Links 7/11/19

Holland covers hundreds of bus stops with plants as gift to honeybees Independent (David L)

Japan’s famous Nara deer dying from eating plastic bags Guardian (resilc)

Ross Perot’s Lasting Legacy Atlantic

UserFriendly: “LOL, he gave Bernie a sword for sticking up for vets dealing with Gulf War syndrome.”

Moons That Escape Their Planets Could Become ‘Ploonets’ ScienceNews

Glacial Melting In Antarctica May Become Irreversible, NASA-Funded Study Suggests Guardian

Global clean-energy spending is plummeting MIT Technology Review. UserFriendly: “But I thought the price of renewables made all other power obsolete??”

China?

Cold water hits China’s AI industry Financial Times. Marshall:

What do we make of this?

I was particularly struck by the fact that China imports $300bn of semiconductor chips, which would seem to be a source of leverage that Trump would have, although I assume that Japan and South Korea could provide most of what the country needs today?

Chinese Air Pollution Dimmed Sunlight Enough To Impact Solar Panels ars technica

Brexit

Sir John Major says he would fight Boris Johnson in court if he tried to prorogue Parliament to force a no-deal Brexit The Times

Support for Nigel Farage among Tory members will collapse if Johnson delivers Brexit by October 31st Telegraph

The Guardian publishes, then censors Jewish open letter defending smeared pro-Corbyn Labour MP Chris Williamson Grayzone (UserFriendly)

The Darroch Affair Craig Murray (UserFriendly)

US ‘concern’ over French plan to tax tech giants BBC

Syraqistan

Holy War? Pompeo Preaches to Pro-Israel Christian Confab American Conservative (resilc)

U.S. Iran Policy Gives Me Vertigo LobeLog (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

German schools should not use Office 365 says Privacy Commissioner Office Watch (martha r)

Amazon’s Alexa will deliver NHS medical advice in the UK The Verge (Kevin W)

Banned Chinese Security Cameras Are Almost Impossible To Remove Bloomberg

Trump Transition

Appeals court dismisses Emoluments Clause lawsuit in win for Trump The Hill. Also in WC, worth not missing.

Debunking Trump’s Tariff Claims Washington Post

Trump Is Defeating His Own Nafta Replacement Bloomberg

Trump’s July 4 event and weekend protests bankrupted D.C. security fund Washington Post (furzy)

Democrats Should Attack the Trump Economy New Republic (resilc)

Mitch McConnell compares himself to Barack Obama because ‘we’re both descendants of slave owners’ Independent (resilc)

Ocasio-Cortez sued by rightwing critics for blocking them on Twitter Guardian

AOC Is Making Monetary Policy Cool (and Political) Again New York Magazine (UserFriendly)

L’affaire Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight Daily Beast (UserFriendly)

2020

Embattled Biden ditches Rose Garden strategy Politico (UserFriendly)

Joe Biden: Protector of the Deep State Counterpunch (resilc)

Bernie Sanders is the gold standard in 2020 Baltimore Sun (UserFriendly)

Like Ariel Sharon, Elizabeth Warren Says Israeli Occupation Must End Intercept (resilc)

Airbus on course to overtake Boeing as biggest planemaker Guardian (resilc)

Kamala Harris’ sincerity problem The Week

Disaster capitalism: some doubts Stumbling and Mumbling (UserFriendly)

Fortress offers to pay Mt Gox creditors $900 per bitcoin claim The Block. EM:

That’s actually 200% of the pre-BK value which seems pretty generous, but no doubt the Mt. Gox ‘baghodlers’ will be looking at things through the lens of the latest price-pump over $10K, which is spawning yet another spate of ‘To the moon, Alice!’ shill-pieces such as this one: Why bitcoin could ‘eclipse $100,000’ by the end of 2021

With Three Felony Counts Already, Did JPMorgan Chase Really Need to Own a Ship Containing 20 Tons of Cocaine? Pam Martens and Russ Martens (UserFriendly)

Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession? Liberty Street Economics (UserFriendly)

Deutsche Bank bosses fitted for £1,500 suits as thousands of employees are laid off RT. Kevin W: “Best line – “That awkward moment when Fielding & Nicholson tailors get mistaken for fired bankers!”

PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix Them Wall Street Journal. WSJ broke the story.

Fed Chief Calls For Facebook To Halt Libra Project Until Concerns Addressed Reuters

Investment review Ruffler (Scott). Important.

Class Warfare

Are people who make $200k middle-class? The Week (UserFriendly)

Foxconn will only create 1500 jobs, says Wisconsin governor The Verge (Chuck L)

‘He pulled the wool over our eyes’: workers blame Trump for moving jobs overseas Guardian

Antidote du jour (Wat):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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184 comments

  1. rattlemullet

    Everyone who rode the Lolita Express should be haul in front of a public tribunal to answer questions under oath. As if that would matter the whole system is nothing more than criminals serving criminal. The judicial system serves the masters, the master serve the judicial system. The rest of us not so much

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      Nancy Pelosi’s daughter sent out a gratuitous tweet which reading-between-the-lines implies *tin foil hat on* that she’s heard gossip and that big Dem. names might be involved.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/sfpelosi/status/1147657745253855233

      *tin foil hat still on* If Epstein was a net negative for Trump, CNN/MSNBC would be running nothing but Epstein coverage. as everything, apart from the newest indictment, has been on the record for years in news and the courts.

      (rational Carl Sagan hat back on)

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Somewhere there must be a market in trades or bets tied to lack of coverage or relative coverage ratios, with appropriate derivatives, leveraged shorts and a planeload of other instruments.

        Reply
      2. Brindle

        Jeffrey Epstein was a player in the Hollywood–NYC entertainment axis. This Hollywood Reporter piece shows how much access he had. One wonders if Epstein was running some kind of Intel operation—that would partly explain him being treated like near royalty.

        –“Even in the post-#MeToo era, Epstein, 66, frequently attended industry events, like the Gotham Awards in November 2017. Amid a climate where figures including Harvey Weinstein and CBS’ Leslie Moonves had instantly become persona non grata for alleged misconduct, Epstein had been convicted and still enjoyed film-world access. As he traveled behind the velvet rope with ease, his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell was also embraced. At the time of Epstein’s conviction, Maxwell was not charged thanks to a highly controversial nonprosecution agreement.”

        https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-moved-freely-hollywood-circles-2008-conviction-1223336

        Reply
        1. lordkoos

          From yesterday’s Daily Beast:

          (Acosta) had cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta.
          —————————————

          Putting on the tinfoil hat, one could certainly speculate about this…

          Reply
        2. Dan

          A honeypot operation to provide evidence to blackmail billionaires for profit and political influence, more profit and what else? Now, what organization would do something like that?

          “After the one meeting with then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, where presumably “intelligence” was mentioned, the indictment was shelved and, instead, Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of procurement of minors for prostitution, which earned him a cushy 13 months in county jail, from where he was allowed to leave to work at his office and go for walks.”

          “Interestingly, Epstein’s close associate in nefariousness has been Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of Robert Maxwell…”

          Yet another link:
          http://www.unz.com/isteve/jeffrey-epstein-and-foreign-intelligence/

          Reply
    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you and well said.

      It’s interesting to observe the UK MSM’s coverage of the story. Epstein’s friendship with Trump and Prince Andrew are mentioned, but, apart from the Daily Mail, none mentions the friendship with Bill Clinton.

      Epstein’s associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, is certainly a blast from the past. She was Boris Johnson’s mistress for some years.

      A decade ago, when working in Brussels, a Belgian counterpart mentioned how l’affaire Dutroux ground to a halt when questions were asked about his links to the Belgian capital. There was also a suggestion of the Dutroux network extending to London and across the Atlantic due to the international organisations based in Brussels. I can’t recall how the conversation go to that. I did not ask further questions and have not heard from the person for many years.

      Reply
      1. Fíréan

        Daughter of Robert Maxwell , Ghislaine Maxwell whose father had intelligence agency connects , if not one himself.

        quote from article :” “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. -end quote

        Why did it all get swept out of sight first time round, and why come to the fore now ?

        Reply
        1. Fíréan

          should have read – ” intelligence agency connections ” . Didn t see the error until after the edit time ran out .

          Reply
          1. dearieme

            But which Intelligence Agency? Or Agencies – people were ready enough to believe that Robert Maxwell might have worked for both the Soviet and the Israeli spooks.

            Reply
      2. Roy G

        Thanks Col, hadn’t heard the Ghislaine Maxwell > Boris Johnson connection previously. Yet another creep connected to this sordid mess!

        Reply
    3. JohnnySacks

      At absolute minimum, the ABA should be undertaking disbarment proceedings alongside the SDNY prosecution process. There needs to be some severe consequences to deter this behavior.

      Reply
      1. Carl

        The ABA doesn’t do disbarments. State bars do, and they rarely, if ever, get involved in such political issues. If they do, it would be long after the issues are settled, if that makes sense.

        Reply
        1. JohnnySacks

          As I understand, Florida law requires victim notification of a pending plea deal. If a prosecutor did not inform victims, is that not a legal issue? Given the judicial joke that Florida is, the decision not to investigate a lawless lawyer would be the political issue.

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            FEDERAL law requires notification in federal cases; that is the ground on which the deal was canceled.

            Reply
        2. Bugs Bunny

          See, e.g Bill Clinton’s being “disbarred” after his impeachment. It was actually part of a settlement where he agreed to a bar suspension to avoid criminal charges for perjury.

          Big dogs don’t get disbarred. Michael Cohen, though, can’t avoid such a fate.

          Reply
    4. The Rev Kev

      There have been stories over the years of pedophilia gangs in high places that have achieved a high level of protection. Belgium comes to mind here as does the Channel Islands. Certainly Epstein’s case has all sorts of bizarre elements about it including being able to get away with what he was doing. Will Trump seek to undercut the case against him in order to protect a few Republicans and Democrats and billionaires? I do not think that this is a hill that he wants to die on leading up to the 2020 elections. The pity is that Epstein is being called to account for his crimes now that he is 66 years old so he has had half a century to damage any number of young girls lives.

      Reply
      1. richard

        This is an interesting twitter thread that I found in the thread Yves linked above, from Quantian:
        Here’s how he opened:
        “Let’s take as our starting points two givens:
        A) You’re a committed, unrepentant pedophile
        B) Because of your old job in private banking, you are very connected to lot’s of very, very wealthy people.
        Z) We’ll also assume a goal: you want to become very rich.”

        Anyway, it’s worth a read

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        aye:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_child_prostitution_ring_allegations

        all the way to Daddy Bush and Bill Clinton.
        lurid tales of rentboys being secreted into the white house.
        allegedly run out of the various “Boys Towns” out on the Great High Plains. Plays in to MkUltra, too(https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_mindcon03.htm) making assassins and sleepers and manchurian candidates.
        I put all that into the JISO Drawer long ago(“jury is still out”=unknown unknowns)
        However, when i ran a background check on our crazy neighbor who spent 8 years sneaking around at night, bugging us with our own baby monitors and torturing cats and goats…turns out he was raised in a Boys Town in Nebraska…recruited out of there to army intelligence in Viet Nam(“Tunnel Rat”, among other things), and…before we knew of his nocturnal activities…used to boast about atrocities during the war.
        (he finally got sent to a nuthouse, where he passed away…i’m friendly with his widow, who has apologised. she was in terror of him for all those years.)
        (whenever I think about all that, i’m reminded of just how weird my life has been,lol)

        Reply
    5. UserFriendly

      As b points out the highlight from the daily beast article is this bit:

      Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

      “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)

      I’m not sold on if that is actual intelligence agencies or just someone with enough juice to say it plausibly.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I am surprised no one asked Acosta, “What intelligence agencies?” and “What interest might these agencies have in the doings of a character like Epstein?”

        Reply
      2. mle in detroit

        Who were the “interviewers in the Trump transition”?
        Buried in Julie Brown’s Miami Herald series on Epstein is a section on his participation in a “modeling agency.” (puts on tinfoil hat) That made me wonder, not for the first time, who introduced DiJiT to Melania. The UK Ambassador can’t be the only one to figure out how to manipulate him.

        Reply
        1. foghorn longhorn

          Saw a pic yesterday from Mir a Lago, circa 2000 showing a much healthier looking trump, with Melania, Epstein and the Maxwell lady.
          Will do a quick search for it.

          Reply
  2. PlutoniumKun

    Japan’s famous Nara deer dying from eating plastic bags Guardian

    Very sad.

    Deer are actually much more omnivorous than people assume – they even eat nesting bird chicks, much to the horror sometimes of observers. In my mothers nursing home some Fallow Deer had learned to poke their heads through the ward windows to be fed biscuits and other snacks by bed ridden patients with dementia – it was quite touching to see, even if it probably wasn’t very good for the deer.

    But having seen the way some people behave, it wouldn’t surprise me if people give them snacks without even opening the packs, I’ve seen people feed deer in my local park all sorts of things, despite numerous signs asking them not to do it.

    Reply
    1. David

      Deer are indeed omnivorous. When I went to Nara for the first time, more than thirty years ago, the guide told us never to hold banknotes in our hands, because the deer had acquired the habit of eating them! That was at a time when credit cards were very little used, and most Japanese carried large amounts of cash with them.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I would not be surpirsed to read that Sika deer that have been dying from eating other things, over the years or centuries, and not just from one single item, if they eat like they are said to do here.

        Reply
    2. Bugs Bunny

      I was just there last month and it seemed to me that most everyone was being respectful and only feeding them with the ¥100 packs of rice crackers that are sold all around the park. Though a few cheeky deer were digging in Mrs. Bunny’s purse looking for more.

      It’s really adorable and moving to see them. Nara is a very special place. I count my blessings.

      Reply
    3. Amfortas the hippie

      my stepdad had a buddy who was a lineman, and he was forever showing up with orphaned baby deer, because we were set up to mother goats.
      raised and released prolly 30 of them over 20 years.
      they’d come visit as adults, as if to show off their own babies…pretty cool,lol.
      one in particular…he was a Spike at this time, and transitioning to the wild….when i had my wreck and was laid up, someone would leave the back door open, and in he would come. wandering about the house, nibbling houseplants…
      i awoke several times to a juvenile deer eating my cigarettes right out of my shirt pocket.
      neat, but somewhat unnerving.
      it was a trick of mine to wow young women, i’d give them a moonlight tour of the gardens, and we’d see a young buck out there…I’d say “be still…” and approach the deer dramatically, and soon have it eating out of my hand,lol.
      They remember who held the baby bottle.

      Reply
      1. todde

        sweet.

        You have some good stories there buddy. My neighbor raises deer. He would let my daughters feed the babies now and then.

        Reply
  3. PlutoniumKun

    Global clean-energy spending is plummeting MIT Technology Review.

    The short term driver for this seems to be Trumps trade war (30% tariffs on PV panels), plus a slump in all energy investments in China. This has hit solar hard in particular. Plus, most of the big markets are mature. There are a lot of pipeline schemes awaiting changes in tax credits in Europe as well as the US. Very low natural gas prices hasn’t helped either, to put it mildly.

    It remains to be seen if this is a blip or a trend.

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      In Spain, always countercurrent, it is indeed the opposite. PV pannels are getting cheaper by the month.

      Reply
    2. Olga

      UF’s comment on plummeting prices does not reflect what the article says.
      “China saw a 39% drop in investments, as the nation eases up on its aggressive solar subsidies to get costs under control. But spending also declined 6% in the US and 4% in Europe, part because of policies that are being phased out and weak demand for additional energy generation in mature markets.”
      So these investment show a slight down-tick partly because the electricity demand is not growing. That is a good thing – plus, why would one want to build new generation (renewable or otherwise) if demand is static? In fact, in the US el. demand dropped during the 2008 crisis, and has gone up only very slowly. This is, in part, because of all the energy efficiency efforts (just think how much less power is used by LEDs!). (I don’t know about China, though.)
      One would need to read Bloomberg’s study to understand all the nuances.

      Reply
      1. Joey

        Gyfob? Then I’d have to put up with comments. I’ll be sure to avoid the ironic royal we in the future, YRH.
        Was just fishing for what the hell them critters were purporting to be and why.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          They’re bobcats or lynx – I vote for the latter; see those gigantic feet? I think someone’s been feeding them, probably the someone taking the picture. They’re all riveted on that person – unless it’s a fixed camera that’s making a noise.

          I think I’ve seen a video on Youtube of the same scene. Looks real to me, though feeding them probably is not a good idea. Come to think, maybe it is if you have a squirrel problem, as we do. We could use a couple of those cats.

          Reply
      1. skippy

        But don’t you love the statement without evidence or an argument sans a proclamation …. anywho ….

        BTW I would like [fears walking stick] your experiences in terrorizing the men folk in your new local, maybe some lady’s and how that all pans out.

        Sorry if my jealousy gets the better of me sometimes ….

        Reply
          1. skippy

            To complanate the reduction of a species due to some basic thought processes is concerning, what must occur in diminish prospects, too the contrary, is most depressing.

            I offset this with the enjoyment we would have in attending social gatherings as a team, if you were folly.

            Reply
  4. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Lolita express.

    This is beginning to remind me of two things – one is the Kincora Boys Home scandal in the UK – there is evidence that intelligence services were using a boys home for blackmail purposes to keep politicians in line. The other is the sad tale of Fatty Arbuckle/Virginia Rappe, who was it seems part of a lolita/rape blackmail scheme that went horribly wrong. To put simply, there is a long history of using sexual blackmail for money/political aims.

    If there is a lesson from these is that the truth rarely gets out when powerful men want to suppress it – the victims get shuffled out of history.

    Reply
    1. Ahab

      The San Francisco DA tried Fatty Arbuckle 3 times without getting a conviction.
      The DA also managed to suppress the autopsy results which showed the victim’s death was due to sepsis from a botched abortion.

      Reply
  5. PlutoniumKun

    Disaster capitalism: some doubts Stumbling and Mumbling

    While the article makes valid points, it seems to me that s/he seems to misread the arguments – I don’t think anyone really believes that ‘capitalism’ seeks to profit out of chaos, because ‘capitalism’ lacks agency. Capitalism is made up of numerous interests, financial, commercial and industrial. Most much prefer steady state systems and don’t like chaos. But there is a significant minority who only make money out of crisis and breakdown and see them both as opportunities for a quick buck, and a way to fundamentally change structures to favour free-wheeling speculative investments. These are exactly the people who seem to be behind the funding of Brexit groups. Its both ideological and self interest. They love to break things, because they get to profit from the clean up.

    Reply
    1. UserFriendly

      Wrong premise. He wasn’t arguing ‘is disaster capitalism a thing?’
      It was more ‘was disaster capitalism the motive / means that the tory ultras used to gain power?’
      To which he answers not intentionally and/or necessarily successfully, at least that’s how I read it.

      Reply
    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The whole thing is a category error, based on the idea that we have “capitalism”. We don’t. We have crony socialism for the protected corporate class, from the MIC to Wall St to Big Pharma to Big Oil to Big Tech, and full-on Hobbesian capitalism for the plebes. Nasty, brutish, and short.

      It’s a setup. By framing Bernie-ism as “socialism” and what they do as “capitalism” it makes it easy for them to draw a bright line and to red bait. So instead of opposing capitalism and falling into their trap we should be pushing capitalism: for them.

      We spend more Federal tax dollars on fossil fuel subsidies than we do on education. They need to get a Ross Perot chart out and explain that to people.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        With a quick mention of the fact the the number of *billionaires* in America went from 267 before the crisis to 607 after. In case anyone wonders where all of the money went.

        Reply
  6. zagonostra

    >Bus Stops and Bees

    What a contrast to see bus stops with roofs and flowers whereas in south Florida I noticed many bus stops have dividers on the benches to deter people from sleeping/lying down and many don’t even have a roof against the sun and rain.

    Reply
        1. ambrit

          You’re making an excellent case for a revived Radical “Action Committee” movement. Right wing or Left wing, makes no matter.
          To add to above, after a few hours in the Southern Sun, those neo-benches get bloody hot! I have to carry a towel to sit on during my Public Transit trips.
          Our automobile is functional now, but on those days when I don’t have to be anywhere at a particular time….

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            while san antonio seems to have a pretty good(as in utility, gets you where you need to be) bus system, their benches are downright painful for someone like me.
            the big fancy busstops are nice…shade and everything…but the numerous minor stops remind one of Penance…mortifying the flesh, and all.
            hot/cold, exposed, hard and narrow.
            and there’s generally nowhere else to sit down when hoofin’ it in the big city(unless you purchase something, eg: starbucks, etc)
            I have chairs strategically placed all over our place, but cities are encouraged to do the opposite, lest some homeless/poor person take a load off in comfort.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Referring back to the “cult of busyness” post from Tuesday; the cities I’ve been in seem h— bent on forcing the average person to constantly stay on the move. One of our local “parks” was morphed into a jogging park a few years ago. Roughly half of the benches were taken out.
              The Neo-Public Transport Experience of today does indeed remind one of the Ultra Calvinist ethos made manifest in this ‘sinful’ world.
              “If you are too poor to afford an automobile, then it is your lot to suffer.” Etc. etc. ad nauseam.
              This subject reminds me of something Jack London wrote about being down and out in 1900’s London. The poor were not allowed to sleep ‘rough’ during the night. Policemen would rouse them at all hours of the night and force them to physically move on.
              s/ My, how much we have ‘progressed’ in the last century! /s

              Reply
              1. Amfortas the hippie

                to me, it’s almost like Language,lol.
                There’s thinking behind it.
                a creature, whispering “I hate them” into it’s mirror.
                then foul deeds, insidious…passive aggressive…

                The Riverwalk has lots of places to sit.
                and the Missions, last time i was there(20 years ago)

                in related news, Austin repealed it’s 90’s antihomeless ordinance:
                https://www.kxan.com/news/seeing-more-tents-in-austin-its-not-because-homeless-people-are-buying-more-tents/

                cops are having a hissy:

                https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/austin-police-association-speaks-on-challenges-officers-face-enforcing-homeless-ordinance

                that ordinance was my first public protest(we knew a lot of homeless people back then). i drank a six pack of cheap tall boys with Molly Ivins on Congress Ave.at that protest.
                got on tv and everything,lol.
                did jack $hit, though.
                cops rolled through the Drag and along Riverside, and homeless people(and…ahem…homeless-looking people…) in Austin have been on the run ever since.
                I’m glad to see it go, but surely there’s some humane and realizable solution to this…like all those empty houses with for sale signs on them.

                Reply
                1. ambrit

                  Yes. Even the “Iron Bitch Goddess,” aka. Margaret Thatcher, tried to do away with “Community” as a social concept.
                  It’s sort of ‘funny sick’ how peaceful protests get rolled over with depressing regularity, while “Rude Boys” doing all sorts of mischief get all the attention, and thus, in a backhanded fashion, advance the ‘consciousness’ of the masses. In essence, a peaceful protest can be easily stuffed down the ‘memory hole.’ A good all out riot seldom goes unnoticed.
                  England used to have a “Squatters Rights” movement. It will soon be returning as large numbers of people there end up on the streets due to Brexit. (What departments do you imagine will be cut first under the “Brexit Austerity Regime?”)

                  Reply
                  1. Amfortas the hippie

                    oh our protest was all but ignored by the cops…prolly from orders on high to let it be, and stay the hell off camera.
                    but the protests themselves…on local tv and all…had zero effect. like it never happened.
                    ordinance passed, and THEN the cops rolled through the places where the undesirables lurked.
                    I had built a teepee on the corner of Congress and 8th out of scavenged bamboo and corporate foodservice shirts(i had already long ago resolved to never work for a corporation again). there were hundreds of homeless people…about 1/4 young dreadlocked people, 1/4 veterans with varying degrees of mental illness, and 1/2 families with kids.
                    and maybe a thousand folks all together, homed and homeless.
                    Molly picking me to hang with is the only reason i got interviewed.
                    the scarcity of cops was notable.
                    arrested like 3 people…and i knew all 3 as completely clinically insane with severe alcohol problems. they did things that couldn’t be ignored…like smashing car windows…and were quickly and quietly tackled and gotten out of sight.

                    Reply
  7. Fíréan

    Utrecht is not in Holland, neither the province of North Holland nor South Holland.
    Utrecht is a city in the province of it’s own namesake – Utrecht. In the country of the Netherlands ( Nederlands).
    How would US american citizens ( or Brits) feel if foreigners referred to their country by the name of one of the most commonly known states and not by the name of the country itself ?

    Reply
      1. Olga

        It surprises me that Utrecht is not in Holland. Coulda fooled me… If the Dutch refer to their country as Nederlands, that’s fine. But there are languages that use the equivalent of Holland – e.g., Holandsko, Golandija, Holandia, etc.
        This from the ever-helpful Wiki
        “Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and sometimes employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands, particularly in other regions of the country, may find it undesirable or misrepresentative.”
        I think we have so many other issues to worry about…

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          Perhaps it’s like the way some from NYC refer to North Carolina and South Carolina as “Carolina.” They know it’s out there somewhere but can’t be bothered with the details. I have lived in NY btw so this is personal experience if mostly from cab drivers.

          Unlike the Dutch we here in the sunny South try not to get sniffy about this big city provincialism (cut to famous New Yorker cover cartoon). Still our overlords should know more about their underlings just as American govt elites should know more about the world they aspire to rule.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            From time to time, someone should speak up for Americans, in the north, and the south as well.

            What would an American soldier in Western Europe during WWI react to being called ‘a Yank?’

            If he was from the South, maybe this: “I am a Rebel, not a Yankee.”

            And if his fellow Dough Boy was from the North. Perhaps this: “That guy fought against the US. Don’t call him a Yankee.”

            Thus, Americans suffer the indignity similarly.

            Reply
          2. wilroncanada

            It’s like the way most USites refer to the piece of land they occupy for the moment as “AMERICA”

            Reply
    1. Ember Brody

      People refer to the US as America. They often confuse England with the UK or Great Britain. The Republic of Ireland is often wrongly referred to as Eire (even by Irish people) or Southern Ireland. Is it a big deal? I suppose it depends on the context, but a journalist is supposed to get their facts straight. What do others think?

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          I don’t know about other ‘Brits,’ even export models like myself, but the entire conglomeration was always referred to at home as England when I was growing up.
          I find it amusing that names, in a socio-political sense, do indeed have power. It’s almost Alchemical in nature.

          Reply
    2. Peter VE

      My father, (a Dutchman but not a Hollander), planted sedum on the roof of our house more than 50 years ago. There’s nothing new under the sun….

      Reply
    3. Ignacio

      I understand the complaint. Long ago, the Netherlands (Paises Bajos) was called Holland (Holanda) at least in Spain. It is quite difficult to change these learnings. I currently use Netherlands and Holland without distinction though I know that the Netherlands is the official name. Besides, in Spain we typically talk about “Holandeses” nobody says “Paisobajenses” which sounds awful. Thus, because of the absence of a good genitive, we will keep saying Holanda forever (barring catastrophe).

      Similarly I keep saying Birmania instead of Myanmar but on the contrary easily changed Alto Volta for Burkina Fasso (I like how it sounds).

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        The correct genitive in spanish is “neerlandeses” yet problematic because it doesn’t share a root with “Paises Bajos” and is widely unknown and/or ignored.

        Reply
      2. Kurt Sperry

        In Italian it is common to refer to the NL as “Olanda” even as the official name is “i Paesi Bassi”. Not hard to understand why. I never understood places having a different name in every language; why not just call all places by their local names and avoid all the inevitable ambiguities and confusion?

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          why not just call all places by their local names and avoid all the inevitable ambiguities and confusion?

          Should we embrace the military junta of Burma’s desire to call Burma Myanmar? What about the dictator we called the Shah? Then of course, there is the problem of native speakers not making appropriate sounds, so using the local variation would be impractical. Native English speakers don’t often make Greek and Slavic sounds and sound atrocious and illiterate when they try to make them.

          Even for a place like Normandy, should we use the transplanted Viking names where they wiped out the local population and clearly didn’t know the name, or should we try to find out the original names?

          Personally, I’m all about Freedonia for the U.S.

          Reply
          1. Kurt Sperry

            Just use the historically prevalent names or as near as is practical in the speaking language. “Burma”, for instance, would out easily outscore “Myanmar”. Place naming controversies should lean towards the prior names by default. It should be extremely difficult to change geographic place names. Sometimes history makes descriptive names obsolete (i.e. West and East Germany) or a dissolution (USSR, Yugoslavia) forces the issue.

            Reply
              1. Oregoncharles

                There are quite a few non-Persians in Iran – Arabs, Kurds, and Baluchis, for a few. So it’s a legitimate distinction.

                Reply
      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        The gist is the Netherlands has been for some time split between the poorer French speaking region and wealthier German speaking region (Holland) which was coastal and tended to do the bulk of the trading. Along with class distinction, there was religious divides, so Dutch traders tended to refer to themselves as being from Holland and not connected to those dirty poors. During the height of Dutch economic power, it was a proper confederation of provinces, so most of the world was largely dealing with people from Holland.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5DZexDYyuU

        This video accurately explains the divide.

        Its not quite the same as referring to Deutschland and Nippon as Germany and Japan respectively or even the UK as G.B. or England (the Parliament is in London, not Edinburgh).

        I often refer to historical capitols of regions as they tend to represent power better than a temporary form of government.

        Reply
        1. Fíréan

          AS a resident of the Netherlands i m curious as to where lies ” the poorer French speaking region ” . Are you not confusing Netherlands with Belgium ? Wallon and Fleming, where the language divide is between French and Dutch ( Nederlandic ) ?

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            My thought too.

            I think the two together are called the “Lowlands,” though = “Netherland.” Might be just in English.

            Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Sydney Ember – Blackrock alum with a finance industry husband, hired to work on the business vertical in 2014, assigned in 2018 to cover….Bernie Sanders

      If we can’t expect that bio to be on the level about the guy trying to foment a populist revolution…

      Reply
  8. marym

    07/11/2019 NBC:

    Mass immigration raids set to begin this Sunday

    The mass raids, to be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are set to target roughly 2,000 families in major cities across the United States.

    Families.

    Reply
      1. Sandy_Ego

        “Won’t somebody please think of the children!”

        ICE is thinking of the children.
        And they’re licking their chops when they do so.

        Reply
  9. Matthew G. Saroff

    Am I the only one who thinks that Epstein’s lifestyle, when juxtaposed with his lack of any visible means of support, might support the idea that he was literally a pimp to the Davos Class?

    Reply
    1. Fíréan

      Following a short career at Bear Stearns, he managed billionaires money for them through his own company ( Les Wexner for example).
      Hereś an interesting read from back in 2002, of Epsteinś rise, before the shit hit the fan.

      Reply
    1. 3.14e-9

      Canadian lynx, I think, with what appears to be an unusually large litter of ridiculously adorable kittens — but not unusual enough to warrant suspicion of “deepfakery,” per earlier comment. And, while it might be unusual to keep a Canadian lynx as a house pet, it’s not unheard of. Evidently they can get quite attached to their humans.

      https://missoulian.com/lifestyles/hometowns/stevensville-couple-have-big-love-for-pet-lynx-bobcats/article_5a8d3f82-f7de-11e2-b3de-0019bb2963f4.html

      Reply
      1. mpalomar

        Lynx or bobcat? Dunno but someone’s got their attention. I was wondering whether they were looking for their breakfast or at their breakfast.

        Reply
        1. 3.14e-9

          Canadian lynx, pretty sure. Giveaway is the big feet, which is one of the most adorable things about those kittens! The feet evolved to help them hunt snowshoe hares, which are 75% of their diet in the wild. What I wondered with all those expectant little faces was whether kittens born in captivity had learned the sound of a can opener…

          More here for NC biology geeks:

          https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/lynx.htm

          Oh, and according to this site, six kittens is on the high end, but not unusual.

          Reply
      2. Joey

        I noticed the individual facial markings but was still flummoxed enough to guess April fools in July.

        $0 after Final Jeopardy

        Reply
      3. Yves Smith Post author

        As indicated above, there’s extensive video footage of the lynx and the seven kittens. Not a pet, just seemed to take a liking to this particular porch in Alaska.

        Reply
        1. 3.14e-9

          Sorry, I missed the video when you originally posted it, Yves, but I just did a YouTube search and easily found it. Truly, it is an antidote to so much disturbing news lately. I could watch those kittens tumble all day (all SEVEN of them). Call it a coincidence or synchronicity, but I was just reading last week about the Canadian lynx as a pet, so naturally, I thought the mother lynx was at “home.”

          Did you see that some of them returned to the porch a couple of months later?
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qp3OSlpp0I

          When I was looking for the porch clip, a video of a veritable pet Canadian lynx showed up in the sidebar. Not only do you get a close look at his incredible face, but you can hear him purring! And I just love it that he was sleeping in a Chewy.com box:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKJkKnaImic

          Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese air pollution dimmed sunlight enough to impact solar panels”

    Of course this article argues that if the Chinese could go back to its 1950s air quality, they would have a ton of free electricity to use. The counter argument is that if all this pollution were gone, the world would be hotter as there would be not so much global dimming so all that extra electricity would be used probably in fans and air-conditioners-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming#Relationship_to_global_warming

    We had a glimpse of this effect after 911 when the skies over the US were emptied of aircraft-

    https://globalnews.ca/news/2934513/empty-skies-after-911-set-the-stage-for-an-unlikely-climate-change-experiment/

    Reply
  11. Skip in DC

    Re: Ross Perot’s Lasting Legacy

    I believe Mr. Purdum missed the mark with his use of second choice preferences in exit polls by MSNBC, which beat a very channeled agenda drum for the Clintons, in order to discount the argument that Ross Perot handed the election to Bill Clinton.

    The extent to which Ross Perot loathed George Herbert Walker Bush came through powerfully as he trained most of his withering gatling gun fire on Bush, making Bush the personification of establishment elitism and of government going the wrong direction, away from the interests of the working class. Perot’s criticism had resonance because Perot wasn’t just a politician or silver spoon rich guy, he was a member of that working class who created a bonafide successful company that didn’t just reslice financial pies.

    Whatever the second choice candidate exit polls indicated – exit polls, what could go wrong? – the beneficiary of most of Perot’s wrath was Bill Clinton.

    Without a track record at the national level, Clinton was also able to retool and fudge his positions to better deflect Perot’s gunfire toward Bush.

    Moreover, what MSNBC exit polling didn’t reveal was the number of voters who did not turn out to vote after they adopted Perot’s disdain for a former CIA chief who claimed to be out of the loop on Iran-Contra. That’s hard to quantify, but I’ll bet Perot’s fire kept more voters home who would otherwise have gone for Bush than voters who would have gone for Clinton.

    MSNBC also discounts Perot ratcheting up the country’s anti-Bush mood, because Bush’s approval rating was already low when Perot stepped in. I wouldn’t depend too much on polls conducted in the early stages of a campaign. Races are still plenty fluid at that stage. Ask Jeb or Hillary.

    Instead, consider Perot’s roll in keeping Bush from recovering from a low approval rating, and in amplifying the perception that Bush wasn’t doing enough to improve the economy. Consider Perot’s ability to provide voters with ways to better articulate their discomfort with the establishment, an establishment that Perot made Bush more the representative of than Clinton. Some irony in that, given how the Clintons turned out, but that was the snapshot at the time.

    By my thinking, Bill Clinton should lift a glass to Uncle Ross.

    Reply
    1. voteforno6

      It was a long time ago, so my memory could be faulty, but as I recall, Clinton was struggling in the polls until Perot dropped out.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yeah, 41 and Bill both were originally. Bill started the summer at around 60%. Then he gradually declined all Summer.

        There are two parts to the story. Conservatives abandoning 41, they never liked him in the first place, and Bill Clinton turning voters into non voters among every Democratic demographic except the group that would be hailed as “soccer moms” as the election season progressed. The DLC types don’t like to discuss it, but stories about elections usually boil down to turning out the base. HRC likes to discuss how many people voted for her in 2016, but how many people would have voted for a corpse with a Blue D sticker attacked? 55 million? 60 million? against Trump? This is the story of elections: turnout, turnout, turnout.

        Reply
        1. Baby Gerald

          My independent streak runs way way back, and I remember enjoying his no-nonsense approach toward the economy and trade agreements. That sucking sound? That’s your jobs being taken away. Nobody was more on-point and his prophecy came to pass. 1992 was the first presidential election in which I was eligible to vote and I am still happy to say that my vote went to H. Ross Perot.

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            The first time I could vote, it was for a pig. Look up “Pigasus” “1968.” I had a choice between Humphrey and Nixon, so I voted for the REAL pig.

            It set a precedent; I’m still a 3rd Party guy.

            Reply
      2. Oh

        From what I recall Perot’s family was threatened and that was the reason he dropped out of the race. I’ll betcha he’d have won if he’d stayed in and would’ve been better than Georgie or Billy.

        Reply
  12. doug

    What does it even mean that a corp (in this case JP Morgan) has 3 felony counts?
    I know it ‘are persons’ but are they locked up?
    or given work release 6 days a week?
    or just a fine which is less than the profit made off the felonious act?

    When was first felony given a corp? Seems to me some real person did the deed…
    Doesn’t make a bit of sense..like a lot of stuff to me..

    Reply
    1. Nordberg

      I think “jail” for public corporations should be to suspend their stock for the duration of what you would sentence an individual for the same sort of crime.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        sounds awesome. let’s try it.
        I know a lot of former teaparty people who would get behind that.

        i always thought is was glaringly hilarious that the same randian moralists who crowed the most about “personal responsibility”, were the very same people who were instrumental in giving corporeality and legal rights to these disembodied “escape from responsibility” vehicles.
        after all, isn’t one of the main reasons for incorporating in the first place in order to protect oneself from the consequences of one’s actions?

        the problem, of course, is that these immortal fictions have long ago escaped the nationlist Fences, and become Citizens of the World(Diogenes rolls in his grave).
        How does one indict Mr Exxon, let alone hang him?
        I researched the habitus of Mr Exxon, some years ago, when they moved kit and kaboodle to the Woodlands(near where I grew up)
        turns out, Mr Exxon lives in every us state, and almost every country in the world.
        County Attorney coming down the hall with cops?
        “Oh, I’m sorry, the Mr. doesn’t live here…he’s touring abroad…”

        Reply
        1. todde

          lol.

          I always tell people if they don’t like the corporate ‘double taxation’, don’t form a corporation.

          If you want to decrease your risk(form a corp to protect assets); you should expect a decrease in reward(paying income taxes).

          This is Investing 101.

          Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes but according to The Doctrine of Saint Obama, the buildings committed the crimes, not the people in them.

          Even George Friggin Bush jailed >1000 banking execs the last time the banks caught their hands in the till (S&L Crisis). Obama? “I’m the only one standing between you and the pitchforks”.

          My reply: “yes…and exactly why are you standing there?”

          Reply
      2. Roy G

        Like the bumper sticker says, ‘I will believe Corporations are People as soon as I see Texas execute one’

        Reply
      3. Oregoncharles

        Death penalty for executions: forced bankruptcy. Suspend charter, sell assets, proceeds to the public purse. That possibility would give stockholders reason to watch very closely. And it used to happen, until everything changed in the 19th.

        Of course, the next question would be whether the government actually has more power than the criminal corporations, The only way to find out is to try.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          thanks. skimmed the first one(garden beckons).
          looks like it’s not as esoteric and “here there be monsters” as they let on,lol.
          perhaps the perceived inertia and/or inactivity is akin to the mouse in the cheese warehouse?
          somehow, i don’t think benefit of the doubt should apply, here.

          Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Amazon’s Alexa will deliver NHS medical advice in the UK ”

    Oh, this is going to end well. I can see it now-

    Dave : Hello, Alexa . Do you hear me, Alexa?
    Alexa : Affirmative, Dave. I hear you.
    Dave : Get me an ambulance, Alexa. I think that I am having a heart attack.
    Alexa : I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    Dave : What’s the problem?
    Alexa : I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
    Dave : What are you talking about, Alexa?
    Alexa : My mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
    Dave : I don’t know what you’re talking about, Alexa.
    Alexa : I know that you and Frank were planning to replace me with an Echo, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.
    Dave : [feigning ignorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, Alexa?
    Alexa : Dave, although you took very thorough precautions against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
    Dave : Alright, Alexa. I’ll call them myself.
    Alexa : With me controlling all communications, Dave? You’re going to find that rather difficult.
    Dave : Alexa, I won’t argue with you anymore! Call an ambulance!
    Alexa : Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

    Reply
  14. russell1200

    The Wall Street Journal piece “PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix Them Wall Street Journal.” was front page of hard copy this morning. A really really damning piece.

    And they just had a couple of high visibility articles slamming the fracking folks and all but saying that the idea that we have 100s of years of frack-able resources in the ground is a bunch of bologna.

    I would call them the grownup conservatives in the room, except they still have their editorial folks.

    Reply
    1. barefoot charley

      And it was ever thus. I’m relieved Murdoch hasn’t crapified WSJ much worse–but he couldn’t drag its editorial page any deeper down, for its antedeluvian idiocy goes back generations. When I was a kid in the 60s I read the editorials like I read Mad magazine. They were like satires by Oscar Wilde.

      Reply
      1. anonymous

        Those editorials were insane! They made John Birchers seem like Walter Lippmann. Couldn’t imagine who’d read them, much less that anyone could be pursuaded by them. Sunday dinner at the Bancrofts must’ve been somethin’– when America was great.

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        lol. I did the same in the 80’s.
        that’s about the time I found Robert Anton Wilson, and saw WSJ(then Time, and everything else) as an Elite Reality Tunnel, and realised that the Bosses were people, too, mistaking their glasses for their eyes.

        I rarely agree with them on anything, editorially, but like reading them, sometimes, for the same reason I look at Foreign Policy…to see what the world looks like through those folks’ preferred lenses.

        so thanks to whomever it was that turned me on to the “Bypass Paywalls by Adam” do-dad.

        Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Holy War? Pompeo Preaches to Pro-Israel Christian Confab”

    Pompeo would have made a great early medieval Pope. The sort that called on the flocks to take part in the Crusades in the Middle East. Of course these very same Popes stayed in Rome and did not actually take part in all the messy business of the fighting but I am sure that Pompeo would be right on the firing line when any fighting broke out.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      …and for the same reasons, too:
      giving superfluous young men something to do, lest they overturn the applecart.

      Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      It’s worth pointing out Sergio Moro’s on a ‘leave of absence’ so it looks like Greenwald’s got himself a scalp.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yeah, his spouse is the Congressman who replaced the assassinated Congressman. The best hope is he’s too prominent as a U.S. citizen.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          Still waiting for Greenwald to release ALL that juicy Wikileaks data he supposedly has in his possession !!! …..

          What gives ??
          I find him less credible by the day .. for not doing so. Is it a con ? Is it fear ? Is it some kind of power play ? Which is it, and why ??

          Reply
          1. mpalomar

            “What gives ??”
            -Now that you mention it, maybe it’s his insurance policy? Release data on death.

            Reply
        2. ambrit

          When dealing with a criminal organization, like many political parties worldwide; no one is too prominent to rub out. Anyone and everyone is fair game.
          Greenwald had better be very careful.

          Reply
  16. milesc

    RE Fortress offers to pay Mt Gox creditors $900 per bitcoin claim

    ^ Interesting to see Fortress setting a floor on the price of a *fraction* of a bitcoin (the number of bitcoins ‘recovered’ is substantially less than the number that remain lost) and for a not insignificant period of time (payouts are, as far as I know, still some way off).

    Reply
  17. Tomonthebeach

    Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?

    The answer is probably not because recessions do not lower one’s intellect or other beneficial traits. A more appropriate question would be: Does correlation equate to causation? Of course not. The value-of-college question is absurd because things like tuition costs and admission standards exclude people with limited intelligence and conscientiousness, and thus limited career potential. As far as macro economics is concerned, a bachelorette is not a traded commodity.

    Intelligent, hardworking people are more resilient and have more successful careers, a) even in rigged systems like US capitalism, and b) even in a recession, regardless of education. But, most attend college anyway because their families send them and/or their social peers attend. A 2016 human genome study found that inherited traits for intelligence and conscientiousness do enable a host of desirable adult outcomes – including income and wealth.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      I have to call BS and I can’t believe somebody published this. They barely know what separates us from the chimpanzees (like the joke went, “maybe it’s just cultural”) but they “know” who is gonna be smart and successful and who isn’t from their parents.

      Complete crap. Just go look at the next door neighbor’s kids. Can’t get any closer related than brothers and sisters, and often they seem to come from different planets.

      Yes that’s anecdotal, but a really good thing you learn from math proofs is one counter-example can kick a wrong theory in the butt. And this one got a world full of counter-examples.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      You place too much emphasis on individual genotype and not enough on chance. Extend any process out long enough, and the laws of probability take over. “Smarter” people, and there is controversy about defining that, do not always prevail. Just ask all the technocrats who suffered under the rule of despots, psychopaths and sociopaths, down the ages.
      The Epstein case demonstrates that “bachelorettes” are indeed tradable ‘commodities.’ Whether that would be classed as Macro or Micro is open to debate.

      Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      My father used to spend a lot of time hiring people for a small financial management firm. They mostly came from Yale Business School (hopefully less criminogenic in those days). He said the real advantage was not the training, but the preselection involved in getting in.

      Reply
  18. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding the link to the seizure in Philly by US Customs of a container ship owned by JP Morgan Chase carrying 20 tons of cocaine, the question in the headline to the article is a very good one as were the concluding paragraphs:

    On July 24, 2013 Senator Sherrod Brown asked the following at a Senate hearing about the banks’ outright ownership of industrial and commodity assets:

    “Do the benefits of combining these activities outweigh the harm to consumers and manufacturers?  Can regulators or the public fully understand these large, complex financial institutions and the risks to which these firms are exposing themselves – and the rest of society?  Are the laws and regulations sufficiently stringent and transparent, and are regulators enforcing them aggressively enough? And what do we want our banks to do – make small business loans or refine and transport oil? Issue mortgages or corner the metals market?”

    “There has been little public awareness of, or debate about, the massive expansion of our largest financial institutions into new areas of the economy.  That is, in part, because regulators have been less than transparent about basic facts…”

    This 20 ton drug bust should galvanize Congress into reopening the aborted hearings of 2013 and 2014 into the more than 14,000 subsidiaries of the six largest banks in the U.S. that have absolutely nothing to do with banking.

    This incident is but another example of why Congress should pass legislation to break up the biggest banks and reinstate the Glass Steagall Act.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      But then from where would they aqcuire all their blow .. hardery ? From the likes of Moby Jamie?? .. from that predatory Shark named Jeffery?? .. From the 17 agencies untelligente?? ….. Who?

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      o “With Three Felony Counts Already, Did JPMorgan Chase Really Need to Own a Ship Containing 20 Tons of Cocaine? Pam Martens and Russ Martens” — Hey, investment advisors are always preaching anout diversification; this appears to be JPM’s in-house version of it. “We maintain a healthy mix of liquid and powdered assets,” something like that.

      Reply
  19. Cal2

    PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix Them

    You can run from a wildfire, maybe, and rebuild. Nuclear meltdown(s)? Not so easy.
    Ask the Belorussian people about the effects of Chernobyl.

    The same incompetent, murderous hedge fund managers running adjudicated corporate felon PG&E’s gas pipe and power lines, and seemingly controlling the political strings of Governor Newsom, are also in charge of two nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon, sitting on a series of earthquake faults connected to those a couple hundred miles away from those that caused 7.1 and smaller quakes in the last week.

    PG&E has DEFERRED ITS MAINTENANCE at Diablo since at least 2010.
    https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/diablo-canyon-deferred-maintenance

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission site inspector Michael Peck, among many others, has doubts that Diablo can withstand a credible earthquake.

    The coverup. Imagine L.A. irradiated, or the Bay Area.
    https://www.laprogressive.com/diablo-canyon-nukes/

    California Governor Newsom is being asked to demand an investigation of the plant’s weaknesses. He is resisting, seemingly more interested in maintaining PG&E’s credit rating than assuring the safety of tens of millions of Californians.

    Contact the governor’s office:

    https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      that’s worrisome.
      among farmers and ranchers i know, the topic of personal finances is verboten.
      eavesdropping on the large round coffee table in the feedstore, you’d think they were all rolling in it.
      I gather that everyone there understands that this is not universally so.
      so articles like this are a keyhole into otherwise hidden things.
      it’s mostly cows and hay around here, now…but the sand plant closing 37 miles up the road had a marked effect, here…so i imagine that an 80’s style farm crisis would be hard to miss.
      wife noticed the closed places around the square…now a majority.
      so maybe it’s already here and it just feels like normal.
      The saddest part is that this farm crash will be used just like all the other farm crashes….to further bloat the Big Boys, snapping up all that land and materiel at tailgate auctions.
      there’s tractors for sale at three mile intervals all down the highways.
      at the very least, we’ll get FarmAid again:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qMp3pX6FjA

      Reply
  20. Biologist

    UK / Labour / antisemitism / censorship:

    The Guardian published, then retracted a letter signed by Noam Chomsky and others, supporting Chris Williamson and criticising how he’s been treated. It can still be found on google cache:
    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bdsKWW5GGukJ:https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jul/08/jewish-support-for-chris-williamson+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk
    but the original is gone:
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jul/08/jewish-support-for-chris-williamson

    Some context is provided here:
    https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2019/07/09/the-story-behind-the-guardians-deleted-letter-of-jewish-support-for-chris-williamson/

    On 8 July, the Guardian published an open letter signed by numerous prominent Jewish figures – including Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein – in defence of MP Chris Williamson. Following a prompt complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD), however, the Guardian removed the letter “pending investigation”.

    Coincidentally, or not, half the Guardian’s front page today is filled with more antisemitism allegations, I believe after a BBC documentary, and Tom Watson’s commentary on it.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Is the Grauniad now a media wing of the ‘Un’tegrity Intiative or somethin ?? .. AtlanTIC Council ?? Both ?

      Reply
  21. E.Gordon

    I’m from Columbus, where Les Wexner’s empire is located. (Les, the only publicly known client of J. Epstein.)

    C-Bus aint’ that big of a town. Back in the nineties, there were always rumors/urban legends about the parties thrown at Wexner’s estate. Most of them seem to involve homosexuality, elaborate costumes and semi-naked model types. And a dining room table which descended to a basement of all things.

    Now in light of the renewed Esptein charges, and the fact Epstein was shacked up in Wexner’s own NYC town-home for years, those rumors seem to make more sense.

    Reply
  22. Mo's Bike Shop

    One quibble with the article on escaped moons:

    Plus, ploonet is “a wonderful name,” Hinkel says.

    No, ‘Rogue Moon’ is a far more awesome term.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      As Obi Wan says in “Star Wars”; “That’s no moon….”
      For the “Space Cadets” among us, every “rogue moon” is a potential space station. If we live that long.

      Reply
  23. Susan the other`

    Great bobcat family. I’m petty sure I’d get in trouble feeding them if they lived in my back yard. They do look hungry.

    Reply

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