Links 7/23/15

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain New York Times. Aargh. I hate to be a critic, but this is junk science. One group walked in a park while the other “strolled for the same amount of time near heavy traffic.” Heavy traffic is noisy and disagreeable! To see if the “walking in the park” effect is valid, you’d need to construct a no-stress alternative. Walking on a treadmill? Walking in a quiet but no-nature setting (say, ugh, mall walking)?

Meet ‘Fried Jesus,’ the State Fair Food Genius Who Invented Deep-Fried Butter Munchies. Resilc: “USA USA is the most foreign country I’ve ever visited.”

Toxic Waste Sullies Solar’s Squeaky Clean Image OilPrice

Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times The Register. Chuck L:

Sadly the reports on precise causes are incomplete and the vast majority of deaths and injuries are simply listed as “malfunction,” which could mean either the mechanical surgery unit failed or the operator cocked up, coauthor Dr Ramen told El Reg.

There are other loose ends, such as rates of injury and death from “conventional” surgery.

Chinese economy concerns wipe $40bn off value of Apple Guardian (furzy mouse)

Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens Telegraph. Important. I need to spend more time posting on China, but this is great one-stop shopping for now. Victor Shih warned in 2011 of the danger of financial liberalization, that capital flight by the wealthy would derail China’s growth model.

Stock Downturn Hits Chinese Investors in the Heart, Not Just the Wallet New York Times

Giant Hedge Fund Bridgewater Flips View on China: ‘No Safe Places to Invest’ Wall Street Journal

‘Action required to stop sinking of the Capital‘ (meaning Bangkok). The Nation (furzy mouse)

Crisis in Greece overshadows campaign in Portugal poll Financial Times

Annoying Euro Apologetics Paul Krugman. Swedish Lex:

I have pointed at the difference in economic performance between the countries post 2008. Finland is apparently digging itself deeper and deeper into the euro hole. Swedes say “what crisis?”

Krugman omits to mention that both Finland and Sweden devalued massively in the early 90s (in particular in relation to the DM), which pushed growth in both countries for at least 10 years. Then Finland joined the euro.

Finland would have everything to gain by a multi-trillion EU fiscal stimulus financed with euro bonds. Only they do not seem to understand that.


Greek parliament approves next phase in bailout reforms Guardian (furzy mouse)

Athens delays increasing farmers’ taxes Financial Times

Alexis Tsipras and His Syriza Party Clash as Greece Faces Another Deadline New York Times

Why the Greek deal will work Project Syndicate. A remarkably contrarian reading, but Kaletsky was virtually the only pundit who predicted that Tsipras would capitulate.

Intentionally or otherwise, Schäuble has killed off the prospect of a Grexit EUROPP

Property prices may drop up to 18 pct by 2017 ekathimerini. This sounds rosy, particularly since, as I recall, real estate taxes are set to increase.

Greece is more useful to Russia inside the EU than out Financial Times

Did Putin Sell Out Greece? Bloomberg. We’ve never seen what Putin would have to gain from meddling with Greece now. He can do better by waiting to see if things become more unstable, which lowers the cost of any intervention and gives him more perceived legitimacy. Plus any money he would have given early this year would have gone straight into the hands of the creditors, including the IMF, which is funding the war in Ukraine despite its rules against that sort of thing.

Why Piketty is wrong Suddeutsche Zietung. Brace yourself.

The Mystery Of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ Popularity Even After Austerity Huffington Post

Diary, Tariq Ali London Review of Books (Sid S). On recent events in Greece.


Persia’s approaching gold rush Pepe Escobar, RT

Saudi Arabia Approves of Iran Nuclear Deal, U.S. Defense Chief Says New York Times. Resilc: “We must have closed the deal on selling them a bomb.”

Martin O’Malley’s Link Between Climate Change and ISIS Isn’t Crazy Atlantic (furzy mouse)


Pentagon Moves to Send Better Radar to Ukraine Wall Street Journal. This article struck me as black humor. So souped-up radar is a magic bullet to solve the flagging war effort in the east? This is a variant of the standard Obama formula, that every problem can be solved with better propaganda. Here, the corollary is that every combat problem can be solved with better tech toys. Ahem, the real issue is as I understand it the soldiers from the west don’t want this fight. You can’t solve for troops with no resolve.

Imperial Collapse Watch

How to Speak Foreign Policy Like a Beltway Native Foreign Policy (Valissa comment at Sic Semper Tyrannis)

It ain’t over til it’s over: America’s wars drag on no matter what officials say Guardian (reslic)

Drug Companies Pushed From Far and Wide to Explain High Prices New York Times. Long overdue.

Senate Bill May Kick 200,000 Off Social Security If They Have Arrest Warrant Alternet (furzy mouse). And it goes without saying that this population will be disproportionately black.

20 ways Bernie Sanders has stood up for civil and minority rights Alternet. Ditto: “A powerful indictment of the swift boating of Sanders on racial and civil rights issues.”

The Democratic nomenklatura and #BlackLivesMatter Lambert. Important.

Donald Trump leaves indelible mark on Republicans Ed Luce, Financial Times

Republican contenders scrambling to adjust to ‘Trumpism’ Associated Press

Scott Walker: Military Actions on Inaugural Day are ‘Very Possible’ Nation (furzy mouse). In which Walker reveals himself to be simultaneously insane and incompetent. Unless he plans to hit the big red nuclear button, you don’t launch military operations with no planning, and a new Commander in Chief can’t order up plans until he is sworn in.

The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood New York Times

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Assessing the Legality of Sandra Bland’s Arrest New York Times

AG Lynch: Dylann Roof Indicted on 33 Counts, Hate Crime Charges NBC (furzy mouse)

My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3. Washington Post

Ferguson taps interim police chief who backs changes Reuters

Man dies after police hogtie him at Mississippi concert Reuters (EM). To the point that whites also get brutalized by cops (one assumes he was white; you’d expect the media to mention race if he were black, given that police brutality against blacks in now in the spotlight).

NY regulator sends message to Symphony Financial Times. This is a very positive sign about the seriousness of the Department of Financial Services in the post-Lawsky era. Symphony is designed to allow confidential market-rigging. How the hell can that be legal? And of course, the DoJ and SEC are completely missing in action.

Class Warfare

Los Angeles County board adopts mandatory minimum wage hike Reuters (EM)

In nation’s capital, $15-hour minimum wage is headed toward 2016 ballot Washington Post (furzy mouse)

UC will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, heightening focus on efforts to boost the rate statewide Los Angeles Times

New York Plans $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers New York Times

Cuomo praises Uber, takes stand against NYC bill to cap growth New York Daily News

Some LaGuardia, JFK airport workers to strike starting Wednesday Reuters (EM)

Leveraging Twinkies Yields $905 Million in Private-Equity Payout Bloomberg. EM: “I love the smell of napalmed unions in the morning – it smells like … victory…”

Antidote du jour (Stephen L):

staggered_husky links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Kokuanani

    Thinking about the possibility of Walker, and especially Trump, having access to “the Red Button”: seems like it’s time to bring back those “daisy ads” of the campaign against Barry Goldwater .

    Just a few commercial with Trump’s “you’re fired” demeanor linked with The Bomb exploding would be interesting and make a valid point.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      I’d feel safer with Trump having his fingers near the infamous “red button” than Lindsey “Bomb those brown folk” Graham, Hillary or Shrub II. It’s the neo-cons who are the most dangerous. Trump is probably more talk than action.

    2. CSTH

      Yves, you’re assuming integrity in the chain of command.

      An anecdote: my brother in law gave me a tour of an Air Force facility in FLA in 2011. There was still a portrait of GW Bush above the desk of the commanding office of the facility. I asked where the portrait of Obama was and my brother in law responded: “we hate that man”.

      But, yes, Walked likely to be both insane and incompetent nonetheless.

    3. neo-realist

      It makes me wonder if Walker is getting bad advice from advisors who were planted for the purpose of discrediting him as a Commander in Chief. He’s sounding like a male Sarah Palin with each passing day.

      Trump—Kabuki theater for the beltway and entertainment magazine fodder until Jeb hustles and macks his way to the nomination.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Palin wasn’t part of the club. She might not have supported a bailout on her own. If the elite feel they can count on a candidate, a candidate can say virtually anything and get away with it. This is Trump’s problem.

        John McCain says crazy stuff every five seconds and is treated as an expert. McCain is part of the club.

  2. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Assessing the Legality of Sandra Bland’s Arrest
    “Failure to use a turn signal is technically an arrestable offense in Texas”

    The cop was clearly trolling for violations. He was speeding to get behind her even though she did nothing wrong. It probably freaked her out and in the rush to get out of the cop’s way she forgot to use the turn signal. Then cop quickly escalates it into an arrest. I’m not buying the suicide either. Too much cop thuggery going on here.

    1. Inverness

      Even if she did commit suicide — why on earth was it possible to? In jail, suicide should be impossible. Don’t they confiscate all belts, etc. Furthermore, even an otherwise healthy individual could be moved to extremes when jailed for failing to signal/being an “uppity black woman.” The mind shudders to think of what that poor woman was experiencing. With or without a mental illness, losing your freedom for nothing, even temporarily is hellish.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Yup. And clearly the cops were flat out lying about the video. They claimed the video was not edited ,but that it got screwed up in the upload process. It showed the same cars driving by the scene multiple times. Well, I am a computer programmer and there is no way the upload could have foobared the video in that way. My guess is they cut out incriminating segments and refilled the segments with repeats of innocuous footage. Everything about this case Stinks Big Time.

      2. vidimi

        i can’t imagine the difficulty of committing suicide with a plastic bag. the ease of suffocating someone with a plastic bag is very easy to imagine, however.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          “suffocating someone with a plastic bag ”
          And it would produce the same skin markings as hanging. Piece of cake to setup a fake suicide.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d like to know how many citations this “officer” has written for this violation in the past and how many of those drivers were arrested and jailed. In the “technical” sense.

      Oh, and what was the breakdown by skin color of these heinous scofflaws?

      “Big data” should be able to handle that.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Good question. This is clearly a Bully Cop who won’t tolerate ‘back talk’ from a civilian. He was going to get this arrest one way or another once she said she was annoyed by the reason for the traffic stop. “Put your cigarette out” was nothing more than a provocation.

      2. vidimi

        this is a bit of a red herring. bland wasn’t murdered by this particular cop, even though this guy played a lead role. she was murdered by the entire police department, each of whom played a part.

        1. Vatch

          A police officer who escalates a situation, and then uses the escalation as an excuse to abusively arrest a person could be considered a kidnapper.

          1. vidimi

            no doubt. i’m just saying that firing and charging this guy or, worse, just treating him as a bad apple, won’t do anything to curb the problem which is a police force run amok. he may have brought her to the station for detention but then other cops kept her there and, likely, murdered her.

    3. Chris in Paris

      I was so uncomfortable reading this NYT thing. It seemed like it should be titled “Smart White People’s legal view of Sandra Bland’s Arrest”. I mean, the constitutional law on this sort of thing is um, pretty clear and of course you could argue it from both sides but this article takes an extremely conservative position; essentially taking no position at all.

      1. Xihuitl

        I’m puzzled by the “arrested for resisting arrest” part. What were the legal grounds for the arrest that she was resisting that then caused her to be arrested? She’d complied with the “lawful order” to get out of the car.

    4. Bridget

      “Failure to use a turn signal is technically an arrestable offense in Texas”

      Hmmmm. While traffic violations in Texas, as in many states, are criminal offenses, (the exception being civil red light camera violations) they are Class C misdemeanors and punishable by fine only. No jail time allowed. So I fail to see how failure to use a turn signal can be an arrestable offense, technically or otherwise.

      1. Howard Beale IV

        Of course they are-that’s why whenever any Fed flashes a badge at your face your only action is to say nothing.

        1. hidflect

          Refusal to speak can be twisted into an offence. Military people in the UK are taught to use a specific phrase to avoid breaking the law, “I have nothing to say to you.” That’s it. Repeat ad nauseum. You’re not refusing to respond or any other cr@p.

  3. dante

    New York seeks data on new Wall St deletion, encryption tools

    (Reuters) – New York state’s banking regulator, citing use of chat room transcripts to find evidence of wrongdoing, on Wednesday asked Symphony Communications Services LLC, a messaging and communications start-up, for information on the deletion and encryption capabilities of its products.

    Wall Street-backed Symphony markets instant messaging and other products with “guaranteed data deletion” and other privacy features, according to a July 22 letter to Symphony from the acting superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, Anthony Albanese.

    The letter noted authorities used chat room transcripts and other communications retained by banks to uncover evidence of schemes to rig benchmark interest and foreign exchange rates.

    Under New York law, banks are obligated to retain records of their operations, Albanese said in the letter, to Symphony Chief Executive David Gurle.

    The New York regulator is seeking details of the data deletion, end-to-end encryption and open-source features of the Symphony’s tools. The regulator also wants to know whether Symphony’s encryption technology can prevent review by regulators.

    Eric Scott Hunsader ‏@nanexllc 11h
    Dear SEC, CFTC, NY AG, Subpoena the code. It’s much better than email/chat/instant messaging Set a precedent Raise the bar

    Eric Scott Hunsader ‏@nanexllc 11h11 hours ago

    This is Rich! Goldman, etc. to SEC, CFTC, NY AG: You guys can’t get us anymore!

    Led by Goldman Sachs, the consortium invested $66 million in the venture, called Symphony Communication Services Holdings, according to a statement from Symphony.

    Symphony in turn acquired Perzo, a two-year-old startup founded by veteran communications software executive David Gurle. Goldman contributed its in-house messaging developments to the new company, which Gurle will lead as chief executive.

  4. allan

    Lambert’s post “The Democratic nomenklatura and #BlackLivesMatter ” doesn’t mention that, in reaction to Ferguson, the administration made a lot of noise about cutting back on the 1033 swords-into-plowsharesSWAT teams program. But, hard as it is to believe, the cuts were largely meaningless and will leave the worst hardware transfers (including surveillance hardware) in place. It’s almost as if it were a charade meant for low-information voters. Nah, couldn’t be.

    The Democratic nomenklatura has spoken.

    1. mle detroit

      No kidding. And “regulatory capture” hit its apotheosis when Geithner, on behalf of his MOTU bosses, captured the naive newbie Obama.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think Obama never really intended to govern as much as play President. Geithner, Gates, Bernanke, Vilsack, not firing the federal prosecutors, not reviewing the executive departments, saving Joe lieberman’s chairmanship, tolerating pelosi’s equal committee nonsense was more about shirking responsibility and leaving power in the grasp of old hands. Obama didn’t want to face criticism for changes, so he left power with whoever was around.

        Iran and Cuba are low hanging fruit. The problems are on the U.S. end. They could have been no muss no fuss in 2009, and American businesses would have better opportunities to get in or compete versus Europe and Asia. Why didn’t he act then? He didn’t want to be criticized. He went after immigrants and poor drug users because they are poor andeasy cases to make. With white collar prosecutions, Obama might face criticism. Now he is worried about his empty library which is going to rip up a public park which is why he announces the occasional executive order.

        DADT’s repeal, his evolved position on gay marriage, firing Shinseki, withdrawing from Iraq (he was aggressively lobbying to keep troops in past W’s withdrawal deadline), etc. all came after the stink started to get past his Teflon sheen. I wouldn’t say he is naive or beholden to Wall Street as much as he just doesn’t want to do the job of a good President.

        For me, this will always be the money quote: “What we’re also discovering is insurance is also complicated to buy” -Obama November 2013

        He simply doesn’t care.

        1. Mark P.

          [1] You are naive. Obama IS beholden to Wall Street AND he DOESN’T want to do the job of a good president.

          He was specifically prepped and put in place to forestall any FDR-style nonsense, as Bernanke was placed at the Fed on the basis of his “helicopter-printing-press” papers and financial speeches to do QE for the banks when the crunch — obviously coming — arrived in 2007-8.

          It was and is that simple.

          [2] That said, be fully appreciative of what the Obama administration has done on Iran and Cuba. The Iran deal, particularly, is potentially a massive help both for the global geopolitical situation and for the U.S. in the long term.

          1. vidimi

            saying that obama is not beholden to wall street after receiving record contributions from wall street in each of his presidential runs does strike indeed as a bit naive.

        2. Bridget

          “I think Obama never really intended to govern as much as play President.”

          I think that Obama can’t tell the difference. Read his resume.

  5. DJG

    Guardian article by Trevor Timm on endless war: “This is a variant of the standard Obama formula, that every problem can be solved with better propaganda.” The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya are being conducted by the administration largely for domestic consumption, not as a strategy of foreign policy. Such disastrous tactics satisfy the Hillary Clintons and John McCains of the USA, which means the easily buffaloed general public.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      “The [Syrian] rebels also come at an astronomical price-tag for the US of $4m for each rebel…”
      Lucky US Taxpayers are so rich and can afford it. (Steve Austin action figure included with each purchase)

      The Looting Of The Taxpayers on these Undeclared Wars has gone way beyond absurdity. IMO Obama’s greatest failure (or scam depending on how you judge him). I’m in the scam camp.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s a good thing we don’t have national “healthcare” or free college education here. It’s also lucky we don’t overspend on AMERICAN veterans of the middle east conflicts. If we did, we might not be able to afford “our” rebels.

        Just like “ordinary” american households, budgets must be prioritized. Sheesh, it’s not like we can just PRINT money!!!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Bob Corker announced Payton Manning would give money to the families of the soldiers killed in Chattanooga. There was no mention of Corker’s senate efforts.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Corker is pathetic. What is he trying to do, get some credit for Manning’s donation?

          1. Jim Haygood

            For all practical purposes, the MIC Gravy train IS the government now.

            If you see something, say something.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Twas ever thus!

              Gramsci, e.g., argued that the state and civil society were separate only for the purposes of enquiry; this is the 30,000-foot view of the “revolving door,” Flexians, etc.

  6. DJG

    Pepe Escobar on Iran’s prospects. Wowsers. Iran is more of an economic powerhouse than anyone suspected (or that I did). Was that the real reason for the sanctions, as still another failed tactic in the Middle East to keep the Iranians under control for the benefit of Our Friends the Saudis?

    Anyhow, so who is going to organize the Naked Capitalism tour of the Persian Axis of Evil? Fourteen days, thirteen nights, consorting with ayatollahs. The occasional lecture on Islamic capitalism to get us an education-related tax deduction. Tours of mosques so as to understand how sharia law will be imposed on Texas. Dinners with fessenjan. Bastani for dessert!

    1. LifelongLib

      I’ve been seeing TV ads opposing the Iran nuclear deal. If they’re running here in Hawaii I assume they’re nationwide. Any ideas on who’s behind them?

    2. Jess

      With that kind of sarcasm/satire you’re beginning to encroach on Craazyman’s turf. Well done.

  7. BillC

    Re. the piece published in the Süddeutsche, “Why Picketty Is Wrong:”

    The German-language version is labeled “a guest contribution by Ludger Schuknecht” and both versions are supertitled as “the German Finance Ministry on Greece.”

    In around 35 years of occasional Süddeutsche reads, I don’t remember ever noticing a news or opinion piece in English. While guest commentary is common in the SZ, as in most papers, the supertitle suggests to me that editors are signaling that the piece is what it appears to be: a piece of self-serving official propaganda by one of Dr. Schäuble’s key acolytes, not a fairly-reasoned opinion piece.

    OTOH, maybe they’re trying to make up for no SZ comics section.

    1. susan the other

      I thought it was creepy. A heavy dose of neoliberalism sprinkled with touches of Nazi national socialism. It could have been written by Hitler’s acolytes. Just yesterday there was gossip about a new central core to be established for the EU consisting of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy. The idea of a “core” really eliminates the idea of a union doesn’t it? All for the protection of Germany and France in order to maintain “price stability.” So that the euro remains strong. Aka austerity for the periphery. This guy completely disregards all of the facts proving that neoliberal austerity has made things worse. There is no way the EU will survive with maneuvering like this. As to his allegation that Germany has transferred lots of money to the periphery, it might be a good idea to get an accounting of that. If it was just to sell Mercedes, it might not work again. Especially since cars are all on their way out. The big con about competitiveness and the joys of export is becoming obvious.

      1. susan the other

        Also along these fractures: Daniel Stelter (German) has written a spinoff of Picketty’s Capaital in the 21 Century entitled Debt in the 21 Century which refutes the idea that capital can keep growing at the expense of the economy in a world recession, and making inequality worse will lessen. Stelter says the culprit is debt, both public and private. He sounds a lot like Steve Keen and his view is conservative. Much like Schuknecht above. except Keen favors a jubilee and Schuknecht favors something like debtor’s prison. The only thing we know is that something has caused inequality and environmental destruction. I think it is a misunderstanding of what money is – but that idea is impossible to sell to a world full of imperialists.

        1. BillC

          Thanks, StO! Just added “Die Schulden im 21. Jahrhundert” to my e-reader wish list. The blurb looks good (ever seen a bad one?). I guess I ought to stick my head out of the MMT tent every once in a while; they might not all be mere tools of TPTB.

          There’s a bit more in English on Stelter’s book here. Money quote for me at the end of the piece: The monetary system also contributed to the growing debt by allowing banks to create money. A new monetary system, where private money creation was not possible to this exten[t], would be desirable, Stelter said.

      2. Lexington

        So Schuknecht offers a reasoned defence of the troika’s policies and your response is to scream “Nazi!”

        Yet he is the one being creepy?

  8. Vatch

    “How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain New York Times. . . .Walking in a quiet but no-nature setting”

    I enjoy walking in nature, but I also enjoy browsing in a library or a bookstore. I agree with your objection. They need to test a low stress artificial environment.

    1. Brian

      The similarity thus is only walking. In a bookstore, everything is as expected and the surprises come only with new titles. In nature, there is a surprise everywhere you look. You have thousands of things to distract you from the thousands of things to distract you.

    2. cripes

      “How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain”
      Yes, but it’s likely the alternative is walking/running behind bus fumes on Park Ave. I’ve always been horrified when well-accoutered joggers pass by on a busy street inhaling noxious fumes at twice the normal rate and then jogging in place while they wait for the light. Why do they do it? Maybe the study proves that walking in dense urban areas suck. Unless it’s the West Village. So it says something.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Greek – property prices may drop up to 18% by 2017.

    Why the rush to buy islands now?

    Shouldn’t a smart investor wait?

    1. Brindle

      I found this article in The Root interesting. It makes some good points but also some fuzzy conclusions. Inequality means different things to different people, I’m not sure what the answer is.

      —“Today, as the shadow of crisis recedes and longer-term challenges come into focus, I believe we have to build a ‘growth and fairness’ economy,” Hillary Clinton beckoned in a recent speech on the economy. “You can’t have one without the other.”

      But you can’t have that economic-inequality discussion without the racial-inequality discussion, either, try as hard as you might to disconnect them. Still, leave the white woman running for president to tell it, and the worst critics can come up with is that she’s straying too far to the left. Yet for years, the current black president’s hint at a “fairness” economy was met by noisy conservative detractors who tenaciously charged him with treasonous anti-capitalism and “redistribution of wealth.”—-

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Assessing the Legality of Sandra Bland’s Arrest New York Times

    What unmitigated horsesh*t any discussion of “legality” is in this day and age, with all its attendant qualifiers like “technically,” “if,” “impression” and, of course, “fear.” (Always on the part of heavily armed “law enforcement,” never of innocent, unarmed civilians.)

    Was Bland “legally” required to respond to encinia’s comment about looking “irritated,” the completely unnecessary verbal engagement that started the whole tragic chain of events? Would that be the “police business” her smoking “interfered with?”

    It would appear that this guy was spoilin’ for a fight and, unfortunately, Bland obliged. I wonder how many drivers encinia stops and cites who are NOT “irritated.” And what “impression” would a refusal to verbally engage have given encinia, the apparently astute student of human emotional affect? Would he have perhaps “feared for his SAFETY” or judged her to be “VIOLENT?”

    The media is now engaged in its typical character assassination of the victim. Bland had marijuana in her “system,” there are “reports” that she “cut” herself previously and she threatened “suicide” in the past. (OMG, that makes me want to KILL myself!) I’d like to see encinia’s past similarly scrutinized. (“N-word” anyone?)

    Oh, and I’d like to see his college transcript. From the school where he earned his phd in psychology and human behavior.

    1. vidimi

      take these reports of her confessing to past suicide attempts to a jail official with a megalith of salt. unless family members come forward and confirm these allegations, they can have no merit.

  11. Vatch

    “The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood New York Times”

    The use of misleadingly edited videos is reminiscent of what was done to ACORN a few years ago.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As is the establishment of tax-exempt “charities” whose only reason for being is to make and publicize such videos.

  12. Brindle

    Today’s antidote….Anyone who has owned a Husky is familiar with that look, it’s the look of anticipation, of possible fun, of looking forward to the next great adventure (a walk).

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the 2015 Social Security Trustees report:

    The projected reserves of the DI [Disability Income] Trust Fund decline steadily from 40 percent of annual cost at the beginning of 2015 until the trust fund reserves are depleted in the fourth quarter of 2016. At the time reserves are depleted, continuing income to the DI Trust Fund would be sufficient to pay 81 percent of scheduled DI benefits.

    Under current law only the portion of the benefits that could be financed from DI Trust Fund income would be paid after DI Trust Fund reserve depletion.

    Such warnings have been issued for years. But when disability beneficiaries actually get a 19% haircut, about 15 months or so from now, presumably Kongress will rush to the rescue.

    These are the same folks [Kongress] who let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — companies that they chartered with Treasury credit lines — crash and burn.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Scroll up for solution.

      Simply reclassify all disability beneficiaries as Syrian rebels. They are worth $4 million per, and the budget is not only unlimited, but unaudited. There is no need to “balance” the books since there are no books where “security” is concerned.

      And disability is part of social “security,” right?

  14. Synoia

    Slime Mould Economics

    Interesting read, including some observations:

    Biologist Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, another attendee in Frankfurt, thinks it is more to do with an attitude problem. Although some economists are open to new ideas, he says, the field as a whole is resistant to outside incursions.

    The reluctance of the economics profession to change and the fact that the people most in need of change are also in a position of power is a big part of the problem,” says Wilson. “At what point does one stop trying to be diplomatic and adopt a rebellious stance?

    and finally:

    The selfishness of humans is a central assumption of orthodox economics, where it is thought to lead to benefits for the economy as a whole. It is what the 18th-century Scottish economist Adam Smith described as the “invisible hand”.

    But evolutionary biologists have come to see cooperation and selflessness as a big part our success as a species. During the course of our evolution, they point out, cooperative groups consistently outcompeted groups of cheats.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If corruption is placing self-interest above that of the group/community/society, then that assumption implies orthodox economics is inherently corrupt, unless…

      Unless the sophistication lies in the alchemy of small self-interest by all being magically transformed into big benefits for the economy as a whole.

      Then, in that case, small corrupt acts + magic = big benefits on the whole.

  15. 10leggedshadow

    Re: High Drug Prices A monthly prescription for Abilify is $1200 dollars! How is this even remotely affordable? My son needs it for his schizophrenia, but I can’t afford that. Also they advertise Abilify for treatment in conjunction with depression medications, when Abilify is actually an atypical anti-psychotic. 1200! That’s more than a month’s rent, more than a car payment, and a lot of other things. All just to not hear voices in your head. All drugs are overpriced. Big Pharma is ripping everybody off.

  16. ambrit

    Re “Man dies at … Mississippi.”
    Our local ‘paperette’ ran a short piece on this. The concert band was “Widespread Panic,” (one Yuppie point,) the victim had ingested some LSD 25 prior to going to the venue according to his wife, (one Yuppie point,) and the concert was at Southaven Mississippi, (one Yuppie point.) As can be seen from the messaging here, the victim has been consistently demonized. “He ain’t from round here!”
    The authorities were told up front that the man was having a bad ‘trip’ episode. They then proceed to do everything in a manner calculated to make this episode worse. Don’t tell me that these cops and paramedics haven’t dealt with bad trips before. They went out of their way to harm this man.
    Consider the situation, the man gets out of the family car on the way home from the concert because he’s freaking out. The cops arrive. I’ll assume the man didn’t cooperate. The cops overact. They’re self identified lower class members of the dominant power elite in the area. (No aspersions toward skippys mob, but here in the US regular coppers and paramedics aren’t generally drawn from the upper quintile.) The ‘authorities’ decide to show the Yuppie who’s boss. Death ensues. Welcome to the South.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      The story I read about that says he begged for help b/c he was strapped face down by the paramedics , couldn’t breath and has Asthma. Ignored of course. Then he dies — who could have foreseen it?

      And yes the stories and videos of Cops as Sociopaths are coming fast and furious now.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        PTSD (very, very few went to Vietnam for two tours, so imagine the effects of repeated deployments) and police work aren’t going to mix.

  17. Plutoniumkun

    The Telegraph article on China is both excellent and scary. The CCP are like the drivers of a truck full of toxic waste with blown out brakes driving down a twisty mountain pass. So far they had managed to keep it on the road, but its getting faster and faster and the road is getting twistier.

    What I found most striking about the interventions in the stock market is how clumsy it was – they are usually more sure footed in their interventions. My interpretation of it is that the driving force was not concern about the economy, or a backlash from the ‘little people’, but that a lot of Very Important People were caught over-leveraged by the drop and lots of phone calls were made in a very short time.

    Anyone who’s been following the situation in China knows that rich Chinese are the most pessimistic people on earth. They all are convinced that the system will crash and they all have their foreign bolt holes. When things start to unravel I think everyone will be astonished at the sheer speed assets will be liquidised (if possible) and there will be Airbuses full of billionaires on one way trips. It is the class below them – the ones not quite rich enough to have property in London or SF who will get caught out.

    I’m sure the CCP is well aware of this. I think the government is currently focusing on getting a firm grip on all levers of power – they will keep the economy moving by any means necessary until they are confident that they can control any major reversal. I’m sure the talk behind closed doors is that this is when they will make the necessary alterations to the economy, so they just have to hang on for a rocky year or two, then reforms will kick in and everything will be ok. But things have a habit of running out of control.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They apparently have ‘progressed,’ from the last time when a powerful comrade tried to leave China.

      Marshall Lin Biao and his family, unfortunately, where shot down before reaching the USSR.

      The temptation is, and has always been, that gaining the ultimate power within (and you have to believe not only you can win but you can get the masses to buy into your story, whatever that is, to calm them down) is better than a few billions in London or New York.

      If short selling is a crime (and have not the time nor the luxury to distinguish selling from short selling), fleeing with wealth by the losing faction is also unpatriotic.

  18. Plutoniumkun

    Re: Kaletsky in Project Syndicate on Grexit. He’s not the only person I’ve read who has a contrarian view on Greece. The logic behind it is that there is more of an awareness than is obvious among the key power players that it makes no economic sense to impose more austerity on Greece. The public humiliation of Greece was politically necessary for too many governments. But having done the deed and gotten Greece off the front page headlines, the way is now clear for a quiet reassessment which would allow the Greeks some leeway to grow. The Germans and the EU could then have their cake and eat it – they have kicked the Greeks, but if there is growth they can claim credit. The precedents are how the Germans dealt with East Germany (quietly reversing earlier failed policies and pumping billions into the local economy) and even the current UK government (lots of talk about austerity, but quietly going for a Keynesian boost by pumping money into the housing market).

    1. Ben Johannson

      German economists overwhelmingly reject Keynesian (or anglo-saxon) economic theory and at no point in the last five years have shown interest in economics at all. This dude’s idea that Germany was just doing what was necessary to keep street cred is retarded.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      When someone shows you their real face, believe them. There is no secret strategy beyond protecting local interests from exposure to Greek banks and not raising taxes on local populations to do it.

  19. NotSoSure

    A lot of things in China can’t go on without the knowledge of the CCP. The question is why is the CCP allowing this outflow of capital? Is it because the CCP is actually “short” their own country? Or someone is preparing a revolution at which point those funds will be needed?

    Either way I have a big short primed at the Chinese Yuan.

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