Links 10/6/15

Americans Opposed to Being Shot Seek Representation in Washington New Yorker (furzy mouse)

The mystery of ‘crow funerals’ solved: Researchers say crows are trying to learn about potential dangers to their lives Daily Mail (Chuck L)

The wild side: Africa on Safari – in pictures Guardian (furzy mouse)

A third of cactuses are at risk for extinction Business Insider (David L) !?!

Military base dental assistant accused of witchcraft, fired MRFF (Chuck L). You must read the letter!

Stud: How to Have 106 Babies (and Counting) GQ

Anti-parasite drugs sweep Nobel prize in medicine 2015 Nature


U.S. Government Probes Alleged U.N. Bribe Scheme Wall Street Journal

China’s credit-fuelled expansion ‘unsustainable’ as country faces delicate transition to safer growth Telegraph

German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall in Sign of Economic Risk Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Top EU court suspends data-sharing deal Financial Times


Europe ministers agree on Greek reform to-do list France24


SHORT AND SHARP: Russian airstrikes on “Rastan” enclave and latest rebel reactions Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Yemen and the Destructive Habit of Taking Sides American Conservative (resilc)

The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification Intercept (resilc). Important.

Afghan Forces Asked US Special Forces on the Ground in Kunduz To Call In Strike on Médecins Sans Frontières Marcy Wheeler

The U.S. Gunship that Slaughtered Doctors and Patients in Kunduz Daily Beast (furzy mouse)

CNN and the NYT Are Deliberately Obscuring Who Perpetrated the Afghan Hospital Attack Intercept (resilc)

Afghan Doctor Slaughter Pulls Back Curtain Consortium News (Judy B)

Syria Daily: Washington Reveals Its Big Plan to Fight the Islamic State EA WorldView (resilc)

Saudi PR machine goes bigtime, hires top US muscle for charm offensive Boing Boing (resilc)

From ISIS to the Kurds to Erdogan: Why Turkey Is in Serious Trouble Atlantic

Roger Waters to Jon Bon Jovi: “You stand shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby” Salon (Judy B)

Trade Traitors

Obama (Quietly) Finalizes His ‘Legacy-Making’ Trade Deal Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

TPP deal still lacks transparency! Young Turks

Republicans Sour on Obama’s Trade Pact Atlantic (resilc)


Has America already had a female president? BBC

Clinton’s Syria Folly and 2016 The American Conservative (resilc)

No, Donald Trump, Mideast wouldn’t be more Stable under Saddam & other Dictators Juan Cole

Ben Carson Has Had Ties to Dietary Supplement Firm That Faced Legal Challenge Wall Street Journal

Trump schools ‘Meet the Press’ with some lessons about guns rights in America BizPac Review. Furzy mouse: ​”This is sheer insanity…should every teacher be holding a loaded, cocked gun in case a crazy shooter enters the room firing a semi automatic? As I’ve mentioned, I was an NRA member as a teen…it takes time to load and aim any weapon…​Our country is rapidly going down the tubes, thanks to the intransigence of the gunnutz and Repugs, and will not be a good place to live…

U.S. to urge countries with fiscal space to spend: Treasury official Reuters. Resilc: “Like our non existent highway bill??

Text book publisher issues groveling apology to Texas mother who called them out for suggesting African people willfully emigrated to America to ‘work’ Daily Mail (Chuck L)

‘We don’t serve cops here’: Dunkin’ Donuts employee turned away police (+video) Christian Science Monitor

Will the South Carolina Floods Change Lindsey Graham’s Tune? Esquire (resilc)

Ohio Couple Allegedly Robs Bank and Then Posts Celebratory Photos On Facebook Before Being Friended By Ohio Police Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Treasury auction sees US join 0% club Financial Times. Mr. Market loves the smell of deflation in the morning.

Puerto Rico’s Colonial Economy Triple Crisis

Translating “net financial assets” Steve Waldman. Clearing up an MMT debate.

Class Warfare

Air France Workers Rip Shirts From Top Managers in Jobs Protest Bloomberg (furzy mouse). Much better than pies in faces. The French still remember the days of the barricades. And despite the claim that the workers were “violent,” the chant suggests that their intent was to strip the execs, not hurt them.

Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class Counterpunch. As we’ve indicated, Lambert and I are not keen about the “deep state” description because it’s not useful analytically and often is invoked in a way that invests the actors believed to be part of it with superpowers. See Lambert’s post for a longer discussion.

Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings MarketWatch

Why the Post Office Matters Jacobin. Important. Please circulate.

Antidote du jour (Diane P):

dog and birds links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. tongorad

    The Jacobin PO article is a must-read, but I was surprised to see this construction in such an august publication:

    It is also a singular example of the lengths to which right-wing politicians and their corporate beneficiaries will go in order to justify the transference of public wealth to the private sector.

    Transferring public wealth into private hands is the primary goal/mission of both of the current right and ersatz left US political parties. To omit this and single out the right-wing is obtuse.

  2. financial matters

    Nick Riemer has some interesting points in his article ‘How to Justify a Crisis’

    dissent to market rationality

    He compares the rationalization and justification of dealing with the refugee crisis as similar to the rationalization and justification of current austerity induced economic conditions.

    He describes how elite economists and philosophers can have disdain for public opinion and feel that the public needs to be enlightened.

    Similar to how many people should be upset about current economic conditions he is saying we should be upset about the conditions leading to the refugee crisis.

    Does the general public really want to deal with the refugee crisis with walls and police and military intervention? This seems likely to fail and better solutions probably need to be found.

    “Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orbán, and Nigel Farage — to say nothing of Nicolas Sarkozy or David Cameron — will find plenty of ideological support in the trio’s declarations about the populace’s xenophobia, the impossibility of open borders, or the voting public’s need to be put under the tutelage of “resolute elites.” It is these chauvinistic and antidemocratic recommendations, and not the liberal banalities in which they are cocooned, that constitute the articles’ most insidious political ingredient.”

    “What we see here is more than just further evidence of well-known intellectual pathologies such as contempt for the public and quiescence before the established institutions of power. The abusive use of reason evident in the three philosophers is a possibility intrinsic to institutionalized intellectual analysis.”

    “As Žižek, Singer, and Habermas’s interventions demonstrate, intellectual authority can easily barricade the real strongholds of power and mystify its operations. For anyone who wants to put analysis to the service of fundamental social change, diagnosing and preventing this transformation of critique into intellectualism should be among the many responsibilities of “intellectuals” today.”

  3. jgordon

    From Dmitry Orlov:

    Apparently being perceived by the rest of the world as evil doesn’t particularly bother anyone in the empire. But we aren’t dealing with the crafty and slick evil of Dr. Moriarty here, rather the droll idiocy of Dr. Evil evil. I wonder if the knowledge that the world sees them as deranged morons, rather than villains (or perhaps deranged villainous morons), will cause them to engage in some introspection about whether or not what they are doing is really a good idea or not. Or maybe not. Collapsing empires have never been known for their introspective abilities.

      1. Oregoncharles

        The staffer acted that way because they knew Sanders has a problem with that issue.

        Firing them is a step, but not a solution.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Possibly. Evidence? To put this another way, I’ve moderated enough horrible, blog-destroying I/P threads to be worried about the issue myself. Not here and not now, of course.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Bloomberg describes how to sell a sleazy loan biz to sleazy investment banksters:

    Their accountants had a suggestion: Why not move to a tax haven, so they wouldn’t have to pay half their profit to the government? They settled on Puerto Rico, where certain kinds of business income are shielded from the federal government and taxed at only 4 percent.

    After relocating to the island last year, the partners hired the investment bank FBR to find a buyer for Pearl. Sixteen investment funds met with them. Zeines says he learned to identify the bidders by their shirts: white for bankers, blue for private equity.

    The offer from Goldman Sachs arrived on Aug. 1, 2014. Its $100 million proposition came from Broad Street Principal Investments, a unit that invests the firm’s own money. One of the bank’s partners, Sumit Rajpal, put his name on the proposal. All the other bidders paid Pearl the courtesy of meeting Zeines and Hurwitz on their turf, but Goldman insisted the pair come to its headquarters in New York.

    Zeines and Hurwitz say Goldman backed out after examining Pearl’s books and saying its technology wasn’t scalable. In May 2015 the bank announced it was starting its own online consumer and small-business lending platform. The partner who looked at Pearl was one of the architects of the plan.

    “F— Goldman,” Hurwitz says.

    Heartily seconded!

  5. DJG

    The letter about the Fort Meade “Christian” dental office: The letter would be funny except for the underlying theme of proselytization. There were scandals at the service academies about proselytization, particularly the Air Force Academy. Surely there must be stronger sanctions than reinstatement of the servicemember, who then will enjoy years of shunning by the righteous?

    Glad to know that yoga is the road to hell. I already signed up for this evening’s course at my local studio.

    1. craazyboy

      “yoga is the road to hell”

      If you keep your knees firmly together while doing it, you can pass as a Good Witch. You’ll be fine, then.

    2. Peter Pan

      The dental clinic is located on Ft. Meade, MD, which hosts the U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA. My expectation is that any legal action will be thwarted due to national security concerns, since that seems to be the standard M.O. (Maybe they place tracking and surveillance devices in their client’s teeth or gums that can be thwarted with witchcraft?)

      1. fresno dan

        Military base dental assistant accused of witchcraft, fired MRFF (Chuck L)

        Makes me wish witchcraft was real, than some spells could be cast.

        Of course, as ignorant as these people are, I imagine you could have a real psychosomatic effect upon them if it had included a paragraph:
        ‘We have also referred this to the association of Eastern witches, warlocks, and hobgloblins with whom we have a reciprocal agreement to report anti-witch and anti-goblin sentiment. The witches, using a variety of supernatural means, have determined who the complainants and their supporters are, and have determined that the appropriate retaliatory measures are to turn the complainants into septic tank dwelling toads, to live in icky goo for a 1,000 years….’

        1. Oregoncharles

          Evangelicals are actually afraid of witches – this measure might well terrify them. But probably not into taking her back.

          Somehow, I doubt she really wants to work there. It’s a matter of principle.

          1. Vatch

            The economy sucks. She may not like working there, but it’s probably better than being unemployed. And yes, you’re correct, it is also a matter of principle.

      2. micky9finger

        No. Anacostia- Bolling is not Ft Mead. They are right in Washington, Anacostia to be precise.
        Probably a clinic set up to treat all the brass who hang out in DC.

        Yes, highly irregular. I think the lawers will have a field day with the only defense being
        Character assassination of the fired person..

        The command will get off but the NCOIC will get a slap on the hand with a ruler, a letter in his file and probably a new job.
        Many years down the road the plaintiff will win.

        1. Peter Pan

          Actually, the MRFF letter specifically mentions that the dental assistant worked at at the Epes Dental Clinic which is located at Ft. Meade and the reason why the MRFF cc’d Ft. Meade.

          The letter was addressed to the Clinical Denistry Commander at JB Anacostia-Bolling about what occurred at the Epes Dental Clinic at Ft. Meade.

    3. Vatch

      The Air Force Academy is (or was) infested with the Christian equivalent of Jihadists. I understand this might appear to be an exaggeration to some people, but I think this is a very accurate summary of a truly sad state of affairs. Superstition is on the rise all over the world,

  6. PQS

    Furzy mouse: ​”This is sheer insanity…should every teacher be holding a loaded, cocked gun in case a crazy shooter enters the room firing a semi automatic?

    The very same teachers the RW and the neolibs have spent the past decade demonizing as lazy idiots, no less. And in the same public schools they have also been busy dismantling as “ineffective” and “wasteful.”

    Or perhaps the GOP thinks this is a great opening for a private contracting firm to make money. Paging Halliburton – you’re wanted in America’s classrooms for $900/Hour to provide private security! Self Licking Ice Cream Cone, as Lambert says.

    1. James Levy

      My daughter is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. One of her instructors was a New York City police officer. He told us point-blank that most cops cannot hit a moving target at 20 feet. And they are trained to shoot and must spend mandatory time on the range. The idea that most people will even remember where they stashed the gun, and then to take off the safety, no less then aim and hit what is imminently threatening their lives, is really unrealistic. Unless you want to issue everyone automatic weapons without safety catches, put them in an easily accessible open space, the likelihood of the average citizen “taking out” a would-be mass murderer is miniscule; and you can imagine the number of people who will be killed just because such weapons are made ubiquitous.

      1. PQS

        If I were even more cynical than I already am, I might conclude the suggestion to arm teachers is the final stage of the neoliberal/RW plan to completely dismantle public education once and for all…all it would take is a single incident of a TEACHER or Administrator going off and shooting kids and public schools are done.

        Notice, also, how in the latest incident in Oregon – there WAS an armed ex-military person in the midst of the shooting. He didn’t draw his weapon for the simple reason that it would have made him a target of the police, for how would they know he wasn’t the shooter? Yet this story is almost completely absent from the discussion. As was the armed civilian at the Gabby Giffords shooting incident. The NRA is apparently able to completely bury any counter narrative – this is how bought off we (the media, the public, our so-called electeds) are.

      2. Jess

        Actually, you don’t even need to hit the shooter. You simply need to force him to deal with you rather than go on about his intended business of slaughter. Shooting defenseless people is easy (assuming you’re homicidal to start with). But it gets a lot more difficult if you have to contend with incoming fire. Suddenly your focus and priorities change. All an armed teacher or security guard has to do to save lives is to keep the shooter from advancing one more classroom door.

        The carnage at Columbine was likely reduced by the lucky fact that, due to the nice weather that day, the campus cop elected to eat his lunch outside in his car instead of in the cafeteria. According to notes uncovered in the investigation, Harris and Klebold had planned to shoot the cop first, then proceed unmolested. However, when the campus cop (and soon afterward the first patrol officer on the scene) exchanged fire with the deadly duo, they had to change their plans.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Gun fans dream on… Such intense, exciting dreams, such certitude that if only someone drew down on the deadly duos, at least the carnage would be reduced… Love the anecdotes and projections as grounds for more guns.

      3. fresno dan

        And my oft posted favorite, in which Ronald Reagan states:
        Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

        1. Bev

          Good example. President Reagan when shot was surrounded by how many secret service personnel? However, Jim Willie has a story that Reagan afterward carried a loaded gun with him and wanted specifically that GHW Bush not be informed.

          Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school

          Orchard Gardens, a school in Roxbury, Mass., had been plagued by bad test scores and violence — but one principal’s idea to fire the security guards and hire art teachers is helping turn it around.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        It’s worse than that.

        Police studies have ascertained that if an assailant is within 22 feet, he can get to someone who has his weapon holstered before he can pull it out and aim. So the idea that a gun is useful for self defense is ludicrous. By the time you have gotten it out, the perp is all over you.

        A bludgeon is a much better weapon. If you are really worried about your safety, carry a billy club.

        1. Gio Bruno

          …The logistics are even more precarious than that. If you are holding/pointing a hand gun (revolver) within arms reach of a potential assailant, they can quickly slap the gun to the side before the gun holder can fire the gun. That’s why the police keep their distance (even when they’re ready to fire).

          The solution is fewer guns, and a more civil and just society. (Endless war has given us a culture of endless anger.)

        2. Massinissa

          Carry billy clubs instead of guns?

          I always knew Daredevil was a smarter superhero than Punisher!

  7. redux

    I know its outside of what is normal for this blog, but I had submitted an overview of this topic over the weekend to NC as a possible piece on the fantasy sports equivalent of ‘insider trading’. Then the New York Times comes out with this yesterday. Its amazing to me that the Professional Sports Leagues and indeed the tv channels that cover them are kowtowing to the Daily Fantasy Sports leagues ( ie ‘draftkings’ and ‘fanduels’) that are basically gambling, whilst there is a stunning lack of internal restraint to prevent employees at one of the firms to use internal information in the other firms contests. I have heard unsubstantiated rumors that sometimes employees of both would get together and exchange confidential information on the ‘positions’ of the contestants so that they could make contrarian bets against the popular picks– information the average contestant does not have when making their entry.

    Its amazing that so many large corporations have entered in business with firms that allowed their employees to potentially scam the entire business model.

    Not exactly in key with the content in the rest of this amazing blog, but at least it rhymes.

    1. Steve H.

      I thought it’d be something like a franchise employee knowing a player tweaked their leg that was pushing the edge. This is more like playing the middle, the way the house can take the losing side and juice their profits through judicious use of the vig.

      I’m sure the franchise employees would never be so craven.

  8. Kurt Sperry

    The Juan Cole piece reads like an intellectually tenuous neocon apologia for Western military intervention in the Middle East and Maghreb. Strange inclusion in the link parade.

    1. redux

      I have been reading Juan Cole for at least ten years. He is almost the furthest thing from a Neocon there could be. His piece makes the general argument that being a repressive state doesn’t make you a stable one, despite the same leader being in charge for a long time.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Yeah but he is saying, at least, that it is complicated and reasonable ( our ) people might make reasonable arguments that this or that dictator should be taken out. At most he is tacitly supporting the neocon democracy agenda since, as far as we know, democracy ( provided the demos actually exists in a given geographic territory ) is the only real source of legitmacy and stability. Trump is saying we should detach and distance ourselves from the middle east. Cole is not.

        1. fresno dan

          I agree with you.
          And it is an amazing thing that people have been indoctrinated so hard and so long, as to buy the argument that we should never do “isolation” – EVERYTHING is Munich 1933.
          The idea that if we only do it with nuance, or good will, or not those bad neocons, doesn’t make it any better. Need I remind people of Vietnam (the best and the brightest)?
          We have now been in Afghanistan 14 years. It is ridiculous to assert that in 14 more years that country will be better off, or different, due to our intervention – or staying there. Going back to Vietnam, once we left things got better, and I suspect the same would apply to Afghanistan.

        2. redux

          I find it hard to believe that someone who has called Cheney and Bush war criminals is somehow tacitly in support of the neocon agenda.

          but I do agree that Cole is not an isolationist. Regardless, his commentary is consistently very good and very much in depth, and should not be dismissed like a fly at a picnic based on one piece.

    2. Ignim Brites

      The Trump piece to which Cole responds is a watershed moment in the Presidential race. It likely has won Trump the nomination and the Presidency. For the first time a candidate has stated clearly that US involvement in the Middle East is a failure whether we are talking about W’s dumb wars or Obama/Clinton’s smart interventions. The uncontestable conclusion is that US should simply withdraw and stand back. Trump has concluded what the left has not the courage to say nor the right the courage to see.

      1. grayslady

        It may be the first time a candidate in the 2016 election has made such a statement, but Ron Paul, former Libertarian presidential candidate in the prior presidential election, was always saying the same thing and continues saying it now.

        1. sam s smith

          Ron Paul was booed 4 years ago during the Republican Debates for explaining the concept of ‘blow back’ in our dealings in the Middle East.

        2. Ignim Brites

          Yeah but despite the dynamism of Ron Paul’s Start a Revolution campaign, it never achieved the broad appeal to middle America that the Trump campaign has.

        1. Ignim Brites

          None of the “left” politicians have argued for disegagement from the middle east ( or perhaps more accurately the Islamic world ) that I am aware.

      2. Christopher Fay

        “Obama/Clinton’s smart interventions”? You mean ObamaClinton supporting and expanding that dumbass neocon interventionalism in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen? World war in a phrase. The ObamaClinton smart continuation of W’s wars?

  9. Ulysses

    From Paul Street’s excellent post (linked above):

    “To be clear, the CFR’s ideal “powerful state” is capitalist-neoliberal and imperial. It is one in which what the left sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called “the right hand of the state” (the parts of government that work to redistribute wealth and power yet further upward, fight wars, and discipline the working and lower class majority) is far more potent and well-funded than “the left hand of the state”: the parts of government, won by past popular movements, that protect and advance the interests of workers, the poor, and the common good.”

    What frustrates me, about so many well-intentioned people that I know who devote themselves to preserving what remains of the “left hand,” here in the U.S., is how they are easily bought off. One of my more “progressive” relations spends all of her time coaxing fellow filthy-rich people into parting with a few nickels to charities. These are charities that barely scratch the surface of the damage done– by those of us who have grabbed an inordinate share of the world’s resources over the last few centuries.

    Charity can never replace humane policy and a consistent prioritization of human needs over the interests of super-concentrated capital. I have already given away every nickel that I legally can to “good causes,” yet I am fully aware that this doesn’t begin to make amends for the crimes of my ancestors.

    I fear that this system won’t rest until our planet has been rendered completely unfit for human survival, let alone the survival of other species!

    1. jrs

      Most charities actually seem to depend on government money, so the division between charity and government is none so precise as conservatives might make it seem. Many would shut there doors without government funding. And when it’s not government money it’s rich people money? Well yea. There’s little real mutual aid being supported by the rest of us even when we still have two nickles to rub together.

    2. James Levy

      We are endlessly stuck on the definition of freedom and what a person can legitimately claim as “mine.” Our culture really has no answer to the question posed by the rich: “By what right do you take what is mine and give it to someone else?” Now, there are answers to that question, but within the confines of our political (Constitutional), economic, and cultural norms and ideals, not very convincing ones. We will have to rewire the culture, I think, before we can tackle the political and economic problem (that charity is no substitute for policy) that you powerfully present.

  10. fresno dan

    he biggest private-sector prison companies, notably The GEO Group and CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), have become very nimble political actors. They have been repositioning themselves to adapt to a new political climate in which calls for criminal justice reform are escalating.

    They view the criminalization of immigration enforcement as a new frontier to make money and repurpose excess jail and prison beds. They increasingly talk about the need to invest more in the “corrections lifecycle,” that is, to privatize not just jails and prisons, but also to expand and privatize probation, parole, electronic monitoring, drug testing, etc. They are aggressively pushing to expand the “prison beyond the prison,” that gray area where people are not in prison but are tightly surveilled and not full citizens.

    You mention another big engine of the carceral state build-up is the war on sex offenders. In Caught, you note that from 1996 to 2010 the number of people serving time at the federal level for drug convictions went up 80 percent, but those serving time for sexually explicit materials went up sixtyfold.

    People charged with sex offenses are the most rapidly increasing segment of the US prison population. Politicians and the general public talk about sex offenders as deviant pathological beasts. They don’t realize that “sex offenses” is a very capacious category, including everything from urinating in public to consensual underage sex to flashing to child pornography to raping and murdering a child. According to the latest statistics on federal prosecutions, we are meting out longer sentences on average to people who view child pornography than to people who actually sexually abuse children.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Post Office matters.

    So does the White House.

    But have we ‘privatized’ it and congress already?

    “I have more money in the enterprise. I own more shares of the government.”

    “My vote, or rather my position (because I have more shares), counts more.”

  12. ProNewerDeal

    imho afaict a broad definition of “personal emergency fund” would be more appropriate than the narrow definition of “saving account balance”.

    For just 1 example, a US I Bond type Savings Bond, adjusts its variable component to the CPI interest rate every 6 months, and this interest rate is superior to most near-0 rates that bank & credit unions saving accounts offer in this ZIRP era. If I understand correctly, an I Bond held for 13 months, can be sold without any penalty fee, and then withdrawn. Thus, 13-month or older I Bonds could be considered part of emergency savings, although they are probably categorized as a “long term investment”. An individual may rationally pay via credit card given the knowledge that they could redeem the I Bond & pay back the credit card before the ~30 day credit card balance is due.

    However, I would guesstimate the stats of even a broader emergency savings metric, would be grim with low balances. Even diligent careful USians can see savings quickly wiped out by random medical emergencies, layoff, divorce, etc.

    The 0bamabot hype of ACA subsidized policies is a joke given that some significant portion (what is this portion?) of the ACA subsidized customers have an emergency fund lower than the $6K (or whatever) annual deductible.

    If only NAFTA or the TPP allowed Canada’s Medicare For All, to label itself a state-owned corporation, & compete in “the US market”. “Free Trade”/Rigged Monopolist “Trade” for the Oligarchs, no Free Trade actually beneficial for the 99%, word to economist Dr. Dean Baker’s “The Conservative Nanny State”.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      per Wiki citing the 2013 OECD stats on median individual adult, the median Canadian is at $90K, the median “Exceptional” Murican is at $45K.

      By chance has a study been done that estimates the primary reason(s) for this difference? My hypothesis is that non-Crapified quality Canadian Medicare For All would be the primary reason accounting for at least half of the difference.

  13. marym

    “An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday’s conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA’s bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms.

    According to the bulletin, the TPP signatories will have to retroactively extend their copyright terms, giving longer copyrights to works that were created before the agreement was struck, and taking works out of the public domain and putting them back into copyright’s restrictions.”

      1. danny

        I doubt this will get passed. And if it does, such a law will create sufficient legal uncertainty to likely get struck down by local courts. It creates a bizarre fact pattern where intellectual property gets transfered from creators to — what I believe are legally called — ‘leeches.’ That’s patently unfair.

  14. GuyFawkesLives

    The serfs are getting restless……

    The hilariousness of the Air France employees scaring the pants, literally, off the 1%ers…….omg.

    This protest has to cause some pause in the 1%ers in their belief that their gated communities will shelter them through the rising tide of the 99% storm.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Adopting from the strategy of not needing to outrun the bear, but only necessarily other quite-tasty hikers, the fittest 1% will be storming the patrolled fortresses of the 0.01%, when the 99% storm those gated communities.

  15. tongorad

    Viva Air France workers. I abhor violence yet we are trained to ignore the violence of the neoliberal regime. At some point people will begin to defend themselves against evil.

  16. Oregoncharles

    Update on the Kunduz hospital attack:; title: :”Top U.S. general calls Afghan hospital strike a mistake made within U.S. command chain”.

    Sounds like they’re setting up a scapegoat – though in truth, that might be the person(s) actually responsible.

    Apparently it was a gunship, not a bomber. That increases the chance that the crew knew what they were shooting at. According to MSF, the attack was quite accurate, hitting ONLY the main building.

    1. OIFVet

      The AC-130 is incredibly accurate and packs quite the punch. Hitting MSF was definitely not an accidental hit on the wrong target if a Spectre was involved.

    2. skippy

      The limited damage is what had me perplexed, having seen a bit of video on the news, then finding out a specter gunship was the weapons platform. Had a call came from ground observers requesting a strike, to reduce a threat coming from the compound, it could have been totally obliterated quite quickly.

      Specter is flying battleship with all the latest toys, amazingly accurate, we used to ware IR reflectors in our headgear to signify our positions so we could call fire in that close, you can target individuals on the run.

      Skippy… so the question is… why the one building and only such a limited amount of damage – ???? – send a message – ????

      1. bob

        This was the only image I could find that identified itself as being from the compound.

        Not sure compound is the correct word. Not many details on the lay of the land, and very few other photos.

        From that photo, I would say there is evidence of both a missle/bomb attack and a gun attack. There are giant bullet holes above the door, and the roof seems very exploded.

        1. skippy

          From my look is mostly fire damage, can’t see much splash damage and any sustained attack [short time for a specter] it would be reduced to a crater and it does seem to be a compound [typical for the region].

          Skippy… amends for the above… got to run…

          1. OIFVet

            This is perplexing, the damage should be far more catastrophic after a sustained, 30min + attack by an AC-130. Something doesn’t quite add up.

            1. skippy

              In 30min sustained it could reduce a grid sq to road base, the finger of Gawd does not mess around.

              1. OIFVet

                From the MSF web site, they use sustained to describe the attack, and say it lasted for more than 30 minutes after they informed US command of it. The pictures show big fire inside the building. Possible incendiary rounds? I don’t think that there are incendiary rounds available for the 30mm, or for the Bofors for that matter. I could be wrong though. I don’t think this resembles a Spectre attack at all, sustained or otherwise.

    3. barrisj

      The rest of the Reuters article is also quite revealing, as it details the hapless Gen. Campbell’s comments
      about how he “…favored a rethink of a plan to withdraw almost all U.S. troops by the end of next year.” In fact he quite opposed the drawdown by 2016 to what has been described as a “small embassy-based force”, and that “conditions in Afghanistan” would require “revision of the withdrawal plan”. Of the current ca. 9800 US soldiers in Afghanistan, an unknown number are JSOC operatives, who apparently have been implicated in calling in the AC-130 attack on the MSF hospital. And, if 14yrs of bloodshed and warfare visited upon that wretched country aren’t sufficient to “complete the mission”, how many more hospitals, wedding parties, school gatherings, etc. are to be sacrificed to whatever end-game Gen. Campbell envisions? Because the US military is wholly “immunised” from Afghan laws as a consequence of the SOFA engineered by The Nobel Laureate and current US stooge Ghani, JSOC goon squads can continue terrorising the population at-large while conducting “anti-terrorist operations” without any fear of reprisals from the host government. Nice work if you can get it.

  17. Oregoncharles

    “Has America already had a female president”

    There was Wilson’s wife, too. Apparently she was making decisions and representing them as his, when he was severely disabled. Did quite well, too.

  18. john

    Read the religious military suit.

    Lawyer listed at the bottom was a Matthis. Related to the general?

  19. BEast

    Wherefore the “?” after “China”?

    This is a very minor question, but each time I see it I wonder what the “?” is meant to convey. Questions about China’s economic/financial well-being? Questions about whether news we get from/about China is credible? Doubt about whether “China” is a valid term? (If the last, why any more doubt than any other nation state?)

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