Links 12/29/15

US artist Ellsworth Kelly dies aged 92 BBC

Start-Up With Bitcoin in Its DNA Stumbles on Fund-Raising Trail New York Times

Humans blamed for extreme weather Financial Times. Subhead: Global temperatures to rise by symbolic 1C this year

The Yellowstone of the Future New York Times (David L)

The Money Network of Malaysian Politics Wall Street Journal


US warns Europe over granting market economy status to China Financial Times (Sid S)

TPP is a giftwrapped wealth-transfer to China Boing Boing (resilc)

IBM and Microsoft jockey for position as China seeks better smog forecasting tech Reuters

Refugee Crisis

Finland blocks refugees from cycling across Russian border into Lapland Washington Post (furzy)

Interpol: 1% of 2014 European Terrorism by Muslims Juan Cole (resilc)


I revealed the truth about President Erdogan and Syria. For that, he had me jailed Can Dündar, Guardian (margarita)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Global Conflicts to Watch in 2016 – Defense One (resilc)

US Increasingly Dominates Global Arms Trade: Congressional Report

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

China adopts first counter-terrorism law Xinhuanet. Bill B:

“Under the new bill, telecom operators and internet service providers are required to provide technical support and assistance, including decryption, to police and national security authorities in prevention and investigation of terrorist activities.”

The alleged heroic defenders of privacy in Silicon Valley will likely opt to “obey the law.” The Chinese market is simply too lucrative. Officials complain that Apple’s end-to-end encryption is impregnable. Noise for rubes who’ve never implemented a backdoor: security is a branding mechanism. Open your wallet…

T.S.A. Moves Closer to Rejecting Some State Driver’s Licenses for Travel New York Times


Donald Trump Isn’t a Fascist; He’s a Media-Savvy Know-Nothing New Yorker (furzy)

Sign if you agree: MSNBC and CNN should stop promoting Donald Trump’s racist presidential campaign Daily Kos

One Little Tweet From Bernie Sanders Sums Up Everything Wrong with Big Banks and Government Alternet

Doubling Down on W New York Times (furzy)

Sanders Would Dominate Money Race With Small Donor Matching Funds Intercept (resilc)

Bernie Sanders on Meet the Press with Andrea Mitchell Charles Pearce (resilc)

Michael Moore just exploded the right’s biggest lie Salon (furzy)

DoJ shuts down asset forfeiture program after Congress slashes its budget Boing Boing (resilc)

The Battle for the Future of GOP Foreign Policy New York Magazine

Black Injustice Tipping Point

No Indictment for Cleveland Officers in Shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice Wall Street Journal

Cleveland Officer Who Fatally Shot 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice Will Not Face Charges Guardian

Police State Watch

Police Killings and Police Deaths Are Public Health Data and Can Be Counted PLOS Medicine (furzy)

Harvard’s idea for tracking police killings Daily Kos

Over 1,100 People Killed This Year by Police in the US Alternet (furzy)

Cops Brutally Abuse Man in Public for Rolling Through a Stop Sign Free Thought Project


What The NRA’s Wayne Lapierre Gets Paid To Defend Guns Forbes (resilc)

Saudis unveil radical austerity programme Financial Times

Saudi riyal in danger as oil war escalates Ambrose Evan-Prictharc, Telegraph

$10 Trillion Investment Needed To Avoid Massive Oil Price Spike Says OPEC OilPrice

Capex continues to be stagnant Business Insider

At Capital One, Easy Credit and Abundant Lawsuits ProPublica

Puerto Rico’s Debt Trap Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate

Puerto Rico governor: U.S. backtracking on island’s independence Reuters

Guillotine Watch

Private planes delay flights to West Palm Beach Page Six (Michael M. Thomas)

“Affluenza” Teen Detained Near Mexican Beach Town With His Mother Gawker

The Origins of Totalitarianism Part 2: Antisemitism Ed Walker, emptywheel. Since we are no longer getting regular doses of Hannah Arendt in comments…

Class Warfare

The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality New York Times

The Effort to Divert Class War Into Generational War: Lessons On Economics You Won’t Get from Jeff Bezos Dean Baker (Angry Bear)

On the historic art of price gouging Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville. Important. Argues that app based flexible pricing is a step backwards.

Antidote du jour. Barbara B: Prison inmates take part in a foster-cat program at an Ohio prison.”

prisoncateq04 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. herman_ sampson

    Too bad Mitch Daniels didn’t get the same treatment when he sped and rolled through a stop sign on the Purdue campus a couple of months ago (re: Florida man gets cavity searched on roadside). Oh, that’s right, he’s white, the pres of Purdue and former Indiana governor, etc.

    1. allan

      Too bad Mitch Daniels didn’t get the same treatment when

      As a student in Princeton, [he] was arrested in a police sting that netted two size-12 shoeboxes worth of marijuana, along with LSD and drug paraphernalia. Daniels was cited for pot possession but got off with a $350 fine for “maintaining a common nuisance.”

      As another Princeton alum once wrote, the rich are different from you and me.

        1. Vatch

          Superficially, Hemingway was correct. But on a deeper level, he missed the reality of the heightened sense of entitlement that the very rich possess, as well as the deference that so many people automatically show to them. The rich shouldn’t be different in this way, but they are. In some other societies, such entitlement and deference would accrue to senior party members, senior clergymen, or hereditary nobility (who might not have much money at all).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “Go with the winner.”

            That is how it works for the alpha male (a chimp, an ape, or a gorilla)…for most followers anyway.

            Some will challenge. If victorious, followers will line up (more go-with-the-winner). If defeated, an outcast.

          2. Carolinian

            Without a doubt Hemingway had a rather catty attitude toward his literary rival, but in this instance I think the debunking is merited. It’s quite possible that rich people act the way we would act if we were rich, and that Fitzgerald’s tiresome obsession with rich people didn’t cut very deep. Hemingway is saying: take away all that money and the behavior would change as well. It’s the money (or the power in your example) that makes the difference.

            1. Massinissa

              In my opinion, the fact that if they had less money would change the way they think, does not change the fact that, while they have more money, they think differently, and different rules apply to them.

              1. Massinissa

                Addendum: The fact that an Alpha Chimp would act differently if someone else was the Alpha Chimp does not change the fact that an Alpha Chimp has fundamentally different behavior than the rest of the group.

                1. Carolinian

                  Sounds like you are saying the behavior of the rich is different–not what F. Scott Fitzgerald said.

                  1. Massinissa


                    “Hemingway is responsible for a famous misquotation of Fitzgerald’s. According to Hemingway, a conversation between him and Fitzgerald went:

                    Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.
                    Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.
                    This never actually happened; it is a retelling of an actual encounter between Hemingway and Mary Colum, which went as follows:

                    Hemingway: I am getting to know the rich.
                    Colum: I think you’ll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.”

                    Just want to point out that that quote of Hemingways wasnt about Fitzgerald and wasnt even by Hemingway. Anyway I was more attacking the “rich have more money” thing than I was trying to defend Fitzgerald, but I feel Fitzgerald got the basic idea right

                    1. Carolinian

                      As I said upthread I’d take anything Hemingway said about Fitzgerald with a huge grain of salt. There’s that whole penis story for example. There seems no doubt Hemingway was trying to diminish his rival in retrospect.

                      However Fitzgerald’s work supports the quote–IMO–regardless of whether he actually said it. It is after all the theme of The Great
                      Gatsby. Since our discussion is about the ideas rather than the literal truth of who said what I stand by my above comments.

          3. craazyman

            I read somewhere, maybe a biography of one of them when I read books like that, that Hemingway actually said it and only said that F. Scott said it.

            There are no heroes among famous men. I said that!

          4. giantsquid

            Here’s an interesting take on this reputed exchange between Fitzgerald and Hemingway:

            “The rich are different”… The real story behind the famed “exchange” between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.


            Apparently Fitzgerald was referring specifically to the attitudes of those who are born rich, attitudes that Fitzgerald thought remained unaltered by events, including the loss of economic status.

            “They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

            Hemingway suggested that Fitzgerald had once been especially enamored of the rich, seeing them as a “special glamorous race” but ultimately became disillusioned.

            “He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren’t it wrecked him as much as any other thing that wrecked him.”

  2. abynormal

    “Soon after completing the ‘La Combe’ series [circa 1950] I had a dream in which I was assisted by many children on a scaffold, painting a huge mural made up of square panels fitted together. Each panel was being painted by a child very quickly in long black strokes with huge brushes. The work was done in seconds. Upon waking I immediately made a reminder sketch of the mural. Later I made a drawing of many ink strokes, which I cut up into twenty squares and placed at random in a four-by-five grid…” ~Kelly

    “Carl Jung claimed that the dream symbol of a child is a motif for the forgotten things in our childhood. For example, your dream may be telling you that you’ve forgotten how to play or should take a more innocent, carefree attitude. The symbol of the child also represents possibilities. It paves the way for future changes in the personality.”
    The divine child is the symbol of the true self, it is both vulnerable and possessed of great transforming power. In your dream it may represent your divine self that is growing to its full spiritual potential.”

    Bowed Head with Gratitude Kelly

    1. craazyman

      Did you catch my joke from a few weeks ago: I made it up myself!

      Q: Why couldn’t Freud cure the woman who thought she was married to a space alien in another dimension?
      A; Because he wasn’t Jung enough.

        1. craazyman

          If I had to Rank them I’d put Skinner last. But maybe he was just the straight man. (Sorry that’s a little tired at this point, but its an opportunity to mention Otto Rank).

      1. abynormal

        Love Ya Craazy…

        “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

        ~Carl Jung

  3. Uahsenaa

    Do people want more Hannah Arendt in the comments? I’d be perfectly happy to go on at length about Between Past and Future or Men in Dark Times. The chapter on Rosa Luxembourg in the latter of those two is especially apt for any discussion of the Left in contemporary politics.

    1. skylark

      Down South/ From Mexico was a somewhat legendary member of the commentariat here at NC. He often quoted HA (and many others) from his vast warehouse of useful knowledge. Alas, he hadn’t learned that it’s not nice to kick sand in the faces of the other kids.

        1. skylark

          Yes, he did have a whiff of the ascetic about him!! ;-0 However he did inspire me to read a lot of Hannah Arendt for which I am grateful.

      1. DJG

        Yep, Yves’s comment has a bit of backhand on it. Nevertheless, Hannah Arendt is bracing, and it is always good to recall that she is more than the equal of many modern mushy political theorists who are quoted much more often. I have read The Human Condition more than once. Much to think about. I also like her descriptive way of arguing–the occasional curlicue of interest.

        And Eichmann in Jerusalem is still worth reading for the concept of the banality of evil, the bureaucracy of modern life that heedlessly brings death and destruction with it.

    2. craazyman

      No. We have the library and the bookstore for that.

      something authentic and real about your life and reality perception would be far more interesting.

      Rather than long-winded Hannah Arendt quotes, if he’d told some stories of wandering down a Mexican street and the shops and faces and gestures he witnessed, that would be far more interesting. There would be metaphors there that might reach a universality. That’s news that stays news.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am always in the mood for people who quote themselves, instead of others.

        “As I have said to myself numerous times before, everyone is the most interesting person in the world (as least to that person).”

        1. fresno dan

          I talk to myself all the time, usually asking, “so many voices in my head – how can so many people fit in such a small space???”

      2. Uahsenaa

        While I tend to turn an evil eye toward overly sentimental expressions of the universal in the personal, which quite often amount to anecdotal justifications for gross platitudes (a la Chicken Soup for the Soul and other such dreck), I do sympathize with the feeling that if people were better readers of the things that happen to them on a day to day basis, then maybe we all wouldn’t be so completely doomed.

        1. craazyman

          those aren’t authentic, by construction, that’s one reason why they’re dreck. another reason is the bad writing.

          when somebody good does it, like Adele, it’s never a platitude.

          She was on the cover of Time Magazine! Evidently it didn’t even make a Link here, even though I suggested it. It could have been a Post even!

            1. craazyman

              tax? what? I don’t believe it. Her accountants or lawyers must pay that for her. She could never keep track of something like that.

              1. craazyboy

                That was when they had the top Brit rate briefly at 110%. We then had the “Atlantic crossing” of Brit pop&rock stars to New Yawk and LA.

                1. Clive

                  Yes, I think you even had the pleasure of Rod Stewart, Michael Cain and, er… Joan Collins for a while. All in all, a merry bunch of tax exiles. Which I for one consider suitable punishment for all that Boston Tea Party nonsense.

              2. Clive

                I once saw John and Yoko’s Mercedes-Benz S600 limo complete with mini bar, phone, record player (more impressive considering this was the 1970’s and I was only a lad) — they were stuck in traffic going to Heathrow I think. At that young age I don’t think I could spell hypocrite and probably didn’t know what it meant but I had to agree with my dad who was driving (and also stuck in the same traffic so probably not in the most congenital of moods) when he said “world socialism, my arse”.

                1. Chris in Paris

                  I met “Sting” back in the Police days and the first words out of his mouth were “taxes, better in the States” or the equivalent. British Pop tradition indeed.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I didn’t mean to be mean about Down South/From Mexico. I liked his quotes. But he got more and more domineering in the comments section and when I very politely told him so offline (yes I can muster up politeness and did not use the “d” word), he stopped commenting.

  4. abynormal

    Saudi Austerity = Saudi Uprising 2016

    “… the young people are the ones who most quickly identify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the evil conditions that exist.”
    Malcolm X, Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers’ Power

    1. ambrit

      That would put a spanner in the works for the Wahabbist dreams of global ‘purity’ and ‘submission.’ Revolt in The Kingdom would allow the other Middle Eastern peoples to have a chance for a more equitable division of power.

      1. gonzomarx

        unless Saudi elite decide to double down on the Wahabbism and if the past is any guide the West will back the religious over the secular/nationalist in mid east.

        So far the Arab springs have mostly been contained but without Saudi money or if their focus shifts inward well maybe it’ll be round two.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          How would a government that makes ISIS look calm and reasonable double down exactly? At least, the outdo ISIS when it comes to be headings and crucifixion. The secret to the appeal of religion is it often pays fairly well or better in comparison. Even in the bible belt, the mega churches are offering better services to their congregation than conservative or neoliberal governments.

          The imans or colonels might decide one way to fix the money crisis is to claim the Sauds aren’t sufficiently caring for Mecca and Medina and just move to oust the 15,000 princes if their checks don’t come in.

      2. different clue

        Any revolt in Saudi Arabia would simply strengthen and purify the Wahhabery ruling that country. The few “westernized” Arab twiterati would be swept aside and killed by the many young jihaderists, who would then invite ISIS to come in and rule the country.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      People tend to forget there are substantial Shi’ite minority underclasses in SA and other Sunni run Gulf States. Remember Bahrain? They sent in Saudi troops to quell the unrest.

      1. Daryl

        The Houthis actually briefly claimed some territory in Saudi Arabia. (Well, territory that used to belong to Yemen anyway). Not sure if they snagged it back yet, but they might have trouble holding onto it this time…

  5. Steven D.

    Used to be an avid Krugman reader. But I get bored reading about how bad the Republicans are. Tell me something I don’t know. The big story he won’t write about is that the Republicans wouldn’t be such a threat if Team D was worth a damn.

    It’s like they got the ball in 2009 with the field wide open for a touchdown. But since the game was fixed Team D just danced around their own 20-yard line looking for the feeble Republican defense to block them. Every time they have an opening for a good play they panic over the prospect of scoring big and contrive to fumble the ball. The most they ever want is field goals and to prevent the Republicans from running away with the game too much.

    That’s why Krugman can write about how scary the Republicans are. But so what? Everyone knows that. Why are they in such a position? That’s the interesting story.

    1. Barmitt O'Bamney

      Indeed, and seconded: Kruggers is irrelevant. However correct his critique may be, as far as it goes, it never goes far enough since he has chosen to mutilate himself into playing the role of partisan hack. There is a beam in the Republicans’ eye? Well, there is a beam in his eye, too.

      The spectacle of 2009-2010 cured me of any lingering desire to vote Democrat ever again – or to waste my time reading Krugman. If my choice is between voting against my own interests on the one hand, and voting against my interests on the other, I’ll just stay home or else make my vote a protest against the party that assumes it has an unconditional right to my vote. Reading about how the Republicans are always wrong, with nary a mention of how Democrats are right there with them in the latrine of wrongness isn’t worth a minute more of my time – and my time isn’t even very valuable.

    2. Benedict@Large

      The problem (that leads to the boredom) with reading Krugman is not that he’s always talking about how bad the Republicans are. That after all is true. The problem with reading Krugman is that he’s always picking on the lowest hanging fruit; the easy cases that require no special nuance or understanding. Krugman is a smart man, and he is better than this. We have all too many of us capable of picking apart the 4th grade thinking and analysis that is so common in the GOP. To add Krugman to that list is a waste of (his and our) time.

      1. tongorad

        Krugman is a smart man, and he is better than this.

        Evidence, please.
        Krugman is a collaborator. His wealth and prestige is built on his capacity for perpetuating falsehoods that have had vast and deadly consequences (Obama care, for instance).

    3. fresno dan

      Krugman’s defense of Obama care either indicates a lack of intellect, or in my view the more probable possibility, the inability to accept that the system is thoroughly corrupt, including most dems and economists…

      1. Ulysses

        I think the most serious problem that Paul Krugman has, in accepting that the system is thoroughly corrupt, is his internalization of the meritocratic myth. The syllogism runs as follows:

        1) I have “merit”

        2)The system has lavished wealth and renown on me

        3)Therefore, those who claim that our system “isn’t really meritocratic” must themselves lack “merit,” or be deluded from too much sentimentality, or too much attention to “exceptions that prove the rule.”

        1. Tom Allen

          He’s also prone to defending politicians and economists with whom he’s personal friends — and there are a lot of them. That’s human nature, but it tends to make one skeptical of his objectivity when, for example, Larry Summers or Ben Bernanke is involved.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        He’s also preaching to the choir. Who is Krugthullu’s audience? Outside of New Yorkers, it’s largely people who fantasize about finishing the Sunday crossword despite not actually trying and love to have a simplified “liberal” world view reinforced. Given how Obots use to swarm, would he have survived not towing the company line? Without his column, Krugthullu is just another economics professor without the backing of a billionaire who keeps him around as a pet. Maybe Warren Buffet would put up a nice fence to keep Krugthullu in his yard, but he would likely have to spend time in Omaha.

        The flip side is Krugthullu has likely burned too many bridges to regain his 2009 status. The Obots can’t handle criticism, and it’s rather late to join the Obama anonymous support group.

        1. jrs

          I mostly think they keep Krug around to justify “trade” agreements. That the little battles don’t matter so much compared to “trade” agreements (and in fact they don’t, on the issue of healthcare, “trade” agreements are a serious threat to even those countries with better medical systems. “Trade” agreements can override other political battles, even those where Krugs position might be decent).

      3. GlobalMisanthrope

        Yeah, I am completely mystified by his defense of the ACA. My employers think of themselves as good liberals (although they do not provide health insurance but rather a health stipend to a handful of top managers that we can apply toward our purchase of insurance on the exchange) and have trotted out Krugman on occasion when I have argued against the Act.

        I was at a dinner party before Christmas with a diverse group of professionals hosted by a friend who is a wine maker. There were several people from the food and beverage industry, a university professor and her law school administrator spouse, an obstetrical surgeon, a rancher and three others I never got a chance to learn anything about. The subject of “Obamacare” came up. I was truly astonished by the completely fact-free conversation that ensued. So much so that I stayed silent for a long time, really not knowing what to say.

        My friend, the host, noticed my expression and asked me what I thought about Obamacare. So I described it as the boondoggle that it is and went into some detail debunking many of the claims made by the other guests. Honestly, I mean they were more or less polite, but they didn’t think I knew what I was talking about. What can account for this?

        Well, one of the things that came out was that I was, by some distance, the lowest paid person at the table.

        It’s no excuse for someone who actually thinks and writes about public policy, but could it be that Krugman is like my fellow guests and just never had to think about the cost of his health insurance simply because he could always afford it. So, I mean, he’s never done the math. He’s just done the “responsible thing” and carried insurance his whole life.

        Anyway, it was a cold shower to realize how intractable their belief in the system is. As I find myself saying a lot lately, I was not heartened.

        1. flora

          The whole ACA thing reminds me of the urban renewal projects of the 50s and 60s. Those were supposedly progressive projects to replace blighted areas with modern housing. In fact it was political snake oil that didn’t help the poor so much as help large cities fill their coffers. It replaced poor dwellings with middle class dwellings that increased the cities’ tax revenues. The poor were left to fend for themselves as their poor but stable neighborhoods were destroyed. The designers of the projects thought they were doing good.
          I wonder how many people sitting around the table with you tried to buy their mandated insurance on the ACA web portal or on the open market? ACA sounds good in theory.

        2. Lexington

          It’s no excuse for someone who actually thinks and writes about public policy, but could it be that Krugman is like my fellow guests and just never had to think about the cost of his health insurance simply because he could always afford it. So, I mean, he’s never done the math. He’s just done the “responsible thing” and carried insurance his whole life.


          I have my frustrations with Krugman too, but I think progressives need to cut the guy some slack: he’s a professor at Princeton, a Nobel laureate, and has a trophy case full of professional honours and twenty books plus a couple of hundred articles under his belt. He’s in the sanctum sanctorum of the elite. If he never penned another op ed or blog post or participated in another public debate it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to his legacy. Yet there he is, the very model of a public intellectual, actually inviting non specialists to engage in a discussion about economics and public policy, and fighting the good fight for liberalism. You can be sure he isn’t doing it to win plaudits from his peers. The era of academics seeking to build bridges to a wider public is now long past. Krugman is carrying the torch for people like A.J.P. Taylor and John Kenneth Galbraith, but in so doing he’s marking himself out as something of an eccentric. Ditto his advocacy of policies that are frankly contrary to his own interests and those of most of his friends and colleagues. To those of us on the outside his politics often seem a bit bloodless and milquetoast – but then I invite you to consider how he looks to people on the inside. It’s not just about where you’re going, but about where you’re coming from.

          I think public discourse would be greatly enriched if more academics condescended to come down from their ivory towers and engage a mass audience, but that’s contrary to the Zeitgeist of the age. Academics today generally expect deference to their “expertise” and resent the leveling implications of dialogue between specialists and non specialists. For many of them an academic career is an opportunity to join what they perceive as as our society’s aristocracy of merit, if you play your cards right. Keep your head down, don’t rock the boat, stick to your narrow field of expertise, and play the game of faculty politics adroitly. For gawd sake don’t go off the reservation and start parlaying with the great unwashed, or worse, take a public position that could be construed as even marginally controversial by your peers.

          By THOSE standards Paul Krugman is a couple of heartfelt renditions of L’Internationale away from being a bomb throwing anarchist.

        3. JTMcPhee

          Thanks, Global — doesn’t really matter who observed it, but the rich ARE different from us ordinary mopes. More different the richer (wealthier, asset-loaded, etc.) they are…

          So you have the fictional Daisy and spouse withdrawing into their vast indifference, after wreaking murderous havoc…

    4. Ulysses

      “It’s like they got the ball in 2009 with the field wide open for a touchdown. But since the game was fixed Team D just danced around their own 20-yard line looking for the feeble Republican defense to block them. Every time they have an opening for a good play they panic over the prospect of scoring big and contrive to fumble the ball. The most they ever want is field goals and to prevent the Republicans from running away with the game too much.”

      Best. Sports analogy. Ever.

  6. Christian B

    Just a goodbye note from me:

    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

    1. ambrit

      Do not isolate yourself from high or low. Finding the fool in yourself is a good thing. You’re already halfway home.

  7. edmondo

    Sign if you agree: MSNBC and CNN should stop promoting Donald Trump’s racist presidential campaign Daily Kos

    When the Orange Beast (sorry – been banned from DK on three different occasions for not towing the party line) runs a banner ad asking MSNBC and CNN to stop promoting Hillary Clinton’s perpetual war presidential campaign give me a yell.

    1. tongorad

      It seems that some racism-botherers are not that concerned about Hilary’s perpetual war against social services, either. Priorities, priorities.

  8. jfleni

    RE: DoJ shuts down asset forfeiture program after Congress slashes its budget

    A long overdue change, but if lawmen had followed a reasonable law protecting peoples rights with immediate court review, lots of legitimate criminal asssets could have been seized.

    When lawmen and prosecuters act like lawless thieves, then they will fail!

  9. Ulysses

    Results are starting to come in from a small B.I.G. experiment:

    Interesting point I gleaned from the article is that pretty much everyone continued to work, and nobody’s wages were lowered.

    “One recipient did quit a job he that he said he hated: at a call center. But the young man from the western city of Muenster didn’t just lounge around on the couch watching TV all day; instead he used the money to go back to school and is studying to become a kindergarten teacher. He has managed to make ends meet after the year was over with other odd jobs and is grateful for the help he got to change his life, Bohmeyer said.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for the link.

      It’s interesting to read this:

      Would people still get out of bed each day and go to work or do something else productive even with that unconditional basic income of 1,000 euros, less than half the average German monthly wage, but more than twice what those on welfare receive?

      Referring to, of course, the people, as in, the government of the people, for the people, by the people.

      Can ‘the people’ be trusted to motivate themselves?

      Never asked, or not asked often enough, is, if the government – made up of fallible humans and pressured/captured by moneyed interests – can always spend as much as it wants, will it not be wasteful?

      The masters are suspicious in their own house; the servants, you can always trust them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trust must be earned. Must be verified experimentally…because we are dealing with ‘the people.’

        Again, from the article, further down (actually the next paragraph):

        Those are among the questions being examined in a small real-life experiment called “Mein Grundeinkommen” (My Basic Income) taking place in Germany — where 26 people thus far are being given $1,100 a month to do whatever they want with.

        Here is an experiment: Give the government extra $100 billion and see what it does with that money.

        Will maybe 50% go to more drones? 40%?

        Is that wasteful?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Two paragraphs later:

          The notion of the state giving everyone an “emancipatory basic income,” as it also is sometimes called, is cherished not only by leftists in Germany but has also been supported by some on the right side of the political spectrum. Detractors, however, express fears that it would take away the incentive for people to work, while costing the government a fortune.

          “How would the rich ever find serfs to fill up their satanic mills, sorry, people with incentive to work?”

          1. fresno dan

            It is an amazing thing that there is always enough money available to criminal and idiotic bankers, but none available to people whose only error was dealing with the idiotic and criminal bankers.

      2. optimader

        unconditional basic income of 1,000 euros, less than half the average German monthly wage, but more than twice what those on welfare receive?
        how long would it take for 1,000Euro to become the new 500Euro, or less? I’m guessin pretty quick

        1. LifelongLib

          Depends on what’s limiting the economy. If it’s capacity then yes, injecting demand leads to inflation. If it’s demand (as in most modern undamaged economies) then more demand can lead to prosperity.

      3. bob

        “Can ‘the people’ be trusted to motivate themselves?”

        Back that shit up. What’s so great about motivation? Motivated to do what?

        History gives plenty of examples of overly “motivated” peoples.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think you are talking about the rich being motivated by greed to work, even if they have lots of money already.

          The motivation of ‘the people,’ meaning workers given free money, is being questioned in the article. The bankers are assumed to be motivated always, even over motivated (as you say), so there is no need to worry about things like, giving them free money will deprive them of their motivation.

        2. hunkerdown

          Exactly. Milquetoast managerialists desperate to do something, anything, just to be seen expending effort toward an outcome more palatable to those who might reward them, are clearly not the solution. Indeed, the bulk of the evidence identifies them as the problem.

      1. fresno dan

        The thing that is strange about these articles is the premise that “money for nothing” is something that has never been experienced or seen before. Who can predict what will happen????

        Yet examples abound of benefits where one can get far more than one contributed to a program, such as social security, medicare, food stamps, scholar ships, grants (MacArthur grants – nobody worries what they will do with the money) etcetera. Yet the world goes on – indeed, it always surprises me how much people want to work. I used to think it was just an obsession with buying ever more crap, but I have come to see that most people need something to do, and it provides a social gathering opportunity for most people as well.

        I find it very difficult to believe that such programs would have any negative affect on number of people employed, and indeed, the increased purchasing power would undoubtedly cause a groundswell in employment at DollarTree, DollarGeneral, Family Dollar, Divorced Dollar, and Dollar Orgy….. (OK, I made some of those up) and similar establishments for those retail and services that cater to the dollar challenged.

        1. MikeNY

          If you believe that technology and automation will replace a good portion of the jobs people currently do, some kind of BIG seems inevitable…

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Only because we are unwilling to pay people to do truly valuable work. Why don’t we pay teenagers to spend time with the elderly? Why don’t we pay parents to raise their children (instead of forcing parents to work shitty jobs in order to pay someone else to raise their children)? There is lots of socially useful work to be done. How about preparing for climate change? The notion that we need to pay people to do nothing rather than pay them to do socially useful things I find mystifying.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              According to the article, a woman takes her BIG, free money and spends time with her children and a man uses his BIG for his ecological vegetable garden.

              We may pay them to do nothing, but they use that money to do socially useful things. The results from that experiment are interesting.

              1. Left in Wisconsin

                Yes. My point was only that there is lots of work to be done. I can see the rationale of a BIG that allows people to spend time doing work that doesn’t pay. But I would rather see people get paid for doing socially valuable work.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      (I think this is a better reply button).

      Towards the end of the article;

      She believes that a universal basic income in Germany could succeed because many people now work without remuneration and with too little recognition — caring for family members, housekeeping, volunteer work and coaching at clubs. “There is more work being done without pay than there is at the factories and office buildings and everywhere else.”

      It’s broader (and to me, better) than the idea of credit for just care-giving.

      “All work is noble.”

      1. cwaltz

        The problem with credits(or many of the changes to our tax system that benefit some but don’t apply to all is that they are a) often used by the rich to shelter income For example: The rich now can choose HDHPs(and they can actually afford those high deductibles) and then put their money in an HSA which is allowed to roll over into an investment account(which of course gets taxed at a lower level than income you earn from labor. Or the rich can put money away to cover the costs of juniors education and not get taxed on it essentially using it as a way to avoid taxes b) used to drive resentment for the rest of us. For example: The childless resent the fact that those with kids pay less thanks to credits for kids. Those that rent resent the credit those that purchased a house get in tax credits while none of the money they put towards housing is credited.

        Personally, I have gotten to the point where if someone proposed a real flat income tax that essentially just excused the first $15,000 of ANY income (per person in the household I’d be on board). Enough with this you can shelter money from taxation in retirement accounts, health savings accounts, by funding college accounts for kids, by buying an expensive house and writing off the interest, etc, etc. then WHINING about how unfair it is that the really poor don’t pay any taxes(meanwhile the poor can’t afford to fund ANY of these things because with what they earn they can’t afford to.) I’m also for shoring up our SS fund by telling Mitt Romney that ALL of his income is now subject to payroll taxes.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And the last paragraph.

      “The idea hasn’t even found a consensus in any of the parties,” said Carsten Koschmieder, at Berlin’s Free University. “There are just too many concerns in all the parties that people wouldn’t have any incentive to go to work and too many unanswered questions about who would pay for it all.”

      Again, we can’t trust people or the people.

      And an equally important point – we have to pay for it all. News: We have defeated Nature a while back. Keep defeating her, with ever more GDP per capita, is senseless. More equitable sharing of the spoils of that war and a unilateral armistice with Nature, and we will not have to ask how to ‘pay for it all.’

      1. fresno dan

        “There are just too many concerns in all the parties that people wouldn’t have any incentive to go to work and too many unanswered questions about who would pay for it all”

        The money that the FED “created” “conjured” summoned from the briny deep, or whereever they got it – who paid for that?

        Now, if the FED can create “dollars” (or for the prissy, electronic credits that can be exchanged for dollars or digits in electronic accounts) out of nothing, why can the dollars only be distributed to bankers?

        INCENTIVE: People wouldn’t have any incentive to go to sh*tty jobs for lousy pay. Pay would have to rise, demand would rise, inequality would decrease.

        Its funny how we can have an economy managed to keep the rich getting richer, but somehow managing it to have the poor getting richer is perverted and unnatural.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The serf-dealers have quotas to fill.

          Gotta get enough into those satanic, sorry, workplaces

        2. Ulysses

          “Its funny how we can have an economy managed to keep the rich getting richer, but somehow managing it to have the poor getting richer is perverted and unnatural.”

          Rugged individualism for the poor, gentle socialism for the rich– it’s the American Way!

      2. perpetualWAR

        Who would pay for it all???

        Who paid for the $21+TRILLION bleed out that was just given to the banksters????

        No one has worried about that!

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality New York Times

    What a piece of creepy, infuriatingly offensive BS.

    Inequality is to be explained by the fact that it’s becoming “harder for many people to “marry up” as a path for income mobility for themselves or their children?????”

    “Marry UP?”

    For whom is it “news” that country-clubbers tend to marry country-clubbers instead of the “servants?” This “tradition” did not impede upward economic mobility four or five decades ago when good public education was available and affordable for all, money wasn’t “free” for some and at 30% interest for others, taxation was progressive, white-collar criminals were jailed, wages were fair, healthcare was affordable and americans could make a living doing something other than waiting tables or tending bar.

    “Money and talent become clustered in high-powered, two-earner families determined to do everything possible to advance the interests of their children. “

    Money yes, but “talent?” I’m SURE George W. Bush became president because he was so “talented.” And “talent” is just oozing from the likes of paris hilton, the walton offspring and chelsea clinton–NOT.

    Mr. Cowen needs to call a spade a spade. Power coupling “exacerbates” inequality by exploiting connections and financial advantage to upend the playing field and crush the competition on their and their children’s behalf. Upstairs, downstairs my foot.

    And, in case you think I’m being too hard on the guy, guess what one of his remedies for the situation is. “Further EXPERIMENTS with charter schools” Good idea.

    1. tegnost

      It is distressingly common for me to be cajoled by wealthy people to lose the poor girl for a rich model as if it were that easy, at the same time those men I know with wealthier wives are getting dumped for wealthier guys. The sense of worth people have is disheartening. I think to myself, as I don’t want to converse about it, is that as soon as I find this wealthy person then I’m the poor who needs to be discarded, but that calculus is too complicated apparently, to explain. On a related note, the girl when looking for an apartment was inundated with offers from housed men that were she to pay $600 a month and be their girlfriend, then she could move in but would need to pitch in on chores to make up the difference in value! Pretty effed up so I took her to a safe place in reno, if I were a woman I would be so P.O.’d what the hell…money money money all the time…we’ve crossed the neo-victorian rubicon

    2. Carolinian

      Great comment. The current trend toward dynasticism is profoundly un-American. The gene pool always needs to be refreshed.

      1. Vatch

        Dynasticism is odious, but it is, quite sadly, an American tradition. Some examples:

        Richard Henry Lee, President of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Senator. Thomas Sim Lee, governor of Maryland. Robert E. Lee, U.S. general and Confederate general.

        John Adams, U.S. President. John Quincy Adams, U.S. President, member of the House of Representatives. Charles Francis Adams, Sr., member of the House of Representatives, ambassador. Charles Francis Adams, Jr., U.S. general, president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

        William Henry Harrison, U.S. President. Benjamin Harrison, U.S. President.

        William Howard Taft, U.S. President, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Robert A. Taft, U.S. senator. Robert Taft, Jr., member of the House of Representatives, U.S. senator.

        Huey Long, governor of Louisiana, U.S. senator. Russell Long, U.S. senator.

        Kennedy family.

        These are just the tip of the iceberg.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘Huey Long, governor of Louisiana, U.S. senator. Russell Long, U.S. senator.’

          … and Uncle Earl Long, three-time governor of Louisiana and Democratic nominee for a U.S. House seat at the time of his death.

          Uncle Earl hamming it up with the late Blaze Starr:

        2. Carolinian

          Of course. But while the notion of America as a classless society may be a myth there has, historically, been far more social mobility here than in, say, Europe. That is, after all, why so many of them came here.

          When I visited Paris many years ago I was amazed to see that the Metro had first and second class cars. Apparently the aristocrats didn’t want to mingle with the peasants even on the lowly subway.

    3. Chris in Paris

      Reading it I kept thinking of the great sketch on the last SNL “Meet Your Second Wife” where the male contestants exchange their class peers for girls 20-30 years younger.

    4. jrs

      “Money and talent become clustered in high-powered, two-earner families determined to do everything possible to advance the interests of their children.“

      determined to do everything possible to make more money. Advance the interest of their children maybe (or maybe they had children mostly to justify pre-existing money grubbing! it’s for the children!), on a individualistic basis, but not help ensure a habitable planet for them to live on.

  11. JEHR

    I’ve just become aware of another idea that really appeals to me. Paul Mason has written about PostCapitalism and he sets forth some very interesting points, some of which (co-ops) have been discussed on this blog. He says,

    Even now many people fail to grasp the true meaning of the word “austerity”. Austerity is not eight years of spending cuts, as in the UK, or even the social catastrophe inflicted on Greece. It means driving the wages, social wages and living standards in the west down for decades until they meet those of the middle class in China and India on the way up. ( )

    The thing that excites me is the fascinating picture of a world where money no longer means anything–where Blankfein will have nothing but his “things” and no wherewithal to get more “things.” A world without money is such an interesting and exciting idea that I thought others would be fascinated too.

    1. Ulysses

      “A world without money is such an interesting and exciting idea that I thought others would be fascinated too.”

      It’s not too hard to imagine such a world, here’s how Bishop Gregory of Tours described the world of Clovis, who had no need for money, after the commercial economy of the ancient Roman empire in the West had collapsed:

      “Then when he came to Soissons and all the booty was set in their midst, the king said: “I ask of you, brave warriors, not to refuse to grant me in addition to my share, yonder dish,” that is, he was speaking of the vase just mentioned. In answer to the speech of the king those of more sense replied: ” Glorious king, all that we see is yours, and we ourselves are subject to your rule. Now do what seems well­pleasing to you; for no one is able to resist your power.” When they said this a foolish, envious and excitable fellow lifted his battle­ax and struck the vase, and cried in a loud voice: ” You shall get nothing here except what the lot fairly bestows on you.” At this all were stupefied, but the king endured the insult with the gentleness of patience, and taking the vase he handed it over to the messenger of the church, nursing the wound deep in his heart. And at the end of the year he ordered the whole army to come with their equipment of armor, to show the brightness of their arms on the field of March. And when he was reviewing them all carefully, he came to the man who struck the vase, and said to him “No one has brought armor so carelessly kept as you; for neither your spear nor sword nor ax is in serviceable condition.” And seizing his ax he cast it to the earth, and when the other had bent over somewhat to pick it up, the king raised his hands and drove his own ax into the man’s head. “This,” said he, “‘is what you did at Soissons to the vase.” Upon the death of this man, he ordered the rest to depart, raising great dread of himself by this action./ He made many wars and gained many victories In the tenth year of his reign he made war on the Thuringi and brought them under his dominion.”

      Why buy a vase with money when a battleax to the head will suffice? During the Dark Ages a lot of money was melted down and turned into ornamental jewelry, like the huge gold arm-bands favored by Viking raiders.

  12. JEHR

    Re: Antidote. This photo reminds me of a story I heard on the radio this morning. Our past conservative leader Harper closed down the working farms at Collins Bay penitentiary (maximum, medium and minimum security) while he was in office. He said it didn’t help the prisoners to work on the farm and that they didn’t learn anything of value. The products and produce (milk, eggs, vegetables, etc.) from the farm provided food to several prisons and to the local food bank. Well, the farm project that the prisoners worked on was a co-op so when it was closed down, the farmers in the area got together and looked after the animals that were on the farm and kept the co-op idea alive. Our new Liberal government has agreed to re-establish the farms for the prisoners so after a few renovations (in the millions), the farmers will be ready to re-“imprison” their animals!

    That is a very nice feel-good story. See:

  13. Ignim Brites

    “The Battle for the Future of GOP Foreign Policy”. Misses key point that what Trump articulates (sic) is unadulterated disgust with the interventionism of the last decade and a half. This is not yet America First but it is deeper and more sweeping than Cruz’s calculated position. Sanders could capture this sentiment for the Dems but for a variety of reasons has tried to steer clear of current foreign policy debates. So far he has been, unaccountably, given a pass by the MSM. Secretary Clinton, tied as she is to Libya and Syria, not to mention Egypt, is in the most precarios position. It would be amusing if for the second time she were to lose the nomination for being to the right of the people on foreign policy. This time she is even further right than last time and should be correspondingly more easily swept away.

    1. fresno dan

      I agree – Trump despite his big, HUGE, terrible flaws is still the only candidate who straight forwardly says that the American foreign policy establishment (you know, the 29 serious Senate dems who voted for intervention in Iraq) is a bunch of losers, that our “Best and the Brightest” are doing things that are flat out against the interest of the nation.

      Once you get past the hand waving and propaganda, can anyone honestly say there is any difference between what Obama does and all repubs advocate????? It is shocking to me that there really isn’t a peace or isolationist party – it seems evident to me that our foreign policy has been an abject failure under both parties for decades now. Sure, we have been in German and South Korea for decades now – but I do not see where we are calming things down in the mideast, or any prospect of doing that for a long, long, long time.

      One point:

      The only reason for accepting that a repub could win for me would be the schadenfreude – the poetic justice that when the next terrorist uses a gun, the repub screeching about terrorism will be caught between the rock and the hard place of saying “terrorism is not the end of the world, as the number of people murdered by terrorists is a small, small fraction of the number of Americans murdered by guns daily, and we have to accept that, or we will have to institute rigorous gun control”
      I doubt that whether ISIS exists, or ceases to exists (more likely just renamed), will have much to do with the alphabet soup of various mid east terrorists who want to strike at us, so more intervention over there will only stir the hornet’s nest up more instead of doing anything to reduce terrorism here.

      I fully expect that if a repub wins the presidency, the next terrorist attack in this country will be a non event on FOX.

      1. Vatch

        …the American foreign policy establishment (you know, the 29 serious Senate dems who voted for intervention in Iraq) is a bunch of losers, …

        Yes, Sanders is more polite than Trump, and has discussed foreign policy less than many of the other candidates. For what it’s worth, here’s something that Sanders said in a speech at the DNC this summer:

        You are looking at a former congressman who did not believe George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and who voted against the war in Iraq, one of the worst foreign policy blunders in modern American history.

        That’s a polite way of saying that the Senators who voted for intervention in Iraq are losers.

      2. ambrit

        The last several times I have suffered through FOX news, I have had the almost irresistable urge to shout out, “On no! It’s FOX! This is the real terrorist attack!” A lot of the eateries around here play FOX news on their jumbotron screens whenever there isn’t a game on. Really. A local rib place does this all of the time. I can personally attest to the really menacing stares one gets after yelling back at FOX news. “That’s a lie, and I can prove it!” got me an admonition to “Shut the f— up, liberal a–hole!”

        1. Massinissa

          How dare you prevent those nice people from listening intently to their propaganda! By excercising your free speech to tell them the truth youre denying both Fox New’s free speech to tell people propaganda and the viewers free speech to listen to propaganda!

          Anyway, I assume youre living down south like me? Even my local college campus Starbucks (in middle georgia) plays fox news down here… Must be a cultural thing, and it runs deep.

      3. Ignim Brites

        “I fully expect that if a repub wins the presidency, the next terrorist attack in this country will be a non event on FOX.”

        You are right because the nation is moving en masse toward radical disengagement from the niddle east. Hyperventilation about terrorism, consequently will serve no commercial or partisan purpose.

    2. tongorad

      …should be correspondingly more easily swept away.

      Unfortunately, I reckon we are likely one domestic and perhaps a couple of more international incidents away from the “unadulterated disgust” quickly turning into unadulterated blood-lust.

  14. Ignim Brites

    “Puerto Rico’s Debt Trap” It is unlikely that any combination of rational policies can ameliorate the depopulation of the island so why not encourage emigration to Europe. Germany is facing a massive labor shortage and would probably help fund the migration. (This btw should be explored as an option to deporting the undocumented here in the US)

    Once the island is sufficiently depopulated attention can be turned to restoring it to wilderness.

  15. allan

    Spy agencies resist push for expanded scrutiny of top employees

    Under a provision drafted by the Senate Intelligence Committee this year, intelligence agencies would have been required to regularly provide names of those being promoted to top positions and disclose any “significant and credible information to suggest that the individual is unfit or unqualified.”

    But that language faced intense opposition from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to officials involved in the matter. As a result, the wording was watered down by Congress this month and now requires Clapper only to furnish “information the Director determines appropriate.”

    Seems reasonable. It’s not as if they’re destroying court-protected torture videos
    or sharing classified information with their mistresses …

    File under The Panopticon is for the Little People.

    1. fresno dan

      First, I certainly have no love for the “intelligence” agencies (if ever there was a bureaucracy misnamed) but I have to say the law as formulated is rather ridiculous. If the employer actually had information that someone is unfit or unqualified, why in the world would you promote someone?
      If the law is INTENDED to get them to start looking (it doesn’t appear, what with Ames, Hannsen, et al), I would say that if the person running the agency is not doing that, you solve it not by writing another law for something that should be obvious, but by getting the agency head FIRED!
      Or is the law merely window dressing to make it LOOK like congress cares?

      My problem with Clapper is that when he was caught lying, he was “forgiven” by congress.
      (note – link is also a good example of out media stenographers)
      Congress chooses to make itself irrelevant. If congress really wants to influence the CIA, it would have fired him. When I look at the fake holes on a Buick, and I look at Congress, the fake holes on a Buick serve the interests of this country about a squllion times more than our “representatives”

      When the government continually operates so ineptly, one has to question whether one’s premises about their motivations and what they intend to do, and their real motivations and intentions actually coincide.

      1. inode_buddha

        My thinking at the time, was that the reason all these are so easily forgiven is because Congress doesn’t want to feel like a bunch of hypocrites.

    1. bob

      Same. It just keeps trying to load.

      I googled the title and clicked the link there…same.

      I tried to read it via the google cache, but as soon as the full text popped up, another page saying that google doesn’t have the page cached pops up, removing the evidence that contradicts their generic, final claim.

      You can read it if you can hit “stop” after the cache loads, but before google zaps it from memory.

    2. Tom Allen

      I think the CEPR website has been undergoing some major modifications these past few weeks. For a couple weeks I couldn’t access it via Safari, then for a while I could, now I can’t again. Possibly another web browser might work, though.

  16. kevinearick

    just because you do not see a sensor does not mean that one isn’t there…


    Yes, I am what they call a wizard in the programming world, which is moving at quantum speed relative to the Fred and Wilma economy presented by the media, which the Fed is assigned to keep a lid on, with both monetary and labor, price and wage, control. You can see where this is going, and everyone was given notice.

    Grace is a little wizard, by DNA. If the feminists and their politically correct man-servants really wanted what they said, they would be happy about the outcome, but instead they find themselves fighting and losing to a baby. Having brought out their entire technology toolkit at UCSF, with DNA analysis from UCSD, and help from my old schoolmates, they have failed to control her.

    Grace decides what is going to be done and how it is going to be done. Pollyanna is the sugar, making the medicine go down, for the automatons. And yes, I am in the house of cards, in the dimension they see, but can still traverse it at will, and now you see the exit.

    Always begin by building your own exit. Like Grace, I began building mine immediately, when my dad threw me into the black hole. No one is going to catch up to me in AI, but you are going to build your own exit, and there is no time like the present to begin.

    Others do not define your labor, unless you choose to allow them, which you may or not want to do depending upon your relative position in the implosion/explosions of an implosion/explosion. My priorities are spouse, children and work, so government sets up on those priorities as a means of extortion, to maximize rent/income, as I fully expect. But as you can see, I only spend 10% of my time on that problem-solution, and the majority, tldr, cannot begin to scratch the surface of my consciousness, because it has nothing but redundant self-obsession to show for its efforts.

    Your investment depends upon your priorities, which no one else is capable of understanding, unless you want to be popular. As a young person, just thinking about raising a family, you want to be looking at labor/rent distributions, how they are being affected on the margin, and how your particular participation will affect that outcome over time. If you are retired, your kids are gone, you live in Spokane, and you have an exit, Treasuries may make sense, but they certainly do not make sense in a big city like San Francisco or a small town like Mendocino, where rent/income is 2, with the associated taxes chasing real estate inflation in a positive feedback loop.

    FANG is a black hole, but you can always adjust the implosion/explosion, at the right distance, for you. Collect the data yourself, and learn by doing. The Internet only tells you what others want you to know, which isn’t much.

    Just a silly, stupid example to identify landlords posing as employers, which is the majority: Rent in town is $1000. An employer wants to hire you to dig 5 post holes in gravel, which with all the nonsense is going to take 15 hrs at $10/hr, $150. A motorized auger costs you $50 to rent, takes an hour to get and an hour to drill. You offer to do it at $50/hr, and get it on your own time, because you want to talk to the guy at the rent-all anyway, $100. The landlord will get upset that you offered.

    It’s about your productive time, which grows the economy, not money, debt liquidating the economy. If you think about it, maximizing revenue increases rent/income, which is not in your interest, and what the stock market is all about, feeding the bond market, which feeds war, over falling living standards and increasing income inequality. Government is and always has been a myth, shared to grow scale, until it collapses.

    1. kevinearick

      there are far more channels than most here see…

      I like the work Yves does, and want my kids to see it.

  17. flora

    re: Trump isn’t a fascist – the New Yorker
    Very good read. Thanks for the link. Helpful to know the country has been in this situation before.

    1. flora

      adding: reading history can be an entertaining and useful look at the “contestants’ playbooks (strategy and tactics)” that seem to stay consistent over time.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Idiot KongressKlown from Delaware (no, not Biden) advocates national austerity to ‘pay for’ the War on ISIS:

    As we pursue our goal of “degrading and destroying” ISIS, we cannot write another blank check for war. As of Nov. 30, the United States had already spent nearly $5.4 billion since U.S. airstrikes against ISIS began in August 2014.

    Paying for war is morally responsible … ISIS is a threat that requires a military response.

    In March, I introduced a federal budget amendment that would impose a temporary surtax to pay for our military operations against ISIS. When the Senate reconvenes in 2016, I again plan to explore this option.

    With warmonger Dems like Chris Coons, who needs Repubs? Efamol …

    1. Vatch

      Coons was one of the trade traitors who voted for Trade Promotion Authority (fast track), which makes the passage of the harmful TPP more likely. Contact information:

      (877) 668-3368 Dover, DE
      (202) 224-5042 Washington, DC
      (302) 573-6345 Wilmington, DE

    2. craazyboy

      As long as it’s a regressive tax, everyone that matters should like it. Tho it’s not like the good old GWB days when we get war packaged with a tax break for the wealthy!

    3. LifelongLib

      Dunno. In the U.S. support for recent wars has been a mile wide and an inch deep. If it’s somebody else’s kids and the money cost isn’t obvious we’re real patriotic. Once they start taking the lives of people you actually know and something like a surtax makes the cost apparent that support might evaporate.

      1. Tom Allen

        Pretty sure the sequestration caps were largely lifted (for the next two years at least) after the budget deal in November.

  19. ewmayer

    Re. “The Yellowstone of the Future | NYT” — it all depends on the time horizon. Take it out a few 10 Kyears to the next Yellowstone supervolcano eruption and you will see a giant smoking crater and much of North America rendered uninhabitable. A few thousand years after that it will once again be verdant and teeming with wildlife and needing no human intervention to preserve it, assuming humanity has not sufficiently recovered from its self-induced population collapse to once again overrun the planet.

    Re. “Michael Moore just exploded the right’s biggest lie | Salon” — Now he should take off the hyperpartisan blinkers and do similarly for the so-called left. There is only one War/BigBank/BigMed/BigBrother party in Washington, Mr. Moore.

    Re. “At Capital One, Easy Credit and Abundant Lawsuits ProPublica” — Shame on you, Samuel L. Jackson, for shilling for these debt merchants.

    1. hidflect

      He shills a lot for online gambling too. For a guy already so wealthy, it’s surprising he’s willing to ding his public image for a bit of extra cash. I guess he just doesn’t care. Money is money.

  20. craazyboy

    “assuming humanity has not sufficiently recovered from its self-induced population collapse to once again overrun the planet.”

    Chances are very good by then the planet will be populated by intelligent, orange haired orangutans and their leader will build a casino in Yellowstone Park, complete with indoors geysers and therapeutic mud baths, and train the wildlife to do tricks for all the tourist orange haired orangutans.

    Also, Samuel L. Jackson deserves a break for being in the movie, “The Kingsmen”. After that, you can’t take anything he does in “real life” seriously.

  21. Plenue

    That CEPR article is frustrating. Most of what it says is correct but in debunking claims about the debt it still seems to be operating under a number of false assumptions about what the debt even is. The tone is that the debt matters, but right now it isn’t a threat and we should be engaging in a lot more deficit spending. But the debt isn’t a threat, and hasn’t been for decades. It’s merely an accounting measure, it isn’t money owned to some outside party. Saying GDP growth from deficit spending will smooth out any debt problems is still assuming the debt is actually a problem.

  22. abynormal

    Advice from An Old Farmer

    Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
    Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
    Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
    A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
    Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
    Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
    Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
    Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
    It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
    You cannot unsay a cruel word.
    Every path has a few puddles.
    When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
    The best sermons are lived, not preached.
    Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
    Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
    Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
    Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
    Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
    Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
    If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
    Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
    The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
    Always drink upstream from the herd.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
    Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
    Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to a God.
    Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
    Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

    again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & again & AGAIN / the cure

  23. ewmayer

    On the “we no longer make things in this country” front: Over xmas spent a fair bit of time ‘watching’ (mostly listening to) one of my local cable oligarchy’s music channels, the Music Choice holiday-themed one – nice to switch to some xmas music during commercial breaks on whatever main channel I was watching. MC supplements the music selections on their various channels with on-screen blurbs, usually about this artists, but in the holiday-music case with historical snips related to the holiday in question. This one yesterday caught my eye:

    In 2006, there were just 96 firms making toys and stuffed animals in the U.S., employing 2,410 people.

    Merry we-no-longer-make-things-in-this-country-mas, everybody. (Perhaps that could evolve into an official federal holiday with name shortened to – in homage to either NAFTA or Roberto Duran, take your pick – “NoMas”.)

    I am by trade a math/code geek, but intend to devote some time in 2016 letting my “maker” side learn the basics of CNC machining – not sure of the best way to go about that (e.g. local community college vs online-course), and advice from CNC-knowledgeable readers will be very welcome!

  24. ewmayer

    Thanks, cnchal – that is a massively busy site … since (as Apple’s Tim Cook assures us) there are almost no US tool & die workers anymore I guess most of the visitors must be Asian. /sarc

    I think I will first look there and elsewhere (e.g. Wikipedia) for some how-to/getting-started pages.

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