Links 11/19/15

Cameron encourages private sector to bomb Syria Daily Mash

Founders of ‘world-class’ music library die two months apart Bangor Daily News

2015 Certainly to Be Warmest on Record New York Magazine (resilc)

World on cusp of ‘post-antibiotic era’ BBC.


Louis Vuitton, Other Luxury Brands Closing Stores in China The Fashion Law

Making Money Very Nearly Illegal In China Now Dealbreaker

China’s Stock Market Crash: Part 2 – A Little Capitalist Problem Satyajit Das, EconoMonitor

Finland’s depression is the final indictment of Europe’s monetary union Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Swedish Lex notes:

One point that AEP does not raise is the growth in population. See in particular the change from 2000, which also was about when the euro was introduced:!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_pop_grow&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:SWE:FIN&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false
The charts do not include 2015 when Sweden will have taken in 200 k refugees. The population is circa 9,5 million.

There is a broad majority in Sweden to say that immigration (including refugees) is good as it boosts the economy over time. Finland adopted pretty much the opposite view.

Goldman came out this morning with its updated growth forecast for the coming years. Sweden is expected to land between 2,3% and 3,4% through 2019. I do not have the numbers for Finland but I would guess that Goldman expects the country to be clearly below the euro average of 1,5%-1,7%.

QE in the Eurozone Has Failed EconoMonitor

IMF debunking of the German View’s austerity stance comes too late for Greece The National


Political author Gearoid O Colmain discusses the Paris attacks with RT International RT. Bev: “NC should put this video in links at top.”

Terror Attacks, G20 Hypocrisy The Bullet (Sid S)

France’s Real Problems Are Getting Lost in the Fog of War Foreign Policy

Paris terror attacks — who profits? Pepe Escobar (Chuck L)

Brussels cries foul over Paris blame game Financial Times

Police Dog Dies Saving Others During French Anti-Terrorism Raid The Dodo



Obama’s drone war a ‘recruitment tool’ for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers Guardian

In the fight against ISIS, Russia ain’t taking no prisoners RT

If We Want To Stop Terrorism, We Should Stop SUPPORTING Terrorists George Washington

ISIS Toyota trucks: 60 to 80% of weapons US sends to ‘moderates’ end up with ISIS Radio Sputnik. DF: ” know it is from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace, however, The State Dept may have been supplying all those Toyota trucks to FSA who turned over them over to ISIS. 60-80% of supplies to FSA are believed to end up in ISIS hands.”

On Syria, Oklahoma and the Refugee in Us All Huffington Post

Military Intervention in Syria Is the Problem, Not the Solution FPIF

Imperial Collapse Watch

CIA Director Documentary: ‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular’ Politico (furzy mouse). Important.

The Heresy of Technological Choice Archdruid

In The Beginning Were The Mushroom Clouds Atrios. Lambert: “Atrios seems peeved.”

Trade Traitors

TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought Public Citizen. PDF is here (link is broken in original).

Reconceptualizing The TPP: The Brotherhood Of The Three Blocs Vineyard of the Saker (JerseyJeffersonian)


Shaky Foundations Harpers. Lambert: “Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d say this piece impugns Hillary Clinton’s personal integrity!”

Hillary Clinton Told Wall Street To ‘Cut It Out’—Not So Much, the Record Shows Politico. As we said at the time she tried passing that howler off.

Rand Paul Still Using Debunked Patrick Henry Quote BuzzFeed (furzy mouse)

“Don’t Shop, Take a Hike” Black Friday: Save the Redwoods League to provide free day-use admission for anyone who visits a participating California Redwood State Park on the Day after Thanksgiving Yubanet (EM)

Misuse Rampant, Oversight Lacking at California’s Law Enforcement Network Electronic Frontier Foundation. Lambert: “Nobody could have predicted.”


Fed sends strong signal that rates will rise in December Telegraph. In case you missed the market news of the day.

Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren slams tax reform plans Financial Times

Treasury Department Plans Anti-Inversion Tax Rules This Week Wall Street Journal

BlackRock to close $1bn macro hedge fund Financial Times

Would You Pass the Global Financial Literacy Test? Bloomberg (resilc). Warning: I have not had time to read this to see if I agree with the answers!

A Flurry of Growth in the Online Financial Advice Field New York Times

Class Warfare

1.5 Million U.S. Families Living On $2 A Day Here & Now (resilc)

UK workers’ pay up but wages still a long way off pre-recession levels, says ONS Guardian

he Big Idea That Could Bring Disaffected Voters Back to the Polls William Greider, Nation

Airport workers at 7 U.S. hubs to strike Wednesday night Washington Post

Taxi Owners Sue NYC Over Uber, While Court Overrules Class-Action Appeal Slashdot

Uber Is Not the Future of Work Atlantic. Important. Circulate widely.

Antidote du jour. Howard W: “On a warmish day last week, I went down to the Dog Beach on Lake Michigan and captured this photo of two black dogs running with, not fighting for, a stick. Round and round they went, sharing one stick on their run. Socialism!”

dogs playing links

And a bonus video from margarita. The text from the Guardian: “The G20 summit in Turkey had three unannounced guests on Sunday, as a group of cats took the main stage moments before leaders of the world’s major economies were due to make an appearance. The curious felines ran across the stage, sniffed at flowers on display and then scampered off.” Keep in mind that stray cats are virtually official city mascots in Istanbul.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ambrit

    The “Post Antibiotic Era” is really a return to the ‘normal’ state of human existence. The “Antibiotic Era” will have lasted roughly a century out of the at least fifty centuries of ‘recorded history.’ This does not take into account the millennia of ‘pastoral’ hunter gatherer culture of early humans.
    The real shame of this is that the ones most hurt by the collapse of the antibiotic regime will be old people and children.
    The silver lining, if one can call it that, will be a major reduction in human population. I don’t trust the chart showing the “expected” post antibiotic death rates. Predictions by ‘official’ sources tend to be somewhat Pollyannaish. Did the chart compilers take into account the waves of infections such changes in living standards often bring about? Combine the post antibiotic world with a ‘bird flu’ mutated to be air transmissible and you have the makings of a Great Plague.
    The Doctors et. al. interviewed in the BBC piece were pretty consistent in saying when this happens, not if.
    Stories credit the ancient Alchemists with having discovered primitive antibiotic treatments. (The Egyptians knew to wrap mouldy bread over a wound to help reduce swelling and infection.) Well, it’s back to Alchemy! Our Gold is changing back to Lead! For the more Class conscious among us, take heart. Pandemics strike rich and poor alike. “As below, so above.”

    1. Pavel

      Well as I suspect everyone knows by now, the problem is that the damn doctors in the US and UK (and elsewhere) have been handing out antibiotics like candy, and they have been used by millions of patients to treat viral illness caused by agents which (gasp!) don’t respond to antibiotics. And often the course isn’t completed, so the bacteria develop resistance more readily.

      I went out with a German medical student who was studying in London on an elective (this was decades ago, mind you). She was shocked at the antibiotic prescribing habits of the Brits, and said that in Germany the family docs (GPs) wouldn’t prescribe them, they would only be given in hospital. Not sure if this is still true, but it certainly makes sense. When was the last time a family doc took e.g. a throat culture swab to check for sensitivity before prescribing antibiotics?

      1. fresno dan

        Its kinda of a rebuke to free market medicine – doctors are under pressure and have a tremendous incentive to “do something” when someone has a cold. If that doctor won’t, the patient can just go somewhere else.
        It is exactly like so much of what needs to be conserved that is priceless – you make money by using it up and not saving it – no matter how valuable and irreplaceable it is.
        People in the future will wonder how could prior generations have been so foolish as to slaughter the golden goose…

        NOTE: The most effective antibiotics are based on the profound differences between one aspect of prokaryotes (cells without a nucleus) and eukaryotes (cells with a nucleus) regarding ribosomes – there will probably never be such a uniquely effective and specific therapy again.

        1. William C

          Giving antibiotics so indiscriminately to animals is probably the stupidest thing humans have done to date.

        2. cwaltz

          It doesn’t help that the insurance companies don’t really like them to use the tools they have.
          Medicine has turned into a guessing game.

          My son’s recent experience is a perfect example. They did a quick test on him for strep- he tested positive. They put him on antibiotics. He went back to the Drs. 4 days later still with fever (for another note for work since when I was trained the rule of thumb was fever free without meds for 24 hours or consider contagious) and they re quick tested him for strep again. It came back negative that time. They switched his antibiotics from a penicillin to a cephlasporin. They never bothered to culture him even though at this point he was now on antibiotic 2. Wasn’t protocol once upon a time to do a swab and try and figure out what you are treating? Anyway it did work out because after another 2 days the fever did break. I considered it luck more than medicine though. We’ll never really know if there was a resistant version of strep(which was I guess why they switched the antibiotic) or a virus piggybacking on a bacterial infection.

        3. JTMcPhee

          ” If that doctor won’t, the patient can just go somewhere else.”
          By my little observation as a nurse, from the little corners I can see, and looking at what options are available to most people as “patients,” which don’t include that facile “just go somewhere else” because they are “under” Medicaid or “have” Medicare or only “have” the emergency room for “care,” or are hamstrung because they are “health UNsurance-covered” people, there’s not a lot of doctor shopping except for the Yuppie types that have a lot of perfect-child disposable income and the preciousness and leisure to go shopping.

          Both I, my wife, our kids and grandkids, and a lot of patients I have encountered, have suffered as a result of failure to spend the bit of time and money on a definitive “culture and susceptibility” test.

          But yes, doctors are under pressure, time pressure, and economic pressure from “payers,” and all those best-practices protocols that are constantly being revised, and the presumptions that are part of the Real World practice of medicine including how nurses think, and the snotty distrust or condescension that too many “caring professionals,” often reasonably, display toward their “patients” who need reassurance and handholding as much as accurate diagnosis and treatment or are (rarely) Munchausen types, and UNsurance scams that WILL NOT PAY FOR THE CULTURES that must be done to figure out whether it’s bacterial, what kind of bug, and even susceptible to some or any of the available antibiotics.

          Another addition to the “stupid human behaviors that cannot, no how, no way, be fixed, because we are too greedy and stupid and deluded to pull on the same end of rope.” See, e.g., “war,” and “political economy…”

          “Health UNsurance:” UN, because not about “health,” and UN because you are always UNsure about whether your needs for care and your necessary medications are covered, UNsure whether they will continue to be covered, UNsure how much you will have to pay for what you need or what the UNsurance oligarchs dictate you may have, UNsure about who-all in the universe has a copy of all your supposedly protected “personally identifiable health information,” medical history, meds etc., UNsure whether you will even have “your doctor” the next time you need medical care because he or she is UNsure if the UNsurance will pay for their services or because he or she has become “off plan” or been purchased by an UNsurance company or quit what he or she thought was a calling, a profession in the old sense, in depression, frustration, fatigue and disgust …

      2. Vatch

        the problem is that the damn doctors in the US and UK (and elsewhere) have been handing out antibiotics like candy

        This is a big part of the problem, but it’s not the problem. The routine use of antibiotics in agriculture, especially in densely packed factory farms (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs) is another huge part of the problem. Antibiotics should never be used on farms unless an animal is actually sick with a disease that can be treated by that antibiotic. And the special antibiotics that are used to treat people infected with resistant bacteria should never be used in agriculture. People have been warning about this for years, and government agencies and legislatures have done nothing. It’s a huge scandal, and it gets very little press.

        Or course you are correct that antibiotics should never be used for influenza, the common cold, or any other viral infection. Any doctor who prescribes antibiotics to treat such diseases should lose his or her license to practice medicine.

          1. Vatch

            If a person with a viral infection has an opaque discharge or if a lab test is positive for a bacterial infection, then yes, that person also has a bacterial infection and possibly should be given an antibiotic. But I think Pavel is correct that too many physicians hand out antibiotics like Hallowe’en candy. They’re not likely to stop unless there’s a substantial penalty.

          2. Vatch

            One other point: if more people would get vaccinated against influenza, there would be fewer cases of influenza that would be mistakenly treated with antibiotics.

            1. cwaltz

              Actually newer studies suggest the conventional wisdom on flu shots may not hold true.


              My personal experience is that whatever strain they used to shoot me with(as a corpsman we were required to receive them) was the strain I didn’t get but it didn’t actually prevent me from getting some form of viral infection. Then again, not getting them hasn’t prevented me from coming down with viral infections either. It’s almost a given that twice a year when the weather starts to change I come down with some form or other of the crud. It probably doesn’t help that I married someone prone to sinus issues(from what I understand 90% of those are viral in nature.) It actually has got to the point where I start planning for the end of October/ the beginning of November to be “down time.” Fluids, rest, more fluids, more rest……


              1. Vatch

                Interesting. Thanks for the article.

                Then in 1999, a leading influenza researcher, Derek Smith, suggested that in years when a component of the vaccine — say the part that protects against the influenza A family called H3N2 — had changed little or not at all from the previous year’s vaccine, the second year’s vaccine would induce less protection. Smith, now based at Britain’s University of Cambridge, called it negative interference.

                The idea is that the antibodies produced in year one may neutralize some of the vaccine in year two’s shot before it can trigger a full immune response, explained Dr. John Treanor, a vaccine expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

                Smith also argued that when the vaccine viruses were quite different from one year to the next the recipient would actually get enhanced protection. Positive interference, he called it.

                So if the vaccine is similar to the previous year’s vaccine, it might interfere with a person’s immunity. But if the vaccine is significantly difference from the previous year’s vaccine, it will be extra effective.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  Either way, there’s profit to be made from making and selling and administering the vaccine…

                  Fix that? in the present world?

              2. Sam Saraguy

                from the article:

                That’s not the message researchers such as Belongia want to convey.

                “In every scenario, it is better for people to be vaccinated than not vaccinated,” he said. “It would not be, I think, accurate or helpful for people to take away from this ‘Oh, well, I shouldn’t get vaccinated because I got vaccinated in the past and that’s a bad thing.’ ”

      3. tongorad

        Well as I suspect everyone knows by now, the problem is that the damn doctors in the US and UK (and elsewhere) have been handing out antibiotics like candy…

        I don’t know about the UK, but the US is in lock down mode regarding antibiotics compared to SE Asia. In Thailand, every doctor’s visit includes antibiotics and paracetamol, and you can go to any pharmacist and get whatever you want.

      4. different clue

        Is that “the” problem? Or just “a” problem? Mass feeding of antibiotics to close-packed factory feedlot animals is also generating antibiotic immunity across many bacteria and many antibiotics.

      5. Ray Phenicie

        Those who raise and feed Farm Animals are probably actually the biggest culprits-more exactly the expectations of the financial backers of animal husbandry. The whole industrialized agri-business has much to answer for. In the marketplace, Milk, eggs, poultry meat, pork, beef and turkey are all laced with antibiotics. Those in turn are ingested into our bodies. We can’t expect too much from the politicians to effect change in this scene so the only recourse is for consumers to stay away from the products that are so heavily doped up.

    2. moo

      This issue strikes at the heart of modern medicine. Antibiotics are probably the most important medication class responsible for our rising life expectancy than anything else. A post antibiotic era is disastrous, where a simple skin infection or urinary tract infection can cause death in a scale yet to be seen in 2 generations.

      These infections strike at the most vulnerable patients, usually whom are also poor, due to poorer patients usually eat meat laced with antibiotics resistant bacteria. Before you start thinking about Great Plagues equalizing the field, perhaps you should start thinking on how destabilizing this is to the already diassected population. Rich people eat expensive farm to table meat, poor people eat meat from animals with resistant bacteria. Poor people will be affected much more by kleb, pseudomonas, e. Coli than the rich people.

      1. ambrit

        Your last point is the point. That has been the “normal” state of affairs for millennia. Think of “The Decameron.” That didn’t make the ‘rich’ immune to what was decimating the ‘commons.’ The ‘rich’ didn’t all survive, and won’t.

        1. Tertium Squid

          The rich weren’t immune, but If I understand correctly, while half of Europe died over a century from the plague and associated ills, only one crowned head succumbed to the disease.

          1. ambrit

            I surmise that the main factor underlying that was the superior diet available to the aristocrats. That plus the availability of semi trained help for the ill person. I’ve personally worked through an attack of something or other because of financial imperatives. Imagine doing that back when recovery times were longer.

    3. ambrit

      “Combine the post antibiotic world with a ‘bird flu’…”
      As my wife has just pointed out to me, flus are viral in nature. Tuberculosis now… and what about Staph?
      So, a reformulated version; “Combine the post antibiotic world with a stronger Tuberculosis bug and you have the makings of a New Great Plague.”

      1. three eyed goddess

        Antibiotic-resistant TB is already a plague amongst the homeless a dirty secret that public health agencies have been keeping for several years now. Treatment would require billion$ to house them
        away from the general population in protective isolation. Working with poor patients and clients and remaining TB-free in San Francisco for a couple of decades I tested positive five years ago after moving to one of the poorest counties in Kalifornia. The local public health nurse asked how I got infected. My answer: “obviously, from the homeless people and newly released prisoners who crowd our local bus system.” The multi-degreed professional gasped and angrily replied “no way!”

        1. neo-realist

          If you could pick up TB riding the buses in a county in California, wouldn’t the chances of picking up TB also be great in other metropolises with large public transportation systems such as NYC?—one which transports millions daily, very likely including quite a few people w/ contagious diseases.

          1. different clue

            As long as you are well fed and well nourished and healthy, chances are good that any TB which invades your body will be encysted by a calcium “bubble” and kept inactive. If three eyed goddess above does not have active TB, probably her body repelled the invader or at worst has it encysted in a calcified “sphere” and kept inactive.

      2. three eyed goddess

        Antibiotic-resistant TB is already a plague amongst the homeless a dirty secret that public health agencies have been keeping for several years now. Treatment would require billion$ to house them
        away from the general population in protective isolation. Working with poor patients and clients and remaining TB-free in San Francisco for a couple of decades I tested positive five years ago after moving to one of the poorest counties in Kalifornia. The local public health nurse asked how I got infected. My answer: “obviously, from the homeless people and newly released prisoners who crowd our local bus system.” The multi-degreed professional angrily replied “no way!”

  2. wbgonne

    Shaky Foundations Harpers. Lambert: “Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d say this piece impugns Hillary Clinton’s personal integrity!”

    Wow. This is essential reading:

    If the Justice Department and law enforcement agencies do their jobs, the foundation will be closed and its current and past trustees, who include Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton, will be indicted. That’s because their so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich Clinton family friends.

    But how do these grifters thrive?

    So why hasn’t the Obama administration’s Justice Department looked into the foundation? One can only speculate, but you have to wonder if it isn’t because it would be too embarrassing to Obama’s former secretary of state and to the president himself.

    This seems plainly true. Obama’s narcissism is so deeply blended with neoliberal ideology so he probably excuses the Clintons’ thievery as little more than Savvy (Charitable) Business. Plus, Hillary is Obama’s annointed successor as the leader of the global neoliberal project and Obama has no intention of jeopardizing that. Ever.

    But this part I’m not so sure about:

    So why haven’t the Clintons gotten caught? My intelligence source summed up the situation perfectly in explaining why the Benghazi Committee has not thus far bagged them. “The Democrats are stupid but they have ruthless leadership. The Republicans are even dumber. Donald Trump is an idiot but he’s right about one thing: We are led by stupid people. These are some of the dumbest motherfuckers I have ever seen.”

    I doubt it’s a matter of intelligence, not entirely anyway. The fact is that the GOP doesn’t really object to most of the nasty things the Clintons do. The GOP just wants to find something to take Hillary down that doesn’t involve the substance, i.e. the Big Money. That’s a lot harder than coming after the Clintons for what used to be called corruption and bribery (how quaint those terms now seem). My guess is that the real reason the Republicans haven’t used the bazooka on the Clinton grift machine is that the Republicans know that a lot of their friends will be collateral damage. Probably themselves, too, since this thievery is bipartisanship at its finest.

    1. Carolinian

      This graf is also dynamite

      Bill and Hillary Clinton have in tandem made enormous sums of money since Bill left the White House. According to the Washington Post, they netted at least $136.5 million between 2001 and 2012. “All the Benghazi committee has to do is match up Hillary’s travel as secretary of state with Bill’s speaking arrangements,” my source in the Middle East said. “Bill heads out to foreign countries and he gets paid huge amounts of money for a thirty-minute speech and then she heads out for an official visit as a favor. She racked up more miles than any secretary of state [other than Condoleezza Rice] and that’s one of the reasons why. How can they get away with that? The committee is either corrupt or incompetent, or both.”

      Sounds like I need to write a strongly worded letter to my congressman (Trey Gowdy).

      1. wbgonne

        Sounds like I need to write a strongly worded letter to my congressman (Trey Gowdy).

        That’s an excellent idea. Send him a copy of the article too.

        1. Carolinian

          And maybe somebody should send a copy to Bernie Sanders–not that he would do anything about it. It might be “negative campaigning.”

              1. wbgonne


                Note to the Sanders campaign: You let Clinton get away with too much. Don’t.

                Oui. I hope Sanders listens up. Pronto.

                Hillary is a weak politician (unlike her husband) and she sometimes makes unforced errors. But, like most people, Hillary really freaks out under pressure. And that’s what Sanders must do: put her under pressure. It will be much harder now that the SS Hillary appears to have righted its course but there are lots of icebergs out there and Bernie’s job is to place them in her path, then hope she slams into one. Not impossible at all but it requires some daring and some guts. Does Bernie have what it takes?

                (Incidentally, the failure to put meaningful pressure on Obama is why we are desperately fending off his TPP today. Had Obama been properly chastened by the Left or the Democratic Party, on the Grand Bargain for instance, he may not have had the gall to push this travesty but, since he’s still the Golden Boy, he has no fear.)

                1. Code Name D

                  Sanders is right to be cautious. They went to press regarding GW Bush’s AWAL from the national guard. They went to press with a document that turned out to be forged and the case crumbled to dust – even though the charges them selves were well founded.

                  The problem with the Clintons is that money laundering is the rule in Washington, and the threshold for even making the accusation is so ridiculously that there is no real point in even trying. And the public doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite money-scandals any way; they are always complex and steeped in deep legal hairsplitting.

                  I agree that Sanders has to go negative at some point – if only to be consistent in his message. But if he goes after Clinton for this one, he will fail.

                  1. trinity river

                    “They went to press regarding GW Bush’s AWAL from the national guard. They went to press with a document that turned out to be forged and the case crumbled to dust.”

                    Is this true or is this what the Bush campaign forced on CBS?

                2. Massinissa

                  “properly chastened by the left”

                  What left? We havnt had one in decades. You mean those poseurs on DKos? Theyre center right.

                  There is no left

                  Anyway, if there WAS a left, how do you chasten a politician? Threaten to not reelect him? Not elect him in the first place? Its not like the ‘left’ is even what funded Obamas campaign, it was funded by financial institutions. They bought him, they own him.

    2. Pavel

      Wow, that Harpers piece is a shocker. I suspect the Repubs know all this and are just sitting on it until HRC gets the nomination. This slush fund of the Clintons is as big a scandal as anything they have pulled in their 30 years or so of political life. There should be some law of politics:

      1. You can be greedy
      2. You can be a politician
      3. You can be dishonest

      But you can’t be all three and get away with it.

      We’ll see. From the Harper’s piece:

      Bill and Hillary Clinton have in tandem made enormous sums of money since Bill left the White House. According to the Washington Post, they netted at least $136.5 million between 2001 and 2012. “All the Benghazi committee has to do is match up Hillary’s travel as secretary of state with Bill’s speaking arrangements,” my source in the Middle East said. “Bill heads out to foreign countries and he gets paid huge amounts of money for a thirty-minute speech and then she heads out for an official visit as a favor. She racked up more miles than any secretary of state [other than Condoleezza Rice] and that’s one of the reasons why. How can they get away with that? The committee is either corrupt or incompetent, or both.”

      There are other signs that the Clintons and their foundation may have violated federal, state, and international law. Under Treasury Department money-laundering rules, the Clinton Foundation is required to disclose every financial account it holds abroad. It has failed to disclose an account linked to the CGEP on its past eight tax returns.

      I have been told by a source with firsthand knowledge that the Treasury Department, the IRS, the FBI, and Canadian tax authorities were informed of this and other transgressions many months ago but thus far have done nothing.

      The IRS has been known to come down very hard on people who don’t file the relevant FBAR and FATCA forms referred to here. Selective prosecution, anyone?

      1. wbgonne

        I suspect the Repubs know all this and are just sitting on it until HRC gets the nomination.

        Quite possible. Stock up on popcorn.

      2. Jim Haygood

        One money-laundering expert and former intelligence officer based in the Middle East who had access to the [Clinton] foundation’s confidential banking information told me that … “The Clinton Foundation is a professionally structured money-laundering operation.”

        Probably so. But how did this money-laundering expert get access to the foundation’s confidential banking info? That is, was he an insider at the foundation or its auditors? Or is the author implying that the expert hacked into the foundation’s bank account (a criminal offense)?

        Sounds like the ubiquitous ‘honor among thieves’ (or lack thereof) issue that emerges among the Clintons and their sticky-fingered accomplices. It’s so hard to find trustworthy co-conspirators these days.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Try reading the book Clinton Cash which fleshes all the filth out in more detail.

      Particularly ugly are the clintonian shakedowns in Africa. (Remember Bill’s biggest presidential “regret”–that he didn’t “intervene” in Rawanda?)

      One “anecdote” involves Bill’s being paid $700,000 to “speak” (arf, arf) in an African country, don’t remember which one, by the country’s “leader.” Afterward, he helped hand out checks as rewards to the nation’s exemplary teachers. Bill cashed his check. The teachers’ checks bounced.

      It depends what the definition of pond scum is.

      1. rich

        Clinton Goes after Laugh Factory Comedians for Making Fun of Her

        In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.

        A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”

        Practically all of the country’s most acclaimed comedians have performed at the Laugh Factory and undoubtedly they have offended politicians and other well-known personalities with their standup routines. Tim Allen, Jay Leno, Roseanne Bar, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Jim Carrey, Martin Lawrence, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez are among the big names that have headlined at the Laugh Factory. The First Amendment right to free speech is a crucial component of the operation, though Masada drew the line a few years ago banning performers—including African Americans—from using the “n-word” in their acts.

        The five short performances that Clinton wants eliminated include some profanity and portions could be considered crass, but some of the lines are funny and that’s what the Laugh Factory is all about. The video features the individual acts of five comedians, four men and a woman. The skits make fun of Clinton’s wardrobe, her age, sexual orientation, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the former First Lady’s relationship with her famous husband. The Laugh Factory has appropriately titled it “Hillary vs. The First Amendment.”

        Masada told Judicial Watch that, as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video. Masada refused and hung up. He insists that the comedy stage is a sanctuary for freedom of speech no matter who is offended. “Just last night we had (Emmy-award winner) Dana Carvey doing Donald Trump and it was hilarious,” Masada said.

        1. Massinissa

          This better not become a thing.

          But my god, every time I read about HRC the more I hope she loses to whatever odious Republican wins the Repub race…

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Back during the 2008 campaign, Randi Rhodes was a very popular progressive radio talker.

          She made the mistake of criticizing Hillary about something, and was simultaneously fired and banished. She’s barely been been heard from since–I run into her show every once in awhile but I can’t remember where.

          Hillary’s sphere of influence seems to be diminishing. Or at least the people she’s concerned about aren’t quite as concerned about her.

          1. neo-realist

            The Rhodes show must be a re-run or she’s appearing on another show as a guest. She hung up her microphone about a year ago. I suspect she saw which way the winds were blowing with respect to the lack of ability to have progressive voices heard and supported on the airwaves and threw the towel in.

    4. Optimader

      Maybe i am being simplistic, but im thinkin bho could not give a tinkers damn wether or not hrc is his successor, i presume he tolerates her as a former political advesary. More to the point, he is a relatively young man with prospects for formating his own tweaked version of a charitable foundation. Why tip over the turnip cart?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m pretty certain Obama despises Bill. BHO is already on record as saying he thought the country wanted a new face.

        1. cwaltz

          He’s on the record as calling himself a moderate Republican. I’m fairly certain he’ll be thrilled that his tax bracket will remain safe if he’s replaced by the GOP.

      2. wbgonne

        You may be right, I don’t know. I certainly don’t think there is much personal warmth between Obama the Clintons. (Does Obama really like anyone? He’s kind of Nixonian.) But Obama sees that Hillary is the one most likely to validate him and continue his policies. The GOP will tear everything Obama did to shreds just for the hell of it. Obama supports Hillary for those reasons, IMNSHO. But it’s business, not personal.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From Pepe Escobar’s article linked above:

    “Take a close look at this meeting in D.C., which took place only a little over two weeks before the Paris tragedy. It features CIA’s John Brennan, the director of French DGSE (external security) Bernard Bajolet, former MI6 Chief John Sawers (call him the former “M”), and former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaacov Amidror.”

    Huh. Who’s the joker in that deck?

  4. craazyboy

    Swedish Lex Economics

    OTOH, I read an economist once that said if you aren’t getting per capita GDP growth, he can’t think of any reason why you’d want GDP growth.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The world population.

      i would also add that if more people, more population grown means ‘boosting the economy’ (he assumes a bigger GDP, much less a bigger GDP per capita, is the same a boosting the economy) over time, then we don’t want that kind of boost in the economy (because we can’t afford increasing population growth).

      That is to say, we have to redefine what is economy and what a boost in the economy means.

      On the other hand, we know more people (in a nation or in the world) mean a bigger market and more serfs for our corporations.

      There are compelling moral considerations, but economically, at least on this one, I don’t see it for more refugees. To bring that one in would just weaken the case.

      1. Swedish Lex

        The 200.000 refugees coming to Sweden from Syria this year apparently prefer to serfs in the Swedish welfare state rather than being blown to pieces and/or tortured in Syria. These people are anxious to build new lives and to work.

      1. Swedish Lex

        GDP per capita picking up just nicely. Growth and projected GDP growth per capita exceeds net immigration.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If we can achieve the same happiness with less resource-consumption per capita, if that is our goal, then, we can look at how immigrants help reduce GDP per capita, and how we achieve a more sustainable economy with immigration.

          Can we achieve the same (or more) happiness with less per capita consumption? I think we can.

          1. Swedish Lex

            Not there yet. Sweden is attempting to fossil free by 2050 or thereabout. Hope so. Our daughter is 14……

  5. wbgonne

    Uber Is Not the Future of Work Atlantic. Important. Circulate widely.

    Apparently, the Uberization of jobs is now referred to as the “gig economy.” Those who think this is a salutary development for workers should ask their local working musicians how cushy and sweet it is to live gig to gig. Most people don’t want that kind of “freedom,” because:

    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
    Kris Kristofferson

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Here in the U.S., there are more than 400,000 active drivers taking at least four trips a month.”

      Four trips a month?

      At what, $25 per trip?

      It sounds more like an allowance than a “job.”

    2. cwaltz

      What I find interesting is, at least in my little part of the world, the whole entire “part time work” model isn’t working out real well for businesses either. They can’t find enough workers. It’s becoming a feedback loop too. The ones who are working to replace the manpower they can’t find end up burnt out and quitting because the businesses end up working them beyond what the workers expectations were to begin with. My “part time” son was scheduled for 50 hours this week(and one of the days they scheduled him was a day he told them he was unavailable on his availability sheet.) I made him(after explaining to him that he won’t do anyone any good if he gets sick again) go in and tell them that he wouldn’t be able to work the shift on his unavailable day. This place also doesn’t guarantee lunches and breaks even if you’re working a 10 hour shift………at entry level pay. Can’t understand why they can’t find anyone(rolls eyes)? Respect and loyalty are two ways streets.

      1. wbgonne

        The model appears to be make money today and worry about tomorrow then. Sort of explains how we’re in the mess we’re in.

        1. cwaltz

          Yep. I actually explained to him that some of the “benefits” to workers are just good business practices. The reality is that taking breaks and lunches mean that a worker gets the opportunity to fuel their body. This improves the chances that they won’t get sick and business won’t have to scramble to replace their shifts when they can’t work. I pointed out to him that having a day off means that he won’t have to inconvenience his bosses when he inevitably needs to go to a dentist or an optometrist because he can schedule those things for his day off. It’s very short sighted that management teams seem to have lost sight of what seems to be common sense business modeling.

          1. ambrit

            Ah, ‘common sense.’
            I learned in my travails at Lowes that ‘common sense’ is not considered a revenue enhancement tool. When a company places its’ store managers on salary plus bonus wage schemes, private greed takes over in a hurry. It takes a seasoned and mature individual to forego personal profit in the interests of store functionality. Many of the store managers I see now, indeed worked under, in retail look very young for their levels of responsibility. As an experiment, the next time you encounter the store manager, or his or her immediate underlings, wherever you shop, try to step back and gauge their level of stress. I would not be a bit surprised if such jobs self select for cold heartedness and insularity.

            1. cwaltz

              The managers he works for are incredibly young and stressed out. They aren’t cold hearted though. I suspect that some of them were hard workers and the business thought being hard working translates to being able to manage. It doesn’t necessarily.

  6. allan

    Currently prominently displayed on the front page of the WaPo:

    How Belgium missed chances to stop the Paris assailants
    Belgian police and intelligence officials’ high level of awareness about some of suspects raises questions about how they could slip through their fingers.

    Funny, I don’t remember the Post raising similar questions at the time of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Speaking of Boston where terrorism “drills” were being run during the marathon, “Paris ER ranks had just run routine terror emergency drill, were ready at time of attack”

      “Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks last January, in which 16 people died, Paris-area ambulance crews and emergency personnel have taken part in regular exercises designed to test their readiness for possible attacks. One such exercise was held on Friday morning, the same day of the latest terror attacks. In a strange twist of fate, the simulated emergency was a mass shooting, according to Dr. Mathieu Raux, the emergency room chief at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris.”

      The article calls it “lucky timing.”

      And, if I remember correctly, NORAD was running “training drills” on 9/11 which “confused” air traffic control and prevented the military from taking action.

      “Strange twists of fate” indeed.

      1. Pavel

        Well add that to the “strange twist of fate” in which there was a “simulated tube/bus explosion” drill underway in London the same morning of the 7/7 terrorist attack. Amazing how these coincidences recur.

        Frankly this is so bizarre (and/or “in your face blatant” if one listens to the conspiracy theorists) it’s hard to believe it’s true:

        POWER: At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.

        HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?

        POWER: Precisely, and it was about half past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don’t want to reveal their name but they’re listening and they’ll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they’d met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision that this is the real one and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from slow time to quick time thinking and so on.

        (BBC Radio Interview, 7 July 2005)

        Mock Terror Drill

        Can anyone make sense of this?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Can anyone say why the two aircraft carriers were not at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked?

          1. ambrit

            We now know that the American and British governments had cracked both the diplomatic and naval codes of Japan. The big misstep on the part of the West was the assumption that the waters of Pearl Harbour were too shallow to allow for accurate or effective use of aerial torpedoes. Just because the Western Powers hadn’t cracked that problem didn’t mean that the IJN couldn’t. They did, utilizing blocks of wood on the tail fins of the Type 91 torpedoes to retard the torpedoes tendency to dive deep on initial deployment. The wood blocks slowed the torpedoes enough to ensure that the majority of the torpedoes air launched in Pearl Harbour that day did not burrow into the mud at the bottom of the harbor. If Genda had been allowed to launch a third wave to destroy the oil facilities, WW2 in the Pacific would have developed differently.
            For torpedoes see:
            For the ‘Third Wave’ see:

    2. JTMcPhee

      There’s apparently a “report” and a lot of subsequent ass covering revelations that “our” security state lower echelons knew Atta and his posse were on the move and the rulers said something like “its not time for that yet…”

      BELGIUM missed something?

            1. optimader

              A few years back I had an antibiotic resistant MERSA infection, on the top of my foot, since perfectly healed fortunately. It was first whacked w/a serious kick-ass, break the glass for emergency use, antibiotic which shrunk it to the original wound but didn’t completely eliminate the puncture which was not healing. Very creepy experience, AR-MERSA is nothing to fool around with.
              When I got home the wound treatment MD “packed” it w/a colloidal silver imbibed gauze strip, quite effective, and again a very creepy process.

              She gave me a prescription strength tube of the goop which I keep in the freezer w/ other goodies.
              wound treatment w/ silver –real Civil War stuff.
              worth reading for general awareness…

              For the management of infected wounds the following antibacterial agents may be considered:

              •Silver sulfadiazine and chlorhexidine (Silvazine), which has been shown to be effective against MRSA in vitro when tested against 50 strains of MRSA [65]

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Gold may have no practical use, but it seems silver is better than gold.

                That will support my ‘a silver spoon for everyone’ call.

              1. ambrit

                I have seen different opinions about if the Zetans are the “Greys” or not. Maybe Frederick Pohl is correct in his ‘Heechee Saga’ stories and we are a juvenile stage of an ‘alien’ species.

  7. andyb

    The Colmain video should be required viewing for the seemingly few of us with an IQ above 80. A succinct encapsulation of all the neocon lies and misdirection. I find it so disheartening that all broadcast networks are beating the war drums to the nth degree, slowly but inexorably propagandizing the masses.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Coercive engineered migration” to effect societal breakdown. And it’s happening right before our eyes.

      Recall the endless stream of “migrants” walking through european fields to get to Germany.

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything quite so terrifying.

    1. TedWa

      Too cool hahaha, I might get one to add to the 1 Bernie sticker I already have on my bumper. Thanks for that

  8. fresno dan

    “A federal jury on Wednesday found that D.C. police framed an innocent man for a 1981 rape and murder, making the District liable for damages after he was imprisoned for 27 years.”
    “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District declined to comment on the verdict or whether the decision exposes the detectives to criminal investigation for perjury.”

    Yeah, got to think a long time – at least until everyone AGAIN forgets another example of the legal industrial complex framing people. That would be so embarrassing that police are criminals and judges and prosecutors are too stupid/lazy/corrupt to do anything about it

      1. Tertium Squid

        On the morning of his return he faced a choice: stop in the bathroom there or wait until he got home. The flight was nine hours. He waited.

        The move seems almost masochistic. But in his home and office bathrooms, Mr. Friedman had installed a Toto washlet. To sit upon a standard commode, he said, would be like “going back to the Stone Age.”

        This isn’t a life-improving luxury, it’s toilet heroin. Having such a pampered hiney that you can’t relieve yourself in less-than-ideal circumstances is a hardship, not a blessing.

        Oh, and this is priceless too:

        Around $2,400, the system is also a more entry-level version of Toto’s top-of-the-line $9,800 Neorest, which has UV light technology that kills bacteria.

        So the children of the wealthy will grow up in a sterile, microbe-free environment, which augurs ill for a life in a post-antibiotic world.

        Thanks for the link.

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: If We Want To Stop Terrorism, We Should Stop SUPPORTING Terrorists George Washington

    What I want to stop is reading articles like this.

    After a decade and a half of searching for, “training,” arming and paying off every possible “terrorist” we can find and pursuing policies that insure a steady stream of fresh recruits, it should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that we most emphatically DO NOT want to stop terrorism.

    For the reasons why, I suggest you take ten minutes and view the the excellent Gearoid O’Colmain video from RT linked above in the Paris section. (Glad to see this made it through moderation purgatory and into Links.)

    This video is far, far more important to what is going on in this country and on the planet today than another “analysis” of the uber/gig economy or the death of a heroic police dog, and people had better start waking up to that fact.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Complementing GW’s take, David Stockman has posted a comprehensive analysis of the destructive nihilism of U.S. policy since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Excerpt:

      The demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 meant the world could have reverted to the status quo ante. That is, to a normalcy of peace, liberal commerce and a minimum of armaments that had prevailed in the late 19th century. The 20th century curse of militarism, totalitarianism and global warfare was over.

      Needless to say, the sudden end to 20th century history posed an existential threat to Imperial Washington. A trillion dollar complex of weapons suppliers, warfare state bureaucracies, intelligence and security contractors, arms exporters, foreign aid vendors, military bases, grand poobahs and porkers of the Congressional defense committes, think tanks, research grants and much more——were all suddenly without an enemy and raison d’etre.

      As it has happened, Imperial Washington did find its necessary enemy in the rise of so-called “global terrorism”.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”

        Hillary Clinton Will Present Her Plan to Battle ISIS — NYT headline

        We gonna open up a can of whup-ass on them Isissies …

            1. ambrit

              I’ll lay odds that Gaddafi did contribute to the Clinton Foundation. He was still stabbed in the back. Remember when Saddam Hussein was “our man in Baghdad?”

      2. fresno dan

        Its a funny thing – but the more I read of “far” left or right commentary, the more agreement I see that the US government is not your friend, and is not making the world a better place.
        While at the same time, the establishment “liberal” organs like the NYT or Washington post, seem to be more and more bellicose, and more and more naive or accepting of the “deep state” rationale and view of the world.
        I see people put forth the proposition that we just have to get rid of Assad, because if Russia has any success, well that is just a disaster. This is just after the incredible, wonderful, irrefutable (sarc, sarc, sarc) success we have had with changing mideaster leadership in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.
        Oil is obviously toxic – it destroys thinking…
        This is from people who wet their pants at the thought of Iran gaining any influence, who did the one thing that Iran couldn’t do, that in fact increased Iranian influence greatly.
        And a group of people who appear to believe the Saudi’s are our friends.
        Pure evil?
        Or absolutely pure stupidity?
        I would say the people who run American foreign policy have a religious belief (i.e., an inability to compare and contrast their premises with cause and effect to objective reality) in what they do, no matter how often they are wrong.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The religious aspect is familiar.

          Omnipotence, infallibility, special bond, no other gods (or theories, opinions), dispensing indulgences or favors, etc…

        2. lord koos

          The mainstream media is hardly “naive”, they are owned. And investigative reporting is not something they are too concerned with.

  10. Jim A

    I’m not sure how useful it is to try and analyze the TPP in terms of which nations states win and lose…So much of it is about emphasizing the interests of multi-national corporations and their post-national management elites.

    1. fresno dan

      I think more and more we live in a “Davos man” globalized world. We ASSUME that our political, business, and cultural leaders have an implicit interest in the OVERALL success of the nation state that they are domiciled in – and I think that assumption no longer holds water.
      The interest of a multi national corporation may often be at odds with the interest of its ostensible “home” country, e.g., outsourcing.
      Sure, sure, the apologists will yammer on and on about how that helps consumers…at the very same time that more, and more….and more consumers purchasing power (demand) is totally being crushed.
      The fact remains that the vast majority in a country can be getting poorer and poorer, while an elite in the country is doing better and better,

  11. Nicholas Cole

    Seems like an overly simplified/insufficient test of financial literacy to me. Basic compound interest and inflation with abstract numbers like $100? With people in the MAEs being encouraged to take on more and more debt for education, homeownership, and consumption, we need much better comprehension of say, how one’s income is likely to change over time and how that relates to the permanent debt burden they’re taking on.

    1. fresno dan

      There is always the bull propounded that your income will rise and the value of your house will rise.
      Well, true enough for 1% of the population, but for an ever increasing percentage of the population, the old axiom that borrowing is a good idea because your income will rise and you will be paying off the debt with an every increasing paycheck is just not true.

      1. optimader

        Many people in the US still don’t get that only with some exceptions their house is a long-term depreciating durable good that eventually reverts the land value less demolition cost.

        There are of course cyclical market opportunities to get out of houses for a “profit” but depending on how you reallocate those gains, (putting it back into another comparable home for example) the market will take your profit back. For most people that take on debt to buy, the mortgage lender are the ones who win, assuming the property is sensibly evaluated –marked to market.

        I suppose a house can provide a possible source of equity for barrowing, but at the peril of using a primary domicile as an investment vehicle.

        1. cwaltz

          The reason they haven’t seen it that way is because the market hasn’t treated housing as a whole that way.

          The median cost of a house in 1968 was less that $25,000. If you have that same house today it’s likely worth 10 times that.

          Now I agree it’s kind of stupid to think those gains will continue but I think that much like the generational wisdom of attending college to get ahead(it used to be pretty surefire way to get ahead was to get an education) that society doesn’t turn conventional wisdom on it’s head easily.

          1. Jim Haygood

            ‘The median cost of a house in 1968 was less that $25,000. If you have that same house today it’s likely worth 10 times that.’

            Which translates to a gain of (250,000/25,000)^(1/47)-1 = 5.02% annually compounded

            5-year Treasuries returned 7.2% annually over the same period. But housing speculators use leverage.

            1. cwaltz

              Can one live in a treasury note while it accrues interest?

              Housing is pretty much a third to half of most household budgets. It’s actually quite nice if in the process you can make some money off it.

              I do realize that in some instances it doesn’t make sense to buy particularly considering in today’s job market there are benefits to having mobility.

              1. optimader

                I hear what you saying cwaltz, but as you point out there are objective reasons to make the buy vs rent decision which you touch on.

                Taking Jims comment further, your investment in
                *10yr T bills in 1968 reinvested would be a (CPI corrected) total return 230% & annual 2.573%.
                *A S&P 500 w/ reinvested dividends would be: 1,092% & 5.94% respectively.
                *If you could have bought $25K worth of Gold and buried it in field in 1968, corrected daily for inflation: 301% & 3%

                Indeed you cant live in a T-Bill but on the other hand they don’t have certain ongoing parasitic loads like property tax, maintenance and periodic renovation costs over time that can dramatically erode that return you perceive –as well the neutron bomb of home ownership: Obsolescence which reverts the house to land value no matter what the sunk maintenance and improvement cost were!

                The thing with houses IMO, people in the long run are better off treating them as a place to live and enjoy if it makes lifestyle sense and they can afford it, rather than as their all-in investment vehicle, worse yet thinking it’s an investment tool to leverage.

        2. craazyboy

          Well, that’s precisely why we need negative interest rates, tax breaks, slumlords, inflation, and a growing population to make living indoors an attractive investment. Even more so if you throw in indoor plumbing and electrical wiring as an additional value proposition. We can make this work!

  12. Jim Haygood

    Conference Board’s LEI (Leading Indicators Index) breaks out to a new high for the post-2008 expansion:

    Last month’s Great Leap Forward in stock prices was a big contributor to the LEI’s pop.

    In any case, there isn’t a hint of recession in this report. My recession model says the same: a little soft, but nowhere near the threshold of recession.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a different view for those no longer impressed with bigger GDP’s.

      “It’s a finite world*, sorry, a finite planet.”

      *the world, the universe, may not be finite. I have no idea. And I don’t think we should go pollute other livable planets if we can’t take care of this finite planet. So, it’s a finite planet.

      “A bigger GDP? Oh, no. Shouldn’t we be concerned?”

  13. fresno dan

    China’s Stock Market Crash: Part 2 – A Little Capitalist Problem Satyajit Das, EconoMonitor

    Following the emergency plunge protection guidelines patented by the US authorities, the Chinese central bank pumped money into the financial system. Interest rates were cut. The reserve ratio and loan to deposit limits were altered to allow banks to increase lending. Margin finance rules were relaxed allowing anything from real estate to antiques to be used as collateral for loans.

    Chinese authorities are discovering an old capitalist truth – bubbles are hard to see and even harder to catch.

    do a google search for “bubbles do more good than harm” and I think many readers will be astounded…of course, bubbles actually do some good….for 0.1% of the population. Maybe that is why we continue to have them…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They can afford to allow all their banks and corporations to fail, if they keep supporting their proletarian comrades with newly created money.

      For every Chinese bank that fails, they should print and send barefoot mandarins to deliver 10,000 yuan to every Chinese citizen. That will stop any panic and allow those that deserve to fail, fail.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Even counting all the water buffalo and little deer that added into the body counts in Vietnam, I read that overall, it cost “us” something like $550,000 to kill each and every “gook” that our military claimed credit for.

        One crazy notion I recall, I think it was in Stars&Stripes, was the “give them money if the idea is to screw the Commies:” Rather than dropping megatons of high explosive, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, 105 and 155 artillery shells and nearly infinite 7.62 and .50-cal rounds, and of course feckless leaflets offering Chiêu Hồi,, (“open arms” with fetters and a dagger concealed in the sleeves,) how about minting up a whole bunch, millions even, of the little 24-karat gold tablets that a lot of Vietnamese used for “store of value,” attaching little parachutes to them, and using those B-52s and F-111s and such to scatter them over the landscape where the peasants could police them up and maybe do something actually useful with them? And stand down the militaries of the US, Australia, Korea and of course the CIA… One wonders how the cadres both North and South would have handled that sudden distribution of easily concealable wealth, and the effects it might have had on the mess… That would have been a whole lot cheaper and less bloody than the real world alternative…

  14. MPLSSean

    Thanks for that Colmain RT link. The best 10 minutes of coverage I’ve seen all week. Very brave of him to get right to the point like that. Hopefully he remains safe…

  15. fresno dan

    Would You Pass the Global Financial Literacy Test? Bloomberg (resilc). Warning: I have not had time to read this to see if I agree with the answers!

    Actually, it very much reminds me of an Abraham Lincoln math quiz:
    If there are 3 crows sitting on a fence, and you shoot one, how many are left????

    think about it…

    None of course.
    the remaining 2 will fly away.

    The problem with this quiz is that it ignores that every financial institution is running a scam in which surcharges, automatic renewals, ad infinitum are part of every dealing you have with them. The first and ONLY thing to know is that that are always, always, always trying to scam you. The rest is a big McGuffin.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have no time.

      That’s not a bug.

      Can anyone really follow what Big Money and Big government are doing? Every day, Ph.D. level information needs to be digested.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      By going from skipping-every-other-latest-fad to skipping-two-out-three-of-the-latest-fads, etc, one can gradually become a neo-Luddite.

      I think I will bypass this GM salmon.

      And I have not been tempted, at all, by glowing, radio-active Pacific salmon either.

      1. neo-realist

        I’ll be interesting to see what the cancer rates will be on the west coast about 5 years from now. Sushi eating is so popular out here.

  16. fresno dan

    In The Beginning Were The Mushroom Clouds Atrios. Lambert: “Atrios seems peeved.”

    And you might remember that the logical of humanitarianism was used to justify bombing Libya. Does anybody remember Libya? For some reason no one talks about Libya anymore. How’d that humanitarian intervention go? Good, I assume! Our freedom bombs are the freest! Even some eventheliberals who opposed the Iraq war supported that one! It was quite amazing how they adopted the mantle of dripping condescension that the Iraq war supporters sported as the latest fashion. Silly hippies, this time it’ll be good! Things are bad in Libya! Our freedom bombs will help them! Why do you hate the Libyan people! We must do something!

    Well, unless we’re gonna be that pure world in which no one ever made a mistake (and can never admit it) in which Pauline Kael said she didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon, I will admit I bought the humanitarianism argument for Iraq.
    What a sucker I was. naive. ill-informed. unfamiliar with history. stupid.

    So the question is, should we ever intervene somewhere based on humanitarianism?
    I think I have become so cynical and jaded that I would always doubt the motives and data of any administration.

    It would seem some good could have been done in Rwanda.
    Yet the fact that we didn’t argues that this country is incapable of doing true altruism – sacrifice, pure, true, noble sacrifice is something we just don’t do. Kinda of like we don’t give money away unless we get a tax deduction…

    Did Kosovo work because of us? Or in spite of us?

    We will only get involved for bad purposes, where there is something in it for us.
    And somehow, that ALWAYS leads to bad outcomes.

    1. craazyboy

      We could let the UN just handle it and send in “peace keeping” troops for purely altruistic reasons when appropriate. Oh wait. Never mind.

    2. Massinissa

      Did Kosovo really work though? I mean, today its little more than a drug smuggling hub. Though I think that was actually in Clintons plan.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Making money nearly illegal in China now.

    That’s not enough, and often, without another additional step, we falsely conclude money making is the way, the only way and nothing but the way.

    The additional step, or perhaps the replacement step, is wealth sharing. With wealth sharing, if you can go ahead and make as much as you want. Everyone gets to share it – though, the rest of Nature may not agree that they are included in ‘everyone.’

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Post-antibiotic era.

    The antibiotic apocalypse.

    They said that resistance would spread around the world and raised the spectre of untreatable infections.

    Is this the end of science as an omnipotent weapon to defy and conquer Nature?

    No more dense urban living?

    No more further forays into forests, close contacts with previously unknown living things?

  19. fresno dan

    Bilder, using forensic techniques to date the changes he made and historical research to describe what was happening politically when he made them, has made sense of the revisions, which began right after the convention and continued up until his death. And many of them amount to what we would now call “spin.”

    While scholars have known for decades that Madison revised his notes over the years, Bilder’s research suggests that they were “revised to an even greater extent than has been recognized” to the point that “as a reliable source, Madison’s Notes are a problem.”
    For example, as the slave trade fell further and further into disfavor in the years after the convention, he added language that made it seem like he had condemned it during the convention itself as “dishonorable to the National character,” words never uttered by him in public before that time, Bilder said in an interview.
    While Madison had never used those words or spoken against slavery, she said, others in the convention did, including a delegate from Maryland, Luther Martin. Indeed, she said, the comment Madison later portrayed in his revisions coming from his lips bore “an uncomfortable resemblance to the same comment he has Luther Martin making” in the original notes.

    Why would Madison do this? “By the time 1789 comes around,” she said in an interview, when Madison is a member of Congress, “it’s clearer that the U.S. will pull out of the slave trade.” Madison, a Virginia slaveholder, wants to be on the right side of history.

    Shockingly, the biggest revelation of the notes turns out to be that Dolly Madison was fat.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Being fat is no shame.

      I don’t know if its unhealthy, but being Rubenesque was appealing in various countries at different times.

      Lady Yang of the Tang dynasty, was known as one of the 4 beauties of ancient China. From Wiki:

      Yang was known for having a full and fleshy figure, which was a much sought-after quality at the time. She was often compared and contrasted with Empress Zhao Feiyan, the wife of Emperor Cheng of Han, because Yang was known for her full build while Empress Zhao was slender. This led to the Four-character idiom yanshou huanfei (Chinese: 燕瘦環肥; pinyin: yàn shòu huán féi), describing the physical range of the types of beauties.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Don’t shop. Take Hike. Save the Redwood League.

    Slow down that GDP machine or the GDP army.

    Let’s praise idleness (their idleness – to us, hiking is invigorating and being active, but they can call it idleness and inefficiency).

    To me, that’s happiness – having time to hike (gently, lest we disturb their roots) among the redwood trees.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Toyota trucks.

    “Give us back my Toyota trucks,” he muttered to himself, alone late at night, every night, for the rest of her life.

  22. giantsquid

    In the US, socially sanctioned self-funding gangs (the Police) looted people of an estimated $4.5 billion in a single year (2014) by confiscating their property without making an arrest or obtaining a warrant. That’s more than the total value of the goods stolen by unsanctioned criminals during burglaries that same year ($3.9 billion). We can only hope that the class action lawsuit filed against Washington DC, where police have been robbing people for having as little as $100 cash in hand, is successful and that similar suits will be pursued elsewhere.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The bad ones can shake down gamblers or regular citizens. So many ways to go.

      Just as the military spending is a part of the overall federal government spending, so too is the police budget a part of the budget of a municipality.

      If we have to choose among the federal government, the city, or the people, to give newly created money to, I think the choice is clear.

      “Empower yourselves.”

    2. fresno dan

      “That’s more than the total value of the goods stolen by unsanctioned criminals during burglaries that same year ($3.9 billion).”

      And I’m always doubting the competence of government – so they can train the police to be better* than the private sector…So much better to be licensed and have a badge.

      * more competent, more efficient, more effective, more legal, more profitable….thieves

  23. fresno dan

    “From a terrorist’s point of view, truly secure communication is either so routine-looking as to avoid interest — or it is offline. If a group uses a commonly available messaging app, it’s likely to get caught, as an alleged Chechen jihadist group did in Belgium last summer.

    Whatever communication method the Paris assailants turn out to have used, providing back doors into commercial encryption probably won’t prevent the next attack. Almost all the attackers were known to the authorities, and if they had been watched, their use of encryption programs would have itself invited closer scrutiny. There is, however, no way for intelligence services to watch every suspicious individual all the time, and the terrorists will always be able to use that to their advantage.”

    Sorry for posting so much – but this is an issue that drives me nuts.
    Either the government is so incompetent that Trump truly is our only hope (everyone in the establishment is trying to f*ck us) – OR the government uses terrorism as an excuse to gut the constitution and institute panopticon.

    Think of it this way – Paris police, if they had the power (and I pretty sure they actually do) to actually search EVERY structure in Paris that could hide a weapon – would that have stopped the Paris attacks????
    One would not only have to search every structure, but be prepared to x-ray the walls/sledge hammer the walls to look for hidden compartments. AND search how frequently before the guns could be moved ahead of the search? Every day? Every 4 hours? 2 Hours? EVERY Hour? For the search to be effective, there can be ZERO movement of EVERYONE while this is going on!!
    So the same thought process applies to back door access to messages.
    Completely useless. As well as counter productive.

    The most intelligent thing I ever saw in the media about government surveillance was a Simpsons episode where Montgomery Burns is under satellite surveillance for absconding with a 1 billion dollar bill. As the special agent tells Homer Simpson, the only information the satellite imagery has provided is that Burns hasn’t hidden the bill on the roof.

  24. Plenue

    Democracy Now! has had a whole string of videos recently condemning all bombing in Syria, including that of the Russians, claiming it will just strengthen ISIS. Now, I’m a total peacenik, but frankly it seems to mean that we’ve reached a point, after decades of interference, blowback, and almost certainly direct support for extremist elements, where we’re left with a group of fanatics who literally can’t be negotiated or reasoned with. There’s a whole plethora of things that can be done to prevent radicalization, but once someone is radicalized and chopping heads off, I don’t see much else that can be done other than killing them.

    I have no doubt innocent people are being killed in the airstrikes and ground-fighting in Syria, but I have to admit to looking at the escalating Russian effort with a degree of respect. The solution is to bomb these guys out of existence. And then hopefully take real steps to ensure another ISIS doesn’t rise up in the future (steps that will almost certainly not be taken).

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