Links 3/22/13

‘Honey Laundering’ Is An International Problem LiveScience (furzy mouse)

Women Losing Objects in Their Vaginas: An Online Literature Review New York Magazine. Richard Smith took note, since Moe Tkacik, a sometimes guest blogger here, is a doyenne of this genre. I have to confess I am profoundly puzzled by this sort of thing (as in I can see how-to guides for the afflicted, but literature?)

Guy Scratches Own Back, Finds Knife Blade Someone Stuck In There Three Years Ago Gawker.

Twitter-shaming can cost you your job InfoWorld

US law enforcement biggest recipient of Microsoft customer data ars technica

China did not export any crude in Feb to N.Korea-data Reuters

When do we call it a solvency crisis? Michael Pettis, Credit Writedowns

Sarkozy placed under investigation BBC

Le Monde Headline “No, France is Not Bankrupt” Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

More Cyprus:

‘Euro is a house of cards waiting to topple’- Nigel Farage RT

Central Bank says to keep 2nd largest lender in business Cyprus Mail. Handelsblatt described the scene outside Parliament as crazy. Lots of opposition to the Laiki resolution plan.

Cyprus overhauls two biggest banks to stave off collapse Telegraph

Walking back from Cyprus VoxEU (Jane R). Lotta people flogging this idea. It’s not on the table and extremely unlikely to get on the table

Sequester May End Not With a Bang but With a Series of Whimpers Jon Walker, Firedoglake

US regulators force Standard Chartered to retract Iran sanctions comments Guardian

Sir John Peace Should Resign As Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Simon Johnson, Huffington Post. If you read Benjamin Lawsky’s order, the bank had an openly defiant attitude toward regulators.

Germany’s offshore money and the hacker who helped expose it Quartz

Health Insurers Warn on Premiums Wall Street Journal. I recall some readers hectored me for pointing to IRS assumptions, insisting that the CBO figures, which showed cost reductions (but then had people paying more only because they elected to buy more comprehensive plans), were the “right” ones. Wellie, those CBO forecasts are looking like a crock. And the CBO pretends to be independent?

More on the London Whale Loophole bills: Financial Reform Is Being Dismantled. Why Doesn’t President Obama Seem to Care? Jeff Connuaghton, New Republic

The Historical Roots of Detroit’s Ruin Atlantic (May S)

Two numbers count with Dimon’s fate Financial Times

JPMorgan Chase’s Rating Downgraded To 3 By Government Regulators Over Management Concerns IBTimes (May S)

Fitch And Kroll Are Happy To Make Mortgage Securitization Fun Again Matt Levine, DealBreaker (Deontos)

How the Poultry Industry Is Grinding Up Workers’ Health and Rights Michelle Chen, Firedoglake

Job openings and hiring increased slightly in January, but there are still 3.3 job-seekers for every job opening Economic Policy Institute (Carol B)

New England and the subtracted City FRB Boston (May S). From a couple of years back, but having spent time in New England (and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is also depopulating), I’ve seen a bit of this first hand.

Antidote du jour:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. LucyLulu

    US regulators’ took a stance with Sir John Peace and Standard Charter with their requirement that he admit banking executives had willfully engaged in criminal misconduct by violating the Iranian sanctions. Such a stark contrast to the “neither admit nor deny” pleadings accepted from our domestic banking institutions. Is this a change in policy and will we be similarly treated to Jamie admitted his guilt to JPM’s shareholders?

  2. David Lentini

    FYI: GOP demands NASA take downs its technical reports so Chinese can’t read them; NASA stupid enough to comply:

    So, the GOP champions trasnferring our industry and wealth to China and now they’re worried about the Chinese reading NASA’s technical reports? I have a new definition for “GOP”: National Association of Stupid A’holes.

    1. p78

      Too late. Probably half of graduate degrees granted by the US universities in the tech-sci areas are to students from Asia (China, India) who then work for firms which are subcontractors of fed agencies. Moreover, many subcontractors themselves are people born in China and they hire degree holders born in China (try being hired if you are not). Also many assistant, adjunct professors or professors at the u.s. univ. are China-born. The chinese are already there, in the critical points, and have been for years.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Wise intelligence knows no national boundaries.

        Nationalities are important in unwise intelligence.

    2. b2020

      Weng Ho Lee.

      Spy or not, this looks like small potatoes (Freedom Fries) at best. Just-in-time “consensual” stunt stint – if the 4th amendment was respected at airports, the FBI would have had to do actual work.

      NASA is going to – boldenly – conduct an unfunded, open-ended “review” of all their public offerings that won’t be concluded by the time the ISS is de-orbited, while thousands of mouth-breathing repugs are waiting for documents to be re-released to prove right the “Senile Representative from Virginia”.

      If the Chinese want to steal space technology, they might well be better off stealing from the Russians, or even Space X. NASA might not get a whole lot done these days given the full spectrum clown show that is US “policy”.

      Maybe Wolf would like to investigate commercial spaceflight companies next? That would close the circle jerk quite comprehensively.

    3. different clue

      If ( IF!) those NASA reports have anything to do with environmental conditions/ earth-facts data, then the GOP pressured NASA to take them down in order to prevent aMERicans from reading them. “Keeping them from China” would only be the exCUSE.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        With the environmental conditions in China, maybe the Chinese, together with the GOP, requested that.

  3. fresno dan

    “Women Losing Objects in Their Vaginas: An Online Literature Review”

    I used to think the gallon container of liquidy infection from an anal abscess (Docs – we don’t need all of it to do a microbiolgical culture – a drop or two will do)that I was sent in the hospital microbiology lab could beat any gross out story…but I was wrong.

    1. craazyman

      if they want some help finding, it they just need to hit the bars at 11 pm on a Friday or Saturday night and ask any guy holding a beer.

      Whatever is up there will be retrieved with a willing hand.

    2. tyaresun

      Our universe is a womb, and yes all the laws of conservation of energy are violated through the universal vagina. The individual vaginas are what physicists call worm holes.

    3. Susan the other

      Very funny article. What a great new genre. I wonder if you can lose your easter eggs there when you go senile?

  4. rjs

    speaking of the poultry industry:  New Poultry Plant Rule Would Give Food Inspectors 1/3 Of A Second To Examine A Chicken: A new food inspection rule proposed by the US Department of Agriculture would let poultry plants conduct their own inspections, removing federal food inspectors from the assembly line…inspectors protest that public health is sacrificed by outsourcing inspections. Poultry plant employees often miss contaminated birds, and are even discouraged from removing the ones they do flag.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘I love chicken’

      I wonder if chickens ask why they are loved so much by humans.

      1. Valissa

        It’s amazing how many great cartoons there are about chickens! One of my favorite cartoonists is Doug Savage. Love his Savage Chickens cartoons…

        Paranormal chickens

        The classic question, Part 1

        The classic question, Part 2

        Chicken therapy

        Chicken research

  5. taunger

    New England may be subtracted at the moment, but I wouldn’t bet it will stay that way in the mid-term. Water problems will soon engulf the Southwest, Mountain West, and some parts farther Northwest, too. New England has got lots of water comparatively. I don’t think its hard to see where those Sunbelt refugees will end up.

    1. David Lentini

      Agreed. In fact, according to some climate models I’ve see we can expect the climate in parts of New England to get wetter. Given that many industries still need to be close to water sources, I’m curious if New England and upstate NY will return to the sort of commerical relevane they enjoyed a century ago.

    2. MacCruiskeen

      Actually, part of the point of the article is that some of these places are recovering from being subtracted. It’s true that the relative “compactness” of the region is a benefit. And, when some industries went away (textiles, furniture, and shoes were big here), we weren’t left completely without resources. The many universities and relatively good local school systems meant we held on to a relatively educated population. Government defense and research money was plentiful after WWII.

      I lived for a while in Troy, NY, a once-thriving industrial city. The city is full of reminders of its 19th-century splendor, but little else. Most of the area around it is rural and the only business in Albany in the state government. It’s been much harder for places like Troy to reinvent themselves (I admit I haven’t actually been there myself for about ten years now).

      1. taunger

        The reason I made my comment is that the strategies and tactics used by subtracting cities to recover will not likely adapt well to an influx of residents over the mid- to long-term. And while I haven’t been to Troy, I know a number of RPI folks that like it fine; now, a town like Binghamton that’s got nothing but the SUNY, I’m not sure folks are set on that being a comeback.

      2. Solar Hero

        I don’t know, a good bud of mine (named “Troy” interestingly) opened a Volkswagon-Only repair shop in the 90’s and is living well…

  6. LucyLulu

    The excellent Time article covered some of the reasons that individuals and small businesses will see substantial increases in insurance premiums. They are more likely to not meet the minimum criteria under the ACA, e.g. have conservative annual limits, high co-pays/deductibles, exclude pre-existing conditions, the types of things that quickly run up payouts (and the reason the number one cause of bankruptcies is medical bills, and most of these people have insurance). Most people have no idea how much it costs to be hospitalized for a significant illness or injury.

    One worker had a policy through his union with a $60K/year limit. Since he had $45K left, he didn’t ask what it would cost to have a medical stimulator implanted in his back to relieve chronic pain. It was done as an outpatient surgery. He got a bill for $87K. He was charged $49K for just the stimulator which the hospital probably paid about $16-17K for. Another patient was diagnosed with lung cancer in January. By the time he died in November, his wife was left with medical bills of over $900K.

    Administrative costs are now capped at 20% of total payouts in benefits by the ACA. Over $1B was refunded to consumers in 2011. Per SEC filings, Aetna reported costs of 29% for 2012. By way of comparison, Medicare’s costs were under 1% of its payouts, payouts lower than those of the private insurers. The article points out that with the subsidies provided by the government towars support of premiums of private policies, money could be saved by lowering the Medicare age vs. raising the age.

    The article is long but well worth reading to understand the ways in which costs are grossly inflated.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Since he had $45K left, he didn’t ask what it would cost to have a medical stimulator implanted in his back to relieve chronic pain. It was done as an outpatient surgery. He got a bill for $87K.

      Ain’t it amazing? In states with decent consumer protections, you can get a firm estimate for a $300 car repair, and hold them to it.

      But the health care cartel, fully entrenched by ACA, can simply make up arbitrary, discriminatory prices. Starting next year, they’re going to turn the screws a lot harder.

      Antitrust enforcement is neutered when cartels are government sponsored. You have to go offshore to find health care competition anymore.

    2. Solar Hero

      I’m a Stalinist when it comes to the “Healthcare Industry,” many of whom are my friends. The fact is that disintermediation needs to purge several 100-thousand good paying jobs before we get quality healthcare in the UUSA.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I don’t have numbers, but can think of two new job markets:

        1. Actually providing health care instead of denying it;

        2. Medical coding in the new single payer system. I’m sure that the health insurance company IT is as bad if not worse than the banks, and I would bet they also have a tangle of mutually incompatible coding schemes. Plenty of work straightening out the mess the health-care-for-profit parasites left behind.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I hope they are large and net positive numbers.

          Even if not, even if it costs jobs, we need to make health care more affordable.

        2. hunkerdown

          Coding in medicine is largely based on the World Health Organization’s ICD classifications. You have ICD-9, the mature standard, and ICD-10, its successor. The two coding systems are readily distinguishable and could easily be deployed in parallel.

          I can’t speak to insurer IT, which I suspect is about as much a nightmare as any large IT shop, but there are plenty of case managers/patient advocates using nothing more than Microsoft Office to run their businesses.

          1. Lambert Strether

            It’s that “largely based” that’s going to bite you when it comes time to merge systems. Software doesn’t know from “largely,” although people do. As for MS Office, no doubt. Many trading operations run off Excel.

          2. LucyLulu

            This was also covered in relation to Medicare in the Time article. Most of Medicare’s claims processing is subcontracted out to private IT, usually shops owned by health insurers, e.g. Wellpoint (BCBS) handles Medicare for NY and CT, with programming code by the likes of HP and General Dynamics, among others. Medicare is extraordinarily efficient. Wellpoint processes claims for about 84cents/claim and takes 3 days, and that long only because each stage of the multi-stage process is run in batches. Each day Medicare processes 3 million claims and writes checks for $1.5B.

            If I’m not mistaken, all insurers use the ICD system to identify the tests and procedures used for billing. The differences are the expenses covered, amounts allowed for each, and any additional documentation required. If we transitioned to single-payer, e.g. Medicare, then the system already in place for Medicare would presumably be used. Any required modifications for the transition should pose no problems as Medicare is constantly being updated as it is now.

            It really is criminal that instead of a single-payer system the country was forced into being looted by for-profit industry. There is no free market, nor can there be, and the industry takes full advantage of having consumers over a barrel. Only Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA receive some pressure to hold down costs, by Congress.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘Peripheral countries can regain competitiveness quickly by leaving the euro, in which case after a year or so of confusion growth would return almost immediately.’ — Michael Pettis

    And why aren’t they? One reason is that by agreement, the IMF is led by a European — currently, Cristine Lagarde of France. Accordingly, the IMF operates hand-in-hand with the EU to preserve the euro, regardless of the social cost.

    Outside Europe, it’s quite a different story:

    In the 1980s, the IMF … deliberately imposed devaluation and forced reductions in national income and demand in order to limit imports —- all as a means to guarantee repayment of debt to international finance capital.

    It demanded that currency be devalued in order to cut real wages. The aim was to restrict demand for imports and encourage export-led growth.

    Likewise in the Asian crisis of 1997, countries such as South Korea and Indonesia implemented large devaluations, putting them back on their feet quickly.

    But owing to its alignment with its EU political cronies, the IMF sides with the EU in imposing brutal austerity on the European periphery, since official dogma holds that the euro is sacrosanct. What are a few Greeks and Spaniards broken on the wheel, compared to the glory that is the euro?

    Created to make balance of payments loans to maintain the postwar Bretton Woods regime, the IMF lost its raison d’être in 1971 when Nixon pulled the plug on fixed exchange rates.

    Nixon should have expelled the IMF’s privileged eurocrats from their tax-free sinecures in Washington D.C., then and there.

    But it’s never too late. If it weren’t for that extra y-chromosome, we could still make an honest woman out of Cristine Lagarde.

    1. from Mexico


      I think Pettis’s subtext wasn’t so much about devaluation of a nation’s currency, but write-down of its foreign debt. The bottom line is that Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece, if the Troika won’t agree to significant write-downs, need to pull an Argentina.

      And even though Pettis’s analysis is light-years ahead of the propaganda that wafts from the paid liars and bumsuckers of transnational capital, Pettis’s article is nevertheless not terribly enlightening. He doesn’t delve into the motives behind the eurocrats “foreign debt is sacred” creed, which is the alpha and omega of the transnational bank cartel.

      Michael Hudson runs circles around Pettis in this regard.

      1. Synopticist

        “Foriegn debt is sacred” because the whole game has been about making sure bank bondholders don’t take a hit. That’s the primary thrust of everything thats happened in the last 5 years.

        And who are the bondholders? Mostly other banks, and institutions overwhelmingly owned by rich people, obviously. But there’s hardly any infomation available to pinpoint who they actually are. I saw a list of Irish bank bondholders once, lots of them seemed to be big private banks. If nations and banks could haircut these types of institutions, a’la Cyprus, then we’d be a long way towards solving our problems.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I wonder if something like the Hoover Memorandum proposal of 1931 would work here by freezing all intergovernmental debt for one year.

          Maybe there is not much of that. Maybe governments only borrow from private bankers these days.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Even if those governments take over some of the private sector debt, which I think was what happened, most of it is still owed to private bankers, not to other governments and so the idea of freezing intergovernmental debt doesn’t really help here.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Read the emanations and outgassings and penumbras of the subtext as you like.

        But Pettis’s plaintext says, ‘Peripheral countries can regain competitiveness quickly by leaving the euro.

        Thass what I’m talkin’ about.

        1. David Petraitis

          Don’t ignore the capitalists subtext also in plain view in Pettis:

          After all we know how to force down unit labor costs. It is really quite easy. High unemployment usually does the trick.

          The beatings will continue until morale improves…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Capitalists are motivated by greed.

            What would happen if we put a short sentence like ‘we share all we have’ or something like that into our Constitution?

            One needs welfare no more, when one is entitled to an equal share. No more kindness of the strange bureaucrats.

            The War on Nature will slow down.

            We can live with a small government and if you don’t like your neighbor, he’s not going to suffer economically. But you leave him alone, unmolested, if you can’t love him.

        2. from Mexico

          @ Jim Haygood

          Well you seem to have conveniently cherry picked the one passage that can be construed to bolster your preconceived notion, and omitted the part that Pettis spent most of his time discussing:

          The ECB, it seems, is willing to pump as much liquidity into the markets as it needs, so rising debt levels, greater political fragmentation, and a worsening economy somehow don’t really matter. This crisis continues to be just a liquidity crisis as far as policymakers are concerned – and not caused by problems in the “real” economy – and the solution of course to a liquidity crisis is more liquidity.

          But is peripheral Europe really suffering primarily from a liquidity crisis? It would help me feel a lot better if I could find even one case in history of a sovereign solvency crisis in which the authorities didn’t assure us for years that we were facing not a solvency crisis, but merely a short-term problem with liquidity. A sovereign solvency crisis always begins with many years of assurances from policymakers in both the creditor and the debtor nations that the problem can be resolved with time, confidence, and a just few more debt rollovers.


          This is the key point. The American bankers weren’t stupid. They just could not formally acknowledge reality until they had built up sufficient capital through many years of high earnings – thanks in no small part to the help provided by the Fed in the form of distorted yield curves – to recognize the losses without becoming insolvent.

          And this matters to Europe. There is simply no way European banks, especially in Germany, can acknowledge the possibility of sovereign insolvency until they, too, have built up enough capital to absorb the losses. They have, unfortunately, been painfully slow to do so, even with yield-curve help from the ECB, and so I suspect that this is going to remain a “liquidity” problem for many more years. While it does, the debt-burdened countries of peripheral Europe are going to suffer a decade of weak growth, high unemployment, and contentious politics, all the while the debt growing faster than the economy.

          All this “there is no such thing as a solvency crisis only liquidity crises” comes right straight out of Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom and the companion volume by Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz published a year later, the monetarist’s manifesto A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960. The policy prescriptons currently being followed — by both the Fed and the ECB — come right straight out of these playbooks.

          When the GFC struck, Schwartz had an epipany and loudly proclaimed that what was at hand was a solvency crisis and not a liquidity crisis. But her protest was too little too late, the damage had already been done, and Friedman’s pathological ideology had already become dominant in the United States and the world.

        3. skippy

          @Jim… You don’t seem to realize the ***Neolibreal Objective*** ie the cessation of nation states, only Freemarket Dictum – [Free]will – rule of reality… one market un-divisible, where their are only three occupations… High rollers… Low rollers… and those that service both.

          Skippy… don’t get cut out there Jim… blood in the water thingy… Survival of the fittest as observed by self agonizing – aggrandizing ass-hats in armchairs at the private club of thunkit…

          1. skippy

            PS. CBs – IMF – et al are just the distribution chain of this ideological thunkit see: PIIGSC subordination, imo a model constantly tweaked from South America to Indonesia et al… to thwart these machinations is to have your sovereign bonds and international FICO score down graded… there can only be – ONE – Freemarket… oooummmm~

  8. Roger Bigod

    There’s a rich medical lore of patients showing up in the ER with um foreign objects in the rectum. Bananas and cucumbers, of course, and an imaginative set of household items, machine parts, various objets trouve. Some of the explanations were wonderful, like slipping in the shower and coming down on a beer bottle or hammer that had been carelessly left on the floor. The stories were all about males. The vagina stories are merely yucky. But the theme of the rectal stuff is public exposure of perviness.

    Medical humor runs to grossness. The founding head of internal medicine at Hopkins, William Osler (later Sir William), was a revered figure of Victorian propriety, but he liked to write prank letters to medical journals under pseudonyms. One told how his butler, a rather large-framed, well set up man was found in a closet with one of the maids, having been unable to achieve post-coital withdrawal. This necessitated an emergency visit to the the writer’s hospital, where after heroic efforts, general anesthesia was required to allow detumescence. To the relief of all.

  9. Ned Ludd

    Not only is honey smuggled from China into the U.S. unsafe…

    A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.

    The FDA also refuses to define what honey is:

    Another favorite con among Chinese brokers was to mix sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery, barley malt sweetener or other additives with a bit of actual honey. In recent years, many shippers have eliminated the honey completely and just use thickened, colored, natural or chemical sweeteners labeled as honey. […]

    [T]he honey industry and Congress can’t get the FDA to even come up with a legal definition of what honey is. […]

    An investigator in FDA’s import section explained the agency’s refusal to develop an official definition to FSN [Food Safety News]. “If we had an official description of honey then FDA would have to inspect everything we’re importing to ensure it’s legal. That’s the last thing we want to do,” he said, but would not allow his name to be used because he wasn’t authorized to make public statements.

    1. rjs

      there are very few flowers that produce as light colored honey as i’ve see on store shelves…

      it would not surprise me to even find that more half of the “honey” extracted out of combs is actually beet sugar or high fructose corn syrup that was fed to the bees by beekeepers…

    2. Bill Smith

      “[T]he honey industry and Congress can’t get the FDA to even come up with a legal definition of what honey is. […]

      Sumthin’ to do with bees?

      “If we had an official description of honey then FDA would have to inspect everything we’re importing to ensure it’s legal. That’s the last thing we want to do,”

      Thx. So now we need a home chem lab to see if the contents of whatever we buy matches the label?

      Maybe turn the problem inside out and have kosher honey? Maybe rabbis need something to do, and will inspect and approve the source?

      Lately I’ve begun to worry about Chinese tea too.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Buy local honey. As a bonus, you get whatever pollen there is locally. Better for allergies, immune system, etc. In general, I believe the body evolved in the belief that everybody it eats is locally sourced. When that’s not true, a lot of stuff gets out of synch. Just guessing, though!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Buy local anything is good.

          Make or grow yourself is not bad either, even if it doesn’t help create jobs.

          Also buy used/second/third hand goods. Petition the government to eliminate sales tax on those transactions.

          And if you don’t buy things you don’t need, you save 100%, not just the 20%, 40% or 60% advertised. Again, forget about helping to create jobs.

          It’s not we don’t care about those out of work. Under GDP sharing, it doesn’t matter and so, finally, greedy capitalists will suddendly find time to smile the roses and humans can reach a truce with Nature.

        2. different clue

          If the local beekeepers in question are feeding their hives with industrial sugar or HFCS, then one is still getting “sugared” honey, just local.

          Perhaps getting specific flower-varietal honey is a way around that problem. Basswood honey, star-thistle honey, etc. Though at some point one can only trust and hope. If a Certified Organic beekeeper feeds Certified Organic sugar to the bees near end of fall, is the honey Certified Organic?

          1. Lambert Strether

            Good point, though the bees would not be eating entirely HFCS, no matter what. I don’t think one could guarantee a varietal, because the bees are going to forage for what they find; however, I bet you could certify hive placement. That is, they weren’t trucked about.

          2. different clue

            Also a good point. If the sugar or HFCS were fed late in fall to help the bees survive the winter and early spring, honey produced from late spring onward, after the bees had eaten up their own HFCS honey, might be very low or zero HFCS. Also, I have read that scout bees seem able to report on the distance, direction from the hive, AND the LUCrativeness of the nectar source in their dancing. Some kinds of plants which flower in great masses over a defined time window may lure and reward the bees into paying attention to them to the exclusion of other plants blooming at the same time. I believe that is how beekeepers can separate out the basswood honey, the star thistle honey, etc. . . . by Peak Flowering Times of short time-window mass-flowering plants.

            There is a fascinating book about bee-friendly plants called American Honey Plants. Old, but classic not obsolete. It lays bare the concept of mass bee-patronage of short time-window mass-flowering plants. The entry on Black Mangrove Honey was fun to read in a purely irrelevant but fun-to-know-about way.

          3. different clue

            And something else I have wondered about, and even brought up to beekeepers to no avail is this . . . what if maple sap were ultra-pasteurised at tapping time, but not boiled down, and aseptically held; and then fed to bees. Would they turn the maple sap into maple honey? Without having to burn hardly any wood or other fuel at all?

  10. AbyNormal

    En tiempos donde nadie escucha a nadie
    En tiempos donde todos contra todos
    En tiempos egoistas y mezquinos
    En tiempos donde siempre estamos solos
    Habra que declararse incompetente
    En todas las materias de mercado
    Habra que declararse un inocente
    O habra que ser abyecto y desalmado
    Fito Paez

    Please correct me if im wrong…translation:

    In a time when no one listens to anyone
    In a time when everyone is against everyone
    In a selfish and mean time
    In a time when we are always alone
    We’ll have to declare ourselves incompetent in anything regarding the markets
    We’ll have to declare ourselves innocent
    Or we’ll have to be perverse and soulless.

    1. Valissa

      Geez that was depressing…

      So here are some bawdy limericks as an antidote!

      There once was a fellow McSweeny
      Who spilled some gin on his weenie
      Just to be couth
      He added vermouth
      Then slipped his girlfriend a martini

      On the moors Kelly walked in a daze
      There she’d bark at the moon and the haze
      Still her friends weren’t concerned
      For by now they had learned
      Once a month she would go through this phase.
      (author’s note to the ladies: “She was a werewolf. Now is it funny?”)

      A randy marsupial named Reeves
      Spent some time with the whores ‘tween their knees
      When they’d asked him for money
      He’d say “Listen honey
      A koala eats bushes and leaves.”

      More here

      1. Bill Smith

        Today it looks like Cyprus and their crappy counter party Greece is behind us, and fedex and oracle earnings are an isolated case. Volitility is heading back to normal on its downward slope. I can see zero on the horizon. It’s coming soon.

          1. AbyNormal

            more proof there is NO hacking issues or ‘they’ would’ve already hit our murky marlakey markets

          2. Bill Smith

            Vertical line on S&P chart in the last minute till close. Good for nearly half the day’s gain.

            Indicates strong desire on the part of investors to limit exposure to cash in their accounts over the weekend.

            Also indicates forward expectations for soothing, volatility reducing news over the weekend.

            Another boringly normal trading day as market participants meditate on their navels throughout the day.

  11. Valissa

    re: Quartz article about Germany’s offshore money

    Clicking on the link for that brings you to this headline “The US economy needs a third term of Ben Bernanke” and oddly, the URL implied it was the offshore article not the Bernanke article (???)… but when I tried to copy that URL to show that, it changed after I clicked on it to reflect that it was the Bernanke article after all. Then I tried Quartz’s search engine to try and find the article about Germany’s offshore money, and nothing relevant came up.

    WTF is goin gon here? My opinion of the Quartz website it sucks, it’s a waste of time, and I am unlikely to go back to it again.

  12. rjs

    “A hydraulic fracturing peace treaty? Not so fast, my friend.” via Ohio Citizen Action: “Yesterday, newspapers coast-to-coast ran a story declaring the end of conflict over hydraulic fracturing operations by oil and gas drillers. One headline read, ‘Both sides agree on tough new fracking standards.’ Another read, ‘Fracking companies, environmentalists and philanthropies join forces.’ A third read, ‘Oil, gas companies and environmentalists agree on new fracking standards.’The story behind the headlines collapses almost immediately.

    This is not a conflict between oil and gas companies and “environmentalists.” The drillers are up against landowners, neighbors, and taxpayers; people who drink municipal water, people who drink well-water; doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMS technicians,and so on. To portray this is just “environmentalists” makes it seem as though it is just two special interest groups at odds. It sets up a situation where one or more groups with the word “Environment” in their name think they can cut a deal with the drillers.
    The groups that claimed to represent the “environmentalist” side were led by the Environmental Defense Fund, and also included the Clean Air Task Force and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Last year, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, of the financial and media corporation Bloomberg Limited Partnership, gave the Environmental Defense Fund $6 million over three years to pursue and announce just such deals with oil and gas drillers.

    1. Klassy!

      The EDF is a greenwashing racket, right? I suppose that is what the Sierra Club has become too (nationally, I can’t speak for all local affiliates.)

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thank you for the insightful observation in your second paragraph, rjs. Here’s a limited sample of well over a thousand people who say they have been have been harmed by Fracking and the nature of the damage they have sustained:

      Meanwhile, we are being treated to “News” about a multi-billionaires whose company is extensively involved in the Bakken being sued for divorce (not his first). It is said the divorce could affect the price of the company’s stock.

      … Priorities?

  13. Anon

    Why link to anything involving Nigel Falange, er, I mean Farage? He seems to have heavy promotion in the US, but for the rest of us, not so much.

    For one, Farage sits with Italy’s somewhat renowned Northern League as co-chair of this bunch:

    You know, the Northern League that kept Berlusconi in power for so long – and remembering too that Silvio had this to say in early 2013 on Holocaust Memorial Day:

    As ever, follow the money where UKIP and Farage are concerned:

    Atlantic Bridge, mentioned in the above piece, was the thing that sort of snared former Tory SecDef Liam Fox; it is apparently intent on bringing a US Tea Party-type agenda to Europe:

    Atlantic Bridge’s addresses and conferences were all about promoting market liberalisation. A typical theme of one conference, held in both Los Angeles and Pittsburgh in July 2006, was entitled “Killing the Golden Goose – How Regulation and Legislation are Damaging Wealth Creation”. An earlier address in 2003 asked: “How Much Health Care Can We Afford?”

    Farage I fear has a similar agenda, and possibly something much, much worse.

    Caveat emptor.

  14. p78
    “China Is Engineering Genius Babies
    At BGI Shenzhen, scientists have collected DNA samples from 2,000 of the world’s smartest people and are sequencing their entire genomes in an attempt to identify the alleles which determine human intelligence. Apparently they’re not far from finding them, and when they do, embryo screening will allow parents to pick their brightest zygote and potentially bump up every generation’s intelligence by five to 15 IQ points.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We will probably have to counter that with wisdom-embedded robots.

      It will be a contest between wise American robots and smart Chinese babies (though to get around China’s one-child policy, many will be born in America’s maternity motels, where their mothers help stimulate American economy, particularly the OB/GYN sector).

    2. Susan the other

      oh dear god…. What have geniuses ever done to save us? Idolizing them as our saviors is going to make it critical that we have enough dumb people left to save us.

    3. Bill Smith

      I see a re-make of Star Trek 2 – Wrath of Khan.

      But no Ricardo Montalban. Instead, Khan (name is still good) is played by a Chinese math geek wearing a propeller beany cap, and the cap is probably defective and causes brain cancer.

      1. craazyman

        that’s a good one!

        I can see an inevitable collision with Spock, sent by Kirk to subdue to raging Khan.

        Kahn & Spock circling each other in a mind-wave duel with Spock looking for an opening to apply the vulcan mind meld and Khan making Bruce Lee yelp sounds with his fingers pointing out at Spock from his head.

  15. Valissa

    re: twitter shaming

    Political correctness rears it’s puritanical head once again. For so many years it was considered politically correct for to men protect women from cursing and sexual humor (I dislike the term “off color”). So one would think that with “equal rights” that women now could more freely participate in those types of communication too. But noooooo, ironically today’s political correct woman wants to regress back to that earlier set of patriarchal values… ugh… Also the politically correct, in general, have a terrible sense of humor… much like the very religious they seem to enjoy getting up on their high horse and moralizing to others to get their jollies.

    Personally, I prefer the politically incorrect ;)

    Political correctness and cartoon characters

    Kids today

    Gone to the dogs

    Turning it around?

    Cruelty is in the eyes of the beholder

  16. Valissa

    “I’ve seen the future and it’s much like the present only longer.” – Dan Quisenberry
    “I have seen the future and it works.” – Lincoln Steffens
    “I have seen the future and it doesn’t work.” – Zardoz (1974 film)

    The Paperless Future?

    Executive logic, Part 1

    Executive logic, Part 2

    What happens to the old paperwork


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The best way for those Indian billionaires to avoid the fate is to distract their 99.99% with calls for more government spending, so a little bit can trickle down for the bleeding to stop long enough that they don’t think too much about taxing the billionaires.

  17. rich

    Michael Hudson On The Financialization of Higher Education

    Education, like healthcare and commercial banking, would be best treated as public utilties and not ‘winner take all’ businesses with extravagant executive salaries and arcane investments.

    Wall Street and their financiers can take any human endeavor and turn it into a parasitical racket. Wait until you see what they do with agriculture, energy, housing, elder care, and water if the people allow it.

  18. Valissa

    FCC chairman announces resignation
    “When Julius Genachowski took office, there were high hopes that he would use his powerful position to promote the public interest,” said Craig Aaron, president of the consumer media reform group Free Press. The group has been particularly critical of Genachowski’s willingness to reform media ownership rules that they fear will allow a few media tycoons to sweep up more broadcast, newspaper and radio assets and concentrate the number of voices in media.

    “But instead of acting as the people’s champion, he’s catered to corporate interests. His tenure has been marked by wavering and caving rather than the strong leadership so needed at this crucial agency,” Aaron said.

    … President Obama is expected to announce a successor soon. Tom Wheeler, a former lobby group chairman and venture capitalist is a leading contender.

    As far I can tell, all high level elected officials and appointees today believe that corporate interest=public interest. Also anyone who has career ambitions at the elite level of any special interest group is going to be serving the elite interests in some way or another.

    “Going along to get along” and “sucking up to the boss” are strategies that have been around since humans developed socially stratified societies. The question is, how does one attempt to accomplish anything that’s in the little guy’s interest in today’s political universe? And to be clear, I no longer believe that starting yet another political party, or joining a fringe party will accomplish that goal either. I think the nature of political parties (and huma herd behavior) is a big part of the problem. What will be the new paradigm for “rebelling against the machine?”

  19. ep3

    RE: decline of detroit

    Yves, “That’s a lesson for other urban areas,” says Martelle. “Try to draw corporations into creating institutions that could sustain the community in the future.” Excuse me? ask corporations & rich ppl to save our cities? What about the gov’t?
    And so racism of white flight did not have anything to do with the abandonment of the city? I like how the author blames the lure of low skill low wage low educated workers from “the south” contributed to the overall decline.
    The author says that Detroit lacks “commerce”. Well, when gov’t policies encourage companies to lay off workers and close plants then move to Mexico and the only work a person can find is mcdonalds, they usually don’t have much discretionary income to spend on fancy dinners and the movies. And when the plant closes, the community basically has a mini-financial crisis where ppl lose their homes, homebuilders lose work, they stop spending, plumbing, electrical etc. stop working and spending. And on and on.

    Yves, two reasons why Detroit was destroyed. One, rascism; highest concentration of not just blacks, but Dearborn has the largest arab-american community in the country. Second, as the author says, lack of wealthy white men. So maybe the author was correct. The only way for a city to survive is to suck up to rich white corporations.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Racism of white flight.

      Some nights, one feels like Thai food.

      Other nights, one craves for Kabsa.

      And so it goes.

      When one says tonight is a Khoisan cultural night, one is not rejecting other cultures. Just not tonight. Tonight, one only wishes for this one. Just feels like it, that’s all.

      People are curious by nature and like variety. But more importantly, people like to have control over their choices.

      The 0.01% have control over whom they want to be neighbors with. The 99.99% are forced to accept it. They are told they must get along. They don’t have time to get along at a time of their choosing, at a pace that works for them.

      Kings have always fought wars against others, foreigners and outsiders. Little people, when left on their own, in small groups, have always gotten along with they encountered each other occasionally, not when forced to, out of the blue, without delay.

      So, we must get along because the profits of the 0.01% depend on it. How else are you going to run that meat packing house with 1,000 slave-workers? How else are you going to frack as cheaply as you can?

    2. Susan the other

      Scott Martell said one thing I really liked: Henry Ford was the first productivity whore. And Martell touched on diversification. A euphemism for turning back the clock. To sustainability. One silver lining: Detroit will seek something entirely different from auto manufacturing. So, in the not too distant future, Detroit can become a model city again. Based on anything except cars. If we simply outlawed cars for their pollution both in their manufacture, energy consumption and senselessness, we’d be more than halfway home by now., toward achieving a sane sustainability.

  20. Fíréan

    Glen Greenwald life Q & A session today. The often quoted at NC, and links posted to his articles, journalist Glen Greenwald over at the UK Guardian newpaper website, opening for questions posted “beginning at 12:00 noon Eastern” and “from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm ET, (he will) be here (in the comments) live to answer selected questions”.

    nb. posting questions may require logging in, free registration.

  21. Chauncey Gardiner

    Yves, Thank you for the link to the article by Jeff Connaughton about how Financial Reforms of the Financial System are being gutted steadily and quietly. Obama’s abdication of his responsibility in these matters, or worse his implicit support of them – as we have seen with the failure of his Department of Justice to prosecute – is telling.

    The sneaky backdoor effort through the Ag Committee by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and other “Too Big to Prosecutes” to neuter regulation of derivatives speculation through FDIC-insured depository bank subsidiaries of the TBTF bank holding companies is outrageous! That Goldman Sachs alum Himes sits in the pivotal role as finance chairman of the Democratic Party’s Congressional campaign finance committee that decides which of their members of Congress receive money from the Democratic Party for their re-election campaigns and how much they receive is indicative of the level of control and influence Wall Street continues to exercise over our legislators and Why that is so.

    This is not a difficult dynamic to understand. There is an old saying: “Those who have the Money make the Rules.” Himes worked for Goldman Sachs. Goldman and JP Morgan are in the group of large banks and corporations that control the Fed and are Primary Dealers which receive Fed Cash from the Fed’s QE purchases of Mortgage-Backed Securities. In other words, they get the Money to make the Rules, and they get it first. Given the Supreme Court’s ruling that Corporations are both “persons” and that they are legally able to use that Money to finance political campaigns under free speech, they have an inordinate level of control over our lawmakers.

    Much depends on whether the American public will continue to buy the “free markets” propaganda, or if a critical mass of Americans can carve out enough time and energy to pay attention to what is actually occurring.

    There is great systemic risk in allowing these people to continue their rampant derivatives speculations for personal gain through the FDIC-insured banks. This is far from their only systemic choke-point, but it is a critical one IMO.

    1. briansays

      pelosi needs 17 seats to retake the house–that’s mission #1 and anything wall street wants is for sale just make the check payable to DCCC

    2. Synopticist

      “Why doesn’t the president seem to care?'”

      Hmmm. That’s a toughie. Surelly, if only the Czar knew, he’d put a stop to this wickedness.

  22. Valissa

    Ohio prosecutors ‘indict’ Punxsutawney Phil over early spring forecast, seek death penalty
    Gmoser’s indictment made no mention of a possible co-conspirator in the false prediction of early spring, Ohio’s own forecasting groundhog, Buckeye Chuck.

    Chuck also failed to see his shadow when he emerged from his burrow on Feb. 2 in Marion in north-central Ohio.

          1. AbyNormal

            me thinks Val is the main creator behind Utube and she graces these pages for kicks n thrills…good thing!

            (she’s also rollin in it since google googleyed her’)

          2. Valissa

            Although I can understand and respect that farmers and gardeners need to protect the food they’re growing the best they can, I couldn’t kill a woodchuck. But I might try a bite of woodchuck stew… depending on who was cooking it.

            Some cuties here:

            My tamed ground hog at 12 weeks Rosco

            Taking the woodchuck for a walk

            btw, it’s just keywords and searches combined with insatiable curiosity… the internet is a magical multiverse!

  23. diane

    Re: Microsoft:

    Yeah, anyone else feel like their own Little Billy Gates plagued computer is a potential enemy, even far before it was noted that Microsoft was partnering with the NSA?

    Although, I have to say, Ars Technica’s title, US law enforcement biggest recipient of Microsoft customer data, certainly left Google off of the US hook (will never understand how so many swallowed that Do No Evil evil they perpetrated), while admitting the following, in an area of the article not likely to be read by those scanning, versus reading it in its entirety:

    Over 2012, Google in comparison had 42,327 requests in total, concerning 68,249 accounts. Of these, 16,407 were made in the US, and about 14,600 resulted in information being disclosed (Google provides no data about whether the information is content or transactional). As such, Google receives more requests about US data than Microsoft, and responds to a higher proportion: 89 percent for Google, 79 percent for Microsoft.

    (Not at all that I feel Microsoft is a lesser evil, just that Microsoft has paying for the software customers (generally due to needing a jawb, or being self-employed)- i.e.: I’m actually paying you out the ass to read my emails? – which makes a significant difference in repeat customers.)

      1. diane

        and what can one realy expect from any business model, where profit (ultimately at someone else’s expense …I don’t believe there are any exceptions to that (though I’m not saying some don’t attempt that sort of ‘business model (and I’m certainly not referring to Microsoft there) simply because money is needed to survive), is always the goal?

      1. Ms G

        Or is this what they mean by God — a creature, thing, being that permeates all and knows everything about us.

      1. Valissa

        Typical weasel-word diplomacy speak so all sides can save face… yadda yadda…

        Wonder how much military hardward Obama promised for that apology.

          1. Fíréan

            Re. Isreal apology to Turkey. There are, purportedly, plans bewteen the two countries to develope a pipeline from the Isreali off shore gas and oil fields to the southern Turkish coast. Old obstacles may have to be discreetly resolved and removed, as new common interests take precedence.

  24. Reichssieger von Thantatz Alpdrucken

    Reichssieger von Thantatz Alpdrucken here.

    Do you suppose that it is within your power to insult me? You evidently are not aware to whom you are speaking?

    Do you imagine that the envenomed spittle of five hundred little gentlemen of your type, heaped one upon another, would succeed in slobbering so much as the tips of my august toes?

    Mudgrips on everythang:

    1. Valissa

      Those Jawga Boyz are a fascinating pastiche… enjoyed the music and lyrics! I so felt like a cultural voyeur :)

      1. Reichssieger von Thantatz Alpdrucken

        My dear Madame, I just noticed that I forgot my cane at your house yesterday; please be good enough to give it to the bearer of this message.

        P.S.- Kindly pardon me for disturbing you; I just found my cane.

  25. rich

    What Has Capitalism Done for Us Lately?
    March 22, 2013

    Sheila Bair, the longtime Republican who served as chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) during the fiscal meltdown five years ago, joins Bill to talk about American banks’ continuing risky and manipulative practices, their seeming immunity from prosecution, and growing anger from Congress and the public.

    Also on the show, Richard Wolff, whose smart, blunt talk about the crisis of capitalism on his first Moyers & Company appearance was so compelling and provocative, we asked him to return. This time, the economics expert answers questions sent in by our viewers, diving further into economic inequality, the limitations of industry regulation, and the widening gap between a booming stock market and a population that increasingly lives in poverty.

    1. Ms G

      I stopped watching about 1 minute in when Sheila said with casual assurance that “the system has gotten incrementally safer” — after saying that the Whale hearings were really “shocking.”

      I think Sheila has issues with different parts of her brain living in different dimensions simultaneously — a Schrodinger’s Brain.

      Meanwhile, no mention (I presume) that the policy of settling with banks “without admitting or denying” any wrongful conduct was started on her watch after decades of a policy to loudly trumpet FDIC settlements with banks.

      Sorry, she’s a tool.

      1. skippy

        “the system has gotten incrementally safer”

        Yeah for the sovereign* creator class… those not within said social dynamic… well… its all about natural laws… eh.

        sovereignty (n.)

        mid-14c., “pre-eminence,” from Anglo-French sovereynete, from Old French souverainete, from soverain (see sovereign). Meaning “authority, rule” is recorded from late 14c.; sense of “existence as an independent state” is from 1715.


        late 13c., from Old French soverain, from Vulgar Latin *superanus “chief, principal,” from Latin super “over” (see super-). Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign. Milton spelled it sovran, as though from Italian sovrano. Meaning “gold coin worth 22s 6d” first recorded late 15c.; value changed 1817 to 1 pound. As an adjective, attested from early 14c.; of remedies or medicines, “potent in a high degree,” from late 14c.

        royalty (n.)

        late 14c., “office or position of a sovereign,” from Old French roialte, from Vulgar Latin *regalitatem (nominative *regalitas), from Latin regalis (see royal). Sense of “prerogatives or rights granted by a sovereign to an individual or corporation” is from late 15c. From that evolved more general senses, such as “payment to a landowner for use of a mine” (1839), and ultimately “payment to an author, composer, etc.” for sale or use of his or her work (1857).


        “sovereign, ruler,” late 15c. (implied in suzerainty), from Old French sus “up, above” (from Vulgar Latin susum, from Latin sursum “upward, above,” contraction of subversum, from sub “up from below”) + vertere “a turning” (see versus). With ending from sovereign.

        Skippy… some bad idea’s aka mental frameworks – falsehoods just won’t die ie no humans… no sovereignty… it’s an invention of the ruling class since gawd kings… it just gets re branded with every turn of the extraction screw.

        PS. is the universe sovereign? It was here first… eh… oh well…

      2. ohmyheck

        “I think Sheila has issues with different parts of her brain living in different dimensions simultaneously — a Schroedinger’s Brain.”

        I am SO using this!

  26. Reichssieger von Thantatz Alpdrucken

    It is one of the great joys of home ownership to fire a pistol in one’s own bedroom!

Comments are closed.