I have to admit that I thought it would have collapsed by now, as did the Saker (too lazy to find the link). It hasn't yet and here's a good theory why:
The war in eastern Ukraine, which has had more impact on the European economy than any news coming out of Frankfurt or Brussels, appears to be ending. Despite the sporadic attacks that have wrecked previous ceasefire attempts.
Investors have mostly assumed that the ceasefire would not hold, either because Russian President Vladimir Putin is deceitful and greedy for more territorial conquest, or because Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko would not accept the splintering of his country that Russia demands. But this fashionable pessimism is probably wrong.
The ceasefire no longer relies on good faith or benevolence but on a convergence of interests: [Henry the K would be proud]. Putin has achieved all his key objectives, and Poroshenko recognizes that trying to reverse militarily the Russian gains would be national suicide.
So, I assume, good, or not as bad as we might imagine. Read below the fold...
David Graeber in The Baffler has written a truly extraordinary article:
Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit
End of work arguments were popular in the late seventies and early eighties as social thinkers pondered what would happen to the traditional working-class-led popular struggle once the working class no longer existed. (The answer: it would turn into identity politics.) Jameson thought of himself as exploring the forms of consciousness and historical sensibilities likely to emerge from this new age.
What happened, instead, is that the spread of information technologies and new ways of organizing transport—the containerization of shipping, for example—allowed those same industrial jobs to be outsourced to East Asia, Latin America, and other countries where the availability of cheap labor allowed manufacturers to employ much less technologically sophisticated production-line techniques than they would have been obliged to employ at home.
From the perspective of those living in Europe, North America, and Japan, the results did seem to be much as predicted. Smokestack industries did disappear; jobs came to be divided between a lower stratum of service workers and an upper stratum sitting in antiseptic bubbles playing with computers. But below it all lay an uneasy awareness that the postwork civilization was a giant fraud. Our carefully engineered high-tech sneakers were not being produced by intelligent cyborgs or self-replicating molecular nanotechnology; they were being made on the equivalent of old-fashioned Singer sewing machines, by the daughters of Mexican and Indonesian farmers who, as the result of WTO or NAFTA–sponsored trade deals, had been ousted from their ancestral lands. It was a guilty awareness that lay beneath the postmodern sensibility and its celebration of the endless play of images and surfaces.
That is very acute. Read below the fold...
Pro-Union demonstrators made 'Nazi salutes' in front of Police officers as Scotland's referendum vote began to turn nasty.
Hundreds of demonstrators waving Union flags arrived at George's Square in Glasgow, which up until recently had been the unofficial headquarters of the pro-independence movement.
Well, that should certainly reconcile the Yes voters to the result. Read below the fold...
In a policy paper published on Friday, the Greens stated that "dramatic" constitutional changes were needed to rebuild public trust in politicians and the political system.
It said the referendum process highlighted the "urgent need" for a new settlement. It also criticised the "profoundly undemocratic" move by Westminster party leaders to pledge further powers for Scotland without consultation.
"It is no longer tenable for politicians to defend the over-centralised entity that is the present-day British state," it continued.
The central tenet is for a "People's Constitutional Convention", which would consider a range of matters, including: Read below the fold...
NEW PALTZ — Students trying to protest during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's visit to SUNY New Paltz Tuesday were threatened with pepper spray and forced to back away from the building where the governor was speaking.
And college President Donald Christian is OK with that. Cuomo's office ordered the move, he said.
Cuomo's office said they were looking into the matter but had not responded with a statement as of early Thursday evening.
Nadia Alirahi, 21, a student senator and member of the student association, said about 15 to 20 students from NYPIRG and Democracy Matters wanted to protest outside the Student Union Building where Cuomo was to make an announcement of a $10 million state grant to the school. The students were opposed to fracking among other grievances.
Wait, I thought Cuomo was opposed to fracking? Read below the fold...
We know this. But it's good to have it re-stated. Froomkin in The Intercept:
Clapper flat-out lied to Sen. Ron Wyden during a Senate hearing in March when he said the NSA does not wittingly “collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”
Clapper has previously said he “responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.”
Clapper also complained about his limited budget. Read below the fold...
This very lucid explanation of how Federal taxes work comes from Rexburg, Idaho (!):
When the federal government spends, it simply credits business and household bank accounts to pay for goods and services the government needs such as obtaining military hardware, paying troops, caring for national parks, obtaining military hardware or to pay out social security benefits.
Take someone who receives a direct deposit of their monthly social security payment, for example. The federal government simply credits the recipient's bank account so that the balance increases. But in effect, all that really happens is the digits in the account change like the score on a scoreboard so that there is more money in the account.
Did the federal government need to go find the money to make that social security payment? No. They just adjusted the digits at the bank.
When the federal government spends, it creates money that did not previously exist. The side of the federal government that spends (the right hand) operates independently from the side of government that issues debt and collects taxes (the left hand). ....
This brings us to why the federal government collects taxes. It does so in order to reduce the amount of money flowing through the economy. Paying federal income taxes destroys money. Read below the fold...
In honor of 9/11 Truthers and dogged conspiracy theoristsbeverywhere, I created this fun Bingo game.
Feel free to add your favorite conspiracy buzzword!
h/t WeHuntedTheMammoth whose blog I just found regarding this disgusting episode, as part of which they had made a "GamerGate" bingo game. And for finding that blog, a huge hat tip to RationalWiki. Read below the fold...