Links 8/14/17

Jerri-Lynn here: Just noticed that it’s been exactly one year since I first started guest DJing for Naked Capitalism– including compiling the occasional Links. Hope you enjoy these.

Hillary Clinton Opens New Presidential Library Charting Course Of Purely Theoretical Tenure As Commander In Chief The Onion

How Switzerland transformed breakfast BBC

Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism NYT

AirDropping penis pics is the latest horrifying subway trend NY Post. Yet another sound reason to stick with my dumbphone.

The Death and Life of Helicopter Commuting Bloomberg. Not quite the Guillotine Watch item the headline implies.

What we can learn from the 2017 solar eclipse The Conversation

Ultrafast wi-fi on horizon as scientists send data at 100 times current speeds Telegraph

Biggest amateur-built sub sinks—owner is suspected of killing passenger Ars Technica

Los vecinos de la Barceloneta toman la playa en contra de los excesos del turismo El Pais

Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet Guardian

Critics throw shade at Cuomo’s plan to light NYC bridges ABC News

Kill Me Now

Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery Reuters

Are American Shoppers Ready For Walmart’s ‘Scan & Go’ And Amazon Go? International Business Times

The terrible cost of Scotland’s salmon farms FT

Toxic eggs expose EU’s struggle to police food safety Politico


Back to the land: Russia’s farming transformation FT



Saudi Arabia ‘seeks Iraq’s help’ to mend ties with Iran Al Jazeera

Can the German-Turkish Relationship Be Saved? Der Spiegel

Turkish author Elif Shafak’s cautionary tale for the West Politico

Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ is already a disaster – but it could get worse The Conversation

North Korea

Mixed assessments cloud North Korean threats Asia Times

Drought raises danger of North Korean famine as US threatens nuclear war World Socialist Web Site

Former US director of national intelligence: Denuclearized North Korea isn’t ‘in the cards’ Politico

‘Made in China’ Clothes Actually Made in North Korea, Traders Say The Wire

Back Channel to North Korea Atlantic


How US sanctions against North Korea could affect Chinese banks SCMP

China Is Burying Its Cities Under Mountains of Extremely Cheap Bikes Bloomberg

Trump plans to make China very angry at the worst possible time Business Insider

New Cold War

YouTube Begins Purging Alternative Media As The Deep State Marches Toward WW3 UserFriendly


David Miliband: we need a second vote on Brexit deal Guardian

Brexit claims another victim: Britain’s venture capitalists Politico

Hammond accused of giving ground to pro-hard Brexit Tories Guardian

A pilot explains what it really means when there’s turbulence during a flight Business Insider

Book Review: “Bad Samaritans”, by Ha-Joon Chang Ian Welsh (martha r) Hear Ha-Joon Chang speak at the 2017 Jaipur Literature Festival and was very impressed. Have yet to track down any of his books, however (let alone read one). Another item for my list….


Inside Cellular Jail: the horrors and torture inflicted by the Raj on India’s political activists Independent

Our Famously Free Press

Joining Forces for Honest Environmental Journalism Truthdig

Police State Watch

The 22 Dems Who Want to Strip Ivanka Trump’s Clearance American Conservative. Skewers  gotcha virtue-signalling undertaken with no awareness of the consequences.

People, palm oil, pulp and planet: four perspectives on Indonesia’s fire-stricken peatlands The Conversation


A New Generation of White Supremacists Emerges in Charlottesville ProPublica. Couldn’t help but notice the surname of a rally organizer: Mosley. No doubt a mere coincidence.

The Battle of Charlottesville New Yorker (sid s)

VA governor defends Charlottesville response: Militia members had ‘better’ guns than police Business Insider

Charlottesville: What You Wish Upon Others, You Wish Upon Yourself Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America New Yorker (sid s)

Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following FiveThirtyEight (UserFriendly). Now the social media power players are the rabid right wingers…

A Witness to Terrorism in Charlottesville New Yorker (sid s)

Democrats in Disarray

Inside the Elizabeth Warren merchandising empire Politico

Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 Platform? Netroots Speech Touts Bolder Democratic Party International Business Times

Trump Transition

Trump and Obama have one surprising thing in common – the words they use The Conversation. Interesting……

Are Trump’s Staff Turnovers Abnormal? National Review

Blackwater founder Erik Prince awaits president’s call to privatise war in Afghanistan The Times

No early fans of Trump, the powerful Koch network still wields influence on White House policy LA Times

Antidote du jour:

And,a bonus video (furzy). Is it staged? I vote yes but enjoyed this just the same.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bugs Bunny

    Re: AirDropping penis pics is the latest horrifying subway trend

    Um, so is this why Apple ships its phones with AirDrop activated by default?

    #Protip: swipe up from the bottom of the screen and switch AirDrop to “receiving off”.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Thanks for that tip.

      …is there an equivalent X-chromosome phenomenon to the peepee pic? Not like other “sharing” tools are devoid of overt displays of junk by both major sexes…

      1. ambrit

        AirDropped penis pics may be socially frowned upon, but major displays of primary and secondary female sexual characteristics for advertising purposes is, so far, considered “business as usual.” Double standard anyone?

    2. ambrit

      This is an excellent reason for all iPhone users to have their appliance “jailbroken” from the start.
      This begs the question; what else is “activated by default” on a mobile device? Finally, given the abilities of certain “actors” to activate mobile device functions remotely, can such a device be “locked down” by the user?

      1. Praedor

        More than that. ALL smart phones should be rooted too, not just jailbroken. Root that baby and remove apps that the manufacturer or carrier has deemed “essential” (note: most of these “essential” apps aren’t).

        Jailbreak and ROOT your phone. Take full control of what it does or can do.

        1. HotFlash

          Thank you, Praedor. Could you please provide a link, or tell me how to search to get something relevant? A search on ROOT just brings up, well, about everything.

    3. Darius

      I turned it off. One question. What is Air Drop? I’ve had an iPhone for four years. This is the first I’ve heard of it.

      1. JeffC

        It’s an easy way to pass photos and such between iDevices using bluetooth. The sender and receiver both have to bless the proposed transfer, but an inexperienced receiver may not understand what is being asked and may approve without a clue.

      1. Mark P.

        Not even a first world problem. A problem for owners of overpriced, status-exhibiting iPhone/Apple product in Manhattan.

    4. craazyman

      If those were airdropped they could have come from anywhere. They were probably from Philadelphia not New York. Or Boston. Maybe Pittsburgh. They could have even come from St. Louis. Or possibly Detroit. Chicago is a possibility. I would not rule out San Francisco — since so many wackos live there. They could have come from an LA Porn production studio! That would be perhaps a logical explanation. This also could have been something Putin is responsible for.

      The article cited two people this happened to in a city of 12 million! One of them was a man. That means women smart phone users have only a 50/50 chance of getting air dropped on the subway — that’s not as bad as it sounds from the story. The story also appeared next to a story about a woman photographer who photographed men’s private parts. If you make the connection, it’s easy to see possibilities: The woman is from San Francisco and air dropped the pictures from one of the American cities cited above. Vladimir Putin planned the operation. So the woman must be Russian. The question is who is the man? Is he part of the conspiracy? He must be or else, how could somebody have taken the picture? If it was more than 8 inches, you have to wonder if this was a professional job.

      Also, there was no mention of the airplane. That must have been quite lucky, to have the photo fall into the subway from the air.

      1. JTMcPhee

        State Security better start collecting this new pocket of biometric data… are there “buckets” to characterize peepees into? Obvious categories, but is a peepee print as unique as a fingerprint? What about unique female-part biometrical categories?

        Yaas, let us remove all the mystery and special places from the world– not that the Pornternet hasn’t done a pretty good job of that already…

  2. ambrit

    Near the top of the queue?
    Thanks for the el Pais article. Not only did it make me practice my rusty spanish, but the subject, locals angry at being priced out of apartments close to the beach by avaricious landlords, resonates with my misspent youth on Miami Beach.
    “Tourist!” was an insult when used by a local.

  3. allan

    Charlottesville: there is a good summary at Jacobin of liberals using it as an excuse for hippie-punching:

    … Neera Tanden, president of liberal think tank Center for American Progress, turned disdainfully to her left later that day. “We have actual fascists marching with torches. Maybe everyone on the progressive side could focus on the enemies of progress in front of us,” she tweeted. “We’re ready for you to join us Neera,” one young activist responded. Tanden’s response was to ask him to condemn “those on the alt left who want to join with the fascists.” …

    Has anyone ever seen Neera Tanden and Erick Erickson in the same place at the same time?

    1. craazyman

      Pro Publica’s Link blames Bernie Sanders supporters for swelling the ranks of the C-Ville torchbearers. (Well, there probably is some truth to it, to be fair, on the margin anyway but not in the average).

      This phenomenon is far more complex than the journalistic analysis I’ve seen comprehends.

      Words matter. If mainstream liberal thought divides and conquers in pirouettes of self-aggrandizing virtue to protest history and win elections with appeals to ethnicity, it blows back. It’s OK if people of color do it, but if white people do it it’s racism. It’s actually racism in every case — strictly speaking. The elevation of the part above the whole, and the eclipse, thereby, of the more meaningful entirety.

      The funny thing (or ironic thing, since humor isn’t an aspect of this national debacle of reduction) is that these guys marching with torches have nothing whatsoever to gain by their exertions — it’s a cry of pain and remembrance of things past, that never really were at all except as fictions, delusions and myths. The thoughtful Opioid crisis post from yesterday shows a hint of what some are up against, along with the repo man, the K-Mart shift and the debt collector. In the face of that almost any reaction is possible. And the gainfully employed career-types among them, for their part, wander lost in the existential void of a tribe-less infinite and empty present looking for their own souls more than anything else. They won’t find them there, no matter how long they look. Because there isn’t anything there when the protest ends and everyone goes home..

      This movement won’t amount to anything since it has nothing to offer — Lambert’s “concrete material benefits” phrase comes to mind. There aren’t any here. But the one big potential for explosion is the open-carry gun law. Anybody can carry guns and these people aren’t the only ones in search of their souls. Next time it might not be just these guys.

      1. RenoDino

        Trump was roundly condemned for condemning hate on both sides. As you elude, hate is a one way street allowed only on the left to bolster its bankrupt reliance on identify politics. Hating Trump and blaming him entirely for Charlottesville is the kind of good hate that loses elections. Nothing else is on offer.

        1. Vatch

          In this particular incident, only one side murdered a person. In theory, it’s great to condemn hate of all kinds, but in a case like this, it’s better to focus on the killer. Later, when things have cooled down a bit, Trump could condemn extremists on all sides.

          And let’s remember that Trump encouraged violence at some of his campaign events where he said that he would provide legal assistance to supporters who committed violence.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The quickest way to cool things down, I believe, is to condemn both sides.

            There was a scene in Gandhi, after independence, where he offered the first ever Indian prime minister position to Jinnah, along with an all Muslim cabinet, and Pandit and Sardar both said, the Hindus will riot (implying they would perceive as bias, or favoritism). And riot both sides did anyway, after partition, only to end when both sides condemned themselves.

            1. Vatch

              After the partition of India, both sides committed murder on a vast scale. In Charlottesville, only one side committed a murder.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                As you said, extremists on both sides.

                If hate existed only on one side, it should not be later, but never.

                1. Vatch

                  Oh come on! White supremacists hate certain types of people whether the others hate them back or not. Hate doesn’t need two sides to exist.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    This is what you wrote:

                    In this particular incident, only one side murdered a person. In theory, it’s great to condemn hate of all kinds, but in a case like this, it’s better to focus on the killer. Later, when things have cooled down a bit, Trump could condemn extremists on all sides.

                    Either you condemn both sides now (instead of one side now, and all side later), or you condemn only one side now and later, and not the other side, now and ever.

                    1. Vatch

                      If only one side is killing people, any equal condemnation of both sides seems too much like blaming the victim.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I’m OK with one side being virtuous, or not guilty and not be condemned.

                      But if that side is to be condemned later, for me, I believe it should be done now.

                      People might disagree. In that case, I think those who don’t agree then don’t condemn that not-guilty side, now or later.

                    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      If the other side is free of hate, then, don’t condemn them, now or ever.

                      On the other hand, if they too hate, perhaps not as much or even just a little bit, then, they or any who does should be condemned when hate is detected.

              2. ChrisPacific

                I wish I could put as much weight in that as you seem to. Looking at my social media feed and all the things ‘liberals’ feel should be done to the racists, I can’t help but wonder. I’m glad it wasn’t one of the counter-protesters driving the car into the white supremacists, rather than vice versa, but based on what I’ve been reading, if it had been the other way around I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised. If something doesn’t change I fear it’s only a matter of time.

      2. Carolinian

        A friend sent me a vid of an old Alex Cockburn Cspan appearance and Cockburn said the left tends to overreact to our lunatic fringe. That’s probably right and as to where the protestors got the idea for that torchlight parade it was probably cable tv. Show about Nazis seem to comprise the bulk of the programming.

        I think the M of A in todays Links is spot on. Many of the usual commentators are shocked by fascism–except when they aren’t.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I really miss Alexander Cockburn’s writing. Never boring nor predictable.

        2. mpalomar

          Hard not to overreact to heavily armed, complementary left and right militias, assembling to insure the seething masses can safely exorcise their demons. How likely is it that as the middle class unravels the fringe festivities will grow in intensity and firepower?

        3. Anonymous

          MoA has it exactly right.

          Hillary Clinton & Victoria Nuland toppled the elected president of Ukraine, then presided over the installation of a NeoNazi regime hostile to Russia. NeoNazis march openly in the streets of Kiev, and continually attack Russian citzens in Donetsk and Donbass. When Putin complained, Obama slapped sanctions on Russia. NeoCons including Schiff, McCain, and Pence want to provide the regime even more weapons.

          What happened in Charlottsville is horrific but the response is hypocritical.

        1. flora

          adding: one of the US’s biggest forms of soft power is its ability to produce and distribute huge amounts of grains and food stuffs. See: Berlin air lift e.g.
          Monsanto is endangering this US power, imo.

        2. flora

          ‘ The morning before the rally, Mieke Eoyang, vice president of the National Security Program at centrist think tank Third Way, tweeted, “If the Bernie Bros wanted to make a show of force on behalf of progressive values, Saturday in Charlottesville would be a good time.” ‘ -Jacobin article

          Still waiting for Neera and Mieke to wag their finger at Silicon Valley Bros who discriminate against women. waiting….. waiting…..

        3. sleepy

          The Charlottesville murder has given the alt center its golden opportunity to further constrict the parameters of acceptable political discourse by equating any critique of the status quo by the left as enabling fascism through its concerns with working class issues. One “liberal” tweet making the rounds sounds the alarm that single payer somehow dovetails with a nazi plan for universal healthcare for white people only.

          This is where the horseshoe theory turns in on itself with centrists taking up the old rightwing meme that Hitler was a socialist therefore socialism is fascism. Some msm pundit this morning equated Trump’s unwillingness to condemn white supremacy with his failure to condemn “people like Vladimir Putin”. Really? Do a torchlight parade in Moscow waving swastikas and see what happens to you. And that’s before the cops arrive.

          Not sure if this hodgepodge of inconsistent and dishonest observations by the alt center are a sign of its power or a sign of its complete intellectual decay. Probably both.

      3. Vatch

        The Pro Publica article says this:

        Some of those who’ve gravitated to the extreme right milieu are former liberals — like Mosley’s fellow rally organizer Jason Kessler — and supporters of Bernie Sanders.

        The don’t provide any evidence that Sanders supporters have become extreme right wingers — they just smear. What we do know is that heather Heyer, the murder victim, was a Sanders supporter.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The attempted connection here, and everywhere else basically, is that one should be fully accountable for all the acts of one’s supporters.

          So, if some supporters did something bad, then, the person they support must be bad as well.

          That logic implies the followers of the Enlightened One should also be already enlightened. They are not allowed to make one mistake, before we level charges at the Liberated One.

          The defect with that line of reasoning is harder to see when applied to those supported persons (referring to whomever those supporters support) that we don’t like.

      4. craazyman

        To make all this even more ludicrous than it already is, I bet Robert E. Lee himself would say take the damn statues down. Hell, John Mosby — just years after the war — campaigned in Virginia for U.S. Grant and was nearly killed by disaffected Virginians for it! Then became Grant’s good friend.

        Lee became a college president and had evidently little interest in the military. Most of the guys who have statues were professional soldiers, West Pointers and the like.

        That’s the weirdest thing of all. I bet most of them would say — “take the damn things down and remember our lives in other ways”, if they were here today and now and could see everthing — all the before and all the after. I really bet they would, mostly.

        1. mpalomar

          Lee was a professional soldier, albeit an engineer, having graduated West Point second in his class and much later its Superintendent. He later worked with Grant under Scott on the imperial project in Mexico; some believe it part of an inchoate southern strategy to create a slave based empire stretching down into central and south america. (Lambert linked to this and a book by Mathew Karp).
          Still you very well may be right, he probably wouldn’t have wanted a statue in the first place given the events. But it’s not about Lee or the other Confederate heroes it’s more about what others bring to these long dead, misunderstood iconic inventions from Jim Crow times.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks! I never did report back that my bag– with my precious notebooks– and I were eventually reunited, after only 12 days apart. My brand new bag was shredded– a complete write-off– but the contents were intact.

      1. ambrit

        Great! Sorry that the Baggage Apes got hold of your stuff. Maybe if travelers taped some fruit to the luggage to appease the Simian Stevedores….
        More feasible would be stickers depicting bananas with scratch and sniff inclusions. Put some on the outside of your luggage as a “good luck” offering to the gods.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Just a thought…the Baggage Apes are working-class mopes who “enjoy” the same benefits of neoliberalism as the rest of us who are not among the Blessed. Is it not nice that “we slightly better off” people who can afford air travel can cast down upon those who serve us? Might it be suggested that there is something unseemly about the framing? and dedication to one’s convenience, expressed in a place that is so intent on correct framing? I can imagine what straits and temptations are part of the Baggage Apes’ lives, and what effects Tech (so much of baggage handling is now “automated” and even robot-ized, and the Great Compression have on their job performance…

          But yes, so sorry that your baggage went astray. Like so much else that “just happens,” maybe the Buddhists among us have advice on how to approach the annoyance.

          And happy anniversary!

          PS: Seems like the ring is tightening around what’s left of “open internet” (this all reminds me of the aliens getting into position in that movie “Independence Day,” with Jeff Goldblum grokking that there was a time signal counting down in the radio traffic between the alien warships… to that moment when the space cadets doing hippie dances on the roof of that high-rise shout all excitedly, “It’s OPENING TO US!”) One wonders what we mopes will be able to do, to obtain our needed dose of mostly sanity from places like NC in the not so distant future… One can bet that any “mass migration” to some source or pathway not currently “pwned” by NSACIABezos will quickly get shuttered too… maybe we all need to get ham radio licenses? But those frequencies are easily jammed, by the genius products of our tech whiz younglings… In any war there are casualties…

          1. a different chris

            Not wanting to overstep on the NC spirit of “let the poster speak for him/herself”.. but can’t help it: are you sure the reference was to to downtrodden workers? Because the effort required to shred baggage requires either actual Great Apes or, if you just have Homo Sapiens at your disposal, machinery.

            1. JTMcPhee

              See Joe Defiant below. I have known baggage handlers too, some bad, most conscientious within the limits of the corporate shackles and chains… My brother-in-law got resume bonus points for earlier work with American Airlines, in which position he claimed to have saved tens of millions of costs by arranging to cut the on-board staff, quality of food, and maintenance schedules. BIL also C-Suite-courted himself into an upper-level position with the earlier VC vampire who looted the airlines by crushing unions, Frank Lorenzo.

        2. joe defiant

          I used to be a union member “baggage ape” until TWA was taken over by icahn and we all lost our jobs. I haven’t had another decent job since (now 20 years later). Thanks for the compliment.

          BTW: Those baggage apes get about 15 minutes to load every flight because the rich non-apes don’t like to wait while globetrotting.

          1. JTMcPhee

            How easy it is to expand the plan of Jay Gould, paying half the mopes to kill the other half…

            1. joe defiant

              The problem is that a large portion of mopes on the upper half (of the pay scale) all still think if they work real hard and kiss enough ass they will get to hang out at Jay Gould’s parties and private islands.

              1. JTMcPhee


                A line I recall from the movie “Blade Runner,” spoken by one of the clones who slave for the oligarchs: ” Then we’re stupid, and we’ll die.”

                And now we’re expected to “Die faster.” And so many just don’t get it.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        It did indeed– although that section bushwhacking through the trees in what looked to be thick and heavy cement looked a bit gnarly. Glad you made it out of there! Whistler “powder” was rarely as light as one would ideally have wanted it to be– not Utah snow by any stretch of the imagination. Thanks for the memories.

          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            Haven’t skied at all since I left Whistler in May 2003. Not a single turn. Didn’t want to do it for a couple of weeks per year as a civilian. When I used to spend my winters there, I logged at least 100 days per season. Now into diving these days.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          “Whistler powder” is more often closer to “Cascade concrete”. Either that or the stuff getting inhaled around the après-ski hot tubs.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thought so! The wolf flying off the hill was definitely a giveaway. But I enjoyed it, and hope readers do, too.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I’m not. Wasn’t there, so how could I know? But the thing that gets catapulted off the cliff sure doesn’t look like a live animal to me– more like a stuffed toy. It seems stiff. Like the props used in A Fish Called Wanda. But I fully concede I cannot say I’m positive one way or the other.

          1. a different chris

            I am so “woke” I can’t even find a functional reaction – for example, what would a rabbit mom think about those three growing assemblages of fangs and claws attached to a hungry stomach? From her perspective the single wolf might be the lesser evil.

            1. HotFlash

              Yeah, it gets complicated. I have raccoons in my verandah roof, what to do? They were here first.

  4. BrexitPr0n


    So one of the ideas being floated is adopting EEA to help smooth a transition for the UK, and one of the ‘benefits’ or selling points is that EEA member states are overseen not by the ECJ but the European Free Trade Association court. I’m guessing this is another flavor of investor-state arbitration but was wondering if others can confirm?

    1. Anonymous2

      EFTA court not really very different to the ECJ in purpose. From the UK point of view it has the advantage it is outside the EU so can be presented as something different. Trouble is joining EFTA will not enable the English to keep out foreigners. The English dislike of foreigners was of course an important reason for many who voted to leave the EU. Interestingly, the English historian Lord Acton diagnosed dislike of foreigners as a ‘sinister vice ‘ of the English back in the C19.

  5. OIFVet

    Re: Women had better sex under socialism. So is there a special place in hell for Hillary, Neera, Madeline, and Debbie for denying more and better orgasms to American women by fixing the Democrat primaries to deny that Socialist guy the nomination?

  6. Uahsenaa

    What do these sponges and corals think they can just live their lives doing one thing in one place in perpetuity? Has no one told them that the new economy requires them to be “lifelong learners” ready and willing to move at a moments notice? Maybe if they had gotten an education they wouldn’t be stuck in an ocean dead zone but could instead work 80 hours a week writing code for an app that tells you which place has the shortest lines for their bottomless brunch special. Slackers…


    postscript: not that I have anything against brunch…

    1. JTMcPhee

      Yah, I read the article, and it looks like gentrification and financialization are well under way, even there.

      I liked the many snippets of Narrative included in the article:

      Moscow, the country’s capital and the place where its large corporations and oligarchs are based and pay taxes, is visibly prosperous. According to the Brookings Institution, it has the 10th-largest economy among global metro areas, based on gross domestic product. (New York is in the lead, followed by Tokyo and Los Angeles.) It helps that Moscow is treated more like a state than a municipality under Russia’s tax code and keeps a disproportionate share of its tax revenue. You can see the money in the BMWs and Bentleys slinking along the newly decongested streets, in the glamorous 24/7 club scene, on the brand-new metro, or in the busy malls on the city’s outskirts.

      This is so, even though the economy has suffered from cratered oil prices and, to a lesser extent, sanctions imposed in response to President Putin’s military incursions in Ukraine and military support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Loosely speaking, the sanctions make it illegal for businesses in participating countries to conduct transactions with some Russian entities, primarily in the oil and banking sectors. Revenue from oil and gas companies, which once made up 25 percent of Moscow’s tax intake, has shrunk to about 5 percent, says Sergei Levkin, director of the department of city building policy. But Russia has weathered the fall in oil prices better than many oil-dependent countries, according to the World Bank’s 2017 Russia Economic Report, which also predicts modest economic growth for the country.

      And the bit about the UN-approved notion that “agglomeration” is inevitable, massive “urban” masses yearning to breathe free…. Putin not only can’t stop the Blob of conurbation, he and his henchmen are positively embracing a future that with just a few tweaks by an unhappy Mother Earth in response to consumption, will look like the set for “Soylent Green…”

      Lots of grist for the skeptic’s mill in that article, yessir…

  7. roxy

    Senator Warren’s merchandizing empire: She showed who she is last year by dissing Sanders and sucking up to HRC.

    1. DanB

      I’m on her email list after attending an event in 2011 when she was “deciding” whether to run for the senate. The merchandising emails and appeals for donations, along with rhetoric about how she’s “fighting” for us, is constant -sometimes three in one day. For what it’s worth, I do not see her as cynical; I think she believes she’s one of the good guys. I tel my friends, most of whom love her, “When all the hoopla is winnowed down Elizabeth is a one-trick pony who has modest results and a 1960s Republican worldview. My friends then chide me for being too judgmental and one-sided.

      1. a different chris

        How can they consider you “too-judgmental”? I am assuming that you are likely to vote for her given whoever runs against her,* but it isn’t marriage. You don’t have to “love” her. The voters are, in fact, best advised not to love any politician. They get your vote for promising then delivering on what you want, or as close as reasonably possible. You get to decide what it is you want, and what “reasonably possible” is. Not the politician. Not the talking heads. You.

        Maybe this was easier for the Tea Partiers to grasp this since their politicians are remarkably unlovable. :) — but Democratic voters need to learn this somehow.

        *and I’m one of the people that selected a third option when presented with Clinton vs Trump, but it’s very rarely quite that bad…

  8. Steve H.

    Moon of Al post was most excellent in immediate visual impact. Janet heard my ‘WHOA!’ from the other room. Nothing unknown, but leaps off the page in effect.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Indeed. And then there are those plexiglass shields that the White Supremacists were carrying. Hard to know if this is cross-fertilization via the Intertubes, or something more… I’d say “sinister,” but that implies the left.

      1. Yves Smith

        They didn’t impress me. If you move forward, your legs are exposed, so you can be shot in the thighs or knees. If people are packed, you don’t have to be a good shot. Just shoot and you’ll get someone.

        Let us not forget that mere rubber bullets are plenty painful. A round or two of that, with a waring that live ammo is next, ought to have done. If any of the crowd was dumb enough to shoot at the cops, that would justify live fire. The cops could do that from cars, making it harder to see them, or from inside buildings. The cops clearly didn’t bother taking the demonstrators seriously and didn’t do advanced staging.

        So the demonstrators can hunker in place but not take ground. And that assumes that plexiglass is bulletproof.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I hate to sound like I’m justifying them, but the Antifa types have been throwing stuff at them for some time now. And of course, the shields make good signboards – very few were blank. What on earth does the “X” mean?

        Equally of course, the counter-protestors will have them next time.

  9. semiconscious

    Are American Shoppers Ready For Walmart’s ‘Scan & Go’ And Amazon Go?

    what must it feel like, if you work a cash register, listening to this warm, cheerful personification of the amazon corporation basically telling you you’re screwed?…

    1. Praedor

      I don’t know…there’s already self-serve lanes where you can scan and bag all on your own but the human run lines are never empty. People aren’t flooding to the self-serve checkouts to the detriment of the cashier lines. I only use the self-serve when I have a mere couple items. If I go full-bore grocery shopping, I like to use the cashier lanes because they also come with baggers so I am not the one standing their bagging my own groceries while the people behind me are seething because I’m holding up the line.

      At the very least, i can see bagger lines without cashiers in the future…there’s no auto-bagging bots out there or in the pipeline.

      1. JTMcPhee

        At the Walmarts I have been to, more than I care to have seen, the cashiers also did the bagging– or you did it yourself, to keep the angry mob behind you from pressing forward…

      2. Mark P.

        there’s no auto-bagging bots out there or in the pipeline.

        Eh. The economics isn’t likely to support it for two decades or so. But there sort of are some in the pipeline — or at least there are getting to be — based on some presentations (plural, yes) at an MIT AI show I went to a few months back.

  10. John M

    “Mosley”? I may have missed something, but I am unaware of any Mosley. There’s “Warren Mosler” of MMT, who also makes fast gas-guzzling cars, but “Mosley”? Well, a search turned up a half-century-old name of a Fascist. Then there’s a boxer.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Well if you poke around and see any images of mistress abi, please report…might put a modern enough twist for you…

        1. a different chris

          Yes me too, being an under educated American I would never have thought “British Union of Fascists”, one reason being I never heard of them..

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism NYT

    “Welcome to Cuba, tourists.”

    “Welcome to North Korea.”

    “Welcome to China. Ours is hybrid. But our robots are very good.”

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ultrafast wi-fi on horizon as scientists send data at 100 times current speeds Telegraph

    That’s how our teens can be unhappy 100 times faster going forward.

    “That was fast. You were happy just 1/100th second ago.”

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Does anyone know of studies about detrimental effects of staring at small screens for hours a day? Are cell phones going to be contributing factors to declining sight in middle age for the younger set? How many will be able to see their grandchildren, assuming that they even have any?

      It would not surprise me to learn that some enterprising VC may be funding the development of sight extension apps or medical research or something to secure better ocular health for customers. I hope those development garages are well-lit.

      1. Lord Koos

        More important than the possible effects on eyesight, is narrowing ones field of attention to a screen of any size for hours on end. Doing so is detrimental to human experience, and in children it is detrimental to their development. I cringe when I see so many little kids using what are essentially digital babysitters. It’s one more way that busy parents don’t have to engage with their children. With adults, it’s unfortunate that so many jobs now require extended time on a computer, and of course many people use computers for recreation as well.

        I noticed immediately that there wasn’t any mention of what effect ultra-high frequency waves might have on human health, or if any research is even planned. Wifi as it is now isn’t all that good for people. We noticed that we sleep better when our wifi router is off, so now we have it on a timer that switches it on in the morning and off at night.

          1. Lord Koos

            Ours is downstairs too — if you have a strong signal upstairs you could try turning it off and see.

        1. akaPaul LaFargue

          I was hoping someone would raise this issue. We declined Smart Meters on our house (we have a rental unit also) because of the info we picked up via radio program “Your Own Health And Fitness” (goo it). Turns out that we were in the company of 100s if not 1000s in the state (CA). Now they want to foist 5G on all of us. From what I discovered tight waves work on the level of cells. Don’t expect the US companies selling this crap to pay for research. Look to Europe. Schools in many countries eliminated wifi, for instance. Here’s one place for info:

      2. Foy

        The kids get very bad posture back and neck problems. But I believe the real problems come from electro magnetic radiation from the WiFi microwave devices sitting on their laps. This presentation by a UK trauma surgeon who has investigated the issue for years says it all and studies show real health problems. It begins with infertility and goes downhill from there…she says it will be the next asbestos…can’t imagine the increased frequencies of terahertz will help matters…

        Also just noticed that this video is a lot harder to find on Youtube. I used to be able to put in ‘Erica Wifi’ or ‘Erica Blythe Wifi’ and it would pop up number 1. Now it doesn’t show at all with those search terms. So if youtube feel the need to make it difficult to find, I can only assume one thing….

      3. Oregoncharles


        This became such a problem for the Air Force Academy that they had special glasses made that allow you to read with your eyes focused at infinity (more than about 20 feet, for human purposes).

        And I experienced the effect the other way: my son, when a baby, broke my glasses – which I’d worn since junior high. I discovered I could focus a camera with my left (non-dominant) eye, and that’s what mattered at the time. So I went without for quite a while, and my eyes got better. When last checked, my vision was 20-20 – but I have to wear reading glasses, as I am at the moment. To focus a camera, as well as to read.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet Guardian

    “Call me Atlas. I hold up the sky, and I hold down the 91 volcanoes as well.”

  14. Vatch

    Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ is already a disaster – but it could get worse The Conversation

    Yes, it probably will get worse. The article describes the root problem:

    A larger population demands more food which means more deforestation, more farmland and more fertiliser. The increase demand placed on our land is ultimately affecting the marine environment.

    The U.S. population continues to grow. Aside from growth caused by immigration, births exceed deaths by more than a million people per year. I’ve posted this information before, but as a convenience to readers, here it is again:

    3,978,497 births in 2015:

    2,712,630 deaths in 2015:

    Births minus deaths equals an increase of 1,265,867 people. Please note that we do not want to solve this problem by increasing the death rate; instead, we must reduce the birth rate.

    1. Synoia

      No problem.

      “The US Government has announced an new War, a War on Sex…..”

      You compete the remainder of this success story….

        1. Lord Koos

          There’s also something called allowing tens of thousands of people to overdose on legal drugs. Useless “takers” can be easily eliminated this way.

              1. Vatch

                I guess I’m overly sensitive to any hint that concern about the problem of human overpopulation is the same as a desire to increase the death rate. Over the past couple of decades, too many people have thrown that in my face, with the implication that it is genocidal to support a lower population on Earth.

                People sometimes will say: “Well, who are you going to kill?” Needless to say, I find that disturbing.

                1. John k

                  We fix it, or the world will fix it for us. Only likely way we’ll fix it is with nukes, but it will get fixed, just like it was every previous time the locals ran out of something useful like water or food.

                  Course, the ongoing extinction event, apparently no. 7, will progress further before we leave the stage.

                2. Lord Koos

                  Maybe the present epidemic of overdoses is not exactly an accident. I wouldn’t overestimate the caring of our overlords.

    2. Praedor

      All that is nice and all but THE problem is current agricultural practice. The rest just piles on top. If the US government would actually FORCE the issue: greatly reduced use of fertilizer, force mitigation of toxic runoff, etc – the dead zone would actually repair itself in short order regardless of the rest you mention.

      1. Vatch

        I don’t think the problem is only fertilizer. It’s also waste from cities and factory farms. A lot of nutrients end up flowing down the Mississippi.

      2. newcatty

        THE problem is current agricultural practice.

        Right on. Big Ag in its unholy marraiges with poisonous corporations such as Monsanto and Dupont, corrupt government lack of enforcent agencies, colluding colleges at Universities, congress sellouts for substidies. All holding hands with factory farming of pigs, cattle, dairy cows, chickens and with the increasing yummy farmed salmon and talapia fish producers.

        Then add how the animals are “processed” at the “plants” or “factories”: if you don’t know about this,perhaps you should do your own looking. At least as long as you can /s.
        Until we, as a people, not wake up to all of the deep state of control that is intertwined and strangling our very lives, as well as the whole environment(keeping us sick and tired and exploited works well for Big pharma and insurance, too)… i do not have answers in the Big Picture.. i just started being a vegetarian, support organic agriculture, went on to being vegan. I plant flowers for bees and birds. I appreciate NC as a place to read what is important and is happening in the world.


  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery Reuters

    Home marijuana delivery is just as big a market as home delivered prescription medicine or food.

    1. HotFlash

      Not so. Most people like to eat 3 meals a day, and the meals should be hot/cold/fresh or whatever. Soggy Krispies, anyone? Cold kung-pao chicken? Wilty salads? No.

      So, food delivery up to 3 times/day — MJ, what, once a week, maybe?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The profit margins are hopefully higher though, even at once-a-week. And you hit pay dirt with those who like it once a day or every other day.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America New Yorker (sid s)

    Racism is the settling of the new world.

    Did they work out beforehand how the new immigrants were going to lets-all-get-along with the Native Americans, including, for example, differences in immunity to various diseases?

    It was racism+(predictable, in hindsight)genocide.

      1. kgw


        Today’s selection — from Garibaldi by Christopher Hibbert.

        By 1860, Italy had been partially unified under the military leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi. His reputation was so favorable at this point that Abraham Lincoln had offered him command of Federal troops in the American Civil War. He turned Lincoln’s offer down in part because he discovered that the purpose of the war was not, at that moment, to end slavery, but merely to recapture seceded states. Instead, he remained in Italy to try to complete the reunification. Through his battles, the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia, in the north of Italy, had been unified with Sicily and Naples. But Rome was still independent, under the governance of the Pope and the protection of France, and Venice was part of Austria. Garibaldi and his fellow revolutionaries wanted to retake both to be part of the new Italy:

        “[After Garibaldi’s dramatic military victories in Sicily and Naples in 1860], no one could be sure, … in what way the unpredictable hero might act. It even seemed likely, at one time, that he would go to fight for the northern states in America, as, a few years later, it seemed likely that he would go to fight for the Mexican revolu­tionary, Benito Juarez (after whom Alessandro Mussolini was to name his elder son).

        Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1861

        “Abraham Lincoln offered Garibaldi command of an army corps and permission had been obtained from the King [Victor Emmanuel of Piedmont and Sardinia, whom Garibaldi fought on behalf of] for him to accept it. But in writing to accept Lincoln’s offer, Garibaldi had characteris­tically demanded not an army corps but supreme command, and an undertaking that slavery would be formally abolished. He did not want to risk the chance of being let down by indecisive politicians prepared to trim their sails.

        “He did not want to run this risk in Italy, either. And he continued to storm in word and print against the cautious and the cowardly who would not strike out [to retake Rome and Venice].

    1. Lord Koos

      Racism is definintely not limited to new world. Look at colonial powers’ conduct in India, east Asia and Africa.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Made in China’ Clothes Actually Made in North Korea, Traders Say The Wire

    Another example of ‘there are a lot of smart guys out there.’

    And as is usually the case, looking back, we say to ourselves, ‘But of course. Workers are a lot cheaper there.”

    “Where was my smartphone made???”

    1. jrs

      I can’t imagine anyone caring other than government trade bureaucrats. But otherwise if people are buying clothes based on hoping they are made under more ethical conditions, one already gives that up by buying made in China.

      And one seldom hopes for well made with the “made in China” label either. If they said “made in the U.S.A.” or “made in Germany” and turned out to be made in China that might be a problem (although even in the U.S. one doesn’t know what conditions they were made under). All in a day of fast fashion.

      1. cnchal

        . . . If they said “made in the U.S.A.” or “made in Germany” and turned out to be made in China that might be a problem . . .

        No problem. Tooling stamped made in China on the outside has made in USA engraved on the inside.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The problem is that North Koreans are way cheaper than Chinese workers.

        And more desperate to take in toxic waste or toxic work.

  18. Edward E

    In my opinion North Korea is likely a huge trap. These new missiles are way beyond their technical capability. Their mobile launchers are of a modern design and not the old Soviet trucks they were given back in the 1960s. They probably can’t even build the launchers and they sure aren’t building 21st century missiles by themselves.

    If Trump can be provoked into doing something truly ignorant, by whoever is assisting NK, the container ships from China will stop arriving. In a couple of weeks the US won’t have much of an economy anymore and the rest of the world won’t care.
    Could it be that’s the plan? Maybe shouldn’t think so much, but I did stay in a Holiday inn Express last night.

    1. Ranger Rick

      That’s why it’s safer to mentally edit any reference to North Korea and replace its name with China. It’s important to remember that North Korea only exists because of China, only continues to exist because China guarantees its independence, and its populace survives only because of Chinese aid.

      What should be happening is a plan being drawn up for Korean unification, because that’s the only way this is ever going to end. Hopefully people paid attention to the struggles endured during the reunification of Germany.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        How about let’s not make plans about “unification” and let the people of these two countries decide for themselves for once? North Korea and South Korea are two separate countries with separate histories – they may not want to be joined at the hip for the sake of the US……

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Americans have very short memories. Nothing that happened before WWII in the East is important to us…..however, Asians have very long memories…..

          2. Praedor

            Reunification would be far FAR worse than Germany having to integrate Eastern Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Soviet Union.

            What is striking in this whole fiasco is how it is that it’s actually North Korea that comes off sounding ever so slightly more reasonable than Trump! It’s not a lot but it is really saying something when the US Prez sounds more nutters than the latest N. Korean “Dear Leader”.

            1. visitor

              Kim Jong-un is the “Supreme Leader”. His father, Kim Jong-il was the one to be called “Dear Leader”.

              The grandfather Kim Il-sung was the “Great Leader”, by the way.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                So, the progression is

                Great Leader
                Dear Leader
                Supreme Leader.

                Wonder what’s next.

          3. justanotherprogressive

            Errr…..I think you mean Japanese invasion……and WWII wasn’t when it happened….

          4. Massinissa

            “Their histories are distinct by 60 years and a Chinese invasion. Let’s not go there.”

            And this is important how, exactly? They have been hating eachothers way of life for 60 years now and you just expect that one side will gladly accept the others way of life without any kind of social conflict?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Should they stay or should they split?

              After hundreds of years, should Scotland and England go their separate ways, or Catalonia and the rest of Spain, with lots of problems for them to work out for sure.

              After sixty years, should South and North Korea get together again, with lots of problems for them to work out for sure.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              More history, from Wikipedia, History of Korea:

              Korean went through Three Kingdoms/North-South States/Later Three Kingdoms from 57 BC to 936 AD.

              These were the kingdoms – Goguryeo. Baekje, Silla, Gaya confederacy, Later Silla, Balhae, Later Baekje, Taebong.

              Today, no one I know of in Korea thinks of himself or herself as a member of any of these states, but as a South Korean, or a North Korean.

              If or when unified, I suspect, in time (don’t know exactly how long), they will think of themselves as just Koreans.

              1. justanotherprogressive

                Korea has in MANY times in it’s history, been divided. It really doesn’t seem to have ever been one country except in the minds of outsiders. China tried several times to “unify” North and South Korea and mostly failed, even though they were able to insert their culture and their religions into Korea.

                Sorry, but you may succeed for a while in unifying peoples that don’t want to live together (think Yugoslavia) but it doesn’t usually end up well…

      2. DanB

        Most East Germans object to the term reunification, preferring dismantling (Abwicklung), destruction (Zerstorung), or takeover (übernehmen) as the best way to describe how East Germany was incorporated into West Germany in 1990.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


          Did the terms emerge immediately, overnight, or over the last few decades?

      3. Lord Koos

        China will not accept unification, they do not want a unified strong ally of the US right on their border. We’d be better off if China simply annexed North Korea, however I think the Chinese may enjoy having N. Korea as an annoying problem for the USA. A problem which would vanish overnight if the US would deign to recognize North Korea as a legitimate state. It’s similar to the situation with Cuba, a ridiculous lack of diplomacy. Note that the US has no problem with Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe everyone involved in that area work out all the related issues together, and not separately

          North/South Korea
          Okinawa Independence
          South China Sea
          Territories of various powers in the Pacific

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think Trump is listening to the FP people who are obsessed with a rising China and forcing China to occupy North Korea in a fashion would hurt Eurasia integration as well as prove costly in the Immediate price tag. Trump has also announced a trade war which isn’t far removed from Obama’s pivot to Asia which was anti-China in nature.

      Much of China’s super potential in the near or nearer future than expected in say 2000 is the result U.S. random thuggery around the globe, creating district and forcing the creation of alternatives to avoid or counter U.S. hegemony whether it’s the Silk Road or flooding the Persian Gulf with missiles.

      This is view, but U.S. foreign policy is deeply racist. It’s not an American style racism but about the character of a nation. We see it with the description of Russians as sneaky. The perception is the Chinese can be bamboozled similar to how colonial empires were built.

    3. flora

      I’ve been waiting for a ‘N.Korea drought/bad harvest’ story to appear. It’s only a matter of time, imo.

      The N.Korea m.o. going back decades is to issue dire threat whenever the crops are bad and famine seems possible. Issue threat to the west. Then west responds first by military talk, but eventually by shipments of food stuffs to N. Korea.

      Call me skeptical…. this looks like another N. Korea shakedown of the west for food shipments. I guess we’ll see how it plays out this time. (And why can’t China ever seem to provide for N. Korea in times of food crises?)

      1. justanotherprogressive

        You may be right – more of the “Mouse That Roared” tactics……
        But China does provide a great deal in foreign aid to North Korea – just enough to keep NK refugees from crossing the border…..China would tell you they have enough of their own problems……

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Chinese support of N. Korea.

          That’s what Ming emperor Wanli, and several others, did, as their suzerain.

          We are talking about many historical precedents here, which, among other consequences, led to the First Sino-Japanese or the First Japanese-Sino War.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Another history buff!! Yes, there is a long convoluted history in that area involving China and Japan in which Korea was the pawn…..

      1. Edward E

        It was just fine until I saw body language experts saying when delivering the fire & fury ultimatum, that the way Trump had his arms wrapped tightly around himself indicating that he feels really boxed in and unable to act.

        So that had me thinkolator speculating that maybe he ordered up military action and the Joint Chiefs had told him no way. Then I slept as lousy as ever, just like ever since the election. How many yuan do canned soup cost?

  19. Bunk McNulty

    Single Payer or Bust? (NY Times)

    The author says he believes in single-payer, but he also believes in “a functioning political system.” Well, it’s functioning all right. For those who profit hugely from the status quo.

    At least the discussion has shifted to “We can’t have nice things because, golly, it’s so complicated trying to decide which single payer model to follow!” Also because Mean Republicans.

    1. Praedor

      I’ll make it easy for everyone. The model to follow for single-payer here in the USA is France.

      There. Done.

      Best system in the West (even after neoliberals like Sarkozy and Macron shove their grimy fingers into it).

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I don’t know. French hospitals can bill patients such as tourists, whereas in my experience Italian hospitals don’t even have the capacity to do patient billing. On that score, a clear win for Italy. Hospitals, doctors, clinics shouldn’t be allowed to bill patients–ever.

        1. Yves Smith

          I don’t think that’s true. A friend of my mother’s spent 2 weeks in a French hospital with a heart problem that required tons of care. He wasn’t billed.

          What you may be thinking of is that tourists from other parts of the EU are supposed to get tourist cards and provide them when getting care. Their country gets billed. Apparently UK expats are big abusers because they are supposed to get a different card as a resident.

      2. Lambert Strether

        You feel that our political economy is as health as that of France?

        The more corrupt and rickety you think our system is, the more you want a simple, rugged, and proven system. That, to me, is why Canadian single payer is the way to go (expanded to drugs).

        Another way of thinking about this is that any country with a national system of high speed rail* is a model we shouldn’t follow, because we’re clearly at least an order of magnitude more dysfunctional than they are.

        * No, the Acela doesn’t count. Acela riders think we live in the First World, because that’s the world they live in. Many of us don’t live in that world.

        1. akaPaul LaFargue

          In France there are no restrictions seeing any Dr. (of course you may have to get on a waiting list) but in Canada I believe there are restrictions as in the UK. (?)

  20. Bill

    Fipronil (dutch egg scare) is used in Frontline, which people put on their pets in the U.S., and a gazillion other products, like termiticide, Combat roach killer, and crop pesticides. I can’t imagine that Americans are not already exposed through eggs also. What a difference still in the European response to such things. I find it hard to imagine that news of that would even get out here in the U.S.

    1. Bill

      and while we’re at it, our own currency.
      except I am curious about this method:

      Let’s take the Bristol Pound as an example: “We committed ourselves to backing every paper Bristol Pound in circulation with a pound sterling held in a trust account to which we don’t have access,” explains Chris Sunderland, the co-founder and director. “So if Bristol Pound goes bankrupt anybody holding a paper Bristol Pound could still get their money back.”

      In this case, since it’s backed by money they’re familiar with, it could help ease people’s minds about using it.

      I am wondering what’s the point there, because the pound sterling value fluctuates, does it not? so you could still come up short. how can currency be backed with anything that remains constant?

      1. bwilli123

        Sardinian local currency

        “..Littera is one of the founders of a virtual currency called Sardex. It’s a network of companies that exchange goods and services among each other in Sardinia without the need for cash.
        This stunning Italian island seems far from Wall Street. But the 2009 financial crisis rocked this picturesque place. Companies couldn’t get credit and went out of business. Unemployment hit 18 percent.
        Littera and a group of friends hoped they might spur growth here by developing a system that would allow businesses to earn and spend without relying on the euro, or on banks that wouldn’t lend.

        Sardex gives businesses who want to join a credit line based on the product they have, as well as what they require. “You might have cheese, but you might need uranium. We don’t have uranium in Sardinia,” Literra said. “Sorry, you cannot join!”
        “But if I have cheese and I want fruit?” asked Doane.
        “Then there’s a match. But it can be more than that. You might have cheese, but you might need a dentist for your daughter, and you don’t have the euros to pay for the dentist. But by selling cheese you might get credits and pay the dentist.”

        1. Bill

          thanks, this is interesting. it would also seem to encourage good products, since it’s such a small market.

  21. fresno dan

    Niffy video about how size affects animals. And for reasons explained yesterday:
    fresno dan
    August 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I note that the name of the elephant tossed off a skyscraper at the beginning of the video was named “Stampy” which is obviously a reference to Simpsons episode “Bart gets an elephant”

    1. ewmayer

      Re. Animal-falling-from-skyscraper: I’m in a shared-public-wifi environment, so didn’t watch the video, but note that with critters whose body mass puts them in the borderline range where terminal velocity is enough to severely injure but is not 100% fatal, there are interesting and sometimes counterintuitive effects. For example, tall urban buildings gave rise to the effect of domestic cats occasionally falling off windowsills, in numbers large eoungh to permit statistical analysis of survival rates. Interestingly, while the survival rate obviously drops with increasing height up to around 100 feet, after that it levels off and then again increases and asymptotes to a constant (whose value eludes me, but I’m sure the interested reader can find it on the interwebs). Further research revealed dual reasons: “cats always land on their feet” is untrue if the falling time is too short, and beyond a few seconds of fall time the initially panicked animal actually relaxes, thus greatly increasing the odds of it hitting the ground on its feet and in an optimal shock-absorbing body posture. Make no mistakes, very few felines walk away unharmed from such high falls, but the survival rate (with suitable medical care) is surprisingly high.

  22. fresno dan

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago
    Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!

    Uh, so Mr. POTUS, why exactly did you appoint a rip off artist to your council in the first place?
    BTW, any other rip off artists you’ve appointed, or are we all good now?

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Not that fearless leader trump knows, but merck historically was involved in removing what we would now call healthy living and natural native american healing plant salves…which along with the ama was involved in a number of nefarious and highly charged and questionable activities including the racist backed activities of abraham flexner and morris fishbein; where in the auspices of claiming to “institutionalize” & professionalize the medical field, in a matter of 30 years, reduced dramatically the number of medical schools and students, imposing in its wake an almost complete 50 year ban on black doctors in the name of “getting” purported quacks john romulus brinkley and serge voronoff…

      Brinkley won a governorship with write in votes but was denied seating by the concept we all now call “hanging chads”…he went on to create the internet of his day by going down to mexico and getting a wildcard am station 840 AM which eventully ramped up (it has been claimed) to 1 million watts, causing his own reverse Carrington event…

      Samuel Thomson & Constantine Rafinesque may have paved the way but probably voronoff and brinkley may have realised but could not enumerate the now being further analyzed immune type capacities of certain parts of the creation concept in the male anatomy(family blog)…

      Trump, the lucky dog, might have hit the nail flush with his twitch(two eat)

  23. justanotherprogressive

    That book by Ha-Joon Chang sounds interesting. From the blub by Ian Welsh it looks like we’ve seen this before – in the fall of the Hittites and the Assyrians and the First Dark Ages, and in the fall of the Romans and the Second Dark Ages…..

    When trade becomes extractive instead of mutual, when larger nations resort to imperialism (via their bloated militaries) to support their central governments and their rulers, when the accumulation of precious metals (i.e., money) becomes more important than the accumulation of those things needed for survival, really bad things happen……

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Various forms of imperialism.

      Monetary imperialism is one where nations must earn, and maybe spend, money in a certain designated (and often bloated, these days) currency, except one exceptional country that creates it at will, from nothing.

    2. skippy

      Money is law, that its form for circulation can come in the form of a commodity does not change the aforementioned. Government still sets the price, where the market sets the quantity and distribution.

      Fast-forward HPM no longer takes the form of a commodity so no elasticity dramas due to quantity, tho distribution has become highly financialized with narrow vectors.

      disheveled…. might have something to do with equities being a preferred form of money for a narrow vector thingy…. that the unwashed get to eat equities is just manna from above… trickle down… chortle…

    3. oh

      Ha Joon book is very good and well written. His command of the english language is superb. Of course, he was educated in England. I recommend this book that describes how a country that only exported fish became a world class technology leader.

    4. Adam Eran

      Ha Joon Chang writes clearly and well–as well as Krugman, which is saying something. He debunks a lot of neoliberal myths (e.g., the West got prosperity by lowering trade barriers…actually, just the opposite. The West protected its industries and touted free trade only when the trading partners were overmatched.)

      So…recommended. One caveat: His coverage of economics omits MMT entirely.

  24. Synoia

    Ultrafast WiFI

    This is the first time anybody has characterized a terahertz multiplexing system using actual data, and our results show that our approach could be viable in future terahertz wireless networks.

    Every City Tree, All Corners of All Buildings, Lamppost, Traffic Signal and Road Signs, and one in each corner of every room will require an access point, and rural Service non existent.

    It may become technically possible, but the cost of creating a reliable service, no drops out when you turn around, bend over or blow your nose, is non trivial.

  25. Synoia

    No early fans of Trump, the powerful Koch network still wields influence on White House policy

    How sad, but you have to Bribe the President you’ve got, not the looser you’d like to have (Hillary).

  26. Altandmain

    On Manufacturing
    Interesting article on should we subsidize manufacturing:

    The thing is, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, Switzerland, the Nordic nations, etc, all play a very active role in subsidizing their manufacturing.

    Truthdig on the DNC hack

    Class Warfare
    Apparently a fifth of Americans find their workplaces threatening.

    Unsurprising, but troubling nonetheless. Employees have few protections in the US for work.

    The Democrats Need NEW Leadership: Enough with the fake resistance, already,18035

    Bernie Sanders to push for government-funded healthcare and abolition of private insurance

    Apparently this may split the Democrats. Too much donor money corrupting politicians.

    At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard

    1. MDBill

      At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard

      Sure hope Harvard doesn’t get wind of this. I’m sure they’d use it as justification for raising tuition.

  27. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery

    So Amazon is going to start selling MREs. Don’t you see how ingenious this is?!?! With these foodlike items pre-distributed to everyone, it will be a lot quicker and cheaper to get the supply chain up and running once Emperor Bezos conscripts the population and sends them across the Pacific for his war against Ali Baba.

  28. Bill

    re a link from Vice I posted on Friday about a PSA from white supremacist website:

    yes, what took them so long?

    from Andrew Anglin’s website:
    ““Despite feigned outrage by the media, most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness,” the story reads. “A 32-year-old woman without children is a burden on society and has no value.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think if Anonymous really had hacked the site, they would have taken it all down.

        Instead, we have just a front page article, which I would bet is clickbait from Der Sturmer.

          1. Kim Kaufman

            OK, I see your point. I apologize. For me, it was eye opening. I want to know the enemy, as opposed to just the stereotypes, and this is totally not my world so I had look at some of it.

            Btw, I liked your point they are not hillbillies because they sure don’t look like hillbillies to me. Of what I could see: good teeth, good haircuts, good fitting t-shirts. Money to travel, etc.

          2. joe defiant

            The Daily Stormer is a troll site looking to get donations from neo-nazi’s. The articles can’t really be taken seriously… Its taking jokes too far in my opinion, but still is not serious.
            One of the articles posted: “Starbucks Managers Interview Somalis with Latent Tuberculosis for Jobs as Part of Jewish Chairman’s Plan to Destroy America” and another ” and talking about the people going to the white supremacist rally: “To those of you in Charlottesville, go out and enjoy yourselves. If you’re at a bar in a group, random girls will want to have sex with you.”

  29. ewmayer

    o “Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet | Guardian” — Watched the delicious SciFi cheesefest that is 2004’s Alien vs Predator in Spanish on Univision last night … are the researchers sure that those are all volcanoes, and not AvP “gaming pyramids”? (BTW, my favorite ‘reveal’ in AvP is the “aha, it’s an interspecies *love* story” one at the end. We need shlock-thriller author Dan Brown to write suitable copy for that aspect, complete with Brownian verb-misusage and mixed metaphors … “as she woefully caressed the clicking mandibles of her dying Predator-snoogums, the world-famous archeologist Alexa, having gratefully received the brand of his clan from him, pondered what might have. ‘It was a supreme honor to have learned the ropes of Alien-hunting in the trenches of the Antarctic sub-ice pyramid from such a renowned warrior as you’, she wanted to say to him, but could not, lacking suitable mandibles of her own. With his dying click-rasp, he faintly nodded, as if he understood.”)

    o “Inside the Elizabeth Warren merchandising empire | Politico” — Are there EW bobbleheads? Oh wait, that’s Hillary’s specialty, as demonstrated in that famous video clip from Campaign 2016.

    1. ewmayer

      Re. my AvP post: Gah, “what might have been“. Like Dan, I need a copy editor, except in my case ’twas a mere rough draft, whereas in his all glorious linguistic fubar-age seems to make it into multi-million-selling print.

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