3.23.2017

The Productivity Paradox

The productivity paradox – Medium:

So there you are: continued high levels of employment with weak growth in wages and productivity is not evidence of disappointing technological progress; it is what you’d expect to see if technological progress were occurring rapidly in a world where thin safety nets mean that dropping out of the labour force leads to a life of poverty.

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Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following

Interesting. Basically supports the theory that Trumps supporters are white, religious, racist, hater, gun-nut types.

Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following | FiveThirtyEight:



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Israeli Arrested for Bomb Threats

A Jewish teenager (how old?) from Israel made bomb threats against US Jewish Institutions then is found in Israel? (whole article below)

Several thoughts here....

  • Why would he do it?  False Flag operation? Making fake news real? Teen angst?
  • He used “advanced camouflage technologies” to hide his location. He wasn't drafted into the Israeli Military for some reason? A Mossad agent? An Anti-Trump Agent?
  • Why would the NYT report it? They rarely report anything that might be deemed "bad" about Israel. Israeli authorities sealed the case pretty quickly.
  • He used Tor to hide himself but was found. So much for staying anonymous on the web.

anyway... interesting.



JERUSALEM — The police on Thursday arrested an Israeli teenager who holds American citizenship in connection with waves of threats to Jewish institutions, including community centers in the United States, law enforcement officials said.
A spokesman for the police here, Micky Rosenfeld, said the suspect, from the Ashkelon area of southern Israel, had also made threats to institutions in Australia and New Zealand, as well as to at least one commercial airline flight, forcing an emergency landing.
“This is the guy we are talking about,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.
The authorities did not immediately identify the teenager, who they said was Jewish and in his late teens. His motives were not immediately clear, and a judge ruled Thursday that he would be held until at least March 30. The judge also imposed a gag order, forbidding the Israeli authorities from releasing the suspect’s name.
Thursday’s arrest appeared to be a turning point after months of investigation and waves of turmoil and panic as Jewish community centers across the United States reported more than 100 bomb threats since the beginning of the year. The calls, which President Trump condemned during an address to Congress last month, led to evacuations and bomb sweeps and heightened worries about anti-Semitism in the United States.
It was not immediately clear how many of the calls investigators had traced to the teenager.
The wide-ranging, multinational inquiry was hampered by what the authorities described as the suspect’s use of “advanced camouflage technologies” to try to cover up his communications, which he made through the internet. The technology shielded the caller’s identity and also disguised the voice that threatened carnage.
When the Israeli police searched the suspect’s house, investigators confiscated computers, an antenna and other equipment, and an American official said it appeared the man had used Tor, a widely available anonymity software, to try to mask his whereabouts. The software is used by a wide range of people, from people conducting illicit business on the so-called dark web to activists trying to avoid government censorship or surveillance.
In Washington, F.B.I. officials confirmed the arrest. In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who described the threats as “hate crimes,” said, “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
The Israeli police said the F.B.I. was deeply involved in the inquiry, which also drew the attention of police and security agencies around the world.
“The investigation began in several countries at the same time, in which dozens of threatening calls were received at public places, events, synagogues and community buildings that caused panic and disrupted events and activities in various organizations,” the Israeli police said in a statement.
Israel Radio reported that the man had used wireless internet from neighbors, and The Haaretz newspaper reported that the suspect had not been drafted for compulsory military service, like most Jewish 18-year-olds, on personal grounds because the military found him unfit to serve.
The case in Israel is separate from that of the St. Louis man who was arrested this month and accused of making at least a half-dozen other threats to Jewish centers. In a complaint in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the authorities said that man, Juan Thompson, had acted as part of an effort to intimidate a former girlfriend.

3.21.2017

Gorsuch

A good idea from the Rude Pundit

The Rude Pundit: Advice to Democrats: Comey Has Given You Your Battle Plan on Gorsuch:

"So here's a chance at redemption, dear, dumb, defeated Democrats in the Senate. A simple plan for a vile time. It goes like this: You cannot consider the Supreme Court nominations of Donald Trump until he is cleared by the FBI (and any other U.S. intelligence agency investigating him) of possible collusion with a foreign power to affect the presidential election. The Gorsuch hearings should be shut down until that time. In fact, you should say that you don't believe anyone nominated for a lifetime appointment by Trump should be considered by the Senate until the investigation is done"

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3.18.2017

About That Swamp

Trump and the R's are waist deep in the muck.

Trump the Outsider Outsources His Budget to Insider Think Tank:

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S BUDGET proposal, released on Thursday, echoes none of the populist, anti-establishment themes of candidate Trump’s campaign for higher office. Instead, it calls for a large increase in defense spending while reducing spending for a variety of popular domestic programs. 
That’s not surprising considering where those ideas came from. Rather than bringing in new ideas from outside of the Beltway, many of its proposals are lifted straight from the recommendations of an elite ultra-conservative D.C. think tank: the Heritage Foundation. 
Founded in 1973, Heritage has served as a sort of a watering hole for the Republican establishment, providing policy papers and staffers for GOP members of Congress and presidential administrations. Its 2015 annual report listed almost $100 million in revenues — drawn from conservative mega-donors and corporations — which it uses to facilitate the spread of its ideas across Washington, D.C.

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Trump vs British Intelligence

You cant believe what you hear on Fox News, the original Fake News Network.

Too bad no one realized this 10 or 12 years ago when Fox was planting the mis-information seeds that led to the election of The Big Dumb Orange One.

Donald Trump Challenges the NSA and GCHQ—And Loses Bigly | Observer:
"Napolitano has zero background in intelligence and has no idea what he’s talking about. His accusation against Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, London’s NSA equivalent, was patently absurd, as well as malicious, demonstrating that neither Napolitano nor Fox News have the slightest notion how intelligence works in the real world."

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Trump Breaking Promises

Ian Welsh gets it right

Trump Is Now Breaking His Core Promises | Ian Welsh:
"The budget is a direct strike at the poorest and weakest and at people who voted for Trump in regions whose support he needed, like the Rust Belt. It’s one thing to “cut the state,” it’s another to cut programs that feed hungry adults and children."

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3.17.2017

Ruled by idiots

Nowcasting with OMB Director Mick Mulvaney | Econbrowser:

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About that Pipeline

Keystone XL Does Not Make Sense Anymore | OilPrice.com:

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Tension

What Trump’s Budget Says About His Priorities | FiveThirtyEight:

Trump and his minions truly are your old, drunk, redneck uncle.

Adding more cops, spies, surveillance, and military can only increase the tension level.



On Capitalism

Good point here....the soviets did it in 1961 we're still waiting on the capitalists....
In this context, it’s apt that Andrew should mention Richard Branson “’birthing’ Virgin Galactic in a Necker Island hot-tub under the stars.” The important fact about Virgin Galactic is that it has so far failed to achieve what the USSR managed in 1961: putting a man in space. Grunt work matters at least as much as “birthing.”
Stumbling and Mumbling: Capitalism & creativity:

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3.11.2017

The State of the Union ......




I won’t go into all the machinations here because they’re changing by the hour. First Trump’s on board and then he’s not and then he’s back on. (He’s been saying for weeks that he would really prefer to let Obamacare fail —  sabotage it from the executive branch — and then blame the Democrats.) He does not want people to call this monstrosity “Trumpcare” but everyone is doing so anyway.

Ryan is holding televised PowerPoint presentations that would be equally incomprehensible but more entertaining if he used some puppets to help him explain it, as Glenn Beck used to do on his old Fox News show to reveal the “Soros conspiracy.” The Freedom Caucus is rebelling, the entire medical community is freaking out, conservative senators are telling Ryan to back off and start over and the White House is still trying to figure out where the light switches are.

In other words, they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing. Surprise! You thought it was just Trump, didn’t you?