Links 10/7/16

Dear patient readers, I am leaving it to Lambert to update you on Hurricane Matthew, which is bearing down on Florida in a bad way.

Authorities Urge Florida Residents To Prevent Further Disasters By Finally Standing Up To Hurricane Onion (David L)

Giant Tortoises Happily Consume Pumpkins in Celebration of San Diego Zoo’s 100th Birthday Laughing Squid (resilc). Wow, once they figure out how to get into them, the tortoises inhale those pumpkins.

Chimps, bonobos and orangutans grasp how others view the world New Scientist (Robert M)

A Desert Full of Tomatoes, Thanks to Solar Power and Seawater MIT Technology Review (David L)

Recalculating the Climate Math New Republic (Sid S). From last month, still germane.

It’s not just environmentalists who think fracking is wrong New Statesman (J-LS)

‘Great Pacific garbage patch’ far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows Guardian (furzy) :-(

IMF, global finance leaders fret over populist backlash Reuters. A little late for regrets after decades of shock doctrine.

Pakistan adopts new law to tackle ‘honour killings’ Al-Jazeera (J-LS)

Tears as last Ford rolls off production line today MacroBusiness


Pound plunges 6% in 2 minutes Financial Times

What We Know About the Pound’s Friday Flash Crash: QuickTake Q&A Bloomberg

Forget Brussels, Brexit’s toughest battleground is the WTO Politico. Consistent with what we said months ago, that the WTO was not a default and a new deal would have to be negotiated which would take years (and we don’t mean two or even five) but with tons more very useful detail.

Hollande demands tough Brexit negotiations Financial Times

On immigration and jobs, Theresa May employs the post-truth politics of Donald Trump Telegraph

Theresa May’s vision for Brexit will ignite a war between British capitalism and British Conservatism Independent

Britain sealing itself off? EuroTopics

TAKE BACK CONTROL: HOW BIG MONEY UNDERMINES TRUST IN POLITICS Transparency International. Money quote: “The research found that just 10 donors amounted to more than half of all donations to the various referendum campaigns, despite it being a huge vote for the future of the UK”

UK Tories provoke immigration storm MacroBusiness

Schools are asking parents if their children are immigrants New Statesman (J-LS)

UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe had ‘two seizures’ after party punch-up Sky. UKIP imitates Golden Dawn, except if memory serves me correctly, they attacked someone not in their party in their Parliamentary fisticuffs.

Thumbs up! Ukip’s Steven Woolfe smiles from his hospital bed as he reveals how he was floored by fellow MEP – as the party that changed Britain implodes Daily Mail

Woolfe collapsed pic is from ITV … Thanks @alexhern @jonworth

Russia Becomes Global Food Superpower Bloomberg. So much for killing Russia with those sanctions…

Hundreds dead in Haitian storm disaster BBC

The Clinton Foundation’s Legacy in Haiti – “Haitians are more than upset…” Huffington Post (furzy)


BREAKING: Russia Will Take Down Any American Airplane or Rocket Targeting Syrian Army (Video) Russia Insider (DF)

Russia Warns US Not to Intervene in Syria, Threatens to Shoot Down Any Airstrike Attempts ABC (Dan K)

Syria v. Yemen Analysis: Why One War Gets Attention and Another Does Not EA WorldView. Resilc: “Because USA USA runs world propaganda?”

Hezbollah Leader explains why Syria & Assad are crucial to Middle East war YouTube (Selva). From August, still informative.

U.S. Admits Israel Is Building Permanent Apartheid Regime — Weeks After Giving It $38 Billion Intercept (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet Electronic Frontier Foundation. Important.

The biggest European impact of Edward Snowden’s revelations may be yet to come Washington Post (furzy)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

White House Coordinated on Clinton Email Issues Wall Street Journal


Sizing Up the Endgame James Howard Kunstler. J-LS: “Kunstler certainly has his flaws, but he occasionally gets things right (and is never boring). This is the best case I’ve seen for pulling the lever for HRC.”

Hey, Clintonoids, Stop Bullying Me About My Vote Ted Rall, Counterpunch (Judy B)

Inside Planned Parenthood’s Huge Ground War to Stop Trump Rolling Stone (furzy)

Wall Street Might Have a Blind Spot When It Comes to Trump Bloomberg. Li: “Clinton win priced in.”

Donald Trump: The Ugly American (with Apologies to Lederer and Burdick Vanity Fair. Resilc: “The hate on each side is amazing.”

Hurricane Matthew Could Have Devastating Consequences for the Election Slate (resilc)

Hillary Clinton Accepted Donations From Tax Avoiders, Slammed Donald Trump For Exploiting Tax Loophole International Business Times (Phil U)

News Analysis: The Donald’s Double Dip? Lee Sheppard, TaxAnalysts. Lambert linked to a summary on Business Insider yesterday; this is the underlying article. It’s very readable.

Dakota Access Pipeline ‘Water Protectors’ Block Construction Despite National Guard Blockade, Police Harassment & Arrests Mint Press (furzy)

Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine Near $5 Million CFTC Settlement Wall Street Journal. Pathetic.

Accused Terror Financier Can Be Served Lawsuit via Twitter, Judge Rules US News (J-LS). Wowsers.

Oops! NYU says sorry for accidentally saying professor won Nobel Boston Globe

Bernie Sanders to DOJ: Focus Wells Fargo criminal probe on senior execs CNN. Go Bernie!

Merrill Lynch: Retirement Savers Must Pay Fees, Not Commissions Wall Street Journal. And of course they are blaming the change on regs.

Deutsche Bank as Next Lehman Brothers: Far-Fetched but Not Unthinkable New York Times. Pushes the line awfully hard that the DoJ should pull back on its fines because poor Deutsche if too fragile.

Retailers Are Now Blaming the Election for Poor Sales Bloomberg. Before it was just Putin’s fault. Now it’s Trump’s fault too?

Class Warfare

Eating roadkill in West Virginia BBC (Dr. Kevin). From last week, still germane.

Uber meshes with US public transit in small-town drive Financial Times

Antidote du jour. Richard Smith, from Atlas Obscura, The World’s Fluffiest Wildcats Are Getting Their Own Park:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Cry Shop

    Justice Dept AG Lynch must be pleased as punch with Sen. Sanders and the rest. The harder they press for criminal charges, the more she can shake down Wells Fargo for her post government give-backs.

  2. Roger Smtih

    Speaking of Hurricane Matthew, a family member noticed that Clinton was buying ad space on the Weather Channel during their coverage of the storm.

    Nothing like a good disaster for P.R. Ugh.

    Edit: Why do my comments keep going into moderation?

          1. justanotherprogressive

            I must say that whenever I read WaPo, NYT or watch the evening news, I do feel as though I have entered an alternate universe……too bad I’ve already taken the red pill…..

          2. diptherio

            Oooohhh! I smell bidness model! There’s always been good money to be made convincing the stupid wealthy of one ridiculous thing or another (see Scientology). Maybe some of us should open up a “de-matrixing” consulting shop. Our only start-up costs will be a couple packs of red and blue pills. I’m sure we can find something over the counter that will work…

            1. polecat

              ..”Boy … ignorance IS bliss ….”

              “And another thing…… I wanna be somebody important …. like, say, an actor ……. and I wanna be rich !”
              …… ” You’ll make sure I won’t recall any of this ,,,, right !?”…….

              “I don’t wanna remember nothin !”

          3. Roger Smith

            Let’s say we are in a simulation. What makes these people think we even could “get out”? Where is there to “get out” too? Who says we are still humans in pods? If we are just data somewhere, how can we escape the system we are within?

            This is one step away from a cult that gets people voluntarily die to claim they are “escaping the system”.

          4. Oregoncharles

            @Cry Shop – a bit alarming, since who is in a better position to know? (No, I don’t think it’s true, but the source creeps me out a bit.)

    1. Paula

      Yesterday I was reading the Haiti Tribune. Said that last week Obama announced deportations would begin again for Haitians. Everything was fine now. The Haitians think it’s because they hate Hillary Clinton and everything Clinton. And they met with Trump and complained about them in Miami’s Little Haiti. Trump sat and listened.
      I found the publication because I was thinking Haiti should be hurricane-proof after all that earthquake money and the “build back better” theme I’d heard tossed around.

      1. apber

        Clinton and Bush Sr raised close to $14 billion for Haiti after the earthquake, but less than 5% was spent on anything for the Haitians; that’s principally why Haitians won’t vote for Clinton. Hmmm wonder where the money went? There’s a Pulitzer for a good investigative journalist, if there are any that exist.

      2. Roger Smith

        Reading reports of the Hurricane hitting Haiti I could not help but wonder what all that Clinton Foundation money might have done to help prepare them for storms like this had it actually been spent there.

        1. Skippy

          If the money had been actually spent as it was advertised it would have messed with the US pro sport – garment industry.

          Disheveled Marsupial…. as such it would be a direct attack on profits and GDP….

  3. Kokuanani

    Re Ted Rall’s article: I get hounded by Clintinoids too. But to further illustrate how unimaginative they are: I live in MD, a “blue” state. So I can freely vote for whomever I want; MD’s gonna vote Blue [although because the Dems were SO lame (crap candidate & sat on their butts) when the governorship came open, we have a Rep governor who’s growing more popular by the day].

    Why aren’t the Clininoids focusing their harassing on folks in swing states; leave those of us in Blue or Red states alone.

    If they really wanted to nibble at our consciences, they could ask that we phone bank, donate, or otherwise work to assure Hillary’s ascension. But they’re so focused on their cult of personality and scaring folks, they don’t think strategically.

    Edit: received my ballot info booklet yesterday and noticed that while around 22 candidates registered to be eligible to be written in, Bernie apparently did not.

    1. Pavel

      Ted Rail’s piece in CounterPunch is excellent, highly recommended.

      With today’s news that the White House colluded with the Clinton team to cover up the email scandal (which, let’s not forget, included serious incompetence and actual lawbreaking), it is so clear the Dems are thoroughly corrupt and don’t give a damn about truth or democracy. If Obama and Clinton were actually doing any good in the world, I’d give them a bit of a pass, but instead they have continued on from Bush to destroy the Mideast and are ramping up a war with Russia in Syria. WTF?

      I just watched Max Keiser interview David Stockman on his RT show — Stockman was great in placing most of the blame for the current economy on the neocons who since Reagan’s time have created enemies and wars to boost military spending. Stockman says even wild unpredictable Trump is better than the devil we do know — HRC.

      My feeling is they are both so horrible in their own way, but Trump would get my vote just to put an end to the dishonest, greedy, corrupt warmongering Clinton Dynasty. We saw in Bill’s presidency how secretive and paranoid and dishonest they were with the press.

      Christ, I am just so depressed. The Sanders supporters show go en masse to Jill Stein to protest against Clinton and the DNC.

      1. Benedict@Large

        Why does everyone keep referring to voting for Stein as a protest vote? I’m not protesting anything. I’m voting for Stein because she advocates for policies I identify with far better than other candidates do.

    2. Anne

      It’s too bad more Americans don’t have the luxury of voting however they want like we Marylanders do; the fact that people are more or less forced to hold their noses and vote for candidates they don’t feel are truly worthy of their vote is just one more reason why it’s long past time to stop using the confining and antiquated Electoral College to have so much control over the vote: just let everyone vote, count all the votes cast in the entire country, and declare the one with the most votes the winner, period.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It made sense in 1789, when the founders used “states” in the european sense of sovereign countries, who were only delegating the management of trade and military affairs to Washington.

        State governments were represented in the Senate, as is logical in a federal structure (i.e., states had a veto over unfunded mandates).

        Once Amendment XVII overturned the federal structure in 1913, the logic behind the Electoral College was lost and forgotten, except among a few historians.

        As the year 2000 debacle in Florida revealed, the Electoral College at least narrows close contests to one state. Without it, all 50 states present equal opportunity for vote fraud, a system that could be described as less resilient.

      2. Yoghurt

        Most Americans do not live a swing state. There are only about a half dozen swinger in each election and Ohio and Florida are usually among them.

        I’d like to see one person one vote. Then I might get some attention and this would also spare the poor Ohioan from the torrent of those horrible campaign ads.

        The electoral college goes back to the “original sin” of slavery. How else is 3/5 of a person supposed to vote? Give them a ballot and have it count like 0.6 of a normal voter? That would be ridiculous!

      3. Benedict@Large

        No one is forcing you into voting for or against anyone. The major parties do not own your vote. The country will not collapse if Hillary doesn’t get elected (what a silly notion), and Donald Trump, no matter how you may detest him, is not the Second Coming of Adolph Hitler.

        When you walk into your voting booth, think to yourself, “How would I vote if I didn’t know how other people were voting?” Then vote that way. Because that is the only way you’ll ever have a chance of getting what you want.

        1. Anne

          I think on some level, most of us are aware that the world isn’t going to come to an end no matter who gets elected – but I also think that we have a sense that who we vote for and who ultimately gets elected will have some role in whether we move closer to the end, get stuck in a holding pattern, or make actual progress extending the life of our country and the world.

          And a lot of what our world looks like starts close to home, with the people we elect to run our towns and counties and cities, with the people we elect to school and zoning boards – people whose efforts have a direct and tangible effect on our day-to-day lives.

          For the last couple elections, I’ve voted as if it was my choice, and my choice only, that would determine who the next president would be. Why not? It’s my vote and I should cast it – or not – in line with what I want, what I believe, what I think. I don’t “protest” vote – I’ve never seen the sense in that, given that none of our votes comes with an asterisk, and once you give your vote to someone, that’s pretty much the end of any control you might have had over what the person you voted for decides to do with it once he or she is elected.

          There are so many ways we could make it possible for more people to participate in this process; I will never understand those who work so hard to keep people out of the voting booth.

    3. Katharine

      >we have a Rep governor who’s growing more popular by the day

      For reasons passing comprehension. His flunkies are doing their best to destroy mass transit in our largest city, where a sizable fraction of the population has no alternative. It already takes less time to get from Penn Station to Washington than to get across town, and that discrepancy is going to increase dramatically with the increased number of transfers and lower frequencies of buses in the new “improved” system.

      1. Anne

        Hogan is also making some terrible decisions on the environment, as well – and I think he overreached on the school calendar issue, as well. The decision about when the school year begins should not be made on the basis of the economic benefit to MD businesses; I really did not like him standing on the boardwalk in Ocean City crowing about how great this would be for OC, and his assumption that this would mean more families getting to vacation with their kids seemed remarkably tone-deaf: for most families, it will mean an extra week or two of day care expense that they already can’t afford – and for some families, it will mean an extra week or two of trying to stretch a food budget that already is not adequate to properly feed growing children.

        And at the risk of sounding like a horrible human being, I think his popularity is benefiting from a tide of goodwill in connection with his recovery from the lymphoma diagnosis; the problem is that beating cancer doesn’t mean he should get his way on a host of issues that are bad for the citizens of this state.

        1. Katharine

          Yes. Among other things, his support for fracking in western Maryland is amazingly wrongheaded, even on his own terms, as it would certainly harm the existing economy of the region while creating more problems that cost money to fix.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Bue and Red states never existed until a few elections ago and are figments of some corporate media hack’s imagination. Don’t believe the hype.

      Everyone in every state can and should vote freely and to hell with this ridiculous ‘strategic’ voting that only results in awful people being elected either way.

      1. Anne

        I don’t think the demise of the electoral college would mean the end of all this bullying and hectoring about who people HAVE TO vote for – it might even make it a little worse. But I think it would help people feel like their votes really do matter (and given that the cost of advertising in all 50 states would be prohibitively expensive, it might even give campaign finance reform a shove in the right direction) – that you’d see an end to the notion that if you are a Democrat/Republican in a majority Republican/Democratic state, there’s no point in voting – and – I think there’s an excellent chance that it would really benefit third parties, who would have a better chance of loosening the stranglehold the two major parties have on the process.

        Which is probably why it won’t happen anytime soon…

            1. hunkerdown

              Someone who had just as much to gain from 9/11 as the other guy. (As FDR, lest we forget.)

    5. Paula

      I’m in a purple state. Sort of. GA. I still won’t vote Hillary. Her followers are so vicious and cult-like, she’ll get no push-back. They make her even more dangerous. Maybe if the Libertarians get 5%, they’ll come up with some better candidates next time. Plus, I’m old now and I just don’t care.

    1. Optimader

      Never considered it in terms of %, but If you ever flipped through the CFR he might not be far off. I would like to see a chart of regulation charted against paper reproduction technology sales

    2. justanotherprogressive

      I actually agree with Trump on that one. As someone who has worked with MANY different regulations during my career, I know that most of the “regulations” are actually loopholes. 40 CFR is a prime example. We would do much better with clearer, simpler regulations that are actually fair to everyone in this country, instead of regulating some and allowing “outs” to others doing the exact same things.

      1. JTMcPhee

        JP, I second that observation, from work as an enforcement attorney with US EPA who also go sucked into regulation drafting and all its sick “capture” elements. I had way too much experience with federal acquisition rules, also, speaking of bullshit and loop holes and tricks to kneecap competition inserted by plugged-in “stakeholders,” both in early “computerization” of the Agency, and through the “Superfund” and Clean Water Act “construction grants” program and others…

        On the other hand, I also lived through two (and parts of a third) “regulatory reforms,” that were intended to “purge duplication and unnecessary regulations” and all that other crap that the Reagan and Clinton and Bushies pushed out there, Here’s a nice laugher from the SEC, from back in 1982: . And there was the whole “regulatory review process,” that was an attempt to seize complete control over the delegated rulemaking function by the Imperial Presidency.

        I would be almost as concerned about what the parasites and tumors of K Street, and all the in-house lobbying and influence-peddling shites, and banksters and Friends of The Clantons, would do if given yet another opportunity to “innovate and simplify” in yet another round. It’s a little like the True Believers who are calling (less loudly, lately) for another Constitutional Convention. The political economy is so far top-weighted and beyond repair (from the ordinary persons’ standpoint) that expecting regulatory review or opening the Pandora’s Cauldron of a ConCon to “fix” anything is complete fairy-tale material…

        Since “we” ordinary people lack any kind of organizing principle to coalesce around, I’m pretty pessimistic that any of the “vulnerabilities” that “we” face (corporate hegemony, corruption, climate collapse, war-everywhere, “groaf,” banking/money/debt, runaway “really cool technology,” and the rest) will ever be resolved short of collapse and anomie…

        But that’s just me, of course…

      2. polecat

        There are mountains of laws & regs. passed, at every level, year…after year…after year ….. to the point of utter contradiction and obsurdity !! …. But, hey, our law-maker/breakers gotta (try) spin gold from (wet, putrid) straw any way they can ….. even to the point of collapse, and/or world war !!

      3. JerseyJeffersonian

        I serve as the clerk of government documents at Rutgers Law Library in Camden, NJ. The print form of the Code of Federal Regulations now runs to 241 – count ’em – volumes, many of them quite substantial.

        Yes, you really have to question this. And every month a new volume of the Later Statutes Affected issues, accounting for changes mandated by statutes recently passed involving regulations.

        Don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but there is something to Alexander the Great’s approach to the Gordian Knot; endeavoring to painstakingly untie it is futile, so just cut it, and start over.

    3. diptherio

      Well, if we were to drop the regs that don’t get enforced, or only get enforced against the little guys, then yeah 70% would sound reasonable. At least if we didn’t have any regulations, we wouldn’t have to put up with gov’t puppets assuring us that they’ve got everything under control. Would you rather have no regulations/regulators at all, or simply the appearance of having regulation/regulators? Those seem to be the options we now face…just sayin’

      1. Romancing The Loan

        Just like climate change. Would you like us to 1. Do Nothing or 2. Do Nothing But Pretend We Care.

        Honestly I think option 2 is probably more dangerous in the long run.

    4. Medbh

      “Life experience” changed my perspective on this issue as well. I worked in higher education, and some of the regulations are utterly ridiculous. For example, try reading the Clery handbook.

      The intent of that law was honorable, but implementation is completely unworkable. I attend a one week conference because I was asked to update our report. The presenters did real time quizzes to see if attendees understood the content. Over half the attendees had attended before and had years of experience writing these reports. The presenters were lucky to get 75% of the audience to answer the questions correctly. I walked away from that conference utterly disgusted. The presenters were good, it was the regulation that was crazy. That law cannot be meaningfully implemented.

      People complain about higher education and administrative bloat. That law is a perfect example. Tons of paperwork, significant sanctions, impossible to comply with, expensive to implement, and fails to address the core issue that lead to the law’s enactment in the first place.

      And that’s just one regulation. I’ve dealt with a number of them, and was dismayed by how meaningless and ineffective many of them were. In many cases, regulations seem to primary benefit the lawyers and the huge corporations. Regulations aren’t created for us anymore.

      I don’t know what the solution is, as there should be structure in place to protect society from the unethical, selfish, or sociopathic. But it feels like the laws now serve them, rather than help or protect us.

      1. JTMcPhee

        You got it, Mebdh. “Law,” or something, appears to be a necessity for JudeoXtians and other trained monkeys. My 26 years as a lawyer taught me how “law” is actually created and enforced, or not. Once the grandmothers were barred from holding the shiftiness males to the old tribal standards (see the posts on how the Oglala Lakotah community appears to work, in today’s comments and links) the rot sets in. And we mopes will amazingly accept pretty much any looting and abuse, “because it’s legal.” And because, short of going off the reservation, there’s so little the mopes can “do about it.”

        And there’s a long tearful history (see First People history, and the history of the labor movement, and stuff like the Bonus March) that tells us what happens to those who do dare to venture off the reservation or away from the “company towns…”

        I have a favorite bit from nature: it turns out that ants who “farm” aphids use chemical controls to keep the aphids stupefied and close to home, so they can more easily be looted of the nectar they produce. And when one of those “farmer” ants gets a hankering for protein, it just grabs and eats the nearest aphid.

        Not at all like our advanced, sophisticated human culture,at all, at all…

  4. allan

    Billionaire Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Owes $15 Million In Taxes And Fines [NPR]

    West Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor is a billionaire, a philanthropist and a resort and coal mine owner who cites his business and mining experience as major attributes as he seeks to lead his home state out of a severe budget and economic crisis.

    “I am not a career politician; I am a career businessman,” wrote Jim Justice in an April 5 op-ed that appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

    But an NPR investigation shows that Justice’s mining companies still fail to pay millions of dollars in mine safety penalties two years after an earlier investigation documented the same behavior. Our analysis of federal data shows that Justice is now the nation’s top mine safety delinquent. …

    This is good news for Joe Manchin. It’s also good news for Donald Trump:

    … In 2011, with news stories celebrating the announcement, Justice promised to contribute $10 million to Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the commercialization arm of the Ohio medical giant.

    Cleveland Clinic spokesperson Janice Guhl tells NPR “no money was received from Mr. Justice.”

    Three months earlier, the Boy Scouts of America announced a $25 million gift from Justice to create the James C. Justice National Scout Camp, which is part of a 14,000-acre Boy Scout reserve in West Virginia.

    But Herring confirms that Justice donated only $5 million and some land. He says the coal industry’s decline “has delayed some larger donations, but Jim Justice always keeps his word and has every intention of fulfilling all of his charitable pledges.” …

  5. jgordon

    On growing tomatoes in the desert with solar energy:

    Does it amaze anyone else as much as it does me that despite having high IQs and fancy educations people are really dumb? It seems like the more time we spend in school being academically successful the more warped and delusional we come out at the end. I believe this explains how someone thought that growing tomatoes in the desert with solar energy was a good idea.

    Since we are talking about energy, that idea is roughly on par with deciding to push your car to work because it ran out of gas. But considering the advanced state of decay that our culture and conceptual framework of reality is in, it’s understandable why so many get caught up in this kind of mass delusion.

    1. tegnost

      my wtf line from that article was the closing one…
      “Solving that problem is likely to be a matter not of sheltering plants in greenhouses, but of designing crops that really can survive in a desert.”
      I don’t personally approve of “designing” crops, except in the darwinian fashion of marvelling at the work of nature through simple cross pollination.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Then you’d probably starve to death. Man has been “designing” crops since the day he began farming, choosing plants with the largest yield, most bug resistance, etc…

        1. tegnost

          I said that’s the kind of designing I would approve of, not a fan of genetically modified organisms which is the implication I take away from this. Guess I should have said simple cross pollination and etc…but not gmo

        2. Portia

          Luther Burbank style is much much different than the mad scientist test tube patented buy-our-seed-or-starve-you-poor-bastids variety.

          I believe you are a troll, as someone else suggested.

        3. Binky

          This is a popular lie among certain technocratic elites. Thousands of years of husbandry is equivalent to irradiation, viral injection, etc.? Mengelethink.

      2. jgordon

        My WTF moment occurred when I read that they were spending 150 million dollars to grow a few truckloads of tomatoes. Not just energy accounting–which is admittedly esoteric in our (declining) fossil fuel driven civilization, these people failed at financial accounting. Dumb!

    2. Katharine

      >It seems like the more time we spend in school being academically successful the more warped and delusional we come out at the end.

      When I was a grad student, there was a department secretary who used to shake her head and say, “The more education, the less sense.” I’ve never seen a reason to disagree.

      The worst of it is, most of us are not really all that well educated, regardless of quantity. Rigorous thought is a rarity, and even those who are good in their own fields tend to get sloppy outside them. If eighty percent of our civilization were wiped out and the survivors had to recreate what we got from the Greeks and Arabs, we’d be up a creek.

      1. Portia

        “Education” is supposed to provide us with tools, IMO, not a brainwashing into an irrevocable “reality” it is dangerous to criticize.

        1. Katharine

          Precisely. But the education we get now usually focuses on how to use the highly developed tools created over the previous three to five millennia, not on using our minds to understand how they were created or how to take them further. If the system crashed, we’d be back in the Dark Ages because most of us haven’t a clue about the underlying principles, much less the habits of observation and rational thought that established those principles in the first place.

          1. Portia

            well, as far as the direction technology has taken, it has been more in the way of making everyone dependent on a particular lifestyle, and increasing numbers of people find it unaffordable. there are plenty of people who have kept the “old ways” alive, though you would never know it from MSM. to me, that “system” is all about control of resources, and it is not sustainable. many people, myself included, are “making do” already. so yes it is dangerous to trust that you will be taken care of by that system, for sure. Ain’t gonna happen.

            1. Katharine

              Making do is a good plan, but you probably rely on more aspects of the system than you have considered. Astronomy, giving us celestial navigation, without which boats need to stay in sight of land, and seasonal predictions and calendars. (Weather forecasts are nice too, but require highly advanced physics and good instruments.) Geometry and trigonometry (not to mention later developments like calculus), contributing largely to astronomy, map-making, and physical theory. Metallurgy, without which even the basic tools you rely on could no longer be manufactured. Mechanics and rudiments of engineering.

              Heck, who among us could even figure out how to make a serviceable wheel after all the old ones had worn out?

              1. Medbh

                That’s a great example. Now I have to go find some links to figure out how to make a wheel. I read a ton of books and visit the library multiple times a week, but also probably search daily for some random information on the Internet. It would be a significant mental reset to go back to needing paper books, much less only having community-based knowledge.

                There’s so little reservoir now for this type of skill or knowledge. Kind of like the species that become so specialized they can’t handle even a minor disturbance to their original environment. There’s too little flexibility left and they can’t go back to an earlier stage of development.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  What do you mean, “little flexibility to go back to earlier stages”? I have the instruction on how to regress my iPhone and iPad from iOS 10 to iOS 9.4.3, right here in a file somewhere…

      2. hunkerdown

        “We”, as in representatives of Western civilization as it stands now, would be hard pressed to reassemble what stands now. But isn’t that a bit ethnocentric? I contest that what the Greeks and Arabs left to us wasn’t all that precious, and indeed, carried seeds of its own destruction. We might be better off starting over without some of that disinformation, if the time scale of nations informs our perspective.

        You’re also neglecting that communication isn’t enabled solely by Western society. One in five survivors surely know how to plant a hill of beans. Civilization can wait, and so what if there’s a Dark Age? Just because there’s no high drama to write about doesn’t mean that people weren’t living and trading. Humanity loses human knowledge all the time.

    3. JohnnyGL

      I see your point about the idea being “dumb”. It’s funny, the article has a quote from a critic fairly early on.

      Really, $150M facility to solve a problem that doesn’t exist? :)

      Reminded me of this cartoon…

      Some people get more concerned with showing off and forget that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Don’t be dumb and start making figure 8s and crap!

    4. DarkMatters

      >Does it amaze anyone else as much as it does me that despite having high IQs and fancy educations people are really dumb?

      People aren’t dumb, just conned by the greatest propaganda machine in history. I know people who have uncritically picked up the oddest ideas from NPR, convinced that NPR would never distort because its so reputable. When spin is passed off as data, you can get people to accept virtually anything. In such an environment, even trying to inform oneself carries a risk of learning falsehoods, a situation where intelligence doesn’t necessarily help. The only thing I’ve found helpful is familiarity with some of the classic psychology experiments, so you can recognize the tricks when they’re being pulled. William Casey, when head of the CIA, said, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.

  6. JTMcPhee

    It’s just spitting into a Bernaysian hurricane, but could I ask why the BRIBERS and CORRUPTERS who send money to political candidates and already embedded rulers, are called “donors?”

    When I send money to the Red Cross in the hope that some of it will help alleviate misery of fellow humans I sort of think of myself as a “donor.” Kochs are not “donors,” nor is Soros or the Walton scum or any of the rest of the squillionaire class using rent money to further secure their positions as thieves-in-chief.

    Of course as noted, that’s just spitting into the wind…

    1. NY Union Guy

      LOL @”bernaysian hurricane”!!!

      I strongly suggest all of you NCers who haven’t yet to watch “century of the self” on YouTube to learn more about the dastardly Mr. Bernays and the propaganda, er, PR industry he helped to create.

    2. Oregoncharles

      I call them “funders,” because that’s what public (?) TV calls it. Granted, even that’s too polite when it’s really just bribery. Another word would be “clients,” as in the purchasers of their services.

  7. Faye Carr

    Good morning from North Central Florida. Where we are currently enjoying a light morning rain, cooler temps, and a lovely cup of coffee.

    Contemplating in which order to return the small livestock to their places, the seed starts to their intended rows, the wagons and carts to their upright and rolling positions.

    Glad that we prepared anyway. Glad we didn’t have to make a crazed run to the store because we’re always ready.

    Content because yesterday the FARMette was all picked up, tools and such put where they belonged. A chore we’d been neglecting.

    More than ecstatic that cooler, dryer air is on the way. Finally. I think I’ll put in the kale and collards today. Onions and garlic too. While my soil is nicely hydrated.

    1. RWood

      But Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told media he was concerned that relatively light damage in southern parts of the state could give people further north a false sense of security.
      “People should not be looking at the damages they’re seeing and saying this storm is not that bad,” Fugate told NBC. Fugate also said people should be aware the hurricane carried more than just ferocious winds.
      “The real danger still is storm surge, particularly in northern Florida and southern Georgia. These are very vulnerable areas. They’ve never seen this kind of damage potential since the late 1800s.”

      1. Katharine

        One of my relatives who evacuated inland let me know at 3 a.m. that this was excruciatingly slow and she was having trouble sleeping.

        The only favorable factor with respect to flooding is that we’re near neap tides, but I suspect that may just mean a difference in the height of the waterline on the wall.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Here in Viera, FL (north Melbourne}, about 15 miles due west of Cocoa Beach, we seem to be through the worst of it. We never lost power or satellite TV. We’ve already had the dogs out twice this morning–they were messy but problem solved.

        My significant other spent 4 hours day before yesterday putting up storm shutters for the elderly lady across the street who lost her husband a month ago. I was kind of hoping karma would remember that when the storm finally hit and it seems like she did.

        Meanwhile, a political storm seems to be brewing in the state, stoked by the disease that never goes away known as debbie wasserman-schultz. The last day to register to vote is tomorrow, and the governor has so far refused to extend the deadline because of the hurricane.

        And the hits just keep on comin’…….

  8. timbers

    “Go ahead, make my day”


    BREAKING: Russia Will Take Down Any American Airplane or Rocket Targeting Syrian Army (Video) Russia Insider (DF)

    Russia Warns US Not to Intervene in Syria, Threatens to Shoot Down Any Airstrike Attempts ABC (Dan K)

    Long overdue IMO. On a serious note, while Russian defensive systems are reported best in the world, one never knows for sure how they work in real battle fields. So in all honesty the Clint Eastwood quote is at least 50% bravado. And how can anyone know how the psychotic neocons running our SOS/CIA/Pentagon will react when confronted by reality and a near equal saying “Nyet” to their hysterical faces and gigantic egos.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A lot of conflicts start because one or both sides are overconfident about their military capabilities.

      In the late 1970’s a Russian traitor in the USSR government agency responsible for arms exports gave the CIA vast amounts of technical information on all Soviet air and missile technologies available to its allies. Its the primary reason why it proved so very easy for the USAF to neutralise Libyan and Iraqi air defences in attacks in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The Soviets had to basically rewrite every bit of computer code and redesign their radars and electronic defences of every combat aircraft and missile. The Russians also had an essentially lost decade in the 1990’s where they invested nothing in weaponry.

      So I doubt if they are as advanced as they think they are – I suspect they are well aware that the US may have the capability to at least neutralise some of their air defences. But having said that, the extreme caution shown by the US military in any area where up to date Russian weaponry is available suggests that the professionals have a strong respect for Russian defensive capacity. I don’t think anyone reasonable wants to see this tested.

      1. Pat

        Talking out of my hat on military expertise, but not so much on human nature, I would bet America’s military capabilities may be highly exaggerated. And it isn’t just because they don’t deal well with guerrilla warfare. One would think that 15+ years of war would lead to a tested military, but outside of our drone capacity there is not much indication of this. With an increasingly corrupt and unregulated MIC much of our weaponry are well mocked boondoggles. But how those have been handled, should not lend any confidence in the stuff that aren’t out right pieces of excrement. There was just too much money floating around with the government willing to spend a lot and get little.

        As you say this is a both sides should not be so sure. But if I were to bet on the military technology that has been tested and done what it was supposed to do, it wouldn’t be on that from America.

        1. NY Union Guy


          Pentagon procurement has been increadibly corrupt for decades. Many, if not all, of the procurement issues exposed by the military reform movement in the 1980’s were never corrected and have gotten worse.

          The F-35 boondoggle is a perfect example of how dysfunctional things have gotten.

    2. Optimader

      Reported best in the world, by whom?… your confirmation bias is showing. Like mutually spoiling food once the package is open, bring on rev2.0 milspc contracts
      Advance wildweasles go in, get lit up by target aquisition radar, maybe plane(s) sacrificed while SAM ground targets are turned to little bits.

      Maybe some limited air combat at a degraded level because neither side wants to expose real capability, maybe a few more planes sacrificed.
      Much acrimony
      Kerry goes to Moscow for breakfast/lunch/dinner

      So who has the higher headcount in Syria these days according to wkipedia cotation, russia is winning that horse race! Any alternative links on that.

      1. timbers

        Have no idea what you are talking about it’s too jargony for me, went over my head.

        You may be right about confirmation bias as I read Scott net Puppet masters, MoonofAlabama, The Saker. Doubtless bias there. Right or wrong, they do generally say the S400 and better than anything the U.S. has.

        1. optimader


          The problem for the S400 operator, or any other SAM operator is that using it is most likely a death sentence.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            And the problem for the Wild Weasel is that if rumours are correct, as soon as it switches on its jamming mechanism it becomes a target for Russian missiles which passively home in on their jamming signals. They won’t even know the missiles are coming as the guidance is entirely passive.

            1. optimader

              That (passive) efficacy and countermeasures capabilities may or may not be true, who has better propaganda?, I really have no idea, but traditionally at least, the Wild Weasel role uses end of service life airframes, maybe for a reason?

              I think both adversaries in this equation are disposable, but I presume the S400 would be more difficult to reestablish and maintain availability after the first contestants kill each other.

              But now we’re segueing into milporn speculation I guess.

              1. Antifa

                You’re forgetting that these counter-engagements begin about 400 kilometers out, and the operating procedure on the S-400 batteries is to fire and immediately move. These are fire-and-forget missiles, and their launching pad won’t be there if the American missile even arrives. The S-400 will already be firing from a different location.

                You’re also forgetting that the S-400 operates in brigades, meaning a simultaneous launch of 24 missiles at a time, and then the whole brigade moves a mile away to fire again. It is designed to take out not only whole squadrons of fighters and bombers, but AWACS and missiles as well.

                The only tactical weakness of the S-400 system is if the enemy uses nukes.

          2. timbers

            Yep. Jargony. Don’t have the slightest clue what you’re saying. Example;

            “So who has the higher headcount in Syria these days according to wkipedia cotation, russia is winning that horse race! Any alternative links on that.”

            No clue what you mean.

            BTW when is the last time YOU used an S400 in a combat situation?

            1. Optimader

              If you were to look at the wikipedia link, their citations indicate that the Russians have so far killed more syrian civilians, is that still too jargony for you?

              Um, does one need to have used an “S400 in a combat situation” (or by extention anything / anywhere?) to have an opinion? If so, I think you’ve opened a new and rather limiting chapter in debate strategy!
              Have you ever been hit by a car while operating a bicycle in a combat situation? Do you need to be to have an opinion about it’s relative merits?

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Ultimately, nobody really knows anything, as the best technology is always kept under wraps, and there are multiple layers of false information programs out there. All sides have tricks up their sleeves.

          I think the general view is that the main plank of Russian area denial strategy is not to target attacking aircraft. They see the main weak link in US strategy as being the use of stand-off electronic warfare and air to air refuelling – i.e. the reluctance of the US to get too close to its adversaries. They would target AIWAC aircraft and air tankers with long range missiles and use the threat of submarines to keep aircraft carriers in the Med well away. Supply lines would then be stretched so far it would be logistically too difficult for the US to maintain any lengthy period of attacks. Any modern combat aircraft is at its most vulnerable when operating at the very limits of its range. They would know that the US would be reluctant to use its best technology because of the potential embarrassment of losing a B2 or F-22. The US could lob lots of cruise missiles or stand off missiles, but those are only as good as the targeting information, and the US has little on the ground intel.

          So there would likely be lots of fireworks and not a lot else. We could only hope that nobody is pushed far enough to start escalating.

          1. optimader

            Ultimately, nobody really knows anything, as the best technology is always kept under wraps, and there are multiple layers of false information programs out there. All sides have tricks up their sleeves.

            I think that is the case, and neither the Russian or US MIL ( I presume) want to expose true capabilities in a proxy war. Just my opinion.

          2. Jake

            Re: PK

            So there would likely be lots of fireworks and …

            missed targets and collateral damage. Which is what equates to “little else” in the above. Nothing like killing the people you are claiming to be trying to help.

          1. timbers

            Still means nothing to me, no complete thought. For example are you saying wikipedia is a big mutual fail?

            No clue what you mean.

            1. optimader

              Still means nothing to me, no complete thought.
              Cant help you on your intellectual process

              a big mutual fail?
              A perceived necessity to mutually escalate. Still too jargony for you?

  9. Savanarola

    “Eating roadkill . . .” If it is from last week it might be Germaine, but it will also be pretty ripe. (Couldn’t help myself.)

        1. JTMcPhee

          Nah– the Street Meat is usually contaminated, inter alia, with a whole host of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, many of which are carcinogenic and have other health effects. Comes from the tar and bitumen used to pave the road surfaces. Transfer to the “food” is increased with temperature and the number of times the critter is run over before it’s “harvested.”

          And grilling the armadillo “flattie patty” just adds to the toxic load in the “food.” But hey, on one gets out of life alive…

            1. optimader

              haahaha! indeed..
              just kidding, if the sequestered chemicals don’t kill you the parasites will!

              But now there was the days of yore 2:00AM nightclub scene street vendors with Rat Sate w/ peanut sauce…mmmmm

                1. optimader

                  kaffir lime leaves
                  one of those irreplaceable ingredients. Like trying to make Tai Tea w/o Tai Tea leaves

  10. Dan

    Re: Sizing Up the Endgame James Howard Kunstler. And I think the incessant war drums are backup scapegoat plans in case the economy tanks and the Donald isn’t there to blame…. So if Donald isn’t around to be the blame for the oncoming economic train wreck, we have the Ruskies.

    1. Roger Smith

      Right, the article makes the strongest case I’ve seen for putting Clinton in the hot seat. That said we cannot know for sure how events will play out (and there is this looming WW3 she is amping up). We also know that she has unreasonable luck with deflecting issues, even when directly implicated. Based on the laundry list of free passes she has received, I am not sure this strategy would play out the way it should.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Kunstler is focused on seating HRC at the economic “banquet of consequences.”

        He rather glosses over the risk of putting Hillary Clooneytunes — Hollywood’s fave to nuke the planet — in charge of the football.

        One mushroom cloud can ruin your whole day (although it’s a killer buy signal for stocks).

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Can we afford another pneumonia episode in the middle of a showdown with the bad guys?

        2. Anon

          James Kunstler is in his late 60’s and isn’t looking past the horizon. The setting Sun is probably his focus.

    2. Deschain

      The problem with having Hillary be the bagholder (and I agree that is exactly what will happen) is that it puts the GOP in excellent position to sweep all branches of government in 2020 almost regardless of who they put at the top of the ticket. Imagine someone who combines the worst policy aspects of Trump and Cruz but is a more disciplined campaigner and is a true believer rather than a con man.

      Also keep in mind 2020 is a census year which means redistricting.

      If Hillary loses to Trump it goes a long way to clear the path for a more progressive Dem candidate in 2020 against a Trump who will be the bagholder.

      Having said that I still can’t pull the lever for Trump.

      1. pretzelattack

        unless we can retake the democratic party from the dinos, i don’t think redistricting makes much difference. we have a 2 headed monster.

      2. Carla

        Then pull the lever for Stein, and apparently Trump will still be your fault. That’s what I plan to do, with full knowledge that I will be blamed by the sainted Sanders (and everyone else who passes for “the left”) if Trump wins.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            I’m going to use your line the next time a person tries to bully me into voting for Clinton because, you know, Trump – I hope you don’t mind.

    3. Optimader

      The Clintons cant be shamed. It will be BHO’s fault! She was only the best SOS in history, not his economic advisor.
      Bill will have done what he could do picking up the pieces as the Special Economic Czar and firstlady :o/

      If only the country had elected HRC sooner. :o/
      Ultimately thats on you, the deplorable John Q Public

    4. Antifa

      I’m tired of reading articles, essays, blog posts, memes, you-name-it that meander through a word salad meant to represent rational thinking and always come up with the only possible choice being voting for Hillary.

      That’s not a rational choice. Hillary is a highly experienced, bloodthirsty warmonger and mass murderer, especially of civilians. I’d rather vote for someone to whom mass murder is something you only see on the Hitler channel, umm, History Channel.

  11. ProNewerDeal


    Paul Ryan is planning this “Better Policy” agenda. Apparently Ryan is assuming a Pres. Trump would sign/approve any aspect of Ryan’s policy, which supposedly includes voucherizing Medicare, cutting SS/MC, & eliminating ACA subsidies, & eliminating ACA Medicaid.

    Do you have a take on this newsstory? If Ryan is correct in stating that Trump would approve of all aspects of Ryan’s plan, this might be the best case yet for HClinton swing state Lesser Evil Voting. Is Ryan correct?

    1. Eureka Springs

      I think this ignores Dims neolibralcon proclivity or determination (you decide) to do much the same at all our 99% peril.

      1. Pat

        I also think this ignores Trump’s need to be popular. And not necessarily with the people he deals with like Ryan. And he is not unaware that doing anything that does not increase benefits from SS and Medicare is going to be extremely unpopular. ACA on the other hand is going to be ripe to be put out of its misery early.

    2. marym

      He’s planning to use budget reconciliation. Imagine that.

      It’s not clear whether Trump would approve all this, maybe so. However, Clinton would at best fake-tweak it enough to pass stuff the D’s don’t really oppose, like cut by way of chained CPI, raising the SS/MC age, further privatization of Medicare and Medicaid, and her supporters would embrace and excuse it as they have everything else for the past 8 years of Obama and so far in the Clinton campaign.

      Still voting for Jill Stein.

    3. cwaltz

      Trump is a wild card but I personally do not think his knee jerk reaction is going to be to support all of Ryan’s pet projects particularly when he ran on the concept against cutting Social Security.

      Personally, I don’t think Trump and Ryan are besties and Ryan is overestimating what the GOP label will mean to Trump(not much.)

    4. Science Officer Smirnoff

      Grover Norquist elaborates:

      To: Steve Moore, Larry Kudlow, Steve Forbes, Arthur Laffer, and Newt Gingrich
      Subject: Next President

      I’ve always said all the Republican Party needs is a dead man walking to sign Republican bills. It’s what the nation needs and what it’s sleepwalking towards.

      Trumpkins experience Trump’s embrace as many of Bill Clinton’s base basked in his “I-feel-your-pain” massaging. Trump’s is wonderfully vacuous in a political world with no presidential powers to make good on most of his wild “fixes”. As long as Poodledom’s tight lips (our best friend, the free press) protect the people’s ignorance, Republican control of all branches of government beckons. It will make House-led government shutdowns redundant.

      Then we will enter a candy story. Obviously, another generation (or two) of control of the High Court is only the starting point. United as the party has always been behind Paul Ryan’s tax and regulatory plans (the real ones circa 2010) we have been damn sure our tax proposal for the Trump campaign fits the bill. The opposition can only dream of becoming such an ideological monolith.

      Their false hope is to block us (or rather their naive voters’). Poodledom ensures the recent past—theirs—is forgot. The nuke option, rule change when the new Senate convenes, and budget reconciliation stops filibuster and other minority plays. The very high stakes will make it pay. *

      If in the end Trump sets Rome and the world afire, as the last trumpet sounds, your piety will continue you in Paradise—then Hereafter.

      *Bonus point, Robert Kuttner in American Prospect:

      Trump has promised to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act. That would take an act of Congress, but would not be necessary. He’d need only to appoint stooges(/hacks) to several key Treasury positions [per Bush-Cheney], or repeal existing regulations and not write new ones. The same is true of a broad swath of environmental, civil-rights, and labor regulation, not to mention rights of immigrants. . . Trump could reach out to such relatively conservative unions as police, fire, and building trades with a blend of carrots and sticks. He could try to enlist industrial unions such as the Steelworkers and the United Auto Workers that are most threatened by trade, and ask for their explicit support. Then he could concentrate his fire on left unions like the Service Employees International Union, which has a heavily black and Latino membership. His white working-class bona fides would be strengthened—and the labor movement’s alliance with the Democratic Party sundered.

      1. hunkerdown

        And what good is that if “Trumpkins” decide that Grover Norquist is better off the hoof than on it? These people simply believe they have control over what they don’t.

  12. Steve H.

    “Last season, Russian topped the U.S. in wheat exports for the first time in decades”
    “wheat plantings, which in the U.S. are expected to be the lowest next year since 1919”

    This is renewable energy of the most profound nature.

    “and proximity to Black Sea ports for shipping”

    In Russia, ‘Thank you’ is pronounced ‘Sevastopol.’

    Again, based on cui bono and oblique evidence, Russia is doubling down on climate change as both a relative and absolute winner.

    [Russia Becomes Global Food Superpower]

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its a matter of record that one of Putins economic advisors (I’m not sure if he’s still in the position, this dates back a few years) has said that climate change will benefit Russia because it will open up new grain growing areas on what is now permafrost (its almost certainly not true, but you don’t expect an economist to understand science). This is one reason why Russia has always been a bit ambiguous over climate change negotiations. The huge forest fires around Moscow two years ago might have made them realise its not all win-win for them.

      Interestingly, Russia has now joined France as a country which is increasing wheat and other grain yields relative to the US, despite rejecting GMO crops.

      1. Steve H.

        Hey, PK, your comment inspired me to dig down a bit.

        Putin said “agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.” This was apparently in 2003, though all mentions of this quote I’ve found are a verbatim copy of a paragraph from Kuzmin in 2015. []

        As for grain on what was permafrost, I’ve got multi-dimensional uncertainties on that. There’s a lot of stored carbon in the ground. That accounts for the anaerobic production of methane which is getting some attention now. The two main contingencies are temperature and water, and as temperature increases, water availability becomes the question. We know there will be shifts in where it goes via river systems. The best article I quick-found indicated more water available on the steppes, noting “the gradual increase of climate humidity, which is observed during last century.” []

        With the vast land resources available to Russia, they can absorb the consequences of temperate biomes moving toward the poles. If the growing range is within a narrow latitudinal band (as Jared Diamond argues), and those bands move north for the main ag areas on the planet, then Russia objectively is more resilient.

        A further uncertainty is that decision processes are based on different paradigms and parameters. Ramenskii’s grassland classification is not the same as what is used west of Russia, and we should be cautious about drawing conclusions about the behavior of those responding to different stimuli than we are. (See for more on this.)

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Thanks Steve,

          Its not a topic I know a great deal about. I do recall vaguely reading that precipitation in Siberia is actually lower than some deserts – its so wet because of minimal evaporation and permafrost prevents percolation to groundwater. So it may be that water would be a major limiting factor. I would also question the fertility of the soils – they are likely to be peat type soils and very acidic. It might take a long time for land recently released from permafrost to stabilise into anything useful for anything but low level animal grazing. I would imagine they would be like most post-glacial soils, which tend to be of poor quality unless fed by wind blown nutrients (loess).

          I don’t have sources to hand, but I think most climate models are anticipating hotter and drier summers for much of Russia. So drought and wildfire might overwhelm any positive impacts.

          I know agricultural experts may well be predicting benefits, but my experience of very specialised engineers/scientists is that they tend to work from simple linear assumptions and don’t take account of the unpredictability. I’ve sat having arguments with drainage engineers about climate change impacts. Most of them will say things like ‘the science says there will be a 20% increase in flood events, we are designing for this, so there should be no problem’. Its very difficult to shake them from their prior assumptions, they are too used to dealing with established baselines.

          1. Optimader

            It s a case of be careful what you wish for. So the agricultural “experts” can pitch their propaganda that does not define reality unfortunatly.

            I read a translated russian paper by a russian female phd studying the warming permafrost ~at least 15 or more years ago. Her calcs predicted a huge methane belch eclipsing other greenhose gas formation. And yeah its a giant anerobically rotting bog.
            When it fonally stabilizes into “agricultural land” humans may well not need it

            Thrn there is the destabilization of the Tiaga.

          2. DarkMatters

            “…should be no problem.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that phrase as a harbinger of things about to go sideways. Everywhere, from electrical engineering to the stock market.

    2. Ivy

      Expect new gluten-free spin on anti-Russia missives from DC any time now.
      In the meantime, Europeans may await cheaper prices on weissbier with the growing wheat exports.

    3. Plenue

      In retrospect, forcing the worlds largest nation, sitting on a vast amount of untapped domestic resources, to turn inward and develop its own capabilities was a counterproductive move. Nobody could have guessed. NOBODY!

  13. Jim Haygood

    Jobs, comrades:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The U.S. added 156,000 jobs in September, an increase large enough to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates before year end. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 172,000 gain in new nonfarm jobs.

    The unemployment rate rose to 5% from 4.9%, the government said Friday, mainly because more than 440,000 people joined the labor force in search of work. A broader measure of unemployment known as U6 was flat at 9.7%.

    We didn’t beat. But in the inverted logic of Wall Street (and contrary to MarketHype’s claim), this keeps J-Yel & Co from hiking rates on a treading-water economy. So everything’s cool anyhow.

    1. Jim Haygood

      After the weak jobs announcement, rate hike odds have tumbled from 30% to 15%.

      Amazing how fijos [financial journalists] feel entitled to mix their opinions and analysis with reporting data.

      But it’s a long standing tradition.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Marketwatch hyped.

      And to be contrary to that claim, the logic Wall Street uses is inverted.

      We are on track to raise rates, and this keeps the Fed from hiking rates.


      “We have a bit of everything in it. Everyone should be happy.”

    3. Benedict@Large

      “… because … people joined the labor force in search of work.”

      What does this even mean? What were these people doing before they “joined the labor force in search of work?”

      This is why no one should give economists even the time of day. Anyone who could make something like this up and still expect to be treated seriously is delusional.

  14. temporal

    Deutsche is too fragile

    Your honor my client understands that he conned money from a lot of people and they want some of it back.
    We ask for leniency because he spent it all on booze and broads.

  15. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Forget Brussels…. Politico.

    Its interesting (and helpful for the UK) that the WTO has accepted that the UK is already a member (although I wonder if this still applies if Scotland goes for independence), but it seems pretty clear that the EU is determined to block any WTO negotiations until the A.50 process is complete. The UK is in a very weak position if the EU takes a hard stance.

    What is striking is that almost any possible deal can be easily blocked by any member of the WTO for any reason, and this includes individual EU members. This effectively provides a veto over any aspect of UK policy. To take one example – countries like Poland are furious at the implication that Polish people in the UK will have restrictions on their work and movements. Poland can now simply object to any WTO negotiations with the UK so long as the threat of expulsion remains. This alone makes an anti-immigration policy a virtual impossibility for the UK, even in a hard Brexit situation. As the article notes, what the Tory party is conveniently forgetting is that much of the anti-immigrant feeling behind Brexit was against east Europeans – i.e. EU citizens, so its not the same thing as the anti-immigration feelings against non-Europeans currently sweeping some countries.

    Another obvious point is that English farmers are going to suffer, which is pretty ironic given that they mostly voted for Brexit. This spells big electoral trouble for the Conservatives given their stranglehold in the shires. WTO negotiations are always hardest over agricultural products and its almost impossible to see what sort of agreement could be forged which would allow relative free trading of manufactures along with subsidies and protections for British farmers (and fishermen). One or the other will have to be sold down the river.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This isn’t the EU pushing the WTO. The WTO made clear well before the Brexit vote that by treaty, it cannot negotiate with a member of the EU. It has to be out of the EU before talks can start.

  16. makedoanmend

    Kunstler: re voting for Clinton

    Political strategy for voting for Clinton and hope an economic apocalypse occurs? who knows?

    Stopped reading when got the the fairy-wand of the free markets would have solved our problems bit of the article.

    1. Last time an economic/business/financial problem was “solved” in the US, IMHumbleO, was when Bill Black, the regulators and the legal enforcement/judiciary sought the perps and prosecuted. This had nothing to do with free markets. It was a social-govt regulatory regime and an implied demand by democratic peoples that an accountable economic system respond to said democratic demands.

    2. There needs to be adult dialogues across many different countries, economies, non-business groups (such as Unions) and markets about the need to jettison the tickle-down, neoliberal hogwash, call out the system as hogwash, and start thinking about capital distribution systems that provide peoples with adequate income to survive and simultaneously stop the wonton accumulation of capital for accumulation’s sake.

    3. And when the adults finally get a chair at the dialogue tables, maybe they can, kinda, talk about radically adjusting “Modern” lifestyles so that we can mitigate the coming environmental and economic payback for “unbalanced” lifestyles.

    None of these objective will be achieved by some imagined perfect free market models. We do not live in a model (outside of the interior of our brains anyway). Everyone needs to learn to compromise or we will all be compromised in ways we can’t even imagine.

  17. Jim Haygood

    When you give someone 38 billion dollars, then they piss on your leg in gratitude:

    A new settlement, which would consist of up to 300 homes, is one of a string of housing developments that would nearly divide the West Bank. It is designed to house settlers from a nearby illegal outpost, called Amona, which an Israeli court has ordered demolished because it is built on private, Palestinian-owned land.

    In a statement, the State Department denounced the new construction plan, saying it would create a “significant new settlement” so deep into the West Bank that it would be “far closer to Jordan than Israel.” It said the project would “effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.”

    This latest decision was especially insulting, coming just a few weeks after the United States and Israel concluded a defense agreement guaranteeing Israel $38 billion in military aid over 10 years. If the new settlement was known earlier, it might have affected those negotiations.

    This elaborate kabuki show has been underway for 50 years now. Its whole point is to stall for time — with tear-stained handwringing by the US actors of the day — until Israel can find a Final Solution for its unwanted minority population.

    Why the US is funding ethnic cleansing with $38 billion is a question well worth contemplating.

    Contrary to the State Dept, the West Bank (like the former South African bantustans) is ALREADY so fragmented with noncontiguous parcels divided by Israeli roads that it is neither defensible nor economically viable.

    But as with any fictional theater production, the plot requires some suspension of disbelief. The show must go on!

    1. cwaltz

      With all due respect to our Washington mouthpieces, they stipulated that 75% of that 38 billion be handed right back to our defense contractors so really it wasn’t so much a gift to Israel as it was a reach around for our poor defense contracting community. Heaven forbid our government not hand over trillions of dollars each year to the souls whose livelihood is dependant on death and destruction

      1. JTMcPhee

        It does, however, leave the Israelite military with $38 billion worth of war toys the Likudniks would not otherwise have. And gee, what wonderful things the people that tried so hard to sink the US Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing dozens of US seamen in the process, and have at least 200 deliverable nuclear weapons, will be able to do with all those jets and drones and bombs and missiles… Maybe they can even buy a few more U-boats from the Germans, to carry a bunch more sub-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles…

  18. mad as hell.

    The Clinton Foundation’s Legacy in Haiti – “Haitians are more than upset…” Huffington Post (furzy)

    There is an article that will so infuriate you that you will want to call 911 and report a robbery. Geesh, first of all I never thought that the Post would run a anti-clinton article. Pretty damning. Second if I were Trump I would have bullet points tattooed on my hand and relentlessly bring them up to the queen during this week-end’s debate. How the hell can you justifiably live with yourself after stealing from the poor? Ah but the Clinton’s can and do which make them so hated by so many!

    1. Vatch

      Second if I were Trump I would have bullet points tattooed on my hand and relentlessly bring them up to the queen during this week-end’s debate.

      You’re right of course, but Trump seems to be obsessed by his little feud with Alicia Machado. First things first for The Donald!

      1. jrs

        Time to stop hoping for anything much from Trump (though I can’t claim to know exactly what a Trump administration would be like, I suspect mostly with other people running things of course).

        He’s a one trick pony. He has about one actual kind of good point to make on trade. That you can run an unending campaign on one kinda point and landfills full of filler thrown in for shock value and and the rest bad politics (his tax policy for instance) is amazing itself. Wow we’ve had a year of this

        Other issues like some immigration are not totally unreasonable to question (but near impossible to prevent when sharing a border – so Mexican immigration at least, isn’t going anywhere). And maybe at times he is less militaristic than Hillary. There is no there there with the Donald. Meanwhile Hillary is running a campaign about nothing.

        1. Vatch

          Meanwhile Hillary is running a campaign about nothing.

          Should we think of her as the Seinfeld candidate? :-)

          (the show about nothing)

    2. Portia

      Does The Donald want to win? Call me a CT but I have this dark nightmare that the two of them cooked up this scheme together to make sure “the queen” would not face anyone that would actually be a threat. Who knew The Donald would actually pull it off, and that she would be such a hard sell???

      1. Vatch

        It sometimes seems like this is what is happening. He keeps self destructing, but people continue to support him, partly because Clinton is so unlikable.

        1. Portia

          yes, it’s that much of a farce now. A power trip on manipulating the electorate. Makes as much sense as the MIC tinkering with the weather.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Just in case your “CT” reservoir is not completely stuffed, might I offer this tidbit from “our” military, which actually is working toward controlling the weather, as a “force multiplier” in that fokked phrase so beloved of MIC Tough Guys: “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025,”

            Gotta love the way these Acronymists talk and think — one tiny example,

            These Fokkers actually think that “Gaia est omnis divisa in partes novem,”, and have busily been converting more and more of the planet’s real wealth into making that a permanent irreversible reality. To the point of being able to “rain on your parade” in addition to all the other “crowd control and dissent suppression” technologies available and in the procurement chain…, and for more fun,

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Not just Clinton but the rotten system. Anyone outside of Sanders would have had serious problems given the last eight years.

      2. nony mouse

        shhh! they are trying to make it convincing for us rubes*. the whole thing has been a scripted drama back-and-forth pre-arranged volleyball contest for years. if they don’t at least pretend to fight each other and make the polls “soo close, yet so far!” then people won’t be as resigned to the outcome as they are.

        *we are all idiots and losers in this, regardless of who “wins” or whether these conspiracy theories are true or not

    3. Waldenpond

      I don’t see Trump as interested enough (or smart enough) to put together a coherent criticism of Clinton’s acts. He’ll likely point his finger and meme her ‘crooked Hillary’.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Shame on his advisors, then.

        They should and could easily prepare a debate ‘cheat sheet’ for him!

        Pssst: Any Trump advisors out there?

    4. vidimi

      the problem is, trump’s small hands don’t have enough area to fit multiple bullet points.

      maybe that’s why he goes off the rails after ten minutes in a debate.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe take a few restroom breaks and ‘recharge’ there with new bullet points.

  19. Eclair

    Re: the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. I returned to Denver last night, after spending 9 days at Standing Rock, both at the so-called ‘overflow camp’ and at Red Warrior Camp. Every morning the yellow helicopter would arrive overhead, circling around and around the camp. A small plane was also a constant visitor. We assumed they were doing aerial photography, as well as a providing a constant reminder of the power of the corporate state.

    On Tuesday, I drove the 50 miles north to Bismarck to buy buy needed food supplies. The state highway runs along the Missouri River, through grazing lands and fields of sunflowers. About five miles south of Mandan (this small city is on the west side of the Missouri, just across from Bismarck), there is a checkpoint manned by the National Guard. They have placed concrete barriers across the two lane road, allowing only one traffic stream through at a time. And, you have to drive around and through the barriers in an ‘S’ shape.

    On the way north, I was waved through. On my return journey, I was stopped and questioned by a National Guardsman. He asked if I had been on the road south recently and then told me that they were simply stopping people to warn them that there were ‘pedestrians on the road, about 20 or 25 miles down the road.’ He took the opportunity to peer into the car, checking, I guess, for weapons, contraband, suspicious-looking persons. Just 5 gallon jugs of cooking oil, cartons of oranges and stacks of corn tortillas.

    Oh, and the grandmothers pretty much control the camp. Anybody steps out of line and they are taken aside and told in no uncertain terms to rein it in. They are reminded that they are here for the ancestors, the land and the children.

      1. JTMcPhee

        We have a nice affectional community here in FL, called “The Villages.” For some reason I got this flash of the “grandmothers” who have chosen to live there, amongst the “conservatives” and retired military and police types, doing what you report from the Pipeline Front.

        The social control is strong in The Villages, enforced by “covenants” and the “covenant Stasi” types, and the confirmation-bias self-selection and the company-town nature of the beast. There’s even a “market” for wannabe self-help books, cautionary/laudatory: “Inside The Bubble: The Unauthorized Guide To America’s Most Popular Community (sic)”, under the banner “Claim Your Copy Of The Bestselling Guide To ‘America’s Most Popular Retirement Community'”,

        This “development” sucks up huge amounts of water, to green up the monoculture lawns and many golf courses, and just keeps growing… A nice metaphor for “America The Beautiful,” circa 2016. But ou won’t see no steenkin’ pipelines crossing its well-protected boundaries…

        1. Eclair

          Ah, The Villages. I heard of that settlement a few months ago from friends who visited friends of theirs who had retired there. In short, they fled screaming back to their ‘mixed’ neighborhood in suburban Denver.

          From what I have observed and read about the Lakota traditional way (the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation people are Hunkpapa Lakota; Sioux is a name given to the Lakota, probably by the French, and is regarded as derogatory; like some foreigner coming in and declaring that all the white people in California must be referred to as ‘big noses,’ but it is also the ‘official’ name the US Government has given to that reservation), the elders of the tribe make the decisions as a group, after much discussion and consultation. The men are kind of the ‘face’ of the tribe; they are the traditional ‘warriors’, the drummers, the announcers at pow-wows, etc. But it is the women, the grandmothers and ‘aunties’ who have the final say and who enforce the ‘ways.’

          The Lakota had no ‘police,’ no ‘jails,’ no corporal punishment, no legal system as Westerners know it. The Occupation forces brought that in. But, strong social pressure would insure adherence to tradition and custom. One morning, I sat at the ‘sacred fire’ in the morning in the main camp and listened as a grandmother calmly and forcefully told a young man exactly where he had gone wrong the day before. I could see him become smaller by the minute. After she gave him suggestions for getting himself on the right path, she instructed all of us sitting around the fire to come over and hug the young man and comfort him.

      1. Eclair

        You mean you haven’t seen the ads on the sides of buses and light rail cars, with National Guardsmen holding out a strong helping hand to pull a child out of the rubble? That, and keeping pedestrians safe, is their mandate.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Tried to print it without reading it. But 8-1/2″ x 11″ don’t fit my birdcage.

      “Polish my legacy — like, with a cloth or something?”

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Obama the eternal optimist? Does he think we really care or would believe anything he has to say any more?
      If Obama wants a legacy, maybe he should just shut up and hope we forget…..

    3. rich

      Since you brought up ill….

      Thursday, October 6, 2016 PPACA “Crazy” According to Bill Clinton

      Here are my facts, Mrs. Burwell. My workplace premiums have gone up “slowly” because coverage has declined markedly, as deductibles and co-pays soared. The best plan I could get from my employer for 2016 had no physician coverage outside meeting the monstrous deductible. After that I’d get 80% coverage and be responsible for the other 20%. Visits to my two specialists are totally on my dime this year. I visit both for preventive purposes, screening for cancers which if caught early are cheaper to eradicate.

      Ex-President Bill Clinton called PPACA “crazy” while stumping for his wife Hillary’s White House run.

      “So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Clinton said.

      It’s not a bizarre outcome. It was the plan to shift responsibility away from employers and onto individuals and a tapped out Uncle Sam. America may have more people with healthcare coverage, but it likely has a record number of people who can’t afford their out-sized deductibles and copays.

      Almost two in three Americans don’t have enough savings to pay for a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room bill, according to a new report.

      HHS Secretary Burwell is excited because she sees us “on a path to put the consumer at the center of their care.” And that consumer will foot much of the bill as they attempt to navigate the complex and bizarre PPACA landscape, populated by predatory providers looking to maximize their incentive pay.

      Burwell talks honey but pushes snake oil.\

      They’ll finish us for good….sooner or later.

      1. allan

        Let a loyal camp follower Chait-splain why Obamacare Isn’t ‘Crazy,’ and It’s Not Dying

        Health-care reform is Barack Obama’s highest-profile achievement — though I’d rank it behind his response to climate change as his most significant — and the one that is most likely to symbolize his success or failure as a president. For that reason, Republicans insisted from the outset that the law was failing: They couldn’t fix the website in time, more people would lose insurance than would gain it, medical inflation would skyrocket, and on and on. More recently, two statements have renewed their fervor. First, New York Times reporter Robert Pear published a story headlined “Ailing Obama Health Care Act May Have to Change to Survive.” And second, Bill Clinton was quoted describing the law as a “crazy system.” The right-wing news media have processed these stories as evidence that even liberals admit Obamacare is doomed.

        They are evidence of nothing of the sort. …


        1. JohnnyGL

          “Health-care reform is Barack Obama’s highest-profile achievement — though I’d rank it behind his response to climate change as his most significant — and the one that is most likely to symbolize his success or failure as a president.”

          I had to LOL at the climate change remark. If his response to climate change is his more significant achievement, that’s very telling, because he’s done slightly better than nothing, but only slightly.

          Perhaps Chait is right? But not in the way he thinks. :) Obamacare looks dead in maybe 5 years or so….unless it gets a huge bailout disguised as a “public option”.

    4. DarkMatters

      If you need to feel ill this morning:

      Productivity, employment, immigration, wages… Obama discussed everything, except quality of life and well-being. Would a world where all economic activity would be carried out by a cadre of ever-more-efficient robots, whose productivity doubled every n years according to some diabolical version of Moore’s Law, really be a paradise? Are we reassured by the current levels of social corruption and incompetence, notably in our presumably elite institutions? The economic benchmarks, while important, seem to me to be symptomatic of a deeper form of gross mismanagement.

  20. Portia

    In Vermont, this has never stopped as far as I know. As a matter of fact, some people purposely have installed bars on the front of their pickups to facilitate putting dinner on the table. The State Police also cut up and freeze unfortunate deer and moose for needy families.

    Although rarely practiced today, cooking and eating animals hit by vehicles has old roots in mountainous parts of the state.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      One of the sickest things I learned from Hillary’s Emails on wikileaks was the apparent delight she and her cohorts seemed to have when playing in Haiti. And yes, it was “playing”.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The clinton foundation’s exploitation of Haiti must be the greatest story of corruption NEVER told, but glad to see Charles Ortel’s name finally mainstreamed.

      It would certainly be a delicious example of “divine justice” if the “Haitian diaspora” in Florida was finally able to take revenge on its sociopathic tormentors by denying hillary the one thing she wants more than life itself–the “presidency.” And I, for one, intend to assist the people of the poorest country in this hemisphere in that endeavor.

      For more specifics on the clinton’s idea of “charity” where Haiti is concerned, see this from July, 2015:!

      PS. Just saw video of the slime that is barack obama asking for “donations” for Haiti. Fool me once…..

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        PPS. According to, The Navy is gearing up to send a serious disaster-relief package to the Caribbean as Hurricane Matthew bears down on the region.

        And, according to Haiti Libre,

        The carrier “George Washington” (GW) and the amphibious transport dock “Mesa Verde” put to sea Tuesday with Navy and Marine aircraft aboard and are headed to the Caribbean to provide relief from the storm if needed…….The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is also gearing up for the major operation, but has not yet left port.

        As per usual with u. s. “aid,” baseball bats come first, and bandages come later, if ever.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Let us hope that Hillary can steal a moment from her pre-debate seclusion to appear on the deck of the carrier George Washington with a “Mission Accomplished” banner in the background, and soldiers cheering.

          Campaign workers are combing Port-au-Prince for photogenic child actors whom Hillary can pat on the head. Bonne chance, mes chéris!

          1. polecat

            Can you imagine seeing her in one of those Mao tunics …. ‘under’ a codpiece !!

            …. to the vomitoria ….. STAT !

              1. polecat

                well Mr. Haygood, that’s just sooo wrong ! ….. would’n’t you agree ??

                ‘an utterance heard by a malicious ugly clown’ in D.C. …..’

                “We float’ ….”We ALL float drones …. down here …..”

      2. vidimi

        i think the last word any country wants to hear are “we’re the united states and we’re here to help”

    1. apber

      Speaking of peace movements, it seems that Code Pink and its leader chick Benjamin have disappeared now that we have triple the conflicts under Obama that we had under Bush Jr. What was Code Pink’s agenda anyway? Or am I being micro aggressive just to ask?

  21. Vatch

    There’s something about the Antidote’s fluffy wildcat that reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat. All the Antidote cat needs is a bigger mouth. At the linked web site, there’s a second picture of a Pallas’s cat that does have a prominent mouth, although it’s not exactly smiling.

  22. thoughtfulperson

    Guess not surprising, no consideration of insider malfeasance in the pound “flash crash”, that happened last night. Funny, just at that time of day when the least number of people globally might not be looking at markets. Funny, happened right at the stroke of midnight as Big Ben was still chiming.

    Well, I guess we have to give the media a pass on that. I mean what evidence is there of anything similar happening over the years? Huh, Libor you say? Mortgage backed securities? Stumpf? What what? That’s all irrelevant!

    1. abynormal

      standby…they’re baking in the Deutsche Derivatives /teehehe

      Forget the housing, bond or derivatives bubbles … Fraud Is the Biggest Bubble of all time. ~Ziad K. Abdelnour

  23. temporal

    White House Coordinated on Clinton Email Issues

    OK. So, aiding and abetting at the quarterback level with the whole team involved.

  24. abynormal

    Aby to KnowItAllKiddo (3rd yr. in Jacksonville FL), yesterday 5am Text: you getting to higher ground???
    Kiddo to Aby reply: LOL No.

    Aby to Kiddo 5:30am this morning: are we having fun yet????
    still no reply. (she’s getting pelted and it hasn’t even reached her yet…good thing i spent those yrs carting her to swim classes)

    “Kids. You gotta love them. I adore children. A little salt, a squeeze of lemon–perfect.”
    ~Jim Butcher, Storm Front

    “I have all these great genes, but they’re recessive. That’s the problem here.”

    ~Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

    1. cwaltz

      I’ve got a prego sibling, two brothers and my mother out by, not in, Merritt Island. I called yesterday and sis and her family were all sitting and watching movies since they evacuated Merritt Island so no one(spouse or her) were going in and out to work. They still had electricity then. Doubt they were the lucky ones with that now though. Sis had plenty of water and batteries as well as the sundry items to keep everyone healthy and sane for a while.

      The bros are deputies so they were on call(one of the bros is engaged to a nurse and she also was on call.)

      Stubborn and annoying mother was refusing to stay with my sister because – stubborn and annoying mother(poor sis has been trying to deal with her for years now.) As a mom of deputies though I suspect that she’ll get checked up on.

      So KIDS aren’t the only annoying constituency out there.

  25. OIFVet

    Re Chimps, bonobos and orangutans grasp how others view the world. That puts them at least one rung above our elite apes on the evolutionary ladder.

    1. hunkerdown

      Like the pathogens they emulate, elites tend to give up the practices and features that no longer serve their immediate survival to allow them to fully apply themselves to the present.

      All we need is the right antibiotic at the right time.

  26. Juneau

    re: chimps, bonobos and orangutans can recognize false beliefs in others

    This looks like a well intentioned study by smart behaviorists. Monkeys look like they are treated well. Still I think we should spend more time trying to understand why people need this research in order to empathize with the monkeys’ views rather than the reverse. It is so hard to get people to empathize with other animals that we need to do this to get DATA. I say this while in possession of a degree in psychology and so am criticizing my own field. Human primates have empathy issues it seems.

    Very cute video though. The Orangutan looks to me like he’s watching a football game.

    1. Pat

      That would point out there America has a problem with the two major party candidates, and perhaps make a few people realize there is a reason why Clinton has a whole boatload of people trying to shame people in to voting for her not third party.

      The thing I do love is that probably the best thing anyone could use to scare people into voting for one or the other of the two main candidates is never mentioned: if there is no electoral college winner the election is thrown to the House of Representatives. (The other day I had someone tell me with a straight face we didn’t want to throw the election to the Supreme Court, took the wind out of their sails when it became clear that I knew more about the process then they did and still wasn’t going to get in line.)

    2. Ivy

      If there is any silver lining in the CNN story, however tarnished, it may be that a Clinton win would result in some housecleaning, I mean funded retirements, for Wolf and the gang. Anderson is too young to have a plausible ‘out to pasture’ story, and has his 60 Minutes gig, but the others should be shoved under the next passing bus. CNN stopped being relevant years ago and now serves as background noise in airports, with the occasional natural disaster story as the only deviation from The Narrative.

  27. Jim Haygood

    Free Jon Corzine!

    Former NJ governor, senator and Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine is nearing a deal to pay $5 million to end a U.S. regulator’s lawsuit stemming from the 2011 collapse of commodities brokerage MF Global Holdings Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter.

    In MF Global’s final days, a $1.6 billion shortfall in customer funds emerged. It took more than two years for the trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF Global’s brokerage unit to collect and return the money to customers. Corzine has denied wrongdoing and said he never directed anyone to dip into customer funds.

    You can see the strategy here — get a sweetheart deal done before the corrupt 0bama administration shuffles off the stage.

    Only surprise is that one of the thousands of clients he screwed over hasn’t physically confronted him on Da Streets of Hoboken.

    Guess it wouldn’t be sporting to stomp a geezer who’s near crippled from his reckless 95 mph crash on the NJ Turnpike.

    1. Ivy

      Dreading what pardons may await. Is there a Dead Pool or similar compilation circulating somewhere? The ghost of Marc Rich is asking for company.

    2. polecat

      ‘It’s the low spark of ‘white-shoe’ boys …..’

      ….. I would hope Traffic accept my utmost apologies for mangling the lyric of a great song …… but it seems apt w/ regard to Corzine …

      I’m sure Gerald Celente would approve :{‘

    3. Free Market Apologist

      NYT article says that the CFTC also plans to force him to pay the penalty out of his own pocket (whereas it usually comes out of D&O insurance money), and he would take a lifetime ban from personally trading other people’s money in the futures industry.

      It’s more than the MarketWatch article mentions, and is a start, but still not enough. I’d like to see the lifetime ban enforced by him being in a jail cell without an internet connection

      1. rich

        If Chicago is this bad, most of us can’t comprehend what lurks in DC:

        “The only thing between those bosses and federal prison is you. If I were you, I’d wear my vest at all times.”
        Watch Your Back
        Chicago Police Bosses Targeted Cops Who Exposed Corruption

        On November 13, 2012, the jury returned a verdict in Obrycka’s favor. It awarded her $850,000 in damages and found that a pervasive code of silence within the CPD had allowed Abbate to attack her without fear of punishment.

        Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in his second year in office. In retrospect, the Obrycka verdict afforded him an opportunity to pivot away from Daley-era abuses and declare a new day for police accountability in Chicago. Instead, his administration, in an unusual move, sought to erase the precedent represented by the jury’s finding that a code of silence exists within the CPD. The city entered into an agreement with Obrycka under which it would not appeal the verdict and would pay the award and attorney’s fees immediately. Obrycka, in turn, joined the city in asking the judge to vacate the code of silence judgment.

        The joint motion created a situation in which the public interest was unrepresented. Two law professors who specialize in police abuse cases — Craig Futterman of the University of Chicago and Locke Bowman of Northwestern University — intervened on behalf of the public. They argued that if the city was allowed to “buy its way out of” the judgment, it would have no incentive to make the necessary reforms. Judge St. Eve ruled against the city, holding that the jury verdict regarding the code of silence “has a social value to the judicial system and public at large.”

        In their effort to have the code of silence verdict set aside, city lawyers argued that the CPD had enacted significant reforms since the 2007 bar incident. And they emphasized that the department was now led by a new superintendent who would not permit such behavior to go unpunished.

        Superintendent Garry McCarthy reinforced the point by issuing a statement in which he asserted with characteristic bluntness, “I will never tolerate a code of silence in a department for which I am responsible.”

        Two weeks before McCarthy uttered those words, Shannon Spalding and Danny Echeverria filed a whistleblower suit, claiming they had suffered retaliation for reporting and investigating criminal activity within the department. The defendants named in the lawsuit included CPD brass serving directly under McCarthy, among them, Nick Roti, chief of the organized crime bureau; James O’Grady, commander of the narcotics division; and Juan Rivera, chief of the internal affairs division.

        The Chicago way…hmmm

        1. JTMcPhee

          Waiting for the NYT to go “full Guardian” and simply shut off comments on all the proaganda/Narrative pieces, along with killing off any kind of actual, what us older people kind of think of , as 4th Estate “reporting.” Maybe the thinking is that since so few people read the comments, they can leave the tap open a drip or two, to keep the pipes from exploding…

  28. ckimball

    Just little wish:
    How about we postpone the election and let the crafted perceptual structures implode further exposing
    the many implicit in the global big business extragovernmental affaire. Keep the spotlight on.
    Make them beg to recuse themselves from the current apparatus and return to the dark
    basements from which they came. Bring Bernie Sanders back.

  29. Jim Haygood

    J-Yel’s sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer emerges from his stately pleasure dome to share his opium-fueled visions:

    One factor holding back economic growth and investment is a lack of business confidence and the U.S. central bank is waiting for it to “turn on,” Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Friday.

    “Confidence has to be turned on for people to want to invest and we’re waiting to see that happen,” Fischer said, suggesting that could be another factor in the Fed’s go-slow approach on raising interest rates.

    “It will happen at some point. But precisely when” is unknown he said.

    “Animal spirits aren’t there — people aren’t excited about growth prospects,” he added.

    “Everybody is trying to find out what is going on” with slow growth, he said.

    Turn on, tune in, splash out.“ — Timothy Leary, restated

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Confidence is boosted when one can buy low.

      It helps to limit the downside.

      Sure, you can catch a falling knife, but if you are buying a house to live in for the next 30 years, it’s better to buy low.

      1. polecat

        shorter Stanley:

        “Were gonna need a bigger ‘weight’ ….. !”

        .. as in dead anchor …….

    2. JustAnObserver

      Once again the confidence fairy is thrown into the air in the hope that, this time is different, the tattered wings will grip the wind, and she will fly. Only to look around and flop down again in despair.

  30. Dave

    “Retailers Are Now Blaming the Election for Poor Sales”. “Before it was just Putin’s fault. Now it’s Trump’s fault too?”

    It seems like the only voice the American people have left in the affairs of their nation is how much they spend, rather than the expression of their real economic interests, or motivations for their potential vote.

    To protest the two party duopoly and mock the recovery, I suggest a buyers strike of zero discretionary purchases from corporations until after the election.

    1. Massinissa

      Until after Christmas might actually be more effective. They wont care if nothing sells in October as long as sales pick up on Black Friday.

      Of course, telling people to give their relatives arts and crafts for Christmas instead of consumer goods will be a hard sell..

  31. rich

    12:03PM New Anthem policy will cost DMD patients $300,000 or more

    Anthem Inc. has made the striking decision not to cover Sarepta Therapeutics Inc.’s new $300,000-a-year Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug, citing the controversy around the treatment’s approval in its rationale.

    Anthem’s new policy, the first announced by a health insurer, states that eteplirsen is “investigational and not medically necessary” because the drug’s effectiveness has not been proven.

    The step is an unusual one for the nation’s second-largest health insurer to take, effectively questioning the validity of a much-disputed Food and Drug Administration approval in mid-September.

    The new policy, made public by Anthem ANTM, -0.43% on Thursday, came as the drug was administered for the first time since approval to a 9-year-old from Jacksonville, Fla. with DMD.

    Lack of insurance coverage should place a significant financial burden on those with DMD and their families. Sarepta said in late September that eteplirsen, also called Exondys51, will cost patients on average about $300,000 a year.

    So what’s the FDA purpose again? They approved therapy yet Anthem disagrees?hmmm…

  32. JIT Frame-up

    On close inspection the JIT report appears to be a deliberate frame-up. We are asked to believe that the rebels deliberately targeted a civilian aircraft for destruction.
    We are asked to believe that the radar of a Buk missile battery does not have the
    capability to receive transponder or altitude data that would have identified MH17
    as a civilian aircraft. We are asked to believe that the IFF system misidentified one
    of the three civilian aircraft in the airspace at that time as a military craft or that the
    system corrected identified MH17 as a civilian craft and the rebels deliberately targeted it. Imagine a missile battery radar without IFF with the crew operating blindly and being guided by mere blips on a screen. You would be shooting down your own aircraft or civilian aircraft right and left. We are asked to believe that the crew of the missile battery was unaware that 33,000 m is the cruising altitude of commercial airliners: if they were aware, that they rolled the dice gambling that one of the three airliners was military.
    We are asked to believe that the shootdown might have been accidental. If so,
    what kind of accident was it? Did the battery actually target a fighter jet and the missile
    somehow broke lock and accidentally reacquired MH17? If so, there were fighter jets within 15 km of MH17 and the assertions that there were no fighter jets in the vicinity
    are either falsehoods or lies. If there were fighter jets in the vicinity it opens the possibility that a Python missile brought down MH17. The evidence corroborates this
    possibility. The missile exploded one yard from the cockpit window. This is precisely
    the MO of the Python missile which has a imaging matrix which targets the cockpit. The missile has a smaller warhead than the Buk and would have to maneuver in close for the kill. The Buk as a larger warhead which is detonated above the aircraft.
    We are told that there is no radar evidence of fighter jets in the vicinity. If so,
    what was the battery targeting? The alternatives are either that they deliberately targeted a civilian airliner or that the radar targeting system is extremely primitive. Neither of these is plausible. What is more highly probable is that no rebel Buk system was involved at all. That may be why Russia is still demanding that Ukraine release its radar data.

    1. uncle tungsten

      I also understand that the Ukraine air traffic control directed the MH17 flight into the conflict zone. This was an exceptional redirection and was not applied to previous domestic flights that were directed to avoid the conflict zone. Bellingcat should be given a “white helmet” award for propagandizing and humane rights advocacy.

  33. Plenue

    Oh man, that Kunstler article.

    “And the cherries on top to get thrown out with the rest of this giant shit sundae would be the campus cultural Maoists.”

    Haven’t seen the Maoist variant before, but I know what he’s ranting about:

    “There can be little question that Hillary represents so much that has gone wrong in American public life under the Baby Boomer regime. The fact that she will be the oldest president ever at inauguration itself says a lot about the limitless cupidity of the Boomer political gen.”

    I’m not going to play your game and go around hating entire generations.

    “It’s hard to say whether we might have managed the necessary contraction, say, starting back in the 1970s when the writing was on the wall and a truly honest president (one Jimmy Carter) spelled it out in plain English.”

    I’m sorry, Jimmy “Deployed CIA agents to Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet invasion” Carter was honest? I think we each have very different definitions of that word.

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