Mystery of the Texas ‘earthworm herds’ that form a perfect line on roads: Scientists baffled by strange behaviour since storms Daily Mail
Eating with cats Reuters
Woman Suing Ebay Claims She Owns The Sun, Has The Right To Sell Real Estate There Consumerist
Why Ban Laughing Gas? The Best Things in Life Are Psychoactive Guardian (Dr. Kevin)
Why hardly anyone dies from a drug overdose in Portugal Washington Post (Ryan R)
How this brilliant scientist went from working at Subway to becoming one of the greatest mathematicians of the 21st century Business Insider (David L)
The Pentagon Wants These Robots To Save The Day NPR (David L)
Open Letter on the Digital Economy MIT Technology Review (David L)
Digital Journalism: The Next Generation New York Review of Books
Apple Is the New Pimco, and Tim Cook Is the New King of Bonds Bloomberg
Why China has the U.S. over a barrel in the South China Sea Reuters (MS)
Why Greece Will Cave—and How Foreign Affairs Kevin C). Explains a key element of the Greek equation, the list system, that I must confess to not having known about. The author argues strengthens Tsipras’ position v. the Left Platform and limits how much they can constrain them. However, I am not sure since my assumption has been that the Left Platform MPs, in the event the split worsen, would leave Syriza entirely.
Greece takes one more step towards euro exit Financial Times. Editorial.
Tsipras Says Deal Near Even as He Pans Plan From Greek Creditors Bloomberg. Notice the poll results mentioned at the very end of the article.
Greek Prime Minister Calls Proposal by Creditors Irrational Wall Street Journal. Key paragraph:
However, senior government officials have indicated that the Greek government is already preparing a fresh proposal with further concessions, and is aiming to present them to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the coming days.
Greek PM addresses parliament about bailout talks – as it happened Guardian. Key point:
There’s a troubling inconsistency at the heart of Alexis Tsipras’s speech tonight. On the one hand, he emphatically rejects the proposals from Greece’s creditors (he rejects pension cuts, VAT rises on electricity, penurious budget targets)
Minutes later, he’s pledging that a deal is closer than ever before.
But he’s not about to cave in. And it’s not obvious that the IMF, ECB and EC are going to suddenly fold either. So how can a deal happen?
Tsipras dismisses ‘absurd’ creditors’ offer as Greek markets slide Financial Times
Europe’s Last Act? Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate
IMF has betrayed its mission in Greece, captive to EMU creditors Ambrose Evans-Pricthard, Telegraph. “Sigh*. Lagarde can’t buck or tell off the EMU lenders. They all have votes on the IMF board. And IMF debt is senior, so when the eventual restructuring occurs, the IMF will take less of a hit than other creditors. The issue is that no one ever wants to recognize losses, but they already exist.
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
The media genius of Edward Snowden Daily Dot (Chuck L)
Drone buzzes Southwest flight in Dallas, plane lands safely: FAA Reuters
Protect NYC parks — and deep-six NYU expansion New York Daily News (furzy mouse)
A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine (Chuck L). Noted the URL includes “Soros-Ukraine” and “new Ukraine” is one of his big claims, that there’s a new, entrepreneurial non-corrupt Ukraine, ready to burst out, as Athena did from the head of Zeus. The problem is every time I hear “new Ukraine” I think of New Coke.
High Inflation Makes Ukraine’s Troubled Situation Worse New York Times
Circle of deceit: Hani Mujahid’s path to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera (Chuck L)
Yellen: Fed won’t comply with House subpoena yet The Hill
Special Report: Website ‘The Counted’ Tracks Police Shootings of Americans (Judy B) Resistance Journals
The largest grocer in the Texas is now rationing eggs Washington Post
Donations to cancer charities enriched leaders instead, FTC says Reveal
Justice Department Readies New Bank Settlements Wall Street Journal. Again, settlements rather than prosecutions. And what will the admissions of fact be like?
Standard Deduction: How a Carried Interest Tax Could Raise $180 Billion New York Times. “…about 10 times what the government estimates.” This is by Victor Fleischer, a tax heavyweight.
Sturdy U.S. jobs report boosts chances of Fed rate hike Reuters
High time for greed to yield to fear Financial Times
A flush #toilet decorated with 72,000 @swarovski crystals is on display at Kitchen & Bath China 2015 in Shanghai Wed @PDChina. Too obviously an exercise in conspicuous consumption for its own sake.
Gawker’s Idealism Is Exactly What the Labor Movement Needs New Republic
Twilight of the Professors CounterPunch
Owen Jones on Magna Carta: a striking example of useful myths New Statesman (Chuck L)
#7 — mark twain’s mother — 6/5/15 DelanceyPlace (Chuck L). Today’s must read.
Antidote du jour. Stephen L: From the FB page of the Florida Wildlife Commission Fish and Wildlife Research Institute:
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute added 2 new photos.
On May 29, FWC panther biologists Marc Criffield and Mark Lotz responded to a call about a possible Florida panther kitten found near a brush fire site in Lee County. Our biologists eventually identified the animal as a baby bobcat, and after an examination biologists noticed some of the hair on its coat was singed and it had blisters on its feet from walking on the burned ground. Overall the young bobcat was energetic and healthy, and a decision was made to leave the animal near where it was found in the hope that its mother would come back and find him. The kitten was checked every morning over the weekend and given water and milk replacement and had ointment placed on the blisters on his feet, but mother never came. On Monday, June 1 Marc Criffield pulled the kitten from the wild and the six week old male bobcat was taken to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), hopefully he can be returned to the wild. To learn more about bobcats, visit our website: http://bit.ly/1yJm5DY
Tsipras is stalling. Can’t be stupid enough to think it will get him a better deal — something is going down.
Here’s what’s going down. Tispras and the Germans are talking past each other:
This was in response to Tsipras’ “provocative” speech to Parliament rejecting lender demands. “”We know that in part [that] is theater, but [we] do not need to have a role in every scene of the drama.”
Meanwhile German Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Chair of the SDP,
Meanwhile Varoufakis reiterated his commitment to debt restructuring that has been consistently rejected by the Troika:
None of these demands are on the table as far as the Germans are concerned. The fact that they are being reiterated at this late date indicates that Syriza really will not be able to accept creditor demands, as I’ve been arguing all along. Their party would fracture amid votes of no confidence. Nor can Tsipras go “over the heads” of Parliament to gain popular support by means of a referendum or snap elections, because it would take too long, and because the EU has not approved this process, nor has it shown willingness to delay the deadlines in order for Syriza to win public approval for a capitulation, even if they wanted to do so.
Everything looks like political theater designed so that both sides can blame each other after default.
Meanwhile, the poll Yves cites is interesting in itself [I’ve tried to translate Google Translate, so Greek speakers should feel free to give a more accurate translation if necessary]:
[The Greek public] has doubts about the effectiveness and consistency of the election promises of Syriza but [has] not yet withdraw confidence [from Syriza]” and New Democracy – the main pro-Austerity party is “still not seen as a viable alternative.”
In short, some Greeks who were formerly supporters of ND have come to see that ND has been vindicated in their main election arguments that Syriza’s promises of change through negotiations were unrealistic, but ND has failed to advance a creditable alternative program to simply surrendering to the EU and extending Austerity forever.
Meanwhile 70% of the Greek public still want to remain within the EU, in which they are in agreement with Gabriel and every other EU spokesman.
So, it looks like everybody is posturing for default with Greece remaining in the EU but being forced to print its own currency. Whether that’s viable remains to be determined, but Gabriel’s statement is a pretty clear indication what German thinking is.
Thank you. That is exactly what I’ve been saying since January. Default is inevitable and all of the posturing is just sleepwalking into a titanic disaster of choice. I do not believe the Greeks are doing the sleepwalking since they’ve been upfront and direct about the impossibility of the austerity program’s continuance. What the Greeks have been doing is making sure to tell the truth publicly so that the Euros respond foolishly with ever more draconian/threatening retorts. No more hiding in private conferences with barbed words and threatening tones safely away from the cameras while leaking unfriendly characterizations of the Greeks to the press. The Greeks pretty much know default is sealed. They just want to make sure the Euros and especially the ridiculously arrogant Germans take the fault for the tremendous financial damage default will do since they are constantly telling every one that default is priced into the market and that they can even handle a Grexit.
DelanceyPlace/Mark Twain: That is a great story. Thanks for the link.
Beautiful – I wish my Mother could have put me right like that when I was a thoughtless five year old reacting badly to our Kenyan houseboy.
Of course this also brings to mind our complicity. A five year-old boy is innocent. Yet like Mark Twain’s mother, the adults making conscious choices to exploit others are implicated in slave/child/wage labour. If we notice the suffering, the way Mark Twain’s mother did, but keep the slave child, we must admit our guilt. If we keep buying shirts made in Bangladesh, after we know about that fire, we are allowing this system to perpetuate.
You really didn’t get this story at all did you? It’s all about empathy, not moral self righteousness.
You didn’t understand my complex response, which blends both. You can empathize, and hopefully that empathy will lead you to understand your complicity, as well. Otherwise, you’re just letting the slave sing while he works, but you aren’t helping him attain freedom.
Feeling empathy and feeling guilt are not the same thing. Did Twain feel guilt about the slaveowner world he was born into? I seriously doubt it. And the anecdote from the link may not even be true. In Ken Burns documentary about Twain he talks about how one of his servants was a freed slave and Twain was profoundly moved by her tales of family separations. He may have simply used this background to write a rather beautiful story for an autobiography that was still unpublished when he died. I’m not trying to slag you, just saying it is Twain we are talking about here, not us.
Surely we must enslave ourselves to the author’s intent as divined by authority, and there necessarily is exactly one valid interpretation of an artistic work.
Without the Authority, how will we know if the work, or the artist, has any worth?
This reminds me of Meem, a nine- year old textile worker from Bengladesh who giggled and sang throughout her shift. The reporter noticed the child said she knows she shouldn’t sing so much, but couldn’t seem to help herself. “Despite the long hours and aches caused from sitting hunched over for hours at a time, Meem was always smiling and her only complaint was that she was yelled at if she chatted too much or hummed too loudly.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2456412/My-life-sweatshop-worker-Undercover-reporter-tells-crushing-work-terrible-pay-girl-boss-aged-just-NINE.html#ixzz3cI9Bx600
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Interesting comments from Chris Hedges during his telephone interview with Salon:
Yet he’s not entirely without hope:
We are indeed living in interesting times. Have a great weekend NC people!
The ossification of the State I agree with. The complicity of the majority of the White population is also marked. I don’t know which is a manifestation of which. Many, many white people believe in their hearts that they need the cops there to protect them against black and Hispanic people. They see the deaths in several ways: 1) a needed deterrent that “sends a message”; 2) the price of safety; 3) an unfortunate but necessary part of keeping the social order intact and their families safe from criminals of color. How many whites think this way? I’d bet a majority, perhaps an overwhelming majority. Is there a class element in this? Yes, but to ignore the racial element would be ahistorical and a blind alley.
The police can and do kill white people, too, just not as often or proportionally to the population.
I actually think it’s a strategic error to emphasize the racial aspect; it allows the majority to feel they have impunity.
the essential problem is police impunity and a growing police state. Minorities are the most vulnerable.
If, as I believe, many if not most White Americans see black men as a threat and want the cops to be empowered to “keep them in their place”, how are you going to convince them that they are likely to be the targets of cop violence when every stat tells us they are not and even on the off chance that they are, they are still more likely to be injured or killed (in their minds, I don’t know that stats) by a black or Hispanic man? “We’re all in this together” is a nice slogan but it is not in any proportional way the case and does nothing to defeat the root cause of the problem.
I think Hedges’ idea is backed up by Joseph Tainter’s notions on collapses of civilizations and dysfunctional elites.
When the feces hit the fan, I guess it all depends on what brand of military dictatorship we end up with. Because when things go sideways, it’s always the boys with the guns who end up calling the shots.
I agree that this:
causes a strong cognitive dissonance. There is also a very strange fial paragraph that I found from the report of the “institutions” proposal to Greece on Friday in El Pais, that I translate here:
Claudi Pérez is implying here that the “institutions” want to force Greece to punish low income pensioners, for a very small saving of around 100M€. This could make sense at the beginning of a negotiation, as a bargaining tool, but so late in the process it does not make sense at all.
Stiglitz above. Ultimately politix does really control both war and economix. That process cannot be reversed no matter how much we want to have it both ways. If the troops aren’t getting their share or do not value slaughter, then war and economix cannot control politix. OK? Then: Stiglitz says, “… it is difficult to detect a significant positive effect for the EZ as a whole in the period before the financial crisis… since then… the adverse effects (of the crisis) have been enormous.” Positive effects are minimal, and cumulative; adverse effects are devastating. Why is that? I can think of a long list of reasons. Too obvious to talk about here. So for all our chickens coming home to roost, I think we should call this next leg of capitalism “New Capital”. And let’s not screw it up.
Greece must be reduced to peonage. Chris Hedges’ comments on corporations, via Ulysses, applies equally to their collaborators in the IMF and E.U.
How about a nice Jubilee? Many ways to get there, by planning and agreement, by accident and error, by all us debtors saying all at once, hell no, we are done paying with our lives for your indulgences and excesses.
Maybe if stuff like the what, $4 squizzilion in ” notional value” of derivatives gets evaporated, and all the student indentured servitude “loans,,” and all those Monsanto farmer killing adhesion contracts, and on and on, there might be a brief opening for ordinary people of good will to figure out how to sidestep the “financialisticationalisticalism” pile of dogsh+t, and recall how the relationships that grounded “political economy” once worked, and now that everything is interconnected and we are finding out how asymmetrically vulnerable we suddenly have become, what might be a better, more durable, far less pain-induction-dependent set of “exchanges…”
Because prices [perceived value] are sticky…. oops… I meant bias is sticky…
“We starve our elders and they still won’t play right”
Or A New Argentina from Evita?
Or New York, for that matter. What was wrong with the old York?–that’s what I’d like to know.
or new gingrich.
I kinda feel for ol’ Newt. Sure, he’s an awful person, but what can you expect from a person whose own parents named him after a slimy amphibian and the main ingredient in recipes for witches’ potions (Hollywood witches, not Wiccans)? Poor guy, I bet he got teased a lot as a kid…
Real name Newton Leroy so probably preferred being called an amphibian.
+100. That’s really funny.
Gecko Gingrich sounds like a punk rock band.
the gingrich who neutered (newtturd) christmas.
…if I’m not mistaken Gingrich was named after the fig bar. Only later was it reduced to a single syllable to make it easier on the relatives. Cheers.
Damn. I got that wrong, then.
–P.G. Wodehouse, Right Ho, Jeeves
It’s good to read.
New Coke was when they went to corn syrup. Not that they went back to sugar, when they changed it back to “Classic Coke.” Which really does go to show how many people just go along with what they are told.
The glorious new democratic new Ukraine, now with the paid-for chocolate president:
Putin-backed extremists did it. Notice how careful the Grauniad is not to mention the identity of these “extremists”.
Since Kiev is under Junta control, and far from East Ukraine; doesn’t that mean that Putin would have very little reach there? And aren’t the neo-nazi neo-Banderists just as equally anti-gay as the Putinists? So wouldn’t these violent extremists be more likely Banderist?
Surely you’ve mis-placed your sarc tag. It could as easily have been Ukie far-right extremists.
OIFVet’s comment blaming “Putin-backed extremists” is a parody of the people who support the Kiev regime.
He only had three and didn’t expect such a rush.
Of the phrases below, note which one The Guardian used.
This is sarc right? Its in a Right Wing West Ukie zone. If this were Odessa then MAYBE that would be a possibility.
The thing is, neither Right Wing Ukies or Putin Ukies actually like gays. Dont think that just because theyre against Putin and his East Ukies that theyre going to be for gays, spice and everything nice. THey dont like Putin OR gays.
Of course it’s all sarc, people. I thought it’s so over the top that it would be obvious to all even without a sarc tag. Particularly since Putin and Russia were so vilified over the issue in the run-up to Sochi. And the Guardian? Unlike other western publications, it didn’t even have the cojones to say the truth: that the Right Sector had threatened violence and carried out its threat. You know them Right Sector people, the ones we send military trainers to… Couple this hypocrisy with the western commitment to counteract Ruskie “propaganda” and I couldn’t resist to “blame” Puin for the violence. Sarcasm and parody all rolled into one. Sheesh!
I recognized your handle, so I knew it was sarcasm; but supporters of Kiev’s right-wing government say some pretty crazy things. It is hard to parody them – Poe’s Law.
I keep forgetting that deadpan delivery doesn’t express itself well on the intertubez unless people are familiar enough with the user. Sarc tags it is from now on.
That’s true, it doesn’t matter whether they are eastern Ukies (aka Putin-lovers) or western Ukies (aka “European” lovers of freedumb and democracy). It’s the supreme hypocrisy of the West that the Grauniad demonstrated. And BTW, it’s not just Ukraie and other “Soviets”, its pretty much all across Eastern Europe. The parade in Sofia gets attacked almost every year and no government has been particularly enlightened on the issue, yet one never hears about it here. ‘Cause Bulgaria is a steadfast “ally” and lover of freedumb and democracy, no doubt.
“Mrs Lagarde must stop playing the role of a diplomat. She must take off her European hat and speak instead for the organisation she leads and for the world.
She must confront the EMU creditors head on and in public. She must tell them, in blunt language, that they share much of the blame for the current impasse.”
Fat chance. Greece is the tip of the iceberg. Her recent plea to keep ZIRP going for another year is where the real panic lies. As the dollar explodes higher with U.S. rate increases so will emerging market debt result in default denominated in U.S. dollars and desimate the fortunes of the IMF. The decision has been made to make the IMF the dumping ground for Western finance.
This is what I see with the US dollar.
Having the global reserve fiat currency means
1. a young person can afford to travel the world staying at hostels and cheap places, Hippie-style,
2. afford bases everywhere,
3 never have to beg the IMF
4 print as much as you want to afford the preceding endeavors.
With a global reserve gold-backed currency, it probably means you still can have 1 (when you have a strong domestic economy), maybe 3, but not 2 and 4. There was a reason (politicians didn’t trust other politicians) why nations went with that gold standard arrangement decades ago.
While it’s great to have that status (see above), if you are lucky to be born in such a great empire, you have to be prudent in creating/using it (a moral constraint* that limits your issuing/creating/printing), be aware of its ‘global’ consequences (part of your ‘travel the world, experience different cultures’ learning program – you are not like those living in America in the 1950s, knowing little about the rest of the world).
When you lower rates recklessly, you face a time bomb when, as you say, the dollar explodes higher. Watch out, emerging market nations…sovereigns or otherwise. This, all because we have failed to tax the super-rich, divert military spending to the needy, and let the big banks go under.
*You might also want to inquire about the origin of that global reserve fiat currency. Perhaps out of respect and admiration, the world agreed to its fiat-coronation. ‘We trust that when you print it, you don’t just think of yourselves.’
Why do you think they had to ship all those jobs overseas, if not to print the dollars to buy the products back and spread the money around enough to make it a global currency. Buying the oil with printed money didn’t really do it, because those sheiks mostly just put it back in American banks.
The question is that those who initiated this had to know they were blowing a bubble of currency and not just debt, so they must have understood it would eventually blow up some decades down the line. Were they really just that shortsighted, or is there some plan B we are going to find out about, in the not too distant future?
I would assume the multi-generations-old Dynastic Families of wealth and power, like the Bushes, have their plans B, C, D, etc. already in place.
How many years ago now was it that Shrubya Bush himself bought a 200,000 acre landholding in Paraguay on top of the Guarani Aquifer . . . the largest Aquifer in the world?
If the dollar dies and goes to money heaven, Shrubya and his heirs will be able to value their Paraguayan landholding in whatever currency best suits their interest.
Wouldn’t it have been far more effective, long term, to moderate their greed and prolong riding the current wave, since its crashing will create far more unpredictable turmoil than grabbing goodies will solve?
Once the financial system breaks down, will they be able to control the goons hired to protect them?
Stealing the equivalent of trunks of gold and then surrounding yourself with heavily armed and amoral thugs doesn’t sound like a well thought out long term plan.
They should have read the history books little more, if that’s their plan.
Effective to what end, though? Long-term what? They apparently aren’t interested in the game, for the most part, just collecting on the win to which their status entitles them.
As to discipline, don’t make the mistake of projecting hypercompetitiveness and zeal onto the elite. While those qualities are valuable in their foot soldiers and courtiers, for them to partake would not serve their long-term interests, nor their social duty to reproduce themselves. If the oligarchs would rather have tranquil digestion than profits, to enjoy status instead of wasting time, effort and heartburn on the game, much as a certain band of them decided in the mid-1770s…
Hmm, just had a thought. In the grand scheme of things, are we seeing the best of the nouveaux riches being elevated to elite status by the old structures, and the “rest” being sidelined?
They probably knew they were kicking the can and/or thought that economic stagnation would morph into prosperity at a future date while we retained our insane level of military expenditures. But you have to wonder if the US was as close to internal collapse as the Soviet Union in the 1970s/80s.
When Nixon closed the gold window they had to know that the gold reserves of the United States were insufficient to redeem all the dollars in foreigners hands. As MyLessThanPrimeBeef says you can’t do 2 or 4 indefinitely with the limited amount of gold out there. By the time Nixon/Carter was president we were deep into the guns and butter economy that was in the early stages of being cannibalized by finance.
Or, quite simply, they were already in thrall to finance and finance inherently has no strategy, beyond the parabolic accumulation of wealth.
It does seem finance is partnering with radial environmentalism to bring down the industrial behemoth, not by monkey wrenching it, but draining the oil from it.
A thousand years from now, some archeologist is going to be digging around in the Andes and find that pit of mummified Bushes….
Finance didn’t accumulate and concentrate a lot of political power until the Clinton years. Keep in mind a lot of finance/banking fraudsters were put in jail after the S&L crisis and not to mention the stock market crash of ’87.
As for the environmentalist movement having a role in the industrial decline of the US, I think you’re just looking for scapegoats. The environmentalist movement did impose costs on business but this was the price of some of the externalties that industrial pollution and it’s clean-up costs was having on the commons.
Furthermore there’s also a motherlode of economic resources can be freed up for productive investment, green or otherwise, that could’ve been and still can be utilized from the dismantling of the American war machine.
A long time ago in ’98 / ’99 I read a study by the Brookings think tank (I think!) that estimated the US spent something like 12 -18 trillion dollars on nuclear WMDs since their inception. Considering the Pentagon wants an additional trillion dollars over the next decade to modernize the American nuclear weapons stockpiles and that isn’t even counting what the Dept. of Energy spends every year for maintenance costs. All under the pretense of civilian control over our nuclear deterrent. (wink)
…And that’s just one area where such resources can be found and put to more productive use.
Personal belief is that the asses who “manage our policy” are just maintaining the nukes to trigger off in a “religious” cataclysm, kind of like the climax of the second “Planet of the Apes” film (the original plot, not the out-of-new-ideas-in-Hollywood recent release — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beneath_the_Planet_of_the_Apes.)
It’s a death wish kind of thing, a thought reinforced by what we humans are doing to each other and the planet. Apoptosis, for the whole species — http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26873/.
For a read of the entirety of an interesting little novel that was one of the many minatory tales from the depths of the idiocy of the Cold War (which was actually of course pretty hot and heavy and expensive, and The Rooskies, to my mind, proved a lot more humane and intelligent in the Big Picture sense than our generals and reactionaries, like LeMay, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/02/obituaries/gen-curtis-lemay-an-architect-of-strategic-air-power-dies-at-83.html) , download “Planet of the Damned” (originally titled “A Sense of Obligation”) by Harry Harrison, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35204/35204-h/35204-h.htm A quick silly dated read. The most telling part for me was the recognition of the interconnectedness of living things, and the linguistic recognition that good things “work together,” ‘medvirk’, and the bad things don’t: ‘u-medvirk.’
One wonders what the brains of the “Christianists” who have so intentionally insinuated themselves into the High Command of the Air Force might look like — a dysfunctional parasite maybe has displaced their neocortexes too? to bring us merger products like the “Pantex” plant at Amarillo, TX, http://www.nukewatch.org/px/, staffed by Rapturists who are just moving up the date for the Great Event, https://pantexemploymentnrmw.wordpress.com/
And one has to love the come-on at Pantex’s job-openings web page, http://www.pantex.com/careers/Pages/default.aspx :
Whether it’s patriotism, southern hospitality or genuine concern for one another, anyone who’s been to Pantex is impressed by its people. Pantex strives to continue its tradition of recruiting and retaining the best. If you are ready to join our team, check out our Current Opportunities and Student Programs.
No one will need to try to figure out what money is and how it works once the Rapture has come and gone, right? Well, maybe those of us who are “left behind…”
As a former resident of the peoples republic of boulder i credit the environmental movement for significant economic benefits, boulder downzoned future suburbs into minimum 5 acre lots. Business fought to be there for employee attraction, high quality of life, high property values, bike paths.. this is early 80’s, alfalfa’s market was one of a kind back then, compare that to the natural foods marketplace today…and i too feel it was more recent, the parabola, more like a bell curve starting in 1980 with just the left side of the bell completed
High property values are great if you already own; however, Boulder is one of the least (if not the least) affordable city in the Front Range today.
Hani Mujahid, the Emad Salem of Yemen
Just had a chance to read “Congress can and should declassify the TPP” from yesterday’s links:
I commend to everyone the Comment on it by Oregoncharles. His comment is far superior to Robert Naiman’s article. Don’t miss it!
The comment you mention by Oregoncharles that any Congressman can declassify TPP at will, and the fact no one not even Liz Warren is making the slightest effort to do so, is depressing.
Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that nonviolent direct action seeks to create a crisis and “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”.
Thanks! (blushes deeply).
It’s a pet topic of mine.
Apologies if this has been talked about but wonder if you could address how your suggestion might relate to the Pentagon Papers case where Mike Gravel entered the illegally leaked documents into the Congressional Record. In the end the Supreme Court ruled for Gravel under the “Speech and Debate” clause.
Of course any Congressman today who did such a thing might have to flee to Russia like Snowden.
Oops…see you did talk about it in your comment to above article. Bandwidth challenged here. Nevermind.
TOWARD THE END of World War II, while thousands of Europeans were dying of hunger, 36 men at the University of Minnesota volunteered for a study that would send them to the brink of starvation.
But researchers also observed disturbing mental effects they hadn’t expected: obsessions about cookbooks and recipes developed; men with no previous interest in food thought—and talked—about nothing else. Overwhelming, uncontrollable thoughts had taken over, and as one participant later recalled, “Food became the one central and only thing really in one’s life.” There was no room left for anything else.
Research like the Minnesota study raised important questions: What happens to our minds—and our decisions—when we feel we have too little of something? Why, in the face of scarcity, do people so often make seemingly irrational, even counter-productive decisions? And if this is true in large populations, why do so few policies and programs take it into account?
But what’s most striking—and in some circles, controversial—about their work is not what they reveal about the effects of scarcity. It’s their assertion that scarcity affects anyone in its grip. Their argument: qualities often considered part of someone’s basic character—impulsive behavior, poor performance in school, poor financial decisions—may in fact be the products of a pervasive feeling of scarcity. And when that feeling is constant, as it is for people mired in poverty, it captures and compromises the mind.
This is one of scarcity’s most insidious effects, they argue: creating mindsets that rarely consider long-term best interests. “To put it bluntly,” says Mullainathan, “if I made you poor tomorrow, you’d probably start behaving in many of the same ways we associate with poor people.” And just like many poor people, he adds, you’d likely get stuck in the scarcity trap.
Bottom line – poor people aren’t poor because they make bad decisions as much as people who are poor make bad decisions.
That’s interesting, but I wonder if the mental effects can be extrapolated beyond food (and maybe sex) — which seems rather a unique need, a physical need, quite different from a ‘need’ for ‘consumer goods’.
Elizabeth Warren in “The Two-Income Trap” pointed out that the economic lives of the middle class are dominated by large fixed costs (rent/mortgage, health care premiums, school expenses) that are almost impossible to avoid. Poor people have to pay at least some of those too, plus large fees for basic services like check cashing. For both, ‘consumer goods’ are a relatively small part of their spending.
I submit that poor people make the only decisions available to them, which, to people who have money, appear to be bad decisions. There are many ways, for example, to save money on ordinary products if you can rustle up enough money at the time to take advantage; but, for a poor person, their purchases are on an as-needed basis and are limited to the dollars in their wallets at the time. Economically, that often appears to be a bad decision. For them, the economically bad decision is their only option, and not even really a choice.
+ a zillion.because that should the condition we all cope with… without screwing each other.
A Costco membership pays for itself, if you can get to and fro easily enough. Screw the Dawes Act. Private, consenting adults can have potlatches any time they feel like.
Poor people make short term (“bad”) decisions because evolution has trained them that short term decision making is more successful for poor people.
‘Why, in the face of scarcity, do people so often make seemingly irrational, even counter-productive decisions?’
From a previous thread on this topic:
‘as Linda Tirado makes clear, it’s often simply a desire to purchase, whatever the cost, some happiness or relief in the context of not knowing when or if you will ever have any again’
As Tirado says:
‘I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It’s not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn’t that I blow five bucks at Wendy’s. It’s that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There’s a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there’s money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway’
From the piece on carried interest:
So, under Jack Lew, Treasury is using dynamic scoring,
a scam introduced by right wing Republicans in Congress to minimize projected revenue losses from tax cuts,
in order to to minimize projected projected revenue gains from enforcing what is supposed to be a progressive income tax system.
And cynics say that elections don’t matter.
Yes elections clearly matter, this is why so many forces try to control the outcome, and jack lew was appointed by a democrat, as others have pointed out “republican bad” although quite true, is not likely to be a viable platform in light of current democrat policies.
Best line of the article: If it wasn’t such a BFD – then why is the industry fighting so hard to defeat it.
Because votes. Altho’ that’s a joke. PE compromises small investsors into a big camp just to protect the big camp with “voters”. It cannot work forever, because Reality.
“The issue is that no one ever wants to recognize losses, but they already exist.”
Anecdote: A close family member tried the American Dream out, bought a Florida house in 2007 via a Wells Fargo-written first-timer mortgage. Job misfortune happened, family income trashed, upside down by half the 2007 appraised value. Multiple attempts to renegotiate, HAMP and otherwise, family given the brushoff after complete dump of all personal and financial information on the family, “lost” paperwork, multiple efforts at short sales by the family including one offer that was only a couple of thou less than the claimed value. House has been vacant for 5 years now. We’ll F__you filed the foreclosure suit after the family moved out. No interest in deed in lieu. We’ll F___you has not responded to discovery requests for underlying docs proving title, though did file a fraudulent motion claiming the case was ready for trial. House still vacant, family paying a foreclosure specialist attorney $1500 a year to monitor the litigation. We’ll F___you, my guess, can’t prove title, has been working the FL legislature and particularly friendly Evil Circuit Court Judges to push through foreclosures to judgment even where the claim can’t be proved, http://floridaforeclosurefraud.com/ . Meantime, divorce pending, kid in that particular limbo, and still trying to do a short sale with stonewalling by the Banksters. Of course the house is wasting away, the yard looks like sh+t, there’s a big water oak with a rotten heart that overhangs the front of the house, but “the market is up” thanks to another round of flippers and speculators and “investors.” All, I guess, so as not to have to “recognize the losssssss” that in part has been “recouped” by the efforts of all us ordinary people to patch and rebuild “the economy” by virtue of our own slave ethics and efforts…And there’s so much more happening or not happening in this not-on-the-radar-anymore “story.”
I know, so sad, others have it worse, it’s their own fault for not knowing how to play in the big sandbox, all that stuff that we are stupid enough to feel about each other’s collective abuse and misfortune at the hands and whips of our Owners and the Little Banksters who are trying to follow their employing institution’s incentives and not “book” any “losses” by silly sh_t like “mark to market” or accepting a decent qualified short sale offer… because after all “I got mine and I am smart enough to pick good stocks and time the market, this time, and if I stay small and do what they tell me, abusing others every day at the job I got and YOU DON”T, I’ll go along and get along…”
I read the Greek reform proposal that was published by Tagesspiegel.
I have mentioned on this blog that Greece does not have modern property records, even though the Greek government, in the nineties, was given 150 Million by the EU to update them (it seems the figure has been adjusted to Euros, it was quoted in Euros). For mentioning the cadaster issue, I was again attacked by some commenters here. I want to point you, if you are reading, to Tsipras’ very proposal which says that only a quarter of their cadaster has been completed – after all these years, and lots of money received for it.
Also, I have read different figures about how much tax evasion cost the Greek government. When there is talk about “austerity”, “structural reforms” or even “strangling the country”, “proposals” etc, I very rarely read about the CONCRETE details. As to tax evasion, what I read was 70 billion total, 20 billion Euros a year, a third of GDP, or see here:
The former governments have not changed that situation. I have not heard what the Tsipras government has done / is doing / has done about this situation. What Europeans get enraged about is that Greece wants solidarity from Europe, but the Greeks themselves do not show solidarity amongst themselves.
In psychological terms, I’ve seen a lot of passive-aggressive behavior and victim / blaming attitude from Greece, and very little about the need to change their ways as well.
It was interesting that Tsipras proposal contained not one single word about military expenses being reduced, and have not seen one word from the Troika about reducing these.
Instead of agreeing to the bailout, why did they not drive the thousands of Leopard tanks (paid for with credit) back to the banks in Frankfurt and park them there. That may have been a wake up call.
For me, it all boils down to how we should treat other people. No amount of money owed makes it right to have a whole population suffer the way the Greeks are suffering. There needs to be more empathy for the indebted and more malevolence for those who lend money inappropriately. The search for pure profit has bred inhumanity.
At any time or place in our history, inhumanity is a prominent feature of humanity. This is in our nature.
so is nose picking. but one can learn to stop.
Did you see the creditors asking for reducing the military expences?
So Tsipras and the Troika have something in common. Maybe an agreement is possible after all
IMO both sides are wrong.
These loans never should have been made. The banks that made them should not have been bailed out. In this regard it seem very like the US subprime bailouts.
And what about accountability of the dozen or so bankers and oligarchs that made this caused this problem?
My gosh, Jackrabbit. This whole blog and others as well are about trying to make the banks accountable. What’s the success rate in the US? Kind of zero.
I’d like to see the politicians held accountable on the EU side (German SPD) who let Greece into the Euro, knowing fully well that the numbers were fudged. And Merkel sat on the Deutsche Bank CEO’s lap on his birthday, I’d like to see her made accountable for lying about the first and successive bailouts.
That one side lied, the other was lied to, is water down the Ganges. Fact is, there are a lot of very rich people in Greece and they are not paying their dues. Nothing has been fixed about tax evasion in the five years since the bailout. No cadaster, hence no foreign investment, is that so hard to get.
Tsipras complained in his Le Monde piece that retirees are close to poverty. Well, I don’t know in which world he lives, but a lot of German retirees are also living in or near poverty. What I would like to know, what are they actually doing about their situation, what have they done? Not much that I have read about. Tax the church/ church properties – it’s the biggest corporation in Greece, but no. Even a leftist government does not cross that line, it seems.
Have you heard of the term “Oppression Olympics”? It’s an American drama in which people sadomasochistically brag about their wounds in order to obtain the regard of their peers.
Hartz was YOUR OWN FAULT. If numbers are more important than human life to you, I’m not sure I want to live in your society.
For the most part I agree with you. I pointed to bankers AND oligarchs. Maybe I should’ve said GREEK oligarchs specifically?
And yet, in your response you offered the most tepid, passive criticisms of German culpability in this disaster.
“I’d like to see the politicians held accountable on the EU side (German SPD) who let Greece into the Euro, knowing fully well that the numbers were fudged. ”
As if that was the most important part of the crisis, not collusive arrangements between German banks and businesses and Greek oligarchs that existed pre-crisis. As if the recklessly loaned out funds by your own banks who are the only parties with fiduciary responsibility was not the worst part of the disaster. That Germany and France demanded a back door bailout of their banks on the backs of the Greek people who were not party to any of the crooked deals between Greek oligarchs and German and French banks/businesses never seems to matter to you.
Every argument uttered about “structural reforms” is a strawman meant to deflect attention away from the fact that Germany and France demanded a no-cost bailout of their banks from the rest of Europe while placing the costs and scapegoating on the Greek public. You assigned responsibility for this disaster to people who had nothing to do with it while demanding no responsibility for your own banks’ criminality. It’s ridiculous. You expect “solidarity” when it comes to protecting your banks but demand “responsibility” from people who had nothing to do with this.
“….never seems to matter to you.”
I have no idea why you say that. Everyone knows that it was the about the banks. I was against bailout #1. There were enough voices, including my little voice, in the commentariat of German media at the time who were against this measure, BECAUSE of the Euro structure and BECAUSE it amounted to a bank bailout. I don’t have to start at Alpha each time. I am pointing out that a whole succession of Greek governments left a whole lot of money uncollected due to the state their state is in. Did you understand at all that the country has been running an irresponsible deficit for many years? Irresponsible is not a moral term in this case, but a financial: the bill will come due at one point.
I am for complete debt relief and closing the chapter on these bailouts. I am for handing over the last tranch without delay, and against giving more loans after that (they still have access to EU money for infrastructure). Let them be a proud sovereign state, and that means, let them figure out their own household, including how to deal with their tax evaders, and the citizens having removed billions from their own country. Sorry, but not everything is the fault of everyone else.
Eating with cats link doesn’t work. The working link is http://www.reuters.com/news/picture/eating-with-cats?articleId=USRTX1F991
Woman Suing Ebay Claims She Owns The Sun, Has The Right To Sell Real Estate There
Ebay should charge her a transaction fee, but make a policy that all off planet RE transactions are to be executed on the property being transfered and in the local currency.
The old RE saw: Location, location, location..
The government has to protect your planet.
The protection is not funded by your taxes. That particular security service is basically free income to you (your taxes don’t pay for that). You and your planet are guaranteed to be safe, backed by the good faith of Uncle Sam. This is Guarantee Income to you. Would be nice if you acknowledge that and show some appreciation, instead of going around, criticizing Big Government.
Still, there are fees and other charges. Even though the government is not funded by taxation. Gotta have fees. Make the politicians feel important. Keep them busy.
So, you have to pay a fee for orbiting your planet around the Sun.
And if you own the Sun, there is a fee for orbiting around the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
The Magna Carta article is oddly facile and ahistorical. In order for those serfs to have rights the Barons had to establish that there was such a thing as rights, rights which the prerogative of the Crown could not trample. And Magna Carta included the demand to respect the rights of more than just the Barons. It was in no way a modern document, but then again the American Bill of Rights isn’t either. That doesn’t make it lousy or a joke. It just means that it lacks our broader sensibility. All power to the modern, inclusive sensibility. But that doesn’t mean we have to denigrate that which came before us.
It’s too easy, or tempting, to think we are ‘superior’ to those ancient people.
Some people may have wealth, but we want to be more virtuous.
Concentrate all moral abundance to us, and none to others, now or long deceased.
It’s just another form of inequality, another form of power concentration (here, moral high-ground power so desired by clergymen of organized religions) .
“It’s not just we are virtuous. The other side must be regarded as evil.”
your take is just the way I have been thinking about Magna Carta in relation to current times, the sovereign is being instructed by a group of powerful parties that they’re not the boss anymore. My limited knowledge of Magna Carta, as you call it,( no “the”) is that barons wrested control, while you say serfs also benefited by gaining more rights… I say tpp elevates rights of corps, and also that of their employees by extension in a similar way
You can say that all day long but that doesn’t make it a desirable, true, plausible or even reasonable assertion. I assert, with more learned paper at my back, that the same agreement(s) primitively accumulate citizens’, er, employees’ rights (ew, is that all I am to you?) by way of the intellectual property, state-owned enterprise and foodstuff liberalizations. I suggest comparing the political status of the peasants before the Magna Carta to that of the peasants of today. If such proclamations are meant to correct off-balance systems through reversion to the mean, the future does not look bright for citizenship.
Sorry, but that doesn’t wash. Not gonna be any trickle down in the latter instance. Because in this case, the people are or should be the sovereign – that’s ‘we, the people. . .” So those barons are in it for their own selves and not for any they may employ, who are seeing their inherent sovereignty dissolved before their very angry eyes.
Nothing similar about it.
that is my point, thanks, the difference being the sovereign used to be some dude, but we advanced and now its us, but now the problem for the “barons” is we don’t want what they want, are we curbing their desires in the way that kings of olde restricted the barons so the barons asserted their claim of being at least equal in power to the sovereign (in a perfect world thats you and me today) then it was barons and serfs now its ceos and stockholders.
TPP says you the sovereign can’t make choices without clearing it with corps first. That’s similar.
Toilet with 72,000 crystals.
It’s not just it’s conspicuous and not just the excess and waste.
It’s the lecture that comes with money. They will tell you why you’re poor (person or country).
“This is why we’re a strong, successful and rich empire. By the way, my daughter likes your country. She says many men there find her attractive. And wealth is respected, even feared. At least you got something right…barely.”
Texas earthworm herds…straight line.
Can it have anything to do with magnetic lines, that’s my first though reading that headline, because there are no straight lines in nature*?
*except planetary orbits (in small segments that is…you know, Calculus 101), the horizon a cave man saw at sunset or sunrise, meteor trails, the downward path of a raindrop (or an apple) etc. Come to think of it, there are straight lines everywhere in nature.
Yes. Interesting. Plus those clumps of worms strongly resemble brains.
i think those worms are telling us something. maybe we’ve poisoned their soil?
Nah. Newly wetted soil tends to be acidic due to dissolved CO2 and worms breathe poorly under such conditions. Thus, to the surface and to the sidewalks where the moisture is less acidic.
It shows you’re thinking, though.
But how were they smart enough to find the median? Or was that natural selection?
Straight = curve with infinite radius…a VERY special case…
…possibly why all our math is fkd…all the focus on linearity…when we should have been looking at loops and spirals.
ground is waterlogged from high precipitation….road is cambered, high point is centerline.?
the more probing existential question is why did the earthworms want to cross the road? Chalk it up to herd mentality, or maybe it was just a race amongst type A earthworms?
Beef, many many straight lines.. Calculus/integration is merely humans puny attempt to simulate curves..
in nature, one example:
The crown of the road is likely to be the driest place nearby.
I wonder: are the ones between the yellow lines the onlyones that haven’t been pulverized?
Maybe they thought the road was the back of giant, warm, dry Worm Mother.
Talking to Vula (African National Congress), a collection of six published articles on the importance of communication to the ANC’s revolutionary operations. “Cumbersome book codes and complicated secret inks”, for real.
Re: Laughing gas, aka hippie crack. There is actually a “nitrous mafia” that travels the summer concert tours dispensing balloons. Pretty tough group from what I’ve read. I shared a couple balloons with friends at a Dead show back in the day, laughed so hard I thought I would pass out. Just don’t make the mistake of doing a balloon while standing. Many a tooth have been lost that way.
A few years ago my elderly dad was given laughing gas during a dental procedure. He said it was great and that he understands now why people take drugs.
Good News: TPP in Trouble
President Obama’s forces in the U.S. Senate were first beaten, then regrouped, in his bid to “fast track” the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal through Congress. Most Democrats oppose TPP. Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, a key organizer against TPP, believes the scheme can be stopped in the U.S. House. “We already have about 60 to 75 Republicans on our side,” he said. “If we can add 10 or 15 to that, it becomes almost insurmountable. http://www.blackagendareport.com/node?page=1
Is this reliable.
Depends on how many Democratic scum Nancy Pelosi can get to vote for it. I’ll bet she has some up her sleeve who will come out for it if they have to. (Which includes her own vote, you betcha.)
“I trust many of you are familiar with the story of Peter Pan, in which it says, ‘the moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.’ Yes, what we need is a positive attitude and conviction.” -Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan, opening remarks at the 2015 BOJ-IMES conference (Bank of Japan).
It’s telling that he’s quoting Disney properties, isn’t it? It wasn’t just Jacko — the whole ruling class has Peter Pan syndome.
Boy, they really do love their histrionic ‘read me!!!!!!!’ headlines over at Business Insider, don’t they? What next, all caps and animated emojis?
Call me small-minded, but I refuse to view anything presented in such click-baitish terms, simply on principle. If you can’t make your point without shouting and hyperactively jumping up and down…
Seems you have company. From the Michael Massing New York Review article in above links.