Links 7/21/16

Looking at US Presidential candidates, Mexico to build a wall to keep escaping Americans away Faking News (Maulik)

India Plants a Record 50 Million Trees in 24 Hours Smithsonian Magazine (David L)

Something Is Causing Siberia’s Tundra to Literally Bubble Underground Motherboard (resilc)

Scientists mapped the human brain like a city and revealed that we’ve been ignoring some of its most important parts Tech Insider (Dan K)

The Chances of Another Chernobyl Before 2050? 50%, Say Safety Specialists MIT Technology Review

We need to eat less meat. Should the government step in? Washington Post

IMF cuts UK growth forecasts following Brexit vote Guardian

Amazon Patents Way To Turn Lampposts, Church Steeples Into Drone Perches Consumerist (Dan K)

Researchers just doubled what we know about the map of the human brain Washington Post


Merkel offers May breathing space on invoking Article 50 divorce clause Financial Times. Note that all that Merkel did was reaffirm her position.

LABOUR LEADERSHIP BETTING: Owen Smith’s odds are tumbling Business Insider. Smith was going to call for new elections if he won.

Brexit Blues London Review of Books (resilc)

MORGAN STANLEY CEO ON BREXIT: We’ll have to open a new European headquarters Business Insider

UK probes Unaoil for ‘bribery, corruption and money laundering’ Petro Global News (thedr)

If Theresa May is serious about inequality she’ll ditch Osbornomics Guardian

Nigel Farage announces European referendum tour Politico. Wowsers.

Smashing the Orwellian ‘globalisation’ cell Defend Democracy

The blatant pillage of Australia’s youth MacroBusiness


‘Fraud’ Alleged in NYT’s MH-17 Report– Consortiumnews (EM)


Turkey’s Erdogan declares state of emergency after coup bid Reuters. Three months!

Erdogan Scorecard: 50,000 Detained or Fired Generals, Judges, Teachers, Police, Others Michael Shedlock

Wikileaks Is About To Expose The Turkish ‘Coup’, But Someone Is Trying To Silence Them AntiMedia (RR)


‘The US Congress must stop the war crimes in Afghanistan’ unbalanced evolution

U.S. Considers “Pause” In Supplies For Group Beheading Sick Child Moon of Alabama

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

Was Hillary Clinton’s Email Hacked? The Case AntiWar (Wat). From last week, still germane.


Does Lucifer in fact inhabit the corpus of Hillary Clinton? Tyler Cowen. I have no idea what to make of this post but the headline was terrific clickbait.

Chamber of Commerce May Prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump Intercept (Dan K)

They never believed he’d get the nomination and they STILL don’t believe he can become President: But here are 10 ways Trump can make the Washington elite look even dumber Daily Mail (Li)

Republicans’ Scary Plan to Restore Glass-Steagall Bloomberg (Dave J). As we discussed yesterday, the odds that the Republicans will follow through are nada; this is basically to allow Trump to thump Hillary on her bank ties. But big banks do not like being trash talked, hence articles like this

Melania Trump’s speech writer explains plagiarism, says she feels terrible Mercury News (EM)

Melania Trump plagiarism row: Staffer admits role in speech BBC

Two Views From the Right, on Republicans of Tomorrow Bloomberg (resilc)

How does Ted Cruz’s RNC speech rank in convention mayhem? We asked an American historian Vox (resilc)

Trump Veterans Adviser Investigated for Saying Clinton Should Be Shot

Trump’s ‘politics of fear’ dangerous for world: German foreign minister Reuters (Dan K)

Oil Industry CEO Claims Democrats Have Done More For Oil OilPrice

Obamacare: Covered California’s health plan prices soar Mercury News (EM)

Why Does Crime Feel Exponentially Higher, When It’s Materially Lower? EconomPic (resilc). Who thinks that? Crime was way worse in the 1970s and 1980s.

Police State Watch

Is Blue Lives Matter a Racist Hate Group? Alternet (Dan K)

Pentagon tries to tackle anger and stress among military veterans after Baton Rouge and Dallas shootings Independent (resilc)

FBI arrests senior HSBC banker accused of rigging multibillion-dollar deal Guardian

U.S., Enbridge reach $177 million pipeline spill settlement Reuters

Wisconsin voter identification law eased for November election Reuters

A Mormon Tycoon Wants to Build Joseph Smith’s Mega-Utopia in Vermont Bloomberg (Richard D)

More pain seen for U.S. crude as product glut adds to gloom Reuters

C.E.O.s Meet in Secret Over the Sorry State of Public Companies New York Times

Guillotine Watch

What it’s like to stay in the world’s most expensive hotel suite, which costs $75,000 a night Business Insider

Class Warfare

Sex workers have created the perfect method for keeping people honest online Quartz

Self-Serving Obama-Sponsored Study Concludes “Student Debt Helps Economy”; Mish Rebuttal Michael Shedlock. I lack the energy to shred this study and Shedlock makes some valid points (with the usual caveat about his anti-government fixation). Of all people, Jamie Galbraith would probably agree, since in his book The Predator State, he argued basically 1. That the US could over-invest in college degrees, that its value was in giving students a general level of training that then could be used by a wide range of employers. Now a decade later, with employers unwilling to train people, students are looking to college more as routing them to specific careers, something that was never a big issue in my day. Demand for college grads was strong enough that if you majored in something not perceived to be flaky and did well, you could get a job. 2. Galbraith was particularly leery of societal overinvestment in gradate degrees. Basically they entail a lot of cost (in $ and time) in making people narrowly skilled. You get a payoff it if all works out but if it doesn’t, you are worse off than if you hadn’t gotten the degree. 3 What Shedlock does not quite nail is that the value of college education is at least in part the screening to get in, and the people good enough to get in might have done well or very well with no college education. Not sure I buy that since the bias among employers towards individuals with college degrees is high, and the ventures most likely to succeed are ones started by people with industry expertise who see an unfilled niche, and high school graduates do not fit in that category.

Antidote du jour:

mouse lemurs

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ArkansasAngie

    Why are employers unwilling to train people?

    Because employees won’t/don’t stay long enough for the employers to see a return on their investment.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Nonsense. The overwhelming cause of short job tenures is employer firings (or cutting hours so the job becomes untenable) not people quitting. Going from a job where you are being paid reasonably and understand how things work to a new place is both risky and stressful.

    2. Skippy

      Wellie there was that period when Corp. ™ was in a orgy like fervor head hunting talent. If memory serves I think it had something to do with individuals maximizing their utility thingy w/ a slice of knee capping the competition, sorta like Jared Haynes.

      Disheveled Marsupial…. file under when the icons of society slide back into the primordial ooze…

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: FBI arrests senior HSBC banker. And another one will be arrested when they find him. This is a good start and we should have been seeing a lot more of these headlines the last eight years. Instead of “So-and-so big bank agrees to pay an X billion dollar fine but admits no guilt.”

    1. inode_buddha

      Its a start. I would prefer admission of guilt regardless of fines. I’m sure it could be arranged for with sufficient determination.

      1. expat

        It’s a tiny start. Arresting 90% of all Wall Street bank employees would be a better start. The kitchen and cleaning staff can stay. All the others do hard time. And before you dismiss this as a stupid rant, I speak from experience in three investment banks; EVERYONE knows what is going on from the secretaries to the CEO.

        I don’t see the world collapsing if you eliminate JP and GS. I only see rich criminals losing money. And if we treated these banks as we should (using RICO) we could seize billions to fund healthcare and education.

        1. Fred

          “EVERYONE knows what is going on from the secretaries to the CEO.’

          Perhaps you could ask Hilary who attended all those Wall Street speeches she gave so you can make up your Erdogan style arrest lists.

          1. Expat

            sorry, I am not sure what your message is. Are you calling me a tin-foil hat, anti-Wall Street nut case or simply disputing my personal experience of how things operate on Wall Street?
            What is your view based on?

          2. dots

            “When a condition or a problem becomes too great, humans have the protection of not thinking about it. But it goes inward and minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something–anything–before it is all gone.”

            “We can shoot rockets into space but we can’t cure anger or discontent. ”

            ― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

        2. inode_buddha

          Except you know that JPM and GS would make sure that everyone else hurts too… which is precisely *why* it needs to happen.

        3. grizziz

          The stars were aligned during the first month of Obomba’s administration. He could have turned his back on the Pritzkers, nationalized the big six banks and handed everyone with a V.P. or higher a tin cup for their service. Instead he foamed the runways.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Given the scale of the alphabet soup programs (TARP, TWIST, TALF etc) I believe the check we could have written instead to each and every household in the US was something like $29,000.
            The original “suicide banker” three-page note passed by Paulson to Congress called for this, bailing out struggling homeowners instead of the limousine billionaire bondholder crowd.
            But 10 days later Paulson baited and switched…and 10 million people (overwhelmingly brown people who I am sure think Obama/Hilary are just the greatest) lost their homes.
            This bears remembering, and repeating, loudly and often.

            1. Skippy

              Obama’s first step once in office, too the dark side, was the choice to forgo the hair cut, reminiscent of Bush Jr. – I know who my base is – oath.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Johnson’s arrest sends a strong message: currency manipulation is only for governments.

      Still trying to figure out how currencies can be manipulated when there are dozens of dealers worldwide, plus public futures and options markets such as the CME Group and its overseas counterparts.

      Guess the vast forex conspiracy is far larger than any of us (besides sharp-eyed US gov prosecutors) could possibly have imagined!

      1. Brian

        Forex is perhaps the site of the last imagined available yield to chase. Then the gates close and the flow ends and the screaming begins. Again. Many people feel it is like freedom.

    3. JCC

      I don’t see it as much of a “good start” but more of business as usual. The way I see it is that the Fed Police (FBI) arrest a banker for messing with FX Markets, but keep away when the same Bank launders massive amounts of Drug Money or Arms Money, both markets which are strongly supported by dark, and powerful, factions of Govts.

      It would be good if it truly is a new trend, but the cynic in me isn’t so sure.

      1. inode_buddha

        Actually you’re right, IMHO…. I hadn’t considered that, regarding laundering. Bummer….

    4. crittermom

      EndOfTheWorld, I couldn’t agree more. And they should be jailed for other crimes, as well.
      But it’ll never happen to any US banksters. Too much money & politics involved, of course. *ka-ching*

      Note at the end of this article written almost 2 years ago that a Justice Dept official said the investigation was ongoing since the SOL’s had not yet run out.
      Yeah, sure. I bet they have by now.

      Meanwhile, regarding those big banks & what’s happening currently:
      The SIGTARP reports have been very damaging, yet still nothing has changed.

      1. Skippy

        Its so old hat, but it must be remembered that Gov was fully aware of the coke trade going through Florida [70s – 80s] tho the velocity of M multipliers was too sweet, basically jump started the Miami C/RE boom. It was only when the South American gangs took over and started turf wars in open day light, at shopping malls and residential areas, that they had to crack some heads…

        Disheveled Marsupial…. one can only ponder what would have happened it the sons of white collar had remained in control of the trade.

    5. craazyboy

      We won’t make any real progress until Europe and Japan start arresting American bankers.

    6. barrisj

      Ah, yes, HSBC – the Mob’s favourite banksters…please review DOJ’s previous “criminal investigations” of HSBC’s totally dodgy bidness practices, and the odds are that some serious pleading is happening as I write this, with the net result fines will be paid, no jail-time, the perps let go but with boilerplate references for their next jawbs in Big Finance, and Bob’s yer uncle. I mean, how many of these “incidents” must occur before DOJ finally gets that there exists a criminal culture within the bank that no amount of fines or pleas will ever extirpate…sheeeeeesh.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Pentagon tries to tackle anger and stress among veterans. The only way is to quit sending soldiers to stupid useless wars. Also, it would be a great improvement to give them marijuana instead of prozac.

    1. abynormal

      Viceland did apiece on vet care and marijuana. This is what is happening….Vets have to sign a wavier they’ll accept no other treatment or drug regiment or risk losing all other benefits. What the ‘industry’ is doing is criminal…they load vets on addictive drugs, multiple antidepressants and the vets fear adding marijuana for loosing other benefits. Posting from phone or I’d link VICE.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Vietnam vet. i’m lucky to have aged into Medicare, and to have found a non-VA psych professional who actually understood the phenomenon. What the VA had to offer for 45 years of what turns out to be PTSD was two or three belated trips to their psychiatrists, who after one visit knew enough about me to shove SSRIs, NSRIs and other hign-potency ineffective meds with intolerable side effects at me — on the basis of diagnoses that were simply wrong, and in looking at their notes it’s clear they were simply not listening to, or not close to accurately recording, what I said. Or from appearances, writing a narrative to fit the pr3escribed diagnoses that led to “pill-for-a-problem treatment” and provided bureaucratic cover for denying disability. And I got gigged for being “noncompliant” for declining to keep ingesting and suffering the effects of those meds without ny relief from the problem. (Note that VA service-connected disability is notoriously hard to get rated for, and that all you other ordinary people need to understand that it is “Workers Comp for veterans.” As such, the maximum payments for vastly disabled vets with proven claims, proven despite the system’s resistance, are in the area of $35,000 a year. And yes, you qualify as a “service connected” veteran for medical care, but that ain’t exactly gold-plated, as even the MSM will document when it’s time to beat up one set of political actors or another.)

        “Thank you for your service.” NOT. (And fellas and now gals too, remember it is your duty to die, sooner, for your country — just like the other mopes subject to the Iron Laws of Neoliberalism…)

        Anecdotal hint: there’s an older blood pressure medication, prazosin, that has been found to help many vets with the nightmare part of the syndrome…

      2. Steve Gunderson

        My brother works at a VA medical clinic. Next door to his clinic is the VA methadone clinic from 7am-9am. He says a lot of soldiers came back from Afghanistan hooked or picked up heroin to deal with PTSD and/or physical pain.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I remember meeting Nam vets who vowed that the only thing that helped them was marijuana.

      1. Praedor

        And do what instead? Live at home in mommy’s basement? Mow lawns for $10 a pop?

        For many the military is the only way they would have gainful employment – an actual salary, healthcare, dental care, shelter. If you want people to be able to choose other than the military then provide a Universal Basic Income to make it unnecessary or provide LOTS of good jobs with all the benefits provided by the military.

        The military got me through college without bankrupting my parents (or me – I had all of $8000 in loan debt when I graduated). The military got me my first home, car, credit history, bank account, professional training, etc. That military service then proceeded to help me get into grad school after I left so I could become a scientist debt-free.

        1. myshkin

          “For many the military is the only way they would have gainful employment – an actual salary, healthcare, dental care, shelter.”

          Understood that young people need opportunity and options. That said the military is the wrong option, every time. There are no good wars and the military in times of peace is something we should be working to defund and dismantle, when there is a slim possibility of derailing the civilization destroying juggernaut. Of course in the imperial US there is rarely a moment a small war is not raging, another result of the MICC.

          Also there’s nothing wrong with mom’s basement and mowing lawns, better than participating in arguably one of humanities worst most damaging activities at so many levels, complicit either unintentionally or otherwise in the MICC. Apprentice with an electrician or plumber, or any trade.

          “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Once part of the military machine its hard to see the other side. It’s why there are military bases and factories producing parts of fighter jets and tanks scattered through every state.

      2. JTMcPhee

        It’s a job. Go to exotic foreign lands, meet interesting people (or see them through your gunsights), and kill them. I enlisted in 1966 like that.

        1. RWood

          I’ve heard that it’s like the change of girls to women, once they get a husband, according to Mike Pence.

          They become men and bond.

          But as many observers have testified, their wounds and the care offered may be lethal.

  4. yenwoda

    I assume the Mish piece on college debt is under “class warfare” for the following explanation of the education wage premium?

    Many of those who did not go to college were not bright enough or motivated enough to get into college.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Or this:

      The majority of those who do not go to college are already failed kids with poor reading, writing, and math skills.

      At first I thought this was one of those unsubstantiated “conclusions” that Mish was supposed to be deriding, and not a “fact” that everybody who is as smart as Mish “knows.”

      1. Roger Smith

        And Clinton and the Democrats still demand the progressive vote? What are these people smoking?

        Not only was Free College a pipe dream, debt is good for you! Just look at all the suicides. We are saving the planet here!

        This past week’s reporting in the news has been completely unhinged, off the rails….

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump is tied nationally and even ahead in important states, and Sanders’ endorsement hasn’t saved Hillary. Warren’s hasn’t. My view is the low Democratic primary turnout was a sign of severe problems that the Democrats amd the people invested in Hillary are only now starting to recognize.

          Remember, this can not be stressed enough, Trump is basically tied with Hillary who has been declared as the most qualified candidate in history by virtually every Democratic elite and the media and has been running for the White House since 1998.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Michelle and Barrack can help Hillary here: “Never, ever give up.”

            “I don’t do that often, but trust me, we’re like your parents. Do as we say (with many beautiful speeches). Don’t do as I do.”

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Reassuring presentation and bland, inoffensive speeches. If the Mrs. Trump plagiarism snafu wasn’t a reminder, Obama’s lofty rhetoric was generic garbage which doesn’t require thinking or demands action or for us to look at ourselves and reassess. “We aren’t red states or blue states. We are the United states.” I rarely watch debates, conventions, or SOTUs but my aunt was in the Taxachusetts delegation so I watched that night when Teddy was speaking. I couldn’t believe the Obama speech mania.

              Did Michelle’s father really say all that stuff about keeping your word? That’s so profound.

          2. RabidGandhi

            Feature not a bug.

            Vote suppresion is both the DNC’s MO and its raison d’être. The suppressed turnout is not a sign of severe problems, since it served its purpose of defeating the true enemy Sanders. Whether or not they defeat Trump in the GE is just a sideshow.

            1. TheCatSaid

              +1 The GE will be a contest of the vote riggers. Both sides are experts, the software and hardware are to hand., I wonder how companies selling access to the election goodies decide between the two, and whether they play them off against one another or sell different “products” to different sides.

          3. DrBob

            What’s truly remarkable is how much more the Clinton campaign has had to spend thus far just to keep a few points ahead of (or to stay even with) Trump in the polls. NBC News reported recently that Hillary Clinton and her allies have outspent the Trump campaign by a 15-to-1 margin.


            “Clinton’s campaign has spent $25 million on general election advertising and combined with $32 million from allied super PACs, the total paid comes to $57 million. Compare this to $3.6 million for Trump ads, none of which came from his campaign.

            “Clinton’s advantage [sic] is even more pronounced in the battlegrounds, where Team Clinton has spent a combined $46.2 million in nine states to Team Trump’s $1.2 million. That’s nearly a 40-to-1 margin.”

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Romney, McCain, Shrub, Dole, 41, Reagan, Ford (he was just a back bencher who was well liked on the hill, so I probably shouldn’t include him), Nixon, and Goldwater. Eisenhower probably just ran because he hated Truman.

              Republicans simply aren’t that discerning.

              1. DrBob

                Fair point…but we’re in the general election stage now — and more than 40% of the US electorate identify themselves as “independent.”

                True, it’s probably still too early to take poll results too seriously…but I still find it telling that Clinton’s team has spent so much for so little. It’s like a massive big-pharma marketing campaign for a minimally effective pharmaceutical product that produces horrible side-effects.

                From Politico this morning:

                “Hillary Clinton campaign’s posted another impressive fundraising month in June but blew through almost the entire haul, spending more than in any other month of the cycle so far.
                The campaign spent $34.5 million and raised $36.4 million, leaving it with a slightly higher cash position of $44.4 million at the end of June…

                “The campaign spent $20.2 million on media, more than twice as much as Donald Trump’s campaign spent total in June. The 651-person payroll soaked up $2.5 million. Brooklyn devoted $1.7 million to polling, to Trump’s $0.”


                1. Code Name D

                  It’s an interesting tell to see her spending so much money so early in the campaign, just trying to maintain a few points advantage. It’s gotten so bad that I have noticed the MSM shift to her “stronger” electoral collage position, where she is still said to be ahead by a few more points.

                  Looks to me like she is far more concerned about her optics and ego rather than any strategic considerations.

                  Best to keep practicing saying “Present Trump.”

            2. Arizona Slim

              Wow. Just wow. Those Clintons sure know how to spend.

              And it’s not like they were unknowns before this campaign cycle started.

            3. Kurt Sperry

              Campaign spending is perhaps being deleveraged by progressively more people developing broader sources for information online. Network TV ad time doesn’t work like it once did and if done poorly it can even catastrophically backfire. People consuming more diverse online content also pull television culture nearer to consensuses arrived at online so diluting further the distance TV can push culture. In specific cases like Hillary’s, on top of all this you have to add the product being sold is a significant handicap. If you are among the majority of voters who have negative opinions on Clinton, her ad buys will just annoy and motivate you away from her. The more spent, the worse it gets. The risk escalates as the campaign’s volume knob gets screwed up.

          4. craazyboy

            But, but… it’s a Man’s World(TM) and a wimen has to try harder! Sad, but apparently true.

          5. Arizona Slim

            Sanders’ endorsement — what was it good for?

            Did it increase his support among those who favored him during the primary season and before? Nope. It did just the opposite.

            And did it move the Hillary approve-a-meter in a higher direction? Nope.

            Which leaves me with one question: What was Sanders thinking?

            1. Praedor

              Of not becoming an absolute persona non grata to the Dems in the Senate post-election. If he had held back he would see himself locked out by the Democraps in the Senate. He isn’t on the ballot but he is STILL in the Senate and will STILL be a Senator.

              1. oh

                They’ll still do that to him…remember Kucinich?

                BTW, the reason for campaign spending is to just spread the largesse around to their buddies. So many of the receipients, er,. experts, have their hands out.

          6. MLS

            Keep in mind that it’s RNC week and the Dems are basically out of the news. Candidates typically receive a bump in the polls during and immediately after their convention. It’s likely to reverse next week when the Dems get their chance.

            Not that Hillary isn’t a terrible candidate, just that I’m not sure the polls at this point in time are saying all that much.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Usually candidates aren’t as high profile as Trump and Hillary when they go into conventions. Trump and Hillary have had national profiles for over 25 years.

    2. I Have Strange Dreams

      I seriously question the credibility of Michael Shedlock as a source and cannot understand why NC uses him. I think of him as a wannabe Peter Schiff.

      1. JCC

        I think the use of credibility is an unfair word to use in regards to Mike Shedlock. One may not always agree with his libertarian, strongly free market outlook that influences his opinions on economics and politics (I know I don’t), but he doesn’t flat out lie and often ferrets out points regarding economic/political policies that MSM/Economists/Politicians either don’t see or flat out choose to ignore.

        He often takes a pretty progressive stance against TPTB when it comes to war, immigration, the drug war and other issues that both the mainstream Dems and Repubs support. For example, his relatively popular economic site was one of the very first sites out of the box to rightfully criticize the boneheaded move by the US Govt. in supporting the Coup and Civil War in Ukraine and subsequent neo-nazi Ukraine Govt.

        1. I Have Strange Dreams

          Fair points. I just got so sick of hearing Austrian bollocks that I have an impulse to vomit whenever one of them pops up.

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            That’s because Austrian school economic theory is a cult. The men (it is mostly men) who become caught up in it see the world through the same kind of distortive lens as, say, a devout Pentacostalist.

            When someone’s operative worldview is skewed by cult ideas & practices, it’s tough to pick out his valid observations. The cult jargon alone makes it difficult.

      2. RabidGandhi

        That’s one of the reasons NC is a must read. Yves & co. get their hands dirty sifting pearls out of the manure so that I don’t have to read sources like Shedlock on a regular basis, something that my delicate intestinal constitution would surely not withstand.

        1. dk

          hahahaha, +1

          Data analysis should not rely on credibility at all, it should be explicit, rational and reproducible.

          “Mish” has a knack for spotting odd trends in data, and debunking some types of poor analysis.

          Nobody’s perfect.

          1. Brian

            I find his associations and conclusions can be enlightening and deeply strained at times. But he talks about subjects as though the mechanical is all important, and disregards the biological and psychological component. i.e., a fixation with robots as a solution to human problems.

  5. Bubba_Gump

    Re the nuke accident stat article:
    “Each accident must have occurred during the generation, transmission, or distribution of nuclear energy.”

    I’m no cheerleader for the current state of nuke technology, but transmission and distribution are exactly the same for both nuclear and conventional energy. The researchers are also including mining accidents, which is a real stretch. The only relevant measure would be for the generation itself, and nothing else. Otherwise the stats are skewed to the point of uselessness.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      I suspect the writer was misleadingly ambiguous in that statement, and intended to refer to the power generation plant and everything upstream from mining of the ore to the delivery of fabricated fuel rods to the plant site. He or she probably did not intend to include what happens downstream from a nuclear generation plant as the generated megawatt hours are stepped up in voltage and made available to the loads on the grid.

    2. TheCatSaid

      Maybe they were trying to leave out human-engineered “earthquakes” as a pretext for a nuclear incident (as per Santa Ana nuclear power plant “earthquake” in 2012; it supplies power to the financial HQ in NY/NJ–the planned disaster was going to provide cover to a massive financial transfer; it was averted through someone who knew about it firsthand publishing a book just days before the scheduled disaster. “The Apostles of Power” describes what was involved.)

  6. fresno dan

    Police in South Florida shot an unarmed black caretaker Monday as he tried to help his autistic patient.

    Charles Kinsey was trying to retrieve a young autistic man who had wandered away from an assisted living facility and was blocking traffic when Kinsey was shot by a North Miami police officer.

    In cellphone footage of the incident that emerged Wednesday, Kinsey can be seen lying on the ground with his hands in the air, trying to calm the autistic man and defuse the situation seconds before he is shot.

    “All he has is a toy truck in his hand,” Kinsey can be heard saying in the video as police officers with assault rifles hide behind telephone poles approximately 30 feet away.

    “That’s all it is,” the caretaker says. “There is no need for guns.”

    Seconds later, off camera, one of the officers fired his weapon three times.

    A bullet tore through Kinsey’s right leg.

    Kinsey said he was stunned by the shooting.

    “I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me,” he told local television station WSVN from his hospital bed.

    “Wow, was I wrong.”

    Kinsey said he was even more stunned by what happened afterward, when police handcuffed him and left him bleeding on the pavement for “about 20 minutes.”

    His attorney called the video “shocking.”

    “There is no reason to fire your weapon at a man who has his hands up and is trying to help,” Hilton Napoleon told The Washington Post in a telephone interview Wednesday night.

    Napoleon called for the department to fire the officer.
    If there wasn’t a video, how would this have been described?
    To play devil’s advocate, one could posit that the excuse for the cops will be they were actually shooting at the PATIENT, and mistook a toy truck for a gun…..of course, if that is true it just proves every single government official in Florida is incompetent and incapable of overseeing any police officer in any police department department.

    And the officer shouldn’t just be fired, he should be prosecuted for attempted murder, plus 6 or 10 other laws that prosecutors use to extend sentences….

    1. HBE

      Many police officers are some of the most fearful and scared people you will meet, they walk around in body armor and armed to the teeth, yet they are more fearful than most of your average “civilians” on the street. This is not to discount those who are just plain psychopaths either though.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This is why I’ve come around on the need for a draft. Police and career police officers are too self selective to remain healthy.I also think military officers should be drafted too from the ranks of college bound seniors.

        1. Code Name D

          Drafting police officers. Hmm, that is not a bad idea.

          All though I noticed (at least for Wichita police), applicants must first come from military service. This cuts cost in boot-camping your own recruits. Perhaps that is something that needs to be looked at.

          1. cwaltz

            It’s a horrible idea.

            The idea that the draft system was fair and that now it would be used fairly is laughable.

          2. hunkerdown

            It used to be customary for police departments to hire only from within their jurisdiction, which seemed to work well. Elections at the precinct level, much as we do district court judges, could also work well in jurisdictions where internal racial and other strife is low,

            I don’t know about drafting. Some people simply are not people people, yet they contribute to their communities and society in the ways they are able. If you wanna hang a badge on Tom Smykowski from Office Space, go ahead but I don’t see it working well.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I was thinking about going up to some cops I see many morning around a donut shop, with all that shootings recently (one yesterday or Tuesday, shooting at the police somewhere in the Midwest, I think, and, to me, received little coverage), reminding that policing is a dangerous job.

        Now, I am not so sure…living itself is dangerous.

        Kinsey was on the ground with both hands up in the air? I assume he was on his back, because that would hard to do on his stomach.

        Lying (on his back, presumably) on the ground with hands up in the air to calm the patient? How? Was the patient standing up? How could he calm him lying on the ground?

        1. Pat

          He was on his back. His feet were off the ground as were his arms. He was very clearly no threat. He was shouting to the officers, but not at them. He was trying to tell them about the patient who was sitting crosslegged near his feet.

          There was NO reason to shoot that man, and this is one that the cops are not going to be able to paint as anything justified.

            1. fresno dan

              July 21, 2016 at 10:50 am
              Good article – thanks for that!!!

              That the City’s scheme and the neoliberal logic behind it would create the circumstances that led to Michael Brown’s death is clear. Indeed, through that scheme Ferguson officials and the police department produced a “‘state of exception,’ wherein…exceptional violence” – i.e.., violence that shocks, that “elicits a deep emotional response” – was “transformed into exemplary violence,” into violence that “forms the rule,” and particularly for those excluded and abandoned. Without social media, Brown’s death would have merely been a part of the everyday violence that police directed at Ferguson’s African American community and poor people generally, violence made increasingly likely by the market driven imperative of the Ferguson police force. And of course Brown’s death took place against the backdrop of the invisible violence of the City’s neoliberal policies (creation of unequal and increasingly privatized schools, attraction of business that paid little taxes and employed workers at low wages, privatization of public services, etc.).

              The modern version of the King’s tax collectors – and not just impoverishment, but subservience….
              Of course, now a days we get a choice of kings:
              King red. high taxes and more beheadings….
              King blue. more drawn and quarterings and high taxes….

              1. RWood

                Yea, subserviance onto death.
                And the technology is what Oryx lives through.
                Not the handmaiden’s tale.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I guess I was confused by the description in that news article – hands (and now feet) in the air, lying on his back. How does he calm his patient like that? It’s hard for me to visualize that as calming his patient. That might be his gesture to say he was not threatening to the police (but the article, still confusing to me, does not say that. The article makes it seem like the hands and feet in the air was his technique to calm the patient – and perhaps that is in fact one of the standard ways).

            In cellphone footage of the incident that emerged Wednesday, Kinsey can be seen lying on the ground with his hands in the air, trying to calm the autistic man and defuse the situation seconds before he is shot.

      3. curlydan

        So true. Fictitious Sheriff Andy Taylor had no gun or body armor. First thing he or anyone else would do in that situation is to defuse the situation. When the police are loaded up with ammo, armor, etc, they are much closer to conflict/shootings. Why not try to first defuse, then call in for guns, backup, body armor, etc if needed. The shocking thing in Miami apparently was there was really nothing to defuse. Just one guy trying to help another guy out of sitting in the street.

        The current situation between the cops and black America is starting to look more and more Israel and Palestine every day.

        1. polecat

          Florida has become a festering, crazy sh!thole…………

          America’s banana republic ‘mini me’……with Louisiana not too far behind !

      4. TheCatSaid

        There’s wisdom in the Chinese classics (e.g. Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu) to the effect that creating defenses generates attacks.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ” … the officer shouldn’t just be fired, he should be prosecuted for attempted murder, plus 6 or 10 other laws that prosecutors use to extend sentences….”

      “Inciting a riot” would be a good candidate for the standard charge piling. In the current tense situation, this amateurish police gunplay could prompt yet another round of blowback.

      Maybe have a go at “hate crime” as well, since it appears the suspect was shot for “reclining while black.”

      1. fresno dan

        If this ISN’T a war on blacks, how would one explain it???
        Just typical, trigger happy police, ill trained and ill chosen with regard to temperament and situational awareness???
        A general societal belief in using force, whether appropriate or effective???

        Maybe have a go at “hate crime” as well, since it appears the suspect was shot for “reclining while black.”
        AND enhancements such as “helping while black”, “caregiving while black” “raising hands while black”

        1. Jim Haygood

          Try to imagine the North Miami police shooting a suburban soccer mom in the leg while she attempts to retrieve her autistic son … then handcuffing her on the pavement for 20 minutes.

          You can’t.

            1. polecat

              it’s All that body armor & other warrior wear, combined with the high heat and humidity………

    3. inode_buddha

      Funny thing, the NRA safety training course is better than these supposed pros!

      *never* allow the muzzle to cover something that you aren’t prepared to completely destroy

      *never* put your finger on the trigger unless and until you are willing to completely destroy whatever its pointing at *and bear full responsibility for it*

      *always* be sure of your target: is it the intended target? What is behind the target, what are the surroundings? What exactly is the situation?

      … sheesh! this stuff got drilled into us “rural” types from a very small age, and we weren’t allowed to touch a thing till grandpa or someone was satisfied that we knew and practiced all the safety…

      1. JTMcPhee

        “bear full responsibility” Assumes facts not in evidence? FL and other states with their “stand your ground” defenses? Prosecutorial discretion (white vs black, cop vs mope, favored son shooter, etc?) And I have watched a lot of youtube videos that sure seem to make it clear that “rural” types apparently were watching the birds fly when the drilling was going on…

        “What is usually a redneck’s last words?”

        1. inode_buddha

          *shrug* speak for yourself. I never knew anyone like that — alcohol is a big no-no in my social circles, let alone alcohol + guns. Bear in mind tho that there’s a HUGE cultural difference between Fla and NY even amongst rural types (fruit farmers in my case).

          Up here its extremely difficult to actually defend yourself if you should need to, let alone get a CCW. I’ve heard that the average wait time is now almost a year. You’re supposed to call the cops of something.

          Reality: Humanity will continue to be violent regardless if they are armed or not, until the Second Coming. Therefore, prepare as well as possible, just IMHO.

          1. polecat

            But Hey……It’s high time we ban TRUCKS….especially those automatic ones……!!

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              In the future, robot Sumo-wrestler body guards will be more menacing than out-of-work serfs with pitchforks or gun owners.

              That will happen after young, rich 1% guys trying to pick up (human) girls in singles bars, by impressing them with ‘guy-knowledge’ about robots (in the mean time, avoiding his (rich – implied here, you don’t want to look nouveau riche) robot ownership.

      2. JCC

        Not to mention the requirements for one of the most coveted Boy Scout Merit Badges of my youth, the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge.

        I wonder how many police today were Boy Scouts… not a high percentage, I bet.

        1. diptherio

          I don’t think the rifle shooting merit badge existed when I was involved in the 90s. Too bad.

          1. cm

            As an Eagle Scout, I had to do a little research for this post… here is a list of discontinued merit badges. “Rifle & Shotgun Shooting” merit badge existed from 1967 – 1988, when it was split into two merit badges, one for rifle and one for shotgun.

            Anyone who went to scout camp will remember the .22 range.

            I’m also dubious about the dates on some of these websites. According to wiki “American Cultures” was created in 1979, but I certainly don’t remember it.

      3. Arizona Slim

        I took the same NRA safety course when I was 12 years old. All of the above points were drilled into me too.

        Thanks, @inode_buddha, for refreshing my memory.

      4. Binky

        That NRA went away in the 1980s. You can see the content in American Rifleman change from gun safety to culture war right quick.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I remember the pre-1980s Rifleman well. A must-read for my dad and me. (We were target shooters and occasional hunters.)

          The more recent version? Well, let’s just say that it’s not the same.

        2. inode_buddha

          Correct, that old NRA no longer exists. That is why I am no longer a member. I don’t believe in all this para-military crap.

          I have some members in my immediate family who are victims of rape and other violent crimes, that is why I take the issue of self-defense very seriously. I have no illusions about society becoming a wonderful nonviolent place, it won’t happen. I wish people would actually educate themselves and just DEAL with it.

          And of course, all the traditional target shooting, plinking, and the occasional food on the table (the rest of it grows in the ground).

    4. dk

      When arrayed in body armor and multiple belted and attached items (weighing 8-40+ pounds!), it is very difficult to defend oneself, much less physically control another (unencumbered) person (even when they’re not resisting). So the gun and the taser become the go-to items for dominance in a confrontation.

      Of course, (over) equipping law enforcement officers is big and lucrative business, and one should not question the profitable industries.

      I know a guy, a retired police office, who tours the country training law enforcement personnel in unarmed control techniques and tactics. (Disclaimer: he’s a student in a “Chinese boxing” school where I train and teach). He brings back stories of how dismissive officers are of any methods (including talking) to mitigate escalating confrontation other than unholstering a weapon. The idea that one should use anything other than a gun (even a taser) is considered somewhat ridiculous (I mean, what is the gun for, anyway?).

      He is also black, and recounts how other (mostly white) officers routinely use racial/sexist/cultural slurs in conversation, expecting him to take no offense because he is “one of them”. I have heard similar stories from black and/or female law personnel as well. The plural of anecdote is not data, but when it’s uniform from multiple diverse sources over time, one has to wonder.

      1. fresno dan

        I agree. My view is that when one looks at the aftermath, the total lack of a real investigation into why this continually happens, and any action to ameliorate it, one has to understand that the police chiefs, city councils, and entire state governance apparatus (including courts) and society in general is entirely satisfied with how the police use (or in my view, over use) force. If the cost is a few black and white trash people, well, that’s the price of civilization…

        I don’t know how realistic Andy Taylor of Mayberry ever was, but the fact that the person in the article was shot with an “assault rifle” says something about the escalation of police weaponry…if you need assault rifles for someone in broad daylight completely in the open and pretty apparently unarmed….what do you need on a dark and story night – tactical nukes???

        1. RabidGandhi


          And the proof of this is that even if the attacker is prosecuted in this case, it will only result in a ‘bad apple’ verdict: an officer who overstepped the bounds of SOP. Except the whole situation was wrong from the get go. As Comrade Haygood duly noted above, this would have played out completely differently had the victim been a rich white soccer mom, in which case there never would have even been a possible shooting situation, but rather an “Everything alright ma’am?” and end of story.

          Thus I agree with your conclusion 100%: the PTB are entirely satisfied with how the police currently abuse force, and are not going to take any actions to change it beyond the Obama-style optics adjustment needed to maintain the status quo.

          1. cwaltz

            Some of you all can bite me.

            Two of my brothers are deputies. One of them is decorated for saving someone’s life. This idea that all cops are corrupt, racist buttwipes is just as bad as the position that all AAs are super dangerous predators.

              1. cwaltz

                Thus I agree with your conclusion 100%: the PTB are entirely satisfied with how the police currently abuse force, and are not going to take any actions to change it beyond the Obama-style optics adjustment needed to maintain the status quo.

                What’s the definition of status quo again?

                I was responding to YOUR strawman. Everything isn’t some conspiracy theory dude.

            1. Foppe

              Certainly, but until those other cops start to dare object to their behavior, and object to the abuse of union ‘loyalty’ to protect murderous ‘brothers’, they’re still part of the problem. (one can argue over whether what is the bigger problem — ‘loyalty’, IA, or the ‘justice’ system — but they are all part of it.)

              1. clarky90

                What would happen if, one day, ALL the cops decided to stay at home instead of going to work?, What if they didn’t come back? Just as a thought experiment

                1. cwaltz

                  The good ones are going to quit too.

                  Just like good teachers quit when people heaped on them that they were what is wrong with the system.

                  Who needs the hassle of being maligned and treated like crap for pay that requires your family to hold a bake sale when you get sick? It’s going to go on the list of jobs people don’t want. Mark my words.

                  As usual instead of looking at a problem and focusing on the problem our uniquely American system says we have to lump people together and then punch and blame them. *shakes head*

                  1. dots

                    Unfortunately, it takes even more than just a typically screwed up system before the citizens up and decide to quit. Black people surely can’t decide not to be black or I’m quite sure we would have convinced them to so already. People have put up with a helluva lot of crap historically speaking. All these ‘standards of behavior’ and ‘codes of conduct’ are supposed to protect us from degenerating into a society where heads are displayed on spikes and other public violence.

                    So, where does that leave us all? Where does change begin?

                  2. zapster

                    The good ones have quit the bad forces long ago. Gresham’s law. Like the banks, a criminogenic system means good cops or bankers were weeded out and the ones that are left are categorically bad and/or colluding.

                2. hunkerdown

                  No need for thought — the experiment’s been partially proven in vivo. NYC near the end of 2014 (Antimedia):

                  The NYPD is just like any playground bully; when somebody strikes back they cry and tell the teacher. Well the teacher in this case is Mayor de Blasio who is responsible for dealing with the endless stream of lawsuits generated by the department’s misconduct. The bully took his ball and went home, but it seems nobody misses the bully or the ball.

                  Arrests are down 66%. Traffic violations are down 94%. Criminal Court Summonses are down 94%. There is no public outcry. There is no crime wave. The NYPD’s move just showed that all of the rhetoric about being the thin blue line between order and chaos is complete garbage. These aren’t just petty offenses being overlooked as the national media is attempting to frame it. The NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau has had an 84% drop in drug related arrests. If you believe the propaganda, this is one of those units that supposedly stops wild marijuana junkies with needles hanging out of their arm from breaking into apartments and burning down churches after they use the American flag as toilet paper. Reefer madness has not paralyzed New York.

    5. craazyboy

      It could have been a self driving toy truck. We’re finding out those things could be dangerous.

      1. fresno dan

        July 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

        North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene declined Thursday to identify the officer who shot an unarmed black man earlier this week. Charles Kinsey, who was trying to calm his patient with autism, said his hands were in the air when he was shot in the leg.
        “[There are] many questions about what happened on Monday NIGHT,” Eugene told reporters. “You have questions, the community has questions, we as a city and as a member of the police department, I personally have questions.”

        NIGHT!!!??!?!?! F*cking NIGHT!!!???!!?
        Man, they got some bright nights in Florida, and damn bright street lights….
        Was saying “night” just a slip of the tongue? 40 years ago, when I was young and “conservative” I would have thought anyone noting it was just some wackadoodle liberal….now, I don’t think such things are mistakes…

    6. Wyoming

      Re: the BLM (Blue Lives Matter) link. Everyone should read this to have a better understanding of where all this is heading (imho it is going to get much more violent going forward). As a piece of anecdotal information. I used to work with a couple of former Baltimore police officers about 30 years ago. They once described to me the technique of handcuffing a suspect and putting them in the back of a vehicle unsecured and then driving wildly and thus slamming them all over the back of vehicle. A way of beating them senseless without actually touching them. They told me it worked wonders and were very proud of it. Sound familiar? Such has been a standard practice in Baltimore for decades.

      And this idea that police are going to provide first aid to someone they just shot? Someone is kidding. I have had lots of police or ex-police just laugh at the idea to my face.

      1. fresno dan

        July 21, 2016 at 11:02 am

        I remember Joseph Wambaugh’s police books, where a cop shoots a “bad guy” and pretends to do CPR so that he can press the wound and essentially force all the blood out of the guy – he puts his hat on the wound to hide the geyser of blood coming out – the cop in the story got a commendation. A work of fiction but you wonder how many were actually true…
        “The Blue Knight” If I recall – maybe – still, I read it more than 30 years ago…actually, going on 40…OMG!

        Its almost as if our system is designed not to discover “rough rides”….but I don’t wanna be cynical (sarc)

      2. TheCatSaid

        Just like the Freddie Gray-related police trials. The driver of the police van was accused of proving a “rough ride” like you describe. He was found innocent, but at least the ongoing prosecutions of the 6 police officers are revealing bad practices that had been hidden.

  7. optimader

    Something Is Causing Siberia’s Tundra to Literally Bubble Underground

    The researchers who captured the strange footage said both methane and carbon dioxide poured out of the bubble when it was punctured. It’s still unclear why or how these pockets of gas first formed, but it’s possible that an unusual heat wave caused permafrost to thaw, which allowed trapped methane gas to escape.

    yeah, no sht. Lets just say rotting organic matl under melting permafrost, not sure why it is mysterious?
    This goes back to a field study by some Russian researchers some~20years ago(?) that I recall reading basically received little attention. I guess it was considered insignificant , the conclusion is a release of a fantastic amount of methane as it rots down that will overwhelm anyother sources of greenhouse gas.
    /Lets call it climate change you can believe in

      1. optimader

        excellent potentialities for bad outcomes for both greenhouse gas and rhetorical gas
        I’ll have to look at my bookmark links re: the literal, as i recall cocktail napkin calcs for CH4/CO2 generation potential.

  8. The Realist

    The Guardian headline should actually read:

    IMF Forecasts UK Growth to be Same or Better than Germany and France Following Brexit Vote

    The IMF believes that next year the UK will have similar growth rates to Germany – the eurozone economy most affected by the Brexit-induced slowdown – and France. Germany’s growth is now estimated at 1.2% in 2017, a fall of 0.4 points.

    The IMF does make one salient point:

    … the extent of economic and political uncertainty has risen, and the likelihood of outcomes more negative than the one in the baseline has increased.

    Of course, the one thing that could reduce uncertainty, significant advance negotiations, has been taken off the table by the EU. So, what does the EU want:

    — Reduced uncertainty and lower chances of negative impacts?
    — Or, no activity until next year (earliest possible date for Article 50 filing)?

    Maybe there will be substantial ‘officially’ unofficial negotiations that exactly resemble what the official negotiations will look like. If creative labelling is required to allow the EU save face while assuming a more constructive stance, the UK would be almost certain to go along.

    1. RabidGandhi

      IMF forecasts -1.5% GDP for Argentina in 2017. If you scratch the numbers a bit they are based on the pie-in-the sky official forecasts for inflation and job growth, all of which have thus far been the diametric opposite of what actually happened. But the good thing about the IMF is they are always blatantly transparent about their own stupidity:

      According to [IMF Western Hemisphere Director Alejandro] Warner, “in Argentina the transition to a more coherent and credible macroeconomic policy framework continues advancing, and the medium-term growth perspectives should be solidified”. But he warned that “the adverse impact on activity in the short-term has been greater than expected”.

      Translating: “The government are instituting a shock austerity programme (a ‘more coherent and credible macroeconomic policy’). For some reason it’s not helping yet, but just hang in there, once we’ve bled the patient enough she will get better.”

      I can’t speak for the UK, but in Latin America the IMF’s forecasts are always based on ideology and not on facts on the ground. And furthermore they are always always always wrong. As in Bill Kristol wrong. It would not surprise me in the least if a lot of their predictions for the UK are based on the thinking that “Brexit will be bad, but the good news is that May will implement (more) austerity so that should make the UK more competitive…” blah blah blah.

      1. Jim Haygood

        For Argentina, the IMF forecasts 25% inflation in 2016 and 20% in 2017, while Macri targets 17% inflation in 2017. As independent data, the PriceStats series, based on prices scraped from the internet, is useful.

        Of interest is the orange line in the bottom chart, “Inflación mensual.” It shows monthly inflation of 1.62% as of July 6th — down from nearly 6 percent monthly inflation in February, right after the devaluation.

        Nobody actually knows, though the Banco Central has a better idea than most. Inflation could just as easily undershoot as overshoot.

        Argentina is never going to ditch the “greasy kid stuff” of inflation, if it considers 17 percent an acceptable target. Néstor Kirchner’s 2003 promise of “un pais serio” remains a distant dream, in a country that has lopped thirteen (13) zeros off its currency in the past century.

        There used to be — maybe still is — a restaurant on Defensa in San Telmo with its walls papered in colorful australes and other worthless currencies from the country’s chequered past.

        1. RabidGandhi

          My (standard) 2-year rent contract has 25% yearly rent increases. This was standard when it was signed 18 months ago when inflation was in the 20% range. If rental contracts/supplier agreements, etc., signed now are following the inflation over the last 6 mos, they should be contracting at at least 40%. So how does my greengrocer– who just signed a 2 year lease that binds him to pay 40% more in rent in 2017– only raise his prices by 17%? Plus on top of this, he is paying 400% more in utilities and 300% more for gas. And this goes all the way up the supply chain.

          That said, none of this would be a problem if salaries kept pace. They mainly did so over the last decade, as can be seen from how real consumption clearly kept increasing every year. But when the Macri regime came in it set the bar for annual cost of living adjustments (paritarias) by saying “inflation will be 20%– 25% tops” so raises were negotiated based on that. The results? When you combine a 15% loss in real wages + 400% utility increases + 250,000 layoffs, you get the opposite of what we saw during the Kirchner years: consumption is decreasing by 15% YOY and the economy is in deep recession: all predictable macroeconomic effects from the policies that have been implemented– to the benefit of a rich minority and the rejoicing of Washington/IMF.

          BTW I think the restaurant in San Telmo might be La Brigada? (where they cut the beef with a spoon!)

              1. craazyboy

                Constant blood pressure is good. We made 70-90 “normal” because then there is a physical link to our abstract numbering system, if we choose to acknowledge a physical link. Like one is one finger, two is two fingers, etc….

                Now if economists decided they are also doctors[they may have already], they would say blood pressure slowly rising at 2% per year to 200 is better. Prolly ’cause smart watch sales would increase because everybody would need to monitor their blood pressure to insure it is increasing at the proper rate and staying in it’s “normal” range. If it doesn’t, people would know something is wrong and go find a real doctor.

                The next problem being the doctor may demand payment in gold, or multiply his fee by your smart watch number to arrive at the fiat currency price. When you realize you can’t do that with your boss, typically your smart watch goes off the scale, and your doctor bill went up before you even got outta the place.

                1. craazyboy

                  oopsie. Just realized I mixed up blood pressure and heart rate numbers.

                  Normal blood pressure is 120/80. But the example is close enough anyway. Except you’ll need to inflation adjust two numbers with your iPhone calculator in between playing mobile pokemon. Remember, it all helps the economy – and jobs!

                  Disclosure- I don’t own a smart watch, or even an iPhone.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Or annual rent contracts? (Two-year rentals, denominated in pesos, are legally mandated in Argentina.)

              High and unstable inflation makes signing any commitment a crapshoot for both parties.

              There are no high inflation rich countries, and probably never will be. Like cheap, bright fleece clothing, high inflation is a badge of poverty and underdevelopment.

  9. dk

    Why Does Crime Feel Exponentially Higher, When It’s Materially Lower? EconomPic

    Further point to consider: violent (“hard”) crime (murder, rape, other assault) tends to attract more attention and outrage than other categories such as property crime or fraud (“soft”). However, fraud in particular can have many more victims and have broader impacts. Our fight-or-flight heritage may not be drawing our attention to some of the most serious threats (and the MSM media isn’t helping either).

    1. cm

      Is the crime reporting accurate? Is an illegal alien going to initiate contact with police to report a crime?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Crime or misdemeanor.

        Most people commit plagiarism – daily – without much bother.

        “I love you.”

        “I love you.”

        “You’re plagiarizing me.”

        “I am?”

        “Yes. Exact words, in fact.”

        “But that is how I feel.”

        “Tough luck. That doesn’t make your plagiarism go away.”

        “But ‘I love you’ is so common. How can that be plagiarism?”

        “Are you saying I am common?”

        “No, no, dear. You’re special.”

        “That’s right. I am special. And my love for you is special. So, when I first said, ‘I love you,’ that whole thing – I is special, love is special, and you is special – is special. No one can steal that away from me. Thief!!! Plagiarist!!!”

    2. polecat

      fraud,,,,,,,what’s that???……….oh, rightttttt….. i forgot……..that’s where you do GOD”s WORK…………

  10. Anne

    Tim Kaine, Possible Hillary Clinton Pick for Vice President, Goes to Bat for Banks

    Of course – this makes all the sense in the world, right? Well, it does to those of us who never believed her slight leftward movement during the primaries would survive once she got the nomination.

    Hillary’s VP pick is going to tell the tale – if Tim Kaine [or Tom Vilsack or Mark Warne] is, in fact, her choice for running mate, it will confirm that the more progressive words she spouted were entirely political, not principled, and that she never had any intention of keeping a left-of-center position on the political spectrum. And that she sure as hell isn’t looking to woo any Sanders voters – if anything, her pick of some DINO/DLC-style/Third Way-type VP is pretty much a giant F-You to Sanders, to those who supported him, and worst, to the ideas, agenda and vision for which Sanders and his supporters stand.

    I don’t know why anyone ever thought she would stay in her new slightly-more-left-of-center spot, really, but if the GOP can lie to itself about Trump, then I’m pretty sure Dems can lie to themselves about Hillary. I mean, they lied to themselves about Obama, didn’t they? All that bipartisanship, the post-partisan unity shtick. the “working together” and compromise was just part of the 11-dimensional chess game he was playing with the GOP, remember? That whole Grand Bargain thing, well, he must have had a plan we just weren’t smart enough to figure out, right? People who regularly were in danger of stroking out over the Bush administration’s actions all of a sudden found themselves defending and justifying similarly odious actions from the Obama administration.

    It’s all of a piece. If you really are opposed to the TPP, your platform representatives don’t refuse to put that opposition in the platform, and you don’t consider running with someone who supports the TPP. If you really are in favor of women’s reproductive rights, you don’t choose a pro-lifer to run on your ticket. If you truly want to rein in the financial industry, you don’t choose someone who wants to lift regulations on some banks.

    Trump and Clinton are both just stinkin’ bad, and there are going to be consequences no matter which one of them wins in November.

    1. Ulysses

      “Trump and Clinton are both just stinkin’ bad”


      We could save forests of trees, and rivers of ink, if we let those eight simple words stand for all the useless “political commentary” that we will be subjected to in the coming months!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How far back do we have to go to find one politician or presidential that is not stinking bad?

        Or one who can not be coerced into endorsing people he/she doesn’t believe in?

        If one can be coerced into endorsing, what else can be coerced if he/she is in the White House?

        1. Vatch

          How far back do we have to go to find a politician who is not stinking bad? All the way to the 2016 Democratic Presidential primary: Bernie Sanders.

          1. Vatch

            Sorry, I should have pointed out that Sanders wasn’t forced to support Clinton. As unpleasant as this is (and it is very unpleasant), he agreed to do this back in the beginning of his campaign.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I thought I read comments here that he was coerced into sooner-than-expected endorsement.

              “You said you would…a year ago. Then you said you would, upon Hillary meeting some conditions…a few weeks back. For a while now, the impression was you would fight and not endorse (meeting or meeting your conditions) till the convention. The timing seems a bit early.”

              1. Vatch

                Sure, there are theories that he was coerced into making an early endorsement. Sometimes theories like that are actually true. More often, not so much.

        2. craazyboy

          There has got to be a horse head shortage shaping up in DC. I would be very, very afraid if I were John Kerry. They’ll be coming for his head next.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “But all you have to do, my sweet candidate, is fool me (while I am voting) into thinking you’re not stinking. You can be stinking bad afterwards.”

    2. Pat

      Someone who was dead serious told me last night that Hillary had been forced to the left and we had the means to hold her feet to the fire. My response, ‘she is lying, and how do you think you can make her do anything once she is in office.’ “We can, she needs us.”

      Delusion is strong, and logic is out the window. They also think I’m crazy when I tell them that unlike them, I have Hillary’s record to support my position that she is a fear mongering, race baiting, neoliberal corporate hack with a love of regime change.

      1. Jen

        I’m using a new approach when I debate: I tell people I want the DNC every bit as terrified of their base as the RNC is of theirs. If they want my vote, they can come and get it, and they won’t succeed by waving Trump in my face. November is a long way off, and my phone is once again ringing off the hook. May as well have some fun with it. Sample size of one, but a friend who is voting Hillary because Trump responded positively.

      2. Pat

        Oh, and I should let you know that the only reason Clinton is considering Kaine is because Warren turned her down. There was no answer as to why she wasn’t vetting other more supposedly progressive candidates.

        1. Anne

          Not sure what to make of this, either:

          This does not fill me with confidence about next week. Neither does the rumor that Charlie Crist, the unremarkable CreamSicle from Florida, is even on the long list for vice-president.

          Charlie Crist, former Republican.

          Sanders is speaking on Monday night…with not one nominally progressive possible VP on the list, maybe he, in so many words, retracts his “endorsement” of Clinton, and pulls a Ted Cruz vote-your-conscience move.

          1. Roger Smith

            I wouldn’t like to live in the world where Ted Cruz did something Sanders should of, we will see.

          2. Steve Gunderson

            Sanders has only been a Democrat or the past 11 months or so. Cruz has been a Republican for his entire life.

              1. Vatch

                I think his point is that non-Democrat Sanders needed to establish his credentials as a Democrat early in the primary season by promising to support the eventual nominee. Otherwise, many Democrats might have claimed he was an outsider and a carpet bagger.

                1. cwaltz

                  Many Democrats did claim he was an outsider or carpet bagger.

                  Personally, I don’t think that should have bothered him much at all considering the state of the Democrat Party. He, himself, said one of the reasons he ran as a Democrat was to try to help remake it into something healthier and more representative of the rest of us.

                  1. polecat

                    how can he be seen as ‘outsider’………when the real, original carpetbagger is the former (NY) senator Hillary ‘new zipcode’ Clinton

          3. Carolinian

            While I’m not a big Charlie Pierce fan I have to agree that Trump Jr–what little I caught of him–was scary. He takes Dad’s fakey belligerence and turns it into real belligerence.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Kaine is the perfect DLC dimwit for Hillary. He isn’t outrageously offensive and he is so bland people tend to ignore how awful he was.

          He was the DNC chair during the 2010 debacle. Kaine should be disqualified from any Democratic Party event after that.

          In 2008, the Obama field director in Virginia told me Obama was going to announce Kaine on a Wednesday. I told him it would be awkward voting for McCain. He was confused, so I ran through the Kaine career and asked if they even bothered to vet Kaine.

        3. John k

          I don’t believe it… Shill might have waved the vp at Liz, but never seriously, banks wouldn’t stand for it, no matter how much a neolib Liz might be on nonbank issues.
          Liz permanently lost the progressive vote, important if shill loses in November…
          Hopefully shill getting the nom marks the neolib high tide line.

          1. Pat

            I was just quoting what I was told when I said that the big money was on TPP supporting rightish Kaine for VP. I hate to have to come to the conclusion but I think Warren was angling for VP, and this turned it down to be more effective thing is all a big ‘he’ll pivot to being liberal after reelection’ wishful thought about Clinton. I mean she wanted someone to the left of most of her stated positions as VP!!

            Here’s the thing, Trump really did try to throw a bone to the Republican establishment with Pence. Clinton has done nothing to ‘unite’ the party, and the VP should be a real indication of the contempt she feels for people who were never Republicans and don’t want to vote for former ones or people who have embraced their policies of the last fifty years (regardless of the party designation).

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Bernie has made Hillary stronger (at least cosmetically).

        “A good plastic surgeon can make you beautiful…at least on the outside.”

        Not Kabuki, but plastic surgery.

        1. Roger Smith

          I think Buffalo BIll Hill is the more appropriate metaphor here. She wants to take off that extra layer of man-flesh as soon as possible. It is hot under there!

          1. craazyboy

            Why… the two party system, of course!

            I’m amazed we seem to be living out 1990s Simpsons cartoons. South Park cartoons too.

    3. John Wright

      I look at the non-binding platform negotiations of the Clinton people as evidence of their hubris. It would have been far easier for Clinton to add “oppose the TPP” in the platform to pick up Sanders supporters and walk back that position later.

      She could privately assure her major donors that this position was for “optics only”.

      With the “oppose the TPP” in the platform, she could then quietly push Obama to get the TPP passed in the lame duck session, so she wouldn’t have to deal with a cynical 180 degree turn after the election.

      President Clinton could subsequently say, while I opposed TPP, it passed before I could stop it.

      The platform process and the non-leftish VP choices indicate to me that Clinton and her sycophantic people are overconfident and not playing it in a politically safe manner.

      She, and her people, believe they really have this in the bag.

      1. RabidGandhi

        My assumption is that HRC does not have to assure her donors that her rhetoric is for optics only, since optics are a huge part of what their donations are buying. They are paying her to say whatever it takes to get elected and then implement their policies, and she has a strong track record of doing just that– that’s why she gets the big bucks. There’s no need for private reassurances of the explicit foundations of their arrangement.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In basketball and many other games, you have to practice for years, as teammates on the same team, to do that, without much talking or signing (as in, making signs).

          You’re like one.

          That’s unity.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Amazon’s lamppost drone perches practically beg for the drones to be disguised as vultures, giving the same warm natural feeling as plastic fir-tree cell towers do in our public spaces.

    But seriously, patents are supposed to be non-obvious. Patenting the obvious need for drone bases and recharging stations is just patent trolling.

    Too bad young Steven Olson of St Paul, Minnesota beat Amazon in filing his brilliant patent no. 6368227, “Method of Swinging on a Swing.” Thousands of playgrounds across America sit disused owing to Olson’s exorbitant royalty demands. That’s a joke — but Amazon’s patent trolling is not, as they have the lawyers, guns and money to enforce it.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Coming soon to a lamp post near you: Drone target practice!

      Hey, if people are already practicing their marksmanship on hapless road signs, why not lamp posts with drones on them?

      1. craazyboy

        I think it will all come to an abrupt end when Bezos finally figures out he’ll need to charge about $10,000 a year for Amazon Prime, and limit the number of shipments a customer can get.

  12. The Realist

    Trump supporting Glass-Stegall restoration is a very visible Sanders plank. So is opposition to TPP, which Clinton negotiated and supports.

    Also, if elected, Trump would be willing to support a bipartisan push to repeal Glass-Stegall. The current monoparty Dem-Rep elite leaders would hate it, but items can be forced to a House vote via Discharge Petition. And Senator Sessions, as the man with direct access to the President, would be ideally positioned to twist arms in the Senate.

    If Sanders voters back Trump some of what they want has a chance to become law. It looks like a better deal than they can get from Hillary.

    Can Trump organize to reach disenchanted Sanders Voters?

    1. Vatch

      I don’t believe the Republican platform positions on Glass Steagall or Trump’s position on the TPP. It was Republican Senator Phil Gramm who was the driving force in the Congress to repeal Glass Steagall (yes, the Democratic Clinton administration were his allies), and most of the Representatives and Senators who voted for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) were Republicans. TPA is a crucial step towards passing the TPP.

      If Trump were serious about reaching out to disenchanted Sanders voters, he wouldn’t have chosen the astonishingly Talibanesque Mike Pence (who supports the TPP) to be his Vice Presidential running mate.

      1. Pat

        Where I will give Trump some leeway on TPP (he has been on that hobby horse from the beginning), I agree about Glass Steagall. I did love that they got the vote on it and put it in, but I no more expect to see any movement on that from a Trump administration than I would in a Clinton one.

        1. clarky90

          I think you will be surprised at how much Trump can achieve. He is a leader and people tend to follow leaders, good and bad. The herd mentality. This entire neocom/neolib mess is because a handful of political operatives got into positions of power and “led” the Democratic and Republican Parties (breadcrumb trails of cash). In the last few months, Bernie Sanders nearly remade the Democratic Party. Donald Trump has amazingly transformed the Republican Party. The vast majority of Republicans and Independents are loving it. I expect that now that the neocon/lib spell is broken, a lot of Dems will be voting for Trump as well. (IMHO) They just may not be announcing their decision to their friends.

          1. The Realist

            Actually, there are two major reasons to believe Trump will push for Glass-Stegall restoration. If you are:

            — An optimist / He will back it because it is the right thing to do for the American people.
            — A skeptic / Trump is in Real Estate and “blood sucking leech financiers” are bad for his businesses. Its time to open up future business margins.

            Trump doing the right thing for the wrong reason….. heck…. a win is a win even for the skeptics out there.

            P.S. Why do I feel unclean right now ?

      2. craazyboy

        The optimistic view is Trump (and most of the rest of us) knew there was a big chance he would get ambushed at the R convention, and the GOP would declare someone else the GOP candidate. So he has been playing suck up with TPTB to avoid the ambush.

        Typically, VPs are exiled to a DC golf course – or perhaps a DC donut shop and forced to hang around with Attorney Generals – about 5 minutes after the presidential inauguration speech. Cheney being an exception to the rule.

        So we can hope there is that. Or maybe not.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump just needs to get the Christians on board who don’t like a New Yorker and depress Team Blue turnout. Nominally being against TPP and even calling for a restoration of Glass-Steagall is brilliant as it will disrupt union organizing efforts, and unions provide the gotv muscle as opportunities or problems become apparent. They will travel in groups and support a specific region, but I don’t see many union employees doing work for Hillary.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe Pence can repent or has repented and is now opposing TPP, as he is on the road to DC.

        Trump: “Conversion, one at a time.”

        1. craazyboy

          Fairy Tale Interlude

          Pence tells working class voters he has seen the light and hates TPP, while telling his corporate sponsors he’s pandering to voters. It’s safe to make megabuck donations to the campaign, because Trump confessed to Pence that Trump is pandering to voters too.

          All goes well and Hillary loses in spite of outspending Trump 100:1.

          Trump becomes our Bankruptor in Chief and reneges on all his corporate sponsors.

          The Little People rejoice, singing and dancing(conservatively), and live happily ever after.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Pence is a bone to identity obsessed Christians, the kinds who love the Confederate flag and are distrustful of Trump who is still from “Jew York.” Trump , ought have Falwell Jr but Falwell Jr isn’t his father or the minister. He runs Liberty University which is a large operation. He doesn’t have the loyalty of the church goers.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              If Trump had his druthers, my gut says Guiliani would have been his choice except for the pesky Constitutional requirement. Rudy was advising Trump last year.

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the Independent article:

    “As the US reels from the shooting deaths of police officers in Louisiana and Texas – incidents that were carried out by military veterans who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq – the Pentagon is trying to better understand the extent of the problems, and find solutions.”

    More Chalmers Johnson style blowback: paramilitary police departments, assaulted by disgruntled war vets who have the tactical skills to take out multiple law enforcement officers.

    It is idle to believe that the US can operate a global empire of sadistic violence while staying peaceful at home.

    As ol’ H. Rap Brown (who’s in prison for killing a couple of sheriff’s deputies) used to say, “Violence is as American as cherry pie.” And we’re doing all we can to increase it.

    1. cwaltz

      The Pentagon has been playing a dangerous game for awhile. My spouse had a 75% op tempo when he left communications for special forces in the 90s. We told them to bite us when the Navy told him in 1999 that if he re enlisted he could look forward to two years in Guam unaccompanied. I didn’t sign up to be a single parent and if he wanted to be single then he wouldn’t have bothered marrying to begin with.

      Families can be the strongest support network anyone can have and the military has gone out of its way to separate members from theirs for extended lengths of time on top of placing them in dangerous situations where they are expected to essentially asked to ignore every civilized behavior in order to stay alive. It is no surprise to anyone that has spent time in the military that this would be what happened. Too much war and not enough normalcy for the average military member is a recipe for disaster.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Venezuelans burst into tears at the sight of fully stocked grocery shelves in Colombia:

    They massed at the border crossings in the dead of night, tens of thousands of Venezuelans seeking a brief respite from the world’s deepest economic crisis. By dawn on Sunday, they had packed the Venezuelan half of Simon Bolivar bridge and more kept coming.

    For only the third time in a year, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro had opened the border to neighboring Colombia and tens of thousands seized the opportunity to buy essential items such as rice and shampoo — goods scarcely available now in once-wealthy Venezuela.

    The Colombian security forces appeared to have been ordered to wage a charm offensive, smiling and saying “Welcome to Colombia’’ as the Venezuelans streamed past.

    At least three women burst into tears when they reached the Colombian side, and a man shouted “Viva Colombia’’.

    Some cursed Maduro’s administration back home which they blamed for reducing them to the point where to buy products as basic as rice they now need to cross an international frontier.

    My oil well for a bowl of rice!

    1. TheCatSaid

      Reality in Venezuela is more nuanced. This is a very good recent report in relation to the food situation in particular.

      I wouldn’t expect to hear anything but negative propaganda about Venezuela from MSM.

      1. Jim Haygood

        When the military has been put in charge of food distribution, most analysts would admit that there’s a self-imposed problem.

        Food shortages are not an issue in poorer South American countries, such as Bolivia and Paraguay. But then, they don’t have absurdly misaligned exchange rates either.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I heard it this week on radio that there have not been enough farmers since way before Chavez…something to do with urbanization and the discover of oil in that country.

        2. TheCatSaid

          Yep. Let’s hope they get those “absurdly misaligned exchange rates” sorted out soon. They created ripe opportunities for some to take advantage of others. I believe some changes have been made in the rates but it needs to go much further.

          If the US would keep out of the way and stop stirring up trouble that would help, too.

  15. Eduardo Quince

    NYT pulled its article on CEOs meeting in secret to discuss sorry state of public companies: “This Article Was Published in Error”

      1. Eduardo Quince

        Thanks. This explains why it was pulled:

        Despite the moratorium on speaking publicly, news about the emergence of the group did leak earlier this year in The Financial Times — to the consternation of several participants.

    1. dk

      It’s up again… for now…

      JCC’s link is better anyway, has some additional video commentary on the topic from Buffet and Brian Rodgers.

      1. beth

        If you can, check to see if the article was rewritten, so that the second time, it was less accurate. I have seen that done numerous times.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Topics included compensation for chief executives and board members (more payment in stock, less cash) and earnings guidance (the group is generally not a fan).

      Because goshdarnit, executives just don’t have enough incentives to inflate their share price with stock buybacks and no one should tell Jamie Diamond that maybe he should consider making less than 400x what his employees make.

      1. curlydan

        Amen. I almost swallowed my tongue when I read that “recommendation”–no wonder Fidelity and Vanguard refused to sign on to that garbage.

        I guess Jamie missed this HBR article that pretty well laid out the zillion reasons NOT to pay with stock:

        Going “public” might get you some a company some good money to play with, but it takes you down a one way street called “earnings management”

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: ‘The US Congress must stop the war crimes in Afghanistan’ unbalanced evolution

    Unfortunately for Kadir A. Mohmand, the us congress does not regard what has been happening in Afghanistan for decades as war “crimes.”

    If there were buffalo herds on which Afghans depended for survival, they would be eradicated. If the people needed food or blankets, they would be spoiled, putrid or laced with smallpox.

    Far from being considered “crimes,” these are viewed as noble acts by noble people to achieve noble ends. American entitlement will never be limited by concepts as puny and pathetic as “war crimes” or “human rights.”

    It is “Manifest Destiny” on a global scale, and it is deeply embedded in the american DNA.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And of course this year will set another record for opium and heroin production in and from Afghanistan… So see? GDP-wise, it’s all good!

      1. polecat

        …that the young folk in my little community are using …. to their detriment……

        …but hey! ……’s shadow sanctioned by our FEDERAL government , the TBTF’s, aaannnddd the security state…… it’s all A O K !!……..right?

    2. nowhere

      I was doing a little research into the lithium (and other Rare Earth Elements) and found some interesting tidbits. From a NYT article from 2010.

      An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,”

      While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

      I guess it’s good they can be distracted working in mines. Continuing…

      The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries.

      “No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces,” observed Paul A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.

      At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

      Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?” Mr. Brinkley said. “No one knows how this will work.”

      With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully. “This is a country that has no mining culture,” said Jack Medlin, a geologist in the United States Geological Survey’s international affairs program. “They’ve had some small artisanal mines, but now there could be some very, very large mines that will require more than just a gold pan.”

      Ah yes, let the American mining companies come in and allow your corrupt officials a nominal slice of the massive profits; you, peasants will receive nothing but some distraction.

      Another interesting intersection is with Paul A. Brinkley.

      Paul Andrew Brinkley (born November 15, 1966 in Dallas, Texas) is an American businessman and government official. Brinkley is the co-founder and current CEO of North America Western Asia Holdings, an investment and business development firm based in Washington, D.C. Brinkley served as the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates from 2004 to 2011.

      In October 2011, Brinkley co-founded North America Western Asia Holdings (NAWAH), with Thomas Pritzker serving as co-founder and chairman. According to its mission statement, NAWAH will “respect the history of the nations in which it operates, their culture and their people; commit our own capital to build and sustain great companies; partner equally with regional companies, remaining personally and professionally vested in their long-term success (and will) require our employees, suppliers, and partners operate in a transparent manner, following the highest ethical and international business standards.”

      It’s all just a big neoliberal world out there, once you know the right people.

  17. craazyboy

    India Plants a Record 50 Million Trees in 24 Hours Smithsonian Magazine (David L)

    Dunno when we’ll ever figure out what the problem is. I just read somewhere that India has one sixth of the world population, but only 4% of the fresh water supply. Trees need fresh water.

    1. NeqNeq

      “India is home to nearly a sixth of the world’s population but gets only 4 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Already more than half of Asia’s third-biggest economy faces high water stress. By 2030, demand is expected to outstrip supply by about 50 percent, according to the Water Resources Group”

      From 7/19 Water Cooler. Yves should have labeled that under class warfare? /smirk

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In Lawrence of Arabia, after killing Hazimi, Anthony Quinn, in respond to Lawrence’s outrage, said, something like ‘Out here, he’s nothing. Water or the well is everything.’

  18. allan

    The DOJ deals a devastating blow to professional songwriters [The Hill]

    … For over 60 years, by far the two largest PROs, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) have operated under Consent Decrees with the Department of Justice. Although in theory, these Consent Decrees are intended to protect both songwriters and users from abusive behavior by the PROs, in practice, the decrees have primarily served to protect music users, many of which are large and powerful corporations, such as Google, Apple, Spotify, Sirius XM and television and radio broadcasters.

    Two years ago, the DOJ began a review of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. For two years in negotiations, meetings, conference calls, visits to the halls of Congress submissions of letters from thousands of songwriters, a legal opinion from the US Copyright Office and personal letters from Members of Congress, the DOJ was urged to consider the interests of songwriters, who must be able to license the songs they create in order to survive.

    Last week, however, under Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse (a former Wilson Sonsini attorney — Google’s law firm), the DOJ announced that, going forward, it intends to interpret the Consent Decrees to require ASCAP and BMI to only issue licenses for songs they control 100%, up-ending decades of custom and practice. The DOJ’s intention, presumably, is to make life easier for companies like Google, Apple, and Spotify. In doing so, DOJ has created an unworkable solution to a non-existent problem. …

    You can’t make a New Economy omelette without breaking some livelihoods. Other people’s livelihoods.

  19. fresno dan

    Given all the seeming resentment in both countries lately of elites and experts — meritocrats, basically — it seemed like a good time to finally read Young’s book. So last night and this morning, I did (the edition I read was only 144 pages, not counting endnotes and such). I recommend it!

    “The Rise of the Meritocracy” is told from the perspective of a pro-meritocracy sociologist, writing in 2033 in an attempt to explain the social unrest that had recently broken out. Hard scientists and engineers are at the apex of the U.K. meritocracy of the 2030s, but sociologists and psychologists seem to have done pretty well for themselves too.
    It’s when Young gets into “Part Two: Decline of the Lower Classes,” that the trouble with meritocracy becomes more apparent. Those who don’t do well on the aptitude tests are treated increasingly as second-class citizens, unworthy of respect or political voice (his narrator charmingly refers to them as “morons”). And those at the top become increasingly smug about it. Writes Young’s narrator:

    Today the eminent know that success is just reward for their own capacity, for their own efforts and for their own undeniable achievement. They deserve to belong to a superior class.
    As a result, the class system under meritocracy ends up becoming more rigid and harsh on the lower classes than what went before. Eventually, the social peace breaks down. Resentful “morons” begin to cause trouble, as do smart parents of not-so-smart children and smart women frustrated with being put on the mommy track. The book ends with the uprising still in progress.

    What are we to make of all this? Writing for the Guardian in 2001, the year before he died, Young argued that:

    It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.

    If you look up the word merit, the definition is along the lines of: something that deserves or justifies a reward or commendation; a commendable quality, act, etc.

    Is walking meritorious? Maybe in walking to work instead of taking a car, but being able to walk instead of being confined in a wheel chair is certainly not. Is throwing a football well professionally meritorious? Its a well compensated talent, but is it really meritorious?

    So is intelligence meritorious? If you think up the concept of collateralized debt obligations, are you brilliant, or just a brilliant grifter?
    Is either presidential candidate “meritorious?”
    Are the people who run the EU “meritorious?”
    Funny thing about merit – the people who most yammer about it being the highest good, are the very same ones who yammer the most about their own merit…

    1. craazyboy

      Apparently, living in the 3rd world and making $2/hour or less is meritorious. Whodathunk breaking the glass floor so far you’re halfway to Hell is considered meritorious? However, goes to show winning isn’t everything, I guess.

    2. Carolinian

      Civilization is advanced by


      ideas, not just people who are good at the old ones. The problem with the so-called meritocracy is that it measures for the latter, not the former. And so we are stuck in a rut when it comes to the areas where we need the most creative thinking, such as government. HRC as the Dem nom is an example of this. Of course technocrats are needed but the current system is far too limited when it comes to ferreting out creativity and new ideas. It’s hard to measure something when you don’t even know yet what you are looking for. So perhaps the very idea of measuring, and basing a class system on it, is flawed.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we focus on what justifies a reward.

      Who sets the parameters for the justification?

      Why do you want a free tuition college degree? For yourself, or for the Machine (by making yourself a better contributor to It)?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mormon tycoon…mega utopia…Vermont.

    One thing I have noticed with the passing of the years is that people are becoming smarter and smarter.

    Competition gets tougher. “New’ ideas appear everyday.

    Is it too tough – mentally challenging – for the neoliberal elites to encourage their supporters to move to a small state (but with 2 electoral votes and 2 senators) and just take over America politics (by taking over the small states) like that?

    Call it a ‘Migration Coup.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “We will be sending an army of 100,000 people – American citizens – up there, X months prior (to establish residency). You’re a billionaire. Can you afford that? I think we can bag the upcoming election.”

  21. craazyboy

    We need to eat less meat. Should the government step in? Washington Post

    Where’s the glibertarians when you need one? My supermarket is handling the problem just fine. Average quality Sirloin steak at $13 a pound.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Legalize affordable organic vegetables.

      It’s as if it’s illegal in many food deserts.

      1. craazyboy

        I stopped looking a few years ago when it hit $27/lb. That’s for the proletariat variety. There are more stratospheric levels for the really good stuff.

    2. Propertius

      Bison ribeye medium rare, with a baked yam, grilled asparagus, and a fresh-picked from the garden salad. What can I say, there’s nothing like reading a self-righteous authoritarian screed to work up an appetite.

  22. JSM

    Re: Brain mapping.

    Brain mapping is certainly a wonderful thing, important for understanding one of the great remaining mysteries of life and the universe. But to think that ’97 brain regions’ were discovered that had never been identified before is silly. If I arbitrarily redraw the map of the the continental U.S., I will also ‘discover’ ‘new states’ whose ‘existence had never been suspected.’ The unfortunate truth is that neuroscience has really not advanced a great deal since the days of Santiago Ramón y Cajal. The idea that major advances are 10, 20, 50 and 100 years is a century old. Does this mean we will never understand the brain? Probably not. But the meme of flogging ‘advances’ in neuroscience just plays into the hands of the Kurzweils, who are selling the slaves/peons technological utopia at an unspecified date, probably right around the time the world has been destroyed by global warming and nuclear war. When do we call starting calling science (scientism) religion?

  23. low integer

    Re: The blatant pillage of Australia’s youth

    In the recent Australian election, Australians had a chance to vote for policies that would have tackled the causes of these problems, including removing tax benefits for property investors and having a Federal investigation into the behaviour of the banks. Australians, and the elderly have the numbers when it comes to voting in Australia, chose neoliberal economics and a proposed $50B tax cut for multinational corporations.
    I and many other younger Australians I talk to feel our future prospects have been hollowed out for short term political expedience and we are angry about it. We will remember.

    1. low integer

      I should add, for the sake of fairness, that those that I have classified in the “elderly” category are by no means homogeneous in their voting preferences.

    2. dk


      Remember the pattern (self interest over community). It lies ahead of you… it is certainly avoidable, but can take some effort to circumvent (effort as in subjective sacrifice… nothing too big but perhaps more than one would like).

      1. low integer

        Yes. While trickle down economics is a self serving theory for the wealthy, trickle down ethics, passed down through observable action rather than empty rhetoric, would seem to be the foundation of any healthy society.

        1. dk

          Good on ya! (If I may be allowed a euphemism from your land and not mine).

          Just a little thing about trickle down in economics… it’s not a complete fallacy, it just doesn’t scale linearly.

          Let’s say I make $1,000/month, I can’t afford a barber shop, so I cut my own hair (or not).

          Let’s say I make $10,000/month… I can easily afford to go to the hair cutters two times a month, some of my income “trickles down” to the stylist and the shop.

          Let’s say I make $100,000/month… I might (or not) go to the salon every week, and get the deluxe shampoo and the mani/pedi, too… but my 10x greater income doesn’t intrinsically yield a 10x greater outflow to the local economy.

          Let’s say I make $1,000,000/month… I fly to Paris to twice a month for coiffure and pampering, and the old barber stop loses a customer.

          Finally, I make $10,000,000/month (don’t ask, I’d have to kill you). I buy out my old hair cutting place and replace everybody with robots. The haircuts kind of suck, but they only cost a third as much, so all of the other salons go broke within the year. Then I jack the prices back up to 10% more than they have ever been… and all the stylists end up homeless (or worse).

          Artificial, but you get the picture, orders-of-magnitude income levels don’t behave uniformly across the range, often for very simple reasons (my demand for hair services didn’t increase at the same rate as my income did, and how could it). When one person makes 1000x more than most others, it starts to tear economy apart. Ethically, it’s just unreasonable.

          But relatively moderate changes in income can do wonders for local and regional economies, by mechanisms that amount to trickle-down (although at the effective scales, trickle-across may be a more appropriate term).

          Examine every mechanism. Some things work in one situation but not in another, within a range of scales but not across all ranges.

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