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Links 10/26/13

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I absolutely do not want this political economy designing brain implants Corrente. Notice how the Financial Times has been cheerily talking about the brain as the next frontier?

Dino impact ‘also destroyed bees’ BBC

So You Know, This Is How to Incubate Baby Cephalopods in a Bottle Atlantic (furzy mouse)

Spray-On Clothing Could Deliver a Suit in a Can Scientific American (Robert M)

Climate report shows security threat Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

How the Recent H7N9 Bird Flu Outbreak is Affecting Diners’ Peking Roast Duck Appetite Visit Beijing. Lambert: “English-speaking Chinese propagandists impersonate blogging expat Americans in Peking! Hilarity ensues!”

China turning into ‘giant North Korea’, say panda pundits Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Yowza. AEP does say he’s just the messenger and has presented accounts that contradict this view.

Abe Says Japan Ready to Counter China’s Power Wall Street Journal

NASA: ‘We Will Have A Mass Shooting On The Moon By 2055’ Onion

Serco chief executive stands down BBC

Unemployment drops as Spain’s economy begins to beat recessionRaw Story Carol B: “Oh, joy, great news from Spain! Can you believe this shit?” Yanis Varoufakis had a great line, something to the effect that the patient who is starving has his vital signs flatten right before death.

How the Sunni-Shia schism is dividing the world Independent (furzy mouse)

Angry Over Syrian War, Saudis Fault U.S. Policy New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

U.S. Tells Suspect It Used NSA Surveillance in Criminal Case Wall Street Journal

Victory for tech giants on EU data laws Financial Times

Want to know who’s spying on you online? There’s an app for that ZDNet

UK spy agency feared ‘a damaging public debate’ Guardian

Obamacare Launch

White House Expects Health-Law Website to Be Fixed by End of November Wall Street Journal

Wait for it… RiverDaughter (Carol B)

Tea Party Confederate Secessionists are Finally Crawling out of Closet Daily Kos

Ted Cruz Is an Amateur Bloomberg

The Powerful Pornography of the Gun Fetish TruthOut (furzy mouse)

Pollster Trend Flickr (furzy mouse)

Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen Associated Press. Ah, but that’s because Obama has put chained CPI (which cuts Social Security over time) in his proposal. So there is a Grand Bargain in the making, but on a stealth basis, so the grannies won’t take to the street

Prisoners of Profit Huffington Post (Carol B)

Valley Grove Home Destroyed Wheeling News-Register (Barbara B)

Housing Regulator Announces $5.1 Billion Settlement With J.P. Morgan Wall Street Journal

Citigroup Selling Mortgage Servicing Rights as Banks Retreat Bloomberg

New Empirical Paper on Home Mortgage Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Melissa Jacoby, Credit Slips

Executive At Center Of Bank Of America Mortgage Fraud Case Now Working For JPMorgan Chase DSWright, Firedoglake (Carol B)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Legalizes Corporate Rights Prevailing Over Human Rights TruthOut

Selling to each other impossible as worldwide trade diminishes Futures

Let Them Eat MOOCs Gianpiero Petriglieri, Harvard Business Review

5 ways sexual assault is really about entitlement Salon

The Politics of Sociopathic Narcissism CounterPunch (Carol B)

Primary Accumulation: The Creation of a class of people who will work for wages Monthly Review (Paul Tioxon). Marx is fashionable!

Can Marx save capitalism? Financial Times

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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77 comments

  1. dearieme

    I do wish people wouldn’t say those things about China. For years I have been able to make people gasp by saying “When China reverts to civil war between warlords and their provincial armies ….”; people won’t be shocked any more if they’ve read the same stuff in the Tel.

    1. real

      The article on china is pure western propaganda.Western liberal intellectuals are in pain over supposed human rights abuses,lack of equality in china.They can do nothing,so they write these articles.
      Chinese govt is pretty strong and their method of control are not sophisticated like US/UK.
      Just few decades back,there was uprising in xinhou (muslim part of china) and many thousands were killed/sent to jail.Nobody dares to revolt in china.There is not going to be any revolution in china,US,UK,Russia,Europe.
      There is no ideology to fight the revolution.Western nations think Chinese will rise against govt for democracy.Many western charities with funny names provide money to foment revolution but it won’t succeed.

      1. Hugh

        Ideology is unimportant. Two thousand years of Chinese history says that when a government fails to deliver or asks too much, it is overthrown. I mean how do you think the Communists achieved power in the first place? And it’s not like there hasn’t been a lot of volatility since, the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen, for instance. Even now there are hundreds of actions every year by Chinese against local government that seldom get reported in the Western press. The Communists are the new Mandarins and they can suffer the same fate as the old Mandarins.

  2. Mark P.

    In the surveillance front, here’s a document of some interest, the WISPA CALEA Compliance Guide.

    WISPA is the Wireless Internet Service Provider Association. CALEA stands — as many of you will know — for the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This document spells out the basic rules that wireless companies must follow — variants of which apply to all telcos and ISPs (not just wireless) — to be in compliance with U.S. law.

    http://www.wispa.org/calea/WCS

    Specifically, law-abiding ISPs must be able to isolate a designated target’s communication, record it, decrypt it, gather metadata and associated out-of-band communication, figure out what parts of the communication aren’t from the target named in the court order, remove those and not give them to LE but still save them for five years just in case, then transmit the rest to the designated authorities.

    See: “3.13 :Recordkeeping

    “In general, it is recommended that you keep records of the Intercepts you perform for at least 5 years, unless you negotiate a different period of record retention with the LEA. Records should include court documents, hash files from disk captures, and all written communications to and from the LEA.”

    And this is just for the penny-ante surveillance done for the cops, FBI, etcetera. Not the high-end NSA stuff.

  3. skippy

    O/T was having a chat somewhere else and need a modern parallel to an old event. Well if found this.. me here see:

    What was the first thing done after the earth quake in Haiti, rebuild the clothing factory’s and not looking after the citizens welfare. How many died of cholera, oh yeah its still going on see:

    The ongoing Haiti cholera outbreak is the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[5] After the 2010 earthquake, in little over two years, as of August 2013, it has killed at least 8,231 Haitians and hospitalized hundreds of thousands more while spreading to neighboring countries including the Dominican Republic and Cuba.[6] Since the outbreak began in October 2010, more than 6% of Haitians have had the disease.[7]

    The outbreak began in mid October 2010 in the rural Center Department of Haiti,[8] about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, killing 4672 people by March 2011[9] and hospitalising thousands more.[10] The outbreak occurred ten months after a powerful earthquake which devastated the nation’s capital and southern towns on 12 January 2010. By the first 10 weeks of the epidemic, cholera spread to all of Haiti’s 10 departments or provinces.[11]

    As of 12 December 2012, hospitalizations (2,300 per week) and deaths (40 per week) are roughly triple since Hurricane Sandy struck the island in what was expected to be a quiet cholera season, causing more deaths than the cyclone took in all countries combined.[1] In November 2010, the first cases of cholera were reported in the Dominican Republic and a single case in Florida, United States; in January 2011, a few cases were reported in Venezuela. The epidemic came back strongly in the 2012 rainy season, despite a localised delayed vaccine drive. In late June 2012, Cuba confirmed three deaths and 53 cases of cholera in Manzanillo,[4] in 2013 with 51 cases in Havana.[12] Vaccination of half the population is urged by the University of Florida to stem the epidemic.[13][14]

    skippy… NC visited this topic back in the day, it just smacks me as – completely – ludicrous.

    PS. Hows that taste Charles, like your pro team garments much now? Seeing Bush and Clinton together down there was like watching the grim reaper arrive. I think they both have stock down there too, Hillary was a Wal Mart board member… eh.

    1. ambrit

      skippy;
      Heard something about this on NPR, (of all places,) yesterday morning while driving to work. (Would be Thursday morning.) Embedded in the piece was the assertion that the Haitian Government was accusing the U.N. of bringing the cholera to Haiti with the use of Nepali something or others. (Doesn’t someone here, diptherio?, do a personal private aid program in Nepal? If so, did you see any cholera there recently? Is it endemic there perhaps?)
      Anyway, it just goes to show that The Blue Oyster Cult was right:
      “History shows again and again,”
      “How nature points up the folly of man,”
      “Godzilla!”
      From; Godzilla.

      1. diptherio

        The reports I heard from Haiti did indeed place the blame for bringing the disease into the country on some UN aid workers from Nepal. While I haven’t experienced cholera in Nepal, it wouldn’t surprise me to find it there. There hasn’t been an epidemic in Nepal, yet, that I know of.

        1. dalepues

          Also this:

          “In a 2010 news story, CNN reported, “At least 45 people, most of them Vodou priests, have been lynched in Haiti since the beginning of the cholera epidemic by angry mobs blaming them for the spread of the disease, officials said.[33]” Wiki

  4. ambrit

    Re. the antidode;
    That poor baby looks too chubby. Perhaps the result of being fed processed baby food! (They were developed for a reason guys! Hands off while the baby feeds!)

        1. AbyNormal

          spot on! if it was ‘too much food’ his stomach would be extended (bubble gut). judging from his arm and leg lengths…he’s gonna grow into it. possibly looking at the next NFL Refrigerator.

          .
          speaking of which…RIP Bum Phillips (you always left me with a smile)

          “Two kinds of ballplayers aren’t worth a darn: One that never does what he’s told, and one who does nothin’ except what he’s told.”

          “Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half.”

          “An expert is an ordinary fella away from home.”

            1. zephyrum

              Thanks for the link. The writer is dead on with #8 being the silliest. She married her husband for his “great hair”. Now that’s deep, and transitory.

              1. anon y'mouse

                her #2 has actually been my #1.

                her realization of her own selfishness is exactly correct. this is the same attitude that a lot of people have about driving. it is their God-given right to drive, and every adult can’t really be considered an adult unless they do it. if you don’t, you might as well admit that you live in mom’s basement.

                and yet, how quickly their mind changes when they are actually engaged in the experience: “where’d he get his license? a cracker-jack box? why is that idiot endangering the lives of everyone else out here?”

                gee, perhaps in some cases, it’s because they’re doing something that not everyone should be able to do, and those who realize this should self-select out of the activity.

          1. optimader

            Aby
            That a great quote, drop in most any responsibility in place of ballplayers.

            Ill admit I had to look up who Bum Phillips is.(was).
            Never was a football fan, although in 1980 as a freshly minted college graduate I was with a pal and looking at buying a condo in the Edge Water Beach Apts. when we ran into George Hallas in the lobby. A nice long chat, then he said “boys, show up at the start of offseason practice as walk-ons”. Great old coot, living history and simpler days, but I was swimming two miles a day then…Lucky to have the time to do that in a week now. 8o(

            http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2006/Papa-Bear-Slept-Here/
            Very cool old building, and mostly filled with a geriatric crowd, most all of whom would probably have been good for a chapter in a great book. Wisdom of hindsight. At the time it had a Grecian motif terrazzo tile lap pool, but bullet dodged, the assessments would have eaten me alive.

          2. Susan the other

            Great photo. Baby is just going thru his “Winston Churchill” phase of being fat, which fat will transform by the age of 20 into a tall, lean person – as long as he/she doesn’t eat sugar and refined carbs, etc. Nicest was that the fur brothers thought he was close enough to them for a family portrait. Love dogs.

  5. craazyboy

    NASA: ‘We Will Have A Mass Shooting On The Moon By 2055’ Onion

    Sci-fi writers predicted this would happen back in the 1950s, or even earlier.

    Earth reporters should be forewarned, however, that when finally reporting the news to the American public, they should NOT begin the late breaking news announcement with any wording similar to, “Shots rang out today in the otherwise quiet neighborhood, Mare Tranquillitatis…..”

    That would be technically inaccurate in zero atmosphere.

    1. Jim Haygood

      You laugh, c-boy.

      But it’s still more bloody likely than Obamacare being ‘fixed for the vast majority of users’ by Nov. 30th.

      There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

    2. Mildred Montana

      The Onion should not satirize future mass shootings on the moon.

      It wiill only encourage Congess to enact strict gun control legislation. For the moon. In 2055.

        1. anon y'mouse

          ok, my mind didn’t really intend to go all Heinlen-esque today, but now it has.

          thanks, craazyboy.

  6. Chris Maukonen

    “Unemployment drops as Spain’s economy begins to beat recessionRaw Story Carol B: “Oh, joy, great news from Spain! Can you believe this shit?” Yanis Varoufakis had a great line, something to the effect that the patient who is starving has his vital signs flatten right before death.”

    Good one ! [Rim Shot]

    “Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen Associated Press. Ah, but that’s because Obama has put chained CPI (which cuts Social Security over time) in his proposal. So there is a Grand Bargain in the making, but on a stealth basis, so the grannies won’t take to the street“:

    HA ! You wanna bet !

      1. craazyboy

        Isn’t this when the econometrics dudes are supposed to jump up and say USG “spending” on low income people has a high GDP multiplier and tax levels on the rich, up or down, seem to have nothing to do with GDP whatsoever?

        1. craazyboy

          After reading the article, I can see what’s coming. It’s very important to give the economy a little kick now, but they will need to convince everyone that the long term finances of the USG are good. blah, blah, blah

          What we get:

          Tax cuts to build a couple more NASCAR race tracks for the TPers, nibble at SS and increase the cost of Medicare to the “beneficiaries”. (meaning us)

      2. Hugh

        I wrote this earlier about Gene Sperling:

        To paraphrase a little from Sperling’s wiki. He was deputy director of the National Economic Council (NEC) under Clinton while Robert Rubin was its director. When Rubin moved over to Treasury, Sperling became National Economic Adviser and took over as director of the NEC from 1996 to 2000.

        Sperling was a key negotiator in the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act and, as director of the NEC, in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. After Summers succeeded Rubin as Treasury Secretary, Sperling worked with him to put together Gramm-Leach-Bliley which repealed Glass-Steagall and set the stage for the 2008 meltdown.

        In 1999, he also helped negotiate the agreement which led to China’s entrance into the WTO in 2001. And yes, that big sucking sound you still hear is American jobs going to China.

        Unsurprisingly, this free trader, anti-regulation guy who was thick as thieves with Rubin and Summers was the neoliberal Hillary’s economic adviser during her 2008 Presidential bid.

        In the out years of the Bush Presidency, Sperling did the usual round of Wall Street consulting, corporate boards, and well paid speeches, including a million dollar gig with Goldman Sachs.

        In the Obama Administration, he was an adviser to Geithner. In 2011, he followed Summers as director of the NEC, and he is in turn to be followed by Jeffrey Zients who has also been showing up in the news recently.

        BTW Zients succeeded Orszag (who went to Citigroup where Rubin made his millions) at OMB and left OMB in April of this year. And of course, Zients is the guy Obama tasked with fixing the site HealthCare. gov. He’s rich as Hades and made some of his loot at Bain, Romney’s old company.

        All this says a lot about how small and incestuous the Democratic economic team is, how neoliberal, corporatist, and connected to Wall Street they are, and how anti-progressive and anti-99%.

        1. rich

          ObamaCrony: Michelle Obama’s Princeton Classmate is Executive at Company that Built Obamacare Website

          Many people just don’t think the left is as crony as the right. It is.The Daily Caller reports:

          First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

          Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

          Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.[...]

          As reported by the Washington Examiner in early October, the Department of Health and Human Services reviewed only CGI’s bid for the Obamacare account.

          http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/10/obamacrony-michelle-obamas-princeton.html

          maybe Sperling means he’ll start cutting “these kind” of entitlements?
          no bid??

      3. different clue

        The Democratic officeholders don’t have to swallow entitlement cuts. If they swallow entitlement cuts, it is because they wanted to all along. Indeed, any number of Catfood Democrats in the House and Senate have been co-conspiring with Norquist Democrat Obama to deliberately on purpose cut SS/Medicare as a long-standing Prime Directive of theirs.

        If SS/Medicare get cut with Democratic co-connivance, no Democratic officeseeker should be voted for, not even the ones who pretend to vote against the cuts. Because if the so-called “progressive democrats” really wanted to stop the cuts (which they don’t), they would shut down the government and freeze the debt ceiling until Obama and the Catfood Democrats give up CCPI. Which they won’t do, because they don’t care, and may also secretly support the stealth SS/Medicare cuts.

        If the Tea Partiers shut down the government and freeze the debt ceiling if necessary to defend SS/Medicare, perhaps we should consider voting for Tea Party candidates out of gratitude that they stood up against the Catfood Norquist Democratic Conspiracy against SS/Medicare. The Tea Partiers are more likely to try it than the so-called “progressive democrats” are.

  7. David Lentini

    The Chicken Alumni Come Home to Roost

    So, now that the MOOC (and laissez-faire tech program in general) paradigm has come back to haunt the schools from which is oozed out for so many years, the faculty are having second thoughts:

    All educational institutions have a dual social function: to develop individuals and to develop culture. Sometimes development involves affirmation. Sometimes it involves questioning and reform.

    So, one may ask, what has the HBS, and the élite schools in general, done for the development of individusals and culture? Well, they unleasehd the most narcissistic generation into the leadership of our governments, schools, and businessnes. I remember the popular “He whow dies with the most toys wins.” tee shirts around the HBS campus during the mid-’80s, as we see that attitude in full swing today. As for culture, well, we care of all those élite alumni, we have welfare for “too big to fail” banks run by “too big to jail” bankers that is sucking the life out of the vast majority of the world’s productive citizens. We see the endless increase of gridning poverty and war without any care from those who could stop the suffering.

    And now, that the same persons using the same paradigm want to bring their stink home, our good professor is worried about losing our culture and humanity.

    Oh well, I guess there really is no motivator like the steps to the guilloutine.

    1. MOOCs stink

      As bad as elite business schools are, the last thing we want is for them to create 700,000* new accolytes per semester.

      *http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-13/wharton-puts-first-year-mba-courses-online-for-free

    2. anon y'mouse

      ‘disruption’ is the new imperative of the newnew religion, that the bigwhigs are trying to transform our society with now. the phenomenon of MOOCS is symbolic. the people engaged only see the upside. why? religion of Progress. these individuals NEVER ask themselves what they are leaving behind, or whether what they are leaving behind has any value whatsoever. it is good because it is new, and that is all that one need worry themselves over.

      yesterday, and at other times on this website people here have referenced the Enclosures, the throwing people off of the land to make possible a new (corporate-wage labour) way of living. we are LIVING THROUGH our own version of this right now, and MOOCs are merely one of the symptoms. we should be asking ourselves if what we are gaining by becoming totally online all the time is worth what we are giving up. and I have yet to see anyone realistically look at both sides and evaluate claims with equal weight. techno-heads are totally onboard the side that what we’re making is going to be better than anything that we’re giving up, and luddites (myself) are saying that we are giving up the ability to be human.

      I have no power to make such a reckoning. but all of us see what’s happening. I notice that in the article, the Professor comes down more strongly in his ‘speech’ than in his response to comments. as if he’s apologizing later for his stance, limiting his judgement to deal with the onslaught of those who think that “it will be so much better!”. he’s cutting away at his own position until there is nothing left except what appears to be worry over his own job security. this doesn’t do the concerns he outlined in the article any justice.

      these concerns need exploration. why do we engage in full-scale social change without asking what the downsides are going to be?

      another: this will still keep the privilege on. in fact, it will make the college experience even worse. I’ve taken online classes. yes, some people can ‘learn’ that way, but most cannot. most people can’t learn by simply reading/listening and doing a few projects. this trend will limit the ability to actually “learn” things to only those who can self-teach, and learning will undoubtedly lose some of its depth. can everything that someone needs to know be absorbed while alone in a room? or is it that only the things that can be learned this way will continue to be taught at colleges? many questions, no answers except “everyone will be able to go to Stanford!”

      salesmanship always makes me queasy.

  8. from Mexico

    @ “The Politics of Sociopathic Narcissism”

    Extrapolating from Gunderson’s observation, I am therefore suggesting that “sociopathic narcissism” is a characteristically political syndrome, disproportionately manifested in successful U.S. politicians—and most egregiously, in recent presidents.4

    I think William Manson, the article’s author, hits the target, but misses the bull’s eye. The real power behind the throne are the bankers, speculators and financiers. The polity and the academe are mere handmaidens.

    What’s worse? The sociopaths and/or kleptocrats, or the politicans and academics who enable them?

    1. AbyNormal

      It was as though, so long as the deceit ran along quiet and monotonous, all of us let ourselves be deceived, abetting it unawares or maybe through cowardice, since all people are cowards and naturally prefer any kind of treachery because it has a bland outside.
      ~Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

      May the Gods have Mercy on Us.

    2. from Mexico

      And are the academics and politicans also sociopaths and kleptocrats?

      I argue that they are. They are just lower in the food chain.

      1. Jessica

        I would argue that the primary function of the knowledge worker class as a whole within the current system is the propagation and maintenance of ignorance. Folks at the bottom (adjunct professors, for example) are paid to produce/spread knowledge, but the higher up in the knowledge worker class one goes, the more likely one is being paid to support ignorance. One manifestation of this academic prostitutes and their institutions that look the other way.
        I understand that the meme of “sociopath” is an accurate expression of a correct revulsion, but it is important to keep in mind the structural side of this too.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      According to Martha Stout in The Sociopath Next Door about 4% of the population is sociopathic. This is based on MRI studies in which the portions of the subjects’ brains that are associated with empathy do not light up when presented with images that in most people evoke this emotional response.

  9. DIno Reno

    How the Sunni-Shia schism is dividing the world

    Bush knocked over the Sunni bee hive when he invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam. Since then, the Shia have been winning with the support of Iran who has yet to fire a shot.

    The Saudis are now in the process of buying Congress to counter Obama’s negotiations with Iran that will consolidate the Shia gains in the region: Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

    Obama likes to blow people’s mind by pulling out the rug from under them.

    1. real

      Since then, the Shia have been winning with the support of Iran who has yet to fire a shot.

      I am not a muslim.
      I think shias are not winning.Sunnis are conducting historic religious war against shias in countries like Saudi Arabia,Bahrain,Pakistan etc.Pakistani patriot sunnis have conducted extremely violent campaign against shias.Who do think are targets of all those bombings in pakistan?The situation has gone so bad that shias have formed their own terrorist groups.Even in iraq,most of casualties of bombings are shias.
      There was some talk of iran supporting paki shias to fight off talibans but it is not happening.

  10. MOOCs stink

    Another problem with MOOCs that wasn’t mentioned in the article is that they destroy educational privacy. Every aspect of your interaction with the MOOC is monitored, and psychological profiles are created that are intended to be sold. This is a radical shift from current practice where you watch lectures, do your homework at home, and your tests more or less autonomously without your professor conducting a psychological experiment on you the entire time. You can learn a lot about a person by how they interact with a challenging course. It is also a radical shift in educational privacy law which makes all educational records confidential.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the NSA eventually acquires this information, and eventually for the psychological information being used against criminal defendants who took MOOCs.

  11. anon y'mouse

    people who ‘dig’ guns have a case of small-penis syndrome (men and women) so strong that one wonders if it isn’t either a sexual fetish in itself, or a symptom of a wider pathology. it has to tie into that narcissim/sociopathy/psychopathy matrix somewhere. or perhaps it is the inferiority complex of someone who doesn’t have the guts to be a full-on raging asshole, so does it with their target practice.

    a gun is a tool devised for killing. if you have business killing, then it makes sense. otherwise, if you have one in the house (without children. why would you take the risk?) it should be properly stored and all adults should have had a course on how to safely use and maintain it. anything else is leaving the car keys out on the front lawn and expecting that someone not to take your vehicle on a joyride, yet a lot more lethal.

    i’m not against guns, per se. i’m against the idiots that own them, for the wrong reasons and without using their reason.

  12. optimader

    Re: White House Expects Health-Law Website to Be Fixed by End of November Wall Street Journal

    a bit of reality based cynical parsing,
    1.)Fewer problems end of next month does not mean repaired.
    2.)End of November does not specify the year.
    3.) Site will be repaired with a “tech surge” = vomit in mouth
    4.)BTW screw War Street Journal, their article, contributors and ownership.

    http://www.newser.com/article/da9ldsjg2/fixes-by-end-of-november-private-contractor-tabbed-to-oversee-repair-of-health-care-website.html

    It will take a lot of work, but “HealthCare.gov is fixable,” declared Jeffrey Zients, a management consultant brought in by the White House. By the end of next month, he said, there will be many fewer signup problems such as computer screen freezes _ but he stopped short of saying problems will completely disappear.

    \

    1. craazyboy

      “computer screen freezes”

      haha. The Chief Tech Boss announces – Tech Surge to solve “blue screen of death” in users’ browser.

      Close enough for gubmint work.

  13. mookie

    Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Asks Us To Pity the Rich Yasha Levine NSFWCorp

    “David and Goliath” is the right book for our times. America is in the grips of historic economic inequality, unemployment and misery; it’s being looted and trashed by finance hucksters and extraction industry oligarchs, while its citizens are disengaged and distracted and too tired and overworked to really do much about it.

    Gladwell offers to soothe this swirling world of shit, misery, exploitation and corruption with a simple counterintuitive message: People who live paycheck to paycheck or dig in the trash, well, they’re not as disadvantaged as popular wisdom would have us believe. The truly disadvantaged are the rich. Because wealth, power, mansions, Porsches, private jets, servants, elite private schools, influence and access — all those great things — are barriers preventing them from realizing their true potential and achieving success. In short: Wealth holds you back.


    previously linked recent gladwell pieces:
    Should We Stop Believing Malcolm Gladwell? Knight Science Journalism at MIT
    Why Malcolm Gladwell Matters (And Why That’s Unfortunate) Christopher Chabris

    1. Yonatan

      Well, if being poor is so beneficial, perhaps Mr Gladwell should discard his current wealth. His new-found poverty will inevitably drive to do even better than he has done now. And that would be good for him and the rest of too.

      Come on, Mr Gladwell, discard those chains of wealth holding you back.

  14. scraping_by

    The Sunni/Shia split has that same unfixable, unavoidable, absolutist quality that many of the wedge issues used to divide the American population. And we know those wedge issues didn’t just fall from the sky.

    Many of the conflicts also have purely political and economic explanations. The Baathist Party that governs Syria, and that was the government of Iraq, is secularist, modernist, and antimonarchal. That may have more to do with Saudi hatred than sect.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not only Muslim, but a brotherhood. Most of their published platform has to do with democracy and human rights, two subjects not popular with absolutist monarchies.

    And most of the ME lives under a sharp dividing line between the haves and the vast majority. It would take deliberate blindness to see that as the launch pad for much disorder and pushing.

    In history, while Sunni/Shia has been at the root of many violent conflicts, there are also long periods of Sunni/Shia peace. The current conflicts in the Muslim world also can be divided up along other, perhaps more realistic lines, many of which might be solvable.

    http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=813

    1. anon y'mouse

      harhar! they’ve finally caught on, and caught up to NC.

      it wasn’t maths that scared me away from economics. it was now nonsensical most of it was.

      ideal platonic forms, indeed.

  15. skippy

    For those not yet aware I present “I Am”

    http://iamthedoc.com/

    Background

    Shadyac suffered post-concussion syndrome after a 2007 bicycle accident in Virginia,[2] experiencing months of acute headaches and hyper-sensitivity to light and noise. The injury followed the cumulative effects of previous mild head injuries Shadyac had suffered surfing, mountain biking and playing basketball.[2]

    A 2011 New York Times article stated that: “the symptoms of a concussion [didn't] go away. Something as simple as a trip to the grocery store was painful for Shadyac, whose brain was unable to filter various stimuli. Shadyac subsequently gave away his excess fortune, opening a homeless shelter in Charlottesville, Virginia[1] and making a key donation to Telluride, Colorado’s effort to set aside a natural area at the town’s entrance.[4] He reoriented and simplified his life, sold his 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) Los Angeles mansion[2] and moved into a trailer park – albeit the exclusive Paradise Cove park in Malibu.[5]

    As medical treatments failed to help, he isolated himself completely, sleeping in his closet and walling the windows of his mobile home with black-out curtains. Later, as his symptoms finally began to subside, the director wanted to share his inner quest in the way he knew best: through film.”[6] Shadyac likened the experience to Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell.[7]
    Film context

    In the film, Shadyac conducts interviews with scientists, religious leaders, environmentalists and philosophers including Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Lynne McTaggart, Elisabet Sahtouris, David Suzuki, Howard Zinn, and Thom Hartmann. The film asks two central questions:[8] What’s Wrong With the World? and What Can We Do About it?. It is about “human connectedness, happiness, and the human spirit”,[3] and explores themes including Darwinism, Western mores, loneliness, the economy, and the drive to war. The documentary includes animated scenes explaining scientific concepts,[6] as well as clips from the films Wall Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.[9]

    Skippy… Wife beckoned from up stairs for me to see it, saying, is this what you do on the comp? Yes lov~

    PS. Don’t think shes ready for the Johnny Mnemonic action yet or a whole lot of other people either.

    1. AbyNormal

      tis on my list…Thanks for the reminder Skippy

      “TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
      What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
      And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
      ~Howard (one of my all time favorite humans) Zinn

    1. AbyNormal

      NSA Says Hackers Didn’t Take Down Its Website

      Update, Oct. 26, 2013: The NSA says its hourslong website outage Friday was due to an internal error during a scheduled update, not a denial-of-service attack by hackers, the Associated Press reports.

      If that’s true, perhaps the NSA could use a “tech surge” as well.

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/10/25/nsa_gov_down_national_security_agency_website_hacked_in_protest.html

      (what a year…im already into next years popcorn stash)

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