Links 7/20/15

Oldest? Youngest? Birth order doesn’t influence personality, study says. Christian Science Monitor

Hitchhiking robot embarking on coast-to-coast tour across US MSN (EM)

San Francisco techies hiring Wiccan witch to protect computers from viruses Business Insider. We have generally friendly spooks in our system, so I’m not sure I want to mess with them.

Federal judge gives FilmOn the copyright win Aereo couldn’t get ars technical. Chuck L: “I hope this gutsy judge’s decision stands. There is no rational reason the cable TV industry should exist any more in the internet age.”

In Windows 10, automatic updates are mandatory re/code (furzy mouse)

Gold just got destroyed Business Insider

Australian dollar tipped to drop below US60¢ in Canadian-style plunge Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Can U.S. Nuclear Plants Operate For 80 Years? OilPrice

Murder at Sea: Captured on Video, but Killers Go Free New York Times

Foreign investors continue to sell Chinese stocks despite market support measures South China Morning Post

A little taste of freedom Bangkok Post


European Commission prepared extensive report on Grexit ekathimerini (IsabelPS)

Grexit remains the likely outcome of this sorry process Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times. Note he’s not reading the IMF correctly on this one (as in they want serious debt relief but aren’t requiring haircuts, which is a German red line). But that still does not mean a deal can’t go pear shaped. Schauble would prefer that and Tsipras could lose control on his end too.

Merkel Rules Out Greek Debt Write-Off, But Open To Other Relief Huffington Post

Greece budget update Bruegel

Greek maritime industry fears being punished for its success Financial Times

Greek banks reopen amid tax rise BBC

Huge Queues Form as Greek Banks Open; More Money at One Time, Same in a Week Michael Shedlock

Ireland and Greece Mainly Macro

Greece: Donald Tusk warns of extremist political contagion Financial Times

This is what Germans thought of Greeks in 2013 @EconBizFin


Endless Enemies – How the US is Supporting the Islamic State by Fighting it CTuttle, Firedoglake (resilc)

Retired General: Drones Create More Terrorists Than They Kill, Iraq War Helped Create ISIS First Look (Chuck L)

The Persian Gulf Wars to Come Daily Beast (resilc)

In an IS training camp, children told: Behead the doll Associated Press. US propagandists during World War I included claims that Germans were bayonetting babies to the then-pacifist American public. The flip side is that child soldiers played a meaningful role in the civil war in Sierra Leone. (furzy mouse)

Bib Brother is Watching You Watch

Interview with Julian Assange: ‘We Are Drowning in Material’ Der Spiegel. Today’s must read.

Imperial Collapse Watch

America: Addicted to War, Afraid of Peace National Interest (guurst)

CIA Reactions to Finding No WMD in Iraq Big Picture

Saying No to the Warmongers Project Syndicate


A Pharma Payment A Day Keeps Docs’ Finances Okay ProPublica (Kevin C)

Is the IRS Abandoning Its Duty to Stop “Dark Money” From Ruling the 2016 Election? TruthOut (furzy mouse)

Jeb is Headed for Little Bighorn Washington Monthly

YouTube Takes Down Jeb “Work Longer” Video PEU Report

Trump Says He Heroically Avoided Capture in Vietnam by Staying in U.S. New Yorker (EM)

Re-Reintroducing Hillary New York Times. Li: “In which NYT sends a reporter out with Hillary, who pretends to be a person but remains wrapped in tissue. Starts out as a puff piece then gets to reality.”

Bernie Sanders Takes His Populism to the Red States and Draws Huge Crowd Alternet

UPDATE – New Legal Action Further Exposes Jeb Bush, Koch Brothers & Rick Scott GP Scandal Daily Kos

Drought Is Just the Beginning of Our Frightening Water Emergency Nation

Shell Expects Oil Price Recovery To Take 5 Years OilPrice

A Wizard at Prying Government Secrets From the Government New York Times

Dodd-Frank architect hits at left critics Financial Times. Who paid for this?

A Tiny Bank’s Surreal Trip Through a Fraud Prosecution Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. Appalling.

Class Warfare

Whole Foods Exploits Prison Labor for Your Goodies, While Ripping You Off Alternet

Survey shows growing U.S. shortage of skilled labor Reuters. That says firms are not willing to pay enough and/or are not willing to train (as in are specifying job requirements very narrowly).

Is Advertising Morally Justifiable? The Importance of Protecting Our Attention ABC (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour (Claudia):

wacky owls links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    Windows 10 is just catching up to Apple OS X. Don’t worry comrade, the IT little red book has answers for all your questions, now with handy Google Translate from the original Chinese ;-)

    The intent is to turn the Internet and the PC into pure instruments of 1984. Things got off to a too libertarian start in 1981 … but that is being corrected by the Fabian socialists of IT.

    1. ambrit

      You need to spend some time in your local reeducation seminar cooperative. The basic goal of pure libertarianism is complete monopoly power for the powerful; #blacklivesmatter is #alllivesmatter is #greenleavesmatter.
      The only Fabian socialist I know is the official one:

      1. Disturbed Voter

        Fabian … the way you cook frogs by slowly raising the water temperature. I once read an article in Datamation (IBM journal) back in the 80s, how the PC was the worst idea that IBM had ever helped foster. The corporate advocate for the IBM PC died in a plane crash in 1985 … which gave an opening for the mainframe dinosaurs to do a Jurassic Park on the nascent IT business. Micro-channel, their opportunity to reclaim dominance from independent PC makers and from Microsoft … failed. Was the recombinant DNA just too mixed up?

        Socialism as in corporate socialism. There are reasons why Apple and Microsoft get along so well with the Chinese. But even they are sane compared to the ambitions of Elon Musk.

          1. Disturbed Voter

            A moot point. A right handed serial killer and a left handed serial killer … have different chirality, but are equally poisonous.

        1. ambrit

          I believe that Cicero declaimed in Greek. At least, his oratory was “Greek to (Brutus.)” Cicero did reform and polish Latin though.
          I don’t know whether this forum is Roman, a Greek agora, or a Carthiginian plaza. Anyway, “Wall Street delenda est!” (I bet you’ll not hear that from our modern Cato.)

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Convenience is king. There ARE alternatives, such as Linux, but they require effort and time to learn in a world where people have neither and where convenience has become more than just convenience, but more akin to water or food, at least in perception if not in reality. Tablets and smart phones are examples.

      The writing was on the wall when the first devices came out where content as well as the system instance was owned by the company and users were basically renting what was traditionally their own software/data. Legal implications? Whee, who cares? The fact that most loved it and couldn’t get enough of it is as much at the root of the problem as are those sharks delighted to take advantage of the willing public they have helped to create.

      1. quixote

        Brooklin Bridge gets it. The companies saw a common pool resource — creativity, human knowledge, human interaction — and continue to do everything they can to mine money from it. And too many people don’t see a problem with that because it’s so convenient.

        These last ten years taught me something: enough people sell their souls not just for money or power. One click instead of three will buy them at least as fast.

    3. Jim Haygood

      On older Win 7 laptops without a lot of CPU horsepower, Windows updates can make the cooling fan wheeze for an hour or more at 100% CPU utilization, as the computer downloads big update files in the background, and checks whether they’re installed.

      Making updates mandatory for home users is obnoxious: we control the horizontal and the vertical. No Win 10 for me!

      Microsoft looks to be on the path blazed by IBM, of becoming a corporate services giant that doesn’t get involved in consumer products. Its bureaucratic command-and-control mentality is totally incompatible with what consumers want … as are disastrously bad apps like Word, that never get fixed.

      1. Disturbed Voter

        I have to agree about Word and Powerpoint as well. Excel is still pretty good for 1980s technology ;-) At my place of work, where thousands of PCs have to be updated, thru an over-strained network burdened with many security features … it is pretty much hit or miss. The IT guys often have to reimage the PC, since the push failed … and this is made as difficult as possible too, since the reimaging is done over the same network. Catch 22.

        Of course the point of updating OS is to force the updating of apps, which forces updating of hardware. The IT treadmill started with TI calculators long ago. Buy a new one every year … remember? The real bottleneck is forcing gigabit wireless to the home … that is what it will take for continuous updating and … monitoring. Remember when telecom had over-extended itself? Little did they know, that all things come to he who waits. There is no limit to the bandwidth required for HD TV and all the bells and whistles. Pay-per-view is the ultimate rent. My father said that America would never allow the kind of taxation and control that the BBC had in England … we had free broadcast from three or more networks … bwahaha!

    4. jgordon

      This latest Windows 10 news has convinced me to stop just dabbling in Linux and move into it fulltime. With SteamOS-bringing game support to Linux and MATE being vastly superior to Metro as a UI there’s no longer any value in using MS products. Also, it’s free. So, like, win-win.

      1. Disturbed Voter

        Linux is an excellent choice for serious people. Decide carefully what distribution is best for you … that is key. However I expect that at some point the NSA will prohibit any PC to operate without connection to the Internet, and not allow any PC to connect to the Internet if it is Linux. Call me … paranoid. Like having money in your car makes you a drug dealer, having the ability to do IT admin or programming, will be proof that you are a hacker.

      2. Jack

        SteamOS, as well as Steam Link and Steam Machine, are trainwrecks, the result of a company drowning in money with no unified vision or road-map for the future that just pays its employees to come in and do whatever. The controller is the only thing they’re doing now that is remotely interesting. Honestly I’ve lost all interest in or respect for Valve. I’ve long since stopped finding ‘Valve Time’ to be funny or charming and they’ve managed to piss away most of the goodwill they had instilled back when they still actually made video games.

        Despite the rapid (and frankly horrific; mobile sucks, all of it, period. It’s just a matter of how much, which varies between devices and OS), the humble desktop is a vastly more capable and easy to use platform for, well, everything. And Windows remains synonymous with PC; essentially everything runs on it. OSX is a candy-coated toy of an OS and Linux is much like it was 10 (or 15. or 20.) years ago: the domain of coders who don’t mind having to open up the terminal to compile each and every thing they want to run. Until the Linux community stops ejaculating distros and gets around to creating both a lot more software and vastly improving the user experience it’s going to remain a niche product whose chief recommendation is that it’s free. I’ve made multiple attempts over the years to get into Linux, and each and every time it’s been a horrible experience, the most recent, a dalliance with Mint, overheating and destroying a spare laptop in the process, something which Windows has never done to me.

    5. KFritz

      Microsoft has been “encouraging” users to do automatic updates for a long time by making the Windows manual downloads and installations impossibly slow (even more so when compared to Ubuntu’s updates. See more below.) . On a practical note, when you’re self-updating, do the “.NET” updates separately. You and your machine will both be much happier.

      My machine is partitioned between HP Business Windows 7 (NEVER buy an HP PC with their proprietary version of Windows!) and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. For years, I used Windows most of the time for convenience sake, until I noticed how much harder the exhaust fan was working while using Windows. Now Ubuntu rules, with some exceptions. One of Linux’s dirty little secrets is that even a more ‘mainstream’ OS like Ubuntu isn’t compatible with many printers–it’s not worth it for the printer manufacturers to make their machines Linux compatible. I have to do all printing using Windows. So check this out before burning any Windows’ bridges.

      Interestingly enough, one of Ubuntu’s strong points is the update process. Updates are made available on a nearly daily basis. Unlike Windows, the updates are almost always ready for public use–they rarely use the first adapters as beta testers. Best of all, the updates are much faster than Windows’.

      If you like to download cool programs for specific purposes and tasks, your experience will be different using Ubuntu. Your are in Canonical’s world, and it’s almost always better to use only their proprietary programs–which is how they have it set up. As an example, they once used Open Office, but dropped it while Oracle controlled it, and replaced it with their proprietary Libre Office Suite, which is slower and clunkier than Open. The image management and viewing tools are very clunky. Perhaps the most annoying trait of Ubuntu and Canonical is an attitude of staff and management often manifested in forums–they tend to act and think like members of a priesthood administering sacred codes, and it’s a user’s job to adapt to the sacred object–their OS. Scott Adams was very adept at lampooning the religious attitude of Linux enthusiasts.

      All this being said, Ubuntu is relatively easy to use and does most of what Windows can do, at a lower price. Until Windows ends 7 support, I’ll keep the present setup.

  2. YankeeFrank

    I wrote this comment about the Bank IT post because comments were open there when I started writing it. I think its worth a read so hopefully Yves and Lambert won’t get too upset at me posting it here.


    In most banks programmers are treated as fungible tools to be dropped for cheaper models anytime budgets need pruning, meaning institutional knowledge can be sparse and less skilled noobs and H1-B novices regularly replace more highly experienced, costlier engineers. Bank IT management is notorious for having almost zero technical knowledge or knowing just enough to be dangerous. There’s a reason Bank IT often pays more than Google, etc.: the work is terrible from an engineering standpoint and the environment is, as the OP states, full of political factionalism and massive inefficiency (not itself isolated to Banks of course).

    Everyone keeps talking about how Apple’s software is getting creakier every year now, and that’s their main line business. Now imagine how creaky it gets when software is a cost and not a profit center.

    Another factor is that commercial software often contains garbage engineering to be honest. If you built a building using software engineering tools and “best practices”, it would collapse in 5 days. It didn’t have to be this way but making things work more or less is a lot cheaper than making them really reliable, and since in most cases people won’t directly die if Bank IT fails for a few hours or a day… Many complex systems rely on logs and similar half-assed auditing capabilities to rebuild after the inevitable crashes as well, which brings us to the issue of data.

    To be fair, software is not like building a car or house. Or more accurately, think of it as if the data input to a software system is like the driving environment for a car or weather on a house. Cars crash into other things all the time because the “data” environment is unpredictable, Houses collapse or spring leaks because the environment that surrounds it (its version of “data”) is constantly wearing it down or suddenly sends a hurricane their way. Most of us have heard stories of people installing sun roofs on cars after the fact, and how they always wind up leaking. Factory installed is the only way to go. Now imagine the car is not just having a new sun roof installed every other week, but is having constant engine modifications, new windows in places never planned initially to have windows, an extra wheel, and even new pieces welded onto its frame. How long before that car becomes a dangerous mess to drive? And I haven’t even mentioned security from determined intruders, which cars and houses also suck at even with the much-hated alarm systems.

    This interview with Alan Kay of the famed Xerox PARC and Smalltalk fame from 2004 gives some very interesting insights into how things have gone wrong at a very basic level, including at the processor hardware level: Its technical in parts, but worth if it you’re interested in the subject matter.

  3. Tim

    For those who can read French, Le Monde Diplomatique has a number of articles on Greece that are worth looking at. Etienne Balibar has a couple up – also in English here. Always of interest is Frédéric Lordon’s blog La pompe à phynance. Lordon, whose critique of Picketty is interesting, is a Spinozan economist, & sociologist. He has long argued against the Euro.

    1. diptherio

      Spinozan economist? I didn’t even know that was a thing. Spinoza was pretty cool, though, just never thought he had much to do with econ. I learn something new everyday..maybe I’ll start calling myself a Kierkegaardian economist, that sounds pretty hip.

      1. Disturbed Voter

        Spinoza is associated with hyper-ratioanal ethics. Hyper-rationality is very French. So this would be hyper-rational business ethics as applied to economics … perhaps? Unless of course ethics in general has nothing to do with econ.

      2. Tim

        “Spinozan economics” is Lordon’s own coinage, so far as I can make out. He explains it here. Spinozism is ‘fully naturalistic,’ ‘fully deterministic’, ‘anti-humanistic,’ and scorns the illusions of methodological individualism. But you don’t have to take that on board to find his analysis of the Euro-mess interesting.

        1. craazyman

          I’m not even close to being hip. Yandex sounds like a fabric used to make pantyhose. I find it hard to read French given the thick accent.

          1. diptherio

            Yandex is almost as good as google translate, but everything comes out sounding like Boris from the old Pink Panther cartoons.

  4. Furzy Mouse

    Earlier today I wondered if margin calls in Shanghai would affect the gold bug market….and lo!!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will they be dumping their Yuan dynasty imperial blue and white next?

      Instead of $20 million each, maybe one can get a good bargain at $10 million?

    2. Jim Haygood

      Inspired by the WSJ’s snarky “pet rock” story, another journo takes up the cudgels against the old yellow dog:

      Difficult as it is in this age of Internet trolls, I try to be agnostic about gold and think purely about its investment potential in the here and now.

      Long-story short: January’s high was a head fake, and the long-term trend remains decidedly against gold.

      Classic oxymoron: an opinionated agnostic.

      Nobody has a clue where gold or any other asset is going. But when ‘everybody’ is negative, usually you can back up the truck and pile it high at bargain prices.

      The pope may or may not be infallibly right. But the MSM is infallibly wrong.

      1. skippy

        Seems the time to buy is when noone is talking about it and sell when that’s all you hear…. oh and what ever you do…. don’t try to time it…

        Skippy…. with the latter its always someone else fault…. too a fault…

        1. Jim Haygood

          Here’s NYT journo Floyd Norris writing on May 4, 1999, when commodities had sunk to 1933 prices in real terms:

          Much of the world is now quite happy to accept the idea that a greenback backed by Alan Greenspan is just as good as one backed by gold.

          If the demonetization of gold continues, the price is likely to keep falling. For now, the world believes in Mr. Greenspan and sees little need for gold.

          One could have made a fortune by doing the exact opposite of what the Groupthink Media counseled.

          1. Skippy

            Yeah and whats up with the Oracle?

            Skippy…. just don’t ever look up the M supply and its relationship to AU.

  5. JTMcPhee

    RE “Game Of Thrones” aggregation of assassinations and slaughters: Sex and death — the two main strange attractors that maybe explain the arc of humankind. I personally prefer those stirring snuff flicks (remember when those were reserved for the delectation of a select perverse few?) categorized under GoPro and helmet-cam and smart-phone videos from places where “ignorant armies clash” by night, and by day, too:

    From “Murder on the high seas,” this snippet: Radar advancements and the increased use of so-called fish-aggregating devices — floating objects that attract schools of fish — have heightened tensions as fishermen are more prone to crowd the same spots. “Catches shrink, tempers fray, fighting starts,” Mr. Southwick said. “Murder on these boats is relatively common.” It’s not just radar, BTW, it’s constant new stuff, weather routing and positioning gear and satellite data on temperatures and currents and consequent modeling, with precise sonar that lets the human reapers pick out “seams” of “extractable fish,” down to the species at precise, net-able XYZ coordinates. And the raping and acidification of the oceans accelerates, with the use of “fish-aggregating devices” intentionally set and thoughtfully designed to maximize the attraction — like McDonald’s logo — rather than the random collections of stuff “thrown away” that do the same thing. So much going on in humankind’s degradation of its environment and nest, so little incentive to stop any of it, so much incentive to accelerate it and “improve the technology…”

    So the root nature of Manifest Destiny expands to the whole exploitable rape-able surface of the planet, and that Cain slays Abel with impunity just heightens the competition for who gets to kill the last tuna, the last amberjack, the last swordfish… Recalls one of NC’s previous highlights, “Journey into a Libertarian Future,” Rule of law? things getting better? movement toward a healthy sustainable center? On our way to “government-like organizations?” Check that one off…

  6. Cugel

    It is instructive to compare what Merkel will accept in terms of debt relief for Greece with what is necessary:

    Merkel – “She said, for example, Greece previously has been given more favorable interest rates, time extensions and other relief. “We can talk about such things again,” she said.”

    With what the IMF experts in the leaked Memo insist is the minimum viable plan:

    There are several options. If Europe prefers to again provide debt relief through maturity extension, there would have to be a very dramatic extension with grace periods of, say, 30 years on the entire stock of European debt, including new assistance. . . . .Other options include explicit annual transfers to the Greek budget or deep upfront haircuts.

    So, if haircuts are off the table, and “explicit annual transfers” is a complete non-starter, then the only viable option would be a 30 year “grace period”, which essentially means writing off the debt, including the new loans required to sustain the repayments system. It would also mean monitoring Greek compliance for 30 years amid the total denial of national sovereignty.

    The only historical parallel for all this is the reparations payments imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty of 1919.

    “Germany only paid, and was only able to pay, the indemnities later extorted because the United States was profusely lending money to Europe, and especially to her. In fact, during the three years 1926 to 1929 the United States was receiving back in the form of debt-installment indemnities from all quarters about one-fifth of the money which she was lending to Germany with no chance of repayment. However, everybody seemed pleased and appeared to think this might go on forever.

    History will categorize all these transactions as insane. . . . All this is a sad story of complicated idiocy in the making of which much toil and virtue was consumed.”– Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm, at 9.

    So, what Merkel will accept and the minimum of what is necessary are still farther apart than the earth and moon. If haircuts are off the table, then a 30 year grace period is the minimum, but that too is too much. Hence the destructive pattern of the 1920’s and 1930s are upon us again in which loans are made only to create further indebtedness and support the loan repayment system amid the rise of vicious nationalism and racism.

    It’s still hard to foresee any scenario where Schäuble doesn’t get his way in destroying the Eurozone, unless the rest of Europe starts to unite against Germany and is backed by the U.S. And that is still far from happening. He’s had a huge head start and things are starting to move very fast now.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I suggest you read Nathan Tankus’ extensive reporting on what Lagarde has said. The bottom line is she is distancing herself from that report and has made it very clear that the IMF will accept restructuring ex haircuts. And it’s no skin off Merkel’s nose if the payments are extended 30 years or more.

      1. Cugel

        I’m not disputing that Lagarde doesn’t want to press for haircuts, because Schauble and his backers in the German Parliament won’t accept them, which makes them a non-starter and is “distancing herself” from the Memo. What choice does she have? Force a showdown with Schauble about haircuts that will only lead to forced Grexit and the Fund losing its money?

        However, it’s NOT as simple as “let’s extend the repayment period for 30 years and everybody goes home happy.” The IMF Memo is talking about a 30 year “grace period” on the “entire stock of European debt, including new assistance.”

        And this “new assistance” they are talking about is this:

        The preliminary (mutually agreed) assessment of the three institutions is that total financing need through end-2018 will increase to Euro 85 billion, or some Euro 25 billion above what was projected in the IMF’s published DSA only two weeks ago, largely on account of the estimated need for a larger banking sector backstop for Euro 25 billion. . . .Gross financing needs would rise to levels well above what they were at the last review (and above the 15 percent of GDP threshold deemed safe) and continue rising in the long term.
        3.Moreover, these projections remain subject to considerable down
        side risk, suggesting that there could be a need for additional further exceptional financing from Member States with an attendant deterioration in the debt dynamics:

        I.e. you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. As the Greek economy continues to crater, the projections of the Fund, which have just increased by €25 billion in the last 2 weeks, will continue skyrocket, requiring “further exceptional financing from Member states.” By December the program is going to require a LOT more money. And all this additional debt will require a 30 year “grace period” as well. It’s not a question of Greece getting extended on existing debt – it’s that the EU is going to have to fork over more money simply to backstop the Greek banking system. A LOT more, and they’re going to have to do this continually.

        In short, it’s getting more and more impossible to pretend that Greece is ever going to pay this off. Hence the references to the Versailles reparations payments, which Germany could only pay because the U.S. bankers were providing the money.

        How do you think Lagarde is going to be able to continue to just shrug this off? The Member states will have to be willing to undertake “further exceptional financing.” Are they likely to be willing to do this? No.

        And my point is that this is likely to happen sooner rather than later, i.e. well before March. If the backstop on Greek banks has just increased by €25 billion in 2 weeks, how much bigger will it be by December? The €16 billion they have left to distribute could be eaten up long before then.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Lagarde got the job to protect France, as DSK did.

          As I said, you need to look at Nathan Tankus’ posts. He’s listened to Lagarde’s remarks in full, and we’ve also had an interview with her in France translated.

          The leaked document is a staff memo not approved by the board. Lagarde has the final say and she has clearly and consistently said she’ll do a deal with no haircuts. The IMF is not going to force a Grexit. She’ll get as much as she can for the Fund but she is not cratering a deal.

          Lagarde will be out next July. She was unlikely to get a second term because developing economies are already hopping mad that she and not one of their candidates got the MD job. Plus who would want to be in there to deal with the controversy of being Greece’s jailer/enforcer? I can’t imagine she’d want a second term.

      2. Optimader

        that the IMF will accept restructuring ex haircuts.

        She’s stated that explicitly on a DW News interview. Man, that woman needs a bttl of spf70 sunscreen

  7. Schnormal

    “A Pharma Payment A Day Keeps Docs’ Finances Okay” (ProPublica)

    Well i reckon i’ll just use their “Dollars for Docs” search tool to find me a husband!

  8. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for today’s “must read” interview of Assange by Germany’s Der Spiegel. Found his perspective on the TISA, TTIP and TPP agreements particularly interesting. Assange views these agreements as being primarily driven by a U.S. geopolitical strategy to reduce China’s economic influence and to prevent or inhibit emergence of Eurasia-centric economic ties and capital markets, rather than to preserve the economic and financial interests of large transnational banks and corporations and to further diminish domestic U.S. economic development, suppress U.S. labor, curtail social and environmental initiatives, and limit civil rights. My own view is that these agreements have multiple objectives, and those mentioned are not mutually exclusive.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      […] these agreements have multiple objectives, and those mentioned are not mutually exclusive.

      Exactly! It;s very hard to see the ISDS as primarily a tool to reduce China’s economic influence. It is a soft pretty much irrevocable transfer of power from the state to corporations.

  9. Eureka Springs

    Lunatics running the asylum.

    Assange: The US is still proceeding against me and WikiLeaks more broadly according to a court filing by the US government this year. A “WikiLeaks War Room” was erected by the Pentagon and staffed with an admitted 120 US Intelligence and FBI officers. The center of it has moved from the Pentagon to the Justice Department, with the FBI continuing to provide “boots on the ground.” In their communications with Australian diplomats, US officials have said that it was an investigation of “unprecedented scale and nature” — over a dozen different US agencies ranging from the US State Department to the NSA have been involved.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Wikileaks is a non-state organization that operates like a multinational foreign intelligence outfit. US intelligence probably isn’t the only interested party in subverting/manipulating the organization for their own self-interest. The following passage of the interview was quite telling.

      Assange: To be honest, I don’t like the word transparency; cold dead glass is transparent. I prefer education or understanding, which are more human.

      “Understanding is the basis of enlightenment… or espionage.”

  10. trinity river

    Bernie Sanders in Dallas: The article states that Bernie drew 10,000. The local media said 3,000. I was in the overflow crowd in the large lobby that was full of people since it took me 25 minutes to pay for parking four blocks away. I could not discover the size of the venue, Sheraton Dallas, online but the crowd was all it could hold. There were two large screens at either end of the room so people could see the speech. I have never seen the size of the auditorium but sincerely doubt it could hold 9,000.

    Interestingly, the majority of people attending were true middle class(under $60,000) millennials. I get two emails newsletters from Dems and did not learn of Bernie’s event through them.

  11. micky9finger

    Do I have to be a history major to get Fabian.
    I thought he was a pop singer from the 60’s

    1. ambrit

      We’re cool brother. Fabian is both. I put up the picture of Fabian Forte the singer to lampoon the ‘cult’ status some philosophical and or economic movements attain. The original Fabian Socialists were an English group from the late 1800s who taught a variety of gradualist social reform.
      Fabian the singer was a symbol of the Middle Class Utopia we were all taught America was ‘becoming’ in the 1960s.
      On a related note, I propose that Sally Field as “Gidget” be on the next ten dollar bill. Dig out!

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