Links 7/22/15

E.L. Doctorow dies at 84; award-wining author of ‘Ragtime’ Los Angeles Times. EM: “Cannot spell “winning “?”

How autistic adults banded together to start a movement Washington Post

Biggest Coal Polluters Dominate Emissions InsideClimate News (furzy mouse)

What Oysters Reveal About Sea Change New York Times. We took note of ocean acidification virtually at the inception of this site, in early 2007.

NHTSA Chief: Agency reviewing safety rules for automated cars Reuters (EM)

Woman recruited by Google four times and rejected, joins suit Computerworld

Microsoft issues critical out-of-band patch for flaw affecting all Windows versions Network World. Lambert: “Yikes.”

Australian Banks to Set Aside Billions More as Home Loan Risk Rises Wall Street Journal

China business sentiment slumps to six-year low Financial Times

Why it’s time for Germany to leave the eurozone Telegraph

Germany, Greece, And The Future Of Europe Social Europe

Lars Jonung on euro skepticism Lars P. Syll. An important contrary observation.

Pound jumps as Bank of England warns on inflation risk Telegraph


Second bailout reform vote in Greece BBC

Greek debt restructuring talks moving ahead -U.S. official Reuters

How Bad Was The Run On Greek Banks? Huffington Post

The Myth Of The EU’s €35bn Investment Package For Greece Social Europe (furzy mouse)

Greece’s Euro Exit Back on the Agenda Next Year, Economists Say Bloomberg

Greece: A look at the scale of hardship BBC

Alexis Tsipras shows his Machiavellian streak in a purge of Syriza rebels Independent (Sid S)

Alexis Tsipras Transforms Himself as He Sells Greek Bailout Terms New York Times (Sid S)



Democracy at disadvantage in handling Putin, says Hammond Financial Times


‘Netanyahu cheered up by US missile offer’: how the Onion scooped Haaretz Guardian (YY)

D.C.’s New Push: Use Saddam’s Men to Fight Obama’s ISIS War Daily Beast. Resilc: “We have bridges on I-10 that fall down, but we’re going to fund more war like this. Maybe California/Arizona should report I-10 was cut by is2 in order to get federal highway funds rolling?”

Imperial Collapse Watch

The weapons the U.S. needs for a war it doesn’t want Reuters (resilc)

Donations Pour In To Cover Costs Of Whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s Appeal MintPress (Adrien)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Surveillance Society: Throw the (Face)book at ’em Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Lambert: “Facebook posts can be used against you in a court of law.”

Why I care when people with ‘something to hide’ are hacked CTuttle, Firedoglake. And here is why I am not sympathetic: the people who used Ashley Madison are the information equivalent of Darwin Award winners. Did it not occur to them that the site could intentionally be in the blackmail business, or that unless it was run to pretty much NSA levels of security, it would wind up being in that business? Every singe person who used Ashley Madison did so voluntarily. Maybe this incident will lead more people to think harder before they hand over compromising personal information to third parties they can’t possibly vet adequately.

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It WIRED. Why, if I ever own a car, it will be as old and stupid a car as possible.

Lawmakers Eye Tax Revamp for U.S. Firms Overseas Wall Street Journal

Admit It: You People Want To See How Far This Goes, Don’t You? Onion

Donald Trump Is Fox News Incarnate New Republic (resilc)

Election 2016: Jeb Bush Speech Denouncing Lobbyists Was Organized By Corporate Lobbying Group International Business Times

Officer Threatened Sandra Bland With Taser, Police Video Shows New York Times. The video is appalling. And it goes without saying this would never happen to a white man.

Where organized hate lives in the United States, in 1 map and 2 charts Washington Post (furzy mouse)

LA police discover arsenal of 1,200 guns in dead man’s home Guardian (YY)

Connecticut teen flies gun-toting drone. How is this legal? Christian Science Monitor (EM)

DoJ drops Barry Bonds criminal prosecution after decade-long investigation Guardian. The DoJ spends a huge amount of time and resources on Barry Bonds but won’t expend anywhere near as much effort on a bank executive…

Sports Owners Dip Into the Public’s Purse, Despite Their Billions in the Bank New York Times (EM)

The Crafty Saudis: How They’re Sustaining Low Oil Prices EconoMonitor

Five Years Later, Dodd-Frank is on the Chopping Block Real News Network

When Retirement Savings Are Unsafe New York Times

Dodd-Frank at Five: Private Equity and the SEC Eileen Appelbaum, Huffington Post. More special favors for KKR, which is a client of Mary Jo White’s former firm, Debevoise.

Class Warfare

As Marginalized Communities Face Dearth of Trauma Care, Activists Step in to Fight for Survival Truthout

If You’re Against Sex Work, You’re a Bigot The Stranger (Vox, via furzy mouse)

Overtime Rules Send Bosses Scrambling Wall Street Journal

The Paradox of Effort Atlantic. I guarantee you will see bad generalizations from this study, and this article itself appears to be one. The bad health outcomes are not actually the result of working hard, as the headline and the picture imply. It seems to be the result of emotional repression (whether on top of that or as an independent factor is not clear). The “emotional repression” may reflect the effort involved in passing from a cultural standpoint (for instance, in Australia, I knew a woman who was the child of an orphan and grew up dirt poor in northern Australia. Someone discovered her and gave her elocution lessons, so she has a very posh accent. Think of the effort involved if you’ve had to figure out how to remake yourself on multiple axes and keep up those habits in order to fit into your adopted social class). Or it could be having to go ever day between two different cultures, from the high achieving school culture back home. Many of the objects of the study are kids, so the effects may reflect how they become even more distanced from family structures, even when the families want to be supportive.

Millennials Getting Help From Parents Can Afford Homes Atlantic (furzy mouse)

The Spirit of Judy Miller is Alive and Well at the NYT, and It Does Great Damage Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Antidote du jour. Stephen L: “Red-necked grebe, from the Alberta wildlife FB page.”

red_necked_grebe links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bill Smith

    Officer Threatened Sandra Bland With Taser, Police Video Shows New York Times. “The video is appalling. And it goes without saying this would never happen to a white man.”

    Actually it could happen to anyone who talks back to a cop.

    1. ambrit

      Yes, the video is appalling, but that behavior by police is not restricted to people of colour. I know a white man who was tased because he didn’t cooperate with the police quickly enough. Todays police are morphing into Thugs in general very quickly. Tin Foil Hat Man tells me that directed evolution is responsible. I’m beginning to believe him.

        1. ambrit

          I’m with Lambert on this. Local beat police need to be demilitarized and made to walk a beat, in pairs if necessary. I believe that the local ‘bobbies’ in England were supposed to at least know who lived where in their beat. Generate a degree of trust with the locals and they will solve most of your crimes for you. The appearance of solidarity is the key.
          As for robot police, well, allow me to direct your attention to the story “With Folded Hands” by Jack Williamson. It’s an oldie but goody.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks. I look forward to a future when we can all sit back with folded hands.

            My other suggestion is to hire more non-violent Buddhist cops in the mean time.

            1. ambrit

              I’m glad you mentioned pacifist monks. There were a lot of “Warrior Monks” around in ages past.

                1. Jack


                  Buddhism has a long history of violence. Another example is Tibet, which despite what the Dalai Lama might have you believe, was essentially a brutal theocracy. The idea that Buddhist automatically means peaceful or nice is entirely due to an intentionally idealized (caricature, really) form imported by the West.

                  1. nothing but the truth

                    violence in buddhism is related to the local culture. eventually a nonviolent creed is at a tremendous disadvantage – basically the reason why central asia, pakistan and bangladesh, malaysia and indonesia are muslim. Islam spread very easily through these buddhist lands because it offered no resistance to violent proselytism. In India where buddhism and hinduism existed in a sort of equilibrium – it was wiped out almost in a few decades when muslims came, and hinduism survived because it had no qualms about violence to protect itself.

                    buddhism is by far the most peaceful teaching.

                    the buddha had to specifically allow for self defence when his clan was massacred practicing non-violence.

                    1. vidimi

                      islam spread through southeast asia more through trade than violent proselytism. the main reason that buddhism was supplanted is that buddhism allows one to worship allah/jesus/moses and maintain good standing as a buddhist whereas with, say, hinduism, if you choose to worship allah you must forsake shiva/vishnu/etc and thus a contradiction exists so you choose one or the other. the fact that hindus and muslims coexisted in peace in india until the british came is evidence that islam did not spread there through conquest. yours is a bit of a mythologised take on history.

          2. Jay

            Good luck with that, Lambert. You can be the first one to sign up for that duty after all the cops quit. Just cooperate with the cops already. They have a tough and dangerous job, and someone who doesn’t walk in their shoes has a no right to judge them for protecting themselves when confronted with those uncooperative.

            1. hunkerdown

              Authoritarianism is the problem, and you’re telling us to let them do what their masters tell them to? Get over yourself, please. At no time in history has following orders ever led to social health.

                1. hunkerdown

                  Indeed it is — every bit as cartoonish as trying to smooth over clear predatory behavior with “just doing their jobs” as if obedience and compliance with evil were some sort of virtue. Maybe you can explain police omerta by treating them as hardworking folks just trying to make their way in the world.

                  If only the NYPD’s slowdown were permanent and enforced by the people, who would complain?

                  1. Jim

                    Ah yes, so we have moved from a traffic stop where a cop confronts an agitated person, to inferring that I don’t have a problem with police omerta. If that’s your argument, ok. But it is telling about your credibility, in my humble opinion.

            2. Lambert Strether

              Fisherman have jobs that are 10 times more dangerous, in case you didn’t know. Loggers and taxi drivers are also in more danger. I think it would be wonderful if the same calls for respect were generalized to all working people in danger, and not simply the police.

              To revert to policy: The militarized police force we have today isn’t the first force that’s gone sour and had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Looks like that’s what’s needed.

              1. Jim

                “Fisherman have jobs that are 10 times more dangerous, in case you didn’t know. Loggers and taxi drivers are also in more danger.”

                C’mon Lambert, this is a completely ridiculous argument. If you have a point to make, then make it. Don’t waste our time with nonsense.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  That is not an argument, and resorting to name-calling is proof that you have run out of arguments. Or are you incapable of understanding basic ideas like odds?

                  You are in moderation because you’ve violated comments policies in the past. This comment is another violation. One more and you will be blacklisted.

                  1. Jim

                    Sorry Yves, but if I’m in violation, then both Lambert and yourself should be in violation for making bogus arguments. If I have to explain the obvious differences in the danger between police officers, loggers, and taxi drivers, then truly this site is nothing more than click bait.

                    1. Yves Smith Post author

                      1. You made no such argument. I checked the thread. So now you are bullshitting.

                      2. You effectively called another reader racist and tried to pretend otherwise with a weasel-worded intro. In fact, politicians and activists regularly call for police to live in the communities that they police, out of a view that they deal with the residents in a far more even handed manner than outsiders. And in fact Baltimore and Ferguson both have low police residency in the communities they police.

            3. OIFVet

              Yes, let’s give them a squad of surplus Abrams tanks per PD, perhaps a squadron or two of A-10s and a couple of B-1Bs. Some Arleigh Burke cruisers with Tomahawk missiles would be necessary too. We USians need to be shocked and awed!

            4. lord koos

              The cops were “protecting” themselves from an unarmed woman who tried to stand up for her rights.

            5. different clue

              What specific danger was the arresting officer protecting himself from in the Bland case? Specifically?

              1. Jim

                Really? How easy is it for someone who is agitated to pull a hidden weapon and blow away the cop? How many times has that happened before? The cop does this every day, and probably comes across agitated people like this more than a few times a week. It only takes once to end his life. What do people not get about that?

                Cops serve the community. However, they also have a responsibility to their family, which is jeopardized when confronted by a person agitated for no reason.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  Puhleeze. Someone who is agitated is about to murder a cop?

                  Tell me how someone seated in a car murders a cop. They would have to pull out a weapon. Where pray tell is a weapon in a car? In a glove compartment? In a purse? Bland would have to reach to have gotten it. Not only there ZERO indication she did anything like that, she had a cigarette in one hand!

                  The standing cop has a huge advantage

                  1. Jim

                    No, the probability that an agitated person is about to murder a cop just went up dramatically from the probability that a non-agitated person is about to murder a cop. Agitation indicates mental instability, which is a pretty good predictor of increased probability of intent to murder. Presumably you are a finance person, and as such I should not have to explain Bayes theorem to you.

                    “Tell me how someone seated in a car murders a cop.”

                    It’s a good thing, for your sake, that you are not a cop. If you don’t have the foresight to answer your own question, then you wouldn’t last too long on the street.

                    1. Yves Smith Post author

                      I’ve actually taken what amounts to a hand-to-hand combat course taught by the individual who developed that training program for the Special Forces and has continued to refine its techniques since then. He and his staff study the tapes of prison fights, for instance. In the course, they also train unarmed people how to fight with people who have a variety of weapons. They teach FBI and law enforcement personnel who don’t get anything like this sort of training. And they train people in the markers for when people are about to become violent. She displayed none of them, in fact her behavior was the exact reverse.

                      So you are way off base in assuming I don’t know what I’m talking about here. I have a better appreciation of this issue than you do and even many cops do. With the car door closed, window down, with her seated, behind a car wheel, no weapon in her hand, he was in complete control of the situation.

                2. different clue

                  What specific danger was the arresting officer protecting himself from in the Bland case? Specifically?

                  General nazi-pig-bastard apologetics do not answer the specific question.

                  So, once again, what specific danger was the arresting officer protecting himself from in the Bland case? Specifically?

            6. vidimi

              i’m surprised nobody is taking issue with the “someone who doesn’t walk in their shoes has a no right to judge them” part of his argument.

              i suppose this invalidates every criticism of anyone ever.

              1. different clue

                “Someone who doesn’t walk a mile in my jackboots . . . has no right to comment on the color of my armband.”

                1. different clue

                  Or to put that more simply . . . ” Don’t judge my armband till you’ve walked a mile in my jackboots.”

            7. Lambert Strether

              Here’s a handy chart (via). Fisherman are ten times more likely to die on the job than cops. Of course, you can’t really understand what that feels like ’til you’ve worn their yellow waders….


              So, I’m getting a bit tired of the hero cop narrative.

          3. lord koos

            Part of the problem in the more trendy cities is that cops (as well as teachers, firemen, etc) cannot afford to live in the areas they patrol, so that they have little invested in the community. They go home to the ‘burbs every night.

            1. vidimi

              this is a bigger problem in the less trendy areas such as ferguson, where the cops definitely can afford to live there, but live far enough from the community to have no link to it at all. i haven’t actually read of too many cops acting up in the trendy areas.

            2. Jim

              This is a silly argument. Do you really think a persons humanity toward another varies inversely with the distance between their respective homes? And you are willing to make a blanket statement to that effect?

              Honestly, that sounds a lot like the mindset you would call prejudiced, bigoted, or racist. Making a judgment about a large class of people based on nothing but the anecdotal evidence.

              1. lambert strether

                Hmm. Do you really think that your first paragraph is an honest restatement if your interlocutir’s position?

                Honestly, that sounds like the kind of distortion and derailment I’d expect of a paid troll from the Policeman’s Benevolent Association, or possibly one of the Baltimore cops who hired a blachace entertainer for a fundraising event.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        The armed citizens posse to defend hamburger rancher Cliven Bundy who stole federal lands for cattle to graze upon, grass fed burger meat yum yum, has not suffered the consequences of Sandra Bland. Ms Bland can be heard to exclaim, ” Oh Wow” at least once which apparently translates into ” I am a revolutionary Black Militant and want to see you strangled with your own intestines as all true Marxist are trained to do”.

        And I have followed in the local newspapes the egregious example of the white male Main Line lawyer who was jailed for contempt for over a decade. That would be not arrested or charged for anything but during his divorce hearings refused to identify any hidden assets his wife claimed he had somewhere. a peeved judge had him held in contempt, for over a decade. That judge died and the man was still in jail, making the wheels of justice move even slower for him. Of course, during that same time period, in the city of Philadelphia, several thousand African-American males were murdered and 5 times that many shot. It is the disproportionate and extensive nature of the disparate negative impact of the police, the courts and the jails against the African-American population that is fueled by conditioned and culturally transmitted socialization of whites to think with a racial and or ethnic animus towards Blacks generally that is the problem.

        Even mildly talking back to a cop as this woman did constitutes confirmation of the underlying animus. The problem lies with the police who act like fragile flowers upon being confronted with typical American consumers with a demanding attitude from service providers. As if the police don’t know how their fellow Americans treat one another in the everyday roles in the stores, restaurants, schools in this day and age. The typical citizen, with typical attitudes from civil society, does not receive diplomatic corps training to hit the shut off switch when coming into contact with the para-military force of the state in the form of the local police. As a testimony to America, most people when they do come in contact with the police, do not sweat blood in mortal fear at the sight of being pulled over, as opposed to Mexico where massacres from cops can viewed on youtube. While any cop in the immediacy of a street activity can be emotionally on edge, burnt out from a previous call that day or week, there is still a level of supervision, a 2nd set of eyes that can guide these situations so they do not turn into arrests or jailing over a traffic violation. The breakdown or absence of common sense oversight from management in this situation is evident. Obama is granting clemency to prisoners now. While we are trying to clear over populated prisons from mass incarceration due to drugs do we want the police to fill them back up with speeding drivers, stop sign runners and failure signal to infractions?

        1. ambrit

          My only disagreement with you on your thesis is that I believe Race has been deployed as a “dog whistle” in the interests of distracting the white “lower classes” from their inherent congruence of interests with the black “lower classes.”
          I’m sure now that the attitude of “we’re the police, and we can do no wrong” is becoming the standard operating procedure for homeland security forces in America. The treatment of blacks is the canary in the coalmine. Soon enough, everyone will feel the sting of that lash.

          1. Gio Bruno

            Yes. And I’ve recounted my interaction with a “homeland” officer over a trivial matter in this same comment section. Encountering ill-mannered, and sometimes lethal officers is not an improbability.

          2. Lambert Strether

            I wouldn’t say “dog whistle” because the effects of racism are very real.

            But it’s all the more cynical to use real pain and real history to divide, surely. The elite really seems to have take the beatitude “Blessed are the hatemongers” to heart. Or do I have that right?

        2. Adrienne Adams


          The “please put out your cigarette” part was an intentional provocation to escalate an otherwise unexciting situation. It was clear she was angry at the unjust stop and the cop feeling the potential choose to wind her up, either because he’s racist and doesn’t like uppity blacks, or just likes to f*ck with people and gets off on the power trip.

          Nailed it. We need to stop exalting all cops as “heroes” and admit how f****d up the cop culture has become.

          1. c wennerberg

            I am a self employed white, college educated female. Every interaction I have ever had with a policeman has been unsettling. The creeps who gravitate to that work need and want the power, the authority and cover of that badge.

            I”ve always suspected that returning military become police, only to become abusive ;police – because they are used to a hair trigger, lethal response if occupied people resist their orders.

            I do not like police, have never encountered a “normal’ one… and they frighten me.

            There is an old adage… anyone who wants to be a cop, shouldn’t be allowed to be.

            seems right

          2. trinity river

            Ms. Bland was anxious that a TX cop would do all the things she had read about online and in the news. So her tone was not compliant. She did nothing but express the absurdity of being pulled over for such a minor offense. Did he have nothing more important to do to protect the safety of the community?

            Even if she had become verbally abusive, which she didn’t, he should have been able to defuse the situation. He did the opposite by threatening her with the taser.

            Teachers in inner city schools deal with seriously non-compliant students who are not confined in a car seat and they manage to defuse the situation almost always. This cop was seriously incompetent and ill-trained.

            Unfortunately, Sandy Bland was correct in her assumptions.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        Also really suspicious after reports that the video was edited by police before releasing it.
        “By Tuesday night, questions were swirling on social media about what appeared to be glitches in, or possibly edits to the dash cam video”

        So cops released the video with 5 minutes of footage showing the cop being super polite to another lady that he gave a warning to. Then there are apparent cuts in the rest of the video.

        Seems apparent that she is dead primarily because cops will not tolerate being “disrespected”. Once she got mouthy with the cop, he is the one who escalated the situation demanding she put out the cigarette.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I have to tell you I doubt it. I’ve been stupid enough to show more ‘tude than she did at the outset to cops in traffic incidents, once when pulled over for no reason, another when the cop had an arguable case. They just got annoyed back at me. It didn’t escalate into insanity. And I had out of state plates both times. I think you way way underestimate the race issue.

      1. allan

        Yes. Here is a somewhat different context, but one in which it’s hard to believe that race didn’t play a role in the outcome.

        Male Walmart customer goes to an upstate Walmart to buy a fishing license, ecounters non-existent customer service, and then in a fit decides to announce on the the store’s PA system that he has a gun.
        Result: a disorderly conduct charge, a chuckle from the judge and a $100 fine.
        You can guess the culprit’s race.

      2. Skippy

        Yves it all boils down to clockwork orange stuff which then is acerbated by institutional memory in a environmental evolution e.g. the agency creates its own problems, which require an increasing aggressive response i.e. self full filling prophecy’s with the bonus of a profit motive.

        Police never grokked my military elite status, back in the day, either fear you or worship you, now we have a PTSD force seeking authoritarian validity out of a complex set of environmental factors.

        Skippy… Hayekian police force?

        1. OIFVet

          Being both white and military/veteran is a valuable privilege these days. Most police seem to be former military now, and white, so announcing these “kinships” is a form of protection for frequent speeders like me. Illinois has a number of military plates announcing the driver’s status and even decorations, and having those is a serious protection from the law. I’ve been pulled for speeding several times but never fined, arrested, searched, or harassed in any way. Not even for going 35 over. What unfolds is a brief reminiscence about the time in Ay-Rak, brief comparison of notes to sniff out common acquaintances from the time in the military, and finally a verbal or at most a written warning. Every. Single. Time. It’s incredibly unfair, much as I appreciate the money it saves me and the harassment it shields me from.

          1. Skippy

            Failed sporting wannabes is a bad pool to draw from not to mention those from the horrors of the ME or Stans… lots of baggage.

            Skippy… hated training them as much as west point cadets…

            PS. to many clint eastwood moves as kids or pulp fiction.

          2. Praedor

            I considered going with veteran plates on my car when I registered it. I’ve gotten out of a number of tickets because of being military and would likely get out of more by using veteran status…but this would also put a bullseye on me for any lone wolf loon like the guy who shot up the recruiters recently so I went with the environment plate instead.

            Now I’m a target for rightwinger teatard cops and lone whacks.

      3. Ulysses

        “I think you way way underestimate the race issue.”

        Yep. Of course, white people are also quite often victimized by police brutality, but your odds of surviving an encounter with police are way higher if you are white, and astronomically higher if you are a white person of obviously high socio-economic status.

      4. jrs

        I’ve gotten angry at cops when pulled over for traffic violations. It’s stupid sure, but I have an damn the torpedoes rage streak that can take over for anyone who dares tempt it. But I’m not the type of person they target (for one I’m not black), though I don’t think it’s impossible they would target me.

      5. Oregoncharles

        Race is most certainly a big factor in who is targeted, if only because they see blacks as powerless – and a lot of it is just plain bullying.

        By the same token, they don’t usually target people who look and sound like Harvard-educated financial advisors, either. Or DC lawyers – there was a very illuminating incident where one (also a woman) came to the defense of her handyman. Ordered the cops out of the neighborhood. They went. One of them was black. So were half the murderers of Freddy Gray.

        I think the underlying problem is a burgeoning police state, which threatens all of us. Blacks are the unlucky canaries in the coal mine.

      6. different clue

        I remember a commenter once referring to you as a Wasp Ice Queen based on a photograph of you. Perhaps your social status was visible to the officers you dealt with as well. Perhaps if you were visibly a Coal Miner’s Daughter you could not get away with the same response to cops.

    3. Benedict@Large

      Back in the 70s, I was beat up by three Hartford cops while I was cuffed. I’m white, I was wearing a business suit, it was in the main police station, and there were witnesses.

      This crap has been going on forever.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Ah but you are alive and probably not a minority. There is no way your injustice suffered can ever equal a minority. So people like you and certainly anyone who has not suffered injustice at all don’t matter, not as much.

        I see identity politics at its most blatant in all this #BLM divisiveness. It’s a crying shame. The old meme “Don’t tase me dude!” was far better, far more inclusive. That said, ‘dude’ was not the best choice.

        Agree with my or your sentiments or nay… I sincerely believe #BLM will continue to suffer by not garnering as much support as they could from people like you and me with their divisiveness, beginning with their name. I don’t want to see the color of a persons skin first. Ever.They are demanding that, imo.

        I want to see police state held to account no matter what.

      2. Praedor

        Hippy? 70s was Dirty Harry time (we’ll ignore disco…PLEASE). Long hair, tie-dye…police bait.

      1. Vatch

        They strapped him to the stretcher face down. Surprise, surprise, his breathing was impaired, and he died.

        1. vidimi

          the fact that they threatened the family with arrest if they visited him in hospital suggests that they did some other terrible things to him that nobody witnessed.

          1. Vatch

            That is quite possible. Either that, or the lack of air already had put him into a critical condition.

    4. vidimi

      also, there were lots of missing sections in the video released suggesting it was edited before it was made public.

    5. JCC

      He asked her a question, she answered honestly. He asked her to put out a cigarette, she declined. That’s not talking back.

      I’m a white guy and I’ve “talked back” to sheriffs in similar situations (when I was young, dumb, and full of it) and I was never treated even close to as badly as she was treated. I’m sure the vast majority of white men would never have been treated like this by this particular sheriff and probably quite a few others like him.

      This guy should be thrown in prison. He epitomizes the typical sheriff that we grew up with and in our town the saying was “Sheriffs – C average HS students with guns”.

      1. Gio Bruno

        Well, I think the guy was a state trooper, not a sheriff. The local sheriff deputy is usually a high school grad only, state officers usually require more education. (At least they do in Calif.)

        As a previous commenter noted, many of today’s officers are veterans. (They usually get a boost of 5-10 points on there application exam for being vets.) Maybe the educational requirement should be raised to an Associates degree from a community college. (Or a training certificate of some kind.) I work on a college campus and there is a transformation of some kind that takes place in students that are exposed to a wider range of learning and cultural interaction than one sees in folks who haven’t had the experience. Want a badge?… get some education, learn more about the world.

        1. lord koos

          What happened during the traffic stop was one thing, what happened in her cell in the county jail was another. There would be no reason for a state trooper to hang around a county jail after an arrest.

          If a cop takes you to jail, and then lets the other cops know that you were “a problem” or had an uncooperative attitude, you will be messed with by the other cops. I’ve been there… I bet these cops let the folks at the jail know that they were dealing with an “uppity negro” from the north.

    6. samhill

      The “please put out your cigarette” part was an intentional provocation to escalate an otherwise unexciting situation. It was clear she was angry at the unjust stop and the cop feeling the potential choose to wind her up, either because he’s racist and doesn’t like uppity blacks, or just likes to f*ck with people and gets off on the power trip. This is someone who looks for confrontation, couldn’t wait to pull out his tazer, couldn’t wait to bang her around and handcuff her. Dominance trip. It’s why he went into the police force in the first place. What happened to her next could not be more obvious if it was written in fifty foot neon. After 6hrs, 12hrs, next day, 2nd day, third day of this outrage, and apparently not allowed to contact home or lawyer, she at some point when ballistic, probably dared to use the desperate threat of the marginal in supposedly constitutional societies – lawsuits, political letters, call to news organizations, i.e. make a big stink. At that point they got to show her what real power is and how it works and hung her in her cell.

      The real question no one wants to ask since the start of Ferguson is why the police forces are so full of sociopaths. Smart, self aware pederasts go into the Catholic church where they’ll be protected come what may – for life, not to mention paid, housed and fed and pensioned to live out their deviant thrills. It’s the only explanation for the vastness of it. Smart, self-aware bullies join the military and police force for the same protection, benefits, and thrills. What they all have in common is that they all get off on predatory dominance over the weak, whether children, women, the poor, or just some sucker who’s handcuffed and down. Blacks are particularly vulnerable as the odds are very much less that they are the child/relative/friend of someone in the connected professional class who could seriously burst your well crafted psychopathic bubble. Not to mention simply being well connected people themselves.

      I want to believe that just small parts of these institutions are made up of depraved individuals seeking them out as sanctuaries with a paycheck, but The Trillion Dollar question is how the broader group and the people in charge can possibly permit it? The politicians are scared of these institutions but how the co-workers and leadership can repeatedly allow what amounts to very brutal, heinous, creepy, acts to go uninvestigated, uncontrolled, unpunished, kangaroo-courted, makes you wonder if maybe, horribly it really is 100%. That is f’ing scary whether you’re black or white and just a fine line between a woman strangled in her cell and bulldozing bodies into pits.

      1. hunkerdown

        Dumping dysfunctional institutions altogether instead of clinging to them as part of one’s corruption portfolio and class interest would be a good start. Did you not see what happened when the NYPD union went on strike? Is it just possible that such institutions can’t be fixed because the real stakeholders don”t consider them broken?

        If your culture requires gunpoint to keep people in line, maybe something’s wrong with it. Too bad Ben Franklin couldn’t take that last logical step when pondering why white man goes native but natives don’t go white no matter how shiny the baubles.

        1. craazyman

          I was a native who went white. But I only did it for the money not the baubles. If I can get a 10-bagger, I’ll go back to being a native, that’s for sure.

      2. Ulysses

        “The “please put out your cigarette” part was an intentional provocation to escalate an otherwise unexciting situation.”

        Yes, one very sad fact is that far too many police join the force because they like “action.” This is really tragic, because compassionate police who want to be a helpful, positive force in the communities they serve can do a lot of good. I know some officers, black and white, in Queens– who really do try to de-escalate tense situations, help people connect to needed services, etc. Unfortunately they are under a lot of pressure to meet arrest/summons quotas, and often have superiors with a far more antagonistic/militarized attitude.

      3. Skippy

        Let see, a persecution complex which leads to radicalization…. ummm… where have I heard that tale before….

    7. cripes

      ” it goes without saying this would never happen to a white man. ”

      Since twice as many white people as black people are killed by police, I think not. Still, there are six times as many white as black people in USA.

      A cursory Youtube search will give you many instances of white grandmothers, kids and pregnant women tased, beaten or shot by po-lice. Oh yeah, and men.

      I think it would improve matters for black victims if police abuse of all people, even the dreaded white man, is propagated through the shmedia.

      Anyway, I hope we are not moving towards a racial equivalence of police violence, but towards the elimination of police violence.

      1. Ron

        Its only very recently that these police incidents have gotten national media attention, a good sign!

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Blacks are about 13% of the population, so for deaths to be proportionate, you’d expect 7 times as many whites to be killed as blacks. Moreover, since there is no proper database of killings by police, I doubt those figures are accurate. Whites on average are higher income and have more social legitimacy, so the police would probably have more success in hiding the killings of blacks by cops than whites (ie, family and interested community groups could put more pressure to have facts exposed than often less empowered blacks).

    8. Bridget

      When I saw the video the first time, I thought that it was like you said, a person stupidly getting belligerant with a police officer and getting the treatment generally accorded anyone who does so. But when I reviewed the clip more closely, I would have to say that this woman was absolutely correct and the police officer was 100% out of line. She had every right to refuse to put out her cigarette while she was sitting in her own car. He had no legal reason to order her out of her vehicle, and she said she asked for her lawyer.

      I generally am inclined to give police officers the benefit of the doubt, but that guy should not be allowed to be a member of law encorcement. And how in the world did she end up in jail for days? Bad situation.

  2. OldLion

    Connecticut teen flies gun-toting drone.

    What will happen when a hacker will fire one such drone without the owner consent ?
    Who will be held responsible for the damage ?

          1. ambrit

            You’d also have to shield them from subversion over the airwaves. Every control module would have to be emplaced with its’ own Faraday Cage.

          2. ambrit

            Bugger. The above reply is for jgordon, below.
            For Brooklin Bridge, is that “Old Innocence” or “New Innocence?”

              1. ambrit

                With the Ashley Madison data, er, breach, we’re about to find out.
                (I wonder what a Miss Nude Hacker contest would look like. Lots of ‘redacted’ data? How about equal time for a Mr Nude Hacker contest too. The jokes just make themselves.)
                It’s turning into Wet Wednesday around here!

    1. jgordon

      Gun toting drones aside, wiring anything with computer controlled mechanical parts to the internet seems like a particularly bad idea to me.

    2. ambrit

      We have a situation where ‘connectedness’ and power imbalances will decide the outcome.
      If an American DoD hacker fires, say, an Iranian drones missile at Turkey, starting a war, he or she will be promoted and given a “f—–g medal.”
      If an Iranian Army hacker takes control of an American drone and lands it inside Iran, he or she ends up on the “kill list.”
      If a Homeland Security hacker fires a private drones weapon, the non HS actor goes to jail.
      If a non HS hacker fires a Homeland Securities drones weapon, the non HS actor doesn’t make it to jail alive.
      The most probable outcome is that some bright young thing figures out a way to modify that “secret” police car stalling directed beam gun and brings all the drones down. If craazyboy could mount one of those on his quadcopter, he could have mucho gusto terrorizing Arizona.

  3. Eric Patton

    Wait, there’s age discrimination in this country? /s

    I hope Fillekes beats the pants off of Google.

  4. Eric Patton

    The article about Germany needing to leave the Eurozone (from the Telegraph) is hilarious. Do the British, French, and the rest of them (not to mention the U.S., China, and Russia) not see the obvious?

    Germany is absolutely re-arming, re-loading. The Germans are still intent on conquering the world. I don’t think they’ll succeed, because they’re misunderstanding (as is everyone) the true intentions of Iran, which is not going to side with anyone in a world war, and therefore nor will the Middle East — despite how everything looks right now. Iran is gaining power in the Middle East. Everyone else in that region is losing it. One might say God has a sense of humor. Or justice. Or both.

    But Germany is absolutely planning all of this. They know what they’re doing. They’re also doing it quite well.

    1. James Levy

      The German military is a joke. They are not rearming. You have no evidence and what you are saying is bigoted twaddle. They lack every key element (including enough young men who have the slightest interest in fighting) needed to fight a major war. Where would the fuel, spare parts, and supplies come from? How could they keep the Russians, French, and/or British (forget about the US) from dropping a few tactical nukes on their few major airfields, naval bases, and oil refineries? If you live in the USA you are actually in a country that is actively trying to dominate the world. Get a grip.

      1. craazyman

        They could use the collected works of Nietsche and Schoepenhaur to bludgeon people everywhere into insensibility. Then finish them off with a single book by Imanuel Kant.

      2. susan the other

        I was going to say that – but I wasn’t sure things were still that way re. Germany.

      3. Oregoncharles

        You missed the point. Having learned their lesson, they’re taking over Europe – th epart of the world they care about – by financial manipulation, not military force.

        Being underarmed is part of the strategy: makes them look innocent, and saves them a lot of money that can be used to conquer.

        Whether they’re aware is beside the point; it’s what’s happening.

    2. ChuckO

      I agree that Germany appears to have no militaristic ambitions at this time, and that their military is a joke. However, their power elites still have the same goals that they’ve had ever since Bismarck formed them into a modern nation. They want economic and political hegemony over Europe, and at present, it appears that they are accomplishing that without resorting to the military option.

      1. Ulysses

        Most of my Italian friends would agree with that– they are starting to refer to the new neoliberal EZ regime as the “fourth Reich!”

  5. norm de plume

    ‘Australian Banks to Set Aside Billions More as Home Loan Risk Rises’

    Interesting to set against this a story from a few weeks ago:

    Real estate the only bright spot for the economy

    Bright spot! Doesn’t it occur to these boffins that one prime reason the rest of the economy sucks is because life blood is being drained from it in rent and mortgage? That businesses and individuals, at a time when oil is relatively cheap and idle labour abundant, are paying such a premium for property that there’s not enough for innovation and research, marketing and expansion…

    No worries, we have a PM and Treasurer who are both happy for RE prices to rise forever, despite our big 4 banks loan portfolios being uber top heavy in mortgages.. what could go wrong?

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Doesn’t it occur to these boffins that one prime reason the rest of the economy sucks is because life blood is being drained from it in rent and mortgage

      No, not if their salary and perks depends on them ignoring it. Nicely put, btw.

  6. OIFVet

    Why, if I ever own a car, it will be as old and stupid a car as possible.

    It would be a tall order. Remember Cash For Clunkers? Old stupid cars were destroyed with extreme prejudice.

    1. Anon

      I remember reading somewhere that old (muscle) cars have a pretty strong following still. Granted, you’d have to spring a decent amount for said car, but it’s not impossible.

      1. OIFVet

        True, but these are not very practical, and are costly to buy and to own. I remember looking in a hundred mile radius the year after Cash for Clunkers for a late 1990’s-early00’s Chrysler minivan to serve as a bedroom on wheels for an extended cross-country sightseeing. The pickings were slim, and the price exceedingly steep for the quality. I finally gave up after noticing the piece of electric tape the dealer had put over the check engine light to conceal the fact that it was lit, and went for a far pricier Odyssey. That was just for pleasure trip. Imagine how it affected the working poor who need a cheap but reliable used car just to get to work.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          I think you could do a fair amount to modify current or fairly recent automobiles, but some expense and expertise would be involved. We have indeed reached a tipping point and assuming it remains legal (the effort to define cars as essentially non user modifiable rental systems where user data ultimately belongs to the landlord the same way smart phones and tablets currently are), it will be increasingly expensive both technically and monetarily to modify vehicles to be sure it’s you making your driving choices and that your “data” remains with you.

          Indeed, it’s looking more and more like there will be no “ownership”, never mind human drivers, of automobiles anyway. Things like health care from hell, TPP, TiPP and so on are great ways of testing the waters for the ability to cram legislation down people’s throats no matter how opposed to it they are and calling it “answering popular demand”. Driver-less cars that belong to giant corporations will be a fairly hard sell even if spread out over a generation so the PTB need as much practice as they can get.

        1. ambrit

          Good lord! These prices are unconscionable.
          I bought a 1968 Chevy II in 1980, running, for $500. That little four banger took me where I needed to go, and cheaply. The emissions from those older engines were not out of the ballpark toxic either. I remember a woman I ‘sort of’ knew in Covington who was still driving her 1964 1/2 Mustang, she being the original owner, in the 1980s. One of my neigbhours is restoring a 1964 Chevelle. You can sit on the fender and dangle your legs inside that engine compartmrent, even with the 283 C.I. motor in there. Yes, he’s restoring it, but he got it somewhere around Atlanta for $600 with a running engine. These multi thousand autos had better be in good running condition for those prices.

          1. OIFVet

            For real. Opti, I needed a minivan so the missus and I wouldn’t need to spend too much money on motels or sleep in a tent while logging 30K miles. Luggage compartment on the roof, bike rack on the trailer hitch, and improvised bedroom in the back. It was a sweet trip.

          2. Optimader

            in 1980 a 1965 XKE roadster cost <$10k , now sells for~$160k. So the price in 1980 is somewhat meaningless.
            For purposes of transportion , which is the point here, the fair comparison is what new driving appliance you can get with clapped out 2015 US$ Vs an older car you can maintain yourself. What new car can you buy for < $10k?

            OIFVET would do very well with a 1980s vintage VW Westfalia camper van. Use it and sell it for what you have in it. There will always be a market for them, they have a following and are easily maintained. Very popular in the Nortwest of the US where peopke spend alit of recreational time in the great outdoors.

    2. Praedor

      Classic cars. It’s a thing. Not a single computer on board. Totally mechanical, totally unhackable. Immune to EMP too.

      1. davidgmills

        If you are really worried (paranoid?) about hacking it would be damned simple to hook up an interior manual cut-off switch to the battery cable and break the circuit with the flip of a switch.

        Computers make cars run better and the OBDII codes pretty much tell you what part is broken. A simple OBDII code reader is usually less than $50. I take my car to the shop and tell them what part I need to fix the car. Works nearly every damn time.

        And those older cars just are death traps in any serious crash. Much much higher death rates and injuries. They need to be junked or put in museums.

    3. Adrienne Adams

      Hubby and I have a “fleet” of three early 2000s cars. None of them have any wireless capability. They’re probably hackable if someone has physical access to the car, but it seems like newer models will be more lucrative targets. Still lots of good low mileage cars available in that vintage—and they have all the electronics you need but not excessively so.

  7. ProNewerDeal


    What is the status of the cohort Syriza MPs like Finance Minister Varoufakis that resigned, or that PM Tsipiras fired? Does this cohort still have “at least” still work in their regular non-minister MP job? If so, when a new election is held, do this cohort have the opportunity to re-run for their incumbent seat?

    As a USian, I am not as familiar with parliamentary democracy governments like Greece. Thanks in advance for any insight. Cheers.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      What I read (wish I could recall) but Syriza was trying to pressure the dissident MPs to give up their seats, but there is no basis for that request in Greek law. Hope that helps.

  8. Gabriel

    Re “The weapons the U.S. needs for a war it doesn’t want “, there’s a second issue that makes the problem even worse than Singer and Cole describe (btw, shouldn’t they disclose somewhere that they have a war fiction book predicated on the state of affairs they describe?)

    From Chuck Spinney’s post on The Defense Death Spiral:

    A Modernization Program that Cannot Modernize the Force: The MICC’s [Military-Industrial Complex] predilection for increasing high-tech ever-more complex weapons and supporting equipment (for domestic-political economic reasons) causes the unit costs of new weapons to always grow faster than overall defense budgets, even when those budgets increase sharply, as they did in the early 1980s and after 1998. Consequently, new weapons always cost far more than their predecessors, and cannot be produced at high enough rates to replace existing weapons on a one-for-one basis. Decreasing replacement rates cause the average age of the weapons in the force structure increase over time, and eventually the ages of the oldest weapons reach a point where they must be retired without replacement. The result is the well-documented, long-term trend toward smaller and older forces. This evolution has been in place since the late 1950s.
    The Rising Cost of Low Readiness: Notwithstanding promises to the contrary (i.e., of lower life cycle costs), the unit operating costs of increasingly complex (and aging) weapons have also risen considerably faster than overall budgets. This asymmetry creates continual budgetary pressure to reduce readiness and to shrink force size, in part to contain growth in the operating budget itself, but also to free up the additional funds to finance the underfunded modernization program (known as robbing readiness to save modernization).

    Could this be analogous to the “decaying-infrastructure” problem in the civilian US? There’s masses of money around to invest in things like, for example, gigantic new stadiums or convention centers, but mass transit centers are allowed to decay for lack of maintenance and repair.

    I’m afraid the only variant of this problem that I can speak about from personal knowledge is the kind of academic malinvestment Fredrik DeBoer wrote about (with some brilliant photos) in the case of Purdue:

    Meanwhile my own building, Heavilon Hall, is in a state of total disrepair. Heavilon is the building that houses the English department, the Introductory Composition and Professional Writing programs, the Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange program, our award-winning writing lab, the Purdue OWL, the second language writing program, the Indigenous and Endangered Languages Lab, American studies, several journals, and sundry other programs and services. I realize that in today’s day and age, these things don’t sound as sexy as a hypothetical Jeff Jarvis Memorial Thinkfluencer ThirdSpace for Dynamically Innovative Synergistic Disruption, but please trust me when I say that the university could not function without the things that happen in this building. Just our Introductory Composition program teaches over 3,000 students a year, and as many of our students spend their first years in jam-packed lecture halls with hundreds of other students, nobody does more to welcome those students to Purdue than we do. I’m not exaggerating: in many ways, our intro courses are the classes where students learn how to be a college student. That might not move the administration but it matters, as do our classes in written communication, in close reading, in literary history and analysis, in linguistics, in document design, in gender and race, in world English, and other topics. These are essential parts of the actual educating that goes on at this university, and we do it in a rotting building.

    [At the REDACTED University’s REDACTED, we’ve joked that the only way to fix the PA system, which will occasionally glitch and transmit deafening static throughout the building, would be to entice one of the numberless dim rich alums with the prospect of his name being read out every night, “this closing announcement is brought to you by the George F. and Martha Babbit Memorial PA system”]

    What do readers think? Is the common factor here just garden-variety collective-action problems, public goods being underfunded because their returns cannot be entirely captured by investors? Or is there something else contributing to this pattern appearing to such a grotesque extent across such different sectors in the US?

    1. Praedor

      Drones. Drones of all kinds are the future. Flying drones, walking or rolling drones. Cheap as hell, can be operated by non-officers without college degrees. Drones can (should) replace the F-35 boondoggle. One F-35 can get you an entire squadron of high-end drones.

      Drones can be shot down without loosing a pilot and his/her intel or without creating an POW issue. One drops, a new one can take its place for pennies.

      Drones and guided missiles are the deal and the old guard military where pilots were god is fast fading. A drone can be made big for multiple bombs (think B-2 without pilots) or small and nearly impossible to see/detect. Big money crap like the F-35 is merely a money-making scheme for traditional defense contractors.

      The Army’s future is some foot soldiers backed with killer drones/bots that have no fear. The Air Force’s future is drones. The Navy’s future is robotic subs, fast robotic combat ships, small carriers loaded to the gills with drones, all directed from a few manned command ships. All a lot cheaper than current schemes.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And ex-military robot soldiers can be recycled, or can become, robot cops.

        1. Gabriel

          On robot-soldiers, see a piece last year old Gary Brecher AKA John Dolan AKA The War Nerd:

          What is intriguing about robot units in CI warfare is that emotion, the key of guerrilla strategy, is off the table—unless the people programming and running the automated units project their fickle, unstable reactions onto their robots. Which is all too possible. And in that case—well, it would be just as easy to program automated soldiers to kill everything that moved in a certain neighborhood as to focus on helping repair the infrastructure. But an occupying power could use nukes for that, more quickly and cheaply than robot soldiers.

          What robot soldiers could do is just as scary, though: Make outright colonialism a practical option again. If guerrillas can’t provoke reprisals by playing on the soldiers’ fear and hate, then there’s only one other player in the game whose emotions can be exploited—the civilian population. That puts the guerrilla in the occupying army’s traditional role. It’s the human guerrillas—as vengeful and unpredictable as most humans are—who become resented, even if the neighborhood agrees, in theory, with their struggle against occupation. The guerrillas are the only wild card, so they are the element to fear and eventually, to hate.

          Meanwhile, the people running the occupation feed in replacement units and plan how to siphon off whatever it is they wanted in the occupied area, a world away from the shooting. And their machine-soldiers—never homesick, never scared, never angry—can keep this up forever, or until a newer model comes along. No doubt some company will become the Toyota of machine-soldiers, and their commercials will feature a rusty old unit suddenly famous because the guerrilla this veteran unit just killed turns out to be the great-grandson of the first one it neutralized when shipped to the occupation zone as a squeaky-clean product, fresh out of the carton.

          Opening of the new Robocop (underrated, I think, tho’ am fan of director) has opening scene of occupied Tehran being patrolled by such, with a nice idea of what insurgent strategy will be like in that case.

          1. different clue

            This whole “John Dolan IS the War Nerd” thing seems very strange to me. I get the feeling that John Dolan IS the War Nerd NOW . . . but that someone ELSE used to be the War Nerd THEN. Maybe even a real Gary Brecher.

    2. susan the other

      We are following a neoliberal template. Export your way to prosperity. It just so happens that the thing we are able to sell best is military stuff. So neoliberalism, once again, sacrifices democracy and good social policy for the demands of global paranoia and graft. In the recently vilified Germany, policies focus on full employment and lenders taking a stake in the project, not on quick, drive-by profiteering. I’m not sure if Germany exports any military goods, I know they were forbidden from that manufacturing for a long time, but if they ever get the go-ahead it’ll really be a free-for-all in the wonderful world of exports. Exporting is truly a joke on humanity.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Agnotology. I think the powers that be really want people to be stupider, and to lead shorter and more brutish lives.

      Otherwise, they would create more industry, but “the business of America is business.” So, because markets.

  9. Ed

    The NY Times article “When Retirement Savings is Unsafe” has 140 comments as of 9:25 AM. I thought the first comment, from “Sam” from Albany, GA, to provide particularly notable information. Sam provided an unformatted chart showing early and median retirement ages, and employment rates at various ages, for the US and for fifteen other countries. All but two of the other countries are wealthy European countries.

    US early and normal retirement ages are in line with the rest of the developed world. These are generally 60-67 and have been that way for some time.

    Two thirds (66%) of Americans between the ages of 55 and 59 are employed. This is notably higher than the employment rate for working age (18 to 65) adults in this country as a whole. Of the countries Sam lists, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK have higher percentages of their adults in this age group working.

    The percentage of Americans between the ages of 60 and 64 who are employed is 43%. In this case, at least it is lower than the employment rate for the working age population as a whole. It is beaten only by Sweden and Switzerland. A fifth of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 (20%) are employed. None of the other fifteen countries Sam lists comes close to this. The runner up is the UK at 10%.

    The US even keeps 5% of its adults over the age of 70 employed. Average life expectancy in the US is somewhere in the mid-70s. Of the countries Sam lists, only Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden show any percentages in this category greater than 0%, the runner up being the UK at 2%.

    Sam’s point, which seems to me unarguable given the data, is that the US is an outlier in terms of how many of its older adults are kept in the workforce.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s why they are ‘lazy’ countries

      If you are over 80 and not working, shame on you.

      (End of sarcasm)

      Question: Are those working Americans between the ages of 65-69 (20% of them) working to support their children and grandchildren (many of them unemployed at the present)? Are they as caring as Greek parents and grandparents?

      1. neo-realist

        Two people that I know of who are over 70 who still work do so because they don’t have any savings to fall back on in addition to social security, so they keep going as long as they can. One of the two likes to spend money, so he believes he has to work to support a spendthrift lifestyle.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      “Two thirds (66%) of Americans between the ages of 55 and 59 are employed. ”

      US Corps are sending job offshore at breakneck speed. They disproportionately target older workers (age 50 and up) and go to great pains to hide that fact to avoid age discrimination law suits. No companies want to hire workers at age 50+. IMO That explains it.

  10. Eric Patton

    I love the Reuters article on the weapons the US needs but doesn’t want. I hope the Pentagon brass are aware that, in the event of another world war, German planes will have radar this time. Nor will German political leadership, this time, prevent their military from taking another country’s capital when they are within range of hearing said capital’s church bells.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Taking Berlin was not enough, though, for general Patton.

      “All the way to MockBa! Gotta do it while our boys are still here.”

  11. vidimi

    re: the ashley madison hack, one guardian reporter published an article that read to me exactly like the kind of article i might write were i worried i’d be exposed as a cheater in the hack:

    I set up an Ashley Madison profile last year to investigate the site’s claims to have built an “infidelity map of the UK”. But when I attempted to delete my account, I was presented with a £15 charge. Given that the service prides itself on its discretion, I decided my personal information would probably be safe, and I forgot all about it – until yesterday.

    you’re a reporter, any link to that story? nope, dog ate your homework?

  12. diptherio

    I knew ripping-off retirees was big business…heck, if I didn’t have such a strong ethical grounding, I would probably have gone into that business shortly after I started reading NC and realized exactly how dumb otherwise smart people can be when it comes to finance. Lots of money to be made fleecing the sheep…but I didn’t realize just how much (from the NYT blog on the pending fiduciary rule):

    Using conservative assumptions, the Labor Department has estimated that the new regulations would save investors more than $40 billion over ten years, money that would otherwise flow to advisers in the form of excessive fees and other charges.

    So, giving bad advice to people about their retirement investments is a $4 billion per year industry! Wow. I may need to rethink my ethical commitments…daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

    1. Chris B

      I am an Autistic and I agree with that critical response 100%. Maybe the Post is not being malicious but those article do more for misunderstanding than understanding the issue.

      I live in a culture that was not created by Autistics, that puts a stress on me that only Autistics can understand. This leads to health problems. My Autism does not cause health problems, it is not living how I need to live that causes my health problems. Diet, environmental and social stressors can throw me off for days.

      To me these health issues are the same for any minority. It is our genetics that determine what environment we need to live in to be healthy. But capitalist economics abhors diversity and is dominated by white, male, neurotypicals.

      As for me, I learned to live in my own world, and my health has benefited a thousand fold.

      Yves, I have a feeling that you are one of us.

  13. Hacker

    re: Microsoft patch

    Yikes not. The patch itself is just another patch. User have to open a file for the exploit to work, so this affects the stupid who open anything unexpected. The backstory, which is not referenced to at all in the article that was linked just goes to show how serious Microsoft is about protecting its customers from unscrupulous law enforcement. I put that in bold, so those that see this as a tech thing that they don’t want to bother with will pay a bit more attention.

    This zero day was being sold by a company called Hacking Team to governments and law enforcement agencies across the globe. Hacking Team was themselves hacked and their entire corporate data leaked out. Thus it was learned that Hacking Team was violating legal and ethical standards and selling their software to repressive regimes. Also learned was all the secret tricks they were selling, often to the powerful to allow them to hack the opposition.

    That Microsoft saw fit to release this patch out of their regular patch cycle shows a genuine concern to get people protected as soon as possible. Other than the Hacking Team software, as I speak there are no public exploits available yet. Microsoft could have waited a bit, especially since a user has to open something for this exploit to work. They didn’t wait, and that’s a good thing.

    1. Lambert Strether

      When I see an exploit that applies to all Windows versions, I say “Yikes.” You point out that Microsoft acted rapidly (out of their usual bug release cycle, AFAIK). Yes, that’s a good thing.

    2. hunkerdown

      Right, the same company that lets governments monitor their inside services network to ensure “lawful access” to their users’ systems and data. Those $89 rec ounces in Colorado must be REAL good.

      Don’t neglect that the “something” that the user needs to have “done” is nothing more than viewing anything over non-secure HTTP through IE with a man in the middle somewhere, an action that many applications take rather nonchalantly to provide up-to-date user documentation or in-app marketing.

      VUPEN and others are presumably still around and, being Players in the space, most likely have their own 0-days going back to XP RTM. This is not Microsoft taking action because they’re nice people. Corporations are not nice people. Corporations are infants trying to get what they want and avoid punishment. This is far more likely Microsoft attempting to boost their threadbare credibility as an OS vendor as they’re trying to launch the operating-system-as-a-service business model and stay on the right side of their national government.

  14. twonine

    RE: Trump and the Onion. Thom Hartmann makes the point, “anybody who seriously wants to become president of the United States need only repudiate so-called free trade to get a serious hearing from the American working-class electorate.”

  15. financial matters

    I think Bill Mitchell says it well in his blog today. This sort of thinking at the ECB, EC, Fed, US Congress etc level is stopping many good ideas (single payer, K-16 free education, environmental work, full employment at living wage) in their tracks.

    “The same holds today of course. I often have conversations with The Greens at various levels, who hold themselves out as the progressive force in Australian politics. The conversations come to a dead-end when they tell me in one form or another that the Government cannot ‘afford’ or cannot ‘pay’ for full employment or some such, or needs to ‘tax more fairly’ to ensure the rich pay for the spending.

    At that point, I know that their social and environmental plans are ‘dust’ because they would accept voluntary financial constraints on government spending that would limit the scope of the federal government to achieve the desirable ends they articulate.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Even with constraints, the government can spend more to help domestically.

      Here is how: Just take from the money spent on non-progressive stuff, a lot of them abroad.

      On the other hand, without constraints, more will, that’s 100% certain, be spent on non-progressive stuff to create more bad people than they take out.

      1. financial matters

        One of the problems for sure is that the ‘constraints’ only seem to be mentioned for progressive stuff. We always hear them with Medicare,social security and student debt. We don’t usually hear that problem with military spending, surveillance spending, or propping up banks or the stock market.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We can respond to the constraints they claim by confronting them directly with the demand for re-allocation from non-progressive spending to progressive spending.

          The trap they are setting is for us to remove constraints. Then, for sure, non-progressive spending will be the main beneficiary. And I agree it’s easier and tempting to just take that offer.

          1. financial matters

            The constraints aren’t there already. That’s why they were able to come up with a multiple trillion dollar bailout package for the financial system and can continue to fund a security state.

            When you get into the social contract of money the questions become is this how we want to allocate resources. What do we consider important? What makes sense in terms of sustainability? What sort of things can we finance to lower inequality and make this a healthier sort of life? The re-allocation you mention is important. Rather than saying we can’t fund it we could be saying does it make sense to fund this.

          2. neo-realist

            They respond by telling us that the world is too dangerous to cut back on the non-progressive spending since ISIS or Al Qaida boogie man is hiding under a manhole cover waiting to bring the terror to us.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From above:

        Resilc: “We have bridges on I-10 that fall down, but we’re going to fund more war like this. Maybe California/Arizona should report I-10 was cut by is2 in order to get federal highway funds rolling?”

  16. Jim Haygood

    All your food are belong to us:

    Venezuela’s embattled government has taken the drastic step of forcing food producers to sell their produce to the state, in a bid to counter ever-worsening shortages.

    Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores.

    Shortages, rationing and queues outside supermarkets have become a way of life for Venezuelans, as their isolated country battles against rigid currency controls and a shortage of US dollars – making it difficult for Venezuelans to find imported goods.

    Doubtless the Bolivarian Workers Paradise will become a culinary paradise as well, once the teething troubles of the new ‘farm to state rations’ system are sorted out.

    After all, it worked so well in Zimbabwe!

    1. susan the other

      What can Venezuela do? Open wide to neoliberalism? When their major export just died? Cuba won, not because they sold the family jewels but because they had a social core, a social vision. And maybe because they were a bargaining chip between Russia and the US – but we might not get the skinny on that one. Otherwise cuba would have died decades ago.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “….a shortage of U.S. dollars…”

      Don’t they have some Chinese Yuan Renminbi?

  17. IsabelPS

    Here is a artcle of May 2010 about the exposure of European banks to Greek debt (Portuguese banks second only to Greek banks, next being German banks):

    Thanks for your attempts of telling things in their complexity. I’m fed up with this stupid narrative: Germans = evil, Greeks = victims.

    And thank God you are Americans so you are probably spared a lot of European crap, like: “that bitter old-man in a wheelchair…”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s up there with

      1 the entire nation is guilty
      2. the entire nation wants to have a cake and eat it too
      3. the entire nation is lazy
      4 the entire political party is bigoted
      5. people are stupid (well, this one is less clear. Some people or everyone?)

      On the other hand, it seems to me that the entire human race is guilty of destroying nature. Something basic and common to the way we live our lives that makes all guilty…in some ways. No saints among us.

      So, maybe I should say the above 5 examples can be correct, in some ways.

      1. different clue

        You are confusing “western industrial man” with “the human race”. Large chunks of the “human race” lived within nature and even upgraded it while upgrading themselves. Indian Nations terraforming the Amazon, for example.

  18. alex morfesis

    greece / the myth of the 35 bil you-rowz…

    michael bohndorf was spied on by D(iablo) B(ankenstein) among others and frankfort prosecutors opened up a case around oct.9, 2009… luckily for muti, her pet greek mouthpiece had won the election a few days earlier and right on que to move the media story away from seimens and db…
    papandreou announces on oct 16 that greece has a major budget problem…so everyone ignore the man behind the curtain and look look over here…is it really that easy for the financial media to miss the obvious ?

  19. susan the other

    Lars Syll: Lars Jonung on euroskepticism: Discussing the optimum area for a common currency. The US seems to be optimum, so why not Europe? Somewhere in this brief analysis the words Economic and Political got interchanged. Just like Djesslbloem interated about the euro being a political construct and not an economic one, and therefore it had to be refined so that it worked economically, the article confuses our dialog that the EU itself is an economic construct and not a political one. I think a new vocabulary is in order. Those two words seem to be passing in the night.

  20. Propertius

    I’m waiting for the Microsoft security patch that wipes out your Windows installation and replaces it with Linux.

  21. Gio Bruno

    RE: Oysters and sea change

    This little video is both virtuous and vapid. While the acidification of the sea is of a real concern for marine life, the NATIVE oysters of the California coast disappeared via over-consumption around the time of the SF Quake & Fire(1906). The oysters seen in the video are farmed, Japan oysters that are not as ecologically vibrant as native oysters.

    The stunning views and lack of development seen in the video is a result of the Point Reyes National Park boundaries that encompass Drakes Bay and the northern, finger-like Tomales Bay.
    The Park Service has recently removed oyster farming from Drakes Bay in an effort to return to the native oyster ecosystem.

    While ocean acidification is affecting all marine life, a native specie of oyster is better suited to survive than are farmed, Japan oysters.

  22. Oregoncharles

    “How autistic adults banded together to start a movement”

    Good for them – but this piece has considerable personal relevance for me, as well as evoking a pet grudge. “Personal” as in my son has Asperger’s, those who know me say I have it,and my wife taught special ed, the most handicapped, for years.

    Her first reaction on seeing the video: “She isn’t autistic” – with confirming details. What Alanna is, is odd, eccentric, maybe neurotic. The problem here, and with the article, is that the psychologists fudged the definition years ago, with the effect, and probably intent, of concealing the ongoing epidemic of autism and related (?) conditions. Briefly: Asperger’s, whatever it is, isn’t autism. There is nothing ambiguous about classic autism. The shrinks “cured” Asperger’s by abolishing the word. Clever, that, but not honest.

    Turns out all those people have a “spectrum” – “Autism spectrum,” a front runner for stupidest diagnosis ever. They tossed in everything with even slight similarity to autism. The effect, and intent, was to vastly inflate the numbers, and include a huge population who are at least potentially functional – which truly autistic people are not.

    One result is this movement. They may not quite realize it, but these people resent being lumped in with those who can hardly speak or relate to others. There is a caveat: an Asperger’s group is pretty much a contradiction in terms; they’re notoriously asocial, their biggest single problem. It will be interesting to see how far this movement gets – I’ll tell my son about it (too late for me).

    Oh, yes: the CDC recently announced that, yes, the numbers of “autistic” people, even by the new definition, are definitely still increasing. We still have an epidemic on our hands, which has to be caused by something in the environment. Like modern life.

  23. different clue

    Yves Smith,

    I know nothing of physical combat myself at any level whatsoever. But since you have learned a very high-level form of it, I am wondering whether two posts by a Richard Sale that I read on Colonel Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis blog might be of some interest to you, given that they are about high-level close combat.
    Here they are.

    and . . .

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