Links 6/28/15

Rock dedicated to students who started unearthing it with plastic spoons despite being told not to is now hailed as symbol of perseverance Daily Mail

Farmers find healthy soil works for crops, bottom line Rapid City Journal. Who knew?

Could we turn Mars into Earth 2.0? Darpa is working on designer organisms to terraform the red planet Daily Mail. Maybe if we took better care of this one we’d deserve to get off it.

Investors Think This Company’s Gut Bacteria Are Worth $1.9 Billion Bloomberg

9 sobering facts about California’s groundwater problem Reveal News

With Obamacare Intact, Path to Health-Care Deals Is Clearer Bloomberg

CFPB Publishes More Than 7,700 Detailed Financial Grievances To Public-Facing Database Consumerist


Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies as Extension Request Is Denied NYT. As NC readers were warned….

Greek crisis: Parliament votes on referendum after bailout extension rejected – live updates Guardian

Greek negotiators learned of referendum proposal from Twitter Ekathimerini

Tsipras Asking Grandma to Figure Out If Greek Debt Deal Is Fair Bloomberg. At last, the referendum question (translated):

Greek people are hereby asked to decide whether they accept a draft agreement document submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, at the Eurogroup meeting held on on June 25 and which consists of two documents:

The first document is called Reforms for the Completion of the Current Program and Beyond and the second document is called Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis.

– Those citizens who reject the institutions’ proposal vote Not Approved / NO

– Those citizens who accept the institutions’ proposal vote Approved / YES.

Euro Chiefs Seek Damage Control as Greece Heads to Referendum Bloomberg. ECB “set to discuss Sunday whether to pull the plug on its emergency lending.”

Greece referendum ‘irrelevant after Tuesday’ – says IMF’s Lagarde BBC

IMF’s Lagarde on Greece: ‘Progress’, but next few days are crucial CNBC. This is a transcript of CNBC’s interview with LaGarde tonight.

IMF Won’t Help Greece If Payment Missed, Lagarde Says Bloomberg

Q&A: what options now for Greece’s strained banking system? FT

Greece: ‘The crisis has commenced’ The Spectator

Failure to agree to bailout increases probability of Grexit Wolfgang Münchau, FT

Europe’s Moment of Truth Paul Krugman, New York Times

EU’s Tusk calling leaders to keep Greece in euro Reuters

Spain’s Podemos says Germany, IMF put European project at risk Reuters

Twilight of the technocrats settles on eurozone Nikkei Asian Review

Maastricht and All That Wynne Godly, LRB. 1992 (!).

Why Chicago Won’t Go Bankrupt—And Detroit Didn’t Have To In These Times. Disaster capitalism.

Legal Highs: Welcome to the Cannabis Revolution Der Speigel

Political profiteers push Ohio’s pot vote Public Integrity


Clinton backer has ‘crush’ on Bernie Sanders The Hill

Sanders says he will significantly step up his outreach to minority voters WaPo

Al Gore: ‘Too early’ to back Hillary Clinton New York Post

As Left Wins Culture Battles, G.O.P. Gains Opportunity to Pivot for 2016 NYT. A classic “It’s good for the Republicans” story.

Gary Hart: America’s Founding Principles Are in Danger of Corruption Time. In danger?

Our 18th Century Bill of Rights Needs Revising Truthout. Searchable database of constitutions!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Meet The New Police Reform Bosses Rancid Honeytrap

An unusual concept in Freddie Gray case: Homicide by omission WaPo

Straddling Old and New, a South Where ‘a Flag Is Not Worth a Job’ New York Times

Dozens of women say they were sexually harassed while working in Missouri Capitol Kansas City Star

Police respond to reported suicide attempt by Missouri House member St Louis Post-Dispatch

I play chicken with men on the street mathbabe

Class Warfare

The dark side of America’s reluctant part-time workers Market Watch

The Mystery of the Multiple Jobholder Bloomberg

No one in Washington is talking about the problems with the sharing economy, except this lawmaker WaPo

Big business on winning side in U.S. top court’s major rulings Reuters. Film at 11.

California licensing panel to probe deadly balcony collapse Reuters (ewmayer).

Americans Are Delaying Major Life Events Because of Money Worries New York Times. Yeah, like getting my teeth fixed!

Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional ‘basic income’ Independent

A World Without Work The Atlantic

Teen’s office parody gets out of hand (skippy) and Office Role-Play? Meet The People Who Pretend To Work At An Office Together Fast Company

The Anatomy of Hell NYRB

Swedish Scientists Build Artificial Neurons Able to Communicate With Organic Neurons Hacked

New Safety Feature: A Smart Car Programmed To Let You Die?

Abandoned Luxury Cars from Dubai News and Lists (ewmayer).

U.S. Women Beat China to Advance to Semis of World Cup Wall Street Journal. I actually watched this, in a restuarant with a sports TV. It was encouraging to see six-year-old boys cheering the women on.

Pope Francis recruits Naomi Klein in climate change battle Guardian

A Practical Vision of a More Equal Society Thomas Piketty, NYRB

Antidote du jour:

links pony

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. YankeeFrank

    Today’s antidote is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. What kind of tiny pony is that, anybody know?

    1. abynormal

      ain’t it tho! looks like a donkey. the color contrast also captures the photographers talent.

      Taking a photograph is a lot like falling in love. You see a light and it intrigues you; and you want to see or be in that light forever.
      Mickey Burrow

      1. ambrit

        Your warning was not heeded, and I have had to make recourse to my finally found copy of Obituaries “Slowly We Rot” as a counter-anodyne.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Small is beautiful.

      The next humanoid species will be very tiny* compared to us…maybe 15 to 20 inch tall. More fuel efficiency is the idea – hopefully fewer in number as well.

      *Proportionally, the heart will be bigger though. In fact, there is a second heart, right where the right brain is.

    3. Gio Bruno

      As others have noted that is a donkey not a pony. My grandfather always kept one on his ranch with his special breed of horses. He called them Sicilian donkeys; kept the Arabian horses calmer. The black linear markings across the shoulders I believe is distinctive to the breed.

  2. abynormal
    US people killed by police so far this year 543

    pull a wikipedia and here’s what you get:

    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2015 (listed: 289)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2014 (listed: 623)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2013 (listed: 336)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2012 (listed: 602)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2011 (listed: 166)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2010 (listed: 280)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States, 2009 (listed: 62)
    List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States prior to 2009 (listed: 211)

  3. YankeeFrank

    “A World Without Work” starts off like every other piece on the subject you’ve ever read, and then later on gets to a pretty beautiful imagining of what the US might start to look like as our jobs are replaced by robots and I have to say, I like it a lot better than the protestant work ethic garbage that’s been imposed on us and the jobs it offers us: people working with their hands to produce artisan products for sale or communal use, inventing and creating for the love, caring for our communities, each other and our children, croft-style farming and living more simple lives. Perhaps when we start to redefine ourselves away from “work” we can start to throw off the ugly human traits like blind ambition and delusions of grandeur that have historically led societies into war, misery and all forms of human bondage. I imagine a gelding of the human sins of vanity and pride that may come with redefining ourselves away from work, but perhaps that’s a fantasy too far for the human beast.

    That’s of course if we can manage to avoid destroying our planet in the meantime which is a big if… but then again, even if we manage to utterly destroy everything, in about a million years or two the earth may be a garden of eden again… once the radiation from all the nuclear power plant meltdowns dissipates and life regains a foothold.

    1. YankeeFrank

      I should add that this beautiful future all depends on a guaranteed basic income, and free healthcare. In other words, we’re going to have to ditch our current “leaders” to make it happen.

    2. John Smith

      I don’t think work is the problem since we all like to work – at least to some degree. The problem is unjust slavery, specifically unjust debt and wage slavery. We should seek to ameliorate and eliminate that injustice.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We can distinguish between two types of work.

        Type A: the activities of our Nature-conquering Exceptional GDP Army above and beyond those of Nature-co-existing one-among-many, non-exceptional civilians

        Type B: Activities like posting cute animal and plant pictures on the net, watching squirrels in the backyard, chatting with birds and other humans, painting one’s hand on a rock, doing the rain dance to help Californians, Abstaining from carnal knowledge for a month in order to partake the Sacred Herb to cure a family member, gazing at the stars, etc., all in pursuit of one’s inner happiness.

        I believe if all robots are owned collectively by the people, we can do more of type B kind of work, which to me, is more important than type A, and anyone can be happy with a job like that.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Type B work is incredibly efficient at producing happy people (and happy societies) and a healthy Nature (which includes healthy soil, healthy dirt and healthy trash).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            For example, sitting under an apple tree, can be history making.

            Or in a bathtub.

            Imagine a world where one hears shouts of ‘Eureka’ from many houses day and night.

            “I do my best work when I am relaxed.”

            1. John Smith

              “Imagine a world where one hears shouts of ‘Eureka’ from many houses day and night.”

              Exactly. Luckily Einstein had an understanding boss at that patent office?

            2. Jef

              The problem with your precept is that you build in to the false belief system that there is a “Bill Gates” toiling away in the wings/basement just about to “invent” the thing that humanity needs in order to avoid collapse. Bull Shit! …and by the way thats exactly what got us into this mess.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Inner happiness.

                No invention for humanity.

                Doesn’t have to be the next Bill Gates, if one wants to work by dancing with the butterflies.

                People might think ‘Eureka’ means the next Nobel prize. But here, I am thinking Eureka when one realizes kitchen duty is Zen enlightenment, though in Japan, one is more likely to hear shouts of “Kwatz!!!”

    3. roadrider

      The article is worthless bullshit (which considering the source, The Atlantic, is hardly a surprise).

      The author is correct that a new model of society is needed and that many aspects of our current society are maladaptive but his solutions are at best unworkable (no pun intended) and at worst blatantly exploitative (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk as a model? Really?).

      People work for a variety of reasons but the most important reason most of us work (or like me, worked – since I haven’t, and not by choice, for the past two years) is that we need the money. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The vast majority of us are not fucking artisans and most of us will not be able to make a sufficient living to support ourselves and out families in a society constructed as ours currently is while working at a series of periodic piece-work tasks that are likely to be poorly compensated and without benefits like health insurance. Unless big changes happen there, and I don’t think the author really dealt with that at all, I don’t see the need for jobs going away.

      1. PeonInChief

        Yes, and the article doesn’t address a couple of fundamental issues like (a) what do we do with all that stuff the robots are producing if no one has the money to buy it (even if it becomes very cheap) and (b) what will we do with the capitalists as they roam from one speculative venture to another because the real economy has been stripped of all of its income.

        1. PQS

          Don’t all the capitalists and libertarians dream of living on their own private islands? We can ship them all off, IMO. Then we can film their disintegration for our amusement. Sort of a reverse Hunger Games….The Plutocrat Plays.

      2. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        The superfluous population created as a byproduct of automation is supposed to Go Die, I think. And if they need any help with that, law enforcement officers are standing by.

      3. Elliot

        There’s absolutely nothing wrong with work. Jobs, mostly, sure, but not work.

        I work hard in the garden, fixing the fence to keep the deer out, harvesting, roofing, creating and making what I sell, cleaning my house, plowing my lane in the winter. It’s hard, physically taxing, and often mentally taxing if it includes repairing said tractor, say or laying up a new sidewalk or designing furniture. And I love every minute of it. Work, when you work for yourself, or to help others, or to help make useful things, is good and expands oneself and one’s ideas of the possible.

        Barn raisings weren’t just good for making barns, they were good for making community and knitting people together and learning skills and learning to contribute to the common good.

        My father was a doctor, he worked hard saving lives (before the advent of rural helicopter emergency services) and delivering babies, long hours, and he loved it. My mother kept the house clean, the garden tidy, us kids reasonably behaved, the house painted and papered, and she loved it. Making things, doing real things, is not something to run from.

        “A job”, on the other hand, when it entails giving over control of your life and your mind to someone else in order to supply not very necessary things, can be a soul destroyer.

        I’d never want to see a world without work, but a world that did not force us to take “jobs” that debased us in order to purchase things we are told we must purchase (o hai health insurance mandate), or things we think we need in order to compete in the beautython, or the greedathon, that would be good.

    4. Benedict@Large

      A World Without Work – The Atlantic

      A waste of words over a topic that is otherwise quite exciting, Work does not end because we cleverly design a bunch of automatons to replace us. Work ends because we redefine what it means to work. In a society without work, every human being is given the basics of life as a birthright; food, clothing, shelter, healthcare. education … all simply there because we are alive. Work then becomes optional, perhaps done only as hobby or pleasure, necessary only so far as we want something beyond these basics. And then once we have this definition, we need to start talking about why, even though this is entirely possible today, we don’t have anything like it.

      1. jrs

        Automation hasn’t even reduced the work hours, and can not in this system. Why? Because of course we live in an exploitative system run for the benefit of the very few, obviously.

        Parts of Denmark was it experimenting with basic income are hope in a era without much.

    5. Oregoncharles

      The Willamette Valley is a hotbed of the sort of new/old economy you describe, I spent the afternoon at a fair given by the Hour Exchange,a local currency, tabling for the Green Party (the only party there) and selling a few from my personal hoard of plants. Now the proud owner of about $20 worth of Hours, besides the stuff I bought there, so I’ll have to look for occasions to spend them.

      However, that was only perhaps a hundred people. I don’t know how many are using Hours,but it’s a small portion of even this town. And events like that, and organizations like the Exchange, represent a huge effort by a few people. It will take something big to make them expand to a large portion of the economy..

      1. jrs

        truthfully I think you’d need to be able to use hours to buy most of the necessities of life. shelter, food (this one is the easiest), healthcare, heating. Otherwise there are time constraints to participating in multiple “economies” and a real benefit to participating in the wage economy since it will buy necessities if your paid at all adequately. It might be less of a problem if people had to participate in the wage economy less but …. 30 hour work week 70 years in the making, can we just get it already?

        People do sometimes turn to alternative economies to produce rather than consume (better use of their talents than wage labor offers) but they still need to live, it can’t all be self-actualization.

  4. Yonatan

    Following my post about the Armenian Maidan (original updated with more links), here is another post about similar moves in Kyrgyzstan.

    Some time ago (April 2015) ~150 tons of US ‘diplomatic mail’ was flown in to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for the US embassy there. Out of curiosity, I calculated how much money that equates to. According to my calculations, 150 tons is about $3 billion in low denomination ($10-20) dollar bills. A tidy sum, very similar to the amount needed to run the Ukrainian Maidan ($5 billion).

    A more recent article claims “The US is preparing another color revolution”

    It includes a short video of several white cars with diplomatic plates flying the US flag entering compound of non descript building, possibly related to human rights activist Nurbek Toktakunov.

    The US charges d’affaires for Kyrgyzstan is Richard Miles, a well known regime change artist. He was behind the first color coded regime change in Serbia and is described as ‘the male Nuland’

    Of course, this is all circumstantial so far, but the US surely does love its playbook.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Russia should come up with some kind of counter to this playbook before all the Siberian oblasts start having color revolutions. I remember all the eastern provinces having nationalist movements surfacing from outta nowhere back in the 90s

  5. peter

    Californian sinkage – If it would have been oil instead of water there would be dissenting scientists telling us that there is no connection between sinkage and human behaviour. New terms would be invented, such as sinkage denialism and there would be Koch research grants to prove that California was actually below sea level when dinosaurs were still roaming the earth.

    Naomi Klein and the pope. Who’d have ever thought?

  6. ambrit

    Concerning the DARPA goes to Mars story, your snark is duly noted, but we have a question for you: “Who is this “we” of which you speak consumer?”

      1. ambrit

        Ah! Here I was, thinking that Wells description of the Morlocks and Eloi was the result of the use of an actual time machine. Silly me.
        By the way, since the present climate of Mars is not conducive to widespread agriculture, finding the straw out of which to make ‘straw bosses’ is of concern to the Higher Council. We might have to perform actual work!!! What’s the purpose of it all if that happens?
        (How’s your tomato doing? Our tomatoes say hi, and keep up the good work.)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you don’t success at destroying a plant (completely) at first, try, try again.

          My money (not that much) is on faster destruction…we are ‘smarter’ now and because ‘progress.’ We don’t have to monkey around with cutting down tress all over Mars. We go straight to Earth 2.0 (that is, fracking all over Mars).

          1. ambrit

            Ooooh! Fracking on Mars!
            One of two surmises flow from that activity.
            First surmise; Mars had an extended life bearing phase, during which the raw materials for hydrocarbons were produced.
            Second surmise; Velikovsky was correct, and hydrocarbon reserves are the result of extra terrestrial depositions. (In this case, extra barsoomian.)

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Just because we’re in the process of demonstrating we have the capacity to turn Earth into Mars (or Venus) doesn’t mean we have the capacity to turn Mars into what had previously been Earth.

  7. allan

    The recovery gap: Seattle area’s economic expansion is favoring the wealthy

    In the Seattle area, the top 5 percent of households — those making at least $230,000 in 2007 — saw their earnings fully recover to pre-recession levels. Meanwhile, the group earning less than $32,500 when the recession started — the bottom 20 percent — saw their incomes decline further.

    Most of the jobs lost in the state between 2007 and 2013 paid less than $30 an hour, while the number of jobs paying $54 or more an hour saw big gains. That contrast was even more stark in King County, where jobs paying $54 or more an hour have soared.

    On a related note, you can now fly in planes assembled on Monday mornings from Chinese parts
    by Jim DeMint voters.

    1. neo-realist

      i.e., the lords of software and aerospace are cleaning up around here and struggle for most other poor, working and middle class, particularly with rents rapidly approaching Bay Area levels.

      Thanks to legislation requiring a 2/3rd’s supermajority in the state legislature to pass tax increases along with hillbilly republicans, and vichy suburban democrats, we have no state income tax to get at some of that wealth to help fund education and infrastructure.

  8. tegnost

    In the picture of Mr. Poland in the groundwater article I had to scroll up to see 1925. That is really something…Marketwatch on part timers, read it with skepticism up to the point it said obama plans to fix it and immediately filed it under propaganda trying to create hope where there is none. Regarding raspberries from the cooler a few days practice is bare root, you can order great varieties online and they ship well. bare root still probably 2 years to decent harvest, transplant 3-5 depending on when you transplant, winter best, spring not so great because it interrupts growth of shoots, they’ll live but take a long while to thrive. Big benefit to bare root you can look for varieties that fruit longer or at different times, some rasps fruit for a couple weeks then done. They create a nice natural fence, shoots grow pretty fast so fun to watch best part whoever weeds and waters gets the berries! Lots of great nurseries in the skagit valley esecially and the nw in general for those interested. 17 feet of topsoil in the skagit valley…Wow that’s alot i think…anybody know?

    1. lord koos

      We love raspberries and grow them in Eastern WA, along with a bunch of other stuff. Berries do great in the northwest. The Skagit valley has some of the best farmland in the country — I don’t know how deep the topsoil is there, but judging by the Burlington/Mt. Vernon area sprawl, they are paving that soil as fast as possible.

      1. Cyndy

        It would be hard to find better bottom land than Skagit Valley. Besides berries and tulips, the valley is known for seed crops, with the resulting seeds used all over the world. The sprawl has its roots in the Interstate 5 freeway, which was built in the Sixties. They put the freeway right down the middle of the Valley instead of hugging the hills to one side. Now the sprawl of businesses and new housing follows the freeway and takes up prime farming land on either side. The Skagit River is LOW and milky green from glacier melt. We’ve had weeks of weather above 80 degrees – something new in the last few years. Climate change is very obvious here.

    2. Gio Bruno

      Top soil is just that, top soil. The major growing medium for root growth is the top 3 feet of soil. This is where oxygen and microorganisms is most abundant. It is soil moisture, microorganisms, and soil temperature that allow the transfer of major and trace elements (NPK & cu, zn, etc.) from soil to plant root hairs. Agricultural valleys generally have considerable soil depth, but only the top 3′ is considered useable. Until, of course, the soil erodes via wind, water, or cultivation. Then depth is a good thing: ability to regenerate more “top soil”.

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: An unusual concept in Freddie Gray case: Homicide by omission WaPo

    “The union representing Baltimore police officers has said that regulations requiring prisoners to have on a seat belt were made mandatory just days before Gray’s arrest and that the rules were contained in a large packet of other directives that they said most officers never read. Prosecutors will have to prove that the officers were aware of the regulations and disregarded them, diGenova said.”

    Is there any doubt that Gray would have been pulled over and cited (at the VERY LEAST) in a hot minute if he had been driving a car and not wearing a seatbelt? After literally decades of “click it or ticket” campaigns and even “checkpoints” to snag offenders, how is it even remotely “defensible” that a cop doing his job looks at a seatbelt and decides NOT to use it?

    As for the “it was a lot to read,” “they never read it” and “the rule only took effect ‘days’ ago” defenses– WTF???

    I predict that the next trick will be for the defense to “waive” its right to a jury trial and have the issue decided by a judge only. As was recently learned in Cleveland, when cop Michael Brelo was acquitted of jumping on the hood of a car and blowing away two unarmed people, that’s a surefire way to subjugate obvious facts to obscure legal definitions and interpretations (Yes, I’m talking about you, “is.”)

    Certainly wouldn’t want to get stuck with an “O.J.” jury determined to right a “few” past wrongs.

    1. fresno dan

      In light of the fact that this assault/murder type of tactic had happened before (years prior, and with the city of Baltimore losing civil suits) with people taken into custody by the Baltimore police, one could ask why it took so long to require seat belting of prisoners.
      But of course, the real problem is that the police supervisors, and the civil authorities don’t want to hold the police to account, even for the most heinous violations of law and decency.
      Just like in the example you site of the cop shooting unarmed people, part of the justification given is that there were so many police shooting, just can’t figure out which bullet when did kill the victims.

  10. tegnost

    Really theres one outstanding nursery in these parts, close to la conner so you can track it down easier, don’t want to do a plug…I know people with a herd of geese that eat slugs and weeds in organic fields and goats for blackberries, lots of farmers do soup carrots potatoes and such. Tulip farming is pretty hard on the soil but big biz…did i mention that deer really don’t like daffodils (in my experience) ok done rambling thanks for everything…oh and it wasn’t me who told you how great it is here…

    1. Synapsid

      Too late, tegnost–you’ve spilled the beans and it has been noted.

      Do not leave your present location. Wait for the knock…

  11. Jill

    Do the DARPA microbes transform hostile life forms like elites into actual caring human beings who will make this planet livable for all?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s a good question.

      The way scientific projects get funded (and thereby science is advanced) is with the sole objective of furthering the dominance of the elites.

      That’s how we get to this science-enabled mutant world.

      Not that it’s science’s fault (where is the agency), but, like politics, money is the root of all problems here and there.

  12. dr. luny

    If you bothered to read the article, you’d know it’s about improving software used in biological engineering, and the whole Mars thing is just a clever cover story. This is really about improving the ability to develop biological weapons and other potentially defence-related engineered organisms. Pretty scary stuff if you can stop drooling over the sci-fi pretense.

    1. diptherio

      Who’s drooling? I don’t know that many people here take talk of Mars colonization seriously. Posting a link =/= making an endorsement.

    2. gordon

      Not much of a cover story, surely. Don’t most people know that Mars’ lack of a magnetosphere means any gases generated by the introduced organisms will be blown away into space by the solar wind? And Mars is a very small planet; how much atmosphere could it hold even if it had a magnetosphere?

      1. ambrit

        The best theories I’ve come across posit a limited atmosphere in the bottom of the Valles Marineris canyon system. Most plain Mars colonization schemes imagine sub surface dwellings and light mesh screens to cover and protect agricultural districts. Mars gravity is only 38% of Earth standard. So, longer spans are achievable with standard materials. Stretching a sun screen and atmosphere encapsulating material over side canyons is feasible. (First, one has to get there, of course. Then build an industrial base, and a self sustaining biosphere. The raw materials are there.)
        It might be a good idea to let the elites know that it would really, we mean really, really, be in their best interests to get out of Dodge, or at least out of Dodges’ gravity well. Then start work on Terrestrial remediation. Sounds like an old EPA Superfund Site, doesn’t it.

  13. Jill

    There was a plot to assassinate the Greek PM in 2005 because he was turning to Russia more than the US approved of.

    See this info at today’s wikileaks Saudi cable release. (Of course we had full spying on the Greek leadership as well.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Surprised we are not using any surveillance data to bring Tsipras in line.

      Perhaps the present strategy is to public ridicule him, calling him and his team clowns and telling him to shut up. Don’t know how effective that can be in the world full of clowns*.

      *Sad that we are not clowning around the right way, because I have read that (recently, here) a village with clowns is a happy, peaceful village.

  14. rich

    Consul Energy’s PEU Moves: Screwing Retirees

    Consol Energy will raise roughly $150 million in the spinoff of CNX Coal Resources. The spinoff will occur after the company announced it’s eliminating the retiree health benefit. TribLive reported:

    Consol Energy Inc. said Thursday it will stop paying health benefits for about 4,400 retirees and spouses at the end of this year.

    Consol’s spinoff is worthy of the best private equity underwriter (PEU) in that while the general partner gains, employees lose. The SEC filing indicated:

    Other Post Employment Benefit liability not assumed = $6.7 million

    It wouldn’t be a deal with the greed & leverage boys. Pittsburgh Business Times reported:

    In a deal concurrent with the IPO of Consol Energy’s coal mine master limited partnership,

    New York hedge find manager David Einhorn and his Greenlight Capital will acquire between 2 million and 5 million units in CNX Coal Resources,

    according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

    Consul management is monetizing a portion of its Pennsylvannia coal assets, increasing debt for the new venture.

  15. arnie arnesen

    Farmers find healthy soil works for crops, bottom line – this article shares an interesting nugget…

    “Research shows healthy soil can reduce erosion, slow runoff into rivers and CUT THE NEED FOR FERTILIZER. Despite those benefits, observers say it remains hard to convince farmers to leave behind traditional tillage.”

    who wants to kill this helpful agricultural research? I suspect, the Kochs. Why am I not surprised that they also own, Koch Fertilizer.

    “Koch Fertilizer, LLC, and its affiliates are collectively one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of fertilizers. The company owns or has interests in fertilizer plants in the United States, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago.”

  16. ewmayer

    Dear Yves:

    Re. Links 6/28/16: congratulations on finally getting the “time machine upgrade” working for your blog software. Would appreciate if you could provide quotes for some bellwether stock prices for the date of this Links installment, though – we might be able to finally set up craazyman for his long-sought 10-bagger. :)

  17. Vatch

    There was a hearing in the Senate Agriculture committee about the repeal of country of origin labeling for meat:

    Five of the six witnesses appearing before the committee adamantly supported an immediate repeal of COOL, arguing that the $3.2 billion in potential retaliatory tariffs sought by Canada and Mexico would significantly harm the U.S. economy.

    Why would Mexico and Canada impose tariffs on meat produced in the United States? All they need to do is require country of origin labeling on meat sold in their countries. Then Mexican and Canadian consumers can decide whether or not they wish to purchase yucky meat from the United States or yummy meat from home. Problem solved.

    Obviously, there is no good reason for the Senate to vote to repeal country of origin labeling. Senators should vote NO on HR 2393, which has already passed the House. I think I can guess what will actually happen in the Senate…

    For our future, see this:

  18. lord koos

    I wonder how much of the push to cannabis legalization in the USA is the realization that stoned people are less likely to take to the streets.

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