Links 11/4/15

If you get a normal ration of posts today, consider yourself lucky. We had a lot of tech problems in the middle of the night, which is becoming all too common a phenomenon (and they were on the back end only, as I was not able to upload posts or even save drafts. And yes, this has occurred repeatedly and it seems to take nerve-wracking hours to get resolved. This never happened until a recent WordPress “upgrade” which is one of many reasons that I hate upgrading software). I was too upset about the whole thing to be able to do anything useful.

A Hawaiian Canoe Crosses the Oceans, Guided by Sun and Stars New York Times (David L)

What’s up with Antarctica gaining ice? Gristmill

The Tough Realities of the Paris Climate Talks New York Times. Subhead: “Stabilizing or reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is a distant prospect, so the world must continue to adapt to a changing climate.” As in resign ourselves to a mass species dieoff? This is Easter Island rationalization right before our eyes.

Maersk cutting slashing 4,000 jobs on falling demand Business Insider (resilc)

Japan Is Building a Fleet of ‘Robot Taxis’ for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 Atlantic (resilc)


Taiwan and China to hold key summit BBC

Plans for US-Asian statement scrapped over South China Sea spat Financial Times

China’s Economy Is Worse Than You Think Bloomberg (resilc)

China burns much more coal than it claims Sydney Morning Herald. EM: “Now imagine if China’s per-capita energy consumption ever approached that of the US, and realize that most economists likely consider such a trend as both good and inevitable. Growth! Growth! Growth!”

Standard Chartered’s Bad Loans Reveal Cracks in Asian Economies Bloomberg

China’s manufacturers try to rise up value chain Financial Times

The EU’s role in supporting an unjust global tax system failed evolution

Vatican hit by new claims of financial mismanagement and lavish spending Guardian (Swedish Lex)

Refugee Crisis (all links today from Swedish Lex)

Migrant Crisis: October Arrivals Nearly Equal 2014 Total, UNHCR Says NBC. Swedish Lex: “By setting up physical barriers and/or simply not fulfilling its obligations, like France, all asylum seekers are ending up in Germany and Sweden.”

Stefan Löfven rebukes eastern Europe over refugee crisis Financial Times

Sweden Risks Breaching Budget Ceiling to Pay for Refugees Bloomberg. Swedish Lex: “Money is not an issue. A broad majority of Swedes support these extra budget allocations, on top of what has been paid already. Civil Society in Sweden is fully mobilized too. Sweden gives 15,5 USD per capita to the UNHCR. France gives 0,2 USD per capita.”

The horror of the Calais refugee camp: ‘We feel like we are dying slowly‘ Guardian. Swedish Lex: “The French are both incapable and unwilling to manage a very modest 6000 people in Calais. Sweden will receive 190.000 refugees this year alone. And nobody there has to sleep in anything similar to the slum the French have created in Calais.”

Sweden to house refugees in Wild West theme park Telegraph

French Mayor Who Once Defended Journalists Now Denounces Immigrants New York Times. Swedish Lex: “Meanwhile, France is faster and faster turning neo-fascist. This article is too soft and too kind. The town of Béziers is a taste of what is in store. Le Front National is leading the polls in a couple of major regions in France. The elections will take place in a few weeks time. If the FN takes control of one of more regions, it would be a major event in French politics and an indicator of what we have to expect for the main elections in 2017. The French traditional right is quickly transforming itself into a clone of the Front National and the political center has pretty much disintegrated. This means that there are no liberal voices in France currently. The Socialist Government is thoroughly incompetent and totally lacks a plan and a direction.”

VW scandal widens to CO2 emissions BBC

U.S. Says VW’s Cheating Software Also Used On Audis And Porsches OilPrice


What to Do About ISIS: Would Power-Sharing Among Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds in Iraq Work? Atlantic (resilc)

Syria’s tangled proxy wars: a simple visual guide Vox

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

If Congress Won’t Scrap the Espionage Act, Maybe the Supreme Court Will Reader Supported News (RR)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Wanted: A Postwar Policy American Conservative (resilc)


The G.O.P.’s Outlandish Debate Proposal New Yorker

Mutinous GOP Candidates Turn On Each Other New York Magazine (resilc)

Obama: If GOP Candidates Can’t Handle CNBC, How Will They Deal With Russia and China? NBC (resilc)

Internet Trolls Hijack ‘Jeb Can Fix It’ Campaign, Possibly Ending Bush’s Run for Good Observer (furzy mouse)

Is Ben Carson Running for President? New York Magazine

Mankind Created From DUST: Carson Explains Creationism RingofFire (furzy mouse)

Small Donors Are Clicking More With Democrats Than Republicans New York Times

The Case for Bernie Sanders Matt Taibbi. Great commentary on the media’s relationship to candidates.

Obama Won’t Yield to Company’s Bid to Delay Keystone Pipeline Decision New York Times

Paul Ryan’s first shutdown fight: The new House speaker is facing his first challenge with appropriations bills Slate (resilc)

How the rising death rate among middle-aged whites helps explain our political reality Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Morning Joe Koch Brothers Love – Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Spend Lots of Time with Charles and David Koch Charles Pierce, Esquire

Houston Equal Rights Ordinance Rejected by Voters Wall Street Journal

New Study Says America Is Slowly Getting Less Religious and More Tolerant Vice

Is San Francisco Housing Suddenly Going on Sale? Wolf Richter

SEC Fines Fenway Partners $10M Over Disclosure Flaws Law360. Another private equity settlement.

Class Warfare

Tenure is disappearing. But it’s what made American universities the best in the world. Washington Post (furzy mouse)

The Growing Ranks of America’s High-Earning Poor Atlantic (resilc)

Success Metrics Questioned in School Program Funded by Goldman New York Times. Translation: Goldman gamed the metrics to increase investor payouts. Where is the qui tam suit?

White, middle-aged, uneducated and dying Financial Times. As predicted, this is being treated as an addiction problem, as opposed to the level of drug abuse being a symptom of underlying social/economic problems.

Dear NY Times: Thank You For Letting Me Sue Only 500 Miles From My Home Credit Slips

Antidote du jour. @voraciousbrain: “oh god I found the donald trump of birds”:

donald trump bird links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    On Wednesday morning, however, officials are expected to shatter that image of Gliniewicz as a heroic officer cut down in the line of duty. Instead, they will announce that the veteran cop killed himself in an elaborately staged suicide, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times reported, quoting police sources.

    In a case similar to Gliniewicz’s disputed death, an Arkansas police officer was arrested Tuesday for allegedly lying about being shot during a traffic stop.

    Sgt. David Houser, 50, of the England Police Department was charged with filing a false police report, according to KTHV-TV. Houser had claimed that he was shot in his bulletproof vest during an Oct. 24 traffic stop.

    “Houser told local and state law enforcement officers that while on patrol that he had exchanged gunfire with a suspect who fled from him driving a sport utility vehicle south of England along state Highway 15,” Arkansas State Police said in a press release obtained by the local TV station. “Houser also reported he had been shot by the suspect.”
    As in Fox Lake, Houser’s claim sparked a massive manhunt as officials searched the state for a Hispanic man in a silver SUV.

    “We went after it as if we were going after someone who had just tried to kill a police officer,” England Police Chief Nathan Cook told KTHV-TV. “The more we investigated, the more it became clear that the details of his story were inconsistent.”

    Cook, who said he fired Houser on Monday, was at a loss why his officer had invented the incident.

    Just as I think its wrong to paint every policeman as an automatic hero, it is certainly wrong to paint a suicide victim as a villain. Who knows what demons and illnesses this man faced…
    Police are people, and what that first should do, as the posts yesterday about police sexual abuse shows, is that there should be the same scrutiny and skepticism about their actions and testimony as the general public. Laws that require that police testimony be given higher credence should be reexamined.
    “Cook, who said he fired Houser on Monday, was at a loss why his officer had invented the incident.”

    I’m glad that in both the above cases the truth came to light. I just wonder how many times it doesn’t because you won’t find what your not looking for.

  2. allan

    “White, middle-aged, uneducated and dying “:
    I hope all the fans of `free trade’ agreements and globalization that helped destroy these people’s lives are willing to include the human toll in the accounting along with the $14.99 DVD players at Walmart.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’re uneducated, you must be lazy.

      Deservedly, because you are not smart.

      Tough luck, you’re a C student.

      We don’s share (e.g admission spots) with those who are, um (or em), slow.

      It’s good to concentrate mental wealth (in a few elite universities, information-rich professors are only for A students).

      (End of sarcasm).

      We seem to think intellectual wealth concentration is different from monetary wealth concentration

      Is OK that the smart ones deserve more?

      Fracking research, the next GM food blockbuster, chemical corporations, hedge funds/banks, surveillance agencies, defense contractors, etc all need smart, educated graduates (or if you are really smart, straight from high school).

  3. fresno dan

    How the rising death rate among middle-aged whites helps explain our political reality Washington Post (furzy mouse)

    Why are Americans, entrusted with the awesome responsibility of electing the next leader of the free world, seemingly so interested in electing someone with little to no relevant experience? And to be more specific, why are Republican-leaning, white Americans with limited education so very enthusiastic about the non-traditional candidates in the 2016 race?
    In fact, most of the much-reported narrowing of the life expectancy gap between black and white Americans is because white American health is in decline. And all of this has happened during a period in which the vast majority of Americans of all races have seen their wages, their job options and their economic prospects and standing decline.
    So perhaps a better question or start for those conversations about the state of the 2016 race mentioned at the outset here — among voters, reporters and observers alike — might be this: Why wouldn’t all of the above also have some effect on politics?

    First of all, it should be as plain as the nose on one’s face. There is voluminous and incontrovertible evidence of the decline in incomes of the lower quintiles.
    Just as the overall political system (dare I say deep state?) works to make it appear, regardless of party, that there is low unemployment, (and inflation in health premiums isn’t even SEEN) and that overall things are getting better, ever upward, ever forward, ever improving, and “the optimistic candidate always wins” – – for a lot of people, that bullsh*t just doesn’t cut it anymore. Things haven’t improved for most people for decades. And the incessant propaganda is getting in the craw of most people.

    The republicans are in between a rock and a hard place. We’ve had 40 years of tax cutting policies, and we now have 40 years of evidence that it doesn’t help, and harms, most people. And despite the religion of economics, the same can be said of “free” trade…
    It has finally reached the point where “Rah Rah Greatest nation on earth” just won’t cut it even in the republican party. Trump just shines a spotlight on the contradictions. Democrats, their contradictions less extreme and masked by several orders of magnitude fewer mentally unbalanced people in their party – their day is coming.

    1. abynormal

      And all of this has happened during a period in which the vast majority of Americans of all races have seen their wages, their job options and their economic prospects and standing decline.

      Environmental Exposure must be considered a major artery…”“It’s like looking at strands of a spider web and deciding which one is important,” said Dr. Ted Schettler, director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit group that advocates use of science in setting environmental policy.

      From the womb to old age, people around the world are exposed to countless carcinogens in their food, air, water and consumer goods.

      The National Institutes of Health has classified 54 compounds as known human carcinogens based on studies indicating they cause at least one type of cancer in people, according to the nation’s 11th Report on Carcinogens. The highest exposures occur in an occupational setting, but there are environmental exposures as well.

      For example, benzene, a known cause of human leukemia, is a common pollutant in vehicle exhaust. Radon, a natural radioactive gas found in many homes, raises the risk of lung cancer. Arsenic, linked to skin, liver, bladder and lung cancer, contaminates some drinking water supplies. Other known human carcinogens include asbestos, hexavalent chromium, aflatoxins and vinyl chloride.

      25 March 2014 | Geneva – In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

      1. JTFaraday

        Yeah, I haven’t followed this too closely as of yet–maybe someone already has– but I think they should stick those deaths on a map.

        That said, my aunt’s husband lost his job and worried himself to death at 52. When honestly, though not ideal, he probably didn’t need to do that.

        1. abynormal

          i want maps too! hopefully this net viral ‘issue’ will get us some of those maps.
          i keep focusing on Appalachia because they’ve survived centuries of bare bone poverty. heck coal mine owners got government to turn cannons on them and they snapped back. for me they hold a key and its not addiction but total loss of any future…this is unlike their history for plowing out a future no matter how others live.

          1. cwaltz

            Appalachia has some federal help but we’ve still seen suicide and mental health issues in the news with too much regularity.

            It’s been a little over a month but the town I reside in saw a man commit suicide. He was 24.


            We’re getting a mental health crisis intervention center although I am not overwhelmingly happy it will be staffed by law enforcement instead of by medical staff.


            1. abynormal

              cwaltz, you’ll find this interesting…i found it to be ground zero.

              The White Ghetto

              “It works like this: Once a month, the debit-card accounts of those receiving what we still call food stamps are credited with a few hundred dollars — about $500 for a family of four, on average — which are immediately converted into a unit of exchange, in this case cases of soda. On the day when accounts are credited, local establishments accepting EBT cards — and all across the Big White Ghetto, “We Accept Food Stamps” is the new E pluribus unum – are swamped with locals using their public benefits to buy cases and cases — reports put the number at 30 to 40 cases for some buyers — of soda. Those cases of soda then either go on to another retailer, who buys them at 50 cents on the dollar, in effect laundering those $500 in monthly benefits into $250 in cash — a considerably worse rate than your typical organized-crime money launderer offers — or else they go into the local black-market economy, where they can be used as currency in such ventures as the dealing of unauthorized prescription painkillers — by “pillbillies,” as they are known at the sympathetic establishments in Florida that do so much business with Kentucky and West Virginia that the relevant interstate bus service is nicknamed the “OxyContin Express.” A woman who is intimately familiar with the local drug economy suggests that the exchange rate between sexual favors and cases of pop — some dealers will accept either — is about 1:1, meaning that the value of a woman in the local prescription-drug economy is about $12.99 at Walmart prices. Last year, 18 big-city mayors, Mike Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel among them, sent the federal government a letter asking that soda be removed from the list of items eligible to be used for EBT purchases. Mayor Bloomberg delivered his standard sermon about obesity, nutrition, and the multiplex horrors of sugary drinks. But none of those mayors gets what’s really going on with sugar water and food stamps. Take soda off the list and there will be another fungible commodity to take its place. It’s possible that a great many cans of soda used as currency go a long time without ever being cracked — in a town this small, those selling soda to EBT users and those buying it back at half price are bound to be some of the same people, the soda merely changing hands ceremonially to mark the real exchange of value, pillbilly wampum.”

              1. cwaltz

                There are definite problems with addiction in the region. One of the questions for our local deputies running for sheriff was regarding dealing with the rise of problems in the region with methamphetamines and oxycontin.

                One of the reasons my family moved is repeated drug busts in the neighborhood. The next door neighbor had SWAT throw a flash bang in their home(luckily the toddler inside was unharmed) and caught the couch on fire and the guy across the street from us was shot when they responded to a domestic violence call(he’s also got drug and alcohol issues.) The local law enforcement have mistakenly broken down the wrong doors. The latest effort had them renaming lots and making the area a subdivision to try and fix some of the problems. They still showed up on our porch though for a call down the block. Luckily the person who called showed up because the officer and my husband were in a stand down when they pointed out the guy who they called about just threw a microwave out the window. It’s far from the first time we’ve had the local authorities essentially insist they can violate someone’s rights just because. Between the overzealous police and the problems in the neighborhood it just became easier for us to relocate to somewhere a little less chaotic and a little less likely to have police respond to altercations with a show of force.

              2. bob

                I gotta call BS on the ‘pop’.

                Pick up a hooker, who is obviously on drugs, with a few cases of soda?

                Food stamps aren’t real money. To begin with, the argument presented, says that the pop is worth what it costs at the store. With a 100% mark up, as are most things retail, you’re only getting 25% of the “money”, after the 50% markdown.

                There were also stories circulated about tide being used for this.

                Follow the money…pepsi, coke, tide…They get the actual “Money”. The “beneficiary” gets marked up, Major Label BS with a shelf life, and in the case of pop…a few dozen pounds to haul over to trade for blowjob?

                So easy!

      2. Paul Tioxon

        Air pollution has caused historic death counts, such as the 1952 KILLER FOG of London, where 4,000 died in a 4 day period and altogether 12,000 died from its effects in the following weeks, not including cows also found dead during the KILLER FOG.

        In Pennsylvania, a similar disaster occurred in 1948, a small town 25 miles outside of Pittsburgh. 20 people died, the whole town sickened, the nation shocked.

        “The smog created a burning sensation in your throat and eyes and nose, but we still thought that was just normal for Donora,” Stacey says.

        Back then, smog often hung on until late morning in Donora, a small mill town about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh. The town’s zinc plant and steel mill belched out endless streams of toxic smoke.

        But this smog was different. It darkened the valley for five straight days. That week, Stacey listened to the radio and discovered that the ever-thickening smog had turned lethal: 20 people were dead, and half the town was sick. He says everyone was overwhelmed by the havoc.”

        These are not the end of acute lethal events from fossil fuel air pollution. Today, annually, over 100 people are murdered by their own cars in their homes as they sleep or peacefully sit in front of the TV from leaving their car running in their garage being poisoned by the exhaust fumes. The most recent cases are still showing a callous betrayal of the well being of car owners by the auto industry failure to design properly for safety features. Keyless cars are being left running in home garages with the thought they will automatically turn off. The usual reminder of “Where are my keys?” and going back to the car in the garage only to find them in the ignition with the engine running saved many lives. Today, as even moderately priced cars are sporting electronic keyless ignition, that little failsafe is history.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘Keyless cars are being left running in home garages with the thought they will automatically turn off.’

          Probably Volkswagen’s notorious test-sensing software could be repurposed to sense ‘running in the garage as CO2 levels build.’

          1. optimader


            Although the autokill feature is available on some cars as a clever (IMO) fuel conservation feature, (think golf cart) –people not turning off their vehicles in an attached garage is at the edge of the Rubicon of take SOME slight some personal responsibility. No I don’t want to pay for the feature of my car turning off in the garage because I am too incompetent to pay.

    2. another

      … Americans, entrusted with the awesome responsibility of electing the next leader of the free world,..

      Don’t be silly. Try as some may, Americans don’t choose the Russian president. Whatever could you mean?

    3. barrisj

      The WaPo article could have very easily had a “What’s Wrong with Kansas” slant, as the very cohort of middle-age white males w/ high-school or less education has become one of the core Repub constituencies, and the very group of voters who not only are ignored by Repub politicians when in office, but in fact are amongst the Republican Party’s victims due to retrogressive social and economic policies. Democrats have only themselves to blame for this sorry state of affairs.

    4. different clue

      This appears to be the early stages of a slow motion version of the significant death-rate increase of Russians during the Breakup and Yeltsin periods.

  4. rich

    Carlyle’s Booz News

    MarketWatch reported:

    Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation (“Booz Allen”) BAH, +0.44% the parent company of management consulting, technology, and engineering services firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., today announced the sale of an aggregate of 13,000,000 shares of Class A common stock (“common stock”) on an underwritten basis by an affiliate of The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”) to Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC.

    Upon completion of the offering, Carlyle will own just under 20.0% of the outstanding common stock of Booz Allen. The offering is expected to close and settle on November 9, 2015. Booz Allen is not selling any shares of common stock in the offering and will not receive any of the proceeds.

    It’s a Carlyle partial cash-in of a giant government contractor.
    Booz drains more than the U.S. Treasury for revenue:

    Our international clients are primarily in the Middle East and south-east Asia.

    How might Booz’s work in those arenas drive more domestic business? It’s all about leverage in the PEU world. Booz will likely leverage relationships of its newest board member, Melody Barnes.
    Reuters reported:

    Ms. Barnes, who is currently a domestic policy strategist and a Vice Provost and Senior Fellow at New York University, formerly served President Barack Obama as an Assistant to the President and as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House.

    Some board appointments grease the skids for new revenue sources, while others are a payback. I’ll speculate Melody Barnes is bit of both.

    public service-d.

      1. Vatch

        Sorry about the erroneous apostrophe in “Cat’s”. Ben Carson might blame the Devil for a mistake like that, but this error is entirely mine.

        1. craazyboy

          I have a problem with the apostrophe too. I blame Satan and public schools.

          You did mean 1858 BC, right?? Anyone deserving of POTUS must believe Christ is on his first coming?

          Also, anyone qualified to be POTUS must also be aware Golems are made of clay. I don’t know if Ben knows this.

            1. ambrit

              Carson can’t be that clueless, can he? America still had slavery in 1858. (I understand that you are “channeling” your own private Ben Carson there.)
              As for the Golem, well, what name would be on the slip of paper placed in the Golems’ mouth today?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He’s right.

      We are all made of star dust or star stuff.

      “Greatness within each of us.”

      “We came from the Sun, son.”

    2. optimader

      I now realize Ben Carson is really a performance artist on the order of Andy Kaufman
      It’s pure genius

  5. Bunk McNulty

    America’s Coming Cognitive Decline (Bloomberg)

    “If you don’t like the decisions voters make now, think of what it will be like as the percentage of voters with cognitive impairments grows. The share of impaired elected officials may grow, too. After all, Donald Trump will turn 70 next year. Hillary Clinton will get there in 2017.”

    1. craazyboy

      Does Bloomberg really think Alzheimer’s victims will remember where the voting booths are and if they self identify as Rs or Ds????

      1. fresno dan

        Considering who the American people have been electing, it strikes me that if they all go goofy in their old age there is a 50-50 chance we will get better representatives….

  6. OIFVet

    Swedish PM rebukes Eastern Europe. This time over their perceived lack of “European values.” What, exactly, are “European values?” In these alleged common values do exist, why do the Euro elites feel compelled to impose them upon all? The Euro liberals have turned into something akin to the value warriors in the US, with the only difference being that they are in position to impose their values upon all. Yet they wail over the rise of the right wing all over Europe, from East to West, North to South, as if this backlash has nothing to do with how the EU has turned into a Ministry of Love persecuting anything deemed incompatible with Euro “values” as a thought crime. So Poles don’t like Conchita Wurst? That’s a crime. Hungary doesn’t want muslims after helping to stop the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna? That’s thought crime too. And so on and so forth.

    1. Inverness

      Yes, what are European values? Europeans are terrified that they cannot survive, because, well, many, cannot. There isn’t a credible left-wing government that can actually push against austerity. The Greeks have certainly tried, by electing Syriza. What happens when you have no sense of control? What often does, particularly in Europe. Bash the immigrant, the refugee, the outsider. It’s an old playbook. I despise the bigotry behind it, but also understand when you have elected officials that cannot promote anything but budget cuts which lead to mass misery, well, I hold European governments responsible, too. If you want people to treat outsiders humanely, it helps to have a reasonably secure population that has sense of democratic control. This is not to suggest that intolerance towards outsiders is ever justified. However, we need to understand where it comes from, to eradicate it.

      1. OIFVet

        Austerity is an European value these days. It’s no coincidence that the backlash is strongest in Eastern Europe. Part of it is cultural, but part of it is that Eastern Europeans have lived with shock therapy and austerity for 25 years now. Western Europe used to be a safety valve for Eastern Europeans. Now the western economies are in decline also, and coupled with the inflow of even more desperate low wage labor from MENA and Central Asia the result is a toxic mix. Eastern Europeans see an economic threat to themselves from these new arrivals (as if they weren’t poor enough already), plus they are far more religious generally (and many have the added legacy of the Ottomans), so they are not at all happy. One can also add the fact that Merkel’s Germany has been very willing to enforce some rules (Greece), and discard others (the Dublin Regulations) as it sees fit. So you can safely add resentment to the fears. It’s not a good mix, so for Western leaders to keep flogging Easterners over some “universal European values” is veyond tone deaf.

        1. Robert Dudek

          Eastern Europeans are not stupid. Poles, for example, were keen observers of the way EU institutions treated the Greeks. They drew the appropriate conclusions: bye bye internationalists like Tusk, hello patriotism.

          1. OIFVet

            Patriotism, a dirty word in the PC EUrocracy. More power to the Poles, they are a cut above the servile non-entities that comprise my native BG’s government.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Humans are interesting creatures.

      I didn’t like broccoli at first. But I wasn’t forced to eat it everyday. And no one lectured me, harassed me. Then, one day, I realized it was a good and healthy food…actually quite tasty.

      We can’t assume people dislike ‘something,’ especially when we force them to accept/take it.

      Sometimes, it takes time.

      A refuge a day, in a country of millions, it’s not a problem.

      10,000 a month, maybe, depending on many factors.

      Scientists have not provided us with any guidelines.

    3. James Levy

      Vienna was 400 freakin’ years ago.

      You know, if Eastern Europeans en masse had not turned on their Jewish neighbors and in every way aided and abetted the Holocaust maybe I’d have some sympathy for them or their “culture”, but to me they look like a bunch of bigots who would gladly see those refugees die the way they gladly watched their Jewish neighbors die in 1941-45. Or perhaps me pointing out that little nastiness (forgivable, I’m sure, in your eyes) is unforgiveable because I’m one of those nasty moral policemen.

      1. Inverness

        The French were also helpful in rounding up Jews. What does this prove? I don’t think it’s very respectful to show disdain for Eastern European culture by using quotes. Human beings, throughout history, have shown a frightening capacity to turn on their neighbours, particularly in times of economic hardship.

        Dismissing a huge population of people as “a bunch of bigots,” is a dangerous game, especially when you’re trying to defend those who were persecuted.

        1. abynormal

          so sadly True. the list too long for point proven…

          Always seek justice, but love only mercy. To love justice and hate mercy is but a doorway to more injustice.
          Criss Jami

        2. James Levy

          When whites excluded (and at times continue to exclude) blacks from full membership in the human community it is a bad thing. Saying “it’s American culture” or that the Confederate rebellion was “our culture” or “our heritage” doesn’t make it right. Saying that the xenophobia we saw in Hungary, and we hear so much of from Poland, is just “their culture” excuses nothing, any more than French or German anti-Semitism (or Israeli bigotry and hatred towards Arabs) is excusable on cultural grounds. Rape may be ingrained in certain cultures, but that doesn’t make it right. Sorry, I’m an Enlightenment universalist and think that if my soldiers go into a village and shoot the place up it’s just as evil as when the other guy’s soldiers do the same thing. Hating people for what they are, not what they do, is evil.

          1. Robert Dudek

            Israel bestows the honorific “Righteous among the Nations” for non-Jews who risked their lives to help Jews escape the Holocaust. Guess which country had the largest number?

      2. Swedish Lex

        Then worth mentioning the efforts of Raoul Wallenberg, and others, in 1944 – 45 to save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews from Budapest.

      3. OIFVet

        You know that Bulgaria saved her Jews during WW2, right? And that despite being allied with nazi Germany.

        1. OIFVet

          PS Vienna may have been some 335 years ago, but Bulgarians, Serbians, and Greeks lived under the not-so-tender mercies of the muslim Ottomans for almost five centuries. That memory won’t go away any time soon. To be subject to wholesale slaughter for being ‘infidels’, and have your children taken away by the janissaries, tends to leave a deep imprint in the collective memory.

    4. JerseyJeffersonian


      Yes, the Western European “thought leaders” are very fond of the whole idea of thought crimes, likely enough because it gives their obviously superior selves a stick with which to beat the masses, but even more usefully, to pummel any non-conforming intellectuals or political parties because they pose a challenge to their tacitly-assumed preeminence, and their right to the structuring of the society. Jacobins to the core.

      Ironically, while ostensibly upholding human rights, they squelch free speech, historically one of the primary means of securing human rights. And from whom did they learn to squelch free speech? Why, from the examples of the Nazis, the Fascists, the Communists who they profess to abominate. The enforcement of conformity to The Party Line was ever and always one of the most sacred duties of the totalitarians, and exposing their orthodoxies to criticism in the public square was not to be allowed. Violators were made subject to ostracism, imprisonment, or worse.

      Now, at the hands of the new Jacobins, it is the turn of those who wish to retain national sovereignty and historical memory, and the maintenance of their own national cultural identity, along with the social welfare of the citizens, who are being attacked as morally deficient. Apparently it’s the Jacobin way or oblivion for these headstrong Untermenschen.

      Yet maybe there is even something more sinister driving the agenda. I commend to your attention this recent interview with the Russian scholar, Andrew Korybko, on these aspects. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his points, but he does make one to think.

      1. OIFVet

        Sovereignty is at the heart of it all. The Eurocrats don’t want it because it makes it harder to impose their diktats to the entirety of Europe. Say what you will about the likes of Orban but at least they stand for their national interests. Which accounts for a big chunk of the officially sanctioned two minute hate denouncements of Orban that appear in the Euro MSM at least once a week. .

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          You know where this is going, don’t you? Once the EU can establish a precedent of forcing refugees/migrants onto its constituent states (or as viewed by Eurocrats, administrative units), there is this seemingly intractable Israeli/Palestinian problem… Maybe, since the only One State Solution that is likely to emerge is Greater Israel, there may come a day when unavoidably, sob, it will prove necessary to provide refuge for those Palestinians who will not content themselves with being shoved out into the surrounding, powerless Arab statelets (the Oded Yinon Plan). Et, voilà, a way will have already been devised and tested to accomplish this worthy goal.

          Speculation on my part? Yes, but never underestimate the deviousness of TPTB.

  7. Ulysses

    Very strong conclusion to the piece by Matt T. linked above:

    “Sanders is a clear outlier in a generation that has forgotten what it means to be a public servant. The Times remarks upon his “grumpy demeanor.” But Bernie is grumpy because he’s thinking about vets who need surgeries, guest workers who’ve had their wages ripped off, kids without access to dentists or some other godforsaken problem that most of us normal people can care about for maybe a few minutes on a good day, but Bernie worries about more or less all the time.

    I first met Bernie Sanders ten years ago, and I don’t believe there’s anything else he really thinks about. There’s no other endgame for him. He’s not looking for a book deal or a membership in a Martha’s Vineyard golf club or a cameo in a Guy Ritchie movie. This election isn’t a game to him; it’s not the awesomely repulsive dark joke it is to me and many others.

    And the only reason this attention-averse, sometimes socially uncomfortable person is subjecting himself to this asinine process is because he genuinely believes the system is not beyond repair.

    Not all of us can say that. But that doesn’t make us right, and him “unrealistic.” More than any other politician in recent memory, Bernie Sanders is focused on reality. It’s the rest of us who are lost.”

    We are indeed lost. I’m afraid I have to admit, that even if Bernie manages to be elected President, my faith in our system won’t be fully restored. That would only happen if he were actually able to break the power of this unaccountable kleptocratic regime that currently dominates our national life, irrespective of who is holding any particular office.

    1. NotSoSure

      In Merica, you need to constantly shout and sing “Everything is Awesome”.

      Merica’s fall is fully deserved.

    2. Roquentin

      On a side note, I was pretty disgusted to see DeBlasio lining up behind Clinton. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but still…it’s sad to see most elected Democrats moving in lock-step with her.

      Even if Clinton does manage to take the nomination it’ll be a Pyrrhic victory. People aren’t just going to up and forget how Sanders was steamrolled by the party machine, as much as news outlets like CNN want them to. Something ugly is brewing this election season. Not quite Democratic convention in ’68 bad, but something close to it.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      he genuinely believes the system is not beyond repair.

      FDR saved capitalism.

      Sanders to save the system?

      Which system? The domestic system? The existing global system?

  8. Brooklin Bridge

    Lambert made a post a few days ago, (Nov 1) Lambert’s post, regarding the cuts to SS (file and suspend among other cuts) in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

    Here is a link to a very complete (and clear) description of the cuts;

    that is, the mischief our traitorous “representatives” in the broad sense (that is, including slimy senators – oh yes and AARP that fully supported the bill) have been up to in breaking contractual promises that people pay for and count on, no doubt for the amusement of other people who’s lives have become so devoid of stimulation they depend on the misery of others for the echos of being alive.

    Oh yes, the article, or another – see below- from which I found the link above – can’t remember, also makes clear that it is not only the (relatively) well to do middle class (really? where?) that will loose because of these cuts, but also the poor and particularly divorced couples. Here is the other article (from HuffPo).

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      BTW; Lambert was correct, those grandfathered in (and those who are able to file within the next six months for the file and suspend/spousal benefits) will not be affected. Other cuts are slightly different regarding those already using them or qualified age-wise to do so, so check the article.

  9. Jef

    The Antarctic ice piece is very misleading but I am certain that deniers will really run with it.

    First off altitude issue has nothing to do with snow piling up it is about weight being removed.
    Also his “theory” is based on new ice forming underneath which all the penetrating sonar/radar studies have shown that the opposite is happening.

    There is very large amounts of “sea ice” forming at both poles but this is primarily due to reduced salinity caused by fresh water from melt and shifting ocean currents. This ice is short lived and not an indicator of health.

    As to sea level rise it is fully understood that over 90% of the heat that has been generated from AGW goes into the ocean and indeed the ocean is warming faster than expected and at deeper levels that predicted. As water warms it expands and levels rise.

    There are virtually no “unexpected” developments in the effects of AGW on the positive side of the equation, but there are constant “unexpected” developments on the oh $#it side.

  10. ProNewerDeal

    I read that some pro-cannab1s legalization advocates, voted AGAINST the OH cannab1s legalization referendum, due to being against an oligopoly of 10 companies. Perhaps in practice certain counties/geographical regions there could be less than 10 suppliers, even a monopoly supplier.

    On one level it is refreshing to see people publicly denounce a oligopoly, in our era of DC pols mostly ignoring enforcement of Antitrust laws, and having many oligopolies dominate our political economy, such as the odious 2B2F bank$ta oligopoly that caused the 2008 GFC and then received Corporate Welfare Bailouts.

    However, it seems to me that the 10-company oligopoly would be a clear, significant Lesser Evil, superior to the status quo of an illegal cannab1s market, which in some counties could be a defacto monopoly, in which some of the suppliers may be a violent gang, which the unregulated plant product has an unknown amount of active ingredient, and an unknown amount of non-cannabis adulterant chemicals. It seems that OH voters should’ve approved the referendum, and then tried to remove the 10-company oligopoly in a future law or referendum.

    BTW where is the public denunciations against the health insurance oligopoly? IIRC from reading NC, health insurance industry has experienced multiple Borg-assimilation-like mergers and now is a 3-company oligopoly, with certain geographical regions only having 1 local monopoly supplier, aka Private Crapified Single Payer.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Perhaps in practice certain counties/geographical regions there could be less than 10 suppliers, even a monopoly supplier.’

      Sounds just like Obamacare, don’t it? No wonder Ohioans voted it down by a 2-to-1 margin.

      If Obamacare covered medical cannabis without a deductible and co-pay, maybe more folks would sign up.

      You’d think BHO would’ve learned something from his youthful service in the Choom Gang.

      1. hunkerdown

        Obamacare didn’t allow people to practice a limited number of procedures on one another as long as no money changed hands. To me, 24 Democratic donors sucking up tourists’ money would be a small price to pay for the social relations that could have sprung out of the home-grow clause. Gift economies are hard to come by anymore in practice.

    2. Screwball

      I live in Ohio, and I agree with you. I voted for issue 3 (the pot issue) and against issue 2 (the monopoly issue that trumps 3 if passed) which was the way to vote to pass (you needed both). From my reading of comments in some of our major newspapers, both before and after the election – the monopoly part is what did it in, it appears. Many said they support legalization, or at least medical, but not to the 10 monopolies.

      That is their right and we will accept the results for what they are.

      The problem (s) I have with the entire thing is 1) Governor Kasich is very anti-pot in any form, so he and his people were against this from the very get-go. They had a hard time getting it on the ballot as the Ohio AG fought them tooth and nail. But it finally made it, but that led to the state rushing around and adding issue 2 (by a democrat) which was put there as the sole purpose to defeat 3.

      2) In 2009 Ohio voted in casinos, pretty much the same way, and many didn’t like it. But the state was for it because of the revenue. I think many used this as a way to even the score.

      3) The media blitz was off the charts bad. The scare mongering by some of the papers were ridiculous. One local rag wrote and op-ed telling the people there would be 1150 pot shops around Ohio, and compared that number to the number of Starbucks, Chipotle’s, McDonald’s, etc. Of course the pot store numbers were higher than the others. But what it DIDN’T tell us was, if you wanted to open a pot store, you must apply and get a license, much like a liquor permit, AND it had to be voted on to allow it in the precinct in which it resides.

      4) Maybe a little tin foil; With Cleveland holding the 2016 GOP convention, Governor Kasich a presidential candidate, and potential VP – there was no way a pot bill would pass in Ohio the year before the election. The largest amount of disinformation came from conservative leaning newspapers. Tin foil hat off.

      1. Phil Farmer

        And this is the same Kasich who was supposedly fired from the Reagan campaign in 1976 due to selling pot?

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          Well, rather like Obama and the Choom Gang, Kasich realized it was time to put away childish things. One whiff of power and money is the gateway drug to many worse things. Just look to the examples that they have subsequently set.

  11. financial matters

    Sheri Berman reviews a review of her book, The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe’s Twentieth Century. She talks about her interpretation of ‘true’ social democracy which seems to be a blend of capitalism and socialism without the neoliberal focus.

    In view of the interesting discussion on fascism, it seems that governments need to provide for these social needs so that for one thing people don’t develop hostility to various people they may view as rivals.

    The refugee crisis is definitely affecting social stability.


    “Third, the whole point of social democracy (and the Polanyi-esque worldview it reflects) is that economic development should not be viewed in isolation as the sole criterion of sociopolitical value. Social democrats believe that decisions about economic policy must be judged not exclusively on growth rates (although they too prefer high ones, ceteris paribus), but also on the basis of how growth affects other goals—such as social solidarity, social stability, environmental protection, and the maintenance of a wellfunctioning democracy.”

    “You may not like it, it may smack of nationalism or exclusivism, but the fact is that if you want an order based on social solidarity and the priority of social goods over individual interests, some basic sense of fellow feeling is required to get that order into place and keep it politically sustainable. So long as nation-states remain the basic form of political organization in the world, moreover, such fellow feeling will have to be fostered within national borders. Social democrats who can’t accept and deal with this will just end up ceding ground politically to the radical right and various populists, who will step in to supply the communitarian cravings that publics continue to display.”


    Christian Parenti warns about the the combination of neoliberalism and counterinsurgency as both being essentially violent ways to control populations and limit social cohesion.

    “Counterinsurgency is especially destructive because it attacks the social fabric. Like the revolutions it seeks to suppress, counterinsurgency intentionally attacks and attempts to remake the social relations of a place. In the process, it helps set off self-fueling processes of social disintegration.

    COIN targets — pace Foucault — the “capillary” level of social relations. It ruptures and tears (but rarely remakes) the intimate social relations among people, their ability to cooperate, and the lived texture of solidarity — in other words, the bonds that comprise society’s sinews.

    Typically, anomie, normlessness, trauma, and lawlessness are its legacy.”

  12. JohnnyGL

    Regarding drug addiction/opioid usage, this interview was one of the best regarding drug addictions that I think I’ve ever seen. This was a lightbulb going off moment for me. I don’t think it gets enough attention. Too many good passages to quote. But here’s a good one….

    “But what Bruce says is this shows that both the right-wing theory of addiction and the left-wing theories of addiction are wrong. The right-wing theory of addiction is it’s a moral failing, you indulge yourself, you’re a hedonist. The left-wing theory is you get taken over, your brain gets hijacked, all of that. But Bruce says it’s not immorality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is an adaptation to your environment. Why do people living shitty, disconnected lives, where they’ve got no meaning and they’re cut off from all the people around them become much more likely to become addicts than happy, connected–. We could be drunk now, right? Set aside the drug laws. You and me, these mugs, they could be full of vodka, right? They’re not. Why are we sober now? Because we’ve got something we want to do. We’ve got meaning of our lives.”

    Yves, you should consider highlighting.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That seems the way to go.

      1. Set aside the drug laws

      But not just that.

      2. Help people find meaning. More than just something to do. Not just crappy jobs.
      3. Then we can look forward to a happy society, free of drug addicts whose brains got hijacked, free of people who drink and drive, or those who get high and drive, or smoke grass in public or in the same apartment building, giving others/neighbors 2nd hand smoking.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A Hawaiian canoe…guided by Sun and stars.

    I am still not sure how that worked in the first place.

    Their ancestors’ navigation could take them to where they wanted to. But how did they know to go there (for example, Hawaii, or Tahiti)?

    Did many just go? The lucky ones found landing and many didn’t, all without navigation, or more likely, navigation didn’t help, or couldn’t help on the first trip when they didn’t know where to go.

    Now, what would motivate people to do something like that? Columbus – did he have a map to guide him? What about the first Hawaiians?

    1. Gio Bruno

      …once you realize the earth is round (a sphere) navigating in a selective course should bring you back to your beginning. So there’s no fear of falling off the earth; just concern for big storms, or intervening lands with “grumpy” natives. Columbus was looking for India, right? Instead he found Hispaniola. Luck is an element of history.

      1. optimader

        follow the setting/rising sun youre bound to run into something, just bring enough freezedried bananas

    2. rfdawn

      These were exploratory voyages. They didn’t know where they were going but used careful observation to ensure they knew how to get back.

      Typically, explorations were launched *against* the prevailing winds/currents so any forced return would be easy “downhill” running. Heyerdahl had it exactly backwards.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Interesting point about launching against the prevailing winds/currents.

        Where did you think they launch from to reach Easter Island and did some make it back? It would seem then, that they would have traded back and forth in the Pacific Ocean, from Hawaii back to the Marquesas islands or between East Islanders and say, people in East Polynesia.

        It’s amazing to think they kept going, sailing east, north, south, to find new islands. Probably not as lucky as Columbus’s success on the first try.

        1. rfdawn

          Most of what I know came from the book “Vaka Moana” which was a pleasant read.

          Lots of interesting tricks for finding small islands in a large ocean. Atoll lagoons are often mirror-smooth and reflect a beam of sunlight up onto the underside of passing clouds – making them “visible” even beyond the horizon – a variant of the “ice-blink” noted by polar explorers. Also the regular wave-patterns of the open sea can be disrupted by islands in a somehow-readable fashion.

          For the longer voyages, I think trade was impractical and the sole purpose was colonization of yet-uninhabited islands – a serial boom/bust scenario. AFAIK Easter Island, Hawaii, and New Zealand were all colonized from Eastern Polynesia (Tahiti or thereabouts).

          1. ambrit

            So called ‘primitive’ navigators could also find land by looking for the columns of clouds islands would throw up during the day, a thermodynamics process. Knowing which ocean birds went to land at dusk also helped. Following the direction they flew in at that time led you to some sort of land.
            NOVA on the question, first Polynesia:
            NOVA on the question, in general:
            In “Aku Aku” Heyerdahl posits a colonization group from South America. The theory is still considered plausible.

    3. Rhondda

      I recalled having read this some years ago and found it fascinating. The Soft, Warm, Wet Technology of Native Oceania

      …A man’s testicles might not seem like something to be used for navigation, but they were and … Extensive, open-ocean voyaging settled the vast, remote “Polynesian Triangle” of … When the sun and moon can’t help, the wayfinder looks to his on-board pig, … Dealing with what we call longitude involves other techniques…

  14. Jim Haygood

    Yield on 2-year T-notes reached 0.81% today — the highest since 2011 — as J-Yel ranted to Kongress about her December rate hike fixation. On the WSJ’s bond page, a chart can be pulled up by selecting ‘2-Yr Note Yield’ and ‘5Y’ period.

    Hovering over the proceedings is the Ghost of 1937. Will a tiny rate hike prick the feeble expansion? Or does stocks’ mighty October blastoff presage a rousing Bubble III finale in 2016?

    For now, Ms Market leans to the latter interpretation. Apparently the extra 0.5% GDP fiscal stimulus of the budget deal, coupled with a ‘one and done’ December rate hike as inflation remains quiescent, looks like a reason to party.

    After all, yesterday the NDX (Nasdaq 100 index) closed at a new record high for the first time in 15-1/2 years. As Goldman Sachs will tell you, ‘You can’t lose with the QQQs.’

    1. Jim Haygood

      A badly deranged Kongress Klown — Brad Sherman, who represents the San Fernando Valley, capital of porn films ‘n bible thumpers — lectured J-Yel:

      “God’s plan is not for things to rise in the autumn, that is why it is called Fall.”

      “God’s plan is for things to rise in the Spring. If you want to be good with The Almighty, you might want to delay until May.”

      Scary sh*t indeed. Involuntary commitment is one option.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Unless you live in hurricane country.

        You get storm rising or hurricane rising often in Fall.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Those skyscrapers in Metropolis are going higher and higher…actually doing some sky-scraping now.

  15. kgw

    The migration appears to have been out of the asian mainland, south, out of the larger islands/chains. These people worked their way along the islands, gained experience and started taking longer voyages.

    Eventually, they developed the “sky map,” local to the Pacific basin. You watch the dawn horizon, mark where the star/constellation rises; at dusk you watch where the star/constellation sets. A 15 to 20 degree altitude above the horizon is the best for seeing the direction of the object.

    A very simplistic explanation. If you search for such navigation skills, you will find “star maps” that show the dawn/dusk position of the major stars/constellations that are still used by those familiar with it.

  16. allan

    Although yesterday’s election went badly for Democrats in general, it worked out as planned for Andrew Cuomo.
    He gets to keep the NYS Senate safely in Republican hands, allowing him to frustrate any progressive legislation
    that might be passed by those pesky Democrats in the Assembly:

    Elation and the deflation: A tale of the NY 52nd State Senate election results

    The headline of November 4, 2015, in the Broom[e] County region of New York State, will easily be the landslide victory that was the 52nd State Senate District race. The race was a special election to replace State Senator Tom Libous, effective immediately. In 2016 there will be a normal election process to return the seat to the standard election cycle. The winner of the race, with 78% of the votes, is Fred Akshar.

    From the start of the special election, the very selection process, revealed the problem for Democrats. Without apparently any prior notice, Gov. Andrew Cuomo selected Barbara Fiala as the choice for the Democrat ticket. It was an act that was stunning (as no one had a chance to request consideration), unexpected (Ms. Fiala had not even made a statement that she was considering the position – nor would she until 5 hours after the Governor had publicly made the choice), and rushed. The last part most evident in the poorly executed campaign that Fiala would wage.

    The weight of the problem became obvious shortly thereafter. Though Gov. Cuomo had picked Barbara Fiala, he did not open the deep pockets in Albany or New York City.

  17. financial matters

    In discussing human value and labor it’s interesting to consider Marx’s view that capitalism would destroy itself.

    Marx viewed the emancipation of the proletariat as the emancipation of society and the emancipation of the human being.

    One of the major problems he saw with the bourgeoisie was their inability to rule because they were incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state that he cannot afford to feed himself.

    So, given the enormous economic potential of capitalism why couldn’t it provide a livlihood for its working class (can be read living wage), or alternatively could not afford a welfare system (can be read BIG, single payer, enhanced social security)

    In their best form, social democratic parties can be seen to be taking on these forms of labor advocacy.

    (from Eric Hobsbawm in the introduction to The Communist Manifesto, a modern edition)

    1. Massinissa

      Im not so sure about that last sentence by Hobsbawm.

      Remember who made the welfare state? It wasnt Marx, it was Bismarck, trying to use state capitalism in such a way as to kneecap the support for Marxists. And it worked, for at least a hundred years across the first world, but now welfare states all around the world are being pulled back now that the Soviet Union (which wasnt truly marxist either, but at least it was an alternative to western financial capitalism) is dead.

      Without the “Spectre of Communism”, the capitalists think they can do without things like welfare states or living wages.

      We will see in the next few decades whether or not they are right.

  18. Oregoncharles

    Are you being attacked? Adding that article on fascism to your exposes may have attracted some unwanted attention.

    Ironically, your back-end problems seem to coincide with improvements in the commenting experience. But if it’s a trade-off, I’d gladly go back to minor inconvenience so you can function properly.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, it’s that this WordPress upgrade is a complete piece of garbage (and WordPress is gimpy to being with). Lots of complaints on chat boards.

      I’m telling my tech guy we are not doing any upgrades until they have been out at least three months and we can see if the dust has settled on them.

  19. PlutoniumKun

    The ‘Vox’ visual guide to the Syrian wars is a bit dubious – it says the links between the Assad Regime and Isis are ‘its complicated’. Um, really? And there is supposedly no link at all between Isis and the Gulf States. As if.

  20. Oregoncharles

    Important Stiglitz interview:

    Well, yes. But he’s essentially calling for a return to New Deal/ Great Society policies to correct inequality and improve “growth.” That worked in the 50’s and 60’s, but it’s a very good question whether it would work now, let alone be desirable.

    Stiglitz is invoking the liberal economists’ sleight of hand: substituting groaf for justice. Yes, you can avoid dealing with distribution as long as the economy is growing fast enough that you can pay off the losers in the game.

    What happens when you run up against resource constraints? Mainstream economists seem unable – no, in truth, they refuse – to grasp that fundamental reality. The economy happens within, and depends on, a box composed of the world. The only thing in nature that grows without limit is cancer – only there is a limit, isn’t there? (I know, slogans, but they state the problem accurately.)

    Actually, I suspect that traditional liberal policies would not only further erode the world’s livability; they probably wouldn’t work. Pushing harder when you’re up against a limit only hurts yourself. I think this is why the economy keeps blowing bubbles: that’s all it can do. There are mediating causes that are more obvious, but I think that’s the root.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have mentioned the possibility that with better distribution, more equality, the society can be happier, even if the GDP is smaller.

      That’s a challenge to the ‘GO GDP!!!’ school.

  21. Vatch

    What happens when you run up against resource constraints? Mainstream economists seem unable – no, in truth, they refuse – to grasp that fundamental reality.

    Many of us have already seen the following wonderful quote attributed to the economist Kenneth Boulding, and here it is, for those who haven’t seen it:

    Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In some way, it reminds one of what Zhuangzi said:

      Life is finite, while knowledge is infinite.

  22. Roland


    Neoliberal globalists hate sovereignty. They hate their own sovereignties, and they hate everyone else’s. They can’t get rid of sovereignties fast enough.

    Now on the one hand, today’s proletarian need not indulge any great sentiment for the sovereign nation state. But on the other hand, the proletariat of various countries has paid a price to get that sovereign nation state, even though it seldom did them many favours. The nation and its sovereignty, with all its faults, belongs to the people.

    It is not up to the neoliberal bourgeoisie to compromise or abolish the national sovereignty for which the other classes of the society have paid so much.

    But what else do you expect from the bourgeoisie? They expropriate things–it’s what they do.

  23. Peter Schitt

    If I were French, I would consider voting for the National Front – and I consider myself to be socialist. The NF are preferable to the death cult of Neoliberalism. They are the only party with a realistic hope of getting rid of the Euro and leaving the EU. I can definitely understand the sense of anger, betrayal and hopelessness to be found amongst many French people. France is stagnating and large parts of her big cities are hell holes. I was shocked by the filth and rats on my last visit to Paris.

  24. BEast

    I love the people who pretend we can just “adapt” to hundreds of millions of climate refugees, plummeting crop yields (where they’re not wiped out entirely by droughts, floods, or storms), or temperatures too high for human beings to withstand.

    And by “love”, I mean something else entirely.

    Put up a few sea walls, that oughta do it. And cultivate some GMO crops. It’s not like this is an actual crisis, like the urgent need to cut billionaires’ taxes.

Comments are closed.