Links 8/30/2016

Is it safe to pet a tiger? USDA is once again considering the answer McClatchy

Canine catwalk: Homeless dogs pose in outlandish costumes in a bid to attract new owners Daily Mail

Bank to pay customers €15,000 to take out €500,000 loan Irish Times (EM).

US banks in activists’ sights as lenders struggle to hit targets FT

Food Price Deflation Cheers Consumers, Hurts Farmers, Grocers and Restaurants  WSJ

Apple Will Reportedly Be Hit With a Record-Breaking Tax Penalty Fortune

Corruption Currents: U.S. Pays Millions to BHP Billiton Whistleblower WSJ

Video: Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment Trial Nears an End, Endangering Brazilian Democracy The Intercept

Brazil’s Rousseff urges vote against ‘coup’ in trial AFP

Humans are the main obstacle to the driverless revolution FT

The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Super Court That We’re Not Talking About David Dayen, HuffPo. Opens up a new line of attack.


Theresa May urged to grant immigration status to EU workers to avert jobs crisis Express

Britain hits back: French call for new deal on borders is a ‘non-starter’, Home Office warns Telegraph


Rockets hit Saudi border town as Yemen war flares anew Reuters

U.S. tries to stop feuding allies from unraveling Syria strategy Reuters

Turkish Offensive Blindsided U.S. WSJ

#PayPal4Palestine campaign urges PayPal to serve Palestinians, not just Israelis Mondoweiss

Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist’s patients friend each other Fusion

Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans goes crazy Guardian

The Sad Decline of VOX: How a Once-Promising Media Outlet Became a Bastion of Neoliberal Corporatism Paste

NYT Laments Of Allegedly False Russian News Stories – With A False U.S. News Story Moon of Alabama

War Drums

Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks

The disastrous nonintervention in Syria WaPo


Clinton Tries to Separate Trump From Republicans, Worrying Some Democrats Bloomberg. Because on down-ballot races, Democrats want to do the opposite!

It Takes a Ruling-Class Village to Staff the White House Truthdig (RR).

Judge orders State to review, turn over Abedin-related documents Politico

Department of Homeland Security Has Surprise for Bernie Supporters at DNC Lawsuit Hearing Wall Street on Parade (Re Silc).

Hacking the US with only a Sound Global Guerillas

Barack Obama’s healthcare problems turn critical FT

10 years after fatal Comair crash, FAA still has pilots flying in the dark McClatchy. Works for the Fed!

Woman shoots drone: “It hovered for a second and I blasted it to smithereens.” Ars Technica

There is a third pole on earth, and it’s melting quickly WEF (CL).

Our Energy Grid Is Incredibly Vulnerable Slate (Re Silc). To climate change.

Japan’s ‘Hail Mary’ at Fukushima Daiichi: An Underground Ice Wall NYT (DL).

U.S. FDA issues emergency use authorization for Zika test: Roche Reuters (EM).

Class Warfare

America’s wars take uneven toll, study finds (CL).

Punishing the Poor: Welfare Reform and Its Democratic Apologists Common Dreams

My Drowning City Is a Harbinger of Climate Slums to Come The Nation

“Yellow-Dog” Arbitration Clauses Headed to High Court?  Jost on Justice

Do Low Levels of Blood Lead Reduce Children’s Future Test Scores? NBER Working Paper No. 22558

State mental hospitals were closed to give people with mental illness greater freedom Boston Globe (Re Silc).

How Big Alcohol Is About to Get Rich Off California Weed Politico

Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Accepted Wisdom About Teeth NYT

Study shows one way that scientific progress is broken Ars Technica

Gene Wilder Dies at 83; Star of ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’ NYT


Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour“>here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


    1. anti-social scientist

      “I’m not a man so don’t call me sexist.”
      That’s not how this works; that’s not how any of this works.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Unless you can manufacture them.

        “Some create money, some have to earn it. If you are a serf, you are likely to owe.”

        Thus, you are better off in the vote-manufacturing business.

    2. Roger Smith

      Has anyone here found the full MSNBC clip showing Clinton talking about her votes for a border “barrier”? This was the first I had heard of this and I would like to share it, however it sounds like there may be more… nuance (shiver) that is cut from the clip. I was unsuccessful earlier.

        1. Portia

          Hah! this was before the Ides of March ban on “Hillary bashing”–this seems like eons ago

          1. cwaltz

            It actually would be rather fun to search the archives for 2008 when it was all Hillary sucks and is a corporate racist all the time because Obama was the anointed one.

      1. fresno dan

        Roger Smith
        August 30, 2016 at 9:12 am
        Seems awfully low tech, and the Hillary modus operandi inviting silicone valley in with a “force field” seems like a much greater scam…uh, I mean plan for the border…

        1. JTMcPhee

          All they have to do is dust off the “McNamara Line Anti-Infiltration Barrier (sic)” from the Vietnam era. Designed by the best and brightest to be leak-proof. fokkiing military and tech hubris, it never ends until somebody finally pulls the last bit of idiocy, whether thermonuclear devastation or “escape” of some pathogen or maybe the “gray goo hypothesis,”, is more than just a garlic-induced nightmare…

          I had a seatmate on a transcontinental flight to D.C. some years ago, way before Operation Iraqi Liberation Freedom. He was perusing one of those slick briefing packages from before PowerPoint, plastic-laminated pages with bright colors and catchy ledes. Bearing the logo of i believe Lockheed Martin, maybe General Atomics. He was on his way to “the Mideast,” he said, on a sales trip. The product was a “border interdiction system” being peddled by some branch of the corp, involving “complexes of sensors” linked to “autonomous firing stations” that would unleash a flood of hot lead from “rotary fire automatic weapons” across the flatland, invisible borders between two Sykes-Picot political entities. He and the ad material he was working from were all excited about the “demonstrated successful performance” of this multi-sourced profit center.

          This was maybe 6 or 7 years after I returned from Vietnam. The draft was fading, but I had to ask him if he had any kids. Yes, three sons, two in college and one in high school. So what would happen, I had to ask him, how would he feel, if one or more of his sons ended up in the imperial military and was ordered to “take and destroy” those wonderful emplacements, running through one of those geometrically deployed fields of “sensors, pressure/sound/magnetic/motion/capacitance, indifferent to ambient light and temperature variations, always on duty and on guard to protect..” Not cognitively possible for him to even process the question.

        2. sleepy

          Israeli security companies seems to have cornered the market in high tech management of hostile civilian populations.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Our morally superior candidates prefer we overlook that.

            That buffoon Trump will lead people to connect some dots.

            “Bad, bad Trump. We gotta stop him.”

  1. Donald

    That ” nonintervention” piece about Syria was Orwellian. We and the Saudis have been intervening all along, by supporting the rebels. That’s why the rebels have killed approximately 100,000 Syrian soldiers and pro government militia despite the fact that the government has tanks, artillery, and an air force ( I am citing Syrian Observatory figures lifted from Wikipedia– the numbers have consistently shown pro and anti government forces suffering roughly equal death tolls.)

    This NYT analysis is surprisingly honest about the fact that outside intervention on both sides is what has kept the war going.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Yes those interventions work. Check the “defense spending,” and full employment for Special Ops ninja assassins, and IMF and USAID and all the rest,

        “Mission Definitely Accomplished!!!” It’s just all in how you define the mission, or don’t and just let the money drive the tank, drone, attack jet or helo, humvee…

        1. Ranger Rick

          I was just discussing with a friend the other night if the US military would eventually become entirely special ops, and what that would mean for traditional military doctrine. Came across some interesting GAO accounting figures about the current state of affairs.

          To be fair, there are two million or so people in the US military right now so special forces expanding to a level of less than 100,000 is a drop in the bucket, but it is an expensive segment. Ten billion dollars is a lot of money to be spending on ~63,000 people.

          1. Skippy

            Chortle….. special ops is a money multiplier… most of the year training or in the field vs. maybe 1/3 for others, so its all support related.

            Disheveled Marsupial…. Bush Jr subcontractor pals do take a bite tho’

      1. Andrew Watts

        Even bleach applied vigorously to the brain cannot scrub the neurological retardation that reading an article by Applebaum can cause. Symptoms are of a short duration and can be avoided entirely by avoiding exposure to the contaminant.

  2. Kokuanani

    Congrats to David Dayen for getting his article on the TPP as the main headliner @ HuffPost. While HP may not be a fount of intellectual inquiry, it reaches a LOT of eyeballs. David’s piece is great: detailed, hard-hitting.

    Delighted to see his work get wider acknowledgment.

    1. Steve H.

      – “It’s just a jackpot for speculators.”

      After sleeping on it, it seems the answer to yesterday’s post is that, no it’s not treason if it’s legal. (Special thanks to Craig Welch for gristing the mill.)

      Dayen here refines the answer: you can keep your little laws, but you’ll have to pay through the nose for them. A perverse incentive for individual States, if they dump costs of local laws when the payout is Federal. Or reversi, when the Federal government starts charging States for ISDS costs.

      Mostly a silver hammer to the back of the head for non-international businesses, who lose competitive advantage in a captured speculative market.

      1. JCC

        I cannot find a link to this statement regarding the old NAFTA Chap. 11 (ISDS) case, Methenex vs The United States (CA’s ban on MBTE – Methenex eventually lost), but at the height of the case I remember a Govt official stating that if the US lost, the Govt would, in all likelihood, pass a regulation cutting highway funds to any State that broke a NAFTA Chap 11 provision in order to offset any Federal losses.

        I don’t know if that regulation was ever put in place, but if not, I’m sure the threat is still out there.

      2. TedWa

        It’s only legal if it’s voted for. We’ve reached the point where treason is shaded in gray, where journalists can be jailed on espionage charges for telling the truth. Would George Washington call these trade agreements treason? Of course he would. So would Jefferson and almost all of the Founding Fathers. Lincoln too? Sure. This is a war, a war of ideas that’s being fought without bloodshed for the most part, but has the same physical realities as a real war for those affected – us included. It’s treason to we the people, if we the people would only recognize that there’s an actual war going on between the rich and poor and that our government and it’s leaders are selling us out, our national dignity and sovereignty, to the highest bidder.

      1. allan

        Speaking of which:

        Michigan sets parole for ‘Linda Green’ robo-signer [Detroit News]

        The only person jailed in connection with a foreclosure forgery scandal that swept through Michigan and the rest of the country after the collapse of the housing bubble spends her days confined to the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Pittsfield Township.

        But not for long.

        Sentenced in May 2013 to serve up to 20 years on racketeering charges, Lorraine Brown, now 55, will be paroled sometime this week, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections, after serving her 40-month minimum sentence. Brown will then be transferred to federal custody to serve the remainder of a 58-month federal sentence after pleading guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

        Brown’s scheme netted $60 million between 2003 and 2006 for the parent company DocX, her Georgia-based document processing firm that forged more than 1 million foreclosure documents used by banks and attorneys to illegally turn homeowners homeless.

        The parent firm, Lender Processing Services of Jacksonville, Florida, has paid millions in fines and settlements — including $800,000 to Michigan for attorneys’ fees and costs and another $1.7 million to the state as part of a 46-state $127 million settlement.

        But none of Brown’s co-conspirators has been criminally charged. And despite civil actions and investigations into the same kind of document fraud routine in foreclosures across the country, few if any other individuals have faced jail time over “robo-signing” and foreclosure forgeries, according to a Los Angeles-based author and journalist who has reported extensively on foreclosure.

        “Her problem was that she lied to the FBI and the FBI didn’t take kindly to that,” says David Dayen. “She was the scapegoat.” …

        The federal Department of Justice didn’t respond to questions.

        Look forward, not backward.

        1. Elasmo Branch

          Affidavits of Indebtedness…The bank officers with the authority to sign and execute the affidavits have no idea if the amount owed is true and correct. The drone who drafts the affidavit knows the amounts owed are incorrect. The typical bank officer has no idea when a borrower was in default or when a Note was accelerated, as long as the account on non-accrual keeps churning late fees. [Look Ma!, the less payments the borrower makes, the bigger the loan asset grows. Sure, our risk ratings have been torpedoed, but look at those balances…]

        2. allan

          The federal Department of Justice didn’t respond to questions.

          And maybe now we know why:

          Justice Department Gave Supreme Court Incorrect Data in Immigration Case [WSJ]

          The Justice Department said it provided the Supreme Court with erroneous information that helped it win a 2003 case upholding a blanket policy of denying bail to thousands of immigrants imprisoned while appealing deportation orders.

          The department, in a Friday letter to the court, said it made “several significant errors” that greatly understated the time certain aliens with criminal records spend in no-bail detention. The 2003 opinion, Demore v. Kim, cited government data to hold that “the very limited time of detention” such aliens face while their appeals are pending is too short to trigger a constitutional right to a hearing to argue for bail.

          The new estimate put the average detention period at more than a year, or more than three times the four-month estimate the Supreme Court relied on with the Demore ruling.

          The letter by acting Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn is the second time in four years the government has admitted providing incorrect information on immigration policy that helped it prevail before the Supreme Court. In 2012, the Justice Department told the court that it had inaccurately asserted in a 2009 case, Nken v. Holder, that officials routinely “facilitate” the return to the U.S. of deported aliens who later win their immigration appeals.

          In both instances, more accurate information emerged through Freedom of Information Act requests filed by immigrant advocates who were skeptical of the government’s claims. …

          Making sure that declarations to a court are truthful is for little people. Like Lorraine Brown.

      2. TedWa

        I work in real estate and thought everyone would like to know how the banks get out of breaking the chain of title on the tens of millions of homes whose titles they clouded by slicing and dicing so that no one knows who actually owns what. Written into the title insurance in every sale is the disclaimer that the seller must be able to provide a clear title if questions of title arise. The onus is on the seller, not the bank. The bailouts never ended.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Housing always goes up.”

          So, the seller should just keep it forever if the title is clouded by the bank.

          Never mind one might need money or to move to another place.

        2. perpetualWAR

          Also written into title “insurance” policies is that they won’t insure any transfer or assignment that is not publicly recorded, so hence anything MERS does.

          In addition, because escrow asks the SELLER who to pay off, but refuses to ask for the original note (used to be required) should they pay the wrong party, the seller is liable. There is case law in WA stating that if the seller does not ask AND OBTAIN the original note to extinguish, they are in peril. The note now NEVER is sent to escrow. So, essentially, people have been thinking it is only the people allegedly in default who are at risk…….nope…….it is all property owners.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Even the owner of a $1 billion mansion?

            Who would invest in American real estate?

            “The public employees retirement plan’s apartment and office building holdings are at risk. We ask the governor to increase taxes on state taxpayers to make up for the shortfall.”

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Yep, Dave Dayen’s article about the deeply flawed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed by the Obama Administration is excellent. It’s not about trade, it’s about ceding sovereign powers to speculative large finance and litigation interests, to large transnational banks, and to multinational corporations through the ISDS arbitration panels by neutering government financially.

      As Dayen says, the ISDS tribunals would indeed become “The court that would rule the world” should this 2,000 page agreement be approved by Congress (not to mention all its hidden “side agreements” incorporated by reference) with its virtually infinite number of “Gotchas!” against our national, state and local governments – and us as taxpayers. It would lock in the neoliberal status quo and economically render impotent efforts to reinstate a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, change our monetary system or tax structure, increase our use of renewable energy to address climate change, and in countless other ways.

      Also agree with the article on the TPP regarding related national security issues that was posted yesterday on this blog. Stemming from their relentless efforts to gain passage of this agreement and its sister agreement in Europe, I have lost any residual respect I had for this administration.

      1. flora

        it’s about ceding sovereign powers to speculative large finance and litigation interests, to large transnational banks, and to multinational corporations through the ISDS arbitration panels by neutering government financially.

        Yes. In neoliberal “free markets”, governments must not be allowed to hinder profits for any reason. Goverments are the “problem.” However, also in the neoliberal “free markets”, governments are obliged to help neoliberals create their preferred wealth extraction schemes. Governments then become the “solution.” It’s an insidious distortion of democracy and governments.

        1. flora

          adding: It’s not that neoliberals and free marketers want no government interference. They want vast government interferences in the market. They want government policies to distort the real economy in ways that guarantee wins for the so-called “free markets” as defined by neoliberals.

          1. cgeye

            … and yet, taking seriously a war crimes tribunal with a focus on first world crimes is just crazy talk, if not treason….

    3. Ignacio

      Agreed. I read his piece and used the part relative with the sues opened against the Kingdom of Spain relative to renewable subsidies. I have learnt that there are at least 6 procedures open against Spain with this issue. The two mentioned in Dayen’s plus four more. One of these was opened not by an international investor but a Spanish one. It is evident that the ISDS, that was born to protect foreign investors against ‘unfair’ state decissions has expanded to ‘protect’ ANY investor. In any case, if any foreign investor was granted a compensation by the ISDS procedure that would raise the fury of many, many other Spanish investors that invested in solad fields when the subsidy was enacted (many well before these foreign investors). It would be the case that just because you are foreign and have money to sue you have a competitive advantage to local investors that have to use the normal legal channels.

      I’ve found the case of Lone Pine Inc. (Canada) that created a company in Delaware just to use the ISDS procedure to sue the Canadian and Quebec governments on the basis of Treaty signed by Canada de EEUU and México.

  3. allan

    U.N. says 10,000 killed in Yemen war, nearly twice other estimates [Reuters]

    At least 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s 18-month-old civil war, the United Nations on Tuesday, almost double the estimates of more than 6,000 cited by officials and aid workers for much of 2016.

    U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick told a news conference in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa the new figure was based on official information from medical facilities in Yemen. It might rise as some areas had no medical facilities, and people were often buried without any official record being made. …

    Strangely, there are no photogenic White Helmets™ in Yemen.

  4. Pavel

    Very pleased to read in The Guardian just now that the French minister is also declaring TTIP to be “dead”:

    France’s trade minister has increased the pressure on the proposed EU-US trade deal by calling for the talks to be called off.

    Matthias Fekl, the French minister for foreign trade, tweeted that his government demanded negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should cease.

    France has been sceptical about TTIP from the start and has threatened to block the deal, arguing the US has offered little in return for concessions made by Europe. All 28 EU member states and the European parliament will have to ratify TTIP before it comes into force.

    Fekl’s statement follows similarly gloomy comments from the German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel. He said on Sunday: “The negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.”

    Gabriel’s views were at odds with public comments by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who said last month that the proposed US-EU deal was “absolutely in Europe’s interest”.

    However, Gabriel, who leads Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic party and is vice-chancellor in Merkel’s coalition government, said: “We mustn’t submit to the American proposals.”

    Gabriel said on Sunday that in 14 rounds of talks on the transatlantic pact, the two sides have not agreed on a single common item out of the 27 chapters being discussed. His spokesman blamed lack of movement by the US and said Gabriel had concluded there would not be a deal this year.

    –France demands an end to TTIP talks

    That plus the AAPL tax “fine”*… two pieces of (rare) good news. I note from Twitter that Irish citizens are outraged that their government spent about 650,000 euros trying to defend Apple and the Finance Minister is appealing the ruling. Pitchforks time!

    *Apple of course is not being fined; the EU says the tax was unfairly calculated, so Apple needs to repay with interest what was properly due. Given it’s sitting on $250B untaxed income and pays low wages to its Chinese workers, having to pay $13B or so shouldn’t break the bank.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That $13B probably won’t impact its ‘house cleaners for workers’ or ‘gourmet meals at work’ programs, if it has them currently.

      1. Prufrock

        Having eaten there a few times, I can say it definitely isn’t gourmet by California standards, but it is much better than the %$#& we serve kids at most CA public schools.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Just heard on the radio on the way to work that the Irish government will oppose that decision.

    3. J

      Was hoping Yves or someone else knowledgeable would have some analysis of what this ruling means for Apple, if anything.

      1. Prufrock

        I think this is just the EU taking a broadly reasonable stance against our modern Monopolies (Apple, Google, Facebook). We’ll see how they stand up to the hypocritical pressure from the US. I don’t think this is tit-for-tat on the US fines of EU banks, but I’m not really in the know.

        Also, Tim is going to join his pal Bono as some of the worlds most despised tax “avoiders”.

  5. Quanks

    Excellent Points, Pavel. First — this is not a punitive fine, this is equivalent to the IRS pointing out you fat fingered your tax filings and showing what you still owe. Second, how many MSM articles are going to fail to point out that Apple is sitting on a cash cow.This is classic example of elites with head-in-the-sand. Or just cost of doing business, depends on how cynical you are. Apple would be smart to pay the fine (5% of their current cash hoard) and let this fade into the dustbin of history instead of staying at the front of a pitch-fork generating news cycle.

  6. hemeantwell

    Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist’s patients friend each other Fusion

    I FB under a pseudonym, and yet FB regularly suggests that I friend a couple of patients. They probably wonder why they’re supposed to friend a commie.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the article:

      [Lisa the psychiatrist] sat there awkwardly and silently. To let [her patient] know that his suspicion was correct would violate her duty to protect her patients’ privacy.

      Many people don’t realize that if they give Facebook access to their phone contacts, it uses that information to make friend recommendations.

      Lisa’s medical community has started recommending that patients concerned about privacy not log into Facebook or other social media accounts at medical offices, or even leave their phones in their cars during appointments.

      So professionals are gagged by their ethical duty, or forced to warn patients to sneak around like Soviet spies, while Facebook invades their privacy without sanctions.

      This is why I never submit my phone number in response to my email provider’s frequent solicitations: one has to assume malicious data mining intent.

      Social media: the business ethics of the private prison industry; the customer friendliness of student loan collectors.

      1. subgenius

        Speaking as an entity with occasional forays in to the domain of big data and profiling (I am in it for teh lulz, rather than some twisted sillyCon valley notion of personal greatness – but happy to take the cash should this proof of concept pan out – being skint sucks, and this sucker is going down anyway – but it would be nice to enjoy the crash with a full belly and some good booze…), I can affirm that the personal cell phone number is, in fact, the number one valuable data item when mining/profiling using teh interwebz.

        Too many people (myself included) operate large numbers of email addresses – but generally only a single cell number.

        We actually collect all phone numbers (and other contact details – emails twitters facebooks names addresses etc) we can, but in 99. 9%+ of cases there is a very definite personal number I use as the primary record. Better even than a legal name, for my purposes….

    2. cwaltz

      I’m always amused when Facebook sends me things like give them a phone number to help with accessing my account or send pictures so that my “friends” can identify me.

      Yeah, I’ll pass. If I want my phone number handed I’ll do the handing same thing with allowing someone the ability to recognize me face to face.

  7. Jim Haygood

    A linked article about PayPal4Palestinians makes only glancing reference to “compliance investments required to enter the Palestinian market.” The story goes much deeper, to the US Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).

    Since its inception in 2004, this office has operated with an extreme neocon ideological tilt. During the 2008 Gaza war, it worked ceaselessly and effectively to block wire transfers to Gaza from any source, anywhere. Yet aid from wealthy Americans to illegal settlements on the West Bank — opposed by US policy for half a century now — sails through unscathed.

    Mondoweiss reported in July on current TFI under secretary Adam Szubin and his predecessors:

    Szubin’s portfolio is managing and maintaining the Iranian sanctions inside Treasury. [Since TFI was] founded in 2004, there have been three under secretaries for terrorism and financial intelligence, and all three were obvious nods to the neoconservative/Israel lobby.

    Szubin’s predecessor as under secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence was David S. Cohen, whose predecessor was Stuart A. Levey. Cohen and Levey had been associates in the same law firm. Szubin had served as Levey’s counsel. It’s an unbroken chain.

    Levey wrote his thesis at Harvard under Marty Peretz, about saving the Zionist “dream” from Kahanists, while David Cohen had the approval of Alan Dershowitz. Szubin’s ideology is not at all transparent, but his father was a Holocaust survivor, and AllGov notes his establishment and Orthodox Jewish credentials.

    Why would PayPal even attempt a “compliance investment” to serve Palestinians, when Treasury’s TFI office is a neocon ethnic ghetto dedicated to implementing Israel’s goal of “putting the Palestinians on a diet without starving them”?

    One hopes our next president will put some unbiased Americans in charge of TFI, to do America’s business for a change.

    1. carycat

      Makes it easier for the 3 letter agencies to monitor what money goes where when self identified Palestinians and folks who have financial dealing with them now self identify to go on their list of “terrorist” and “terrorist enablers” destined for special treatment.
      Plus now these funds will be concentrated in a place where they can be frozen out with one easily denied phone call. It is not as if Paypal has not played ball when the TPTB wants to put the squeeze on somebody or organization they don’t approve of.

  8. Don Midwest USA

    Government already has power over drug gouging

    Here’s How to Stop Price Gouging by Drugmakers Like Mylan

    But the government already has the power to prevent such behavior. They don’t need to pressure Mylan to “fix” the problem itself; they don’t even need to pass a new law. Multiple federal agencies could solve this simply by exhibiting the political will to use their authority to take on the drug companies.

    First of all, let’s point out that the EpiPen case is not an outlier. Mylan has made a habit of enacting triple-digit price increases on generic drugs in cases where it holds dominant market share. The EpiPen increases were a misfire because of the widespread use of the device: Mylan sold 3.6 million of them last year. In a way it’s more insidious for the company to jack up the price of obscure gallstone medication ursodiol by 542 percent, or gastrointestinal drug metoclopramide by 444 percent. Two U.S. senators don’t have kids that use these drugs, so the price gouging passes unnoticed.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Not interested if it doesn’t end in anti-trust or racketeering charges. Market solutions are usually a sham which only replaces one racket with another. Bonus: RICO has a brilliant little clawback provision to strip the ill-gotten gains from the despicable swine.

  9. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    I do hope both the TPP and TTIP die.

    Whether they do or not, it should be clear that Our President tried to sell us out from day one of his first term.

    1. Pavel

      Obama’s record:

      –“If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”: NO
      –“Health care negotiations live on C-SPAN, not in smoke-filled rooms”: NO
      –“I’ll close Gitmo”: NO
      –Prosecution of war criminals, torturers, Wall St banksters: NO

  10. diptherio

    Woman shoots drone: “It hovered for a second and I blasted it to smithereens.” Ars Technica

    Good for her. I hope Duvall sent her something nice as a “thank you”…that man is a national treasure!

    1. crittermom

      I’m still grinnin’ over that article.

      Yet on the serious side, animals can be very upset by such disturbances. Especially such flight animals as horses, which can be easily traumatized.

      My neighbors lost an expensive horse when a hot air balloon set down on their ranch, thinking it public land. It upset the horse so badly its gut ‘twisted’ and despite efforts by a vet it soon died.

      Fortunately, my friendly, curious little mustang at the time was only fascinated by one that same year and followed it across the pasture as it had started to land on my place, picking back up to land just over my fence on state land.
      He probably would have just proceeded to ‘eat’ the straw basket had it landed in the pasture!

      The laws have yet to catch up with such creations as drones and we’re seeing the results.
      I view drones as being spies for everyday people to use and would not appreciate one hovering around my home, either. Not at all.

      If the laws allow them within close range of our homes, that’s not good. It’s why some of us prefer to live rural. PRIVACY.
      I predict similar responses in the future by those living rural vs drones.

  11. Paid Minion

    “……flying in the dark”

    Stupid article.

    Anecdotal evidence. I’m currently pricing this stuff for my employer.

    First.. The requirements for an “approved” installation in a jetliner or any other “commercial” aircraft are a lot higher than your typical “spam can”. Installation of this stuff in older aircraft (pre 2005-2010) will require replacing the WHOLE avionics system. Current price in our case? $1.5 million. Add another million bucks for “synthetic vision”

    My buddy flies Gulfstreams internationally since the late ’80s., 16-17,000 hours total time. Number of times he’s used the “synthetic vision” system on the G550 in that time? ZERO

    Unlike Microsoft and their typical OS release, the FAA makes damn sure a retrofit is bulletproof before they let anyone sell it to the public.

    Because of typical US business trends, there is a shortage of engineers who design these installation, a shortage of guys to install them, and a shortage of qualified FAA guys to inspect and certify their installation. Just ask anyone in the airplane maintenance business how ADS-B implementation is going.

    This is coming at a time when new airplanes aren’t selling, and the resale of used airplanes is dropping like rocks. In our case, 40% drop in six years. Adding a 2 million dollar upgrade to an airplane worth less than 8 is a tough sell. A new (equivalent) airplane costs about 40 million. Good airplanes are already going to salvage thanks to the cost of compliance with existing mandates. Adding more mandates, for equipment of questionable utility, isn’t going to help this trend.

    NTSB recommendations aren’t subject to cost/benefit analysis.

    Garmin talks a good game, but do they plan on doing the gruntwork to engineer and install these retrofits? Nope. I’ve called and asked their sales reps.

    In the case of the Buffalo crash……
    Anyone who thinks that safety is enhanced by giving newbie, undisciplined, undertrained pilots even more complicated systems to sort out is deluding themselves.

    1. fresno dan

      Don’t know if you ever saw this article

      but it shows the dangers of supplying imperfect humans with perfect machines….

      “There were so many opportunities for the accident not to happen—the collision between a Legacy 600 private jet and a Boeing 737 carrying 154 people. But on September 29, 2006, high above the Amazon, a long, thin thread of acts and omissions brought the two airplanes together. From the vantage point of the pilots, the Brazilian air-traffic controllers, and the Caiapó Indians, whose rain forest became a charnel house, the author reconstructs a fatal intersection between high-performance technology and human fallibility.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        The crash set-up described in the Vanity Fair article is reminiscent of what happened on June 30, 1956, when a Constellation and a DC-7 took off from LAX three minutes apart, both headed for the midwest.

        They sideswiped each other over the Grand Canyon at 21,000 feet while dodging thunderheads. Both aircraft plunged into the canyon, killing all aboard.

        It was this accident in 1956 that led to mandatory installation of flight recorders, as well as changes in ATC. It took another mid-air collision over Las Vegas in 1958, between a DC-7 and an Air Force F100, for ATC to get authority over military flights (which had been invisible to civilian-only ATC).

      2. Paid Minion

        He details in the article the accuracy (+/- 5 or 10 feet, both in latitude/longitude and altitude) of current Flight Management Systems.

        Not mentioned is whats driving this level of accuracy. Which is cramming more airplanes at the same time into busy pieces of airspace/air routes, usually on the coasts or over the North Atlantic.

        In the old days, a controller could accidentally assign a couple of aircraft on a collision course at the same altitude, but because of the +/- 200 feet tolerances in the systems, a collision was unlikely.

        Before ADS-B the system (with RVSM) was accurate to around +/- 200 feet, with a couple thousand feet of separation vertically. Cramming more airplanes (with ADS-B) into the same airspace now has systems accurate to +/- 10 feet, with 1000 feet of separation.

        (We just had ADS-B installed. You can monitor the flight real-time, and see when the aircraft hits a “bump” in cruise.)

        Now? You can dispatch an airplane from LA, another from NYC, assign them the same airway and altitude, and assuming no outside intervention, you can bet that the airplanes will collide somewhere over Flyover. (Who says you can’t hit a bullet with another bullet?)

        The “Standby” transponder warning in question is just a “STBY” on the Radio controller, usually mounted in the pedistal behind the throttle levers. EASY to miss. The transponders are selected either “ON” or “STBY”. More problematic is the “TCAS OFF” message, that is prominently displayed (in yellow) on the primary flight display.

        Not noted is whether the aircraft was equipped with ADS-B. If so, it would have also displayed a yellow “ADS-B FAIL” message is the transponders were turned off.

        Either way, a yellow warning light/message is supposed to get the flight crew’s attention.

        My experience with flight crews is that they know the new transponders and FMSs are extremely accurate, but haven’t done the math on what that accuracy means. A much higher degree of precision on the part of crews and ATC.

        I’m sounding like an old guy here, but my personal observations of the young whipper-snappers (under 40) is that they have a much higher degree of faith (assumption) that all of the computer stuff on the aircraft will operate flawlessly.

        Much like most people have faith that their politician/realtor/investment banker isn’t going to screw them, given the chance.

        1. fresno dan

          “….my personal observations of the young whipper-snappers (under 40) is that they have a much higher degree of faith (assumption) that all of the computer stuff on the aircraft will operate flawlessly.”

          It did operate flawlessly – humans just haven’t caught up to the implications.

    2. Whine Country

      My two sons are pilots so I read everything I see that pertains to flying. While reading the article it did seem to me that it was written by someone on the manufacturing side. Your input kind of removed any doubt for me. Both sons received most of their training through the military – one flying a KC-135 (a modernized Boeing 707) and the other a KC-10 ( a not quite as modernized DC-10 still requiring a 3 man crew). Your point about the training and skill of pilots v. more technology is spot on and can never be over-emphasized.

      1. Paid Minion

        Re: cost/benefit analysis

        There has been no project in aviation that has been more subject to “safety, no matter what the cost” management/maintenance than the Space Shuttles. Including literally rebuilding the aircraft after every flight.

        Yet they still managed to lose 40% of the fleet due to maintenance/operational errors.

        Now picture what a totally Republican wet dream/totally unregulated/honor system/low budget aviation system would be like.

        It used to be like that…….until there were so many crashes, the general public demanded that the government step in and regulate it. But that was back when that commie Roosevelt was in charge.

        Beware the guy that brags about doing things to “FAA standards”.

        As any FAA guy. They will tell you that FAA regs are the absolute MINIMUM requirements to support a reasonable level of safety.

        Behind every FAA reg is a smoking hole in the ground.

        1. JustAnObserver

          “Behind every FAA reg is a smoking hole in the ground.”

          Reminds me of a comment a gliding instructor made to me years ago when I was complaining about all the rules/regs/permissions while desperate to get airborne on a cracking day –

          “Always remember that someone got hurt or died for us to gain the knowledge behind each & every one of those rules”

          Never forgotten it & it always comes back when I hear anyone moaning about “red-tape” or bureaucracy esp. when it come to environmental or drug safety laws.

      2. abynormal

        hard to believe this hasn’t advanced: TCAS gives the pilots visual and audible warnings in the cockpit when two aircraft are approaching each other, and directs pilots to either climb or descend to avoid the other aircraft. However the system only works if at least one aircraft is equipped with TCAS and the other with a transponder. After the 1986 Cerritos collision, all flights in Class B were required to have a Mode C transponder.

  12. fresno dan

    The Sad Decline of VOX: How a Once-Promising Media Outlet Became a Bastion of Neoliberal Corporatism Paste

    Back in April, the watchdog group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), put out a story about how VOX, known for being run by former Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, published a “glowing” story by Matthew Yglesias, about Goldman Sachs without disclosing a substantial financial interest it had in the financial giant.

    The article, titled, “Why Goldman Sachs just started offering savings accounts for the masses,” included such lines as “What Goldman Sachs has that other online banks don’t is a widely recognized brand name built on excellence in other dimensions of financial services that could help further push internet banking beyond the early adopter demographic.” Though it flew under the radar of the mainstream media, to those paying attention, the piece revealed a disturbing decline for what began in 2014 as a promising new media outlet—a transformation into a source for neoliberal, pro-corporate propaganda disguised as left wing punditry, just two years after its inception.
    Yglesias (attacking AP article on Hillary meetings): A good guess is that US and foreign government officials were excluded from the denominator in order to make the math seem more shocking.

    Colford’s (AP person) statement, however, offers another reason — meetings with non-government personnel are not part of Clinton’s official duties as secretary of state…

    (Yglesias, referring to Colford) This is very strange logic . Government officials meet with private citizens all the time as part of their official conduct.

    (Article) Once again, however, Yglesias disregards a simple reality. Meeting with members of the public is not a typical role for the nation’s top diplomat, in spite of what other government officials’ roles may be. The AP’s report simply confirms that Clinton Foundation donors received special treatment in comparison to non-donors—a point he conceded at the outset of his first article.
    The main point of the article though is that Yglesias writes articles with lame excuses for Clinton, and sooner or later comes up with other lame excuses that if he (Yglesias) paid attention to what he himself was writing, would realize was a ridiculous argument. But one certainly gets the impression that there in not a good faith effort to apply principal and logic to the situation – one very much gets the impression that Yglesias is a partisan, asking questions that are neither logical or pertinent, simple to obfuscate the real issues.

    There is nothing wrong with being a wolf. The problem is when the wolves wear sheepskins….

    1. Benedict@Large

      Yglesias hardly wears sheep’s clothing. Ever when he was running his popular blog while at Harvard, you could see the elitism creeping its way into his thinking. A bit of snobbishness that reeked, “Because I really am smarter than you.” There wasn’t then a lot of it, but it was there if you looked close enough.

      Of course, thinking you are smarter than everyone else is a very quick way to end up looing stupid, as Matt well demonstrated at Slate. The only question then is why after showing his bias (and immaturity) there was anyone so quick to hire him on at Vox? Unless of course that’s what they wanted.

      1. Don Midwest USA

        Yes, but he was at NetRoots convention with high top tennis shoes! The old fashioned Converse basket ball shoes.

        Can’t believe that in the past I actually read his stuff and thought he was OK

        Have I changed or did he?

    2. Anne

      It’s gotten so that people read sites like Vox so they can point to their writing as proof that it’s okay to be all in for Clinton – which dovetails nicely with Vox writers penning articles in order to make sure the sheep don’t stray from the flock.

      I know this because I have a couple FB friends who seem to have nothing to do all day but mine the internet for articles that prove Hillary is honest, trustworthy, liberal and a beacon of light in the fight for equal rights, income equality, fair trade, peace in our time and action on climate change. I mean, even Jimmy Carter is going to vote for Hillary!!! I don’t think these people understand that not all of us are willing to let what others say and do determine how we will vote.

      I generally have to come to NC to see that there are still a few people who can and do think for themselves; are we really so busy we have to leave our thinking to pundits and talking heads and Facebook, for heaven’s sake? Jesus, that’s just so depressing.

      I did manage to get a little chuckle though…one of these friends posted a George Carlin quote that we should teach our children to question everything. In the interest of not getting into a pie fight, I refrained from commenting that we can’t teach our children that if we aren’t doing it ourselves, and that based on what I am seeing on FB, there are an awful lot of people who have confused reading pro-Hillary websites with critical thinking. I just decided to be content with the irony of it all.

      1. Jess

        “Hillary is honest, trustworthy, liberal and a beacon of light in the fight for equal rights, income equality, fair trade, peace in our time and action on climate change”

        God, what a great turn of phrase. Congrats.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They, in Norway, should apologize for not giving her a Nobel Peace already.

          That’s just one humble man’s humble opinion. (And I know people might feel differently about this).

          “Selection committee members, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The secret, for NCers, is to do the thinking while tending to the backyard organic vegetables.

        That gives anyone plenty of time to think.

      3. anti-social scientist

        I generally have to come to NC to see that there are still a few people who can and do think for themselves;

        Really? I come for NY Post links. So much of importance in them.

  13. Eureka Springs

    Woman shoots drone: “It hovered for a second and I blasted it to smithereens.”


    If she really used bird shot (very small and very light – almost sand like pellets) then that drone had to be very low, extremely invasive and disturbing.

  14. crittermom

    RE: US banks in activists sights…
    Sadly, some of us cannot afford to subscribe to FT. I’ve tried to see the article elsewhere but it just brings me back to the same paywalled link.

    Another article that sounds equally appealing is in the WSJ, which is again paywalled.

    While I understand that journalist and writers need to be paid, it’s an everyday reminder for some of us that we can no longer even afford access to all the news since our lives have been upended. (Banksters stole my home)

    But I remain very grateful for that news which I do have access to on NC as well as the intelligent and informative comments.
    Therefore, I choose to make a small contribution to NC now, instead.
    On to the tip jar…

      1. grizziz

        With FT you may copy the headline and paste it into the command line and do a google search. Then click on the FT linked item and it will take you to an ungated article. This does not work for the WSJ.

        1. crittermom

          I’d tried that before commenting the first time but couldn’t get it to work.
          Tried again and this time, it did. Thanks. (not sure what I did different?)

    1. diptherio

      Remember pre-internet days when you had to pay for everything you read, or get the skunk-eye from the proprietor of the news stand while you “browsed” through all the magazines and newspapers you couldn’t afford? Back then, I’d never even heard of FT.

      Despite paywalls, news and info is far more available today than it ever has been. I think we should all be thankful for that…and make sure that we’re sending some money to the content creators we really support, because giving your work away for free is actually a pretty questionable business model (says someone who does it all the time).

      1. JTMcPhee

        I think FT is maybe not so very worried about “giving their work away for free.” Seems to me that Great Presences like FT and NYT and WaPo and the rest are part of a well-supported network of emitters that spews out Narrative, both obvious and subtle, and paywalling is just a little pixel on the spreadsheet of income.

        “Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.”

        Ripoff of what I would call virtuous content is another matter, but conflating the two is asking all of us to reward the Narrative spewers because the virtuous composers and writers and auteurs are getting short-changed — usually via the Giant Wurlitzer Thingie that the Great Interconnect has become…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In a way, nothing has changed.

        Browsing at a news stand, you might catch some virus.

        With the internet, you risk the same.

      3. JamesG

        I too hate pay walls but I’m honest enough to admit that writers (and the backroom staff) have to eat.

        1. Trent

          i was arguing with someone last weekend that i remembered it was floated in 08 that the government was considering bailing out the new york times. Can anyone find a link to support that? I was unable, but they dropped the idea when carlos slim stepped in. I swear they floated that idea

          1. abynormal


            It is important to note that the newspapers’ own mismanagement has caused many of its financial troubles. The New York Times, for example, spent $640 million in 2007 constructing an elaborate 52-story headquarters designed by architect Renzo Piano, featuring a 300-foot decorative mast on the roof. The company has since been forced to sell half the new building for $225 million in a leaseback deal with the investment management firm W.P. Carey.

      4. crittermom

        Oh, I am very grateful for the Internet.
        But that’s not free, either. Mine cost me $40+ mth for the lowest speed available.

        I’m just missing the days when I owned a home, could afford subscriptions, and was living above severe poverty level.
        My anger remains equally distributed between the banks and the govt for my current conditions.

    1. grizziz

      Tim Cook, “We found some cheap labor in Cork and said, ‘why the f*ck not’ and better yet, low to no taxes. Now the EC wants to tax the assets of the company built by ‘the Great STEVE JOBS, humanitarian and job creator’ which uses those un-taxed profits as collateral to sell bonds. The proceeds of those bonds are given as dividends to Apple shareholders. While the interest on those bonds weighs on Apples profits, the dividends are surely taxed by the US by some amount above zero, so why are people ungrateful?
      “I want people to know that I am gay and am respected for that. If I am not listened to I will move my company to a country with an Authoritarian regime with a predictable and low tax structure and the toughest IP laws ever. I will punish consumers with even higher prices until they see the errors of mocking Apple’s strategy.”

      1. cwaltz

        Heh. I think it’s amusing that he thinks consumers have to listen to him.

        They may very well, if he increases prices, tell him to bugger off. Apple certainly wouldn’t be the first brand to find itself bereft of consumers thanks to hubris and the belief that they and they alone get to dictate the market conditions.

        If that does happen I shall laugh my backside off. The “job creators” are consumers not business and people like Tim Cook deserve to learn that lesson the hard way.

  15. fresno dan

    Antidote du jour:

    OK, if no one else will confess their lepidopterian ignorance, what kind of butterfly is that?

      1. abynormal

        It matters not what someone is born but what they grow to be.
        ~Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

      1. LifelongLib

        Yes, we have Gulf Fritillaries here in Hawaii and they’re more orange (regional variation?).

  16. JSM

    For anyone tempted to take Anne Applebaum’s proposal for US troops in Syria seriously, read the comments. The trolls, obfuscators & disinformers are doing their best, but the truth got there first.

  17. Jim Haygood

    Brooklyn booms:

    Nineteen residential towers are either under construction or recently completed along the 10-block section of Flatbush Avenue stretching from Barclays Center north to Myrtle Avenue. When all of them are finished, they will have added more than 6,500 apartments — overwhelmingly rentals — to New York City’s housing stock. Another four buildings on Myrtle Avenue will add almost 1,000 more units.

    Just as overbuilding along Billionaires’ Row around 57th Street in Manhattan has caused prices to soften in the highest-end market, the construction boom in this stretch of Brooklyn has prompted landlords to strike deals to fill their buildings, which dwarf the surrounding brownstones, row houses and tenements.

    The boom owes a lot to the city’s 2004 rezoning of the downtown area to encourage the development of office towers and some residential buildings that could compete with Jersey City for back office operations. New York City’s population has swelled, to an estimated 8.6 million people a year ago from 8.2 million people in 2010, setting off a seemingly unquenchable thirst for housing.

    A mirror image building boom is underway on the opposite side of Manhattan, with numerous residential towers in the 50 to 80-story range opened or underway, from Jersey City north to Fort Lee.

    Late-stage bull market, late-stage economic expansion: same as it ever was, for topping out the property cycle.

    Vegas on Hudson, baby: still time to get in on the penthouse floor! :-)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The boom is adding ephemerally to the GDP.

      Who knows, we might be in a recession already without it.

      1. Jim Haygood

        NYC’s boom is a manifestation of the collective consciousness, which currently tilts toward cautiously optimistic among cohorts with disposable income.

        When the herd spooks (maybe because a monarch butterfly flapped its wings in Oaxaca) and starts charging in the opposite direction, the zeitgeist can flip overnight.

        Probably it’ll be too late to save the good Dr Hussman, though. According to his annual report issued this week, his only positive results came from a small holding of gold miners.

          1. Jim Haygood

            J-Yel’s sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer just laid down the law in an interview with Bloomberg:

            FISCHER: Well, clearly there are different responses to negative rates. If you’re a saver, they’re very difficult to deal with and to accept, although typically they go along with quite decent equity prices.

            But we consider all that and we have to make trade-offs in economics all the time and the idea is the lower the interest rate, the better it is for investors.


            Stanley ain’t the Jesus kind, but he seems unwittingly to be paraphrasing a verse from Matthew:

            “To he who has stocks, more shall be given. But from she who has no stocks, even what she has shall be taken away.”

            1. Chauncey Gardiner

              As with hyperinflation at the other end of the spectrum, negative interest rates are reflective of a broken monetary and financial system.

    2. Foppe

      As David Harvey points out, there is something odd about policy that involves enormous oversupply of housing (as investments) coupled with housing shortages (affordable housing, for use). See, e.g., ; or the relevant discussions in Seventeen Contradictions. :)

      (The first 5 minutes are introduction; after that, the observation Harvey starts with is: in the entirety of the 20th century, the US used ~4k million tons of cement. Between 2011-13 — in three years — China used 6.5k million tons of cement…)

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Homeless dogs…need owners.

    Isn’t it more humane to let dogs be dogs? Why should they be owned?

    Probably we can turn Beverly Hills into an exclusive (as in, without humans) Natural, Humane Dog Sanctuary, restoring the place to what it was two, three hundred years ago.

    1. Optimader

      A Korean entrepreneur will manage it for exclusive resturant privileges on the perimeter of the Sanctuary

  19. abynormal

    Poland’s Piotr Malachowski is no slouch at throwing the discus. After winning a silver medal in Rio, the 31-year-old went home and put it up for auction to raise funds for a little boy with eye cancer, CBS reports. Malachowski, who had been seeking to raise around $84,000 so that 3-year-old Olek Szymanski could have an operation in New York to save his eyesight, announced on his Facebook page that the auction was ending early because billionaire siblings Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk had agreed to buy his medal for the remaining cost of the surgery.

    “We were able to show that together we can do wonders,” Malachowski wrote, per ESPN. “My silver medal today is worth a lot more than a week ago. It is worth the life and health of a small Olek. It is our great shared success.”

    from ever everland: Thank You Gene for not destroying me…YOU were one of the good ones! ~with fire still licking my ass, Forever Yours ~AbyNormal

  20. annie

    mark zuckerberg just bought himself huge publicity in italy–headline meetings with the pope and renzi, photos of self and wife jogging by rome’s monuments–and all it cost was a measly $500,000 donation to italy’s croce rosso. cheapskate.

    1. Jagger

      Thanks. Interesting perspective on the dangers of escalation within the current Syria situation. Although I wonder why Israel was not mentioned once in the paper. In particular, I wonder how Israel would respond to the deployment of Russian tactical nukes into Syria. Appears to me, a red line for Israel is keeping the Middle East totally nuke free except for their own nukes. Although I doubt there is anything the Israeli’s could do to prevent the Russians putting tac nukes into Syria if the Russians wanted to do it.

      1. abynormal

        thought of that last night when i read it…i figured i was suppose to replace Israel with US :/

    2. vidimi

      there were no blue lines leading to ISIS in the middle in the pictogram which made no sense. makes it seem like it’s isis against the world when, clearly, isis are getting support somewhere. cough, saudi, cough, turkey

  21. JTMcPhee

    I wanted to note this link in response to the bit from yesterday, was it? about PE firms “funding private litigation” via AI algorithms and piles of cash.

    This is a nice smarmy justification by a firm that does fund such activities, trying hard with the assistance no doubt of very expensive lawyer input to distinguish what they are doing from what used to be common-law CRIMES from the quaint days of yore: Champerty, Maintenance and Barratry. From another slick self-justification from another entrant into litigation funding,

    Champerty, maintenance, and barratry are related doctrines that trace their roots back to medieval England. The United States Supreme Court has succinctly described the three doctrines as follows: “Put simply, maintenance is helping another prosecute a suit; champerty is maintaining a suit in return for a financial interest in the outcome; and barratry is a continuing practice of maintenance or champerty.” Historically, the doctrines have been justified as necessary to combat the “stirring up” of frivolous or vexatious litigation. Whatever merit this justification may have had historically, it has been largely undermined by the advent of the modern doctrines of abuse of process, malicious prosecution, and wrongful initiation of litigation — all of which more directly provide relief when a third party promotes frivolous or fraudulent litigation.

    The last sentence of that paragraph is a bit of fraud — those “modern doctrines” don’t do a damn thing to even “provide relief,” let alone deter, frivolous or fraudulent litigation. One biggie “rule” that applies is Rule 11 of the federal and most state rules of civil procedure:

    Rule 11 – Signing Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to the Court; Sanctions

    (a) Signature. Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name—or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented. The paper must state the signer’s address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Unless a rule or statute specifically states otherwise, a pleading need not be verified or accompanied by an affidavit. The court must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the attorney’s or party’s attention.

    (b) Representations to the Court. By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:

    (1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;

    (2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;

    (3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

    (4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.

    (c) Sanctions.

    (1) In General. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be held jointly responsible for a violation committed by its partner, associate, or employee.

    (2) Motion for Sanctions. A motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must describe the specific conduct that allegedly violates Rule 11(b). The motion must be served under Rule 5, but it must not be filed or be presented to the court if the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service or within another time the court sets. If warranted, the court may award to the prevailing party the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred for the motion.

    (3) On the Court’s Initiative. On its own, the court may order an attorney, law firm, or party to show cause why conduct specifically described in the order has not violated Rule 11(b).

    (4) Nature of a Sanction. A sanction imposed under this rule must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. The sanction may include nonmonetary directives; an order to pay a penalty into court; or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment to the movant of part or all of the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses directly resulting from the violation.

    (5) Limitations on Monetary Sanctions. The court must not impose a monetary sanction:

    (A) against a represented party for violating Rule 11(b)(2); or

    (B) on its own, unless it issued the show-cause order under Rule 11(c)(3) before voluntary dismissal or settlement of the claims made by or against the party that is, or whose attorneys are, to be sanctioned.

    (6) Requirements for an Order. An order imposing a sanction must describe the sanctioned conduct and explain the basis for the sanction.

    (d) Inapplicability to Discovery. This rule does not apply to disclosures and discovery requests, responses, objections, and motions under Rules 26 through 37.

    There was a time, long past, when the sanctions were occasionally applied and had some teeth. Now the rule is mostly used to oppress less well-armed litigants with threats and paper burdens.

    As to deterring oppressive litigation, ask some mope who has gone all activist against a big corruptoration what a SLAPP suit is:

    A general observation on the Federal Rules: Like the Delaware/Model Corporation law and Commercial Code, they are constantly revised, at the behest of the power players, to make any efforts to level the playing field or decrease inequality meaningless. Check the history of Rules 23, 23.1 and 23.2, regarding class actions, shareholder derivative actions and actions against “unincorporated associations.”

    Too bad us mopes cannot begin to keep up with the predators and parasites… too much to watch out for, too many vulnerabilities, too enormous an imbalance in raw power and wealth… Like wolves taking down a moose or elk: attack the hamstrings to fix the prey in one spot, attack the belly to pull out the guts and finally the throat, to bleed the animal out, then jump in to fight over the good bits of the kill…

  22. dcblogger

    The Sad Decline of VOX: How a Once-Promising Media Outlet Became a Bastion of Neoliberal Corporatism
    it was designed to be a bastion of neo liberal corporatism, designed to reach a younger audience. that is how ezra go the $.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From Big Alcohol and California Weed:

    MPP, the nation’s most prominent cannabis reform organization, has been instrumental in writing many of the initiatives in the 23 states where cannabis has already been approved in one form or another. As a result, they have generally reflected a corporate-friendly libertarian approach, one based on commercial, for-profit goals. MPP is founded and directed by Rob Kampia, who in 2000 ran for Washington, D.C.’s congressional seat as a member of the Libertarian party.

    The same with grocery bags. Make friends with supermarket corporations and shift the cost to their customers who now have to spend more money to buy those 2 mil trash can-liners

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Humans the main obstacle to the driverless revolution.

    As well as the main target (human truck/taxi/shuttle/bus/pizza delivery/mail delivery drivers).

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    HIllary Tries To Separate Trump From Republicans.

    Why the trying?

    I thought she already won???

  26. BondsOfSteel

    RE: Turkish Offensive Blindsided U.S. – WSJ

    Turkey informed Russia and ISIS (maybe through their rebel allies), but didn’t inform the US? Turkey’s support of Ahrar al-Sham ( is troubling. There’s not much difference between their ideology/goals and the Afghani Taliban.

    Turkey seems to be making one erratic foreign policy move after another… all while sliding away from democracy and NATO. It’s past time we removed nuclear sharing and other nuclear weapons from Turkey.

  27. Chauncey Gardiner

    Unsurprising that direct and indirect US military involvement in the civil war in Syria has revealed feuds between supposed US allies, as participants receiving US military support are in some cases longtime and occasionally violent adversaries of one another. The complexity of the interrelationships between the various participants in that complicated conflict makes one of those deca-billionaire’s personal relationships network charts look relatively simple. Here is a link to one such high level overview graphic on the participating parties in the war in Syria from CNN:


    IMO George Washington’s Farewell Address advice to the American people to avoid foreign entanglements could not have been more prescient.

    And with respect to the WaPo article on “The disastrous nonintervention in Syria”, precisely what is or should be the US “Syrian strategy”?… Despite the war drums by the usual suspects for the usual “War is a racket” interests, it is difficult for this citizen to see how direct or indirect U.S. military involvement in that region is integral, or even tangentially relevant to our national interest, let alone that such direct military involvement would provide a “humanitarian solution” to that conflict. That propaganda dog doesn’t hunt anymore.

  28. ShamanicFallout

    Food Price Deflation?? Where? I read stories like this and have trouble believing them. I just bought a gallon of milk for $6.29 and a dozen eggs for $3.65 at a mid-level supermarket- not Whole foods, etc. I know Seattle is generally expensive but this doesn’t compute. Any anecdotals out there? I’m also in the specialty food business and handle some commodities (pepper, spices, sugars) and are not seeing any deflation at all there either.

    1. Pat

      Not seeing it in NYC either. There are better prices for seasonal produce and certain items that go sale as loss leaders, but otherwise it is as expensive or more expensive.

    2. tomaso

      I paid $1.99 for a gallon of milk and 49 cents for a dozen large eggs at Butera Foods in a suburban Chicago last week. Although eggs were about a dollar more last winter, its been a long time since I’ve paid more than $2.50 for milk. Pork has been pretty cheap throughout the last year as well.

    3. different clue

      Interesting. I was taking this article for granted as being exactly accurate and was about to ask: are the prices for shinola food deflating right along with the prices for sh*tfood? Or are the people who seek out shinola food still willing to pay shinola prices for their shinola food?

      But these two comments make it appear that at least in some places, the prices for sh*tfood ( and maybe for mehfood also) are not declining.

    4. abynormal

      Wall Street Journal won’t Report the Farmer & the Rancher are living the Austerity created from the Carnage of their Payer. Blame N Shame is all that’s left between Heads N the Guillotines…Let’m Report THAT List

  29. ewmayer

    Humans are the main obstacle to the driverless revolution FT — It seems Skynet now has a byline in the FT.

  30. evodevo

    Re: is it safe to pet a tiger (NO!). ·
    I had experience with this up close and personal….for quite a few years (up until the state lege FINALLY outlawed keeping big cats in residential areas) rednecks around the state (Ky) including my drug-dealer neighbor, kept LIONS as watchdogs at their houses. They were mistreated, underfed, poorly housed (my neighbor kept his tied to a large dog house with a log chain and collar), and NO ONE from either the state or the feds would do a thing. It routinely got loose and roamed the neighborhood, until someone would call it in. FINALLY, when it was a sexually-mature 4-year-old, it attacked HIM one AM and he shot it to death. The whole area breathed a sigh of relief, because it was evident the situation was going to continue till someone was hurt. Once these big cats are mature, they are NOT safe to be around, for ANYONE, even their long time owners. Been there done that.

Comments are closed.