Links 7/15/16

Faroe Islands Enlist Sheep To Create Their Own 360-Degree Street Views Huffington Post (Chuck L). Too funny.

Black bear links real objects to computer images PhysOrg (Chuc l L)

Man takes dog dying of cancer on one last road trip across America Independent (Chuck L). Reminds me of the last Norton the cat book. He had travelled extensively with his human, who took him on a last road trip too.

A giant heat dome is poised to envelop the U.S. next week mashable (Lulu). The Acela corridor only gets grazed.

World’s greatest concentration of unique mammal species is on Philippine island PhysOrg (Chuck L)

U.S. regulators pave way for speedy next-generation 5G networks Reuters (furzy). And how far behind is the US?

New Yorkers Can Say Goodbye to the Verizon Phone Book Bloomberg

I just checked out Tesla Autopilot, and there’s no way it can drive a car by itself Business Insider (David L)

Influential consumer magazine urges Tesla disable auto steering Reuters (martha r)

‘Pokemon Go’ leads players to California facility housing sex offenders Los Angeles Times (Chuck L)

33 people hospitalized after K2 overdoses New York Post (Chuck L). I am so unhip that I thought K2 was a mountain.

64 women to sue in three Japanese courts over health woes from cervical cancer vaccines Japan Times. I’m not an anti-vaxxer, but I am willing to concede that the cases for some vaccines are weak. I’ve always had doubts about the HPV vaccine and Japan reported a lot of bad reactions.

Nice Attacks

Tomorrows Le Parisien front page @hughwhitfeld

At least 80 dead as truck hits crowd in Nice Politico

Commentary: Nice attack – the wider threat to France Reuters (furzy)

Hollande: Many of the Nice attack dead are children Politico. From his press conference.


UK and Scottish leaders in Brexit talks BBC. To her credit, May is hitting the ground running.

Boris Johnson is a liar with his back to the wall, says French FM BBC

Turf war behind Boris Johnson’s shock new job Politico

European banks face €30bn-€40bn capital bill after Brexit Financial Times. This is such a dopey story that I need to flag it to debunk it. A good drive-by shooting from the comments at the FT:

Who commissioned this report. David Davis? European banks will be treated as 3rd country branches in the same way Chineses and Japanese banks are treated. This will not necessarily lead to subsidiairsation, but more prudential oversight and associated costs. As a result, European banks will reduce their UK balance sheets and repatriate the assets back to their home countries.

European June Car Sales Slow as Brexit Vote Cuts Confidence Bloomberg

Why Putin Loves Brexit New York Times. Translation: Why Brexit may curb US/Nato provocation of Russia.

Climate change department killed off by Theresa May in ‘plain stupid’ and ‘deeply worrying’ move Independent (Lulu). Neoliberals ascendant.

The Grim Task Awaiting Theresa May: Preparing for Nuclear Armageddon Politico (furzy)

Margrethe Vestager vs Google (round 3) Politico


‘New normal’ after South China Sea ruling Bangkok Post (furzy). Discusses “on the ground” or in this case, “at sea” realities and what they mean. An important perspective that differs greatly from what you see in a lot of the Anglo media.

China says Laos supports it on South China Sea case Reuters (furzy)

Massive Stimulus Keeps China GDP Steady in Second Quarter Wall Street Journal

Japan’s Banks Turn Noses Up at Idea of BOJ Paying Them to Borrow Bloomberg

Shovels and old planes: As North Korea pursues the bomb, its military wanes Reuters (furzy)

Venezuela After Chávez VenezuelAnalysis. Catherine:

An amazing in-depth analytical piece, which astute analysis of Chavez’s time in power as well as afterwards. Lots of context.

My only qualm is this sentence buried in the middle “The scarcity index is now estimated to be in the region of 80 per cent, so all basic services and goods are in short supply.” It’s usually a “tell” for the common disinformation (as in the excellent analytical piece I sent a few hours ago, which addresses this particular aspect in detail). Yet in other respects it seems very balanced, fair critiques of all sides.


Russophobia and the dark art of making an anti-Russian magazine cover Medium (Chuck L)


GOP Ups Ante on Clinton’s Israel Pander Consortiumnews (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Microsoft just won a huge legal victory on email privacy Washington Post. Microsoft earns some good karma for a change.

Maxthon Browser Sends Sensitive Data To China Security Week (Dan K)

Imperial Collapse Watch

NATO, Back in Business at the Old Stand Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

State Dept. ordered to justify redacting 200 Clinton emails The Hill (furzy)

The Four Ways Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal Will Still Haunt Her Daily Beast (martha r)


Dear #WeAreTheLeft, You Are Not The Left: The Rot of Liberal White Supremacy Medium (martha r). OMG you must must read this! An awesome rant. Circulate widely.

Bernie endured the full power of the political establishment. And trained us in the process. Medium. Martha r: “From 6/8. Relevant now.”

Poll: Nearly half of Sanders’ millennial supporters would vote third-party The Hill. I doubt the % will go down the more they see of Clinton, although more may decide to stay home as the campaign gets even uglier after Labor Day.

Sanders has book deal; will reflect on campaign Associated Press (martha r)

I’m Guessing Every Berniecrat Seeking Office Will Follow Bernie Into The Hillary Camp Now DownWithTyranny (martha r). Keep tabs on this. Not sure I buy this, since it makes a basic error in logic: the opposite of A is not B but “not A”. Candidates can exploit the Big Scary Trump Monster without going into the Clinton camp.

Polls Find Clinton Leading in 4 Key Swing States Wall Street Journal. Even the swing state polls tell very different stories.

Hillary Clinton and the Opinion Polls: Is It Time to Panic? New Yorker

Democrats ‘freaked out’ about polls in meeting with Clinton The Hill (resilc). As Lambert said of Clinton long ago, “The dogs won’t eat the dog food.” Notice this: “Team Clinton has outspent Team Trump in nine battleground states by a 40-1 ratio, NBC reported.” And of top of that, the MSM is constantly pounding Trump, and he has no surrogates, while Clinton has tons. And this also comes after his world class dreadful June.

Mike Pence, Trump’s Likely VP Pick, Is Too Anti-Gay Even for Republicans Daily Beast. Resilc: “But Pense didnt sign the Defense of Marriage act like Bill Clintoon did.” Trump already got some pro-gay planks in the platform, so how does this net out? Or is this irrelevant, and Pence’s real job, like that of Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, is to be an assassination deterrent?

For Trump, it’s about America’s ego _ and his own Associated Press (furzy)

Gingrich: ‘You have to monitor the mosques’ The Hill. Some interesting censorship going on. This story definitely ran. This was the URL furzy sent with the story, which tracks the title: A Google search on the title shows this headline: Gingrich calls for deporting Muslims who believe in Sharia law, which directs to the same URL..which takes you to an “Access Denied” page. I’ve never gotten one of those at The Hill before. I also do not see any stories like this as of this hour, and a story like that would be so inflammatory that you’d expect to see wire service versions. So did The Hill misreport so badly it had to yank the story?

Pentagon threatens veto as defense bill conference kicks off The Hil (furzy). Now it is official. The President reports to the Pentagon.

Judge throws out suit to block free city Wi-Fi New York Post. Putting this here because there is more than meets the eye. Due to inattentiveness, I hadn’t noticed that the WiFi stations are REPLACING pay phones. WTF if you are so poor you can’t afford a phone, as in homeless? And what about tourists from abroad? They are forced to get a prepaid phone while visiting? The ripping out of pay phones seems to be universal. I told readers how in 2015 I landed in the recently redone Birmingham airport with a dead cell phone (ran out of battery on the plane). I needed to call my family to have someone pick me up. I got off the plane and asked the gate attendant where I could find a pay phone. She said there were none and let me use the Delta phone at her station. I suspect that that was a personal courtesy and not at all in line with company policy. What happens to other people in that fix?

Police State Watch

Wake Your Ass Up Collective Facebook. I get the rhetorical point even though I think it will backfire: push a so-extreme-as-to-be implausible remedy to force more aggressive (as in out of the box) solutions to heretofore intractable problems.

Mayor’s office: City won’t analyze police misconduct lawsuits until after DOJ review Chicago Reporter (martha r)

Cook County Sheriff’s Office has two robots that can kill or disable suspects Chicago Tribune (martha r). And how far out of beta are they?

This is how Santander was treating its customers in the US FT Alphaville (Scott)

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

loon and baby links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Carla

    Re: having a dead cell phone battery and there are no pay phones any more: Yves asks: “What happens to other people in that fix?” I have observed that people explain their predicament to the person standing closest to them, and that person immediately offers his or her own cell phone. I have seen this many times.

    1. Foppe

      Not talking about the cities, but don’t US (regional) airports have courtesy wall sockets / phone chargers/usb connectors? I understand that this can still lead to problems if someone didn’t bring their charger and they have an old model (dumb) phone, but otherwise the situation strikes me as superior to the situation 5 or more years ago, communications-wise.

      On the topic of smart phones / self-surveillance: maybe look into whether coming Ubuntu smartphones are user-friendly / affordable (that way you’d be entirely ‘free’ from a Google/Apple/MS-developed smartphone OS)? Most Android-based smartphones allow you to install your own OS (e.g. Cyanogenmod); it would surprise me greatly if non-standard sms management apps etc. would contain back-doors that allow the NSA etc. to commandeer your phone, if that is your worry. (That said, Cyanogen is still based on AOSP, which is developed by Google, so it’s conceivable that it contains one or more back-doors somewhere, but I really don’t see that happening on a phone that runs on *nix.)

      1. Optimader

        1,)Throw a external battery in your purse/carryon bag. I have a couple that were sales givaway trinkets and carry one when traveling or incircumstance when i will expect to be discharging the phone battery w/o a plug in option.
        —I do notice when traveling my phone battery will get sucked at an abnormally high rate, i presume due to roaming.
        2.) if you have a flip phone, i assume they still have easily removed b.packs, travel w/a a charged replacement battery (in its packaging or tape over the contacts).

        Ultimately at this point who really cant afford to have at least a prepaid phone?

        1. Optimader

          Btw I cant think of a domestic airport ive been in that doesent have a wall plug somewhere. Youll find one as a minimum intended for a vacuum cleaner or other such service application

        2. JTMcPhee

          Who can’t afford? Where you from, San Francisco? The Valley?

          Is ripping out pay phones analogous to the ripping up of inter urban and trolley tracks so the tire and auto companies could set the stage for What We’ve Got Now? Business model, very successful! by some measures…

        3. diptherio

          Ultimately at this point who really cant afford to have at least a prepaid phone?

          Lots of people. And even a lot of poor people that do have a prepaid phone will let it go dead for a day or five while they’re waiting for the next paycheck to come in.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Prepaid phones also generally require you to buy a LOT of minutes or the minutes expire in 90 days. For T-Mobile, it’s $100 and they have good prepaid plans. For all I know, there might not even be “no expiration” options with other carriers. And then you have to buy the phone too.

            1. optimader

              Dont doubt it, I have never bought one.

              You’re a couple years on me, and I grew up in a house with one black Bakelite rotary dial phone, which was quite adequate. Still would be to be honest.

              I truly wrack my brain on when I actually needed to make several calls a day, other than in the office, work related, and screwed into my Steel Case office.
              I really only used Public Phones when I started traveling on business, and that was to arrange transpo., so pretty much at airports.
              I am a bit incredulous about the perception of needing perpetual access to a phone as a huge quality of life issue.

              So in reality, what changed other than conditioned behavior response converting wants to needs?

              1. Kfish

                People with employers (especially in retail or hospitality) who expect constant availability and demand that you pick up a shift at a moment’s notice or lose your job? People with inconsistent daycare who need to constantly make new arrangements for who’s watching their kids? People dealing with the welfare system, where fixing an error can include multiple phone calls to multiple providers?

                Opting-out has its penalties, which are often crippling to people on the edge.

                1. optimader

                  Daycare organizing and awaiting incoming employer shift info both seem like reasonable justifications for a cellphone. These legit convenience usages account for what proportion of 0.01% of cellphone minutes?–rhetorical question- very low based on my unscientific survey of the cacophony of bllsht when I do my train commutes and walksabouts.

                  I suppose people dealing with the “welfare system ” also qualify for a free or subsidized telephone service –cellphones mostly being a convenience vs a landline.

                  BTW none of the three are justifications for building/maintaining a equitably distributed nationwide Public (owned?) pay phone system, from what I’ve read here.

                  As nice as that sounds conceptually no one even broadly framed how it would be built out across the country, let alone how much should justifiably allocated to make it happen , or even how much it should cost to use, (if not free?).
                  And herein lays the rub on well intentioned but ultimately righteous claims of “there should be..”

                  As Ambrit points out, a low hanging fruit application would be Public phones at public transportation stops, but that is a low hanging fruit application which only serves urban areas substantial enough to be served by a public trans infrastructure.

                  Using Chicago as a surrogate large urban area, after a superficial look online, although certainly not as ubiquitous as they once were (including the heroic number of vandalized ones that I do remember seeing in my youth) I am surprised how many Pay Phones are still deployed, in chicago at least

            2. hunkerdown

              Is that the old paygo-legacy plan? As I understand it, T-Mobile’s current paygo service costs $3/mo for up to 30 units (= minutes or SMS messages) and 30 days of service, with additional units charged to your money balance at 10¢ each. The money balance does not expire, but those minimum units don’t carry forward. Other paygo providers want more like $10/mo minimum for 30 units and 30 days and their units are more expensive at the low end, but some (e.g. Tracfone) have generous carryover policies. A compatible feature phone will set you back a few to several Tubmans.

              For a non-smartphone user, that’s perfectly adequate for light use, such as keeping in touch with an employer or two while living precariously and unambitiously. Virgin Mobile’s paygo plan worked well enough for me for five years. I didn’t worry about expiring minutes very much — I’d just drop $20 in every month or two, figuring that “rent” for my “line” comes out of the first, expensive minutes.

          2. optimader

            Lots of people
            and with equally little supporting data, I’ll say very few people that don’t conform with some federal/state assistance program for a free or subsidized cell phone.

            But lets say I’m somewhat wrong and its few people rather than very few. So, taking on the role devils advocate, you, (or anyone else) as the Stewart of good and fair Public Policy, how many people that cant afford truly cant afford a prepaid phone that do not fulfill some assistance program for a free or subsidized phone is enough to justify some as yet undefined National Public (Pay/Free?) Phone Project?

            So broad brush,
            How much should be spent deploying and maintiang this network, ultimately to the deficit of some other element of good and fair Public Policy initiative..(say school lunches which I advocate for)?

            Again, very broad brush what are the deployment metrics? how many and where?

            Should some phoneless person in Butte Montana or unincorporated Kansas somewhere between Salina and Concordia have the same Public Phone density/access as someone is, say, NYC? If no, isn’t that incredibly unfair?

            What other public programs are we willing to constrain in order to pay for this? Yes I can also cop out and say , well less just cancel the F-35 or what ever egregious program is on our mind That’s great but isn’t reality, at least in the foreseeable future

            So if we are righteous about Public Phone access thing, put it in the context of its merit in the hierarchy of Federal/State/County/City discretionary spending.

            1. ambrit

              If I’m thinking straight this morning, the stumbling block is the neo-liberal shibboleth of ‘free market’ pricing. One extreme case is the total nationalization of communications ‘services.’ The other extreme looks like todays’ system, rent extraction as God. The other point of contention is the definition of ‘discretionary spending.’ Your point about the parameters of the political economy is valid. Now we are drifting on over to politics, pure and simple. (Politics pure and simple has to be one of the most egregious oxymorons extant.)

      2. Unorthodoxmarxist

        Wouldn’t it be nice to have a publicly-owned bank of pay phones, or at least one, at major transportation hubs? That way, as Yves said, you don’t have to beg a stranger to use their cell. I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to make this occur near a corner of a terminal or restrooms, either, where space isn’t at a premium.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          The problem with payphones is you don’t have a unique ID tied to a person. Surveillance state no likey.

    2. honigdachs

      …although, if you are (or look) homeless or otherwise dis-advantaged, that ploy might not be quite so successful.

        1. ambrit

          Therefore true “in your face” class war proceeds. Public pay telephones were a “public service” and money making program hybrid. If one cannot afford a ‘throwaway’ flip phone today, one is not a ‘citizen’ of the ‘Corporo-polity,’ and therefore, not eligible for basic rights. I’d classify this as a “Pay to Live” scam.

            1. ambrit

              Well, imagine telephony being treated like automobiles.
              Given the horrendously backwards networks of ‘Public Transit’ here in America, when one loses ones personal transportation, the default positions are bicycles or feet. For telephony, the default positions are what, smoke signals? That or segregation from the bulk of the society.
              When telephony was a quasi monopoly, public pay phones were part of the mini social contract. Things became ‘degraded’ when the telephony systems were deconstructed. Then, pay telephones became spin off, self supporting business units. That didn’t work without some sort of general subsidy, so, todays wonderful, completely money driven communications networks.
              As for mustering ten bucks; I had to raid the kids piggy banks regularly at one point to pay the basic utilities. Not being dumb, the kids switched to alternative cash storage sites. Then, as I learned later, they got together and left token change in their piggy banks to fool me into not looking further for funds. During that period, we had no telephone and no cable television, and occasionally, little food. (We all pitched in to do the vegetable garden chores. We all ate the produce.)

              1. optimader

                To what scale and cost will this public telephone system be satisfactorily implemented to the lowest possible barrier for everyone?
                How far will I have to walk to use one?
                How much will it cost to use one (free?)?

                1. ambrit

                  The determining factor is, as always, political will. Every telephone service bill in America has imposts dedicated to 911 and a subsidy for rural service infrastructure. Even VoIPs are charged with supplying information concerning location and identity for 911 calls. Here, we must make a necessary distinction between purely public calls, 911, and private calls, “I’m running late honey.” Will we see the return of the London Police Call boxes, TARDIS anyone? As I began with this comment; the determining factor will be political will.

            2. myshkin

              “And a network of how many payphones in the United States?
              Deployed and maintained by who?
              Paid for by who?”
              -Good questions. Perhaps public pay phones should be considered a public utility and common good.
              Also part of the equation, the unsustainable, disastrous paradigm of built in obsolescence and throway phones, throwaway battery required.

              1. optimader

                Good questions. Perhaps public pay phones should be considered a public utility and common good.

                Details on barrier to use? any? walk 15 feet to use one?? free???

                Also part of the equation, the unsustainable, disastrous paradigm of built in obsolescence and throway phones, throwaway battery required

                Different and legit topic that applies to all consumer appliances. I am old enough to remember the TV/radio repair shop in my little village. Faak I remember the vacuum tube test station at the pharmacy that had the soda fountain.

                1. ambrit

                  If I remember correctly, a one mile walk to the nearest urban trolley line was considered reasonable. Bring back the trolleys and put the pay telephones at the trolley stops. Emergency calls can be free. Local calls a reasonable amount. Long distance, for which the definition is all over the place, a more market oriented price structure.
                  A technocratic, rationally run society would be Heaven. However, human beings are not angels. Finding the balance is the hard part.

                  1. optimader

                    Bring back the trolleys and put the pay telephones at the trolley stops.
                    All for that in Chicago. Call it light surface rail. Like in Vienna. Google Earth it. Seamless system, works great.
                    Phones at stops. Makes sense.
                    There are still a lot of payphones in Chicago apparently, just need to know where.

              2. ambrit

                The entire concept of Public Utility, except for that which supports the oligarchy, has been under attack for, literally, ever. The basic question is; Who runs things, and for whos’ benefit?
                Like optimader, I remember going to the Seven Eleven and testing the bulbs from the television. Soda fountains were still around, but out of our price range.

                1. aet

                  You mean tubes, not bulbs. See here for memories…


                  And telephone companies are regulated by law: which means that pay phones were/are required to be provided (or not) as a condition, a part of the price, of the grant of their public license to be a phone company. And payphones are disappearing because they are demonstrably no longer needed in the numbers which they once were, and so the regulations have naturally changed.

                  Those regulations, as all regulations of activity are or ought to be, are subject to further and continual revision, as things change in the technical world – regulations being simply laws, meant and intended to be changed on an on-going basis by experts and appointed commissions of technically knowledgeable people specifically delegated those powers by the Legislature, Parliament or Congress, as the case may be.

                  For more about payphones, you can consult the Payphone Project online. Here’s a piece from their website describing the NEW payphones installed April 2016 at Penn Central Station:


                  Oh-oh, gotta go, the payphone down on the corner is ringing, and it just might be for me!

            3. Laughingsong

              Followed the link: “must provide proof of public assistance or provide two forms of identification, along with tax or Social Security statements showing their annual incomes are below the 15,000 dollars federal poverty level for Pennsylvania.”

              Yeah, that works for poor people. In Oregon.

              I am astounded at the number of people who really don’t seem to know how bad many of our neighbors have it. I get that you may not know or see them, but please trust folks when they tell you that true want really exists in this country. I have at least four close friends for whom a good year is earning a 5-digit income – I am talking barely in the 5 digits. Two do not and have never had a cell phone; the other two have handsets that are most times out of minutes. And that is truly the least of their worries.

          1. optimader

            BTW, a link on this Public pay telephones were a “public service”

            I NEVER recall public phones as a “public service”, pay being the operative word in the description.

            1. ambrit

              As an example of the extreme “free market” view of ‘public service’ I offer the Austrian School. (Obviously, I do not subscribe to this interpretation.)
              I’ll admit to having a hard time finding any supporting evidence for my assertion of a ‘Codified Social Contract’ regarding telephony. (I ascribe this difficulty to Googles’ search functions becoming little more than commercial advertising steering spiels. Like barkers out on the sidewalk in front of the girlie shows and bars, Google attempts to entice with chants of; “Step right up! Step right up! We don’t have what you need, but we do have what we’ve told you that you want! It’s always showtime here in Google Gulch!”)
              The difference between our outlooks appears to be one of attitudes towards the concept of Public Service itself.
              Be of good cheer.

      1. crittermom

        Correct. There are many of us who can’t afford cell phones. (I lost everything to the banksters in 2011)

        Pay phones are all but nonexistent now. They began taking those out quite a few years ago. They had become unprofitable because everyone has a cell phone now. (uh, no)

        What SO MANY folks don’t understand is that cell phones don’t have reception in MANY places.
        You can travel for hundreds of miles out west here unable to get a cell phone signal.

        I’ve lived rural for decades & have no desire for one even if I could afford it.
        If/when my income improves (like maybe winning the lottery–except ya need to buy tickets), I’d go with a satellite phone as the best way for emergency contact with the ‘outside world’, if I felt it necessary.

            1. ambrit

              His ‘friend’ Jimmy Olson said that The Man of Steel was using the public bathrooms at Apple Stores for a while. It soon became onerous to pony up the dollar coin to get into the stalls and later gently disabusing the other patrons of their assumptions concerning a good looking buff dude taking off his clothes in a public john. Then there was the time he entered a cubicle with a “glory hole” in the side wall. He had to keep telling prospective “clients” that he was neither a member of Congress nor did he work in Finance.

                1. ambrit

                  I’ll tell Jimmy to tell Mr. Steel when he next sees him.
                  I’m sure they both would appreciate advice on vacationing in the Eastern Mediterranean from an accomplished traveler such as yourself.
                  (Sorry about your dog. Condolences.)

    3. human

      I was stuck in DC in ’06 without a cell phone after arriving by train and finding _no_ pay phones and, yes, a stranger allowed me to use their phone.

    4. Mark Alexander

      I have observed that the kindness of strangers in this situation is location-dependent. Here in rural New England strangers are always willing to let you use their cell phone if yours is dead or lost or non-existent. But when I lost my cell phone and wallet in SFO last summer, we asked 20 people in the baggage claim area (including the employees at the Delta counter) if we could use their phone to call (a) the credit card company, and (b) my mother. Everybody refused, using a variety of lame excuses.

      Eventually we had to visit the SFO police kiosk and ask to use their phone, which they did allow after lots of pleading on our part and a half hour wait for someone with a key to a locked room.

      1. local to oakland

        Sadly, in the SF Bay area, too many of us have experienced or know someone who has lent their phone only to have it stolen or used for a drug deal. Also we have homeless overload which is not good for immediate charitable response to strangers.

        Sorry for your experience.

        1. jrs

          Yea serious homeless overload many places. It’s easy to learn to say “no” to any stranger asking for anything when one is always been asked for something by the homeless. They don’t just want money, they have elaborate stories about how their car broke down and so on, that noone believes (but they don’t usually ask for a phone). I wonder if they ever experience things like that in rural New England. I’m thinking not.

          1. Jen

            Yes, we do. The Lebanon, NH city council recently passed an ordinance banning camping on publicly owned land, to evict a homeless encampment behind a local supermarket. I usually avoid the retail strip where that supermarket is located, but whenever I do go there, I see someone by the traffic light, panhandling. Never saw this before the great recession. I’m guessing that as long as the homeless remained invisible – people can, and do, camp out in the woods – they could be safely ignored. Once they started drawing attention to themselves by panhandling, they became a public nuisance that must be dealt with, but, of course, not by expanding services to the homeless.

    5. Tom_Doak

      When I first visited Paris in 1985, I looked for a pay phone to call my hosts after arriving at the Gare du Nord. I counted a total of 42 pay phones in the station, every one of which had been vandalized [usually by screwing off the mouthpiece and removing the inner workings]. Had to use my limited French to ask a hotel across the street to borrow their phone. French vandals are a model of efficiency!

      1. grayslady

        It isn’t just the French. Vandalism was one of the main reasons most public phones were removed here in the U.S. Sadly, you can’t even find public phones inside public libraries anymore, where they would doubtless be safe from vandalism.

        1. Anon

          … you should see the vandalism at my local community college library.

          My lifetime observation is that there is at least one vandal in every location on earth. (There is an aspen grove (acres) about 4 miles into Kings Canyon National Park, from the trail-head, that has practically every single tree trunk carved with initials and symbols of “love” (for everything but the natural setting)).

    6. Evan Thomas

      The LinkNYC wifi stations also have free domestic calling built into them. There aren’t actual phones connected, but the stations do have the capability of giving everyone free calls through Vonage. You can plug in headphones like Apple’s to make it more private. They also have USB charging outlets for that dead phone of yours.

    7. cyclist

      Just experienced this in the Newark airport ‘Skytrain’ station coming back from Europe. In my case, I had accidentally left my US SIM card in another country. There were pay phone kiosks, but a sign saying the phone has been removed; an attendant was sympathetic but did not offer his phone. There was a payphone when I got to Newark Penn Station (trains).

    8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think I would try mom and pop restaurants or offices…many still have land lines.

    9. evodevo

      Welcome to AT&T land, comrades – here in rural Ky AT&T has petitioned the PSC (and basically gotten what they wanted) to abandon land line communication maintenance and service….the problem for us chickens is, there are a LOT of dead zones in them thar hills, and a cell phone won’t have service a lot of the time. Too bad, I guess. Get in your car and drive to the nearest town to get it. Not much fun.

  2. Antifa`

    The horror of Nice . . . a very few people can make peace so distant, so quickly.

    Having known war, I will never not know it as something every one of us can do. We can be moved to it by emotion or intellect or ideology. War is murder, slaughter, rage and hatred and terror, but above all else it is sorrow everlasting, sorrow that can no more heal than a severed limb can reappear.

    What war severs is your hope and faith in humanity, in our kindly natures, in our nurturing ways and civilization. Those can vanish instantly when war arrives on your doorstep. As the years pass by, it is plain that peace is just a respite between horror in the form of war arriving to spawn itself again.

    1. MikeNY

      Yes, it’s horrible. Do you mind my asking how you know war? I’m lucky not to know it as you do.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Do you mind my asking…” What is this, a Politifact check? Insinuation? Impeachment? You want war stories, you can go to YouTube and search on Syria violence (substitute any other place where the fokking Great Game is going on). I’m a Vietnam vet — Tet happened while I was there, with truckloads of dead, and the Ranch Hand Agent Orange spraying, and the Phoenix Program was running hot and heavy, on and on. Read All Quiet on the Western Front, any number of other sources. What confirmation is needed for the observation that humans are mostly about fokking and killing? Oh, and Business, of which ISIS is held up by American business thinkers as an enviable business model, totally unregulated, able freely to kill and Fokk and loot, from Startup Daily, “Terrorist group ISIS has quite the lucrative business modelTerrorist group ISIS has quite the lucrative business model, “Terrorist group ISIS has quite the lucrative business model”, and, and

        Humans get off, and get rich, on what we call war, which is just, in the end, what we do, since protohominids bashed and stabbed each other with whatever they had on hand or could adapt to the purpose. The whole worldwide military and paramilitary machinery consumes what, a reported 15% of all the wealth the3 world produces, and Hurrah! That figure is growing most places by double digits! Groaf! Right here, a few of us are happy that S&W has seen such massive Groaf in its stock prices, due to the demand for the tools of violence. And the Elders in Utah are trying to reduce that place’s appetites for p0rn.

        Don’t be subtly undermining testimony of people who have seen war, if that’s what you were doing. Maybe since folks who do that gain one way or another from more of it, that’s why the challenges are so increasingly evident. Embrace the future! It looks like “Terminator,” with a side of Soylent Green…

        1. Roger Smith

          I don’t get the impression that MikeNY was at all undermining Antifa`. It was an innocent request for more details (user willing), not antagonistic.

          1. Emma

            Agreed. Besides, there’s already trouble when two US Presidential nominees appallingly ‘jump the gun’ – both carelessly and cluelessly – before all the details and facts are in, and have been appropriately corroborated. The French MSM TF1 is presently reporting about a “un mec déprimé” separated from his partner and children. There are as yet no official ties (however construed…..) linking the Nice truck driver to DAESH:

          2. MikeNY

            Thank you, Roger. It is exactly as you say.

            I’m dismayed and mystified that anyone would take my request above as antagonistic or challenging.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Sorry I teed off on the wrong post. As I footnoted, I was not sure what your motivation was. I have had some bad experiences with people who challenge and belittle other people’s bona fides, occasionally seeming to be part of the claque that takes every little opportunity to bolster the Narrative by diminishing and faux impeachment. My bad, this time.

              War isn’t hell, it’s what people do, for fun and profit. “Somebody’s gonna get hurt,” but not generals or presidents or corporate executives. The ultimate expression and real nature of “asymmetric warfare.” Maybe if the directors of militarization and mayhem were equally vulnerable… But of course Impunity. 5,000 nuclear warheads ready to launch, the supply chains and logistics for lesser weapons at full tilt and near capacity, “innovation and destruction” the touchstone.

              1. MikeNY

                TY for the explanation, and apology accepted.

                The reason I asked is that I find war unimaginable. I know a few people who have served in combat zones, but it is not a subject they like to discuss. And I don’t press them.

              2. Anon

                JT, I sense your frustration and anger; having lived the Vietnam era myself. Few folks know war ugliness like those asked to kill peasant farmers for the greater game of Dominoes.

        2. cwaltz

          I wouldn’t call them humans as much as I’d call them monsters.

          Sometimes fighting is necessary. However, it should almost always be a last resort and it should be done with the understanding that what you are committing to is causing another person pain. IMO profit should not even be part of the equation if you are a public servant who gatekeeps and are responsible for helping determine when that call should be made. The irreverence that has been shown for human life by monsters that have made their determination to go to war based on the assets of other nations sicken me and it’s been happening now for decades.

          1. ambrit

            It has been happening now for millennia. Humans have a very long way to go to attain civilized status. Is it any wonder the Space Aliens don’t announce themselves?

      1. jgordon

        I wish our leaders would understand just how dangerous motor vehicles are. Instead we all have an ingrained cultural narrative that causes us to conveniently overlook the massive casualties caused by living with these things. Now that terrorists have discovered their exquisite utility at carrying out acts of extreme mass violence, maybe that narrative will begin to change.

        By the way, having first hand experience I understand that guns require a lot of training and are tricky to use. Killing a large number of people with them is by no means certain. If I were a terrorist my first choice all along would have been to use a semi in just such a fashion, though till now I’ve kept that to myself because I didn’t want to give anyone ideas. But it looks like the cat is out of the bag now.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Must’ve been thirty years ago I read an SF/fantasy short story about a guy who wheels out his dusty old manually-controlled vintage motor vehicle that he had illegally hidden in a barn, and takes one last joyride amid all the computer-controlled robocars, before being taken into custody.

          Autonomy, comrades: technology can help us banish it, except within carefully regulated limits. See ya in the protest pen …

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hopefully, the government will regulate (no free market, you libertarians) smoking pot while driving.

          And no second hand pot smoking in apartment sharing air ducts, especially those with children. That needs be regulated as well to protect young babies.

          And not in restaurants and other public places.

          “Stop putting those foreign smoky objects/particulates into my body through my nose. That is raping!!!”

        3. That Which Sees

          This should be up around #1 as a concern for self-driving cars. If/when the technology is hacked, a driverless vehicle could be used as a weapon or to deliver a car bomb without the need for a terrorist driver bent on martyrdom.

    2. nobody

      Albert Camus:

      We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves. For most people, it’s the embarrassment, the need to make a choice, the choice which makes them go but feel remorse for not having been brave enough to stay at home, or which makes them stay at home but regret that they can’t share the way the others are going to die.

      It’s there, that’s where it really is, and we were looking for in it the blue sky and the world’s indifference. It is in this terrible loneliness both of the combatants and of the noncombatants, in this humiliated despair that we all feel, in the baseness that we feel growing in our faces as the days go by. The reign of beasts has begun.

      The hatred and the violence that you can already feel rising up in people. Nothing pure left in them. Nothing unique. They think together. You meet only beasts, bestial European faces. The world makes us feel sick, like this universal wave of cowardice, this mockery of courage, this parody of greatness, and this withering away of honor.

      From the Notebooks, September 7, 1939

      1. abynormal


        a fav: It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

  3. jgordon

    An African aboriginal finds a coke bottle and takes it back to his tribe. The tribes people find all sorts of amazing uses for it, and at first they incredibly happy with this amazing gift from the gods. The bottle can be used as to make beautiful music. It can grind grain, formerly a difficult task. Making exquisite pottery becomes a breeze with the bottle’s help.

    But the whole time the bottle is inciting jealousy and class envy, since there is only one–and the people begin to squabble over it. Then in a fit of rage one of the formerly harmonious and happy tribespeople uses the bottle as weapon, and suddenly everyone discovers that the bottle isn’t a gift from the gods, but a curse.

    It was all a matter of perception, and the cultural/sociological frameworks that the mental models of the tribespeople were shaped under. If I had told them prior to their own discovery that the bottle they glorified was in fact a cruel instrument of divisiveness and violence they probably would have claimed that my arguments were “specious” nonsense. Words were useless no matter how prescient and accurate. It took the actual lived experience of violence for them to discover this on their own.

      1. jgordon

        It applies to many things in our bizarre and unsustainable society. It applies so much that I wonder if we have any hope of surviving at all sometimes.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “We” don’t have any hope of surviving. This space is full of excerpts from the data stream that if one adds them up, make pretty unarguable that sex and killing will mark out the end game of the Great Game. “We” are real good at highlighting all the horrors and identifying all the sh/t that is “wrong” (by unstated and sort of understood measures, biased toward “middle class” preferences), not so good at integrating all that fractured, fragmented, fractal awareness into a principle or set of fundamentals that might serve as a different alternative to the long existing strand of collective social DNA that is growing inevitably toward multiple deadly end points. Fiddling with discourse about currencies and analyzing post hoc what the neos have done and all the other details “we” get all get up about (emoticons as markers and triggers)? Where does that take “us,” again?

          Whether “some humans,” empowered by rampant Tech will “survive,” maybe an open question? Ooh wow, “we” will have 3-d tech and the ability to choose to re-pattern our bodies to look just like Darth Maul, and Robots and self-driving Jet Cars! Because “no one has the right ( or power) to say ‘Just Fokking STOP! More than far enough!” And no one wants to, because We NEED 5G! It Will Bring Us To True Happiness And Untold 10-Bagger Opportunities!

      1. Jagger

        The Gods must be Crazy I and II. Two of the most uniquely funny movies ever made and 2 is better than 1.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Another good film is Black and White in Color.

          It’s like the D party and the R party fighting in the home of the 99%…or Big Pharma vs. Big Bank, or whatever.

        2. diptherio

          We watched a documentary in one of my Anthro classes back in college that included some “behind the scenes” of this movie. The actual bushman thought the filmmakers were a bunch of idiots, basically, because they had zero idea what the lives of the people were actually like. Pretty much every line from an African in that movie is a joke at the expense of the filmmakers, or commentary on their bizarre ideas about life in the Kalahari. While the film works well as a metaphor, as jgordon is applying it, it’s absolute crap as anthropology…

          Not that you were implying such, btw — I just feel the need to add that caveat now anytime I see the movie brought up.

  4. abynormal

    K2, “In October 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law three measures that made possession of the drug with intent to sell a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.” 1st, create money floww off catastrophe

    JWH-073 is an analgesic chemical from the naphthoylindole family that acts as a partial agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. It is somewhat selective for the CB1 subtype, with affinity at this subtype approximately 5x the affinity at CB2.[1] The abbreviation JWH stands for John W. Huffman, one of the inventors of the compound.

    JWH-073 gained popularity in April 2009, when it was claimed by chemists at the University of Freiburg to have been found in a “fertilizer” product called “Forest Humus”, along with another synthetic cannabinoid, CP 47,497.[2] It was subsequently found as a chemical within the popular synthetic cannabis blend Spice, which had been sold in numerous countries around the world since 2002.[3][4][5]

    …colorful packaging, safety claims & ‘incense’ or smokelss tobacco marketing doesn’t help

    1. Steve C

      Yves’ reaction to K2 was mine, as well. I have heard of synthetic weed though. Makes me think that if we legalized pot there would be less demand for this stuff.

        1. That Which Sees

          Prohibition doesn’t work. Wiping out accurate, well understood options by a legal ban encourages more dangerous, mis-marked, poorly dosed alternatives. “Bath Salts” vs. the options that were around in the 80’s at clubs is another good example.

          1. different clue

            Prohibition works perfectly for the people selling more dangerous, mis-marked, poorly dosed alternatives. One might almost think the “Bath Salts Industrial Complex” wrote the Prohibition laws and bought the Congress to pass them and the President to sign them.

      1. tony

        I’ve smoked synthetic weed, and it feels violent. The only reason you’d smoke it if you had a need to escape.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Also a crime now is the sharing of your password to watch movies.

      “You say it was stolen from you, but how do we know you didn’t give it to her?”


    3. Reify99

      Having worked in-patient psych for much of my career, I can tell you that the folks that go crazy on this stuff, whatever it really is chemically, are sometimes wacked out for weeks.
      We’re talking four way leather restraints, full Blown psychosis, terrific energy for days, just as likely to run into the wall as hit you, and hardly touchable by meds for the first 24-48 hours. They may not eat or drink, will pee anywhere, etc. delusional but incoherent.

      It’s nasty.

    4. Vatch

      I thought some people concerned about their skeletal health got too much of vitamin K-2 at their local pharmacy. Obviously, I am not at all hip.

    5. Dark Matters

      ” I am so unhip that I thought K2 was a mountain. ”

      Vatch, I thought they were discussing the bone supplement, too. But it’s also supposed to help teeth!

  5. Effem

    The only people using the NYC free-wifi stations are the homeless. In fact, i’ve seen a few pull up chairs and create curbside “offices.” Typically watching videos or playing music, etc. I have no problem providing the homeless some comforts in life, but at what expense? Seems immensely wasteful (shocker).

      1. tongorad

        The “We can’t afford it” meme – a brilliant little piece of propaganda, as it enables people to project their own increasingly tightened and precarious situations onto the body politic/economy. Thereby politically enabling more austerity and more of “we can’t afford it.” One of the hardest things in politics is to get people to raise their expectations.

        As for connectivity costs abroad, I can vouch for that. I lived in Thailand for many years and am shocked at how much we’re getting reamed for connectivity here in the US.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      There are TONS of homeless near 86th Street on the East Side, and also on Lex near 57th. Never once have seen them using those stations. In fact, even though I walk a lot, the only time I have seen them used at all was 2 people who were clearly friends both sitting on the street while their smartphones were charging. Didn’t have lots of stuff so clearly not homeless.

      1. Pat

        Haven’t seen it in the 86th and Lexington area, but have seen homeless using them in Hell’s Kitchen outer Broadway area and downtown on 8th Avenue both at 14th and 23rd Street. I’ve actually seen more homeless use of them then anything else, as most of the time they are not being used by anyone. I expect that to change as people begin to understand what they do and are there for. It may be that the homeless seem to be early adopters in certain areas because they saw them in use. For the homeless that do have devices, it is probably more useful than a payphone as these kiosks have wi-fi and power you don’t have to have cell service to use them to contact the world what with skype, etc.

        I do think the loss of a payphone is bad, but that has been coming for a very long time. They were few and far between before this, especially considering how many of the ones that still existed in NY didn’t actually work. I’m not sure what the answer is, for those without cell phones. If the kiosks have means of contacting emergency services without a phone (and they might I haven’t looked into it), it might be slightly better than what has been haphazardly available over the last few years, at least for NYC. OTOH, I’m pretty sure that public venues such as stadiums, train stations, airports, bus stations and hospitals should still have payphones.

  6. rufus magister

    I would think that a self-selected poll like Yik-Yak would have a bias towards the disaffected and vocal, and overstate the discontent.

    Mrs. M. is active in the Sanders campaign, she was reading some of the chatter. There are substantial nos. of registered Democrats, they’re fine with it, this is what they signed up for, they say. They are breaking heavily to Mrs. Clinton.

    The aktiv, however, are more evenly split between the Greens and Democrats. I’ve tagged along to some events, a number of those leaning Green never intended to stick around once Sanders was out. Mrs. M. is in that camp.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Democrats have always polled as being more pro-Clinton.

      It’s the Independents who voted for Sanders that are less likely to fall into line behind Clinton. They may not be well represented in Mrs. M’s sample (as in non-aktiv Independents). Note also those were the people excluded from voting in many states (closed primaries) and suppressed in others (most notably CA).

  7. Don

    Re: cervical cancer vaccines. The CDC denies all harms from cervical cancer vaccines– this is the consistent line. The CDC also denies all harms from aluminum adjuvant, and yet the evidence is that aluminum adjuvant is a neurotoxin and is NOT rapidly eliminated from the body, as the vaccine authorites claim. The cervical cancer vaccines are full of aluminum.

    The science to back this up is here:

    The Nordic Cochrane Colflaborative also has a few choice words on how the science on the safety of this vaccine is handled:

    1. Roger Smith

      Yes, this is one type of vaccine where I have heard legitimate reasons for its distrust.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Gardasil is a piece of garbage. My wife took the first dose of it on idiot doctor’s recommendation shortly after we were married. There was no reason to prescribe it, she wasn’t at risk for HPV or cervical cancer. The entire basis of the recommendation was “insurance pays for it”. My wife had severe headaches and horrific nausea for several days and couldn’t go to work because of it. My wife complained to the doctor who swore up and down that it wasn’t the vaccine and prescribed other stuff to ameliorate the symptoms (running up a nice bill). My wife went on the website for Merck and printed off a list of side effects and showed it to the doctor who was STILL defiant and insisted she take the additional doses required. My wife refused and switched doctors.

        It’s a wonderful example of medical-industrial complex doing their arsonist-firefighter thing to create problems with ‘solutions’ to problems that don’t exist, and then more solutions to deal with the side-effects of the previous ‘solutions’.

        There’s an ongoing scandal in Colombia about the vaccine.

          1. Don

            I’m sorry to say that the entire vaccine program is a farce. The harms are always ignored– just as the doctor who insisted no harms could come from HPV vaccine. This happens all the time.

            Doctors refuse to see harms and there is no good surveillance system in place to monitor harms in real-time (and not just give a clean bill of health because of some dubious epidemiological studies.) We could learn a lot if we had a (transparent) system that reported any and all illnesses/injuries and vaccine lot #, date, etc. This would be the sensible thing to do to: we could then see if there are any patterns showing up to alert us of problems with vaccines. Maybe certain lots are defective, for example. But no. What we have instead is a system called VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and although this is supposed to be mandatory, best estimates are that only 10% of adverse events are reported. Some doctors don’t even know it exists. Even better, anyone (even parents) can file a report, which automatically makes this system untrustworthy. So on the one hand the authorities say don’t worry, we’ve got the VAERS, but on the other hand they say the reports are overall unreliable (especially if there are reports of serious adverse events, which there are.) Want better data? Well, you can go to the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) operated by the CDC, but the only problem is that this is highly secretive (why?) and very difficult to get into. Good luck with that! That in a nutshell is our real-time surveillance for vaccine adverse events: it’s virtually non-existent. We should be doing better than this.

    2. Foppe

      Worrying about heavy metals (not just aluminium; mercury also comes to mind, as well as PCBs) from vaccines is kind of beside the point; the main source for everyone (except long-term vegans) is dietary, specifically from eating animals/animal products.

      The highest natural levels of aluminum are found in shellfish, but the highest level overall is in cheese. Why? Just like the poultry industry adds arsenic to chicken, the dairy industry adds aluminum to cheese, the #1 source of aluminum in the diet.

      Why would they do that? The aluminum salts produce a “smooth, uniform film around each fat droplet” to prevent something called fat “bleeding,” and to give the cheese a softer texture, and “desirable slicing properties.”

      So if you’re a parent worrying about the aluminum in vaccines, every grilled cheese sandwich you give your kids is like injecting them with a dozen aluminum-containing vaccines.

      Additionally, consider this. Michael Greger, How Not to Die:

      In 2012, researchers from the University of California–Davis, published an analysis of the diets of California kids aged two to seven. (Children are thought to be especially vulnerable to chemicals in the diet because they are still growing, and thus they have a comparatively greater intake of food and fluids relative to their weight.) Chemicals and heavy metals in children’s bodies from the foods they ate were indeed found to exceed safety levels by a larger margin than in adults. Cancer risk ratios, for instance, were exceeded by a factor of up to one hundred or more. For every child studied, benchmark levels were surpassed for arsenic, the banned pesticide dieldrin, and potentially highly toxic industrial by-products called dioxins. They were also too high for DDE, a by-product of DDT.14

      Which foods contributed the most heavy metals? The number-one food source of arsenic was poultry among preschoolers and, for their parents, tuna.15 The top source for lead? Dairy. For mercury? Seafood.16
      Those concerned about exposing their children to mercury-containing vaccines should know that eating just a single serving of fish each week during pregnancy can lead to more mercury in their infant’s body than injecting them directly with about a dozen mercury-containing vaccines.17 You should strive to minimize mercury exposure, but the benefits of vaccination far exceed the risks. The same cannot be said for tuna.18

      Where in the food supply are these pollutants found? Today, most DDT comes from meat, particularly fish.19 The oceans are essentially humanity’s sewer; everything eventually flows into the sea. The same is true when it comes to dietary exposure to PCBs—another set of banned chemicals, once widely used as insulating fluid in electrical equipment. A study of more than twelve thousand food and feed samples across eighteen countries found that the highest PCB contamination was found in fish and fish oil, followed by eggs, dairy, and then other meats. The lowest contamination was found at the bottom of the food chain, in plants.20

  8. juneau

    Sad Day…..

    Regarding HPV vaccine,I think those women have every right to sue because the manufacturers of these vaccines make it seem that the vaccinations are just for individual benefit. Then they minimize the risks and push it on people telling them it will only help. People know but like to forget most vaccinations are meant to establish herd immunity as a public health intervention. But you get better uptake when you sell it as an individual treatment. No vaccine is completely safe. It is a trade off.

  9. craazyboy

    Faroe Islands Enlist Sheep To Create Their Own 360-Degree Street Views Huffington Post (Chuck L). Too funny

    The sheep needs a camera gimbal to stabilize the video. It would only add another 1/2 to 3/4 Lb to the weight of the package. Other than that, great idea.

  10. abynormal

    Question: Are Trade Agreements directly effected by foreign internet privacy, like MS’s Dublin server for US email?
    from 2014: Mina Andreeva, European Commission spokeswoman for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, told the BBC: “The commission’s position is that this data should not be directly accessed by or transferred to US law enforcement authorities outside formal channels of co-operation, such as the mutual legal assistance agreements or sectoral EU-US agreements authorising such transfers.

    “Access by other means should be excluded, unless it takes place in clearly defined, exceptional and judicially reviewable situations.”

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      This is another reason why the TPP must be stopped. Despite Microsoft being one of the good guys on this specific case, they also are lobbying for the TPP I think (or if not, other tech companies like Google are.)

      Part of the reason is that many countries put laws into place mandating storage of their citizens data “in country”, including Brazil, after the Snowden revelations. The TPP would use ISDS to make this essentially verbotten through trade agreement language, using extra-legal means. Presumably stiff fines or trade sanctions would be slapped on any TPP member country that dared to have laws restricting servers to be in-country.

      Of course large tech companies would prefer consolidating data centers inside the US or puppet countries like Canada (sorry, my neighbors to the north.) Cost of business is lower and there is less chance of an uppity leader like Dilma Rouseff forcing the issue.

      1. hunkerdown

        It seems reasonable to believe that people who support liberal hegemony will make up any hand-waving rationalization for its continuing supremacy (see also the Turkey coup).

        If “residential zoned” Internet can be abolished so that people can host servers from home, perhaps we can decide in which country our data will be stored, and so can all have the level of protection from our private papers becoming mere “business records” as we deserve and as Hillary’s gotten. We can more or less do that now, given ~$50/mo to blow on a unit of space in a data center, which makes it sort of like post office boxes, which is a (very expensive) start.

    2. NeqNeq

      The Link for the Andreeva quote (i am assuming). But Andreeva is responding to the suit not the question you began with. Maybe I misunderstood you though.

      Its interesting to note the MS argument in that link:

      Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, David Howard, said: “A US prosecutor cannot obtain a US warrant to search someone’s home located in another country, just as another country’s prosecutor cannot obtain a court order in her home country to conduct a search in the United States.

      If that was a sincere argument, then it is very curious that legislation Microsoft has helped craft would violate that principle.

      The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act), which started making the rounds in 2013 (same year as MS refusal to acquiesce with US authorities), says that aUS warrant would be sufficient to turn over “content” of any US person* or corporation without regard to the location of that data. The exception being when the provider goes before a US judge and convinces them it would violate the laws of the country in which the data is stored; in which case the warrant is nullified.

      While the US warrant couldn’t compel MS to turn over emails in the Irish case (suspect was an Irish national) without using the MLAT process, it would for any US person. So it fails the principle articulated by the MS lawyer.

      Also of interest is that contesting the warrant is the job of the providers. The end-user (target of warrant) is only entitled to delayed notification of the warrant/execution. So, if MS doesn’t find it profitable to contest the issue, or doesnt know the relevant legal tact, you’re out of luck. Best hope is you can get any evidence suppressed (assuming they didn’t engage in parallel construction).

      *A US person is a citizen or permanent legal alien. It does not include temporary/work permit aliens. Accessing content from this group would require working within the MLAT framework. Which is interesting given how H1B’s work. IIRC, the Center for Democracy and Technology brought up this point.

      1. abynormal

        Thanks for rewiring my cross and covering the warrants plus!
        & Thanks ChrisFromGA…that’s what i feared.

  11. Steve H.


    Again, Pence could not be re-elected as governor of Indiana, having lost the confidence of the state’s major business players (Cummins, Lilly…).

    Why Pence? Search “Pence Koch evangeli*”.

    Major issue? Search ” ‘Lawrence Wilkerson’ dominionist”.

    Pence may be a genuine evangelical, not just a scumbag huckster like Cruz.

    My Black Swan guess about Trump resigning will push into ‘plausible’ if he takes on Pence. From yesterday: ‘Charles Koch: “‘I’m sure [Trump’s] a fine fellow underneath.But when you look at our guiding principles, you see that his guiding principles are, in many ways, antithetical to them” [CNBC]. Like that’s a bad thing?’ But that won’t matter if T steps aside for Pence. Lordy works in mysterious ways.

    And the Koch brothers have the cash to put on the barrelhead, no credit or layaway needed. The Donald don’t do promises, promises, and no way this is less than a 10-figure Deal.

    A:B test for which would be worse: 4 years of a Dominionist president, or 8 of Hillary and her Nazi friends with nukes, which is not a Godwin’s Law flag since it is a Fact (search ‘Nuland Ukraine’).

    Conjecture won’t matter, T will mop the floor with the Clinton clan. Epstein liked to make tapes. But look forward the Greatest Inauguration Party on Earth. It’ll be a-Mazing. There will be elephants!

    And for Pence, once again about conjecture: it’s not True until the man says “You’re Hired!”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why resign when he can have all the free state dinners and keep the Secret Service at no cost, and just let the VP do all the work?

      At the minimum, his White House will be staffed by the prettiest looking aides and assistants ever.

      “Make American Pretty Again!!!”

    2. Vatch

      Charming. Mike Pence belongs to a Christian version of the Islamic State. I was so relieved when Cruz was out of the running, and soon his clone could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

      1. NeqNeq

        A former colleague calls that group the Texas Taliban. Its a dated reference, for sure, but (slightly) more similar since there was no caliph (akaik) in the Taliban.

    3. hunkerdown

      The VP is the chief graft officer. Under Pence, expect “faith-based” orgs, including but not limited to the Black Misleadership Class, to be ballin’ (v. to have access to money well in excess of one’s operational needs).

      Somebody had to run interference against all those left entryists into the GOP.

    4. Jason Ipswitch

      Point of Order – after 4 years of a Dominionist President, it will be all Dominionists, all the time.

      The real question is whether we want what we have now: an endless array of neo-con/neo-liberal sock-puppets, or the same damned thing, but with more Empire, more war, more discrimination and more oppression.

      You think the FIRE sector is going to get pruned under Trump? You think mister “gimme a declaration of World War” is going to be less aggressive? You think the “billionaire” is going to stick up for the poor? You think the guy who never met a minority he wouldn’t exploit or scapegoat for spare change is going to make things fair and peaceful?

      There’s good reason Trump supporters come off as cultists.

  12. craazyman

    I don’t mean to piss anybody off and I’m just reporting:

    A few days ago I had a conference call with a bunch of Italian money managers and we were talking about Italian banks and austerity fatigue in the eurzone.

    So I asked them if it’s conceivable Italy could actually leave the euro and start up “the Amore” as a second coming of the old Lira with Dean Martin’s song “Amore” as the new currency’s theme song. OK, I didn’t say the stuff about Amore and Dean Martin, but . . . and here’s where somebody may get pissed.

    Then I said “I guess it would be hard to start up a new currency just from an IT perspective. It would be nearly impossible to get all the IT issues worked out.”

    There was a moment of silence and they (these are aristocratic and wealthy Italian dudes who don’t suffer fools) basically flamed me with a haughty and supercilious disregard for any aspect of my observation. “There is no issue at all with the IT systems,” they said in their Italian accents. Then they said with extreme but artfully disguised derision, “This was studied during the crisis (I think they meant 2012) and It could be done in a weekend.”

    I started laughing. I said to them, “Well. I read these bloggers on the internet who said the IT problem would have prevented Greece from relaunching the euro. Personally, I don’t know. But these bloggers seemed like they were experts. Whenever somebody disagreed with them they’d get pissed off. They really believe it!”

    Then I said to them, “OK guys, I’ll tell these bloggers what you said and I’ll see if they get mad. I’ll let you know during next quarter’s call. Maybe I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the internet, but these guys seemed like they knew what they were talking about.”

    Everybody cracked up and we had a good time with it. It was actually pretty funny.
    hahahah. This really happened.

    1. SpringTexan

      innnnnnteresting . . .

      as an IT person I am used to other people believe everything is easy :-)

      In a weekend?

    2. Jim Haygood

      Well, the craazyman fund is USD-denominated, and requires no IT other than a battered black laptop. But this week has been kind to it.

      Since March 2nd inception, cman fund has returned 10.89%, vs a 6.75% gain for its SPY-AGG benchmark.

      Component returns are 10.83% for junk bonds (50% weight); 13.29% for emerging market stocks (30% weight), and 7.44% for the pet rock (20% weight).

        1. abynormal

          10 n 4 baggers are acquired thru individual trades…Jim has taken CM from that junkyard casino to the Monaco gentleman’s bathroom in the basement teehehehee

        2. Jim Haygood

          Ten-baggers are a one in 10,000 shot.

          Craazyman Fund stays closer to the center of the payoff distribution, seeking to earn a return premium over its benchmark by taking on a little more risk.

          Individually its three components are quite volatile. In combination their volatility is running at 8.8%, versus 5.9% for the benchmark.

          With ten-baggers (assuming you could find one), volatility could be 100% or more.

    3. visitor

      Italian money managers

      All right, those guys do not set up, manage or otherwise supervise the IT infrastructure; at most they interact with market analysis and operation software as end-users. They do not know how things are implemented and have no clue as to the effort required to switch to a new currency. Their “haughty” pronouncements can be safely discarded.


      The experts who discussed the matter in NC all seem to work in countries and comment after observing banks in countries that precisely did not have to migrate to the Euro: UK, USA, Australia…

      This may skew their perspective somewhat. It was almost twenty years ago, but then colleagues were telling me that corporations like Temenos and iflex were making like bandits overhauling the legacy systems of European banks that were facing the double-whammy of (1) year-2000 (2) Euro by replacing them with their own standard suites.

      Therefore, it may well be that those banks in EU countries that adopted the € often have a more modern IT infrastructure than those that did not, and that a re-migration to a new currency would be somewhat less difficult than presumed.

      But in a week-end or a month? A laughable proposition. Even a year would be miraculous. It cannot be a switch over, even in the best of cases, because standard suites tend to be customized (the bane of all ERP deployments as well).

      1. JohnnyGL

        Visitor has this right. In my experience, money managers think everything’s easy, but as you point out, they’re aristocrats and barely think about the people doing the infrastructure work to MAKE things easy for them. I’ve had salespeople and portfolio managers who struggle to comprehend the idea that international wires take some work and involve multiple parties like sub-custodians to process and settle transactions. They think everything just flows around seamlessly like water through pipes and forget that there’s plumbers there to fix clogs and leaks.

        I’d make this point to them, espeically if they’re older: How long did it take to bring in the Euro in the first place? Remember the 90s?

        The ERM, Euro exchange rate mechanism was in place for around a decade before the Euro. Electronic euros were introduced and traded for quite awhile (a year or two?) before physical cash euros were introduced. This was done in a comfortable environment with a decent economy, no fears of liquidity crunches and no bank solvency issues and total political consensus.

        The process for leaving the Euro will NOT have such benign conditions. Everyone will immediately know that leaving the Euro means devalution and you can’t say “leave the euro” and start the parallel IT infrastructure process without causing bank runs. How do your money manager friends plan on keeping the ATMs full?

      2. dk

        Good point about a possibly more modern IT structure. But would the developers be thinking that no one in their right minds would change currencies after joining the euro? And if they had features supporting currency change, what would they charge for activation and consulting?

        To my mind, one of the problems of a Greek reversion to drachma from euro would have been having to change the balance values on all held accounts, simultaneously (prices and tax rates are usually pretty easy to change, but changing every price at the same time could get tricky). One wouldn’t want to transact between converted and unconverted accounts.

        If one pegged one’s new currency to start at the same value of the old one, it might not be so terrible. Not having to coordinate balance conversion at X number of institutions without a hitch would be a great advantage.

        So there are factors that can make the process relatively less or more difficult, by orders of magnitude.

        A weekend, for one large institution? With few and contained issues? Possible, under favorable circumstances. For a whole country, and all at the same time? Not seeing it… if there is a 1% chance of failure of an operation that takes place in 100 locations, you are almost sure to have at least one failure. So what is a tolerable failure rate, and who’s doing the tolerating?

        And of course there will be opportunities for fraud, there always are. And the more unstable/unbalanced an economy is, the more attractive fraud seems. As JohnnyGL says, the original euro adoption was a long and gradual process; craazyman’s scenario, like the Greek one, takes place under already precarious economic conditions. Safe margins for error shrink, fraud incentives expand… and you want it when?

        A money manager might find a subjectively moderate rate of problems/failures perfectly acceptable. As long as it’s not their money. And of course there will be opportunities for fraud, there always are.

    4. Optimader

      In big scheme continuos process control they do “hot swaps”, basically running parallel systems til its “stable”, then throwing the big seitch so to speak.
      Im guessing no more of a challenge, not to say it is anything remotely trivial. Currency is presumably already printed for deployment to cover the contingency

      1. Optimader

        On the charcterization of “easy” that might just be a case of Italians speaking in english.
        OTOH , two operational principles:
        1.) the less you know about some job/ respinsibility, the easier it is;
        2.) corollary: everyone esles job is easy!

        Personally im guessing it would either switch reasonably in a weekend, or be ~a month of pure agony…until they hire the ACA “Pros from Dover” to make it happen! hahaha

    5. Chauncey Gardiner

      “The Amore”?!… What fun!… Did you gather in a Skype environment? Since there seem to be several of them and only one of you, perhaps future gatherings could be arranged on the Amalfi Coast or at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como where the Aston Martin V12 Zagato was introduced?

      But setting aside for a moment the complexities of those future meeting logistics, seems the Brits have done everyone a favor by publicly highlighting the exit process. In a summary of a paper on the process for withdrawing from the EU, the British government stated that the rules for a nation to exit from the EU are set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Although Article 50 foresees a two year exit process, the British report said that it could take up to a decade or more to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU, its future arrangements with the EU, and the nation’s trade deals with countries outside of the EU. Assuming that Italy faces similar complexities, further compounded by having adopted the euro, that time period would still seem to provide sufficient time for the Italians to implement and test the changes to their IT systems should they elect to proceed.

  13. mikey

    Would it be too simplistic to say that the recent spate of attacks in France are largely in response to the intervention in Libya (which, if I recall correctly, was in the beginning primarily driven by France)?

    1. Bugs Bunny

      If I may respond just as a French citizen, from the hip so to say…I think the attacks are home-based. They are being carried out by second generation French-Magreb men, for the most part. The network and training are in prisons. The foreign adventures of Sarko, Hollande, their enablers et al, are fuel for the fire but the racial/religious hatred is internal to France.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Let’s pray for Peace on Earth.

        Peace in the Middle East, in the South China Sea, In Europe, in America, in Africa, etc.

        And because we are all linked, if one suffers, all do similarly – That’s a clue we have been given.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “I feel your pain…”

          Really? Too bad I don’t get to feel Bill’s pleasure– not that I would have any taste for that bag of perversions…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Peace is not painful, JT.

            Not sure how Bill or Ferdinand of Ferdinand & Isabella came into this.

      2. Marco

        It’s this kind of analysis from Bugs Bunny that has me scouring comments at NC everyday. Care to share how came to this sort of insight? What about lack of birthright citizenship as a contributing factor?

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Marco, number 1: I listen to the public and alternative radios that are very good in France. Many reports on the troubles in the suburbs, in Marseilles…and the nightmare prison system we have. I’ve lived in mixed neighborhoods (not anymore, I left central Paris) and talked to all kinds of people over the years…in the street, stores, cafés, wherever. I’m not shy and not afraid of Maghreb people, and even if they insult me I want to hear more. I Iisten to my Catholic neighbors spout off as well and their hatred of Sarkozy for setting up a national council for the Muslim faith or of Taubira and the “marriage for all” (gay marriage). In the end, you start to figure out that something has to break. That said, I’m very glad we don’t have all the guns like in the US or it would be outright civil war.

          1. different clue

            Could the official French-Establishment pretense that there is no such thing as “communal” or “ethnic” groups be part of the problem? Could the expectation that every inhabitant of geographical France be a total believer in the One Totalitarian Brain-Program of “Secular French Republic Values” lead to a studied refusal to admit that ethnic and religious culture-groups exist and would have to be respectfully lived-with and/or assimilated or acculturated one way or another? And would that lead these groups to be regarded as unwanted garbage in the back alley . . . best not spoken of? And would that lead the members of those groups to become bitter and hateful?

            Perhaps the ruling elite of France might begin the process of admitting to ethnic and cultural reality by admitting to their own ethnic existence as members of the majority ethnic group in France. Perhaps that group could be called the Franco-Frenchians. And once the Franco-Frenchians decide to realize that they themselves are a Real Ethnic Group, then they will be ready to understand the existence of other Real Ethnic Groups within France.

            But I am just an American and therefor ignorant, no doubt. If the Franco-Frenchian majority in France has a better idea, I am sure they will deploy it.

      3. Paper Mac

        Yep. France has been importing pissed-off Maghrebis and dumping them in ghettos and prisons for decades now. The more recent foreign interventions don’t help, but they started a long time ago.

    1. Jim Haygood

      That’s the old Newt we remember so well — back with the big mouth and the sharp elbows!

      Yesterday Newt’s buddy Trump said he would declare war on terror. Being an eminent historian, Newt could’ve told him that the great George W. Bush already did that 15 years ago — how’s that workin’ out for us?

      Hillary’s response to the Nice atrocity actually sounded restrained compared to Trump’s.

      The flake vs the crook — man, are we screwed.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Being the emminent historian that he is, Señor Gingrich will surely recall that president Ronald Reagan declared “War Against Terrorism” in 1984. Personally, I suggest President HRC declare “War Versus Terrorists”, since variety is, after all, the spice of life.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Historian Gingrich may be thinking of writing a history book about the Ninety-Nine Years War of the 21st century, instead of the Hundred Years War.

          “Mess (the capital of Chaos) was not built in a day. And Peace (the capital of Love) will not be erected overnight.”

      2. different clue

        Yes, and Trump’s responses to Putin have actually sounded restrained compared to Hillary’s anti-Russianitic racist anti-Russianite outbursts.

        So I guess we are even more screwder than that.

    2. marym

      If this early report is accurate, newt may need to recommend instead that we deport people who are experiencing marital problems.

      French television station BFM TV reported that he was a divorced father of three who had become depressed following the breakdown of his marriage.

      Neighbours told the channel he was not particularly interested in religion, adding that he preferred girls and salsa.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Never hurts to tote a bottle of hot sauce in your man-purse, to spice up the dull ones.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Purely from textual impressions, it doesn’t appear that you need any hot sauce enhancement. :-)

      2. RabidGandhi

        The logical conclusion would be that given Gingrich’s marital, ahem, inconsistencies, he should be a candidate for deportation from the US. Speaking on behalf of those outside the US, we collectively object to Gingrich being deported. Please keep him there, and build that wall!

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s very unfortunately coincidental, in the two cases of the Orlando Shooter and his truck-mass-murderer that both of them 1. were unhappy in love and 2. were presumed to be connected to that faith.

        The odds are quite low that 2 people unhappy in love both act like that…consecutively.

        One maybe, but two – now, we have a harder task to calm the public down.

        And that’s unfortunate.

        1. dk

          On the contrary, it’s (unfortunately) very likely…

          … with a sample size large enough, any outrageous thing is likely to happen.

          I not only expect to see more, I think one might find that a review of older cases could indicate a high incidence of romantic/sexual frustration among perpetrators of mass violence (for lack of a better term… and one could included warmongering politicians too!).

          Personal frustrations (especially sexually related or linked ones) can be at least as powerful a motivating factor as religious fervor, there’s even some overlap.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Are we talking about cultures with more frustration versus cultures with less, that kind of pre-emptive surveillance measures?

            1. dk

              I’m not… I don’t think “pre-emption” is really possible for all cases. Surveillance requires recognizing what one is observing, as precursors to eventual conditional states. And one would have to analyze and model cultures pretty deeply, too. And obviously, these cultures don’t understand each other for sh*t; heck, individuals even claim not to understand each other.

              My position is that promises of prevention/preemption are boondoggles.

      4. That Which Sees

        More details on the attack:

        Tunisian-born émigré with a record of petty crime … 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel

        Germany said it would tighten border checks,

        So how does Germany rationalize tight control over their borders while simultaneously demanding the UK keep open borders as part of a BREXIT deal?

        So much for Germany’s touted allegiance to “rules”. The UK needs to negotiate with the absolute conviction that their national security requires keeping out threats like Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. Germany just proved that they are flexible enough to accept this (as they just did it).

        1. RabidGandhi

          But how does tightening border checks even prevent Bouhlel from entering the UK? “I’m sorry, you can’t come in the country because shoplifting conviction+marital problems+Arab sounding last name=no visa”? Or are any of the three grounds for exclusion? Should everyone convicted of petty crime be denied entry?

          (this of course with the obvious disclaimer that a more certain way to prevent terrorist attacks would be to stop destroying small mideast countries, but I digress)

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            France is under martial law.

            I think with martial law, it’s possible (though not certain, but I believe it varies in different countries), that you can deny people convicted with petty crime.

            Will other countries follow with martial law declarations – as blow-backs from foreign wars descent upon them?

            1. That Which Sees

              HTML needs… «sarcasm» … snark tags … «/sarcasm»

              I was more intending to poke fun at Germany and their less than consistent leadership Merkel-Schauble-Gauck. I wasn’t going for fully serious, true equivalency of the two positions.

              However, at some point Germany is going to realize that Merkel’s bizarre position on economic and criminal migrants pretending to be refugees pushed BREXIT over the finish line. Without Merkel, BREXIT almost certainly would have failed. With luck she will be pushed out of office next year to be replaced by a new leader with sane immigration policies.

                1. That Which Sees

                  Hmmmmm… I’ll assume that was intended to have «sarcasm» tags. ;«)

                  There is a huge difference between:

                  Immigration which I support — A mutually beneficial flow of people that will assimilate and add to polite society and the economy.

                  Invasion which I oppose — A destructive flow where a non-assimilating group arrives in force and attempts to destroy the local economy, culture, and civilization. For example, in Munich the invaders tried to end the revenue source known as Oktoberfest:


                  Plus the never ending string of sexual assaults, rapes, and other criminal activity.

              1. Barmitt O'Bamney

                Oh she knows. But Erdogan has compromising pictures of her from way back when she was a dude. Whatever Erdo says, Merkel does. Now with a coup scenario playing out in Ankara, she has to worry who will wind up with her dossier and yearbook photos.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Tightening border checks is not a permanent solution…maybe temporary.

          Allowing more people in is not a permanent solution either.

          The solution lies further away from Germany (or the UK)…in distant lands.

          A comprehensive solution may be to have Peace Everywhere…no nation is an island (not even Great Britain), something like that.

          1. Aumua

            Tightening of various controls will not work. Isn’t that obvious YET?

            The only way that more control might work is if the controls and restrictions become so total that there is no more liberty left at all for anyone. Even that is not a given.

            How do we protect ourselves then from these attacks? Honestly, I’m not sure that there is any way. Certainly no easy or simple way. Looks to me like we’re going to have evolve, or die. Realize that we’re a single species, floating the emptiness of space. A single biosphere really. Realize that the problems of some of us, are the problems of all of us, and then work together to solve our collective problems. We can do anything, solve any problem, if we do it together.

            The only real question left for me is how bad does it have to get before we hit the proverbial bottom, before we become willing and determined to do what it takes to change?

    3. samhill


      I guess this means an Inquisition will be needed. Gingrich must be vying for Grand Inquisitor in the Trump administration.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The best way to stop Gingrich is to advocate a solution to this madness.

        “Get us once, shame on you.”

        “Get us twice, shame on us.”

        “Get us thrice, shame-squared on us.”

      2. nowhere

        V: There are ways of telling whether she is a witch [Muslim].
        P1: Are there? Well then tell us! (tell us)
        V: Tell me… what do you do with witches [Muslims]?
        P3: Burn’em! Burn them up! (burn burn burn)
        V: What do you burn apart from witches [Muslims]?
        P1: More witches [Muslims]! (P2 nudge P1)
        P3: Wood!
        V: So, why do witches [Muslims] burn?
        (long pause)
        P2: Cuz they’re made of… wood?

        Who would have thought we’d be reliving this…

    4. JTMcPhee

      Maybe “Sharia Law” inspires such loathing among the people who count and becomes one of the kleptocrats’ yapping dog issue, is really about one particular part, that if it infected our Puritan, or whatever it is, culture would change things, big time? Speaking now about “Sharia Banking and Finance,”

      Principles of Islamic Banking

      What is an Islamic Bank?

      There is no standard way of defining what an Islamic bank is, but broadly speaking an “Islamic bank is an institution that mobilises financial resources and invests them in an attempt to achieve predetermined islamically -acceptable social and financial objectives. Both mobilisation and investment of funds should be conducted in accordance with the principles of Islamic Shari’a”.

      Prohibition of Interest or Usury
      Ethical Standards
      Moral and Social Values
      Liability and Business Risk

      1- Prohibition of Interest or Usury

      The principles of Islamic finance are established in the Qur’an, which Muslims believe are the exact Words of God as revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. These Islamic principles of finance can be narrowed down to four individual concepts.

      The first and most important concept is that both the charging and the receiving of interest is strictly forbidden. This is commonly known as Riba1 or Usury. Money, on its own, may not generate profits. When Riba infects an entire economy, it jeopardises the well-being of everyone living in that society. When investors are more concerned with rates of interest and guaranteed returns than they are with the uses to which money is put, the results can only be negative.

      Adherents of Islam believe that the Qur’an is the final book of God’s word following both the Torah and the Bible. As a result, there are a number of similarities between the Islamic, Christian and Jewish faiths.

      Quoting Shaikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman and Founder of Albaraka Banking Group; Usury is forbidden in all the three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but it is the people who forget the rules of Allah. All societies, nowadays – Muslims, Christians and Jews – deal with Usury.

      2- Ethical Standards

      The second guiding principle concerns the ethical standards. When Muslims invest their money in something, it is their religious duty to ensure that what they invest in is good and wholesome. It is for this reason that Islamic investing includes serious consideration of the business to be invested in, its policies, the products it produces, the services it provides, and the impact that these have on society and the environment. In other words, Muslims must take a close look at the business they are about to become involved in.

      In all facets of the financial system, Islam has certain rules, certain regulations as to how Muslims should go about participating in these activities. For example, in share trading or the securities market, Islam looks at the activities of the companies, to establish whether or not the companies are involved in activities which are in line with Sharia’a.

      3- Moral and Social Values

      The third guiding principle concerns moral and social values. The Qur’an calls on all its adherents to care for and support the poor and destitute. Islamic financial institutions are expected to provide special services to those in need. This is not confined to mere charitable donations but has also been institutionalised in the industry in the form of profit-free loans or Al Quard Al Hasan.

      An Islamic bank’s business includes certain social projects, as well as charitable donations. Islamic banks provide profit-free loans. For example, if an individual needs to go to hospital or wants to go to university, we give what is called Quard Al Hasan. This Quard Hasan is normally given for a short period of one year and the Islamic bank does not charge anything for that.

      4- Liability and Business Risk

      The final principle concerns the overarching concept of fairness, the idea that all parties concerned should both share in the risk and profit of any endeavor. To be entitled to a return, a provider of finance must either accept business risk or provide some service such as supplying an asset, otherwise the financier is, from a Sharia’a point of view, not only an economic parasite but also a sinner. This principle is derived from a saying of the Prophet Mohammed (May Peace be upon Him) “Profit comes with liability”. What this means is that one becomes entitled to profit only when one bears the liability, or risk of loss. By linking profit with the possibility of loss, Islamic law distinguishes lawful profit from all other forms of gain.

      In order to insure that these principles are followed, each Islamic institution must establish and provide itself with an advisory council known as a Sharia’a Board. The members of Sharia’a Boards can include bankers, lawyers or religious scholars as long as they are trained in the Islamic law, or Sharia’a.

      In 2001, the Industry witnessed a remarkable development in this regard by the initiative of the
      Accounting and Auditing Organization for the Islamic Financial Institutions or AAOIFI. At that time, AAOIFI’s standards were enhanced to include elements that aim at broadening the role of the external auditor. Now according to these new developments the external auditor is also required to look for compliance with Sharia’a rules as defined by the Sharia’a supervisory board of each bank and in accordance with the Sharia’a standards AAOIFI has begun to issue.

      More, behind a paywall, at This latter link talks a lot about leverage as a very bad thing, among other bad behaviors…

  14. craazyman

    also my link yesterday about the 12 foot tall ape man scaring people to death in the middle of the night in Maryland didn’t get posted as a link. I can only assume that was an editorial lapse.

  15. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Laos, a country so landlocked it apparently must rely on China to relay its news and government policies to the outside world. Maybe an intrepid explorer could lead an expedition into the jungle, locate the capital of Laos (legends say it wanders on legs of vines and bambooo stilts) and inquire with the Laotian high priest or head of state there, if any, on the Spratly Island question directly? Also, our explorer should not omit to ask why Laotian opinion on the subject should be of interest to anyone, since Laos has no maritime fleet or ocean frontage whatever. And what does China say Outer Mongolia thinks about the Spratly dispute?

    1. Christopher Fay

      Laos might be looking to big brother for help as the Mekong does flow along it and is probably necessary for water and some transportation. China is diverting upstream which will lead to drought, of course, downstream, Laos, Cambodia, that pesky Vietnam

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No ocean frontage – perhaps now.

      Their predecessor kingdoms, such as Chenla, did have some nice saltwater beaches.

  16. m

    The studies done on safety of toxins aluminum & mercury were based on how the body gets rid of the substance after oral consumption.

    Better to read toxicology journals for a better picture. Yes more obscure, but not corrupt. Cochrane always breaks down the garbage studies. This should be a concern because as statins are pushed on everyone-there are constant talks of adult boosters & adults vac schedules. There is a lot of money to be made with little downside d/t the nature of the vac court.

    1. Steve H.

      Putting on my ‘former lab manager at academic neurotoxicity facility’ hat:

      Thank you. Environmental toxicity effects are hard to prove. Laying down the route is critical.

      1. barrisj

        Part of the audition portion of “Apprentice” VP consideration…came just a bit too late, but will find space during post-convention Trump campaign speechifying…maybe even delivered by the Newtster himself.

  17. ~Rad

    Wake Your Ass Up is actually an accurate précis of the Santiago Declaration on the Right to Peace. The idea is, violence is violence, whether domestic or international. Peace is the sum of all rights progressively achieved, and that includes economic, social, and cultural rights. Peace is a greedy objective like profits, not a static nirvana, so the state has to work continually to fulfil more and more of your rights. Diversion of resources from violence to protection is an integral part of the right to peace so of course you fire the militarized cops and replace them with social workers.

    So it’s not as far out as it seems. It goes back to Kant. That’s exactly what Chavez was up to. The UN Secretary General and even US delegates cite the right to peace. They have to. It’s mainstream internationally, on its way to formal acceptance as customary international law. It only seems strange here because the US hermit kingdom is so insular and so relentlessly indoctrinated to accept violent state repression.

    This is yet another example of why all the histrionic hand-wringing, ‘but the left has no plan,’ is bullshit. Forget the left. The civilized world has a turnkey replacement for failing states like the USA. We do this all the time.

  18. marym

    Bernie Sanders will launch organizations to spread progressive message

    In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY, the Vermont senator detailed plans to launch educational and political organizations within the next few weeks to keep his progressive movement alive. The Sanders Institute will help raise awareness of “enormous crises” facing Americans. The Our Revolution political organization will help recruit, train and fund progressive candidates’ campaigns. And a third political organization may play a more direct role in campaign advertising.

    Sanders plans to support at least 100 candidates running for a wide range of public offices — from local school boards to Congress — at least through the 2016 elections. And he’ll continue to raise funds for candidates while campaigning for them all over the country.

      1. Arizona Slim

        A few weeks ago, I joined the Brand New Congress e-mail list. So far, I’ve only gotten fundraising requests.


    1. mk

      This just made my day! :) Thanks for posting, although I expect Bernie to always follow through, he’s been on this road for a long time, it’s national now! Just the beginning.

      here’s the link to sign up with your email address:

    2. mk

      From the article:

      Following his re-election in 2012, President Obama launched Organizing for Action as the political successor organization pushing his agenda. Sanders said he doesn’t plan to “reinvent the wheel,” but his effort is unique in that it will build off his campaign and the millions of names in its database. He plans to maintain control of his email list

  19. InfoPump

    LinkNYC replaces pay phones with free phones and more.

    Q. How can I make a free phone call from a Link?

    You can make free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S. from any Link. Follow the steps below to make a phone call:

    Tap the gray arrow to open the app dashboard
    Tap the Voice Call icon to open a keypad on the screen
    Dial the number you wish to call on the touchscreen or keypad
    Tap the Call button to start the call
    When you finish your call, be sure to press the End Call button to hang up.
    Need to adjust the call volume? Use the volume slider on the screen to turn the volume up or down. You can also plug in your headphones for more privacy.

    Q. Can I make international phone calls from a Link?

    Yes. You can use an international calling card to place international phone calls. Just follow the instructions on your card.

    Q. How can I call 911 from a Link?

    In the case of an emergency, push the red 911 button twice or hold the button down for 7 seconds to connect to a 911 operator.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      OK, thanks for that. But you have to have a headphone to get the equivalent of an old pay phone call, so it is crapification. And unlike the old pay phones, no one can call you (admittedly, it was mainly drug dealers and the occasional insider trader that did that, witness Dennis Levine of Drexel, but if you are homeless, I can see needing that functionality too.

  20. That Which Sees

    Poll: Nearly half of Sanders’s millennial supporters would vote third-party

    I concur that as the vote grows near unless a viable third party candidate magically appears (not likely) Sanders voters will abandon that position.

    What will be interesting is looking at the % break between going to Trump or Clinton.
    — Trump — Against TPP, Pro-jobs for the college educated (Against H1B Abuse), Doesn’t like mega banks
    — Clinton — Negotiated TPP and blocked anti-TPP plank from making it into DNC platform, Bought and paid for advocate of megabanks and the ‘establishment’

    Sanders voters lean toward college educated and young. Trump’s H1B plan is easy to explain and improves job chances for recent college grads. Every college graduate that is unemployed / underemployed, living at home is a potential Trump voter. Plus their parents. If Sanders voters split 20% Trump / 80% Clinton, Hillary is in serious trouble. Even a 10%T / 90%C split would be a powerful gain for Trump.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the perspective of a college student about to graduate or has already graduated, changing the H1B visa game is more immediate felt than free college tuition.

      From the perspective of keeping the education business going for the administrators and retaining customers and expanding that base, free college tuition is the issue to focus on.

      1. jrs

        How would one even know H1Bs were the problem then? It’s one thing to lose a job and be forced to train your replacements or see half the jobs at one’s firm being H1Bs. It’s harder say to attribute not getting a job as a freshly minted young STEM graduate to H1Bs unless you get pretty political indeed and even then (could focus on a slack job market, your college for lying to you saying the field was hot, jobs being shipped overseas, capitalism being a system of explotation that needs a slack labor market etc. – all of which is part of it).

        The thing is a lot of the young actually are tolerant and multicultural etc.. How does Trump play there? Those issues weren’t Bernie’s focus but he wasn’t at all objectionable there unlike Trump. And how many “socialists” (I know Bern isn’t really) are going to vote the Republican party which is the ticket Trump is running on? Doesn’t seem all that plausible.

    2. different clue

      I haven’t studied Pence in detail, but I believe Pence supports NAFTA, WTO membership for America, MFN for China , TTIP, TTP, TISA, and all Free Trade Agreements. If that is correct, then Trump has just nullified his putative opposition to Free Trade Treason by selecting a Free Trade Traitor for a running mate. ( If indeed Pence is a Free Trade Traitor).

      If Trump had selected the Fair Trade Patriot/ Economic Sovereignist Sessions for VP, then Trump would have raised his credibility on the Fair Trade Patriotism issue. But he didn’t, so he hasn’t.

      Perhaps Trump hopes that a VP Pence will attract some of the Seven Mountains Dominionist voters who might have boycotted Trump otherwise for having defeated Cruz.

  21. Steve H.

    – Dear #WeAreTheLeft, You Are Not The Left

    That is EPIC!!! “building a better America, and the well-to-do status quo defending blowhards who think buying a Beyonce album on iTunes is somehow proof you believe Black Lives Matter.” Look at those b’s and how they build! That is some excellent use of alliteration.

    And this: “Identity Politics and Intersectionality are radical theory about how race, gender, and class all come together to oppress and exploit millions of Americans. They are not about “Leaning In” or your love of celebrity trainwrecks or making the oppressive ruling class somehow more diverse.” Boy does that touch on some recent postings at NC.

    Am I posting too much? craazyman posted right after me, I feel like the front band for Muse. Am I using first-person singular too much? I noticed the rant is posted from, which has been a fine nexus. Led me to this paper from recently retired All-Time Best Teammate Team Power Forward Tim Duncan, “Blowhards, Snobs and Narcissists: Interpersonal Reactions to Excessive Egotism.

    What A Time To Be Alive!

    1. EGrise

      It’s a fine rant indeed – after I read it I felt like I needed a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke.

  22. Ranger Rick

    On the contrary. #WeAreTheLeft perfectly encapsulates the left these days. Plenty of noise on the Internet but no action in real life.

  23. fresno dan

    Thank God….
    Being ostracized by Pastafarians and declared a heretic after I took up a low carb diet, I came to see that too many religions promote intolerance and narrow mindedness, instead of embracing the full diversity of diets available to humans, that can only be followed by the dictates of one’s own waistline… Love the eater, hate the meal…

    Of course, it is a pretty strained reading of the graph to conclude that the irreligious are a monolith while the differences of the 60% of Christians are so great that we will soon remove “In God we Trust” from our money…

    1. RabidGandhi

      Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris have conclusively proven in their own persons that as humans we are capable of evolving past the outdated superstitions of primitive religion while still retaining all of the bigotry, hatred and ignorance. Perhaps, once this evolution has happend in the US, the “In God We Trust” can be replaced with a more advanced but equally repugnant tautology, such as “Because Markets”.

        1. RabidGandhi

          I was also thinking of replacing E Pluribus Unum with “NAIRU, Byatches!” but that seems too subtle.

  24. Bunk McNulty

    Meanwhile, Frack-O-Rama continues on its fiery course.

    Massive Fracking Explosion in New Mexico, 36 Oil Tanks Catch Fire

    Quote: “Unfortunately, this may be the tip of the iceberg,” Rebecca Sobel, senior climate and energy campaigner at WildEarth Guardians, said. “The Obama Administration has already leased more than 10 million acres of public land to oil and gas drilling, and BLM continues to lease more land in New Mexico to fracking interests without studying these impacts. How many more explosions and evacuations will it take before we seriously consider the cost of these dirty fossil fuel industries and simply end this leasing program?”

  25. Stephanie

    Dear #WeAreTheLeft, You Are Not The Left: The Rot of Liberal White Supremacy Medium (martha r). OMG you must must read this! An awesome rant. Circulate widely.

    So the answer to ancedote-driven and jargon-laden straw-manning is ancedote-driven and incoherent straw-manning? At least the writers of “We Are The Left” provided some dates and names to support their complaints. I had no idea what the t-shirt issue was about in “Dear #WeAreTheLeft” until someone explained it in comments, and I still have no idea what it has to do with statements Kunzler criticizes.

    For that matter, I’m not sure how he equates the call to make identity politics foundational with “white liberal rot”. Were all the signers of “We Are The Left” just concern-trolling, hipster white people campaigning for Hillary? If so, he buried his lead. Which is a pity, because if he had simply said that and supported it clearly, instead of simply spewing that he is totally more intersectional than they are, this could have been an important piece.

    1. pretzelattack

      according to a link yesterday, one of the names mentioned and listed as a signer, didn’t sign the list.

    2. Alex morfesis

      We are the left counter rant…well…by quoting a fifteen minute$ of fame, self proclaimed leader…$huli firestone…”we are the left” lost my attention…

      firestone, who certainly could be portrayed as someone who was either led or paid to disrupt helped sell some issues of publications along the way…

      but she died alone a few years ago having been trapped by the downturn of lower east side into alphabet city after her fifteen seconds were up and her art career having never gotten past square 1…

      but it would be nice if the “we are the left” crew had given some real thought to whom they were quoting…

      in the new yorker piece about the death of firestone, pam allen was quoted as saying about how unique and “radical” this small group of self proclaimed feminists was :

      “that women would choose to get together to talk about their lives without any males present
      was radical”

      right..hmmm…nu shu or nushu…look it up..”we are the left”…something about using folding hand fans to write on so that they can only be read when being used…and creating a language only they would know…

      because if it wasn’t for firestone, women would never even know what power is…

      Oh yeah…look up dowager while you are at it “we are the left”…

      because women have never held any power…

      quoting a failed artist who was really good at being loud and that crew of myopic self indulgent “radicals” she ate bread with is a quick road to MySpace land…

      And firestone died alone…apparently of starvation…was found when an aroma filled the hallways in her building…apparently had been dead at least a week…

      so much for the “sisterhood” (etc) sticking together

    3. hunkerdown

      I suggest a look at the Genius annotations for the open letter from the liberal bourgeoisie to those they hope to convert. Carl Beijer shows that the names and dates dropped were non sequiturs and/or out of context. For example:

      Rivera’s hecklers aren’t brocialists – they’re transphobic lesbians and gay men. Already, their point has just generalized to something like “leftists who are incorrect have occasionally antagonized leftists who are correct.”

  26. illy B

    Though their true purpose is to monetize data, the NYC wifi stations make free nationwide phone calls. Not that this makes it a better deal for the city, but street phone functionality remains intact.

  27. optimader

    ok , so out of curiosity I had to take a minute and look

    48 payphones at O’hare at least 4 at Midway, at least 1 at union station, a page full in Chicago, surprisingly way more than I would have ever guessed.
    at least one in BHAM municipal airport proper. In a pinch others on Airport address properties ( Airport Inn, ramada Inn.. take a shuttle and at least you can wait on transportation in a comfortable-ish lobby.

    (Protip: need to take a dump in Chicago and make a Payphone call to describe it to someone? Go to the Fairmont on Columbus Drive or the Swissotel on Wacker !). Personally I don’t need the payphones, but I always pick the swankiest hotels to make pitstops in the City or more urgently when traveling. Most urgently when traveling abroad where they haven’t caught up on the civilized notion of free public lavs.)

  28. Jim Haygood

    Any theories on who is the evil marketing genius behind Pokemon Go’s tidal wave of free PR, including mentions by both major party presidential candidates?

    Or is it just the MSM on summer vacation, mindlessly echoing each other for lack of better content?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have no idea what Pokemon Go (or K2) is.

      But I suspect by the time I know, the propaganda, or marketing machine would have won.

      And to be frank, they have won many times before, as I have been forced to ‘learn’ what they want to me to learn.

    2. Aumua

      That’s a good question. I don’t trust it. It seems like it just sprung out of nowhere, it doesn’t feel like an organic viral phenomenon. Do I have any proof? Nope. It reminds of the TNG episode “the game”. Obviously there is something that people like about it.

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      It’s a stupid simple implementation of technology that’s just sitting there. You could use this with fish sonar? I’ve seen it for zoos, penguins guide you around. Whole new levels of 3D dioramas.

      My network guy, whose deepest understanding of bitcoin is how to balance it against his air conditioning, is fascinated by this.

      And lots of people are realizing, after wandering around in suspiciously useless ways, that they are not the commanders of time and space that they thought they were. Many are also suddenly realizing that this is exercise.

  29. ProNewerDeal

    I guesstimate that H Clinton is going to continue the dead horse of picking a non-white man neoliberal campaign-funder-owned-puppet, as her VP, e.g. an 0bama clone.

    0bama is the 1st Black (neoliberal tool) President, H Clinton the White woman neoliberal tool. Perhaps Julian Castro wold be “the 1st Latino VP!”. Or VP Cory Booker 0bama Jr.

    I doubt H Clinton will select anyone that is even mildly Progressive: E Warren, Sherrod Brown, Kamala Harris would be ruled out.

    “What do ya think?!” (c) Ed Schultz

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With Hillary, it’s possible we could be looking at an all-female cabinet.

      With Trump, while it’s harder to field an All-Barbie team, maybe the assistants have to be above a certain aesthetic threshold. Yikes.

    2. tongorad

      I’m guessing it will be Castro. I’ve already seen people on facebook crowing about the possibility.
      Identity politics, squared.

      1. aab

        According to Howie Klein and others, she picked Castro last summer.

        So that would just mean the entire last year had literally no impact at all on the Democratic side.

  30. Oregoncharles

    Just to eat a little crow:

    Yesterday I “corrected” a comment about Hollande’s haircuts. Then I came across the article again and, H.S., it really is 11 THOUSAND dollars a month. That’s what I get for trusting my memory, and my apologies to whoever I falsely corrected.

    1. sd

      How dare a hairdresser insist they be compensated for their time to be on-call 24/7 over 365 days a year. They should only be compensated for the actual time they work….

      Unintended consequences. You do realise you are labor bashing. It may sound like you are criticizing a world leader for what sounds like an extravagance, but you are actually bashing labor.

        1. sd

          Last I knew, the White House has a barber shop for the President and Vice President. The First Lady also has hair and makeup, though I believe Michelle Obama might be the first to have someone on full time.

          If some one has to be on call to work, that person should be compensated.

          1. ambrit

            That last sentence is a direct violation of the neo-liberal economic model! Report yourself to your nearest Citizenship Education Charter Centre and correct the error of your ways!

  31. Antifa

    Now that “gross negligence” is no longer a punishable crime in America, I figured a little practice at this new form of grifting was in order if I ever hoped to profit from it personally.

    It started off okay. I was able to be gross for up to half an hour at a stretch before family intervened. Then, by taking to the sofa, the liquor cabinet, and Netflix I was able to be gloriously negligent for most of three days before being pulled up short, again by family members. Apparently they feel I owe them a long list of chores, a modicum of personal hygiene, and going to work in the morning. Outright negligence of these matters doesn’t fly with them.

    Still, I persisted where and as I could, for two weeks now. No one just sits down and plays the piano, I reasoned. It takes practice to be an artiste.

    But when I tried mixing these two skill sets to produce actual gross negligence, it proved trickier than you’d ever imagine. After failing at it repeatedly, both at home and at work, I have a profound new respect for Ms. H. Clinton, who was able to pull off this bit of multitasking for years on end without breaking a sweat. She not only laughs as she does it, she gets paid exceedingly well for her mastery of this art form. Clearly more than I can do.

    I’m going to stick to white collar crime, insurance fraud, and second story work as needed to make it through each month. Gross negligence is beyond my skill set. Honestly, if I’d tried adding lying, stonewalling, doubling down, and backstabbing into the mix, I’d only have hurt myself. Yet Hillary makes it look so easy.

    Y’all admit it now — she’s very good at what she does.

    1. Jim Haygood

      HRC’s Achilles heel is that after a lifetime of reflexive, habitual lying, it is no longer fully controllable.

      Depositions present an extreme risk for the Clintons, as the knock-on consequences of testimony by “Bill” in Paula Jones’ civil suit demonstrated.

      Quite simply, should Hillary elect not to take the Fifth and try to b.s. her way through a FOIA suit deposition, it is highly likely that multiple perjuries will occur.

      Over to you, Judge Sullivan.

      1. inode_buddha

        “HRC’s Achilles heel is that after a lifetime of reflexive, habitual lying, it is no longer fully controllable.”

        BTW, this is also a hallmark of addictive personality disorders, often manifested as greed (one of the few socially acceptable ways of manifesting)

        Essentially one loses one’s own free will in the process, and denies the stark horror of being less than a free human. Hence the need for the First Step.

  32. ProNewerDeal

    I listened to a segment on Mike Pence on the Secular Talk/Kyle Kulinski politics podcast. Kulinski said Pence is a typical Establishment Republican, & specifically pro-TPP, and pro-Iraq War. The exception is that Pence like Kasich implemented ACA Medicaid. Pence apparently is a social conservative. Apparently Pence’s Corporate-Owned Republican stance is primary over his social conservative stance, as in IN, Pence retracted his support for the “religious freedom” aka legal discrimination of gays law when BigCorps expressed disapproval of this law.

    Trump’s Pence selection makes Trump’s commitment to anti-TPP, anti-War (Iraq 2003, Russia currently) policies (even more) dubious.

    I don’t think Pence would be an assasination deterrent, I think his presence would encourage such an act, at least from The Deep State (MIC, Wall $treet) types.

  33. Oregoncharles

    On vaccines: they’re an extremely clever, powerful technology. Those usually come at a price, and we don’t seem to know what it is. On the one hand, it’s clear that the mercury in them didn’t cause autism, because they took out the mercury without changing the autism rate (which is still going up). Unfortunately, it’s not at all clear what IS causing the rise in autism, which the CDC has confirmed.

    I would guess there was something wrong with the Japanese version of the HPV vaccine; has anyone heard of similar problems here? An immune system over-reaction is exactly what you’d expect as a vaccine hazard.

    Vaccines are one of the biggest improvements in modern life and a chief source of our longer lifespans – along with hygiene, a related development. We aren’t going to give them up, but understanding their effects better might be important.

    1. Aumua

      The rise of autism: look at the world that kids grow up in today, the stimuli the are exposed to from birth is.. it’s not the same world I grew up in, and it’s not the way I grew up.

      It’s vague, I know.

      1. nowhere

        And the vast increase in environmental toxins that are present. It’s yet another in a long line of real-time experiments we are performing, only we don’t know or have any controls to measure against.

    2. hunkerdown

      There’s some evidence that autism spectrum disorders may be errors of the immune system — mother’s, prenatally, in this report. I could see how an adjuvant, an additive meant to stimulate an immune response, in a vaccine being introduced into a growing body with a still-differentiating nervous system just learning to navigate social relations, could produce results not unlike a grudge-steeped, itchy-fingered SWAT team entering the house of a cop-killer…’s neighbor.

      Especially when said adjuvant is based on an element already implicated as a possible risk factor for at least one major neurodegenerative disorder.

  34. Oregoncharles

    “China says Laos supports it on South China Sea case ”

    This made me snicker. Laos is landlocked, so why wouldn’t they?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Laos is is in the same hemisphere as China. We arent. Sounds like a good neighbor policy to me.

  35. Jim Haygood

    From the just-released “28 pages”:

    “The Saudis stopped providing information on Bin Ladin because Bin Ladin had ‘too much information about official Saudi dealings with Islamic extremists in the 1980s for Riyadh to deliver him into U.S. hands.'”

    Which is why Barack 0bama and Hillary Clinton summarily executed an old, infirm Bin Ladin in his bedroom, rather than arrest and interrogate him for his trove of invaluable information.

    Contributing to the Clinton Foundation can make doors open (or embarrassments disappear) for you too!

      1. Plenue

        They didn’t bury him at sea; they dumped his corpse out of a helicopter over the mountains.

        1. pretzelattack

          i’m not entirely sure they didn’t interrogate him for awhile and then execute him. or maybe they did kill him at the compound and disposed of the body to avoid an autopsy. i was being snarky about the official story, with its emphasis on how careful they were to observe the traditional pieties, as if they gave a shit.

        2. Lambert Strether

          According to Seymour Hersh:

          The retired official said there had been another complication: some members of the Seal team had bragged to colleagues and others that they had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces with rifle fire. The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains – or so the Seals claimed. At the time, the retired official said, the Seals did not think their mission would be made public by Obama within a few hours: ‘If the president had gone ahead with the cover story, there would have been no need to have a funeral within hours of the killing. Once the cover story was blown, and the death was made public, the White House had a serious “Where’s the body?” problem. The world knew US forces had killed bin Laden in Abbottabad. Panic city. What to do? We need a “functional body” because we have to be able to say we identified bin Laden via a DNA analysis. It would be navy officers who came up with the “burial at sea” idea. Perfect. No body. Honourable burial following sharia law. Burial is made public in great detail, but Freedom of Information documents confirming the burial are denied for reasons of “national security”. It’s the classic unravelling of a poorly constructed cover story – it solves an immediate problem but, given the slightest inspection, there is no back-up support. There never was a plan, initially, to take the body to sea, and no burial of bin Laden at sea took place.’ The retired official said that if the Seals’ first accounts are to be believed, there wouldn’t have been much left of bin Laden to put into the sea in any case.

          All the people in that famous photo in the White House situation room have some ‘splainin’ to do…

    1. Andrew

      As the old saying has it, dead men tell no tales. If the Americans had arrested him and he’d gone on trial, imagine the embarrassment he would have caused in revealing all he knew (a fair amount skeletons in that particular closet). So instead Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes ;-)

  36. Antifa

    Josh Duggar will not apologize

    not to the public, not to his parents, not to a judge, not to a pastor, not to his victims, not to nobody, not no how.

    On account of he didn’t do what he did. Nor did he do anything else he did that no one has found out about as yet.

    Josh Duggar announced to the press yesterday that he remains pure, sinless, and saved despite his multiple affairs and teenage molestations because . . .

    “external forces were at work.”

    Ahh, the old demon defense. Better than an plea of temporary insanity, but not at all as original as the affluenza defense.

    Though it does give new meaning to the phrase, “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

    Hey, has Hillary Clinton considered this approach? Do you really need a Presidential pardon if a simple exorcism will do?

    In other news, Satan’s chief crew of demons — Bael, Marbus, Pruslas, Aamon, Barbatos, Buer, Busoyn, Botis, Bathim, Pursan, Abigar, Loray, Valefar, Forau, Ayperos, Nuberus, and Glasyabolus — have all sworn to their Boss on a stack of Atlas Shrugged that neither they nor their minions had anything to do with Josh Duggar or his deeds, that it was all Josh’s idea, right down the line.

    Every one of them then took the traditional bath in molten brimstone to prove their word. This test is standard procedure in the nether regions since all of these imps are known to be congenital liars.

    Like Josh Duggar.

  37. Jim Haygood

    Military coup against Erdo-gone in Turkey tonight.

    Guess Turkey won’t be joining the EU anytime soon.

    Not that anyone would want to … :)

    1. craazyboy

      Don’t jump to any conclusions. Vicky Nuland was getting chummy with Erdo. A military coup by a bunch of Muslims could be considered a terrorist uprising – especially by Vicky. ISIS may even take credit for it. And against one of our NATO Allies, no less!!!!!

      We_NATO may need to move in and liberate the place.

      1. ambrit

        Yes indeedy! This is going to mess up lots of ‘sinister plots.’ What will happen to the Turkish managed ‘Rebel’ groups in Syria? Will the Kurds get some love from the Sublime Porte for playing along? The Russians, morphing into, the Alawite Syrians are ‘interested parties.’ If the Turkish border is really even somewhat restricted, as in only ‘humanitarian’ aid crosses into Syria, the Saudi puppet masters will have a glorious mess on their hands.
        Now we must step back and watch from the sidelines. It is their country after all.

        1. craazyboy

          Not so fast. Europe needs a place for “refugee camp”. EU membership coming soon, methinks. Prolly not full member, with free travel-migration status – more of a junior member where you can check in, but never leave. Hotel Turkey. What better place to make a no-fly zone than over a country named “Turkey”?

      2. pretzelattack

        i’m guess i’m roughly as scared of a clinton presidency as i was of a reagan presidency. maybe the alzheimers was a gift to the rest of us. the people she has around her, or wants to install, her friendship with the kissingers, her support by the neocons in general, just sets alarm bells ringing.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Erdo Gone. Who’s next on the Destabilizer Hit Parade?

      We got lots of Fokkers who know how to break stuff. I am really getting to dig Game of Thrones, which is such a deep analogue for our times, looking also back to an earlier exposition titled “A Distant Mirror.” In fiction, as in “history/herstory,” there are lots of characters who are geniuses at breaking stuff, “for the good of the realm” or “the Family.” Or just because they are borderline personalities or sociopaths who get a sexual kick out of pulling wings of flies and the skin off living humans. The long struggle to produce, in a species that does not live long enough individually to accumulate the wisdom needed to catch even a fraction of the digressive strands of social DNA and recall them to preservation of the organism, one or a few Rulers (Fokk Plato) and structures that can even produce short-term semi-stability with a gentle face…

  38. JTMcPhee

    Oh, and what outcomes do the generals and colonels in the land of the Porte demand from the political economy they all but own?

    1. ambrit

      Which faction? The old Kemalists, or New Young Turks, or even junior officers? Could we see the emergence of a Turkish Nasser? Things are too chaotic right now to accurately predict.

  39. ewmayer

    Re. Japan’s Banks Turn Noses Up at Idea of BOJ Paying Them to Borrow Bloomberg — Pardon my ignorance – not a degreed economist – but I was under the impression that banks were supposed to be in the business of creating ex nihilo money and lending that at positive interest, not borrowing at negative interest. Is my ignorance of the genius ideas of modern central-bankers in their steering of economies showing?

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