Links 6/19/16

Rub-a-dub-dub, a fawn in the tub? CNN

Colorado mother rescues son from mountain lion’s mouth BBC. Two mountain lions killed as a result.

The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’ Wife Atlantic. Great sleuthing.

Think Less, Think Better New York Times. Not keen re framing of the argument. It’s effectively against multi-tasking, but it argues instead for “creative” thinking, implying that that is productive. At the end, he does talk about aesthetic appreciation, but that almost seems to be touting how well he has trained his mind, as opposed to an indicator of what we lose with overstimulation.

How can the world bridge its infrastructure gap? Barry Ritholtz


Brexit’s Impact on the World Economy Project Syndicate

Brexit’ Vote Reflects Damaged Credibility of European Union New York Times

Another Brexit Headache: Margin Calls And Contract Uncertainty Wall Street Journal

How Germany Could Upset Europe before UK Referendum Marc Chandler. The German Constitutional Court has tended to avoid breaking EU/Eurozone china.

Lunch with the FT: Adair Turner Financial Times

India central bank chief Raghuram Rajan to stand down Financial Times

India’s banks crushed poor farmers with expensive tractor loans—but the Mercedes came cheap Quartz (resilc)


ISIS has found a way to pierce US counter-terrorism defenses Global Guerrillas (resilc)

51 US Diplomats Are Wrong — Assad Regime Change by Force Would Result in Uncontrollable Anti-American Anger OpEd News (Judy B)

The U.N. Failed Yemen’s Children Time. Resilc: “and how Obomba did, and USA USA did.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why Are Defense Policy Wonks So Ineffectual? Chuck Spinney (Chuck L). Important. Be sure to read the underlying Andrew Cockburn piece.


The Willie Stark Strategy for Sanders Supporters HubPages (Ralph). But Sanders himself will never never back it.

What Hillary Clinton can learn from Bernie Prospect Magazine (resilc)

Kumbaya over: Bernie Sanders NJ Chair Wisniewski summarily dropped as DNC member Blue Jersey

Call for Democratic unity draws boos from Sanders supporters at state convention News Tribune (martha r). Washington.

Margin in CA has just gone below 10.00 Green Papers (martha r)

Judge allows a Santa Cruz voter’s Bernie Sanders ballot to count, after mistaken registration as an American Independent Los Angeles Times (martha r)

Bernie’s Tragic Flaw: Too Soft on Clinton Counterpunch (resilc)

Green Lefties Are Grieving Over Sanders’s Loss. Can They Learn to Love Clinton? New Republic (resilc)

Hillary’s Agenda Here and Abroad Intertwined: “Full Spectrum Dominance” Around the Globe, A Swelling Precariat at Home Counterpunch (resilc)

DNC Comes Out of Closet– Goes Public, Handing Reins Over to Clinton Campaign OpEdNews (furzy)

#CallsFromHillary. Be sure to click on the picture.

DNC Tight-Lipped About Authenticity Of Documents From Guccifer 2.0 Hack Inquisitur (martha r)

Trump’s performance raises hard question: Who’d want to be his VP? Politico

The Punk Who Would Be President Garrison Keeler

Trump Calls Efforts to Unbind RNC Delegates ‘Illegal’ Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump Threatens to Self-Fund Campaign if GOP Support Wavers NBC. That is bluster and the GOP knows it. And at this point, Trump needs not just their dough, but also their party apparatus.

House rejects effort to ban illegal immigrants from military service The Hill. Resilc: “We need to import our fodder.”

Payday for the Public Washington Monthly (resilc)


Journalist who fired AR-15 bazooka awarded National Defense Service Medal Duffelblog (JTM)

Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment Rolling Stone

Democrats Turn The Tables On Republicans And Urge Gun Control Passage For National Security PoliticsUSA. Lambert: “Democrat integrity has a shelf life measured in days.”


U.S. may only need single rate hike for now, says St. Louis Fed president Globe and Mail

The Collapse of FOMC Expectations David Merkel

Wall Street vulture hedge funds like Elliot Management made billions off Argentina’s debt crisis—bankrupt Puerto Rico may be next Quartz (resilc)

Class Warfare

McDonald’s: you can sneer, but it’s the glue that holds communities together Guardian. Resilc: “North Adams, ma MCDs has a good number of seniors discussion local politics and news every morning. Red Sox (good), election (Clintoon not fans), kids don’t want to work are the main topics.”

An Expensive Law Degree, and No Place to Use It New York Times

Retrotopia: Diminishing Returns Archdruid

Antidote du jour (furzy):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. jgordon

    On the Rolling Stone’s anti-gun article:

    Well good for this Constitutional law professor for admitting that the Second Amendment must be repealed before he can proceed with his anti-gun agenda. This is a refreshing breath of integrity from the anti-gun crowd. As the good Constitutional law professor noted, there were other things that the founders messed up on as well, and they were properly edited out of the Constitution when the error became widely known. This is how we maintain the legitimacy of government, by following the rules.

    One thing though:

    The liberty of some to own guns cannot take precedence over the liberty of everyone to live their lives free from the risk of being easily murdered.

    A friend of mine was killed by a car while riding a bike home from his job at a restaurant. It was a hit and run; they never found the driver. Because of that, I know that for every story of a mass shooting or something tragic happening with a gun, I can find an analog something else horrible happening with a motor vehicle. However while we sadly do still have the right keep and bear firearms–as noted by the respected Constitutional law professor above–luckily we have no such Constitutional right to own and operate a motor vehicle. Motor vehicles kill or maim more people every year than firearms even without a Constitutional right to use them. So it should be uncontroversial to have them banned, right? By the way I’m being serious. I would dance with joy if President Obama signed a bill banning all personal motor vehicles today.

    1. kj1313

      Complete non sequitur. Cars or transportation is the lifeblood of the US Economy. Goods/services/labor needs transport which include vehicles.

      1. jgordon

        That is not a non sequitur. If we had an economy based on heroine, would it be a valid argument to say that we couldn’t possibly remove heroine from the economy because it’s vital to it?

        In fact an economy based on heroine would be far less bad than the current economy that’s based on motor vehicles; at least a heroine economy wouldn’t pose an existential threat to humanity, unlike the motor vehicle economy.

        1. clincial wasteman

          Sooner or later someone’s going to say: “worked out well for Afghanistan, didn’t it?”, but that won’t be the decisive slapdown it may sound like, because the “heroin economy” there is not a self-contained bubble but an 18th-degree effect of a global economy based on labour exploitation and its backstop, war.
          More to the point would be that a structural feature of “the economy” — eg. dependence on cars, or hypothetically heroin — may very well be noxious, but if it’s really structural — like, say, cars (or hypothetical heroin) — the social means of doing without it will have long since have been kicked away, so that it could only be shut down all at once at catastrophic cost to the relatively poor majority forced to depend on it, while the proprietor class would just switch to solar powered helicopters (or single malt laudanum) or something.
          Further astray from topic, in an economy actually “based on heroin”, at least production might be semi-regulated (see, again, cars) and as such somewhat less likely to be bulked up with unspecified percentages of industrial cleaning products, so than the death rate would probably be lower than it is today.

          1. jrs

            Well if it’s really an analogy, if cars were banned, I’d be ok with it if good alternatives were provided less so if not. So how could you apply that analogy to guns? Have to figure out what people get out of guns anyway I guess.

      2. TG

        With respect, I think we really could survive without PERSONAL motor vehicles.
        We would still have trucks and buses and taxis and (for those cities that have them) subways, etc. We could do fine, with only a modest transitional period.

        Mind, I’m not saying that we SHOULD do that. I am saying that we COULD, and our economy would survive.

        I drive every day of necessity, but I don’t really enjoy it. Every turn, every stop, I could kill someone or run into something expensive etc. We don’t let amateurs fly jet airplanes, nor even heavy trucks. Why let nearsighted/old/stupid/crazy/medicated people drive cars? Really the only reason people have to drive cars now is that everyone else does, so you have to for work and daycare and shopping etc. If we banned personal cars, professional transport services would soon fill the gap, and the average person would save a FORTUNE on car payments and insurance etc. Hey, I think I’m liking this already!

        1. Adam Eran

          Sorry, building most of our cities as suburban sprawl forecloses the possibility of viable transit. The walk to the stops is often impossible, or at least undignified, the densities are too low to support the required number of riders, etc.

          The self-driving car may change this dynamic, but building our cities for autos has been the American way for more than two generations now. Good news: retrofitting is possible.

          Incidentally, cities with good public transportation (e.g. San Francisco) typically have houses more expensive by roughly the amount of a car payment. Go figure.

    2. DJG

      Cavolo riscaldato, as the Italians say. You have used this weak argument before (and before and before): How are you on slavery, which was enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, too? Are you having difficulty with the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments that abolished slavery and redefined U.S. citizenship? Certain ideas become obsolete, cavolo riscaldato, and then they have to be discarded. Do you know the Constitution’s provision, since rescinded, about importation of slaves? How are you on counting a slave as three-fifths of a person?

      Playing the naif loses its savor, so please don’t drag cars or forks or knives or blenders or can openers into the argument. We all know the uses of rifles and bullets.

      1. jgordon

        Weak argument? I haven’t had any friends or family members killed by a gun yet, but I have had several who have died thanks to motor vehicle accidents. What, should I just chalk that up to God or nature as being responsible for their deaths? I suppose when people get killed in motor vehicle accidents people sigh and say “well it was just bad luck”. Even if cases where the deaths were due to extreme malevolence or negligence it’s just “luck”. But when someone dies from a gun–“OMG the guns!!” I’m so extremely offended by this kind of hypocrisy that I have trouble keeping civil here. A ban on guns wouldn’t have saved my friends; a ban on automobiles would have.

        Also, I did not say that banning guns was the wrong thing to do. I said that it was illegal. Our system is not currently configured to immediately accomplish this goal. If, as the anti-gun people suggest, our society has moved on beyond the need for the personal possession of deadly weapons then surely most people will agree with you and you can go about getting it done, just like Americans made slavery illegal and alcohol illegal via Constitutional amendments. I support you then! But I do not support the deceitful and duplicitous rampant lawlessness that the anti-gun crowd is trying to engage in by banning guns absent a proper Constitutional process. This respected law professor above agrees. The Supreme Court agrees. Why are there still people confused about this? Because of their hurt feelings? I don’t get it.

      2. fresno dan

        As Jgordon stated:
        “As the good Constitutional law professor noted, there were other things that the founders messed up on as well, and they were properly edited out of the Constitution when the error became widely known.”
        They’re called amendments…people did not try and reinterpret the constitution to abolish slavery. They had to go through a war to do it, but eventually the process for CHANGING the constitution was followed. Hopefully we can amend the 2nd amendment without a civil war.

        And I don’t believe the argument against cars is weak at all. Cars certainly contribute to global warming, and health effects of smog are well documented, as well as the direct deaths of auto crashes. And who knows how many lives would be saved if people got more exercise because they had to walk or bike…

        1. Lambert Strether

          Cars are a fine analogy, if you grant that we should license guns (designed to kill) like cars (not designed to kill).

          Somehow, when the framers wrote “well-regulated militia,” I don’t think they had self-regulated militias in mind…

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Militias are organized groups. People owning guns as individuals with no connection to organized groups protecting their communities would not seem to fall within the Second Amendment, but sadly that horse left the gate decades ago.

            1. jgordon

              That was a preamble. You can find a lot of stuff in preambles that sound good (look at the TPP), but when you get to the heart of a statement that’s what you have to go by.

              But you don’t have to take my word for it. The Supreme Court itself said that we have an individual right to bear arms despite the preamble mentioning a militia.

          2. jgordon

            We don’t license guns, and yet cars still manage to kill more people than guns as strictly regulated as they are. Also, there is no Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right to bear cars. This is why they are licensed and regulated so thoroughly, unlike guns. We are back to square one; are we a banana republic (don’t laugh) or are we still a society that operates under the rule of law?

            I’ll be totally honest here: I see this drive to disarm citizens by illegitimate means as just another facet of the corruption and disintegration of American society. No one wants to abide by the rules anymore–not just the corrupt politicians and corporate interested, but everyone.

        2. DJG

          The Constitution is a social contract. Ironically, this idea of a constitution and social contract comes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the French Enlightenment. A social contract is voluntary, a kind of living thing. The Constitution isn’t a recipe for learned helplessness and arguments that there is no way to address social problems because any solution is illegal.

          And keep comparing guns to cars: Then guns should have insurance, licensing (renewed periodically), testing (periodically), and safety standards. One of the safety standards should limit the size of magazines. And then ammunition can be regulated and limited. None of these measures would be illegal.

    3. low integer

      My condolences on losing friends and family members in motor vehicle accidents.
      (I said my piece on guns the other day so I won’t repeat myself)

      1. kgw

        Federalist No. 46 is an essay by James Madison, the forty-sixth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on January 29, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist Papers were published. This essay examines the relative strength of the state and federal governments under the proposed United States Constitution. It is titled “The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared.”

        Madison stresses that the federal and state governments are two totally different agencies. He articulates that they are separate yet can collaborate, and that the power lies in the people. The natural attachment of the people will always be to the governments of their respective states, so the federal government must be, in a sense, extraordinarily congenial to the people.

        In an effort to further dissuade fears over a national military force, Madison indicates that, at any point, the maximum force that can be brought to bear by the government to enforce its mandates is but a small fraction of the might of an armed citizenry:

        Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.

  2. Pavel

    Yves, that “Willie Stark Strategy” piece was a great read. Highly recommended, and thanks for posting it.

    There’s a mention therein about Hillary “being president for eight years.” Jesus wept.

      1. edmondo

        Loved the piece as well. If anything, it looks like the “hicks” have taken over the GOP. I doubt that they will win this one but they’ve built a roadmap on how to win the whole thing in four years.

        Holy mother of God, who would have ever expected that the Republican Party would become the Party of Change!

      2. Pat

        Sanders may not agree, but a good portion of his voters have already gotten there on their own.
        And while I would wish that he would, that is not is his style or true to his personality. The real reason this is a disadvantage is that there is no voice with a megaphone that can make it clear that this was distinctly not the fault of Sanders or those who refuse to vote for her, but of Hillary Clinton and more particularly the DNC who choose her. Failure to understand how weak or outright despised your corrupt choice for the office is should never be blamed on the voters.

        But it will be. And that will be the real loss. They won’t even wake up after being hit up the side of the head with several million 2 x 4s.

        1. craazyboy

          I don’t think they are asleep, and can simply be woken up. I think they are very awake and very “bought and paid for”. We need regime change, but how I don’t know. Giving Hillary some Sanders’ teleprompter lines to read doesn’t do it for me.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I believe there is a sense of buyers remorse with Obama, but they can’t come out and say it for fear of being labeled racist after they threw those accusations at every Obama critic from the left.

            -as the numbers for 2014 looked awful, Democrats instead of revolting against Obama decided Hillary could save them as she and Bill have several reputations based in myth about fighting Republicans and being great politicians. 2014 was just a tough environment. Every cycle the Democrats lose is a tough environment were convenient excuses.
            -over a year and half of election strategy and promises were made around Hillary saving the party and leading young women to the polls.
            -Sanders won young women by huge margins. The Democrats don’t want to admit the basic problem with Obama is he was a Clinton because all their work for the past two years has been to prop up an unlike able and possibly deranged Obama.
            -instead they will put their heads in the sand and hope everyone is glad the lobbyists are doing well.

            I tend to think the average Democrat in Congress isn’t an amorphous blob with little to any sense of policy views other than short term interests of the party and local politics.

            1. craazyboy

              I blame Joss Whedon. He started the whole “girl power” thing with Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

              For 30 years since, America has been watching skinny little girls beat the crap outta monsters, thugs, gangsters, evildoers, enemies of America, comic book villains, space invaders and even other skinny little girls.

              How could America not want to tap that offensive force in our military?

            2. Carla

              “I tend to think the average Democrat in Congress isn’t an amorphous blob with little to any sense of policy views other than short term interests of the party and local politics.”

              Without the n’t, it’s a perfect description. Was that just a slip of the fingers?

                1. hunkerdown

                  I make a point of disabling input automation of all sorts, including but not limited to live spelling-correction, auto-capitalization, auto-styling, etc., whenever I first “move in” to a new browser/system/app. My computer can watch me type over my shoulder when I command, and at no other time.

                  I heartily recommend this mode of operation to anyone.

              1. ambrit

                Everyone has blood on their hands in this matter. Positing a ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ form of anything is fine in theoretical or hortatory exchanges of views. In the realm of application however…

              2. NotTimothyGeithner

                Charges were tossed around all throughout the ACA debacle for one reason to undermine critics of the President on the left. The BernieBro narrative was reused garbage.

        2. Ralph Reed

          A wedge issue potentially available to separate older women from Clinton is the recently Congressionally passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017, one provision of which is that women will be required to register for the draft upon turning 18 on 1/1/18. This historically momentous decision isn’t getting much attention, partly because Sanders can’t use it himself, but mostly because it’s a good buzzkiller against Ms. Clinton.

          Regardless, it doesn’t bode well for a non-totalitarian US future that this law, which includes indefinite detention for US “citizens,” isn’t receiving public scrutiny or media attention.

          1. craazyboy

            I blame Joss Whedon. He started the whole “girl power” thing with Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

            For 30 years since, America has been watching skinny little girls beat the crap outta monsters, thugs, gangsters, evildoers, enemies of America, comic book villains, space invaders and even other skinny little girls.

            How could America not want to tap that offensive force in our military?

            1. Pat

              So you’re saying that Obama could have won the dick swinging contest if he had dropped Sarah Michelle Geller in the center of Iraq…Libya…Syria? And I’ve just been holding the fact there is no Dr Horrible sequel against Whedon…

              Sadly, I think we should be glad that nobody probably did suggest that because the brain trust who is largely designing our foreign policy might have thought it was brilliant.

              1. craazyboy

                They could train Ms. Geller to be a F-35 pilot. She would have been ready by Obama’s first term. The Air Force likes 120lb pilots with really fast reflexes. Unfortunately, the F-35 doesn’t do anything. Can’t even kill a vampire with one.

                1. Pat

                  Hmmm, perhaps the plant is on a Hellmouth and the design team run by demons, or the apologists for it should start claiming that, rather then it will work…eventually.

                  1. craazyboy

                    Dunno for sure, but my congresswomen was a 120Lb Air Force pilot and got Congress to un-mothball the A10 and startup a production order. Don’t know if she mentioned Hellmouth and demons in her arguments to Congress, however.

                    1. ambrit

                      When it comes to an Arizona H—mouth, versus the Beltway H—mouth, there is no contest. All she really needed to mention, and not too loudly either, is “backers.”

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It is Sanders’ fault as Bernie claims he wants to stop Trump (and not ‘I want to stop Trump with a clean – i.e. not fraudulent – candidate’).

          If would not be his fault, if his claim was to stop Hillary.

          Again, he has boxed himself in, like his promise to support the nominee.

          It would have been better to no have said that, but to just repeat his desire to change the rules of politics.

          1. oh

            I’ve been wondering for a while how Sanders can work against Trump’s election without working for Hillary’s. There are quite a few faux liberals that I’ve talked to (I mean elites) who are now ready to vote for Hillary because they fear Trump. Just an excuse I think! They’d vote for any Dimocrat!

      3. different clue

        And just because Sanders would reject such a course of action does not mean that every last Sanders supporter, all umpteen million of them, have to reject that course of action.

        This might be the Sanders’ supporters big chance to move out beyond Sanders, become a self-organizing movement, vote for Trump as a block, and keep that vile pig filth sh*t Clinton Crime Family out of the White House.

        And then begin the long hard decontamination process of removing every cell of malignant metastatic Clintonoma from the Democratic Party . . . and then killing and removing every Yersinia pestobama plague germ out of the Party after that.

        1. hunkerdown

          Why bother “reforming” the Democratic Party, when anti-aristocracy voters will have created a voting bloc to rival the Moral Majority and commanded a certain amount of truck within the GOP?

          Seriously. The Democratic Party, in its heart of hearts, represents the idea of Chicago-style machine clientelism, and as a rogue public-private partnership itself, needs to be tortured to death in full like a Chinese livestock dog.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Agreed, great read.

      Not sure this Berner can vote for Trump but I can vote for Stein, which in effect could tip the race toward Trump. If that’s what it take to shut down Honest Hillary, so be it.

      1. HBE

        I had been Slightly skeptical about voter fraud being as ubiquitous as it was, but now the Stanford study made clear it is. 1 in 77 billion, seems hillary is a true statistical outlier, from cattle futures to elections.

        Of course the msm ignores these little statistical factoids or outright attacks them.

        So, Even if the entire country voted for trump or stein, now it seems that hillary can just elect herself with the help of our more “efficient and voter friendly” paper free voting machines! They save trees and the proles from exercising self determination, a win-win!

      2. HBE

        I’m not so sure it will matter who we vote for after reading the Stanford voter fraud study. Even if every person voted for trump or stein it now seems hillary will just be able to elect herself with the tacit support of the msm and our “efficient and voter friendly” paper free voting machines. They save trees and the proles from exercising self determination. It’s a win win!

        1. DWBartoo

          Perhaps, HBE, the much ballyhooed sacred “right” to vote might now be seen as the “rite” of voting?

          The essential function of that ritual is, and has been, simply to legitimize the continuing rip off, in this, the Age of the Divine Right of Money..

          We must vote, we are told, admonished, and huckstered, for the more effective evil in order to “save” the USA, “the sole hope of humanity”, as Hillary would have it, from the evil ogre Trump. Why, ’tis almost a fairytale ending, as if Hollywood were manifesting Bernays.

          What if the Four-Year Madness, the whole notion of voting, cannot, by design and intent, be made, under current and foreseeable neoliberal-neocon “conditions” to reflect the needs and interests of the people? What if voting doesn’t really make a difference, for if it did, as Mother Jones long ago pointed out, it would be made illegal?

          What if we actually have to rebuild our society, society being understood as simply the way that members of a “group” treat other members of that group, which we ought term “humanity”?

          What if actual principle, empathy, and courage … and not money, are really what matters when it comes to sustaining human life on this planet?

          Consider also, that NONE of “our” would-be “leaders” is actually equipted to come to grips with the real issues of our time? What if money and power, and absolute “control” really are all that matters to the self-appointed, astute elite?

          What if we need some new or different ideas … and the courage to explore the implications and consequnces of those new thoughts, new visions of the future beyond endless war and an economic “view” that pretends that the fundamental function of ANY economic system, in human terms, is to make available to all members of humanity, those resources necessary to life?

          Ah yes, what if …


          1. HBE


            I believe things must get even worse before the chains of neoliberalism can even begin to be worn away or snapped.

            Presently the majority is kept just above unbearablity, with the false glimmer that they have the chance of advancing away from it, while in reality they stay chained to a ceaseless treadmill, trying to outrun it and push away from the unbearable.

            While the false (even manufactured) hope and fear that we can outrun it still exists, clinging to what little we have fearful of losing it and slipping into the unbearable, challenging or destroying the system seems unthinkable to the majority. Neoliberalism (socialism for Corporations) will face no real challenge, until we fall off the treadmill and lose what little we have.

            Only when the last false vestiges of hope that neoliberalism currently allows us are taken can any concrete changes to our worldview and the system take hold.

            I believe we must lose everything, destroying the false hope of neoliberalism, before it can ever be destroyed.

            1. zapster

              When the paper first appeared, the researchers were properly identified as students, and the paper wasn’t oversold. They even ask for criticism. That said, it still doesn’t appear to be a bad job. Looking back at some other earlier research, they’re not at all out of line on their conclusions, from what I can see. I have yet to see anyone criticizing their methods or assumptions–only attacking their credentials.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Anything 100%* certain is worth further assessment.

            * [1 – (1/billion)] is nearly 100%.

          2. Plenue

            This the same Snopes that maintains Google isn’t goosing search results for Clinton?

            1. TheCatSaid

              Yes, the same Snopes that said there was nothing to the unusual investment “bets” placed in the days immediately before 9/11–but gave no reason for their opinion other than quoting the 9/11 Commission claiming they had investigated the suspicious puts and determined they were innocuous and had no conceivable connection to any foreknowledge–but with no substantiation given. If Snopes is basing its views exclusively on the 9/11 Commission, that tells you everything you need to know about Snopes. It’s been one of the few disappointments of NC, that both Yves and now Lambert have indicated reliance on Snopes.

              Sometimes learning about an issue is better than outsourcing this responsibility to a single online “judge” that we are told to trust.

          3. TheCatSaid

            The “mixed” was because it hadn’t yet been peer reviewed. It wasn’t about the substance of what was presented.

            The authors explained that they decided to publish the initial report now rather than wait several months for peer review, but that this will indeed be done.

          4. TheCatSaid

            Interestingly, there are a number of genuine criticisms which could have been made of the report, and I find it interesting that they weren’t. This tells me something about gaps in the understanding of both the writers of this report, and of Snopes.

            In effect, the report likely understates the extent of the favoring of Clinton. Why? Because the researchers structured their analysis based only on whether there was a “paper ballot” or not. They do not mention, for example, that the paper ballots were also counted by machines. The Fraction Magic report documents the risk there–and that the code’s presence on the machines used in these primaries makes it child’s play to manipulate election results so that, for example, central counting results of votes cast using paper ballots counted by optical scanners are manipulated somewhat less than the central counting of votes recorded with no paper. It also mentions the specific telltale signs of noticing such tampering (certain rounding errors), and that these signs have indeed been seen. Results are still being tabulated so presumably the relevant scrutiny is still underway.

            In states where some precincts hand count, the discrepancies are striking:
            “Although Clinton Won Massachusetts by 2%, Hand Counted Precincts in Massachusetts Favored Bernie Sanders by 17%”

            There was no mention in either the report or the Snopes evaluation of the problems with vote by mail and early voting, both of which have serious chain of custody issues. Neither did either the report or the Snopes review mention that the presence of paper ballots does not mean it is possible to use them for a recount. Local election rules often make this impossible.

            So while the report raises important issues, I’d criticize the report for understating the flaws due to their limited methodology (or at least not mentioning the limitation), and Snopes for similarly not recognizing the implications of the chosen methodology.

            1. Ian Berman

              While there may be other questions to address, a study does not have to address all issues. Some issues are more qualitative than quantitative and therefore need a different type of analysis.

              You raise some good additional points, but their work was not directed in this way. It does not detract from their work.

        2. Bev

          Take heart.
          Lee Camp’s version of initial announcement of the RICO lawsuit against the voting machine companies for fraud and against a complicit media for forcing exit polls to match voting machine fraud:

          BREAKING: This Lawsuit Might End Hillary’s Run & Prove Election Fraud!
          Redacted Tonight


          The Theater Is On Fire
          by Beth Clarkson

          Democratic Primaries: Is Clinton leading by 3 million votes?
          by Richard Charnin

          UPDATE: Bob Fitrakis updates information about the RICO suit and California for which they are collecting evidence to include in the RICO lawsuit.

          6-10-16 Nicole Sandler Show – Election Integrity – Fact or Fraud?
          Bob Fitrakis on The Nicole Sandler Show
          54:10 on video to see better than the rough transcript below:

          Update: The RICO lawsuit has not yet been filed.

          Originally, attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis were going to file their RICO lawsuit earlier on June 6th in order to get the networks to release the raw data on exit polls for the California primary. The networks cancelled exit polls instead.

          The RICO suit will be filed. The problem is they ran into a huge problems in California.

          With the donations they are getting, Arnebeck and Fitrakis are beefing up legal staff.


          Fitrakis said, we did some limited exit polling ourselves and those numbers are being crunched.

          The suits and it looks like there may be two of them: the initial one over getting the exit polls and also a second one getting discovery for criminal activity which is the one that should go first, be filed first.

          But California had massive levels of irregularities and what looks like outright fraud. Most of California should be roped off as a crime scene. it happened deliberately from party loyalists and private corporations.

          California has delayed us somewhat and caused us to beef up legal staff. He says they will be filing next week.

          These projects need your financial support
          California Exit Polls
          Ohio Election Integrity Litigation
          Democracy Counts (Election Audit)

          The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity

          Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck and Lori Grace

          1. TheCatSaid

            Just after the Lee Camp segment the next video that came up was also interesting. It described 3 of the methodologies that were used in California, including poll worker testimony.

          2. TheCatSaid

            Those are great links. Things are happening so fast it’s hard to keep up with. The Nicole Sanders interview is a great addition. Among other things, there’s time to discuss the deep extent of their professional backgrounds in this research.

        3. different clue

          If Clinton were voted against by a margin of many tens of millions of votes . . . a margin too big to plausibly fraudulate . . . do people here believe that Clinton would still be fraudulated into office regardless?

          The election fraud systems in place were already in place in time for whichever election it was that saw many Republican representatives and senators removed . . . leading Bush to say “we took a thumpin'” Apparently the vote totals against certain Republican officeseekers in Ohio were so huge that they couldn’t be predicted or fraudulated away, despite Rove’s knowledge of “the math”.

          So if vast enough masses vote against Hillary in the election, perhaps such numbers will overwhelm the election fraud machinery. People might well keep that in mind when deciding whether to vote or not to vote.

          1. openvista

            Except that Trump’s unfavorability has hit 70%. And he trails HRC in every national poll now. The trajectory wouldnt suggest a landslide for anyone but possibly Hillary if this keeps up.

          2. zapster

            Well, that’s what got Obama elected, in part. Also the FBI watching the GOP for election fraud that night. However, they learned from that experience, that’s why the massive registration tampering. Greg Palast describes it as “Strip and Flip”. You have to strip the voter rolls to get the numbers down to where you can hide the machine tampering. This has been done, on a massive, and very obvious but hard to investigate, scale.

      3. efschumacher

        A vote for Jill Stein and the Greens is a positive vote for most of Bernie’s agenda. A vote for either of the other two evil-speaking monkeys is still a vote for evil. It’s not your fault if “lesser evil” is beaten by “greater evil” if you choose to vote positively, and against evil.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Thanks for the call out on this article. Yep, well worth the read. But like many others here, I’ll vote for Jill Stein rather than Trump. And never for Clinton.

      I’ve also noted that as the “provisional” ballots in my home state of CA are still getting counted, the margin b/w Sanders and Clinton has shrunk to 10% state-wide. I still don’t see how this is possible. Support for Sanders in my neck of the woods is public and enthusiastic. Clinton’s support? Invisible.

      None of the Above in 2016

      1. Carla

        Let’s hope Stein gets enough votes to maintain ballot access for the Greens in the states where they currently have it. Also, if you live in a state where the Green Party does not currently have ballot access, you might consider devoting some time to gathering signatures, or whatever mechanism your state has, to help them get it. We’re going to need more parties!

    3. Amateur Socialist

      Much appreciated. It also reminded me how often I learn from the lessons of fiction.

    4. Antifa

      The idea of a Willie Stark strategy for Sanders supporters has one fatal flaw — the debt thus incurred cannot be collected. It’s a method of making Hillary an offer she can’t refuse, saying, “You absolutely WILL NOT be elected in November unless you first solemnly promise the American public that within your first two years of office you will accomplish the following ten Social Democratic goals, or resign.” Insert your list of goals here as you see fit, vote her into office, and then watch helplessly as she does none of those ten things, and blithely blames it on a do-nothing Congress. In short, the most you can expect from a Willie Stark strategy is really, really sincere empty promises. Pshaw — Hillary’s already out there vowing to “work toward” fulfilling Sanders’ platform. It’s meaningless.

      Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0 may well have such proof of her crimes that the American public will reject her, and the Government will feel compelled to indict her. We shall see.

      If Hillary is elected in November, despite her crimes, it will be because she was not prosecuted by the Justice Department or she received a blanket pardon from Obama. Neither action will prevent the Republicans from spending all 8 years of her virtual internment in the Oval Office investigating and impeaching her. Weekly impeachment votes, with everything she’s ever done leaked and out in the open. She’ll be the most blocked and useless President in human history. She’s like Trump in that regard — it has become increasingly pointless for her to continue flogging this horse. It ain’t going where she thinks it is.

      Be careful what you wish for, Hillary. You might just get it, along with everything else coming at you. Remember, it may be chocolate on the outside, but that’s no guarantee you’ll like what’s inside.

        1. Antifa

          Whenever my options are reduced to having a cup of coffee or hanging myself, I take it black.

          1. Buck Eschaton

            We can’t waste another 8 years, especially when the neo-conservatives are allowed to run wild on foreign policy.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I predict 4 years of neo-con on steroids (Hilary) et apres, le deluge.
              (Is there some way to go long on the stocks of radiation suit manufacturers?)

      1. flora

        “It’s a method of making Hillary an offer she can’t refuse,

        I don’t think it’s a method of making Hillary an offer. It’s a method of making sure the DNC stops taking us for granted by making sure the corrupt DNC and it’s current neoliberal/neocon (aka TPP and war)
        candidate Hillary loses.
        I think a Trump win will mean 4 years of gridlock. For me, that’s preferable to 8 years of more war, ramping up tensions with Russia, and terrible trade deals.

        1. sd

          Hmm. That’s an excellent point and one I had not actually considered. But…let’s say for the sake of argument that Trump is elected. Would establishment Dems and Reps unite to pass an establishment agenda?

          1. zapster

            Well, if Bernie’s new movement to have progressives fill every available seat takes off… maybe not :)

      2. different clue

        I had thought that in this instance the Stark policy simply meant destroying Hillary to show the Clintonite Obama Scumocrat Party that since we have the power to do it once, we have the power to do it again and again unless we get this, that and the other.

        But that Hillary has to be destroyed FIRST in order for Strategic Starkism to gain any credibility.

      3. Christopher Fay

        Hillary is pro part of the supposed Republican agenda, looting social security, bombing Iran, Russia, forcing the illegals into for-profit concentration camps. So one week the Republican congress is voting for this agenda which Hillary will sign, and the next week they will be investigating Hillary forcing Hillary ever rightward.

        Oh, and TPP and that other stuff

    5. Lazlo

      Jesus wept as the world devolved into the total mayhem inherent in Killary’s regime change by extreme violence (ie,with guns) agenda. Advocating for banning guns for the citizenry without advocating banning US imperialism via those same guns is beyond absurd. A sitting president has implemented an assassination program, including US citizens, without due process, stood by as US became the number one arms dealer in the world (Viet Nam the latest), failed to curb, and, indeed, continuously expanded, arms sales and military aid to the world’s largest proponent of state terrorism, the rogue state of israel. “the US is a violent and lawless state” -Chomsky and condemning the micro without simultaneously connecting and condemning the macro is ludicrous. As is Cohen’s hypothetical scenario in Rolling Stone of others being armed during Orlando shooting. Sheer speculation to further his argument. Let’s ask Cohen to consider that LE has admitted that some of those innocents shot in Orlando may have been shot by LE in their “tactical” response. Does anyone expect to hear the ballistics reports on that?

      “Stop bombing my country” What else needs to be said when blowback occurs within our country? Indiscriminate govt violence breeds more of the same, both domestically and internationally. We’ll have plenty more of both after Killary’s coronation. And that’s not speculation. It’s based on the extant record of both her and her husband.

      As for cars; let’s set aside for a moment the risks associated with us careening around in our metal missiles and consider instead the much higher risk of the “second hand smoke” from the inefficient burning of carbon fuels in those said missiles.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    It’s not over yet. Bernie has not exactly come out in support of Trump, but neither has he exactly come out in support of the Hildabeast. He’s not exactly a Democrat. Trump, in his gruff way, has been trying to “reach out” to Bernie and his supporters. Is it possible that a deal could be struck between the two master deal makers? Not likely, but I would like to see it.

    1. James Levy

      Sanders would have no more power to keep Trump to his word than he would Clinton, and no more reason to think that Trump wouldn’t screw him over the second he didn’t need him. The idea that you can make a deal with either Trump or Clinton is belied by their histories. They will always do what’s best for themselves and throw anyone under the bus so that they come out on top. You don’t come out a self-proclaimed billionaire after multiple bankruptcies using other people’s money to get rich then fobbing off the losses on the suckers because you have a powerful sense that your word is your bond.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        That’s a cynical outlook. Not everybody that made a deal with Trump through the years got “thrown under the bus”. If Bernie made the deal with Trump (admittedly a long shot) the people getting thrown under the bus would be Hill, Bill, and the whole rotten corrupt dem establishment. A wonderful development.

        1. neo-realist

          My feeling is that any deal Trump made with Sanders would be soon undone by the RNC, the GOP majorities, and the GOP donors. It’s one thing for hand shake deals in a campaign, but when you become the puppet in the oval office, he will have to do what those interests want him to do lest his ability to govern become totally undercut by those interests. As if they’ll allow that socialist f*cker any sway over their give the store to the rich policies.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When Sanders becomes a puppet, he will have to be obedient?

            I agree if he becomes a puppet, he will be obedient. But how does he become a puppet in the first place with any deal with Trump?

            1. neo-realist

              I’m sorry, I was referring to Trump as a puppet in the White House having to do the bidding of those GOP factions in order to govern. Sanders, if elected, would have all the procedural stops pulled out to prevent his legislation from coming up for debate (with the help of Blue Dog dems.)

    2. craazyboy

      Bernie has repeatedly come out “against Trump”. In fact in his recent Washington DC speech – the “concession speech that wasn’t” – he left the very strong message that defeating Trump is his and should be the Democrats #1 priority.

      Now he didn’t concede to Hillary, so he still wants the time to run out on the official election clock. So it isn’t over till the fat lady sings at the DNC convention.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Pols do that all the time. “That statement is no longer operative. ” Nothing to it.

  4. EndOfTheWorld

    Back when I was following Bernie, before he became the Presumptive Loser, he listed a bunch of conditions that would have to be met before he would support Trump. The assumption was that these conditions would never be met by Trump. But who knows what Trump would do? He’s capable of anything.

    1. Antifa

      The Republicans are openly discussing freeing up all their pledged convention delegates by deeming them “Conscientious Objectors” — to Donald Trump. Meaning he will likely fail to win the first round of voting in Cleveland, and can then be escorted from the building by rent-a-cops. Then the GOP can vote on Jeb and Marco and Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan and whomever until they choose a real champion.

      Am I the first to suspect that the GOP is doing this so openly in hopes that Trump will simply quit the race, take his ball, and go home. Bullies are highly prone to doing just that. Besides, he’s out of money, facing yuuge legal bills and fines over Trump University, and has no Party support in any state of the union. This is a campaign??? He’s taken this about as far as it can be go on its own steam. Time to move on to Trump TV!

      1. jgordon

        That’s interesting, but the GOP insiders have had a lot of plans on how to deal with Trump. The major stumbling block for them has always been that the voters have consistently refused to go along with their plans.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          You have to remark at the candidates Team Red has put up in recent years. McCain/Palin: the sick joke ticket. Mittens/Ryan was slightly more credible. But now we have Trump, a raging narcissistic demagogue. Recently for Team Blue we had Lurch Kerry, and now the criminal pathological liar war-mad virago. Is there any remaining doubt just how broken the party system is? Is our children learning?

      2. EndOfTheWorld

        Anything is possible in this election, apparently. Both conventions will be far more interesting than any recent ones, I’m sure, and will get good ratings.

      3. Pat

        If they are they are as delusional as they were during the campaign, Trump is not going to drop out. He also believes in litigation. He is not going to drop out. And he will make their life hell if they try to change the rules now. Hell, I think Clinton trying for Republican voters has a better chance of success than that does.

        The thing I find amusing about this is that both parties are actively working to throw out the candidate that can possibly win the election for them. The Republicans have their worst nightmare of a candidate foisted upon them by their voters, and the Democratic machine overthrew their voters to pick the worst nightmare of a candidate, ignoring and then undercutting the candidate that could have won the election in a landslide. And the Dems don’t even know it but the Republicans blowing up their party entirely by trying to overturn their primaries is their best chance of winning short of doing the same to the candidate they cheated and stole to get to the nomination. (Barring a financial crash that is, in which case the Pubbies could nominate Larry, Moe or Curly and still win.)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Then the voters will conscientiously object the Republican party.

          What do they think all those millions of people who voted for Trump the last few months will react to that?

          1. Pat

            I don’t think it will get that far. People may have decided that the Convention with the biggest chance of violence is the Democratic one, but if the regulars pull this shit, I’m pretty sure that the Trump supporters will go ballistic on the actual convention floor.
            According to some sources they know better and it is only the pundit/advisor class who are still under any illusion that there is a means to any candidate but Trump. But who knows, as far as I can tell common sense and an understanding of human nature have been in short supply for our political regulars of both parties.

            1. different clue

              I suspect the Trump supporters have more experience with bar fights and other forms of close quarter combat then any Sanders type supporters are likely to have.

              So if any rent-a-cops try getting violent on Trump supporters, they might discover a world of violence they never knew existed.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump will borrow to complete his run and then, and then negotiate that debt away.

        I don’t think he has ever just walked away from any of his cash-flow challenged assets. Most of the time, I seem to recall he fought to keep them. He seems to be tenacious.

      5. Yves Smith Post author

        I am told that the Republican leadership has accepted Trump. All of this noise re a convention revolt comes mainly from the pundits. It’s na ga happen.

        More likely is that the objectors pull off some stunts that dent the image of party unity, which the media will take up. The more the press makes the Rs look more divided over Trump than they are, the hope is that it will hurt fundraising.

      6. so

        This happens in my dreams. The suicide of the dems and gop. in one cycle.
        I think the next cycle will produce someone that will make Trump look like a choirboy.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s possible Sanders gets more from Trump than he would Hillary.

      “You are my domestic inequality czar.”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Theoretically plausible but Trump’s negatives are too much for Bernie, plus the Dems would go scorched earth on him were Sanders to have so much as a serious meeting with Trump. And prospective Trump donors would too.

  5. Pepe Aguglia

    Calls from Hillary link doesn’t seem to work as intended. Wondering if this is about the robocalls form Hil that I receive every single afternoon

    1. Pat

      If you google the hash tag it takes you to a tweet that has a picture of Clinton supposedly calling Sanders after her party declaring herself the nominee on the 7th. She is not happy.
      The comments are what you would expect.

      1. nippersdad

        Is that the twelve thousand dollar veterinarians lab coat that we have been hearing so much about? I wouldn’t be happy either; looks like someone got taken to the cleaners.

        1. Pat

          No, believe it or not the twelve thousand dollar one is even less flattering and uglier in general.

          1. nippersdad

            I just don’t know what to say about that. Thank you for doing the research that, HRC is quite right, I don’t wish to do for myself. She is just going to be a fright on so many levels.

            I don’t understand her fan club. At all.

            1. Pat

              If you clicked through and read the Clintonista reactions to that photo, you would find someone with a supposed fashion degree (AND AN MBA! the fashion business is hard…) disagrees with our opinion.

              Mind you someone who thinks a jacket with pockets that accentuate hips is a good selection for a woman with a large pear shape probably needed the MBA because her fashion sense was so bad.

              1. craazyboy

                I’m sure craazyman would recommend men’s pocket squares. Lots and lots of pocket squares.

                  1. craazyboy

                    I think they crumble them into a ball then tuck them in. At least I recall that’s the way they did it with TP back in high school. But with designer silk men’s pocket squares, I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be done. I’ll defer to a fashion expert.

                1. craazyman

                  I tried a few for a while because that’s the way the do it in the upscale fashion blogs.

                  but I felt like a foo-foo-dude, foo fooing around.

                  I felt awkward and selfconcious.

                  so now with corp casual for the summer it’s No Mas for the Pock square. I doubt I’ll wear them again. whatever I wear looks like shlt on me. I bought 3 shirts at Paul Stuart a few weeks back and don’t like any of them.

                  the only shirts I like are surf T-shirts, but I’m not 17 years old anymore and a man can’t wear those to a office job in New Yawk

                  1. Optimader

                    If your of slender physique Lizzy Holmes will have more than a few unisex balck turtlenecks at her garage sale

  6. ambrit

    This ad and others like it are very regular occurrences here.
    Roughly, it wants sub-contractors, supplying truck, tools, and insurance, to maintain houses stolen from the public by the banks. Using other peoples money to run a business is a well known model. Using ’employees’ money to do the same looks to be the next ‘big thing’ in the business world.
    What’s encouraging about these ads is the regularity of their re-posting. Are, hopefully, suckers becoming hard to find?
    (Sorry if I’m hijacking, but this is a big sign of the times from my viewpoint.)

    1. knowbuddhau

      I see those in NW Washington a lot, too. Even tried it, in my desperation, a few years ago. Your description fits. They paid a pittance. And the contracts came with all kinds of stipulations, some in bold red lettering no less, that, when I asked about them, I was told to ignore. Yeah, right, ignore the not-so-fine print from the TBTF’s (BOA many times) infamous for making a line from Tom Waits’s song, “Step Right Up,” come true: “The large print giveth/ And the small print taketh away.”

      I refused to do lock changes. How was I supposed to know I wasn’t aiding & abetting house theft? One manager told me I wasn’t professional for that reason. Told him to GF himself. Unbelievably, still get an offer once in a while. They must be pretty desperate.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Speaking of desperate, have you seen those “Drive for Uber!” ads? They blanketed the airwaves during Copa America tournament.

        Methinks that Uber is running out of suckers.

  7. Kfish

    The success of McDonalds as a community space is not a tribute to McDonalds, but a horrifying statement about the lack of real community space.

    1. nycTerrierist


      And we can thank corporate welfare royalty and environmental parasites like McD. for the lack of real community space…

      1. JCC

        Not to mention shelters and non-profits where people are watched by hawks that require certain behaviours and restrict certain types of conversations, t.v. blaring in the background, sign-in sheets, sign-out sheets, and all other types of bureaucratic hassles enforced to justify their existence.

        Maybe they should be taking lessons from McDonald’s, a decent cup of coffee, a little wifi and a place to sit and talk with no b.s.

        “They prefer McDonald’s to shelters and to non-profits, because McDonald’s are safer, provide more freedom, and most importantly, the chance to be social, restoring a small amount of normalcy.”

    2. Pavel

      And the privatisation of public space, or “the commons”. The urban and suburban “planners” have deliberately or accidentally created entire communities where the only public interaction is in a shopping mall — corporate space with its own rules and security guards, with “food courts” plying various types of fast food. And “tables and seats reserved for customers”!

      At least in some cities they are doing something — cf the highly successful Highline in NYC — but in the cities without downtowns e.g. Houston where one must drive absolutely everywhere, people are doomed to a car-and-mall life.

      1. Ivy

        There is a retail development in Glendale, California called Americana at Brand. It is pitched as a private space looking like a public space looking like a private space. Ersatz comes to mind. Reality is too intrusive so why not some fantasy?

        1. Pavel

          Ivy, I looked this up online… talk about “ersatz”! As the Valley Girls used to say, gag me with a spoon… the epitome of pretentious, fake, pseudo-sophisticate marketing:


          “Mediterranean architecture” — ha!

          1. Antifa

            Mediterranean architecture is typically found underwater. So are most commercial malls.

        2. sd

          Its Disney Land meets Shopping Mall complete with a cute trolley. If they plant ivy to grow up and cover the buildings, in another 50 years, it might look ok.

    3. Eureka Springs

      Here here. And as OWC demonstrated so well for so many, “Public Space” rarely, if ever means what you think it means.

    4. knowbuddhau

      Word. There’s nowhere to go and just be there. The real “tragedy of the commons” is now it’s privatization. And coming soon to a national park near you, corporate sponsorship! Happily, a recent attempt, to put 60 private cabins in a tiny state park, was shot down in the planning stages by an outraged public.

    5. ekstase

      As cold and impersonal as our current public spaces are, this bit of history, from the article, really brings home that perhaps there were no glory days in America, not for everyone, anyway. I guess people make the most of what is available in their time:

      “Willard Jones, 93, tries to make it a few days a week. ‘I had it real rough growing up, because times were real rough. Lived on a plantation, modern day slavery. When I was a kid, we used to get a special treat a few times a year, and go eat in town. That place was dirty and cost us a lot. Not like McDonald’s. It is clean here.'”

  8. edmondo

    A smaller number of Clinton supporters at the state convention cheered when U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, called Clinton the Democratic presidential nominee and urged Washington delegates to support her.

    “We have to come together,” Merkley said while delivering the keynote address at the state convention on Saturday.

    “To advance the goals that so resonated with Bernie Sanders’ campaign, we need Hillary Clinton to win this election.”

    Yes, in order to eliminate income inequality, we need to encourage it. If we want Medicare-for-all, we need to vote for someone who dismisses it out of hand. To curb Wall Street, we need to elect the one person who has taken millions of dollars of their graft. To bring honesty to government, we need to put into the White House the most corrupt politician since James G. Blaine!

    Good Luck with that message, Senator Merkley

      1. JTMcPhee

        Not at all, based on a small sample – my sister in Portlandia and by her observation many of her friends, think highly of hillary and Merkley too. Because (various small meaningless issues and pronouncements.) This from a highly educated free spirit who built a cabin and lived “rent free” in the Denali National Park (until the feds removed her and her “partner,” a fella known as “Local Color,” and burned the cabin and their other “improvements.”)

        In the meantime, “we” whoever “we” are/is can keep on hoping that somehow the curve of coprophagatism can somehow be bent in a “healthier” direction — maybe toward “organic,” as defined in 7 CFR Section 205 et seq., like this bit:

      1. Arizona Slim

        My Elizabeth Warren prediction: She’ll get a primary challenger when she runs for re-election in 2018. The challenger will prove to be quite formidable. And Lizzie will lose.

        But, not to worry, she’ll go right back to Hah-vahd Law.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, she will not go back to Harvard Law. The university puts two year limits on sabbaticals. No exceptions.

          A B-school prof I know (department head for the finance faculty, exec. director of the Brady Commission, day-to-day head of the RTC, then head of the NASD), came back to Harvard, but only as a Lecturer at the Kennedy School and 2 year visiting prof at Harvard Law (despite not having a law degree). They’ll give Warren a post at the Kennedy School, but not tenure.

          1. flora

            “Academic Politics Are So Vicious Because the Stakes Are So Small”
            variously attributed to Kissinger, Sayre, Brown, Johnson

  9. the blame/e

    An “AR-15 Bazooka”? Somebody must be pulling your leg.

    A bazooka is part of the military’s arsenal; not available for civilian use. But show me this “AR-15 Bazooka” because the only picture you show is that of a rifle. Kind of goes to show how informed “Naked Capitalism” is on the whole gun deal. Can’t tell the difference between a rifle and a bazooka — maybe because “Naked Capitalism’s” informed editorial position just hates “gunz” so much. A “bazooka” on a AR-15 would be a grenade launcher; not a bazooka. And the M4A1 (again a military item) is a bazooka, a shoulder-fired projectile, not a rifle, and not a grenade.

    A bazooka is a shoulder fired weapon because the rocket fired from a bazooka, if mounted on an AR-15, would burn a hole clear through the person stupid enough to fire it. But that would be one less stupid person to worry about, wouldn’t it?

    Still, if there really is an AR-15 Bazooka; and not “Naked Capitalism” piling their mal-informed anti-gun hysteria higher and deeper, then I would love to see one.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Er, the Duffel Blog is a parody site. I’d work the “can’t tell the difference” riff myself, but that would be too, too easy. Thanks for your contribution.

      1. DJG

        Wait, Lambert: You mean that you don’t know the technical specifications between a fully loaded news site and a fully loaded satirical site?

        I will now open up my divinely revealed manuals so that I can distinguish a howitzer from a bazooka and write ammosexualist exegesis.

    2. craazyboy

      WTF are you talking about?

      A bazooka is a monetary policy tool. A big bazooka is a very powerful monetary policy tool.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Attaboy, theblame/e! Thanks for missing the point so eloquently! Just one cavil — the AR and M4 are “shoulder-fired,” the bazooka and related weapons like the RPG and LAW are maybe more accurately described as “shoulder-launched,” for the reasons you note.

      And Duffelblog is, if you haven’t figured it out by reading a few of the articles posted there by GIs and other contributors who are largely sick of war and the whole fokking military bureaucracy, the “Onion” in the shit-on-a-shingle mess-hall pot…

    4. Optimader

      Well, maybe you’re a bit short on the ability to recognize wit, but you at least win an honorable mention for repeating the word bazooka most number of times in a post! (Yeahhhh!!! One man standsup slowly clapping, then sits back down onto wobbly white resin lawnchair…..)

  10. Carolinian

    Interesting Dowd column on Trump’s failure (so far) to pivot. Knowing Trump for years, she says the right wing demagoguery is a big show for the Repub crowds but that his ego may be his worst enemy. Which is to say he gets too much pleasure out of bullying the phonies and overstuffed targets that constitute our political scene.

    Having seen Donald Trump as a braggadocious but benign celebrity in New York for decades, I did not regard him as the apotheosis of evil. He seemed more like a toon, a cocky huckster swanning around Gotham with a statuesque woman on his arm and skyscrapers stamped with his brand. I certainly never would have predicted that the Trump name would be uttered in the same breath as Hitler, Mussolini and scary menace […]

    His obnoxious use of ethnicity only exposed the fact that Republicans had been using bigotry against minorities and gays to whip up voters for decades. The G.O.P. would love to drop Trump now because it prefers a candidate in the party’s more subtle racist traditions. (Or even a candidate savvy enough to heap disdain on the 47 percent of government freeloaders at a ritzy fund-raiser without having a bartender tape it and leak it.)

    Trump told me he could act like the toniest member of high society when he wanted, and he would as soon as he dispatched his G.O.P. rivals. He said his narcissism would not hinder him as he morphed into a leader. But he can’t stop lashing out and doesn’t get why that turns people against him. Everything is filtered through his ego.

    However Dowd, in her establishment way, doesn’t register that many of Trump’s more outrageous statements happen to be true (i.e. Obama’s role in the rise of ISIS). She also ignores his recent more thoughtful policy speeches that Lambert has been writing about. Still he clearly needs to pivot if that other, anything but thoughtful, menace is to be kept at bay.

    1. fresno dan

      Trump had a big, fat, juicy target in the repub nominees – the most obvious “truisms” in the repub party were so divorced from reality that simply pointing out how idiotic they were in calm measured tones would probably have ensured victory. But the thing of it is, the repubs don’t really attract brave altruistic non-conformist types, so the child (and you REALLY only needed the intellect of a 9 year old to see the bizarre things the repubs believed) who shouted that the emperor has no clothes had to be a Trump.

      The dems are also a target rich environment, (e.g., every major city is run by dems, AND is an example of police abusing minorities, as well as abysmal economic record) but it appears that Trump, whether due to being an overt racist, or just too dumb to realize the opportunities/need to split the dems, just cannot bring himself to rewire his brain to occasionally use the “restraint” function.

      Trump reminds me of a friend who got a 10 bagger, and who thought himself a genius and never ceased to remind everyone of his genius…but if he had only some patience he would have had a 1000 bagger (i.e., sold it waaaaaay too soon).

  11. Tom Stone

    So…Hillary stole the nomination, we live in the mot efficient surveillance state in the history of the world, in 2014 “Asset Forfeitures” exceeded the amount taken by burglars, Systemic corruption exists across all parts of Government to a degree never before seen, Police departments are being armed with tanks, grenade launchers and machine guns,TPP/TISA is going to go through giving multinationals Sovereignty and the most important task facing progressives is repealing the second amendment…disarming the proles.

    1. Jagger

      and the most important task facing progressives is repealing the second amendment…disarming the proles.

      All power to the state.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Actually, the entire filibuster was a scam, even with milk-and-water “gun control” perspective; from Democrat behavior, the real goal was to solidify more “watch lists.” Ka-ching. Wonder if any tech people from DiFi’s district had influence there, speculating freely…

    3. Alex morfesis

      probably should restart my book on multinational coops and how to laugh at TPP/TISA…most multinationals are the result of corporate roll ups and sequences of m&a cycles…nothing prevents a set of entities from carving up some small rights of exporting to certain markets or licensing products to create an effective backstop against giant corporate multinationals…I can imagine watching the framers of this toilet paper sovereignty play waking up one morning ten years from now and deciding to throw themselves in front of a bus….

  12. Pat

    While I agree with the Inquisitur article above that the DNC silence about the authenticity of the material leaked from one of their recent hacks, I think it gives far too much credence to the idea that this was actually a hack by the Russian government. As a couple of IT experts here have stated in previous threads, from what was known about it, it was not a sophisticated hack. And I don’t think using a Russian keyboard is really proof that it was the work of any government (or even a Russian).

    Funnily enough I find the Time article about why it matters to be far more even handed and I admit that surprises me greatly.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Good idea…. And I’ve also had the same thought about Clinton’s emails, to be honest; but the whole thing just went on way too long, on way too many media, and the whole things is just too complex for that.

    1. Pavel

      Re: Guccifer 2 and the DNC hack… I just learned about the Wikileaks “insurance file” announcement which may be linked to HRC documents. Let’s hope they do indeed have the goods on her!

      WikiLeaks just released a mysterious filed labeled “WIKILEAKS INSURANCE” for people everywhere to download in advance of a huge upcoming announcement. This file serves as a type of “deadman’s switch” that is currently encrypted. WikiLeaks will release a second encryption key to unlock the file if they are prevented from making a planned announcement. Because of previous statements made by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, many people are wondering if this insurance file is meant to ensure that WikiLeaks can release potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

      Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have previously shared that they have emails of Clinton’s to release that may carry enough weight for an indictment. Many are theorizing that this Insurance File has been released so that WikiLeaks can make the planned document drop about Clinton’s emails. But 88 GB seems like a huge amount if it only contains emails.

      But he may have more than just emails. Assange told a British TV station: “We’ve accumulated a lot of material about Hillary Clinton. We could proceed to an indictment.” However, he added, he doubted she would actually face charges because the current attorney general won’t likely indict her.

      This week, a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0 also released information they purportedly hacked from the Democratic National Convention. (The Democratic Party had, previously, confirmed that they were indeed hacked by someone from Russia.) Most of the files were run-of-the-mill background information about presidential transitions and planned PR moves against Donald Trump. But one showed an email sent to the DNC around the same time that Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for president. The email showed the DNC working actively to promote Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Although Guccifer 2.0 has not been confirmed as the authentic DNC hack, WikiLeaks did tweet about Guccifer 2.0’s claim that they had sent additional hacked files to WikiLeaks. Some are theorizing that WikiLeaks’ big file release may be related to Guccifer 2.0 and information found about Hillary Clinton.

      If the information in the file is really damaging, some people on Reddit are theorizing that it might shift superdelegates’ opinion on Hillary Clinton before the Democratic National Convention.

      It’s important to note that at this point in time, we have no idea what is contained in the upcoming file or when it will be released. But since most of Assange’s comments to press recently have been about information he has on Clinton, that’s where most people are focusing their theories.

      –Heavy: Is the WikiLeaks Insurance File About Hillary Clinton?

      1. Buttinsky

        I had noted earlier on these pages the Wikileaks announcement that there were new docs coming. What I didn’t notice at the time is that today is the 4th anniversary of Julian Assange’s imprisonment in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, which is being marked by a good number of international events calling for his freedom. Might this not be a good time for Wikileaks to defiantly demonstrate yet again its relevance with a bombshell or two in new docs?

        1. sd

          Well, that raises an interesting question. Do the Clinton emails contain incriminating information regarding Mr. Assange?

      2. hunkerdown

        Assuming a 60k message corpus and a 10kB average text size (message headers, quoted messages in replies, text+HTML alternate representations, MIME encapsulation), that’s a 600MB total file.

        88GB is within the right order for the server image itself: assume about 20GB for an OS, about a GB or two for email services, 6GB for email text and indexes (about an order of magnitude larger than the text/data indexed), and who knows how much for attachments and unrotated logs, and maybe they put a big swap file in there too.

    2. bob

      It’s Jeffrey Epstein’s child porn stash.

      Download at your own risk. He won’t go to jail, but you most certainly will.

      1. ambrit

        “Download at your own risk.”
        Hah! I’d lay odds that Epsteins’ “privates” files run a lot bigger than 88GB.
        Anyone on the PTBs’ Freethinkers List will probably have some actionable part of this file, er, inserted via the ‘back door.’

        1. craazyboy

          But that still doesn’t change the fact that viewers of Jeffrey’s films made with Jeffrey’s friends and Jeffrey’s child “actors” have severe criminal liability if you accidently open these files with your eyes open. It’s many years of jail time!

          I’d recommend sticking with adult porn. The actors are hotter anyway.

          1. Pavel

            Not sure if this is just a rumour or is this really well established (the existence of said films)?

            I just Roger Stone (Trump advisor and longtime Republican strategist who is virulently anti-Clinton to say the least) state that Epstein used to appear among the Clinton Foundation donors ($25K I believe he said) but that the name has now been deleted.

            Stone went on and on (justifiably of course) how the MSM has been trashing Trump but giving the Clintons a pass on most of the scandals. As he said, they asked Trump’s daughter what she thought of her father’s behaviour towards women; have they asked Chelsea the same question?

            There has got to be so much damaging and damning material among those 33,000 “deleted” emails. If either the FBI or Guccifer 2.0/Wikileaks do have them HRC is a dead duck.

            1. craazyboy

              I think it’s just a rumor – but a billionaire having little secret films of your biz “partners” and political “connections” being naughty is a tad too plausible to completely ignore.

              But he’s probably too smart to keep them on a networked computer. That’s what thumb drives are for.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              At this point they could release films of Hilary and Yoko in bed with Bubba and Pappy Bush watching and snorting coke and nothing would change.

  13. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Stark choice: that has been my position basically throughout this primary season. There is no way for good folks to reform the Democrats. The party must be split and destroyed before it can become a party for social and economic progress. When it is no longer useable as a mule for the corporate pimps, debt pushers and identity politics hucksters who control it, we’ll see if it may be reclaimed. Imo building a third party is no more difficult, and would probably be instrumental in any case to the project of de-pumping the Democrats. If Sanders won’t come around and lead his people out of the Democrat bordello, we will have to leave him behind-a setback no doubt but oh well. Vote Trump if you can stomach it, vote Stein or write in Zapata & Villa.

      1. JTMcPhee

        It’s a myth, far as I can see, that the Party can somehow be “split” and demolished. It’s made up of people who will carry their predilections and preferences and skill sets and contacts and antecedents with them, and re-form like the shattered blobs of the liquid-metal creature in “Terminator 2..” Or a new set of critters from within the Party ranks will do what humans always do. There are many reasons Bernie is a “rara avis.”

        Neoliberal-neocon-ism and its moving parts make up a durable, well rewarded ideology, pretty clearly. “The people” are going to have to learn to Take Power, and some or many among them will once again become the Clintons and DWS’s and Pelosis and Boxers and the “boys,” too. The lobbyists, what an insufficient moniker, and the “interests” behind them, will still be in place, all nicely infiltrated and globalized. Because the thieves and tricksters serving their massive appetites for “MORE” will always be ahead of the earnest do-gooders who just want to serve the general welfare… Unless one gets to the end point of this particular rendering of the reality: Of course there are more Ricos always rising, and more (corrupt and corruptible) cops…

        1. fresno dan

          June 19, 2016 at 10:00 am
          Very good points JTMcPhee

          Very much reminds me of today’s link:

          Why Are Defense Policy Wonks So Ineffectual? Chuck Spinney (Chuck L). Important. Be sure to read the underlying Andrew Cockburn piece.

          “Since 1962, the Pentagon’s formal planning system — the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) — is a set of bureaucratic procedures designed precisely in accordance with their sacred top-down logic. Yet the PPBS has failed repeatedly to link budgets to forces and strategy (for reasons I explained here and here). The simple-minded idea that foreign policy (i.e., grand strategy) drives strategy and shapes force structures and budgets simply does not work in the real world. And the reason is fundamental: the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) is not a top-down mechanistic phenomenon that responds predictably to this kind of naive control theory.
          The MICC is more accurately thought of as a synthetic (bottom-up) living culture that creates its own political-economic ecology. Part of that ecology is the MICC’s corrupting effects on domestic politics. President Eisenhower’s prophetic warning about the rise of misplaced power hinted at but did not delve into the reasons for the living nature of this political-economic ecology. It is now fifty-four years later, and the MICC has evolved into a deeply entrenched, bewildering variety of ever changing goal-seeking factions, each fighting for money and power in a game of very messy domestic politics. These factions are loosely self-organized (via revolving doors, for example) into iron triangles that grow and decay over time.”

          1. James Levy

            Wow, you brought me back to a bus trip down from visiting a friend at Cornel reading Mancur Olson’s book on the rise and decline of nations. We face the awesome problem (and I use that word exactly) of trying to rid ourselves of a set of entrenched and mutually supporting interests that completely dominate the structures of society. I’ve just finished Goldsworthy’s biography of Augustus, and am disturbed by his conclusions. His point is that the only way to sweep out the corruption and internecine struggles of the Republic was for someone to suborn all the old institutions and institute one man rule. I hate this conclusions, and search hard to see where it’s wrong, but Goldsworthy’s case is pretty strong. So after a certain point is the only way to go forward the destruction of the old? And given the history of Germany, Russia, and China in the 20th century, is the cure worse than the disease? I really don’t know, but am becoming more pessimistic every day.

            1. Jagger

              And given the history of Germany, Russia, and China in the 20th century, is the cure worse than the disease?

              Don’t forget Spain.

            2. Andrew Watts

              So after a certain point is the only way to go forward the destruction of the old?

              Not necessarily. Nothing is inevitable until it actually happens. The philosopher and political theorist Herbert Marcuse thought that an infusion of new ideas from the social fringe and radical intellectuals could revitalize a nation. Although I’m not sure how likely that is. The historical record has been mixed but the Pentagon/US military is currently supporting a revolutionary leftist movement in Northern Syria inspired in no small part by the musings of an American libertarian-socialist. Who could’ve known something like that would happen? Or that it’d be so effective.

              The Greeks also had the political theory of anacyclosis in which government evolved from the rule of one (autocracy/monarchy), to that of the few (aristocracy/oligarchy), and finally into the many. (republic/democracy) I think we’re in the late phase of oligarchy in which the emergence of a democratic phase is possible if political disintegration can be starved off.

              1. hunkerdown

                What if the rule of the “many” (not ochlocracy, the rule of the “mob”) refers to the 10%, i.e. managerialism?

                The whole framework presupposes that unitary “rule” is necessary or useful. I say, break the wheel.

                1. Andrew Watts

                  Given that managerialism is governance under the controlling influence of a small number of ‘crats it easily falls under the rule of the few. While just about any change or evolution away from central/unitary governance can be labeled as the rule of the many.

            3. myshkin

              “His point is that the only way to sweep out the corruption and internecine struggles of the Republic was for someone to suborn all the old institutions and institute one man rule.”

              -The Romans in the time of the republic, when crisis arose, would on occassion appoint a dictator. Voted by the senate for a one year term with no repeats and pretty well complied with. Mostly in times of war or internal revolt. Seems preferable to the advent of caesar/kaiser/tsar.

              Not sure how Goldsworthy’s one man rule argument goes given the Julio Claudian dynasty five; Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. The purges, the crazies, the morality laws, the crazies. How do you exit once you embark on such an arrangement?

              Of the five, Claudius may have been the best but even he was bumping off perceived enemies left and right. By the time they got rid of Nero and his tax seizures, the Praetorian guard was calling the shots.

              My thought is a governing algorithm, Goldman Sachs could cook one up; they probably already have.

            4. fresno dan

              As Jgordon stated:
              “As the good Constitutional law professor noted, there were other things that the founders messed up on as well, and they were properly edited out of the Constitution when the error became widely known.”
              They’re called amendments…people did not try and reinterpret the constitution to abolish slavery. They had to go through a war to do it, but eventually the process for CHANGING the constitution was followed. Hopefully we can amend the 2nd amendment without a civil war.

              And I don’t believe the argument against cars is weak at all. Cars certainly contribute to global warming, and health effects of smog are well documented, as well as the direct deaths of auto crashes. And who knows how many lives would be saved if people got more exercise because they had to walk or bike…

              1. fresno dan

                Good grief – how did that get here????
                I’m gonna lose my innertube decoder ring…

                1. hunkerdown

                  I’ve made a habit of hitting reply, hitting cancel, and hitting reply again, in order to prevent misfiles caused by starting a reply and somehow navigating away from it.

                  I’m going to guess the reply-to comment ID isn’t being set early enough in the commenting process.

            5. fresno dan

              James Levy
              June 19, 2016 at 11:18 am

              1. We have a big military because we are always at war

              2. We are always at war because we have a big military*

              I would vote for number 2. and I like the term MICC – which I think really shows that small but concentrated interests whoop large diffuse interests all the time…and maybe the worst thing is, it evolves.

              *What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it? Madeleine Albright

          2. Steve H.

            Fresno Dan, synthesize the Spinney article with Robb’s column, and the fundamental problem is that Open-Source Warfare has a many-orders-of-magnitude better roi for delivery systems of violence. Meanwhile, the ‘follow the money’ assumption in D.C. has devolved into an internecine conflict, arming separate sides in Syria, that seems to roughly be MICC v FIRE/CIA. At least the MICC has some productivity in the material world, FIRE/CIA is all about money and speculation.

            Wind this back to challenge an assumption that pervades even this peanut gallery. Sanders said he is committed to defeating Trump. There are strong indications Sanders has a better chance than the Clinton to do so. Ipso facto…

            Note that Tulsi has a primary allegiance to the Pentagon, and see how she feels about Clinton:

            Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3593: What does Tulsi Gabbard think about Hillary Clinton?

            1. fresno dan

              Steve H.
              June 19, 2016 at 11:36 am

              If endless war provides livelihood for any number of members of the “MICC” and associated fiefdoms, than it is logical to assume that more factions in the MICC itself provides even more livelihoods at even bigger salaries….

              It seems to me there is no money in peace for specialized interests…(i.e., the interests that can actually control US policy)

          3. JTMcPhee

            This sort of self-organizing would just be amusing, if it were limited to playground bullying and 4th of July bottle rockets — but of course that’s not how it is. Nuclear weapons at one point of one iron triangle, but DARPA is a thing, of almost incalculable effect. Search on DARPA technology for lots of reasons why that’s so . Here’s two:

            Maxx Chatsko: Many readers may be curious as to why the Department of Defense is investigating biotechnologies and biological systems. What makes biology relevant to the DoD, especially in non-health related applications?

            Alicia Jackson: DARPA’s mission is to prevent and to create strategic surprise. A new technology vector at the intersection of biology, information science, and engineering holds the potential for significant impact and surprise for National Security. This space of “biology as technology” is becoming tangible due to the rapid, simultaneous development of genome-scale engineering tools, enormous datasets of genome sequences, new imaging and analytical capabilities, and the convergence of advances in information science and engineering with biology. The opportunity is a radically new approach to developing game-changing capabilities across neurotechnology, infectious disease, advanced materials, and programmable biosystems. Biological systems have the ability to do things that no human-made machine or chemistry can begin to approach: the ability to replicate, to learn, to scale from one to billions, to adapt, and to evolve. We can now begin to harness biology’s incredibly complex functionality to forward engineer capabilities. It is in the DoD’s interest to be ahead of these technologies, rather than trying to catch up with the rest of the world.

            One non-medical area of specific interest is that of harnessing biology to make new materials. By gaining control over biological systems and their biochemical pathways — and designing new pathways by rewriting the DNA “software” in cells — synthetic biologists are ushering in the “Biological Age,” creating substances with not only superior electrical, optical, and mechanical properties, but with properties that we have never seen before in man-made materials: materials that can regenerate, that respond to the environment, that learn and evolve. Ultra light-weight flexible armor, dramatically better anti-fouling and anti-corrosive coatings, and thermotolerant plastics for light-weighting are within sight. Chameleon-like, responsive fabrics, surfaces that harden or flex in response to changing conditions, and extremely efficient, sugar-fueled biological actuators for hybrid robotics are on the horizon, all grown in “living foundries.”
   Iron rice bowls go with iron triangles.


            And all this goes on 24/7, paid for and accelerated by the value of the political economy “we” create, MMT in “full-chat” operation…

            1. craazyboy

              blah blah blah blah blah blah

              The low hanging fruit being bio-engineered doomsday viruses.

              That’s ancient sci-fi. In middle ages sci-fi, there are living bio space ships that carry humans around that are pretty cool. But we don’t get there.

              There is zero carbon footprint bio-engineered-fuels, but where’s DARPA funding there?

            2. Take the Fork

              I followed the articles back until I hit a discussion of Grand Strategy and then stopped, my own biases about the root of the problem confirmed.

              I’ve always tended to think Defense operated more or less like every bureaucracy and went through much the same lifecycle. (A while back, Charles Hugh Smith put up a good graphic of this, but it would take me too long to find it.) Now, this may or may not be the case, but in my view it is largely beside the point.

              To the extent that the US has a strategy, it is in my view neither coherent nor sustainable. This is for a few simple reasons that are causally connected:

              We try to do everything because
              We cannot prioritize because
              We do not know what we want because
              We do not know who we are.

              Why don’t we now who We are?

              Marxist multiculturalism precludes any answer to the last point. There is not, and can never be, a “We” – only an ever-shifting constellation of irreconcilable grievances based on totalitarian oppressed/oppressor binaries. On the other hand, pure Neoliberalism produces even more atomization, except that it inverts and restricts the satisfying feeling of certainty and righteousness to those at the top of the heap.

              In the West, we’ve enslaved ourselves to a lethal amalgamation of these two -Isms.

              I’m reminded of that apocryphal story of Patton who, when asked what he would do if he found himself between the Germans and the Russians, answered by saying that he would attack in both directions.

              But the essence of our predicament remains.

              If we cannot decide who We are, then whoever we are, we are doomed.

              1. Antifa

                Who are We?

                Last time I heard of a whole nation acting in enthusiastic unison was when Goebbels was screaming that “Deutschland ist der Fuhrer, und der Fuhrer ist Deutschland!”

                Just as the Tea Party was created by the GOP but has now run right over the GOP, our nation has raised several generations of free individuals out to express themselves no matter what. We are a collection of persons each of whom is special, unique, irreplaceable, priceless, and destined to find our place in the sun.

                We are consumers.

                1. Skippy

                  Lmmao…. consumers don’t revolt as failure is an – individual – moral failing…

                2. Take the Fork

                  You ever hear of the Cultural Revolution? 50th Anniversary this year. Tens of Millions of good Communists oppressed, tortured, imprisoned, and murdered by their own Marxist government. Another hundred million antifascists like yourself screaming and waving little red books at them. Big fun.

    1. ambrit

      Re. your Zapata and Villa comment; try writing in the Magon brothers. Alas, that might involve you with a visit from the Feds, and or a ‘trip downtown.’
      “…the Democrat bordello…” Great phrase, even better stealth denunciation. Who would be “working” in said enterprise? Hmm… (Scratches scrotum stealthily.)

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The clintonistas steal, deny, rig and refuse to even count the “votes.” The “supreme” court orders the “vote” counting stopped. Such is the “respect” given by this government to the “sanctity” of the right of citizens to govern themselves by “electing” their leaders and representatives.

      And yet the erstwhile Sanders “revolutionaries” whimper and bleat about an inability to “stomach” a vote for Trump. It’s no wonder their claim to a political “revolution” is sneered at by those who would be king–or queen.

      The stakes are now higher than the election of any single candidate. Now it is whether Americans are to have any voice whatsoever left in the selection of its leaders, or if they will be foisted upon them by a self-perpetuating government forevermore.

      Now is the time to take a stand, not in 2018 or 2020 or 2024, fer chrissakes. If you have the “stomach” for it. And if you choose to waste your “vote” on a candidate that you know cannot win, then you need to quit complaining. When you had the chance to effect change, you choked.

      1. James Levy

        Baloney. You’re asking me to believe that a man who made his money on fleecing average citizens in his casinos, bilking investors, and speculating in real estate and proudly claims he’s a billionaire is the REAL hope and change, and I MUST fall in line or I am pathetic. Well, I was brought up to think that falling in line to bullying like yours (or Trumps) was pathetic.

        You don’t get to tell me who to vote for–period. And you don’t have any more right than the Democrats did in 2000 or after to tell me not to “waste” my vote on a different candidate than the one you’ve anointed.

        Vote however you please, but spare the rest of us your demands to do as you say.

        1. craazyboy

          Look on the bright side – Trump wouldn’t want all his casinos nuked.

          IMO, the worst thing about Trump is his tax proposals. I can see him getting those thru so his kids don’t have to pay much tax.

        2. pretzelattack

          for whatever it’s worth, most people go to casinos expecting to lose. you may have a better chance of walking away with money than you do dealing with banks on your mortgage. is he a crooked businessman, yeah, i’d say so. as far as i know he hasn’t bought into the whole invading other countries thing for profit, but who really knows with trump.

        3. Carolinian

          Who’s telling who what to say? I believe her “demand” was rhetorical.

          We are all just here giving our opinions.

        4. Katniss Everdeen

          I’m not asking you to do anything.

          I’m telling you that anyone who equates casino ownership, New York real estate speculation and trash-talking a couple of celebrity women who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, with the implications of a second clinton presidency–endless Middle East slaughter and destruction, insane provocation of Russia and Iran with the real possibility of nuclear confrontation, clinton foundation global influence peddling involving more money than Trump ever thought about and more weapons of mass destruction than the planet can tolerate, abject fealty to israel and saudi arabia, TPP, fracking and already paid for commitments to the predatory “healthcare,” education, technology and financial “industries,” just to name a few–has no business calling himself a “revolutionary.”

          1. Pavel


            “Here endeth the lesson” as Costner said to de Niro at the end of the trial scene in “The Untouchables”.

            I’d rant on a bit further about the Saudis — HRC and the Foundation have no apparent problem taking money and selling arms to this uber-nasty, despotic, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-non-Muslim, state sponsor of terrorism… If they were doing deals with Hitler would they get a pass? WTF is going on here that there isn’t absolute outrage over this?

          2. bob

            “I’m not asking you to do anything.

            I’m telling you..”

            You’ve got your Trump down already.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              “I am telling you…”

              “I am speaking to you…”

              “Let me say this…”

              “I am voicing to myself, but I think you can hear me…”


              These are different ways of expressing.

          3. myshkin

            Apples and oranges comparison. They’ve had different career trajectories leading to the event horizon of the presidency, which is more or less the black hole that exists inside the beltway where the laws governing what came before are no longer applicable.
            You can’t equate the two records; you can only guess who is going to be the lesser evil going forward. Trump never had a chance to do damage on the scale Clinton has but given the chance to launch drones, use a tactical nuke or two, round people up according to ethnicity, jail and deport them without due process, my money is on Donald.
            Vote third party, it’s the pontius pilate tactic; voting for somebody knowing they can’t win; you can wash your hands of the result and of course, most importantly support an incipient third party movement.
            Who’s calling themsleves a “revolutionary”?

            1. pretzelattack

              and mine on clinton, who did quite enough damage as secretary of state. trump talks; clinton acts effectively to screw things up, start wars, and erode our society.

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              Go look at Trump’s speech where he talks about how we killed millions in the Middle East, and for what.

              He actually appears to have bona fide empathy in that clip. I think as a real estate person, he gets what the destruction of property and communities means and it really bugs him. I perceive that he is genuine in not liking war at all.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                And I think he genuinely dislikes bad business deals, hence his very un-politically correct excoriating criticism of the Iraq War disaster and of NATO: they suck from a dollars-and-cents POV.
                (Hard to believe I am defending the man but look at the alternative, my survival instincts tell me to support whichever choice has even the slightest marginal chance of avoiding WW III).

              2. myshkin

                “I think as a real estate person, he gets what the destruction of property and communities means and it really bugs him.”
                Okay that’s a stretch considering his record in NYC.

                How about the victory speech where he talks about Muslims, “The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born in Afghan, of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States…The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place, was because we allowed his family to come here… With 50 people dead and perhaps more ultimately and dozens more wounded, we cannot afford to talk around issues anymore. We have to address these issues head-on. I called for a ban after San Bernardino and was met with great scorn and anger… many are saying that I was right to do so.”

                -After a mass shooting, the nature of which is still inconclusive, carried out with assault style weapons, Trump’s first priority is, of course to ban assault weapons. Ooops, no, that ban would actually be on Muslims entering the country. Is this an indication of how he will react to crisis, irrationally and in a draconian manner. Is immigration policy the likely cause of mass shootings in the US, even mass shootings that can be tied to the 23 year war on terror? Trump’s top priority in order of dealing with the problem of the shooting is indicative of what we might expect of Trump’s thought process in policy making.

                And this from the same speech, “After a full and partial and long — really long overdue security assessment we will develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America.” -Will this occur after his deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants, using Eisehower’s 50’s ‘Wetback’ model, as he suggested? How does that work, concentration camps and deportations without due process?

                What I don’t understand are the skeptics who look at Clinton and quite rightly dismiss the fuzzy thinkers that expect progressive policy, yet pin their hopes on Trump and his doubtful glib yammering.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  If they are really determined, they can claim they have given up their religion.

                  Then, how does he ban them?

                  On the other hand, if he does it for a short time, by declaring a national emergency, like Bush did after the tragedy about 15 years ago, he can ban all foreigners…no discrimination…all planes were grounded…all foreigners banned, for the duration of the national emergency.

                  He will get enough heat, for that to not last more than a day.

                2. Optimader

                  Trumps proposal to ban muslim immigration would require an act of congress.
                  HRC startiing a war or expanding one self evidently would not.

                  Ergo, which represents thr greater existential threat?

            3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Depending on whether it’s a sure state or swing-state, voting directly for 3rd partly can be like indirectly voting for Trump.

              Ueber menschen do not concern themselves about making such a distinction. Their Realpolitik world is about results. They have no qualms about not being able to say, “I didn’t vote for Trump.”

              “We have stopped Hillary.”

          4. fresno dan

            Katniss Everdeen
            June 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm

            And as I’ve said a zillion times, who is the more EFFECTIVE evil?
            Every “reform” is just subtle and more ironclad laws to f*ck us. The idea that there is gridlock is ridiculous – the 1% gets exactly what it wants – the only question is will the law to discharge student loan debt by giving up all your spare organs (kidney, lung, good portion of your liver, and an eyeball) be done in the first year, or thereafter in a Clinton administration?

            Now, I will go to hell for this:
            Chelsea has named her first son Aiden…..a wag has said her next son will be named Abettin…..

              1. fresno dan

                I was gonna buy a house in Fresno, and I told a story how Satan was originally damned to Fresno, but after pleading his case, God send Satan to hell instead…because it was less hot and less…hellish.

                Somebody did ask me if the house I was gonna buy was so cheap because it was built over an Indian burial grown…

      2. katiebird

        I learned the truth of this deep in my own heart last week.

        Recent Polling claims that Hillary is “beating” Trump in Kansas, where I live. My brain immediately began spinning around… My vote might count? (Who knows it’s just a poll and months before the election)

        I have never had to evaluate a Presidential vote in more than a symbolic way… So this is a VERY interesting to me.

        It might actually be that I can cast my long dreamed of double vote against Hillary (-1 by not voting for her; -1 by voting for Republican nominee)

        But it’s funny how the very idea made my heart clench.

        1. aab

          I experience this often now. It lessens over time. I got a fundraising email from Trump, which freaked me out. I’m being followed by a couple of Trump supporter Twitter accounts, and get the occasional Trumper reply. The thing is, for the most part they are stating factually accurate things, and are less bullying and insulting than Clinton supporters. There are clear differences, but other than Trump’s own explicit racism, a lot of the queasiness is cultural — big American flags in their banners, etc. (And those who never read my comments on this issue, Clinton’s polite sorority girl racism, where she says nice things but remorselessly starves and kills people of color is certainly at least as toxic as Trump’s inciting language.)

          And every time I think, “I don’t know if I can do this,” Hillary Clinton does something else reprehensible or some new revelation of corruption and criminality is revealed that stiffens my spine again. (There is no question of actually voting for Clinton. I would never, ever for for that monster. It’s only a question of third party vs. doing something I would have thought unimaginable not that long ago: voting Republican. It’s hard for me to even type it; that’s how hardcore good Democratic girl I have been for decades.)

          I’m with the Mockingjay. Stopping Clinton must be the priority. If there’s the slightest possibility that Stein could take my state despite vote rigging, I’d be happy to vote for her. But I am fully prepared to vote for Trump. Clinton cannot be allowed the necessary electoral votes to take power.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Stein seems to be rolling along (though I wish I had some sense of the party apparatus). Might be worth it to vote for her to keep the Greens over the 5% threshold.

        2. different clue

          Perhaps the heart can be unclenched a bit by remembering that Trump is the nominee that the Brand Name Establishment Republicans really truly did not want. For me, Trump vs. Clinton vs. “write Sanders in” vs. Third Party is an interesting choice. Trump is not “just another Republican”.

          But if the Rs had nominated some creature like Cruz or Rubio or Bush or Christie or or or . . . then I would be voting for Clinton.

      3. sid_finster

        “The clintonistas steal, deny, rig and refuse to even count the “votes.” The “supreme” court orders the “vote” counting stopped. Such is the “respect” given by this government to the “sanctity” of the right of citizens to govern themselves by “electing” their leaders and representatives.

        And yet the erstwhile Sanders “revolutionaries” whimper and bleat about an inability to “stomach” a vote for Trump. It’s no wonder their claim to a political “revolution” is sneered at by those who would be king–or queen.”

        I intend to copy this.

        Consider it to be uncommonly sincere flattery.

  14. Alex morfesis

    Willie stark and jill stein…she did not run seriously last time with her vp choice…if her goal is to move the chains forward and down the field and work to establish the green party as something other than a debate club…

    bernie sanders as presidential nominee and trump as vp on the green ticket…

    dont ask, just do…

    No apology later…

    Nahganhapyn because bold is no longer on the agenda…anywhere…

    1. dk

      Bold is on the agenda in the Clinton/Neolib camp. That strategy started in earnest in December 2014, when the Clinton people started making the rounds asking for endorsements (invoking to carrot/stick of mentioning the potential endorsee’s choice to the Clinton (Foundation) donor base).

  15. timbers

    Class Warfare

    “McDonald’s: you can sneer, but it’s the glue that holds communities together”

    When I met my ex-partner of 6 years about 9 years ago – a Brasilian immigrate about 24 years old who became a US citizen by moving to the US at age 16 and married a US citizen woman to gain US citizenship (they call it a “fake marriage” and pay considerable money for it to the US citizen), he frequently met his fellow Brasilian friends at a specific McDonalds in Weymouth, Ma. I was strongly discouraged from attending by my partner but based on what he told me, they would socialized, gossip, catch up on what was going on in their lives. They were all gay, of similar age facing similar issues of employment, boyfriends, the process of gaining their US citizenship.

    The world moves on and their lives have moved in different directions and they no longer stay in touch like that. Though I was discouraged from joining him and his friends at McDonalds, we did hangout at parties and each others homes and other venues. The group is disbanded but I look back on it fondly as the most recent time I felt of having a nuclear family of sorts.

  16. JTMcPhee

    Re the counter-51 mid-level DoS shrills: even the author, who claims creeds for opposing Operation OIL (its initial acronym, until somebody noticed), carries forward the idiot meme of the “horrific barrel bomb weapons,” I hate to repeat it because every rep just adds weight to the BS. A short description:

    barrel bomb is an improvised unguided bomb, sometimes described as a flying IED (improvised explosive device). They are typically made from a large barrel-shaped metal container that has been filled with high explosives, possibly shrapnel, oil or chemicals as well, and then dropped from a helicopter or airplane.[1] Due to the large amount of explosives (up 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb)), their poor accuracy and indiscriminate use in populated civilian areas (including refugee camps), the resulting detonations have been devastating.[2][3][4] Critics have characterised them as weapons of terror and illegal under international conventions.[5]

    The earliest known use of barrel bombs in their current form was by the Israeli military in 1948. The second known use of barrel bombs was by the US military in Vietnam in the late 1960s. Starting in the 1990s, they were also used in Sri Lanka, Croatia and Sudan. Barrel bombs have been used extensively by the Syrian Air Force during the Syrian Civil War—bringing the weapon to widespread global attention—and later by the Iraqi forces during the Anbar clashes. Experts believe they will continue to be embraced by unstable nations fighting insurgencies since they are cheap to make and utilise the advantages of a government’s air-power.

    These munitions weigh from 100 to 1000 kilograms, and maybe the complaint is that they are “too cheap” at $300-500? and go around the universal international military industrial logistic supply chain? Hardly worth noticing the complaint that these are “unguided” and “used indiscriminately:” all the “regimes” in the world use “weapons with pedigree papers” the same fokking way, not even worth pulling up a length catalog of all the “oopsies” and indiscriminacies of the EMpire and Israelites and the various client states that use all kinds of BLUs any old way they want. All one has to do to put a more reasonable frame around this one small bit of increasingly universal profitable idiotic violence, is spend some time in YouTube enjoying some good old War Pron, seeing the indiscriminate bombing, area bombing pillar-of-smoke-by-day-pillar-of-fire-by-night demolition and killing of what used to be pleasant gardens and homes and small businesses… It, of course, has been reduced to a science by the careful, care-free, consequence-shedding, inventive genius of our species, as one example of the art…

    The fokking hypocrisy and fognitive distonance (intentional rendering) is nearly breathtaking (as are the concussive effects of “our civilized machine-produced weapons of massive destruction,”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes – the hypocrisy around ‘barrel bombs’ is staggering. They are just big, indiscriminate bombs – just like so many of the other big, dumb bombs all the other militaries have been using against mixed military/civilian targets. And they are almost certainly less nasty than the cluster bombs the US is busy selling to the Saudi’s (at least barrel bombs don’t leave random unexploded bomblets around killing people for years to come). And they don’t have depleted uranium cores either. There are far nastier and more indiscriminate weapons in the arsenals of all the main powers, and many have been used in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc.

      And its also worth noting that the Syrians originally used them very effectively against rebel command posts. It was the export of MANPADs to rebels which led to their use from higher altitudes, and so turned them from a crude but effective military weapon into a more indiscriminate weapon of terror.

    2. craazyboy

      The Trebuchet is a terrible weapon as well and can be, and was, used to launch the barrel bombs – even going back as far as 4000 years ago! That was back when the world only had a Middle East.

  17. Steve in Flyover

    McDonalds………..LOL, yeah they are a favorite of all the old guys in powder blue or khaki coveralls, who have all the answers for all of our problems, if the dumbass general public just listened to them…….

    My aunt has the perfect name for them…….”The Rusty Zipper Club”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yup. We have plenty of those folks here in Tucson.

      It’s one of the downsides of being a retirement mecca.

        1. Skippy

          I can hear the sound of popping windscreens and bike tires all the way down under…. sigh…. youthful memory….

          Disheveled Marsupial… just make sure to use the white crosswalk lines and not the bitumen…

    2. bob

      Yup, and those damn young kids won’t work! I came here for the free coffee and I can’t even get another refill without getting out of my seat!


  18. Skippy

    Ref – multitasking….

    Clifford Nass, who has died aged 55, was an American academic whose observations on the ways people interact with computers and other digital devices revealed much about modern social and working life.

    His findings dealt an old-fashioned hammer blow to the idea that the proliferation of screens at every turn – be they PCs, laptops, tablets, televisions or even satnavs – is necessarily a ”good thing”.

    In particular, Nass singled out the ubiquitous smartphone, which encourages users to multi-task by juggling different ”apps” while tweeting, making or receiving calls, checking emails, monitoring social media, playing games and surfing the internet all at once. ”It is not physiologically healthy for you,” he declared, ”because [humans] are not built to do a multitude of tasks at one time. Your phone makes you feel like you have to respond, which then increases stress and harms your cognitive thinking.”

    A sociology professor at Stanford University, Nass conducted pioneering research into how humans interact with technology and found that it was robbing us of the ability to concentrate, analyse or even feel empathy. He diagnosed young people of the Twitter era as suffering from ”emotion atrophy” as a result of insufficient face-to-face ”practise in observing and experiencing true emotions”.

    Far from making people sharper, jumping around from emailing to texting to posting on social media can scramble the brain, Nass concluded. ”People who multi-task all the time show worse thinking abilities in every dimension that we know of.”

    In the course of a quarter of a century of studying people’s attempts to keep pace with constantly changing technology, Nass found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory, or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.

    Nor did he find that multi-tasking made us more efficient. In a study in 2009, Nass and his colleagues tested the notion that people who frequently juggled computer, phone or television screens displayed some special skill at filtering out irrelevant information, or efficiently switched between tasks.

    But he was shocked by the results. ”It turns out multi-taskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organised; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another.” Curiously, Nass himself was an exception to the rule. A colleague described him as the greatest multi-tasker in the world. Contrary to his own research, ”it only made him smarter”.

    Russ Poldrack, a neuroscientist at Stanford, found that learning information while multitasking causes the new information to go to the wrong part of the brain. If students study and watch TV at the same time, for example, the information from their schoolwork goes into the striatum, a region specialised for storing new procedures and skills, not facts and ideas. Without the distraction of TV, the information goes into the hippocampus, where it is organised and categorised in a variety of ways, making it easier to retrieve. MIT’s Earl Miller adds, “People can’t do [multitasking] very well, and when they say they can, they’re deluding themselves.” And it turns out the brain is very good at this deluding business.

    Main article: Computer multitasking

    The first published use of the word “multitask” appeared in an IBM paper describing the capabilities of the IBM System/360 in 1965.[1] In this context, “multitasking” refers to the ability of a computer to apparently process several tasks, or computer jobs, concurrently.[2] The term has since been applied to human tasks.

    Since the 1960s, psychologists have conducted experiments on the nature and limits of human multitasking. The simplest experimental design used to investigate human multitasking is the so-called psychological refractory period effect. Here, people are asked to make separate responses to each of two stimuli presented close together in time. An extremely general finding is a slowing in responses to the second-appearing stimulus.[citation needed]

    Researchers have long suggested that there appears to be a processing bottleneck preventing the brain from working on certain key aspects of both tasks at the same time (e.g., (Gladstones, Regan & Lee 1989) (Pashler 1994)). Many researchers believe that the cognitive function subject to the most severe form of bottlenecking is the planning of actions and retrieval of information from memory.[3] Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell[4] has gone so far as to describe multitasking as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.” On the other hand, there is good evidence that people can monitor many perceptual streams at the same time, and carry out perceptual and motor functions at the same time.[citation needed]

    Others have researched multitasking in specific domains, such as learning. Mayer and Moreno[5] studied the phenomenon of cognitive load in multimedia learning and concluded that it is difficult, if not impossible, to learn new information while engaging in multitasking. Junco and Cotten examined how multitasking affects academic success and found that students who engaged in high levels of multitasking reported significant issues with their academic work.[6] A more recent study on the effects of multitasking on academic performance found that using Facebook and text messaging while studying were negatively related to student grades, while online searching and emailing were not.[7]

    Disheveled Marsupial… methinks its a long endless drop after ascribing computer terminology to humans in a bizarre bit of reverse engineering application…. completely different evolutionary back drops….

    1. Pavel

      Absolutely fascinating bits re Nass — thank you!

      I don’t know if the smartphones et al necessarily make people less efficient, but they certainly can be less attentive. I remember vividly a visit to a NYC Japanese restaurant (not staffed by Japanese, but that’s another issue) — the 4 youngish staff members were all staring at their phones most of the time, including the sushi chef… who screwed up my order.

      I’m old enough to remember offices where personal calls were only supposed to be done on breaks… now people are glued to their screen throughout the work day and presumably posting Facebook messages.

      (Of course the shop and bar staff have to put up with rude customers talking on their phones whilst ordering, as well.)

      What a world! It is only going to get worse — I see toddlers staring into iPads and smartphones (electronic babysitters, of course)… I guess I’m just a grumpy old man today, apologies :)

      1. Skippy

        There is already burgeoning evidence wrt musculoskeletal problems and depth perception associated with such devices in kids. No long ago after a 3 week school holiday I had to take my son in for physio, due to a rugby complaint, physio said after every school holiday they had a huge influx of kids with neck and back problems from too much screen time and contorted positions whilst viewing, too include the constant head down walking or sitting.

        Disheveled marsupial…. our brains and body’s evolved over epochs for a completely different set of tasks, its becoming increasingly artificial w/ equally artificial demands…

        1. Carolinian

          And yet school systems such as the one where I live are giving out IPADS and installing computers in classrooms. Personally I think the school room should be the one place kids can get away from all that.

        2. ekstase

          Perhaps soon we will have these devices integrated into our brains, thus solving both the posture and surveillance concerns in one fell swoop!

      2. ambrit

        I’m wondering how starting toddlers on electronic media will affect physical brain organization. The ‘nature nurture’ question is far from settled.
        Is early socialization to electronic media a predicator for winning the Darwin Award?
        Plus, what are the relative weights of ‘natural’ versus ‘artificial’ environments in overall fitness to survive. ‘Artificial’ environments look to be much easier to disrupt than ‘natural’ ones.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Eh…Hillary and the Donald didn’t have smart phones, and look how they turned out.

        2. Pavel

          Well one well-established fact is the importance of maternal speech on language development… infants must hear their mothers speaking on a regular basis. Now we see kids in prams staring at screens while the mother is talking on her phone. It will be interesting to see how today’s kids progress. It bodes poorly from what I see and understand.

          1. ambrit

            Yes to that. Communication encompasses much more than speech. Think body posture, facial morphology patterns, distance between communicants, physical touch, plain interest; all play their role in communication. The other imponderable here is the interfaces filtering function. The possibilities for subtle ‘programming’ of the young are enormous.
            When the environment ceases to be ‘organic,’ the individual ceases to be ‘authentic.’

    2. craazyboy

      I hate multitasking. I need an Intel 4 core processor for a brain, then I suspect my workload would go up and my background threads still would still get all tangled up. Next, I’ll need a quantum brain to get a job.

      1. ambrit

        You already have a “quantum brain.” Sadly, the instructions have been lost. (All you need is some Sapho juice and training to get some ‘enhanced’ functionality.)

  19. willf

    Green Lefties Are Grieving Over Sanders’s Loss. Can They Learn to Love Clinton? New Republic (resile)

    Not surprising that a story about “green lefties” features so many prominent democrats, and not many quotes by actual greens.

  20. Carolinian

    Excellent Counterpunch (Hillary’s Agenda Here and Abroad Intertwined). Someone should send a copy to Garrison Keillor of the linked Punk for President. While I’ve always been a fan of Prairie Home Companion–which he finally, no kidding this time, exits on July 1–his storyteller world of bachelor farmers and relentlessly nice small towners doesn’t encompass the real America where ordinary people are certainly nice except when they are not so nice. It’s probably no coincidence that the show became popular during the Reagan era retreat into nostalgia after the horrors of Vietnam. Keillor is the prototypical loyal Democrat who doesn’t want to look too deeply into the murkier aspects of current events or their would be champions such as Hillary. For radio’s famous English major it’s all about words. Actions speak louder.

    1. Take the Fork

      I never put it Keillor together with the 80s like that. You may be on to something.

      I sort of figured that the relentless niceness reflected the total lack of racial diversity in Lake Wobegon.

    2. ekstase

      I think Donald’s style just fundamentally rubs the Upper Midwest the wrong way. And Keillor, let’s give him credit, in the early years was describing a way of life and region that hadn’t been looked at in American literature. And at his funniest, it was all about repressed hostility and general weirdness up there in the cold where no one in their right mind would want to go. Good times.

      1. DJG

        Hadn’t been looked at in U.S. literature? Sinclair Lewis’s books almost all are set in the Great Lakes region–his imaginary state of Winnemac. The big exception is It Can’t Happen Here. So that’s a dozen or so examinations.

        There there is the Spoon River Anthology, set in Illinois, but equally applicable to the other Great Lakes States.

        And that’s just scratching the surface.

        But then I always found Prairie Home Companion kind of pointless.

        1. ambrit

          Then there are August Derleths stories set in the Great Lakes of the Lovecraft mythos. Or the works of Clifford Simak who starts off in the Mid West and ends up who knows where. The Curious Young Man from Providence did a good job with the Northeast.
          PHC is just another example of the yearning for a Golden Age that never existed.

          1. Take the Fork

            Aren’t the Derleth stories an infamia with radical Lovecraftians? I think it had something to do with a Cthulhu versus Niceness theme…

            1. ambrit

              Derleth could be considered as a ‘Sect’ of the Esoteric Order.
              Lovecraft himself ‘doctored’ fiction for others, and seems to have been quite tolerant of deviancy in writing themes. Clark Ashton Smith and Robert Ervin Howard both had lively back and forths with Lovecraft. (Lovecraft and Smith ‘had fun’ killing each other off in their respective fictions.) When it came to the outré in fiction, Lovecraft championed the squamous and the ‘radical.’
              Lovecrafts’ ‘circle’ was wide and included latter ‘djinns’ of horror and fantastic literature.
              Derlith contributed mightily to the conservation and propagation of ‘Lovecraftian’ writings through his and Donald Wandreis’ (later of DAW Publishing House fame,) establishment of “Arkham House Publishers” that specialized in ‘wierd’ authors. Arkham House was, and still is, based in Sauk City, Wisconsin.
              For how far out ‘it’ can go see:

    3. Lambert Strether

      I don’t completely agree with you on “relentlessly nice”; see “you ask a question, you get an answer” from Bud, while he’s digging a grave. And there are many estranged families and bad and/or odd marriages in Lake Wobegon, too. Plenty of murk!

      The original PHC had a much stronger and more bitter flavor than the revived PHC; after Keillor got married, sadly, he lost his edge and the show became much more soft. So in that way, I agree; this parallels the Reagan-era descent of the Democrat Party (and its abandonment of its previous base).

      Experts in “midwestern nice” can chime in on how nice PHC really is; I have the feeling that a lot of the first PHC was lethally satirical to those who could pick up the dog-whistles (and I’m not among them).

      1. Carolinian

        You sound like my brother. The original show was, of course, much better and it has gone downhill in recent years. But then he has been on the radio, like, forever and still writes most of the show himself. The “relentlessly nice” comes from a just out NYT Keillor profile which talks about the edgy resentment he had toward those always helpful neighbors in his home town. The past is perhaps a bit misty for him just as the 80s show is for me. But I did once enjoy it immensely and it can still be very funny at times.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I used to stay at home on Saturday nights so I could listen to PHC. The early 1980s version of the show was THAT good.

          But, sorry to say, it got painfully repetitious. Remember Jean Redpath? She was a good performer, but it got to the point where she was on the show almost as much as Keillor.

          Long story short: I stopped tuning in.

      2. DJG

        “Midwestern nice” is on a par with “Heartland.” The northern part of the Great Lakes States (Minnesota, Michigan, northern Illinois, Wisconsin, maybe Iowa, although maybe not Iowa) wants to play up the Midwestern nice stuff: Warm-hearted Catholic parishes, Lutheran churches with Norwegian Christmas bread and coffee after services, smorgasbords at the social club…

        That part of life does exist. But “nice” also is provincial. “Nice” represents a social structure that has had a hard time changing. Even Chicagoans want to be considered “nice,” and then we have Rahm and the wolves of our city council.

        “Heartland” is the pointless underside of “Midwestern nice.” It is what Indiana and Ohio go on about, trying to cover up the economic and social devastation of their incompetent state governments.

        Written like someone from the Great Lakes States: If I can’t complain about Indiana, what joy does my life in Illinois have?

      3. Lee

        Excerpt from a 2011 skit about picking up hitch hikers on a lonely road:

        DR: How did you feel about our sign?

        GK: “I am normal & carrying no weapon”? Well, it got my attention.

        GW: I was frankly pretty surprised you stopped. Traveling alone through a remote area and you see a drifter by the road holding up a weird sign.

        GK: Well, I was sort of surprised I stopped, too.

        DR: Yeah, no one around for miles. Just a long lonely stretch of nothing. I suppose you were thinking you’d enjoy a little company, huh? Somebody to talk to. Right?

        GK: I guess so.


        DR: And now you’re starting to wonder if it was a terrible mistake. Aren’t you?

        GK: Yeah, a little.

        GW: You’re probably thinking what kind of crazy person would stand there holding up a cardboard sign that says “I am normal” —– right?

        GK: Little bit.

        DR: And now here they are in your front seat and you’re all alone on this godforsaken highway with a ¼ tank of gas and if they should pull something, there’s nothing you could do about it except yell and honk your horn and nobody’d hear you.

        GK: I guess I could drive the car into the ditch but it’s not a very deep ditch, and there’s just underbrush, no big trees or anything. What are you reaching into the backseat for?

        DR: My guitar. (STRUMS)

        I am hitchhiking
        down the highway
        I’m glad I met you
        going my way
        DR: I know I’m dirty
        And unshaven
        Walking barefoot
        On the pavement
        GW: Our clothes are ragged
        We look erratic
        But we’re not crazy
        Not psychopathic
        I have a family
        sweet and gentle
        A dog
        A cocker spaniel
        I am a normal girl

        GK: Well, that’s good to know. Puts my mind at rest.

        DR: Course we could well be lying. Could be a couple of escaped felons who’ve been locked up for an unspeakable heinous crime and now we’ll do anything to win our freedom.

        GK: Could be.

        GW: We could be running away from our family who kept us locked up in a shed for years and we never had any schooling to speak of and we’ve been so mistreated that it’s made us sociopaths and sadists and now we’ve got you at our mercy and we’re thinking of unspeakable things we might do.

    4. m

      I can’t help but watch the Bilderberg videos and this year I believe they had a paper or speech topic about the “precariat.” These Bilderberg watchers all said watch you will see the “precariat” mentioned all over the place. And it is.

  21. Take the Fork


    I’m not sure what to make of this, but I’ll admit that it took me less time to figure out that the Duffelblog piece was satire than it did to figure out that the Gersh Kuntzman piece wasn’t….

  22. Escher

    Notice that the Times feels the need to send a reporter into deep flyover to tell a story about the legal job market when there are plenty of underemployed grads of third-tier schools (and some top-tier ones) right at home.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      Even if the legal job market is weak, as a “Plan B”, can lawyers self-employ, & make at least $40K, perhaps in “underserved” geographies &/or subject matter/specialties like a public defender, immigration, creating business legal structures like a family trust, etc? I have heard of a few examples of lawyers working as a lawyer for 2 years before becoming successfully self-employed, is this typical/common?

      What is lawyers’ Type1/”Overqualified” Underemployment risk? I would imagine is not as low as medical pros, but lower than other BA+ degree holding professionals, such as STEM pros, accountants, etc.

      1. Romancing the Loan

        The short answer is no, they can’t.

        Immigration law can be a $40k/yr job (with loan payments, you’re barely staying afloat) but there are enough people doing it now that you’d better be from whatever immigrant culture in your area you’re setting out to serve. The government jobs, including public defense, that are full time and provide a terrible salary but great benefits and keep the loan sharks at bay are now highly competitive and (imo) as a result filled with people who don’t belong there and have no interest in it beyond a line item on their resume before heading into corporate law in a few years. The bulk of public defense work around here at least is done by not-so-new lawyers who take on appointed cases to pad out their dockets that are otherwise filled with the only family, civil, and private criminal clients who can afford to pay anything at all for a lawyer. There’s no paying work left for new solos, as people quickly discover.

        I was told by one of these folks in 2010 that it takes 5 years these days to develop even a minimal steady income this way (the first couple years will be at a loss) so you’d better have an understanding and financially supportive spouse and zero loans. I know some people who’ve done it, but I also know a lot of insurance salesmen with JDs.

    2. Carla

      @Escher: I get your point. OTOH, I think it’s all to the good for the NYT to get out of its coastal ghetto and into the actual United States once in awhile–it happens so very seldom.

  23. rjs

    on McDonald’s as the social glue…in d.a.levy’s suburban monestary death poem, written during the 1968 Cleveland race riots, he wrote:

    McDonalds has done more for integration
    than the Federal Govt… someone should give
    them a grant. negroes caucasions mongolians
    hippies (a different race) economic integration
    cultural integration, everyone after those
    16 ¢ent hamburgers & 20¢ milkshakes

  24. Praedor

    The Rolling Stone article on repealing the 2nd Amendment is wrong. It starts by saying we have a representative democracy that has lasted more than 200 years. No it has not. We do NOT have a representative anything and what we do have is NOT democracy. Two errors to start off as the basis renders the rest merely a thought exercise

  25. Roger Smith

    Wow! That Atlantic piece in the Jesus’ Wife Papyrus is a great read!

    If Fritz did make it all up, his ability to plan and maneuver is astonishing.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, it made my Sunday reading that, although I was sceptical the first time I read about that papyrus ‘discovery’ a couple of years ago. It all seemed too neat, especially as it seemed to tie in so closely with the whole da Vinci files book thing. Fritz seems a classic example of a personality disorder combined with a lot of intelligence and charm run amok. He’d be a perfect subject for Jon Ronson.

    2. phred

      I agree that article was a great read, but I was less astonished by Fritz’ success having recently read The Forger’s Spell by Edward Dolnick. All the elements of forgery described in Dolnick’s book are evident in this case: a grudge, technical knowledge of how to make something new appear to be old, identifying experts to target who will see what they want to see (i.e., real validation of their desires reflected in the forgery).

      I found it sad, but not surprising, that King remains uninterested in looking too closely at the forgery question, especially in light of the fact that the technical ability to manufacture a new artifact from old materials is not as challenging as one might imagine.

      The links in this case to the DaVinci Code are fascinating as Dolnick explains that forgeries are always rooted in the times during which they are produced such that they may appear to a contemporary audience to be authentic. However, over time fashions change, ideas change, in ways that show any particular forgery to be a fraudulent product of a particular time when particular tastes were prevalent and not from that of the era the forger is trying to mimic.

      What I find most fascinating is the reflection that forgers cast on all of us, of our human nature to see what we want to see. Whether in art or historical artifacts or dare I say… our political figures… ; )

      1. Roger Smith

        Yes! King’s disinterest (in what it almost seemed like she already knew) was a great display of the professional echo chamber. Don’t discredit your own work! Just double down!

        This story itself was like reading the Da Vinci Code, complete with orgies!

        Speaking of politics, Clinton should hire Fritz. He can seemingly pull of genuine in a way she could only dream of.

    3. DJG

      I don’t know: I found as I read it that I felt as if I were re-reading a novel by Pynchon. The causes kept multiplying and multiplying: Stasi, bankruptcies, flights to Florida, Da Vinci Code, porn sites.

      Oddly, applying Ockham’s razor still leads us back to Prof. King. What would she benefit from a forgery? And is she that inept? She sure doesn’t seem so.

      I was reminded of the endless debate over the Shroud of Turin. It is fairly obviously a forged relic that was designed to attract pilgrims–religious tourism in the Middle Ages was big money. Its provenance seems more solid because the House of Savoy has owned it for 500 years or so. But before 1400? And the techniques for creating it are only somewhat mysterious. (We know so little about earlier technologies–Lambert’s recent post of one of the latest articles about the Antikythera mechanism reminded me of that. Also, we don’t know how the blue in the glass in the Chartres windows was created.)

      I consider the Shroud of Turin a rather wonderful fake. And the Wife of Jesus fragment? A maybe. Just as we keep discovering more fragments of Sappho’s many lost poems…

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Oddly, applying Ockham’s razor still leads us back to Prof. King. What would she benefit from a forgery? And is she that inept? She sure doesn’t seem so.

        I think the point about Prof. King is that as an advocate of a more feminist reading of early Christianity she would be more ‘primed’ to believe a papyrus that backs up her arguments is real. Clever forgers always pick their ‘experts’ carefully – those who would want to believe.

    4. sd

      It was a great story. Assuming it is a forgery, I was wondering what would have happened if only a photocopy existed of the document and the effort for the “forgery” had gone extensively into the provenance. In other words, no actual document that could be proved or disproved, just a long trail…

  26. Expat

    2nd Amendment:
    As an American, a Frenchman, and an Expat, I have a few problems with repealing the 2nd Amendment:
    First, it is one of the few parts of the Bill of Rights that is relatively intact so it would be a shame to lose it.
    Second, the more Americans that slaughter each other, the fewer there will be to go out and slaughter foreigners.
    Third, I really, really love watching pro-gun nuts try to make a stand against heavily armed police. Same morons who think they need the 2nd Amendment to protect themselves against those commie forces from Washington. Good luck with your AR-15 against an armored Marine division. LOL.

    1. Lambert Strether

      The Third Amendment (“quartering of soldiers”) seems intact. Unless you think that the government infesting all your digital devices with surveilliance software constitutes “quartering.”

      1. bob

        “quartering of soldiers”

        Boston Bombing aftermath- Shelter in place while we go door to door with a platoon of armed thugs.

        Gone too.

      2. Pavel

        Speaking of surveillance, via Hacker News here is a cautionary tale regarding that “Internet of Things” we hear so much about. Briefly, some chap bought some home security cameras to watch his home via the web. He returned them to the shop as he changed his mind. By chance he logged into his account and was able to view the home of the new owner!

        As a neo-Luddite I wouldn’t even want a networked thermostat. But this is really scary. And of course who knows if the NSA etc also would have access?

        The Hacker News comments thread and link to article: Bought and returned set of WiFi home security cameras; can now watch new owner

        On a similar note, is it true that most cars sold have GPS devices installed so every driver’s movements can be tracked? The world has gone insane!

        (Of course the drivers have their smartphones so they are tracked in any case, I suppose.)

        1. bob

          “security cameras” are not connected to the internet. They are closed circuit and only able to be viewed from a terminal directly connected to the camera, sans internet.

          If you can view it over the internet….so can anyone else. Great way to case a home or *anything* for a robbery.

        2. flora

          Slightly off topic (apologies), but since you mentioned IoT I’ll segue into AI and smart appliances – specifically smart home devices.
          Revolv was an appliance that offered “lifetime subscription”. Except Nest (bought by Gurgle Google) bought Revolv in 2014 and today bricked Revolv. Pretty short “lifetime”.
          “If you own a Revolv, your home will shut off,” writes Kyle Wiens, CEO of repair firm iFixit. “Your lights will turn off. Your doors will stay locked–or unlocked. Your sprinkler system will stop working. All that automation that you painstakingly set up? It’s quitting.”

          Buy the competition and brick it. What a concept. Buyer beware.

        3. PlutoniumKun

          Its true about cars and GPS devices, some car rental companies now routinely warn in the small print that the car has a GPS tracker.

    2. fresno dan

      June 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      From the right wing sites I frequent, and the comments I read, most believers in the 2nd amendment:
      1 hate the government and all it does
      2. love the police and all they do

      I used to tell them that the police were GOVERNMENT employees…but it caused too many exploding craniums…..

      1. ambrit

        I know that my vocabulary of invective was considerably expanded when I started arguing in a similar vein on even ‘main stream’ sites.
        People hanging out here might not have a feel for just how authoritarian the general internet has become. I do not see that as a good sign for freedom and diversity. Virtual tribalism.

        1. Take the Fork

          @Redding Dan & ambrit

          I think you are both right.

          But I think that a lot of rightwingers can happily entertain such cognitive dissonance because from what I can gather they draw a strong distinction between local lawdogs (whom they know) and federal agents (whom they see as controlled by Bilderberg/Elders of Zion/Lizard People).

          I think the folks here have some sense of the goings on in the wild world beyond the cozy NakCap shire, but not much. I remember when the comments got shut down here a while back. That said, I doubt too many grok what I will call the Virtual Right or Millennial Right, or how disruptive they can be when they decide to target a site.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I think you have some illusions as to why NC is “cozy”. Even though Lambert and I like to keep the comments section as open as possible, this is not a chat board and people who treat it like one are not allowed to participate. We spend a lot of time every day managing the comments section.

            Ironically, we shut down comments simply because it got to be too tiring to deal with European lefties who were furious with our coverage of Greece in 2015…when we turned out to be correct. It’s not hard to run off ideological trolls, particularly from the right (we have some exceptions who comment here, but in general, the ones who have wander in immediately violate house rules and when told they need to comply, persist and are dealt with accordingly). It is harder to deal with people who are in general well informed but recoil at being told something they do not want to hear and are as persistent as trolls without having many of their other habits.

      2. Expat

        Just try to say anything at all on ZeroHedge related to government, guns, or gold. There is no position neutral enough for that rabid band.
        The Mateen attacks are tri-polar, for example. On one hand, it’s a great time to trot out racism against Arabs (frankly, all foreigners). Then again, it’s probably a government plot (False Flag) to justify a new war in Syra. Or perhaps it’s a false flag designed to justify gun control.

        No, wait. It’s a real attack my ISIS which justifies mandatory carry laws.
        No, wait. It’s a real attack by a nutcase who only thinks he represents ISIS and therefore justifies more gun control.

        I still maintain my original premise that we arm all Americans and hope they kill themselves (present company excepted…this blog being a haven, Dar Es Salaam, of sanity and reason). I try my best to be cynical and outrageous but y’all are too clever to be trolled!).

  27. OIFVet

    Apologies if someone already posted this link :Hillary Clinton invokes unlikely allies on the stump — the Bushes. “Hillary Clinton praised a former president to a crowd of cheering liberal supporters…” But of course she did, and of course the liberals cheered… Like I wrote not too long ago, I am really thinking about writing in Dubya. Might as well get the real thing, and income inequality was lower under him than it is under that islamo-socialist 0bama…

    1. fresno dan

      If there was any logic, any principals, and honesty in the parties, instead of just being a skimming operation, the repubs would nominate Hillary. The dems could only counter with …the first Bush, who demonstrably is much, much more liberal than Hillary.

      But that would disrupt a lot of brand investment….it would be like getting a BMW person to buy a Mercedes….

      1. Andrew Watts

        Most politicians of the Democratic party would be comfortable as Republicans nowadays. I mean Warren is basically a liberal Republican and I can’t think of any Democrat who has called for a redistribution of wealth. When the dude based on Gordan Gekko is more progressive-minded than most politicians we have some serious problems America.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Oh, and for the record I have nothing against liberal Republicans… I also doubt anybody has referred to Asher Edelman as a dude in his entire life but it made me smile!

  28. Dale

    >Among the most damning was an odd typographical error that appears in both the Jesus’s-wife fragment and an edition of the Gospel of Thomas that was posted online in 2002, suggesting an easily available source for a modern forger’s cut-and-paste job.

    This is all you need to conclude that this is a fake. A genuine Coptic scribe would not have made this error. Case closed.

    Why are you posting this here, Yves? Out of ideological reasons?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      If you had bothered reading further, it was common for ancient scribes to copy from other texts. That was not proof of that it was fake, as the article points out later.

      And I might ask why you suggest I have an axe to grind? This was a theological controversy I’d never heard of, with reputable scholars on both sides of the issue, and apparently important enough that the Atlantic devote a LONG article to it. And the writer did an amazing job of investigation. I read it in its entirety because it was a well-researched and well-told tale, and I almost never read long articles in full.

    2. craazyman

      It’s probably all true. so what? the biggest fake about Jesus is the official church’s tale. If somebody knows anything at all about mythic structures and cultural analysis the entire narrative of Jesus life has a very questionable historicity because it’s (or elements of it, to be more accurate) almost identical with the pagan myths of the death and resurrection of the grain gods of eastern asia. The reality was likely nothing at all like anyone can imagine — there’s even some reasonable dispute about Jesus existence at all. He may have been a composite of several figures fused with a religious and mythiic story structure that transcended any historicity. but it isn’t my crank opinion. The body of thinking and research here is centuries old scholarship; it isn”t new. It just seems shocking because it’s not on Youtube or the sports pages and most people have never once looked into it. He probably had a wife and it was probably Mary Magdelene. He couldn’t possibly have been very well knownn because when the Romans came to arrest him they evidently didn’t even know who he was. It’s true they didn’t have TVs or newspaper photos back then, but it seems strange. If he caused all that commotion and they weren’t able to even recognize him from a distance of 4 feeet! Not likely

    3. Daryl

      > Why are you posting this here, Yves? Out of ideological reasons?

      I don’t know why y’all read NC, but I do so for “ideological reasons.”

  29. Carolinian

    Plus Dubya didn’t waste any time pretending to be a humanitarian unless seeing himself as divinely anointed suggests self-delusions of being the new Jesus. But back then it was mostly “kick their ass and take their gas.” Honest.

  30. phred

    Actually transcription errors are made and propagated just as easily by hand as by modern cut and paste (see The Road to Ubar by Nicholas Clapp).

    History is not a simple thing and understanding the art of forgery and the reasons for its success and failure is really important. After all, the only forgeries we know about are the ones that were detected. But one can’t help contemplating the degree to which our modern understanding of historical fact has been drawn from successful forgers.

    1. phred

      Oops, this was supposed to be a reply to a comment that no longer appears to be here. So just for clarity, I was replying to someone who thought the “cut and paste” aspect of the Coptic grammar error made this a “case closed” forgery described in the Atlantic forgery article.

  31. Synoia

    How can the world bridge its infrastructure gap?

    By getting started on filling the gap, and spending less on Warz.

    The US would make more friend by building infrastructure than destroying it and killing people.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Make more friends, maybe .. But make less profit.

      And of course ther is no such entity as “the US–” just blowers-up and FIRE looters. And a few related categories.

  32. Pat

    Here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure the vocal majority here really do believe that Hillary Clinton is the greater evil. How we choose to approach this if the choice is Clinton, Trump, third party or write in or even stay home is the real question. No one can tell anyone else what to do. We can suggest or cajole or even demand loudly but ultimately it is always going to be the choice of the individual voting.

    Telling someone like me to vote for Trump because it is two anti-Clinton votes is fairly meaningless. Not just because everyone thinks this is a safely blue state. I don’t think it is that safe. It wouldn’t surprise me if the votes were counted accurately if Trump were close to winning it between the areas that don’t like the Democratic regulars AND the Republican areas of the state. But there was such widespread election fraud in the primary, I don’t think there is any question that anything that indicates it might be close will be stamped out. This is a state where the Democrats control the machines that count the votes. Unless it is a landslide, Clinton will win this state. Now one can say that means you have to vote Trump to get to that landslide. But the most effective anti-Clinton vote may be the third party one. It all depends on how the count is rigged mathematically. If the third party gets the full count and Trump gets 3/4 of one vote for every vote cast for him and Clinton gets the remaining 1/4… None of us are going to know and can only guess how best to screw up the rigging.

    And every state is going to be different.

    Will your vote be counted accurately?
    Who can rig the vote counting? And who would they choose to tip the scales to in the tally?
    What is the likely percentage of rigging? Fractional or just outright added votes?
    Or forget strategy, what vote will allow you to sleep at night and essentially tell anyone who blames the obvious problems of a President Clinton or a President Trump on them to stuff it where the sun don’t shine? Everyone has to decide it for themselves.

  33. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Several links today are exceptional, but two absolutely changed my mind about some things:

    – the link about McDonald’s in the Guardian was absolutely humbling and moving. What a tribute to human resilience and decency. Just… wow. No more sneering from me for awhile.

    – the link to Washington Monthly about Payday lenders — a superlative article about how too little credible information, from industry sources, leads to dismal legislation and degraded lives. This article’s explanation of how the CFPB has insisted on developing its own sources of data, and is now using it to expose the problems in these usurious — and incredibly profitable! — loans, is encouraging. Another humbling and hopeful sign that (finally!) some government employees with guts and smarts are determined to start addressing some of the most egregious usury outlaws.

    Thanks again for the time and judgment you use in putting these lists together.
    There were some incredible gems today.

    1. Carolinian

      Anyone who travels around the country knows that McDonalds story well. Oddly some newer McDonalds are reducing seating but adding double drive thrus, noisy indoor play areas and jazzy video menus that elderly people might find hard to read. Sometimes you wonder if they understand their own business.

      1. ilporcupine

        In my experience, in my locale, the drive-thru IS their business. Inside is always empty except for the regulars as mentioned in the article. Minivans and SUV’s full of families going thru the drive thru, by the hundreds. There are a few kids in the play areas, sometimes, but the parents usually are sitting, with bags of takeout food, waitng while the kids played for a few minutes. I think the only reason they allow people to “loiter” and socialize for extended periods, is to try to fill that expensive, and unused, seating. My Arizona family member was, for years, “member” of a little group of older guys who hung out mornings at a Carls,JR. franchise. He was much younger than they, but his politics are conservative, gun nut, and bigoted. He fit right in. I went while visiting. Once.

      2. ambrit

        The fast pseudo food joints do understand. Speed and turnover are their thing. Old geezers hanging about and, like Aqualung, eyeing little girls with bad intent, are probably viewed as impediments to efficiency and profit.
        In a real “commons,” profit is not considered. At McDs and the King, one feels obligated to buy something for the privilege of just sitting and being. The two states of being engender completely different states of mind.

        1. Carolinian

          Yes it’s the geezers versus the bean counters. But it’s possible that McDs periodic attempts to reinvent itself simply alienate their most loyal customers. The fancy coffees have been by many accounts a disaster (too slow and complicated to prepare) whereas the recent switch to all day breakfast (favorite geezer meal of the say) has sent their stock up. Mish talks about this.

          Personally I only go there for the wifi, which is excellent. The coffee is often tolerable.

        2. Cry Shop

          Hardly fair, at least in McDonald’s Hong Kong franchise, the Hong Kong where land is extremely expensive. They provide one of the few safe havens for street sleepers, particularly important when the cops get orders to harass any particular community under a bridge or overpass. McDonald’s provides them with drinking water, a restroom, plus tables and chairs to rest in an air conditioned safety – critical when a heat wave strikes. Many of the restaurants have opened 24 hours even when the business doesn’t support it just to provide this access.

          The community recognizes this services, thinks well of it and doesn’t hold it against McDonalds if they have street person at the next table. Many understand at one time that person might have been their parents fleeing from some upheaval in China, and perhaps but for the grace of good luck that person might be them one day.

          1. frosty zoom

            mcdonald’s has always struck me as some kind of ngo. the perfect synthesis of fat and carbs.

            1. readerOfTeaLeaves

              Easy to be snotty about this, but to me that McD’s article captures many, many elements of modern life. The fact that some people prefer it to non-profit community centers is worth noting.

              It is the perfect synthesis of fat and carbs, but as this article shows it is also a haven for many in contemporary society. And as Cry Shop points out, performs a service that no one else seems to be offering at the price. There’s some redemption in that, surely.

              1. ambrit

                Non-profit ‘community centres’ here abouts are almost all associated, often overtly, with religious denominations. Try sitting and talking quietly while reruns of last Sundays Hour of Power praise and worship show blare down at you from the ceiling speakers.

  34. Stage 6

    Anent ‘grieving,’ the real value of this year’s election ceremony is that it might finally wake up the last trusting souls who think that voting affects what the state does to you.

    That awakening would produce an extended interval of seething resentment and confusion, because people first have to unlearn the civics they teach you: (α) two-and-only-two parties; and (ω) it all comes down to electoral politics. In conventional wisdom a state-imposed party duopoly gets the same treatment as so-called free markets; that is, a ragbag of contingent institutions gets sanctified as an ineluctable law of nature. This is justified by the same sort of toy models that underpin economics (game theory optimizing the integral of a one-dimensional bell curve of public choice, and hackery like that.) Academics are most thoroughly brainwashed, along with the ‘informed’ and ‘engaged’ citizens they churn out. State orthodoxy justifies this canard by ignoring the role of civil society in a developed country.

    One crucial civil function state dogma ignores is what the League of Women Voters used to do: nonpartisan enforcement of comprehensive standards. The parties pushed the League out of the debates to entrench duopoly collusion and to circumscribe the scope of public discourse.

    Now the mandatory minimum comprehensive standard is human rights integrated with the right to peace and the right to development. If a candidate for office can’t quote that chapter and verse, she’s not qualified to run for dogcatcher. So education is badly needed: in particular, human rights education per UDHR mandates. Education can be implemented bottom up city-by-city. It’s happening now in the Human Rights Cities movement, which gets its impetus from citizens and not party functionaries. Parties are irrelevant when civil society does the organizing.

    Civil society has other roles, and statist orthodoxy can’t give a clue what those are. One role is going over the government’s head to the outside world, to treaty bodies, charter bodies, special procedures, or ad-hoc NGO forums. The other role is internationalism from below to coordinate worldwide public pressure.

    So let’s hope fewer and fewer people keep dicking around with the authorized state parties.

  35. dcblogger

    Chris Regan Ousted by Joe Manchin and Larry Puccio Controlled West Virginia Democratic Party

    Last month, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the West Virginia Democratic primary — 51 percent to 36 percent.

    But last week in Charleston, at the state Democratic convention in the race for chair of the party, the candidate who supported Hillary Clinton — Chair Belinda Biafore — defeated the candidate who supported Bernie Sanders — Vice Chair Chris Regan.

  36. Skippy

    John Galbraith quotes (from The Age of Uncertainty) seemed apropos.

    “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.”

    Disheveled Marsupial….

  37. ewmayer

    Quick hits and hot takes:

    o Think Less, Think Better | New York Times — I definitely think there has been a huge intellectual loss assoicated with the destruction of “quiet contemplation” and habituation of most of the developed world’s populace to be afraid of their own thoughts and seek to relentlessly drown them out with pop-culture noise, internet memes, Skinner-box video games and assorted inanities. Look at the great art and scientific discovery of the ages, and compare the global populations and lifespans then to now. Also we should not forget the possible strong gender linkage here – speaking as a fella, I can state that us guys are by and large natural-born monotaskers. To quote legendary algorist and serial monotasker (and fierce defender of his own low-noise environment) Don Knuth, “I don’t swap out well.”

    o Why Are Defense Policy Wonks So Ineffectual? Chuck Spinney (Chuck L) — This is akin to asking “why are economists so often and egregiously wrong and so rarely held to account for said perma-wrongness? The real question one must ask is “wrong for whom?” Cue Upton Sinclair quote about “It’s hard to get a man to understand…”

    o Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment | Rolling Stone — Quoth the rag which endorsed Hillary. Because guns at home == bad, but blowing up entire nations abroad to enrich the MIC and satisfy the sexual fetishes of the NeoCons == good.

    o Bernie’s Tragic Flaw: Too Soft on Clinton | Counterpunch — As I and several other Bernie supporters pointed out repeatedly in comments here. He was presented with an opponent who is the most “target-rich environment” in recent memory, politically speaking, and decided to stand down the artillery and drop leaflets instead. Luckily history is big on remembering the “noble losers” of the ages. Oh wait…

    o Fed blah blah blah blah blah — Can’t say this enough: FUCK the FedHeads and their endless self-important blather. They need to be collectively shunned, Amish style.

    o McDonald’s: you can sneer, but it’s the glue that holds communities together | Guardian — Just like the countless family-owned diners and coffee shops it helped put out of business, but with shitty chem-experiment fake food!

    1. nycTerrierist

      Taking JO with a bit of side-eye after his disgraceful ripoff of OWS’ Rollling Debt Jubilee for his much-lauded segment on medical debt.
      Per David Dayan (et al.), JO’s staff pumped the Rolling Debt Group for info, how-tos, etc. and
      then took credit for the idea themselves. Repressing OWS could have been due to pressure from the network,
      but still, very sleazy move. In comedy as in life, cardinal sin to rip off someone else’s work.

      1. Skippy

        Survival of the Fittest has tendrils everywhere….

        Yet at the end of the day I’m more concerned about information, the quality thereof and distribution.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. I just thought the twigged to the percentage fees getting bigger and bigger over time as your balance hopefully increases. The difference in the 7% gross growth of the fund with a 2% fee meaning you lost about 63% of what you should have earned over time would a real eye opener for some.

Comments are closed.