Links 11/5/15

Rupert Murdoch Takes Over National Geographic, Then Lays Off Award-Winning Staff ReverbPress. Chuck L: “He trashed it on the first day he owned it.”

Not Just Academics Fed Up With Elsevier: Entire Editorial Staff Resigns En Masse To Start Open Access Journal TechDirt (Chris G)

Garden bird survey aims to solve goldfinch mystery BBC

Kangaroo flatulence research points to new climate change strategy for farmers Guardian (Dr. Kevin). The ‘roo photos are great. They look as if they are ready to fight off someone intent on giving them a proctological exam.

NASA releases HD sun video YouTube (David L)

Covering the deserts with solar will also change the climate ars technica (EM)

Paris climate deal to ignite a $90 trillion energy revolution Ambrose Evans-Pricthard, Telegraph. This seems inconsistent with China’s use of coal-fired electrical plants…Put it another way, I’d love to think this were true, but it’s utterly inconsistent with what we’ve seen heretofore.

The Brain’s GPS May Also Help Us Map Our Memories NPR (David L)

A radical new drug therapy could clear up ‘superbug’ infections Business Insider (David L)

Corbis said to be cutting about 15% of workers amid photo price war Seattle Times (agreenie)

I’ll eat my hat if we are anywhere near a global recession Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. As Warren Mosler said, “They all believe in the monetary policy fairy…”

House prices set for long period of ‘stagnation’: Barclays Sydney Morning Herald. EM: “Because ginormous bubbles never end in crashes but merely in ‘secular stagnations’ or – to put a mor optimistic spin on things – ‘permanently high plateaus’, dontchaknow, especially when it’s hot money fleeing the deflation of even bigger bubble which is fueling the bubble in question.”


The Economics of War with China: This Will Hurt You More than It Hurts Me War on the Rocks (resilc)

EU Asks Whether Some National Antitrust Agencies Lack Teeth
WSJ Brussels. Quelle surprise!

Eurozone needs independent fiscal oversight, says Dijsselbloem Financial Times. Contradicts Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s optimism re more fiscal spending.

Legendary auto exec says VW was under a ‘reign of terror’ that led to emissions scandal Business Insider (David L)

FINANCIAL TIMES FRONT PAGE: “National Grid in emergency plea for heavy users to power down” @skynews. More infrastructure tsuris.


Dialogue, ceasefire, escalation of war in Syria Asia Times (margarita)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Snowden inspires New Zealand ‘protected disclosure’ regime ZDNet (Chuck L)

Congressman introduces bill to end warrantless Stingray surveillance Guardian

TSA airport screeners’ ability to detect weapons declared “pitiful” ars technica (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Michael Moore’s gutsy new film: Our military has not won a war since World War II Salon (resilc). And the Russians did more to win WWII than we did. Some military historians contend that the US Third Army was the only operationally effective major unit in the Western European theater.

‘Iron-ass’ Cheney and ‘arrogant’ Rumsfeld damaged America, says George Bush Sr Guardian

Trade Traitors

Bringing in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers due to need – Zahid astrowani. Moss: “Malaysian government is to approve bringing in 1.5 million Bangladeshi “workers” due to employer needs! Everyone family can rent one …”

Pacific trade deal targets Chinese hacking Financial Times. So get this straight….the other prospective signagtories are supposed to get excited about a measure that mainly benefits Hollywood and Silicon Valley? It’s not as if the TPP give any enforcement powers against hacking that reach into China. This is basically asking OTHER countries to join the US criminalization effort.


Clinton charity, under pressure, will amend tax return errors Reuters

After 107 Days on Top, Trump Is No Longer Leading the GOP Field Alternet

Ben Carson: Egyptian pyramids were grain stores, not pharaohs’ tombs Guardian. If the Hillary super PACs were smart, they’d throw every dollar they could at getting Carson to be the Republican nominee.

Marco Rubio Would Like to Have a Beer With Malala, a Muslim Teen Gawker (resilc)

Rubio Steals Big Cash from the GOP: Refuses to Hand Over Records RingofFire

How Bernie Sanders Can Save the Democrats New York Observer

Confessions of a Paywall Journalist Washington Monthly (Eric A). Important.

Paul Ryan Unites House Republicans Under a Single Extremist Agenda Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

How Democrats Suppress The Vote fivethrityeight (steve h). I find “suppress the vote” to be a dishonest framing. Voter suppression = denying people the right to vote or by setting up high barriers to voting. Not that I am a fan of the Democrats, but tactics need to be called by their proper names.

Buffett’s BNSF helped lead fight to delay train safety technology Reuters (EM)

Ambling Through America’s Most Stoned Suburbs New York Magazine

Spoofing verdict shocks futures trading industry Financial Times. Faking out other traders has long been seen as acceptable in the Wild West of foreign exchange and commodities markets. See Andy Krieger of Bankers Trust as a famous example of this sort of trader. But the use of HFT-type strategies to do it algorithmically is the new angle the regulators are attacking.

There’s a new way traders are defrauding the market — and they’re starting to get busted for it Business Insider

Class Warfare

Meet the Boston Lawyer Who’s Putting Uber on Trial Wall Street Journal (Li). A must read, if nothing else because it’s so rare to see someone this tenacious and effective on the anti-plutocrat side of the table. Google the headline if you are not a subscriber. But man, are the comments depressing.

Kraft Heinz to shutter 7 plants, build new facility in Davenport OCTimes. Troy: “Long story short – Kraft wants tax incentives to build a new plant that will eliminate 1000 jobs. They have no shame.”

The Rigging of the American Market Robert Reich

Antidote du jour. After seeing our Antidote the day before yesterday, of a Siberian Forest Cat perched non-chalantly on a post in the snow, reader Maren, a writer and artist in Queens, sent this picture of her Siberians:

Their coats are not quite as spectacular yet, but they are both only kittens. That’s Grape on the right and Oberon (“Bobo”) on the left. Oberon is only 9 months old and already 17 pounds…

In other words, Oberon is on his way to being a small pony. I hope Maren has a big kibble budget!

Grape and Oberon links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ruben

    Nervousnet. Welcome to bottom-up big-data analytics.
    A group of scientists led by a team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich is creating an app for a digital nervous system of participatory data collection, decentralized communication services, and big-data analytics.

    They are presenting their project as motivated by the political and economic empowerment of people versus top-down centralized institutions such as big corporations and governments. From the article:

    “Unlike initiatives for the Internet of Things spearheaded by big technology companies, Nervousnet is run as a ‘citizen web’, built and managed by its users. Inspired by Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap, people can interact with Nervousnet in three ways. They can contribute data, analyse the crowdsourced data sets, and share code and ideas. Anyone can create data-driven services and products using
    a generic programming interface. The aim is to yield societal benefits, business opportunities and jobs.”

    See also:

    1. Christian B

      Please, enough with these techno-utopian dreams already.

      Knowledge is infinite, your life is limited. Why chase the unattainable while your life drifts away?

      1. optimader

        “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb

        there are less enriching ways to spend the intellectual capital

        1. Kurt Sperry

          +1 Do you view yourself as primarily an individual or family battling others for finite resources or committed to living in a more altruistic way?

          1. optimader

            I consider myself a curious and fortunate bohemian at heart. IMO the golden rule rules, it works both ways, or is supposed to anyway.

        2. Christian B

          Comparing that techno-bs website to a planting a tree! HA! A tree is alive and serves its own purpose with or without humanity.

          1. optimader

            Knowledge is infinite, your life is limited

            I was offering an analogy for aesthetic reward of learning whether or not goal based rewards playout in my lifetime.

            Based on your proposition, you will become very boring as you age. The process of learning is sufficient reward for some, I don’t think you’d make a good astronomer.

            1. Christian B

              Boring! I hope so!

              Dao De Ching – Chp 20

              Cease learning, no more worries
              Respectful response and scornful response
              How much is the difference?
              Goodness and evil
              How much do they differ?
              What the people fear, I cannot be unafraid

              So desolate! How limitless it is!
              The people are excited
              As if enjoying a great feast
              As if climbing up to the terrace in spring
              I alone am quiet and uninvolved
              Like an infant not yet smiling
              So weary, like having no place to return
              The people all have surplus
              While I alone seem lacking
              I have the heart of a fool indeed – so ignorant!
              Ordinary people are bright
              I alone am muddled
              Ordinary people are scrutinizing
              I alone am obtuse
              Such tranquility, like the ocean
              Such high wind, as if without limits

              The people all have goals
              And I alone am stubborn and lowly
              I alone am different from them
              And value the nourishing mother

        3. Oregoncharles

          Another version: “Orchardists live long, productive lives because they keep planting trees till the day they die?”

          It’s an inherently optimistic, forward-thinking activity. Imagine breeding fruit trees – about five years from seed to fruit. I’ve done some of this, planting peach pits from leaf-curl resistant varieties, and so far gotten at least 3 worthwhile trees out of it – one especially curl resistant.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That last sentence woke me: ‘the aim is to…jobs.’

      Why not aiming to let users have fun, to be able to play like kids again, and forget business opportunities and jobs?

    3. Invy

      Anyone interested in decentralizing the internet should check out IPFS and WebRTC.

      Of course we will have to use ICE protocol to traverse NAT until we all switch to ipv6, until then STUN/TURN servers will need to be used.

      The IPFS creator is associated with Filecoin, but incentivizing backup is left to the users.

    4. Tertium Squid

      At first I thought nervousnet was the most misleading name ever for such a product – sounds like a dystopian sci-fi about a world full of anxious and grasping people, plagued by doubt about their position in society and uncertainty about their future well-being.

      But upon reflection, nope, that sounds about right.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        Or those nervous about the the state of current internet franchise! (Notice net neutrality is up for grabs via the TPP bag.)

  2. allan

    “Long story short – Kraft wants tax incentives to build a new plant that will eliminate 1000 jobs. They have no shame.”

    This tactic has already worked in western New York, where similar closures are threatened.
    The state is throwing millions in assistance at Kraft-Heinz and begging them not to pack up and leave:

    The state’s investment will initially be capped at $20 million over the next five years provided Kraft-Heinz also invests $20 million. If after those five years, the company has not decreased its overall employment in New York State and has invested at least $25 million in its upstate operations, the state will invest an additional $5 million.

    Yes, Warren, your side is winning, and you pretend to care. So why are you doing this?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The concept of kraft macaroni and cheese as “food” seems to be “stickiest” with consumers who can’t afford anything else.

      Therefore Warren, ever the “krafty” one, may simply have determined that unemployment is a winning marketing strategy. He IS an oracle, you know.

      1. Vatch

        In case anyone is uncertain about the names, Katniss and Allan are referring to billionaire Warren Buffett, not Senator Elizabeth Warren.

      2. Brian

        Buffet may be an orifice, but not an oracle. He gets advanced inside information or he doesn’t buy. Open the curtain.

        1. Adam Eran

          I’ve read that he leverages low beta stock purchases with cheap loans from his insurance companies. That means better-performing stocks (typically low volatility, i.e. low beta) are in his portfolio and leverage magnifies his returns.

          …and he’s a very clever fellow too.

      3. optimader

        The concept of kraft macaroni and cheese as “food” seems to be “stickiest” with consumers who can’t afford anything else.

        That is an interesting and I think a commonly inaccurate perception.

        The thing is, comparatively the consumer can afford “else” , the perception that a choice doesn’t exist for reasons of economics or time management is the power of marketing.

        For a quick comparison:
        I picked online the cheapest box of Kraft macaroni and cheese (original) figure $3.68/lb
        ($1.79 for a 7.28 oz box). The other single serve and upmarket versions of mac and cheese are only progressively more expensive.

        So consider Pasta in olive oil, garlic, and some veggie. Which would you rather eat for dinner/have sitting cold in the fridge for lunch the next day? ?

        For an objective comparison, I used a recipe with proportions from a random foodie site on the internet. One pot, boil water, thow stuff in, drain, throw stuff in. Same human intervention time line.

        Prices are off the internet,
        Not even trying hard here to make a point– all good quality stuff, not skimping. Proportions corrected to a 16 oz batch of pasta.

        A good pasta (1 lb) $1.79/lb
        Imported Extra Virgin olive oil (1 cup or 0.5lb): $1.39/cup
        Crushed garlic(2 tblspns): $0.09
        Grated100% parmesan-romano imported and pre-grated (2 tblspns): $0.24

        Correcting to 1lb quantity
        $2.34/lb Real Food vs $3.68 for Crapt Mac&cheese like substance in a box is ~well over 50% more expensive per pound.

        This is without even trying.

        You still have money left to throw in vegetable of choice, pepperoni, canned fish/chicken or whatever. (my choice would be canned salmon, jalapenos, garbanzo beans).

        Perpetuation of the “cant afford not to” or “takes too long to cook” is wrong. It’s a case of awareness that choices exist and have consequences that is at issue.

        1. BEast

          Some people have choices, and some don’t. Some don’t have the choices you presume.

          Take your ingredients. The only item on it that you can buy in the amount you list is the pasta. Everything else — olive oil, garlic (in cloves or jarred), cheese — have to be bought in a far greater quantity.

          One of the hidden costs of living hand to mouth, (which I am not, but I read), is that you cannot take advantage of things that are better deals in the long run. As one writer put it, he bought so many $0.69 single lemons, even though lemons were 2 for a dollar, because he couldn’t spare that extra thirty-one cents for a spare lemon. If your grocery budget is x per week, you can’t spend 1.5x one week knowing it will save you money over time. You just don’t have the cash.

          And, by the way, macaroni and cheese, (as you, and the rich people on Michael Moore’s old show memorably failed to know), also takes milk and butter (or margarine) to make.

          1. Bridget

            Mac and cheese can be made easily without milk and butter. And if you are feeding more than one person, or eat leftovers, quantity is not an issue.

          2. Optimader

            I merely made used 1 lb as a convienint unit equivelency. Of course oil garlic and cheese are available in small quantities! Dont be daft. And of course mac and cheeze can be made with water.
            My point stands, the economic parasitic load of the mega corp’s foodlike substances do not and cannot compete with mixing several realfood components in a pot.

            The fallacy that megacorp food like substances are successful in the consumer market because they are the least expensive choice is an incorrect assumption in the consideration of the root causes of poor nutrition in this country presently.

          3. Procopius

            It’s been a long time, so my numbers are ‘way off from todays, but when I came to love Kraft Macaroni Cheese, it was 14¢ a box. It became more filling if you boiled it a lot longer than the directions said. I think I took 15 minutes as the optimum time rather than 5. You didn’t actually need margarine or oil along with the orange powder in the little packet. It *did* make it taste better, and probably made it more filling, but if you couldn’t afford margarine any vegetable oil would work and if you couldn’t afford that you could just skip it and use plain water. You certainly didn’t need olive oil, which is fairly expensive by my standards, and my palate is not so sophisticated I can tell the difference in taste anyway. I loved the stuff and would have eaten it every day if I hadn’t been worried about needing other nutrients.

      4. Pepsi

        Buffett gets much too much credit for being a ‘good guy’ opposed to finance capital, when he’s really just an old fashioned capitalist, he invests in companies that sell real goods to human beings. Wether those are shitty mobile homes with subprime mortgages or death trains, it doesn’t really matter.

        He functions as the face of old capitalists and reassures regular people that there’s some ‘sanity’ behind the markets.

        He’s going to the gulag with the rest of them.

    2. MikeNY

      More proof of government capture by the corporatocracy. And voters seem to have Stockholm Syndrome.
      Makes me nostalgic for the days of nationalization…

    3. Mike From Michigan

      Live in Quad City area. Seems each month read more local news about manufacturing job losses than hiring. Past two months noticed seeing more real estate for sale signs popping-up too. Last there are subdivisions being built for homes in $300-$400K range (Equiv to SF area $1M range) and wonder “Who is buying these homes?” with all the downsizing.

  3. Ignim Brites

    Syraqistan. Does anyone have any idea what national purpose the administration thinks it is serving by its tactics, policy and strategy in Syria?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama is a reactionary and an extreme narcissist. The only semblance of a strategy out of the White House was a repeat of Libya and using two “Democratic Smart Wars” as a bludgeon in the election much like how Obama cracked down on drugs and immigrants.

      Now we are just seeing the fallout, and Obama can’t reorient himself because it would destroy his image as “no drama Obama” and as an all knowing father knows best type.

    2. Steve H.

      1. Enemy of our friend: Saudi’s oppression of Shiites wherever they can be found.

      2. Friend of our enemy: Russia has been a supporter of Assad in return for naval base at Tartus.

      Most directly:

      3. Direct suppression of enemy. Russian cold-weather ports are outsourced, and will be until the planet warms enough to open Arctic waterways year-round. Retaking Crimea gave Russia an in-country all-year port, but ships must go through Istanbul to be relevant on a continental scale, and Turkey is not friendly. The Tartus base is small but the only available option for Russia to flank Turkey.

      The big news may be the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt moved out of range of the Russian cruise missiles as soon as Russia launched them. This is literally a sea change in naval strategy. Like the F-35, what’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if it’s too expensive to put in harms way?

      1. James Levy

        Most of the naval battles in the Pacific War between the US and its allies and the Empire of Japan were surface actions, i.e. ships using guns to fire at other ships. Only a few big battles involved aircraft carriers. What carriers are today is fast becoming the battleship of a bygone era. You see, the US and the IJN were extremely reluctant to commit their battleships to surface actions, even, as in the Solomon Islands, where they would have been very useful. They were, in fact, only committed in limited numbers by both sides, and under duress, because battleships had become such a locus of national pride and prestige that losing one would be perceived as an instant national calamity. The Americans could lose the Wasp, Hornet, Lexington, and Yorktown with a sigh, but if it had been the Colorado or the North Dakota the nation would have gone bananas the way they did when the Arizona blew up in Pearl Harbor (strangely, the battleship Tennessee, which also sank at Pearl Harbor, never elicited the same trauma and reverent enshrining as the Arizona did–probably by how dramatically she blew up). So the USN is not going to risk its carriers because losing one would be a political, ideological, and morale blow of epic proportions.

        1. Brian

          I am sorry, but your statements are not in line with the reality of WW2. The US did not have any surface ships capable of keeping up with the fleet sent to battle until 1944. The ancient BB’s could cruise around 14 knots, and if they left Pearl Harbor, became targets for submarine warfare. The fleet could not move as slowly to allow them to keep up, or would also become targets for subs. The BB’s had to be left behind due to safety of the fleet they were supposed to protect.
          2nd, the older US battleships could not fight head to head with one of the newer Japanese battleships without suffering mightily. Many of our battleships were WW1 vintage and were out gunned as well as slow.
          The idea that our aircraft carriers were expendable is not true. If the US fleet had not had unbelievable luck at the battle of Midway by sinking the largest 4 Japanese carriers in 1942, we would have likely had to sue for peace in 1942. There would have been nothing to protect Hawaii or the west coast from the IJN fleet if we had lost our carriers.
          Those surface battles that remained were almost always all involved in our landing troops or protecting ships from attacking aircraft. Only cruisers could keep up with the faster moving fleet, and they didn’t get into surface battles unless they couldn’t avoid them. They can’t get anywhere near a battleship, for their 8″ guns could not harm the larger BB, and the BB could sink a cruiser with one good hit.
          The Ohio, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Missouri were exceptions, they were newer and faster. We didn’t risk them in any surface battle with IJN. They didn’t show up until 1944. If our old battleships were useful, they would have been used in the Pacific. There were no enemy battleships in the Atlantic after 1942.
          History is not this mutable.

          1. Jagger

            Anybody remember the North Dakota, the Washington, the Hiei and the Kongo at Guadalcanal in 1942, IIRC?

            1. James Levy

              It was only Kirishima against Washington and South Dakota, and Kirishima was technically a battlecruiser. Both sides sent those ships in as a last gasp to either smash the air units at Henderson Field or prevent those assets from being smashed. And the Japanese had more and newer battleships at Truk but failed to send them in. Big mistake.

              1. Massinissa

                Two things.

                First, it was the North Carolina, not the North Dakota. Both of you got that wrong. The USS North Dakota was a pre-ww1 dreadnought scrapped in 1931

                Secondly,technically the Kirishima had been upgraded since she was created and was reclassified a ‘fast battleship’, but yeah, IMO its still a battlecruiser.

                And youre right about Hiei. Hiei was crippled and scuttles after an earlier engagement against US cruisers and destroyers a few days before.

            2. Massinissa

              Oh yeah baby. I love the Kongo and her 3 sister ships, the Hiei, the Haruna and the Kirishima. My wallpaper is a great photo of the Haruna.

              Because they were out of date Battlecruisers from WW1, all four were in all the coolest fights. The newer IJN Battleships like the Nagato class and the Yamato class never did anything neat.

              Im not an Imperial Japan sympathizer or anything, im not crazy, but they had such nice ships I cant help but love the IJN.

              Also, you made a bit of a mistake. It was the North CAROLINA that was with the Washington. There was a USS North Dakota, but it was a pre-WW1 Dreadnought that was scrapped in 1931.

              The North Carolina class ships, the North Carolina and Washington, were really neat Battleships. The Kongo and Hiei didnt stand a chance, the North Carolina class was over 20 years newer

              1. Jagger

                Looks like we are all wrong. I just did a search and it was the USN South Dakota that was with the USN Washington against the IJN Kirishima at Savo Island on 14 Nov 1942. USN South Dakota took 26 hits that night and was put out of the war until Febuary 1943.

                Also googled the image for Kirishima. Definitely an impressive looking ship.

                1. Massinissa

                  Ah youre right. My bad. the North Carolina was the sister ship of the Washington so I assumed it was that, but now that I looked it up yeah it was the South Dakota that was with the Washington at that time.

          2. Steve in Flyover

            Some additional info

            -The old battleships were kept out of the South Pacific campaign just as much for their fuel consumption as any other reason. Twice as much as a Yorktown class carrier. Tanker assets were really stretched for the first year of the Pacific War. The “fleet tanker” losses to the Japanese didn’t help matters. Read S.E. Morrison…..he lambasts Frank Fletcher for worrying too much about running his carriers out of fuel, then details the problems created when a single, chartered tanker was late arriving at a base in the South Pacific. Or when Neosho and Pecos were sunk.

            The Navy didn’t want to risk their new battleships (Washington and South Dakota, not North Dakota) in a night fight around Guadalcanal, but had no choice. All of the Pacific Fleet light and heavy cruisers had been pretty much sunk, or heavily damaged by November 1942. They were the only effective large surface combatants left.

            1. James Levy

              You are partially correct–logistics were a factor, although the only carrier on station by the fall of 1942 was Enterprise, so that wasn’t the whole story. And it doesn’t explain the reluctance of the IJN to use more and larger battleships to bottle up and eliminate the American forces on Guadalcanal. Both sides simply did not want to risk what many saw as the ultimate symbols of national power. The loss of the Hood and then Prince of Wales was a much bigger deal in Britain than the loss of the Ark Royal, but Ark Royal was objectively a much more valuable asset. As I’ve stressed, I’m talking popular and political fallout, not objective military considerations. Again, this is too much to unpack in this short a space.

          3. James Levy

            I never said for a second aircraft carriers were expendable. I said in the context of the day battleships had an emotional and psychological preponderance that carriers had yet to earn. And your discussion of “the fleet” is simplistic–which fleet? The Japanese Main Body was made up of 7 battleships and their attendant cruisers and destroyers; the Kido Butai or fast carrier force operated separately. The US could easily have done the same. As for suing for peace, as Willmott pointed out in his Barrier and the Javelin if the IJN had sunk every ship at Pearl Harbor (including the 3 carriers then in the Pacific but not in port) it still would have been badly outnumbered by 1944 and hopelessly outnumbered by 1945. The shipbuilding and material resources of the USA were so preponderant over Japan that once the war commenced if the Americans wanted to win it, they couldn’t not win it.

            The 10 extant Japanese battleships and battlecruisers in December 1941 were not overall superior to their 13 (after the two sunk at Pearl Harbor) American counterparts, and the US had the North Carolina 16 inch ships completing and the South Dakota class on the way. Japan had Yamato about six months from being fully operational and Musashi over two years out. So I don’t think the USN was afraid that her battleships were markedly inferior–they simply didn’t want to lose any of them for reasons of morale and prestige.

            As for the Atlantic, the Tirpitz went down in 1944, and the US Navy sent the carrier Ranger to help keep an eye on her throughout the summer of 1943.

          4. Steve in Flyover

            The Japanese didn’t have “new’ battleships either……other than the Yamato and Musashi.

            And they weren’t going to use them in the Solomons, because they were being saved for the “Decisive Battle” with the US Fleet.

            So they went with the “Kongo” class battleships/battlecruisers, WW One ships rebuilt in the early 30s. Mainly because they were fast enough (32-33 knots, vs. Yamato’s 27-28) to approach and withdraw from Guadalcanal, while staying out of range of US air cover during the night.

            The plan worked until they were either damaged too bad to withdraw before daylight (HIJMS Hiei), or ran into new US battleships with radar controlled guns (HIJMS Kirishima).

          5. JTMcPhee

            “The Fog of War.”

            Maybe also the FUN of war — Like Our American Sniper, Chris Kye, said,: ““I only wish I had killed more,” Kyle wrote in his book, adding “I loved what I did…it was fun. I had the time of my life.” Yeah, there’s fear and horror, but that half-mile head shot with resultant pink mist, and pulling off a perfect ambush or blowing an MRAP to Kingdom Come with a well-placed and -hidden IED has got to be a real, er, blast, too. Humans been doing it for eons, and we done a great job of building institutions that encourage more war, more of the time. And behind all the political facades, there’s of course the people that profit from “tensions” and conflict… I “served” with the First Cav in Vietnam, and in the Second Armored Division when I got back. Sorry, no unit loyalty for me — all I saw was corruption and ineptness and futility, and smatterings of decency and courage. And “mad minutes,”

            Vietnam’s mad minute
            One shining moment of madness at random
            Come to light up the jungle
            By withering fire the enemy to succumb
            Ordinance pumped into free-fire zone wrangle
            By combat infantrymen by battle numb.

            Every weapon on perimeter fired in enmity
            poured into knotty briars to find their destiny
            A minute of rabid fire lasting an eternity
            Finding release, suddenly, violent, ferocious
            Unrelenting intensity vicious
            Colored tracers running free and furious.

            Pounding suppressive salvos running wild,
            Long gone the child
            A determent to hiding VC sapper attacks.
            Deafened by machine gun’s ack-ack-acks
            One mad minute’s rapid and blistering fire
            Both fear and hatred inspire…

            Mad minute’s teach lessons in discouragement
            Warriors frustrated in one angry minute indignant
            A test fire determining readiness deployment
            Meant lingering VC devastatingly to kill
            With luck blood will spill
            Giving to Vietnam heat its insoluble chill…

            No, Vietnam’s mad minute’s not a math drill
            Designed to master number facts skill
            Mad minute’s discourage infiltration by NVA
            Encroaching on encampments night and day
            Mad minute’s into irate wild wood bestow
            Such a fantastic light show.

            The little discussion here in this thread, arguments and propositions about which weapons and which armies and which tales of military history are superior, who is “right” or “correct,” sounding a little like the ESPN panels yakking over NFL “battles” by the Weekend Warriors, flashes a tiny display of the seductions of playing with little lead figurines and tanks and battleships and carriers on sand tables and Global Network-Centric Interoperable Battlespace Screens. The Game of Risk! and “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” are all pretty “popular” pastimes for a very large lot of people, and at a gritty-reality scale so is handicapping the Syriaquistan madness, and pissing contests between dogmas and strategies over how to “destroy ISIS” and “conduct effective counterinsurgency” which is really about “creative destruction” of all local sovereignties and traditions, just like the goal of neoliberal globalism, “regime change” and subjugation at the cellular level.

            Why war, anyhow? All this talk about “the cause of this or that war” and why so and so lost this or that battle, or won (personifying the whole Grand Army into the puny arrogance of on General or another, “I have met the enemy, and he is mine.” Really, say the troops? Really? And nothing about the motions and flows of “capital,” and institutions and beliefs, and the people that peddle and foster them, that lie behind the hulking power to kill and dismember — countries, polities created out of blood and labor and duration and tradition. I dearly love the works of Barbara Tuchman — she looked behind the curtain and tried to dispel the idiot fog of war-man-ism, to look at root causes in the actual broader sweep of political economies and their manipulators and beneficiaries. Stuff that’s ignored, glossed over or barely hinted at in other “works of history,” like Britannica’s article on “20th century international relations,” which is basically “about” industrialized warfare and the “trade” that lies behind it:

            …Population pressure was a double-edged sword dangling out of reach above the heads of European governments in the 19th century. On the one hand, fertility meant a growing labour force and potentially a larger army. On the other hand, it threatened social discord if economic growth or external safety valves could not relieve the pressure. The United Kingdom adjusted through urban industrialization on the one hand and emigration to the United States and the British dominions on the other. France had no such pressure but was forced to draft a higher percentage of its manpower to fill the army ranks. Russia exported perhaps 10 million excess people to its eastern and southern frontiers and several million more (mostly Poles and Jews) overseas. Germany, too, sent large numbers abroad, and no nation provided more new industrial employment from 1850 to 1910….

            Germany’s swift development strained the traditional balance of power in her own society and politics. By the end of the century Germany had become a highly urbanized, industrial society, complete with large, differentiated middle and factory proletariat classes, but it was still governed largely by precapitalist aristocrats increasingly threatened by demands for political reform.

            Industrialization also made possible the outfitting and supply of mass armies drawn from the growing populations. After 1815 the monarchies of Europe had shied away from arming the masses in the French revolutionary fashion, and the events of 1848 further justified their fear of an armed citizenry. But in the reserve system Prussia found a means of making possible a rapid mobilization of the citizenry without the risk to the regime or the elite officer corps posed by a large standing, and idle, army. (In Austria-Hungary the crown avoided disloyalty in the army by stationing soldiers of one ethnic group on the soil of another.) After Prussia’s stunning victory over France in 1871, all the great powers came sooner or later to adopt the German model of a mass army, supplied by a national network of railways and arms industries coordinated in turn by a general staff. The industrialization of war meant that planning and bureaucracy, technology and finance were taking the place of bold generalship and esprit in the soldier’s craft.

            The final contribution to the revolution in warfare was planned research and development of weapons systems. Begun hesitantly in the French navy in the 1850s and ’60s, command technology—the collaboration of state and industry in the invention of new armaments—was widely practiced by the turn of the century, adding to the insecurity that inevitably propelled the arms races. The demographic, technical, and managerial revolutions of the 19th century, in sum, made possible the mobilization of entire populations and economies for the waging of war.

            The home of the Industrial Revolution was Great Britain, whose priority in the techniques of the factory system and of steam power was the foundation for a period of calm confidence known (with some exaggeration) as the Pax Britannica. The pound sterling became the preferred reserve currency of the world and the Bank of England the hub of international finance. British textiles, machinery, and shipping dominated the markets of Asia, South America, and much of Europe. The British Isles (again with some hyperbole) were “the workshop of the world” and in consequence from 1846 led the world in promoting free trade. “History may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme,” said the wag…

            And so strange, in all of this, the preservation in the libraries of the ancient wisdom that points out the idiocy of almost all that’s done in the way of Great Wars — the collective wisdom of ol’ Sun Tzu. He long ago framed it al,l in “The Art of War,” whose precepts are universally applauded and then ignored by past and present generals and bureaucrats of “War, the Racket:” A great little read, to remind one of how if you are going to be stupid enough to commit the nation to go to or continue or expand war, you ought to have a really good public-benefit-general-welfare reason, and to “not do stupid stuff.” Right, Obama?

            Quite a quagmire we humans are mired in, those of us especially who have not learned or lack the inclination and skills and fortuitous opportunities to ascend into the blimps and balloons of Great Wealth and float above it all, watching the beasts tusk and claw each other down below… Hoping that something other than mass die-off will end the “vast alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night,” doen on the darkling plains. For my grandkids’ sake.

        2. VietnamVet

          The battleship discussion is interesting but I categorize it as war porn. We can’t imagine what it was like for the sailors that night in 1942 on the USS South Dakota when it was hit twenty six times by heavy armor piercing projectiles.

          The fact is that today war is simply a wealth extraction scheme. There is no need for elite to have a healthy society to fight its wars; thus, the outsourcing of jobs, the decline in longevity of white males in the USA and a million Muslim refugees trekking into the heart of the Eurozone.

          If the USA intention was to defeat the Islamic State, the CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt would be flying sorties over Syria with our ally Russia instead of sailing out of harm’s way in the Western Pacific. The forever proxy wars in Syria and Ukraine continue. The only conclusion is that it is the West’s intention to destabilize Russia and plunder it one more time; no matter the consequences to the people.

      2. optimader

        Like the F-35, what’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if it’s too expensive to put in harms way?

        You make Madeline Albrights point, which think has been pretty well debunked.
        Again, I’ll stress that our Military should be treated as a necessary evil insurance policy, not a economic engine, or substitute for a cogent foreign policy.

        Military should be seriously kickass, overwhelming and designed as a defensive force, and substantially not unleashed unless there is a clear threat, not just some existential notional gaming that perpetuates war. When the Dogs of War are unleashed bad things inevitably happen.

        In the case of all weapons, particularly those that lean forward on some technological innovation, their efficacy invariably are exposed to countermeasure degradation in proportion to their use. . Not using them until such time that it is strategically warranted is exactly the correct thing to do. Ideally that time is never.

        Political proxy wars in the ME are a good example of where exposing technological advantages are not warranted, we do not belong there in the first place.

      3. Phil Farmer

        Didn’t all of the Russian cruise missiles land in Iran?

        Does the US Navy think the Russians could actually hit a moving ship with them?

        1. Oregoncharles

          Far from all – 4 out of 20-odd, IIRC. And yes, apparently they do. Although from what I’ve heard, some very fast Chinese missiles are equally concerning.

        2. low_integer

          An ‘unnamed US official’ said 4 of the 26 cruise missiles landed in Iran. This seems to be the only source from which this contention has arisen, so I remain skeptical, to say the least.
          There is a clear pattern, imo, of the US using the western media to paint Russia’s intervention into Syria as reckless, however it is pretty obvious that this angle is all about guiding public opinion into a pavlovian response that Russia = the bad guys.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to build a gas pipeline through Syria to Europe and have ordered us to get it for them.

      Israel wants chaos throughout the Middle East and has ordered us to get it for them.

      The military industrial complex wants profit and has ordered us to get it for them.

      John McCain and Lindsey Graham want their manhood back and have ordered us to get it for therm.

      The neocons want the world and have ordered us to get it for them.

      The evangelicals want the rapture and have ordered us to get it for them.

      I’m sure there’s more, but that should be enough to get you started.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        Lindsey Graham never had ANY manhood to get back, maybe a man from the hood or a hooded man, but not his manhood.

      2. DJG

        Indeed. A remarkable list. And in every instance, there is money to be made and the U.S. populace to fleece.

    4. Llewelyn Moss

      Whatever the policy, it ends up shoveling money down the throat of the MIC. Borrowed money that presumably the next generation of taxpayers will have to pay back. Same as it ever was.

    5. Daryl

      Just another incarnation of the US’s insane support for Sunni extremists. It’ll have to end eventually, if only at the end of the United States.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …but see, the end of America The United States, Democratic Republic of, DOESN’T MATTER, to the Rich Shirts who loot… Remember, only a tiny little bit of “us” sits behind the helm of the Great Ship of State, or issues the double-secret orders and do the spying and arrange the huge weapons and wealth transfers and manage all the corruptions that make up the Milo Minderbinder Enterprises War Is A Racket Racket, and that tiny little bit could not care less what happens to this or any other “nation.” Cuz remember the Big Strategy: Get rid of all “nations” and sovereignties that might impede or impair the expectation of something called “profit”…

        Seems the Earth is destined to be flat(tened), after all.

  4. Llewelyn Moss

    Ben Carson leading the Rupub field. That is some Ironic Schitz right there. The party actively courts the coveted Racist voting block (via its trailer trash radio talkin’ heads) now has a black man for its candidate. Hahaha.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Rigging of the American Market Robert Reich

    “Add it up – the extra money we’re paying for pharmaceuticals, Internet communications, home mortgages, student loans, airline tickets, food, and health insurance – and you get a hefty portion of the average family’s budget.”

    But what you don’t get is “inflation.”

    “Which is why the rest of us must gain political power to stop the collusion, bust up the monopolies, and put an end to the rigging of the American market.”

    Perhaps the esteemed Dr. Reich could help get the ball rolling by using his position in the ivory tower to at least call a spade a spade. Using terms like “extra money” and “upward redistribution” sound a lot like the referenced “collusion” to me.

    1. Vatch

      Robert Reich’s articles are useful for trying to convert someone who doesn’t understand just how bad the oligarchs are. It’s like “Good Cop / Bad Cop”. Reich plays the role of a “good cop”, by using gentle language that is less likely to scrape against a person’s preconceptions. If he used the harsher descriptions that are often justified by the ugly reality, he would alienate people, and fail to make them understand what the oligarchs are doing to the rest of us.

      Over the past year or so, my respect for Robert Reich has grown, despite his unwillingness to call a spade a spade.

  6. rich

    House Democrats: GOP blocking investigation into high drug prices

    Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are chastising Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) for rebuffing their efforts to investigate price hikes by two pharmaceutical companies.

    “My constituents are dying,” Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) said at a news conference Wednesday morning. “They are dying because they cannot get a cure.”

    In a letter to Chaffetz, he and other members said Republicans have “refused every request” to hold hearings or issue subpoenas to drug companies. They ask Republicans to allow them to move forward next month: “Even if you have no interest in investigating these abuses on behalf of your own constituents, we ask that you not block us from investigating them on behalf of ours.”

  7. Clive

    Re: Not Just Academics Fed Up With Elsevier: Entire Editorial Staff Resigns En Masse To Start Open Access Journal

    Yet another reason for avoiding Kindle is that it allows freely-available information to be “published” in chargeable downloads. Of course if search engines hadn’t been so crappified they wouldn’t be able to get away with this con quite so easily.

      1. BillC

        Kobo. Don’t think it’s 100% open source, but doesn’t tie you to the vendor’s infrastructure quite as tightly as Kindle. Teamed with the open-source package Calibre running on a PC (not sure which OSs … I use Linux), you can find copyright-free material and load it into the Kobo e-reader fairly easily. I buy from Kobo maybe one out of ten things I read … when they put ’em on sale.

    1. Jess

      As an author published on the Kindle platform, I would like to know who writes or compiles this “freely available information”? And how do they support their writing if it’s available free to everyone?

      1. Clive

        I was referring to out-of-copyright and freely-available (i.e. the author published waiving their copyright) material that is either transcribed or — worse — scanned with an unchecked OCR job done.

        I’ve no problem whatsoever with copyright holders charging for use of their work.

      2. bob

        So, someone, at some point in time writes something, therefore Elsevier and amazon deserve to be paid any future time its read?.

        There a tens of millions of out of print technical manuals and gov documents, to begin with…

        So, amazon and elsevier Deserve to be paid?

        The best, least connected and paperweight type screen is the Nook simple touch. It’s possible to use it without registering it in any way. Almost, and it takes a bit of care, and dealing with built in hardware downgrades for using it in this manner.

        It’s android, so I wouldn’t ever connect to the internet to begin with. The great google owns you there. But, with a laptop with calibre and a micro sd card, you can have millions of technical docs, at least. 32GB max.

        There are also ways to “root” the NST, but they are being disingenuous using that term. Having to use youtube (google) to “unlock” a device is not “rooting it.” Its doing exactly what google wants you to do– Connect me!!

        They really have crappified search results, and I think the publishing industry is a major reason for it.

      3. low_integer

        I would like to know who writes or compiles this “freely available information”?

        It’s ironic that you haven’t noticed that you are making this comment at a website that does exactly that.
        I hope you contributed to the recent NC fundraiser.

    1. Ulysses

      Thanks for this, but clicking on your link has been as frustrating for me as any of the other avenues that I have tried to gain access to the text. This is the first part of the message-box that appears on my computer screen when I click on your link:

      “Your request has been blocked for security purposes. Please try again or click below to report any issues.”

        1. JTMcPhee

          Jurassic TPP, the Movie: Just the preamble scares and depresses the sh_t out of me. I mentally unpacked it as I read it, and all I get are one neoliberal neocon globalist nuclear cruise missile nightmare after another aimed at demolition of whatever is left of the myth of Enlightenment, the “rights of man (and woman)…” Endless Bernays Buzzing about “competitiveness” and “opportunities” coupled with “expansion.” Gee, I wonder what all those phrases actually mean? Hmmmm?

          Out of 7.38 billion humans on the planet as I scribble, out of all the systems and structures in a biosphere that developed its terrible sustaining beauty over millions of years, how many actual little sh_ts got together to create this plot to subordinate all of that to the wilfulness of that tiny little set of people who are using the limited awareness and innate hopefulness and comity and need for structure of the rest of us, to settle the chains of slavery around our necks? A re-imposition of the divine rights of the few over all the rest of us, on a really grandiose scale…

          I don’t recall voting in favor of this kind of saurian trampling of my nest, for the impure and unlimited benefit and satisfaction of that tiny little set of greedheads that are making my life one of constant anxiety and my grandkids’ lives likely one of sustained horror…

          The Parties to this Agreement, resolving to:
          ESTABLISH a comprehensive regional agreement that promotes economic integration to liberalise trade and investment, bring economic growth and social benefits, create new opportunities for workers and businesses, contribute to raising living standards, benefit consumers, reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth;
          STRENGTHEN the bonds of friendship and cooperation between them and their peoples;
          BUILD on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization;
          RECOGNISE the differences in their levels of development and diversity of economies;
          STRENGTHEN the competitiveness of their businesses in global markets and enhance the competitiveness of their economies by promoting opportunities for businesses, including promoting the development and strengthening of regional supply chains;
          SUPPORT the growth and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises by enhancing their ability to participate in and benefit from the opportunities created by this Agreement;
          ESTABLISH a predictable legal and commercial framework for trade and investment through mutually advantageous rules;
          FACILITATE regional trade by promoting efficient and transparent customs procedures that reduce costs and ensure predictability for their importers and exporters;
          RECOGNISE their inherent right to regulate and resolve to preserve the flexibility of the Parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities, safeguard public welfare, and protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as public health, safety, the environment, the conservation of living or non-living exhaustible natural resources, the integrity and stability of the financial system and public morals;
          RECOGNISE further their inherent right to adopt, maintain or modify health care systems;
          Subject to Legal Review in English, Spanish and French
          for Accuracy, Clarity and Consistency
          Subject to Authentication of English, Spanish and French Versions
          AFFIRM that state-owned enterprises can play a legitimate role in the diverse economies of the Parties, while recognising that the provision of unfair advantages to state-owned enterprises undermines fair and open trade and investment, and resolve to establish rules for state-owned enterprises that promote a level playing field with privately owned businesses, transparency and sound business practices;
          PROMOTE high levels of environmental protection, including through effective enforcement of environmental laws, and further the aims of sustainable development, including through mutually supportive trade and environmental policies and practices;
          PROTECT and enforce labour rights, improve working conditions and living standards, strengthen cooperation and the Parties’ capacity on labour issues;
          PROMOTE transparency, good governance and rule of law, and eliminate bribery and corruption in trade and investment;
          RECOGNISE the important work that our relevant authorities are doing to strengthen macroeconomic cooperation, including on exchange rate issues, in appropriate fora;
          RECOGNISE the importance of cultural identity and diversity among and within the Parties, and that trade and investment can expand opportunities to enrich cultural identity and diversity at home and abroad;
          CONTRIBUTE to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst to broader regional and international cooperation;
          ESTABLISH an Agreement to address future trade and investment challenges and opportunities, and contribute to advancing their respective priorities over time; and
          EXPAND their partnership by encouraging the accession of other States or separate customs territories in order to further enhance regional economic integration and create the foundation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific,
          HAVE AGREED as follows:

          Give the drafters and doers and shakers behind this monstrosity credit: they tell you what they are going to do to you, and how, once you penetrate the fog of positive-sounding bullshit phraseology, it’s right there to see and savor.

          Time to have a glass of wine, do some calming exercises and try to gin up the strength to read on into what THEY have “Agreed,” emphasize “greed,” to shove over on the rest of us…

          1. allan

            Executive summary:
            Black is white, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength. Until an investor objects.

          2. Ulysses

            “resolve to establish rules for state-owned enterprises that promote a level playing field with privately owned businesses, transparency and sound business practices;”

            In other words, accelerate the privatization of what little remains of the commons, including national health services :(

            It has never been a “sound business practice” to take care of the poor and sick, or to provide a decent public education to all. The new global kleptocratic regime, enshrined in the TPP, essentially outlaws any rationale for public action, beyond enforcing the rights of private capital to extract wealth from a hapless populace.

  8. Bill Smith

    “Michael Moore’s gutsy new film” Comment “Russians did more to win WWII than we did” and “Some military historians contend that the US Third Army”

    In Europe at the height the Western Allies faced about 40% of the German Army. The Soviets faced 60%. However in WWII the Soviets did almost nothing in the Pacific. As to the US Third Army. There are a lot of people so someone is going to say something. But I’d agree the 3rd Army had was good and had the best press.

    1. Vatch

      You’re right about the Pacific. This has been discussed here before, and there will undoubtedly be arguments. I would like to point out that yes, the Soviets clearly did more to defeat the Germans than the British and Americans did, but they also enabled the war in Europe with their non-aggression pact with the Germans. It has been claimed that the Soviets did this because they couldn’t get decent terms for a treaty with the British and the French in the summer of 1939. But they could have remained neutral, without treaties with either the Germans or the British and French. Instead, they took the opportunity to seize half of Poland, the Baltic nations, and Moldova. The Soviets were allies of the Nazi Germans from September, 1939, until late June, 1941.

      1. James Levy

        Too much to unpack here for an expert, but a few points: the war in the Pacific was a sideshow in the global war–Germany was simply way more powerful than Japan, with the USA in 1941 having a GDP 11 times greater than Japan’s. In short, they never had a chance. Also, the blow of the Soviet Union entering the war may have been as great on policy makers in Japan as the atomic bomb was. Hiroshima was no worse than the firebombing of Tokyo, but the way the Soviets steamrollered the vaunted Kwantung Army in Manchuria was terrifying to the anti-communist Japanese elite. In short, Soviet intervention in 1945 was not “almost nothing.” As to the Third Army, it was the 1st Army that launched operation Cobra that smashed open the hole the 3rd Army passed through into largely undefended open country, and the 1st Army that seized the bridge at Remagen that got the US forces across the Rhine and into Germany. And it was the 3rd Army that botched the Battle of Metz. Overall, the US Army in Europe was solid and generally competent, but impressive only in size and firepower. It did what it had to do at a relatively low cost to itself and in a relatively timely way. It didn’t have to be great to be totally effective.

        1. Brian

          Germany was at war with Europe. It had very little influence or ability to make war outside the continent. It had no navy except submarines, and it had no 4 engine bomber that could deliver the hurt being dumped on it to any of its enemies. Most of its tools were functionally obsolete by 1940, and it could not produce anything to fight its enemies by 1943. They spent their future on RandD for wonder weapons. The Russians badly mangled the German army and lost millions of people doing so, but still drove them back to the streets of Berlin. A thousand miles.
          The Russians won the war in Europe. The Germans chose to surrender to the US forces, they ran west hoping to be captured before the Russians could kill them and destroy their country, once and for all.
          General Patton killed a lot of his troops to gain personal glory. He was a butcher for propaganda’s sake.

      2. OIFVet

        Very simplistic interpretation of history. The Poles vetoed Russian overtures to Great Britain, and that after having taken part of Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of Munich. They did not want Soviet troops stationed in Poland as a check on Germany. It’s not like Stalin was offering this out of the goodness of his heart, he wanted strategic depth for what he knew was inevitable war with Germany. The West, after hemming and hawing, decided (with Polish input) not to sign a treaty with the Soviets, the idea being to let Hitler and the Soviets fight each other to complete annihilation. It backfired badly on these esteemed folks, hence the simplistic narrative about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that predominates Western historiography. But in the end, Stalin got both his strategic depth and even better, time. Both of these came in handy after 1941. He may have been a butcher, but Stalin was nobody’s fool, particularly cutesy British politicians’.

    2. sid_finster

      The Eastern Front was also responsible for a much higher percentage of German casualties, not to mention casualties of the German satellites.

      1. Phil Farmer

        Hitler’s “no retreat” policy and micro-management was probably responsible for most of the failure of the Russian front.

    3. Tertium Squid

      The US lost half a million people in the whole war. On the Eastern Front one million people were dying every month.

      The Western Front and Pacific weren’t exactly a “technological sideshow” but compared to the East…

      1. Vatch

        There’s no doubt that the Soviet losses during the war were horrendous, and vastly worse than the American losses. And the Nazis considered the Slavs subhuman, higher than Jews, but lower than “Aryans” (despite the fact that the Aryan or Indo-European ethno-linguistic group includes both Germans and Slavs),

        But a million per month? I doubt that number. And some of the losses could have been avoided early in the war if Stalin had allowed his troops to strategically retreat. Instead, he ordered them to impossibly hold their ground, and of course the results were catastrophic.

        I suspect some of the war death statistics include Soviet prisoners who were repatriated to the Soviet Union after the war, and died in the Gulag.

        1. James Levy

          The stat I’ve heard by the reputable military historian Gwynne Dyer is that by Spring 1944 a million people a month were dying in the war. A hefty percent of those dying were in The East (especially if you include the German extermination camps which at that point were at maximum “production”). The best guestimate we have for overall deaths 1939-45 is about 54 million total. A little less than 40% of those were Soviet citizens. Only an American (albeit one I have some respect for) could possibly have dubbed it “The Good War”.

          1. Massinissa

            It was good for ‘MURICA and thats all that counts!! Who cares if China, the soviet union, poland, Germany, Japan, France, Yugoslavia, and god knows what other places got f*cked in the process?!!!

          2. Vatch

            Okay, I thought Tertium Squid said that 1 million Soviets were dying per month, but I guess he didn’t. If we include other nationalities, then I accept that number.

            1. vlade

              Err, he actually said “on the Eastern Front”. Which is not correct by any measure. And if you want to go for casualties, while Soviet ones were truly horrible, Chinese were even worse (since you have to include the whole sino-japanese conflict from mid/early 30s).

          3. vlade

            It was “good war” as in “just war” – definitely from the view of SU people (say unlike the Winter War with Finland).

            The reality is that the was was immensely complex. SU shipped strategic good to Germany all the way to till the first shot was fired (literally – the last resource train from SU to Germany crossed the SU/GER border around midnight, so just a few hours before the invasion), and did two turn-arounds (Spain- against GER, then M-R pact, then invaded), although it could be argued that MR pact was caused by inept British policy and diplomacy. On pre-war basis one could argue that Britain by its inept acts was as much cause of the war was Germany – and indeed, one could make a case that US insistence of paying back the WW1 debts (while happily lending to Germany who could not be expected to repay it all, with the reparations) was also a fundamental cause of Hitler’s rise to the power, and hence the war.

            On the actually war front, the West often ignored the SU contribution in the whole, and presented the fight as “human wave”, which wasn’t the case from at least 43 onwards (for the simple reason that majority of the SU losses happened in 41/42, so from late 42 SU had to be much more manpower conservative) and arguably SU developed some of the best land strategists and tacticians towards the end of the war.

            SU (and even Russia now) on the other hand downplayed lend-lease, which was crucial for SU, since it allowed them to use the manpower that would normally had to be deployed to resource extraction/factories. Basically, US fed, clothed, moved, connected the SU army and made sure they had the ammo. Not armed, despite the fact that the weapons tended to attract the most attention, it was the least important factor.

            So, one can say that SU military did more to win the war than any other military, but that US did more to win the war than any other economy. It’s doubtful whether SU could win without US, and equally doubtful whether US could win without SU in any reasonable timeframe without massive losses.

    4. Ed

      I hesitate to get into a military history discussion since that detracts from Moore’s overall point, which from the brief description here seems to be correct. However, I can’t resist.

      Starting in World War 2, the US has preferred to fight wars via employing overwhelming firepower. This made sense for the most advanced economy in the world at the time, that had the largest oil reserves. These conditions have changed and it may make less sense now. Overwhelming firepower is provided to some extent by artillery, but principally from the air, and the air force fulfills for twentieth and twenty first century American the role the navy fulfilled for Britain in the past. The US also provides alot of material to allies/ proxies, as it did for the Red Army in World War 2, providing much of its logistics capability.

      In view of this, despite lip service to the contrary, you would expect the ability of ground forces to be good at operational maneuver and tactics would be neglected and this is what happened. The evidence is that this got worse after Eisenhower left office. During World War 2 it wasn’t that bad. American forces likely came in second or third in terms of operational art, behind the German army and maybe the Soviet army.

      In World War 2, compared to the American population, the US understaffed its infantry in terms of both numbers and quantity. Instead the army air forces, the navy, and to some extent the logistics forces were built up. In Europe, there were only five American armies, the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th, plus a two corps sized army used for mopping up operations. Of these, the 3rd had the best record (and excellent press), while the 1st and the 5th had some failed operations, so yes, the 3rd was probably the best but its not a big sample size.

      While they were not numbered, the government wound up using essentially five armies against the Confederacy (Potomac, Tennessee, Cumberland, James, and Gulf), and the Tennessee did best of the five, but again its a small sample size and historians don’t make too much of this.

        1. Ed

          15th Army was the two corps mopping up force I mentioned. It was never a candidate for the most effective US army in Europe, because of its size and its role.

    5. BondsOfSteel

      ehhh… no.

      The war wasn’t fought with just tanks. The Allied Air Force and Navy had a huge roll in the defeat of Germany. Almost all of this was fought by the UK and US.

      The US and UK air force did enormous damage to the German industrial base which lead to it’s collapse. The Battle of The Atlantic allowed the US (and UK) to supply and support the USSR. Without this support, the USSR would have collapsed. In the battle of economies the materiel wealth of the US was no match for the axis powers.

  9. DJG

    With regard to Ben Carson and insanity. I think it is time to call his condition what it is, plain old insanity. Surgeons are athletes, and they certainly have the ego of athletic superstars. Ben Carson is no intellectual. I’m sure that he was great as a technician, as the perfect surgeon. But once removes a tumor, what else does he have to say? Once the surgery is over, you may note, your GP or internist takes over again.

    As the saying once went: A young surgeon and an old doctor. You wanted a surgeon quick and powerful with a knife. You wanted a doctor with some experience and compassion. Carson is proof of the validity of the saying.

    1. Ulysses

      Here’s an indication of what’s at stake. Chapter 6 allows for the possibility that nations, on a strictly temporary basis, might shelter important domestic industries for up to two years in order to help adjust to a new reality of lost jobs, etc. Yet even these “transitional” protections must be paid for immediately–

      “A Party applying a transitional safeguard measure shall, after consultations with each Party against whose good the transitional safeguard measure is applied, provide mutually agreed trade liberalising compensation in the form of concessions that have substantially equivalent trade effects or equivalent to the value of the additional duties expected to result from the transitional safeguard measure. The Party shall provide an opportunity for those consultations no later than 30 days after the application of the transitional safeguard measure.”

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Covering deserts with solar.

    “The deserts are empty.”

    “We discovered America. It was empty.”

    “Plenty of space in the land of honey and milk. It’s empty.”

    But deserts have never been empty…only empty of the speaker and his believers.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Roofs are a much better bet, and much closer to the demand; but they require far more organizational capability (an issue that has come up before on here – eg Greece,)

  11. DJG

    Goldfinches as garden visitors: Here, too, in Chicago, goldfinch are much more in evidence. When I was a kid, lo, these many years, they did not visit built-up areas. They were considered a bird of the countryside. What I have noticed in Chicago is that the strong recent trend to make yards more “natural,” with some sturdy native plants, has attracted several species. The goldfinch are fond of coneflower (echinacea) and bee balm (monarda) for the seeds. Likewise, the cardinals. The rabbits, now in a gigantic population explosion, like the cover of the “natural” yards and parkways (the strips of land along the streets in front of houses here). The many mature trees, which are much admired here, seem to attract all kinds of birds of prey, too. Peregrine falcons, hawks, and large owls are semi-regulars here now.

    1. OIFVet

      My observations are similar, I have seen a nice increase of songbirds in Hyde Park, chickadees in particular this year, but also downy woodpeckers. Curious little fellas. Having Wooded Island nearby helps a lot. Rabbits too are everywhere, it has become regular occurence to slam on the breaks to avoid running them over when they bolt onto the street. My neighbor has a thriving colony in a den under the low hanging boughs of an evergreen, it is fascinating to watch the little ones grow up.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Radical new drug therapy against ‘superbug’ infections.

    Problem -> solution -> bigger problem -> bigger solution ->even bigger problem -> even bigger solution -> etc.

    Each side coming up with ‘today’s best explanation/strategy.’

    It’s a perpetual war….sort of like cycles of problem/solution incarnation. In that case, Nirvana is to exit that cycle…go to something beyond solution/problem…something like a different way of inhabiting the planet.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So, what to make of the fact that a “radical” new scientific approach to a serious health problem is the subject of an article in a “financial” publication?

      Didn’t I once hear something about “jamming a blood funnel into anything that smells like money?”

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Brain GPS…memories.

    As I’ve said before, when ‘they’ know exactly how the brain works, there will be no place to hide one’s secrets.

    And you (or anyone) won’t even know you are being manipulated or controlled…they have seized your CPU.

  14. rich

    Home Capital mortgage probe widens
    A group of 45 brokers suspended by Home Capital Group Inc. for alleged mortgage fraud generated nearly $2-billion worth of outstanding mortgages for the lender, twice as much as executives originally estimated, the company revealed Wednesday.

    Earlier this year, Home Capital, Canada’s largest alternative mortgage lender, admitted it had suspended dozens of brokers after an internal investigation revealed that some had submitted fraudulent mortgage applications that artificially boosted the incomes of borrowers. At the time, the company said it believed the brokers had generated a total of nearly $960-million in mortgage loans for the lender last year.
    Houses are seen in Mississauga on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. In an online presentation on fraud and identity theft from 2012, mortgage insurer Canada Guaranty notes that “one in 10 mortgage applications will have some element of fraud.”
    real estate
    How mortgage fraud is thriving in Canada’s hot housing market

    Yesterday, it said it had determined that the total outstanding mortgages generated by the group stood at $1.93-billion as of June. By the end of September, that total had dropped to $1.72-billion. “The company expects this balance to decline as customers pay down loans,” Home Capital wrote.

    The company has said its suspended brokers represented 60 per cent of its business in insured mortgages. The volume of new insured mortgages was $416.3-million in the third quarter, down more than 20 per cent compared with $522-million in same period last year, while Home Capital’s core business of uninsured loans fell nearly 15 per cent, to $1.78-billion.

    does anyone, anywhere, do anything the right way, anymore?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thanks. I poked about the several versions online now in Water Cooler; what’s really needed is a searchable version online, with a downloadable version as well, that includes the chapter annexes.

  15. GlennF

    Rupert Murdoch Takes Over National Geographic, Then Lays Off Award-Winning Staff

    If ever there was an end-of-times precursor. NIH, CDC and NOAA are next on the list.

    The rich and ignorant are an amazing group. Look who bought Rubio.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Sadly, after having a subscription to the National Geographic Magazine for most of the past 55 years, I am terminating it as of the last issue produced prior to November 3, 2015. I have no doubt that it will now become just another cog in Murdoch’s media machine spouting his propaganda and promoting his agenda. Truly the end of an era of serious exploration and magnificent photography.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Ambrose E-P, from the Telegraph article linked above:

    A combined gauge of the global money supply put together by Gabriel Stein at Oxford Economics shows that the “broad” M3 measure grew by 8.1pc in August, and by almost as much in real terms. This is the fastest rate in 25 years, excluding the final blow-off phase of the Lehman boom.

    The expansion of broad money in China has accelerated to an annual pace of 18.9pc over the past three months, thanks in part to equity purchases by the central bank (PBOC).

    This is hard to square with China running down its USD forex reserves by hundreds of billions over the summer. Equity purchases may be a form of sterilization to mitigate monetary tightening. Oxford Analytics is paywalled, so underlying details of their global M3 measure are unavailable.

    On the other hand, the US budget deal does add about 0.5% of GDP fiscal stimulus, even if more than half of it is wasted on global aggression defense.

    Meanwhile, the October blastoff in US stocks is anecdotal evidence that something has changed. If stocks keep ramping higher during election year 2016, soon we will reach Sep. 1929 valuations in a grand, glorious finale of Bubble III.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Assuming Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s data sources are themselves accurate (a “Big If” IMO since neither the Fed nor the US Treasury report M3 money data, and the quality of Chinese government and PBoC data is notoriously questionable), I wonder to what extent the reported growth of money is being used to fund purchases of petro-states’ and emerging markets nations’ securities sales of U.S. dollar and euro-denominated assets in their sovereign wealth funds and elsewhere as their governments struggle to maintain fiscal outlays in the face of deep declines in commodity prices.

      Then there is the longstanding issue of the declining velocity of money as it crosses the event horizon into propelling market prices of financial assets ever higher, rather than flowing into the real economy.

      Too, doesn’t much of the real issue lie in the continuing enormous overhang of private sector debt? Deleveraging?… not so much.

      1. tegnost

        good question about the “event horizon” I wonder about that as well especially in terms of the push for digital payments over cash so on the small scale as well as the large you refer to. So to clarify the thought experiment, what happens to the velocity of money if there were a basic income guarantee, and yea the unicorns had dranken the nectar and all was well in gigland and everybody had taskrabbits to do and the money never actually went anywhere, stayed basically in NYC all the time, right? This may be very simplistic and I don’t understand but do wonder about that if for no other reason than when I’m budgeting taking out a certain amount of cash works for me.

    2. Synoia

      Ambrose E-P, from the Telegraph article linked above

      Denial is very powerful. Much more powerful than stupid.

      PS: I’m having trouble finding a working Chrystal Ball, and even more trouble finding a Chrystal Ball calibration service.

      Can anyone help me with this?

  17. Ché Pasa

    Reducing voter turn out (ie: “suppressing the vote”) is a strategy used by both major political parties.

    The Democrats have been doing it for decades in my experience, probably for generations, and for all I know, since the origin of the Party lo those many years ago. (The Democratic Party is said to be the oldest political party in the world that’s still in operation.)

    Neither party is interested in fostering high voter turn out. That’s built in to the original premise of our so-called democracy, for one thing, but party strategists know that low voter turnout can be very advantageous to one party or the other.

    Democrats used to have an advantage in registration, and part of the thinking was that reduced turn out would automatically benefit Democrats because of the registration advantage. But that thinking no longer holds as there is either registration parity or an advantage to Republicans or Independents. Democrats have become a minority party in many parts of the country, and yet they still act to reduce their own voter turn out.

    Is it out of habit? Or is it strategy?

    Watching the 2010 and 2014 election disasters for Democrats, reducing turnout appeared to be a deliberate strategy. In other words, the Democrats appeared to have no intention of winning, and they lost numerous state houses, governorships, and local elected positions. They didn’t try to win them.

    They know how to win, oh yes. They simply didn’t choose to. It looks like they may be trying the same strategy for 2016.


    1. fresno dan

      “There is some evidence that because multi-party systems have several parties competing for voters on the left, politicians in these countries do more to mobilize the undervoting poor. Multi-party systems also tend to have higher voting rates. The US, by contrast, is the only major democracy with just two effective parties, and has one of the lowest voting rates of all democracies.

      Certainly Democrats have plenty of incentives to mobilize the poor, who do tend to vote Democratic. But because of declining union infrastructure, various forms of disenfranchisement, and the weak social networks of the lower class, organization is difficult and costly. Moreover, the Democrats’ most active donors may not be super eager to see the poor get super engaged in politics.”

      And there are those who think the democrats are republicans who just don’t engage in crazy talk…

      1. cwaltz

        In some ways it’s even worse because with this two party system the default party gets to decide who actually gets challenged and where to use money to make that challenge.

        On a state level my Republican House delegate ran unopposed. Last election cycle my federal House member ran unopposed. The two party system gave me zero options.

  18. Ignacio

    It’s really somewhat astounding just how absolutely hated journal publishing giant Elsevier has become in certain academic circles. The company seems to have perfected its role of being about as evil as possible in trying to lock up knowledge and making it expensive and difficult to access.


  19. Jim

    The Jeff Heltman article from the Washington Monthly “Confessions of a Paywall Journalist” is indeed important because it implicitly raises issues about the business/political model being developed at Naked Capitalism and the nature of the audience which it ultimately serves.

    First, as a point of information, does anyone know the yearly subscription price for Bloomberg Gov.(BGOV) and for Politico Pro (all 12 separate verticals)?

    Heltman mentions in his article that “no one has come up with a profitable way to provide information about government to average Americans in a way they care about.”

    It seems to me that Naked Capitalism is attempting to pursue this type of strategy but comments by Washington Insider and other policy elite individuals and groups (perhaps regulators, hill staffers,think-tank researchers, policy wonks etc.) may also have agendas which serve their particular information needs and not necessarily those of the average citizen.

    Within our community are experts of all types. How many of these individuals subscribe to outlets such as Bloomberg Gov.and Politico Pro. If there are some then NC(through some type of collaboration) has access to as potentially sophisticated a flow of information as the most powerful investment banks. Only this information flow, if organized, analysed and presented in an exciting manner for the average citizen, could begin to become a genuine populist alternative to the now ascendent paywall journalism that is meeting the information needs of only our political/economic/cultural elites.

    The political mobilization potential seems huge.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Intriguing, but:

      (1) There could be serious copyright issues. Legal problems are the last thing NC needs.

      (2) This is already agood reason to read the comments, and some commenters are indeed used as expert referrences.

      (3) This would be frightfully ambitious for basically 2 people on a limiting technical platform (WordPress – which Yves complains about on a regular basis, like yesterday.

      Are there sites/sources Yves and Lambert would be willing to team up with? It could be quite a breakthrough, but if it were me, I’d be scared of it. They both seem comfortable with the present scale of operation – and that’s an important factor for most people. We already hear about health issues.

      IIRC, this is roughly what Alternet was supposed to be, but isn’t.

      I’ll check back to see if the moderators respond to either of our posts. But they don’t take assignments.

  20. skippy

    Ben Carson in a nutter shell…. I’m a fundamentalist [special mental powers] … I became a neurosurgeon [success]…. any other questions – ??????

    Skippy… follow me…. >>>>>>>>>>>

  21. EmilianoZ

    I love today’s antidote. Not only are the cats super cute, but their colors match the those of the armchair they’re sitting on. A truly great picture. Whistler would call that something like “Harmony in grey and tan”.

  22. KFritz

    Memo to AE Pritchard:

    In the event of a recession, I recommend cutting your hat into small pieces. Boil until soft. Then “enjoy” it with LOTS of bagna cauda (anchovy) sauce. Have bran muffins and prune juice handy in case ‘”difficulties” ensue.

Comments are closed.