Links 1/18/13

Sydney bakes in hottest day on record as bushfires rage BBC. 46 degrees???

“Superomniphobic” nanoscale coating repels almost any liquid Gizmag

Bringing fusion electricity to the grid EureakAlert. Chuck L: “When I was an undergraduate 50+ years ago fusion power was predicted to be 40 years away, max. I guess it’s now down to 37. We’ll see. Or someone will, but it’s unlikely to be me personally.”

Peak oil: ‘increasingly groundless’ Guardian

Why Shale Oil is Not the Game Changer We Have Been Led to Believe – Part 1 OilPrice

No plastic for the Pope Economist (Aquifer)

China records slowest growth for 13 years Financial Times

European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group horror stories Deus Ex Macchiatio, tipped off by the London Whale Spreadsheet cockup.

Bloomberg (in the guise of Elisa Martinuzzi & Nicholas Dunbar) surface a kerfuffle at the world’s oldest bank.

Prenda Law Fails In Attempt To Remove Judge Who Wants To Know Who Alan Cooper Is Techdirt

Look at yourself objectively Aaron Swartz. People who do that are depressed. Never have heard a good theory as to which way the causality runs. Reader Benoit Essiambre flagged this piece because it “describes exactly his prosecutor’s reaction.”

Aaron’s Law: Violating a Site’s Terms of Service Should Not Land You in Jail Lawrence Lessig, Atlantic

Justice defends prosecution of Swartz The Hill (Aquifer)

Aaron Swartz memorial in NYC this Saturday BoingBoing

Christie Slaps NRA Over ‘Reprehensible’ Obama Girls Spot Bloomberg. The theater is getting interesting.

Why Obama’s gun control orders miss the target Guardian

Let’s “shoot” this sucker down Ataturk, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Marijuana Possession Arrests Exceed Violent Crime Arrests (INFOGRAPHIC) Huffington Post (Carol B)

Justice Department ‘Complies’ With FOIA Request For GPS Tracking Memos; Hands ACLU 111 Fully Redacted Pages Techdirt (Chuck L)

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Is Osama bin Laden’s Last Victory Over America Matt Taibbi (Aquifer)

GOP Weighs Short Debt-Limit Rise Wall Street Journal. Moving in the direction we predicted yesterday.

Tim Geithner, the King of Cloud Cuckoo Land Ilargi

The Legacy of Timothy Geithner Simon Johnson, New York Times. OMG, look at the photo!

Treasury Nominee Jack Lew Retained Citigroup Foreign Investments After Joining Obama State Department; Public Kept In Dark Pam Martens

Citi and BofA fail to dispel concerns Financial Times

Paul Krugman is Wrong about the Rise of the Robots Martin Ford

Inside the Hostess Bankery Daily Kos (Carol B)

Responding to Financial Crisis: Are Austerity and Suffering Inevitable? Jayati Ghosh, Triple Crisis

Looking for rent-seekers in all the wrong places MacroBusiness

Vibrator With 3 Balls Can’t Win EU Trademark, Court Says Bloomberg

Antidote du jour (Aquifer):

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    1. Bev

      Taibbi piece:

      The need for certain ideas to be “catapulted” in any way possible.

      Oscar Discovers, Then Denies, E-Voting Dangers
      By Steve Schneider


      ‘And the Oscar Might Go To…’: An Internet Voting Disaster Picture

      By Steve Schneider on 1/12/2013, 1:15pm PT

      Last week we asked (mostly) satirically: “If Lincoln ends up winning this year’s Best Picture Oscar, how early in the night will Karl Rove admit it?”

      Well, now, given the Academy’s latest Titanic disaster, a certain Hollywood blogger would be within her rights to say, “TOLDJA!”

      The Oscar nominations that were announced last Thursday provided clear evidence that the experiment with Internet Voting by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was exactly the disaster some members had expected — and that the reason wasn’t technological befuddlement on the part of older voters, as AMPAS had unpersuasively claimed. Rather, the problem was a simply crummy online voting system that stymied the ballot-casting efforts of even computer-savvy “youngsters” like documentarian Morgan Spurlock.


      The calamitous insecurity of untransparent e-voting — whether in person at the polls or via the Internet — is something interested parties are loathe to acknowledge. That’s why opportunistic companies like Everyone Counts — which provided the Oscar voting software despite their rich history of gumming up the works in more important, governmental races — get to fail ever upward.

      If we as a society can’t cry foul when a shady but well-connected software firm louses up something as comparatively inconsequential as the Academy Awards, how are we ever going to confront the reality of what they and their ilk are doing to our democracy?


      Anyone with a subscription want to summarize the following:

      Did an Election Day Lawsuit Stop Karl Rove’s Vote-Rigging Scheme in Ohio?

      January 1, 2013 | by Lou Dubose

        1. Bev

          I like the following the best:

          What REALLY happened in Ohio on Election Night

          Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis are the two Ohio attorneys who deposed Mike Connell, and who have otherwise been working to expose Karl Rove’s election thievery since 2004.

          From Cliff:


          The hack we discovered was limited to Ohio. Its use was coming from Bob Urosevich the same guy who personally delivered a malicious patch in Georgia 2002 which flipped the votes and outcome in their governor and US Senate races. Our exposure of the problem in court through one of the top cyber security experts in the world (so certified by NSA) occurred at about 3:15 PM on election day.

          Urosevich would have been informed that the fix had been exposed and that an Ohio judge with jurisdiction had expressed willingness to adopt the corrective action recommended by our expert. He and the one operative who would have been positioned pull the trigger, instead nixed the operation. Neither of them would have been so foolish as to contact Rove to inform him that the Ohio fix was off. Rove’s communications were surely being monitored by law enforcement authorities.

          Thus, Rove’s mistaken rant over Ohio being prematurely called for Obama.

          Cliff Arnebeck

  1. Butch in Waukegan

    Here’s a revealing snapshot of how justice in the USA is dispensed. There’s a cash register right next to the scales.

    Carmen Ortiz’s Sordid Rap Sheet, WhoWhatWhy

    According to the sworn testimony of a DEA agent operating out of Boston, it was his job to comb through news stories for properties that might be subject to forfeiture. When he finds a likely candidate, he goes to the Registry of Deeds, determines the value of the property in question, and refers it to the U.S. attorney [Ortiz] for seizure. It is DEA policy to reject anything with less than $50,000 equity.

    In other cases, that DEA agent testified, the property is brought to his attention by local police departments.

    1. the sow is MINE

      Baker’s right. Why pick on porcine guttersnipe Carmen Ortiz? Her predatory shakedowns are simply S.O.P. for this kleptocracy. The US relies on a grotesque travesty of the Paris Principles and on continuous domestic propaganda to suspend binding human rights law for its crooked DoJ Gestapo.

      This state has pissed away the last drips of its legitimacy. We’re still tempted to tinker with platinum coins and other reformist palliatives. But other countries have extensive experience dealing with a state that goes into this kind of terminal degeneracy: East Germans, Czechs and Slovaks, Slovenes, Ugandans, Sierra Leoneans, Russians. What they had to do was induce the state’s collapse, purge and destroy its criminal nomenklatura, raze the state and rebuild it to world standards. Now Americans have to do it.

      1. ambrit

        Dear tsiM;
        The problem with your scheme is that the present “world standards” are pretty bloody low. Time to get back to brass tacks.

      2. different clue

        If you are referring to something Baker has written saying that time/energy spent on Ortiz should be spent on something Higher and Grander like . . . ” the System, man” . . . I would say that Baker is wrong.

        If Ortiz can be visibly ground down and destroyed as the last act of a long running program of successful revenge which should be set into motion by those who know how, then the next Ortiz might be too scared to help engineer the next suicide or disappearance against the next high-value GoverBussiness target.

        If effective revenge (strictly within the limits of the law absolutely yes of course) can also be taken against Heymann and the Judge who extorted Swartz’s compliance with a so-called “order” not to launch a Legal Defense Fund, and all the relevant personell at MIT who tacitly encouraged the DOJ personell to launch this persecution, and against every single anyone else who was also involved, then the next wave of “henchmen” might be too afraid to “hench” when the next set of Black Hat Governators put out the call to engineer the next high value target’s suicide or disappearance or kangaroo conviction.

      3. Bridget

        Yikes! East Germany, especially since it was rescued by West Germany, the Czech Republic, although certainly not up to our standards, might sort of be bearable. But please. Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Russia? I mean, do you ever travel anywhere?

      4. the sow is mine mine mine

        agreed, dc, by all means destroy Ortiz and her goons, along with all the others who merely carry out state procedure. But all it would take to rip apart The System, so to speak, is a few specific actions that the Dem majority of the 111th congress could have taken in a couple of months if it was’t a moist, steaming coil of shit: a couple of treaty accessions, withdrawal of certain reservations, and individual access to international review bodies, and this criminal regime would go plop into the honey bucket of history.

        Why yes, Bridget, I do travel. Those countries all have more advanced and protective constitutions, more trustworthy rule of law, or more explicit protective commitments than the US government. Have you ever lived in the United States of America? The US is a pariah state, a derelict shithole, objectively assessed in terms of its obligations to its people (Do you know where those are written down? Then see for yourself.)

        (ab, they’re quite high, actually)

        1. different clue

          You are correct at one level. If only the Democrats would do certain things, this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.
          But they won’t do certain things for now, therefore this sort of thing gets “happened”.

          Effective punishment against regime servants may make it difficult for the regime to find new servants, or to get future servants to carry out certain actions which would obviously carry a revenge blowback potential.

      5. enim si wos eht

        Punishment. Revenge. Megaditto. Make them pay. All the US commissars and apparatchiki and Cheka assassins, make them pay.

        And you’re right, Dems won’t do jack shit to replace their own regime. But any region could do it, any organized faction could do it, with the same destructive effect. Because sovereignty is responsibility, responsibility specified, at a minimum, by the International Bill of Human Rights, the UN Charter, and the Rome Statute. Since the US government rejects the first, flouts the second, and undermines the third, to invoke your right of self-determination and reclaim your sovereignty, all you have to do – all Texans, or Vermonters, or Greens would have to do – is accede to the requisite instruments.

        I’m always bemused by how people are convinced this is hopeless. Ask the experts: Who in the world today has fought longer, harder, no-holds-barred against the most implacable totalitarian oppressor? Palestinians. What are they doing now? This. Are we really qualified to second-guess the world’s most hardened freedom fighters?

  2. Bill the Psychologist

    Re: Geithner/Obama “OMG, look at the photo!”

    All that’s needed is a single tear glistening on their cheeks…disgusting.

    1. Aquifer

      That is a real concern – but at least the dog appears to be a “water dog” so at least they will learn how to swim ….

    2. different clue

      Thank you. Excellent. That’s pretty hot.

      I don’t think Australia is ready to question its basic bussiness model just yet. But when their heatwave temperatures begin moving between a 125-135 degree band, then they might wonder whether they really had oughta have sold all that coal to China.

  3. sidelarge

    Re: Taibbi’s Zero Dark Thirty review:

    I left a comment there as well, but it’s appalling that the director thinks that “depiction is not endorsement” can be an excuse on any level. “Depiction” is precisely the ideal form of propaganda, and is in a way the ultimate endorsement. Ask Goebbels. By declaring that you are merely “depicting” the events, you create this illusion that there were no judgement or value-related decisions involved in the process. And that’s clearly bullshit.

    It’s eerily akin to those free-market zealots who ferociously argue that they are merely “depicting” how the market works (if let alone with no outside interventions of course) with no moral/ethical judgements involved. It’s just the way God works mysteriously, and you are fighting the Nature by resisting their ideas. They pretend that what they are trying to sell is not an ideology, when it is nothing but a classic one in reality. I guess Phil Pilkington has a lot to say about it.

    The message is quite clear: we must accept the world where torture works, however despicable it may be, because that’s just the way it is. And the creators merely “depicted” that world through the lens. It’s effective as propaganda precisely because no one in the story pontificates about morality and so on, precisely because the director doesn’t show any gesture to endorse or not endorse it. If the director tried to justify torture in an explicit, in-your-face way, it actually wouldn’t be as effective a propaganda piece as it is.

    What’s most appalling is not even the movie itself, but the level of intelligence on the director’s part. Agh.

    1. Aquifer

      Haven’t seen the movie (nor will i) but i get the impression it leaves the impression that torture “works”, and that, ISTM. might be the most damaging message …

      There are those who condemn torture, qua torture, period – if they were the majority, methinks it would be stopped. But there are also those, and i don’t know how many, who would stop it IF it didn’t “work”, but “allow” it if it does, in the name of keeping us “safe” (that it doesn’t is another thread in the discussion). It is these people who are appealed to …

      To praise a movie that, in suggesting torture works, might well help to legitimate it in the eyes of a public that might be willing to end it if shown that it doesn’t, is ISTM, not merely intellectually dishonest, but morally bankrupt ….

      1. Brindle

        Also, by purposely leaving context out of the story, ( who are the people who live in Pakistan? or Afghanistan? what are their lives like?), Bigelow creates a comic book version of that particular action/episode.

        When in 2010 she accepted her Oscar for “The Hurt Locker” she gave her thanks to all U.S. miltary personel serving all over the world, no mention of Iraqis of course—they were just props.

        Bigelow is a skilled propagandist, that’s about it.

      2. annie

        here is one thing (of many) not “depicted” in the supposedly thorough–so thorough it revels in depicting torture–zd30:

        the co-opting of pakistani medical workers–ie, persuading a doctor to allow a vaccination program to be used to gain access to bin laden’s compound in order to collect dna for identification.
        recently at least nine nurses have been killed on their rounds to vaccinate against polio, t.b., etc. because the taliban observes (correctly) the u.s. using these progams for intelligence gathering.
        so now we have on our hands the lives not only of medical workers but also of those who die because they will not have access to vaccination and treatment.

      3. Ms G

        Leni R’s spirit experienced a huge Renaissance in the U.S. since about September 12, 2001. The funny thing is that most people have no idea who she is, yet they channel her so totally!

    2. diptherio

      “‘Depiction’ is precisely the ideal form of propaganda, and is in a way the ultimate endorsement. Ask Goebbels. By declaring that you are merely “depicting” the events, you create this illusion that there were no judgement or value-related decisions involved in the process. And that’s clearly bullshit.”~sidelarge

      This goes equally well for the discipline of economics.

    3. Jack Valenti's diminutive masculine member

      The CIA’s torture propaganda movie cost thirty million, and already everybody knows it’s full of shit.

      There’s a big decal made to fit a minibus window, it shows ObL standing over you making a noble face with three jetliners with cool fat contrails zooming overhead. It costs two bucks, if you don’t know how to bargain. These are galumphing back and forth on shitty roads all over Africa.

      Who is going to win this propaganda war?

      1. Ms G

        This is disgraceful and odious.

        Though it does suggest that the forces behind the propaganda machine are ramping up into on-the-ground psy-ops like these — and that could mean we’re at a big turning point (not sure in which direction: do they sense that the public is waking up? or are they just executing something close the “Final Solution” as per long-standing plans?)

      2. the little valet's little valet

        Mais non, no way that is US propaganda. That is an ingenious entrepreneurial response to genuine popular sympathies that AFRICOM cannot control. You don’t have to be a terrorist to enjoy seeing the US aggressor get a thumb in the eye. And Africans, unlike US citizens, often know what bin Laden actually said, including a lot that is obvious and incontrovertible. ObL’s recourse to rebellion has won a lot of nonviolent hearts and minds.

  4. jsmith

    Regarding Taibbi:

    What a f*kcing disgrace you are, Matt.

    Seriously, a f*cking disgrace.

    “On the way home I felt buzzed and high, like one always does after seeing a great film, but then various things that had bothered me about the movie started to float to the surface.

    Apart from the queasiness from the opening “enhanced interrogation” scene (more on that in a minute), there was the letdown purely on the detective-movie fanboy level I got from the fact that the “heroes” got their key information from torture.”

    So, it was only AFTER you had time to digest the film, Matt, that you were feeling a bit “queasy”?

    WTF kind of film did you THINK it was going to be before you saw it, Matt?

    What kind of film – which takes the farcical events of 9/11 as its basis from the outset – could any supposedly rational human being imagine it would be?

    A film that the CIA helped Bigelow make?

    Gee, do you think working for RS has softened your edges, Matt, or were you always soft – the resident embedded critic of the system hobnobbing with those he “critiques”?

    Oh, but Matt sees the light at the end, right?


    After more than a decade of murderous war crimes I’m supposed to accept that someone of Taibbi’s supposed insight wasn’t wary of blatant propaganda like Zero from the get-go?

    Finally, slapping a title that totally and completely gives credence to the official 9/11 fairy tale was probably half your week’s pay right there, Matt, you sycophant.

    “Zero” and all of the commentary on it that accepts wholeheartedly the 9/11 story is part and parcel of the ongoing and purposeful rewriting of reality before our very eyes.

    If you can’t bring yourself to honestly come to terms with the falsity of the official 9/11 narrative at the very least understand that every MSM depiction of the events of that day and the WOT are going to follow the fascist company line and greet it with requisite cynicism.


    For another demolition of Bigelow please see this.

    1. petridish

      Excellent link.

      I wonder, has Bigelow mentioned anywhere that this film was originally scheduled to be released right BEFORE the presidential election when Obama’s war-mongering cred may have needed some shoring-up? Apparently such blatant propagandizing was judged unnecessary when the Romney campaign became a Wile E. Coyote cartoon.

      1. jsmith

        And Taibbi as a member of the media superstructure is doing what he is “engineered” to do as well: soften outspoken criticism about decades of government lies and war crimes into a commentary on what it says about us as a society i.e., the Spectacle commenting on itself as it is wont.

        Wulp, we’ve discussed Bin Laden and torture, time to put it to bed, right America?

        That’s right, we’ll wait for the Oscars and THEN put it to bed.

        What war crime will Bigelow humanize next for Taibbi to wring his hands about as to what we’ve become as a society but not demand that the war criminals and those aiding and abetting them be brought to justice?

        I can hardly wait.

        Also, I’m sure that Hollywood is terribly, terribly concerned about all the “discussion” surrounding this movie, eh?

        What’s that thing about good/bad publicity?

        I’m also sure all of the big producers – like Arnon Milchan and others – are planning conference calls in an effort to better represent democratic and human values on the big screen, right?

        No, what the big problem is summed up in Taibbi’s main line:

        “The real problem is what this movie says about us.”

        Us, Matt?

        You mean the thousands/millions of Americans who have literally and metaphorically been driven insane over the last decade or more because they have correctly perceived that they live in a fascist state run by war-criminals but about which they can do nothing because – in this shining beacon of democracy – anyone who gets a platform to say or do anything has already been “seen to”, Matt?

        That, “us”?

        Or, Matt, are you including yourself among the disillusioned American “fanboys” – yuck – who are just starting to get a bit queasy about just how “not right” our society is?

        Don’t worry readers, the review of the new Kesha is 10 pages up.

        Better late than never right?

        At this current rate of dialogue/criticism the tummies of Taibbi’s grandchildren will feel funny when watching snuff films about our African misadventures just underway.

        Taibbi due to this writing on the financial crisis is held up to be some “bad boy” journalist who unflinchingly let’s the elite have it but this piece shows us that the “bad boy” is really a bought-off – naughty, naughty, wink, wink – conversation/opinion framer who does his job well.

        1. lambert strether

          Of the alternatives (assuming Taibbi’s reactions to be genuine):

          1) No attendance, no review

          2) Attendance, review with ritual denunciation

          3) Attendance, review with “sucked in” description followed by critique

          I prefer #3, on tactical grounds, since others will have been “sucked in” as well, but not have been critical. (That is my answer to “us” — which is, as you point out, wrong. “What do you mean, ‘we’?” applies in a lot of cases.)

          * * *

          I’m trying to bring to mind the post where Taibbi was proposed for canonization, but I’m not finding it. I think NC readers are fully capable of contextualizing the piece, exactly as they are capable of contextualizing a Krugman piece, since Krugman has just as many disabilities as Taibbi.

          The quest is not for perfection but advantage…

          1. jsmith

            Wasn’t speaking to NC readers per se as to MT canonization but rather to the (not-so) subtle creation/utilization of “liberal anti-establishment” establishment types by the elite to help well-intentioned slightly disillusioned – but not angry, mind you! – bourgeois left-leaners decipher how they are supposed to react or feel about subjects which should in a healthy society be glaringly self-evident e.g. torture, war-crimes, etc.

            To the untrained eye it appears that Matt’s taking us in the correct direction but really isn’t he just – as you speak to – labeling all of us just as brainwashed/bought off as he himself is?

            What if a large segment of the population wasn’t sucked in, Matt?

            Thus, since all of us are tired of the “madhouse” that is faux-democracy in America so…John Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity is the answer, right?

            In this vein, if any NC haven’t seen John Stewart’s embarrassing pieces concerning the trillion dollar coin enjoy two “contrarians” – Krugman, heh – “battling” it out.

            Hey, John says it’s a stupid f*cking idea so case closed, right?


            Isn’t John’s brother Larry Leibowitz still Chief Operating Officer of NYSE Euronext parent company of the NYSE?

            Oh well, John’s on our side still.


          2. They didn't leave me a choice

            Those Stewart pieces were what finally made me stop watching DS. For a while now I’ve been feeling quasy about the status quo boosterism, partisan hackery (and the accompanying worship of the two party dictatorship) and faux moderation in the form of haigiographies to “bipartisanship” and “moderation” which amount to little more than taking an average of the two neoliberal wings of the US government and pretending this somehow gives the fucker a higher ground.

            At the end I guess DS is little more than a pathetic ego boosting method for idiots who want to pretend they are in the know because they are more aware than the average fox news viewer.

            So I guess now that stewart has shown his true colours as just yet another regime propagandist scumbag I guess it’s a good time to stop watching his distorted drivel.

          3. Ms G

            @ jsmith

            You wrote: ” … the (not-so) subtle creation/utilization of “liberal anti-establishment” establishment types by the elite to help well-intentioned slightly disillusioned – but not angry, mind you! – bourgeois left-leaners decipher how they are supposed to react or feel about subjects which should in a healthy society be glaringly self-evident e.g. torture, war-crimes, etc.”

            Very well put, and critically important because holds focus on propaganda strategies that may appear “not so” subtle to you, but are virtually invisible to many. All I’m saying is … thank you for the precision and eloquence, and keep posting.

          4. different clue

            To jsmith actually,

            Give Taibbi this then . . . his piece gave you this opportunity to criticize his piece and its purpose. His piece offered you some handholds as you keep “climbing the rockface”.

      2. craazyman

        “Now he’s out in Hollywood, D. B. , being a prostitute. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.”

        -Holden Caulfield, CATCHER IN THE RYE
        by JD Salinger

        hahahahahahahha so true then, so true now

    2. jrs

      Well the thing about Taibbi is he’s not the best political analyist out there, his arguments aren’t always the best. And that he doesn’t suspect it’s BS going in is quite a feat (didn’t he know about the CIA involvement?) OTOH he’s not a bad investigative journalist which is why he has what cache he does.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Speaking of marijuana possession arrests, I believe ticky-takcy traffic citations far, far exceed them.

    Luckily for the 0.01%, they are chauffeur-driven. So, they can’t be intimidated.

    1. ambrit

      Dear MLTPB;
      Well Pard, as for the Heart of Dixie, first possession arrest is a Class A Misdemeanor, and second arrest jumps to a Class C Felony, One to Ten! Now, how many Traffic Offences, less DUI of course, escalate that fast and that far? The Driver ain’t gots to worry too much. The Toker though…
      And that’s how you bend the society to your will.

  6. Aquifer

    ” …… the beginning of a deeper public realization that there had come to be too little distance between some parts of the Federal Reserve and the big banks.” – Simon Johnson

    Kudos to SJ for the understatement of the Century …

    But it was a good piece, IMO – and i thought his appeal for cleaning up the mess was interesting – he no longer appeals to Dem political sensibilities to clean it up, but to Rep ones, ala Teddy Roosevelt …..

    The Reps would be wise to listen – the Dems, by taking over so much right wing territory, have driven them to ludicrous extremes in that direction, there is really no where else for them to go … There is a Rooseveltian tradition in the Rep party, as well as in the Dem one – STM the cry to return to TR might rejuvenate the Reps; as i said there is nowhere else to go for them. Ironically, should the Reps take up a trust busting stance, insofar as it succeeds in gaining public support, the Dems would need to follow suit ….

    Of course, folks would say that there is zilch chance of Reps, “the party of BB”, to adopt this stance – but it may be clear to those who really do care about the Rep party that even all the money they could bring to bear on the elections wasn’t enough to win – they actually need something decent to run on! What the hell – at this point they might be desperate enough to actually run on a decent platform – for pragmatic, if not principled, reasons ….

    We moan about the absurd amount of money in politics – but i have had a feeling that there is a saturation point at which any more is like bringing coals to Newcastle – and that when the novelty of all that money wears out and the surfeit sickens, they, both parties, might actually have to think about a “new” angle – decent positions! Now i realize thus pie in the sky is more likely to be pie in the face – but the other element is that should popular principles once again come into political vogue – 3rd parties will have an opportunity they haven’t had for a long time – maybe since the days of Lincoln – :)

    1. Susan the other

      Simon Johnson believes in the concept of the Federal Reserve. He believes in and trusts the private bankers who are the Fed. He just doesn’t like the appearance of conflict of interest. Why not? The whole damn thing is one big conflict of interest. Who is he kidding? Timmy Geithner is the goat. The link at the bottom to last week’s SJ post in Economix about the Fed’s notes of August 2007 is instructive. When the Fed realized the economy was collapsing, by the end of 2007, they were frantically pushing money into the “financial markets” ostensibly to stimulate the economy – which did not happen. Just to recap: In 2007 the war in the middle east had been going on for 6 years. An unfunded war being fudged through the Fed-banking system in a consentual end run around Congress. The only point of reference to this devastation is WW2, which lasted only 4 years and extracted all of our resources, leaving us in a deep hole. The Fed did not interfere by infusing the “financial markets” with “liquidity” back then. Our politics were more responsible. In 1948 we stimulated the economy, (both here and in Europe) the real economy, and grew our way out of it. Something is definitely wrong with the Fed system today. It doesn’t make sense no matter how you look at it.

      1. Aquifer

        Sto – My comment was not intended to canonize Johnson, but to suggest that he was making a political argument i thought interesting …

        All you folks know a hell of a lot more about the details of finance than I – i have conceded that on a number of occasions – but the politics have always intrigued me, and ISTM, in this arena, anybody can jump in with what might prove to be an “insight” into the process …

        Tossing the political football around in real time, ISTM, is more useful than kicking the can down the road, so catching a punt might lead to a decent return, regardless, or sometimes because, of the punter …. :)

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        You need to dig deeper into the Fed’s history. It was very involved in WWII. It kept rates at 2%. One historian complains that WWII was when the Fed performed most responsibly and that has been airbrushed out of the record. I saw him speak at an event, maybe I can track the video down if I ever have time.

  7. juneau

    “look at yourself objectively”
    There is an aspect of judgment and self punishment that merits attention. If I “judge” myself to be worthless based on an accurate self assessment, perhaps it is better to see myself in a way that allows me to live. Self delusion to protect my self esteem may keep me from harm. At least in the short term.

    Depressives not only see themselves more accurately, they HATE themselves for it IMHO. It is perhaps the self hate and the judgment that needs to be addressed, not just the character flaws. Self assessment without compassion for the self could be dangerous, just as any court or judge that shows no mercy for any and all crimes is dangerous.
    Just a thought. Kindless rules.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think Zen offers different ways. Here is one of them – be the arrow.

      Lose oneself in whatever one does – chopping wood, cleaning, living, or just being.

    2. invient

      Living with failure is something learned… For people like me that self-judge constantly it can near be a death sentence, and you have to start by distilling why you have failed. Once you find the root, take small incremental steps to take it out.

      For instance, most of my problems come from my inability to speak. I’ve been a stutter for a while and developed social anxiety and some irrational fears. As one of the commenters said you can try to lose yourself in action, and I did do that for nearly 12 years. Eventually though, you will be required to do something out of this focus, and it will prevent your from moving forward toward your goals (self-actualization w/e you want to call it)… It does not solve your problem. My psychologist and I developed a plan on a hierarchy of fears, and have begun working up by taking w/e small steps I can think of, until I do not feel anxiety from those situations or at it is at least near the expected level of anxiety. I have read as many speech therapy books as I can and developed some methods to deal with it. I still block, but I see that as a function of anxiety, rather than stuttering.

    3. ohmyheck

      “Kindless”? Did you mean Kindness?

      Yes, holding oneself accountable for one’s failings only works when it is balanced with a big dose of self-forgiveness.

      We are all just human. Which means we are all absoultely, without doubt, imperfect, and going to make mistakes.

      We all wonder about what are real Truthes in this world, I think that one is undeniable.

      So, in the face of that inevitable truth, why can’t we all just lighten up, laugh at ourselves a little, shrug our shoulders, learn from our mistakes, and leave it at that? What kind of world would we live in if we all stopped hating ourselves? How can you love anyone else, if you don’t even love yourself?

      I really liked what Adam had to say. He just left out the self-forgiveness part.

    4. Aquifer

      So how shall we consider these 2 pieces in the context within which they have been presented – the circumstances that bring Ortiz and Swartz to our attention? The first piece describes the need for “reality” based assessments, along the lines of “the unexamined life is not worth living”, Swartz’ code that we so many admire him for, the second the pitfalls of same – that, in fact, upon examination, one may decide it is, indeed, not worth living – the enormous fragility that a “reality” based life rests on, that makes one sooo vulnerable to shock and threat ….

      So what does this say about our laws – should we make them such that no one could ever feel threatened enough to kill him/herself when faced with them? Or should we just concentrate on making them “proportional” with the clear understanding that there may be troubled souls out there who are on the edge and even “proportional” punishment might tip them over? And for those souls for whom it might, is the answer never to subject them to the “law” or rather to deal with them as individuals, in all their complexity?

      The brilliant souls, such as Aaron, are often the most troubled, ISTM – because they are not only steeped in reality, but committed to the need to be – unable or unwilling to understand that deeply “pragmatic” need for, and self preserving function of, illusion described in the 2nd piece … I remember quite well, 45 years ago, when that incite hit me …

      As for Ortiz,, if Aaron had not killed himself, would her pursuit of him been met with the same level of opprobrium? Why did it take an incident like this to start the move for “Aaron’s Law”? Hasn’t that gawd awful law under which he was pursued on the books for a long time? Was it never understood that such a thing as this could happen? A Black Swan?

      An appropriate, nay necessary, response is, indeed, to change the absurd law that he was charged under – and maybe to fire Ortiz,, though i suggest she is a pawn in this affair, and spending a whole lot of energy scapegoating her will, ISTM, be a distraction – but in this climate there are more and more calls for blood, literally, so someone must be thrown in the arena to suit the crowds – methinks this increasing blood lust will not end well ..

      But as for me methinks that if all we do is change a law and fire a few folks – that will not save the Aarons of the world – there must be more to be discussed and challenged …

      Do those 2 pieces help us break down the issues in any meaningful way, any useful way – methinks they do …

      One could do a whole blog on this stuff – the implications for so much of what is talked about here on NC and the tones that are used to discuss it …

      I wish there was the time and space here to do it, but then, mayhap, it would not be the blog it was meant to be … Believe it or not, i had not meant to post all this here … but there is a whole lifetime of thinking about it that started to sneak out – :)

      Thanx, Yves, for posting them – everyone should read them, together – i suspect you have a piece or two in your head about them, as well – maybe you will share them some time …

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tim’s legacy – for me, it’s too many TBTBA, or too big to bank at, banks.

    I prefer SASTBA, small and safe to bank at, banks.

  9. Susan the other

    Todays links about oil. The Guardian. Peak Oil Increasingly Groundless. According to BP (right) peak oil won’t happen in the next 3 years and therefore peak CO2 also will not occur, but grow into a much larger problem and extend beyond 2030 because there is plenty of oil and unconventional oil to go on forever. Oh how joyous. BP execs are just trying to finesse their way out. Please buy our wonderful stock.

    The one about fusion is only related because there is a “coincidence” in timelines. Fusion electricity generation could be on line by 2030. Betcha big oil is funding that applied research effort. But, interestingly, China is very aggressive in this technology. And as luck would have it for big oil, China doesn’t care about creating a soft landing for the fossil fuel monopoly.

    The last one: Chris Martenson. Oil Price. Seems to tell it like it is. Unconventional oil is not a game changer, it is a net loser. And conventional oil is running out. Period. Further, there is only 25 years of natgas, not 100, and the price is goin’ up. All the hype about shale oil is going to cause another debt bubble and crash because the returns will be negative, and not just a little negative. Look at big agriculture – it costs 10 units of energy to produce and deliver each single unit of product. A net loss of 1000%. And that’s using conventional oil.

    1. Mark P.

      Fusion as a source of civil energy by 2050 is not going to happen by means an ITER-descended technology. The European Fusion Development Agreement’s roadmap is a joke.

      There’s an outside chance that fusion might be feasible via something like Bussard’s polywell. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

      1. Uwe Ohse

        Of course the road map is a joke, especially as this is no road map, but just another repetition of well published, though hardly believable, dates. 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050 – need i say more?
        But this hardly matters, as almost nobody cares. As long as a problem is in the scientific domain, one just can ignore any target dates more than a few years in the future, as they have no meaning at all.
        With ‘few’ i mean up to 5 – though i might be a bit too optimistic.

        This changes as soon as a problem moves into the engineering domain – but unfortunately one cannot predict that date at all.

    2. Mark P.

      “Further, there is only 25 years of natgas, not 100”

      I wouldn’t count on that, on the other hand. You’re repeating what you’ve heard fracking critics say. Those critics might be right about the U.S., but are probably wrong. In any case …

      [1] They’d have a stronger suit if they just looked at the ingredients in the so-called “secret sauce” used in fracking. Terrifying: the cancer and leukemia rates in the general population are going to rise.

      [2] When that emerges publicly, it’ll just accelerate the move towards drilling into the Arctic deabed. What do you think those massive Arctic methane clathrates — whose release would be the biggest threat from global warming — are? Natural gas. There’s a couple of centuries’ supply there. Not surprisingly, if you search, you’ll see new patents for extraction technologies being filed almost every month.

      1. skippy

        Emissions from oil and natural gas operations account for more than half of the pollutants — such as propane and butane — that contribute to ozone formation in Erie, according to a new scientific study published this week.

        The study, the work of scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, concluded that oil and gas activity contributed about 55 percent of the volatile organic compounds linked to unhealthy ground-level ozone in Erie. – snip

        Skippy… the flat irons and adjoining trails… sniff… Indian runs… madman coming through… snort!

        PS… inversion layer and VOC’s… sigh….

    3. craazyman

      I pay Martenson $30 a month, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe what he says. LOL.

      There always seems to be Peak Hysteria going on, unless things are really bad. Then people concentrate.

  10. Pat

    I don’t know why Taibbi can get so agitated about the depiction of torture in Zero Dark Thirty. The torture never occurred because Bin Laden died long ago — he was never captured, and the operation was a lie from start to finish. It was all made up, it was all lies, lies piled on top of other lies. The movie is nothing more than propaganda and disinformation to cover up the lies.

    On Zero Dark Thirty, please read the comments by Steve Pieczenik, a former CIA operative:
    “In the world of fantasy, fiction does prevail. So the right of Hollywood, and the right of Kathryn Bigelow and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, which dominates Hollywood, has the right to distort or to fantasize any point of fact or fiction. But this is fiction on steroids, this movie in particular (Zero Dark Thirty).

    Why do I say that? Number one, once again the lie that Osama bin Laden was killed by the SEAL team has been propagated not only by President Obama to get him re-elected, he knew that was a lie, I knew that was a lie, the CIA that I have worked with knows it was a lie, military intelligence knows it’s a lie, everybody in the intelligence community, and by now almost the whole world knows that that’s an absolute lie.

    Now why do I say it’s a lie? Osama bin Laden was already dead. I didn’t make that up. I basically knew of the man because he had a disease called Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome is not something that I as a physician can make up. I’m a board certified psychiatrist and neurologist. It’s a disease that’s genetically inherited. He had that disease. He was born of a Yemeni mother and a Saudi father. He was involved in Afghanistan, where I knew about his activities. And we knew then from his medical records that he had Marfan syndrome. And what that means in effect is that your connective tissues will disintegrate and that you have a very short lifespan. Now, that type of termination of a disease is imminent. It’s not something that you can wish and prolong. It’s pretty much final.”

    “Hollywood of today is nothing more than the extension of the CIA, the military, and our military-industrial government, in order to propagate and propagandize us . . and to amuse us, whereas sixty years ago the very people who were in Hollywood, the liberals, were fighting that very institution of the intelligence community, the FBI, and they were considered the Hollywood Ten. ”

    (You can read the rest in the article on Prison Planet”.)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Look, a lot of people have said OBL was dead. But saying he had Marfans is no proof. I was born the same year as OBL. A college colleague (same graduating year) has Marfans and is not only alive but working full time and seems to be functioning just fine (I have no idea with how much or what kind of medical intervention, mind you).

      1. Pat

        Thank you for your reply, Yves.
        Yes, Pieczenik has overstated the case on Marfan Syndrome mortality. A quick scan of the internet shows that the survival rate after 10 years is about 70%, so it is not an automatic death sentence. He could very well have survived for a long time with the disease, IF he had constant medical attention for the variety of component diseases that accompany Marfan.
        But the case for his death is based on a number of pieces of info: he was on dialysis and would have required a portable machine; Dan Rather reports that he was in hospital in the Gulf on 9/11; no one has seen him since Tora Bora; the Pakistani government said he died in late 2001 or 2002; the images of him in the supposed videos do not look like him, the sound is muffled and out of sync, he switches from left to right handed, etc etc., so the videos are probably all fakes; the only authentic images could have been from 2000 and before; the FBI did not issue a warrant for the 911 destruction; and the story about his location in Pakistan and raid, capture and execution is riddled with logical problems and contradictions, so that the entire story cannot be true.

        The only evidence that OBL was alive after 2001 comes from mouthpieces in the US Government, which obviously has a strong interest in maintaining the OBL-myth. The government has the chance to release definitive proof that OBL was alive in Pakistan that would remove all doubts. All they would have to do is release photos from the raid or photos and DNA from the autopsy. They have not done so.

        So who should the public believe, the US government, which lies and spins at every opportunity, or a huge pile of circumstantial evidence that indicates that he has been dead for a long time?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I don’t disagree that the idea that he was dead already is mighty plausible. The dialysis struck me as a likely reason. And I’ve seen side by side comparisons of older videos with newer ones and the faces are clearly different when compared side by side. But lame US propaganda again is not proof that he was dead.

          The bigger issue is his compound was large and close to ISI facilities. The Pakistanis would have known were he was, which means we did and could have taken him out at any time. And he had already been pushed out of Al Qaeda for being increasingly erratic. So if you believe the party line, this was an execution to raise Obama’s popularity ratings. We tried the Nazis. Why not OBL?

          1. Synopticist

            ” and close to ISI facilities. The Pakistanis would have known were he was, which means we did…’

            This is bollocks, frankly, Yves.

            The ISI are a law utterly unto themselves. they don’t follow ANYONES lead, not the civilian govt and certainly not the CIAs’. Furthermore, they’re split into factions, and are obsessed with conspiracy theories themselves.
            Most of them are 9-11 truffers of some sort. They think it was all aimed at getting hold of pakistans nukes. Seriously.

            So don’t expect them to be logical. They fund groups which kill pakistani soldiers. They encourage groups wo murder minority Shias.

            These are the people who funded and armed the Taliban in the first place, and quietly started repeating that in 2004. In the meantime, they’d helped kill hundreds of tribal leaders in the autonomous tribal areas, making the spread of hardcore jihadis easier.

      2. Howard Beale IV

        He’s a troll. I have a close relative who also was diagnosed with Marfan’s, and while he made some bad decisions in his treatment, he’s very much alive as well. Marfan’s is not 100% death sentence in X number of years as “Pat” claims.

    2. different clue

      The Pakistani authorities appear to believe it was bin Ladin they were sheltering in their safe house right next to the Abottabad military complex. The Pakistani authorities appeared to be very upset that we killed their honored guest. Was it really a body-double living in that house all along and is the Pakistani show of upsetness designed to lend versimilitude to the notion that it was bin Laden in that house whom we killed? If so, wouldn’t that make Pakistan a key part of the long-running bin Laden false-identity deception?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The Pakistanis would have to act upset whether we did the raid without telling them or we had their cooperation.

        1. different clue

          That is true. They may have provided that shelter as genuine shelter and protection. Or they may have provided it as bait to hold him there till we could get to him. Though I think their silence about his whereabouts for years
          means they were motivated by a genuine desire to shelter and protect. Now . . . would they have gone to all that trouble for a “body double”? Or only for the real bin Laden?

          (Some years ago on BBC I remember hearing an interview with a Baloch tribal chieftain who was also a one-time social bigwig in the Pakistani establishment. Or at least presented that way. The interviewer asked him in passing about how bin Laden was getting his videos from the FTAs to major urban Pakistani media outlets. The elderly tribal chieftain said that he could not believe that bin Laden was in the FTA. The elderly tribal chieftain said that nothing like those videos or audios moves anywhere in Pakistan without the ISI knowing and very likely the courier was ISI protected meaning that bin Laden was ISI protected and living somewhere in ISI-core Pakistan. I now wish I had written about that in blog comments so I could PROVE I heard it as against merely now CLAIMing I heard it after all this time).

    3. Howard Beale IV

      As soon as I saw the end of your message with the reference to Prison Planet, everyone here can safely ignore all future posts from you for being an Alex Jones’s sh!those-crazy rat acolyte.

  11. different clue

    “46 degrees” ? That’s in toxic petrochemical centrigade degrees. What is that in natural organic fahrenheit degrees?

  12. Herman Sniffles

    From “The Big Picture”

    “I doubted, and continue to doubt, the recovery in the Housing market. I expected foreclosures to tick up, the REO overhang and the underwater owners to continue to weigh on the market.

    I was wrong.”

    Folks, that’s called integrity.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I guess I was wrong too, though I can’t say how. What happened to the REO overhang?

      1. Mark P.

        The administration and the financial industry have taken all necessary measures to contain the REO overhang, hide it, and release properties onto the market in calibrated amounts — often selling large batches of properties to PE at firesale 1980s prices — so that housing prices as a whole haven’t dived lower.

        The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed, in word and deed, its commitment to reviving and maintaining the U.S. MBS-industrial complex. In all this, they’ve had the assistance of the mainstream media.

        I didn’t think it could be pulled off to the extent that they’ve succeeded in doing, either. There we are, though.

        Still, it ain’t over.

  13. Hugh

    Ortiz on the Swartz case: “The career prosecutors handling this matter took on the difficult task of enforcing a law they had taken an oath to uphold, and did so reasonably.”

    And how many laws has Ortiz enforced, having taken the same oath to uphold them, against the massive frauds in the FIRE sector and those who perpetrated them? Seems like her duty to her oath was malleable and selective in the extreme. Give the corps a pass for the biggest financial crimes in history but go after someone who challenged them and their stranglehold on intellectual property. Makes me wonder if she isn’t talking about a different oath entirely, one to serve the rich and elites unstintingly against any upstarts among the rabble.

    1. Aquifer

      Neat critter – reminded me of the symbiosis of eukaryotes with mitochondria. i remember reading about Lynn Margulis’ theory that our mitochondria were actually independent organisms that merged with other cells in a symbiotic relationship – the mitos being the “power plants” – the evidence is intriguing – the mitos have their own “DNA” so to speak – all the mito DNA is “maternal” – there is no paternal contribution to mito DNA – they replicate on their own inside the cell …

      So is we could incorporate some chloroplasts into our skin ….

  14. Valissa

    Today is Internet Freedom Day… how are you going to celebrate?

    News, censorship and defiance on Internet Freedom Day

    Web activists celebrate ‘Internet Freedom Day’

    Celebrate Internet Freedom Day by Acknowledging How Far We Still Have To Go

  15. Valissa

    These Goofy-Looking Glasses Could Make You Invisible to Facial Recognition Technology
    Of course, it remains to be seen whether these anti-surveillance accessories will be embraced outside what Harvey aptly termed the “fashionably paranoid market.” But the burgeoning trend of innovation in this area shows there is a real thirst for privacy in a world where surveillance technologies are becoming increasingly advanced and ubiquitous.>

    The “fashionably paranoid market” is a great turn of phrase… but I wonder how many folks will actually buy this stuff and if they do, how will the Powers That Be react to that.

      1. different clue

        These things sound interesting. If enough people start wearing them that passing police stop such people to inquire . . . why such clothes . . . the people being stopped and asked should be ready to say something like: “to stop the aliens from reading/controlling my DNA”.
        But if you say that, you must be percieved to believe it.

    1. Aquifer

      Hey – lemme know when and where we can get this stuff, will ya? I’ll be damned if i’ll let ’em “identify” me wherever and whenever they want to – I am big on privacy ….

  16. Max424

    A young pool hall grasshopper asked me the other night what they needed to do to play 9-ball as easily and effortlessly as I do. I said:

    “Put in 25,000 hours of practice. Couple this with 25,000 hours of pressure packed stakes action and tournament play. Top that off with 10,000 hours of live viewing, film study, reading, contemplation and conversations, all devoted to extracting the best possible interpretation for each of the infinite nuances the game presents.”

    “That’s 50,000 thousand hours stretched and contorted over a five by ten, half of those hours spent grinding under the additional torments meted out by the cruelest goddess of them all, the Goddess Choke. So, if you wish to embark on a similar journey to mine, above all else, prepare to embrace physical and psychic pain, as you will certainly know heaping doses of both.”

    Giggle. Back in the day, I would blow smoke up their asses. I was such a good teacher then. But I’m getting old and cranky now, and hence, a little impatient. I can’t help but cut, to the straight skinny part of the chase.

    Chart o’ the day. From Martenson.

    The right side of the chart. What do you have yours filled in with?

    BP and Exxon? Innate human goodness? The might of the United States military? Coal liquefaction? Fracking? Thorium reactors? Iraq and Dick Cheney? Thor? God? Aliens? Yahweh? Last minute miracles?

    Peter Pan … and/or … Tinker Bell?

    Me? You don’t wanna know.

      1. Max424

        Hey Skip, fifty cents here, fifty cents there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money! ;)

        Haven’t played 3 ball in a while. Last time was at a fair, I think, trying to win a stuffed Panda. Nappy cloth, crappy sticks, no tips, no chalk, they load the dice against ya –don’t want you to walk off with that cheapy cheap made in China cuddly toy.

        Note: Ever seen a one? All three balls pocketed on the snap? I’m not sure I ever have. It seems like one of those “rare events” that should occur more frequently than it does.

        1. skippy

          Hell… our quite golden rule was… who ever won… bought the next jug of beer!

          skippy… good times… and yeah on the break… superlative moment… like watching quantum mechanics manifest…

  17. JGordon

    That “peak oil” “debunking” story was completely bogus. It just goes to show that if you want to believe something you can completely ignore logic, evidence, and reality.

    For example, any “peak oil” article that doesn’t mention energy returned versus energy invested is completely full of crap. Such as the one above. Not to mention the fact that the source of the information in the article comes from an industry shill… who is recieving his paycheck in part because of investments in these worthless alternative sources of fossil fuels.

  18. Ms G

    Deutsche Bank’s “deals” with Monte Paschi.

    Monte Paschi bought DB’s stake in Santorini as early as 2002. Monte Paschi in meltdown in 2008. DB designs the toxic swap products to mask Monte Paschi’s 2008 meltdown. Khuzami was at Deutsche Bank from 2002-2009 (GC for the Americas 2004-2009). I wonder if he had any role in reviewing DB-Monte Paschi transactions.

  19. Ms G

    Photo with Foamy Geithner and The Obama.

    A real winner — eek. But did anyone else notice that Foamy’s nose looks like the lengthening (pasty) nose of Pinocchio (as seen in illustrations of the story or movies where the “pinocchio nose” is a gag shown through special effects?

    (For a moment I thought the picture had been photoshopped by a wisened Foamy-Watcher.)

  20. Ace

    Here’s the thing people don’t seem to get about Fusion research – you get what you pay for. Civilian fission power was a result of the Manhattan Project, a research effort that lasted 4 years. In normalized dollars it took the US nearly 45 years to spend the same amount on Fusion research as was spent on the Manhattan Project in 4 years. We probably still haven’t spent the same amount on research, as 45 years of overhead costs dwarf 4 years of overhead for the Manhattan Project. Fusion power is very promising for a whole variety of reasons, and that promise will be delivered just as soon as we pay for a real research effort instead of expecting the universities and national labs to do it on a shoestring.

  21. LucyLulu

    Yves, unless you don’t plan to be sticking around much longer, don’t be so sure you won’t see fusion energy. I’ve been watching this promising technology which is different from the technology used by ITER (which is an albatross, I agree we’re wasting our money.). It’s cheaper and if it works out as planned, there could be the first working commercial reactor (assuming no regulatory hurdles) by 2020. The first prototype is slated for 2015. Here is a link to a company, NPR and Fortune have both done pieces in the last year on this one, the lead engineer is known for thinking outside the box. In his prior career he came up with new cables for telcom for millions that they were researching at a cost of billions. This isn’t the only company working on it (Solcox is name of one that got DARPA funding), and now rumor has it the Chinese are pursuing it, too.

  22. LucyLulu

    Required video proving men are wusses

    Dutch show has two male hosts go through simulated labor contractions…… 9 minute video, start at 8:00 mark you’ll get all the gist, but women take pity and they are blessed with short labors (actually Valerio rips off electrodes, probably saying “the hell with this” or something more profane in Dutch, before the end).

  23. different clue

    I recently found an article written by Linus Torvalds about Carmen Ortiz. I left it at the bottom of the thread
    on the Aaron Swartz At Risk post by Matt Stoller as being a conceptually-easy place to go find it (for those who might be interested). If I find any other possibly-useful linkable articles, I will go bring them there unless/until I am told not to do so.

  24. J Sterling

    Peak oil: ‘increasingly groundless’ Guardian

    That line should read:

    BP CEO: ‘peak oil increasingly groundless’ Guardian

    He does the usual thing of pointing to reserves as if peak oil was about stocks, when actually it’s about flows. He also says the US is to overtake Saudi Arabia in oil production. It would be more accurate to say Saudi Arabia is to fall behind the US.

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