Links 10/24/12

Cat recovering from NH barn fire has pig to thank Associated Press

This dung beetle’s air-conditioning unit is crap. No, really Discovery. Another Richard Smith anti-antidote.

FDA probes deaths linked to Monster Energy drinks Raw Story. The FDA lapse here is terrible. Caffeine is extremely toxic. We just happen to get highly diluted doses in coffee and tea.

Town’s Passion, Retired Doctor’s Concern New York Times. While we are on the subject of health risks….

Strip-Club Fees Aren’t Tax Exempt, N.Y. Top Court Rules Bloomberg. The fact that they had enough dough to take an appeal this far undermines the idea that they merited an arts exemption.

Lorca earthquake ’caused by groundwater extraction’ BBC

The Continuing Tragedy of L’Aquila Understanding Uncertainty (Richard Smith)

On Mexico City’s flat roofs, tiny gardens help feed families, provide an urban respite McClatchy (Lambert)

More on China’s PMI MacroBusiness

Is China Still a “Currency Manipulator”? Ed Donlon, EconoMonitor

Oldest Auschwitz survivor dies aged 108 AFP

Golden Dawn adopts the Nazi salute YouTube. Nikki: “At the end he says, as he gives the salute first with one arm then with both, “these are clean hands, these are not dirty hands”. (Note that the word I am translating as ‘dirty’ is also used for the stench of garbage.)”

Malaria returns to crisis-torn Greece Telegraph

Uruguay plans to legalise marijuana under state monopoly Guardian (furzy mouse)

The IMF and the End of Austerity Ann Pettifor, Huffington Post


Mourdock: Rape Pregnancies ‘Something That God Intended to Happen’ TPM

Joe Klein’s sociopathic defense of drone killings of children Glenn Greenwald

Nine Things to Remember During the Iran Section of the Presidential Debate Tonight Wide Asleep (furzy mouse). Still useful even though clearly from yesterday.

Robert Waldmann: Romney Suffers from CEO Disease Brad DeLong

Japan Is Not A Good Example Of How Deflation Typically Plays Out Stoneleigh

Nightmare on Electric Vehicle Street OilPrice

Saturated Fat: McDonald’s to Revisit ‘Dollar Menu’; Reflections on Same Store Sales and Commercial Real Estate Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Insight: Nevada struggles with dark side of Macau casinos’ growth Reuters (Richard Smith)

Hedge fund manager donates $100M to Central Park in largest gift ever New York Post. Debra C via e-mail:

So John Paulson, the man who made billions shorting RMBS’s that he chose to fail, is donating 100 million dollars to the Central Park Conservancy. For plutocrats, it’s a twofer or threefer. Underfund the public sphere, like funding for parks for everyone. So that they fall apart. Create a private entity like the Conservancy so that private persons can come to the rescue of the foundering public enterprise. Destroy the public sector through undertaxation and then have the private one ride to the rescue of the incompetent and inefficient public sector

They get lots of social kudos for doing “good” and also get to prove once more the utter uselessness of government and public ownership and control of public space.

In THIS case, though, how the donor got rich enough to give away $100,000,000 has a bloody trail that might be uncovered.

Because Paulson didn’t give 100 million dollars. The people and institutions he scammed with his scheme THEY gave 100 million dollars.

The Social Economics of Thorstein Veblen Michael Hudson, EH

Eurozone crisis as it happened: Greek leaders fail to agree on austerity package as markets slide Guardian and US results raise fresh fears for economy Financial Times. I had wanted to post on this. It’s feeling like we have finally hit an inflection point where faith in the ability of central banks in keeping economies and markets afloat is fading. And per this: Firms Don’t Share Consumer Optimism New York Times, retail is always the last to figure things out…
* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 46 and counting*

Regular campaign coverage — of all sorts and conditions of campaigns — will resume tomorrow.

* Slogan of the day: Resolutely Destroy All Enemies Who Dare To Encroach Upon The Romney!

* * *

Antidote du jour (martha r):

And a bonus antidote:

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  1. Ms G

    I want to thank Debra C. for her concise comment regarding Paulson’s “gift” of other people’s money to the Conservancy, yet another shell through which the New York City Commons is being stolen from the 99% by the .01%, with the 99%’s money.

    The NY Public Library “project” is a similar animal.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In a free market (of anything), even charity gifts are best allocated not by one central authority or person (that would be communist dictatorship).

      That money should be decided by as many people as possible as to how it should be spent or where it should be allocated.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I didn’t mean to.

          I wanted to say Paulson shouldn’t decide. That money should be taken from him, via a wealth tax, and the people should decide.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That is to say, when Paulson decides how that money is to be spent, he is the central authority. He would be the dictator. That would be against Paulson’s ‘free market’ belief.

          2. Ms G

            @MLPB — Based on our special brand of humor (!) I had assumed that you were making an ironic statement that Paulson himself would claim that he was distributing the wealth of thousands as a mere conduit :)

            Granted, an unlikely scenario given how important it is to the Paulsons of this world (see, e.g., also Self-Appointed Mayor I’m Charity Central Bloomberg) to show off and preen by giving “Millions to Charity.”

            But the ironic twist would be a funny one to put in a Fake Paulson PR statement where he’d temporarily pose as a “people pleaser.”

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Ms G, I get what you say. There are so many ways to ridicule these billionaires, who voluntarily afflicted themselves with wealth-giantism out of greed and whom we have a duty to cure with compassion, because the situation is so ridiculous.

          4. ZygmuntFraud

            My philosophical position is that philantropy must always be examimed …
            “You are giving $150,000,000.00 towards Nature Conservancy of Zombieland.” Very well; now, could you please provide us with a full, complete, comprensible C.V. , and a resume on <> “.

            Without the transparency I’m attempting to outline, wealth in itself, I submit, should be viewed through a magical prism (unexistant) with a spectral emission line proportional in intensity to “good ethics” …

          5. RanDomino

            It’s not like he just robbed a bank and got away with it. Unjust wealth accumulation like this is a systemic problem that can’t just be ‘fixed’ with a one-time act of redistribution. The political economy has to be restructured.

    2. Synopticist

      Yep, thats a pretty succinct summary of how the world is going. Pump money towards the plutocrats, strip the state, and be grateful when those plutocrats deign to give a tiny bit of it back.

      BTW, has anyone got the latest on Corzine and MF Global?
      That story has died a death.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        S, ain’t it the truth. They loot the public sphere, then get to play the “noblesse oblige” card so they can feel like they’re on their way to being “Old Money.”

        “Old money” is elevated through (tax-deductible foundation/trust) “gifts” of “largesse” for the “public good” to keep the pitchforks of the commoners at bay. Bernays-style Public Relations includes “conspicuous largesse” to defray envy and possible pitchforks. And, yes, the gullible public falls for this BS.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Like all “Royalty” they want the love and devotion of their subjects, even while they are looting the public “commonwealth” and ridiculing/hating hoi polloi behind their backs. Such sport!

    3. Michael Fiorillo

      All true points about the Central Park Conservancy, added to by the additional fact that capital investments in the park undergird the real estate values of the people who make those contributions and live in the “moneyshed” of Central Park.

      In fact, the Conservancy’s origins go back to that exact interest. Upgrading the park was seen as an anchor for real estate values on Fifth Avenue and Central Park West in the Bad Old Days of the 1970’s.

    4. MichaelC

      We ain’t seen nothing yet.

      The Giving Pledge program (Gates, Buffet, et al) is the one to watch.

      The massive ‘charities’ that will be funded once the pledgers pass on will dwarf the Conservancy.

      Apologies to Ghandi:

      First they rob us
      Then they ridicule us for noticing
      Then they win, and give us parks..(and white elephant library buildings-Schwartzman, and some museums to display their stuff, a few arts complexes (Koch-Lincoln Center), etc ..) and lots of gorgeous flowers.

      What a ridiculous gift. Prospect Park, Central’s peer (and predecesor/template?) lies fallow and desperate for restoration funds. So it can’t be about parks for the hoi-polloi that Paulsen’s keen on. The Conservancy should reject it. (I know)

      The gift brings to mind the magnificent floral centerpiece at the lavish public toilet in Bryant Park, adjacent to Schwartzman’s beautifully restored NYPL, funded by an endowment from Brooke Astor. They are always fresh and fabulous.

      She got the idea from her Westchester neighbor I think.

      SAY IT WITH FLOWERS: A reported $4 million endowment from late Reader’s Digest co-founder Lila Acheson Wallace pays for fresh flowers each week—forever—in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

      It irks me every time I visit, so maybe that’s a good thing if it continues into perpetuity and irks generations of cranks like me till, someone topples the vases in a fit of pique. (Craazyman are you listening?)

      Somehow I think a death tax in an amount equal to the plutocrats floral arrangement legacies isn’t such a bad thing, (I know they create jobs for flower arrangers, but..).

      Maybe that’s the tax deduction Obama’s talking about when he suggests that the rich pay a ‘little’ more?

  2. bulfinch

    FWIW, this reader would highly appreciate your thoughts on the much touted incipient economic recovery in the US.

    1. Neo-Realist

      I’m sure that Blankfraud is extremely “distressed” by the site of middle fingers, snarky signs and people who appear homeless outside of his mansion. I really wish Occupy would consider developing a political wing to influence the public and legislators, to in effect leverage more power against or along side the banksters that control the political system, instead of merely standing outside of the gates of the powerful and shouting to them what criminals and fiends they are.

      It may mean wearing suits and ties and speaking in some of the language of the people they despise to effectively message to the masses as well as those people in government they hope to leverage.

      1. Ms G

        There are many levels of expression and effectiveness. How are you so sure that Blankfein is not, in fact, distressed or annoyed by Occupy GS’s action? Have you spoken to Lloyd about this personally?

        1. Neo-Realist

          I suspect it doesn’t bother him. For Blankfraud, I believe it’s the equivalent of stepping over bums or geeks sleeping in front of a IT store waiting to buy the newest Apple toy. My bigger issue with Occupy is I believe the SOP’s they’ve been working with have hit the wall and they should consider other strategies for effecting change, strategies that do much better in selling their messages to working main street america.

          1. Ms G

            Well, if you are not satisfied with what Occupy is doing why don’t you step into the breach yourself — seems the obvious next step!

      2. Aquifer

        ISYM that the Green Party would be the obvious choice for a “political arm” as methinks their platform is closest to that which OWS would have, if it had one ….

  3. Aquifer

    Rams – “Hmmm, i got mine @ Burlington Coat factory for 1/2 price .., but ya gotta dry clean ’em – i tied washing it and look what happened ..”

  4. Valissa

    Third-party presidential candidates rail against Obama and Romney at debate

    Third-party debate showcases fresh faces and issues,0,4056150.story

    Collective Rebuttal Delivered in Third-Party Debate

    Third-party presidential debate gives a voice to long-shot candidates

    1. Invient

      I was thinking what we could do about the commision on presidential debates at the state level… It would be best to do this in the swing states first.

      The extreme case, which will get challenged in the supreme court, would be banning the commision unless mathematically viable candidates are included. This would likely fail once brought to the courts.

      The lighter case would be to ban any entity which is public funded from hosting the commision. This should stop the use of universities as venues and perhaps lead the commision to use a corporate headquarters instead ( one can hope ).

      Idk, there has to be something we can do that stops the commision from happening, then we can work on free and equal debates.

      1. Aquifer

        Actually – it would be a lot simpler – if the stations that aired these Free and Equal debates got as big or bigger, “market share” as/than those who stick to the CPD format – wouldn’t take long, methinks, for their sponsors to see the light at the and of the dollar ….

        Never was crazy about Larry King – but his presence proved a big draw among mainstream viewers …

    2. Klassy!

      So, what were your thoughts, Valissa? I’m voting Stein but I’ll say after watching the debate, I’d lean more towards Rocky Anderson. He’s not on my state ballot though, and a write in seems totally futile.
      There’s not much difference between them anyway. In this case that’s a good thing.

      1. Valissa

        Before sharing my thoughts, perhaps a personal disclaimer is in order since there are so many liberal commenters here. I’m officially, by conscious choice, an ex-liberal/progressive in terms of ideology and furthermore no longer believe in any ideologies (intellectual shortcuts to a complex multidimensional reality); and seek no team or party to join/conform to being much happier as a rogue amateur historian, and sociological observer. Politically speaking I am a pluralist, culturally liberal and economically skeptical/cautious… which means skeptical of all dramatic economic proposals promising to “save” us, no matter the source, and suspicious of both big business and big gov’t.

        About the third party debate… it was a historic moment and important because it expressed a public criticism of the current incestuous 2 party system that more and more people are getting frustrated with. The folks at Free and Equal are to be commended for hosting this . I hope to see this trend of attempting to break the duopoly’s stranglehold on power continue on it’s upswing. Enjoyed the debate immensely despite some of it’s procedural glitches :) I liked and respected all 4 of the candidates for different reasons, but the only one I wouldn’t vote for is Virgil Goode primarily due to his stances on illegal immigration and the drug war.

        I thought Jill Stein did a great job! She was much more compelling than other times I’ve seen her speak (on YouTube). My husband is now back to planning to vote for her (he’s been wobbling between Stein & Johnson). But one of my criteria for presidency is prior political experience, so for that reason and a few others I’m voting for Gary Johnson. Now if Jill wants to run again for governor of Massachusetts I’d probably be inclined to vote for her. Rocky Anderson made many good points too, but the label of “Justice Party” creeps me out a bit. People who focus on the ideal of “justice” (often an abstract and malleable concept), of any political persuasion, tend to be too self-righteous and moralizing for my taste though I respect their passion and dedication.

        On a practical level, I’d like to see these alternative political parties field more candidates at the lower rungs of governance and gradually build some public credibility. Change at the grass roots level rather implies the need to start at the bottom.

    1. dan

      you have some substantive criticism, or just your typical knee jerk whining about anything critical to Israel?

  5. ambrit

    I read with sadness about the passing of the oldest Auschwitz survivor. I feel certain that there are others. I briefly knew one, a sweet woman, wife of one of my Dads friends, many years ago. The way things are developing worldwide, we are in for a big dose of Santayana Shock Doctrine.
    While there I cross clicked onto an article about “ransomeware” in Australia. A huge organized crime enterprise it seems. The figure of 20,000 hits a day in Europe is floated. Modern times strikes again. Anyone have any info about countermeasures? BTW, wouldn’t this be an excellent situation for the International Drone Police to send explosive greetings to certain Eastern European entities.

    1. Aquifer

      So let’s destroy all those bloody drones – ISTM, after reading about how the Iranians were able to redirect and land that US drone – the next “big thing”, rather like illegal hardware or programs for copying DVDs, would be devices or apps for bringing down drones ….

      Good thing I’m a demonstrable tech idiot or this remark would probably wind me up on “the list” – but at least it’s Wed …

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s one problem I see potentially with self-driving cars – someone else might redirect your self-driving car.

        1. reslez

          As a software engineer, I respect technology’s ability to f*** things up too much to really trust a self-driving car. Maybe version 3.0 or 5.0…

        2. different clue

          That is always my first thought about self driving cars.
          That whoever is in charge of driving the cars can drive anyone’s car off a bridge or into an abuttment or whatever it takes to carry out a contract on someone and make it look like an accident.

  6. Ron

    “It would be an extra tragedy if L’Aquila led to a general reluctance to provide scientific advice.”

    Maybe but science as an industry generates endless content for the media industry with little or no review.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Monster Energy drinks.

    Caffeine is extremely toxic. We just happen to get highly diluted doses in coffee and tea.

    Thus the Golden Mean.

    An appropriate amount of water is good; too much, you are flooded.

    A few wind turbines are ok; too many, you got a problem.

    The same with many other things.

    Too much of anything, good or bad when in smaller dosage, is not necessarily beneficial to you. For example, reading too much is not always good for you.

  8. Ryan Cooper (@ryanlcooper)

    Yves, your implication about caffeine is incorrect on several levels. Most Monster drinks have about 10 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce, which is much less than even drip coffee (18 mg/oz) and WAY less than espresso (51 mg/oz). (Source)

    The whole idea of dilution is misguided in any case. The relevant measurement for caffeine intoxication (and most poisoning generally) is the total amount taken, not the concentration. Concentration is something to worry about, as it can make a lethal dose easier to take on, but the main concern there is pure caffeine pills, not energy drinks which are mostly hype anyway.

    The median lethal dose of caffeine according to Wikipedia is somewhere around 175 mg per kilogram of body mass. So the average girl with a body mass of around 50 kg would need to consume about 9 grams of caffeine in a short period to be killed. That’s about 55 cans of Monster. For an ordinary person, two cans should be completely harmless even if you shotgunned them back to back, let alone over a 24 hour period.

    I think the lesson here is 1) don’t take stimulants of any kind if you have a heart arrhythmia and 2) take media reports about “new drugs that are killing today’s youth” with a gigantic grain of salt.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It makes sense to look at caffeien per body mass.

      Whatever amount of dilution, it (water, I am thinking here) can be absorbed and expelled from the body before caffeine stops working on the body.

        1. craazyman

          You can be killed dead in your chair from reading too many macroeconomics articles on the internet.

          I am no longer posting comments from earth. Recently I passed and am now commenting from the afterlife.

          My one regret is that I read too many macroeconomics articles. All they did was confuse me.

          1. Bert_S

            Good. It must give you a sense of calm and well being knowing that you are somewhere where loans preceed deposits. You can’t take it with you, ya know.

    2. Neo-Realist

      If caffeine was lethal in large doses, Seattle would look like Jonestown.

      Besides, the “toxic” brew helps the locals keep their perky yet phony smiles on their faces.

      1. Ms G

        On behalf of all the coffee-heads in New York City (and there are Many of us!): I resemble that remark!

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      You are misrepresenting my point. I was not discussing the concentration in Monster drinks in particular. And 480 MG in a day actually is a pretty high dose (roughly 5 cups of coffee), particularly if you DON’T regularly ingest lots of caffeine (you do develop some tolerance). It’s also not at all improbable that the guy who died got a higher dose. None of these drinks are regulated; in dietary supplement land, it’s common for the actual dosage to vary considerably for the advertised level (generally it’s lower but it can be higher; there was a famous case when I was in Oz of serious health problems resulting from the latter, and in Oz, they regulate those buggers to produce at pharma grade standards, so they at least caught it).

      1. Caffeine is extremely toxic. I had a friend who was a PhD chemist with 12 patents to her name, who was slumming (she had moved to where her husband had gotten a job and needed the work) in the sort of lab where they were sent substances and she had to decompose them chemically. For some reason she didn’t explain, they had a pound of pure caffeine in the lab. She was completely freaked out about securing and handling it properly, because she said if someone just got a dusting on their fingertip and put the finger in their mouth, it would be enough to kill them. She estimated that her 1 lb of caffine, if put in a municipal water system, would kill 50,000 people.

      2. It is not all that hard to overdo on caffeine. I’ve been hospitalized for caffeine intoxication when in college, that and when I got a concussion as a teenager were the only times I’ve been overnight in a hospital. I was perfectly healthy but if you drink enough coffee (which is how I did it, cramming for an exam) you can really screw yourself up. I got my blood pressure down to 70 over 40.

  9. Ellen McGrody

    Does anyone have a translation of the rest of the Golden Dawn video? I’ve been trying to figure out more about that movement since the NYT articles first hit. Anywhere I can get some decent information so I can understand all that?

  10. Jackrabbit

    ? ? ? . N A T I O N A L U N I T Y . ? ? ?

    ? ? ? . ? G O V E R N M E N T ? . ? ? ?

    After watching the debates last night, it occurs to me that many of the third-party candidates have the same/similar view on many issues like:

    a) reduced milatery and overseas commitments

    b) legalizing drugs – tax and regulate them instead

    c) using $ from (a) and (b) to reduce deficit and fund domestic programs

    d) restore democracy & civil rights (electoral reform; overturn Citizen’s United and NDAA, etc.)

    e) increasing US economic competitiveness and putting people to work

    These would be HUGE changes that they mostly agree on (with respect to the positions of the two main parties). Yet on their own they each poll very low and have little money to get the word out.

    It seems _logical_ that they combine their resources in some way to increase their chances. Other countries have parties that work together. But our “winner-take-all” electoral system makes that very difficult – unless (perhaps) it happens BEFORE the election.

    I don’t know the details of HOW it could work, or even if it would be possible (at this late date), but I know that in New York State there are parties on the ballot that are associated with the major political parties like the Working Family Party (a flavor of the Democratic Party). A vote for ‘Working Family’ is actually a vote for a Democrate.

    Perhaps it could just be an agreement to share power and pool advertising funds? In which case, the ballots and voting may not have to actually be altered? They would just announce publicly what the power-sharing arrangement is and any vote for any of these candidates is a vote to implement that agreement.

    Lastly, one impediment that they all face is an inherent distrust of third-parties. They are viewed as being untested and having non-mainstream agendas. But acting together, they all gain more respectability and act as a restraint on each other.

    Voters would not be voting for a third-party as much as a core set of policy changes that are implemented by a “National Unity” government. (Of course, there may be a better term than “National Unity”.)

    1. Jonathan

      New York is an unusual case in the US, in that it is one of the eight states that allows electoral fusion, whereby multiple parties can endorse the same candidate on the ballot. See for a brief history. (Predictably, it was some whiner from one of the incumbent parties that didn’t want to have to compete for endorsements from minor parties…)

  11. ZygmuntFraud

    Have you guys and girls heard that US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara has filed a complaint against Bank Holding Company BofA today pertaining to their sub-unit (oh my God, technically as “successor” to ) Countrywide Financial Corporation and related entities this twenty-fourth day October in the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve?

    (Nota Bene: I have the 46-page complaint here in PDF format on/in my Linux Box).

    1. Tom

      Thank you for the link – I do believe that today’s economists can be helped by understanding Henry George. I think it also shows how bubble economics does not end well. It would also help in understanding how tax and taxes act to bring unearned income – (stolen income in my view) back into productive uses.

    1. Ray Duray

      October Mini-Surprise? Another candidate might be what’s being nicknamed “The Perfect Storm II”, or Hurricane Sandy. Ironic, considering what is likely to happen to beaches from Maine to Miami Beach(less).

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Duray;
        I lived on Miami Beach for quite a while. The locals used to say that as long as there is a Corps of Engineers, there will be a Beach.

  12. kevinearick

    Green Shoots

    In hindsight, you knew that capital knew it was in dire straits as it placed the word Renaissance in its capital projects around the world.

    “but to others I speak in parables.”


    Scientific politics…before any other head of state…how to organize the technical exploitation of contemporary theoretical knowledge.

    The art lies in the navigator. The science lies in the tools – observation, organization, speculation, and experimentation.

    [T]he products of scientists, many of whom never set foot aboard a ship if – probably – they could avoid doing so, employed and paid to solve navigational problems…I have my doubts; still more do I when I reflect upon the motives of the able administrators…They were men who had a vision, but saw as through a glass, darkly, what the New – scientific – Learning might, in the fullness of time, enable men to achieve.

    The key official was the Piloto-Mayor, an office filled for the first fifty years by a succession of experienced navigators. The main task of the Piloto-Mayor were the instruction, examination, and certification of pilots.

    Of course regulation of scientific knowledge of immediate practical value ran the risk of stultifying research and experimentation through overregulation and the sheer inertia inherent in all administrative organizations with central control…Spanish innovation in nautical science ended.

    The first manual published was written by a lawyer who had spent many years in the West Indes and recognized and felt acutely the importance of navigation to the growth and prosperity of the empire.

    It was only a few years later, when Philip of Spain was the spouse of Mary Tudor, Queen of England…it was the work which navigated the English seamen to their meteoric rise, to the ‘great sea dogs.’


    Here then was the beginning of the bifurcation of nature…[T]here had always been and indeed always has continued to be a twofold interest in science, the interest in power over events and the interest in contemplating order. A world of weight and measure could give one no basis for a system of values.

    [U]nless one appreciates to the full the importance of number as an indication of order and a source of beauty…[t]he language in which this was expressed is no longer fashionable, for we no longer believe in innate ideas or the transcendental unity of apperception.

    [E]verything was intimately connected with everything else, and the separation between things was attributable to our perception, not to nature. The will of God is always the refuge of ignorance (Spinoza), and one tries to stay out of that refuge as long as possible.

    Ultimately the omission or, if one prefers, the purifications of experience that are essential to science as we think of science are to be measured by what we intend to do with our knowledge. All historical events are highly improbable; that is their differentia as contrasted with scientific events. Science made progress by eliminating any consideration of value from its subject matter.

    The Florentine Neo-Platonist was not so much interested in applying his knowledge to the control of the world as he was in finding an adequate picture of the world. He took as his fundamental premise the incorporation in all experience of the moral and aesthetic values.

    The so-called universal man of the Renaissance, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, who has been celebrated by historians for his extraordinary knowledge of many arts, could not make an existential separation between knowledge and practice, though he could of course in speech. The various treatises demanded an exact knowledge of what we would call natural law, even when that law was, so to speak, unconstitutional.

    In fact, the Florentine Neo-Platonists were the last philosophers to attempt the wedding of religion and science.

  13. Bert_S

    “Nightmare on Electric Vehicle Street OilPrice”

    Looks like electric car market is hard starting, but does deliver sticker shock.

    And it looks like the US is best in the world for sales so far.

    China’s/Buffet’s BYD having trouble too. They were supposed to have a low cost battery breakthru, but I remember reading somewhere they weren’t using it in the E6 electric car. So the Holy Grail for a low cost alt to Li batteries does not seem to be found yet.

    1. Bert_S

      Yikes. Just read the BYD E6 sells for $58K in CHINA, but the PRoC gives buyers a $24K rebate. Ya, that is American dollars. So there is nothing low price about it, except for quality, I hear.

    2. Lidia

      Just got the latest issue of “Low-Tech Magazine” in the (e-)mail. Talks about an affordable-ish €7k electric velocipedes (80x more efficient than electric cars) being produced in Belgium.

      Also reviews some of the nonsensical legal obstacles to these sorts of vehicles in the US and in other countries.

      Road regulations are even more confusing, because they are often complicated by provincial and municipal restrictions. Generally, if electric velomobiles are registered as a bicycle, they should use bike lanes and bike paths whenever possible, while velomobiles registered as mopeds or motorcycles are obliged to share the road with cars. However, there are many exceptions, effectively creating a legal limbo.

      This is in stark contrast with the laws regulating engine power and speed for cars, which are the same all over the world. In particular, both engine output and maximum speed are left completely free. This leads to the very strange fact that a car, for instance a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S with a weight of 2,355 kg, an engine of 382,000 watts and a top speed of 270 km/h can be driven anywhere on Earth, while an electric velomobile with a weight of 35 kg, a motor of 250 watts and an electric assistance of up to 50 km/h is illegal in most countries.

      1. Bert_S

        Yup. I’ve checked out e-bikes. You can buy pretty good kits to mod a bicycle for around a $1000, depending on how many battery packs you buy.

        AZ is a prime example of where they are esentially legislated off the road. It’s illegal to drive them in bicycle lanes ot trails, and illegal to go over 22mph.

        I think they are going about e-cars all wrong. If people would accept the idea, speaking of the typical 2 car family, that their lifestyle would be unaffected if they had one normal size gas car and the other car could be a small short range car. Assuming one driver had a work commute of less than, say, 50 miles a day. Then on those occasions where you need to drive long distance or carry 4-5 passengers, you still have the regular car. I have seen some e-car prototypes that met that spec for a estimated price around 20K.

  14. Bert_S

    And Now An Important Announcement From The Donald!

    What problems might we find?

    Real birth certificate:

    Name: Unpronounceable

    Place of birth:

    Successfully hatched* at Command City Hospital, Command City, Planet Nibiru

    Time: you wouldn’t understand

    Educational Records: received 16 rounds of knowledge injections, including advanced knowledge of the Niribu Constitution – reserved for the Niribi 1%.

    *State Approved and Paid For using C-Section technique. Mother required sedation due to incessant screaming “Don’t touch my eggshell you liberal creep!”

      1. Bert_S

        Ya, some heady stuff all right

        “Combine the family name of Obama and George Bush–you will get “Mabus.” This “Mabus” is said to be the name of the next antichrist, as what Nostradamus predicted. Some critics said that “Mabus” can also be Osama and Bush. Combining the two names will also give you “Mabus.” But the believers say that Obama and Bush is the perfect combination because both Bush and Obama live in Chicago.

        Chicago also adds up meaning to why Barack Obama is said to be the next antichrist. The zip code of Chicago is 60606–eliminate the zeros and you get the Number of the Beast, which is 666. ”

        ‘fraid they are wrong about all that tho. Simple truth is O just got elected alderman in a small district of Command City now that he has some experience, and planet Niribu is coming to pick him up.

        What people don’t understand is Niribu is in another dimension which is why we can’t see it. It will just superimpose itself over earth’s volume, then a large tentacle grabs O by the scruff of the neck and he’s back home again. But he’s used to that by now.

        When planet Naribu leaves for its next destination is where the problem for the rest of us come in. Disengagement has been a low priority among Niribu scientists, and all of our electrons get sucked into the other dimension (some lightning storms for them, but no biggie) and we are left with only protons and neutrons. Not pretty.

  15. Jillian

    “The company says the FDA has established no scientific link between Monster and these deaths”

    You think the FDA is there to protect people? It’s there
    to promote business interests. Here’s an example far more serious than energy drinks as it affects 80% of the processed food that you eat in America.

    Michael R. Taylor, J.D., was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Foods. This was announced on the FDA’s website. Michael Taylor is a former top executive, lawyer and lobbyist with biotech giant Monsanto Co. He has rotated in and out of law firms, Monsanto, the USDA and FDA. During his former stint in the FDA during the Clinton administration he helped write the rules to allow rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) into the American food system and our children’s milk. Michael Taylor and Monsanto are responsible for subjecting this country and many others to the increased risk of breast cancer (7 times greater risk), prostate cancer and colon cancer because of what they did to milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream with rBGH as well as to all the foods that rely on milk solids and other parts of milk.

    In reality, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.

    Let’s label this crap, Yes on prop 37.

    Here’s the definitive video about it. It’s your body and your future.

    So many people are watching it that the server may crash.

    As an alternate, search Youtube for “genetic roulette movie” watch the 10 minute remix, or look for the full length 84 minute movie hosted at different urls.

  16. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yves, is news above related to the story below? 9/11 gold? “Dragon gold-to-Japan-to-Bush&Co?

    “In October of 2009 China received a shipment of gold bars from the United States Department of the Treasury Bullion Depository in Fort Knox. The gold is regularly exchanged between countries to pay debts and to settle the balance of trade. Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government ordered special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars as China is the largest foreign holder of US Treasury securities. Chinese officials were shocked to learn that the bars were fake. The gold shipment contained a tungsten core with a thin coating of real gold. These tested gold bars originated in the US and had been stored in Fort Knox for years.

    “The Chinese government quickly launched an investigation and issued a statement that implicated the US government in the scheme. The gold shipment serial numbers revealed that these fake bars were made by the Federal Reserve bankers during the Clinton administration. It was during the Bill and Hillary Clinton presidency that the bankers of the Federal Reserve manufactured between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks. 640,000 of these tungsten blanks were gold plated and were shipped to Ft. Knox where they remain there to this day.

    “According to Chinese investigators, the balance of this 1.3 million to 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also gold plated and then “sold” into the international gold market. Not only has the United States gold stocks been swapped with fake gold the global market has also been been defrauded by the Federal Reserve bankers and the Clintons. As much as $600 billion dollars worth of gold has been affected by the Clinton Gold Heist.”//

        1. Bert_S

          oops. That was supposed to go under Valissa’s comment.

          But getting back to the “article”, it says this:
          Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government ordered special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars as China is the largest foreign holder of US Treasury securities

          That hasn’t been true since Nixon nixed it in 1971. Now it may have made more sense if the author claimed Clinton was making some sort of clandestine, off budget payment to the Chinese (returning campaign funds, maybe?) but this guy can’t even lie good.

          But there have been reports of gold plated tungsten bars showing up for sale various places. google “gold tungsten”.

          1. Bert_S


            meant to add the most important part to the quote:

            “The gold is regularly exchanged between countries to pay debts and to settle the balance of trade”.

              1. Bert_S

                Much better.

                This is great. Cheap Chinese knockoffs for sale:

                “But if do-it-yourself lacks appeal, China Tungsten,, will sell you as many tungsten-filled gold bars as you would like. The site is an eye opener. The company is totally up-front about what it is doing.”

                We need someone to develop a cheap way to test!

    1. ZygmuntFraud

      “The Chinese government quickly launched an investigation and issued a statement that implicated the US government in the scheme.”

      Fine. But a link or article tracing back to Xinhua or an official organ of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo would help to corroborate this story.

      [ corroboration matters … ]

    2. ZygmuntFraud

      Concerning Asian gold in general, I would
      recommend searching the World Wide Web
      with these keywords:

      Sterling Peggy Seagrave gold warriors

      Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave form a duo,
      a couple, who have written a number of books
      on Far-East Asia.

  17. ambrit

    Drat! Another reply eaten by the demons that inhabit the “cold hard vacuum between the bytes.” Lovecraft would have appreciated it.
    I meant to ask LBR if the Dragon Gold story was legit. If so, it enters the irony dimension, considering how superfluous gold is in the modern economic world. I was also going to wonder if the ‘missing’ gold was needed to finance the “Third Option” project, the colonization of Mars for the .01%rs. The elites bolthole for the coming of Nibiru.

    1. Valissa

      What I want to know is how the heck your comment about LBR’s gold story showed up before her comment. Wormhole? Tachyon field? Mischievous editor?

      1. ambrit

        Dear Earthling;
        One of your proto-psychologists, the Sage Shaksper, said it best: “What a tangled web we weave…” Entanglement at the quantum level explains All. Hence, why Quants exhibit the property of “The Honour of Castle Greyskull.”

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