Links 9/7/15

Readers, at some point in the last few hours, we went over the 15,000 mark for posts. A lot of labor in that, as an old comrade-in-arms at the plant used to say. –lambert.

Hawks Act as Unwitting Muscle for Hummingbirds Smithsonian

G20 eyes faster economic reforms as cheap credit not enough for growth Reuters

$100bn BRICS monetary fund now operational The BRICS Post

Sovereign borrowers fall behind on payment FT

Blowing the Whistle on Tax Cheats WSJ. $116 million payout.

US shale oil industry hit by $30bn outflows FT

Labor Day

Our Forgotten Labor Revolution Jacobin

The changing face of modern U.S. labor CNN

Labor Day: 3 reasons unions should be celebrating this year Fortune

Bernie Sanders’ Labor Day index, with apologies to Harper’s Magazine Los Angeles Times

Scott Walker’s Labor Day Weekend: Union Bike and Anti-Union Message Bloomberg


Why I Don’t Believe Chinese GDP Data Baldings World (hindenberg).

How Hard Will the Great Fall of China Hit ASEAN? The Diplomat

Li Ka-shing’s Moves on China Reveal Good Timing WSJ

China is “blotting out the sun” Reformed Broker

Goldman tested the limits of banking morality with huge fees from 1MDB South China Morning Post

1MDB, RM2.6 billion scandals reach Pekan but have little impact Malaysian Insider. Pekan being Prime Minister Najib’s parliamentary seat.

Thai Draft Constitution Is Rejected by Junta-Backed Council NYT

Japanese yakuza mobsters form new group, spark fears of gang war ABC Australia


Shadowed By Bailout He Agreed To, Greece’s Tsipras Pledges Easier Terms WSJ

Greece still needs to build trust: Eurogroup head CNBC

Greece crisis: Cancer patients suffer as health system fails BBC

The outlook of British Labour favourite Jeremy Corbyn Agence France Presse

Anatomy of a crisis: the facts on Europe’s refugees New Statesman. Of course, if we hadn’t set the Middle East on fire (again)…

Europe debates migrant quota buyout plan FT

IMF chief urges Ukraine’s creditors to back debt restructuring plan Reuters

Massive Protest Held in Moldova Over $1 Billion That Mysteriously Vanished VICE

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The Truth of ‘Black Lives Matter’ Editorial, NYT

Black America’s “gaslight” nightmare: The psychological warfare being waged against Black Lives Matter Salon

The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths National Journal

Joliet family struggles to find medical care Joliet Herald-News


Hillary Clinton courts Iowa over ice tea at house parties Daily Telegraph. “Small private gatherings.” Except to Clinton haters, Clinton can be both charming and formidable in small groups, and this may be an effective retail strategy for her. It will also keep her in controlled, low-stress, press-free, and friendly environments.

Hillary Clinton’s proxies ramp up attacks against Sanders Politico

Harvard Professor Larry Lessig Says He’s Running for President ABC. “After exceeding his $1 million crowd-funding goal.”

Paging Dr. Carson The New Yorker

The Politics of Distraction NYT. Opens with extended kayfabe metaphor. Ha.

How Botchamania created a cult following outside the ring—and the law Daily Dot. And kayfabe bloopers!

Charter schools group calls for special session after ruling Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A lot of squilliionaire muscle behind funding scabs, destroying public institutions, and selling fancy tests and software, I would think, so watch out.

Meet the Flexians Pacific Standard. Dated, but worth a read!

Class Warfare

How on-call and irregular scheduling harm the American workforce The Conversation

America’s Poorest Are Getting Virtually No Assistance The Atlantic

Mexico’s account of how 43 students disappeared is wrong, new report says WaPo

Stonehenge: Temple near site shows evidence of a prehistoric religious revolution Independent

Five years, building a culture, and handing it off. Laughing Meme

How to Survive a Footnote n+1

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Skippy

    Income Inequality Institute Will Pay Paul Krugman $25,000 Per Month

    CUNY, which is publicly funded, pays adjunct professors approximately $3,000 per course. The annual salaries of tenured (but undistinguished) professors, meanwhile, top out at $116,364, according to the most recent salary schedule negotiated by the university system’s faculty union. And those professors are expected to teach and publish. Even David Petraeus, whom CUNY initially offered $150,000, conducted a weekly 3-hour seminar.

    Along with the offer letter, CUNY released dozens of emails between Krugman and university officials. “Perhaps I’m being premature or forward,” the Graduate Center’s President, Chase Robinson, tells Krugman in one of them, “but I wanted you to have no doubt that we can provide not just a platform for public interventions and a stimulating academic community­—especially, as you will know, because of our investments in the study of inequality—but also a relatively comfortable perch.”

    Which is undeniably true: $225,000 is more than quadruple New York City’s median household income.

    Krugman did not respond to requests for comment. When contacted, a CUNY spokesperson told Gawker, “We’ll get back to you by early next week.”

    Skippy… btw mr krugman was just down under and did the rounds, one ABC [Oz public[?] tele he had a hard time keeping eye contact whilst peddling a few bromide’s and constant seating readjustments.

    PS. the antidote… yes the claws are out and eyes upon you….

    1. low_integer

      Two laws to keep in mind regarding economists:

      1. For every economist holding a certain opinion, there will be one with the opposite opinion.
      2. They’ll both be wrong.


    2. low_integer

      Btw, congrats to NC for passing the 15000 posts milestone!
      Great work and much appreciated. I’ve learnt a lot from this site.

    3. sd

      By NYC standards, $250,000 a year is not very much in a city where median rent for a one-bedroom is $3400 a month. It’s a safe assumption he and his wife have at minimum a two bedroom apartment and they probably purchased that runs about $1.5 million for a nice but not extravagant apartment on the upper west side. Median maintenance which is paid on top of a $6200 mortgage is $1600. Parking spaces will run another 5 to $600 per month per car. Depending on where he parks, he may have had to purchase the parking spaces, another $150,000 per space, and still has to pay a monthly on top,of it.

      So the monthly nut just for the roof over his head is probably running in the vicinity of $12,000/month or almost half the reported income before taxes. $25,000 sounds like a lot until you factor in the extremely high cost of living today in NYC. Unless he bought back in the 1990s, which I doubt, he’s paying top dollar for comfortable but by no means luxurious housing.

      (Former New Yorker…)

      1. jrs

        No income compared to local median income and other measures like those above give more information. It’s not valid to claim one “doesn’t make much” when nearly everyone around one is making less just because one doesn’t make what they would like to make aspirationally.

        Yes, maybe everyone whose money comes from labor should be paid more (expropriate the expropriators and take it from the capitalists and the rentiers!), but that’s a different argument.

        True he could compare himself to a Wall Street type and maybe claim he was “poor”. But it is probably far more accurate to claim that Wall Street types are way overpaid!!! But if most people are making it (and maybe poorly) in New York city on 50k a year, that’s the relevant part and their struggles are far more relevant and important as well. They would probably say: the rent is too damn high!

        1. sd

          Like it or not, Manhattan has a large percentage of high income earners which in turn drives the costs of living. It’s just a fact. To pretend otherwise is just a waste of energy and pixels.

          1. jrs

            To pretend that a 250,000k income that allows you to purchase (purchase with a mortgage not rent right?) a million dollar apartment in new york isn’t a lot of money seems silly even if you don’t think your living that well. If you wanted to you could always sell that condo and move to the middle of nowhere and be rich beyond the vast majorities wildest fantasies. If you really have assets worth a million to pretend you aren’t pretty well off seems silly. That kind of income usually buys assets.

            1. sd

              I don’t understand your point. Is it that you want Krugman to pretend he lives in a city that has a lower cost of living? Should he find a rental apartment in the South Bronx?

              Manhattan is an extremely expensive city. High salaries in Manhattan both reflect this reality and are a cause of it.

              Krugmans salary offer is perfectly in line with this reality.

              I get the feeling everyone wants him to accept $50,000 a year on some bizarre principal that one can only address income inequality if one is on the suffering side of the equation.

              1. Skippy

                The point is sd… he is being bought off as his powers of public perception are waning at the graylady, can’t have any loose cannons now can we.

                The remuneration quip in the email w/ reference to a perch is instructive imo, especially when considering the work load e.g. navel gazing.

      2. Vatch

        Doesn’t a lot depend on which borough he lives in? Average Manhattan costs and incomes might be quite different from averages in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens. I’ve never lived in New York, so please correct my misconceptions.

        1. sd

          I don’t read his column regularly, but I believe he’s more or less hinted he and his wife are living on the upper west side which is in Manhattan and close to Central Park.

          It’s a desirable neighborhood known for its pre-war apartments (generally spacious and built before WW2).

  2. abynormal

    “Organized labor is organized to take control of an asset away from its rightful owners without paying for it. Organized labor is organization of property by those who don’t own it. Organized labor, by driving up the costs of production through coercive means, destroys industries. Organized labor is piracy without the boats and eye patches. Why would anybody want to celebrate organized labor?”
    Douglas oligarchy mouthpiece Wilson

    “The acquisition by dishonest means and cunning,’ said Levin, feeling that he was incapable of clearly defining the borderline between honesty and dishonesty. ‘Like the profits made by banks,’ he went on. ‘This is evil, I mean, the acquisition of enormous fortunes without work, as it used to be with the spirit monopolists. Only the form has changed. Le roi est mort, vive le roi! Hardly were the monopolies abolished before railways and banks appeared: just another way of making money without work.”
    Leo Tolstoy

    1. abynormal

      Leo rolling over…” It’s no longer just about earning giant fees.

      Goldman earned about US$500 million in fees for raising US$6.5 billion in a series of bond sales for 1MDB. At 7.69 per cent, this represents a huge commission for a fixed-income underwriting. It pulled in nearly US$300 million in fees for US$3 billion for 1MDB in 2013. Compare this to the average fees of 1.32 per cent earned by underwriters so far this year on US high-yield junk bonds rated below sovereign issues and to Goldman’s overall record US$694 million of global bond underwriting fees in the first quarter, all according to data from Bloomberg.
      Someone in Goldman’s risk or compliance unit should have demanded answers as to why a sovereign client would be willing to pay so much for funding

      Part of Goldman’s US$500 million fee came from buying the bonds at a discount to face value before selling to investors for a profit. The bonds yielded about 5.6 per cent, or 364 basis points more than Treasuries and 261 basis points more than the rate on Malaysia’s sovereign Islamic dollar debt due July 2021. re: Goldman tested the limits of banking morality with huge fees from 1MDB

      Malaysian Proverb: No matter how big the whale is, a tiny harpoon can kill him.

      1. craazyboy

        Really. Kinda a variation on the old Groucho Marx country club joke….”If I accept your terms, you shouldn’t want me as a borrower.”

        But securitization, of course. Buyer beware – read the label, first.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        “…..banking ‘morality’….”

        What does that even mean? Let alone suggesting that there is some “limit” below which goldman sachs will not go. I mean we’re talking about goldman sachs here.

        A more likely scenario is that gs was chosen to underwrite this deal BECAUSE of its reputational relationship with “banking morality:” Money talks and that bullsh*t morality walks.

        “Someone in Goldman’s risk or compliance unit should have demanded answers as to why a sovereign client would be willing to pay so much for funding.” Seriously???

        1. GuyFawkesLives

          “Banking morality” = crimes are not only okay, but pay!
          “Robo-signing” = some silly paperwork screw-up, judges please disregard
          “Surrogate signing” = we had a surrogate sign the document, clearly that is legal.
          “Person Entitled to Enforce” = a thief.

          Any more questions?

    2. Oldeguy

      We just might be at the dawn of a New Era when “labor” as we have known it since the industrial revolution might become increasingly non-human; the technological infrastructure necessary for this to occur is rapidly falling into place.
      Whether this change is socially or privately directed will determine if we will live in material Utopia or in a second Feudal Age.

      1. newyorker

        I think it will render most of us useless eaters and a drain on the planet’s resources. Looking ahead to a vast culling bringing the human population to a more sustainable number, which of course will include the 1% and their retsinerd.

    1. abynormal

      Thanks! gladly signed petition
      companies are selling their wares on itsy…claiming hand/homemade.

      This is the Golden Age of fraud, an era of general willingness to ignore and justify the wrongdoings of the rich and powerful, which makes every lie bigger and widens its destructive path.”
      Reed Albergotti, Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever

  3. Pepsi

    It’s shocking that you linked to a post with ‘nightmare’ in the title. I think they have a 33% ‘nightmare’ headline quota.

  4. diptherio

    Here’s another short video, which answers the question (partially) about what BlackLivesMatter activists are doing proactively to help their communities. In Worcester, it’s building an aquaponics greenhouse cooperative, in keeping with the long history of black economic advancement through working together. Cool peeps doing cool stuff. Check it out:

  5. Ditto

    Re Corbyn

    I continue to marvel at the batsh*t response of Labour establishment pols, other political actors and the media to Corbyn. Even the Guardian has moved permanently to crazy town. Even Daily Kos. You would think he is the second comings of Stalin and Hitler all rolled up into one. Are Neiliberals really this weak that they can’t handle even one social democrat in a position of power?

    1. ambrit

      A victory by Corbyn would be a definitive debunking of TINA. They would visibly have no clothes on, and Corbyn would be the little child who points that out to the crowd.

      1. Ditto

        When I speak of weakness, I’m thinking of the fact that they can’t even let us think for one second about other ideas, much less enacting them, since one pol can’t enact anything alone. It’s like their grip on power, at least based on their overreaction, is not as great as it seems to us and is psycholocal in nature.

        1. OIFVet

          Their grip on power is more than just psychological in nature, they control the basic things we need for survival: food, shelter, increasingly water too. Moreover, through the increasing use of the Public Private “Partnerships” they increasingly directly control functions of government that we all rely on. I think that it comes to numbers as well as psychology: there is more of us and no amount of control can stop a desperate populace once it knows that there is an alternative. It’s about keeping us comfortably numb (consumerism and entertainment) and dumb (destruction of public education). So they can’t afford anyone like Corbyn saying things that create cognitive dissonance among the hoi polloi.

          1. fosforos

            You neglect the dragon in the room: the overwhelming force of repressive violence in their hands with no “legal” or other limits on their ability to use it against anyone and for any reason. Cameron could, but of course won’t, inscribe on his Tridents the motto that Frederick the Great put on his cannons: Ultima Ratio Regionis.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Corruption aside, self identity is at stake. The “New Left’s” identity is wrapped up in both being the liberal option in a two party structure and a rebellion against an old guard. The New Left is being rebelled against by a younger audience with old guy, outsiders, curiosities, asthe alternative. A Sanders or Corbyn win spells doom for an existing element of the “New Left.”

          If they lose the lower economic classes, isn’t the New Left old Republicans/Tories with a less hostile attitude towards upper middle class minorities and women? Even Rahm considers himself very liberal. Without Hillary’s celebrity to carry them over the finish line, questions about the “New Left’s” policies won’t be drowned out, and they might be confronted with the premise they aren’t leading citizens, versed on policy but rather attached to buzz words and much more similar to the followers of Trump or Palin than they would like to recognize.

          If a Corbyn or Sanders wins, it means the New Left elite at ever level down to precinct captains are inherently out of touch and not cool.

      2. tongorad

        A definitive debunking? I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

        “Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.”
        -Lucy Parsons

    2. low_integer

      I guess if you build a house of cards and tell everyone it’s structurally sound, you get very nervous letting even one person inside who refuses to hold his or her breath.

    3. Ed

      In this case, I think people are reading too much into this. Labour was led by people like Corbyn in the early 1980s, and had its worst electoral defeat since World War 2. So the received wisdom is put the left of Labour in charge = bad electoral defeat. I don’t think the hyperventilating is anything more than this.

      I also don’t think this necessarily applies to very different circumstances, over three decades later. Labour’s second worst electoral defeat after World War 2 was in 2010, after thirteen years of Blairism. Corbyn’s own appeal seems to be pretty much a really delayed reaction to the damage done to the party by Blair (for some reason due to the Labour Party rules or culture they never even try to get rid of sitting leaders, unlike the Tories).

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        One problem is the Labour mps who lost in the 1980s had been there for 30 years. Instead of retiring when they stopped being relevant, they held on and lost on an individual basis (Yes, Minister was built around this). The Congressional elections in ’94 were a similar event. Blair took over for John Smith who was poised to win before his sudden death. Blair and Brown hated Smith as a leftist, but Labour’s polling didn’t rise with their ascension to leadership.

      2. OIFVet

        So the received wisdom is put the left of Labour in charge = bad electoral defeat. I don’t think the hyperventilating is anything more than this.

        I don’t think so. The Blairites are scared that their own complicity will become even more apparent and they will lose whatever support does remain for them. And that, in turn, will derail the post-government gravy train they are on. Same thing with the Clintonites and Obamaites in the US. Losing an election was never a tragedy for the New “Left”, it allowed them to talk the populist talk while doing business as usual. Or even better, justify the need for “triangulation”. Was the 2010 defeat a tragedy for Obama? Hell no, it allowed the Obots to elevate Obama to the status of a martyr who sacrificed himself and his party for the rest of us through his oh-so-great ACA, allowed them to guilt-trip white liberals eager not to be associated with the right wing loonies and racists, all the while Obama continued to try to dismantle SS and any semblance of a progressive taxation. Defeat was good for business, in short.

  6. diptherio

    Re: Joliet Family Struggles to Find Health Care

    He said the insurance company gave him a list of four doctors – in Joliet, Bolingbook and Lockport – to visit. Over the course of several months, he said he was unable to receive care from the first three doctors he visited – either because they didn’t exist, couldn’t accept his family as patients because of their insurance or because of the type of medical treatment they sought. [emphasis added]

    Wow. I wish they would have gone into that aspect of the story a little more. Insurance companies just making up doctors?!? That’s got to be a new height of insurance fraud. Maybe I’ll start offering my own ACA plan: doctors in our network include Dr. Fixemup and Dr. Feelgood–both of whom are accepting new patients…I swear!

    1. Carla

      I happen to know a teen in California who is “covered” by Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program). That is exactly how it works. This young person’s parent called all five physicians on a list provided by Medi-Cal. Only one accepted Medi-Cal and his office was many miles away. Adding the term “fraud” to the term “insurance” is simply redundant.

    2. Ed

      Insurance companies are somewhat notorious for not keeping their lists of doctors who accept their insurance updated. It actually never occurred to me that the lists are padded with doctors who are just made up. But its probably the more boring explanation that the lists are not updated properly. They probably don’t want to employ the additional staff to manage the database.

      1. Carla

        Yeah. Because they’re not being paid to do that, right? But somehow, their executives make multi-million dollar annual compensation packages.

        Like I said, insurance=fraud.

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Hillary Clinton’s proxies ramp up attacks against Sanders Politico

    Dannel Malloy, Andrew Cuomo and Joaquin Castro–a panoply of “heavy hitters.” Not.

    Bernie doesn’t need to break stride long enough to swat these flies or say, “Ouch.”

    McCaskill, on the other hand, with her “socialist” mantra and newly released “memoir,” is playing the long game. That game being trolling for the veep spot. In my humble opinion.

  8. optimader

    RE:Meet the Flexians Pacific Standard. Dated, but worth a read!

    This map shows the business associations of retired generals and admirals. The red dots are people who retired in the ’90s; the larger blue and green dots are more recent retirees—and their many affiliations. Data is partially from a Boston Globe investigation.
    Reminds me of a resolving Mandelbrot set
    Images of the Mandelbrot set display an elaborate boundary that reveals progressively ever-finer recursive detail at increasing magnifications. The “style” of this repeating detail depends on the region of the set being examined. The set’s boundary also incorporates smaller versions of the main shape, so the fractal property of self-similarity applies to the entire set, and not just to its parts.

    The Mandelbrot set has become popular outside mathematics both for its aesthetic appeal and as an example of a complex structure arising from the application of simple rules, and is one of the best-known examples of mathematical visualization.

      1. optimader

        I like the term Flexian. I refer to them as Waveskimmers, they skip from the crests of government-private sector-education positions and back, often in time frames that substantially insulate them from consequences. And if they stick around to long they are given awards tidy severance packages on the way out to the next gig. . See files: Larry Summers, D. Von Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Steve Hadley, Michael Hayden etc etc and Chertoff of course, a classic case — guy with dual citizenship at the head of the security apparatchik

  9. tongorad

    Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

    In today’s world, it may seem crazy to restrict electronics so drastically. But when kids are struggling, we’re not doing them any favors by leaving electronics in place and hoping they can wind down by using electronics in “moderation.” It just doesn’t work. In contrast, by allowing the nervous system to return to a more natural state with a strict fast, we can take the first step in helping a child become calmer, stronger, and happier.

    Interesting take on moderation. As a public school teacher, I’ve come to believe that you can have classroom engagement centered around intellectual growth and learning, or you can have smartphones. You cannot have both. My school has a soft enforcement policy concerning student use of smartphones. They really don’t have much choice – parents now demand that their children get to play with their toys all day. I don’t get that. Such is the power of marketing/groupthink.
    From a political/economic perspective, I see smartphone usage in public schools as private power/interests colonizing a public space.

    1. Oldeguy

      Excuse what may be a very foolish request for clarification from someone who started grade school when Harry Truman was President, but the kids are allowed to have their smart phones IN CLASS ?

      1. OIFVet

        I started high school in the early 90’s, and the then-ubiquitous beepers were not allowed in the classroom. And it’s not like the parents of my schoolmates weren’t rather well to do and entitled, either.

      2. tongorad

        Technically at my school (large urban Title I HS) students are prohibited from cell phone usage in class unless granted permission from the teacher. But from a teacher’s perspective it’s like trying to hold back the tides. I didn’t go to school to be a cell phone policeman,
        These damn things are so ubiquitous nobody even notices anymore. Next time you’re out and about, take a step back and notice how many people have their noses buried in a screen.

    2. Skippy

      Youngest son 11 just had some physio after a sports related complaint. During the session the physio w/ a masters, said he was being inundated just after school holidays by kids with neck and back complaints. All due to excessive electronic device [phone / pad] use e.g. in bed, on floor, even sitting as your face gets sucked in to the screen and contorted body posture for abnormal time lengths.

      Lmmao so by the time this cohort starts reaching the late 40s in to the early 60s, sadly probably sooner in too many cases, were going to have to come up with a syndrome for it. BTW some of the new findings in musculoskeletal research and clinical is just incredible e.g. don’t let anyone play with your C-section [chiropractors or massage] ever!

      Skippy… On a lighter note son is going to states for shot put and discus, where on a dimmer note thats about 1.5 grand for comp fees and travel expenses. Which begs the question what do you do if you don’t have that kinda dosh, some poor kid can’t compete?…. grrrrrr…

      1. ambrit

        Sort of sick funny but, sedentary pursuits are conducive to hemorrhoids too. Get them moving! 1.5 grand? Where does he have to go, Macau? I remember going to Tallahassee for Speech and Debate State, a distance of about 400 miles, in the early seventies. Drive up and back (carpooling), several days lodging, and food, for about $200 USD. Had to save it up myself too. Dad pulls me to the side; “Here. $50 just in case. If you don’t need it, give it back afterwards.” I did.

        1. OIFVet

          In the bad old days of communism, trips like that cost nothing. We had an average of two long class trips per year, of 3-4 days each, either visiting historic places or just resting in the mountains’ fresh air. Shorter trips for those of us who were on the academic Olympiad teams, or sports teams. All that was needed was a bit of pocket money for ice cream and soda, food, lodging, and transportation were paid for by the state. Summer vacations one could go to the Black Sea for two weeks courtesy of the school or the parents’ workplace, they all had some permanent accommodations steps from the beach. Not free if you went via school, but extremely subsidized. Terrible way to raise children…

          1. ambrit

            And that’s with the Nomenklatura to support in the ‘style to which they were accustomed!’
            I made no friends doing it, but whenever one of the younger lads wherever I was working at the time would wax effusive about how ‘rich’ the boss was, I’d ask them when was the last time the boss had invited them over to spend a day at the boss’s backyard pool. I generally received either a blank stare or a hearty, “You Commie m—–f—-r!” I’m sorry to say it, but Americans have no class consciousness, yet. (I discount the Great Middle Class because they are going extinct.)

        2. Skippy

          Up to Townsville from Brisbane [15hr -1.364km drive], about $500 for uniforms and admin fees, $500 for accommodation [granted not staying at budget motel, might as well a mini 3 day vacation next to beach] and folding stuff for incidentals. Good thing is car gets about 4.5 – 5.0 ltr to a 100km in 66ltr tank or 1200km at $80ish per fill up, otherwise is another $500 for a return flight.

          So if he makes the state team [he is competitive] its off to nationals in Canberra [at least its only 12 h 58 min 1,206 km] in a month or so afterwards.

          Skippy…. Onward to victory! [or is it destitution]… go you good thing!

  10. Jim Haygood

    Attention, refugees:

    France is preparing for air strikes in Syria as President Francois Hollande seeks ways both to stem a flood of refugees from the Middle East into Europe and grapple with the threat of terrorism.

    “I’ve asked the minister of defense to begin reconnaissance flights over Syria from tomorrow that would allow for strikes against the Islamic State,” Hollande said at a press conference in Paris on Monday.

    Good to see the French coming round to the American view, that indiscriminate bombing is a kind of miracle drug that will set everything right.

    As Kurgman doubtlessly advised Hollande, refugees will rush home for new career opportunities, rebuilding their ruined cities.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Meanwhile, the war situation on the Syrian front has developed not necessarily to our advantage:

      In an acknowledgment of severe shortcomings in its effort to create a force of moderate rebels to battle the Islamic State in Syria, the Pentagon is drawing up plans to significantly revamp the program.

      The classified options now circulating at senior levels of the Pentagon include enlarging the size of the groups of trained rebels sent back into Syria, shifting the location of the deployments to ensure local support, and improving intelligence provided to the fighters.

      The 54 Syrian fighters supplied by the Syrian opposition group Division 30 were the first group of rebels deployed under a $500 million train-and-equip program authorized by Congress last year.

      $9.26 million per moderate rebel, comrades: it’s a bargain compared to an F-35, plus it’s boots onna ground.

    2. OIFVet

      Like I said yesterday, the Euro lemmings are reaping what they sowed. Looks like they want to reap an even bigger harvest though. Must be the geopolitical version of groaf.

  11. jgordon

    The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths

    That is a very suggestive headline! Suggestive in that it appears to be saying something significant, but really isn’t.

    I’m can only say the following because I was in the Marines and had some anti-terrorism training there. I have no interest in researching methods or doing terrorism otherwise.

    That said, it’s relatively easy to devise methods of mass violence that don’t involve firearms. Actually going out and shooting people is a pretty inefficient method for accomplishing violence on a large scale, and we should hope that people crazy enough to commit such atrocities would continue to be so banal in their methods. Trying to ban firearms would just encourage them to be more creative, which would not be good.

    Anyway, a good question to ask is why people are frustrated enough to go out and randomly shoot people anyway. As Nicole Foss pointed out in an interview I watched of her yesterday, it’s not poor people who are going out and committing mass shooting–the poor have already accepted and internalized the fact that they lack enough agency to actually affect society or change their situation at all. By and large it’s [white male], (former?) members of the middle doing this kind of thing. This is because these people have come to feel that they are entitled to the privilege and wealth that they’ve enjoyed all their lives, and now that the economy is in a slow-motion collapse they are affronted at having to join the ranks of the impoverished and powerless.

    As the economy continues to collapse we’re simply going to have a lot more horrific violence across the board. The only reason its expression is typified by guns in America is because guns are already so widespread and part of the culture here. If not guns, this angst would simply find another outlet. Crusading against guns is mistaking symptom for cause.

    1. LifelongLib

      Speaking of my own “white male privileges”: I have an income, a place to sleep, transportation, am able to go the doctor if I’m sick, and have not (so far) been subject to arbitrary police harassment. Do you really want to call those privileges? Or are they things that everybody should have?

      1. jgordon

        Yes, those are privileges that most people do not have right now. And in fact, less and less people going forward will have them also. You have the sorts of unhealthy expectations and feelings of entitlement that could cause you problems in the future.

        1. LifelongLib

          They are rights that most people are being denied. Damned straight I feel entitled to them, and a lot more — and so should everybody else.

          1. hunkerdown

            They’re rights, in that humans who impair others’ access to them need their minds changed with a tire iron. All that doesn’t mean that nature is obligated to provide them to you under any or no terms.

    2. frosty zoom

      well, let me tell you that every time i see road rage or other examples of run of the mill people gettin’ frustrated stuff, i’m super glad that basically nobody where i live carries, let alone owns, a gun.


      1. jrs

        I mostly think owning guns is meh owning something and maybe people are in dangerous areas where they think they need them or even actually just use them to hunt. Probably is true they hunt if it’s rural and they are hunting guns. Clearly those given to fits of rage shouldn’t own guns, and anyone should implement all safety precautions.

        But lately I’ve noticed the gun owning going along not with hunting, and not with say being a single female living alone in a dangerous neighborhood or camping alone or who was a rape victim, and not even with the fantasy of it being a last case resort the chance of ever using of which approach zero “when an armed burglar busts into the house and attacks”, and not even people paranoid about the government “becoming” totalitarian and rounding everyone up for FEMA camps but …. with people who actually because they own guns must see the world as chronically dangerous and hostile. And this new wrinkle is more than alarming. So that things that are actually nothing of nothing, innocent normal functions of life in an urban area where we must coexist with other humans even the down and out and even if we don’t care about them, I just mean coexisting nothing more, become in these gun owners minds: the threat that justifies why I’m packing. They start to almost become unfit for urban life in my view.

        1. frosty zoom

          well, looks like you (america) are kinda stuck with the bullet-laden mess you’ve created.

          maybe when china finishes buying america they’ll do something about it.

            1. ambrit

              “…and we’re just warming up.”
              What??? Puns, at Dawn! (My Seconds will call on your Seconds, Sir.)

        2. jgordon

          This is a normal and realistic view people should have. And the sooner they switch to it, the better off they’ll be.

          As energy and resource supplies become more constricted, financial panics increase, ecologies continue to collapse and centralized governing regimes loose ever more power and legitimacy by the day, learning to take care of your own needs, including the need for self-defense, will be an beneficial trait that dramatically increases the likelihood of propagating and being able to protect progeny.

          1. jrs

            no it’s not realistic, it’s cloud cuckoo land, that’s why I said increasingly unfit to live in society more or less (or to deal with ordinary harmless urban occurrences, note I did not say real threats, because these things being perceived as threats by increasingly paranoid nuts in their own heads, are NOT real threats. Note I did not say no real threats ever exist but that the gun fetish some have, and note I did not say everyone who owns a gun, is making them unable to distinguish, for the ability to make a distinguishing judgement to even operate). That’s what seems to be going on to me.

            1. jrs

              And for all that it was just an observation of a social phenomena that does exist at least to some small degree, that maybe others have also seen and can relate to and understand, not some x% of gun owners think y statement.

            2. jgordon

              Sorry but you aren’t prepared for what the future is going to look like. You have an opportunity to start changing and adapting now; or you can succumb to the kind of inflexible and entitled thinking that is going to doom most people in America.

              1. ambrit

                None of us is really prepared for it. The more one feels he or she is prepared, the greater the ultimate shock will be.

  12. GlennF

    Regarding: “IMF chief urges Ukraine’s creditors to back debt restructuring plan”

    Where’s the write down for Greek loans?

  13. ProNewerDeal,_September_2015#Seat_projections

    I noticed that new ex-Syriza splitoff, anti-EU, Popular Unity/LAE is projected to obtain 11 seats, where 151 is needed for a majority. Why is Popular Unity polling so poorly? Shouldn’t Popular Unity be winning a significant portion of the “No” voters in the July (iirc) Referendum?

    Is the current corrupt austerity EU/Troika/Bank$ta dictatorship status quo likely to change, whether a Syriza or an New Democracy led coalition win the election?

    Thanks in advance for any info or opinions. Casually following the Greece crisis this year, makes me realize I am fairly ignorant USian about how parliamentary democracies work, how a coalition majority is formed, etc

    1. Oregoncharles

      Polls indicate about 70% of Greeks favor staying in the Euro. Votes against are split with Golden Dawn, the fascists, and probably several other parties.

      In this case, a governing coalition is formed with great difficulty.

  14. OIFVet

    Western news reports are so objective, fair, and balanced! Take Reuters’s and Deutsche Welle’s news items on the meeting of the Slovak, Czech, and Austrian prime ministers in Bratislava, where the topic discussed was the EU’s attempt to force refugee quotas on its members. Both items quote Slovak PM Fico’s statement that the quotes are irrational. So far so good. Except, the full quote is: “Quotas are irrational. They are presented as a magic political map, which should solve the problem of refugees. But it will not solve this issue, because no one wants to tell the truth about Syria! What are we talking about here, when certain countries in the EU do not want to acknowledge supporting the civil war in Syria?” (, in Bulgarian, the above translation is mine). And that’s how dissent and truth-saying are censored, by taking one word and quoting it out of context lest the responsibility of the US and it’s Euro lemmings is broadcast to wider audience and that audience begins to question why it is that others should pick up the costs of others’ hubris.

  15. ewmayer

    Re. the Smithsonian piece, a more-accurate title would have been “Hawks Act as Unwitting Muscle for Equally-Unwitting Hummingbirds”.

    “…hummingbirds that are clever enough to cluster their nests under the protective umbrella of a neighborhood hawk enjoy greater survival of fledging chicks compared to those that don’t.”

    Actually, no particular cleverness is required … natural selection will ensure that over time such a protective-effect-exploiting behavior will evolve. The hummingbirds probably have no idea why they prefer such nesting sites, just that an overwhelming innate urge pushes them to do so. Any mutants who ‘forget the long-term-evolved lesson’ suffer reduced fecundity as a consequence, and pass their mutant ‘who cares about the hawk when it comes nest-siting time’ genes on to fewer offspring than birds whose genes ‘remember the nest-siting lessons of their parents’. [Some likely-crude simplifications of the actual process in there, but I believe the gist is accurate.]

    Remember, the core thesis of classical Darwin/Wallace theory is so simple that when you appreciate the amplifying effects of even a small-but-systematic fecundity bias over many generations, the theory becomes well-nigh a truism:

    Heritable traits enhancing reproductive success spread throughout populations over time.

  16. Sam Kanu

    The NYT finally managed to pin the tail on the donkey:

    But politicians who know better and seek to strip this issue of its racial content and context are acting in bad faith. They are trying to cover up an unpleasant truth and asking the country to collude with them.

    Now if only the NYT had found the guts to be this frank ALL the time, regarding gutter level that politics has reached in this country. Not just police brutality, but also regarding electoral financing, TAARP, endless wars abroad – so much. We’d all be better off if newspapers called this thing for what it is: a cesspool.

Comments are closed.