Links 12/19/12

Insects unearth gold CSIRO (Richard Smith)

Spider That Builds Its Own Spider Decoys Discovered Wired

So, There’s Another Earth Populated by Super-Advanced Beings (Possibly) Gawker

Monsanto’s Roundup Devastating Gut Health, Contributing to Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria Natural Society (furzy mouse)

What I learned from my gun show tour Guardian

Cardboard Bike to Provide Cheap Transport to Millions Oil Price

Farmer released from jail after confronting workers over mine discharge Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fukushima plant situation ‘volatile,’ a year after cold shutdown declared Ashai Shimbun

China dispute hits Japanese exports Financial Times

Poor Thais trapped in informal debt Bangkok Post (Lambert)

Deutsche chief blasted for call to complain over raid Reuters

Nordic innovation: Is ‘cuddly capitalism’ really less innovative? VocEU

Carney under pressure as battle for Basel III rages Euromoney. Richard Smith: “More Basel III kabuki.”

Benghazi Panel Highly Critical of State Dept. Role in Attack New York Times. And the Pope is Catholic.

Civilian analysts gained Petraeus’s ear while he was commander in Afghanistan Washington Post. Lambert: “I think the clincher is the very last sentence, which I don’t THINK is irony: AEI is now a ‘deployable organization.'”

Our ‘How-to Manual’ for Betraying Seniors and People with Disabilities Huffington Post

McArdle Wins Worst Newtown Reaction Award Jonathan Chiat

Developing a McArdle Based School Defense Curriculum Patriotboy (Lambert)

Though Liberals Carp at Chained CPI, Pelosi Says She Could Live With It Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (Carol B). If you want more detail, see this piece by Dean Baker

Making the Innocent Pay for the Crimes of the Elites masaccio Firedoglake

Wal-Mart bribery case: Law will take its own course, govt says Times of India (tyaresun)

Are Fossil Fuel Corporate Interests Influencing Legislators Through the National Conference of State Legislatures? Checks and Balances Project (Carol B)

US corporate credit market looking extraordinarily rich Sober Look

Fireworks in open court today. Matthew Bavaro and Judge Alan Schwartz did not see eye-to-eye in today’s Miami-Dade foreclosure trial Fighting Florida Foreclosures (Lisa Epstein)

Person Who Will One Day Become Warlord-Ruler Of What Was Once Nebraska Born In Omaha Hospital Onion. Lambert: ” I missed it at the time and it seems apropos.”

Also, a reader’s hypothesis. Comments?

I don’t have facts but have enough anecdotal evidence that says that there is a mass exodus occurring out of CA. I suspect they are not all coming to OR but many are. The dislocations that these significant migrations have on other state coffers will be interesting to watch. States will be targeted for their health care support to the poor and other aid factors and then will be overwhelmed…..people do want to keep eating and try to stay alive through this social upheaval

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Samuel Conner

    Regarding McArdle’s idea, one might regard it as a tone-deaf application of the old Keynesian insight about macroeconomic fallacies of composition such as the paradox of thrift, that what seems best for the individual leads to grief if everyone does it. Whether MM will generalize her insight about self-sacrificial toddlers to economic governance may be in doubt, of course.

  2. LeeAnne

    What I learned from my gun show tour Guardian

    A rant against ‘preppers.’ That’s all you need to know.

      1. LeeAnne

        Horrifying. Nevertheless, its training in New Mexico, not kiling domestically -yet.

        “Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

        Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

        “Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.

        “Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.

        1. rjs

          yes, i should have said “killing kids from New Mexico”

          everyone knows that killing afghani kids aint as bad as killing domestic childrean..

          1. Cynthia

            The loss of indiscriminately killed non-white, impoverished Middle Eastern children doesn’t come close to meeting the same magnitude of sorrow, despair and outrage as it did with regards to the most recent school shootings in the US. But why is this so? Such actions, whether by government drones or mass murderer’s assault rifle, clearly depend upon sheer dehumanization of the subjects, exempting them from worthiness to have basic morality applied to their existences.

            When mass murder arrives in our own neighborhoods, and we feel a bottomless pit of horror at what has been done, we should feel the same for all children everywhere – even those far away.

            I am deeply ashamed that the US government is one of the biggest users and abusers of death machines in the world.

          2. Carla

            “I am deeply ashamed that the US government is one of the biggest users and abusers of death machines in the world.”

            @Cynthia — don’t forget PROVIDERS…”the US government (uhm, that would be US) is one of the biggest users, abusers, and PROVIDERS of death machines in the world.”

      2. Cynthia

        Like father, like son…

        On the USA-Mexico border:

        The fatal shooting of a Mexican teenager suspected of throwing rocks at U.S. Border Patrol agents has prompted strong condemnations from Mexican officials and human rights groups amid a sharp increase in agent-involved killings along the U.S.-Mexico border. In September, Guillermo Arevalo Pedroza was killed on the banks of the Rio Grande in Nuevo Laredo after agents on an airboat allegedly came under a rock attack. Mexican officials say he was picnicking with his family. “The disproportionate use of lethal force in the exercise of immigration control functions is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the Mexican Ministry of Exterior Relations said in a statement. “These kinds of acts, especially because they are recurring, have been rejected by Mexican society and all of the country’s political powers.” Agents in such cases are rarely prosecuted. — LATimes

        On the Israel-Palestine border:

        One adult has been killed and 19 others injured after Israeli soldiers opened fire at the Gaza-Israel border. The incident happened east of the village of Khuzaa in southern Gaza. The deceased was identified as 21-year-old Abdelhadi Qdeih, Palestinian emergency services told AFP. The clash erupted after a group of Palestinian farmers wandered into the disputed 300-meter buffer zone along the border. The farmers reportedly may have entered the buffer zone to check on their crops after hearing a news report claiming that travel restrictions had been lifted for the area. “They were not rioting. They were really trying to see if it was possible for farmers to return to their land.” — RT News

        H/T: Don Bacon @MOA

  3. LeeAnne

    Cardboard Bike to Provide Cheap Transport to Millions
    $60-$90 for a disposable bicycle that ‘could’ last at least two rainy winters. …”currently in discussions with private investors … ”

    Good luck with that. -looks like a window into the new new issue market under Obama’s new JOBS bill.

    The story’s are bound to be classic.

    1. invient

      They could make it last much longer if they applied Liquid Glass Shield to it (basically nano-silica dioxide)… that would presumambly make it last for at least 10 years if they incorporate it in the cardboard manufacturing process…Still though, it is expensive for what you are getting… a cardboard bike should be no more than 50 bucks especially one that can only last two years.

      You can find bikes online from year 2000+ that cost less than 200 and will last another twenty years…

      I like the idea of the StringBike myself… no need for oil, lasts 10,000 miles and the string is easy to replace. IMO these are the future for bicycles.

      1. DANNYBOY

        I was supposed to oil?????

        My bikes 20+ years old. Getting harder to peddle. And I thought I was getting old!

        Just getting better! so where did I put that oil….

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination.

          So, you can either make that a stationary cardboard bike or you can just do sit ups.

    2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      I can buy a metal bike at Walmart for $100 – and walmart probably bought it for $50 in China.

      1. direction

        Don’t you think Walmart built it for 10$ in China and then spent 40$ getting it from the other side of the planet to you?

        1. Carla

          No, I think Walmart paid $1 for it in China and spent $5 shipping it to the US and $10 marketing it to the American public. Let’s allow them another $1 for misc. overhead costs and admit that an $83 profit is either pretty damned good…or criminal.

          But there you go… there’s short-term American thinking for you.

  4. AbyNormal

    firefox has the ‘Monsanto’s Roundup Devastating Gut Health, Contributing to Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria Natural Society (furzy mouse)’ piece marked for a Virus/leave page.

    surely monsanto wouldn’t devert readers like Bank America did to ZeroHedge yesterday

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        CONNECT: from Opinion Today 19Dec12:
        //TAKING NOTE
        /”Is the Second Amendment Absolute?”
        /Even rights granted by the Constitution are not totally exempt from limitations.//
        Time for MORE Sacrifices to Saturn. It’s in the Tarot Cards. It’s the System.


    At a risk of losing some credibility on NC, I got to say that I believe there is life on Planet e.

    I beleve that there is life AND, as reported, that life is wiser than ours.

    Now hear me out on this.

    I GOTTA BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SOMEPLACE BETTER THAN THIS CORRUPT PLACE WE SHARE. It gives me hope. It helps me strive for something better for ourselves.

    Believe me, or not.

    1. craazyman

      they’ve known this for millenia.

      the earth is like a giant battery with several different realities that project from it like magnetic fields, you can slide back and forth among them if you know how.

      Consider: where did all the angels in the Bible come from? Does anybody thing these stories were just made up? haha

      It’s funny how when people discover this stuff for the first time, they think nobody has ever figured it out. Or they think they’re going nuts. No. It’s all real.

      cracks me up!

      1. DANNYBOY

        Thanks for the encouragement, it gives me hope.


        P.S. You may want to consider changing your handle. Just one man’s opinion.

        1. psychohistorian

          I’ll defend his handle…..

          With apologies to Voltaire…..

          Sanity, like history, is a lie commonly agreed upon.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think he’s just being humble…or a nice way to have some room to say things ‘not crazy people’ are not allowed to say.

    2. craazyman

      now that I actually read the link (it wouldn’t load this morning and I had to go to work), I see this is just a Plain Old Extraterrestrial Planet theory.

      I thought it was something more. :)


      I’d say send out the probe and see what’s up. 12 light years away is not far. Let’s say it took 18 years to get the probe there, but the broadcast back would be at full light speed.

      So there’d be pics in, say 30 years. Then they could post them up on Flickr. I bet that would be cool. They could even drop a smaller probe down to the planet to land.

      Can you imagine if it dropped down in somebody’s back yard and took a pic of their dog? How weirdly normal would that be? I bet there are millions of planets like earth, all over the millions of galaxies, and I bet people look the same nearly everywhere.

      Squirrels and ants in New York look like squirrels and ants in Virginia. Why should it be different with people, basically. I realize not everybody would agree with my logic at first, but if they think about it long enough, they will.

      Get to work NASA! No more sitting around wondering what to do next.

    3. Maximilien

      @DANNYBOY: Allow me to join you in some personal credibility-shredding. Forthwith, my UFO story:

      Edmonton, Alberta. Winter ’67-’68. The family was having supper. The phone rang. It was one of the neighbors. He said, “Look over the river. There’s something strange over there.” We went outside. About a quarter-mile away a strange craft was hovering, with all the UFO lights and everything. It began drifting slowly toward the bridge, following the course of the river. We all watched it for about five minutes. Then, suddenly, a massive hum of electricity (like that from an electrical sub-
      station, only huge and from all directions at once) and that sucker was GONE….straight up and out of sight in half-a-second. The only thing it left behind was silence and a bunch of awe-struck witnesses.

      No one can tell me that thing wasn’t from another world and that it wasn’t contolled by highly-evolved, intelligent beings. At the risk of my credibility, I have been forced to believe my own two lyin’ eyes. ;)

      1. psychohistorian

        Thanks for your UFO story.

        I have heard and read enough in my life to believe you. I just wish those folks would get down here now and show us a better path than the one we are on.

        1. Maximilien

          I often wonder why they don’t. I mean, they wouldn’t have to take the risk of making physical contact with us, they could just do a fly-over and drop a break-through physics equation or something like that.

          But they haven’t—at least not yet. Maybe there are bigger problems than Homo Sapiens in the universe at the moment.

          1. diptherio

            An alien craft crashed in the desert outside Roswell, NM in 1947. Before going down, the pilot of that craft had been doing initial scans of the planet Earth, in order to determine it’s suitability for colonization by his/her/its race.

            Hopes had been high at first, but our extraterrestrial visitor soon discovered that the whole place was infested with semi-intelligent life-forms which were smart enough to create horrifyingly efficient weapons of mass slaughter, but also dumb enough to use them on eachother. Fortunately, that ill-fated alien pilot was able to send one emergency transmission back to his home world before his descent to the desert floor. Insane bi-peds everywhere. Extremely dangerous. Colonization not recommended. Shortly thereafter, the US Airforce opened fire, and the rest is history.

            Ever since that, our friends from the stars only send “unmanned” reconnaissance craft to our little dust-mote of a planet, keeping an eye out to make sure the crazy monkeys don’t figure out how inter-stellar travel works.

      2. different clue

        Here is a name worth looking up in regard to all this. Ivan T. Sanderson was a respected biologist/ecologist and collector-leader of collecting expeditions for the British Museum who built up a huge fund of mainstream credibility before risking it on serious inquiry into UFO-type phenomena. Here is just an offhand thread-referrence to him because I don’t have time to dig deeper and find better threads. Those with the time can find better threads, and then find the actual books that he wrote.

        ( Separately, he also wrote a seriously intended and highly non-frivolous book called Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come To Life, about guess-what and you-know-who. Here is the link. )

      3. Procopius

        I don’t know, what was the population of Edmonton back in ’68? 60-70,000? More? I used to live in a suburb of Detroit and know the name Edmonton, so I guess it isn’t some small village. And the thing was there long enough for people to see it, look at it a while and realize it was something really unusual and call all their friends, and their friends had time enough to leave their dinner table and go look at it for at least five minutes before it blasted off. And not one of those people, much less a couple of hundred of them, had a Kodak Brownie or better camera loaded with film and had the presence of mind to get their camera and take several pictures of it? Nobody called a newspaper photographer? Did the local newspaper carry a story about it the next day? I’m sorry, I’m sure you and your family saw something, and I don’t know what it was, and I really hope it was an interstellar spaceship because I think that’s the only way we’re going to survive, but I just don’t believe it was.

    4. Carla

      DANNYBOY–I think Planet e is in that basket, with the cat and the bunnies. I mean, come on, the cat doesn’t look too unhappy.

  6. Jim Haygood

    ‘There is a mass exodus occurring out of CA’

    Huh. Crank the maximum marginal tax rate to 13.3% … and people leave? How dare they?

    Don’t them ingrates care about all the ‘investments’ Guvnor Brown and his friends in Sacramento are gonna make on their behalf?

    Adios to California
    Nothin’ to do but turn around
    I always knew there’s someone comin’ for ya
    Only way you’d leave this town

    1. Klassy!

      Your comment made me curious about my state’s top income tax rate. I was surprised to see that my state’s income tax rates are more progressive than most. But holy cow– I noted Georgia’s top rate of 6% is levied on any income over 7000 dollars!

        1. Klassy!

          Your elected officials know who their peer group is and it isn’t me or you. I’m sure they consider their pay poverty level wages in light of their reference group.

        1. jrs

          The *maximum* tax rate in California is only paid by millionaires. Of course the 2nd highest tax rates hits much of the middle class, and it’s only around 1% less. So it’s true tax rates in many states have a certain flatness to them, but anyone obsessed specifically with the maximum tax rate is mostly a 1% apologist. Because that is exactly who it applies to.

      1. caseyOR

        That is an old newspaper article and a bit of a crock. Yes, we are afflicted with in-migration from California. We’ve tried to discourage it, but they keep on coming.

        They come to Oregon knowing that our land use planning, which we implemented in the late ’70s, is what has saved us from unsightly sprawl, kept prime farmland as farmland, encouraged smarter planning by cities and towns and counties, and made Oregon the more livable alternative for many Golden Staters.

        Sure, we have our problems. But good land use planning is not one of them.

        1. different clue

          And actually that old newspaper “articrockle” seems to be calling those very things to BE problems. That old newspsper “articrockle” seems to be implying that if those mean old regulations could all be repealed or abolished, then the Californians could make all of Oregon as rich as Hollywood, Palm Springs, and Beverly Hills.

    2. jrs

      Wait do we have any evidence that whoever would be paying that tax (which is those earning over a million a year) are those who are leaving.

      Wait why am I bothering to ask questions about data when it’s see and blame whatever we want to rant time.

  7. jim

    A popular Ke$sha song has been pulled from playlists following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week, according to AceShowbiz.

    The singer’s hit song “Die Young” has experienced a sharp decline after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. The song was reportedly number three on radio charts on December 14, the same day the shooting took place.


    1. TK421

      Adding: I just watched that video and there’s nothing anyone could object to in it, just nearly-naked people writhing around together in an abandoned church. Maybe I’d better watch it again to be certain.

  8. ohmyheck

    Re: Fukushima— this article


    Japan largely excludes foreign firms in Fukushima clean-up—

    “Japan is failing to keep a pledge to tap global expertise to decommission its crippled reactors,”

    “There appears to be a desire to treat this as a science project and reinvent the wheel,”

    If the Japanese are doing this to save face, well then they just managed to accomplish to opposite. Shame on them!

  9. psychohistorian

    I am going to post the link about cardboard bikes on a Portland, OR list and will get back with the results….grin.

    1. Neo-Realist

      In Drizzly Seattle, I suspect bikers will have issues. I can imagine that collapsed cardboard on a biker would be very uncomfortable.

    2. psychohistorian

      The silence from the forum is deafening.

      Go with the Bamboo bike mentioned and linked to and forget the cardboard.

      1. different clue

        Perhaps because cardboard was so unworthy of even mentioning that people found it unworthy of even replying.
        Anyone who buys a cardboard bicycle is clearly shitting in the toilet the rest of us have to drink from ( or something like that) and deserves whatever they get.

  10. Klassy!

    From the Bangkok Post story:
    He said the solution was to improve accessibility to retail lenders, while law enforcement must be clearly implemented. The government should also work aggressively to educate the public about loan contracts.
    Huh. When I read the story, what I thought the workers needed was higher wages, not access to debt with slightly less onerous terms.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Actually, they did raise the minimum wage. Not much, but not nothing and from a baseline of zero.

      Anything like that is off the table here, of course. After all, we’re a first world country.

  11. Ron

    Hat Tip to Yves for her performance on the Moyers Fiscal Cliff show,,excellent!!!!! Watched it last night.

    1. Jim S

      All of them did so well that I almost want to accuse them of having rehearsed it to death before the actual taping. Very nice approach to the subject.

  12. ohmyheck

    Paul Craig Roberts hits one outa the park…again.

    “The Derivatives Tsunami is the result of the handful of fools and corrupt public officials who deregulated the US financial system. Today merely four US banks have derivative exposure equal to 3.3 TIMES world Gross Domestic Product. When I was a US Treasury official, such a possibility would have been considered beyond science fiction.”
    “…the money that the Fed is creating in order to bail out the four banks is making holders of dollars, both at home and abroad, nervous. If investors desert the dollar and its exchange value falls, the price of the financial instruments that the Fed’s purchases are supporting will also fall, and interest rates will rise. The only way the Fed could support the dollar would be to raise interest rates. In that event, bond holders would be wiped out, and the interest charges on the government’s debt would explode.”
    “Now that there are no jobs, now that real family incomes have been stagnant or declining for decades, and now that wealth and income have been concentrated in few hands is the time, Republicans say, to destroy the social safety net so that we don’t fall over the fiscal cliff.

    In human history, such a policy usually produces revolt and revolution, which is what the US so desperately needs.

    Perhaps our stupid and corrupt policymakers are doing us a favor after all.”

      1. ohmyheck

        Housing boom? Not.
        “what we’re seeing is industrial-scale investment by Wall Street speculators who are getting lavish financing perks from the banks to buy distressed properties that, if they had been sold on the MLS or via bank auctions, would have driven prices down even further pushing bank balance sheets deeper into the red. In other words, the Obama administration, the banks, the Fed and the behemoth private equity firms are all in bed together to prevent firsttime homebuyers from getting a good deal on a foreclosure and to reward the people who blew up the financial system with another backdoor bailout.”

        Rentier Class Financial Safety Net, with taxpayer dollars.

      2. Klassy!

        What do I know, but I have to feel that Whitney’s take on the housing market is the more realistic one. I’m not buying this housing recovery.

  13. jsmith

    Just for all of you coincidentally minded people as I really don’t know what to make of it all.

    Sandy Hook targeted in Batman movie and in viral advertisement for The Dark Knight from last year. Oh, and there’s also a nice shot of a huge skyscraper with the word “Aurora” emblazoned on it in the same movie.

    And if you needed a refresher course of coincidences here’s the link to “The Lone Gunmen” episode which spells out in perfect detail the 9/11 terrorist plot and which aired in March 2001.

    Here’s a link to rap group The Coup’s album cover from May of 2001:

    And of course Bart Simpson’s reference to 9/11 in 1997.

    Again, don’t know what to make of it all but it’s just interesting.

    1. AbyNormal

      Why is Santa an anagram for Satan? I mean, besides the fact that both have the same amounts of the same letters. Just consider the many other similarities between the two figures: both of them are red, both of them like to laugh, both of them give presents to children and both of them are kings of an ungodly underworld of unspeakable horror and suffering. Coincidence? I THINK NOT. -S.Logan

    2. Jim S

      There’s a video damning everyone who won’t see the Batman thing as incontrovertible proof of a conspiracy. Did it make me think? Sure. Convince me? Well…

      And I have a sudden urge to watch Mel Brooks movies. Don’t know why.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Jim S, YouTube is “Googling Up” — no sound unless you “subscribe” — The have begun to shut out anonymous viewers at YouTube.

        Where’s American Ingenuity? “TINA” to YouTube? Huh?

    3. Cynthia

      There’s a story making its way through the internet about how the Aurora Batman shooter’s father and the Connecticut school shooter’s father BOTH were to testify in the LIBOR Bank scandal, but that has turned out to be nothing more than a hoax:

      My question is, is the “Sandy Hook” reference in the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” ALSO a hoax as well? I’m trying to debunk this story with little to no success. Please help me out with this if you would.

  14. rjs

    something everyone is missing; changing the computation for the COLA not only affects social security, but all other government workers and pensions that have a COLA clause in their contracts, like postal employees…this is a mass screwing, not just the elderly…

    1. Lady Liberty

      Huff Po’s headline right now is Social Security Sell Outs

      under that

      Congressional Dems Poised To Support CPI ‘Chaining’…
      Pelosi Stuns: ‘I Consider It A Strengthening’… Progressive Caucus Co-Chair: ‘Stealth Way To Give People Less’

      and it opens to the link below granny is being thrown under the bus

      Nancy Pelosi Says Social Security Cut Proposed By Obama Would ‘Strengthen’ Program

      The Great American Retirement Scam: Why The Wealthiest CEO’s In America Want To Take Away Your Social Security

  15. Deployable you

    Deployable meaning “we can shunt the criminal liability for NCS torture onto up-or-out military rejects at the beltway bandits,” like in Al Shimari v. CACI , where CACI was held accountable despite Fourth Circuit torture scumbags Paul V. Niemeyer, whose Daddy got him all his jobs by kissing Bill Buckley’s ass, and dumbshit inbred cracker Dennis W. Shedd, who sucked Strom Thurmond’s floppy dong for years to get his chance to preen in robes and lock up coons.

  16. Dan Lynch

    The mass exodus out of Cali has been going on for years as baby boomers retire and move to nicer, more affordable places.

    1. direction

      yes, I have to agree. 15 years ago I went to Vermont and most of the people I met had moved there from California. The back-to-the-landers went rural and then made a second exodus to other rural locales. Today it is similar. Basically real estate prices are exorbitant, due mostly to our tax structure, further compounded by the bubble. People in Northern California move to Portland all the time, and it’s a one way street.

      (prop 13 legacy. Property taxes in states like NY become the limiting factor in the purchase of affordable housing. California is the opposite, low taxes allowed housing prices to increase exorbitantly so the sales price becomes the limiting factor) (so limiting that people leave the state)

      1. Dave of Maryland

        The ongoing California exodus has spawned a host of out-of-state “resort” areas. Places where the local economies got overwhelmed by big money Cali people. Santa Fe, NM is one. Locals can’t afford to live there anymore. Scottsdale, Arizona, is likely to be another one. California expats are all over the place.

    2. jrs

      Baby boomers can have it quite good in California though. If they bought property years ago and many did it has increased vastly more than inflation and they are paying taxes under Prop 13, so they can be paying some tiny fraction of what the young couple that moves in next door pays (ha most young couples can’t even afford to live in the same neighborhoods as the Boomers they have to go downscale a bit). Taxes may be somewhat high but Social Security income is state tax free. So you can have some income coming in tax free (until they gut SS).

      It’s much more favorable for Boomers to live in CA than younger people. They don’t have to worry about the unavailability of college classes like college kids do, about bad schools to send their kids to like new parents do, about trying to afford a house in a good school district, about the base level price of houses being astronomical and wanting to buy a new home, about the high unemployment (well they don’t have to worry about unemployment if they have managed to retire anyway!).

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    So, there’s another planet populated by super-advanced beings (possibly) – really?

    That Earth would be the first, not ‘another’ Earth, as we don’t have super-advaced beings on this Earth.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Making the innocent pay for the crimes of the elites.

    When you save our ‘financial health’ that way, you damage, among many other things, our mental health.

      1. direction

        Hi L,
        I see you’re cruising the comments (or you were just a little while ago). I posted a more detailed explanation of the property tax/ migration issue in response to a link above that claims oregon’s property taxes are lower. comment black-holed. If I resend it, it says it’s a duplicate. Should I slightly modify it and repost or will it just appear at a later time today? not sure how the NC black hole works.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Where did my comment go?

          If I have linked to this comment, I have checked the queues for your comment and it does not appear.

          If your comment isn’t in the queues — i.e., didn’t trigger an algorithm such that a human has to approve it — we don’t know where it went. Sometimes WP comments really do vanish into the ether.

          There is no single explanation let alone a fix for this. Here are some possibilities, in random order because we have no way to sort them by frequency:

          1) From alert reader rjs: NC uses a shared WordPress spam prevention service and blacklist. Such services are by nature not site-specific, so you may have been blacklisted at some other site, which then affects your comments at NC. We have no way of knowing when that happens. So far as I know, this happens very rarely, or rather, happens in the cases where it ought to be happening almost all the time, i.e. to spammers.

          2) You may have been posting from an IP address that is shared by many people, or is dynamic, and that IP address was banned because of the behavior of some other person. When you change IP addresses, say by moving to another Internet cafe, the problem vanishes as mysteriously as it appeared.

          3) Then there is the classic double-bind of Error: “It’s a duplicate!” with no putatively duplicated comment visible, a problem so rightly named the “black hole.” That’s one reason we’re looking for a smarter hosting service.

          This last is not an “NC black hole” but a WordPress “black hole.” I know that from a user perspective the problem may not be distinguishable from — clutches pearls — censorship, but from the perspective of an admin, it’s very different and also very disturbing.

          In “black hole” cases the connection between browser and WP server seems to be hosed somehow, so maybe logging out, clearing your cache and any NC cookies, and logging back in will work. (Also, and for whatever reason, the WP black hole has happened to me, but rarely, so I find it hard to duplicate the problem, which is another reason it’s so frustrating; intermittent bugs that cannot be reproduced are almost impossible to track down and fix.)

          FWIW, i.e. virtually nothing: Although tinkering with wording may prevent the algorithmic trip wires from throwing a post into the admin’s queue, that does not work in the three cases listed above.

          Finally, you see that the complexity of the above causes renders comments like “My comment disappeared” helpful only as a trigger for us to check the queues. It doesn’t help with debugging. So please include any messages if your comment does not post, or that no message appeared. It would also be helpful to know your browser and operating system.

          * * *

          We are very aware of the problem. We hope the solution is to be found with the new hosting service (done) and a new WP theme (in the works). Both of these tasks take money and especially Yves’s time, which is the scarcest resource of all.

          To repeat, comments like “NC ate my comment” are worse than useless, because (a) there’s no information to tell somebody trying to fix the problem what went wrong, (b) they clutter the thread, and (c) we are already doing everything we know how to do.

          NOTE I keep tarting this comment up so I can just link to it and don’t have to write it over and over again.

          HELPFUL HINT
          The Internet is a hostile computing environment. Writing in WordPress over the web is not like writing in Word from your desktop, because there are many more ways for the system to fail, and almost no ways for you to recover your work.

          Therefore, before you send your work into the unstable ether by pressing the “Submit Comment” button, always Select All the text (CTRL-A) and Copy it (CTRL-C). That way, if the comment fails to post for any reason, you can Paste it (CTRL-V) into Notepad or some other application, and you will not have lost your work. Getting into this habit has saved me more times than I care to count. An alternative is to compose offline, copy what you write, and paste it into your comment.

          Last revised 2013-06-30

          1. direction

            triple wow. (arching one eyebrow) I just tried a number of ways to repost that comment, by editting it, deleting links, and then again by adding a significant amount of text and moving it over here. No duplication warnings, but a black hole every time. and I’ve successfully posted 3 other unrelated comments, just out of curiousity. That is really weird.

            I have good information for you folks! Pertinant stuff! But wordpress is only accepting my snarky comments today. Maybe WP selectively shows the haters some blogosphere love. That would explain a lot, wouldn’t it.

          2. Lambert Strether

            @direction I just checked the queues. There is nothing in either queue with your handle.

            Of course, the two ideas could combine. A comment could trigger a tripwire AND then go into the WordPress blackhole if the subsystem that’s handling spam fails to pass the data properly to WordPress’s queues.

            Sorry. It’s one of those intermittent bugs that’s hard to track down and we’ve tried. Why, again, we need a hosting service that’s both reliable and geeky about WordPress.

    1. heresy101

      Having grown up in the Williamette Valley, I wonder whether the exiles all went there in the summmer and never experienced an Oregon winter?

      Thirty-five years ago I faced two choices in Portland. One, which of Portland’s 15, or so, bridges to throw myself off, or two, move to California. Since I am writing this today, it is obvious that I took the latter more logical choice.

      One thing that I miss is Powell’s Books. Everyone thought he was nuts paying 1/2 price in trade when he started his bookstore. Turned out that he did ok.

      My condolences to the former Californians that will experience the weeks of constant drizzle. At least in CA, the sun comes out after a good hard rain.

      1. psychohistorian

        It all comes down to perspective.

        I grew up in Tacoma, WA, where it really rains. I kept moving south over the years and stopped in Portland because there is more sunshine here but enough rain to keep most of crazies away.

      2. caseyOR

        It is a matter of personal taste. I love Portland, even in the winter. i grew up in the midwest where there is quite a bit of sun in the winter. Of course, there is also quite a bit of snow and slush and very cold temps. Portland strikes me as almost balmy in the winter by comparison.

        Several years ago, when work sent me to Los Angeles for a few years I was driven nearly mad by the relentless sunshine. It was such a relief to make my back to Portland with its spectacular summers, drizzly but not frikken’ cold winters, and sensible sunshine.

  19. kevinearick

    So, we are down to healthcare and pensions. When the momentum of capital places it cantilever, the final blow to the wedge will be struck, breaking the Bank’s buck. Do not be on the wrong side of History.

  20. AbyNormal

    @ Klassy per our earlier post regarding GA

    Number of homeless students hits new record: Over 1 million
    – The number of homeless students in America topped one million for the first time last year as a result of the economic recession, a number that has risen 57 percent since 2007. The US Department of Education found that of these 1,065,794 children, many lived in abandoned homes, cheap hotels, stations, church basements and hospitals. Some spent their time sleeping over at the houses of various friends whenever they could. Others fell victim to drugs and sexual abuse, in some cases trading sexual acts for food, clothing and shelter or selling illegal drugs. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 requires pubic schools to register homeless children. The Department of Education report was only able to compile data from those currently enrolled in school, which indicates that there may be many more homeless children or infants living on the streets without an education. The southern US state of Georgia has in recent years always had the highest number of homeless children. As many as 45,000 homeless kids and teens are on the street or in a temporary shelter each night in Georgia, 14,000 of which are in Atlanta

    (last year the largest homeless shelter in Atlanta shutdown because they couldn’t pay the $237,600 water bill)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Aby, you mean all of those fine Philanthropists of Atlanta won’t shelter kids, even as the private owner of the Isle of Jersey does? Even as Covenant House in NYC and Boys Town in Omaha did?

      “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Now do we git it?

    2. DelV

      And just how do immigrants pouring in from Central America and having large numbers of children here solve this probelem? How can any so called “progressive” have the nerve
      to show their face in public after working to flood the
      country with yet more uneducated and low skilled people that are going to compete with Americans for charity?

      Check out the free Christmas Dinner line at
      San Francisco’s most progressive Church Downtown, Glide memorial.
      Notice anything about the people in line? Enlarge it and see if you can figure it out?

        1. different clue

          That’s a very upper-class question to ask. That’s what the Free Trade hasbarists always ask one way or another when the question of who benefits from working the differential-costs arbitrage-rackets between China and America comes up. “What’s the matter, can’t compete?”

        2. broke white loser who don't know their place

          Yer right. I’m messing with his nativist head. They’re all so one-up on the darkies, like that makes up for being a powerless prole.

  21. Mike

    My wife and I are leaving California for Texas. We own a business and make $15k per month (after tax) and CA is still unaffordable for us.
    We live in a major city and a house where we can send our kids to public school is just not something that we can realistically afford. We aren’t willing to send our kids to a bad school or pay $30k per year for a private school.
    We are on the younger side and we want to reinvest money into what we do. In CA you have to choose between your business and somewhere nice to live if you want to run a business (and started it without any backing from family/friends).
    It is extremely rare for us to meet other young, entrepreneurial people in CA. The pressures here are too extreme. There are endless arms of the state in your pocket and the social environment is not welcoming. People in CA tend to be suspicious of business owners.
    Tech will likely give Norcal a huge boost for a very long term but Socal seems to be in real trouble. Even in Norcal modest middle to uppper middle class homes on the Peninsula are $2 million! People simply don’t make that much. There are a lot of couples with great two income jobs that are living very austere lives to pay their mortgage.
    Not for us any longer.

  22. citalopram

    OT: My wife just got her first disablity money from the state for temporary disability. They sent her a debit card instead of a check. It has the Visa symbol on it and everything, and Bank of America provides the money if you want to cash it all out.

  23. Calvin

    About Roundup. Any food that is NOT labeled
    “Non Gmo Project” or “100% Organic” has Roundup on and
    in it as well as other pesticides. Plus there is the insertion of cross species foreign genes into the genetically modified plants’ DNA which causes a cascade of unknown proteins to be expressed–proteins that the human body has never evolved with or encountered, thus you get allergies, crohn’s disease, ulceritive colitis, autism and other systemic diseases.

    Most corn, soybeans, canola and sugar beets grown in the United States are engineered to kill pests or withstand being sprayed with weed killers such as Round-Up. Those genetically engineered crops wind up in thousands of non-organic grocery products in the form of corn syrup, sugar, canola oil or soy-based emulsifiers. Some non-organic papaya, crook neck squash and corn on the cob is also genetically modified.

    High Fructose Corn Syrup is genetically modified and has roundup residue in it as well as trace amounts of the neurotoxin mercury.

    What are you feeding your children?

    I invite you to eat a conventional tortilla chip. The GMO corn that was used to produce the chip has the Bacillus thuriensis EPA registered pesticide toxin insecticide being generated in every cell of the corn plant. It cannot be washed off. The corn itself is a toxin. The corn chip is then fried in GMO soy oil. The soy was doused in the herbicide Roundup and the oil was hexane-extracted.

    The only way to avoid eating roundup residues and the other things mentioned here is to eat Organic food. 100% organic food.

    Make sure you know which ‘level’ of organic you are consuming:

    Products labeled ‘100% organic’ – These items are made with 100% organic ingredients and are the highest quality organic products you can purchase. No GMOs are allowed.

    Labeled ‘organic’ — These products are to contain at least 95% organic ingredients overall. Still no GMOs are allowed.

    ‘Made with ‘organic ingredients’ — This is the lowest form of organic content. This label is only required to contain 70% organic ingredients, meaning that the remaining 30% can be conventional. The conventional items, however, are not allowed to contain GMOs. These products don’t qualify for the USDA seal, whereas the previous two do.

    You can also look for the ‘Non-GMO Verified’ logo on food items–which may still have pesticides–to be sure that they are GMO free.

    1. AbyNormal

      thanks calvin, i dug this from my files 2/12/12
      Plant pathologist and Purdue University Professor Emeritus, Don Huber says Monsanto’s Roundup® (glyphosate) is allowing plant diseases to flourish and is linked to “severe” reproductive failure in livestock.
      Huber has documented that Roundup kills beneficial soil microorganisms, disrupting the natural balance with pathogens. Consequently, with increased use of Roundup we’re seeing an increase of more than 40 plant diseases that either are new or previously were under control. Research shows that the level of Roundup residues allowed in crops for animal feed (and food products) is high enough to kill the biological controls for pathogens in animals. Farmers report that livestock are dying and becoming impaired from botulism.
      In addition, Huber reports that a novel organism in GE corn and soy is causing reproductive failure. This organism, previously unknown to science, is not a fungus, bacteria, or virus but is self-replicating and causes infertility and miscarriage in cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and poultry. It first was identified about 10 years ago by a vet investigating very high reproductive failure but is becoming increasingly severe. Infertility is reported to be running as high as 20 percent; spontaneous abortions as high as 45 percent in cattle herds. One dairy recently had 70 percent of its cows abort.
      Huber says he wrote USDA a private letter stating these concerns and asked for even one peer-reviewed scientific study that justifies approval of GE products. He’s still waiting, unable to find anyone who can produce such a document.
      Less than three weeks after receiving Dr. Huber’s letter, USDA deregulated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa and sugar beets.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks Calvin.

      I have assumed ‘organic’ was sufficient. Now, I look for 100% organic.

      Of course, some of my friends (and co-workers) who always give 110% in everyting they do, they will probably demand 110% Organic.

      1. different clue

        I believe any unprocessed food item which is Certified Organic is by definition “100%” organic. The question of “per cent” does not even come up. If it is a canned/bottled/jarred/otherwise processed food, then the question comes up. But it only came up after the Federal Takeover of Organic Certification and Regulation. The USDA rule-writers decided that a processed food could contain anywhere up to 5% “non-organic” materials and still be called USDA Organic. Who decided to call USDA Organic processed food withOUT ANy non-organic materials in it by the name “100% Organic” . . . I don’t know. But they couldn’t do it if the USDA rulewriters didn’t permit it.

        When parts of the Organic Food Movement were running to the Federal Government begging for a Federal Organic Law, Charles Walters of Acres USA tried warning them not to do it. Federal Regulation would lead to Federal corruption and destruction of the standard, followed by destruction of the market when the customer realized that USDA Organic means whatever the USDA’s petrocorporate agro-chembiz clients want it to mean. Someone I know once wrote a letter to Acres USA about that after the law was passed. The letter writer said in part, “Charles Walters tried to warn the Organic Community that asking the Federal Government to regulate organic agriculture was like asking Adolph Hitler to conduct a Jewish wedding. What did you think was going to happen?” Acres must have found that line too incendiary so they changed it to . . . “asking the Federal Government to regulate organic agriculture was asking for trouble. What did you think was going to happen?”

        I think in the longest run only Full Disclosure will give any insight into how/what/when a food was produced. Fully disclose every product and process involved in growing or making the food and make that total pallet of total information totally available to the potential customer. Perhaps inspectors would be willing to inspect the food and the grower and the grower’s list of every product and process as against what suspicious and hostile scientific testing discovers to ACTually be in the food. If the disclosure sheets and the analysis readouts exACTly match up, then the Inspector can certify that the food in question is Certified Full Disclosure. And the potential customer can read the relevant Disclosure Sheet and decide if the food in question is “organic enough” for himher.

        Or . . . he/she can grow it herm’s own self.

  24. kevinearick

    Open Source

    Open Source is not a philanthropic, non-profit, or goodwill organization. It is a deferred income vehicle.

    It has two objectives, to set the price to fix this mess, and to determine who is going to participate in the resulting income streams.

    The Fed isn’t going anywhere; it’s in the black hole, in a positive feedback loop with the same technology it deployed to gut labor within the empire. Every time it doubles down it wipes out more capital, ejecting the middle class to balance the transaction. Its monetization program simply provides an artificial side to the buy/sell so everyone in the market doesn’t realize they are being bankrupted. Once the buck breaks, the pensions go poof.

    Do really think open source is going to pay the gold bugs anything more than a percentage for their participation? They earned a percentage, but they are not going to get NPV on future earnings. That’s not the reward for speculation. Open Source doesn’t need money. It is quite capable of metering transactions without paper, or gold.

    The Fed applies central control, so Open Source is decentralized. The empire is just a dc machine. Writing more laws is not going to make it less of a machine / black hole.

    The Fed has simply done us the favor of weeding out.

  25. scraping_by

    RE: Kagans

    First it was:

    “Their compensation from the U.S. government for their efforts, which often involved 18-hour workdays, seven days a week and dangerous battlefield visits?

    Zero dollars.”

    Then, a bit later, it slips:

    “The Kagans’ proximity to Petraeus, the country’s most-famous living general, provided an incentive for defense contractors to contribute to Kim Kagan’s think tank.”

    The idea that MIC paid for representation to a commanding General in the middle of combat sounds, well, too much like Washington. Wonder how greater consumption of defense products and services did for the boots on ground?

  26. Bhikshuni

    This one is along the lines of the cardboard bike, but with culture:

    Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash. For more information about the film, please visit

  27. JohnB

    Brilliant article on the corruption of intellectual pursuits, how truth has been discarded and faux-intellectualism used for the pursuit of power:

    Instantly, this makes me think of economics as a field, and it perfectly describes the way in which corrupt think tanks and corrupted political narrative, are used to hold and maintain power.

    This should be tomorrows must-read, because this sums up the brains behind all of the most insideous poison in political discourse of the last century or more, which is used to spread FUD and to brainwash people, who often would see through this if they had the critical thinking abilities.

  28. different clue

    About Roundup in food, many kinds of crops have not yet been GMOd at all. So even if they are grown conventionally, they are still “FrankenFree” by default. So far only the Big Money crops have been subjected to Big Chem’s particular kinds of GMOing . . . for Roundup Ready or BT or other such traits. So I believe all of the tree fruits and nuts, obscure beans, seeds, and grains, etc. are still “FrankenFree” (no GMOs). Now . . . which of those are still sprayed with Roundup regardless? I don’t know.
    They probably aren’t sprayed with As MUCH Roundup as the GMO crops which are designed to swim in Roundup and remain “undead”.
    Japan won’t allow any “Frankenbeans” into Japan and Japan tries to regulate this for real and not just for show. So any soy product from Japan is probably FrankenFree and is probably lower in Roundup than the FrankenGene soybean products that are made in America. So for soybeans, your best bets are “made in Japan” or “Certified Organic”.

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