Links 7/10/13

Dear readers, if you are on RSS or Twitter, you are not getting the final version of Links. I had to launch at 7:00 AM. Please come to the site later.

Melody Modulates Choir Members’ Heart Rate Science Daily (Susie Madrak)

Hero Fukushima ex-manager who foiled nuclear disaster dies of cancer RT (martha r). Sad but also notice official denials that his death of cancer was due to exposure to high levels of radiation.

The Rise of The Science Philistines: Canada’s Chief Science Regulator Announces That “Scientific Discovery Is Not Valuable Unless It Has Commercial Value.” Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

The Looting of Asia Chalmers Johnson. London Review of Books (Lambert). Ten years old but still interesting, particularly if you read Cryptonomicon.

China Trade Surplus Widens Wall Street Journal

The Struggle for Influence in Syria CounterPunch (Carol B)

First Look at Egypt’s Constitutional Declaration Al-Monitor (furzy mouse)

Europe’s rich ‘could face uprising similar to Peasants’ Revolt’ Telegraph

IMF slashes global growth forecasts Financial Times. Quelle surprise!

‘When the facts change, the IMF won’t change its mind’ Jeremy Warner, Telegraph

Mad Latvia defies its own people to join the euro Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

English revolution in House of Commons: Plan to give England’s MPs right to veto on issues not affecting Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland Independent (Chuck L)

Libor interest rate to be controlled by NYSE Euronext BBC

The Lac-Mégantic Tragedy and American Capitalism Knut, Firedoglake

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

5 stubborn leak myths Politico

US must fix secret Fisa courts, says top judge who granted surveillance orders Guardian

Snowden Der Spiegel Interview Cryptome (furzy mouse). Cryptome translation v. Der Spiegel’s English version.

Hypocrites and Bullies Speak on “The Importance of Trust”; Bullies, Bribes, and Foreign Aid Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Snowden Agrees to Asylum in Venezuela Alternet. Real or Russia having fun messing with the DoD’s head?

Snowden: towards an endgame Pepe Escobar Asia Times (Lambert)

Cameras Catch Mystery Break-In at Whistleblower’s Law Firm Foreign Policy

Linchpin for Obama’s plan to predict future leakers unproven, isn’t likely to work, experts say McClatchy (ginnie nyc). OMG, look at how they suggest screening for people. 1. The criteria are vague and stupid and 2. Many would not be hard to game!

News Flash: Obamacare Haters Hate Obamacare Cass R. Sunstein, Bloomberg. This is REALLY REALLY lame. Not even a pretense at a substantive defense.

Why the City of Miami Is Doomed to Drown Rolling Stone (Chuck L)

Protecting a Drowning Man from Sunburn Robert Rapierm . On Keystone. Lambert is curious as to what readers make of this blogger.

The shale gas revolution: is it already over? Cassandra’s legacy. I don’t think this is right. I don’t follow this space closely, but basically Chesapeake developed way too many wells way too fast and created a glut, which cratered nat gas prices. Much consternation from producers about this. That was expected to lead to a postponement of development projects until the enough of the wells currently in production start tailing off (as the chart shows is happening, shale gas wells peak quickly and have very short lives compared to oil wells). So once pricing reaches a level developers like better, one would expect to see more wells being drilled.

Rent-a-Paramilitaries Freak Out Wisconsin TPM Cafe (barrisj)

Quantitative easing and the curious case of the leaky bucket John Kay, Financial Times

Brussels sets up clash with Berlin over banks Financial Times

Wall Street Rips Off ‘The Sting’ Matt Taibbi

The Costs of “Good” Economics James Kwak

Antidote du jour:

Mail Attachment

And deviating from NC’s usual practice…a non-animal bonus antidote (Lawrence R):

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    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In Imperial Taste, about David Percival’s Chinese collection, it is said about a Doucai enamel overglaze vase with beautifully painted flowers and birds that the birds have to be small and the flowers large (than real life sizes) in order to achieve aesthetic balance.

      This antidote reminds me of that.

  1. from Mexico

    @ “Europe’s rich ‘could face uprising similar to Peasants’ Revolt’ ”

    In the morally depraved world of bankers, pensioners become “the rich” and young people become “the peasants,” and of course the vampire squids are mere obsequious servants to other people’s interests.

    1. diptherio

      That’s what I thought too, reading the article. So Occupy wasn’t about 99% v. 1%, it was about baby-boomers v. the youth…thanks to Mr. King for pointing that out. I was involved with Occupy and was totally unaware that we were all there protesting boomer ‘entitlements’. Seems to me, I recall a number of baby-boomers being active in the protests…hmmmmmm, curious.

      King is right that there is a disconnect in life-experience between boomers and us younger folks, and some amount of resentment goes with that. But the anger is directed towards the system that allowed our parents generation to have comfortable, respectable lives, while denying the same to most of their children; as well as those who have benefited most from (and largely designed) this dysfunctional system, i.e. the 1%.

      King tries to shift the blame, unsuccessfully.

      1. Massinissa

        And if the 1% cant successfully get youth angry at boomers, they will try to direct the anger towards minorities, immigrants, or the poor instead. Again.

        Whats amazing is that the average person falls for these kinds of divide and conquer tricks over and over and over, ad nauseum.

        Does the populace truly have such short memory?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Judging from the markets, it appears the 0.01% have had their sweat lodge meeting, smoked the peace pipe amongst themselves.

          So, all is well…until one among them kidnaps another’s daughter.

          Then we will see a thousand derivatives launched.

      2. sleepy

        Odd thing is, I’m now 62, but I recall reading articles in the mid-70s when I was 25 or so and wages were beginning to run flat and inflation was soaring, how my generation might be the first not to have it as good as our parents. Mine were only HS grads yet lived in a nice suburban house and drove new cars. When I came up, it took a college ed to do that. Now, that’s not even enough.

        Although I wouldn’t idealize my generation as having come up in any golden economic age–things were already in decline–I don’t see how young people make it nowadays since times are far worse.

        The days when a student or any young person could pay the rent and the bills on a low wage/minimum wage job are long gone–with a roommate, I could do all of that, plus save up a semester of grad school tuition working a summer job.

        1. Goyo Marquez

          My oldest was accepted to UCLA and boy what sticker shock that was for my wife and I who had graduated from there in the late 70s early 80s. Basically $30,000 per year if you stayed in the dorms.

          My wife paid her dorm fees, about $400 per month, including 3 nice meals a day, with a part time, few hours, couple days a week, job doing the books for a lady who owned some realestate. Now that same living arangement is $13,432 per year.

      3. LucyLulu

        Judging by comments I’ve read to articles and on other blogs, there already is resentment towards baby boomer entitlements. Younger generations have been convinced they are paying for entitlements they’ll never receive themselves because the baby boomers will leave the system bankrupt.

    2. Abe, NYC

      “Europe’s rich ‘could face uprising similar to Peasants’ Revolt’ ”

      What a load of crap. Of course, Satyajit Das has already dealt with King’s book, but still. Baby boomers stealing from the young? I don’t know how brainwashed you’ve got to be to believe it.

      The only thing that baby boomers arguably steal from the young is jobs, and only because they are forced to by people like Mr. King.

  2. diptherio

    From ‘Obama’s Plan to Predict Future Leakers Unproven’:

    The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security….Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.”

    Read more here:

    First they cut your pay and benefits, then they accuse you of being a (possible future) leaker due to your ‘financial troubles’. Way classy, that. Oh yeah

    And then there’s this gem:

    When asked about the ineffectiveness of behavior profiling, Barlow said the policy “does not mandate” that employees report behavior indicators.

    “It simply educates employees about basic activities or behavior that might suggest a person is up to improper activity,” he said.

    “These do not require special talents. If you see someone reading classified documents they should not be reading, especially if this happens multiple times and the person appears nervous that you saw him, that is activity that is suspicious and should be reported,”…

    If you see someone dressed in a black trenchcoat and black fedora, who speaks with a foreign accent and is rifling through the top-secret file cabinet while nervously glancing over his shoulder, you may want to report that.

    How dumb are our federal employees if they actually need to get trained to do that? Of course, they don’t. This program is designed to create a sense of distrust and fear in the workplace so as to keep everyone in line.

    My pops used to work for the Feds and was restricted from speaking with the press, even though he had plenty of juicy stories that should have been public knowledge. I would argue with him about “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press”, and he would agree and then never say anything publicly. The Insider Threat Program is just an extension of the policy Reagan implemented to stop Fed employees from speaking to the press (i.e. exercising their Constituional rights) Fear of unemployment (or even reprimand) will keep even good-hearted people in their place.

  3. Jack

    ” Lambert is curious as to what readers make of this blogger.”

    Don’t bother following this blogger, Lambert. He provides thoughtful analysis and logical reasoning about energy and rational policy. This will frequently run countercurrent to the emotional hyperbole that your side seems to embrace. I would advise to quit reading his blog as soon as possible before it causes you to re-examine your positions in this and other areas.

    1. ambrit

      Yaay! I nominate Jack for the Decently Devious Commenter Award. A classic Double Bind is presented within his ‘comment.’
      “Do not feed the Trolls,” is well and good, but I think “Credit where credit is due” also applies.

    2. GlenO

      I agree that Robert Rapier is an excellent source of all things energy-related. I have been reading his column for years and find him very knowledgable in this area. I only wish there was a “side” that had the market cornered on emotional hyperbole about this topic.

    3. GreenEngineer

      I’ve been reading Robert’s work for a number of years. He is a very sharp engineer, who is very good at applying appropriate, technically-grounded skepticism to a range of vaunted (but poorly founded) energy proposals. His analysis of the logistics problems around “next generation” biofuels is particularly helpful.

      Despite his background as a chemical engineer for an oil company, he does sincerely support renewable energy (he now works for a biomass gasification company in Hawaii). But he does not let his interest in the topic interfere with a badly needed, hard-headed analysis of the options.

      That said, his approach to political activism is pretty tone-deaf. He approaches all problems as an engineer (a position I obviously sympathize with) but I believe this leads him to undervalue the importance of group psychology in political change. In particular, while I largely (but not entirely) agree with his position on Keystone on the technical merits, I completely disagree with his conclusions in the context of politics and activism. Keystone is a symbol, around which a social movement can coalesce. This is a critically important element of politics, which he seems to entirely undervalue.

      With that caveat in mind, I’d say he’s one of the sharpest tools in the shed. Read his stuff, and argue with him. It’s good for us all.

      1. Jack

        “while I … agree with his position on Keystone on the technical merits, I completely disagree with his conclusions in the context of politics and activism”

        Thank you for supporting my point. “Politics and Activism” more strongly depend upon emotional hyperbole. As it appears that many on this site embrace “Politics and Activism”, then, yes, they embrace emotional hyperbole to carry their message.

        And, yes, the other side does it too…

        1. jrs

          politics and activism? Nah I support having purely intellectual debates while both coal and Keystone are developed and the planet fries. At least I’m never “on the side” of anyone who has cooties or something.

      2. Richard Kline

        I know nothing of Rapierm’s technical background, so I’ll leave that assessment to GreenEngineer. I have major problems with the logic of comparison presented in the linked post however; problems large enough to lead me to question the value, not to say the slant, of Rapierm’s argument.

        In essence, he reduces Keystone to a ‘climate change impact’ argument, and uses chart-framing to make the impact of Keystone in that regard appear to be trivial. As a first objection, that ‘balancing of impacts’ is grossly deceptive. He’s comparing Keystone, a _single project_ to all of world production—and in that context, Keystone is MASSIVELY LARGE. (More accurately, the Alberta tar sands are massively large.) If any project projects to 1% of global impact, that’s stupendous (not saying that’s the precentage of the tar sands, but it certainly seems to be in that range based on _the chart alone_). A 1% impact on global warming is absolutely enormous given the situation, and a chance to choke off that kind of impact is critical by itself. This is nowhere acknowledged in the linked post, where the attitude seems more ‘C’mon, it’s no biggie compared to X.’

        The large problem is that Keystone is not, first and foremost, a climate warming issue, it’s a toxic waste issue. Processing those sands to extract the modest hydrocarbon fuel component in them requires a) vast volumes of pure water which become b) unbelievable volumes of toxic waste FOREVER. About the only energy production modality more toxic and voluminous than tar sands conversion is nuclear. From the standpoint of toxic waste alone, Keystone is an inexcuseable disaster being foisted on the public to make a few corporate actors immensely rich while leaving the clean up and mainatenance bills to, surprise-surprise, the public. Nowhere and noway does Rapierm engage with this aspect. This may be in some respect the ‘political tonedeafness’ alluded to by GreenEngineer. I wouldn’t be that charitbale. A refusal to see the implications of a manufacturing/exctractive process and to treat the issue as a technical one only is either unblievable stupidity or quite believable cupidity. I suspect the latter, particularly in the context of the deceptive chart meant to mask the climate impact of Keystone in the post itself.

        Then the issue of the inevitable toxic wast spillage accidents that will come with piping this sludge 2000 km is magically excluded from any discussion whatsoever. If Canada wants to make money off of hydrocarbons extracted from the sands, they have the water and they have the sands so they can keep the waste, baby. (Not that I want them to, tar sands conversion is an awful program.) The corporate profiteering politics involved in shipping this stuff are really a contemptible ripoff of the public interest. Seems Rapierm can’t get his head around that issue, but wants to talk ‘tech specs.’

        —And that all is a problem. I can’t tell from one post alone whether the guy is a crypto-plant for (some parts of) the engergy industry, or if he’s just grinding his own horn. The handling of information in this one post suggests a careful, deliberate, and—to me—malign effort to shape the logic and rhetoric of argument about the issue in ways that EXCLUDe the most significant _harmful_ aspects of the issue. I don’t think one arrives at such subtle and not so subtle deceptions by accident. When all is said and done, I suspect we’ll find the guy’s in Big Corp’s pocket, because his work is _exactly the kind of stuff_ Big Energy would find it in their interest to inject into the debate space. Climate change denying has cratered, so the next wave of deception is ‘C’mon it’s no biggie [No not that over that toxic sinkhole behind the billboard but this little dingus I want you to look at folks].’

        1. Robert Rapier

          I saw all the traffic coming from here, and came over to check it out. I would have been content to just read the comments, but I do have a weakness for addressing misinformed comments that slide into borderline slander.

          As GreenEngineer points out (and I appreciate the kind comments), Rapier (not Rapierm), — me — does have a site where you can come by and pose this argument where you are reasonably sure to get a response.

          There are numerous errors in your post, but let’s take the biggest ones, and the worst ad hominem.

          “In essence, he reduces Keystone to a ‘climate change impact’ argument”

          Wrong. In this particular post, I am addressing the climate change claims not only from Keystone, but from the entire oil sands reserve and showing that their temperature impact is trivial relative to coal. I like math, so I encourage you to do the math for coal and for oil sands. If you come away convinced the Keystone (or again, the entire oil sands) is time well spent when coal threatens to bury everything in carbon emissions, then I can’t help you. As I said to one poster this is a triage situation, and some folks are worried about mosquito bites while a tiger is chewing off their leg. Misplaced priorities, and a loss of precious time — and it’s because of emotional hyperbole.

          “He’s comparing Keystone, a _single project_ to all of world production—and in that context, Keystone is MASSIVELY LARGE.”

          Wrong again. Did you actually read the article? I talked about the entire oil sands. I talked about all oil. I compared them to coal. You have to construct an argument, make many assumptions, and still it’s going to be over 50 years before oil can make a meaningful contribution toward 2 degrees C. That’s all of oil. So we have had to extrapolate from Keystone to all the oil sands reserves (still a trivial climate change impact) to all oil and we still fall far short of coal’s impact — which blows right by that 2 degree C target. Once more, that’s because people are using emotions (and capital letters) and not facts.

          “The large problem is that Keystone is not, first and foremost, a climate warming issue, it’s a toxic waste issue.”

          Now you have jumped right into a different issue. As I remind people who bring up your comment, there may be other very good reasons to oppose Keystone XL. But if climate change is your thing, and you think Keystone is a big deal, then you should be absolutely mobilizing an army to deal with Asia Pacific’s carbon emissions because all the oil sands in the world won’t be measurable against that backdrop. Don’t take a post dealing with the climate change claims around Keystone XL and complain that it doesn’t address something else. If it was “Here’s why we need Keystone XL” then you could argue this point.

          “A refusal to see the implications of a manufacturing/exctractive process”

          A refusal? Seriously? I also didn’t talk about the implications of extracting coal. That’s because this post was about a particular set of claims around Keystone — their climate impact (or lack thereof).

          “I suspect we’ll find the guy’s in Big Corp’s pocket, because his work is _exactly the kind of stuff_ Big Energy would find it in their interest to inject into the debate space.”

          This whole paragraph was nothing but a long ad hominem devoid of any evidence. It boils down to you disagreeing with my position. You should be ashamed of yourself. But this is why these things can’t be rationally debated. Instead of trying to understand my point, you try to smear me so others also won’t try to see my point. For the record, I work for a renewable energy company. I have a long, public track record. But it wouldn’t matter if I was the CEO of the largest company in the oil sands — the arguments stand on their own merits. The blue sky doesn’t become green because you write in all caps that it is and further that the person arguing that it is blue is a bad person.

          You are welcome to bring these arguments to my site, but you will have to step up your game — and leave the ad hominems at home.

          Robert Rapier

    4. Lambert Strether

      Since it’s so obvious that I have “a side,” it’s curious that you can’t put a name to it. That said, and the hyperbole of “hyperbole” aside, surely it’s a tenable theory that emotions play a key role in decision making?

      A few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found that they seemed normal, except that they were not able to feel emotions. But they all had something peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decisions. They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms, yet they found it very difficult to make even simple decisions, such as what to eat. Many decisions have pros and cons on both sides—shall I have the chicken or the turkey? With no rational way to decide, these test subjects were unable to arrive at a decision.

      Readers more knowledgeable than I, correct me on the science…

    5. Andrea

      For what it’s worth, I’ve been reading Rapier for years. He is excellent – never found gripes with his stats, math, or reasoning (pitfalls for some energy bloggers), plus he is an all-rounder. He was great at The Oil Drum in times past. (TOD is closing btw.)

  4. tongorad

    Re the Cass Sunstein article, what a blow hard. Of course his biggest butthurt is “left wing critics:”

    ‘The same phenomenon can be found among people with diverse political views; it is hardly limited to those on the right. When public officials reduce regulatory costs imposed on the private sector, or decline to issue environmental or other regulations, left-wing critics often conclude that BUSINESS INTERESTS CONTROL GOVERNMENT. This is so even if the regulatory costs are likely to hurt workers and consumers, not merely some abstraction called “business.”’

    So, the power of business is a mere abstraction to Cass Sunstein. In other words, he has never worked for a living.

  5. nobody

    “…a non-animal bonus antidote”

    Looks like an animal antidote to me. Homo sapiens sapiens, a mammal of the order Primates.

    The sick animal (Nietzsche). Dean Swift’s animal rationis capax.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The not-so-subtle bias against vegetable antidotes lives on…

      When are we going to see some cool stuff involving 85 year old carrots?


      1. Massinissa

        I have noticed something far more pernicious and malicious in the selection of antidotes.

        There are never invertebrates.

        Why are there no antidotes about echinoderms, molluscs and arthropods?!! I demand more sea urchins, slugs and crabs!!!

        How dare Yves and Lambert shove their vertebrate bias upon us!!! I am thoroughly outraged.

        1. MLTPB

          You may like seafood, but I am a vegetable person myself. Can’t handle the chesterol.

  6. rjs

    just to clarify this:  The shale gas revolution: is it already over? on which Yves comments “I don’t think this is right. I don’t follow this space closely, but basically Chesapeake developed way too many wells way too fast and created a glut, which cratered nat gas prices. Much consternation from producers about this. That was expected to lead to a postponement of development projects until the enough of the wells currently in production start tailing off (as the chart shows is happening, shale gas wells peak quickly and have very short lives compared to oil wells). So once pricing reaches a level developers like better, one would expect to see more wells being drilled.”
    i do follow this space, & i basically agree with yves’s take except for “shale gas wells peak quickly and have very short lives compared to oil wells”, in that shale oil wells have equally short lives;  i wrote about the World Energy Outlook from the IEA when it was released last year and included this chart of typical Bakken well production from the North Dakota Dept of Natural Resources; as you see, the typical bakken well production falls by over 80% in just two years, as it does with any shale well; after the initial oil or gas flow from the pulverized shale, the flow slows to a trickle because you dont have a reservoir, like a conventional well that will produce at a decent level for 40 years or more…

    a recent harvard study confirms that: Shale oil Ponzi scheme: Harvard study confirms shale is a fracking treadmill
    Harvard has released a new study with a hyped up headline about America becoming a No. 1 oil producer due to fracking. But, in order to get that number one designation,  they will need to drill 100,000 more wells in North Dakota and Texas because “Shale oil wells reach peak output almost immediately but quickly decline, so new wells are constantly needed.”  He noted that the Bakken-Three Forks region in North Dakota required 90 new wells per month to maintain production of 770,000 barrels per day

    however, there’s plenty of shale gas if prices are high enough, and the key to that is the two trade agreements being negotiated right now; prices in Japan have been running between $13 & $15 mmBTU, in europe they’ve been around $12; ours are back below $4…our prices could triple if world gas prices reach an equilibrium under the TPP and the TTPI…at $12, they’ll be fracking parts of Ohio where the marcellus is just 20 feet thick…

    1. ambrit

      “…the flow slows to a trickle because you don’t have a reservoir..” Let us hope someone doesn’t remember Project Plowshare and try to reanimate it! Fracking for shale beds combined with nukes for reservoirs! What’s not to like!

  7. Chibboleth

    Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I can’t find an email address for Yves on the site anywhere. A friend of mine who works for FedEx tells me they’ve announced this morning that they’re killing their health insurance plan effective January 2014 and pushing all employees onto the obamacare exchanges.

    He forwarded me an email to this effect, and maybe I’m just bad at parsing corporate-ese but from reading this I can’t tell if they’re scrapping their employer-provided insurance policy entirely or just getting rid of it in favor of a much crappier one.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Chibboleth;
      I certainly wouldn’t presume to speak for our esteemed hostess, but this is a very significant event in the Healthcare political field. If a company as sound, (from what I can discover,) as FedEx is going the dropping company healthcare route, then what are the rest contemplating? “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?”
      Some side issues would also be: (1)How sudden will this be, (how long will employees have to ‘search’ for alternatives,) (2)Will an offsetting amount be added to the employees wages to make up for previous company healthcare contributions, (3)Will this ‘extra’ wage be taxed as regular wages now by the IRS, (4)Will the employee get special tax treatment for this ‘extra’ wage if put toward healthcare expenses, (5)Will executives be offered some sort of Gold Plan policy by the company, (as in an arms length but company run Healthcare Syndicate,) (6)How will this affect “shareholder equity” for the company?
      I’m sure that other, more knowledgeable commentators can come up with lots more reasons why this proposal, to use a colloquialism, sucks.
      I’ve been warning the people who work alongside me at the DIY Boxxstore that this was coming. Now I have some real grounding to operate from off of.

      1. davidgmills

        Howard Dean thinks that every employer who gets off the health insurance merry-go round is agood thing and will get us to a public option or single payer sooner. But an employer that gets insurance for tis managment and not for everyone else will only exacerbate the 1%/99% divide.

  8. Inverness

    Thank you for covering Lac Mégantic. A recent story from Le Devoir, the Québec paper of choice: (my translation): “While there are fears of a civil war in Egypt, in North America, there are forest fires (my note: major fires in Québec at the moment) and train cars exploded. It is as if, this summer, there is a kind of punishment for certain sins: Muslim countries, hit by decades of authoritarian rule, while on our continent, our bulimic thirst for oil leads to natural and unnatural disasters.”

    The comparison to Egypt might not work for everyone, (Catholic residue, ha) but I appreciate a journalist willing to say something, and even suggest equivalence with a country usually dismissed for having third world problems.

  9. b2020

    Re: Protecting a Drowning Man from Sunburn

    He dilutes his – excellent – point by focusing too much on Keystone XL details himself, to some extent replicating the mistake he criticizes. This leads to stupid dead ends (he starts with 8.9% exponential growth, then realizes the unsustainable math might be misunderstood and caps growth after 20 year).

    But the key point is important: McKibben is like a man who fights the pipeline because he thinks it can be fought. People hate pipelines, eminent domain, and so NIMBY will provide an opposition to “This Pipeline Here” that McKibben tries to “leverage” (or, if possible, use for education) into opposition to Business As Usual. That means McKibben fears he will have no viable movement and opposition if he comes right out and asks his supporters to demand “Less Oil for Me”. He is attacking the means of delivery – which, see rail, are shaped by demand and pricing – instead of attacking the use of the delivered resources. McKibben believes – or pretends to believe – that Keystone XL is a chockepoint, Rapierm makes a case it is not.

    Of course, Keystone XL has value as a litmus test for Obeyme. But McKibben is not confrontational enough to go after this pressure point. He does not want to embarrass Obama in hopes Keystone XL will not be approved, as he fears that approval will actually not hurt Obama as much. Just as with his supporters, McKibben is thinking tactically, hoping to win the battle, and avoids the confrontation about the ultimate goal and its fallout – less energy for everybody. As such sacrifice is only realistic by consensus, and as he avoids arguing for that consensus, he ensures strategic defeat. You cannot affect climate change without affecting people – the pipelines themselves are secondary.

    Rapierm might misrepresent the extent to which McKibben tries to tie Keystone XL to the need to leave reserves untapped in the ground, but then, I have not seen McKibben make this argument with respect to coal. Then again, Rapierm is extremely dishonest by using a global reserve for coal for comparison, without applying the same reasoning of “extraction and impact over time over the next 50 years”.

    At the end of the day, everybody is avoiding the real issue – that we would have to change our own behavior, high per capita impact nations (US) first, developing large nations (China) next. Climate change is a global challenge, and mankind has no global institutions worth shit – especially none without democratic legitimacy. This is especially true with respect to solutions that could provide an acceptable standard of living to everybody. We could build a global energy grid powered from deserts, but we would have to resolve the political instability in the nations owning the deserts, and we would have to fund it by cutting military hegemony budgets. To leave a better world for our children, we have to stop being assholes. That’s not something we are prepared to do.

    1. AbyNormal

      what the he!l is goin on out there subGenius

      Federal agency spent millions destroying computers for no reason at all
      It started when the Department of Commerce’s cyber incident response team mistakenly claimed that 146 out of 250 systems on the department’s network had malware. They later corrected that claim when a lower-level network tech noticed that 146 actually referred to the number of computers the EDA had on the department’s network. The real number of systems infected with malware was just two.

      That correction was not quite clear enough, the OIG report explains. “As a result, EDA continued to believe a widespread malware infection was affecting its systems,” investigators wrote. Federal News Radio reporter Jason Miller described what happened next, writing on Monday that the EDA’s reaction “ended up costing the agency more than $2.7 million to clean up and reconfigure its network and computers.”

      Over $170,000 of perfectly functional computer equipment was destroyed, the OIG report notes, and not just desktop computers. Targeted equipment included keyboards, monitors, mice, cameras and even televisions — none of which are prone to malware infection.

      “By August 1, 2012, EDA had exhausted funds for this effort and therefore halted the destruction of its remaining IT components, valued at over $3 million,” the OIG report concludes. “EDA intended to resume this activity once funds were available.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s easy to go from digging and filling holes to destroying and buying new computers, all in the name of stimulating the economy, with the luck that the government is not a household, so it can do this as often as necessary.

        1. Emma

          C’mon, it’s far easier to go through the revolving doors between private and public that characterize the US intelligence business all in the name of protecting not just economic interests but also “the people”…..

  10. Massinissa

    Only 22% of Latvia wants to join the Euro, but they join it anyway?


    Democracy is such a goddamn sham these days. Latvia is apparently no more democratic than when it was under Soviet rule. Hell, they were probably better off during Soviet rule. At least the soviets didnt have economic policies causing 1/10 of the country to flee it in the space of only a few years. Not that they were able to flee it mind you, but still. Not all that much has changed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sham is right.

      We have enough sham poo in life.

      We want real poo.

      The genuine stuff.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Scientific Discovery is not valuable unless it has commercial value.


    That’s news?

    In general, a college degree, in pursuit of knowledge supposedly, is not valuable unless it has commercial value.

    By the way, this is what Wiki has to say about ‘Huh:”

    In Egyptian mythology, Heh (also Huh, Hah, Hauh, Huah, Hahuh) was the deification of infinity or eternity in the Ogdoad, his name itself meaning “endlessness”.

    So, the next time a Christian says ‘Huh,’ he/she is secretly praying to Huh. You tell him/her that.

  12. Neal Deesit

    “The Looting of Asia” Chalmers Johnson. London Review of Books (Lambert). Ten years old but still interesting, particularly if you read Cryptonomicon.

    Also interesting if you read Michael Ruppert’s “Crossing The Rubicon,” which alleges that this gold horde backed bonds that were due on 9/12/01, and that 9/11 was orchestrated, inter alia to permit anonymous bond transactions immediately thereafter.

  13. JEHR

    Re: Science Philistines in Canada

    In Canada we now have a neoliberal government that only 40% of the population voted for:

    “Neoliberalism is a label for Economic liberalism which advocates support economic liberalization, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and decreasing the size of the public sector while increasing the role of the private sector in modern society.” (Wikipedia )


    Public sector unions have been attacked by government legislation; private/public partnerships are being encouraged; downsizing of the public sector is taking place; the environment is being ignored so that Tar Sands pollution and other pollution can continue unabated; punishments for criminal activity are longer and more severe; the federal government is shunting off its responsibilities onto the provinces (for water regulations, fishing regulation, building prisons, etc).

    At the same time, the conservative party is enveloped in scandals: the PMO giving money to a Senator whose expenses were illegally declared, using Senators to blatantly campaign for conservatives, robo-calls made by conservatives to win seats during the last election, lack of budgeting for expensive fighter planes, lack of international respect for our foreign policies (total support of Israel, ignoring Palestine), overspending campaign funds, and so on.

    We are an unhappy people!

    1. sleepy

      The good news is that Canada is 10 years behind the US in its political, economic, and social degradation.

      The bad news is, well, . . . . . . .

      1. Ottawan

        We’re not so far behind in the degradation. Just depends on where you go or what you’re talking about. As it applies to regulation of a number of industries, Canada has always had an oligarchical bent that is arguably worse than that of the US.

        And Lac-Mégantic is “beautiful”… Unemployment across the region is nasty and has been for some time, but the entire region is full of fresh water and fish. The farming kind of sucks, but you could rent a cabin for nothing and have fine weekend lazing about, drinking cinquante.

        1. Ottawan

          Angry retired railman who lost too much.

          “I’m not angry. I’m defeated by events that could’ve been avoided…because our politicians are supposed to be there to protect us, but they don’t. Its a race to the money.”

          Tragédie à Lac-Mégantic : tristesse et colère d’un résident

          1. LucyLulu

            Oops, sorry. I just noticed you were referring to the post by Ottawan above. Google search showed Cinquante is a brand of beer.

    1. AbyNormal

      A lot of guys go, ‘HEY, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.

  14. parisblues

    Okay, off topic, but I love the tiny turtle hatchling!

    Yves Smith, I am an avid reader of your blog, but I have one small complaint: If you are not the photographer of all the lovely animal photos you publish, then you should be providing proper attribution. Just because something is on the Internet does not mean it is not covered by copyright law.

    Other than that, please don’t change a thing!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      1. Most of the photos here are sent to me by e-mail and are clearly NOT professional photos. I have no idea who the photographer is and the person who sent it has no idea either.

      2. For a photo to be copyrighted, the copyright has to be filed in advance of the photo being published.

      3. If a person publishes or e-mail a photo without it being copyrighted, they’ve effectively agreed to have it republished

      4. I am very careful not to use photos from news services which are almost always copyrighted.

      5. When I do take photos from professional photographers’ sites I credit and link back

      1. parisblues

        According to copyright attorney Joel Leviton of Fish & Richardson, Nos. 2 and 3 above are common myths about copyrights. Leviton says:

        “Copyright exists automatically when the work is put in a tangible medium (for example, a photo put into a digital file), whether or not the work is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

        “There are, however, benefits to registering copyrights, including that registration is a prerequisite to filing a U.S. lawsuit for copyright infringement. Also, if a work is infringed and the copyright owner registered the copyright before infringement occurred, the copyright owner could be awarded attorneys’ fees and enhanced monetary damages.

        “Either way, it is creation, not registration, that establishes copyright.”


        “The Internet comprises countless copyrighted works, many of which may be copied with a simple click. But that doesn’t mean the work is not protected by copyright, has been abandoned or that it is free for all to use. Even if you don’t see a copyright symbol (©) online, that doesn’t mean the work is not protected by copyright or otherwise free to use. Unless the work is very old (for example, created in the early 20th century), assume that it is protected.”

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          My lawyer is an intellectual property attorney and has done a lot of IP litigation.

          She says you have no chance of winning a copyright case if you didn’t register it, which is what you citation also says: “including that registration is a prerequisite to filing a U.S. lawsuit for copyright infringement.” If a court won’t enforce your property rights, you effectively don’t have property rights.

          I don’t mean to sound cavalier about this, but when people post photos on FB or icanhazcheezburger or send them to a zillion friends, they have not taken any care or demonstrated any intent of treating their image as valuable intellectual property. Even sites that contain almost entirely professional photographs like Amolife have many photo series where they do not say who the photographer is.

          When someone sends me a photo they took, I do mention their name (first name only or first name + initial or NC handle if they use a handle). But in the overwhelming majority of cases, the photos I ams sent have clearly been sent around the web a lot (some I’ve seen as many as 10 times) and the provenance was lost long ago.

      2. wunsacon

        >> 2. For a photo to be copyrighted, the copyright has to be filed in advance of the photo being published.

        AFAIK, once upon a time (>30 years ago), yes.

    2. schemp

      I too will politely echo this.

      Yves, you are always very careful to feature attribution in all your quoted written materials, so I can only assume this falls into your blind spot.

      My wife runs a tumblr page; she is always careful to attribute everything she links. This is, at the very least, proper internet decorum.

      1. parisblues

        My sentiments exactly. I wasn’t talking about the standing to sue, just credit where credit is due. But based on what Yves says here, it sounds as though most of the images she posts have already been so overshared that finding the original source is next-to-impossible.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Timing is everything.

      Somehow, I think perhaps Occupy would have better luck today than 2 years ago.

      1. mookie

        You think so? I see more and more complacent thinking and faith in “the market”. We’ve completely and utterly mistaken the map for the land, the economy for our human reality.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          According to my Hardcore Inflation Index (HII), ( HHI = food/energy price index – wage index), with crude around $105 a barrel and with austerity nicely entrenched, Occupy should find more people sympathetic to it.

          1. mookie

            It’s going to have to start with the jobless youth; they’re the group getting the rawest deal at the moment. From the ‘peasant revolt’ link at the top:

            “I am intrigued at the moment that the youth are quite peaceful, and I wonder whether that might change. It is very difficult to predict but youth movements might become more focused on their own rights rather than the economy [at large].”

  15. Klassy!

    Lac Megantic: Yesterday, I wrote something about my immediate reaction to this disaster– wondering if a pipeline partisan was behind it. I knew that was probably not the case. The answer would be much more banal. This passage from the FDL post sums it up:
    The whole episode seems to me to sum up what has become of American capitalism. Over-leveraged, shoddy product and performance, milking the enterprise of its capital, and capturing regulators to get away with it. It is the banking disaster writ small. In the mean time the investigators have found only 5 bodies of the 60 to 80 that were incinerated in the center of town when the train exploded.
    The relatively scanty reporting on this event. I relaize it is not in the US, but it is pretty darn close. It is an enormous tragedy– the cost to the town, its citizens, and its river.

    1. Skeptic

      The Lac-Mégantic Tragedy and American Capitalism Knut, Firedoglake

      I have read and heard a number of articles on this manmade disaster (no, folks, not an accident). In one, it said the oil was coming from fracking in the Baaken Oil Field which is supposedly located in North Dakota, Montana, and Western Canada.

      This oil was going to a refinery in St. John, New Brunswick. So what gives? Aren’t there refineries any closer to Baaken, like Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto, Montreal, etc? Why is this oil being shipped such a long distance?

      Like our crazy, inefficient industrial food system it looks like fracked oil is going to be hitting the road and traveling thousands of miles to be refined. More capitalist efficiencies.

      Please someone covering this story elaborate on the above.

    2. Butch In Waukegan

      The whole episode seems to me to sum up what has become of American capitalism. . .

      Canada also has the amoral politicians that capitalism nurtures. A tweet from PM Harper:

      Lac-Mégantic, Québec 3:15 p.m. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity… (Cameras and photographers only)

  16. Bev

    maybe a bit at a time

    The week spent in (GOP) Texas after the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary AND caucus (confusing/conflicting on purpose) with interviews, meetings of Obama and Hillery Clinton, were conducted in front of whom, for what gains, promises, or perhaps “further” blackmail.

    Whistleblower Russ Tice: NSA Blackmailing Obama?

    Posted on July 10, 2013 by dandelionsalad

    breakingtheset on Jul 9, 2013

    Abby Martin talks to Russell Tice, former intelligence analyst and original NSA whistleblower, about how the recent NSA scandal only scratches the surface of a massive surveillance apparatus, citing specific targets that he saw spying orders for including former senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.

    1. LucyLulu

      Great info, Bev! Thanks.

      The more people who get this info out there, the better. The censorship by the media won’t surprise NC readers, but Tice’s allegations further flesh out the extent and types of surveillance by the NSA and raises the question of a shadow government having top-level control.

  17. Bev

    At some level you know what it means to have real physical evidence (hand counted paper ballots) hidden or removed by e-voting, e-scanning, and e-tabulating machines owned and operated by right wing gop, corporate, fundamentalists authoritarians.

    By Brad Friedman

    Recommended #OWS Demand: Let ALL Citizens 18 and Older Vote, On Paper Ballots, Count Them in Public

    I offer the following simple “demand” for consideration by OWS, as this one likely underscores almost every other. Or, at least, without it, all other demands may ultimately be rendered moot.

    Here it is. One demand that seems simple enough — and is as non-partisan as can (be)— for your consideration:

    Every U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older who wishes to vote, gets to vote. Period. Those votes, on hand-marked paper ballots, will be counted publicly, by hand, on Election Night, at the precinct, in front of all observers and video cameras.

    Please help spread this to the Occupiers if you agree its important. For example, Tweet it (or a link to this article) like mad (with #ows in the text), and/or spread it via Facebook and/or print it out and take it to a General Assembly at an Occupation near you!


  18. Bev


    In the 1968-2012 Presidential elections, the Republicans won the average recorded vote by 48.7-45.8%. The 1968-2012 Recursive National True Vote Model indicates the Democrats won the True Vote by 49.6-45.0% – a 7.5% margin discrepancy.


    This may be why the governing has NOT lived up to the promise of and HOPE for equal justice under the law and a regaining of privacy rights, legal rights, civil rights, economic justice, environmental rights, etc.

    Everyone should only listen to and believe a politician who has already done/attempted to do the legal work that he/she promises to do after an election. If they haven’t done the work already before an election, it is hot air after an election.


    1. LucyLulu

      Or it may be as Sibel Edmonds (of from link by Bev below) claims that surveillance loot is being used to blackmail our elected officials.

  19. Bev

    Election-integrity specialist Jim March from Blackboxvoting and ACLU has found potentially important information and link as reported by Legal Schnauzer:

    Was The Fiery Death Of Journalist Michael Hastings Connected To Atlanta Security Firm Called Endgame?

    At the time of his death in a fiery car crash on June 18, journalist Michael Hastings was working on a story about alleged Anonymous leader Barrett Brown. Currently under federal indictment on charges related to computer hacking, Brown is the journalist who first reported on a shadowy private security firm in Atlanta called Endgame.

    The Web site reports that Hastings was planning to interview Brown in late June and had announced to his followers, “Get ready for your mind to be blown.”

    A Hastings/Brown interview almost certainly would have included questions about Brown’s research on “black hat” private security firms that work with the official U.S. intelligence community. Some of these outfits also have powerful ties to corporate America via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Primary among such firms is Endgame….

    Before the interview could take place, Hastings was killed when his car exploded, with the engine blown some sixty feet from the wreckage on a Los Angeles street. Were individuals connected to Endgame and the U.S.Chamber–fearing possible exposure in government-sponsored wrongdoing–involved in Michael Hastings’ death?

    We don’t have a solid answer to that question? But a report last week from Alabama attorney Jill Simpson and election-integrity specialist Jim March presents perhaps the most disturbing revelations yet about Endgame and similar private security firms. The report, dated June 24, 2013, is titled “Black Hat Versus White Hat: The Other Side of the Snowden/Hastings/Barrett Brown Cases.”

    Here is how March summarizes the report in a piece at OpEd News:

    This is a look into the world of the private contractors that work in alliance with the official US intelligence community and appear to be state-sanctioned to commit crimes. We focus on one of these shady contractors, Endgame–an Atlanta GA corporation that both Barrett Brown and Michael Hastings were looking at. We show who they are, what they do, what their founders did before, who funds them and who they are connected to. snip

    Simpson is best known as a former Republican operative who became a whistleblower in the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. March is on the board of directors of and is a former board member for the Southern Arizona chapter of the ACLU.

    They note the ominous meanings behind the term “Endgame” and provide background on the firm’s early days. Information about the people behind Endgame can be found here, at the company’s Web site:

    The final moves in a chess game are called the “endgame.” It has come to the attention of American whistleblowers and election integrity specialists that the CIA, NSA and White House have designed the ultimate final “endgame” for the free world as we know it–with a group of computer “security specialists.”

    1. LucyLulu

      Great piece, Bev. The activity of private firms such as HBGary and Endgame add further layers to Snowden’s NSA revelations.

      1. Bev

        And also NSA whistleblower Russel Tice who further adds via:

        NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers

        Whistleblower Says Spy Agency Targeting Top American Leaders

        NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frogs Post (the website of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds):

        Tice: Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups. So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff.


        So, I think the entire political, economic spectrum can get behind the following bipartisan bill which attempts to control all this spying: Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Justin Amash bill H.R. 2399, the “Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act,” or the LIBERT-E Act for short.

        Come Saturday Morning: Reclaiming Our LIBERT-E

        By: Phoenix Woman Saturday July 6, 2013

        Democratic United States Representative John Conyers and his Republican colleague Justin Amash don’t agree on a lot of things. But they are, like most of us, united in being aghast at all the government snooping being done to us, for us, against us, and on everyone else in the world. Unlike most of us, they’re in a position to do something about it — or at the very least shame those Beltway officials who would perpetuate this snooping.

        To that end, they’ve introduced H.R. 2399, the “Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act,” or the LIBERT-E Act for short.

        Here’s how it would work:

        The first reform, in Section 2 of the LIBERT-E Act, modifies access to certain records for foreign intelligence and terrorism investigations. Specifically, Section 2 would amend Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to prevent the mass collection of records that are not explicitly relevant to an authorized foreign intelligence investigation, terrorism investigation, or covert intelligence activities.

        Presently, to obtain a court order under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the government only needs to show that the records are “relevant” to an investigation. News reports suggest, however, that the government’s view of what is “relevant” includes the records of every telephone call. Section 2 of the LIBERT-E Act would raise the relevancy standard for the government to one requiring “specific and articulable” facts on a given investigation. In addition, Section 2 mandates that for any records to be collected they must be material to the investigation and pertain only to the individual under investigation.

        Simply put, the government should be required to show that the records it seeks are in fact material to a particular concern.

        The second set of reforms that the LIBERT-E Act puts into place deals with transparency. For too long, a secretive FISA court has essentially rubber-stamped all of the NSA’s surveillance requests. Section 3 of the LIBERT-E Act requires the Attorney General to make available to the public unclassified summaries of significant decisions by the FISA court, within 180 days of Congress receiving them. At the Congressional level, Section 3 also mandates that the Attorney General makes all information provided to the House and Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees available to every Member of Congress. Both of these measures will take the entirety of the decision-making process out of the backroom and provide needed public, as well as Congressional, oversight.

        1. LucyLulu

          The amendments may work for obtaining warrants under FISA but much of the info obtained is through NSL’s – national security letters. NSL’s don’t require any warrants or judicial oversight, only a statement that the info is “relevant” to a terrorism or intelligence investigation. Almost all include gag orders.

          “Yet the Department of Justice’s Inspector General has found widespread abuse of the FBI’s use of NSLs to gather information about Americans. For example, the FBI has used a single NSL to obtain records about thousands of individuals and keeps information about recipients almost indefinitely. Between the years of 2003-2006, the FBI issued 192,499 NSLs leading to just one terror-related conviction.”

          Sen. Patrick Leahy recently introduced legislation to rein in NSL’s but it’s flawed. It requires suits be brought by the government if objections to NSL’s are filed by recipients, with the government being thus able to choose jurisdiction. Not only would non-local suits increase expense for smaller companies but the govt agencies could shop for friendly venues. However only a handful of recipients have ever fought compliance with an NSL. Google succeeded in obtaining a ruling declaring NSL’s unconstitutional in April (as reported on NC I believe). The government was given 90 days to appeal.

  20. Klassy!

    “Insider Threat” program: so allegiance to a separate country or cause is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a leaker? And is The Bill of Rights is now defined as a “separate cause”? Looks that way.

    1. LucyLulu

      I’d venture to say that being able to think independently would be a distinguishing characteristic. Fortunately for everyday citizens, talented IT professionals don’t tend to be conformists.

  21. LucyLulu

    This is a rarity but I have to disagree with Yves about the death of the Fukushima manager being radiation related. I double-checked and could find no supporting evidence of solid cancers having such short latency periods. Leukemias demonstrate the most rapid onset after exposure to high dose radiation. The mortalities seen in Japan after the atomic bombs and at the plutonium installation at Mayak, the two most relevant examples of large numbers of high dose exposures saw leukemia deaths after 2-3 years. Esophageal cancer has a latency period that is one of the longest, 20 years per the CDC, albeit for low dose exposures. In addition, he was diagnosed a few months after the accident and given his death within 18 months, one can speculate his disease was already at a fairly advanced stage.

    If anybody can cite evidence to the contrary, please do. Meanwhile, I posted a link (update from today below) last night about cesium levels skyrocketing in subterranean water on the ocean side of reactor #2, 100 fold in last four days to levels 240 times allowed limit for Cs 137 with longer half life of 33 years…….. which is far more troublesome. It also reports the levels of strontium 90 and “other contaminants” as 900,000 bq/l. The accepted level for Sr-90 is 0.3 bq/l but there is no breakdown apart from other contaminants. I’ll see if I can locate the actual report. Especially troublesome is the lack of reports of results from seawater samples. Either they are being withheld or not being done due to not wanting to know results.

    1. Massinissa

      It might still be radiation related, from working at the plant for decades. But I agree with you, I think its next to impossible that it had anything to do with the relatively recent meltdown.

  22. AbyNormal

    uh yesterday we were talking about Legal Drugs etc…which sort of fed into big Pharma buyouts…lookie what i found:


    Drug companies have long kept secret details of the payments they make to doctors and other health professionals for promoting their drugs. But 15 companies have begun publishing the information, some because of legal settlements.

    Massachusetts $98,217,577 (close to double most states)

    “Yes, give us books about the psychotic behavior and peripheral weirdness we see all around every day — and we will laugh in its face.
    We are a proud people.
    We are Floridians.” Tim Dorsey, Squall Lines
    Florida $172,940,919

  23. Emma

    Re: Snowden agrees to asylum in Venezuela
    Surely he could of picked somewhere beyond the control of US law enforcement, but closer to home like Wall Street?

  24. ChrisPacific

    From Mish’s quotes:

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs have undermined U.S. relationships with other countries and affected what he calls “the importance of trust.”

    Brilliant. It’s not the surveillance programs themselves that have undermined trust, but Snowden’s disclosures about them. It’s reminiscent of the argument that we shouldn’t convict people of financial fraud because it might undermine trust in the financial system.

  25. JTFaraday

    If that turtle backs up a little bit and emerges from his shell, he is going to devour that entire grape.

    I just know it.

  26. mookie

    Members of both SEIU and ATU say that Hock’s true labor relations strategy for BART is to bust its unions and make permanent the pay and benefits rollbacks that workers have endured in recent years. They believe Hock was brought in not to negotiate, but to create a crisis. “This is not about negotiating tough. This is about trying to bust the union,” said Chris Finn, a BART train operator and the recording secretary of ATU 1555.

    BART’s Lead Negotiator Has a History of Illegal Behavior – Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express

  27. Veri

    Concerning science… a little historical perspective.

    The Greeks advanced science and thought and are remembered throughout history.

    The Roman Empire took that knowledge and did little with it. They are remembered for their empire and dramatic collapse. Bases upon commerce and control by might.

    Islam based their many Golden Ages on Greek knowedge and expanded that knowledge. Algebra being derived from the Arabic name.

    The Reneissance and Enlightenment ages occured by the knowledge gained from the Islamic world and their preservation of Greek knowledge, combined with Islamic contributons through the Moors of Spain.

    Today, we remember the Greeks for their explorations of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. We study the collapse of The Roman Empire, a commercial empire mainntained by military strength, as a warning of what not to do.

    Everyone knows Archimedes, Plato, and others. We know less of Romanthought and science beyond their imitation of The Greeks. Am Empirethat made roads and was static in ttheir scientific progress. Collapse was inevitable.

    Every great nation, eevery great civilization that advanced knowledge is revered. The ones that did not are known for the disasters.

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