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Links 2/4/13

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Dear e-mail readers: we launched Links at 7:00 AM to make sure you’d get your daily antidote. But we are not done! So please visit the site after 7:30 AM for the completed version.

Mud dump in Great Barrier Reef park could choke life New Scientist (Robert M)

How A Simple New Invention Seals A Gunshot Wound In 15 Seconds PopSci (Robert M). So will these become an upsell at gun shows?

World facing cancer ‘tidal wave’ BBC

Drug Companies Join NIH in Study of Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Wall Street Journal. As we’ve discussed, there is solid experimental evidence that cheap old drugs are effective remedies for RA and lupus, but you’ll never hear that from this bunch.

A VALUABLE REPUTATION: After Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him. New Yorker (Chuck L)

How to Lie With Statistics (in the Age of Big Data) Cathy O’Neil

Digital underground believed to be behind attack on Target McClatchy

Govt calls on Election Commission to hold new polls within one week ThaiVisa (furzy mouse)

Syrians to attend Geneva peace talks Guardian

Potent Pro-Israel Group Finds Its Momentum Blunted New York Times. We’ve said one of the reasons Israel (and hence AIPAC) has been pushing so hard to go after Iran now was the recognition that its power is destined to fade. Younger Jews in the US identify much less with Israel, and quite a few are opposed to its policies towards Palestinians.

Why Iran’s Economy Might Not Get a Big Break from Sanctions OilPrice

Severed heads dumped outside Mexican bank Financial Times

Emerging Markets Meltdown Meets Taper Tantrum

Emerging Markets: Deja vu all over again Triple Crisis

Emerging markets risk repeating eurozone blunder on tightening Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Prelude to a Crash Counterpunch (Carol B)

Stocks Plunge: ‘And This Too Shall Pass,’ Or Something Wolf Richter

The abject failure of Ben Bernanke Doug Noland

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden speaks: US blackout of interview Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Top tech firms release US surveillance requests Guardian

Hackers Sue German Government Over NSA Spying Associated Press

Julian Assange Affidavit States ‘Rape Victim’ Sent Texts Denying Attack International Business Times

Obamacare Launch

Obamacare Computers Still Can’t Correct Previous Errors: Report Reuters (Carol B)

Mass. GOP aims at Obamacare Politico

Oil sands pollution two to three times higher than thought (Update) PhysOrg. Robert M: “Time for Obama to tell the State Department to redo its report.”

The end of the tank? The Army says it doesn’t need it, but industry wants to keep building it. Washington Post. Chuck L: “The M seems to be the junior partner in the MICC.”

Obama, Reid don’t talk trade Politico

Slow Progress On Long-Term Unemployment Benefits As 1.6 Million Miss Out Huffington Post

Detroit Turns Bankruptcy Into Challenge of Banks New York Times

America’s Religiosity Is Increasing: Gallup George Washington

The Exquisitely Reengineered Frankenstein Housing Monster Wolf Richter (Chuck L)

How to fix runaway pay on Wall Street? MarketWatch

Harvard Freshman Applications Drop 2.1% as Midwest Leads Decline Bloomberg. Lambert: “More middle class collapse.”

Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust? Elizabeth Warren, Huffington Post

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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And a bonus from Chuck L.

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155 comments

  1. burnside

    Target is, I believe, behaving strangely in connection with the breaches.

    I received an email from them associating my accounts, telephone, physical and web addresses and various passwords with the ‘theft’, even though I had not been a shopper at their stores or site during the period they’ve proposed was subject to the hack. On the telephone, they interrupted or parried questions-in-progress.

    At the same time, I can’t shake the Dick Gregory strangeness of receiving email warnings of security breaches from a company I’ve never furnished with my email address. They now propose that if – as I say – I wasn’t a Target ‘guest’ in November or December of last year, I have nothing to be concerned about.

    Did Kafka found this company?

    1. flora

      Target did send out emails to its customer base about the data theft but in a kludgy fashion. Now I’m seeing emails and phone calls purporting to be from Target but are that actually scams run by bad guys to get identity information. No sensible and legit email should include passwords in clear text. To be safe I wouldn’t click any links or call a phone number in such an email. Browse directly to the company’s website for information instead of clicking any email links.

      It might not hurt, if you think your cc account may have been compromised, to simply call your cc issuer and declare your cc lost. Tell them you’d like the ‘lost’ card deactivated and a new cc with a new number sent to you.

      A bit more info on the Target breach. (I don’t think Target is the only company in this boat.)
      “From SANS IT Security newsletter:

      “TOP OF THE NEWS –Target Breach Used Stolen Vendor Access Credentials (January 30, 2014) A Target spokesperson said that the breach that compromised payment card details and personal information of millions of the retailer’s customers came about through credentials stolen from a vendor. A preliminary look at the malware used in the breach suggested that the attackers may have exploited a vulnerable feature in IT management software on the company’s internal network.

      http://www.zdnet.com/target-traces-security-breach-to-stolen-vendor-credentials-7000025780/

      “[Editor's Note : That just means that (1) Target was allowing 3rd parties to access its network without strong authentication; and (2) Target wasn't monitoring what those weakly authenticated 3rd parties were doing once they got on Target's internal network. (Murray): This report is very late in coming but no surprise. The failure to report this on a timely basis has invited an incredible amount of hardly credible but misleading speculation. The Verizon Data Breach Incident Report shows that perhaps a third of the breaches in their (admittedly biased) dataset involve misuse of privileged vendor access. Often the victims are not even aware of this access.]

  2. AbyNormal

    the US may extinguish Tanks but not in the markets…what a night(mare)
    HeY BiG O, get your wig on strait n fire up your jumbo…tour breaking cities and shout:
    LET’S GO ALL IN WITH SOCIAL SECURITY TO WALL ST

    “Old Nick was summoned to the skies.
    Said Peter: “Your intentions
    Are good, but you lack enterprise
    Concerning new inventions.

    “Now, broiling in an ancient plan
    Of torment, but I hear it
    Reported that the frying-pan
    Sears best the wicked spirit.

    “Go get one — fill it up with fat —
    Fry sinners brown and good in’t.”
    “I know a trick worth two o’ that,”
    Said Nick — “I’ll cook their food in’t.”
    Ambrose Bierce

      1. bob

        On a more serious note…russian potato virus pulls off largest heist ever.

        Lowball, 40 million, $10 a piece…400 million

        And who do we have looking into this? A blogger and IntelCrawler, who are both very quick to blame those friggin commies, for a firmware attack that took place in the US.

        The media blackout on the largest heist ever, and the dependence on “private sector” solutions, as both the cause, and presumably, the “fix” is laughable.

        What did they really track down with that story? A guy who wrote a script.

        It’s a long way from the USSR to EVERY SINGLE Target POS in the US.

  3. p78

    Peak mining & implications for natural resource management
    Developing a Sustainable Community
    “Former career mining professional Simon Michaux .. talk … presented in Adelaide by the environmental group, Sustainable Population Australia. The presentation looks at the looming energy crisis, and plots peak gas, coal, uranium and other energy sources as we head towards a time of resource scarcity and radical societal change.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFyTSiCXWEE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAjQ-Xkexqw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM_aBS1HlUk
    (Apologies if this was posted before.)

  4. taunger

    The politico story is timely … citizens in MA are frustrated with the Federal intervention in our Romneycare, which although helpful in expanded Medicaid payments to the state, has really screwed with enrollment, and, of course, all the issues for plans that Lambert has written in detail.

    But all it would take is one or two Dems to lead onto the sword and blame Obama to curtail the Republican campaign; I don’t see why that wouldn’t happen with this lame duck president. It doesn’t even need to be a major candidate; as long as a well respected Dem can make enough noise on the issue, it will deflate the Republican campaign.

  5. Ignim Brites

    Maybe applications to Harvard are down because people are beginning to realize that Harvard is a fatally tarnished brand. The “elite” universities of the nation have to bear the bulk of the responsibility for the nation’s death.

  6. F. Beard

    <– bill paying, check cashing, small loans – … from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/coming-to-a-post-office-n_b_4709485.html

    Those “small loans” are a poisoned pill since the government has no business lending money. Instead, how about a default account with an initial deposit for all American adult citizens of about $5,000 from Uncle Sam, eh Liz? As restitution for theft from the current banking system? And how about abolishing government-deposit insurance too since it would no longer be needed? And also the Fed? And etc?

    1. lambert strether

      Warren’s proposal strikes me as horrible. I want everyone to have a safe place to stash their money and cash their checks. Period. Especially when you just know the lending function will be privatized, so, another giveaway.

      Adding… I want to pay my utility bills there, too. But that’s all I do. I want it to be like buying stamps or a money order. I don’t want post office personnel upselling me on loans or handing out brochures extolling usury. Ick.

      1. Vatch

        Hi Lambert, if the Post Office lending function becomes the equivalent of high interest payday loans and title loans, it will certainly be very bad. But if the Post Office small loans have lower interest rates than payday and title loans, and less abusive collection policies, won’t it be an improvement over what currently exists? I guess that’s a rather big “if”. The student loan system might be used as a model for the small Post Office loans.

        Okay, maybe I answered my own question.

        1. jrs

          Well if all you’re looking for is lower rates, don’t credit unions already offer that? Because they aren’t supposed to be in it for profit either. Are we trying to solve a problem here that would be better solved by credit unions?

          In what way is post office banking preferable to credit unions? Here’s all I can come up with: Well there are MORE post office branches than credit union branches probably, so sheer avialability possibly in lower income neighborhoods, not sure? But even credit unions have integrated their systems somewhat, national ATMs etc. Possibly a post office could have more derivative protection? I’m not sure – what Yves wrote about, banks and derivative exposure and savers being the counter-party! I’m not sure what the deriavative exposure is for credit unions. Does anyone know?

          Ok post office banks are supposed to be an idea we’re all supposed to be getting behind and getting behind Warren too I guess, but I have trouble seeing how they are preferable to credit unions. And yes the lending thing probably is poison.

          Hi Lambert, if the Post Office lending function becomes the equivalent of high interest payday loans and title loans, it will certainly be very bad. But if the Post Office small loans have lower interest rates than payday and title loans, and less abusive collection policies, won’t it be an improvement over what currently exists? I guess that’s a rather big “if”. The student loan system might be used as a model for the small Post Office loans.

          Okay, maybe I answered my own question.

          1. Kim Kaufman

            Credit unions are not available to everyone I think. Mine is not open to everyone presently and it only does selective kinds of loans, no first mortgages, only small seconds and car loans. My cu is small, bigger ones may do more. Fees for all banking services are excellent – zero. Haven’t checked lately on their loan rates.

            1. Kim Kaufman

              Also, post office used to do small banking and loans. Forget how it ended but suspect banking industry had something to do with it.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            1. We wrote about the Post Office bank proposal last week. The proposed interest rates may seem high, but they are a screaming bargain compared to payday lending.

            2. Credit unions are not open to the public. You have to belong to a group that the credit union targets as members.

            3. The Post Office bank study also found that 56% of the Post office branches are in underbanked areas, like poor and rural comunities.

      2. F. Beard

        Sure. Moreover, the monetary sovereign is the ONLY proper provider of a risk-free storage and transaction service for what is, after all, ITS FIAT, not the banks’.

    2. Invy

      Or instead of 5,000 we go with a replication of the Canadian Mincome experiment. The second a state decided to endow citizens with the ability to buy private property it doomed most of them to selling themselves. To rectify this it is only just to provide that with which the land would have provided had not the state alienated the masses from it.

      1. F. Beard

        To rectify this it is only just to provide that with which the land would have provided had not the state alienated the masses from it. Invy

        The Bible handles the problem by disallowing the permanent sale of a family’s agricultural land; see Leviticus 25. So the permanent solution is land reform but until then as much socialism as is needed is certainly justified, imo.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We use also use family fishing lakes.

          Not everyone wants to be a farmer.

          Some may want to catch lobsters in Maine.

          1. F. Beard

            I recall that Peter and some of the other Apostles were fishermen.

            I guess you’ve never read the Bible?

            1. MyLessTHanPrimeBeef

              No, you forgot to mention family lakes.

              You kept repeating family farms and family agricultural land.

              I was the one to remind you that people fish and need family lakes and family creeks.

              1. F. Beard

                Don’t think for a minute I’ll do all the work when it comes to reform. Why should I when justice is coming anyway (See Malachi 4)? When I’m lazy and dispirited? And when monetary reform is spiritually dangerous (See “666″)?

                What I do is strike a few sparks – if the tender is wet that’s not my problem. Nevertheless, you may be held accountable for what little light I’ve shone here – though I hope the individual sparks have been bright.

        2. OIFVet

          Could it be that our ancestors were early socialists and that the biblical wisdom is nothing more than the accumulated survival wisdom of early people who needed to see a divine hand in their world as a way to account for things they could not understand? We humans fear that which we don’t understand, so it is easy for me to see how we could create the concept of a divine being as a way to explain things and to ensure fear-based compliance with the socialist practices which ensured the survival of the group in an untamed world. Don’t smite me, just asking. In my opinion, the refusal of the libertarians and neoliberals to acknowledge that humans were herd animals where the survival of the individual was dependent on the survival of the herd fatally undermines their belief in the “freedom” of the individual. Evolution can not erase many millennia of hardwired instinct overnight, at least not in the absence of sociopathic inclinations. Its little wonder to me that an artificial system imposed by sociopathic “elites” results in so much pain and anguish.

    3. BondsOfSteel

      I’m actually surprised (in a good way) about the loans.

      When I first heard of the Post Office Bank idea, I assumed it would be like the old post office saving account with debit cards. The post office already issues money orders.

      Just the ability to direct (or indirect) deposit checks… and do point of sale purchases (with reasonable fees) is a huge step forward for a large segment of the population. Bill paying? Wow! Payday loans? Amazing!

    4. bob

      It is a poison pill.

      10 years into the future- congress again screws with the USPS books and demands that it raise cash by selling their assets, aka loans.

      The birth of the securitized, USPS guaranteed bond market. Federal criminal charges enforce payment of debts.

      Take deposits, make payments. Full stop.

      1. Antifa

        That is the most likely scenario. A low-interest Post Office bank in plain English is “a new loan shark in the neighborhood who promises not to gouge you.”

        A decade later, and he’s just another loan shark, because that’s how the loan-sharking business works.

        If the Post Office is going to offer “really-honest-for-true-banking services” they might as well throw in operating as a friendly pawn shop and a low-cost real estate broker, too. Then there’s marijuana sales, and if you go around back you can hand in suitcases and cartons of cash from your meth sales and get it laundered at a decent rate.

        And mail a letter, too.

        1. jrs

          Well that’s certainly a way to make the post office more unpopular – and thus abolish it when it is I guess (eleventy dimensional chess but not for our benefit – playing the long game). The post office now would probably rate fairly high in public opinion. Payday loan sharks not so much so.

          As always if you just want loans that take into account risks (and price for it!) but without gouging then whats wrong with credit unions? Of course I don’t think they do the super risky loans either, they do mortgages, car loans etc.

          I feel like the Warren proposal is a bandwagon I’m being asked to jump on that I don’t want to jump on because I dont’ really understand it.

          Off topic: I always thought the post office could make a good profit if they could sell people on not getting junk mail. I think I’d pay more than the junk mailers pay to deliver it, in order not to get it!!! I hate it! But like the post office generally.

          1. F. Beard

            but without gouging then whats wrong with credit unions?

            1) Government deposit insurance.
            2) Lack of a Postal Savings Service.
            3) The existence of a legal tender lender of last resort.

              1. F. Beard

                Let 100% private banks leverage all they dare and let government ZEALOUSLY liquidate them when they miscalculate.

                  1. F. Beard

                    No, because it is the existence of those privileges that allow the banks to leverage so much. 2-1 instead of 30-1 might be all that a truly private bank would risk – and get away with it.

  7. Jill

    American Religiosity:

    Debate between the creator of the Creation Museum and Bill Nye, the science guy– tonight! Live for anyone at this link: http://news.cincinnati.com/viewart/20140130/NEWS01/301300103/

    “The much-anticipated debate on Tuesday night between Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum, was sold out in minutes, but can still be seen live on Cincinnati.com or on your mobile devices with the CincyMobile app (http://bit.ly/1d1hn8B).”

    1. F. Beard

      Last I heard Ken Ham was a young (6,500 year old) Earth creationist so he’s a very flammable straw man to debate. This guy, Dr. Hugh Ross, oth, has a Phd in Astrophysics and probably knows more about Science and the Bible and the world’s other major religions than both Ham and Nye (Ham & Rye?) combined. Dr. Ross agrees that the Earth is billions of years old and says the Bible supports that view too.

      1. Skippy

        They have all been refuted, remember?

        skippy… insistence is not a base for factual evidence imo.

        1. Jill

          F. Beard, There is a large swath of the US population who believes exactly or close to what the Creation Museum teaches. Bill Nye is saying that this belief is harmful to young people and the rest of our nation.

          That is an important point and he will attempt to show/prove why be thinks this way.

          Many religions have many different creation myths. Some of those myths may be compatible with the latest in scientific research, some may not. This compatibility does not prove the truth or falsity of any scientific theory.

          1. F. Beard

            I’m saying that when Ham gets burnt, as he should, it should be no reflection on the Bible itself which never says the Earth is only 6500 years old or there about.

            Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, … 1 Chronicles 16:15

            So the Bible itself says the Earth is AT LEAST 15,000 years (assuming a minimum age for a generation of 15 years) old blowing Bishop what’s his name theory of the Earth’s age out of the water. Of course the Earth is much, much older even according to the Bible but I’ll leave that to Ross to explain at his site.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If a divinity travels at close to the speed of light (c), what mortals experience as multi-billion years is but only15,000 years to that divinity.

              But a good physicist priest-cum-theologian will also say that any divinity can go faster than c, though by sticking close to c, when that divinity returns, he/she looks much younger.

            2. Robert Dudek

              The bible says that god created the first humans directly; it doesn’t say god set in motion a chain of events that resulted in humans evolving from ape-like creatures.

              1. F. Beard

                True, but wrt animals, including Man’s immediate precursors, direct Creation is NOT indicated:

                Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. Genesis 1:24

            3. Cambria

              Yes, the Bible says the earth “BECAME without form and void” (not WAS) indicating a period of time as long as science needs…

          2. eeyores enigma

            It’s much worse than simply a matter of proclaiming the Earth is 6500 years old.

            Creationist vehemently and sometimes violently oppose those who hold nature (which includes the environment duh) above God. I know because I have gotten myself stuck in that debate more than once.

            I would say that this is the single biggest hurdle for action on climate change and environmental destruction.

            1. F. Beard

              Aim for justice and you’ll get a healthy environment too since it is injustice, including the money system, that drives environmental destruction.

              And yes, God is above Nature, since He’ll eventually destroy Earth Himself to replace it with a better one.

              Or do you love fleas, ticks, malaria, Lyme Disease, etc. that much?

              1. Antifa

                @ FBeard — the Abrahamic religions share this notion that Earth had an historic Creation Day, courtesy of Yahweh, and that it will have an historic Ending Day, courtesy of the same joker.

                Which makes this planet a test tube, a Petri dish, where the experiment is to see if Yahweh can frighten people into living under the authority of his mortal representatives (priests and pastors and ministers and imams and rabbis) and Bronze Age rules with the threat of awful things happening to them after they die.

                Anyone who thinks God created this Earth and is coming back to End Everything some fine morning is a Creationist, not a rational person. Not rational because they actively hold and promote an insane belief. Such a belief makes them unreliable stewards of humanity or this ecosystem.

                1. F. Beard

                  I have a much more sympathetic view of our Creator since He apparently underestimated the difficulty we’d be. And like us all He does have His limits as any careful reader of the Old Testament would know.

                  But what’s your alternative? A cold, literally heartless universe and then you die and that’s it?

                  And who are you to judge anyway – being a member of the human race whose atrocities against each other are the daily news?

                    1. F. Beard

                      What? You fear a new Inquisition? Not from me.

                      Actually, Christians and Jews are the ones to be persecuted in the End Times which may be around the corner when, ironically, the rest of the world worships the Beast of the Book of Revelation.

                      Y’all best learn to love God unless you want to end up worshiping the Devil (and then share his fate).

                      Your choice though.

                    2. MyLessTHanPrimeBeef

                      As long as I have your word that people are free to choose their journeys, to seek meaning and search for what they believe will work for them.

                      It’s on record now.

                  1. Bunk McNulty

                    Yes, as a matter of fact: It is a cold and heartless universe and then you die and that’s it. You want your fairy tale to keep you warm, go for it, dude. But quit trying to sell it here, okay?

                  2. LucyLulu

                    “And who are you to judge anyway – being a member of the human race whose atrocities against each other are the daily news?”

                    Does this statement apply only to other people, or are you also allegedly constrained from judging others?

                    “Y’all best learn to love God unless you want to end up worshiping the Devil (and then share his fate).”

                    Normally I don’t like to pile on. However do you realize that if you’re trying to win friends and influence people, a judgmental attitude that elicits others to be defensive and hostile may be working at cross purposes to any attempts to convert others to your beliefs. Besides, it requires a certain amount of arrogance to believe that one is (relatively) uniquely blessed with the answers to questions that only can be explained by one’s personal faith (or lack thereof).

                    ” I believe in the fundamental Truth of all great religions of the world. And I believe that if only we could, all of us, read the scriptures of the different Faiths from the stand-point of the followers of those faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom, all one and were all helpful to one another.

                    Belief in one God is the cornerstone of all religions. But I do not foresee a time when there would be only one religion on earth in practice. In theory, since there is one God, there can be only one religion.

                    The one religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect. Hence the necessity for tolerance, which does not mean indifference towards one’s own Faith, but a more intelligent and pure love for it.”
                    –Mahatma Ghandhi

                    1. F. Beard

                      Does this statement apply only to other people, or are you also allegedly constrained from judging others? Lucy Lulu

                      I don’t judge others (God will have mercy on whom He chooses to have mercy); I do judge what I think to be error and Progressives have greatly erred by rejecting the Bible.

          3. F. Beard

            Bill Nye is saying that this belief is harmful to young people …

            So Bill Nye is an old Earth Creationist? Or does he aim to teach children that their lives are essentially meaningless as if that would not harm them?

            1. taunger

              careful for the contrapositive of that second question. sorta takes the divinity out of the argument ….

            2. Antifa

              Meaning arises from experiencing life, discovering what feeds your soul and what does not. It’s not an intellectual formula, so it is not found in any book. It’s is found in knowing yourself more and more deeply.

              Bill Nye doesn’t teach the meaning of life, nor the meaningless of it, nor try to. He teaches science, the practice of measuring reality. He also speaks freely of the harm done to young minds by teaching fairy tales in place of measuring reality yourself.

              If you feel any given child can only find life’s meaning in the Bible, you are no different than those who proclaim life’s meaning can only be found in the Koran, in Scientology, in the Upanishads, in Zen, in Voodoo, Shinto, Taoism, or Santeria. No one has any trouble ignoring people selling the idea that there’s only One True Solution.

              The meaning of life is not in any book, any more than New York City is in a freeway sign saying, NYC 375 miles.

              The greatest fault of One True Solution peddlers is the lie that a human being can arrive at salvation, can declare themselves “saved” and in no further need of growing, changing, or discovering themselves.

              1. F. Beard

                The greatest fault of One True Solution peddlers is the lie that a human being can arrive at salvation, can declare themselves “saved” and in no further need of growing, changing, or discovering themselves. Antifa

                When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. Ezekiel 33:13

                You were saying?

                1. MyLessTHanPrimeBeef

                  I believe he was saying there were more than ONE SOLUTION. And people want to be left alone to check them out to see what works for them.

                  1. Cheyenne

                    I think it’s important to note that most “One True Solutions” don’t think of themselves as THE “One True Solution”. That’s endemic to the Abrahamic faiths. Remember the first commandment?

                    1. F. Beard

                      Technically, the Ten Commandments are for the Hebrews; the other nations are subject to the Noahic Covenant. Of course the First Coming of Christ has implications too.

                      The Bible is a nuanced Book and beyond easy understanding; I suggest you not delay long before reading it CAREFULLY before you casually and fatally dismiss the Word of God; I’ve spent 5 years doing so and have barely scratched the surface.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      It’s often for humans, in any field of study, after 10 years, that one says to oneself: ‘What was I thinking in those first 5 years?’

                    3. F. Beard

                      You might not have tomorrow, much less 10 years.

                      But who do you think you are anyway? Do you think you are above Divine Retribution if God should not appreciate your dismissal of the immense sacrifice of His Son in favor of your trying to sneak into Heaven on your own?

                    4. Cheyenne

                      I know you want to believe the spirit of Christianity is still in unison with the small, admirable cultus that (allegedly) sprang up around Christ himself. Take a look at the Christianization of Europe: after the very early stages, it was rooted in violence and social/political coercion and lasted over a millennium. The Crusades, the Thirty Years War, the inquisitions, the cultural and actual genocide of hundreds of groups across both of the “new” continents. The perpetrators of all these crimes turned to biblical doctrine for justification.
                      There are plenty of admirable ideas and passages in The Bible, but please do not pretend that arranging your worldview around a single book can’t be dangerous to society.

                    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      All the more reason to not spread things learned in 5 years that will take 10 years to understand.

                    6. Optimader

                      People are wired to see patterns percive “meaning” even when they dont exist. This notion of god “sacrificing” his son for me is BS. The unfortunate demise of some jewish guy ~2000 years ago has absolutely no bearing on my existence or behavior.
                      i am perfectly good with the notion of nothing beyond my corporeal exuistence, if there is more, ill be quite happy to buy in when the opportunity is revealed.
                      I am confident no “creator” is as venial as is related by interpretive bible thumpers, or tora or koran for that matter.

                      If there is an all merciful god my first question will be : Why Mosquitos?”

              2. AbyNormal

                YES! A fruitful inspiration for responding to our individual abilities…write on Antifa, write on!

                Master of soul
                Set to touch
                All impenetrable youth
                Ask away
                That thought be contact
                With all that’s clear
                Be honest with yourself
                There’s no doubt
                No doubt
                Yes/Awaken

          4. Benedict@Large

            For many years, I’ve been hearing these fantastic numbers about people who believe in Creationism, people who are born again, etc. I don’t believe them for a whit, and I’ll tell you why.

            These types of people love to proselytize. They breathe it, sleep it, live for it. They’ll do it to you when ever you are near. Which means that if there were a lot of them, this would be happening to you quite a bit. Here’s the thing though. I’m over 60 years old. I’ve live all over the country, and worked in jobs that spanned the distance between movers and shakers and ditch diggers. And in all that time and through all those experiences, I could count on my fingers with fingers left over the number of times people have come to me to tell me about their God.

            Sorry, the numbers don’t add up. These people who are making these claims obviously have an agenda, and that’s to make you feel the outcast for not sharing in their delusions. Don’t believe them. They are the quacks; not you.

            1. F. Beard

              These types of people love to proselytize.

              Not really. I don’t like doing it much myself because it is spiritually dangerous. OTOH, being a coward is spiritually dangerous too AND we are taught to be able to DEFEND our beliefs since the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and someone with those characteristics is bound to arouse interest.

              But my mission, such as it is, has been ethical money creation which I naively thought all decent Americans could embrace since I thought ALL of us believed “Thou shall not steal.” Boy was I wrong!

              1. F. Beard

                And if I lack those characteristics myself:

                1) I was far worse when younger.
                2) I only seriously started reading the Bible about 5 years ago.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  A prodigal son.

                  What is interesting is that a prodigal son had to go through on his own in order to return to his home. No amount of defending the faith, preaching, proselytizng could have made him do otherwise.

                  Were you a prodigal son before the 5 year study? No where in any excerpts of your autobiography have you mentioned appreciation of constant hectoring for your redemption. Was it all your inner self or have you neglected to mention a debt (of gratitude) to some un-named mentor?

                  1. F. Beard

                    Prodigal I’ve been but I was never taught according to the Bible so I have some excuse.

                    As for hectoring, I limit myself to “Thou shall not steal” – especially from the poor. If you disagree then you can go to Hell as far as I am concerned.

                    1. F. Beard

                      I defend the Bible here (actually, it defends Itself) because it defends ethical money creation and I do hates the banking cartel since it blighted my parents’ lives and by extension, my own.

                      I might not help much killing the banking cartel but I’ve certainly pelted it with a rock or two, if I do say so myself. And since many bankers and bank defenders claim to be Jewish or Christian, the rocks from Scripture should get their attention.

                      You Progressives are just too lame when it comes to dealing with banking; one suspects astro-turf at times.

                    2. OIFVet

                      That’s all fine and well FBeard, but what do Blankfein and Jamie Dimon say/do when you explain to them the error of their ways? Let’s face it, the religious right played and continues to play a large role in the rise of this predatory system of ours. You wanna wag your finger at someone, look closer to home to your “Christian” brethren. “Progressives”, whatever that means in this day and age, is a rather amorphous and convenient label that is nowadays used to provide cover to supposedly “leftist” politicians and their agenda. Particularly on this website I doubt many who share your economic views would insult themselves by calling thhemselves “progressives”, I know I won’t. Don’t take this to be anti-Christian, for I know true Christians exist: a very dear friend is a Lutheran pastor who embodies what it is to be a caring Christian. He is the only one allowed to say Grace at my table, and I willingly join it because he lives it. Again though, to call out “progressives” without calling out your fundamentalist “christian” brethren strikes me as a rather reactionary short-shortsightedness.

                    3. F. Beard

                      Well, if this was a Christian site I’d definitely be chastising Christians for charging each other interest and for not shunning bankers AND for shunning the Old Testament in favor of Calvin, Luther, Wesley, or whoever else (excluding Jesus Christ since He may have Inspired the OT but in any case has the Authority to override it).

                      But people like Liz Warren and Bill Black raise my ire since my aim is not to praise government- backed banking but to bury it.

                      A modest ambition, to be sure. :)

                    4. OIFVet

                      Well, to me omission is commission. All I am saying is, it helps to add disclaimers that “Christians” are guilty as well. I don’t know why you are so fixed on the Old Testament. The orthodox church in the old country is too, yet its corruption knows no bounds and the ones they serve are the local oligarchs. Conspicuous display of personal wealth is the hallmark of these shepherds, while their herd allows in utter misery and hopelessness. Sorry but I will take the Lutheran “heretic” who lives the words rather than the orthdodox fat f@ck who lives well off them.

                    5. F. Beard

                      I defend ONLY the Bible – nothing else – so it’s irrelevant to me how some people twist it to their own destruction.

                      As for the OT, the NT praises it as well or do you not believe the NT?

                      And now I quit; I could defend till the cows come home but why risk being banned or censored? And have such lovely comments deleted as well?

                      adieu

    2. Vatch

      Jill, thanks for reminding us about this issue. The National Center for Science Education is an excellent source of information about evolution and the young Earth creationists. I’m a little concerned about the debate between Nye and Ham. Although Nye has facts and logic on his side, Ham is probably a more experienced debater, and that could have a great influence on who is perceived to “win” the debate.

      1. XO

        Anyone watching this debate with an open mind has gotten wrong the concept of having an open mind.

        It is fine to not revisit a “debate” if both sides have argued their points, exhaustively, and one argument completely and irrevocably destroys the other.

        My concern is that the debate itself validates the creationist version of our origins, instead of allowing superstitious mumbo-jumbo share a level playing field with measured observation of the cosmos and its implications.

        Of the two, only the scientific approach leaves open the possibility that it does not, currently, have an answer.

        1. XO

          My concern is that the debate itself validates the creationist version of our origins, BY allowing . . .

          1. Antifa

            True that. Perhaps someone should be there to represent the Elves. And the Dwarves, and the Hobbits.

            The Druids have One True Solution, as do the Parsis and Bahaii’s. Can they not attend as well?

          2. Jill

            XO and Vatch,

            Nye is trying to show why teaching children creationism is harmful to them and to our nation as a whole. I understand your points about engaging with this issue but here is why I still think it is worthwhile. Creationism isn’t just an idea, it’s an idea that is put into practice in the public educational system. That reality needs to be addressed. It needs addressing intellectually, emotionally and finally, legally.

            Many Christians do not understand why it is wrong to teach creation at school. My neighbors have a lot of signs in their yard that say: “Protect Religious Freedom”. They do not mean that. They mean; “Protect my Religion as the one true religion and banish all others from the public square. My religion, and mine alone is worthy of protection and it will be ruling over every other religion and people who don’t choose any religion at all times.”

            Because the idea put forth by creationists is one of dominion over others in the public square, it has moved beyond an intellectual discussion into everyday life for all Americans. It must be confronted and its consequences spelled out.

            1. XO

              Howdy, Jill,
              Of course, you are correct. The bothersome part is that anyone who has heard both sides, and not been swayed towards the logical, non-presumptive, and measurable, is already beyond “salvation.”

  8. Jim Haygood

    America 1, AIPAC 0 (from the NYT‘s ‘Potent Pro-Israel Group …’ article):

    A Senate bill to impose new sanctions on Iran has stalled after stiff resistance from President Obama, and in what amounts to a tacit retreat, Aipac has stopped pressuring Senate Democrats to vote for the bill.

    In September, it threw an army of lobbyists behind an effort to win a congressional mandate for Mr. Obama’s threatened military strike on Syria. Facing certain failure in Congress, the president pulled the plug on the effort.

    A group of prominent liberal Jews sent a letter last week to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, rebuking him for speaking last month at a closed-door gathering of Aipac, which they said “speaks for Israel’s hard-line government and its right-wing supporters.”

    Aipac has helped secure $3.1 billion in American aid for Israel for the fiscal year.

    ————

    $3.1 billion in funding for bloodthirsty neocons, who directly recycle a portion of this tainted boodle into subverting U.S. elections and foreign policy. Enough!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And then there’s this:

      “The source of Aipac’s power is its ability to generate bipartisan votes,” said Steven J. Rosen, a former senior official at the group, who was forced out in 2005 after being caught up in an espionage case.

      Americans ought to be careful. Israel might start looking elsewhere for its sugar daddy. We can only hope.

      1. hunkerdown

        Sugar cane daddy? I might have read on a links thread here of overtures being made toward Brazil or other BRICS (or South American?) nations. My memory tends to be fuzzy before coffee, as you see.

    2. Cynthia

      If Israel cannot learn how to get along with its neighbors, it is not a viable state.

      If Israel cannot exist in the neighborhood without foreign help, it is not a viable state. Outside entities that provide that assistance are in a trap of their own making. Time to cut the aid and let Israel sink or swim on their own merits.

      1. Optimader

        It is a failed state by any definition i am aware of. What other country needed a lobbying organization in a foriegn Sovereign? Jews in the US quite simply shouldnt be extorting resouces to manipulate Israel, if Israel is truly that important to aipac members they should move there and live the dream (fantasy).

  9. grayslady

    Thanks for the link to Turley’s website with the Snowden interview. I still wonder why even The Guardian didn’t publish more transcript extracts. As usual, Snowden was knowledgeable, articulate and believable–just what our government doesn’t want the public to see.

    1. TimR

      There doesn’t seem to be that much interest in it here, even with the alleged censorship. Nobody much cares, either about the interview, or that the gov would suppress it! apparently.

      Incidentally, isn’t censorship what you do when you actually *want* to spur interest in something? The old reverse psychology? Usually works much better just to *ignore* any rational critiques, and be content to dominate mass propaganda outlets.

      Or do they worry that some things do spread online, and reach a wider audience than they used to?

      There’s so much speculation about the real forces behind the Snowden story though, and hidden agendas. Some people say it’s about making the surveillance state more visible, bringing something that’s always been around, out in the open. Making sure people know they’re being surveiled, turning up the heat. So could the DDOS attacks on Vimeo also be a way of the surveillance state making a statement (more so than caring about people seeing the video)? If so, like I said, nobody seems to care.

        1. jrs

          Yea wow kind of amazing, now the Turley link doesn’t work. Isn’t it ironic? Serious censorship.

          But yea we need a transcipt up (and if I had time to work on that I would.)

        2. jrs

          Some say it’s being taken down for copyright reasons. Copyright used in effect for censorship wow, that’s shocking. Not.

          But on the topic of intellectual property how meaningful are I.P. protections in a world where the U.S. is engaged in industrial espionage as per Snowden? A question to ask since we’re all going to have this shoved down our throats along with corporate dictatorship via the TPP.

          1. different clue

            Not necessarily. If TPP can be tarred with the stench of Obama himself and reflexively known as Obamatrade in the vast majority of minds in this country; perhaps the Congressional Officeholders can be made to feel so much pain over it that they dare not support it and dare not support the fast track approach either.
            ” If you like Obamacare, you’ll love Obamatrade”. A bumper sticker slogan?

      1. jrs

        This claims to be a transcript (linked to on Turley):
        http://www.ndr.de/ratgeber/netzwelt/snowden277.html

        Yea, I don’t know what the real deal is with Snowden either. When a story is being blacked out it’s usually just not covered by the mainstream media and that’s more than sufficient! Most people still don’t get their stories from the alternative press. But Snowden is of course big news.

    2. Jackrabbit

      I am as confused as anyone else (the censorship just draws attention; sorta like the coverup is worse than the crime) – but remember how the State Dept initially said that anyone viewing the freely and widely available cables released by wikilinks could jeopardize future employment with the State/Fed govt?

      Its yet another of those don’t ‘know whether to laugh or cry moments’ (so many lately).

  10. Jagger

    The AIPAC article just infuriates me. Just another demonstration of the absolute corruption of our democratic process. I guess it bothers me so much because the article demonstrates how our so called political “leadership” will place the will of another country above our own national well being when the price or pressure is right. Just insane.

    1. hunkerdown

      Elites’ first objective is to protect the institution of elitism. Second is to protect elites. Anything else is negotiable.

  11. diptherio

    Re: Detroit Turns Bankruptcy Into Challenge of Banks ~New York Times

    My goodness, what will those poor capital-market guys do if those greedy pensioners take all Detroit’s money? The injustice…the horror…

    This article is notable mainly for the way mention of banker criminality is studiously avoided. Take this bit about Detroit’s interest-rate swaps:

    The suit…seeks to invalidate complex transactions that helped finance Detroit’s pension system in 2005. In a not-so-veiled criticism, the city said the deal was done “at the prompting of investment banks that would profit handsomely from the transaction.”

    The banks that led the deal were Bank of America and UBS. They helped Detroit borrow $1.4 billion for its shaky pension system and also signed long-term financial contracts with the city, known as interest-rate swaps, to hedge the debt. Detroit has already stopped paying back the $1.4 billion, but for the first six months of its bankruptcy it kept honoring the swaps contracts and at one point offered to pay the two banks hundreds of millions of dollars — money it would have had to borrow — to end them. But the lawsuit now seeks to cancel the swaps, arguing they were illegal from the outset along with the related debt transactions.

    No mention of the fact that BOA and UBS were involved in the rigging of the LIBOR on which those swaps were based. Seems like that part might be…I don’t know…relevant.

    And also note the unspoken, but implied, equivalency between “banks, bond insurers, and other corporate creditors” and the city’s retirees. Apparently, making crooked financial institutions take a haircut is practically inconceivable. And just like the fascists that they are, the banks threaten collective punishment if they don’t get their way. “We’ll make life hell for Lansing and Ann Arbor if Detroit doesn’t pay up!” Of course, the banksters don’t put it in quite those terms:

    Ms. Lasky and Mr. Donnelly both expressed concern that by giving the pensions priority over capital-markets debts, Detroit’s lawyers could be making it harder for other Michigan cities, counties and school districts to raise money in the future. Ms. Lasky said that because municipal bankruptcies are so rare, and Detroit’s debts so big, the city stood to set an outsized precedent that might even affect cities outside of Michigan.

    That’s right: if Detroit doesn’t make good on its loan-shark like debts to our criminal financial institutions, they’re coming after your kids (and their schools). Are we clear?

    But the NYT isn’t totally callous. They do recognize that maybe pensioners who spent their best years toiling for the city might have some moral precedence over criminal financiers. Of course, they wait till the very end of the piece to mention it, but better late than never:

    “There’s also a humanitarian interest in not wanting to cut the pensions severely as well,” Mr. Skeel said.

    Oh yeah…humanitarian interest…almost forgot…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      All workers should be in the Social Security system.

      It’s the only humanitarian thing to do, instead of what we are seeing with this.

      I don’t know why government workers should be left out.

      Beyond that, every person can look into a variety of IRAs that are all protected in a bankruptcy.

      1. Jess

        Some public workers ARE in SS as well as their private pension system. Here in CA we have a situation where some workers have had their SS contribution (BOTH halves) paid by their municipal or state/county employer. One study in Contra Costa county should that the typical worker who retired after 30 years with a fully vested CalPers pension was also getting an average of $19,000 a year in SS. (Would link to the report on that but I’m recovering from back surgery and limited to this old laptop while the saved material is on my office Mac.)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We should avoid balkanization and risky pensions (risky in light of the situation we see in a few muni bankruptcy cases).

          Just one plan, Social Security, for all.

          United, we defend Social Security.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Remember when they told us that Obamacare would ‘save money’? Well, comrades, I’m afraid the story has changed, not necessarily to our benefit. This is your CBO speaking:

    ‘CBO and JCT estimate that the ACA’s coverage provisions will result in a net cost to the federal government of $41 billion in 2014 and $1,487 billion over the 2015–2024 period.’

    Oh, my. Well, anybody can make a $1.5 trillion mistake, preparing punch cards for them old steam-powered mainframes to chew through. The quote is from page 111:

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45010-Outlook2014.pdf

    And it gets worse (page 123): ‘CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.’

    If you tax something, you get less of it … didn’t ol’ Jack Kemp used to say that? Damn if it ain’t true!

    1. XO

      All things being relative, it’s still not as bad as the damage the private sector does on a number of fronts, every damned day.

      If taxation causes one to have less of something, then a zero tax rate should allow everyone to have more of everything.

      Oy.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It is unlikely that they will take money from, say, the drone program, to pay for ACA, though it would be nice.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Fine, change the subject. But the limited question at hand, holding everything else in this imperfect world constant, is whether Usgov should or should not continue Obamacare.

        CBO says that Obamacare will spend $1.5 trillion to destroy 2.5 million jobs by 2024. That’s a cool $600,000 spent per job destroyed. Maff, oy …

        1. just_kate

          Many here have stated over and over again our views. Obamacare should be replaced by a single payer system that covers everyone. We could cut funding from the Department of War to assist in the transition which would likely require a few years to pay off the private industry parasites to close down their operations and go find something else to do.

          The additional savings from the Department of War budget right-sizing could be used to shore up temporary disturbances or unexpected costs caused by conversion to the new single payer healthcare system and then be redirected into infrastructure repair and education.

    2. Benedict@Large

      So let me see if I’ve got this straight. Over the next ten years, the federal government will spend $150 billion a year in an effort to stop people from dying. Less than $500 per person per year.

      Oh, the horrors. I had no idea that was all I was worth.

  13. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    I can see stocking up on the gunshot wound sealant – and would not be surprised to see it added to the already over-stocked duty belts of various police officers, as well as it becoming a “bulk buy” for those paramedics working in cities with strict gun control laws.

  14. kevinearick

    Facts of life

    Deferring responsibility doesn’t work, but the majority is easily persuaded. Extortion of the minority, denial, has been the path to death for every majority in History. Empires are built to be destroyed accordingly.

    RE price inflation is not wealth.
    Tourism is not an economy.
    Public Works is not a business.
    Healthcare does not deliver health.
    Public schools do not educate.
    The State does not own natural resources.

    The majority, regardless of ism created for the purpose, can only busy itself seeking consensus, leaving it and those fighting it in the past, attempting to control the minority moving forward. That minority provides for the majority by choice, until it doesn’t, which is the nature of a productive distribution, distillation.

    Live within the means provided, do something productive yourself, or perish, when the minority moving forward drops the weight of History on the majority, again. The problem solution is not external. Life is life wherever you go. It’s about the company you keep on the journey.

    Global climate change is a function of self-destructive international trade, hunting down labor globally with Family Law to exploit it, building an economy on a foundation of sand. Empire accountants simply fill in actuarial numbers to suit empire bias, lawyers file bankruptcy, and bankers print, exactly what the majority pays them to do, promising their children as payment for more of the same, irresponsible consumption with credit positive feedback.

    Everyone is not doing it, and the majority cannot bill labor, a marriage between a man and a woman subject to God, without destroying itself. Vote all you want. Labor doesn’t operate as a representative democracy internally; its actions are not subject to majority vote. Labor is a democracy of ideas, where the idea holder counts. Time accordingly.

    The majority runs downhill from responsibility, “Faith [the investment cycle] is evidence of that not seen {by the majority],” subjecting itself to tyranny every time. Check your constitution again. It’s an at-will contract, which exists only between the agreeing parties to the contract. Replacing the parties to the contract with State Family Law dissolves the contract relative to those replaced. That’s why they call it dissolution.

    $50Trillion, and the container ships are doing what? Fracking as a bridge to the future?

    Thanks, but the majority can keep its slave ship routine. Labor will build a bridge to the future for its own children, like it always does. Empire have been built to be destroyed accordingly, city on top of city on top of city, for over 5000 years. The majority promises itself slaves in the future, and so becomes a slave to the past. From and to dust, the worm devours itself.

    To understand labor, you have to understand how weather reshuffles the DNA deck, and how empire delays recognition to the end of control. Labor pits the empire majority pursuing extortion against the planet, leveraging gravity.

    Women are made to have children, the future. The path of DNA is the future, integral. Property, income and jobs are the derivative, the past. Women breed males accordingly. Men position women with mobility, breeding women accordingly.

    If you are a woman and you don’t like the pool of males to choose from in your community, look at the short term decisions other females are making to acquire property, income and jobs. The feedback mechanism works the same for men. Your own throw you under the bus, if you let them.

    Due to the gravitational effect on women, bearing children, a man must be able to move a community when the weather reshuffles the environment. The empire majority builds an artificially controlled environment, entering a positive feedback loop with climate variability. Each iteration of empire creates a ‘better’ artificial world, delay, within which the best is enemy of better.

    The empire is a collection of isms, collecting single people that do not accept their gender responsibilities in artificial civil marriage, to the end of collecting property, income and jobs, or whatever else the empire establishes control around. Whoever is willing to pay the tax tribute, and manage the slave turnover accordingly, gets the State paper granting right to extortion, under conditions of artificial scarcity.

    Placing women in the workforce is not a problem, but when the empire starts talking about paying women equally to do what men do best, and vice versa, it courts disaster, in a chain of growing artificial crises, creating its own demand. The empire simply cannot beat a community of nuclear families, men and women positioned to grow the local economy, and without that community, the majority dependent upon the food chain cannot exist.

    The weather reshuffles the environment to protect you, if you employ it. You want your spouse to be paid to produce in a feedback loop with nature. You want inequality. Those that do not provide for their spouse get empire, and their genes go back to the churn pool. Monogamous marriage cannot be beat over the long term because men and women are doing what they do best.

    The empire makes it unlawful to pay a family man more despite a much larger multiplier effect in the form of durable goods orders ensuring local business growth, because the practice shrinks the empire. The empire enforces international trade because that is the only way it can divide and conquer communities. GDP measures empire control, over itself; that’s it. Labor doesn’t use empire money as a measuring stick.

    Ultimately, History tells you to spend 10% of your time paying the majority’s bill for stupidity, and 24 hrs/wk is more than enough if both sexes want to participate equally, deferring responsibility in busy work as the counterweight. Regardless of ism compilation, all majorities reward consumption as production, driving an artificial demographic boom, until production collapses, causing a demographic bust. Politicians just rearrange chairs on the Titanic, which is what you are observing in the energy sector.

    Life is a walk of patience with adversity, which demands adaptation to find your self. Focus on adaptation. If you find yourself in economic slavery, don’t repeat the choice, by failing to discount the majority’s negative opinion of your value. Leave the empire behind to bid against itself, and you will be paid with interest and penalties accordingly.

    The Internet is a surplus bridge upon which the empire is imploding, because it is two generations behind the curve. One majority after another has tried and failed to replace marriage for over 5000 years, but keep trying. Gravity serves a purpose.

    Life is not a competition with others. Your only competition is your better self. Fear is not an economy. If you make decisions on the basis of fear, the best you can do is be last to lose. If you appreciate what you are given, you will be given more. You are an investment. Act accordingly.

    Communication, like everything else, is a transmission mechanism. A manual beats an automatic every time, if you have a driver. The majority rules out itself, with false assumptions serving as the foundation of ineffective habits. Humanity is not the center of the universe.

    The trick, of course, is to employ those working to avoid work as the counterweight, which requires at least three elevators, and the universe gives you one. Automation has replaced imagination, replacing America with a cheap replica, made in China. That’s not going to get you anywhere you want to go.

    If you want to go to the future, pay your children to take you there, with love, not control. Parents help children learn, to think for themselves. Education is a purely community interest, dependent entirely upon parents. Government does not run backwards by accident. Public education becomes a zoo for revolving isms with majority rule, tyranny.

    Earick Elevation, the company you keep
    Wiring from anywhere, to anywhere

    1. F. Beard

      Wow! One day, after the Lord has given me a good brain, I might visit the Internet archives in Heaven to read your stuff cause I sense there’s a lot of truth therein. But also, it reminds me why I gave up pot! Too many tangents!

        1. kevinearick

          infinity, zero and minus 1/12, and they throw out infinity and zero…too much to fit I suppose.

    2. kevinearick

      Trickle Down Circle Jerks

      “The investments came first from Britain’s great families but increasingly from parvenu merchants and bankers aping the manners and lifestyles of the landed class.”

      Have you ever seen a P&G test for employment? Have you ever seen one of their slave programs in operation?

      “[T]he First Five Years Fund, a non-profit group that advocates early education programs, found that 60 percent of registered Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats supported a proposal to expand public preschool by raising the federal tobacco tax.”

      “ ‘ Preschool is, generally, a crowd pleaser,’ said Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham education policy group.”

      Law Enforcement, P&G, blah, blah, blah, compliance, compliance, compliance

      “ ‘In a way, there is something about hitting bottom,’ said Mr. Gilbert (Quicken Loans)”

      And German reinsurance…

      What bottom?

      Take away the bottle.

  15. kimyo

    Starving hives: Pesticides cause bees to collect 57% less pollen, study says

    Bees exposed to “field-realistic” doses of insecticides gather less than a half the pollen that they normally do, dooming their young to starvation, UK researches have said. While some scientists hailed the findings, pesticide makers remained unimpressed

    In a spin-off of their earlier study, a team of British scientists have revealed how the neurotoxic chemicals contained in agricultural neonicotinoids affect the very basic function of the honeybees – the gathering of pollen, or flower nectar.

    “Pollen is the only source of protein that bees have, and it is vital for rearing their young. Collecting it is fiddly, slow work for the bees and intoxicated bees become much worse at it. Without much pollen, nests will inevitably struggle,” explained University of Sussex professor Dave Goulson, who has led the study. His comments were made in a statement released alongside the research.

    1. MyLessTHanPrimeBeef

      It’s the butterfly effect we’re seeing more and more.

      We do one thing and a billion others are impacted unintendedly.

    2. OIFVet

      The quote is of undetermined origin, but here it goes: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” It is not just the bees of course, many other insect pollinators have been killed off by the mass use of pesticides made necessary by the industrial agriculture of today and its heavy emphasis on monocultures. Its incredible how inefficient the “science” based industrial agriculture is compared to more traditional kinds, and how it destroys the natural fertility of the soil by killing off the very microorganisms that make that fertility possible.

    3. Emma

      Virgil suggested that bees destroyed through an epidemic could be reborn through the begonia process (a ritual involving a cow’s carcass) but I suspect GMO beef didn’t exist then, neither global warming, so sit back and enjoy a roast without trimmings.

    4. Optimader

      I like honey, and it doesnt rot (hint)
      Support your local bee keepers, its a noble enterprise/passion.

      1. OIFVet

        Thank you for the informative link Katniss. I love bees and honey, the village in the old country had many beekeepers back in the day, including an uncle. Every time I visit he has some delicacy waiting; it truly captures the local terroir.

  16. Glenn Condell

    ‘Mud dump in Great Barrier Reef park could choke life

    Australia will dump millions of tonnes of sludge inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park so that it can export more coal’

    but wait there’s more:

    ‘Unesco experts say move to strip 74,000 hectares of world heritage status so soon after it was added is unprecedented’

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/04/unesco-tasmania-forest-world-heritage-exceptional

    For the loggers and wood-chippers.

    Our major media assure us we are now being governed sensibly at last, thanks to the economic ‘dries’ that dominate government economic portfolios:

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/joe-hockey-gives-government-muchneeded-direction-20140203-31xbo.html

    but there is a joker in every pack, and Sharman Stone appears to take her responsibility to her constituency more seriously than her fealty to her party or the economic dogmas that guide it (or which they pretend guide it):

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-blackening-the-characterof-spc-workers-says-liberal-mp-sharman-stone-20140204-31zff.html

    She has called her leader the PM and the Treasurer liars. She has pointed to the hypocrisy of their decision in light of others of a similar nature, where the business concerned was in a marginal seat (hers is safe, though she herself might not be for long). She has the farmers and their National Party (ruling Coalition partner with the Libs) on side, they too having been fobbed off for debt relief, which happily will mean most of them will be forced to sell to the banks or Big Ag. This issue has the potential to split the government. Gee, the farmers might have to form a union!

    The hypocrisy is of course applies much more broadly:

    ‘Not enough money for welfare? Then why the amnesty for the richest tax avoiders, Australia?’

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/21/tax-avoiders-australia-amnesty

    It looks as if penalty rates on overtime are on the chopping block too. Can’t afford that, even though a graph in the link above shows that, so far as ‘the percentage increase in the share of income of the richest one percent’ goes, it isn’t daylight that takes second place behind the US, it is Australia.

    The background noise to all this includes the PM complaining that the ABC isn’t patriotic enough and initiating another ‘inquiry’ into its funding, an Education minister who says gay teachers should be barred from teaching sex education, an Immigration Minister who (taking a break from hiding from the media) has refused our Human Rights Commissioner entry to our refugee processing centre on Nauru because ‘her jurisdiction doesn’t extend that far’, and the latest instalment of a relentless generational union witch hunt by the conservatives, whose goal appears to be a labour landscape like America’s.

    Union corruption and malfeasance has been ‘uncovered’ all over the place, seemingly all at once. The servant commentariat and downstream shock jocks have dutifully frothed at the mouth, but the ire is uni-directional:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/30/union-corruption-must-be-stamped-out-business-finance-must-be-tackled-too

    Here endeth the Aussie update.

    1. Skippy

      Hay who said you can’t go back in time, Glen. Maybe we could just call Australia – New Texas, where prosperity is always just around the corner for the faithful, until the environment karks it….

      Skippy…. is it just me or does Tony, Hockey, et al have a unsettling posture about them in the public view.

      1. Glenn Condell

        They all look like they’ve just been given a dressing-down by that Credlin woman, which is not unlikely.

        Abbott according to Bob Ellis and David Marr is actually some sort of intellectual powerhouse underneath, but I can’t see it. Hockey I see as a kind of Aussie Obama, so cute and harmless and you know, ‘nice’, but he seems to have the same sort of calculating emptiness in the service of forces arrayed against the people whose interest he is supposed to be representing and protecting.

        Set ‘em up Joe!

        1. skippy

          For some reason I wonder if they will be called upon to testify at the Royal Commission on child abuse… ahhh… the gift that keeps giving.

          Skippy… some say that after a time… you learn to like it…

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