Links 12/6/15

Photo: Northern copperhead in North Carolina Treehugger. Resilc: “Rep from 8th congressional district in NC.”

Decapitated Rattlesnake Bites Itself Imgur (Chuck L). Anti-antidote, not for the squeamish.


What will not be addressed at the climate change conference in Paris Heiner Flassbeck. Guurst: “”Bleak’ does not come close.”

REDD+ Handed in Paris Project Syndicate (David L)

If Climate Change Is a Problem Then Lunar Helium-3 Fueled Fusion Is the Solution Slashdot

Denmark, a Green Energy Leader, Slows Pace of Its Spending New York Times (David L)

70 years after the Nuremberg trials: “Report makes case for prosecuting US war criminals” WSWS (Judy B)


In Nigeria, Chinese Investment Comes With a Downside New York Times

Myanmar general backs Suu Kyi BBC

Hong Kong housing bubble threatens to bust MacroBusiness

“To the Lefts of Europe and the World” Transform Network (Sid S)

Far-right eyes big gains in French regional elections Reuters

Portugal divided by austerity and Portugal: backlash against austerity unites divided left IsabelPS

Another Obama Clean Energy Fiasco, Potentially Involving Largest Bankruptcy in Spanish History; Appeal of Clean Energy Michael Shedlock

Imperial Collapse Watch

President Obama to Make Primetime Statement on Terrorism on Sunday Wall Street Journal

The spread of Wahhabism, and the West’s responsibility to the world New Statesman (Steven D)


GOP Candidates Jewsplain Jewing To Jewishes. Goes Well As You’d Expect, Only Worse Wonkette (furzy mouse)

Trump repeatedly interrupted by protesters at campaign rally Th eHill (furzy mouse). I don’t understand why the Republican establishment that is desperate to get Trump out of the picture haven’t figured out that the way to dent him is to get him to react badly (which he has done occasionally. A way to do that is get protestors to push Republican hot button issues where Trump is on the wrong side. They need to get some bad video clips out of Trump on which they can capitalize.

Donald Trump ends speech after 10 protest interruptions MSNBC. A bit too much schadenfreude…..Also notice how Trump supporters swarmed the comments section.

95,000 Words, Many Ominous, From Trump’s Tongue New York Times

Trump calls for Macy’s Christmas boycott The Hill (furzy mouse). You cannot make this stuff up.

Top Jeb Bush political donor in Miami: I’ll vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump Miami Herald

Muslims in America Condemn Extremists and Fear Anew for Their Lives New York Times

Republicans reject Texas secession and Lone Star loons The Star-Telegram

Black Injustice Tipping Point

One Elected Southern Politician’s Struggle to Reverse Entrenched Racism and Police-State Mentality Alternet


Who’s responsible when small children shoot themselves? myAJC. Lambert: “Sadly, this is how Darwin works.”

Liberty University president urges students to carry guns, ‘end those Muslims’ The Hill

Gun Debate Yields Page One Editorial and End the Gun Epidemic in America New York Times

Conservative blogger shoots holes through New York Times editorial The Hill. Furzy mouse: “Another wingnut in need of anger management.”

GunTV, America’s First 24-Hour Firearm Shopping Channel, Set for 2016 Newsweek. I really do have to emigrate. And in the meantime, stock up on Kevlar.

Reid: GOP ‘cowardice’ on guns leaves America ‘vulnerable to attack’ The Hill

Cruz blasts NYC newspaper for ‘prayer shaming’ The Hill

Europe drops CDS market probe into banks Financial Times

There’s finally a limit to how much people put in hedge funds Business Insider

Fed Finds Fault With Its Stress Tests Wall Street Journal

Wal-Mart Sues Puerto Rico Over ‘Astonishing’ Tax Increases Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Homeless Couple Found Living In Walmart Attic With Hot Plate, Meth Lab, And 42″ LED TV Now8TV (Dan K)

Macy’s Imprisons Minority Customers and Extorts Them for Bogus Fines: Suit DNAinfo. Lambert: “And not for the first time!

Peter Frankopan Tank Magazine (guurst). Trust me. Read this.

Antidote du jour. From a series sent by Diane P:

31-year-old Luiz Higa Junior of São Paulo , Brazil , tells PetaPixel that his golden retriever, Bob, is a little less than two years old. In the beginning, he just had Bob, a cockatiel and a parakeet.

“Since the beginning I put them together to see their behavior,” he tells us. “It was nice, so I decided to have them play together sometimes during my free time.”

He then added more birds and a hamster to the group, and his Instagram account has been steadily growing in popularity since. Higa’s photos show the group posing, playing, exploring, and resting together.

lab and parakeets links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ChuckO

    Fusion energy sounds like a wonderful idea, but so far it’s little more than a pipe dream. Despite scientists’ best efforts over the last fifty years or so, they have only been able to build machines that achieve breakeven for a few moments, and those machines are in no way practical power generators. There are also problems with implementation that no one has even begun to address yet, like that fact these machines, the tokamak for example, generate energetic subatomic particles that soon turn the machine itself radioactive.

    1. Plutoniumkun

      Yes, fusion power has of course been 20 years away, for at least the last 50 years. Its very exciting if it was to happen, but it seems to me highly unlikely that it will be workable before the end of this century – thats far too late for climate change.

          1. Sci Guy red

            You realize the YouTube video is not about aneutronic fusion research, right ?

            You also realize that the cuts are a matter of public record ?

              1. Sci Guy red

                It sounds outlandish but the reason why lunar mining for helium 3 is being suggested as a test strategy is bc it does not occur naturally enough on earth. The moon is the closet body that may have it. As an energy source, aneutronic fusion, if it worked (there are science reasons why it may not), would be an environmentally friendly energy source without the radiation threat of current nuclear. It’s just an experimental idea but it’s one that should be checked out. Others by the way include finding a way to collect solar energy from the moon or in orbit to address some of the current limitations of collecting solar on earth

                None of these are sure things but I favor the research bc given the population size by mid century and beyond I think leftist need to do something more than pretend zero growth alone will be enough

                Tech research (energy , agricultural , etc) must be a part of the mix although it’s not going to be enough without shifts of policies to sustainsbiliy

          2. Felix 47

            The translation:

            Wendelstein Fusion Plant is about to start with its first plasma.
            Next week the plant will start with Helium plasma. By the beginning of 2016 hydrogen plasma will start to be used.
            The fusion plant is anticipated to go into operation in December 2015 according to plan. The experiments will begin with a plasma of the noble gas helium. The Wendelstein 7-X plant represents the largest and most modern Stellarator fusion plant in the world and it is expected to evaluate the suitability of this sort of construction in designing powerplants.
            After nine years of construction and over 1 million hours of assembly the major components of the plant were completed. Since then there have been preparations for the operation of the plant including tests of all of the technical systems to include the vacuum in the containers, the cooling system, the super conducting magnets, the magnetic fields produced by those magnets, the control system as well as the heating apparatus and the measuring instruments.
            The first plasma experiments are scheduled to take place on December 10, 2015 assuming that appropriate permits are received. “We will start with a helium plasma and you will not switch to the hydrogen plasma which is what we want to study until next year,” outlined project leader Prof. Thomas Klinger. “This is because it is easier to reach a plasma level with helium and additionally we can clean the surface of the plasma containers.” The first hydrogen plasma is expected to be processed at the beginning of next year.


            The goal of the fusion research is to develop a climate and environmental he friendly powerplant. Using the same process as the sun atomic nuclei will be melted which will release energy. In order to achieve the dissolution of the nucleus it will be required to heat the plasma to 100 billion° and keep the plasma from contacting the cold walls of the container. The plasma will be suspended by a magnetic field in the middle of a vacuum container. In order to build a magnetic cage there have been two different methods proposed. The two methods are the Tokamak and the Stellarator. Both of these systems are being researched by the Max Planck Institute (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP)) . In Garching the ASDEX upgrade of the Tokamak is being worked on and in Greifswald the Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X.
            At the present time only the Tokamak, at the international test reactor ITER that is being built by a world wide consortium in Cadarache, is thought to be capable of producing an energy producing plasma. Wendelstein 7-X, the world’s largest Stellarator, is not expected to produce any energy. Alternatively the installation is supposed to prove that a Stellarator can be suited for power generation. The Wendelstein 7-X should show that the quality of the plasma containment is equal to that of the Tokamak. And with 30 minutes longer prior to the plasma escaping this facility should offer a significant improvement in reaching a state of prolonged operation. On the other hand a Tokamak can work simply with pulses without extensive additional measures.
            The assembly of the Wendelstein Stellarator started in April 2005. The central feature of the system is a ring made out of 53.5 m high magnetic coils. Their unique form is the result of clever calculations by the Stellarator development division, and there 10 year search for a unique temperature isolated magnetic cage. The magnetic coils are wrapped around a steel plasma container and they are surrounded by a round steel cover. In their center space which is a vacuum the coils or cool to a superconducting temperature close to absolute zero with liquid helium. In this way they do not consume much energy when the system is turned on. The magnetic cage that the coils create hold 30 m³ of ultra thin floating plasma .
            The national, the state and the European union investment is €370 million. The parts were manufactured through out Europe. Local businesses in the region obtained contracts over €70 million. Many scientific institutes in Germany as well as outside Germany were involved in the construction. The Helmholz Society of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology took responsibility for the microwave plasma heating. The Julich research Center built measuring devices and the interconnection between the super conducting magnets. The installation was done by specialists from the Polish Academy of science. He fusion Institute at Princeton, Oak Ridge, and Los Alamos contributed extra magnetic coils and instruments for the equipping of the Wendelstein 7-X.
            Isabella Milch

    2. Jef

      Articles like that one show why it is so important to ALWAYS point out the fact that the underlying problem CAUSING climate change, mass extinction, resource depleation, and the knock on doozie of economic collapse is infinite growth on a finite planet.

      1. Sci Guy red

        No the underlying problem is the source of fuels used to support human life on the planet are bad

        The alternative is not a no growth economy if we don’t find clean energy sources . It’s death since the humans will either be given enough things like food that require energy or we will die

        Let’s say we perfect things like vertical farming and we manage to get population growth under control, we will still need clean energy sources like aneutronic fusion for areas where solar, wind and geothermal may no be enough

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This is utterly untrue. The mobilization it would take to convert to cleaner energy sources and reduce energy use through the use of more mass transport and other means would generate growth.

          But the issue is it would break a lot of rice bowls among those at the top: those who profit from current energy sources and their distribution v. what would replace it (and the other structural changes that would take place, this is not just “clean energy” but changing other practices).

          1. Antifa

            One might add also that the favored energy sources of the powers that be have consistently been the most easily and abundantly weaponized — coal to begin with, then petroleum fuels, then uranium and plutonium, and next comes fusion power.

            If energy had only ever been sought to light our living rooms and kitchens, power our factories and push our cars we would have settled on solar, hydro, geothermal, and thorium after we realized coal and oil was so dirty and deadly. But always, the breakthroughs in energy abundance and efficiency have been driven by military needs first, and only then filtered out to the civilian community.

            All new breakthroughs and inventions and discoveries get a long, hard look to see if and how they can be weaponized, and always on the excuse that if we don’t weaponize it the other guys will.

          2. Sci Guy red

            If your point is that growth systems are wasteful , that is a straw man since I was not favoring neoliberal growth system arguments

            Even the things you describe requires break throughs in clean energy

            I was making an argument about the value of scientific innovation like aneutronic fusion or room temperatures super conductivity even in a zero growth economy

            I feel forced to make that statement bc whenever scientific inquiry is mentioned here , I sense a lot of dogma driven rather than science driven hostility

            If you want us to have less of an impact on the planet even in a no growth situation in a way thst does not require fewer humans (implicit in fewer is someone had to die it was never born ) we will need scientific innovation as part of the mix, not just a reliance on ideology, however partially right your argument may be

        2. different clue

          How much economic activity are the rest of us forced to undergo in order to keep the upper class upper? How much production and consumption and servicing are we forced to do to keep the rich classes rich?

          I make $41,000 per year, plus benefits and time and a half for overtime. What if everyone who made more, or who legally extracted more through inherited money-pumps, had their total income cut to $41,000 per year, plus benefits and time and a half for overtime? How much could the economy shrink?

      2. Vatch

        Thanks. In slightly different words, here’s a quote attributed to the economist Kenneth Boulding:

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

        1. Jef

          I should have also said articles like that one clearly illustrate how all our technological advancements are simply solving for previous technological advancements and so on and so forth.

        2. RepubAnon

          Yes, the First Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of mass/energy) never has caught on with economists. Perhaps someday we’ll see a unified field theory joining economics to the physical sciences…

          1. Antifa

            The cornerstone of any nation state’s economy is violence, the ability to control the population and to defend the nation state. If you don’t have cops and courts and troops you do not remain a nation state, historically.

            Even if we someday have a single world government, it will still give its cops, courts and soldiers whatever they need first, to save us from ourselves and, I dunno, aliens I guess. Law n’ order is just a subset of national defense. Aggressive war is also national defense. That’s nothing new. Been that way at least since Alexander successfully defended Macedonia from the entire known world. (The original War on Terra?)

            Progress in the physical sciences usually comes through weapons tech first, since that’s usually where the budget exists to perfect discoveries. Some day we’ll see the first death ray invented, an all purpose instant matter eraser. The civilian version of the device will be something that can boil water or heat your house.

          2. Sci Guy red

            I have no idea how you get that from aneutronic fusion , but then as I read the comments here I sense this is less about the science and more about ideology

            To be clear Arguing against research into clean energy sources is an odd way to argue against the current system

            It’s a conflation that is not only unnecessary but one which does damage the idea that this is about the climate

          3. ewmayer

            I would argue that their willful self-blinding to the 2nd law, which in lowbrow-econ terms goes by te initialism TANSTAAFL, is the more egregious failing.

            A simple way to grasp the difference: The 1st Law merely translates to “behind every unit of GDP is a unit of energy”, i.e. GDP growth is long-term-constrained only by how many fuel sources we can exploit. From that perspective, fossil-fuel power is only limited by the extent to which we can economically pump and dig the fuels out and “cheap clean fusion energy” seems like a surefire long-term winner. The 2nd law implies that will inevitably be an increasing-entropic cost to making use of *any* energy source, for example global warming due to FF burning. For fusion the ‘other shoe’ is admittedly a little tougher to find: For the sake of argument let’s proceed from the dubious assumption that mankind will eventually find an efficient, low-radiation-pollution way to access all that potential fusion energy – Sci Guy red’s ‘aneutronic fusion’ chimera. Effectively unlimited clean power! How could that be bad? Well, simply look at hat mankind has always done with such a nearly-free-lunch, whether it be the first human hunters crossing the Bering Strait and entering North America, or the children of ‘green revolution’ in food production: We waste and overexploit it until it’s gone or the inevitable population boom resulting from the new resource reveals some other bottleneck by way of an even bigger crisis. For the early NAmericans, once the big-meat ice age fauna were hunted to extinction the hunters were forced to switch to smaller game, leading to an eventual quasi-equlibrium (= ‘as Columbus found it,’ though he never got beyond the Caribbean) where the human population was severely (by modern standards) limited by the availability of game and increasingly (another necessary adaption) by easily-exploitable cropland, the kind workable using primitive nonmetallic tools. Europeans arrive, their techology allows much greater exploitation of land and energy sources, and today NA supports over 300 million people. But our profligate energy and material consumption imposes a cost: overexploitation of all kinds of resources. For the rest of the world the story is similar: in particular for the ‘underdeveloped’ world the green revolution led to an explosion in mouths-to-feed, which is manifesting itself by way of irreversible habitat degradation, famine, wars and pestilence – quite literal (in terms of the effects) manifestations of Revelation’s horsemen of the apocalypse. Cheap fusion energy is supposed to ‘fix’ this? Really? Meaning ‘unlimited cheap energy’ will ‘solve’ global warming but supposedly not lead to another population boom and thus even more pressure on already-direly-pressured ecosystems? Cue ‘only a fool or an economist’ truism.

          4. Oregoncharles

            “Unified field theory:” CASSE, “Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.”

            Don’t know if it’s complete, but they’re working on it. Based on the work of Herman Daly.

      3. hidflect

        It mystifies me why so many people categorically deny that unchecked population growth is the largest cause behind all these problems. Is it because they are aware that some cultures’ religions revolve around unrestrained growth in people and they feel uncomfortable with the necessity of having to confront that religious fervor? So they try to blame failing resources on our current dependence on fossil fuels or something similarly asinine?

    3. Sci Guy red

      1. There has been no best efforts since the 80s. The funding was severely cut due to public perception about the cold fusion hoax. Funding remains small and are mostly bootstrap efforts.

      2. The kind of fusion described is aneutronic, which if it works addressees the radioactive waste issue since there would not be any

    4. Sci Guy red

      Here’s a link about aneutronic fusion

      To be clear , it may not be feasubkr but the arguments pushed here seem to not even be aware of the nature of the type of fusion
      does not equate to fission or current fusion tech

      I would prefer we research ideas rather than have then dismissed for ideological agenda

  2. Steven D.

    Regarding Liberty University, I’m reminded that in Matthew 7:15 Jesus says, “We gotta get those Gentiles!” And in succeeding verses, the disciples erupt in choruses of “Yeah!” “Yeah!” “Yeah!” “Fuck’em!” and “Yeah!”

    Don’t forget that Jesus also said, “It is the duty of every Israelite to bag himself a Roman.” (John 12:24) The Romans labeled him a terrorist and burned him alive as he was hiding out with Joseph of Arimathea.

    1. Jim Haygood

      In this gift-giving season, how many Americans are mulling over the perennial unanswerable question: “What kind of shotgun would Jesus have bought for home defense?”

      1. craazyman

        It’s not unanswerable. Jesus would have shot a Winchester 30-30, the gun that won the West. That’s a man’s gun. It’s a beautiful gun. That’s the kind of gun that you look at and think “Who wouldn’t want to hold this gun in their hands?” Even women want to hold a man’s Winchester 30-30, once they see it.

        And possibly a Colt revolver. Both actually.

        The Winchester would have been on the saddle with the ammo in a bandoleir and the revolvers, one on each hip, in holsters ready for quick draw shoot outs with the scribes and Pharisees.

    2. cwaltz

      As a mom, I frequent some different blogs and I was dismayed to see even one of them was talking about “being prepared to defend yourself.” Good Lord, for me, being a Christian, means not choosing fear. It means that I have faith that my life will end only when God believes I have finished doing what He felt I needed to do. I can’t for the life of me understand how people who believe they have everlasting life are afraid of “dying.”

    3. RepubAnon

      Wasn’t that in the Book of Armaments, next to the section regarding the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch?

  3. fresno dan

    Trump repeatedly interrupted by protesters at campaign rally Th eHill (furzy mouse). I don’t understand why the Republican establishment that is desperate to get Trump out of the picture haven’t figured out that the way to dent him is to get him to react badly (which he has done occasionally. A way to do that is get protestors to push Republican hot button issues where Trump is on the wrong side. They need to get some bad video clips out of Trump on which they can capitalize.

    “The business mogul said the protesters were coordinated in their effort to ruin his rally, saying they are “individual people, but they’re all friends. They all want to make havoc.”

    Looks like Trump has learned – “…they’re all friends”. And it tells me he really is trying to get the nomination – I thought it was just a branding exercise.

    “A way to do that is get protestors to push Republican hot button issues where Trump is on the wrong side.”
    I don’t know what is being regarded as the “wrong” side – but as most republican primary voters are undoubtedly on the wrong side in the view of NC commentators, a concerted organized effort being seen as spearheaded by liberals is probably the ONE thing that can be done to assure Trump gets the republican nomination (he MAY get it anyway, but I doubt it. There hasn’t been one vote cast yet, and even than the caucus method of militant republicans in rural states means your initial winners typically don’t come close to getting the nomination, e.g., republican nominee Huckabee and Santorum). Although I have to say, looking at the history of the thing, I was surprised to learn it just seems recently that it went off the rails – it used to be an excellent indicator of who the nominee would be – now it seems to be an indicator of who won’t get the nomination.

    1. Carolinian

      I have to agree that this latest tactic of telling Trump to just shut up doesn’t reflect well on our side in the battle of ideas. And given the tribal nature of our politics and, frankly, of people in general it probably will ensure that Trump is the nominee. So much of what rightwingers say and do is mostly designed to piss liberals off.

      If the left really wants to take down Trump they should start by giving a rethink to their own tribalism. You aren’t going to get people to vote for you by calling them idiots.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The nominal left in this country is just a smug version of the GOP base. They excuse any behavior, actively light against social progress then try to claim credit after progress has been achieved by others (cough DADT repeal and DOMA), and largely exist to belittle GOP voters who vote against their interests but only have an alternative interested in insulting them. Fear of the other is the only thing keeping the voters in both parties in line.

        Except for a few dog whistles in speeches, Team Blue and the GOP are identical which means thinking is simply not in their wheelhouse.

        The Democrats lost Congress because they gifted Wall Street trillions, spread wars, ignored virtually every issue important to voters, and set back the cause of universal health care for 20 years. Nominating a candidate who embodies each of those factors is in of a deep seated derangement that Team Blue is incapable of fixing.

        1. fresno dan

          December 6, 2015 at 9:55 am

          I couldn’t have said it better.
          If I was Trump, and of course I’m not, but I would handle “liberal” (maybe they are establishment republicans – who knows – I didn’t see them, but from what was attached to the link I take it they are on the “left”) I would say:

          Thank you for your comments. I enjoy a diversity of opinion and hearing what others have to say. You raise important and excellent points, and I appreciate them (flies, honey, etc.)

          But I am curious. May I get your thoughts on a few matters: You ostensibly are, if I understand your positions correctly:
          1 Against mideast involvement. I was against going into Iraq – Hillary voted for it. Do you REALLY believe she will be less involved in the MidEast than I???
          2. Big Wall street bailouts. I was against them. Team blue, with little timmy geithner, former Goldman Sachs Treasury secretary Robert Rubin, and the NY senator from Wall Street, Hillary, are really going to be tougher on Wall Street than me? You believe that????
          Really???? Is that air your breathing (allusion to the Matrix)
          3. Black lives matter. Clinton long time consigliere Rahm Emanuel….
          You believe democrats serve the interest of black people well…You believe that???? Is that air your breathing (allusion to the Matrix – I liked it so much the first time, I decided to use it again)

          Of course, I don’t think Trump is smart enough to deflect protesters, or use political ju jitsu on them, as it requires enough knowledge of these stress points in the democratic coalition to point out the hypocrisies. Trump is doing a splendid job of exposing repub bullsh*t – – if he wanted to, he could engage the protesters, and just ask 2 or 3 questions…
          But I don’t think he has the temperament to simply stand back and let others speak.

      2. Brindle

        A lot of liberals are quite smug when talking about Trump supporters. Instead of being concerned by Hillary Clinton’s pro-Wall St and pro-military intervention stances they just see idiots and morons when talking about Trump and his supporters. That kind of attitude is similar to what we saw in the 2000 campaign when the Dem elites were sure that a language-challenged and not too bright W Bush could not win. The hubris of the Clinton campaign will insure not seeing the icebergs that are currently in position.

        1. wbgonne

          Clinton faces a dilemma in the general election. Her policies are anathema to the Left and the Right hates her too. What she needs is for the GOP to pick its candidate so she can launch the LOTE strategy that is her only hope to frighten the Left and mollify Independents. Firing away at potential GOP candidates only gets her so far while the Republican contest continues (though that attack strategy is already under deployment by Team Clinton, along with its companion piece, vilifying Progressives who criticize her as goofy purists). What Hillary wants is people looking at the scary Republicans, not at her, and that’s hard to do with a moving target. In that vein, having Sanders remain at least nominally viable also helps Hillary by keeping some focus off herself, though that’s wearing thin as the Corporate Media has already decided Sanders is finished. Oddly, this was Team Clinton’s goal from the outset, to clear the field and lock up the nomination out of the gate, and they are still following that blueprint — Hillary has stopped pretending to move Left and her acolytes have been unleashed to bash the Progressive recalcitrants — and I think this a tactical error on her part. But that’s no surprise since Hillary is and always has been a lousy politician and an even worse strategist. She probably thinks she’ll mop the floor with Trump because the CM and the GOP Establishment hates him, but I think she is much misstaken.

          1. fresno dan

            December 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm
            I think you hit the nail on the head
            I would merely add – what else can she do?

            1. wbgonne

              I would merely add – what else can she do?

              End her campaign and endorse Bernie Sanders for the good of the country.

              Keep hope alive!

              1. Vatch

                End her campaign and endorse Bernie Sanders for the good of the country.

                Yes!! Then she can enjoy her lucrative retirement as a highly paid executive of the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Everybody wins, with the possible exception of the super rich donors to the Foundation. They’ll lose their access to a potential U.S. President. Well, tough toenails for them!

              2. fresno dan

                I should have added the caveat, “given her history and temperament”
                But you never know – Scrooge – the ghost of politics future…

              3. Carolinian

                Supposedly she once swore she was done running for President. Eight years later she’s making her big comeback–like Nixon.

                Admittedly a Trump victory still seems highly unlikely but if anyone could lose to Trump it might be Hillary. That closet is full of skeletons.

          2. Oregoncharles

            LOTE is greatly overestimated as an electoral strategy. It’s fairly effective at preventing those who vote from jumping ship and voting 3rd party. But it’s also very effective at suppressing turnout, which is the real key to winning elections.

            Your ordinary voter is not a political junkie like yours truly or the others posting on any forum like this. They have a pretty good idea how well they and those around them are doing and may even think about some strategic considerations, like “Hasn’t this party been in power too long?” or “Well, I didn’t like that, I’ll vote for the other guys.” But as we’ve been seeing, if they don’t see anything to vote for, they just won’t vote. In a way, that’s even more cynical than most of us.

            And frankly,Page and Sigel’s study showing that voting has little or no effect on policy supports their attitude. My wife is very politically active and even votes, but you should hear her on electoral politics. Well,, maybe you shouldn’t, since this is a family blog.

            Is it really possible the Dems don’t grasp the full effect of their strategy? “We’re not quite as bad as the other guys” is just SUCH an inspiring slogan.

        2. Mark S.

          Still, the next president will be appointing people to the Supreme Court. It’s kind of the only reason I vote in the general.

      3. James Levy

        I don’t know: people around here never tire of calling people who would vote for Hillary idiots and knaves but seem to see no discrepancy between that and demanding that we not say mean things to blue-collar Trump and Reagan Democrat voters. I would not vote for Clinton, in the primaries or the general election, but I won’t run around calling anyone I know who will an idiot. My guess is many of these people are just tragically misapprehending the situation.

        1. Brindle

          My brother will likely vote for Clinton. He is relatively well informed but sticks mostly to NPR/TheNation etc. The potential crazy-ugliness of a Trump or Cruz presidency will cause many thoughtful people to vote for the Dem. Understandable.

          1. wbgonne

            I was composing my 12:41 comment while you were posting this one. But what you say is right in line with my observations.

        2. cwaltz

          I’m going to call people like I see em’ from both sides. I think it’s idiotic to pretend that it isn’t stupid when Trump says things like, “I’m going to get Mexico to pay for a wall in the United States to keep out Mexicans.” I also think it’s tragically silly not to look at Clinton’s record when deciding whether or not she’s being honest.

          I guess that makes me a big meanie. *shrugs*

      4. optimader

        So much of what rightwingers say and do is mostly designed to piss liberals off.

        I’m sure you wince a bit when you type “rightingwinger” or “liberal” as conventional political branding anymore, as I do, because the terminology has been (intentionally?) obscured to redmeat name calling eg: are BHO, HRC “liberals”? Me thinks dependency on the terms intended use as vitriol or endearment…but I digress.

        The thing w/ Trump (or any other candidate), if one feels confident w/ the righteousness of their own opposing POV, the absolute best thing is to allow the candidate to exhaustively express themself to the point of self-decreditization (I may have made up that word?).

        More specifically with Trump, he is the most extemporaneous of all the candidates, combined with a case of Joebidenism vanity, he just doesnt know when to STFU as in allowing whatever fantastic thought he might have to fall out of his brain to his mouth like a steel ball in a Pachinko machine, utterly unprocessed. If you dont like him, just let the guy talk!

        One of the most effective weapons in an election are the selfmade bullets that are the oppositions own sounbites.

        1. fresno dan

          December 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

          I always put terms like “conservative”, “liberal”, “right wing” in quotes because the terms don’t mean anything anymore – its just branding and signifies less, and is less substantive, than putting “coke” or “pepsi” on a bottle of cola, because there is such a lack of intellectual honesty associated with the terms.

          I liken it to team sports – when a billionnaire buys a team associated with a city or region, and employees millionaires, you cheer when they score points. When they go work for some other billionaire, you boo even though its the same person……well, why?
          you don’t own part of the team. you don’t actually know anyone on either team. You don’t play the game….etcetera. And what is the profound meaning of somebody holding balls running across lines???? It doesn’t matter who wins (Oh O!!!!! does it matter if a dem or a repub wins???? I just depressed myself….)

          Being for a balanced budget (ACTUALLY being for raising taxes and/or lowering expenditures) was actually associated with republicans who understood and 1 + 1 = 2.
          Or repubs, way back, thought we should restrain ourselves from foreign adventures.
          And democrats (READERS! put down your coffee mugs!!!!, swallow what is in your mouth!!!!) were know as….really children, this was once true – the PEACE party. Really and truly…

          1. optimader

            I liken it to team sports – .. When they go work for some other billionaire, you boo even though its the same person……well, why?
            Good analogy, manipulation of the lizard brain’s seeking tribalism I guess. Beyond it all boring me, the manipulation is a high level reason I find watching and talking professional team sports revolting and tearfully boring in that order
            What I have always found pretty amazing is how people fall into talking abt pro. sport ephemera is such nuance, but then present a blank face on topics of real relevance to their quality of life.

            1. fresno dan

              You can look at
              1. party of the president
              2. party of the representative
              3. how they voted and what they said with regard to the Patriot Act
              4. how they voted and what they said when the Patriot Act came up for renewal…

              and in contrast, it makes people who FERVENTLY root for someone who merely wears a blue and orange shirt instead of someone who wears a purple and white shirt appear to epitomize intelligence, rationality, good logic, and profound honor…

      5. different clue

        Why exactly should the left want to take down Trump? Is he as bad as the rest of the Republicans? He seems to support or at least accept Putin’s role in Syria. ( That role being to back the right side against the wrong sides). How else might he be better than the other Rs?

        If Sanders is driven out of the primary contest before the Michigan primary, I will crash the Rs primary and vote for Trump. That at least is one piece of poo I can fling in the face of the System.

    2. Daryl

      If I were the Republican establishment, at this point I would be trying to figure out how to get in on this. Clearly there’s some potential here for a populist movement with fascistic tendencies, but they’re too completely ruled by short term thinking to see the potential (thankfully).

      1. scraping_by

        The Republican establishment is getting exactly what they want. Trump’s big selling point is opposition to immigration. Putting that in the mouth of a buffoon makes it the sort of thing serious people wouldn’t seriously consider. Call it ‘slander branding.’

        The left is already intimidated by the straw man of racism. The right is diverted into anti-Muslim racism. This is for the average American who has some regard for their own dignity. The very real economic arguments against importing labor into a market with no real labor shortage gets lost in the comedy of a reality TV star spouting personal insults in serious forums.

        The big money masters of the GOP might not get a red hat into office, but they’ll keep the supply of cheap labor at all levels of the economy. No one wants to joint the clown brigade.

        1. Daryl

          Err, plenty of the “serious” Republican candidates endorse crazy anti-immigrant rhetoric, as does its voter base.

          “My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border.” – Rand Paul

          1. bob

            That’s a great quote. Prefect for looting too.

            Underground fence? I’ve installed it already over the past few years. Please send payment, immediately, to me.

            You can’t see it? That’s because it’s buried. It’s there. I promise. I’ve done work for the DOD before….

    3. Oregoncharles

      “Wrong” meaning, I assume, very liberal: single payer and anti-free-trade. He’s been playing down the single-payer aspect lately, but spoke out against the TPP during this campaign. Of course, there are plenty of conservatives who are anti-free trade, because sovereignty (an odd point of agreement).

      Let’s not underestimate how much of an oddball he is.

  4. fresno dan

    The children’s tragic deaths, just one month apart, were eerily similar and totally preventable.

    Last Saturday morning, 6-year-old Ja’Mecca Smith discovered a loaded gun between two sofa cushions in her family’s Peoplestown apartment. Her father, Demarqo Smith, four of her siblings and another adult were home at the time, but no one saw the little girl with the gap-tooth smile point the gun at her head and pull the trigger.

    On Oct. 27, 2-year-old Waylon Dennington found his father’s semi-automatic handgun resting in a holster on his parents’ bed. His father, Grant Dennington, was in the bathroom when the gun discharged, killing Waylon on the scene.

    The similarities end there. Though the gun did not belong to him, Demarqo Smith was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct for placing the firearm under the sofa cushion, Atlanta police said.

    Grant Dennington, meanwhile, will not be charged, Acworth Police Chief Wayne Dennard told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Week after week, Georgia child gun deaths mount
    “There’s nothing specific in Georgia law that guides us when it comes to bringing criminal charges,” said Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

    Adults are criminally liable in Georgia only when they intentionally or knowingly provide a child access to a handgun. Fourteen states, and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting negligent storage.

    According to the Centers For Disease Control and Preventon’s public health database, 69 children under the age of 15 died from unintentional gunfire in 2013, the latest year for which such data is available.

    In the past six weeks alone, four children have died in or near metro Atlanta from unintentional gunshot wounds.

    So why the discrepancy in charges? I imagine Race? But the story does not identify the races of all the children.

    The fact remains, and it took me a long time to understand this – most people simply do not base their view on facts or reality. FOX could start broadcasting 24/7 that they have been completely wrong, and the most dangerous thing you can do to your children is keep a gun in the house, and it matters not an iota.

    Gun ownership is a religious belief, and you may as well spend your time trying to covert those people in another posting at Liberty University to convert to Islam.

    14 people die at the hands of terrorists – nation shocked
    About 30 people die of gun violence daily – nation yawns
    As I’ve said, being murdered by another “Merican is the patriotic thing to do. But it is an outrage if a terrorist does it…

  5. cnchal

    Wal-Mart and Puerto Rico.

    The new levy raised the estimated cumulative income tax on Wal-Mart Puerto Rico Inc. “to an astonishing and unsustainable 91.5% of its net income,” according to the company’s complaint, filed in federal court in San Juan Friday.

    That’s a progressive tax rate! After all these years of getting subsidies to build stores, the shoe is on the other foot. Didn’t Puerto Rico borrow billions to build roads and infrastructure so that Walmart’s trucks and customers could have a smooth ride getting there?

    Wal-Mart can leave if they don’t like it.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Puerto Rico’s Act 72-2015 increases to 6.5 percent from 2 percent the tax on goods imported from offshore affiliates to local companies with gross revenues of more than $2.75 billion.”

      This is what’s known as a bill of attainder: legislation singling out an identifiable target (you can bet that Walmart is the only entity in PR with revenues over the suspiciously exact threshold of $2.75 billion).

      On the other hand, US states aren’t permitted to enact what amounts to Customs duties on interstate trade. That a 2 percent tax already existed raises the question of to what extent the tattered US Constitution applies (or not) to territories such as Puerto Rico.

      1. Vatch

        This is what’s known as a bill of attainder

        “Attainder” is related to “attaint” and “taint”, both by current meaning and by etymology. If a law that unfavorably affects only one person or entity is a bill of attainder, what would we call a law that benefits only one person or entity? Walmart has surely been the beneficiary of numerous laws that apply to no other entity than Walmart.

        Anyhow, you have somewhat stretched the meaning of “bill of attainder”. In reality, a bill of attainder is far more harsh than what you have described. Historically, people were sometimes executed as a consequence of bills of attainder, which is a major reason why such laws are forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. From Wikipedia:

        A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them, often without a trial. As with attainder resulting from the normal judicial process, the effect of such a bill is to nullify the targeted person’s civil rights, most notably the right to own property (and thus pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and, in at least the original usage, the right to life itself. Bills of attainder were passed in England between about 1300 and 1800 and resulted in the executions of a number of notable historical figures.

        The U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated laws under the Attainder Clause on only five occasions.

      2. OIFVet

        Surely the tattered constitution gives Puerto Rico two senators and a number of congressclowns. Oh…

  6. Sammy Maudlin

    Wowsers. Classic Rahm on display here. Pretty much the entire op-ed is a written exercise in the Mayor sweeping his hand dismissively. While there’s too many examples of dodgy wordsmithing and half-protests to list, one stands out.

    In the title of the op-ed he claims he “owns the problem of police brutality.” Before he even writes anything substantive he’s created a straw man to deflect responsibility for the entire incident away from him. The problem isn’t just police brutality, it’s corruption from the top down. He tacitly acknowledges this by spending quite a bit of time defending his actions (or lack thereof). Also, the Rahm arrogance is on full display by telling everyone to just get the hell out of his office so he can deal with this problem the way he damn well sees fit and get back to doing his job.

    One doozy: he claims that he never saw the Laquan McDonald video because “[his] emotions should not interfere with criminal investigations.” Because, narturally, when you “own” the problem of police brutality you most certainly wouldn’t want to actually see an example thereof, for fear that you might get emotional about it.

    Jeez, that might actually make you want to do the right thing!

    1. Antifa

      Cops, courts, and troops get the first slice of the loaf in any economy, and that first slice is very generous.

      They also get the kid gloves when disciplinary issues arise.

  7. Sammy Maudlin

    Wowsers. Classic Rahm on display here. Pretty much the entire op-ed is a written exercise in the Mayor sweeping his hand dismissively. While there’s too many examples of dodgy wordsmithing and half-protests to list, one stands out.

    In the title of the op-ed he claims he “owns the problem of police brutality.” Before he even writes anything substantive he’s created a straw man to deflect responsibility for the entire incident away from him. The problem isn’t just police brutality, it’s corruption from the top down. He tacitly acknowledges this by spending quite a bit of time defending his actions (or lack thereof). Also, the Rahm arrogance is on full display by telling everyone to just get the hell out of his office so he can deal with this problem the way he damn well sees fit and get back to doing his job.

    One doozy: he claims that he never saw the Laquan McDonald video because “[his] emotions should not interfere with criminal investigations.” Because, narturally, when you “own” the problem of police brutality you most certainly wouldn’t want to actually see an example thereof, for fear that you might get emotional about it.

    Jeez, that might actually make you want to do the right thing!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        And the White House point man during the 1994 and 2010 elections. Rahm is the embodiment of Team Blue.

      2. optimader

        Friendly reminder, senior advisor to the (bill) Clinton(s) at the White House from 1993 to 1998. (Think Karl Rove).

        Emanuel declared in April 2006 that he would support Hillary Rodham Clinton should she pursue the presidency in 2008. … Asked in January 2007, about his stance on the Democratic presidential nomination, he said: “I’m hiding under the desk. I’m very far under the desk, and I’m bringing my paper and my phone.”[62] Emanuel remained neutral in the race until June 4, 2008, the day after the final primary contests, when he endorsed Obama.[63] ~Wpedia

        Meant as a humorous deflection but more a glimpse of his character.

        IMO, RE manipulated relevant facts about professional misconduct in order to manipulate public perception during an election cycle (election fraud? ). Had this all been public information at the time, a viable alternative candidate would have had a fair chance.

        The only way for him to regain a shred of dignity is to endorse a Fed investigation as a preamble in a resignation speech, but he’s pretty clearly not the sort that cares too much about dignity. He’s a pathetic person and should be impeached .

        Again, playground rules, RE is a Napoleonic punk until it’s his blls on the chopping stump, then he uncloaks as whiney coward:

        Emanuel is known for his “take-no-prisoners style” that has earned him the nickname “Rahmbo.”[32] Emanuel sent a dead fish in a box to a pollster who was late delivering polling results.[33] On the night after the 1992 election, angry at Democrats and Republicans who “betrayed” them in the 1992 election, Emanuel stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign and began plunging a stake into the table and began rattling off names while shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!”.[2] Before Tony Blair gave a pro-Clinton speech during the impeachment crisis, Emanuel reportedly screamed at Blair “Don’t fuck this up!” while Clinton was present.[34] Blair and Clinton both burst into laughter.[35]

        A real tough guy…

    1. fresno dan

      Really just another example of Orwellian doublespeak.
      Saying that one is responsible nowadays is to eviscerate, pummel, and undermine any meaning of the word.

      It may as well be a proclamation that in no way, no how are you going to endure the least imaginable consequence for the action or non action. Indeed, you pretty much expect a ginormous bonus with a cherry on top…

      I pretty much imagine Goebbels would fall over dead from envy if he had been alive to read it…

  8. rjs

    re: “What will not be addressed at the climate change conference in Paris ”

    China has already approved construction of an additional 155 coal generation power plants in the first 9 months of this year; India has permitted a similar number of new plants, as their coal-fired electric generating capacity grew 9.4% this year, Japan is building an additional 40 coal fired plants to replace their mothballed nuclear generating capacity, and Germany has also increased coal generation as they’ve shut down their nuclear plants…all told, the countries meeting in Paris are currently planning to build 2,440 coal-fired power stations in the not too distant future; so by 2030, plants now planned or under construction will increase global coal generating capacity by 40%…most of these new plants have 40 year life spans, which will at least serve to keep private coal mining from Federal lands in Wyoming and Warren Buffett’s oil & coal hauling railroads in business for years….

    Obama did announce that we would be contributing $30 million to climate risk insurance initiatives in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Africa, for poor countries at risk of flooding from rising seas that threaten to submerge their populated areas…that’s a big outlay; it’s actually more than 1% of the cost of a new stealth bomber…meanwhile, back in the US, Americans bought new vehicles at a 18.12 million annual rate in November, marking the first time in our history we’ve bought new cars at that rate three months in a row…59% of November’s vehicle sales volume was classified as light trucks, ie, pickups and SUVs, as light trucks accounted for three out of every four vehicles sold by US auto makers last month, the highest mix of pickup and SUV deliveries as a percentage of vehicle sales in history.. and while Obama was speechifying in Paris, US trade negotiators were in Geneva working on the “technological neutrality” provisions of TISA (the Trade in Services Agreement), wherein frackers could dispute subsidies for solar or wind power as unfair, while US trade rep Michael Froman was back on Capitol Hill pushing the TPP and other trade agreements that would mandate the exports of our coal, oil & gas to half the world…

    1. wbgonne

      What will not be addressed at the climate change conference in Paris Heiner Flassbeck. Guurst: “”Bleak’ does not come close.”

      Here’s my prediction: Paris will result in an agreement that is simultaneously the “most-Progressive-climate-agreement-in-history” and totally inadequate to meaningfully curtail global warming. (The former factoid will be the banner in the environmental wing of the Obama Library and the latter factoid will help finance said library.) Democrats and Republicans will fight like cats and dogs over the worthless agreement, making florid arguments that range from ignorant to disingenuous to insane. We will continue burning massive amounts of fossil fuels, the world will keep getting hotter, and future generations will pay the bills for the hell we selfish bastards built for them. “Cynical” does not come close.

      The American political duopoly is a death-trap and political partisanship in America should be classified as a thought disorder.

      1. susan the other

        That’s the feeling I’m getting from COP21 too. Nobody is willing to commit. The piece by Heiner Flassbeck looked at this whole mess and was still somehow optimistic. Because there is (to Flassbeck) a way forward. It simply requires all the vested industrial interests to be replaced by new ecologically responsible and politically responsible vested interests. He sounds like Naomi Klein, just a bit more focused on how green industries can in fact make globalism work just fine if the orcs would please get out of the way. Flassbeck’s reference to Wolfgang Streek’s theory about capitalism having become so dysfunctional that it cannot begin to regulate itself (because it is effectively insane) and so resorts to merely buying time with multiple trillions of debt is what we talk about here every day. It’s capitalism gone completely off the rails by frantically and irresponsibly seeking profitability – profitability which no longer is possible until we change radically the way we live and work. One thing Naomi is doing is taking it to the streets. It would be very interesting to see the entire world in revolution.

        1. Antifa

          Thag Ugwug (ca 9317 BCE), already well known as the inventor of the wheel, is also widely credited with the concept of the axle, which transformed the wheel from a toy into a load-bearing vehicle. He became famous as a great thinker, and had an opinion about everything.

          Thag was fond of joking that every revolution is progress, since every turn of the wheel brings you to a new place.*

          Eventually the chief of Thag’s clan heard this one time too many, and walked over to Thag’s cart. He lifted the axle off the ground, and spun the wheels until everyone was laughing at Thag. This has come to be known in modern times as the Rubber Meets The Road principle, and no finer demonstration of the political arts has ever been given. Foiling progress can involve all kinds of revolution as long as it does not land one in a new place.

          As with the climate conference in Paris. The rubber is carefully kept away from the road, while all else goes furiously ’round and ’round.

          *(No, Thag did not invent the pun. That, and nose-picking, are vices copied from baboons.)

    2. abynormal

      Thanks RJ….US contribution of 30M might be a lot of money soon: Falls from Market peaks set earlier this year…

      1. China: down more than 30 percent

      2. Saudi Arabia: down 26 percent

      3. Germany: down about 13 percent

      4. United Kingdom: down close to 12 percent

      5. Spain: down 15 percent

      6. Brazil: down more than 22 percent (13,000 points overall)

      7. Malaysia: down 17 percent

      8. Turkey: down 16 percent

      9. India: down close to 12 percent

      10. Chile: down 11 percent

      11. Columbia: down about 30 percent

      12. Peru: down more than 40 percent

      13. Bulgaria: down more than 20 percent

      14. Greece: down more than 30 percent

      15. Poland: down about 19 percent

      16. Malaysia: down 10 percent

      17. Egypt: down 32 percent

      18. Indonesia: down 18 percent

      19. Canada: down 12 percent

      20. Ukraine: down 45 percent

      21. Morocco: down 13 percent

      22. Ghana: down 17 percent

      23. Kenya: down 27 percent

      24. Australia: down 13 percent

      25. Nigeria: down more than 30 percent

      26. Taiwan: down 15 percent

      27. Thailand: down 20 percent

      “We have not seen numbers like these since 2008, and trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been wiped out globally. “

    3. participant-observer-observed

      Essential problem, NC sees everyday, named:

      The split incentive problem occurs when someone has the power to make decisions for others without having their best interests in mind. For example, landlords buy cheap appliances that are not energy efficient for their tenants. It makes no difference to them that these appliances use a lot of energy. They do not pay the utility bills. This creates social problems (the poor pay more for their energy than the well-off). Ecologically speaking, it makes no sense either. Hundreds of articles have been written about this. Neoclassical economists see the split incentive problem as yet another market failure. But the split incentive only became a market failure after neo-liberalism hollowed out the economic, social and ecological regulatory power of the state. It’s not a difficult problem. Bring regulatory power back and the split incentive problem can be solved immediately. The problem is that we lost the capacity to regulate our societies in intelligent and democratic ways and with consideration for the common good. The failure does not lie in the market. The failure lies in the belief that the market can organise society efficiently.

      1. abynormal

        Neoclassical economists see the split incentive problem as yet another market failure.
        Neoeconomists are nothing more than point men for disaster capitalist crying unfair market advantage.

  9. M

    China in Nigeria:

    “But electrical wiring, outlets and power strips from China, ubiquitous in new homes and offices, are connected to dozens of fires a year in Lagos alone.”

    Dozens? That’s all? Smells like a hit piece to me. The rest of the piece can be summed up with “globalization is predatory and creates losers.” Hardly specific to China.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      GOP candidates should also whiteplain whiting, middleclassplain middleclassing, blackplain blacking, hinduplain hinduing, etc.

      The possibilities are practically endless.

  10. JCC

    I think we all know how this will work out:

    1) The deal goes through.
    2) Blue Mountain Capital sues the State Of California for stifling business
    3) The State of California counter-sues Blue Mountain Capital for failing to meet the terms of the agreement
    4) Both suits drag on for years while Blue Mountain Capital reaps large profits
    5) “Health” Care is further crapified through increased insurance costs and decreased services for members of the lowest 40% of the economy in the areas served by the Daughters of Charity Health System.

  11. DJG

    Tank article: Peter Frankopan and the Silk Roads

    Excellent because it is especially important to de-center the Anglo-American world. The discussion of blue glaze and blue tiles is a great anecdote.

    Frankopan may require a bit more de-centering himself. When he talks of the Silk Roads (not) ending in Venice, what he seems to forget is that Venice had colonies in the Eastern Mediterranean (Crete and Cyprus among them). Venice had colonies on the Black Sea coast, and there are families still living in Izmir and Istanbul who descend from these Italians. Further, I recall attending a show at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome that had evidence of Italian trading colonies in South China in the late middle ages: 1200 or so.

    And that’s just the (minor) Venetian role. Meanwhile, in distant Japan, when Commodore Perry “opened” Japan, Tokyo has at least a million in habitants, hardly a backwards place waiting for Americans to show up with their weird intertwined religious/economic fantasia. More de-centering needed.

    1. Plutoniumkun

      Yes, its something that needs to be said over and over again – until we realise that the history we are thought and the overall intellectual environment surrounding us is heavily biased towards a very small chunk of the planet, we’ll keep making mistakes. If there is such a thing as a ‘centre’ of the world, it is Central Asia and the Middle East. Until we start orienting our thinking in that direction the West will keep making terrible errors for as long as they see the necessity to keep interfering around the world. I’ve a personal fascination for the Silk Roads, especially travelogues (I’d suggest Robert Byron’s The Road to Oxania as one of the best). You can’t help but see the world from another perspective when you do this, it really is a fascinating region.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And the roads are ancient.

        One of the most spectacular late Zhou* bronzes was unearthed in Rome, according to Sherman E. Lee, director of Cleveland Museum of Art, in his ‘A History of Far Eastern Art (pg. 135, when he talked about Roman trading station on the eastern coast of India and another one in Siam .

        *Lat Zhou predates the Han dynasty, when Wudi emperor opened the route to Central Asia (to get his Tian Ma – heavenly horse from Fergana – though people were trading before that.

        1. optimader


          OT, but you would find this interesantemente. Posted this yesterday evening, you might not have seen it. You can kill a few hours online.

          Cyrus Tang Hall of China Exhibition Online

          Go to floorplan then click on the exhibits
          particularly interesting to me

          24Architectural fitting
          Eastern Zhou period
          770–256 BC
          China, probably Shaanxi Province

          Qingming Scroll
          A handscroll like this one is unrolled from right to left, allowing the scene to emerge slowly so that the viewer can take in the details..

          4Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion (Lanting Xu)
          Rubbing: c. AD 1140–1278
          China, Zhejiang Province, Shaoxing

          This is why we went, artifacts that haven’t been out of Greece before, both exhibits were fantastic

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks, Opti. Looks like a great show.

            The Qingming was originally painted in the Song dynasty. I think only later copies have survived (I could be wrong). The wooden, arched bridge in the painting is particularly interesting. PBS or someone made a documentary with American engineers attempting to duplicate – forget which city in China (the painting was about Kaifeng, Henan, the documentary was in, I think Hangzhou) – the truss bridge.

            The Warring States bronze coins – i have a few, one knife-shaped, two spade-shaped and one fish-shaped.

            As for architectural fittings, they have unearthed Shang dynasty bronze plumbing fittings.

            1. optimader

              We went primarily for the Opening of the Greece Exhibit, but ended up spending more time in the Tang Exhibit.

              We stumbled across a Chinese woman who teaches Chinese and Spanish (!) language at northwestern who spent the better part of an hour with us as a docent. Very insightful. Her father was in the diplomatic service (of Republic of China (ROC) HAHA! we thought that was ironic..) so she grew-up part of her life in Honduras.

              Earning the feather in your cap

              If his hard work attracted the emperor’s attention, a Qing Dynasty official was awarded a peacock feather for his hat. The tube-shaped green bead on the hat above is for displaying one of these prized feathers. Most officials, however, spent their careers working far from the emperor’s court. To keep them from growing too powerful or comfortable, provincial officials were relocated every few years and never allowed to serve in their home region. Promotions brought posts in more cosmopolitan areas, with the dream of a position in the capital.

              hat tip to the field museum on the website presentation, reaches a lot more people than just the shambling masses walking through…

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                One of the guys I get my antiques from speaks also Chinese and Spanish. He learns his Spanish from workers, I think, at the restaurant he owns.

                By the way, I just recently found out about ‘Kesi’ fabric/taperstry (see Wiki, under k’o-ssu), and that Qing mandarin probably wore one like that.

          2. craazyman

            wow. looks just like a Giacometti. It’s amazing how “the Forms” just keep recirculating. Why wouldn’t they? that’s quite an interesting question.

            It’s Sunday Night Comedy Time, whoa! . . .

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

            hahahahhahahahahahahah. sorry.

      1. JEHR

        Now8News is satire but I really wished it were true! The magazine seems to have a fetish for sexual subjects.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In Yangzhou, China, (nr. Shanghai), there is a 1342 tomb of a member, Katerina Viiioni, of an Italian trading family from the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). I don’t know if she was Venetian or not.

      An interesting de-centering book is ‘Sextants in Beijing.’ One learns of the Indian Ocean as one of the centers of trade before the Modern Age. And it’s got interesting information like Duan Chengshi (Tang dynasty?) wrote ‘King of Persia’s Daughter’ and the oldest version of Cinderella in the world, that the Tang stereotypes were 1. Persians were rich, 2 Malays were black and 3. Chams were naked.

      The Indian Ocean center was soon eclipsed by the Pacific Ocean center, where Chinese silk and porcelain flowed across the ocean, in exchange for silver from the Americas (mostly Mexico, I think), financed by the African slave trade (or mined by African slaves).

      1. Banana Breakfast

        Mexico and, of course, Potosi, the mountain of silver, in what is now Bolivia. At Potosi first indigenous and then African slaves were used in some of the most brutal ways in the long and brutal history of European colonial slavery – as “human mules” who turned the mills because it took them longer to die of overwork than actual mules. China’s silver standard preserved it from the ravages of gold-standard induced (or worsened) economic downturns in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but its numerous other structural and political issues kept that from mattering too much.

    3. participant-observer-observed

      I recall attending a show at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome that had evidence of Italian trading colonies in South China in the late middle ages: 1200 or so.

      That is around the peak of the Mongolian Empire, which once stretched from eastern China to eastern Europe! Their success seems to have lied in keeping local technocratic administers & religious groups in place – they recognized the limitation of their own skills that rarely extended beyond martial war, rape & pillage, and conquering, of course.

      1. Antifa

        There is also the occasional digging up of a cache of gold Roman coins in South India, showing a healthy trade going on about 20 centuries ago, most likely in spices.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Even further.

          At the Funan city of Oc Eo (near Ho Chi Min city, Vietnam), they found Roman glass, coins and medals.

    4. different clue

      Why is it so important to decenter the Anglophone world? To center something else instead? How is that any different? It is still “centerism” different only in the mere detail of what is deemed to be “the center”.

      For example, how is any silk road central, or even the least bit relevant, to the history of North and South Great Turtle Island?

  12. wbgonne

    President Obama to Make Primetime Statement on Terrorism on Sunday Wall Street Journal

    More spying, less freedom, and nary a word about neoliberalism’s soul-crushing global failure.

      1. OIFVet

        I love the post-shopping season ‘How to pay-off credit card debt’ articles. Purely for the masochistic feats of the consumercritters around whom the articles are written.

    1. jgordon

      Don’t forget gun grabbing too. These guys are like vampires, lurking around for just the right opportunity to enact their totalitarian agenda.

      1. different clue

        Gun control creeps are to gun control what trade creeps are to trade and what peace creeps were to peace.

  13. marco

    Wandered over to Miami Herald link about billiionare Jeb doner Mike Fernandez (MBF Healthcare Partners) saying he would vote for Hillary before Trump. The comments section was a surreal fun-house mirror of our debate on the left. I loved this one comment from a Trump supporter in regards to Mr Fernandez

    “…This fool is terrified of losing his easy money gravy train when Trump squashes Obamacare”

    And then thought to myself…wow…Trump supporters are reading NC!!!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The crooked nature of ACA is obvious. The problem is tribalism in both parties blinds them to when their side does it.

      The right has had a messaging platform that includes radio, direct contact, and the Internet since the dawn of the world wide Web. Just because it’s not on CNN or Fox doesn’t mean GOP types haven’t heard the argument.

      Like Democratic voters ignoring Clinton Inc. or Obama but knowing every Republican sin, Republicans are no different. Like Team Blue, there is a growing disdain with the party elite which is why Trump an outsider is doing so well. I suspect Trump listened to Nader’s argument about a billionaire tuning for the White House. Trump probably is just massaging his ego, but Trump except for his choice to run as a Republican is following Nader’s prediction.

      1. Carolinian

        Maybe our system is so far gone that anything different starts to look good. Both wings of the duopoly have been in a rut for years.

      2. fresno dan

        If you really want the most biting, critical, and insightful critique, I would say generally your best bet is to take the “Nixon goes to China” approach (i.e. left critique of Obamacare, Right critique of Iraq invasion …er, I mean “liberation”). At the very least, it adds critiques the other side is often unable to conceive of because of ideological blinders.
        Right wing critique of Obamacare is simply delusional and filled with intellectual dishonesty, like forgetting the Newt/Clinton agreement or Romneycare. I don’t think NC is leftist, I would say it is more pragmatic, but if your willing to take reasoned arguments from the left with good logic and facts, and you don’t restrain yourself from unpalatable truths – well, that is what it takes to reach reality.

        And the best critique of going to Iraq the second time was from the right realpolitik who scoffed at the idea that you could institute democracy without planing to stay for near a century, that we would be welcomed with rose petals, and who had total disdain for the lack of knowledge of the history, culture, and divisions that existed by those who advocated invading Iraq. As well as these people truly were not big believers in government competence, so they had extra dollops of cynicism regarding “intelligence” information

        1. different clue

          You don’t think NaCap is leftist? Oh my . . . . given that our co-bloggers Lambert and Yves Smith consider themselves to be on “the Left” and this to be a “left blog”. Or maybe “Left” itself is losing any value beyond its self-ascribed name-value for a brand of intellectual-identity politics.

  14. wbgonne

    Top Jeb Bush political donor in Miami: I’ll vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump Miami Herald

    I suspect this will help Trump not hurt him. The superrich are already on record being happy with either Establishment candidate, Clinton or Bush (or Rubio or even Cruz). The GOP Establishment and the Corporate Media have had the knives out for a long time now and they have only strengthened Trump. I think Yves may be on to something above with the GOP Establishment and the CM using “direct action” to unnerve Trump and stress him into a fatal error but I’m not at all sure these hidebound thinkers can accomplish it. And each time they miss Trump appears to get stronger. His boosters, being aggrieved reactionaries, feed off the threats and attacks.

    1. jgordon

      I was thinking exactly the same thing. This is how I read the headline:

      Establishment Jeb Donor Says Hillary Almost As Good as Jeb

      Trump will definitely get a big boost from this. The only question for me is whether this kind of headline will drag down the other establishment candidates along with Jeb.

  15. Christian B

    Regarding “Homeless Couple Found Living In Walmart Attic With Hot Plate, Meth Lab, And 42″ LED TV Now8TV”

    Pretty sure that is a fake/spoof site.

    1. Skippy

      The mugs shots kinda give it away, that and baking meth on one hotplate, let alone the VOC not being noticed by staff….

  16. Portia

    I had to snort, sorry, no offense, when I got to the part where Peter Frankopan called historians “the rock stars”. Recorded history I take with a huge grain of salt–to me, the real rock stars are forensic anthropologists. Genuine artifacts don’t spin facts that I know of.

    1. craazyman

      if they don’t have tatoos and long hair, they’re not rock stars.

      they may, however, be pop stars

      let’s not confuse things too much or nobody will understand anything

      anybody read the WSJ link on the Fed Stress Tests. hahahahahahahd. What a riot on a Sunday!!
      the WSJ writers//editors didn’t hold back on that one. Calling the dude, Mr Tarullo “the father” of the Stress Tests (everybody knows a father screws somebody to bring forth the thing) then it relates just what that entailed. Wow. It sounds like something out of the movve “Office Space” for quants. Takig ths now as a point of departure for a more abstract observation, It’s incredible, just how much imagination tthere is in coming up with a relatioship between the forms and quantities in economic analysis. This is really dart board stuff, if not Ouija board stuff. But everybody thinks it’s mapping one reality to another. Then evidently at the Fed they were doing this on a part time basis! To be fair, That probably didn’t make it any worse, since the relationship is so imprecise that doing it less often and with junior people probably wouldn’t be mathematically meaningfull anywy. What difference does it really make if you make stuff up once a day or once a week? Not much, The error terms probably cancel out, sequentially, anyway. So your cumulative error wouldn’t be any more if you do it less as long as you do it long eough. 7 years now is long eough.. They probably don’t even neeed to do it at all, in fact, and nobody would know th difference. But they’d just have to say they’re doing it, or even just say they plan to. In fact, that would be enough, just to say they plan to. That seems to work for centraal bankers. That way, nobody can find fault with they waay they do it. hahahaha.

        1. fresno dan

          I kinda of agree – once I could retire and they couldn’t take away my bennies, I was free in the remainder of my career to stop doing all the nonsense, useless, counterproductive…..(I could use another zillion words, but you get the idea) crap that management wanted me to do, and spend most of my time at the office surfing the net and computer gazing at Amazon…
          (everybody should know by now I am too cheap!!!! to actually buy ANYTHING)

        2. craazyman

          some people are even more productive after death than they were in life. Sometimes it even jumps from negative to positive.

          Hitler for example. Think of all the movies made about Hitler! he wasn’t very productive in his peak years, for example, by any conventional measure of economic output minus economic destruction.

          On a nicer note, how about our friend Amadeo Modigliani. Did he ever sell anything in life for $170 million? Or maybe Rembrandt, who died broke. Or even Matthew Brady, Civil War photographer, who died broke because the U.S. Govermint would not buy his photographic plates from his collection of war photography. Evidently the war was so traumatic nobody even wanted to be reminded of it.

          They’re all more productive after they died, for various reasons, all somewhat depressing and some more morbid than others.

          it just goes to show you. People can count and they can feel. But if they try to count what they feel it usually doesn’t work out very well — except mathematically and then only mathematically.

          1. fresno dan

            after I’m dead, if they honor my wishes and don’t embalm me, I will provide food and shelter for billions upon billions….of microorganisms….
            and I think I’m safe in saying after I’m gone that everybody who knew me would agree that a great dead weight has been lifted from the economy…

  17. allan

    SEC ups efforts to fight bribery by U.S. firms

    Hah, hah, hah … just kidding:

    “They pursue the cases that are brought to them,” said Ross A. Albert, a former SEC official and now a partner at Morris, Manning & Martin L.L.P. in Atlanta.

    “Sometimes public announcements about priorities have more to do with trying to get a deterrent effect even beyond bringing actions,” he said.

  18. lord koos

    Trump’s candidacy benefits the elite… having someone so extreme on the Republican ticket makes the opposition look good, no matter how odious they may be… thus American politics continue the ongoing shift to the right.

  19. TedWa

    Sanders will not take money from – duh, corrupt pharmaceutical companies and their CEO’s let alone Wall St. WTF don’t you get?

    1. TedWa

      Cynic is not a badge to wear proudly. I’m in my 60’s and know what you all know. If Bernie doesn’t win the republic will lose. There comes a time in the affairs of men, women and nations that are turning points. If grasped they mean continued good will, if not collapse can not be avoided.

  20. TedWa

    I think Obama is an idiot brought on by his cowardice and arrogance about it. 11 level chess, more like checkers is his speed. I wouldn’t let him shine my shoes

    1. TedWa

      Meaning I really, really, detest the guy. Thou Shall Not Hate is the 11th commandment so I won’t go there. Why are all the good guys shot but these pricks keep going on? The quality of mercy is not strained…..

    2. TedWa

      his recent announcement boils down to turn your neighbors in. The guy isn’t black, more like red. Somebody please get rid of him, please

  21. alex morfesis

    When is some 1 in chicago media going to ask rahmbo to pee in a cup…my recollection of the whispers in chicago was that sobriety was not on his to do list…
    And then some 1 might then ask el Donaldo about that make up talcum powder around his nose and if he might volunteer to pee in a cup…cause maybe he did a few lines back in the day and maybe never stopped…just sayin…oh dear fearless leader…

  22. Mark S.

    Erick “Red State” Erickson shooting holes in defenseless newspaper reminded me of this one from a few years back where an angry dad shoots holes in his daughter’s laptop:

    Angry men expressing powerlessness in terms of violence.

  23. MikeW_CA

    Please don’t post links from The site always claims “you have exceeded your 5 free articles this month”, even on the first visit in a month. Nobody has time for scammers like that.

  24. bob

    “Obama: Terror threat has entered a ‘new phase’; tightening gun laws ‘a matter of national security'”

    At this point I have to ask how much Smith and Wesson, Glock, Remington and all of the other gun makers are paying Obama.

    Best salesman ever.

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