Links 6/25/15

Offline social networking service called ‘pub’ launched Daily Mash

A blobfish café is coming to east London London Evening Standard (Chuck L). You must look at the pic.

17 incredible Instagram photos taken by a fearless storm chaser Business Insider (David L)

Hate Crime Suspect Allegedly Stabbed Men for Wearing Skinny Jeans Gawker

I play chicken with men on the street Cathy O’Neil. You have to live in a dense area to try this.

Computers Are Getting a Dose of Common Sense MIT Technology Review (David L)

The hotel that lets you kill the internet Financial Times

Remember That Weird In-Flight Mass Fainting Episode? Boeing Faces Lawsuit Mother Jones

US raises cyber concerns with China BBC

Greek problems mask the rising risks in Italy and France Satyajit Das, Financial Times

7 Suppressed Investigations into News of the World in 7 Years – Why Leveson II is Needed Byline


New round of talks in Brussels after brief inconclusive Eurogroup ekathimerini

Schäuble and the 47-second reality check Politico

Greece debt crisis: Hopes dashed for quick bailout deal Financial Times

Eurogroup breaks with no Greek deal, but talks continue Politico

Charities struggle to plug gaps in gutted Greek welfare state Financial Times

Greek pollster Alco says support for dropping out of the euro has grown from 20 to 30 % in recent weeks. @MarloesdeK

Syria edges towards partition Financial Times

That 1931 moment Economist. Behind the state of play, meaning the creditor rejection of the Greek proposal. And the 1931 event they are referring to is not Creditanstalt.

Greece and Russia get friendly but their pipeline is still more dream than reality The Conversation

To Potami leader warns Tsipras over bailout reshuffle Financial Times



Nuclear deterrent back on Nato agenda Financial Times

Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as largest supplier of oil to China Guardian


“No Boots on the Ground” and Other Fairy Tales Counterpunch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How I learned to stop worrying and love DARPA Pando (Gabriel U)

Hackers can’t wait for consumers to connect fridges and other appliances to the Internet, warns a top security expert Business Insider (David L)

Trade Traitors

Pelosi Stands Down On TAA, Clearing Way For Obama’s Trade Agenda Huffington Post

Celebration Day at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? A Debate on Who Benefits from the TPP Democracy Now

China Caught Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970s VICE (reslic)

Obama heckled at LGBT White House reception BBC

Electronic Voting Fraud: A Real Threat to Any Democrat Running for President Truthout

US Police Killings Violate International Law Real News Network

Angry White Male Terror in US More Deadly Than Jihad Since 9/11 emptywheel

U.S. judge temporarily blocks new fracking rules on public lands Reuters (EM)

Inspectors point to wood rot in fatal California balcony collapse Reuters (EM)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The Perils of the Politics of Symbolism Glen Ford

After Charleston shootings, poll shows Republican presidential hopefuls have a big problem Reuters

Buying a car could soon be a thing of the past, and Ford is desperate to find what’s next Washington Post

Bondification is proving the new big investment idea Financial Times

New York Fed Says Last of Repo Reforms May Take More Time Wall Street Journal

Is Financial Repression Here to Stay? Project Syndicate (David L)

Pension Fund Investments: Ban Gifts And Pay Trustees, Experts Say International Business Times

Class Warfare

I Am an Adjunct Professor Who Teaches Five Classes — and I Earn Less Than a Pet-Sitter Guardian

How Federal Reserve Quantitative Easing Expanded Wealth Inequality Forbes

Klimt portrait fetches £25m at Sotheby’s Financial Times. It is a gorgeous painting.

Who’s Speaking Up for the American Worker? New York Times (reslic)

Jailed for Being Broke Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Antidote du jour (Stephen L):

horse_drinking_from_hummingbird_feeder links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. craazyman

    its getting dangerous to be a white man. wow. now there’s women kamikazes out there gunning for you on the street? mathematicians no less? You’d think they’d be lost in thawt about methods of quantifying and mapping the dependency structures generated in multivariate stochastic random vectors or perhaps how various techniques for random number generation relate to the preservation of the underlying marginal distributions — but no! They’re thinking about gunning for you and putting you on the moral scales to weigh your existential worthiness. Wow. This reminds me of the Clint Eastwood movie — I think it was Pale Rider — where the hot angry blond gave him a hard shoulder on the street, quite on purpose. It ended in a barn. Lets say you can watch the movie on Youtube if you’re curious. I don’t know about this one. I’ve never ever once thought about walking down a street as a contest of wills or test of politeness. I can’t remember EVER choosing not to move out of someones way. Usually I’m lost in thought. It’s not easy to integrate probability density functions stochastically in your head while walking down a street, that’s for sure. so if somebody runs into me and it looks like I’m being rude — please cut me a break. I’m not paying attention probably. That’s all it is. It’s not a political statement or an unconcious arrogation of sexual entitlement. But if you’re hot, I probably won’t mind. In fact, Bring it ON! hahahaha

    1. Skippy

      I think the punch line is…. stoopid philosophy brakes down under environmental conditions which no longer afford it space to externalize its failures.

      1. craazyman

        it certainly could be, that’s true.

        Another reading could be, “women, if you want to meet a nice men, eharmony isn’t the only way to go. You just need to get creative and lose your shyness”. You’d be surprise how easy it would be. hahaha

        1. susan the other

          You are right. I don’t want to storm any new gates – but my generation did just fine at the pub. Sometimes I think NC is practicing mind control because last nite I was wondering about the difference between male and female reactions. Where did that thought come from? I went with it and came to the conclusion that the stuff that men are willing to fight over, women are not. (Yes. Stereotyping.) But here’s the thing: I don’t know a single woman (well maybe one or two) who would take up a pointy stick and form a line to charge some oligarch. And just poke him right in his ass. No. Women usually think it through a bit to the point that they realize it’s better to endure and negotiate. I lost the point. Maybe it is that the oligarchs are blinded by control-freakiness. Drug therapy please for the wasted oligarchs.

        2. skippy

          I never understood the self help book perspective that people needed to be constantly on the hunt or they were not in the game.

          I always just let it happen…

          Skippy…. Revolving dependency and the old get back on the horse thingy, friends never could phantom my long stretches of not dating.

        1. abynormal

          imo, best line for the human psyche:
          Sarah Belding: Be careful. You’re a man who makes people afraid, and that’s dangerous.

          The Stranger: It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes ’em afraid.

        2. craazyman

          I’m posting this Youtube clip from High Plains Drifter as a public service and complement to Mathbabe’s post on female kamikaze tactics for meeting men on the streets of New Yawk.

          it doesn’t always have to end like this, in fact, so many guys in New Yawk are gay it may be hit or miss. But you don’t know if you don’t try . . .

            1. craazyman

              when you’re a character in a movie you have to do what the director says. No hemming and hawing for you unless it’s in the script!

          1. Barmitt O'Bamney

            No disclaimers or apologies needed. It’s not rape, legally speaking, if he’s dead. You can file charges against a ghost if you want, but you can’t make them appear in court.

          2. Propertius

            I dunno, craazyman, the last time I checked, there was a noticeable lack of hay on the streets of New Yawk.

    2. Ivy

      The key to understanding the article was in the tagline: You have to live in a dense area. For those who aren’t dense, there are other options.

      1. optimader

        “For those who aren’t dense, there are other options.”

        ouch! indeed.

        In the theme of why seek out negative interaction?

    3. DJG

      Cathy O’Neil’s experiment suffers from a few problems.
      1. She assumes that white women’s manners and public behavior are somehow better than other groups. Really? Is Chicago the national exception? Has she ever talked to anyone who works in store, bar, or restaurant about what they have to endure?
      2. As a man who stays to the right so as to avoid such collisions, I can assure her that many white women haven’t received the message. I’ve noticed women who have seen me move toward the right twenty or thirty paces away who still can’t figure out what I’m signaling.
      3. I’d love to have her repeat the experiment as a black woman. That might teach her a thing or two about white privilege.

      Normally, I like her work. This posting shows a side that would be better off hidden. Live by the blog, die by the blog.

      1. hunkerdown

        1. She doesn’t assume it. In the narrow sense of ability to share space as peers, women and non-whites demonstrably behave more generously.
        3. That’s not her experiment to do, because she’s not a Black woman. Duh. You’re not entitled to have your homework done for you.

        “Better off hidden.” Because *you* believe *you’re* better than others’ lived experiences.

        Your privilege of not having to take account of anything a woman says that you don’t happen to like is blatantly obvious. You might want to XYZPDQ on that.

      2. LifelongLib


        The manners I was taught is that men move aside for women, but that both move aside for an older person regardless of gender (“age before beauty”). In practice though I usually move to avoid any possible collision regardless of who I’m approaching.

      3. YankeeFrank

        Did you read the full post? I ask because she mentions that she’s a white woman and her data is only valid for that parameter. Additionally, she makes clear that she mirrors the other person’s behavior, so if they move a bit she moves a bit also, and they pass without touching. Just because your experience differs doesn’t make hers invalid.

    4. optimader

      Civilized society is a thin veneer. Although…. back when I worked in the city I left more than one grapefruit half dents on the rear fenders of cabs cutting through pedestrian traffic at intersections.

      Seeking out shoulder butting on the sidewalk? F=MA usually rules

      1. subgenius

        …but it is SO much more fun if you develop what martial-artists call “root” – then you can enjoy people that collide with you bouncing off with a whole lot more bounce…

        1. gene

          In the documentary “Public Speaking”, Fran Lebowitz complains of getting stuck behind huge, slow moving baby strollers while walking in New York. I wonder how math babe deals with them.

          1. subgenius

            well, yeah, babies are surplus to requirements and terrible for the environment – but so are the obese masses (all senses of the word) filling the streets…

  2. Disturbed Voter

    If you can be jailed for being broke, then I think our broken leadership needs to go to jail first, to show us how this is done ;-)

    1. Jef

      Money has value only if you seriously suffer or die when you don’t have any. Even a wealthy person feels this reality.
      In this paradigm “Greed is Good”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Except Europe is not so exceptional.

      Look at Latin America, Asia and many, many other continents.

  3. Steven

    When I read the huffpo article about Pelosi I thought about the relief she must feel that it’s over and ended just the way she wanted. She is such a bad actor though that anyone can see through the phony dismay meant to disguise her glee but failing. Just like the cromnibus.

  4. Carolinian

    Interesting stuff as always from BAR’s Glen Ford. While the media and certain lefty quarters fixate on symbols, it’s really the economic realm where the least change has occurred in US black/white relations. This story in today’s NYT talks about how Black middle class families often live in much poorer black neighborhoods and this problem can be worse in the NE and Midwest than the South. The West gets the best marks but AA populations out West can be vanishingly small (for instance about 3 percent in Arizona).

    An example of what Ford is talking about could be SC’s Clyburn who has been highly visible on the flag debate while simultaneously pushing the anti-worker TPA. Of course there’s no racial divide when it comes to hypocrisy, so many white “liberals” in Congress have been doing the same two step.

    It is certainly true that many whites in the South have embraced a kind of social equality for blacks while voting quite differently (and Republican) when their economic interests are perceived to be at stake. But I do think, contra Ford, that this sort of social harmony is not nothing. The country will never rise out of its current mess until we realize we are all in the same boat, sinking or rising.

    1. Goyo Marquez

      To quote Ronaldus Maximus, “Well…,” symbols aren’t nothing. They tell you when you can stop and when you can go, who has the right of way, who is subject to arrest, who is welcome, who is not. The symbols used by government are particularly powerful, because they represent the power of the government.

      1. Carolinian

        No a symbol is just a symbol. It’s how government acts that matters. For example there are no rebel flags hanging over NYPD headquarters but many of its officers seem to have a problem with black people. Without a doubt most symbols were put there for a reason but some are more like archeological relics–should be taken down.

    2. RabidGandhi

      I always get a kick watching the culture shock of folks from the US visiting here in Argentina and being appalled at how we refer to each other as negro, negrita, etc. It offends them to no end because in the US they are so progressive that they have moved beyond using such horrible terms. Of course they are not so progressive as to not lock up a third of black males in chains or keep black net worth at 1/10th of that of white households. But I gotta give it to the US they sure are great at the symbols.

      1. abynormal

        our progress is in how we prime them:

        35% of black children grades 7-12 have been suspended or expelled at some point in their school careers compared to 20% of Hispanics and 15% of whites

  5. Dino Reno

    “Boots on the Ground”

    Advisors are not in Iraq to train the army (what army?) or fight ISIS, they are there to prevent the fall of Baghdad on Obama’s watch.

    1. lylo

      That’s what the office of the US President has now been reduced to.
      Make horrendous decisions nonstop for 2-3 years, insist that the other guy has no idea how to solve those new problems–which you created or failed to address but you insist all is the fault of your predecessor–to win reelection, then try to ‘keep the plates spinning’ invariably failing to keep it together by year 6-7, until the next guy comes in and you ride off into the sunset with a sweet retirement and speaking gigs already booked; the fact that the corporations offering the gigs benefiting from your initial horrendous decisions is all just coincidence if it’s ever mentioned at all.
      I’m really not convinced voting is for the good of anyone but corporations.

  6. Ned Ludd

    New US War Manual Says Journalists Are Legitimate Targets

    The classification of [some] journalists as “unprivileged belligerents” is leading experts to conclude that the U.S. Department of Defense has given the green light for soldiers to kill journalists.

    The 1,176-page Law of War Manual — the first comprehensive conduct guide for all branches of the U.S. armed forces since 1956 — was released earlier in June and included a critical change in military terminology, abandoning the term “unlawful enemy combatant” and replacing it with “unprivileged belligerents.” […]

    “It gives them license to attack or even murder journalists that they don’t particularly like but aren’t on the other side,” Georgetown journalism professor Chris Chambers told RT.

    1. susan the other

      Blobfish. Man, that is so disconcerting. It is mimicry. What are the odds that a fish would just evolve a human face? In fact, the face of a greedy bankster? They want to survive. Vision is everything. Clearly. But what’s not so clear is how they got the template? And translated it.

      1. Chris in Paris

        It’s just sad. This is a fish that lives at very low depths and was never meant to be brought up to regular air pressure. Its flesh is porous and buoyant, enabling it to float just above the bottom and catch small prey in its open mouth with little effort. When it’s at sea level pressure or worse, it swells up, turns bright pink and is an “ugly” blobfish. Leave the blobfish alone.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Financial repression here to stay?

    Jailed for being broke.

    In a financial totalitarian state, whose flag is GDP-ueber-alles, under the economic dictatorship of the 0.01%, with the help of the propaganda ministry under the slogan ‘more consumption is better,’ that’s what repressive gulags are for – to incarcerate those citizens who are not ‘financially sound.’

      1. abynormal

        from 2006…Inmates Paying for costs of their incarceration
        The incarceration lien has priority over all other claims, including any state lien for repayment of public assistance, except:

        1. child support obligations the state can collect in public assistance repayments from a person’s lawsuit proceeds (by law these funds must first reimburse Medicaid for coverage related to injuries that were the basis of the lawsuit);
        2. expenses of the lawsuit, including attorney’s fees;
        3. hospitalization costs connected with the lawsuit not paid by insurance or other benefits;
        4. physicians’ fees associated with the hospitalization that the state has not paid for and that insurance or other benefits do not cover;
        5. court-ordered restitution or compensation to a crime victim; and
        6. payment of a civil judgment to a crime victim

        poambrit: Mississippi prison costs, abuse face scrutiny 3/1025
        Former U.S. Attorney Brad Piggott said Friday that if Mississippi was a separate country, its incarceration rate would be higher than Iran, North Korea and the Republic of China.
        “Name a brutal regime, and we’re higher,” he said. “Surely we can agree to do something about the debacle of over-incarceration.”
        “Under statute, private prisons are supposed to operate at 10 percent less than the cost of public prisons in Mississippi.
        “We’re not getting a value for our dollar,” Johnson said.
        If the money that is going to private prisons could go instead to the corrections department, MDOC could hire more correctional officers and pay them more, “lowering the risk of bribery,” he said.”

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        Plus make slave labor out of inmates. But you pay them a few pennies per hour so no one can technically call it slave labor. Think Shawshank prison.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How Fed QE expanded wealth inequality.

    The theory is that one day, that wealth inequality molasses will trickle down. “Let the lord of the manor have the first cut or first sampling of the, how shall we say it – the exercise of droit du seigneur.

    In other words, not quite mission accomplished (except perhaps for the insiders), but for public consumption, ‘we are on our way!!! — as soon as the globe warms up a bit more…it’s coming, it’s coming.”

    1. fresno dan

      Giving money to poor people is socialism or even communism… money to Goldman Sachs is capitalism and what made this nation grrrreat!!!

      And really, the whole idea that the price of housing rising outrageously and how that affects the living standard of the bottom of the income distribution….well, can’t even think about that. Or the cost of money to the banks, and the spread for your loan for a house, or car, or credit card – yeah, credit is sooooooo important, but not important enough to limit the spreads banks make…. Or that the bankers who were so evil, or stupid, or both, should somehow be the same people running finance exactly the same way as before…..
      The FED – the institution that keeps everybody in their place.

  9. abynormal

    re: US raises cyber concerns with China…
    Earlier this month, the Chinese were blamed for a security breach involving the records of four million past and present US federal employees.
    yep, i rec’d an official letter last week…my desperate irs stint, 25yrs ago, Still kick’n my backside
    The White House said President Obama also expressed concerns about the growing Chinese presence in the South China Sea.huh,sea monsters use computers:/

    OBAMA, GET A CAT! “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp … The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.”
    Muriel Spark

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The perils of the politics of symbolism.

    Let’s not forget the perils of politics of tokenism.

    It’s not about putting the first zen master in the white house; it’s about all lowly zen masters being equally with everyone else in the society – then, naturally, by random chances, even a zen master will get there accidentally.

    And the way to that is, I believe, People’s Money, that will trickle up, instead of down.

    Let’s defy gravity for once. We, the people, CAN be exceptional, once in a while.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China, meat from the 1970’s.

    Is that a case of ‘meat was better under Mao,’ or ‘we have to a duty to get even cheaper meat from the 60s?’

    Should we feel nostalgia or embarrassed for not being better inflation fighters?

    1. Vatch

      As many NC readers know, the U.S. country of origin meat labeling law is in the process of being repealed, thanks to the WTO:

      The bill is HR 2393, which has passed the House. 300 representatives voted to repeal the law, and only 131 voted to preserve it. I suspect that all of those 300 traitors would have voted in favor of fast track if there had not been so much attention paid to the issue.

      I hope the Senate will vote against repealing this law, but I am not optimistic. I also think that the U.S. should withdraw from the WTO because this issue (and probably other issues that I am not aware of). The rules of the WTO allow countries to withdraw, although there is a 6 month waiting period:

      Article XV
      1. Any Member may withdraw from this Agreement. Such withdrawal shall apply both to this Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements and shall take effect upon the expiration of six months from the date on which written notice of withdrawal is received by the Director-General of the WTO.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I play chicken with men on the street.

    How does a bully-chicken taunt his victim-chicken?

    “You’re a chicken!!!”

    1. ambrit

      Yeah, but they’re not in cars too! Also, I thought it was ‘Bully Beef,’ or was that ‘Bully, Beef!’ I won’t even bring up the domestic fowl, avian raptor joke.

  13. marym

    SCOTUSblog ‏@SCOTUSblog · 27m27 minutes ago
    SCOTUS holds individuals who get their health insurance through exchange established by federal gov will be eligible for tax subsidies.

    6-3 vote
    Shorter John Roberts: because markets

    1. abynormal

      prez about to speak 11:30est
      im confused w/Roberts ruling…this would lock a Republican Prez into Ocare

      1. hunkerdown

        Exactly. To paraphrase Alexander Haig, “Let them protest all they want, as long as they pay their premia.” Besides, any of the T agreements on the slate right now would lock a future President into the ACA on their own. And what GOPer would dare disagree with anything that keeps the working-class “industrious”?

    2. ChrisFromGeorgia

      No surprise here. The laws mean whatever the guys and gals in the black robes want them to mean, not the plain text reading. Did anyone really think they would do an honest job and send it back to Congress for some more sausage making?

      Congress is too busy ramming through TPA to have to cleanup their past messes.

  14. abynormal

    US Services PMI Misses By Most On Record, Tumbles To Lowest Since _____.
    headline overuse. Missing by the most on record (as serial extrapolators expected a rise to 56.5), Markit US Services PMI (following weakness in the Manufacturing PMI) printed 54.8 – the lowest since the middle of weather carnage in January. As Markit notes, with the exceptions of the weather-related slowdown at the turn of the year and the 2013 government shutdown, June saw the weakest pace of economic growth since May 2013 as the Composite PMI slipped to 54.6 – its lowest since January 2015 (as employment tumbled and cost burdens surged the most since Oct 2013).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Do people need to watch more movies and circuses to feel better, in the face of this deteriorating PMI?

      Well, let me check the latest quotes on some movie-rental stock…why, it’s doing very well.

      1. optimader

        It’s interesting that the discretionary funds are still falling off the trees to be thrown around that way(retail movie rentals).
        I get all my movies from our public library for free, (which I gift generously on principle because I can).
        Waiting to see when the interlibrary loan free movie DVD model eventually comes under scrutiny from the motion picture studios as the libraries system is very efficient in title scope & distribution.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    In a naked, but not well-justified attempt to squeeze more money, they have re-classified adjunct professors as information-greeters.

    They are to be paid less than big-box greeters because they greet fewer student-customers (who are always 100% right on their exams – because they are customers), even though the average greeting time is longer, which is just an inconvenient fact.

    1. optimader

      The reason I field such questions is that, as an adjunct professor, whether teaching undergraduate or law-school courses, I make much less than a pet-sitter earns. This year I’m teaching five classes (15 credit hours, roughly comparable to the teaching loads of some tenure-track law or business school instructors).

      Teaching what? TIme to find a new career path.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Computers to get common sense.

    Hackers and connected fridges.

    Common sense #1: Do not spy on humans if it will harms those humans.

    Connected fridges – when in doubt, go with dumb appliances and dumb phones. Smart can be harmful to you. “I want dumb stuff. I don’t feel safe with smart things.”

    1. Oregoncharles

      I don’t have a smartphone because I don’t want a phone that’s smarter than I am.
      Just seems really creepy, and sort of dangerous.

  17. fresno dan

    I only link to this because I think this is a great, great line:

    “If political correctness is the suppression of uncomfortable truths in order to avoid offense, then the American popular perception of the Civil War and its aftermath is the result of one of the most effective and devastating campaigns of political correctness in American history.”

    I always want to ask this: If the south had ‘succeeded in seceding’ (hmmm, I do have a problem in making punny phrases) from the Union, would the south had fought with Nazi Germany? If not, why not – as their core philosophy of racial superiority was the basis of their existence???

    1. ambrit

      This thought experiment is a favourite of “Alternate History” novels. Examples of which go back to the beginning part of Robert W Chambers’ “The King in Yellow” from 1895 moving up to Ward Moores’ excellent “Bring the Jubilee” from 1953, on up to Harry Turtledoves’ “The Guns of the South” in 1992.
      The basic economic driver of this dynamic is the fact that the industrialization of agriculture was making human chattel slavery obsolete. Just as the Post Reconstruction South had to shift to Tenant Farming as an economic model, any theoretical CSA would have to eventually read the writing on the wall and abandon slavery for it’s own survival. The Imperial Powers of that day also had abandoned slavery themselves earlier.
      As for the CSA joining Nazi Germany in WW2, well, it is quite possible that the CSA would have held the balance of power in WW1. No crushing defeat of the Second Reich would have made the rise of the NASDAP very improbable.
      One of my favourite ‘mind games’ is trying to figure out the internal dynamics of the authors of such tomes. I managed to read about twenty pages of one of Newt Gingriches’ (written with a co-author, no less,) alternate history of WW2 books before recoiling in horror.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s a scary thought – slavery abandoned for being not economical.

        That implies, if one day it is economical again, slavery will be back…in a new and better form, of course, like serfdom.

        1. fresno dan

          That implies, if one day it is economical again, slavery will be back…

          Uh, I was under the impression it was back….it just works so much more efficiently when the slaves occupy themselves yammering how free they are.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “We need better propaga…check that, ‘education.’ Some misbehaving people are figuring it o…check that, are deviating.”

          2. RabidGandhi

            Slave owners had the economic incentive to maintain the wellbeing of their investment: in direct violation of Lambert’s Neoliberalism Rule #2 (go die).

            The only reason why slavery hasn’t returned is because this new arrangement is less taxing on our overlords’ resources.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Just in time slavery.

              No need to keep parts you don’t need immediately.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                And yes, they are ‘independent contractors’ in the sense they will have to provide their own food, shelter, transportation and health insurance now.

                This new form, this modern day machine only retains the emotional, work-related torment part.

        2. MLS

          Debt slavery is quite economical for many creditors and is quite a thriving endeavor, thank you.

        3. Michael

          David Eltis among others has argued that the British gave up slavery in the West Indies for purely economic reasons: (Paraphrasing a bit loosely here) Wage slavery turned out to be more profitable for the capitalists than actual slavery, because they needed markets for their products (so they could seek rent at every opportunity).

          I don’t think the case can be made that slavery wasn’t profitable for the US South at the time of the Civil War, though.

    2. RabidGandhi

      The question of Confederates vs Nazis is predicated upon the notion that the Union was founded on something other than the superiority of the white landowning male: a fact clearly belied by the founding documents such as the constitution and the declaration of independence.

      Furthermore, it is also based on the assumption that the US fought Nazi Germany because of the Nazi’s racial doctrines, which likewise does not hold up to historical scrutiny.

  18. James Levy

    It’s interesting that my guess, and it was only a guess, that the Greek crisis was over power and not money seems to be accurate. The one blinding inaccuracy, bordering on willful stupidity, of the Economists is their Kevin Bacon-like insistence that markets and finance have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with power. But we see how market position and possession of control over credit give those well positioned nothing but power. It would appear that the Greek crisis could be hauled into court as Exhibit A in any fair trial of neoclassical economics. Markets are what the people holding the most valued good (in this case, access to Euros) say they are.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I fear these guys are experimenting with neoliberalism to create a mutant state out of Greece – all her citizens are to migrate to other countries, gone, even as refugees stream in to fill the Lebensraum vacuum left behind.

      The new residents will be totally at the mercy of foreign creditors.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “There is an alternative path for Greece, and it would include leaving the eurozone. Exit would free the country from the trap of the common currency, allowing it to implement policies that could revive both economy and society. It would open a feasible path that could offer fresh hope, even if it entailed significant difficulties of adjustment during the initial period.

          The choice ultimately rests with the Greek people.”

          Empower the people – take it away from the Troika. That’s always the key.

          Will the people decide to exercise their power to leave?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Once again:

            What outcomes do we the ordinary people want from our political economy? Is there anything in our genome and history and collective experience that would allow something of greater mutual benefit, not just another round of anomie followed by another kleptocracy?

            1. James Levy

              I don’t know. What I do know is that for a larger number of people than we’d like to imagine selfishness is trumped by pettiness. I think in Europe and America for sure there are people who vote against policies that would benefit them greatly because they hate the idea that those same policies would benefit blacks or immigrants. These are the half of the working class that one 19th century millionaire said he could hire to kill the other half of the working class (and I’d throw in the Middle Class with this analysis).

              People are fickle and complex. The idea that they are only out for themselves is nullified every time a worker votes with the ownership class in the hope of screwing over some group they hate.

        2. financial matters

          “” In the coming days a significant intervention by its influential left wing, the Left Platform, can be expected.””

          This seems like the most reasonable next step to keep to the spirit of Syriza and their mandate.

          “”the reality on the ground is anger and frustration among workers, the poor and the ravaged lower-middle class. These are the social layers that could put the country on a different trajectory of growth with social justice””

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting news.


      What happens if someone gets a monthly amount without rules and controls? Will someone sitting passively at home or do people develop themselves and provide a meaningful contribution to our society?”

      Will they, the recipients, be happier? Is that considered ‘meaningful contribution?’

      I would also suggest another project – interview people at work, asking them if they wish they could be somewhere else.

      “I am too good for job guarantee. I make pretty good money, but I wish I could be at Tahiti. I have an artistic soul.”

  19. abynormal

    Greece Suicide Rate Increases 35% in less than 2yrs
    A total of 11 505 suicides, 9079 by men and 2426 by women, occurring in Greece over the
    study period.

    For it wasn’t the secret–the secret that wasn’t a secret anyway–that led to austerity in our lives. It was the austerity that led to the secret. And what I had been marked by, probably most of all, was the austerity. It had made secrets in my life too. Or silences, anyway, that became secrets. That became lies. Sue Miller

    1. James Levy

      To our banker friends, those would be acceptable losses, I’m sure:

      Remember, if the other guy thinks the ends justify the means, it’s an indictment of his criminal and callous disregard for mom, humanity, and apple pie, but when you do it, it’s an indication that you are a “grown up” ready and willing to “make the hard choices.”

      Thus are we governed, thus we are led to believe.

      1. abynormal

        indeed James

        The Man at the head of the table
        Deals with the problem of the serfs
        We got enough, we need no more,
        We finally bought the Earth.

        Minions all around him, they squeal with joy and glee
        Like a pack of pigs who had too much food
        dumped in their trough for free.

        We have satellites and Reaper Drones
        We control the Earth and Air.
        Anyone can expect their Death if they Declare:
        I am Free.

        So let us push our wealth together,
        Let mankind serve thee and me.
        We are the Lords of Lucifer.
        We are grateful unto Thee.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Like Hibakusha who survived the two atomic bombs, living a slow death can be a worse fate, even if less visible.

      So they got together and let the world know, though the suffering never went away.

  20. RabidGandhi

    The Grey Lady finally read Varoufakis’ post on the Greece/Argentina comparison:

    …and as expected regurgitates the usual misconceptions:

    — No, poverty did not come about as a result of de-pegging the dollar; quite the opposite. Most of the country was under the poverty line (53%) before the default and corralito.

    — No, Argentina’s economy is not “stagnant at best”; it has averaged 7% annual growth since the recovery, with only 4/41 quarters with negative growth. Compare that to the US’s roaring 2% recovery.

    — No, Argentina’s recovery was not because of high commodity prices. Exports accounted for only 12% of the recovery.

    — No, Argentina did not recently default in its ongoing fight with vulture funds; it attempted to make payments that were blocked by a US court, but other courts such as the London High Court of Justice have ruled that the US court had no such authority.

    etc, etc.

    And then of course it finishes with the de rigueur Cuba and Venezuela boogeymen. Lame.

  21. Oregoncharles

    My response to the Truthout article on electronic voting fraud:

    “No significant reforms have been put in place to prevent the theft of another presidential election. Quite the opposite.”

    Yet the Democrats controlled Congress for at least 4 of those years, as well as the Presidency for 7. And they also controlled many of those state governments during that time. Besides which, their present weak position is the direct result of voter dissatisfaction with the present administration.

    Could they possibly be this dumb (in which case we don’t really want them running things, do we?), or is this collusion? As jc notes below, if Republicans can cheat (electronics not required), so can Democrats. If I was involved in the Sanders campaign, I’d be very concerned about that.

    Or maybe they don’t really care which party is in charge. It’s the Republicans’ turn next year, anyway. Not that that’s a good thing.

    To be clear: I’m a Green, dealing with a hostile electoral system as an outsider. Consequently, prolonged whines from Democrats who could have done something about it (yes, Fitrakis and Wassermann tried) are unimpressive, at best.

  22. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    “US warns China on cyber” LOL LOL LOL
    “Pelosi and TAA” LOL LOL LOL we’re going to borrow money to pay workers so we can import a lower standard of living LOL
    LOL “Republicans and Charleston” LOL, one of the clown car passengers said his idea of gun control was “hitting what you aim at” LOL
    LOL “News of the World”, Leveson lost alot of steam when Snowden showed that the government itself was doing the same exact thing, just as illegally, LOL
    Grexit, just a general-purpose LOL, the Viceroys of India are mad the wogs aren’t kneeling down and grovelling quite low enough yet LOL

  23. ewmayer

    Corrected FT headline: “Cold War 2.0 continues to top agenda as NATO manufactures ways to stay relevant.”

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