Links 9/23/15

Forgive the pet peeve: I’m getting tired of the fear-mongering regarding, “If you are from a state where your drivers’ license does not conform to the requirements of the Real ID act, you’ll need a passport to fly next year.”

Bollocks. I know people personally who’ve flown with no valid government issued ID. The TSA puts you through additional screening. This story describes the process. Allow extra time.

The reason for this press barrage, I suspect, is that the officialdom does not want the TSA swamped by people who don’t bring passports. But on the other hand, if you want to throw a bit of sand in the gears of the security apparatus, or if you are reluctant to risk losing your (probably only) government IDs by carrying them both at the same time, you might want to go this route. But be really nice and give a reason as to why you are not carrying the docs they’d like you to have.

Pope Francis Reverses Position On Capitalism After Seeing Wide Variety Of American Oreos Onion (David L)

Melting permafrost could cause $43 trillion worth of economic damage Business Insider (David L)

Bank of America files patent for cryptocurrency wire transfer system FierceFinanceIT. Patent squatting is not a plus for market development.

Is Uber’s ultimate goal the privatisation of city governance? Guardian

Apple’s App Store Got Infected With the Same Type of Malware the CIA Developed Intercept


China manufacturing index at 78-month low Financial Times

As George Osborne kowtows, the world sinks beneath a sea of Chinese overcapacity Telegraph

With King in Declining Health, Future of Monarchy in Thailand Is Uncertain New York Times. Furzy mouse: “I saw that a newspaper publisher in Bangkok won’t print the Times because of this article…”

Deployment of new US nuclear weapons in Germany frontal21 (guurst). Original in German here.

Marine Le Pen faces trial for inciting racial hatred after comparing Muslims to Nazis Daily Mail. I wondered why she was so quiet in the face of refugee crisis.

Refugee Crisis

E.U. votes to distribute 120,000 asylum seekers across Europe Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Vote to Take In Migrants Tests Limits of Unity in Europe New York Times

Cameron’s Animal House

What the British are really laughing about The Leveller

What #PigGate Really Says About the State of British Politics Foreign Policy


Greece budget update – September Bruegel

Greece’s Cruel October: Clock Ticks To Implement New Austerity Reforms Huffington Post

Brussels bureaufascists mark another victory in the Greek battlefield failed evolution


Ukraine can rely on NATO, Secretary General says in visit to Kiev NATO. Guurst: “Gotta pinch yourself to believe it.”


The Utter Folly of Arming the Syrian Opposition American Conservative (resilc)

Stratfor looks at Iraq, the Center of a Regional Power Struggle Fabius Maximus. Resilc: “Mission accomplished by the neoconjobs.”

US Trained rebels surrender to Nusra. Allen to depart – Walrus Sic Semper Tyrannis

Les espions contrôlaient les caméras des hôtels lémaniques Le Matin (guurst)

Iceland announces boycott of Israeli goods Fox (Judy B)

Syria: Has Putin Called Obama’s Bluff? OpEd News

Imperial Collapse Watch

Manufacturing Neoliberalism: How the Council of Foreign Relations Marketed Global Capitalism Counterpunch (Bill B)

F-35 purchase had 2 sets of books, Page says CBC


VW Probably Won’t Die—But if It Does, Europe Is in Trouble WIRED

Volkswagen Angry Bear (resilc)

How Volkswagen’s defeat device really works @BreakingViews

FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server Newsmax

Why Republicans just might be okay with another government shutdown Washington Post


Kochs Demand Walker Return Nine Hundred Million Dollars New Yorker (Chuck L)

Rick Perry’s Wealthy Donors Want Their Money Back: Sorry Millionaires, Buyers Beware YouTube (furzy mouse)

Republicans in Congress Are Going to Hate What Pope Francis Has to Say. Here’s Why. Mother Jones

Bernie Sanders defends Pope Francis: He is helping to ‘significantly turn the tide’ on climate change Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Exclusive: In clash with pope’s climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights Reuters (EM)

Mathematician suspicious of election fraud hires lawyer to force Kansas to hand over voting records Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Black men shot by white patrolman in Washington state face assault charges Reuters (EM)

Muslim student arrested over clock withdraws from Texas school: newspaper Reuters

Al-Jazeera expected to cut hundreds of jobs Guardian

There Are 800 Fossil Fuel Subsidies Around The World OilPrice

EME vulnerabilities and the Fed Perry Mehrling

How UBS Spread the Pain of Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis to Clients Bloomberg. Lmabert: “They never change the playbook.”

Goldman C.E.O. Lloyd Blankfein Has Lymphoma New York Times

Bank of America’s CEO should be out of a job Fortune

Harvard endowment warns of market ‘froth’ Financial Times

Guillotine Watch

‘Pharma Bro’ backs down: Martin Shkreli will roll back outrageous Daraprim price gouge Raw Story (furzy mouse). Big big mistake targeting a drug used by people with HIV. Gays and their allies are very savvy media campaigners.

Twitter Shreds Drug Profiteer as Price Rise Scandal Goes National Salon

Exclusive: Americans overpaying hugely for cancer drugs – study Reuters (EM)

Class Warfare

Central banks have made the rich richer Financial Times. In case you still harbored doubts…

Robots’ Next Big Job: Trash Pickup? Dice Insights (furzy mouse)

Mapped: how the sharing economy is sweeping the world Telegraph. I wish there was a way to fine every journalist who promotes the new push push to pauperize labor via the “sharing economy” Orwellianism.

Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds New York Times. We noted that the way health care costs were being shifted onto workers was not included in the raft of recent “stagnant real wages” stories (and that’s before you get to more unpaid overtime among salaried workers and erosion of pension benefits). This confirms that the real standard of living of typical workers has fallen.

Antidote du jour (Rich B):

Belfie window links

And a bonus antidote from guurst. This is a trailer for a documentary about a bear family that was filmed over the course of a year.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sam Kanu

    Re: FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server Newsmax

    May I remind you of the brazenness of this exchange a few weeks ago:
    Reporter: “Did you wipe the server before you turned it in to the govt?”
    Hillary: “Do you mean like with a soft cloth? “

      1. Sam Kanu

        “stupid question”….

        General issue in the entire matter is assuming the American people are stupid – for expecting public officials to respect the integrity and transparency expected in govt work – and to cooperate with, rather than hinder, any investigation into their actions as a public official.

        But hey this is the post Nixon age. We must be “stupid” for not blanket assuming that politicians who “serve” us are crooks.

        1. optimader

          Answering a question with a question is deflection which in this case can be interpreted by the reader as not wanting to be transparent. Why?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Nightmare scenario for “hrod17” is that the FBI finds work-related emails that weren’t turned over. Even worse if the messages relate to sensitive subjects, such as gun-running to Libya and elsewhere.

      Given the sleaze invariably associated with everything the Clintons do, it is highly likely that sensitive info was withheld, and now will come to light.

      Hrod17 is done. It’s all over but the crying (or laughing, for some of us).

      1. Pwelder

        You’re probably right that Hrod17 is done. Rather than go with the total hangout, apology,blame-it-on-Louie Gomert route, she’s been issuing one lame falsehood after another ever since the UN press conference. That choice (inexplicable from out here in the cheap seats) was made by capable people who know what’s on the server.

        I’m OK with it – Biden/Warren is a stronger ticket. I think the R’s – who have plenty of problems of their own – are starting to worry that Clinton won’t be the nominee.

          1. hunkerdown

            Biden?! You are aware that he’s the reason we’re permanently indebted and micromanaged by our “betters”, aren’t you? Seriously who cares about the adverts and the power couple? What about policy?

  2. aet

    An interesting article on Science Daily, “Researchers reveal when global warming ….became clearly evident in the temperature record”.

    From that article:

    “….by the period 1980-2000 the temperature record in most regions of the world were showing clear global warming signals.

    One of the few exceptions to this clear global warming signal was found in large parts of the continental United States, particularly on the Eastern coast and up through the central states.”


    1. diptherio

      Can you translate the rest for us too? (kidding)

      I turned on the translated subtitles but I’m pretty sure “Kamchatka knows windows people shirts enthusiasts of this field…” isn’t what the guy is actually saying…

  3. say_what?

    re: Central banks have made the rich richer Financial Times.

    Let’s be more general and acknowledge that government subsidized private credit creation makes the rich richer. Why? Because with government subsidized private credit creation bank “loans create deposits.*” Does the fact that the new purchasing power is lent, rather than simply nakedly given to the so-called creditworthy, which always includes the rich, alter the fact that they are being privileged by government? Does deflation and job loss during the bust compensate the poor and other non so-called creditworthy for being screwed during the boom by, for example, outrageous price inflation in housing?

    *Without government privileges, banks could still create deposits but those deposits would be in great danger of fleeing to a risk-free Postal Savings Service, dragging bank reserves 1-for-1 with them.

  4. Jeff

    About your “pet peeve” post — I bought a U.S. Passport 4-years ago. I was living in Bellingham, WA during the ’08 – ’09 Crash. For whatever the reason(s) given, after 9/11 it has been nothing if not years, decades now, of reading about how it was time that all American citizens owned a passport; not for real reasons. Like how the time would come when the average American citizen ended up becoming refugees / migrants / asylum seekers / boat persons / unescorted children / illegal / undocumented / alien caught outside their own country.

    Well, here we are; it is 2015. I have relocated by to Upstate New York (one of those states the government is fear mongering about), to another city that shares its border with our “neighbors to the north.” I carry my passport everywhere where identification will be requested, required and otherwise asked for. I would not recommend trying to visit Canada without a passport. What has become an interesting development is how I recently took a cross country drive and everyplace that asked for an I.D. ignored my drivers’ license in favor of my passport — in my own country.

    For those who have one word for the current refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien crisis — otherwise officially referred to as “immigration” — may I suggest that the United States government, which currently has no immigration policy what-so-ever except the usual lies, has had its own refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien crisis going all the way back to the Vietnam War (and farther back than this even).

    I know a former Vietnam Vet who was stationed at B-52 bases located in Thailand during the Vietnam War, who is still using the laws (loopholes) associated with that refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien crisis to continue bringing in “family” from that country. Surely Thailand can no longer be considered “war torn?” But mainly because these vets married a local Thailand girl, and henpecking is an international fact of life carried out under the guise of “humanity” and “humane behavior.” Every year, going as far back as 2000 this vet has been welcoming family into my country at the local international airport.

    The current refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien crisis in Europe is nothing compared to what has become routine here in the United States for decades; where the Hispanic population make up just one part of the total foreign populations being brought in from every country this government has elected to spread democracy — even Europe, even Great Britain, even Russia, even China, even India, and even Germany.

    But because this government is so good at lying to itself and the American People; so good at the propaganda of “It’s All Good!” and “Everything is Awesome” there is no refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien crisis at all. And there will be no refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien crisis in this country as long as this government maintains the fully-rigged, manipulated and controlled closed and closing society we currently call “home.”

    Get your passport now, while you still can, before it is too late. You or your children will become the very refugee / migrant / asylum seeker / boat person / unescorted child / illegal / undocumented / alien making way for all the refugees / migrants / asylum seekers / boat people / unescorted children / illegal / undocumented / aliens that have already arrived, and are still coming, and are set to come, in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Contrary to what the media says, we live in a finite country with only the ability to feed, clothe, house, educate, employ in meaningful jobs, a small fraction of the people already here. The rest is all lies and propaganda.

    The United States already has approximately 100-million American Citizens — almost a third of its population — that have dropped out and given up. They refuse to participate in a scheme that only wants refugees / migrants / asylum seekers / boat people / unescorted children / illegal / undocumented / aliens.


    1. craazyboy

      You can always migrate to Mexico. They have some new immigration laws there. You must either have $30,000/yr USD income (presumably you aren’t working and this is from your fat American pension) or if you have a net worth of at least $150,000 then that plus whatever you get for SS may suffice.

      They advise you get a Mexican lawyer to help with filling out the paperwork (in Spanish, of course) plus any other “fees” to expedite guv approvals. The lawyer will total it all up for you.

  5. fresno dan

    Hedonic adjustments trace their recent history to the work of Michael Boskin, who served as chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush. The Boskin Commission — or as it was formally known, the Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index — reached the dubious conclusion that inflation was overstated. To address this finding, the commission made a series of recommendations that were implemented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    If you really want to understand wealth and income disparity, consider looking at the gap between rich and poor on things such as life expectancy, educational opportunities and career options. Even simple things like access to fresh food or quality medical care are wildly disparate and widening. Contrary to what some think tanks claim, these things are not becoming more available — even for the middle class.

    An easy way to identify a bad argument or investment thesis is to follow Charlie Munger’s exhortation: “Invert! Always invert!” Doing so with Dimon’s logic allows me to offer the following tongue-in-cheek suggestion: A new confiscatory 90 percent income tax on the top 1 percent would be fine because, after all, they would still be left with their iPhones, expensive luxury cars and the Hamptons weekend houses.

    As well as the whole thing about Hedonics – its bogus because the adjusters don’t even CONSIDER CRAPONICS – the way things are getting worse.

    When one considers that the whole diminishing of the CPI was to reduce the benefits to basically every single person not in the 1%, you can see why there is the incessant Candide propaganda – getting essentially the benefits of all growth since 2008 is not enough for them – they must have it all.

  6. DJG

    It may be time to go back to the term “piecework.” That’s what the so-called sharing economy is. The AirBnB place that I stayed in (Berkeley, CA) was basically a boarding house for grad students, just like something out of a 1930s movie, but a bit nicer. Still, though, somebody was sleeping behind a screen in the living room. And Uber is classic piecework–“jitney” cab driving. The other term in use, the so-called gig economy, makes it sound as if the world is inhabited exclusively by musicians. So that term has to go, too.

    1. Ivy

      Old terms may reappear, such as the following from Wikipedia:

      Villein, or villain, was a term used in the feudal era to denote a peasant (tenant farmer) who was legally tied to a lord of the manor – a villein in gross – or in the case of a villein regardant to a manor.[1] Villeins occupied the social space between a free peasant (or “freeman”) and a slave. The majority of medieval European peasants were villeins. An alternative term is serf, from the Latin servus, meaning “slave”. A villein could not leave the land without the landowner’s consent.

      The term derives from Late Latin villanus, meaning a man employed at a Roman villa rustica, or large agricultural estate. The system of tied serfdom originates from a decree issued by the late Roman Emperor Diocletian (ruled 284–305) in an attempt to prevent the flight of peasants from the land and the consequent decline in food production. The decree obliged peasants to register in their locality and never leave it; they could leave their villages only to deliver a message or to accompany their lord to war.

      Because of the low status, the term became derogatory. In modern French vilain means “ugly” or “naughty” and in Italian, villano means “rude” or “ill-mannered”. For the Spanish villano, the RAE preserves the definition of “neighbor or inhabitant of a village or town”, but it also accepts the derogatory use, which is very similar to English usage; in modern English villain means a scoundrel, criminal or a lawless member of society.

  7. Tertium Squid

    That Blankfein cancer article is so actuarial. He’s not gone yet, in fact he’s fine, and NYT talking about all the people eager to take his spot, like death is the only way to remove a banker.

    Better to be feared than loved?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Re Blankfein: Here’s a fun link that ties together a whole bunch of shammery and flim-flammery (check the info from the God’s Kingdom Ministries on what their Church Fathers say they believe and where they hold their Sacred Gatherings, e.g. over in Branson, MO at the Chateau on the Lake):

      The Lloyd’s Prayer
      Feb 10, 2010

      A few months ago, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, claimed to be “doing God’s work” in his banking business. His statement was actually true, because it is God who raised up Mystery Babylon to bring judgment upon America through banking and usury.

      Last week, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was interviewed by Charlie Rose on late-night TV. He told his version of the story of the collapse of Lehman Brothers back in September of 2008. He said that he called his wife and told her that he thought Lehman Brothers was about to collapse, and he asked her to pray for him.

      I have been calling for repentance in America for many years, but this is not exactly what I had in mind. Getting religious is not repentance. Repentance is a change of mind and heart, a recognition (in this case) that usury is a sin and resolving, as did Zaccheus, to restore fourfold of all that was taken unjustly (Luke 19:8) .

      Someone composed The Lloyd’s Prayer recently in honor of Lloyd Blankfein in his attempt to do God’s work:

      The Lloyd’s Prayer

      Our Chairman,
      Who art at Goldman,
      Blankfein be thy name.
      The rally’s come. God’s work be done
      On earth, as there’s no fear of correction.
      Give us this day our daily gains,
      And bankrupt our competitors,
      As you taught Lehman and Bear their lessons.
      And bring us not under indictment,
      For thine is the Treasury,
      And the House and the Senate
      Forever and ever.
      [Emphasis added]

      Please take special regard of the date of the linked item…

      One wonders how many Church Fathers (and Mothers, too, see The 400 Club, Tower of Power, etc.) are offering up prayers, as part of the “pray for our leaders” part of the prayers-of-the-people part of the Liturgy that comes before the Offertory, for the health and welfare and long reign and life of Lloyd Craig Blankfein, after all Jesus was one of God’s Chosen People too, and folks like Blankfein are helping hasten the Apocalypse and maybe feeding the ATMachinery of God that issues money out of the Prosperity Gospellary to those who just Accept Christ as Their Personal Banker Savior…

      Got to love,also, the scrubbed bio in Wiki:

      Really, whattaguy! Maybe it would behoove me, on peril of the loss of my immortal soul for not Following the Word of Christ, or Paul, or one of the mean-arse old codgers who allegedly prophesied back in the Old Testament Days, to also pray even for a rotten reprobate of a tax-expending sinner like ol’ Lloyd? Is it a sin to even notice that one who is a pinnacle cancer apparently has developed a cancer? and of course he will get the best care that money, and the selfless kindness of caregivers, can provide…

  8. tegnost

    Re: greedy hedge fund guy…Thanks so much Patient Protection Affordable Care Act for not including price controls for drugs…what, we didn’t know that those nice caring people in the FIRE sector would try to profit from our misfortunes? Oh, the irony…

    1. ProNewerDeal

      In the ACA legislative process, 0bama killed Canada pharma importation, an amendment from the ND Senator. If I understand correctly, Canada pharma importation would allow Free Market-ish, patient price shopping, and allow USians to bypass the $750 pill, if an Winnipeg pharmacy is offering it for $13/pill.

      0bama also killed the Public Option, or dropping Medicare eligibility from 65 to 55.

      Hugo Chavez infamously called Bush43 a Great Satan at the UN. Perhaps 0bama is an ever Greater Satan.

        1. Lambert Strether

          And censored (literally) single payer advocates, in addition to mocking them publicly, while Democrats never gave them a hearing, and career “progressives” ran interference for the whole process and cheered them on.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Are you typing the president’s name with a zero (0) instead of a capital O?


        As penance, please render it as Øbama from now on, to show some respect.

        1. Irrational

          Hey, Ø is a perfectly good Danish (and Norwegian) letter.
          We don’t want anything to do with your Prez.

    2. craazyboy

      In 2003, when they passed Medicare Part D – free drugs for seniors! – they included that it ’tis illegal for greedy, big gubmint to negotiate drug prices. They must pay any price the nice drug companies ask! Because, free market?!

      Also additionally, the American consumer could use a little practice brushing up on our negotiating/shopping skill set. Might as well be in the Healthcare/Pharma marketplace.

      [insert audio: Pirates shouting aiy, aiy matey, swords clashing, cannon booming. Flying monkeys screaming ooh,ooh,ooh, humans!. Sauron announcing $15,000 ambulance rides to Mordor.]

      P.S. Entitlements are bad.

      P.S.S 49% of you deadbeats out there don’t pay taxes! We’ve got to put an end to this freeloading off government services!!

      P.S.S. My brain just short circuited and I no longer know where I’m going with this.

      1. diptherio

        I actually lobbied on the Hill against that particularly egregious provision, back in my political activist days. It was really something to watch all those congressional aides space-out while we tried to explain to them that barring ourselves from negotiating on price was utterly asinine. It was the most transparent corporate giveaway I’d ever seen…then we got the ACA…

  9. allan

    Boeing to sell 300 jets to China firms, set up China plant

    Boeing raised its forecast for China’s aircraft demand by 5 percent in August, saying that the country will need 6,330 planes over the next 20 years.

    It signed a cooperation document with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to build the aircraft completion center for its 737 passenger jet in China, added Xinhua.

    It would be irresponsible not to point out that Boeing CEO Jim McNerney was a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

    As Steve Jobs said, those jobs are never coming back.

  10. tim s

    Pres. Obama just made his speech welcoming the pope to the US. At 1st I thought that the hypocrisy of speaking about appreciating the pope’s positions on justice, war, inequality, etc was just too much. The pope had a look on his face the whole speech that said something like “you’ve gotta be fuggin’ kidding me”, although in a much more divine light, of course. But then Obama kept going on and on with accolades that just damned US policy on every point, both national and international, with a dagger. He or the speachwriters could have glossed over our many sins and beat around the bush, but did not.

    I’m not sure what to make of it…. I went from cringing with disgust at the start to outright laughing at the end.

  11. Massinissa

    Im actually sort of surprised Marine Le Pen dislikes Nazis considering how much her father loved them.

    But then again, maybe her father liking them is why she doesn’t like them, or something. Marine certainly has tried to distance herself from her fathers loonier positions over the years.

    1. Inverness

      I wouldn’t assume Marine doesn’t like Nazis! Her party was essentially founded on the spirit of Nazi collaboration. She’s just distancing herself from her father because his anti-semitism creeps some members of the elecorate out. If she openly challenges her father, it makes the National Front look reasonable, not like the second coming of Marshall Petain. It’s realpolitik. Her party is pursuing the same anti-Europe, anti-immigration platform, but is also working with equally scary far-right people like Geert Wilders in Holland. Their strategic plan is to embrace certain progressive ideas (like gay rights), while maintaining Islamophobia.

      1. Sam Kanu

        September 23, 2015 at 10:58 am
        I wouldn’t assume Marine doesn’t like Nazis! Her party was essentially founded on the spirit of Nazi collaboration. She’s just distancing herself from her father because his anti-semitism creeps some members of the elecorate out. If she openly challenges her father, it makes the National Front look reasonable, not like the second coming of Marshall Petain. It’s realpolitik. Her party is pursuing the same anti-Europe, anti-immigration platform, but is also working with equally scary far-right people like Geert Wilders in Holland. Their strategic plan is to embrace certain progressive ideas (like gay rights), while maintaining Islamophobia.


        In Norway, the equivalent xenophobic party, the “FrP” is doing the same. They set out a woman as “frontman” for electoral respectability, while the hardcore nasties remain in the background. They even trot out their lone pet Iranian as “immigration spokesman”, when convenient.

        1. Inverness

          How clever of them. By appearing somewhat socially progressive, people think they couldn’t possibly be nasty bigots. Thanks for filling me in on Norway’s far right. There must be a term for this sort of “greenwashing” of far-right politics. I just don’t know what that term would be.

          1. Sam kanu

            It’s been going on for a while all over the place.

            I think you’ll see the UKIP in the UK and the Danish Danskeparti adopt this strategy – they will find more urbane types to front their parties, as those areas are the key battleground for votes.

            In the US, You can see the attempt by the Tea Party to use Palin and Herman Cain as shields against their obviously “angry white man” agendas. But Palin was a flake and racial dynamics of the US not conducive to using Cain.

            And arguably the more centre right corporatists in the have been successful with the half-white and highly urbane Obama – enough to get over the line. So the model is there.

    2. drexciya

      This was a comment she made in 2010, about muslims praying outside and comparing it to occupiers. This practice was forbidden in 2011, so maybe she was on to something. As to why this is getting hauled into court just now (5 years later!) is pretty clear; the establishment doesn’t want her to run for president. I hope this backfires badly as everybody knows this is just a political thing .

    3. PlutoniumKun

      A large part of her political project was to detoxify the FN brand, using dog whistles instead of outright racism. She has turned the FN into a more generally anti-establishment party, rather than a nakedly right wing one – they actually get a lot of votes in traditionally radical left wing areas – they seem to pick up a lot of votes from working class radicals disenchanted with the mainstream left.

      The left in Europe has suffered a lot for being largely pro-immigration and pro-Europe, often to the extent of being against the perceived interest of poorer voters – they have lost a lot to more populist parties, and smarter right wing politicians are picking up votes from the left.

  12. abynormal

    “Brace Yourself”:

    “Blood that was warm has now run cold
    bled every day have hearts become old
    Telling I am the story of my past
    and of the ghosts at which it is aghast

    Life as a child was a wonderful rhapsody
    Free from the fetters of rational prosody
    Naively making brute reality a parody
    Revelling in a soul filled with life’s melody

    Poverty struck and child became destitute
    wailing and whimpering like a wretched prostitute
    Of pleasure and pain does a society constitute
    for Man is not for God to substitute

    Life is a parody of paradoxical Irony
    Fate rules not without a touch of Tyranny
    While the rich belch on their goblets of honey
    the wretched etch on the tablets of agony”
    Prabhukrishna M

    1. craazyboy

      And inflation has been sooo low also additionally as well too, if the establishment be so bold as to point that out, now and then.

  13. diptherio

    A local take on the Greek situation:

    There is nothing to celebrate after Sunday’s elections in Greece

    Tsipras’ new “selling point” is his fight against corruption and the oligarchy, since his newly-adopted “pragmatism” dictates that he cannot anymore fight against austerity and neoliberal restructuring. Thus, the horizon of left-wing politics in Greece has become an “austerity with a human face”, a “less corrupt” and “more just” enforcement of neoliberal barbarity.

    Unfortunately, in the coming months we are going to witness Tsipras’ “political maturity” and “pragmatism” extending to ever new areas: Pragmatism dictates that you cannot fight against those who own all the wealth and the mass media in Greece, that you cannot shut down the disastrous gold mine in Skouries, that you have to privatise the water companies after all, that you cannot permit worker occupations like VIOME to challenge private property, that you have to deal with protest and dissent deploying the forces of public order.

    In short, left-wing pragmatism is going to achieve everything that right-wing arrogance could not, that is, to subdue a population that has been fighting against neoliberal barbarity for 5 years.


    Someone could argue that Syriza retaining its electoral percentage on Sunday’s elections is a sign that the bulk of the population consents to the party’s “pragmatism”. Two points should be stressed here:

    Firstly, it is a perfectly respectable stance to vote for Syriza as the lesser neoliberal evil. Voting by definition involves complex calculations, political blackmail and a host of ethical dilemmas that the Greeks have faced three times in less than 8 months. Those who abstain for political reasons cannot claim moral superiority over those who use their vote instrumentally in this fluid and complex political situation. But let’s not assume either that all the people who cast an instrumental vote for Syriza in order to prevent the reinstatement of the hated New Democracy are going to stand by with their arms crossed when the government begins its raid against people and nature in the next few months.

    Secondly, and most importantly, while the political system is designed to maintain appearances and guarantee the continuity of power, no one can deny that the most significant aspect of Sunday’s elections was the abstention skyrocketing to 45% from 36% in January and from 29% in 2009. It is easy to calculate that in a country of 10 million registered voters this translates to over 4 million people who do not vote, or about 1 and a half million people who have lost their faith in the political system since the start of the crisis. This last figure represents about as many people as those who vote for either of the two major political parties.

    The moderate liberals accomplishing what the paleo-conservatives can’t–sounds familiar.

    1. JTMcPhee

      …and at what point does the “legitimacy” of the sham “electoral process” evaporate so completely that either universal schisms mark a different phase, or the iron fist comes out of the silk glove all the way?

    2. susan the other

      I think the BIS just came down on Tsipras’ side. Today’s Link to Perry Mehrling (actually discussing how ME influences our FOMC decisions on interest rates) on a new BIS analysis of how interconnected world finance and economix is. Discussing financial “time patterns.” Well, duh BIS. When the old system has been completely blown out of the water, maybe it’s time to fine tune it? The new BIS guidelines discuss the value of functioning debt service in troubled times: should debt be allowed to cause illiquidity such that everybody and their dog goes under? “Is the time pattern of likely income adequate to service the time pattern of promised cash debt payments?” Well not exactly. Not these days. And so…..?

    1. Ed

      Actually what the establishment has been suppressing re climate change is just how bad it really is. Not going to comment on the 9-11 stuff.

  14. Pejsek

    Just thought you all might like to know. In the trailer for the Bears of Kamchatka, the film maker says he does not have the money or resources to complete the film. He is looking for partners to support the project. I wish him luck. Many years of work and study have apparently already gone into this. It would be great to see a movie actually come to pass. I had previously never had any desire to visit Kamchatka, but now I feel the urge!

    1. Tom Bradford

      “I had previously never had any desire to visit Kamchatka, but now I feel the urge!”

      As it is likely you would not be the only one to respond to this film thusly, it would perhaps be better if the film was never finished.

  15. David M

    Re: permafrost
    The study estimates costs of melting permafrost through the year 2200. Even the high end cost they cite of $400 trillion would be, what, maybe 1% of global GDP, assuming mediocre growth over that time? Not negliable, but there are better ways to scare people into action than really big numbers over a ridiculous timeframe.

    1. JTMcPhee

      How do you put a monetary value on “if most scientists who’ve looked close are right, estimating the climatic and atmospheric effects of the methane released by melting permafrost and other heaty-released methane sinks are right, we humans are along with a huge swath of other species, totally fucked and dead”?

      Jus’ chillin’ cuz one Wild-Ass Guess is “maybe 1% of global GDP?” isn’t that a kind of head-up-and-locked bit that sort of dis-serves the stupid species, us and the ones “G_D gave us Dominion over”?

  16. grayslady

    There ought to be a separate category for the article from Le Matin: instead of Syraquistan, how about What Goes Around Comes Around. My French is still good enough to understand the gist of the article. For those who want to avoid abysmal online “translators”, it seems that back in June, Kapersky discovered that all the Lake Geneva hotels involved in hosting diplomats and conferences on the Iranian nuclear deal were victims of spying, presumably by the Israeli secret service. It appears that the security cameras were infected with Duqu 2.0, known to be developed by the Israelis at the expense of the US (estimated to cost $50 million, according to the article), and initially designed to infect computers used by Iranian nuclear scientists. The trojan horse (charmingly, cheval de Troie, in French), allowed the Israelis to monitor both visual and audio at the hotels. According to Le Matin, a criminal investigation has been opened, although I’m not sure what action could be taken if guilt is definitely assigned. More like closing the barn door after the trojan horse has escaped….Anyway, chalk up another foreign relations policy catastrophe for the US in being stupid enough to ever finance Israeli malware to begin with. No one should ever trust Israel–or the US, for that matter–as an ally. Of course, this story isn’t being covered in the US press.

    1. john

      Representing the British Gray family? (Honest question.) I expected you would have been more interested in ‘What the Brits are really Laughing at.”

      I can’t pull out all of my own nuance, but it’s nice to be here.

      I had a second link brewing, but I’ll stick to some Israel tourism beaureaus.

      No I won’t.

      Anyways, my professor in 1960’s history says Malcom X was discussing separation instead of segregation in the terms of Israel had to separate from their persecution in Europe, and african americans had to consider the same thing.

      My concerns are China in San Fansico (home of skynet in the Terminator series…) and I’ll let you know as it develops.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Stuxnet … Duqu 2.0 … there’s never just one cockroach.

      How many cameras and computers have they hijacked in Washington DC, to supplement the humint?

  17. john

    I played the papal drinking game, wherein I drink and watch the pope.

    Now I’m watching Community.

    What if we leaked all our information, and then the government wouldn’t get to hoard it.

    Thanks for playing

  18. curlydan

    Well, The Times couldn’t have packed more employer/insurer friendly quotes into their article on deductible increases. And the supposedly objective line “Companies have traditionally relied on higher deductibles to reduce premiums”? Truly laughable. No, companies rely on higher deductibles to reduce their costs and possibly “reduce [the increase in] premiums”.

    eHealth actually runs an healthcare exchange and has real data on what people (particularly the self-employed) are paying:
    “Average premiums and deductibles nationwide for off-exchange shoppers:

    Premiums for individual coverage averaged $286 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $727 per month; this represented an increase of 6% for individual plans and 9% for family plans compared to the 2014 open enrollment period ($271 and $667, respectively).

    The average annual deductible for individual plans was $4,120 and the average deductible for family plans was $7,760; this represented a 1% decrease for individual plans and almost no change at all for family plans compared to the 2014 open enrollment period ($4,164 and $7,771, respectively).”

    Ready to start your own business with a great idea in the land of entrepreneurship? I hope you have $16K laying around for healthcare. An average self-employed family must plunk out $727*12=$8,724 in premiums _then_ pay $7,760 in a deductible (or $16,484 total) before the insurance company pays a penny.

    At least nearly everyone in the NYT comments was screaming for single payer.

  19. Nicholas Cole

    I can’t help but cringe at the lack of critical thinking applied in the “sharing” economy discourse, but I think it might be a case of a scattering of people coming to understand what’s going on slowly, and then all at once. I’ve had a few people close to me acknowledge the amount of tech-evangelism at play. This piece shows how the driver and passenger markets seem to shift in a negative way as Uber establishes itself and the competition gets started. I only wonder if there will be any sort of boom->bust cycle where drivers drop out because they aren’t making money, and then the prices go up for a time, causing drivers to come back, and so on…

    Yves, either you or Lambert were curious about the state of the CBC a while ago:
    CBC plan to sell off all buildings makes no sense.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: VW Probably Won’t Die—But if It Does, Europe Is in Trouble WIRED

    “Germany will try to impress upon the US Justice Department that we’re not just talking about a company. We’re talking about people, employment, and families.”

    I’m certain they won’t have to “try” too hard.

    The same strategy worked perfectly for BP after the Deepwater Horizon devastated the Gulf Coast. So many widows and orphans held BP stock in their “pension” funds that any “punishment” could not be so severe that it would harm the company’s “value.”

    Value. It didn’t take long before the victims actually became the VICTIMIZERS, for trying to take advantage of the good intentions of poor, beleaguered, just tryin’ to do the right thing BP.

    ,,,,” we’re not just talking about a company. We’re talking about people, employment, and families.” It would seem we’re talking about “god.”

    dominus vobiscum.

    1. Gio Bruno

      The Wired article is pure pablum.

      Suggesting that “no one died” from VW diesels emitting 40x’s the accepted pollutant standards is ludicrous. It is the cost of death/sickness caused by these pollutants that begat the California Air Resources Control Board (CARB), in the first place. (And be clear, it is the CARB that is the scientific leader on this topic, not the EPA!)

      You can bet that numerous class action lawsuits (fraud, loss of value, health issues, etc.) are going to drive VW nuts, if not completely out of the California auto market. The death of the diesel engine in a passenger car is CERTAIN, in the USA. And that is a good thing (except for those that own one).

      This fiasco is only beginning to unravel and the stupidity at VW is beyond belief!

      1. optimader

        The death of the diesel engine in a passenger car is CERTAIN, in the USA. ??? Very little ever is certain, elaborate on why is the death of diesel Pcars in the US is?

        CARB does set the standard for the USEPA On the other hand, should the emission standards for the US be defined by the regional issues in California, specifically LA?
        Generally speaking, optimizing for NOX abatement increases CO2 emissions. NOX abatement for non-attainment locales, like LA and Phoenix in particular, are much more relevant that other parts of the country where overall reduction of CO2 emission might be on balancel more environmentally salubrious.

        1. craazyboy

          Diesel gets about 30% better gas mileage. That should count for something. We’ve already made the change over to having low sulfur diesel fuel. NOX was the last Achilles heel, because high values are inherent in diesel combustion. So Urea injection was supposed to solve that problem, then diesel had it knocked. [pun hahahaha]

          1. susan the other

            So what happened to urea? god knows we’ve got plenty of that. I know, the Germans didn’t think it was technological enough? They preferred to look like they wanted to give us a hot, fun, fast car. Right.

            1. craazyboy

              Germans are all about efficiency and beer!

              My understanding so far is they didn’t use it on the models in question. Maybe cost or something?

            2. optimader

              wiki –>BlueTec
              BlueTEC is Daimler AG’s marketing name for engines equipped with advanced NOx reducing technology for vehicle emissions control in diesel-powered vehicles.

              It is very effective technology in fact.

              This could actually be a market upset that allows MB to grab ~2liter turbo diesel passenger car sales from VW.

              So of course the irony is urea is the precursor for urea nitrate (fertilizer).. urea nitrate..fuel oil… be afraid… yeah, no.

              1. skippy

                2liter turbo diesel MB owner here averaging 5-ish ltr to 100klm, highway down to 4.5-ish “”.

                Skippy…. extremely low running costs all around, first 3 scheduled services are free [one year or 25,000 klm per service].

                1. optimader

                  I rented a turbo diesel BMW 1 series in Italy last year, fantastic car in the theme of the 2002tii of yore. Comfortable fast nimble great handling and a capacious form factor you can fill w/ a lot of people/stuff.

                  Of course to my frustration it isn’t available in the US.

                  I can only speculate BMW marketing thinks it will cannibalize 3 series and perhaps x3 sales. BMW has over the years cultivated a highline image in the US , backing away from the high value/driving enthusiast niche.

                  Now with VW potentially having shot itself in the head in the ~2l tdi compact/midmarket, this may be a good opportunity for BMW to reenter w/ a smaller midmarket ~2l TD

                  Same goes for the MB A and B class cars. The later only recently available in the US in the electric car form (for those that prefer their emissions shellgame to be at the utility plant instead of the tailpipe).

                  1. skippy

                    Was going A6 2ltr tdi up to the handover, until I found a few concerns wrt to items on the contract. You should see the reaction when the phrase “fraudulent conveyance” is uttered in a flag ship dealer show room, wife standing next to me in paramedic uniform after a 12hr shift. Thunderbird’s are GO comes to mind.

                    Had also looked at the bmw M1 2ltr tdi and 3 series, but ended up with a C200 2ltr tdi with sunroof and panoramic roof in the back w/ the rest of the bells and whistles.

                    Skippy…. just drove daughter up coast to a friends for school holidays, 6hr drive through city and to the beach and back. Half a tank [if], 40 bucks, 4.2ltr per 100klm – insert cackle here….

  21. cwaltz

    I’m surprised to read about the trash robots. Our region already has them. It’s really not as complex as they make it sound. It’s a robotic arm. It requires the trash bins be the same size and for you to place the bin where it is not near things but it’s been pretty smooth here since the area has been using it a year. Wonder if we’re Volvo’s trial community or another company beat them to the punch?

    1. curlydan

      exactly! Volvo should be working on a driverless truck, but let Google and the filthy rich work on those pipe dreams.

      Now what we really need is a brick laying robot. Get to work Volvo!

      1. optimader

        I am sufficiently eccentric that I stopped waste collection at my casa ~ 6 years ago.

        Everything but non-vegetable food waste and plastic/glass is composted. The rest I bring to the office as rqd and chuck it in the dumpster. Really very little.
        I realized one Monday morning, what the heck am I storing trash in a can all week for, and two weeks if I missed bringing it out?? Then on a pretty regular schedule, the local Raccoon family would tip the can over and spread it around for me to reminisce about when shoveling it back in the can, the alternative of storing it in my garage was a nonstarter. Amazing how baaad the earthly remains of a wonderful fish can smell a day or two later.

        Now I chuck it in a 30gall compost bin with an occasion a spade of soil which I then empty in a shallow random trench in the garden once or twice a year. I am always suprised how it reduces on its own accord, even when filling it completely with the odd yard waste.. A week laer it will be down again.

        The funny part was convincing the municipally contracted waste hauler that I wanted to stop service. That actually took a couple phone calls w/ Marge Simpson’s sister over two weeks or so to convince that “no, really, I don’t want waste pickup”. I think they didn’t have a cancellation procedure so consequently the route truck driver needed special instructions.

        1. susan the other

          One thing a plastic item is good for is to recycle it, and several thousand others, into one of those African water wheels used to roll water home. Instead of rolling water home, rig up several 10-yard capacity compost bins, slightly elevated in a caddy. Load it up and give it a twirl every day, no pitch fork required. Or do they have such a thing already?

          1. optimader

            not sure what an African Water wheel is?
            I generate very little plastic waste, 24 pack organic egg cartons, and stretch wrap/foam trays when I go hunting at Costco.

            Plastic overpacks from the occasional widget — I usually remove and leave with the retailer. Don’t drink carbonated sugar beverages so no 2l bottles, just use my Soda Stream carbonator w/ a bit of lemon juice.. man I love that machine…
            I’m a bad consumer :o( not due to any explicitly principled inclinations, just my nature

  22. JTFaraday

    re: Cameron’s Animal House

    Very illuminating articles on Pig Gate. The price of disloyalty and all that.

  23. BEast

    Sharing is when libraries have seed banks, or friends have clothing swaps, or neighborhoods have communal tool libraries so that not every household has to own its own lawnmower or wheelbarrow.

    Adults taking work driving or doing laundry for money but using apps to arrangement is nothing but high-tech piecework.

  24. BEast

    Priest who was party to slavery, rape, and land expropriation to be canonized. Church cites history written by Church to cover up genocide.

    (Link at 9/23’s episode.)

    Same as it ever was.

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