Links 5/2/13

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How historical figures would have looked today Telegraph

Skeleton of teenage girl confirms cannibalism at Jamestown colony Washington Post (Lambert)

The boat that FLIES: Exhilarating images of the world’s fastest yacht racing at speeds to up to 60mph Daily Mail (Richard Smith)

A high school sophomore won the youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for inventing a new method to detect a lethal cancer Smithsonian (Lysa)

MMR: How parents feel now about avoiding jabs BBC (John L)

Use a Software Bug to Win Video Poker? That’s a Federal Hacking Case Wired (Richard Smith)

Apple avoids potential $9bn tax bill Financial Times. Go FT! Hooray for putting numbers on this finesse.

Water Problems At Fukushima Daiichi Foreseen Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

When will the bank bubble burst? MacroBusiness

Risky Business Werewolf (Richard Smith). Kiwis unhappy about Anadarko

George Soros Leaves a Weblog Comment for Hans-Werner Sinn Brad DeLong (Chuck L)

Debt-crippled Holland falls victim to EMU blunders as property slump deepens Ambrose Evans-Prichard, Telegraph

Special Report – How Google UK clouds its tax liabilities Reuters (Richard Smith)

Kickbacks Die Hard Paul Amery

Museum Burka: Greece Demands Ancient Statues Returned From Qatar After Museum Covers Them To Protect Muslim Sensibilities Jonathan Turley

Pouring Gas On The Syrian Inferno CTuttle, Firedoglake

Budget Cuts Devastate Meals On Wheels: Enrollment Slashed, Services Cancelled ThinkProgress (Carol B). We told you the plan was to have old people die faster.

IRS to Spy on Our Shopping Records, Travel, Social Interactions, Health Records and Files from Other Government Investigators George Washington

Republican wants the Party of No also to be the Party of Know Nothing Daily Kos (Carol B). Generally, we bash the Dems more often because they are such annoying, transparently bad phonies when they are corrupt (pretty much all the time) but we don’t want Republicans to feel left out.

GM urges action on climate change Guardian

Loaded: how gun makers and the NRA capitalise on tragedy Guardian

School Conducts Surprise Shooting Drill with Real Gunmen Firing Blanks Gawker (Chuck L)

Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Ignores Obama’s Ban and Prepares to Re-Open OilPrice

Walmart heirs ‘invest’ $8 million in StudentsFirst’s school privatization agenda Daily Kos (Carol B)

Review of Keynesian Economics has made some articles available for free download, including one by Scott Fullweiler, An endogenous money perspective on the post-crisis monetary policy debate

FOMC Keeps Mum on Inflation Weakness at April Meeting Prajakta Bhide, Roubini Global Economics (registration required)

Why Good People Can’t Find Jobs — What You’re Up Against The Vault (Francois T)

Banks Feel Heat on Capital Wall Street Journal

Foreclosure Settlement Checks Significantly Smaller Than Regulators Forecasted: Homeowners Huffington Post (KL and Carol B). Folks, if you’ve been following this story, it’s been absolutely clear that payout matrix was a bad attempt at PR to make a random process look orderly. There was never enough money, not even close to it, in the settlement for everyone to get the money they deserved. So a an itty bitty number were arbitrarily chosen to get the full award in the big award amounts, and everyone else was slotted into categories to make the payout figure agreed to by each bank work.

Biologist Paul Ehrlich gives dire prediction for global civilization VTDigger (martha r)

Our American Pravda American Conservative

Antidote du jour. Scott H took this picture in Mongüi Colombia. We hardly ever feature donkeys on the blog, so we’re making up for the lapse and giving a bit of travel scenery too.


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  1. Another Gordon

    Grand Canyon uranium mine to reopen.

    My first boss had once been the geologist on a mine in the Grand Canyon although whether it was this one or not I don’t know.

    One of his responsibilities was to ‘look after’ any mine or environmental inspectors that visited, show them round etc. His standing instructions apparently were not to let them get into one particular stope (active mining area) because the radiation levels were so far off scale the mine would have been closed immediately.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      When my daughter and I went on a week-long hiking/camping trek down into the canyon in the late ’90s it was recommended that people not drink water drawn from the Little Colorado River because of high radiation levels. The Little Colorado flows into the main river from the southeast just upstream from the Palisades of the Desert at the Canyon’s east end.

      1. Susan the other

        Wondering about the effects of this at the end point. Lake Mead is probably so radioactive at the bottom that its sediment will have to be hauled off and stored as toxic. Maybe that’s why they wanted to blow up Hoover Dam? And what about all that produce, almonds to lettuce, from southern California?

    2. Elliot

      My father was the geologist for a different one of those mines back in the 60’s, and one day his crew found a mastodon skeleton, and were excited to take it out, until he reminded them it was far too radioactive to be removed.

      There is now rabid prospecting again all over the west for Uranium, as people’s brains fall out when they think of money, and they forget the dangers and pollution inherent in mining it.

  2. AbyNormal

    re Walmart invest in school privatization

    Frontline: The Education of Michelle Rhee

    comment from viewer: Rhee and her husband , Sacramento mayor and NBA alum Kevin Johnson, stole Sacramento High School, turning it into a “Charter” school . Phony test score improvements and reports of improved discipline led to Johnson’s election as mayor ! Rhee’s ambitions may propel the both of them to much higher office at all of our expense.

    Rhee: “People often say to me the teachers unions are here to stay, that they are big players, that I have to find a way to get along. I actually disagree with that. It’s important for us to lay out on the table what we’re willing to do, but what our bottom line is for kids. The bottom line is that if you can’t come to agreement then you have to push your agenda in a different way, and we’re absolutely going to do that.”
    September 2008 Aspen Institute’s education summit at the Mayflower Hotel

    independent interview, Rhee: “When you cut our budget by $20 million, you didn’t call me to ask me if it was okay to cut summer school or not.”
    Said to the D.C. Council on Oct. 29, 2009, in a hearing after she laid off 266 teachers Oct. 2, saying she had just discovered a $43.9 million shortfall in the 2010 budget. The panel was angry because it had cut the school budget $20.7 million July 31, 2009, as part of a citywide belt-tightening, but at the time, Rhee kept hiring new teachers. She actually hired more than 900 teachers in the spring and summer of 2009.

    Then, last April, it became public that Rhee had found that there really was a $34 million surplus in the school system budget back in February. Why didn’t she reveal the surplus earlier? She said:

    “We got this information very late in the game. The most important thing is for people to look forward.”

    aby…whenever Rhee is met with her past she spouts the ‘move forward/look forward’ mantra…she perfectly suits our oligarchs need(s)…in the near future plenty will scream (too late) ‘how the hell did she get here?’

    1. David Lentini

      Anyone interested in Michelle Rhee should check out Diane Ravitch’s ‘blog. Ravitch is a well-known historian of education reform and commentator on education. She has posted quite a lot about Rhee, her dubious claims, and the growing scandal around her tenure as the superintendent of D.C. schools. You can see the posts here.

      1. Klassy!

        The problem that I have with Diane ravitch, as valubale as she is, is that she too seems to buy into the myth that education is the great equalizer.

        1. Inverness

          Klassy, I understand your reservations…but Ravitch does an excellent job of keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest privatization and testing madness. That woman is a force. I also recommend her book The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

          She is a staunch defender of public education, and has the historical knowledge to defend it.

          1. Klassy!

            I do appreciate that and I have read her book. I have also visited her web site and sometimes the discussion seems wanting to me. I think it is important to recognize that education is not the be all and end all for social mobility.

    2. Synopticist

      “We need to move forward, not back” AAAARGGGG….

      Or in other words…We’ve been caught in a blatant screw, but hey, maybe with a complete lack of scrutinty, we can get away with it….. Look over there!!!!

      1. DWelker

        Ravitch is invaluable in her personal role to speak out. But more important is that her web site is now the main water cooler for a growing national movement. That sounds melodramatic but I do think that lots of individual activists are going there to learn and organize.
        I am a bit player there too. I write about charter school finance in my spare time after leaving a job at the Amer Fed of Teachers. Any bond specialists who want to critique my work or pitch are always welcome.

        1. AbyNormal

          i got a rise out of her pbs debut…her true character flamed and she had no clue!

          I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
          potok, the chosen

    3. curlydan

      Take a look at the list below of proud and outspoken public school performers and where they graudated from high school. What the F do these folks know about public education? Test scores are not going down over time, but there must be a CRISIS, right?!?

      Feel free to add to the list:
      Arne Duncan – University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (private)
      Barrack Obama – Punahu School (private)
      Mark Zuckerberg – Phillips Exeter Academy (private)
      Bill Gates – Lakeside School (private)
      Michelle Rhee – Maumee Valley Country Day School (private)

      1. jrs

        The ruling class I figure was mostly groomed for that role from day 1. So public schools well if so they would be very elite ones because you know … groomed from day 1.

  3. Richard Kline

    Soros (from DeLong’s post): “[T]he current state of integration in the eurozone is inadequate: the euro will work only if the bulk of the national debts are financed by Eurobonds and the banking system is regulated by institutions that create a level playing field within the eurozone . . . Allowing the bulk of outstanding national debts to be converted into Eurobonds would work wonders. It would greatly facilitate the creation of an effective banking union, and it would allow member states to undertake their own structural reforms in a more benign environment. Countries that fail to implement the necessary reforms would become permanent pockets of poverty and dependency, much like Italy’s Mezzogiorno region today.

    If Germany and other creditor countries are unwilling to accept the contingent liabilities that Eurobonds entail, as they are today, they should step aside, leave the euro by amicable agreement, and allow the rest of the eurozone to issue Eurobonds. The bonds would compare favorably with the government bonds of countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, because the euro would depreciate, the shrunken eurozone would become competitive even with Germany, and its debt burden would fall as its economy grew.”

    Well, yes. We don’t hear this view articulated enough, but it has been and remains the obvious structural solution to the present regional debt crises in the Eurozone. Anglo commentors who want nothing more than the euro to go away won’t have it, so we hear muchly of anything but. Soros’ remarks on DeLong’s blog are worth reading in full.

    1. Goyo Marquez

      Maybe it’s just me but if I were the finance industry my goal would be to make sure that countries could never inflate their way out of their debts ala MMT. That’s certainly a benefit of the Euro and I don’t see how euro bonds helps keeps that from happening.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Without printing, they are still capable of honoring their debts.

        They are just avoiding looking for the big pile of gold owned by the 0.01%.

        So, they talk about printing money or creating national security jobs.

      2. Susan the other

        It stands to reason that the only reason any country or sovereign “inflates” its way out of debt is because it inflated its way into debt in the first place. Don’t inflate your holiness.

    2. Synopticist

      Germany leaving the Euro is the simplest solution, and that’s how it’s been for years. Short of a debt jubilee, nothing else will work.

  4. Richard Kline

    Re: Sequester >>> old folks dyin’ quicker, it’s so much easier, cheaper, and less visible to let them starve shut up in their own homes than packing them on garbage scows and towing them out to sea. Why didn’t Adolph have those kind of smarts? Productivity increasing and all that . . . .

    1. Richard Kline

      GM urgers action on climate change, “Oh Lord, give me neutrality—but not yet!”

    1. AbyNormal

      from your link: “I’m not advocating we stop all the social-science study spending,” he said. “I just think it might be appropriate that much of that be left to the private sector.”

      The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. Asimov

      1. Jessica

        That is because science has become the main driver of economic advance, but society is still organized around land, labor, and machinery. This works as well as running an industrial economy with Medieval Feudal rules would have.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Whenever one hears about the wonderful discoveries in Science by accident, like the benzene ring or penicillin, one gets the feeling that we are not really in charge, that we are just playing with fire.

          What if the next scientific accident destroys the universe?

          Why should we be lucky all the time?

          1. AbyNormal

            its life in the fast lane(s)and we’re on foot…
            for instance one lane you get these guys:

            another lane this one:

            While the music played you worked by candlelight
            Those San Francisco nights
            You were the best in town
            Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl
            You turned it on the world
            That’s when you turned the world around
            Did you feel like Jesus
            Did you realize
            That you were a champion in their eyes

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe it is Fate.

            What happens to a tiger born in the year of the Chicken?

            Is it a chicken tiger?

          3. AbyNormal

            no sweetie…they just taste like chicken or so my Wilzen kitty tells me :-/
            (Wilzen yaks a lot that flies over my head)

  5. AbyNormal

    re IRS data mining
    “The IRS is following the philosophy of former Obama regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, who advocates using technology tools and behavioral science policies to “nudge” people to do the right thing. In the case of the IRS, that policy so far has fallen most heavily on lower-income taxpayers and has done little to collect substantially more tax revenue.”

    good ole Cass Sunstein: “In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials…”

    see me waving CasS YoU AsSs

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Couple this development with other pernicious trends. A very suggestive post from

      So, there go even more of your 4th Amendment rights. And the IRS is to serve as Vinnie the Enforcer for collection of the vig for Obamacare. Wonder if there’s any connection? That was a rhetorical question. You do realize that the move is afoot to make dealing in cash an unpatriotic act? A free people controls its own finances and the confidentiality thereof unless, under that archaic provision known as the 4th Amendment, governmental authorities can present at least a prima facie case that some sort of illegality might be afoot, and therefore a warrant might issue under the authority of a magistrate to investigate. (What does THIS say, eh?) But why wait for this stupid, time-wasting procedure to grind forward when you could just access all of the financial information, data mine the shit out of it in real time, and find something amiss. Somehow I suspect that the Jamie Dimons of the world would not be subjected to this sort of thing…

      It’s a natural evolution: the Department of Pre-Crime superseding the hopelessly inefficient older methods.

      Yes, friends, still more Hope and Change.

    2. bob

      This fits very nicely in the narrative that republican senators were pushing with the CFB-

      “so you guys are looking at peoples bank accounts?”

      “yes, but that’s our job”

      “I don’t think you should have that data”

      “Well, we BUY it from other people, it’s already out there, and there is no law on private people having access to this information”

      “Big GOVERNENT”

      “doing the job we were asked to do. How do you propose we fight with no facts?”

      I would add, why do they have to pay the private sector in order to do the job of the gov?

      1. bob

        Pardon, CFPB.

        And why does the IRS need data mining? Go to wall st and swing a dead cat, you’ll get all the work you need for the next 10 years.

        Low hanging fruit, so to say.

  6. craazyman

    shakespeare looks pretty groovy. I can almost see that as the real thing. Wow. Marie Antoinette is scorching hot with nice tits! Her left arm need to be a little darker, it’s a hard passage for a painter to make the arm recede naturally. Admiral Nelson looks like a bulls-eye to me. They brought him into 2012 with his wildness in tact along with the PowerPoint briefings. Lizzy the 1st looks deflated and neurotic, she has lost her mojo, if she ever had it.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Christ, I thought you were linking to an April Fools story.

      So the billionaire Chicago family which essentially created and sponsored Obama’s political career now gets to run the Commerce Department?

      The fix is in. And it’s a good time to get out.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The world is round, but I think he meant the cages are not necessarily round.

          For the record, square cages are not necessarily easier to get out, or any non-round cages.

      1. Synopticist

        She’s the 651st richest person in the world, she has a history of union busting, and she used to run a sub-prime bank that crashed.
        In 2000, she funded Bush, Lieberman and Mcain.

        I’ve never eally been all that outraged by obama, because I had him down as an economically centre-right quasi-progressive from the start, but I have to admit that he’s surprised me. I wasn’t expecting him to be this bad.

        1. Massinissa

          “…And she ran a subprime bank that crashed.”

          Well, obviously she is put in her position because of her career success, right? Oh wait…

  7. Yearning to Learn

    The MMR article is extremely interesting to me, since I deal with this every day.

    Some choice quotes:
    “NHS schedule of inoculations felt so over the top, full of diseases I’d last heard mention of in gloomy Victorian novels”.

    I hear this refrain so often it hurts. People simply can’t grasp that the reason we never hear about Polio and Haemophilus and Tetanus anymore is BECAUSE of the shots. In other words, we are being punished by our own success. you stop the shots, the diseases come back unless we eradicate it (such as Small pox and hopefully soon Polio)

    “But for Jarvis, there’s little doubt that apart from clean water supplies, effective nationwide immunisation programmes have done more to increase the likelihood of living to adulthood than any other health measure in the last 100 years.”

    very, very true.

    The MMR debacle is yet one more example of where a little information is MORE HARMFUL than no information. It also shows the extreme difficulty in really giving patients true “informed consent”. It takes 5-10 years of full time study to understand many medical concepts. If you can’t do that, it is almost impossible to really understand what is going on. This is why many times nurses are the largest hindrance to my practice (as well as the largest help to my practice)

    the worst of all of course is Google. People Google or Wiki something and then they think they understand it.

    In my community the Somali Muslims now refuse the MMR routinely. Since they started refusing, we have had had 3 major Measles outbreaks here.

    also the fear of MMR caused people to delay other vaccines too, which markedly increased Haemophilus, Pneumococcus, and Pertussis (Whooping cough). People seem to have forgotten that these diseases are not minor issues. As example, Whooping cough causes babies to die in their sleep (large cause of crib death). Haemophilus and Pneumococcus cause meningitis (leaving patient dead, deaf, mute, etc) and pneumonia etc.

    1. JohnL

      Here in Washington State I’m being asked to consider having a whooping cough vaccination. I had one as a child of course, but the immunity only lasts a few years. And now a sufficient number of parents have refused to have their children vaccinated that the herd immunity is gone, a disease reservoir is back, and cases are rising year by year.

      So I can look forward to whooping cough vaccinations every few years for the rest of my life.

      1. David Lentini

        I’ve been hoping that once we have a few outbreaks parents will get wise to vaccinations again.

      2. PQS

        Having elderly relatives visit from out of town, I got my booster, even though my daughter is only eight and presumably immune….plus the Dtap also includes a tetanus booster. Mucking around on my property doing gardening made that seem like a good idea, too.

    2. PQS

      I’ve heard the “these diseases aren’t around anymore” refrain from parents, too.

      To which I reply, “I’ve got two words for you: International Airport.” People can be all over the globe in 12 – 14 hours and without symptoms until they land in a populated place like an airport. Then there’s an outbreak.

      It’s sad, really, how parents will listen to kooks before they will trust 60 years of actual research.

    3. petridish

      “In my community the Somali Muslims now refuse the MMR routinely. Since they started refusing, we have had had 3 major Measles outbreaks here”

      Just out of curiosity, how many individuals who received the MMR vaccination contracted measles during those outbreaks?

      The Muslim connection is also interesting. Many Americans are unaware that the Pakistani doctor who was helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden was involved in a FAKE vaccination plot. This has served to link public health campaigns with the CIA. I am certain that the overt war currently being waged against American Muslims does not dispel the suspicion.

      1. Yearning to Learn

        “Just out of curiosity, how many individuals who received the MMR vaccination contracted measles during those outbreaks?”

        Several. The MMR vaccine works like many do, based on both Personal immunity and also Herd immunity.
        it is not 100% effective at preventing infection, especially if it has been a long time since you had your vaccine.
        there are also some people who don’t take to the vaccine as well as others.

        this is a major reason why we saw such striking increases in MMR infection numbers in the UK after the Wakefield paper scared parents so much… they stopped vaccinating and this lead to reduced herd immunity.

        On a side note: vaccines can also be partially effective as well. thus, it isn’t just a question of “did they get Measles or not” it’s “did they get measles, and if so, how badly”.

        your chance of getting measles disease when exposed is reduced if you get the MMR vaccine
        your chance of having serious disease or dying if you do contract measles is also reduced, even if you get the disease.

    4. auntienene

      I use myself as an example for arguing for MMR. I got the measles when I was 6, complicated by measles pneumonia. Treated with penicillin and streptomycin (now known to be ototoxic, especially in children), I am nearly deaf without hearing aids. We’ll never know whether it was the measles or the streptomycin that caused the hearing loss, but with measles immunity it wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

      This was right before the measles vaccine came out. My 6 week old sister had to have gamma globulin shots to ward off the disease. She didn’t get it.

      I beg people who are against the shots to get their children immunized.

    5. spooz

      YTL: “worst of all of course is Google. People Google or Wiki something and then they think they understand it.

      And yet, when I check the wikipedia entry on the MMR Vaccine, I get a link to the controversy as well as to pertinent studies, which I have learned to read, even though I’m not a health professional.
      Being a parent brings incredible responsibility and personally I would never rely on any one medical professional’s education being up to my standards. Anecdotally, a practitioner who was not up to date on current guidelines caused harm to a family member last year.
      I rely on my own research to provide me with accurate and up to date information which, although I am not an expert, puts me on a more equal footing with medical professionals.
      I always try to check wikipedia first to avoid the fringe stuff, and wish more people would do the same.

      1. YankeeFrank

        While many vaccines are necessary, the CDC in the US has gone too far. Its recommended immunization schedule is off the charts compared to, say the 1980s, when MMR and a few others were the only shots we got. Now they provide 5 or 6 vaccines in one day, from a very young age. Are they all necessary? I have serious reservations. It would help the cause if the medical profession would clean up its act with regard to all the myriad conflicts of interest that doctors and researchers are confronted with. All the money and propaganda from drug and other medical companies that is sloshing around has seriously undermined the credibility of the entire medical profession. Medicines that don’t work, or that are actively harmful, foisted on a trusting public, do wonders to make parents and patients wary of the “recommendations”.

        We can’t trust the studies that are performed in many cases due to who backs them. Doctors understand concepts of infection and contamination, so why don’t they get that their efforts are undermined by the contamination of so much money into their profession? Is it arrogance or just unwillingness to call out their colleagues? Whatever the causes, it has to end or we will just see more and more distrust and public health will continue to suffer.

        1. Yearning to Learn

          “Are they all necessary?”

          depends on how you think about things.

          how many kids is it worth giving a shot to prevent one SIDS death from pertussis? (whooping cough)

          how many kids is it worth giving a shot to prevent a child from developing polio?

          The diseases against which we vaccinate are not mild things, with the possible exception of Varicella (chicken pox). But every doc my age or older has horror stories (patients meningitis and death) from Varicella.

          people think Varicella is mild because most kids just get fever, aches, pains, and a rash and it resolves in 1-2 weeks.

          however, a small percentage can get meningitis and neurologic sequelae. if they do, it is untreatable.

          1 child per 60,000 dies from chicken pox.
          however 20 adults per 100,000 (1 per 5,000) die from chicken pox.
          more people yet get post-varicella neuralgia, Guillain Barre, and in the past Reye’s syndrome.

          (we do the varicella vaccine in kids to prevent severe disease in adults).

          so the question is metaphysical.
          how many kids should we treat to prevent one death or one person from getting the above severe varicella sequelae?

          in doctor parlance, we have something called “NNT” or “Number needed to Treat” which helps us try to understand that

          we also talk about “relative risk”
          there is a risk to doing anything. even nothing
          thus: let’s pretend that you have a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying from a vaccine
          but you have a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying from the disesae if you don’t get the vaccine

          which do you like better?
          1 in 100,000?
          1 in 1,000?

          you gotta choose.

          but in the end, it’s all about values.

          as I said:
          I know there are a lot of people who think they understand this stuff because they read up on it.
          but it really does take probably a few years of intensive learning to undrestand even a small amount of this stuff.

          this includes me. I am a Pediatric and also Intensive Care Specialist.
          my research is in Fetal Transplantation, Fetal Hematopoeisis, and this includes stem cells.
          So I feel like I’m a smarty party.

          And I know maybe 10% of what I need to know to really understand Vaccines.

          and it IS true: that even the best experts have MAJOR gaps in knowledge. Potentially very serious gaps.

          thus we are again left with the question:
          do we vaccinate
          or not.
          gotta choose

          what we do know:
          when we vaccinate life expectancy and morbidity/mortality across a nation improves SUBSTANTIALLY (it is not a minimal thing)

          when we don’t vaccinate, life expectancy and morbidity/mortality drops SUBSTANTIALLY.

          1. petridish

            YTL: “And I know maybe 10% of what I need to know to really understand Vaccines”

            PD: Enough said.

          2. Yearning to Learn

            Wow. Insightful comment petridish. Thanks for moving the conversation forward and adding meaningful input
            I’ll take my knowledge of medicine and the human body over yours every day. But regardless I am not ashamed to admit that there are gaps in my knowledge.

      2. Ernesto Lion

        A vaccination has two actions. First, it exposes the body to an antigen(s) which creates an antibody response. This is the well and good part that we are all taught about in school.

        The second action is not as well known: it inflames the immune system, to incite it into noticing the antigen exposure.

        With escalating cases of auto-immune (e.g. allergies) and inflammation based disorders can anyone say for sure that repeated provocations of the immune system to over-react are not causing serious, detrimental, side effects to the health of the children and the population as a whole?

        Unfortunately, those studies are not done, so we don’t know. We make sure an unacceptable number of kids don’t have serious reactions to vaccinations, e.g. die , within a window of the vaccination, but no long term follow ups. Too expensive. There is plenty of money available however to research compliance and coercion techniques for getting parents to submit to vaccinations.

        1. Yearning to Learn

          Not quite true.

          Vaccine surveillance is done.
          there are different types of vaccine surveillance.

          there is VAERS as example and also the Vaccine Safety Database.

          people have this idea that we just throw vaccines out there willy nilly. it is fortunately not true.

          at times vaccines are introduced and there are problems. most recently it was one of the Rotavirus vaccines.

          here is the data on Rotavirus, look at the link regarding RotaShield (the withdrawn vaccine).

          before the Rotavirus vaccine, there were about 20-40 DEATHS from Rotavirus, and over 50,000 hospitalizations. so it’s bad.
          with RotaShield, it reduced hospitalizations to almost none and eliminated deaths.

          but it caused 15 cases of Intussusception. (the telescoping of the bowel).

          with only 15 cases in the entire country, it was CAUGHT by VAERS and the vaccine was removed and improved.

          in sum: there IS significant surveillance, especially since the 1990s when the vaccine-autsim scare was in full effect.

          (as you recall the initial thought was that it was Thimerisol a preservative in the vaccines causing autism which is why thimerisol was pulled out of all childhood vaccines in 2000… autism rates continued to rise so we know it was NOT thimerisol).

    6. Ernesto Lion

      They don’t understand long term, chronic impacts of the vaxxes because no one pays to study that. How’s anyone going to make money on that?

      1. Yearning to Learn

        this is precisely the reason we need Nationalized Medical Research (like the NHS)

        we cannot leave it up to the private sector.

  8. David Lentini

    America’s Disinformation Corps

    Quite a story from TAC. But you should also have included a link to the underlying PoW article; it’s an amzaing story.

    Given that Melvin Laird admitted in an NYT op-ed that he and Nixon lied about having any plan to get us out of Viet Nam, the more recent evidence that Nixon likely committed treason by conspring to thwart LBJ’s peace negotiations, and now the strong evidence that he abandoned hundreds of US servicemen to avoid having to admit, essentially, that he could not really break the DRV, I think Nixon makes even W look like a piker when it comes to will destruction of our republic.

    1. Klassy!

      I was glad this was a link because I read it a few days ago and wanted to ask if that was correct: Boris Berezovsky’s plan to set up a two party puppet state. Ha! If he actually did declare his intentions we could say Russia’s government is more transparent.

    2. diptherio

      Yeah, I’ve been having this on-going debate with a friend over whether or not NPR is propaganda: you can bet I’ve already forwarded him the link.

    3. Brindle

      Re: Our American Pravda

      The final graf is accurate. The trajectory of the Obama years are mostly building upon Bush’s “successes”.

      Also of note, since 1993 we have two FBI Directors, Louis Freeh and Robert Mueller (since Sept 4 2001). Mueller is still there.

      —“Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration.
      Yet once in office, Obama’s crucial selections—Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernake at the Federal Reserve—were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.”—

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        Well, well, more continuity between Bush and Obama. Huh. Maybe that’s why Obama left a lot of Bush’s appointees in place; things were going just hunky dory by his lights, and those of “Alberto Gonzales II”, AG Holder. Guess Obama thinks of the Constitution as just a Goddamned piece of paper, just like GW. The UniParty strikes again.

        A little quote for you; do you recognize the source?

        But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    4. Jim Haygood

      Ron Unz writes:

      ‘During the actual period when America’s government was heavily influenced by Communist agents, such accusations were widely denounced as “Red-baiting” or ridiculed as right-wing conspiracy paranoia by many of our most influential journalists and publications.’

      Unz then ranges all over the map, from Madoff, to Iraq, to Vioxx, to Sibel Edmonds, searching diligently for present-day analogues.

      Which foreign power, though, is the most on-point contemporary example of having thoroughly penetrated the U.S. government? The one that our leaders publicly praise in humiliatingly fawning terms as our greatest, bestest, most eternal friend ever, as they shower it with arms and money?

      Hmmm … uhhhh … well … *scratches nose* … that’s a really complicated question.

      Indeed, if Unz had rashly blurted out the answer, this article would never have seen the light of day.

      Chutzpah, comrades. It leaves old-school sleight-of-hand in the dust.

      1. David Lentini

        Frankly, I found the introduction a bit ridiculous. The part about the PoW/MIA question was far more interesting than I expected, but that was less because of Unz’s writing than the link to Schanberg’s original article. I found Unz’s attempt to use the more recent stories about the failures of the press to justify his claims that McCarthy had only found the tip of the Soviet spy iceberg childish. Given the uncertainly over the actions of White and Hiss even today, the idea that the pinko press suppressed glaring evidence of Soviet capture of the entire US government is just nonsense.

      2. David Lentini

        In addition to my earlier reply, I recommend reading Walter Lippmann’s Liberty and the News. Lippmann argues that generally the press is less conspiratorial than either na&iml;ve or mildly biased to viewing actors and events in a particular light. In fact, Unz never actually shows that the press deliberately suppressed a story or lied about a story under the direction of the government, unlike the real Pravda; rather, the press generally plays to current cultural trends, which, as Lippmann noted, can lead their reporting astray.

        1. Brindle

          James Bamford has done some of the best research on the attack on the USS Liberty. The ship was possibly monitoring communications regarding Israeli forces committing war crimes.

          —“As the Liberty sat within eyeshot of El Arish, eavesdropping on surrounding communications, Israeli soldiers turned the town into a slaughterhouse, systematically butchering their prisoners.
          An eyewitness recounted how in the shadow of the El Arish mosque, they lined up about 60 unarmed Egyptian prisoners, hands tied behind their backs, and then opened fire with machine guns until the pale desert sand turned red.”—

          1. David Lentini

            Yup. I’m always reminded of George Washington’s warning (in his Farewell Address) about getting too close to foreign countries, and especially looking at individual foreign countries as either “good” or “evil”. We’ve lost so much playing savior and guardian when we should have been taking care of our own.

  9. rich

    And For Its Next Trick, JPMorgan Takes Over The SEC

    JPM wasn’t satisfied with demonstrating its implicit control over the US bond issuing authority by promoting Matt Zames to the post of COO, the same Matt Zames who courtesy of his Chairmanship of the TBAC, also effectively runs the US Treasury where he “advises” the brand new Treasury Secretary who has no idea what he is doing. Oh no. Just to cover all its bases, Jamie Dimon’s firm decided to also take over the SEC as well.

    From a Notice of Withdrawal of appearance of one Andrew J. Ceresney filed in the case of the People of New York versus JPMorgan, in which find that Mr. Ceresney, formerly partner at Debevoise, the same firm that current SEC chief Mary Jo White came from, is no longer with the firm.

  10. GME

    The video poker article reminds me of this article last year:

    “MIT students scammed Massachusetts State Lottery for $8 million:”

    The differences:

    1. They were MIT students and professors, so they are among the elite
    2. The lottery knew about it and enjoyed the extra lottery ticket sales. Since the 8 million is less than ticket revenue, the State was a winner too.
    3. The real losers were the other ticket buyers who thought they were getting a small but fair chance at winning the lottery.
    4. Neither the lottery officials or participants were prosecuted for anything.

    1. bob

      There was a similar scam in Nortern NY about 10-15 years ago.

      Quickdraw, the every 10 minute keno lottery in NY started a new “promotion”, double payout wednesdays.

      A few people in Watertown NY, including the mayor, figured out the odds on all the games. On one particlar game, with the double payout, the odds were in the favor of the player.

      The mayor and a few of his buddies were spending the day in a bar filling out keno slips as fast as they could, paying with bags full of cash. One report was that they came into the bar with over 200k in cash, and left with more.

      No one went to jail, swept under the rug quickly. The lottery let the promition expire early, there was supposed to be one more “double payout day” that month.

      LSS- Yes, the “normal” people playing without the odds were getting screwed.

      Note- what’s wrong with the NYC bookmakers? Don’t they do actual odds anymore? Letting a bunch of hicks run you? Or…was it happing down there too with no coverage?

  11. diptherio

    Re: Why Good People Can’t Find Jobs

    I had a feeling that filling out all those job applications was pointless. Never got a single call back…

    It’s nice to have one’s experience vindicated by somebody “respectable” (even if part of me is disappointed in myself for desiring that vindication). Every job that I’ve ever had (since the age of 19 anyway), even jobs for which I was initially totally unqualified, I’ve been quickly shuffled into some sort of pseudo-management position as it becomes apparent that I learn quickly,take instruction well, get along with others and work hard (after less than two-weeks working as a nursing home housekeeper I was put “in charge” when my manager took a vacation; my one and only time working as a stage hand, at a week-long concert series in Sturgis, I was being tapped to organize work crews by the third day; etc.), but if I apply for any sort of low-level management position, I don’t get much past “hello.”

    Yeah, my job history is a little patchy, but I’ve been building a community school in Nepal, shouldn’t that count for something? Answer: no. Unless you already have at least two years of experience doing that exact job, employers won’t give you the time of day, much less an interview.

    His tips for job hunting, btw, are the most useful ones I’ve come across yet. Thanks for the link, Yves.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Actually the answer is ‘it depends.’

      If the 0.01% are interested in bringing neoliberalism to Nepal, you will be among the people they are looking for, which is not to say you or others in your position will necessarily take it. Everyone is different.

    2. MLS

      Good on you for doing something so positive in Nepal. To answer your question, yes I think it should count for something and I’m willing to bet potential employers would think so too.

      The problem is that a lot of HR people and hiring managers (mid-level type) just aren’t that smart and/or can’t think creatively, so they don’t see the value of waht you’re doing. Thus, it becomes incumbent upon you to demonstrate how the skills you’ve developed building schools are applicable to the job you’re interested in. Because otherwise they just aren’t likely to connect the dots for you. Apologies if I’m telling you something you already know, but I wanted to provide some perspective since you asked the question (maybe it was rhetorical).

      My advice (to the extent that you want it) is to focus on smaller companies that are less likely to have a “formula” for new hires and more of an entrepreneurial spirit.

      Best of luck, I hope you find something you really enjoy soon.

    3. AbyNormal

      i wouldn’t hire you…id hand the organization over to you!
      (your always a bright light to me)

      It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. babe ruth

    4. diptherio

      Thanks for all the support. My main problem seems to be that I can’t get past the application phase. I just don’t look that good on paper. Whenever I’ve gotten an interview, however, I’ve always gotten the job. Always. It’s just that getting to that interview step has gotten a lot harder in the last 5-6 years. The suggestions for trying to simply circumvent the normal application process seemed like good ones to me, as does focusing on smaller companies.

      NC: saving my sanity one day at a time.

    1. craazyman

      check out that horrible black slash under Marie Antoinette’s head. WTF is up with that? I don’t think it’s a pun. And it’s too sharp for a shadow.

      The head looks like somebody cut it off and pasted it on the body. Also the right arm is so long it looks like a rubber band hanging down off the shoulder to nearly the knee. You could accept that as an artistic distortion, even Ingres & Michaelangelo himself did that, but it seems excessive to me. And the strand of hair under the right side of the chin is so light it confuses with the background and jumps out at the same time. It should be darker and more subtle. The hair on the viewer’s right (figure’s left side) has no sidelight illumination and clumps into a red/gray mass of goo.

      Something went wrong with that painting.

      Check out the way the light moves subtely and gracefully over the neck and face of the original portrait. The gentle and warm shadows create the form with a minimum of contrast. That’s the way you do it.

      1. Valissa

        “There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.”

        ― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

          1. Susan the other

            According to the great lines of the Italian cops and robbers shows you can tell time by the scent of the hour. But that’s just sun time. And Italians.

    1. Synopticist

      The oligarchs probably got the idea from the UK.

      Over here we’ve had a very successful rightwing media hatchet job on disability benefits. Disability hate crimes (who even knew such a thing existed ?) have risen 60% in the last couple of years, as stories about fake claims and high payments have been pumped into the MSM. A very hard-right minister by the delightful name of Ian Duncan-Smith has told a series of complete lies about the issue.

  12. Valissa

    The Real Mozilla Stands Up to Firefox-Cloaked Spyware
    It looks like the Firefox browser. It even sports the right version number and copyright claims. However, it’s spyware masquerading as Firefox — spyware used by governments to target activists, in this case those contesting upcoming Malaysian elections. Mozilla, Firefox’s creator, is fighting back, but the issue highlights the problem of spyware providers using questionable methods by dressing themselves up as legitimate software.

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      Entering about:mozilla in the Firefox address bar produces a reading from the so-called “Book of Mozilla”, see e.g. “Mammon slept. And the beast reborn[…]” in the 10th Edition. That’s the “verse” I get with my version of Firefox. Wikipedia has an article on the “Book of Mozilla”: .

  13. petridish

    RE: WalMart heirs’ “investment”

    As a citizen of these here United States, I will be forever grateful for the commitment of the Walton family to the education of our children and grandchildren. It is an inspiration to us all.

    God knows, responsibility for preparing our youth to swipe those bar codes and hand out those shopping carts is a heavy burden indeed.

    I will also be forever grateful that the Waltons, along with the apostles Bill and Melinda Gates and Eli Broad, were not around when I got my education.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Apple…$9 billion tax bill.

    Again, there is enough money. It’s just not in the hands of those who need it the most.

    Again, we have a new New-Deal called Homeland Security. That’s not counting Iraq and Afghan, I believe. There’s your government spending.

    ‘They’ are doing everything to distract you from the problem of wealth distribution and the idea of GDP sharing.

    1. PQS


      We are the richest country in the world, yet we can’t pay for retirement security or health care for our citizens? Something is very, very wrong.

      1. Klassy!

        But what about Venezuela! They are oil rich and still have poor people. Turn your attention to the failings of Chavez and don’t worry your pretty little head what is happening here in the US of A.

        1. Brindle

          What about all those terrorists in Yemen or was it Somalia? constantly—nearly 24-7, plotting ways to attack our Homeland, of course it’s because of our freedoms—Looky !! over there!!

  15. AbyNormal

    Dang! i coulda had a V8

    In Germany, names must clearly indicate gender. According to Mental Floss, “Matti” is unacceptable for a boy, as it does not imply the child’s sex, but “Legolas” and “Nemo” are fair game. In Iceland, if a name doesn’t already appear on the National Register of Persons, parents must submit an application. A federal committee ultimately rules, addressing grammatical concerns along with potential effects the name will have on the child later on.

  16. Susan the other

    I’m commenting on this because I want to make the observation that it literally takes us hundreds of years to change our thinking, let alone our unbridled instincts. A woman died in Jamestown c. 1610 in the tragic die-off of the first settlers. She was summarily eaten according to the knife marks on her bones. And to follow up – Jamestown cannibalism is still alive and well in a socially rationalized mode. My seminal first American immigrant ancestor came to Virginia just after the die-off as an indentured servant – a surgeon’s assistant. He lived and prospered and had 6 sons who also had many sons. All of whom also prospered as real estate developers (farmers and speculators) as they migrated south and west into North Carolina. I just looked up the name in the Yellow Pages of big cities in North Carolina and there it was. They are still real estate developers! We definitely need new ideas.,

    1. craazyman

      Was his last name “Mayberry”?

      It’s possible Aunt Bee was a direct descendant.

    2. Lidia

      Susan, there are no new ideas. Embrace real-estate development as your destiny.

      Seriously, going forward nepotism is going to serve far better thsn competency or even superficial credentials.

  17. Chauncey Gardiner

    Good article from Down Under: “When Will the Bank Bubble Burst?”

    … Headline itself poses a good question, and one not confined to Australia.

    Thanks for the link.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is an economic necromancer in this Middle Earth.

      He can bring back to life dead-bubbles.

      Will all good, little-99.99%-halflings hobbits come forth and fight it?

  18. frosty zoom


    Purina Foods in conjunction with the Congressional Sub-Committee For The Preservation Of Our Base (POOB) is proud to announce our new privblic dietary program to ensure elderly citizens maintain a healthy caloric intake, KIBBLES’N’DRIBBLES.

    Please visit KIBBLES’N’DRIBBLES.GOVCOM for more details.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We must bring under control this runaway senior population problem!

      1. Doug Terpstra

        The new green industry will be Soylent Green — a modest proposal for a highly sustainable, carbon-neutral industry that solves multiple resource and budget problems.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I am so looking forward to being an uncompensated extra in some technocrat’s personal movie, which will be forward in near-real time to NSA’s data center in Utah for further processing.

  19. DavidP

    Thanks for the link on the boat that flies, man’s need for speed sometimes creates inovation, symetrical design, and out of the box thinking. From a former renovator and user
    of a sailboat.

  20. Goat_farmers_of_the_CIA

    “Biologist Paul Ehrlich gives dire prediction for global civilization VTDigger (martha r)”

    If the absence of any cooment next to this link some kind of ironic statement? Even more glaring is the absence of any cooments *here*. The guy is the sorest, most annoying and obnoxious doomsday merchant in the environmental movement! Since 1975 he has been predicting famine and worse, expecting the gullible to forget… But many do not:

    “In his 1968 book The Population Bomb, bible of eco-bellyachers everywhere, he said the planet was about to become so overpopulated that global famine would ensue and millions would die. He predicted that “by the year 2000 the UK will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people”. Nope. I can report that Britain is doing so well that we’re more freaked out by an alleged obesity epidemic than by hunger.

    Ehrlich said India would not survive the 1970s. As a result of too many brown babies being born, we’d see the “dissolution of India as a viable nation”.”

    In all his Malthusian sermons there’s always a whiff of racism and elite snobbism. In his better days P.J. O’Rourke joked that Ehrlich considered anybody who didn’t go to the Kentucky Derby one person too many. As the first comment on the linked article says, Ehrlich has been truly a “liability for the environmental cause since “Famine 1975!””

  21. scraping_by

    From Why Good People…

    “…struggling to identify the qualified candidates amidst a tsunami of applications…”

    But, I thought the news was all good, jobs aplenty, everybody happy, everything in the right direction.

    Obviously, a tsunami of applications from disloyal job hoppers.

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