Links 3/25/16

Serious Question: Can a Parrot Act As a Witness in Court? New York Magazine

Defensive Clinton Campaign Releases New ‘Who Are You To Judge Me?’ Ad Onion (David L)

Pope washes feet of Muslim migrants, says ‘We are brothers Associated Press (martha r)

These Gorgeous Animated Shorts Celebrate 7 Of Mexico’s Indigenous Languages Mexica (timotheus)

Seph Lawless Captures Stunning Photos of an Abandoned Disney Park Photogrist (resilc)

Giant holes found in Siberia could be signs of a ticking climate ‘time bomb‘ Business Insider (David L)

IBM has turned away from customers to Wall Street I, Cringley (Glenn F)

AI progress fails to convince all investors Financial Times(resilc)

New snakebite research pits drugs against deadly venoms, shows promising step towards first-ever field antidote California Academy of Sciences (Chuck L)

Scientists create the simplest form of life yet known Financial Times (David L)

Blunt obituary told the painful truth about Duluth sister’s suicide Minneapolis Star Tribune. Article: “Here is the truth: You have value. You have worth. You are loved. Trust the voices of those who love you. Trust the enormous chorus of voices that say only one thing: You matter.” Chuck L: “The neoliberal fundies might beg to differ.”

Gender Wars

Female Computer Programmers Make $0.72 For Every Dollar Made By Male: Study Slashdot

US state revokes transgender protections BBC

Things Aren’t Looking Well For The ECB’s Latest Policy Tool WSJ MoneyBeat


Two-thirds of UK banks fear Brexit, according to industry poll Guardian

No risk of Brexit ‘economic shock’, says Boris Johnson Telegraph

Hedge Funds Dealt Setback as U.S. Sides With Argentina on Defaulted Bonds New York Times


Only Ukraine Could Have Brought Down MH17 Voltairenet (Chuck L)


ISIS, oil & Turkey: What RT found in Syrian town liberated from jihadists by Kurds (EXCLUSIVE] RT (guurst)

Obama on ISIS: ‘They’re not an existential threat to us’ MSNBC (furzy). Spare me. The political classes yet again preying on the fact that people are bad at statistics. Getting in a car is a much bigger threat to you than ISIS is or ever will be.

US Marines Enter Ground Combat in Iraq to Defend Oil Fields Antiwar (resilc)

Russia, Syria and Iraq launch major offensive against the IS Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (guurst). German original here.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A Social Theory of Surveillance Concurring Opinions (guurst). Important.

Windows patch KB 3139929: When a security update is not a security update InfoWorld. David K:

This is not just about injecting an ad. Win10 is not compatible in some scenarios with advanced graphics and memory-intensive computational software; in other words stuff people use to make a living, or depend on for critical path service delivery (like in a medical office). This ad is pushing an unsafe/high-risk product upgrade which has the real potential to unrecoverably cripple the system. But domain-licensed corporate clients are not shown the ad; it only targets individual users and small businesses.

If Microsoft’s documentation is correct, installing Patch Tuesday’s KB 3139929 security update for Internet Explorer also installs a new Windows 10 ad-generating routine called KB 3146449.outlook android preview

Many people — present company included — feel that putting an ad generator inside a security patch crosses way over the line. In fact, you have to ask yourself if there are any lines any more.

The Choice Is Not Between TPP or No Trade Lori Wallach, Huffington Post


America to Establishment: Who the hell are you people ? McClatchy

America’s obsession with social media is undermining the democratic process Quartz (resilc). This is ridiculous. 1. Confirmation bias long predated social media. 2. Social media simply allowed for more, better hot-button targeting that Karl Rove perfected in the days of snail mail. 3. What pisses the elites and punditocracy is they can’t lean against this sort of thing when they feel they need to through broadcast/broad reach media. Maybe they should have thought about that before they got rid of free-to-air TV.

Arizona primary: Maricopa County had one polling site for every 21,000 voters AZ Central (furzy)

Hillary’s Rigged Primary Victories are Showing the World Presidents are Selected — Not Elected Free Thought Project (Judy B)

Sanders campaign keeps lawsuit against the DNC alive The Hill (furzy)

Open Carry at the Republican Convention: Yes Please Gawker

Trump is Positioned to Win the Presidency Counterpunch (resilc)

Camille Paglia: This is why Trump’s winning, and why I won’t vote for Hillary Salon

Donald Trump can’t stop saying nasty things about women. It could cost him. Washington Post

They Made Him a Moron Baffler. Ouch.

Illegal Immigrants Get Public Health Care, Despite Federal Policy Wall Street Journal

If You Catch And Use Rainwater In Colorado, You Are A Criminal ThinkProgress(timotheus)

University of California president proposes privatization of pension fund WSWS (Judy B). With the Koch Brothers funding the think tank that it promoting it.

Court throws out Chicago pension reforms Financial Times. As expected.

Atlantic City to pay workers with IOUs as money crisis looms Associated Press (martha r)

Police State Watch

Watch a Local News Reporter Get Arrested While Requesting Public Records Gawker

Oil Mystery Solved? Interest-Rate Effect Upends Usual Growth Benefit WSJ Economics

Trade failures of US bonds hit $456bn Financial Times (David L). What is disconcerting is that regulators appear to be sitting on their hands.

El-Erian: Expect markets to fall 10% in the next few months CNBC (furzy)

Coming to the Oil Patch: Bad Loans to Outnumber the Good Wall Street Journal

Unions push for cut in pension fund alternatives, get pushed back Politico (DO). If anyone can get me a copy of the study, I’d appreciate it.

Class Warfare

Mocked and forgotten: who will speak for the American white working class? Guardian. Lambert featured this in Water Cooler yesterday but consider DO’s observation: “Private equity is responsible for this too.”

New Twist on the Sex-Offender Registry: Financial Crime Wall Street Journal. But of course, only what Bill Black calls “fraud mice” get targeted, much the less convicted.

In Hindsight, ‘American Psycho’ Looks Like Us New York Times

The Economist Who Brought You Thomas Piketty Sees Perfect Storm of Inequality Ahead New York Magazine

Antidote du jour. Chet G: “Signs of spring: I had my first sighting of a painted turtle this year (along with vivid lichen).”

turtle-24mar16 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. voteforno6

    RE: “They Made Him a Moron”

    I sure hope the author was being ironic when he called Alec Ross a deep thinker. That guy is a blithering idiot. That the ruling elite considers that type of person to be a deep thinker with big ideas explains a lot in how this country has become so screwed up.

    1. divadab

      He’s a courtier – a professional sycophant. A familiar figure in royal courts down the ages.

      Off with their heads, says I.

    2. Mark Alexander

      The author agrees with you. Here’s a quote from the article: “The Alec Ross success story is a fine illustration of how somebody with virtually zero foreign policy experience can rise to the upper echelons of the foreign policy establishment by becoming a go-to authority on all things technology—and now, apparently, on all things future. Technology experts have joined economists as America’s most useful idiots.”

  2. Llewelyn Moss

    Interview – Phoenix Arizona with Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Elections Recorder (4:35)

    Take a stress pill before watching! Hahaha.
    Her Tone Deafness Is Breathtaking. How is it possible that people like this in charge of govt functions?!

    Reporter: Who is to blame for this?
    Purcell: The voters for getting in line…

    1. optimader

      How is it possible that people like this in charge of govt functions?!
      Useful dolt.. it’s a feature

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you get your world for free, you’re the product.

          The more I apply ‘if you get X free, you’re the product,’ the weirder the reality gets.

    2. sid_finster

      She can’t exactly come out and tell the truth, can she?

      Besides, in a few days Kim Kardashian will get a puppy (awwww!) and this will all blow over.

    3. hreik

      This is the sh*t (voter disenfranchisement) that puts me over the edge. It’s a republican tactic, the party where HRC actually belongs.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if the Hillary campaign sent out free wheelchairs to her tortoise voters in AZ, so they could wait in line past midnight to vote?

        1. hreik

          They all voted b/f tuesday. The elections recorder blamed the voters for being in line, like not voting early. SMH.

  3. Cry Shop

    The article on Alec Ross (They Made Him A Moron) , particularly the first part, makes him sounds like a slightly up market version of Bill Clinton’s Body Man, Doug Bland.

    There is something about the Clinton, that anyone who can stand serving under them for very long is a grasping, greedy conman/woman, and usually short on brain power. I guess the later point makes it easier to deal with the boredom and regular humiliation.

    1. vidimi

      that was a great takedown. sycophantic alec ross reminds me of a young hillary clinton. vacuous but endlessly self-promoting. i look forward to his 2044 presidential campaign.

  4. abynormal

    Re: Huge Craters in Siberia…”And it gets worse: One of the craters is just 6 miles from a natural-gas field. The Siberian Times reported that the combination of the two flammable materials in such close proximity is a huge safety concern for the area. At least two of the craters have since turned into lakes.”

    There are two problems for our species’ survival – nuclear war and environmental catastrophe – and we’re hurtling towards them. Knowingly. Noam Chomsky

    1. Cry Shop

      It’s old bad news being ignored, and not even complete news. The methane getting release on land is only the tip of the iceberg.** Dr Shakhova, a scientist at U. of Alaska – Fairbanks, has a daughter, and she knows it isn’t going to go well for all our children. You can catch her trying not to tear up at the end. She’s one brave person to doing this considering where she works. Surprised Palin hasn’t shot her.

      **Pardon the pun, but one should laugh when facing an unavoidable death.

    2. Cry Shop

      The leaking of the landbased perma-frost, while a vast area that itself spells a certain doom over time, is a small, small tip of the iceberg compared to the methane that is starting to be released from the melting off-shore permafrost. I’ve got a link (see below) from a U. of Alaska Fairbanks scientist which gives an indication of how bad it’s going to get, and much quicker than most climate scientist think. Most scientist live in small academic boxes of expertise, few other scientist are aware of what is going on in the Russian off-shore permafrost, particularly the scientist focused on man-made emissions.**

      Gahhh. Skynet. My earlier manurecomment with links passes straight through, so I thought my reply here with a link would be okay. Yet it gets held in one of the eight stomachs of the ruminant that powers it. Perhaps one day it will pass out the cue and get dropped here to fertilize an awareness that it’s much worse than most think.

      Co-funded the first international exchange with climate/environment scientist from different fields of study, shocking to see how extremely segmented and compartmentalized this field is. I’ll post the link to the conference separately, because Skynet.

        1. Synapsid

          Cry Shop,

          Your link is to the conference Climate Change and the Asian Monsoon: Impact and Consequences for Asian Civilisation.
          The Asian monsoon supports the agriculture that perhaps a quarter of the human race depends on.

          “…shocking to see how extremely segmented and compartmentalized this field is.”

          Lets look:

          Clift, a marine geologist. Sea-floor sediments contain geochemical records of the Asian monsoon in stable-isotope ratios of oxygen in microfossils in particular. This allows us to track water sources, important for detecting where the monsoon winds are coming from. Marine geologists study such.

          Lahore, who focuses on tropical convection and modeling of mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. The Asian monsoon is a tropical convective (think thunderstorm) weather phenomenon classified as mesoscale, which means roughly larger than a storm and smaller than global.

          G Lau, a geographer who works on resource management. Note the last part of the conference title: Impact and consequences for Asian Civilisation. Resource management is fundamental to dealing with, um, impacts and consequences of climate change.

          W Lau, former Deputy Director, Earth Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Goddard is one of the principal centers of research in climate change on the planet, you see. Someone who was its deputy director for more than a decade has a lot to offer.

          H Flee, a geographer who has worked on socio-economic and demographic impacts of global climate change in China and Europe. Why on Earth would this person be invited to a conference on impacts and consequences of climate change for Asian civilization? Oh, wait…

          The “compartmentalization” you decry is not different areas of research and study that are walled off from one another. The conference brings together workers from various disciplines each of which can contribute, in their way, to understanding the subject of the conference. Cooperation across disciplines is a good thing. Look into the topic Earth Systems Science and you will find that it includes atmospheric science, marine geology, physical oceanography, biological oceanography, marine geochemistry, atmospheric geophysics, physical and cultural geography, climate modeling, climatology, palaeontology, sedimentology–the list goes on, and each field contributes to the understanding of our home, planet Earth.

      1. Synapsid

        Cry Shop,

        “She’s (Shakhova) one brave person to doing [sic] this considering where she works.”

        Why? She’s a research scientist at a major university. She’s working in a field, Quaternary (ice-age) Earth science, for which the university is particularly well known–for the research done there. In other words, it’s been going on for a considerable time.

        Innuendo reflects unfavorably on the innuendo-ist. Innuendo based on ignorance is worse, as it reveals arrogance.

        1. Cry Shop

          You’ve never heard of Palin, as in Sara Palin? Alaska? It’s a swipe at the nutters in that state.

    3. cwaltz

      I don’t know which brilliant person came up with the idea of drilling into the planet’s plates but you just know it isn’t going to end well for some of us. Eventually they are going to fracture and change the topography of the planet.

      1. Ed

        ” don’t know which brilliant person came up with the idea of drilling into the planet’s plates but you just know it isn’t going to end well for some of us. Eventually they are going to fracture and change the topography of the planet.”

        Lex Luther.

        The Sci Fi channel showed the original, campy and non-realistic “Superman” the other night. The plot revolves around Lex Luther’s scheme to set off a weapon on the San Andreas Fault, which is supposed to increase the value of his real estate holdings.

        This of course is completely ridiculous, but after “Superman” came out you had stories of children thinking they could fly and jumping out of buildings. Maybe there was some budding tycoon who watched the movie, saw Luther in action, and thought “what a great idea! why didn’t I think of that?”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If we don’t drill, we bomb.

        Hopefully, our enemies don’t position themselves near any major faults.

          1. night-Train

            We actually did try fracking a few wells with nukes. Didn’t work out. Tended to turn the rock into glass and didn’t enhance production. And what was produced was hazardous nuclear waste.

  5. ProNewerDeal

    Thanks David K, for your Win10 news article today, & for NC for past Win10 articles over the past ~12 months.

    Based on these articles, I’ve declined the Win10 “free upgrade” to my “Win7 Professional” computer.

    If any Win7 computer users have any thoughts/advice with respect to M$oft’s apparent Win10 anti-security Crapification initiative as it related to we consumer users, I’d be interested in reading them.

    Cheers & Happy Friday!

      1. Screwball

        Is that as complicated as it looks? Did you have to go through all that or is it pretty seamless?

      2. jo6pac

        Thanks. I had 10 try and load itself one day when I left the puter on when I went into town. Nasty.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      I’ve avoided upgrading to Win10 (because of its obnoxious spying on users) but will eventually install it. If you are going to stick with Windows, you will have to install it sooner or later b/c eventually official support for Win7/8 will end — which means no more security patches. Might as well upgrade for free before the July deadline.

      Helpful link
      How to reclaim your privacy in Windows 10, piece by piece

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          I develop Windoze software for a hobby so I’m kinda stuck with it (ok,ok, stop the snickering). Otherwise, I’d move to Linux, like yesterday. :-)

    2. JCC

      I’m going to throw in a linux plug here. I work as a IT Sys Admin, everything from Windows Desktops to Windows Servers to Hadoop and Beowulf Clusters. I work in a decidedly MS Windows World and still use a Linux Desktop at my workplace and at home (along with a recently dead Mac Laptop). When I absolutely have to use a MS Windows workstation, a ‘kvm’ virtual machine with Win7 is my answer, used at work about 1 hour every two months, and about 1 hour every 6 months at home.

      I have no problems whatsoever with my desktop at work, fully integrated into the “system” and I can easily get all my work done as well as deal with various documents that come my way, etc.

      It’s not perfect (obviously MS Windows isn’t either), but on the other hand I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the last 15 to 20 years by avoiding the constant hardware and software upgrade cycles, not to mention the constant worry of never-ending security upgrades and direct cracking/spyware attacks (not that these don’t exist in the linux OS world, but they are not a weekly, if not daily, worry).

      I’ve had one personal security incident on a home system, 10 years ago and, notably, on a MS Windows laptop break-in (to be fair to MS, I accept direct responsibility for that screw-up, but it would not have happened had I been running a linux distro).

      For those who want an easy transition, Ubuntu or Red Hat/Centos workstations are OK, for those who are comfortable and/or not nervous about computer tech, Fedora is very good.

      Just my $0.02.

      1. Mark Alexander

        Good advice, and I’d add a plug for Linux Mint (version 17 in particular, since it has long term support). It’s based on Ubuntu, but the user interface is more traditional, and based on my experience installing it for novices, it should be pretty easy for former XP/Win 7 users to adapt.

      2. NeqNeq

        Just to jump in on *nix plugs:

        My significant other has finally made the switch from the Apple universe to Ubuntu. She found it way more intuitive than Mint (with Cinnamon desktop environment). BUT if your coming from Win, the opposite seems to be true. .
        The one big pro to Ubuntu is that it has better out of the box driver support (than Mint) and it has a really active support forum. Mint is getting better on driver and software compatibility (there was a major change to the system and things are just catching up), so things are looking up in the long term.

        Of particular note for the NC community is that she is functionally illiterate when it comes to technology, so if she found it easy most others will too. It took her a weekend to memorize the different program names and setting locations. One downside, for her, is that she has to learn a new word processing program, but she uses that more than most users

  6. Juneau

    Article on sister’s obituary: How true that the neolibs don’t agree. I am shocked to see how some people accept that greater powers don’t mind seeing them die from neglect or their own hand. People pick up on these insidious messages and a piece like this counters the lie. While so terribly sad, what a beautiful and healing and generous way to deal with the death of a loved one.

  7. craazyman

    It seems to me that only a very sick individual would paint a turtle. Is it appropriate to celebrate the result, even if they did a good job?

    It’s not all bad that female programmers made $0.72 for every $1 made by males because when wages go negative they’ll be better off.

    If you catch and use rainwater, you’re a criminal? If you go out and try to catch rainwater you’re a moron, it falls straight down from the sky. duh.

    How could a defense attorney cross examine a parrot? You’d get the same answers no matter what questions you asked. hahahah. bwaaaaaak.

    They made him a moron. That’s a long article and they don’t use the word “moron” even once except in the title. That was a disappointment because I was hoping to learn something I could use.

    Giant holes found in Siberia. What difference does it make if it’s in Siberia? There’ so much land there you can just walk around them.

      1. craazyman

        No. I’ve got to do some work today on an energy industry writing project & I’m procrastinating. Now I can’t anymore. Gotta work! . . .

  8. allan

    Even for the Bezos-owned WaPo, this hit job is a new low:

    Why Emily’s List is spending big to defeat a progressive Democrat

    Where the `progressive’ in the headline means corporate lapdog Chris Van Hollen.

    I usually don’t have much use for Emily’s List, but in this case they are backing the actual progressive in the race, Donna Edwards. There appears to have been some advance notice to Van Hollen’s campaign about the story,
    since several hundred comments, almost all pro-Van Hollen, were posted between midnight and 5 a.m.

  9. DJG

    Thanks to Yves and timotheus: The article with the seven folktales in Native languages of Mexico is a delight (and a warning). My Spanish is pretty bad, so I bumbled through the stubtitles, but the story of the Sorcerer Cricket is beautiful.

    I’m wondering about similar sources for the many languages still in use in the U S of A: Cherokee, Choctaw, Zuni, Hopi? Ojibwe? Does anyone have sources for similar lively video?

    And we should be concerned about the seriously endangered Native languages. Check out some of the Wikipedia entries, which estimate the numbers of speakers at 12 or 20. A terrible legacy of the oppression and slaughter of the Native peoples.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Immigration kills languages.

      If everyone migrates out of Afghanistan, by the 2nd or 3rd generation, the national language or the various dialects will have been lost.

      The same with all the languages in the Third Wold, as the First World integrates the immigrants into their cultures.

      It’s critical everyone should feel safe and can prosper where he/she is…free from neoliberal colonialism and imperialism.

      1. DJG

        MLTPB: There was a conversation going yesterday about the value of nationalism. When “nationalism” is about preservation of language, it can cause a flowering of culture (and not just waving of flags). I’m thinking of Basque or Catalan. The Lithuanians have been good at preserving the language (politically, nationalism there has done some bad things). There’s Javanese, still thriving, as is Balinese. Languages do well when connected strongly to a place (Piedmontese is still doing moderately well–in Piedmont.)

        So there is value in the idea that people should be left alone to talk. (There’s an Italian Christmas song that goes something like “Saint Nicolas brought us words so that we could talk and keep ourselves warm…”)

      2. DJG

        A reminder, though, that the main language of Afghanistan is Dari, a form of Persian. Persian is the French of the Middle East–a language bringing culture. (Not that the U.S. media will devote much space to letting everyone know about the role of Persia and Persian in transmitting culture along the arc from Turkey to India to China.) But there are many languages in Afghanistan spoken by smaller groups.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What is it like to not be able to speak the language(s) of one’s parents?

          Is it liberating or tragic? It seems the latter to me.

  10. hreik

    Is your comment about the painted turtle snark? B/c this:

    The painted turtle is the most widespread native turtle of North America. It lives in slow-moving fresh waters, from southern Canada to Louisiana and northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Wikipedia
    Scientific name: Chrysemys picta
    Higher classification: Chrysemys
    Rank: Specie

      1. craazyman

        It’s either one person with a factory or there’s a lot more sickos out there than I thought.

        1. ambrit

          Use the resources available to you craazyman! I’m sure that the Secret College of Magonia has a department of crypto anthro. Look in their database of Amphibio Estheticians and you’ll find something. If no luck there, contact Professor Magnus A’Tuin. I believe he heads the Department of Cosmic Barque. (Don’t throw the old “I’ll bet your barque is bigger than your bight,” joke his way. He hates it.)
          Now, “be te a trabaho!”

        2. polecat

          I think the late Thomas Kinkade, with the help of his many paint application minions, did it.

  11. Toske

    “Trump is Positioned to Win the Presidency Counterpunch (resilc)”

    Link has an extra “a” at the beginning

  12. charger01

    Re: “If you catch rainwater in Colorado”
    This has happened in Washington as well. The state has defined “waters of the state” so broadly as to encompass rainwater as well as just about any surface water of the state (except swimming pools)

    1. divadab

      Ya and the State applied it in the wettest drainages in the State – simply nonsensical adherence to the utmost letter of a bad judgement. It means NO exempt wells (household) can be drilled in the Upper Skagit, for example, and without a well no house building permits can be issued. In a drainage that gets 80 inches plus of rain a year.

      And the PTB are more concerned with industrial users instead of households.

      Fucking Democrats. Worse than Republicans in cases like this.

    2. Peter Pan

      Collection of rain water for residential use was legalized in Washington state in 2009.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Luckily (for now), oxygen and hydrogen are free.

      I watched he movie The Martian the other night; maybe we have to make our own water soon.

      1. Antifa

        No wish here to be crude, but we do, all of us, make water every day. And the technology exists to perfectly purify and reuse it.

        As hydrogen technology improves steadily, we may see the urine-powered car long before any of us get our proverbial flying cars, which were first promised to us in the 1930’s.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I have heard of Urine Therapy and urophagia.

          So, that may be one complementary way.

  13. diptherio

    Re: Gender Wars

    One of the best articles I have read lately is by a woman who works at a tech worker co-op in Canada. One of the many points she makes about co-ops like hers, where everyone makes the same wage, is that their flat payscale makes gendered pay disparities a moot point. So chalk one up for co-ops. Unfortunately, there are plenty of things about working in a co-op like hers that aren’t so progressive. Give this one a read this weekend, even if you don’t care a lick about co-ops or tech companies. It’s a very thoughtful piece:

    At Koumbit, everybody gets paid the same amount. Same for folks at Territoires. And this amount is… small. Well below market rates. Which really brings the question of who can afford to work in a coop. Jack Aponte, who works at the Palante Tech Coop, hits the nail right on the head: “Some people need to make money – think of people with kids, people who need to send money home, people who have debts – some folks just cannot afford to work at Palante.”

    Both at Palante and at Koumbit, the question of wages over paycheck is a difficult one. Because in both cases, what drew people to this model is the fact that when you’re your own boss, you can pick who you work for. And who do we want to work for? Organisations who share our values! That generally means non-profits and grassroots groups with little money, for which we try to offer affordable services. Sliding scale is great, but the effect is simple: less money for the workers. It’s a difficult choice, really, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution for it yet. On the one hand, you want to choose clients carefully. On the other hand, restricting paychecks also leaves out all the folks who simply can’t afford the (small) wages or the instability which comes with the job.

    Equal pay still has a lot of advantages. For instance, when I asked Marilyne Veilleux about the wages at Territoires, I was really surprised to hear her answer. To me, the wages at Koumbit are bad, full stop. But she had a much more nuanced view of it:

    “For some of my (male) colleagues, yes, getting paid the same as everybody means renouncing a better wage elsewhere. But for me, who has little experience and a job which could easily be passed on to somebody else, I get paid much more than I could have expected.“

    In fact, equal wages close that gap where women traditionally earn less than men. And the symbolism of that is very strong. But as much as we wish it wasn’t, the “money issue” is too often a theme of discussions in coops. And, unfortunately, it probably is a main blocking factor against more diversity.

    1. fresno dan

      Speaking of pay, I was reading something about Americans having to compete, wages going down, technology, blah, blah, etc.
      And I thought, do those Hb1 visas apply to CEO’s????

      Because if free trade and capitalism works so well, why aren’t our CEO’s paid like Japanese CEO’s? Why hasn’t there been stagnation in US CEO compensation?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I am not a tech guy, but how hard can it be to program a robot to be a billionaire?

          Why don’t we just replace human billionaires with robot ones?

      1. diptherio

        Indeed, there’s the rub. Of course, you could not get paid the same and still not get paid enough, which happens plenty in the mainstream economy.

  14. diptherio

    Apparently, some of the Onion’s old headline writers moved over to McClatchy.

    “America to Establishment: Who the Hell Are You People?”
    Nailed it.

    1. Carolinian

      Indeed that McClatchy story is great. File it under Not the New York Times.

      Although perhaps the MSM is finally starting to get it. The Newshour last night did a segment on elite disparagement of the white working class and how “redneck” is the last socially acceptable epithet.

      1. Jim Haygood

        The working class caught on a long time ago:

        No, we don’t fit in with that white collar crowd
        We’re a little too rowdy and a little too loud
        There’s no place that I’d rather be than right here
        With my rednecks, white socks and blue ribbon beer

        — Bob McDill and Wayland Holyfield, 1973

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Donald Trump can’t stop saying nasty things about women. It could cost him. Washington Post

    Will wonders never cease! The republican party has discovered “misogyny,” and THEY DON’T LIKE IT!

    The fact that a rich, beautiful fox news anchorwoman could be called a “bimbo” is truly too horrible to contemplate. This orange-haired, orange-skinned, small-handed, misogynistic hitler-satan with “German roots” who plays footsie with white supremacists must be stopped.

    So, can we have our reproductive rights back now? How about our Planned Parenthood funding? Surely the anti-misogyny crusaders will put a stop to female computer programmers making $0.72 for every dollar made by males.

    Too much? You know women, give them an inch and they take a mile.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Still waiting for Adolf Trump to blurt out his view on Chastity Belts. Repubs do love Governing Womens Private Parts, don’t they. :-)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1, A rich person can not represent the working class.

      2, A male candidate can not understand female issues.

      Neither is true?
      Both are true?
      Only one is?

      1. cwaltz

        A male candidate doesn’t get to say he understands female issues when he turns his campaign into a which wife is hotter and who would you bang contest(and yes that goes for BOTH GOP putzes since this was all started by a not very nice billboard that Cruz supporters ran essentially reducing Melania to her decision to pose nude before.)

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Clinton and Obama weren’t rich by classical standards, and they only emphasize with grifters.

      2. TomD

        I feel like this depends on your definition of understand, and then whether understanding is even important.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Like a lot of things, it’s more nuanced once we get past the generalization.

          Perhaps a rich person can understand, empathize with, what workers are confronted with today, but not many rich people can do that easily or naturally. And some may even appear they understand, but do not.

    3. cwaltz

      It’s actually quite funny to hear the bleating(disclaimer I despise Trump and would NEVER vote for the guy.)

      Cruz issued the statement, “real men don’t attack women.”

      I wonder if that means if Cruz wins the primary that he won’t attack Hillary Clinton since she’s a woman and all.

      He should inform the GOP since they’ve been “attacking women” for some time now.

    4. Carolinian

      Yes God forbid the reporter who said “of course Santa Claus is white” and who once worked at Vogue should be taken less than seriously. It’s a Newton Minnow Vast Wasteland world. Trump just lives in it.

  16. Larry Headlund

    Female Computer Programmers Make $0.72 For Every Dollar Made By Male: Study Slashdot

    From the article:

    Female computer programmers make 72 cents for every dollar earned by male programmers. That difference is after researchers adjust for factors such as age, education, years of experience, job title, employer and location, according to a new study by Glassdoor (PDF).

    If you drill down to the underlying study, all the way to the second page (Executive Summarty) you see:

    Based on more than 505,000 salaries shared by full-time U.S. employees on
    Glassdoor, men earn 24.1 percent higher base pay than women on average. In
    other words, women earn about 76 cents per dollar men earn. This is consistent
    with official sources that show women earn on average 75 to 80 cents per dollar
    earned by men. However, comparing workers with similar age, education and years
    of experience shrinks that gap to 19.2 percent. Further, comparing workers with
    the same job title, employer and location, the gender pay gap in the U.S. falls to
    5.4 percent (94.6 cents per dollar).

    So the 72 cents is before adjustments and after all named adjustments the gap in the US is 5.4 percent.

    The important takeaway is that the gap is real but sloppy writing like this just gives ammunition to those who want to deny it,

    1. inhibi

      Thanks for pointing that out.

      I was going to say that, like everything in America, the not-so-media-friendly truths are minimized while the inane, banal half-truths are embellished.

      The gender pay gap is much less than people think. But of course, because “feminism” is the new “gay rights” the field is littered with so much crazy (just look at Anita Sarkesian’s youtube videos) its hard to get them all straight. Not that I would ever think that women and men are on equal footing (especially globally). But in America, the gap has shrunk substantially over the years, emphasis has been placed on women in politics and high level positions within Wall Street. Universities have more women researchers than men. That’s why I find it funny that NOW, of all times, gender inequality is the big thing. Why was this discussion not in 1971 (when the Court ruled that gender discrimination was akin to, and could be tried with the same legality, as racial discrimination)?

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Can a parrot act as a witness?

    Well, a photo picture is evidence.

    So too, can you be convicted when filmed in the act.

    In that sense, a camera is a witness and can be called to ‘testify’ by replaying and displaying what is in its ‘brain.’

    If a parrot can’t, then it is lower than a camera on the totem pole.

  18. Dr. Robert

    Apparently the National Enquirer just broke a sex scandal involving Ted Cruz and at least 5 other women, many of them high-level staffers in Republican politics. This is apparently the explanation for a transfer of money to Carly Fiorina’s PAC from Cruz’s PAC, as her deputy campaign manager was involved with Cruz. Trump picked his “Lyin’ Ted” moniker well.

      1. ambrit

        Much as the party faithful may strive for it, politics is about as far from religion as is possible.

      1. craazyman

        wow. that’s amazing. Does this give credibility to their stories about space aliens? I think they said at least 9 U.S. senators were from other planets. People used to laugh at that stuff but I’m not sure they will anymore.

        I wonder if Bernie is one of them? I hope not, because that would potentially disqualify him from being president.

        Bernie Bernie!
        Bernie Bernie!

        Once Professor Kelton gets her hands on the budget even the National Enquirer won’t know what to write. That would be quite amazing. Even the National Enquirer would be speechless in front of monetary theory. I think even the space aliens would be speechless. It is complicated, that’s for sure.

        1. Vatch

          I can’t believe I’m about to say this! To be fair to the “National Enquirer”, I think most of the outlandish space alien articles were published in “The Weekly World News”, a separate publication owned by the same company. I don’t think “The Weekly World News” is published any more; I haven’t seen it at the supermarket for a long time.

          1. pretzelattack

            i think they went to an online edition. no more batboy pictures in the checkout line.

          2. JeffC

            My personal WWN favorite was the story about grizzly bears on the moon.

            They definitely had some
            credibility issues.

        2. HopeLB

          Crazyman have you not seen for yourself on c-span the Canadian Defense Minister tell us that several types of aliens are here.

          (I always try to spot the pale “tall whites” as he calls them.Saw one a few streets down last fall!) I have noticed that when the aliens pose as politicians you can spot them by the strange “s” sound they emit (Listen for it when Geitner and Obama speak.) (Perhaps they got this idea from Harry Potter? Perhaps it is an unintended consequence of gene manipulation or most likely a way for them to signal to eachother.) Looking at the Big Picture (climate change, War, Nuclear War,Neoliberalism) I think then that the only logical conclusion is that the aliens are reengineering our planet for their future habitation by Methanating our atmosphere and ridding the surface of humans. This will be relatively easy to accomplish once they have installed themselves in the Banking Elite and taken over all economic/political systems, governments.
          A recent attempt to expose the aliens went awry as you can read here;

          He clearly only made contact with one type.
          Bernie is thankfully not on his list of senators. Neither is Hillary. He claims you can detect them by their constant “sniffing” which he attributes to some sort of power stance but is more likely to do with their heightened olfactory senses.
          His letter in full;

          JFK was looking into it and I heard Bill Clinton say he asked about aliens and was told there is a need to know and he doesn’t.

          1. craazyman

            wow. that’s some disturbing foo foo woo woo stuff in that Wash Post article. They say there’s a fine line between genius and insanity but the vast majority of real geniuses don’t have a problem there at all. It’s only something that visits certain individuals and then it’s a living hell.

            I heard the other night on the radio about a dude who was searching for Bigfoot in Oregon. He wrote a book about it. he found a woman whose family was friends with a bigfoot family for years. So she took him to the tree where they lived. It was a huge tree and they lived under the tree in the ground. She told the dude she had to knock to let them know they had company. So she knocked on the tree three times. The dude said he nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a knocking in reply coming from the ground under the tree. He wouldn’t tell anymore on the radio, he said you had to buy the book to find out what happened. That seemed kind of unfair. I guess he made it out alive or he wouldn’t have been on the radio to tell about it.

            yeah all that stuff about Mr. Hellyer and the others is widely known. I would have quite a lot to observe about all that stuff, but it would run too far afield of Naked Capitalism to be appropriate fodder for examination in this forum. Besides, they never post my foo foo links, so what do I care? :-)

            1. HopeLB

              Of course, I am 99% kidding and admit to myself that I am probably only resorting to the old SciFi explanation as a way for the human race to gain some plausible deniability.(Didn’t The Enlightment happen ages ago?) Why can we not stop our economic/political systems from quite clearly ruining the planet and people’s lives,happiness and outlooks?
              And yes the young man was most probably crazy.

              But for the fun of some SciFi musing;
              L.ook at fracking=Could be way to methanate AND clear subterranean living spaces. A win winfor the “Tall Whites”.
              Look at GMO’s= Way to undermine the human genome by inserting non-human genes.
              Look at surveillance/Big Media/Propaganda= Way to track us and control how/what we think.
              And look how easy it would be to get our elites on board; simply manipulate with power and money. The elites don’t really even need to know who is actually in control, in fact , in my imaginings, the elites would believe themselves to be the real power wielders until the very end and/or if the elites do know; they shoot off to Mars.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        Oh Dear Lord, this cain’t be true. Not our Beloved Teddie who says he has been anointed by Gawd to run for Presdent. Everyone, join hands and pray with me. Hahahha. I would love for this story to be proven true.

    1. Eclair

      Sex with Ted Cruz?! Euuuuuwwww! Is there a mental-image-erasing pill I can take to expunge this from my brain?

      1. Skippy



        Ketamine, sold under the brand name Ketalar among others, is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It induces a trance-like state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss.

        Skippy…. always here to help….

    2. divadab

      “a transfer of money to Carly Fiorina’s PAC from Cruz’s PAC”

      Payment for services rendered? I mean, shouldn’t there be money involved where the fucker is as depraved and horrid as Cruz? Maybe Carly discovered another fundraising source – pimping out her staff to the repulsive Ted Cruz?

  19. GlennF


    Hope you are feeling better.

    This important event on the balance between national security and government intrusion, taking place at the University of Arizona featuring Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Noam Chomsky and Nuala O’Connor, will stream live March 25th 5-7 p.m. MST (8-10 p.m. EDT).

    Also, Glenn Greenwald was featured on Democracy Now March 24 for the entire program after the news headlines:

      1. Vatch

        Way behind is right. From the article:

        And Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren also said she is “cheering Bernie on.” However, she didn’t go so far as to endorse her Senate colleague.

  20. Synoia

    AI progress fails to convince all investors

    Microsoft’s interesting experiment is releasing their AI on the internet where it turned into all bad about bigotry, racism and probably sexism illuminates a very interesting point.

    For intelligence of any form to be acceptable, it needs to operate in a set of Ethicals, or an ethical framework.

    To which I comment: Good luck codifying a set of ethics. What was acceptable (racism) is not so much, etc.

    I believe that kills AI for a very long time.

    1. Teddy

      Do you really believe people like Travis Kalanick would care or even think about implementing any ethical framework into AI?

      You may believe it kills AI for a very long time, but they are the ones who get to decide.

  21. Blowncue

    Re: HB 2 in NC

    The transgender bathroom panic bill also contained an Easter egg that killed off any potential “Fight for 15” wage ordinances by locality. NCEquality, ACLU, NAACP at packed rally at Unitarian church in Raleigh. But I’m wondering if LGBT folks gonna figure out that lobbying model won’t help them here. Not without direct action. Too many attendees pinning hopes on litigation.

    1. Antifa

      The Federal courts do seem to be the most likely demise for this ridiculous law. There is the Tamara Lusardi decision from October of 2014, and if you want the whole list of court cases and decisions, has it.

      It seems the Civil Rights Act, and the EEOC have a very strong predilection against this kind of stupidity in the workplace.

      Then there is the intense pressure from the business community, in all the other 49 states, watching the best and brightest leave North Carolina, watching companies set up shop elsewhere, watching companies leave.

      Governor McCrory is an owned creature, a creation of Art Pope and the Koch Brothers, and those are people whose marching orders don’t change, so this law will not be changed diplomatically, nor by any amount of protest. Most of the NC Legislature Tea Party loons owe their election to gerrymandering and Art Pope/Koch money. They know very well this law will fall in the first Federal courtroom it reaches. But in the meantime, it sure lets them tell their Tea Party backers and voters that they’re really trying.

  22. Jim Haygood

    From the Atlantic City article:

    Mayor Don Guardian held a news conference to detail plans for a shutdown of nonessential city services from April 8.

    “On April 8, we will run out of money; that’s a fact,” Guardian said.

    He’s echoing a Bruce Springsteen riff:

    Everything dies baby, that’s a fact
    But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
    Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
    And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

    When N.J. voters approved casinos in a 1976 referendum, gaming was supposed to revitalize Atlantic City. Nevada and A.C. were the only two gambling venues in the country. For some inexplicable reason, people believed that Atlantic City would enjoy a perpetual exclusive franchise on East Coast gaming.

    Wrong-o! Other states and Native American tribes joined the scrum, in the familiar cycle of a popular idea being replicated to the point of gross overcapacity and a culling of the weakest.

    Another biz-gov partnership bites the dust.

    1. Steve Gunderson

      Atlantic City never really benefited from the casinos. I visited once, about 25 years ago, and could see that outside of the casinos themselves, no money was being returned to the city. A very dismal place.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Right. But incredibly, this tired old myth still sells:

        New York legalized casinos in 2013 when voters approved a Cuomo-backed amendment to the state Constitution that allowed for up to seven Las Vegas-style gambling parlors.

        The governor has argued casinos will boost tourism and allow the state to capture gambling dollars that are currently being spent in other states.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Simple platforms I will vote for.

          I do not want my state collecting gambling dollars.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Maricopa county – 1 polling site per 21,000 voters.

    Was that 21,000 register voters or 21,000 voters who showed up?

    It would be especially bad if in 2012, the polling sites were high school gyms, or other large places, and in 2016, it was reduced to one small room in a small library.

    Or maybe it was 5 small rooms in 2012, and one large high school gym in 2016? Anyone has information?

  24. Eclair

    I read both book reviews, Frank Pasquale on Bernard Harcourt’s “Exposed,” and Evgeny Morozov’s take-down of Alec Ross’ “The Industries of the Future.” Kafka could do no better. I think I finally can begin to grasp the extent of how the intersection of technology and surveillance is leading to total social control and to imperialism-on-steroids. And it is horrible.

    Two quotes: ‘The Chief Data Scientist of a Silicon Valley firm told Zuboff, “The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale. When people use our app, we can capture their behaviors, identify good and bad behaviors, and develop ways to reward the good and punish the bad. We can test how actionable our cues are for them and how profitable for us.” Harcourt reflects deeply on what it means for firms and governments to “change behavior at scale,” identifying “the phenomenological steps of the structuration of the self in the age of Google and NSA data-mining.”’

    And, “Like many in Silicon Valley, Ross believes in what has become known as the Varian Rule—named after Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian—which states that the kinds of luxuries enjoyed by billionaires today will eventually be provided, albeit in a somewhat modified, heavily technologized form, to the poor and middle classes. You won’t get a chauffeur, but you will get a self-driving car; you won’t get a secretary, but you’ll get Siri or Google Now. The only benchmark of success is access to goods and services, while the actual terms on which this access is provided—for Google Now to work, for example, you need to let Google monitor you pervasively—are never discussed. Here is a capitalism-friendly version of social mobility, whereby consumption, rather than the dissolution of existing power relationships, becomes the sole goal of emancipatory struggles.”

    And, if you are too poor to afford a self-driving car, or your version of that is a ‘bus,’ and even ‘Siri’ is beyond your means, you can indulge in a Starbucks frappuccino once a week, as you identify with the power of the ‘brand.’ Even our voting patterns become a form of consumption; each candidate is branded, marketed and sold on the basis of, not what will they do to make our lives better, but how much reflected power and glory do we achieve in identifying with them, wearing their colors, voting for them.

  25. perpetualWAR

    The Bern is returning to Seattle today and has rented Safeco Field in a yuuuuge show of might. I’m hoping Seattleites bring down the house today!

    Go Bernie!

    1. nycTerrierist

      In today’s New York Post:

      “A poll Thursday offered some hope to Democrats who still feel the Bern, showing Bernie Sanders in a dead heat nationally with Hillary Clinton.

      The Bloomberg Politics poll gave Sanders 49 percent to Clinton’s 48 percent, with a 5.6 margin in either direction.”

      Go Bernie!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        His path is based on the calculation that many of Hilary’s 48% (nationally) have voted – a lot of them live in the South, while many of Bernie’s 49% have not.

        And as many of Hilary of 48% (nationally) voted when she might have polled higher – 48% is now, not, say, February or early March – we can’t assume that by the end of the primary season, Sanders will have 49% to Hillary’ 48%.

        Basically, Hillary’s plan is to run out the clock, and Bernie has to win big, particularly in NY, Penn and CA, the rest of the way.

        1. vidimi

          i don’t see how bernie can win in NY when, according to recent commentary in the links, independents needed to have registered to vote by october.

          1. Antifa

            Well now, I reckon I’m a waitin’ on the FBI Primary. About 153 career agents will be voting in late April or May as to whether Hillary needs to face a grand jury before July. Bernie Sanders isn’t on this ballot. Hillary is the only candidate in the race with an FBI Primary coming up. Leaks to the press have made it plain that these agents have found gross malfeasance from Hillary and her whole staff, for years on end. No doubt they will recommend a grand jury.

            Yes, the Attorney General can delay or reject any trial, and yes President Obama can preemptively pardon any and all of her team’s transgressions ad nauseum, so nothing but anonymous FBI leaks about their crimes ever reaches the public, but that FBI recommendation alone is a hole below the waterline for her campaign. And there’s no guarantee that the AG and President will take such a hit to their legacy. Hillary’s entire staff is criminally liable. How do you pardon a whole posse of horse thieves? No President has ever done that.

            By the July Convention, it will be time for Hillary’s supporters to “do the right thing” and stand behind the only viable candidate, the Senator from Vermont.

            This is why Bernie Sanders isn’t attacking Hillary. Where’s the need? Many years ago I saw a Dale Earnhardt interview where he said something like, ‘I saw how he was driving, so I stayed behind him all the way. Just waited for him to slide into the wall, and all the tires come off.’

            You can win by letting the other one lose, fair and square.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Could it be more than just the staff, but something big, like the party itself or something even bigger, if they really want to investigate.

          2. Waldenpond

            I have been watching the reddit/sandersforpresident. They have today down as the final day for NY registration. (They have registration dates on the top left and vote dates on the top right.) They are gotv for wa,ak and hi and have been hitting ny for gotr.

  26. Jim Haygood

    Today is an exchange holiday, so let’s update results of the Craazyman Fund, consisting of 50% junk bonds, 30% emerging market stocks, and 20% gold bullion.

    Craazyman Fund was off 1.5% for the week, versus an 0.3% drop in its benchmark (50-50 bonds/stocks).

    Since inception at March 2nd prices, Craazyman Fund has gained 2.23%, beating a 1.35% gain in its benchmark.

    This week’s 1.1% rise in the US dollar index (DXY) was unfavorable for the fund, as the emboldened Yellenites began threatening rate hikes again.

  27. Nymphet Selfie Archive

    Pasquale, soaked in US legal indoctrination and writing from suburban Fort Meade, parrots the inner-party line: it’s COM-plicated. In his superduper comprehensive effort to make it sound ever-so-hard, he naturally forgets the complicating factor all US lawyers are brainwashed to forget: the legal right to privacy in federal and state common law and the supreme law of the land. Nary a word about it. It doesn’t exist for him because it doesn’t exist for NSA.

    Outside the cubicles of the MIPR minions, in the civilized world, the consensus is different

  28. Jim Haygood

    David Stockman provides some historical background on Hillary’s claim (in response to Trump calling NATO “obsolete”) that NATO is “one of the best investments America has ever made”:

    The truth … begins with George H. W Bush’s 1989 promise to Gorbachev that in return for his acquiescence to the reunification of Germany, NATO would not be expanded by “a single inch”.

    As it happened, the Elder Bush’s sensible promise was torn up and dropped into the White House waste basket by Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s. It seems that his reelection was threatened by charges from the GOP rightwing that he was soft on defense. So his solution was to invite Poland, the Baltic states and most of the remainder of the now disbanded Warsaw Pact to join NATO.

    What should have been a vestigial alliance of 15 nations slated for zero was transformed into a menacing “Gang of 28” that virtually surrounds Russia.

    If our NATO “investment” had paid off like Hillary’s cattle futures, we could all retire like Dubai princes.

    1. Jim Haygood

      MIC Groundhog Day:

      Washington (AP) — The Pentagon said Friday it was moving to increase the number of American forces in Iraq and announced that U.S. forces have killed the Islamic State’s finance minister. “We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet,” Defense Secretary Asshat Carter said.

      Gen. Joseph Dumbford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said recommendations on ways to increase U.S. support for Iraq’s ground fight against IS are going to be discussed with President Barack Obama soon.

      “The secretary and I both believe that there will be an increase in U.S. forces in Iraq in coming weeks, but that decision hasn’t been made,” Dumbford told Pentagon reporters during a briefing.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Gotta Pump Up The War before leaving office. I assume Obomba needs to hit a war revenue target to qualify for his 7 figure, lifetime VP position and corner office at McDeath Unlimited Corp.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To ‘invest’ is to besiege.

      But if money can be created out of thin air, for as much as we want, and if that money is good anywhere in the world, any return is infinite and no monetary investment can be a bad one.

  29. bob


    “So how does frozen methane blow a 100-foot-wide hole in the ground?

    Given low-enough temperatures and high-enough pressure, methane and water can freeze together into what’s called a “methane hydrate.” Permafrost keeps everything bottled up, but when it thaws, so does the hydrate. Methane is released as a gas, building up pressure — until the ground explodes.”

    This is not at all accurate. It didn’t “blow” a hole in the ground. The methane, what the “ground” was made of, turned into a gas and left. Big hole after.

    The talk of explosions and “blowing a hole” is way overdone. There is no evidence of any of that.

    There is a lot of evidence, including the “holes” themselves, that support the theory that there used to be something in the holes, because the holes never used to be there.

    What ever was in the holes, methane hydrates are a good possibility, simply turned into a gas a floated away.

    No explosion required.

    The clear lack of any sort of debris pile anywhere near the holes is pretty good proof of this.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe some escaping gulag prisoners tried to build a fire, and something tragic happened…

    2. Synapsid


      The holes are surrounded by debris aprons that record material thrown from the center. They show up clearly in images of the areas when not covered by snow.

      “The methane, what the ‘ground’ was made of…” Well, no. Permafrost is permanently frozen ground, methane or no methane. Methane release can disrupt the ground (we know that from sea-floor craters) but the ground was already there.

      1. bob

        Did you see how big and deep the holes were? Also flat vertical sides. If this is how something “blows up” there’s probably a few billion in it at the pentagon alone. Bunker busters? Who needs them.

        Do some little bit of math and any small “piles” of debris around the edge isn’t even 1% of what would be required to fill the hole back in.

        “Permafrost is permanently frozen ground, methane or no methane. Methane release can disrupt the ground (we know that from sea-floor craters) but the ground was already there.”

        First, that’s a giant generalization. It’s all homogenous huh?

        Second– then where’s the “ground”? Even artillery shells leave craters, they displace the earth that was flat before. There are no giant piles of debris in those pictures. Remember, the debris pile would have to be the same size as the hole, or more technically, the same mass. Where’s the mass?

        And how come no reports of explosions? Any explosion big enough to do that, would probably be noticed. Again, i bring up the vertical sides, which indicates it’s NOT a “crater”, but more likely the result of subsidence.

  30. sd

    Hollywood is taking on discrimination against the LGBT community in Georgia and North Carolina.

    Netflix Will “Move Our Productions” Out Of Georgia If Anti-Gay Bill Becomes Law; Amblin Partners

    From Disney to CBS, AMC and more, the studios, networks and cablers have expressed their widespread disapproval the past two days of Georgia’s discriminatory religious liberty bill that is sitting on the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal. Now Netflix has asserted its position, and the streaming service is prepared to cross state lines if Deal signs the bill into law.

    Rob Reiner Calls Out North Carolina As Next Anti-Gay Law Battlefront For Hollywood

    As much of the entertainment industry focuses on the “religious freedom” law awaiting the governor’s signature in Georgia, a new fight might be brewing about 400 miles away. Filmmaker Rob Reiner said today that he won’t film anything in North Carolina unless that state trashed its brand-new law that would allow businesses and employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

  31. fresno dan

    Open Carry at the Republican Convention: Yes Please Gawker

    While many media outlets cower in their luxury office towers, too scared to stand up for the Bill of Rights that built this great nation, we are unafraid to boldly proclaim: yes, unpredictable partisan crazies should carry deadly weapons on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

    I don’t plan on being there myself.

    Nevertheless, I will stand as one with the nearly four thousand patriotic Americans who have signed their name to this public petition to “Allow Open Carry of Firearms at the Quicken Loans Arena during the RNC Convention in July.” As the petition rightly points out, “Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.”
    1000% for this. When I say floor fights, I mean real floor fights – not namby pamby waving of placards.
    And what a boon to the mass media – could there possibly be anything (well, there is that magazine that has gun toting babes in bikinis….) better for ratings? The old model of paid political advertisements is obviously ineffective. If the repubs really believe in what they say, I don’t see how they cannot have open carry.
    This is as they say “win-win” – – good for both the repubs (for the attention) and good for the media (for the revenue). AND it would also be a good time to demonstrate how useless those laws against machine guns and bazookas are. It could show the nation that responsible adherents of the second amendment can carry bazookas….
    Open carry in colleges, bars, etcetera is already the law in several states. This is the repubs chance to show responsible gun owners exercising the sacred 2nd amendment right.
    What could go wrong?
    (nothing from my viewpoint)

    I am sure EVERYONE will feel much safer…..after all, we know how incompetent the government is – and we know ISIS is targeting the repubs…..guns are essential to our delegates safety!!!!!!!!
    I am signing the petition! (now I can get the political newsletters only the true believers get!)

    1. cwaltz

      The petition is over at and titled
      “Quicken Loans Arena: Allow Open Carry of Firearms at the Quicken Loans Arena during the RNC Convention in July.”

      I signed the petition too.

      I want all those NRA loving Republicans to enjoy their convention and I just don’t think they’ll be able to enjoy it without Trump Minutemen being armed to the teeth to protect them from all the Mexican rapists and drug runners that we have here in this country. I think THIS could make a brokered convention even more fun for them.

      They’re up to over 15,000 signatures.

      Dear GOP,

      I’m guessing that you haven’t got up to the part of the Bible that says we reap what we sow. Enjoy your gun loving, government hating convention goers that think that all the government is out to do is screw them.

  32. NeqNeq

    Re: Social Theory of Surveillance

    Reading this in conjunction with Shoshanna Zuboff’s “Dark Google” (I think her piece was in Links a couple weeks ago… Internet search readily provides the article) gives a nice overview of the complexity and sad state of affairs. Thanks for covering!

  33. ke

    Politics, RE inflation at cost to wages, is the derivative of majority behavior, occupying space for banks with make work income from government. Two oscillating parties ostensibly representing the betamale/alphafemale and alphamale/betafemale changes nothing. That the monkeys differentiate their participation as doctors, lawyers and educators, makes scant difference to labor. And printing money from China changes nothing.

    POTUS is meaningless.

    1. ke

      The 1 cannot control the 99. Living standards have been falling for 50 years, and suddenly its a crisis, now that it is affecting the upper middle class.

      Who’s rent did you reduce today. Who’s income did you increase today. Or did you go out and buy corporate carp that you really didn’t need, just to complain about outcomes.

  34. gordon

    From the Milanovic interview (“The Economist Who Brought You Thomas Piketty…):

    “Highly qualified people who make lots of money can work in London or Singapore. There’s an objective limit to the amount of redistribution we can do”.

    Throughout the interview Milanovic seems curiously pessimistic. This sad acceptance of the old Rightist threat “We’ll all leave and let you peasants starve” is particularly unfortunate. Unpack it, and you see the implicit racism (“We’re the only ones with talent”). It has no more credibility than any other sort of racism. The US and any other developed country could lose its ruling class tomorrow, wholesale, and new and quite possibly better talent would be found the day after. The pool is deep.

    1. gordon

      The other thing you find when you unpack this old threat is the implication that the ruling class is somehow beneficent – that losing them would somehow be bad for the general welfare. In fact, as readers of this blog would be well aware, many if not most are sociopathic, tax avoiding rent-seekers. Their threat to leave should logically be met with a loud chorus of “JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!…”

      It’s strange to see somebody with Milanovic’s level of intellectual horsepower being sucked in by this ancient tripe.

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