Links 11/12/15

Study of crabs suggests they are capable of feeling pain PhysOrg (Robert M). I don’t know why this is a surprise, since lobsters clearly don’t want to be steamed, despite the University of Maine finding otherwise

Paris climate deal ‘not legally binding’ Financial Times

Paris and the Fate of the Earth Project Syndicate (David L)


Worth the Risk? Maisonneuve. A must read.

Apple apologises after racism outcry BBC


Child genius claims in China driving baby formula demand and hurting Australia’s supply Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Deciphering the big China-Taiwan meeting Asia Times (margarita)

China’s Money Exodus Bloomberg

China loses its top voice at the World Bank Financial Times

Refugee Crisis

Sweden brings in migrant border checks BBC

More of Europe Tightens Its Borders Wall Street Journal

Charting public opinion on the future of the welfare state Bruegel

The euro was pointless Matthew C Klein, FT Alphaville


General Strike Iskra (Sid S). Original here.

Tsipras’ party calls on people to join anti-austerity general strike, Nov 12/2015 ( +strike schedule)
Keep Talking Greece

Transport and public ekathimerini

Greek economy on ice as lenders battle capital shortfall Financial Times

The UK military, Jeremy Corbyn and the threat of dictatorship WSWS (Juby B)

Saakashvili’s Foiled Coup Plot – Breaking It Down Near Eastern Outlook


Kurds Launch Offensive to Retake ISIS-Held Iraqi Town Sinjar Wall Street Journal

Support for a “No-Fly Zone” in Syria Should Be Disqualifying American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

60 Minutes Stands With Secret Keepers Against Those Who Expose Them FAIR (Judy B)

Massive Hack of 70 Million Prisoner Phone Calls Indicates Violations of Attorney-Client Privilege Intercept (Chuck L)

Microsoft in German plan to curb spying Financial Times

Tor Says Feds Paid Carnegie Mellon $1M to Help Unmask Users Wired (Robert M)


Trickle Down, Starve the Beast, Supply-Side, and Sound Money Fantasies Mark Thoma

In new shock poll, Sanders has landslides over both Trump and Bush The Hill

Does Hillary wear a wig? Matt Drudge starts guessing game over Mrs Clinton’s hair – but one of her personal stylists calls it ‘really ridiculous’ Daily Mail (Li). I don’t see why this should matter…a wig is much cheaper to maintain than John Edward’s $400 haircuts.

The Racial Justice Failures That Hillary Clinton Can’t Ignore Alternet

Supreme Court Luis case: When can the government freeze your assets? Slate (EM)

Papantonio: Civil Justice System Taken Over By Corporations YouTube (furzy mouse)

Obama Should Let Fossil Fuels Lie New York Times

TransCanada’s Next Move After KXL: Flood Mexico with Fracked Gas with State Department Help DesmogBlog

Fossil crisis deepens as Exxon probed on climate cover-up Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph (David L)

Snitches get Pulitzers (Gabriel U). On the University of Missouri defenestration.

LNG Glut Set To Worsen Considerably Over Next 3 Years OilPrice

Business Briefing: Oil Tanker Traffic Jam Off Texas Is Viewed as Sign of Oversupply Associated Press

The Curious Case of Mr. Pearson’s 502,996 Shares Roddy Boyd (Richard Smith). A Valeant wowser that has gone largely unnoticed.

North Dakota’s colleges pitch education to laid-off roustabouts Reuters. EM: “In the old days this used to be called ‘kicking a man when he’s down’.”

Debt Market Flashes Scary Signal Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Half of California’s undocumented immigrants are impoverished: study Reuters (EM)

Unacceptable behaviors Vox. Lambert: “And yet…. Vox is Vox.”

Amazon debuts in Thomson Reuters 2015 top 100 innovators list Reuters. Lambert: “By innovation these guys mean extraction, period”

Bosses must face up to the issue of work anxiety Financial Times

It’s Not Just the Drug War Jacobin. Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (Steve W, from ABC on rare rock wallabies):

hiding wallaby links

And a bonus video. I know this is a commercial, but I think commercials that are fun to watch deserve to be singled out:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. financial matters

    The UK military, Jeremy Corbyn and the threat of dictatorship WSWS (Juby B)

    It’s interesting to consider that neoliberalism has pushed politics so far to the right that Noam Chomsky recently referred to Bernie Sanders’ politics as being very similar to the old school moderate Republican, Dwight Eisenhower.

    Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex.

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    1. John Merryman

      I don’t know that “pushed to the right” is the best metaphor. How about that much further into the vortex?
      Once you step over the edge, there just doesn’t seem to be any going back and those with the smallest minds seem to fit further, faster.

    2. Masonboro

      If memory serves, Ike’s written version used the term “military industrial congressional complex” but he dropped the last in his spoken remarks because Ike thought he had already poked his finger in enough eyes with the first two.

      My current opinion is that the executive and congressional branches have no control over what is a rogue, independent MIC that answers only to itself. Typical I would think of an empire.


    3. gordon

      There is a risk for people on the Left that having been marginalised so much and for so long, they become inward-looking and excessively worried about their identity. This can lead to the creation of defining shibboleths which may become unrelated to the actual political and social issues of the day. So if pacifism or republicanism become identifying shibboleths on the Left in the UK they may actually become barriers to the acceptance of a party whose more realistic policies – like the various forms of social amelioration – are actually becoming more attractive to the electorate.

      1. Darthbobber

        This sounds very much like New Labor concern trolling. After all, believing that Britain gains nothing by being a junior partner in every American imperial adventure is hardly pacifism, nor has labor under Corbyn done anything to indicate that it wants to make serious opposition to the silly monarchy a litmus test for membership or support. This is simply the Tory/New Labor framing, as is the insistence that various forms of (unspecified) “social amelioration” (was there no vaguer term available?) is what “realistic” folks should stop and be satisfied with. (But wait-wasn’t this exactly the theory labor went with in the last two elections? With what results?)

        1. gordon

          I can see where you’re coming from, but I would never identify myself with Blairite New Labour. What worries me is that the UK Left exhausts itself and confuses the electorate with what I call shibboleths – what you refer to as “litmus” – and loses focus on their real challenges.

          I would certainly support withdrawal from US-led military adventurism, though I wouldn’t waste time arguing about nuclear weapons or pacifism. I would leave the “silly monarchy” alone, because it isn’t a real fight. The real fights the UK Left faces are to reverse austerity, drastically reduce tax avoidance and evasion (including the abolition of tax havens in UK territories), rebuild and repair the welfare state (including the National Health Service), find ways to reverse the orgy of privatisation which began under Thatcher, and aim overall at a reduction in inequality. “Social amelioration” is a blanket term, but I needed one to cover all that territory (and more).

          The real fight will turn out to be with the City of London and its overseas allies. There will be threats of a capital strike and capital flight. Some fairly drastic action in terms of foreign exchange restrictions and (possibly) arrests of some City magnates – perhaps on charges of money laundering – may be needed.

          I hope I’ve said enough to show that isn’t a Blairite agenda!

  2. Swedish Lex

    Sweden introduced border controls two hours ago. First time since the country joined the EU in 1995.

    People seeking asylum can still do so in Sweden although the Swedes as of now probably will apply the Dublin Regulation and send seekers back to the EU country of entry.

    The measure is a direct consequence of the other EU States not taking their responsibilities, barring Germany and a couple of others. The other EU States not doing their job has pushed these people further up North, to Sweden where the situation was about to spiral out of control.

    The EU has 500 million inhabitants and could easily have managed a few million refugees. But xenophobia rules and Germany and Sweden cannot manage this alone.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe they will start address the taboo question that immigration/sheltering refuges is not binary – not just you’re for or against it, period – but a more difficult question of the host’s absorption rate, which may lead to something like, well, now it’s not the time, or not so many right now.

      So far, we have seen mostly the right brain and the left brain screaming at each other.

    2. IsabelPS

      I think you are only partially right. Would the Greeks and Italians offer the refugees the same conditions they offer their own nationals, they would still try to reach Sweden and Germany, regardless of the lovely Mediterranean climate and the harsh Northern winters. Do you hear many people trying to reach Portugal or Spain (except the Morrocans that have been stuck for years in Melilla and got off the radar now)? Many trying to settle down in Croatia or any country along the way? People will move to where they expect to have the better conditions to start a new life, period.

      1. DJG

        Well, the Greek economy is a mess. Yet the Italians have about 5 millions resident foreigners accounted for out of population of 61 million, which means that the Italians haven’t exactly been slouches at accepting immigrants and refugees. The immigrants to Italy gravitate to the regions Rome and north–the part of Italy with a very dynamic economy. So it isn’t only northern Europe accommodating the displaced.

        Portugal brings up a good question. Why not? [And conversely, what portion of the Portuguese population is returned settlers from the colonies, people who originated from the colonies, and more recent immigrants from elsewhere? For instance, I know that a fair number of people from Cabo Verde have chosen Portugal.]

        1. Invy

          Portugal is about to go anti-austerity/far-left… I think we may see a replay of the Greek crisis there. The communists just “fired” the center right government and are expected to ally with socialists to form a new-left government.

          Barcelona initiating the separation process with Spain, who’s fascist government is unlikely to allow it…

          That whole peninsula is going to be in a social upheaval soon, why would any immigrant want to go from one unstable life to another.

          I hope Varoufakis gets his manifesto out before the SHTF if he expects it to have any effect in unifying the various left governments emerging in the PIIGS nations.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I know China can do more here.

          As for us, can we take in more or, even if we just take in the same number, can we suspend H1B and use that allocation for refugees?

          I think Silicon Valley can wait and seize this opportunity to help out the Europeans and refugees a little.

          1. Christopher Fay

            I think any mentioning of the refugees from the Levant problem should always be introduced with the phrasing, “the war refugee problem caused by the United States neo-cons’ policies.”

            And considering China still has hundreds of millions of people in poverty, why should they help out in a problem caused by the United States’ neocons?

            1. gordon

              Thank you. Why is the simple cause and effect explanation of the European refugee problem so seldom articulated? If you invade and bomb Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria you create refugees. Of course you do. Logically, the whole lot should be sent to, perhaps, Massachusetts.

              1. IsabelPS

                If you remove the “tyrants” that kept the plugs in place, too. The hydraulics of the situation has been know for ages.

        3. IsabelPS

          My point was that the pressure on Sweden and Germany is not only due to lack of solidarity from everybody else: yes, Sweden has welcome refugees for a long time, Germany coming next. And people know it. Also, both countries have a very generous welfare system, that countries like Portugal can only dream of. So, it is only natural that people try to reach those countries, causing the tremendous pressure we are seeing now.

          Portugal is a bit special, I think, because, according to a map that I have seen recently, it is virtually the only country in the periphery (with Ireland) where no migrants are arriving. I’ve used that word because there are a couple dozens refugees, already with the refugee status, that live in Portugal and, some 30 arrived this week. Nothing to do with these recent waves of people because they come from camps in Egypt, although they are probably fleeing the same dangers.

          I think it is important to remember this: there is virtually no pressure on Portugal, while the civil society is getting organized to receive these waves of refugees (that they see on TV and want badly to help). To the point that some people drove thousands of miles to some railway station somewhere in central Europe to bring “Families like ours”. They did bring one family, after making the offer to various ones (it was a weird thing, too, because it involved a newspaper, etc, but of course, I wish well to that family that accepted the offer). And I know a guy that flew with some friends to some hotspot to spend the weekend helping the people passing through. Parishes are getting organized. Various groups collected money and stuff and went there, physically, to give a hand, out of frustration with the slow pace of bureaucracy (Portugal has accepted to receive some 4500 refugees for the next 2 years, part of an agreement with the EU, but so far nothing has happened).

          (Actually, as I see it, the problem right now is the “stream” of people that are too many to be handled properly anywhere at short notice. I just don’t see how that can be worked out at the EU “borders”. And as I said, the “Portuguese border” has been absolutely sheltered in this crisis.)

          But yes, many people reacted with the memory of having returned from the colonies to a place they felt alien, many with the clothes on their backs to save their lives. Their numbers are estimated to be about half a million, that arrived in a country of about 8 or 9 million. The way it all worked out is, I think, something that the Portuguese can be very proud of. But many people suffered a lot and relate to these refugees and want to help them if they can. This was very, very obvious in comments in social networks, etc.

          Apart from that, Portugal is more an emigration country than an immigration country. I can look up the numbers if you want.

  3. Swedish Lex

    Regarding the pointlessness of the euro.

    Yes, the euro is pointless unless the EU had rapidly evolved towards becoming a federal states. Which has not happened. So the euro is indeed pointless.

    At least Sweden is not stuck with it.

      1. curlydan

        The Finns discuss the possibility of abandoning the Euro. After they chastised the Greeks for months on end, that’s too rich…or should I say too poor?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will there be someone to preserve the (monetary) union, much human suffering and perhaps many extra constitutional acts it may take?

    2. Benedict@Large

      The Euro is not pointless. It was meant to destroy the European social state, and it is well on its way.

      1. PhilK

        Agreed. The Euro gave the Eurocrats a modern-day, continent-wide equivalent of what Caligula wanted when he wished that all of Rome had but one neck.

    3. Chris in Paris

      I was very enthusiastic about the Euro back in 1996 or so. It seemed so exciting and noble. Then in 2002 the rushing of the Brinks trucks all over Paris, the first banknotes out of the ATM at midnight…it was pretty awesome and unifying.

      Then some disappointment; I figured that those businesses taking advantage of exchange rate confusion to raise prices was just temporary though, so I brushed it off.

      Then, none of the other changes needed to make the Euro function correctly as a fiat currency came about (harmonised fiscal policy; a system of redistribution to compensate for local conditions…). Very disappointing.

      By 2007 there were huge real estate booms all over the southern periphery…it looked like that hot money was being “invested”?

      2008, things went very wrong but we muddled along until the end of 2009 when the s___ hit the fan… Despite all those emergency meetings, all those resolutions, no one took any actions to fix the damn euro while the opportunity was ripe… Ireland, Portugal, Spain…then Greece, Greece, Greece…it had become very clear that we’d made a big mistake and that we should try to fix it, quickly. No one did anything. No one does anything.

      I wish we’d never adopted the Euro.

      1. bob

        Another point of context to the Euro-

        The deficit limits were first and most broadly violated by france and germany, from the beginning. This was in “good times”. The way the deficit limits were sold was that they were to prevent just that instance, too much gov spending during good times giving the deficit running country a very cheap, easy way to boost economic activity. German “reunification” was usually cited as the reason for the deficits in germany.

        The deficit limits were always discussed in this context– about not allowing an overheated economy to be overheated even more.

        Now, we get the other, more punitive side of the argument- deficit limits are to prevent those lazy southerners from just laying around. Get busy selling assets if you can’t find work. Bums.

      2. Massinissa

        It was designed to be next to impossible to ‘fix’ on purpose. Just like TPP and TTP or whatever the acronyms are will be next to impossible to ‘fix’. Its by design.

    4. Ignacio

      Lucky you are!
      The FT article is excellent although I would change the conclussions at the end:

      In retrospect, it’s clear the euro simply shifted risk from exchange rate fluctuations to defaults (for foreign creditors) and nominal income (for domestic workers and businesses). This wasn’t sufficiently obvious at the time, however, or we wouldn’t have seen such massive growth in cross-border banking and portfolio flows within the currency bloc before 2008.

      Contrary to what the euro’s founders believed, it now appears the absence of monetary union is what’s needed to channel capital flows most productively across borders. That’s the real tragedy of the single currency: it was pointless from the start.

      I think that the idea of shifting risk is to simplistic. The article didn’t mention that FDIs to Ireland or Spain where, in volume, unparalleled with FDIs to Poland or the Czeck Republic. There is no way those FDIs could be used productively in the recipient countries. It was just speculative money poured mostly on real estate. This means that if you want to channel capital flows in their most productive way you need to somehow control them. That was the euro flaw, the inability to recognise the risks of uncontrolled capital transfers.

  4. wbgonne

    The Racial Justice Failures That Hillary Clinton Can’t Ignore Alternet

    Now that the Right Wing has turned against mass incarceration (because it costs too much money) and because Hillary desperately needs the Obama black vote for her personal political fortune, she decides that the “super-predators” are no longer a threat. I guess that what she means when she explains herself:

    Hillary Clinton tried to explain her policy reversals as the result of different times demanding different policies.

    Will this hamhanded pandering work? Well, so far it has. Well enough anyway.

    1. fresno dan

      It is an amazing aspect of humans that inculcated beliefs are so hard to dislodge. Put on top of this a two party system, where the choice, as the solder in “On the Western Front” put it to his comrade, ‘would you rather be shot, or bayoneted?’

      I think it is obvious that republican policies hurt any white person of lower educational attainment who is not wealthy. But poor whites are more likely to vote for republicans. (and how much would voting for a democrat REALLY enhance their economic prospects???)

      Most big cities are predominantly governed by democrats, and law enforcement hiring and oversight is a function of local control, yet local politicians make no true effort at effective police supervision.
      Again, what alternative do blacks in cities have?

      I tilt at windmills, and will vote for a third party, but most Americas believe that voting for “losers” is a “waste” of their vote. I say voting for a winner when it is a democrat or republican is a waste of your vote…

  5. wbgonne

    It’s Not Just the Drug War Jacobin. Today’s must read.

    Nice read, indeed. Jacobin does great work.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘[Prison contractors] 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.’

      That’s where the rest of us live, in the ‘prison beyond the prison.’ Compare the Intercept article above (on the wholesale recording of 70 million prisoner phone calls) to an NYT article on Monday:

      Congress in June enacted the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which banned bulk collection under the Patriot Act after Nov. 29, and established a system under which the bulk data will stay with the phone companies but the N.S.A. can swiftly access it.

      What’s the difference? Only the identity of the contractor: Securus records your calls while you’re in prison; AT&T and Verizon record your calls in the ‘prison beyond the prison’ when you get out.

      Silence is golden …

    2. Jagger

      The US incarceration rate of about 700 per 100,000 is still the highest in the world and rivals the estimated rate for the Soviet Union at the height of the gulags in the 1950s.

      Just shocking.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How about monitor rate?

        Do we have the technology for 100,000 per 100,000 surveillance?

        We will make the KGB look like a bunch of Luddites.

    3. fresno dan

      I think that article or something similar by her appeared in the Atlantic a while back.
      One point that strikes me is that anti crime mentality has taken on the characteristics of the Red Scare – just mindless and self defeating.
      The example is given of sexting (texting erotic photos of oneself)

      Now, this is where my libertarian streak reasserts itself. Maybe it is not a good idea for teens to be sending nude photos of themselves to their friends, but I happen to think that it is a parental responsibility.
      Its Orwellian to charge a teen who sends a picture of themselves with distribution of child pornography. But again, if you want to look like a high productivity, tough prosecutor, that’s what you do.
      So why do legislators write such laws? Look tough on crime….
      And what you see when people get involved in the legal/criminal industrial complex, is just a panoply of fines, regulations, parole violations ad infinitum, that once you get into this system you can’t get out. It becomes anti justice.

      November 12, 2015 at 8:46 am
      And as you noted above, the democrats are as* deep in this as well as “law and order” republicans…

        1. craazyman

          i’d be surprised if something i wrote appeared in the Atlantic. i’d be shocked, ii fact.

          how could somebody even see it unless it washed up on a beach? that really seems ludicrous. seeing it from a boat, that’s even more ludicrous. i don’t believe this one at all.

          if it was a small lake, that might be just barely believable

    4. Paul Tioxon

      I am just not impressed with the not so hidden proposing of a left/liberal over arching analysis that the over whelming increase in prison population is driven by the war on drugs. It certainly was the point of origin for vacuuming up large numbers of otherwise off the radar citizens in the 1960s. The DEA was formed not by Congressional legislation, but wholly by Nixon’s Executive Order, you know, that asshole had a pen and phone too! And he used it to create a national police force with one and only one mission, lock up potheads, acid crazed kids and hophead Negroes. Only 20% of the prison population would be accounted for under the War on Drug theory, only 500,000 people? That was the total population incarcerated in the 1960s!!!!

      Let’s look at the violent criminals. Resisting arrest followed by assaulting a police officer. That makes you a violent criminal, enough for the police to fear for their lives and tase and shoot you if need be. How many Occupy protesters were resisting arrest and assaulting an officer? That would be a violent criminal under the statutory laws in many cases and of course, another dent in the War On Drugs blather. And what about the deindustrialization leading to crime due to lack of jobs? The author would do well to look into what sociologists are calling THE WHITE NEW DEAL. The legal recognition of unions with a Federal National Labor Relation Board to have final authority to arbitrate labor and management disputes gave political power to a mostly White working class, almost completely by passing the same enlargement of empowerment for African-Americans, who had no basic rights, much less the right to organize and demand more money. They could barely vote, barely house themselves, barely get an education, health care, build up the valuable social capital that the great middle class was enabled to amass for several generations beginning with what is popularly known as the New Deal. The New Deal was essentially the Emancipation of the Working Class, similar to the Irish Emancipation in England and Ireland of 1829:

      “Catholic Emancipation was an on-going political process to achieve a relaxation and dismantling of the Penal Laws enacted against Catholics and non-Conformists, culminating in the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 which applied equally throughout Britain as well as Ireland. Amongst the Penal Laws legislation that aggrieved the majority of the population in Ireland were the Disenfranchisement Act 1728 (prohibition of Catholics to vote) and the bar against Catholics entering into public service employment or taking their seat in the Houses of Parliament (Test Acts 1673). There was also other legislation restricting Catholic’s ability to practise their faith.”


      Without naming or analysis of the failure to incorporate the African-America Diaspora from the Apartheid South to the deindustrializing North, we are left wondering just WHAT did cause so high an incarceration rate?

      “What I argue in Caught is that we had a failure to incorporate African Americans into cities in a meaningful way that pre-dates the rise of mass incarceration. African-American men were migrating to Northern urban areas at a moment when Jim Crow was still quite entrenched in the North and the South, and deindustrialization was already under way. So this idea that African Americans moved North, got good factory jobs, had middle-class lives, and then faced deindustrialization gets the timing a bit wrong.” says Marie Gottschalk.

      Get’s the timing a bit wrong, how wrong? The Southern Diaspora of African-American was a fleeing like refugees for their lives from the Plantation Capitalists of the THEN, very rural South. Entrenched Jim Crow in the North? The population moved from South to North, to the West Coast, anywhere far away from the South. By the very tidal wave of humanity in the millions, the greatest internal migration in US history, the conditions of the South and ANYWHERE ELSE are just not remotely comparable. However discriminatory the rest of America was, it was so much better off than the murderous conditions in the South.


      “The economic motivations for migration were a combination of the desire to escape oppressive economic conditions in the south and the promise of greater prosperity in the north. Since their Emancipation from slavery, southern rural blacks had suffered in a plantation economy that offered little chance of advancement. While a few blacks were lucky enough to purchase land, most were sharecroppers, tenant farmers, or farm labors, barely subsiding from year to year. When World War I created a huge demand for workers in northern factories, many southern blacks took this opportunity to leave the oppressive economic conditions in the south.

      The northern demand for workers was a result of the loss of 5 million men who left to serve in the armed forces, as well as the restriction of foreign immigration. Some sectors of the economy were so desperate for workers at this time that they would pay for blacks to migrate north. The Pennsylvania Railroad needed workers so badly that it paid the travel expenses of 12,000 blacks. The Illinois Central Railroad, along with many steel mills, factories, and tanneries, similarly provided free railroad passes for blacks. World War I was the first time since Emancipation that black labor was in demand outside of the agricultural south, and the economic promise was enough for many blacks to overcome substantial challenges to migrate.

      In additional to migrating for job opportunities, blacks also moved north in order to escape the oppressive conditions of the south. Some of the main social factors for migration included lynching, an unfair legal system, inequality in education, and denial of suffrage.”

      So, without dismantling of the institutional racism which included no voting rights at all, no economic advancement at all, no housing no education no NOTHING, just what caused the incarceration of African Americans? Being African American got you arrested, and the gears of oppression just take over from there,resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, loitering, disturbing the peace. Housing projects for women, children and the elderly and prison for the male population, the housing of the poor, re-labeled as criminals. The New Deal left the African American citizenry to their own devices and they just up and went on their own without any help from the larger society which for the most part oppressed or completely ignored them. FDR did a lot for the working man, just not enough for the working man down South who happened to be Black. By the time LBJ got around to make some reparations for ignoring 10% of the population, it was almost too late, as the Neo-liberal counter offensive began to pick up steam. No doubt, much due to the recognition that Blacks were on the road to the same social capital accumulation of the larger middle class, born out the New Deal and Post WWII prosperity. Today, as I write, college educated white kids are threatening to kill on sight Black students at the U of Missouri campus under protest of racial threats,intimidation and anti-social behavior. Even if the police do not oppress, even if the mass incarceration is diminished, how do we deal with someone who arrives at the university level of American society and threatens mass murder because of the political activism of African Americans?

      Incorporating Blacks?, maybe Southern man needs to be incorporated from the South into America for the first time. If I am not completely misreading Marie Gottschalk, incorporating Blacks in cities means that THEY have to be adjusted to fit into our urban environment. Incorporating them? They showed up ready to work and live as law abiding, church going citizens without the Klan burning them out. Just how did we need to incorporate them? They speak English, they know what baseball and football is, they know the history of America, being here from the beginning, just what did they need to incorporate?

  6. DJG

    Maisonneuve: Risk? The article is grueling to read. I’m wondering, though, and Yves may have more to say about this, if the morcellator came about because of historic inattention to women’s medical needs. Just go in and grind it up! Is this device ever used on men?

    Another question is why medicine is now so fascinated by machinery that doctors would use any machine rather than treat. We all see this with our M.D.s. Then the M.D.s grouse that their patients are all going off to see homeopaths and chiropractors. But my chiropractor actually engages in the ancient “laying on of hands”–there is still something to medical care that involves touching the patient.

    Finally, Noorchasm, her husband, makes a wonderful remark about his family’s rise from the backwoods of Iran, but somehow, I think that he is better off in Philadelphia, which is not as glam, and where his services as a surgeon are genuinely needed.

    1. James Levy

      I think that the Satanic Sex hysteria of the 80s and the Child Sex hysteria of the 90s has dissuaded doctors from wanting to touch their patients, and left many patients leery of having their doctors touch them. In a society where every damned thing is sexualized, it’s tough to discern one kind of touch as “healing” and another as a pervy come-on. We don’t know how to negotiate this, so we have doctors literally trying to do breast exams through a woman’s bra. Throw in the collapse of out trust horizons and the fact that professionals are no longer held in high regard and you can image why the gentle art of healing ain’t what it used to be.

      1. neo-realist

        For what it’s worth, my recently retired middle aged male doctor had no issue w/ rectal and other private part exams. My new younger female doctor has not done any physical examination in the few appointments I’ve had w/ her so far (just blood pressure and questions). Maybe the younger doctors buy into the hysteria? Females less willing to examine males?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps an opportunity for monk-robot doctors.

        “Our male robot doctors and our female robot doctors are guaranteed to be chaste and pure.”

        1. Ulysses

          Are there unchaste robots? Or are they, like former President Jimmy Carter, only guilty of lusting in their hearts?

    2. cnchal

      . . .She had seen enough operations to know that she didn’t want them “mucking around in there” for any longer than necessary. In the end, though, she was persuaded to have her entire uterus and cervix taken out through the vagina, assisted by tools and a camera inserted through tiny abdominal incisions in what is called a laparoscopic surgery. Reed said Muto told her she would be crazy to do it any other way—Reed was a busy woman (both she and her husband worked long hours and their brood was still young, between ages one and twelve) and the recovery would be quicker. As promised, the procedure was fast and easy. She spent just two hours in the operating room, was out of hospital the same day and felt pretty much herself two days after that.

      It’s about productivity and profit. That’s the ball the medical elite keep their eye on. Patients through put is what pays the bills.

      I wonder how much that “meat grinder” operation cost?

      The doctors opened her abdominal cavity from sternum to pubic bone. Before soaking her insides with chemo, they began removing tissue left behind from the morcellation and any traces of new cancerous growth. “There were many pieces of uterus and cervix and cancer recovered from her peritoneal cavity,” Sugarbaker said. Significantly, he removed a two-centimetre nodule from inside her left pelvic area, which pathologists subsequently confirmed as leimoyosarcoma. The lump had not been present on a pre-hysterectomy MRI but had been spotted by one a few weeks afterwards; doctors confirmed that it showed all the signs of having spread from the original tumour. The doctors also removed Reed’s gallbladder, appendix, ovaries, the two laparoscopic port sites and various membranes that held her organs in place.

      The procedure lasted several hours, cost $130,000 and left a thirty-centimetre vertical scar down Reed’s front. That first night she suffered a blood clot in her lungs. It took eight days in hospital and another two in a Washington hotel room before she felt well enough to board a plane back home. Another six weeks passed before she felt like herself again. Then she started more chemo.

      Roughly, the second operation was performed at the rate of $7.00 to $9.00 per second.
      Ka ching! For the “meat grinder” operation my best estimate is $60,000

      The medical system is berzerk and corrupt, and puts banksters on notice they aren’t greedy enough.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Colleges pitch education to jobless workers, North Dakota.

    When something is presented as all good, its peddlers morally superior, it’s time to closely examine what it is, if life is to be worth living.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bosses face up the issue of work anxiety.

    The best antidote, or a pretty good one, is Income Guarantee.

    Stressed out? Go home and play. Join the Fun and Play Corps for 2 years to cultivate your creativity.

    That’s also how ours can become a more ‘innovative’ society.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Dr Copper (PhD Econ), comrades: he’s fallen down to a six-year low of $2.17/lb and can’t get up. Chart:

    Who you gonna believe — the red metal, or the inflation cargo cult (it’s coming back, really — turn on the runway lights!) of the FOMC?

      1. craazyboy

        ‘Tis the Earl of I Ran. Also IS Earl of I Raq, moderate Earl, IS headed straight for Houston and surly will terrorize our Earl market there.

        Janet will ZIRP the Earl. Obama will Copper the Earl. All will be well.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Will they raise rates only to go negative later?

        “It’s your duty to spend the $1,000 you have in your savings. We are making rates negative.”

  10. Jess

    Re: the Luis case (Slate) about the forfeiture of tainted versus untainted funds for use by a criminal defendant to hire an attorney of choice:

    How come the state and federal authorities never seize the assets of giant corporations when they are indicted, thereby preventing them from retaining their armies of lawyers?

    1. Jim Haygood

      What an otherworldly discussion of ‘tainted funds’ by the ‘justices.’ They speak as if it were a careful factual determination. Whereas the reality is that the government simply grabs one’s money under the Mad Hatter fiction that it’s suing the funds (e.g., United States vs. $124,648.29).

      The burden is on the former owner to prove that the funds weren’t tainted. But without funds, the now-indigent former owner is in no position to pursue such a claim.

      My dream is to be admitted to the visitors gallery of the Supreme Court, and to set loose a burlap sack full of New York City sewer rats (Rattus norvegicus, in the vernacular). All rise! bwa ha ha ha

    1. Nigelk

      Absurd. There’s so many things to dislike about Clinton that to stoop to this level is unnecessary and counter-productive to those of us with triple-digit IQs.

      Red meat for dumb dogs

  11. craazyboy

    In new shock poll, Sanders has landslides over both Trump and Bush The Hill
    “It is a fallacy argued by conservatives and, in my view, inaccurately parroted by the mainstream media, that Sanders and other liberals take positions that are far too “left.” The polling shows, issue by issue, and increasingly in general election match-ups of Republicans running against Sanders, that it is the left, not the right, which has the upper hand with American voters.”

    Wowzers. Looks like voters would prefer a choice. I imagine the pundits will continue to tell us we are wrong about about that.

    1. rich

      Postal Workers Union Endorses Bernie Sanders, in Boost to Underdog

      Mr. Sanders’s views and record typically line up more closely with unions’ priorities, and the American Postal Workers Union said his years of work on their causes won members over.

      “Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,” union president Mark Dimondstein said in a statement, echoing Mr. Sanders’s battle cry.

      His statement appeared to dismiss concerns from some that Mr. Sanders has been a political independent for decades, not a Democrat. The union was unmoved by Mrs. Clinton’s recent opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, an Asian free trade agreement that unions have fought and that Mr. Sanders has long opposed.

      “We should judge candidates not by their political party, not by what they say, not by what we think they stand for, but by what they do,” Mr. Dimondstein said.

      He also noted Mr. Sanders’s long-time efforts to fight privatization of the U.S. Postal Service, and to keep post offices and mail facilities open amid budget cuts.

    2. Nigelk

      We’re going to try the ballot box first. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake they don’t underestimate the rage of the populace if they rig it again.

  12. optimader

    Does Hillary wear a wig? Matt Drudge starts guessing game over Mrs Clinton’s hair – but one of her personal stylists calls it ‘really ridiculous’ Daily Mail (Li). I don’t see why this should matter…a wig is much cheaper to maintain than John Edward’s $400 haircuts.

    John Edwards haircuts came with a happy ending?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Hair, like wealth, is all about distribution.

        Some places, you have too much; others, not enough.

        1. the short fingered vulgarian

          I represent those in the hair defecit camp. Victims, all of us.

          I can’t very well claim to be in the wealth deficit camp. I’m F’ing loaded, ask anyone.

          1. ProNewerDeal


            I don’t know if H Clinton wears a wig, & I don’t care about such personal details that are irrelevant to public policy.

            However, if “investigative journalist” Drudge is going to investigate H Clinton’s possibly Fake Hair, he should “investigate” Trump & Rand Paul’s Definite Fake Hair.

  13. InnerException

    From the Bloomberg article:

    “But plenty of companies simply got fat with debt without improving their revenues. Now they are paying the price, and the economy may have to foot part of the bill.”

    Still laughing.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Crabs are capable of pain.

    My intuitive guess is that arugula and kale are the same. They feel something as you grind them to a pulp slowly in between your molars.

    But it’s all in one’s intention. The act may be sadistic, but the chewer does intend it that way. For some, it’s a subtle but important distinction.

      1. optimader

        Kinda like Tantalus, you will be doomed by the gods to be perpetually unsatiated with a beautiful PB&J and coffee tantalizingly out of your reach, the only available dining options being the daily special at either a Red Lobster or an Olive Garden w/ all you can drink Mello Yellow (and I’m not talking about the awful soft drink that that I haven’t seen since I was a kid, might have been outlawed???)

  15. Ignacio

    I have a question about the site moderation standards. When I write a comment or a reply, sometimes it awaits moderation approval and sometimes not. How do you select comments for moderation?

    1. craazyman

      only your dumbest comments go into moderation. that’s been my experience. if something goes into moderation, it’s probably Drivel Entirely Lacking Edifyingly Thoughtful Elucidation. As a result, It’s Toast! Or it should be. That’s been my experience. I’m not being critical of anything you’ve tried to write. I’m not a critic after all!

      1. cwaltz

        I must be an idiot then. I go into moderation A LOT. I figure it just means I’m ahead of the curve on cranky old lady status since I don’t just go into moderation here. I even get moderated on mom sites I visit because I don’t sit quietly when the people argue that they feel that things like feeding children shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility or that the government’s budget is like a household.

        I’m an opinionated loudmouth. *shrugs*

    2. optimader

      Moderation just means the Algo loves you and wants you all to itself!
      …I know because it loves me alot

  16. kevinearick

    Les Mis Traveler

    Isms are just peer pressure groups turning their self-confirming pet theories into religion, with laws, demanding that you follow, all built on an artificial battle of the sexes, Family Law. Debt slave derivatives at the end of an empire cycle, favoring feminists, are no more effective than physical slavery, favoring chauvinists in the previous phase. The only difference is time of recognition. Even now, the feminists do not realize the extent to which they have screwed themselves, “never saw it coming.”

    Some things don’t change, and one of them is the exponential stupidity of peer pressure chasing its own tail, always looking for a scapegoat. The story of Christianity is just another instance of a majority assembled for the purpose of crucifying a scapegoat, for nothing more than challenging the mythology of empire, that no reasonable person can outlast an irrational market. Build yourself accordingly, instead of depending upon obese, ignorant and corrupt government for your rights.

    Labor doesn’t care who is trying to control the world, by kidnapping children from their parents and assigning debt to their future, to ensure present make-work nonsense. The result is always the same, History, feudalists trying to reboot a sunk cost system with dumber people having babies to backfill the actuarial ponzi. You can join, rebel or employ the system as a counterweight, but the data clearly tells you that American communism as the locomotive has run its course.

    “Channeling their inner Volcker,” I love that one. As the man said, a .25 increase on a 3% rate is one thing, but the same increase on .25, a 100% increase, is another, when the financial leverage unwinds; NIRP and removal of physical cash, or an incremental increase, makes no difference in recognition. The central banks are trapped, in demographic collapse, financial implosion and war, because global debt, with interest that cannot be paid, is denominated in US dollars, a financial WMD.

    Printing collateral from sunk costs does no work, and productive women have been abandoning the economy for quite some time, surprise. Only real parents have ‘skin’ in the future, who know that knowledge is an illusion, unlike the experts in self-illusion. Likewise, converting AC to DC to control AC, and chasing the errors, simply creates more errors, in a make-work program trying to out-smart the universe.

    All Silicon Valley has proven is that its make-work service economy is even further disconnected from reality than the oil economy it was built to save, or the tulip economy, because it can only code from the top down, increasing the efficiency of stupid. Yahoo hiring McKinsey is the current high water mark in stupid.

    Have you looked at a McKinsey report? You can bet Carl Icahn has.

    Don’t waste your time taking action on bad information, which is worse than no information. Go look for yourself. Of course work is considered stupid under a communist fiat regime.

    The critters are so busy paying themselves to address symptoms of their own errors, and prosecuting scapegoats, that they are destroying their own economy, as opportunity passes them by. Putin, playing offense as defense, doesn’t have to do anything. Hurry to work, to do nothing productive, and then hurry home, to do nothing productive, that’s America, just another failed state, brilliant.

    Putin thinks he can win a world war because he can, because labor will not stand in his way, but he also knows the result will be quite short lived. War is busy work, for people who have no idea what needs to be done, but prefer to pretend they do, believing that numbers will somehow bully the remainder into feeding them. Bad approach, but you’ll have that.

    Feudalism is everywhere, not just financial services. The finance people are just incrementally more self-aware, of their own greed and the greed of others, depravity, with a self-serving assumption that everyone is greedy, or can be made to be greedy, and no one is capable of employing an empire as a counterweight.

    The Internet, a temporary bridge, made globalization of the financial ponzi possible, but it also made the ponzi process transparent to young people, who are opting out in droves, leaving the ponzi to collapse of its own dead weight, basic physics. Interest on interest on interest eliminates time as a variable, until it doesn’t. With no time, the debt, which is merely consumption beyond productivity, gets called.

    All boundaries between the corporatistas are an illusion, and labor has no interest in the battle of the sexes, or any of its derivatives, among single people, pretending to be married or not, with children or not, seeking freedom from responsibility. The Fed is caught in bipolar collapse because the majority is caught in bipolar collapse, not the other way around. And labor doesn’t see the Big Bad Wolf as a problem.

    In my lifetime, work has appeared pointless, because artificial real estate inflation has always exceeded wage gain, but that is not always the case, and it will not be the case for my children. Demographic collapse, financial implosion and war are just the symptoms, of a dying empire. Walking into a place, recognizing the demographics, looking at infrastructure maintenance, and seeing the make-work gangs responsible isn’t exactly rocket science; China isn’t building empty cities by accident.

    The communists create a problem and pay themselves in debt assigned to future generations to ‘fix’ it, and because no one stops them, they call the product, playing dress up, productivity. I have been designing weapons right in front of their eyes, and I don’t care which communist regime uses them to kill other communists, because I can always build a better weapon, technology. Everyone is better off leaving me be to tend to my family, but the communists just can’t help themselves.

    If you are expecting labor to slow the acceleration of economic destruction because of these kidnappings, which is the cause, you have met Einstein’s threshold for insanity. I don’t need a wife to teach my children the obvious, how stupid feminism is, and convicting her of being too positive, what stands between the communists and the abyss, merely proves the point. Children don’t need ignorant experts teaching them how to be ignorant.

    I am extremely loyal to the America I know, which makes me a dinosaur in the eyes of the communists, but I couldn’t care less about the latest and greatest communist regime about to torch itself. That’s the output gap, and the kids have already crossed it. A tax on fiat creation is just a false feedback signal, and in that environment a taxpayer is nothing more than a welfare recipient, with fewer arbitrary rights, in a feudal FILO bankruptcy queue.

    Labor encourages its children to seek their own future, which is a problem or a solution, depending upon perspective. Communists are the same everywhere; they want electricity to work for them and have no interest in learning how it really works, preferring slavery instead. A communist is always fighting yesterday’s battle, losing a war of its own creation.

    If you are surprised that the majority covets the product of marriage, while abhorring its own dependence, as the basis of law, growing and collapsing accordingly, you haven’t read your History. The Internet merely aligned the ponzi(s), like dominoes. All nation/state borders are artificial, and none can be defended.

    Funny, I tell the critters what I am going to do, they don’t believe me, and then I do it. That’s the story of my life, and the US Navy knows that much. Print as many make-work jobs as you like, and stuff them down the rabbit hole.

    The Feds try to hire me and the State kidnaps my children, leaving the Fed to print empty promises, all assuming that Grace sees nothing, crack me up. When the banks chose to invest everything in the dc computer, not everyone chose to join or rebel; some of us actually kept working. Mercy requires a surplus, and God doesn’t build empires of ignorance; the latter is a stupid human trick.

    “against the said king…and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents…all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

    (hint: electricity has a signature, and probability is a waste of time. You can convert any wiring diagram into a ladder digram, and convert that into a tree, but electricity has a mind of its own, no matter how many friends call how many friends, to determine the probability in the rabbit hole.)

    1. Massinissa

      No offence but, yet again, I fear I have no idea what youre talking about. Maybe next time you could make your comment more, um, succinct?

      1. craazyman

        I think it comes naturally. some people are weird!

        Kevo, it’s good stuff but maybe in half as many words? :-)
        Just a friendly writerly suggestion!

    2. optimader

      The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in a classic sense. I mean, sometimes he’ll-well, you say hello to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you and he won’t even notice you. And then suddenly he’ll grab you and he’ll throw you in a corner and he’ll say “Do you know that the ‘if’ is the middle If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you.” I’m a little man, I’m a little man. He’s a great man “I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas.”
      He can be terrible, and he can be mean, and he can be right. He’s fighting the war. He’s a great man. I mean, I wish I had words you know? I wish I had words. I could tell you something like, the other day he wanted to kill me. Because I took his picture. He said, “If you take my picture again, I’m going to kill you.” And he meant it.

      See, just lay cool, lay cool. Lay back, dig it.

      (hat tip to John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola)

      Stay a it Kevin, you could be the new James Joyce, just need to hone your style til youre grammatically correct with no punctuation.

  17. Lexington

    RE: Unacceptable Behaviors

    Someone help me out here – is this intended to be taken seriously?

    Also, what to make of the comment, “And yet…Vox is Vox”?

      1. Ulysses

        Many suffer not only the micro-aggressions of loutish individuals, but also the macro-aggressions of criminal banksters, and their enablers who set monetary and fiscal policy.

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