Links 8/13/13

Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor BBC (John M). You must read this piece. Great story plus a tangible example that there’s a great deal we can do without spending a lot of money to reduce energy consumption, but in American, no one, particularly businessmen, likes to be told what to do (another energy saver I don’t for the life of me understand why isn’t more widely used in new home construction is geothermal wells).

40 maps that explain the world Washington Post. The one on “best place to be born” confirms my fondness for Australia!

Timing a Rise in Sea Level New York Times (Lambert)

Conflicted Care: Physicians With a Financial Stake in the Medical Devices They Use Patient Safety Blog. Another example of self-dealing is doctors prescribing compounded versions of meds and then having a compounding lab in which they have a stake fill the prescription.

Meet Japan’s Chinese residents BBC

More Bad News for the Pacific – Taiwanese NPP Leaking Radioactive Water OilPrice

Russia Steps Up Raids Against Migrants New York Times. I have no doubt Russia is a seriously bad actor on the human rights front. But funny that the New York Times has suddenly taken such a strong interest in it as to have two front page stories on it in less than a week.

Spies for Europe Fistful of Euros. Yowza, I never connected these dots.

Stairway to Hell: A Spanish Skyscraper’s Elevator Disaster Der Spiegel

Better economic news out of Greece masks clouds on the horizon Walter Kurtz. Bear in mind that “better” = “getting worse less quickly”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

U.S. sets up intelligence surveillance technology review body Reuters. Lambert: “From the department of ‘how stupid do they think we are?'”

This Independent Technical Review Group Brought to You By the Booz Allen Hamilton Director of National Intelligence™ Marcy Wheeler

Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn’t McClatchy (Lambert)

Intelligence committee withheld key file before critical NSA vote, Amash claims Guardian

N.S.A. Leaks Make U.S. Cyberdefense Plan Unlikely New York Times

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Not Even Close Tom Weis, Firedoglake (Carol B)

White House defends Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation McClatchy. Lambert: “Note owner of house at end.”

Anybody But Cory Booker Susie Madrak, Crooks & Liars

20 injured at LG phone giveaway as PR stunt The Register (bob)

Judge Rules NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violates Rights Wall Street Journal. About time. Of course, Bloomberg is having a big loud tantrum.

Subpoenas issued over metals warehouse probe Financial Times

London Whale Resurfaces in Potential U.S. JPMorgan Case Bloomberg. Notice all the reporting on a case that hasn’t even been filed yet? The Administration must have its flacks working overtime.

Your mortgage documents are fake! Dave Dayen, Salon

Payday, Title, and Installment Lenders Show Signs of Strain Nathalie Martin, Credit Slips

Bank Of America Continues Deducting Fees, Even After Death Consumerist

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction Michael Shedlock

Markets Aren’t That Stupid James Kwak

Larry Summers and the Lending Club mathbabe

Ben Bernanke’s AIG bailout gets no thanks from Hank Greenberg Financial Times

Antidote du jour:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. dearieme

    “Conflicted Care: Physicians With a Financial Stake in the Medical Devices They Use”. We have an echo of this problem in the NHS. If you pay more to GPs for diagnosing diabetes, or for prescribing statins, they go at it like billy-oh. Whether that’s doing the patients much good is open to doubt.

    Even worse, a few years ago Blair’s government struck a disastrous pay deal with the GPs. To let them shuck off their 24/7 responsibilities to their patients and put themselves on simple office hours, they docked them only £6000 per annum, while offering them an extravagant basic pay rise. The GPs signed up to the new deal. Wouldn’t you? But now we have lousy cover “out of hours”. They also struck a dreadful deal with the hospital doctors, but that’s a tale for another day.

  2. craazyman

    The Blending Club

    I’m thinking of investing in an internet start-up that connects alcoholics trying to stay sober with an occasional drink just to help them get through the tough time.

    There’s good money in this business. People going cold turkey hit by cravings and are willing to pay up. But to be safe, there’s a few Harvard doctors on the board of directors just to make sure nothing gets out of control.

    One of the doctors, in fact, might be the next Surgeon General of the United States. That’s got to be a big plus.

    I’ve known people who want to quit booze and other drugs in general. There’s a real market here, a real need, just begging (no pun intended) for a market-based solution.

    We’ll be serving chilled margaritas, diaqaries, Long Island ice teas, various fine wines and flaming shots of various liquers. We plan to have catering trucks stocked up like nightclubs driving around big cities, ready to accommodate clients within an hour (or less even in some places).

    Making money is so much fun it’s hard to stop. In fact, sometimes its impossible.

    1. optimader

      Skip the booze and go w/ medical marijuana. It will be much less destructive to already stressed organs in said client demographic, as well it may provide beneficial neurological benefits to their already partially pickled brains..

      …Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer’s disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients and reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer’s disease. Computational modeling of the THC−AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Aβ aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease….

      “…Cannabinoids, the active chemical components of marijuana, can regulate inflammation in the brain and promote neurogenesis — the growth of new neural pathways — even in cells damaged by age or trauma. As more research has indicated that brain inflammation appears to be a cause of several degenerative diseases, marijuana has been getting a closer look as a potential preventive medication.

      “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.”

      OH yeah, BTW .. it’s still a felony..

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Probably can double its effectiveness when combined with avoidance of loud music, occasion celibacy and abstinence.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Witnessing Obuggercare’s controlled demo is more entertaining than watching a munitions dump explode building by building.

      1. Joe

        It’s like watching a ship sink while it’s still in dry dock. I’m really starting to appreciate the entertainment value that continually oozes out from Dear Leader.

      2. Ms G

        This is hilarious, and totally true. We should have a little “countdown to October One controlled demo” item for daily laugh instead of cry/jump over cliff moments. Sort of a dark antidote du jour. :( :(

        1. Jim Haygood

          Don’t we miss the dear old Reader’s Digest.

          Instead of ‘Humor in Uniform,’ there would be a ‘Humor in the HHS Cubicles’ feature.

          Real sidesplitters those would be, with that rapier-sharp nerdy edge of code jockeys.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Oh ha ha ha. It’s controlled flight into terrain. And I love the way this happy news was released as part of a 137-item FAQ by the Department of Labor, and not CMS, HHS, or Makes you wonder how many other Easter Eggs litter the landscape in other departments.

      It would be funny if, ya know, people’s ability to get health care weren’t at issue.

      1. Joe

        Lambert, I know what you are saying about this not being funny but it it seems like that it is laugh or cry at this point. I desperately need health care; I’m 56, unemployed, uninsured and live in Georgia. If I get ill, I’m dead meat. I can’t afford what they are going to offer on these exchanges and the state of Georgia tells me I can go take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut if I expect any help.

        This is why I despise Obama now. He had a chance to fix the horror show that corporate health care has become and he chose to make it worse.

      1. Ms G

        Q What’s the funniest thing they’re saying in the White House these days?

        A ObamaCare is *affordable*!

        [slaps knee, cracks up]

      2. Ms G

        Real nice. The other day we were discussing how Kaiser’s calculations were showing grotesquely high *premium* liabilities. With this latest “tweak,” Obama is now sending anybody who buys an Exchange Product on the Express Lane to Bankruptcy.

        Without the out of pocket limits, hapless purchaser of Bronze or Silver plan will (after choking on premium prices), stagger and ask for mercy when he/she discovers that before the policy pays one nickel he/she has to spend, e.g., $6,500 on medical services and *another* $6,500 on RX as part of the “deductible.”

        ObamaCare Slogan = Personal Bankruptcy Are Us!

  3. jjmacjohnson

    Geothermal wells are very expensive to install for one thing. Cost ratio in the North west is not great unless you have a lot of money to begin with. Rocky lands make it difficult.

    1. diptherio

      There is also the problem of inertia. I’ve worked on a few jobs with geo-thermal heating, so I know it’s totally doable, even in NW Montana. The bigger problem might be that not that many contractors know how to put them in (which may be part of the reason for the relative expense) and, lets face it, most of us are lazy and would rather do what we already know, rather than learn some new-fangled thing.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        This solution has some useful value. But for urban density where too many people are, sink holes from municipal and other underground infrastructure are disasters waiting to happen. Designing with nature is a good idea when you are far away from the madding crowd, not when you contend with subways, gas lines and sewers. Also, don’t even think of doing this in Florida, a heavily populated state that is eroding on all sides. Good, tight construction that does not leak BTUs and electricity sipping appliances are still the solution. Reducing the load, the demand for energy by conservation and perpetual engineering improvements to appliances combined with load reducing construction, enforced by building code changes, will signal a serious effort to forestall disaster.

        1. diptherio

          Good points. Both of the houses I worked on that had geo-thermal had good sized yards. I can see where it would be much harder (if not impossible) to install in a dense urban environment.

          Another somewhat novel heating method I’ve seen is radiant floor-heat. Hot water is circulated through pipes embedded in the floor, basically creating a big “mass heater.” The main problem with this seems to be that it requires a concrete floor, which isn’t too nice. The energy savings over forced-air heating is considerable, though (or so I’m told).

          1. mary

            Radiant heating is not so novel – my father designed and built our home in the 1950’s with radiant floor heat and it was a known technology in the old neighborhood. One of the drawbacks is that we could not install central air conditioning due to the lack of a forced air duct system which is one of the main reasons I suspect that it did not survive.

            1. diptherio

              I didn’t know that. Not too surprising though; nothing new under the sun, as they say.

              Here, I only started noticing the radaint floor heat being used about five years ago. Generally it’s the “hip” yuppies who are having it done (not to stereotype too much). I would guess they build dedicated duct work for the A/C, as I’ve only seen this going into new construction (and most of it pretty ritzy) but who wants to come home to concrete floors, even if they do have a groovy faux-marble finish?

          2. lolcar

            “Ondeol” (underfloor heating) is the traditional method in Korea. It’s insanely effective. I like it cool but Koreans like it steamy so when the heat was turned on in my apartment building (no individual thermostat), even with nighttime minimums of 10 degrees or so, I had to leave the windows open.

        2. Bruno Marr

          Yes, conservation is the first order of business. Here is a link to an Eco-Home (PDF) built in 1990 that implements all the necessary conservation features. (The Eco-Home is fully off-grid; water, electric, sewer, gas.)


          1. Paul Tioxon


            Residential buildings use 38 percent of total U.S. electricity and account for one-fifth of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. By 2050, an estimated 20 billion new square feet of home construction can either increase this footprint, or–through drastic improvements in energy efficiency–they can begin to transform the country’s housing sector to be sustainable, healthy, and affordable.

            RMI’s Superefficient Housing Initiative (SHI) seeks to mainstream superefficiency in new residential design and construction, aiming to deliver housing that is at least 60 percent more efficient than today’s code at comparable costs.

            1. Bruno Marr

              Yes, RMI is a reknown resource for energy efficiency. (I’ve known Amory Lovins since 1977.)

              Keep the faith.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      They are widely used in Poland, which is hardly a rich country. May be that the cost of installation (labor) is cheaper and the energy cost savings greater (as in energy is more heavily taxed in Europe than here).

      1. optimader

        radiant heat has become very cost effective to install w/ the replacement of the copper tubing with plastic tubing. Americans like forced air heating w/ integral AC.

        We have yet to get on board split type compact AC because they are slightly more expensive up front but are more efficient. Just familiarity inertia and easy for the rip and run building contractor.

        Split type AC and hydronic (radiant) heat is the superior solution and where it will eventually go as the standard.
        Plus you get heated towel racks! ;o)

  4. jjmacjohnson

    That map:

    How far Hamas’s rockets can reach into Israel

    How far does Israel’s rockets go into the Occupied Territories?

    Oh wait. All the way!

  5. Skeptic

    Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor

    In Line (on demand) Hot Water Heater

    I have no commercial connection to any part of the energy industry. I imagine one could write a book about the Lobbyists and economic interests supporting the existing hot water heating racket, probably one of the worst pieces of engineering in our modern age.

    For years, I used an expensive 40 gallon electric hot water heater. I paid a premium price for a tank that would last a long time. It didn’t and the bottom rusted out. Heating water that you do not use is incredibly wasteful. If you are at work now reading this, your heater at home is there costing you money for hot water you are not using.

    When this tank was originally installed I looked around for in line heaters but none were available. They had them in Europe but not here. This time I looked again and voila, Home Depot had them online!!!

    I researched this and it looked doable. I don’t use much hot water anyway so I got a small in line heater usually designed for under a sink. I had to redo the wiring to supply the extra power the heater needed. Yes they use more energy when supplying hot water but only when they are supplying it. All other times there is no energy consumption.

    This is a wonderful designed unit about as big as a box of chocolates. They have good online/phone support. I believe also that parts can be replaced if needed but I have never had to do so in the six years this device is running.

    For anyone looking into this: there are a lot of suppliers and sources. Price will vary considerably. Sharpen your pencil. Also, read up about the concept, there are a number of considerations like your hot water consumption, temperature into your home, etc.

    The result in my case I estimate to be a 40% savings. I am really happy to keep that $$$ out of our conglomeratized power company which, in my jurisdicition, uses its profits to invest in power infrastructure in other parts of the world.

    Interestingly, I have told a number or people about this and the savings and not one of them has installed an in line unit. It is much easier for them to just buy another elephantine 40 gallon unit when the old one blows. Such is the inertia of humanity, part of the Few Change The Defaults Phenomenon.

    1. anon y'mouse

      depends entirely upon what one is heating the water for. as you point out, heating a huge tank is totally inefficient for typical daily use. problems are bathing/clothes-washing times and whether/if you use hydronic heating.

      for fast hand or dishwashing, instahot definitely is the way to go. for larger water needs, possibly a combination of solar hot water and typical furnace/water heater.

      it is really all about usage. this even extends to the bathroom inefficiencies. many of us know to turn of water when brushing teeth, lessen showers etc. how about keeping the room warmer and doing it like the Japanese? (handheld sprayer to get wet and rinse only, then a nice dunk in the tub). this is only comfortable in winter if you have a small, superwellinsulated space to take your shower in that heats up quickly and stays warm. how about in summer, using the solar shower? can’t do that in an apartment, though.

      also, on the energy front, can’t hang clothes outside in most apartments. because someone’s y-fronts on the line will make it obvious that we be po’ , uncultured people, right? idiocy…

    2. psychohistorian

      The catch on converting to a tankless hot water system for me is the gas line upgrade necessary to handle the increased pressure need of the tankless system.

      I have isolate the rest of my gas appliances and run/test a higher pressure line for the new hot water system…..I still may go that direction but it is a bit more complicated/expensive.

    1. dearieme

      When I was young I’d have assumed that that was a leg-pull. Now I’m not so sure. W’s great ally Blair is a bit of a religious loony too, and also none too bright.

    2. spaceballs

      Right, it’s somewhat bassackwards to say that countries need satellite imagery capacity to be sovereign. You didn’t need satellites to see that US WMD claims were nonsense. All you had to do was ask what a decade of genocidal sanctions had done to Iraq’s strategic platforms. Saddam was entirely bottled up. For plaforms he was down to donkey carts and pickup trucks.

      France based its resistance to war on the legal imperative of peace. They gained more soft power by taking that stance than they could ever earn by trading G2.

      And of course IRSEM thinks spy satellites are crucial for sovereignty – they’re France’s AFCEA.

    3. nobody

      The way I heard it, Chirac was prepared to join the coalition of the willing, but the Bush administration refused to agree to France’s terms.

  6. scott

    It’s a good thing GE or one of the US patent troll corporations didn’t invent the “plastic water bottle skylight” first, or we’d have US troops kicking down doors in slums all over the world, or have the WTO ban clear plastic bottles (brown and green only).

    1. Jim Haygood

      Moser’s PET bottle suntube is indeed a great invention. It finds its greatest adoption in the ‘vernacular architecture’ of the tropics, where insulation is minimal and if you poke a hole in the living room ceiling, you see daylight above.

      In the U.S., most houses have attics, so at least several feet of space separates the interior ceiling from the roof. Complete kits with internally-mirrored aluminum tubes are made to solve this problem. Unfortunately they’re costly ($1K-2K). Maybe there’s a cheaper solution, but it’s not going to be as brute simple as a PET bottle.

      Mirrored suntubes work REALLY well, though. You can even see in a darkened room by moonlight with them.

    2. Gene

      What happens when the sunlight deteriorates the plastic sticking above the roof? A soda bottle will yellow and crumble in a year in hot sun.

      Another brilliant use of clear plastic bottles is the SODIS
      system for purifying water. You fill a clear PETE bottle with dirty water and leave in in full sunlight all day. The UV rays kill all the bacteria and viruses in the water, but don’t take out the bad taste and other contaminants.

  7. Skeptic

    Stairway to Hell: A Spanish Skyscraper’s Elevator Disaster

    From the story: “But it’s difficult to figure out whom to blame. ”

    This seems to be a theme running through all Disasters these days: “…it’s difficult to figure out whom to blame. ”

    IRAQ, TARP, MASSIVE FINANCIAL CRIME WAVE, NOLA DISASTER, USSTASI, FUKUSHIMA, on and eternally on but no one to blame. One must really wonder if the first skill required is to design the project/scam/crime so that there is No One To Blame. Once that is in place, let ‘er rip.

    1. auskalo

      Stairway to Hell: A Spanish Skyscraper’s Elevator Disaster

      This is the typical August BS written in Der Spiegel originated from a false rumor published by El País of July 20, then by The Guardian on July 22.

      This building belongs to the spanish bad bank (Sareb) and it isn’t finished, but it has as working elevator that takes 50 seconds from the bottom to the top and the building is designed to have 6 ordinary elevators and 6 auxiliary elevators.

      General info here:

      With real picts in this blog:

  8. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    Larry Ellison loves the NSA:

    By Saumya Vaishampayan

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Oracle ORCL +1.00% Chief Executive Larry Ellison said Tuesday the National Security Agency surveillance program is “great” and “essential” for minimizing strikes, in an interview with Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning.”

    Moreover, the information had been collected long before the NSA, he said, pointing to credit-card data collected by companies. The line would be crossed if the government started using the data for political targeting instead of terrorism prevention, he said.

    1. ambrit

      Dear if;
      Well now, targeting ‘terrorists’ is, by its’ very nature, political. Not to worry though, the Administration will, or probably already has, switch to a ‘Homeland Dissident’ target set.

        1. diptherio

          They definitely have:

          Domestic Spying Victim: Virginia Cody

          Virginia Cody — a retired Air Force officer and anti-drilling activist — was shocked to mistakenly receive a bulletin from the Pennsylvania Homeland Security Director describing the monitoring of several anti-drilling groups. The bulletin revealed that Virginia and other anti-drilling activists who were peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights were included in state “anti-terrorism” reports.

          Unfortunately, Virgina’a story is not unique. Similar law enforcement behavior has taken place in at least 33 states and Washington D.C.

          To learn more, go to

                1. F. Beard

                  Not really. In fact, the RCC was held up by Progressives as a shining example of Christianity – until the pedophile scandal broke.

                    1. skippy

                      So many fakes in this world… eh… seems safer to create a small original in side… that way no one can counterfeit.

                      The dramas always seem to start with – when size – mass starts growing to fast… becomes – has to much gravity… black holes thingy.

                      Skippy… is *following* the same as being sucked in[???]… abdication of will and hence responsibility…

                      Methinks the part about being Created as a *Product*… a sort of Consumable with two bipolar Customers… is a Craazzy Unfree Market to invest in… eh.

          1. ambrit

            Dear Eclair;
            Yowza, yowza, yowza! History does ‘repeat’ itself! Shades of the Pinkertons and their valiant fight against all those Anarcho Socialist union movements during the Robber Baron era! Now, if I remember my history correctly, the unionistas will soon start fighting back, usually with very sneaky tactics, which all Corporate fearing, upright, right thinking, Good Citizens, will instinctively recognize as “Terrorism.”
            Time to break out Zinns’ book. (And the one by Hoffman.)

            1. Eclair

              Dear Ambrit,
              Gotta be sneaky … and smart. Last time I looked, we were too poor to afford even a small armored personnel carrier. No weapons, no tactical vests, no tear gas cannisters ( oh, shite, word combinations have probably set alarm bells ringing at NSA). Just some crazy ideas that the Planet is being drilled, bulldozed, strip-mined, strangled to extinction and the mind-set that celebrates this dance-death-for-profit has got to change.

              Copy of Zinn is well-thumbed .

    2. Gen

      It’s rumored that Ellison built backdoors into his Oracle products and was able to profit financially from the information that he could read, plus give it to his real home country for their security and financial needs.

      It explains his wealth and “untouchable” status.

  9. Jsn

    Geothermal HVAC does not get used much for houses because the system carries intrinsic added upfront costs: the ductwork and air handling systems are conventional but in addition to the heat exchangers, priced about like a typical AC unit that sits in the yard, there is the well or ground loop, an entirely additional system that either requires lots of drilling or lots of excavation.

    NJ has a pretty good tax rebate that defrays part of the added cost, as does New York, but you only see these things at the top of the market where long term operating costs can justify the larger initial outlay.

    The distortions built into the housing market by the suppression of petroleum prices are monumental. Look at a new developer built tract house and you will see almost everything in it is linked to the petroleum industry in some way and that 3,500sf house can only be built for $400,000 because the oil based products in it are ridiculously cheap. Equal government support for other technologies and products is impossible in our political marketplace.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Quite a few electric utilities, especially the public power sector (REA co-ops, municiipals, etc.), offer preferential rates for ground-source heat pump HVAC systems.

  10. Emma

    antidote du jour
    The 3 zebras are:
    Stripes (Racing Stipes)
    Zecora (My little pony)
    Marty (Madagascar)

    1. AbyNormal

      I asked the Zebra,
      are you black with white stripes?
      Or white with black stripes?
      And the zebra asked me,
      Are you good with bad habits?
      Or are you bad with good habits?
      Are you noisy with quiet times?
      Or are you quiet with noisy times?
      Are you happy with some sad days?
      Or are you sad with some happy days?
      Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
      Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
      And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
      I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes…again.
      shel silverstein
      (i’m just)

      1. real

        abynormal and emma
        very very nice poem..i was just thinking whether zebras have black stripes over white or vice versa..thanks for answer

        1. AbyNormal

          Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen;
          Talking or silent, moving unmoving,-
          The essence is at ease. – Yoka

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When Time reverses, we will be able to, from outside the universe, see ourselves inside it.

            1. F. Beard

              The Hindu Oscillating Universe theory is discredited since the Universe is not only expanding but accelerating!

              And Stephen Hawking later admitted that he was mistaken that time would reverse if the universe started to contract.

              But too bad for India that it has adopted Western banking instead of learning to share with equity-based money.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Better to share equity than equity based money.

                It’s especially beneficial for those without equity.

                1. F. Beard

                  Real capital includes skills and labor which contribute to the Equity of a common stock company so the workers deserve a share in that Equity; not the return of only some of their own stolen purchasing power in the form of a wage.

                2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Equity as in equity in the everything, not just a common stock company.

                  Self employed people are not to be the new slaves to those working and owning equity based-money-printing corporations.

                  1. F. Beard

                    Self employed people are not to be the new slaves to those working and owning equity based-money-printing corporations. Beefy

                    That’s what we have now since I’m sure Mondragon and other worker owned companies are so-called creditworthy and so can join the looting themselves.

                    That’s the hideous strength of the system; it’s ability to co-opt potential enemies.

            2. JEHR

              A scientist once said that there are no limits or ends to the Universe. Everything in in the Universe and nothing is outside the Universe including god. That changed how I thought about someone inside the Universe trying to create the Universe. Yup! Can’t be done!

          2. ambrit

            Dear AbyNormal and friends;
            Wait a minute there! You’ve just presented me with a real conundrum!
            First, I was taught by my Blessed Elders that; “An empty desk is the sign of an empty mind.” Have you ever gazed with wonder and disbelief upon the desk of a working scientist, ‘organizer,’ journalist? I don’t know about you, but I was greeted with the sight of an object example of the chaos theory at work, numerous times.
            Second, I have observed that the desks of the more rigid, doctrinaire, and, basically unimaginative persons I have had the dubious honour of meeting or associating with, as in work for, tend to be spotless. Pure indeed as the Light of Truth emanating from any one of countless Sages and Prophets, with whom I am admittedly on questionable footing.
            Third, so, if I have described people who I do not respect or admire as having empty minds, the question comes down to:
            “Are there degrees of Emptyness?”

              1. AbyNormal

                ha…that zebra is ‘spot’ on;)

                commendable share Emma…
                “Ultimately we suffer because we grasp after things thinking they are fixed, substantial, real and capable of being possessed by ego. It is only when we can see through this illusion and open ourselves, in Ari Goldfield’s words, “to the reality of flux and fluidity that is ultimately ungraspable and inconceivable” that we can relax into clarity, compassion and courage. That lofty goal is what makes the effort to understand emptiness so worthwhile.”

            1. F. Beard

              Where no oxen are, the manger is clean,
              but much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.
              Proverbs 14:4 (New American Standard Bible)

              How’s that for a useful Bible thump?

                1. F. Beard

                  It is what it is: A useful thump to those who complain of a messy desk.

                  Better luck next time. My own personal critic is useful but not if she’s sloppy. :)

                    1. F. Beard

                      Prove I was competing in the first place.

                      But if I was competing, my entry was from the Old Testament, a much neglected document that would have prevented this mess if it had been widely read and believed and which can guide us into straightening it out.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      As long as you’re for sharing, there is not need to prove anything.

                      You only need to prove something when you are competing.

                      Remember, it’s a dialogue, and not a lecture where one needs to invoke some outsider as if it can silence one’s peers. In the end, there is no respect to that outsider for such a counterfeiting abuse to merely satisfy one’s dictatorial self.

                    3. AbyNormal

                      “I will go wherever the truth leads me. It is secular scholarship, Rebbe; it is not the scholarship of tradition. In secular scholarship there are no boundaries and no permanently fixed views.”
                      potok, in the beginning

                    4. F. Beard

                      Remember, it’s a dialogue, and not a lecture where one needs to invoke some outsider as if it can silence one’s peers. Beefy

                      So dialog. But don’t presume to set the rules for that dialog.

                      Even the errors of Christendom, which must include the money system, have produced more good for humanity than any other belief system by far. And no, it’s not “the West is technological and the East is spiritual” because “Faith without works is dead, being alone” (James 2:1) and the Eastern religions and belief system have had little in the way of good works to commend them.

                      Hint: If you want to rebuke me you might try quoting Scripture right back at me because Scripture I respect. And you should too since it is the foundational document of a society that HAS DONE SOMETHING and which is terrifyingly powerful even in its (hopefully temporary) decline.

                    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Here is a rule made of gold that we can all live with:

                      Let no one – no government, no person – come between you and your belief.

                      By the same token, you don’t come between others and their beliefs or how they want their government run.

                      Anyone’s belief is between him/her and his/her gods or goddesses, between or him/her and Nature or whatever in the case of atheists.

      2. evodevo

        Relatively recent embryological research has shown that zebras are black with white striping. The adaptive reason is still argued about.

  11. spaceballs

    Anent spies for europe, it’s somewhat bassackwards to say that countries need imagery capacity to be sovereign. You didn’t need satellites to see that US WMD claims were nonsense. All you had to do was ask what a decade of genocidal sanctions had done to Iraq’s strategic platforms. Saddam was entirely bottled up. For plaforms he was down to donkey carts and pickup trucks.

    France based its resistance to war on the legal imperative of peace. They gained more soft power by taking that stance than they could ever earn by trading G2.

    Of course IRSEM thinks spy satellites are crucial for sovereignty. They’re France’s AFCEA.

  12. AbyNormal

    re Metals Warehousing by the Houses of the Holy…they’re chewing on the hands that feed them. corporate amerika is going to war with the entity they protect…the lords that fund them! s w e e t…should wrap matters up at a quicker pace.

    Every day learns from the one that went before, but no day teaches the one that follows…russian sayin

  13. susan the other

    Good to see Dave Dayen for Salon writing about Lynn Sczymoniak’s unsealed court documents. She is now on a crusade to expose the entire securitization scam that lead to the GFC. I wonder why the documents were only sealed for a year. That’s odd, because the government and the banksters could have asked for several years, no? And how embarrassing for the Fed and the OCC who pretended to compensate harmed borrowers. What a joke. Let’s ask Bernanke what he thinks of the facts contained in these court documents. I’m sure Janet Yellen is popping her bp meds as we comment. And Larry Summers is saying, So what – what can they do now? Lots, actually. All those failed securitizations can be nullified and the investsors can sue. Since the titles are so corrupted, the properties should revert to the homeowners. Including previously foreclosed properties. Does anyone think our Dear Leader will do any of this?

    1. Lambert Strether

      C-level executive had to have signed off either on these systems (for the service providers) or on the contracts to use these systems (the banks? the trusts?)

      Surely due diligence would reveal there was no way you could slice and dice MBS’s into tranches and maintain chain of title at the local level. It’s like signing off on a contract to run a package delivery service to Mars. “We had legal check it out, and the proper assurances were all given.” Well, no. They weren’t and could not have been done, as a child would know, but not, apparently, an executive.

      Maybe I’m naive, but surely there’s some way to turn all this into a criminal case? Maybe under Sarbanes-Oxley or, better, something at the state level (say in New York? (Elliot?)).

      1. susan

        I was hoping Spitzer could do stg about MERS if he becomes Comptroller, controlling all the pension funds. You’d think the Comptroller would also have a say about property recordings and the fees due. Criminal will be out because Obama worded the AG settlement promising no criminal prosecutions. Which was an amazing condition since Obama had said several times that”it may have been immoral, but it was not illegal.” Maybe lots of citizens’ arrests would help.

    2. davidgmills

      I look for this lawsuit to fail as have most of the rest. It will fail not on its merits but on some arcane procedural ground. That is what happens with these cases. The banks win because the judiciary can’t tolerate what would happen if a floodgate opened and homeowners began to win.

  14. rich

    Meet The Meshnet: A New Wave of Decentralized Internet Access

    While these projects are just getting off the ground, a mesh network in Catalonia, Spain, is going from strength to strength. Guifi was started in the early 2000s by Ramon Roca, an Oracle employee who wanted broadband at his rural home. The local network now has more than 21,000 wireless nodes, spanning much of Catalonia. As well as allowing users to communicate with each other, Guifi also hosts web servers, videoconferencing services and internet radio broadcasts, all of which would work if the internet went down for the rest of the country.

    In the US, people can generally already get online with relative ease, so meshnets there are less about facilitating access and more about security, privacy and net neutrality – the idea that ISPs should treat all traffic equally, and not charge more for certain types.

    This is the case with Hyperboria, the virtual layer that underpins meshnet efforts in the US. Hyperboria is a virtual meshnet because it runs through the existing internet, but is purely peer-to-peer. This means people who use it exchange information with others directly over a completely encrypted connection, with nothing readable by any centralized servers.

    Some form of encryption is already in use across much of the internet, but to be useful it has to be ubiquitous. Web services like Gmail, for example, let you log in using an encrypted connection. But when you send an email it leaves Google’s encrypted garden and hits the open web in clear text for anyone to read. With Hyperboria’s peer-to-peer connections, every single link in the chain of communication is fully encrypted. Intermediaries that handle traffic cannot even see what kind of traffic it is, let alone read any email. Use the purpose-built email service, and your communication becomes untraceable.

  15. Ms G

    Q: What’s the funniest thing the White House is saying about ObamaCare?

    A: That it’s *affordable” — ha ha ha ha.

    Time for another Easter Egg in ObamaCare that negates any claimed “consumer protection” or “affordability.”

    Out-of-pocket limits — at least til 2015 — are out-the-door (or out-of-ObamaCare). So — just in deductibles (not copays, not premiums, not not-covered-items) you could pay more than $6,534 for medical services and another $6,5434 (or more) for your prescription drugs if your plan has RX coverage and a PMB.

    (The excuse is how insurance companies hadn’t quite gotten it together to “reprogram their computers to aggregate spending by policy holder” [my paraphrase]. Is this a joke? Isn’t that the sort of thing any dodo company could get done in three years in about 5 hours?!)

    Meanwhile the press is all in a tizzy about how just the *premiums* will end up devouring huge chunks of families’ gross (pre tax) budgets!

    And so all those “protected” patients of the PPACA are but on buses heading for SqualorVille — with the stroked of a DOL pen!

    From Corrente Wire:

  16. Hugh

    Re the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, as I wrote a few days ago, Obama “will go the standard “delay and do-nothing” approach of naming a commission which will issue a report which will endorse the status quo because Obama will name Establishment surveillance state sockpuppets to it.”

    I should add we don’t know the names of the sockpuppets who will be involved. It being all so super hush hush maybe we won’t know them. However, one route these whitewashes often take is to have a group of rentable high profile Establishment “principals” act as a front. They are then fed summaries and conclusions prepared for them by, in this case, NSA staff, which they sign off on, legitimizing the whole affair.

    As for mortgages, it’s been my position for several years now that virtually every mortgage written from about 2000 to 2008 is so defective that it would be unenforceable if we had a normal, functioning court system. As Yves has also pointed out for years, all the trusts and securitizations based on these defective mortgages are themselves defective both because of the defects in the underlying mortgages but also because of massive failures to correctly place the mortgages in the trusts. The resulting securitzations cut the link between the mortgages and the promissory notes. Indeed those promissory notes were fractionated in the CDOs, and CDO squared and cubed. So their holders had a monetary claim against the homeowners (which the homeowners could have discharged through bankruptcy) but should not have had any claim against the homes. The banks who held the mortgages should have had no standing to pursue foreclosure because, not holding the promissory note, they had no monetary claim against the homeowner. Unfortunately, we have a corrupt judicial system in the pay of the banks and so an ongoing foreclosure crisis.

    1. AbyNormal

      H says…”Unfortunately, we have a corrupt judicial system in the pay of the banks and so an ongoing foreclosure crisis.”

      reminds me of tom wolfe’s, bon fire of the vanities scream

      “Let me tell you what justice is. Justice is the law, and the law is man’s feeble attempt to set down the principles of decency. Decency! And decency is not a deal. It isn’t an angle, or a contract, or a hustle! Decency… decency is what your grandmother taught you.”

      (im afraid to ask what tptb did to their grandma’s)

    2. sleepy

      No, I think they will come up with some meaningless tweak that was agreed upon beforehand, and announce great reforms.

  17. rich

    Gene Breakthroughs Spark a Revolution in Cancer Treatment

    The newfound variants have led major cancer centers to revamp their approach to treating cancer and have spurred a rush among drug companies to find medicines that narrowly target each one.

    The drugs don’t cure cancer and face significant hurdles. But doctors now talk of a “precision medicine” approach in which those pinpoint drugs can treat tumors far more effectively than catchall chemotherapy.

    “What we’re seeing is the beginning of a revolution in therapeutics,” says Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We can only hope that this gets us to where cancer is managed or curable.”

    Among signs that revolution really is afoot: A June 2013 study found that lung-cancer patients who were treated with drugs targeted at their genetically identified varieties lived 1.4 years longer than patients on chemotherapy whose cancers weren’t genetically identified.

    In effect, lung cancer is no longer a few common diagnoses. Instead, it is a growing list of rare cancers, each a target for its own drug regimen.

    “It’s likely that more than half of tumors have some alteration we can target with a drug,” says John V. Heymach, a lung-cancer specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. “They may not all have the same success, but we know that in many cases, a targeted agent will work very well.”

    The same goes for other malignancies: Scientists have decoded tumor DNA from breast, colon, kidney, skin and other cancers in recent years to discover scores of variations they didn’t know existed before.

    In 2010, precision medicine was still so nascent that Ms. Carey had to show unusual persistence. Few doctors even considered testing tumors for mutations.

    She says she had to demand the test. “Are you helping to save my life,” she recalls asking her doctor at the time, “or just waiting for me to die?”

    1. ChrisCairns

      Vitamin B17 has been know for years to be a vitamin that has dissappeared from our modern diet. Cancer is a relatively modern disease and is caused by people lacking this vitamin in their diets. Wild dogs don’t die of cancer, but domestic dogs with their processed food diet do. I have beaten a golf sized tumor in my left lung from consuming apricot kernels which contain it. But ask your doctor about it and he/she will turn to the big pharma “cures” which won’t cure you. Doctors have been struck off if they even talk about it. It is the only vitamin that is banned here in Australia and and US by the authorities. Why is that?

  18. rich

    Everything’s great?….schmucks.

    Forget Student Loans…Introducing Day Care Loans

    Now that enough college age Americans have been stuffed with over a trillion dollars in student loans only to get a job a McDonalds and live with their parents, folks in New York City have come up with a brilliant new concept to ensure the production of an entirely new generation of debt slaves. Introducing day care loans…and here’s the best part, they are “interest only” from childcare to kindergarden!

    Of course it makes sense that these loans would originate in my hometown of NYC, which has in the past 15-20 years fully transformed itself into a corporatized, generic and unaffordable Wall Street whorehouse. From CBS:

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After housing, child care is one of the largest expenses for families in New York City.

    But now, there is an option for parents to get their kids into some of the city’s top pre-kindergarten programs with loans just for day care.

    As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported Monday, tuition without room and board for undergrads at Harvard University is $38,891 for the 2013-2014 school year. For Princeton University, it is $40,170.

    Pre-school in Manhattan is not far behind, with some elite day care costing families more than $35,000.

  19. allcoppedout

    Geothermal wells are typical of our lack of proportionality and reliance on clapped-out economics. Economics is based on a model of the tragedy of the Commons.

  20. charles sereno

    On tomorrow’s Big Brother Links, along with Democracy Now!’s terrific exclusive interview with Ladar Levinson (Lavabit) and Nicholas Merrill, I hope there are supplementary links (as well as NC lightning strikes) because this is big time theater (the clip from Senator Obama will live in infamy!), and this National Security Letter stuff is hilarious because you can’t mention you got one to your wife/husband, lawyer, confessor… wait a minute, you mean you could jeopardize your own salvation with a gag order? Sounds like the ultimate in torture (pace, Torquemada). Nicholas Merrill shows a family resemblance (just guessing) to that fine American Poet, James Merrill. Aside from his connection to Merrill Lynch (via pater), he anticipated Nassim Taleb in one of his early poems, The Black Swan — “Riding, the black swan draws/ a private chaos warbling in its wake.” (NC tolerates poetry, right, Aby?)

    1. AbyNormal

      Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
      eliot ‘ )

Comments are closed.