2:00PM Water Cooler 5/6/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this again is a travel day for me, so I wrote this early and scheduled it for later, now now. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to write about whatever the latest amazing twist in the primaries turns out to be, and what Econoday laughingly calls the “Employment Situation” won’t be available before I hit the road. (Yesterday, the conventional wisdom was optimistic.) But you can help!

Meanwhile, I’ll just throw out a few topics for discussion:

1) Besides Naked Capitalism, what’s your favorite online reading matter that nobody else knows about? OK, almost anybody, but you see what I mean.

2) What was the best good thing that happened to you this week? (Try, if you can, to avoid schadenfreude…)

3) What are you listening to?

Gotta go. Back on Monday.

* * *

I think I fixed my fershuggeneh contact form below. Just to keep the NC comment section clean, will only those who already have my email address tell me if they have issues, using email? Thank you!

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Phil H):


Phil writes:

Stump ringed by several root suckers that have grown into trees themselves. Think the tree is a Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), but not sure since didn’t think to ask at the time. Photo taken on a trip to Sutton Hoo burial mounds in England late last month.

* * *

Readers, Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support. Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. If you enjoy what you’re reading, please click the hat!


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Tertium Squid

    If you include “online listening matter”, I would Andres Duany’s lectures on urbanism and development. They will sound familiar to a lot of you, because Kunstler cribbed half of “Geography of Nowhere” out of them.


    I am listening to “how to frame basement” videos on youtube. Until the inevitable ER visit costs more than a contractor would charge, the DIY route is preferrable.

    1. Lumpenproletariat

      Eww. Duany is the biggest, most shameless shill for the development industry. Right now you’d want to counter with Cox or O’Toole. But those are overt apologists. Duany couches everything in aesthetics but doesn’t ever mention the vested interests of the developers and financiers and NEVER mentions the windfall profits of either greenfield or gentrification.

      Robert Fitch did a good job documenting similar topics. But he offended powerful people so he died in obscurity. Some (non shill) higher profile architect/urban planner needs to talk about the need for higher densities, public transit investment, progressive taxation, etc.

      In simpler terms, Duane is like Obama circa 2008.
      Cox/O’Toole are Mitt Romney.

      1. jsn

        Jane Jacobs “Death and Life of Great American Cities” really can’t be beat.

        1. lumpenproletariat

          Jane Jacobs had her moments. But vested interests have appropriated selected bits of her writings to support their own selfish interests. For example, she’s often cited as fighting against megalomaniacal planners. Thus we get activists fighting against things like necessary improvements to transit or subsidized housing. But the powers of the planners has been gelded for several generations now. It’s the developers who now wield the power. Why bother fighting powerless urban planners when another group is holding you hostage? Seems like a diversion tactic to me.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            To me, Jacob’s greatest contribution is a practice of seeing street level events in cities and generalizing them systemically.

            What people make of those perceptions is up to them — they can be diverted, or not. (At least, after reading Jacobs, there won’t be any more of that Radiant City crapola. Or Utopias, really, which is a good thing.)

      2. Tertium Squid

        Heh. There’s no doubt who is paying him, but I like his perspectives on mixed-use, transect & automotive culture. Kunstler liked them too and his books are popular around these parts.

        Power dynamics vis a vis developers vs planners is obscure to me, and I’d be interested in learning more.

        1. lumpenproletariat

          Duany and to a lesser extent, Kunstler are the urban design equivalents of no empirical evidence neoclassical economists plus the co-opted shilling of Hilary.

          Duany got a lot of PR for his initial car-independent Seaside, FL development. Seaside was far, far away from anything else. Its residents didn’t drive anywhere because there was nothing within reasonable distance. His later developments in suburban Orlando, or Toronto, or Dallas were car-dependent, but he rationalized their existence by stating that their residents would gradually wean themselves off the car because they were surrounded by the aesthetics of historically car-independent urbanism. That makes as much sense as wearing a crown and eventually becoming royalty. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore are (empirically) less car-dependent because of their (mandated) high density and investment in public transit. Duany doesn’t broach these facts, ‘cept to ridicule their aesthetics as soulless and lacking in creativity. He’s creative. He can shovel out BS on behalf of his patrons and say it with a straight face.

          Duany just gives his developer patrons a patina of intellectual gravitas. Even his urban (I hate how that term is misapplied) aesthetics aren’t consistent. When he started out in the 80s at Arquitectonica, he was building geometric, brightly colored tropical modernism for the whole cocaine cowboy aesthetic. Then he moved to Disney and affected an idealized, historical Americana. Now it’s all high brow Eurosnob aesthetics.

          As for the power of the developers. Just look into the biggest contributor to municipal politics. Then look into who inevitably profits from real estate.

          1. Adam Eran

            WTF! Kunstler goes off the rails, but read Duany (Plater-Zyberk & Speck)’s Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream… It’s even got footnotes!

            The car-dependence in less-successful neighborhoods is most often the product of financing. Typically successful less-car-dependent neighborhoods are 11 – 13+ dwelling units per acre (says UC Berkeley’s Robert Cervero, after studying them). If the builders can’t get apartment / townhome / alley granny flat financing, then they won’t build them, and most can’t afford to wait out the banks, so they build lower densities.

            Duany himself says “Form follows function” is no longer the byword of architecture. It’s “Form follows finance.”

            And what’s Duany supposed to say? “Hey this developer couldn’t persuade the banks to build something good”?

            If you knew how much like swimming in sewage the typical development process is, you’d be praying for Duany to come to town every week. The fact that you call his success “arrogance” sounds more like sour grapes than genuine criticism.

          2. Cry Shop


            Sometimes the shill is right, sometimes. I suspect Vox/Plumer, Architects, Current Land Owners, Developers, lower & middle class families would all stand to benefit from a much higher density in San Francisco. Fortunately so would humanity in general from the reduced footprint, but the existing condo owners/silicon valley types, and those who cling to an outdated, highly exploitative lifestyle and other powers will regard this a heresy and oppose it.

            I’d spend more time on this, but I won’t be here when (my guess) the thawing of the permafrost is going to make this all a moot argument in 30-60 years time.

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            “That makes as much sense as wearing a crown and eventually becoming royalty”

            Ha. Now, why am I thinking this might have a contemporary application? Hmm…

        1. lumpenproletariat

          In an ideal world with honest, objective, and incorruptible people, Martin C. Pedersen and Andres Duany would both do Mea Culpas regarding their involvement in the forced and profitable gentrification of post-Katrina New Orleans rebuilding.

          Instead we get this fluff piece which completely ignores the underlying profit motive and the human cost of their aesthetic zeal. And yeah, just like much of mainstream media, Duany adds in the “it’s worse overseas” comments. At least it’s a good deflecting device.

      3. Montanamaven

        So glad you mentioned “Fitch”. Made a profound impact on me reading “solidarity for sale”. But also read that if you mentioned his name on many sites, your comment is deleted ??? Such is the power of this obscure man.

        1. lumpenproletariat

          Robert Fitch most likely wasn’t deleting your comments. He died a while ago–obscure and penniless. At least those are two defining traits of an incorruptible academic.

      4. Adam Eran

        Ewww…someone completely uninformed about development v. land speculation.

        You may not like it that Duany makes lots of money (he does), or that his developments can command premiums from buyers (interior lots at Seaside sell for six times neighboring sprawl), but what do you propose as an alternative? More sprawl? Huddling under a bridge?

        Just FYI, the people who develop property and build homes are actually persuaded by profit, not by “Hey! Let’s see who can lose the most money!”

        I’ve heard and met Duany several times. He’s invariably courteous; he’s not a self-promoter, he’s actually quite generous. His speeches are persuasive too. Phil Angiledes (the same former CA state treasurer who consistently complains the Obama administrations lack of financial sector prosecutions is egregious) heard him speak in Folsom in 1989, and even though he had the entitlements to develop south of Sacramento in an area called “Laguna West” he changed that sprawl to TOD (Transit-Oriented Development). Duany suggested Peter Calthorpe design it rather than take the job himself. I certainly don’t agree with everything Angiledes has done, but taking a risk on pedestrian-friendly mixed-use was an act of extreme commercial courage that deserves admiration, not complaining.

        Incidentally, the market swooned, and the banks sabotaged the TOD (no apartments, and without enough customers both neighborhood commerce and transit tank). It’s an unusual, sprawl-ish development now. Remember: Only banks and the military do any planning now.

        BTW, affordable housing isn’t something Duany controls. Reagan’s tax law changes and the “money shortage consciousness” is in charge there (neweconomicperspectives.org/2016/05/over-arching-perspective.html)

        Anyway, Duany is really a guy who wants things to work, and profitability is one of the key things builders and developers look for. Otherwise they lose money and go out of business.

        For you to whine about someone so committed to workable communities *and* is a success is just bizarre.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          How much is Duany, or more likely one of his developer bosses paying you? Might as well shill for Goldman Sachs. After all, they make a LOT. Do they suddenly command your respect? And yeah, Duany is shameless enough to dress up crap suburban developments and market them as paradise.

          I am guessing your architectural education is subservient to any profit motive. And I am guessing you haven’t experienced effective and more efficient urban design, especially outside of free-market paradise California.

          How about starting with taxing capital gains on windfall land developments?

          1. Adam Eran

            Really? You’re unhappy Duany isn’t crusading to diminish the profits of those who pay him? And you’re accusing me of accepting money from land speculators! Bwahahahah!

            I’m the guy who stands up in the public meetings and calls them corrupt. Seriously. As for “efficient urban design”…[sigh]…I’ve been stuck with CSD (“conventional suburban development”) or, more colloquially, sprawl, for decades now. Duany came to offer an alternative at the invitation of local enviros and the planning establishment ignored him.

            Duany is really one of the few people who is likely to lead what remains of the development industry out of this cul-de-sac. I’d suggest your disgust with him isn’t helpful.

            As for taxing capital gains…Duany himself touts the German solution. (Sorry, no links, I was present at the lecture when he did it.)

            Land speculators make most of their money by buying (or optioning) ag land on the cheap, then persuading (or bribing) local government to zone it for development. A 10,000% profit isn’t unusual. And if they 1031 exchange for income-producing property, the speculators don’t even pay income tax on that egregious profit.

            What’s the German solution? The developers must sell the land to the local government at the ag land price, then buy it back at the upzoned price. The “unearned increment” remains in the hands of government.

            And the Germans have really good schools (free tuition for even foreigners) and infrastructure. The arts budget for the City of Berlin exceeds the National Endowment for the Arts for the U.S. of A.

            This pissy bitching about Duany not taking on your pet issues is really both ungracious and uninformed.

        2. Beth

          Have you followed Strong Towns.org? I have not had time to follow everything they say, but the early ideas are sensible. They explain the need for density well. Would like others opinions. Thanks.

          1. lumpenproletariat

            Eh, from the first few pages I’ve read, not a fan of strongtowns.org. Their prize interview was with someone from marketurbanism. I swear that’s a front group for the Kochs. Then it went on to decontextualize Jane Jacobs and link her work with Hayek’s economic ideas.

            I don’t think Hayek would find many fans on Nakedcapitalism.

      5. Adam Eran

        Re: Wendell Cox, from Wikipedia:

        Cox has also emerged as an opponent of smart growth, especially urban growth boundaries, impact fees, and large lot zoning, claiming they have a tendency to raise housing prices artificially and suppress economic growth.

        He has authored studies for conservative think tanks such as the Cato Institute, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation,[1] and the Reason Foundation,[2] and for industry groups such as the American Highway Users Alliance, a lobbying and advocacy group for automobile-based industries.[3]

        …. and this is the shill for sprawl and the auto industry is who you’re touting as a legit opponent of Duany? I’d say consider the source…of his paycheck.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          Sure Cox is worse. Duany’s better than Satan? Is this even a source of pride? They’re both funded by the real estate industry, sometimes by opposing factions. Sometimes by the same people. Two flip sides of the same profit maximizing, cost frugal coin. There are untold numbers of objective, intellectually coherent architects, planners, etc. with squelched voices. Unless you have a vested interest, why would you bother defending this overtly compromised spokesperson for the real estate industry?

          And really, take a gander at the very middling new urbanism that’s designed and built. Then compare them to urban development in places that actually mandate density and fund public transit. Duany relies on manipulating hubris and aesthetic snobbery. Objectively, his designs are as car-dependent as anywhere else but have some creepy Disney aesthetic. Hey, that dumb “Celebration” development has a faux retro bookstore filled with propaganda/books lauding Duany’s revolutionary design. At least I chuckled.

  2. Tom Stone

    “Weaponsman” Blog.
    Unexpectedly had my daughter for a week ( Not my turn).
    Passing traffic..

  3. lyman alpha blob

    Thanks to a commenter here (whose name I unfortunately don’t remember) I’ve been listening to Boots Riley and the Coup. From that I discovered his side project with Tom Morello called the Street Sweeper Social Club.

    I suspect the readership here might be fond of this one – One Hundred Little Curses

    And the lyrics

    Thanks again to whomever turned me on to Boots!

      1. voteforno6

        Party Music may still be my favorite. “Everythang” might be the anthem for our times. This album does have an interesting release history.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think I mentioned Boots Riley, but when the original mentioner mentioned him, I commented, as I will now comment, that Riley did great work during Occupy Oakland.

  4. allan

    Ending Tax Break for Ultrawealthy May Not Take Act of Congress

    In one deft move, Mr. Obama could instruct officials at his Treasury Department to close the so-called carried interest tax loophole that allows managers of private equity and hedge funds to pay a substantially lower federal tax rate on much of their income. …

    But doesn’t changing the carried interest loophole require an act of Congress? Not according to an array of tax experts. Just as Mr. Obama’s Treasury Department recently changed the rules to curb corporate inversions, in which companies shift their official headquarters to another country to lower their tax bills, the Treasury secretary, Jacob J. Lew, and his colleagues could jettison the carried interest loophole.

    Oh, sure, NYT. What part of these lines from the White House Correspondents Dinner don’t you understand?

    Anyway, here we are, my eighth and final appearance at this unique event. And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans.

    1. TK421

      Hmm, which vandidate is most likely to make that change? Clinton, Trump, or Sanders?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I hope Sanders has said that or would say that.

        Has he said he would, during the campaign, or called for the president to make the change in his Senate speeches?

        If Obama is not as least weak, I don’t know what else is.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Even more powerful when incorporate into the campaign.

            “This is why you should vote for me.”

          2. allan

            Thanks to everybody for the comments and links.
            I also found a ProPublica story on the history of the carried interest exclusion
            and the fight to keep it.
            About halfway down it discusses Clinton’s head fakes on the issue back in 2007-08.

  5. savedbyirony

    Just today i was honestly thinking about the last time you offered up an “alternative topic” Friday and how much i enjoyed seeing what others here were reading, etc., so thanks for doing this again.

    1.) As someone who is interested in the Roman Catholic Church, i find The National Catholic Reporter’s site often above average in coverage and especially online comments, though due to some deaths in long time contributors the reporting and analysis there has declined these last few years. The NCR site, though lay led and its print paper around since Vatican II, is not so well known in general with American RCC members i find.

    2.) It hasn’t happened yet and I’m stretching “this week” but i am looking forward to catching up with family over Mother’s Day and expect it to be enjoyable with plenty of good food and laughter.

    3.) I am going to cheat again because music wise, nothing special but i recently watched what i thought was an exceptionally good British series on Netflix – “Happy Valley”. Highly recommend.

    Thanks Lambert and safe travels.

    1. jp

      + on Happy Valley, though at times I felt like I shoulda had the closed caption on..Yorkshire accent a bit to hard plus the usual bad Brit tv sound made for a few..wha? moments. But really well written and acted.`

      1. hemeantwell

        +2 on Happy Valley. For some reason it’s most of the female actors I need the subs for, which hasn’t been the case in other Yorkshire cop shows, e.g. the Red Riding Trilogy.

      2. savedbyirony

        Yes, the mix on the first couple of episodes seemed a little rough, but i love that Yorkshire accent. I think that’s why in part HV came to mind when asked “what have you been listening to?”. The writer, Sally Wainwright, has been on a very successful run these lat few years and is right now working on piece about the Brontes for the bbc i am looking forward to seeing.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        A Palovian response to “Yorkshire”:

        With French subtitles! (Les quatre hommes du Yorkshire).

        However, I doubt that these comedians were all from Yorkshire. I wonder if any knowledgeable readers can comment on the quality of their (assumed) accents?

    1. John

      I’ll add a bit of explanation:

      1). NC is the best economics site on the internet. It has fantastic coverage and loads of content as well as a great comments section (volume and quality). Nowhere else can you find such a fantastic collection of heterodox economic articles, and this is badly needed because of the mainstream media brainwashes the populace with neoclassical economics. My only criticism, however, is that only the Keynesian viewpoint is represented. There is virtually nothing posted here from Marxist economists. I’ve searched and all I’ve found were three David Kotz articles, a comment on one of David Harvey’s books (and another post with a video of a lecture of his), a post on Ireland, and a couple of brief mentions of one or two other authors. In other words, there thousands of posts of Keynesian economics, and a handful discussing Marxian economics. ‘Heterodox’ is not a synonym for Keynesianism; it’s an umbrella term covering all economics outside of mainstream, neoclassical economics, and it includes the Marxists who predicted the crisis just as well as the Keynesians. They’re even more shut out of the media than the Keynesians are, and few have had any exposure to them (not even most NC readers). I think this site needs more posts from Marxist authors, and Michael Roberts (link to blog above) posts on the internet more than any other. He’s basically a copy of Andrew Kliman but he has a fantastic blog with frequent postings and he even responds to comments sometimes. I really think NC should post something of his, and I strongly recommend NC readers take a look to get a different perspective.

      3). I’m pretty much the only one out of my friends that likes electronic music, and it makes me feel lonely at times. It’s the weirdest feeling to be really into something that no one else you know is. Some people I know are into the commercial EDM crap but that’s not my thing. I don’t have a single friend who’s into any of my favorite DJ’s. Got the song above from a set by Guy Mantzur, who, after Guy J, is my favorite DJ, and I don’t think I have any friends who even know who he is.

      1. Milton

        I would like to see a glossary of terms, as described by NC, on this site and perhaps a forum page – similar to what you would find on a tech site, moderated by some of your regular commenters. I would gladly add another donation to make that happen.

        1. John

          Very good ideas! Although I’m not 100% sure about having two spaces for discussion (forum and comments), it could make things a bit muddled. I’ve never seen a good political forum on the internet. But if there was one, it’d probably be here.

          1. clincial wasteman

            Yes, Hudson’s glossary is the unsurprisingly the best of its kind that I’ve seen, although when I last looked it was hard to get access to the whole thing at once. Best of a closely related kind is the late Alex Cockburn’s Guillotined, available only as print pamphlet from Counterpunch unless you read the whole Cockburn Diary archive for 2012.
            And if it’s ok to disclose involvement in something then go on and cite it anyway, the compilers of the Wealth of Negations dictionary (print run gone, but still up on entry-level WordPress at [wealthofnegations.org]) hope it somehow complements Cockburn (who, to our delight, endorsed it!) and Hudson, although it’s class warfare-centric rather than strictly economic.
            (Lambert, apologies if this sort of citation is not ok. In that case it’s an honest mistake: please delete if need be but please accept good foolish faith.)

      2. Toske

        Good tune. I’m a fan of techno (and dozens of other electronic genres) but I hadn’t heard of him either; there are so many quality artists it’s impossible to be familiar with them all, or even a significant chunk of them. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

        1. John

          Nice. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?! There are SO many DJs and so much music, and when you hear them play, you don’t even know what songs they’re playing because neither Shazaam nor Soundhoud recognizes any of it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something that blew my mind only to never get to hear it again. But you’re right; it only makes it that much more exciting of a genre to explore…and when you finally do hear that tune, it’s the most incredible feeling there is.

          When I first started out with electronic, I liked the commercial stuff. And then I got really into the Melbourne bounce in 2014, But by the end of the year it was already out of date (that’s the other thing about electronic music, it has to be current and dynamic…like any other art form, but the pace is just so much faster). I had always liked trance but I never liked techno. It seemed so boring, quiet, and repetitive. When I was listening to it I felt trapped, like I needed different sounds: a big drop, a catchy hook, vocals, etc. But then I heard this one DJ (just some local who had amazing taste) and his set just blew my mind. I finally got it: techno is just more subtle, and once you’re honed in on that level to all of its nuances, it sounds amazing, and it explodes just in the same way that big room house does. When the drops do come, they’re even better.

          Care to post a song?

          Definitely check out Guy J. He’s progressive house but he almost borders with techno. He’s been heavily supported by John Digweed over the years and Hernan Cattaneo has always been a huge fan of us (who is pretty much techno).

          There are too many good Guy J songs to count but here’s one of his latest:

      3. Skippy

        Don’t forget that some bundle Keynesian and post Keynesian together, Philip Pilkington was prolific contributor in the PK school which in my reading, has a more nuanced view between the polarity between “Marxist” [sometimes not to be confused with Marx] and AET/Neoclassical wrt the central argument of “value”.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. Especially the quasi religious or “theoclassical” devotion some ascribe rationalizations….


        1. tegnost

          this is still the way they think
          “Supplies and demands of and for everything, from labour to cat food, are always in balance and when a shock causes changes the economy adjusts pretty much instantaneously. The metaphysical kernel in this idea is almost too obvious to point out. The economy, indeed the world around us, is here portrayed as a perfectly harmonious utopia and we are implicitly warned not to mess with the Holy processes of supply and demand lest we fall into sin.”
          No tuning required, plug it in and play
          Thanks for the blast from the past

          1. Skippy

            Oh… tell me… ~~~~

            Anywho one mob wants everyone to be poor and the other resorts to quasi nobility by accumulation… whilst both are quite totalitarian in nature.

            Disheveled Marsupial…. meanwhile everyone in between gets the treatment…

  6. Carla

    Best good thing that happened to me this week? Easy!
    The excellent tenant who rents the other side of my duplex signed a lease for another year!
    Bonus: the sun is shining on this gorgeous spring day.

  7. Joe

    Spent this week getting requalified on the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) in CA. Good flying and enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones.

    Bought a new CD before the trip. A female folk duo called My Bubba. Excellent music to relax to. Thank you all at Naked Capitalism for the work you do. I have been reading you everyday since 2007 ish.

  8. gonzomarx

    Sadiq Khan pulls ahead of Zac Goldsmith in London mayoralty vote
    With almost 80% of first-preference votes counted, Tooting MP on course to reclaim City Hall for Labour after eight years

    London has a Muslim mayor, wish I could see the Fox news reaction….

    As for reading..
    Disinformation – Everything you know is wrong

    The Angry Arab News Service

    and as for music, discovering Fela Kuti and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
    and really really recommend for Sunday listening to Cerys on 6
    BBC6 Music http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07986rj

    looking forward to reading what other put.

    1. gonzomarx

      hummm, best thing this week…..seeing The James Plays by National Theatre of Scotland on Saturday

        1. JustAnObserver

          … and that poisonous Lyndon Cosby (spelling) got a righteous jet of the yellow stuff in his Attwater wannabe face.

        2. Clive

          Yah, I speak kind of plummy but Zac made no attempt to hide the fact that the silver spoon was stuck so far in his mouth it was protruding from another orifice altogether. He didn’t even try to conceal his condescension. And fancy closing his campaign at the London Stock Exchange. At least, I suppose, he didn’t hide where his priorities laid.

          1. Emma

            The key difference between them being the indifference of one…….

            It’s therefore a relief to see the ‘American Dream’ alive and well too………albeit sadly outside of the US. Read the background of Sadiq Khan here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadiq_Khan

            Truly remarkable and inspiring, not just because Sadiq Khan didn’t inherit millions and a who’s who crookbook of contacts from a Papa-Pop Trumptickle. Likewise Margaret Thatcher who became PM and without a husband who was PM prior to “her turn”.

            America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living the rags-to-riches life are lower than in many other parts of the world. In the US today, it’s the ‘POTUS wife of POTUS dream’ for Americans. It’s debasing your campaign on womens rights. That’s the reality. It’s not the reality the Suffragettes wanted when they violently broke glass windows in the streets, is it?! But it sure as heck doesn’t look like Barbara Lee, Elizabeth Warren, Wendy Davis, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski or Tulsi Gabbard will ever personify the ‘POTUS wife of POTUS dream’ let alone the American Dream in the US now, does it?!

            Women who without the millions, without the Kingpin husbands, and without the who’s who recipe crookbooks, simply use their own bighearted balls and most importantly, backbones of steel to rely on, become leaders in countries like New Zealand with PM Helen Clark, Ireland with President Mary Robinson, Australia with PM Julia Gillard, Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel, France with PM Edith Cresson…….Heck, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir the openly lesbian PM of Iceland didn’t need any balls at all!

            So, the American Dream today appears achievable in more inclusive environments where equality and all peoples are respected. That includes women who can think and act differently from one another – it’s not just about exclusiveness the Hillway or the Hellway.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      hey thanks for the King Gizzard reference! Think I’ll go see if my local record store has any of their stuff right now.

      Recently started listening to Wolfmother, another Aussie band that’s pretty good. Nothing too heady about it- just 70’s style buttrock but what’s not to like? Been trying to get my young daughter hooked on their recent single – Victorious

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        +100 on Wolfmother, I live just down the road from where they came up, got to see them in some tiny pubs. It’s like time travelling to hear those kinds of riffs, only new ones, now, in 2016.

        As far as reading matter I would highly recommend Among The Bohemians, an account of the under-appreciated movement that underlies hippiedom, women’s lib, new foodism, and almost everything else about liberal society we take for granted today.

    1. ambrit

      Ah! Brian Enos’ early ambient album! Do it yourself mind control is what Phyllis calls it. (She has been listening to a lot of Brazilian music lately.)
      I’ve been reading Addison and Steele lately. I found an 1897 edition of “The Roger de Coverly Papers” in a thrift shop last week, and am now considering forking out a few buck to get a set of “The Spectator,” both versions.
      The Best Good thing? Easy, the garden is thriving. Got some ripe tomatoes and small yellow squash already. The roses are still blooming. When I sit in the porch swing, the cat jumps in my lap and purrs.

      1. tegnost

        Thanks, you’ve inspired me to pull up my old fave “another green world”

        1. gonzomarx

          Loved that song for so long. It’s used a a theme for a documentary series and for years I didn’t know what it was.

        2. Rhondda

          Pulled ours out on vinyl recently. Spectacular. It dominated the turntable for months. Eno is the best. Love the ambient and instrumental, but I think his vocal stuff is brilliant, too. Taking Tiger Mountain speaks to me. Lately, before bed I’ve been listening to Equatorial Stars.

  9. diptherio

    Good thing that happened this week: showing a homie how to use Audacity for sound-editing and hit on a (what I think) is a pretty fun idea. The results are here:

    Economics for the Rest of Us #2 – The Unemployment Rate is a Lie!

    I guess that answers the third question too since I had to edit the damn thing, although right at this second I’m rocking out to the band Live’s first album, “Mental Jewelry.” The track Good Pain, specifically. The whole album rocks.

    You know who else rocks? Black Women’s Blueprint. They’re a Brooklyn-based org that co-organized the recent UN event entitled “Recognition, justice and development: Women of African descent – at the intersection of race and gender” You know what happens when a bunch of radical Black organizers and activists pack a meeting room at the UN? Awesomeness. I’m guessing the UN building doesn’t often ring with the sounds of gospel singing (although I don’t hang out there much, so I could be wrong). The contrast between the “officials” in the room and the BWB women is stark. It’s almost like real, raw humanity is something that just doesn’t fit in, in those elite spaces.

    At the Intersection of Race and Gender: Women of African Descent Speak Their Truth at the UN

    I check out JMG’s other blog, the Well of Galabes every month. If you’re into occult anything, it’s a good read. If you are a “scientific materialist” you probably won’t get much out of it. It can be found at http://galabes.blogspot.com

    1. diptherio

      I should mention off-line reading too:

      A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence by Ray Raphael

      highly recommended.

      1. polecat

        Since it’s Spring, I’ve started re-reading the MaddAdam series by Margaret Atwood….

        currently on book 2..The Year of the Flood

        Books 1 & 2 consecutively are: Oryx and Crake…..and…MaddAdam…

        1. polecat

          I also saved one of my little multi-colored shubunkins from certain death, having waded into the top of a container of typha (cattail), which, while nestled in a shallow shelf, was trapped due to a layer of algae, keeping it from jumping back into deeper water…… On to live a fuller life span, I suppose…..

      2. Montanamaven

        “A people’s history of the civil war” is awesome. The word “shoddy” comes from a type of wool that was made into uniforms that disintegrated in the rain. And JP Morgan selling crappy rifles to the government . And on and on….

  10. Roger Smith

    1) After growing tired of terrible comments on Reddit (which is generally good simply for perusing links) and the recent Trump wave literally everywhere, I have almost exclusively been reading NC.

    2) I have a terrible time executing the myriad of ideas I have that excite me. That said I managed to put together some thoughts into a coherent blurb of text that I thought was a decent, legitimate starting point for a sociological research project. So that is good?

    3) I have been listening to Alien Ant Farm’s discography heavily recently. They are an extremely underrated band.

    Playing currently: Phil Collins – You’ll Be In My Heart

  11. tegnost

    newspapers from cities I’m associated with, (sd union, latimes,seattlepi,+times, journal of the san juans, daily camera) just to see what’s up, jesse, dean baker, mish, charles hugh smith and paul craig roberts on occasion, zh , basically the ap newswire of crazy, usually just for the headlines, exercise listening to max and stacy (who have prof. hudson in a good interview up now) surfline, forecast discussion at weather.gov. Addicted to watching rain on the radar, I’ll see it raining and check the radar to make sure…hmmm….what can I say I love rain. Usually trying to learn a song or two which the internet has made super easy, best thing been getting out on the kayak regularly lately, healthy and peaceful except when the current scares the crap out of me…The Letter,Ready for the times to get better, Deep river blues, mississippi half step, loser, are recent or ongoing “studies”

  12. jgordon

    1) Off topic, but since you asked… My favorite site is wuxiaworld.com, so much so that it inspired me to learn Chinese and move to China. I signed up to study in a Chinese language program in Kunming for six months. Not that all the stories are fantastic there, but I shall Seal the Heavens in particular is a great work of fiction that has completely different conventions and structures from Western stories. The novelty of it is intriguing and a lot of fun.

    2) I met a cute Chinese girl and got her to let me take photos of her (my photography skills are extremely good–professional even. She was happy).

    3) I’m listening to Pimsleur’s Chinese. It’s a slog to work through, but necessary.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Shadow rates are more Japanese, like Kurosawa’s Kagemusha…the shadow warlord.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The most interesting Chinese word is the one for mother-in-law.

      In Chinese, it’s 婆婆.

      It’s made up of two words – 波 and 女

      The first, 波, means wave or waves.

      The second, 女, means woman.

      It makes the student wonder, if a mother-in-law is a woman who makes waves…

      Furthermore, domestic tranquility quickly vaporizes, when the student inquires deeper, about the Chinese word for wife.

      She is called 老婆, that is, she is an old (老), waving making woman (婆).

      But she pales in comparison with her mother-in-law, because the mother-in-law is (waving-making woman)^2. She is exponentially more potent.

      At this point, the student must be wondering, is this the secret for marital longevity? Is it all in the magical Chinese language itself?

      1. Studied Chinese for two decades

        That’s not really how Chinese works. For the case of 婆婆 “popo”, it’s assumed that the wave/波 part (the top half) lends the sound “bo”, and the woman/女 part (the bottom half) indicates that it’s related to women. A word like “mother in law”, which is also used as “grandma”, is probably as old as the hills, so they took something that sounded like it, added a woman marker, and called it a day.

        Sometimes the pictures make sense, but a lot of times it can lead to bizarre cultural theories that don’t make sense. I’m sure the Wikipedia page on Chinese characters can give you much more context.

  13. jp

    Been listening to the wonderful courageous music of the founders of the free music movement in London, circa 1966-1972. Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, SME, AMM, Derick Baily. My heart was always with the AACM and current crop of Chicago improvisers, but these guys hang right there with them. Plenty of it on youtube if you are curious.

    Best thing that happened is I finally got my noise table finished..an assortment of circuit bent pedals, shortwave radio, digital scramblers, etc..and will be using it and my tenor bass on a gig next month. Onwards and downwards we go!

    1. clincial wasteman

      Derek Bailey was amazing. And even though he professed (as a record label owner) to despise recording, his records continue to amaze. I was lucky enough to see/hear him a few times in the last few years of his life. Highlights included a demonstration of how to get feedback from acoustic guitar, and the way he’d play each head-spinning sequence until he hit something that displeased him, at which point he would emit a quietly annoyed grunt and start again. But best of all was a show with Will Gaines — an African American tap dancer of roughly Bailey’s age — who performed seated and used the tap shoes to create the most frenzied and sympathetic drum accompaniment (un)imaginable.
      Thanks jp for reminding me. You probably know this anyway, but for anyone else who might be interested: Bailey’s ‘official’ biographer is the incomparable Ben Watson, the only music critic who is also a Ruthless Critic of Everything that Exists. As well as writing one poetically hilarious and uncouthly acute book after another (lately at Unkant Press, previously Verso), Ben W. hosts a weekly radio show — ‘Late Lunch With Out to Lunch’ — on [https://www.resonancefm.com/] that flings free music into the 22nd century.

    1. Martin Finnucane

      Just googled it. Can’t comment on the music, but the fan service is top notch!

  14. Lumpenproletariat

    Doug Henwood, Counterpunch, various old Parenti/Chomsky/Pilger youtube videos.

    The War Nerd podcasts and the old exiledonline site provided a lot of good historical perspective. My favorite was John Dolan’s “Reagan’s Cheshire Snarl”.

  15. DrBob

    Slumming It

    –The gospel of wealth comes for Dharavi


    “Through a decade of academic apologetics and media mythologizing, Dharavi had been transmuted from India’s most shameful urban space—the warren of exploitation, filth, and disease that it plainly is—to the pride of Mumbai… By 2010 Dharavi was a well-established symbol, and what it symbolized was the capitalist dream: a wonderland of innovation in which resourceful economic actors deftly evade the interference of an overbearing government.”

  16. TK421

    The best thing that happened to me this week is I continue to lose weight, and have dipped to my lowest weight in decades.

    NC readers might appreciate Ian Welsh’s site.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Out of curiosity, what was your approach?

      I lost a good deal of weight by the simple expedient of eating a lot less, but then gained it right back (eating out of worry or while at the computer).

  17. McWatt

    Regards Lumpenproletariat:

    My community is being ruined by the “high density” “public transportation” cabal of developers preying on communities near rail lines. It is a complete and utter scam. Millions of public subsidy dollars later we are left with 20 story high rise crappy buildings with vacant ground floor retail. All the while property taxes are increasing higher and higher as if they were part of the medical profession. In the end we are the second most indebted town in our county behind the only other larger community that did the same thing.

    1. lumpenproletariat

      Where do you live? Density and public transit ARE inarguable positives as their higher initial costs are more than offset by much higher efficiency in the long run. What you are alluding to is a problem of developer control over politics than density or transit itself. There are also cities with incomplete mass transit systems like Vancouver or Toronto. High density areas with subway access are hugely bid up in price and the financial spoils flow to connected landlords, developers, and bankers. As for Duany, he’s the happy face of the gentrifying developer class. Ask the residents of New Orleans 9th ward.

      1. Propertius

        Here in Cosmic Boulder, we’ve had a flurry of development around the “transit village” which includes the station for the light rail connecting us to Denver. Unfortunately, the arrival of said light rail has been delayed from 2016 to 2043. This has not led to any offers to refund the sales surtax which we’ve been paying for decade in order to fund said light rail.

        Those snazzy new overpriced apartments may not have speedy rail access to Denver, but at least they’ve got a great view of the dumpster behind Target.

        Come 2043, I hope to exhumed so I can enjoy my long-awaited train ride to Denver!

        1. Skippy

          You have a Target – in – Boulder now?

          Disheveled Marsupial…. left in 95… too much overburden from the well heeled out of state student effects….

      2. Adam Eran

        The consistently downbeat tone of NC has gone off the rails here. Do you honestly expect the architect / planner to take responsibility for George Bush’s (and New Orleans’ own leadership) malfeasance in the 9th ward.

        As everyone knows, and Harry Shearer will tell you, New Orleans’ flooding was a product of infrastructure failure. What you might not know is that local leadership chose to fund the Superdome rather than shore up that infrastructure (and reportedly sent opponents of the Superdome to an insane asylum). Just another stadium deal, doncha know (FYI, according to David Cay Johnstone, 75% of W’s net worth comes from a stadium deal in Arlington TX). Calling New Orleans politics corrupt is the understatement of the century. Expecting Duany to fix all that is simply bizarre.

        Is that really how you believe business operates, though? The “honest” businessmen call out the complete litany of sins that lead them to the present situation?

        Affordable housing is a matter of public policy. Asking an architect (who supplies lots of affordable alternatives like residences over retail, boarding houses, and mixed-income neighborhoods) to take all this on is a losing proposition. Believe it or not, the good guys need to win a few.

        Final question: Where do I get what you’ve been smoking?

  18. DJG

    1. The best site that no one reads but me is Istanbul Eats, which has transformed itself into Culinary Backstreets. Lovely, tempting coverage of Istanbul, Athens, Lisbon, Tbilisi (who knew?), among others. Much discussion of food history, and much respect for the food of average people. There was recently an article about eating in greens in Turkey with beautiful photos.

    2. The best good thing that happened to me this week is going into rehearsals to appear with an orchestra. No, I’m not the comic relief. I’m the lyrics.

    3. Listening to: Vivaldi. That is what the orchestra is playing at the Art Institute on Sunday.

    1. Jagger

      Been listening to Schoenberg, Pachelbel and Vivaldi lately. The trick with classical is finding what you like. Just like rock or any other music, thousands of bands and millions of songs but only a few are really, really good for you. Just have to explore. Youtube is good for testing music to see if you like something specificl

  19. Massinissa

    Im not a Jazz person but lately ive been listening to Annette Hanshaw, jazz singer from the 20s and 30s :)

    And as for news sites, the only one I can think of is Ive started reading Counterpunch again.

  20. ChrisFromGeorgia

    1. Moon of Alabama – stumbled onto it through a link here.

    2. (Must .. avoid … schadenfreude … wracking brain … ) Got final notice that my property tax appeal was a success. For at least a couple of more years, I have put a minor dent in the local property valuations. Oops, that is starting to sound a little schadenfreude-y.

    3. Abba. Belatedly recognizing the brilliance of the Swedish super group, perhaps due to middle age settling in and feeling major 70’s nostalgia.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I was treated to a solid set of — wait for it! — 70s Disco music in a cab recently. What brilliant craftsmanship! And I only recognized what I was hearing after I had that reaction….

  21. jo6pac

    It’s not over but delayed.


    Gary Clark JR – If Trouble Was Money

    This works for me it’s raining in my part of Calli and that’s a good thing. It was suppose to only be .01 but we are at .50 and counting. It brought the local farming to a halt and hopefully it won’t bother my Cherries to much.

    Good things, the corn coming up, tomatoes are doing good, and fruit trees are loaded with yummies.
    My knee I hurt in Oct last year is doing really well the last few weeks:-)

    Thanks to all for the music links.

    Site, I read about 150 per day wither I agree with them or not. I get banned at a few from time to time. I most keep up with the news in Syria.

  22. Eureka Springs

    Stumbled across DJ Dimsa on youtube this week. Lively fun funky stuff which doesn’t seem to be available for purchasing anywhere. I’m all over the musical map always… but Dr Lonnie Smith is in heavy rotation these days.

    Love Music For Airports. If you Missed Eno Cale – Wrong Way Up it’s another timeless album I return to often.

    If I had a million dollars I would make the front row of this three day extravaganza. Waters, Young, Dylan, Who, Stones… in three incredible nights. http://home.deserttrip.com/

  23. David

    Best thing that happened to me this week is that one of my aikido students developed a really nice, light, high fall. Like a leaf in a breeze.

    Listening to Lou Harrison. Rhymes with Silver and Drums Along the Pacific.

  24. curlydan

    Things I’ve been listening to:
    Bob Dylan and the Band, The Bootleg Series Volume 11, The Complete Basement Tapes (6 CDs): I listened to the 2CD version earlier, but frankly, the 6CD version I lucked into at the library is much more interesting so far. More talk of God and sin and a feeling of contrition in the expanded CDs. It seems like Dylan genuinely felt bad about how far out he went with the uppers and whatever else he was taking before he moved to Woodstock and focused on being a family man.

    Tame Impala: Currents. Tame Impala’s earlier CD “Lonerism” is incredible and now etched into my DNA after a million listens, but this follow-up is pretty cool, too. P.S. If you want a trippy video, check out “Cause I’m a Man” on the YouTube. If you want a dirty yet funny video, check out the 5 min 43 second version of “The Less I Know the Better” also on the YouTubes

    Air: Moon Safari. An electronica classic from the 90s that I found in the clearance racks at Half Price Books for $2. Love these French dudes.

    1. petal

      Seeing her mentioned makes me so happy! I love her singing. Got to meet her last year after a show. She’s so down to earth and soft-spoken. I highly recommend! Such an amazing talent.

  25. Goyo Marquez

    1. Jerusalem Perspective, the website, of the Jerusalem school of synoptic research. Looks at Hebrew/Jewish background of Jesus’s words. http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/

    2. My daughters high school track team won their league championship, and somebody paid me, what is for us a lot of money, for some legal work I told them I’d do for free.

    3. The audio book of The Power Broker, Robert Moses and the fall of New York. I’m nominating this book for the greatest book of all time. Everything you thought about our corrupt society and politics is not only true but exactly as you suspected.

    Also Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast, the episode entitled, The American Peril about the Spanish-American war. Here’s a quote that surprised me:

    Andrew Carnegie talking to Henry Cabot Lodge about American Imperialism and the Spanish American war as related by Dan Carlin, of Hardcore History Podcast, Show 29, The American Peril, at 2:18:50 into program.
    “And even during this period rich people like Andrew Carnegie will talk to people like Henry Cabot Lodge and say, ‘Why are you doing this whole thing the old fashioned way? Why are you doing this like the British and the French and all these people? You know sending in military force and dominating in the old white man’s burden style? That’s old fashioned. The new way to do it is to control them with financial organizations and through loans and stuff that will eventually be called dollar diplomacy and other things like that.’ “

    1. clinical wasteman

      Oh yes and yes one millionfold! Couldn’t choose a favourite song from this because they all send earthquakes down my spine. He said now Jeffrey-Lee… give me your right hand…
      New best thing this week: at least one other here loves not Jack on Fire.

  26. craazyboy

    Rediscovering Camel from the 70s & 80s.

    Been a frustrating week. Deciding to build a racing quadcopter a while back and put the parts on order to China. Got one part on Monday. Ordered all the parts same day, but the rest of the orders aren’t here yet!?

    Then it’s been windy as hell all week and I can’t fly any of my flying machines.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope you get all your parts before Trump’s presidency (in case).

      In fact, I am debating whether to stock up on laminating flooring and dry wall or not.

      1. craazyboy

        I will have a formidable air force by then. And spare rare earth magnet motors, which is more than the US military can say.

      2. craazyboy

        We aren’t completely helpless. This is a homebuilt micro jet. It has a electric ducted fan jet motor and thrust vectoring! It’s made from foam board. I just discovered these. Gonna have to make one, but I can’t fly good enough to handle those yet. But it really looks like fun.


  27. Nick

    What a great list of comments!

    1. I doubt I could shed any light on new sites since most of the ones I read I’ve seen links to from here, but I like to read the papers at http://cepr.net/

    2. Caught up with some old friends and made plans to meet up soon.

    I also just had dinner with my mom and have to say that so many of my friends have tragically lost parents in the past year that a simple thing like dinner with my parents is something that I have great appreciation for.

    Tomorrow I’m meeting up with one of the guys behind a documentary on economic democracy just to do a little brainstorming and share ideas/experiences since I’m starting a cooperative.
    His documentary:

    3. That’s a good question. I’ve actually been looking for a leftist alternative to WNYC (which I sometime have on in the background just because I like talk radio), anyone out in NC-land have any suggestions?

    As far as “music” is concerned, sometimes all of the misery in the world can really get to you, and I just want to have noise on in the background but don’t want to listen to music or people talking, and this is my very soothing and happy alternative to it. It’s like dressing a wounded soul with spiritual cotton balls…

  28. stefan

    1) 3quarksdaily.com is a science/philosophy/culture aggregator worth visiting regularly. they also have the rare ear on the pulse of india/pakistan.

    2) best thing this week? almost done writing a glossary of key terms in neurobiology…just three more chapters to go! also, saw “my name is doris” last night…surprisingly fun.

    3) for music, i enjoy van morrison’s “veedon fleece”….and big bill bronzy, junior wells, and buddy guy for blues.

  29. meeps

    1) Poking about the internet reading studies about microbes in high salt, low water environments. Not unheard of here, but out in the ordinary world…

    2) Best thing this week was the arrival of hummingbirds. We don’t get many at this elevation and they’re missed when they’re away.

    3) Listening to Goldfrapp; Ulla, from Tales of Us:


    Happy travels, Lambert!

  30. perpetualWAR

    Just finished reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X for the second time, the first was many years ago. I wanted inspiration to keep on fighting “by any means necessary.”

    The best thing that happened this week? The appellate court ruled that the 2000+ pages the opposition wants excluded from the appellate record will NOT BE EXCLUDED! Take that you corrupt witch of a lower court judge.

  31. hunkerdown

    2. I went to a friend’s hotel party last weekend. Despite my inability to drink more than a swig of hard iced tea due to that I was driving home later, it was an awesome gathering. (The naked hot-tubbing was merely a bonus.) Among other things, the more stalwart and (slightly) less intemperate among us experienced a loosely-run but no less fun Symbel, a Viking ritual that doubles as a drinking game.

    1. lumpenproletariat

      Not to get on your case, but the Affordable Housing Institute’s site reads more like an advertisement for real estate investors and financiers than something sincerely interested in providing a necessary good at an affordable price. Their list of directors is almost a joke–a bunch of bankers and real estate guys?

  32. winstonsmith

    The Panama Papers leaker issued a manifesto calling for greater protections for whistleblowers, condemning corrupt governments and news media, and calling income inequality one of the defining issues of our time.

  33. knowbuddhau

    1. I got nothing. Every morning I spend a bit more time than I should here at NC. Most of which goes right over my head. I’m learning. I could say NC is the site I read that nobody I know knows about. But that feels like cheating. :)

    2. After weeks of being told my 2-night/week night job would be going to 5 nights, meaning I could actually afford my life, but nothing happening; and the wheels kinda falling off an effort to start an environmental consulting co-op, a good buddy gave me tip on a word-of-mouth opening for a cleaner at my favorite brew pub, The Rockfish Grill here in Anacortes, WA. (Actually started last week, so again I’m cheating. I’m incorrigible.)

    Normally I’d have ear buds in, but not there, because I love the incidental sounds of a restaurant. “Corner!” It’s great fun to be a part of the hustle and bustle. I go at it like it’s performance art, tossing my precisely folded, high tech, microfiber cleaning cloths (don’t call them rags, tyvm) up with one hand and catching them and cleaning in one smooth swoop with the other, and the like. Plus 50% off the best ales around.

    3. Listening to Alan Watts talks and a playlist of mostly Thievery Corporation, with some Coldcut, DJ Food, Art of Noise, and old school stuff like War, Johnny Cash, and T. Rex. Oh and the Lalo Schiffrin “Mission: Impossible” original TV soundtrack. And a bit of Henry Mancini.

    7 times down
    8 times up
    Such is life

  34. Boy from Oz

    1. The Conversation


    2. I walk 10k every morning along the beach front near were i live (Melbourne) and there is a bloke who i cross paths with most days. I finally stopped and introduced myself to him, his name is Jimmy and he’s from Greece. Came to Oz when he was 16. I think i have made a new friend.

    3. Radio Paradise, the best goddam radio station on the planet. Broadcast out of California, bloody brilliant, do your self a favour and listen.

  35. charles leseau

    1. Favorite reading site that nobody else knows: Engines of our Ingenuity. This is a radio series by a fellow named John Lienhard that is mostly about human creativity and inventions. The transcripts are very short but cover everything from samurai swords to Roman political mudslinging to steam engines to equal tempered tuning to the Fokker D.VII, and on and on.


    2. Best thing to happen this week: I started playing the harpsichord sound on my digital piano in order to resist the occasional subconscious lure of using pedal when playing Bach on my actual piano, thus rendering the digital piano useful again.

    3. Listening to: Piano music of Federico Mompou and on walks I’ve been digging into very early Pat Metheny again.

  36. Alfred

    1.) http://www.onthecommons.org/ It will all make sense as you read two and three.

    2.) Foraging for Wild Asparagus. It’s peak time along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains here in Colorado and I know that “travel” thing is a bunch of hooey Lambert, you took the day off to satisfy your need for Mother Nature.

    3.) AfterFM on KGNU.org 6-9 in the morning and 3-6 in the afternoon Rocky Mountain Time. Eclectic to say the least except 3-5 on Thursdays is SKA. No advertising and very little insight from the dj’s. KGNU’s answer for those that don’t want to listen to Amy Goodman and other intelligent talk portions of our local communities public radio.

  37. Dave

    Reading material: the U.S. intellectual historians’ blog s-usih.org. Or do a lot of people already read this? Great, scholarship-grounded essays on all sorts of topics.

  38. petal

    Reading: I’ve mostly been sticking to NC for some time now, but I subscribed to the Harvard Medical School news. There are some neat stories about research. Today’s was a report about the hygiene hypothesis and autoimmunity.
    Good things that happened this week: Great season finale of Grantchester. Really got sucked into the series. Have become a fan of James Norton(I see someone above mentioned Happy Valley). And friend in AZ posted pic tonight of toddler daughter I have not yet been able to meet due to distance-she is so innocent, her smile spreads happiness-all is right and good with the world yet. Someone I surprised with an orchid a few weeks ago thanked me again today for it. Funny how such a little thing or effort can make someone so happy.
    Listening: my gym soundtrack this week has been Social Distortion. Also been listening a lot to WBER, this tiny indie station out of Rochester, NY. I just want to say thank you to all of you and I hope you keep coming back. You guys are always a bright spot in my days. Cheers.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “mostly been sticking to NC for some time now”

      Understandable ;-)

      But readers, please don’t all do this. NC needs the constant cross-fertilization. To mix metaphors freely, no echo chamber/Hall of Mirrors here!

  39. ProNewerDeal

    I heard on theyoungturks that Trump claims he would be willing to threaten a default/”haircut” on US Treasury Bonds, “in order to negotiate a better deal”.

    This apparently would be similar to Rafael Cruz’s 2013? Fiscal Cliff threat, except bigger in scope.

    In this case is Trump stupid, or just playing stupid on TV?

    Would be interesting to read your take on this, especially any of you financial experts

    1. Yves Smith

      Hah, I just saw and have a comment in Saturday links. Based on FT report of what he said only due to time constraints, so I may have missed details of Trump’s remarks.

  40. Laughingsong

    Online reading: been very much enjoying Jacobin and the Archdruid the past few months. Some Counterpunch.

    Offline reading: Lies, Inc., the 1916 newspapers series from Ireland, and just finished book 8 of the Outlander series.

    Best thing this week: solved an issue with new email systems we’re trying to get up and running.

    Listening to: been spending a lot of time listening to various tracks on Link TV’s Border Blaster site. Favorite songs from that source this week are “Volver” by Ana Tijoux and “Nunco Mais” by Zuco 103.

  41. Ulysses

    Listening to Street Sweeper Social Club right now. Reading “What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy,” by Tom Slee

  42. Tom Ford

    Fascinating podcast called Dungey State University. (http://www.dungeystate.com/blog/) Two guys — one a philosophy professor, examine current economic, political and social trends and phenomenom through the lens of various philosophical viewpoints. It is fascinating stuff.

    A couple recent sample podcasts include:

    Plato Would Be Horrified By Trump’s Rise http://traffic.libsyn.com/urdsu/Plato_Would_be_Horrified_by_Trumps_Rise.mp3

    Fear, Death, And The Collapse Of The American Political Space

  43. August West

    Listening to Andrew Bird’s latest, lots of 77 Dead and catching up on Bernard Cornwall Saxon Series…..Uhtred!

    The best thing this week is watching a resident baby bunny mow my grass daily. So damn cute. It was a beautiful day here in the Chi. Oh, and Bernie had a good interview with Rachel on MSHRC

  44. Reify99


    Played the piano in public for the first time in 25 years not quite 2 weeks ago.
    Bach, Rachmaninoff, and some Reify. Encore was my Revenge of the Bean Counters, a bluesy ragtime change up with alternating sections which are by turns “inefficient but with depth” (slow) and then “highly productive” (fast with Spartan texture.) The ending is somewhat foreclosed.

  45. Nick

    This is a bit off topic, but I hope it gets a lot of coverage: an article in the NYT that they’ve already changed the title of once about Hillary targeting republicans


    “With the Democratic nomination in sight, Mrs. Clinton has broadened her economic message, devoted days to apologizing for a comment she previously made that angered working-class whites, and pledged that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who remains widely popular among the blue-collar voters drawn to Mr. Trump, would “come out of retirement and be in charge” of creating jobs in places that have been particularly hard hit.”

    So now she’s apparently campaigning on Bill coming out of retirement to try to appeal to people. That should be very embarrassing and worthy of big media coverage. In fact they already changed the title of the article and took out the “coming out of retirement” part.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s going to be even more embarrassing if Bill Clinton comes up lame on the trail. If I go by how he looks in the photos, he’s not a well man.

  46. geoff

    I recently heard a right wing radio shouter talking about the U.S. Atty of the (U.S.) Virgin Islands subpeonaing (sp?) Exxon Mobil for copies of communications between themselves and conservative political and policy organizations:

    (This Fox link was all I could find on short notice.)

    Funnily enough, the orgs “targeted” are a who’s who of Koch funded “policy shops” like the Heritage Foundation, Mercatus Institute et al. Been reading Jane Mayer’s excellent Dark Money and I recognized all the names…

  47. Robert Hahl

    The great live performances on youtube make studio tracks seem dead.

    The Neville Brothers – Congo Square

    The Neville Brothers – Fire on the Bayou

    The Neville Brothers – Brother Jake

    Joe Bonamassa – Just Got Paid

    Starts at 1:20, with good feedback tricks at 6:50. Bonamassa mostly disappoints me but he got it cooking that night.

    In Concert – AIR – La Femme D’Argent (Live in France, 2007)

    This groves all the way but the video might cause epilepsy.

  48. CraaaaaaazyChris

    I’m days behind in reading NC and trying to catch up over the weekend, but I just wanted to say that I get a lot of value from Hacker News. I’ll warn NC readers in advance that the site is very heavy on silicon valley startup culture, but if you can get past that, I like it for these reasons: (a) it’s primarily a link aggregator that collects a lot of interesting (to me) and current news links and (b) the comments tend to be relatively high quality (using a Reddit style mod system).

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