Recent Items

Links 1/3/14

Posted on by

If you are in the Northeast, I hope you can stay inside!!! NYC isn’t getting the brunt of the storm or the frigid temperatures, yet I can still feel the cold leaking into my apartment even with a space heater on thanks to the high winds. It’s 11 below zero where Lambert lives!

Viewpoint: Human evolution, from tree to braid BBC (Lambert)

General Mills Starts Making Some Cheerios Without GMOs Wall Street Journal

Producers Panic as Ethanol Mandate Loses Support OilPrice

Cheaper Hanoi Pork Shows Crops Ease World Food Cost Bloomberg

Developing world obesity quadruples BBC

36 Signs The Media Is Lying To You About How Radiation From Fukushima Is Affecting The West Coast investmentwatch (Deontos)

Capital siege set for Jan 13 ThaiVisa

How bad is Thaksinomics? New Mandala

Five years after ‘reset,’ U.S., Russia face critical tests Washington Post

Homes evacuated as storm surge hits Britain with 30ft waves expected Telegraph. The US is not the only place getting more frequent and severe storms…hope no NC readers are directly affected.

IMF paper warns of ‘savings tax’ and mass write-offs as West’s debt hits 200-year high Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

The War Nerd: Mo cattle and oil, mo problems in South Sudan Pando (Sikwaya)

International Investors Flock to Tehran Der Spiegel (1SK)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Code-cracking NSA quantum computer is goal Washington Post

Anyone want to help with Jacob Appelbaum 30c3 transcript? Updated: draft 2.2 – QUESTIONS Corrente. Another way to get the talk in front of people.

2 newspapers call for clemency for Edward Snowden Associated Press

Backdoor in wireless DSL routers lets attacker reset router, get admin ars technica (Chuck L)

Facebook faces suit over data allegations Financial Times

Obamacare Launch

Expanded Medicaid in Oregon Brought More, Not Fewer, E.R. Visits for Non-Emergencies Scientific American (Robert M)

Four ways to tell if Obamacare is working Washington Post

Health Overhaul: Updating Coverage Not Easy Associated Press

On Christmas, Republicans Quietly Declare War on Themselves Matt Taibbi, Sikwaya

Half Of Americans Think Our Democracy Needs ‘A Lot Of Changes’ Or A Complete Overhaul Huffington Post

The recession may be over, but its jobs shortfall is still with us Daily Kos. Carol B: “Ha ha ha. The cancer is gone, but the tumor remains.”

Pennsylvania’s Corbett will drop lottery privatization plan Washington Post

Colorado cannabis customers swarm BBC

Why Aren’t Big Bankers in Jail? FAIR (Sikwaya)

Valdosta banker accused of faking suicide to avoid fraud charges caught in Glynn County, officials say Jacksonville. Wow, a banker will be prosecuted! Of course, he’s just a microbanker.

Why I’m not always being respectful Lars P. Syll

Ezra Klein Is Said to Plan to Leave Washington Post New York Times

5 Unnerving Documents Showing Ties Between Greenwald, Omidyar & Booz Allen Hamilton AlphaMinds (bob)

Direct your anger at the greedy rich, not the Wolf of Wall Street film Guardian

Manhattan apartment sales hit high Financial Times

American Consumers in 2013 Most Upbeat Since Before Recession Bloomberg

A Decade of Flat Wages Economic Policy Institute (Carol B)

10 Worst States for College Graduates in Student Debt Wall Street Cheat Sheet (Carol B)

Let’s treat the jobless like animals Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

1247655525715

Print Friendly
Twitter26DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook4LinkedIn1Google+1bufferEmail

126 comments

  1. Yonatan

    “Valdosta banker accused of faking suicide to avoid fraud charges caught in Glynn County, officials say” – is a former pastor. It just gets better! Will he play the ‘forgive me for my sins’ card?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I used to correct people who claimed that the US was founded on Judeo-Christian “principles.” I used to say that the US was actually founded on principles of British Common Law–Do all that you promise to do (contracts) and Do not encroach on another’s person or property (individual rights.)

      I’m not going to do that anymore. It would appear that Judeo-Christian “principles” are EXACTLY what the US kleptocracy was founded on.

  2. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Various

    So, while the recession may be over, but the jobs “shortfall” persists and those still working have seen a decade of stagnant wages, the “consumer” in 2013 is the most “upbeat” since before the recession which, as previously mentioned, “may” be over.

    And Michael Bloomberg is a tall, handsome, benevolent billionaire who just wants every American to be healthy, happy and prosperous and is willing to spend HIS OWN MONEY to put himself in charge and make it so.

    Failing that, he will call up 250 people a week and ask them how they are doing, subtract the bads from the goods, divide by three and declare economic nirvana.

    What horseshit!

  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Let’s Treat the Jobless Like Animals

    Sounds funny, but this story put a big smile on my face this morning.

    I graduated high school–Crete Monee, Crete, Illinois, Class of 1970–with Roland Janota.

    He was a quiet guy who took a lot of flak from the “popular” kids for always proudly wearing his blue Future Farmers of America jacket. Glad to see him finally getting a little recognition for his lifelong passion.

    Next time I’m in town, I think I’ll call him. I want to get a look at those camels.

  4. TimR

    NC readers should eschew the conventional dietary wisdom about what causes obesity just as they eschew the conventional wisdom in mainstream economics.

    There are many great debunkers, such as Gary Taubes (_Good Calories, Bad Calories_), but in terms of ultra-rational analysis of all the evidence, I have not seen the peer of Paul Jaminet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com). Just don’t fall for the line that all fats are bad, and all grains are good (and virtuous, and pure.)

    (oh and note — I think Jaminet might read NC sometimes — he used to re-post some of Yves’ animal pictures, and credit/link here.)

        1. diptherio

          I don’t necessarily endorse the Dr.’s views, but he does make some thought-provoking points. Our teeth look way more like a horse’s than a lion’s. Ditto for digestive tracts. Food for thought, at any rate.

      1. Binky Bear

        Complete hogwash of course. Biggest mistake is the notion that meat and not organs and fatty tissues are the goal. Meat is the last thing eaten. Eskimos eat almost nothing but fats, organs, meat (dipped in fat), fish (dipped in fat), and the stomach contents of the animals they harvest (usually mixed with fat). Spring and summer there are greens and starchy tubers but not much else.
        We would not exist without eating as much meat as we can procure, which is why we are broken today in the context of not mere but excess vegetable food. Our meat animals are force-fed grains until their livers explode, then we eat them. Foie-gras? Fatty liver disease in ducks which are force fed.
        Our teeth are not like horse’s teeth at all. More like pigs.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sometimes, silence is approval.

          If your body doesn’t scream ‘no’ with you eating meat, we may wonder why that is so. Is it meant to be?

          1. kareninca

            My soul screams “no” when I eat meat, so I haven’t for 18 years. I care more about my soul than about my body. And if it turns out I have no soul, I care more about not causing pain to animals, than I care about grubbing a few more years on earth. We don’t have to do things that are “meant to be” by nature, if we decide that they are not ethical.

        2. OIFVet

          Is high fructose corn syrup a vegetable or is it a chemical product? I think you are mistaken to equate highly processed foods with vegetables, even if these products did start with vegetable ingredients. I am also dubious of your using the force feeding of grain to animals to “prove” that too much of a vegetable diet is unhealthy. Cows are ruminants, they evolved to eat grass and their stomachs are not equipped to deal with grains. Finally, I think you will have a hard time coming up with evidence that human survival (Eskimos notwithstanding) depended on procuring as much meat as possible. On the other hand you will find plenty of evidence that everyday meat consumption is a very recent phenomenon. In the case of Japan, meat eating only came with Perry, prior to that the overwhelming majority had a vegetable and fish diet.

          1. Pete

            It’s pretty well established by now among most serious nutritionists (I like Chris Kresser, David Getoff, Paul Check, Sally Fallon, Mercola, Weston Price Foundation, etal…) that eating a real/whole food “ancestral” (some call it Paleo) diet- which is antithetical to the ridiculous SAD “low fat” diet that includes an overload of refined grains and no discrimination about sugars or processed foods- is the best way to optimize your health. The balance of fats/meats to veggies and fruits is left to what works best on the individual level and is not a one size fits all diet. It’s a template. Strict vegetarian diets can be very dangerous for many people.

            A real/whole food approach to eating also means you understand where it came from…. how it was raised/grown. This means dodging the “super”market as much as you can because for the most part only corporate junk food makes its way through the receiving doors.

            Humans are neither herbivores nor carnivores. We are omnivores. We evolved eating what was available around us. The worse thing for your digestive tract is probably the modern mutated cereal grain and/or processed vegetable oils that go rancid when heat is applied. Grass fed meats are highly nutritious (see CLA/omegas) and organ meats from properly raised animals are nutrient dense super foods. The human brain evolved to be as large as it is from eating other animals….

            Find your local farmers and get to know them.

            1. kareninca

              Or, follow Scott and Helen Nearing and be nearly vegan. Scott lived to be 104; Helen to a ripe old age. The oldest father on record is a vegetarian guy in India. You don’t have to choose between “paleo” and “processed crap;” there is also the option of eating healthful grains, beans, vegetables and fruits.

              Of course humans are by nature omnivores. We also by nature wage war and do a lot of other horrible things. Fortunately we have other options.

              1. Pete

                “This week, Chris Masterjohn, PhD has written two fantastic articles; the first chronicles his experience with vegetarianism http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Vegetarianism.html the second describing the many reasons why nutrient-dense animal foods are essential for mental health. While most new vegetarians experience health benefits when they first make the switch, there are many who develop significant health problems brought on by nutrient deficiencies.

                Chris explains in the second article that turning vegetarian led him to develop problems with digestion and lethargy, a mouth full of tooth decay, and a profound aggravation of anxiety disorders he had struggled with in the past. This is a common story among many vegetarians, and one that needs to be shared widely, as there are many people out there who do not realize that going vegetarian isn’t necessarily the best choice they can make for their health.

                Chris focuses on the importance of methylation in supporting mental health; a process which relies on adequate levels of certain nutrients such as vitamin B12, sulfur amino acids, and glycine. To get enough of these nutrients in our diets, Chris reminds us that consuming less common animal products such as bones (usually as bone broth), skin, and organs.

                This article echoes many of the concerns I brought up in my last article on B12 deficiency. As I explained in this post, B12 deficiency can cause serious neurological consequences such as brain fog, memory problems and cognitive decline, and vegetarians and vegans are significantly more likely to be B12 deficient than omnivores. With the popularity of “health-promoting” plant-based diets in the media, it’s crucial to continue sharing this information with friends and family who may be considering or have already chosen a vegetarian or vegan diet.” http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Vegetarianism.html

                There are a couple of famous chain smokers who have lived to be over a hundred too. Is that evidence that cigarettes will help you lead a long and healthy life?

                1. kareninca

                  Duh, so vegans and some vegetarians need B12 supplements. That has been common knowledge forever. The need for a simple, easy, and cheap supplementation, doesn’t give a moral grounding to eating our fellow creatures.

                  You seem to be utterly and completely blind to ethical considerations. I’m starting to think that if you needed to take a supplement rather than eat your grandma, grandma would go down your gullet. Especially if grandma were tasty.

          2. Synopticist

            High fructose corn syrup in energy drinks gave me GOUT a few years ago. Which is remarkable, bearing in mind I eat way too much meat and drink too much booze. Hurt like a bast*rd.

            As soon as I stopped drinking energy drinks it went away, and I’ve never felt the slightest tinge since.

    1. erk

      I really like Jaminet as well. Taubes’s book is quite good and he does a great job of explaining the history of the erroneous “lipid hypothesis” of heart disease and its influence on public policy, however, his conclusions about carbohydrate intake, insulin response, and their affect on body fatness being the leading cause of obesity is not supported by the evidence. There is a great by a researcher in the field, written at a level that is accessible to many – Whole Health Source. Here is a post regarding Taubes’s conclusions – http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/carbohydrate-hypothesis-of-obesity.html

  5. JLowe

    Within days after the Fukashima disaster had occurred, entrepreneurs capitalizing on the paranoia over thyroid cancer were selling potassium iodide in the US at premium rates. In a moment of cynicism and hastiness, I concluded at the time they were entitled to every dollar they raked in and reflected on my bad fortune not to have thought of it first. Looks like we haven’t learned much since then (“36 Signs the Media is Lying to You About How Radiation From Fukashima is Affecting the West Coast”).

  6. TimR

    Fukushima: So why does the media fear-monger and hype some stories and not others? Is the formula that they only hype it if it’s actually trivial, but if it’s real they get nervous? Bad for industry, bad for social stability…?

    1. AbyNormal

      Fukushim(s) are ‘the deep pockets’ blackswans…they must know it too.

      “It has been more profitable for us to bind together in the wrong direction than to be alone in the right one.” Taleb

      1. JLowe

        It’s pretty credible, and prepared by an oceanographer at U of W. The Simpson’s guide to radiation is handy for keeping the different units of measure straight.

    2. rob

      yeah, that sounds right.The media’s job is to promote the general popular stability.Ususally it is about inflating nothing and innuendo,to newsworthy status,and the rest is about ignoring and/or distorting the real news, so no one gets too upset about anything.Their gods forbade a well informed population.
      To not watch/read/listen to the news leaves one uninformed.To watch/read/listen to the news leaves one misinformed

    3. David Mills

      TimR, by not publishing the possibility of dire news the media is directly trying to maintain social stability. What would happen if there was a mass exodus from the West Coast of Canada and the US – panic and economic dislocation. The media is not trying to address the problem or posit a solution – it is a social control mechanism. The mechanism used to be the church, now it is HuffPo, sideboob, and the various other distractions / entertainment. Take that in combination with Matt Taibi’s excellent piece. Just trying to keep the wheels turning in their favour. The long term doesn’t factor into the calculation, only the immediate politics / optics.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        If they ever DO have to evacuate Tokyo, do you think we’ll find out about it?

        Or, would they just NOT evacuate Tokyo because the story would be too big to hide?

        1. Massinissa

          Evacuate Tokyo? HaHaHa, fun joke. The only folks who will be evacuating Tokyo are the rich and powerful who are well connected. It would be too much of a hassle for Japans Power Elite to move the proletariat out of Japans #1 profit center. Would kill their economy. Let them get cancer, as long as they make money for the people who matter, is likely what the Power Elite will whisper in private parties.

        2. Fíréan

          Re. Comment asking about evacuating Tokyo.
          here is a link to a recently posted, on twitter, map of greater Tokyo imposed over a map of the UK ( equal scale). The blue being greater Tokyo and the lower red being Greater London.
          I cannot imagine how an evacuation of such magnitude would take place, and if it were possible how it could be done without the event being known or relayed to the rest of the world via any one or more of the modern communications media available to the general public. To where would the 10 plus million people be evacuated ?
          https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BcH4YSpIQAEdCA1.jpg:large

          ps. I am reading on some websites of unknown validity or credibility of an underground explosion on 31 dec. last at the Fukushima site. Is this more
          sensationalism and fear/rumour-mongering ?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I would watch for signs of the wealth (and better-connected) moving out first.

        When the president stops going to Beverly Hills to fundraise or to Hawaii for vacation, that’s when you know.

    4. neo-realist

      A nephew of a girlfriend lives in So Cal and loves eating sushi. We should be watching his health over the next few years. However, he’s the type of guy who thinks he’s invincible and probably won’t stop eating it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Looks like west coast seafood is iffy.

        Also iffy is Gulf Coast seafood after Deepwater.

        And now no Maine shrimp.

        Perhaps, at the end, it’s GM corn/soy or nothing.

        1. neo-realist

          Water companies and GMO’s by the day are looking like good long term investment opportunities. Who else will give us frankenfood and frankenwater when all of our natural resources are poisoned or near non-existent?

  7. diptherio

    Yikes! Stay warm back East there, guys. If it gets unbearable, I’ve got a guest room out here in Montana your welcome to…we’re having a early spring out here (it is crazy warm for January).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The same here in La Angelless, but I expect to purchase this warm weather at the price of something worse later.

    1. diptherio

      This is awesome: now I’ll be able to find that leftover ham sandwich in the fridge in the middle of the night, even if the refrigerator light bulb has burned-out. Truly, a wonderful time to be alive.

      Come on TimR, don’t be such a sour-puss. It only makes sense that in our world of totally infinite resources, we would use a bunch of them to figure out how to make pigs glow.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One can’t trust one’s memory…nor one’s smell or taste.

      I think we also have to be careful of non-glowing-in-the-dark pigs, unfortunately. Just because something smells or tastes OK, it doesn’t guarantee anything, thanks to our food scientists.

          1. optimader

            shame on you beefie for eating anything that has more than two ingredients and packed in a box w/ vapor barrier bag.

  8. financial matters

    Expanded Medicaid in Oregon Brought More, Not Fewer, E.R. Visits for Non-Emergencies Scientific American (Robert M)

    This is a well done and useful article and continues the productive dissection of healthcare. Healthcare is a complex system of insurers, administrators and providers. The public needs to be able to follow the money to be able to make decisions that make the most sense and create the most value.

    “”Another takeaway: there are no magic bullets in health care. If you want to reduce the use of emergency room visits for non-emergencies, you have to do more than just give more people health insurance. For example, if a parent is worried about having to take a day off from work to see the doctor about a child’s sore throat, an emergency room visit in the early evening might seem like just the ticket to solve the problem.

    A few pilot programs around the U.S. are taking a more active approach to decreasing emergency room visits for conditions that could be handled outside the emergency room. One of them, called the Voices of Detroit Initiative, has found that reducing emergency room visits requires expanding the hours and locations of primary care clinics as well as coordinating and following up with individuals who would otherwise wind up being regular customers in the E.R.”"

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Seems to me that this is another one of those “surprises” which should have “surprised” no one. Kind of like spending 30 years off-shoring jobs and then being “surprised” that there are no jobs.

      The idea that getting more people “insured” will reduce unnecessary ER visits is one of those magic mechanisms with start and end points and no identifiable steps in between. I wonder if they ever tried ASKING the patients who present at the ER with non-emergency conditions WHY they were there. Actually talking to people who are sitting in ER waiting rooms for hours might yield some pretty interesting information. You might find out, for instance, that this was the only time they could seek attention or that they cannot distinguish emergency from non-emergency conditions or that they’re broke and this is the only place to get free care.

      And how long has this been a problem? Forever? You’d think that recognizing the reality of what has been going on could lead to some functional reorganization. Since some people are clearly using the ER as an after-hours clinic, perhaps they could ESTABLISH that clinic within the ER and triage the patients. Sore throats to the left, gunshot wounds to the right.

      Yet all you get is decades of trying to make the same broken model work and complaining that it doesn’t.

      For all the pissin’ and moanin’, I don’t think hospitals are all that dissatisfied with this situation. A steady stream of “customers” who can be charged the max because it’s the ER and we all know that’s EXPENSIVE and providers who are salaried so you might as well keep them “productive.”

      And the mess is all the patient’s or the system’s fault so don’t blame us.

    2. afisher

      I don’t have access to the actual research,so I’m left reading others interpretation. Say what you will, but the one question that comes to mind: I have been given “healthcare for a period of time” (that time frame is unknown) and then told to go find a physician to treat you, but only for that period of coverage. What could possibly be wrong with that.

      The hospital that I worked at built an Urgent Care Center a hundred yards away from Emergency Center and triaged patients as they entered the ER, even before registering. The RN’s pointed the patients to the UCC – faster TAT and decreased cost.

      Without knowing the details of the process, I withhold judgement as this being a complete kerfuffle.

  9. diptherio

    Re: Let’s treat the jobless like animals

    Feedlots and abattoirs? Thought we were already doing that…

    What the author means is let’s treat people who can’t find a job like the animals at this farm sanctuary where animals are loved and treated with respect. Unfortunately, that’s not how most of the animals in our society are treated. The reality is that our capitalist system ensures that pretty much everyone is treated like feedlot cattle by those who stand atop the system. Their only question is how to get the most out of our bodies, how to carve up our corpses in the most efficient manner. Our needs and desires, like those of cattle, do not enter into the capitalist equation. Only the boss is a real human, the rest of us are merely livestock (in their eyes).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Some are even more worse – they want to treat the jobless as vegetables, which are more likely to be eaten alive than animals.

      1. nycTerrierist

        sadly, factory farms treat animals like vegetables and even
        harvest their parts (fur, feathers and more) when they’re still alive.
        ‘eternal treblinka’, as peter singer put it.
        please consider going meatless and fur-less!
        even dairy cows are treated horribly, down is plucked from live geese.
        ag-gag laws are now in place to shut down whistleblowers who
        document animal abuse in factory farms.
        it’s gruesome stuff – but also gruesome to condone the status quo of our
        industrial food chain.

          1. nycTerrierist

            cool! huge IBS fan here.

            I didn’t know that’s where the other Singer found the phrase.

        1. OIFVet

          Going meatless is not feasible for many people, at least not for the time being. I think the goal is to reduce meat consumption by way of de-industrializing the process by which meat is brought to the dinner table. It’s a tough task, and the ag-gag laws you mentioned are a part of the problem: most people simply do not know how much cruelty is involved in raising the animals. Same goes for GMO labeling: the less we know the more crap we eat. Its information war, pure and simple, and the primary tool of the food-industrial complex is information denial. Most of all though, it is the annual farm bill which dictates what we eat. As long as corn is so heavily subsidized we will subject animals to cruelty in giant CAFOs by stuffing them with grain they are not naturally meant to consume and pump them full of antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to make it to the meat processor. And in the meantime we will wash down the grain fed meat with a corn-sweetened drink. Its unhealthy and cruel for animal and human alike, and it is cheap on the front end thanks to the government subsidies. It’s also very expensive to us on the back end as the climbing health care costs are, I believe, a direct result of the crap we eat. We can’t hope to change this dynamic until we win the information war and force change in the economics of feeding the world. Going for the grass-fed antibiotic-free beef and raw cane sugar sweetened Mexican Coke at Costco is outside the means of many people.

          1. kareninca

            How is going meatless not feasible for many people? Going meatless is easy and cheap. People just care more about their tastebuds, than they do about suffering. The rest is rationalization.

            1. Pete

              Raising grazers is good for the land…. “Second, herbivores are the exception to the entire negative nutrient flow argument because by pruning back the forage to restart the rapid biomass accumulation photosynthetic engine, the net carbon flow compensates for anything lost through harvest. Herbivores do not require tillage or annuals, and that is why all historically deep soils have been created by them, not by omnivores. It’s fascinating that McWilliams wants to demonize pasture-based livestock for not closing all the nutrient loops, but has no problem, apparently, with the horrendous nutrient toxicity like dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey created by chemical fertilizer runoff to grow grain so that the life of a beef could be shortened. Unbelievable. In addition, this is one reason Polyface continues to fight for relaxing food safety regulations to allow on-farm slaughtering, precisely so we can indeed keep all these nutrients on the farm and not send them the rendering plants. If the greenies who don’t want historically normal farm activities like slaughter to occur on rural acreage could understand how devastating these government regulations actually are to the environmental economy, perhaps McWilliams wouldn’t have this bullet in his arsenal. And yes, human waste should be put back on the land as well, to help close the loop.” http://grist.org/sustainable-farming/farmer-responds-to-the-new-york-times-re-sustainable-meat/

            2. OIFVet

              I try my best to make sure the meat I eat was raised humanely and was free to roam and eat its natural diet, and was slaughtered as painlessly a possible. Perhaps it is rationalizing my meat eating, but I take exception to anyone who would say I care more for the food than I do for animal suffering. That is simply not true. I do my best to support animal rights by deeds and by pocketbook, refuse to go to zoos, and I am involved in a local TNR program for feral cats. That may fall short by your standards but I do it sincerely and from my heart.

              1. Pete

                Eating responsibly raised meats is the polar opposite of eating CAFO meat. One is healthy and sustainable while the other is cancerous to both your health and the planet. Unfortunately veggie crusaders rarely distinguish the difference between the two… nor are they critical of how devastating mono-cropping is to the earth’s fertility. Typical divide and conquer from the money peoples. The real enemy is big corporate agriculture, plain and simple.

                1. kareninca

                  Isaac Bashevis SInger put it well: “Not for my health, but for the health of the chicken.”

                  If you describe fellow our sentient creatures as “responsibly raised meats,” we’re already in different universes.

                  All of the vegans/vegetarians I know are well aware of the problems of mono-cropping, and a whole slew of other environmental issues. There’s no lack of environmental understanding in the “veggie crusader” world.

                  Here’s the deal: I have read hundreds of descriptions of hog-killing on family farms at different historical periods and in different countries. I have read them with care, since I am interested in the question of avoiding cruelty. Guess what – it is horribly cruel to kill another creature. There is no pretty way to do it. They want to live; they love life; they suffer terror and pain as they die, even in a supposedly idyllic setting. Of course factory farms are worse; so what? We don’t need either.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Perhaps you have seen videos of lions feasting on their pray while it is still alive. It is cruel in terms of our moral understanding, but is it not part of nature? I submit that we can try all we want to eliminate cruelty but it can never disappear, nature is fundamentally a cruel place. The best we can do is to try to reduce suffering as much as possible. It doesn’t come easy to the human animal, I have seen that first hand on the battlefield. I have also seen it at so-called hospitals where cruelty is inflicted in the name of prolonging life. Perhaps my experiences have made me somewhat cynical, but I think it is naive to believe that we can exist on this earth and not leave any footprint which can result in suffering. At the end of the day, the only realistic goal is to change the way we grow our food to treat the animals we eat with respect rather than commodities. Much the way First Nations people worship the animals which sustain them.

                    1. kareninca

                      Just because it is impossible to live and eliminate cruelty, it does not follow that one cannot try to minimize it, including in one’s own life. So what if lions are cruel? The last time I checked, I had more options than a lion. So what if war is cruel? I can try to prevent war.

                      The “nature is X, so we have to behave in an X way,” really cracks me up. Nature is full of deadly bacteria; I bet you are willing to take antibiotics. If you want to live per Nature, check out our closest primate relatives and tell me if you wouldn’t rather do a little bit of battling with your natural inclinations.

                    2. OIFVet

                      As I have already said once I try very hard to minimize cruelty. Too bad you refuse to see it that way. And yes, you do have more options then a lion, but how far will you get in your quest to eliminate cruelty by taking away options from others and antagonizing them for their choices? That tactic is counterproductive and won’t get you very far. I respect your choices, too bad that your self-righteousness precludes you from respecting mine. Must be very satisfying to be such an infallible do-gooder, haughtily passing judgments upon those of us who are less morally evolved than yourself. You can transcend nature, you say. Funny how this attitude is strikingly similar to that of the modern food-industrial complex which also thinks it can transcend nature by harnessing the power of chemistry to create crap it claims is food and force people to eat it. Amazing how the two extremes always manage to find common ground in the end. Me, I am just happy to be aware enough of how my activities can affect nature and its creatures and to try my best to minimize my impact. Too bad that the way I do it is offensive to your sensibilities but at the end of the day I guarantee you that I will make more of a difference by talking with people instead of talking down to them.

                    3. Pete

                      You cannot totally remove yourself from nature. It sounds like you want to think of humans as exceptional from the animal world but still want the animals to be given human considerations. I don’t think you can have it both ways. It is possible to treat an animal like an animal and still be respectful of it. Personally I think using it for food when it dies is a better and more respectful idea than putting it in a wooden box 6 feet under the turf because it comforts our moral sensibilities. Every time an animal eats, life is taken. If you till up the land for manufacturing vegetables there is massive destruction of life. Do you forage for your plant-based diet in the woods? Do you grow all your own veggies? If you purchase food at the supermarket that comes in a plastic bag or a box = fossil fuel inputs, transportation to get it there = more fossil fuel inputs = habitat destruction = dead animals. The truck that brought it cross country might have run over a few critters on the way too. If you want to take a moral position on eating animals that’s certainly your individual right but as George Carlin said, “keep thine religion to thine self.” If you want to come at the argument from a nutritional perspective you are barking up the wrong tree. I have given many hours of cross examination to that subject and vegan diets simply do not work for everyone.

                      Vegetarian and vegan diets have a number of potential problems:

                      -insufficient dietary cholesterol for those who do not make enough of their own

                      -thyroid problems from excess plant goitrogens including soy but also many other plant foods, and insufficient animal protein and B12 for their detoxification

                      -inadequate vitamin B6 and long-chain essential fatty acids
                      inadequate zinc and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2

                      -inadequate vitamin B12, sulfur amino acids (methionine and cysteine), and glycine needed for methylation

                      -overabundance of carbohydrates like raffinose and stachyose from soy that could contribute to digestive problems

                  2. Pete

                    Of course you have no problem with taking the life of a plant when you slice it from it’s living and communicating root system. Because it doesn’t have eyes and a nose like you? I don’t know of many wild animals in nature that die typically peaceful deaths. Most every day is a struggle for existence and survival. The pigs on our farm are given a pretty good life roaming open pastures free from predator worry. There are many traditional techniques that can be used to eliminate stress when it is time to go to slaughter.

                    If you understand the environmental impacts of monoculture then you understand that responsible animal husbandry is a necessary component of responsible soil stewardship. You want veggies, you need animals. How about if we wait until they die of ‘natural causes’… can we eat them then?

                    Also, I had to dig deep into nutrition for personal health reasons and I can tell you that any nutritionist worth a salt will explain that not everyone does well on vegetarian diets. In fact most don’t, and it can be quite dangerous. So I beg to differ about what “we need”.

                    1. kareninca

                      How do you know how I feel about killing plants? You are assuming a lot, here.

                      There are entire continents (India, Asia) on which people have traditionally eaten extremely little meat. They seem to have had great life expectancies.

                      Well, go ahead and slaughter your nearly-human porcine slaves. I am glad that they have had nice lives, and that you are trying to kill them humanely.

                      To have veggies, you need farmed animals, and in particular farmed animals that are then slaughtered for meat? No, not really. It’s just easier that way.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We are a long way from the days when we actually came face to face with those who sacrificed themselves (not all willingly) to feed us and we in turn gave thanks to them.

          Today, it’s recreational everything…recreational eating, video games, football, anything to make protesting and joining a revolution such hard work. Instead of being a sacred medicinal herb, tobacco is for recreational use and is not being banned everywhere public. Not for taking a journey to heal a fellow villager, marijuana is just another recreational drug. And when we don’t see where they come from, animals are easily abused…or vegetables (involuntary breeding, locked up in a greenhouse, etc).

  10. DakotabornKansan

    Currently the wind chill in Kansas City is -5°F.

    Working at a local urban trauma center, I have encountered homeless men admitted for severe frost bite and hypothermia.

    http://nhchc-old.parthenonpub.com/Hypothermia_BHCHP.pdf

    Seven hundred people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are killed from hypothermia annually in the United States. Forty-four percent of the nation’s homeless are unsheltered. From the urban streets of our populated cities to the remote back-country of rural America, hypothermia – or subnormal temperature in the body – remains a leading, critical and preventable cause of injury and death among those experiencing homelessness.

    http://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/winter_weather/report.html#2

    “Bleak, dark, and piercing cold, it was a night for the well-housed and fed to draw round the bright fire, and thank God they were at home; and for the homeless starving wretch to lay him down and die. Many hunger-worn outcasts close their eyes in our bare streets at such times, who, let their crimes have been what they may, can hardly open them in a more bitter world.” – Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

      1. hunkerdown

        Evil, as in attached to fashionable falsehoods, superficially attractive idols and self-esteem, to the maximal exclusion of reality. Definitely not Dumb in the sense of muteness; the celebration of Subjectivism, the self-definition as law and ticky-box diversity so favored by the bourgeois “left”, leaves plenty of opportunity for chatter.

        Not that I should pile on the self-esteem movement too hard; they successfully muscled into the market monopoly of “Judeo-Christian values” and “why can’t I?” but left a hell of a mess behind.

    1. curlydan

      As I let my dog out at night and feel the bitter Kansas City winds of late, I’ve never been more thankful to have a heated home. I wonder how in the world native Americans survived these winters. I fear my children having to spend even one night without heat at near 0 temps, and I wince at the bleak pain the homeless may feel. I see that it’s forecasted to be -8F early Monday morning which is _really_ cold for KC.

    2. Butch In Waukegan

      Listened to a local NPR broadcast this afternoon. Young, urban “journalists” cheerily discussing plans for the coming cold wave. We were told that Chicago has warming centers, which close around 8 PM, because (with a bounce in their voice) “that’s when the homeless shelters open”. How convenient.

      We were also told that Illinois’ governor was urging all that needed warmth to go to one of the state’s shelters. Without comment, we were told there are 100 shelters for the entire state!.

      100 Illinois shelters for over 12 million people, the government’s unemployment rate is almost 9%, and there are many, many homeless. What really enraged me (in addition to their failure to discuss the implication of the facts they presented) was their happy talk demeanor.

  11. Pwelder

    Here’s a link that might be helpful to snowbound Northeasterners – the Reinhart/Rogoff IMF Working Paper of December 2013 referenced – but not linked – in A E-P’s Telegraph column above:

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2013/wp13266.pdf

    A must-read, IMO – if only for your thinking about what the Treasury and Fed are likely to try next if/when the economy continues to disappoint. It’s a concise and accessible overview of financial history wrt sovereign debts and defaults, together with current thinking about lessons learned..

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m not keen to dignify this effort more than I need to (although I am sure this will be all over the econ blogosphere, so my little symbolic effort hardly matters). This looks like a ploy to re-enter the debate after their 90% debt to GDP data kludge (worsened by lame responses to critics).

      The problem is in these “histories” R&R fail to distinguish between gold standard countries and fiat issuers.

      And I also have to notice they suddenly started calling for debt restructuring. Gee, they’d gotten themselves to the center of the debate, and not a peep from then when it mattered in the Eurozone. Now they get religion? How convenient.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Haha, I bought a heated jacket (similar concept) but it’s only for moderately cold temps (designed for runners/bikers and good maybe down to 35 degrees). Not enough heat for a near-reptile like me (I get cold more readily than most people and tolerate heat much better too). This might heat better (as in have bigger heating units) and would go under coats (for super cold weather; the alternative is a beaver coat, which is what Canadians and Russians wear in super-cold weather; I’m not keen about the concept + # of days a year I’d use it is too few relative to cost).

          Longwinded way of saying sort of on the same page + thanks!

          1. optimader

            OK, not to kick keeping warm to death, but I am wearing:
            1. base layer: http://www.66north.com/us/shop/p-7247-grettir-mens-t-shirt.aspx
            2. mid layer: http://www.66north.com/us/shop/p-4547-basar-mens-zip-neck.aspx
            this combination right now and am comfortable in the house, yet plenty warm outside when it’s ~15-20F –if it’s windy I add a breathable shell and that’s good for another <10~15F
            These products are uncannily efficient, not bulky, in fact a bit stretchy so that traps a "micro climate", importantly I don't poach when I migrate from outdoors to indoors.
            The fleece has a smooth exterior and his a "felty" texture interior. Unlike ANY other micro fleece I own, this is not a magnet for "debris".
            Not cheap stuff like anything built to last, and really, the best technical wear I've ever worn, and I've been in some pretty damn cold situations.
            http://www.66north.com/us/shop/c-1841-base-layer.aspx
            "Many Icelandic fishermen have survived accidents at sea because they were wearing a wool base layer. It is said that good captains do not allow their crew members to stay on board unless they have a wool base layer with them. The importance of the base layer should not be underestimated. It is the garment closest to the skin and plays a vital role in maintaining heat on cold winter days – whether you’re in the city or experiencing the extreme weather conditions of the mountains.

            66°NORTH uses Merino wool and the high performance Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro fabric in its base layers. Both these fabrics keep you warm and move moisture away from the skin, which is extremely important. "

    2. diptherio

      Wow…so what exactly does it take to get discredited in the economics profession? Apparently, being caught out in data manipulation after years of stonewalling, and then blubbering excuses like a typical compulsive liar aren’t enough.

      Neo-classical economists are a lot like evangelical Christians in this way, it would seem; they are willing to forgive the past sins of their leaders immediately and unquestioningly, regardless of any sign of remorse or repentance. R and R are the Jim and Tammy Faye of economics.

      1. Synopticist

        It’s astonishing isn’t it.

        I spent ages trying to imagine a similar situation in any other field, where someone can get away with as blatant a falsehood as the R&R paper, without being considered frauds and left in total disgrace. Possibly medical research? I didn’t think of evangelical Christians.

  12. diptherio

    Re: 5 Unnerving Documents Showing Ties Between Greenwald, Omidyar & Booz Allen Hamilton

    I did lose a good deal of respect for Greenwald when he hitched his star to Omidyar. I get the feeling Greenwald is one of those people who wants to “do well by doing good.” Of course, the “doing well” part always seems to trump the “doing good” part. If it comes down to one or the other, I won’t be expecting him to make the right decision.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps there is more or perhaps not, but this reminds us that the only thing to do is empowering ourselves, not Big Religion, Big Government, Big Business, Big Art, Big Media, etc.

      Known fact (as far as I know) – no other animals (or vegetables) worship members of their own species like us, or inanimate objects like political or commercial institutions.

      We are alone in this mental disorder.

    2. Synopticist

      Greenwald is a libertarian at the end of the day. So he doesn’t see anything wrong with billionaires ruling the world, as long as they don’t discriminate against his gay friends.

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the Telegraph article ‘IMF Paper Warns’:

    The presumption is that advanced economies “do not resort to such gimmicks” such as debt restructuring and repression, which would “give up hard-earned credibility” and throw the economy into a “vicious circle”.

    But the paper says this mantra borders on “collective amnesia” of European and US history, and is built on “overly optimistic” assumptions.

    ————

    What distinguishes ‘developing’ from ‘developed’ countries is that their social benefit schemes are a couple of generations newer. Thus, unlike western Europe, North America and Japan, they haven’t entered the Ponzi destruction phase, in which there aren’t enough new workers to pay the claims of retired workers.

    Planet Japan, whose debt is projected to reach 230% of GDP this year and whose population is shrinking by 250,000 annually, will serve as the Petri dish for real-world Ponzi destruction experiments. With near-zero interest rates, doom can be postponed for awhile.

    But when feckless central banksters finally do succeed in using their Acme Explosives detonators to ignite an inflationary blast, Japan is going to be in a world of hurt. Probably it will do what most governments do when backed against a wall: start a war to divert the blame onto evil foreigners.

    1. Hugh

      The unaffordability of social benefit programs is an artifact of kleptocracy. If we had real progressive taxation, took the income caps off Social Security, moved to a single payer health care system, and transferred productivity gains to workers, the fewer workers to fund social programs argument would fall apart. It is not that we can’t afford these programs. We can. But we can not afford them and billionaires at the same time.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Hugh is right that it’s an artifact of kleptocracy.

        While social benefits are not Ponzi schemes, the way they are set up is, by being dependent on new ‘investors,’ when they should be automatically parts of national sharing.

    2. Sammy Maudlin

      Total nonsense. You provide no sources for any theories you posit or the “facts” you cite. While it’s not worth anyone’s time to dissect every misleading statement in your post, one or two should do the trick.

      First, would your “theory” change if it we turned back the clock to yesteryear? Japan’s population grew by .03% in 2011, a slight net increase over the decline to which you are apparently citing (the 0.2% decline of 2012).

      http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW/countries/1W-JP?display=graph

      Population growth has been stagnant/slightly declining for years in Japan. Not surprising considering that Japan’s death rate is climbing.
      http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.CDRT.IN/countries/1W-JP?display=default

      Fair to assume that mostly the old are dying in Japan, where life expectancy is among the highest in the world?

      http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN/countries/1W-JP?display=default

      That means less “claims of retired workers” to worry about. Does that affect your prediction of impending doom?

      Next, fundamental flaw: Japan, like the U.S, issues a non-convertible floating exchange rate fiat currency. While you don’t specify what “claims” will not be affordable in the future, there is never any issue with the Japanese government being able to “afford” anything it can purchase with Yen, just as there’s no issue with the U.S. being able to afford anything it can purchase with dollars. Like, for instance, the time of people to care for the elderly. While there may be “affordability” issues relating to internationally-purchased goods, I don’t think Wal Mart will be importing low-cost elder care from China anytime soon.

      Your post reminds me of the Onion’s letters policy:

      “The Onion neither publishes nor accepts letters from its readers. It is The Onion’s editorial policy that the readers should have no voice whatsoever and that The Onion newspaper shall be solely a one-way conduit of information. The editorial page is reserved for the exclusive use of the newspaper staff to advance whatever opinion or agenda it sees fit, or, in certain cases, for paid advertorials by the business community.” —Passed by a majority of the editorial board, March 17, 1873.

      Whatever your agenda is, you certainly don’t let reality get in the way of advancing it.

    3. hunkerdown

      You don’t seem to be finding many fans here for that idea of yours that we should collectively let a numbers game decide whether fellow members of the species get their basic needs met. Ready to give up yet?

  14. rich

    OMG Joe Lieberman Joins Private Equity Firm

    Get this, Lieberman will be chairman (and the first member) of VPC’s executive board, a new group aimed at advising Chicago-based Victory Park on a variety of operational issues facing its portfolio companies.

    What he is really doing is going total revolving door crony. Fortune writes:

    Expect that his focus will be on government and regulatory matters, although he will not directly lobby on behalf of Victory Park or its companies. Overall, Victory Park expects its executive board to have between six and eight members by year-end.

    “Many of our portfolio companies have to deal with the government, whether they’re involved in aviation or oil and gas or food service, and we also have an SBIC fund” explains Victory Park co-founder Brendan Carroll, who once interned for Lieberman while getting his undergraduate degree at Georgetown. “He has much more experience in those areas than I or anyone else here could ever hope to have.”

    Since leaving the Senate last year, Lieberman also has taken jobs as senior counsel at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP and as co-chair of the American Enterprise Institute’s American Internationalism Project.

    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/01/omg-joe-lieberman-joins-private-equity.html

  15. Claire Hanley

    Re: General Mills cutting GMO ingredients (corn starch and sugar!) from Cheerios.

    My husband, bless his heart, has for decades breakfasted on a very large bowl of corn flakes, banana, milk (now down to non-fat), and a glass of orange juice. Then, if it is not snowing, he hops on his bike and pedals 10 miles to work.

    About 2 years ago, after reading reports on what GMO ingredients might do to one’s intestines, I left off buying the cheap store brand mega-boxes of corn flakes and started looking for organic cornflakes, because they use non-GMO corn. At first, I was able to find teeny boxes of the stuff. Then, they started disappearing from the shelves. After experimenting with breakfast flakes made of oats, quinoa, millet, flax and other exotic grains, resulting in a grumpy husband, I located an organic corn flakes brand packaged in enormous plastic bags at a small local organic food store.

    The problem? Besides the enormous price. The stuff flies off the shelf! Most of the time, I’m faced with an empty space labelled “Organic Corn Flakes.” When there are bags available, I stock up on them like some survivalist preparing for the inevitable government meltdown.

    So, I assume that 1) there is a rather limited supply of non-GMO corn, and 2) there are a lot of other people out there who like corn flakes but don’t want to introduce GMO’s into their bodies.

    Hear that Monsanto! And, General Mills.

  16. Hugh

    The Economic Policy Institute release gives a good overview of wage stagnation since 2000. It makes a lot of the points we have been making here for the last few years.

    Its primary weakness is that it ignores the three great issues of our times, kleptocracy, wealth inequality, and class war, which are responsible for that stagnation. It concludes with the standard Keynesian call for more government spending to lower unemployment and thereby put pressure on employers to increase wages. This is not going to happen with our current political establishment, and even if it did, they would just loot it.

    But then you have to understand who the EPI is. Its board is a who’s who of of union presidents and Establishment liberals with labor connections, pretty much all of whom supported Obama and the Democrats in the last election. So these are people who are expecting hope and change from the very people who are screwing American labor over. Makes me wonder why they even bother.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This is the standard script:

      ‘You have stolen from us. We have nothing to eat now.’

      ‘Don’t worry, we will war on the surrounding villages (i.e. Nature) and ‘grow’ our way out of this.’

      ‘But you have stolen from us.’

      ‘That why I say let’s look forward and increase our GDP.’

      ‘Your crime…’

      ‘GOOOOOoooo….oooOOOOO GDP! Stimulate the economy!’

      1. J Sterling

        In a Henry Georgian world, there is at least one factor of prosperity that “product” can’t touch, and that’s rent. People need to live on property, and property attracts rent, which absorbs all the GDP, however large it is. When there is more gross domestic product, that just bids up the price of the aforesaid assets, and where there is wealth inequality, the rich get to bid more and the rest have less to bid. No matter what the GDP is, it won’t buy the house you want if the rich have more money to wave around than you have, it’ll just be a more expensive house.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A question I have is if there is a optimal GDP level and if we have already exceeded.

          If the GDP is distributed fairly, can we live with a smaller, but more optimal GDP?

          If we share and if we don’t over eat, over consume, stop wasting time on 500 channels of TV or video games, if we can truly appreciate what is around our homes, instead visiting ‘places to go before you die, because your backyard is boring, is trash,’ our GDP would surely take a hit but maybe we will all be happier.

          1. Ben Johannson

            I can’t disagree with any of that. We’re productive enough now that everyone can have a comfortable and secure life, but it will never happen until the average woman and man get it out of their heads that there is no alternative to the current way of doing things.

          2. hunkerdown

            There sure isn’t — you can redefine the units all day long and get whatever number you like — but there could be an optimal level of production, which is probably within a percent or two of the optimal level of consumption, which marginal (and fixed?) components can probably be calculated and expressed in joules.

    2. MikeNY

      Hugh, I think you are right on the calls for Keynesian stimulus. More of the growth talisman; more protection for the plutocrats. As other have remarked on these pages, since 95%+ of the economic growth in this country since 2009 has gone to plutocrats, you have to be willfully blind, an idiot, or insane to think MORE GROWTH is the answer for the working class. I stop listening the minute some plutocrat poodle starts yapping the growth claptrap.

      And to your list above to afford social benefit programs, I’d add: cut military expenditures by 50%.

  17. DakotabornKansan

    Jed S. Rakoff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, “The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?”

    “While officials of the Department of Justice have been more circumspect in describing the roots of the financial crisis than have the various commissions of inquiry and other government agencies, I have seen nothing to indicate their disagreement with the widespread conclusion that fraud at every level permeated the bubble in mortgage-backed securities. Rather, their position has been to excuse their failure to prosecute high-level individuals for fraud in connection with the financial crisis on one or more of three grounds…

    “…the Department of Justice has never taken the position that all the top executives involved in the events leading up to the financial crisis were innocent; rather it has offered one or another excuse for not criminally prosecuting them—excuses that, on inspection, appear unconvincing. So, you might ask, what’s really going on here? I don’t claim to have any inside information about the real reasons why no such prosecutions have been brought, but I take the liberty of offering some speculations…

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/jan/09/financial-crisis-why-no-executive-prosecutions/

    What’s really going on?

    Janine Wedel, Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market, provides an answer.

    A transnational class of elites [“flexians”] has rigged the system so they can institutionalize their subversion of it:

    “The new system they help fashion blurs the boundaries between the state and private sectors, bureaucratic and market practices, and legal and illegal standing.”

    “The new breed of players, who operate at the nexus of official and private power, cannot only co-op public policy agendas, crafting policy with their own purposes in mind. They test the time-honored principles of both the canons of accountability of the modern state and the codes of competition of the free market. In so doing, they reorganize relations between bureaucracy and business to their advantage, and challenge the walls erected to separate them. As these walls erode, players are better able to use official power and resources without public oversight.”

    “All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.” – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

  18. unnervatron

    Put yourself in CIA’s shoes. The knuckledraggers have had a good run but international criminal law is not going away. Torture and murder and aggression are increasingly dicey, with personal legal liability in the offing. What’s the point of an SIS salary and a Cook Islands account if you can’t take your luxe holidays abroad?

    You want to focus where the law does not constrain you. That means the future is domestic repression. CIA is building its own panopticon but, Why bother? NSA already has one. Just acquire that.

    Turf battles are always contentious. The old-school establishment CIA directors, they’re still in charge, but these days they don’t run the world from CIA. They run it from places like Carlyle. They’ll decide which agency prevails.

    Now put yourself in Booz, Allen’s shoes. You don’t mind playing a bit part in NSA’s undoing. Your hirelings are fungible. What do you care if the surveillance contracts come from CIA or NSA?

    Now put yourself in Omidyar’s shoes. You’re a thin-skinned egomaniac yet you’ve spent most of your career kissing government ass. Here’s a chance to show you’re not a tool. And the bureaucrats you hobnob with don’t seem to care!

    Then there’s Snowden. Recall that he introduced himself to Greenwald in the first-person plural. If Snowden is smart – and he is – he will have put the whole dossier in a separate set of safe hands. A more incriminating superset of the stuff that Greenwald has. Note Greenwald’s cagey disclaimer about Der Spiegel’s recent piece, which includes the first forensic-grade evidence of NSA’s ‘We track em, You whack em’ criminality.

    If anything happens to Snowden, much shit will hit the fan.

  19. susan the other

    Fukushima and the mysterious deaths of west coast wildlife update. The Bald Eagles dying in northern Utah have been officially diagnosed with west nile virus as of this morning on local radio. Some 30 eagles; they say the epidemic is almost over. It was attributed to grebes which are freshwater birds which also frequent the salt waters of the coast during migration. And the eagles ate the sick and dying grebes who all had west nile. Maybe. Or maybe a coverup of the biggest nuclear disaster in human history. West nile virus only hits northern Utah in the summer. So I remain unconvinced.

    Also on NHK last nite was a report about a Japanese historian who is documenting tsunamis going all the way back to the 1500s – the ones that hit Fukushima along Japan’s east coast. There is a long and well documented history of these earthquakes and tsunamis. Still more evidence to condemn TEPCO and the Japanese government’s own lack of oversight of this corporation. And all the more reason to expose their greed and incompetence and their conscious decision to poison the entire Pacific Ocean and the the entire west coast of North America. Entire.

    Remember Eureka Springs’ note a few days ago that China, the emporium of disgusting and polluted food, has quietly banned all seafood imports from western north America, and probably will soon ban fisheries along the west coast of Chile and Peru, etc. Where is glasnost? We need the truth more than we need any other thing in this world. It is nowhere to be found in official circles.

    1. susan the other

      My dear moderator: I simply do not understand why it is necessary to “moderate” comments like mine (usually about Fukushima) which are relaying information that is publicly available though not emphasized enough and so bears repeating and summarizing often.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You and a lot of readers assume moderation is personal. It isn’t and indeed can’t be.

        THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF COMMENTS APPEAR IMMEDIATELY. If a person reviewed them before appearing, ALL would be moderated. Thus NONE would appear immediately.

        As I have said repeatedly, we have tripwires. You hit one. ‘Nuff said.

  20. Bunk McNulty

    Henry Giroux on the shaping of our Authoritarian future:
    The Ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of the Shutdown.

    Excerpt:

    “What Americans are witnessing is a politics that celebrates a form of domestic terrorism, a kind of soft militarism and a hyper-masculine posturing in which communities are organized around resentment, racism and symbolic violence. With the partial government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling crisis…the amount of human suffering, violence and hardships…border on catastrophic and open up a whole new act in the theater of cruelty, state violence, human misery and the exercise of raw and savage power.”

  21. davidgmills

    As I reported last month, Obamacare is working for my family. My 29 year old daughter who has not had coverage for 8 years, due to a combination of employers that didn’t provide it, school, and preexisting conditions has coverage for $50 a month for a silver plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Plan would cost $197 per month, but as a student and part time worker she qualifies for a 94% subsidy.

    She has had major depression since her teens. She has been without a psychiatrist for a long time and meds have been sometimes paid by the state and sometimes by us. Often we had to buy them from Canada, because they are so expensive.

    Today she now has a psychiatrist who is close to home, which she saw today. Her co-pay was $20 and her prescription med that she needed was $8. She will be getting psycotherapy as well, probably beginning next week, and will have a gyn appointment later this month.

    One success story for Obamacare anyway.

      1. davidgmills

        I wouldn’t call what I have been through lucky. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. My oldest daughter has Hashimoto’s and her youngest daughter (my second granddaughter) has a chromosome defect. Both my wife and youngest daughter (the one with severe depression) have had gastric bypasses.

        I don’t think my family drew the long straw.

        1. lambert strether

          Not in the need for health care, no.

          But in your access to it, definitely yes.

          It never fails to amaze me that ObamaCare winners never seem to wish the same luck they had for everyone.

        1. psychohistorian

          The energy levels of climate change are just warming up, so to speak.

          Stay cool skippy

          1. skippy

            I’m good but, the foxbats and some other critters are falling out of the trees stone dead…

            1. optimader

              Skippy, think about putting out a babypool with water and a rock that has some freeboard for the critters, if that works in your geography.

  22. Francois T

    “The US is not the only place getting more frequent and severe storms”

    It is happening worldwide and it’ll only get worse, just as 1) the best climate change models predicted and 2) as Swiss Re team of Natural Catastrophes Monitoring noted a decade ago and posited that the aforementioned climate change models were correct.

    Brace yourself people! We are jeopardizing our descendants’ future and it won’t be pretty.

Comments are closed.