Links 11/9/15

Dick Cheney Vice Presidential Library Opens In Pitch-Dark, Sulfurous Underground Cave Onion (Chuck L)

Pike Place Market to clean 20 years of gum from famous gum wall Seattle Times

Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself Wired (David L)

WordPress Now Powers 25% of the Web Slashdot

Despite Whining By Monsanto, Roundup DOES Cause Cancer … and Many Other Diseases George Washimgton

Reports: Rioters take over Australia’s Christmas Island detention center DW

Was the Turkish election rigged? Independent. The author of the article was sacked from the Hurriyet

Bertil Lintner on Burma Poll: ‘They Can’t Really Risk It by Cheating’ Irrwaddy


China’s Foreign-Exchange Reserves Snap Outflow Streak Wall Street Journal

Big trouble in rural China: Data reveals greater the wealth gap the higher the crime rate, and Hong Kong is feeling the effects South China Morning Post

Rupture in Spain: Catalan Parliament to Vote for Independence Michael Shedlock

VW Scandal Exposes Deep Complicity of Government Speigel (resilc)


Turkey Goes to War Counterpunch

UK Supreme Court hears rendition claim BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hackers Breach FBI-Run Site, Email Account of Top Bureau Official CNN (David L)

NSCAM Week 5; Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals NSA. William B: A few days ago the NSA announced that it disclosed information of unearthed zero-days to vendors 91% of the time.

NSA says how often, not when, it discloses software flaws Reuters. William B: “Joseph Menn at Reuters (who has links to government spies) quotes an unnamed former White House official who remarks that the NSA likely uses the bugs before disclosure.

“But the real money quote is here:

Chaouki Bekrar, of the firm Zerodium, told Reuters the iPhone technique would “likely be sold to U.S. customers only,” including government agencies and “very big corporations.”

“Commentary: If the NSA told me that it was cloudy with a chance of rain, I’d walk outside to check. The ‘very big corporations’ mentioned by Bekrar are likely contractors engaged in offensive operations and also vendors who officially claim not to negotiate with bug hunters. ”

“A Turning Point for Obama”: How the President Learned to Love the National Security State Salon

Imperial Collapse Watch

A decade into a project to digitize U.S. immigration forms, just 1 is online Washington Post. Lambert: “Ka-ching.”

Sacramento residents exposed to carcinogen in their drinking water ABC (DF). OMG, the ad that goes with this show is from PG&E, the company responsible for hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in Hinkley that led to an over $400 million settlement.

Trade Traitors

TPP Is the Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History Chris Hedges, Truthdig (Glenn F)

TPP, Tyranny and Treason William Duncan


Donald Trump: Ben Carson ‘has pathological disease… you can’t really cure it’ Raw Story

Read my lips: the Bush era is over Ed Luce, Financial Times

Hillary Clinton Is a Garbage Rich Person Matt Bruenig

What if Bernie Sanders Were Really Talking About Socialism? Counterpunch (Jeff W)

George Will’s had enough lying: His battle with Bill O’Reilly is finally an intellectual battle to reclaim the GOP from Fox News Salon. Steve H: “I had never connected the death of the fairness doctrine with the rise of Fox, Limbaugh, et al. Duh. You know it’s bad when it pushes Will over the edge.”

A WIN FOR NORTHWEST DEMOCRACY Sightline (kimberly k)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

No Justice, No Football on a Missouri Campus New York Times. This comment is instructive.

ANSWERED: Common questions about Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike Missourian

Police State Watch

Unions Representing 330,000 Cops Threaten ‘Surprise’ for Quentin Tarantino, Promise to ‘Hurt Him’ Free Thought Project. Looks like my comparison to brownshirts was no exaggeration.

Saudi Arabia to keep on pumping oil Financial Times

A Hedge Fund Sales Pitch Casts a Spell on Public Pensions Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Class Warfare

Bonus Pay on Wall Street Is Likely to Fall, a Report Says New York Times

The US inmates charged per night in jail BBC (furzy mouse)

“While my family may be the first guests to speak out about a wrongful death at an Airbnb rental…” Gawker

Antidote du jour. Taken by reader Rajesh R:

little owl

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Paul Jonker-Hoffrén

    Re: The US inmates charged per night in jail

    This so reminds me of that great Terry Gilliam film, Brazil.
    -> Guard: “Don’t fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating.”

  2. andyb

    Re: Will vs. O’Reilly;

    I see this as mere kabuki theater between two establishment propagandists. Will, as a Reagan insider, is merely defending a legacy, albeit one with some dubious accomplishments. O’Reilly, on the other hand, sends some mixed messages. His attack on Reagan’s mental state surely fits the neolib agenda, but in all of his “killing” books he reinforces the big propaganda and disinformation lies common to present day neocons.

    In spite of a tremendous trove of research on Boothe, Oswald and Hinckley that indicate otherwise, the lone, mentally deranged gunman conclusions are the principal memes of the O’Reilly books. There is considerable evidence that the US Government was more involved than any of the “patsies”.

    At the time of the Kennedy assassination, my best friend was serving in the US Army as a member of the US Army’s Rifle and Pistol team that completed globally. He told me that what Oswald was supposed to have accomplished was inconceivable. Some years later, this was reinforced by a group of trained military snipers who tried to duplicate Oswald’s feat, but never came close to doing so.

    In the Reagan attempt, no journalist examined why the limo that was waiting directly in front of the door that Reagan would exit, was inexplicably moved over 100 away (to give Hinckley a better shot?).

  3. abynormal

    i enjoyed a luxury last night…
    THE SALT OF THE EARTH “For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado (initially trained as an economist, earning a master’s degree in economics from the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He began work as an economist for the International Coffee Organization, often traveling to Africa on missions for the World Bank, when he first started seriously taking photographs) has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty. We see Salgado, along with his wife Lélia, divert their energy away from photography to try to reclaim the drought-stricken farm ; the idea of a garden gradually evolved into a national park, with millions of replanted trees. It’s this change of direction that also saw a reinvigorated Salgado embark on Genesis.”

    you can view it here if you don’t mind the signup

    i couldn’t wait to wake up an share this phenomenal life with the NC family.
    we, the NC family, need this. Correction, we deserve this.
    for those that have seen it…hope you’ll share your thoughts

    1. low_integer

      Great to see Salgado mentioned here. One of my favorite photographers and a very inspiring person. I haven’t seen this documentary but have followed and studied his photographic career. Now that you’ve reminded me about it though I’ll have to check it out soon. He is regarded as one of the greats. Cheers aby!

      1. abynormal

        right up Your alley l_i
        spread it around to ones in need
        too often i leave hope outside to fend for itself…Salgado opened my door

        1. low_integer

          too often i leave hope outside to fend for itself…Salgado opened my door

          That’s great to hear. I’ve often found that looking at meaningful, masterfully executed photography has had restorative qualities.

          1. craazyman

            he is good. but it’s peculiar how pictures of horror and misery are somehow considered beautiful. but they are. and they are.

            1. low_integer

              I find that Salgado has a way of portraying the dignity of the people in his photographs, no matter their situation, and I think this is part of the reason his photos are beautiful. His empathy really comes across, to me at least, and this is one of many things I really respect about his work.

            2. low_integer

              And to think he started his career as an economist! I wish all economists could find even one percent of the profound respect for all life on earth that Salgado seems to have.

            3. abynormal

              maybe baby CraazyM…when i see sacrifices of the likes he lives, 8/10yrs away on a particular project, my senses sharpen. whatever the medium, my perspective checks its comfort zone. and if humans can live it, the least i can do is take a moment to absorb for empathy sake, least my scope narrows.

              The picture is not made by the photographer, the picture is more good or less good in function of the relationship that you have with the people you photograph.
              takes guts to make those relationships!

  4. abynormal

    @Dipthero, Please Check/Share In.

    “Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”
    Roman Payne, Cities & Countries

    “Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.”
    Roman Payne, Europa: Limited Time Edition

  5. MartyH

    The foundation of IFM’s mainframe operating system was originally coded, in the 1960s, by a team of fewer than twenty (as I recall from anecdotes by one of them). At least two of whom were (then) young women. Over the years, I got to know two of them over the years. In those “early days,” there was not such a bias to hire engineering and mathematical trainees as developed later. IBM was actively seeking and hiring Music, Language Arts, and Philosophy majors in addition to engineers and mathematicians. To this day, some of the best programmers I know have strong elements of those skills in their makeup.

    1. lylo

      Best programmers I know haven’t had more than a few college courses on the subject: they literally just grew up in front of a computer. (The worst is the engineers–I’m not even that sad about the programmers. These are the techs that truly live and breathe computers, and will take poverty to just be near them for a living.)
      Of course, that’s not enough anymore and so most just work in “tech” (as in, whatever is open and probably not programming or building, that looks at experience as useless because HR can’t wrap their heads around anything that isn’t a degree.)
      It’s really sad.

      But don’t worry, Silicon Valley: I’m sure all those visaed techs being paid minimum wage will happily keep all of your information private, fight tooth and nail for your company if it runs into problems, and pour out their heart and soul to give your company the best advantage by giving your company their best ideas and programming.
      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Free education in Germany so they can get visas to work and become rich in America.

        Rinse and wash for other countries as well…with variations.

        A very noble goal.

        1. participant-observer-observed

          And then these American companies bundle the wealth extraction and open up shop in Ireland or Bermuda to avoid paying taxes.

          The student-loan burdened USA grad is then left to compete with these grads from the superior and free or low-cost education systems, but lo and behold, the playing field is even more tilted, because American grads cannot easily get in to a university or full time employment in India, China, and numerous other countries, even if they had sense to emigrate to places with affordable health care or other benefits.

    2. reslez

      Programming was originally a female occupation. Despite the mythology of “wonder boys” the field didn’t masculinize until the 70s and 80s. There are now fewer women programmers than there were in the 80s.

    3. Adam Eran

      S. Frederick Starr’s history of Central Asia, Lost Enlightenment, reminds us that Omar Kayyam was first and foremost a mathematician and astronomer, who wrote beautiful poetry.

      Then Kekule discovered the atomic structure of benzene after a suggestive dream.

      …And Richard Feynman played in a Samba band…

      The division of STEM from liberal arts is almost entirely fabricated. That said, Mao wanted lots of (obedient) STEM grads, and discouraged liberal arts. Too much fancy thinkin’ wouldn’t be good for ’em.

    1. tegnost

      Thanks, pondering whether I should feel guilty for suggesting any pro monsanto individuals drink a gallon

  6. Mad John

    Regarding “Big trouble in rural China:”. Must be “The Ferguson Effect” the FBI guy was going on about.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The exceptional feature of Mao’s Chinese Revolution was that the oppressed poor were peasants, and not industrial workers.

      Today, it’s ‘Mao who?’ with big trouble in rural China.

      Or maybe they are saying the next appointed leader will be Mao Hu.

  7. Uahsenaa

    I went to school at Mizzou, but haven’t been back in nearly 15 years. I worked/lived in a bit of a diversity bubble, if you can call it that, due to the nature of what I studied. At the time, I felt like the campus was rather inclusive, but as white person you rarely see the little things pick away at people on a day to day basis.

    That said, Missouri has an extremely sordid history, when it comes to race, and one that often doesn’t make it into the larger discourse. My sense of the place at the time was one of moving away from that past, but given recent events in St. Louis and elsewhere, clearly that is no longer the case. Motivating that, in part, is a state legislature fundamentally hostile to education, which has forced the university to make painful cuts. And, now that the system is run mostly by former failed CEOs, those cuts are taken from labor first (c.f. the recent kerfuffle over cutting grad student healthcare subsidies) and shiny new buildings last. A lot simmers under that surface, and though I’m no fan of football, good on them for sticking up for their fellow students.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Wolfe resigned. Apparently, to achieve reform, the first step is getting the football team on your side.

      1. allan

        Let me fix that:

        Apparently, to achieve reform, the first step is getting the coach of the football team on your side.

        Which is only natural since, since he’s the most highly paid state employee.

      2. Brindle

        Sounds like a good move to get rid of Wolfe. He was a businessman with no experience in education.

        —The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch criticized the University of Missouri’s Board of Curators for hiring someone with no professional experience in educational settings who needed a two-month “journey of enlightenment” to learn about each of the four campuses’ needs.—

        1. Lambert Strether

          “What do you call it when they fire a CEO as President of a university?”

          A good start.

          And purge the rest of the bloated administrative layer too. The university’s mission is teaching and research. Administrators are, mostly, surplus to requirements.

          1. Gio Bruno

            I tend to agree with you, Lambert. However, the rise in “administrators” coincides with the greater/complex bureaucratic paperwork requirements: from safety data to graduation progress. That said, the state of California did an analysis of its higher education system and it found that the bloat in “administrators” was not at the very top, but mid-level where folks were administering programs with eight underlings or less. I think they recommended consolidation.

            Now, about those salaries at the top. That’s another matter. I believe Janet Napolitano (Univ. Calif. President) makes more now than she made as a Cabinet Secretary.

            1. JTFaraday

              “but mid-level where folks were administering programs with eight underlings or less. I think they recommended consolidation.”

              Do or do not. No such thing as magic campus.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As I mentioned the other day, we are grateful for any positive change (possible today only, it seems, when celebrities are assaulted or football players stand up).

        In a more Utopian world, when little people merely demur, the government snaps to attention.

      4. Uahsenaa

        It wasn’t just the football team, though. A large contingent of the faculty had just voted to stage a walkout in solidarity, and the student government had voted in support of Butler’s actions. The people who actually run the university have been on edge for some years now, particularly with the massive funding cuts to things as essential as the university library, while a massive multi-million dollar rec center was being built. Butler’s hunger strike was the catalyst for what became a mass assertion of populist control over the university, I hope it continues, because today I’m proud to be an alumnus.

        1. tegnost

          sooner or later people just say “we’re not taking this crap anymore”. It’s very effective. And I’m proud to be ‘murican when stuff like that happens, but it doesn’t happen as much as it used to, maybe this is a new start

        2. Rhondda

          “I hope it continues, because today I’m proud to be an alumnus.”

          Same here. I went digging for my raggedy old MIZZOU RAH! tee shirt.
          But, you know, I was struck the other day — Royals won the World Series and the spillover of the giant blue crowd was all over my neighborhood. Cars were parked on the median strip on the 35 viaduct. Pedestrians all over — where they shouldn’t be…with strollers. Great flocks of blue clad people whooshing here and there. Yikes. It was utter insanity. All I could think of was that Only sports draws these kinds of crowds of people who will Do Anything To Get There. No protest or people’s movement would get that kind of participation in ‘murca. It made me sad.

          So good on these football players for owning their conscience and recognizing their power to effect change. That’s the Missouri that makes me proud.

  8. Torsten

    Why does Matt Bruenig make Hillary look impoverished? Using Bruenig’s own sources, the median US family income in 2013 was $81,200. Using Lambert’s estimate of family size at 3, that means the median individual net worth would be around $27,067. So $32,015,000 / $27,067 implies that Hillary is 1,183 times wealthier than the average U.S. citizen–an order of magnitude richer than Bruenig reports.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Wonderfully depressing and enervating numbers, for those of us well below “the media.” But then I know it’s all my own fault, of course, for not inventing Twitter or at least buying those 100 shares of original-issue MSFT just because I hated even the early manifestations of that business model. CPM, anyone? WordStar?

      Still more reasons to love our Rulers, particularly that small set known as “Presidential candidates,” possibly excepting Bernie Sanders….

      “In the end he could not help himself. He loved Big Brother.”

  9. Bunk McNulty

    The Uberization of Money (WSJ)

    “The prospect of unconventional new funding sources has already prompted comparisons to 1999, when millions of individual investors joined the IPO craze only to see their shares of become worthless. Such risks are very real, but either way, much more money will be in motion.” It’ll be different this time. Yeah.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And when they have hoovered up those individuals’ lost money (they, meaning the wealth-aggregaters/wealth concentrators), we will just print more money.

      That will allow those individuals to ‘look forward;’ otherwise, without new money, the victims might ask to get their money back.

      “Let’s just get along. You will make it back with a bigger pie. What’s done is done. Let them keep their castles.”

      “Go GDP!”

      1. John Merryman

        Yes, but to store all that surplus wealth, doesn’t the public have to borrow it back out and pay interest?
        Seems the bubble can only grow larger, until everything is in hock. The next step is revolution, because they haven’t repealed the laws of nature. Congress just isn’t that powerful.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Of course there are the deep bunkers, private islands, and what I guess one could call the “nuclear option.” Cue Peter Sellers with the misbehaving prosthetic, rising up out of his veelchaer… “I can stand, Mein Führer!” Truly creative destruction, on a globalized scale.

    2. cwaltz

      The name that jumped out at me in that article was David Plouffe. Why am I not surprised that the neoliberal strategists that gave us Barack Obama gave us Uber, of the “they’re contractors even though we’re making them pay 30% in royalties” defense claim? I’m sure though when the Democratic Party tells labor this time that it really, really cares it will totally mean it though. Wonder if the ones supporting Hillary are fluffing up her slippers.

  10. abynormal

    why are Myanmar Muslims not aloud the vote this round? the NLD has refused acknowledgment of muslim genocide throughout their campaigning. imo, this will destroy the NLD faster than the 1990 fiasco.

    What happened in 1990 was that a day or two after the election, the result was annulled. The NLD had scored a landslide victory. But the person who was in charge at that time was Kyi Maung, a very nice man, very polite and considerate and so on, and he said at the time that now the government has shown some goodwill, so we will show some goodwill too and wait for their next announcement, instead of claiming victory and saying, ‘Ok, we will take over the government now.’ In hindsight, it seems like that was a mistake because they gave the SLORC enough time to regroup and counter attack. These are military guys, it’s how they think, it’s how they operate.

  11. DJG

    Salon article: How Obama learned to love national security. A load of bilgewater. Savage spends a lot of time doing the usual “we must balance” stuff, positing that Obama wanted to balance the out-of-control Bush regime with his own legalistic hair-splitting–and that this is valuable. Scott Brown as a national crisis? And the idea that Obama’s prosecution / persecution of whistleblowers is based in changes in technology is preposterous.

    1. participant-observer-observed

      I also felt it was a complete waste of time to read that exceedingly dull verbosity.

      However, we can beyond the IQ level of that ridiculous article and posit the notion that technology has helped maximum people possible listen to the whistles blown by Wikileaks/Assange, Snowden, Manning, etc., and hear their messages. Thus the O Admin is hyper-reactionary as a result of whistleblowers in spite of the penalties.

      On international cable outside USA, there is a cute programming ad run on BBC World Service (according to my memory), that has a running view of snap shots of current events personalities. In the beginning Snowden is shown and at the end, Obama!

  12. abynormal

    The old farmer had a large pond in the back, fixed up nicely with picnic tables, a barbecue pit, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

    One evening, the old guy decided to go down to the pond and look it over. He hadn’t been there for a while. He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.

    As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny dipping in his pond. As he approached, he made the women aware of his presence.

    At once, they all went to the deep end.

    One of the women shouted to him, “We’re not coming out until you leave.”

    The old man frowned, “I did not come down here to watch you young ladies swim naked, or to make you get out of the pond naked.”

    Holding up the bucket, he said, “I’m here to feed the alligator.”

    Moral: Old men can still think fast! (topOtheDay2All’)

    1. participant-observer-observed

      This reminds me of an old Chinese folk tale:

      An old man was getting older and older so that he didn’t do much around the house anymore, and his son and son’s family started to resent supporting him. But the old man had already gotten a wooden coffin prepared for himself which was in a storage shed.

      One day, the son managed to get the father into the coffin and set out for the local cliffside on a cart. They had almost reached the cliff when the son heard a knocking coming from the coffin, so the son stopped the cart to check what was going on.

      At that point, the father said, “No point to throw me over the cliff inside the coffin. After all, your son will eventually need it for you!”

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      The Mexican maid asked for a pay increase. The wife was very upset about this, and decided to talk to her about the raise.

      She asked: “Now Maria, why do you want a pay increase?”

      Maria: “Well, Señora, there are tree reasons why I wanna increaze. The first is that I iron better than you.”

      Wife: “Who said you iron better than me?”

      Maria: “Jor huzban he say so.”

      Wife: “Oh yeah?”

      Maria: “The second reason eez that I am a better cook than you.”

      Wife: “Nonsense, who said you were a better cook than me?”

      Maria: “Jor hozban did.”

      Wife, increasingly agitated: “Oh he did, did he?”

      Maria: “The third reason is that I am better at sex than you in the bed.”

      Wife, really boiling now and through gritted teeth: “And did my husband say that as well?”

      Maria: “No Señora….the gardener did.”

      Wife: “So, how much do you want?”

      1. abynormal

        BahahahaaaaA Thank you guys…I needed these!
        jump in anytime Petal, we carry a lot on this site ‘)

    3. craazyman

      Did you hear the one about the baby bull and the papa bull?

      The baby bull and papa bull were standing on a hill looking down at a pasture of cows.
      The baby bull (a boy) said “Daddy daddy let’s run down the hill real fast and fck some of those cows!!!”
      The papa bull said, “No son. We’re gonna walk down real slow and fck ’em all.”

      hahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahah ROTFLMAO

      An ex-girlfriend’s dad told me that joke, when we were all having dinner at a restaurant and she was there! I blushed. He was a pretty cool dude.

      Where’s Barbara Streisand? Oh! There she is! How could she be in the peanut gallery? It’s incredible!!! . . .

      Light the corners of my mind
      Misty water-colored memories
      Of the way we were , , ,

      1. Bridget

        Reminds me of the time that my husband bought a shiny, young, burly, bull home to the ranch where we had 30 cows coming into heat. A month later, the youngster was scruffy, skinny, and puny looking. I asked my husband what was wrong with him. ” He’s f***ing himself to death” was the answer.

  13. lylo

    What if Bernie Sanders Were Really Talking About Socialism?

    I can’t believe how hard people, including this author, are struggling with this; he’s talking about democratic socialism.
    First and foremost, socialism is not the opposite of capitalism: socialism is a form of governance where the government runs many essential operations and capitalism is an economic system where the holding of assets generates wealth through the extraction of surplus value. “Free market” capitalism is another thing entirely (and much like true communism, practically nonexistent) and conflating the two is frankly intellectually lazy and dangerous. (And yes, I know it’s a common problem. Just drives me batty.)
    Second, socialism is not communism. “Running enterprises on a cooperative basis”–from the article–is not socialism, unless “cooperative” means “government imposed.” Not a minor quibble: I have absolutely no ownership of the Medicaid program, nor any direct say in how proceeds are laid out, but get to wait for directives from on high as to how it’s run (frequently by unelected bureaucrats appointed by executive officials or at best legislators voted into a committee by other legislators,) and if Medicaid were to suddenly start making money, I’m entitled to none of it as it would go directly to the owner–the US gov. That’s the opposite of communism, not capitalism, by the way.
    Third, democratic socialism is barely socialism. One could describe the US, currently, as having a democratic socialist system. The ownership of schools coupled with government scholarships to private schools, county health clinics and Medicaid, and of course the bailouts. Basically the government controls important institutions through some ownership, but mostly just regulation, with fairly minimal macroeconomic control.

    I guess what this boils down to:
    Quit conflating Sanders’s ideas with communism, as he is a “democratic socialist,” not a communist (or actual socialist) no matter how badly you want him to be. His campaign is using mild socialist (actually social democrat not democratic socialist, but whatever) rhetoric, regardless of how much this guy wants communist rhetoric. Expecting communist rhetoric from a democratic socialist campaign is kinda… dumb.
    Personally, I have my doubts about whether he’d even govern to the left of Obama, but that’s just the realities of working in this system and my personal fears after following Obama’s campaign very closely in 2008. Biggest threat I see is much like 2008, people are hearing what they want to hear and arguing based on that, not what is being said. Sanders wants a government that pays for schools, roads, and healthcare. So, spend little more in areas that it’s already spending a lot, often more than all our counterparts with worse outcomes. Change we can believe in! lol

    I’d also like to note that all this would have been covered in the first week of any decent civics class. It sure is sad that our populace is so uneducated that the media is even reflecting that.

    1. financial matters

      I think there are some ways we could consider Bernie communistic.

      One of the key points of the Communist Manifesto was the importance of the proletariat gaining true political power by democratic representative rule by the majority rather than being oriented towards corporations.

      And once people have this political power then they can favor policies in their own interest.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And your postulated marker is different just how, now, from the supposed tenets of the structure enshrined in that Constitution thing? Democratic representative rule by the majority?

    2. Eric Patton

      This is true. People do not understand that Sweden has a private-enterprise market economy — that makes Sweden capitalist. But Sweden has a real social safety net (unless Swedish elites have managed to destroy it while I wasn’t paying attention). So the technical term people use to describe the Swedish economy is democratic socialism.

      In the former USSR or Yugoslavia, socialism meant a public-enterprise economy — with allocation by central planning, in the case of the old Soviet Union, or allocation by markets, in the case of the old Yugoslavia.

      The USSR was a highly authoritarian place, because centrally-planned economies are necessarily authoritarian. Nazi Germany was highly authoritarian (it had central planning), and it had private enterprises. Any society in which economic allocation is accomplished by central planning will always be authoritarian.

      But market-based allocation presents its own issues — issues that are even worse than those in centrally-planned economies. Having to choose between markets or central planning for allocation is like having to choose between death by hanging and death by firing squad.

      Private-enterprise market economies, private-enterprise centrally-planned economies, public-enterprise centrally-planned economies, and public-enterprise market economies have all existed historically. That is, one can find real-world examples of capitalism, fascism, centrally-planned socialism, and market socialism (e.g., the US, Mussolini’s Italy, the USSR, and the old Hungary).

      Do any of these appeal to you (the reader)?

      If not, you only have one option.

      So here’s the question: Are you willing to work a balanced job complex?

      If not, then pick your favorite of the existing four options and argue for it. Because “smaller is better” is not only intellectually lazy — it’s not even feasible.

      Having said all this, if Bernie doesn’t win, then I can only assume our next president will be Hillary. Which is fine, if you think four more years of Obama is what the world needs.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Why is ‘smaller is better’ not even feasible (the lazy part is not so problematic, as far as Nature is concerned – lazier humans are not necessarily bad for the world)?

        1. Eric Patton

          Unless you expect people in Alabama to have a lower standard of living than California, you have to have an allocation mechanism to mediate resource transfers from resource-rich to resource-poor areas. That means markets, central planning, or horizontal planning.

          But the people who fetishize all the “local” nonsense never discuss allocation. Waving a magic wand and pretending real-world problems don’t exist won’t fix anything.

        2. Eric Patton

          Also, an economy should not be prejudging what granularity makes the most sense anyway.

          Let’s say we want bicycles in our good economy. Does it make more sense to have one bicycle factory in Kansas City that supplies bikes for the whole country? Or should each county in America have their own bicycle factory?

          Okay, those are the two extremes. But there’s still a real question here: How many bicycle factories should we have?

          How do we answer this question? We can’t until we know the social opportunity costs of the resources used in the entire process. Raw materials have to be shipped to the factories, so there’s a cost. Resources have to be in place to manufacture the bikes. Then the finished products have to be shipped to consumers.

          The only way to determine granularity is by accurately assessing social opportunity costs — resources used to make bikes can’t, say, be used to make radios or pencils.

          It’s an economy-wide problem that gets solved by the economy’s mode of allocation. But if the allocative mechanism gets these social opportunity costs wrong, then the granularity will be inefficient.

          Markets misstate prices on everything. In theory, central planning could get prices right, but it can never deliver anything other than authoritarianism. And in practice, central planning never gets prices right.

          I claim horizontal planning will get prices right (you have to read the book for the proof — and if really want the mathematical proof — you have to read the other book), and that it will not be authoritarian.

          Parecon is a model that can not only be applied literally to the entire global economy — someday it will be. Someday, we have have a world without borders, and pareconish theory will literally be applied on a global scale.

          Until that time, people are going to continue to fight over resources.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Inefficiency is not that bad.

            If we allocate resources efficiently, we often end up needing more resources…resources to be extracted from Nature, efficiently….perhaps 10 lumberjacks for 30 days before, but now just one for 3 days.

        3. Massinissa

          The problem with localism in my mind is that some localities have more resources than others.

          Which is part of why Scotland and Catalonia want to be their own separate countries. Catalonia, at least, thinks that Spain is draining it dry of its wealth.

          Besides, isn’t that how countries formed in the first place? Localities with more stuff formed city states, which took over surrounding, less defended localities in order to get even more stuff, and eventually the city states turn into basic nation states.

    3. Chris in Paris

      Thanks. I read it in some disbelief as well. What is proposed there is some kind of cooperative, localist, direct democracy, not (capital S) Socialism, which in my understanding is democratic control of the means of production.

      I can say though that I’m glad people are actually talking about such things, even if they don’t know exactly what they’re talking about.

      1. Massinissa

        According to many socialists, actually, that IS socialism, and the ‘Big S’ socialism was never real socialism to begin with.

        Im a socialist, but these are not my personal views, im just sharing this view shared by many

    4. Jeff W

      I didn’t read the author as struggling with Bernie Sanders’s brand of socialism. I thought he was simply describing, for those who are calling Sanders a “socialist,” what a socialist would, in fact, be saying (in his view).

      “Running enterprises on a cooperative basis”–from the article–is not socialism

      Richard Wolff, the Marxian economist, holds the view (as far as I understand it) that where those who produce the surplus (i.e., the workers) are the same as those who decide what to produce, where and how to produce, and what to do with surplus (i.e., the owners) that’s socialism or, at least closer to what was meant by Marx in describing socialism. That seems pretty close to the author’s view.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think we need than that, if that is what they have in mind.

        This is what I mean. With more education, when we are all Ph.D’s, the economy still needs dish washers and janitors. But some industries are better at rent extracting, even if they are owned by workers in those industries.

        At the end, it just pits one industry (say finance or legal) against another totally unrelated industry (say, hot dog vendors), as a new form of oppression.

        1. Jeff W

          I think we need [more] than that, if that is what they have in mind.

          Yes—I think that Wolff (or Wolff explicating Marx) is stating that as a necessary condition of socialism, not as a sufficient condition, or maybe the starting premise, not the ending one.

          To the extent that rent extraction means there is no increase in productivity—no one is doing anything productive that results in the rent—or in the surplus—there is no value added—but rather one is exploiting some aspect of the environment for one’s own advantage simply because one can, it’s outside what Wolff is referring to as the “surplus.”

          Aside from that issue of rent extraction, workers in a worker-run/worker-owned “Burger King”-type enterprise would compete against a worker-run/worker-owned “McDonald’s”-type enterprise to increase their own enterprise’s surplus and certainly the workers in the buggy-whip industry would have every reason to oppose those in a nascent automobile industry, if society were still following a zero-sum, competitive market model.

          But I’d surmise that Wolff envisions a more cooperative system where the surplus is distributed more broadly and equitably by the workers themselves because, presumably, all workers (or most) would realize that their well-being depends, to a large extent, on the well-being of others (to take a strictly instrumental view), or they believe that any worker could be in the “losing” enterprise/industry and, therefore, they make some portion of their surplus available to others (a kind of “veil of ignorance”/mutuality view), or they just assume, as a cultural norm, that that’s simply “what society does” (to take a normative view—e.g., how the Scandinavian countries tend to view health care, higher education, vacation time, and pensions) or any combination of those. So, yeah, there probably is more to it than just “those producing the surplus deciding themselves what to do with it.” (That’s just my supposition—I haven’t heard Wolff make those specific points.)

    5. Massinissa

      Running enterprises on a cooperative basis”–from the article–is not socialism

      The IWW thought otherwise. In fact, that is exactly what Debs and the IWW said socialism was.

    6. Massinissa

      “Running enterprises on a cooperative basis”–from the article–is not socialism”

      The IWW thought otherwise. In fact, that is exactly what Debs and the IWW said socialism was.

  14. Tyler

    Yves, I can’t thank you enough for deciding to share the blog post by William H. Duncan. I know the enormous amount of awfulness people have to deal with after admitting they don’t believe the official 9/11 conspiracy theory, an abjectly nonsensical theory which requires one to believe multiple laws of physics were defied on just that one day.

    Retired professor Peter Dale Scott is an excellent source for this event which continues to alter the course of human history.

    1. Jim Haygood

      If, on the other hand, the official explanation is true, then we should be working toward an economy powered not by hydrogen but by kerosene, as this low-tech but magical fuel burns with the heat of ten thousand suns.

  15. financial matters

    Very good interview of Noam Chomsky by Abby Martin.

    He makes the point that the lower 70% of the population on the economic scale are disenfranchised. As an example the majority of people want a single payer/national health care program but the press keeps saying that it is ‘politically’ impossible. That is, it doesn’t matter what the public wants. The pharmaceutical and insurance companies don’t want it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The old strain of humans has already made this planet to late to save (from global warming)….many believe.

    1. TedWa

      Hilarious article by the Onion on the Dick Cheney library too ! Thanks for the link to laughs this morning.

    2. William Hunter Duncan

      Thanks, TedWa. One of my highest read articles. And you are the only one who has commented on it :). Blessings. And thank you NakedCapitalism for posting it.


      1. JTMcPhee

        Didn’t comment on your article, Mr. Duncan, but I am sharing it around my little set of contacts, with strong recommendation.

        Thank you for putting in that effort. It’s a good effective resource — ammo for the Class War.

      2. tegnost

        read your article this am and thought it was good, my personal opinion is that it would be hard to write about such a far reaching agreement that is understandable and coherent and you did that.That’s what real journalism is…hit em where it hurts….

    1. abynormal

      An 18-year-old and his actual 56-year-old self have a chat in this genuine “time-travel talk show.…good gods is it xmas already

      Our novice runs the risk of failure without additional traits: a strong inclination toward originality, a taste for research, and a desire to experience the incomparable gratification associated with the act of discovery itself. (humbled opti, Thank You)
      Santiago Ramón y Cajal

    1. Massinissa

      Eh, theyre probably not any worse than the prison staff unions that lobby for the creation of more prisons and harsher laws to fill said prisons…

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Australia’s Christmas Island detention center.

    At least they could have changed the name to Devil’s Island first.

    I am surprised not more people are upset by the name being associated with the global security venture.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bonus Pay on Wall Street likely to fall.

    My immediate gut reaction: Hungry predators on the loose. How do I keep my family safe?

    1. abynormal

      uh Ian this needs to go over to the cooler too….made it to 2nd pg and zip’n it to other eyes also

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