Links 10/1/15

Apologies for the lack of original posts. The tech problem last night really cut into my sleep and set my recovery back.

1,500-pound rogue cow has been eluding capture for months in Central NY Syracuse (bob)

How To Hand Feed Hummingbirds ‏@SajTheOne. A video!

Plastic-eating worms may offer solution to mounting waste, researchers discover PhysOrg

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s Atlantic. Wow. Look at the possible role of industrial meat.

‘Good bacteria’ key to stopping asthma BBC

Fashion Bloggers Work 100 Hours a Week HypeBeast

Uber Executives’ Trial in Paris Is Postponed Financial Times

Finally, Yahoo has some good news for shareholders: Things could be worse Pando

IMF chief warns of ‘disappointing’ growth Financial Times

Kuala Lumpur faces new hurdles to TPP consensus Nikkei (James M)

Rising anger in Thailand’s boom-to-bust northeast Reuters

Thai government websites in denial-of-service attack BBC. Lambert: “Remarkable if true. A DDoS attack not from hackers but many users refreshing the targeted page.”


Chinese Domino Effect Still Threatens World Markets Wall Street Journal

China manufacturing continues to weaken Financial Times

Mail bombs lay ruin to Chinese county as 7 killed, dozens injured in 17 sites across Guangxi’s Liucheng South China Morning Post

Too early to think of more stimulus: ECB Dow Jones

Europe’s Capital Markets Union and the new single market challenge Bruegel


Opinion: How Greece could collapse the eurozone MarketWatch. Lambert: “Groundhog day.”

Tsipras vainly seeks support for Greece in the other side of the Atlantic failed evolution


Keep France at arm’s length from Syrian war India Punchline (margarita)

Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say Wall Street Journal

Russian air strikes ‘not hitting IS’ BBC. As if the US said anything when our asking for Turkey’s help against ISIS was used by them as license to go after the Kurds. It’s not as if the US can lay claim to any moral high ground.

Syria: “Not a Proxy War. It’s One Step Closer” George Washington

Russia and US military to talk on Syria BBC

Good! Hit ALL jihadi groups! Create a coordination center! Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)


Big Brother is Watching You Watch

East Bay cellphone surveillance plan gets attorney general’s support Reveal

Thousands of medical devices are vulnerable to hacking, security researchers say ITworld (Chuck L). A known issue…

Everyone you know will be able to rate you on the terrifying ‘Yelp for people’ — whether you want them to or not Intersect. Libel litigation futures.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Superpower as Victim Tom Engelhardt

Obama’s Self-Deceit Consortiumnews (resilc)


Hillary Clinton Emails Had a Two-Month Gap Wall Street Journal

Campaign 2016: Hillary Clinton Pitched Iraq As ‘A Business Opportunity’ For US Corporations International Business Times

Clinton raises $28M in past 3 months, Sanders just behind Associated Press

Bernie Sanders Reaches 1 Million Donations Faster Than Any Presidential Campaign in History Alternet

Sanders fundraising is remarkable. The # to keep an eye on now is cash on hand. Very possible he has more than HRC. @davidaxelrod. As in Sander’s donations from small donors are in the bank. Some of Clinton’s are almost certainly pledges. Not all of those come through even in the best of circumstances and many evaporate if a candidate starts looking wobbly.

A Biden Candidacy and Foreign Policy American Conservative. Resilc: “We have Bernie or endless wars.”

Trump: I would send Syria refugees home BBC

A Conservative Group Analyzed Donald Trump’s Tax Plan. The Results Are Kind of Hilarious. Slate

The Twitter Government and Elections Handbook Twitter (Chuck L)

Elizabeth Warren is on the hunt again Washington Post. A putdown, and tries to position “populists” as incapable of raising money the way Clinton can.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Police Taser and Beat Innocent Disabled Vet, Hold Quadriplegic Wife at Gunpoint, Demand She Stand Alternet

Rivals query whether VW cheat was one-off Financial Times

Senator Warren to Join Call to Alter Sales of Distressed Loans New York Times

Questions About Leak at Federal Reserve Escalate to Insider-Trading Probe Wall Street Journal

Crocodile Tears From Mortgage Lenders Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg

How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash Guardian (Gabriel). Why should they? Nearly destroying the global economy was a profitable exercise with virtually no negative consequences for the perps.

Class Warfare

Toys ‘R’ Us Brings Temporary Foreign Workers to U.S. to Move Jobs Overseas New York Times (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour (James M):

pretty lizard links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Eric Patton

    “Mounting waste” is a necessary and unavoidable concomitant of capitalism. Albert and Hahnel actually wrote about this (not in these exact words, but pretty close) in Quiet Revolution in Welfare Economics, which no one reads. It’s out of print, because truth doesn’t play well in the social sciences.

    You can find the full text, for free, at this link. It contains a lot of math, because Michael and Robin spend quite a bit of time proving a whole bunch of shit that no one wants to acknowledge.

    Funny how people never pay attention to serious truth tellers until after they’re dead.

    1. anon de plume

      If you don’t like welfare then let’s have an equal redistribution of assets and then we can all be self-sufficient capitalists.

      Absurd? Then look at Leviticus 25 and the bans on usury and profit taking and the commands for restitution in the OT.

  2. wbgonne

    Elizabeth Warren is on the hunt again Washington Post. A putdown, and tries to position “populists” as incapable of raising money the way Clinton can.

    I’m no fan of the often-obtuse Dana Milbank but I think he’s more right than wrong here:

    Sanders and Warren may have captured the energy and the enthusiasm within the Democratic Party, but they still haven’t captured the power. That’s because money wins elections, and Clinton, like President Obama, follows the money. Figures such as Warren have to waste their time fighting members of their own party who probably agree with her views but aren’t about to antagonize their corporate sponsors. For all the populists’ popularity, they are still fighting for scraps. … It’s a sign of some clout that Warren has Litan’s hide, and Weiss’s, and Summers’s. But if her party answered to the people rather than its donors, she’d have many more.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Bernie Sanders Reaches 1 Million Donations Faster Than Any Presidential Campaign in History | Alternet

      Clinton raises $28M in past 3 months, SANDER JUST BEHIND | Associated Press

      So where does this idea that Sanders doesn’t have money come from? Not only does he have it, but he also has headcount.

      1. wbgonne

        That’s a fair point. Sanders is doing fine financially. But Sanders is running for president. And Elizabeth Warren is a star so she can raise money too. I think Milbank is saying that rank-and-file Democratic politicians depend upon and therefore cater to Big Money, perhaps because they can’t raise money the way a presidential candidate or a star can. Now one might say that if the lower-tier Denocratic politicians actually served the people, the people would open their wallets more, and that is probably true: but there is only so much money that regular people are able to give to politicians. In any event, I think Milbank is correct that, presently, the Sanders-Warren wing is battling its own party and fighting for scraps. Could that change? Yes. Will it? We’ll see.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Money is overrated in actual politics. Look at the GOP candidates. For all their media buys, the have nothing. Bernie needs money for a gotv infrastructure and moving from state to state which requires committed kids who don’t make much money. Obama had so much money, he ran an infomercial for the hell of it in 2008. Eve then most money comes in very late to the perceived winner. People like to bet on a winner.

          With campaign ads, there are diminishing returns over time even if they work anymore. Voters are cynical about the “I’m X and I approve this message” and SuperPac ads. They don’t move needles. Regular media keeps people aware of Presidential elections or even the Internet tubes. Trust me next November, plenty of people will say, “oh hey, my Facebook friends say their is an election with a bald dude. I need to vote.”

          The fretting about Sanders’ money flow is meant to scare people away because every serious in Washington DC knows you need a billion dollars, like how Roger Goodell should earn $44 million because the NFL makes money. In reality it’s about status within in a circle not practical terms. Admittedly news sources and media outlets really want the ad buys too. It can’t be Sanders. How else can Jeffrey Zuckerberg afford the berth fee at my uncle’s marina with CNN’s poor viewership? Trump brings ratings and ad buys.

    2. James Levy

      I’m not up on my pundits, so I don’t know if Milbank fully comprehends what is being said here. Do you think Milbank gets he’s describing an oligarchy/plutocracy?

  3. gonzomarx

    Amazing how Russia always hits civilians or ‘moderates’ (yup, the moderates label has been dusted off from 2012/3) and the West only ever hits ‘suspected militants’ and how the news (in UK at least) covers possible geopolitical motives for Russian action (bases) but the only Western motives are humanitarian

    Re: How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash – another story of the crash where the word FRAUD does not appear.

    1. optimader

      Russian action (bases)

      That is the essence of Putin’s motivation and it will define their actions in Syria

        1. ambrit

          “Calling all Colonels! Calling all Colonels!”
          Time to bring wayward Greece back into the fold and kick those Yellow Perils out of Piraeus.

        2. optimader

          You don’t need be an apologist/offer a deflection for everything Putin does.

          It’s the obvious and logical play. Personally I puzzled on why Putin didn’t make a move into Syria much earlier, possibly some internal controversy to have done it late and hasty.

          At this point IMO it’s unlikely he will save Assad, I think it’s baked in that IS/ISIS/ISIL (pick the acronym flavor of the week), will take Damascus while cranked up on Red Bull and the place will be turned into rubble, muslim sectarian violence, wash repeat.. Hence Tartus will be up for grabs unless Putin pours in resources to carve out a perimeter sufficient to feel secure enough to ultimately park boomers there.
          Wont be a cheap adventure fro the Russians..

          1. OIFVet

            No apologia or deflection, just pointing out the ridiculousness of the howls emanating from the exceptionalist crowd. As to the rest, we will have to wait and see, however now that US air cover for the “moderate” terrorists is … problematic, they will find the Syrian army much tougher nut to crack. As for ISIS, they will finally find themselves under a real air attack and good luck taking Damascus. That’s not to say that it will be easy going, but the balance has definitely shifted away from our “moderate” terrorists.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Timing and logistics. The U.S. had more street cred a year ago. They might have been able to close the corridors to Syria. If Tartus was the be all and end all, the Chinese would have stayed after they showed the flag after that phony wmd lie by Obama.

            Russia was dealing with rounds of increasing sanctions. Europe is in chaos now. The situation is different for more than the propaganda about Assad collapsing which is portrayed as a reason for delivering more resources to Al Qaeda in Syria. It’s likely the CIA is cash strapped with its various failures and grifters, and with sequester, there might be enough money to pay the rebels and the support and logistics necessary to run the pretend to bomb ISIS campaign. Mercenaries aren’t there to fight and suffer. They are there for money and power. Without money and power, they stop fighting. Even in World War II, soldiers just stopped doing jobs when they decided they had enough. Assad’s forces are fighting for their home at a level, even if they aren’t Assad voters.

            The Sauds are suffering from low oil prices and a major war in Yemen, a country with the same population as Iraq, and the KSA, itself. Turkey is a mess. Europe is under the heel of austerity with a complete political mess. Hollande is trying to put Le Pen under trial for her statements prior to a law being passed. Europe is weak, and every leader is a lame duck.

            The U.S. is funding resources publicly for conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Central Africa, is engaged in a major base realignment process, and doing all this with no new money and constant threats of shutdown.

            The decline of the Empire happened already.

            1. optimader

              If Tartus was the be all and end all, the Chinese would have stayed after they showed the flag
              Other than wanting to briefly posture as a global player, and perhaps use Syria as a military training opportunity (advisors), China has no dog in the fight beyond the higher level concern of it scaling up into a disruption to its mercantile interests (energy supply contracts) in the ME.
              So I don’t think Chinese presence has any practical relevance in what goes down in Syria one way or the other. Chemical weapons? A weapon is a weapon, whether a laser guided missile from a drone, a barrel bomb or a canister of Sarin. They all have a similar affect when delivered to an urban area with civilians.

              ..the propaganda about Assad collapsing
              I would say progressively loosing territory is an objective metric.

              Assad is a member of a ruling minority sect that, winding the tape back a bit, sided with Christians against Muslims in Lebanese civil war. The Muslim brotherhood tagged the Assad regime as apostate who subsequently went postal on them. I don’t think there too much forgiveness in the passage of time, and this was sufficient basis for civil war in Syria. Some would say, a strategic blunder by his father.

              Assad is doing a cash burn while loosing ground. Not too much light between his minority Aliwite regimes position w/the gov military and that of any mercenary group in Syria the way I see it.


              In a 1976 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, a US diplomat stated “if I got nothing else from my meeting with Frangie, Chamoun and Gemayel, it is their clear, unequivocal and unmistakable belief that their principle hope for saving Christian necks is Syria. They sound like Assad is the latest incarnation of the Crusaders.”[

              1. OIFVet

                China has no dog in the fight beyond the higher level concern of it scaling up into a disruption to its mercantile interests Lots of Uighurs fighting in Syria. That’s of interest to China.

                I would say progressively loosing territory is an objective metric The metrics will be recalibrated in the near future now that the Russians are involved. I hear Iraq is quite keen on getting Ruskie help, and even the Kurds are making noices of support and welcome. So the “moderate” terrorists” supported by the US and the beacon of freedumb and democracy that is KSA will be a bit pressed to continue gaining territory, unless the US is determined to start WW3.

  4. timbers

    Obama again called for the removal of Assad at his U.N. speech (but not Saudi Arabia committing much worse atrocities for sometime and as he spoke).

    Isn’t the U.N. supposed to be a group of nations that work together and calling for the overthrow of members illegal or something and against the U.N. charter? Seems up-side-down.

    1. Ed

      One of the stranger aspects of post war geopolitics is the casualness of the US and UK openly calling for the overthrow of this or that regime, or even arranging for the murder of leaders of other countries.

      This was of course done covertly during the Cold War (Chile, Iran, plus other attempts), but even done covertly it proved to be a really bad idea, and being so open about it is a John Birch idea.

      1. Ed

        In 1918, Wilson made the removal of the Kaiser a pre-condition of peace with Germany, in his negotiations with the German government (conducted over the heads of his allies), which may have set a precedent for this style of diplomacy. But that also proved to be a really bad idea. And the US didn’t arrange to murder the Kaiser.

  5. hemeantwell

    RE the Guardian article on banks ignoring crash lessons, it’s especially worthwhile if you make it to the conclusions, wherein the author, after worthwhile interview reports telling how close we came to social disaster, completely flubs the issue of corruption that Lambert has been reviving lately. The author sets up a forced choice between corruption and cognitive capture and holds that regulators only succumbed to the latter. To me, the author himself has become corrupt, since he abandons any notion of a defensible public interest guiding regulatory oversight. Regimes don’t free themselves of the charge of corruption simply by eliminating laws that prohibit behavior. Despite all of his spadework, the author winds up succumbing to market fetishism. Apolitical journalism at its most astonishing.

  6. jgordon

    Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say

    The link doesn’t seem to be working, but I found the article via google.

    If the English language still has meaning, those CIA-backed rebels (the WSJ euphemism) could also be called “terrorists”. And Russia has made statements that they are simply attacking terrorists in Syria, all terrorists. Not making distinctions about whether they are good terrorists or bad terrorists like the US seems to be doing.

    I’m finding the WSJ’s defensively opinionated slant on this Syria coverage to be absolutely hilarious. What’s also hilarious is just how flummoxed the US response has been. They went to a chess match playing with checkers rules and now can do nothing but whine about how unfair it is that they got creamed. At least so far Obama has been taking everything lying down. Perhaps he recognizes just how weak the US military and economic position is now (due in no small part to the piling-up strategic blunders of the various neocons and neoliberals that he’s be taking his marching orders from hitherto). Any kind of direct confrontation would only result in even more embarrassing and unrecoverable losses. Highly amusing.

    1. Jim Haygood

      It was only last week that our moderate rebels (social democrats to a man, I assure you) were obliged to give up their trucks and weapons to Isis to secure safe passage.

      Now they are under brutal Russian attack, with only old Spring Break photos of Victoria Nuland to console them in their foxholes.

      Pray for our heroes in Division 30, comrades!

      1. fresno dan

        There are good terrorists, bad terrorists, and moderate terrorists, but the only thing that matters is that they’re our terrorists….

      2. Jess

        Jim — Have you ever toyed with the idea of having your own political comedy commentary show like Bill Maher. You could mix in a little economic reality (sort of a sane Jim Cramer). Could be a huge hit.

  7. ProNewerDeal

    I hope that if Pope Francis visits a non-Christian & secular majority nation, like say Turkey or India or China, the political leader(s) imprison Pope Francis for a few hours citing Pope Francis’s not adherence to some Islamic/Hinduism/etc religious text’s law/rule.

    After this event, the press can ask Pope Francis if he still supports theocratic county clerk Kim Davis, failing to perform her Clerk job, & violating her fellow citizens’ rights.

    BTW, 0bama set the precedent for blatant disrespect of national political leaders, by threatening & forcing the landing & inspection of Bolivian elected PM Evo Morales’ Bolivian state airplane, searching for US whistleblower of NSA crimes, Edward Snowden. If the Turkey or India PM imprisoned Pope Francis for 2 hours, they could cite 0bama’s disrespectful treatment of Morales as precedent.

  8. todde

    Regarding russia bombing Cia backed rebels.

    In august, when gay people were getting beheaded in Homs, that was blamed on ISIS.

    In September, when Russia is bombing positions in Homs, suddenly they aren’t ISIS.

    I can read news reports on the internet dated as late as September 17th reporting that ISIS is in Homs.

    It is laughable

  9. OIFVet

    The superpower as victim. Tom Engelhardt just can’t bring himself to do more than hint that the greatest danger the US faces is internal, and that it is purely self-inflicted. Oh, and obviously mentioning ‘Democratic Party’ is verbotten. I am left feeling rather uneasy after reading the article, which is rather the opposite of the intended effect. After all, I view the failure of foreign adventures as having direct effect on internal decline and insecurity (economic, personal, societal, etc).

    1. Ulysses

      The tendency to pin all of this mostly on Republicans is, indeed, perhaps the greatest flaw in what I otherwise felt was an excellent post by Engelhardt. The surveillance state is very much a bipartisan “achievement!”

      1. OIFVet

        Indeed, and you can safely add the bipartisan destruction of the safety net and middle class jobs as well. Also, amongst many dangers sited by Tom, no mention of murderous cops was made, no mention about the despicable denial of access to medical care, etc.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Safety net, jobs, middle class, murderous cops. There you go again with that “populism.”

          American “democracy” does politics, not populism.

          Next thing you know you’ll be talking wages, mortgage fraud, education and poverty.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        After Specter came over, 31 members of the Democratic caucus in Senate in January 2009 had voted for the Iraq War. Talk about bipartisan.

        As to why, the great white hopes are 68 and 73, Team Blue has nothing.

        1. Massinissa

          Is the person who is 73 supposed to be Biden or Sanders? Because Biden is 72 and Sanders is 74. Neither is 73 so im not sure which one youre referring to, or if youre referring to both.

          Sanders had a birthday last month so I guess youre talking about him, but how is he a ‘great white hope’?

          Not that I particularly like Sanders either mind you but I don’t get the ‘great white hope’ thing. The only non-white candidate right now is Carson. Oh, and Rubio too. I don’t see how theyre plausible alternatives.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I was referring to Biden, but Biden and Hillary are the hopes of Wall Street to protect them from the plebes despite their obvious flaws as candidates for democratic voters much like how many great white hopes are often given praise that is unwarranted because their backers are desperate for their candidate to win.

            Hillary will likely win a general, but she will be a huge liability down ticket.

          2. ambrit

            Rubio would certainly recoil from the idea of not being ‘white.’ Having grown up in the Miami Florida area, I can attest to the racial ‘consciousness’ of the Florida Cuban elites. One big reason the Marielitos were feared and hated by the “original” Florida Cubans was the Marielitos status as “mixed’ race Cubans. No one seems to want to talk about the history of slavery in Cuba. Those sugar cane plantations didn’t grow and harvest themselves.

    2. tim s

      Overall I agree with you, but will take exception to it being self-inflicted.

      I think that we in the US only think of enemies as those outside of our borders. Anyone within our borders can at worst be corrupt. However, capitalism is global, and we all know that money generally heavily influences if not controls our political system. This influencing money does not necessarily come from within our borders. The large corporations are publicly owned, with no national limitations on this ownership I am aware of. If these corporations with their fat wallets influence our government, what ensures that this influence is not an external influence?

      Then we have lobbies, which to say that they heavily influence our government is an understatement. Take APIAC, for instance. Is this to be considered an internal lobby? It directly influences our government. Are all of this lobby’s members strictly US citizens with only the US interests at heart? If not, then this can be considered an outside influence, and their interests may not be the same as a typical US citizen’s interest.

      Not to say that the citizens of the US do not share a great deal of the responsibility of our situation, but we need to start questioning how we understand threats to what we think of as national sovereignty.

  10. Ulysses

    Thanks for linking to the excellent TomDispatch post! The need for vaguely defined, dangerous enemies– to justify the excesses of an oppressive, authoritarian regime has pushed the GWOT into center-stage after the collapse of the old Soviet Union.

    “In the post-9/11 era, a national security and global surveillance state of historic proportions has been built and funded on one proposition: that without its 17 intelligence agencies, the Homeland Security Department, and the military, as well as a spreading penumbra of secrecy and classification (that is, its ability not to let citizens know much of anything about what’s being done in their name), the American people would be in almost unimaginable danger from a single phenomenon, “terrorism” (with the adjective “Muslim” or “Islamic” implied if not tacked on).

    With its talk over the years of sleeper cells, lone wolves, and plots to kill Americans, this message has been a constant of our world. As the handcuffing and arrest of a ninth grader in Irving, Texas, for bringing a clock he cobbled together to school shows, it’s now in the American bloodstream. It’s also provided the largely unquestioned rationale for the growth of secretive agencies of every sort, for the careers of a vast range of top officials, for the extraordinary powers granted to what is increasingly a secretive state within a state (as the U.S. military now has a secret military of ever expanding proportions in its midst). Were it to be put in doubt, that state and much else might be put in doubt, too. A great deal depends on news of and alarms about endless possible terror plots, which often turn out to have been promoted or instigated by FBI informants.

  11. JCC

    The TCS/Toys’R’Us brings to mind an anecdotal story of a friend of mine.

    I had a friend in Upstate NY that worked for Tata (TCS) as a contract Systems Admin in Ithaca for Nielsen. Previous to that he worked a similar job at Cornell University at around $60K/yr as one of their Large Systems administrator ( cornell-wide email, etc). He was laid off when Cornell outsourced many of those jobs.

    He then went to work for Tata (TCS) at Nielsen (the TV rating company, among ther things) at about $34K/yr, no vacation, no holiday pay, no health insurance and a 40 mile commute with attendant costs. One weekend the Nielsen building caught on fire and the sprinkler system went off, so he was called in to survey the damage of their computer systems (major database system, hundreds of servers).

    Monday he calls the company (TCS) and puts in his weekend overtime hours (over 20) and was denied pay since “he did not get it approved ahead of time.” (standard procedure nowadays).

    The poor sap was desperate for the job (late 50’s with a mortgage and an autistic son living at home, not to mention his own Type 1 diabetes), so he ate the decision.

    (Meanwhile, the outsourcing at Cornell didn’t work out so well… about a year after he was “downsized” Cornell’s entire email system, inside and outside, crashed and was off-line for 3 days. I was told that Cornell rethought their outsourcing policy and pulled it back in-house with new (cheaper) hires. It was the only satisfaction he got out of the entire situation.)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From the article:

      “The federal government does not track how often American workers are displaced by workers with temporary visas……..”

      Very convenient for companies claiming adherence to the letter of a law that requires “a declaration that the foreign workers ‘will not adversely affect the working conditions’ of Americans or lower their wages.”

      Even more convenient, “In recent years, however, global outsourcing and consulting firms have obtained thousands of temporary visas to bring in foreign workers who have taken over jobs that had been held by American workers.” Exactly WHAT did the visa grantors think an OUTSOURCING FIRM in India was going to do with them?

      Pretty hard to make the case they were going to create manufacturing jobs in Akron. In this era of the tyranny of “big data,” some “data” is best left uncollected.

    2. Tertium Squid

      From the article:

      One accountant said a worker from India made an exact digital “recording” during the day as he performed his job. At the close of business, the recording was transmitted to India, where workers practiced mimicking his tasks.

      Oh my. I hope accounting is as simple as drilling holes in sheet metal!

      Even better:

      “She just pulled up a chair in front of my computer,” said the accountant, 49, who had worked for the company for more than 15 years. “She shadowed me everywhere, even to the ladies’ room.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Best hope they do a better job “mimicking” the tasks than they do “mimicking” the language.

        “This is Richard. How are you today?”

        “I’m fine, ‘Richard.’ Where are you calling from?”


    3. Leo

      I’m confused: I was led to believe that America is the Land of the Free. Isn’t that why the “bad guys” hate America? Because everyone has so much freedom? That horrible situation you described your friend in – that kind of sounds like serfdom. Sarcasm aside, RD Wolff makes a very good point about how democracy is idealized in America, but the place where you spend most of your day, give your most energy to – the workplace – is also the least democratic. So, Americans holler freedom! liberty! USA! USA! and then go into work and say “yes Mr. Boss, straight away Mr. Boss, may I give you a rim-job, Mr. Boss”? No wonder so many Americans are on Prozac.

    4. hidflect

      This refusal to pay wages due to no prior-approval is an abuse I’ve butted into from time to time. Customers will make a request to your face and you’re expected to tell them “No!” and then arrange a completely new visit after submitting a work approval request for what might be a 10 minute task. Indian bureaucracy writ large.

  12. Bridget

    I found a badly injured hummingbird on the ground last weekend. It couldn’t stand, couldn’t beat it wings, all it could do was lay there. Every hour for two days, I picked it up and held sugar water with a spoon up to it’s beak. They have tiny little tongues that dart in and out rapidly into the nectar and sort of lap it up. Luckily I had visitors from Houston and they took the poor little thing to a hummingbird specialist at a wildlife rescue organization there when they went home. I will be able to find out in a few weeks if it survived or not.

  13. Jim Haygood

    The manufacturing situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage:

    The PMI® registered 50.2 percent, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the August reading of 51.1 percent. The September PMI is the lowest reading since May 2013 when the PMI registered 50.1 percent.

    If the PMI® for September (50.2 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 2.2 percent increase in real GDP annually.

    The prices paid subindex fell to 38.0 percent, its low of the year. Not a single industry reported rising prices, but 14 saw falling prices.

    Over to you, J-Yel. Still think inflation’s bouncing back?

  14. Massinissa

    I still think Bernie would give us endless wars too, but at least with him theres a small chance of him not doing it as opposed to 100% of it happening like with the republicans or Clinton/Biden.

  15. craazyman

    wow. If a 1500 pound cow can “run for several miles” along a country road eluding capture, that demonstrates incredible aerobic conditioning.

    How does it get in that kind of shape standing around all day eating grass. Incredible.

    this is a challenge for science, to figure this out.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Trying to catch that cow is as futile as trying to catch the falling knife of Germany’s DAX index, which looks like it wants to sink to a new 2015 low pretty soon. Chart:

      Where is the 21st century economic miracle?

      1. craazyman

        If 100 people give me $10,000 each, I promise I’ll go short DAX. They can all go long $1 million each.

        That should send it flying!

        I’ll plan to cover after it goes up 10% though, so I’ll still do OK on the trade.

        It’s a win/win for everybody.

        send checks to:
        Magonia Capital Partners
        “Where Money Ascends to Higher Realm of Riches”
        PO Box 8
        Magonia Station

      1. craazyman

        If the cow lost one zero and was hot enough, I might chase it.

        I know alot of guys would.

        fuuuuuuuuuuk. hahahahahahah

        1. craazyman

          An Important Announcement for Peanut Gallery Readers!

          Wow. Spanish wine is on sale and smokin.

          Just spent $5.99 at the local cool little wine store where the dudes are young ripped reggae guys and joke and laugh with me. They’re pretty cool. I bought something called “Anoranza / Tempranillo 2008 / Crianza” Then it says beneath that “Bodega Lozano”

          I am not completely delusional and recognize a first class New Yawk sommelier might not necessarily recommend this wine at a $500 per person French restaurant. Or even a restaurant that serves non-French food.

          However! That is their loss and your gain. This is pretty good with potato chips and a turkey sandwich. There you go. There’s no excuse for not ascending to the heights of spiritual enlightenment. Money is not longer an excuse, if it ever was. And don’t blame it on bad wine either. Spanish wine is the best because you can even talk with Don Quixote after 3 glasses. I’m not kidding. He’s a bit more interesting than Voltaire, who’s more or less somebody you’d want to talk to sober. With Rimbaud it’s not wine you need. Either it’s in your mind or it’s not. The wine won’t help there.

          1. craazyman

            wow. I’m not sure if this is a synchronicity or something even more profound — like evidence that I’ve encountered what mathematicians (which I’m not) would call a “simply connected region” in spiritual space.

            I turned the bottle around and there a picture of Don Quixote on a horse and it says La Mancha. I honestly did not know this until just now. This is amazing! It’s amazing how things are like that. You just wonder what “the region” is. That’s why you drink the wine! duh.

            1. craazyboy

              But have you seen a cow jog by wearing a sports bra, yet? That’s how you know it’s good wine.

              1. craazyman

                well. I’m not sure I could answer that question tactfully.

                let’s say most of the women in New Yawk you see out jogging are on the thin side. At least the ones who wear sports bras

                1. Ulysses

                  Craazyman, you are sorely tempting me to lose my anonymity– just for the chance to drink Spanish wine with you!!

                  Sports bras, like sports bars, are over-rated.

  16. fresno dan

    How To Hand Feed Hummingbirds ‏@SajTheOne. A video!

    I like how the one hummer just takes it easy and sits on the hand. I wonder if that is new coke or classic coke in the cup (just kidding – it looks clear, but I’m surprised its not cherry coke)

    I didn’t get my place until late July, so I only have two squabbling hummers flying around the three feeders I put up. Hopefully, with 3 campsis radicans vines planted, and many, many flowers planted next year, I’m hoping to attract a huge flock….

  17. OIFVet

    I had a nice crowd this summer, they were a quite the company while enjoying my coffee in the garden. Fearless and curious little buggers, if quite cantankerous with each other.

    1. ambrit

      You’re from the Chicago area I believe? The fluffy terrors are all over here Down South. We have a 16 ounce feeder hanging from the ‘frou frou’ at the front of our porch. Early in the morning one of the feeder watchers will buzz me when I go out the door. Right now, we are having to refill that feeder once a week. I can see six other feeders hanging from neighbours’ porches on our block. Sitting in the porch swing watching them chase each other around is endlessly fascinating and relaxing. We haven’t seen the migrants heading south yet.

      1. OIFVet

        I envy you having them year-round. Our hummer season is decidedly over. Waiting to see if the polar vortex returns, tends to bring a lot of juncoes.

        1. ambrit

          Even with the global warming, the hummingbirds fly further south than Mississippi each winter. (We can always hope.) I had to look the Junco up. I seldom see any of those, even in the dead of winter. Our winters though are mild in comparison to yours’. Almost no snow and few days below freezing. Megafauna hunters we’re not.

  18. Jim Haygood

    One of the Fed’s errant emperors (the sole fully-fledged hawk) flaps his jaw to the journos:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A rate rise in October is possible, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I don’t see why not,” Lacker said. “We will have another labor market report. Presumably that will move us further toward labor market improvement.”

    Lacker dissented from the last Federal Reserve decision to keep interest rates near zero, as they have stood since the end of 2008.

    Okay, Jeff, let’s see how you do on that prediction. And get your fat thumb off the scale.

  19. Eureka Springs

    Highly recommend adding cardinal vine to the mix for excellent attraction of late summer early fall hummers. Solid eight weeks worth of hummer food here in the Ozarks. Easy to grow from seed and beautiful. Lush foliage with abundant brilliant red flowers.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Thousands of medical devices are vulnerable to hacking, security researchers say ITworld

    “The security flaws put patients’ health at risk” So, what in this thing we call a “healthcare system” doesn’t?

    The rest of the article provided a couple of hoot-worthy gems.

    Word cloud analysis of default passwords provided by GE on its medical equipment showed the most used was “bigguy.” And, ” in some cases a manufacturer warned customers that if they changed default passwords they might not be eligible for support.” That Jeff Immelt. Such a kidder.

    Then there were the two knuckleheads who hacked their own morphine drips to increase the doses.

    Paging P. T. Barnum.

  21. TedWa

    “Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s”. Very surprised they don’t mention high fructose corn syrup that’s been added to almost everything. It has calories that by-pass the liver and turn directly into fat.

    1. diptherio

      That’s what I thought, too. Also found it odd that they mention chemicals in packaging may be altering hormone levels, but didn’t mention anything at all about maybe, you know, removing those chemicals or maybe re-thinking how we package our food…

    2. Gabriel

      By accident on a fairly hectic week, I replaced my usual Wegmans lemon-flavored “mixer” sparkling water with its Walmart equivalent, something that had “ZERO CALORIES!” all over the bottle. “Fine, don’t have to fear ‘touch of honey’ crap.” But, to use a silent-movie link-scene a minor English surrealist of the 1920s was fond of using,

      FATE, Ringmaster of Lifes Circus, Cracks His Whip: HA! HA!

      When I actually consumed the thing, it was horrifically sweet. Dove to the “nutrition facts” smallprint and saw that while, yes, no sugar, thing has masses of aspartame.
      Isn’t this last linked to cancer? Does The Hague accept “extended-release, class-specific genocide”?

  22. JTFaraday

    re: Everyone you know will be able to rate you on the terrifying ‘Yelp for people’ — whether you want them to or not, Intersect. “Libel litigation futures.”

    “A bubbly, no-holds-barred “trendy lady” with a marketing degree and two recruiting companies, Cordray sees no reason you wouldn’t want to “showcase your character” online. Co-founder Nicole McCullough…”

    Just look at those two. They would think that. (I think they’re about to be savaged).

      1. jrs

        Probably should have tried cuddle parties, may not be perfect, but more of what she’s looking for. Too bad the whole world went to cr-APPs, was better when it wasn’t.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let’s rate politicians first, before thinking about rating people.

      “He complained too much about the national socialist party. Totally ruined our soiree.’ A convenient rating for the Aryan secret police.

      You can volunteer information about yourself on you social media page, or your friends can now.

      1. JTFaraday

        I think high profile public figures are, within the specific frame of reference in which they function publicly, “fair game” for criticism. And some general “character issues” are probably relevant for people with that much power. I don’t think everyone’s private life should be online, period.

        Any “app” where anyone can force your private life on line, especially one where the purpose is for your every passing indiscretion to live for all eternity, should probably be regulated out of existence. To wax libertarian and say individual critics will be litigated out of existence or that “the market will decide” not to use this app (of course some critical mass of people are going to use it) is too dystopian for me.

        It’s like saying you’ll go to court after your employer screws you. (Yeah, right). No, we have rules of engagement so all parties govern themselves in a mostly reasonable manner. Or, at least, that’s the expectation and when it doesn’t work out that way, we can at least point that out. No rules and you just suffer the consequences of the whims of power, wielded in a random fashion.

        This to me, maybe even more than bad pay, etc. is what is so toxic about today’s workplaces. Just no. No way.

        1. JTFaraday

          When my 10 year old niece looked up the picture of my parent’s house on the google-burglar app last year, she took a look and said we should sue them. That’s gut instinct at work right there.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mail bombs…China/Guangxi.

    The Taiping rebellion of the mid 19th century started in that area as well. At around that time frame, in northern China, there was the Nian rebellion. Today, it’s more like northwest China with Uighurs.

    Coincidentally, like now, America was pivoting east to Asia, then.

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