Links 2/2/16

Dear patient readers:

1. Your admins have noticed that Skynet has recently been placing some legitimate comments in the spam folder, but with no discernible trigger words. Some of these comments were multiple submissions. Again, don’t post a comment multiple times. If you do that, you’re training Skynet to think that you’re a spammer, because that’s what spammers do. (And do save your comment before pressing the Post button. The Internet is a hostile computing environment, and if you save the comment yourself, you will never lose it.)

2. I could use leads for a good Mac support person in NYC. I have a couple of things I need done that are a non-standard, along with some utterly no-brainer stuff that I just don’t have the time to figure out. Normally I might consider TekServ, but I asked them about one issue months ago, and their response was cookie-cutter, meaning productized and not what I need.

I just about never need support (this is the first time in many years) but someone who is available in the evenings is also s plus.

If you have anyone to recommend, please ping me at, with “Mac Tech Support” in the headline. Thanks!

Israeli vulture detained in Lebanon on suspicion of being a spy CNN. Dan K: “Beautiful vulture pic.”

Easter Island Moai have Bodies wordless Tech (guurst). Whoa, doesn’t this imply a big recalculation of Jared Diamond’s collapse math? He estimated how much it cost in energy terms (huge!) to transport the statues. Bigger, heavier statues means higher cost. However, there are experiments as to how the statures might have been moved which I assume are of interest because they were more efficient than other possibilities. I’m not current on this debate, so anyone who is is encouraged to pipe up in comments.

Rooftop Solar Wars Continue EcoWatch (Sam S)

Google is now bigger than Apple (for now) Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Europe turns against Google Politico

Nearly Indestructible Water Bears Are DNA Thieves FKTV (furzy)

JAMA JUMPS THE SHARK Health Care Renewal. Wow. If you are a Jama subscriber, I suggest voicing your disapproval.

DNA Got a Kid Kicked Out of School—And It’ll Happen Again Wired (resilc)

Brazil warns pregnant women to avoid Rio Olympics over risk of catching Zika virus Agence France-Presse

Why you can’t just wipe out mosquitoes to get rid of the Zika virus Reuters (resilc)


Time running out for China on capital flight, warns bank chief Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

How To Understand China in an Economic Twilight Zone Wall Street Journal

A debt dilemma could leave China in dire straits Michael Pettis, China Spectator

Bank of Japan tries another flavour of QE Financial Times

Identifying prisoners of the middle-income trap VoxEU

Cameron is just tip of the EU’s problems Politico

The EFD-IMF destroyers seek to finish Greece failed evolution


Crude Oil – A ‘Three-Peat’ Seeking Alpha (resilc). More about power dynamics than oil per se.

Afghanistan: Threatening News by Ahmed Rashid New York Review of Books

ISIL kills 70 in bombing of Shiite Area, Damascus, in bid to derail Talks Juan Cole. Resilc: “Talks w/o IS2 are not really talks.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

So, Dutch Cops Are Teaching Majestic Eagles to Hunt Drones Wired (resilc). Swedish Lex flags a similar Guardian story.

At Berkeley, a New Digital Privacy Protest New York Times (TF)

FBI’s war on encryption is unnecessary because the Internet of Things will spy on us just fine Boing Boing (resilc). Here is the underlying report, courtesy guurst: Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the “Going Dark” Debate

Imperial Collapse Watch

Ignoring the Army’s Recent Past Will Not Help it Win Future Wars War on the Rocks (resilc)


Trump dealt blow by Cruz in Iowa vote BBC. Trump actually managed to feign being gracious in defeat.

Ted Cruz’s meteoric rise, explained Vox

Donald Trump loses Iowa to Ted Cruz and his evangelical “prayer team” Quartz (resilc)

Huckabee suspends campaign The Hill (furzy)

Democratic officials still chase results early Tuesday Des Moines Register. Wow, what arrogance: the Clinton camp insisting it won (which it likely did but by such a razor-thin margin as to be a meaningful distinction in a horserace, not in a chapter of an ongoing political campaign) while the state party officials are still in the process of making sure they have all the votes. And this is with an Iowa chairman who is supposedly in the Clinton camp.

Iowa proved Bernie Sanders can win – and that Hillary Clinton is beatable Guardian (Jeff W)

The surprising success of Bernie Sanders’s insurgency should be a wake-up call to the Democratic establishment Vox. Resilc: “The demo estab needs to be caged and burned to start.”

In Iowa, Bernie Sanders Won His Party’s Future New York Magazine. I seem to recall that this is the same New York Magazine that was particularly dismissive of Sanders three months ago.

Sanders rally chant: ‘She’s a liar! Politico. Resilc: “Don’t think she will ever get their votes. Not mine either. Just go away.”

See Bleeding Heartland on widespread misreporting of the coin toss issue. The following comment is germane as well.

As Voting Begins, Sanders More Popular Than Clinton With Dems Gallup (Jim Haygood)

Top Hillary Clinton PAC Donation Amounts to 222,000 Bernie Sanders Donations Intercept

‘March for Bernie’ Is an Occupy Wall Street Homecoming Rolling Stone

The case against Hillary Clinton The Week (resilc)

A Ramble on Hillary By Richard Sale Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Trump, Sanders and the Revolt Against Decadence New York Times (resilc). Grit your teeth. There is an interesting line of thought buried in the effort to diss change as dangerous.

Extreme Politics at the Primaries George Packer, New Yorker. More elite hand-wringing.

Could Michael Bloomberg Win? Washington Monthly

Triumph Overpaid Carlyle Group for Vought Aircraft PEU Report. See the Gov. Rick Perry connection.


Accountability for the crisis in Flint Credo. Please sign.


Update: SU public safety officer disciplined after 4 guns fell out of truck Syracuse


Cheap oil won’t juice the U.S. economy this time: Reuters poll Reuters (resilc)

The US bet big on American oil and now the whole global economy is paying the price Quartz (guurst). A broad-ranging and useful piece.

Global market turmoil could hit US growth, says Fed vice-chairman Stanley Fischer Telegraph. Gee, you think?

RTGS, and the story of collateralised risk instead of credit risk Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville

Will America’s economy get dragged into recession? CNN

Top US financial groups hold secret summits on long-termism Financial Times. It’s really bad when Dimon is acting as a comparatively responsible adult.

Class Warfare

Rich Kids Stay Rich, Poor Kids Stay Poor FiveThirtyEight

America’s stingy social safety net, graphed Slate (resilc)

Nairobi’s taxi drivers turn to violence to halt Uber eTurboNews (furzy)

Tell the CFPB and the DOJ: Investigate Clayton Homes’ abuse of Black customers Color of Change. Please sign. I know, two petitions in one day, but both are on important issues.

Antidote du jour (Steve P):

bees at work links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Llewelyn Moss

    On her FB page, Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Hellery — and is getting hammered in the comments under the endorsement. Deservedly so IMO.

    Kinda sad. I thought Kirsten was one of the handful of real progressives in congress. Just another wall street hack apparently.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        No, I didn’t pile on. I still like Kirsten’s style despite this disappointment. Although the temptation was there b/c I will never vote for Hillary.

        1. Webstir

          So, we’re to understand that you’ll be voting Republican? I’m no Hillary fan, and will vote for Bernie in the Idaho primary — one of the only times my liberal vote counts for anything in Idaho. But if Bernie loses the nomination, I’ll vote for Hillary without a second thought. No individual president is going shift this country substantially left on their own. It will remain gridlocked because of gerrymandering and the way we apportion a representation to rural representative districts. But over time, through SCOTUS nominations and the slow grinding wheels of demography, this country will continue to move in a progressive direction. The party of old white men simply cannot overcome the sheer numbers of sensible people in this country unless we hand them the election through abstemption. To sacrifice a vote on the alter of liberal puritanism is absurd.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Still, close to 50% voted for Hilary.

          As every voter is right, I am interested in hearing from them, not just the pundits.

          1. Gio Bruno

            Well, from listening to “On Point” this morning it appears the Hillary voters re-state the campaign rhetoric; practical, progressive, will fight for you candidate. Unfortunately, ALL of that is untrue.
            Voting for a military solution in Iraq, Libya, and Syria has cost the Treasury trillion$, left Europe to deal with the refugees, and leaves unfunded glaring infrastructure needs in the US unmet . So much for practical and progressive. And if you think a Clinton will fight for YOU, re-visit the ’90’s.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Are the older women LMS referred to below, at 10:35 am, thinking those intervention issues?

        3. bob

          What is it, specifically, about her style?

          Her old family, legacy connections to the R’s Albany? Her work for Davis and Polk? Her appointment by Patterson nee Silver, the one man in the room at that point?

          She’s also got a UK national husband who has a stated occupation as “venture captialtist”.

          Filthy extension of aristocracy in Albany and huge connections to Wall st.

          But she’s blonde!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Horatio, there are more inequalities under heaven than are dreamt of in all your nightmares.

            Magnetic personality inequality.

            IQ inequality.

            Hairiness inequality.

            Legginess inequality.

            Blond inequality.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              In the first folio edition, Hamlet said “our philosophies” implying a universal human conceit.

    1. bob

      Picked by Chuck to carry on the legacy of Hillz?

      Surprised there was any doubt as to her ownership by Wall St.

    2. Carla

      Much more surprising than Gillebrand, my seemingly progressive Senator, Sherrod Brown, endorsed Hillary back in November. Very disappointing. But then the Democrats never fail to disappoint.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Hillary has every senator but Tester, Warren, Reid (a kiss of death at this point), and Menedez.

          The youth of Iowa despite the flood of money and outright nastiness from the Clinton campaign rejected the Democratic establishment.

          1. uahsenaa

            I think that’s not really an accurate accounting of the Sanders constituency in Iowa. If my precinct is any indication, the Hillary supporters were overwhelmingly older and white, with an even mix of men and women. The Sanders camp simply actually had young people in proportion to their presence in the general population, meaning, their were a fair number of college age people, a fair number of 30s-40s, and a fair number of 50+. My sense of the Sanders group was that they more accurately reflected the voting population as a whole, which is encouraging. It means HIllary may very well be demographically constrained, whereas Sanders is not.

            1. LMS

              Bernie supporters were representative of the population in my precinct, also – a handful of college students for Bernie, but overwhelmingly mature adults. Because college is in session (caucus was earlier in 2008, when the college kids were still at home), the youth vote was geographically more concentrated this time. I did think that there were more older women on the Hillary side of the room.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                You have to know your opponent and where her/his strength lies.

                Older women – blind gender faith or something genuine on offer here?

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              Sanders won over 80% of the 30 and under crowd and 65% of the 40 and under crowd. This is a revolt.

              1. Uahsenaa

                I think I kind of buried the lede, since I was trying to make a tangentially related point in addition.

                To me, far more interesting than Sanders’ relative popularity among youngins, is how his support cuts across all demographic categories, a point I don’t often see anyone discuss in the media, when Sanders supporters are discussed at all. I expected something like the “old” over there and the “young” over here as somewhat exclusive categories. What seems to be the case is that Sanders draws support from all age groups, whereas Clinton only draws support from a few.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I think seniors and old people should not be overlooked. I am interested to know who won the relative popularity there last night?

                  1. flora

                    Even Kos over at the orange doesn’t know. But, boy, is he unhappy.

                    “-Come on, people. Admit it. A tie on the Democratic side was hilarious! After all the sturm und drang of the past year, we finally have a contest and no one wins?
                    -Yeah, yeah, Hillary Clinton was the “winner”, but no she wasn’t. It was a tie. And for all we know, Bernie Sanders may have won the popular vote. In fact, it’s very likely he did (though we’ll never know). Yet another reason why the Iowa caucuses can go to hell.”

                    From today Feb. 2, “Quick takeaways from Iowa.”

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  It’s quite possible the low turnout among African-Americans for Clinton, Gore, and Hillary in 2008 will continue once again. The Clinton machine is going to attack every Sanders supporters as the embodiment of Jeff Davis.

                  It’s about to get nasty.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    I have to defer to James Levy, I believe the first wave of an attack is often the fiercest.

                    And to beat your opponent, you want to be that fly on their wall.

                    I imagine inside their camp this morning, the pep talk is about the receding tide, that this is the best they got.

                    And so, we let up at our own peril.

                    We have won nothing.

      1. polecat

        yeah…..’progressive’………………as in progressively ph#cking the lower plebs! There Are No Progressives That Will Make A Difference!!!!!!!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think to think of conservatives as anti-entropy or entropy-decreasers, and progressives as entropy-increasers.

          Entropy-decreasers are always demanding order, order, order.

          “Ewery Zing mussen be in orda.”

      2. trinity river

        I gave up on Sen Brown when I learned that instead of taking money from banks, he focused on insurance companies. I am not sure of all the implications but suspect it is only incrementally better.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Jennifer Granholm was being lit up on twitter before running away. Does anyone remember when Democrats thought Hillary would energize Democratic voters?

      I don’t think Democrats have any concept of how far they have fallen.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Blaming the voters is their usual scam. They blamed low minority turnout in the 90s, not mass incarceration, criminal drug policy, and general economic predatory policies the pushed. They blame lower class whites as a matter of recourse. They’ve been blaming young women all along. Nader and green voters are basically all powerful super villains.

          This is nothing new. Now, they are hiding behind Pelosi Jr. as if anyone cares.

          1. Antifa

            It would seem axiomatic that a political party can best prosper by gleaning what voters need and want, and getting in front of that parade, perhaps even helping voters achieve their aims. Call it customer service.

            To blame voters for not following you reveals your contempt for them, and indicates you hold an overarching ideology (which you failed to sell to your followers) or you serve a different constituency than you claim.

            If Senator Sanders is prospering this season, it is because he is going where the parade is going, which normally results in voters and candidate arriving where they were headed all along.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              But Pelosi has a big office, way less work, enjoys being a servant of the oligarchs, and the DoJ is controlled by a Democrat, no partisan witch hunts. Why would establishment Democrats want to upset this balance?

        2. uahsenaa

          To my friends supporting Sanders and O’Malley, we share common dreams and values that our Democratic nominee must fulfill.

          Right here is where she demonstrates her analysis to be completely off base. My conversations with people last night showed quite clearly that the values of the Democratic voter base and the Democratic party apparatus are completely out of alignment, and the voters seem to be far more aware of that fact than anyone else. Even the Hillary supporters I talked to conceded this point, and much of their support was based on the assumption that you can’t fight the machine, you can only find the best way to survive it.

          What’s interesting to me about what happened in that gym last night was not how close the counts were (215 Sanders, 213 Clinton at first count) but how completely in agreement people were about the underlying issues. Pelosi’s argument makes no sense, because there is already unity in principle among the voters, and the contest between Clinton and Sanders seems not to have changed that.

          1. nippersdad

            That is a really good insight! Clyburn was saying the other day that it would not take much to dramatically alter the paradigm in South Carolina. I don’t know if that is true with the minority vote there, but if anyone does it would be Clyburn.

        3. lylo

          Did I read that correctly?
          Are the Dems seriously trotting out LOTE before the primaries even really start?! (Lesser of two evils, for the young/uninitiated. Scares Democrats into voting out of fear that a Republican could win. Works less effectively after Democrats help crash the economy, drive the working class to poverty, and engage us in multiple wars, but doesn’t seem to stop them from trying.)
          And acting like taking a power nap will somehow calm the type of anger that drives good little plebes to vote Republican (as apparently voting Republican is a protest vote or something and done only out of spite, and we all know they are the bad guys here.) Remember, LOTE.

          Wow. Seriously, this should be linked. It’s hilarious and infuriating.
          And written by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter. Geez, HuffPo has gotten really bad since I left. Why would anyone WANT to publish what she wrote?
          Yeah, the Democrats need to be clued in; this crap ain’t cuttin’ it. Good luck trotting out your heirs to sell this to minority irregular voters (you know, the ones you now rely on to win elections as you have completely disenfranchised and insulted your traditional liberal labor base.)

          1. nippersdad

            That struck me as well, they usually wait until after they have had some serious electoral embarrassment to trot out the stupid masses meme. HuffPo has had her articles for a long time, though. TBF, they have been pretty good about Sanders coverage from the get-go. Last night the front page was wall to wall establishment bashing.

            If you really want to see something funny, though, read this:


            The almost painful shadenfreude that I felt upon finding that our not eating of the peas was unappreciated was well worth it.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The Democrats have been selling to skeptical supporters that young people especially Hispanics will make the stored powder worth it. Sanders winning youth support might undermine elite control over local committees. They need to paint young Sanders supporters as selfish immediately.

              1. nippersdad

                Reminds me of that apocryphal story a few years ago about the tour of the underground Democratic Party facility wherein the leadership stored all of its’ dry powder. I wish I could find it, it was really funny.

                I hope they do attack Sanders supporters as being selfish (a’ la Pelosi Jr.); I can think of no faster way to piss them off.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  The voter is always right…on whichever side.

                  Let’s celebrate the exercise of democracy last night.

        4. polecat

          well…..what would one expect from Dem newly appointed youngins Chelsea & Christine……… Urrrppp……….excuse me while I vomit!

      1. diptherio

        …remember when Democrats thought Hillary would energize Democratic voters?

        She has energized voters…to fight back against the establishment Democrats whom she so perfectly embodies. Probably not what the DNC was hoping for.

      2. blurtman

        Granholm’s record as governor of Michigan should disqualify her for any talking head opportunities beyond Zero Hedge.

      3. wbgonne

        I don’t think Democrats have any concept of how far they have fallen.

        And they learn nothing. Here is the ultimate Democratic insider today, Greg Sargent, serving up the bromides from “the professionals”:

        Hillary Clinton barely survived Iowa. Top Democrats say she must learn from it.

        Top Democrats tell me that the closeness of the contest contains several lessons. One is that Sanders appears to be connecting more effectively than Clinton with how certain voter groups feel about the economy and the country’s future, whereas Clinton has been focused more on offering solutions rather than giving voice to their concerns.

        The emphasis is in the original. So read that again if you will. It isn’t “reality” that is the problem, according to these sages, it is how people “feel” about that reality that is the issue. So Hillary must, like her husband, pretend to “feel the pain” of those who think they are suffering. What drivel. Want more? How about this tripe that Hillary is “focused more on offering solutions”? Really? What solutions? More job-killing trade deals. No single-payer health care. Social security and Medicare “reform,” i.e., gutting. Further corporatization and privatization of education and everything else that can hold a price sticker. These are the policies that are killing the middle class and these are the policies that people are rebelling against. They are not feelings. They are reality. They are policies being espoused by Clinton and her ilk. This is what people are rejecting. But the wise Democrats’ proposal is for prettier blather. Do they really think people are that stupid?

  2. abynormal

    “Nite Owl II: But the country’s disintegrating. What’s happened to America? What’s happened to the American dream?
    The Comedian: It came true. You’re lookin’ at it.”
    ~ Alan Moore

  3. BillK

    Diamond is out-of-date by more recent research.
    Easter Island was flourishing until the Europeans arrived, as described by first visitor reports. 100 years later they were decimated by diseases they had no resistance to and slave traders.
    See – Incas, American Indians, etc.

        1. Cat's paw

          Doesn’t mean he’s right either. And it’s not so much that Diamond’s wrong, though his work is in many ways wrong, it’s that he peddles a souped-up late 20th century version of the repeatedly discredited notion of environmental determinism. And on cultural-anthropological grounds he crafts just-so stories that Kipling would have been envious of.

          I don’t find his work harmful, though some do. To me he’s sort of academically analogous to a Malcolm Gladwell. He tries to synthesize a lot of research, theory, and findings to create a facile theory that is comprehensible and kind of fun, but is mostly simple-minded and informed by various degrees of mistaken interpretation and unwarranted assumptions.

          1. Vatch

            Here’s an interesting article about Diamond and the anthropologists who disapprove of his work:


            She concludes her article with this:

            Even if Diamond makes mistakes — and he does — might his taking on big questions for large numbers of readers do more good than harm? Science writer John Horgan blogged on Monday, for instance, that “Diamond challenges the kneejerk sense of superiority of those of us in WEIRD [Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic] societies.” That’s no small thing.

            And finally: Where, at least since 1982 and Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People Without History, are the “big books” in which we anthropologists do a better job than Diamond?

            1. GlobalMisanthrope

              Yeah, but he’s a bad writer and a weak thinker who uses a tone of matter-of-fact authority in his work that rivals Thomas Friedman for pedanticism. Pure tedium.

              1. Carl

                Yeah, writing an entire book about collapse without acknowledging the seminal work on the subject (cough* Tainter*cough) causes me to instantly discount whatever theory he puts forth.

                1. Vatch

                  From page 550 of Collapse, by Jared Diamond:

                  Along with questions from my UCLA students, joseph Tainter’s book The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) provided a starting point for this chapter, by stating clearly why a society’s failure to solve its environmental poses a puzzle crying out for explanation.

                  The index entry “Tainter” refers to pages 420, 427, and 438.

                  1. Carl

                    My choice of words was sloppy. In order to put forth a new or different theory of collapse of societies, one would at the minimum need to explain, as Tainter does, why previous theories were invalid or inadequate. Diamond, in his shallow way, mentions the work, but then mischaracterizes Tainter’s argument. In one sentence.

          2. Skippy

            “environmental determinism”

            Yeah that’s kinda is a debbie downer for some stripes, kinda funny how humanity was – forced – to move to the Nile and then chase its flow characteristics for yonks…

            Anywho its sorta convoluted to ascribe phraseology like above whilst engaging in character diminishment, sans factual rebuttal, in a broad brush application, then evoke parallelism with Malcolm Gladwell – whom wrote for Insight on the News, a conservative magazine owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church – as some sort of vindication of your opinion[s.

            Skippy…. love the epistemic closure on the – “it’s that he peddles a souped-up late 20th century version of the repeatedly discredited notion of environmental determinism.” – umbrage on the 20th century, followed by – repeatedly discredited “notion” inference…. sounds like something Gladwell would write imo…

        2. nobody

          “In point of fact, I was startled at this passage on the jacket of The World Until Yesterday: ‘While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgably wide, we can glimpse most of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies that still exist or were recently in existence.’ This statement turns small-scale societies into living fossils, the human equivalent of ancient insects hardened in amber. That’s nonsense, of course.”

          More responses here:



    1. theinhibitor

      Really? I’ve been looking online but I don’t see anything that states that it was the Europeans that decimated the early, statue building civilization which was around since 1200 CE.

      There were multiple migrations and tragedies, The first migration was that of possibly Southern Indian or Polynesians (though little evidence remains, except for similarities in culture), which researchers think came to Easter Island to escape the plague of poisoned fish. The first tragedies were the complete deforestation and subsequent famines and disease.

      The Dutch were probably the first to arrive in 1700’s or so and write about it. They estimated around 3000 people lived on the island, though historically it could have been up to 12,000.

      The second and third tragedies were the pillaging by Peruvian pirates and the fights between clans that almost wiped out the entire population. ONLY THEN did the European missionaries arrive and bring with them tuberculosis which literally almost killed them all off, including the last living member of the native royal family.

    2. Vatch

      I would like to see some sources for your assertion that Easter Island was flourishing up until the arrival of the first Europeans. I know there were disasters caused by Europeans and South Americans in the middle of the 19th century, but I have also read that the island was mostly deforested by 1650, 72 years before the arrival of the first European visitors. Archaeologists have estimated that the population dropped from about 10,000 to about 3,000 during that period of time (although the figure of 3,000 in 1722 is just an estimate by a Dutch visitor). For a summary, see the Wikipedia article on the History of Easter Island.

      1. ekstase

        It looks like the buried statues are longer than the “walking” ones. I wonder if that’s correct. The walking video is just amazing. The people said the statues had walked, and everyone laughed at that. Not any more.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My guess is that the best and fastest deforester was respected and highly rewarded for his ability to deforest.

        “I have the best technology to do the job.”

        1. TMock

          Yves said, “Easter Island Moai have Bodies wordless Tech (guurst). Whoa, doesn’t this imply a big recalculation of Jared Diamond’s collapse math? He estimated how much it cost in energy terms (huge!) to transport the statues. Bigger, heavier statues means higher cost. However, there are experiments as to how the statures might have been moved which I assume are of interest because they were more efficient than other possibilities. I’m not current on this debate, so anyone who is is encouraged to pipe up in comments.”

          Will Civilization Get It Right, This Time? –

          “Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the French photographer who pioneered modern aerial photography, recently released his latest project called HOME, which captures the beauty of our planet in an awesome film stressing the general unsustainability of current land development practices all over the earth… YouTube has recently announced partnerships with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios and rolled out new platforms for watching feature-length movies. In this revolutionary first act, the film HOME makes the point about the need for sustainable land development best practices by comparing the failed historical example of Easter Island (HOME Making-Of : Easter Island) to modern day monument-raising practices around the world, culminating in the tallest building in the world in Dubai. The point is that history shows us that civilization has reached its current lofty perch before, only to collapse because of fundamental flaws in our understanding of the true relationship between humans and nature…”

  4. Llewelyn Moss

    re: FBI’s war on encryption is unnecessary because the Internet of Things will spy on us just fine

    If you’ve installed Windows 10, you better get familiar with the Privacy Settings. There are a ton of Privacy options enabled by default that give M$ the priviledge to share your data with their marketing partners: your location, your browser history, what you buy and from whom, your Advertising Id (yes you have an Ad Id that identifies YOU), your preferences, lots lots more.

    Plus the Windows 10 EULA gives M$ FULL RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP to anything you send or post (Key logging, chats, email including email body, your contacts and friends, photos, literally everything).

    M$ claims it will only use your data to improve your online experience (ie help Cortana get to know you), but the EULA wording leaves the door wide open for all kinds of mischief (I’m looking at you National Stasi Agency).

    The link below is a primer on how to tighten your Win10 privacy. But even if you shut off every option, Win10 still constantly phones home with an encrypted stream of data — and M$ will not tell us what’s in that stream.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Hahaha. I just might come to that. Unfortunately, for now, I depend on some apps that only run on windoze.

      1. Schnormal

        Thanks Llewelyn

        Does anyone know whether Apple does this too? If not I could grit my teeth and pay the extra price.

        1. hunkerdown

          Apple got started disrespecting user privacy in OS X Yosemite. Fix OS X links to information and projects which lower the shades once again. I believe that it’s probably not quite as shot-through as Windows 10 (yet), because a) they’ve already got your money b) the best way to not get taken to task by the lifestyle sections for nude celeb selfie hacks is to simply not collect them.

    1. Jim Haygood

      For now, Win 7 still works fine. And it can still be installed in up-to-date barebones hardware shipped without an OS.

      The 30th anniversary of MSFT’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) is coming up on 13 Mar 2016. Sad day for humanity.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        A tech privacy journalist (at Infoworld IIRC) says that Win7 and Win8 are being slowly retrofitted to the Win10 privacy model via Windows Updates. Soon there will be nowhere to hide from Big Brother Microsoft.

        And I recall Microsoft is a prominent player shown on the Snowden NSA spy infrastructure charts.

        1. weevish

          Windows 7 running in VirtualBox with automatic updates disabled. Good fer what ails ye if what ails ye is some essential app that requires windows. (Obviously, one would want to avoid using the guest OS for such things as web browsing and email.)

      2. tongorad

        If anything positive can be said about MS, I recall that Windows boxes were substantially cheaper than Macs back in the day. But perhaps that about it.

        Reminds of an old joke from the 90’s:
        Pol Pot’s last words –
        “I love Microsoft.”

    2. Watt4Bob

      I’m an admin, and have responsibility for a couple hundred computers.

      Yesterday, I booted up a computer that I had on my desk over the week end for maintenance, and it informed me that “Installation of Windows 10 has failed.”

      The trouble is, I never told it to install Windows 10.

      It looks like an escalation of the intense ‘hearding’ being done by MS.

      It also seems that MS has broken the Windows-Update functionality for Windows 7, even though they are still releasing updates, a lot of people are having trouble getting the automatic updates to apply.

      One of the issues I don’t hear much about, is that all the spying, and background chatter between Win 10 machines and Redmond is eating up a lot of bandwidth.

      Between government spying, MS spying, and spyware infestation, it’s wonder the poor machines have enough horse-power left to do the jobs we want them to do.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        “chatter between Win 10 machines and Redmond is eating up a lot of bandwidth.”

        And people who are paying by per-gigabyte pricing are now paying to have Ads served to them — plus all this stealth data that contains gawd knows what. I understand Comcast is experimenting with “pay by the gigabyte pricing”. Video Ads eat bandwidth like crazy.

        1. Watt4Bob

          “The beatings will continue until moral improves.”

          To date, the history of the personal computer, and the internet has been an almost perfect example of devolution.

          I’m going to get aggressive about building and deploying a linux desktop for business, the forces of crapification will likely head me off at the pass, but MS is obviously driving us into a dead-end.

          Google, Facebook and Amazon are not enough.

          1. Antifa

            It’s not difficult to arrange your hard drive to boot more than one operating system; you boot up the one you need at the moment.

            It’s even easier to get a second PC. Keep your essential Windows apps as is on the old one, and do all your personal stuff on your Linux box. You can share the same monitor, keyboard, and mouse, switching between the two boxes at the press of a button.

            Linux also provides ‘virtual’ Windows computers, discrete compartments which let you run your ‘Windows-only’ software within Linux, with Windows never knowing it doesn’t rule your PC. Or the universe.

            It’s not a leap off a cliff to switch to Linux; the transition is as gentle as you choose. Keep what you’ve got, but start using Linux. Windows will gradually become that dead plant in the corner that you don’t even bother watering any more.

            1. Watt4Bob


              MS has bet that we’ll take all this lying down, but that is not necessary as you say.

              And when at some point, users report that they have no need for the Windows partition, it can be abandoned.

              I have MS systems running Win98 and XP Pro that run my audio studio, they’re never on the internet, and they just keep on running… (every machine I’ve ever owned, Win NT, win95, WinXP, and Win 2000, is still working, though they can’t be trusted attached to the internet.)

              I had one NT 4 server that ran for 16 years!

              Most of my personal machines are Macs, but I see a gradual evolution in Mac world to mimic the predatory behavior of MS.

              It’s all disappointing as hell considering what computers are capable of, and what we’re being asked to accept.

              1. hunkerdown

                Agreed. Canonical’s been caught with their fingers in the pie more than once, too, not to speak of Mozilla’s apparent return-to-the-womb regression to the AOL browser-as-a-service model. It seems compound debt demands more short-changing all around.

                For what it’s worth, the REAPER digital audio workstation runs really well under Wine. No idea how well Windows 10 runs as a virtual guest, but it may be worth a try (with a strict firewall between the guest and the host).

            2. tim s

              There are many individual distributions of Linux. New users should probably choose one of the more popular, user-friendly distributions, such a Linux Mint. The CD/DVD’sfor these are often live, meaning you can boot your machine with the CD/DVD and check out the functionality before actually installing it to the hard drive.

              I’ve been using various Linux distributions for many years and the ease of getting up to workable speed has come a long way. When problems arise, there are very helpful and active forums to find answers. MS is not needed for most people doing basic PC activities.

          2. polecat

            There’s going to come a time when I will decide to just pull the computer plug and be done with it……..I am SO SICK OF THIS SHIT!!!!!!

        1. Watt4Bob

          Thanks Flora,

          That fix takes care of the increasingly constant reminders to upgrade, but does nothing to ‘fix’ the basic issue, which is that one way or another, MS will force you to accept WIN 10 and the problems that go with it.

          Win 7 will go naked (no security updates) or, as I’ve pointed out, Windows Update may be unusable after recovering the OS due to hard drive failure for instance. (You replace the hard drive, reload Win 7 SP1 which gives you a machine with no updates, if the machine does not have the latest updates, Windows Updates won’t run, and you have a vulnerable machine with almost *no way to fix it)

          *fresh installs of Win7 were updating normally up until a couple months ago, at which time Windows Update started freezing while “Checking for updates…’ I’ve used a variety of hacks to remedy the issue, but MS is silent about the problem, and my hacks are becoming useless soon after I create them.

          So, you can turn off the bothersome pop-ups, but they’re going to win, you ‘will’ upgrade to Win10, and sooner than the rules would have you believe if you pay attention to ‘rules’ that is.

          1. Nobody (the outcast)

            RE: windows update being unusable

            I’ve used this for many years. It’s unofficial and unsupported, but it works for me. I keep a backup of all the updates with my other backups. If I need to re-install (which is very very rare) I simply reload the win os, apply any service packs (which I also have backed up) and run AP to bring me up to date or nearly so. An added benefit is that you can do the same for others.

            I’ve been using AP since win 2000 and while there has been a hiccup or two, it has never caused any issue of consequence. So, even after windows update goes out, you can still install the OS and bring it up to when MS stopped providing updates.

          2. JustAnObserver

            Hi Watt4Bob:

            After setting all the Privacy stuff to max does a Windows10 machine work o.k., as far as all the apps are concerned, if is completely disconnected from the internet … even from your home LAN ?

            If not then IMV it should be avoided at all costs as its nothing more than a glorified Virus/Trojan.

    3. ewmayer

      “If you’ve installed Windows 10”

      Haven’t. Won’t. Have one vintage 2008 Lenovo laptop @home running XP, boot it up maybe 3-4 times per year to get a ‘second opinion’ on a problematic piece of code using Visual Studio. But even that frequency is lessening, as I now routinely use both GCC and Clang to build code on my Macbook.

      As of ~9 months ago @Home I have an Intel NUC running Debian Linux – whole thing is the size of a (small) ham sandwich, about 1 inch high, cost with a decent amount of solid-state memory and RAM around $400, no fan even needed, draws ~20W under full both-cores-maxed-out load (The ostensible reason for the NUC was to allow me test & optimize code for the latest Intel CPUs, using vector instructions not supported by my Core2Duo Mac). The NUCs come with brackets allowing one to mount them on the back of one’s LCD monitor, to really minimize the desktop footprint. If Macs continue to get progressively crapified over the coming years I’ll probably switch to a Linux laptop, but for now I can easily find high-quality used Macbooks on Craigslist – when my Macbook classic died (all signs pointing to mobo fault) last summer I quickly found a (very lightly) used one of similar vintage on CL, saved even more $ by finding one lacking a charger and battery (still had 2x each of those from older units), $95 and an hour later I’d swapped my HD into the just-purchased unit, am typing this comment on it. It also runs apps which allow me to read most MS-proprietary-crapformats like Word and Excel. Never create any new content in such myself – if it’s not text-based (and thus transparently revision-controllable) I won’t touch it except on a read-only basis. HTML/XML, C/C++/assembler, all ascii-text based. Word & Excel? Not so much.

      What I’ve found though is that people find all sorts of lame excuses to remain wedded to MS-proprietary doc formats, the mos obvious one being “we use them at work”. Well as long as you don’t ever push back, nothing will change. Next time you’re involved in project planning sessions, don’t be afraid to gently urge usage of (say) XML or some other rev-control-friendly doc format for project management. And do those inane ‘animated paperclips’ and other Powerpoint eye candy *really* help you convey actual information, or are they just cheap visual distractions? This mirrors politics – as long as too few people push back against the status quo, the status quo will not change.

  5. ProNewerDeal

    I am sick of the pundit “expert” hacks like John Avalon on C”N”N dismissing Sanders as a “Socialist”, apparently implying Sanders is a Communist. Genuine experts including the politicalcompass Prof label Sanders a Scandinavian-style Social Democrat.

    Perhaps the C”N”N could play fair, while also being accurate, & derisively label
    H Clinton a neoliberal neocon warmongerer
    Cruz a Christian Taliban-style theocratic lunatic
    Trump a racist fascist

    1. Christopher Fay

      Please, if you want to be taken seriously it’s Fox/CNN: All the Truth You Need to Know.

    2. flora

      As of 7.57 a.m. the DesMoines Register has still not officially called the race. It’s a virtual tie.
      Iowa isn’t a ‘winner-takes-all’ state. Delegates are proportional to vote. Sanders and Clinton should get an equal number of delegates to the convention. Clinton was supposed to win in a walk and by a wide margin. This is the closest finish in Iowa caucus history.

      “Grant Woodard, a Des Moines lawyer who worked for Clinton’s 2008 Iowa campaign, noted earlier Monday that the former secretary of state, senator and first lady collected a lopsided list of endorsements from Iowa’s Democratic establishment. Droves of legislators and union leaders sided with Clinton, boosting her effort to build one of the most extensive field operations Iowa has ever seen.
      “She had pretty much every institutional advantage a candidate could dream of having,” Woodard said.
      ““If you had told me six months ago that this race would be this close, I never would have believed it,” he said Monday.”

      1. Oregoncharles

        So if Iowa is indicative, which it usually isn’t, we’re looking at a contested DEMOCRATIC convention. Should be fun (OK, I’m being malicious.)

        This is all downright nostalgic – the way it USED to be.

    3. flora

      The MSM doesn’t want to talk about Sanders’ issues. Must. Not. Question. Status. Quo.
      They are getting very nervous.

      1. diptherio

        No, it’s a bourgeoisie word that means “evil.”

        Speaking of race, I watched the Sanders/Nina Turner/Killer Mike/Cornel West hang-out that was filmed on MLK day, yesterday on Youtube. Really good stuff. Nina Turner and Killer Mike are awesome, and Bernie seemed like an actual human being (as opposed to a politician).

        1. Titus Pullo

          Bernie seemed like an actual human being

          I think this is Bernie’s secret weapon, especially against Clinton. Sincerity and realness are extremely hard to fake.

          Watching his victory speech in Iowa, it was great to see him very human emotion of joy. He was the only person speaking last night that actually seemed like he enjoyed what was going on. That’s incredibly powerful.

          1. Antifa

            The word revolt comes from Old French and Italian, and was originally a culinary term meaning, to turn away from something presented at table, to be disgusted by it to some degree. With the dire lack of refrigeration in medieval times, there was ample opportunity even for aristocrats to push their plate away in revolt.

            The word took on other meanings. One could find a suitor revolting due to his excessive nose hair, or the mutton forever lodged between his teeth. One could be revolted by a sonata with far too much stacatto for good taste, or find the mere sight of peasants revolting, since those people lived their entire lives in the midst of manure. The word revolt implied a visceral refusal of something seen or smelt.

            As the nobles of Europe learned over the centuries, what the filthy peasants found revolting was a barren table at the end of a hard day’s work, in which case the peasants were really revolting.

            The revolt going on in American politics today is of this Old School ilk — too many people with too barren a table at the end of a hard day’s work. If they could find work at all.

            These people will not look to the lords and ladies of the great manors to resolve the issue. Such people revolt them. They will look instead for their pitchforks and torches, and heads will roll, Your Highness.

  6. craazyboy

    So, Dutch Cops Are Teaching Majestic Eagles to Hunt Drones Wired

    No eagles were harmed in the filming of this BS. hahaha.

    Theses are hard plastic props spinning at 10,000 rpm plus. They can cut your finger to the bone. That’s on the commercial DJI Phantom drone in the video. On homebuilts, some people use carbon fiber props and they will take your fingers clean off. The other thing they show in the vids is the motors shut down after the eagle “captured” it. That means than even if the eagle was smart enough to catch the drone by the landing gear, the eagle did take a full power blow to the body from the props because that’s the only way that an “overcurrent” fault would have shut down power to the motors.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      They need to be trained to use shotguns. That might deal with the props, carbon fiber or no… Then the eagle simply needs to keep hold of the shotgun with one claw while grabbing the “evidence” (or remainder of the drone) with the other. That’s why we have American eagles (don’t we?); they could handle it while smoking a Marlborough!

      1. craazyboy

        America would have Air Superiority Eagles. We need DARPA to develop small, high power laser weapons, or maybe an eagle rail gun. And the Eagle Eye Target Acquisition System. (EETAS) Then we can keep our skies safe from consumer quadcopters and other flying toys.

        1. ekstase

          I’d feel a lot better about this if the animals just took over and ran these programs in a way that makes sense to them. One of the links talks about how birds have a natural distrust of drones, and the visual acuity to go after them unscathed, all on their own. I also like the way the eagles look so furious in profile. Who knows what they think of us?

  7. Steve H.

    AP story this morning:

    “The past two Republican caucus winners – former Arkansas Gobv. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – faded as the race stretched on.”

    Just highlighting how critically important the Iowa caucus is.

    1. Uahsenaa

      For Republicans, you almost don’t want to win the Iowa caucuses, since more often than not the winner never even becomes the nominee.

      And Cruz is sleeze incarnate. He was at the Five Seasons Center (or whatever it’s called now), during their multi-caucus event, and signed Bibles afterwards. Signed… Bibles…

      1. Louis

        Uahsenaa wrote: “For Republicans, you almost don’t want to win the Iowa caucuses, since more often than not the winner never even becomes the nominee.”

        A win is win, on some level, I suppose. However, the only Republican candidate to have won Iowa and the nomination, in the same election cycle, is George W. Bush in 2000.

        Ted Cruz will most likely suffer the same fate every other Republican candidate, with the exception of Bush in 2000, who won the Iowa caucuses has.

      2. Skippy

        ” “The pastor [Huch] referred to Proverbs 13:22, a little while ago, which says that the wealth of the wicked is stored for the righteous. And it is through the kings, anointed to take dominion, that that transfer of wealth is going to occur.” – Rafael Cruz, August 26, 2012

        In a sermon last year at an Irving, Texas, megachurch that helped elect Ted Cruz to the United States Senate, Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers. link to video of Rafael Cruz describing the “great transfer of wealth” and the role of anointed “kings” in various sectors of society, including government, who are to “bring the spoils of war to the priests”.

        Rafael Cruz’ dominionist sermon given August 26, 2012, at the New Beginnings Church of pastor Larry Huch, in Irving, Texas has already received considerable scrutiny due to an excellent Huffington Post commentary by Methodist Associate Pastor Morgan Guyton, who noted the explicitly dominionist nature of pastor Cruz’ sermon, which concerned the divine mandate for believers, with anointing of “kings” in their respective spheres, to take control over all sectors of society.

        Cruz spoke of “Kings who are anointed to go to war, win the war, and bring the spoils of war to the priests.”

        Discussion of the now-notorious speech by Rafael Cruz has missed the fact that Ted Cruz was subsequently blessed and anointed by prominent dominionist pastors, in effect as a “king” in the political/governmental sphere, at a special blessing ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, at a July 19th-20th 2013 rally designed to draw pastors into politics.

        But in a very real, mundane sense Ted Cruz has already helped deliver hundreds of millions of dollars, or more, to the evangelical right. Cruz’ past service – as a “king” who brought “spoils to the priests” – is a matter of established record; as I revealed in a prior story, no less than a top adviser to President George W. Bush has stated that in 1999 Ted Cruz played a major role in helping the Bush for President campaign lock down the conservative evangelical vote in the 2000 election.”

        Skippy…. which fits in nicely with the whole Libertarian – Peterson meme of … the boomers et al stole our wealth shtick…

      3. Skippy

        “Today Rafael Cruz is a pastor at a church in Dallas and serves as the Director of Purifying Fire Ministries ministering in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America. He is also a professor Bible [sic] and Theology and the president of Kingdom Translation Services.

        Up to the phrase “penniless and not speaking a word of English” the Rev. Cruz’s professional bio appears to be true, unless a literalist were to quibble with “penniless” and “arrived with only $100 sewn into his underwear.” (The latter is often repeated by Senator Ted Cruz when telling his father’s story.)

        Beyond that, the story on which the Cuban-American evangelical has been dining out (and collecting speaker’s fees) doesn’t quite wash.

        Until it folded in 2014, Purifying Fire was a Costa Mesa, Calif., ministry owned by Suzanne Hinn, the divorced (then remarried) wife of faith healer Benny Hinn. A spokesman for the Cruz presidential campaign said Rev. Cruz has never been associated with the Hinns, but “used the Purifying Fire name for a while then he dropped it.”

        “Pastor at a church in Dallas” isn’t exactly right either, although according to the campaign: “You don’t have to have a church to be a pastor.”

        Cruz has claimed to have studied theology at Advanced Bible College (or Advance Bible College), neither of which appear to exist. The Cruz campaign says Rev. Cruz “audited courses at Southwestern [Baptist] Theological Seminary and was ordained at Mundo de Fe.” They could provide no details on Mundo de Fe (World of Faith), but it is a non-denominational church in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, run by Stephen and Courtney Holland. Rev. Cruz told National Journal he was ordained by Ralph Holland, another Dallas-based preacher.

        The campaign spokesman also said Rev. Cruz is affiliated with no seminary or Bible college but he is a professor.

        Kingdom Translation Services Inc. has been registered with the Texas Secretary of State since 2012, with a billing address in an apartment complex in a Dallas suburb. It has no working website or listed phone number. “It is Rev. Cruz’s one-man translation service,” according to the campaign.”

        Skippy…. rapture ready… even if your not….

        1. Jerry Denim

          Don’t expect a bunch of corn-fed hicks who have been taught their entire lives that blind faith and belief are more virtuous than thinking or reason to go sleuthing around for investigative dirt on Ted Cruz’s evangelical credentials. Cruz, Christian or not, knows how to pander and he does a grand job of faking it. Cruz knows how to pack a victory speech with evangelical shibboleths like “to God be the glory”. Trump on the other hand disastrously failed his evangelical shibboleth test by referring to the book of the Bible known to evangelicals as “Second Corinthians” instead as “Two Corinthians”. Small difference of course, but so is the “Sh” sound or which two fingers you hold up to order two more glasses in a bar. (Inglorious Bastards) Trump also committed the faux pas of throwing money on a communion plate, apparently he thought it was the offering or tithe plate. Understandable, but Trump has throughly outed himself as ‘not one of them’ when it comes to evangelicals. Either they care or they don’t.

          Cruz can win the vote of super-Christian Iowa but it means little for states lacking a large evangelical population. The ease with which Christian fringe candidates are able to woo Republican voters in Iowa explains why the state is such a poor predictor of who will be the eventual Republican nominee. In 1988 Pat crazy ears Robertson beat HW Bush and in 2008 Mike Huckabee stomped McCain and Romney in Iowa. In 2012 Santorum tied Romney. I wouldn’t make too much of Cruz’s narrow victory in Iowa. I’m impressed an outsider, and an unapologetic New Yorker like Trump could even manage to finish a close third in such an idiosyncratic state.

          1. Skippy

            If Trump really did committed the faux pas you describe that would be hilarious, tho I’m still trying to figure out, just for fun, how Ben Carson beat Rand Paul 9% – 5%.

            Skippy…. ahh…. the mysteries of the Universe ….

    2. wbgonne

      I wouldn’t count Trump out. His supporters are impulsive reactionaries. Standing around for hours chatting isn’t their cup of tea. I expect Trump to have better success in traditional voting venues. OTOH: this loss could pierce the “I’m a winner” aura which seems to be his main selling point.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If he runs his campaign the way he runs his business, he will be teflon-like.

        “Wipe off that old loss. Start a new life.”

        Every primary is a like a chapter 11 reorganization…if you can get new finance. Then maybe you can overcome your old, accumulated debt that is still on the book.

  8. Lawrence Rupp

    Easter Island Moai have Bodies wordless Tech (guurst). Whoa, doesn’t this imply a big recalculation of Jared Diamond’s collapse math?
    The big Picture is still that they over-populated, exhausted their food source and died of starvation.

  9. craazyboy

    Global market turmoil could hit US growth, says Fed vice-chairman Stanley Fischer Telegraph. Gee, you think?

    Yes, well, once again it’s “market turmoil”, not the real economy, that’s the perceived problem. So that implies all recessions originate in the financial sector now. Wish someone would explore that development a little more. Wouldn’t be central bankers, of course…

    1. abynormal

      Obviously, Stanley never threw a Boomerang or even witnessed an e/affect ;)

      “Time throws you out of its dimensionless planar like a boomerang. It unites with you again in death.” ~Vishwanath S J

    2. Jim Haygood

      Crude Earl back at thirty dollah this morning; Treasury yields plunging.

      Does this look like prosperity to you?

      Feel the cold deflationary chill of the Fischer Break.

      1. craazyboy

        Yup. The OPEC meeting w/ Russia rumor turned out to be a market false flag and the bond market is looking for moar QE to drive treasury prices ever higher. What’s prosperity got to do with anything?

        1. craazyboy

          Oh yeah. Almost forgot. The dollar/treasury bonds are getting currency flight from every continent on the planet right now.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              My billionaire is richer than your billionaire.

              (That’s the ‘circuses’ part, not the ‘bread’ part.)

              Thusly, we have been indoctrinated by reading the news.

              Stay tuned to see if your billionaire knight will make a comeback in tomorrow’s jousting match.

      2. JTMcPhee

        …time to “invest” all the Social Security money that people earn, and are by some fortuitous “Guvmint” prudence actually putting away against the otherwise certain abject poverty of old age, by their wage labor in the Stock Market and Secure Bonds, right?

        Yah, “growth” will bear out the wisdom of diversified fee-generating “exposure to risk…”

          1. Jess

            Like they say in the racing community, “There are bold race drivers and there are old race drivers, but there are very few bold, old race drivers.”

  10. wbgonne

    Trump, Sanders and the Revolt Against Decadence New York Times (resilc). Grit your teeth. There is an interesting line of thought buried in the effort to diss change as dangerous

    As the author comes from this imaginary place:

    Consider: The economic picture is better than it was in 2012, when Republican primary voters settled for Mitt Romney and an incumbent president was re-elected pretty easily. (In both Iowa and New Hampshire, the unemployment rate is currently under 4 percent.) The foreign policy picture is grim in certain ways, but America isn’t trapped in a casualty-heavy quagmire the way we were in 2004, when Democratic voters played it safe with John Kerry and George W. Bush won re-election.

    As Michael Grunwald argued recently in Politico, the worst-case scenarios of the post-Great Recession era haven’t materialized. Obamacare is limping along without an imminent death spiral, and health care costs aren’t rising as fast as feared. The deficit has fallen a bit, and inflation is extraordinarily low. The stock market is wobbly, but we haven’t had a double-dip recession.

    This is the view from the top, not the middle and certainly not the bottom. What the author fails to recognize is that downward mobility is a hallmark of the New America and thatis what people are rebelling against.

    This bit of ideological fantasy is telling:

    After Obamacare became law it seemed to many people that the welfare state project was basically complete, that the future of American liberalism mostly involved tweaking entitlements around the edges to keep them solvent.

    There is little wonder that the author concludes on this mystic note:

    There are pathways up from decadence. But there are more roads leading down.

    Yes, there are solutions, says the author. But I’m not going to tell you what they are. Why? Because they are the same failed, counterproductive policies that have brought us to this dismal point. Lower taxes leading to enfeebled, ineffective government. Privatization of the commons, i.e., transferring wealth from the people to private actors. Deregulation leading to assaults on public health and welfare and degradation of the commons. So-called “free trade” destroying jobs and everything else. This is what Bernie Sanders is attempting to stop. It is no mystery why he resonates. As for Trump? The GOP wanted an ignorant, angry, reactionary populace. They got it.

    1. diptherio

      After Obamacare became law it seemed to many people that the welfare state project was basically complete, that the future of American liberalism mostly involved tweaking entitlements around the edges to keep them solvent.

      This reminds me of when Francis Fukiyama claimed that Western-style “democracy” and “free market” economics were the best of all possible systems, that everyone was heading there, and that we had reached the “end of history.” Of course, we all remember how prescient that turned out to be.

  11. Sam Adams

    Cruz won. How does his team believe they will maneuver around the constitutional requirement of ‘natural born’? I suspect many founders, who were students of Roman imperial history and its decline put this requirement into the constitution after considering the impact of the non-Roman emperors on the decline of the Roman empire.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many founders were not natural born. In fact, none. So, they made an exception for themselves.

      Perhaps it’s time for more exceptions in these exceptional times.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There, it’s a clear constitutional issue when someone throws religion into politics.

    2. James Levy

      Non-Roman emperors and decline? You mean Trajan? Hadrian? Aurelian? Diocletian? Constantine? Your claim is ahistorical at best.

      They put that in there because America was already a nation of immigrants and they wanted a decent interval between when a family got here and when one of its members could assume the position of chief magistrate of the Republic. It also protected to some extent old families against the influx of new men. Cruz would be a bad president because he is an ignoramus, not because he was born in Canada.

  12. DakotabornKansan

    How growing up in poverty affects boys and girls differently…Boys who grow up in poor families fare substantially worse in adulthood, in terms of employment and earnings [FiveThirtyEight]

    Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer blame the dismantling of Aid to Families with Dependent Children for the expansion of deep poverty (defined as a cash income per person of about $2 a day) in the United States.

    According to Susan Greenbaum, Blaming the Poor: The Long Shadow of the Moynihan Report, “Moynihan’s thesis gave comfort to employers who preferred not to hire black people for racist reasons but could rationalize it as good business: If research shows that black workers are unreliable, then it would be unwise to hire one. Economists call this statistical discrimination.” The Moynihan Report survives today only because it feeds the narrative that poor people cause their own problems and the economy is not to blame.

    Kathryn Edin, co-author with Timothy Nelson of Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, writes that the most important thing Americans need to do (including President Obama) is to change their attitude about low-income noncustodial fathers. They care deeply about their kids. They are not lacking the will.

    “You’ve got to give these men hope, which would mean a real shot at a stable future. Stop locking them up for nonviolent offenses. Make sure they have decent schools to attend, not the broken disgraces that litter our inner cities. Promote programs that instruct them on how to navigate the rocky shoals of their relationships. Increase the supply of decent jobs and, for those who can’t find work, provide jobs of last resort. Make good on the promise upon which America was founded: that here, if you are willing to work hard, you can make it, no matter who you are.” – Kathryn Edin, “What About the Fathers?”

  13. Carolinian

    Re the Times head scratcher about why Americans are so upset: Perhaps it’s that ordinary people see what the coastal elites with their Panglossian business channels do not–that the big crash is coming and that when it does we don’t want Marie Antoinette with smart bombs running the show. Given what happened a few years ago it’s now obvious that the one percent are going to throw us all under the bus in order to save themselves. And in Clinton’s case it’s quite likely that military adventurism–using those ordinary Americans as cannon fodder–may be one way of doing that.

    So go Bernie and, yes, perhaps even Donald. The country desperately needs a change and contra Douthat the most dangerous thing at the moment may be the status quo.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “…the Establishment, and the warlords of Israel.” Is that a tautology? And of course it’s not a new insight…

  14. Pharmaserf

    Confluence of interest statement: I know Garret personally. I also trained at Penn, and now work in Pharma.
    Garret is an honorable man who is in the race for a Nobel Prize for co-developing low dose aspirin therapy for prevention of cardiovascular deaths. He also was on the vanguard of exposing the dangers of Vioxx and selective COX-2 inhibitors:

    I’d like to make a few points:

    1. As an honest scientist working in industry, I am increasingly compelled to self-flagellate at the beginning of every podium presentation, basically listing that I earn a salary from a company that develops drugs (whether they are the focus of my talk or not), and that I have a 401(k) and get stock options from that company. The unspoken implication of this Scarlet Letter “reveal” is that it frames my work as suspect before I show my first data slide.

    At the beginning of a lecture on lung cancer biomarkers (no drugs involved in the study) I once included a picture of my father, who died of cancer on that date several years prior) and mentioned that his death was more likely to color my interpretation of the data than my industry connections. I was roundly rebuked by the session chair after the talk, and advised that if I did it again, the society would not invite me back to their conferences.

    2. The Bayh-Dole Act REQUIRES that Universities commercialize their discoveries.

    3. Patient advocacy groups are never censored for their inherent conflicts of interest, which have in fact led to many deaths, but they remain hidden in any COI discussion. Personal health is the ultimate COI, and its personal economic impact can be far greater than the pittance I see every year when my company stock appreciates. Anyone remember how many people died because of the politcal pressure put on Congress and Health Insurers to reimburse bone marrow transplants for breast cancer? Did anyone call out those lobbyists?

    4. The level of oversight for COI has gotten so great that companies no longer offer cups of orange juice at their booths. More specifically, they make you sign a disclaimer that you are not from MN, MA, NH or a few other states just to get 3 ounces of juice. There is then government oversight of those records. Even if the idea that physicians can be bought with packs of gum is true, couldn’t the money be better spent hiring more FDA reviewers and inspectors to speed drugs to patients?

    5. All of us in Pharma have family and friends wo suffer and die from disease. For me, the chance to bring medicines to market is the main reason I chose industry over academia. Over the course of my career, criticisms for that decision have evolved from “Pharma is where the second team plays,” towards astounding assertions of omniscience and omnipotence. Meanwhile, we slog on, failing at most things we try, comforted by the knowledge that we in Pharma will be vilified no matter what.

    I think the Penn editorial is right on. It maintains a focus on the potential for true conflicts, while acknowledging the importance of industry-academia collaborations in advancing the practice of medicine

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You appear to be be new to this site. I have to tell you that your defense does not begin to cut the standard for argumentation here.

      1. You choose to put aside the elephant in room: that medical research is in the midst of a massive ethics scandal, of widespread gaming and worse of research. And it is clearly and directly related to the corrosive effects of how it is funded, more specifically, the role of Big Pharma in funding. There is similarly widespread evidence of consultants playing highly questionable roles in marketing to doctors at conferences. I don’t have time (I’ve been up all night) to give a full compendium of the abuses. But I don’t have to. They’ve been reported on extensively.

      The fact that you object to disclosure in light of a massive ethics problem in your industry undercuts your credibility. Even with that, medical research remains suspect due to problems like companies running multiple parallel tests and reporting only on the ones that produce the results they need.

      2. Garret’s clinical accomplishments are not relevant to the ethics issue. There are plenty of very highly accomplished individuals who do not have high ethical standards. And the evidence does not support your claim that he was “in the vanguard” of issuing warnings. He did identify the mechanism by which Vioxx in theory could cause clots. Merck did studies that it purported put that concern to bed. But it was Eric Topol who started sounding the alarms that the studies still showed an increase in heart attack risk that when you added it up across how widely it was prescribed, translated into a potentially large number of deaths.

      And in all the articles I scanned, I found Garret mentioned for identifying the risk mechanism, but I do not find him amplifying or even opining on Topol’s warnings until very late in the game. For instance, see this in 2002:

      And in this 2004 USA Today story, Garret makes a very tame statement that it’s now up to Pfizer and the FDA to look at the data. Contra to your assertion, even that late date he is not taking a stand, merely saying the data warrants further review:

      “The spotlight is now on Pfizer and the FDA,” says Garret FitzGerald, chair of pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. “The agency needs to scrutinize all ongoing trials in the light of these data and to decide swiftly” if all COX-2 inhibitors should carry a warning about heart attacks and strokes.

      He’s merel saying well after the Vioxx danger were known that similar drugs needed to be scrutinized.

      3. You misrepresent Bayh-Dole. It allows universities to commercialize their findings. It does not obligate them.

      4. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the social psychology research that shows that gifts as small as a can of soda increase receptivity to sales pitches. You should know that is why drug detailmen are no longer allowed to give goodies like notepads and pens to doctors when they make sales calls. Stuff like that actually works. Monsanto prohibited employees from letting any outsiders buy anything for employees, even a cup of coffee. The joke at CalPERS is that the price of a $100 million fund commitment was a steak dinner. You get huffy over precautions that should be exercised on a widespread basis.

      I notice you offer no defense of the substance of the Garret piece, save to try to claim that pharmaceutical research is being victimized by ethics police. Frankly, the ethics policing has not yet make a sufficient change in conduct. At a minimum, executives at Merck should have gone to prison. Until white collar criminals face real consequences of misrepresenting risks to the public, the ethics policing hasn’t gone remotely far enough.

      The “confluence of interests” language is a textbook example of an Orwellian Big Lie. Even if Garret is as honorable as you claim it is, he sold his reputation out on that editorial. It’s a disgrace.

      And Brutus was also an honorable man.

  15. Brooklin Bridge

    Barely interesting to note that for every ten minutes of Republican coverage, PBS spent at least 10 seconds covering Sanders and Clinton. Well, almost…

    Finally, there was one woman honest enough to point out this was a big loss for HIllary.

    The other day in a comment I supposed that if electronic thuggery was possible, the DNC would use it to futher the imperial successor in God’s mission of divine right. It seems at least someone on the Sanders team agrees with this assessment. Link below.

    Opening paragraph,

    The Iowa Democratic Party is denying accusations from Bernie Sanders’s campaign that it failed to staff scores of caucus sites as he and Hillary Clinton remained locked in a too-close-to-call contest that spilled over into early Tuesday morning.

    A Sanders aide told The Hill that the party did not send impartial staffers to 90 caucus sites and is now reaching out to candidates for help reporting the data. That would mean that precinct captains from the rival campaigns will have to self-report totals from the caucus, which could lead to arguments over a swath of precincts could more than make up the margin between the two candidates.


    It’s not the first time that the Sanders team has floated concerns about the process. One aide questioned the party’s use of Microsoft software to count the votes, considering many of the software giant’s employees have donated to Clinton.

    1. Christopher Fay

      This could have been settled quickly and unfairly if we used electronic voting booths. You know, the ones that give you an election shock for making the wrong choice.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Shh, the DNC reads this site.

        I’m only saying that if there is any way to game anything (and I understand that is not as easy in Iowa as elsewhere) the DNC will find it and use it on Hillary’s behalf. If the tptb, and that includes the DNC, were scared before, they are really scared today.

        And they are aware that simply burying Sanders in Red, or in phony criticism like Chelsea, can backfire, so the next “firewall” is It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes ( Stalin probably was not the author but little matter as to how true it is).

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          And as (I think) Caroline said the other day, these people actually think they are doing the right thing; that they have the moral high ground.

          1. jnleareth

            “Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.” – Adam Smith

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think it’s the same when it comes to desperation vs. complacency.

              I much prefer a complacent Hilary.

    2. uahsenaa

      I can’t personally attest to shenanigans, but there was incompetence on display, which had the potential to benefit Hillary, since it adversely affected people who had to change their party affiliation in order to participate, and Sanders’ support overwhelming came from new participants.

      One of the precinct workers at Iowa City 6 kept saying that the line for all matters concerning registration was only for people who were newly registering to vote (not true), so I stepped in and got in a rather heated argument with her, in which it became clear that I knew election law much better than she did. Also, once in the room where you change your info, they kept insisting that you had to include your license number on the form, when the form itself is pretty clear that you cane simply check the box “I do not possess state issued ID at this time” and sign your name instead of showing a driver’s license, which means they have to check your name against the Sec. of State’s database. Again, I protested while in the room, but who knows how many people they discouraged or confused thereafter.

      They were clearly overwhelmed, and we nearly exceeded fire code for the venue. I can only imagine how much of a cluster!@#$ things were in more rural areas, where the people just aren’t available locally to run things.

  16. wbgonne

    From what I’ve read, Democratic turnout was disappointingly low. This is what I had feared but had come to believe might not come to pass. Obama’s cynical betrayal, wholly supported by the corrupt Democratic Establishment, may have disillusioned progressive-minded people into a state of helpless inertia. I observed the swelling support for Sanders and the rejection of Clintonism with surprise and hope. But if it doesn’t lead to political power it is for naught. And I don’t mean political power 30 years from now, I mean today. Should our politics resume its course of accelerating decay with a Clinton v. Rubio contest — at the moment the most likely scenario, I’d say — what will the people do then?

    1. Michael

      A lot of my generation and 5 years down are wait and see. Bernie’s success in Iowa and NH will buoy them and then SC will make it interesting.

      Wonder where Nevada will go; Reid’s machine has it pretty locked up, but what does Reid want?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Reid wants Hillary. He hasn’t endorsed because of Senate customs, and it’s possible Reid would be a kiss of death. Reid is only current Senator because the GOP ran Sharon Angle against him. She was the deranged Teabagger who suggested people on food stamps should raise chickens for protein. Reid enjoyed the support of the “moderate” Republican establishment.

        1. nippersdad

          Reid is also retiring this year, though. I have to wonder how hard he would work to further damage his legacy. There are a lot of people jumping ship this year. One has to wonder what they know that we do not.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The new Star Wars movie reminds me of the episode, The Empire Strikes Back.

            Be ready for a potential Last Stand.

  17. Ian

    If you read Robert Reich’s FB page he asked the voters for their input on what was happening. It sounds like it was a mess. A lot of unregistered voters and the caucus’s ran out of registration forms, questionable countings, overflow areas for Bernie supporters.

    1. Optimader

      Sounds like the DNC should have used the services of a Nigerian Election Monitoring NGO so at least it wouldn’t present so awkwardly

      1. craazyboy

        There’s got to be a joke in there somehow about emails, and Nigerian Queens and Princesses needing some short term money for a big payoff later, but I’m feeling too lazy to work it out this AM.

    2. nippersdad

      I read somewhere yesterday that the Microsoft app that they were using was developed with the Parties and did not have the ability to register voters who were not already registered. I’m glad to see that they had forms at the caucuses; that answered a question that was plaguing me this morning.

    3. RUKidding

      Based on no empirical evidence whatsoever, it definitely sounds like the D caucuses weren’t run well, and that it’s possible that Sanders supporters were somewhat kicked to the curb. I don’t know if we’ll ever get the truth, but it sounded like the Clinton machine and D-establishment went all out to make sure HRC got the showing that she did.

      Of course, I have NOTHING to base my supposition on… just what it seemed like from reading a bunch of posts from people who claimed to be there + what’s been reported in more traditional “nooz” sites.

      Frankly, it seems more like a LOSS for HRC once again. And all the nay sayers trumpeting out how Sanders is allegedly reviled by AA voters sounds more like sour grapes to me. That said, I don’t really know. Just my take.

      Disclaimer: not a HRC fan, but skeptical about Sanders as well.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s good to be skeptical.

        What I hope we will see are, one, on the foreign policy front, a position of all special nations in the world and, two, no exceptional domestic solutions on the backs of foreign nations.

  18. LMS

    View from Iowa

    Right now, I’m seeing 699 state delegate equivalents for Clinton and 695 for Sanders, with 99% of precincts reporting, according to the NYT.

    The Des Moines Register has a story this morning on the coin toss, with 6 delegates going to Clinton by coin toss in 6 precincts, (That is not necessarily the total number of coin tosses,)
    So, for now, she’s ahead by the toss of 6 coins.

    It’s also interesting that the Democratic Party this year, for the first time, set up satellite caucus locations for some of those that couldn’t come to the caucus. A senior-living facility, a veterans’ home, and two behavioral health institutes made up the four satellite caucus locations, which were combined for three delegates at the state party convention. The IA Dem Party this year also added a conference call tele-caucus for out-of-state Iowans, such as active duty military, people in the Diplomatic Corps or Peace Corps, and students studying aboard, for two state-party convention delegates
    If the party is concerned about disenfranchising voters, why not a primary instead of a caucus?

    In my precinct, as at prior caucuses, there were no speeches in support of the candidates, as the chair acknowledged that everyone was interested in getting home as quickly as possible. (Again, why not a primary?) After the caucus goers broke into groups, a few minutes were allocated for supporters to talk to the single undecided voter and the handful of O’Malley people whose candidate was not viable. The Sanders and Clinton people were quite fixed, and I don’t think anyone would have been swayed by more discussion. The counting was fair, with everyone standing up to start and sitting down as he was counted, and the count being made out loud so that everyone could hear and see that there were no mistakes.

    The weather was as nice as it gets in Iowa in winter, as forecast, even though the national news followed our weather all day – I think the journalists were more worried about getting out of here than caucus goers were concerned about driving. My precinct was redrawn to include more areas, so I cannot compare turnout to that in previous caucuses.

    I was shocked at the level of ignorance about Clinton corruption and the unwillingness of her supporters, who decry the influence of money in politics, to believe that she will be influenced by the donors to her foundation and campaigns and the sources of Clinton personal income for speeches. On so many issues, I feel as if I’m in an alternate universe, with only you guys here on Naked Capitalism seeing the world as it is.

    1. Steve H.

      Right now I’m seeing a 0.53/0.46 split in Polk County, which I think means Des Moines was much closer than anticipated in the thread from a few days ago.

    2. Uahsenaa

      Important correction: those coin tosses were for single county delegates, not state delegates. The process goes voters choose county delegates who choose state delegates who choose national delegates. The 699 and 695 numbers are projected state delegates based on the county delegate counts, which is where the coin tosses figure.

      In other words, it’s not the big deal it’s being made out to be. The far more interesting story is how much bedlam ensued in some precincts potentially discouraging or turning away some Sanders supporters.

      From here on out, it gets ugly, I think.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s time to get familiar with the concept of “super delegates,” which, it appears, will be used by the corporate media to obfuscate the results in service of the “electability” argument, one of the only ones on which hillary has traction.

      Google reports the caucus vote distribution as 49.9% clinton and 49.6% Bernie resulting in 22 delegates for clinton and 21 for Bernie.

      msnbc is reporting the results as 21 delegates for Bernie and 30 for clinton, with the video of her triumphant “non-victory” victory speech playing over top.

      The difference, a very significant one which makes the result look very different than it actually was to a casual observer, is explained by the award of 8 “super delegate” votes. ALL of iowa’s super delegates have declared for hillary. This fact is made about as clear as mud.

      The democrat party has 700+ “super delegates,” over half of which have already “declared” for hillary, so I would expect to see this crap again. But the fact is, these votes are not cast in stone, and can be changed at the convention to reflect “the popular vote.” This happened in 2008 when hillary “super delegates” defected to obama.

      Don’t get caught up in the coin tosses and reporting “irregularities.”Bernie’s POLICIES are powerful and popular. This is about making the corporate candidate seem the most “electable” by the corporate media because they’re scared to death of the democratic socialist.

      1. Banana Breakfast

        Yeah, Hillary’s declared super delegates will only matter if the popular vote is very close in the final estimation. If Sanders wins the popular decisively, they’ll redeclare to reflect the wishes of the party’s voters, because to do otherwise would be, at minimum, suicide in this election. But if the race is close, they’ll throw it to Hillary as they did to Obama in 08.

        1. Antifa

          Which will result in Bernie running as an independent. He has the votes to win this thing; she doesn’t. This will only become more apparent as the primary season goes through the motions. She is not the people’s choice.

    4. RUKidding

      I was shocked at the level of ignorance about Clinton corruption and the unwillingness of her supporters, who decry the influence of money in politics, to believe that she will be influenced by the donors to her foundation and campaigns and the sources of Clinton personal income for speeches.

      I see that level of ignorance – or often more realistically, that level of absolute denial – a lot out in blog-land (of varying types of blogs). I’ve seen people type their comments saying essentially: “I don’t give a stuff if Hillary is bought off by Wall St. SO WHAT???? Someone’s going to make that money so it might as well be Hillary.”

      Really. I’m NOT even exaggerating. I guess some D voters Really. Don’t. Care. if the Clintons are bought off. That’s my takeaway.

      I’m not some starry eyed fanatic about Sanders by any means. I have lots of issues with Sanders, but really? You can simply IGNORE how Clinton is a bought off NeoLiberal NeoCon?

      OhhhKAY then. Carry on.

  19. annie

    very telling that bernie wins among the ‘college educated’.

    pundits play up the ‘youth’ angle but ignore the ‘educated’ one. in iowa, he won in ‘urban areas’ whereas hillary’s support came where ‘less densely populated.’

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And the rural areas are worse today than 2008.

        In 2020? It looks like, from last night, ‘more worse,’ with history repeating itself.

  20. August West

    Um, is it just me or did nobody catch Hillary’s speech last night when she said that she is confident that she can pass universal healthcare(yes she said “universal”)passed for every man, woman, and child? My jaw feel to the floor! Wow just wow is all I can say. Not a peep about it anywhere. Where are all the journalists? Ahem…. Paging Robert Reich, Dave you out there??

    1. tongorad

      “Universal” means something different to neoliberals such as Clinton and Obama: Universal profit expansion for the rentiers.

      1. August West

        Ha, I won’t deny that conclusion but Bernie has Hillary running scared!! I recall reading a lot over the weekend about how Hillary thinks Universal Healthcare is impossible to achieve. I guess she may have changed her tune. She really does go wherever the wind blows. Hard to take her seriously.

        1. RMO

          I can’t stand to listen to the speech myself but I’m wondering did she say universal “health care” or universal “coverage”? They aren’t necessarily the same thing.

    2. diptherio

      From “never ever” to “I’m gonna do it” in record time. Indeed, where are all the reporters?

      1. Jerry Denim

        Same place they were when Obama killed single-payer in the crib, failed to re-trade NAFTA, and failed to impose a new twenty-first century Glass-Stegal.

        Reporters? Ha!

    3. JerryDenim

      Yep, I caught that too, but you know many people have called the ACA “universal healthcare”. She will say anything to win as she knows most Americans aren’t going to fact check her and the media is in the tank. Next she will start pledging to break up big banks. Obama didn’t even try to achieve his 2008 campaign promises and yet he is still popular and revered by many. I’m sure this fact has not been lost on the Clintons.

      Disgusting but not surprising.

    4. RUKidding

      Yeah, I caught that Universal Health Care quote, too, but of course, the Koch Brother owned and operated NPR wonks said bupkiss about that.

      My immediate thought? Bait and switch, baby. No way, Jose. Hillz ain’t gonna do that. Bank on it.

  21. Dave

    You talkin’ to me?

    Re Rooftop solar.

    PG&E is evil. No other way to say it.

    From barbequing an entire neighborhood and killing many people in San Bruno with a defective gas pipeline, to bribing PUC officials, to steadfastly denying there is any problem with running two nuclear reactors on top of a cluster of earthquake faults upwind of San Luis Obispo, they are evil.

    We have struck back. Two days ago our rooftop solar hot water system was installed. No moving parts except for two ball valves. Solar hot water is a the first and easiest step that any homeowner or business should consider. It requires no change to anything, unless you live where freezing weather.

    Your water heater gets cold to warm to hot water flowing into it from the roof, depending on the time of day and if needed, heats it a little more to reach the preset temperature on the heater. You use less gas or electricity and that’s that.

    Had to laugh at a sign we saw at a laundry in Palm Springs:
    “Due to increased gas costs, our washing machine prices will go up January First”.
    You could fry an egg on the sidewalk and certainly on their roof for 3/4 of the year.
    Nope, no solar hot water panels on their roof. Talk about shortsighted.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Increased gas costs’? Natural gas has crashed in price along with other commodities, back to $2.00 per million BTU — same price it sold for in late 2001.

      As this chart shows, March 2016 natgas has been smashed down 40% since last May:

      Is PG&E passing on the natgas price crash to its customers?

    2. nippersdad

      I have seen that solar hot water heaters are huge in Beijing, so even freezing weather is no longer a bar to their use.

  22. Steve H.

    – Nearly Indestructible Water Bears Are DNA Thieves
    AND – Why you can’t just wipe out mosquitoes to get rid of the Zika virus

    From the second link:

    – The British biotech firm Oxitec has created genetically modified males of the Zika- and dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti species.

    Oxitec used the piggyBac transponon in mosquitoes released in Brazil. piggyBac is promiscuous in horizontal gene transfer. There is a question whether it can be transferred cross-species (i.e. to humans), but I’m having a hard time untangling the evidence.

    I’ve been burned before, citing a Séralini study on RoundUp which was subsequently retracted by the journal. Since then, however, he won two court cases for defamation, and it came to light that the retraction occurred after the journal appointed an ex-Monsanto employee as Associate Editor for Biotechnology.

    The point being, the argument about GMO safety is a serious mud-fight. And while it’s going on in the human realm, nature goes right on stealing genes like its been doing for hundreds of millions of years.

    1. Sam Adams

      “Oxitec used the piggyBac transponon in mosquitoes released in Brazil.” It also appears there is a correlation between the areas where the mosquitos were released and the largest pockets of Zinka virus. Of course i was reminded that correlation does not mean causation.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More ‘technology for a better tomorrow.’

        It may be prudent to be skeptical, including technologies like solar or the next drug against antibiotic resisting bacteria.

  23. Dave

    How to alienate the very people that you want to reach:

    Let’s talk about the environment and pollution. The very people you want to reach are in places like Cancer Alley in Louisiana and the rust belt. So, let’s lead off an otherwise well written article with a dollop of personal politically-correct preferences that guarantees the author and the subject matter will be ignored.

    Maybe this author works for DowDupont or whatever it’s called?

    “…Her joyful revelry in discovering San Francisco as an outgoing young, butch, queer woman, was occasionally interrupted by severe headaches…”

    Or, perhaps she’s saying that her dead friend’s preferences were caused by a brain tumor?

    Whatever, the subject matter is too important to be sullied by such diversions.

  24. JTMcPhee

    This link came off the sub-links at “DNA got a kid kicked out of school” link posted this am:

    “The UK Just Green-Lit Crispr Gene Editing in Human Embryos,” Per the link, of course, it’s happening everywhere, unregulated for the most part. Typical engineering attitude: “Because we can do it, we will.”

    Maybe this ok from “the UK” has already been noted in NC. And then there’s this little snippet:, and a slightly broader view of one tiny part of the enormous vulnerabilities us humans face as a result of the idiocies and egos of so very few of us:

    And after going through today’s links and comments, and a smattering of stuff from the Guardian and dkos and HuffPo and WaPo and such, and years of hopefulness that somehow wisdom and decency or maybe just self-preservation would stop the Juggernaut before it crushes us all, I am comforted that I am older and not in the best of health and will not live long enough to see what the Stupid Fokking Humans With All The Money And Clout And Their Minions And Retainers will be turning themselves and the rest of the planet into.

    A pity about my kids and grandkids, for the horrors they will be enduring or succumbing to — too bad it turns out that FIRE and CRISPR and nuclear and all the other species-suicide weapons and “technologies” are the apparent backbone and branches of our DNA, RNA, etc.

    Hardly even worth asking, any more, “what possibly could go wrong?” A better question would be “What possibly could go right?” Bearing in mind that satiating the pleasure centers and the rest of the limbic-system equippage of a very few of us will be the driving force that creates the realities that the rest of us can study, while the Brave Actors plow ahead and create still new realities that the rest of us can then study…The worst part is feeling a sense of duty to try to at least illuminate and complain about the (too mild a word) crapification, and make such modest efforts as are within one’s reach to do anything about the big stuff…

    “It’s our DESTINY!”, and

    1. Watt4Bob

      Typical engineering attitude: “Because we can do it, we will.”

      I think this meme is a lacking in detail.

      IMHO, it goes like this, engineers discover something is plausible, accountants mention there might be profit in it somewhere, and only then does some ‘C’ suite MBA insist on ‘doing it’.

      The engineer then points out the inherent dangers involved, to which the MBA says, do it, or we’ll fire you and give the job to someone with a lessor conscience.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Knowing that MBA is around, perhaps a lesson to be learned is to keep it silent the next day.

        “Can I guarantee, 100%, that my discovery will not be used to harm people (and plants and animals)? If I can’t, should I proceed? Is it still my fault? Should it be on my conscience? But it will make me famous. The person whose discovery unlocked the secret of the ultimate force in the universe.”

        Is that ethical standard too high?

        In 1700’s, maybe.

        As we Homo Sapiens get smarter than smarter, almost God-like smart, is that ethical standard still too high?

      2. JTMcPhee

        Forgive me for saying “engineers,” who I guess are much more moral and ethical than I observe. Should have broadened to tecnologists, scientists of all stripes, and most of the Financializers who do not really give a shit about unexpected “who could have knwns?” and “its not my fault” outcomes unless it affects them personally and directly. Because hubris and profit. Speaking as a former lawyer who cheerfully acknowledges this moral and ethical defects amongst my former profession/”business.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In general, and there are many exceptions, smart, educated urban dwellers are scary animals.

          Smart, educated technologists, scientists, etc, are especially so.

          “I am a young, proud urbanite. What, you’re an older rural dweller? I am voting for Bill Clinton. All my young educated, urban friends are voting for him. His music is more to my taste. You will never understand.”

          A better man and candidate this time, but the young are always impressionable. Sometimes you win or we win; and sometimes you or we lose.

      1. petal

        It was nearly 50F yesterday, so I reckon the base (snowbank) melted away and they fell over. Teehee.

  25. Will

    I would like to share stories from NC about locals successfully fighting off corporations engaged in nefarious behavior, such as selling of public assets, installing poisoning facilities (factories, mines, etc), or others. I’m especially thinking of some of Lambert’s posts about his work in Maine, but I welcome any on that theme. I don’t see a tag for that sort of post – can anyone provide links for me? Or suggest how I might find a collection of such posts in the archive?


  26. Jim Haygood

    John Schindler of the Observer ups the ante on Hillary Emailgate:

    Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover.

    Not only have these spies had their lives put in serious risk by this, it’s a clear violation of Federal law. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 … makes it a Federal crime to divulge the true identity of any covert operative serving U.S. intelligence if that person has not previously been publicly acknowledged to be working for our spy agencies.

    People really go to jail for breaking this law. John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer, recently emerged from two years in prison for unauthorized disclosure of classified information, including exposing the identity of an Agency colleague who was serving under cover.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock …

    1. rusti

      I’ve started listening to Harry Shearer’s Le Show after Yves’ latest appearance and he had a good line in this week’s episode, using Manning and Petraeus as data points to guess the outcome of this scandal. Something like:

      Hillary probably won’t face prosecution unless, of course, she decides to become a low-level whistleblower.

    2. Uahsenaa

      Except the counterexample, Petraeus, never got fitted for a jumpsuit. In fact, he made out quite well in “retirement.”

    3. Gio Bruno

      But Dick Cheney didn’t go anywhere when he outed Valerie Plame. His side-kick Scooter Libby took the fall; and his jail time was commuted by GWBush.

  27. flora

    re: JAMA
    “They declared conflict of interest to be a pejorative term that should be replaced by confluence of interest.

    Paging George Orwell: please pick up the white courtesy phone.

  28. Goyo Marquez

    Re: Nairobi’s taxi drivers turn to violence to halt Uber

    That’s not violence that’s strategic disruption. Violence is the new Uber.

    The endpoint of libertarianism, the only things you get to keep are those you’re strong enough to keep others from taking.

    1. optimader

      What’s wrong with Uber actually?
      I have no direct personal experience with it, but I do know it’s been a boon for seniors I know that have mercifully given-up their drivers licenses, and on the flip-side younger urban folk I know w/o vehicles that have intercity destinations poorly served by public trans and suck-ass Chicago cabs.

      1. Goyo Marquez

        Well the uber idea, computerized dispatch of public transportation is a good one, why cabs don’t do it is beyond me.

        But the other side of Uber, the lining up cars that aren’t being used/people who aren’t working, is where the trouble begins. They’re essentially externalizing the full costs of operation, some on their employees, others on the public. They’re free riders and what Silicon Valley knows, as industrialists knew years ago, is, that, that’s where the money is.

        But I thank God for Uber every time my Marine son takes it to go out on the town with his buddies.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The Uber algorithm is best deployed in urban guerrilla warfare.

          Just in time platoon to take that critical intersection.

        2. Antifa

          Uber will rejoin the real economy when driverless cars are widespread. Then there is no human to serve as the independent contractor who pays all maintenance costs. Uber will have to replace tires, change oil, clean up vomit in the back seat, wash and wax the car, and pay for smartphone access. Their profits will drop under these expenses, just as profits fade away for independent contractors now.

          1. Skippy

            Why Uber’s Bid For Platform Monopoly is Dangerous

            This is a response to Susan Crawford’s recent piece “Getting Over Uber.”

            My problem with Uber all along has been that it’s optimized for a really specific utility, but at the expense of others. It’s a bit like online universities, which offer courses isolated from the fabric of education or a learning community. That’s the nature of any digital business: you get what you program for, but lose everything else — and sometimes it doesn’t come back.

            Remember what Clearchannel did to the FM dial? They bought it all up, and replaced local stations and deep music knowledge with long-distance, computer-generated play lists. It was all excused as free market capitalism; thanks to VC they had more money, so they were entitled to purchase the landscape. Eventually, the non-local Clearchannel FM stations proved they weren’t profitable enough to sustain the company’s valuation, so Clearchannel began selling them. But the institutional knowledge enjoyed by those original FM stations was gone.

            Uber may be of great utility in the limited frame of providing low-cost rides for people with iPhones. But it does not serve any of the other functions that a local taxi service does. Meanwhile, its programmed not just to provide rides, but to take out competition. It is a platform monopoly in the making. This is because it cannot support it’s multi-billion-dollar valuation by being a ride broker.

            Uber needs to create a platform monopoly so that it can leverage into other verticals, from logistics to self-driving cars. If anything, Uber’s drivers are the R&D for Uber’s driverless future. They are spending their labor and capital investments (cars) on their own future unemployment. And even that would be okay, if they were shareholders in Uber capable of participating in those future profits — but it’s not a worker-owned cooperative at all.

            As every economist since Adam Smith and before has known, the factors of production are land, labor, and capital — and sometimes entrepreneurial effort. But the current digital economy rewards only capital, and acts as if acknowledging the contributions of land and labor were a communist, regulatory plot.

            The people providing the labor and the communities providing the territory for Uber’s operations deserve an equal say in the way the company works, and revenues the company earns.


            1. Optimader

              If ubers scalability is capped by the iphone user subset, then it is self-limiting
              As well, if its functionality is limited compared to taxis, its scalability should be further limited, no?
              Ive hardly studied uber, just conversational curiosity of users i know (suburban old folks and young urban professionals) . The notion of it offering “low cost transportation” is not an attribute i hear. The attributes are more likely resolutuition of time, being aware where the pickup vehicle is and a predetermined fare, no cash interaction, some confidence the most efficientroute to the destination will be used, and typically decent vehicles and polite drivers–passengers and drivers can score eachother. Apparently enough negative feedback and both drivers and passengers can be voted of the island as it where.
              Frankly the dispatching model sounds emminently doable for local coops working off a regional or national dispatch software network.

              But it does not serve any of the other functions that a local taxi service does. Meanwhile, its programmed not just to provide rides, but to take out competition. It is a platform monopoly in the making. This is because it cannot support it’s mQ

              1. Skippy

                My simplistic take is its just using other peoples money to garner dominate market share and IPO to instant squillions, then its other peoples problem, tho having “disrupted” markets globally with its fracking style…. the new funds would be a lunching pad for more of the same in other sectors of regional economy’s…

                Skippy…. like in the good old days…. send in the Priests and Jesuits to soften up the locals for extraction…

                1. Optimader

                  I can only comment locally, but the biggest legit rap i see is paying up and out of the community. On the other hand, at least in Chicago that has already long been the case.
                  Yellow(and Checker Cab, a frmr Offshoot of Yellow ) was the puveyor of disruptive technology here in 1915, dooming the public horse carriage cab trade and all its infrastructure.

                  Yellow was only briefly a “locally” owned company, the founder john hertz selling off what would be the defacto cab transpo monopoly (and the service reflected it) to GM eventually ending up as an asset owned by some ****ionare named levine in NYC

                  So yeah, Yellow was “locally” owned by Hertz for maybe~10 years, but then it became one of transportations progenitor models of remote wealth extraction.

                  (And as a sidebar, check out the excellent Philathropic work Hertz did with his money under the good guidance of Edwin Teller!! –shootme! Literally. But I digress.)

                  Back to uber, the thing is yeah probably there will be an ipo and people will pile in and loose their asses in a oversold lust and a couple guys will walk away with bags of money. But the essence of that export of money out of the city has been going on since Hertz sold the company circa 1928 or so. And since then the service , equipment , performance of cabs in Chicago has pretty well sucked.
                  Personally i expect on operation like uber will force mutation of the local cab model into something better than it is, and uber will bump up against competitive mutations of thier own biz.
                  In the mean time, so i hear anyway it apparently does make for a much more organic city transpo scheme in lieu of the mediocre public trans system in the City and burbs. Fantastic commuter rail service, and i guess some of the elevated line have bern upgraded, but then things get stressed.

                  1. Skippy

                    I don’t see the logic in addressing problems by letting lose cowboys to create a bigger set of problems…

                    In some Northern European states they have multipass transit, to include BMW electric hybrids, competition is not the fix to everything…

      2. Skippy

        Algorithmic Monopoly to Extract Rents… whats not to like….

        Skippy…. Gates frictionless capitalism gone the full neoliberal retard….

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        1. Uber takes your entire contact list from your smartphone and records where you went. So it’s a surveillance state operation.

        2. Uber pays less than minimum wage unless you have a 5+ year old car. Most drivers aren’t savvy enough to factor in vehicle wear and tear.

        3. Most (as in all) Uber drivers are not properly insured. Basically Uber plays a lying game: Uber tells drivers: You must be insured! Driver says, “Yes I am.” But his regular insurance policy does NOT cover operating the car on a commercial basis, and pretty much no drivers pay the heft charges to have the right sort of insurance that would cover their passengers in the case of an accident.

        4. Uber intends to get a monopoly and crush driver pay further.

        I’d never use Uber. They are exploiting both drivers, most of whom don’t understand their true economics, and users.

        1. RMO

          Do you see Uber as hitting a dead end if driverless cars become the norm? I can’t see them putting up the money and other resources required to actually purchase and maintain their own cars and facilities and the way a driverless car makes the most sense to me is in a structure like a large co-op or a company that allows users to call up a car when they need it, have it come to them, take them to their destination and then go off to another customer. I would think that driverless cars would also lead to a world where few people bother owning cars because of the efficiency of the above setup (and because unless things change most people are going to have less and less income to spend on owning a vehicle which spends most of its time sitting still and depreciating) so there won’t be a pool of suckers, sorry, I mean entrepreneurs to provide Uber with a free fleet.

          1. Skippy

            Uber is more about advancing a socio-economic agenda whilst the principles get payed well for it, after that the sparkle pony’s can clean up the mess…

          2. optimader

            Summarizing a few comments that vaporized last night
            Do you have a link for
            …1.Uber takes your entire contact list from your smartphone
            I would be interested in reading more on that.

            2. Personally, I don’t see Uber or competitors scaling let alone monopolizing anything if they cant retain drivers due to financial unsustainability..

            3. Link on that?

            4. Like I said, so does every sub sandwich franchise I am aware of.
            There is no destiny. Nor am I as confident Uber is sufficiently monolithically superior and unique that it has a model that will crush all competition. If for example drivers reimbursement is not sustainable, in due course that will have to self correct or Ubers model will not be sustainable.

            5. Ultimately Uber is not forcing drivers or users into a transaction

            some thoughts on the matter.

            on driverless cars
            Who actually thinks driverless cars are a realistic scenario in large urban lacations. I NY or Chicago, considering the conservative collision avoidance system that would have to be onboard, I really don’t see how a driverless car will leave the curb when pedestrians and bikes walk/merge in front of them with impunity.

            1. Yves Smith Post author




              Despite Uber claiming it wants access to your contact list for supposedly defensible reasons, a friend of mine decided to use it for the first time in Milan. Privacy laws are tougher in Europe than here. During sign-up, she was told she had to allow Uber to have access to her contacts. She could not opt out and complete sign-up.

              2. Uber is already lowering driver rates in many cities. They wouldn’t do that it they didn’t think they had leverage. And I don’t know where you’ve been regarding pay. The fact that Walmart as the biggest employer in the US gets away with paying many of its workers less than a living wage, with the result that its lousy pay is subsidized by food stamps and Medicaid says it’s a viable business model to underpay.

              3. Is consistent with what I said. It’s actually WORSE than what I said and you seem to act as if your link shows otherwise: “The ride hailing companies insist that, given their supplementary coverage, a personal car insurance policy provides a sufficient level of coverage. Most car insurance companies – and some state and local regulators – disagree.” In other words, Uber is affirmatively misleading drivers so they think their profits are higher than they are (as in drivers should be getting more coverage) and putting passengers at risk by encouraging drivers to operate underinsured. And you defend these people???

        2. Optimader

          1. That would make for an interesting link
          2.its a mutually consenting deal. If it is not financially sustainable it will hit its appogee and fail
          3. Risk/reward i guess. Again it will not be sustainable if they start killing/maiming patrons. Ive been in more than one rolling box of loose spare parts called a yellow cab on the expressway from loop to ORD, And its academic wether or notit was “properly insured” ( the non Yellow suburban cabs to the airports -far better equipment i think many are owner operated they do use a computer dispatching scheme)
          4. Well that is the objective of every shitty sub sandwich franchise i know of too. If the bussiness is not financially sustainable, and the participants conclude they are being ripped off, not gonna happen wont be sustainable.

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China…capital flight…warns bank chief

    I visualize China money, check that, Chinese money on wings trying to fly across the Pacific.

    Shouldn’t we have aircraft carriers positioned to catch these short to medium range flying dollars, so they can be used to buy more mansions all cash?

  30. Jerry Denim

    I caught Sanders “virtual tie” victory speech in Iowa last night. I thought he did a good job of using the television coverage to broadcast a typical Sanders stump speech live, but one topic was notably missing; TPP/Free Trade Deals.

    I have my own anecdotal evidence and I’ve read a lot of news stories lately that suggest Trump is picking up a lot of votes based on his anti-free trade rhetoric. This is Bernie’s turf, he owns it. No way he should cede the ground to hot-air, do-nothing Trump who has never once fought against a Free-Trade agreement. Sanders populist/socialist rhetoric concerning corruption and dirty business practices among big-finance institutions is a very popular message, but the job-killing nature of Free-Trade deals is a winning topic as well, and as a bonus it is another Clinton vulnerability with voters. Sanders really needs to include these topics in every stump speech. Being anti-TPP and anti-Free Trade is a winning topic this year. This is Bernie’s turf and he needs to claim it.

    1. Uahsenaa

      My guess is that Sanders has chosen not to emphasize TPP in part due to his need to work around Obama. Obama surrogates have given Sanders lash after lash over the past week over his complete non-critique of anything Obama has done, only the mere whiff of a potential critique based on his policy prescriptions. I can only imagine how they would go after him if he were to directly assault a plank of the “Obama legacy,” at which point he would be fighting a war on two fronts within the party. I imagine his hands off approach to critiquing Obama so far has kept at bay many of the hounds that would just love to sink their teeth into him. C.f., for example, Axelrod’s surprising neutrality when discussing Sanders and Clinton. That alone indicates to me that Obama is willing to live and let live so long as Sanders does not come after the White House directly.

      1. Jerry Denim

        Astute analysis, but I’m still not convinced it’s the best strategy. The establishment is going to view Bernie as the enemy and continue to attempt to sabotage his campaign no matter how nice he starts playing. If someone is so in love with Obama they can’t stand to hear about the TPP, then they are a hopeless Clinton voter already. Not attacking the TPP and the broader issue of free trade leaves a very popular campaign plank on the table to be exploited by Donald Trump or someone else. With Clinton’s sudden attempt to pivot to Sander’s left on mere campaign rhetoric alone I wouldn’t put it past her. It’s not like she holds elected or appointed office right now. She can criticize anything she wants right now without having to commit to any particular action that may actually impact the issue under debate.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      He had a big speech on TPP set for 5 PM in New Hampshire today. Lots of advance messaging to leftie groups. Didn’t want to pre-empt that.

      1. Jerry Denim

        Great! I’m happy to hear Sanders hasn’t decided to strategically distance himself from his past TPP activism as reader Uahsenaa suggested. I haven’t heard Sanders trash the TPP or concept of free trade in while and I was wondering if he had decided to lay low on the topic. I will try and find a transcript or a video. I think anti-free trade is finally a winning platform this year. If Americans find out what the TPP is all about they will be even more outraged.

  31. Louis

    As abhorrent as I find Donald Trump–his candidacy and supporters seem like something straight out of the movie Idiocracy–it’s wishful thinking to say it’s game over for his candidacy.

    Unless Trump crashes and burns in New Hampshire, or the next couple of nominating contests, he’ll be in the race for awhile. Him winning the nomination, as depressing a thought as it may be, is still within the realm of possibility.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We don’t have to respect our opponent.

      But it’s safer to respect his (or her) odds. Under-estimate at our own peril.

  32. Bubba Gump

    Having sampled a bit of NPR, WTOP, Bloomberg Radio, and BBC America this morning, it is obvious the American news networks are all falling over themselves to declare victory for Hillary and completely ignore Bernie’s tie. It’s so disgusting, honestly it is making me so angry I feel physically ill.

      1. bob

        I checked cnn at about 3-4 am (est), groggy, and saw they had called it for bernie.

        Maybe there are screen shots.

        Dewey loses!

  33. Gio Bruno

    RE: Easter Island (this comment will surely get lost in the Iowa buzz.)

    The discovery that the Moai (statues) have bodies is very interesting. But it does not deflate Jared Diamond’s observations in his book “COLLAPSE”. (The books title is spelled in all caps.). In summary, the book supposes the Easter Island society collapsed because of deforestation (environmental damage). Diamond surmised that these giant statues were rolled to their coastal location on (over-harvested) palm tree logs. And the islanders unwittingly killed a valuable environmental resource that led to the collapse of their society.

    The discovery that the statues have bodies and are much larger than appeared actually reinforces Diamond’s surmise. The larger statues could not be “walked” to their coastal location from their origin at quarries easily. They are much too tall and at much greater risk of falling over in a process of “walking” with ropes. And the larger Moai bodies would have required MORE logs to roll them to their final location.

    Lastly, COLLAPSE is essentially about how societies fail because they ignore environmental degradation. The erosion that masked the full size of the Easter Island statues is a result of deforestation by the natives and later by New World explorers grazing livestock (sheep) on the islands.

    1. Antifa

      The collapse of the Easter Island population was due to their investing their all in huge stone statues. That they had to cut down every last tree to accomplish this is secondary to the original project. That their competition to build ever bigger statues was just a pissing contest between chieftains and clans is the saddest part. Came a day when they realized that they should have given their all to guarding and growing their trees.

      By the way, modern civilization builds Easter Island statues, too. They’re called suburbs. Yes, they are a pissing contest between chieftains and clans. We cut down all the trees and then name the streets after them. There’ll come a day when we realize that we should have been giving our all to guarding and growing our soil.

      Humans are the species that kills itself and other species with spectacularly dumb ideas. Ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time.

      1. Gio Bruno

        Yes, the story of Easter Island is actually quite complex. J. Diamond gives it a full chapter (Twilight at Easter) that is fourty pages long. The discussion is densely packed. Any summary would be lacking.

        For those unfamiliar with J. Diamond, his 500+ page “COLLAPSE; How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” is a stimulating read.

      2. Will

        Great summary. They’re also called skyscrapers, aircraft carriers, etc…

        I’m staying in Bakersfield now. Some lawns are browning due to water issues. One popular response is to pave over the lawn with gravel – see, no watering needed! The worst I’ve seen is one house where the owner paved over the lawn-space with asphalt. Good grief.

      3. Jim Haygood

        ‘Modern civilization builds Easter Island statues, too. They’re called suburbs.’

        Or ‘foreign military bases.’

  34. John Wilson

    Amazing/Awesome posts here today. Wow. So much great stuff but not enough time to absorb it all and probably missed various pieces. This is a massively huge gigantic deal assuming it is true and not exaggerated. If true, MY BIG HOPE: (1) MS must be told by CUSTOMERS that they will leave to Linux or Apple as soon as possible unless MS quickly changes this, (2) this issue MUST go viral NOW with recommendations to complain to Microsoft and warn of departure to Linux, (3) Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders and possibly Trump need notification asap; others funded mainly by “us little people” grass roots (i.e., non-banks): Fiorina; even the remaining crowd desperate for votes could possibly join in despite their bankster backing, and (4) Contact senators and congress reps to complain (a one or two sentence email works) might help cuz these politicians are “all about re-election votes” and they want “happy constituents” not “throw the bums out” constituents.

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