Links 7/15/2017

Taiwan Surprises Passengers By Turning Subway Cars Into Different Sport Venues For Upcoming Universiade Bored Panda

These animals can survive until the end of the Earth, astrophysicists say WaPo (martha r)

Verily Robot Will Raise 20 Million Sterile Mosquitoes for Release in California MIT Technology Review

Publish and don’t perish – how to keep rare species’ data away from poachers The Conversation

A Mystery of Seabirds, Blown Off Course and Starving NYT

In Landmark Move, GOP Congress Calls Climate Change ‘Direct Threat’ to Security Foreign Policy

Martin Shkreli allegedly ‘went on warpath’ after drug company booted him as CEO, and threatened his successor CNBC

Judge throws out conviction of activist who laughed during Jeff Sessions confirmation Chicago Tribune

DEMOCRAT BETO O’ROURKE TAKES THE BERNIE SANDERS FUNDRAISING MODEL LOCAL IN RUN AT TED CRUZ Intercept (ChiGal)

How Hamburg Failed to Protect Its Citizens Der Spiegel

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Australia Is Going to Compel Technology Firms to Provide Access to Encrypted Messages Fortune

Imperial Collapse Watch

Globally, More Name U.S. Than China as World’s Leading Economic Power Pew Research Center. More interesting and complex than headline suggests.

How Can We Ensure Survival in a New Era of Nuclear Brinkmanship? The Nation

Health Care

Why Republicans Exempted Their Own Insurance From Obamacare Rollback Roll Call

Column: Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill Chicago Tribune

US healthcare battle puts opioid addicts on the frontline FT

As a Brit, US healthcare astonishes me – it’s not a human right, but a privilege Guardian

States to Health Insurers: Please Come Back WSJ

Nurses Won’t Back Down in Fight for Single-Payer in California Truthdig

Big Pharma Spends on Share Buybacks, but R&D? Not So Much NYT. Gtretchen Morgenson’s latest, discussing this INET working paper, US Pharma’s Financialized Business Model

Brexit

The political centre can still change the terms of Brexit – Labour’s ambiguity can’t last New Statesman. Tony Blair’s take.

Tony Blair says Brexit can be stopped if UK leaders realise the EU will ‘meet us halfway’ Independent

China?

Taiwanese or Chinese? An island state’s shifting identities Asia Times. Today’s the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial rule in Taiwan.

Vietnam tugs India into the South China Sea Asia Times

Kill Me Now

Mark Zuckerberg arrives in Sun Valley for showdown with Ivanka and Jared amid rumors the self-made billionaire is planning 2020 run against Trump Daily Mail

As Momentum Grows to Remove Brazil’s President, New Pressure Campaign Sparks Rage The Intercept. Glenn Greenwald.

Class Warfare

Man outwits Student Loans Company by staying poor forever Daily Mash

Reasons for Corbyn LRB

Why won’t Hong Kong embrace sharing economy? SCMP

Top 1% of households in UK fully recovered from financial crisis Guardian

The Class Renegade NYRB

Young men are working a lot less. It’s not just because of video games Quartz

Some doctors were handing out opioids like candy. The Justice Department just shut them down. Vox

Syraqistan

Don’t underestimate Iraq’s historic victory against Isis – though the human cost was great Independent

The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria Counterpunch

Syria Summary – Will The Trump-Putin Agreement Hold?  Moon of Alabama

Nuclear Summer New Republic

Turkey

Fethullah Gulen is facing extradition to Turkey by Donald Trump – so he should read up about his country Independent

Turkey dismisses thousands of police and civil servants Al Jazeera

India

Still counting notes deposited after demonetisation: RBI Governor Urjit Patel Scroll.in

New Cold War

How to Lie The Baffler

Kucinich: Trump Jr. meeting with Russian ‘a bunch of nothing’ The Hill

Trump Transition

In memo, Trump administration weighs expanding the expedited deportation powers of DHS WaPo

Trump And Kobach’s Voter Fraud Panel Releases Brutal Responses From The Public International Business Times

Trump Team Seeks to Salvage Travel Ban After Judge Limits Scope Bloomberg

Trump’s Tweets Are Not Harming National Security American Conservative

Trump May Be an Outlier but He is a By-Product of the American Liberal Establishment The Wire

Trump’s war on the State Department WaPo

Trump badly lagging Obama, Bush, Clinton in political appointees Politico

JP Morgan chief blasts US dysfunction: ‘It’s almost an embarrassment being American’ The Guardian

Is the most powerful lobbyist in Washington losing its grip? WaPO

Judge Richard Posner Rips On SCOTUS, Oldsters — And No, He’s Not A Troll Above the Law. Judges Posner and Rakoff debate whether Supreme Court justices need be lawyers– and much else besides.

Now is the summer of our discontent: memes, national identity and the globalisation of rage The Conversation

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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139 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    “Ku Klux Jeff” Sessions, comrades: whatever you do, don’t laugh at him:

    A judge on Friday ordered a retrial in the case of a Code Pink activist — Desiree A. Fairooz, 61, of Bluemont, Va. — who was arrested after she laughed during Jeff Sessions’s confirmation hearing for attorney general.

    It was early in the hearing when Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.”

    On hearing that, Ms. Fairooz said, she let out a giggle. Prosecutors cast it differently and said in a filing that she “let out a loud burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter.”

    The judge was uncertain if they had convicted her based on the laughter alone or on the disruption she caused as she was being escorted away.

    The other protesters, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, dressed as Ku Klux Klan members with white hoods and robes, were acquitted on a count of disorderly conduct but were convicted on charges of parading or demonstrating.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/us/sessions-activist-laughter-retrial.html

    “Double tap” laughter — it’s the calling card of terrorists. :-0

    1. JoeK

      This wasn’t just a double tap, she let loose “bursts” of laughter. Do you know how much damage a single burst of laughter, never mind two, from a 61 y.o. woman can do to the ego of a guy like Sessions? You do not want to see the pics, trust me.

      Nulling this conviction IMO sets a dangerous precedent. What’s next, challenging “free speech zones?”

      /s (CMA)

    2. oh

      I shows once again that the judicial system does not have the guts to go with common sense and constitutional rights. Another one of the three branches that have been captured.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Time to revisit the Seattle-NoCal indexes, covering the Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse.

    The Seattle index (Amazon & Microsoft) has recovered to its pre-Tech Wreck high of June 6th. But NoCal (Apple, Alphabet, Facebook) remains 2 percent below its early June zenith, held back by Apple which has barely kept up with the S&P 500. Chart:

    http://ibb.co/hxiZhv

    Historically, the largest cap U.S. stock has difficulty growing faster than the economy, since it already dominates its market. Apple is the largest cap stock on the planet, with even less scope for growth unless it can find a “new iPhone” killer product. (Good luck with that.)

    Both indexes have nicely outperformed the S&P since late April. With both the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials having hit record highs yesterday, the mania is back and stocks are running for the roses.

    If this reminds silver-haired Boomers of the Summer of 1987 … well, it should. :-)

    1. paul

      I think apple will be ok when they release the next gen airpods. Apparently they will have some ‘cool new features’*.

      *probably read out the time from your apple smartwatch

    2. allan

      As someone posted yesterday, the Shiller PE index is looking historic. And not in a good way.

      But this time will be different.
      1929, 1987 and 2000 were back in the Dark Ages, before the invention of QE ∞.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You read my mind. Robert Shiller’s spreadsheet (which you can download from his site at econ.yale.edu) shows a CAPE of 29.93 in July 1929, almost exactly where we are now. It crested at 32.56 in Sep 1929 (monthly average — the peak occurred on Sep 3, 1929).

        So if the 1929 analog holds, we could have another 8 to 10 percent of juice left in Bubble III … yeehaw!

        1. John Wright

          With all the stock buybacks that have been occurring over the last 30 years, are corporations and their equity more levered up than in 1929?

          For example, in the last century I worked for a company that told employees that they didn’t borrow money because they didn’t want to add financial risk to business risk.

          That company was Hewlett-Packard.

          Now H-P has been run through the financial engineering process and has been split-up/acquired companies/spun off companies/levered up.

          The surviving namesake piece, HPQ, now has negative net tangible assets of -9.5 billion per https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/HPQ/balance-sheet?p=HPQ

          If the aggregate debt/equity ratio for companies is quite different from 1929, with surviving equity now more levered up, this would argue for a lower critical P/E to account for more riskiness.

          Maybe the Greenspan Put counters this in investors minds.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Apparently corporations are about twice as levered now compared to 1929, in terms of debt to assets. See Figure 1 in this paper.

            https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2013/retrieve.php?pdfid=336

            Anecdotally this makes sense. Corporations can now issue junk-rated debt. Not so in 1929, when an investment grade bond rating was required.

            A famous 1958 paper by Modigliani and Miller (M&M) states that the market value of a company is independent of its capital structure.

            Nevertheless, in a hard crunch like 1929-1932, the leveraged players encounter a flashing “game over” message on their video screens. :-(

            1. craazyboy

              Yup. Electric utilities and telecom always were valued at around PE of 10, (maybe 8 in high inflation periods) because they had both the default risk from the high debt, and then made high interest payments to investors, which reduced free cash flow.

              The rest of the market would normally vacillate between 15 and 20, depending on market heat.

              1. justanotherprogressive

                Have you looked at the P/E for the S&P 500 lately? No reason to hold onto those stocks for long is there? Seems to me that the only value to be gained there is to day trade – a game we long term investors are not the least bit interested in playing……but then long term investing seems to be going the way of the dodo bird…..

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    “Bulls and bears make money but pigs get slaughtered”
                    Janet thinks she’s gonna ease/sleaze her way out with jawboning and small rises in the Fed funds rate. Oops when the Maestro tried that in 2004 the 10-yr stuck like a rock where it was. That means the hyper-leverage party, corps loaded to the gills and spending 95% of income to buy back stock, can continue. Even Deutsche Bank is releasing research that says “The Fed has instituted a guaranteed income plan for the 1%”. I saw one bank has a short-term target for the 10-yr at 0.84%, so the obese, can’t get out of bed, diabetic patient is about to get a triple helping of McDonald’s.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I think if we make it past the early days of October with no serious damage, it could go irrational, seasonally.

            2. justanotherprogressive

              I read your link. Interesting stuff. One problem though – the paper only looks at data to 2010 – a lot has happened in the last 7 years…….I would love to see this paper updated…..

            3. duck1

              It is prophesied that when the 4 story glass doors to the HQ cafe get stuck in the open position, the ch’i will escape Apple.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That’s also when houses in Mr. Desai’s Atherton (See below for his very brief biography) can be bought at prices around 3 or 4 times the regional median household income.

                If we are lucky, no Feng-Shui masters will be able to fix that glass doors prophecy.

          2. Michael

            I serviced HP’s air freight needs in the late 70’s early 80’s in the Palo Alto area, the first SV.
            Funny they had a free coffee/snack cart that circulated and a clean and relaxed work environment. Truly the envy of many workers at the startups of the time.

            Its almost like debt is the new cash on the balance sheet /s.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Did workers there foresee the disasters the whole valley was going to inflict on the world…drones, surveillance, gig-economy, social media, genetic engineering, wealth inequality, automation, outsourcing via the internet, etc?

              And did they further foresee that the plague will turn inward to afflict themselves as they enjoyed the free coffee?

              1. Thor's Hammer

                Hey Rotten Beef,

                Care to join me in a thought experiment?

                What is the net contribution of the smart phone? Would society be better off if they had never been invented or the laws of physics made the technology impossible?

                Consider how smart phones are actually used:

                —Trillions of hours wasted in trivial activities— on-line games, “friending” people you will never meet, consumption of the latest sports scores or advertising “push” messages.
                –Widespread addiction. Walk through any airport lobby and observe the zombies walking about in a trance.
                —Distraction from actual human face to face social interactions.
                —Captive audience for manufactured news events and propaganda manipulation.

                The Benefits:
                —Ease of communication with real friends and family.
                —Facilitates business communication and scheduling.
                —Allows communication via images rather than only voice as with regular telephones.
                —When used correctly can be a powerful organizational and time saving tool.

                My conclusion: The smart phone is the most addictive invention on the planet. Heroin is baby powder in comparison. It’s net destructive impact far outweighs it’s positive utility..

    3. oh

      I’ve been waiting for TSLA, AMZN, AAPL and GOOG to swoon but it doesn’t seem to be happening.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From a ranking of US states on fiscal solvency:

    For FY 2015, new accounting standards are in place to guide how plans value their pension liabilities. GASB 68 suggests plans apply a “blended rate” to value liabilities. For the portion of the plan liability that is backed by assets, plans may use the expected return on plan assets. To value any unfunded portion of the liability, the tax-exempt 20-year high-grade municipal bond yield may be used.

    [The authors] surveyed 144 plans for FY 2015 and found that only 13 plans applied the blended rate to value their pension obligations. Most plans continue to use the expected return on assets to value liabilities, resulting in little change in the size of plan liabilities.

    The net effect of a re-estimation [using the yield on notional 15-year Treasury bonds] increases the total unfunded liability of state pension plans from $1.03 trillion to $5.28 trillion.

    https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/norcross-fiscalrankings-2017-mercatus-v1.pdf

    $5.3 trillion … is that lot? /sarc [U.S. GDP = $19 trillion]

    So a landmark new public pension accounting standard, GASB 68, takes effect … but nothing happens because most plans just blow it off. They carry on using fantasyland 7 percent “assumed” returns, while BofA Merrill Lynch’s long muni index (U4A0, 12-22 years) yields a paltry 2.85%.

    Discounting future liabilities at 7.0% instead of 2.85% vastly understates their present value. This is broad daylight fraud, because states can’t handle the truth: that they are insolvent, scared puppies, headed for the pound and probable euthanasia.

    In the immortal words of James Comey, “no reasonable prosecutor” is going to put dedicated public servants in jail for bilking pensioners. GASB 68 is like jaywalking: no one actually expects to be held accountable for ignoring such a trivial by-law. :-)

    1. cnchal

      This is broad daylight fraud, because states can’t handle the truth:

      Would using cash keep them honest?

      $5.3 trillion = 1150 Nimitz class aircraft carriers at their original price tag of $4.6 billion each. Is that a lot of aircraft carriers?

      Since almost all politicians are self serving lawyer/narcissists, concerned only with their immediate self satisfaction and glorification, the fact that globalization has destroyed the taxable profits within the state is totally oblivious to them.

      1. Jim Haygood

        By necessity, public pensions use accrual rather than cash accounting, to measure liabilities that extend decades into the future.

        Gaming the discount rate is a crude but highly effective way to cook the books, big time. The math of compounding isn’t that complicated, but most people aren’t taught it in school. So the deception flies until the checks bounce.

        Speaking of cash, the Z site published an article yesterday about the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, which is only 20 percent funded. It has $4.4 billion in assets, against a total liability of $23.4 billion. The analysis projected that MEABF will run out of cash in six years.

        The fund itself doesn’t disagree:

        In the opinion of Segal Consulting, the Fund’s Consulting Actuary, the funding method mandated by the Illinois Pension Code is insufficient to avoid insolvency, and without a change, the Fund is projected to become insolvent with [sic] the next 10 years (2015 Actuarial Valuation).

        http://www.meabf.org/assets/pdfs/pubs/MEABF_Comprehensive_Annual_Financial_Report_2015.pdf

        So yeah … when da cash run out, bad sh*t gonna happen.

        1. Alejandro

          >” So yeah … when da cash run out, bad sh*t gonna happen.”

          This is certainly a constraint on a USER, but NOT on the ISSUER.

          MEANWHILE…In faking knew AND breaking newz AND making new–zzzz’s: –Rah-Shill Mad-Wow, using patented stain-of-the-fart ‘orificial-intelligence’, programmed with a copyrighted algo called “Six-Degrees-of-Putin”, will unequivocally proooov that Putin, using top-secret time travel tech, re-wrote FDR’s second bill of rights, just before it was made {public}…rumors are flying, that solving this decades old mystery, about the purpose of ISSUANCE, may finally get her a ‘putz-its-her’ for investigative journalism.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon

          1. cnchal

            Who knew? Chicago is a currency issuer! They have to scrabble for it just like any peasant.

            A more pertinent question is when is Chicago going to be declared a war zone?

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            It’s heartbreaking as a former American to watch the nation descend into McCarthy 2, in the last week CNN airtime was 93% Russia.
            It’s not as though the country does not have actual problems to be working on. I put this squarely and unequivocally at the feet of the Dems, they lost to Donald Friggin Trump and still will not look in the mirror and at the situation of the voters and the country. It’s 100% on them.

            1. oh

              The DimRats’ only strategy has been to point the finger at the Repugs and scream. When the DimRats are in power, they ignore all the same wrong doings. No matter how much they scream about any issue, the Repugs are never made to face the consequences. The Repugs return the favor. One party, two faced!

        2. todde

          I checked all my government audits and they all use the ‘blended rate’, called the Single Discount Rate.

          However I do notice that the long term expected rate of return on investments are all between 7.5% and 8.25%

    2. No Way Out

      Mercatus? Really? Isn’t that like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop census.

      1. Jim Haygood

        The methodology is set out in the report, which is descriptive and doesn’t offer policy proposals.

        Mercatus omits some factors that I consider important for fiscal solvency, such as population growth and local property taxes, while overweighting some others.

        So I’m going to have to brew my own state solvency indexes. But theirs offers a good baseline for doing so.

        1. GF

          Jim, Any chance of you looking at the AZ State Retirement System. I would be interested in your analysis of that fund’s solvency.

    3. craazyboy

      I hope they discovered that not everyone was born in 1957 and will retire all at once, five years from now.

      It’s true that the math is not very complicated, especially of you avoid messy stuff like statistical distributions of made up data, then amplifying your biases using discount rates, both on fund revenue and then also BLS Inflation Data, which is pulled fresh outta some gubmint data jock’s ass.

      Then use “projected annual return data” provided by Wall Street financial forecasters. Whoa!

      There’s a paint brush broad enough to paint the barn.

    4. kgc

      GASB’s always been a joke. (Not that FASB isn’t too, but it’s a more sophisticated joke.) “Suggest” a blended rate? Voluntary – and who believes plans will adopt that? But of course it’s a political issue: can’t admit the pensioners won’t get what they’ve been promised. Without a massive tax hike. So by all means kick the can down the road….

      Can’t remember when anyone in the industry didn’t know pension plans were underfunded. And why. And my time in the industry goes back over 30 years now.

  4. witters

    JP Morgan chief blasts US dysfunction: ‘It’s almost an embarrassment being American’

    I treasure the ‘almost’.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      It is an embarrassment to me to live in a nation that the financial uncharged felon Jamie Dimon, despite running a fraudulent criminal organization that makes profits on frauds rather than socially useful services, was still incompetent enough to run his company into bankruptcy, if not for the 2008 GFC Bailout & the ongoing annual 2B2F ~$80B subsidy (of which JPM’s cut must be at least 10% of the ~$80B).

  5. tub-ba

    “Mark Zuckerberg arrives in Sun Valley for showdown with Ivanka and Jared amid rumors the self-made billionaire is planning 2020 run against Trump Daily Mail”

    Yeah, kill me too. On the lighter side, Mike Bloomberg: Big fashion fail.

    1. duck1

      “Self made billionaire”
      The paper route and teenage plunge in penny stocks paid off bigly

      1. justanotherprogressive

        As did stealing the Facebook idea from the Winklevoss brothers…..who says crime doesn’t pay?

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Oh, God…..the elite slumming (and trying to prove to themselves and us that they are really just like the rest of us peons, but errr….that isn’t how we peons dress….) and getting cozy with each other at “band camp”…….

    3. optimader

      he will be handed his political head in 2020.. You can seal that in an envelope and throw in the drawer.
      Is this on the board of “things to gamble on” in Lvegas yet?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Im fairly certain this is a Clintonista grift operation with Zuck as the mark. The CGI can’t attract “donors” anymore, so its employees need to find new jobs.

        Certainly, Trump has made it seem like anyone can become President, but Trump had a certain charisma. Zuck looks like a robot trying to pass for human, and his Harvard commencement speech is hilariously bad. He was inspired by JK Rowling and Beyonce! He’s probably poorly read too.

        1. HotFlash

          Im fairly certain this is a Clintonista grift operation with Zuck as the mark.

          Interesting theory, I do so hope you are right. Don’t know how it will turn out, but either way — popcorn futures.

        2. johnnygl

          You might be onto sometuing. They’ve spent years trying to bait michael bloomberg to part with some of his billions, but he’s a stingy billionaire!

    4. Thor's Hammer

      “self made billionaire”? Well, maybe, but what if the “alternate facts” provide a more accurate historical account?

      Zuckerberg invents (or pirates) a software program to enable geeks like himself to meet hot Asian college girls that they were to awkward to approach. Turns out that there were millions of other college students who needed a techie shell to hide behind.

      The initial success of FaceBook comes to the attention of the NSA who saw it’s data collection program as a way to incorporate Gen X & Gen Y into the growth needs of the new Utah national surveillance center. In exchange for guaranteeing Facebook’s solvency during the negative cash flow period that all tech start-ups experience, the NSA holds lifetime first-user rights to all the meta data Facebook collects.

      No one, certainly not Zuckbug, could have foreseen the degree of success that FaceBook has experienced. Because users voluntarily create complete profiles and contact linkages, the data it collects is far more useful for surveillance than mere records of all emails like the Agency collects from all the citizens of Orwellia.

  6. allan

    Outgoing SUNY chancellor secures $245K job [Lower Hudson News]

    Outgoing SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher will keep her $504,700 a year salary through the remainder of the year as she transitions to a new SUNY post that will pay her $245,000 a year.

    On Thursday, SUNY announced Zimpher’s new position within the 64-campus system as she steps down as chancellor at the end of August.

    In January, she will head a new “Center for Education Pipeline Systems Change” as senior fellow at SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, which will be part of her job as a member of the University at Albany faculty in the Schools of Education and Social Work. …

    “Center for Education Pipeline Systems Change”?

    1. Enquiring Mind

      “Center for Education Pipeline Systems Change”?

      No doubt pronounced sepsis.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Nor does it take much imagination to guess what kind of mephitic matter is pumped through that sewer, sorry, pipeline.

  7. rjs

    i posted this earlier this week:
    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/great-us-natural-gas-exports-myth-6112

    “I’ve previously pointed out that our natural gas supplies are a lot tighter than they appear to be, and there’s no way that additional supplies can be developed at the prices that are being promised for these exports. What I’m going to do today is show you the natural gas data that I’m looking at, so you can see how I’ve come to that conclusion.”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I wonder how much our most ardent “OMG Russia” types worry about the LNG industry.

        1. GF

          This post is about how the liquified gas export industry in the US will grow in the next couple of years. Not mentioned, but reading between the lines, the current countries exporting the most are mostly our new “enemies”. Norway isn’t yet but their nat. gas reserves are being depleted. Russia and Qatar are our two biggest competitors now. After the decision was made to start exporting LNG, the companies involved had to begin working on Russia and Qatar and demonizing them. About that time Russia was put in the enemy cross hairs. Now that exports have started in earnest, Qatar has joined the club of pariah nations. How better to eliminate the competition than have the military do your marketing work for you.

          https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/13/us-worlds-top-gas-exporter-2020-iea-russia-norway

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Is secretary Tillerson there as a peace broker, or to ‘help’ Trump through this ordeal?

          2. andyb

            “having the military do your marketing for you”

            Using Hillary’s R2P, I would imagine.

      2. cnchal

        . . . sold it to a Canadian Pension fund for a relative song.

        CPPIB isn’t just any old pension fund. It’s the grand daddy of them all.

        We are a professional investment management organization that invests the funds of the Canada Pension Plan on behalf of its 20 million contributors and beneficiaries.

        Good to know we are in the oil and gas business as owner operators now, and with Shell’s losses and giant tax write offs, bonus to them too.

  8. Ulysses

    Apologies if this link was already posted, but the other day saw a significant, albeit local, victory for workers in the perpetual class war:

    “The contract guarantees that Clare Rose will continue contributions to the workers’ pension plan, reversing the company’s withdrawal from the pension that precipitated the strike. It also maintains wages that are well above industry standards and Clare Rose’s April offer. The agreement ends the strike after 82 days in which none of the 130 union members crossed the picket line. Members will vote to ratify the agreement Saturday.”

    http://teamsters.nyc/2017/07/13/teamsters-win-82-day-strike-clare-rose-long-islands-largest-beer-distributor/

  9. PlutoniumKun

    The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria Counterpunch

    Sample quotes:

    Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

    and

    Beijing, anyway, has made up its mind. It will work non-stop for the Iran-Iraq-Syria triumvirate to become a key hub in Obor. Any bets against a future, booming Shanghai-Latakia container route?

    For all the supposed evil geniuses in Washington, they are remarkably inept at any sort of long term strategic thinking. They’ve been plotting against Assad for decades and now the fruit of all their work looks like it will be a Syria fallen easily into China and Russias orbit. I think we’ll see a new pole of influence around Iran-Iraq-Syria develop with the Russians highly influential, the Chinese even more so, and the US…. well, not so much. Now it seems Qatar might even fall in with them, making the Saudi’s even more isolated.

    1. Carolinian

      They are working from a neocon playbook that has its own priorities. Even though the WaPo is outraged, it’s possible that the State Department is indeed a swamp that needs clearing.

      The problem of course is that there are very fresh thinkers to take their place. The CFR mentality is pervasive.

      1. JustAnObserver

        I think the last line should have been:

        … very [few] fresh thinkers …

        Crappification at every level …

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        They handed Iraq to their arch-enemy Iran; they know that Afghanistan is nothing but a hole to pour money in with no actual value, landlocked, no roads, no rails, no economy, hardly any people. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this means they are stupid about strategy, au contraire they are extremely smart about strategy. The strategy is to keep chump taxpayer $$$ flowing to billionaire arms merchants and it is going exceedingly well.

        1. carycat

          But the Afghan poppies are so pretty that the spooks and air force just can’t bear leaving them to somebody else. So it is not just the arms merchants.

    2. sid_finster

      Truthfully, I don’t think the neocons have any particular use for Syria, except vis-a-vis Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      Hell, Iran is mostly of interest to them because of their Israeli and Saudi buds.

      1. Carolinian

        M of A suggests they (Israel, and therefore the neocons) have more than a paw in the Syria situation and are actively aiding rebels in the south of Syria. This view says that they want to claim more of the Golan and see chaos in Syria as a blow and distraction to Hezbollah.

        Plus given the Blob’s obsession with Russia a “regime” that is allied with Putin obviously has to go.

      1. Oregoncharles

        The very map I was looking for. Note who is empowered by each route; the sea route, for instance, goes through Greece and/or Italy. Overland, besides Kazakhstan: Russia, Belarus, Poland.

        And the side route to Syria goes through the Stans to Iran, Iraq.

        Much overlooked is the reality that all these routes are pretty dicey, through unstable countries or areas. It would be simpler to just connect with the Trans-Siberian through Russia, for instance, although a little longer. Still have Belarus and Poland, or directly across the Baltic.

        The sea route is more stable, but also more exposed to the US and India, both rival powers (as if China can actually trust Russia). This is one reason China is making such a fuss over the S. China Sea (besides pure imperialism), but that’s a small part of the route.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Did they converse in English, Chinese or Syrian at the Syrian Day Expo?

      If the first was still their global reserve go-to lingo, then, the dominance is still intact.

      And if Hollywood movies are still being shown in Shanghai, all future Marco Polo’s will still be popular with Chinese women.

  10. allan

    Some transportation workers are told to do their sleeping at home [Marketplace]

    The new head of the railroad CSX has called a timeout on naps. For the past 20 years or so, the railway allowed naps under limited circumstances. Now CSX is implementing an approach meant to reduce train delays. So a few months ago, it told engineers and conductors snoozing is now off limits. The move is part of a debate within transportation industries around napping. And some wonder whether companies are putting economics ahead of safety. …

    In addition, all the residents in the towns that the oil trains pass through
    will be required to sign binding arbitration agreements with CSX. /s

    1. Carl

      An afternoon nap is one of the great pleasures of life. Arrange your schedule to allow this, and reap the benefits.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    The modified mosquitoes are regulated through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “microbial pest control.” In an ecological risk assessment conducted in 2016, the agency said Mosquito Mate’s altered mosquitoes are not expected to cause any harmful effects to other organisms, including endangered species.

    “Not expected to” – well that’s reassuring. How many generations have they tested before decided to release into the wild? Is it possible that the mosquitoes could become immune to the effects of the bacteria over time or that the bacteria could produce other less beneficial effects?

    What about more indirect harm? There are other animals that eat mosquitoes – if this does reduce the mosquito population what about those creatures and others up the food chain? Has anybody taken that into consideration?

    I suppose if it doesn’t work as expected though we can always just import a bunch of cane toads to eat them – that worked out so well in Australia. /s

  12. shargash

    Re: “sterile” mosquitoes:

    No one knows, even now, how Zika could cause such a large increase of microcephaly in Brazil, but not in the countries it subsequently spread to. The Brazilian outbreak of microcephaly was coincident with a release of altered “sterile” mosquitoes, both in time and space. Snopes debunked the link between altered mosquitoes and microcephaly (http://www.snopes.com/zika-virus-gmo-mosquitoes/), but not because there is any evidence one way or the other.

    In any case, we’re running an interesting natural experiment. In a few years it should be possible to correlate the microcephaly outbreaks with the use of GM mosquitoes.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the future, wars will be fought with genetically modified mosquitoes.

      “Here come 20 billion humongous Siberian mosquitoes from the north west.”

      “And another 1 trillion from another unknown country from across the Pacific.”

      “More from south of the Wall.”

        1. Mark P.

          In the future, wars will be fought with genetically modified mosquitoes.

          You think you’re kidding, don’t you?

    2. Carolinian

      The article says Alphabet’s mosquitoes are not genetically modified. They are injected with a bacteria that renders them sterile.

      The mosquitoes the company is making aren’t genetically engineered. Rather, they’re bred to be infected with the bacteria, which essentially sterilizes them. When the treated males mate with females in the wild, the females’ eggs aren’t able to develop properly and don’t hatch.

    3. bugs

      Shargash, if they were male mosquitoes the ones in Brazil would not have bitten any humans.

    4. jsn

      Moon of Alabama followed this story: a pesticide was used that is known to cause microcephaly in the areas where that occurred at the same time as the Zika outbreak: Zika became a fig leaf for a corporate crime and it all worked out just fine for the corporation which IIRC is Japanese, but I’m old and it’s been a while.

  13. Eclair

    I’m being nit-picky this morning, but I read through the Pew Research Report (quickly, I admit) on how more people view the US, rather than China, as the world’s dominant economic power.

    Did I miss something? The survey included asking people in the US their opinion, but no one thought to survey a sample of the 1.3 billion inhabitants of China? Like, they might consider their own country as the world’s dominant economic power?

  14. craazyboy

    How Could Humans Survive The Future? (Deep Thawt Category)

    They would exist in one of the following Multi-Verses. Preferably ruled by the Natural Chromatic Scale, as opposed the resource limited Pentonic Scale, which is harshly governed by Excessive Entropy.

    1) A Newtonian 3 Dimensional Space, except time is not linear. Time just exists, all at once. It spreads out in all three dimensions, without limit. One must then only travel to the spot of interest and observe. Travel then is the limiting factor – it must be accomplished in zero time. One way is to have Relativity of moving masses reach the speed of light very quickly. Then this time period is almost zero, and all events can be observed in parallel. A subset may exist where one has mass, maybe quite a lot, and only be vagely aware the rules could be breached.

    Or, given the technology, travel using it.

    The other way is in a mutlti-dimensional continuum, then a Tesseract Cube can be constructed and views of all time could be observed at once!

    If Time can be acheived at speeds faster than light, then travel to the past is possible!

    Paul Krugman is working on The Paper, and will include stat probability curves in 4 color glossy prints.

    Thomas L. Freidman is working on the Power Point Slides, and is taking singing lessons from Rod Stewart’s Rabbi and will sing the Power Point Presentation, accompanied by Mickey Mouse performing the Windows 22 Preview Release Mouse Pointer Beeps in Modified M-Flat Pentonic Scale. Disney Corp will retain all patents and merchandising rights. Including the Pentatonic Scale. Christmas Albums will be available with revese play audio tracks voiced by Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Boris and Natasha, Daffy and Donald Duck, Popeye and, of course, Recently Virgin Olive Oil.

    Mz Oil recently learned at the “Vouchers Served Hot” Girl’s Catholic Boarding School the art of making both male and female organisms last for an indefinite period of time!

    1. craazyboy

      News Flash Update!!!!

      Disney has announced they have signed guitarist virtuoso, Young Buckethead and his “Bucket Of Bernie Brains Band”, for a live performance of the seminal “Thomas L. Freidman and Mickey Mouse Birthday Celebration Event”.

      The KFC Sub Corp S says they will donate the cost of travel and per diem expense for the band to the Buckethead Foundation, payable in Fiat Currency.

      They will also present Buckethead with a brand new, and clean, KFC Bucket. The Presentation will be awarded during Half Time and be filmed for purchase at the YouTube Store.

      Studio soundtrack here.

      Buckethead and the Captain Claymore Band – “King James”

      https://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/buckethead-king-james-tab-s27572t0

      P.S. I can play this on my guitar!

      1. Anon

        RE: “P.S.” (sic)

        Of course you can, only a guitarist would find the pentatonic (five tone) scale a limited resource vis a’ vis the chromatic (twelve tone) scale.

        The chromatic scale is a more modern application of Pythagoras’ diatonic scale (~ 2300 BCE). If not for the evolution of Jazz music (~1900 – Present) the chromatic scale would have been relegated to simple changes in meter/time. And the Pentatonic scale the sole musical expression of R n’ R guitarists.

    1. jo6pac

      Yes, is there someone that knows what the bird is? Then were does it live?

      Thanks in advance

      1. Judith

        Well I never trust myself trying to ID Jerri-Lynn’s birds, but something about the head and bill suggest night heron to me.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It’s a Laughing Kookaburra, a very large member of the kingfisher family native to Australia. They can be quite tame and will eat hamburger out of your hand.

          I hear them call every morning and it is one of the most wonderful sounds in nature, human-sounding laughing and cackling, it reminds you that whatever human foibles you are planning that day are, in reality, ridiculous. Their call was used in Hollywood movies as the “jungle monkey” sound (OOH-OOH-OOH-AAH-AAH-AAH) so Aussies are always amused when arriving foreigners (like me) hear them and ask “are there monkeys here”?

      2. clinical wasteman

        Not sure because it’s so well hidden, but looks a bit like a kookaburra (Asutralia, not quite a dinosaur but a very, very old species).

    2. Lee

      It is carnivorous nest raider. This raises the question of whether it is emerging from its own nest or that of its baby bird prey.

      1. craazyboy

        Yup. I see this bird lives Down Under. They seem to have a lot of throwbacks still thriving there, like maybe the Ice Age sorta avoided the area.

        The rest of us have chickens, (and the ornery ones, The Rooster) which obviously descended from dinosaurs. T Rex (Trannysaurus) in my laymen’s estimation.

        1. Vatch

          Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand are on one side of the Wallace Line, and Southeast Asia is on the other side. During the ice ages, when the sea level was low because so much water was frozen, the islands of Southeast Asia were connected by land to the Eurasian land mass (as was the island of Britain). But the part of the ocean separating Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand from Southeast Asia was too deep, and those regions remained separated for millions of years. Plenty of time for divergent evolution to occur.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Martin Shkreli allegedly ‘went on warpath’ after drug company booted him as CEO, and threatened his successor CNBC

    We need a drug for people on warpath, no?

    And another for those obsessed with money.

    “Here, this will make you feel better about losing your billionaire-hood.’

  16. allan

    Silicon Valley investors embrace a new vision of college [SJ Mercury]

    You know it’s going be bad. But it’s worse:

    Make School, a for-profit startup in this city’s South of Market district, is one of the most unusual schools in the country: It lets students enroll in classes for free if they agree to pay later after they land a job.

    “We can only make money if the students are doing well,” co-founder Ashu Desai, 24, said during an interview at the school, an airy space where students sit side-by-side at long rectangular tables pounding away at Mac laptops.

    Desai, who attended the tony Menlo School in Atherton, helped create Make School in 2012 after dropping out of UCLA after just one year.

    The goal at Make School is not getting good grades. It’s putting together a portfolio of practical work capable of impressing Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook — and prompting them to make lucrative job offers.

    But the nontraditional approach to higher education is raising red flags for some experts. The model, they worry, creates an incentive for the school to only admit students it thinks can succeed — which some education officials worry could disadvantage “risky” students who come from low-income backgrounds. …

    The company relies on something known as an “income-share agreement,” which allows students to go to school at no cost initially — meaning they don’t have to take out loans — if they agree to pay the school a portion of their future earnings. …

    Unlike some SV moguls who want a piece of the young only for as long as it takes to draw their blood,
    this is more like indentured servitude.

      1. jrs

        I know people who have gotten jobs helped by such bootcamps (I don’t know if they were Kaplan but for-profit coding bootcamps). And having been burned enough by things like that, I would argue: why not go to the extension program or the actual classes at a legitimate state or city college instead?

        But they like the PACE of such bootcamp classes (whole bunch of stuff being thrown at you that you are only half expected to understand). I don’t! While hardly a lifetime student, I am of more of an academic bent, rather go deep than wide, which is what traditionally structured college classes offer and bootcamps don’t. But what the JOB MARKET wants any given day, who knows. And inevitably one learns what they really need to know on the job. Job availability not any college is the REAL problem, of course the I.T. field is better than many but even then.

        1. jrs

          I would add that often people have already worked coding jobs in the past, have some kind of degree etc., they just want to do more up-to-date work as they were doing more legacy stuff and a bootcamp IS a fast introduction to that. Even though I would not recommend for-profit colleges to anyone really, but most people don’t even understand the niche that is being badly served by them.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “I will give you health care, specifically, deliver your baby, if I can get an, er, income-share agreement, when the baby becomes a working serf. Okie-Dokie?”

      “And the cemetery plot is also free, when you agree to share any useful organs when you die. Kidney, eyes, heart, ovary, whatever modern technology can one day, or soon, find a use for.”

      By the way, Mr. Desai should be commended for exposing education, as it exists now, for what it really is – producing revenue-generating humanoids for our genius technology corporations.

      Because if we don’t, Chinese and Russians will dominate the world…uncovering new secrets about physics, programming, mosquito-domestication, etc.

      1. fresno dan

        MyLessThanPrimeBeef
        July 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        In a episode of the new twilight zone, in an episode called “The mind of Simon Foster” an impoverished guy in the future (hmmmm….show was prescient) starts selling each of his memories (first kiss, second base, third base, and finally home run). Once all your memories are gone, who are you?

        Lot of talk about “downloading” memories….but just because you created the memory, doesn’t mean you get to play it as often as you like….if at all…***

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L02nsoJPY-o

        ***memories in the “cloud” copy righted and owned by a ALPHABET/Facebook subsidiary

        1. Annotherone

          Thanks for posting that link – I enjoyed it. We’re still on the old black and white Twilight Zone episodes, via Netflix.

          The theme of that TZ episode reminded me of something I’ve read about an upcoming (in the Fall) Netflix series: “Altered Carbon”. It’s based on a 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan. It’s set 500 years in the future, in a universe in which the United Nations Protectorate oversees a number of extrasolar planets settled by human beings. In the novel’s somewhat dystopian world, human personalities can be stored digitally and downloaded into new bodies, called sleeves. Most people have cortical stacks in their spinal columns that store their memories. If their body dies, their stack can be stored indefinitely.
          More at Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altered_Carbon

          1. craazyboy

            That was a great book, and great series.

            I’m ecstatic that we’ll get a TV series out of it!

    2. Oregoncharles

      Oregon proposed a similar plan for state-college tuitions; that is, rather than taking out loans, students would pay back a certain percentage of their income after college. The big advantage for students is that they pay only what they can; the state is betting they’ll do well. It does give the schools a motive to tailor their offerings to maximize future income.

      Make School wouldn’t have the state’s deep pockets, so I wonder how they’re going to finance it.

  17. allan


    When human capital threatens the Capitol: Foreign aid in the form of military training and coups

    [Journal of Peace Research, subscr. req.]

    Abstract: How does aid in the form of training influence foreign militaries’ relationship to domestic politics? The United States has trained tens of thousands of officers in foreign militaries with the goals of increasing its security and instilling respect for human rights, democracy, and civilian control. We argue that training increases the military’s power relative to the regime in a way that other forms of military assistance do not. While other forms of military assistance are somewhat fungible, allowing the regime to shift resources towards coup-proofing, human capital is a resource vested solely in the military. Training thus alters the balance of power between the military and the regime resulting in greater coup propensity. Using data from 189 countries from 1970 to 2009 we show that greater numbers of military officers trained by the US International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Countering Terrorism Fellowship (CTFP) programs increases the probability of a military coup.

    What’s best about the U.S. doesn’t export well. – Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise.

  18. bdy

    From the Intercept piece re Temer’s impending impeachment:

    “The centerpiece of the campaign is a sophisticated new website, created by the activist group Media Ninja, which tracks the current position of every member of Congress regarding the investigation of Temer. For every member who is listed as either “opposed” to such an investigation or “undecided” (the majority), the site allows the user, with a single click, to send an email or post content onto the members’ social media pages.

    The site is half journalistic and half activism: It is a comprehensive and user-friendly means of reviewing the latest data on the anti-Temer vote, and will be updated in real time as members’ positions change, all while providing citizens an extremely easy means to apply real pressure to members of Congress.”

    http://www.342agora.org.br/

    Medicare for All would look nice in a rig like that…

  19. newcatty

    Yeah…imagine the “center for education pipeline system change” being instituted at all departments, and or, colleges of education and social sciences in all higher institutes of education. This will be a “natural”, progressive and efficient way to create the highly qualified, credentialed (serfs) employees of tomorrow. Students will be run through the pipelines to the Make Schools, Menlo Schools and all of the others based on these successful models. And, brilliantly, the pipelines true origins will be the charter schools, which will have replaced outdated and horribly under performing public schools. The pipelines will be started at “preschool” levels to ensure proper (indoctrination) education of all of American children! I fervently hope and have optimism this dystopian vision will not come.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Taiwanese or Chinese? An island state’s shifting identities Asia Times. Today’s the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial rule in Taiwan.

    Again, the full range of possibilities/options are not reported, as with many other topics supposed covered by our media.

    Choices:

    1. Chinese
    2. Taiwanese
    3. Japanese
    4. American
    5. Aborigine

    As some recall the happy days under the Japanese colonial rule.

    There are a few also who are open to the idea of America making it a Guam or a Puerto Rico.

    Often ignored, but not erased completely, is the idea that the island was stolen from the aborigines. Maybe they like the choicest real estate in Taipei back, not just having a street renamed in one of their languages. Alas, many who studies in the US and returned, or just read it in the books, are impressed by the American reservation idea for the natives. “Let them live in the remote mountain areas.”

  21. GF

    “Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill”

    The biggest, but least surprising horror is this one
    “The senators exempt themselves from the loss of consumer protections…

    “You won’t find the words “Congress” and “exemption” next to each other anywhere in the bill. You have to know that “1312(d)(3)(D)” is the provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring members of Congress and their staffs to obtain coverage through the Obamacare exchanges, and then notice, on Page 167 of the Senate bill, that the elimination of consumer protections is “non-applicable” to that section.”

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Top 1% of households in UK fully recovered from financial crisis Guardian

    The waterboarding financial gods and goddesses are probably getting ready to make the top 1% remember them, again.

    “We will be serving the next course soon.”

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Young men are working a lot less. It’s not just because of video games Quartz

    Still, it’s possible that the revolution starts when video games disappear.

    1. ChrisPacific

      That was a nice debunking of the earlier plausibility argument disguised as research, which irritated me. I’m glad someone has taken the time to poke through the obvious holes.

  24. Cujo359

    Interesting lesson from that Intercept article on Beto O’Rourke’s US Senate run in Texas:

    Former Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va., said that spending so much time on the phone fundraising winds up creating “an enormous anti-populist element, particularly for Dems, who are most likely to be hearing from people who can write at least a $500 check. They may be liberal, quite liberal in fact, but are also more likely to consider the deficit a bigger crisis than the lack of jobs.”

    Who you spend your time talking to affects your view of the world. If you wonder why DC politicians live in such a bubble, you can count this as one of the big reasons.

    Too bad we can’t get the Democrats to talk to the rest of us…

  25. Oregoncharles

    “Vietnam tugs India into the South China Sea”
    I believe I suggested this possibility the last time the South China Sea came up. India and Russia are the nearest Big Dogs, and India has its own quarrels with China.

  26. moss

    Re yesterday’s story on Is Fat Bad for You?

    After noticing my peers bloat out in siz in their fifties and sixties, I decided to attempt to control my developing tummy bulge and have been on a LowCarbHighFat (variously HFLC or LCHF) diet for over 18 months. I’ve shed maybe 7kg and feel much better. Mine is not at at fundamentalist basis, but I’ve removed all grain, potatoes, and sugar from my diet and reduced my fruit intake to a couple of pieces a week. (Disclosure: the occasional piece of dark chocolate).

    I highly recommend this diet for those seeking to greatly reduce diabetes and heart disease risk. Do some online research on HFLC diet and LCHF diet. Here’s a little background:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/CardioBrief/63427

  27. allan

    Dems’ rising star meets with Clinton inner circle in Hamptons [NY Post]

    The Democrats’ “Great Freshman Hope,” Sen. Kamala Harris, is heading to the Hamptons to meet with Hillary Clinton’s biggest backers.

    The California senator is being fêted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million.

    Guests there to greet Harris are expected to include Margo Alexander, a member of Clinton’s inner circle; Dennis Mehiel, a Democratic donor who is the chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, even though he lives between a sprawling Westchester estate and an Upper East Side pad; designer Steven Gambrel and Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman. …

    Or, as George Bush said, “This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores.
    Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.”

  28. Altandmain

    The worst players of capitalism are companies in the labor market.
    https://bullshit.ist/the-worst-players-of-capitalism-are-companies-in-the-labor-market-368cf36933fb

    Piety and Proscription in the MSM: Noble Imperialists and Dirty Dissidents
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/14/piety-and-proscription-in-the-msm-noble-imperialists-and-dirty-dissidents/

    This one is a fascinating article.

    Americans can’t seem to retire
    http://www.crainswealth.com/article/20170713/WEALTH/170719962/why-americans-cant-seem-to-retire?NLID=CNB&NL_issueDate=20170715&utm_source=crainswealth-CNB-20170715&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=investmentnews&utm_term=text

    The Return of Liberal Class Warfare
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/14/the-return-of-liberal-class-warfare/

    As far as return, it never really went away.

    Democrats Have No Choice But to Move Left
    https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/07/democrats-have-no-choice-but-to-move-left.html

    The problem is they’d rather lose with CLinton than win with Bernie. They’re bought.

  29. auskalo

    Today, Maryam Mirzajani, the fisrt woman who received the Fields Prize –or Nobel of Mathematics–, passed away being 40 years old. This young beautiful iranian woman was a very clever mind in the most abstracts fields of mathematics, a good daughter and a good wife. While reading how she established relations between very independent fields of mathematics, influencing them, I remembered our famous economist Larry Summers saying that women were not suitable for science.

    It’s a pity that a very bright, young, and humble clever mind has passed away, and people like larry Summers seem to be eternal.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryam_Mirzakhani
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/13/interview-maryam-mirzakhani-fields-medal-winner-mathematician

    1. ewmayer

      Terry Tao writes on her passing. Very sad.

      Oddly, I also feel very much like someone dear to me died this day, though in my case it was a local business. My favorite – in no small part due to its right-across-the-street-from-my-apartment-complex-ness, but also due to its very distinct vibe, with clientele a mix of students from the nearby community-college and local residents – coffee shop just closed, after 29 years in the same Cupertino location, a somewhat dingy but nonetheless charming and relaxed little single-story strip mall at the juncture of I-85 and Stevens Creek Blvd, a major local thoroughfare.

      There are several redevelopment plans under consideration by the local planning commission, but all involve a radical ‘upscaling’ gentrification and high rises, as described here: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/16/developer-has-new-plans-for-cupertino-shopping-center-overhaul/

      Note this is similar talk to that which marked the late stages of the previous 2 global asset-price (and Silicon Valley RE) bubbles. My prediction is that this time they will go ahead with it, spend $10s of millions on the construction, and open just as Global Bubble 3.0 finally pops. But as long as e.g. Apple is still making money, they may still turn a profit, as well.

      This sucks – I spent a lot of pleasant hours there over the past 18 years, since moving to the area from the midwest. I already miss my daily dose of friendly, familiar faces and simple, quality coffee-with-a- bagel. Anyhow, time to re-think my whole non-work daily routine … gonna have a gander at the DeAnza college student union/cafeteria, only a few hundred yards further away, on Monday (it’s only open during the week, alas).

  30. Jess

    Just wanted to report that the L.A. meetup was a smashing success. About 20 people, great exchanges of ideas, more than a few laughs, and, of course, great to meet Yves.

Comments are closed.