Links 10/28/16

Ten months in the air without landing PhysOrg

Strange Pumping Effect above Asia Threatens the Ozone Layer Scientific American

Robot learns to play with Lego by watching human teachers NewScientist (Robert M)

Male birth control shots prevent pregnancy MedicalXpress (Robert M)

Placebo sweet spot for pain relief found in brain MedicalXpress (Robert M)

Study finds optimal walking and cycling speeds to reduce air pollution inhalation MedicalXpress (Robert M)

Apple’s Cook: ‘We’re going to kill cash’ CNET (Dan K). The hubris, it burns! Let us not forget that ApplePay is a mere app that sits on top of payment systems run by banks, and central banks have more than a little to say about how payment systems operate? And as Richard Smith notes:

Mind you, if it takes off, what could possibly go wrong? Oh…

Duterte Says God Told Him to Stop Cursing Associated Press (furzy). Let us not forget that Hillary Clinton talked to Eleanor Roosevelt…long after she was dead….even as recently as 2012.


May Said to Want Carney to Stay as He Reflects on BOE Role Bloomberg

For UK’s Europeans, post-Brexit attacks bring shock and fear Associated Press

It’s time for Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters to take on the unions New Statesman (Chuck L)

CETA Panic. The Walloons were snookered or lost nerve.

‘White smoke’ on EU-Canada trade deal breakthrough Politico

EU-Canada trade deal salvaged after Belgian regions concede Financial Times. Note the vote is today but everyone acts as if this is a done deal. The Walloons weren’t even given a real fig leaf:

A provision allowing the European Court of Justice to provide an “opinion” on the legality of the these courts was seized on as a victory by anti-Ceta campaigners, but officials briefed on the declaration said any such opinion would not be binding as there was nothing in the declaration to reopen the Ceta pact.

“The treaty itself has not been touched, not a comma has been touched,” Mr Michel told parliament.

The Beginning Of The End For Europe’s Natural Gas War OilPrice. Resilc: “So much for new Clintoon sanctions.”

Prospects for the Spanish Left Triple Crisis

Greece: Disaster after the capitulation Defend Democracy

Hungary’s PM threatens to sue EU over mandatory migrant quotas Reuters (furzy)

The “North Atlantic Financial Crisis” Heads South… Steve Keen, PropertyInvesting


ΝΑΤΟ, Russia and Cyprus Defend Democracy

Next US President Must Abandon Futile Effort to Isolate Russia Sputnik News (Wat)

Russian ships ‘refuelling off Africa’ BBC


The Geniuses Who Brought You the Iraq War Are at It Again Nation


Haiti’s Clinton Problem Jacobin (nycterrist). If Clinton loses Florida, this will be a big part of the reason why.

The strange tale of a dating site’s attacks on WikiLeaks founder Assange McClatchy

What is going on with WikiLeaks? Defend Democracy

The Perilous ‘Middle Ground’ That Clinton Represents American Conservative (resilc)

Clinton eyes Biden for secretary of state Politico

How Trump gave a voice to unheard America Financial Times

Trump makes Democrats feel less lonely in the lone star state Financial Times. First, Texas continues to become more and more Hispanic. Second, Dallas and I assume other parts of the state have seen a big influx of immigrants from other states. Those are often upper income professionals and managers and thus will skew less red than the natives. The density of traffic in Dallas has increased markedly in just the last three years.

Fool Me Once Jacobin (DWD)

Pence plane slides off runway at NYC’s LaGuardia Airport Associated Press

Wall Street ‘Influence’? Teachers Unions Request Probe Of Donations To Charter School Measure International Business Times

Marijuana Vote in California May Herald End of Prohibition Era Bloomberg

This Maine Initiative Could Shake Up the Two-Party System Nation (resilc)

General Motors Brings IBM’s Watson Into Its Vehicles Wall Street Journal

Amazon shares tumble as rising expenses weigh on online retailer Financial Times

Putting It Together: After CalPERS’ Board and Staff, Who ‘Runs the Train’? Tony Butka, CityWatch

The Progressive Tax Reform You’ve Never Heard Of American Prospect (Glenn F). Lordie. “You” does not include NC readers!

Class Warfare

The Limits of Liberalism at Harvard Corey Robin (Dan K). Even when I was back at Harvard, students were regularly joining with the kitchen workers in strikes, as in the University’s disgraceful posture on pay is long-standing.

Uber is promising us flying cars TreeHugger. Resilc: “I am waiting for smellivision.”

Antidote du jour (Tracie H). A black-tailed prairie dog, courtesy the Los Angeles Zoo:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    “Clinton Eyes Biden for secretary of state” … must have continuity of government … the real government not the teleprompter talking heads … and forward Ukraine! Secretary of State should be renamed Secretary of War.

        1. local to oakland

          Isn’t Biden the one they make fun of for saying obnoxious and embarassing things for a politician? I get that he’s an insider, but Sec State?

          1. RabidGandhi

            Well now that the Brits upped the ante with Boris as FM, gotta keep up with the Joneses, so to speak.

      1. tegnost

        don’t bet on it, pre election public promises are certainly being hedged in private. they’ll say anything to make it seem like hillary’s handlers will keep a hold on the reins. Isn’t Biden popular in some communities that hill needs to vote for her?

      2. Procopius

        Why do you think it won’t be Nuland, with Biden being named now as a smoke screen? Or, the only thing I can think of worse than Nuland, Robert Kagan, her husband.

    1. Cry Shop

      Biden and diplomacy can not possibly exist in the same room, much less the same mind. One can only assume Clinton picked the only person she knew with bigger self-control issues because he’ll make her tenure at Sec. of State look less god awful.

      My 2nd guess is she knows he’s only interested in his good name, any graft is for his family, not for himself, and his living son is a punk amateur at riding his daddy’s coat tails. so Biden & co will be unlikely to undo all the channels for corruption Clinton set up.

      1. nycTerrierist

        useful links, thanks! From the counterpunch piece. Biden in the ’80s:

        “Biden pushed for mandatory minimum sentences and the creation of a cabinet-level “drug czar.” It was sometimes rocky going, but in the end he got what he wanted. However, the “landmark” 1984 crime bill was such a grotesquely slapped-together knockwurst that it contained a significant amount of rotten meat. One example was a forfeiture scheme that allowed law enforcement agencies across the nation to benefit financially by seizing the property of “accused” drug criminals. Gest cites “a string of horror stories” of agents padding their institutional coffers by confiscating the homes and cars of people who were eventually acquitted of the crime charged. None of this confiscated wealth was ever returned. It was 16 years before this egregious section was altered.”

        1. Jim Haygood

          Biden: the Nelson Rockefeller of our era.

          Rockefeller locked up a whole generation of drug offenders, who only emerged from New York’s prisons in caskets.

          That’s why you never hear about heroin overdoses anymore. /sarc

        2. Ivy

          Biden is beholden to his financial services paymasters and does nothing for the average debtor, er, citizen. Student loans, credit cards, Uncle Joe has his mitts on all that, massaging away. With him in any position of authority, there isn’t a happy ending for Americans. I wish he would just go retire already.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Yeah, send him back to Wilmington. Where he’ll de-train at the Joseph Biden Station.

            Not that this station didn’t need a renovation. It sure did. But to name it after Biden? Yeesh.

        3. cocomaan

          Joe Biden as SoS means that he will be trying to double down on treaty obligations vis a vis the drug war.

          He’s the biggest drug warrior in the Obama administration, from what I can see. It probably stems from the fact that his son is into cocaine.

          He’s a piece of DC trash. We could do without him.

      2. Unorthodoxmarxist

        Circulation of elites, anyone? Not hard to dig up a copy of Pareto but this is pretty on-the-nose.

        I’m not sure if any VP has ever accepted a return to the cabinet after their term, but I could see Biden doing it.

      3. JSM

        ‘Biden had been on the famous Church Committee in the late ‘70s that investigated intelligence excesses. “The experience convinced him that crime should be viewed as a form of domestic security,” writes Ted Gest.’

        That’s what he learned from the Church Committee?!

        Here’s what Church learned (Wiki):

        ‘If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. (…)

        I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.’

    2. Sam Adams

      Biden: The US is gonna’ drop da bomb!
      Putin: drop the Bomb!?!? Are you crazy?
      Biden: yep we’re gonna have a blast!
      Putin: call the generals,
      Biden: party starts at 7 – see ya at the embassy, l8tr….
      What could go wrong?

    3. grizziz

      …or Secretary of Weapons Sales.
      Maybe we should start a contest to pick the name of his charitable foundation.

  2. Cry Shop

    Voices in the Head / Duarte & Clinton have sad company
    Bush: God Told Me to Invade Iraq

    Mr Bush told him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President: “I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,’ and I did.”

    And “now again”, Mr Bush is quoted as telling the two, “I feel God’s words coming to me: ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.’ And by God, I’m gonna do it.”

    Seems George’s god is a little god who changed his mind.

    1. mikeyrem

      The way I remember some of the rhetoric those years, there were a lot of dog whistles playing up the religious fervor, especially with regards to the book of Revelation/the Second Coming. These were the years that the “Left Behind” series was really big, there were documentaries on TV talking about the “resurgence of Babylon” under Saddam Hussein, and of course, there’s always the Israel angle. I’m convinced that a big reason conservative Christians are unwavering in their defense of Israel and talk about “Judeo-Christian values” (why the Judeo?) is this implicit understanding that God will punish those who go against his Chosen people, and something about a restored Jewish state in the Holy Land is somehow a prerequisite for the Second Coming.

      I don’t know, that’s my impression at least. I would love to read some further study into this strain of American politics.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Except George is a reformed alcoholic. Alcoholics don’t stop being alcoholics when the give up booze. They adopt another vice, and Shrub used real Calvinist language long before. He was a nutter, much like Hillary and her C-Street cult (admittedly she is a victim of theirs as the world’s most famous cuckold), but Shrub’s language wasn’t dog whistles. There was cohesive beliefs there. My guess is he now considers himself to have been personally tested.

        Chirac was the source of the Gog and Magog report. Who knew he and George loved DC comics?

        1. RabidGandhi

          “Alcoholics don’t stop being alcoholics when the[y] give up booze. They adopt another vice”

          This is just wrong. The whole purpose of AA is to learn how to shift from vices like alcohol/drugs to healthy relationships instead– something Bush the Younger apparently never did.

        2. abynormal

          its an interesting catch22 so-ta-speak…if they adopt another dangerous vice then they are in need of further help. Bush is painting now…if he was practicing Calvinist he’d be out there and we’d still here the thunder. my guess is he picked up Calvinist to counter the alcohol AND deal with his choices during his road to presidency and the office itself…he knew Dick would take the power but W knew he’d remain a laughing stock. he had to do something…
          Myth: The fact that alcoholics often continue to be depressed, anxious, irritable, and unhappy after they stop drinking is evidence that their disease is caused by psychological problems.

          Reality: Alcoholics who continue to be depressed, anxious, irritable, and unhappy after they stop drinking are actually suffering from a phenomenon called “the protracted withdrawal syndrome.” The physical damage caused by years of excessive drinking has not been completely reversed; they are, in fact, still sick and in need of more effective therapy.

          BUT you’re semi correct:
          Myth: Some alcoholics can learn to drink normally and can continue to drink with no ill effects as long as they limit the amount.

          Reality: Alcoholics can never safely return to drinking because drinking in any amount will sooner or later reactivate their addiction.

    2. RabidGandhi

      W/R/T that story, I believe it was Adam Johnson over at FAIR who came up with a media accuracy scale, which showed that the need for veracity in international stories is inversely related to a country’s status as an enemy of the US. (ie, stories about Israel need full verification; stories about North Korea, you can just make anything up).

      Thus the MSM dishes out a regular diet of crazy things said by Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, Qaddafi, the Kim regime, most of which are either taken sorely out of context or outright fabricated (and don’t even get me started on the reports of $170 hamburgers in Caracas). So it is interesting to watch the change in tone in stories about Duterte as he pivots away from the pivot to Asia.

      Of course here the caveat is necessary that the vigilante violence Duterte has unleashed is utterly reprehensible, but my point is that if the media reporting follows the typical pattern (wherein, for example, ISIS are religious whackos but Saudis are 'moderates'), then we should expect more of these stories about Duterte being crazy– not because he is crazy per se, but rather because he is moving his foreign policy away from the US.

      The article tells us more about the MSM than it does about Duterte.

  3. Harry

    Surely the apple idea is to run on someone else’s platform while building the infrastructure, and then switch to their own infrastructure once they have built up market share?

    Of course the real question is why visa etc will be dumb enough to let them.

    1. Cry Shop

      Because Visa’s chairman and board of directors only care about bonus performance for the next two/three years, max five. They don’t care about the long term viability of the firm, no professional executive manager under the systems set up within Bill Clinton’s 8 years would. It’s kind of like assuming fraudhedge fund managers care about actual performance rather than bribing comptrollers of retirement schemes.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You have no idea what “building the infrastructure” means. This is like saying today, “Oh, let’s do an Aida matinee!” I need to turn in but hopefully Clive will fill in details. Basically the incumbents built it as the card industry grew from zero. To be competitive, you need to be ubiquitous, or close to that (look at how Amex suffers by not being that). The only startup in history that strove for and succeeded in immediate ubiquity was Federal Express. And that was only in the US, not worldwide, as the existing card networks are. And they weren’t competing with incumbents.

    3. DarkMatters

      “Of course the real question is why visa etc will be dumb enough to let them.”

      I don’t see that particular consideration as much of a deterrent. Lenin or Stalin said that the capitalists will sell them the rope with which to hang them. So why wouldn’t they sell the same to each other?

    4. Clive

      There are 12+ million EPOS terminals in the US (and the U.S. is less than 20% of the Global POS device market). They are not built to a single standard. Some are stand-alone offers from Merchant Services Providers whereas some are totally bespoke, proprietary and deeply integrated into the stock management systems of some of the most sophisticated inventory control infrastructure ever devised. The existing card schemes (MasterCard, VISA, AMEX etc.) manage the problem of how to cope with such wildly differing merchant requirements by licencing their technologies for card acquiring at the merchant “end” and allowing resellers to build their own merchant devices or, for the mega-merchants (WalMart, Starbucks, McDonals, the usual rip-your-face-off do-it-our-way-or-else players in retail), they can configure their customer-facing cash registers and card-payment processing terminals exactly as they choose. The existing card schemes know better than to even try to go up against those guys.

      Compare and contrast with Apple. Apple doesn’t know and doesn’t — on the basis of their historical behaviour — want anything other than to dictate to the n-th degree of detail exactly what goes on in their walled gardens. And they won’t let anyone else define the boundaries of their walled gardens either.

      EPOS terminals, the backhauls to the card issuers, the specifications of the card data required in a card transaction and how the messaging between the card issuer, the merchant and the cardholder is not and never will be amenable to putting into anyone’s walled garden and certainly not Apple’s. Even if Apple could replicate some or — unlikely — all the subcomponents in the card payment processing chain, the banks could simply refuse to provide interfaces to any “ApplePay scheme”. Even if Apple complained to the regulators, the banks could drag compliance out for years and insist — with some justification — that the banks’ back-end systems are too important to allow beta-testing by Apple, they’d want a fully debugged system from Apple first.

      And there are thousands of variants in the EPOS market. Some retailers want take-to-the-table mobile units. Some want branded gew-gaws because that’s what their marketing people think they need. Some was protected/hardened units to deter customer abuse. Some need highly specialised EM shielding and spark suppression (automated fuel dispensers for example). Some need audio feedback to comply with disability equality legislation. Get where I’m going with this? How do you think apple could ever supply all these market micro-niches? They don’t have the patents. They don’t have the manufacturing expertise. They don’t know anything about the software builds (building embedded is totally different from hardware+O/S — once you commit the design to manufacturing and have deployed the devices in the field, you can’t patch your way easily out of bugs). Where would Apple even begin to start?

      Yes, I suppose Apple could do what you’re suggesting. It would take decades and cost tens if not hundreds of billions. Where is the return on investment for that? And what, even if by some magic it all came to pass, what would Apple achieve? They’d simply introduce some vague notion of “alternatives” or “competition” into an already highly fragmented market with the only USP that Apple owned the whole show whereas at the moment a multitude of different suppliers fulfil small chunks in the overall card payment system. Oh, and Apple would have to provide support for all their shiny new infrastructure. Providing good support is expensive as anyone who has experienced cheap IT support has found. Apple would stand a very good chance of thoroughly trashing their own brand if they tried to cut corners on the service they provided to banks and merchants.

      I don’t rate Apple that highly. I think they are, in fact, consistently over-rated. But I know they’re not about to commit commercial suicide by trying to do what you’re suggesting they do there.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > they’d want a fully debugged system from Apple first.

        “Testing shows the presence, not the absence of bugs.” –Edsger W. Dijkstra

        I guess the only way to settle “fully” will be litigation…

      2. flora

        Thanks for this detailed look behind the cc scenes. It got me thinking about why Apple and Google say they’re going to ‘disrupt’ established cc infrastructure/services. My guesses :

        They’re chasing revenues by trying to enter the financial services realm. (see GM and GE as earlier companies going this route.)

        or – more likely,

        They’re trying to prop up their stock price by promising “the next big thing” which they might even hope to be true. (self-driving cars, flying cars, Google or Apple ‘cashless’ money, etc.)

        Just a guess.

        When Cook says Apple is going to destroy cash, maybe that’s true, but not in the way he means.

    1. Anne

      Amy Sterling Casil is a gem – she has done incredible work digging into the details the Clintons so masterfully and diligently work to hide from the public so that they can keep the cash flowing into all the right pockets.

      Three weeks of Wikileaks’ Podesta emails have confirmed that everything I wrote in 12 prior articles on the Clinton Foundation based in analyzing the organization’s tax filings (in some cases — several, which were revised for 3 tax years 2011–2013), public records (website and blog posts), audited financial statements, and doing simple due diligence, such as calling phone numbers listed in reports that rang to random, non-Foundation numbers, is true.

      The Clinton Foundation has minimal outcomes that can be described as “charitable.” (How many times have I typed this? Lord help me, too many). There are many reasons to question their operations. Every tab of the organization’s website contains one or more red flags for legitimate nonprofit or NGO professionals. These elements include gross deviations in claimed outcomes (40,000 farmers “catalyzed,” one month later it’s over 100,000), and separate organizations comprising the majority of publically-stated outcomes (The Alliance for a Healthier Generation outcomes are main US-based claims for “healthier children”; Clinton Health Access Initiative AIDS drug negotiations and pass-through funds main claim for the Foundation’s international results).

      Clinton spokespeople, media surrogates, and Mr. and Mrs. Clinton’s own constant touting of charity “watchdog” ratings rather than actual performance or outcomes are obvious ‘tells’ of poor performance.

      There’s so much here I can’t reproduce it all – plus there are at least 12 other articles people should read.

      I can’t tell you how such blatant grifting galls me.

      1. Baby Gerald

        I’ll second this recommendation– this is a superb article that gets straight to the point of why the Clinton Foundation is an insult to actual charitable organizations that help people. Thanks sd, for the link and for adding Amy Sterling Casil to my reading list.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Little overlap – does it mean Clinton Foundation is taking money away from other international aid organizations (assuming those donors only have so much)?

      1. Skip Intro

        Probably not. The donors know they are giving bribes laundered as charity. I don’t think they have that much money to just give to poor people or whatever, without getting something valuable in return.

      2. sd

        The ‘donors’ generally weren’t into charitable giving – a red flag that the donations were anything but.

    3. voteforno6

      So, Teneo was soliciting its clients to make donations to the Clinton Foundation. At the same time, they were drumming up business for Bill Clinton. On top of that, Bill was pulling in money from Teneo as an “Honorary Chairman.” This seems to be incredibly sleazy. I’m no lawyer, so I would certainly be interested in some informed opinions as to the legality of those arrangements.

  4. Benedict@Large

    Haiti’s Clinton Problem Jacobin

    If Clinton loses Florida, this will be a big part of the reason why.

    The answer I’ve been waiting for. I’d love to be part for kicking Clinton over in Florida, but if that’s not going to happen, I’d just a soon build up the Green Party’s national vote count.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My idea of a great sci-fi (that Hollywood will never produce in 1,000,000 years). It’s called One Million BS’s…Prevented, starting some Raquel Welch look-alike:

      The world is in danger in 2016. A nasty (according to Trump anyway) woman is threatening to take over.

      Our young Green hero travels back in time to the 60s.

      He dates Hillary.

      Plays the stock market knowing all the secrets of making a fortune, because he is from 2016.

      He then steals Hillary from Bill and provides her with enough financial security to never have to mingle with Wall Street bankers.

      And the world is thus saved from being ‘terminated’ in 2016.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Will this wake up those young voters (older ones are less likely – though not completely refusing or neglecting – to watch movies, sci-fi or no sci fi) who are ‘with her?’

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s an imperfect world.

          Our heroes not being able to save non-nasty women, like Edith Keeler, is the rule, and in fact, it does leave the audience wanting more.

          It’s more dramatic that way.

          For nasty women, we want transformation and, with the world safe again at the end, it brings closure.

          In the sequel, she fights bankers, sovereignty sapping trade deals, and (genuinely) fake green organizations.

          More money for Hollywood.

  5. Eureka Springs

    Marijuana Vote in California May Herald End of Prohibition Era

    If approved, the California measure would levy a $9.25 per-ounce tax on cultivated pot and 15 percent sales tax on marijuana retail products. Local governments could tax even more.

    Holy cow! That’s about 90 bucks an ounce/nearly 1450 lb. in state taxation alone. Not including licensing, local and eventually federal taxation. I’ve heard rumors of illegal CA weed as low as 1000 a pound and CO and Oregon supply slightly more than double that entering AR illegally now, available with ease in abundance.

    The only reasonable response to this is across the board legalization… make it as free and easy as growing tomatoes in your own garden.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Legal 420 in Colorado sells for $300 an ounce at retail, roughly reflecting a 25% tax rate compared to black market commercial at retail.

      As with any ag product, supply likely will expand to drive down the premium, until the hurting cannabis industry goes hat in hand to Congress to demand price supports and crop loans.

      The former tobacco quota system is one model that Corporate Cannabis will eye:

      The TTPP (Tobacco TransitionPayment Program) ended the federal tobacco price support and quota program in 2004, deregulating U.S. tobacco production and providing compensation to quota owners and tobacco farmers over a 10 year period 2005-2014.

      Total U.S. tobacco production had been restricted under the federal program by poundage quotas and acreage allotments set annually by USDA and allocated based on historical production dating back to 1938.

      Let’s hope the U Ark ag experiment station station in Fayetteville is gearing up to help.

      1. Jim Haygood

        This just in — Arkansas goes Venezuela on us:

        LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Arkansas Supreme Court has disqualified a medical marijuana proposal (Issue 7) from the November ballot, but voters will still be able to consider a competing plan.

        Justices on Thursday sided with opponents of the proposed initiated act that would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions and a doctor’s recommendation to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. The court ordered state officials to not count any votes cast for the measure in the Nov. 8 election. Early voting began Monday.

        1. Katharine

          I hope proponents of the measure are appealing to the US Supreme Court. Irrespective of the merits of the plan, it is not the place of the court to interfere in the election.

          Of course, the Supremes have their own bad history in that department, but they might at least adopt a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do position here.

          1. RabidGandhi

            Have you read the judgment in the case? Today’s is the first I read of the situation, but the court and the Special Master both identified serious problems in the signature collection process, such as “signatures where the canvasser verification is dated earlier than the date on which a petitioner signed the petition” and shenanigans about whether canvassers are listed as paid or volunteers.

            If these allegations are true as the court found (I would love to read an appeal), then yes it is the court’s job to “interfere” in the election, since I would expect an initiative that I didn’t like to dot all of its i’s and cross all of its t’s, as well as the ones I like.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Thank you for finding the judgment. One excerpt:

              The master … found that the petitions with no address and those with a P.O. Box address were “clerical errors” and did not disqualify those signatures.

              We also disqualify the P.O. Box addresses. These signatures were not in compliance with the statute because a P.O. Box is not a residence address.

              I live in an area which does not have home mail delivery. It is an endless hassle convincing banks, utilities, vendors, et al that the street address which they demand is undeliverable.

              Some of these petitioners likely listed a P.O. box in good faith, because it’s the only place they can receive mail. The court answers, “Ha ha, sorry, you lose! Why don’t y’all just move into town like normal folks, huh?

              1. RabidGandhi

                A very valid point, as it could disenfranchise the less powerful. But in that case, the statute would need to be changed, which is outside of the court’s purview:

                The statute states that the petition shall include the canvasser’s current residence address and that failure of the petition to include the “residence address” of the canvasser results in the signatures collected by that canvasser not being counted.

                That said, only 515 signatures were discounted for this reason, so even if they were included there are still other discrepancies that need to be resolved for the petition to prevail.

            2. Katharine

              I had not seen it and am having trouble with your link, still trying. In the absence of better information, I can say only that it is not immediately obvious why canvassers could not be a mix of paid and volunteers; that does not obviously represent shenanigans if the state permits payment. The dating problem sounds like some damn fool trying to be efficient by filling in his part before getting the signatures on the page, which might well be problematic, though it’s hard on the signers if their intent is invalidated by someone else’s blunder. I hope to know more later. In any case, I hope the election results will not be certified before the issues have been fully resolved.

              1. Katharine

                I am bemused by the conclusion that “we have disallowed a total of approximately 12,104 signatures, leaving approximately 65,412 valid signatures, which is approximately 2,465 less than required to satisfy our constitutional requirements.” It seems to me they should know how many they’ve disallowed. But they do appear to have had reason, given the way the law is written.

                The concurring opinion has even greater reason, though:

                I write separately to underscore the concerns expressed by the dissenting opinion and the concurrence that I joined in McDaniel
                v. Spencer , 2015 Ark. 94, 457 S.W.3d 641. As forewarned in
                Spencer, this case illustrates that the General Assembly has made it unduly difficult for measures to be placed on the ballot.

                In Spencer , it was my view then, and it remains now, that Act 1413 of 2013 impermissibly impinges on the constitutional right of our citizens to propose laws and amendments to the Arkansas Constitution. Without question, the Act imposes arduous and burdensome requirements to the procedures for circulating and filing petitions for initiatives and referenda. By erecting such obstacles, the Act imposes a chilling effect on the rights of our citizens to initiate laws.

                What an ungodly system!

                1. RabidGandhi

                  Agreed. The problem here seems not to be judicial overreach, but rather oppressive statutes placing excessive burdens on citizens organising referenda.

                  And for the record, IMNSHO criminalisation of marijuana is just plain stoopid.

          2. Jess

            Good luck on appealing to the SCOTUS. In their infamous Kelo decision on eminent domain the geniuses at SCOTUS seized on the idea of ruling that proponents of an initiative have NO special standing to bring suit to defend the measure. So SCOTUS can simply dismiss the appeal on the grounds of standing. This appalling Kelo ruling had ended up having even worse follow-on effects than just eminent domain (which I believe is being used to get the Indian lands for the DAPL pipeline, a Kelo-enabled grab of private land to be given to another private company for greater economic benefit. (In California, our legislature enacted special post-Kelo legislation specifically granting initiative proponents defender status.)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe we vote no this time, until broad legalization is on a proposition.

      In a way it’s like Prop. 67 – money there goes to the grocery chain stores. Here, money goes to state and local governments.

    3. Waldenpond

      Oh yes, the lefty, hippie utopia here in CA. Cities are banning it before the November vote, it’s regulatory regime is burdensome, getting legal requires environmental consultants and regulatory consultants, when businesses comply with all regulations they are still raided, the regulatory regime favors corporations and is forcing out small growers and the taxes are so absurd (locals govts are proposing anywhere from $1 to $12 a square foot land use tax) people are discouraged from going legal.

      I was hopeful about the home growing to impact the illegal market, then I read the details. You can grow at home but pushes indoor growing… it may not be visible from the street and it must be locked (I forget the other requirements). I guess it can be grown in a wire cage with a pad lock on some kind of door so you aren’t burning a bunch of carbon for grow lights but it will require walls, tarps (taller fences?) to block any view from the street.

      So yes, it’s as free and easy to grow as tomatoes, though nobody is allowed to see the tomatoes growing.

      1. Lord Koos

        I don’t know if the regulations in CA are more burdensome than those in WA or CO, but I would think the tax windfall would sort of balance the scales?

    4. Arizona Slim

      Couple of friends did just that. They grew pot — in pots — on their back porch.

      Their potted pot garden was in a lovely location. Right by their swimming pool, which had an exquisite view of Pusch Ridge.

      If you’re guessing that the location of this illicit growing operation was in Oro Valley, Arizona, you’re right. That’s where my very well off friends lived. And died.

      The husband of the couple had terminal cancer. He was growing the pot to smoke. Why? Because it worked better than the anti-nausea drugs that the Arizona Cancer Center prescribed for him.

      Both of these friends died in 2008. And I still miss them. Bigtime.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Common swifts can go for most of the year (10 months!) without ever coming down.

    How is this thermodynamically possible? An expert explains:

    Swifts eat nearly one-third of their own weight in mosquitoes, biting flies and other flying insects every day,

    I got to see the swifts mentioned in this article in their last mass landing at Washington Middle School in 2013, before they adopted a new chimney in 2014. Nav error or better digs?

    1. Cry Shop

      Thermodynamics is a good place to start for popping one myth, that they eat mosquitoes. Just knew it had do be a fib when I heard it, and I was right. Swifts, Marlins, even bats don’t eat them – at least they don’t eat mosquitoes on purpose – if one flies into their mouth while they are tackling a moth, I’d guess they’d hardly bother to spit it out. There isn’t nearly enough energy in Mosquitoes to make eating a break even proposition if they were fed one by one directly to the birds beak, much less chasing a relatively low density population that hugs a hostile environment near the ground and comes out mostly at dusk.

  7. JTMcPhee

    I see that heavy offensive-weapon rhetoric has been deployed in the “assault” on the rubble pile formerly known as Mosul.

    It appears that ISIS/Daesh, the dastards, have casterdly deployed a dastardly new weapon in evilly fighting the inexorable “advance” of the good and kindly Coalition + Others forces driving forward to relieve the besieged occupied civilians of Mosul by bombing and rocketing and shelling and resolute drone-launched Hellfiring the fokk out of the not-yet-reduced to rubble infrastructure: Daring to Deploy Dastardly Daesh Drones! In a Dastardly manner!

    Here’s the horrific details, from “The head of Combined Joint Task Force Inherent Resolve Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend:”

    Imagine, taking advantage of the child-like enthusiasm of Our Coalition Troops by landing cute little toy aircraft (loaded with remote-detonated explosives) where Our Innocent Kids would go out and pick them up! Or using airborne video gear to “spy on” and target Our Troops! Kamikazee Basterds! While “our” Band of Brothers is using similar toys to “degrade and destroy the Enemy.” The nerve!

    It appears ISIS/Daesh Evil Weaponmasters have been on line ordering up cheap expanded-poly plastic “airframes” and controls and GPS/autopilot guidance systems and “first-person video” gear (not unlike, well actually better than, the fragile sh!t Our Pentagram pays billions for), buying from “free market globalized” war profiteers and arms merchants like banggood — a sample of the Diabolical Devices on offer from those Evil Chinese Merchants of Death and their Interferences in the Great March Forward of Our Coalition Forces Across The Planet is here: Little rare-earth-magnet electric motors, LiPo batteries, circular-polarized evil spy camera setups, all the tools of Dastardly Evil Warfare, and FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $100! Hey, why can’t the “Coalition” find deals like that? It’s not like they don’t have Internet access and credit cards… Maybe We At Home should be doing like “we” did during Operation Iraqi Freedom, doing bake sales to buy body armor for Troops not provided any by “the army we had” because the procurement process was delayed by unavoidable delays and contract disputes… Not that body armor does jack-sh!t to protect against IED blasts hitting unarmored Hummers or even the late-arriving M-RAPS… “The only way to win is not to play the game.”

    Have to ask: what are “we” even doing Over There in the first instance? Oh, never mind… I remember being stupid enough not to ask that question before I enlisted in the Army in 1966, to “go fight the Godless Commies prop up the dominoes etc.” “It’s just what we do.”

    “This is not going to end well…”

    1. vidimi

      as usual, when it’s the good guys doing the assaulting, the civilians are being used as human shields by the cowardly defenders. when it’s the bad guys, they’re just straight out massacring civilians. propaganda is so out of control in 2016 that the propagandists no longer recognize it

      1. RabidGandhi

        How do wars start? Diplomats lie to reporters and then believe what they read in the newspapers

        — Karl Krauss

      1. Tracie

        (Please excuse delayed response.) Thanks for the picture complement folks!!! (I totally get it’s the critter, not the photographer being praised though.)

  8. DJG

    Fool Me Once at Jacobin is an excellent summation of why you shouldn’t be voting for Republicans and their greed and nihilism and for most of the crop of Democrats, who are now motivated mainly by endless war, looting public institutions, and weird pointless genuflections to identity politics. Hey, I showed up at Bill and Bob’s wedding with a groovy blender! Too bad Bob’s job as a public school teacher was just axed!

    The Nation article by Borosage on The Blob that brought you Iraq and many more wars just reinforces the point: The Republicans are about will to power and nothing else. The Democrats are about will to power and the occasional vegan entree at a White House dinner: Let them eat sweet-potato agnolotti.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Fool Me Once is terrific:

      Together, these beliefs — perpetual racism and the hopelessness of labor fighting back against capital — form a politics that is fundamentally conservative. And in this retreat from a politics of class solidarity and working-class self-determination, the professional classes have stepped in and taken the wheel.

      Frank says the same thing, as Frank would say it, in Listen Liberal.

  9. DJG

    The article about the uptick in prejudice against immigrants in the U.K. after Brexit: Maybe some governments in Eastern Europe should have thought about doing something more than exporting large proportions of their population. Poland? Tusk, you taking notice? Meanwhile, the sanctimonious Polish right is attempting to suppress speech and eliminate any abortion for any reason. That’ll keep the populace fleeing to Ireland.

    Heck, the largest immigrant group to Iceland is the Poles:
    Wikipedia: Around 19,000 people (6% of the population) held foreign citizenship. Polish people make up the largest minority group by a considerable margin, and still form the bulk of the foreign workforce. About 8,000 Poles now live in Iceland, 1,500 of them in Fjarðabyggð where they make up 75% of the workforce who are constructing the Fjarðarál aluminium plant.[158]

    So a question is this: Yes, Brexit is a kind of disaster, but what went wrong in Poland? Check out the Lithuanian population stats at Wikipedia. I wont even mention the endless stupidity of the Latvian government. Is it okay now for us to talk about what has gone wrong in central Europe?

    1. RabidGandhi

      No you may not talk about what has gone wrong in Central Europe. Latvia is the poster child for austerity working, so long as we omit the uncomfortable fact that the trick to keeping unemployment for skyrocketing to PIIGs levels was exporting the surplus population. Therefore asking your question would point too many fingers in the wrong directions, toward Brussels and Berlin.

      Furthermore, the whole point of having an immigrant influx is to have the rabble squabble amongst themselves for resources that in reality aren’t scarce. Asking why it is that those immigrants inevitably come from areas highly affected by the all-wise policies of our Beneficent Overlords (E. Europe, Syraqistan, N. Africa…) is just populist crazytalk.

    2. OIFVet

      Well, as RabidGandhi points out, Eastern Europe is kind of a resource colony for Western Europe, and a modern Airstrip One for the US. The Westerners’ wet dream of an influx of a lot of educated, skilled, yet cheap labor came true with the fall of the wall. Doctors graduate in Bulgaria and immediately go to work in Germany while the Bulgarian countryside is experiencing acute shortage of medical professionals. Bulgarian schoolteachers spend their summers picking strawberries in England and working in dry cleaning plants in London. The result is the suppression of wages in the West, depopulation in the East, and the gradual dismantling of the European welfare state everywhere. What’s not to like? Only now, with the influx of MENA migrants, some Eastern European colonial compradors have woken up and thrown a hissy fit because MENA labor is cheaper than Eastern European labor and thus a threat to the immigration safety valve that has kept things peaceful until now. Right wing nationalism has now risen in both East and West and things are bound to get ugly because I don’t see the establishment as being able or willing to change course, and there is no left wing alternative in Europe. The only question is when and where will it all start.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Just in time … the Obama Boom:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in two years, aided by a surge in exports and a rebound in inventories.

    Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9% annual clip from July through September. That’s a marked improvement from the first half of the year when the U.S. grew just barely over 1%.

    The acceleration in growth, along with a steady pace of hiring, is expected to prod the Federal Reserve to raise a key U.S. lending rate in December.

    Bear in mind, this is the first pass estimate. Two more estimates based on later-arriving data will follow.

    If someone put their thumb on the scale before the election, they can always walk it back in the final estimate released in late December.

    1. Pat

      And to think this comment is only two below one about an article called “Fool me Once”. Hmmm. Serendipity, or have the ticks and tricks of our ‘betters’ become so threadbare and shopworn we just watch them play out anymore.

    2. Katharine

      How many voters would care, or even notice? Most of them are not like the hysterics in the market who jump wildly at every mouse in the news. They’re much more influenced by their long-term sense of how they’re doing, and in this election, by the question of which candidate is more repulsive or dangerous.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        None. It’s why Gore lost in 2000 as bad as Shrub was. The great economic “grof”of the 90’s wasn’t widespread. The Democratic message amounted to “don’t vote against your interests, you idiots.” Bill was a lousy President, and his non entity DLC Veep lost to the idiot son of a former, one term President.

        Partisanship and “lesser evilism” are major components to voting behavior, but Al’s problem elites his woeful campaign was the widespread economic decline. The Democrats telling people how great the economy was simply didn’t connect.

        1. Arizona Slim

          The so-called economic boom of the 1990s was NOT the result of Clinton administration policies. Key milestones in that boom:

          1. The commercialization of the Internet. ISTR the first President Bush signing that one into law in 1991.
          2. The August 1995 release of Windows 95. Major upgrade to the leading operating system at the time. It drove a lot of mid-decade computer sales. BTW, if you bought 95 installed on a new machine, it ran like a dream. As a software upgrade, eh, not so much.
          3. Massive amounts of tech-related spending to avoid the negative effects of Y2K. Which, for the most part, turned out to be a non-event.

          Outside of these three milestones, the 1990s economy wasn’t that great.

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘How many voters would care, or even notice?’

        The test will be whether it shows up in campaign rhetoric.

        In the 1992 election, the Clinton campaign planted numerous “news” articles about the economic boom in Arkansas, as evidence of what a great and innovative governor “Bill” had been.

        There was no such boom. But it sounded good.

    3. andyb

      If you discount government analysis of CPI and you go instead to Shadowstats or the Chapwood Index, you will discover the inflation in average household necessities has risen by at least 5% each year for the past decade. That’s compounded folks. GDP is measured in part by the inflation factor and if that has been drastically discounted, then GDP actually has been negative for the entire period. The great “recovery” has been the biggest load of BS during the decade, unless of course you want to consider the promises of Obamacare.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Please do not cite Shadowstats. John Williams does an excellent job of keeping a list of how various official measures have changed over time. But his alternate estimates are lousy. For instance, for inflation, all he’s done is add 4% to CPI. That’s just plain bogus.

        1. ewmayer

          How do you fell about alternate metrics such as the cost-of-raising-a-child-to-18 one? I’ve posted that one here before, and it indicates a long-term (over the past 50 years) inflation rate of around 4%, not including college costs.

  11. AO

    Hi everyone,
    I had a general question and was hoping someone could help me out with an explanation.

    What’s the difference between neoliberal, neoconservative, liberal, and conservative?

    I’m semi new to the site (just started reading a few months back) and really enjoy all of the articles, but I was having trouble understanding some of the verbiage…any help would be appreciated!


    1. lyman alpha blob

      In a nutshell, neoliberal refers to freemarketeer economic policy where the unregulated markets will fix all the world’s problems and neoconservative refers to aggressive, militaristic, pre-emptive foreign policy. This is as opposed to the traditional definitions of Democrat (liberal) and Republican (conservative). You can be a neoconservative, neoliberal Democrat for example. There is a lot of overlap between proponents of the two ideologies – see Bush, Obama, Clinton, etc etc etc

    2. Grebo

      Conservative: an attitude or mindset which is resistant to (social) change.

      Liberal: free or generous. A political ideology which developed in tandem with capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries advocating laissez faire (let it be) government, competition and a modest degree of human rights and democracy.

      Neoliberal: a political ideology designed in the 1950s to remedy a perceived failure of classical liberalism to control collectivism and workers. Believes a Free Market is the solution to everything but that monopolies are not a problem. Democracy and human rights should not be allowed to interfere with the market.

      Neoconservative: a cabal of former trotskyists who have been infiltrating the US government, the Military-Industrial Complex and US imperial instruments since the 1960s in order to complete the Imperial Project with them in control behind a thin veneer of democracy.

  12. Carolinian

    Re Assange and dating site “Todd and Clare”

    Posting their findings on the discussion websites and, they unearthed some curious coincidences. A perusal into the archives of the internet revealed that the Hammonds had once occupied a San Francisco building later rented to a company, Premise Data, whose co-founder has ties to Clinton and her top supporters.

    Moreover, a telephone number once registered to a Todd Hammond later was registered to a former Premise employee, Aaron Dunn, although with a different area code.

    Premise co-founder David Soloff said such findings could only be coincidences.

    If it quacks like a David Brock operation and waddles like a David Brock operation….

    But regardless of who these people really are it’s clear that the smear machine will be the new dissent suppressor in the Age of Hillary. This Counterpunch article gives a good summary.

  13. timbers

    October 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

    If we pass TISA, can these functions be outsourced to a developing country that can provide better quality minions for lower wages?

    I might be for TISA/TPP (after I was against it) if it meant we could outsource the incoming Clinton Presidency to a lower wage minion in a developing country. The quality of judgement on all things Presidential would be vastly improved IMO.

  14. JEHR

    In Canada, we have a very loyal lawyer, Rocco Galati, suing the government for the unconstitutionality of the CETA trade deal. There are many organizations in Canada that do not like the trade deal and think it will be bad for our economy.

    At the very least, our parliament should have been consulted so that we Canadians would know what we are getting for this so-called free trade deal.

    1. HotFlash

      Lordy, on behalf of Paul Hellyer? That Paul Hellyer? The extra terrestrial guy??? “UFO’s are as real as the airplanes flying overhead.” Now, this may in fact be so, but *it does not do to say so*!!!!! He also seems to believe in Divine Providence and that four alien species have been visiting the Earth for thousands of years. Again, perhaps the case, but don’t say that and expect to be treated as a Serious Person.

      BTW, what does ‘loyal’ mean in this context?

  15. Jim Haygood

    Stupid NYT headlines I never clicked on:

    Clinton Basks in Michelle Obama’s Soaring Popularity

    This is exactly equivalent to:

    Kim Jong Il Receives Standing Ovation From Delirious Admirers

    1. RabidGandhi

      Your comparison is unfair to the PRNK news services. If they fail to write a puff piece it can be 30 years in a labour camp, if not worse. The NYT, on the other hand, licks its master’s boots for their scrumptious flavour.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Well, if she did, clearly Clinton didn’t listen.

        If Clinton were listening, she would have had Podesta and friends round up a focus group in FL to field test it.

  16. temporal

    Apple Pay:

    Requires buying an iPhone. This is one very expensive billfold.

    Has no recourse mechanism to protect the customer from fraud in the way a credit card does, except when it is backed by a credit card.

    Cannot be used online, it’s a Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In that sense it’s more like a less useful, less secure version of cash.

    Because it is NFC it is possible that the wrong customer may billed for a purchase. Closest NFC device pays. Don’t stand too close to the person ahead of you.

    It solves no problem beyond allowing a consumer to avoid taking out their wallet and/or signing for a purchase. If this is problem worth paying serious money and taking risks to solve somebody is way too lazy.

    All these NFC solutions greatly increase the number of ways that a lack of security can lead to a loss of money. Security could be compromised on the phone, the cloud, the store offering NFC and, if it were more ubiquitous, the person standing next to you trying to pick your bank account pocket electronically.

    Apple watch will change everyone’s life
    Apple car is going to rule the “Look ma, no hands.” future.
    Apple pay is going to create a cashless society that is, to be honest, limited to Apple customers. A cashless Apple customer might be a bit more believable description.

    Apple seems to be flailing a lot of late. Their only solid money maker ideas recently are in expensive phones and avoiding paying taxes. Both of these started under Jobs. As was the spaceship office building that still seems a bit “Lost in Space”.

    I think Apple should go all-in on Uber’s flying car fantasy. Call it the iFly and use a computer simulated Vincent Price to pitch it.

    1. ambrit

      All things evolve and fall prey to entropy. The big self delusion here is that the Apple People have bought in to the myth, perennially springing up like a new head of hydra (Hail Hydra!), that Apple will never die. It has been rotten from the beginning, but clever optics and opaque propaganda have masked that fact. Now, a saner strategy would be to prepare the way for the ‘Sons of Apple.’
      I say we call it “PIE”, as in “Get a piece of the PIE. Contact your financial advisor today.”

    2. hamstak

      I suggest iDrones, and other fashionable military technology. If you can’t make it work, at least make it pretty.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Another anecdote from Arizona Slim’s search for a new computer. I’ve been looking to replace a laptop and a desktop.

      Was thinking about replacing both PC machines with Macs, but from where I sit, it seems as if Apple’s computer line is getting a bit stale.

      I’m strongly leaning toward staying in the PC camp. Sorry, Apple, but I think you’re being out-hustled by manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

      And, call the Star, this is news — how ’bout that Microsoft. The Big Colossus of Redmond is turning out some sweet looking machines in the Surface line.

      1. RMO

        I’ve had four Macbooks so far (the only laptops I’ve owned), I’ve bought and set up two Mac Minis for my Mum, she got an iPad for travel, the only media player I’ve ever owned that wasn’t an iPod was my first and it predated the iPod so the iPod wasn’t an option when I bought it. My current Macbook will almost certainly be my last. Apple got a huge headstart by exploiting XeroxPARC work and they’ve done a few clever things since then but they’ve been getting steadily worse lately. Dropping the function keys is idiotic. Whenever they change things, or implement things in a different manner and users don’t like it the universal response on the support forums (from both fans and employees of Apple) is to basically call the users idiots for failing to see the brilliance of the Apple way. My last experience with this was when setting up my Mum’s new Mac. Mail would always forward all attachments inline, even if they were long .pdf documents. I couldn’t find a way to change that setting. Turns out there wasn’t one and an older add-on called Attachment Tamer didn’t work under the new OS. Eventually I found a tool that altered things at a fairly deep level of the code so Mail would work the way we wanted. The Apple responses on the support forums were just as I described above: you’re an idiot, you must be a WIndows troglodyte etc. They’re pretty much a cult now interested primarily on how their products look and generating hype for them.

        For a desktop computer I highly recommend building your own from parts. It’s really not that hard (lots of online guides at computer mag websites and independent ones) and you can get a better machine for less money than buying one ready to go. If you still have a copy of Windows 7, use it as long as you can unless you want to go Linux – something I haven’t tried yet.

        1. skippy

          Oops was typing mine whilst you posted, concur wrt building your own. As far as windows goes I was running 7 ultimate and switched to 10 as I got top shelf from previous by default, something I recommend as hardware functions only as good as the software permits.

        2. HotFlash

          Really, Linux is the way to go. Lots of software, much of it free and/or open source, less vulnerable to hacking (so I keep hearing, anyway), but certainly floats my boat. I have LibreOffice, several good accounting programs, GIMP for graphics, never found that video or audio any problem, lots of help on line for problems. Price is definitely right. I have an old Samsung that came with Windows 7. I bailed after W10 ate my email program, never regretted. Oh, and the printer that W10 wouldn’t talk to, works fine under Linux. And so many of my dear old Windows programs that were obsoletized by the Windows updates run very well under Linux WINE.

          I am running Linux Mint 17 Quiana, have run everal versions before (girl’s name increments alphabetically), I understand 18 is out now, haven’t bothered to update.

          So don’t need you, Bill Gates.

          Not sure? You can set up as a dual boot and decide every time which you prefer.

        3. Tom Bradford

          I have a home-built PC for games and a laptop for everything else, as everything else doesn’t need an overclocked CPU, 16GB RAM, dual graphics cards, SSD drives and weekly blood sacrifices for speed, more speed.

          Hence the laptop is perfectly good with Linux (and was cheaper to buy without Windows already installed) but with the games PC I’m stuck with Windows as that’s still what most (PC) games are written for, as even Wine sucks up a few CPU cycles that could be put to better use elsewhere.

        4. Lambert Strether

          Despite Apple’s best attempts to destroy the Mac user experience by importing more and more swipe-friendly iOS garbage that violate the famous Human Interface Guidelines, I still find it the most pleasant operating system to use, and I spend most of my waking hours using it (and both my Air and Powerbook have held up under hard use). It’s like a tool that comes easily to the hand.

          That said, every upgrade has made OS X a little bit worse. I wish somebody in the Linux world would wake up, smell the coffee, and create a user interface that out of the box — no hours of configuration, please! — would replicate, so far as is legal, the Mac experience. I’d buy a $400 Chinese Air clone and slam that OS on it immediately. Maybe it exists?

      2. skippy

        With a PC just build your own, much cheaper and to your spec.

        Youngest son [year 7] uses a ASUS 303U- i5 256SSD zenbook, no dramas and I have always had good experiences with their warranty dept. There are several variants with different CPU and video card options relative to price and needs.

        There are sites where you can configure your PC hardware in order to get desired functionality, then buy your hardware on line from your desired supplier. Easy to see price and function. Its easier than most people think.

        Still loving my mothership I built in 2010, only thing I’ll upgrade anytime soon is the video card, should be good for some time to come.

  17. Steve C

    I wonder what they threw at the Wallonians to make them cave. Or maybe it was kayfabe all along. Just like the Democrats and fast track, extending the Bush tax cuts, etc.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe corruption (including manifestations like, for example, caving in) is fractal in nature.

      At whatever level you look at it, it’s the same.

  18. b.

    “Profit Shifting”

    Reminds me – what have Sanders and Warren said about the Great Apple Giveaway Repatriation scam that Clinton is planning for 2017, for her once-off “pay for infrastructure” milestone in public-private “partnership” to privatize tax revenue?

    Still air-gapping?

  19. JohnnyGL

    Re: Male birth control

    This product looks dead before it hits the market. Just from looking at the article it’s got the trifecta of things you don’t want when taking a drug (which doesn’t mean it won’t get rolled out, of course).

    1) it’s probably ineffective because it just lowers sperm count. You just can’t kill ’em all!
    2) It’s got terrible side effects, mood disorders, etc.
    3) (not in article) I’m sure it causes cancer somehow or another.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we have to approach it from a different angle.

      We have to come up with a way for men (or even adolescent boys) to not try to impress girls (and women) by, for example, showering them with gifts for selfish reasons.

      This way, men (and boys) will hopefully stop trying to accentuate wealth inequality.

      1. LifelongLib

        Are you saying that women actually aren’t impressed by it? And that there aren’t a lot of women who want wealth and power? Sounds rather one-sided…

    2. jrs

      the ineffective thing is a big problem if true, but a birth control method hardly has to be 100% effective to be widely used, it does have to have some effectiveness. But as for #2 and #3, why should it matter? Female birth control pills already have terrible side effects and they are still widely used. And they may cause cancer or not, certainly they have said so at times, but the research hasn’t really proved it.

      1. hunkerdown

        Because social welfare “nets out”, right? Because tab-A-in-slot-B is a moral duty of all free men and women?

        The side effects of the male contraceptive jab are EXACTLY the behavioral effects stereotypical women hate in stereotypical men. May I suggest you stop insulting other people by trading off their welfare like some know-nothing liberal manager.

  20. fresno dan

    The trial of two of the Bundy brothers, Ammon and Ryan, as well as five others involved in the Oregon wildlife refuge standoff last year came to a close yesterday and the results were nothing short of explosive. The men were charged with conspiracy related to impeding federal workers at the facility, a charge which encompassed a variety of alleged sins which took place, but the jury read out their conclusions one after another, finding each and every man not guilty.
    Was this a case of jury nullification? One could certainly make that argument. The charges against the men had nothing to do with the underlying questions of the federal government locking off huge tracts of land from private use, instead focusing on the obstruction aspect of the protest. The fact that they were armed and occupying a federal facility can’t have been in question since all of the men freely admit to doing it and there’s miles of news footage showing it to be true. And the government recently tallied up the costs and damages associated with the occupation of the facility, arriving at a figure in the millions. (Government Executive)

    I would imagine the Bundy’s wouldn’t be convicted in Nevada either….
    Soooooo… jury nullification, a term I first heard in conjunction with Angela Davis, radically liberal, or radically conservative, or both or neither?

    I suspect jury nullification to fight the big bad Clinton government is gonna be quite the topic on FOX and maybe Trump news….

    1. pretzelattack

      if only this would work with the pipeline protestors. but prosecutors and cops seem to go after them more aggressively. somebody picked the wrong jury, sounds like.

      1. fresno dan

        October 28, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        “…somebody picked the wrong jury,…”

        OR somebody picked the ‘right’ (I didn’t even intend that pun at first) jury – all depends on what you think the right verdict is… as opposed to the legal and/or just verdict.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Am I getting the impression that the feds made the wrong case? Or didn’t put up strong enough arguments in this one?

  21. flora

    Google hides search results.

    “ProtonMail has accused Google of hiding the company from search results in what may have been an attempt to suffocate the Gmail competitor.

    “The free encrypted email service, which caters to nearly one million users worldwide, has enjoyed an increasing user base and popularity over the past few years as governments worldwide seek to increase their surveillance powers.

    “However, the growth of the company was severely impacted when, without warning, ProtonMail vanished from Google search results — for 10 months.”

    Now it looks like Google is displaying – not hiding – the search results. For this competitor.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Uber – flying cars.

    What about submarine cars – like the one in one of the 007 movies?

    With Global Warming, the odds are better living underwater than in the air, I think.

    1. Bjornasson

      Oh and don’t forget the invisible car from Die Another Day!
      It is a sad time when a company that doesn’t make a profit and can only claim a matching algorithm and a propensity to break the law as a source of value is hailed as the most innovative thing since sliced bread.

    2. craazyboy

      We have a guy in my RC airplane flying club who got contacted by Uber w/ a job offer at the new enterprise. This guy happens to be a real test pilot and acrobat plane pilot, plus he’s been involved with drones one way or the other for a long time too. He turned them down because he refuses to move to CA (and buy a house). But other than that, it would have been a fun paid hobby. (we know hobbies at my club)

    1. c

      Google translate:

      Following the signing of CETA by the leaders of Canada and the European Union and the approval of the European Parliament, the whole procedure does not go through yet. Afterwards, the parliaments of the 28 EU member states must also ratify the treaty. “In the meantime, or parts of the treaty have been going into effect, but only those parts which are the exclusive competence of the EU,” explains Prof.. Ferdi De Ville, a researcher at Ghent University. The special trade tribunal – ICS – should not stop there.

      The Belgian CETA agreement now states that the jurisdiction of the arbitration courts under the Convention – the core of the Walloon objections – should be adapted to ratify Belgium for CETA. So it sounds in the official text: “Unless otherwise decided by their respective parliaments have the Walloon Region, the French Community, the German Community, the French Community and the Brussels Capital Region not to ratify the intention CETA under the system the disputes between investors and parties referred to in Chapter 8 of CETA, in its current form on the day of the signing of CETA. ”

      Belgisch CETA-akkoord: ‘Geen ratificatie in huidige vorm’/Belgian CETA agreement ‘No ratification in its current form’

  23. bmeisen

    Maine Ballot Initiative
    Thanks for calling attention to this Nation report. It includes an accurate account of the 2-party system. Indeed it is not an evil conspiracy foisted on virtuous Americans by evil oligarchs. It is a consequence of electoral rules and mechanics, namely the dominance of single member districts and first-past-the-post electoral rules. One point that could get more attention is the repression of voter turnout that results from atomized municipal services, workday voting. gerrymandering and heterogenous ballot formating. Nobody knows how many eligible voters there are in the US. And authorities, i.e. the Dems or Reps who control a district at any given moment, have little motivation to address to correct the deficit, especially if it means that they will lose power as a result.

  24. Gareth

    “Uber drivers are workers rather than self-employed contractors, according to a ruling by an employment tribunal in the UK.

    It’s a landmark win for workers’ rights in the so-called gig economy where platform giants have sought to minimize costs by classifying the large numbers of people needed to operate their services as self-employed.

    The tribunal’s ruling means Uber drivers in the UK will be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the National Minimum Wage. Although Uber has said it will appeal.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yours Truly has seen Uber drivers interacting with reps from the company. And I’m a longtime freelancer.

      Let’s just say that the driver-rep interactions look a lot more like employer-employee conversations. They do NOT resemble the conversations that I have with clients.

  25. Buttinsky

    FBI reopens investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    Stealing from Gore Vidal’s laceration of Richard Nixon, it’s clear now that in a few months we will once again have to start referring to the president as the First Crook. And since no one has ever been quite sure what Bill Clinton would need to be called, I suggest First Moll.

      1. Buttinsky

        Never underestimate the Corleon– er, Clintons. If anybody has a few horse heads lying around…

    1. LifelongLib

      IIRC Vidal also thought Nixon was an underrated wit for borrowing the term “silent majority” from Plato, who had used it to describe the dead.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Homer, I think, according to this extract from Vidal:

        This is a startling notion to the current generation of Americans. They reflect a system of public education which has made the Bill of Rights, literally, unacceptable to a majority of high school graduates (see the annual Purdue reports) who now form the “silent majority” – a phrase which that underestimated with Richard Nixon took from Homer who used it to describe the dead.

        Great factoid though!

  26. Jim Haygood

    Pop goes The Weasel:

    In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, FBI Director James Comey wrote that the agency is investigating additional emails that were discovered as part of a separate investigation.

    “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation … I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation,” he wrote.

    Facing an internal mutiny, The Weasel did what weasels do best: flip flop.

    Too late, Jimmy. You’re toast.

    1. hunkerdown

      The race is on! He’s still got like three months or more to get that toast buttered and make HSBC/HRC proud.

      And that little paean to NPR you wrote the other day was quite touching. You and I may not agree on Venezuela very much, but I’d still go piking in Washington with you any day, pal. :)

  27. Vatch

    Somehow this news story was omitted from the Ukraine/Russia section of the Links. The story has also appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and other venues. It’s probably too soon to evaluate whether it’s true or not, but it fits the theme of the Wikileaks Podesta email hack.

    A Ukrainian group calling itself Cyber Hunta has released more than a gigabyte of emails and other material from the office of one of Vladimir Putin’s top aides, Vladislav Surkov, that show Russia’s fingerprints all over the separatist movement in Ukraine.

    1. hunkerdown

      They really had to rush to get this out for the election, didn’t they. If this has been cooking for a while, the NSA certainly has enough supercomputing power to forge DKIM signatures, if they haven’t already simply factored (typically short) DKIM keys for the Kremlin by now.

      So, by the Clinton Doctrine of Cyberwar, Russia now has a casus belli to fix the Ukrainian puppet problem once and for all.

      1. hunkerdown

        While waiting for some data to load, I’ve scanned the first 160 messages extracted from the Surkov inbox dump using Patrick Durusau’s batch verify script (#161 seems to be crashing the script). Of the first 160, 77 of them contain DKIM-Signature: headers, and 0 of the signatures could be verified. There are many feasible explanations, from the simple expiration/withdrawal of domain keys to bald fakery. But I’m pretty bad at Python. If I get a chance this weekend (working), I’ll press onward.

      2. hunkerdown

        Update: I’ve processed the entire inbox (Входящие). 739 messages do not contain an IETF standard DKIM-Signature header. 75 more carry a Google-specific DKIM signature that could not be trivially checked. Of the remaining 1523, all 1523 cannot be verified due to a body hash mismatch (i.e. the message bodies have been modified since sending). The results are similar on a few other mail folders I tried.

        However, all of the signed messages I examined were MIME multipart messages. The original entity boundaries, random strings separating the parts of each nested message body, and therefore subject to whole-body signature verification, were most likely discarded by Outlook in the local storage process. Therefore, the digest of the composite body — all too conveniently — can’t be verified from the PST.

        Verdict: Unverifiable, therefore worthless.

          1. hunkerdown

            I ended up just shell-scripting it, due to the DKIM verifier he uses being a touch buggy and me feeling no need to do graph analysis on the results.

            On reflection, inconclusive is a more appropriate term for my results. The surprising contrast that quite a few of Hillary’s can be cryptographically verified got me a bit excited, with the possibility of #FeelTheMath getting thrown back hard into some folks’ faces… sigh.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Not surprising. If a hostile power assisted in overthrowing Canada’s or Mexico’s government you better believe that the US government would be involved in subverting it. The US government did in fact arm, train, and fund rebels fighting the French-installed Mexican Emperor Maximilian I after Napoleon III helped overthrow the Mexican government. This took place even while the American Civil War / War of Secession raged.

      I know I made a comparison to the Upper Canada rebellion at the time. Specifically the alleged case of New York’s militia firing on the British military from across the border. What I forgot to mention is the fact that the headquarters of Mackenzie’s rebels was in Buffalo, New York. I don’t have any trouble believing the Eastern Ukrainian rebels had their headquarters across the border in Russia. War never changes.

      But honestly, who gives a f—? The Middle East is primed to blow up in the aftermath of the defeat of the Islamic State. Whether it’s a major regional conflict between Shia-Sunni powers, a Kurdish civil war, an Arab-Kurdish war, the fall of the House of Saud, or something else entirely. The only way this has a remotely happy ending is if Russia and the United States can forge a working relationship.

      History is fun. Just as long as it doesn’t happen to you and aren’t trapped in a dying empire.

      Oh, darn!

  28. Plenue

    “Even when I was back at Harvard, students were regularly joining with the kitchen workers in strikes”

    And how many would still be willing to do it after graduating? So much about such prestige schools seems to be about grooming such petty notions of fairness and decency out of the Next Generation of Leaders.

    1. Torsten

      Here’s one.

      But when I and a group of junior faculty at Georgetown confronted the president about the sorry wages of its food service workers, he helplessly informed us that he was “powerless to help them, since they were Aramark, not Georgetown employees.”

      What is shocking in the story is that Harvard has these many years failed to outsource its domestics.

    1. Toske

      Score voting is better than what we have, although instant runoff voting is still my favorite system.

    2. hunkerdown

      The trouble with score voting is that it reflects voters’ approval and respect quite precisely and transparently, not only absolutely and relatively among the candidates, but (by the overall average score) of the office itself, in a way that can’t be hung on apathy or immaturity. Which is an extremely dangerous thing for subjects of a government to be allowed to think. Managed democracy is too fragile, specialized and cut-out to accept popular abolition of any of their offices.

      Those of us who prefer direct democracy and consider managed democracy unacceptable aren’t particularly inclined to see that as a problem.

      1. bmeisen

        Direct democracy advocates also don’t seem too concerned with lynching, stoning, burning at the stake – textbook cases of un-managed, direct democracy in action. Definitely not cut-out.

  29. ewmayer

    “Robot learns to play with Lego by watching human teachers | NewScientist” — My predictions for the next 2 “coming soon!” iterations of this headline:

    [1] Children learn to play with Lego by watching Robot teachers;

    [1] Robotic “Children” learn to play with Lego, invented by late-stage now-extinct humans, by watching Robot teachers.

  30. pretzelattack

    ok so i see on yahoo that clinton is now calling for comey to release “full details” about the emails. she simply doesn’t know “what’s real”. neither do i, are they ramping up the kayfabe or what?

  31. John Morrison

    About Jacobin’s “Fool Me Once”:

    I had (have) two theories about the 2008 election, in which Obama and Clinton were far in the lead before a single caucus or primary occurred. My idea back then was that they were being set up for the Fall (double entendre intended). Obama had the worst post-9/11 name ever, and was black. Clinton was a woman, and subject to the Clinton rules — she had a fair-sized hatedom.

    Of course, Reality Ensued in the form of the economic collapse.

    I came up with the second theory some time around the 2010 election, wherein the discredited and dead Republican Party rose zombie-like to retake the House. My second theory was this: there was a serious danger of the Republicans losing the Presidency in 2008. Nobody wanted to be jailed for decades, executed, or even axed to pieces on national television, for torture and aggressive war.

    The Right Democrat had to be nominated.

    In the same spirit, does anyone remember Darcy Richardson from 2012?

  32. -jswift

    Re: CETA

    It’s interesting to compare this FT article to one from the French business press:

    They say that the Wallons win on all points – the disputed clauses won’t be put into effect until ratification is finished, and they will still refuse to ratify unless the clauses are removed. So there are no real concessions. One of these articles is completely misleading, I wonder which? In any case the Tribune article makes some sense, it answers credibly questions as to what changed.

    It seems the negotiators are just buying time to find a veritable solution.

  33. dr

    “Robot learns to play with Lego by watching human teachers”
    should read: “Robot imitates playing behaviour.. ”

    Robots can not play for they can not experience fun

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