Links 8/7/12

What is a proof? mathbabe

Putting a price on the rivers and rain diminishes us all Guardian (John L)

Tepco Weighed Using Firearms To Avoid Fukushima Explosion Bloomberg

Nick Skelton: gold medal rider defies age and broken bones Telegraph

Is not joining Facebook a sign you’re a psychopath? Some employers and psychologists say staying away from social media is ‘suspicious’ Daily Mail. So people under 35 are required to be exhibitionists as a condition of employment?

Hospital Chain Inquiry Cited Unnecessary Cardiac Work New York Times

How a charity oversells mammography BMJ and BMJ OpEd Says Komen Ads False MedPageToday(furzy mouse). Regular readers have seen me rant periodically on what a crappy test mammograms are. A manual exam by someone who regularly feels boobs for cancer is better at catching dangerous cancers early than a mammogram. But you will never hear that from an MD in the US.

Neil Heywood trial: Bo Xilai’s wife has ‘confessed’ to killing British businessman Telegraph

Asia Buyers Snap Up Australian Hotels As Mining Boom Fills Rooms Bloomberg (Joe Costello). Shades of Japan, circa 1988, except they went for golf courses and resorts.

Are Chinese profit warnings signalling a bottom? MacroBusiness

Merkel is running the ‘Fourth Reich’: Fury in Germany after Berlusconi newspaper prints picture of Chancellor with hand raised and compares her government to the Nazis Daily Mail

Germany and Italy near blows over euro Telegraph

Spain Proves that Austerity can never “Ensure” a Balanced Budget Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

Standard Chartered Bank accused of scheming with Iran to hide transactions Guardian. As in $250 billion.

Standard Chartered Faces N.Y. Suspension Over Iran Deals Bloomberg. Note the bank contends that only $14 million in transactions were out of compliance. This is gonna be interesting.

Trading venues ready for CDS turf war IFRAsia (furzy mouse)

Very Bad Things Happen When We Depend on the Same People Who Caused the Foreclosure Crisis to Track Its Destruction Alternet

Curiouser and Curiouser: Bart Chilton Informs the Press About the ‘Erroneous Report’ on Silver Jesse

Parents of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte face foreclosure USA Today

Vacant Detroit becomes dumping ground for the dead Associated Press (furzy mouse)

Why the Administration Won’t Fire Ed DeMarco, Cont’ David Dayen, Firedoglake

Leeson: Rogue trader culture is more rife than ever Independent

Raging Bulls: How Wall Street Got Addicted to Light-Speed Trading Wired (furzy mouse)

NY neighbors turn out to mark passing of 30-year-old Honda Civic AutoBlog (YY). Be sure to watch the procession video.

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. JGordon

    I would love to be the first person to sue an employer for discriminating agasint me because I have a schizoid personality.

    Having real friens is bad enough; the idea of having fake Facebook friends on top of that makes me want to puke.

    1. Kyrie Eleison

      Ever since back in the BBS days, way before this commercialized social media crap, I have yet to use my real name for any social internet contact.

      It’s become SOP for many of us, very much like using handles over the radio, and I have had many.

      So if that makes me a schizophrenic, then at least I am a well-adjusted one, and it is a far cry from the claim being made here, that somehow by not participating on Fakebook we are placed under suspicion of being a psychopath?

      I think these sites draw in the psychopaths – where else can you find a larger pool of gullible and trusting playthings to toy with outside of social media on the internet?

      1. JGordon

        I think you’re mistaken about definition. Being schizoid means that I hate being around and have no social impulse, not that I hear voices and see hallucinations. When I’m sober anyway.

        I think of it as an advantage though, since I don’t have a lot of emotional baggage getting in the way of my logical thinking, which allows me to be pretty unperturbed by the knowledge that society will collapse soon and most people will die off, and has consequently allowed me to prepare for that eventuality in a very logical way.

    2. ambrit

      Mr. Gordon;
      It’s just an extension of the ‘Real World’ phenomenon of ‘Fake Friends.’ The ability to conform to the latest and greatest fad seems to be the aim here. What kind of meaningful opposition can you expect from “the Hollow Men.” The greatest thing all authoritarian systems fear is individuality. The few times I’ve wandered around Facebook, all I’ve found is game playing, (of the psychological kind,) and frustrated narcissism. Since the true source of strength of any extended system is diversity, this trend, like so many before, is doomed to self destruction.

      1. James Cole

        “Since the true source of strength of any extended system is diversity, this trend, like so many before, is doomed to self destruction.”

        LOL What are you talking about? What is an “extended system”? What do you know about “diversity” on Facebook? This “trend” will not go away–for as long as there is the internet, there will be social media sites.

        “The few times I’ve wandered around Facebook, all I’ve found is game playing, (of the psychological kind,) and frustrated narcissism.” Change “Facebook” to “America” and I’m sure you could make the same claim: as long as you don’t engage with people, we all look like pathetic narcissists.

        But the fact is, you get out of it what you put into it, and I have seen many people get a lot of emotional support from friends via Facebook, and I myself enjoy engaging in interesting arguments with people on various forums, much like this one.

        Generally I am not a fan of what is essentially at its core a data mining operation (Facebook) but I am even less of a fan of what comes off as elitist dismissal of a means of communication that the mass culture has evidently found quite valuable. Face it, this is a new mode of communication and self-presentation that hasn’t really existed before and it’s as real or fake for you as you want it to be.

        I’m sure there were people who similarly dismissed the telephone (“The few times I’ve picked up the phone, all I hear is a dial tone, and frustrated narcissism. This silly trend will self-destruct, like all extended systems without diversity.”)

        1. bulfinch

          “Face it, this is a new mode of communication and self-presentation that hasn’t really existed before and it’s as real or fake for you as you want it to be.”

          I suppose. I still see it more as a common stage for showcasing fancies and artifice.

          I think things like Youtube, and even to some extent, Twitter, are far superior modes of communication.

        2. JGordon

          I doubt very much that the internet will be around after society collapses, which will be soon.

      2. ambrit

        Mr. Cole;
        Yes indeed, I’ll hazard a guess and suggest you’re a ‘social’ animal, like me. How we interact is key. Here, you take me to task for various things, and give evidence in support; “I myself enjoy engaging in interesting arguments with people on various forums, much like this one.” I suggest that Facebook is in no meaningful way like NC and similar sites. Here and on other ‘thought’ oriented venues, the emphasis is on the argument, not the personality presenting said argument. All I ever see on Facebook, indeed the design practically guaranties it, is Me Me Me. I might be giving it short shrift due to inclination and experience, but the entire thing reminds me all too much of a big, messy High School society.
        “I am even less of a fan as what comes off as elitist dismissal..” Fair enough, however, to what extent do we allow the “Tyranny of the Should” to shape our social interactions? People used to interact at the community level. Facebook represents a growing movement towards alienation on a society wide scale. The old joke was: “I love the telephone! When they disagree with you, hang up! Problem solved!” Now we can go one step further and search for like minded groups from near and far. This is decidedly a two edged weapon. It allows one to disengage from and ultimately ignore ‘unpleasant’ truths, simply by controlling access and engagement. Orwell would have instantly understood the potentials of Internet Social Sites, good and bad.
        Finally, there is the issue of technology and complexity. As we should have learned from the Fukushima disaster, as the complexity of a system increases, the probability of breakdown increases. Internet systems are similarly dependent on vast arrays of technology and organization. Like everything else in our modern world, the risks are greatly magnified as the complications increase. What happens to the social sites on the internet when we enter the looming period of rolling blackouts? What do the Facebook junkies do when their local utility announces “No Electric Tuesdays?”
        I’ll concede that I’m a Dinosaur when it comes to Social Media. I’ll ask you a question in reply though. What would you rather have when you’re devastated by some unforseen tragedy? Real, loving arms to hold you or a smiley emoticon?
        Feel free to blast back. That’s the beauty of this site.

        1. colinc

          So superbly stated, ambrit. I tip my cap to your profound perspective. Yet, that is the state of society today and just one of many factors that I see only resulting in the utter and complete failure of the “human experiment.”

          Moreover, when you state…

          “Like everything else in our modern world, the risks are greatly magnified as the complications increase.”

          … you have indeed hit the nail’s head. Tainter is wrong about complexity, every organism on the planet and their deliberate or serendipitous interactions (or lack thereof) are exceedingly complex. However, unlike “natural systems,” humans seem to have an overwhelming predilection to create “complications” solely for the sake of generating “revenue.” “We” are not going to end well.

        2. James Cole

          “I might be giving it short shrift due to inclination and experience.” Sorry, but you are.

          I think you have things completely inverted.

          1. Facebook vs. Naked Capitalism
          Apples and oranges. It’s like comparing Charlie Rose to the telephone. Naked Capitalism is explicitly set up as a primarily one-way delivery of analysis, news, critique and other interesting things. Facebook is a structure that is otherwise content-free (Marshall McCluhan notwithstanding) and Naked Capitalism could easily be set up as a Facebook page, including the discussions. Many blogs are. The fact that most people seem to use it to post pictures of cats and kids and to describe the person on line ahead of them at the grocery store is simply an amplification of what’s already on peoples’ minds. The “big messy High School society” is called the USA; only now it is on-line, indexed and data-mined. I myself tend to get into arguments with libertarians about the ahistorical nature of propertarianism, but that’s just me. I also like George Takei’s insightful memes and witticisms. Lately I’ve been throwing some MMT around to see how it fares outside of the hothouse.

          2. Alienation vs. Community
          I don’t see how a personalized multilateral broadcast platform such as Facebook can be seen as alienating. If anything, it allows more people to stay in touch than might otherwise. The move away from geographic community-based interaction started in the 1920s and picked up after WWII and generally correlates to bedroom-community suburbanization more than anything else. “Now we can go one step further and search for like minded groups from near and far.” Or, we can find different-minded groups from near and far. Either way, one’s range in this search is expanded by platforms like Facebook. It’s relatively easy to wend one’s way into a community of people on Facebook that one has nothing in common with. I recently stumbled into a fairly obnoxious discussion among equestrian racists in Virginia and I was grimly fascinated because I’ve never met people like that. They were not fans of Obama, to put it mildly.

          3. Rolling blackouts.
          This is a straw man (nothing about my claims for Facebook require that it be disaster-proof), but, in any event, the internet is far more redundant and fault-tolerant than, say, cable TV or the interstate highway system.

          4. Smiley emoticon vs. real loving arms.
          False dichotomy, Facebook is not exclusive of other contact.

          Please note I am not some shill pumping Facebook stock. None of my points have anything to do with potential revenue generation or Facebook as an investment generally, and frankly, I would prefer a non-profit version that operated like a public utility.

          1. ambrit

            Dear James;
            I don’t imagine you as a troll of any sort, so, peace brother.
            As to the points, in reverse order:
            (4) “Loving arms vs. smiley emoticon.” I’ll argue here that the situation is not a false dichotomy. Yes, the two are not exclusive of each other. I posit that as time goes by social ‘entropy’ occurs. Most people will take the ‘easy way out’ and avoid confrontation and unpleasantness to a greater and greater extent. Since Social Media have an absolute control function; terminating the conversation becomes the default strategy. Something like kicking the game board over when one is losing. The lesson is lost. Most importantly, everyone involved knows that this can happen, and thus self censors. Face to face, reality can only be ignored at the expense of being shown to be ridiculous. Yes, it gets messy, but the immediacy of the situation motivates each to greater effort. A perfect world? No. But a real one.
            (3) “Rolling blackouts.” The point of this was to show that all social media sites, all media, inclusive, is dependent upon a steady supply of electricity. This holds true for purveyor as well as receiver. Let a small grid of cell phone towers, or satellite downlink dishes go quiet, and your region loses service. Then it’s back to talking to your nieghbour over the back yard fence.
            (2)”Alienation vs. Community.”
            You have a point there. My quibble is with what exactly constitutes a ‘Community.’ I have met, in the flesh, people who are happy members of various Games Groups. Ask them questions about local politics, such as, how much is enough for school taxes, and they draw a blank. Even when it is pointed out to them that they are paying those taxes, directly or indirectly. Ask them if they are willing to help out a bit with the Hobo Jungle denizens camped out behind the old Wal Mart, and you get a hearty; “Hobos! Don’t s— me man! That’s like, 1930’s s— dude! Get out of here.” So, I’ll concede a draw here.
            (1) “Facebook v. Naked Capitalism.” Well, apples and oranges are both edible fruit. At root, both spring from a common source. So do Facebook and NC. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do not hear of spirited back and forth argument going on on Facebook. Yet both purport to be vehicles of community interaction. Given that you and I are exchanging views on this subject here, how can NC be considered one-way? If the Doyen decided to eliminate the comments section, the argument would have some merit. As it is, I must disagree.
            Your Charlie Rose vs. the Telephone allusion is very apropos. Charlie Rose seems to be presenting the Neo-Liberal world view, with no feedback from his audience. He can be forgiven that since he isn’t hosting a call in show. With the telephone, despite my earlier disparagement of the device, one can achieve a lively back and forth. I know it’s a tortured analogy, but Facebook can be seen as the Charlie Rose Show, and the lowly Telephone as Naked Capitalism.
            Well, I have to get ready for work. Thanks for making me think.

          2. bulfinch

            “I don’t see how a personalized multilateral broadcast platform such as Facebook can be seen as alienating. If anything, it allows more people to stay in touch than might otherwise.”

            I think when staying in touch becomes too easy, it dilutes things. When you have to work a little at a relationship, there tends to be a little more value — much like when proximity does not easily enable companionship, that absence or lack of immediate gratification very often serves as a unique kind of bonding agent in itself.

            And you said it yourself — FB seems like a great resource for broadcasting carefully groomed and tailored dispatches – a big virtual rug positioned in such a way as to hide a lot of the bugs which, in my opinion, are what tend to make people interesting in the first place.

            Plus, I don’t want to line up to the FB trough each day to read a generalized dispatch about how a close friend is doing in life.

        3. colinc

          Actually, upon further consideration, one may conclude that all/any “social media” is merely an accurate reflection of “society” in general. That is to say, social media mirrors the abject degeneration of society into a dysfunctional conglomeration of fruity little clubs, each out to usurp status and credit (re: mathbabe) from any/all other cliques by any and every means available. Alas, I must also conclude that, indeed, “civilization” has never been more than an absurdly anomalous amalgam. More often than not, evolution leads to a dead-end.

          1. James Cole

            “More often than not, evolution leads to a dead end.”

            More often than not, life leads to death, and stars lead to supernovae. So what? It’s the journey along the way that counts.

            I like the alliteration in “absurdly anomalous amalgam” but wtf does it mean? Civilization includes things like taking care of the weak or the sick, the accumulation of human knowledge and the communal appreciation of beauty. You’re as blase as a hipster. Make peace with the herd and love it for what it is. Kurt Vonnegut saw some of the worst atrocities the world has seen but he was still able to appreciate both the absurdity and beauty of the human condition.

          2. Kyrie Eleison

            This has been a fascinating discussion, however getting back to the original topic of the article:

            Current or future employers are basing their hiring and retention decisions on Fakebook activity, with the full rationalization and support by psychologists.

            So if I were to join Fakebook under my real name this afternoon, I would know ahead of time to act as a PR firm on my own behalf, carefully censoring my real thoughts, interests, and feelings to either play down or be a revisionist to anything negative, and to make sure I toe the line in regards to whatever it is people want to hear. Otherwise, I may end up (gasp) offending someone who is in direct control of my economic livelihood, or worse.

            I would also know that the people I come in contact with could be under the same pressure, and would dare not say anything that would be used later against them in such a way.

            There is no protection against self-incrimination present, the “privacy controls” are a total joke, this has been demonstrated time and time again, and I don’t have the economic might to either not care what anyone else thinks or stage massive efforts to clean up my image whenever I get caught saying or doing something that someone else doesn’t like, regardless of how mundane or inconsequential it may be.

            So… thanks, but no thanks.

    3. bulfinch

      I don’t trust a person who isn’t at least a little schizoid. (Unfortunately, a lot of people conflate the word schizoid with schizophrenia or psychosis, so you don’t often see people self-reference as being such.)

      Guess I’m psycho, because neither facebook or myspace ever appealed to me at all, despite the behest of certain colleagues who explained how much easier it would be for me to access the details of their latest doings and see all the photos of them being generally fabulous.

      Beyond matters of privacy or solitude, I actually value having a tiny bit of mystery in life. The world is just too damn small as it is.

      1. JGordon

        Yeah, you’re right about that. Most people are too lazy to use a dictionary.

        Anyway, not having much in the way of emotions is an avantage. Most people are emotional wrecks who live miserable, conflicted lives of greif interspersed with brief periods of joy. Being schizoid means that I can always be very relaxed and mildy happy no matter what horrible things happen (I have been practicing keeping a positive attitude and a pleasant outlook–it’s a lot better than being slightly depressed!).

        Err, anyway I am not totally unsocial. I am actually working with a relatively large group of people now to survive the coming collapse of society be forming a sustainable community. You should look into that. Surviving takes precedence over the joy of being alone and friendless in my book.

          1. ohmyheck

            Oh yes, I have loved that Bill Hicks video since I first saw it!

            And, Dear ambrit, you betcha! A twofer, as they say.

  2. Goin' South

    Re: Jesse’s post on the decline of the “rule of law.”

    I have a solution for the decriminalization of marijuana advocates: get the big banks to sell pot right inside the bank. The Obama Administration has engaged in a four-year crackdown on medical marijuana (another broken campaign promise), but if the banks are selling pot (for that matter, heroin, crack and meth), they’ll never touch them.

    1. ambrit

      Goin’ South;
      Sorry mate, but they are already enabling massive narcotics trading through their Money Laundering Services. (A convenient aspect of our Personal, Friendly Business Services Division!)

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Let’s also not forget it must be kept illegal to give cops a pretext for messing with people, and for maintaining throughput and profit margins for our increasingly privatized prison system.

          2. Kyrie Eleison

            Not only for those reasons, but they also have an entity to run that is funded outside of the view of the public.

          3. Aquifer


            serves ’em right – if they had left him some weed he could have chilled out instead of going psycho …

  3. Bryan Sean McKown

    Thank you for the link to “BMJ OpEd Says Komen Ads False” via furzy mouse. The article was published on MedPage Today, 8/2/12. The selected news on WebPage Today is apparently peer reviewed by medical professionals. Intrigued
    I did a search on the site for research evaluating image guided diagnostic analysis for cancer and quickly located:
    a review by J. Alison Noble, 6/15/11 in Interface Focus discussing the use of software algorithms to process the vast volume of medical data imaging produced by X-ray, MRI, Ultrasound,computed tomography, and positron emission tomography. The
    idea is to use the lastest technology to “Provide information for diagnosis, guidance of treatments or to asses the success of therapy, and not to generate pretty pictures”. See Figure One for various images of a breast mass
    as part of an effort to improve image analysis. The download was free courtesy of

    1. LucyLulu

      It’s not just mammograms. Colon cancer is one of the leading cancers yet as many as half of all Americans are not getting tested. Why? For one thing, many are reluctant to undergo a colonoscopy, either through fear of the prep, fear of the procedure, inability to pay, or another reason. And few Americans are given alternatives, even though colonoscopies are not routinely used in most countries. Stool samples can be tested for either blood or antigens and may be a preferable screening tool for many, though there are some drawbacks. The testing must be done every year, and if results are positive (which can be false positive), a follow-up colonoscopy is recommended. Certain foods and medicines must be avoided for several days before testing for blood, but not antigens (more expensive, but more specific, of two tests). Benign polyps may not be caught which can later become malignant, though the vast majority never do.

      Those at high risk, have either family history of colon cancer or polyps, and/or personal history of Crohn’s or colitis, are recommended to get colonoscopies. But colonoscopies come with their own set of risks. Small polyps or tumors can be missed, esp. if doc is in hurry, clean out is inadequate, or on right side of colon (harder to visualize). There is small risk of bowel perforation and anesthesia carries a risk itself. They also are very expensive and involve a couple days of down time. A clean colonoscopy requires no follow-up for 10 years. That seems like plenty of time for a cancer to become entrenched, but I could be wrong on that, maybe colon cancer is very, very slow growing????

      When, and if, real health reform is ever introduced, we may see annual stool testing replacing colonoscopies, at least for those at lower risk, and palpation replacing mammograms. Anecdotally, my own experience with mammograms is that they lead to recommendations of all kinds of unnecessary (and sometimes urgent) interventions….. and prompting my refusal of same interventions for “wait and watch” approach. It’s useful to keep in mind that surgeons don’t make money unless they do surgery.

      1. liberal

        When, and if, real health reform is ever introduced, we may see annual stool testing replacing colonoscopies…

        I really have to question that. My strong impression is that looking for “occult” blood in stool samples is a poor test (ie, false positive and negative numbers are not good).

      2. ambrit

        Dear LucyLulu;
        My wife has been dealing with just such a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ scenario related to ovarian cysts found using sonograms. She is past menopause but balked at the immediate recommendation of an expensive operation to remove the ovaries. Two years on and the cysts have slowly decreased in mass and shown no signs of malignancy. For profit medicine is definitely anti social.

  4. MIWill

    re: Is not joining Facebook a sign you’re a psychopath?

    See also:

    ‘Employers Wary of Job Candidates Who Don’t Poop Honey’

    I don’t have a link yet; next month maybe.

  5. LucyLulu

    Spain Proves that Austerity can never “Ensure” a Balanced Budget

    Tangentially related….
    Has anybody else noticed all the ads on TV pushing the state of NY, and the return of business (with song by Alicia Keys playing)? I’m in one of the swing states, allegedly being blitzed with campaign ads. The ads touting NY easily outnumber the campaign ads. Where is NY getting all this money? Aren’t all the states broke? Anybody know what this is all about?

    Irregardless, I’m sure NY is not swimming in dough, and NY has made a calculated decision to invest lots of money in national TV ads to promote business in their state. Instead of slashing their budget everywhere they can and promoting fiscal austerity, they are spending money expecting a payout in their future. Romney/Bain/private equity would do the same thing, taking on large amounts of debt if necessary to turn the company around (and I know, pay the investors nice profits). Why are the same principles are so hard to understand in the public sector?

    1. James Cole

      It’s the Cuomo for President 2016 campaign.

      NY is slightly less broke than other states because its pensions are better funded.

      Also, “irregardless”?

    2. Paul P

      NYS not swimming in money? Check out the Fiscal Policy Institutes budget analysis. NYS,, over the past decade has phased in tax cuts that cover the state’s budget deficit. And, Patterson and then Cuomo couldn’t bring themselves to support a millionaire’s surtax. Cuomo later passed a waterered down version of the millionaire’s tax.

      1. Antifa

        For the record, there is only one American state that is not broke — North Dakota. They have their own State Bank, which did not partake in the general madness of the recent ‘bubbles’ decades.

        They are currently running their typical budget surplus, as always.

        I’ve sometimes thought of moving there, but then I’d be in North Dakota.

        1. Robin Hood

          I’ve heard it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be. And it’s vibrant economy seems to be oil & gas related rather than tourism.

    3. Aquifer

      Well, here is how NYS proposes to handle its budget “problem” – by treating it as a democracy problem

      Also, i keep hoping that someone will really take up the issue of the STT – Stock Transfer Tax (sales tax on stocks) – that NY has been collecting for over 100 years, to the tune of $15 billion (yup, B) a couple of years ago thanx to HFT, but, since ’81, has been rebating immediately back to the brokers and traders. So instead of obliterating the deficit by keeping the tax money, NY will now take over local gov’t so public workers healthcare and pensions can be gutted. Perverse is hardly the word …

      I really do wish someone like Yves would do some expose on this …..

  6. jsmith

    Gee, it sure is wonderful and timely how the Daily Mail Facebook “article” ties directly into James “The Joker” Holmes’ LACK of Internet presence, huh?

    From a CBS piece, July 20th:

    “If he was on Facebook, we might know what’s been on his mind, what he had for dinner or how he spent the Fourth of July, offering insight into his mental state ahead of the events, but Holmes is not found on that social network, or Twitter. He doesn’t have a website or blog. Unconfirmed reports late Friday allege that he may have been on the dating site, not a forum most would choose to connect with friends, family or the greater public.

    The fact that Holmes is not online perplexed denizens of the Internet throughout the day, invoking some to message people with similar names, create fake Facebook profiles and even write articles pondering why Holmes, who is 24 years old, presented no presence online.”

    More from a Slate article:

    “There are two possible explanations for why the search for the online James Holmes turned up only false leads. One is that this James Holmes truly is an online ghost—a rarity for a 24-year-old these days, though not out of the question. (Let’s resist for now the urge to speculate on how Holmes’ lack of an online persona might illuminate his personality and motivations.)”

    Yes, let’s resist – giggle – shall we?


    Not on FB: you’re probably a murderous psycopath.

    But wait, doesn’t George W. Bush have a FB page?


    And Donald Rumsfeld:

    Dick Cheney:

    Yeah, you’re right, Daily Mail, only murderous psychopaths DON’T have a FB account.

    F*ck the f*ck off!!

    1. colinc

      Outstanding “discoveries,” sir! I’ve always been inclined to agree with Krishnamurti…

      It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

        1. Robin Hood

          I’m thinking you throw in some nice ass too – for kind of an interesting ying/yang mix…so after a brief peak at, say, Chaney’s posterior you can quickly jump to, say, the Catherine Zeta-Jones page until you recover. Of course there would also be a Tom Cruise page for women users.

    2. joel3000

      I’d be willing to bet that Holmes hung out on the chans where he would have no web traceable identity. Obviously the answer here is that we must ban the chans as they may provoke murderous rages.

  7. briansays

    wow i must really be a dangerous man

    not only do i not have face/fecesbook or twitter
    i don’t even own a cellphone
    usually found them an enabler of poor, incompetant and always ill prepared co-workers to come to me as their lawyer at the last minute to clean up their mess prompted by their sense of entitlement that they could wait to the last minute and dump
    like children if you set limits they will and are able to follow them

    as for bluey
    bought a 1981 280zx out of law school and finally donated to a charity in 2007
    fond, fond memories
    she never failed me
    shoot come to think of it i even had sex in that car

  8. Neo-Realist

    Another psychopath here:) No schmoozebook or twitter–I just don’t want people from my past that I want nothing to do with contacting me. I also would not have the freedom to post my interests in alternative/deviant art, music, and politics without some potential or present employer using it against me. Furthermore, I don’t believe my trivial mutterings about my personal life or that “sammich” I ate for lunch would be of any great interest to the mob.

    Commenting on sites using an alias whose topic or topics have strong interest to me is my comfort zone without having to resort to being penetrated by advertisers, past enemies, and employers via facebuggering.

    1. Aquifer

      Well there goes the entire Green Party – that’s one way to get rid of a political rival ….

  9. Robin Hood

    “Spain Proves that Austerity can never “Ensure” a Balanced Budget”

    Oh My God! We have proof!

    I think I better make up the companion headline that ahould go along with this.

    “The World has proved Lack of Austerity has never produced a Balanced Budget or Stable/Sustainable Debt/GDP Ratio Over The Longer Term.”

    I’ll use 30 years data of ever expanding debt/gdp ratio everywhere as proof that the macro concept of government spending as a form of investment that has a “return” is just a figment of our imaginations in the real world.

    It’s almost like someone is stealing the cash flows?! Or not charging for service?!

    1. F. Beard

      Balanced budgets of a monetary sovereign are usually dumb. There are equivalent to banning gold mining under a gold standard, to put it in terms a goldbug would understand.

      1. Robin Hood

        I’m pretty sure a goldbug would recognize that as deflationary – and buy more gold because the price is going up and the economy is gonna crash – and of course he would sell all his gold mining stock immediately.

        Course we got the same result with running persistant deficits, running up debt/gdp, and expanding both base money and and private credit like crazy.

        I think a goldbug would just shake his head at how we pulled that off.

        1. F. Beard

          Persistent deficits by a monetary sovereign, if not too large, are good but they require no borrowing which Bill Mitchell calls “corporate welfare.”

          As for the national debt of monetary sovereigns , it should be paid off as it comes due with new fiat. Then we would eventually have a ZERO debt to GDP ratio.

          1. Robin Hood

            My King tried that, but then the Jews wouldn’t lend him any more money and all his knights quit and went to work for France. The sherrif of nottingham didn’t care one way or the other – he just continued to steal the peasents food and beer – and daughters whenever he felt the urge.

          2. F. Beard

            but then the Jews wouldn’t lend him any more money

            Is that why he took a (Tally) stick to them? :)

          3. Robin Hood

            The Jews told the King his tally stick is no good anymore. They moved to France where the tally stick was an accounting device and it’s credits were backed by the King’s gold, silver, and sometimes the King’s eating utensils – as could happen during times of war.

  10. barrisj

    Re: Standard Charter Bank and Iranian (financial) sanctions –

    “According to the report filed by the New York state department of financial services (NYSDFS), when warned by a US colleague about dealings with Iran, a Standard Chartered executive caustically replied: “You f—ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

    I reckon that about sums it up.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Facebook and psychopaths.

    We have come a long from leaving stylites and hermits alone.

    Join the Facebook Youth or else.

  12. Dan Helphrey

    “So people under 35 are required to be exhibitionists as a condition of employment?”

    I think it’s more that showing any concern for one’s privacy is now taken as prima facie evidence of having something nefarious to hide.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    What is a proof?

    Another question is, how do you prove your proof method itself is valid?

    1. McKillop

      Let me beat the nationalist drum. I refer to Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
      He claimed, and youtube backs him:”No, a proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.”
      Aug.17, 2006

    2. Lidia

      A proof is an offering, a suggestion; it is “A” proof, not “THE” proof, is how I take it to be.

    3. craazyman

      Philosophistal Insights #49

      you need another proof for that, and then another proof to prove your proof of method is itself a valid proof of method, and then another proof to prove that the proof used to show your proof of method is a valid proof of method is itself a valid proof, and then another proof to show . . . etc. This can continue for longer than most people can remain sane.

      after a while you say “fuck it, this is ridiculous”

      if people don’t get it the first time, then they never will :)

        1. craazyman

          Plato himself famously covered this in the 3rd Man argument in the dialogue Parmenides.

          I’m just plagiarizing.

  14. Susan the other

    my comment just got lost. I’ll try again: Two articles, the one from IFRAsia on the new venues for derivatives traders in CDS, and the other an AlterNet article on the lack of pertinent data on the development of the “housing bubble.” Which was actually a credit and securitization bubble but AlterNet doesn’t say it. Seems we are talking about a two-headed monster when it comes to housing. Because to commoditize housing destroyed the data that could have been used to analyze the bubble. And was perhaps intentionally minimized. The article from IFRAsia talks about establishing venues for CDS execution venues, globally, because these derivatives create liquidity, etc. I’m wondering how many other commodities the derivatives market will destroy because it does not deal with supply and demand but with smoothing over the bumps in volatility caused by speculation.

  15. kevinearick

    Trinity: Hope, Education, & Best Practice

    From the perspective of physics, 5X + 4Y is not equal to (20X + 16Y) / 4, because gravity will act on each differently, in time.

    The middle class squeals for equality and accepts artificial diversity, all colors entering the factory, and coming out ordered by shape, by choice, seeking an equal share in the distribution of your fruit, as promised by agency, after giving capital its cut. What certifications do you have in your wallet?

    In each snapshot, the distribution incrementally moves forward, relative to itself, until it doesn’t, as the empire replicates your work, for distribution through the best business practice pipeline, which is all the reptiles have, shorting itself back in time, relative to the expanding unknown horizon. Nature sees itself, life emerging from gravity.

    Capital moves the herd into the drought-stricken areas again, suddenly flush with energy and illegal immigrants, hoping you will participate, to maintain control and reboot its economy with new technology. Surprise, surprise, capital cannot create economic profit, and it hopes beyond hope that the technology emerging from the process is not the same as the technology entering it.

    The Israelites are chosen alright, for those who seek a bipolar world of bipolar people, to sell it weapons and rent it military, in a self-fulfilling prophesy of death. The church is but agency in low gear, separating the initial herd into divide and conquer camps, which suits nature, and you, if you keep your distance ahead of the black hole.

    Physics tells you that you are never going to transform a robot into a human by choice, and to the extent you try, you will fall back in time, becoming part of the herd. Practice your own religion, and watch the empire hunt you, with more and more robots. The more variables you add, beyond the focus of empire bandwidths, the more you charge the battery.

    Gather children in a group and play the Pavlov tape. Observe how the reptiles look at the other children, and notice the location of the kids watching the reptiles. Have you noticed what is going on in Obamaville, Chicago?

    Israel serves a purpose, for economies of scale. The Nazis may have been bred to pull the lever, in early childhood education, which was never brought to Court, but the Jews killed the Jews, in the Monetary Pavlov Swap. Madoff is anything but an anomaly, as the present State demonstrates, over and over again.

    Why is government so determined to track you and define your identity accordingly? The reptile’s advantage is that it may copy and replicate behavior from all over the world. Your advantage is that you are unique. Don’t give up your advantage for a few pieces of silver and expect not to become part of the machine, robots replicating robots. Cultivate your culture, across artificial empire borders, with the empire’s sunk costs.

    Government education teaches children that life is about getting a prize for doing something they don’t want to do, so, naturally, everything becomes something children do not want to do and the prize is never big enough. Heaven forbid you enjoy what you do, because they must destroy your example, lest their rigged ponzi lottery system collapse.

    The poorer the parent, the better the pay, to leave education to government. Surprise, surprise, the population gets dumber and its currency devolves into bankruptcy extortion, first in spirit, then in intellect, and finally in body. By all means, encourage children to stay in school, or throw them in jail for non-compliance.

    When the ship sinks, the order of survival is crew, captain, men, women, and children. Some kids are just thoughtful enough not to take the mythology of women and children first to heart. The first to accept ponzi peer pressure as law is the crew, the captain is from another sunk ship, and the rest have no idea that the ship is specifically designed to sink, with as many on board as possible, in debt prison.

    The shortest path on paper is never the shortest path, because your frame of reference changes with new experiences. Expediency is always a critical error. Don’t follow the herd and expect not to get slaughtered, because the mistake always catches up to you and you will always replicate it, with increasing pressure on decreasing space.

    If the earth is spinning on an axis, why is it that you can walk in any direction? Funny, Facebook craps out and the rat holes in California start bubbling to the surface. When the elevator functions properly, the building revolves, the curtain of false assumptions falls, and you are where you belong, on time.

    The Bible is a key and a lock, to ponzi demographic economics, depending upon your perspective, the assumptions you accept or reject. Seek the unknown, in your own way, in your own time. The problem is the solution, relative to the frontier. The world is what you make of it, aggregated. Carve a line through History to suit you, and learn to make your own way in life, as an example to your children.

    It’s big wave time. Hopefully, you have been practicing effectively, rather than efficiently. The rails are just guidelines on the explicit side of the operation.

    1. F. Beard

      Laffer, he be dumb!

      I’d like to see Bill Mitchell or another of the MMT team shred this piece.

      For my part, I’ll just say that stimulus, though not ideal either in either amount or destination, is at least some additional money in the economy to payoff private debt.

    2. Aquifer

      another Yves? or another, Yves?

      Those damn commas do have a habit of wandering away don’t they, don’t they ….

  16. craazyman

    anybody who doesn’t think Berlusconi is hilarious is a psycopath.

    He is hilarious.

    What a headline there with Mrs. Merkel. How funny is that? Pretty funny.

    I bet even the Germans were laughing. I bet even Mr. Weidemann himself was laughing. Probably spitting hilariously all over his desk there in the BuBa with the paper unfolded in front of him. Does anybody think Mr. Weidemann and Osvald Krell are related through karmic soul progression. I do. You have to look it up on the internet. google “Durer Krell”. Not “Fuhrer” for you wannabe comedians out there. “Durer”.

    You’ll see.

    This stuff is so easy when you know how to look at it. Eventually even the Germans will start laughing and they’ll realize Berlusconi was right from the beginning. Not about Mrs. Merkel. But about life. Then the printing starts along with the beer drinking, and Europe will be fun again.

    1. Robin Hood

      We are going to need an encore. Besides – Greece did the Nazi thing already – twice really – then they sort of blew it because they couldn’t keep straight whether it was German nazis or Greek nazis they were talking about.

      So I propose they dig up some old Nixon pics where he gives his famous Victory Salute (the one that hippies mistakenly took for a Peace Sign – and mathbabe probably still thinks Nixon was ordering two pizzas) and use the headline:

      American President Tells Europe To F*** Off !

      You know, the US has to be blamed for all this eventually, anyway.

    2. Lidia

      Berlusconi is hilarious only if he’s not running your government. He’s a cross between Ross Perot, Donald Trump, and Rupert Murdoch with the extra bonus of being a clownish-but-still-creepy sexual predator.

      He stuffed brainless silicone-enhanced bimbos into many high-ranking and highly-paid political positions and party office$. He’s a perfect representative of an exhausted and decadent Imperial society on its last legs. Either his age or syphilis has eaten his brain and removed whatever previous inhibitions he may’ve had which allowed him to seem like a plausible leader 20 years ago.

      Berlusconi is “right about life” only if your intent is to screw as many women as possible and leave behind a string of broken families, while referring to yourself as the Second Coming of Christ (Silvio famously claimed to have been “anointed by God”). Berlusconi is your man if you are so insecure that you’d resort to obvious spray-on hair a la Ron Popeil, and if you’d like to attend “bunga-bunga” parties (sexual orgies) with him and Moammar Qaddafi.

      “Il Giornale” is run by Berlusca’s son, who should be able to tell a stiff-armed fascist salute from Merkel’s may-I-go-to-the-bathroom? gesture. That said, I’d agree with an assessment I came across which quipped that the entire modern European project has been to give the Germans what they earlier would have taken by force.

      1. craazyman

        Nobody’s perfect. :)

        I liked his show where the women had to take their clothes off when they answered the question wrong. That was hilarious. Why did these women participate in this? Many were there with their boyfriends or husbands!

        Everybody there was cracking themselves up. I guess people are strange. Maybe they’re just all insane.

        1. Lidia

          It’s a really sexist country; what can I say?

          Just imagine, though, how most Italian women feel about the “fuck-you” appointment of a topless model to the post of Cabinet Minister for Equal Opportunity.

          In Berlusconi-world, every woman has the “equal opportunity” to compete in beauty-pageant whoredom. He took the idea of the entertainment casting couch and extended it to the entire breadth of civil society.

        2. Lidia

          As to why the women comply: that’s their best shot at becoming “somebody”. “Somebody” being a person that men pay attention to and validate, albeit in a limited fashion. It’s better than being a full-time domestic slave dressed in black like Mamma.

          Frankly, the whole of Italian society is MUCH crazier chasing “fame” than that of the US. I have the feeling that a larger proportion of the public really takes “Big Brother”/”Survivor”/”XYZ Idol”-type shows seriously, as a real career move. And somehow it really does happen: I have a niece who came in 3rd as a “Miss Italy”, and spent years draping her self over BMWs at car shows, or appearing as the 3rd dancer from the left on some forgettable TV show. ALL TV SHOWS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE SCANTILY-CLAD LADIES writhing around at regular intervals. Even a “Meet The Press” equivalent would position a “showgirl” in a short skirt in the center of four politicians clad in grey suits, whose only purpose was to allow the male public to experience some Sharon-Stone moments while the males were discussing budget proposals.

          My niece now hangs out with the yachting crowd, having snagged a “film producer” husband who has made, I think, all of one film in his 40+ years, and whose means of support are unclear, although they live a millionaire’s lifestyle. They go to parties on the Argentine vice-president’s yacht in Porto Rotondo. This is what Italians aspire to.

          1. craazyman

            Holy Cow. That’s amazing. Although I have to believe there are “normal” people there, somewhere, who live normal quiet lives, getting buy with real jobs — if they can find them.

            People get lost in their ID energy, especially if they can make a living at it.

            What’s the use of thinking deep thoughts, philsoophical thoughts, ideas of ethics and order and disorder, and cloaking them in garments of words, dissecting the political group mind in probing theories of energetic structures — when most can only fake it with cliches they pick up from the detritus that lies around, and all they do is perpetrate and extend the existing order like a rower in a galley carrying merchandise for some aristocrat in 1518. It’s a flamboyance, a self-enrichment, but not a reality. It’s a fudge. It’s a fraud.

            The only real thinking is private, matched against eternity and against something that can be called “truth” and it can exist anywhere.

            it’s not that I’m an Essene or some rebel. No. I just try to be imaculately sane and call things by their proper names. Why? Just because. Because it seems like its the right thing to do.

            People have to be free, and to find a way to control themselves in an ethical way. And if I have to chose between ID run amok in scantily clad women and tits on TV or ID run amok in Grand Inquisitors, unconcious like fish in a stream looking at the moon and not even wondering what it is, just acting out in blind certainty their murder and cannibalism. Not even wondering. I’ll choose the circus because it’s free of real sin, which is a blindndess to murder and to love, in whatever form it takes. It’s always a choice of which exaggeration is most tolerable. Not a choice of which is most perfect. QED.

          2. skippy

            Did she spend any time – filling out – the private floors of nightclubs in Milan et al, usually stocked by wannabe models from the brand name stables?

            Skippy… at least she is not foreigner, they get chaperoned by mid 30’s blokes on the – ins and outs – of the game, 3 to 5 girls per house hold. Promotional/office toad gigs during the day and clubs at night…. slaves to fashion they say… snort!

          3. Lidia

            There are some normal people, but they are hard to find. Either they are trapped by jobs chosen by their birth fortune (the pharmacist’s children become pharmacists whether they have a talent for it or not), or by perceived security (unchallenging gov’t. jobs).

            Most Italians don’t read books, nor do most bother to read newspapers. The idea of blogs has been slow to catch on, and many Italians are afraid of the “uncontrolled” nature of blogs.

            All journalists have to be licensed and members of the “albo” (guild). It’s illegal to publish even a ‘town crier’ type local newsletter unless you are approved by the government via this “albo”/licensing process. The government has considered cracking down on the “illegal” and sometimes anonymous dissemination of information that blogs represent.

          4. Lidia

            One aspect of Italian life is that everyone pretty much knows that everything is rigged. What that means is that it is rare to find any authentic effort at something, because the outcome (and in many cases failure) is pre-ordained.

            There are thousands of examples, but one of my favorites is the construction of a subway station too narrow for the train carriages to pass. The first train arrived two hours late for the station inauguration to begin with, and then they had to take jackhammers to the platform to allow it to pass. There’s never been another train through that station…

          5. F. Beard

            One aspect of Italian life is that everyone pretty much knows that everything is rigged. Lidia

            No surprise there. How many Popes have been Italian?

          6. Lidia

            Italians read a maximum of 3 books/year according to ISTAT. In the US, this figure is around 6-10.

            What most “regular” people try to do is keep their head down and just weather the situation. There’s a lot of fatalism, but on the other hand, they don’t have aggressive “can do” delusions about the way things work like Americans do. They’re not obsessed with work, and it is considered rude to ask the question all Americans ask upon meeting new people: “what do you do?” One’s status often depends on who you know and not what you know, making social climbing an important sport, but also leading to a general witholding of punitive or judgmental attitudes about the economically-less-fortunate.

          7. F. Beard

            but also leading to a general witholding of punitive or judgmental attitudes about the economically less-fortunate. Lidia

            Ah. So the Italians KNOW their system is crooked. My own attitude shifted once I learned about banking.

  17. Aquifer

    Bluey – the car – Thanx for that – I shall have to show my relatives who think i am crazy for having a 19 year old Buick. It’s got personality and character, damn it, and history ….

    However – it’s amazing what a little welding and “goop” can do and i would rather pay for a local someone’s skill to fix it than pay for a “new” car ….

    The part about being afraid of putting his foot through the floor – shucks, i had a car like that once – driving down the road in the winter and suddenly feeling a blast of cold slush up my leg … bracing, to say the least, made sure i wouldn’t fall asleep while driving ….

    1. Robin Hood

      Yes, and then a shipwrecked economist, a politician and a banker washed up on shore and half the island worked forever.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Oh yeah, NSFW. Or not safe for your psyche if you’re a normal human being.

      This is American terrorism. It’s but one horrible and extreme example, but it’s happening all over the world on a massive scale.

      Hell, Obama personally ordered the cluster bombing of over a dozen Yemeni children in one bomb attack on their village alone. Pure cold-blooded murder that the entire American MSM and political culture accept without question.

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