Links 7/1/17

Posted on by

Bear walks into a liquor shop BBC

The whole universe fits in one image with a special trick of math Business Insider (David L)

Major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998 Carbon Brief (guurst)

UK dealer charged in US over multimillion-dollar fake Bitcoin site scam Guardian

Science Says: Hot dogs minus added nitrites may be no better Associated Press (David L). This looks like advertising fraud.


China lashes out at US as Trump-Xi honeymoon ends Financial Times

Flags, fireworks, flare-ups: 20 years of tension in Hong Kong Asia Times

Scuffles as Hong Kong leader is sworn in BBC

Brussels sets stage for more battles with Silicon Valley Financial Times

Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National placed under formal investigation DW

Greek poetry in the shadow of austerity New Yorker (Catherine)

Fighting Fascism in France, 1936 v. 2017 Corey Robin (martha r)


ECJ President: UK firms will be ‘begging’ for court’s jurisdiction after Brexit EURACTIV (guurst)

CIA was recognizing it had little potential to crush the Communist party and Mosaddegh shortly before the 1953 coup in Iran failed evolution

New Cold War

Russian-Funded News Station Replaces Bluegrass on 105.5 FM DCist

THREAT PERCEPTIONS Irrussianality (Chuck L). Important.


US denies visas to Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team The Verge

After Hersh Investigation, Media Connive in Propaganda War on Syria Counterpunch

Russia quietly begins building third military base in Syria Asia Times

The Qatar Crisis and the Trump Administration’s Foreign Policy Dysfunction American Conservative (Darius)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

With a single wiretap order, US authorities listened in on 3.3 million phone calls ZDNet

Worried About Those Global Cyber Attacks? They Were Started by Washington The Nation

Five Country Ministerial 2017: Joint Communiqué Government of Canada Bill B: “Five eyes openly advocate crypto back doors.”

Verizon wants to borrow T-Mobile and Vodafone’s consumer data to take on Facebook and Google Business Insider

Cyber Security at Sea – Microsoft XP on Carriers, Hacking Tridents & Spoofing GPS GCaptain

Trump Transition

Acting FBI boss Andrew McCabe faces pressure, probes, uncertain future Fox

Trump administration sides with big business over working people by acting to weaken the overtime rule Economic Policy Institute

Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies New York Times. Li points out the retraction at the end. This is a big deal, as Lambert flagged yesterday in Water Cooler via a tweet about this story: NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard Consortium News.

Trump’s tariffs would do little for US workers Gillian Tett, Financial Times. Comment from a professor: “Asking the BIS about tariffs is like asking Big Pharma about whether painkillers are good things.”

Donald Trump is planning a trade war, and the first casualty will be American jobs Quartz. Notice that the story relies on a 14 year old study paid for by companies that buy steel. No current analysis whatsoever as to how important a component steel is in wholesale product cost. Recall that many products that used to have a lot of metal in them, like printers, don’t any more, or use less The US also now has corporations with record profit shares. So for many, they have plenty of room to absorb higher costs. Not saying that there might not be an adverse impact on workers, but this is shoddy.


One deep reason why the USA does not have a sane way to pay for health care for all Mandos, Ian Welsh. Important.

Senate GOP Leaders Said to Aim for New Health Plan in Two Weeks Bloomberg

Insurers’ Policy Warnings Raise Stakes in Health Fight Wall Street Journal

What Happens When My Health Insurance Isn’t Renewing? – HealthMarkets. Furzy: “From ​my sister Michaele…..her radiology clinic is being squeezed out of biz….the insurance co’s want the clinic to buy all new equipment…or will not pay insurance claims…..but their equip is working fine!” Moi: Not sure about this service. Readers?

“… To Repeal A War Authorization” Buzzfeed Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

The Budget Reform Idea That Won’t Die Atlantic (resilc)

States push back on Trump voter fraud commission The Hill

New York’s infrastructure is crumbling, and its politicians are blaming each other Salon. Resilc: “We’ll attempt to rebuild Mosul before we do anything in USA USA.”

The State of Pando 2017: Dropping the paywall on stories from the Silicon Valley Swamp Pando

America’s Pension Bomb: Illinois Is Just the Start Bloomberg. Resilc: “We need lower taxes for more billionaires.” JJ Jelincic: “Illinois state municipale plan is funded in the high 80’s low 90’s. The difference is that the trustees and not the state legislature sets the contribution rates.”

Buffett Exercises Warrants to Become Largest BofA Holder Bloomberg

Guillotine Watch

Shkreli Vents at Prosecutors, Media in Midst of Fraud Trial Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Oregon passes first statewide ‘fair work week’ legislation Reuters (EM)

St. Louis $10 minimum wage will revert back to $7.70 in August, Greitens announces St. Louis Today

After Virginia, Idaho, and Wisconsin, Florida is the latest US state to legalize autonomous delivery robots Quartz (resilc)

The Rise of the Thought Leader: How the superrich have funded a new class of intellectual. New Republic. Lambert also flagged this yesterday. Be sure not to miss it.

Why hundreds of New York Times employees staged a walkout Washington Post

Antidote du jour. Eddie:

This is from last summer. This old doe has always raised her fawns in my back yard. She developed a bad limp. Sadly, I found her boned out body near the highway, someone shot her last fall. But her fawns still stay around. The button buck named Dancer runs with the other bucks but his twin sister, Cupid can easily be found.

And some bonuses:

Carey: “… he or she has been back every day now for several days, perching on this lamp-post outside my window.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. craazyboy

    Hold Your Head Up! – Argent

    aka: “Better Democracy Thru Decapitation”


    This tune is a key first step taught at Voter Movivation Training and Civil Awareness Events

    Another tune.. is coming thru to you…
    Courtesy…the Giant Ear Wyrme too!
    Around your skull, it bounces thru and thru…

    Hold Your Head Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Head Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Head Up!

    Sound seems to come…
    From up in the stratosphere
    The populace…
    Always comes from somewhere.

    Hold Your Head Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Head Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Head Up!

    Taking coup, is our tax ee dermy…
    Taking heads, our new ballot strategy!
    Such is the way …
    Of our Neo Democracy!

    Head counts soar…
    We’ll take our representatives.
    We’ll chop some more
    Then on a pike with it!

    Hold Your Head Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Head Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Head Up!

    Left on ground
    The heads just roll around,
    And people step on them…
    They roll around, we trip all over them
    Jammed on a spike…
    Then we’ll get more of them!

    We’ll run for Prez
    So much damn fun and satisfies our endz!

    Hold Your Spike Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Spike Up. Yeah..
    Hold Your Spike Up!

    [Repeat, as necessary]

  2. CD

    Crapification – This idea is commonly used here. I’ve seen it mentioned a good number of times by various commenters.

    I wonder if crapification is a symptom and result of “quiet” inflation. In other words, crapification is one way corporations keep the price of products and services lower, despite the rising costs of materials and labor. Corporations know that the average person can afford only so much when they buy, so they crapify, that is, they reduce the quality of ingredients and quality of service.

    So if this is correct, the” true” price inflation is much higher than what we’re told, the CPI. The CPI is likely understating the real inflation.

    Of course, another driver of crapification is the desire for higher profits.

    1. Alfred

      I thought ‘crapification’ refers to the situation where the exchange value (as indicated by price) increases while (net) use-value decreases. But I’d love to read an official definition.

      1. TK421

        It’s almost as if a hastily made-up niche term doesn’t add clarity to the discussion.

      1. CD

        I think you’re right. Crapification is a widening price > value gap.

        So I think what’s at work here is that there are at least two forces pushing price and value further and further apart — what I call hidden inflation and the standby, desire for fatter profits.

        It’s ironic that the Japanese taught us how to get durable quality in products, but we’ve forgotten that. Maybe the Chinese have taught us a different lesson, or maybe we were just very receptive.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          The fault isn’t Japan or China – it’s our own businesses.

          The ad campaigns over the years have taught us not to want “durability”, but to want “new”. We must get rid of something, even if it is still useful, for the next great thing….

          Why make a pair of pants that will last five years, when in one year, they will be “out of fashion” and therefore, no longer desirable?

          Same seems to go for everything……the ads don’t ask if you need a new refrigerator – they ask you to “replace” your refrigerator…..

          So, crap from China is OK to buy because we won’t be keeping it long….we will throw it away for the new crap….

          1. marieann

            I have always been a vocal opponent of crapification, to the point where I just refuse to buy. Most of my clothing dollars are spent in thrift stores.

            I am finding more folk are coming to the same conclusion, perhaps they are still buying stuff but they notice and get annoyed at the garbage in the stores.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The same with movies.

            What’s wrong with re-watching the same films over and over again?

            Why must we watch new ones all the time?

            Also with words…why can’t we just stick with oldfangled ones?

            1. Toske

              Especially when all the new films coming out are just inferior reboots of old ones? We must be real suckers.

          3. oh

            Microsoft doesn’t have to worry about crapification. Most of their software is crappy.

        2. Off The Street

          In economic terms, Crapification also includes the elimination of Consumer Surplus and the maximization of Producer Surplus.

          That type of welfare loss plays out daily in homes, trading floors, boardrooms, hangars, marinas and bugout shelters, for example.

        3. m

          Not Chinese, it was Walmart. Watch video is Walmart good for America? They talk with Rubbermaid co., demanded they move to China & get cost down or couldn’t sell through Walmart. This practice turned their good, quality, made in USA product into junk.

      1. CD

        Yup, and they do so by substituting cheaper ingredients or components or services so as to lower their costs and thereby lower value.

        But raise the price.

        Maybe we should call such substitution “rent substitution”?

        1. Carla

          Another way of raising the price is to put less in the package, but keep the price and the dimensions of the packaging roughly the same. For example, a “one-pound” can of ordinary ground coffee began to hold only 13 oz. a decade or two ago, but everyone still called it “a pound” of coffee. These days, I don’t know, maybe it’s down to 11 or 12 oz.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply. As time goes by. And when two lovers woo. They still say, “I love you.”

            Nowadays, a kiss is half a kiss.

            A sigh is 75% sigh.

            And lovers say, ‘I love you with a borrowed, mortgaged heart. It really belongs to the bank.”

          2. Craig H.

            This works. I remember the puzzlement I had when I bought sacks of Community Coffee and the label had “Still one pound”. For years. Then one time I bought a plastic canister of folger’s and decided it might make the fridge neater if I kept it and poured my Community sack in there and I was flabbergasted when I was pouring the sack into the canister and all the grounds wouldn’t fit. That was pretty rude for a eureka moment let me tell you.

        2. Vatch

          Even if they reduce the price of some products, in effect they usually are raising the price. If an appliance costs only 70% of what it used to cost, but if it also only lasts half as long as the previous versions of the appliance, the effective price has risen. The customer just doesn’t pay all of the extra money at the same time, but the price is still 140% of the previous price. And the customer has the additional annoyance of replacing the appliance more frequently.

            1. Antifa

              A gas stove being a pipe carrying methane or propane, with a circular pipe on the end with little holes in it (called a burner), it is hard to imagine what could possibly need servicing or replacement within 25 years.

              As it turns out, what will eventually need replacing is where that gas comes from — not from deep oil wells, nor from fracking, but from methane capture off landfills, off sewage treatment, or off algae-produced long hydrocarbon chains.

              Or, eventually, off solar, tidal, wind, or fusion.

              The planet will, at some point, have surrendered all its reachable valuables, and we will think quite rightly that shit is gold, because it can be recycled and used again.

      2. wilroncanada

        Crapification in hard durables has been a feature, especially in North America, for the past 70 years. The 50 year refrigerator was replaced by the 20 year fridge, then the ten, then the five year fridge, and not just the aim at fashion–colour, added gizmos, and so on. Rent extractors can’t make rent from things that last. The auto industry would be a major case in point, both from a durability and a fashion point of view.
        And than there is the ability of the grifter rent extractors to get civil authorities to go along with the game: for example, a hot water heater. Once warranted for twenty years, and often good for forty or fifty, then ten, now five in many cases, enforced by municipal bylaws or insurance fine print.
        Writers like Vance Packard were writing about it in the 1950’s.

        1. marieann

          They sell those new appliances to us saying that they are more energy efficient.
          That I cannot figure out; if my old fridge was manufactured 30 year ago and I only had to buy one. Why would my new fridge that I have to replace 5 times in the same 30 year span use less energy when the manufacturing process has increased by 4.

          One of my really annoying crapification stories is chocolate bars.
          I have a cookie recipe that uses 5 (58gm) melted Mars Bars, now the Mars bars are only 42 gm.
          It took me 2 failed recipes before I figured it out Grrrrr!

  3. craazyboy

    US denies visas to Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team The Verge

    This is soooo fake , it demands a Fake Response Song!

    I’m on it.

    1. craazyboy

      Like the MOAB is the fat robot girl on the Afgan High Board Diving Team. She does a mean cannonball. Hahahahahahah! Sure.

      1. ambrit

        Somehow, I see Stepford Wives in burqas.
        Instead of “Westworld,” it’s “Eastworld!” Yul Brynner would fit either iteration of the theme.

        1. craazyboy

          Ya. If Allah Permits. Bathing is a tricky subject too. Lots of rules and strict penalties in that religion. They cut yer nose off for bathing without a veil!

          I have the beginnings of a song on this theme. One of the many areas I apply my new found knowledge of the World.

          Another theme I’m working on is Jack Ma recently came outta da closet and announced he’s a Mannequin. He’s been working on Chinese cheap plastic cyborg sex slave clones. They will be small and fit into the carryon (carrion?! Prototype failure:)) luggage compartment on airliners. They will be wifi connected and run on high power lithium ion hearing aid batteries. They will kevetch in any language you choose.

          That’s an Eastern thing, and they have a Buddhist switch and come with a (optional) blue “Buddhist Activated” LED. He anticipates some blowback from the Western Press over it, so he’s getting out ahead of the curve. (He thinks we need Chinese News, too!) He’s an “Outta The Box” thinker! (Literally. Hahahaha!!)

  4. craazyboy

    Goose&Dog Horror Vid

    [reminder: Another One Gone – Queen]

    Goose, Goose, Goose
    The goose has got yer Dog

    Goose ,Goose, Goose
    Yer Dog has got it hard!

    Another Dog gone
    Another Dog gone
    The Goose has got yer Dog

    Damn Duck belongs to Satin…
    Now he’s in our back yard!

    Yard, Yard, Yard
    Satin’s Goose is in our Yard!

    Yard, Yard, Yard
    The Goose done ate our Dog!!

  5. allan

    Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team

    Soon to be the Taliban’s all-girl drone team. [family blog]

  6. Slay the Smaugs

    Re: Thought Leader article

    The first time I saw the label “thought leader” it was in internal marketing documents of a Pharma company, discussing doctors to target because their support of the drug would be influential on other doctors. These documents dated to the late 90s very early 2000s.

    Separately, the practice of drug company marketers ghostwriting scientific articles has been reported; surely the authors they would ask to ‘write’ the pieces would fall into this category as well.

    1. CD

      The idea of thought leader sounds a lot to me like the old idea in marketing, that some people’s opinions matter more than others, so marketing should get to them first, the opinion leaders. Influence the opinion leaders and you influence the practices of the people around them.

      So is “thought leader” dressing an old idea in new rags?

        1. wilroncanada

          As Neil Postman once wrote: during the 19th century, rural USite, supposedly barely educated citizens could listen to speakers, not just religious ones, but also politicians, and public intellectuals lecture for 2 to 3 hours, and afterwards ask intelligent questions and make intelligent comments. Today, with media intervention and crapified education, supposedly educated USites (and Canadians too) can barely listen beyond a slogan the length of a Tweet. That presents unending opportunities for thought leaders, those gentrified corporate cheerleaders, to fill the gap.

          1. Blennylips

            further, quoting from Neil:

            The first of the seven famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas took place on August 21, 1858, in Ottowa, Illinois. Their arrangement provided that Douglas would speak first, for one hour; Lincoln would take an hour and a half to reply; Douglas, a half hour to rebut Lincoln’s reply. This debate was considerably shorter than those to which the two men were accustomed. In fact, they had tangled several times before, and all of their encounters had been much lengthier and more exhausting. For example, on October 16, 1854, in Peoria, Illinois, Douglas delivered a three-hour address to which Lincoln, by agreement, was to respond. When Lincoln’s turn came, he reminded the audience that it was already 5 p.m., that he would probably require as much time as Douglas and that Douglas was still scheduled for a rebuttal. He proposed, therefore, that the audience go home, have dinner, and return refreshed for four more hours of talk. 1 The audience amiably agreed, and matters proceeded as Lincoln had outlined.
            What kind of audience was this? Who were these people who could so cheerfully accommodate themselves to seven hours of oratory?

    2. ewmayer

      I keep noting that it sounds better in the original German: Gedankenführer. Or the snappier Denkführer, if you prefer.

  7. Jim Haygood

    During June, Craazyman Fund shed 0.23% while its benchmark — a 50/50 mix of stocks (SPY) and bonds (AGG) — gained 0.34%.

    In the 16 months since inception on Mar 2, 2016, Craazyman Fund has returned 21.06% vs a gain of 14.18% for its benchmark. Chart:

    Among its components, junk bonds (50% weight) returned 22.28% since inception; emerging market stocks (30% weight) roared ahead 33.22%, while the old yellow dog (gold, 20% weight) laid in the shade with a fractional 0.25% loss. Gold has sunk to a 16.48% weight in the portfolio; a drop below 16% would trigger a rebalance.

    For comparison in the benchmark, S&P 500 stocks (50% weight) returned 25.27% while investment grade bonds (50% weight) delivered a modest 3.10% return since inception.

    1. Clive

      That comparison of junk vs. investment grade is very interesting. The search for yield is obviously continuing unabated. With no sign of any imminent flight to safety.

      1. Alex Morfesis

        Is junk really junk or is it a multi-decade marketing ploy by the rating agencies talking their book…???

        Before erisa hoovered money from the flyover states to make up for the loss of revenue stream when set/fixed commission payments were maydayed, local companies pensions helped support local businesses…

        was it called junk investment back then or small limited market investing…

        and is not much “junk bond trading” the conversion of what used to be privately held mezzanine finance by insurance companies…

        willing to be corrected as my thoughts on this are by analysis and anecdotes from friends and associates, not experience…

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Aren’t junk bonds any bonds, not necessarily small bonds, that are extremely high risk, and therefore have to pay out high yields?

          I’m not sure if the rating agencies decide their “risk” or if the markets do, with the rating agencies playing “follow the leader”…..

    2. craazyman

      I’ve recently run across a promotion on Zero Hedge for an options trading system that can turn $4,600 into $460,164. With that kind of luck, why not start with $5,600? It makes no sense to limit yourself to $4,600. They can’t be serious, can they?

      This could be the antitdote to my 8 years of failure as an investor. I have failed completely to make any money at all in 8 years. Every single trade I made lost money — and it was only by stopping all trading completely did I avoid losing all my money. Mostly, my bad luck was caused by all the Doom & Gloom economic commentary I read in Links here from 2009 onward. I believed it — and I thought I could make money by what I read! I didn’t realize it was just intellectual entertainment. I thought it was real!

      Now, if this option trading system works, I should have 460,164 divided by 4,600 multiplied by $5,600 = more than $500,000 when it’s all over. Then I can start trading again.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Well, only Zero Hedge types would fall for that…….

        The articles at Zero Hedge aren’t that bad although they do have a serious libertarian bent…..but the commentors!!! It seems to be the meeting place of the truly selfish and greedy (I go there to see what the Peter Theil’s of the world are thinking)…… I can just see many of them trying to get in on that “deal”……

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One’s right brain and left brain need to be stress-tested, challenged and exercised.

          By journeying over all the idea-world, with a bit of exposure of everything, we can develop immunity to all the local diseases, lest we are overcome with a brand new strand of viral meme.

        2. Carla

          Antidote to Zero Hedge:

          “We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” ~ Martin Luther King

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Beautiful! I might post that quote from MLK on Zero Hedge someday just to see what happens……

          2. Mike

            Indeed, and notice two things:1) How our racists, materialists, and militarists paid attention, and 2) how our CEO’s and politicos learned how to buy off intellectuals so more MLK’s could be manufactured with the proper “control”.

            P.S. – I have a bunch of quotes from various thinkers, all of whom either compromised or died younger than they should. There’s a lesson in that most thinkers were not part of any mass movement to protect them.

        3. Off The Street

          Zero Hedge seems to this old market hand to be peddling adrenalin through the guise of doom and gloom articles. If readers jump at each of their sell now jeremiads, they miss out on all upside. That type of myopia tends to go along with missing more plausible downside risks. The clickbait advertisers seem to be the only winners.

      2. craazyboy

        I like how they precisely calculated the $164 part of the $460,164. That means a Math Dude used real math to figure this out!

        Janet even got junk bonds to have capital gains – and that ain’t over yet, traders tell us, confidentially. Junk bonds are gonna to up ferevah – agrees Zero Hedge Analysts. (they use math dudes too!)

        Buck, Buck, Buck
        The Trader got my buck! (greenback – not the deer kind in the video)

        Another One Gone
        Another One Gone
        The Trader got my Buck!

        The reason they can do this is they use statistical math, against us. Can’t beat it.

        You could sell your Edward Green shoes and stick a toe back in the water (hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahah) and try trading again. Maybe just bet one shoe at a time, then it would be more like a hedge?

        Or wait for a short squeeze, then shoehorn the market?? That sounds mean, but it’s just business.

        Then you’d be sockin’ it away (hahahahahahaa) and you could buy 10 pairs of shoes with you ill gotten profits!

      3. craazyboy

        The other good part about NYC, besides everyone getting rich off your Butt, is the successful traders now participate in the arts and, donate their time even, to Broadway Theatrical Productions!

        Now that they are rich, they can take more time off from screwing you in yer Butt, and devote time and considerable talent to these artistic and civic endeavors!

        Gilbert $ Sullivan – I Am A Model Of A Modern General

        This is a great tune. I’m thinking I should do a new witty Song based on the melody and tempo. A great subject would be from the viewpoint of African nobility during slave trading days. They would offer up witty riposte, spoken in High Londoner, conveying their opinion on the sissy boy Englanders and their pasty face and small breasted women whom have invaded African lands and are profiting from the slave trade!

        The Baptist Choir girls could do the chorus. Monkey Boy does 7 kinds of drums, with all four limbs and tail. Can also beat a Gong with a mallet held by his tail!

      4. HotFlash

        I’ve recently run across a promotion on Zero Hedge for an options trading system that can turn $4,600 into $460,164.

        I see this kind of thing on ads at NC and elsewhere, and sometimes even get emails. My question is always, if they have a foolproof guaranteed system that produces returns like that, why don’t they just shut up and go profit?

        Tis truly a conundrum.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Usually it is accompanied by a tear-jerking story about wanting to share the good fortune with the rest of us.

          Between a known selfish, greedy billionaire, and a too-good-to-be-true philanthropist, I probably go with the latter.

            1. ambrit

              My Dads’ only truly big market “score” was the result of overhearing two somewhat drunk senior military officers arguing about the merits of a weapons system that came in several “flavours.” When one said to the other that one particular version had been pre-approved by the Pentagon, Dad came home and put all the ready cash he had in the stock of the “approved” corporation. Two months later, the company won the contract. This evened out the money he had lost in playing pork bellies on the Chicago Board.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Business idea: send two free investment newsletters to 50,000 people each. The first newsletter says the market is going up, the second says it is going down. After a month, send two newsletters to the 50,000 people who got the right advice, 25,000 “up”, 25,000 “down”. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Now you have 6,250 people who think you are an absolute infallible guru…so you announce the newsletter will no longer be free, but now has a $2500 annual subscription fee. 6,250 x $2500 = 15 million dollars. Run for one year, with copious excuses about how you are “adjusting your stochastic algorithmic model”. Last step: leave for Brazil.

                1. ambrit

                  Wonderful, but, the last step should be to blame the “losers” by “announcing” a revised program with which they could recoup their losses if only they had enough “faith” in the “Power of the Market,” or some such anodyne drivel. Then, solicit investments in Program 2.0.

      5. Whine Country

        Read the fine print. That’s the owner’s financial disclosure. He’s got $4,600 invested and when all the schmucks buy the system, he’ll have $460,164.

      6. Vatch

        This seems awfully similar to Hillary Clinton’s super successful technique for making money investing in cattle futures.

        1. ambrit

          Yeah. She “broke the buck” in playing “sheeple” futures. (There is another meaning that could be applicable, but this is a family blog.)

  8. divadab

    Re: Goose and dog video – very entertaining! However, note the use of roundup around the boulder.

    1. human

      The use of a chemical agent is not clear. Seems that any number of natural agents, including children clamboring over the rock, could have easily caused the lack of plant growth. Traffic!.

      1. marieann

        I was thinking that it is a worn down, well traveled path…. probably by a dog and a goose.

      2. justanotherprogressive

        Yup! Very tiny people scampering under the rock’s overhang……maybe leprechauns? Pixies?

        1. divadab

          little people with their glyphosate shoes perhaps
          and cancer feet
          undocumented little people
          who will go back wherever they came from
          to die

    2. ambrit

      “It’s duck season!”
      “No, it’s dog season!”
      “Duck season!”
      “You’re despicable!”

  9. Damson

    Re :Russia Threat Perceptions:

    Some very dubious sources with active ‘cold war redux ‘agendas in the report.

    Moscow Times, The NYT, the notorious Shaun Walker (The Guardian – though I haven’t seen the even more discredit able Luke Harding yet), M Lipman…. hardly informed much less objective and reality – based’ sources’.

    I would have to weed out these and others to arrive at a realistic appraisal.

    Surprised at the poor quality of intelligence being currently gathered /assessed – this is what happens when these agencies become increasingly political rather than analytical tools.

    Presumably there’s a lot less money to be made from actual defence than artificially – manufactured ‘threats’, in which the legacy media plays a significant role.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Major, major, enormous misstatement in “Threat Perception” piece:

      Unfortunately, all intelligence agencies can do is point out the facts.

      Maybe CIA, DIA, DOSBIR (, and the rest are just what a scientist friend considered himself: “Just a humble data gatherer.” Maybe not, too: “Timeline of CIA Atrocities,” And lest we forget, “Intelligencia Communitas est omnis divisa in partes XVII (or so): “There’s more than the CIA and FBI: The 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community,”

      From the Department of Inconsistent Policy (DIP), there’s this: “Intelligence officials worry State Dept. going easy on Russian diplomats,” In the Great Organizational Chart of the Blob, DIP is under the Department of Redundancy Department…

      And of course “threat” is, like pornography or beauty, in the eye of the beholder: After sanctions activated, “Treasury allowing for some transactions with Russian intelligence agency,” Old joke, how can you tell when a White House Spokesman is lying? His thin lips are moving… Check how often his eyes flick to the left (supposedly a major “tell”) as he avoids and dissembles…And listen for the Narrative Protection Thread to the questions — Russia Bad Evil How Can Rulers Do Such Dirty Dealings?

      Bottom line, of course, is that us cognoscenti know a lot about the Game, but have pretty small chance of affecting the Play in any healthy and significant way…

    2. Mike

      There are two suspicions about Russiagate lurking in my rattled brain:

      1- There is enough contact and business between the two countries to feed this fire for a long time, unless the citizenry and punditry get wise to all its sides and the scam that was the Cold War. Methinks the USA was well positioned to take over the “Soviet” economy after the Gorbachev “surrender”. How? Wasn’t it nice that both sides used the freeze to freeze the class relations within their borders, and that was the most permanent and important part to our owners.

      2- There is no intelligence on this matter that is not tainted so badly that we can rely upon it. Scapegoats abound, and tripwires are in place to confuse and eliminate evidence of any sort. This is class warfare, and not what is presented in the media. Pay no attention to the curtain…

  10. Jim Haygood

    Ol’ Ed Yardeni’s fundamental economic indicator — incorporating consumer confidence, industrial raw materials prices, and unemployment claims (inverted) — backed off a bit in June. Chart:

    Consumer confidence rose a notch from last month. But the industrial raw materials index eased slightly, while unemployment claims ticked up (where lower is better).

    So far the dip is nuffin’ to worry about — it’s just the normal noises in here!

    Grey boxes signifying recessions have drifted to the right a bit, the little buggers … to be fixed next month.

  11. Chris

    Nothing on the NJ shutdown? Anyone care to share an article analyzing how things got to this point?

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Joyzee state shutdown might be tied to what has been called the “christie newspaper revenge bill”…unlike in flow rid duh, govt agencies and certain court actions are required to be made “public” by placing a notice in a printed private publication…

      christie has apparently avoided actually answering direct questions from the media since trump dumped him after using him to gather some “credibility”…

      Governor wants to eliminate a major source of funding for small local press by allowing the state to hide and bury data inside government fatabases instead of being forced to fund newspapers who dont lord over mister lard (family blog)…

      Fatabase was a fat finger which now seems a bit of a nice way to actually describe what is usually wrong with government hiding data in a “public” database…

  12. fresno dan

    Science Says: Hot dogs minus added nitrites may be no better Associated Press (David L). This looks like advertising fraud.

    Oscar Mayer is touting its new hot dog recipe that uses nitrite derived from celery juice instead of artificial sodium nitrite, ….
    But nitrites are nitrites — and the change makes little difference — according to those who advise limiting processed meat and those who defend it.
    I am blithely unconcerned – now, if they start taking out the snouts, ears, or tails, I will be worried…

    1. ambrit

      The one thing I’m certain that Oscar Meyer will not be taking out of their hotdogs is the “Squeals” (TM).
      That other list of ingredients you posted looks like an Act of Congress. (“They” don’t call it ‘Pork Barrel Politics’ for nothing!)

    2. Off The Street

      Hot dog nonsense news items these days seem to include another unsavory ingredient: pure misdirection PR to take the attention away from the shameful Oscar Mayer abandonment of Wisconsin employees.

      1. HotFlash

        It wasn’t actually Oscar.

        In 1981, Oscar Mayer stockholders elected to sell the company to General Foods. Four years later, Philip Morris acquired General Foods, and in 1989 merged General Foods with the newly acquired Kraft Foods Inc.

      2. ambrit

        Please don’t tell me that the Weinermobile is now touting products made in China. In that place, Kosher means “adheres to proper Marxist doctrine as interpreted by the Great Helmsman.”

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Wherever they are made, as of yesterday it isn’t here in Madison anymore. I guess we get to keep the car(s), though. (There are actually 6 Wienermobiles!)

          1. ambrit

            With that design, the Weinermobiles would be perfect mobile ‘Stingray’ units! Start a conversion shop in Madison. Take Hummer chassis and power plant and add fibreglass ‘Stingraymobile’ body, with electronics by a great lakes based outfit. Make America Great Again, one intercepted call at a time!

  13. fresno dan

    With a single wiretap order, US authorities listened in on 3.3 million phone calls ZDNet

    US authorities intercepted and recorded millions of phone calls last year under a single wiretap order, authorized as part of a narcotics investigation.

    The wiretap order authorized an unknown government agency to carry out real-time intercepts of 3.29 million cell phone conversations over a two-month period at some point during 2016, after the order was applied for in late 2015.

    The order was signed to help authorities track 26 individuals suspected of involvement with illegal drug and narcotic-related activities in Pennsylvania.

    Those “authorities” must be the best players of the “Kevin Bacon” game EVAH…..

    1. CD

      Yeah, that’s over 100,000 in each person’s sphere of influence. Becha, Paul Erdos was never this powerful.

  14. IHateBanks

    Re: the nitrates article. I raise my own pork, cure my own bacon and ham, grind my own sausage. Just for fun, and because it tastes sooo much better.

    I read extensively on this debate before I decided how to process my pork. I am no chemist, nor do I possess any particular insight into the health ramifications. I decided to use chemical nitrites in some of my products, and not in others.

    I came to these conclusions. Your saliva has nitrites in it. Celery and spinach have higher levels of nitrites
    than are used in most commercially processed meats. As the article states, there probably isn’t much difference between vegetable nitrites and the regular commercial nitrites used by the meat industry.

    Botulism is nasty stuff, so dry cured (air cured, or low temp over extended time period) or cold smoked (low temp), I include some chemical nitrites in the cure I apply to the meat. Anything that is hot smoked (cooked to finish temp before consuming) I do not, because cooking it to temp kills botulism.

    There are some very strong opinions on both sides of this debate, so feel free to shout me down, call BS, or provide alternate viewpoints. I have been an organic gardener for over 3 decades, and the meat I grow is produced naturally with no hormones or antibiotics. I take the “no chemicals in my food” argument seriously, as it seems to be just good common sense. I decided a few nitrites in my bacon and ham does not concern me overmuch.

    Today, I am experimenting with smoking a maple “bacon” out of of slabs of ham I cured, to see how that tastes. Also, I will be making some Cajun Tasso seasoning meat, a favorite ingredient of deplorable cuisine in Louisiana for centuries.

    1. Bunk McNulty

      The wine business is periodically attacked for its use of sulfur dioxide as a preservative. I had to deal with this so often when I sold the stuff that I had a canned speech ready on the topic: “Can you drink a cup of tea or a glass of orange juice and still feel fine? Both have more SO2 than a glass of wine. If drinking wine makes you feel lousy, you may be having a reaction to something, but it isn’t sulfites.”

      The Truth About Sulfites in Wine

      1. Off The Street

        The wine sulfites people may be misplacing some of their invective that could be otherwise directed at tannins. Red wine headaches impact many people. That said, some claim to have reactions to sulfites whether in wine or years ago when showing up on salad bar veggies.

        Tonight I may have a nice claret to celebrate July and raise another glass in honor of Canada Day and the fine sesquicentennial!

        Bonus points if you consume a Tim Horton’s Poutine Donut today.

        1. craazyboy

          Some people are allergic to sulfites. I knew a guy who found out in the military – it’s used to kill germs in wound packing.

          He drinks beer. You can get sulfites in beer, but not so easily.

          1. Mike

            I’ve heard the beer argument, and gave it a pass due to calories and the beer head I got (not so many suffer from it that it matters to most). Nonetheless, a good British ale is astounding for its nutrition. Locally, IPA’s have taken over, much to my chagrin. It’s the flavorings that give me pause in most lagers.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Sulfur dioxide treatment of dried fruit spoils the flavor; not sure about wine, but sulfur doesn’t taste good.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Sulfur dioxide is used to prevent spoilage in wine (and also to clean barrels and equipment). I don’t believe it affects the taste, at least not so as to affect products commercially. IIRC, it gives some people headaches. There are styles of winemaking that avoid it completely.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      “I came to these conclusions. Your saliva has nitrites in it. Celery and spinach have higher levels of nitrites
      than are used in most commercially processed meats. As the article states, there probably isn’t much difference between vegetable nitrites and the regular commercial nitrites used by the meat industry.”

      Yea, well there are radioactive materials everywhere too, even in our bodies, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out of my way to eat more…..

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All I know is too much oxygen is bad.

        Too much of water is not good either.

        “A little money for the billionaire is good. Don’t not drink the greedy potion deep, or you will taste the soulless spring.”

        Something like that…

        All things in moderation. Don’t eat too much. Don’t have too much fun. Viagra once in a while.

        A little bit of Monica in my life
        A little bit of Erica by my side
        A little bit of Rita is all I need
        A little bit of Tina is what I see
        A little bit of Sandra in the sun
        A little bit of Mary all night long
        A little bit of Jessica here I am

        1. ambrit

          Oh, the Horrors MLTPB! A paean in praise of excessive copulations!
          As Judge Dee says when he spies a lascivious couple in the monastery; “Doesn’t anyone do any meditating in this place?”

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      My grandmother died of stomach cancer. It’s a really bad way to go. You die of starvation. She ate cured meat every day. Bologna for lunch, often hot dogs, kiebasa, and bacon charred black (which they did back in the day due to fear of trichonosis)

      Any doctor who treats populations that eat a lot of smoked fish will tell you they also have elevated stomach cancer rates. The fact that something is “natural” does not mean it isn’t potentially dangerous. Apple seeds have cyanide. Many types of mushrooms will kill you.

  15. allan

    Obama condemns ‘us and them’ politics in Indonesia [NY Post]

    Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged Indonesians on Saturday to resist divisive politics based on race and religion, saying the world’s most populous Muslim nation has a long history of tolerance that should be preserved.

    Indonesia’s reputation for pluralism has come under scrutiny since Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, was sentenced in May to two years in prison for blasphemy in a trial that came after Islamist-led rallies.

    Obama, who was on a personal visit to the country where he spent some of his childhood, said the Muslim community in Indonesia had historically protected Hindu and Buddhist temples. …

    Indonesia, a country of 250 million people, has experienced rising intolerance against non-Muslims and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

    A leader of Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization this week called for a boycott of Starbucks, saying that the international coffee chain’s pro-gay stand risks ruining the “religious and cultured” core of the country.

    Unexceptional sentiments from Mr. Obama, except that for 8 years he did nothing to rein in the Wahabi extremist rulers of Saudi Arabia, who have injected their radical beliefs into formerly tolerant countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh. If only he had applied to KSA the same toughness he showed towards
    the left wing of his own party.

    1. sid_finster

      Mr. “I believe in American exceptional isn’t with every fiber of my being” speaks.

    2. Oregoncharles

      ” the world’s most populous Muslim nation has a long history of tolerance that should be preserved.”

      Yeah, that’s why they slaughtered most of the remaining Hindus back in the 70’s after a coup. Then there was E. Timor (Christians), and persistent fighting between Christians and Muslims on Molucca.

  16. justanotherprogressive

    Great article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch!

    That former Navy SEAL Greitens is taking $4000/year from those people least able to give it (because yanno…”businesses”) and he is too cowardly to sign his name to the bill (political aspirations, yanno…..)…..makes you wonder what kind of people they are letting into the SEAL program these days…..

    Hopefully those “businesses” Greitens cares so much about have the sense NOT to cut their employees’ pay in August……otherwise, St. Louis will see another long hot summer…….

    1. Arizona Slim

      Greitens is yet another former SEAL who is cashing in on the fact that he was a SEAL. Like the rest, he wrote a book about his military experience.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Apparently he’s written (or had a ghost writer write) several “rah-rah” books…..

  17. RenoDino

    Unintentionally funny. Statesmen one and all doing God’s work meet meat grinder.

    “When Rex Tillerson was announced as secretary of state, there was a general feeling of excitement and relief in the department. After eight years of high-profile, jet-setting secretaries, the building was genuinely looking forward to having someone experienced in corporate management. Like all large, sprawling organizations, the State Department’s structure is in perpetual need of an organizational rethink. That was what was hoped for, but that is not what is happening. Tillerson is not reorganizing, he’s downsizing.”

    Performance reviews are in. Sixteen years of uninterrupted war mean we don’t need you. Thank you for your service.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will we see robot diplomats soon?

      Etiquette question. Do we send a robot or a human representative to the Robot Republic of Mars?

      As a sign of respect, I think we send a robot ambassador.

      “I speak your language.”

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Acting FBI boss Andrew McCabe faces pressure, probes, uncertain future Fox

    According to the Wall Street Journal, it was McCabe who told lower-level FBI investigators to “stand down” in their inquiry into whether illegal influence-peddling or financial crimes were being committed at the Clinton Foundation. Meanwhile, McCabe did not recuse himself from the investigation into presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, despite an apparent conflict of interest involving his wife.

    Jill McCabe’s losing campaign for a Virginia state Senate seat reportedly received $700,000 from Clinton allies at the same time that McCabe was second-in-command at the FBI during the investigation into her use of a personal email server for State Department business and alleged mishandling of classified information.

    So $33,000 for an RT birthday party through a speaker’s bureau to Michael Flynn is a smoking AK-47, but there’s nothing to see here.

    It’s no wonder washington, d.c. is in chaos. It would seem that quite a few career bureaucrats invested heavily in the unstoppable clinton machine, and some were even paid in advance for their services. It almost makes their deranged commitment to Russiagate understandable. They threw everything including the kitchen sink at ensuring the outcome, and it didn’t work. It MUST have been the Russkis.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If we are all connected when a butterfly flaps its wings, we have no way of knowing we benefit or suffer from any other person.

      Should a Democratic senator rescue himself or herself from investigating a Republican president or governor or mayor, because his/her party stands to benefit?

      The same question when the parties switch?

      I only know for sure that humans can not be objective in calling themselves Homo Sapiens. Talking about conflict of interest.

      And that particular naming was done by a scientist (a bunch of scientists).

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        Sorry if this is pedantic, but by “rescue” I assume you mean “recuse”?

      2. newcatty

        Yes, all connected. When the two parties are two sides of a same fake coin, you do not usually need to ask the question: who or what benefits. If everybody’s right ( or wrong) than nobody’s wrong (or right). This works when authentic tolerance, nonjudgement, peace and compassion are goals by humans, but when choices are made and actions done by those who have power in “governance” than what is right has to be clearly defined. I vote for stopping intervening in other countries to keep America exceptional at being the economic hitmen and hitwomen of the planet. I vote for excellent health care for all in this country to make it great. I vote for caring and wonderful public education for all of our children from early through higher. I vote for clean air, waterways, and preserved lands. I vote for agriculture not burdened with poisonous practices to grow food. I vote for ending the shameful and cruel state of affairs that we have so many of our people homeless, hungry, and in dispair.

    2. HotFlash

      McCabe faces pressure, probes, uncertain future Fox

      Uncertain future with Fox? — that’s gotta hurt.

  19. justanotherprogressive

    Re: the Shkreli article:

    Bloomberg claims: “He faces as long as 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.”

    Ahhh. be serious, Bloomberg! No he doesn’t……he’s got money…..

    1. witters

      Surely this is the killer quote from our man Shkreli: ““They blame me for everything,” he said of the prosecutors. “They blame me for capitalism.””

  20. DJG

    Mandos at the Ian Welsh blog on the deep reason why the U.S. won’t have single payer (for now): Americans are immoralists. So which is cause and which is symptom? The political crisis, the economic crisis, or the fact obvious to Mandos that people in the U S of A match D.H. Lawrence’s famous summation of the U.S. personality?

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”

    I’d scratch stoic from that description. Not with the rise of social media and all of the public sniveling.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      A most apt quote describing the American soul. The Mandos essay notes the heartless strain in the right-libertarian argument and the complete lack of censure such sentiments receive. I am afraid the right-libertarian drift is but one of the odious philosophies too many Americans all too easily accept and adopt. The Neoliberal concepts of a Market for all things and worse the unquestioned acceptance of Neoliberal terms for debate — even by opponents of Neoliberal nostrums — casts dark shadows across our politics.

      1. bdy

        Right-libertarianism is personal and profound. It takes a lot of soul searching to find the moral center of a universe where everybody gets what they deserve by definition. The only possible middle is in one’s self. Naturally, the R-L bristles at any oblique suggestion his core might be amoral. Even a casual observation that fortune plays a role in poeples’ affairs can agitate a guy into long bouts of bully-speak — a causal chain of aphorisms lauding intent, risk, talent and foresight on a good day. The common givens: “serves ’em right”, and “trying to help people hurts them because then they’ll never help themselves…”

        “…even children with cancer,” only triggers cognitive dissonance. I have weekly, sometimes political discussions over beers with a couple of young software developers — one who considers himself an anarcho-capitalist (I so prefer their company to left leaning Dems and Clinton Repubs in my other circles). Keeping morality out of the conversation keeps it civil. But the discourse badly needs a mother to remind us of the logic of underlying kindness in all things. I guess it’s on me but when I try, blank stares tell me I’ve got the rhetoric wrong.

        1. Antifa

          There is no left in American politics. There is only right and harder right.

          The essential leftist position begins by drawing a circle around all of our citizens, and asking, “How best shall we look after these folks, and prepare our youth to take our places in due course?”

          Hint: it does not involve building ten super-carrier battle groups, or devoting $535 billion a year to dominating every economy, culture, and nation state on the planet.

          A divorce of the American nation from the American Empire is an economic inevitability. It’s just a matter of the Empire becoming completely irrelevant to the life of the nation.

    2. WeakenedSquire

      Why, from reading Mandos, you’d think Americans were a regular basket of deplorables, wouldn’t you?

      1. DJG

        No: I’d think what Jeremy Grimm wrote, directly above. It’s one thing for a presidential candidate to write off a large part of the population with a comment that she believed was ultra-snarky, and it’s another thing to have people believe that allowing others to suffer serves the health of the mythical market. I’m sure that you can get the distinction.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          Yes, and the Libertarian example is not to say that’s the only problem on the ideological spectrum. To get meta, every whiggish carveout For the Encouragement of Whatever (do you support the FTEOW Act, bunky?) will create a new niche for politigrift to pry apart. I like the emphasis on Single Payer Period.

          Putting it another way, I would be happier with a Single Payer that had No Special ID Card. How many heads would explode over that kind of…sin?

          …Aaand why doesn’t the health of the citizenry get discussed as a national security issue?

    3. Carolinian

      Well if D.H. Lawrence said it it must be true, right?

      On the other hand it could be that all notions of a national “soul” are bullshit.

      1. DJG

        Carolinian: D.H. Lawrence was wrong about all kinds of things, which may explain why not many read him these days. But the quote is good and stark.

        Americans like to quote Tocqueville’s approving passages, but Tocqueville wasn’t 100 percent sold on U.S. government or culture, either. I always enjoy his comment on the prevalence of religious insanity in the United States.

        The problem is that there are big differences in national style: Whenever you travel outside the U S of A, you can pick out an American at 100 feet. Now why is that? But Americans like to go on about how everyone is jes’ folks and no one is illegal, except for the exceptional nation.

        1. HotFlash

          Ah, I am reminded of a comment made by a colleague, he was ex-Luftwaffe who came to Canada after the war, worked as a timekeeper in the Great North for a bit, then settled near Toronto. So nice to remember him, wonderful man; kind, interesting and welcoming family — but I digress.

          What he said, in reference to some US stupidity back in the 80’s, “What do you expect from a country that was founded by every kook and religious nut in Europe?”

          Food for thought.

          1. Plenue

            “Food for thought.”

            Except it’s really not.

            Given that Germany repeatedly turned Europe into a sea of blood in the 20th century, the second time making a concerted effort to literally wipe out entire ethnicities, and has since changed tact to slowly destroying Europe with debt and austerity, forgive me if I don’t put much stock in the criticisms of a German. Particularly one who played some role in the above mentioned genocidal warmongering.

    4. Plenue

      Mandos is an idiot. The only obstacles to single-payer health care (which consistently polls at over 50%) are Liberals and the Democratic Party, as most recently demonstrated in California. In other words precisely the type of people an excrementalist like Mandos insists we need to keep voting for.

      Yes, some people are cruel and callous to the point that they can only be described as ‘evil’. They’re the rich minority that runs our society and has been completely corrupted by money. Mandos is smearing the demos despite the reality that the plebs have little to no say in how the United States is run these days. What a douchebag.

  21. DJG

    Lovely article from the New Yorker about Greek poetry and genuine resistance to the economic killing of the Greeks. It reminds me that poetry is prophetic, vatic: U.S. poetry these days is self-absorbed and anodyne.

    Something from the indispensable Cavafy, who was mentioned in the article:

    A poem, entitled: Those Who Fought for the Achaian League

    Brave men were you who fought and died so nobly,
    never afraid of those who were winning every battle.
    You were not to blame if Diaios and Kritolaos were at fault.
    When Greeks are in a mood to boast, they’ll say
    “It is men like those our nation breeds.”
    That’s how great their praise will be.

    Written by an Achaian in Alexandria
    during the seventh year of Ptolemy Lathyros’ reign.

    [Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard]

  22. justanotherprogressive

    Loved the hawk!
    We don’t see many of them around here any more – we have a mean bunch of robins that chase them away. I saw the robins go after a horned owl a couple of mornings ago. I tried to get a picture, but it was before daybreak and it didn’t turn out….

    1. JTMcPhee

      Too bad us robins and lesser songbirds and itty bitty sparrows and finches and peewits can’t get together and chase the predator birds out of our range… Maybe the Crows will get together with the blackbirds and lead the way… But then hummingbirds, with their total-aggression personalities, end up battling each other occasionally to the death. So what genera or species do we mopebirds belong to?

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        In paintings of St. Francis preaching to the birds, the species present usually had specific references to the social order. Or at least that’s what I remember, I’m still adjusting to not being able to check my trivia on der Google.

        I wandered off to wiki and avian brood parasitism, as one does, and got wondering about Cowbirds. From my data set of: sh*t I’ve seen since I committed to a serious birdfeeder, having a big aggressive bird flock with you and treat you like a homey has obvious benefits. But try to find any Gouldian discussion of the hosts taking a reproductive hit in exchange for an imprinted warrior caste? Not enough of an idea to get even a skeptic takedown. To be fair, parasitism is probably a lot easier to Science! than symbiotism.

    2. grayslady

      Lots of hawks where I live–mostly red tails and coopers. Quite often see the red tails chased by tiny birds, but never by a robin.

      The hawk in the photo appears to be a juvenile, possibly a red-shouldered juvenile (bits of chestnut showing on upper back, two-toned beak), although it is missing the characteristic white “eyebrow”. I found a juvenile red tail sitting on my deck railing last weekend. It didn’t look remotely like the adult, other than being somewhat larger than a fully grown coopers. Instead of a red tail, its tail was horizontally striped in light brown and dark brown, and the brown back feathers were heavily speckled with white. Juveniles can show up in unusual places while searching for a territory to claim. My local birds were so terrified by the juvenile red tail that they completely disappeared until the following morning!

  23. flora

    re: Cyber Security at Sea.

    One quibble: Microsoft has offered the US and UK navies extended support for Windows XP, for a hefty price of course.

    and extended support for businesses, again with a hefty price:

    XP is still a money maker for MS. No idea how long they will continue to offer extended support for large organizations.

    adding: when the HMS ship build began XP was the current MS OS. The OS has upgraded from XP to Vista to Win 7 to Win8 to Win10 in a relatively short period of time. It would be unreasonable, I think, to expect govts and large businesses to upgrade systems every 2 years when legacy applications run so much of the daily operations. (see banking systems.)

    1. flora

      adding: note that the XP extention agreements were reported 3 years ago at the time of XP’s official demise and were listed as one year or year-to-year, or in some cases 2 year agreements. Renewable on condition.

    2. Plenue

      Literally anyone can get access to the extended XP business support. The business version of the OS will continue to receive security updates through at least 2019. All you have to do is modify a single registry entry to fool the Microsoft update servers into thinking you’re running the business version. You don’t even need a genuine copy; I’m running a pirated version of XP Professional, with the registry tweak, on one of my laptops.

  24. drexciya

    You have a point, but this is the software industry, and it has some perverse incentives. The joke I like to make is that if software is perfect, the maker will go bankrupt. And this nicely sums up the problem. There is no incentive at all to create very good software, which can be used for a long time, since you want to sell something new later on. So we see lots of fancy features (which most of time are rubbish) and less emphasis on stability.

    The major exception I can think of is the mainframe area, where you pay some sort of maintenance fee, which is pretty steep, but the platform is very stable and there’s support for very old programs.

    This completely contradicts what other industries do; in industrial IT, devices have to last for tens of years, and there’s no demand for fancy features. And the companies supplying software in this sector are nowhere near using Windows 10.

  25. Andrew Watts

    RE: Bear walks into a liquor shop

    Would somebody PLEASE buy that bear a candybar? Bears are enlightened creatures who have no concept of barbarous relics like money or shoes. They live free and in the grand spirit of the BEARLIFE™.

    The best WWII story of all time involves a Syrian Brown Bear named Wojtek. It was 1942 and Wojtek the Bear dreamed of doing what we all would’ve accomplished if we were in the 40s. KILL SOME NAZI SCUM! Wojtek enlisted in the Allied Army as a private where he was assigned crap Army jobs like sentry duty and guarding supply depots. It wasn’t until the Battle of Monte Cassino that Private Wojtek was able to fulfill his dream. He could be seen on the front lines hauling artillery shells for the Polish 22nd Company that fought in support of the British Eighth Army. He was soon promoted to Corporal and survived the war.

    Wojtek retired to the Edinburgh Zoo at the conclusion of World War II. Where old comrades and tourists alike would shower him with sweets and cigarettes. He was forced to chew on the cigarettes because none of the villainous zookeepers would give him a light. Kinda seems cruel.

    1. Alex Morfesis

      When one sees a bear stand up and observe and move around vs a primate doing the same…darwin might have been a tad wrong as to from whom or what might humans have converted from…dna not withstanding…

      1. ambrit

        A science fiction writer, whose name regrettably eludes me at present, postulated sapient space farers evolved from the genus “Ursus.”

        1. freedeomny

          OK – the live bear cam is seriously cool. When I went on there was one just looking at the waterfall (at least I think that is what is it….and then he/she kind of meandered out of view…

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      I was rereading that just last week. Got me pondering how tolkienesque life might be if we could *at least* treat large megafauna with *at least* the respect the military gives to a private regardless of race, color, or clade.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chanos: US economy worse than you think.

    We also should relate to the US economy via feeling.

    “The US economy is also worse than you feel.” In fact, that’s how I often relate to it…by how it feels.

    And it feels listless.

    In reality, worse than that probably, like Chanos says.

  27. JTMcPhee

    “As Mosul’s battlefield shrinks, US warns of friendly fire:” Fog of war. Complicated. “Who’s yer ‘friend,’ at this moment, in the RealTimeBattlespace (TM)?”

    What’s the mission, again?

    And who’s getting rich(er)?

    And too bad that ISIS is a state of mind, kind of like “Israeli,” and like other pathogenic types, the individuals who have inhaled the heady vapors of Caliphate and the Path to the Islamic State can take their world views almost anywhere and re-coalesce where the Rulers create or leave a spot of “weakness” where the next battlespace can array itself, with a little help from “our” intelligence (sic) and military and our “friends” the KSA…

    A couple of interesting sources: “Falling into the ISIS Trap,”, and a fundamental document, “The Management of Savagery,”, which I’m sure our Wise Battlespace Commanders and Congressional Solons and the West Wing have read, learned and inwardly digested, as reflected so brilliantly in the current “policies” (which of course depend on, and are intended to foster, a continuation of the “savagery,” with occasional peak events to pique the public mind…)

  28. nothing but the truth

    This happened yesterday.

    An example of how the youth has been screwed and needs to revolt.

    My kid is on college vacation and tried to get a job with Dominos (r) delivering pizzas.

    He kept pestering me with questions and requests for insurance documents.

    So I got suspicious and spoke to the Dominos (r) manager.

    Me: “BTW , that is not his car, that is my car and i have a loan on it.”

    J: “Well, he needs to provide proof that you have paid for insurance”.

    Me: “As i see it, this is a business activity. My insurance covers only personal activity.”

    J: “No, your insurance will cover him”.

    Me: “No, i am in business. It does not work that way. The business has to have insurance. He has to be covered by your coverage.”

    J: “He can get business insurance.”

    Me: “Why? Businesses have to get their own insurance.”

    J: “He can get business insurance.”

    Me: “Let me get this right. You’re paying him 5 bucks an hour, and you expect him to buy business insurance”?

    J: “He applied for the job”.

    1. ambrit

      Dare we call this another “Uber” strategy? Offloading business expenses onto the backs of the “shop help.”
      This sounds like your son was to be “officially” categorized as an “independent contractor.”
      As we say at our house; “Lock the door! It’s Dominos!”

  29. marym

    (sorry about the caps, from original)


    ACTIVISTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY have provided real momentum to the idea of a single-payer health care system, pressing the issue in California and among leading figures in the Democratic Party.

    The mere prospect of single payer, however, has elicited swift derision from some corners of the party, with Dick Gephardt, the former Democratic House minority leader, laughing off the idea at a health insurance conference earlier this month.

    “Not in my lifetime,” scoffed Gephardt, when asked if the United States will ever adopt such a system.

      1. Off The Street

        Is there an old retired Democrats convention slated this summer for Mena, Arkansas?

        The Clintons could provide the entertainment.

        1. ambrit

          Reagan Air could take them all on a one way jaunt to the jungles of Guatemala.
          Mena was a major air hub for the illegal program of supplying munitions to the Contras.
          This site is about as hard line Cold Warrior as you can get. If they give credence to such a story as this, then something’s up.

    1. katiebird

      This make me sick. I used to like Gephardt. Sort of.

      Democrats: Pretty speeches and private sneers. ….. And Gephardt’s were never that pretty.

    2. Tom Allen

      These days (when he’s not working as a consultant for Goldman Sachs or DLA Piper) Gephardt acts as a lobbyist for drug companies fighting to block generic drugs. Even back in 2009 he was advising mega-insurer UnitedHealth Group in their campaign against the public option. He’s a typical high-level Democrat — in favor of universal health coverage, but only if it’s immensely profitable to his clients.

  30. manymusings

    The Davidson antitrust piece highlights not just “innovation” as an alternative to “price” but also “data” — seemingly as an afterthought or toss-away (i.e., toward the end of the article, in a parenthetical). But I wonder if data is really the more potentially powerful legal hook to spur a rethink on antitrust, and one not adequately or seriously thought through (by myself included, so please note I’m just reacting here). So far data seems to break through in the mainstream as an issue of balancing “privacy” v. commercial or national security prerogatives, which certainly is important but which seems naturally to fall to the weight of the harder legal claims on the commercial/security side (especially since “privacy” is defined legally in terms of perception or expectation, which becomes and obvious vicious circle spiraling toward erosion).

    I am thinking (again just generally) in the direction of greater individual rights to control the use, transfer, access and storage of personal data, rights which would be predicated on recognizing data as a personal property interest — contra the status quo where by “using a service” it seems we are understood (at least tacitly) to consent to the “public” nature of our data (with a few narrow limits that seem to be easily worked around), a notion predicated on conceiving data in legal terms solely as a privacy issue. Data (at least arguably) is also personal “property” — and if it ever were recognized and treated as such in the marketplace and under domestic laws might create a serious counter-pull in the seemingly unstoppable centripetal force converting our economy (and the terms and conditions for our lives) to an increasingly centralized, monopolized big data/security-dependent (and security obsessed) fusion of tech-finance-government. Which probably means data will never be recognized legally as personal property.

    (Interesting though that a “property” interest is immediately recognized the instant our data leaves our hands, as if the transfer from personal to commercial use is an alchemy changing the nature of the thing itself….which is possible conceptually only by maintaining the traditional notion of “consumers” and “service providers” without recognizing the two-way dimension, i.e., that providing our data is really conferring something of value, which if recognized as such legally would create leverage for consideration and/or more control on the terms of use… .)

    Possibly straying from purely an issue of antitrust … but at base, antitrust acknowledges a government role in setting and enforcing conditions to maintain beneficial competition in commercial space — and, at least in the U.S., “beneficial” is commonly and instinctively understood in terms of individual freedom and agency, which is associated (again in the US) more instinctively with individual property rights than with collective goods, like “innovation” or other unintended/attenuated consequences of a “price” fixation.

  31. fresno dan

    When it comes to consumer spending, it’s not the jump in income that matters it’s how that income is distributed. For example, if Bill Gates got all of it, consumers would not spend additional dime without going further into debt.

    The numbers are not nearly as bad as my Bill Gates example, but they are not very good.

    Wages and salaries were up a miniscule $6.6 billion or .08% (about 1% annualized).
    Funny, my interest income went down….from 41 cents to 38 …. :(

    1. ambrit

      Me too, and, the bank now charges us ten dollars a month for not having enough money! Talk about perverse policy!

  32. petal

    Update on the Jane Sanders-Burlington College scandal:
    “The source behind a scandalous allegation against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders casts doubt on the strength of the accusation….Friday night we’ve confirmed reporting by our media partner Seven Days that Vermont House Minority leader Don Turner is that source.

    Turner says friends at the bank in question told him of pressure from the Senate office to approve the loan. However, the long-time representative says those friends did not have direct knowledge of the loan negotiations and characterizes the conversation as casual. He says he wouldn’t have brought it to the attention of federal investigators.

    Toensing meanwhile says he stands behind his complaint 100 percent.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Those friends shouldn’t even have that conversation, so casually, especially when without direct knowledge, with him about a very not casual story of a senator (or his office) pressuring a bank.

      The response could have been, ‘Are you serious? If that is the case, I would have to bring it to the attention of federal investigators.’

      And resolved it one way or another way back then.

  33. dontknowitall

    re “With a single wiretap order, US authorities listened in on 3.3 million phone calls”.

    It is very strange how, in general, extraordinary claims required extraordinary evidence and in law, somehow, wiretapping 3 million people with one little run-of-the-mill warrant is all it takes, no extra homework required. The judge probably is a proud graduate of the Ronald McDonald School of Law where you get a Happy Meal with your diploma.

  34. Off The Street

    The Economists View blog had an interesting little article from Paul Krugman about Republican cruelty. Here is my off-the-cuff observation about the D and R crews.

    View from afar:
    How Republicans view themselves
    R keeps politicians honest.
    R controls how your tax money is spent.
    R do not want to support those who do not contribute.
    R rewards hard work.
    (R doesn’t address inequity, unfairness, etc)

    How Republicans view Democrats
    D want to spend your money on projects that they deem worthy.
    D will keep spending all your money until it runs out.
    D will raise taxes to pay for their pet projects.
    D are corrupt and want sinecures.
    D blame and who do not support their views as …ists.
    D are irresponsible and weak.
    D want to drag achievers down to their level.
    D resent success except for their own, see sinecures above.
    D won’t admit who pays for their big ideas or how capital is earned.
    D are godless, misdirected souls destined for Purgatory at best.
    D support destruction of civilization.
    D are hypocrites.

    How Democrats view Republicans
    R are mean.
    R are …ists.
    R do not care about their fellow human beings.
    R favor, even worship, the rich.
    R say they favor tax cuts, but only for rich people who bribe and cheat.
    R say they earn money, but don’t admit all the help and breaks they get.
    R will keep the unfortunate down rather than provide any relief.
    R avoid the future, even when staring them in the face.
    R want to impose their harsh so-called morality on all.
    R are hypocrites.

    How Democrats view themselves
    D look out for all people regardless of station in life.
    D have the moral high ground.
    D make the world a better place for all, not just the lucky.


    1. Fiery Hunt

      D look out for all people regardless of station in life.
      D have the moral high ground.
      D make the world a better place for all, not just the lucky.

      BUZZZ …sorry…wrong answer! But good try!

      Single Payer Heath Care; California Democrats 2017
      Unions;congressional support of right to work, 1975-2015
      Income Inequality; Democratic control of Congress; 1988-1997
      Wall St. convictions; 2007-2016
      “Cat food Commission”; Obama administration deal with Republicans 2009-2010
      War; all foreign entanglements 2008-2016
      Patriot act, support of Democrats 2001-2017

      Democrats are worse than Republicans because they know who gets screwed and yet they still go for the money.

      Democrats are Corruption personified.

  35. ewmayer

    Happy sesquicentennial Canada Day to our readers up in the Great White North, eh? On last night’s Jeopardy! notorious Canadian fugitive game show host Alex Trebek was wearing a patriotic 150th-anniversary-celebration-logo hockey jersey, and they had a whole category featuring a visit to the Canadian embassy in DC. One of the questions in which was about the governmental structure, along the lines of “Canada has a prime minister, but HRH Queen Elizabeth 2 of Great Britain is the nominal sovereign, and the person occupying this largely ceremonial third post represents the sovereign in parliament.” Answer: Governor-General. And it is a useful exercise to look up what kinds of rarely-invoked powers might be lurking under that ‘largely’.

    O Canada, we stand on cars and freeze, and all that. :)

  36. TK421

    That dog in the video doesn’t know what he’s chasing, or why. Is he a Democrat? har har.

    1. John k

      Can’t be a democrat. They know for a fact they’re chasing donors because money and suburb reps because ideology.

  37. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    So my ex fiancée/best friend told me the other night she found a lump in her breast.

    Now mind you, she’s 32 and lives paycheck to paycheck and has never been very good at getting and keeping insurance. She’s a high school graduate and works as a bartender down here in New Orleans.

    Anywho, she tells me it’s a cyst, and they remove it, no big deal.

    Then the dr tells her to take a PAP smear…that comes back positive.

    Turns out she has precancerous cells in her uterus, so she needs to get them scraped out.


    We are literally dying from suicide and drug overdoses while the 1% sponge up the bloody money seeping from our wounds.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      I hear ya JHBecnel…but take a deep breath and hear this.
      Your friend is ok now and it’s scary but so, soooo common (and yes, that’s where the rage comes from…)
      The cyst? Normal. My girl’s a 10 year breast cancer survivor and I just went thru the “What’s this lump???” process. Watch it but understand that breast cancer is what the medical practices have gotten VERY GOOD at.. so accept that diagnosis (but tell her to stay attuned to it.)

      As for the “precancerous cells”,..again calm…the system, which sucks ( i have no insurance) is what we have…as hard as it is, I suggest you suggest to her that she needs find a “better” Dr., one that understands and “treats” the whole patient, including her wallet… millions of doctors out there try to heal while understanding circumstances.

      Hang in there, JHB.

    2. ambrit

      Sorry to hear that. Is the old Charity Hospital a going concern Downtown? They are mandated to take “orphan” cases. If not, try LSU or Tulane Medical, who both run internships for their medical doctor aspirants out in the Charity system. Ochsner has been fair as far as we were treated.
      Just a sample of ObGyns who should do D&C procedures:
      Oncologists around N’Awlins who take medicaid:
      I feel pretty helpless dealing with Phyls’ melanoma, so I can vaguely imagine how your ex feels. Get her to someone competent and know that you’re doing right.

    3. HotFlash

      (((((((((Jonathan and ex)))))))))

      I live in Canada, although I was born in the USA, and most of my relations live there still. Please, America, this sort of thing truly *does* *not* *have* *to* *happen*.

Comments are closed.