Links 5/15/13

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Calling all scholars willing and able to contribute new ideas to economics! The Institute for New Economic Thinking is offering research grants of up to $250,000. For details, see here.

‘Best estimate’ of melting ice caps BBC

Making Gold Green: New Non-Toxic Method for Mining Gold Science Daily (Chuck L)

Robot Econ Primer Robin Hanson

Amazon deforestation may undercut South American hydropower projects arstechnica

Why the world faces climate chaos Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Europeans disillusioned and divided by debt crisis, survey finds Guardian

We are the country’s Civil Defence force Beppe Grillo

Outrage at Syrian rebel shown ‘eating soldier’s heart’ BBC

Did the IRS illegally target the Tea Party? Seven questions answered. Christian Science Monitor

The IRS should do more, not less, scrutinizing of political groups Guardian

Justice Department’s pursuit of AP’s phone records is both extreme and dangerous Glenn Greenwald

Untangling Obamacare: What’s behind the rate increases? CJR

If Only there was a Public Option: Part 1,452 Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Angelina Jolie Under the Knife CounterPunch (Carol B)

Obama Nominates Cable Industry Lobbyist and Campaign Bundler New Head of FCC Real News Network

Are Creepy Dudes Now Using Drone Technology For Their Nefarious Ends? Raw Story. You need to read past the tone for the substance

US deficit falls faster than expected Financial Times

Fed Says U.S. Household Debt Declined to 2006 Level Bloomberg

College Execs have Private Jets? New Report Finds Public University Presidents Live Large Alternet

Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World New York Post (Lambert)

Everyday Socialism, American-Style, Is Happening Now Gar Aplerovitz, TruthOut

Keynes and Keynesianism New York Times

The Vicious New Bank Shakedown That Could Seriously Ruin Your Life Lynn Parramore, Alternet

YARDENI: I’m Troubled By A 9-Week Trend In The Earnings Measure That Drives The Stock Market Clusterstock. Note Yardeni skews bullish.

What Do Weekly Unemployment Claims Tell us About Recession Risk? Global Economic Intersection

Plosser on the Exit Tim Duy

If the Fed Knows Banks Are Too Big, Why Doesn’t It Make Them Smaller? James Kwak

Antidote du jour (martha r):


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  1. Skeptic

    Angelina Jolie Under the Knife CounterPunch (Carol B)

    Congrats to CounterPunch for tackling this MSM “feel good” story.(I wonder if Jolie will be doing a for big profit movie on this subject and this is just the publicity prelude.)

    Here’s a Canadian (still a few good things here) film documentary savaging the Pink Ribbons/Breast Cancer Industry:

    Like everything else today, where’s there’s a fiat buck to be had, there are well-educated Crooks, Thieves and Liars. Be careful where you donate and what you support.

    1. Inverness

      Thank you for this timely reminder. Years ago, Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a piece for Harper’s about which also shared just how much of the pink-ribbon fundraising goes to marketing. She also explains why the whole pink thing diminishes how horrifying the disease truly is.

    2. AbyNormal

      DD assistance:
      • American Institute for Philanthropy ( The group grades about 500 charities on a variety of factors, including their fundraising costs, percentage of funds that go to programs, and assets.

      • Charity Navigator ( The group analyzes the financial data of more than 5,000 charities and compiles a rating based on performance in several categories, including fundraising and administrative expenses.

      • Great Nonprofits ( This group doesn’t rely on financial data for its ratings. Instead it encourages donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries to comment and rate their experiences. The website lists about 6,500 nonprofits.

      • Guidestar ( The group maintains financial data from IRS records on virtually all nonprofits and presents information on their mission, executives, expenses, and programs.

    3. John

      Christina Applegate (I think that’s her name… played the daughter on “Married with Children”) had a double-mastectomy because she had a breast-cancer genetic marker in her family…

      The real story is women coming to hate their bodies and mutilating themselves.

      Michael Jackson all over again. IMO.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The part of the story that isn’t being adquately told, IMHO, is diagnostics. Mammograms are great at finding benign lumps (ones you’ll die with rather than of) and not very good at finding the fast-growing ones that will kill you.

        Thermal imaging and manual exams by people who’ve examined a lot of boobs are much better at catching the deadly ones.

        The bit I’m in the dark about is whether these radical procedures would be warranted if all women, or at least high risk women, had better diagnostics. My suspcion is no.

      2. AbyNormal

        “The real story is women coming to hate their bodies and mutilating themselves”

        if you weren’t hidin behind that screen…your generalization could make you a Joan real quick

          1. John

            Christina Applegate Guilty About Dumping Brad Pitt –

            While I didn’t know she dated Brad Pitt, I’m horrified to find out she was.


            “So I’m probably more — unfortunately, at this point — paranoid than I’d ever been before about when I go get my checkups and everything. I’m just scared. And I don’t want to be.”

            She can afford the best healthcare available. Sometimes there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

            I’m not saying women SHOULD hate their bodies. I’m saying the Hollywood sleaze machine MAKES them hate their bodies.

            Also, accusing someone of being sexist for comparing a woman with Michael Jackson is just absurd.

          2. CB

            I’ve been operated on for breast cancer and I find the Michael Jackson metaphor very apt. I’ve read accounts of women who chose complete mastectomies and It’s really disturbing to read them talk about their breasts like parasites out of Aliens.

            Here’s what especially tips my applecart: “boobs” and all the other slanging terms for breasts. What’s the problem with “breasts,” intimidation?

          3. John

            CB, thanks for sharing. (response to comment at end of thread, sorry.)

            While I don’t know why ‘boobs’ has become so popular, I find that words that make people uncomfortable keep changing.

            The difference I see is that ‘boobs’ is informal where unpleasant words tend to get more complicated… to try to cover them up. I also think you’re right that it’s about power… now that I think about it, of course.

            Whether it be military jargon (commandos/ special forces, search and destroy missions / peace-keeping missions, shell-shock / post-traumatic stress disorder.)

            Unpleasant terms (from N***** to Black to African American, or the disabled/ handicapped/ ‘differently abled’, and a similar progression for the mentally challenged.)

            My first reaction to breasts is that breasts are what my mom called them. The words for breasts used to be busom and bust and such. However, people have gone from praising old (and kinda ridiculous) ideals of poetic beauty to just thinking that things are ‘cool.’

            My second is that ‘boobs’ is always posessive. I confess I always say they are ‘her boobs’, vs. ‘she has breasts.’ Also, the words used with breasts are those words found mainly in romance novels today.

            Anyways, i’m glad to read you’re sound in body and spirit. Good luck.

    4. Anon

      Timing, much? Myriad’s BRCA1 gene patent is under scrunity in the US Supreme Court as we speak:,0,962240.story

      As Ange manages to move the market in Myriad’s favor:

      Shares of genetic test maker Myriad Genetics rose as much as 4 percent on Tuesday after actress Angelina Jolie detailed her decision to undergo radical double-mastectomy. The decision followed testing which showed she carried the BRCA gene for breast cancer. (

      Nasdaq confims the market-moving effect:

    1. down2long

      Thanks Klassy. That is a horrendous ruling for homeowners in the Bullseye state. (See what I did there!) Not much to go on if you’re screwed by a bank in Ohio. And just today A.G. Holder, who should’ve been the one resigning assured us that if, in the remote chance he ever does find a bank committed an illegal act, he COULD, theoretically of course, parenthetically speaking of course, in the abstract, bring a case. He cautioned Darryl Issa not to hold his breath – while Issa ripped him a new one on much more, shall we say “Tangential” issues.

  2. Brindle

    Apparently this not a joke or an Onion article….

    New film in the works on Hillary Clinton—“Rodham”.
    A scene from the alleged “Rodham” script:

    —“Hillary and the impeachment-inquiry staff don’t have enough evidence to impeach Nixon, but Bill gives Hillary some advice, telling her to subpoena the recordings from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
    Hillary is so elated, she tells Bill, “I fuckin’ love you. I mean that. I love you, and I want to fuck you.” (In the script, Hillary often says “motherfuckin’,” much to Bill’s delight.)

  3. AnnieBGood

    Regarding richies hiring disabled Disney guides: I’m in no way an apologist for the 1% but I have to point out that the wheelchair gambit at Disneyworld has been used for decades by some in the 99% and they didn’t hire a guide. They just plopped a family member, preferably grandma, into the wheelchair and voila! Disney without lines. And, no, it wasn’t me. I’m only here to tell the tale.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A few observations/questions.

      1. Does the DMV run Disneyland? Why all the lines? Why not a computerized appointment system for rides? This is worst than any government run agencies.

      2. As kids are thoroughly brainwashed and are basically captured customers, why not entice more adults by charging them the same as kids?

      3. Is that discrimination against mature adults to charge them more?

      4. If we want more adults to be child-like, should they be charged the same as kids – in Disney World, any movie theaters, or for riding on bus/train/airplane?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Make that ‘captive customers,’ if you wish.

        In any case, it’s time someone speak up for mature, responsible adults.

        1. ambrit

          Dear MLTPB;
          Mature responsible adults travel to the Mouse Kingdom? Wouldn’t that be a semantic oxymoron?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a good point.

            Still, mature, responsible adults should not be charged more when they want to have child-like fun, say, visiting a zoo.

          2. ambrit

            Dear MLTPB;
            Well, here in Hattiesburg, we had a traveling exhibit, something like Dodging Dinos or Are You Fast Enough Not to be Lunch, that charged the adults $12 and the kids $20. Wasn’t a bad exhibit, as those things go.
            Down in Loosiana, the New Orleans Museum of Art has free Thursdays for anyone with a La. drivers liscence, or used to when we lived there.
            Personally, kids should be free at any legit Museum.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Adults $12 and kids $20?

            If Disney were really smart, it would do that to its captive customers, in order to lure in more not-so-captive ones.

  4. craazyman

    I’m hard at work on a theory of money that will blow the doors off the moribund coffin of economic thought and make the corpse run around so wild it scares the living hell out of anyone with a PhD or an MA or even a BA.

    The only problem I see is: how do I get INET to fund me for $250,000 so I can lay around and put the finishing touches on it? This is not a trivial problem since not one of them at INET has a clue about anything other than the hopelessly blind vortex of highly remunerative academic wonkery. Did you notice they all wear suits and ties, just like banksters? I’m not equating them morally, just equating them as a category of nuggin-heads.

    There won’t be time for the usual stream of consciousness nonsense. There’s serious work to do here and I have to find a way to buckle down and do it.

    1. Susan the other

      Well I’d donate to that hypothetically. I mean if NC did it’s own research grant and set up a funding mechanism by donation…

      1. craazyman

        maybe youze can lend me the money and when I get the grant I’ll pay you back. :0 At the earliest possible convenience!

        I’m not getting rich quick in the stock market. In fact, I’m not even getting rich slowly. WTF? What other reason is there to read macroeconomic nonsense each day.

        I need a 3 bagger in the next 12 months or I’ll have to keep working for a living. How ridiculous is that? Hours of time are killed each day that could be put to use doing nothing.

        1. ambrit

          Sorry craazyman, but Nothing does You!
          It’s similar to Einsteins’ Relative Theory: “The faster you go, the slower you get.”

      2. Twice Half-Baked

        That’s a cool idea. People submit proposals or abstracts with a nice little Paypal-submit next to them. I’d drop a Hamilton or two. Any way to get people workin’ less and thinkin’ more! Might be useful.

  5. Brindle

    Does anyone else get this when they post a comment here?
    —“Your comment is awaiting moderation.”
    I have this on a comment I entered. Is this a new policy?

  6. Bill F.


    Here is a link to a story about the latest anti-consumer ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court. This one is definitely up your alley:

    The FIRE sector’s substantial investment in our high court has paid dividends once again. Indeed, the language quoted in the article leaves aggrieved mortgagors with no avenue of recovery against servicers.

      1. Susan the other

        The courts are refusing to litigate from the bench. They want the state legislatures to write clear laws. It is the reluctance, for whatever reasons, of the state litigators that prevents appropriate legal action. The ball passing could be turned on its head by clever attorneys who happen to notice that since servicers do not fall under current commercial laws, then neither do mortgages or homeowners.

          1. Klassy!

            Hmmm… I have enough inexeperience to see that the opinion seems pretty cheesy (sorry for the legalese.) It’s not a consumer transaction because she did not actually hire the servicer? As O’Neill points out the payment comes from her fees.
            The opinion looks to open up a whole can of worms to me. But I guess that is what opinions do.

  7. Ned Ludd

    Media Matters Action Network put out its talking points about the DOJ’s seizure of AP phone records:

    • If the press compromised active counter-terror operations for a story that only tipped off the terrorists, that sounds like it should be investigated.

    • It was not acceptable when the Bush Administration exposed Valerie Plame working undercover to stop terrorists from attacking us. It is not acceptable when anonymous sources do it either.

    • Is this story about a government source blowing the whistle on government misbehavior, or about a source gratuitously exposing ongoing counter-terrorism operations?

    • Did Republicans in Congress who are now exploiting the situation to score political points oppose the media shield law that likely would have protected the Associated Press in this situation?

    • How should the Justice Department strike the balance between respecting our free press and investigating damaging leaks that jeopardize counter-terrorism operations?

    As Glenn Greenwald observed on twitter: “Nothing in it is critical of DOJ – it either defends them (TERRORISM! DANGER!) or seeks to blame the GOP for the DOJ’s actions”.

  8. Jeff

    Regarding the AP records, I am having a hard time not laughing at the media reaction to this story, it’s like it is finally occurring to them that the loss of civil liberties might apply to them and they are outraged. I thought the institutionalized widespread surveillance program was only supposed to apply to the unwashed masses? Where are my special protections?

    First they came for the “terrorists” blah blah blah “Occupy” blah blah blah then they came for the media and I was all like, “wait a minute, I’m an elite, see my press pass?” Where exactly did they think this was going to end up going? What part of spy on everyone all the time was difficult for them to grasp?

    I’m not really shocked by any disclosure that the US government spied on anyone anymore and the the naivete displayed by the people who are supposed to be covering this kind of stuff is rather endearing.

    1. petridish

      Ain’t it the truth!

      The press fellates this administration shamelessly and endlessly so it can rub elbows with the cast of Modern Family and laugh too loud at Obama’s bad jokes at the Correspondent’s Dinner and all it gets for its trouble is a lousy wiretap.

      I wonder how they feel now, looking back on that gala event of just a few weeks ago. It’s creepy to think that while the press celebrated it’s inclusion in the inner circle, the dear leader had a surprise in store for them. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving group.

      I’ll bet there’s a lot of dirty underwear in DC right about now.

      1. MLS

        Obama had a large portion of the pres corps fawning over his every move and he even fucked that up.


        1. Synopticist

          I know a lot of people on NC are convinced he’s the devil incarnate, but I think, no, he’s just dumb.

  9. petridish

    RE: Angelina Jolie

    I’ve gotta say, this whole thing really bothers me. I’ve no idea how smart Angie is or what research she did on her own to come to her decision. Reports have suggested that she was at least in part emotionally influenced by the early death of her mother from cancer.

    But then I read that Myriad Genetics OWNS THE PATENT on these two genes–BRCA1 and BRCA2–the presence of which supposedly indicates a much higher probability of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

    One of the upshots of this patent ownership, is “that further research on the genes is restricted” and “women who take the test and get an ambiguous result can’t get a second opinion.”

    I keep thinking of Reinhart and Rogoff and the way in which they shielded their FAULTY data and conclusions from scrutiny. It was debunked pretty quickly when an independent researcher took a look, but not before it was used to justify all manner of damaging conventional “wisdom.”

    Before all the knee-jerkers start screaming about how inhumane it is to restrict this technology only to those who can afford it, maybe they should start screaming about the need to independently verify the research and conclusions.

    For Angie’s sake and the sake of all others desperately trying to avoid this horrible medical condition, I hope there is more to this than pure profit-making junk-Vioxx-science.

    1. ohmyheck

      According to the MSM, Angelina claims that her test results told her that she had a 87% chance of getting breast cancer. If that is true, then I can see why she took the action she did. But, like you said, the test resluts might be highly questionable.
      I paticipated in a survey, a few years back. They wanted to know if breast cancer-survivors were getting quality follow-up care if they lived in rural areas. One of the questions they delved into was whether I would take the BRAC1 or 2 test. I replied, “No Way.” From a previous experience related to me by my aunt-by-marriage who had brest cancer as well, she told me that the insurance companies were all too ready to dump her, and her daughters, from being covered, if she tested positive.

      They really pushed these questions. They seemed surprised that I would never take the test, until I gave them my reasons. The interviewers were understanding about that. I also told them I would not have my daughter take the test either. If she chooses to take it as an adult, fine by me. There are other mitigating factors to take in to consideration. Everyone is unique.

    2. curlydan

      The article below gives some good background on the harmful mutations of these genese. I see a 60% chance for breast cancer from the link below. Not sure if Jolie’s 87% chance is due to her mother’s cause of death, or maybe she’s adding in the risk from ovarian cancer.

      It also appears from the link the harmful mutations of these genes are found in 0.5% of the population although 5x higher in some ethnic groups.

      “According to estimates of lifetime risk, about 12.0 percent of women (120 out of 1,000) in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives compared with about 60 percent of women (600 out of 1,000) who have inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (4, 5). In other words, a woman who has inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 is about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        This “12% will get breast cancer” meme is another example of medical scaremongering. Many women in their 80s have breast cancer they die with, not of. Very slow growing and not life-threatening.

        1. ScottS

          Watching the TED talk (laugh if you must) with the angiogenesis researcher describing cancer development will show that we all have cancer (cancerous cells). Some of us live long enough for major blood vessels to connect with and feed these abnormal cells.

          So, if you’re lucky, you’ll get cancer.

          The researcher’s field is how blood vessels interact with cancer cells. So when you take the view that we all have cancer(ous cells), the goal is to prevent abnormal blood vessel growth feeding cancer cells. There are precautions people can take to limit the chances of cancer-related problems.

          Anyway, it’s an interesting way to look at the problem. You can’t avoid cancer so you should learn how to manage it.

          Re: Angelina Jolie, I hope some good comes from this but it seems like it may encourage people to have surgeries they don’t necessarily need. The correct answer isn’t always to hack off every part having trouble. I fear she may have taken a brave stand but not have thought out the consequences.

        2. skippy

          Some breast stuff:

          2008 Nov 24

          The natural history of invasive breast cancers detected by screening mammography.

          Zahl PH, Maehlen J, Welch HG.


          VA Outcomes Group, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, VT 05009, USA.



          The introduction of screening mammography has been associated with sustained increases in breast cancer incidence. The natural history of these screen-detected cancers is not well understood.


          We compared cumulative breast cancer incidence in age-matched cohorts of women residing in 4 Norwegian counties before and after the initiation of biennial mammography. The screened group included all women who were invited for all 3 rounds of screening during the period 1996 through 2001 (age range in 1996, 50-64 years). The control group included all women who would have been invited for screening had there been a screening program during the period 1992 through 1997 (age range in 1992, 50-64 years). All women in the control group were invited to undergo a 1-time prevalence screen at the end of their observation period. Screening attendance was similar in both groups (screened, 78.3%, and controls, 79.5%). Counts of incident invasive breast cancers were obtained from the Norwegian Cancer Registry (in situ cancers were excluded).


          As expected, before the age-matched controls were invited to be screened at the end of their observation period, the cumulative incidence of invasive breast cancer was significantly higher in the screened group than in the controls (4-year cumulative incidence: 1268 vs 810 per 100 000 population; relative rate, 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-1.70). Even after prevalence screening in controls, however, the cumulative incidence of invasive breast cancer remained 22% higher in the screened group (6-year cumulative incidence: 1909 vs 1564 per 100 000 population; relative rate, 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.30). Higher incidence was observed in screened women at each year of age.


          Because the cumulative incidence among controls never reached that of the screened group, it appears that some breast cancers detected by repeated mammographic screening would not persist to be detectable by a single mammogram at the end of 6 years. This raises the possibility that the natural course of some screen-detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress.

          SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Breast

          skippy… stay away from MSM medical opinion, barf~

    3. jrs

      “Before all the knee-jerkers start screaming about how inhumane it is to restrict this technology only to those who can afford it, maybe they should start screaming about the need to independently verify the research and conclusions.”

      Actually it’s the SAME battle, the reason it costs so much: patents. The reason no further research can be done: patents. Patents for electronic gagetry, a better mousetrap, ok fine. But genes should not be patentable and neither should life forms (oh and yea and that means F Monsanto too).

  10. Jackrabbit

    Why the World Faces Climate Chaos

    No doubt it would be ‘irresponsible’ to ‘sensationalize’ global warming with images that depict the future that we are currently on track for like this:

    (WARNING: graphic image)
    Is this your great-grandchild?

    But not doing so gives a HUGE advantage to the greedy oil interests that fund climate skeptics.

    1. Susan the other

      I got a little confused about the newly revised sea level rise estimates from ice cap melt. I think it is 3.5 meters by century’s end if we stop burning fossil fuels now. And speaking of clever new inventions, it would help the atmosphere even more if every house had a tank for collecting human out gassings, which volatiles are then burned for household energy. It might also be a good idea to outlaw beans and onions and things like that. But who can argue. Coal is out, even China agrees. And oil is going to be left in the ground. So, tell me again, what is the Keystone XL about. Just a head fake? Or are we trying desperately to keep the stock market from crashing? If the latter then QE is here to stay.

      1. Jackrabbit

        We hear a lot about sea levels rising and bad weather. But the vast majority of deaths from extreme global warming would be from hunger, disease, and war/civil strife (basically fighting for survival).

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Susan, all good ideas.

        I would add

        1. all cute new inventions are basically Jevon himself treading on a Sisyphean mill.

        2. we need to stop doing things that excite us, that increase our heart rates, thus exhaling ever closer that final CO2 molecule that will break Mother Gaia’s back. I believe that means no parties, no wild dances, no aerobics, and no passionate kisses. This means, I believe, all Zazen all the time.

  11. AbyNormal

    re Drones n Creeps
    marvelous, internet sex trade industry has a new tool…it’ll advance with little capital and zero rule of law.

    What we are doing here is only the image of what we would like to do.
    de sade

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One day, when peace comes, we will beat swords into plowshares and drones into pizza-delivering flying robots.

        1. AbyNormal

          im with you myFriend…my hands are still tingling and my stomach still heavin from Jackrabbits share. i viewed the picture when it first came out…the pain never escapes really.

          Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
          Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
          Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
          Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
          Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
          Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
          Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
          For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
          And stand together, yet not too near together.
          For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
          And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow. ~kahilil gibran
          Breath Into It…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And the oak tree and the cypress communicate via underground fungi.

            It makes one queasy while masticating slowly (good for digestion) living and breathing fungi.

  12. Susan the other

    The NYT. Keynes and Keynsianism. Bruce Bartlett. Hard to deduce what he was trying to say since he left out a critical detail. In 1971 under Nixon we had just defaulted and gone off the gold standard. ‘Twas a catastrophe. Nixon needed to conjure up “full employment” fast. And I bet it didn’t occur, due to inept policies, and not just Nixon’s deceptions. It’s not even a discussion. Using counter-cyclical fiscal tricks to hurry up and fix an already war-devastated currency? This falls under “anarchy” not fiscal or monetary policy.

  13. tyler healey

    “Household debt fell to $11.2 trillion in the first quarter compared with a peak burden of $12.7 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.”

    Gee, I wonder why unemployment is so high.

  14. rich

    Once Again, Florida Is The Poster Child For Scandal

    Anyone who thinks the health-care apparatus in this country doesn’t need radical liposuction should read through the new federal report on hospital costs.

    Make that alleged costs. All over the country, hospitals are billing Medicare ludicrously different amounts for treating patients with the same disorder.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services studied the charges for 100 common inpatient procedures at 3,337 U.S. hospitals during fiscal year 2011. The disparities are outrageous and random to the point of whimsy.

    As always, South Florida is a poster child for the nationwide dysfunction.

    Baptist Hospital in Kendall, FL, billed Medicare an average of $28,706 for treating a patient with bronchitis and no complications. That’s 75 percent higher than the national average of $16,257.

    At North Broward Medical Center, the cost for a patient with the same diagnosis was $14,823. At Cleveland Clinic in Weston, the charges averaged only $9,726.

    A reasonable person might wonder why it costs almost three times more to treat bronchitis at Baptist than it does at the Cleveland Clinic. The answer is that it really doesn’t.

    The bills sent by hospitals to Medicare and insurance companies are essentially works of fiction. Never is the amount fully paid, or even considered. The name of the game is inflate, and take whatever they give you.

    Medicare uses a standardized reimbursement formula for specific types of cases. For instance, while Baptist billed the agency more than $28,000 for each bronchitis admission, the hospital received on average about $4,800 back from Medicare, or 17 percent of the submitted charges.

    By comparison, North Broward Hospital got $3,723 per case and the Cleveland Clinic received $3,377.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Because the government is not a household, running out of money is never a concern, we are left with making sure crooks are honest when it comes to wasteful spending.

      That’s called ‘unilateral disarmament’ in the war against criminals, for otherwise there would be only so much they could steal, instead of the-sky-is-the-limit theft they will be given. That natural constraint is gone.

      And false prophets would teach and ask why prosecute fraudsters when we can print more money to double and triple the Dow, fattening sheeple’s 401k accounts so they forget what has been done to them.

      And consulting their holy manual, The Dummies Guide On Resurrecting Dead Bubbles, they make sure it’s happy days are here again for flippers.

      If this saddens you, don’t let it. Cheer up. Think of it as pumping money into the system, stimulating the economy and creating jobs…maybe not fracking jobs in this instance, but there are plenty of other opportunities.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What’s behind public university presidents living large?

      One word – greed.

  15. ScottS

    Re: The AP phone tap

    Why has the administration let this particular cat out of the bag? They didn’t have to tell anyone that they were getting these records. It’s not in the realm of paranoia to assume that every call is logged and recorded by the NSA.

    It seems like it was done on purpose as a warning shot to potential leakers. Any leak — even a spoiler for something the administration will announce the next day — will be tied back to national security, which is carte blanche to do anything.

    1. Mark P.

      [1] You’re assuming NSA is willing to let the pols — the Obama administration and Eric Holder’s Justice Department — have carte blanche access to everything it scoops up, without going through channels and getting subpoenas.

      Would you, if you were NSA?

      Sure, some government/military career bureaucrats might go along. But many of the agency’s rank and file could probably make more money in the private sector.In recent years, some senior NSA employees have publicly broken cover over this GWOT bullshit. Forex –

      [2] Yes, however,you’re correct about every call being vacuumed up by NSA. For better or worse, that’s a given because of the technology.

      To simplify, because almost everything today travels in internet-style packet mode over fiber-optic — before it gets to that last mile of wire or a cell-tower– with everybody’s packets mixed together, there’s no way to surveil it but to scoop it all up in real-time. Network traffic analysis — nothing but real-time mirroring of the phone companies’ billing records — is both the most superficial and most productive thing that the agency does with the oceans of data it scoops up.

      1. ScottS

        Of course I would. What’s the point of just hoarding information if you don’t trade it for something? Secrets are the currency of intelligence. Simply having the most of either is unimpressive bragging rights and nothing else. Money (and secrets) only have value when they are exchanged for things.

  16. Hugh

    INET and CIGI are looking for new economic thinking and willing to pay up to $250,000 for it. Successful candidates:

    Should be well credentialed members of the academic Establishment which so assiduously defended and propagandized for the looting (oops, did we say just that?) that has produced the ongoing crises

    Should reference Soros (positively) in their grant proposals

    Should analyze only aspects of the economic system without analysing the system itself

    Assign causality to impersonal processes or, at most, to ineffective policies

    Suggest economic reforms while ignoring the political changes that would be needed to enact them

    Avoid any mention of kleptocracy, class war, class in general, or God forbid, revolution. Limited reference to wealth inequality, public purpose, and elites will be tolerated as long as they are sufficiently tangential

    We post these criteria for general informational purposes only. We know that you, as academics, have already internalized them and that you, like we, understand that this an exercise in high sounding irrelevancy, but an unusually well paid one.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A little beetle, after an arduous journey to the mountaintop, exhaling carbon molecules all the way up, asked the master, ‘Master, what is the secret?’

      The master said, I am no master.

      The little beetle then returned home, exhaling more carbon molecules. When it got home, it asked the servant woman, Anything happened while it was on its quest journey?

      The servant woman said, ‘Have a cup of tea!’

      And the little beetle realized the secret it was searching for right there right then.

      So it is with what we are looking for – it is and has always been right there in front of us: Mutual Aid, National co-op, Charisma Sharing (no more juvenile rants such as ‘you are just jealous of our leader’s sexual potency’ really? If we want to share wealth, we might as well share love and charisma), universal brother/sisterhood, etc…

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      That really is not accurate. Go look at INET research. You don’t have a clue as to what it is about.

      I applied for a grant with 2 others. We got selected for the second round (only 1 out of 8 get that far). We didn’t get the grant but the director called to apologize. We were apparently just on the wrong side of the cutoff, and this was before INET got more money and so was having a smaller grant round than usual.

      We probably would have gotten approved if we’d added an academic. They do have a bias in favor of people who have published academic research previously.

    3. craazyman

      those are all normative judgments Hugh. that’s the kind of thinking that goes on in the arts and humanities departments after 3 or 4 glasses of Chardonnay, usually by women overcome with aesthetic frissons.

      the endeavor at hand has to be dispassionate, clinical, scientific, objective and measurable. Our theories have to be true even if there’s no longer any economy to measure, like if everybody is poor at the same time resting in equilibrium

      the economy is a dispassionately intricate machine that obeys opaque natural laws which we must divine through equations and alogrithms, the more complicated the better. if we can’t make them so complicated that nobody understands but us, they’re not complicated enough. mathematicians can understand but they can’t get closer than 8 feet from the machine or we’ll hit them with a taser blast.

  17. AbyNormal

    poems by Dr. Goose :-/

    A Misbegotten View
    Some conservatives want to find meaning
    In professed homosexual leaning,
    Which some think explains
    The penchant of Keynes
    For cyclical, state intervening.

    We know the economist said
    In the long run, that we are all dead,
    But the meaning was not
    That he hadn’t begot,
    Or who he preferred in his bed.
    (how do i find these folks…skeerie)

    1. Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      That was hilarious! Here is an Irish Poem I just wrote:

      De Niall

      There once was a fellow named Keynes.
      Whom, a Scottish professor complains:
      “His theories are airy,
      And not laissez fairey!,
      “‘Cause he loves de man!”, he explains.

      Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

  18. rich

    All we do is talk…no one is listening, therefore, boycott.

    New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart

    Pardo’s handiwork is available for download on iPhone or Android, making its debut in iTunes and Google GOOG +2.17% Play in early May. You can scan
    the barcode on any product and the free app will trace its ownership all the way to its top corporate parent company, including conglomerates like Koch Industries.

    Once you’ve scanned an item, Buycott will show you its corporate family tree on your phone screen. Scan a box of Splenda sweetener, for instance, and you’ll see its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson JNJ +0.51%.

    Even more impressively, you can join user-created campaigns to boycott business practices that violate your principles rather than single companies. One of these campaigns, Demand GMO Labeling, will scan your box of cereal and tell you if it was made by one of the 36 corporations that donated more than $150,000 to oppose the mandatory labeling of genetically modified food.

    Deciding to add that campaign to your Buycott app might make buying your breakfast nearly impossible, as that list includes not just headline grabbers like agricultural giant Monsanto but just about every big consumer company with a presence in the supermarket aisle: Coca-Cola, Nestle, Kraft, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Unilever and more.

    Buycott is still working on adding new data to its back end and fine-tuning its information on corporate ownership structures. Most companies in the current database actually own more brands than Buycott has on record. The developers are asking shoppers to help improve their technology by inputting names of products they scan that the app doesn’t already recognize.

  19. diane

    Perhaps Angelina might have wanted to comment on this: ASCO Sequestration Impact Survey: One Month Out, Sequestration Affecting Care of Medicare Cancer Patients; while she was at it.

    Perhaps she might have wanted to do a Charity Visit to one of the overloaded U$ County Teaching Hospital/Historic Potter’s Field s where so many women lose entire breasts and lymph nodes, unnecessarily, in a very painful ‘process,’ with lifelong debilitating side effects. And something tells me that no County Teaching Hospital’s (where the indigent end up, and now overloaded to the max, including large overloads of those who were, not so very long ago at all, solvent) New Residents (typically unleashed on the Medicaid and Medicare recipients), were involved in her surgical procedures.

    Truly, she might want to comment on all of those black females, with generally far more deadly breast cancer outcomes -due to the historic and stunningly ugly lack of health studies regarding African Americans – hence fear involved, who have been forced to make life destroying decisions due to both: lack of money (due to the stunning U$ racism still alive and going $strong, an ab$olute requirement of Capitali$m) and true government support; and the evil, nasty to the bone Capitali$t!!!! …..Free trade!!!!! allowance, of patenting genes: (bracketed note is mine):

    Myriad’s strict patent enforcement means its test is the only available one to determine whether a woman has a genetic variant that increases her risk of cancer. Women cannot get a second opinion about the results, even when faced with a decision about removing healthy organs to reduce their cancer risk. And too many women cannot even have the test because it is too expensive.

    Furthermore, since Myriad’s test focuses on the variants that have already been identified, some women, especially women of color, are more likely to get ambiguous results [if they can even afford to have the test in the first place, let alone even being informed by their local county hospital (where so many end up) the test exists]. They are told they have a genetic variant but that Myriad doesn’t know whether it increases their risk of cancer.

    It took a century to get to the discussion that women with breast cancer were unnecessarily being butchered; but now, our sickeningly hyped Momma Ambassador (who can’t be bothered speaking to the stunning, historic and ongoing inequality in the country in which she has amassed such stunning wealth) implies, by omission, that those pesky breasts can just be removed (with ease! …even before the cancer diagnosis! (only if you are stunningly wealthy)) and remodeled with ease, .. to perfection! ….. Our daddy by implication, the U$ government and Brad, approve!

    1. diane

      (Very sorry, corrected link for : <a href= ASCO Sequestration Impact Survey: One Month Out, Sequestration Affecting Care of Medicare Cancer Patients)

        1. diane

          I have a very relevant post, regarding the disabled and Medicaid/Medicare, which followed my above post, stuck in spam.

          1. diane

            but yeah, in the mean time (while waiting for the release from “spam”), jolie is an ugly joke for those who could never possibly have their dangerous breasts removed (IN THOSE ACTUAL CASES THAT THOSE BREASTS WERE ACTUALLY DANGEROUS) without first proving, if hideou$ly impo$o$ed financial circum$stance$ allowed, that they were dying.

          2. diane

            Yes, Bradjolina, in between the lines … so long after the fact …I’m surely getting the hint that when Lyndon passed that act …a deal was struck …. that the voiceless – deliberately poverty ridden under Capitali$m – would serve as the guinea pigs of medical science, in those teaching hospitals (where, when the wealthy go to them (read: not the Government Owned Potter’s Fields/County Hell Holes), they are not at all accorded the same, stunningly abusive, treatment) for the stunningly wealthy;….despite those same (deliberately poverty ridden victims), being labeled as those sucking up all of the U$ medical resources.

          3. diane

            (just to clarify, I still have one in spam, and that I rather like the timing, as long as the spam comment sees the night of day at some point.)

        2. diane

          in those teaching hospitals (where, when the wealthy go to them (read: not the Government Owned Potter’s Fields/County Hell Holes)

          There are those teaching hospitals where the stunningly wealthy would surely go to (though they are not operated on by new residents when they go to them). In the state that I live in, that would be entities such as Stanford. And the CEO of stanford, Amir Dan Rubin, has let it be well known: that he is very concerned with pleasing the patient, along with those requisite business metrics, as regards profit (from link provided at above link):

          Lean Six Sigma & Process Excellence

          1. diane

            (again, just to clarify, not “whining”, I still have a post in spam, posted between 2:58 and 3:21 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT))

  20. skippy


    Working Pro Bono for a friend, I was engaged in a conversation with [in the end – 4 tiers of] agents of a company that has been around 160 years. The first agent made a patiently false legal statements, to whit, this debt (infringement fine) is non dischargeable under BK law in the state of issuance.

    This legal postulation was uttered by another 2 agents/1 floor supervisor/and a manager consulted, with the inclusion that this was the consensus of a review committee up the administrative ladder.

    With all agents, I quoted verbatim, the statue in the state legal code which clearly states – it is dischargeable – and informed them that computer screen text is not an enforceable legal document, nor is company policy, nor uninformed opinion. To this, i was asked if i was a lawyer, to whit i stated, it had no relevance to clearly unambitious statues in – black letter – state law.

    It was only when I started quoting the penalties for making such fraudulent statements, willfully, even after being informed of the – true state – of the law, and asking for someone who could be held accountable in authority, an arrangement was made to get a call back from such an individual.

    The call back, was from the most demur sounding female lawyer (feeble ploy), I have ever experienced. Needless to say, the conversation was a complete 180 degree turnabout, with assurances that the matter would be resolved in accordance to black letter law. Although, they had the audacity to ask for a hard copy of bk’ed individual paper effects, when they were in possession of the relevant court document number and trustee details (cost avoidance – bastards).

    In summation, many here might ask why would I go on about such a seemingly trivial event over a infringement fee/fine. Well as the blue chip company i refer too, is acting as an agent of the state, in the act of recovering monies and is not ignorant of black letter law…. WTF~[!!!]. I have since corroborated with others to the occurrence of such activity’s and its dominant.

    Skippy… sadly this leads to the conclusion, the state of desperation, and the lengths some organisations will go too, all whilst abandoning the Rule of Law… in broad daylight.

    Another sign post on the train tracks to oblivion… methinks. Here we come America, England, Euro zone, thank you for your leadership by example. Marsupial growl~

    1. Ms G

      Skippy, Good story from the trenches of realworld. Not in the least surprising. If banks (JPM, City, BoFA, et al) are brazenly selling uncollectible (including because person was in bankruptcy!) debt to nasty enforcers who then go to court, get defaults, freeze people’s bank accounts (etc.etc.) — all for a legally unenforceable debt — why then wouldn’t Blue Chip Co. (sister of Blue Chip Bank) threaten a person with collections over an unenforceable infringement fee?

      The M.O. is now pervasive across all economic sectors, no doubt, because of the desperation amongst the looters — there’s no real business being conducted anymore, just fictional (often fraudulent) claims of “you owe me money.”

      Ack, sigh, :(

      1. Ms G

        And let’s not get started on the lawyers who knowingly (lackey pay check vulnerability) assert legally unfounded arguments … it is their bread and butter and they can always assuage conscience with “I am vigorously representing my client.” Blech.

        1. skippy

          The whack part – is – their priming the debt pump all over again via 0% credit for xx years, not just electronic – furniture shite, cars, hell Euro luxury cars under 1.9% and going lower ><. One of our biggest banks down under bought the largest originator of sub prime housing loans (at least their off the Gov tit now).

          The really tragic thing is 70ish% of our gdp – is – the service sector, the non FIRE part is imploding as we speak and the FIRE part is just creating more paper expectations.

          Skippy… How far can a person on FIRE run[?] and still be an income stream qualified asset, that visa vie everyone else's paper expectations, is set on FIRE to begin with.

          1. Ms G

            Yep. Biggest “non-secret” of the past 5 years. Explosion of unemployment, inability of impoverished citizens to buy-buy-buy, but somehow — SOMEHOW — the debt machine has roared back to life and is full-throttle throttling (or trying to) what is left … here in USA, Fannie Mae bubble (again), bankster CDOs/Derivatives (again), students borrowing (STILL) …

            FIRE eating everything around

  21. skippy

    ‘Overwhelming’ consensus on man-made global warming, says review

    From: AFP May 16, 2013 10:45AM

    A REVIEW of thousands of studies published over 21 years found “overwhelming” and growing consensus among scientists that humans are mostly to blame for global warming, its authors said today.

    This contradicts a widely held view that scientists are deeply divided on the topic — a misconception that complicates efforts to win public backing for climate policy, the authors wrote in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

    “An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy,” they wrote.

    “Communicating the scientific consensus also increases people’s acceptance that climate change is happening.”

    Researchers from the US, Australia and Canada reviewed more than 4000 scientific papers that expressed a position on whether humans were mostly to blame for recent global warming.

    The papers, published between 1991 and 2011, were written by more than 10,000 scientists.

    Just over 97 per cent agreed that man-made warming was a reality.

    “Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus… is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research,” the team wrote.

    In stark contrast, opinion polls conducted in the US from 1997 to 2007 found that about 60 per cent of Americans believed there to be significant disagreement among scientists.

    skippy… Conservative – estimates – is the key phrase. Will electrons of price – battled over – save the day… methinks not.

  22. Kevin

    I sorta miss seeing Leonova Ballet Russe in NC comments. She (?) was loopy but posted a lot of book ideas.

  23. Lambert Strether

    Cyprus May Get Its Moon Rock After 40 Years. Huzzah!

    Also on Cyprus, commenter AP sends in this sad picture:


    They comment:

    End of an era indeed. Laiki: 1901-2013. First publicly traded company in Cyprus, etc, etc. That below is from their iconic / modernist HQ in Nicosia. I have only disdain for Laiki under Vgenopoulos/Marfin, but the Laiki of 1901-200X (along with BoC) was the history of the economic development of Cyprus

    Well, at least they have their moonrock.

  24. Hugh

    INET is a Soros creation, run by a former managing director of Soros Fund Management, Rob Johnson. Johnson got his PhD in economics from Princeton and has ties to the Roosevelt Institute.

    Similarly, its Director of Research Projects Thomas Ferguson got his PhD in political science from Princeton, is also connected to the Roosevelt Institute, and is a Contributing Editor to the Nation.

    Marshall Auerback who has posted here in the past, is an MMTer with a decidedly corporate cast, worked for various investment funds, was also a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and got a law degree from Oxford is its Director of Corporate Partnerships.

    The site’s frontpage is full of stories about INET’s conference in Hong Kong. Soros and Stiglitz spoke. The keynoter was Adair Turner, Chairman of Britain’s FSA until its demise earlier this year. He is a product of Cambridge, was a director at McKinsey, worked at both Chase and Merrill, and has a life peerage Baron of Ecchinswell. And he was just named a Senior Fellow at INET.

    I mention all this because INET wreaks of class privilege and connections. It is what the well-heeled end of the liberal Establishment looks like. They are invested in the present system up to their high lids. And as I have said so many times, it is precisely this system to which they belong that is looting the rest of us. How can any “new economic thinking” (the NET in INET) come from such a grouping allied as it is with the looters and looting? Like Krugman, another Establishment liberal, I am sure those at INET tolerate and even make substantial criticisms of aspects of the current system, but they are institutionally incapable of any fundamental insights because they can not and will not look at and past the present system.

    Kleptocracy, wealth inequality, and class war are not my issues. They are the issues that are there. Any analysis which fails to incorporate them and treat them as core will either be superficial or irrelevant.

    So in that sense, it is completely unsurprising that INET would tailor its grants to academia, an intellectually bankrupt and discredited community that wouldn’t know “new thinking” if it was hit over the head with a two-by-four by it. What INET wants, what Soros wants, is validation of the current system. And this is what the academics it chooses to do research for it will enthusiastically supply. They will criticize the dining hours and lamp fixtures on the Titanic, and then happily watch it sail off into the ice field.

    1. diane

      I’ve never understood how anyone can admire Soros as some sort of philanthropist, versus the global financial puppeteer and social engineer that he has clearly decided to become. It is eerie and weep worthy that those who would feel revolted with themselves exercising the raw and deadly power he exercises, are duped into thinking he is some kind of well meaning benefactor.

      1. diane

        Simply put, paraphrasing what an elderly woman from Italy stated to me recently (and certainly not the first time I’ve heard it expressed), one can’t become (nor stay) that stunningly wealthy being kind.

        Many don’t admit it, but I believe that it’s too frightening to some who still are not falling through the cracks (yet) to acknowledge that Soros could give a rats ass about those who have been, and are being crushed. I can kind of understand that as a sort of protection mechanism from desolation for some, what I can’t understand is having the crust to chide about how wonderful Soros is to those who are literally losing their lives – in the most inhumane, white gloved, sadistically punitive manner possible – at the hands of those who consider the world their very own oyster.

        If Soros were actually humane, he would tell those who wish to interview him to go interview those being crushed. Many of whom (the crushed) are every bit as ‘brilliant’ as Soros (which I assume is what some are attracted to in him), what they lack (clearly their downfall), that he has in spades, is a thoroughly egocentric, predatory nature, …. directly underneath that wise old pwogwessive benevolent grampa god sheen so sickeningly hyped.

  25. diane

    What to say (outside of: you scum in DC, and your nasty ass Owner$)?

    05/15/13 Federal Courts Seek Emergency Funding

    The federal courts are in a state of financial crisis due to sequester. Here is the letter[pdf] the Federal Judicial Conference sent to the White House yesterday seeking emergency funding.

    “The judiciary is confronting an unprecedented financial crisis that could seriously compromise the Constitutional mission of the United States courts,” the letter states. ….

    Is everyone in the U$, who are not really part of the U$, still concentrated on their next capitali$t inve$tment/endeavor, in the name of Mu$ical Chair$?

    (bolding mine.)

    1. skippy

      De-funding organisations that are becoming increasingly irrelevant (what Law?), seems to be, a rational economic policy… eh.

      1. diane

        I get the sarcasm, and agree with, (what Law?), though I can’t say that I’d be so glib if I had a case scheduled, as a defendent, in a Federal Court, who stood to lose my minimal freedom to no freedom, and sadistic physical and psychological abuse for a crime I didn’t commit, behind bars for the rest of my life.

          1. skippy

            Gallows humor can save ones faculties… been there done that thingy…

            Skippy… other wise you end up like GWB painting puppy’s for a past time…

          2. diane

            I guess the point I meant to make, is that one can only afford the gallows humor …when it is not their neck about to be chopped off, ….. very horrifying, … yet very true.

            For instance: imagine what the effects of the Sequester.[Free trade in Lives considered disposable ….For $$$$$$$!!!!! POWER!!!!!!!] on Federal Courts have meant to Bradley Manning. Not to mention millions who took that scape goat ‘fall’ for their honesty and humanity,……. spiraling ….. into a living nightmare ….. well before him and certainly after him.

            I kind of doubt ….. any sort of gallows humor, …. made Bradley Manning, or those others still alive, feel anything but horror and fear.

          3. diane

            what we truly need is an eternal flame of outrage at the deadly devastion going on …VERSUS FUCKING SNARK ….

            those dying alive are nothing but horrified in making humor out of it all by those with their heads still above water.

          4. diane

            what we truly need is an eternal flame of outrage at the deadly devastion going on …VERSUS F U C K I N G SNARK ….

            those dying alive are nothing but horrified in making humor out of it all by those with their heads still above water.

          5. diane

            of course one never witnesses that sad and horrifying caucasian form of musical chairs snark (many times unintentionally and. hideously painful to those directly on the chopping block) at places such as Black Agenda Report, as the native ‘americans’ and black ‘folk’ in the U$ were the first to be abused in that Capitali$t game of pitting one against the other Chess.

            They realize how horrifyingly painful that sort of humor might be. Those native ‘americans’ and black ‘folk’ in the U$ are every bit aware that it does not matter how much one does ‘right’ …the predators amongst us, …… are deadly life suckers, and that none of it is humorous.

          6. skippy

            I know quite well diane, more so than T. E. Lawrence, the madness that drives such events. I have watched many of my predecessor’s, peer’s and contemporary’s fill their minds and body’s with all manner of palliative, only to succumb to the effects of such distraction or washed away by the log jam broke of history’s past breached.

            Skippy… one can only fill the bucket so many times, throw themselves upon the pyre, utter spitted rage, until emptied like an icing bag void of its contents, dropped and inadvertently kicked under the work bench… to be forgotten. This is an endurance event against psycho – socio – paths, a large tool kit and persistence are best weapons I’ve experienced when confront them ie. don’t throw anything useful away thingy. Take care diane.

          7. diane

            I don’t understand what you just wrote. ( I think Lawrence wrote Lady Chatterly’s Lover (which I’ve read and now forgotten …. another female’s story written by a male?) but I could be dead wrong.

            ‘Please’ Don’t get me wrong, I did, depite being female, try to learn up on pale male literary profundity and philosophy …but I failed, I gave up in disgust in my very first Philosophy class … when my teacher could not explain why all those concubines and wives were never mentioned … as they made lives so much more comfortable and easier for those philosphers who never had to clean the ancient version of a toilet (and take care of the multiple children bred)…and never mentioned who actually cleaned that toilet for them.

          8. diane

            (Oops! …despite, philosophers and Chatterle[?]y’s, things usually need to be painstakingly spelled out, is my experience, despite what seems …. the obvious.)

          9. skippy

            T. E. Lawrence – of – Arabia.

            Aforementioned ex military/merc with board room experience, here, and yet leave secure confines for calluses when the stink starts to become unbearable, rather than T. E’s. confines fitted with one small window by which to watch the world pass.

            You don’t fight psycho – socio – path[s by throwing away any tool, including SNARK. Go find a psycho – socio – path and observe them at close range, lay in the trap, study the enemy, then apply what you have learned on them. Hint you can’t emotionally persuade – attack them, as they have little or zero emotional capacity to begin with. Their perceived – sense of self – is all that matters, other humans are just accoutrements… to an end[s.

            To my best knowledge and experience, they actually enjoy others exhibiting outrage and high levels of distress. Its kinda like a micro application of *shock doctrine* used to ware you down and open you up to modification, getting a string attached to your emotions that they can pull at whim.

            Skippy… as an ex elite military sort i can tell you, that was one of the first lessons. Don’t[!!!] ever let anyone attach a string to you… or their going to pull the shit out of it… till you break. Then they ether throw – you away – or – modify you – to their purpose.

            Just saying… you have to – expose them – for what they are in full public view, with all the tools available.

            1. Lambert Strether

              So how does one break down a *path’s sense of self (assuming that to be the requirement) without becoming a *path one’s self? If the answer is “exposure,” how to expose them to themselves (again, assuming that to be the requirement). I remember a quote from an old Travis McGee novel, after an (IRRC) a pet ocelot has just bitten McGee’s finger to the bone: “You can’t blame an ocelot for being an ocelot.” So with *paths? But what to do?

          10. Calgacus

            I guess the point I meant to make, is that one can only afford the gallows humor …when it is not their neck about to be chopped off, ….. very horrifying, … yet very true.

            No, that is very untrue. That’s not what gallows humor means. It’s not what people say to someone on the gallows, it what the one whose neck is to be chopped off says. One witnesses it particularly among the victims.

            I kind of doubt ….. any sort of gallows humor, …. made Bradley Manning, or those others still alive, feel anything but horror and fear. Gallows humor is not what people say to mock Bradley Mannings, but what Bradley Mannings say, and is not the least of such heroes’ gifts to the rest of us.

            those dying alive are nothing but horrified in making humor out of it all by those with their heads still above water. They’re the ones who have the right to make humor out of it, and it is human nature that they do. And it is possible for the humor of those whose heads are above water to be seen as and to be an expression of sympathy and unity, rather than the reverse.

            what we truly need is an eternal flame of outrage at the deadly devastion going on Yes, outrage is great. But thought, reason and understanding is even better and needs outrage as fuel. And that is what such humor expresses, the rational contempt of victims towards their oppressors.

          11. skippy


            “expose them to themselves” – path’s sense of self = negative inference methinks.

            You expose them to humanity at large and hope the commons are not to befuddled by all the past Bernard cortex injections to wake from its dream, reclaim their diminished[ing rights.

            skippy… “perceived – sense of self” [above] the reflection found in their acts mirrored in others posture to them thingy.

          12. skippy

            All this territory has been covered in the way back of this blog, extensively, also there is a preponderance of information within the tubes.

            Then there are things people have to learn for themselves, as one size does not fit all, nor are all circumstances the same. Knowledge, experience and intuition, are not easily comported to another, especially within these confines.

            Providing you with a personal example, of which, you might go out and apply… might just blow up in your face. So for simplicity’s sake, stay way from people with low empathy traits and if you find your self at their tender mercy’s [with little room to maneuver], build your self a kit of tools and deal with them, publicly.

            Skippy… alternatively people can go home and consume what ever to dull their minds and pop on the idiot box to Calgon them away. Caveat… no one is perfect, sharp tools should be used with care, and more than all the rest… one must self reflect.

            The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead


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