Links 7/2/15

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Remains of sea creature washed up in Far East Siberian Times

Is the Himalayan Yeti a real animal? BBC (furzy mouse)

Stop the Faroe Island Whale Slaughter Care2. Ooh this is vile. Please sign.

Uber Better Rethink Posting Bail For Their Jailed French Executives DealBreaker

Worker Crushed to Death by Robot in Volkswagen Plant Gawker

Scores killed as militants attack Egyptian troops in Sinai Thailand Forum

Thailand beach murders: Men accused of killing Brit backpackers plead with victims’ families for justice Mirror Online

Inca Road: The ancient highway that created an empire BBC (furzy mouse)

Naira Tumbles on Parallel Market After Nigeria Extends Curbs Bloomberg

The concept of ‘one Europe’ under threat from austerity Bill Mitchell (furzy mouse)

Europe’s US imported nightmare Bill Mitchell


My big fat greek debt crisis (IsabelPS). A must watch. A talk with an Athens cabdriver who grew up in Australia.

IMF’s Lagarde says Greece must reform before debt relief Reuters

Mixed Messages and No Progress in Greek Crisis New York Times. Key section:

“Germany is essentially the hegemon in Europe, but it does not like being seen as running the show,” said Charles Grant, the director of the Center for European Reform, a research group in London. And, unlike Syriza, it works hard to lobby support from other countries. Greece’s left-wing government, Mr. Grant added, has itself strengthened Germany’s hand in pushing for austerity by “behaving so appallingly” that it alienated countries like France and Italy that were initially more sympathetic to Greek arguments in favor of debt relief and a relaxing of demands for budget cuts.

Two citizens appeal at Greece’s top court against Referendum (reasoning, ballot question) Keep Talking Greece

Greece’s Downfall and Redemption Information Clearing House

Why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points Yanis Varoufakis

The ‘Demerging’ Greek Economy Bloomberg. Some informative charts. Key section:

Nicholas Economides, an economics professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, thinks a process has begun that will be hard to stop. If the European Central Bank stops subsidizing Greek banks, Greece will quickly be forced to print its own money or IOUs to pay wages. When it does, devaluation will shrink domestic demand by as much as 50 percent within weeks, he says, making the previous 25 percent loss of GDP over five years seem gentle.

Crowdfunding for Greece (Eleni)

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: If Greece votes ‘Yes’ on Sunday, I’ll no longer be finance minister Business Insider

Greece’s Referendum: The Price of Five Years of Cowardice Der Spiegel

The Hard Line on Greece New York Times. Swedish Lex: “Not good when Geithner comes across as the soft and reasonable person.”

Europe Wants to Punish Greece With Exit Clive Crook, Bloomberg. I’m not sure re the wanting Greece to exit, but they clearly do want to punish Greece (as in keeping it on a choke chain in the Eurozone would punish it plenty too), and the takedown of the Juncker speech is spot on.

Tsipras urges Greeks to defy creditors’ ‘blackmail’ Financial Times. Note that this comes as Greece is seeking a €29.1 billion “third bailout”. Polls all over the map but now prevailing towards “no” (one did show “yes” ahead), with the “no” margin falling over recent days.


UN: World should be ashamed at failure to end Syria conflict Associated Press (furzy mouse)

The allure of ISIS resembles that of Tolkien Aeon

Afghan court quashes Farkhunda mob killing death sentences BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

WikiLeaks Reveals List of German Officials Spied Upon by NSA, Confirms Merkel Had Calls Intercepted Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake (furzy mouse)

Fear Alert: US Press Unquestioningly Spread Predictions of ISIS Attacks on July 4th Holiday Firedoglake

The CIA helped sell a mapping startup to Google. Now they won’t tell us why Pando

Trade Traitors

TiSA WikiLeaked: Winners & losers of multinational trade deal (margarita)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The True Cost of the War on Terror American Conservative

CNN Trump poll: Why Republicans love Donald Trump. Slate

White House fence steel spikes get greenlight CNN

Bernie Sanders’ 10,000-person crowd in Madison biggest of any Candidate so Far Juan Cole (reslic)

Over Easy: Is the Governor of Maine Mentally Ill? Firedoglake

Conservatives Conquer the Export-Import Bank Atlantic (reslic)

Why ending gerrymandering won’t solve Congress’s problems Washington Post

Jon Stewart had no problem proving Antonin Scalia a dishonest hypocrite Daily Kos

Rieder: Cruz outburst reflects rise of political fact-checking USA Today

Drug Money Laundered by Two Florida Police Agencies, And Stark Corruption at All Levels of Government Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake (furzy mouse)

New Yorkers to get free Wi-Fi via old phone booths in Google-funded project Guardian

Mt. Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, SC is Currently on Fire Daily Kos

A dire threat to public employees from the Supreme Court Los Angeles Times

The U.S. Is Producing a Record Amount of Milk and Dumping the Leftovers Bloomberg

BILL GROSS: We have yet to be tested Business Insider

License to Launder Miami Herald

US housing stages ‘lopsided’ recovery CNBC

The World’s Most Respected Companies Big Picture

Notifying Potential Claimants in Diocese Chapter 11 Cases Pamela Foohey. Wow, what an intersection. Sexual abuse victims v. bankruptcy court procedures.

Class Warfare

Saudi Prince Alwaleed pledges $32 bn fortune to charity Agence France-Presse

‘Poor doors’ banned in New York New York Times

Shyp Makes Couriers Employees Before It’s Too Big to Change WIRED

Antidote du jour:

orangutan links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ned Ludd

    To hell with it – or why I will vote no in the #Greferendum

    And I am not talking about what will happen when the economy collapses – for all practical purposes, it had already collapsed way before the capital controls were put in place. I’m talking about what will happen now that the question put to the Greeks has become, very simply, do you want a quick and violent death, or a slow and painful one. These are the choices the referendum has to offer, these are the choices democracy in Greece in 2015 has to offer. How does a country, a people, a society recover from that? How do you recover, not from the answer, but from the question itself?

    1. diptherio

      What No One is Talking About When They Talk About Greece

      But in Athens, right now, the saga appears to have resulted in a certain fatigue on the ground. Life goes on, looking much as it would’ve otherwise, beyond the occasional, small line at an ATM—or the dueling yes/no referendum rallies in Syntagma, both ends of that contrast as likely a response to relentless humiliation as they are anything else.

      Monday night, as the “no” gathering in Syntagma swelled, residents in the Agia Pereskevi neighborhood gathered to discuss a scheduled day of events for this coming Sunday; events mostly for local children. These activities would coincide (however unintentionally) with the proposed referendum on the EU’s austerity proposal, and it seemed intuitive that a change of plans might be in order.

      I casually browsed Twitter on my phone, watching the world collectively soil its pants over Greece’s situation, while a friend whispered translations of the discussion over my shoulder. At one point, one woman put a point to what was both the overriding sentiment, and a question well worth asking, given what’s unfolded in Greece for the better part of a decade, now: “Who gives a fuck about the referendum?”

      1. Ned Ludd

        Thanks! This is a great followup to the Guardian article posted earlier by tongorad and Lambert.

        Perhaps even more telling, assemblies were sharing resources between neighborhoods. They were confederating, demonstrating both an ability and an intention to scale up.

        1. diptherio

          The Solidarity Economy aspect is definitely the most interesting part of the piece. Cooperation turns out to be more effective than voting…and it’s empowering, also unlike voting…

        2. shash

          But as pointed out earlier, this was way back in January. It would be interesting to know what the situation is today…

          1. diptherio

            The Guardian article is from January, the Gawker article is only a couple of days old. See today’s Water Cooler for more.

            1. IsabelPS

              Is it only me that finds this weird?

              “Editor’s note: Due to concerns about violent retaliation, we edited this piece after publication to remove proper names of venues and cut or crop photographs that clearly identified people.”

              1. ambrit

                This is not weird. Welcome to the future. This caption either notices or subtly promotes the idea of a violent civil power struggle. Call it the lead up to a civil war.

              2. Lambert Strether

                Very good catch. As I commented in the Water Cooler section on Greece:

                If power is lying in the street, will the co-ops be able to pick it up?

                So no, it’s not weird at all. Especially if the referendum vote, or some other future event, provokes a legitimacy crisis.

              3. different clue

                Perhaps the violent retaliation being feared is the violent retaliation from the Greek government or any Euro Troikanazi occupation forces in the future against any Greeks identified by face, place and name as doing this co-operating.

                The editor’s note was not clear about who feared what kind of violent retaliation from whom.

                1. IsabelPS

                  “The editor’s note was not clear about who feared what kind of violent retaliation from whom.”
                  Yes, that is being beyond the pale for me.

    2. Disturbed Voter

      It is a feature … not a bug … that the questions of the day are carefully vetted by the Elites. Similarly the parties/candidates are carefully pre-controlled before elections, as well as the issues that the candidates talk about. Kabuki.

      As long as you expect Elites to save you, you have already lost. You have to save yourself, or not at all. That is why the Greeks have to leave the Euro. They also have to get rid of their own oligarchs, maybe ask Switzerland to take them in.

      1. Ulysses

        “As long as you expect Elites to save you, you have already lost.”

        Very well said! Upstate in Ithaca, one small credit union has for years done careful research on local cost of living issues, publishing every two years a very carefully researched hourly figure– that represents a “living wage.” No elite politicians, celebrities, academics, etc. required! Just ordinary people, on the ground, trying to do the right thing:

      1. shinola

        Good article – the comparison of the Greek creditors to U.S. subprime lenders is apt.

  2. hidflect

    Bernie Sanders’ 10,000-person crowd in Madison biggest of any Candidate so Far

    Tremble, Hillary, tremble…

    1. Benedict@Large

      Almost a big as the crowd Hillary’s getting out saying Bernie is “unelectable” and “too radical for the American people”.

      1. Brindle

        I checked the NYT site for an article on the huge Madison rally and as of now; nada–nothing.
        In the Political section there were two articles on Hillary, none on Sanders. One HRC piece was about how her emails at State Dept reveal her personality and the other about her $45 million take in campaign donations—which had next to it a photo of Clinton with a huge smile.

        Bottom line is the NYT wants Sanders to go away—or disappear.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            They are the same. Since this is America, quibbling over personalities has to be tolerated.

      2. sid_finster

        Most of the arguments in favor of Rodham boil down to: “it’s inevitable, so you might as well just go along with it.”

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          What other argument does she have?

          She has been rejected once, and her base is 8 years older. My grandmother died, so that is one vote she lost. My cousins of voting age who weren’t in 2008 don’t like Hillary despite being female.

          Her foreign policy experience is garbage. Bill and Hillary have no positive domestic accomplishments. She isn’t running on NAFTA. Except for a divine right of kings, she really has nothing. Oh, she bullied her way into a safe senate seat. She didn’t even use her celebrity to win a tough race, and she lost to a clod like Obama already.

          I’m not certain Will Rogers could find something nice to say about Hillary.

        2. jrs

          Yes, well, so is death. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light! (or in other words HRC)

    2. spooz

      I was one of the 10,000 last night. I’m with him on every issue. He is still strongly for single payer healthcare, while Hillary is satisfied with Obamacare, and he continues to denounce of free trade agreements, saying we need policies based on fair trade instead. He still thinks its important to end To Big To Fail, saying these banks are Too Big To Exist.

      It was first campaign rally I’ve attended. The millenial who convinced me to attend (who also dragged me along to Colbert’s and Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear a few years back) is planning on getting involved as a volunteer with Bernie’s campaign. Its nice to see his enthusiasm, and I am all in on Bernie, but I read stuff like this and it makes it hard to keep my hopey changey stuff charged up.

      1. montanamaven

        Paul Street who wrote “Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics” and many articles about how neo liberal and “conservative” Obama was before 2008; also was dragged to a Obama rally in 2008 in Iowa City by his college age son or daughter. Hard to rain on the hopey changey stuff, indeed. So instead you should drag young person to a co-op gathering i.e. direct action group rather than be suckered like I was into participating in the corrupt and useless election process. I barely escaped from the roach motel that is the Democratic Party. But I did and am breathing fresh air.

      2. jrs

        But could he or could he not have done a standing filibuster for Fast Track? Some here have argued he could have. And why didn’t he? Sanders is getting up there in years so I don’t know how long he could persist so that is understandable, but even for an hour or something.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The filibuster doesn’t exist. “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” is sentimental crap. The popular image of Santa Claus is more realistic.

          The Supreme Court has already ruled it a gentleman’s agreement. 50 plus the VP is the only threshold, and it may be less if there are vacant seats.

          No, there couldn’t be a filibuster of what the majority wanted.

          1. Oregoncharles

            I think you need some evidence for that.

            As far as I know, it’s the rules of the Senate – changeable by, and only by, the Senate.

            Yes, the RULES can be changed by simple majority vote at the beginning of each session.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              US v. Ballin 1892

              Senate rules cant trump the constitutional standard. All laws passed without adhering to senate rules were valid as long as the 50 plus vp standard was met because its the constitutional standard. This was the nuclear option. Most of the artorney and solicotor generals have voiced support.

      3. nippersdad

        It is still six months until the first primary! That Sanders is even within spitting distance at this point (a month and a half into the campaign) is a miracle. What is telling, though, is that people like Pelosi are being fielded to call such as him an outlier: Even the Koch Brothers are getting in on the act: That looks like success to me.

        1. spooz

          I put up one of the “Bernie For President” placards that I brought home from the rally yesterday next to my libertarian friend’s computer today. He says that in an election where he has to choose between an establishment Republican, like Bush, and Bernie, he’d vote for Bernie. Of course, if Hillary is the candidate, he will hold his nose and vote against her. Apparently the socialist scare isn’t working on him. Its sort of like how I was considering the possibility of voting for Ron Paul against Obama in 2012, if the Republican party had nominated him. Shaking up the status quo would have been the lesser of two evils, for me.

      4. davidgmills

        Written by an “assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College.”

        Should we question the opinion?

  3. Benedict@Large

    YANIS VAROUFAKIS: If Greece votes ‘Yes’ on Sunday, I’ll no longer be finance minister

    I wish I could say I feel bad about this because he’s obviously worked very hard on this and with the best of intentions, but he really crippled (doomed, probably) the entire effort by taking the exit off the table at the very start. After that, any talk about exit was also a talk about a Greek failure rather than as a possible road to success. He allowed Brussels to poison the word, and now hell likely be left to drink that poison.

    1. John Smith

      “but he really crippled (doomed, probably) the entire effort by taking the exit off the table at the very start.”

      Hopefully other Eurozone countries have or soon will have well thought out contingency plans to return to their own sovereign currencies.

      1. Eye

        I don’t know about other countries, but here in Spain the dominant narrative is “Europe is awesome, Greeks are fucking themselves, and that will never happen here because we are serious people”. Currently no chance for alternatives or contingency plans; an exit from the Eurozone is simply unthinkable.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Tsipras has said, as recently as yesterday (maybe even today), don’t think about exiting…that the vote is not about that.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And this current team is still taking the exit off the table, even after the referendum.

      ‘Exit off the table until a new team arrives?’

  4. Ned Ludd

    Bloomberg looks at “the Grim Future That Awaits Greece’s Babies Born in the Crisis”.

    For the first time on record, the contribution of agriculture to the economies of Greece and Italy rose between the crisis and 2014. That represents a U-turn in the century-long process of industrialization. In Germany, industry just got stronger.

    Greece is positioned to become a Third World nation within the eurozone, combining unsustainable debt with deindustrialization and a shift to agricultural exports. Resistance is punished and unruly governments are deposed.

    The troika clearly did a reverse Corleone — they made Tsipras an offer he can’t accept, and presumably did this knowingly. So the ultimatum was, in effect, a move to replace the Greek government.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Grim future, agriculture.

      What does the Overkalix study of food supply and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance say about or predict about this? Feed the girls and not so much the boys?

  5. ambrit

    Concerning the White House fence: The government now admits that it is afraid of its’ own citizens. Once the bunker mentality sets in, it’s all downhill.

  6. ambrit

    About Yetis, may I direct your attentions to the works of the late Ivan T Sanderson. Sanderson was a trained botanist and ethnographer with degrees from Cambridge University. His works are very readable. He was not afraid of the scientific method. He was one of those people, labeled visionary by the establishment so as to dismiss them without dealing with the actual arguments, who encouraged everyone to ‘think outside the box.’
    His main work on Yeti type animals is still readable fifty years on. See:

      1. ambrit

        (Hides face from photographers while speaking.) “Not yeti.”
        Can you believe that I stole that line from a turban wearing sidekick from an early sixties Saturday morning cartoon? Funny how “popular culture” feeds off of itself. “Jonny Quest” the cartoon I remember watching first run on Saturday mornings, from which I stole the ‘joke,’ is based on all those lost world, mysterious hidden places tales that entertain and educate us. (See the latter part of the BBC article to get a lowdown on the sociological uses of monster tales.) The immediate predecessors to the cartoon are probably the 1960 version of Conan Doyles’ “The Lost World,” (not to be confused with Crichtons homage of the 1990s,) and the Quatermass films of the late fifties (BBC originals, Hammer remakes.) Find me a contemporary American popular program with as positive a spin on a Middle Eastern character. (Nothing pre 9/11 counts in the zeitgeist anymore.) Trying to tease out the threads of conditioning that permeated our early lives is fascinating.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Post 9-11 and I assume non-Israeli. Parks and Rec. Technically Tom was from South Carolina. He was what you might call a redneck. I would say Aasiv mandji, but he was overlooked for TDS host for a random guy. Maybe, he’s Indian.

          That guy in Lost.

          Aziz Azari’s character on Bob’s Burgers. He is a dork, but he’s only probably of ME descent. The audience is too small.

          The guy on Silicon Valley is Indian. I think there is an ethnic guy on the big bang theory, but I don’t think appearing on garbage can ever be positive. I suppose Jesus, but he always winds up dead.

          Keep in mind, the last network show I’ve watched that wasn the animated was Parks and Rec.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Abed, on “Community” (which I recommend, at least the early years.) Weird, but definitely positive.

            Of course, the actor is Italian (Pudi) – but in show business, that’s a distinction without a difference.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Cool, cool, cool. I sort of soured on the show after the first season.

              1. Oregoncharles

                We saw it through to the end. .got weirder and weirder, rather less funny. Comedy is hard.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  I think the show had actually stumbled on a wonderful cast and decided to be weird for the sake of weird instead of letting the actors be funny. The insistence on mimicing partner hopping on other crummy shows didnt work. Also, Troy and Britta had no chemistry. Jeff and Annie’s relationship was creepy despite Annie’s real age. Troy ignoring Annie was cute and hysterical.

                  I don’t remember the season, but finding the contents of Abed’s notebook was how the show should have gone. Taking Troy drinking. Nothing with inspector space time except Shirley and Pierce in the focus group. I love this show, even the bad seasons. In the end, they Brittaed the show.

        2. hunkerdown

          I just wanted to point out The Venture Bros. as a worthy successor to Jonny Quest. Rated awesomest cartoon for thinking adults!

        3. different clue

          I remember Johnny Quest. Johnny’s sidekick’s name was “Hadji” I thought he was supposed to be somehow Indian, and I continue to think so.

          Ivan T. Sanderson also wrote a lot of perfectly conventional books too, perhaps to show that he could. (Follow The Whale, The Tribe of Abu, Living Mammals of the World, The Continent We Live On, Great Jungles of the World, etc.) He also wrote a few couple of books about UFO phenomena, and a book called Investigating The Unexplained, which offered speculative natural and feasible explanations for things left unexplained because most people preferred to not think about them at all.

  7. Optimader

    1. Worker Crushed to Death by Robot in Volkswagen Plant Gawker
    VW spokesperson Heiko Hillwig said the exact cause of the accident is not known, but initial findings suggest human error was to blame.
    As opposed to robot error? It is inevitably human error.
    Unfortunately VW’s plant Lock-out/Tag-out procedures presumably were not observed with tragic results for the victim.
    Manufacturing environments are inherently dangerous, but far less so now than even a decade ago. I have no doubt VW allocates very large resources toward maintaining a safe work environment for it’s employees.
    Unfortunately the victims death becomes a red meat story because a machine involved is called a robot.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If that were a lion, they would kill it right away.

      Discrimination against natural carbon units?

    2. fresno dan

      “…but initial findings suggest human error was to blame.”

      Well, as a former government inspector I heard that all the time – and I usually agreed, but not the way the people who ran the plant wanted me to:
      I agree that it is human error:
      Management has erred by failing to assure quality by failing to have a process for safety that was rigorously addressed in the writing of computer code and the implementation of computer processes. Manufacturing occurred that was not systematically validated to address safety, including, but not limited to, computerized manufacturing processes. Management failed to set up a system to evaluate, assess, design, inspect, test, and validate the manufacturing process from the aspect of computerized manufacturing processes with regard to safety, and to take such steps to prevent such incidents….

      Anyway, you get the idea – I could go on for pages. It was caused by a human….at the top. Whether it was incompetent negligence or a purposeful lack of due diligence is the only point that could be in dispute.

      I just not the tag out / lock out comment, and I am familiar with such features. It is a part of the regulations I enforced that any process that could cause significant problems needs dual signoff and verification of such processes, so VW from my perspective could not say the error was due to the single employee failing to follow the tag out procedure – – the error would be that management did not assure that two individuals checked and verified that the tag out was performed.

    3. Paul Tioxon

      Speaking of human error and disastrous death counts, the Amtrak derailment from last month has all but faded from memory in the news. However, locally, there are still some press reports including the all important but not at all sexy final report that the railroad engineer was not using his smart phone, texting, talking, surfing, tweeting or whatever else is metaphysically possible with telepathic facebook apps.

      “An examination of the cellphone used by the engineer on the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia last month, killing eight people, turned up no evidence that he was on the phone at the time of the accident, federal investigators said Wednesday.

      “Analysis of the phone records does not indicate that any calls, texts, or data usage occurred during the time the engineer was operating the train,” the National Transportation Safety Board said in an update of its investigation into the accident.

      Investigators said an examination of Amtrak’s records also confirmed that the engineer had not used the train’s Wi-Fi system while he was operating the locomotive.

      Still, at a Senate hearing on the derailment on Wednesday, T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, the vice chairwoman of the safety board, said the agency was continuing to examine more than 400,000 files of metadata on the phone.

      “Things like the use of an app or other use of the phone has not been determined,” she told members of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.”

      So, he could have been using it to scratch his back or maybe play Tetris or Tic, Tac, Toe to pass the time, instead of doing his job operating a high speed commuter train with hundreds of people’s lives in his professional hands. Stay tuned on blame the guy running the train over the badly sited and steeply built dangerous railroad curve which is the design flaw dating back over 100 years well reported and causing another disaster during WWII among other accidents due to a badly engineered construction of the curve. And was left without a safety protection system that is used just on the other side of the tracks going in the opposite direction. No problem there. Instead, management’s investigation will keep trying to find out why the man with a concussion deliberately used a phone because we know how stupid young people are with their goddamn smart phones shoved up their sinuses all of the time. But then, if the man running the train cracked his skull hard enough to get a concussion, you’d think that if he had his smart phone out in front of his face on his ear that it too would show some of the same signs of damage the twisted steel and the damaged broken bones of the dead and injured. Of course, no one is asking if the phone placed safely away in a back pack according to the operator shows any cracks from being dropped and thrown around. Why is that question not being asked?

      Management looks to blame, meaning someone, not something. It’s easier to find fault with people due to our humanity with it’s built in imperfection. The capitalist system and its technology will never be held to account for the structural features which lead to problem after problem. Part of the suppression of political engagement is the jobsite accusations and blaming. Going political, starting to speak out in public and join with others, forming a group voice and a policy is the last thing in the world a cowed office worker or assembly line worker wants to do after after getting hammered into conformity for making a suggestion for improving things, reporting oddities in the work flow and other action beyond the call duty in the job description. Don’t be hero, it applies to cubicle as much as the foxhole. And it keeps people steadily working in their quiet lives of desperation.

    4. different clue

      I read somewhere that sometimes industrial robots respond to em-wave frequencies blasted at them from somewhere. Maybe from other robots, and it wasn’t planned for. I once read of something like this happening to a Japanese auto worker.

    1. Oakchair

      Well if i was Syriza its what I would of done. Started printing Drachma as soon as possible, then have a huge debt default. Then if the Eurozone decides to kick you out you have Drachmas ready.

  8. No one in particular

    re, Merkel, re headwind from her own MP’s…

    Letting the 2nd bailout expire was none to clever, if you wanted a third, Thanks to the legalese, Merkel now has to ask the parliament permission to negotiate, never mind…. And the troops are none too happy

    From another source, Kauder (chief whip) formally requested on TV, no more help without the IMF….

    in German only.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The CDU won or did as well because Merkel enjoyed crossover from single women who generally vote for social dems but believe a right wing woman will help them. Her party members know this and have to prepare for life without Merkel.

      The social dems are as incompetent as any other fraudulent neo liberal party, but they are in the dog house for supporting a sales tax increase after promising a red line. They won’t support aid to Greece.

      I blame Syriza for not recognizing Germany’s political situation requires a Greek humiliation.

      1. Oakchair

        I think Syriza needed to focus more on France, Spain and Italy. Should of told them that they need to have solidarity and need to push the Eurozone bank and the Euro to end austerity for the whole zone. Tell them hey if you help us end austerity you can finance a bunch of infrastructure project in your countries and a bunch of tax credits to help employ your citizens, we need to end austerity or else your people will suffer.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Spain’s election is later this year. Italy is still Italy with a new government. Hollande is still Hollande. They aren’t exactly reliable partners

    1. James Levy

      Not to defend this hunk of junk, but the Americans have seen this before with the M-1 tank and the F-111 fighter/bomber. The original M-1 was crap that needed a German engine and a German gun to work properly (the old British 105 mm gun was fine but couldn’t fire the new submunition sabot rounds that the smoothbore German 120 could). The F-111 took more than a decade to get up to snuff and only because they finally threw in the towel and admitted it was a very good light bomber and Wild Weasel anti-radar platform but worthless as a fighter or close support airplane. In short, the Americans can, unlike any other country, keep throwing money at this piece of crap until they get it working well, but in the case of the F-35 the cost will be unbelievable and cripple the Air Force budget for the next dozen years. Expect maintenance and readiness rates to plummet as cash flows into turning this flying pig into something useful.

  9. Garrett Pace

    Methodology of “World’s Most Respected Companies”:

    “We asked investors how much – or how little – they respect each of the world’s largest publicly traded companies”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How about the world’s most respected workers?

      We already know what they do with the world’s hardest working serfs – they are the ones who give up their weekends. They use these workers as examples for other worker-bees to emulate.

  10. Jan Løth

    This from your faithful dansih reader:

    “Ohhh this is vile !” “Please sign !”

    “When the hunters surround them to drive them to the shore, the animals don’t know that they’re about to die (really ?) – they think they’re just playing with humans (really ?). Once the dolphins and whales are beached, gasping and terrified, hunters stab the animals in the spines, severing their spinal cord and the major blood supply to the brain.”

    What a load of undocumented, sentimental feel-good cr.. !

    “Each summer, thousands of pilot whales are brutally slaughtered in a horrifying “tradition” in Denmark’s Faroe Islands.” “Thousands” ? What are the C2-people smoking ??

    I worked for the faroese government for 15 years – living in the capitol, Tórshavn with an amazing view of the beach. Through those years there were a few “killings” – my estimate would be … at the most 200 whales lost their lives in those years in the capitol which has the best “killing-beach” of all the islands.

    “Stabbed in their spines” ? A pilot whale is the size of a small motor vehicle ! No, their jugular veins are cut and they die instantly (and yes, as always in nature: “most of the time” and bloody as it may seem) – no comparison to the sufferings in the lives and deaths of industrial cattle in US-“meatfactories”.

    “Hooked in their blowholes” ? No, only when their jugular veins are cut, are they “hooked” and dragged onto the beach. It is a question of honour up there !

    Every ounce of meat is consumed – by the hundreds of “killers” and by the people to whom it is distributed through century old rules (weak, elderly, disenfranchised) In the “old days” a group of pilot-whales could mean the difference between hunger and starving to death for a village

    The pilot whale is nowhere to be found on a list of endangered species. A fascinating sinus-curve on a wall of the city museum in Tórshavn shows the exact number of whales caught year by year for the last 400 years – and the “mean kill” remains unchanged. Pilot whales travel across the globe, and a “kill” in the Faroe Islands is most certainly a “Poisson-event”. It happens only a few times a year – if they are lucky (the faroese – not the whales) And the “military” is absolutely not involved. The faroese do not have a “military”.

    The issues of “meat-eating” and sustainability are extremely relevant, but please do not confuse those issues with “animal intelligence” or “degrees of cuteness”. A few minutes on tv of murderous canadians clubbing baby seals in Greenland had a devastating effect on the ecolocigally perfectly sustainable economies of native greenlandic hunters (approx. 320 seals per. capita).

    Madman Paul Watson (Ocean Warrior) proudly told the world press that those baby seals were born moneymakers for the “ecological community” simply because of their cuteness. Shortly after, he entered the port of Tórshavn (having been denied permission) and tried to set a (cute female !) faroese police officer in a dingie on fire by throwing gasoline over her in an attempt to save the .. unthreatened and unpresent pilot whales.

    Your link – and comment – was sub-standard – unless you meant it ironically ?

    That aside – your “homepage” is an oasis in the media-desert. Having spewed my gall for today I will now focus on trying to forget the neoliberal/fascist/racist new danish government of last week.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Your remark about “dying instantly” is inaccurate. You don’t die instantly from a cut to the jugular. You bleed to death. In humans, that takes five minutes when lying down. Moreover, you airbrush out the distress the whales suffer from being hauled on the beach before they are killed.

      Whales are highly intelligent animals, generally believed to be smarter than dogs. So you’d be fine with someone slaughtering 200 dogs too?

      I don’t eat industrial animal products of any sort precisely because our practices are barbaric. But barbarism on that front doesn’t justify barbarism on another, nor does acting to stop whale slaughter stand in the way of making farming practices more humane.

      1. Jan Løth

        I stand corrected ! Nothing in this world is instant ! But I have never had eye contact with a pilot whale, a sheep or a cow 10 seconds after the jugular has been cut. “Unconscious” may not be the right word but ..

        Re. “airbrushing”: They are killed, not on the beach but while swimming (by human beings standing in the ice cold shallow waters) before they are “hauled onto the beach” – dead. (Whales are mammals – they would sink otherwise thus providing no food).

        By the way they often “haul themselves” onto beaches and die without human intervention all over the world for “reasons unknown” – go google or you-tube. They are not that much smarter than human beings.

        It is unclear to me, whether it’s the killing-method you are opposed to or the killing of such animals, which by some human beings are considered to be more intelligent (life-worthy) or cute than others.

        Killing is always brutal and instinctively repulsive. But if it is the “inhumane” method you are opposed to – why I have never seen you link to articles critizising the “vile” muslim practice of halal slaughtering or petitioning against the jewish barbaric schechting of uncute stupid cows ?

        If it is the “intelligence” issue: Uncute pigs are at least as “intelligent” as cute dogs. If I morally can find it in my heart to eat one pork chop (or dog chop) … 200 would be fine too. Over time.

        Is your point, that we should have an intelligence/cuteness cut-off point above which killing is ok – sort of like the system you have for human beings on US-death-rows ? ;)

        Having recorded probably the only existing video footage of a rare 1990-pilot whale hunt from beginning to end (foreign photographers are understandably not welcome at those Poisson-occasions) I fully understand the emotional reactions of strangers to the strange phenomenon of people providing food for themselves in nature. Often bloody and disgusting. Sustainability-wise, however, I can find no argument against the killing of pilot whales.

        If you are really concerned about preserving every living member of an unendangered species: Talk to the japanese ! Japanese waters is the place where I would hold my breath if I were a rational pilot whale.

        I am not a whale hunting apologist – the icelandic and japanese “scientific” big-whale-research is a commercial joke. However I find the moral issues of this case relevant – I would like to hear Slavoj Zizek’s take on this. Or Noam Chomsky’s.

        And now back to agonizing over the state of Denmark. Today Pia Kjærsgaard of “The Danish Peoples Party” (DPP (2.0)) became Chairwoman of Parliament. (DPP (1.0) was a short-lived nazi-party 1941-43 during the german occupation of Denmark /1940-45)).

        Forwards towards the past !

  11. Bill the Psychologist


    FWIW, I drew up a petition to declare the Ku Klux Klan a domestic terrorist organization and ban its meetings and display of its paraphernalia on the site. It needs a lot more signatures, if you’re so inclined:

    1. James Levy

      Not to criticize, but I thought the KKK had actually been classified as a terrorist organization (they even used that word) back in 1876. Perhaps the law was changed. Nevertheless, good idea.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The current KKK is the third iteration of the KKK. There was a sizable gap between the first one and the second one. The second was never outlawed. It became unpopular.

        -there is the original Nathan Bedford KKK. They were outlawed.
        -the second one was the nativist, vaguely populist outfit depending on area. Half of Indiana belonged at one point. It was born around 1900 more as an anti-Catholic outfit.
        -the current one is more secretive to prevent reprisals but is descended from the second. It’s more of a neo-Nazi outfit, but as yet, the violent types tended to leave the KKK before acting or even planning terror type acts. It’s a breeding ground, but they aren’t the original outfit yet.

  12. Vatch

    A chilling report from the World Health Organization:

    The Joint Monitoring Programme report, Progress on sanitation and drinking water: 2015 update and MDG assessment, says worldwide, 1 in 3 people, or 2.4 billion, are still without sanitation facilities – including 946 million people who defecate in the open.

    Despite this shameful situation, there are more than 1800 billionaires in the world, and the world’s population keeps rising by more than 75 million people per year.

  13. rich

    Sign This Petition to Fire Wall Street Crony and SEC Head Mary Jo White

    Fast forward two years, and people are beginning to catch on. I rarely ask readers to sign online petitions, but in this case I am asking you to do just that. While I don’t expect signing a single petition to change the course of American politics, I think if enough people sign this and it gets sufficient publicity, it will at the very least serve as a very public embarrassment to both Mary Jo and Barry. You’ve gotta start somewhere.

    The Huffington Post reports:

    More than 110,000 people have signed a petition to remove Mary Jo White as chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission because she is too close to Wall Street to regulate it effectively, progressive group Credo said in a release.

    The number of signatures gathered to replace a regulator who is relatively unknown outside Washington, D.C., policy circles is “pretty astounding, for something that wonky,” Credo’s political director, Becky Bond, told HuffPost. For comparison, she noted that the campaign to draft the much more visible U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for president, gathered 365,000 signatures.

    1. craazyman

      I tried to sign it but it didn’t work. And now I’ve got black Magic Marker ink all over my computer screen.

      hoho Just kidding. I signed it.

  14. Foppe


    Stop the Faroe Island Whale Slaughter. Ooh this is vile. Please sign.

    I wholly agree that this is vile, and that people should stop doing that. But it is no more and no less vile than the unnecessary killing of any other animal for the purpose of food production, for the simple reason that we do not need to eat animal products to live and be healthy. As such, the raising, using, catching and killing of animals for food is unnecessary, and our best reasons for nevertheless doing so (or paying people to do so for us), is that we are habituated to it, that we find doing so convenient, or that we derive pleasure from it.

    Now, if we think of the question whether we feel it is justifiable to harm animals for any of these reasons, pretty much everyone agrees that it is not. That is, pretty much everyone agrees that someone cannot justify inflicting unnecessary harm on, say, dogs who he breeds them for the purpose of letting them fight other dogs to death, by saying that dog fighting is “traditional” for him, or that he derives pleasure from watching dogs fight each other to death. The practices of whaling and dog fighting are just as unnecessary as the practices associated with the raising of livestock, or the catching of fish or “seafood” animals for food, and all animals desire to continue living, free from human interference, just as much as cetaceans, dogs and cats do. So if you think animals matter, the only choice that is consistent with the intuition that unnecessarily harming animals is wrong, is to cease consuming all animal products, and to go vegan. Please consider doing that, or at least looking into it further. Thank you.

    1. Vatch

      Sometimes it’s necessary to do things incrementally. If a person wants to completely stop eating meat products, great (so long as he or she takes a vitamin B-12 supplement). But most people aren’t willing to do that. So my recommendation is that people eat less meat, and have occasional vegetarian days. If a person is comfortable doing that for a few months, then she or he should consider lowering the consumption of animal products more, perhaps to the level of lacto-ovo vegetarianism. Again, if a person is comfortable with that for a few months, a vegan diet can be considered.

      Disclaimer: I’m still at the first stage. I have vegetarian days, but I’m not a vegetarian.

      1. jrs

        Some of us have tried and found we weren’t better off. I know “we weren’t doing it right” and “n1 experiments aren’t meaningful” and etc., but really is one to spend one’s life making dietary experiments? (that didn’t work before) Or just settle on vegetarian days.

    2. different clue

      I slaughtered and butchered some plants today. I cut their helpless plant-throats and watched them sap-out for a little before I plunged their still undead cells into torturous hot water and boiiiiiled them to a state of final cell death. Then I ate their dead murdered bodies.

      Veganism is planticide.

  15. timbers

    I went to college at the University of Chicago and in the econ courses we were taught the market pricing of goods was transmission of information in a free market, an expression of free speech as it were. The implication being that market prices were protected by the constitution.

    So it’s depressing and hypocritical that the Supremes are about to gut unions via the case they just took regarding the challenge to union dues being an infringement to “freedom of speech” but this same logic will not be applied to patent laws for drugs.

    1. Bill Frank

      “the Supremes are about to gut unions” – The gutting process has already happened. The Supremes are merely burying the corpse.

  16. Cugel

    Apparently, Der Spiegel’s editorial page does not reflect the political or media consensus in Germany, because it actually makes sense:

    With these harsh policies, the creditor states contributed significantly to the fact that the Greeks voted at the beginning of 2015 for a new left-wing government. The way in which this new government was treated was demonstrative of the third case of cowardice. European politicians have refused to even negotiate a debt hair cut that Athens has continued to insist upon. The reason is clear: They are afraid of their own voters, to whom they would have to admit that the billions that have flowed into Greece have now vanished.

    In all likelihood, that is exactly what has happened. Most voters will have suspected as much for some time now.

    Christian Rickens is the head of SPIEGEL ONLINE’s business and economics desk.

    Hardly a word about how this is all the fault of the “lazy Greeks” and not one smirking quote from Wolfgang Schäuble.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s tough to sell that, and unfortunately, that the WWI reparation demanded by the Allies at Versailles took nearly 100 years for the Germans to pay off, even with the near total destruction during the 1940s. The Germans are going to be even less clear headed about it.

      Of course, there are other nations and their domestic politics, countries lik Slovakia, Spain, Finland, etc.

  17. myshkin

    The Guardian is reporting an,”electrifying” announcement from IMF. ‘With three days to go before a knife-edge referendum, the IMF revealed a deep split with Europe as it warned that Greece’s debts were “unsustainable’”.

    This suggests the lock step attack by the Troika on Greece shows some stress fracturing. If true the Tsipras and Syriza have actually done something, challenging the accepted delusions of austerity; a disturbance in the ‘force’ perhaps.

    Though purely speculation on what’s been happening in the ongoing Euro meetings, the IMF is, “Releasing… preliminary draft debt sustainability analysis as a result of the leaks of documents reported in the Guardian earlier this week.” It could be the leak may have been from inside the IMF, disgruntled staff economists who understand the madness of the policy, having already pointed it out to Strauss Kahn in 2010, during the last crisis and watched as Kahn buried it as an inconvenient truth in his scramble for the French presidency.

    Also, Lagarde’s connection to list of 1800 tax fugitives that she handed over when French finance minister, only to watch as Papademos and PATOK, one of the likely parties to replace Syriza once driven from office by the Eurozone, not act, except to apparently alert and remove the names of relatives and friends from the list. Perhaps Lagarde has some concerns about returning power to that crew.

    It raises the question of how successful Syriza has been delivering on the promised 1.5b euros that they said would be raised by the end of June from the list of tax dodging deadbeats.
    “ ‘Significantly, it said its assessment had ‘not been agreed with the other parties in the policy discussions’” – an admission that the Fund is at some sort of odds with its Troika partners. Merkel is also having troubles within her own coalition in the German Bundestag and with opposition die Linke.

    1. Susan Pizzo

      A game changer. It echoes what Tsipras has said all along. Add to this China’s stated willingness to make Greece a first beneficiary of it’s newly launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (to which Germany is the leading EU participant – lol) and you have an interesting set of push-backs against the Troika/Washington Consensus.

      PS – Scroll down to the 8:40 entry on Guardian’s live blog to see that the poll reportedly showing 47%yes-43%no on Sunday’s referendum has been repudiated by the pollster…

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        See Links for July 3. Latest polls show a thin lead for Yes. But any election result is going to be suspect. Even the KKE (one of the Communist parties) is rejecting the ballot for the same reason we did, it asks a spurious question. The referendum is most likely to leave Greece even more in chaos as it raises a legitimacy question and fails to resolve it.

        Any AIIB loans won’t help with Greece’s immediate problem. The aren’t coming any time soon. And they are not to fund the government. They are to fund NEW projects. So they should help provide some jobs and help improve Greece’s deteriorating infrastructure. But that’s small beer relative to what Greece requires.

  18. JTMcPhee

    Offered for a little context:

    “Greece’s military budget is getting bigger even as the country’s economy lurches towards mayhem”

    “Lovable Austerity: Greeks Say Cutting Military Spending Further ‘Is A Pleasure For Us'”

    The Mood On The Ground In Greece: “Some Have Raised The Prospect Of Civil War”

    Earlier today, John O’Connell, CEO of Davis Rea, spoke to Canada’s BNN from what may be Greece’s top tourist attraction, the island of Santorini, to give a sense of the “mood on the ground.” Not surprisingly, his feedback was that, at least as far as tourists are concerned, nobody is worried. After all, it is not their funds that are capital constrained plus should the Drachma return as the local currency, the purchasing power of foreigners will skyrocket.

    What he did point out, however, that was quite notable is the diametrically opposing views between old and young Greeks when it comes to Grexit. According to O’Connell, “the old people want to vote for Europe cause they have a lot to lose, they have their pensions, but the younger population – they are already poor, they are already unemployed – and they don’t have much to lose. Their attitude is it’s going to be tough, it’s already tough, and so why not just move on go back to the Drachma, and they’re ok with that. Their attitude is in 5 to 10 years I’ll be better off. They believe there’s a lot of misinformation. They believe they’re being pressured by European countries particularly Germany that are holding them to very difficult terms.”

    He continues: “whatever the polls may way, the young population is going to vote to leave the Euro and deal with the problems long-term.”

    Finally, his take on capital controls and tourism: “You are going to see a big, big drop off in tourism because people are not going to want to come here. People are going to worry that if people do come here with a lot of Euro, are they going to be allowed to leave with those Euros. It’s going to have a dramatic impact on the Greek economy at some point, a lot of the people that live here are underestimating how bad it could get in the short term.”

    The punchline:

    There have been some people that worry that the military may actually get involved. It wouldn’t surprise me – there are some people in Greece that have raised the whole prospect of potential civil war.

    Who would benefit the most from a Greek civil war? Why the biggest exporter of weapons in the world, of course: the United States.

    So dear Greeks: please avoid Kiev-style, CIA-inspired “Maidan type” provocations. The US military industrial complex is wealthy enough without your help.

    Part of the problem:

    The Submarine Deal That Helped Sink Greece [2010 article]

    ATHENS—As Greece slashes spending to avoid default, it hasn’t moved to skimp on one area: defense.

    The deeply indebted Mediterranean nation, whose financial crisis roiled the global financial system this year, is spending more than a billion euros on two submarines from Germany.

    It’s also looking to spend big on six frigates and 15 search-and-rescue helicopters from France. In recent years, Greece has bought more than two dozen F16 fighter jets from the U.S. at a cost of more than €1.5 billion.

    Much of the equipment comes from Germany, the country that has had to shoulder most of the burden of bailing out Greece and has been loudest in condemning Athens for living beyond its means. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admonished the Greek government “to do its homework” on debt reduction.

    The military deals illustrate how Germany and other creditors have in some ways benefited from Greece’s profligacy, and how that is coming back to haunt them.

    Greece, with a population of just 11 million, is the largest importer of conventional weapons in Europe—and ranks fifth in the world behind China, India, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea. Its military spending is the highest in the European Union as a percentage of gross domestic product. That spending was one of the factors behind Greece’s stratospheric national debt.

    The German submarine deal in particular, announced in March as the country lurched toward bankruptcy, has cast a spotlight on the Greek military budget and on the foreign vendors supplying the hardware. The deal includes a total of six subs in a complicated transaction that began a decade ago with German firms.
    – See more at:
    I recommend the whole piece for a lot more grit on how corruption and incest have played into what is happening to the Ordinary Greek.

    And this has maybe appeared in NC before, but

    Seven charged with corruption over sale of Daimler vehicles to Greek military

    Greek anti-corruption prosecutors have issued felony charges against seven people in Greece and Germany allegedly connected to the bribing of public officials over the sale of vehicles made by Daimler to the Greek armed forces.

    The charges relate to contracts that were fulfilled while jailed ex-Defense Minster Akis Tsochatzopoulos and his successor, Yiannos Papantoniou, were in charge of the military.

    Daimler executives are alleged to have paid 2 million euros in bribes to Greek officials via the company’s representative in Greece, Emmanouil Lainopoulos, who has also been charged.

    From the NYT, early 2014:

    So Many Bribes, a Greek Official Can’t Recall Them All

    ATHENS — When Antonis Kantas, a deputy in the Defense Ministry here, spoke up against the purchase of expensive German-made tanks in 2001, a representative of the tank’s manufacturer stopped by his office to leave a satchel on his sofa. It contained 600,000 euros, about $814,000. Other arms manufacturers eager to make deals came by, too, some guiding him through the ins and outs of international banking and then paying him off with deposits to his overseas accounts.

    At the time, Mr. Kantas, a wiry former military officer, did not actually have the authority to decide much of anything on his own. But corruption was so rampant inside the Greek equivalent of the Pentagon that even a man of his relatively modest rank, he testified recently, was able to amass nearly $19 million in just five years on the job.

    Greeks are hardened to stories of corruption. But even they have been transfixed by Mr. Kantas’s confessions since he was arrested recently on a litany of charges including money laundering and behavior that was detrimental to the Greek state. Never before has an official opened such a wide window on the eye-popping system of payoffs at work inside a Greek government ministry. At various points, Mr. Kantas, who returned to testify again last week, told prosecutors he had taken so many bribes he could not possibly remember the details….

    Maybe you folks have run across this source, and this article, too?

    “NATO, the IMF, divisions, Grexit… Looking out to 2020: the return of European wars” ?

    So very many, many ways this frail construction of links between powerful and violently grinding and reciprocating moving parts, that have never been and maybe can never be properly aligned and integrated, can break…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How does one interpret this (from above):

      1) The old people (those drawing pensions) want to stay in Europe*, or favor a yes vote, even with pension cuts in the ‘final offer.’

      2) The younger generation, they lean towards no (meaning they won’t take pension cuts demanded in the ‘final offer.’)

      How does it square with Syriza fighting for old people?

      * Are Greeks not believing Tsipras even for a single moment? They act like it’s about leaving or staying with the Euros, whereas Tsipras claimed a No vote did not mean leaving the Euro. From above:

      He continues: “whatever the polls may way, the young population is going to vote to leave the Euro and deal with the problems long-term.”

      1. Oregoncharles

        Young people expect to survive the nightmarish transition. And they’re more adventurous generally.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I hope the bit about one touristing financial adviser’s take as “gospel” on the upcoming referendum was not the only take-away from my little collection of random (or not so random) links — a huge part of the “debt” the Greeks are being told, by the people who connived at loading it on their slcdges, to roll up the hill forever, is due to idiotic military acquisitions, facilitated by the kind of corruption and external pressures that apparently were drivers in the rest of the debt obligations — for no palpable benefit to the people, the ordinary people not the kleptocrats and oligarchs and bankers.

        But I see from links here and other sources that the Greek people are demonstrating that resilience and a degree of fellow-feeling and invention that have shown up in other places afflicted by the scourges of the Great Gamers… Just don’t make too much of a success of all those work-arounds, particularly if they work around the Money System…

    2. Paul Tioxon

      NATO is hardly mentioned as part of the Greek Exit. The Euro exit is discussed to death on this site, naturally, being a finance site. The European Union, the political free flow of people across borders, among other things could also happen. But what about NATO member ship? Since a lot of the borrowed money Greece is so deeply in debt over went to purchase big ticket military equipment, it’s hard to believe Europe was selling the Greek army more armaments to protect the government and the people of Greece from creditors. Here is an article contemplating the Greek exit from NATO written by a former American 4 star general and head of NATO. If you want to know what the operational details of political decision making look like for these European organizations, the EU and NATO, see this article. Here is an excerpt:


      “So, will Greece leave the EU or NATO if it drops out of the eurozone? It’s highly unlikely; cooler heads will probably prevail. But it is not impossible as the crisis deepens and emotions flare on both sides. And at a minimum, a stormy and contentious time lies ahead unless a compromise can be fashioned. What should be done?

      For one, this can’t be left to the central bankers. They are not politicians and aren’t paid to be sensitive to the geostrategic and political implications of a Greek default and departure from the eurozone. At the dark end of the spectrum, losing any nation from the EU or NATO is simply terra incognita and would shake both organizations in fundamental ways while deeply weakening the idea of the European project generally.

      As the Troika conducts further negotiations, it needs to consider the value that Greece brings by virtue of its membership in the EU and NATO. The Greek negotiators have been making these points, but many on the European side tend to ignore them and focus only on the economic side — a natural impulse, but not the kind of 360-degree view necessary to fully assess choices under stress and pressure.”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        There is some dark matter here. Obama isn’t looking remotely as concerned as he should be, and remember he’s fixated on Putin.

    3. different clue

      What percent of its weapons does the Greek military get from America? What percent from Europe?

      1. JTMcPhee

        There’s links in my comment at 1:25, 7/02 above. Ballpark 40/60. All art of the Biggest Fraud of All, waste on a truly wondrous scale. Not counting externalities like violent death, cultural destruction, destabilization and all, about a quarter of the world’s wealth. Stupid effing humans…

  19. juliania

    The Bill Mitchell article about ‘one Europe’ seems to be to point very directly to the problem that has been the Troika’s approach up to now, along with Tsipras’ reluctance to suggest he wants to leave the European Union.

    It made me think of a comparative historical scenario for the United States. What if it had been Jefferson Davis in the Presidential position and Lincoln representing the aggrieved state of Illinois? Davis would be promoting for the United States that it remain solidly pro-slavery, as their reading of founder’s intentions would have it, whilst Lincoln would be pointing to the Declaration, that all men are created equal.

    I know, it’s not a close comparison – but that’s sort of what the Tsipras government is facing. And perhaps now their opponents are realizing that unity (from which they also benefit) is under threat – not from Syriza but from their own harsh stance. And unity has some very positive aspects other than economical ones. Imagine Lincoln arguing that, facing the power of entrenched slaveowners, and you sort of get the picture.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The next time whoever does a monetary union, they have to be sure to include pension union (one currency and one retirement plan for all).

      1. juliania

        I think they are saying it isn’t the currency that is the problem, it is the manipulations of the currency that is the problem. When the New Deal was instituted in the US, the currency was still dollars.

  20. shinola

    I find the CNN Trump poll (as reported by Slate) rather puzzling. I live in a very red state, Kansas, and even R’s that were dumb enough to vote for Brownback (or Brownshirt as he’s referred to in my household) for governor think Trump is nothing more than a loud mouthed, rich, bloated ego bozo.

    Makes me wonder about CNN’s poll methodology. Or maybe Kansas R’s are not quite as dumb as they are in other states…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If you poll 13 year Olds, 9 out of 10 boys are having ridiculous amounts of sex, so much that next to where they need to identify their gender, they write “yes please.”

      The GOP poll given the size of the field and current shadow of Jeb makes the question a tad ridiculous, and the respondents are really saying “not Jeb.” The GOP network is different, and the candidates will have a chance to reach their voters on a level. Bill Clinton famously said Democratic voters fall in love, so it’s more of an early race and makes a bit more sense for Team Blue. Joe Lieberman was killing the field in October ’03.

      As to what the kids are saying, they are saying pollsters are idiots and homework sux. Every poll has to be seen through whether they are asking good 13 year Olds are not.

      Trump is just “clowns would be better than Bush.”

  21. Synoia

    White House fence steel spikes get greenlight

    Will not work. The evil generated in the White House will just float over the fence.

    1. different clue

      What happens when performance-art social satirists decide to weld or superglue the gates shut? And/or install electric generators to electrify the White House fence so no one inside can climb up and out?

      1. ambrit

        They have their own long term bomb shelter in the ‘extra’ basement FDR had built. Besides, why go outside? There’re only peasants out there.

  22. Lambert Strether

    I watched the taxi video. Is there a lot of graffiti in the background? I’m mentally comparing it to Bangkok, and it seems so (but then Bangkok has approximately the population of Greece as a whole, so there are parts I may have missed).

  23. Lambert Strether

    On Maine’s Governor LePage: LePage is an right winger with a volcanic temper (the product of a very tough childhood in a very tough mill town, Lewiston. Here’s a post on why Maine voted him in*). The Democratic nomenklatura hate him, primarily because against all the evidence they regard themselves as the natural governing party, and so we get posts like the post at FDL. If the Democrats wanted to take the Republicans on, instead of being pale shadows of the Republicans — is this story sounding famliar? — they’d try for some full-throated populism. Of course, they won’t do that, and the Democrats are corrupt themselves, as we in Central Maine know to our cost from the landfills, and so they are reduced to poking LePage in the eye with a sharp stick, to which he reacts badly. But you can’t beat something with nothing, and unfortunately the Democrats have nothing.

    * In 2014, the Democratic debacle after the 2010 Democratic debacle, when LePage was elected to his first term. As usual, Democrats never, ever look inward for the causes of their failure. It’s always somebody else, who they then proceed to demonize.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I saw a response on a different website about Obama losing Congress. An Obot blamed the old white voters ignoring that youth and minority votes stayed home.

  24. different clue

    Billy Mitchell presents the erosion of The European Model in Europe as a “failure” of the Euro. But what if the hidden secret-agenda purpose of the Euro were to destroy The European Model and make it look like an accident or like the impersonal march of history and market forces? In that case the destruction of
    The European Model by the Euro would be a success, would it not? And if The European Model somehow survives and its adherents can destroy the Euro and its threat to The European Model, wouldn’t THAT be a failure of the Euro?

    Should Billy Mitchell perhaps consider that way of looking at it?

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