Links 9/26/15

Sunfish vs. Pizza Rat: The Week in Memes New Yorker (furzy mouse)

Couple in first Corbyn-based divorce Daily Mash

How to see the supermoon eclipse this weekend CBS News (EM)

Gouging the faithful: Aramark’s World Meeting of Families official lunches cost $70 and up BillyPenn

Dalai Lama cancels US events for October on medical advice Guardian

Facebook’s Free Internet Project Faces Backlash Wall Street Journal

Russian scientists create cockroach spy robot The Stack (Chuck L)

The Windows 10 privacy debacle: Five big issues to consider TechRepublic (furzy mouse)

Saudi Arabia came close to buying Hacking Team ITWorld (Chuck L)

U.S. and China establish cyber working group with Cold War-esque ‘hotline’ DailyDot (Chuck L)

Cancer vaccines under investigation by EU The Local (furzy mouse)

Refugee Crisis

Vatican houses first Syrian family after Pope Francis’ refugee appeal International Business Times (furzy mouse)

EU countries had in 2015 almost entirely cut aid for Syrian refugees Telepolis, German original here (guurst)

Catalonia goes to the polls in an ‘incredible moment for democracy’ Guardian

Ukraine/ Russia

Grasshopper recipe from the starving Ukrainian soldiers (video) Fort Russ (Chuck L). I can’t vouch for the veracity of this story, but in some cultures, insects are part of the diet. And I did have fried grasshoppers once in a Japanese restaurant. They seemed to be all crunch, as in all shell, which to me meant no/not much protein (even allowing for the form factor).


Mecca belongs to all Muslims, and Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be allowed to run it Quartz (resilc)

Iraq – an abomination of desolation Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

War on Syria; Not Quite According to Plan Part 3: A USA Unable To Bomb Syria Vineyard of the Saker

Imperial Collapse Watch

How America built its empire: The real history of American foreign policy that the media won’t tell you Salon (margarita)


VW models sale halted in Switzerland BBC

EU warned of defeat devices two years ago Financial Times

ECB suspends buying ABS backed by Volkswagen car loans – source Reuters

How the DMCA may have let carmakers cheat clean air standards Computerworld (Chuck L)

Boehner Defenestration

Boehner Resignation Increases the Prospects for a Government Shutdown Fiscal Times (furzy mouse)

Boehner sets House on course to avoid shutdown Associated Press (furzy mouse)

The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out FiveThirtyEight

Thunder from the right: Conservatives help push Boehner out McClatchy

11 Things About Kevin McCarthy You Need To Know, Or Might As Well Know Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

Avoid Medical Bill Sticker Shock Consumer Reports. Unforgivable that consumer protection laws have not been tightened up to restrict or better yet end these abuses.


Jeb Bush’s “Free Stuff” Racial Insult Was a Shrewd Calculation Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

Fox News chief to meet with Donald Trump about boycott Los Angeles Times. Feels like kayfabe.

Democratic Party Shutting Out Bernie Sanders Thom Hartmann (furzy mouse). Lots of on-the-ground detail.

Could Bernie Sanders’ independent status shut him out of New Hampshire’s Democratic primary? Christian Science Monitor (furzy mouse)

University of Kansas Case Exposes Koch Campus Strategy Huffington Post

Four students killed after tour buses collide on Seattle bridge Reuters. EM: “Short form: No median barrier.”

Trade Traitors

Call to Action: Stop TTIP, CETA, TiSA and the TPP! failed evolution

Police State Watch

U.S. Border Patrol agent indicted for murder over 2012 shooting Reuters (EM)

Police Program Aims to Pinpoint Those Most Likely to Commit Crimes New York Times. Chuck L: “Pre-crime/Thought-crime.”

The Greatest Threat to Campus Free Speech is Coming From Dianne Feinstein and her Military-Contractor Husband Intercept (Chuck L). Unabashedly thuggish.

CATERPILLAR WARNS: Bad news is ‘converging’ and now we have to make some major changes Reuters


Yellen’s Flip-Flop Isn’t Guidance Bloomberg. Jim Haygood also flagged the troubling footage of her having considerable difficulty reading a speech….

Taking Note: The Fed’s Confusing Message About Interest Rate Increases New York Times

ALBERT EDWARDS WARNS: The next US recession will surprise investors, and a desperate Fed’s next move will be unprecedented Real Vision TV (furzy mouse)

S.E.C. Turns Its Eye to Hidden Fees in Mutual Funds Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Samson’s weakness is a cautionary tale Financial Times. John Dizard of the FT and Wolf Richter were early to warn about debt at shale gas players.

Credit Crunch, More Defaults: Things Could Get Ugly for Oil Investors WSJ Private Equity Beat

Wall Street’s housing bet on real estate investments isn’t paying off Fortune. As we predicted, but it was an easy call.

Global Corporate Cash Piles Exceed $15 Trillion Telesur (Sid S)

Class Warfare

Disaster capitalism is a permanent state of life for too many Americans Guardian

State College of Florida board eliminates tenure for faculty Bradenton Herald(furzy mouse)

Antidote du jour (@swildlifepics, via Lambert):

reaching lizard links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. abynormal

      “…Erich Fromm wondered why most people did not become insane in the face of the existential contradiction between a symbolic self, that seems to give man infinite worth in a timeless scheme of things, and a body that is worth about 98¢.”
      Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

      1. jgordon

        People, as animals and mammals, are part of the fabric of life that makes up the biosphere. We exist because of the ecological niches we evolved to fill. All these other existential philosophies that people pulled out of their ass to justify their own specialness are just so much nonsense. People would be a lot better off if they just accepted that being born, living, and then dying are just part of the natural order and aren’t worth much commenting on or even thinking about otherwise.

        1. Christian B

          You need to take the last step from Nihilism to Taoism.

          While it is true “that being born, living, and then dying are just part of the natural order”, is it part of the natural order to hasten it by living is that conceptual world that creates conceptual foods in a conceptual environment?

          It takes effort to find the balance between caring for your life and not caring about living.

          If you watch yourself closely you will find do this without mental interference everyday, like whenever you choose not to eat rotten food or drink gasoline. There is something in us, something natural, that tells us these things are bad. However, these dangers can be disguised by unnatural means (think preservatives and “natural flavors”.

          The writer of that article is frustrated not because there is no link between diet and health, but because no one has laid it out for him so he can follow it blindly. He does not want to do the difficult work of introspection and be his on unique person. Or maybe he has become addicted to his baloney, both figuratively and literally.

          1. abynormal

            my reference to Fromm was an attempt to get a rise out of from Mexico (miss him something awful)

            from Mexico
            March 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm

            Our democratic civilization has been built, not by children of darkness but by foolish children of light. It has been under attack by the children of darkness, by the moral cynics, who declare that a strong nation need acknowledge no law beyond its strength. It has come close to complete disaster under this attack, not because it accepted the same creed as the cynics; but because it underestimated the power of self-interest, both individual and collective, in modern society. The children of light have not been as wise as the children of darkness.

            The children of darkness are evil because they know no law beyond the self. They are wise, though evil, because they understand the power of self-interest. The children of light are virtuous because they have some conception of a higher law than their own will. They underestimate the peril of anarchy in both the national and the international community…

            It must be understood that the children of light are foolish not merely because they underestimate the power of self-interest among the children of darkness. They underestimate this power among themselves.

            — REINHOLD NIEBUHR, “The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness”

            (real cool site…THANKS BIG C)

      2. craazyman

        I wonder why Erich Fromm believed that most people don’t become insane.

        that’s crazy, to think like that.

        yes it’s day dedicated to reading scintillating reports about energy industry developments — such as the EPAs’ new carbon regulations and Yield Co troubles and natural gas spot prices –, part of the sideline job after the day job, this is how I afford the Westfields. You should see them. Whoa! Youd think I look like, I don’t know who, maybe Clark Gable on the steps of “Tara”. hahahahahaahahahah.

        1. abynormal

          hope you’ve loaded ‘stayoffmyass’…your carry’n mo than most ‘)

          funnee how one lill quote about contradiction contradicts…EVERYTHING

  1. timbers

    “Yellen’s Flip-Flop Isn’t Guidance Bloomberg. Jim Haygood also flagged the troubling footage of her having considerable difficulty reading a speech….”

    Yellen looked like she might have been having a stroke. Zero Hedge was up with the youtube of it and it looks very disturbing.

    1. craazyboy

      There was a surprising lack of news coverage and follow up. They did quickly pass it off as “de-hydration” or something to do with making a long speech under hot, dry lights. But when you watch the vid, you have to say, “really?”

      Mini-stroke is a possibility. Just did a quick check on the web and saw that there is a 80% chance of a full on stroke within 30 days of a mini-stroke.

      But we’ll have to watch the VIX next week to know for sure.

      1. optimader

        Maybe ministroke, or she ate a bad mouse and someone gave her a speech in red #8 font??
        The fact that “dehydration” is pitched, which is a throwaway excuse for bizarre behavior, is suspicious. Why would she be dehydrated, no flunky w/ a bottle of water hanging around her when she was digging a ditch out in the Sun before the speech ?

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Maybe Marco Rubio took her water. He’s famous for his dry mouth.

          Anywayzzzz, not a mention of transient ischemic attack in the article, although use of the words “flip- flop” became just a little bit more ominous.

        2. Jim Haygood

          Being somewhat new to public service, J-Yel has yet to be brought up to speed by the seasoned public speaker hdr17:

          [Hillary’s] representatives asked for a case of still water, room temperature, to be deposited stage right. They also asked that “a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer, pitcher of room temperature water, water glass, and lemon wed­ges” be situated both on a table on stage as well as in another room where Clinton would stand for photos with VIPs.

          For the green room, Clinton’s representatives requested: “Coffee, tea, room temp sparkling and still water, diet ginger ale, crudité, hummus and sliced fruit.”

          That’s the way you do it — money for nothin’, props for free.

          1. susan the other

            About today’s 3 links to Yellen. I really don’t think she is an unreliable girlfriend. I like her caution. But I do not like our National Policies. I think they are just too sneaky. Well maybe this, but on the other hand maybe that. I listened to her U Mass speech and I thought it was very coherent. She never allowed her basic information to be compromised by the possibilities. She is interested in maintaining the strength of the dollar and she wants to be able to rationalize it however the stats will let her do that.

            1. BC

              Auntie Janet got choked up herself trying to complete the transparent sophistry she’s paid by the TBTE banks and Wall St. to spew on their behalf to run political cover for their license to steal.

              I hope she continues to choke and puke trying to deliver the imperial ministerial sophistry. If only she would choke and hurl on the lap of Steve Liesman or Tom Keene; that would be entertaining and good karma.

              Anyone who would be charged with the job of The Chair ought to be subject to multiple strokes until the position is replaced by a computer with real-time dot plots, a dashboard, Fed futures probabilities, and various versions of eCONometric central tendency forecasts with probabilities of being wrong, as well as prohibiting any Fed BOG and FOMC members from giving speeches.

    2. MikeNY

      Re: Edwards piece. It’s incredible to me that anyone imagines a world where the Fed actually believes more QE, asset inflation, and crumbs for the plebs, could possibly be the solution to the next recession. But I suppose that Yellen and the Fed, in their plutocrat controlled Borg mind, will think this is precisely the right move. And the fact that I find it incredible probably means that is precisely what will happen.

      One way to read the Boehner fiasco is as a symptom of the increasing radicalization and nastiness of American politics. Trump and Sanders evidence surging populism and the desire for ‘radical’ solutions. Another recession and more Fed-led boobery makes me fear the political outcome. And if we suffer some political tail-event, I believe that the Fed will go down in history as a major cause and malefactor.

      1. say_how?

        “a world where the Fed actually believes more QE, asset inflation, and crumbs for the plebs,”

        The Fed can’t do fiscal policy apart from overpaying for assets from the rich. But the poor, by definition, have few if any assets so the Fed can do little or nothing for them.

        1. MikeNY

          Agreed, the Fed can do little for the poor. Perhaps it should stop what it IS doing, which is exacerbating the obscene disparity in wealth.

          1. say_how?

            Yes, the Fed should stop what it’s doing since the more reserves it creates for the rich, the less that can be created for the poor ala a Steve-Keen-like new fiat distribution UNLESS provision is made to claw back* those reserves for the rich as reserves for the non-rich are created.

            *for example, in exchange for the MBS the Fed bought from the banks

  2. craazyman

    I can’t believe Yves ate fried grasshoppers. My God you must be one tough woman.

    Just thinking about the crunch and the oozey green insect guts almost makes me vomit.

    But I don’t know why, since sardines don’t phase me at all.

    1. frosty zoom


      in méxico they eat live stink bugs. they call them “jumiles”. i’d post you a utoob link but that usually means a trip to the queueueuew.

    2. Intrepid Eater

      I’ve had fried grasshoppers in Mexico several times. Yves is right — it’s all crunch, nothing squishy at all. They come in a variety of spice levels, from fairly bland (“natural” grasshopper taste?) to rather incindiary. Highly recommended!

      My next eating experiment is to try ants.

    3. craazyboy

      If someone ever fed me a grasshopper, fried or not, or a “stink” anything, they would have to look like a WWE wrestler to get away with it. Or there would have to be at least 3 of them. With kitchen knives.

      1. craazyman

        these people here are completely crazy. they must be making this stuff up. they can’t be serious.

        nobody in their right might would eat a grasshopper or an ant.

        a sardine, however, that’s quite acceptable.

        1. craazyboy

          Yeah, but I like it better when they take the heads off first. Anchovies are ok too, as long as they come with a pizza.

          1. craazyman


            you mean you’ve eaten sardine heads and eyes — as a baseline for judgment?

            oh man. whenever I’ve opened the tin, i’ve noticed somebody has already cut their heads off

            anchovies are good on pizza. they come out of the tin in sttrips like beef jerky so you don’t think ttwice about it

            1. craazyboy

              I guess that’s right. The ones in tins always are beheaded, tho how well deboned they are seems to depend on the brand. I guess I was thinking fish in general. But beheading insects wouldn’t change my opinion on eating insects. Not one bit.

              1. craazyman

                The bones are OK, often there’s the bones.

                it took me a while to get comfortable eating the fish guts.

                I actually wrote an email to the customer service at a sardine company asking if people ate the fish out of the tin or if they cleaned it and threw the guts away.

                I really did,

                They wrote back a meaninglessly incomprehensible paragraph of corporate word fog that didn’t even come close to answering my question. It sounded like something a well meaning kid in the communications department would be assigned by some supervisor. They probably worked an hour on it and had it approved by three levels of supervisors and lawyers. Whatevver honesty the kid put iinto it, naively and sincerely, was stripped out like the guts out of a crab at a cannery. Stripped out and flung onto a floor where a firehouse of craven cynicism washed it out into a gutter. All the guts of an honest letter washed back eventually into the invisible and infinite ocean of the universal mind. There to await some future act of sincerity and integrity reincarnated in another vessel of intention.

                I used to pick the gutss out with a knife but laziness got the better of me, which it usually does, and I said “Fukit” and from then on it’s been the whole thing inccluding skin. If there’s an eye in their or a head, I probably wouldn’t notice.

          1. BC

            Don’t forget the fat, maggot-like bee larvae washed down with lots of Sapporo in Japan.

            Crunchy, spicy grasshoppers and ants in Mexico are pretty good.

      2. optimader

        The Scandinavian Surströmming (fermented herring) and the Icelandic fermented Greenland shark are pretty much 11 on the knob for me –pass through the culinary wall of fire w/ these and you can back off to most anything afterwards.

        The Romans had a fermented fish guts sauce that they apparently put on everything, including fruit, I am curious to taste the modern equivalent some day. It is supposed to be very foul to the un-nuanced palate.

        1. thefutureisowls

          Southeast Asia has a very similar condiment called “fish sauce” in English. It smells like hot death but it’s generally used in small amounts to add a savory flavor to soups and sauces.

          1. Optimader

            I do use that, in the form of tai fish sauce. Good stuff if you’re careful. That and peanut sauce is the essence of tai food

          2. tongorad

            When I lived in Thailand, the school where I taught at took the kids on a tour of a local fish-sauce factory. Very interesting.
            “Hot death” indeed. As I remember it, the process involves salting the fish and rotting them in giant vats under the scorching Thailand sun.
            Not a treat for the nose, but the end product is sensational.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The way to popularize grasshoppers and make a lot of money in the process (10 baggers?), I think, is to serve them in hamburger or ground-meat form.

      And a good advertising campaign, probably tied in with a blockbuster movie.

      No doubt people will crave it.

      In some countries, you might have to mix in some snake meat, and others, some dog or horse/camel meat.

    5. samhill

      bet a Mexican or African used to eating crickets would gag seeing a 2lb lobster put in front of him, and probably run out of the restaurant on seeing an Alaskan King Crab.

    6. a

      Cause you got kosher on yourself? Me too. I won’t eat bugs including sea bugs like shrimp.

      Horror story: When I was 6 we moved from beef eating northern Texas to Mississippi Gulf Coast where I was forced to eat shrimp. Luckily I learned to swallow them whole without my father knowing what I was doing. (Or did he?)

    7. ira

      Insects have been consumed all over the world for millenia. There is serious research into how they can serve as an important nutritional source, ie this FAO report, ‘Edible Insects: Future Prospects for food and feed security’

      I read somewhere (don’t know whether it’s true) that in some quite parts of the world an hour spent collecting grasshoppers would result in more protein acquired than an hour spent doing any other type of work, given the very low wages and the cost of food that exist in those places.

  3. timbers

    “Avoid Medical Bill Sticker Shock Consumer Reports. Unforgivable that consumer protection laws have not been tightened up to restrict or better yet end these abuses.”

    In reading this and watching it’s video “What if Your Pizza Place Billed Like a Hospital” I’m wondering if there is much difference between the label given to Republican’s healthcare plan (“just die quickly”) and Obamacare. A slower more torturous death?

    1. jo6pac

      Sure there is the 0bamacare plan is free money for the healthcare industry and the repug plan for funeral homes. There’s more money in 0s plans

    2. Pat

      Amazing how in fashioning a ‘universal’ plan from the most so-called market friendly plan in the world they managed to cut out the part of the Swiss plan that includes price controls.

      It was never about health care for the masses. This was all about saving the private medical establishment from insurance companies and big pharma to private hospitals. Hence it was all about profit.

      1. susan the other

        isn’t it, though… and almost completely undisguised… Like we are just too damn dumb to see it.

  4. Ditto

    Are even the Democrats that stupid ?

    The worst thing they can do is to be perceived of as anti democracy at a time in which Clinton is already seem as a symbol of dishonesty. Do they really think it’s a good idea to pull the “he’s not a Democrat game”

    Then again, I chatted with a few people at Daily Kos, and the Clinton people seem delusional. When I pointed out she seems to be losing with the independents. The argument was that it does not matter. She can win just with the Obama coalition of the base. Clinton isn’t Obama for many reasons.

    If I keep seeing stuff like the articles you posted, I’m going to make the prediction that the Democrats will lose in 2016

    They seem , at least right now, deeply out of touch

    1. edmondo

      Are even the Democrats that stupid

      the Clinton people seem delusional

      the Democrats will lose in 2016
      Yep. She’s running the worst campaign since Dewey in 1948.

      1. Sam Adams

        Now is he time to use the glororious DNC motto: “snatching defeat from the jaws of success.” Yep the democrats will once again lose the White House and Congress with H.Clinton. Of course without the ability to appoint Supreme Court Justices, the courts go more Reich wing.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            Mass incarceration = mass voter suppression.


            Millions of current and former convicts are committing a crime if they vote. The ones behind bars can’t vote because it’s illegal and no one from the outside is stopping the stripping away of supposedly inalienable rights based on natural law, that we have such rights simply because we exist as human beings. Voting is also made illegal by challenging voter registration rolls and illegally throwing peoples right to vote into the trash cans, surprising them when they do show up at the local polling place and find they are not on the list to vote.

            Yeah, voting, one of the many illegal activities on the law books. Sorry Emma, things have changed.

      2. neo-realist

        The republicans choices are just as bad, probably worse, however, the establishment democratic nominee in 2016 might win unless running neck and neck w/ the republican one who then pulls the ES&S/Diebold card and steals the necessary margin of victory.

    2. kj1313

      I don’t think Hill will be the nominee. I think Yves brought up that this campaign is reminiscent of her 2008 campaign if iirc.

      1. ambrit

        Also bought up earlier is the state of her health. If Yellen is heading for a big stroke event, then Clinton might not be too far behind. The stress at that level of politics must be intense.

        1. optimader

          The stress at that level of politics must be intense.
          Wasn’t for RReagan, didn’t he sleep 10-12hrs a day? I’m 50-50 on HRC stroking or heart attack tho.

          1. ambrit

            “Reagan slept 10-12 hours a day.” This was most probably after he entered the deeps of dementia. I’ve read somewhere that he was mostly a zombie throughout his second term. That he allowed Nancy to get away with consulting an astrologer while living in the White House says it all. If he didn’t know, or wasn’t told by the Secret Service says even more.
            What’s fun is how both Team Red and Team Blue don’t play the health card in the open. A Gentlebeings’ Agreement?

      2. Ditto

        She is likely to be the nominee

        The way her campaign looks ( Which is bad) has nothing to do with how Democratic parisans perceive the race

        I’m also uncertain whether Sanders can win the general since he’s doing several things to tie his hands in the General

        Eg calling himself a democratic socialust when he’s clearly just old school FDR dem

        1. ambrit

          I love the typo!
          What’s really ironic is that old style FDR democracy is now seriously viewed as Red Socialist by the new Republican Majority.
          If Sanders plays a centrist populist campaign, he’ll win. Unless Diebold encounters some mysterious “hanging chad” issues. Class war from the ‘underclasses’ propelled the original New Deal. Things are visibly bad enough now to make that strategy viable again. Like the Bonus Marchers, someone is going to have to take to the streets and pull the public discourse’s focus back to ground zero, Americas Main Street.

            1. ambrit

              I’m showing my age. By ‘centrist populist’ I meant an FDR style New Dealer. Nowadays I’m told that that political philosophy is synonymous with Stalinism.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Anti democracy.

      Ever since the extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds, the anti-democracy bad guys haven’t had to do much.

      We have done (or been ‘educated’ to do) their job for them.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Soaring number of townhouses is one.

      The other is any worsening of employment situation. Kids would move back home in that case or become homeless.

    2. griffen

      Probably first / best guess – the rate of return is not going to be much better going forward than it would have been 2010 – 2012. The purported strategy of the REIT is return pre tax maybe 8 – 12%; I’d venture they are merging because the adjusted return is single digits, and 8% would look darn rosy right now.

      Housing markets are local, and their supposed models may not sufficiently reflect the non-transferrable qualities of say NYC or Manhattan (where pricing power had reigned) to another metro like Atlanta (pricing power may have been a fleeting wish).

      (I could easily be wrong, it is a weekend after all. A Flattened Yield Curve (UST) does not assist their supposed model well either).

  5. craazyboy

    “Russian scientists create cockroach spy robot”

    This is going too far. Clearly, Putin intends to spy on New Yawk.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And spy grasshopper robots, in case you like to hold top secret meetings outdoor.e

      The one innovation to worry about is spy-saliva.

      A beautiful spy gives you a passionate kiss, and upon the un-resisted entry of her saliva, you are under surveillance for life.

      Look for it in next James Bond film.

      1. craazyboy

        Until then, Russia will have gained priceless intelligence – ground level snapshots of Edward Green shoes, and the occasional Crocket & Jones Westfield.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “Russia” doesn’t necessarily need robot roaches to “gain priceless intelligence:” All they need is a guy with common sense, an awareness of how “the bureaucracy” and human nature operates, and open-access and plain-view and simple powers of observation:

          ” How to explain the KGB’s amazing success identifying CIA agents in the field?
          Paranoid CIA heads blamed Soviet moles, but the real reason for the repeated disasters was much simpler.”

          Yah, American Exceptionalism all right… Guardians of the Free World, Policeman to the Planet (

          Silly me, to worry that all those geeks developing nanotech and micro-robots that mimic mosquitoes and are planned to be able to inject toxins or extract a DNA specimen for other genius ass-ininities and the GMO and stuff that “we” are not supposed to worry our fuzzy little heads over, are doing their bit to effectuate the human species’ death wish…

          1. Laughingsong

            Maybe they should pick a different insect. For example, I wouldn’t necessarily step on a spider or ladybug or cricket, but cockroaches? Stomp first and ask questions later. They are asking for a very high attrition rate.

        2. Jay M

          I hear that the computer in those Crocket & Jones Westfield are more powerful than the equipment that took the man to the moon. Everyone disses progress. Anyway it can talk to your stockings and garters and has a cutout routine that can make your gait into a sillywalk. Be advised. On the other hand, they can scrutinize the liquid portfolio of nearby young women with talking socks and cause them to bump into you and drop their shopping bags. But you have to be not wearing socks, under 25, and haven’t shaved for a couple of days.

  6. timbers

    Imperial Collapse Watch:

    This youtube of Putin speaking before (sometimes nodding in agreement members) at U.N. shows him laying out in simple common sense ways how the U.S and Europe are doing the aggression towards Russia in the very way they accuse him of at them (“have you any common sense?” is his refrain and “is anyone listening to us?”). A must watch for any brainwashed American.

    1. ambrit

      I flashed on the “Saurstine Chapel” by Michaelgekkilo myself. Being generally thought of as masters of camouflage, these two might be an allegory on the origins of politicians; “…and he made them in his dissemblance…”

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Global corporate cash…$15 trillion.

    EZ money from the Fed.

    The other way is for the government to spend money on stimulus projects. Will the money go through the 1% controlled corporations, and thus, more corporate cash?

    Usually, corporations are the ones building bridges, dams or windmills.

    1. craazyboy

      They’ll need tax incentives so they can afford to hire people.

      Just for fun, some one should total up personal net worth of the execs as well. Then maybe a separate line item for “future unfunded liabilities” (this always sounds scary) for things like retirement packages, golden parachutes, future major legal liabilities, and such.

      Then, for really geeky bean counter types, analyze if long term debt AND short term cash increased. That would be weird.

    2. ewmayer

      Re. “Global Corporate Cash Piles Exceed $15 Trillion Telesur (Sid S)” – I think they mean Global Corporate Cheaply-financed Debt Piles. Last time I checked, taking out a whopper of a mortgage does not connote my ‘sitting on a big cash pile’, at least if you think of ‘cash’ as ‘unencumbered liquid assets’. This seems to be the HELOC mentality run amok.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Eliminate tenure for faculty.

    I can think, so far, only 2 confirmed lifetime employment jobs – professors and supreme court justices.

    Should more people share this fortune?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Catholic priests?
      Members of various legislatures where there are no term limits and the gerrymandering is cemented in place?

      Not only Supreme Court justices, but all federal judges — per Art III Sect. I “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.” There’s continued debate about whether the Const. should be amended to “fix the problem,” mostly by court-packers from the wrongly-named “Right,” and hating Red judges installed by the Right in their long war on comity I incline to “term limits.” Election, in my Chicago experience, sucks big eggs too, but as with anything subject to corruption there’s no really good Forever answer.

      And how many professors are “tenured” any more? “Tenure” does not mean what we think, what the popularized version conveys in its neoliberal meanness:

      You may well have heard about attacks on tenure and college faculty. After all, people write books and get quoted in the press grinding this ax. The argument is not hard to believe, either; we’ve all seen people in authority, private and public, who care more about protecting themselves than serving their customers. You may have memories of a teacher who didn’t seem to keep up with his or her subject or care very much about his or her students.

      But there’s a big problem with the negative polemics about tenure: They are not true. This NEA-AFT Online brochure deals with some of the myths about tenure and responds with the facts. It tells the truth about tenure — a human institution with flaws — but a practice we can be proud of and need to maintain.
      Tenure is a lifetime job guarantee.
      Tenure is simply a right to due process; it means that a college or university cannot fire a tenured professor without presenting evidence that the professor is incompetent or behaves unprofessionally or that an academic department needs to be closed or the school is in serious financial difficulty. Nationally, about 2 percent of tenured faculty are dismissed in a typical year.

      If it is difficult — purposely difficult — to fire a tenured professor, it’s also very hard to become one. The probationary period averages three years for community colleges and seven years at four-year colleges. This is a period of employment insecurity almost unique among U.S. professions. People denied tenure at the end of this time lose their jobs; tenure is an “up-or-out” process. Also

      We are all, if we don’t pass the “necessary income and assets tests” to be admitted to the 0.01%, plain old fungible and dispensible, and the older we are, the more so… because markets, of course…

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Avoid Medical Bill Sticker Shock Consumer Reports

    If it happens to you anyway: Contact the insurer and the doctor and explain that you didn’t have a choice because you needed emergency care.

    Was there ever a better statement of the state of american “healthcare” than this?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Unless it’s this:

      If you live close to several hospitals, call your insurer now—before you actually need an ER—to find out which are in your network and employ network ER physicians. Then, in an emergency, try to go to one of those (in your own car, if it’s safe; ambulances often aren’t covered).

      1. Jim Haygood

        One senses an opportunity for Uber to offer a “free-lance ambu-lance.”

        Should be a piece of cake to make this “phrase that pays” into an ad jingle.

        Let’s roll.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ECB suspends buying ABS backed by VW car loans.

    There is another way for the ECB to increase money supply.

    It works like this:

    1. Person A lends $1000 to pesonr B
    2. a year later, person B owes Person A $1,050, for example.
    3. We can think of it as Person A lending $1,050 to person B in the second year.
    4. But Person A only had $1000 to begin with.
    5. In fact, Person A has created $50 in 12 months. He has $1,050 now. Maybe the banks will question the quality of that debt-money, but it can be good somewhere else in the economy. Person A may take it to the mafia for example.
    6. Person A is now a money creator god.

    So, we can all do our part to increase money supply.

    We all have greatness within each of us.

    We also are duty bound to help out.

    We can lend to each other at very high rates, and let interests accumulate.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You can improve the quality of your debt-money by lending to very rich people.

      For example, if you lend to Goldman Sachs, your debt money, I believe, will be embraced at the Fed and you can get exchange that debt-money for Fed’s fiat money.

      That is, it’s very important for the rich to borrow from us.

      1. say_what?

        “That is, it’s very important for the rich to borrow from us.” MLTPB

        Indeed, new fiat, if it’s to be for the general welfare, should flow from the bottom* up. That way, we ALL profit from money creation and need not be trick-led on.

        So, of course, new fiat creation by central banks should be abolished in favor of a BIG or other means to distribute new fiat to the population.

        *Federal Infrastructure spending being an exception.

  11. griffen

    Looks like Aramark just transferred the price gouging from the NFL stadium.

    Not exactly feeding the masses with fish and a few loaves.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Sadly, the war situation in Syria has developed not necessarily to our advantage:

    Syrian rebels trained by the United States gave some of their equipment to the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in exchange for safe passage, a U.S. military spokesman said on Friday, the latest blow to a troubled U.S. effort to train local partners to fight Islamic State militants.

    The rebels surrendered six pick-up trucks and some ammunition, or about one-quarter of their issued equipment, to a suspected Nusra intermediary on Sept. 21-22 in exchange for safe passage, said Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, in a statement.

    U.S. officials have told Reuters that a review is underway that could result in scaling back and reenvisioning the program.

    More likely, the real story is that our heroic moderate rebels traded their crappy 3 mpg Hummers for some ultra-reliable Toyota pickups with bed-mounted Russian machine guns. America, f*** yeah!

    1. Daryl

      > U.S. officials have told Reuters that a review is underway that could result in scaling back and reenvisioning the program.

      How do you scale back a program that trained what, 60 people?

  13. diptherio

    Maybe you can file for bankruptcy on student loans after all:

    The piece follows the case of Chuck Stewart, who carried over $60,000 in student loan debt and filed for bankruptcy. Stewart was able to secure a settlement in which he will pay only 10 percent of the debt, at a rate of $50 per month over 10 years.

    From the piece:

    “A lot of people don’t understand that you have a right to file this as an adversary,” said Stewart, who has sometimes been criticized as a free-loader trying to cheat the government. “The government hasn’t made this a secret, people are just misinformed.”

    The piece also cites a 2007 study by Harvard researcher Jason Iuliano, which showed that 40 percent of bankruptcy filers (on non-student loan debt) could have passed an “undue hardship” test that would have qualified them to clear some of their student loans. Only a fraction of those people actually tried it, however.

    Would love to hear thoughts on this from people who know more about bankruptcy than I do…

    1. Jim Haygood

      Check the comment from Brian V. Lee, Esq. below the article.

      It’s a long shot. Lawyers don’t like long shots, unless they’re paid up front for undertaking them.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Albert Edwards, next recession (we haven’t been in one?), the Fed, negative rates.

    Instead of punishing savers, will this exterminate them?

    Some sort of population control by squeezing the old and senior end?

    1. say_what?

      The Fed was always about giving money to the rich because, until relatively recently, that meant more and better jobs for Americans.

      Now those jobs are going to robots and foreigners.

      So now what?

      Genuine reform and restitution or neo-luditism, protectionism and xenophobia?

      1. griffen

        Considering the FED, and their role in the US/global economy – I am curious as to what, exactly, Gates & Allen pondered about the FED in the mid-1970s when MSFT was just a gleam in a few geek’s “four” eyes. Most likely – not much at all.

        Further, Apple with Jobs/Wozniak were in the same mode; building stuff in a garage that a generation later the world marveled at their genius.

        I’m not here to defend the FED, but this nation is, or has been, an entrepreneurial nation in the past and it is something we really need going forward. And not just another Tweeter, FacePlant, Instacrack, or which ever.

        Bright people can do amazing stuff without QE or any of it, is what I’m suggesting. I would if I could but, necessarily need more brightness that I’m capable of offering.

        1. hunkerdown

          The United States once had an energy endowment paying out at its peak. This is no longer the case — perhaps entrepreneurship is too inefficient at the macro scale. Can we afford to confer so many privileges and rights onto the “winners” while starving the losers? Seems like a lot of capacity to be recycling at some cost over and over again. Who has money and actually wants that to happen?

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Form the Catalonia link:

    :Spain’s central bank said secession would risk exclusion from the eurozone, while the country’s main banks – including two based in the region – cautioned that independence could undermine financial stability just as the country was beginning to shake off the lingering effects of the economic crisis.

    The Spanish government argued that if Catalans broke off from Spain it would cost them their Spanish nationality, while the president of the Spanish professional football league said Barcelona would be left out of La Liga.

    “Catalans aren’t being told the real consequences of independence,” the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, told Onda Cero radio station on Tuesday. “It would leave the EU. What would happen with pensions? There are many more pensioners than contributors. What would happen with financial institutions, with bank deposits, to the currency?”

    Gaining independence 200 years ago involved more violence, but was not more complicated.

  16. say_what?

    re: Jeb Bush’s “Free Stuff” Racial Insult Was a Shrewd Calculation Huffington Post (furzy mouse).

    So pitiful, partial restitution and amelioration of previous and ongoing systematic injustice*
    constitutes “free stuff”?

    Bush-baby, if the poor need free stuff it’s because of all the free stuff the privileged have and continue to enjoy(ed).

    *government subsidized private credit creation being a glaring (at least during the heyday of redlining) example.

    1. barrisj

      Didn’t need the HuffPo article to point you in the direction of where my man Jeb!’s campaign is aiming…he’s down in South Carolina, where white people are “putting Charleston/Dylann Roof behind them”, and “moving on”…so, yes, he gives them the ol’ bidness ’bout lazy darkie “takers”, always a winner not only below the Mason-Dixon line, but wherever anxious white people fear “the other”…yes, not just Hispanic immigrants but black people as well. Remember, Jeb! is looking to wrap up the Republican nomination, he is doing what he needs to do to get as much of the (overwhelmingly white) “base” vote as he can, whatever the rhetoric and promises it takes, and deluding himself that he can “tack to the centre” for the general election after the nomination process has been settled. Demographics trending heavily against a national Repub presidential candidate, despite all the efforts by individual Repub-dominated state legislatures to quash the vote of Demo-leaning voters. He done, as was the Mittster before him.

  17. Massinissa

    If Sanders were a sheepdog, the Dems wouldn’t be shutting him out.

    This reminds me of what the Repubs did to Ron Paul last election cycle, and crazy as he was, he was still nobody’s sheepdog.

    1. neo-realist

      Sheepdoging reminds me of 1984—-The dems as I recall, did not shut the Jackson campaign out at all, for they saw him as the tool that would shepherd mass numbers of previously disenchanted black voters to that piece of cardboard Mondale, with his “Where’s the beef?” garble.

  18. Jim Haygood

    We KNEW this was gonna happen. And now it did:

    WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Obama administration has discovered a chain of emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to turn over.

    The messages were exchanged with retired Gen. David Petraeus. They began before Clinton entered office and continued into her first days at the State Department.

    The State Department’s record of Clinton emails begins on March 18, 2009 — almost two months after she entered office. Before then, Clinton has said she used an old AT&T Blackberry email account, the contents of which she no longer can access.

    The Petraeus emails, first discovered by the Defense Department and then passed to the State Department’s inspector general, challenge that claim. They start on Jan. 10, 2009, with Clinton using the older email account. But by Jan. 28 — a week after her swearing in — she switched to using the private email address. There are less than 10 emails back and forth in total, officials said, and the chain ends on Feb. 1.

    Putting the best possible light on this, it could have been simply an oversight. But it is inevitable that third-party reviewers will come to different conclusions than Hillary’s staff about what should have been turned over, when 60,000 messages were involved.

    That’s why it was such bad judgement, and incredibly presumptuous, for Hillary’s staff to do the review instead of turning over the whole body of correspondence to the State Dept. to review. Now there will be a steady drip-drip-drip of discrepancies between her selections and the government’s selections of “official correspondence.”

    With improbably perfect timing, Hillary’s consort “Bill” (who was likely tipped off) has taped an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to air on Sunday, in which he blames “the Republicans,” “the press,” “the eclipse,” and so forth. (Okay, I made up the last one.)

    Hillary herself will go on Meet the Press on Sunday. What to do — offer a groveling apology, or lash out at a vast right-wing conspiracy? I vote for the latter: let’s go down guns blazing!

    1. lambert strether

      She should never have privatized the email server in the first place. That was the, er, original sin.

      1. ambrit

        Another aspect of this imbroglio I haven’t seen discussed yet is how it all makes Mz Clinton look incompetent.
        First, it shows a basic inability to differentiate between private and public communications. This is a wealthy woman. She can’t obtain her own server to handle her private e-mail?
        Secondly, this highlights an arrogance that has undermined her public persona. “L’etat, c’est moi,” is more appropriate to an entertainment pig puppet then a stateswoman.
        Third, her response has been defensive in nature. An alpha personality, which we can agree for arguments sake is wanted in this position, would get out ahead of such a story and try to “lead the parade” as it were. (Bill’s intervention feels like the ‘old smoothy’ trying to pull this stunt off at a late date.)This issue could be ‘spun’ to be used to make the lady look good. “There’s a vast Left Wing conspiracy out to get me.” (No exclamation marks please. The more ‘business as usual’ it looks, the better.)
        Fourth, she hasn’t been able to pin it on some underling. The Cynic in me says that any competent executive has a roster of underlings ready to fall on their swords when needed. I notice that the appropriate underling in this case doesn’t look to be eager to sacrifice self for ‘the greater good.’
        Finally, “original sin?” Too many puns and jokes available. Snark overload warning!

  19. allan

    Hong Kong police force launches Facebook page to overcome bad image post-Occupy

    The push into cyberspace – expected to start next month – will be staffed by as many as 20 officers and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to police sources. … In Hong Kong, a primary aim is to re-build public confidence in the 28,000-strong force that went from heroes to zeros with a large section of the community thanks to their controversial handling of the Occupy protests that started a year ago this weekend. … In December last year, a survey by the University of Hong Kong showed the police were the least popular among the city’s disciplined services, ranking even behind the People’s Liberation Army in terms of public satisfaction.

    This is good news. To paraphrase Tom Friedman, two countries with police Facebook pages have never gone to war.

  20. JoeK

    The Aurora Bridge is an anachronism. Crossing it in the inside of the two narrow lanes in either direction definitely requires a high level of concentration as you’re whizzing by opposing traffic at 40mph that seems inches away. Not too surprising buses collided.
    Seattle’s full of dodgy traffic situations. One of the “best;” if you want to go North on I5 from the major artery of Mercer St., you get up to speed on the long entrance ramp, come around the corner at speed and suddenly there’s a triangular concrete barrier separating the regular and express entrances (signed up ahead but not clearly). More than one driver has slammed into that piece of concrete because they took more than a fraction of a second to figure out what’s up and decide, it’s like a very bad practical joke the first time you experience it!

  21. JoeK

    “If our technology is sold to a repressive regime it does not automatically mean it will be used to terrorize dissidents and repress democracy,” Rabe said.

    Okey-dokey then, no concerns. Thanks for clarifying!

    Further evidence that as long as we consider IQ the supreme metric and not conscience, we’re pretty much going to be continuously screwed by people with a lot of the former and little to none of the latter.

  22. gordon

    The Perry Anderson book (“How America built its empire…) sounds sort of OK, though I worry about his estimates of Stalin and Cuba and Afghanistan. I’ve been reading “The Untold History of the United States” (2012) by O.Stone and P.Kuznick, which seems to cover much the same ground – and there is apparently a video documentary version for the hard of reading!

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