Links 8/31/15

IKEA Opens “Dog Parking Lot” To Keep Dogs Out Of Hot Cars True Activist (Furzy Mouse)

A Roadmap for a World Without Drivers Alex Rubalcava (Chuck)

In defense of single-payer: How it would reduce administrative waste KevinMD (mad biologist) important

No, science’s reproducibility problem is not limited to psychology WaPo

The Reality Television Paradigm of All-Charter School Systems parentingthecore (mad biologist)

Mixed Messages from The Fed and the Bond Markets JW Mason. Important.


Migrants in Agathonisi, Greece ‘pick up litter or face jail’ BBC

EU to help gov’t register and relocate refugees ekathimerini

Autumn tourism expected to generate 3.2 billion euros ekathimerini

Tsipras says no to unity government neoskosmos

Greek leftists say they would apply bailout but fight to ease pain Reuters


‘Hillary for Prison’ signs keep getting stolen in the Hamptons NY Post

Donald Trump, Traitor to his Class NYT. BB: “Douthat sounds like a modern day Walter Lippmann: people are too stupid to make their own decisions. We must yield control to our betters…”

Trump Is Setting the GOP Agenda Politico

Antiestablishmentarianism: Sanders, Trump Surge in New Iowa Poll NBC News

Sanders pushes back against Clinton’s claims he’s soft on gun control Washington Times


West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror Guardian (Furzy Mouse)

If we do nothing about Syria, then the refugees will keep on coming Telegraph

Iraq minister outlines problems behind electricity woes China Post

‘U.S. Considered Using Nukes Against Afghanistan After 9/11’ Haaretz

Why Enlisting Turkey to Fight the Islamic State Was a Bad Idea National Interest


Chinese Build U.S. Factories, Bringing Tensions Along With Jobs Bloomberg (RS)

U.S. developing sanctions against China over cyberthefts WaPo

China Stocks Extend Biggest Selloff Since 2008 on Rescue Doubts Bloomberg

China Slowdown’s Next Victim: Asian Parts Suppliers WSJ. Supply Chain problems seem like the most direct transmission mechanism from China’s economic problems to the rest of the world.

Black Lives Matter network rejects DNC endorsement of BLM  Black Lives Matter network facebook page

Texas ‘cold-blooded assassination’: Black Lives Matter rhetoric to blame? Christian Science Monitor. If the answer your article provides to its headline is “no”, rewrite the headline.

Class Warfare

The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor? Counterpunch (LI)

When the Bank Robs You: Wells Fargo Contractors Allegedly Stole Family Heirlooms Rescued From Nazis First Look

Billionaire David Murdock Must Pay $148M For Manipulating Dole Foods Buyout Forbes

Mexican watchdog probes Carlos Slim’s fixed-line Telmex group FT

Nestle: Forced labor has no place in our food supply chain The Gazette

Senators Start Asking Questions About Hedge Funds Betting on Lawsuits Bloomberg (RS). How long until they start betting on whether lawmakers will continue letting them bet on Lawsuits?

Bitcoin Technology Piques Interest on Wall St. NYT. A match made in hell. Remember When MERS was this great new technology that would allow banks to transact with each other without all those expensive middle men?

Antidote du jour:

Links august 31 2015

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    Senators Start Asking Questions About Hedge Funds Betting on Lawsuits. How long until they start betting on whether lawmakers will continue letting them bet on Lawsuits?

    i can hardly type for laughing so hard…Thanks Nathan, great start to my day!

    Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself. Doc Holliday

  2. j in baltimore

    Guessing that HRC isn’t the only little lady that nice Hamptonite man would like to imprison. Eeek.

    1. jgordon

      That’s a groundless ad hominem. Many people believe that HCR is a criminal who belongs in prison rather than, say, in the presidency. This individual is merely expressing that opinion–an opinion it should be said that is not completely without justification.

      1. j in baltimore

        When he puts out his “Imprison Bush, Cheney, Bush II, Powell” signs, then the argument for justification can be made…till, then, speaking of ad hominem…

        1. jgordon

          Two wrongs don’t make a write. But I agree–if they also committed crimes then they should be properly tried and imprisoned as well.

              1. j in baltimore

                Nope. Commenter said if they also committed crimes, which presumes legal guilt on HRC’s part, instead of the political smear campaign we know this to be.

        1. jgordon

          The FBI doesn’t usually do civil investigations. Why don’t you ask them; they’re the ones deciding what she can be charged with while they investigate. I am merely someone who follows the news and sees the words “Hillary”, “Justice Department”, and “Investigation” regularly showing up in the same sentences.

          1. j in baltimore

            The FBI also investigates “security” issues. Nice attempt to move the goal post though. “Why don’t you ask them” is not an argument proving criminality, though you seem to wish it is.

        2. Gaylord

          A few come to mind:
          1. Aiding the overthrow and murder of Gaddafi, causing terrible destabilization & chaos to ensue;
          2. Signing an agreement not to restrict food imports from Japan after Fukushima;
          3. Helping to rig favorable Environmental Impact Report on Keystone XL Pipeline;
          4. Directing Victoria Nuland to administer an illegal coup in Kiev Ukraine to overthrow the elected government, thus enabling violent Nazi militia groups to attack civilians in Donbass & Lugansk.

          1. j in baltimore

            So, you would be attempting to indict the entire Obama Administration for these crimes then…or…just HRC, because, you know, Clinton Rules?

        3. David Mills

          I posted on this in the thread after a Sirota article, so to reiterate, HRC’s crimes could include (but are not limited to) bribery – receiving and giving – in relation to “Cattle futures trading”, criminal breech of trust in relation to the Rose Law firm, specifically Whitewater and ADFA. Her recent foibles with emails, the pay-to-play laundry shop of the CGI (or whatever new name it has) are also probably worthy of a proper investigation. Suffice it to say, the rotting rhinocerous carcass under the rug is her general corruption, ably abetted by the stenographic US media. Happy now?

          1. David Mills

            I also forgot, setting up her brother with a piece of a gold mine in Haiti while being Secretary of State may also be included. The list is so very long.

          2. j in baltimore

            Nope. No crimes. More rightwing political nonsense…Whitewater? Rose Law Firm? Really? Still?

            And you think the US Media is doing HRC favors? Um, no.

  3. Ulysses

    As he often does, Chris Hedges forces us to stare some unpleasant realities in the face:

    “The binary world the neoliberals created—a world of masters and serfs, a world where the wretched of the earth are demonized and subdued by a loss of freedom, by “austerity” and violence, a world where only the powerful and the wealthy have privileges and rights—will condemn us to a horrifying dystopia. The emerging revolt, inchoate, seemingly disconnected, is rising up from the bowels of the earth. We see its flashes and spurts. We see its ideology of rage and anguish. We see its utopianism and its corpses. The more despair and desperation are manufactured by the neoliberal order, whether in Athens, Baghdad or Ferguson, the more the forces of state repression are used to quell unrest and extract the last drops of blood from collapsing economies, the more violence will become the primary language of resistance.

    Those of us who seek to create a world that has hope of viability have little time left. The neoliberal order, despoiling the Earth and enslaving the vulnerable, has to be eradicated. This will happen only when we place ourselves in direct opposition to it, when we are willing to engage in the acts of self-sacrifice and sustained revolt that allow us to obstruct and dismantle every aspect of neoliberal machinery. I believe we can do this through nonviolence. But I am not blind to the inevitable rise of counterviolence, caused by the myopia and greed of the neoliberal mandarins. Peace and harmony may not engulf the Earth if we succeed, but if we do not remove the ruling elites from power, if we do not overthrow the neoliberal order, and if we do not do it soon, we are doomed.”

    1. NotSoSure

      “There has never been a slave who did not choose to be a slave. Their choice may be between bondage and death, but the choice is always there.”

      — George RR Martin through Tyrion Lannister.

      Both sides deserve the ultimate outcome.

    2. Jim

      But back in the real world:

      “The leftist Syriza party of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will challenge Greece’s creditors on unresolved aspects of the nation’s bailout but implement unpopular reforms it has already agreed to.”

      Did Hedges e-mail his following sentiments to Syriza:

      “The neoliberal order, despoiling the earth and enslaving the vulnerable, has to be eradicated.
      This will happen only when we are willing to engage in acts of self-sacrifice and sustained revolt that will allow us to obstruct and dismantle every aspect of neo-liberal machinery.”

      Is Tsipras engaging in acts of self-sacrifice?

      Why exactly did the left fail in Greece?

      Why exactly has the left in Europe and the US failed?

      1. jrs

        Well the destruction of the life support systems of the planet is the real world, FAR more real than politics. But whether or not anything Hedges calls for is the solution, I don’t know, I’m sure he sees little choice, and it’s clear that all we get, which is business as usual is no choice at all. The manipulation of digital currency units may be real enough to affect people’s lives in the short term (poor Greeks :( ), but ultimately nature will bat last, and noone knows how bad it will get, and that is the real world.

        In the U.S., what left are we even speaking of? The left from maybe the 1930s and how it was suppressed? Because there is very little left left in the U.S. and hasn’t been for decades. As for why Syriza failed, probably they had little negotiating leverage, and were poor at negotiating to boot (but without leverage what could they do?). But there’s dozens of articles about that question on this blog.

    3. Chris Williams

      Hedges speaks the truth in an excellent essay about what plagues our world.

      I am not optimistic. TPTB have too much at stake to allow the current order to change, at least without a lot of bloodshed.

  4. abynormal

    Malaysia bans the color Yellow
    “We are not going to the streets to defy the government but instead to demand reform. We want an advancing Malaysia.”

    But a notice in Thursday’s government gazette said the bans were permitted under the controversial Printing Presses and Publications Act, to ensure national security.

    The Act gives Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also deputy premier, wide-ranging powers over print media, books and any other form of publication, and the ability to prohibit items, including the 35,000 T-shirts that Bersih has sold ahead of the demonstration.

    Those found possessing such items can be fined up to 5,000 ringgit (US$1,198), and those guilty of producing or distributing them can be jailed for up to three years.

    The order, which took effect yesterday, appears to allow the authorities to clamp down at will on the tens of thousands expected (swelled to 100’s of thousands) to turn up in KL today wearing the signature yellow colour associated with the electoral reform group.'background-color:ffffaa'%3Eflood%3C/Malaysia-bans-yellow-Bersih-4-T-shirts-80070.html

    doesn’t seem to have worked out so well…

  5. Eureka Springs

    Black Lives Matter network rejects DNC endorsement of BLM

    Nicely done. Much more like this from individuals and organizations please. Note to BLM, get your primary messaging off of faceborg.

  6. abynormal

    By midday Sunday, BNY Mellon had calculated the net asset values for all funds through last Wednesday, with the exception of one company, the bank said in a statement Sunday afternoon. BNY didn’t name the company.

    The bank was still working through a backlog from Thursday and Friday, and it was unclear whether it would be able to complete the task [of price fixing] by the time the market opens Monday, said the person.

    “We run to place and power over the dead bodies of those who fail and fall; ay, we win the food we eat from out the mouths of starving babes.”
    H. Rider Haggard, She

      1. abynormal

        BUT the sign in the window reads: EMERGENCY CASH IF YOUR CARD IS LOST OR STOLEN

        my personal fav…after 8 or so days of the last RBS glitch, the bank offered emergency $2000.00 but warned customers not to try and withdraw from other branch’s b/c they were already flagged for receiving emergency funds.

        …they weren’t too glitched we’re they

      2. Vatch

        Both of these events provide clues as to how difficult it would be for a country such as Greece to switch its computer systems to a new currency. Just making things work correctly in the existing currency is fraught with peril!

  7. Brooklin Bridge

    The message I take away from, A Roadmap For A World Without Drivers isn’t that AVs (automated vehicles) are a smart investment move; it’s that we should ban investors. In fact, we could start with Capitalism. The rest would follow.

    In the meantime, I note that the author of this profit drooling piece conflates the benefits of EV (electronic vehicles) technology with those of AVs. The price gains of electronic vehicles would be largely the same for cars with human drivers as for those without, but the drooling VC can’t seem to make that leap, and he provides a foreplay foretaste of the technique advertizing and the media will use to hype this dystopia. That and total media silence when every manner of benefit (except profit by the few) is proven hollow by facts.

    Profit drool seems a powerful driver of all sorts of fanciful tables and models. But it basically comes down to the same thing as usual, making people more stupid and more dependent than ever on a horrific rent extraction model of society.

    Imperial collapse to the rescue! Will GW and the 6th EE arrive in time or will AV (taking credit for EV) win the day?

    1. Ed

      I noticed that the article conflated driverless cars and electric cars and stopped reading it.

      Development of both technologies would be nice and lead to a better society, and of course will be overhyped. Any move away from the internal combustion engine and of gasoline, which electric cars would do, is a good thing. Abandonment of the model where everyone is expected to be able to operate a car competently is a good thing, you greatly reduce not only traffic accidents but the traffic-related law enforcement bureaucracy, and alot of the stress of modern life.

      They are not panaceas, and mass transit will always be more energy efficient and generate fewer traffic problems.

      1. Praedor

        Just a small bit of rain on the AV parade…cars are hackable now to bad effect. Think of the massive disasters waiting to happen with hacked driverless cars. The only way to make them safe is to remove the wireless component (require physical wire connections to the main computer for any sort of read/write access).

        As it is, I have a new little car with electric steering. That made me leery. What’s wrong with good old unhackable power steering with hydraulics? It just plain works, is immune to hacking and EMP. Whereas if my electric steering goes tits up while I’m driving all it does is make it like old-school – direct steering ala Willy’s Jeeps and other old cars. Not to sure what can be done if someone remotely hacks my car…can they take over steering or just turn it on and off the assist?

        Simple is better. While I like the idea of being able to NOT have to watch the road (and be awake) all the time, especially during long drives, I definitely do NOT trust it.

    2. craazyman

      In a world without drivers, how can a man behind the wheel get lost and refuse to ask for directions?

      I wonder if anyone has thought of that.

      1. hunkerdown

        Most anyone who depends upon outside limits for something to talk/complain about (operationally identical) will readily switch to something else once their favorite irritant has been removed. What you talk about to avoid talking about the weather is an important and defining consumption choice.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Who cares at only .05 cents a mile? And anyway, who says you can get out at all once you’ve gotten in? How to get somewhere might be helpful not to ask about if you were going somewhere but these cars go nowhere, they just do it really cheap, and how do you get out once you arrive at nowhere? Drooling profit author said that the cattle people will want to just zip around all day any ‘ol place cause it’s just sooo cheap compared to gas. This is the Hotel California we’re talking about. So it makes perfect sense to refuse to get out and ask, especially when you can’t get out anyway, and that defeats the purpose.

        Probably more useful to ask if we still have to chew our food. Isn’t there something we can be mandated to rent to do that for us?

    3. pdh

      The advent of AVs will be really interesting here in rural Holmes County Ohio, home to a very large Amish community. Quite a few local ‘English’ work as drivers for their Amish neighbors. You often see bored drivers sitting in their vans at the local Wal-Mart parking lot, waiting for their passengers to finish shopping. I just saw an ad from a local car dealer promoting a late-model van as ‘perfect for Amish hauling’.

      Moreover, a lot of Amish now work off the farm. Although there still plenty of Old Order types who are reluctant to change from following traditional roles, many plain folk are more accepting of useful new technology. An Amish acquaintance of mine is a mason who runs a crew that that does construction work anywhere within about 100 miles of here. He has an ‘English’ crew member that drives & runs errands for the crew in addition to helping with actual masonry work. He also finds a cell phone to be indispensable in his business.

      It will be nice to have those cute little cars zipping around our country lanes. Hopefully, there will be fewer car/buggy accidents, too.

    4. HotFlash

      Ah, re, “A Roadmap for a World Without Drivers Alex Rubalcava (Chuck)” (thanks, Chuck)

      To me it is an abomination that cars are cruising around with only one person in them. Now we are to have cars with *no* person in them? I cannot begin to even think how wrong this is. Met a young lady today, she is just two weeks old, I could not stop apologizing. Have to work harder.

  8. financial matters

    Chinese Build U.S. Factories, Bringing Tensions Along With Jobs Bloomberg (RS)

    This seems similar to what Michael Pettis was talking about several years ago.

    Not a bad way for China to spend its US Treasuries. Of course there is another country that has easy access to these treasuries or could even use overt monetary financing. Fiscal Policy

    Xin Fa’an: A Modest Proposal to Resolve the Coming Trade War

    Michael Pettis

    Well I guess one way to get this balance (here comes my modest proposal) would be for China to engineer a New Deal in America, which we could call Xin Fa’an (“new deal” in Chinese). Beijing needs the US to continue running a rising trade deficit in order to absorb Chinese overcapacity while China slowly rebalances its economy towards domestic demand, which will take many years.

    the US is paradoxically in a very good position to increase investment because it has very poor infrastructure for its levels of development. The US has tons of room for a major expansion in infrastructure and, unlike in China, almost any infrastructure spending is likely to be value creating.

    Let China engage in a massive rebuilding of US infrastructure – it can build airports, highways, damns, and railways – which would raise investment levels enough keep the US trade deficit high in a way that benefits the US and China.

    Talk about win-win. China will get the eight to ten years it desperately needs to engineer what will otherwise be a brutally difficult rebalancing.

    So can we get China to fund the Xin Fa’an in America? Probably not. Muddled Chinese public opinion will be furious that desperately poor China is investing in rich America, even though the overall returns will be better and the cost of China’s adjustment will be much lower. Muddled American opinion will be furious that America is “selling out” to China. Bumptious politicians in both countries will completely fail to get the underlying economics of the trade, and they will never allow it to happen. But it is still a pretty good idea.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are we talking about importing and using Chinese cement, Chinese engineers, Chinese construction workers, Chinese steel to build bridges and dams here, that will be owned by Chinese banks/local and central governments?

      Why do we need them to spend US Treasuries to that, when we can just print, but not the will, except for military spending?

      1. financial matters

        They are providing the financing such as for electric car companies in the US. (from yesterdays links) As you say we could also do it if we had the political will.

        Tesla Wants Obama Administration to Press China WSJ

      2. Praedor

        Can skip all that by strongly down-focusing on trade. It really isn’t necessary, merely desired, by Wall Street looters. The US is completely capable of self-sufficiency in MANY areas (not all, but many). Print the money HERE, spend the money HERE, hire the workers HERE, make the steel HERE, etc. Relegate trade to a much smaller part of the pie to only that which we really cannot do here (some raw materials).

  9. griffen

    Billionaire busted cold (!!) Nice column on the Dole dealing – buyout was low-balled for starters, since sometimes a senior exec leading a buyout might actually, perhaps, possibly, have a different goal in mind.

    Buy low, sell high. At least the investors receive some extra coin for being partly-fleeced.

  10. alex morfesis

    dear christians…muslums pray for the return of jesus 5 times a day…jesus, son of mary ?? you have heard of the guy ?

    psycho new west point prof. too stuck in eloquent ignorance to look up from his miserable existence in his human host to bother even reading about those who he proclaims to want to destroy…

    news flash…your governor has killed more americans than those nasty terrorists by handing out drivers licenses to untrained and fearful drivers or drivers too old or over medicated they can hardly stand up straight…

    yes it is true islam expects the son of mary to claim he is a follower of moses(the word muslim is basically a greek word…mouselmanni…mousel being moses) and thus a “muslim” is someone who will “submit” to the god of abraham…

    not trying to start a religious debate…just pointing out how easy it is to claim hatred against someone who is praying for the return of the son of mary…

    there is nothing wrong with fighting against a country that happens to have islam as its state approved religion…

    but war is not over religion…it is about power, money and greed…

    religion is the sideshow

  11. Vatch

    power, money and greed…

    All too often, those are the defining characteristics of religion. Not always, maybe not most of the time, but often.

  12. LifelongLib

    I’m not as convinced as Prof. Nasser (“Myth of the Middle Class…”) that debt is an indicator of poverty. It’s rational to (say) buy on credit if you need something now but don’t have the money saved to pay for it, as long as you reasonably believe that your income will allow you to pay off the debt. Having a working refrigerator is a health issue. Rightly or not, in many places a car is a necessity to live there at all. People often have high debt in some phases of life, but are able to pay it off and are debt-free later. Real poverty is not being able to sustain debt, or not having access to credit in the first place.

      1. LifelongLib

        I’m arguing that “afford” does not equate to “no need for credit”, and that debt does not equate to poverty.

  13. Adam Eran

    The “No, science’s reproducibility problem is not limited to psychology WaPo”…just scratches the surface of “scienciness.” The massive over-reliance on all things measurable really gets us into trouble in a variety of ways.

    For example, it produces the “MBA consciousness” that says if it can’t be measured it doesn’t exist. As it happens, “scientific management” attempts to make what is essentially a liberal art into a pseudo-mechanism. One recent application would be school “reform”…

    “Reformers” like Michelle Rhee promote three plausible, but ultimately irrelevant tactics to improve educational outcomes: 1. Merit pay (because teachers do it for the money, doncha know), 2. (Union-busting) Charter schools and 3. testing, testing, testing.

    No actual science validates these tactics. Oddly enough, the “reformers'” propaganda film, Waiting for Superman, touts the Finnish schools as the ones with the “super” teachers, so they are the ones to emulate. Not mentioned in the film: Finnish school teachers are tenured, well-paid and unionized.

    What does actually correlate with educational outcomes? Childhood poverty. It’s 2% in Finland, and 23% in the U.S. (“But it’s those darn teachers and their defined benefit pensions, I tell you!”)… Rhee’s organization “Students First” actually lobbied against defined benefit pensions for teachers in NY State.

    The inspiration for the “scientific management” taught in business schools was folks like Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor himself turns out to be a con man who cooked the experimental results to fit his theories. Read Matthew Stewart’s The Management Myth (summarized in the Atlantic article of that same title online) for the complete story about how this advanced superstition was elevated to direct policies both public and private.

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