaha. I guess architects will never call their own work ugly.

        But the Rubin financial “reforms” were sold to Congress (and Clinton) as “freeing up capital” among probably some other benefits I’ve forgotten. “Deflation” is what happens when you tool up China and let them enter our markets without trade tariffs. Lack of demand is what happens when consumers have so much debt they can’t buy anything anymore.

        Larry was a high powered cheerleader and policy wonk for all of it.

      2. cnchal

        We may be headed into a world where capital is abundant and deflationary pressures are substantial. Demand could be in short supply for some time.

        Isn’t that a non sequitur?

        Larry has a comedic side.

        I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the US to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out of it.

        I think the Berlin wall coming down was a bigger deal, but Larry is just warming up.

        With US commitments unhonoured and US-backed policies blocking the kinds of finance other countries want to provide or receive through the existing institutions, the way was clear for China to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. . . . But the larger question now is one of strategy. Here are three precepts that US leaders should keep in mind.

        First, American leadership must have a bipartisan foundation at home, be free from gross hypocrisy and be restrained in the pursuit of self-interest.

        Lets put this one in the dumb crooks category. Larry was a jolly big part of the gross hypocrisy, and certainly condoned and encouraged unrestrained self interest amongst the elite.

        Second, in global as well as domestic politics, the middle class counts the most. It sometimes seems that the prevailing global agenda combines elite concerns about matters such as intellectual property, investment protection and regulatory harmonisation with moral concerns about global poverty and posterity, while offering little to those in the middle. Approaches that do not serve the working class in industrial countries (and rising urban populations in developing ones) are unlikely to work out well in the long run.

        Take that, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. The middle class must be a new discovery for Larry.

        Third, we may be headed into a world where capital is abundant and deflationary pressures are substantial. Demand could be in short supply for some time. In no big industrialised country do markets expect real interest rates to be much above zero in 2020 or inflation targets to be achieved. In the future, the priority must be promoting investment, not imposing austerity. The present system places the onus of adjustment on “borrowing” countries. The world now requires a symmetric system, with pressure also placed on “surplus” countries.

        The world is pretty well as screwed up as it can get, thanks to Larry’s dial twiddling and lever pulling while he was sitting on his throne at the policy table. Now he wants a do over?

        What kind of a surplus are we talking about anyway? Like China with a surplus of pollution inspired by Larry’s “pollute the third world idea” as head of the World Bank? They will need all the money they can get to even make a dent in their problem, thanks to the clever externalizing performed by the likes of Walmart and Apple. As an example, the lake of black goo somewhere in China where a rare earth mineral is processed into the polishing compound for Apple’s screens.

        What is crucial is that the events of the past month will be seen by future historians not as the end of an era, but as a salutary wake up call.

        Wake up to what?

  7. Jackrabbit

    It seems clear that, to win agreement with Iran, Obama let them know that:

    If you like your nuclear program, you can keep your nuclear program.


    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.


    Negotiating the ‘details’ will likely prove to be more difficult than thought. Look for another extension.

    Obama has already ‘banked’ the political/propaganda victory. Real results are less important. Because Obama.

    H O P

    1. Jackrabbit

      Note: when I say “to win agreement” I am, of course, referring to the understanding about a framework for possibly reaching an agreement. The announcement makes it clear: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. M$M boosterism notwithstanding.


      To see my previous comments about the Iran non-deal click here.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stanford can really help by admitting B and C students, who really can benefit from that university’s ‘education’ than A students.

    It’s not that hard to take, though many have failed, so never take anything for granted, A students and graduate them.

    This is where one school distinguish itself from its ‘other competitors.’

    Instead, we have schools getting together with A students, much the same way people with money get together with other people with money.

    It’s too bad I am no longer 17; otherwise I put this in my admission essay.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “I challenge you to take this C student, but a paying customer nevertheless, and turn me into a graduate. Remember, it’s always been ‘What you have done lately?’ for everyone.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “Dear university, I am writing to inquire if your school is available on an a la carte basis? That is to say, can I just go for your career advancement training, but no real-education nor football? I really have no stomach for college sports . And I have not taken out enough debt to afford your trust-this-Sushi-chef complete menu.’

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Do I get a discount if I just want career advancement training, but not real education?”

          “What if I don’t want either, but just want to make social connections with rich families’ kids? What? I will have to pay more? Why? Oh, because the other programs – career advancement, real education – subside this one? I see. Hmmmmm…I will take it even if it’s more expensive.”

    2. norm de plume

      ‘Instead, we have schools getting together with A students, much the same way people with money get together with other people with money’

      The oldest university in Australia has been caught greasing the wheels for, sorry, getting together with B students, so long as they are ‘people with money’:

      And if they struggle once they’re in there, they stand a good chance of getting away with shortcuts:

      Still, it’s reassuring to know that Unis are now run by CEOs whose pay is an index of how valuable they are and who would (shudder) go somewhere else if we didn’t pay them this much:

      The usual unwashed suspects are less than gruntled of course, but what do you expect of people who belong to those dinosaurs they call unions?

  9. Jef

    Again the problem with these dire predictions from Global Warming effects in 2100 is that is too far off for most people to give a damn. They either dismiss it because they will be dead by then or they assume that technology will have resolved the issue by then.

    The fact of the matter is it is all happening right now its just happening so slow at this point most people think that they get to decide whether or not they “believe in” it or not.

    Speaking of belief, the Easter Bunny is real. I caught him munching in my fava bean crop and almost nailed him with the BB gun.

    1. Foppe

      Yup. I wish that people would stop relying on (animal ag interest-captured) govt ‘intervention’ though, and it puzzles me greatly that putative progressives such as naomi klein never even mention the most important way in which every person on this planet can instantly drop his/her contribution to global warming, even though the potential gains are much greater (and cheaper to realize) than any that follow from improving insulation/adding solar panels/taking shorter showers/etc.. Yet this year, even the bloody (federal) Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has seen the light (although the Hill seems to be having trouble understanding that ‘adopting a vegan diet’ is not quite the same as “eating less meat”)… So if people care at all about their eco footprint, their first course of action anyone should take is to adopt a vegan diet. (E.g., producing 1 kilo of plant-based protein using grain requires roughly 50x less fresh water than 1kg of beef; between 6 and 20x less arable land to grow the grain/fodder/grass; and by not eating 3.5 oz of meat you are saving as much water as you do by not showering for a month. Residential water use only amounts to 5% of the total water use in California, whereas animal ag uses up 55%, for no reason other than that people like to eat animals, eggs and dairy.)

    2. Everythings Jake

      What is truly terrifying is that Guy McPherson may be proven right, and the species may not have until mid-century. The idea that technology which created the problem will save us? Well maybe, except the injustice problem is the economic problem is the environmental problem and all of those are all the other major problems. There is not solution that does not begin with addressing all of those concurrently. What incentive for sacrifice by those who have nothing to give, and in fact, need more than they have now.

  10. Jef

    WRT Middle Earth – China has almost broken free from their reliance on producing massive amounts of US outsourced pollution emissions and are able to generate their own sustainable waste stream.

  11. Montanamaven

    Regarding the review called “How Criminals Built Capitalism”, isn’t the whole system built on thievery? Stealing other people’s stuff whether it’s their labor, leisure or their sanctuaries is, as is often said here, a feature, not a bug. This reviewer looks at it more like a bug since this book is a rollicking saga of dastardly high rollers who got caught. This reviewer is not appalled but enthralled by the daring do of these “captains” of capitalism.

  12. Rosie

    “Congressional Budget Plans Get Two-Thirds of Cuts From Programs for People With Low or Moderate Incomes –Truthout”
    We’ve already seen this movie–with some of the same cast members– in California during our economic troubles from around 2006-2010. At that time, the law required a 2/3 vote of the legislature to pass a budget, so even though Democrats held the majority, we needed a handful of Republican votes to pass the budget. Every year the Republicans exacted their price–tax cuts and cuts to programs helping the poor. Ultimately, the voters grew weary of the annual hostage-taking and passed an initiative allowing the budget to be adopted by majority vote and elected a super-majority of Democrats. If you are at all familiar with what happened in California during this time, you can easily predict what the Congressional leadership will try to do.

  13. Jill

    Insurrection. This article contains copious amounts of propaganda. The first and most glaring omission is that “insurrection” is only occurring with Republicans. Obama has done plenty of insurrecting on the Constitution. This is a man who openly claims the right to kill anyone (including American citizens), anywhere on his say so. The fact that this complete nullification of due process which has already resulted in murder is not considered a problem tells you how far gone people at the Washington Post and other Newz organizations are!

    No branch of govt., and I do mean NO branch of govt. is operating within the rule of law in the US. Yes, evil Republicans are not operating within the law but guess what, neither are the Sainted Democrats! And that is what should truly alarm citizens.

    If the American people continue to fall for BS like this article, we aren’t going to get out of this mess. Obama should be impeached. That would be a lawful action by Congress to deal with Obama’s lawless actions. Most of Congress should be voted out of office and each govt. official who has seen fit to violate our law should be brought before a court of law. (Just so people don’t get the wrong idea. I firmly believe Bush should have been impeached. Yet oddly, it was a sainted Democratic congress which took impeachment off the table. And oddly, the wild bunch of insurrecting Republicans won’t put it on the table now.) Hmmmm…you’d almost think there was collusion among the parties and some theater for the masses.

    1. montanamaven

      Boy, you are sooo right about the WAPO “Insurrection” piece being yet another example of the corporate media successfully steering the conversation and pitting Republican voters/supporters against Democratic voter/supporters as revealed in the comments section. Saturday night, a friend approached me at the restaurant/bar we congregate at. She is a “liberal”. “So what do you think of that baker in Georgia who won’t bake a wedding cake for gays?”
      I replied, “Why is that the # 1 thing on your mind?”
      She looked perplexed, then said, “So what do you think about those Republicans sending a letter to Iran?” Again, I said, “Why is that the second most important piece of news for you?”
      She looked puzzled.
      I said, “Look, where ever you are getting your news, it’s making sure you are all in a lather about the big bad Republican bigots and bullies. There are all kinds of frightening things happening in this country (droughts, poverty, private prisons, GMOs, lousy health care, wretched old age warehouses, killing people in foreign countries by the droves….) and until we stop rooting for our team and being “tribal” nothing will get any better. All I ask is that you question why a news story is pushed above all others. It’s not that they aren’t important. But why are these stories the ones we are led by the nose to focus on by the so called left? Ask questions.”

        1. montanamaven

          Okay, so this is a nice person who actually listens to me and actually values my opinion as opposed to wanting to start an argument. So she said, “I see what you mean. And, yes, I’ll be more careful in the future.” I said, “You don’t want to be a tool.” That explanation seems to work on the liberals who are not “bots”. Nobody really wants to be a “tool” which is my Dad’s word for a fool.

          1. Vatch

            So there’s a happy ending! Except that all of those problems you itemized still exist…

      1. Jill


        It is interesting that the WaPo article calls this an insurrection against Obama. Newsflash– this would be an insurrection against the government of the US. Obama is not the US govt.!

        It’s creepy that Obama is written in as a substitute for the govt. Of course, now that we have a emperor who openly claims he’s getting pretty good at killing people, I suppose it all makes sense!

        1. montanamaven

          But but Obama is Lincoln. Doris Kearns Goodwin said so. And really, isn’t it a good time to re-examine Lincoln? Oh, on second thought, let’s not. I’m tired of “great men”. Give me the People’s History of the Civil War where it turns out quite a few Southerners did not want to fight for the rich. Women in the North and South sent plain clothes to their husbands so that the husbands would desert and come home to the farms that were being stolen from them by greedy Snidley Whiplash capitalists. “Cold Mountain” vs “Lincoln”.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There is a great man, and great woman, within each of us — People-ists believe that.

            We can’t rely on ‘great men (or women)’ to steer an omnipotent government.

          2. Jill


            Obama is like Lincoln in that both men have subverted the Constitution when it suited them! :) And yes, I’m very tired of being told to keep looking for–“the savior around the corner”.

            The problems we face are incredibly difficult. We need all hands on deck. There is so much need and so much talent all around us. We need a way to let that talent flourish to meet the needs which surround us all. The great man or woman syndrome actually keeps our skills and gifts from flowing where they are needed. Instead, time, money and energy is spent getting the next “savior” elected or mindlessly supported, once in office. That just keeps a corrupt person in place, serving their powerful paymasters in a thoroughly corrupt system. What would happen if we just worked on the problems that need solving?

            Gene Sharp was mentioned on this blog. Some people say he is CIA. I really have no idea about that. I do think he has some good ideas. One is a reverse labor action–meaning if a pot hole needs to be filled, citizens go do it (and so on). I’m leaning towards this as a good strategy nationwide.

            (I also think it’s great that you and your friend are willing to listen to each other!)

            1. montanamaven

              I like the pot hole idea. Sounds like the ideas of the German anarchist Gustav Landauer

              the state is not something which can be destroyed by revolution, but it is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently.

              Colin Ward notes that after every totalitarian regime is defeated, be it Hitler or USSR, or Argentina’s Junta, or Franco, anarchist ideas and press always surface. “…the ideal of a self-organizing society based on voluntary cooperation rather than upon coercion is irrepressible.” This is the great contradiction of wanting autonomy and community. Martin Luther King Jr looked for a synthesis between these contradictions. These ideas are the “seeds beneath the snow” (to use the title of a book about British anarchists) . Good thought as Spring approaches.

              1. craazyboy

                A similar system has always existed on golf courses – replace your divot.

                However, pot holes are not that easy really. You need that truck hauling the melted pot of tar. Plus there is at least a little to learn about the proper way to fill a pot hole (not that we couldn’t learn).

                So as equipment and skills needs increase – so does the need for some kind of organizing.

      2. norm de plume

        ‘So what do you think of that baker in Georgia who won’t bake a wedding cake for gays?”
        I replied, “Why is that the # 1 thing on your mind?”

        The big liberal issue down under right now is the impending execution in Indonesia of two Australia-based drug runners:

        Candle-light vigil concerts, celebrity twitter campaigns, union drives… I have had friends and family who never respond to my missives about TTIP or Ukraine or Greece send me links for petitions.

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they should die either, but (a) the Indonesian law is clear and well-known, (b) there really is nothing we can do about it, and (c) we have much bigger fish to fry.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Ha. That was kinda my reaction. Since the US govt is entirely corrupt now (both parties servents to Wall St), sure why not dismantle it. It could at least provide some comedic moments as we circle and ultimately swirl down the drain.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Libertarians want to dismantle it so strong individuals can take over.

        People-ists want to shrink it to size with the people jointly, on an equal basis, take over some of its powers.

  14. bruno marr

    RE: China construction

    6.4 gigatonnes of concrete would approximate 10 Billion cubic yards of concrete per year (5 bag mix). Seems a little large, even for China.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “over the last three years…which was more than was poured in the US in the entire 20th century.’

      China is 4 times more populous.

      She can do in 25 years what we can do in 100 years, all things being equal.

      Houses there are reinforced concrete, where as in America, they are often made of lumber.

      So, maybe their 12 construction years are like our 100 construction years.

      And if they build furiously, and have a fetish about ghost cities, maybe they cram a century into 6 years…I think 10 years is doable/just my wild guess.

      1. Vatch

        China also has some huge dams, which are made of concrete.

        One thing about this much concrete use that is worrisome is the effect of Portland cement on the atmosphere. Portland cement is often a major component of concrete, and is largely composed of calcium oxide (CaO). Calcium oxide is produced by heating calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which produces CaO and CO2 (carbon dioxide). Cement production adds the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You’re right about the underbelly of China’s economic stimulus projects.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Wall Street Journal – Wage Growth Remains in Check*.

    Mission Accomplished.

    And the masters of the universal order more stock market growth.

    * That is a good thing, we have all come to learn.

  16. Steve H.

    Harold Wanless’s interview:

    A quick look at numbers on ‘not enough oxygen’ sez that’s a darn unlikely scenario.

    On the other hand, his story of the change in attitude by Rubio is, for me, confirmation that the 150 I.Q. actuarials ran the simulations and sounded the alarm, but the 120 I.Q. accountants ran the numbers and figured the medium-term losses from not insuring the mortgages would outway the losses from the collapse of the real estate market in Dade County, especially since they can leverage the debt twenty times and then change the law so the homeowners are stuck with the literally true, literally underwater properties…

    Okay, he didn’t say that, it’s just the story I tell myself to explain the beyond insanity state government that Wanless has to deal with. Makes me glad I live in Indiana.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Did they have any I.Q. 180 people and what did they or would they have said?

      1. Steve H.

        I’m not sure, but they may have done the math and decided to opt for short-term happiness.

      2. craazyman

        nobody would have been able to understand even if they had spoken up. it gets like that, slowly at first and then all at once.

    2. gordon

      Prof. Wanless actually talks mostly about sea-level change; the oxygen remark is only a brief and rather speculative comment at about 43 mins. into the hour-long interview (yes, I listened to the whole thing – not much I hadn’t heard before, but that doesn’t make it less scary). However, oxygen levels do seem to be falling, though this Scripps link downplays the risk to health:

      A more comprehensive link:

      A more alarmist link:

      I presume that one way to think about this is to remember that an elevation of 10,000ft. above sea level is usually taken today as the rule-of-thumb altitude at which altitude sickness begins. Health impacts of declining oxygen levels should then be assumed when the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level falls to the present partial pressure at 10,000ft. I can’t find any predictions of when this might occur with a quick internet search, but it might be out there somewhere. More relevant might be measurements of oxygen concentration in our more polluted cities. What, for example, is the oxygen concentration in downtown NY or London or Peking?

      1. Steve H.

        The only way the numbers make sense is if there is a massive dieoff of oxygen-producing cyanobacteria. While not impossible, their reproductive rate means that they can rapidly repopulate. There can still be unintended side-effects, for example toxic red-algae blooms off of Florida.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bangkok Post – Government gives seized plots to landless.

    Proof positive that a government can do good without printing more money.

    Also inspires an idea similar to the Homestead Act – the government will give money, income if you will, but no land, to any one willing to live among trees, to not cut them down, but be stewards of them.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Sadly, a particularly obvious piece of P.R., and enabled only because the government is no longer governing under martial law, but under Article 44:

      Section 44 empowers the NCPO leader to issue any order “for the sake of the reforms in any field, the promotion of love and harmony amongst the people in the nation, or the prevention, abatement or suppression of any act detrimental to national order or security, royal throne, national economy or public administration, whether the act occurs inside or outside the kingdom”. The orders so issued are all deemed “lawful, constitutional and final”.

      Sovereign is he who decides the exception. That said, it’s a complicated situation and mostly opaque, certainly to me. However, whatever is going on is very unlikely to mean that a lot of the landless get land.

        1. Andrew Harold

          I have read numerous stories about The Russian Federation currently enacting what are basically Homestead Acts. It was noted that small plot farming and dacha gardens are what kept people fed during the turmoil of the nineties. I apologize for not providing any direct links but a google search will turn up some direct sources.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hadron collider restarts.

    Well, when it destroys the universe (yes, 1 over googolplex odds, I know – but I believe in bad luck and rational damage-benefit analysis), the nice things about it are

    1. we won’t feel a thing.
    2. It’s equal opportunity for all (I think).

  19. Light a Candle

    Startling story from Al Jazeera about Flint, Michigan poisoning its citizens through bad water and charging them through the nose; to add insult to injury. A clear example of the loss of democratic control as Flint is run by a state appointed administrator. And why citizens need to wrest control of society back from corporate interests.

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