Links 10/5/16

A late comment from reader reslez in Lambert’s VP debate live blog that I thought should not be missed:

Two politicians, alike in infamy,
In fair Virginia where we lay our scene,
From Wall Street partisan to Trumpeteer,
Where Syrian blood makes all hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of grasping gasbags takes their place;
Whose misadventured podiums overthrow
Do with their wind inflate their pilots’ strife.
The groaning drivel of debt hysteria,
And the continuance of the voters’ rage,
Which, but their leaders’ end, nought could remove,
Is the ninety minute traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient eyes attend,
What here shall miss, our blogger’s toil shall mend.

Watch A Bumblebee Tug A String To Get Lunch PopSci (Robert M)

Brain-Training Apps Won’t Make You Smarter ... MIT Technology Review (David L)

Leaders Pledge Action to Control Superbugs TripleCrisis

The pill is linked to depression – and doctors can no longer ignore it Guardian (furzy)


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong detained in Thailand ‘at China’s request’ – reports Guardian (furzy). But Twitter says he has landed in Hong Kong.

China’s state-owned enterprises reform still lacking bite Bruegel

China bubble cities keep tightening, bust imminent? MacroBusiness

IMF lowers growth forecast for US and other advanced economies Financial Times

Signs of Continuity Are All Pervasive in Urjit Patel’s Monetary Policy Review The Wire (J-LS)

Uri, Surgical Strikes and International Reactions Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. Stephen L: “Pro-Indian take on the so called ‘surgical strikes’ in Kashmir. My dad was a ceasefire observer for UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observer Group India-Pakistan). He would find this article interesting.”

Backlash to World Economic Order Clouds Outlook at IMF Talks Bloomberg (furzy)

Exclusive: EU’s richest countries getting lion’s share of bloc’s investment plan Reuters. Quelle surprise.

Europe’s health systems on life support Politico. Note Politico is solidly neoliberal and hence the article ignores or finesses several issues. One is that Eurozone budget rules have squeezed all spending, including health care system spending, when the underlying demand is not elastic. Two, the Euro has dropped a lot, which means any foreign purchases, like US drugs and medical devices, will have shown big price increases. Three, the article mentions costly new drugs. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration decides what drugs doctors can prescribe and often rejects “new” drugs which are costly minor reformulations of existing drugs. However, to the extent that these new drugs are real advances and treat dangerous ailments, Europe’s bargaining position in undermined by the US’s refusal to negotiate or put other curbs on drug prices


Scottish nationalist fury at ‘arrogant’ May government Politico

Commonwealth fears Brexit vote fallout Financial Times

Liam Fox: EU nationals in UK one of ‘main cards’ in Brexit negotiations Guardian (Richard Smith)

Amber Rudd vows to stop migrants ‘taking jobs British people could do’ and force companies to reveal number of foreigners they employ Telegraph (Richard Smith)”

Plan for UK military to opt out of European convention on human rights Guardian (furzy)

Diane James quits as Ukip leader after just 18 days as successor to Nigel Farage Telegraph

Vancouver Imposed 15% Foreign Tax in July, September Home Sales Plunged 33% Michael Shedlock (furzy)


No-fly zone would ‘require war with Syria and Russia’ — top US general YouTube (Selva). In case you hadn’t figured that out.

Syria isn’t a cold war conflict: the US and Russia can’t just fix it Guardian (Joe H)

Large-scale All-Russian civil defense drill to take place from 4 to 7 October EMERCOM (Selva)

Do We Really Want Nuclear War with Russia? Robert Parry, Defend Democracy

Obama Warned to Defuse Tensions with Russia Defend Democracy


Yemen central bank crisis raises new famine fears Reuters (allan)

Ex-detainees say CIA used makeshift electric chair in secret Afghan prison: rights group Reuters (EM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Exclusive: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence – sources Reuters (furzy)

J&J warns diabetic patients – Insulin pump vulnerable to hacking Reuters (allan)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Election blindness: It’s the end of the world economy as we know it — and we feel fine Salon (g)

John Kerry’s rallying cry to Europe: It’s time for ‘pushback’ Politico

Clinton E-mail Hairball

FBI agreed to destroy laptops of Clinton aides with immunity deal, lawmaker says Fox (furzy)


What the Heck Polls: A Weekly Guide to the Trump-Clinton Numbers Slate

Vice Presidential Candidates Debate CSPAN (Kevin C). And don’t forget Lambert’s live blog!

Fact-checking the vice-presidential debate between Kaine and Pence Washington Post (furzy)

VP debate shows a way forward for Trump Financial Times. Trump would need an appointment with his own Dr. Feelgood to pull this off…would probably take a lot of ‘ludes.

‘The Onion’ Has Obtained Donald Trump’s Tax Returns And Has Chosen To Destroy Them Onion (David L). One big error: the tax returns would not have provided any insight into Trump’s net worth

No, Hillary, young voters aren’t naive. The system doesn’t work for them Guardian (Joe H)

Hillary Should Ask Jamie Dimon What Kind of Genius Loses $6.2 Billion Pam Martens and Russ Martens. But didn’t you get the memo? Losses at TBTFs don’t count.

Is there anything to Trump’s assertion that we’re giving away our plans to the enemy? Slate (furzy)

Trump Is Losing Educated GOP Women—and Splitting Up Families Along the Way Politico (EM)

Red And Blue Doctors: Politics Can Seep Into Primary Care, Study Finds WBUR (Dan K)

Supreme Court to weigh reach of insider trading law Reuters (EM)

Barack Obama began his term with fine speeches and high hopes. But he underestimated the US need for radical change. Le Monde Diplomatique (Sid S)

U.S. transport chief: automakers will back self-driving car oversight Reuters. EM: “Ah yes, ‘voluntary guidelines’ – because that sort of thing has such a great history of working to curb corporate abuses!”

California marijuana legalization faces unlikely foe: growers Reuters (EM)

Flint Hit With Bacterial Illness as Residents Shun City Water

A Quarter of Millennials Avoid the Flu Vaccine Because of the Cost Bloomberg (furzy). I am not opposed to vaccines, but the flu vaccine is low efficacy and unless they have an underlying physical condition that makes flu dangerous to them, this is not the most troubling indicator of the fallen economic standing of the young that I’d cite. I don’t get flu vaccines either just because I think we all need to do our part to stop overtreatment (I’ve similarly nixed EKG and some other tests).

Wells Fargo

Fitch warns Wells Fargo over AA rating Financial Times

‘Two Million Felonies’: Will The Wells Fargo Scandal Finally Change Wall Street? Huffington Post

Wells Fargo Account Scandal Extends to Small Business Reuters. And Stumpf still has a job…this really is not wise.

Investors in Mortgage Giants Win Round in Suit Against U.S Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. This case was really egregious, so good to see the investors score a goal.

Deutsche Bank offers a tough lesson in risk Martin Wolf, Financial Times. Offers some good as well as many conventional high level observations, but one is really off base: “A third lesson is that banks are still undercapitalised, relative to the scale of their balance sheets… More immediately, we lack reliable means of rectifying this.” This is nonsense. TBTF banks have nowhere to go. No country will take them. Switzerland required its two biggest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, to meet 19% capital levels. UBS flailed around trying to relocate, which predictably failed. Both exited most of their investment banking businesses. Regulators can force banks to increase their capital. It’s just that most lack the will.

The Perils of Debt Complacency by Carmen Reinhart Project Syndicate. Phil U: “​Pooh pooh -ing MMT​ using Eurozone countries. seriously?”

Markets eye the taper but fear the tantrum Financial Times

Owners at “Leaning Tower of San Francisco” Knock Condo Values to Zero Wolf Richter. Schadenfreude alert!

Guillotine Watch

I Tested Out the $46,000 Rolls-Royce Picnic Basket Bloomberg (furzy). Notice how the frequency of entries in this category has gone way up recently?

Class Warfare

U.S. judge says racecar driver, others owe $1.27 billion in payday case | Reuters (EM)

Antidote du jour (Ben S):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Jim Haygood

    From an NYT article about an underground railroad that smuggles African migrants through France:

    For [migrants] who left with [French farmer] Cédric Herrou, it would take all day to find a train station they could slip through to continue the journey north.

    At Cannes, railway workers called the police. Finally, in the next administrative region over, the Var, the conductor agreed to look the other way, allowing three migrants to board at a time, as the trains went through.

    “We negotiated with the conductor,” Mr. Herrou said. “There’s a kind of laissez-faire,” he explained later. “One day it is yes, the next day no.”

    [Police] followed him back to his mountain retreat, pointed guns at his head and at those of the Eritrean migrants he had just picked up, and jailed him. The migrants were hustled back to Italy.

    After 48 hours, the prosecutor in Nice decided not to pursue charges, having concluded that Mr. Herrou was acting for humanitarian reasons, his lawyer said.

    In another demonstration of France’s jumbled approach to migrants, the police know exactly where Mr. Herrou is and what he is doing. Yet they mostly leave him alone.

    That afternoon Mr Herrou had shared a beer with the town’s Socialist mayor in the main square. “Yes, of course, we know,” the mayor, André Ipert, said in an interview. “Yes, of course, he is outside the law. This happens in France.”

    Humanitarian reasons“? Mon dieu … you’d get laughed out of a U.S. court for this. Indeed, you wouldn’t even be permitted to say it, as federal criminal defendants are barred from raising defenses not stipulated in the statute.

    For les americains, the ambiguity and negotiability of the law in Latin countries is fascinating, compared to the USA’s hardball, Germanic style “zero tolerance” approach to law enforcement here in the Homeland.

    Are you in compliance, comrade?

    1. RabidGandhi

      Quite right, “humanitarian reasons” would never work in US justice system. In the US these smugglers would have had to run with “we’re too big to fail”, “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”, “we’re Bill Clinton’s wife” or perhaps just “affluenza!”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s case by case…sometimes, humanitarian, sometimes bad guys on a secret mission.

      Choose wisely.

    3. Katharine

      Laughed out of court? It seems to depend on the court. There have been pacifist protesters who have argued that their acts were intended to prevent a greater evil–I forget the exact phrasing but it seems somewhat standardized–and have occasionally won.

      In any case, many of our freedoms have been won by the temerity of defense lawyers and independence of jurors, and the founders appear to have taken that independence for granted. See Leonard Levy’s Palladium of Justice for a brief history.

      1. Dave

        Looking forward to seeing local tribesmen and their supporters use the humanitarian reason of saving drinking water sources as they try and block the eminent domain pipeline through South Dakota.
        Perhaps the use of military armored vehicles, snipers, fully automatic weapons and counter insurgency tactics against the old ladies with the fading Obama stickers on their cars, the kids on ponys and the outraged Indians that still have some dignity left will be countered with:
        “But, corpersons are just like living people. They have constitutional protections. It is only humanitarian that we let this struggling business try to help us become energy independent.”

        What’s going on in South Dakota and along the route of this pipeline is a scandal that is mostly ignored in the media. This should be brought up in the next presidential debate. Wonder what would happen in the Land Rights activists in Oregon and their allies around the west got together with the leaders of the anti-pipeline protestors and discussed common issues?

        1. Katharine

          Edward Coke (I am tempted to say, of blessed memory) said artificial persons were not like natural persons because, among other things, they had no souls. Our corrupt Supreme Court (and I use the term advisedly: I know what corruption is if they do not) shows no respect for that opinion which we inherited with other English law at our founding.

        2. clinical wasteman

          If you mean the aptly named Malheur ranchers, Dave, isn’t that a bit like wishing there had been a coalition of enclosing absentee landlords and evicted crofters in Scotland in 1792?
          Meanwhile, actual land (and water) rights activists from Aotearoa to Afghanistan are already having that ‘discussion’ with the Standing Rock Sioux:

  2. cnchal

    Vancouver Imposed 15% Foreign Tax in July, September Home Sales Plunged 33% Michael Shedlock (furzy)

    From the article:

    The benchmark price for a detached property in Vancouver rose 34 percent in September from the same month last year to C$1.58 million ($1.2 million). Prices for all residential properties in metro Vancouver climbed to C$931,900, a 29 percent increase on the year and a 0.1 percent drop from the prior month.

    No price is too high when paying with loot.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m not a close follower of Canadian economics, but I found it interesting that Trudeau (from yesterdays links) is proposing a major fiscal stimulus. The mix of a fiscal stimulus with a property bubble doesn’t sound a potentially happy one (even if other parts of the economy are in recession). It would need a very careful mix of heavy touch (stamping down hard on property speculation) and a light hand on stimulus to make sure it doesn’t go badly awry.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From the Reuters article on Cali cannabis growers:

    Some, noting a glut in pot is driving down prices, said they welcome legalization if it brings new demand.

    “It is just free falling,” said Marion Collamar, a Humboldt county grower who supports Prop. 64.

    The average price of a pound of wholesale cannabis has fallen from $2,030 in January 2016 to $1,664 in August, according to Cannabis Benchmarks, a wholesale cannabis pricing company.

    Falling cannabis prices probably reflect increasing sources of legal supply.

    But they are also consistent with falling prices of food crops. Soybeans, corn and wheat are selling at roughly half their 2012 peak prices. And farmers ain’t happy.

    Ten years on, expect our Soviet style ag regime to provide price supports and crop loans to cannabis producers, provided they take some acreage out of production.

    And expect migrant labor on industrial farms to replace caucasian guys workin’ out in the woods. That’s gonna be a lost folkway in the emerald triangle.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A friend of mine who works in the British Colombia cannabis business says there has been a gold rush mentality, with everyone from hobby small holders to venture capitalists rushing in to increase production, despite evidence that supply and demand are already pretty well balanced. He is predicting a major shake-out soon as prices collapse from a glut. Its all a bit silicon valley unicorn-ish, just a more chilled version.

        1. frosty zoom

          last night’s debate blog here at nc featured multiple ads asking me to invest in reefer something or others (i never clicked, thinking that perhaps they were dhs phishing!)

          today’s ads are for israeli bonds (i won’t click, thinking that perhaps they are dhs phishing!)

        2. mad as hell.

          A friend on a recent run to Denver paid $165 for an ounce of ‘connoisseur” weed tax included. That price hovers around early 80’s pricing. Like gasoline, the lower the price the more to spend on other inflated corporate costs ie.medical costs or other essentials. The money in the corporation’s pants shift from the left pocket to the right pocket and the consumer get what’s in between the pockets.

      1. Jagger

        Only in America, can we turn a weed, that anyone can grow in their backyard, into a commodity worth $1664 an ounce (wholesale). If there weren’t the threat of a jail, I imagine we would see most people, wanting marijuana, growing it themselves rather than paying $1664 an ounce (wholesale). I imagine the savings would be substantial.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In California, the water for growing weed could probably be better used for growing organic vegetables, and by increasing supply, we can make them more affordable, even in food deserts.

          But weed is a more pricey crop and, its growers are more enthusiastic.

          1. optimader

            Well, it could be grown with residential gray water at the “point of use” eliminating any issue with water resource management in arid parts of Cali..

            Or simply grow it in places w/ an abundance of water ( Detroit comes to mind, but anywhere around the Great Lakes for tht matter, or obviously in the great NW Oregon, Washington..)
            The underlying issue is that eliminating all the tortured codification to viably control it a taxable intoxicant and maintain barriers against it being a ubiquitous alternative to pharma script meds both force some pretty damn irrational social conformance requirements — Under penalty of Law.

        2. pretzelattack

          well that was $1664 for a pound, but yeah it’s overpriced. it’s kind of hard to get right, too, fighting pests and such.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Yemen Central Bank crisis….

    Its hard not to look at those pictures of starving Yemeni children with despair, and contrast to the article in Water Cooler yesterday that there are unprecedented surpluses of food building up in US warehouses. Yes, I know its not ‘simple’ or without possible negative impacts to transfer directly from surplus stores to provide free in famine areas, but the US has a moral obligation to Yemeni civilians. It has made billions selling the arms which are destroying what remains of that country, not to mention providing diplomatic cover to the Saudi’s.

    1. Michael

      Famines are never caused by lack of food; they are caused by indifference to distribution.

      Yes, of course we should send food to Yemen. But would it get to the places it needs to go without violence?

      1. crittermom

        I suspect it would be another ‘trickle down’, where those at the top would amass the most, with little left for those who truly need it to survive.
        Kinda like our economy, eh?

        Why isn’t it being used in our own schools?
        Wouldn’t that cut costs considerably, allowing for things such as art and music to be in the poorer schools once again, since education budgets seem to be continually slashed as cities struggle?

    2. Plenue

      From that same article:

      “With food ships finding it hard to get into Yemen’s ports due to a virtual blockade by the Saudi-led coalition that has backed the government during an 18-month civil war, over half the country’s 28 million people already do not have enough to eat, according to the United Nations.”

      Now, I ain’t no fancy dictionary editor, but last I checked a civil war is defined as ‘a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country’. The conflict in Yemen is almost entirely between the Yemeni Houthis and the Armed forces of Yemen on the one side, and the Saudi-led coalition on the other. It’s a war between countries.

      They also describe Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi as an ‘exiled president’. Funny, the media never described Viktor Yanukovych as an exiled leader, they always just parroted that he was the ‘former president’, even though he similarly fled his country, and the Ukrainian Rada never got the needed minimum number of votes to impeach him.

  5. frosty zoom

    exceptional writing, reslez!

    last night’s interruptathon has inspired me to create a new verb: “to america”, i.e. to name countries to bomb, to be exceptionally bombastic or to bombastic exceptionally.

    The two VP debaters hurled hyperbole in an effort to out america his opponent.

    Trump and Clinton try to sway voters by americking their way across the country.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Now that the Beer Formerly Known As Budweiser is labeled America, there’s a third meaning pertaining to overconsumption:

      “Man, he americaed all over the back seat.”

      1. Optimader

        Well strictly speaking Budweiser is not really beer, but at least they use GMO Corn!

        Back ~20years ago when i had colleagues that moved to Chemwaste (a subsidiary of Waste Manegment that dealt w/ hazwaste) they told me (over a beer) Anheuser-Busch did a take off purchasing contract w/them for compressed CO2 stripped off landfills. AB injected it for the purpose of carbonating the beverage at time of packaging, (presumably in order to eliminate the traditional secondary fermentation step under pressure.–reduce product cycle time !)

        Dont know if this relationship is still in effect, but I was told it that wasn’t something AB wanted to have broadcast at the time.

        1. nowhere

          I’ve worked in plants that capture CO2 from steam methane reforming and purify it for food grade consumption.

          1. optimader

            It was (is?) no doubt food grade,
            I’m pretty sure the reticence not to introduce into their national advertising campaign was none the less a wise choice. It’s all about optics as they say.

            Certainly AB could also separate potable water from the urine from the troughs at Busch Stadium to “close the product loop”.. just say’in.

            1. crittermom

              Sorry, but from someone who never acquired a taste for beer (or most liquor), beer already tastes like it’s from the trough in the closed product loop to me!

              Hey, at least my dislike of it leaves more for those who enjoy it!

  6. petal

    High-ranking DH Exectutive Resigns
    I guess somebody had to take the fall for the bad press as of late.

    “He was on the front lines of management at D-H when it absorbed hundreds of employees in clinical research and the Psychiatry Department after Dartmouth College restructured its Geisel School of Medicine. The transition led to several dozen layoffs; concerns about the effects on the salaries, benefits and housing of some employees; and a dispute that led to the departure of several Dartmouth psychiatric workers at the state psychiatric hospital in Concord.

    Birkmeyer also recently met with some primary care doctors to explain the potential imposition of time standards that some saw as a retreat from a multi-year effort to reduce costs and improve care by giving those doctors more flexibility and greater responsibility for keeping patients healthy.”

  7. gsinbe

    The Salon article “Election Blindness…” is a good read, but the title is misleading. More of a summary of central bank policy failures around the world and growing inequality. Only a throw away line at the end about the election.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Is Salon trying to get its “street-cred” back? Sorry but it is too late. When Salon and Slate and all those other online magazines went “full Clinton”, they lost me.
      Even Bill Moyers, a site I used to respect, printed this:
      So now I am not only a “deplorable” and a “racist”, but now I am a “misogynist” because I don’t think Clinton is the right person to be President of this country? Do they think that calling me names instead of giving me valid reasons as to why I should at least consider voting for Clinton is going to win my vote?
      Sorry, but reading those sites any more makes me so mad that I am sorely tempted to vote for Trump just to convince the Democratic Party not to do this to us ever again!

      1. john

        Trump is no fluke.Turkey UK France and others are going native. We all know how democracy ends … with a Great Leader.

  8. Steve H.

    “Sources said the arrangement with former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson also limited the search to no later than Jan. 31, 2015. This meant investigators could not review documents for the period after the email server became public — in turn preventing the bureau from discovering if there was any evidence of obstruction of justice, sources said.”

    Clintons beat Einstein! Bureaucratic Genius Finds Way to Go Into Past to Destroy Future Evidence!

    1. Steve H.

      Wait Wait Wait! Future Headline: “Cheryl Mills Paid $10 Million As Paid Informant in FBI Investigation!”

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Sometimes the pieces of a puzzle take a little while to fall into place.
      I couldn’t figure out why the FBI would go so far out on a limb to protect Hilary. And the high-level immunity deals didn’t make sense.
      But FBI knew they had to give Hilary a free pass on her law-breaking, because if they didn’t it was going to snare the Big Boss too. He was emailing Hilary from his own private setup, where his screen name was apparently DroneMaster69.
      Someone else can check the provenance of that factoid…but these days I tend to believe most conspiracy theories because they’ve been showing a stubborn trend of becoming conspiracy facts.
      So: DroneMaster, yep that describes what he’s “really good at”. And adding the “69” also feels right, the sexual thrill of killing others sounds right in character for our detached and soul-free soul brother.

      1. hunkerdown

        Also, aside from protecting the ruling class as a whole, omerta buys them a Big Favor. The Goldwater Girl now owes them that long J. Edgar leash they’ve been missing for so long.

  9. voteforno6

    Re: Fannie Mae

    I’m kind of curious to see what’s in those emails that were deemed privileged. Does that mean that Obama is implicated in what amounts to theft? This should be a scandal, if we weren’t already desensitized to the lawlessness of our ruling classes.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Series of emails from my sister about a rescue drama in Rocky Mountain National Park:

    Oct 4 (1:53pm MDT) Three local hikers are stuck on the summit of Longs Peak. I don’t have all the details other than that they hiked up yesterday but, for some reason, had to overnight on the summit. They apparently were able to communicate late last night and this morning via some sort of GPS device.

    The wind last night was horrific and they tied themselves together. Rescue has been trying to get to them but has been unable to get there. The wind is still very bad and the summit has been socked in. It is only 45 degrees here in town [at 7,500 ft] so you can imagine what it is like at 14,000 ft.

    Oct 4 (2:44pm MDT) It is potentially very bad since the weather is deteriorating. Turns out it is a man, his son and the son’s best friend. I’ve been told that SAR [Search and Rescue] is currently almost to the Homestretch [final approach to the summit on south face hiking route]. From there, of course, they still have to get safely to the summit and get the group down at least to the Keyhole [shelter cabin] before dark which is only 3+ hours away. Not a good situation for anyone.

    I’ve been hearing helicopters for the past 15-20 minutes but I don’t think they can get there with the wind and clouds.

    Oct 4 (4:19pm MDT) Here’s the latest on the hikers … Turns out it is the husband of a lady in my book club. Apparently he is well known for his incredible stubbornness (i.e. he continued to run the Leadville 100 after breaking his toe 25 miles in – did permanent damage to it).

    He took his son and his son’s best friend. I don’t know if they went up Kiener’s Route but that is where Search and Rescue found them descending. Kiener’s Route goes up Mills Glacier and Lamb’s Slide from Chasm Lake then there are several pitches of lower Class 5 technical climbing to the summit.

    Channel 9 News said the park service’s official statement was “Although we were not being asked to assist by the three men, we chose to send rangers to assist them as they had spent an unplanned night and were unprepared. We are currently with the men on Longs Peak. They are not injured. They are cold and hungry. They are ambulatory and we plan to assist them down the mountain.”

    Oct 4 (8:21 MDT) Got word that when SAR got to the summit, the three were on the upper part of Kiener’s Route. That makes no sense to me unless they’ve never heard of Rev. Elkanah Lamb’s miraculous descent in the dark in 1871 (hence the name Lamb’s Slide for the 1,000’+ snowfield below).

    In any event, SAR brought them back to the summit and they descended the north face [hikeable except for two steep pitches of smooth rock totaling 180 ft]. They are now past the Boulderfield [elev 12,760 ft, where the trail ends] and are hiking out.

    Those are some lucky guys. If they truly didn’t ask for help, I hope they have the sense to realize that if they had continued on their own they would probably be dead.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      In France, they would have been charged for the helicopter. There really are a lot of idiots out there. The worst are not beginners and amateurs, but people who have a little skill and knowledge, but not the sense to know their limitations.

      1. Jim Haygood

        That’s the usual rule in the western U.S. for medical helicopter evacuations. Going rate for air ambulances is about $25,000 base fee plus $300 per mile.

        If the fall don’t kill you, the ambulance bill will.

        In yesterday’s case, the rescuees may be able to dodge the bill, since they apparently did not request to be rescued. Maybe they were able to ring an attorney from up on the summit. ;-)

    2. Louis

      Whether to charge for rescues has been a topic of heated debate for a long time–some search and rescue entities charge and others don’t–and my understanding is that the National Park Service doesn’t charge for rescues, at least not in Rocky Mountain National Park.

      Long’s Peak is serious business any time of year and this time of year tends to have ice and snow, mind you it’s not enough to snow climb on but still enough to make for a sketchy climb.

    3. pretzelattack

      yeah long’s peak isn’t really for casual hikers, unlike most of the 14k peaks in colorado. I’d think they would know that, but who knows.

      1. Jim Haygood

        My dad and I made it up the north face cable route when I was ten. The cables were mounted on a west-facing rock outcrop, such that the smooth pink granite “floor” next to them was shaded in the morning sun. Naturally, the rock had a solid inch of ice on it … meaning we had to haul ourselves up the slippery steel cable hand-over-hand, like shimmying up a rope in gym class.

        In 1973, the cables were removed. Last summer my brother told a kid on the trail about our ascending the cable route. The kid was as goggle-eyed as if my bro had claimed to be a surviving Civil War veteran. Ancient times, y’all. ;-)

    4. Ivy

      One of my climbing friends related a story about a party of three that got caught in a summer storm on Longs Peak. They weren’t equipped for the temperature drop and started to feel the effects of hypothermia, including hallucinations. When the rescue team came to find them, they were convinced that they had died and that the rescuers were really the devil’s minions coming to drag them down to Hell. The party threw rocks and otherwise tried to avoid any contact. The rescuers ended up climbing around the mountain and then down to the party to help them. All ended up okay, with some unusual memories.

    5. Lee

      “Apparently he is well known for his incredible stubbornness…”

      My son in law shared this trait as regards high speed motorcycling until his encounter with a tree when he failed to make a turn on the twisties in the Santa Cruz mountains. “A man’s got to know his limitations” are words quite literally to live by, assuming one survives learning this lesson the hard way. He had to be helicoptered to a hospital, barely survived and has permanent damage to one of his legs. That experience plus learning that he was going to become a father while laying in his hospital bed has moderated his daredevil impulses.

    6. ChrisPacific

      My brother is a guide who takes people on trips like this for a living, often in the Himalayas or Europe. He is one of the most hard-headed risk managers you can imagine, and puts every IT project manager I’ve ever met to shame in that regard. This can be interesting since many of his clients are of the type described in these stories. He is routinely shouted at and threatened with legal action when he makes a decision to abort a climb. Once in a while one of his clients will see a story like this in the news a few days later and call to apologize and thank him.

    7. crittermom

      Here’s today’s Denver Post article on it.
      Their choice of headline is interesting…

      I believe if you buy a hunting license in Colorado (oh, how I miss it there!), it has a 25 cent fee on there to cover S&R, if needed.
      At least I’m certain it used to. Been almost five years since I was forced to leave.
      Cheap S&R insurance, since licenses aren’t that much for residents. Especially small game.

  11. Adrian H

    How does the drop in the Euro make US drugs more expensive? Drugs sold in Europe are priced in Euros (and often made in Europe).

    With the Euro drop, US-listed pharmacos are already reporting lower revenues and earnings due to exchange rate effects.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      They are more expensive when bought in dollars as they would have to be if they are imported from the US. It may also be that some agreements are based on dollar prices (which I think is quite common practice, although I’m no expert on the topic). Or vice versa of course if US manufacturers agreed prices in advance in euro.

      But your general point is right that there is a huge drug manufacturing sector in Europe (including many US companies), so it shouldn’t really have that big an impact. I suspect its largely just a convenient excuse.

      1. crittermom

        “I suspect it’s largely just a convenient excuse.”
        I wholeheartedly agree.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Brexit

    Lots of articles today in the UK papers about the very good economic figures, with various figures eating crow over their predictions of imminent disaster. The figure that the drop in Sterling means that the UK is now officially the sixth (down from fifth) biggest economy in the world has been quietly sidelined.

    It does seem that there is a huge head of political steam building up for a sort of ‘fuck you, lets go hard on Brexit’ approach within the Tory Party. Nearly all the sensible voices in the Conservative establishment have gone quiet. There is an enormous amount of group think building up in the UK, a feeling that with a stiff upper lip and proud chest puffed out, the UK can sail away without consequences. This feeling may well also be seeping into otherwise quite sensible quarters. But I feel the Scots are getting even more angry over it. There is a lot of hubris building up, which is never a good way to approach difficult and complex negotiations.

    1. Tom_Doak

      I was traveling in the UK last week and the takeaway from the Tory party convention sound bytes was “control.” They have re-framed the matter of immigration as the voters telling their leaders to “take control” of the situation, as only conservatives could do.

  13. Steve C

    Re. the Le Monde article, Obama acted like the country’s biggest problem was that the party of the millionaires and the party of the billionaires weren’t holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Not that things are controlled by millionaires and billionaires.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Re: China Property Bubble (microbusiness)

    It really is extraordinary – I was convinced last year that the last possible Chinese property bubble had been blown, but there is another one – and no reason to think that after this deflates it will happen again. The only thing is that I think figures on concrete and steel would indicate that its a bubble in existing properties – there isn’t so much new-build compared to a few years ago.

    The article suggests that Chinese banks are pretty much insulated against a property bubble – I’ll take the writers word for it – but ordinary people may not be. A lot of middle class Chinese have tied up all their savings in property and have never experienced a major reverse. There is a lot of hidden personal loans which don’t appear on bank books feeding into property. Its really hard to see how it can all be unravelled without a lot of damage on a social level, even if the financial system can take it.

  15. Portia

    Did Chelsea just say Weed kills people???

    Drug interactions. Hmmm.

    Absolutely, my mom strongly supports the need for more rigorous study and subjecting it as we do everything else that might have a medicinal purpose to FDA approval, scrutiny, and ultimately regulation.

    Short for: We need to make certain the drug companies get their ka-ching off the top.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “According to Sam Houston — a respected Little Rock doctor — in the early 1980s, “Bill” was admitted to the University of Arkansas Medical Center for emergency treatment for cocaine abuse and overdose, and had to be cared for at the hospital on one or possibly two occasions,” Roger Stone wrote.

      Journalist Christopher Ruddy reported: “When Mrs. Clinton arrived, she told both of the resident physicians on duty that night that they would never again practice medicine in the United States if word leaked out about Clinton’s drug problem.

      “Reportedly, Hillary pinned one of the doctors up against the wall, both hands pressed against his shoulders, as she gave the dire warning.”

      1. hreik

        Well, she’s also a thug. As Bob Herbert said, “terminally vulgar and unethical”… both of ’em.

      2. Pat

        I don’t know how much is true and how much is not. What I do think is if the protective layer ever really breaks on the Clinton criminal activities, the result is going to make the flood of accusations about Cosby seem like a trickle and the Saville avalanche look like a snowball.

      3. Gareth

        Is that the same Christopher Ruddy who’s company Newsmax donated $1M in 2015 to the Clinton Foundation? Yes it is. All is forgiven.

      4. Bob

        It’s highly unethical for a physician to disclose any medical information without the signed release from the patient. I’m not saying this event didn’t occur. But there are severe repercussions for the release of such medical information so that makes me suspicious of the story.

          1. cwaltz

            All medical staff would be required to keep confidential data, confidential.

            I doubt this story too.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Maybe Bob is not in the medical field? Most of your personal medical information, including office and progress notes and labs and imaging and procedures, gets dumped into Big Data by a variety of routes. Anyone still having the notion that Big Pharma and Big Medical UNsurance and hospitals and pharmacy chains and the rest don’t grab and share your personally identifiable and sacrosanct information, in violation of the “law” such as it is presumed to be, is living in lala-land. Though there’s often a fig leaf of small print in forms the receptionist tosses at you before a visit, and forms you have to sign to be “seen” by a “provider,” language which if what I learned in Contracts back in law school were still applicable would be deemed “void as against public policy,” a “contract of adhesion,” maybe even fraud. All part of the Great Crapification.

          1. cwaltz

            The data would not contain an alleged personal exchange where someone threatens to ruin careers.

            I dislike Clinton as much as the next person but the story reads as something made up.

            1. JTMcPhee

              You’d be surprised at what gets recorded on doctors’ note that get migrated to the data stream. No such thing as secure information, except maybe a little around the margins.

              1. cwaltz

                I used to write SOAP notes so I wouldn’t be too surprised.

                That story reads like fiction.

                “she pinned the doctor up against the wall…..”

                Geez, she’s 5’7 but I’m supposed to believe she’s pinning people to the wall in a semi public setting that has security guards on staff…..yeah, no.

                Could I believe Hillary threatened somebody? Yes. Do I believe she did it was ever done in the manner described above? No.

      5. optimader

        In the early 80’s I don’t think the Clintons had any particular clout along those lines.

        Any-hoo, my read on Bill is that his lizard brain has too strong of a survival instinct to find himself in that situation.

      6. Binky

        Clinton derangement syndrome is back in full force. What a co inky dink.

        What if Clinton isn’t the antichrist? What if Trump is just another wealthy schmuck and there is no apocalyptic conspiracy in the 2016 election other than some baby boomer yuppies trying to get that last credential?

        Stay tuned.

      7. crittermom

        But let’s not put weed in the same category as cocaine! (As perhaps Hellary wants to do?)

        This ‘election’ simply sucks…

    2. Tvc15

      Portia, exactly. And disgusting to see a younger more informed generation perpetuate the reefer madness disinformation in order to shill for big Pharma. I guess it’s never to early to start her campaign, Chelsea in 2024, what could go wrong?

      1. hunkerdown

        One of Liberalism’s three founding aims was to end drunkenness. That’s reason enough to reject the philosophy in its entirety.

        1. Skippy

          I think you should examine the period in question, cane sugar, cheep alcohol, the plight of the women and children [families] vs those that made vast sum on their suffering…

          Disheveled Marsupial…. sound familiar – ?????

    3. Pat

      Because we don’t have half a century at least of data already. Sometimes you just have to accept that these people really do think most of the country is stupid and when handed a few simple facts will not get the reality, protection for drug companies whose synthetics do not work as well.

    4. Michael

      I . . . guess. There are some basic regs that make sense — truth in advertising, listings of what’s in there besides weed, some kind of standardization for info on known active substances.

      There have been a couple famous instances in CO of people getting pretty sick (especially kids) from eating unlabeled edibles. Looks like the reg that’s coming down the pike is that they’re gonna have to be labeled with edible stamps/etc. There’ll be reasonable rules for how to do it.

      It is true that the states manage booze just fine, so it’s probably better to have them do weed, too.

        1. cwaltz

          I found 3 articles on marijuana intoxication being listed as a contributing factor to death- all were the result of edibles.

          In one of the cases it was another person, not the person who consumed the pot who died(he shot his girlfriend and is facing 1st degree murder charges). In 2 of the 3 cases guns were also a contributing factor. They both spoke to third parties about hallucinating and descended into erratic unstable behavior.

          I think Colorado as a result has changed edible labeling laws. I do know from my time working with pharmaceuticals that one of the biggest complaints about Marinol (a synthetic form of THC) was that the pill did not provide a reliable release of the medication and was very spotty when it came to pain control.

          1. pretzelattack

            i don’t really trust the edibles. of course, i don’t trust most of the stuff i buy at the grocery store, so not really that different.

            1. Praedor

              I trust the brownies a friend of mine made from his own grown pot. Ate half of one at work and nearly feel asleep at my desk. Good stuff.

    5. beth

      I know I am late reading this, but . . .but . . .but . . .

      RE: Did Chelsea just say Weed kills people???

      WE NEED MORE STUDY? Really?

      Google the online documentary: “Raphael Mechoulam documentary: The Scientist”

      The NIH [National Institute of Health] in Washington DC funded Mechoulam for over 40 years to research cannabis.

      Watch for yourself and decide. I hate lies.

  16. Antifa

    On settling the Syrian jihad, yeah, it’s not a Cold War thing. It’s about breaking Russia’s economy. That’s why America and its OPEC friends puposefully created an oil glut last year, too. Syria’s phony civil war is about natural gas coming via a pipeline from Qatar’s vast reserves up through Jordan, Syria, Turkey and thence into Europe, bypassing Ukraine. There is no such pipeline now, but the Saudis and Qatar’s government will happily fund any jihadi who wants to take Syria apart so the pipeline can happen. If it happens, OPEC wins, America wins, and Russia loses its European market for natural gas.

    Virtually all of Europe’s natural gas comes through a vast network of pipelines stemming from Russia’s enormous gas reserves. If the Syrian pipeline is to be built, Russia will face a glutted market, and in short order will no longer be a first world nation. So to Russia, keeping things as they are is existential. They will make their stand in Syria, and losing there is not an option.

    Even a peace treaty that leaves western Syria to the jihadis will not do, because that’s where the pipeline will be built. Syria needs to stay intact, and stay in Russia’s orbit, period.

    America wants the Syrian pipeline, sure, because it’s good for our friends in OPEC. But even more than the pipeline, America wants Russia isolated and impoverished and as close to impotent on the world stage as can be arranged. Let them eat turnips, our war hawks say. Why? Because of the Cheney Doctrine — any nation that represents even a 1% chance of ever challenging America’s global hegemony is to be attacked, dismembered, ruined, and robbed. So to America’s hawks, eliminating Russia (and China) as serious economic and military powers is existential. After they’re crushed, India will be in their crosshairs. When there’s nothing left but Madagascar, we’ll go after them as well.

    I have a neighbor, a retired Air Force colonel, who was telling me about how the Russians are busy October 4th through 7th staging civil defense drills across the country, drills involving 40 million citizens. “We’ve got ’em so scared they’re pissing their pants!” he bragged. I told him Russia isn’t afraid of war, even nuclear war. They’re actually being very practical about getting ready. They’ve got nuclear bunkers for all 11 million residents of Moscow. They’re pulling together their first responders, hospitals, doctors, nurses, firefighters, ambulances, and seeing that everything is rehearsed and ready for when America attacks.

    And I reminded him of what Vladimir Putin said to Western reporters a few years ago: “Growing up in Leningrad during the war, I learned one thing. If war is inevitable, be the first to strike.”

    The only way the Syrian mess ends peacefully is if Russia kills or runs off every jihadi America has hired over there, and does so before Hillary gets the nuclear football in late January. She won’t listen to the Pentagon; she thinks small “tactical” nuclear explosions aren’t really nuclear explosions, and won’t get an instantaneous 15,000 kiloton response.

    If Trump gets the football, he’ll see whether the Syrian pipeline is still feasible. If it’s not, there’s always other projects.

    I wonder if Putin has let Qatar and the Saudis know that if there is a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia, that one of its primary purposes will be to turn Qatar and the Kingdom of Saud into radioactive glass. They’re the money behind this delightful little war in Syria. They should get a generous portion of what they’re gifting to this world.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘When there’s nothing left but Madagascar, we’ll go after them as well.” — Antifa

      Finally they came for the Madagascarians. And I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t madagascan.

      Then they came for me …

      1. optimader

        well maybe the Col is an asshat… but I told him Russia isn’t afraid of war, even nuclear war.
        An incredible generalization! DO you think they are insane!?!

        They’re actually being very practical about getting ready. They’ve got nuclear bunkers for all 11 million residents of Moscow.

        “being practical” and “nuclear war” shouldn’t be typed too close to each other, even in propaganda.
        I will say one thing, 11MM ppl? That is one hell of a bathroom que.

        Could it possibly be that these sorts of drills a method of social game playing and diversion?

        If it ever came down to nuclear war, I’ll suppose Moscow will be pretty well vitrified. So how long will 11MM people survive in a subway?

        They’re pulling together their first responders, hospitals, doctors, nurses, firefighters, ambulances, and seeing that everything is rehearsed and ready for when America attacks.
        I’m guessing hospitals, firefighters and ambulances are pretty well redundant post nuke war, no?

        As a practical matter, post nuke war, how does the concept of “first responder” even work? Is there someway to reanimate ash?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Americans should be extremely worried right about now, it is clear as day you are being prepped for a nice big new hot war with Russia led by the Queen of War herself. Like the runup to Iraq the drumbeat is louder each day, all the “we have no other option” and “but humanitarian” logic is being trotted out, up next will be the “babies in incubators” stories or their equivalent. The Dutch report on MH-17 was a major tell, absolutely nothing that would stand up in a court of law, of the four missile projectiles they found (a missile throws out thousands of them) two have apparently disappeared now, and zero were found in any of the bodies, gee that’s odd. But no mind, there is money to be made and people to fry.

          I think Syria is only secondarily about gas pipelines and money, the real prize is Putin’s foothold in the Med. State Dept is actually threatening spillover attacks into “Russian cities” already, and Hilary Antoinette has made it completely clear that her bloodlust knows no bounds. Would that we could elect a leader who says he thinks talking things over is a good idea, but he said mean things about a beauty queen 20 years ago and that’s obviously more important than making the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable.

          1. Pat

            Please, if we were attacking people for humanitarian reasons both Israel and Saudi Arabia would be near the top of the list. And for being attacked, SA again. It is never for the reasons they say. Never.

            And although the jingoism was strong when I was growing up, I don’t think I have seen anything like the propaganda about America’s goals and intentions and yes… greatness…in the 5 decades I’ve been old enough to be aware. The drumbeat coupled with patriotic fluffing is reaching an unheard of din.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              To see the glee with which the Chanel-suited Berkeley types have embraced imperial fascist war adventures for fun and profit has been the real eye-opener for me, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, and of course Hilary the First. Disgusting.

          2. optimader

            Well, the only influence I have is who I don’t vote for.

            I think Syria is only secondarily about gas pipelines and money, the real prize is Putin’s foothold in the Med.
            Knowing only what I read, I tend to agree.
            I think the Naval Base at Tartus is in play, as well the stable reestablishment of the Center S SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) facility
            A pipeline or not? Maybe not so much.

            The Dutch report on MH-17 was a major tell, absolutely nothing that would stand up in a court of law, of the four missile projectiles… But no mind, there is money to be made and people to fry

            No going to rehash old news but Almaz-Antey admits that a BUK missile shot down flght MH-17. Who and why, beats me.

            1. hunkerdown

              opti, Almaz-Antey illustrated that the version of the BUK which took down MH17 a) could not have produced the physical evidence found if fired from where the Ukraine government and Dutch wanted it to have come from b) was a different older version of BUK that Russia had exhausted years earlier but Ukraine was still actively buying.

              1. Optimader

                “Mongo mere pawn in life..”.
                working w/incomplete data set as usual, so fill in the withekd byzantine bits at the risk of confirmation bias?

                no I dont know that as objective fact. I do know AA admits it was a BUK missile. That puts aside 99% of the BS speculation on the “weapon platform” and the forensic speculation of this or that.
                Honestly I havent studied tha matter any deeper on the who and why or the BUK radar orientation and I’ll call it field of view.

                He ce i may be full of sht, but I do have the opinion that who ever shot it down, probably mis identified MH17 as a ukranian cargo plane that had been plying that flight path with recent regularity, or possibly and more stupidly (tragically) shot at whatever came across the bow.
                Just my sentiment on the BS idiocity of the fog if war.
                Bottom line, a BuK
                (My side bar I still contend that a properly trained crew would not intentionally shoot down a noncombatant commercial jet – beyond any sentimentality, it does not provide any positive advantage, just the opposite if fact)

    2. Paid Minion

      Not mentioned above is Russia’s tendancy to use their gas supplies as economic and political leverage over Europe.

      Europe wants an alternate source, and the Saudis,etc want to be that source.

      You could almost say we are there to prevent coercion by the Russkies, IOW, “freedom”

      As far as air raid practice, we should recognize an attempt to deflect attention away from issues generated by the “leaders”

      1. OIFVet

        Not mentioned above is Russia’s tendancy to use their gas supplies as economic and political leverage over Europe.

        Is that the reason why Germany is so eager to have Nord Stream 2 built? The fact is that delivery disruptions have been initiated by our friends ths glorious Ukies, trying to extract more transit fees and syphon off free gas because they plain don’t think that paying for it is what glorious nations do.

      2. John k

        Saudis don’t have enough gas to run their desal plants, actually burn much more valuable oil.

      3. visitor

        Europe wants an alternate source, and the Saudis,etc want to be that source.

        Europe has been always relying as much as it could on hydrocarbons from African countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, as well as Middle Eastern countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar), and American ones (Peru, Trinidad & Tobago…)

        Russia remains the largest supplier (in 2014: 30.4% of EU oil imports, 37.5% for gas, 29% for uranium). But it is very far from representing a dominant fraction of imports.

        Some issues are

        a) Russia has been a very reliable supplier. Transit countries such as Ukraine, or other suppliers, such as Nigeria or Libya, not so much.

        b) Currently, other major oil and gas suppliers from central Asia (e.g. Kazakhstan) must send their oil and gas through Soviet-era Russian pipelines.

    3. Goyo Marquez

      That was scary, seemed like an appropriate spot for this:
      Revelation 18:1-19 (NIV)

      Lament Over Fallen Babylon
      1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:
      “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’
      She has become a dwelling for demons
      and a haunt for every impure spirit,
      a haunt for every unclean bird,
      a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
      3 For all the nations have drunk
      the maddening wine of her adulteries.
      The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
      and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

      Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment
      4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
      “‘Come out of her, my people,’
      so that you will not share in her sins,
      so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
      5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
      and God has remembered her crimes.
      6 Give back to her as she has given;
      pay her back double for what she has done.
      Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
      7 Give her as much torment and grief
      as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
      In her heart she boasts,
      ‘I sit enthroned as queen.
      I am not a widow;
      I will never mourn.’
      8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
      death, mourning and famine.
      She will be consumed by fire,
      for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

      Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall
      9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
      “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
      you mighty city of Babylon!
      In one hour your doom has come!’
      11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;
      13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.
      14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out:
      “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
      dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
      and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
      17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
      “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’
      19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
      “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
      where all who had ships on the sea
      became rich through her wealth!
      In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’

      1. BecauseTradition

        Ouch! Especially this:

        In her heart she boasts,
        ‘I sit enthroned as queen.
        I am not a widow;
        I will never mourn.’

        “USA! USA! USA!”

      2. hunkerdown

        The elites need to stage-manage Armageddon because the little people cost too much. What better choice for the role!

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Soooo…..a kid from the slums becomes the leader of his country. Can you imagine that happening here?

    4. Lee

      This makes a lot of sense. How come the mainstream media never mentions it? Did I miss it? And how come the evening news is serving up unusually graphic and heartrending images of child war victims out of rebel held Syria but none from government held Syria or Yemen? This type of propaganda makes me very, very nervous.

      1. hunkerdown

        Lee, don’t get nervous. Get loud. Warn the warmongers that those who advocate kinetics make themselves targets of kinetics, that such talk will result in unattributable injuries in the calm of night, that these things just have a way of happening.

        Which is another way of saying that you reject their attempt to put your skin in their game, reject their game, and reject them altogether.

        1. Lee

          I like your thinking. Fifty years ago when I went for my physical to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, I asked to see a shrink and told him that since I had no quarrel with the Vietnamese, I was more inclined to kill someone who ordered me to kill people with whom I had no quarrel. That, my Bob Dylan hair and the wild look in my eye got me a deferment. Also, fraggings were in the news at that time IIRC.

  17. bwilli123

    Obama’s Conflict Tanked the Clinton E-mail Investigation

    Read more at:
    ” To summarize, we have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama.
    From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information. That is why the Clinton e-mail scandal never had a chance of leading to criminal charges.”

    1. DarkMatters

      This is the tip of an iceberg: I can’t remember where I saw this, but someone observed that anyone who noticed the em address Clinton was using and failed to report it was breaking security law, and that this probably included most of the State Department and many in other branches of government. In other words, prosecuting Hillary conscientiously would bring down most of our government. With the Justice Department’s failure to act; Loretta Lynch’s apparent misbehavior; the proffer-free immunity grants they and the FBI granted; bent-arrowed, straighthooter Comey’s public performances; and now the FBI’s destruction of evidence; we observe wholesale and complete corruption of our Executive Branch. And the person who initiated this ethical and constitutional debacle might well become our next president.

      1. Pavel

        Well that lets Obama out… according to his own statement, he only learned about HRC’s email server “like the rest of you, from the newspapers”…

  18. DJG

    Le Monde Diplomatique: Those darn Frenchies. A good summation of topics / dilemmas much discussed here in NC comments. A quick portrait of Obama’s learned helplessness, disengaged intelligence (which is not intelligence), and congenital venality. Someone, in The New Yorker of all places, once referred to him as a kind of Javanese prince. The writer probably didn’t want us to think that what Obama may have wanted was a ceremonial presidency, not being both head of state and head of government (a peculiarity of our constitutional arrangements in the US of A).

      1. rich

        It’s Time We Crush the Putrid Roach Motels of Philanthro-Crony-Capitalism,

        Starting with the Clinton Foundation

        As a side note, my organization was contacted regarding building actual housing in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
        We had only a few meetings before being told “don’t bother, the Clinton Foundation will be leading the efforts.”
        This effort ended up being about 20 moldy, substandard trailers laced with formaldehyde, provided by the same company that also constructed substandard, poisonous emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina. You will read articles to this day in major publications that blame Haitians. The company that did this to our country in New Orleans, and to Haiti, is owned by Berkshire Hathaway/Warren Buffett.”

        It’s time we crush the putrid roach motels of philanthro-crony-capitalism, starting with the Clinton Foundation. But don’t stop there–crush them all, from the Trump Foundation to the Ford Foundation and all the way down the line.

        Here’s an idea: you make money, you pay the taxes on that income, and you do what you want with the remaining dough, just like any other citizen–no tax breaks for self-serving Crony Philanthropy:

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Ask the Haitians what they think of Clinton and her putrid “Foundation” schemes sometime, of course her minion Kaine (who looked like a sweaty little frat boy caught sniffing girl’s panties) trotted out the wholesale garbage about all of their great works. By the best accounting fully 5.7% of donations went to “charitable works”, the rest was pure tax-free looting and of course lovely Pay to Play, selling the business of our government to the highest bidder.

  19. JohnnyGL

    Media’s still got the knives out for Gary Johnson (look at this headline!), but he really needs to read up on some foreign affairs so they can’t blast him for being ignorant on the subject. Is it really so hard for the guy to get off the trail and spend a weekend reading up on a few choice topics?

    When I first started reading, I’m thinking “what dumb thing did he say, now?”. However, it seems it’s mostly about the headline writer’s agenda at Politico. The interview shows he’s finding his voice and sounds much stronger on the principals. However, he could really make his case much, much stronger if he dug into the details and showed why he’s right in more granular detail. Why doesn’t he do that?

    Here’s the full clip…

  20. JohnnyGL

    “Hillary didn’t vote for the ’94 crime bill, even though Sen. Sanders did,” Clinton told the heckler — before clarifying a bit: “Neither one of them were trying to send millions of your people to prison because there were fewer than 10 percent of our entire prison population are in the federal prison system,” he added.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    Clinton really said “your people”??? (Emphasis mine)

    1. Benedict@Large

      That’s a bunch of crap. Clinton’s bill (which Hillary supported — this is where the “superpredator” remark came from) included funding to add 100,000 new cops below the federal level. Exactly what did Ms. Clinton think those cops were going to do?

      And they did indeed do it. Between Bill Clinton’s inaugural and the day he left office, some 650,000 more people were incarcerated.

  21. John S

    Hey, Yves

    The flu shot is the best illness protector available to the general public. It is also inexpensive in CA as Walgreen’s charges $31.50 for the shot.

    People go to work, interact with others and think they are Heroes for “carrying on while they are sick…”
    Unfortunately, this behavior causes others (co-workers, strangers and folks invited to their home) to become sick with the flu.

    As an In the Home Estimator, I was twice invited into a home to provide an estimate by a person who was home from work to care for someone with the flu. I caught the flu each time and the coughing caused my lung to collapse each time. Today, my lungs are so fragile that another bout with the flu would probably be life ending for me.

    In my opinion, NOT getting a flu shot is harmful to the general population.

    Not getting an EKG is ONLY HARMFUL to you…..not to the general population.

    Wishing you continued good health……

    1. BecauseTradition

      In my opinion, NOT getting a flu shot is harmful to the general population.

      Harmful to the general population or only to those who are not vaccinated?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Health care workers, who are on the front line, aren’t great about compliance with flu virus recommendations, due to doubts the efficacy flu viruses, and the studies I read confirm that the data is sketchy and the modeling done on broader health care impacts requires a lot of extrapolation. See:

      Ehrenstein BP, Hanses F, Blaas S, Mandraka F, Audebert F, Salzberger B: Perceived risks of adverse effects and influenza vaccination: a survey of hospital employees. European journal of public health. 2010, 20 (5): 495-499. 10.1093/eurpub/ckp227.

      Kelly C, Dutheil F, Haniez P, Boudet G, Rouffiac K, Traore O: Chamoux A: [Analysis of motivations for antiflu vaccination of the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital staff]. Medecine et maladies infectieuses. 2008, 38 (11): 574-585. 10.1016/j.medmal.2008.09.018.

      Wicker S, Rabenau HF, Doerr HW, Allwinn R: Influenza vaccination compliance among health care workers in a German university hospital. Infection. 2009, 37 (3): 197-202. 10.1007/s15010-008-8200-2.

      Dedoukou X, Nikolopoulos G, Maragos A, Giannoulidou S, Maltezou HC: Attitudes towards vaccination against seasonal influenza of health-care workers in primary health-care settings in Greece. Vaccine. 2010, 28 (37): 5931-5933. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.06.108.

      The efficacy in particular years can be quite low:

      Since CDC began conducting annual flu vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies in 2004-2005, overall estimates for each season have ranged from 10 percent to 60 percent effectiveness in preventing medical visits associated with seasonal influenza illness

      In the UK, the flu vaccine efficacy was a mere 3% in 2014-2015 and 50% the preceding year.

      There are alternative treatments that appear to have similar levels of efficacy as the CDC estimates. Ginseng also reduces the odds of getting the flu by 50%. An alternative practitioner who is a colleague recommended a zinc compound and even though I’ve heard of zinc only reducing the severity of colds (and I have taken other versions of zinc where I have not observed any general health benefits), I haven’t gotten a cold or flu since taking it daily. I have, before that, had good results in beating back flus at onset with high doses of vitamin C and A, plus extra glutamine. And in fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a bona fide flu, as in the seasonal influenza targeted by these vaccines. . It was maybe four or five years ago. I used to get colds in the winter but the zinc seems to have stopped that.

      I also have to tell you that my father died of an auto-immune disease, so I am wary of overloading my immune system. And I work at home and rarely get out (I’m only on public transportation twice a month typically) so I am not a disease vector. I see vastly fewer people on a regular basis than most. By contrast, the CDC places high priority on the vaccination of vulnerable groups and disease vectors, such as children, teachers…and those health care workers who actually don’t seem keen about getting the vaccine.

      1. Anne

        For years, I never got flu shots, and I don’t recall ever getting them for my kids, either – and I don’t recall them ever getting the flu as kids, and I think I may have had it once, and my husband once or twice.

        But, when our older daughter was getting ready to have her first child, she asked that those of us expected to be in close contact with him get flu shots and the tDap vaccine – so we did. My husband has been getting the flu vaccine for some years now, and I’ve been getting them yearly since the grandbabies started arriving.

        Now, when my younger daughter’s baby was almost 6 months old, he got the flu, and RSV. He had had a flu shot, as had all the rest of us, but it was 2015, when the vaccine wasn’t believed to be on target for the strain that emerged. I had been well-exposed to him when he was at his most contagious, but I didn’t get the flu – my daughter got it two days after the baby. Both of them got the Tamiflu, which we think helped reduce the severity.

        Oh, that was quite a weekend…my son-in-law was leaving that morning for a 3-week business trip to Spain and Italy, my daughter had to work, so I was over to watch the baby so he could finish packing and get going. We all thought he was just getting a bad cold, but at 4:00 am – why is it always 4 am? – we were on our way to the ER, because he was so congested and the pediatrician wanted him to get checked out. His lungs were fine, but he did have flu and RSV.

        We got the Tamiflu and were poised to finally head home when her car’s radiator just gushed water all over the parking lot. We had to get my husband to come to the rescue. Later that day, my other daughter called with the news that she had just had a positive – but totally unexpected – pregnancy test. Since she was on the pill, the only thing she could figure happened was that during the month, the couple days she was suffering from a gastrointestinal virus, she must have thrown up the pill. Her little surprise arrived on Christmas Day…

        Anyway…I’m not phobic about germs and viruses, and really do believe in the ability of the body to fend off a lot of bad stuff and heal itself (and we’ve all been duly and properly vaccinated!). Between the people who don’t get any paid sick leave, who suffer economically if they stay home when they’re sick, and those who think the world will cease to revolve if they don’t power through whatever contagion they are hosting, it isn’t always easy to protect one’s self. Oh, and the grandkids, who are in pre-school and day care, seem always to be in some stage of some kind of crud, so short of never seeing them, there’s no way to avoid exposure!

      2. kareninca

        I’ve been reading up on zinc because our dog has IBD and it seemed it might be helpful. But there are downsides; it changes the gut microbiota quite a bit and not necessarily in positive ways. This came out just about a week ago:

        “Too much dietary zinc increases susceptibility to infection by Clostridium difficile — “C. diff” — the most common cause of hospital-acquired infections.”
        “Skaar and his colleagues including Joseph Zackular, Ph.D., discovered that high levels of zinc change the gut’s microbiome — the community of microbial organisms — in a way that mimics antibiotic treatment, the primary risk factor for C. diff infection.”
        “They demonstrated that mice consuming a high-zinc diet had altered gut microbiota and were susceptible to C. diff infection at lower antibiotic doses compared to mice on a normal zinc diet. Moreover, C. diff caused more severe disease and lethality in mice on a high-zinc diet.”

        One more factor to weigh, ugh.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          With zinc, there are maximum daily doses (unlike some other things that are water soluble). For humans, it is 50 mg a day. I am taking a good bit less than that, IIRC something like 15G. You might see what the dose is for dogs, although dogs vary so much in size you’d need to adjust by body weight.

    3. hreik

      Also, anyone you know who is immuno-supressed from medications is eligible for the extra potent iteration of the vaccine. those folks (I have 2 family members on immunosuppressants) are more threatened if they get the flu. more complications, longer course of illness, etc.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      WHO Guidelines recommend the flu shot only for certain specific categories of people such as the old and pregnant and heath care workers. There is no evidence that widespread use of flu vaccines can reduce the spread of flu’s and other seasonal respiratory illnesses. And frequently, the vaccine is little more than an educated guess as to which strain of flu will be dominant in any give year, so it can’t really be relied upon.

      As Yves says, there are a variety of other known way of reducing flu exposure. There is increasing evidence that Vitamin D has a significant role in protecting against respiratory diseases. There is an active discussion at the moment in some countries as to whether Vitamin D supplements should be recommended for the entire population where there is low exposure to sunlight in the winter (such as Ireland and Scandinavia) and in Australia where people cover up all year round against the sun – in particular people who are naturally dark skinned and may for cultural reasons wear lots of clothes in the outdoors.

      *Disclaimer* I’m not a medical professional

      1. Anon

        Got my flu vaccine (super-potent variety) yesterday. After spending 4 weeks getting better from some kind of crud that was not the flu. As i get older, 4 weeks of convalesence from any type of illness is unacceptable. Avoiding the flu is nearly impossible in my work setting (a community college with 20, 000 students).

        As for Vitamin D and sunshine: it only takes 15 minutes of sunlight exposure to get the needed amount Vit D. What city in Ireland has so little sunlight?

    5. ewmayer

      Not an anti-vaxxer by any stretch of the imagination, but a slew of recent findings have called into question the wisdom of the “get a flu shot every year” standard practice. Do a web search for “influenza vaccine negative interference” – long story short, vaccine formulations which change little YoY can actually negatively impact efficacy. Here a snip from one such academic study:

      Conclusions. Current- and previous-season vaccination generated similar levels of protection, and vaccine-induced protection was greatest for individuals not vaccinated during the prior 5 years. Additional studies are needed to understand the long-term effects of annual vaccination.

      And here a slightly more lay-readership-friendly piece:

      Getting a flu shot every year? More may not be better: The evidence, which is confounding some researchers, suggests that getting flu shots repeatedly can gradually reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines under some circumstances.

      Then in 1999, a leading influenza researcher, Derek Smith, suggested that in years when a component of the vaccine — say the part that protects against the influenza A family called H3N2 — had changed little or not at all from the previous year’s vaccine, the second year’s vaccine would induce less protection. Smith, now based at Britain’s University of Cambridge, called it negative interference.

      The idea is that the antibodies produced in year one may neutralize some of the vaccine in year two’s shot before it can trigger a full immune response, explained Dr. John Treanor, a vaccine expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

      Smith also argued that when the vaccine viruses were quite different from one year to the next the recipient would actually get enhanced protection. Positive interference, he called it.

      But at least every 5 years for otherwise healthy adults? Definitely.

  22. Benedict@Large

    Regarding “The Perils of Debt Complacency” by Carmen Reinhart, the included comment (“​Pooh pooh -ing MMT …”)​ is incorrect. Robert Skidelsky is a Keynesian, and Reinhart is criticizing his Keynesian analysis. MMT and Keynes are not the same, and Skidelsky is not making an MMT analysis. Had Skidelsky actually been making an MMT analysis, he would have fared far better.

    An interesting side note is Reinhart’s comment, “… a 2012 paper of mine, in which there were some alleged data concerns …” No, no, no, Ms. Reinhart, there was nothing alleged about those data concerns. Not only did you blow the handling of your data in that paper, but your conclusions, once the corrected data was applied, were nonsense.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Amazingly, Reinhart’s entire argument against Skidelsky here is the very same argument that was destroyed by the UMASS team several years back, which means she either didn’t pay any attention then, or she’s simply incompetent and can’t learn new material. Reinhart had argued that countries with a Debt-to-GDP ratio above 90% experienced a drag on economic growth, but her conclusion as it turned out was completely dependent on errors in her use of Excel spreadsheets. (There were both data entry errors and formula errors.) Once corrected (by the UMASS team), not only was the 90% result demonstrated to be wrong, but also her assertion that the debt-to-GDP ratio ever affected economic growth. (MMT knows this, but remember, neither Reinhart nor Skidelsky are MMTers.)

      But the UMASS team went further. In a second finding, Reinhart’s corrected spreadsheets actually showed Reinhart had made a causality error (mistook cause and effect), and that it was actually economists’ responses to seeing a high debt-to-GDP that caused the economic drag, and not the debt-to-GDP itself. This is a very significant finding, and yet here we are, years later, and Ms. Reinhart STILL does not understand the (correct) work the UMASS team did with her data, holding on only to the (incorrect) worked she did with it. Economics has passed her by, but she’s still good enough (apparently) to peddle her crap at Harvard.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘her conclusion as it turned out was completely dependent on errors in her use of Excel spreadsheets’

        This is false.

        Both sets of authors turn up a negative association between debt and growth. But whereas the Reinhart-Rogoff work suggests a sudden jolt to growth once debt attains a certain level, Messrs Herndon, Ash and Pollin reckon growth rates merely ease downward.

        To make their point, they divide countries with a debt-to-GDP ratio above 90% into two subcategories: those below 120% of GDP and those above. The average growth in the 90-120% bucket is 2.4%; growth for countries with debts over the 120% threshold sinks to 1.6%. That makes the relationship look linear.

        High debt slows growth, as both common sense and hard numbers (including those from the authors who found Reinhart and Rogoff’s error) prove.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          No rocket science required, when the issuing of debt exceeds the ability to grow income to service that debt then it’s a simple matter of time and math. We’re playing fun ‘n games with interest rates at 5000 year lows, pretending that “time preference” can somehow be zero, and now with NIRP they’re even eating away at the principal. You don’t have to be Galileo to point out that the Earth is not the center of this solar system.

          1. BecauseTradition

            pretending that “time preference” can somehow be zero,

            It’s the tail attempting to wag the dog and obsolete gold standard type thinking to posit that monetary sovereigns ever need to pay positive interest on their fiat.

            That scam is ended, at least conceptually. Be glad in the future if you get even a 0% return for sovereign debt.

        2. reslez

          It’s a scam on multiple levels, not just the errors in Excel but the errors in thinking.

          The Reinhart-Rogoff paper merged data for countries on the gold standard as well as those on fiat currency.

          They conflated nations belonging to a currency board — such as the Eurozone — with countries at complete liberty to manage themselves.

          Most importantly, the deficit a government runs — and therefore the national debt — will increase on its own when the economy declines due to automatic stabilizers (unemployment payments, lower tax receipts). This means Reinhart-Rogoff had the causation entirely reversed. A poor economy causes the deficit to run higher.

          The convenient nonsense errors in their spreadsheet only confirms their status as hacks.

          1. BecauseTradition

            This means Reinhart-Rogoff had the causation entirely reversed. A poor economy causes the deficit to run higher. reslez

            Excellent point and positive interest paying sovereign debt makes things worse by providing a risk-free return for investors; i.e. it’s not sovereign debt that crowds out private investment but positive interest paying sovereign debt that crowds out private investment?

        3. BecauseTradition

          High debt slows growth, Jim haygood

          Certainly high private debt does but please remember that good ole non-interest-paying fiat is technically sovereign debt too. Do you think deficit sending is anti-growth?

          as both common sense

          Common sense says a monetary sovereign should not pay interest on what it can create for free.

          and hard numbers (including those from the authors who found Reinhart and Rogoff’s error) prove.

          Because of positive interest paying sovereign debt which is essentially welfare proportional to wealth? No wonder then if that correlates to lower growth.

          1. Plenue

            Getting Haygood to even acknowledge there is a difference between public and private debt is a lost cause.

            1. I Have Strange Dreams

              He is good, though, for song lyrics and Nixon anecdotes. Praise where praise is due.

        4. Yves Smith Post author

          Bullshit. Even if we dismiss the problems with the analysis, correlation is not causation.

          In the overwhelming majority of cases, debt levels spiked after a financial crisis. The high debt levels and the low growth were both effects, and not causally related to each other.

  23. JeffC

    “I don’t get flu vaccines either just because I think we all need to do our part to stop overtreatment”

    Read John Barry’s book The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

    I was indifferent about flu shots before I read it. Since then I’ve never missed one, and I never will. Reducing the severity of the infection could prove a lifesaver, and doing my part to lower the average transmission rate R_0 feels like a moral imperative to me. Flu vaccines are cheap, effective medicine, not overtreatment leading to resistance.

    1. Ivy

      Flu shots are an annual event in the Ivy household, with only one year missed in the past 25. That year I got the flu, and the other years I didn’t. As I age, buying green bananas is beginning to seem a little dicey, so I’ll continue the annual flu shot regimen.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      I caught the flu a week before I was scheduled to get my flu shot. Moral: Get your flu shot EARLY this year.
      But what is worse is that I got bronchitis a few days later. Hillary and her hack have nothing on me! My doctor said this often happens after the flu and I have another couple of weeks of coughing to look forward to – another reason to get that flu shot early!!

    3. LizinOregon

      My grandfather lost a lung to that flu epidemic. I had the Hong Kong flu as a teen and never want to be that sick again. When I worked in health care we were required to get the flu vaccine or we could not come to work. I am surprised that it is now optional.

      Recently I heard Anthony Fauci say that if you are over 60 you should actually get the vaccine later in the year and closer to the typical start of the flu season (January) because our weaker immune systems do not react as vigorously so the immunity period is shorter.

      1. Anon

        As I said earlier, I recieved my flu shot yesterday. One of the pharmacy attendants said something similar to getting vaccinated later in the season. This is nothing less than a huge gamble for Seniors. As I get older my PC physician warns against having the flu devolve into pneumonia, and other complications. While the flu season seems to peak in January, getting it in October is not unusual.

        That’s why Seniors are encouraged to get the super-potent version of the vaccine early. (I would add that the super-potent version had only a 6% better outcome than the standard vaccine; according to the CDC.)

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Lordie. The Spanish flu was a new strain. That’s why so many got so sick.

      If you had bothered to read as to how the flu vaccines are developed, they are mixes of existing strains. A flu vaccine will never protect you from a novel strain like the Spanish flu or SARS when it first broke out. It is not a magic bullet. It is intended to protect people from seasonal flus which can be dangerous to the old and other vulnerable populations.

      1. LizinOregon

        Your assumption that I know nothing about the way flu vaccines are developed is incorrect. I do not have a family history of autoimmune disease so I don’t have your concern about challenging my immune system and prefer to use the best options that are available to minimize both my chances of catching the flu and to minimize it if I should. I also use zinc and a Chinese herb in the winter months for cold protection.

  24. DorothyT

    Re: “Leaders Pledge Action to Control Superbugs” (Triple Crisis)

    Note: WHO is referring to the Superbugs with the acronym AMR for anti-microbial resistance

    World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan warned that “AMR ( poses a fundamental threat to human health, development, and security. Common and life-threatening infections like pneumonia, gonorrhoea, and post-operative infections, as well as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are increasingly becoming untreatable because of AMR.”

    I suspect that the Superbug/AMR infection threat will not get the attention it requires until it affects the wealthy and well-insured working middle class. Because they can afford it, they will be among the first to experience life threatening infections from common, even elective surgeries and dental procedures (such as root canals) which compromise the circulatory system. Once it invades the blood stream, things can go very bad for even a healthy person.

    Thanks again, Yves, for covering this. Suggest that readers who missed it read this L.A. Times article that was linked on NC a few days ago:

    1. JTMcPhee

      Add another axis of vulnerability to the algo for the Vulnerability Index (VUX), which ought to be listed on the Big Board alongside VIX.

  25. Alex morfesis

    EU richest countries…quelle surprise indeed…but, alas…it is not that the world has changed but simply the access to information which was only available via trade publication distributions with limited controlled subscription bases are now available on the telescreen…

    World bank gave its first moneys to…france…a simple one page letter…with some dead trees stained with ink attached to it…then the world bank proceeded to distribute money to the former french colonies and british colonies to cash out the investors bailing on the newly independent nations…

    oh wait…dont the former french colonies have to talk to the french treasury for their currency…

    mighty fine off book liabilities you folks at s&p and munger corp…I mean moodys…seem to not notice…

    But soytinlee we live in different times somewhat…

    Eugene Meyer left fairly abruptly as the first head of the world bank…but back in 1933, less then 3 weeks after being the man at the Fed that resided over the great depression(the history books seem to give him a a free pass)…

    Less than 3 weeks after he is done making a mess, he gets to buy WAPO at auction on june 1, 1933…

    as saint Samuel Clemens used to proclaim…

    “But it rhymes…”

    (yes…yes…he might have said something about kaleidoscopes and broken antique fragments and reconstruction but some saints tend to be a bit much verbose for the unwashed and ink is so expensive these days)…

    1. Dave

      Sir, You have a lot of useful information, but your writing style triggered a seizure when Hillary read it.

      1. alex morfesis

        finally…I have been working these bernaze algorithms and was just about to give up…had to figure out how to get past the blue blockers…thanks for the heads up…now to the beach before the storm….

  26. troutcor

    Re Brexit
    Steve Keen has some excellent points about why Eastern European countries want to take such a hard line with Britain.
    To paraphrase, Britain has been as safety valve for bad economic policy in the former Soviet bloc. East European countries have been able to do what the EU wants (wreck their economies) because when the inevitable unemployment resulted, emigration to Britain has provided the safety valve.
    This dovetails nicely with Michael Hudson, who has brilliantly pointed out how E. European tax policies avoided taxing real estate and other assets, causing “investment” to be poured not into factories and thus jobs (E. Europe had well-educated cheap labor and could have boomed), but rather into real estate speculation and this debt to foreign banks.

    About 19:55 in Keen begins.

    1. I Have Strange Dreams

      Ditto for Ireland. 17% of Irish population emigrate and now population contains 20% foreigners. You gotta love the Neoliberal Death Cult.

  27. L

    Regarding: Backlash to World Economic Order Clouds Outlook at IMF Talks Bloomberg (furzy)

    In its latest World Economic Outlook released Tuesday, the fund highlighted the threats from the anti-trade movement to an already subdued global expansion. After growth of 3.2 percent in 2015, the world economy’s expansion will slow to 3.1 percent this year before rebounding to 3.4 percent in 2017, according to the report, keeping those estimates unchanged from July projections. The forecasts for U.S. growth were cut to 1.6 percent this year and 2.2 percent in 2017.

    In many respects this article and the quote above epitomize the very structural problems we have. To its boosters and many in the IMF deals such as the TPP are all about “trade” which is a net good. To many of the people who actually face the consequences of them they are about ISDS, a loss of environmental protections etc.

    The problem is that those who support them (e.g. Paul Krugman) are either unwilling or unable to look at the criticisms as anything other than incohate rage at “trade.” And as a consequence they send the clear message that it is their way (i.e. ISDS and curbs on unions) or Trump. Then they are shocked shocked! that Trump gains popularity.

    I suspect that most of the small to medium businesses that are buckling due to NAFTA would love to trade, they just don’t want to do it on an uneven playing field that effectively subsidizes Amazon and kills them. Most workers at factory plants would be happy to sell their AC systems abroad but seeing their jobs sent to Mexico is not about “Trade” it is about selling them out for stock.

    Until the wise mandarins at the IMF learn to listen I suspect Trumpism will keep rising.

    Moreover the article is written from the premise that only trade can increase global growth, that there is no actual value in, say, ensuring that people in domestic economies have jobs or clean air. This deep cognitive bias will forever prevent the IMF from understanding the world they claim to run.

    1. ewmayer

      Typically for MSM coverage, the piece tendentiously describes the backlash as an “anti-trade movement”. It is no such thing – it is an anti-exploitation and anti-elite-looting movement. If the proles powering said movement had been allowed to share in anything approaching a fair way the much-touted fruits of “free trade” and globalization, we wouldn’t be having these elite-troubling movements now, would we?

  28. fresno dan

    Sean will always be welcome in my world. He is not my enemy. Nor is D Trump.
    Our lives DO NOT revolve around who we vote for. At least mine doesn’t.
    There is much more to our citizenship than one presidential election.
    Being kind, understanding or even turning the other cheek is more important.
    Jesus didn’t teach “when they hit you, hit back twice as hard.” That was from rules from radicals which is dedicated to Satan. It is also what DJT teaches and I have heard Sean say a lot lately.
    I may be wrong, but I think that is philosophy is flawed and dangerous.

    Wow – it says something when the most reasonable and non-frothing based voice in repub media land is…..Glen Beck!!!
    Excuse me, but now I have to go outside with a big net and catch me some of those delicious flying pigs…

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Automakers to back self-driving car oversight.

    How about self-oversight?

    Many reasons to not like self-driving cars, but, to be fair and balanced, I have to admit I like at least one aspect of it – I can tell my self-driving car to get its own food, like I told my last cat to go hunt for herself.

    “You go wait in that gas line, while I wait at the grocery line.”

    Now, Saturday afternoons will be leisure time.

    “Can you program your self-driving car – with your kid in government-regulation compliant infant seat (will that be legal though?) – to meet you at the airport? What happens when the flight is delayed?”

    1. armchair

      Don’t worry, Silicon Valley will fix the air transport system too. Even if the pilot-less airplanes don’t work, there will be a fully-integrated, platform, program your car will use to tell that your flight is late. We just need to implant a GPS transponder in your posterior and feed the data into Skynet. Gotcha covered buddy.

      1. alex morfesis

        everything will work…just as the trains ran on time in italy and cuba has the worlds greatest medical system…because it has so been proclaimed and it will be so again as directed from the International Court of Public Opinion in Mountain View…

  30. Lisa Mullin

    “The pill is linked to depression – and doctors can no longer ignore it”

    The author Holly Grigg-Spall is an anti-pill nut, in fact anti any hormonal contraception, the equal of any anti-vaxxer….. Her blog site is one incoherent rant against the pill…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is an ad hominem attack, which is an intellectually invalid argumentation strategy and against this site’s written policies. Grigg-Spall cites a 13 year study that involved data from one million women. That is an incredibly large and comprehensive study. The onus is on you to say why the study is not valid, and not to try to denigrate the messenger.

      I must also point out that you’ve never commented on this site before, which raises the possibility that you searched sites that linked to this article and are going around the web to try to debunk it….perhaps on a paid basis? If you are going to play ad hominem attacks, expect to get it in return.

  31. Code Name D

    So what are we to make of the Fox News report that the FBI is destroying laptops related to the Clinton E-mail investigation? Can we say “cover-up” yet?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Say it all you want, the tipping point at which any scintilla of “ruleoflaw” still exited is long since past. Say it all you want, does not make a dam’ bit of difference…

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