Links 8/12/15

Dear patient readers,

Forgive the thinness of original posts in the last two days. I’ve been working on some longer-term blog-related projects that are eating into the time available for current posts.

Kids fully aware that all their questions are annoying Daily Mash

As bear sightings rise, New Jersey votes to expand hunt Reuters. EM: “While I can see the need for population control, I hate the euphemism ‘harvesting’ when applied to non-plant species. OK, ‘kill’ may be too loaded for the MSM, but how about ‘cull’?”

Verizon: “People Are Going To Look Back And Laugh” At NJ Customers Worried About Their Copper Landlines Consumerist

China’s Currency Whackage

China’s Central Bank Sticks to Its Pledge With Yuan Fix Wall Street Journal

Bazookas out as China’s yuan devaluation sparks fears of regional currency war South China Morning Post

Collateral damage for Aussie as China lets yuan slide Brisbane Times (EM)

China Joins Currency War With Surprise Devaluation, Biggest One-Day Move on Record Michael Shedlock

What Does China’s Devaluation Mean? Bloomberg. Editorial.

You call *that* a devaluation? *This* is a devaluation FT Alphaville (furzy mouse)

Treasuries Are a Winner as China Exports Deflation Says Bill Gross Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

China Slashes U.S. Debt Stake by $180 Billion, Bonds Shrug Bloomberg

An innocent man in China has revealed by drawings how local police tortured him into “confessing” Quartz (furzy mouse)

The sinking of the Canadian Navy Macleans. Chuck L: “The country which has more coastline than any other in the world (according to McLeans) is essentially without a navy.”

SITREP from Brazil – is a coup d’etat next? Vineyard of the Saker (Chuck L)


Announcement of the KKE on the Third Memorandum the Government signed with the Institutions In Defense of Greek Workers (mda)

Bailout agreement fails to damp Greece concerns Financial Times

No wonder the Greek finance minister looks resigned over possible bailout deal Guardian. Money quote:

That means the past eight months of wrangling between the new Syriza government and the troika of the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank have not only handed the Greeks a tougher set of austerity measures than was probably available in January, but also crashed the economy.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

What Happens When a Failed Writer Becomes a Loyal Spy? Intercept (resilc)

Sweden and Ecuador edge closer to end of Julian Assange standoff Guardian (furzy mouse)

Jeb Bush Blames Hillary Clinton and Obama for Iraq’s Decline New York Times

Memo to Jeb Bush: It was W’s Surge that created ISIL, not Hillary Juan Cole. Resilc: “I’m not impressed by her SecState time, and question what she’s really done in the Senate or elsewhere, but no Bush should say anything about Iraq. His brother should be in jail with his VP and SecDoDs and SecStates.”

Hillary Clinton to Turn Over Private Email Server to Authorities Wall Street Journal. Lambert: “So is the thumb drive identical to the server? And is it the same thumb drive David Kendall had? And how would we know? There’s no chain of custody at all! One thing we know: She’s not doing this to help out the committee!” Moi: “She admits to wiping 31,000 messages that were supposedly personal…so this is hardly an un-tampered with server.”

Parts of 2 Clinton E-Mails Now Earmarked as ‘Top Secret’ Bloomberg (EM)

A Bernie Sanders Shocker Is Coming Observer (furzy mouse)

Behind the scenes of the Donald Trump – Roger Stone show Mark Ames, Pando. A must read.

How Roger Ailes Picked Trump, and Fox News’ Audience, Over Megyn Kelly New York

Donald Trump is exactly the kind of rich person politicians love to fool Quartz

Jeb Bush’s Recipe for Disappointment Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Texas power demand breaks record again in heat wave
Reuters. EM: “Good thing both global warming and natural-resource limitations are myths!”

U.S. Coast Guard unloads $1 billion in seized narcotics in San Diego Reuters (EM). Maybe we should replace the top brass at the SEC with the top brass at the Coast Guard. At least the Coast Guard has some success in catching real crooks.

Schumer Says Corporation Should Oversee Hudson Tunnels Project New York Times. Brant: “So government through Kickstarter?”

After 2 Killers Fled, New York Prisoners Say, Beatings Were Next New York Times (Scott)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Heavily Armed Oath Keepers Show Up in Ferguson to Protect Right-Wing Journalists New York Magazine (resilc). So why is no one calling them brownshirts?

Teens at Klan-connected ‘Confederate camp’ learn archery, crafts, outdoor skills — and hate….. Raw Story

Data on Use of Force by Police Across U.S. Proves Almost Useless New York Times. A feature, not a bug.

Ford moves commercial truck production to Ohio from Mexico Reuters (furzy mouse)

Oil supply grows at breakneck speed — IEA Financial Times

KKR’s PEU Bankruptcy: Samson Resources PEU Report

Bank rules hit bond trading, report says Financial Times. Of course, these are reports by industry lobbyists.

Class Warfare

Mississippi Poverty and the Utter Failure of the American Dream Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

U.S. Economy: Worker Productivity Surges and Labor Costs Drop – Bloomberg. EM: “Note the positive spin on downward wage pressures. Q1 unit labor cost growth was apparently also revised down massively from 6.7% to just 2.3%.

Mankiw’s Principles of Economics Part 8: A Country’s Standard of Living Depends on Its Ability to Produce Goods and Services Ed Walker, emptywheel

What We Learned from the Failure of the Rikers Island Social Impact Bond NonProfit Quarterly (ast). A Goldman Sachs story.

NYPD Union Uses Flickr in Innovative New Push to Shame the Homeless Gawker

Clinton’s College Plan Pays It Forward Bloomberg. Editors endorse Clinton’s ideas for Student Loan Slavery 2.0

The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here Rolling Stone (Jeff W). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour. knowbuddhau:

On July 27, 2015, 5 minutes before noon, an abandoned mama goat walked into my life. Thought there was a big dog checking out the joggers, but then she turned and walked down the driveway.

She was the highlight of my summer. The absentee landlords of this vacation rental McMansion wanted me to scare her off the property. So typical: make her someone else’s problem, never mind her well being. Instead, I showed her the same hospitality I show all my guests.

The local animal control officer put me in touch with a neighbor who has rescued goats in the past. He made several attempts, always making sure not to traumatize her, even bringing other goats. I’m equal parts sad and glad he was successful. At least I get to visit :)

The whole time she was here, I hoped for a shot of her doing what goats love best: standing on things. The pic of her, standing on a bolder in the back yard, is the best “wildlife” pic I’ve ever taken. I hope you like it.

Mama Goat on boulder links

20150727_115055 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. jgordon

    The story about the Chinese police torturing an innocent man into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit is very interesting. Interesting that the Chinese judicial system itself rectified its error and set him free only a few years after the injustice.

    Contrast that to the American style system where innocent minorities are often tortured into making confessions and will spend decades in prisons for crimes they didn’t commit–often to only spend more years in prison after some private, good-Samaritan group coughs up the money for DNA testing or whatever. I suppose a take away of the story could how criminally awful the American system is when contrasted to the Chinese system.

    1. lord koos

      Be that as it may, I don’t think you’d want to trade our own justice system, flawed though it is, for the Chinese version. There is little rule of law in China, and most officials are for sale to the highest bidder.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Even members of the Poliburo.

        But then again, the reason we humans should unite or at least get along and tolerate each other is because we are all alike, even in corruption and police brutality. Really pointless to say, for example, Greeks are lazier than Germans.

      2. aet

        There are historical reasons why the Chinese distrust legal codes. Early in Chinese history, the “Legalists” held power and influence for centuries.

        “The Legalists believed that political institutions should be modeled in response to the realities of human behaviour and that human beings are inherently selfish and short-sighted. Thus social harmony cannot be assured through the recognition by the people of the virtue of their ruler, but only through strong state control and absolute obedience to authority. The Legalists advocated government by a system of laws that rigidly prescribed punishments and rewards for specific behaviours. They stressed the direction of all human activity toward the goal of increasing the power of the ruler and the state. The brutal implementation of this policy by the authoritarian Qin dynasty led to that dynasty’s overthrow and the discrediting of Legalist philosophy in China.”


        ” The Legalists believed that society functioned best through strong government control and absolute obedience to authority, so they created laws that ordered strict punishments and rewards for behavior. …To stop any criticism,….the Legalists banned all books on history and of classic Chinese literature that glorified past rulers. The First Emperor ordered all “non-essential” books collected and burned….Books written about Confucius and his philosophy were destroyed. During this period hundreds of scholars were put to death—many of them being buried alive. …The Legalists lost power shortly after the death of the First Emperor, and the succeeding rulers ended laws that destroyed books.”


        The desirability of the “rule of law” depends – crucially – upon the content of those laws. If they are cruel, then the so-called “rule of law” is nothing more than a mechanism for enforcing and justifying the cruelty of the Officers of the State.

        Laws and justice do not always walk hand-in-hand. The rule of the Legalists, and their violent overthrow, revealed that to the Chinese a long long time ago.

      3. jgordon

        Out of curiosity, which part of the social strata are you from? In America members of the lowers rungs would recognize your description as being plenty accurate.

        And considering that in a country of 1.4 billion people there is a far smaller prison population than in America–objectively speaking it would appear that trading our criminal justice system for theirs would be a great way to inflict considerable harm on Chinese society while simultaneously improving the lot of American minorities quite a bit.

      4. vidimi

        that last sentence is every bit as true for the US. the answer to the first will largely depend on one’s race and, as jgordon points out, one’s social stratum.

  2. MikeNY

    Jeb! is remarkably mediocre, even by the low standards of 21st century American politics. He has no new ideas. He has mostly bad old ideas. He’s tying himself into pretzels over his brother’s dunderheaded breaking of Iraq into little pieces, and now trying to shunt the blame over to someone else (Hillary). It’s a hollow and transparent move that perhaps plays well to some of Rush Limbaugh’s spiral-eyed zealots, but to no one else. Jeb! is as a gray and unexciting as yesterday’s oatmeal. This is the future of the GOP? Jeezus.

    And I’m no fan of Hillary.

    1. hidflect

      Agreed. And to be a bit vacuous, he’s a poor physical specimen too. Fat with skinny arms and frying pan glasses that magnify his “deer in the headlights” gaze. His air of general malaise makes me feel unwell just to look at him.

    2. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Being down here in red state territory, I can vouch that not many Limbaugh type conservatives are enthusiastic about Jeb. In fact there seems to be a lot of downright hostility towards him. At best, he might get some “hold your nose just to stop Hillary votes.”

      I see Bush as the Chamber of Commerce’s preferred stooge, and I suspect that is how most voters on the right see him as well. It will be interesting to see how his huge pile of cash translates into votes, personally I doubt it even gets him in the top three once real votes are cast in primaries. His only path to the nomination might entail keeping multiple “insurgent” type candidates zombie-fied well into next spring in order to split the vote.

      1. susan the other

        I’m trying to follow the MIC in this election. It ruled the last 4 elections. And in light of the link (Pando) about Trump being The Spoiler as well as the link yesterday from Tomdispatch re Chalmers Johnson’s analysis of the military’s global reach being a virtual empire, I am inclined to think that politics has become a thing of the past. And unsalvageable. This election might be the last spectacular demonstration of how dead American politics really is. Clearly it will come down to Jeb or Hillary. It’s funny, because then Trump really accomplishes his goal either way. Almost as it the political reason-for-being no longer exists even for the spoilers.

        1. ChrisFromGeorgia

          I suspect (sadly) that you are correct that things are past the salvageable stage.

          The role of MIC “stooge du jour” could be aptly played by Bush, Clinton, Rubio, Walker or Biden. The other candidates are largely there for show and to provide comedic relief, a distraction for the masses to keep their eyes diverted while the real action happens off stage.

          1. Raj

            If he’s elected, I’m very curious if Bernie Sanders would also go that route. My impression is he would take some level of action against the banks before taking action against the MIC. I suppose that’s incremental improvement, but it’s substantially less than ideal.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Like many hypodentilated, change-averse Boomers, I’m throwing my support to the Depublicrat heir apparent, Jeblary Bushlinton.

      Jeblary gives me a comforting feeling of reassurance that — as ol’ Jim Morrison used to say — ‘Everything must be this way.’

      America’s Depublicrat party, comrade: like the plastic bubble that housed a boy with no immune response, it may be sterile. But it’s all we’ve ever known.

      1. jgordon

        That’s pretty funny. I wonder whatever happened to the plastic bubble after the boy decided he’d had enough of it. Taken out with the trash, or do you think they incinerated it with other medical waste?

      2. jrs

        It really does seem to be only Boomers and older who still believe that one party is much better than the others, that still believe in lots of things like symbolic changes (“even if Bernie doesn’t win, at least he changed the dialogue” etc.). But the powers that be DON’T CARE about our dialogue, unless it becomes something powerful enough to change anything.

    4. fresno dan

      Jeb Bush Blames Hillary Clinton and Obama for Iraq’s Decline New York Times

      So, Jebbie and the republicans think that troops would have maintained the lull in violence in Iraq? It seems just as likely that the Shia population would chafe and rebel as well as the Sunni’s would regroup and again continue an IED counter offensive. Paying the Sunni’s would only work so long.
      As far as preventing ISIS, that seems a stretch, as one could posit Syria as being the origin point of ISIS as Iraq, or Syria becoming the origin point. Now, I’m sure republicans would have been all for invading Syria as well – but most Americans would not have.
      If republicans really believe that discussion of an aggressive war making policy where we need to put American troops on the ground is an election winner, than the republican establishment is more wacko than the Delaware senatorial candidate who dabbled in witchcraft (and I agree – until you join a covenant, you are not an official witch – of course, I’m not talking pansy wiccans, but real bride of satan witches…)

    5. Benedict@Large

      As far as Jeb trying to gloss over his brother’s Iraq mistakes, remember that it was Jeb who signed the original PNAC documents and not Dubya. Given that it would later be the PNAC graduating class that oversaw the “rebuilding” of Iraq, it’s probably not unfair to say Jeb was more an architect of that fiasco than was Dubya.

    6. sufferinsuccotash

      I resent the invidious comparison to yesterday’s oatmeal. The steel-cut Irish version (not instant, if you please) can be quite good when reheated with butter and cinnamon. Much more substantial than Jeb!.

      1. MikeNY


        I humbly apologize to yesterday’s oatmeal, which is fascinating, delectable and original, in comparison to Jeb!

        1. Chris A

          I really didn’t expect much from Jeb to begin with, but he is truly and surprisingly lacking. Lots of money, very little intelligence.

    7. Praedor

      I think you give the electorate too much credit. I’m betting he CAN toss a lot of the blame onto Obama and Hillary in a clump with simple repetition and support from Faux News (plus the other “news” outlets). A fair number of people WILL come to think it was Obama that broke Iraq and created ISIS with the help of Hillary at State. They didn’t help matters but they certainly did create it but they will eat some of the blame from the electorate.

      The GOP managed to turn Mitt Romney’s healthcare setup applied nationally by Obama as pure Obamacare and purely a Democratic liberal pile of shit…instead of what it is: a GOP neoliberal looting pile of crap.

  3. samhill

    Heavily Armed Oath Keepers Show Up in Ferguson to Protect Right-Wing Journalists New York Magazine (resilc). So why is no one calling them brownshirts?

    When Bernhard Goetz shot four black teens on the subway in 1984, and during all the polemics, someone graffitied along the GCS viaduct over Park Ave @ 42nd St. “What If He Had Been Black And They Had Been White?” I apply that perspective often when needing to interpret race issues. Try it here.

    1. nobody

      Here’s how RT’s reporting on this began:

      “Armed to teeth with semi-automatic assault rifles and handguns, members of the Oath Keepers militia, formed of former and current law enforcement and military officers, have blended into the crowd of Ferguson protesters, saying ‘We’re on your side.'”

      Somebody I met at Occupy is involved with the Oathkeepers (and drove out to the Bundy ranch — armed — to help defend it). She posted the RT story on development. The response:

      — Bullshit. We’re not on the protesters side.

      — You should be.

      — Why?

      — Because the people in charge dont give 2 shits about you. When people can protest with the thought of armed men keeping protesters it makes all of us free. If you side with the police, dont be surprised when they turn on you when they want your weapons.

      — My entire extended family is law enforcement and they have all told me they would never turn on the people, that civil disobedience is the only way to victory. I’m prior military and yes, I side with the police on this one. Plus, these were rioters, not protesters. Huge difference. I’m for protesting, but rioting, hell no

      — The measure of a society is what one does to protect the weak, not the strong.

      — So we are going to protect the weak and give them room to riot and burn down buildings and shoot at cops? You know that’s what happened 2 days ago in Ferguson right? Go ahead and help those out and protect them so they could do that….

      — You forget what happened in Athens Tennessee don’t you ?

      — No, that was TOTALLY different. Like comparing apples to oranges…

      — When you excuse tyranny you are part of the problem. Quit excusing bad behavior on the side of the government. Ferguson has distrust as a result of civil seizure. Read up on it then make comments.

      1. nobody

        My acquaintance’s response:

        OathKeepers is NOT a militia. They shouldn’t be there Looking and acting like one.

      2. nobody

        On his own page, the guy who’s urging more armed Oathkeepers to go to Ferguson says:

        I know some of my posts are inflammatory, here is the reason why. I took an oath to the Constitution when I enlisted in the Marines. It never expires. When I see my fellow citizens being mistreated it pisses me off to no end. When people use the law to treat one group different than others, then that is not what it was designed for. And let me fill you in there cupcake, if it can mistreat one group differently, it sure as hell can mistreat you different in the same situation.

        1. fresno dan

          I’ve posted this link before, but I love it because it shows how dogma for groups today was heresy years ago, and vice versa….

          The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement.
          OPPOSITION TO GUN CONTROL was what drove the black militants to visit the California capitol with loaded weapons in hand. The Black Panther Party had been formed six months earlier, in Oakland, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Like many young African Americans, Newton and Seale were frustrated with the failed promise of the civil-rights movement.
          The Panthers, however, took it to an extreme, carrying their guns in public, displaying them for everyone—especially the police—to see. Newton had discovered, during classes at San Francisco Law School, that California law allowed people to carry guns in public so long as they were visible, and not pointed at anyone in a threatening way.

          In February of 1967, Oakland police officers stopped a car carrying Newton, Seale, and several other Panthers with rifles and handguns. When one officer asked to see one of the guns, Newton refused. “I don’t have to give you anything but my identification, name, and address,” he insisted. This, too, he had learned in law school.

          “Who in the hell do you think you are?” an officer responded.

          “Who in the hell do you think you are?,” Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends had a legal right to have their firearms.

          Newton got out of the car, still holding his rifle.

          “What are you going to do with that gun?” asked one of the stunned policemen.

          “What are you going to do with your gun?,” Newton replied.
          Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

          What’s the saying? Where you stand depends on where you sit? Your view of gun control depends on whose guns are controlled?

    2. shinola

      When I saw those bozos on the news, the first thing I thought was:
      What would the police reaction be if a bunch of black guys showed up openly carrying assault rifles & side arms?

      1. Jess

        There’s a video floating around somewhere, prolly on YouTube, which shows a test some filmmaker did. First he had a white guy stroll down the street with an AR-15 slung on his shoulder. Cop stops him, asks why he carrying the gun, then they talk and the white gets to go on his way.

        Repeat with another cop and a black guy carrying the same gun. In this case, the first cop of the scene hops out gun in hand, orders the black guy down on the ground, then waits for plenty of backup to arrive before they cuff and frisk the guy.

        Same exact circumstance, same exact location, completely different reaction based on the race of the guy with the gun.

  4. norm de plume

    ‘Students at Sydney University use impersonators to sit their exams’

    ‘The chair of Sydney University’s academic board, associate professor Peter McCallum, said the report revealed there was a “disproportionately” high number of students from its business school who engaged in academic misconduct but that did not suggest it was problem unique to business courses’

    1. Chris in Paris

      When you’re too busy running real deals, how can you be bothered to sit for some “exam”?!

    2. Praedor

      I say it IS particularly big with business majors because the entire area of economics/business is based on the whole Gordon Gecko “greed is good” crap plus the idea that all’s fair in business. Business in the US, AUS, UK is all about getting over on regulators, citizens, the government (via tax dodging). The entire system is setup for cheating by cheaters. Not quite the same “ethic” in sciences or arts where YOU have to be the one to actually show, where you have to literally show YOUR work to get on (science cheats are caught fairly quickly and washed out, unlike in business where they just go off and start up a new cheating business ripoff, write a book, get rich off the “glory” of their cheating).

  5. Brucie A

    I Cite: Trump: candidate of truth

    Donald Trump cuts through the ideological haze of American politics and exposes its underlying truth, the truth of enjoyment. Where other candidates appeal to a fictitious unity or pretense of moral integrity, he displays the power of inequality. Money buys access — why deny it? Money creates opportunity — for those who have it. Money lets those with a lot of it express their basest impulses and desires — there is no need to hide the dark drives when there is none before whom one might feel shame (we might call this the Berlusconi principle). It’s the rest of us who bow down. – See more at:

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am reminded of that trial-by-combat NY lawyer.

      In economics, the same principle implies that, if you vanquish your competitors or your workers, they are automatically regarded as guilty and you innocent/virtuous.

      A billionaire, then, is very innocent and very virtuous, evidenced by his victories in many economic combats.

      This wasn’t obvious to me before, but I have been educated, and now I know better.

  6. Bill Smith

    Hillary’s Email Problems

    If in the end Hillary gets charged at the same level of seriousness (mishandling classified information) as Patreaus or pardoned like Deutch does her campaign for president survive?

    1. Jim Haygood

      As far as I know, nothing in the Constitution prohibits the president from residing at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution.

      ‘What did she wipe, and when did she wipe it?’

    1. susan the other

      This is very interesting. The EPA did a press release saying they were sooo embarrassed to be the ones to cause this catastrophe, etc. Right. It was probably more strategic than implied because for at least a decade there has been a faction of environmentalists (with whom I agree) that Hoover Dam should be demolished; let the Colorado run free to Baja. Now, with the next 1000 years offering not much more than dams filled with dust, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. And the EPA can use that money to save something worth saving somewhere else.

    1. Juan

      Never before have I seen anything similar to the following on a specific Bloomberg View article:

      “This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.”

      Interesting. Good article, Yves.

      1. Fool

        It’s there for pretty much every Matt Levine piece, which says more about Bloomberg than it does about Matt Levine.

  7. abynormal

    re: ‘Children know their questions annoy you’… “I’m not interested in any of these things, I just like to see adults pushed to their limits.”

    but of course, how else are they to discover their influence and limitations in social interactions?
    imvho, there are many opportunities at play here…for parents: don’t take the bait and don’t escalate annoying behavior. time invested in directing early childhood searches, ever so lacking today, will cultivate a lifetime of curiosity. when a child is baiting they are crying for attention. too often i witness adults teach a child bad attention is better than no attention. this form of rejection follows a child into adulthood…most unfortunate prison or worse. blocking out specific time everyday for questions/curiosity building is just plain healthy for everyone.
    example: recently my sister called overwhelmed from a multiple of life problems, she just needed a sounding board or so i thought. she had/has some unavoidable issues to attend but she kept talking about her 4yro dog driving her crazy. after a few days of reflection i suggested she block out time for the dog. taking the dog for short walks in the morning and evening would boost her own endorphins, thereby allowing priorities and solutions to surface. she and her dog took to it like a day at the beach…can’t shut her up.
    back to kids…Always With A Sincere Smile, i like to mindfuck them first. kids can be fun and will stretch our dormant or overwhelmed imagination. if the kid doesn’t get it, then wear them out. exercise encompasses a multitude of benefits for everyone.

    the way i see it…we’ve isolated our entitled selves. my favorite experiences with children have been in a checkout lane, no words need exchanging but the child’s stare follows me as their parents cart them off. forward into this brave new world, we’re overwhelmed with how what when…a moments focus on children offers win wins.
    they’ll need every skill we can depart on them and we get to remedy the sinners market we’ve created for them.

    hint: if your concerned about your motives being questioned by parents and authorities, good. here’s a hint: Pedophiles Are Not Playful. They’re serious in their hunt for a fix. They hide in plain site, so do their ticks. There is No lighter side to them.

    “The notion that inspired play (even when audacious, offensive, or obscene) enhances rather than diminishes intellectual vigor and spiritual fulfillment, the notion that in the eyes of the gods the tight-lipped hero and the wet-cheeked victim are frequently inferior to the red-nosed clown, such notions are destined to be a hard sell to those who have E.M. Forster on their bedside table and a clump of dried narcissus up their @ss.

    Not to worry. As long as words and ideas exist, there will be a few misfits who will cavort with them in a spirit of *approfondement*–if I may borrow that marvelous French word that translates roughly as ‘playing easily in the deep’–and in so doing they will occasionally bring to realization Kafka’s belief that ‘a novel should be an ax for the frozen seas around us’.” Tom Robbins

    be watchful be playful myFriends.

    1. fresno dan

      I am loath to say anything as I am not a parent, but my observation of most parents is that they really don’t like their children, aren’t much interested in them, and that any time in ministering to them is a waste.
      I assume we have as many children as we do because most humans do not have the foresight to use birth control.

      1. abynormal

        ministering to them is a waste…listening is priceless
        the most dangerous society gives up on kids
        Fortunately for us Fresno, no one gave up on you.

      2. ambrit

        Sorry Fresno but it’s really the fault of all those d—-d medical practitioners and public health programs. If we became truly conservative and returned to G–s Plan, with its high infant mortality rates and rampant disease vectors, all of this whingeing about too many people would, er, die down.
        I agree. Birth control should have preceded death control.

  8. vidimi

    that article by ames on roger stone was very good. reveals the amount of psyops going on behind the scenes. in a nutshell, everything is psyops, so it would be more surprising than not if those “BLM activists” weren’t patsies paid to disrupt a threat.

    i only wish he would have tied it all up by concluding that trump is a patsy candidate stone is running to help out fellow nixon jugend hilary clinton as she quests for her coronation.

    1. grayslady

      The article was better than “very good”; it was incredible. Filled with detail and links to stories of Stone and Trump dirty tricks (let’s not kid ourselves that Trump’s business behavior is even remotely admirable), it also includes an incredible link on black Tea Party activists. From the link:

      “Johnson is also a member of a group called Outside Agitators 206, a movement within the larger Black Lives Matter movement, based out of Seattle. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to hold the same goals as the larger movement and actually made a public statement declaring their intent was to “declare war on the Democratic Party“. The full statement reads

      To succeed, the Black Lives Matter Movement must transform the politics of Black America. By definition, that means declaring war on the Democratic Party, and forcing Black politicians and activists to choose between the Party and the people’s struggle.

      As usual, the Democrats will try to make Black people more angry at the terminally racist Republican Party than at the police and local administration of their (typically) Democrat-run city. Hillary Clinton is already making noises of empathy with Blacks suffering under the urban police state. However, the Black Lives Matter movement has no institutional stake in the victory of either party, but is, in fact, locked in mortal political struggle with other Black people in the Democratic Party. These Black Democrats will insist on a truce, a cessation of agitation against national or local Democrats, until after the election.

      The inherent divisiveness in that message leads one to continue to question whether or not the interruption on the stage was actually aimed at pushing forward the Black Lives Matter mantra, or whether it was done for the purposes of waging war against the Democratic Party. Those two end-goals do not seem to be in congruence with one another and until a public statement is brought forward by the Black Lives Matter movement concerning the dichotomy of both organizations there will continue to be controversy over the incident in Seattle.”

      IMNSHO, it’s mandatory to retain critical thinking on issues that are emotionally explosive, such as racial or religious call-outs. On the issue of “black lives matter”, I see a danger of harking back to the horrible days of the 2008 campaign, when anyone who criticized Obama was automatically tagged a racist. The issue of injustice for anyone in this country who isn’t part of the 1% goes well beyond race and has been happening for years.

      1. JTFaraday

        “The inherent divisiveness in that message leads one to continue to question whether or not the interruption on the stage was actually aimed at pushing forward the Black Lives Matter mantra, or whether it was done for the purposes of waging war against the Democratic Party. Those two end-goals do not seem to be in congruence with one another”

        Why not? Maybe they aren’t, but it’s incumbent upon him to say why. If anything, he’s already himself stated why BLM might want to exit the D-Party–they’ll be coerced along and ignored.

      2. nobody

        The Ames article is shoddy; the “incredible link on black Tea Party activists” incredibly so.

        Ames refers to “stunts like using black Tea Party activists to play the same old racism card.” That spurious claim is based on a photo of Marissa Johnson with a friend found on Marissa’s facebook page with the description: “This woman has known me since high school, back when I had a Sarah Palin button on backpack….we been thru a lot.” Ames is repeating internet gossip without bothering to do basic fact-checking. Who knows what other assertions or descriptions in this piece are similarly flimsy, ephemeral, or outright false?

        And the claim from that link about a supposed “public statement declaring their intent was to ‘declare war on the Democratic Party'”? There’s no such thing; the supposed Outside Agitators 206 “public statement” is actually an excerpt from a Glen Ford piece (“Democrats Hope to Bury Black Lives Matter Under Election Blitz,” dated 06/10/2015.)

        Where did the claim come from? Well, OA206 has a “Resources” page that has a collection of links called “Alternative Media.” In addition to BAR, the collection includes Counterpunch, Electronic Intifada, and The Real News. It’s kind of like that Chinese Whispers game. What started out as one article among many at one of several websites OA206 links to somehow got transformed into a public declaration by OA206 itself. And Ames took this stuff at face value without stopping to check its veracity before publishing.

        1. grayslady

          Thanks. You are absolutely correct that the so-called OA206 statement was lifted from Ford’s article.

    2. OIFVet

      So I may have been both right and wrong at the same time: the Sanders disruptions are a dirty trick but it’s not Hillary’s dirty trick. Then again, The Donald and the Clintons have been close in the past… In any case, the whole “pick on Sanders” thing felt like astroturf from the get-go.

      PS Many thanks to Paul Carr for unlocking this great article for us.

      1. vidimi

        actually, it most likely is hilary’s trick. both stone and hilary were nixon jugend, as ames put it. trump is a patsy candidate created to disrupt the republicans so that hilary cruises to a coronation, and her primary threat is being disrupted with agitators.

    3. JTFaraday

      “it would be more surprising than not if those “BLM activists” weren’t patsies paid to disrupt a threat.””

      Maybe they were, but how big of a threat is Bernie Sanders, really? It seems to me that he might actually be a bigger threat if he managed to bring together the disenchanted group of liberals that he represents with the disenchanted group that actual grassroots BLM-type activists represent, and they all decisively exit the D-Party mainstream together and form new cultural and political institutions.

      I’m not saying he’s going to manage to do that, but I am saying that as it stands right now, BS is no threat.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Yuan devaluation.

    Suddenly, that meat from the 1970’s looks a lot cheaper to importers here. Will we be buying some of it?

    But American pork can be too expensive in China. What to do with all that factory pigs in North Carolina?

    Ford should think about moving its commercial truck production from Mexico, not to Ohio, but to Vietnam, as surely, Hanoi will out-devalue Beijing, if not now, soon enough. So, China has to devalue further. Hope it works.

    “Hey, can’t find work in the home of the global reserve currency? Be happy, at least your Silk Road smartphone is getting cheaper.”

    1. craazyboy

      It’s sad no one thought to make America home of the global reserve currency AND import duties. Things could have been so simple….there would mostly be only petro-dollars exiled at foreign CBs. If anyone came up short – for whatever good reason – there is always CB currency swaps in a pinch.

    2. Synapsid


      China is working on the problem: The largest pig producer in the US (Smithfield) was bought not long ago by the largest pork producer in China.

  10. cripes

    While self-styled Black Lives Matter interrupters crash Bernie Sander’s events,
    Trump says he’ll “beat them up” if they show up at his events.
    Jeb! says the problem is not the tsunami of deaths at the hands of police, but “Kids in this country are aimlessly wandering around in their lives…You see what happens in Baltimore and Ferguson. You see the tragedies play out. You see people becoming so despondent they take actions that are horrific.”
    Obama calls them “a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place​,”
    While Bernie is an economic populist who generally votes with the war hawks (not always), it is strange to go after Sanders when there is a target rich environment in the cast of corporatists running for Chief Publicist in the white house.

    Of course, it may be that Black Lives Matter is just a slogan that anyone can use in pursuit of their own efforts, or at least that anyone starting a chapter in their city can do what they please under its banner.

    But maybe it’s all for the best, as Pangloss would say, if Sanders campaign builds a stronger more explicit platform on race and the criminal state of justice, and the rest of the candidates are forced to address the issue at all.


    1. diptherio

      “Kids in this country are aimlessly wandering around in their lives…You see what happens in Baltimore and Ferguson. You see the tragedies play out. You see people becoming so despondent they take actions that are horrific.”

      Referring to Darren Wilson and associates, I assume… [/sarc]

  11. flora


    People want to keep copper land lines? Wonder why.

    “As many people in the eastern United States likely found out the hard way during last August’s Hurricane Irene and two months later during October’s freak snowstorm, VoIP and fiber landline telephone systems generally don’t have the same ability as old-fashioned copper lines to maintain service indefinitely when the power goes out. (Find out how to stay in touch during an emergency.)

    Instead, today’s VoIP and fiber systems typically provide up to eight hours of standby service, and then only if they’re equipped with an in-home battery backup. Otherwise, the phones go dead.

    That renders the lines useless for dialing 911, loved ones, friends, and others during disasters, when telephone access often is needed most. That’s a particular problem if you don’t have a cell phone as a backup; if the cellular networks fail, as some did during Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm; or if you can’t recharge the batteries on mobile phones because your power is out.”
    -Consumer Reports

    1. flora

      and from the same article:
      “But there may be another reason why copper presents problems for phone companies. Federal law requires them to share their copper lines with competitors. There’s no such requirement for fiber. “

      1. Eric Patton

        That’s an excellent catch. I missed that.

        Verizon should be grateful no one is talking about nationalizing them. Because markets.

  12. craazyboy

    Skippy posted a link late last night to the latest Bernie rally in Los Angeles.

    It was my first Bernie Rally, and I have to say it was rather refreshing.

    It’s a whole hour long. The issues he spoke on seem to be ordered like a political Maslow’s Triangle – the first half of the speech seemed directed at the lower half of the 99%, then he worked his way up to the upper half of the 99% for the remainder of the speech.

  13. knowbuddhau

    Re: the Antidote, glad you liked it. I feel like a real member of the community now.

    She was the perfect guest. Great company, not the least bit demanding, entertained herself, even helped with the yard work. I was concerned that the guests wouldn’t be happy with a goat on the property, but to their credit, they were as delighted as I was to share the place with her. Even old goats deserve awesome summer vacations.

    Most impressive was her wariness. She always sat where she had clear lines of sight to all approaches. In sharp contrast to Big Brother, it was delightful to be spied on by a goat. And she walked in the halting, high-stepping manner of a deer, as if she was sent by the Ministry of Silly Walks.

    I spoke to her rescuer yesterday. She’s doing great. She roughhouses with the other goats, eats out of one’s hand, follows her benefactor everywhere, and answers to her new name, Bella.

    Don’t know who picked her name, but it’s perfect. I mean, she’s hot, right craazyboy? That is one good looking goat.

    If I accomplish nothing else in my tenure as caretaker, to have saved her from becoming road kill will be enough.

    1. abynormal

      you got my top 3 antidotes of ALL TIME…crisp, clean n clear like YOU

      Oh, oobee doo
      I wanna be like you
      I wanna walk like you
      Talk like you, too
      You’ll see it’s true
      An ape like me
      Can learn to be humen too

      goats are such posers heheheee

    2. craazyboy

      I think goats are hot. Just not in that way. My only interaction with goats has been at the state fair, but they always were one of my favorite animals there. For some weird reason they strike me as somewhat dog-like, and the ones at the state fair seemed very happy to interact with humans – like they would make good pets.

      1. diptherio

        Socialized goats can be very affectionate and sweet. Unfortunately, they can also be hell on trees :-/ I’ve got three fixed angoras looking for a home right now, btw, if anyone’s interested…for reals…

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        One of my friends wants to have goats when she retires, but I understand goats need even more social attention than dogs! One assumes they get some from other goats, but I gather they are pretty high maintenance. But I gather if you are prepared for that they are fun.

    3. OIFVet

      Great antidote! And one can never go wrong with naming a pet Bella. I know because one of my cats is named Bella.

  14. Brindle

    David Stockman has a piece on an Aspen meeting of the permanent war establishment. It’s good read:

    —But what was dispositive was that the #1 chair on the perpetual war team was occupied by Michele Flournoy. Not only was she Obama’s #2 at DOD and now Hillary Clinton’s SecDef designate, but she is ostensibly a legatee of what was once the Democratic Party’s left-leaning peace wing.

    No more. Ms. Flournoy has climbed Washington’s slippery pole of power by growing a heavy plume of hawkish feathers. Accordingly, she presented not a single coherent argument about how ISIS is a threat to the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE or Springfield MA. Her case amounted to nothing more than a glib recitation of ISIS’ murderous brutalities, beheadings and benighted barbarisms.—

  15. Kurt Sperry

    “That means the past eight months of wrangling between the new Syriza government and the troika of the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank have not only handed the Greeks a tougher set of austerity measures than was probably available in January, but also crashed the economy.”

    Seems like I remember someone predicting *exactly* this outcome from the very beginning and getting quite a bit of flack for doing so.

      1. susan the other

        I’m thinking about the last thing I read. Can’t cite. But Lew (I think) told Greece the US was behind them and to hang in there just to stay in the EU. (shades of Vicky Nuland?) The implication of this advice was that Germany would back down when they could create a politically correct way to do so. I think China just gave them one.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          One can probably gauge the political deftness of any prospective Greek bailout by how it is covered in the press. A badly constructed bailout will be on the front pages of all the German dailies, whereas a well constructed one will be buried deep in Handelsblatt and pass little noticed.

  16. fresno dan

    Mankiw’s Principles of Economics Part 8: A Country’s Standard of Living Depends on Its Ability to Produce Goods and Services Ed Walker, emptywheel

    It also supports the Ninth Commandment, Thou Shalt Know that Inequality is Natural, because it tells the entrepreneur of you that if you fail, it’s your fault for being insufficiently productive. The problem is always the workers; and never the owners of capital for they can do no wrong. That comes from the Tenth Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Blame Corporations and Monopolies, especially for investing their capital in foreign countries so jobs are created there instead of in the US. After all, the free flow of capital is critical in Capitalism, as we learn in Mirowski’s discussion of Commandment 8: Thou Shalt Keep Thy Cronyism Cosmopolitan.
    Good article, but I always wish there was more attention to the fact that society as a whole is contrived to protect capital and pricing power. On the one hand, if labor pricing power declines, not only is that thought of as natural, but good.

    But on the other hand, for example, Disney is rich enough, but our mickey mouse laws (pun intended), i.e., copyright, have been expanded and the term of copyright extended and extended. The guy who thought up Mickey Mouse is dead, and has been for about 50 years. Freeing Mickey from copyright is not going to diminish the creativity of Mr. Disney.

    I think the copyright examples are just a drop in the ocean of rent seeking, that is so massive and pervasive, that it is simply wringing real work, creativity, and productivity out of the economy. We live with so much de facto monopolist power, and all the attendant corruption that comes with that, it is a wonder that the economy does as well as it does, but not surprising that it continues to serve the interests of the vast majority less and less.

    1. fresno dan

      its like the old goat is standing there thinking these modern new fangled rocks are for the youngsters….

  17. JEHR

    Canada’s navy–what a laugh. We bought some old second-hand submarines from Britain and they were responsible for one sailor’s death and the subs were substandard, to say the least. I doubt they are even in service now. Our fearless leader has promised shipbuilding on the West coast and shipbuilding on the East coast but just not now–maybe in 2017. That date was chosen to ensure his re-election. How can any leader run a navy that way!


      1. Lexington

        Try ten years. And they were almost “like new” when Canada bought them because they had only a very brief career in the RN.

        At the time it seemed like a great opportunity. The Oberon class submarines they were purchased to replace were highly regarded and had given the RCN years of service. Britain was a long time and trusted supplier.

        Unfortunately in this case it does seem that we got taken. The British no doubt realized the subs were duds, which is why the program was scaled back from 12 to 4 boats, the 4 that were built only saw brief service (never mind blather about the “peace dividend” and “all nuclear sub navy”), and they were not only willing but eager to let Canada take them off their hands at fire sale prices.

        Caveat emptor.

        And that goes double when dealing with the Americans. How’s that F-35 program coming?

    1. vidimi

      i wonder what to make of the fact that the fictitious country the naval exercise that kicked off the article was designed to protect was called Sorotan.

      surely, if they were to refer to a CIS state they would have used the suffix ‘stan’, but would Sorostan make it too obvious who the intended stakeholder is?

  18. optimader

    While the Italian island of Sardinia revels in a renewable energy boom, the long arm of organized crime risks sullying its clean power ambitions.

    Famed for its lush plains and emerald waters but racked by poverty and unemployment, Sardinia has jumped at the chance to boost the economy by converting its long months of sunshine into green energy.

    And it is not alone: cities and towns across Italy are embracing hydroelectric power, geothermal energy, wind farms, solar panels, steam generators and biomass plants, due largely to generous state subsidies.

    In Sardinia’s northwest, the crop from purple and golden fields of thistles and sunflowers is used to generate biomass energy, while on the rolling hills in the island’s centre, towering white turbines spin gently in the breeze at Italy’s second largest wind farm.

    With youth joblessness in the region at over 50 percent, many hoped the state’s green incentives would not only breathe life into struggling family communities, but attract companies from other parts of Italy and foreign multinationals which would create jobs.

    The problem, according to countryside campaign groups, is that while the subsidies come out of taxpayer pockets, so far the region has seen little of the profits made by the energy firms – many of which are accused of making fraudulent claims for funds…………………………….

  19. optimader

    Banca Etica, which translates to Ethical Bank in Italian, certainly lives up to its name. Though only 15 years old, it holds roughly $3 billion in total assets under management and has quickly become an international bank, with branches in most of Italy’s 20 regions as well as in the Basque region of Spain. A member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), Banca Etica is a cooperative that strives to be Italy’s bank for the “third sector”; it serves non-profit organizations, cooperatives, social enterprises, and individuals.

    In a country like Italy, where many banks and enterprises boast a long and rich history, Banca Etica’s newness makes it something of an unusual upstart. The fact that it is a cooperative, however, is not unusual. Many of Italy’s largest businesses are cooperatives. These include COOP, the country’s primary supermarket chain, and many of the largest insurers, construction companies, and banks—several with more than $50B in assets.

    Given the long history of cooperative businesses and banks in Italy, you might ask: why was there a need to start a new, ethical bank? What we learned, while spending a week with the bank in their Padua and Milan offices, is that cooperative status does not always equate to ethical and democratic practices…….

  20. optimader

    Do you think that microgrids and energy storage systems are a threat to or an opportunity for incumbent utilities?
    Distributed resources, energy storage and microgrids will facilitate new means of delivering energy services. However, the best application for these technologies is not to create a new electricity delivery model but rather to incorporate them into the existing electric grid, as this results in the most reliable electric system. Utilities are best positioned to apply these new technologies through their networks and in partnership with their customers……

  21. gordon

    Re: the US Coast Guard’s seizure of drugs: can somebody tell me why cocaine is referred to as a “narcotic”? My dictionary defines narcotic as “substance inducing drowsiness, sleep, stupor or insensibility”. I would have thought cocaine with such properties would be deeply disappointing to its consumers.

  22. gordon

    My dictionary defines “narcotic” as “substance inducing drowsiness, sleep, stupor or insensibility”. Cocaine with such properties would be deeply disappointing to its consumers. Why, then, is the US Coast Guard reported as seizing “narcotics” when most of the seized drugs were cocaine?

  23. ewmayer

    @gordon: While ‘narcotic’ indeed derives from the Greek word for ‘make numb’, the modern usage is broader – my dictionary defines it as ‘a drug or other substance affecting mood or behavior and sold for nonmedical purposes, esp. an illegal one.’ Analogously the trade of the drug cartels ‘narcotrafficking’, and the associated violence is ‘narcoterrorism’.

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