Links 10/22/16

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‘The Onion’ Is Withholding Our Endorsement For President Until Both Candidates Respond To Our Questionnaire Onion (Carolinian)

Animal Minds Chronicle of Higher Education (Robert M)

Photo: How Vermont does Autumn TreeHugger (resilc)

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate—or is it? PhysOrg (Robert M)

Bike lock developed that makes thieves immediately vomit Guardian (Dr. Kevin). This will sell like hotcakes.

The Passenger Train Created to Carry the Dead BBC (vlade)

How schools are turning ‘joy’ into a character strength — and why it’s an awful idea Washington Post. Furzy: “Big Bro demands you be happy!”

Iraqi Twitter account reveals lost beauty of Baghdad AlAraby (Kevin C)

Thai research team discovers chemicals which can stop cancer from growing Thai PBS (furzy). Expect a host of dietary supplements to crop up within a year, regardless of whether the chemical will make it through your digestive system…


Australia Discovers the Cost of Blocking China Bloomberg (furzy). Rampant neoliberal boosterism in headline. Yes, independence often has a cost. A lot of young women would also make more money being high end prostitutes than in other lines of work. Would anyone write a headline saying, “Beautiful young women discover the cost of refusing rich men”?

China House Price Bubble Soars Most Ever, Government Freaks out, Preannounces Plunge Wolf Richter


Philippines protest at US Embassy in Manila sees demonstrators burn flag after van ran down protesters CBS. Resilc: “Pivot blowback”.

The Philippines Just Blew Up Obama’s Asia Pivot Bloomberg (resilc). Read further down. Makes clear how the US blew this one, big time.


Stop this stupid sabre-rattling against Russia Spectator (resilc)



The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A massive cyberattack knocked out major websites across the internet Business Insider. Let’s hope the upside is that this kills the Internet of Things. But these sites don’t have more than one DNS server, or more accurately, a backup service of some sort? Admittedly, It takes some time for a new DNS to propagate, an in hours, but you’d think that Big Rich Companies That Depend on the Internet would have recognized DNS as a point of vulnerability. Can expert readers pipe up?

Cyber attacks disrupt PayPal, Twitter, other sites Reuters. EM: “Latest IOT-botnet attack … ‘officials refused to comment on several eyewitness reports claiming to have seen a shadowy figure resembling The Putin lurking around Dyn headquarters in the days prior to the attacks’.”

When the Entire Internet Seems to Break at Once Atlantic. Um, Twitter being knocked offline for a few hours is a cause for hysteria only for journalists (and Twitter’s management). Laurse: “Sounds like fishing for more support for war with Russia – “‘Oh noes! Russia broke my internets! Lets nuke the f*ckers!'”

EU Crafting New Security Rules After IoT Debacle PYMNTS (Richard Smith). Closing the gate after the horse has left the barn and is in the next county.

Trade Traitors

Canada-EU trade accord teeters on verge of collapse Financial Times. Freeland is an intellectually lightweight neoliberal ideologue, so her being reduced to tears is a teeny bit of karmic payback for her long history of promoting bad causes.

Last-ditch bid to save EU-Canada deal BBC

Waylaid by Walloons: EU Leaders in Emergency Session Over Collapsed Trade Agreement With Canada Michael Shedlock. EM: “Predictably, the piece quoted by Mish represents the view of the elite EU bureaucrats: ‘The turmoil over Ceta has damaged the EU’s credibility as a trade negotiator.’ Translation: Cushy future revolving-door career changes are under threat!” Moi: Brexiteers seem to be pointedly ignoring that this does not bode well for the nice treatment they fantasize they will get once they hit the Article 50 red button. EU leaders refused to speak to May after she gave them what she apparently thought was a tough talk, that there would be no second referendum, aAs if anyone was expecting that.

(Richard Smith). Funny how in all the pearl-clutching, few mention that the Walloons have some legitimate beefs.

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

State releases new batch of Clinton emails The Hill (furzy)

Just Getting Started Vice (Lawrence R). As in the Clinton e-mail scandal. Keeping a lid on this through Election Day may prove to be be a Pyrrhic victory. The Republicans may manage to hamstring her even if they don’t go as far as impeaching her. But she seems to think the Evil Rooskies in general and perhaps war in particular are her trump cards….aieee..

What 130 of the Worst Shootings Say About Guns in America New York Times


What 20,000 pages of hacked WikiLeaks emails teach us about Hillary Clinton Vox (resilc)

WikiLeaks and the Oily Washington Press Politico

Clinton Foundation Aide Said to Have Cited Conflicts of Interest Bloomberg (furzy)

WikiLeaks Show Rothschilds Grooming Clinton for Presidency — Months Before She Launched Candidacy Free Thought Project (David M). A huge caveat re this…the Rothschilds are no where near as powerful as they once were. Carlos Slim (a big Clinton backer), Goldman, Blackstone, and Carlyle have a lot more clout. For instance, there’s not a single Rothschild on the Forbes international billionaire’s list.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer Says Top Priority for Next Year Is Giant Corporate Tax Cut Intercept. Margarita: “With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans?”

How Making Adjustments to Entitlements Could Help Hillary Clinton Atlantic (resilc)

The 2016 Election Has Failed the Future Motherboard (resilc)

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Just Created a Way to Make Money From Donald Trump’s Tweets Adweek (furzy)

Facebook Employees Pushed to Remove Some of Trump’s Posts as Hate Speech Wall Street Journal

Poll Shows Republicans Less Committed to Trump in Defeat Bloomberg (furzy)

In Iowa, Clinton Campaign Tries to Sway Loyal Republican Voters Wall Street Journal

Amid ‘rigged’ election charges, Russia wants to monitor US vote CNBC Wowsers.

Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate Buzzfeed (furzy). Linking to this and wondering why this is a story. Does anyone doubt that FB is full of pages that are full of garbage, from promoting bad MLM products to denying climate change, promoting creationism, and denouncing Edward Snowden as a horrible traitor who has done irreparable harm to US interests?

Release the Transcripts! “Journalist”/Clinton surrogate Ezra Klein nets $30,750 for a single speech Washington Bablyon (Timotheus)

How to Insult Me on Twitter Scott Adams (Chuck L)

Looming Banking Crisis? Michael Shedlock

WikiLeaks: Citigroup Exec Gave Obama Recommendation of Hillary for State, Eric Holder for DOJ Pam Martens and Russ Martens (Chuck L). This has been out for a few days, but worth not missing.

Here’s how a $50 drug ends up costing you $700 in America’s healthcare system Business Insider (Chuck L)

“Diva of Distressed” Tilton to face SEC fraud trial: Reuters PE Hub (DO)

The Wells Fargo account scandal: How fast are they losing mobile customers? SurveyMonkey. Has other data on impact on Wells’ business.

Fed likely to tighten in December (video) Futures Magazine (furzy)

U.S. mall investors set to lose billions as retail gloom deepens Reuters (EM)

AT&T nears deal to take over Time Warner Financial Times. How does this not pose anti-trust issues given Time Warner’s local cable footprint?

Guillotine Watch

Aroma: The New Building Amenity New York Times

Class Warfare

Yes, you can actually work yourself to death. But is that a surprise? Guardian

New York governor approves Airbnb crackdown Financial Times. Seriously overdue.

Airbnb Fights to Stay Alive in New York Bloomberg. The legal arguments are really strained, particularly since the intervention point is fining people who rent out apartments against the new law.

The Future Hiding in Plain Sight Archdruid. Lambert and I agree this is a must read.

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):


And a bonus video (furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Philippines blew up Obama’s Asian pivot—-Well, he brought home many billions of goodies for the folks on the home front. Duterte, IMHO, is merely “cutting to the chase” in that the US was never going to fight a war with China over some artificial islands.

    Also, if you look back to the last super typhoon that tore up Leyte, IMHO the US was very slow in getting food and especially water to the survivors. All they would have had to do is parachute some pallets of drinking water down to the people. I think this failure to aid our “ally” quickly showed the US was already in the process of cutting its ties to the former commonwealth. The US can’t control Asia. Can’t even defeat Iraq or Afghanistan. Can’t do much of anything.

    1. jgordon

      This Philippines thing has gotten me thinking that the time table for the American empire’s dissolution has been moved up quite a bit. That would be thanks in no small part to the complete, laughable incompetence of Obama and his Secretaries of State. He really has done a lot to sink this ship much faster than it would have gone down of its own accord.

      Add in the incoming illegitimate election, the train wreck economy that’s still slowly going over a cliff, as well as the now revealed rampant corruption in the media/government and I think that the Archdruid is right to say that conditions are ripe for a widespread armed insurgency across America.

      1. MtnLife

        I’ve noted throughout the election that a Venn diagram of “ardent Trump supporters” and “the most heavily armed people I know” is nearly a perfect circle. In the past week or two (roughly since the last round of Wikileaks), all the rigorous conservative anti-Trumpers in my FB feed have all gotten behind Trump and you could add “an enthusiasm for action” to the aforementioned Venn diagram. It has definitely ticked up my anxiety and awareness levels.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          “Armed insurgency” IMHO is too strong a word. What the hell are they going to do? The Feds just have way too much firepower for armed insurgency to be an option, and the “heavily armed people” know this very well, because most of them are former or current military.

          But if HRC gets elected, she will have extreme difficulty doing anything, what with her health problems and the extreme antipathy of the general populace toward her. I hope The Donald pulls it out, perhaps losing in popular vote but winning the electoral college by squeaking by in the battleground states.

          1. Marco

            The ArchDruid link speaks to this very point. The “Armed insurgents” don’t need to overthrow anything since their numbers are so high in the same military / law enforcement structures. Where are the Trump support numbers among members of US armed forces? Police organizations?

          2. pretzelattack

            the feds have had a marked firepower advantage in any of our wars since ww2, though, and (the occasional fragging aside) in those wars the armed forces generally supported them. why would an anti insurgency campaign here be more successful? the fish can hide in the sea here, too, and the rebels wouldn’t be helpfully concentrated in one geographic area. at this point, i honestly don’t know just how far tptb would go in scorched earth policies against the american people and the infrastructure the govt itself depends on. by the same token, i don’t know how far american citizens would go in destroying their own infrastructure.

            and how would russia and china and the rest of the world respond? that subject alone raises a lot of thorny questions, and scary possibilities. i’d think we would all prefer to keep these questions theoretical, but tptb seem to be increasingly unhinged in their defense of the status quo and the american empire. i mean, risking a war with russia so the us can use al quaida and isis to destablize another country in the middle east?? wtf.

            i don’t know how to gauge the risks we are facing in a clinton presidency. i think in all probability, clinton won’t drag us into a nuclear war with russia over syria or ukraine. maybe a clinton victory, stolen or not, would increase that risk by less than 1%, compared to a trump win–but that’s this time, over these specific issues, over the next few years.

            climate change is going to destabilize a lot of societies. rising economic inequality will contribute to that. the knee jerk response of our elites, clinton or trump, is to build up our bloated military, and continue to militarize our police.

          3. Uahsenaa

            Um, the US has demonstrated itself to be altogether terrible at counterinsurgency tactics, and its ability to wage war on itself would be severely crippled by the fact that its own industrial base would be under stress and assault from said insurgency, since most of that is in the very “flyover” states that elites tend to neglect.

            You only have to play a few games of Hearts of Iron to know that crippling the US is simply a matter of driving a wedge up the middle, so that all its logistical lifelines are cut off. How much oil can you transport by plane? And the US is a huge landmass. Mosul is about 200 miles from Baghdad, and that was lost quite quickly to an insurgency. In the US, that’s not even the distance from Chicago to St. Louis. Air superiority might play a part–insurgencies rarely have an air force–but again, the central United States is massive, and that’s a lot of ground to cover.

            It doesn’t strike me as implausible at all.

          4. grizziz

            HRC Health Problems:
            If she makes it to the inauguration, all she will need to do is sign an executive order to accept her robo-signature as authority for executive orders. Then lawyering up to stall any Congressional or Court action against the original order, the robo-signing will begin to impliment a flood of neo-liberal executive orders to expand the powers of the executive branch.
            This will catch the Congress and the Courts flat footed while the military is given new toys to play with and paid for with bank credit. The bankers will be free to make bonuses by lending against all those interest bearing excess reserves that Federal Reserve has kindly put on their balance sheets through QE. Public/Private patnerships coordinated by Clinton Global Initiatives will thrive and the Rentier Class will continue to congratulate themselves on a job well done.

          5. apber

            The revolving door and daisy chain of appropriations from corruptocrats to the MIC resulting in ginormous retirement sinecures has actually diminished the US military capability. F-35 anyone? Meanwhile, both China and Russia have superior weapons systems. But the psychopathy of the neocons is immune to facts and logic. They need a war as cover for the massive corruption and theft that will be exposed when the entire financial system craters. We are so screwed from so many different directions.

        2. EndOfTheWorld

          No, no armed insurrection in the works because the “heavily armed people” are mostly former or current military and they know very well the Feds have way too much firepower for such escapades.

          But HRC will run into many difficulties if elected because she inspires such extreme hatred in the populace. I hope Trump wins.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Not direct fighting. Pat Lang described ten men groups under the guidance of guys like “TTG” would be a disaster the Federal government couldn’t handle. There are simply too many soft targets in this country.

            There aren’t that many troops, and much of the firepower for control abroad.

            Do you remember the Boston manhunt for two guys? They ended it because they ran out of man hours, and they had to keep the Dunkin’ Donuts open to feed the police. They don’t have the resources for a real problem. The bomber was found by an informed citizen when he went outside after the man hunt was over.

            1. Arizona Slim

              Recall that the guy went outside to smoke a cigarette. And then he noticed something different in his boat …

            2. EndOfTheWorld

              I guess it’s possible, but I assume the FBI and other alphabet agencies have these guys pretty well infiltrated. But I really don’t know. I myself am not a member of any anarcho-conservative groups.

              Now if you’re talking about just a straightforward military coup, I think that would be more of a possibility.

              1. Gareth

                The US is a nation of snitches. There is no end to the number of people who would rat out any wannabe insurgents, especially once they start sabotaging infrastructure and making daily life difficult.

                1. ambrit

                  If your assertion is correct, then what accounts for the continued flourishing of gangs in America? All an insurgent group is, is a politically aware gang.

                  1. Gareth

                    Gangs flourish in America because they aren’t a threat to the state. They commit their violence in minority neighborhoods which have no political clout, giving the police an excuse to treat those communities as an occupation zone and gang members do an excellent job of killing each other off. If a gang attempted to become an insurgent group it would be promptly snuffed out.

            3. HBE

              The real issue is that in order to be successful an internal insurgency would have to target the very infrastructure that the citizens it would be fighting for depend on. Their base of support would be hurt more than the government and the elite, who can and do operate externaly to many of the interconnected systems the vast majority of the population depends on. While those attacks would indirectly sting elites, they would directly harm the population.

              Major infrastructure would need to be already in such a poor state or out of reach of use for a very large segment of the population, before low level grass roots insurgencies in the US would be able to proceed with continual support from the population at large.

              Earlier insurgencies could count on popular support because most of the population was independent (or never had/it didn’t exist)from the infrastructure used by rulers or occupiers for their own ends.

              And more recent organic insurgencies (meaning not mercenaries in Syria) like Iraq and Afghanistan occured because there was little infrastructure or started after that infrastructure was destroyed (in addition to a multitude of other factors).

              In the US, that those systems still function at this point is the largest barrier to internal insurgency. Really, how much of the population is going to support the side that cut their power, raised their energy costs, or cut their Internet connection.

              In order for this to ever occur in the US a large segment of the population would need to end up without access to those systems. Debt, injustice, and oppression are not enough. People have to be left behind, excluded or cut off from the infrastructure and systems they have come to depend on by the government or corporations that maintain them. Barring that any internal insurgency would quickly lose support from the population, wither and die.

              1. jash

                “In the US, that those systems still function at this point is the largest barrier to internal insurgency. Really, how much of the population is going to support the side that cut their power, raised their energy costs, or cut their Internet connection.”

                You need to flip your view point.
                You are seeing this as something that has not come about.
                For some peeps in certain areas this is the “normal”.

                The only way they afford any of this is outside of what’s left of a legal system.

                These would be one group, then you will have the fly-overs that may vote this time but will start to refuse to support and then the velocity of dive will pick up.
                You will then have more that fit into the first group.
                And on and on.

                You don’t need much to make it so bad in certain areas that they become no-go and then they spread.
                And on and on.

              2. Jeotsu

                Ironically our best hope for preventing effective anti-state violence is a lack of clear thinking on the part of would-be insurgents.

                But as has been said before, the high preponderance of Iraq/Afgan vets now in the “deplorables” category raises the risk of effective insurgency. They can simply apply the tactics they saw used against them most effectively. And if any were assigned to coalition intelligence units, they will know very well how insurgent operations can be spotted by authorities, and thus how to hide their own activities from SIGINT, drones, HUMINT, etc.

                Example- 4 guys in east Tennessee decide they want to “teach Washington a lesson.” They plan entirely face to face over beers. They have all known each other since they were kids (high social cohesion, high trust). Most or all of them are Vets. The plan: 4 cars, 4 men, 4 AR-15s (or equivalent). The target, the 4 largest feeder electrical substations around DC. Engage with rifle fire from 400 meters, well outside CCTV coverage; target big transformers and other key equpiment. Local electric grid collapses, DC (and maybe chunks of north VA, if they choose targets right) is plunged into darkness for days, maybe weeks. Escape by driving away in the ensuing chaos. Sure, they might get caught, but such an action would reveal how a bunch of folks can, with minimal effort and a days drive, cripple the evil-rich-elites who have been dumping on them for decades.

                (The number of spares on hand for a lot of our critical infrastructure is absurdly low. In many cases the spares have been reduced in the name of “efficiency”. A local example near where I live was a change in ownership of a local lines company (they run and maintain the distribution lines to houses, not the high voltage backbone). The new owners saw the huge piles of spare wooden poles in the depot and asked “if we only replace 30 a year, why have 300 on hand? Waste! Sell the extras!” And then of course a few years later came one of the regular 10-yearly storms that took out ~300 poles… and the disaster was magnified due to bean-counting efficiency. And not listening to the long-serving linesmen who warned them this was going to happen!)

                1. Vatch

                  Regarding infrastructure and utility poles: that reminds me of the silly concept of “Just in Time” inventory management (JIT). In practice, this usually means at least one day late instead of just in time. In your storm example, I’m sure it was a lot worse than one day late.

              3. HotFlash

                Major infrastructure would need to be already in such a poor state or out of reach of use for a very large segment of the population, before low level grass roots insurgencies in the US would be able to proceed with continual support from the population at large.

                Hmmm. Sounds like an airport, to me.

              4. Waldenpond

                I agree it’s more likely people will target each other but I disagree that the elite aren’t easy to target. Won’t the elite have to flee the country or go into hiding? Their physical assets would be claimed/decimated. Electronic money could be eliminated by a few rpgs to their servers.

                Low tech, low cost to spread the immiseration. Heck, they can take out the airport runways with jack hammers and sledge hammers if you run out of stashed explosives, airport towers are easy targets, their airplanes and helicopters are easy targets with cheap drones and guns. Easy to take out the grids that service the wealthy areas etc.

              5. WJ

                “Really, how much of the population is going to support the side that cut their power, raised their energy costs, or cut their Internet connection…”

                Hell, I pay Comcast $50 a month to do all these things!

        3. sid_finster

          In Afghanistan and Iraq, armed insurgents did just fine against America’s much vaunted firepower.

          That said, this stuff is too messy for most progressives, and I guarantee that they will not like the outcome of anything resembling an actual popular revolution.

          Vid. Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House.

      2. Pat

        Hmmm. I believe Kerry has been an improvement and has been hamstrung by his predecessor(s).
        Is that too kind a reading, and why?

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I think Kerry is good compared the the various and sundry security “advisors” such as Sue Rice, Sam Powers et al. These dim-witted fools have all been dutifully trained at universities which assumed the US would always be in control of the world. They can’t adapt to the present situation—the crumbling of an empire.

          There was a revealing photo of Kerry holding (and probably scolding) Suzy Q after the debacle at the Chinese airport. She looked totally freaked out. Kerry, after all, has more real world experience than these ill-trained academes, having been a combat veteran, prosecuting attorney, congressman, etc. He’s adaptable. I think he is a better man than he is often given credit for.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Kerry would have been President except he started to listen to Brazille and other members of the Clinton mafia.

            I saw him do an event for Obama during the 2008 primaries, and that guy should have been President. He wasn’t Lurch ’04.

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              He really blew it when he allowed himself to be “swift-boated” without even fighting back by observing that W was an AWOL draft-dodger. He was letting somebody else call all the shots.

              That’s the good thing about Trump. He calls at least some of his own shots. He fights, at least a little.

              1. neo-realist

                I think it was his advisor, Bob Shrum, who told Kerry to not respond strongly to the swift boating attacks. He was also Gore’s advisor too. An expert at turning Democratic candidates into sheep.

          2. John Wright

            I remember reading that Senator Barbara Boxer suggested to Senator Kerry, before the Iraq war vote, “you don’t want to vote for the AUMF (Authorization to use military force) in Iraq”.

            Kerry’s response was: “I have to, I want to run for President”

            I believe if Kerry had not voted to give the “blank check” AUMF, as warned by Robert Byrd, to Bush Jr. he would have picked up enough additional voters to actually win in 2004.

            Instead he had the “I was for the Iraq War, then I was against it” flip-flop story to peddle.

            Author Kurt Vonnegut’s description of the Bush-Kerry candidates in 2004 was “Two C-students from Yale, both members of Skull-and-bones” is apt as well as giving some indication of the East Coast dominance of the USA’s Executive branch.

            If Kerry had NOT followed his cynical political instincts on the AUMF, he could well have been president in 2004.

            The youthful Kerry was quite courageous in taking on the Vietnam war, the later version is interested in pursuing personal ambition.

            Is Kerry vastly better than the current crop of Presidential candidates and many members of the State/Defense departments?

            Absolutely, as I believe he still has some understanding of “the fog of war” and of the vast damages of USA foreign military operations post WWII.

            I’d sure vote for him if he were heading the Democratic ticket.

            Hawk Hillary scares me greatly.

            1. sd

              It was Kerry who took on BCCI and Iran Contra. To this day, I think too many have no idea just how corrupt those two networks really were.

            2. EndOfTheWorld

              Of course he would have been much better than HRC. She never should have run for anything in the first place. After she got her ass handed to her by Obama the civilized thing to do would have been to accept the reality of her incompetence and to let wiser people in the Democratic Party have a crack at it. But, no, she’s not civilized.

              1. Waldenpond

                The competency in running for office is to get elected. She ran in a state she didn’t live in and managed to get elected. Her ass was so ‘handed to her’ that she managed to get the nomination in the primary and is on track to win the Presidency.
                Obama had the media and elite behind him and a good chunk of the party establishment. The C campaign spent years cornering all three for this round and it looks likely to be (sleazy and corrupt) a success.

                1. EndOfTheWorld

                  Oh, come on. The NY senator seat was handed to her on a silver platter since her husband was a two term prez. She had no real opposition, yet still almost blew it. Why Obama made her sec of state I’m not sure (quite possibly a large cash payment.) She sucked, and should be in prison right now.

                  1. frosty zoom

                    that fact that people are debating kerry versus clinton shows how doomed we are.

                    where is kilgore trout when we need him to wake us up?

                    “You were sick, but now you’re well, and there’s work to do.”

                    1. EndOfTheWorld

                      I’m not DEBATING, merely STATING that HRC is bad news, and she’s running for prez right now. She’s a loser. She won only one election, a silver platter fixed one. I hope she loses this one.

            3. neo-realist

              If Kerry had vigorously fought the Ohio election results in 2004 as Edwards wanted him to, he would have had a good shot in 2008, but so many people that I knew that voted for Kerry were so disappointed in him for not doing so that they refused to get behind him for another shot at the Presidency.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The personal styles of Kerry and his predecessors are largely irrelevant. The Phillipines situation is the long term end of American supremacy, thuggery, and bloody history in light of seemingly softer international arrangements available.

          Libya was a key event, so it’s really a Hillary failure. Russia, China, and Iran recognized the U.S. wasn’t interested in junior partners, just vassals and have moved towards once unthinkable cooperation. Persia, the Middle Kingdom, and the Rus had the Mongols at one point, but they aren’t as closely related as the Yankees, French, and British. This isn’t a Canada-Mexico partnership either where they have no choice but to accept reality. To any outsider, joining a Moscow, Tehran, Beijing and BRICS axis is a much more attractive choice than when Americans redeemed themselves in November 2008.

          Kerry could never change the large situation.

        3. PlutoniumKun

          Kerry always gives the impression to me of a fundamentally decent and very experienced (if not as bright as he thinks he is) guy who simply isn’t aware of just how rotten the system he is part of really is. When you look at Syria, it seems pretty clear that he is being constantly undermined and out-manovered by the Pentagon and probably a lot of his own staff. He’s one of those people who genuinely think its ‘his duty to serve’ and will continue to do it, while quite possibly making things much worse because the cynics and psychopaths around him will just use him as cover to carry out their worst plans.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The foreign policy borg (Ash Carter; the join chiefs), not necessarily the Pentagon as a whole (not counting Ash Carter). There are plenty of officers who don’t want to see Russian missiles going up against American planes. There are other rumors that the Russians are being supplied with targets by U.S. military officers.

          2. Harry

            That’s not really the impression I get. I suspect the Pentagon (or elements of it) are more constructive than the State department. The underlying problem is KSA. You would need to be willing to go against their interests to be an honest counterpart to the Syrians etc.

        4. Christ on a bike

          Secretary Kerry was all about getting into Syria, like he was finally getting his shot to play in the Bigs. I don’t know why, but it astounded me. So he learned nothing from Iraq and the election of 2004 – none of these meddlers, including Clinton and Trump, have learned anything from Iraq, and are teething at the bit to do it again! Anyway, after that I was through with Kerry.

    2. shargash

      From that piece: “Of course America didn’t do that. It didn’t even send the Navy into Filipino territorial waters claimed by China in the South China Sea after an international tribunal ruled that those waters were Filipino. Instead, the Obama administration acted as if international law would implement itself. But it never works that way. The rule-based system Obama endorses requires a great power to defend it.”

      IIRC, the tribunal only ruled that China’s claims were without merit. I did not think it said anything about the Filipino claims.

      The arrogance on display is hilarious: the US gets to be the global police for a law that it refuses to recognize. Also, there is no mention of the Filipino government when demanding that the US send the Navy in to Filipino waters. It is just assumed the US can do that, because international law only applies to the little countries.

        1. jgordon

          Hey Chicago is the model city that Democrats want to bring to all America: upscale universities, posh shopping districts, progressive governance, high taxes, strict gun laws etc.

          When progressive liberals finally get their way and all of America is just like Chicago, we’ll finally have an enlightened utopia here. The few minor problems that exist in Chicago today are solely due to the fact that the regressive rethuglicans are preventing progressive from going far enough.

    3. SeanL

      The US is too pre-occupied with Russia & Middle East. It is clear the US can’t fight two diplomatic battle simulatenously let alone two war fronts.

      The US fundamentally under-estimates the risk of China. China is going to end up dominating Asia, while Russia wil end up dominating Europe, politically.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Yeah, it’s all about dominating, isn’t it? Too bad that model appears to be hard-wired and increasingly demanding as the scale increases… Monopoly ™, the Game of Risk! ™, Dulleses and Donovans and Dimons and Blankfeins and on and on until you get to the Clantons…

  2. allan

    Lost in the noise about Trump’s rude performance at the Al Smith dinner was the rude performance of the audience towards Bill de Blasio, booing him while applauding Bloomberg. Adding that to the shabby treatment de Blasio also got at the DNC, where he was scheduled in an off-off-prime time slot, you would think he would learn that center-left is a loser’s game. But given all that’s happened, or not, during his first term, de Blasio can hardly turn populist in his re-election bid. Sad.

    1. Pat

      Logical because this is the group which was spoiled rotten under Bloomberg. Sad because de Blasio would probably get booed at more working class events, even though for most of NYC de Blasio has been a big improvement over Bloomberg, well at least any where that Cuomo didn’t have “interests”.

    2. Steve C

      Cuomo got a prime time spot at the convention and gave one of the most banal, perfunctory, cliche-ridden clunkers I’ve ever heard. Still thinks he’s presidential material but can’t deliver the goods.

      1. Pat

        Banal and unimpressive is no problem as long as the right people love you, see the current Democratic nominee. But without a Trump and with less national nostalgia attached to his last name I can only hope his ambition sinks faster than his Jersey counterpart’s did.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Celebrity matters. I imagine Cuomo and Kaine would get a similar reaction as Rahm and a few other Democrats did when they made their trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. Hillary and Obama were protected by fawning acolytes. Hasn’t the Clinton campaign already put Kaine out to pasture?

          Warren might have received similar treatment, but her silence at important junctions has been noticed. Young people in Mass noticed she didn’t make noise during the Boston school walkout.

    1. frosty zoom

      aren’t these the same people who recommended buying mbs’s?

      i wonder who got the AAA hillary tranche.

  3. scott 2

    I have a collection of bookmarks of my favorite sites using the IP addresses only (which you can get from Whois). Harder to remember, but will get you through a DNS attack.

        1. Alex morfesis

          In old arpanet your system/computer had to do the work and probably has a legacy file where it still keeps the ip numbers as a text file under a host catalogue…have not used it in a million years and was not an expert back then…

          1. jgordon

            You should look up “hosts” on Google. In the second or third result there is a hosts file freely available that, when you replace your current hosts file with it, will simply prevent your computer from connecting to almost all malware/spyware servers. It’s the first thing I do whenever I reinstall windows or Linux, for safety if nothing else. Takes about 1 minute to go through the whole process.

  4. allan

    AT&T nears deal to take over Time Warner Financial Times. How does this not pose anti-trust issues given Time Warner’s local cable footprint?

    Didn’t Time-Warner sell off its cable operations (TV and ISP) to Charter, which is gradually rebranding their combined operations (together with the much smaller Bright House) as Spectrum?
    As a long-time TWI victim subscriber, I can testify that the connection speed is as bad as ever.

    1. Pat

      Worse here.
      Also took a business sales call from them, was willing to consider their proposal but needed it in writing to present to the board. Three weeks later, and I am still waiting for that written summary. Does not bode well for the future.

      1. OIFVet

        95% of the time the sales call ends the moment I ask to see the offer and the details in writing. Transparency is the scammers’ kryptonite.

        1. Pat

          I think I got a new guy who didn’t know the score and was happy he was possibly making a sale. He checked on a couple of my questions, confirmed the address and was almost giddy at the end of the call. The sad thing is that even if the really great deal he was selling was only promotional deal, the final cost still might be less expensive than what we are currently paying Verizon. They had a good shot of getting us.

    2. bob

      Time warner cable was just acquired by charter. They are in the process of re-branding the whole kit.

      This was after comcast was denied the ability to buy time warner, because monopoly.

      1. allan

        Time Warner Cable CEO’s $93 Million Exit Package

        From Variety in May:

        Rob Marcus’ severance package is eye-popping given the length of time he served as CEO — just two and a half years. The combination of salary ($22.6 million), bonuses ($2.6 million), and stock awards ($67.1 million) he’ll reap works out to a little more than $100,000 a day since he became CEO on Jan. 1, 2014. That severance comes on top of the more than $9.5 million he earned in salary and bonuses in 2014 and the $8.5 million he took home in 2013, when he was president/COO. …

        In Marcus’ defense, TWC did not create fake customer accounts during his (brief) reign.
        As far as is known.

    3. KGC

      For those of you in NYC: My ISP (including an email account) is Panix, and has been since ~ 1985. Small, responsive (I can talk to them!) and privacy-conscious, though you have to have a little competence with computers to set up your account. Download speeds per have been up to 300 mbps depending on traffic and are now 94.44 mbps. Small enough that they probably won’t be in the first line of a modern attack (though there were a couple of nasty attacks several years ago)….

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Time Warner is very much in place in NYC. Charter is more rural/suburban. Is TW hanging on to its densest areas, which are also the easiest to serve?

  5. jgordon

    From the Archdruid’s piece:

    “This shift in values has massive military as well as political implications, since working class Americans are much more likely than others to own guns, to have served in the military, and to see political violence as a potential option.”

    He has nailed it here, and elucidated a very interesting dichotomy that I’ve also personally observed: while the gentry turn up their noses at the idea of useful violence, those on the lower rungs are a lot more comfortable with the notion. This will definitely be a major dynamic of politics from now on, as populism begins to rule again.

    1. Pat

      We are watching the shift happen. It is on the cusp of being a major dynamic, but now it is still a possible.

      The tinderbox is there. It is stupid to ignore it, but it’s power is unrealized because it is unrecognized. Think of it this way the theory of tar and feathering is unlikely to influence the deliberations of elected officials unless they fear encountering a practical demonstration.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        The tinderbox is there — but I think the documents to read would come from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and I’m not sure those documents are available to the public. The matches to light the American tenderbox are at DHS and with the Blue who serve and protect.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Not even close. The elites know quite well what the measures of power are — money and force and control of all institutions that matter, and the ability to cut off lifelines to, or incarcerate, or just kill, anyone not toeing the line and touching the forelock…

        Opacity helps, as does the studied inculcationi of ignorance into the lesser orders…

        1. Emma

          Interesting. When I looked at the Archdruid piece on the Pentagon Report, in one regard, it gave me the impression the Pentagon is ‘spearheaded’ by a paranoid posse of ignorant, misanthropic, and offensively aggressive rodents!

      2. hunkerdown

        The paramilitary police protect and serve them and the elites are quite happy to pay them handsomely and let them have unions and force over the shlubs. Problem solved from the elites’ end, and for the cops who believe that discipline and order are the measure of a society.

      1. alex morfesis

        well…the problem with the bernaze sauce algorithm is that the us is exceptional…the red hat church ladies of ohio were never fed the we used to have a great and wonderful king routine except these ungrateful peasants and other lessers have ruined it for you…so the danger is getting the narrative changed to accepting direct and confrontational overlordship…

        thus the release by podesta of his emails to lay down the foundation for acceptance of the “new way”…

        you don’t really believe a man with his history of security clearances would use such a stupid email password…

        to paraphrase the great modern greek philosopher…mister panos…

        never trust a greek with power…he has it hidden in the basement and under the matress…

        podestas mom made spanakopita

        As to say nyore druid…warbands have existed in the us of a for over a century…usually described as organized crime…anyone living in an inner city urban environment and trapped in it will have the same effect on their psyche as anyone in some broken make believe state drawn up by the british and the french 100 years ago…

        the global commons will be there…there are alternatives…they might be a bit more expensive…but they will be there…but the example of commerce over sovereign rights has existed around us for some time…what of the british and french move against the us backed Hungary uprising by diverting attention to suez…and what happened at suez…international forces were placed and nasser was told to go to hell…and then the yellow fleet a decade later…

        pincer points in global commerce exist for efficiency purposes…the straits of malakka can be danced around by going the long way around the big island in indonesia…there is no “continent” to go around, so all this noise about the chinese on the straits…blah blah blah…the world survived 8 years of no suez…people worked around it…although the greek junta was able to stay in power specifically to deal with the massive economic jolt the closing of the canal had on the greek economy…and soon lost its reason for being once the work to reopen the canal had begun…with operation numbus moon…

        certainly there is more information than time today, and the shiny little trinkets hanging off the earlobes of butt on the chest kowdasianz to distract us with phony stolen jewelry and step dads who want to be moms with mammareez…well…methinkz a bit more about the capacity of the 30000 to take on the 3 million…during the last great economic conflagration, only 1 percent of the population had a four year degree and only 2 percent had ever gone off to college…today, the number is about 25% with 4 yrs + and about 50% have at least started…

      2. jgordon

        Reminds me of an appropriate Frank Zappa song:

        It can’t happen here
        It can’t happen here
        I’m telling you, my dear
        That it can’t happen here
        Because I been checkin’ it out, baby
        I checked it out a couple a times, hmmmmmmmm

        And I’m telling you
        It can’t happen here
        Oh darling, it’s important that you believe me
        That it can’t happen here

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The US does not have a history of political violence outside minority groups. The Archdruid is wrong on that one. For all this brave talk about the Second Amendment being important to hold off big nasty government, I have yet to see an iota action from those big-taking gun fans.

      And look at what a joke the Bundy militia types were in Oregon. Came in in the late fall with basically no provisions and weren’t prepared for the cold. If you think soft Americans can do guerrilla warfare, you are smoking something very strong.

  6. Christopher Fay

    I should start preparing a list of sites that China blocks, Facebook, Twitter, okay, this is known. Bloomberg too? Arch druid. It’s a wonder you can read Naked Capitalism here.

      1. Jason

        Whale vpn is free and I switch that on when I’m using a tablet and get firewalled. Lots of locals I know use the same. Glad NC is fine.

  7. Merf56

    Wow Scott Adams is rêally touchy eh? Sadly the poor man is a many of the things he mentions but he missed the main ones – his overweaning greed and his oracle complex…. after reading his book I had to go for a run and take a hot shower to cleanse the utter rot he spewed off me… a truly small venial man…..

    1. Sandy

      The real story there is how Twitter seems to just engulf people’s lives when they get really into it. I hear famous people / notables talk about “Twitter wars” or “Facebook wars” just as much as regular people. Why? What’s the point? Put it away, it’s not worth your wellbeing, and it certainly accomplishes nothing. It’s all noise. I disabled my Facebook feed a few months ago and have not missed a thing, and I have the bonus of not constantly thinking all my friends / acquaintances are idiots.

  8. fresno dan

    The Future Hiding in Plain Sight Archdruid. Lambert and I agree this is a must read.

    A crisis of legitimacy in the United States. Half a century ago, most Americans assumed as a matter of course that the United States had the world’s best, fairest, and most democratic system of government; only a small minority questioned the basic legitimacy of the institutions of government or believed they would be better off under a different system. Since the late 1970s, however, federal policies that subsidized automation and the offshoring of industrial jobs, and tacitly permitted mass illegal immigration to force down wages, have plunged the once-proud American working class into impoverishment and immiseration. While the wealthiest 20% or so of Americans have prospered since then, the other 80% of the population has experienced ongoing declines in standards of living.

    The political impact of these policies has been amplified by a culture of contempt toward working class Americans on the part of the affluent minority, and an insistence that any attempt to discuss economic and social impacts of automation, offshoring of jobs, and mass illegal immigration must be dismissed out of hand as mere Luddism, racism, and xenophobia. As a direct consequence, a great many working class Americans—in 1965, by and large, the sector of the public most loyal to American institutions—have lost faith in the US system of government.

    Right now, the biggest booster, and probably the only booster of the US’s current political system is Davos man. This belief in the US is due to one reason, and one reason only – a system analogous in every respect to the religious teaching of the middle ages that justified the aggrandizement of an elite as being ordained by God, and is now repeated by a belief no less self serving than the belief in the “science” of economics…that just happens to exclusively benefit Davos man only…

    What happens when Hillary wants more “war” (we call war everything but war now a days) and the elite finds out that the grunts now believe that they are being asked to fight for the Clinton foundation instead of America?

    And therefore FOX believes in peace?

    Remember the antipathy to getting involved in Kosovo? I predict “Wag the dog”

    AND, why in the Hell didn’t Trump ask Clinton when she said 17 intelligence agencies figured out Russian hacked the US, “how many of the 17 agencies said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction???”

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I’m surprised that Trump didn’t ask her to name those “17 agencies” because for the life of me, I can’t find that list. As far as I can tell, only James Clapper is saying this, and we all know his penchant for “truthiness”. And in fact, most of the agencies involved aren’t saying one way or another because they just don’t know…..

    2. Steve H.

      Disappointed in the number of times the word ‘stupid’ has cropped up on my FB feed. From people I thought had at least glimpsed compassionate enlightenment.

      This from our local Green feed: “I voted yesterday…writing in Jill was easy. Hope I spelled her last name correct.”

      Cashin’ out the retirement, put a metal roof on the house (no sound issues btw) and trying to stay healthy til Medicare provides some relief. If Yves is right about the fight for the dollar as world currency, then ‘fixing’ the trade deals will not provide cash for non-investment-based consumers, so maybe we’ll see some basic income before too long. Not counting on it tho.

    3. Paid Minion

      Old-fashioned me says that repeatedly screwing the native-born, in favor of a bunch of economic immigrants, will come back to bite you in the ass, when the SHTF, and the native born ask themselves why they are defending a government/system/country that looks at them as an economic source to be used or exploited, and the economic refugees beat feet back to the old country, if they think they will be called up to fight in a real shooting war.

      This assumes of course that the US oligarch class allows the US government to bomb (figuratively and literally) their overseas investments and assets.

      As far as a US “insurgency”, the US government is going out of it’s way to maintain a façade, so that the wretched refuse and potential insurgents don’t realize how vunerable US infrastructure really is. Way too many obvious chokepoints, mostly minimally or poorly maintained, with no back ups, all of the guys that you would need to fix the stuff have been kicked to the curb, and any parts or materials you might need has to come from China.

      In fact, avoid civilian and military casualties, while attacking the infrastructure that allows atrocities like NAFTA and TPP, and you might find that a significant percentage of the US population will be cheering you on.

    4. craazyboy

      I have been patiently waiting for the American Public to dissuade themselves of the notion that War is a really, really cool and awesome thing. Then again, I never meet any real people that believe it is (including real ex-servicemen – one of whom has a new manmade leg.) So I’m thinking maybe it’s not us that’s the problem.

      It may very well be our Yellow Rag Media. War sells copy, copy sells ads. The old formula, still at work.

      Also, I thought we only had 16 intelligence agencies? It’s always the one you don’t know about that gets ya. Could it be the Men In Black? Space Aliens might try and play us off against each other. Then, next thing you know, full scale invasion!

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      The Archdruid responses to the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) document seem less like responses to the JOE than restatements of his views on the decline of the empire. His observation the JOE seems less a statement of the the future than a statement of the present seems apt. The trouble with that is the mixed purposes driving DoD policy documents — as a guide for development and procurements [$$$$$$$] — as an indicator of near term military intents — as a genuine effort to predict the future missions.

      Taking point-by-point — the crisis of legitimacy seems evident in the current election. The constant repetition and variations of Trump not unconditionally pre-accepting the “outcome of the election”combined with Hillary’s suggestions this could foster a legitimacy crisis make an unhappy echo of the repetition and variations on conflict with Russia. If the propaganda machine is prepping us for war with Russia with — are the repetitions of legitimacy crisis indication of prepping us for a response to a legitimacy crisis? Is the Reichstag burning?

      A link from a few days ago suggested marginalization of the U.S. is one of the reasons the War neocons are unhappy with Obama and so pleased to see Hillary waiting in the wings. I wonder whether the U.S. is marginalized as much as it has been a bad boy so long that it’s being ostrasized as that becomes possible with the shifting powers of the world. Here the idea of a “near abroad” is a different way of saying the U.S. is guilty of overreach and needs to change its goals.

      The “monkeywrenching” warefare of point three is already here — but “we have met the enemy and he is us”. Our Military Industrial Complex — like our other Industries have constructed such complex products and long fragile supply chains no enemy action is necessary to “monkeywrench” our war machine or other machines. A well-placed Huricane or a poorly designed embargo or trade war could do the trick. I still think the “monkeywrenching” might originate with the domestic unrest related to the crisis of legitimacy of point one. I recall reading the something about the Patriot Act or DHS indicating that domestic sabotage was a terrorist act.

      The warband culture is already present in other countries we’ve dismantled. It hardly seems beyond belief that such a culture might evolve here given the right conditions. Points one and three combined with the “right” response from DHS and the local police could work that magic.

      Short of Hillary succeeding in her efforts to push the Russians too far the last point — the end of the Holocene environment seems the most worrying of all. I remember in past years a response to unrest related to changing climate conditions was prominent in Army Operations documents. Do those concerns show up in the JOE? In the older Army documents it showed up fairly prominently. I scanned through almost half the JOE and didn’t spot a single reference to Climate Change or Global Warming. The closest things I found were concerns for large refuge populations and “demand for food or water exceeding local capacity to affordably deliver”.

      [I also spotted this tidbit near the bottom of page 17 (pdf page 22): “Non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) weapons will allow for the discriminate and precise targeting of a range of electronics-based systems.” Think of the havoc a few of those set off in or near carefully selected banking facilities in Panama or other tax havens might create.]

      I hate to say it but after that scan of the document I wondered how much the Archdruid read past the executive summary. A fair amount of what I saw looked like the basis for future DARPA research and development spending.

  9. justanotherprogressive

    RE: A massive cyberattack knocked out major websites across the internet Business Insider.
    I’m not a computer geek but having children that are sometimes helps! One of my kids told me if I really want to understand the geek, read this:
    What they did tell me is that this DDOS was not a “hack”, per se, but probably the first things kids learn when they realize that there is something going on behind that XBox plastic shell. So no, it was probably NOT a “state run” operation. Real hackers would sniff their noses at this type of operation.

    1. jash

      it is sad that the ddos’ing of one corp DYN(?) could cause such havoc.
      that is not how the web was to be.

      it is not to have one home for all the DNS services.
      The cheap is killing the web.

      These corps that care could be running their own DNS but that would take another couple of IT guys and I guess India is fresh out for now.

      Clouds of dumbness.

  10. nothing but the truth

    given the speed, ease and unanimity with which the establishment has turned into Hillarys hit men – it is worth looking into the future, because power once grabbed is never given up willingly (hint, the Fed refuses to let go of financial repression).

    All the actors in the digital space are privacy data sellers, and have no issues with suppressing the truth to further Hillary’s cause.

    Next, people suspected of dissent against the establishment will be branded Putin’s useful idiots and economically exiled – the way the tribe does it to those who mention the control over the media/finance/hollywood etc. In some cases there will be “burglaries” that were “botched” and the occupant tragically dies.

    The US has been fascist for a while, but it was polite on the surface. One thing that the establishment really hates is whistleblowers – pulling the curtain from the illusion.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If Hillary is not defeated in a few week, it gets harder, barring ill health, to stop her agenda for the American people.

    2. jrs

      I agree that having the media go full on Hillary manipulation and distortion before the election is not a good sign at all for things to come, just because this is not an independent media.

      But why would they economically exile those not even trying to make a difference? You want economic exile: get yourself arrested in political resistance, then try to get a job with a criminal record.

      control over the media/finance/hollywood, hmm yea I suspect this is a certain kind of not that subtle dog whistle. Ok in that case your comment just speaks for itself. But it mostly just comes across as what are you even talking about?

  11. fresno dan

    Amidst this barrage of lies — supporting the Big Lie that these revelations result from Russian perfidy — one small statement in the debate by Hillary Clinton shows the weakness at the heart of our problems.

    “{The Russians} have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.”
    The source for Clinton’s statement is a joint statement by James Clapper*** (Director of National Intelligence) and Homeland Security (Secretary Jeh Johnson).

    “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”
    There are three key things to remember when reading this. First, it is unlikely that all 17 US intelligence agencies confirmed the origin of the hacked emails. Did the Coast Guard, Department of Energy, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (mapping) all confirm that the emails were hacked by Russia?

    Second, since WWII US government officials have lied to us with increasing frequency about matters of the highest importance. Clapper famously lied to Congress about NSA’s illegal surveillance of US citizens (but of course remains unindicted). See this partial but still astonishing list of lies, all of which we believed at the time (and never any retaliation when we learned the truth).

    In keeping with this sad history, press “fact-checkers” dutifully approved Clinton’s statement as “fact” based on the gospel according to our intelligence agencies (e.g., NPR, ABC).

    Clinton says US elections influenced by nefarious forces – GOOD
    Trump says US elections influenced by nefarious forces – BAD

    ***Clapper – liar to congress, but not prosecuted because….

    1. cyclist

      And in addition, just what current position does HRC hold that makes her privy to what our intelligence agencies know? I mean, beyond what we or Trump knows?

      1. craazyboy

        Might be Bill. I believe ex-prezes get to keep their top security clearances – a loophole I think needs closing – for no other reason than Carlyle Group has probably enjoyed insider info for decades – and I try not to think of how many others the revolving door leads to.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And Bill can pass it on to Hilary?

          Maybe he talks in his sleep. But then, does it necessarily mean leaks to Hillary?

            1. craazyboy

              However, at Carlyle board meetings, the Bushes probably use hand signals – say, raise your right hand and the following dissertation is the “truth”.

      2. Pat

        I believe both major political candidates receive briefings from the major agencies, probably not as detailed as the President’s but iirc that is SOP.

        1. cyclist

          So Trump would be getting the same briefing? How about Jill Stein or Gary ‘Duh’ Johnson? Where do they draw the line for ‘major’?

  12. skippy

    Ref – Archdruid

    I disagree with the premises that the MIC is some sorta primary social fulcrum which dictates events as they are a result of more fundamental western hangovers considering more rigorous applications of knowlage in the vine of “The Savage Mind” wrt societies bestowing upon bricoleurs important roles which just in an convenient anthorism without more erudite introspection.

    Can we please desist with the deductive approach gifted with the aplomb of shaman… I can get the same action over at Von Mises…

    Disheveled Marsupial…. for myself I’m not about to slavishly worship neither some deduced being of unimaginable power or its man made equivalent of the computational quantum singularity and awaits is cognitive temporal aperture, and mistake it as truth…

    1. JCC

      I’m not sure that I get the meaning of your first paragraph. We are all tinkerers (bricoleurs) with regards to future scenarios, including the MIC.

      One point that was made in the ArchDruid essay that was pretty accurate, I thought, was that the MIC JOE-35 report – which I read in full – was this:

      Apparently nobody at the Pentagon noticed one distinctly odd thing about this outline of the future context of American military operations: it’s not an outline of the future at all. It’s an outline of the present. Every one of these trends is a major factor shaping political and military action around the world right now. JOE-35 therefore assumes, first, that each of these trends will remain locked in place without significant change for the next twenty years, and second, that no new trends of comparable importance will emerge to reshape the strategic landscape between now and 2035. History suggests that both of these are very, very risky assumptions for a great power to make.

      So, I guess my question is, what’s the dsifference between the JOE-35 report and the ArchDruid report when it comes to your statement re: von Mises, the MIC, and the Archdruid? Or, in other words, could you, respectfully asked, explain what you mean by your first para? I may have completely missed the point.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        My first thoughts on the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) document run elliptical to the Archdruid’s critiques.

        The tone of the JOE (at least the tiny bit I read) suggests a stronger pull on all the forces to join as a joint force. For many years factions in DoD have been positioning and infighting in response to an initiative in DoD pushing consolidating the Armed Services. The trouble with many Joint projects in the past was a lack of funding lines. They could issue mandates but had very little funds to let. In DoD political in-fighting money talks. My impression in the past was that Joint was more slogan than true policy. Has that changed? If not, this JOE document may not be as important as looking at the operations documents generated by each of the services. If they closely link with the Joint document — that would be interesting to know. Does anyone — do you — see an alignment of the services with a Joint direction?

        Assume for the sake of argument that the Joint documents compel the direction of DoD. The JOE is one of a set of DoD policy documents which define the missions the services must support. These missions can lead to changes in force structures, training, and weapons requirements for future developments and procurements. This is to say they affect DoD spending. I always believed the “future” scenarios perceived in these sorts of documents reflected military view of the future but also reflected the expenditure patterns the big Military Industrial Contractors wanted to see — which is to suggest many ways that the future predictions in this Joint document might be skewed from actual predictions of the future war environment. I read these sorts of documents as a rough guide to which development programs — particularly the one I was assigned to on — might fair in future funding battles.

        It sounds like you’re still on the inside — have Joint Directives grown stronger than in the past? The F-35 has all the earmarks of a forced Joint procurement.

        1. JCC

          I’m not in a good position to definitively answer, but generally speaking, yes, Joint Directives are stronger than in the past both internally and externally with certain trusted allies.

          Short-term success is questionable in many areas, but long-term… Who knows? The Branches are actively working at breaking down a lot of the silos that have obstructed Joint Directives in the past, but a century of separate cultures and bureaucracies (and procurement methods) make it difficult.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Thanks for the update. I used to work Army stuff. Every Joint directive seemed to threaten rice bowls all around but as long the directives came down as Unfunded Requirements (UFRs) they were often ignored. I think DoD would have been able — if that was the real intent — to get much better cooperation from the services and the affected programs if the displaced government employees and contractors were treated a little more nicely. Not all engineers and programmers who worked for DoD came there because they wanted to build weapons. A job in some area of government was a last resort to avoid the endless downsizing and reorganizations in the commercial world. But it didn’t take long for the same employment churn to find its way into government work.

      2. Skippy


        The Military is legion for pumping out theses sort of reports since WWII and the McNamara mob effect [psychological pathology commuted to maths], along with the Power Point séances that NC covered back in the day.

        As far as the hangover bit goes I would make a parallel with the older hangover of some spiritual canons and how that influenced perceptions by those with the wealth and power. It should be noted that such individuals and groups were constantly in flux, agreeing in whole one minute and fractured the next, what the general population gets is the output of this process. Think LaGuardia.

        The difference in all of this is China and Russia are in many cases ahead of the MIC, they know it, albeit they have to pretend to all and sundry that they are not because of interconnected-ness and image stop loss. Hence to focus on one report and attempt to divine the future is a wee bit myoptic and could suffer from too much observer bias.

        Disheepiphanyle Marsupial…. If I were to be so bold as to project out 20 years is simply put, it can’t be done, therefore unpacking a report which for what ever reasons attempts to is a fools errand. Sort alike economic models.

        1. JCC

          Which is pretty much what Mr. Greer said, re: my original comment and his quote, “assumes… that each of these trends will remain locked in place without significant change for the next twenty years.” It seems to me that you are agreement with him, shaman or not.

          I’m also not sure that his comments/unpacking were that far off what you’re saying here, the report, in his opinion, is a waste of time due to the fact that the time-frame is bogus; the premise that the report was attempting to describe a 19 year from now future time but in reality is describing what is happening now.

          Ultimately though, it was a continuation of his essay from last week, and this essay was, in that context, an example of the point he was making last week (a valid example, in my opinion).

          As for the report itself, what you are saying is near enough true, China and Russia are better prepared for future conflict (against the U.S.) in some tech areas, but I wasn’t sure that was what you were commenting on originally.

          As an aside, and for what it’s worth, as I read the JOE, I was struck by the feeling that, relative to “opposing forces”, with some minor changes it could have just as easily been written by the Russians using the US as the “bad actor” examples, re: the ME vs. Ukraine, for one example of many in the paper.

          1. Skippy

            Keep busy work to look important, by analysts, which the stars hope gets them the next leg up due to perception management and about as useful as a classic supply and demand graph.

            Disheveled Marsupial…. don’t know the guy from a bar of soap, but, not unlike club Orlov ir has elements of cultists and prophecy sayers, which it seems some fall into with the baggage that comes with….

    2. ambrit

      “Or some definition of ‘Truth.'”
      Maybe, “First we assume something called “The Truth,” and it’s off to the races we go.”

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Why your focus on praxeology? I am curious — or as you put it though less succinctly — “a glutton for lack of virtue in seeking clarity by times passing …”

      1. Skippy

        I did not mention prax, but only Mises, where a cherry picked moment in the life span of Kant’s works [ridged] is used to flesh out an entire world view, going all the way back in time. and all the way into the future w/ only the gravitas of evoking deity as support.

        Disheveled Marsupial… in the immortal words of Devo…. are WE not MEN – !!!!!

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          The Archdruid does seem like a strange guy — but his analyses and arguments seem rational enough. Are they that far removed from other analysis and arguments about the coming decline of the Empire? Why belittle them instead of answering them with your own analyses and arguments?

          1. Mark P.

            ‘The Archdruid(‘s) … analyses and arguments seem rational enough.’

            There’s never much there. He’s always selecting the evidence to support the thesis he wants to promote, rather than thinking fully and looking to figure out what he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know, then going from there. And he’s just not very clever or knowledgable, so all his purportedly weighty pronouncements come across as pure-quill Dunning-Kruger.

            For instance, in his comments about the current JOE document he observes the stunningly obvious fact that the predictions it makes about 2035 are only observations about what’s already happening today — it’s the first thing I thought, too — as if that’s an astute perception. Then he deduces from that that the JOE document is what the Pentagon really seriously, truly thinks, and — wow, they’re not factoring in climate change. Then he goes from there to how the U.S. elite has a legitimacy crisis after 2008. Wow, who knew?

            No. Back in 2004, the Pentagon (or at least Andy Marshall at Office of Net Assessment) even hired Peter Schwartz’s and Stewart Brand’s Global Business Network to produce a report that made the political point to the idiots in congress and the senate that climate change is real.

            More such papers and assessments have been released by the Pentagon since. They’ve also been political documents. So is the current JOE document, but of a different kind and with a different aim.

            The JOE document is clearly an extrusion of political verbiage to sell a current vision of joint operations that suits various military contractors, cliques of generals and so forth. It even has some validity in that clearly all these trends won’t disappear and will probably increase. But it’s obviously the equivalent of a sales pamphlet or mission statement — not a serious take on how the future will be different from today.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              I believe the Archdruid used the executive summary from the JOE as a framework for knocking out his weekly essay. He writes well and his ideas are interesting to read and contemplate. I can see where you might regard his writings as “weighty pronouncements” though other than his claimed title of Archdruid I don’t read weightiness in his style nor his treatment and handling of those who comment on his blog. He does indeed select evidence to support his point — but that is in the nature of writing an essay. I have some trouble with your other assertions — that he is not clever or knowledgeable and doesn’t think fully — those assertions are too general to hit their mark. The tag “pure-quill Dunning-Kruger” is an attack on his person — not his arguments.

              As I read the JOE — at least a fair portion of it — I wondered how much the Archdruid read past the executive summary. A fair amount of what I saw in the JOE looked like the basis for future DARPA research and development spending. Other than taking an unkind slam at DoD while using one of their policy documents for a rough outline to restate many points he’s made in his past writings — the Archdruid points and arguments stand and I’m still waiting to hear counter arguments or expansions or modifications of his arguments /assertions.

            2. JCC

              It’s called Confirmation Bias, and we all have a little of that.

              He is not the only one that thinks along the lines of diminishing returns on technology and complex systems, Charles Hugh Smith at the Of Two Minds blog often comments along the same lines and Joseph Tainter has written best selling books on the subject. The “shamanism”, as some seem to think, is a non-issue, not to mention an ad hominem style criticism.

              I agree with your statement that the JOE has a different aim, and one which he did not take into account, hence the pointless AGW criticism of the paper.

              On the other hand, I personally did not see it as a sales brochure, but more of a classic Pentagon “Mission Statement” with justifications. It’s easy to look at anything printed by the Pentagon with a cynical eye, but a “sales pamphlet”… From the perspective of the Joint Services Group that wrote this, I’m not so sure about that.

              As for the Army’s 2004 paper on the Global Warming Threat, I also read that and thought it was dead-on accurate. The Pentagon did, too, and many Military Bases here in the U.S. – Army, Air Force, and Navy/Marine – are now able to function off the power grid for a decent amount of time (to some degree or another).

              Interestingly I’ve discussed this (AGW) paper with a few friends of mine that for some weird unexplained reason are convinced AGW is just a “govt plot” with no basis in reality. One actually called it a sales brochure, too. More (anti)confirmation bias, I suspect.

              1. Jeremy Grimm

                The problem I had with the Army’s 2004 paper on Global Warming Threat was it’s focus on military actions. Many of the Army’s mission statements of the time included missions to help with disaster relief and refugees. I would have liked to see those missions expanded to more humanely deal with the problems Global Warming promised. I suspect you might agree with these qualms.

                Did you spot any mention of Global Warming or Climate Change in the JOE? I scanned a fair part of the first half of the document and it were as if cleaned by the Petroleum Industry police. Problems occurred through passive agency.

                1. JCC

                  None… after your comment earlier I did a search though the entire paper. No mention at all of environmental issues or global warming. It did actually surprise me that wasn’t taken into account.

                  The closest mention I saw was this:

                  As governments fail to provide a regular legal framework, to develop economic stability, to adequately respond to man-made and natural disasters, and to protect their citizens, they will become susceptible to violent political action. Ultimately, multiple internal pressures might eventually cause a state to shatter, a condition where the central government is no longer capable of providing effective and legitimate governance, creating security threats that might affect neighbors and spread regionally.

                  and this

                  Fundamental differences with regard to natural resource issues, human rights, and responsibilities in the maritime, air, space, and cyber domains will prevent existing global governance frameworks from adequately managing some emerging security challenges. While most rising powers are likely to focus on gaining greater access and influence within the current international system, some states will be willing to use violence or coercion to revise certain aspects of the international order.

                  They, very obviously in my opinion, skirted the issue as best they could.

                  1. Jeremy Grimm

                    Thanks for the confirmation! That is very very interesting and suggests an unhappy direction for the future — as if we needed any more of those.

                    I noted your references to Hugh Smith and Tainter and will check them out. Thanks!

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      After looking up the words I didn’t know and reading a little into some of the peculiarities of language — I think I understand your comment. I think I could summarize it as follows: You really really don’t like the Archdruid. Both bob and Mark P. seem very much in agreement with you. I can understand that — he can be a bit much sometimes. He still seems like a good source of information about composting.

      Now — who do you read — what author(s), websites or blogs do you read for extrapolations about our future? They may be over my head but I’ll risk a try.

  13. dk

    More detail on the Dyn DNS DDoS attacks:

    The attacks append random strings of text to the front of domain names, making them appear like new, legitimate requests for the addresses of systems with a domain. Caching the results to speed up responses is impossible.

    So this is a variation the conventional ICMP (ping/echo/etc) attacks directed at a domain. The botnet zombies are requesting random pages, and they must be subdomains from one or more domains whose owners are using Dyn to host their DNS information. Something like

    The attack itself is likely pointed at a Dyn customer rather than at Dyn itself. Some indications point to the attack focusing on Sony’s Playstation domains, though Dyn has not confirmed this.

    So one (or more) Dyn customers gets attacked and many more Dyn customers are affected when their requests can’t be fulfilled.

    I haven’t found more details about the requests, such as which protocol(s) (http,ftp, etc) were being used and what the content was (the Mirai malware apparently used can be configured to send just about anything). Release of these details might give us more indication about the intended target and goals of the attack.

    The original culprits are the IoT device producers who released products with inadequate (too often non-existent) security configurations (and often without mechanisms for future hardening through updated software/firmware). Product producers are, of course, loath to accept regulation or requirements of any kind, since compliance translates to some kind of cost to them.

    I would say it’s impractical and unfair to require DNS service providers like Dyn to provide the capability to handle artificially and abusively high loads, when the responsibility for such loads lies elsewhere.

    Further reading from Brian Krebs:

    Wikileaks’ suggestion that the attack was made in their defense is overblown, at least from current information.

    Current use of the Internet is already foolish and reckless; time-sensitive, sometime life-critical information being transmitted in parallel with non-essential and trivial traffic? That’s just asking for trouble :). But if we considered all risks, we might not be able to pry necessary investment from the feckless 1%, much less anybody else! When nobody wants to lose, or even imagine losing, everybody loses together.

    Maybe what has to change is the expectation that everything, or even anything, that we do will resist unforeseen variation: if we could foresee eventualities that well, we’d probably be behaving completely differently across the board.

    1. jsn

      So net neutrality is at fault? Internet is a commons and should b publicly administered: life safety first; private control always puts profit first

    2. flora

      Good overview of the attack from ZDnet here
      Western Europe looks like it was hit harder than the U.S.

      The ‘who’ and ‘why’ are still unanswered questions. Some are claiming state actor and that actor is Russia. Some say state actor and that actor is China (where all the IoT electronics are made). Some say criminal private hackers. “Some say” is guessing. Right now no one knows.
      The ‘how’ looks like unsophisticated malware in IoT devices. From BoingBoing.

      an aside:
      A DNS service provides the translation of URL addresses (www-dot-something-dot-extension) to numeric ip addresses.
      There are online ‘URL to ip address’ translation services you can use to get the ip address(es) for websites you visit, allowing you to create your own “phone book” for times when the DNS is down. When DNS sites are down their translation service doesn’t work so your “phonebook” entries must be created when DNS is working. Some sites let you visit via using their ip address as the URL, e.g. NYTimes, WaPo and Wikileaks. Some sites do not allow ip address visits , e.g. NC.

      For example: One of the WaPo’s ip addresses is
      If you put that number in your browser’s address bar it will take you to the WaPo.

    3. flora

      adding – from the Krebs link:
      ““The issue with these particular [IoT] devices is that a user cannot feasibly change this password,” Flashpoint’s Zach Wikholm told KrebsOnSecurity. “The password is hardcoded into the firmware, and the tools necessary to disable it are not present. Even worse, the web interface is not aware that these credentials even exist.” (my emphasis)

      So basically, these cheap IoT devices have, in effect, an open door to rootkits coded in their firmware.

      1. pricklyone

        This provides a false sense of security for even more savvy users, who smugly change the webserver password on the device, not knowing that the SSH and Telnet interfaces are still active with hardcoded default passwords. All of these devices running Linux could easily include more security, but the lazy customer wants “Plug and Play”. Turn off UPnP in your router, do not Port Forward anything, unless you truly understand what it is and does This is the reason these devices can be reached inside of your private network. Because people are in love with the idea of watching home cameras on their phone, it has to punch a hole in your firewall in order for you to connect to the device. Just Say NO…

        At least with the cameras, and other stuff within your private network, you can see the problem and firewall it. Scarier still are the takeovers of home routers, as you will never even see the traffic, unless you are outside of your NAT with a sniffer.

        1. JCC

          The telnet issue is the one that really irks me. Although I have no IoT devices in my home (and hopefully – until some govt fiat mandates it – never will) I run a relatively secure home system, probably more secure than most considering it’s my line of employment, and all linux since I’m a firm believer that no MS system should ever be directly exposed to the Internet, and in my case not even indirectly exposed unless it’s a virtual machine that’s booted up only when necessary :-)

          Over the last few months my firewall has been getting probed at least 700 to 800 times per 24 hour period, many days even more than that (over 1000 one day)… and 95% of the probes are attempting a break-in of the telnet port.

          At first I was clueless as to why this was happening considering that even MS has been turning this port off by default in their distros since at least 2008 or so. No one in their right minds turns this port on, let alone on an Internet exposed interface. All of my systems have not even had a telnet server installed, let alone actually running, for well over 15 years, not even on my internal firewalled networks at work or home.

          Then I read about the IoT issues and swore I would never have one anywhere near anything I owned or was responsible for.

          Blaming DYN or “small pipes” is not sensible (actually “big pipes” wouldn’t come anywhere close to solving this problem, it’s not a “pipe” problem, it’s an overwhelmed server problem).

          The people that manufacture these appliances are directly responsible, and if they can’t add a simple, free to them, openssh server and a few simple paragraphs in the “Quick Start” guides on how and why to secure these devices, they should be sued out of existence.

          1. Praedor

            I prefer the nuclear option: incorporation is not a right, it is a privilege and service provided by government. As such, any company that doesn’t fix this issue simply losses their incorporation and is no longer recognized as a valid company anymore. Should happen in ALL situations of environmental harm, worker harm, consumer harm, the company fixes it ore is dissolved/loses its incorporation. EVEN IF AN LLC.

    4. pricklyone

      Dyn article was written before the attack of the 21st. Eerily prescient, no? Some are speculating it was part of the reason for the target selection.

    5. jh

      I spent most of the day yesterday dealing with the impact of the attack. I work for one of the tech companies affected.

      You asked why we don’t use “more than one DNS server?” Dyn is a large DNS provider, they have hundreds (probably thousands) of servers situated all over the world. These servers work in what’s called an “anycast” network so that your request will be routed to the nearest server. This attack was launched from over 10M different devices, so all of the Dyn servers were simultaneously affected. So, in this case, we really were using many servers, it’s just that all of the servers were overwhelmed.

      Now, reading this, you might ask why we don’t use more than one provider. The tools to keep many domains in sync over multiple providers don’t exist, so for the most part have to be hand-crafted. In addition, you have to contract with and pay both providers. Dyn is well known for being both cheaper and more reliable than their competition.

    6. XonX

      So once again, it comes down to: are they super smart? are they idiots? or is it just coincidence?

      That’s a massive dump of internet resources, and why? Just those darn kids again? Everyone knows DDoS, it’s old news, it was high-school kids since forever. So why so big, why now, and why that laundry list of boring internet services? Why not take out some stock exchanges for a morning, the banking industry for a day? It’s never anything like that.

      Maybe, in the run-up up to the election, folks are looking for cover while they run some connectivity tests to their favorite Diebold voting machines? Voting Fraud? Russians? Kids? Playstation haters?

      Something’s pretty wrong with the internet when it’s just that easy and just that vague.

    7. dk

      durr.. first link was supposed to be to the Ars Technica article being quoted:

      Instead it’s the paper posted Chris Baker of Dyn the day before, describing the particular DDoS variant method.

      Also, here’s John McAfee weighing in on attribution:

      “The Dark Web is rife with speculation that North Korea is responsible for the DYN hack” He suspects it is Bureau 121, a North Korean cyberwarfare agency with almost 2,000 state sponsored hackers in the group. McAfee said, “They certainly have the capability and if it’s true (that they hacked DYN) then forensic analysis will point to either Russia, China, or some group within the U.S.”

      He also thinks that an Iranian group performed the DNC intrusions.

  14. Larry Headlund

    Bike lock developed that makes thieves immediately vomit Guardian (Dr. Kevin). This will sell like hotcakes.

    Litigation futures: consider the history of anti-burglary shotgun booby traps. Not to mention effects on passersby.

    1. no one

      The so-called SkunkLock has so many downsides that I imagine it was suggested by the automobile-fossil fuel industrial complex to drive bicycles out of existence. Were these devices to be used, you would never find me anywhere near bikes, or bicyclists, for that matter. Good-bye, bike-friendly downtowns!

    2. ewmayer

      Unless the smelly-stuff-holding pressurized chamber extends all the way around the U, will be easy to bypass. Plus, ignores another very common technique for breaking such locks: Insert screw-type compact car jack into U, crank until the locking connector to the thich crossbar breaks.

      Aside: I recommend the inventor put some effort into losing his annoying verbal tic – he’s even worse than Hillary with her “you knows” in unscripted speech:

      “The biggest problem in this industry is that people don’t know that the lock that they bought for $20 is absolutely worthless. It costs at least $100 to have at least somewhere close to where you can at least curb the chances of a thief wanting to steal your bike.”

  15. temporal

    It looks like DNS provider Dyn was a major target but not the only one.

    There are references to Dyn trying to mitigate which I assume means blacklisting offending addresses, which is a bandwidth constrained solution, but it appears the final resolution was that the sleepers went back to sleep. Either that or Dyn bought a bigger pipe. So all-in-all no one admitted anything interesting. This was almost certainly just an experiment to validate timing and targeting. They can’t go after services with lots of bandwidth so they’re testing possible targets and responses.

    I imagine that a few of the smarter companies will recognize that offloading DNS responsibilities may not be the best option available. Either that or they will find a vendor with a bigger pipe. Dyn, if I remember right, is tier 3 but the tier 1 DNS servers didn’t relate having any problems.

    It’s interesting that the EU is at least looking at fixing IoT security while the US, the major victim of the recent attacks, sits around waiting for a market solution.

    And the IoT sleeps on.

    I still like the idea of the FBI doing one of those TV style invasions and capping somebody’s DVR. “Something was coming out of the drawer after I told it twice to freeze.”

    1. Antifa

      FBI agent shoots, kills elderly VHS tape player: “It was blinking 12:00, so the countdown on the bomb had obviously stopped, and I feared for my life.”

  16. Nikki

    In light of Helmer’s piece I’d like to propose the Greek singer/poet Dionysis Savvopoulos be considered for a Nobel. In the translated lyrics at the bottom, “clothes on fire” is literal, in case you don’t know the history of the 1922 burning of the Greek city of Smyrna, the first genocide of the 20th century. (For more see the recent, excellent popular history by Lou Ureneck, The Great Fire, or listen to an interview,

    The rock concert version of Me aeroplana ke vaporia:
    And a young Savvopoulos accompanied by the famous remetika singer Sotirou Bellou:

    There is also a tv talk show version with everyone humming
    along, someone at a grand piano, but never mind.

    Regarding the lines about whoever loves eats filthy bread: None of
    us is pure, there are compromises, the inevitable hypocrisies, certain circumstances… even for or with good people, because that is life. So true.

    Sample translation of lyrics for above link, Airplane and Steamboat

    with airplanes and ships
    and with old friends
    we roam in the darkness
    but you still don’t hear us.
    you don’t hear us singing
    with electric voices,
    inside underground chambers,
    until our paths meet your fundamental principles.

    my father, Mpatis,
    came from Smyrna at 1922,
    and lived for 50 years
    in a secret cellar.

    In this place,
    whoever loves eats dirty bread
    and their desires follow
    underground tracks.

    Yesterday night i saw a friend of mine
    roaming as an aerial
    on his motorcycle,
    and behind him dogs running

    Stand up, my soul,
    give out power,
    set your clothes on fire,
    set the instruments on fire,
    so our tremendous, awe-inspiring voice
    rockets like a black spirit

      1. Nikki

        Last year was the centenary of the Armenian genocide. I view– and have had this discussion with Armenian friends– the genocidal events of the last decade of the Ottoman empire as one episode. All the victims were Christians. In a few hundred years, and not just a century later, this is probably how it will be viewed.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Yes, thought-provoking post from John Helmer who questioned why the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan over other composers, poets and musicians.

      Clicked the link Helmer provided to the music video by Kino. It pertains to the desertification and pollution of the Aral Sea due to diversion of rivers for irrigation. The lyrics and video are in a long tradition of Russian environmental activism and also pertain to one of the salient issues of our time: massive environmental loss with severe public health and economic consequences

      Melnitsa’s “The Master of mountain roads”, discusses those among us who are fearless, the desire and search for courage, and human mortality. Complex topics, these, and surely deserving of consideration.

      1. Plenue

        I found Helmer was mostly just being a whiny, petty dipshit. Maybe Dylan doesn’t deserve the prize, but the sneering claim that he’s just some dime a dozen mediocrity made my eyes role. Citing a bunch of Russian musicians nobody outside of Russia has ever heard of isn’t exactly an argument. English is the lingua franca of the world, its writers are going to get more international attention,. Deal with it, Helmer.

    2. alex morfesis

      smyrna…i luv revisionist history with omissions…a bit like marxists forgetting karl published his manny-festoh from a publisher “inside” bishopsgate/the city of london…odd choice for an “anti-capitalist”…

      where to begin…how wondrous to forget the “burning” of the city…since greek military troops were there fighting against turkish forces in the attempt to eliminate the turkish state…and they lost, having picked up their skirts and ran out of smyrna on september 27, 1922…and the germanic greek king abdicated that same day…the french basically handed Chrysostomos to an angry turkish crowd…

      and yet it moves…

      the greek military had been killing turks in turkey for 3 years…that is never much discussed…as if the greek military had never invaded…ok…it is not an invasion when the british and french say turkey doesn’t exist and
      greece can just “take it”…

      and the armenians…since we tend to forget world war 1 began in 1912 with the taking of turkish territory in the war of the “Balkan League”, with 2000 turkish troops being killed in October 1912…and lest we not forget…since everyone forgets, the german royal family had taken over turkey with its support of the 3 pashas dictatorship…in fact, German Admiral Von Souchon was in control of the turkish navy when it bombed odessa and sevastopol on Oct 29, 1914 to mark its turkish entry into world war juan…the war to end all people…

      On June 17, 1915, the german puppet dictatorship of the 3 pashas announce via the proclamation of Talaat Pacha that armenians were now subject to “random deportations”…mostly for the economic actions taken by one certain mister 5 percent who was busy taking the ottoman oil and not giving it or sharing it with his fellow armenians…minor details…

      and as the armistice was being negotiated in October of 1918, the spanish influenza declared war on humanity, having already killed well over a million people in china and having killed 20 thousand per week in the you ess of aye…

      but history is boring, so people can just give us the edited versions…the whole complete history is just too complicated for one to actually explain it…besides…it would not rhyme well with the tempo of the song…

      there are many things forgotten to history…the photo of Lizzie van Zyl in the british concentration camps from the boer war where nobody died…no “one” at all…if it had been just one it might be ok…and the million people who were genecided in india in 1900-1901 by the british actions…yes the uk history just calls it “mismanagement” of resources…not exactly how the dead see it…

      and no one remembers joe jeannette, the great black prize fighter who had the fate of being great after it was “decided” jack johnson as heavy weight champion was a problem since he had been born black…

      and the river flows…

      1. Nikki

        The history of skirmishes between the Greek and Turkish army in the countryside outside of Smyrna was understood by the author of the book I recommended. NOTHING RATIONALIZES THE WHOLESALE SLAUGHTER OF A CAPTIVE CIVILIAN POPULATION– not even the first opening of the Mosul oilfields to Western companies.

        1. Alex morfesis

          Sadly you want to gloss over the fact greece invaded turkish territory in 1912 and continued with “the big idea” of venizelos…until defeated in 1922…all those dead turks…they dont count…all the Turkish land taken by greece when it doubled in size after 1912 ??? And would you like to in public quite what venizelos intended to do with the “defeated” turks if he had gotten to ankara…didnt think so…wouldnt fit neatly into the victim narrative…

          and as to “greater armenia”…when that “plan” failed…

          oh wait…
          killing all you turks…
          oh come on…
          we were just kidding…
          no reason to get so touchy about a little lead…

          Did the german controlled 3 pashas dictatorship result in the death of hundreds of thousands armenians…no doubt…

          Did the forces of attaturk turn a blind eye to turkish mobs taking revenge on greek merchants who had treated them like dogs during the 3 year occupation by the greek military…without a doubt…

          Skirmish…you call a military invasion sanctioned by britain and france a “skirmish”…

          I am a staunch defender of the greek church…advocate vatican type status for the church in byzantium…a return to armenia of mt Ararat and some form of kurdish state(mostly in iraq and syria)…

          That does not mean nonsense history and silly kindergartener narratives need be pushed forth into a public dialogue that is difficult enough without historic omissions…

  17. bob k

    come on yves, you don’t have to spend $6M to be enveloped with a great smell. why, every time i get my luxury fiat 500 pop washed i get a free scent of my choice. i wonder, will i go with pine? or sandalwood? but i always come back to new car scent because even if i can’t buy a new car every year, i can drive in what smells like a new car. and that makes me happy. after all, we drive the cars we deserve to be driving…

  18. Ian

    Antidote de jour is a tiger. Putin has a strong appreciation for tigers via email leak. Only logical conclusion Yves and NC are Russian plants meant to sabotage electoral process. Had to be said.

    1. OIFVet

      How dares Putin put so much effort into saving the Siberian tiger and Amur leopard from extinction in the wild? Just proves what an evil creature he is.

      1. optimader

        That doesn’t inoculate him from being a character in the Pantheon of Aholes. It’s not a zero sum game.

          1. optimader

            Perhaps we just have different standards witters? I’m not responsible for killing anyone, let alone innocent people.

            1. Praedor

              Problem (and hypocrisy): the US is responsible for killing CARLY more innocent lives than Russia and Putin. By orders of magnitude.

  19. Dikaios Logos

    re: Rothschilds money

    I’ve experience in the world of private investments and have dealt with some of the Rothschilds’ folks. I was more than a little surprised by their ticket size, pointing to a bigger entity than most would imagine. And I say that as someone with relatives who are part of a very prominent U.S. banking family. Though I never looked closely enough to determine what % of NMR’s funds was their money vs. OPM. But there are a lot of family offices in the 8-figure range that never, ever make the papers, so who knows about how big and powerful some of these families are?

    I still can’t shake the impression that HRC’s invitation to Lynn de Forrester Rothschild and Sir Evelyn to spend their honeymoon at the White House was a clear indication that HRC is more Marie Antoinette than Joan of Arc or Mother Teresa.

        1. alex morfesis

          like the dalai lama, the poopies of our betters are boxed and packaged and are given out as treats for those who want the mammonite version of tantric living…(you do know that one needs to find enlightenment by input of the holy poop)

    1. bob

      It’s a very long legacy. That buys the ability to “lose” some of the wealth, for tax or ownership purposes anyway.

      Wealthy- 11 figures.

      SUPER wealthy- go ahead, try to count it all. You’ll never find it.

      The Bush’s come to mind as a corollary. Big military intel ties. The Bush’s only have a few dozen decades compared to the Rothschild’s.

      It’s aristocracy, plain and simply. That label not being used anymore suits them just fine, they still have all the power.

    2. DarkMatters

      The Forbes list can’t possibly be a complete representation of the wealthy. There are no Rockefellers, nor members of royal families (as far as I can see). Their absence is telling. The Clinton foundation is taking in about a quarter of a billion a year; if its holdings reached a billion, would that put Chelsea on Forbes?

      1. bob

        Forbes is for those crass Nouveau riche. Real money never has to put a number to it. It’s just understood.

        Part and parcel of tax evasion and money laundering is getting a person’s (or family’s) name off the money. Over generations, none of it is left….

        “Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
        Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh
        But when the taxman comes to the door
        Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes”

        CCR for the win.

      2. Grebo

        My trip to Forbes was predictably futile, so I couldn’t see the list. What I wonder is how much it costs to get your name off it. And are all the Rothschilds still called Rothschild these days?

      3. DarkMatters

        Finally found it! This site,,
        provides an interactive search whereby you can put in a persons name, and find out their associations, with organizations, and who else serves on the boards of these organizations. That presumably would be their pals. This site also recommends visiting for similar info.

        The elite connections revealed by these sites are more meaningful in determining an individual’s power, and probably real wealth, than Forbes. For instance, it shows that Lynn Rothschild’s is in Hillary’s inner circle, and Lynn is CE of family-owned E. L. Rothschild LLC. From their website

        “E.L. Rothschild’s current holdings include The Economist Group Ltd (owner of The Economist magazine), Bronfman E.L. Rothschild LP (a leading wealth management firm in the U.S.), and IHS Holding Ltd (the largest independent mobile tower operator in Africa), among other companies.”

        “…Since its founding, E.L. Rothschild has achieved annualized returns in excess of 25%.”

        But she’s not on Forbes…

        1. alex morfesis

          interesting, but what is lost in the discussion is the perpetual economic warfare of the rhinos and the elephants going at each others tribes…that is why so many of our “betters” have a hard time seeing the damage their chase for one more monet does to the world around them…

          the family was never as powerful as their press agents made them out to be…although their getting their hessian wards to take a dive at the delaware for old george to rouse up a nation on the brink of giving up was not such a bad thing…go find a copy of the original contract with the british crown and the hessians…the brits thought they had basically won and attempted to renegotiate the terms of payment and indemnity for the use of the germanic troops since the good olde king george did not speak english well enough(he vast gurmyn) to actually rouse up his british subjects to go attack their fellow “englishmen”…the contract was fairly elaborate, with payments for death, and for loss of limb and eyes or hearing…

          but once the service was rendered, good olde king george figured…

          what could happen…

          would the family double cross the british crown and help establish a free country on the other side of the pond…?? to the victors go the history books…but sometimes you have to like to read to get to the good stuff…

          there are many a european royal who blame the R/C family for being the original bitcoin and circumventing royal financial decrees…

        2. JTMcPhee

          Rothschild? I’ve been repeatedly informed that any mention of that group is just conspiracy theory talk… nothing there there…

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      If you only have eight figures, you can’t afford a family office. You need serious nine figures minimum for the overhead not to eat your returns alive.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    “No one knows with the PBMs what kind of discounts their getting from the manufacturers, and then what they turn around and tell the patient,” J. Randle House, a pharmacist at Metier Pharmacy in Arizona, told Business Insider.

    This is a transcription of a quote given to BI, in an important piece on the responsibility of pharmacy benefit managers in the relentless increases in the price of commonly used drugs.

    While I’m sure some will consider this nitpicking, at some point the obvious inability to understand proper simple spelling calls the validity of the reporting and analysis into question.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Oops. RE: Here’s how a $50 drug ends up costing you $700 in America’s healthcare system Business Insider

      1. ambrit

        I suspect that editors are being replaced by algos as quickly as are “journalists.” The quality of contemporary ‘journalism’ is in terminal decline.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          The fact that algos appear unaware of the language “phenomenon” of homophones makes me want to run out and buy a “self-driving” car. Not.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Those are very beautiful images — Thank you!

      Did you see anything to explain how Siwanowicz obtained the color effects?

        1. optimader

          meant for Alex of course…

          alex morfesis

          October 22, 2016 at 6:32 pm

          like the dalai lama, the poopies of our betters are boxed and packaged and are given out as treats for those who want the mammonite version of tantric living…(you do know that one needs to find enlightenment by input of the holy poop)

    1. Katharine

      Creepy. I was reminded of a relative’s report after attending a family funeral, where he’d met adolescent grandchildren of the deceased and recognized in them the signs of over-cheerful compliance and correct scripted responses that go with a too rigidly religious upbringing. This sounds like a secular variant of the same thing. I’d call it emotional child abuse.

      1. Bev

        Over cheerfulness does sound like programming, and loss of self and coping skill development. Teaching even young kids that they are sinners and going to hell is also very abusive. Teaching to a test ruins love of learning and critical thinking. And, never should any child be physically assaulted in schools. No corporal punishment at all to prevent such horrible stories as this:

        13-year-old student gets leg amputated after school official beats him in angry rampage
        Nathan Wellman | October 19, 2016

        A 13-year-old black teenage boy was forced to have his leg amputated after a school employee slammed him to the floor multiple times and then failed to provide medical treatment.

        According to his attorney, the boy left class for the main office to call his mother for a ride. “Behavioral specialist” Bryant Mosley stopped him and threw him to the ground three times to keep him from leaving. The violent confrontation occurred on the boy’s first day of school.

        The boy later reported to school officials a numbness in his leg, and the school told him that they would call him an ambulance. They never did. Mosley carried the boy to the school bus and sent him home without notifying his family of possible injuries.

        “They placed an injured student on the school bus,” said the boy’s attorney Renee Tucker. “We don’t know the extent that the injuries were worsened by the failure to render aid and certainly by picking him up and seating him on the school bus. Then they had him ride in that same school bus home without any support or stabilization of that leg.”

        Complications with the boy’s injury led to doctors informing the family that his leg would have to be amputated. The boy’s mother was forced to be absent from her job while carrying for son, and ultimately lost it.

        Inside sources have reported that the school is in possession of a videotape of the confrontation, and the boy’s attorney has submitted an open records request to gain possession of the footage, in addition to 50 documents related to the incident. They plan to sue the school for $5 million.

    1. Pat

      There are apparently lots of armed men outside the embassy, so right wing sites are extrapolating that Ecuador is getting ready to chuck him and they are there to scoop him up when it happens.


      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Why now? How are the Hillary email leaks more threatening to the U.S. government than some of the leaks from the past?

      2. EricT

        The pro Assange people should do like they did in the movie V. Sympathetic protesters should dress up in V masks and capes, have Assange dress the same way, then have the protesters swarm the area, letting Assange escape in the chaos.

    2. ProNewerDeal

      I read he dropped his Podesta Vol 15 mixtape. Jordan Chariton/TYT Politics on youtube is reading & reporting on Podesta Wikileaks with each new release.

      Ecuador supposedly terminated Assange’s internet connection, but the releases keep ongoing.

        1. DarkMatters

          Spooks might be able to jam phone tower frequencies, and maybe even jam satellite connections, no? The embassy is a well-localized site.

  21. optimader

    When the Entire Internet Seems to Break at Once Atlantic. Um, Twitter being knocked offline for a few hours is a cause for hysteria only for journalists (and Twitter’s management). Laurse: “Sounds like fishing for more support for war with Russia – “‘Oh noes! Russia broke my internets! Lets nuke the f*ckers!’”

    Mayhaps “they” probably did, and I thank them.Too bad it has no permanence.
    most all of these social media platforms belong on the ash heap of ill considered ideas. Who really is enriched by a Twits 140 character navel contemplation, or the clever pics of a drinking engagement on permenant file at Facebook?

  22. Tim

    The problem with the Archdruid’s continued invective re: “mass illegal immigration” is that stopping said practice requires the expansion of the carceral state as well as the forming of white nationalism into law. This is also the problem with the group of Post-Keynesians calling themselves the realist left. They may not see it yet, but they’re fascists. The issue is that the nation-state as conceived is an inherently ethnic nationalist development; in the US, that means white nationalist, or more specifically, white settler colonialist. Note that white nationalist states can have captive/docile non-white populations, and elevate non-whites to “capo” positions — that does not change the very nature and logic of the white nationalist state.

    To take a page from his article, that’s not the future, that’s what has already happened. The US had porous borders for most of its history, including the southern border with Mexico. There were functionally no immigration restrictions until the late 19th century. Even afterwards, the US lacked the federal manpower to patrol the borders. Instead, white settlers used ethnic cleansing to remove Mexicans and Indians from land in the southwest, and to enforce white nationalist rule.

    Extralegal violence became impossible to maintain after the 1950s, so instead we substituted a system of immigration control and border militarization that has accelerated in recent years;Pres. Obama deported more undocumented immigrants than his predecessor, Pres. Bush.

    Recently, Yves posted a few articles linking immigration to decreased prosperity. What was left unsaid is that immigration becomes a problem when one group is pitted against another — a different set of labor organizing circumstances would obviate that problem.

    Now, some people will say that we can have an unbiased anti-immigration police force, that will not create the conditions for discrimination, othering, and white nationalism. I would submit to you that we’ve already tried that and it has failed.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It never ceases to “amaze,” that arguments in favor of increasing immigration are invariably couched in terms of unquestioned economic “benefit,” however dubiously substantiated, while arguments to restrict immigration largely involve charges of “discrimination, othering, and white nationalism” that capriciously trivialize the economic concerns of those most directly impacted as “cultural.”

      Please forgive the run-on sentence. Shorter version: apples and oranges.

      1. jash

        Non-white nationalist states have captive/docile white populations, and elevate whites to “capo” positions — that does not change the very nature and logic of the non-white nationalist state.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If the meme is there is to be 1,000,000 migrants and you are for only 900,000 but not their idea of 1 million, you’re ‘against immigration.’

        “That’s a lot. How about not so many?”

      3. The Cleaner

        Those who benefit from a system are the most likely to want to preserve it and vice versa. This is not restricted to the “native” born (scare quotes for obvious reasons), but to immigrants too, the more successful of which advocate shutting the door after them more often than one might think.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      There is no need to build a wall or expand the carceral state to stop “mass illegal immigration” — and since “legal” is a flexible term drop it — “mass immigration”. To deal with the problem try enforcing the law at job sites where immigrant workers are exploited. People immigrate for a reason. If we would stop going around starting wars and supporting the kinds of government we support there would be less reason for people to migrate. Most immigrants come here because of horrible conditions in their home country or to get work.

      1. The Cleaner

        While all you say is true, my feeling is that fighting mass immigration because it will depress wages is fighting the last war. Even if AI and automation does not succeed at the desired pace of Silicon Valley’s so-called visionaries, it will surely have an unsettling amount of impact in the next two decades or so. Particularly in employment sectors which have so far not been subject to pressure from mass immigration. I don’t know what the right answer is. For sure, unrestricted mass immigration is not sustainable… but immigration restrictions might just be re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I also don’t know how to answer your concerns. Employment and the onrush of automation is just one of too many problems driving frightening prospects for our futures.

          1. JTFaraday

            Well, if I were going to detach the issue from employment, I would say look at Europe. These new burgeoning im/migrant populations are not merely seeking employment. How long before there is a hue and cry to export to the US messes it had a big hand in creating?

      2. Waldenpond

        I agree. Change foreign policy. It’s as if the competition is to see which country can exploit the largest % of their population and create the firstest, bestest trillionaire, how about end the wars and corrupt trade deals. If the US wasn’t decimating so many countries, there wouldn’t be as much forced immigration. Although I expect climate immigration is going to be backfilling any possible improvements in economic and military warfare caused immigration, domestic policy could use E-verify or lose your business license. E-verify system can also apply to housing and benefits.

        Do any locals have the issue of proposing greater density in housing yet haven’t the ability to add additional sewage treatment? Can some areas handle additional housing if waste is composted rather than treated and disposed of?

  23. optimader

    In the war against Russia, the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan is a sideshow…Russian war songs are more popular than ever, according to Russian audience measurements. But the best of the Russian bards at this genre

    Why cant Helmer just spill an interesting gallon of ink on Russian pop music/film history instead of wrapping it in his tortuously expressed perpetualfaaking Mil/Political propaganda?
    He is every bit as trollish as anyone from NPR/CNN/FOX/NYT

    Personally, I would have voted for JBirkin and SGainsbourg( posthumously )-for a song w/o conventional lyrics before BDylan.
    Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime moi non plus

    But finding some equivalent between Dylan and “bards” of War propaganda music? WTF is this guy smoking? I really have affection for BDylan’s work, other than a couple pieces, but I certainly don’t think he is a warmonger last I checked?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      His use of Dylan to talk about how war ballads are becoming popular in Russia may be a bit click-baitish, but that doesn’t make the phenomenon and what it says about the culture real. Anti-war songs were a big deal in the 1960s and both reflected opposition to the War in Vietnam and made it socially more legitimate (the was a time when it was seen as traitorous to oppose the war. Recall how Martin Luther King fell into extreme disfavor when he spoke out against it).

      Ballads and marches are important musical forms. The great film Alexander Nevsky, with music by Prokofiev, include a march and a battle on the ice. Battle Hymn of the Republic is sung regularly in the US, and battle hymns generally were very important in the Civil War (see Jerusalem, the ballad set to the words of Blake’s poem, is widely seen as an anthem against oppressive early industrial capitalism.

  24. -jswift

    Re: the petition to force a party congress giving all PSOE members a vote on policy, which would stop the barons efforts to let Rajoy pass.

    This claims they now have enough signatures, about 94K, more than half the party membership. But there are still obstacles, seems the central committee refuses to answer the phone, no kidding. If rules are followed this should lead either to a new election or a stillborn Rajoy govt. If not, it seems unlikely the PSOE could hold together, but others can clarify this better than me. Even a confirmation of my interpretation of the article (in Spanish) would be helpful.

  25. OrangeCat

    The flying fish video is remarkable; thanks for posting it. I felt bad for each one that was caught.

    In other news, per the WSJ:

    “A New Jersey law firm that helped Wells Fargo Bank N.A. foreclose on thousands of homeowners has sued the lender, saying the bank’s delayed efforts to fix its robo-signing problems led the law firm to collapse….The lawsuit also states that Wells Fargo has refused to pay more than $2.5 million for work that Zucker, Goldberg & Ackerman did….”

    the link:

    1. JTMcPhee

      Karma, schadenfreude… just breaks my heart. Wonder which law firm will submit the winning lowball bid to represent WF in re litigation?

  26. Pat

    There was a quote on my morning news from someone that stated the internet outage was too vast to be amateurs it was clearly a state act. I didn’t catch who. I was too busy going “WTF” and wondering if they have paid no attention to other internet problems? It took me awhile to get aware enough to realize that, like the DNC hack and the Podesta hack, these people do not care about accuracy. It is too important to point fingers at an enemy who will increase demand for our MIC.
    We are ruled by people who are delusional. Idiot is too kind a description for them.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Subliminally…Russia…hacking…Trump bad…Hillary good…it’s a dangerous world out there.

    2. Quentin

      No Pat, They are not delusional at all. They are purposefully deceitful and hypocritical: they know they are lying and have no qualms about screwing the people for their own profit. See the Clinton family and their foundation, etc. The whole Russia hysteria only makes sense if regarded as one gigantic scam to instil fear in their social and financial lesser. Do as we say or you will be punished…by us!

  27. JEHR

    I was disappointed with the choice of Chrystia Freeland as Minister of International Trade from the moment I saw her accept her ministerial post: she in her red dress scurrying about, her flurry of congratulations to all other ministers, her apparent belief in her own decisions about “free trade.” It does not surprise me that she abruptly left the EU meeting that was supposed to bring CETA to fruition. Did she even read the damn thing?

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    You know you’re a Luddite when you read that major websites were knocked out and you didn’t notice.

    “If all websites are knocked out, and no one – not even one single person – is on the net to notice it, does it make a sound in the real world?”

    1. pricklyone

      Those of us in flyover country hardly were affected at all. Charter’s DNS worked fine for me all day. It really was more targeted. They scrambled the building directory, rather than knocking out the elevators. This time…

      It does point out the failure inevitable in “Mr.Market”, invisible hand, etc. quite nicely, though. By the time the “market” even looks at the problem, the damage will have been done. All the incentives go the wrong way, here. The consumer wants easy-to-use tech, the China stuff is cheap, the facilitators who buy the stuff and rebrand it here make out like bandits, and can just ignore the problem, which has been discussed to death for years, now. It is possible to find products which use outbound IP to do this, in a more secure fashion, so why have the superior products not prevailed over the dangerous crap? When will the damaged parties sue? Invisible Hand has had all its fingers broken!

  29. allan

    Florida man arrested after cops mistook his Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze for meth files $15G suit [NYDN]

    The Krispy Kreme-loving Florida man police arrested when they confused dried doughnut glaze in his car for crystal meth is suing the city of Orlando and the maker of the drug test that supposedly verified the sweet stuff was an illegal drug. …

    Rushing was arrested on drug charges, but weeks later, when a state crime lab showed the substances was just icing, the charges against him were dropped.

    It’s surprising that the doughnuts survived the trip to the evidence locker.

    1. craazyboy

      I once saw someone post a recipe for crystal meth on the itubes, and it was nothing like donut glaze. More like a chemical waste disposal site.

      1. ambrit

        Then you have to burn down the building you cooked up in to remove the smell. We looked at one or two ‘cheap’ houses several years ago that had that unmistakable “Meth Lab” smell. The only reasonable remedy is to strip the walls down to the studs, treat the remaining frame members, and rebuild the entire interior of the structure. Then the agent gets visibly flustered when Phyl says that the owners won’t be able to give the place away.
        The ‘consumers’ of the product under discussion could also be classed as “Chemical Wastes.”

  30. TsWkr

    Regarding the AirBnb crackdown, it’s definitely a good move, but I still see a lot of distortions in the rental market from people who are living in an apartment, but renting out one or multiple spare rooms (still permitted per the article).

    I just had to find a new apartment in Denver and first searched for a 2BR in the hopes of having a small home-office since I work from home most of the time. However, it looked like the premium was at least $600-$700 for that extra bedroom with similar square footage (50% more in my price range). The last time I looked for an apartment in a major city was in Chicago 4-5 years ago and it seemed to only cost a few hundred more at most for comparable space.

    If the ability to use AirBnb to supplement income and afford a 2BR apartment is causing this spread, then it’s probably having the worst impact on working families who don’t have the ability to rent the 2nd room to a roommate or AirBnb. I don’t see a way around it other than an outright ban on short-term rentals.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Roommates and AirBnB are totally different categories

      AirBnB means transients, potential danger to neighbors, conversion of housing stock to cater to tourists.

      If you have a roommate in NYC for four weeks, they have the right to stay. They are really hard to evict. I think you are required to notify the landlord but there is nothing they can do to prevent you from taking in a roommate.

      And you also are prohibited by law from charging them more than their pro-rata share of the rent, even if you have a well-below-market-rent apartment.

      1. TsWkr

        I was trying to distinguish between the typical room mate situation and someone renting a 2BR or 3BR apartment and using the spare room for AirBnB to add to income. I think it’s mostly a problem when people go into a lease with marginal income and are expecting the AirBnB to help them afford it and get ahead.

        Of the three problems you outlined, I think this type of AirBnb rental eliminates some of the potential danger to neighbors as the main tenant is usually on site, but I think it is still driving up multi-bedroom rents and contributing to the conversion of housing stock.

  31. Jim

    Its fascinating that a significant amount of the commentary about our present and rapidly accelerating legitimacy crisis focuses on the potential for a future military insurgency rather than on the political insurgency which is rapidly unfolding right before our eyes.

    It is a political insurgency being fueled, as Greer nicely puts it, by “federal policies that subsidized automation and the offshoring of industrial jobs and tacitly permitted mass illegal immigration to force down wages which have plunged the once-proud working class into impoverishment and immiseration.'”

    Greer then mentions the cultural dimension to this political insurgency, which I believe is even more powerful than the economic, when he states “The political impact of these policies has been amplified by a culture of contempt toward working class Americans on the part of the affluent minority and an insistence that any attempt to discuss economic and social impacts of automation, offshoring of jobs and mass illegal immigraton must be dismissed out of hand a mere Luddisim, racisim, and xenophobia.”

    It is this ongoing and accelerating culture of contempt that has unleashed and will continue to unleash political fury and growing political insurgency.

    1. polecat

      I marked my general election ballot today …. casting mostly NON-incumbent … with few exceptions ….

      Might be the last ballot I ever cast, seeing as how we’re at such a level of FUBAR !!

      ….and I think 2020 is too late, as the ocean line has taken on water, and about to cleave in two …. or perhaps many …. pieces …. many sinking ,,,, with a few floating to who knows where.

      Put on your life preservers !!

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The problem with the legitimacy crisis and political insurgency is that the kinds of political insurgency which assume answers not part of a military insurgency also assume the viability and legitimacy of the current political processes. The problems with this are the growing lack of faith in the legitimacy of current political processes — a lack of faith which much precedes any anti-Trump sound bytes about his refusal to pre-accept whatever outcome the election might provide — without even a quibble over chads, lost ballots, votes greater than registered voters and other slight anomalies of our inviolate and unquestionable — fair democratic and inspiring /sarc voting process.

  32. fosforos

    The term “anthropomorphism” as a description of intelligence inherent in all sentient beings is misplaced and misleading. The right way is to admit that we are animals and that our own study of our own psychology, to be meaningful, must express (as the Egyptian pantheon so beautifully shows) THERIOMORPHISM. We understand ourselves only when we understand that what is specifically human is a very small part of our psychic functioning, merely a species-specific adaptation of the mammalian form of the psychic functioning necessarily involved in the life activity, the living practice, of all animals, chordate or not.

  33. Just some guy

    Thank you for the TreeHugger photos – most impressive.
    On a side note, if ATT is allowed to purchase TW – may the lord have mercy on any of us who have to report issues on those circuits in a corporate environment (I imagine it will be just as bad on the non-commercial side) going forward. Trying to have issues fixed with ATT is a nightmare currently imo.

    1. Stephen Gardner

      Not that the merger should happen but Time Warner is just content. That has its own problems but the old TWC is now Spectrum and they aren’t thinking about merging with AT&T.

  34. Waldenpond

    Bikes locks aren’t very effective. You can get heavy chain and locks but they are inconvenient. I’d like to see more indoor bike parking/checking.

    I don’t think spray will slow anyone down. One person can wear a mask and cut the locks, the collector can wait until the skunk dissipates and get the bike. It’ll be difficult to legally prove someone stinks by attempted theft versus being the victim of a defective lock.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe a really, really good industrial engineer can come up with a design for an Origami bicycle.

      “Here, I just folded my bike and it’s in my pocket now.”

  35. Edward

    “Iraqi Twitter account reveals lost beauty of Baghdad ”

    An Iraqi told me some years ago that Iraq now exists as an “electronic country”; Iraqis send each other photos of the country which existed before the invasion.

  36. ewmayer

    Schiaparelli: Mars probe ‘crash site identified’ – BBC News

    www dot bbc dot co dot uk slash news slash science-environment-37731671

    ‘Schiaparelli was part of Esa’s ExoMars programme – a joint venture with the Russians’ – The Putin strikes again! Surely a plot to undermine Euro solidarity by letting evil Russian hackers plant a mission-dooming 0-day exploit into a joint space venture. May I suggest a proportionate response from the EU? (Once it finishes its upcoming regime-change operation in the breakaway Belgian province of Wallonia, that is.)

    1. allan

      With the steering of a Peugeot, the electrical system of a Jaguar and the crash-worthiness of a Fiat,
      what could possibly have gone wrong?

    1. Chris

      That’s a great find. Thanks for posting the link.

      She does a better job of describing where I think a lot of people are right now. And certainly a better description of the state of the electorate than anything Vox or 538 are vomiting up for their reader’s consumption.

      I didn’t watch any of the debates but I actually want to see how the final numbers check out. I want to see how far off all the completely biased polls are in the end. CNN is showing Hillary up by 5 in a four way race and Nate Silver says there’s not even a 16% chance of Trump winning the election. Rasmussen and RCP suggest Trump is up by 2 in a 4 way race. Someone is very wrong. I’d like to think it’s all the people who keep saying the choice between a Trump and Clinton is obvious. But I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    2. Waldenpond

      Ditto, nice find. Politicians, parties, media… I liked the statement of thanks for monsters Clinton and Trump for the realizations that resulted.

      [We’re better than this, and we’re being asked to get even worse than this, every single day we get closer to this wretched election.]

  37. Daryl

    > New York governor approves Airbnb crackdown Financial Times. Seriously overdue.

    From what I’ve seen, even the techno-libertarian crowd is getting pretty tired of the “sharing economy” crap that AirBNB cries about every time this happens.

  38. Stephen Gardner

    The Time Warner in question is content only. The Internet provider is now called Spectrum.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ooof, I misunderstood the sale to Charter. Didn’t think it was the entire MSO.

      And it is still very much called Time Warner Cable in NYC.

  39. SeanL

    Voting for Trump is a form of inter-generational Altruistic Punishment.

    The similarities between Clinton & LBJ are worrisome. Remember the old Vietnam line ‘All thw way with LBJ’!

  40. Plenue

    >Yes, you can actually work yourself to death. But is that a surprise? Guardian

    No. It’s also not exactly new:

    “Karōshi (過労死?), which can be translated literally as “overwork death” in Japanese, is occupational sudden mortality. The major medical causes of karōshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress and a starvation diet. This phenomenon is also widespread in South Korea, where it is referred as ‘gwarosa’ (과로사).”

    And as far as I can see the Japanese haven’t done much to change anything. The norm is still a corporate culture where the company is the clan and the salarymen the samurai, and you never leave before the boss does (not if you ever want a promotion), which means essentially mandatory unpaid overtime is common. You never see your wife or kids, and your sole remaining joy in life is the 5 minutes at the sake bar on your way home. So the corporate suits will continue to die, just as the insanely over-pressured students will continue to commit suicide.

  41. ewmayer

    Being the Putin-bromancing commie-lover that I am, can’t resist posting headlines of several current lead articles at

    o “US-led coalition strike killed dozens of civilian mourners 30km from Kirkuk – Russian MoD” — allegedly an area lacking any ISIS presence, in a non-Sunni portion of Iraq. Is the Twitter hashtag #NoWarCrimesHere available?

    o “‘Slaughter Donald for Putin bromance’: #Podesta15 emails reveal ISIS strategy diversion for Clinton” — The ultra-chickenhawkish stridency of Clinton adviser-masquerading-as-newspaper-columnist Brent Budowski is notable. As long as none of those “boots on the ground” you call for are yours, eh, Brent?

    o “Outrage after UK govt admits training Saudi pilots despite Yemen war crimes allegations” — Maybe KSA can pay back the favor by training UK personnel in their atrophied-from-disuse skills in beheading and other theatrical forms of execution. The Empire used to be a world leader in those sorts of things, such mediocrity must not stand!

  42. Procopius

    Amid ‘rigged’ election charges, Russia wants to monitor US vote

    I’m sorry, but I’m just unable to take this as anything other than trolling. The U.S. calls for so much monitoring of other countries’ behavior it’s hilarious when the other side pushes back. Besides, the way I first read it, they didn’t “want to,” they “offered to,” since obviously a large part of our people will have no confidence in the outcome unless a disinterested party monitors it.

  43. JTFaraday

    re: Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer Says Top Priority for Next Year Is Giant Corporate Tax Cut

    They shouldn’t give them a tax cut. They should give them single payer healthcare while making them pay their share, which will give them incentive to help our faithful public servants seek sanity in pricing in the medical industrial complex.

    None of this free money bullshit. Make them work for it.

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