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they've learned a lot since the Waco debacle.

They always say, "better to be silent and thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it". So, instead of giving them the martyrdom they so obviously seek, they give them every opportunity to mouth off and demonstrate just how stupid and pathetic they are. Your tax dollars at work.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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sorry about that. But I think it is still interesting in light of N Korea's recent behaviour

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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A proper economist writes;-

New Statesman - David Blanchflower - The global shipping slowdown hints at a recession around the corner

This is beginning to have the feel of 2008 all over again. Policy makers around the world are in denial once again as global stock markets dive. In 2008, the slowing of the world's biggest economy - the US - sent the global economy into a tailspin. The concern now is that the slowing of the second-largest economy, China, may well have similar global effects. Chinese growth, which averaged 10 per cent for three decades through to 2010, has decelerated for five straight years and in 2015 slowed to 6.9 per cent, its lowest rate in a quarter of a century. The IMF is forecasting that Chinese growth will slow further to 6.3 per cent in 2016 and 6 per cent in 2017, which may well be overly optimistic. There is already speculation that China's banking system may see losses even larger than those suffered by US banks during the last crisis.

The bad news from China appears to have already spread to the US, which has seen GDP growth slowing sharply in the last quarter of 2015. US industrial production and core retail sales are both falling, and there have been marked contractions in core capital goods shipments and private non-residential construction. Business fixed investment declined nearly 2 per cent last quarter. Despite the bad news, last week Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen astonishingly claimed that "the US economy is in many ways close to normal". By contrast, Ruslan Bikbov from Bank of America Merrill Lynch calculates that there is a 64 per cent probability the US is already in recession. My expectation is the next move by the Fed will be to cut rates.

Company profits are tumbling as commodity and oil prices decline. BP reported a $3.3bn fourth-quarter loss last year while Exxon Mobil reported a 58 per cent fall in its quarterly profit. It isn't just oil companies. Last week, Rio Tinto - the world's second biggest mining company - reported profits down 51 per cent after commodity prices collapsed amid slowing growth from China. Company profits are also suffering due to a big decline in the amount of freight being moved, especially to and from China. Moeller-Maersk, the Danish conglomerate and the world's biggest container-ship operator by capacity, last week reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.51bn.  



by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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The Bundy brigade's delusional last stand: What the failed wing-nut revolt really tells us - Salon.com

There was high comedy when Fiore told holdout Sandy Anderson to write down her story of the occupation in granular detail, "like that author did in `Fifty Shades of Grey,'" Which raised the specter that the most lasting consequence of this event will be some poorly-written erotic occupation slashfic getting adapted into a series of terrible movies.

And there was genuine pathos in the voice of David Fry as this sad and desperate young man, the last holdout to surrender, urgently tried to convince Fiore and others that seemingly every conspiracy theory he had ever read on the Internet was indeed true. His father, meanwhile, was telling media outlets he was worried his disturbed son would rather commit suicide than give up. One can only hope that Fry gets the care he so obviously needs. Or failing that, a seat in Congress, where his lunacy will be less noticeable.

by Bernard on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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Plus, this article is three years old: Gary Brecher is now behind paywall.
by Bernard on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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tbh I don't know what to make of this essay. The first half is a douse of cold water, cutting through the bullshit. But the second half completely misses the point about why we never used nuclear weapons and so the conclusion is more than a bit "off".

And it talks about armies as if they were geo-politically significant in the 21st century. Which they simply aren't when we're discussing the US, China and N Korea. Everybody else is a freedom fighter and their aim is terror.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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The War Nerd - Gary Brecher - North Korea, Wish Mao Were Here

 
"Even if...atom bombs were so powerful that...they would make a hole right through the earth, or even blow it up, that would hardly mean anything to the universe as a whole, though it might be a major event for the solar system." -
    Mao Tse-Tung

Thanks to the Kim family, the Cold War came back this week like an old colonial's malaria. North Korea started the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and every "pundit" in DC joined the chorus--an old and tired lingo full of conditionals, what "might" or "could" happen. Even the words these people use for themselves stink like mouldy mid-20th century newspapers, like "pundit"--a British colonial term from the Raj for Hindu priests, extended in that lazy retired-colonel way to anybody who claims to know something you don't know.

The pundits fifty years ago blithered about nukes, and they're blithering again on the same topic. There's a religious tone to their chatter, because nukes are like the unbeliever's version of sin and Hell rolled into one, the place we'll go if we're very, very bad.

It makes me tired. I had to live through decades of this, and it was like so many "almost" fights I saw in P.E. in high school, two guys who didn't want to fight and weren't gonna fight, telling each other how bad they were gonna fuck each other up. The only cure for all this noise is Mao.



by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Adventures beyond Quantum Mechanics
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Wired - Natalie Wolchover - Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

Physicists reported this week the discovery of a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality.

"This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before," said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has been following the work.

The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like "amplituhedron," which yields an equivalent one-term expression.

"The degree of efficiency is mind-boggling," said Jacob Bourjaily, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University and an author of the first of two papers detailing the new idea. "You can easily do, on paper, computations that were infeasible even with a computer before."

probably not news to Miguel, but for us amateurs, this is a revealing article

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 8 - 14 February 2016

Re: How Sanders won
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They should fear that they would pay with their lives -- when enough people, with nothing left to lose, lose all hope yet are filled with rage.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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The first step to finding a strategy is to define the objective. Varoufakis has done that. And, unlike Sanders, he is young enough to see it through over decades. But the strategy almost has to be the same one as espoused by Sanders: evoke, organize and build a mass organization across all segments of the society that demand change. At a certain size it will start to impact domestic politics in various countries. Then the elites will have to respond.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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I agree. We also need to have an idea of the organisational aspects of this movement.

by Melanchthon on
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Which is the most worrisome thing. Yanis' last go failed most of all for lack of a clear strategy.

by generic on
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In story: 8 - 14 February 2016

Re: Living On the Planet
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Einstein's gravitational waves detected in landmark discovery
Scientists for the first time have detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by Albert Einstein a century ago, in a landmark discovery announced on Thursday that opens a new window for studying the cosmos.

The researchers said they identified gravitational waves coming from two distant black holes - extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein - that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together at high speed to form a single, larger black hole.

by das monde on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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People are mostly followers. Give them an emotional high or some mental satisfaction, and they will be inspired for you.

Attracting favorability (rather than "go getting" anything) is a key skill of highly successful people.

by das monde on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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Vox - Ezra Klein - The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics

On Monday, Donald Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he merrily repeated a woman in the crowd who called Ted Cruz a pussy. Twenty-four hours later, Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide.

I'm not here to clutch my pearls over Trump's vulgarity; what was telling, rather, was the immaturity of the moment, the glee Trump took in his "she said it, I didn't" game. The media, which has grown used to covering Trump as a sideshow, delighted in the moment along with him -- it was funny, and it meant clicks, takes, traffic. But it was more than that. It was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president showing off the demagogue's instinct for amplifying the angriest voice in the mob.

It is undeniably enjoyable to watch Trump. He's red-faced, discursive, funny, angry, strange, unpredictable, and real. He speaks without filter and tweets with reckless abandon. The Donald Trump phenomenon is a riotous union of candidate ego and voter id. America's most skilled political entertainer is putting on the greatest show we've ever seen.

It's so fun to watch that it's easy to lose sight of how terrifying it really is.

All heartfelt stuff, but I couldn't help but wonder how much Trump really is than somebody like McCarthy or Nixon. Looking back, these guys seem like paragons of the DC mainstream but, for their time, their attitudes were seriously authoritarian, demagogic outliers. Goldwater was a proto-fascist.

And let's not forget the Bush II administration. Bush himself was a man too lazy to really impose any ideology he might have. But he was surrounded by a coterie of ideologues who were happy to evade any Constitutional impediments in pursuit of a highly partisan political programme.

In fact, all through US history, such people have risen from sundry swamps of entitlement and sought to impose a version of hell on the American people.

Yet somehow, despite the electorate, US democracy survives. Quite remarkable really

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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The Blairbots will do anything to maintain control of Labour, same the DLC with the Democratic Party in the US.
by rifek on
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And here.
by Katrin on
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In story: Political Economy in a Time of Financial Collapse

Political Economy in a Time of Financial Collapse
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Corporate Debt. That's how.

If profits plummet, and there is no cash to burn from inflated stock prices, then how do you service your debt?

But what's really awful about this is that the debt was used to inflate stock prices in the first place. After all, why use stock buybacks with cash on hand when your corporate debt is oversized.

Shouldn't you pay down the debt first?

by Upstate NY on
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Already this article is being interpreted by Blairites as Jones having lost patience with Corbyn.

Talk about confirmation bias

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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If there is another economic crash, Europe's far right is ready for it | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
he last economic crisis never ended, and another one may loom. Europeans have endured years of unemployment and underemployment, stagnating or falling living standards, and cuts to state services on a scale ranging from steep to decimation. The disintegration of Syria has sent a tidal wave of human misery crashing over the country's borders, some of it lapping on the shores of the European continent. And already the populist, anti-immigration right is in a strong position, from Sweden to France, Greece to the Netherlands. So when Greece's motorcycling former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis warns that Europe could be falling into "a modern 1930s", it is time to sit up, listen - and prepare.


by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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Same here

by Melanchthon on
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Thanks.

Now I am a member (or something). Still need to find the strategy.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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Tha "betas" should not feel unnecessary entitlements, appearently.
by das monde on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: Varoufakis's new movement
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by Melanchthon on
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"Where do I sign up?"

http://diem25.org/

by Katrin on
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The World's Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States - Bloomberg Business
Moving money out of the usual offshore secrecy havens and into the U.S. is a brisk new business.

After years of lambasting other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore, the U.S. is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, the U.S. is creating a hot new market, becoming the go-to place to stash foreign wealth. Everyone from London lawyers to Swiss trust companies is getting in on the act, helping the world's rich move accounts from places like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands to Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

"How ironic--no, how perverse--that the USA, which has been so sanctimonious in its condemnation of Swiss banks, has become the banking secrecy jurisdiction du jour," wrote Peter A. Cotorceanu, a lawyer at Anaford AG, a Zurich law firm, in a recent legal journal. "That `giant sucking sound' you hear? It is the sound of money rushing to the USA."

by Bernard on
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In story: 8 - 14 February 2016

Predatory Economy and Finance
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NotCoolUber.com -- What's The Future of Work? -- Medium

Uber has jumped the shark. It is now painfully apparent that it doesn't care for its drivers and it doesn't pay them well

  • Uber has cut pay to drivers in Detroit to #24cents a mile and 24 cents a minute. That is crazy low.
  • Uber is paying some of their workforce less than minimum wages for their shifts. This is a big issue because 45% of drivers have familes
  • Hundreds of thousands have been offered an Uber car loan that now is up to 2x as difficult to pay off
  • Uber has increased their take of the pie by 130% while cutting rates to drivers by up to 45%. There have been no reported cuts in the amount of income Uber continues to bring in.

Also: ​How Uber Profits Even While Its Drivers Aren't Earning Money

by Bernard on
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In story: 8 - 14 February Open Thread

Re: 8 - 14 February Open Thread
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This is a great comment about why many will vote for Hillary but dread doing so

Talking Points Memo - Josh Marshall - The Joy and the Drama

Like many of you, my formative political experiences were in my 20s. And for me, that meant the Clinton years. I was just shy of 24 when Bill Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 and living in Washington in my early 30s when he left office. I don't think anyone could be a bigger Clinton diehard than I was in those days. And if it were still the mid- or late 90s, with all the frivolity and nonsense that characterized those years, I still would be. When I was trying to make my way into journalism in the late 90s, I considered writing a book at the phenomenon of Clinton-hating, which I still think would be a fascinating book because feelings about Bill Clinton, on both sides of the equation, are a fascinating way to explore intricacies of that decade.

On the merits, I think Hillary Clinton might make a good president. Obviously, I think she'd be infinitely preferable to anyone the GOP would nominate to challenge her. But the latest email blow up reminds me again - and I didn't need any reminding - why I also quietly dread her campaign and her presidency. In a word, the drama.

I have frequently criticized political commentary that focuses on the feelings and impressions of the commentators rather than the actual policy impacts and details of what politicians would do. And if this falls into that category, I have to plead guilty. But for me it's an inescapable part of a Clinton Restoration.

Though I have not plumbed all the depths of it, the email story is shaping up to be another classic Clinton scandal.



by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Stockholm mass sexual assault coverup uncovered

Re: New information and new silence
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Who Could Have Predicted?
by Bernard on
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In story: 8 - 14 February 2016

Re: How Sanders won
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Well, they haven't rid themselves of this turbulent Obama yet, and god alone knows, they fantasize about it nightly.

Shooting Col Sanders would be like attacking KFC, they just couldn't do it

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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News and Views

 8 - 14 February 2016

by In Wales - Feb 8, 31 comments

Your take on today's news media

 23 - 29 January 2016

by Bjinse - Jan 26, 82 comments

Your take on today's news media

 8 - 14 February Open Thread

by In Wales - Feb 8, 51 comments

And the wind howls on...

 Open Thread 30 Jan - 06 Feb

by Bjinse - Jan 30, 43 comments

Stay tuned

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