Links 8/18/15

Apologies for the lack of original posts today. I spent a big chunk of yesterday on research and coordination that will show up in sone later original reporting. Plus we were lucky enough to come across some important cross posts.

Just so you know, bona fide original reporting (even when we get a nice tidy nugget that makes for a contained piece) really does take more time than analysis and commentary, as useful as we think those are.

Spanish bulls gore seven to death BBC and Four more gored to death across Spain as surge in bull-run casualties continues Guardian

Mass grave reveals prehistoric warfare in ancient European farming community Guardian

Drugs from the Sea Motherboard. Resilc: “So if we trash the planet did we just blow the cure for cancer?”

Europe’s Forgotten History: From Human Zoos to Human Trophies Displayed in Museums Today Counterpunch

Adjusting to slower growth, not Macrobusiness

World shipping slump deepens as China retreats Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

China’s yuan slips even as central bank sets firmer midpoint Reuters

Emergency services personnel hold minute of silence for Tianjin blast victims Japan Times

Don’t Worry About China’s Stocks—Worry About Its Housing American Conservative. Resilc: “About 15 percent of China’s GDP is housing-related. This is extraordinarily high. In the 2003-08 housing bubble, housing’s share of U.S. GDP barely cracked 5 percent.”

China Shares Drop on Worries About Beijing’s Commitment to Reform Wall Street Journal

Large explosion rocks central Bangkok intersection Pattaya Mail (furzy mouse)

Bangkok bombing: PM urges calm DW

Déjà Vu: Germany Tightens Its Economic Power Over Europe Truthout


China slowdown weighs on Russia Financial Times


Tsipras likely to call confidence vote after party revolt Reuters

Greece’s Missing Drivers of Growth Economonitor


The Wrong Iraq Question Outside the Beltway (Resilc)

Syria bombs Damascus suburb a day after deadly air strikes on marketplace Guardian

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Don’t Want Your Car Hacked? Keep It Simple. Bloomberg

Tim Pawlenty Makes It Clear Banks Want Immunity for Negligence Marcy Wheeler

EPA to Propose Rules Cutting Methane Emissions From Oil and Gas Drilling Wall Street Journal

Obama Announces Readiness To Accept Another $1 Billion In Bribes Moon of Alabama

IRS Says Cyberattacks More Extensive Than Previously Reported Wall Street Journal

Hillary Clinton emails flagged for review BBC

Bob Woodward Says Clinton Emails Remind Him Of The Nixon Tapes Huffington Post (Li)

Donald Trump: No citizenship for illegal migrants’ babies BBC

With fist-bump and autographs, Trump fulfills jury duty Reuters (EM). Only after ignoring notices five times.

Carly Fiorina’s Record: Not So Sterling New York Times (resilc)

Trump says would raise visa fees to pay for Mexican border wall Reuters. EM: “A wall is just so hideous. I prefer a moat – just canalize the stretches of the border not already covered by the Rio Grande, then add piranhas and crocodiles to the whole length, maybe throw in some hippos and flamingos for diversity and color, thus both securing and ‘greening’ the border at the same time.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Activists ‘Feel the Bern?’ Charles Blow, New York Times (resilc). Comments at least when I checked had a considerable majority that begged to differ.

Starting Over New Yorker. On Katrina victims who left New Orleans.

President Obama’s Department of Injustice New York Times (resilc)

Buzzkill Profs: Hedge Funds Do Half as Well as You Think Bloomberg

Banks braced for billions in civil claims over forex rate rigging Financial Times

Citigroup Sorry Angry Investors Who Lost Billions Feel That Way DealBreaker

Class Warfare

Jeff Bezos says he doesn’t recognize ‘soulless and dystopian’ Amazon The Verge. Resilc: “I’m a billionaire, i don’t beat my slaves, at least it doesnt show. Howz the PTSD at Amazon?”

Today’s Tech Is Like Yesterday’s Wall Street Bloomberg. Um, today’s Wall Street is still like that. We’re seeing these become normal in Corporate America.

Reverse mortgages: The final blow killing middle class wealth Daily Kos (Judy B)

The Case Against DuPont Intercept

Antidote du jour. Zack: “Taken by Marcus, 9. Budding nature photographer!”

friendly snake links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. j in baltimore

    Woodward? We’re going to Woodward now to keep this faux email controversy alive? Sheesh.

    1. Vatch

      What’s faux about it? It appears to be a disturbing sign of arrogance and foolishness on Hillary Clinton’s part. What am I failing to understand?

        1. Vatch

          The “it” is Clinton’s foolish and possibly illegal use of a private email server for State Department business.

          1. jin baltimore

            When it gets into the actual realm of possibly instead of simply allegedly, I guess I will pay attention. Currently no one is suggesting criminal activity on this, however…oh, except right-wingers, including Woodward. As a general rule, I try not to parrot their talking points.

            1. Lambert Strether

              I view the criminal issue as a distraction. It’s the very fact of privatizing email sent and received as a Constitutional officer that’s both corrupt and morally repellent.

              1. j in baltimore

                Then why no outcry from the NYT and eveywhere else on all other government officials (Powell, Bush, Bush, Cheney) who had the same practice? Either the issue matters across the board, or its only purposes are to smear a current presidential candidate and to unleash another symptom of CDS.

              1. Kurt Sperry

                Well the NYT at least is right wing in my personal estimation but I’m guessing “jin” would take exception. HRC turning in a wiped email server in response to a subpoena for its contents surely is obstruction of justice or destroying evidence. Why wouldn’t it be? Because she’s *Hillary*? I hope she faces indictment for the whole sleazy affair, she and her corporate bosses are part of everything that is currently wrong with America.

              2. j in baltimore

                New York times has very sloppily and repeatedly retracted the “criminal” claim…only, of course, not on the font page where the false report was made. Clinton Rules and all of that.

                So, yes, I imagine I’m not the first to depict the NYT (and subsequent media who repeated its error in judgment) as a right wing site…see Judith Miller, e.g.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  I can see you did not bother looking at the link I provided. The “criminal” claim was in a headline in a later, different story, and the word “criminal” was in the headline.

                  The point that seems to elude you is that Hillary broke the law, as the Times stated correctly from the outset. The question is whether the conduct rose to the level of being prosecutable. And we have the separate issue that Kurt raises above, that her subsequent behavior sure as hell looks like the obstruction of justice which most assuredly IS a prosecutable offense.

                  1. j in baltimore

                    You mean on page 2? “Clinton fires back on email controversy?” Or not there anymore?

            2. Vatch

              Hillary Clinton is a right winger herself. She’s a DINO stooge of the ultra rich who own the United States.

              1. j in baltimroe

                Not defending Clinton, just reason…Some day this same kind of bs is going to be flung at a candidate whom you think doesn’t deserve it, and it will be because of this “where there’s smoke there’s fire” gossip mill mentality that said candidate will be smeared just as successfully. There are plenty of reasons to find fault with Clinton, as have been mentioned (off-topic) within this thread. We don’t need to follow Trey Gowdy’s path is all I’m saying.

          2. wbgonne

            Not only that. But Clinton’s unilateral decision as to what was business and what was private, as if there is any real distinction within the Clinton Machine. If those withheld emails surface, then the sparks will fly.

            BTW: the FBI investigates criminal activity. And that’s what is happening now. Of course, the FBI is under the DOJ, which is under guess who. So there’s that. OTOH: FBI Director James Comey has a notorious independent streak that may make the Obama-Clinton alliance regret his appointment.


      1. Strangely Enough

        That it’s never too early in the morning to do a quick “move along, nothing to see here…”


    2. Christopher Fay

      What Vatch says below. I would like to see all the emails to bet a better underseading of how the pay-offs from big biz to the Hillary Jeb, Bill, and the other one goes

  2. abynormal

    some background on Bangkok: A look at southern Thailand’s smoldering insurgency
    *According to Abuza, an average of 15 bombings and 16 shootings a month have been recorded in the region over the past five years.
    *Those fighting the Thai state include a raft of separatist organizations as well as, presumably, smaller cells and individual insurgents. They are up against some 70,000 security forces in the three border provinces. But the diverse and extremely decentralized nature of the insurgency makes it hard to pin down, as CSIS expert Poling explained.

    1. lord koos

      The Muslims fighting for autonomy in southern Thailand have been responsible for some terrible crimes, such as snipers assassinating public school teachers while they ride to work on their scooters. However, at this point it’s far from certain that the bombings in Bangkok can be attributed to Muslim separatists.

    2. Lambert Strether

      What Do We Know About Bangkok’s Deadly Blast? The Diplomat

      A quite measured interpretation. The issue is that the bombing is hard to match with the known signatures of any of the usual suspects, including the Southern insurgents.

      The police have now released CCTV footage of the possible perp, and there is now an online manhunt for the distinctive T-shirt he was wearing (because that worked so well with Tsarnaev). That doesn’t make me comfortable. I remember when ISIS was first being inflated that jihaadist T-shirts from mysterious Indonesian manufacturers were being cited as evidence, just as here. Basically, nobody knows anything.

      1. abynormal

        Appreciate the follow up Lambert. i found 70k ‘security forces’ mind boggling…it would seem they’re infiltrated. i remember last yr you and i unraveling t-shirt colors.

        what color would ISIS wear? red, white or blue? i need a point of reference here.
        i’ll keep an eye out but if you catch a report of the type of compound used will you share a link…thanks (homework unintended)

  3. JTMcPhee

    One route to full employment:

    “Putin Revives Soviet Deal of Pretend-Work-and-Pay to Hide Crisis,”

    I’ll leave it to others to describe the “crisis” the Bloomberg writers presume.

    In the meantime, on the nature of the human beast and our mutual vulnerabilities, see all the links, and stuff like this,

    One wonders what outcomes “we,” or at least those of us whose vote and leverage actually count, want (cf. “Need”) from ” our” political economy…

  4. pmr9

    Reports of massacres of civilians in rebel-held areas by the Syrian regime should be interpreted critically. A preliminary investigation of the Douma market attack on 16 August 2015 has shown that 100 of the 105 fatalities were recorded as adult males, and at least 95 of these were buried in mass graves. As in previous massacres attributed to the regime, the segregation of victims by sex, and their burial in mass graves unclaimed by their families, are consistent with a massacre of rebel-held captives.

  5. Metro Gnome

    Regarding Carly Fiorina – I haven’t read the article, but as an electronics engineer I did watch with dismay as she ran that formerly great company into the ground by starving R&D and spinning the heart and soul of it off into Agilent. She bought into every silly new management philosophy that came along while joining the race to the bottom with sh*tty consumer-grade computing equipment and peripherals. It was very sad.

    1. jgordon

      I had a similar thought. She destroyed every company she ever ran, and with that in mind it’s hard to believe that anyone takes her seriously. Some people seem to have a bizarre mental illness that causes them to equate money with righteousness, or at least competence.

      1. Chris in Paris

        Sorkin makes a bizarre comment at the end of the piece about her being a talented and thoughtful politician, connecting with people.

        Can one be a politician without ever having held office?

        1. Antifa

          Being a politician is a skill set, not a job title. In the private arenas of life, it is the person who keeps peace around the family Thanksgiving dinner, or holds a work crew to its purpose instead of letting everyone goof off, or organizes a community garden or bake sale.

          In the public arenas of life, it is the person who desires and thrives upon having influence and power over other lives, who wants to be close to the conduits of public power and money, the concentration points of authority, responsibility, public funds, government money, corporate projects and progress. Alderman, judge, police commissioner, mayor, pastor of a megachurch, etc.

          Some politicians are content to be on the school board or their local church committee, or hold an office of authority like dogcatcher, deputy sheriff, principal, CEO or foreman. They like being in command, giving orders, making life decisions for other people. It’s a trip. Heck, just directing traffic at an intersection can fill your soul with delusions of power and feed your ego for weeks afterward.

          National and international politicians are not content with anything less than holding the mightiest levers of power and exercising authority over the maximum number of lives. If there’s someone with more power than they, then they burn with ambition to get that person’s job.

          These persons may have started with a simple desire to benefit mankind or civilization or their nation or whatever, but having tasted immense power and influence, they are like a young man who enters a drinking contest at the local pub to win prize money for the local orphanage — he started out with noble intentions but now he’s completely roaring drunk, and the contest has its own meaning and goals, which is to get drunker. The orphanage be damned! Fill my glass!

          We all know this about politicians, which is why we say things like, “Anyone who wants to be President, by definition, isn’t fit for the office.” We all run into people occasionally who are obviously delighted with their position and power and authority.

          But we need dogcatchers, and mayors, and Presidents so we listen to these drunks and vote for whomever seems to be holding their liquor.

          1. hunkerdown

            Aside from vehemently disagreeing that any authority not earned afresh with every encounter is legitimate in any way, I find it curious that a poster by the moniker of “Antifa” says “we” “need” vested authority figures.

              1. abynormal

                did you check urbandic definition?

                Middle-class champagne socialist/communist/anarchist white boys who don’t like nationalists or fascists. They consider themselves to be rebelling against the establishment, whilst upholding all of its ultra-politically correct views.

                “What you find in the mirror you will find in the reality it mirrors.”
                William Barrett

      2. ProNewerDeal

        Word, Metro Gnome & jgordon,

        My idea, which I have never have seen mentioned in BigMedia, is that if these failed businessman like Carly Fiorina or Jamie Dimon (whose company is bankrupt without the 2008 2B2F Bailouts), presumably talented at sociopathic Machievillian office politrickian “skills”, start up a company? Yves Smith is an actually talented businessperson, far superior to Fiorina or Dimon, having started up successful companies like her financial services consulting company.

        The Fiorina/Dimon failed F500 CEO types have > $10M in liquid investments. Perhaps a startup is not where they would claim they “add value”. Why not 100% cash purchase as the sole owner a midsize company with a good product/service, but just not the “management talent” that Fiorina supposedly has, then manage it with their “superior skillz”. Nope, the Fiorina types refuse to try this either.

        I must conclude Fiorina actually is an incompetent businessperson, and is thus scared to try owning/running another business, for fear that she would ruin that company, as she ruined HP.

        Trump is a incompetent failed businessman like Fiorina, having gone bankrupt 4 times. However Trump is “talented” at being a Kim Kardashian-style “businessman”. Trump/Kardashian/Jay-Z/etc are charismatic & celebrities to some segment of customers, and are savvy in licensing their name to real businesspersons to sell crap to their loyal Stan/customerbase.

        Repub voters & the knob-slob BigMedia “business expert reporter” like Sorkin cannot seem to distinguish between these failures like Fiorina/Trump, and actual competent successful businesspersons.

        1. hunkerdown

          “competent successful businesspersons…”

          Are you sure you’re not conflating the outcomes of the CEO and the outcomes of the companies they ride, or conflating a role relative to production and a socioeconomic caste? In an aristocracy, “business” and “production” are entirely orthogonal. Fiorina’s done great as a celebrity aristocrat, full stop, just like the Brahmin in the local web dev course who think they’re entitled to just “be” doctors and have Sudra give them money for nothing. In ill societies, the fruits of exploitation are considered hard-earned.

    2. Louis

      The problem with the “I’m qualified to be president because I have business experience” line is that running a business is different than running a government.

      When a CEO wants to take the company in a new direction, they can usually fire or otherwise force out anyone who doesn’t want to go along, whereas a president seeking to take the country in a new direction can’t fire Congress or the Supreme Court for refusing to go along.

      Assuming for the sake of argument Carly Fiorina were to become president, what is she going to do if there is a midterm sweep and Democrats take control of one house of Congress (or both)? It’s hard enough for those with experience to get anything done in divided government–Fiorina, having never previously held elected office, would likely be out of her league.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The other qualifiers:

        “I am qualified because I have a young brother. I am his big brother and I take care of him.”

        “I am qualified because I am a father. I am paternal for the paternal state. I take care of my children”

        “I am qualified because I was a nanny once. I can run the nanny state.”

    3. LarryB

      HP’s decline started well before Fiorina took over, and while she was CEO her predecessor, Lew Platt, was chairman, so I can’t blame it all on her. Still, she didn’t do squat to arrest the decline either. Sad story, I can remember back in my college days when HP was _the_ company to work for and those who got an offer from them were greatly envied. Not anymore.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        She is hated in Silicon Valley, and she most assuredly did destroy Lucent.

        And HP was a perfectly fine mature business. My God, it coined money on printer ink. She managed to mess that up too.

  6. Ditto

    Re Limited number of substantive black writers in the press and on opinion papers

    What Blow reminds me of is there are a limited number of actual Black voices in the press and on opinion pages so Whites , who are not exposed to these issues , would have a limited idea of race. For example, would ending police brutality end racism related deaths? The answer is no. The health care or lack of treatment of Blacks due to views of race likely leads to allow of premature death.

    So, I, as a Black guy, am subject to people like Blow, who frankly I question whether they are serving the interest of all Black people or just Middle Class Bkack People.

    Police brutality is a real concern. However, if you are poor and Black, it is not your only concern. It must be nice to have the luxury of focusing one’s attention on just brutality or just voting rights rather the far ranging issues Black actually have to address. The NY Times ran a study about the following:

    My point is that we have the wrong people trying to engage folks like Sanders in the press . If their agenda isn’t to get Clinton elected (some aren’t and those that are should just be ignored as opportunist ), they seem to lack an appreciation of the challenges of race beyond bumper sticker slogans. Being Black does not mean one understands how race related to class.

    1. Brindle

      The Charles Blow NYT piece serves a pro-Hillary narrative. Clinton is mentioned just once in the article and that alludes to her strong support in polls by African Americans. The very least of BLM problems is the progressive wing of the Dem party (what is left of it, anyway). The Beltway media is certainly giving legs to “do white progressives have a problem w/ African Americans?” meme. Notice there is no questioning of the motives of Dem centrism and racial issues—that is telling.

      1. Ditto

        I see that all too much in the Black press or frim writers are Black who are in main stream press. Unless they are radical or leftist, they simply gloss over too much of how Neoliberal policies play a role in intensifying the effects of racism on Black lives. The one thing that Clinton said to BLM that I agree with is that we can’t change hearts and minds, but we can change laws and impact. The problem is that her policy solutions are likely to be Neoliberal like Presidents Obama and Clinton were. For example, people discuss how Clinton policies lead to more Black people being jailed, but do not discuss at the moment how the Wall Street deregulation law he passed allowed for Neo redlining in the form of subprime mortgages that hurt AAs. I attempted to get Black Kos and other writers to discuss it, but they seemed uninterested.

        Ultimately, the reason I disagreed with the black activists who admonished Sanders for discussing income inequality is that they miss the point that inequality disproportionately harms Blacks and the associated affect is more deaths. Avoiding class, gives Neoliberals license to continue to promote our deaths by saying their policies are not racism.

        1. ProNewerDeal

          fw , shows the Harvard public health study, that estimates that with pre-ACA health policy, ~54K USians would have died in 2015 due to lack of having health insurance, whereas given the ACA policy “only” ~30K died, & with a Medicare For All policy NONE would died due to lack of having health insurance.

          Mindless 0bots would likely say that 0bama saved ~24K lives. I recall the news from the ACA law (2011?) Jane Hamsher/firedoglake and others noting sources that 0bama killed the For All Public Option, to serve the Private Oligopolist Crapified Health Insurer faction of Sickcare Mafia Complex faction of 0bama’s Owners/campaign funders.

          I would say that 0bama would rather kill ~30K USians/year, by killing Medicare Public Option, & even better Medicare For All (a human right, not a buy-in), in order to beneift his Health Insurer Corporate Welfare Queen Owners. In this sense, 0bama, similarly owned poli-trick-ians like John Boner, Hellary, Jeb!, etc; and the Health Insurer Oligopoly murder far more Muricans than ISIS or whoever the Terist BoogeyMan Du Jour TM is.

          Similary, the faction of US police that are Terist Murderers of innocent USians, murder ~1K USians/year, far worse than the ISIS Terist BoogeyMan Du Jour TM. However, the 0bama/BigPol/Health Insurer consipiracy to kill Medicare For All & Medicare Public Option, are even worse murderers of USians (~30K) than Terist Cops (~1K).

          Black USians face the highest risk of Terist Cop Murders, as #blacklivesmatter states. blacklivesmatter is doing great work by protesting these barbaric Terist Cop Murders, the existence of which preclude USA from being considered a civilized nation.

          However, even if the entire 1K annual Terist Cop Murders ONLY affected Black USians, but Black USians had a proportionate share of Medicare For All-Killing Conspiracy Terist Murders, 13.6% (Black USian population per Wiki) of ~30K is 4080 annual Black USian murdered by the Medicare For All-Killing Conspiracy Terists.

          Thus, hopefully a Black USian Medicare For All activist(s) could rudely disrupt a blacklivesmatter, Hellary, or any Repub Pres candidate event, noting that the ~4080 annual Black USians MATTER, and hold the likes of Hellary to account for perpetuating Denial of Medicare For All Terist Murders of USians.

          Both Black & NonBlack citizens of Civilized nations like Canada, do NOT have to fear significant risk of murder, either by Terist Cops or by Denial of Medicare For All. Until the Barbaric USA changes these 2 policies, USians will be Terrorized by both Cops & the Sickcare Mafia Complex.

          D party candidate Bernie Sanders, & Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, both strongly oppose Terist Cop Murder, and support Medicare For All. Perhaps blacklivesmatter citizens should consider supporting one of these candidates, and challenging the other candidates like Hellary.

        2. davidgmills

          They seemed to miss that point or completely ignore it. From where does “white privilege” or “white supremacy” get its clout? Money. If that policeman that is about to beat you over the head thinks you or your family or your friends might be able to hold him to account (because there is a good chance someone you know has the finances to do something about it) he is going to think twice before he swings the baton or fires the gun.

          As a retired attorney, I can tell you one very important thing about holding the government or corporations to account. Without any money it is damn hard. It is hard enough if you have money, but damn near impossible without it.

          We have plenty of laws. What individuals don’t have is the ability to enforce them without some deep pockets.

      2. jrs

        Yes, yes I often think we should be lucky to get “white supremacist liberalism” (which is not particularly white supremacist, just that’s what the protesters called the crowd at the Social Security and Medicare rally) since none of has seen any liberalism whatsoever anywhere for a few decades.

        Now white supremacist NEO-liberalism, that would be an interesting meme. It’s certainly something a protester could denounce Hillary’s supporters for – “you’re all white supremacist neo-liberals!”. Well kinda yea ….

  7. Eric Patton

    Activists ‘Feel the Bern?’ Charles Blow, New York Times (resilc). Comments at least when I checked had a considerable majority that begged to differ.

    Naked Capitalism is in the conversation for best site on the web right now.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      For no BS economic analysis and, even more broadly, analysis of current events, it is right at the top. I’d say the best, but that’s to some degree subjective. I tell anyone who’ll listen it’s the best website of any sort there is, bar none.

  8. Larry Headlund

    Today’s Tech Is Like Yesterday’s Wall Street Bloomberg

    Today’s Tech is also like yesterday’s tech: check out The Soul of a New Machine (1981) and tell me what has changed so much.

  9. abynormal

    Trump returning immigrants…You First
    Frederick Christ Trump, grandfather of Donald Trump, was also a true American entrepreneur. Immigrating to America in 1885, he began his fortune running the Arctic Restaurant and Hotel in Bennett, British Columbia, during the Klondike Gold Rush. Christine, who would later become his wife, was only 5 when he left Germany, but they kept in touch by mail and eventually married.

    “We wanted a labour force, but human beings came.”
    Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim

    “America was a land of machines, and it was through machines, the miraculous handmaidens of mob culture, that the muses of illiteracy brought America her voice and vision during the years of the immigrants’ waves. Centuries ago, movable type had given literacy to the common man. Now, through these wondrous newer machines, he would give it back.” Nick Tosches

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We have come a long way since Pilgrims could just come here without a passport or a visa, even if some of their descendants advocate border control.

      I don’t know if the Pilgrims paid for their real estate – Columbus didn’t or did he do it with 1031 exchange of gifts of like kind – but we know for sure Peter Minuit arranged for the purchase of Manhattan from the Native Americans, setting a bad precedent, because, as the saying goes, how can we own air, water and land?

      1. craazyboy

        William Penn got a sweetheart deal. Even today, getting Pennsylvania and Delaware almost for free is not too shabby.

  10. alex morfesis

    activists feel the burn…eloquent ignorance from the peanut gallery comments

    certainly i have my questions about the bacon lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich movement…

    but many “organizations” origins and motives can be questioned…

    when i spoke with paul robesons son and his former personal secretary about why paul, the supposed communist could care less about fidel and che…they both said many used the communists because of the dirt cheap printing they would provide…and that batista was removed by a “white” fidel who campaigned that batista was not quite white enough to lead cuba..

    when in chicago i poked around looking at the panther assassinations
    and ended up with a dirty cop (who may have been a partner of one of the cointelpro cops at “the event”) who put his gun to my head in front of a crowd as he tried to pin me to a wall(his wife pulled him off of me)…but I still can question the origins of the movement…as any adult would considering who put out the original publicity and film footage…but the panthers took on a life of their own…regardless of the side show of its origins…

    all this analysis paralysis…and eloquent ignorance…

    whatever their motives, the bacon lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich movement has found a way to use modern tools to get peoples attention

    I can question many public “radicals”…

    ramsey clarke signed off on cointelpro so it is funny watching him over the years claim to be this anti-them guy…especially when he was at that drowning of a civil rights fighter while they were on vacation…

    mark lane was at the religious cult deathcamp…

    bacon lettuce and mayo sandwich ?

    who cares if they ate johnnys peanut butter and jelly sandwich in kindergarten while sarah palin watched out for the hall monitors…

    they are not running for sainthood….

    they are asking for justice

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Could you please translate “bacon lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich movement” from obscurist code speaking into plain English? Communication is not served by making up one’s own ad hoc language and then expecting everyone else to miraculously understand it.

      1. alex morfesis

        blm – black lives matter – bacon lettuce mayonnaise sandwich

        the article was about blm

        somewhat tasty but not exactly filling

        1. Vatch

          For the first few weeks that I was seeing the acronym “BLM”, my brain would immediately think “Bureau of Land Management”, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior, since that’s the “BLM” that I’ve been aware of for many years.

            1. Vatch

              No, I just would encounter the acronym in my reading. Kind of like “HHS”, “DoD”, or “NPR”.

          1. alex morfesis

            I will worry about the too when they ask for something useful like making sure people on jury duty get paid more than it costs to park their cars…maybe 300 bux per day then prosecutors might not be so happy to go to trial as the folks who show up might pay attention instead of watching the clock to see if the early bird special price will hold by the time they bolt out of the room and figure out how to pay the bills while listening to a trial for a few days or weeks.

            besides…too ??

            just asking for jim crow to finally end would be good enough…

            black live matter


            1. optimader

              unless you can identify the ones that don’t, I’ll stick with “too”, thanks

  11. Skippy

    Yes a recession does have the ability to sweep a lot of fraud under the carpet.

    Amortization of control fraud by liquidation of human beings… rinse and repeat and you have the classical business cycle.

    Some food for thought with a reference to Krugman as he is still beholden to the IS-LM

    “To put it in the simplest possible terms: Krugman et al still talk (with occasional lapses into the realm of truth) as though the government has to finance its deficits by borrowing from the public, out of a fixed supply of loanable funds.

    Thus they’re still vulnerable to the ‘crowding out’ argument. If the government borrows out of the supply of loanable funds, it deprives private investors of those funds, thus crowding out their investment. The only reply one can give is that the government makes better investments than private investors. Does it? The Right are perfectly justified in questioning this assumption, and by casting doubt on it they can make the case for expansionary austerity. […]

    Krugman et al place the argument about austerity into a domain where it depends on intuition-swapping about the efficacy of state vs. private investment. That’s a good place for the anti-austerity side to lose the argument. Better to stay within the domain of reality. There expansionary austerity makes no sense because crowding out is impossible – speaking in terms of available money rather than available resources.

    1. craazyboy

      The efficacy of state vs. private investment have both proven out to be crappy or outright destructive in recent decades. So any babbling from academia about which is better is like choosing between Godzilla and Mothra, Aliens or Predators, or voting for president. Best to just revoke their PhDs and make them find an honest living. Be good life experience for them.

      “Crowding Out”. hahahahaha. That’s a good one for the clinically paranoid-superstitious to fear. We’ve progressed from Bernanke’s “Savings Glut” to $24 Trillion in global central bank QE. Yet the global economy appears like it is circling the toilet bowl again.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Chinese got it right two thousand years ago, when they made their soldiers farmers along the Silk Road, instead of taxing the locals, in places like Mogao.

        Who is to say the soldiers from the Defense department, combined with the workers from the Agricultural dept., can’t feed everyone in the Middle Kingdom today?

        I think they are efficient enough.

        And their Dept of Transportation can produce cars for everyone.

      2. jrs

        Haha :). Agreed. The state invests in bombing people to oblivion, private investment in tulips. Crowded out when they cant’ find enough stuff that doesn’t need to be monetized to monetize, so hedge funds speculate on single family homes they couldn’t possible make a profit from and nobody cares if most of the biggest hottest companies never pay a single cent in dividends or even have a realistic plan to ever see a real profit. Crowded out, nah the late stage capitalist argument makes more sense than that, capitalism without anything even worth capitalizing on anymore.

      3. Skippy

        Yet craazyboy…. that’s the rub, you have to engage the mouth organs which are certified by by the – institutions – established by mobs like MPS et al.

        “If we ask ourselves what made the current regime of economic thinking change from voodoo economics to “yeah, everyone knows that” in a few short years, there are no simple answers.

        There were many factors that made that paradigm change possible, and they aren’t simple to replicate – but elements of that level of power probably had to exist in order to achieve that sort of rapid change, and I’m not sure those can be replicated at all.

        Here, IMO, are some of those factors:

        1) A profound shock to the American psyche resulting from the loss of Vietnam, the oil shock, the Nixon Shock, and the Iranian Revolution, which demanded rationalization and response in the national consciousness. People were looking for scapegoats, and they found them in liberalism and economics. People were LOOKING for something new. I’m not sure people are looking for something new now. We’re an angry people, to be sure, but we are in no way unified about who the scapegoats are. Liberalism is no longer a dirty word, but conservatism is not seen as having failed.

        2) A great leader and a leader vilified as weak. Reagan was an accident of history. He wasn’t part of the plan, he just….was. He was convinced that selling supply side economics would work, and sell it he did. After the election, Layne Kirkland was asked (I believe by Louis Ruykheiser) “wtf happened to the union vote?”

        Kirkland responded “we told our members to vote with their wallets, and I guess they did”.

        Reagan convince everyone that they owned a boat, and it would float of he were allowed to hand money to the rich. Reagan convinced people that government was the problem (and that’s an easy sell today, still), and that supply side economics and free markets were the answer.

        Reagan was so gifted as an orator that he was able to convince a willing public that they were seeing the magic of free markets at work, and to convince them that their prosperity was the result of that, rather than of the massive deficits he was accumulating spending money on Star Wars and 600 ships for the navy.

        That was an a accident of history: a magician fooled enough people for enough of the time to totally convince them of the opposite of what they were actually seeing.

        Finally, to keep the list short, the free marketeers actually did what we Keynesians argue is central: they built institutions, but they built institutions to support the spreading of propaganda, to make their economics and small government philosophy ubiquitous, unavoidable. This is the legacy of Leo Strauss and Lewis Powell. These far-seeing con artists understood, with an irony that defies description, the importance of institutions in the shaping of public opinion.

        They would eventually, perhaps, have won their ideological battle much more slowly and quietly than they did without the aid of the historical currents and the presence of the Great Man (and not just one Great Man, one has to give Thatcher credit as a quick-witted villainous sidekick to the Gip) which aided their cause. But they didn’t have to do without. They had every advantage.

        We are taught early in our historical education to ask ourselves whether history happens because of confluences of currents, Great Men, or is shaped by institutions.

        In this case, the supply spiders were aided by all three. They didn’t obtain their intellectual hegemony by framing, nor did they earn it by employing their ideas with any real success.

        Framing is necessary, but framing is too small an effort to be decisive, and MMT may not even be the center of the framing that needs to be made. Jamie Galbraith may be right. Economics itself needs to be the target, and economists need to be scapegoated. A post-QE economy, as Rohan pointed out, readies the public for that.

        Supply side economics probably wasn’t the center of what the right did to America (and later the world). It was a logical manifestation of a radically antigovernment ideology. One problem with MMT that people have is “okay, so it means government can spend ad infinitum. Why would I support that? Government is the problem.” – h/t LET

        Skippy… I suggest absorbing some David Harvey or Rosa Luxembourg.

    2. susan the other

      Kinda hard to give up the whole idea of freedom, equality and free enterprise. There will prolly always be a niche for the next entrepreneur… if there are any (entrepreneurs). When the planet can’t sustain growth it seals the deal. It is an interesting time in history, no? The end of capitalism is a perfect time to reflect, like Stiglitz recommending ignoring the old economic models in favor of new ones that trace the entire phylogeny of inequality! Gee! we just don’t know how all this shit happened! The State won’t fail capitalism, capitalism will fail the state, and the only thing left will be economic cooperation, aka “the state”.

      1. Skippy

        Agreed, at the end of the day resources are both the enabler and inhibitor, which has held emphatically true for any species on this planet. What we “think about it” is just largely emotive rationalizations.

        Skippy…. seems the – trick – moving ahead is the complexity of natures priority’s, and how our species decides to rationalize it.

  12. Jagger

    Amazon and Jeff Bazos and the NYt articles. I am amazed no one has gone postal yet at Amazon. As described, the work conditions sounded similiar to the old post office which resulted in people snapping and a spree of mass work killings.

    Also makes me wonder about internal values. Some people actually admire and defend the Amazon process. So what sort of person could convince themselves that darwinian Amazon working conditions are for the greater good? Where did the obtain their values or did they simply lack values and adopt the Amazon values? Some sound like they wouldn’t have a problem working in a well run concentration camp.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I noticed that, after the Bolshevik revolution and the end of their civil war, everyone wishing to keep his/her head – meaning most people – inside the newly founded USSR was saying Communism good, Capitalism bad.

      And after the Fall of Berlin and the dissolution of the Evil Empire, everyone wishing to get ahead was saying Capitalism good and Communism bad.

      It seems easy to get the children to denounce their parents, and we think we have all the facts and truths, and we have made progress now after the horrors of the past, but then power shifts, new paradigms and new truths come into fashion again.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That is to say, you can get people (many, but not all) to say anything you want, if you are rich or powerful enough.

    2. Louis

      Companies with Amazon-like working conditions have always existed though one wonders whether it’s easier to get away with when there is an oversupply of people looking for good-paying jobs. Furthermore, Amazon is a sought after company to work-for—they clearly seem to have no problem attracting applicants, as the New York Times article shows.

      More than one study has shown that working 80 hours a week is no more (and usually less) productive than 40-50 hours a week. Nonetheless, there is a subset of people who believe killing themselves 80-100 hours a week makes them superior: if you can’t sustain those hours you’re a failure (or at least inferior).

      Mix the alpha-male mentality towards long hours with a sought-after company and you get a workplace culture like the one described in the article that, as messed-up as it is, is well-tolerated.

    3. micky9finger

      The relatively new book ” The Half Has Never Been Told” by Edward Baptist describes the tremendous increase in productivity of tons of cotten per slave on plantations in the south was accomplished mostly by constant beating, threat of beating and other terrorism.


  13. S Haust

    Re: The Case Against DuPont

    There is one point of nomenclature that I think could be cleared up and that is the use of the
    “C8” label which, in itself does not indicate any particular danger. Octanoic acid, which has
    8 carbon atoms, occurs naturally. It is a fatty acid found many places, notably goats’ milk and
    coconuts. In other words, this is mother’s milk and nothing to do with Dupont or any other
    chemical company, except as they may use it to make other things.

    The scary part is the perfluoro prefix, so probably a more useful or descriptive shorthand
    might be PFOA instead of C8.

    What brings me to this is that I have been using a garden fungicide consisting of
    copper octanoate. It is widely and openly available and in fact is just a form of soap.
    So far I am not worried about it. Yet.

    What might be of concern is that the octanoic acid that is used to make copper soap is
    almost certainly synthesized as I don’t think anyone is bothering to collect it from coconuts.
    If this is a benign process, and it probably is, there should be no worry. On the other hand,
    should this involve the use of some vile catalyst or such a thing, then we all have to worry.
    I’m not familiar with the synthesis of fatty acids though a simple search indicates that
    lots of info is available.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was watching the movie Foxcatcher and was impressed that Mr. DuPont was so friendly with the local police that he invited some of them to his private shooting range for practice.

      The officers, they looked so nice and polite.

    2. drexciya

      You don’t have to worry about the copperoctanoate for that; the copper part might be a different story. Rest assured that PFOA is something radically different and that the octanoic acid shouldn’t be contaminated with PFOA. Getting such a load of fluorine substituting the hydrogen atoms is quite a feat.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Professional organic gardener here: The thing to worry about is the copper, not the octanoic acid. It’s toxic if ingested (heavy metal) – though it’s also a required micro-nutrient.

      The big advantage of copper soap is that it minimizes the amount of copper – and it’s got the spreader-sticker built in.

      I don’t know where they get the octanoic acid; I’d guess coconut oil or something similar. Synthesis isn’t always cheaper. You could ask the company that sells it.

  14. Vatch

    Citigroup Sorry Angry Investors Who Lost Billions Feel That Way DealBreaker

    Great headline! It almost seems like a title of an Onion article.

    On a more serious note, the fact that Citibank, which is insured by the FDIC, was involved in events like this, is a strong argument for restoring the Glass Steagall separation of banking functions.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Banking is non-violent even if some victims have to jump off tall buildings or shorten their lives from stress induced illnesses.

      Will the sons and daughters of these banksters apologize to the survivors, and their families, for the deeds of their monster parents?

  15. Tertium Squid

    Methinks Jeff Bezos doth protest too much. He’s like the football coach who’s “shocked, yes shocked” that all his kids are using steroids to meet the extraordinary targets for strength, weight and speed that will get them on the field (and like amazon “you can’t choose two out of three”).

    Thus do people try to turn themselves into the sedulous, servile machines that surround them.

    1. Vatch

      And the roll call of Bezos’ acerbic bon mots fired at hapless workers could make anyone who has been an underling cringe in empathy.

      Among the best/worst:

      “Why are you wasting my life?”

      “I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”

      “This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document.”

      “Do I need to go down and get the certificate that says I’m CEO of the company to get you to stop challenging me on this?”

    2. reslez

      Unpleasant people succeed in spite of their unpleasantness, not because of it. No one is helping this guy by tolerating his a**hole behavior. At least in my experience, highly successful people are genuinely nice.

      Furthermore, Bezos saying “we don’t intentionally seek to turn our workplace into a hive of servile drones” is his way of knocking down a strawman. He doesn’t fully address the issues that were actually raised in the NYT piece.

      1. JoeK

        I marked Mr. Bezos as a Grade-A Jumbo White Jerk 15 years ago. Just about everything amazon.bomb has done since then has confirmed this characterization. The fact that he’s been celebrated far more than called out for his obvious sociopathic disregard for any human values says a lot, IMO, about how skewed our own values as a society have become. He’s an exemplar of contemporary American society.

  16. jsn

    EM: water in Rio Grande is the trick, figure out how to keep that coming and the rest will sort itself out.

  17. Jim Haygood

    Doctor Copper, comrades — the venerable red-haired PhD Econ suffered another fainting spell this morning. HGU15 chart (HG = High Grade copper; U15 = September 2015 contract):

    It’s lookin’ like 1937 already, and the central planners haven’t even stuck the pin in the balloon yet with their ‘rate hikes for ammo’ fantasy.

    The long-term chart shows copper back at the level of mid-2009, just as the last recession was ending.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Crude oil is even sicker than copper. It’s back at the level of Dec. 2008, when Jamie Dimon’s bank almost swirled down the toilet. Chart:

      What do the central planners not get about ‘deflationary shock’? In a couple of years, in the clarity of the rear-view mirror, everyone will claim to have seen it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You are not complaining if you bought low recently in the San Francisco Bay Area.

        Deflation, what deflation?

        More yeast for this ever-rising bubble.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Bubble I — a/k/a the Internet Bubble — also was accompanied by deep secular lows in commodity prices in 1998 and 2001. In real, inflation-adjusted terms, commodity prices returned to 1930s levels. The Old Yellow Dog (gold) was being dumped for scrap at $250 an ounce.

          Financial markets love falling prices, until the theme is carried too far and starts eroding their own sales growth. Tech stock options are bubbling SF Bay Area housing. Just as the topping out of the Empire State Building in 1931 ushered in a depression, completion of the megalomaniacal ‘Apple spaceship’ headquarters likely will mark the end of the Bay Area Bubble.

      2. davidgmills

        Exxon is back to where I bought it 6 or 7 years ago. Lost track of when. If only my house had sucked this good.

    2. ambrit

      Soybeans are trading at the bottom of their 52 week range. If you could see the thousands of acres of soybeans being grown in the hinterlands, especially around here, you would see the face of an agricultural bust in the making. Wheat is trading in similar territory. When the gasohol experiment is finally abandoned, watch corn join its’ brethren in the infernal regions. Many of the newer gasoline stations now have a petroleum only gasoline pump available. The demand for plain gasoline is growing, and the corn will be needed for food. How much of Americas soybean production is exported to China? A stronger dollar can depress that demand. For soybean exports see:

      1. abynormal

        i remember this squeeze and another where China tried to backout of soy fat finger: 2013 While weather is on the mind of farmers trying to plant crops today, traders focus on demand. Congestion at Brazil’s ports is easing, which could lead to a flood of imports by China, taking the U.S. out of the world market for the summer. May soybean futures remains in a world of its own, however, with a potential squeeze setting up. U.S. corn exports are also losing ground to South America, and this morning’s ethanol production data could show if tighter margins hurt forced cutbacks by processors last week.

        also, looks like the fed will push us to burn thru our food supply:
        The Atlanta Fed just increased its forecast for Q3 GDP from +0.7% to +1.3% – though this is still less than half consensus estimates. The driver of this ‘almost doubling’ was due to a 15.3% increase in seasonally adjusted motor vehicle assemblies in July stuffing inventories even fuller.

        (burning food…martians shaking heads at us)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          China should apply their most advanced ‘thousand year old’ egg technology, but not the one used for meat from the 1970s, to tofu and that should absorb all the soybeans we have to sell.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From prehistoric warfare in Europe:

    The skeletons of young women were absent from the grave, which suggests that the attackers may have taken the women captive after killing their families .

    We have come a long time

    1. For a long time, women were properties to be captured.
    2. Conscript army, not no woman combat soldiers.
    3. Volunteer army, no discrimination against woman combat soldiers

    If it’s back to conscription again, will women be included in the draft?

    1. ambrit

      I believe the Russians used female soldiers as occupation troops in WW2. Women do much better than men in handling complex situations, and resort to violence less often.
      Since our ‘overlords’ get most of their ideas from the Israelis, then equal opportunity conscription is in the cards.

  19. diptherio

    Re: African remains in British Museums

    It was about a year or so ago, while reading some medieval history that it struck me: we white people are descended from a race of head-hunters! Seriously. Chopping off your enemies head and sticking in on a pike for all to see was traditional among Europeans for centuries (if not millennia)–and yet we feign shock when some Pacific islanders do the same thing. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner, but it does explain a lot about our (savage) culture.

    1. optimader

      “white people are descended from a race of head-hunters!”

      The practice of hunting down and decapitating victims and preserving their heads as trophies? Link?

      Certainly European ancestors (not just the "white" ones btw) had a long history of decapitating enemies (expedient elimination of enemies* as well as instances of probably pretty effective Psyops — putting enemies heads on spikes ect.) As well, it evolved into an efficient method of of capital punishment when that was all the rage.

      But then again, what "ancestral people" did not engage in decapitation?? White European ancestors is a distinction without a difference.

      A very brief and incomplete list
      *There is no recorded instance of a human surviving such an injury, since severing the head deprives all other organs of the involuntary functions that are essential for the body to function while the brain itself is deprived of oxygenated blood (this has to be one of the most outstanding statements of the obvious I’ve read in a while).

  20. ewmayer

    Re. the prehistoric warfare piece:

    “This is a classic case where we find the ‘hardware’: the skeletal remains, the artefacts, everything that is durable we can find in the graves. But the ‘software’: what people were thinking, why they were doing things, what their mindset was at this time, of course was not preserved,” [University of Mainz archeologist Chritian] Meyer said.

    Sure it was – specific thoughts and motives aside, the same basic ‘programming’ remains in us, just now amplifiable with AK-47s, drones and nukes. You want to see ‘whodunnit’, simply look in the mirror.

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