Links 10/27/16

World wildlife ‘falls by 58% in 40 years‘ BBC. Holy shit.

Sea Ice Extent Is Near Record Lows–South as Well as North Wunderground

The Planet Just Crossed Another Major Carbon Milestone Huffington Post

American Paul Beatty’s race satire wins Man Booker Prize Reuters. EM: “‘Asked about the language, [judging committee chair Amanda] Foreman said, “Paul Beatty has said being offended is not an emotion”.'”

Delta now lets you track your baggage in real-time TheNextWeb. More forcing people to use smart phones. App only. There does not appear to be a browser version.

New Study Shows HIV Epidemic Started Spreading in New York in 1970 NBC

5 Psychology Experiments You Couldn’t Do Today YouTube

Apple’s profits in China down by almost a fifth Financial Times


China Gets Desperate About Debt Bloomberg. Important.

China bans mortgage fraudsters for life MacroBusiness. Shame we can’t figure out how to do this.

Bitcoin as a Chinese capital outflow proxy FTAlphaville

If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech South China Morning Post

Refugee Crisis

Children without beds at Calais ‘Jungle’ BBC

In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France Counterpunch

The Crisis of European Integration and the Challenges for the Left Sid Sinead

CETA Panic

CETA on hold with Belgium set for more talks DW. As we mentioned yesterday and Lambert covered in greater length in Water Cooler, ISDS is a big sticking point and it’s hard to see how this difference can be resolved. The Wallloons correctly don’t want it and removing it or seriously watering it down means starting over with the entire deal.

Belgian talks fail to rescue Canada-EU trade pact Financial Times

EU-Canada Trade Doomed to Fail After Walloon Parliament Rejects CETA Sid Sinead


Britain to send hundreds more troops close to Russia border in largest deployment since Cold War Telegraph

Fact Check: Trump Is Right that Clinton Might Cause WW3 George Washington

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Dyn DNS DDoS likely the work of script kiddies, says FlashPoint TechCrunch

Canadian Police Are Texting Potential Murder Witnesses Motherboard (Chuck L)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

Hillary’s 33,000 emails might not be ‘missing’ after all New York Post (Phil U)


Hacked memo offers an angry glimpse inside ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’ Politico

Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages” New Economic Perspectives

Democrats launch early attack on Clinton’s 2020 challengers Politico. Lordie. Her health won’t hold up that long.

Trump confronts Rust Belt rejection Politico

Some GOP women fear party is further alienating female voters Washington Post

Trump Has No Doubts About Winning White House Bloomberg

Trump pledges ‘new deal for black America’ Washington Post. FYI, there was a counterfactual thread in yesterday’s Links regarding black support for Trump. Agnotology is against this site’s policies. From the article:

Trump’s candidacy is barely registering with African American voters. He had 3 percent support among African Americans in an ABC News tracking poll released Sunday, compared with Clinton’s 82 percent. Romney had 6 percent support among African Americans in 2012.

No Matter Who Wins the Election, Military Spending Is Here to Stay Defend Democracy

Here’s how much Obamacare premiums are going up in every state Business Insider

The SEC’s Beef With Shadow Banks Could Be Bad for Some Bloomberg

Guards for North Dakota pipeline could be charged for using dogs on activists Guardian

New Jersey boys survive 100-foot fall with suicidal father Reuters. EM: “Amazing both boys not only survived, but suffered no critical injuries. Given the latest revelations about AT&T’s mass-privacy violations, I have conflicted feelings about their role in this. If they only stuck to such life-and-death narrow-band phone tracking!” Moi: Concussions are still pretty serious, and I would think even more so in kids so young.

Redstone sues ex-girlfriends, says had to borrow from National Amusements Reuters. EM: ”
My first take on the ‘$100 million to cover tax obligations on gifts he gave to the women’ was ‘what did he give them – a third-world country?'”

Luxury retailers are abandoning New York’s Fifth Avenue Business Insider

PMI Services Activity Jumps; Markit Estimates 2.0% GDP for 4th Quarter Michael Shedlock

Google Fiber just gave up on me — and many of its employees CNET

The Next 10 Years Will Be Ugly for Your 401(k) Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Top White House Economist: AI Isn’t Going to Steal Jobs MIT Technology Review

Cheering the Inequities Michael Hudson

New England’s 900% Increase in Organ Donation Tied to Depth of Opioid Epidemic NonProfit Quarterly

Nonsensical big business flails for answer to backlash MacroBusiness(David L)

Antidote du jour (guurst). This was the winner in the black and white competition of the Natural History Museum in London. From a write-up of bird photograph winners in Audobon Magazine:

In the first light of dawn, photographer Mats Andersson used black and white to capture the melancholy moment following the death of this Eurasian Pygmy Owl’s partner. The pair had accompanied Andersson on his daily walks through the forest during the early spring. “The owl’s resting posture reflected my sadness for its lost companion,” he says.


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. efschumacher

      The wonder is that as ISDS is so toxic, why don’t more EU countries object to agreements that include it. TTIP seems to have been rubbished because of it far more than CETA.

      I suppose it’s a parallel wonder to: if Trump (Ryan, Pence, Gingrich, etc, etc) are so bad, why do people vote en masse for Republicans so unfailingly?

      1. Benedict@Large

        The ISDS started out normally enough; it being used pretty much for it’s intended purpose. After a bit however, some lawyers found a way to loot the system, and the feeding frenzy has be on ever since.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I think it ultimately comes down to politicians and senior public officials all thinking too much about their next job. Being involved in these negotiations looks great on your resume – a guarantee of some cushy seats on Boards or some lucrative consulting. But be seen as anti-corporate, and suddenly you have only your pension to look forward to. Even left wing politicians don’t seem immune to it.

  1. visitor

    Apparently, the government of the Walloon region just struck a deal with the Belgian government.

    From what has been published in Le Monde, there are some additions to the “interpretative note”. The big item: the ISDS will not be put in place during the “provisional application of the treaty”, i.e. the period between the signature and the ratification of the treaty — but I understand it will be in afterwards, once CETA has been ratified.

    The various Belgian regional parliaments must still approve this update to the “interpretative note” on Friday.

    As usual, it looks as if politicians caved in to the EU and big business on the issues that matter…

    1. kj1313

      I’m reading on twitter that Wallonia wants ISDS to be reviewed by the EU Court of Justice. Also there is a possibility that the deal gives Wallonia the right not to ratify which means Belgium won’t be able to ratify it. Lots of interesting tidbits floating around.

    2. DarkMatters

      I wonder which condition needed correction: was the stick insufficiently intimidating, or the carrot too tasteless?

    3. OIFVet

      Get a load of this:

      European Parliament President, Mr Schulz, a former leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats… personally contacted Wallonia’s officials and publicly heaped pressure on the tiny region by linking the free trade deal to “the heroic fight of Hungary against the Soviet dictatorship”, adding “this fight for freedom was also a fight for Europe”.

      Simply…WOW! It alpears that to Mr. Schulz, CETA, the EUrocracy, and the corporations are the little guy, and Wallonia is the big bad wolf trying to swallow Europe whole. With “socialists” like Schulz, who needs corporatists?

  2. jgordon

    Is it just me, or does it not make sense for any media organizations that have been shown to be secretly in collusion with anyone–Bush, the FBI, Obama, the Hillary campaign or whoever-should be summarily banished from the public consciousness?

    I often still see articles from these fraudsters who are portraying themselves as journalists, and it’s like a tooth ache that won’t go away. These people and their corrupt organizations all need to have permanent black marks next to their names, and every time they try to say something in public someone should be there to helpfully remind the unwary that these people are corrupt shills who who will say absolutely anything for a dollar or two. Awfully unpleasant to see all these polls and stories from organizations shown to be in active collusion with Hillary treated as if they’re real.

    1. scott 2

      The irony. A Trump president would be under a media microscope, and journalists would have to actually be journalists. Would the media during a Hillary administration continue to cover up her crimes, attack the character of any of her accusers, and act as the propaganda arm of the administration like they’re doing now? If so, our country is truly lost.

      1. marym

        I’m voting for Jill Stein, but if I were going to make a greater/lesser more effective/less effective evil choice between Clinton and Trump, I would think a Trump presidency would have far more scrutiny and resistance from both the R and D political establishments, the MSM, and “progressives.”

        1. Pavel

          Given how atrocious both Trump and Clinton are (each in their own atrocious ways), my feeling is that a new Trump admin (albeit with a few horrid Repubs e.g. Giuliani, Newt etc) would be far far better than installing & enabling the Clinton Dynasty with all its tentacles in the MSM, Wall Street, Monsanto, and an international group of despots (Saudis) and grifters (that Canadian chap).

          And to give the thoroughly discredited, disgraceful NYT, WaPo, Politico etc a bit poke in the eye.

          BTW I’ve been browsing through #PodestaEmails20 — the infighting and intrigue and backstabbing and collusion (esp re the emails) amongst her staff… who on earth wants that lot in the White House again? She wants Podesta as her Chief of Staff?

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Anyone with an EEG that is not flatlined can see by now that Hilary is simply a criminal, with abundant, widespread, ongoing, and irrefutable examples surfacing each and every day. Millions however will ramp up their dissonance and vote for her anyway, surely a vote for the worst possible future for America where we let criminal mafiosi run the country. I get that people want her to be OK: but she’s not, and they do know it. It reminds me of Germany in 1942, where the trains were running on time, those young men looked so smart in their uniforms, saying things the people wanted to believe about their country that made them feel good… but where people had to ignore that awful smell coming from the camp in the woods outside town. Yes I think it’s that bad, we are talking about the very foundations of our nation and laws, if we let this get past then it’s a free-for-all, take the worst beheading foreign dictators and let them be the top campaign contributors, take the worst abusers of the poorest people in the world in places like Rwanda and Haiti and install them in the White House. Orange Man is far from perfect but he IS better than that.

            1. Aumua

              I say once again, if we are cornered into voting for Donald Trump of all people, as some kind of stopgap measure to stave off some form or another of the apocalypse.. then it might be too late for humanity. It’s definitely too late for voting to mean anything at all. You know better than this. Time to start thinking outside the box.

          2. Tom

            Re the internecine battle amongst Clinton’s staff:

            One thing the emails reveal to me is how committed Clinton’s staff is to win not because of Clinton, but in spite of her.

            My takeaway is that we are not being asked to elect a President in Clinton. Rather, we are being asked to elect a Public Relations firm.

            But what is left if the PR firm implodes?

    2. endoftheworld

      Well, you can ban them from YOUR consciousness. Anybody can. More people are doing so every day. More and more they will find they are having difficulties financially, and will wither away.

      1. jgordon

        The problem is that anyone uncritically passing along the fake news from these non-journalist media organizations is tainted by association–and that’s unfortunate. Here is an incomplete though helpful list of fake news/poll purveyors who should always be clearly identified as such for ethical reasons:

        The New York Times
        The Washington Post
        Business Insider
        CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc

        Well really. Now that I got started I just realized that it’d be really awesome if some does keep an updated list of all the unethical and outright corrupt individuals and media organizations out there. That way whenever we read something suspicious we can check it against the corruption index/list to see just how corrupt and untrustworthy the authors are. Dang, I just thought of it but it already seems brilliant!

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          “The end of an empire/ Is messy at best/ And this empire’s ending/ Like all the rest
          Like the Spanish Armada/ Adrift on the sea/ We’re adrift in the land of the brave, and the home of the free.”

          Randy Newman

            1. endoftheworld

              The WaPo denied me access, but I listened on YouTube. That’s a good one. Performed with the “Putin Girls.” Ha, ha. “Cuz goddam, I’m the Putin Man.”

        2. Vatch

          Instead of listing entire organizations, I think you should follow Tom’s suggestion (10:18 AM) to list some of the people who have been compromised, along with the specific email message that provides the evidence

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            They asked the president of Haiti what his worst fear was after the recent hurricane, and he said “that the Clintons come back”. In Rwanda they propped up the bloodthirsty one-party dictator so they could get a mining concession for one of their cronies, who pocketed > $1B. $1B. $1B. From some of the poorest people on the planet. Ask the Swedes, who were strong-armed by our lovely former Sec’y of State to accept Monsanto poison in their soils. They bought the White House, and took the FBI and NSA and Justice with it. And people think bimbo eruptions, *with no criminal charges having been filed or asserted*, are the real problem?

          2. hunkerdown

            Are you advising not to hurt the pwecious institutions, or are you advising to let inductive logic work itself out naturally? It is a false conceit that news media has ever held impartiality as an ideal, that the owners of any system that has such a loud voice, or indeed any assemblage of resources of similar magnitude, would allow it to be used against their own interest.

            “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas.” And “respectable” media is just one way those ideas are elevated to rule.

            1. Vatch

              I don’t care about protecting the institutions. I just think that if one wants to convince Clinton supporters that the press is biased, one should provide specific evidence, such as email messages to and from individual people. If several New York Times or Washington Post employees reveal themselves to be biased in the Wikileaks email messages, that would provide the inductive logic that you mention.

    3. cocomaan

      The problem is that shills make their way into media to argue with other shills. All such debates are moderated by shills. It’s shillings all the way down, or dollars, or rubles, etc.

    4. Tom

      How about you make a comment of your own that points out the fact that the author or site has been captured and include a link to the Podesta email that provides evidence of the collusion. Think of it as a civic duty.

      1. Waldenpond

        The e-mail links for the day’s discussion is always useful.

        Here’s an e-mail demonstrating collusion between the Clinton campaign and CTR.

        Here’s an e-mail regarding evidence that media is colluding in propaganda on behalf of candidates. I am not sure if this is the person who actually found this attachment (there are many thousands, if so…. good job)

        1. Vatch

          Doesn’t everyone already know that Correct The Record exists to support Hillary Clinton? Here are the first two sentences from the Wikipedia article about it:

          Correct the Record is a super PAC founded by David Brock. It supports Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

          1. jgordon

            A political campaign actively working with a Superpac is a federal crime that people should be going to prison for. That’s why it’s interesting.

          1. Waldenpond

            Oh yeah, for me it looks like the hacks are beginning to cover this but only because they view it as safe as they have seen the entrenched polls and think this thing is over.

            *Everybody knows the Clinton’s are corrupt/greedy/sleazy. Nothing new here.

    5. DarkMatters

      There’s an old riddle, about 2 twin brothers, one who always speaks truthfully, and the other who always lies. To discern the truth of a matter from either, all you have to do is ask one, “How would your brother answer this question?” You can be confident that the reply will always be false.

      The point is that a truly deceptive news source must always maintain some credibility. Sometimes they’ll report accurately, and if you watch for them, distortions will reveal intent and motive. That’s interesting in its own right.

      Jesus Angleton, in charge of the early CIA counterespionage against the Soviets, famously drove himself paranoid, contemplating wheels within wheels. I can relate to that. But even he was deceived: the CIA was penetrated anyway, by an employee obviously and suspiciously living beyond his means. Nevertheless, that seems to be an archetype for the information environment in the 21st century west.

      1. Vatch

        People who enjoy logic puzzles of this variety should check out some of Raymond Smullyan’s puzzle books, such as What is the Name of this Book?, Alice in Puzzleland, and To Mock a Mockingbird.

    6. Susan C

      Sounds like Julian Assange agrees with you, according to recent article in zerohedge. He says “I don’t think there’s any chance of Donald Trump winning the election, even with the amazing material we are publishing, because most of the media organizations are strongly aligned with Hillary Clinton.”

      I feel this is the big story of this election – how we no longer have a good, solid, truthful press. That press is how I would start my day – NYT and WaPo and CNN – but now I know they are merely court jesters for the Queen. I think there will be nothing worse for this country than HRC becoming the president. It will force all of us to relive the nightmare of the Clinton White House and all its scandals.

  3. megamike

    Luxury retailers are abandoning New York’s Fifth Avenue Business Insider
    and opening in the Bronx
    Saks Fifth Avenue inks 10-year lease for new Bronx store

  4. Donald

    I am linking this because of a revealing mistake at the end, where as of this writing the story gives the range of estimates for the Syrian death toll and says they are nearly all civilian. In fact the lower number, 300,000, is from the Syrian Observatory and it is split roughly evenly between civilians, armed supporters of the regime, and armed opponents. So 200,000 dead armed combatants are simply erased. I think the mistake is because the NYT people unconsciously adopt the prevailing propaganda theme, which is that the conflict is not a vicious urban war between factions both supported by outsiders, but a completely one sided genocidal slaughter of civilians by Assad and this is happening because the rebels are heavily outgunned and we need to give them more weapons. Assad’s forces have killed many civilians, but otherwise that picture is simply false.

    1. m

      There is another ceasefire to allow regular people and moderates to leave. Problem is there are no moderates just US backed maniacs, as people try to leave Aleppo they are being killed. Russia needs to get rid of them and any fleeing to Syria from Mosul. If regular people are killed thank Hillary.

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        I think the proper characterization of the remaining poor souls in Aleppo who are not actively engaged in fighting would be “hostages.”

        And yes, those hostages are being held by captors who were weaponized by the CIA and indirectly through Clinton’s policies when she was SoS.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          But hey no problem, just put the “freedom fighters” of Aleppo on a bus across the border into Iraq and over to Mosul, they will be magically transformed into the worst terrorists on the planet and the US can then kill them with glee.

  5. sleepy

    The Guardian headline concerning possible charges against Dakota pipeline security for using dogs is a bit misleading.

    The charges seem to be that those guards weren’t properly licensed, not that their dogs were used to assault protestors. I guess unleashing dogs is ok if you’ve got the proper state permit.

  6. JSM

    Re: Trump pledges ‘new deal for black America’

    It is asserted therein that ‘[Trump] had 3 percent support among African Americans in an ABC News tracking poll released Sunday, compared with Clinton’s 82 percent.’

    While Romney won 6% of this group in 2012, according to the article, Obama won 93% (according to easily searchable Roper data), leaving 1% perhaps voting for another candidate. In this (single) poll, a rather whopping 15% are apparently undecided or voting for another party’s candidate.

    There may also be an enthusiasm, i.e. turnout gap this time around, and importantly:
    North Carolina is where Obama had his smallest margin of victory in 2008 and his smallest margin of defeat in 2012.

    JSM could not be more averse to agnotology but there seems to be evidence for cause for (serious?) concern within the C campaign.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The claim yesterday was that Trump has huuge support among black voters, 3-5X the level Romney got. I suggest you read threads rather than insinuate that my criticism of them is off base.

      1. Synapsid


        “I suggest you read threads rather than insinuate that my criticism of them is off base.”

        I suggest that all posters agree to avoid insinuation altogether.

  7. rmpeditor

    “If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech.”

    Just after Pearl Harbor a pop song was released “To Be Specific, It’s Our Pacific.”

  8. BecauseTradition


    But as we’ve seen before, he said, what really happens is that machines make people richer, and richer people spend more money. Some jobs get replaced, but new ones are also created to supply goods and services that people want to buy with their additional money. “I see no reason to think this time is going to be any different,” said Furman.

    More trickle down manure and I can imagine the new jobs – servants to the rich, including in the sexual department. So where are the Evangelicals wrt social justice to prevent sexual debasement?

    But these problems will not require a new economic solution like a universal basic income, said Furman. Instead, his most urgent concern is that we need more AI, which today is making a difference in only a small portion of the economy. He says a bigger role for AI depends on more basic research and development, which the government is in a unique position to support.

    Oh yea, use government to disemploy people but then fail to compensate them. Sounds fair to me! /sarc

    1. Tom

      I don’t know what kind of happy gas this guy is sucking on, but he needs to take a break:

      “what really happens is that machines make people richer, and richer people spend more money.”

      If i’m following his argument, that means when Apple supplier Foxconn replaces ‘60,000 factory workers with robots, that somehow makes those 60,000 people richer, so they spend more money. Somehow.

      He continues:

      “Some jobs get replaced, but new ones are also created to supply goods and services that people want to buy with their additional money.”

      I guess he’s saying that now that those 60,000 fired workers are richer because robots took their jobs, other factories will create new jobs for humans — as opposed to robots — to supply goods and services that the 60,000 fired workers, who are richer, want to buy with their additional money.

      It’s hard to argue with his reasoning … because there isn’t any!

      1. cnchal

        No. The owners of Foxconn get richer and then can employ some of the 60,000 workers that lost their jawbs to the robots in another capacity, such as personal servants.

        What the crazy White House economist thinks will happen is that the rich will spend their new found money on peasants. When has that ever happened? If a rich person can’t extract money from you, you are dead to them.

        1. Paid Minion

          The solution is right there in front of everyone.

          Let humans “marry” robots. Then let the bots demand a living wage to support their families.

          No reason that bots can’t have the same rights as corporations

          1. DarkMatters

            …and don’t neglect the point that the robots, when paid, will become consumers, and they will require the services of the descendants of those 60,000 unemployed workers (which originals unfortunately passed away from starvation). All praise the invisible hand of the Market.

        2. Tom

          You are right, of course — that is what the author is getting at. The Foxconn owner in this example gets richer, so they spend more, thus creating demand, which creates jobs. Except I thought this whole line of thinking is known to be false. The Foxconn owner is not going to buy 60,000 houses, or 60,000 cars, or 60,000 iPhones, with his or her newfound income. Even if they did, any investment by home builders, auto manufacturers or iPhone makers to increase production would more than likely take the form of robots or AI whenever possible, which in fact is what the author of the piece is advocating. So even assuming his first assumption is correct, the whole argument falls apart anyway. Sheesh.

          1. inhibi

            Nothing would change, because the Foxconn owners are already so wealthy that it doesn’t matter in any way shape or form. I like though, that not only do elitists double down on stupidity, but also love to spew immense propaganda through “White House Economists”. It will only bring the pitchforks sooner.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Let’s just recall that the Foxconn owners’ assets are in Panama anyway and away from that pesky inconvenience known as “taxation”. But fear not, Hilary pushed through a “free trade” agreement for Panama, I’m sure because American companies were just lining up to sell stuff to all those Panamanians

      2. WJ

        Once you realize that only the owners of capital count as “people,” then your confusion will abate.

      3. polecat

        “I don’t know what kind of happy gas this guy is sucking on, but he needs to take a dirt nap”

        … fixed

    2. temporal

      The neoliberal economist, assuming that are any other kinds left in the profession, has a fairly honest balance sheet.

      If one smart or lucky, and thus more deserving, employee makes more than they might have otherwise made while putting ten others, who are either not as smart or lucky, out on the streets then balance has been achieved. The reason there is balance is because the ten others will find a job if they deserve one. Economists hold that there are an infinite number of other jobs because that’s how they build their models. You’ll pretty never find a graduate in economics suggesting that there anything other than an infinite number of everything. Without an infinite number of all things the constant push for growth would have to take into account things that don’t involve maximizing profits for the rich. Neither the environment nor people as something other than replaceable job units has anything to do with the dismal science.

      As for the cheap AI labor space race, the Chinese government are already pushing this hard. Mainly because labor is so expensive in China.

      Gotta beat that competition.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @temporal – There are, of course, a few economists who aren’t neoliberal, but the mainstream economists try their best to ignore them.

        There is another obviously false assumption in the standard models used by mainstream economists; that there is no such thing as involuntary unemployment. If the representative actor using rational expectations to maximize his labor utility is out of work, it is because he has made a rational choice for leisure as being of greater utility than work. Thus, all those out of work have chosen to be so, and could always make the rational choice to work instead. This feeds into your observation that an infinite number of jobs are assumed to exist. The additional implication is that any efforts by the government to provide work through a Job Guarantee or some other scheme is bound to fail because the unemployed prefer the leisure they are enjoying. Of course they are, who wouldn’t prefer to lay around all day, drinking beer and watching viral cat videos, instead of getting dressed up, fighting through the commute to the workplace and putting out all that energy to complete their tasks so they can be paid wages that are too low to cover their need for food, clothing, and shelter, etc.

        I never fail to be gobsmacked over the disconnect between these economists and the real world, and why anyone with two brain cells to rub together would give them any credibility.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          so they can be paid wages that are too low to cover their need for food, clothing, and shelter, etc.

          No, you have it all wrong. The problem is that damn minimum wage, that forces employers to pay these people more than they are “worth.” But of course they won’t overpay, thus driving up beer and cat video consumption as well as UE.

      2. Benedict@Large

        Any economist that tells you banks create money out of nothing hasn’t examined the balance sheet implications of such a statement. If this were true, banks would always be out of balance. That’s one of the reasons we even do accounting; to prevent the creation of money out of nothing.

        [The other reason is to prevent money from disappearing into nowhere. Monetarism makes multiple mistakes on both of these.]

        1. todde

          Banks create money from future earnings (unsecured loans) or past earnings (secured loans)

          I never saw a bank create money to pay it’s expenses

        2. HotFlash

          If this were true, banks would always be out of balance.

          False. The accounting entry at the bank is:

          Dr Loans Receivable from Customer (asset)
          Cr Cash (asset)

          The balance sheet balances.

          1. cnchal

            I thought it was Cr Cash (liability) from the bank’s balance sheet point of view.

            Loan from the bank results in thin air money deposited into your account and that new cash is a liability to the bank and the loan one is supposed to pay back is an asset to the bank.

            1. John Zelnicker

              @Hot Flash & cnchal – The accounting entry when the loan is made would be:

              Increase Loans Receivable (asset)
              Increase Customer Deposits (liability).

              The Cash (asset) account isn’t affected until the customer withdraws some physical cash. At the time, the entries would be:

              Decrease Cash (asset)
              Decrease Customer Deposits (liability).

        3. JEHR

          Read here:

          “Most of the money in our economy is created by banks, in the form of bank deposits – the numbers that appear in your account. Banks create new money whenever they make loans. 97% of the money in the economy today is created by banks, whilst just 3% is created by the government.”

          1. BecauseTradition

            Only 3% of money is still in that old-fashioned form of cash that you can touch. from

            So what? The other form of fiat is account balances* at the central bank. Using Bill Black’s figures, that amount is around 26% of bank deposits.

            *a.k.a. “bank reserves” when the account holders are depository institutions, since the general public may NOT have accounts at the central bank or equivalent**
            ** e.g. a Postal Checking Service that may not make loans.

        4. Grebo

          Any economist that tells you banks create money out of nothing hasn’t examined the balance sheet implications of such a statement.

          Richard Werner is an economist who went to a real bank and observed the real account entries created when a real loan was extended. Read the story here: A Lost Century in Economics

          tl;dr: you’re wrong.

      3. susan the other

        temporal. indeed. Bill Black’s timely analysis of Hillary’s 2013 speech to goldman sachs (above) is even more outrageous considering that in 2013 capitalists like GS were pushing China to slash wages to stabilize free marketeering (in order to crash wages here and everywhere as if we weren’t already at deaths door) and what happened? The Chinese did the same thing we Americans did – they went on another real estate binge because they could profit from their appreciation since the oligarchs themselves aren’t about to slash their own “wages”. Those oinky little piglets. Here’s a timely question then – in view of the theory (Ilargi) that entropy takes over a free market economy and destroys profit with an explosion of expenses: Why not fight fire with fire? Fight the infinite absurdity of a socially unregulated “free market” with equally unregulated perpetual inflation (not unlike the Fed’s maneuvers – except more tolerant of high inflation and low interest rates because there are so many in poverty). This could achieve a social balance and equalize all the inequality. Because we know Hillary and Goldman Sachs won’t share.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Would that we did have an “unregulated free market” but we have nothing of the sort, we have inverted hyper-socialism for the capital owners and capitalist creative destruction for the rest of us.

    3. flora

      I’ll see Mr. Furman’s ‘AI’ and raise him an O’Neil ‘Weapon’s of Math Destruction’.

      Machine learning has been presented to us as trustworthy, because it’s mathematically sophisticated and because algorithms have no agendas. But the data itself cannot be decontextualized from our historical practices, nor can the choices of the modelers who build the models and choose objective functions.”

  9. flora

    re: If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech

    This reads like an Onion parody. In fact, I checked twice to make sure it wasn’t a joke. She hasn’t the temperament or the right instincts to be pres. The sea lanes dispute in the South China Sea is serious. This is the best she can come up with – a schoolgirl level word game?

    1. Paid Minion

      Have the majority of the citizens functioning at a 12 year old level of looking at human relations means you get a 12 year old level of political rhetoric.

      There used to be this thing called “diplomacy”, where you maintained a certain decorum in public, and did your real communicating in private. Such antique thinking.

      Why pizz off the Chinese with saber rattling? They are doing a fine job of pizzing off their neighbors all by themselves.

      Say nothing, but invite the Other countries involved in the dispute to come by and check out our cool patrol boats and submarines……..

    2. flora

      I’ll take that back. I’m sure Goldman S paid her big bucks for her speech, not to hear serious policy talk, but to pay her under some pretext. I’m sure she gave the speech knowing exactly what was expected. So a “jokes all around” and no serious talk wouldn’t have been out of the question. Hillary could put The Onion out of business. ;)

      1. Roger Smith

        “Hillary could put The Onion out of business. ;)”

        No need, that is why Saban purchased it! The irony here is that Clinton has the best words, not Trump!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The assumption is that being funny means you’re on the right side.

          “Our opponent is soooooooooo serious.”

          In the dating, that assumption is, of course, always correct. Avoid serious sounding suitors. Stay as far as away as possible.

    1. abynormal

      I inhaled the photo longer than most I view…Rightly Award Winning.
      my interest in Owls began as a very young girl, nestled next to my grandmother while my world unfolded. i spent luxury weeks from dysfunction throughout my childhood with binoculars at every window of my grandmothers house. i learned about wars from bluebirds and mating habits of the cardinals, but dark nights strengthened my visual purple for the Owls. my grandmother would relate her life thru the Owls…a daughter with 8 siblings, living a harsh southern depression. grandmothers talent for sewing came early and worked in a nasty factory as a seamstress until she owned the place. her name was Liza, in a man’s world with fire engine red hair, sailor cussing mouth of cutty-sark drinking take no shit determination…she was impressive to say the least for this young’n! but i caught up with her in retirement and Owls were it…they covered her house in every way imagined. i remember with distinction a moment grandmother explained…”to survive life’s wars and battles find a window and anchor yourself to nature”. admittedly, teaching me to cuss fish on my line was an interaction with nature of confusion…so be it…i’ve never watched fish thru a window ‘))

      Thanks for the antidote/memories…the scents of fir and balsam, the hoot of an owl, and the dark of a night sky unsullied by city lights – are sacrosanct.

        1. abynormal

          ah, yes. i did a stint at barnes n noble…reading to children was a highlight for me but a burden for other employees. for adults:
          “The winged beasts and angels know, that mortals cannot fly.
          But how I flew to see the sun; a broken bird am I.”
          ~Craig Froman, An Owl on the Moon

          most find him too dark but his swirls are undeniably real…
          To your simple existence, do not boast;
          merely to breathe or move or think is not to live.
          The shore of the sea is but a ghost,
          compared to the depth its wholeness gives.
          You exist in the miry foam;
          make the ocean depths your home.

        1. abynormal

          a blushing thanks Steve…what a hoot: After the young have fledged the bond between the pair decreases and aggression increases. Often the partners are willing to separate at this point but not all do. The little owls show a high rate of mate fidelity. The partners will often fly together and hunt near each other. They also share body contact while sleeping and preen and scratch each other. Scratching and copulation outside of the breeding season has been reported and is believed to reduce aggression between mates when not reproducing. Although A. noctua is monogamous, when little owl densities are high and prey is plentiful, sometimes extra-pair copulations occur. (Hardouin, et al., 2008; Johnson, et al., 2009; Van Nieuwenhuyse, et al., 2008)

    2. Emma

      The antidote du jour is a treasure. Perhaps too, a reminder there are too few humans able to step into nature and become a complete being.

    3. alex morfesis

      hoot hoo hoo…have my own owl that says hello at night when I swing down an alley on my walks here in tarpon…hoot hoo hoo I squawk back…

        1. polecat

          I did just that last weekend, when I sighted an owl (large, perhaps a Spotted or a Barred) that the local crows were heckling to no end (and I do like crows, by the way!), perched on a Douglas fir behind our lot …. I ‘hooted’ at it so it would turn it’s head towards me so i could try to identify was it was …..

          ….even the Stellar’s jays were giving it flack !!

  10. FreeMarketApologist

    “Luxury retailers are abandoning New York’s Fifth Avenue”

    Entertainingly, BI’s web page served up the following teaser headline and graphic after the article: “NOW WATCH: This is how big an asteroid would need to be to wipe out New York City”

  11. rich

    Humana (HUM) to Cover Sarepta (SRPT)’s Controversial DMD Drug But There’s a Catch

    The FDA’s controversial approval of Sarepta Therapeutics’ (NASDAQ:SRPT) eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients amenable to exon 51 skipping has translated into a difficult path to insurance coverage.

    Humana says it will cover the $300K+ cost of therapy only for ambulatory DMD patients.

    Those who are wheelchair-bound or deteriorate to wheelchair status are apparently out of luck.

    Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) has declined to cover it at all because it considers eteplirsen experimental despite the OK from the FDA.

    Aren’t they picking winners and losers for treatment?….So the FDA approves and everyone waiting for through the long drug approval process then gets to face the prospects of being shot down by the insurance brigade? Is this how it’s supposed to work?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Aren’t they picking winners and losers for treatment?……… Is this how it’s supposed to work?

      Yes and yes.

      If there were no “losers,” it would be called universal healthcare which, as I’m sure you’re aware, is too much like Canada for american tastes.

        1. voxhumana

          The BI link suggests premium increases in FL will be modest, around 14%… I just got my auto-reup from BCBS informing me that my current subsidized ACA premium of $112/mo ($7100 deductible and big co-pays) will double to $224/month…

          14% increase…


  12. Paid Minion


    5% will be “unobtainable”???? LOL

    That kind of return has been unobtainable for us working schlubs for the PAST ten years.

    The disconnect between the way things are around the centers of power, and the rest of the country, is getting bigger by the day. Forget “not the same country”. We are into the “not the same planet” levels of seperation.

  13. cocomaan

    The world wildlife decline is really scary, even with the cogent ecological criticisms of the study offered in the article.

    One thing I love about America, as someone on the east coast who lives around a lot of both state and federal public land, is that we have some of the most well-reasoned and powerful wildlife protection laws in the world. We take care of our land and its occupants. That’s not to say that wildlife and wild areas aren’t embattled, because they are, but as an American, it’s a fact I’m immensely proud of. You simply do not see that kind of consciousness in other societies.

    If you are also someone who is interested in this, keep lobbying for public land, join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers or the Sierra Club or more regional groups and conserve conserve conserve. Wild areas are not something you can easily go backwards on.

    1. Carolinian

      Have just seen a documentary about this decline as applied to songbirds. It’s called The Messenger. While there are a variety of reasons the film suggests that domestic cats play a non trivial role. Global warming, glass sheathed buildings and agricultural insecticides are also mentioned.

      1. cocomaan

        With apologies to the documentary, number one reason is habitat destruction. There’s really no way to say that anything else comes even remotely close, not even things like pesticides and feral cats. Speaking from the perspective of the east coast, our cities are built in the most fertile and habitable valleys and plains. The Chesapeake Bay watershed, for instance, has the potential for incredible biodiversity. It’s filled with condos. That’s a lot of incredibly valuable land for wildlife that is now buried under jiffy lubes and high rises.

        Humans take up a lot of space. They also manicure the hell out of their spaces for reasons of class. All that fertile soil I mentioned is fueling the tapis vert craze of the last few centuries.

        1. Vatch

          You’re absolutely right about the effects of habitat destruction, and it’s going to get worse. Why? Because every day the world’s population grows by about 225,000 people. That’s more than 80 million people per year, and we already have 7.4 billion people. Those people have to live somewhere, their food must be grown somewhere, their children must go to school somewhere, the adults must work somewhere, and they need places for recreation. You are correct that people should support environmental organizations, but if such an organization does not emphasize the crucial importance of overpopulation, I question whether they can really be effective in the long run. Before joining a group, find out what their attitude towards overpopulation is.

          1. cocomaan

            +1 Totally agree.

            Bringing it up among mixed company can really be a party-killer, I’ve found. Good for exiting conversations, alienating your family and friends, and otherwise ostracizing yourself.

            1. HBE

              Agree 100%, bring up overpopulation and you will see people get akward and non-responsize to conversation in seconds or extremely combative.

              It really is one of the biggest elephants in the global room, and most people absolutely hate it when anyone brings it up.

              I’ve found conversations about overpopulation go 2 ways.

              It either gets yelled down in an irrational rage if you push even a little, or everyone’s eyes go to their feet and stay there until the subject gets changed.

              1. UserFriendly

                It’s already solved. Currently, the global replacement rate for children per women is 2.33 (higher in developing world, lower in developed.). 2010-2015 there was 2.36 kids/women.

                The only reason the population is increasing is because the greatest generation and boomers died / will die younger than later generations..

                Of course that effect will probably bring us to 14 Billion anyways.


                I’m sure Hillary’s Wars and sea level rise will chop that down a bit tough.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Total consumption = consumption per person x population.

            I would add we need to consume less per person (collectively speaking, meaning the rich consume much less, while the needy consume what they need, but have been deprived up to now) in order to survive, so that, on average, consumption per person is less….one time, someone commented, in response, that he/she could barely survive. So, that’s a point well taken).

    2. abynormal

      +++ !
      This is Nature’s own reservation, and every lover of wildness will rejoice with me that by kindly frost it is so well defended.~John Muir, Our National Parks

    3. nycTerrierist

      Every day I’m more convinced that advocating respect for nonhuman life is today’s version of the abolitionist movement. Demands a similar questioning of cultural ‘norms’ with the same moral urgency.

      For anyone in the NYC area interested in animal advocacy, there’s a forum tonight at NYU’s Center for Constitutional Rights.

      NYC United for Animals Forum
      Thursday, October 27, 2016
      7:00pm to 9:00pm
      NYU School of Law Furman Hall
      245 Sullivan St.
      Room 216
      New York, NY 10012

      CCR’s Communications Associate and former client Lauren Gazzola will give the keynote at New York City’s first United for Animals Forum. The NYC United for Animals coalition is a platform for new and established advocates to collaborate and maximize efforts for animals. They bring the NYC animal rights community together periodically for forums and other activist events to strengthen existing animal rights efforts across the city.

      1. Foppe

        While I wholeheartedly agree with and appreciate your intent, having looked at the website for the forum you mention, I’m not convinced that this coalition delivers on that promise, so I would like to recommend an alternative source of information (and activism).
        That is, I’m not sure what “respect for nonhuman life” means unless it starts with extending the right not to be another’s property to all animals, instead of limiting it to those of the human variety. Because as it is, and until then, all animal use is made palatable/unremarkable via the conceit that we have the right to decide for another what their life is worth, and when it is “through” [i.e., when it suits us, a type of reasoning that is esp. blatant in cases relating to the use of animals for food, clothing and entertainment/”sport”]. Yet as soon as you acknowledge that other animals have an equal interest in continuing to live, and to be free from harm, what follows is first and foremost that you should stop contributing to it personally (and given that none of the ‘normal’ uses that individuals engage in are in any way necessary, recognizing this means going vegan).
        If you are interested in thinking further about wanting to live a life in which you do not harm animals directly (by eating, wearing, or otherwise using them), I would strongly recommend reading any/all of the following works, all from the same author, who is in my estimation best able to help one think more clearly about issues surrounding animal use, and its justifiability:

        Gary Francione, “What Michael Vick taught us” (Essay, see google)

        Francione & Charlton, Animal rights: The Abolitionist Approach (-> Amazon) or

        G.L. Francione, Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of animal exploitation (Columbia University Press, 2008)

        Francione & Charlton, Eat Like you care: An Examination of the morality of eating animals (-> Amazon)

        1. nycTerrierist

          Not sure what you read (or didn’t).
          Here’s a quote from the Nonhuman Rights Project, one of the groups participating in the forum:

          “The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only civil rights organization in the United States working to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own.
          Our mission is to change the legal status of appropriate nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty.
          Our first cases were filed in 2013 on behalf of captive chimpanzees; we plan to continue to file as many lawsuits as we have funds available. Your support of this work is deeply appreciated!

          This (below) is *exactly* what these groups are concerned with taking legal measures to ensure:

          “That is, I’m not sure what “respect for nonhuman life” means unless it starts with extending the right not to be another’s property to all animals, instead of limiting it to those of the human variety.”

          1. Foppe

            NhRP is only interested (per their faq “for the foreseeable future” — i.e., at least until they’ve achieved their aims wrt the specific animals whose cognitive capacities they deem sufficiently similar to ours, such as elephants, great apes, dolphins) in talking to a right to personhood for those (fetishized) animals.

            They nowhere point out that the first order of business of anyone who thinks that animals matter, is to go vegan, because all animals (human or no, human-like cognitive capacities or no) have an interest in continuing to live, and to not be treated as property, as all animals currently are. All they do is ask people to donate to support a legal challenge which probably won’t go anywhere anyway, and which even if it does, doesn’t change anything for any of the animals that are routinely exploited for food.

            1. cocomaan

              I appreciate the passion, but as Nietzsche pointed out, all beings have will to power. If we’re extending a moral universe to beings that have an interest in continuing to live, we should extend rights to plants as well.

              The Swiss are a bit ahead of us on this: “The Dignity of Living Beings With Regard to Plants”.

              I don’t see many plants rights organizations. It’s just not as sexy as saying you’ll be saving all the animals.

              1. polecat

                Well …the ‘plants rights’ folks were nowhere to be found ….. when the lot across from us was completely logged off ……

                Said logs could have been sold to the local mills to be turned into LOCAL products to benefit the LOCAL economy …. but no ….. they, like all the logs cut here on the Olympic Peninsula get hauled off to Asia to be manufactured in ‘value-added’ crap to be, in turn, shipped back here ……. to be sold at Wall Mart and other retailers !! But hey …the Port of Port Angeles get their’s so it’s ALL GOOD…for someone but us who have to stare at a bare lot …

                “I did not speak up when they hauled Doug Fir away …. because I was not a Doug Fir ……” **

                ** private land sale

              2. Foppe

                Plants, no matter how complex they are chemically, do not possess anything that is qualitatively like the emergent property that we refer to as consciousness; they are no more “conscious” than complex systems like personal computers are. All I am proposing is to equally value of the interest in continued existence (and avoiding harm) irrespective of species membership, by no longer viewing them as our property, the value of whose interests we may determine, just as we may choose whether or not to maintain our car, house, etc., depending on the value we accord to having a well-maintained car, house, etc..

                (Besides, even if you want to limit the harm you do to plants, you should go for the lowest possible trophic level, which means eating autotrophs — plants — directly.)

            2. nycTerrierist

              No longer legally defining nonhuman animals as property has HUGE implications for animal welfare, e.g. factory farms and the heinous ‘ag-gag’ and AETA laws repressing whistleblowers.

              All of this does not rule out vegetarian/vegan lifestyle choices.

              It is not a zero sum game. Not sure why you imply it is.

              1. Foppe

                Sure, it would have huge implications, if and once it were to happen. But why do you think this is going to happen before there is meaningful public support; and why do you think this broad-based popular support can occur in the absence of individual-level support (by rejecting all animal use on the individual level, and living vegan)? The abolition of human slavery only became a thing once a sufficient number of people recognized that any/all “arguments” concerning a supposed qualitative difference between black and non-black humans were bunk; and that recognition mostly eluded southerners, for the usual Sinclairian reason — “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his being a slave-owner depends on his not understanding it.” All humans except ethical vegans currently use animals for food, and thus pay people to breed, raise, use and kill animals for profit. Why would they support legislation that prohibits that, when they are currently unwilling to stop doing so voluntarily?

                As for “nobody keeps you from going vegan in addition to supporting this project”: that’s precisely my point: it should be the other way around. If you think animals matter morally, the first step is to live in a manner that is consistent with that conviction (as with any values one holds). Advocating for social/political change comes second. Be the change you wish to see in the world, etc.

                1. nycTerrierist

                  We are on the same side. I really have no idea why you imply I am saying otherwise.

                  I never said encouraging people to be vegetarian/vegan is *less* important than challenging the legal definition of animals as property.

                  Defining animals as property enables the cruelty that you and I both abhore because it protects animal exploitation for profit in our capitalist system. Why not work on all fronts at once?

                  I agree wholeheartedly that we should ‘be the change’.

                2. nycTerrierist

                  To clarify.
                  Here is where you get me wrong:

                  “why do you think this broad-based popular support can occur in the absence of individual-level support (by rejecting all animal use on the individual level, and living vegan)? ”

                  I never said ‘this broad-based popular support can occur in the absence of individual-level support…’

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Maybe cows are not to be owned any more, just as humans are not to be owned as slaved.

                But can cows be hired (and paid in hay), housed in a factory dormitory, to manufacture milk, ?

                They, of course, being emancipated, are responsible for their own health care.

    4. Ottawan

      And don’t just ask for more public land. Conservation groups are always in need of volunteers to help protect existing protected lands from the spread of invasive species. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy a couple hours of chopping and pulling along your local creek or river (or even from a canoe for those pesky aquatic invasives), or helping with stuff like stream surveys.

    5. Sandy

      Wildlife, perhaps, what about livestock? This country invented the legal, industrial torturing of animals in order to reduce the price of meats, egg and dairy and it’s today stronger than ever with ag-gag laws to hide it. Even puppy mills and pet store puppy sales continue to thrive in a country full of kill shelters filled to the brim with abandoned dogs. The US is in the Stone Age when it comes to animal rights. And no please don’t compare us to Russia or China, if you want to make the claim that we are the best at something, compare us to advanced societies.

      1. cocomaan

        The article was about wildlife, not livestock. There is no comparison: we are, far and above, the best managers of our wildlife. No other country conserves like the US.

        I don’t conflate wildlife with livestock. The EU treats its livestock better, yet they have already lost their wild spaces to their crappy administration.

          1. cocomaan

            I read that harper’s article when it came out. Wolf management, though, has been a staggering success regardless of their idiocy over in that department. Wild horses I’m more agnostic on, given that they’re an invasive species that destroys bison habitat (among other wildlife). They focus quite a lot of coyote, but as Dan Flores describes in his book, they are actually making the problem worse.

  14. Anne

    I had already been thinking that perhaps the “philanthropic” activities of the Clinton Foundation had more to do with providing money-making opportunities for Bill, and a giant pay-to-play network for corporate and nation-state donors, than it ever did with true charitable activities around the world – and when I read that leaked memo, that feeling was reinforced.

    Am I reaching the wrong conclusions there?

    1. katiebird

      I really don’t know. The story as written is so tangled. I’m sure at least partly deliberately …

      What ever happened to say what you are going to say, say it (explain it) then say what you said?

      I got through the whole thing and thought, wait, what did they say?

      I guess I have to read the leaked memo and then read the political story again.

      Also. I hate this (not your comment … this Clinton thing)

    2. apber

      It’s really simple: “pay-to-play” quid pro quo of money for access; all at the expense of the tax payer and national security. Prima facie corruption and treason.

    3. WJ

      As the Clintons understand “public service,” so they understand “charitable work”; both are means for amassing their private wealth and power.

      The Clintons remind me of the Roman Curia of the 14th-16th centuries, albeit lacking the refinement and aesthetic sensibility of the latter–i.e. Caravaggio and the Museo Borghese, as opposed to David Brock and Correct the Record.

    4. jrs

      Not exactly. I think they do legitimate charitable activities. But there are plenty of other charitable organizations with less conflicting relationships with political power. So why donate to the Clinton foundation when there are so many other choices? Exactly, because they have connections with power (pay to play). But that does not mean it doesn’t do charity, it just means it does charity AND bribery.

  15. allan

    Behind the retreat of the Koch brothers’ operation [Politico]

    … A major donor to the Koch network argued that the tea party’s early success at electing conservative champions “led to unrealistic expectations,” which then fomented disappointment with Washington gridlock and set the stage for Trump’s ability to tap into anti-establishment fervor.

    “What we feel really badly about is that we were not able to educate many in the tea party more about how the process works and how free markets work,” said the donor. “Seeing this movement that we were part of creating going off in a direction that’s anti-free-market, anti-trade and anti-immigrant — many of us are really saddened by that. Unfortunately, there is little in the short term we can do about that.” …

    Soak a hayloft with gasoline, strike a match, get a fire. Who knew?
    When a long con blows up in the face of the grifter, you have to smile.

    1. WJ

      As Jesus once said, “Let your showers of propaganda first germinate the roots of your grass, lest your fields grow wild from drinking of another’s water.”

      1. abynormal

        educate an angry mob about ‘free markets’…shaking head, again

        ..teabag this: The test of a progressive policy is not private but public, not just rising income and consumption for individuals, but widening the opportunities and what Amartya Sen calls the ‘capabilities’ of all through collective action. But that means, it must mean, public non-profit initiative, even if only in redistributing private accumulation. Public decisions aimed at collective social improvement from which all human lives should gain. That is the basis of progressive policy—not maximising economic growth and personal incomes. Nowhere will this be more important than in tackling the greatest problem facing us this century, the environmental crisis. Whatever ideological logo we choose for it, it will mean a major shift away from the free market and towards public action, a bigger shift than the British government has yet envisaged. And, given the acuteness of the economic crisis, probably a fairly rapid shift. Time is not on our side.
        ― Eric Hobsbawm

    2. jrs

      Is there really a lot of overlap between the two groups? Well maybe some whose main attraction to the tea party was opposing the bailouts (yes it is a rigged system). But I’m not sure most tea party people are Trump supporters.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: New England’s 900% Increase in Organ Donation Tied to Depth of Opioid Epidemic NonProfit Quarterly

    “It’s an unexpected silver lining to what is otherwise a pretty horrendous situation,” said Alexandra K. Glazier, chief executive of the New England Organ Bank.

    It was pretty obvious from the title of the article that someone was going to draw this conclusion, but that didn’t make it any less disgusting when someone did.

    1. Tom

      I had no idea how bad this was — even 10 minutes of research into the opioid epidemic reveals horrifying details (bold added).

      From the CDC:

      The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. And since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) nearly quadrupled. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

      From CNN:

      This is a public health epidemic and one that is uniquely American. No other country in the world has the perverse amount of consumption as we do in the United States. And nowhere do we pay the price as dearly as with prescription opioid medications.

      As of 2011, 75% of the world’s opioid prescription drugs are prescribed and swallowed up in a country that makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, leading to the most common cause of unintentional death in America today — drug overdoses.

      There is plenty of blame to go around. Drugs are cheaper than a multidisciplinary approach to treating pain, and cost savings are what insurance companies like to hear.

      Sheesh — gotta keep that medical loss ratio under control.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “This is a public health epidemic” … being addressed with a criminal justice model.

        How’s that workin’ out for us?

      2. Eureka Springs

        I just want to add I hear far more tales from people who have real pain with little to no desire to take pain meds at all much less for recreation. And yet they cannot get meds prescribed because doctors are afraid or downright incorrect and determined to label a person a drug seeker.

        I’ve had dear friends and close family members with addiction to pain med problems but I’m so tired of people being treated as if they are the worst case scenario. And I am beginning to wonder if these articles are a way to reinforce a need for pain management specialists and our penal system.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        1. We need to treat pain.

        And we need to treat the sources of our pain.

        2. Is Jevon’s Paradox at work here – that is, if we treat pain, perhaps not curing it but only to make it tolerable, will our overlords then be able to impose more pain?

        3. Also, is there more pain today than, say, 10,000 years ago? Is there more pain in this country than other countries?

        Is more pain relief the answer? In another 500 years, how much more pain relief will we need? And in another 1,000 years?

        1. abynormal

          ding ding ding! my mother needs pain management…but she wants her ‘life’ back. at 83, this is my new feat…i’ve come to realize (thank you Kaiser Docs for not diagnosing her source) that without the diagnoses, i must create a physical therapy encompassing her desired effect (that won’t rely on the fog of narcotics). i’ll begin with re-introducing the muscles to her limbs, simple enough (i hope…im not a professional). point being…there could be many years identifying source(s), but working and adjusting for the outcome(s) can always begin NOW.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Aby, we can’t never say thank you enough to the caregivers of the world (I myself being one)….government recognition that as ‘work’ should help a lot though. It’s a lot of work and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

          2. Fran

            Aby – I have been thinking of you since you shared your ordeal with the medical ‘care’ system for your Mother. You are doing all that you can. It is unfortunate that you do not have a personal support system. Also unfortunately this craziness seems to be endemic in the system now. I have been through it myself as has a friend who then lost his wife a week ago. It is awful.
            I do believe that, as you plan, movement, attention, good food and fresh air can only help most conditions. (I took care of my Mother in her 80’s, and she did best under my care plan.) It also sounds as though cannabis would help in this situation – if you live in California. (It has been amazing for a friend I have there, who still has no proper diagnosis after years of painful tests and treatments.)
            I am a very longtime reader here, although I have not commented in a long time, so I am actually familiar with many longtime participants, including you, whose comments I always find interesting.

            1. Ulysses

              I’d like to echo the admiration for your bravery, Aby.

              Here’s a picture from Bronwyn that I find particularly peaceful:


            2. abynormal

              Thank You Fran…Thank You Very Much
              I thought of ‘c-oil’ and will keep it in mind…mom would fare better with it than Chemicals.
              i appreciate your post too and glad to see you back !

          3. Oregoncharles

            Excellent insight. There research showing that simple strength-building exercise can make a huge difference even for very elderly people.
            A gym might be a better source (certainly cheaper) than a PT office. There are all sorts of “fitness over 50” programs. Maybe take it yourself, relay the ideas to Mom – I’m assuming she’d have trouble getting there. And that you could use the break!

            Of course, you only do what you can do. Hoping that’s doable and useful.

      4. DolleyMadison

        It is Genocide – a way to rid the elite of the poor “white trash” they find so deplorable. Earlier in the week on Morning Joe all of the ivy league “reporters” were sitting around the table with their Starbucks, having a smug, pre-coronation celebratory chat, lamenting the “fact” that while Trump will surely lose in a LANDSLIDE (said that word over and over) there is still the pesky problem of what to do about his supporters who are not just going to “go away.” Lots of hand wringing about how to marginalize them after their “leader” has been defeated. No sense of shame or recognition of their own inhumanity that allows them to openly express such contempt for 80% of the country.

      5. polecat

        Ask me again …why does this country continue to have troops in Afghanistan ??? …we all know it’s not to spread Freedom T.M. ……

    2. KurtisMayfield

      Route 2 has been the canary in the coal mine for the opioid devastation that has occurred in Massachusetts. Combine blue collar towns left vacant by the exit of big companies like GE and mix it with pressures on pharma reps to increase sales of opiates and bingo!

      The sad part is that I can’t even see blaming the corporations leaving as the immediate cause, because companies like GE and Simplex closed up shop decades ago in towns like Pittsfield, Athol, and Gardner. I can blame the opioid sales reps since their actions are more closely linked to the crisis.

  17. TarheelDem

    Politico and 2020 is really a stretch. Pence is the GOP VP candidate in 2016. Ryan is Speaker of the House up for re-election. Rubio is running for re-election to the Senate, a body that can stop appointments and legislation with a minority vote.

    Of course, the Democratic campaign and the Clinton campaign are working them over. If they were going easy on them, the story would be “the fix is in”. Well, both might be true but 2020 is beside the point.

  18. nycTerrierist

    Devastating and, as always, acute piece by William Black.

    Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages” New Economic Perspectives

    If this is what “Fighting for Us” looks like…


    (obv. ‘us’ here = the 1%)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I think Black must be mistaken.

      Clinton supports a $15 minimum wage for all, including those graduating debt free from all the nation’s free public colleges and universities that she’s always supported, and those millions who will be employed in all the green jobs she will “create,” right after she lifts every american woman and child out of poverty, ensures none of them ever suffers another scurrilous insult, gets Assad gone and defeats isis.

      The more I think about it, Black must have been misled by the part of that speech that Putin edited to make clinton look bad and get Trump elected.

      1. temporal

        Given her open delight with fracking, I’m guessing those green jobs will involve radiation and arsenic remediation. Oh and of course, all of that will somehow be combined with oxidized copper. It just doesn’t get greener than copper.

        Green means what the speaker wants it to mean.

      2. temporal

        Speaking of green jobs, I’m pretty sure that there might be some job openings in Butte Montana.

        The largest, man-made, green lake in the country is still rising. If they hadn’t turned off the pumps that kept it from rising all those years ago it might have made a nifty Mad Max set but, what are you going to do?

        On the plus side there’s lots of green waiting to enter the aquifer, assuming one believes that hasn’t already been happening. The market solution for this was for the Utah based company that stripped this land to move to Chile.

        1. Tom

          Hey, you forgot to mention the upside.

          Sure, the pit is filling up with acidic water laced with heavy metals that will soon contaminate ground waters.

          And yes, the Berkeley Pit has become one of the largest Superfund sites.

          But here’s the good news:

          The pit is currently a tourist attraction, with an adjacent gift shop. A $2 admission fee is charged to go out on the viewing platform.

          Now, there’s your triumph of the market right there. Turn that frown upside down, mister!

          1. temporal

            Yep, the market proves itself again. A few years back I almost paid the two dollars but the water was already pretty high and the platform looked too much like a gangplank.

            If you decide to pay the fee make sure you don’t fall into the lake. A few years back a flock of geese decided to overnight on it. Supposedly a few managed to fly out but I doubt they lasted very long.

            1. Tom

              Oh man, that’s bad. If that’s not a microcosm of what we’re doing on a planetary scale, I don’t know what is.

  19. TarheelDem

    If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech

    The article says no such thing. The discussion is about how large the sphere of international waters (part of the “global commons”) is. American control is an issue only because the US has since World War II asserted that it is a responsible naval force for keeping the global commons “common” by opposing both national encroachments and non-state encroachments (piracy) with naval force if necessary.

    That was easy to do in a bipolar world where the two powers both sought access to international waters. In the sole superpower phase of American empire, the US treated the international waters as an American lake. In a multipolar world, the extent and enforcement of the global commons is negotiable again. Was Clinton restating what would happen if the US did what the US is accusing China of doing, or was she signalling US intentions?

    Do we know for sure? It makes a difference in how quickly one needs to oppose the policy.

    1. WJ

      I am opposed to the policy for another reason. My tax dollars already pay for too many goddammed national park ranger hippies and now Clinton wants to nationalize the Pacific Ocean! Instead of her Alinksy-inspired communist wet dream “American Ocean”, why not unleash the power of the market? Let job-creators use skills. Open the ocean to small businesses not big government. Creating efficiencies and forward change by the naming opportunities, etc of corporate change agents. “Google Abysm,” “Goldman Sachs Toll Passage” “Apple iCoast.”

      1. DarkMatters

        Point taken. Why are we policing the seas when we could just use free-market solutions? Instead of granting bank charters, give financiers letters of marque instead, and let them go privateering, so they can finance themselves with piracy. Bet no one notices the difference.

        1. TarheelDem

          That seemed good enough for Henry Morgan back in the day but sorta peeved the then King of Spain. Wonder why.

          The difference is this. More and bigger ships with more firepower and electronics.

          Yep those lines of container ships traversing the global commons are quite some prize. What would pirates do with all that Walmart Christmas inventory? And all those shipments of rummage? Would garbage and “recycling” scows be all that remained plying the fabled “high seas”?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Pacific sea (like other international waters) is already American.

      If all is and should remain an American lake, Hillary is ceding South China Sea to China, by that statement.

      Isn’t that cowardice in the face of an adversary? Unfit to be the commander-in-chief?

  20. Anne

    At Hillary Clinton’s Favorite Think Tank, a Doubling Down on Anti-Iran, Pro-Saudi Policy

    The Center for American Progress hosted a sort of preview of Hillary Clinton’s Middle East policy on Tuesday, with a Clinton adviser and a Gulf state diplomat agreeing that the next president should double down on support for the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, while ramping up action against Iran.

    It is a signal that a future Clinton administration would overwhelmingly favor the Gulf states in their ongoing, Middle East-wide power struggle with Iran, implicitly rebuking President Obama, who has come under fire from Gulf states for mild criticism of their foreign policy and his nuclear deal with Iran.

    The founder of the Center for American Progress, John Podesta, is the campaign chair for Clinton’s presidential bid; many of the candidate’s closest advisors are alumni of CAP and it is widely viewed as a launching pad for policy staff for Democratic presidents. The center is currently helmed by Clinton transition co-chair Neera Tanden.

    Panelists at the event, titled “Strengthening U.S. Partnerships in the Middle East,” argued for what is essentially a supercharged anti-Iran, pro-Saudi posture, with little disagreement from CAP moderator Brian Katulis.

    Read the whole thing – it’s just so…Hillary.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Attention so-called journalists: If Hilliary describes herself as an advocate for children, someone should tell her about the children of Yemen and Syria. Surely she’ll be concerned and take appropriate action to protect them. No?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m really struggling to get my head around how US policy could be more pro the Gulf States. Will Hilary send Bill to provide services to Saudi princesses? Will they send a free Rolex with every cluster bomb delivery? Maybe Colorado will vacated of its population and offered as a private hunting park for the Royal families?

    2. Isolato

      The Saudis own us…literally. It is called the petrodollar and they have a lot of them! The House of Saud whistles…we dance. The alternative would be the collapse of our currency.

    1. dk

      Inside the Trump Bunker, With 12 Days to Go

      … neither Trump’s campaign nor the RNC has prioritized registering and mobilizing the 47 million eligible white voters without college degrees who are Trump’s most obvious source of new votes, as FiveThirtyEight analyst David Wasserman noted.

      To compensate for this, Trump’s campaign has devised another strategy, which, not surprisingly, is negative. Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are “super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.

  21. Paid Minion

    Its been a bad year for aviation legends.

    First we lost Eric Brown. Now, Bob Hoover.

    I had the opportunity to see Bob Hoover fly his Shrike Commander in a couple of airshows and a practice session (for those who don’t know, the Commander is a piston twin engine airplane designed to be a people and cargo hauler). For mere mortals, having one engine out in a twin is a real problem. He would do aerobatics with both engines shut down. An expert at using terrain and buildings to make the spectator think that they were watching a crash.

    The kind of guy who made other pilots/aviation people say “Jesus………..”

  22. voteforno6

    Re: Podesta Emails

    Matt Taibbi has tweeted some interesting finds in the Podesta emails, regarding the Eric Garner case. To no one’s surprise, they expressed rather callous indifference to someone being murdered by police, and were much more concerned about Erica Garner going after Clinton, for her indifference.

    1. DolleyMadison

      Can’t believe Matt would dare to even imply anything untoward about Saint Hillary. He is such a disappointment.

  23. PlutoniumKun

    Re: China gets desperate about Debt. Bloomberg.

    I’ve been a casual China watcher for the best part of 20 years and I hate to predict doom as China bears have been doing that repeatedly for decades, and have always ended up with egg on their faces. But this time, I really do think China is about to hit a very big wall. The acceleration of debt is astonishing, and the economy has crashed through pretty much every red warning barrier there is. There seems to be an rapidly increasing outflow of cash. If and when the current property bubble pops, its hard to see what can replace it – although on previous form they’ll do their best to find something. I’ve always thought that the most likely outcome for China is a long period of low growth and stagnation in order to shake the debt out of its system and rebalance, but I think there are more and more warning bells that it might actually be a full blown crash and burn.

    The CCP probably has the ability to save the banks (albeit at the expense of Japanese style zombification), but there is a huge shadow market out there which will bring down millions of small investors. Its hard to see a good outcome.

    1. Jim Haygood

      What’s most unpleasant for China, with its currency pegged to the dollar, is this month’s 3.5% pop in the US dollar index DXY (pronounced ‘Dixie’). Chart:

      The dollar’s unwelcome rise increases the pressure on China to devalue its currency. Capital flight likely will accelerate.

      If J-Yel and her liquidationist sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer actually do hike the Fed’s policy rate in December, it could be the last straw for China’s currency peg.

      Moreover, the three-month US political interregnum from Nov to Jan is the ideal time to get away with stuff that Uncle Sam disapproves of, since nobody is really in charge.

      Exchange rates are the Treasury’s remit. By December, incumbent Treasury secretary Jack Lew will be fading into well-deserved obscurity, while his replacement likely won’t be confirmed by the Senate till next February or March.

      Sometimes Ms Market reacts badly when left to her own devices.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        That’s a good point – if it happens of course the Chinese will have a choice of the unholy trinity to make. I doubt they will devalue (at least not overtly), and with the level of debt they can’t allow interest rates to rise too quickly. So my money is on strict currency controls. Of course, they might be too late.

        1. Jim Haygood

          China’s already strict currency controls were strengthened last year with a 100,000 yuan (approx $15,000) limit on overseas cash withdrawals on UnionPay bank cards.

          But that’s for little people. Reportedly, moving yuan into Macau and Hong Kong is not difficult.

          If China’s capital leakage turns into a flood, ultimately ‘choice’ devolves into ‘force majeure.’

          1. PlutoniumKun

            If China’s currency controls were working, then we’d see the effect on property values in SF, Sidney, London. Nothing visible so far. Anecdotally, I’ve not heard of any of my Chinese friends complaining about difficulties in moving money, something I’ve found surprising.

            1. skippy

              Oh China is getting serious about it, but, they are getting all the ducks in a row before making a move. Packers Casinos whale junkets was a year in the making and their not afraid of going after expat C-suite members either.

              That’s just the public optics.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Will this be a case of ‘after Obama, deluge?’

        Obama: “Hey, I am just returning it in the same condition I found. But Paulson doesn’t have to get on one knee this time.”

    2. susan the other

      it would be nice to have an economic model in place that expanded and contracted in real time so every entity had the same outcome – no one was the first to suffer austerity while some of the economy lived high on the hog for while – if we had such fine tuning as almost minute-by-minute adjustments to the value of things, including the value of human time whether it was put to work or not, every economy would be equal to every other economy. Instead we have a nice set up for the rich who always skim and skate.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They can always try to reflate the antique bubble.

      These days, there seem to be a lot of good antiques available, even Yuan dynasty blue and whites, and I believe Song dynasty Ru celadon wares.

      As for cash outflow, they have sacked several Poliburo standing committee members, and just in the last few days, on the eve of the all important party meeting, removed the vice chief of their Air Force. Xi and his people are demanding candidates for their Poliburo list all their assets, in China and elsewhere (but it’s probably easier to hide when it’s elsewhere).

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its always hard to tell with Chinese corruption clampdowns whether the victims were stupid about their corruption or the crackdown is just an excuse to shift people who’ve fallen out of favour.

        The problem they have of course is that China is full of honest, austere Party members, who just happen to have wives, brothers, nephews or mothers who have become billionaires through their hard work and cleverness, and nothing whatever to do with having a senior party member in the family. Its almost Clinton-like in the lack of any clear link between the money and the decision.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          From Wiki on a very rich Mandarin in the Qing dynasty, Heshen:

          His total property was ultimately estimated at around 1,100 million taels of silver, reputedly estimated to be an amount equivalent to the imperial revenue of the Qing government for 15 years.

          Under ‘alternative views’ in the same article, we read this (source apparently unknown):

          It is argued[by whom?] that the majority of Heshen’s wealth were originally from gifts of the Qianlong Emperor, not from money siphoned by corrupt actions

          Maybe hard work?

  24. rich

    Big banks to refund $178 million to financial advice customers

    In a major report that has once again shone a light on the problems of the banks’ vertically integrated model, the corporate watchdog found customers had been short-changed millions over years for a “fee for service” for financial advice services that were never provided.

    The failures include charging customers a fee to have a dedicated financial adviser, and then never providing one, as well as using unanswered phone calls to justify an attempt at providing “advice”.

    The total compensation bill from the banks is likely to grow, with ASIC deputy commissioner Peter Kell saying many banks were only part-way through their reviews.

    “There is the possibility that that may increase,” he said.

    The report is part of an investigation by the corporate regulator into the wealth management arms of the big banks that began in 2014.

    It found failures by the banks to stop charging fees without services was “systemic” in the cases of CBA, NAB, ANZ and AMP.

    It also saw instances of fee arrangements whereby the banks believed they had no obligation to provide advice to customers in return for the fees they charged.

    Good margin in selling nothing for something….wait til Tony James & pals get their hands on everyone’s good ship SocSec.

  25. DolleyMadison

    Opioid deaths are, as NC always says, a feature not a bug.

    It is Genocide – a way to rid the elite of the poor “white trash” they find so deplorable. Why do you think Big Pharma is fighting the legalization of pot? Opioid deaths in Colorado plummeted after pot became legal. We can’t have that.

    Earlier in the week on Morning Joe all of the ivy league “reporters” were sitting around the table with their Starbucks, having a smug, pre-coronation celebratory chat, lamenting the “fact” that while Trump will surely lose in a LANDSLIDE (said that word over and over) there is still the pesky problem of what to do about his supporters “who are not just going to go away.” Lots of hand wringing about how to marginalize them after their “leader” has been defeated. No sense of shame or recognition of their own inhumanity that allows them to openly express such contempt for 80% of the country.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Merchants of death:

      Tied for the largest single donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the campaign against the state’s recreational marijuana proposal, was $500,000 from Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company known for selling the painkiller fentanyl in the form of a sublingual spray.

      The company and some former employees have faced lawsuits and criminal charges over the way the drug was marketed.

      God damn the pusher man …

  26. giantsquid

    “Paul Beatty has said being offended is not an emotion”.

    Since disgust is without doubt an emotion, and “being offended” is typically essentially the same as “being disgusted”, what pray tell is the basis for Paul Beatty’s assertion. (I’m not saying that anyone has a right not to be disgusted, but Paul Beatty’s statement is fatuous at best).

    1. susan the other

      I that that too, but I don’t think PB is being fatuous – I think there comes an evolutionary moment when you have endured outrageous offenses for so long that they become part of your emotional expectations.

      1. giantsquid

        “being offended” is not the same as expressing offense; feeling, or being, offended is an emotional response, expressing how you feel is a choice.

        1. giantsquid

          Personally I’ve never been offended in the absence of either disgust or anger. On the other hand, I’ve often judged things to be good or bad, right or wrong without having an emotional response. Some people fear clowns. I suppose that their being ffearful is not an emotional response because it can be explained as being due to their judgment that clowns are dangerous.

          1. hunkerdown

            It seems useful to me to distinguish emotions — which are, more or less, involuntary, visceral responses to stimuli or information — from the cultural interpretation and refitting of it. Some people fear clowns; others fear the forced “joy” and mild shock that clowns represent. As H.G. Wells put it, “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.”

            The daylight between the two is self-awareness: the conscious knowledge of oneself as distinct from culture. Thus, offense is a cultural phenomenon — in fact, can’t exist outside of some cultural agreement to do otherwise — in which you choose to participate. Disgust carries none of that baggage.

            I see a lot more than splitting hairs, here. I see the influence of culture being denied even as it operates, in a seeming cousin to correspondence bias, which is why Americans (especially) do stupid s–t. I hope I’ve made my take on (and, as an aspie, interest in) the distinction a bit clearer.

            1. giantsquid

              Are you suggesting that emotions are entirely innate, that shame, guilt, love, joy and perhaps disgust, all of which are at least in part culturally influenced, are therefore not emotions? Also you don’t seem to have answered my question: Is the fear of clowns (or any other learned fear) an emotional response, as the fear of snakes or spiders is, or is it something else entirely, in your view?

              1. giantsquid

                By the way, just as one can learn to fear, one can also extinguish an innate fear. And both innate fear and learned fear result in the same circuitry being fired in the amygdala.

  27. Daryl

    > More forcing people to use smart phones. App only. There does not appear to be a browser version.

    The funny part being that apps are often a thin veneer over some web API calls.

    1. hunkerdown

      Apps get your digits. Webpages don’t. Phone numbers are as good as or better than SSNs for identifying individuals and far better than IPv4 addresses. I suspect that access to personal information is why megacorps love them some apps.

  28. Oregoncharles

    “If Beijing can claim South China Sea, US can call Pacific ‘American Sea’, says Clinton in leaked speech South China Morning Post”

    I don’t think you’ve seen me defend Hillary before, but in this case, while the comparison is exaggerated (Bering Sea would be more like it), the point is correct. China’s claim in the S. China Sea is openly and dangerously imperial, as a glance at the map will show and as the International Court found. In fact, it dates back to an imperial-era map. It’s pure Big Dog behavior.

    China isn’t a good guy just because it’s a rival to the US. It’s one of the most imperial cultures in the world, as its conquest and subjugation of Tibet and Sinkiang showed many years ago. Only the US and Russia approach it (we can look for this sort of thing from India, too, once they get over being a colony for so long).

    This means that the S. China Sea poses a difficult conundrum. Somehow, the world needs to support the international character of that sea and the rival claims of smaller nations without provoking yet another war. It makes me wish we had any hope of sane leadership next year.

  29. Oregoncharles

    “CETA on hold with Belgium set for more talks DW”
    News this morning is that Belgium has backed down, I don’t know on what terms.

  30. Oregoncharles

    ” He had 3 percent support among African Americans in an ABC News tracking poll released Sunday, compared with Clinton’s 82 percent.”
    The real news is that 82%. That isn’t good news for her.

  31. LT

    The global expansion of military manuevers only proves that it’s resource theft and monopoly that drives first world economies.
    The pleebs of the West are demanding a bigger cut of the spoils without acknowledging we are still supported by pillage more than “innovation.”
    Of course, the military expansion cuts into other social spending on the table to totally privatize.
    Business (war) as usual.

  32. robnume

    On China Bans Mortgage Frauds: We can do the same here to root out corruption. It’s called a bullet to the back of the head and I hear it works wonderfully. That’s how to just say “No” to corruption.

  33. robnume

    On CETA: Update: It’s a done deal and is signed at the 11th hour. Bad idea, but it happened anyway. Get used to more: “You don’t like it? Tough shit, we’re gonna ram it down your throats. Now, STFU and open wide!”

  34. Patrick Donnelly

    The disease called “Slim” was noticed in East Africa in the late 1960s.

    I read this in an article in the second grade newspaper the Daily Express UK, in the late 1960s.

  35. pagostino

    This is such a good site for getting my morning reading…thanks for introducing me to “An Owl on the Moon”

  36. Marc

    I’ve waited patiently for this to happen. I knew at some point an “economist” would blame China for the 2007-2008 financial crisis. We can all rest easy now.

    PacNet # 79 — Oct. 28, 2016
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    View this email in your browser

    China is behind our economic ills, but not because of trade
    by Robert Blohm
    Robert Blohm ( has been a Beijing-based economic policy advisor for a decade.

    According to the Trump campaign, trade — especially with China — is the reason for US economic ills. They are wrong: Chinese central planning of an entire economy like a single company has been a big reason for those problems. Barrons has calculated that, not counting jobs gained because of trade and incoming foreign investment, annual job loss due to the US trade deficit (in goods) this century has been the equivalent of 10-days’ worth of the annual loss of jobs in the US. Eighty percent of the trade deficit (in goods) is attributable to China.

    China Shock has instead manifested itself in the 2008 financial crisis and the global economy’s subsequent low-growth funk. The 2008 crisis reflected a policy that, according to former Asian Development Bank Vice President Larry Greenberg, China implemented to get out of the 1997 Asian financial crisis: subsidizing (most notably energy) resource inputs to manufacturing and transportation by setting artificially low prices for those inputs.

    Beijing did this to a point where excessive Chinese demand created by the artificially low price of oil products in China contributed half the new oil consumption on the world market, and that then drove the world price of oil to $149 per barrel by 2008, triggering enough inflation fear to prompt the US Fed to raise interest rates. That interest rate increase overwhelmed maxed-out sub-prime US borrowers, most of whom had to reset their mortgage interest rate every two years. Nobel economics laureate Sir James Mirrlees claimed at the time that (rising price) commodity markets drove the 2008 financial crisis.

    If China hadn’t subsidized its own energy (over)consumption, I estimate the world oil price would have peaked at $100 per barrel and there would have been no 2008 financial crisis. The production capacity China built because resources were subsidized became over-capacity that has fed global deflation and low economic growth. In other words, by centrally directing an entire economy along a singular strategic outlook, China continues to damage the global economy by now operating overcapacity that employs Chinese labor and floods the world market with excess exports.

    Chinese officials have not been unaware of the perverse consequences of these policies. I repeatedly criticized China’s energy price subsidization in China’s English-language media since my arrival in China in 2006, supported by and fronting for marketizers highly-placed in the Chinese government but no longer heeded by the Hu Jintao administration. I was never allowed to do it in Chinese-language media, however: discussion there of the topic was forbidden by Party elders who saw energy-price subsidies as critical to maintenance of the Party’s monopoly on power by keeping the job machine humming and placating low-wage consumers.

    Thus, the Chinese Communist Party’s obsession with a monopoly on political power is a, if not the, driver of the world’s economic ills, not just those of the US. China too is negatively affected: the hidden share of government expenditure in a GDP measure broken down only into consumption and investment (and net exports) misleadingly suggests that merely boosting the share of consumption, rather than reducing that of government, is the solution to those ills.

    The 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh Summit singled out China for being the world’s only net importer of oil that subsidized rather than taxed oil product prices, and identified this as a prime factor in the world economic crisis, and called on China to stop.

    Donald Trump doesn’t understand this. He makes the same mistake as the Chinese leadership. He regards a nation as a company with a profit-and-loss statement that he confuses with a country’s external-trade account. Company profits and losses do not sum to zero across an entire economy, national or global, but countries’ trade deficits and surpluses do sum to zero across the entire global economy.

    As a result, it’s no surprise that Trump supporters use external trade to diagnose an economy’s malaise while ignoring the impact of “cybernetics” (identified mid-century as computerization-plus-machines, aka “robotics”) in driving employment loss and productivity gain.

    The first Nixon administration, in a last bout of idealism under the guidance of domestic affairs advisor Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was the last to address this in its failed legislative attempt to enact a guaranteed-annual-income substitute for welfare, which conservative economist Milton Friedman proposed in the form of a negative income tax.

    This is the “new” kind of thinking expected of conservative Republican domestic policy-making in the wake of the Trump candidacy, and suggests more a future society of leisure than one of labor anchored in the labor-theory-of-value that’s the bedrock of China’s official Marxism, and not far from the Luddite machine-bashing anachronism embedded in Trumpism.

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