Links 7/14/15

What happened when we took a lie detector on some internet dates Guardian (furzy mouse)

Winter is Coming: Scientist Says Sun Will Nod Off in 15 Years Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

Go Set A Watchman: read the first chapter – interactive Guardian

The most successful female athlete of all time just got body shamed in the New York Times Business Insider (furzy mouse)

An Algorithmic Sense of Humor? Not Yet. MIT Technology Review (David L)

Mozilla blocks all versions of Adobe Flash in Firefox ghacks

Eurozone industrial production underwhelms in May Financial Times. A feature, not a bug.

Britain won’t recover while its economy is dominated by magical thinking Guardian


The Greek bailout deal resolves nothing Center for European Research (Swedish Lex)

Greece is being treated like a hostile occupied state Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Europe Owns This Disaster Bloomberg. “In other words, successive episodes of backsliding and financial crisis are more or less a deliberate feature of the design.”

Schäuble’s plan: Germany has to get out of this Euro-Zone Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachtrichten (guurst). Some readers have claimed this site verges on CT so take this as a hypothesis.

Tormenting Greece is about sending a message that we are now in a new EU Irish Times (Swedish Lex)

Premier of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, Accepts Creditors’ Austerity Deal New York Times. Key detail: the speaker of the Parliament is opposed to the deal and might be able to derail it.

Syriza set to rebel over ‘humiliation’ Financial Times

Greek PM Tsipras faces party revolt over bailout deal Reuters. Bilmon on Twitter: “In “gesture” to Greece, Merkel agreed €12.5 billion from asset sales could be invested back in country that owns them.”

Greeks ‘humiliated’ by bailout, cry ‘hands off the Acropolis’ Agence France-Presse

Deal on Greek Debt Crisis Exposes Europe’s Deepening Fissures New York Times

Analysts express widespread Greek deal doubts Financial Times

Greece Should Just Quit Bloomberg. Editorial.

Greece Needs the Euro New Yorker

Europe’s Insane Deal With Greece Bloomberg (Swedish Lex)

IMF: Most misleading sentence ever? Mean Squared Errors

Greece’s Banks Are Next in Line for a European Bailout New York Times


Ukraine leader attacks Greek ‘disaster’ Financial Times


Iran and major powers reach nuclear deal: Report CNBC (furzy mouse)

Iran nuclear agreement ‘reached’ BBC

The War on Yemen and Al Qaeda American Conservative (reslic)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Oscar and Pulitzer Award-Winning Journalist Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government To Uncover Records After Years of Airport Detentions and Searches. Read complaint here.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Opening Comments to the American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Directors Counterpunch. Chuck L:

If the Report is released on July 20th, there will be front-page articles in every major newspaper in this country and around the world on July 21st.

The headlines will read: “Report Finds APA Leadership Colluded With Bush Administration in Support of Torture.”

What will the subheading read: “Many named remain in leadership positions” or “APA removes tainted leadership in response to investigation”?

This is not a PR problem. This is a survival of the Association problem. And there is no good way to get through this.

The Biggest Threat to Americans? Other Americans With Guns Daily Beast (reslic)

Trade Traitors

Debasing the US TIP report Bangkok Post. Editorial

Clinton gets tough on Wall Street, vows to tighten oversight Reuters. EM: “Words are wind.” Lambert’s shredding, um, analysis goes live later in the AM.

Rubio raises $45m in White House bid Financial Time

Voices from Trump Supporters Atlantic. Ed Harrison: “These are your countrymen!”

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill barring fines for dead lawns during drought Los Angeles Times

Nudist resort owners charged with stealing water San Jose Mercury News. EM could not resist: “Such naked criminality must not stand!”

New York City agrees to pay $5.9m in settlement with family of Eric Garner Guardian

Bringing Broken-Windows Policing to Wall Street Atlantic (Gabriel)

Algorithms Had Themselves a Treasury Flash Crash Matt Levine, Bloomberg

Puerto Rico Faces Its Creditors in Early Debt Resolution Talks New York Times

Class Warfare

There’s a fascinating difference between income inequality in red states and blue states Yahoo. Hate to say, but all this study seems to do is raise doubts about its methodology. With the number of hedgies and private equity firm partners that live in NYC (0.1fi types) while we have low income people living nearby in Queens and the Bronx (and lots of homeless people these days), NYC has to be in the top ten in income inequality, and more like top three, and it’s not even on the list! Just look at the number and pricing of the top restaurants, or the price of summer rental in the Hamptons for confirmation. NYC apparently gets bonus points for having good amenities like public transportation, for the working classes. But it utterly misses the amenities at the top end, like cars and drives and private jets.

Mass incarceration in America, explained in 28 maps and charts Vox (reslic)

The Cure Culture Motherboard

Antidote du jour (Lance N). A cold climate sphinx? A guard cat?

VeryFierce links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. Jerry Denim

      Interesting. This is unfortunate but inevitable. There’s a lot of strong opinions about the absolute imperative of a viable third party and if the DNC is beyond reformation. I think it would be easier for dedicated Greens that like Sanders to still support the party if they were running a stronger candidate or appeared better organized and stronger than they were last election cycle. Why not support a socialist with a track record and a real shot instead of doubling down on principle when another cruel trouncing is all but guaranteed in 2016? The Greens have to make headway in their fight against the two-party duopoly if they want to win new converts or maintain their support.

  1. Steve H.

    The APA link is extraordinary. Even with the understanding it is written by those making their own case, the fact that the Board kept it under wraps until the release of the Hoffman Report is a strong suggestion that they take the situation seriously. It doesn’t need to be half as bad to be an utter disaster.

    All the professional psychologists who acquiesced to the use of their institution to inflict torture… I have no words but one word. Perverse.

    1. Clive

      I think the APA story is the tip of a very unpleasant iceberg. I’m a trustee of a charity which supports patients with a rare medical condition and through the course of my involvement with that charity I’ve been increasingly alarmed at how all too many in the medical profession are, effectively, selling their physicians’ licences for influence, profit or sometimes a combination of both.

      Whether it is medical directors colluding with hospital administrators to provide air cover for cuts in patient services, professional respectability varnishes for dubious private sector clinics offering at best marginally effective treatments, collusion with big pharma pay-to-play scams for specific drugs to be used where cheaper alternatives are just as effective and, possibly the worst of them all, seeking what craazyman would describe perhaps as a medical ten bagger — using public funding to develop some patentable incremental “improvement” which they can sell at huge profit, I’ve encountered all these and more.

      For each occurrence I come across, my reaction is always the same, and it’s what I think of the APA revelations — ’tis a shame there was so little shame.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is greed a medical condition that needs treatment?

        Maybe pop a pill everyday to stabilize it?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That is a sci-fi that I am working on, of course.

            Part one deals with the rich controlling our heroic workers via brainwashing, through meds in our diet, the media and pop culture.

            Part two is about the latter waking up, freeing themselves. At the end, the heroic workers discover the medical condition causing greed, and order greed-free bare-foot doctors to administer the treatment for the greedy (and former) elites.

        1. hunkerdown

          Lifestyle diseases are best treated with lifestyle modifications. How much sympathy should we have that they’re fed a deity complex the same way the proles are fed high fructose corn syrup?

      2. JTMcPhee

        As Yves might say, Quelle Surprise!

        Seems like everywhere you look, increasingly shameless appearances of the nature of the Beast are leaking out. Shame only works, only applies and is effective as social control. in small groups, face to face.

        Garrison Keillor came up with a motto for the archetypical fictional town of Lake Wobegon. That motto, not in the best Latin, is “SUM QUOD SUM,” “We are who/what we are.” Maybe some of you are familiar with that little white Minnesotan microcosm. Where the town bank is Bob’s Bank, and where CEO Bob’s motto is “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Not a model for “success,” modern style, but that town is a pretty good model for community. In a shameless world, that “Sum Quod Sum,” unfortunately, is a nice excuse for all the bad stuff, isn’t it?

        Speaking of “health care” (sic): The formerly physician-owned full-service clinic I used to go to for “care” has been bought by BCBS, and the crapification is in full chat. More and more work, from fewer and fewer staff, who are paid less and less money. “human resource” and “management” meanness of the plain old Simon Legree kind. Crappier and less competent “care:” a too typical transaction is the dermatologist’s “all-over skin check” lasting all of 3 minutes, failed or did not care enough to note a “skin cancer Trifecta,” one melanoma, one basal cell, one squamous cell. (Found and treated by a less greedy clinic a few weeks later.) Complain, as a patient, and they WILL “fire” you. Every possible squeeze and cheat to increase “profit.” The formerly avuncular head of the clinic has his 60 or 70 foot motor yacht and McBig mansion and the adulation of the community, so all’s right with the world.

        The limbic system rules, an inherent and ineluctable part of the “neoliberal” monstrosity:

        We Humans Have a Fatal Biology
        Be very afraid! Our limbic system dooms us all.

        Our frontal lobes brought us from our hunter-gatherer ancestors to space travel. It all worked reasonably well, but now the older parts of our brains have caught up with us, dooming the human race.

        Evolutionarily, I think we humans have come to a dead end. Our biology has become mismatched to the world that surrounds our biology. We are no longer a well-adapted organism, and therefore natural selection dooms us as a species.

        Over evolutionary time, we evolved much larger frontal lobes than anyting our primate relatives had. Those frontal lobes enabled us to delay actions. During the delay, we could plan out actions of far greater complexity and sequence and effectiveness than other species, primate and otherwise, could create. In this enlarged frontal brain, we had evolved a highly specialized organ, as special, say, as the elephant’s trunk or the star mole’s nose or the shark’s electrical sensors. The intelligence embodied in our frontal lobes became the key to our human magnificence: skyscrapers, bridges, supercomputers, space travel, Shakespeare, Picasso, Bach, in short, all our human achievements that we prize as “culture.” Knowledge accumulated, and we had progress of a kind no other animal has had.

        Yet we never lost what went before and still undergirds our overgrown frontal lobes: the mammalian brain, identified as such by Paul MacLean in the 1970s. No progress there. The mammalian brain remains the kind of brain that a cat or a dog, a lion or a bear, has. It’s good for rapid response to emotional signals of fear or rage or lust or need. No delay–just pounce.

        The mammalian brain includes the limbic system, a set of structures ringing the inner surface of the cerebral cortex and surrounding the brain stem. The thinking, planning neocortex of our frontal lobes richly interconnects with these limbic sub-cortical structures. Frontal intellect tells us how to satisfy our emotions. Limbic emotions tell intellect what feels good or right, ultimately then, what to do. We think we decide rationally, but in the end it is the limbic system that decides what seems the rational answer.

        Using modern knowledge of the brain, we can update Plato’s analogy of the charioteer trying to drive a white horse of reason coupled with a black horse of passion. Imagine a three-legged race with just one team in it, one team racing against the clock. The runner on the left is the frontal lobes’ capability for planning out the best way to shorten the time. The runner on the right is the limbic system. It responds emotionally to the race, grumbling, perhaps, to the runner on the left about having one leg tied to another runner’s leg. This pair could do fairly well getting to the finish line.

        But now imagine a three-legged race with many, many such pairs in a field so crowded that the teams keep bumping into one another. The frontal lobe runners can still plan strategy. But the limbic system runners tied to them now have many more chances to act on their anger, their greed, their sadism, their envy, and all the rest of the emotions the daily headlines tell us we humans are directing toward our fellow passengers on this planet.

        In other words, our very progress has given our limbic systems more power. When economies were less global, when travel was harder, when the world’s population was less, our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in groups of two hundred or so. One group could have fights with other groups of hunter-gathers, but that was about all the trouble we could cause. (As in Kubrick’s 2001.) But over historical time, our frontal lobes spread us all over the planet and vastly increased our capacities for destruction. Not only could we build magnificent bridges, skyscrapers, ocean liners, or supercomputers, but we could create governments claiming thousands of square miles, nuclear bombs, biological weapons, and environmentally destructive activities on a colossal scale. Our limbic systems continue to function to guide frontal lobe intellect. But now our limbic systems have more and more occasion to direct negative emotions like fear, envy, greed, anger, hate, or lust toward the other humans and other groups pressing in on us as our presence spreads.

        We come to the situation we face today, where the greed of a hedge fund manager on Wall Street dooms a farmer in Mali to starvation. The frontal lobe created financial instruments so ingenious only a computer (also created by frontal lobe intellection) can master them. But the limbic system harnessed that ingenuity to an insatiable greed. And we find ourselves in the pickle we are in today with financial systems crumbling, nuclear weapons proliferating, the environment being pillaged, and religious fanatics unleashing terror on us all.

        In short, I think we humans have come to an evolutionary dead end. On the positive, adaptive side, the evolution of our huge frontal intelligences made us the most successful, widespread, and populous species among the already quite successful primates. But on the negative, maladaptive side, the emotions that provide the guidance system for the deploying of intelligence doom us to using that magnificent capacity to self-destruct.

        How’s that for a Monday morning? Has anyone read Olaf Stapledon lately?

        MacLean, Paul D. “A Triune Concept of the Brain and Behavior.” The Hincks Memorial Lectures. Eds. T. Boag and D. Campbell. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973. 6-66.

        Stapledon, Olaf. Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future. London: Methuen, 1930.

        How the Players view it: “Limbic Leadership,” HAHAHAHAHAHA…

        But wait! Self-Help is on the way! — “Beating the Reptilian Brain,”

        It’s like the Chinese stock market or the go-go runup to 2008, or of course the European Project or America the Beautiful — “Yes, it’s stupid and ultimately deadly, but people are getting filthy rich and excited watching their profits and bets, and I would be a fool not to join the race…” Welcome to the Endgame, the crapification and tumorization and parasitization of pretty much everything.

        All so that reptile we resort to for all our self-gratification can have a nice feed on the guts of our neighbors…

        Oh, by the way, HAPPY BASTILLE DAY!

      1. Steve H.

        So far the only people indicted over the sanctioned torture have been the whistleblowers who revealed it. I’m sure these ‘folks’ have got their legal cover.

        That torture torments the psychology of its victims, far beyond the physical disablement, and flows downstream to those people in the victims lives, is exactly why the psychologists deserve disgust and repugnance. They knew better.

      2. DJG

        Having gone back and read the link better, I’m astounded that it has a list of employees to fire and members to ban from serving in association governance. When was the last time you saw anything proposing consequences for misbehavior by white-collar employees?

        The list of words to guide the APA is interesting, as is the words that the two exclude. So, no self-rehabilitation and pseudo-sorry.

        This is the only way that torture can be eradicated. Torture corrupts institutions. It corrupts the state. The contrast with Obama’s behavior is telling.

        1. cripes

          “The contrast with Obama’s behavior is telling.”

          There’s a contrast?

          In what way?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Could be a worse psychological condition than perversity.

      Some might say it is crazy, it’s insane what these people did.

  2. Ulysses

    The concluding sentence in the Atlantic piece (linked above), is the most important by far:

    “And that is the biggest difference in all of this: Bankers get fines. Everyone else goes to jail.”

    Of course, we should add that the Banksters pay their fines with other people’s money!

  3. John Merryman

    That article on Schaubles intentions might be conspiracy theory, but as ZH says, soon to be conspiracy fact.
    It goes to the nature of money as a social contract and not just a commodity, in which governments function as the central nervous system of a community, while finance works as the circulation system, so the Euro zone is like one heart with many heads. Eventually they will have to all agree to go in one direction, or go in their separate directions and all the delusional thinking in the world isn’t going to change that.

    This does open up lots of room to have a serious Modern Monetary Theory debate. As they say, a good crisis shouldn’t be wasted.

      1. john c. halasz

        I did some searching and the “German Economic News” internet site is sometimes accused of being alarmist and sensationalist, as part of a business model to make money. That said, the portrait of Schaueble struck me as having something of the ring of truth, with a level of anti-political and not just “anti-democratic” authoritarianism, relying on a weak parliament dictated to from above and relying on the “iron law of (party) oligarchy” that is virtually Bismarckian.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “Conspiracy theory.” Sometimes an accurate put-down, sometimes part of deniability of bad acts, several definitions if you search the term.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The term is almost always intellectually dishonest. Conspiracies are infact quite common, hence inherently plausible, but it’s used to mean “implausible” without justifying that implausibility.

            It goes back to the furor over the Kennedy assassination (the first one – but I’m suspicious of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, too), where the theory that there were multiple shooters, hence a conspiracy, was at odds with the official “single gunman” narrative. Since progressives are supposed to be skeptical, it’s also inherently conservative.

            In the particular instance referenced here, it was used more or less humorously, so my critique doesn’t really apply.

    1. Oregoncharles

      The Euro was specifically designed to rule out MMT – which is more of a policy than a theory. MMT requires a sovereign issuer of the currency, with complete control of the amount – and preferably of taxes, as well. But there is none in the Eurozone: the constituent nations can’t do that, and the ECB is forbidden to. Granted, that may not pevent them from doing it to some extent anyway, but they aren’t supposed to.

      Since there is also no way to correct trade imbalances within the Zone, they’ve now, as the IMF just pointed out, gotten themselves far up the creek (Greek?) without a paddle. To use a “family” metaphor.

  4. juliania

    For what it may be worth (and that could be nothing) I looked up the profile of the EU Court of Justice and its current leader, who is Greek, at wikipedia. It was interesting to see in the list of former presidents of the court that he has had the longest successive terms of office, twelve years. His current three year term expires in October this year.

    His record is interesting also, though the duties and responsibilities of the Court escape me. And of course, with Greece apparently in disarray over any plan B alternatives, I suppose the question can hardly be raised that the Court might be helpful. (Nobody has raised it, so it is probably a dumb suggestion on my part.)

    I would wonder, though, if the obvious forcing of catastrophe on an EU member state in order to bring about governmental and societal collapse might be a cause for litigation of some sort, somewhere, somehow. (Cue ‘West Side Story’ musical interlude. . .)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      At this point, a court decision would only serve to undermine the court system which is still nebulous. If they rule in favor of Germany, the courts will be seen as a puppet, and if the courts blow up any deal, they will be seen as lunatics tossing over tables. Since the European Union is having the start of an existential crisis, I don’t see the European Court of Justice touching this with a ten foot pole until they are through the issue. The Supreme Court ruling Lincoln’s actions were unconstitutional but okay well after the Civil War is over is the closest they will come to acting.

      I’m reminded of John Roberts views on ACA. He didn’t want to put the court on the wrong side of public opinion because it would undermine the courts.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It seems that President Lincoln endured backlash and ‘this is the end of democracy’ doom and gloom to prevent a Sexit..

  5. Andrew

    Avishai in the New Yorker argues against import substitution because “production is now nested in what business managers call an ‘ecosystem,'” or a supply chain put together across various countries. To what degree is this true today of the German economy? Has Germany exported components production, like American manufacturers have? Or does “competitiveness” only matter for underdeveloped countries?

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Clinton gets tough on Wall Street, vows to tighten oversight Reuters.

    Oh brother.

    Whoever wrote this article ought to get a dictionary. She “toughened” her stance. She “assailed” financial institutions in “detailed” terms.

    Here are her fightin’ words”

    “The Democratic front-runner stopped short of calling for the break-up of big banks as some liberal Democrats have sought. Clinton has no plans to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act to split commercial banks from their investment operations.

    “She said banks cannot be “too big to fail.”

    “Clinton hinted at tougher regulations”

    “She proposed encouraging firms to share profits with employees”

    ENCOURAGING. That’s got to be my favorite.

    Unmentioned in the article is that she proposed building a special corner in DC that those bankers must stand in for time out when they are very bad, and she intends to convert the Lincoln bedroom from a coveted reward into a place that they can be sent without their supper.

    That’ll show ’em who’s boss.

    1. curlydan

      “encouraging”: sort of like the current Prez who “calls on” Congress to do this and “calls on” Congress to do that…blather for the masses

    2. Larry B.

      They already do share their profits with employees, as long their job titles begin with a capital ‘C’.

  7. Jef

    The World won’t recover while its economy is dominated by magical thinking.

    99% of the world population is trying to solve for one problem and TPTB are solving for another.

    One has all the money, power and control, the other has none but thinks that they do.

  8. Eric Patton

    My favorite part of the Clinton article: “She is the clear favorite to win the Democratic nomination,” the article tells us, in reference to the large crowds Sanders is drawing.

    Respectfully, Sanders isn’t just drawing large crowds. Nor does he simply have a shot. Barring catastrophic incidents, he is going to be the next president, and Warren is going to be the next vice president.

    And I don’t foresee any catastrophic incidents.

  9. spooz

    From Politico, “Bernie Sander’s Senate colleagues stunned by his ascent”.
    What I find remarkable is the number of pro-Bernie comments on this piece (5646 comments so far, didn’t take the time to plow through all of them). In contrast, reviewing the comments on the “Attention Starved Hill Democrats eager for Hillary Clinton embrace” article, one finds few Hillary supporters (only 57 comments, but its from today, Bernie’s is from yesterday).

  10. Jef

    “Winter is coming” – This is one of the most unfortunate stories to come out in years because it is entirely not what it is thought to be but everyone is using it to dismiss Climate Change.

    “A widely copied quote-fragment from lead researcher Valentina Zharkova notes that “…we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97%.” In fact, the model has never successfully predicted any future solar activity.”

    “The connection to a new ‘mini ice age’ is completely made up. That level of change in solar forcing is about -0.1W/m2, which would be made up in just 3 years of current CO2 concentration growth. – gavin]”

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mini Ice Age (Winter is coming) vs. Global Warming.

    Reads like a blockbuster monster movie.

    Even without further, i.e. additional, human input, and continuing the present course, will Global Warming get worse after the Mini Ice Age is over, as the Mini Ice Age masks all the not-smart things we humans do?

    Alternatively, will the Mini Ice Age afford us not-so-smart humans a second chance, or rather, a breather, to change our prodigal way of life?

    1. craazyboy

      When Winter comes, the White Walkers will come, killing all humans in their path.

      “Alternatively, will the Mini Ice Age afford us not-so-smart humans a second chance, or rather, a breather, to change our prodigal way of life?”

      Yes, once killed, the White Walkers re-animate you as a zombie and you become a part of the White Walker Army and kill more humans. You can rip their faces off first, if you like. So it’s like having a second life as a bankster. Except you don’t get paid, so intern bankster might be a better description.

    2. craazyman

      I predicted this but everybody flamed me (no pun intended). I said global warming is a mental phantom of the collective consciousness and that a new ice age is coming, I said it right here in the peanut gallery, but nobody believed me. Now I have “science” on my side! It usually catches up eventually if you wait for it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I feel bad that I doubted you.

        What I should have done was to short your other doubters and maybe I have a ten-bagger to share with you today (or at the minimum, write you a public thank-you note).

        Now, I feel really bad.

        1. craazyman

          I’m willing to settle for a 5 bagger. The 10-bagger was just an initial negotiating positiion. I certainly won’t go below a zero-bagger, if I can help it.

          Can you believe Pluto today? It must have been weird to have your picture all over the internet for the first time ever. I bet Pluto had no idea a satellite floated by a few thousand miles away.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I hope it is not playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concert No 2, like the Voyager was doing.

            This, I say, because I (maybe I worry too much), but what if that noise (we should not be too anthropocentric and automatically elevate that to music), but what if that German noise sounds like some alien’s weapon going off?

            Then, we’d be looking at some accidental space war.

    3. optimader

      Give me another 40 years or so before the Sun transmutes to Iron and you’re doing me a solid.
      In the mean time clone the woolly mammoth, I always liked the woolly mammoths.
      Went for a mntbike riding in Jeanneau last Wednesday, 91 F :op
      Baked Alaskans.. The locals were white and red splotchy

      1. Jim Haygood

        Baked Alaskans … that ain’t global warming; that’s recreational cannabis! ;-)

          1. optimader

            your hungry, make some dinner. Tho that would be a fun autocorrect for the iphone, first four letters correct, good to go!

  12. hardWorkingBee

    I’m one of the few remaining idiots/willing dupes who doesn’t believe in the A part of the AGW, and even I find the timing of this newly “discovered” coming mini-ice age waaay too convenient. It’s supposed to start in two decades and then last for 60 years or so, taking us until the end of this Century and thus protecting everyone currently alive from any pain due to global warming (and possibly until we run out of economically extractable/viable carbon resources). Give me a break!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That will be the next heated debate.

      In any case, less consumption is good for all seasons, whether or not we are getting warmer or colder.

      Less consumption* frees you (and me, and us). You (and we) will be less acquisitive and less selfish. That’s the center where we want to be.

      *We as a whole. There are those among us who don’t have enough right now. We don’t mean these people should consume even less.

      1. LifelongLib

        Unfortunately at an ecological (or economic) level you often can’t distinguish between a wealthy person piling up even more and someone who’s just trying to lift himself out of poverty. That has to be done morally and politically.

  13. grizziz

    Poor Yats (“he’s our guy!”), integration into the Deutschland might not be as appealing to the regular man in Kiev as it was when Right Sector was chasing out Victor Yanukovych. Hmm, maybe Penny Pritzker was a bridesmaid at Victoria Nuland’s wedding to Robert Kagan.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Yats [FT article]:

      “We’ve been promised $25bn for the coming four years from the IMF, the World Bank and others, with Russian tanks on board . . . [and] having lost 20 per cent of the Ukrainian economy.

      “And our Greek friends, with a population four times less than the Ukrainian one, already got €300bn? And they need another €60bn-€80bn?”

      Yes, and what about my long-overdue pony?

      We are all hard done by, comrades.

  14. spooz

    Hillary quietly released a 3,600 word “fact sheet” on her email scandal, complete with a plug for Apple’s iPad (ka-ching?).

    The campaign explains that Clinton relied primarily on her BlackBerry for email, but adds: “When the iPad came out in 2010, she was as curious as others” and “had access to her email account on her iPad and sometimes used it for that too.”

    Good timing for Hillary on this, with the Iran deal taking the headlines.

  15. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for your coverage of Greece’s debt-related issues. I continue to puzzle over the true reasons behind the “impossible politics” messaging and propaganda that underly the failure to negotiate lasting resolution of this debacle. Why are the members of the Troika and their key constituents working so hard to transfer the debts onto the backs of the Greek people, to avoid acknowledgement of debt impairment and writedowns, and to punish the people of Greece – who played little to no role in this entire sorry episode – through severe austerity and privatization of their publicly owned assets to repay what were originally private debts?

    The framing and camera’s focus continues to be trained on the Greek people when others should be given at least equal time. IMO that is key to resolution.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the linked NYT article:

      Eurozone leaders [said] a new rescue fund for Greece’s banks would include at least €10 billion, and perhaps as much as €25 billion.

      Going out on a limb, I’m going to characterize this as ‘progressive disclosure.’ Those banks are busted flat, to the tune of a third of their assets or more.

      According to an article by Thomas Walsh and Guntram Wolff,

      The four largest Greek banks that are directly supervised by the ECB [have] assets representing 88 percent of the Greek banking system or €346.4 billion.

      Take a third of that and you get a number over a hundred billion, assuming equity has already evaporated. Are Wolfgang ‘Colonel Klink’ Schaeuble and Jeb DieselBoom willing to pony up such sums to their Mediterranean cousins? I reckon not!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        With Grexit and by defaulting, you can get a write down.

        Depending on the math involved, say, 50% write down and the new Drachma at 50% of Euro, the debt remains the same in new Drachmas.

        If the new Drachma depreciates even more, the debt will be even heavier than now – that’s another scenario.

      2. Chauncey Gardiner

        Shared responsibility for this massive mess, to put it as charitably as I can. Summary list of the sovereignty of private creditors, mostly German and French banks, to whom the money from various European governments and the Troika has gone:

        There should also be some recognition of responsibility for losses that stem not only from the initial credit underwriting decisions, but also the incremental losses that have resulted from the austerity-induced 25% shrinkage of the Greek economy and perpetually kicking the can down the road.

        Noteworthy that a relatively small percentage of the “bailout” money to date has gone to the Greek government and Greek banks, begging the question: “Bailout of whom?”

  16. JTMcPhee

    “Why are the members of the Troika and their key constituents working so hard to transfer the debts onto the backs of the Greek people?”

    Why? because they can. Like with all the rest of the crap that’s going on.


    1. Paul Tioxon

      Uh, hinky dinky parlez vous to vous!! One of the many colorful annual street events in Philly, is the annual let them eat cake re-enactment at the former Eastern State Penitentiary where TastyKakes(local beloved baked goods including Butterscotch Krimpets and Chocolate Cupcakes) are thrown to the plebian masses and French nobles and Royals romp while they still can. This plus other bread and circus debaucheries that any seasoned Epicurean can get behind in a big way.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Field Marshall Scheauble to you.

        I suspect he’s Prussian, but he will probably deny it.

    1. cassandra

      Yes, but I’ve been too bummed out by the ongoing Disneyization of the Parthenon to celebrate…

  17. tommy strange

    Love this site.
    one question is YPG and YPJ kinda outta the topics on the links page?
    I think you posted a long ago Graeber article. But wondering if you’d think to post more?

    thanks both of you. you’re damn amazing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am still shocked and think it was crazy, insane what they did.



      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Shouldn’t we be compassionate enough to want to do something to cure their insanity?

        I was hoping someone would suggest that.

  18. Cugel

    Re: Schäuble’s plan: Germany has to get out of this Euro-Zone Wow. I did not see that coming. I believed Wolfgang Schäuble was simply a totalitarian who was blind to the inevitable consequences of his actions and would destroy the EU by accident. Instead he’s actually BENT on destroying the EU and creating a political union including a European Parliament, run by Germany, with totally centralized powers, and he is using the Greek crisis as a lever to force the Southern European countries out and destroy the EU to accomplish it!

    “The humiliation of Greece at the summit was not an accident. It is part of an agenda that Wolfgang Schäuble has long been pursued: He holds the EU in its current form for non-functional. He is committed to establishing a political union. This is only possible with selected countries. At the end [it is necessary] to see who fits to Germany and who does not. Grexit is planned. Other states will follow. The tablecloth is cut. Irrevocably.”

    And what will replace the current EU structure? A European Parliament with centralized powers, run like the docile German Bundestag, with Parliamentarians taking orders and no back talk!

    “This new euro zone is to be a genuine political union in Schäuble’s idea: transfer union, common household, a Finance Minister with full powers, common deposit insurance, unemployment insurance and common throughout the integrative program.

    The plan Schäuble aims at exactly these final results. Since the weekend we know that he will stop at no cruelty is to implement it.”

    But this cannot be negotiated with the Southern European states in it. So, they must go. Who will be in this new centralized political union? “Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovakia and, if possible, France. But that’s very questionable if Le Pen takes power. Finland, too, is not necessary.”

    I think this thesis makes a lot more sense than anything I’ve seen written yet. It presupposes that the Germans are not simply vengeful idiots but have a plan. It’s a cruel and heartless plan, and it’s likely to result in disaster, but the plan makes sense, while humiliating Greece just to intimidate the Italians, Spaniards and French does NOT make any sense – because the natural reaction of people to blind demonstrations of political power is fear and anger, which incites them to further RESISTANCE, not compliance. You see that in Greece today with the Greek people increasingly inclined towards resistance, no matter what the costs to them are.

    So, the Germans are inflicting limitless cruelty in a calculated display in order to force Greece, followed by Italy, Spain the rest of Southern Europe and maybe France out of the EU.

  19. Jess

    Lambert posted that comments would be open on the takedown of Clinton’s speech but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Forgot to hit the right button?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Income inequality in red states and blue states.

    I think you’re right to question the methodology used.

    instead of looking at the top 10% and the bottom 10%, they should look at top 0.1% and the bottom 50%. Perhaps New York will show up this time.

  21. PlutoniumKun

    Re:, the ‘body shaming’ in the NYTimes as described by Business Insider. The Guardian also had an article on this, going further to suggest it was quasi racist as well as body shaming, and they are both wrong.

    For anyone following tennis and doping, those comments are clearly about doping – the Williams Sisters are notorious for their amazing ability to evade testing and the frankly near impossible manner in which they flit in and out of competitive sport at whims, while returning more bulked up each time. For detailed discussion of this, i’d recommend anyone to search through the archives of the (semi-respectable) For anyone with even the faintest knowledge about doping in sport, tennis has become increasingly ridiculous with many of the top men, and arguably even more of the top women, demonstrating clear physical and physiological evidence of using PEDs. There is of course no proof about the Williams sisters, but its about time the mainstream media started pointing out what everyone concerned about sport is saying. Everyone paying attention to cycling knew Lance Armstrong was doping long before he was exposed (it wasn’t hard to spot the pattern), its the same with several top tennis players.

    1. savedbyirony

      A little actual info on drug testing in tennis. On average the pros (both women and men) are tested 11 times a year, with a combination of tests given during and outside of compititions. Top 50 single players and top 10 doubles players are tested more often than other players, and these players must make their locations available for random testings to be done. Any player missing three random tests in a row will be suspended. For the record Serena Williams has not failed any drug tests nor been suspended for failure to make herself available for testing. And Venus has noticably lost bulk these last few years, probably because she had some health issues a few years ago and significantly changed her diet.

      I’m not saying there probably isn’t a problem with PEDs in tennis (both male and female), but those articles are all about female body image AND racism. That Serena Williams can be so dominate in her sport yet make 1/2 of what Sharapova makes is racism. That Serena Williams can be so dominate in her sport and be such a physically beautiful and powerful female and yet have clearly thinned-down/photoshopped pictures of her appearing in ads featured in Sports Illustrated is typical intentional shaming and framing of “ideal” female body images. That M. Navatrolova had to argue in support for the postive quality of Serana’s power game of tennis is in clear response to the sexism against females in athletics and competition in general.

      1. James Levy

        Maybe, but if a German or Russian female tennis player looked like Serena has all these years, if you think that the US media (and US tennis pros) wouldn’t have screamed “Steroids!” at the top of their lungs you are crazy or disingenuous, and if you think those same US media types don’t say it because they are afraid of being accused of racism, the same applies. People didn’t think Bonds was juicing because they were racist–they thought it because (like Braun, McGwire, A-Rod, and a host of others) it was true.

        1. savedbyirony

          Those players aren’t saying “steriods”. The writer is suggesting that that is what they are hinting at. Their sport has testing, and for good reasons, but doesn’t have a record of athletes testing positive. If those athletes mean juicing, they can say it and would if they had reason to believe that she was being treated any differently than they are as far as that testing goes. Females are shamed all the time based on body images and projecting any form of “power” be it physical or otherwise (other than sexual, that is). They are quite adept at shaming each other over such issues. Female athletes also know that at present, as it has been the case in the past, that they stand to make much more money being “pin-up” material than the best physically in their sports as female athletes still are market more based on looks rather than sports accomplishments even though it has been demonstrated that economically speaking it is much wiser to market women sports for their athleticism and compition than individual stars for their looks.

          1. savedbyirony

            And back in the day, when an extremely strong and fit M. Navatrolova showed up and gave Evert a competitive run for the money and championships, Evert didn’t resort to suggesting or otherwise the use of PEDs. She upped her fitness and game, though there were plenty back then in the press and otherwise critizing, etc. Navatrolova for her looks and athleticism.

          2. savedbyirony

            Your “looks like Serena” is tellingly stereotypical and false as far as the range of what diverse and healthy females can and do look like as well.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I’m sorry, but if you think tennis has a secure anti-doping system you really need to read up on it. Its almost laughably easy to avoid, anyone with access even to wikipedia can work out protocols that would ensure constant clean results. The Williams Sisters have missed far too many tests to be creditable (they would have received bans in most other sports for having missed so many). The only semi-creditable system is the biological passport, something which tennis refuses to introduce. They are not the only offenders, but they are the tennis equivalent of cyclings ‘Mr. 60%’, Bjarne Riis, the TdeF winner with such an insanely high haemocrit level nobody (including Riis himself) even pretended he wasn’t doped (he never actually tested positive, it was only after retirement he admitted to being an EPO user).

        1. savedbyirony

          I have followed and read up on the many aspects of tennis for years and so i know that you are misrepresenting the Williams sisters experience with the testing and merely suggesting without evidence that they are beating the tests as opposed to not using PEDs. If you will be sorry about anything, let it be for not supplying any substantive support of the alligations you are making, and doing so would be much appreciated. There is indeed plenty of info out there on the past and current state of drug testing in tennis for the public. From 2014 this would be just one readily available public example: (As one can read biological passport testing is being added to the testing in tennis.)

          Of course all of this is a derailing from the issue of the unhealthy body shaming of females and the unhealthy effects it has on them, as well as the double standard of what passes for healthy and beautiful athletic male bodies and abilities as opposed to female bodies and abilities, and how that double standard actual demeans their sports and economic possibilities.

          1. savedbyirony

            That last statement is a bit too narrow as i do realize male athletes do face troubling body issues at times as well.

  22. VietnamVet

    A deep thanks your coverage of the Greek Crisis. I have found no conformation yet but yesterday a Washington Post report indicated that the capital controls include limiting the cash withdrawn from banks to use only in Greece not real Euros. In another words, “Funny Money” like they gave us in Vietnam in lieu of dollars. This is economic warfare. I am dumfounded that the Greek Parliament would endorse the capitulation. This is beyond the shame of the French Vichy government in WWII, This is sacrifice for nothing forever. At least the French fought for their sovereignty before being overrun by the Wehrmacht.

    Happy Bastille Day. A new aristocracy rules Europe.

    1. James Levy

      I have been a very harsh critic of our hosts but I am coming around to the inescapable conclusion that Greece was utterly defenseless, lacking the will or the ability to fight back. I kept going back to Greece in 1940-1 and Norway in 1940 putting up stiff, sustained resistance in order to save their national honor before going down to inevitable defeat. I think that a nation has to put up some kind of a fight if faced by foreign aggression, no matter how hopeless. Although I was glad to see the Iraqi army turn-tale and run in 1991, I thought the Iraqi Air Force was duty-bound to go up and fight (die) when the Americans started bombing their country–you don’t let foreigners kill your people and destroy your national infrastructure without doing your utmost to stop them, even if in the end you can’t. But Greece has no capacity to put up even a token fight, as far as I can see, without the direct intervention of a Great Power (US, Russia, China) to bail them out. I am nauseated and appalled to say so, but I can’t see how they can stand their ground.

      1. Rhondda

        Not recognizing that this was war-by-finance, Greece funded an old-school military and bought tanks and bombs. An object lesson for us all.

        Wondering….what would the title be of the person who is head of war-by-finance for a governmentt?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With more or better education, those Germans could have been credentialed as Game Theory masters and played Greece like a violin.

  23. jgordon

    I have checked Google and I am astonished that Dean Obeidallah has never written an article railing against fatty foods or smoking, considering that he is so focused on the safety and health of Americans. Doesn’t he care at all that every year about 735,000 Americans die from heart disease–an estimated 90% of which were preventable. Or that more than 480,000 deaths per year are directly attributed to cigarette smoking–all of which where preventable. And here people are worried about relative such as “Russia” and “ISIS” and the like, when if we lived in a reality-based world those things wouldn’t even be on the radar. SMH.

  24. Jim Haygood

    Heh heh … she said ‘sustainable’:

    “Greece’s debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far,” the IMF memo reads.

    Under its rules, the IMF is not allowed to participate in a bailout if a country’s debt is deemed unsustainable and there is no prospect of it returning to private bond markets for financing.

    The IMF has bent its rules to participate in previous Greek bailouts, but the memo suggests it can no longer do so.

    Uh-oh! Now that the IMF blurted out this admission, it’s pretty hard to carry on with the charade that Greek debt is sustainable.

    Or if they do (which is equally likely), it will simply confirm that the IMF is beyond the reach of any accountability.

    What will Chris ‘Tan Man’ Lagarde do next? Stay tuned for the next episode of this gripping humanoid drama!

  25. TenneyNaumer (@TenneyNaumer)

    I don’t know who furzymouse is but it would be nice if crap science links were not posted here.

    There is not going to be a mini-ice age in the next 10,000 years at least.

    The author’s results are based on a skaky model, and furthermore, even if the Earth’s temp declined as a result of lower sun activity (to the extent forecast by this model), it would not be enough to lower the Earth’s temp more than half a degree centigrade.

    Please don’t get caught up in jazzy headlines.

    The truth is much more along the lines of the recent Esquire article:

Comments are closed.