Links 11/17/15

Qantas 737 “tailstrike” was caused by iPad data entry fail Ars Technica

Uber Is Not the Future of Work – The Atlantic

Fresh off Bay Area victory, tech giant Airbnb may set sights on L.A. LA Times

Exclusive: China’s Tsinghua Unigroup to invest $47 billion to build chip empire Reuters

#FallRising to Stop TPP, TTIP, & TISA Electronic Frontier Foundation


A new Islamic State video threatens a Paris-style attack on Washington WaPo

Press Conference by President Obama — Antalya, Turkey White House. Testy.

Corbyn criticised on Paris attacks stance Financial Times. Who had “within a few hours” in the “when would Corbyn be attacked after a terrorist incident” pool?

Federal prosecutor: major police action in Brussels yields no terror arrests WaPo

CNN anchor blames French Muslims for failure to prevent attacks WaPo

This Muslim TV Host Gave An Incredible Speech Following The Paris Terror Attacks Buzzfeed

Limited economic damage from Paris attacks Financial Times

Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since Paris Attack Glenn Greenwald

Anonymous declares war on ISIS Tech Insider

Refugee Bedwetters

Growing Number of States Refuse to Accept Syrian Refugees in Wake of Paris Attacks ABC News. Home of the brave, ay?

Gov. Rick Snyder suspends Syrian refugee effort in Michigan Detroit Free Press

For Syrians in Michigan, call to block refugees is a gut punch WaPo

No, State Governors Can’t Refuse To Accept Syrian Refugees ThinkProgress

Mike Huckabee calls on Paul Ryan to prevent entry of Syrian refugees, or to step down Politico

Iowa’s Steve King Endorses Ted Cruz for President Bloomberg Politics. A related story.

Justice Department Gets Tougher on Corporate Crime WSJ. Or maybe…

House Bill Would Make It Harder To Prosecute White-Collar Crime Huffington Post. …not.

Chip Credit Cards Give Retailers Another Grievance Against Banks New York Times

The Little-Noticed Conservative Plan To Permanently Lock Democrats Out Of Policymaking ThinkProgress. Partisanship aside, the REINS Act is a pretty terrifying piece of regulatory quicksand.

Marriott to Buy Starwood Hotels NY Times

Blackstone is now ‘the largest owner of real estate in the world’ Business Insider

Second largest for-profit chain to pay $95 million to settle fraud charges WaPo

Questions for President Obama’s Nominee to lead the F.D.A. – NYTimes. Very strong words from the editorial board.

Should Monetary Policy Respond to Financial Conditions? Liberty Street Economics

CIA Director Delivers Some Blunt Talk About….Climate Change Mother Jones

Clinton says ‘no evidence’ that teachers can be judged by student test scores WaPo. Now that’s putting some distance between Hillary and the Obama Administration.

How Bernie Sanders has already won David Axelrod (!),

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. abynormal

    Congress approved a historic overhaul of the military retirement system Tuesday, all but ensuring it will become law and the Defense Department will begin the rollout.

    But troops will not get access to the new 401(k)-style retirement accounts that are the centerpiece of the overhaul until 2018. In the meantime, some key issues such as new programs to educate service members on the tricky world of investing and retention bonuses still need to be worked out, according to the Military Officers Association of America, the country’s largest officer advocacy group.

    “The 20-year pensions will remain for all but they will not be as lucrative for future service members. To support the new retirement accounts, future pensions will only be worth 80 percent of their current value.”

    do ‘they’ know something we don’t?

    1. ambrit

      This could be a test run for a Social Security ‘Grand Bargain.’ I see nothing in there about reducing the sizes of officer retirement plans. Cap that at a certain multiple of an enlisted persons’ retirement and you will have done something worthwhile.
      The alternative retirement plan that I fear is the one which gives cohorts from the military their own entailments to ‘run’ for the government. That will be the ultimate ‘privatization plan.’

      1. abynormal

        privatization indeed….educate service members on the tricky world of investing and retention bonuses still need to be worked out. perfect storm.

        1. cwaltz

          I’m not sure what exactly they consider tricky about retention bonuses. They were super easy to understand in the Navy when I was in. If you were in a field they considered undermanned they would offer you a bonus based on how undermanned it was. My specialty was undermanned, so when I re enlisted for my third stint I ended up with a category c bonus. My “investment” was paying my mother and step fathers property taxes. I bought him a few less years of worry while battling cancer. I daresay the investment bankers would have approved.

          I wonder if the plan is going to be to defer them so the DoD can raid the funds later like most businesses have been doing to their employees pensions.

      2. Praedor

        They did it wrong. A 401(k) is a complete rip-off. It is theft. It is a scam. Should have kept the real pension system but made ALL service members have to wait until 60 to start receiving the pension, like it is for Reservists or Guard. It is outrageous that someone can retire at 45 yr old and get their full pension for the rest of their life while Reservists and Guard who have fought in the same wars, given the same effort and sacrifices wait until 60. ALL military should wait until 60.

        1. cwaltz

          Why is it outrageous? Reservists and guard may indeed fight in the same wars but they don’t put in the same time obligation. The grunt who is active duty doesn’t have a second job, his only job is being a grunt.

    2. Steve H.

      Hmm. If you’re ten years in, do you get ten years the old way and the rest new, or did you just get flanked?

    3. LizinOregon

      This seems to be a bait and switch. Military personnel are already able to participate in TSP, the govt. 401k. But they only get matching contributions if the secretary of their branch decides to give it to a particular specialty as an incentive. And the matching contributions must come from the Pentagon budget, unlike other retirement costs. Right now there is no matching in place.

      So this sounds like they are losing their defined benefit retirement for a matching contribution that is weaker than the current civilian match.

      I wonder what CBO’s cost estimate is for this legislation? Savings, I expect.

  2. abynormal

    “Mindfulness training could provide a practical means of enhancing resilience, and personality characteristics like optimism, zest, and patience.”

    Perhaps that idea will catch on as studies like this continue to proliferate. If you want to help students thrive (and increase the chances they will stay in school), it might be smart to add to the curriculum a required remedial course: Mindfulness 101.

    “What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money … but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth … In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are “coins” for real things.”
    Alan W. Watts

    1. ambrit

      Unfortunately, you are describing a form of ‘Monkhood.’ I don’t see too many monastaries or convents around today. Try to experience peace and quiet in todays’ circus of a culture. That’s why in olden times, when one entered a monastery, one was said to be ‘retiring from the world.’

      1. abynormal

        i see it differently…mindfulness as a private liberation from ‘circus’ pushers. entering ourselves, the sacred monastery, is a place no cultural dictation resides…or at least where dictations can be untangled for the burdens they really are.

        personal power ‘the power mongers’ can’t tap into. radical huh?

        1. ambrit

          ‘Radical, huh?’
          I seem to remember a carpenter who preached a similar doctrine. It ended badly. The carpenters followers soon engineered a co-option of the movement by the Empire of the time.
          Personal power presupposes an awareness of what personhood really is. Not many possess that knowledge. Early education is the key. (No wonder this culture keeps pushing formal “Education” earlier and earlier into the childs’ life. In defense of the State, it sees socialization to the cultural norms as ‘education.’)
          “Be in the world, but not of it.” It sounds simple, but then, every really hard idea does.

      2. low_integer

        It seems hyperbolic to extrapolate mindfulness to monkhood. Mindfulness is an ambiguous term, however using one’s mental strength to keep events in perspective, in order to temper the stress and contradictions of daily life, seems like a good way to preserve some sanity in this crazy world to me. Consider how physical fitness allows a person to remain relatively comfortable, compared to an unfit person, during strenuous physical activity.

        1. knowbuddhau

          Word. Taking refuge within doesn’t mean withdrawing from daily life altogether. Just listening to your mind, noticing the patterns like watching a river flow by, does not a monk make.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In the last picture of the 12-picture oxherding zen story, the oxherd returns to the busy, bustling marketplace.

            Thus, if you can meditate in a stock exchange (one of the old ones, not the silent, all electronic ones), you can meditate anywhere.

            And a true ‘master’ is to be found in a, for example, butcher shop, not on mountaintop. And so, even if you’re the world’s greatest, most spiritual rock musician, you are still lost up there in the mountains.

            Monk: Master, please show me the way.

            Master: I am not a master.

            Thus, a master is not a master.

            If a master thinks he’s a master, he is, in that instance, robbed of his master-ness.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Just saw this on South China Morning Post, about being withdrawn from the world, but still of it:

            Hong Kong nun linked to marriage scam with monks accused of spending donations on skincare items and lingerie.

    2. tongorad

      On the Mindfulness movement- This is Buddhism sliced up and commodified

      Buddhism, or some adaptation thereof, was becoming a class signifier, among a subset of Caucasians anyway, and nowhere was it more ostentatious than in Silicon Valley, where star player Steve Jobs had been a Buddhist or perhaps a Hindu—he seems not to have made much of a distinction—even before it was fashionable for CEOs to claim a spiritual life. Mindfulness guru and promoter Soren Gordhamer noticed in 2013 that tech leaders from Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other major tech companies seemed to be “tapped into an inner dimension that guides their work.” He called it “wisdom” and named his annual conferences Wisdom 2.0—helpful shorthand, as it happens, for describing the inner smugness of the Bay Area elite.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One is reminded of the dialogue between Bodhidharma and Emperor Wu of Liang.

          “Look at all the temples I have erected and how many serfs I have granted exemption from taxation and given them permission to become bonzes, or monks. How much merit have I gained?”


          Then, Bodhidharma escaped overnight, by riding on one single reed, across the Yangtze River. He then spent, something like 20 years, in a cave near Shaolin temple meditating, or so the legend says.

          He also taught the monks fighting techniques, Kalaripayattu, he brought with him, from his native country in India. In China, it’s called Shaolin Kungfu. That’s what they tell me.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The cup to pick up is not the ostentatious one.

        “He chose poorly.”

        Beware of people claiming spiritual life constantly.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s ego that says ‘I am spiritual.’

        A master is not a master. A master is never a master.

        We are all great. Each has greatness within.

        If that sounds paradoxical, it is what it is.

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        Good info. Jobs had a bunch of copies of “Autobiography of a Yogi” (Hindu) given away at his funeral. He had good taste at least, but that should not be used against the author of the book who died in the early 1950’s, his story or his spiritual work which is largely outside the scope of the book.

        The book is hard to put down. It’s a very informal account of the author’s life as someone growing up in India and as a spiritually awakening/awakened Indian born in the last part of the 19th century and many of the fascinating people he met in his “adventures”.

    3. knowbuddhau

      And undertaking mindfulness as a method of gaining anything completely misses the point. I practice it all day, everyday, because it’s fun and completely fascinating, not because I think it’ll get me a raise or make me more “productive” (shudder).

      Besides, what have all the productivity gains gotten us worker bees? (This space left empty as an answer ;) ).

      Never ceases to amaze me how “hands off” we are about our minds. Take sleep meds, for example. Can’t get to sleep because thoughts keep going? Don’t learn to mind your mind, take this pill — that will make you sleep-eat and sleep-drive and who knows what else.

      Early training in mindfulness would be awesome. Learning to listen to your thoughts, without engaging or reacting to them, just letting them be, can’t be recommended highly enough.

      And a bow in your virtual direction for the AW quote. Listening to his talks during my commute turns a dreary chore into a joy. The anniversary of his passing was just yesterday, btw.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In praise of inefficiency and idleness.

        We have been oppressed, far too long, by the specter of productivity.

      2. Gio Bruno

        Early training in mindfulness would be awesome. Learning to listen to your thoughts, without engaging or reacting to them, just letting them be, can’t be recommended highly enough.

        Recent research has shown that “voice” in your head is essential to learning all manner of things: from calculus to culinary recipes. Multi-tasking may work with simple activities but complex thinking (consciousness) requires a certain focus (not found on the screen of a smart phone).

  3. Bill Smith

    “This Muslim TV Host Gave An Incredible Speech Following The Paris Terror Attacks”

    In regard to the claim that in their own magazine the Islamic State said they took credit for acts they didn’t do:

    “It is important that the killing becomes attributed to patrons of the Islamic State who have obeyed its leadership…”

    I don’t take that sentence to say that at all. Nor does the reference to using anonymity change that. Right after the Metojet came down in the Sinai and the Islamic State affiliate took credit there were several articles that mentioned that the Islamic State doesn’t take credit for acts it didn’t participate / facilitate / directly inspire.

    They did rise to power by taking on weak and or corrupt powers.

    I do agree that the Islamic State is weaker than they want everyone to believe. In fact, I think they have peaked in the recent past – regardless of the Paris headline grabbing attack.

  4. RedHope

    I’m so tired of the “Sanders will have won by having pushed Clinton to the left in the primary” argument.

    It’s complete bs and treats the more sophisticated of the citizentry like we are naive children who have no awareness of how politics or pols work in general or Clinton in specific.

    It also shows a complete ignorance about how generally the vast number of American voters think and act even if the authors of the claim believe what they are saying is true. The vast majority will not hold Clinton accountable for what she is saying now by moving her left later. Nor will the system in the DC bubble do this.

    More importantly, how could they? What political power would these voters wield that would frighten a pol outside of voting the pol out? What evidence exists that this is how most voters think?

    Such a belief gives most voters generally too much credit. Dems will vote Dem. Republicans will vote Republican. Indies play the role of spoiler.

    If anything both her coronation and President Obama’s ratings despite the decline of the middle class in general and people of color and women in particular are signals that Sanders will not have won just bc a pol like Clinton can make well-parsed promises.

    Anyone who believes she is actually affected by Sanders deserves what’s coming to them.

          1. Strangely Enough

            Why would the DNC remove someone who is doing exactly what they hired her to do? Hell, why would they even listen/care?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Such a belief gives most voters generally too much credit.”

      Giving “voters” any credit at all is giving them too much. And axelrod knows it. He’s made a career out of finding and “turning out” voters like yesterday’s republican Medicaid recipient who “voted” for Bevin in Kentucky after he ran on a platform of cutting Medicaid.

      Say anything. It’s the “superior ground game,” Stupid.

      As for a “shape shifting” candidacy, if axlerod didn’t invent it, he made it the gold standard in political “consultancy.” He was, after all, the chief architect of the Obama “no mandate for ‘healthcare’ insurance, give peace a chance, renegotiate nafta, I will close guantanamo” candidacy.

      I’d imagine he also had a hand in constructing the magic eraser of “political expediency” which wipes any promise away without leaving a mark.

      But you’re right. His condescending award of a trophy to Bernie “just for trying” is nauseating.

      1. James Levy

        Back in the late 80s when I was experiencing (enduring?) my first round of grad school there was a lot of ink being spilled over how this was becoming a symbolic culture built around The Spectacle (everyone was reading Baudrillard and blathering about hyper-reality, post-Guttenberg, blah blah blah). Well, that Medicare recipient is ground zero of this idiotic and illogical post-literacy world of “give me someone to identify with”, “give me someone I’d like to have a beer with”, “give me someone who hates the same people I hate” policy-less politics. People on the edge will gladly throw their votes to Trump who would blithely strip them of what little protections they have left. People who will lose their union jobs to TPP will happily endorse “their man” Obama and his clone, Hillary (or was she his clone? the incest is hard to disentangle).

        European History teaches me one thing for sure: cultures of symbols make people stupid and docile while cultures of books make people smart and potentially autonomous. I’d use as my exhibits Medieval Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox lands, and my counterexamples Holland, Scotland, and New England. Literacy rates have been falling in this country and it is making us markedly stupider and more prone to manipulation.

        1. oho

          Re. Culture of symbols

          Thanks for an articulate insight that helps explain my gut reaction to many aspects of social media

    2. James Levy

      If I understand correctly how things work here in the USA pundits like Axelrod and the platforms people like him speak from see a clear bifurcation: the Election World and the Governance World, the world of rhetoric and the world of action. They take both seriously but see them as completely distinct. Sanders is scoring points in the realm of rhetoric, thus he is having an impact on Election World greater than they had given him any credit or chance to make. This they can grudgingly admire.

      But we have to understand that the pundit/think tank commentariat have different ways of speaking about and thinking about the two worlds and address their comments on each to different audiences in different ways and through different media. Just how conscious they are of this process, and how much they simply take it for granted, I can’t say. My guess is that they assume that Joe Blogs has no time, inclination, or mental capacity to deal with the world of action, so they can fob him off with rhetoric and symbols. The policy stuff is directed at fellow members of the commentariat and the elite decision makers who make the final calls on all important matters in America. Since they take for granted that Hillary’s actions in Governance World will be shaped by them and their assumptions about the world, they can pat Bernie on the head for making hay in Election World but will go insane if they think for a minute he will carrier any of this into Governance World. And since they know Clinton will not, they can nod at her need to make concessions to Bernie’s language without any fear that such language will contaminate action once she’s safely transported to Governance World.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Running for office and governing while in office are two completely different things. I would argue pundits including Axelrod generally try to convince us plebes that they are the same, that what they say on the trail is somehow consistent with what they will do in office. (Maybe that’s what you are saying.)

        The notion that Hillary will feel any obligation to follow through on campaign pledges is laughable. And the notion, often heard from labor leaders, that early support makes D candidates more likely to take worker interests seriously once in office, has been proven wrong time and again.

        But the MSM also needs to believe that what candidates say on the trail is an indication of how they will govern. Otherwise there would be very little “news” to support the horse race coverage. It’s not very newsy to conclude that whatever new plan Hillary announces is just BS for the plebes and should be ignored.

    3. cwaltz

      This is just a ploy for his voters to vote for her. I will say it’s much nicer than the WWTSBQ route they went in 2008. They don’t want the party split and fractured again after this primary. Personally, I don’t think it will work because despite their obvious insistence that the Democratic nominees make nice with each other, I think there is a world of difference between a status quo Clinton and a grumpy Sanders who is fighting under the Democratic party for the sake of political expediency. But hey, it’s the Democratic Party’s funeral.

      1. RedHope

        The smartest thing that the Sanders voters can do to actually have an impact is to 1. Act insane by declaring openly they will not vote for her in the general unless she makes a concession by choosing a progressive running mate ( eg like the Latino progressive house member who endorsd Sanders and 2. Will not vote for her I unless she agrees in writing to earmark DNC funding to state progressive party members

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          I commented on this above. The notion that HRC would feel any obligation to follow through on any campaign commitment she made – at least any commitment made to ordinary people – is lunacy.

          The D apparatus will not believe that Sanders supporters won’t ultimately vote for HRC until it actually happens. If it does.

          1. wbgonne

            D apparatus will not believe that Sanders supporters won’t ultimately vote for HRC until it actually happens. If it does.

            Yup. Obama has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Democratic partisans will eat any shit with the Democratic label on it. I do think Hillary won’t be nearly as successful as Obama since people will vote for her holding their noses, unlike Obama in 2008. But she’ll probably get the votes anyhow and the backlash will begin after the election (assuming she wins, which is hardly certain).

            1. Gio Bruno

              Hillary won’t be as “successful” as Obama because she will be facing a Republican congress that despises her; her voting constituency (predominantly women) will not hold her to account on promises (like Obama), and she’ll be overwhelmed by the demands of the Office (like Obama).

        2. trinity river

          Right now Bernie strategists are telling his supporters not to say anything negative against Hillary to her supporters so that they will vote for Bernie if he gets the nomination.

          My read is that they really do not have any reasons not to vote for Hillary other than they prefer Bernie’s ideas. As she co-opts these ideas rhetorically, he will lose his juice.

          I would prefer that they out the misconceptions that Hillary supporters have about her past and future policies.

            1. trinity river

              No, Lambert, I don’t have a link. I watched the last debate with some Bernie activists. I am restating what the group leader said to the activists present. I don’t think he has a paid position with the campaign, but he said that it was Bernie’s strategists position.

              I don’t know anything about Reddit.

          1. Vatch

            her past and future policies.

            I’m looking forward to followup articles about the Clinton Foundation and private inurement. Something was supposed to happen on Nov. 16, and now it’s Nov. 17…

          2. wbgonne

            Right now Bernie strategists are telling his supporters not to say anything negative against Hillary to her supporters so that they will vote for Bernie if he gets the nomination.

            If that’s true then Tad Devine really is playing just to stay in the Democratic consultant game. An underdog challenger can’t win like that. That’s the strategy for when you’re cruising to victory.

    4. cybrestrike

      Thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking all along whenever they Villagers drag out that ridiculous claim.

      This is quite indisputable: Clinton will run Left, scamper to the center in the general, and run as a neoliberal with a disturbing penchant for hawkishness in foreign policy. She is not a secret liberal. She is who she is. We’ve had 20+ years to watch her.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a flaw of mine that when many people like something or someone, my first reaction is to be skeptical.

        I wasn’t sure if I was complete right then, in 1991, when I never felt much for Bill and her.

        And I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t feel the same like a lot of other people, when Obama never impressed me.

  5. wbgonne

    How Bernie Sanders has already won David Axelrod (!), CNN.cnn

    And what is “winning”?

    He’ll get no big title, plane or house for his efforts. But in driving the front-runner to bolder stances, Bernie Sanders already can claim victory.

    No, I think that’s called “losing,” not “winning.” In any event, what Axelrove is really doing is what the Dem Establishment generally is now doing: patting Bernie on the head and nudging him toward the exits. The Clintonistas think this is over so they are patronizing Sanders and mollifying his supporters, softening them up for Sanders’ inevitable endorsement of Hillary. The question is how many Sanders supporters will vote for Clinton. I certainly won’t.

      1. wbgonne

        I think it’s even worse than Nader says. Nader suggests that, before giving her his endorsement, Sanders should demand a press conference with Hillary where she states agreement with his agenda. First of all, that won’t happen. Second, even if it does happen in some mild form, it will amount to nothing more than Axelrove’s headpatting.

        Here’s the thing. The one benefit of Obama is that he brought home to a lot of people just how corrupt the political duoploly is. Many people had their eyes opened. Now comes Sanders as Don Quixote once more against the windmill and, people being people, many — especially the very young — think this time we can do it. Yes we can. When the inevitable occurs and Sanders endorses Clinton a lot of those ex-Sanders supporters will join the disillusioned Obama supporters in their disgust with the political duoploly. I expect turnout will be abysmal in the 2016 election.

        Now — as Nader correctly notes — the plutocrats actually want this. They are winning, so they think, and in a sense they definitely are. But consider the history of American third parties as recounted by Nader and Hedges. Not only did their opposition serve a primary role as policy-determinant, they did something else: they allowed the people to vent their frustrations within the political system. And that brings me to how the plutocrats are actually losing. The political duoploly creates a plutocratic stranglehold on the political process. And that works for the plutocrats up to the point that the anger of the people can no longer be contained. When the days of rage come and the time of revolt arrives — and we are edging ever closer after Obama’s betrayal, soon to be followed by Sanders’ capitulation — there will be no place within the political system to absorb that ferocity because the third parties that might provide the channels have been blocked. This is a recipe for a major breakdown in civil society. I think that’s where we are headed.

        The country today is a seething cauldron of anger, resentment and hate. So is the world. When the political systems cannot process that anger it grows. By commandeering the democratic electoral processes and squelching dissent the plutocrats are sowing the seeds of their own demise.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          The problem with this is we may well be talking about a total or near total breakdown – probably over a fairly extended period of time, not just pitchforks or angry voters before we get to the point of change. Anything short of that and the PTB will handle it ruthlessly, efficiently and near invisibly. As they have so far. And perhaps more important than the terrible condition people must be in before real change starts is the massive suffering that goes with it to innocent and guilty alike before during and after. That is the tragedy. Yes, even the 1%. And it raises a nasty question: was it necessary or not? If so, is it always necessary every damn time? So far, it seems that way and that doesn’t bode well with ever greater destructive technological force.

          But back to the suffering, even if this is a game changer in the sense that we will stone ourselves back in time, narrowly escaping technological extinction for a while, it is positively horrific. It reveals a dark butcherous side to our species that is hard to cheer on even in the process of rectifying some small measure of the wrongs committed. An eye for an eye is not resolution; it is an endless cycle of barbarity..

          Granted that it doesn’t have to go that way; but it looks awfully dark right now.

          1. wbgonne

            Yes, I’ll shed no tears for the plutocrats but the dirty bastards insist on taking us all down with them. Dark days indeed.

          2. tim s

            I struggle with this also. But, perhaps it is as simple as the seasons. Are we too proud to admit we are just another part of nature? The darkness is the winter, and the renaissance is the spring, which is certain to come, with a freshness and originality that could not be there otherwise.

            I look at all that around me in our human condition and see much that could be seen as leaves turning brown. The form is still there, but vibrant life is not.

            Who doesn’t love spring? But the hard part is knowing that the winter is typically longer than our lifespan, probably our children’s. You’ve gotta dig deep to get through this….

        2. Left in Wisconsin

          At some point, the people will revolt. This is the Polanyi lesson. But if I were a betting person, I would put my money on the earthquake coming, when it does, from the nativist right, not the left. TBTP have developed a pretty failsafe strategy for knee-capping the left – just make sure the D’s are as indentured to big money as the R’s. But they have unleashed a monster with the nativist right, most of whom seem much more willing than lefties to do what they aren’t supposed to.

          1. wbgonne

            I agree with you at this moment. The political Left is dormant and lobotomized. However, one thing to bear in mind. Unlike Obama, very few peogressives have illusions regarding Clinton. If she wins she will get no honeymoon. And the Left might find its heart and its brain very rapidly.

        3. Oregoncharles

          @wbgonne: ” This is a recipe for a major breakdown in civil society. I think that’s where we are headed. ”
          Sigh. You state my worst fear very well. This is the reason some of us continue working on 3rd party politics: in the increasingly faint hope that Americans will wake up in time for a REAL electoral revolution, before the torches and pitchforks come out and we turn into Syria, only more heavily armed.

          Or, of course, the Archdruid’s vision – post a massive American civil war.

          1. ambrit

            Overnight, I was musing on your take on this and realized that the Civil War everyone worries about may already be going on. The scale of events is now the ‘thing’ to watch.

  6. Sam Adams

    By assuming Sanders and his camp followers will blindly turn towards H.Clinton, clintonistas guarantee historic losses in the Congress and in the upcoming Supreme Court nominations.

    1. cwaltz

      They don’t want to ruin the Democratic Party track record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe Clinton is winning or another personality.

      My only horse in this is the people.

      Have the people won?

  7. Bubba Gump

    Generally I’m in agreement with the prevailing views here on NC. One issue I cannot agree with is the opposition here to post-Paris actions like closing borders to Muslim immigration. Regardless of Waleed Aly’s thoughful recommendations, the fact remains that people in the Muslim communities all over the western world are not pulling together with their adoptive countries by reporting radicals. They are not respecting their new countries’ core values. And until radicalization stops being tolerated in Muslim communities western goverments will be at the mercy of Muslim terrorists. They’ll have no attractive solutions to present to their citizens other than “bombing the sh*t out of them.” If Muslims want to be unite with their host cultures and reduce fear levels the most productive thing they could do is stop protecting radicals in their communities. Until that happens I have absolutely no problem with closing borders.

    I also think it’s long past time for someone (Bernie?) to build a popular movement against the petroleum economy not just for environmental reasons but to starve the beast. Quit buying their oil, quit allowing them to buy weapons with our money.

    1. vidimi

      Only countries that have played no role in f**king syria up should have a right to deny their refugees. Neither France nor America is one of those.

      The thing that depresses me the most in this tragedy, after the 130+ lives senselessly lost, is how the narrative is about them hating us for our wine, our baguettes and our camemberts, as exemplified by that vapid John Oliver video circling the web, and the fact that Islam is once again on trial, despite the fact that France has been bombing one side or the other in Syria since 2012 and the attackers having claimed that it was in retaliation for French actions in Syria. But people hear what they want to hear. Instead of this being recognised as a predictable act of asymmetrical warfare – blowback – it’s treated as a shock attack on French values by muslims. Islam surely gave the attackers the resolve to go through with it, but this never was about muslims hating French lay values, except perhaps that might makes right.

      1. craazyboy

        This is one of those times I hate being “America”. I didn’t get to vote on any of our ME policies the last 40 years. So I propose all Syrian “refugees” be relocated to Washington DC and also the living room couch of Fox News viewers. They should have no complaints about my policy, now that we have built up this huge “national security” apparatus in the US to keep us safe from domestic terrorism {and all their emails are being archived in Utah], and the refugees will all be safely vetted on entry to the country and would not be 100% ISIS combatants whom are taking advantage of entry into Big Satan’s homeland. Of course none of them would be buying airplane tickets with their Swiss bank account funds, and they walked here same as they got to Europe.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          +100. And as an added bonus, we are still more likely to be hit by lightening twice in the same spot than taken out by a terrorist action. Well, maybe not a terribly attractive bonus, twice that is – in the same damn spot – but at least food for thought.

        2. cwaltz

          I agree. Most of these flipping policies are being decided for us behind closed doors a la Victoria Nuland. Some democracy we have where our resources are being pillaged so the rich and connected can have more, more, more because nothing is never enough to fill that huge gaping hole that should be where their consciences and hearts belong.

          Meanwhile as we discuss having to cover paying for fixing the mess that our glorious leaders have managed to accomplish 1 in 5 American children will suffer from food insecurity. Our elderly are being told they’ll have to work well into their 70s despite the promises that when the time came and they hit retirement age like their grandparents that they’d be covered thanks to their contributions to Social Security. I could go on and on. It positively sickens me at the poor choices that people making well into six figures are making on our behalf.

        3. cwaltz

          Actually now that I think about it I think the adopt a refugee program should start with each Congressional representative enjoying sponsorship of a family. If we add the State Department leadership and the people heading the DoD and Homeland Security to the mix we might even keep them busy long enough not to continue screwing up the global community.

      2. John Zelnicker

        I am disgusted by the constant propaganda that these terrorists hate the West for its values and way of life. Islam is the third of the great Abrahamic religions and their basic moral code is the same as that of Judaism and Christianity.

        The terrorists “hate” us because we (the West) have invaded their countries, created unimaginable chaos, killed millions of innocent citizens, and turned their weddings (and hospitals) into pink mist.

        Why is it so hard for people to understand this!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Frankly, I feel migrating to Mars is the only way, if not at all affordable, for me personally to get some serenity in life…that is, until they discover they can mine minerals there.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We are all victims or potential victims.

        Just recently –

        bombed hospital,
        bombing in Thailand,
        the bombed Russian that went down,
        on-going drone missions,

        It’s a ‘we-are-all-interconnected’ world, and not in a reassuring way.

      4. ekstase

        “People hear what they want to hear.” Yes. And that is how to continue an un-ending cycle of violence, if that is what one wants to do.

    2. MPLSSean

      If one were to replace the words “Muslim communities” from your diatribe and replace it with “white communities” in relation to terror attacks such as shooting up schools or bombing buildings, it would seem just as ridiculous as what your attempting to convey. I guess the double standard is so ingrained in the publics thought process that I’m simply banging my head into a brick wall at this point..

      1. Lambert Strether

        It’s weird that we’ve got (mostly white, young, male) people gunning down other people in public places on a regular basis, and that’s business as usual, but let somebody bring up the idea that maybe refugees from wars we created might given the sort of compassionate treatment Christian believers find in the Bible, and all hell breaks loose. Life is very odd.

        1. andyb

          The mostly white young males gunning down other people in public places seem to be instruments of public policy or at least connected in some way to the FBI, CIA mind control apparatus; convenient, isn’t it, for gun control advocates.

    3. marym

      Should we bomb the s**t out of US Christian communities who don’t weed out their mass murderers? What what evidence do you have that terrorists are integral participants in any larger community, at least any more than a Dylan Root, or violent anti-abortionist is outwardly more than some guy next door? In fact, in some non-Muslim communities, the threat or actuality of violence is out in the open – Other-phobes on Western mainstream and social media, Jewish settlers in Palestine, US cops. Whose “core values” have they adopted?

      1. Vatch

        You’re on the right track. The time is long overdue for removing the tax exempt status of religious organizations, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist, or whatever. Without tax exempt status, it will be a lot harder for them to spread their messages of Us versus Them.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Everyone can be in a religion of one, except those demanding the exclusive truth of sacerdotalism.

          When we realize our own individual greatness, then, we can either all be exempt or none shall be.

    4. Vatch

      starve the beast. Quit buying their oil

      +1000. Unfortunately, for many people this is not possible. But we can buy less of their oil. When it’s time to buy a new or used car, good fuel efficiency should be on everyone’s list of must have features. And it’s not just transportation: if you don’t have a programmable thermostat, remember to adjust it when you leave your home. Turn the temperature setting down during cold weather, and turn it up during hot weather. This is important whether or not your furnace and electricity are powered by oil.

      1. GuyFawkesLives

        Its nice that some of you have budgets for new cars and programmable thermostats..

        My budget is a nice thick blanket and the bus..

        1. Vatch

          Sorry about your situation. I don’t have a programmable thermostat, either, but I do adjust my thermostat whenever I leave home for more than a short period of time. It makes a difference.

      2. Lambert Strether

        As a commenter pointed out yesterday, Saudi crude is the best there is, including from an environmental standpoint. Saudi crude will be the last to go, which is unfortunate, because politically, the Saudis are the worst of the worst.

        1. optimader

          Nigerian and Libyan are probably the “best” in terms of Sweetness” (low sulfur) and “lightness” (API number,–ease/yield to refine to gasoline)

          Crude oils have different quality characteristics

          Nigeria, the largest crude oil producer in Africa, is a major source of U.S. imports

          The thing about refineries is they get designed \/built to perform best with certain quality crude oils.

          Attributes of crude oil at U.S. refineries vary by region
          For example certain refineries are designed to accommodate high sulfur crudes that would wipe out refineries built to process sweet crude.

              1. optimader

                pots and pans..that’s a ChemE technotalk!
                That PET Coke issue was ridiculous that they just left it out in open berms to blow around. Very nasty sht. I presume they are “cleaning up the problem” by quietly selling it as fuel in Asia. :o(

    5. Raj

      Sounds like you’re blaming the victim. Western governments are primarily responsible for the political chaos and weaponry (i.e. death & destruction) in the Middle East. It has taken decades of intervention to reach this point. They should be held accountable for the repercussions, including the refugee crisis. Sadly, I don’t expect them to start owning up to the decisions they’ve made, or start making amends for the harm they’ve caused.

    6. Gio Bruno

      Hillary won’t be as “successful” as Obama because she will be facing a Republican congress that despises her; her voting constituency (predominantly women) will not hold her to account on promises (like Obama), and she’ll be overwhelmed by the demands of the Office (like Obama).

  8. cwaltz

    I think it’s sad that Michigan is planning on pulling the aid for the people they already accepted. The governments should fulfill their obligations to those already here. It should do everything they can to help them integrate successfully for their sakes as well as ours.

    However, I would posit that if your adversary is calling for a BORDERLESS war that strategically it’s stupid to accept to people in the country that could be a part of their organization. I find it particularly so when you acknowledge that the screening “good” and “bad” rebels is going abysmally over in Syria.

    But hey as long as we’re just calling ourselves and our policies “brave” instead of intelligent. It isn’t like the people in a country that collects taxes from them have any right to a modicum of safety for their kids. It’s so much better when not just Syrian families are disrupted by war fare but war fare becomes a game we can all participate in. Let’s not try and practice containment at all. Let the borderless wars begin. *Sigh*

    1. Tom Allen

      Apparently borders don’t exist to keep US, French and other military forces out; they’re there to keep refugees in? Just wondering what the rules of this borderless “war on terror” are.

      1. cwaltz

        I was opposed to us participating in the Syrian civil war. I am opposed to use installing leadership ANYWHERE just for our own purposes. It’s wrong and I’ve been on the record as calling it wrong over and over again. At this point the best thing that can happen is that groups, which by the way should include Syrians, come to the table to discuss how it is best to fix Syria, not just export their problems.

        1. Massinissa

          So wait, you want everyone to come together with ISIS and Al Nusra to decide how to fix Syria?

          Are you serious? This is beyond Pie-in-the-sky

        2. Massinissa

          Note: Im opposed to our military intervention too. But America isn’t going to stop doing it. Pretending America will stop it if we protest enough is fantasy im afraid. Such things didn’t stop our involvement in Iraq

  9. McWatt

    Re: Chip Card Retailing NYT: The new chip reading machines are slower, but only by 10-20 seconds.
    The unfortunate aspect of all of this is that there has been no satisfactory explanation made to us retailers
    as to what the difference is between swipe and chip. For us, the same information appears on the screen and in fact on some American Express chip cards the machines don’t even read the chip, you still have to swipe. And any retailer who didn’t complete the transition to Chip Reading technology by October 1st, is liable for all fraud.

    It seems to me that the great bulk of credit card fraud is done on line, how does a chip prevent that?

    But the pure evil in all of this isn’t the cost of the machines, because if the new chip readers will protect retailers and consumers at the same time I am for it. The evil is that my new chip reading machine uses a paper roll that is 25% smaller than the old one (the cost of paper is the same though) and the credit card print out receipts are longer, and the settlement print out at the end of the day is twice as long as it was before.

    Purely for my convenience of course!

    “Catch-22 says they can do anything we can’t stop them from doing.” Heller

    1. Peter Pan

      Chip Credit Cards Give Retailers Another Grievance Against Banks New York Times

      I received a Chip-and-PIN card from Barclays USA in October. Three weeks later I’m notified that a merchant had been hacked and that I will receive a new Chip-and-PIN card with a new account number. This is a total pain in the ass, since I have to once again go to each enterprise (utilities & insurance) that have online payment systems and change the information. I don’t understand how a Chip-and-PIN card helps with online payment systems.

      I asked Barclays USA to identify the merchant that was hacked. They refused “for security reasons”. I suspect that it was Barclays that was hacked, either recently in the USA or going back to 2014 in the UK where USA account holder information may have been stored.

      1. GuyFawkesLives

        WTF are you still doing banking with a fucking crook? And apparently brazen enough to share with NC bloggers!!

        It’s people like you that are keeping the crooks in business..


          1. GuyFawkesLives

            Oh, sorry to hurt your feelings, but I have no patience with people like you. Reading and understanding what’s wrong with the criminal financial industry yet still fucking doing business with them! Shame on you!

        1. Massinissa

          …. Wait… There are banks that are NOT crooks?

          Pray tell, which banks are these that are not crooks?

          Im pretty sure Peter Pans problem is becoming more and more normal. Im afraid you are not helping.

          1. GuyFawkesLives

            Ask your bank if they are a portfolio lender..

            BTW, banking at the large institutional lenders is a no-no and everyone here on NC should know better.

      2. Oregoncharles

        More constructively: have you explored changing banks? Apparently Barclays is part of the problem.

        And I do realize that may involve yet further expense and hassle.

        1. GuyFawkesLives

          Yes, let’s not hurt feelings when ignorant Americans continue to be ignorant if the solution is going to cost them inconvenience.

          Jesus Christ..

          1. ambrit

            Oh come on down from off of the “High Horse” Guy. Many people in this world work with badly corrupted information; information corrupted on purpose to meet the ‘needs’ of ‘certain’ important players in the world. As my mom says; “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”
            I for one fault the Credit Unions for not being more aggressive in their marketing.

  10. Eureka Springs

    Third Way must be begging HRC to nominate VP Sanders as soon as possible. Makes all of this go away. I mean what percentage of Sanders supporters would actually stay home or, GASP!, vote for Dr. Jill Stein?

    Someone needs to ask a very specific yes or no question to Sanders, if asked will you accept VP under HRC?

    And thank you David for the link to Obama’s Turkey baster, I mean press conference. Makes one miss the exciting voice of Bush Senior. I can’t help but think of Assad or Putin’s words in comparison these days. Both far more honest, forthright, far less hypocritical… we’ve gone past the rabbit hole into magma.

    1. Optimader

      Considering his age, Sanders play should be stating he is running for POTUS and will not acce pt the VPOTUS position and as an “indepe dent” wo t neccesarily endorse an alt candidate.
      Should play the game seriously or not at all

        1. optimader

          Not relevant to Sanders preemptively saying he wouldn’t accept the position and explicitly stating that he is in it to win, not to influence HRC’s positions.

        2. trinity river

          You have that right! Word is that one of the people Hillary is positioning as a possible VP candidate is Julian Castro from San Antonio. He was named US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development in 2014.

          He has already demonstrated Hillary’s approach by having his office back off its decision to punish Dallas for using HUD funds exclusively for higher income housing.

          1. optimader

            I think Castro is a fire for effect Latino trial balloon. If she were to actually pick a Latino, an individual that speaks Spanish would probably make more sense w/ regard to a selection that is grounded in the Hispanic demography –(as well, don’t underestimate the consideration of the brain stem vote that would avert from the last name of a Cuban Dictator on the Presidential ballot.)

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If she wants this vegetable lover’s vote, I can be tempted with a bag of baby kale as her running mate.

              Some might prefer a horse. These would be her horse lover votes.

          2. skippy

            Gee that makes me all teary eyed for Bill Clinton’s appointment of Federico Peña as Transportation Secretary. Federico Peña did a smash up job for the Construction Club when he was Mayor of Denver, gaming the tender process to build DIA which was supposed to level the playing field for minority contractors. At the end of the day the big boys just picked the most ethically bereft sorts and used them as a facade, the money still went up top once it was washed.

            Some more good times….

            As Secretary of Energy for 18 months, Peña led an organization of 16,000 direct employees with a budget of $18 Billion. He developed the Administration’s Comprehensive National Energy Strategy and oversaw the largest privatizations in the history of the U.S Government—the $3.654 Billion sale of the Elk Hills Oil Field, formerly known as Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1. He crafted the Clinton Administration’s strategy for oil and gas development in the Caspian Sea region and supported U.S. energy companies’ investments around the world. Although he had intended to leave Clinton’s cabinet after a single term, Peña also served as Secretary of Energy from 1997 to 1998.[2] In 1995 the Justice Department conducted a preliminary investigation into a California transit agency’s awarding of a pension management contract to Peña’s former investment management firm. However, Peña had severed all ties to his former company both prior to the contract and prior to becoming Transportation Secretary. On March 17, 1995 Janet Reno ended the investigation.[3]

            Skippy… I was there… good lines… oops I meant times…

              1. skippy

                Did you meet Rodger?


                Anywho back in those days paranoia was rife and a bump was door admission… wonder what the price of admission is these days… ummm…

                Skippy…. and what do you say to a setting congressman…. when he shoves his previous guests out the door unceremoniously….

    2. Massinissa

      Make Sanders VP so he goes away?

      Theodore Roosevelt was made VP to sideline him. Then some asshole shot McKinley.

      Didn’t work out exactly the way the Republican party had hoped it would.

      What with the rumors of Hillary having had a stroke before, I highly doubt the Dems would take this kind of chance.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s easy, when one can borrow at nearly zero percent, to buy up the whole world.

      And it’s not a guaranteed win for the borrower.

    2. Nigelk

      Wealth tax on any individual with assets >$10M, any organization with assets >$100M

      Consolidation of more and more in the hands of fewer and fewer is anathema to democracy. If we’re going to keep pretending we have one, it’s time for a wealth tax. Start at 0.1% and graduate up to 1% over 10 years.

    3. GuyFawkesLives

      I say let’s just file phony Assignments of Mortgage to our made up LLCs and take the homes that way.

      Banks aren’t going to jail for littering the land records with fraudulent garbage, time for “turn about’s fair play” it seems.

    1. JEHR

      The Antidote reminds me of a skein of about 50 geese flying south this fall. It was early in the morning and the sun was just breaking over the horizon. Each of the geese suddenly acquired a rosy red hue as the sun hit their breasts. It was gorgeous and mesmerizing.

  11. skippy

    amends in advance…

    November 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    So, private banks are more credit worthy than governments – isn’t this because the banks are the masters and the governments are the servants?

    November 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    That is the insinuation from the rates – but I imagine it has more to do with the interactions with the regulatory regimes on your capital of expressing a view on interest rates by using the physical vs the swaps market and probably the lack of liquidity in a lot of securities that the CBs have been hoovering with imaginary money.

    Dog knows what it all leads too.
    November 17, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Trick question…… What brand of economists have increasingly staffed CB’s and other systematically important financial institutions since the 70s, not to mention the shadow sector.
    November 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    The worst ones – academics that thought their job was to ‘manage’ the business cycle.
    November 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    You do realize the “business cycle” is a term term d’art grounded in the old testament social template, it was just spruced up for modernity as was the term “economic science” from its original of sociopolitical theory.

    Skippy… wonder where the agency for that came from….
    November 17, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    “You do realize the “business cycle” is a term term d’art grounded in the old testament social template,”

    No, not at all, I wont ‘realise’ the many cycles I have lived and traded through weren’t real.

    To deny a business cycle exists is to display extraordinary ignorance or in your case I would imagine an opportunity to obfuscate.
    November 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Sorry I don’t engage in closure on theory 8~, to do so is an act of faith and I don’t swing that way, religious beliefs are for plugging the holes in reality and have a nasty habit of conditioning one to seek bias conformation in observations along with path dependency, regardless, it becomes quasi religious iconography.

    “Austrian Business Cycle Theory: Dinosaur Economics
    Posted on August 9, 2013 by pilkingtonphil

    dinosaur bones

    Just a very quick note so as to weigh in on a debate which, frankly, I don’t really want to weigh in on. It relates to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory (hereafter: ABCT) and its relationship to the natural rate of interest. The natural rate of interest was discredited by Piero Sraffa in the 1920s when he pointed out that there were actually multiple own rates of interest depending on which commodity you took as a numeraire. There have been many Austrian responses to try and iron this out — almost all of them imagine a range of financial market contracts, throw in some implicit “rational expectations” assumptions about how such contracts are priced and then claim that they can reconstruct the ABCT from here.

    I don’t think that this is the case, I think that the assumptions they use to make the financial contracts produce the interest rate they wish to produce — because, let us have no doubt, this is a theory that at some base emotional level the Austrians want to be true — contradict other assumptions made elsewhere in Austrian theory; such as the assumption of Knightian uncertainty.

    However, even leaving this aside we know that the ABCT will not work because, whatever way you cut it, it rests on the idea of a rate of interest that will bring the economy to full employment equilibrium. The manner in which the theory “works” is that the money rate of interest — i.e. that charged by banks — either falls above or below this full employment equilibrium rate, thus causing either inflationary or deflationary forces to generate. This view, however, is disproved by the Cambridge Capital Controversies which showed that such a rate of interest — which the Austrians take over from Knut Wicksell — cannot exist.” – read on

    Skippy…. that you at some point in your life education incorporated the ABCT, as a mental anchoring point, by which to observe complex human interaction in a stupefying reductive manner is akin to Bill O’Reilly’s famous the tides come in and goes out shtick.
    November 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I really don’t need to dignify any of that bullshit with a detailed answer beyond –

    Iron ore $8 low demand and supply matched (post Japan)
    New demand emerges – iron ore $20 and takeovers happen
    Demand cant keep up – iron ore $80
    IRR on new iron ore mines exceeds 50% – capital pours in
    Iron ore goes to $150+ – inputs stretched – costs go up 100%+ still makes sense on IRR basis
    Market saturated – but investment still in train – majors set to oversupply market by 30% but cannot adjust – price still $120
    New supply starts hitting market – majors still cannot turn off tap – oversupply viewed, buyers run down inventory – price $80
    High cost producers hit the wall – minor removal of supply
    Lower demand meets supply curve at $40 – huge bankruptcies – but best producers still make some money.

    It isn’t my lying eyes again is it? Just an anecdote?

    The ‘no business cycle allowed’ crew would instantly step in an assume that ‘demand needs to be stimulated’ with free money to the buyers of iron ore so they can build a bridge to Mars and maintain what was a completely chimeric situation to begin with…
    November 17, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Unlike your tombs homily’s the last 50ish years of increased financialization [free markets [tm)] price discovery is not some binary event, its leverage on leverage, squared and cubed, all tightly coupled and computationally manifold [fat tailed butterfly’s] all fueled by the erroneous belief its practitioners wield. Your using antiquarian optics to – paint by number – a reality which is only defined by arbitrary price in establishing true or false which denotes whom should hold dominion over the social template. Marx is instructive here imo, where transition from per-industrialism is front run by network effects to industrialism, to post industrialism [financialism – free market ™], which is now transitional to virtualism [cloud market].

    Sadly we don’t live in an age of scarcity anymore, tho do live in an age of increasing entropy, one is a force of human ignorance and the other the universe…. which do you think has more “force’ at the end of the day. The former is a political state of mind which provides the friction which in turn acerbates the latter, sadly for only fleeting assuagement of insecurity.

    Skippy…. look in antiquity it was a different setting… you could blow yourself up and life moved on… this is a different time and as such necessitates a different set of optics… leave the insecurity’s behind…
    November 17, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I am happy to pay a percentage of a bitcoin for someone to ‘unpack’ that for me.

    “Sadly we don’t live in an age of scarcity anymore”

    OK – I think the shark just got cleared by a submarine that turned into a hovercraft – fueled by magical beans purchased with imaginary dollars and all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the Weather.

    apologies Bill
    November 17, 2015 at 11:14 pm


    And some accuse me of being inchoate…

    Skippy… the rub of it as it were…

  12. Jim Haygood

    Well, that didn’t take long (one week, to be precise):

    A federal appeals court has granted a stay that will allow a controversial NSA telephone surveillance program to continue through its planned end on Nov 29.

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the order Monday afternoon without offering any explanation beyond saying that the government had “satisified the requirements for a stay pending appeal.”

    U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an injunction last week ordering NSA to stop collecting the telephone data of California lawyer J.J. Little and his legal practice. The judge had previously found the anti-terrorism phone-records program appeared to violate the Constitution by collecting metadata on calls of people not suspected of any crime.

    Our supposedly ‘independent’ federal judiciary hikes them black robes faster than a crack ho with a twenty-dollah bill waved in her face, when the MIC claims it’s for ‘national security.’

    Just lie back and think of Syria …

    1. GuyFawkesLives

      The “independent” black robes hike them up for the criminal financial institutions just as quickly. It’s quite the entertainment to watch how easily the fools line up for their daily dose of $odomy.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Not really the first. remember L-Tryptophan? It’s a common amino acid (milk and turkey are rich in it) that was sold as a sleeping aid and anti-depressant. Seemed to help, too. Unfortunately, thousands of people got sick and a few died. I was told by a biochemist that the reason was that the GMO bacteria used to produce it also produced the contaminant that killed people. Hence, they were GMO casualties – almost 30 years ago.

      The FDA subsequently banned it as a supplement “because it competed with pharmaceutical anti-depressants.” (!) Seems to have been released now – it’s available again, but very expensive.

  13. JEHR

    You may know that our new PM has promised to bring 25,000 Syrians into Canada by the end of the year. We have been waiting to bring refugees to Canada for some time now and Harper dilly-dallied and brought only about 1,300 refugees here because security was more important than helping people. So we have a premier of Saskatchewan who was a firm supporter of Harper saying that if even one of the 25,000 is found to be a terrorist, then none should be brought here. Where do these guys come from?

    If we get some bad people, then the Canadian courts should deal with them. We needs to show empathy first and justice when needed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We let in millions of tourists, visitors, immigrants, those here on business, etc, of all religions, every year.

      Why should the refugees be more risky?

      Because they are poor?


      Come from a destroyed country?

    2. Massinissa

      Doesn’t Canada have a way of spying on its citizens too?

      Whats the point of a surveillance state if it cant stop one guy among 25,000 or whatever who is a terrorist?

      The surveillance state costs millions of Canadian dollars a year doesn’t it?

      1. JEHR

        I would hope that we don’t just depend on surveillance to keep people “in line”; I would like to think that we create a community that people can relate to and respect so that we have fewer problems. No country is without its problems.

  14. barrisj

    Ian Welsh catches the post-Paris attacks mood perfectly:

    Do Not Ask Western Leadership to Fix Anything

    Understand this: Widespread global terrorism exists because of the US’s actions specifically and the West’s generally.

    Let us turn now to economics. Inequality has been increasing since the 1970s. It has become worse every decade, with only minor reversals. After the financial crisis, it became so bad that more than all the productivity gains in the environment went to the top three percent.

    This happened in large part due to various financial, economic, and legislative “reforms.” It was deliberate, in other words. Inequality is a result of deliberate action by US leadership.

    Austerity is, likewise, the result of deliberate action by Western elites, generally. They decided to deliberately impoverish their citizens and have done so.
    Years ago, Stirling Newberry told me that the job of modern politicians was to wrangle the masses for oligarchs. He was right. That is what they do. They are good at manipulating enough of the population, and they are good at giving money and power to those who already have both.

    They are not good at anything else, and expecting them to do anything else is insane.

    You do not want Hollande, Obama, and Cameron (let alone Erdogan) trying to fix the Middle East. You do not want the people who report to them trying to do so. You do not want western militaries trying to do so.

    At least not if you want a reduction, rather than an increase, in terrorism.

    The first rule of holes applies. The first thing you want the leadership to do is stop digging. Other than criminal investigations, you should want them to do nothing. No military action, no legislative changes. Military action hasn’t worked, legislative changes will just be more gutting of civil liberties, and that hasn’t worked either.
    In the meantime, don’t ask your leadership to “fix” anything. That’s not what they are there for. Whenever they want to do anything, your default position should be to oppose it–unless you are 100 percent certain it’s in your interest and have done the hard, cold research and thinking to support that conclusion. Sure, sometimes you’ll be wrong, but most of the time you’ll be right, because they are not in power to make your lives better, but to enrich a small class of people and impoverish the majority.

    Any knock-on effects, like terrorism, are secondary to them, and even if they had the desire to fix such problems, they cannot–they do not have the ability. They will simply make them worse, even if it was possible they were sincerely trying to do good.

    If you live in the West, the great danger to your life, health, and prosperity is your leadership. It is how your society is run. This is cold, hard, and true.

    After every crisis, manufactured on not, whenever I see headlines screaming “Western leaders” meet to…yadda-yadda” , I cringe, as I know too well that only more suffering, depredation, and manifest incompetence will issue forth. And in whose name exactly are these “leaders” acting? Well, that’s easy enough to answer, as Welsh does in his blog entry cited above. It isn’t just a “crisis of leadership”, it’s a crisis of democracy as well.

  15. Lambert Strether

    Qantas 737 “tailstrike”

    Several errors, one of which involved a typo on the iPad’s electronic keyboard, which is a human factors disaster.

    The encouraging thing is the process the airline used to discover the problem and revise its procedures. Too bad we can’t to that for economic crashes. Or wars.

    1. optimader

      It’s not that long ago that they were doing weight and balance w/ sliderulers, then hand calculators. This is the thing with human factors, given enough time the process has failure events, it is an inevitability..

      As for me I prefer a tactile keyboard, the iPad is out there as a tool but I hate it and my iphone for typing or calculator functions. It would of course be a huge recertification process.
      Technology marches on, putting load cells on the gear that sums total weight would be an update that would weigh grams (and weigh grams!) and be a final parity check.

  16. ambrit

    Am I the only deranged cat to have thought through the “refugee crisis” to its’ logical conclusion?
    The solution to this problem is simplicity itself. Admit as many ‘Syrian’ refugees as the country can bear, but make them enter the country as Indentured Servants. In the interests of ‘Small Government,’ let the wealthy keep as many “IS” Syrians as they can afford. A sliding scale pegged to ones’ net worth should do the job.
    No more pesky unions to worry about! The “IS” can live in the sheds behind the polo ponies’ barn. Those lazy good for nothing ‘locals’ will get the message soon enough if one were to ‘downsize’ the social safety net some more. This is America! Work or starve!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My conclusion is slightly different.

      In the interests of Big Government, they will work as paid informants.

      Human assets >>> non-human monitoring devices.

      1. ambrit

        True. One need not preclude the other. Many Patricians over the centuries used ‘servants’ of many sorts to help run their Empires. The Romans had their Greek slaves for the paperwork. The Ottomans had their Janissaries. The British had their ‘client states.’ America now has the opportunity to carry on an old and storied Tradition. (Time to look for my Julius Evola books. Traditionalism beckons.)
        I’ve read that true professional spies much prefer human ‘assets’ to any and all electronic ‘assets.’
        The Refugee Stream is a potential revenue stream, if only those moralists will get out of the way and let the MOTUs get the job done.

        1. Massinissa

          Don’t give the PTB any ideas… They might decide to start putting Syrian refugees into the American military.

          Need more cheap troops? Bomb more muslim countries and then recruit the refugees into the american war machine promising to let them and their families live in America as a reward for their term of service.

          1. ambrit

            If it ends up like the Ottoman Janissaries, it’ll be; “Live in America and terrorize the peasants living there.”

  17. Oregoncharles

    Axelrod: ” Sanders has pushed Clinton to shed her caution and embrace these economic issues, albeit with a slightly more moderate pitch, as a centerpiece of her campaign.

    This has made her a stronger candidate than she otherwise might have been.”

    IOW, he’s made her camouflage herself, then will endorse her. Have we already forgotten 2008?

  18. optimader

    Looks like consensus on the Metrojet evidence..

    Russian Bombers Pound Syria For The First Time As Putin Says Bomb Brought Down Airbus

    It is not clear how much Russia knows about who took down the airliner or when they knew that a bomb was conclusively the cause of the loss. As such, we cannot be certain that today’s’s heavy bombing raids in Syria were related to these findings. Still, the powerful “optics” that resulted from Russia’s heavy bomber raids sure were clear, regardless of if they were by design or just coincidence.

    In all, some 25 bombers were used, 14 Tu-22M3s, six Tu-95MSs, and five Tu-160s. At this point in time, it seems that both the Tu-95s and the Tu-160s fired long-range cruise missiles (likely KH-101 for the Blackjacks and KH-555 for the Bears) at targets in Syria, while it appears that the Tu-22M3s used dumb bombs to directly strike their targets from above.

    Some of these aircraft are said to have launched from Mozdok airbase, in Ossetia, namely the Tu-22s, while the other types likely originated their strikes from Russia proper, at Engels Air Base. It is also highly likely that all the bomber aircraft involved made their way to Syria via the Caspian Sea-Iran-Iraq-Syria route.

    I wonder how the Russian engine inventories are looking?

  19. JustAnObserver

    Re: Chip & Pin … again.

    I absolutely cannot understand WTF the fuss is all about here in the USA. Introduction of the EMV system in the EU went IIRC pretty smoothly. I think there was a 3-4 year roll out during which all the merchant terminals were upgraded & new EMV credit cards were issued (Debit cards had already had this facility for a while).

    Then people just started using them … no problem. Over here, 10+ years later, and banks & retailers are still name-calling and having food fights over it ?!?

    Note that one big plus of the Chip & Pin system that often goes unremarked by USians is that your DC or CC doesn’t disappear off into the distance where anything could happen to it (to the card cloning machine hidden in the kitchen) but the POS term comes to you at the table

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