Links 3/4/13

Opinion: We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us. National Geographic. Hhm. First cats, now dogs. This is the theory after more people are owned by their pets?

Painkiller Abuse Calls for Closer Watch on Prescriptions Bloomberg. What??? I thought conventional wisdom was that doctors are too hesitant to treat pain, particularly among women. Just because you have some doctors that will prescribe anything the patient asks for does not mean a widespread crackdown problem. I bet this is a power law problem, a comparatively small number of doctors with extreme practices.

MIT releases open-source software that reveals invisible motion and detail in video ExtremeTech (Carol B)

Astonishing new research shows Nazi camp network twice as big as previously thought Independent (Chuck L)

Indian women use smartphones to ‘pin the creeps’ PhysOrg (Chuck L)

International appeal for the protection of academic independence Steve Keen. Also see his Kickstarter project!

European recession grinds on MacroBusiness

Brave Ireland is the poster-child of EMU cruelty and folly Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Mass protests in Portugal over austerity cuts Aljazeera

Calling Italy’s Tune: I Pagliacci? La Forza del Destino? A Fistful of Euros

Israel to launch ‘Palestinians-only’ bus service Guardian

Israeli defense minister: ‘All options’ open to deal with Iran AFP

Global US drone strikes areppim (furzy mouse)

Catfood watch:

As Automatic Budget Cuts Go Into Effect, Poor May Be Hit Particularly Hard New York Times

Boehner sees reform as way to budget deal Financial Times

Republicans Are Not Telling the Truth When They Say that Government Spending Is Out of Control Dean Baker

Obama Asks Health Plans to Report Rising Rates New York Times

The cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales Guardian

Mayor Bloomberg booed at St. Patrick’s Day New York Daily News (Lambert). And it isn’t St. Patrick’s day either!

Newtown Creek In NYC, One Of Most Polluted Areas In US, Awaiting Cleanup Huffington Post (Carol B)

Montgomery Police Chief Apologizes to Freedom Riders Gawker

‘A concentration camp for little boys’: Dark secrets unearthed in KKK county Independent (Chuck L). Lordie.

State high court rules big foreclosure trustee broke consumer law Seattle Times (Lynn S)

Australian Towns Awarded A$20 Million in S&P Ratings Case Bloomberg (Lisa E)

Bernanke on long-term interest rates James Hamilton, Econbrowser

Danger as stock-market ‘Greedometer’ flashes red MarketWatch

Student-Loan Securities Stay Hot Wall Street Journal

The Savings Glut Explanation: Why It Might Be Wrong and Why It Matters masaccio, Firedoglake (Carol B). Another reason the global saving glut hypothesis is ridiculous is the level was as high as it was in the mid 2000s in the early 1990s and the world did not fall over.

Antidote du jour. Robert H writes:

Rocky was a stray dog living in a cardboard box, who I fostered for about two months in cooperation with PetConnect Rescue in the D.C. area.

The attached pictures were taken after six months with his adoptive family. When I got him Rocky was emaciated and had heartworm, which the organization paid to treat.

Such rescue organizations provide a way to find great dogs and cats because they are selected for fostering on the basis of temperament rather than breeding.

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  1. tomk

    The opiate issue is complicated but I don’t think your take on it is accurate. Big pharm used the issue of inadequate pain management to push opiate prescriptions far beyond any real need, knowing that vast quantities were being diverted to street use. Now, having contributed to massive levels of addiction in communities all over the country, they are profiting off the highly addictive replacement drugs, (methodone and suboxone), which while sometimes helpful to keep addicts functional (and monitered), are also diverted to street use, and keep addicts from becoming truly clean.

    My 14 year old daughter had a Vicodin prescription pushed on her after an uncomplicated wisdom tooth removal. This remains far too common. There is a rule pharm lobbyists had put in place about 12 years ago that required doctors to inquire about patient’s pain, and offer them something if they complained. This was instrumental in creating the epidemic of opiate addiction that is devastating many communities.

    The efforts to restrain and monitor opiate prescribing are necessary. It’s not just the doctor feelgoods causing the problem. It’s the system.

    1. ambrit

      Dear tomk;
      I wonder if anyone has done any work on perceived socioeconomic status of patients and doctors’ prescribing habits?

      1. tomk

        I’m curious why you ask. Your question reminds me of another issue. The diversion of prescription drugs, typically opiates, benzos(valium type), and stimulants, is a significant part of the economy, and I suspect most of the people involved (at the street level) are doing it out of economic necessity, not greed. How big a factor is this in overall medical costs? Prescriptions for all those drugs have increased radically in recent years, and most of them are covered by medicare or health insurance. Not to mention the beneficial side effect for the PTB in having a drugged up, passive population.

        1. Cynthia

          As to where this all got started, I’d have to say JCAHO (Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations). Does anyone recall the campaign “Pain as a vital sign?” In an inpatient setting anyway, that’s where I saw the major increase and eventually pain clinics were appearing everywhere. It puts the provider in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position.

          1. BobS

            If we can simply ask someone to rate their pain from 0-10 and consider their answer a legitimate vital sign, we should also be able to ask them their blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc. and consider their made up answer equally legitimate.
            Dealing with fucking drug seekers is one of the more unpleasurable aspects of working in an emergency room. And failing to provide them with their fix is one of the more reliable ways to receive a complaint. I have a helluva lot more respect for junkies who get their drugs the old fashioned way, on the street.

    2. Cynthia

      As I’ve been saying since the dawn of healthcare reform, serious problems will emerge from narcotics being over prescribed to patients with so-called “chronic pain.” I can’t begin to tell you how many times patients, whom I’ve cared for in the hospital, who were rushed to the emergency room from home and put on a ventilator for being over sedated on narcotics. And after they are weaned off the ventilator in the intensive care and transferred to a step-down unit, many times they will call out for stronger narcotics and more frequent doses of them. And because hospitals are reimbursed by how well they meet the needs of their patients, chief among them being their pain needs, doctors and nurses have hardly any other choice but to load them back up on narcotics.

      It seems rather idiotic, to say the least, to load patients up on narcotics when that’s what put them in the hospital in the first place! But unfortunately, this is one of the major pitfalls of having a healthcare system like ours that reimburses hospitals according to patient satisfaction scores.

      So until we wake up to the fact that we are frequently doing more harm than good by treating hospital patients as though they were hard-to-please customers at a five-star hotel and restaurant, our idiotic healthcare system should shoulder the lion’s share of the blame for turning America into a nation full of hard-to-satisfy narcotic addicts!

    3. F. Beard

      Before anti-drug laws (around 1906), many Americans were addicted to cocaine and opiates and yet were functional and raised families.

      We should focus on what causes the need for drugs rather than deprive people of relief.

      Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
      And wine to him whose life is bitter.
      Let him drink and forget his poverty
      And remember his trouble no more.
      Open your mouth for the mute,
      For the rights of all the unfortunate.
      Open your mouth, judge righteously,
      And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
      Proverbs 31:6-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

      1. tomk

        We should focus on what causes the need for drugs rather than deprive people of relief.

        This sounds good but when the relief makes it impossible to focus on the causes…and when the relief continues a pattern that many are desperate to break. Of course there have always been high functioning addicts, but many aren’t, and when they decide they want to be clean they shouldn’t be encouraged to go on replacement drugs that are even harder to quit.

        1. F. Beard

          and when the relief continues a pattern that many are desperate to break. tomk

          Why should they be desperate? I am addicted to food, air and water but am not desperate because they are readily available to me, at low cost and legal.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Many are desparate to break their food/water/air addiction, if they can imagine the possibility.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      1. “Pushed on her”? She didn’t have to fill it or take it. I’ve had three extractions in the last 2 years, 2 wisdom teeth + one cracked root. Each time they gave me a Vicodin scrip. I didn’t get them filled at the time.

      2. I sincerely doubt the # of pills prescribed for an extraction is enough to get anyone hooked

      3. After one of these extractions (ten days later, an unusually long time to have this happen) I got pain from a dry socket. It is THE worst pain imaginable, and I have very high pain tolerance.

      4. Even the Vicodin didn’t make a dent in the pain, that’s how bad it was. And opiates are horrible, I felt awful on them. I can’t imagine how anyone could get addicted to them. Ugh.

      1. evodevo

        That’s because you, like me and ~75% of the population, don’t have the right central nervous system receptors. ~17-20% do. When you have those receptor configurations, you will be very prone to addiction. All morphine does for me is make me nauseous (~30% of patients) and really doesn’t do much for the pain and I can’t imagine becoming dependent on it. When in the hospital I refuse it and request another analgesic. Other people are not so genetically lucky.

        1. ohmyheck

          Exactly. Thank you. There is no one correct answer, because everyone’s chemistry is different. Having attempted to help someone with mental illness, body/brain chemistry is EVERYTHING. What works for some, doesn’t for others.

      2. tomk

        1. “Pushed on her”? She didn’t have to fill it or take it.

        She didn’t fill it, she took it because he insisted, which is why I said pused, I used it as an example of overprescription. I had a back injury 20 years that put me flat on my back, crawling to the bathroom, once passing out from the pain trying to climb on the toilet, and my doctor never offered me opiates. He knew the risk of my liking them would possibly lead to much more pain than a back injury. You’re lucky you hate opiates. The risk I perceived with my daughter isn’t that a few days would addict her, but that she would enjoy them, and being readily available at high school she would dabble, until addicted. I’ve only tried opiates once, in the form of an opium laced brownie, and had a lovely relaxed evening, I shudder to think how much pleasure can be packed into a syringe of heroin or oxycodone to the right person, and how that pleasure can overwhelm and destroy the other pleasures of life.

        I admire your work so much, it feels weird to be arguing with you, but I’ve seen many people suffering with opiate addiction, and with being related to addicts. Wonderful people can become lying, selfish bastards. I support full legalization of all drugs on both principle and utility. But they should be used with extreme caution only when absolutely necessary. We get through pain. As a culture we have become habituated to the idea that everything should be perfect, pest free food, pain free living, but the costs of this are high.

        An example. Colonoscopies in other parts of the world are routinely done on sober people, but in this country doctors insist on heavy sedation and painkillers. I had to jump through hoops to get them to let me do it clear headed, thinking it might cost a little less, and wanting to drive myself home. It hardly hurt at all, uncomfortable, sure, a few cramps that lasted just moments, but nothing extreme. They insisted on having me hooked up to an IV full of drugs, in case I freaked out or started writhing around, so the cost was the same.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes, I had all my three extractions and the one implant just on novocaine. They seemed to think I was weird not to want gas. I can’t afford to be woozy for four-six hours afterward, but separately, one extraction was easy, one took a little effort because the root was broken, and the third took a lot of tugging and twisting. But none of this hurt except keeping my jaw open.

  2. timotheus

    “Bloomberg booed”

    by the heavily Republican Rockaway population, which has spent the last three decades complaining about the Gummint and how much money it spends providing services for Those People.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Did you somehow miss that the Far Rockaways got no help from Bloomberg? They were basically left to rot. So their perception of government was proven to be accurate, that it takes their money and provides nothing useful to them. In general, Bloomberg neglected the outer boroughs.

  3. Juneau

    Prescription pain killer abuse: police and regulate the doctors, thereby terrorizing them, so they will police and regulate the patients. Forget any responsibility the manufacturers have and certainly overlook the enormous profits they make from the prescription drug trade. I wonder if anyone has calculated how much the manufacturers of oxycontin have made from this trade over the years.

    Safer opiates may be available, but why are they not brought to market quickly?

    1. brian

      The vast majority of pain meds and stuff like valium etc are off patent. Generic versions are available of vicodin. Not sure we can blame the drug companies for this problem. More likely that their users are addicted and doctors can’t directly measure if someone is suffering pain.

      We certainly can blame drug companies for large scale use of anti-depressants, which are still covered by patents.

        1. brian

          I am sorry. I was completely wrong. I read up a bit. Apparently, stuff like oxycontin under patent and is a huge money spinner. People like Dr. Portenoy apparently were paid by the pharma companies to promote opioids and ignore the long term consequences. Now the long term consequences are here, Dr. Portenoy has changed his mind.

      1. LucyLulu

        Almost all of the antidepressants have gone generic. Prozac has been out in generic for probably ten years now.

        The short-acting opiates also are all available in generic format. It’s the extended-release forms like oxycontin and ms-contin (morphine) that are strictly brand name and so expensive. Allegedly the longer-acting versions were less addicting, or so was the initial hype, having less of a peak effect. Pharma underestimated the dosing-creativity of addicts, their ability to circumvent such features.

  4. jjmacjohnson

    Public money will pay for Newtown Creek clean up and developers will swoop in to make luxury homes on the water front. Gowanus Canal is starting to show the same. Not much in it for the regular folks. Look at DUMBO and Williamsburg.

  5. Brindle

    The Onion?…no, the Dartmouth student newspaper:

    Jennifer Lawrence a negative role model for girls and society in general. (disclaimer: I love Lawrence)

    —“In a similar vein, Lawrence has been known to flaunt her slovenly behavior. In an interview with The Sun during awards season, she said, “Every time I’m out, I think about my couch. I’m like, ‘That would be awesome right now.’” She told Glamour magazine, “If I don’t have anything to do all day, I might not even put my pants on.”

    To Lawrence, these are simply instances of her being relatable, and some would argue that these quotes only illustrate her down-to-earth quality.
    However, it can also be argued that Lawrence’s attitude toward productivity reinforces the “couch potato” version of America that should be discouraged in a century where the United States is already lagging in innovation and achievement.”—

    1. Really?

      Yes! We simply MUST innovate and achieve so that we can keep the capitalist perpetual exponential growth delusion… err, dream, alive! And a few billion more mouths to feed too just for fun.

      1. craazyman

        more comfortable couches would be a good form of innovation. No more hard cushions that keep you awake and vigilant. Why not have a relaxed capitalism? Not sure why these people can’t see the potential.

        1. Brindle

          But “awake and vigilant” is needed to keep da terrists at bay. We can’t let our guard down again, like we did on that sunshine september morn so many years ago.

  6. Paul Walker

    White House Boys, a terrific look at the M.O. of the current US administrations approach to the institution of justice, prosecution of war against its own citizens and proper record keeping.

    1. Really?

      Obama marks a sea change in that regard. If there was ever a question that our government is aligned against us, “the Great Communicator” has pretty much settled it for once and for all.

        1. Paul Walker

          Yep. The whole crew has gone Rummy

          While American Chief Executives, with the able assistance of a compliant judiciary and press continue to perfect the Reginald Dyer approach to the exercise of monetary, diplomatic, judicial and military power.

          Obama, what a classic use of an advertising vehicle (first American president of African descent) to enshrine the methods of the Ku Klux Klan as the dominate force in the exercise of state power.

  7. JohnDT

    Israel to launch ‘Palestinians-only’ bus service:
    UPDATE: Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz response: “Palestinians entering Israel will be able to ride on all public transportation lines, including all those already existing in the West Bank.”
    1. The proposed bus lines policy was met with immediate harsh reactions from all major political parties.
    2. This was part of a positive trend – Israel has increased the number of permits it gives to Palestinians to cross the 1967 line and work inside Israel proper.
    3. This was a settlers-led provocation in the context of coalition negotiations, realizing that Yair Lapid and Zipi Livni are leading their parties into the coalition with a clear agenda to renew negotiations and/or consider further unilateral withdrawals.
    4. All extremists with all regional parties will be sabotaging stability as part of their usual rituals during visit by the US Secretary of State and toward the coming Presidential journey to the region.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the Guardian article:

      Palestinians used to use Palestinian minibuses and taxis to travel into Israel but Israel has increased the number of permits it gives to Palestinians which has led to more mixing on shared routes.

      The ministry also said it is against the law to prevent any passenger from boarding a bus but Israeli civil rights groups said this was not the case in practice.

      The Israeli civil rights group, Checkpoint Watch, which monitors the army’s treatment of Palestinians at West Bank checkpoints has reported recent incidents of Palestinians being ejected from buses and told they were not allowed to board them.

      ‘Mixing’ — OMG, how frightening! Sounds like a quote from the Deep South, circa 1957, about the dangers of race mixing.

      Palestinian-only bus lines are a logical complement to settlers-only roads in the West Bank.

      The bigger picture in Israel is that housing and schools are mostly segregated. Israel’s 20 percent non-Jewish minority lives in their own neighborhoods, attends their own schools, and mostly doesn’t participate in the Israeli Defense Forces.

      Israel represents a kind of alternate history of what the American South might look like today if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 had never been enacted.

      High-tech apartheid, baby — our tax dollars at work, subsidizing wealthy segregationists.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        As an overtly Apartheid state, Israel is the last refuge for explicit state-sponsored racism. Palestinians can’t even sit in the back of “mixed-race” buses; they’re ejected without recourse or consequence. This also tracks with the openly-stated intent to wage aggressive, preventive war on Iran, a war crime. Hell-bound for self-immolation, Israel is a truth much stranger than the most preposterous dystopian fiction.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Reads like an Onion piece: “President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements [sic] such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans.”

        Yeah, that won’t hit millions. On the other hand, cutting the military, DHS, CIA, TSA, Israeli welfare, etc. would just simply devastate the already downtrodden.

        Who would’ve expected this from a Marxist, right? Shocking.

  8. ex-PFC Chuck

    Steve Keen’s MINSKY Kickstarter project has reached its minimum $50K threshold but he asks that amounts over that minimum will only help him make the final product better.
    So if you’re considering a contribution but haven’t yet got around to it it’s not too late. As of a few minutes ago pledges are up to $57,483 and there are 13 days to go before the closing date.

    1. EmilianoZ

      I was watching Keen’s video pitch on Kickstarter. You can clearly see Yves Smith’s “Econned” in his library. The businessman on the tightrope is so easily recognizable. Very clever jacket design!

  9. diptherio

    Why We Think Its OK to Cheat and Steal (sometimes) ~Dan Ariely

    You probably heard about some of Ariely’s findings: that cheating on tests decreases after participants spend a few minutes trying to recall the 10 commandments. Not so interesting, imo, but his other findings are interesting: ways to get people to cheat more. It’s like a how-to for control fraud. The good bit starts at about 9:20.

  10. Zachary Smith

    **** Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Iran on Sunday that Israel would never allow Iranian leaders to develop a nuclear weapon, as he addressed a powerful US-Israel lobby. ***

    I’ve given my opinion on this issue on another site bookmarked as “Israeli Nutcase”. I’m going to copy some of my thoughts from those posts.


    That’s the start of a 1998 Jerusalem Post article claiming the Iranians bought themselves some nukes from the former USSR.

    Suppose that for a moment there is some truth to the story. That Iran already has somewhere between one and four functioning devices. (this would, by the way, explain how Iran is enriching uranium like crazy, but aren’t bothering to design any weapons. It’s because they don’t need to.)

    Israel pops off one or more high-altitude bursts over Iran. What happens if Iran sends back an identical reply? Paraphrasing now,

    “Nobody would be injured, radiation would stay in the stratosphere, and the Israelis wouldn’t know anything had happened until they flipped on the lights. In short order, food supplies would be consumed and would perish; all forms of communications would be out of business; transportation would stop; and the country would undergo ….”

    What will happen in Israel if most or all of their wonderful high-tech stuff stops working? Besides the starvation and all that? There are, after all, lots of unhappy people in Gaza. And on the West Bank. Quite a few unfriendly neighbors too, or so I’ve heard.

    The lunatics who rule the place may be on their way to finding out the answer to the question. ***

    IMO Israel can’t do any lasting harm to Iran without using nukes. But if that ****** little nation does that, it’s opening a can of worms.

    There’s an outside chance this is one place where BHO might inadvertently be on our side. He’s been kicked around a whole lot by the thuggish Netanyahu, and I’d expect he has some debts to repay in that regard. Ditto for Hagel.

    A person can only hope…

    1. neorealist

      BHO isn’t so much on the peoples side, but it’s just the calculus that realistically eliminating the Iranian nuclear threat would entail commitment of hundreds of thousands of troops as per the Iran Report co-authored by the new secretary of defense, which we don’t have to spare nor do we have the political will to shed that much American blood to pay back Iran for trading in an alternative reserve currency and to ameliorate Israel’s paranoia over a complementary nuclear boss in the ME.

      1. Zachary Smith

        If the Iranians back down enough to make it obvious to everyone with half a brain that they’re not in a headlong rush for nukes, I would expect it’s in BHO’s interest to let them alone. After all, the cost of an attack by the US could be staggering.

        It’s rather clear to most analysts that what Iran is after is the ability to produce nuclear weapons in a hurry if they had to – the sort of “nuclear option” retained by Japan and several other nations.

        Everybody keeps ignoring the fact that Iran hasn’t attacked anybody for a very long time. Contrast that record with Israel. IMO Israel doesn’t want any backtalk from the towelheads as it tries to reestablish the mythical empire of Solomon.

  11. wunsacon

    >> Opinion: We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us. National Geographic.

    Rupert Murdoch owns the NatGeo Channel. I didn’t know that at first but looked it up after occasionally seeing the schedule while channel surfing.

    I’m guessing the magazine benefits from the TV licensing. That leads me to wonder: Has the Murdoch money corrupted the magazine, too?

    I don’t have any idea. Just asking.

    Does NatGeo cover environmental issues (e.g., Keystone pipeline)? (Did they ever?) Or do they stick to non-controversial stuff like lions, tigers, and pets?

    1. Zachary Smith

      Take a look at their website. I typed in a “Keystone” as a search word and there was quite a few references to the pipeline.

      Regarding the article, I liked it in every way except for the title. IMO what that title ought to have been was this:

      ~~ We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Themselves ~~

      Like with every other living critter, there would have been lots of variation among the wolves. The calmer ones would have approached the camps of hunters, and when those types encountered some of the more tolerant humans, bingo! All the benefits from the new symbiosis would flow naturally.

      I’d venture a guess this new relationship gave people the idea of trying to snare other animals. :)

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Dogs domesticated us….hmmmm…

    Ok, one tiny quibble.

    It’s only half right, as in 50% wrong.

    Dogs domesticated female humans.

    Male humans have not been domesticated yet, according to the latest research.

    1. craazyman

      There’s a few that have been. You can see them out pushing a loaded up shopping cart beside their wives at the supermarket. Real men out alone to buy some beer and doritoes look at those guys and feel pity and scorn. Probably the way a wolf feels at the sight of a dog on a leash.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stock market greedometer flashes red.

    I am waiting for the real estate market greedometer to flash red also, or is it flashing red already?

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It depends on who is bloated with savings glut, with respect to the savings glut, I believe.

    A lot of families are looking forward to that savings glut problem. Perhaps we can add a few zeroes to our currency….

  15. Brindle

    Some nice riffing on Bond/Skyfall…..

    Jacob Bacharach:

    —“You see, James Bond has nothing to say about the world we live in now. It is about guns, fucking, and fast boats.

    The next time your grandma the Washington Post columnist disapproves of “those rap videos,” show her any Bond flick, which glorifies precisely the same acquisitive, casually murderous booty shaking, albeit with a crackpot post-imperial nationalism as the crispy white stand-in for the hood.

    Substitute Compton or the Dirty South or wherever for The Sceptered Isle, and you get the picture. Bond is a rap video for white people. Straight up.”—

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Among bats addicted to cartoon, thet have a hero called Manbat.

      Apparently, this bat goes around punishing bad bats addressing like a man.

      Somehting like that.,,

  16. Bill Johnson

    “The work, whose latest findings caused surprise among Holocaust academics when they were presented in Washington in January…”

    Surprise because it’s just bullshit? More attempts at wringing money out of Germany and giving ammunition to those that decry any identification of Zionism as evil?

    Like Ethel Merman sang:

    1. Zachary Smith

      *** Surprise because it’s just bullshit? More attempts at wringing money out of Germany and giving ammunition to those that decry any identification of Zionism as evil? ***

      Bullshit? I doubt it. The Nazis were nasty people with a bent for industrial-scale murder, and Europe is a big place.

      Germany has given Israel a lot of money in the past, and why not? I can’t think of any better form of reparations. These days the relationship has changed. When Israel gets one of Germany’s new submarines, that’s a “mutual interest” deal. Israel fights a lot of wars, and Germany has the high probability of getting some “live fire” testing data for their export markets on these expensive devices.

      Finally, those poor European Jews weren’t Zionists. They were just average blokes who happened to have the wrong religion, and were murdered for that reason alone.

    2. Drag that Red herring, they're onto us!

      Gee, the Holocaust Museum, Israel’s excuse factory, just caught on to the blindingly obvious fact that effective genocide requires complex logistics. Everybody already knows that from watching Israel’s national-scale concentration camp complex and poisoned-weapons bombardment with DU and enhanced-radiation warheads.

      Funny how they drop this astounding, world-shaking bombshell only now that a Palestine state is gaining the means to hold Zionist extermination to account under international law.

        1. skippy

          Haredi couple dies in NY crash, baby lives!

          Skippy… lots of beautification – sigh factor ongoing IMO.

    1. wunsacon

      Could be pork. Or could be to enforce austerity. Or could be preparation for what Hank Paulson predicted: TPTB will have to deploy tanks in the streets once people find their purchasing power gone.

      1. Zachary Smith

        Another explanation is CYA for the monstrous wasting of money in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        That headline at the link is misleading – there wasn’t any “purchase” – the military is dumping some useless crap nobody wants. I’d give fairly high odds those machines will quietly rust in their storage buildings, for they’re going to be unbelievably expensive to operate.

        I’ll admit I don’t have an explanation for the billions of bullets…..

    2. Laughing_Fascist

      >>The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.<<

      The cost of this could easily run into the hundreds of millions. What would DHS possibly do with them day to day? Who would drive these ten ton vehicles? Who would ride shotgun? Who would gas them up everyday and wash them? Where would they park them? And would a DHS guy actually ride in the passenger seat with a shotgun? Daily patrols lookin for them terrorists?

      Someone is just winding us up with this story.

  17. docG

    I get what you are saying about painkillers. I was with a woman who suddenly began experiencing an excruciatingly painful migraine attack. She phoned her doctor, but he wasn’t in, so she had to deal with the doctor covering for him. And this guy simply refused to write a prescription for the pain pills her doctor had routinely prescribed in the past, the only meds that ever helped her. I took her to the nearest emergency room, but they were totally insensitive to her problem, handing her forms to fill out and asking her to wait her turn before being seen. The bright lights in that space made things worse. So she left. This woman was screaming in pain and all I could do was take her home, and watch her suffer through the pain with a few Ibuprofen pills. I was frankly shocked at the insensitivity of the medical profession in this situation. Sure, she could have been an addict. In which case the doctor could have prescribed only the few pills needed until the attack had passed. But he was apparently constrained by laws based more on paranoia than sensitivity or even simple logic.

  18. F. Beard

    I thought conventional wisdom was that doctors are too hesitant to treat pain, … Yves Smith

    They are. An acquaintance of my died in agony from cancer because his compassionate doctor had been terrorized by the DEA for “over-prescribing” pain killers.

    But keep it up Progressives and wonder why most Americans despise your busybody nature.

    1. jrs

      Yea well, ever had to make the decision on whether or not to put someone on hospice care where pain relieving drugs are readily available (it’s considered part of hospice care – making one’s last months whatever as painless as possible) when there was a drug addict in the house on suboxine, who would go right back on harder drugs (and they say so themselves! that that temptation would be too much to resist) if pain pills were in the house. Then tell me it’s black and white.

      1. jrs

        Of course you could say the drug addict is only a danger to themselves, if not for the fact that they had 3 DUIs and had already served prison time for DUI.

        1. F. Beard

          Alcohol is widely available yet we don’t blame it for DUI; rather we hold people responsible for driving while impaired.

          1. Valissa

            Excellent point! My observation is that there are more doctors who are afraid to oversubscribe, and that BOTH underprescribing and drug misuse/abuse are going on. Human nature is such that any drug that reduces pain will get abused by someone, and often by people who are genuinely in pain (not just druggies). It’s a cost of doing business sort of issue, IMO, and needs to be factored in to policy decisions. It’s not fair for the people who really need pain meds to be discriminated against because some people abuse them, or even because they might abuse them (i.e. Minority Report style).

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Tobacco is widely available and we blame it for lung cancer; we don’t lecture the lung cancer patient for smoking and being responsible for his/her cancer (thank God).

          3. F. Beard

            Your use of tobacco does not endanger others is the difference. But you think being a busybody is OK cause, cause you is so much wiser than others?

            Typical Progressive arrogance.

          4. tomk

            As I said in my first comment, it is complicated, but if you look at the massive increase in the prescription of opiates, and if you have any personal experience with opiate addiction, it’s hard not feel like the pharmaceutical companies and the doctors bear a measure of blame, and that it isn’t mere busybodiness to want to make access to opiates more difficult. And I say that as someone who supports full legalization of all drugs. Use and availability might be easier to manage if they were legal.

          5. Yves Smith Post author


            My mother has constrictive pulmonary disease as the direct result of growing up with a father who was a heavy smoker. She is a near cripple as a result and this is almost certainly what will kill her. So don’t provide inaccurate information.

            As for pain medication, this discussion has completely missed the point I raised at the outset: how much of this problem (particularly drugs getting out on the street) is the result of a comparatively small % of doctors handing out painkillers like candy? If THAT is the cause, you don’t correct “average” use patterns (as in scare all doctors), you crack down on the outliers.

            But this is where Big Pharma comes in. They do everything they can to create those heavy prescribers, they will fight any efforts to rein them in.

    2. tomk

      My dad died in agony from cancer, and never took anything stronger than Tylenol. He wanted to be as alert as he could and to live as long as he could.

    3. tomk


      “My mother has constrictive pulmonary disease as the direct result of growing up with a father who was a heavy smoker. She is a near cripple as a result and this is almost certainly what will kill her. So don’t provide inaccurate information.”

      I think you’re responding to Billy above. My father’s lung cancer if not caused by exposure to nitrogen mustard was caused by my mom’s two pack a day habit, so I’m right with you on second hand smoke.

      “As for pain medication, this discussion has completely missed the point I raised at the outset: how much of this problem (particularly drugs getting out on the street) is the result of a comparatively small % of doctors handing out painkillers like candy? If THAT is the cause, you don’t correct “average” use patterns (as in scare all doctors), you crack down on the outliers.”

      In my experience, living in a rural Maine community, being acquainted with many doctors, and many opiate addicts, outlier prescribers are not the original problem. I think the infamous pill mills in Florida, which do fit with your concerns contribute immensely to the problem by making it easy to find street opiates. But lobbyists pushing policies that essentially encouraged doctors to prescribe opiates helped fuel the epidemic. If you peruse some online addiction forums you will find countless examples of middle aged, “normal” people, who fell into the hell of addiction after getting opiates for a relatively minor injury, or after a routine operation that years ago one would have suffered a few weeks pain with.

      “But this is where Big Pharma comes in. They do everything they can to create those heavy prescribe.”


    1. craazyman

      If you get hungry enough you can eat those things. You won’t throw up. They’re mostly protein.

      Who said resources are scarce?

      1. skippy

        Good with some plantain bananas slices (pressed with bottom of soft drink bottle), banana vinegar, local greens and some diced red chilies.

        Skippy… the legs make excellent tooth picks BTW!

        1. AbyNormal

          YikeS…there went my idea for chocolate covered squeezed between marshmallows on a steeek

  19. JEHR

    As for the Nazi-camp network, I would recommend that you read “Bloodlands” by Timothy Snyder. He traced all the deaths that took place in that part of Eastern Europe that was overrun first by the Germans, then by the Russians (sometimes the area being captured more than once). This area had both Nazi work camps and Russian gulags and the people in between were badly treated by both armies. About 14 million people died from 1930 to 1945 and it is only recently that archives have been opened to tell of the horrors that the people in the bloodlands suffered.

    A novel by Vasily Grossman, “Life and Fate,” is a fictionalized account of that era. He was a journalist with the Russian armies.

  20. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

    The only thing threatened by unregulated painkillers are big pharma profits and DEA jobs. I have a prescription bottle of painkillers in my cabinet left over from dental work. I was given 10. I took 3 and the remainder have sat quietly for two years or so in a remarkably unthreatening manner.

  21. JTFaraday

    re: Opinion: We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us. National Geographic.

    “Dogs may even have been the catalyst for our civilization.”

    Or its better parts, anyway.

  22. Code Red! Deploy the winsome Ann Frank photos!

    Gee, the Holocaust Museum just caught on to the blindingly obvious fact that effective genocide requires complex logistics. Everybody already knows that from watching Israel’s national-scale concentration camp complex and their poisoned weapons bombardment campaign with DU and enhanced-radiation warheads.

    Funny how the the Holoexcuse Museum drops this guilt bomb just when the state of Palestine is gaining the means to hold individual crimes of Zionist extermination to account under universal jurisdiction law, and to secure judicial recognition of Israeli state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts.

  23. diane

    Can a poll be done as to how very few (I’m speaking of those one might want in one’s corner, who are already fully aware of how vicious life is …yet still attempt to be kind when able), are unable to access (millions for entire lifetimes): [The!] New York Times? An excerpt would be nice, for those millions (billions worldwide) unable to read linked articles (……a feature, …..not a ……), apparently only meant for those who still have their heads quite above the drowning waters.

    A poll, which would include those who either never had internet access from their homes, and, those who once had it, but lost it; due to the never commented on expenses of trying to maintain internet access, …despite the obscene expense incurred in keeping ‘current’ with the Hard Ware and Soft Ware™ required.

    I really feel like puking about the caucasion race I was born into sometimes, but for the fact that I realize that there are millions of ‘white trash’ out there who have never had such access to the coded language which appears to rule all days, and daze.

    Cutting to the chase, it appears that any rare aritcles, by the NYT, even acknowledging how horrid things are, are totally unaccessible to those who have been living in the barbaric horrors of the U$ for entire lifetimes. Not only do they get to suffer till death, but they are refused validation of the misery they have endured from birth.

  24. diane

    Yves, if you’re fascinated, … and admiring of crows , if you aren’t aware already (which you may well be, as you seem to have been rooted in a pre tech upbringing), watch blue jays closely. The last I read, they are very closely related. They listen, … in addition to mimicing and mocking, …..just like crows, …… when you speak to them, they speak back – after all, they’re omnivores – just like us humans, ….sigh …..

    The [Empire! of California] Jays, …are enormous, …[The] Stellar [Urban] …and Pinion [Yosemite] Jays to name the two that I’m aware of.

    Not sure what it all means, I just know that I want to weep all of the time, …. living in the midst of what feels to be a center of Barbarism, …. to me, … and those I love dearly.

    1. skippy

      The question begging is – HOW – that wealth – power was amassed in such a short time.

      Um… the creation and bundling of risk… cough… Securititzation maybe[?]… sold by the unscrupulous… to the Skinner box cortex injected bag holders… and market it as cash-flow positive in perpetuity growth to them… like the behaviorally modified lemmings they are… ???

      Skippy… The best part – is – now the 99%ish are left to fight amongst them selves over who’s debt is sacrosanct… in an almost cannibalistic like endeavor… yet the Creators of this shite show… wait in the wings to take ownership of the planet… at depression rate prices… Hell nations, states, city’s/ towns are – on their knees – begging them to buy them… one more day of hope please[!!!]… sigh.

  25. traveler

    “Such rescue organizations provide a way to find great dogs and cats because they are selected for fostering on the basis of temperament rather than breeding.”

    I only hope the animals with a little ‘attitude’ aren’t passed over when they need homes. They can’t all be sweeties.

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