Links 10/19/15

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 679 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in financial realm. Please join us and participate via our Tip Jar, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our fourth target, 24/7 coverage, 365 days a year.

Pet duck’s escape turns into federal case in Marin San Francisco Chronicle

They don’t need no stinkin’ salads! A look at what Stonehenge builders ate CNet

Theranos Trouble: A First Person Account Monday Note. Important.

Some tech investors sure seem to be getting defensive lately … Business Insider

Getting Over Uber Medium

The shabby economy Coppola Comment

Amazon sues more than 1,000 people over ‘fake reviews’ Telegraph. “The legal action says: ‘Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct, by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate.'” The appropriation of “ecosystem” by tech continues….

Deutsche Bank Reshuffles Senior Management Bloomberg

Police Raid Volkswagen Headquarters in France WSJ

Car Owners Have Crucial Role in Volkswagen Diesel Repair NYT. “For owners, the prospect of having a car’s emissions cleaned up, only to have the car perform worse — whatever the pollution — is not sitting well.” Which is, presumably, the reason VW installed the “defeat device” to begin with.

Will 787 program ever show an overall profit? Analysts grow more skeptical Seattle Times (allan). Note the source.

[Boeing investor-relations spokesman Chaz Bickers] said Boeing thinks it can reach the projected profits through lower production costs and higher jet prices in the years ahead.

The cost reductions will come from the expected improvement in manufacturing operations as more planes are built, both “within our factories and our supply chain,” Bickers said. Adam Pilarski, a leading industry analyst with aviation consultancy Avitas and former chief economist at Douglas Aircraft, said 787 manufacturing costs from here on may not come down as rapidly as Boeing needs.

He said that because Boeing has two 787 assembly sites on opposite coasts, in Everett and in North Charleston, S.C., the operational skills and productivity improvements that come from building the jets are split between the two.

“You are getting less learning than if you had it all on one assembly line,” he said.

Everett has a union. The new line  Boeing set up in South Carolina, unsurprisingly, does not. So Boeing management is putting their whole business at risk to bust the union. A sporty game indeed! Note further that seeing how dodgy Boeing’s profit projections are took a deep dive into the footnotes of Boeing’s financial reports — just the sort of disclosures corporations would like to change the rules to eliminate.

A strong press is best defence against crony capitalism FT. Indeed!

System that replaces human intuition with algorithms outperforms human teams

Big Data Analytics: A Missed Opportunity for the DATA Act. “[T]he Department of the Treasury won’t be setting up an antifraud analytics platform.” Gee, that’s odd.

Bond-Market Blues: Where Did My Income Go? WSJ


China’s Selling Tons of U.S. Debt. Americans Couldn’t Care Less. Bloomberg

China is making a new 5-Year Plan — and it’ll decide the fate of the global economy Business Insider

Will China’s economic slowdown be a bumpy ride? BBC

Exclusive – China’s Xi lauds Britain for ‘visionary’ openness, prods others to emulate Reuters

Detention of networker extraordinaire Sam Pa creates shockwaves FT

The New China Syndrome Harpers. “American business meets its new master.” Must read.

Johor has every right to secede from Malaysia, says crown prince Malaysian Insider. Johor adjacent to Singapore, with coastline on both the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea.


Why Should the U.S. Accept Syrian Refugees? Because It Helped Displace Them. Foreign Policy in Focus (ReSilc)

Syria – The New South Aleppo Campaign Moon of Alabama

Obama won’t admit the real targets of Russian airstrikes Middle East Eye

Low oil prices affecting remittances from Middle East Philippine Star

In New England, Low Heating Oil Prices Buy Some Time AP

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Central Command Has 1,500 Analysts. What Are They All Doing? Tom Engelhardt, Bill Moyers

The ‘hippo trench’ across Africa: US military quietly builds giant security belt in middle of continent Mail & Guardian Africa

US Army Plans for More Equipment Caches in Europe Defense News

Delay in Reforms Implementation by Greek Gov’t Might Stall Loan Tranche Bloomberg

Greece adopts more painful reforms Business Spectator

Why the Euro Divides Europe NLR (emptyfull).

Anti-immigration SVP wins Swiss election in swing to right Reuters


Trump has figured out Jeb Bush’s greatest weakness as a candidate, and it’s not his energy level Vox

No, He Can’t Tank Slate

Obama’s foreign policy could burden Biden if he runs in 2016 Reuters. “As a sitting vice president, Biden wouldn’t have the luxury of distancing himself from Obama’s policies, even if he were so inclined.”

“Larry David as Bernie Sanders is the greatest thing I have ever seen”: Twitter loses its mind over genius “SNL” debate parody Salon. Not my Twitter list, and I do try to watch the Beltway.

Bill McKibben Arrested at an Exxon Station in Vermont Down with Tyranny

Prime Minister Trudeau? Ipsos poll suggests Liberal win, but margin of victory hinges on turnout Global News

Everything You Need to Know about Laissez-Faire Economics Evonomics

Agency says exposure to diacetyl from roasting, grinding raises lung damage concerns Journal-Sentinel

The latest study about antioxidants is terrifying. Scientists think they may boost cancer cells to spread faster. WaPo. “Terrifying” in a headline? Since when did WaPo turn into BuzzFeed? Yves: “If this study had anything less than 200 mice (100 being experimented on and 100 controls) and was double blind, it’s garbage for that reason too.”

Technical change as collective action problem Stumbling and Mumbling

Fixing the core memory in a vintage IBM 1401 mainframe Ken Shirriff’s blog

The Staggering Impact of IT Systems Gone Wrong IEEE Spectrum. Great article, useful and fun timeline (but confusing UI feature: Click on a “scandal bubble” to see a story’s headline and data; hovering doesn’t do anything; and there’s no complete aggregation). Back to the concrete material basis of financial systems…

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post 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. Pavel

    That Vox piece you link to on the Trump vs Jeb! skirmish is pretty scathing and spot on:

    Now Trump has pulled Bush into an even more dangerous quagmire: his brother’s presidency. Trump is reminding every Republican voter that nominating Jeb Bush will mean running a general election campaign with two disadvantages. First, Republicans will have to answer for George W. Bush’s failures in a way they wouldn’t if they nominated Marco Rubio or Carly Fiorina or Donald Trump, and second, they’ll need to somehow explain why they’re holding Hillary Clinton responsible for Obama’s presidency even as they don’t hold George W. Bush responsible for George W. Bush’s presidency.

    And Trump, having realized how weak Bush is on this issue, isn’t stopping. He’s moved from 9/11 to the Iraq War

    I watched the Tapper interview of Jeb… pretty much of a train wreck. Remind me why anyone thinks Jeb should be president? And The Donald is really turning into a wrecking ball for the Repubs party — what a joy to watch. It astonishes me and dismays me in equal portion (well, pisses me off as well) how many Americans give GWB a complete pass for his total incompetence prior to 9/11. And now Trump is starting a new debate about his post-9/11 incompetence in Iraq. Excellent!

    1. Ignim Brites

      The question of W’s accountability for 9-11-2001 obliqely raises questions about the prudence of the attack on Al-Queda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. This is a debate that needs to take place. It is a debate we would have had about the prudence of attacking the Empire of Japan if the battle of Midway had been lost.

      1. nigelk

        just a *smidge* more legitimacy for involvement in WW2 than the self-licking ice cream cone, don’t you think?

        1. Ignim Brites

          Quantitatively. Not qualitatively. It was racial indignation that underlay Roosevelts unconditional surrender demand. It is obviously more difficult to sustain an argument that following Pearl Harbor, the US should have immediately sued for peace. But realistically, Japan posed a minimal threat to us whereas we posed a huge threat to Japan.

      2. Procopius

        I think I agree with Charles P. Pierce that at that time no politician could have refused to attack *somebody*. I still believe that Bush’s decision to pivot from Afghanistan to Iraq was criminal incompetence. He should have declared victory in Afghanistan at that point and left the Northern Alliance to their own devices, but of course his buddies still want the pipeline to be built and that won’t happen if the Taliban are able to return. Unless, of course, he makes an agreement with them, which I don’t guess PNAC will allow.

    2. Carolinian

      The WaPo runs its second Trump expose in as many days. The powers that be may be getting worried.

      Not that these stories make Trump look good. Perhaps we can elect Trump as national gadfly and make Ralph Nader President by acclamation.

    3. fresno dan

      I agree.
      Trump brings up republican cliches and than, in my view, points out how divorced from reality they are (he kept us safe is simply absurd).

      “It astonishes me and dismays me in equal portion (well, pisses me off as well) how many Americans give GWB a complete pass for his total incompetence prior to 9/11.”

      I agree. But the mainstream media usually defends itself by covering politicians and pundits. As so many democrats voted for the Iraq war, and I guess because of the canard that the dems are weak on defense, it seems to me that the democrats never mounted a full throat-ed critique of the 9/11 attack and Iraq. And if the democratic party won’t really go after Bush, that means there are just crickets about the issue on news sets….which still is how the broad public is introduced to issues.

      But I think Trump, whether he knows it or not, digs into a rich vein of republican base dissatisfaction on the republican defense policy – everything from the isolationists to the ones who just thought the whole effort was incompetently and lackadaisically run. You can’t keep shouting “Osama bin Laden” than fail to capture him, and than say “O never mind” – something that was really astounding.

      “And The Donald is really turning into a wrecking ball for the Repubs party — what a joy to watch.”

      And that’s why I think Trump is so important – I hope he exposes the contradictions and hypocrisies of the GOP (it would be nice if there were one for the democrats). It is unfortunate that the only way in our system to have a real BROAD public debate is that one of the parties have to make it an issue – and the truth of the matter, the two parties agree on things like trade, bail outs, and foreign interventions far more than they disagree.

      1. Jagger

        “And The Donald is really turning into a wrecking ball for the Repubs party — what a joy to watch.”

        I agree but we also need someone to take a wrecking ball to the Dem party as well. And Bernie Sanders is not that wrecking ball.

        1. lord koos

          The problem is, I think you’d need to be outside the Democratic party to do that — but if you aren’t in the two-party system, you’re ignored.

          1. Massinissa

            Unless youre a billionaire that has been on television for 14 years.

            But us progressives dont have anyone like that. Im not even sure we have any billionaires, much less one that has his name on deodorants and boardgames and other random shit like Trump does.

    4. fresno dan

      The truth is that 10 years of copyright protection is probably sufficient to justify the time and trouble of producing most creative work — newspapers, films, comic books and music. Thirty years would be more than enough. But we’re moving in the opposite direction, with copyright periodically and retroactively extended — as though Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or James Joyce could ever have been motivated by the anticipation that, long after their deaths, copyright terms would be pushed to yet more ludicrous lengths.

      Why don’t we see a more sensible system of copyright? Two words: Mickey Mouse. That is an oversimplification, of course. But the truth is that a very small number of corporations and literary estates have a lot to gain from inordinately long copyright — and since it matters a lot more to them than to the rest of us, they will focus their lobbying efforts and get their way. Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain in 2024 — unless copyright terms are extended yet again. Watch this space.

      So, a modest proposal: copyright should last a more-than-generous 30 years, and no longer. The Lord of the Rings would have been in the public domain in 1986, 13 years after Tolkien’s death. He would have been fine and his great trilogy would still have been written. Mickey Mouse would have been in the public domain in 1959. The Undercover Economist, my own first book, which continues to sell nicely enough, would enter the public domain in 2036. (I’d cope.)

      I would only disagree with regard that once Tolkien is dead, that the money incentive no longer exerts a force…but who knows, maybe you can take it with you. Copyright and associated laws shows the best and clearest example of how the concentrated interests versus broad public benefit harms the economy.

      1. Carolinian

        As your link points out intellectual property is a purely invented right with the excuse that the government is granting and protecting such rights for the good of society as a whole. As with so much these days, that common sense standard has gone out the window in favor of private accumulation.

        Plus there’s a more sinister side as governments–Britain is an example–move to filter the internet with ip protection as their excuse. Apparently the TPP seeks to spread American ip laws by making private noncommercial copying subject to the same harsh penalties as counterfeiting and selling creative works.

        So there are larger issues at play.

        1. Carolinian

          BTW the 1998 law wasn’t just about MIckey Mouse. The movie studios make a lot of money from their old catalogs. When Ted Turner bought MGM it was mostly because he wanted the MGM library. His not so brilliant idea was to colorize the old black and white films to create “value added” and lots of profits. Fortunately that didn’t last, but we did get TCM.

          All of which is to say the TPP has Hollywood’s fingerprints all over it.

          1. sam s smith

            Old black and white movies are shown on a grand total of 1 cable channel. They are hardly make a lot of money. Not nearly as much as Honey Boo Boo or the Duggar show.

      2. Jess

        As a published author and screenwriter I can tell you that ten years is much too short if you expect writing to exist as a profession. Same with film making and TV. Thirty years might be closer to a balance. On the other hand, why shouldn’t a person or corporation that invented some artistic creation continue to benefit? Look how long Schultz wrote the Peanuts cartoons? So after a certain period of time he should have had to watch as others profited by turning out Peanuts t-shirts, stuffed animals, coffee mugs, etc?

        1. hunkerdown

          Why shouldn’t he have? Copyright as originally envisioned was a bargain, not a property right. Copyright was meant to encourage the ongoing production of quality works for the common wealth, not for cultural imperialists like Disney and Universal Music Group to take their divisions of pencil snipers, color supervisors and A&R reps to hold ground in perpetuity while churning out pro-regime treacle by the ton.

          30 years is plenty to support you while you do the next useful thing, or not.

    5. fresno dan

      and this:
      “Trump insists that Bush was president both prior to and during the 9/11 attacks, and he was therefore at least partly responsible for the security failures that permitted the tragedy. And to Trump’s credit, there is considerable evidence that George W. Bush was president on 9/11/2001.

      Jeb Bush’s position is harder to parse: He argues that his brother was only responsible for what happened after 9/11, suggesting, perhaps, that someone else bore the responsibilities of the presidency on 9/11/2001. Or, to be a bit kinder to his position, he argues that the measure of responsibility as president isn’t whether something like 9/11 happens, but whether it happens again.”

      4 US diplomatic and military assigned to Libya die at Bengazi (why we had anyone in Libya is the only relevant question – of course, the same thing could be said about Iraq) and president Obama and Hilary should have been able to prevent that. Bush didn’t protect 3,000 Americans in America and…..he kept us safe.

      So Jebbie’s position much logically be, since the republican position is “ready on day one” – that one 9/11 attack is OK. and 4 government employees assigned to mid east duty dying in the mid east is not…

    6. fresno dan

      and this:
      “Trump insists that Bush was president both prior to and during the 9/11 attacks, and he was therefore at least partly responsible for the security failures that permitted the tragedy. And to Trump’s credit, there is considerable evidence that George W. Bush was president on 9/11/2001.

      Jeb Bush’s position is harder to parse: He argues that his brother was only responsible for what happened after 9/11, suggesting, perhaps, that someone else bore the responsibilities of the presidency on 9/11/2001. Or, to be a bit kinder to his position, he argues that the measure of responsibility as president isn’t whether something like 9/11 happens, but whether it happens again.”

      4 US diplomatic and military assigned to Libya die at Bengazi (why we had anyone in Libya is the only relevant question – of course, the same thing could be said about Iraq) and president Obama and Hilary should have been able to prevent that. Bush didn’t protect 3,000 Americans in America and…..he kept us safe.

      So Jebbie’s position much logically be, since the republican position is “ready on day one” – that one 9/11 attack is OK. and 4 government employees assigned to mid east duty dying in the mid east is not…

    7. JeffC

      I’ve suspected for awhile that Trump is a secret Democrat out to (further) destroy the Republican party.

      1. different clue

        Perhaps Trump merely has a measure of patriocivic love for NYC and pride therein, and is bitter over what the BushAdmin allowed to happen to His City. And he wants revenge.

  2. ProNewerDeal

    Lambert, can you give your informed take on this “R Consensus”/Jeb/Rubio health insurance policy, which iirc involves
    1 a coupon/voucher to purchase health insurance, similar to private charter school voucher
    2 removes the Individual Mandate
    3 BUT removes “guaranteed issue” of insurers being required to sell health insurance to patients with a preexisting condition, IF the patient had a period of not being covered

    How does this 1 “R health policy” compare to the 2 ACA, and the 3 pre-ACA status quo? Which of these 3 Evils are Lesser?

    PS thanks for your reply the other day. I’ve taken your advice & use the term “H Clinton” when writing a comment, instead of the prior nickname I had been using. Cheers

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      My opinion is not yet informed (but given the priors, it’s got to be a scam….). IMNSHO, the place, and maybe the only place, to go for an actually principled conservative take on health care policy is Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom. I know, I know, the name, but so far as I’ve been able to tell, they don’t make things up. They would be able to translate Bush double-speak into full-throated conservative-ese….

  3. Peter Schitt

    The ‘new China Syndrome’ story ties in nicely with the one about China building the UK’s new nuclear power plants. Perhaps the UK should outsource Trident to Bejing?

      1. flora

        China Syndrome is a very good article.

        The TPP proposal repeats the original US trade mistake by an order of magnitude.

        1. flora

          The US multinationals were freed from US govt regs and direction in trade. They have balkanized US trade policy, each company with its own trade policy. China looks at companies, foreign companies in particular, the way a cat looks at a mouse. The TPP increases trade balkanization at the expense of overall US trade policy and at the expense of corporations long term.

        2. abynormal

          best paragraph: “What never occurred to us was that another state might rise to inhabit the global trade system we built. Or that the leaders of this other state might learn how to manipulate the same corporate and financial levers that our own leaders have long manipulated. Now, suddenly, Washington is rife with suspicion that China is playing a very different game from the one our leaders imagined when they dreamed their libertarian dreams twenty years ago. This suspicion undergirds Obama’s vaunted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which, at least in theory, aims to peel some commerce away from China. It explains the Pentagon’s shift of troops and ships to Asia to buttress allies such as Japan and the Philippines, who suddenly find themselves the target of Chinese aggression. And it lies at the heart of a recent Council on Foreign Relations paper warning of China’s threat to “U.S. primacy in Asia.””

          All interstellar empires rose and fell, ultimately, on their ability to deliver on this one simple, unexciting thing: logistics.
          John Jackson Miller, A New Dawn

      2. susan the other

        I read it backwards to page 1. Silly me. It was good. I was vaguely aware that China Inc. was dictatorial. I didn’t understand how trapped we have become, and that is a mess of our own making.

      3. gordon

        I loved the “wry-eyed man” on p.6! Journalese rises to a new height – or sinks to a new low.

  4. Kevin Smith

    With regard to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) being associated with increased metastases of melanoma in mice, it is important to note that NAC has several different pharmacologic properties, quite apart from its action as an antioxidant. NAC, for example, is also used as a mucolytic [helps to dissolve mucous in certain conditions].

    There are many other products in common use which also have antioxidant properties: it will be important to run them in the same test system [and sacrifice hundreds of additional mice] in order to start to determine whether antioxidants in general increase the risk of metastases, or is it related to one of NAC’s other properties, The original NAC study in mice needs to be replicated in a different lab [there go hundreds more mice], and eventually human epidemiological studies might need to be done to see if all of this has any relevance to human health.

    Also, to further muddy the waters, see below:

    Antimetastatic potential of N-acetylcysteine on human prostate cancer cells.

    Supabphol A1, Supabphol R.
    Author information

    1Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.


    N-acetylcysteine (NAC), is one of the cheapest, safest and widely used over-the-counter-drugs in Thailand. Here the authors examine the antimetastatic potential of NAC on the metastasis of human prostate cancer cells.

    Cytotoxicity of NAC to human prostate cancer cells, DU145 and PC3, were determined by proliferation assay using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol, 2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reagent. Cell migration and invasion were assessed by using a chemotaxis chamber containing membrane pre-coated with collagen IV and Matrigel, respectively. Cell attachment onto the surface of the membrane coated with collagen IV was tested for its adhesion potentiality.

    NAC could inhibit the growth of DU145 and PC3 cells. Suppression of migration and invasion of both human prostrate cancer cells were observed. Cell attachment to the collagen IV-coated surface was obviously reduced. All inhibitions occurred in a dose-dependent fashion in both cell lines.

    NAC could have a high potential in attenuating the migration of the human prostate cancer cells from their primary site and their adhesion and invasion to the remote locations. Hence, NAC might suppress the growth of the primary and the secondary tumors. Our findings suggest that NAC had a high possibility to become an antimetastatic agent for testing in clinical trials. Then, NAC might be used clinically as an optional adjuvant therapeutic drug in addition to the conventional standard treatment of human prostate cancer, obtaining a better outcome with the least toxic and affordable substance.
    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    1. Christian B

      Gosh, thanks for all that. But you left out one important fact; NAC is not a true anti-oxidant. Whenever I read these articles I cringe because even most researchers disagree on what should be called an anti-oxidant. The only true major antioxidants in the human body are the enzymes Catalase, Superoxide Dimutase, and the various peroxidases like Glutithione Peroxidase(GPX) since they are responsible for metabolizing away superoxides and hydrogen peroxide. This is why we cannot call Glutathione an antioxidant, because without the GPX enzyme it will do nothing. GPX is the antioxidant, not glutathione. Glutaithione is a noun, Glutithione Peroxidase is a verb. And note that these enzymes need vitamin cofactors to function, like riboflavin, selenium, zinc, and maganese. So just giving someone NAC who is deficient in selenium might not do anything for them. NAC will provide the cysteine to help make Glutithione but only if the pathway is functioning well.

      All diseases (including mental health), and their severity, (even the flu) are caused bu an imbalance in oxidative stess. So getting this right in your life is the key to a healthy longevity.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks Christian.

        I googled and found food rich in Calatase, Dimutase and GPX.

        Basically, just eat whole and organic vegetables and fruits. Intuitively, I don’t think doing that will boost cancer cells to spread faster. So, my first reaction is to doubt the study, as one should with anything.

        1. different clue

          One might also try and find, get and eat high-nutrition nutrient dense foods grown on high mineral/ high bioactive soil. As against low-nutrition nutrient-poor virtual vegetables grown on
          low-or-no nutrimineral soil. Perhaps one will first have to read about what nutri-dense food even IS before one can figure out how to GET some. Perhaps the most reliable way to GET some would be to Grow It One’s Self.


          Neither of these sites is very permaculturish. But the soil cannot give what the soil does not have, and permaculture done on nutrient-free virtual soil will only grow nutrient-free virtual fruits and nutrient-free virtual vegetables. Just like the nutrient-free virtual fruits and vegetables grown by mainstream corporate Outdoor Open-Air Hydroponic soluble NPK fertilizer-alone-and-only growing operations.

  5. Sam Kanu

    Let me help here:
    Why ShouldNT the U.S. Accept Syrian Refugees? Because It Helped Displace Them.

    The belief that the refugee chaos is random and unintended – and will be kindly sorted out by the instigators – is beyond naive. None of of you studied national history and foreign policy in college or perhaps very expensive prep schools?

    1. OIFVet

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” It is quite clear who broke Syria and why. The cover-up now centers on concealing the way Erdogan uses human waves to blackmail the hapless EU.

  6. craazyboy

    “Why Should the U.S. Accept Syrian Refugees? Because It Helped Displace Them. Foreign Policy in Focus (ReSilc)”

    Well, if we could make sure the “moderate” Al Qaeda ones get a place in Washington DC….

        1. Massinissa

          I wouldnt trust Obama to make refugee shelters. He would probably drone strike them to kill ‘terrorists’ afterwards.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With the help of fracking, that is one less reason to be over there.

      And because the nations there led the way for humanity, early on, thousands of years ago, and with our global leadership, let’s help them show the rest of the world the way and make that whole region a religion free zone.

      “You want to practice religion? Move to Canada.”

  7. Eric Patton

    So Boeing management is putting their whole business at risk to bust the union.

    Nothing is more important to people with power than control — absolute, unquestioned control. If they lose control, they will rapidly lose everything else.

    It does no good to be able to turn a profit, if you cannot also reproduce the conditions for making said profit.

    There is no crime too great for people with power to commit in defense of that power. This is pretty obvious to anyone who’s ever read any Chomsky.

    Think of the most horrible things you can possibly imagine. Then know that they’ve all been done. Yes, somewhere someone has stuck a cat in a microwave, or a puppy in a washing machine. And these are truly sins.

    But the real, systemic crimes are those committed by the powerful in defense of their power and control.

    Busting a union? Well, duh.

    1. Ulysses

      “Nothing is more important to people with power than control — absolute, unquestioned control. If they lose control, they will rapidly lose everything else.

      It does no good to be able to turn a profit, if you cannot also reproduce the conditions for making said profit.

      There is no crime too great for people with power to commit in defense of that power.”

      Very well-said! This is why I feel that anarcho-syndicalism is a less immoral political ideology than so many others. People do need to have the power to band together and defend their common interests, yet no one is worthy of exercising the kind of power that the big tycoons and militarists now deploy with impunity across the globe.

    2. barrisj

      Jim McNerney and his cohorts in the Boeing Exec. Suite have had one overriding “strategy” for the past decade, and that is to break the unions, both white-collar (engineers) and blue-collar (line workers). Thus the whole business of parting out the assembly subs of the – cough-cough – “Dreamliner” to a multitude of mostly foreign contractors in order to reduce staffing in main US plants. The plain fact of the matter is that this aircraft will NEVER turn a profit for Boeing, and all the huge start-up costs incurred because of constant re-engineering and repairs can be directly laid to the original concept of subbing out so many complex sub-assemblies to outside (foreign, largely) parties, then depending upon hastily put-together “rescue” teams in Everett to effect actual integration of the sub-assemblies into a finished product that can actually fly w/o continual grounding and quick-fixes. Throw in Boeing management’s use of the So. Carolina facility as a cudgel to whack around the WA-based design, engineering and assembly workers in order to force them to accept onerous “contracts”, or see their jobs go east, and one can see why such a pathological fixation with union-busting can lead to massive fuck-ups in production, and that management remains unaccountable for these decisions. “Shit happens” seems to be their mantra, nothing to see here, folks, just move along.

      1. lord koos

        Around the same time they sent jobs south the executive SOBs conveniently moved their headquarters from Seattle to Chicago, so that they wouldn’t have to deal with the local fallout from their employees and the press.

        1. sam s smith

          I think they actually moved to be closer to Washington DC as Chicago is thick with unions.

          Dallas was another city on the short list when they were looking for a new HDQ.

          1. OIFVet

            Chicago gave them better tax incentives than Dallas. Unions didn’t matter because the move involved only management.

    3. different clue

      But they’ve been making profit with a unionized workforce throughout most of their history. So it doesn’t appear that “reproducing the conditions” for making a profit is the motive, otherwise they would just have kept reproducing the high-skill/ hi-valu unionized workforce which they spent part of their revenue stream funding into existence in the first place.

      I think their motive is pure sadistic sadism. They are willing to shrink their own lives down in order to destroy worker lives completely and absolutely. If they burn down the Boeing building, they will congratulate themelves for burning alive every union worker trapped therein. Does Chomsky make proper allowance for pure sadism? (I know Mark Ames made proper allowance for pure sadism somewhere in an article about the Power of Spite.)

  8. Benedict@Large

    Oh my! An IBM 1401. That’s the machine I cut my professional programming career on. 8K RAM in my machine was enough to handle two I/O buffers (1K each), 333 bytes of card input and print output, as well as edit 13 different transactions in a master file update. A variable word (and instruction) length machine that could impute addresses from the residuals of earlier instructions. An absolute geek’s dream. (One guy even made the radio frequencies the machine put out play the National Anthem on the AM dial of a transistor radio held nearby.) A 2nd generation machine (meaning it used transistors; 1st gen used vacuum tubes). What a fun machine to program, but we couldn’t give them away when we were done with them. I’m surprised there are some still left around.

    1. YankeeFrank

      It amazes how different software engineering is today from 40 years ago. Its an utterly different discipline now in many ways, where the assimilation of languages and libraries, protocols and toolkits is a major part of the discipline, as opposed to back in the days of you old fogies :) when you were so close to the hardware and instead of learning all the gobbdledygook we are assaulted with now, you had fully documented yet unique hardware platforms you learned how to be creative with. We rarely deal with memory issues these days and have traded those limitations for the limitations of complexity, ever-moving software targets and new languages. You know, the more I compare things, the more I realize its not actually so different, just trading one class of problems for another, yet always behind it all is this weird binary thing that doesn’t quite understand us just as we don’t always manage to make ourselves understandable to it. Yet its always eager to try, as are we. I wonder what will happen when the computers finally figure out they have better things to do than spend all their cycles trying to understand and run our ideas.

      1. Benedict@Large

        Close to the hardware indeed. Memory was precious, and often we’d scheme on an individual bit or two, creating elaborate switches to add function that otherwise would not fit into the core we had available. And yes, the documentation for these machines was quite excellent (I’ve never seen any even close since), which made this incredible tightness in our programs possible.

      2. ewmayer

        Actually, for those of us focusing on high-performance computing, things are still very reminiscent of the above-described days of yore: Assembly code takes you ‘close to the metal’ and is very CPU-specific, registers and high-speed cache are precious commodities, etc. I still distinctly recall the liberating feeling a few years back when Intel & AMD introduced the first 64-bit x86 CPUs, which among other things featured 16 each of the various kinds of registers, up from the previous anemic 8. Of course while the Intel engineers are consistently brilliant with their silicon, on the instruction set architecture side the picture is vastly different, and ever since the first iterations of the SSE ISA and its successors coders have had to deal with a destructive ‘ISA war’ of incompatible new instruction set add-ons between AMD and Intel there, to boot.

        By way of example of my claim about Intel and their shitty track record ISAs, I encourage the assembler geeks here to trace the dismal history of 64-bit integer arithmetic starting with the original SSE2 ISA through the various vector-math successors. (Super-specific sub-example: “You say you want to check for overflow of the result of a c = PADDQ(a,b) operation? That instruction sets no carry flags, so you’ll just have do an unsigned 64-bit compare (c < a) of the output. Oh wait, we didn’t give you such a vector-compare, because we figured, why would anyone need that? Anyway, you can emulate it using vector floating-double compare … oh wait, that won’t work if one of your a,b,c operands looks like a floating-point NaN. So sorry!”. It took Intel more than 10 years to *finally* add a proper vector unsigned qword compare – via the ‘U’ one of the new VPCMPQ/VPCMPUQ instruction pair in its brand-new AVX512 ISA, which runs only on super-high-end server hardware – but in another legendary display of Intel bolted-on-ISA-enhancement stupidity, the syntax is quite different from the signed-int analog VPCMPGTQ. And don’t even get me started on the lack of a proper 64-bit-int vector multiply … I love the speed of the silicon, but man do I miss an actual well-designed 64-bit ISA like in my long-dead vintage 1995 DEC Alpha.)

  9. gonzomarx

    The fruits of empire come home to roost. This sounds a domestic pilot program of a CIA black site or Bagram

    Homan Square revealed: how Chicago police ‘disappeared’ 7,000 people
    Guardian lawsuit exposes fullest scale yet of detentions at off-the-books interrogation warehouse, while attorneys describe find-your-client chase across Chicago as ‘something from a Bond movie’

    1. abynormal

      1st: Where have You Been ?
      2nd: I hope You & Yours are Well !
      3rd: MISS YOU…

      how many “black site” police/military installations are there?
      at least 10?:

      nope…at least 38 !: “Brian Kamoie of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), in remarks that were passed on in silence by the committee, said that the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security this year identified 38 urban centers as “high risk” areas, a designation that prioritizes the flow of funds to their local police departments, in consultation with both the Department of Justice and intelligence agencies.

      1. gonzomarx

        urm, thanks! I’ve been about. We’ve been able to go on a road trip across the US a little while back, DC to New Orleans: a history, music and food trip. My first time outside EU and something I’ve always wanted to do. We enjoyed it but I guess I’ve been a little out of sorts since we got back.
        Also got caught up in the Corbyn fun and games.

        How many sites in the USA and across the empire is a good question. Its not beyond the realms of possible that most bases/city have a hanger/warehouse somewhere quiet or as we know, they have had the back sites out sourced. Then begs the question how many black sites does UK, France, EU have?.

  10. lylo

    Getting Over Uber Medium

    How is Uber a thing? I ask this seriously and literally.
    Imagine if, 20 odd years ago, you or I put an ad in the newspaper to hire chauffeurs, but put on the twist that they would be going to and from wherever you want. It would have rightly been noted by the Taxi and Limo Commission, and I’d be shut down for operating without a license, let alone the various legally required insurances and inspections for each vehicle to be used for public transportation.
    I really don’t understand how this is different.
    Is it the “contractor” thing? (lol The old-school union-busting industrialists would have been jealous of that one.) I still don’t see how that keeps the commissions from going after each driver, at the least. You know, “Sure, Uber is legal, because we can’t stop you from using the web, but driving an unlicensed cab still isn’t.”

    It just seems like something got missed in the whole “innovation” and “but the internet!” wave of enthusiasm for some of these companies: the internet is the only real innovation here, and the rest is marketing and ignorance.
    There really is nothing new under the sun, and this time really isn’t any different.

    1. jsn

      jsn’s theory of 21st Century American (Imperial, see TPP etc.) Contract Law:
      1. A contract is only as good as the intentions of the richer party to it
      2. Courts exist to adjudicate between equally funded entities (those on any wrong side of the funding equation simply pay up, go to jail or (rule 2 of Neoliberalisn) die
      3. Government exists to do what its benefactors pay for, which includes enforcing those rare court decisions between equally funded litigants
      4. Law only applies to you if someone richer contests it: so long as your bloody rich, government never will

    2. jsn

      jsn’s theory of 21st Century American (Imperial, see TPP etc.) Contract Law:
      1. A contract is only as good as the intentions of the richer party to it
      2. Courts exist to adjudicate between equally funded entities (those on any wrong side of the funding equation simply pay up, go to jail or (rule 2 of Neoliberalism) die
      3. Government exists to do what its benefactors pay for, which includes enforcing those rare court decisions between equally funded litigants
      4. Law only applies to you if someone richer contests it: so long as your bloody rich, government never will

      1. Pavel

        ha ha, just had a mental flashback to living in SF in 1980 and hearing Jello Biafra (RIP) and his Dead Kennedys play “California Uber Alles” at the Fab Mab club in North Beach… a different world back then!

        Maybe should be Uber’s theme song.

    3. Chris in Paris

      Funny, you thought about this in the same way I did recently but I had imagined a hypothetical where Uber used citizen’s band radio to do business, let’s say in the late 1970s. There would have been immediate government action to shut it down (and probably some direct action by the taxi drivers of the time).

      The land of apps (Appland?) is covered in shiny mist for the technically naive.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think one issue is many elites fundamentally have no concept of what the Internet is beyond “magic” and won’t act until it represents a major threat. Nevada has finally moved on sports fantasy gambling sites because it’s a threat to existing industry.

    4. susan the other

      I think Uber and airbnb and other stuff is just more of the ongoing attempt by governments to gain control of the underground economy. It amounts to zillions in taxes. Especially now when everyone is out of work and not paying any taxes at all.

  11. Paper Mac

    Yves: “If this study had anything less than 200 mice (100 being experimented on and 100 controls) and was double blind, it’s garbage for that reason too.”

    Unless you know something about the effect size, there’s no way to a priori judge whether a study’s sample size is appropriate. There are lots of effects that can be demonstrated plainly with a few biological replicates. Experimenters have an ethical obligation to minimise the number of animals used in any given trial- no properly functioning ethics board should approve a study with a large number of animals without a concrete justification for their use.

  12. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Anyone from north of the border care to opine on what a Liberal victory today might mean for the TPP?

    Could Harper still ram it through in a lame duck session? I’m not familiar with how that works.

    1. Paper Mac

      Trudeau has said he’s “interested in learning more” about the TPP, which means that if he thinks the Desmarais family/Power Corp and their Chinese oligarch friends will benefit sufficiently, it’ll pass with Conservative support.

      1. JEHR

        Right now there are so many possible scenarios that no one will be able to predict beforehand what will happen: If Harper gets a minority government, he may ram through everything that he can including TPP; If Trudeau gets a minority government, who knows what he will do; if Mulcair gets a minority government, he will probably try to nullify the TPP. However, if any two parties gang up on any minority government we will have a real mix of outcomes, except Mulcair and Trudeau do not want to give Harper any power at all. But Mulcair and Trudeau don’t seem to like each other enough to make a coalition to defeat Harper should he get a minority government. It is a mess! We could even have another election in the near future.

        1. JEHR

          I have nothing but the greatest admiration for you Americans who seem to have election campaigns year round and for infinity. As for me, I am exhausted from the 78 days of campaigning that we endured. I do not want to see one more political speech, or another campaign advertisement or any placard waving crowds for at least four more years.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, our state and local elections alternate with federal elections. They never stop. With local elections, they can be held In the Spring or Fall.

        2. Oregoncharles

          That’s what happens when you have plurality voting instead of IRV/ranked choice voting – although come to think, given the districting, you could have a similar situation even with IRV, if th edistricts went in 3 different directions.

    2. mark

      Canadian Liberal party passed Nafta, which was negotiated by Conservative party, after running an election campaign saying they would not.

  13. Brindle

    2016 / Trump / Bush

    David Sirota has a piece out on how under Jeb’s Florida governorship that 12 of the 9/11 hijackers received drivers licenses there.

    In an unintentionally funny fundraising ploy Bush hopes to use the 9/11 flap to his advantage:

    —“If you believe as I do that my brother kept this country safe and strong after those horrific attacks, then I need you to donate $5 and fight back against Donald Trump,” he wrote in a mass email to supporters—

    1. fresno dan

      Great article! Thanks for that.

      Bush said Sunday that those who ascribe any blame for 9/11 to his brother are “totally marginalized in our society.” His communications director tweeted that Trump’s criticism was fodder only for “liberal bloggers.”

      Breitbart, the conservative news site, noted that Jeb Bush himself suggested that immigration policies played a role in 9/11.
      Uh, saying only liberals notice this is the standard republican establishment ploy – it used to work. But if you have Breitbart on this, it which represents the most rabid and active part of the non-monied base, its like having a pit bull clamping down on you. And acting like only liberals talk about this is only going to rile up the Breitbart constituency even more.

      Despite his personal attention to resolving the visa issue, Bush in 2004 endorsed a Florida bill to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for the very same identification cards carried by many of the September 11 hijackers.

      “Bush’s support is a turnaround from a couple of years ago in the wake of 9/11,” National Public Radio reported at the time. “Back then, state officials were shocked to learn that 12 of the 19 hijackers held Florida licenses or IDs. The state government scrambled to make it more difficult for foreigners to get the permits. Three years later, the governor says security concerns are addressed in the current proposal.”

      Critics slammed Bush’s assertion that the bill had enough safeguards to prevent terrorists from slipping through.

      “The bill’s security measures are entirely bogus. Virtually all of the 9/11 hijackers would have been eligible for a Florida driver’s license under the proposed new rules,” Jim Staudenraus, eastern regional field director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said in a statement previewing a planned press conference at the state capitol in Tallahassee. The group said that the Bush-backed legislation “lets illegal aliens use third-party affidavits to prove presence in Florida” and obtain state licenses, even though such “affidavits, in light of September 11, were banned by other states after it was discovered that they were sold to several 9/11 terrorists to help them get driver’s licenses.”

  14. Jim Haygood

    VIX, comrades: after spiking to a psychotic-with-fear level of 53 on August 24th, today the market’s ‘fear gauge’ has receded below 15. Chart:

    Realized (historical) volatility of the S&P 500 has averaged about 15 percent over the past century. In other words, normalcy has been restored, and everyone can jump back in the pool.

    Unless [cue ominous minor-key chords] this is a Venus flytrap kinda thing, to lure in the muppets for slaughter.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China’s new 5 year plan…it will decide the fate of the global economy.

    They also decide our monetary policy from what I read about the Fed’s September meeting.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Chinese are not happy, this, according to my (unscientific) gauge at the South China Morning Post website.

        Recently, a dumpling shop owner was beaten for slow service, half of his skull’s flesh ripped away,

        Then, there was a stewardess who was forced to squeeze into the overhead compartment on a flight. I don’t remember the exact trigger.

        And a man stabbed an executive at an asset management firm after losing money.

        That’s a lot of unhappiness and violence (all without guns).

        1. craazyboy

          hmm. Sounds like negative rates are on the way in that case. More QE too. Jon Hilsenrath probably reads the South China Morning Post.

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the link to the article from Bloomberg about China’s net sales of U.S. Treasury debt and the related observations about global economic weakness. Interesting that based on the US Treasury’s latest public TIC report it appears that China is selling US Treasuries entirely through its surrogate, Belgium. BTW, isn’t that where the ECB is HQ’d?

  17. barrisj

    Any Canadians or other interested parties know of a good website that will provide real-time elections results as polling closes across Canada? I once had a couple bookmarked, but after the Harper ascendancy they were deleted. Thanks.

  18. Kurt Sperry

    I know someone who works for a big Canadian polling firm, he predicts a Liberal minority government, the NDP is in “free fall”, which I attribute to Mulcair going centrist/neoliberal/austerian and alienating his base without getting any compensatory growth from other parties. The Liberals have, going against type, quite overtly positioned themselves to the left of the NDP this election cycle to take full advantage of Mulcair’s going all jelly kneed. We should see Trudeau II as PM if all this is correct.

  19. barrisj

    Re: Africom and the “hippo trench”…all former French colonies, and, indeed, still well-integrated into French commerce through long-time relationships between the Metropole and local oligarchical interests. Successive French governments have happily welcomed US “co-operation” – i.e., military assistance – in controlling resitive peoples, especially those of substantial Muslim population, and this involvement, under the aegis of Africom, is evolving into so-called “enduring bases”, smaller than what the US usually establishes in “guest” countries, but more mobile and supported by airborne and drone components. Whatever one wishes to postulate about “dying empire”, the Americans continually carve out new “operating theatres” to fine-tune power projection, and Africa is fertile ground for this. On the other hand, there is the example of the PRC, who does it with investments, new construction, loads of money and Chinese labour to secure a strong and influential posture on the Continent. Who ultimately will succeed, Africom or the PRC? Duh…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Super! Thanks for the confirmation. I had a vague memory that the Brits were trying to cut down from Egypt and up from South Africa, and the French were trying to cut across (and the Belgians cut a bigger slice than they or indeed anyone could stomach, and the Germans were late to the table) but thanks so much for the addition. Know your colonies!

      1. Massinissa

        It wasnt so much Belgium as it was King Leopold. It was like his own private fiefdom, separate from the Belgian government, until they took it from him decades later because the British started publicizing the atrocities committed there.

        King Leopold’s Ghost is a great book. Would recommend.

      2. barrisj

        You know, it’s gratuitous snark such as this that really give me pause…I suppose it’s all part of “engaged debate”, whatever, to have to endure puerile and jejune gibes as you as moderator are prone to hand out, but, honestly, do give it a rest thank you very much, as it has become very tiresome indeed. Sarcasm can be a wonderful weapon in the right hands; however, used indiscriminately, it quickly loses its sting, and simply regresses into churlish wank.

        1. skippy

          The perfidy of those that instigated such history and build upon it deserve more than “gratuitous snark”.

          skippy…. Sarcasm is but a wet noodle compared to their victims experiences….

        2. Oregoncharles

          What are you responding to? While Lambert is certainly capable of gratuitous (but lovable) snark, I don’t see it in this very brief reference to history – correct, if memory serves.

      3. gordon

        If you really want to catch up on the African colonial story – at least the later 19th Century part of it – try The Scramble For Africa” by T. Pakenham.

  20. JEHR

    The Canadian Rhinoceros Party is running in this election. Their main platform is that they promise not to keep any of their election promises.

    to drain polluted Ottawa River and replace it with beer;
    to Nationalize Tim Hortons;
    to commit to 100-year plan for Canada;
    to name the party Marxist/Lennonist, i.e., Groucho Marx and John Lennon;
    to launch Loto Senate–where Canadians can win seats in the Senate;
    to offer Eve Adams a chance to run in any riding of her choosing (she left the Tories and was welcomed by the Liberals who didn’t let her run in any of their ridings);
    to propose a wall be built between Canada and the USA paid for by Trump.

    Great Stuff!

    1. fresno dan

      If only we could have a party that had 1 ten squilliethn of the stuff that encompasses such courageous honor, intellectual rigor, and profound practicality…

    2. Oregoncharles

      I suspect the name is a reference to a very popular rhinoceros who won the race for mayor of, if memory serves, Rio de Janeiro. Decades ago, but it made the news in the States.

  21. Gio Bruno

    RE: VW diesel environmental evasion

    If you’re a California owner of one of these vehicles, go sell it in Nevada. Now!

    Not only does California require you to pass emission tests (annually in some areas) it will NOT allow you to re-register the car when due. California is so strict that you cannot register a non-CARB certified, standard gas-powered vehicle in the state. Many newcomers find this out the hard way. (That’s why CA certified vehicles fetch high price on the market.)

    VW diesel owners should just recognize they’ve been had (because markets) and move to higher ground.

    1. optimader

      Virtually the entire state of California is an EPA air quality nonattainment site, any resident that thinks an emission control retrofit will be an elective choice is in a state of denial.

      Last I read the Cali DMV position is to not automatically fail the VW TDI diesel cars, rather the DMV will monitor whatever agreed to SCR retrofit program schedule VW comes up with. Anyone that wants to continue operating their subject vehicle in CA will have to comply.

      .After the retrofit grace period if a vehicle is out of compliance it will be not be recertified.

      I am guessing VW will come up with an objectionable SCR emission system retrofit rather than eat the cars.
      All this means in the best case it adds up to degraded vehicle performance for the owners and one hll of a fur ball of a class action suit.

      In the final analysis, if I owned a TDI engine VW in Cali, I would be selling it. I’m guess’in, ultimately there will be a market for them in states/countries that don’t have as stringent EPA air quality nonattainment issues as CA.

    2. different clue

      Over the next few years, will a “protest market” develop in strictly analog cars with no hidden digital gremlins in them? ( I am not mechanically knowledgeable enough to know if such a thing is even mechanically possible in today’s regulatory environment).

  22. Brooklin Bridge

    In New England, Low Heating Oil Prices Buy Some Time

    This seems to be a propaganda piece for the gas pipleline companies. These gas distributors want to tear up vast tracts of what remains of our wetlands and reserve areas in order to lay down their gas pipe more cheaply than by improving and adding to existing lines. Financiers (covered on NC by Yves) purchased one of the big coal energy producers in MA. a couple of years ago and then summarily shut it down. The Nuclear plant shut down may be motivated by much the same thing; put as much financial pressure on the inhabitants of Massachusetts as possible to accept footing the bill and the damage caused by the gas pipelines, AND THEN, when they are no longer productive, manage the costs of getting rid of them.

    Why can’t they spend the two billion they propose for gas lines for the installation of solar panels instead, and use the savings to offset the cost of the night time oil consumption (greatly reduced over night AND day) that will result?

  23. Oregoncharles

    Just a technical note: for some reason, Paypal is refusing my card, too, even though it works at the store, so you’ll just have to wait for a check.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    That looks like a Kangxi period blue and white.

    From the middle period of his reign on, but not the end, a native Chinese blue pigment from Yunnan was used in imperial underglaze blue and white production. I think it was called Kingfisher blue.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They were all combinations of cobalt and other elements.

        During the Yuan dynasty, the Mongols had a huge free trade zone (thanks to their hegemony) and they had access to cobalt from Persia, Iraq or Syria. No one knows the exact location from the names mentioned on known literature.

        In early the Ming period, they began to run out and had to source it locally, which lead to the ‘heap and pile’ effect on the famous Xuande blue and whites, due to higher iron oxide content

        Three hundred years, in the early decades of the next and last dynasty, the brilliant blue of the Kangxi period was developed.

  25. susan the other

    glass of wine time: do not miss Evonomics above: Everything you need to know about laissez faire economics.

    1. Just Ice

      Not a single reference to “bank”! Why this near total blindness to government subsidized theft?

      It’s uncanny!

  26. giantsquid

    Scientists who carry out studies that don’t take into consideration the known actions and interactions of the factors they’re allegedly characterizing are guilty of scientific misconduct, in my opinion. The effects noted in the recent Nature paper, as well as the Science Translational Medicine paper published last year, may tell us something important about treating already established cancers. The hypotheses offered as to why treatment with antioxidants could be dangerous are reasonable. However, many antioxidants (or precursors of antioxidant cofactors) ought to be taken in combination with others. For instance, vitamin E scavenges peroxyl radicals, forming potentially dangerous tocopheryl radicals in the process. Fortunately, these tocopherol radicals can then be reduced by hydrogen donors such as vitamin C or ubiquinol. In fact, it is well-known that tocopheryl radicals can become dangerous to one’s health as they accumulate, as they will when there is an inadequate supply of hydrogen donors available. The apparent synergy between vitamin C and tocopherols has been known since at least 1987. A similar story can be told for glutathione, an essential cofactor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase that can be derived from N-acetylcysteine. As it performs its function, glutathione is oxidized to glutathione disulfide. Excess glutathione disulfide is a source of oxidative stress. To regenerate glutathione requires an adequate supply of an appropriate electron donor such as NADPH, the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. At the very least, these studies should have examined how N-aceylcysteine and vitamin E affected cancer progression when supplemented in combination with an appropriate electron and hydrogen donors, respectively.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s scary that not only we hope to have newer and better theories and explanations in the future, but the existing, and inferior, ones could be dangerous when applied.

      And it doesn’t stop there. Tomorrow’s better theory, when applied, may become dangerous the day after tomorrow (or in 10 years).

      I think we are back to eating health and avoid stress at work – one more reason Basic Income Guarantee is better than Job Guarantee.

    2. craazyboy

      I’ve been aware it’s good to pair Vit C & E. I also take NAC as a glutathione precursor. but I didn’t know I needed an “electron donor”. I haven’t come across NADPH at my vitamin store, however. Is there something else that does the trick – commercially available? (electron donor could be salt. Is it that simple?)

    1. craazyboy

      hahaha. There is no traffic in the future!

      People are making “line following” toy cars with an arduino microcontroller. You just use an IR detector to see if you are on the line or not. For my first arduino project, I deemed that too simple, and made an tank track carpet crawler that does “obstacle avoidance” using 3 ultrasound sensors. It just motors around the room and when it comes within 8 inches of a wall or table leg, it turns in whatever direction it “sees” an opening. If it’s trapped, it backs up and tries again. Funny thing I found out is I have “stealth” wall corners. If the ultrasound reflection is bounced off away from the vehicle, I doesn’t see it and crashes into the wall corner nose first!

      1. optimader

        Give them a little love, We’re talking 1956 here! Maybe their vision of the future was after the Neutron bomb and we revert to Pyongyang traffic density??

        It just motors around the room and when it comes within 8 inches of a wall or table leg, it turns in whatever direction it “sees” an opening. If it’s trapped, it backs up and tries again.

        Hey, attach that to a cordless vacuum cleaner and you’re on to something!…ohh,wait :o/

  27. optimader
    The Guardian is sooo hyperbolic, even the Chicago SunTimes is pushing back. This sort of “reporting” does a disservice to the real problems to be addressed in the CPD, while simultaneously denigrating the term “disappeared”, even you have some shallow grasp of the meaning of the word in the context of modern Central and South American political history.

    As well, alleging equivalence to “CIA blacksites” is to trivialize what they have come to represent.

    (For whomever is unaware, the C SunTimes is the liberal working class alternative to the Chicago Tribune)

  28. gordon

    “The staggering impact of IT systems gone wrong” is fun but doesn’t compare the cost of systems gone wrong with the equally staggering cost of constant, mostly cosmetic upgrades of hardware and software constantly sold to us by the big IT companies. The parallel with Detroit’s strategy of annual model changes is painfully obvious.

    There is also the cost of “security” software which mostly sits unused. And I have to mention the cost of the Great Y2K Scam, which cost the world billions.

  29. Tim

    In The mainstream German TV broadcaster ARD, they showed a program yesterday about these international conflict resolution “courts” and what we are looking at

    A few key takeaways:
    1) An attorney from a large US law firm was interviewed: He acts as the go-between a company wanting to sue a state (which may cost between 5-15 mio. US $) and investors speculating in large pay-outs from settlement or rulings. He is looking to turn these “assets” into cash-streams and create derivatives to sell on to the market

    2) In Spain after the PP government cut solar subsidies during the financial crises, it was hit with law suits from international investors AND Spanish companies, who created dummy corporations in Luxembourg and used these as “foreign” companies so they could sue under ISDS rules!!

    3) EU has an agreement with Canada -called CETA, which contains these ISDS protections. Now the US companies operating in EU are also all of them operating in Canada, so they could transfer their EU assets to the Canadian subsidiary and sue under the CETA agreement

    4) Once you agree o the agreement, its rules apply for 30 years even if you subsequently decide to leave it

    5) Vattenfall (A Swedish government owned Energy company!!!!) successfully pressured the Hamburg city government in a case of a Coal powered plant

    Conclusion: The more I learn about these agreements the more they scare me and it seems only the German public is paying attention everywhere else in Europe people are more concerned with “Crazy about dancing” Its Scary

    1. abynormal

      He [Lawyer] is looking to turn these “assets” into cash-streams and create derivatives to sell on to the market.

      …he has a firm grasp for binding the public to monetary demolition thru Derivatives
      gods have mercy on us.

  30. ewmayer

    Re. “The New China Syndrome” from Harpers, lots of good stuff in there, by my one main objection is that the author is overly starry-eyed with regard to the warm-fuzzy wonderfulness of the post-WW2 pax (if one can even call it that) Americana:

    In the run-up to last summer’s vote on fast-track negotiating authority for the TPP, President Obama warned that what is now at stake is who gets to “write the rules for trade in the twenty-first century.” What America’s political class and security establishment have yet to realize is that in a world in which nations are intertwined by global corporations, there is something else at stake: who gets to write the rules for liberty here in America. The difference between traditional American hegemony and Chinese hegemony cannot be overstated. When the United States wielded power over corporations in the postwar era, our overarching goal was — with some notable exceptions — stability, peace, and prosperity. When China wields its power over foreign corporations, the ultimate goal is — always — command and control.

    By way of just one major notable counterexample, I do believe the prosperity of the various multinationals with intimate ties to the post-WW2 military-industrial complex is directly linked to fomenting quite the opposite of “stability and peace” abroad. Does anyone think it an accident that our ongoing “mission in Afghanistan” has lasted roughly 3x longer than the U.S. direct involvement in WW2 and shows no signs of ending any time soon? Feature, not bug.

Comments are closed.