Links 7/28/15

Today’s in-flight meal will be squirrel or lizard: Amazing pictures show harrier passing food to his mate in mid-air acrobatic display Daily Mail

Why are thousands of migratory salmon dying before they can spawn? Reuters :-(

Wyoming Man Found with 30 Eyeballs in His Anal Cavity Cracked. Only Richard Smith could find a story like this one….

Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power New Scientist (Robert M)

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and thousands of AI researchers just issued a warning about killer robots Business Insider (David L)

Offshore wind power gets foothold in U.S. with Rhode Island project Reuters (EM)

A Renegade Trawler, Hunted for 10,000 Miles by Vigilantes New York Times. This is an amazing story.

Lord Sewel’s London residence raided by police Telegraph. Richard Smith: “Classic meaningless British sex scandal. I thought the production line had packed up, but no. I like how it’s an ‘orange’ bra.”

French farmers blockade border roads in protest against cheap imports Guardian (resilc)

China Stock Rout

Beijing needs to think about an exit strategy China Spectator

China’s Stock Plunge Bloomberg

China losing control as stocks crash despite emergency measures Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Beijing scrambles to calm markets as shares gyrate Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

ECB warned to pump more money to save eurozone as Varoufakis denies hacking into Greek tax system Telegraph


Greece starts bailout talks with dispute on upfront actions Bloomberg. Not pretty. The two sides need a deal in two weeks and they are already spatting over the bridge deal. The creditors’ position is that it was not sufficient for Greece to pass laws to increase sales taxes, it needs to have started implementation.

Alexis Tsipras Faces Race Against Time to Secure Greece Bailout Deal Wall Street Journal

Tsipras: “Now that I Have Unconditionally Surrendered, I Promise to Lead the Fight.” Ian Welsh

Tsipras may call election on November 8 Guardian

Before Raiding The Bank Of Greece, Look At Their Balance Sheet! Observing Greece

The Greece debt bailout negotiations are really about France, not Greece Ed Harrison (IsabelPS)

Moody’s on Greek banks law: Big deposits of over €100K at risk of bail-in KeepTakingGreece (IsabelPS). Um the whole friggin’ banking system is at risk of a bail in, given that the Greek deposit guarantee fund holds a measley €3 billion. But in theory under Eurozone banking rules, smaller deposits can’t be bailed in, although in a collapse, they’d be toast.

Greece Made Preparations to Exit Euro New York Times. The “plan” was at best a plan to have a plan, and it was not to exit the Euro but to issue a parallel currency. So much for the state of reporting. But even so, the part that got the furthest along was daft.

Varoufakis unplugged The transcript Financial Times

Supreme Court forwards suits against Varoufakis to Parliament ekathimerini. They seem like non-starters.

Greece’s Problem Is More Complicated than Austerity Harvard Business Review (IsabelPS). Key section:

For all the party’s talk of “social justice” and “solidarity,” only €200 million has been granted to cope with Greece’s human crisis, and it has still not been fully disbursed. Meanwhile, the retirement fund for pensioners of DEO, the state electricity company, continues to receive an annual state subsidy to the tune of €600 million—at a time when most pensions are being slashed. Syriza, which is close to DEI unionists, even instituted a canteen subsidy a few weeks after taking office.


The Ongoing Starvation of Yemen American Conservative (resilc)

Goals Diverge and Perils Remain as U.S. and Turkey Take on ISIS New York Times

Some Guantanamo inmates would go to U.S. under new plan: Obama aide Reuters (EM)

Imperial Collapse Watch

What Militarism Means American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Researchers Hack Air-Gapped Computer With Simple Cell Phone Wired (Robert M)

N.S.A. Will Not Be Allowed to Keep Old Phone Records New York Times. Aww, what will they do with that ginormous data centre if they can’t keep old data?

Trade Traitors

Key Shift on Malaysia Before Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal New York Times

Issues Mount as Negotiators Gather to Wrap Up Trans-Pacific Trade Pact New York Times

Jeb Bush Snares a Democratic Moneyman on Hamptons Tour Bloomberg (resilc)

Will It Be Trump’s Debate? New Yorker (furzy mouse)

Gov. Walker and Dems Dance: Shady Politics and the Milwaukee Bucks Arena Truthdig

Bernie Sanders talks guns, racism at Louisiana rally Christian Science Monitor

Cuomo Announces Plan to Tear Down, Rebuild ‘Third-World’ LaGuardia Airport, First New Hub Built After 9/11 Attacks NBC New York. Don’t touch my Laguardia! They’ve tarted up the inside plenty and you already have plenty of food, electronics, reading material and even some clothing vendors (ugh). It’s close and you get in and out quickly. Who needs an airport to look all super upscale when the point is that you hardly spend any time there? JFK and Newark are completely different propositions. Who is behind this proposed construction boondogle?

Police State Watch

Georgia claims that publishing its state laws for free online is ‘terrorism’ Los Angeles Times

Gun control? Americans increasingly see more guns as the solution, not the problem. Washington Post

Black Injustice Tipping Point

From Yesterday’s NYT: Sandra Bland Prosecutor Inadvertenly Shows His Cards Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Firefighters make progress against Western U.S. wildfires Reuters (EM)

Pessimism Amongst Oil Traders Reaches 5 Year High OilPrice

The World Wide Web, the New Frontier in Fraud The New York Times. Notice the sudden interest in shell companies, on which our Richard Smith has been reporting for years.

Puerto Rico bondholders present debt plan Financial Times

Class Warfare

What Recovery? Harper’s Magazine

The Gig Economy is Coming. What Will It Mean For Work? Guardian

We Don’t Need More Optimists: Unchecked Positive Thinking Is More Dangerous than It Sounds Salon. A favorite topic of mine! See this 2008 article The Dark Side of Optimism.

Antidote du jour. Stephen L: “A jackrabbit at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge ( in central California. Jackrabbits actually are hares, not rabbits. They were named for their donkey-like ears, which caused some people (including writer Mark Twain) to call them “jackass rabbits.” The name eventually was shortened to jackrabbit. Photo by Steve Martarano / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

jackrabbit links

And a bonus antidote (furzy mouse):

Sadly, the jackpot is coming….

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. kj1313

    Biggest problem with Laguardia is the intersecting runways that will be not fixed with this project.
    God forbid we get funds to extend the 2nd Ave subway to Wall St and my dream of a subway that connects Brooklyn – Queens and the Bronx without going into Manhattan.

    1. sam s smith

      The runways are also too short to allow fully loaded aircraft to take off on hot days.

  2. Disturbed Voter

    Wyoming Man … and we should let ordinary people vote? On the other hand, this guy could get a new job being the new Joe the Plumber for either party. The whole point of marketing is to gather eyes ;-)

    1. Inverness

      Cheating scandals are inevitable in the US, where fairly often principal and teacher ratings are often tied with test scores. Teachers and principals in needier districts really feel more pressured to cheat, since their students don’t tend to perform nearly as well as their more socioeconomically blessed peers in wealthy suburbs and private schools.

      1. hunkerdown

        “But it’s less stressful in academia then finance.”

        No problem, just add KPIs and impossible goals over which one has no control.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a system where students are taught to become more productive serfs , not how to live a happy (obtainable by human effort, per Socrates), healthy (as in knowledge to fight back against food science, industrialized food and big Ag) life.

        And elite colleges hang around their own kind, admitting those elite students scoring high on standardize tests, concentrating knowledge-wealth and knowledge-power to the mental 0.01%. Their mission is not to spread and share their elite knowledge-holders, by making these guys/gals accessible to all.

        For entertainment, they have their own gladiator games, some very profitable, some not so much.

        And if you are not teaching in a blessed district, you seemingly can’t make a difference except by cheating.

        The system perpetuates or you can say no.

  3. Skippy

    Enjoyed the link to the Jackpot is coming….

    Found this apropos –

    lightninglouie xenophone
    11/10/14 9:47am

    It’s also implied that the United States effectively ceased to exist around the same time, because the corporations didn’t want to lose a whole bunch of their revenue in WWIII.

    Though of course, the Russians could have been “Soviets” in name only, and the war had nothing to do with ideology, but rather resources, territorial disputes, spheres of influence, etc.

  4. abynormal

    re: GA sues Carl Malamud…wouldn’t it be advantageou$ if GA went after the GOO ?

    9/2010: Google announcement :)

    We are providing $2 million to Public.Resource.Org to support the Law.Gov initiative, which aims to make all primary legal materials in the United States available to all.
    A lot of thing$ happened in a lot of place$. And to $ee how well it was handled in Atlanta. There are a lot of rea$on$ for Atlanta being a $pecial town in the Civil Right$ era.
    Ivan Allen

  5. jfleni

    RE: Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power.

    Mad Nuclear scientists with forked tongues speak up!

    1. JCC

      There are good nukes, molten salt reactors being a prime example. A slang term for these is “waste-burners” as in they burn most of their own waste… minimal contaminated nuke waste. One reason they were never supported here in the US is that the Pentagon and Cold Warriors didn’t like the fact that they did not produce enough material to make bombs.

    2. jonboinAR

      Coal kills thousands, no question, but nukes have the potential to kill millions. The fact that a highly educated scientist doesn’t acknowledge that in his argument demonstrates that no amount of education or professional experience guarantees that a person thinks clearly or completely honestly. (And I’m agnostic on the subject of nukes, but, heck!, you gotta be honest.)

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I just take it to remind myself to watch out for fossil fuels as well. Never relax for a moment.

    4. jgordon

      Fraudulent accounting. Our nuclear plants today will be killing people off–literally–millions of years hence in the future. And that’s only if the entire atmosphere is not ionized when climate change floods out most near-sea nuclear plants–sterilizes the biosphere all in one go. But if our descendants, and perhaps even our future selves, don’t count as people, then I guess the math works.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I made the mistake of actually clicking on this link, only to get a face-full of crotch shots and erectile “dysfunction” porn.

      Why, Yves?

      Just. Plain. Why?

      1. Inverness

        This happens a lot with our current news cycle — rumors are spread quickly, then discredited. With fewer skilled, reasonably paid editors around, there aren’t enough people to sort through what is, and isn’t actual news. It just increases all of the noise, without adding substance.

        1. Norm de plume

          Well it will all be done by robots soon so I suppose this sort of leg-pulling won’t happen. Not so sure that’s a good thing.

          I can just imagine Snopes’s expozays being done by webcrawling algorithms that never sleep, but could a machine come up with their headline for this de-bunk? Hind-sight!

      2. ambrit

        I tried it and no crotch shots, etc. (Thank heavens.)
        The problem seems to be on your end. Could you have one of those computer infections that hijacks your browsing? Check your addons running list. See if you have a ‘mysterious’ download. Good luck.

    2. fresno dan

      Of course, we have no idea of how many cow eyeball in rectum smugglers who evade police capture there are. After all, if you understand the maximum number of cow eyeballs an average rectum can hold is only 20, you won’t have them spontaeously popping out of your ass during police stops….

  6. jefemt

    Salmon dying– call to action—- from an Idaho Rivers United email 7/26/2015 :


    “I’m writing again with an urgent request for your participation to help convince President Obama to take action toward removal of the four lower Snake River dams and recovery of our wild salmon and steelhead.

    Please call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111 and tell President Obama that deadbeat dams on the lower Snake River don’t add up for taxpayers, salmon, anglers or fishing businesses.

    Using the White House’s telephone comment line is easy. During the call you’ll have two minutes to offer comments. You don’t need to make the most eloquent case for dam removal ever delivered. The White House merely wants to know there’s a groundswell of support for dam removal and salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest. By calling today you can establish that Idahoans are eager for change that restores wild salmon and ends 20-plus years of failed federal policy.

    Here are some points you can consider making in your call:

    1.Idaho’s salmon have been on the endangered species list since the 1990s and the federal government has failed to chart a course toward recovery.
    2.This year is particularly bad. Returning salmon are dying by the hundreds of thousands as dams help super heat the rivers to lethal levels for salmon.
    3.Four federal salmon plans have been rejected by federal courts for failure to do enough for wild salmon – for failure to take dam removal seriously.
    4.Four dams on the lower Snake River are wasting taxpayer dollars and killing salmon. Self-sustaining runs of salmon are not possible with the four lower Snake River dams in place.
    5.Endangered southern resident killer whales, which depend on chinook salmon from the Columbia and Snake rivers, are also in peril because of failure to act on the lower Snake.
    6.Now is the time to chart a course toward recovered wild salmon and smart taxpayer spending on the lower Snake River. Now is the time to create a legacy of sustainability for our children and their children.”

    also, recommend a dystopian future must-read for summer: The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller

    1. abynormal

      …love his style but then again im abynormal. he writes like READ ME HARD BABY:

      “For the dog he said. Angry. Because I didn’t do my job. To him.”


    2. BondsOfSteel

      Will the salmon be able to survive a 8 degree F (4.5 C) or even a 3.6 degree F (2 C) in climate change? If not, it’s probably better to keep the dams and try and reduce as much carbon as possible to slow the change already baked into the system.

      The time to create a legacy of sustainability for our children and their children is already past :( Without addressing climate and population change, the best we can do is slow the changes. And the changes are very bad:

      1. Adrienne Adams

        Oh gawd, not this again… “Climate change is gonna kill the [desert tortoises, sage grouse, salmon, etc] anyway so let’s just keep destroying their habitat.”

        If we let the Columbia River salmon go extinct, we have a 100% chance that none of them will survive global climate change. We will also be signing the death warrant of the Southern Resident Orca whales, as they depend upon the Columbia River chinook salmon for their survival.

        Salmon, desert tortoises, and sage grouse are all in severe danger due to dams & industrial renewable energy development. It doesn’t matter to them if we kill them now or let climate change do it: they’re just as extinct either way. How about we stop playing favorites with energy development and start paying attention to habitat and biodiversity protection? @jefemt’s info is very important, the Snake River dams must go!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I would like to expand on that, to, say, the equality issue (and I have mentioned some of this before).

          It’s not just the equality at some initial phase (equality of opportunity), or at the end stage (equality of outcome).

          It’s also about

          1. the path it takes, from the initial phase to the end point, that is, the journey in not-idealized (idealized = frictionless, that is, not path dependent) world.
          2. who gets there first. Often, the advantage goes to those who arrived early. Trickle down, even if we all get the same amount, is no equality, and much worse when in fact we get anything at all from trickle down.
          3. the velocity of progress (or of anything – the stock market going down 8% over a month vs. in a day – i.e. the same % is either a correction or a crash, depending on the velocity).

          All these relate to you comment about protecting salmon and doing something on the climate change front — action priorities, how fast, how wide, etc.

    3. Gio Bruno

      It’s important to understand Why? the salmon are dying in warm water, to develop a viable solution. Warm water contains less dissolved oxygen (DO) than cold water (it’s a Physics thing). Oxygen gets readily dissolved INTO water as rivers and stream tumble over rocks and falls on the way to the ocean. Salmon moving upstream (from the ocean) require lots of oxygen (in the water) to compensate for the major effort they are making (just like you and me).

      Dams on rivers reduce the tumble and fall of water and allow surface water to warm, accellerating de-oxygenation. So the energetic salmon eventually become de-energized and die before they can arrive at their spawning grounds (that has been disturbed by some type of construction project). As BoS has asked; can the salmon be saved in the face of climate change? Answer: not without enormous human attitude change.

  7. DJG

    Two links to the American Conservative. They are in an existential crisis. Their call for probity, thrift, moderation, and secularism is not of interest to the reactionaries (religious / economic / cultural) who run the Republican Party. So the American Conservative ends up at Naked Capitalism–where it turns out that the readership is highly likely to agree with the two stories.

    But there are enormous differences between the two major parties, right? Let’s see. The Republicans want to rave on Fox. The Democrats want to put together insane PowerPoint presentations (see Lambert’s article on skimming retirement savings for fun and profit). Let the looting continue!

    1. optimader

      They are in an existential crisis….

      No , American Conservative maintains pretty much a historically consistency. The only existential crisis may be with reader?

      More a case of the meaninglessness of modern Liberal vs Conservative labeling in the American Political Theater/contemporary media.

      To wit, one does not need to be Republican (vs Democrat) to harbor small “c” conservative or small “l” liberal sensibilities.

      In reality the circles of liberal and conservative both overlap the nonintersecting R and D circles on the Venn Diagram of the relationships. Was Harry Truman a liberal or a conservative? How about Scoop Jackson? Nelson Rockefeller?

  8. Ulysses

    A century ago the legendary labor activist/songwriter, Joe Hill, was executed in Utah. A concert tour has just started to commemorate his legacy, and will be in NYC tomorrow:

    “Magpie, Charlie King, George Mann and New York City Labor Chorus in concert. Local 1199 Union MLK Auditorium, 310 West 43rd Street, New York, 7:30 pm, $10-$15, no one turned away for lack of funds.”

    I have had the pleasure of hearing all the musicians involved, and they are always great performers! If you find yourself with time to spare on a Wednesday night this could be an enjoyable way to while away a couple of hours. For more on Joe Hill:

    1. Ulysses

      Joe Hill lived in tumultuous, radical times. Yet so do we, and even a mild-mannered inside-the-beltway guy like Robert Kuttner may be starting to wake up and smell the coffee:

      “This is one of those moments when there is broad popular frustration, a moment when liberal goals require measures that seem radical by today’s standards. If progressives don’t articulate those frustrations and propose real solutions, rightwing populists will propose crackpot ones. Muddle-through and token gestures won’t fool anybody.”

    2. Jim Haygood

      Professional curmudgeon James Howard Kunstler just used the Joe Hill theme for a snark attack on Bernie Sanders:

      So, you fellow disaffected Democrats — those of you who can’t go over to the other side, but feel you have no place in your country’s politics — look around and tell me who you see casting a shadow on the Democratic landscape. Nobody. Just tired, corrupt, devious old Hillary and her nemesis Bernie the Union Hall Champion out of a Pete Seeger marching song.

      These circumstances require a very different agenda than just an I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill redistributionist scheme. Lively as Bernie is, I don’t think he offers much beyond that.

      With tin-ear Democrats like Kunstler (who obviously hates folk music), who needs Republicans?

      1. James Levy

        Kunstler has simply become a misanthrope. He hates gays, blacks, Arabs in particular and Moslems in general, feminists–you get the picture. As he says, he sees us as a wicked people who DESERVE to be punished. And he’s just waiting for the day his doomsday scenarios (which I hate to say I see coming, too, but lament) come to pass and all the tattooed lower class whites and the baggy-pants blacks meet their well-deserved doom. Sad, really, how an otherwise intelligent person can sour and curdle in such a manner.

        1. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

          Kunstler’s frustration is with people who appear to be persistently and willfully ignorant, stupid and self destructive who will not only be their own doom, but the doom of the country in which they exist.

          I understand his frustration and anger. If you were slowly being dragged to your death in a public pool by people who had decided to swim in circles while singing popular music and adding additional lead weights for style’s sake, might not you too, be angry at them?

          1. James Levy

            OK, but that doesn’t explain why Kunstler punches down so often. The decisions that are destroying this country are not being made by the rural whites and inner-city blacks he has such contempt for, but by the suited and the well-educated. Kunstler’s hates are deeply ethnic and cultural, at least as much as they have anything to do with the ignorance of the masses. And he’s too smart to think that the masses are the ones in the driver’s seat. So, overall, my critique stands.

  9. BillK

    Re the Lord Sewel UK sex and drugs scandal –
    He was only doing his bit to help the economic recovery! :)

    Now that drugs and hookers are included in the GDP calculations, the more people that indulge in such activities then the better for the economy.
    Or is the logic of these financial tricks a bit shaky????? ;)

    1. GuyFawkesLives

      I feel the pain of these forced labor “employees.” I just quit a job that initially offered a salary plus commission. Only to be told because the company was just starting up, they could only offer commission only. Not to worry, I am an excellent salesperson! But wait! The pricing that the new company was using wasn’t competitive to allow for commission salespeople to obtain any commission. What the employer got: two months of free marketing by a supposed “commission salesperson.” What I got: mileage on my car, no wages, and determination to get a paycheck!

      I talked with one subcontractor who said “it is the builders who are making money in this building boom. The subs are working for half the pay pre 2007, the builders are selling 30% over the pricing in 2007.” We have been reduced to minimum wage here in the US….but hey, the depression’s over, fellas! Buck up.

  10. Jim Haygood

    From an NYT article on sentencing reform:

    [Members of Congress] cite the case of a man who spent six years in a federal prison for importing Honduran lobsters that were packed in plastic — as opposed to cardboard — boxes.

    Sentencing reform may happen this year, says the NYT. But it will still leave in place two toxic policies that have endowed the US with the world’s biggest Gulag: the War on Drugs; and ‘a system of plea bargains, not trials,’ as ‘Justice’ Anthony Kennedy describes it.

  11. vidimi

    just want to say, thanks lambert for the essay on john arnold and the looting of pension funds, and a very good comparison with obamacare. hedgies give money to politicians, politicians give hedgies public money, hedgies’ think tanks heap praise on politicians legitimizing them, hedgies give more money…learning about how the system actually works in conjunction with other insight such as bill black’s gresham’s dynamic makes you realize just how quaint any indices where third world countries are ranked as corrupt while the US, whose entire economy is corruption, are seen as clean are.

  12. vidimi

    if you repeat something enough, people will start to believe it. like having more guns will prevent gun crime. rick perry says more people should pack heat in movie theaters. i wonder what the world beyond the looking glass looks like.

    in soviet america…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The world needs

      Public and private gun control
      Greed control
      Corruption control
      Fraud control

      Some kill instantly and visibly…like melting down nuclear power plants, and physical violence.
      Some kill quietly and over time…like fossil fuels, and non (physical) violence.

      And yes, fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power.

      1. GuyFawkesLives

        I used to believe in gun control…..but now I don’t have any confidence in my government and when we all get the courage to overthrow this one, perhaps we will need some guns to do it.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          First, ieds and explosives would be the weapons of choice until mass defections took place. Yahoos with guns would get run over with tanks or gassed.

          1. kj1313

            No no no in the yahoos alternate reality they have a belief that the US Military would side with them. Mind you if you bring up extrajudicial killing of American citizens or Kent St they will ignore you.

            1. ambrit

              I don’t know what flavour of yahoo you encounter, but the yahoos I run into seem to be uniformly skeptical of the government. Perhaps individual soldiers or small units would fraternize, but todays “professional” American military is almost in their own world now, separate but most definitely not equal to the public. The public seems to be sneering downwards while the ProMils snicker and make fun back.
              I think Napoleon may have been right: “God is on the side of the big battalions.”
              The real revolution will come about after the culture changes, not before.

              1. kj1313

                No the biggest damage to US forces is/were IEDs. Don’t change what arms the 2nd Amendment allows. It allows for guns not IEDs.

            1. James Levy

              That’s because the stakes are small and the PR implications of genocide are too great to risk the endless war sweepstakes. If a government, our elites, were threatened, they’d pull out all the stops, and your AR-15 and Winchester toting buddies would get rolled over pronto. One Guernica plus one Nanking back-to-back and the American people, who like to live and like their toys, would fold up like a cheap tent. And if the military sides with the people, you don’t need guns–they will provide all the muscle you need for a quick victory. If they are against you, have fun fighting attack helicopters and cluster bombs with your Glock.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The best way to regime-change a government is to throw money at it.

          That’s how the 0.01% did it…the non-violence way.

          1. Vatch

            Oligarchs are content to remain non-violent only so long as their fortunes aren’t seriously threatened. The chart on page 34 of Oligarchy, by Jeffrey Winters, is very useful. We currently have a “civil” oligarchy in the U.S. (upper right corner of the chart). But if the 0.01% start to feel that their vast fortunes are seriously threatened, we will see a shift to one of the other varieties of oligarchy, and a greater reliance on violence by the 0.01% or their agents.

          2. hunkerdown

            Draining money from it also works.

            The point is that the gubmint believes that firearms are NO threat to them whatsoever, so they’re not particuarly worried about them. Besides, having people shooting one another and in fear is “good for business”, as a former AIPAC senior exec linked yesterday put it. That’s why Jeremy Hammond and Chelsea Manning are doing decades of time, and why there are sentencing enhancements for using skills meant to be used to glorify the Establishment against it: rogues endanger the aristocracy.

            It seems more explanatory and predictive to consider government as a corporation that, along with its team-player officers, uses its granted monopoly to punish, sideline and otherwise neutralize who it wants, when it wants, for whatever it wants, under whatever pretext it wants, with exactly as much simulated accountability as they care for.

    2. kj1313

      I think it also has a lot to do with those disaffected with government. Guns give some psychological comfort of control. Never mind they most likely will be cannon fodder if the government actually wanted to wage war on it’s citizens.

      1. abynormal

        Guns give some psychological comfort of control.

        “While you may be able to keep your son Jimmy from owning [a gun], if you try to talk him out of wanting one, you are up against a pretty strong argument: You mean I shouldn’t want a device that grants me power and identity, makes me feel dangerous and safe at the same time, instantly makes me the dominant male, and connects me to my evolutionary essence? Come on, Mom, get real!
        Gavin de Becker, Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe

        1. kj1313

          Ha exactly. Now insert a snarky comment about the American Populace being like teenagers. :)

      2. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

        Cannon fodder? Tell it to the Afghanis. Tell it to the Vietnamese. Tell it to the colonial rebels who insured that weapon ownership was enshrined in law. Do you think this was done just to vex you? Weapon ownership is one of the few real hard lines that prevents a government, any government, from wielding total authority. It worked in 1776. It works every day now for many foreign countries.

        My recent ancestors were from a Baltic country whose citizens were disarmed. With the help of dogs and military thugs, my uncle was forcibly drafted into the Russian army – for cannon fodder, otherwise known as “shock troops.” I’m sure they trained him for at least a week. My uncle was simply sent to a Siberian gulag. Reason unknown.

        Think that would have happened if every household was armed to the teeth? If you do, you’re both delusional an naive.

        1. hunkerdown

          That’s so adorable that you think the broad portfolio of unconventional warfare systems that can take you and the whole town out would be parked within the range of your penis substitute as a gentlemanly courtesy. Pitched battle is for losers, and they do.

          I reiterate my previous suggestion that other nations need to build padded walls around the USA and allow inmates out only drugged to the gills with thorazine and with a Taser-armed escort.

          1. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

            Yes. Adorable. Your sweet little assertion that people can’t fight back. Well, I’ll tell you what. When and if the government comes knocking at your door, you just let them right in and bend over.

            Yes, they have weapons of great power. So did a bunch of goofballs with an airplane. So does someone who knows how to cut a powerline, or a gas line, or a road, or a bridge, or a coherent radio signal. To think a complex, high-tech, energy dependent military is invulnerable is just the kind of dimwitted delusion you’ve been spoonfed by a media owned by people who want to keep you quiet and passive and concerned with Bruce Jenner or other celebrity hijinks. You’re either a paid troll, or a tool, and a fool.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I gather you advocate people making stupid sacrifices of themselves to fulfill your macho power fantasies.

              Pray tell me how many people have gotten away with defying cops who want to enter your house and have a warrant, or even when they don’t. If you are super polite and have a higher class affect, you might get away with explaining that you won’t let them in with no warrant. But if they have a warrant or they deem you to be uppity, you are on the way to being a Darwin Award winner if you defy them. You think a lone gunman in a house can last long against a local police force? You are just delusional.

              And pray tell how many people are up for your sort of guerilla action? And more important, have YOU done anything like that? It’s really easy to engage in armchair revolutionary fantasies. We’ve had decades of encroachment on civil liberties, and there has been nada in the way of civilian resistance. The world is full of macho posturers like you who are cowards in practice.

              1. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

                No Yves, I recommend nothing of the sort. What I do advocate is that people not see themselves as helpless. In addition, I would advocate against anything that would make them even more helpless, such as disarming them.

                It is certainly possible to fight and fail, with tragic consequences. Would you rather see everyone simply give up? Or go through peaceful change working within the system? Yes, golly, I’m sure that would work. You apparently think that by “fighting back,” I intend some sort of direct confrontation with an authority figure with superior firepower. If so, I’d suggest you go back and reread carefully. Human conflicts are more subtle. Pissing off a cop in the moment is a fools game. On the other hand, if the cops are systematically raiding your house and the house of everyone in your town because of [insert arbitrary new law here], what is it that you would suggest? It’s happened in many other countries. It happened to my relatives in Estonia. Are you so naive as to think something like that could never happen in the USA? And would you have them be belled, and led to slaughter?

                Look, I’m 57. I don’t own a firearm. My greatest hope is that nothing of the sort happens in my lifetime. Macho fantasies, believe me, are not for me.

                But, I’m a realist. I see what happens outside the USA. We’re not special. We’re one economic disaster, one ginned up war, one false flag incident from becoming a rather nasty little police state. Some would claim that since 9/11, this has already happened.

                And what would you suggest if that happens, Yves? What would you suggest we do?

            2. hunkerdown

              I never claimed people couldn’t fight back. They can and do, with whatever is to hand, be that a big gun or a laptop in their pickup. They should be informed about the likely consequences and what they’re up against, no? It’s not quite true that they have nothing to lose but their chains. See also: Fallujah, Bahrain, Branch Davidians for examples of politicized reporting of violent suppression of revolts; Nika revolt, for an example of liquidation of the majority of a capital city; any US-sponsored junta for operational examples of government by terror; many, many demonstrations of tens or hundreds of thousands airbrushed out of the Western consensus. At least in recent history, those who attack agents of the gubmint don’t usually live to tell their side of the story, not least because the suits are packing heat too anymore.

              I just don’t think it’s right to portray that politics by other means is beanbag rounds.

        2. kj1313

          Nothing would happen. The same thing the Iraqi populace did against Saddam or any other armed populace with a Dictator.

        3. Strangely Enough

          Tell it to the colonial rebels who insured that weapon ownership was enshrined in law.

          Something about a “well regulated mitlia,” but that part seems to have gotten misplaced somewhere…

  13. C

    Fresh off the success of Austerity in Greece we now have U.S. Hedge Funds telling Puerto Rico that they have to lay off teachers and sell public property cut spending (despite spending less than the rest of the U.S. per pupil) rather than choosing bankruptcy.

    Humourously the report written by two former IMF economists is called: For Puerto Rico, There is a Better Way.

    The question would I guess be: “better for whom”?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      More and more students will be leaving the island, that is the first tragedy.

      The second is, either the teachers can follow them or there will be fewer students to teach there. The same goes for cops, fire fighters, etc..

  14. optimader

    The GAO report does not address the issue of the F-35’s performance, but what is known makes the picture even bleaker. The F-35 has a higher wing loading than the infamous F-105—the “Thud” or “Lead Sled” to its pilots—which means it maneuvers like a brick. It has less than a 1:1 thrust-to-weight ratio, which compared to other fighters makes it Porky Pig. And its vaunted “stealth” anti-radar capabilities are a fraud because by now almost everyone has discovered how to cut through “stealth”—old-fashioned long-wave radars do it nicely.

    An this is a pretty good summary why the F-35 is an irretrievable dead duck. No matter how much money gets thrown at a set of invalid assumptions, it is doomed to failure. (file next to Operation Iraqi Freedom)

    Someone should forward this to Bernie Sanders but I’m guessing his position on the F-35 program is unrelated to the considerations outlined by Lind.

    1. vidimi

      china and russia would be devastated if the f35 project were cancelled and the ayattolahs in iran would be quaking in their boots. imagine if that trillion was spent on real weapons.

    1. Lambert Strether

      That’s like business (idiot ego-driven resource extractor) destroying industry (Cecil’s drawing power in the reserve, though granted tourism has its own colonial issues).

  15. GuyFawkesLives

    “What Recovery?” could be applied to almost every city in this nation. Take a look at wages. They haven’t returned to pre-2007 crisis. Not nearly. The middle class is now upper-lower class….living paycheck to paycheck…..or unemployment check to unemployment check….selling everything you can on craigslist to buy groceries.

  16. NotSoSure

    Questions about bail in. How about money held in brokerage accounts? Presumably the sweep accounts will either be held either in bank accounts or a money market fund, would those be bailed in as well.

  17. Jess

    Re: “N.S.A. Will Not Be Allowed to Keep Old Phone Records New York Times. Aww, what will they do with that ginormous data centre if they can’t keep old data?”

    They’ll keep collecting and retaining all those records. Anybody who thinks that they’re going to stop just because of some pesky court ruling is naive or delusional. And when they’re finally outed by the next whistleblower, nothing will happen to the people responsible. Certainly not criminal prosecutions.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Chinese can steal them, so our brotherly agencies can subscribe to access them.

  18. micky9finger

    Re: killer robots. Believable after seeing the drone with a semi- automatic pistol mounted on it and firing.

    Armed rebellion. Get real. The power of the State is such that I doesn’t matter how many AK-47’s you have.
    The only power that can resist is the power of the people. (I know; I know. Get real, right?)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe in more more-money-creation-power to the people.

      Then, the people can buy (out-bidding the 0.01%) the government

  19. susan the other

    Gee, China makes as much sense as the USA. The CP has just ordered corporations to buy back their stocks. What a clever idea. And another market swoon occurred immediately. So according to ZH the “global plunge protection team” consisting of the Fed and the BoJ and probably others preferring to remain unnamed, gave the Shanghai (?) a huge infusion of capital; report doesn’t say what conduit the A Team used. It sounds like in CHina the purpose was to protect little retail investors, farmers, etc. and stop the perception that investing is merely a way to loot them. It is analogous to us letting corporations borrow at zirp and buyback their stocks to keep small (and large) investors from panic selling and so protecting the corporation more than small investors. Yet another definition for “Liquidity” – how many definitions so far?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And yet, their media publicly accused ‘foreigners’ of crashing their markets.

  20. afisher

    If you are one of the unfortunate who don’t have full access to FT, the Yanis V. statement is available via his personal blog link on this site. As a bonus?, there is an additional statement by another member of that team.

  21. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    “Optimism” link. Let’s recall the one evil that remained in Pandora’s box after she opened it: hope. It was considered evil because it blinds people and makes them persist in doing irrational and ultimately destructive things.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    According the ekathimerini link, he was working on ‘reserve accounts,’ one each for every tax file number on the tax office’s web interface .

    Is that so Greece can create and give money directly to the taxpayers?

  23. EmilianoZ

    The New Yorker has a great long-form profile of Varoufakis:

    There are some interesting bits.

    Varoufakis himself believed the yes would win.

    Jeffrey Sachs was on some unofficial team for Varoufakis:
    Galbraith had been acting as an unpaid adviser on an informal international team that included Jeffrey Sachs, an economist at Columbia University. According to Varoufakis, Sachs had been sending “missives for the past two weeks, saying, ‘Demand debt relief. You need it. If it’s not granted, then default.’ ”

    Varoufakis is 54. Can you believe that? He looks like he’s in his early 40ies at most.

    About his university years in England:
    In 1978, Varoufakis enrolled at the University of Essex, a radical college northeast of London, where he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. He recalled that, as the face of the Black Students’ Alliance—a role he was persuaded to take by black students—he would “get up and say, ‘We blacks believe . . .’ And then everybody would laugh.” He continued, “Then I would look at them and say, ‘Black is a state of mind, and we Greeks are the blacks of Europe, together with the Irish.’ ”
    The charisma of the man!

    Varoufakis accepted the finmin position out of a sense of duty to his country:
    Varoufakis agreed to come home. According to Stratou, he “felt that, when he’s eighty years old, looking back, if he hadn’t taken that opportunity it would feel like a betrayal of his own country.” She recalled how often he said, “If I were in conversation with Merkel, this is what I would do . . .”

    Dieselbloom lied to him:
    Varoufakis told me, “He had lied to a minister, when he was serving as president, on that minister’s first rookie appearance! His duty is to keep members of the Eurogroup informed about the legal process, and he lied to me about that. That’s just unacceptable.”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The Varoufakis “we thought ‘yes’ would win” is utterly untrue. It’s contradicted by vastly more credible and detailed reports by other Syriza MPs, in particular:

      He’s been running that nonsense for a while. Varoufakis lies without inhibition. I would not believe anything he says unless it is confirmed by independent evidence. He’s told lies that were obvious the moment they came out of his mouth, like “Greek banks will open no matter what the Tuesday after the referendum”. And why would he say something so obviously untrue (if you know anything about how the ECB operates) and was clearly intended to reassure “No” voters if Syriza wanted to lose?

      Now it is possible that AFTER the referendum was announced, Tsipras realized what a disastrous mistake he’d made when the ECB refused to increase the ELA and forced the bank holiday. But even so he kept giving speeches in favor of a no vote, and as Kouvelakis describes, Syriza MPs kept campaigning for a “No” vote.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    French farmers against cheap imports.

    More than 1,000 farmers in the north-eastern region of Alsace used tractors to obstruct six roads from Germany. Franck Sander, the local head of the FNSEA, France’s main farming union, told Agence France-Presse that up to 300 trucks bringing food over the border had been stopped. He said: “We made a lorry carrying Babybel [cheese] turn back. Consumers think this is French but the cheese comes from Slovakia.” Sander told France Info radio that farmers wanted a “level playing field” within Europe.

    Sounds like a case of copyright infringement or deceptive marketing, and not just about cheap imports. Why do French consumers think Babybel is French, when it comes from Slovakia?

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