Links 8/20/15

Special Dogs Help Calm Traumatized Witnesses Testifying in Court My Modern Met (furzy mouse)

Jellyfish invasion: record numbers appear off British coast Telegraph (furzy mouse)

The Delicious, Invasive Species You’ll Be Eating Next Bloomberg

The Chef Shortage, Explained mathbabe (resilc)

Nefertiti archaeologist invited to Egypt over theory of hidden tomb Guardian (furzy mouse)

Major publisher retracts 64 scientific papers in fake peer review outbreak Washington Post (resilc)

How Google’s Networking Infrastructure Has Evolved Over The Last 10 Years TechCrunch

U.S. Maintains Control Over Internet Governance For A Bit Longer BuzzFeed (furzy mouse)

California prosecutors say Uber’s background checks missed convicts Reuters

Inside Illumina’s Plans to Lure Consumers with an App Store for Genomes MIT Technology Review (David L)

The Ketamine Cure: Is Ketamine the Best Hope for Curing Major Depression? Bloomberg

Corn Wars New Republic. About the US v. China.

Why China’s Yuan ‘Reform’ Merits Skepticism Wall Street Journal

China’s August scare is a false alarm as fiscal crunch fades Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. EM: “I think AEP is being wildly optimistic here, but time will tell.”

Europe migrant crisis: Surge in numbers at EU borders BBC

Mitterrand’s turn to austerity was an ideological choice not an inevitability Bill Mitchell (resilc)

Surge of investment scams sparks alarm in City Financial Times


An Architect of the Latest Greek Bailout Navigates Germany’s Dual Roles New York Times. Don’t shoot the messenger….

Greek Livestock Starved by Austerity Bloomberg :-(

Snap polls look certain, Tsipras set to decide date ekathimerini


Russia could change monetary policy if oil falls below $40 Business Insider (resilc)


Yemen ‘on the brink of famine’ BBC

No, AP, Iran doesn’t get to Inspect its own Nuclear Facilities under Deal Juan Cole (resilc)

A New Documentary Dives Into the ‘Cyclone of Bullshit’ in South Sudan VICE (resilc)

On the Scene: Explosion and Gunfire at Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace Global Voices (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Former TOR head now working for intelligence contractor that protects companies against TOR Pando (Gabriel)

This New Shotgun Shell is for Shooting Down Drones PetaPixel (furzy mouse)

How The LAPD Has Been Hacking Our Phones For Years LAist. EM: “Article describes the gizmo as ‘like a Stringray on steroids.'”

Security check firm that cleared Edward Snowden agrees $30m fraud settlement Guardian (furzy mouse)

Don North: “Pentagon Manual Calls Some Reporters Spies” Consortiumnews (Judy B)

Imperial Collapse

Chelsea Manning found guilty of violating military prison rules Reuters (EM)

Americans back federal funds for Planned Parenthood health services: poll Reuters (EM)

Trump beware: political apprentice Deez Nuts is top-polling independent Guardian

Carly Fiorina Is a Trojan Horse in the GOP’s War on Women New Republic (resilc)

Losing Water, California Tries to Stay Atop Economic Wave New York Times

Police State

Police Officers Are Being Indicted For Murder at Unusually High Rates Atlantic (resilc). Headline a bit dissonant with the tenor of the article.

61-Year-Old Man Violently Attacked by Police and Arrested For Singing a ‘Beach Boys’ Song Free Thought Project

U.S. CPI Data Don’t Give the Fed the Pick-Up it Wants Roubini Global Economics

Class Warfare

How Well-Structured Is Our Federal Reserve, Anyway? Brad DeLong (Brandt) Important.

Car crashing: new budget accommodation in New York Guardian (furzy mouse). Aiee!

Antidote du jour. Stephen L, from the Alberta Wildlife FB page, “Terri Vidricaire, Waterton Lakes National Park”:

baby_moose. links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    GLYX-13, a molecular cousin to ketamine, induces similar antidepressant results without the street drug side effects.
    of course Naurex got hold of it and i don’t see anything past phase 2 trial…what could go wrong

    And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he’ll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, ‘Gradually and then suddenly.’ When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too. Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

    1. Chris B

      ARRRRGH! Ketamine is just another drug!

      I have ended my depression by knowing my genetics and knowing what to eat because of them. (Nutritional Genomics)

      For me, and one of my friends, it was our fatty acid desaturase (FADS1, FADS2) genes. Going on a very low fat diet making sure to get omega 3 in the form of flaxseed meal ends our depression. Going on a high fat meat based diet starts it again.

      Note I am not saying this is the cure for depression for everyone!

    2. jrs

      People don’t know the cause, well they don’t really know the cause of most of their moods and behavior. Psychoanalysis has been making the promise people would forever, but it strikes me as at best only partially ever possible. Sometimes there might be a single situational cause for depression, but usually it’s hard to tell. Although it seems perfectly 100% obvious to me there are often situational contributors (yes in many cases their lives do indeed suck in other words and there’s a good chance they wouldn’t be depressed if they didn’t. But only sometimes does this lead to depression).

      From the first link on fats and depression:
      “The commonly accepted mechanism now for depression is one of inflammation leading to a decrease in BDNF, which is a nerve fertilizer necessary for axonal growth, nerve survival, and synaptic plasticity and function.”

      Doesn’t stress do the same thing? I was far more vegetarian in my more depressed days but I guess I don’t have the genes where eating dead animals makes me depressed.

    3. spooz

      Mindfulness can be an excellent tool for dealing with mood issues The challenge is to develop a mindfulness practice when you are feeling strong. Once the mood manifests, it can become overwhelming and moving forward with learning something new takes intention and will that can be next to impossible.

      Some scientists believe that you can literally “rewire” your brain using the practice:

    4. evodevo

      Ketamine??? Really?? Acquaintances used to drop ketamine in the 70’s at parties – turned them into zombies, basically. I can’t imagine what about its chemistry would have changed since then … BigPharma is really grasping at straws nowadays.

  2. jgordon

    NC might have a policy against endorsing candidates–but I feel no shame in saying that I’ll vote for Mr. Nuts if he’s on the ballot come November. I don’t know anything about this candidate other than his name, but that already puts him ahead of everyone else in the field as far as I’m concerned.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I remember watching a documentary about apes being trained to communicate by using touch screens.

      “Yes, I want another banana,” by touching the appropriate symbol.

      Imagine a new experiment.

      To get a banana, the ape has to make a decision on whom it wants as its omnipotent governor.

      On the screen,

      Human #1


      Humans #2

      Get a banana after you make a selection.

      Repeat the experiment for all the apes in ‘captivity’ – one might imagine them as captive users of your banana currency.

      Tabulating the ‘votes,’ one can then claim ‘moral authority’ to rule over apes – because you have shown that they, indeed, have consented to be ruled over by the winning omnipotent governor.

      You can probably do this with dolphins and other ‘intelligent’ or trainable animals, to show why humans are rightly the masters of the world.

      “But they – the first chimps, the second chimps and, gasp, the third chimps – voted. I am certain they knew what they were voting for, what they were doing.”

        1. lord koos

          For some years there was a primate research program at the local university. Chimpanzees were taught to use sign language (the same language used by deaf humans). Mostly what they said was “I wan to get out” and “I want food”.

          1. jrs

            I don’t know about chimpanzees but the program on PBS “The Ape Who Went to College” about teaching an orangutan to sign, made it seem like they were highly intelligent creatures or at least that one was.

            It developed the vocabulary of a 7 or 8 year old human. Not just able to communicate wanting food but to name different foods, able to compare orangutans to “orange dogs”, able to express it’s feelings, to seem to miss it’s human companion etc.. It was not a simple creature that only wanted to “get out” and “food” though it did want those. Don’t we all? Bread and roses! Basic needs (but even an orangutan able to sign it’s feelings has moved beyond the very bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy) and freedom. Not this world in other words but a decent society.

            It made me very sad at the end that we are no longer teaching orangutans to sign. It is considered “unnatural” for them and a violation of their natural mode of being, but it seems to me that have so much potential to learn and so much to teach us.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sadder still (from another documentary, probably) – one chimp signed about the murders of her parents while she was beign captured.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Most educated third chimps don’t say that.

            With their education, they hope to make the rich richer by joining the machine and make the machine more productive, more efficient.

            “Thank you, dear professor (or teacher). I just got offered a great job at the Big Bank that supports GMO industry!”

            But uneducated chimps ‘want to get out.’

    2. jrs

      This is an interesting proposal that would put one ahead of everyone else in the field if Lawrence Lessig ever got anywhere:

      He’s taking donations:

      He strikes me as right that whoever got elected could never implement all that much in the current system anyway. Say Bernie Sanders won the Presidency, how do you get all the huge money interests that supported the ACA in the first place defanged enough to pass say single payer. It would never happen, no matter how much sincerity we may or may not attribute to Sanders or even with a Dem congress IMO. So the odds of the Lessig campaign taking off, strike me as no less and probably better than the odds of Sanders winning and making his campaign promises meaningful.

      Voting for deez nuts meanwhile is I suppose a veiled “none of the above” vote (since they don’t allow us that option).

        1. spooz

          I agree with Tom Hartmann that Bernie Sanders has demonstrated an ability and desire to use the bully pulpit. Sanders has criticized Obama for not doing that, saying on Meet The Press last September that “I think he should’ve understood from day one that the Republicans were not going to cooperate with him. I think he should’ve gone to the people in a more aggressive way”.

          HARTMANN: You know, there’s enough populist push behind him, and this is the same thing with the first year, you need to study the first year of the FDR presidency and the best lens to look at that through is Frances Perkins. That was the woman that he made the Secretary of Labor and who invented the New Deal. […]

          But I think that that’s what it is and I agree with you that we need Bernie because he represents the… he’s not anti-establishment, like Chris Matthews is trying to portray him. He’s not suggesting that corporations should come under the purview of government, like Chris Matthews is trying to suggest. He is really, he’s an FDR Democrat. He’s the FDR wing of the Democratic party. Him and Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, and Peter DeFazio and Keith Ellison and Raúl Grijalva and Jan Shakowsky.

        2. neo-realist

          Bernie’s success on the national level, even if he doesn’t win, may be good for the long run in that it should encourage more candidates to run at the local and state level on similar 99% economic populist platforms. Hell, in Seattle we got a socialist on the city council who promoted a $15 minimum wage. More DeFazio, Warren and Brown types to shift the paradigm.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A genuine award should, from time to time, have no winners.

        “This year, there are no worthy candidates, because we have a certain min. standard.”

        Instead, it’s like, ‘Well, we have to have some best actor this year. How about the pig in the animal farm movie?’ Yes, the pig deserves it more than any humans, if that is the case. But you don’t want to give out an Oscar* just to because you have to.

        *On second thought, this is not the best example I can give, because, in truth, acting, in general, is getting better – in real life, that is (this implies we have to expand our search for the best actor of the year, not limiting ourselves to those who belong the Actors Guild).

  3. abynormal

    re: Corn Wars…”The federal government, thereby, has implicitly acknowledged that it considers agricultural products both an asset and a weapon in a long-range geopolitical chess match with China, a resource of near-military value and importance, one that must be protected by all available means.”

    will they bring Powell out of retirement to uncover seeds of mass destruction?

    Monsanto & DuPont control 45% of seed sold in the world…
    living in interesting times Tianjin Dupont Chemical Co.,Ltd.

      1. abynormal

        Thanks for the link. i see Ammonium Bromide on the site i linked…maybe they removed a few since the explosion :-/

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Speaking of Tianjin, the chief of public safety and his son are under investigation.

        Perhaps this will strengthen their anti-corruption drive. Maybe time to look at money leaving China, and close a few loopholes. Make sure no communist money will further fuel Western housing bubbles.

    1. GlennF

      Very important summary of how we got to where we are in AG. A quote from the article:

      “But DuPont Pioneer’s goal, of course, is not global food security or feeding the Chinese people, but rather increasing market share and profit by keeping China as a customer. And the Department of Justice has taken up the argument that such a goal is not only of importance to our economy but a matter of national security, an unsettling conflation of the interests of large corporations with that of the country itself.

      Today, it’s estimated that 92 percent of American corn and 94 percent of American soybeans are GMOs, almost all of it produced by Monsanto or DuPont Pioneer, and again, nearly half of the seed sold globally. Activists in both China and the United States have raised concerns about just two corporations having so much influence over the world food supply, with so little transparency. (Despite repeated requests, DuPont Pioneer declined to participate in this story.)

      But these fears, while well founded, miss the larger point of what such companies represent: the intent of the U.S. government to use food as an ever-more powerful point of leverage to wield over large, increasingly hungry nations like China. The prosecution of Mo Hailong and his circle stands as a warning to the Chinese government, issued through its proxy companies. The ears in the field, the seeds in the ground, even the pollen on the wind, are American-owned and American-protected. They are available to the world as food only if you agree to our conditions and are willing to pay our price.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You have to be a real-life Indiana Jones to find non-GMO corn and non-GMO soy.

        Every organic grocery shopping trip is an adventure for me.

  4. Brooklin Bridge

    Former TOR head now working for intelligence contractor that protects companies against TOR Pando

    The above link incorrectly goes to the AT&T/Omidyar’s silence story, not to Pando’s article about Former TOR head which is below :

    Unfortunately, you have to register to read either article. Lord knows why registering one’s name and address would bother anyone in a situation where a category heading like, “Big Brother Is Watching You Watch” accurately captures the color of corruption in our environment, not to mention the subject of the link about TOR or about Omidyar. I mean seriously, if you have nothing to hide…

  5. Bill Smith

    There are now a lot of news articles saying Iran will inspect itself. They don’t mention that the UN inspectors will be there at the same time. (Which would be typical.) Are they all wrong?

    1. ambrit

      The tenor of those articles is more important than the content. Are the “news outlets” trying to instill fear, xenophobia, existential angst in their readership?
      What are the relationships between the “news outlets” involved and AIPAC? This looks, on first inspection, to be the beginning of a subtle Iran demonization campaign. As the saying goes; what is not said is as important as what is said.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Laughing. Would be an excellent time for BLM to come out with its first demand (of the week). A police department should not inspect itself.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        There is nothing “subtle” about the demonization of Iran, it is not just “beginning” and there is no doubt who is responsible.

        Media was consolidated for a reason.

        1. Brindle

          Interesting trivia: Hillary Clinton and the Shah of Iran (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) share the same birthday—October 26.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Perfect, the stars align and pathological fascists are born. When was the Dalai Lama born? Or Dennis Kucinich? Maybe there’s an anti-birthday for an anti-war peacenik leader we can choose, this all-pervasive all-war all-the-time paradigm is getting very tiresome. My kids are scared and I can’t blame them

  6. fresno dan

    “Pinto’s article begins with the case of a man with a long criminal record who was arrested for possessing a soda and a straw with which to drink it. The arresting officer said the straw was “drug paraphernalia.” The suspect, insisting he was innocent, refused a plea bargain and couldn’t afford to meet bail, so he was sent to Rikers Island (where he was beaten up). Three weeks later, prosecutors asked for the charges to be dismissed. For two weeks, they’d been holding a report that showed no drug residue on the straw.”

    Nice example of a bureaucracy that is able to perpetuate itself. The cost to the taxpayers of imprisoning and jailing this supposed danger to society is only outweighed by the injustice. The fact that the cop who did this is not fired for incompetence and as a danger to the budget only shows that the criminal justice complex is now completely driven by economic rent.

    1. Oregoncharles

      “the criminal justice complex is now completely driven by economic rent.”
      That is much too optimistic. My interpretation is much more paranoid: it is driven by the needs of the police state – which includes impunity for its agents. The abuses of power that look silly or stupid (as well as malicious) like this one, are just practice for when they get serious – for instance, the next time there’s a major demonstration or something like Occupy comes back.

  7. Eric Patton

    Russia could change monetary policy if oil falls below $40

    Whew! For a minute there, I thought we were approaching another moment of another need for another bank bailout*. As long as the Russians are doing this, though, we’re good.

    * Only this time, there will be no bailout. This will happen on Obama’s watch, and before Bernie takes office in 2017. Obama will have no choice but to do this, and he will hate it. And it will be glorious to watch. Because popcorn.

    1. susan the other

      This particular link was astroturf for international banking as opposed to sovereign banking because the point was that Russia might reverse it’s policy of lowering interest rates and instead crank them up to satisfy the likes of Georgie Soros, etc. It all depends on the price of oil? Not. It all depends on one big nothing.

  8. Swedish Lex

    About Mitterand.
    Of course he was no a leftist. Mitterand was for Mitterand. End of story.
    Also, the choice for France to balance its accounts (again) was not, as I recall, due to a “neo-liberal turn”. Simply that France was unable to finance itself.

    The Swedish political class (left, center, right) pretty much have the same policies when its come to the economy (I exclude the far left and the far right). Bottom line is that the economy has to be sound, over time, in order for the welfare state to remain viable.

    The French political class (left, center right) have maintained a budget deficit each year since the mid 70s. Good times, bad times, the budget is never balanced. France started with a very low national debt in the 70s which since then has grown each year. The debt exploded under Sarkozy.

    The French leaders, unlike their Swedish peers, are unable to govern without a permanent infusion of cash through debt. This is not Keynsianism. It is just sloppy.

    No neo-liberal conspiracy here.

    1. Pepsi

      Within the EU framework, there is no choice, you’re right, however the core value of neoliberalism.

      Sweden has worked on dismantling the welfare state since the 90s, also a neoliberal concern.

      1. Swedish Lex

        Sweden has actually not dismantled the welfare state since the 90s. Public expenditure remains stable, pretty much. The only area where public spending has gone down is defense.

        However, the centre-right Government of the early 90s adopted a wide range of measures to unblock the economy. That worked pretty well in most areas. Not so good in some. Those measures have not been rolled back by successive Social Democrat governments that have followed. Simply because they work.


          1. Swedish Lex

            The myth of the demantling of the educational system is making the rounds, in particular by people trying to pin a label of neo-liberal myth on Sweden (that label can surely be pinned on other countries, but not on Sweden).

            1. Pre 90s, the Swedish educational system was Soviet-like. Historically of quality, it got worse. In part because of the “central planning model one-size fit all zero local initiatives”. I graduated from that kind of school in the 80s. Things were not better before.

            2. The Center-right Government introduced the system with school vouchers. It was and remains very popular with students, parents, teachers. The Social Democrats have had at least 10 years in Government since then to roll the system back to the bad old DDR version. They have not. Why? Overall, it works well. Far from perfect. But it works well.

            3. One of the problems is that there now is too much choice (!). It becomes difficult to ensure quality with so many programs and schools. All schools still have to follow the national curriculum and schools must live up to standards. Reforms are needed here. But nobody wants to get rid of the voucher system.

            4. Sweden has performed less well in the PISA tests in recent years. This problem is common for public and voucher schools. This is now being addressed in a very broad and consensual Swedish way. Teachers’ pay must go up (see Finland).

            5. Sweden has become one of the most entreprenurial countries in the world. Young people start new, innovative, businesses like crazy. Why? Because the “new” school has taught them to be creative and different in a myriad of ways. The voucher system introduced 25 years ago is part of that. The opposite of the kind of DDR education I grew up with.

            6. Also cited as a main reason why young Swedes dare start businesses where they risk lose it all is the fact that the social protection net is so strong that they do not really have a fear of failure.

            Calling Sweden neo-liberal is just silly.

  9. Eric Patton

    We are on the verge — I mean within weeks — of major labor protests in this country. We could seriously be on the verge of a much needed general strike. It has the potential to be a worldwide general strike.

    What is clear, however, is that workers have had enough.

    1. Chris in Paris

      What will spark this global revolt? There is the possibility of a Fed rate hike but that will likely hit the developing world hardest.

      1. abynormal

        sorry, yall have ta go it w/o the southern states.
        the disruption to the laze faire would be mayhem…then death.

        “The South is very beautiful but its beauty makes one sad because the lives that people live, and have lived here, are so ugly that now they cannot even speak to one another. It does not demand much reflection to be appalled at the inevitable state of mind achieved by people who dare not speak freely about those things which most disturb them.”
        Baldwin, Collected Essays

        1. ambrit

          Freedom in the Deep South was always more of an abstraction than an operational process. The North and West are just now waking up to their own fealties. The illusions of Truth, Justice, and the White American Way have always been with us. Threadbare and ragged, but still inspiring up until a few decades ago. The international elites have never even remotely been supporters of equality, real or ideational. Previously, sheer inefficiency allowed a reasonable amount of private freedom to the individual. Technology has unfettered the designs of ‘meddlers’ everywhere. The next revolution is going to be, of necessity, private and individual.

  10. Christopher Fay

    Interesting that Bradlong who in the day bowed down before the Maestro in the Corner is raising questions.

    In his first substantive sentence he writes the U. S. central bank was supposed to be a people’s bank representing wide swarths of the economy to avoid being captured. Bradlong weakens immediately with his conclusion that an economical inclusive perspective was formed to avoid “from being the victim of regulatory capture by money-center banking and financial interests. But success has been, at best, very partial,” with his thoroughly weak “Partial” rather than total.

    He references the zombie reputation Summers who received and lost the mandate to run the Harvard Office in arguing for 4% inflation rate rather than 2%. Cost of living for Americans of course goes up every year at least 4%. Call your mother to confirm.

    So, this one of those when Bradlong starts to question the meat in the Whole Foods points.

  11. DJG

    Is there anyone in the U.S. press willing to go beyond gosh, golly, and point out that the migrant crisis in Europe is a direct result of fifteen years of disastrous U.S. wars and meddling in the Middle East? Up to four million displaced in Iraq. Up to four million displaced in Syria.

    But we all know that the Iranians are irrational for mistrusting the United States.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Is there anyone in the U.S. press willing to go beyond gosh, golly, and point out that the migrant crisis in Europe is a direct result of fifteen years of disastrous U.S. wars and meddling in the Middle East?”


      Any more than there is anyone in the u.s. press willing to mention that the “migrant crisis” in the u. s. is the direct result of DECADES of disastrous u. s. drug wars and economic and political meddling in Mexico and Central America.

      1. sleepy

        Yes, Nafta in particular devastated employment in Mexico’s small farmer/agricultural sector after the US flooded that nation with cheap–and subsidized–ag commodities.

  12. DJG

    MathBabe article on restaurants is good. It’s a guest post—so jump to her own article on labor shortages and how to judge them. #1 issue: Not enough pay. Quelle surprise.

    Big question in the restaurant article: How to end the system of tipping? Tipping always has forced the customer to solve a restaurant’s main personnel issue, wages, which the owners obviously are trying to suppress. It has also allowed restaurants to be money-laundering operations. Who knows how much money is involved. Further, tipping feeds into certain delusions of U.S. culture, possibly a legacy of slavery, that people in positions of service should be treated as contingencies, that is, poorly.

    I also find the recent growth of restaurants and their obviously low wages to be somewhat depressing: In my neighborhood, dozens of bright young people are slinging toasted bagels and caffelatte when they could be doing something else. If you’re working at a Starbucks, you’re underemployed.

    Food is important, but the economics of food in the U.S. are just as messed up as the rest of the economy.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “If you’re working at a Starbucks, you’re underemployed.”

      Maybe not, considering the state of “employment” in this country these days.

      My daughter currently works at Starbucks making almost $11 an hour plus tips. She gets time and a half for overtime. If she takes shifts at other stores, she gets 56 cents per mile travel expense. She has medical and dental benefits, at group rates, for which she pays a very reasonable premium.

      Starbucks promotes from within and actually TRAINS employees to move up. The company does not rely on a “skills gap” argument to lobby for H-B1 visa labor. The “jobs” cannot be outsourced.

      The company will pay the complete tuition at Arizona State, albeit online, for any employee working 20 hours or more. It’s a step in the right direction as far as I’m concerned.

      You don’t need to take a $50,000 student loan to get the job, although many of her co-workers who did take those loans need the job to service them.

      I’m perfectly happy to have her on Howard Schultz’s payroll and not mine while she figures out where she’s headed. Not to mention having to sell her soul and future to Sallie Mae for five or six years of booze-fueled parties, under-paid adjunct professors and support of bloated “higher education” admin budgets.

      Credit where credit is due. She’s not one of Bezos’ “amazonians” it’s true, but I guess she’ll just have to live with that.

      1. Inverness

        A fantastic barista friend of mine originally trained at Starbucks, and was very pleased with his experience there here in Montreal. He also repeated what you said about getting good training. It helped him get a job at a trendier, boutique third-wave style coffee shop, and while I’m sure he’s not making fine wages, he loves his job, which is more than I can say about many.

        1. jrs

          It’s only underemployed if we expect jobs to be our main reason for living. Of course given the culture and the costs of everything and the long hours spent at work and the need for prestige and status and to move ahead or fall behind in dog eat dog competition, it’s hard not to.

          But in a healthier more balanced culture it might be: ok so you work at a restaurant for a living – but with a living wage and reasonable hours it’s an honest enough job and people’s human worth doesn’t come from what jobs they do. So …. while it may not be one’s fantasy career, it’s as decent a job as any other.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Car crashing: new budget accommodation in New York Guardian (furzy mouse)

    Way to roll out the red carpet for your visitors. Stay classy, new york. Parking the “accommodations” near “public” toilets and “free” YMCA showers is a clever touch. You have to wonder why new york’s homeless residents didn’t think of that. Oh, wait…..didn’t hizzoner giuliani weigh in on that as a life strategy and find it wanting?

    “If I can make it there, I’ll make it an – y – where…..”

    How embarrassing, I’ll pass.

  14. j84ustin

    re: Invasive species article:
    “After being accidentally introduced to local habitats, where most of them don’t have natural predators, these organisms multiply—often at a rapid pace—causing environmental stress, infrastructure harm, and even health problems.”

    Is this an implicit suggestion to start eating each other?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The local habitat is your typical American city, or any city in the world.

      The invasive species refers to some giant multinational retail corporation. When it moves in, invades a new territory, it represents an ‘unnatural’ predator the local indigenous mom and pop stores have not seen nor evolved to protect themselves against. Unlike its ‘natural’ counterpart, the introduction is not accidental.

      If you suppose intentional species invasions are good for the world, you might as well embrace the unintentional ones.

    2. Praedor

      I’m more sympathetic to the wild boar. The reason they are a problem is the same reason, in some areas, NATIVE deer are a “problem”: elimination of peak predators. The boar issue would fix itself if wolves, coyotes, cougar, etc, were allowed back to their normal ranges and not themselves mindlessly wiped out for mindless kneejerk fear. Deer population problems would self-modulate too (but, boo hoo, the shrinking hunting lobby would cry because they aren’t really “needed” anymore to help control the population).

    3. Oregoncharles

      There’s a Gary Snyder poem about lovemaking that ends with:

      “Eating – Aah! – each other.”

  15. frosty zoom

    well, there are a lot of ailanthus cracking open downtown streets throughout north america. perhaps they are under walmart’s employ.

    [in response to the beefer]

  16. Kurt Sperry

    “This New Shotgun Shell is for Shooting Down Drones” it’s just a bog standard shotgun round repackaged in a new box graphic. 100% marketing; 0% engineering. An actual drone targeting round would be designed to tangle the rotors with some sort of net or filaments and would be far more effective at likely real life distances.

      1. Propertius

        My understanding is that birdshot is preferable. Lots of (small) pellets with a good spread: drones are pretty fragile and it doesn’t take a massive projectile to take one down.

          1. Praedor

            If you want to have fun taking down a drone, it’s fairly simple with another drone of your own. Hang a long, thin (light) cable/wire from it with a small weight at the end. Fly your drone above the offending drone and simply drag the wire through one of the propellers of the target drone. It will go down like a $1 crackwhore (and so will your drone unless you rig up some sort of break-away clip for the wire connected to your drone). Will work with any open-blade copter-style drone.

    1. ambrit

      A star shell packed with silly string, or a new improved EMP gun.
      The round shown, #2 steel shot sounds like a duck or goose load.
      How do drones do in water? A strong hose might do the trick.

  17. Inverness

    The Beach Boys singer made me feel sad. How dare he express spontaneity and joy, and entertain a few people for free? Or even annoy a few passers-by? We can’t have that in a police state.

    People must be under constant control. This also makes me wonder about how the police are trained. It is dangerous to put anyone in a restraint hold, even if they are young!

  18. lord koos

    Jellyfish invasion — this is another sign that our oceans are becoming increasingly anoxic — less oxygen in the water. Unlike more evolved creatures, jellyfish thrive in an anoxic environment. They are also an increasing problem in Australia, although the government has tried to play it down as much as possible, in order not to affect tourism on Australian beaches. Stings from the box jellyfish can be fatal.

  19. JTFaraday

    This selection of articles on Bernie Sanders is suggestive of some of the problems with trying to create change at the national level “from the left,” as (if I may?) Big Government liberals are still wont to think they can do by modeling some sort of new New Deal with the help of academics and technocrats but with very little popular participation– in contrast to say, the gay rights and marriage equality movement or right wing populist politics.

    Here we see that even local conservatives in Vermont like the guy and his ideas– but look out for the national right wing noise machine (and the considerably more narrow financial interests they serve):

    “Bernie Sanders’ Big Idea to Spread the Wealth — Let Workers Own a Piece of the Business They Work for”

    “Why Surprising Numbers of Republicans Have Been Voting for Bernie Sanders in Vermont”

    “The rise of the “self-proclaimed socialist”: Why reporters shouldn’t be so surprised that Bernie Sanders’ appeal is growing”

  20. ekstase

    “But 44 percent of respondents who saw the videos said they now have a more negative view of Planned Parenthood, compared with 34 percent who said their views were unchanged.”

    Shouldn’t there be a category called, “Now that I know that this is a beleaguered organization being attacked by con artists, I support it even more!” Also, is it just me or does 44 plus 34 percent mean the sentence is over?

    1. susan the other

      Just this about Schaeuble. His true colors just came through. It might never be known what these “negotiations” were really based on, but the outcome looks to be this: Germany never wanted to destroy Greece, but the EU was disintegrating before its very eyes and it needed the cooperation of the IMF to save the EU. Schaeuble’s speech before the Bundestag was pure statesmanship. And Merkel did a good job as well. Leads me to believe that the problem was not German politix – it was global economix. Because the dissent cameing votes came from an interesting position – an opposition to a lack of democracy and sovereignty for Greece and the rest of the EU. It did not come from an aversion to extending Greece’s debt to beyond the human horizon – the voting German parliament doesn’t blink about debt repayment for Greece. And in addition to this attitude, it seems reasonable to assume that Germany needed a southern partner, maybe to become a self sufficient export-import machine by and for the German people who actually want a good relationship with the Greeks. Or stg. like that.

  21. Jim Haygood

    Brad DeLong:

    ‘The Federal Reserve was supposed to be a people’s central bank–controlled not, like other central banks, by New York money-center bankers and financiers …’

    Yeah, right. That’s why seven New York banksters traveled incognito to a secret meeting in Jekyll Island, Georgia to hatch the plan for a ‘federal’ reserve.

    I closed the tab after reading that howler.

    1. Skippy

      I thought we unpacked the pop culture expose’s on the federal reserve Jim as nothing more than ideological pogroms for those that had consumed their Ranoid reading lists and were ready for more intense behavioral conditioning.

      You are aware that it was in response to 1907 and as a fire wall against socialism / communism right? Now if you want to quibble about the “Economists” [which Yves has unpacked already] that came to overwhelmingly staff it, that’s another thing all together.

      Skippy… “I closed the tab after reading that howler.” – self inflicted ignorance

      PS. you are aware the bloke that wrote The Creature from Jekyll Island – G. Edward Griffin is a loon pond inhabitant, right?

      G. Edward Griffin (born November 7, 1931) is an American author, lecturer, and filmmaker. He is the author of The Creature from Jekyll Island (1994), which promotes conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve System.[1][2]

      Griffin’s writings promote conspiracy theories about the political and health care systems. His book World Without Cancer argues that cancer is a nutritional deficiency that can be cured by consuming amygdalin, a view regarded as quackery by the medical community.[1][3][4] He is an HIV/AIDS denialist, supports the 9/11 Truth movement, and supports John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.[1] He believes Noah’s Ark is located in Turkey at the Durupınar site.[5]

      The Creature from Jekyll Island
      Griffin’s 1994 book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, draws parallels between the Federal Reserve and a bird of prey.

      He has opposed the Federal Reserve since the 1960s, saying it constitutes a banking cartel and an instrument of war and totalitarianism.[17] Griffin presented his views on the U.S. money system in his 1993 movie and 1994 book on the Federal Reserve System, The Creature from Jekyll Island.[6][note 1] The book was a business-topic bestseller.[2][18][19] The book also influenced Ron Paul when he wrote a chapter on money and the Federal Reserve in his New York Times bestseller, The Revolution: A Manifesto.[20]

      Geez Jim….. its like watching how mental infectious diseases spread.

        1. Skippy

          By your optics government is a cartel…

          BTW bang up job refuting anything but, just arbitrarily whacking on the Ev’bal Cartel meme TM.

          Skippy…. by accurate observation it has turned into an enclave for – economists – especially the Free Market – Liberty TM stripe, you know the ones that don’t have a functioning model for how finance works, albeit use rational agent models to flesh out monetary policy.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Griffin’s facts are not in question. These were his sources:

        The 1910 “duck hunt” on Jekyll Island included Senator Nelson Aldrich, his personal secretary Arthur Shelton, former Harvard University professor of economics Dr. A. Piatt Andrew, J.P. Morgan & Co. partner Henry P. Davison, National City Bank president Frank A. Vanderlip and Kuhn, Loeb, and Co. partner Paul M. Warburg.

        In 1916, B. C. Forbes discussed the Jekyll conference in his book Men Who Are Making America.

        This book as well as a magazine article by Forbes is the only public mention to the conference until around 1930, when Paul Warburg’s book The Federal Reserve System: Its Origin and Growth and Nathaniel Wright Stephenson’s book Nelson W. Aldrich: A Leader in American Politics were published.

        Presumably Warburg knew what he was talking about, since he was THERE.

        The People’s Bank of Kuhn Loeb, comrade. They don’t need your deposit.

          1. Skippy

            Ron Chernow in his book The Death of the Banker offers this account of the 1907 Panic, “In the following days, acting like a one-man Federal Reserve system, [J. Pierpont] Morgan decided which firms would fail and which survive. Through a non stop flurry of meetings, he organized rescues of banks and trust companies, averted a shutdown of the New York Stock Exchange, and engineered a financial bailout of New York City.” In the end, the panic was blocked and several young bankers including Henry P. Davison and Benjamin Strong Jr. were recognized for their work organizing personnel and determining the liquidity of the banks involved in the crises. In 1908 J. Pierpont Morgan asked Henry P. Davison to become a partner in his firm J. P. Morgan & Co. and in 1914 Benjamin Strong Jr. was selected to be the first president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

            “Soon after the 1907 panic, Congress formed the National Monetary Commission to review banking policies in the United States. The committee, chaired by Senator Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island, toured Europe and collected data on the various banking methods being incorporated. Using this information as a base, in November of 1910 Senator Aldrich invited several bankers and economic scholars to attend a conference on Jekyll Island. While meeting under the ruse of a duck-shooting excursion, the financial experts were in reality hunting for a way to restructure America’s banking system and eliminate the possibility of future economic panics.”


            Skippy… don’t you worry Jim, some confuse moral w/ morale….

              1. Skippy

                I’m not arguing morality here, just historical accuracy w/ out applying agency to a thing e.g. as Yves has pointed out – there have been shifts in management and with it, institutional thinking, i.e. is there a difference between the post WWII Fed and the one that was eventually staffed with Economists around the 70s onward [Volcker, Greenspan, Bernanke] and their increasing ideological fundamentalism [mostly free market (Financialization) libertarian]. That’ not to mention the system post 70s was established to protect a very small segments net worth, everything after that is just white noise.

                Jim to a fault lets is ideological bias do the thinking for him, hence que ev’bal music and threatening shadows before uttering the name Fed.

                Skippy…. hay do I like endless quasi monetarist shenanigans, no, but that does not mean demons built the Fed.

  22. Gio Bruno

    re: Housing Boom in California

    Um, while water is a real concern now (and into the future) these new homes are being built in the suburbs (which create more traffic). If you haven’t heard, traffic congestion, roadway dilapidation, and vehicle/pedestrian injuries are off the charts in California. And electric cars may improve air quality but roadway congestion is likely to stay the same (commercial trucks make a large portion of traffic).

    With 38 million residents (not including tourists) and counting, California is going to need more than water to make the state more livable, despite the mild weather.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Ants also need water.

      I notice they are unusually hungry and fierce this year.

      And the rabbits seem to have come down from higher elevations, for I have never seen them in my backyard before.

      But bees haven’t been around the house lately – wonder if they are (further) damaged by all the solar panels…for smaller creatures, small change (from our perspective) can be a big deal.

    2. theinhibitor

      Electric cars are not as environmentally friendly as you’d assume. The energy has to come from somewhere, and until you can charge a car with solar power, this energy is going to come from hydroelectric dams (which destroy the environment), nuclear power-plants, coal, gas, etc. And electricity is incredibly inefficient in long distances, so please let me know when you come up with a solution that doesn’t require putting a nuclear powerplant in every major city in California.

      Oh and you should read the manufacturing process behind making the batteries in electric vehicles. Ill give you a hint: by far more toxic and hazardous than making a combustion engine.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a very traditional human way of thinking (vs. say space alien way of thinking).

        And that is, if we don’t see it, it’s not a problem.

        It’s how we invented garage dump (not sure if it was the Chinese who invented this) – bury that trash in some place far away, so we don’t see it. Voila, trash problem, what trash problem? Or dump it in the ocean. Again, no see, no problem.

        So, we don’t see how batteries are made. All we see is no or little emission where we are, that is, when we drive a car. Then, all is good.

      2. Praedor

        Union of Concerned Scientists has addressed this. Electric cars ARE better than non-electric so long as your electricity used to keep them charged doesn’t come primarily from coal-fired power plants. If your car is a hybrid (a Chevy Volt, ex) then it IS better than straight gas cars in all ways because the small engine in the Volt keeps the batteries charged and it is MUCH cleaner than any coal-fired power plant. If your electricity comes from natgas, nuke, hydroelectric, solar, wind, a mix, then an electric car is MUCH MUCH cleaner than non-electric.

        It also matters because of distribution of pollution as well. Lots of cars in a city emit a lot of harmful pollutants right there in everyone’s face whereas a coal-power plant is emitting it away from most homes, apartments, etc. Pollution doesn’t equal pollution equals pollution. There’s a lot of nuance to it as well.

      3. Praedor

        The earth isn’t dangerously warming and acidifying the oceans from battery manufacture. It IS from internal combustion cars, coal/natgas power plants, etc. The latter can be easily mitigated (and do you know how toxic a mess it is to make the electronics you use every day in your cell phone, computer, TV, DVR, etc?)

  23. swendr

    Invasive species on your plate: Let me know when someone comes up with a tasty preparation for scotch broom or morning glories.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Scotch broom (common pest here) is very poisonous. It is, however, an excellent soil improver (brushy nitrogen fixer).

      I suspect morning glories are poisonous, too; they certainly smell nasty.

      Kudzu, on the other hand, not that we have it here, is edible. The Japanese use the roots as a starch source and feed the tops to animals. I imagine they think our problems with are pretty funny. There is also Empress Tree, which proved invasive in Kentucky – until the farmers discovered how much the Japanese would pay for the wood. Then they stopped complaining. I wonder if the Japanese would buy kudzu?

      1. ambrit

        Morning glories contain Lysergic Acid Amide, a cousin to LSD. A different kind of “trip” is experienced with the consumption of a potion produced from Morning Glory seeds. Different varieties of Morning Glory have sharply different potencies, and some narcotic properties not encountered in LSD. Puff the Magic Dragon calls to us from his far off land.

      2. Harold

        At $9.00 for 3 oz. at specialty and health food stores, kudzu root starch (also called Japanese arrowroot) is quite expensive, if you are into Japanese cooking. It makes a very refined and agreeable thickener for puddings and sauces. I can’t imagine why people don’t market it.

        In any case, Kudzu was planted in the thousands and thousand as a part of New Deal make-work programs, it didn’t invade naturally. It’s just that people failed to exploit its potential as a useful plant, as intended. Eating the invasives is a very good plan, I think.

  24. susan the other

    About the antidote: getting that close to a baby moose is oh-so dangerous; don’t try this at home, OK?

    1. prostratedragon

      Long lens? The focus looks quite shallow.

      There was a “Fred is that you” antidote a while back of a photographer lying prone on the ground getting a shot with a leopard or cheetah lying right beside as if acting a –beg pardon– spotter.

  25. EmilianoZ

    Re: Mitterrand and austerity

    Great article by Bill Mitchell. The pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place. But I think he’s still missing one important piece.

    He makes it look as if the politique du franc fort started with the technocrats (Giscard, Barre, Delors, …). It is much more deep seated than that. In fact the longing for a franc fort started with the General hisself. In the 50ies the franc was like the Italian lira, a comedy currency frequently devalued. By the end of the 50ies you needed thousands of francs to buy the basic necessities. This was intolerable to de Gaulle. He wanted France to be a great power. Who has ever seen a great power with a weak comedy currency? De Gaulle also bought into the French pipe dream that the European Union would allow France to harness the economic power of Germany (LOL!). By the way, this last point was explained in a piece by Varoufakis (in the ancient times when Varoufakis was often cross-posted here).

    Like Greece today, France circa 1981 was caught between 2 contradictory dreams: stay within the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (the ancestor of the euro) or Keynesian stimulus. In the end, like Greece, France chose currency over people. In both cases, the question of self image was important. The Greeks want to stay in the euro as a mark that they’re western European rather than part of the Balkans or the Middle East. The French (or at least the elite) want a strong currency and the EU because they want to cling to the belief that they’re still a great influential nation like in the 19th century.

    Today, if the French want a flourishing economy, they must leave the euro and accept the reality that they’re a modest country with a modest currency. Surely the populace has come round to this. But for sure the elite will want to cling to the euro. France needs a new revolution to become a modest country.

    1. vidimi

      it’s mainly the provincial french, in places like the limousin, centre and corsica, that are the most empire-minded. for them, napoleon was a great hero and they long to relive empire again.

  26. Oregoncharles

    The Delicious, Invasive Species You’ll Be Eating Next –
    Red snapper are invasive? They’re native out here and getting scarce. Maybe ship a lot of them back where they belong?

    Are tiger mussels edible? The first thing I thought when an article described scraping tons of them off various structures was: “Fertilizer!” TONS of top-grade nitrogen and calcium! I wonder what they’re doing with it all.

    1. ambrit

      Red Snapper are enduring a similar fate here in the Gulf of Mexico. They are also suffering from various cancer like diseases related to the oil spilled from the Macondo rig and the Corexit sprayed to ‘disperse’ the oil slick.
      Balance is all, as the philosophers say. We’ve been mucking that up, environmentally, for centuries. Payback time is fast approaching.

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