Links 9/18/13

The Case Against Cursive Bloomberg. I thank God I went to college and graduate school in the pre-PC era. I am a very slow and inaccurate typist. There is no way I would have done as well in school as I did if I as a 30 WPM (at best!) touch typist had to compete at exam time with students who typed at 2-4x my speed.

Rhythmic ability linked to language BBC

Americans Are 110 Times More Likely to Die from Contaminated Food Than Terrorism Alternet

Report links antibiotics at farms to human deaths SFGate (martha r)

More media consumers are cutting the cable cord McClatchy. Trust me, when you seem more consumers ditching cable, you’ll see the pipeline providers start charging based on how much you download a month.

National Farmers and Social Strike gets seeds control law 970 suspended Real News Network (furzy mouse). On Columbia.

My grovelling apology to Herr Schäuble Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph


Obama Bypasses Terrorism Rule to Give Weapons to Syrian Rebels DS Wright, Firedoglake

Syria: Who Really Wants Assad To Go? Moon of Alabama

Murky Clues from UN’s Syria Report Consortium News

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Fisa court ‘not challenged’ on records Guardian

Also, the Nail Polish Remover Lobby Didn’t Challenge Section 215 Orders Marcy Wheeler

Dying for Control (I): Neurosis and Terror as National “Policy” Arthur Silber

After Navy Yard shooting, RIP for gun control Dana Milbank, Washington Post. Um, this assumed Obama had his heart in gun control. He never did. You can tell from his not coming up with an Orwellian rebranding.

Larry Summers Got a Bad Rap on Stimulus: Obama is the Problem Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

Shutdown moves closer to reality Washington Post

Obamacare will question your sex life New York Post (martha r). Lambert notes: Doctors As Sex Police: Baseless Obamacare Lie Jumps To Fox News Media Matters, but then adds:

Their argument is that questions like McCaughey cites in her Post article are part of routine medical practice according to the CDC. However, as soon as one thinks of non-consensual entanglements with third party via the vector of Electronic Health Records, which Obama is a big fan of, we see that McCaughey’s FEAR is right, just not the exact way that her fears will come true.

5 things you need to know about Colorado’s 1,000 year flood (with epic photos) Salon

‘Sheriff of Wall Street’ who eats raw meat for breakfast goes after Russian mafia buying up luxury Manhattan real estate Financial Post. Risking getting killed over $24 million of money laundering? Would sort of serve him right for not going after big banks instead.

How would the Fed taper? Financial Times

Fed unemployment mystery holds key to global markets Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Occupy Wall Street ‘fizzled out’ because ‘too many Indians, not enough chiefs’ Raw Story. Psychohistorian sent this as a propaganda watch item. “Fizzled out”? What about a 17 city coordinated paramilitary crackdown don’t you understand?

US super-rich hit new wealth record Guardian

Closer Scrutiny of Participation Rates by Sex and Age Michael Shedlock

The typical American family makes less than it did in 1989 Washington Post

Mortgage Lending Faces Big Risks From 2nd Liens, Delinquencies, and Higher Rates Mortgage News Daily

A fixation on liquidity is not healthy for financial markets John Kay, Financial Times

On the ‘Coase theorem’ and the economics of Coase VoxEU

Antidote du jour. Looks like a friend of our tennis-ball eating dog from yesterday:


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  1. scott

    In all the articles I’ve read about cursive writing, there hasn’t been any mention of why it was invented in the first place.

    If you’ve written with a fountain pen (or a quill), you’ll notice that you get a blob of ink every time you set the tip down. Until the ballpoint pen was invented, cursive was a way to minimize the number of blobs and the chance of smearing your work. The little loops at the beginning of pen strokes remove excess ink.

    So in the rollerball/keyboard era, cursive isn’t a necessary skill anymore, but may be one more thing (like Latin) to separate the truly educated from the barely functional.

      1. JTFaraday

        I told my mother about this when I heard it from my siblings, who have kids. All she said was, “How are they going to sign their names?”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Biometrics is the future, like plastics was.

          You urinate onto the front door, and it id’s you as the rightful renter*, pops up to let you in, even if you are piss drunk.

          * as long as you are current with your rent.

          1. JTFaraday

            Oh good. My two year old niece can already do that.

            I just knew she had a great career in front of her!

        1. hunkerdown

          Steinbeck’s “temporarily embarrassed millionaires” ethos would readily take hold among indentured servants, I’d think?

    1. Dr. Noschidt

      Fine cursive writing with a quill or fountain pen requires attention and fine motor control from good practice and practice, practice, practice. Fine cursive writing is a great accomplishment in childhood, for its satisfactory practice is extremely demanding. The child must exercise self control, with intense concentration, while developing this most civilized of skills and applications. Success gives the child command of something wonderful: the thrill of accomplishment of a high art which is eminently practical, which permits the child to express him/herself beautifully on paper, following a time-honored tradition of *literate humanity*, which accomplishment brings freedom and satisfaction for the rest of the child’s life. The abandonment of this “esthetic” discipline may have been the beginning of America’s forfeit as a civilized nation.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        FWIW, I also got Ds in penmanship. Some people simply don’t have much manual dexterity, and I’m one of them. Years of daily practice in typing has not made me any faster or more accurate (and I spent the summer after third grade taking a typing course, so this is not for lack of instruction at a formative age). But cursive was a more level playing field than typing is.

        1. optimader

          I learned w/ a fountain pen, lefthanded. a mess…After a couple pages I could make a fist and press the bottom of my hand on the last page to form a little high arch footprint, then add five toes w/ splotches of ink. The nuns hated me.

      2. pretzelattack

        sadly, i have to print if i want anybody to be able to read what i write, and i’m not even a doctor.

      3. hunkerdown

        One comment at Bloomberg raised an interesting point, that years of practicing writing in a demanding script tends to hone fine motor skills, which are increasingly in demand in manufacturing, laboratory work, and surgery. Might there be other, equally salutary paths to development that are not as colored by a culture of entitlement, elitism, pretense and unearned privilege?

      4. hpschd

        I have a problem with dislexia and dysgraphia.

        When I print I confuse b,d,p,q,g
        god becomes dog bed becomes deb
        (I try to remember – “bed” looks like a bed)

        When I write cursive – I have no such problem at all.


    2. Paul Tioxon

      In Catholic school, we learned The Palmer method of handwriting for cursive. We also learned “Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis!” It’s not the Greeks you have to watch out for, it’s the Ivy League Teamster.

    3. Robert Hurst

      Learning cursive has at least one legitimate purpose. All the historical documents from the 19th C. and prior are written in cursive. If you intend to do any original research in American history, cursive is as a bit like latin and greek for a classicist.

      1. Bruno Marr

        And, as pointed out somewhere, learning to Read cursive takes a very short time. Historians (PhD) would probably master the technique in a week. Writing in cursive is as relevant today as block printing was to architects just 20 years ago(I know). The keyboard changed writing just as computer-aided-design changed architectural graphics.

        (And I’m a former 8th grade penmanship champ.)

  2. AbyNormal

    re, raw meat for breakfast…
    U.S. Accuses Bank of America of a ‘Brazen’ Mortgage Fraud
    “The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope,” Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement. “This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated.”

    it looks like it wasn’t actually Bharara that filed the suit but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

    “Banking doesn’t involve fraud, banking IS fraud.”

      1. Walter Map

        Civil suits: yawn. They’re just PR because the banksters are robbing the real economy several times faster than they can be fined. Not meaningful.

        Wake me up when the big banks get broken up and the higher-ups start going to prison. Until then you can be sure pillage and plunder are business as usual and nothing has changed.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please check dates. And they are two completely different suits. The second link, the Schneiderman cases was way overblown. Schneiderman settled it for chicken feed, $25 million:

      The first is outstanding but is about defrauding Fannie and Freddie, not borrowers. And only seeking $1 billion in damages, which means it will be settled for at most 2/3 that.

      1. AbyNormal

        Thanks Yves…My Bad!
        the fraud out there looks like a plate of speghetti and i need to slow down my searches a good bit.

  3. jjmacjohnson

    “The standards require students to demonstrate proficiency in using a keyboard to type at least a page in a single sitting by the fourth grade.”

    Good Lord! Why?!

    1. Dr. Noschidt

      Why? So that they’ll be crippled with arthritis and other destructive diseases before they are 25, which will be the age at which they are fired & replaced with younger robots of flesh.

      1. F. Beard

        And shouldn’t the QWERTY keyboard, which is designed to SLOW typing (to accommodate mechanical typewriters), be banned from public schools in favor of an ergonomic keyboard layout such as the Dvorak?

        (I suppose programmable keyboards are not far from being practical so the above might be mute soon.)

    2. ambrit

      Dear jjmacjohnson;
      I would suggest that this is an artifact of Americas turning from Manufacturing to Service as its’ primary economic function. Remember when shop class helped us learn all those manual skills? Perfect training for industrial occupations, no? Now that our progeny have been exiled to boxx land, cubicles are cool, eh, they need a different skill set to fit in to the employment architecture.
      Simple social engineering.
      Also, I remember reading that cursive takes significantly more “brain power” to master than block printing. The difference in effort required to learn to write versus read is astounding. All this ‘extra’ effort builds cognitive ability. A populace that learns how to think more ‘deeply’ can be nothing but a danger to any controlling elite. (Time to go look for my Alcoa Aluminum brand tinfoil hat. I can feel VALIS beaming down on me even now!)

    3. jrs

      Actually typing is the MOST USEFUL class I took in junior high and high school. It’s an actual useful skill unlike most of what is taught in school which is quickly forgotten and never made use. But I learned it later than 4th grade and no harm was done.

      Yea I know we’re supposed to have received all this cultural knowledge and not just skills from K-12 education, but of course that’s entirely laughable, one learns all that stuff by their own reading in adulthood or one doesn’t.

  4. armchair

    What about voice recognition software? Aren’t we already yelling our bank account numbers into our phones while riding public transportation? Forget cursive or typing, we just need talking, right? Isn’t funny that PC’s shrunk into tablets, and now Microsoft is keen to advertise its addable keyboard. Everything old is new. Someday cursive will be the secret way to avoid NSA scrutiny and the hot way to write love letters.

    In high school, in the 80’s, the wisdom was that typing was for people who wanted to be secretaries, and that it wasn’t worth wasting time on it. It is now my biggest regret, that I didn’t take it sooner. Learning to type, as slow as I do, has opened my world up. I was never a fast handwriter and my grades and writing skills suffered for it (I am sure this comment contains errors). My real point is that it is ‘nice’ to ‘imagine’ a society with enough opportunity to embrace people with all of their weaknesses, not strictly by accomodation, but by finding ways to match their talents to opportunity.

    1. JTFaraday

      “In high school, in the 80′s, the wisdom was that typing was for people who wanted to be secretaries, and that it wasn’t worth wasting time on it.”

      Ha ha, I had too many tech people in my family to ever get that idea. That said, I never got really good at it. Too clumsy. Too much time mulling things over at the keyboard to pick up speed.

      So, I just turned out kind of useless. Like Liza Doolittle after Henry Higgins got done with her.

        1. curlydan

          My mother pushed me to take typing in junior high school. In fact, I wound up taking two years of typing. First year: valuable. Second year: worthless. Moral of the story: learn QWERTY OK, then move on!

          1. James Levy

            I learned on an IBM Selectric and I pine for the days when keyboards were pitched. It was easier to hit the keys, I made fewer mistakes, and a pitched keyboard opened up the carpel tunnel much more than this flat thing I’m typing on now.

            What ever happened to ergonomics?

            1. subgenius

              well, given that the qwerty layout was designed to prevent typing too fast…I’d say it was the first casualty of the information age…

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      I use Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate most of my correspondence and other writing and am quite satisfied with it.

  5. Joe

    Who would of figured this would happen? (/snark) Via the NYT :
    Reaping Profit After Assisting on Health Law

    “Washington’s health care revolving door is spinning fast as the new online health insurance marketplaces, a central provision of President Obama’s health care law, are set to open Oct. 1. Those who had a hand in the law’s passage are now finding lucrative work in the private sector, as businesses try to understand the complex measure, reshape it by pressing for regulatory changes — or profit from it.”

    1. Klassy!

      Do they give the administration an advance copy of the article? Judging from the comments, the shills are out in full force.

  6. from Mexico

    @ “On the ‘Coase theorem’ and the economics of Coase”

    That’s an interesting article.

    It looks like the market fundamentalists at the University of Chicago jumped on and distorted Coase’s research in order to justify their “free” market Utopia.

    On the other hand, Coase was no fan of dirigiste bureaucracy either, that is of that other group of Utopians who believed in the rightness of omnipotent central government:

    The problem, as Coase emphasised, is that both market and government coordination are costly, and neither will generate the optimal solutions contemplated by economic theory. Society thus faces a choice among imperfect alternatives and this, in turn, necessitates the adoption of a case-by-case, comparative institutional approach to the problems of economic policy.

    [T]he governmental cure may be worse than the market disease.

    Trapped between two groups of Utopian visionaries, what is one to do?

    1. Saddam Smith

      First recognise that the dichotomy is false, then look at the underlying dynamic (perpetual growth of the human sphere). It’s not an easy ask, but I think it’s the right way of going about it.

    2. David Lentini

      Trapped between two groups of Utopian visionaries, what is one to do?

      Recognize the third utopian vision: That there is such a thing as an optimal economy in reality. Drop that utopian vision, then the other two are shown up as nonsense.

    1. ambrit

      Mr. Strether;
      How do you think we ruled the bloody world for a century? Just ask the Matabeles, or the Boers, or the…
      Then that pesky Historical Imperative, (the Empire which never dies,) kicked in. America is now being forced to learn the same lessons the Long War, (1914-1945) taught us; and we still denied that reality until just a few weeks ago!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What AEP misses on the other article – Fed unemployment mystery… – and completely, by the way, is the electoral connection.

      More specifically, all Fed unemployment numbers are mysteries all the time, these days, for the reason that if you are not actively seeking work, you don’t count in the labor force.

      Using such logic, if you have not been actively seeking a candidate to vote for, or against, in an election for some time, you do not count as a voter.

      This way, we keep our voter participation rates envious to the rest of the world.

      Unfortunately, AEP missed that completely.

    3. ChrisPacific

      It was quite thoroughly deserved. I couldn’t believe that speech from Schaeuble. Even more horrifying than the speech itself is the fact that he quite clearly believes what he’s saying. The man must live in a parallel universe of some kind. Normally the best way to handle people like that is to put them in a secure treatment facility where they can’t pose a danger to themselves or others. Instead the Germans made him Minister of Finance.

      The speech does give a clue as to how this kind of doublethink is achieved:

      In just three years, public deficits in Europe have halved, unit labour costs and competitiveness are rapidly adjusting, bank balance sheets are on the mend and current account deficits are disappearing. In the second quarter the recession in the eurozone came to an end.

      So his definition of success is austerity, bank bailouts, and driving down wage rates. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

  7. Mcmike

    Yes, occupy was crushed.

    But it also failed to grow and sustain beyond a certain point.

    S’okay. Reform in the early stage is more of a seasonal seige than a single straight line.

    Occupy did its job and revealed the emperors nakedness, and articulated what the elite dont want us to talk about.

    And to borrow a phrase from Monty Python: it exposed the “violence inherent on the system”.

    “Bloody peasants!”

    1. jrs

      According to most of the critics state crackdown is not supposed to be a factor that figures into one’s decisions of what type of movement to build for maximum effectiveness. It’s only supposed to be about what is most effective in a hypothetical model of the world in which state crackdown is left out.

      But I think the “no chiefs” aspect was actually partly an attempt to subvert such a crackdown. I mean the left has plenty of experience getting crushed by the powers that be right? Some even say it is WHY there is no left in the U.S. Leaders of movements – sometimes they get killed. No leaders? Noone to kill. This is perhaps a strategic choice.

      1. hunkerdown

        Apparently the FBI was all too happy to let [redacted]’s assassination plot stand against whatever “leaders” they identified. What was Aaron Swartz actually leading? Methinks it’s coherence, integrity and capacity that inform target selection.

    2. jrs

      “Former Lehman Brothers Vice President Lawrence McDonald then added that the movement could’ve “been swinging [its] big stick about Glass-Steagall, because it had a lot of momentum. It was too many Indians, not enough Chiefs.””

      Why should ANYONE listen to a former Lehman’s Brothers Vice President’s opinions on what a radical movement should be? We are now taking advice on the goals of radicalism from the 1% themselves? The focus if anything shouldn’t have been on Glass-Stegall, but on trying entirely to take politics back from money. Compared to this Glass-Stegal is a very minor cosmetic change indeed. The fact that Glass-Stegal would be relatively minor is WHY they push it. The elite could live with it, if need be, it’s domesticated and neutered.

      “Robert Reich, the Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, responded by asking whether the democratic principles of these anarchists were responsible for the movement’s “downfall.””

      Oh woop de doh another voice for the elite, telling the radicals what their movement should be. True anarchists have no great interest in building another elite. They have no use for your Robert Reich, you’d probably have to work for a living!

      1. psychohistorian

        This is what I failed to convey to Yves when I sent the link.

        The comment above yours says the rest…of course they want more chiefs… kill and instill more fear in the rest.

        A book about Occupy by a CNN finance guy…..come on, pull the other leg.

  8. Jim Haygood

    ‘President Obama, in order to arm Al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels, has waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups.’

    Right in our faces — they didn’t even bother to delay this shocker till Friday night.

    But if Al Qaeda is our ally now, who says it wasn’t twelve years ago, when a brief spate of unprecedented steel-framed building collapses occurred?

    In other words, wasn’t Osama bin Laden (a/k/a ‘Tim Osman’ on the CIA payroll) just Bushobama’s labor contractor?

    1. Yonatan

      Justin Raimondo wrote that the 911 attack caused the US to enter a Bizarro World in which black is white, left is right and so on. In light of this. I offer the Bizarro World version of Orwell’s ‘we are at war with Eastasia’.

      “The US is allied with al Qaeda. We have always been allied with al Qaeda”

      Hmmm, that sort of makes sense.

  9. petridish

    RE: The Case Against Cursive

    This article is one of the most overtly creepy I have ever read. Probably the most indicative of the creepiness:

    “Literacy, it’s worth remembering, is an evolving concept.”

    Uh, speak for yourself, Bloomberg. It’s kind of like that concept of CPI which has “evolved” to the point that it is meaningless and used only to REDUCE cost of living increases in Social Security and INCREASE rents and medical insurance prices. Or that concept of national “defense” which has evolved into god only knows what.

    And just as reliance on calculators has reduced math competency–many times “number punchers” know so little math they don’t even realize when they’ve generated a nonsensical answer–substituting “keyboarding” for writing is fraught.

    Have you ever typed with that computer font that substitutes nonsense symbols for letters? Unless you have the key, you can’t read what you just “wrote.”

    When nobody can “write” without a keyboard, who gets the key?

    1. Antifa

      Anyone who can send text messages or tweets has mastered the alphabet by recognition, and in a pinch can pick up a pen and print out what they want to.

      Kids who have computer access at home are typing and texting and reading on the web, via keyboard and mouse, before they start school. Being able to type a page of text by fourth grade graduation is nothing. It should be doable by the end of first grade.

      America’s writing problem is the purposeful killing of public schools in favor of for-profit charter schools, leaving all the poor kids to suffer in schools and homes without any access to computers. They don’t learn to type, they don’t learn cursive, they don’t learn to print, they learn to write graffiti on our buildings. And why not? As a society we tell ’em to sod off, and they tell us the same thing right back.

      The only commercial application of cursive anymore is in greeting cards and wedding invitations, and 90% of that is done in computer fonts.

      Cursive . . .

      Star Trek fans will agree, “He’s dead, Jim.”

      1. petridish


        People were literate long before the invention of computers. Therefore, computers are not required to become literate.

        Obviously, the people who invented computers learned everything they knew WITHOUT a computer. Therefore, computers are not required to become educated.

        “America’s writing problem” is that writing cannot always be done in 140 characters or less, and it cannot be done only with the thumbs.

        The words text and tweet have no place in a discussion of literacy, unless it is the “evolution” of literacy that is being discussed.

      2. hunkerdown

        I don’t believe that the primacy of commerce is a value shared by this community. On the other hand, fine motor skills are a capacity as or perhaps even more broadly useful in social endeavors than in commerce. If only there were a way to develop them without teaching the baggage of classism.

  10. Jon

    Troll Alert. Ok, now that’s out of the way.
    Hi Folks. I’ve been wondering about this for quite a while now. Please help me out… My question is, what in the heck could Mitt Romney have done as president that was worse than the current administration? All last year, I was reading links and comments and attacks about Romney on this site. Yet, now that the current administration won, it would seem to me that it’s current actions are far worse that anything that could have been done under Romney. Mostly because the attack-dog lib press would have clipped his power. For example, in this snapshot of links, i see the following ‘bad behavior’ by this administration.
    Obama bypasses terrorism rule to give weapons to Syrian Rebels
    Summers got a bad rap on stimulus. Obama in the problem
    Obamacare questions your sex life
    US super-rich hit new wealth record under Obama
    The typical American Family makes less than it did in 1989
    etc, etc, etc.
    Ok. To summarize, it appears that the current administration is supporting Al queida rebels in syria, spying on it’s citizens, fumbling foreign policy, enriching the super-rich, and impoverishing the working class, and on and on.
    To ask again…Could anyone here explain to me what Romney could have done to make things worse for America?

    1. afisher

      If one has read the proposals from the GOP, how many times have we heard the neocons say that we should have sent troops to Egypt, Iran and now Syria…so we would have gone to fund more needless and win-less wars.
      What Social Security – it is now privatized
      What Medicare / Medicaid – those are moving into Grant status – which means GONE, as Reagan did for Mental Health.
      Minimum Wage – gone!
      Immigration: please self deport.
      Departments such as EPA – gone.
      XL Pipeline – fast forward approval, regardless of spills and non state of the art technology.

      While I may be unhappy about DC – I’d be out of the US if Mitt had been elected. I really have no desire to repeat the 50-60’s with the added twist of less rights via the American Taliban.

      1. Synopticist

        The list of people who would have made a worse president than Obama is fairly small, but Romney is definately on it.

      2. hunkerdown

        But the Democrats would then have likely pushed against totalitarianism rather than for it, because it would then have had Mr. Yuk’s logo on it and Mr. Yuk is icky and bad. As it is, a Good Democrat® acquaintance saw fit to respond to a negative comment about the Kissinger-Kerry meeting with pro-Kissinger apologia! (“If you knew what I knew” might have been the space I needed to win on my bingo card)

        On the other hand, taking circumstances as a whole, we might never have found out about the Stasi within and might never have seen the Emperor’s arse and tea kettle in 4k HD.

  11. diptherio

    Re: Rhythmic ability and language.

    Hmmm…not my experience. I was a heavy reader from a very young age, and only picked up percussion in my mid-twenties. The guy who taught me percussion, OTOH, has a hard time reading (ADHD), despite spending so much time banging on things rhythmically that he now can do this with out even thinking about it.

    I don’t doubt that playing music is good for your brain, but the article does seem to stretch what the research actually shows. Better rhythm tends to be correlated with “better neural responses to speech sounds”, but I doubt there’s a one-to-one correlation between neural responses and practical language ability. They haven’t shown that yet.

    1. rich

      Youth interrupted: Underage, illiterate breadwinners

      Inside Myanmar’s Dickensian child labor economy.

      YANGON, Myanmar — Little King can’t read or write. Little King can’t tell you the name of his country’s president.

      But he’s sturdy enough to balance heavy, spine-bending bundles of cargo atop his skull. Strong enough to tug dinghies loaded with bananas across the Yangon River’s mucky banks at low tide.

      Down by the docks, where men work like mules, Little King can earn $3 per day.

      He is a breadwinner, the primary supporter of a woman he adores and her two children.

      But that woman is his mother. Those children are his sisters. Little King is just a kid.

      “I’m not even interested in girls,” said Little King, real name: Nati Wai, son of a deceased dockworker. At the age of 11, he dropped out of school, stepped into his father’s role and became a dockworker himself. That was four years ago. “I already have a woman to take care of,” he said. “That’s my mother.”

      The world is filled with boys and girls who lose their childhoods to hard labor. Roughly 215 million children on the planet work, according to the International Labor Organization, and more than half have jobs the ILO deems “hazardous.”

      That children slave away in Congo mines or stitch blouses in Bangladesh is known to everyone who follows the news.

      But in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly titled Burma, child labor is not a minor social blight. It is a pillar of the economy. And at this unique moment in the nation’s history, that economy is set to explode.

      In international rankings, Myanmar is often cast alongside nations mired in anarchy or tyranny. Maplecroft, the UK risk analysis firm, ranks Myanmar’s child labor problem as the worst on the planet; worse even than in North Korea or Somalia.
      Last year, US President Barack Obama flew to Myanmar to tell a packed university stadium that its youth could “determine the destiny of the fastest growing region of the world.”

      1. hunkerdown

        As soon as Myanmar let the rapist have their way, the threats and microaggressions stopped.

        Seriously, try getting the self-identified feminist on the street to apply their concepts to classism. It is far more likely that what Audre Lorde said about the master’s tools will be illustrated most vividly before your eyes, than that your test subject will connect the dots between rape and imperialism.

  12. Eureka Springs

    @Jim Haygood Arming and funding al Q is nothing less than an act of treason by both the admin and congress who funds it. Why what we have been doing in Syria for quite some time has not been considered war / war crimes is beyond me.

    Also systemically treasonous, revelations exposed by Snowden in Greenwalds latest piece on US giving Israel all our info. As I said in Glenn’s comments at the time. Treason – say it loud and say it often.

    1. hunkerdown

      Interesting, isn’t it, that Greenwald could report on NSA and GCHQ’s operations against the peons in the Guardian, but that impugning Israel may or may not have called down the wrath of prior restraint on himself or the Guardian as a whole.

  13. rich

    The True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)
    The shadow banking system is vastly bigger than regulators had thought, say econophysicists who have developed a powerful new way to measure its hidden impact

    These kinds of power laws are ubiquitous in the real world. They describe everything from the size distribution of cities, websites and even casualties in war.

    That’s not really surprising. A power law is always the result when things grow according to a process known as preferential attachment, or in common parlance, the rich-get-richer effect.

    In economic terms, big businesses grow faster than smaller ones, perhaps because people are more likely to work with big established companies. Whatever the reason, it is a well observed effect.

    Except in the financial sector. Fiaschi and co say that this power law accurately governs the distribution of small and medium-sized companies in the financial world. But when it comes to the largest financial companies, the law breaks down.

    For example, the UK’s Royal Bank Of Scotland is the 12th largest firm on the planet with assets of $2.13 trillion.

    If the size of these firms followed a power law, the largest would be ten times bigger than the 10th on the list. But that isn’t the case. But world’s largest, Fannie Mae, has assets worth $3.2 trillion, just 50% larger than the Royal Bank of Scotland.

    Why the discrepancy? Fiaschi and co hypothesise that the difference is equal to the size of the shadow banking system, which is not captured in the balance sheets of the largest financial firms.

    And if that’s the case, it’s straightforward to calculate its size. The value of the shadow banking system is simply the difference between the value of the largest financial firms and their projected size according to the power law.

    By this measure, the shadow banking system is significantly bigger than previously thought. Fiaschi and co estimate that in 2007, the year before the financial crisis, it was worth around $90 trillion. This fell to about $70 trillion in 2008 but has since risen sharply to be worth around $100 trillion in 2012.

    seems safe?:)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That paper is one of the worst pieces of garbage I have ever seen, and remember, I read a lot of economic research, so I consider myself a connoisseur of garbage.

      There’s NO reason to expect a heavily regulated industry to follow some “pull a size curve out of your ass” metric and extrapolate from that. The paper is stupid and intellectually lazy.

      They have no foundation for their premise, none. They just made shit up and threw math around it, and because they are physicists, you are supposed to believe them. And your comment shows that mathed up utter tripe will be mistaken for something meaningful.

      1. rich

        So what’s the real number?

        Isn’t the real number a guestimate from a model?

        All knowing please tell me……..

        If I remember correctly it’s the physicists that they hire to develop the models at the I-banks etc….

        So silly me…….

        1. craazyboy

          I like almost all of the articles you post, rich, but you really blew it with this one. When you try and curve fit math, you start with the data, then you fit a math equation to the data. Not the other way around. (also too, bank physicists fit the math to the CEOs expectations. Quite profitable)

          1. skippy

            I still would like to see these numbers in man – hours – energy – expenditure adjusted in time expectations.

            skippy… personally I don’t think the orbs got it in her… shagged out like a military base whore on *payday*… and smells like one too… cheap.

            1. skippy

              In addition. In light of some recent discovery’s, which questioning was poo poo’ed from the very start, conveyancing, ratings, et al, and the opaqueness of some transactions, which would suggest risk tools are blunt if not useless… I mean do the numbers even matter any more?

              skippy… If a car is on a dynamo doing 3K+ RPM and showing a speed of over 120klm per hr yet is stationary… is really going anywhere… and if some one walks by and prangs it (looks at it the wrong way)… do I get to collect the insurance… as a total write off???

        1. rich

          What’s so funny? That I posted an article with an idea that disagrees with all of you. Is this how you empower yourselves by belittling another? Is this supposed to intimidate me..this public shellacking? Please…get over yourselves.

          Wtf is +100? Really…if I was looking for acceptance by anyone I join a political party. Grow up.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Wow, do you not get it.

            Since when has anyone on this site said shadow banking was small or been pro shadow banking?

            What about “it’s methodologically garbage” don’t you understand? This has nothing to do with ideological opposition and everything to do with honesty in research and analysis and rigor in thinking. This site, as I have said, is about promoting critical thinking. I just happen to focus on finance and economics because I know that terrain well.

            I am opposed to crap research and crap arguments even if they support appealing ideas. The BIG reason for that is that if you give bullshit a free pass, guess what? 1. You’ve got no basis for making intelligent policy or laws and 2. It’s even easier for the bad guys to snooker the public with crap research (witness tobacco, big pharma, etc) and get their way. You are actually doing the bad guys work if you support this sort of thing.

            Your position is tantamount to saying you don’t care if the research has any validity if it reaches a conclusion you like. And you are mystified that you are getting criticized for taking that position?

            1. rich

              Actually I don’t recall anyone on this site saying shadow banking was small and I don’t think I was implying that with the post.

              I think the article was trying to say “How do you regulate something if you can’t measure it”.

              They say,
              “It estimates the size of the shadow banking system each year by adding up all the transactions that fall outside mainstream regulation, or at least as much of this as it can see.

              The Board estimated the size of the shadow banking system to be just over $60 trillion in 2007, the year before the great financial crash. This figure dropped a little in 2008 but rose again to $67 trillion in 2011. That’s more than the total GDP of the 25 countries from which the figures are obtained.

              Now Fiaschi and co say the Financial Stability Board has severely underestimated the total. These guys have developed an entirely different way of calculating its size using the emerging discipline of econophysics.”

              I never heard of econophysics and don’t know enough about how they are applying their idea to data because it was just a summary not a research paper. Obviously, you think they’re on the wrong track and that’s fine but I didn’t realize I was taking a position or supporting anything.

              Constructive criticism is fine, what crazyboy wrote I understood, I understand your points about poor research and it’s implications, I understand it’s your site and you’re the big kahuna, but I think the response was a little overblown.


  14. Chris Maukonen

    From the OWS fizzeled link above:

    ” “the rejection of any sort of compromise with capitalism is the next wave of global resistance.””

    I’m already there. In fact Ive been there for quite some time. F*ck capitalists !

  15. diptherio

    I’d be interested to see what folks think about the Occupy Money Card. It’s the creation of Carne Ross, Robert Hockett, and others, supposedly as a project of the OWS Alternative Banking Working Group.

    It launched this summer but I hadn’t heard of it until @punkboyinsf tweeted it last night. The fee structure seems highly suspect to me. For instance, they charge a $2 fee for being declined at an ATM, $1 to check your balance or change your PIN, and $12 to be issued a check if you decide to close your account.

    I don’t know much of anything about the people involved with this, does anyone else? I want to support it, since I have raised the idea of an Occu-bank myself, but this looks like an all-too-familiar “soak the poor” business model. But maybe I’m being overly critical. Maybe there are good reasons for all of these fees. What do others think? Is this providing a real service to the under-banked, or is it just a cynical use of the Occupy name?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, you are correct. Matt Stoller (Alan Grayson’s staffer who knows a lot about payment systems by virtue of Grayson having previously been on the House Financial Services committee) made himself very unpopular at an Alternative Banking meeting late last year and told Carne Ross he thought they were being dishonest about how they were marketing the card.

      Remember, they can’t supply this service as Occupy Wall Street. This service runs over bank payment system infrastructure. So you have to be a bank to play. They’ve contracted with a bank (I forget which one) that is a “white label” card provider (as in it lets other people gather the customers and put their brand on the card but it does everything else).

      So there is a bank behind this. OWS is hopefully not charging much of a markup, but there has to be a markup to cover their costs, and trust me, the white label provider is charging a BIG markup over its costs (banks in the US overcharge big time for payment services ex simple checking accounts).

      1. diptherio

        Thanks for the reply. My consumer-watchdog alarms started going off as soon as I saw the fee structure. My local Credit Union has far lower fees and only a $5 minimum balance. A way better deal than the Occupy Money card.

    2. jrs

      It seems super conventional and conservative as far as alternative money and mutual credit schemes go. Occupy has a working group for thinking about money, and a slighly cheaper debit card is the best they come up with? This is entrepreneurial not radical thinking.

      So they might not make a profit – much like a credit union. The books should be wide open to show that it is being run as a non-profit. But yes you need a bank (or credit union? I’m not sure) to back it, that’s the law.

      1. F. Beard

        One would think that shares in Equity as a private money form would occur to them but I reckon there is no private competing with the current model of government-backed banks. How could there be?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you just graduated, do you have Equity?

          If you don’t work for a corporation, do you get Equity?

          But if you work for Monsanto, you will have your private money.

          1. F. Beard

            If you just graduated, do you have Equity? Beefy

            After one’s first payday one would, if he were paid with common stock. Or if we decide to redistribute the common stock of all large corporations equally on the grounds that they were built with stolen purchasing power, he’d have equity too.

            Ya see, paying someone with their own stolen purchasing power (our current system) is not really just, is it? In fact, it’s a form of slavery.

            Btw, try to keep stupid questions to a minimum today.

              1. F. Beard

                Issue your own private money all you want; just don’t be surprised if no one accepts it without a share in your assets.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It sounds like it helps to be with a corporation.

                  Go indie? Not if you want to avoid starvation!

                  1. F. Beard

                    Of course, there’s strength in numbers:

                    And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:12

                    1. F. Beard

                      It depends. If a strong corporation is narrowly owned it could range from very bad to very good, depending on the owners. If broadly owned, then a strong corporation would tend to be more average wrt good and evil.

                      So our society should see to it that ONLY ethical means are allowed in wealth acquisition so that if a company is narrowly owned, that the owners tend to be ethical. This, of course, rules out the current government-backed counterfeiting cartel, the banking system, since even the wicked can be so-called creditworthy.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      But you prefer people to work for corporations and not independently?

                      Go indie? Not if you want to avoid starvation!

                    3. F. Beard

                      My own preference would be a family farm with roughly equal shares in all large US corporations.

                      Some large corporations are necessary for economies of scale so we can’t very well do without them.

  16. Dante

    JPMorgan Gobbles Lion’s Share From Federal Home Loan Banks – a Program Meant to Aid Small Housing Lenders

    On June 24 of this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren was incensed. She wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the federal regulator of the Federal Home Loan Banks as well as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Warren had just learned that Sallie Mae, a Fortune 500 company engaged in making private student loans, had obtained an $8.5 billion line of credit from a Federal Home Loan Bank. Sallie Mae had been borrowing on its line of credit at 0.23 percent, then making student loans at 25-40 times that rate according to Warren.

    Warren reminded the federal regulator that “Congress established the Federal Home Loan Bank System to serve as a reliable source of funding to local banks and other community lenders that offer families home mortgages.” Warren cited a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showing that significant levels of student debt pose a barrier to Americans trying to buy their first homes.

    With housing stalling and mortgage credit still tight for many borrowers, Wall Street On Parade decided to delve into the financial filings of each of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and see who else might be getting a windfall from a program set up to help local lenders compete with the big boys. According to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, the system’s mission is as follows: “By supporting community-based financial institutions, the Federal Home Loan Bank System helps to strengthen communities. The System directly benefits consumers by helping to ensure competition in the housing-finance market.” Got that – competition.

    The mission, like so much else that Wall Street touches, seems to have run off the tracks. As of June 30, 2013, three of the giant, global, Wall Street banks are the largest borrowers from the Federal Home Loan Banks, with JPMorgan way out in front with borrowings of $61.840 billion. And it’s not borrowing from just one FHLBank, it’s borrowing from three and grabbing 65.8 percent of all advances from the FHLBank of Cincinnati, which services Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

    1. LucyLulu

      This burns me up. My daughter took out a Sallie Mae loan this summer, having used up her Stafford loan allotment. She’s in grad school, pharmacy, and summer attendance is required all but one of four years. Grad students are ineligible for the 3.4% interest rate through the federal govt., normally they pay double, about a third of which interest (during regular sessions) is subsidized until after graduation. Not only does she have to repay at 8% on the summer school money that Sallie Mae gets at 0.23% but she was charged a 4% origination fee. And the school made the decision this year that even though summer sessions only result in half the credits and is half as long, they’d charge the same tuition as fall and spring sessions…….. $12,000.

      It’s highway robbery. Thankfully she’ll have a good job after graduation, and already has offers from impressed mentors at practicums (says totally unbiased mom), but even pharmacy right now is not assured employment. There was an unemployment rate of 5.5% in 2012. That’s low for the general rate among the age group but pharmacy graduates also are likely to have six figure loans after 7-8 years of education (grads now have PharmD, bachelor’s sufficient in past). That also doesn’t include the underemployed, those working part time or per diem.

      Other countries fund the education of their young. Despite high unemployment and low wages among new grads, our country will make a $50 billion profit on their education. That’s more than Apple, more than Exxon, and more than the combined net income of the four largest banks.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Very interesting link – Naval yard shooting and gun control.

    Violence in America and we rightly ask, but sadly not likely to get it per the article, for gun control.

    Violence everyday everywhere else in the world, and no one talks about banning weapons large and small, conventional and unconventional.

    It’s as if foreign lives are not, um, exceptional.

    And usury is OK only on foreigners.

    1. F. Beard

      And usury is OK only on foreigners. Beefy

      Exactly. Ya see Beef, life is a competition between various belief systems so why should, say, a Jew lend interest-free to a follower of Baal? Or a Baptist to a Buddhist? And why do they need loans in the first place unless their belief systems are inferior?

      You don’t want the better belief systems subsidizing and thus perpetuating the inferior belief systems, do you? You do want the best belief systems for everyone, don’t you?

        1. F. Beard

          Yes, that appears to be the original distinction – Jews and Gentiles. So a German Jew should lend interest-free to a French Jew but might charge interest to a German Gentile.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So, there are a lot of American citizens (they think they are) but under your America, they are not American citizens?

            1. F. Beard

              I do not say they are not Americans; I say they are foreign to me wrt to certain things such as interest-free loans from me.

                1. F. Beard

                  In some cases, yes. We’re both Americans, I presume, yet I find you foreign and likewise you me, I suppose. I also suppose I was somewhat like you in the past which is why I find you so annoying.

                    1. F. Beard

                      Now you’ve drifted into sophistry.

                      If unintentional, I pity you. Otherwise, you’re being an ass. Neither reflects well on you.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      When this started, on this very same page, I wrote ‘usury is only OK on foreigners,’ and your response was ‘exactly.’

                      Why would I be drifting?

                      “It’s not the water that’s moving! It’s the bridge.”

                    3. skippy

                      “Ask your shrink?” – berado

                      FRANZCP, DPM, BSc(Hons), MB, BS(Hons) informs that you should, as it would increase, your quality or life – if not – the – others ***you judge*** so casually.

                      Clinical Interests:
                      Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, ADD) , Schizophrenia, Anxiety disorders , Autism spectrum disorders (pervasive developmental disorders), Psychology, Bipolar disorder , Borderline personality disorder, Drug abuse, Depression, Neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., 22q11 deletion syndromes), Anthropology/Sociology

                      I think you fit in there some where, remember the meds were just to keep you – stabilized – whilst undergoing CBT et al therapy.

                      skippy… ???foreigners??? Its smiteth time[!!!] and some wonder how we got here.

                      PS. BTW Genesis 8:21

                      English Standard Version (ESV)

                      21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse[a] the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

                      Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

                      8:20-22 Noah was now gone out into a desolate world, where, one might have thought, his first care would have been to build a house for himself, but he begins with an alter for God. He begins well, that begins with God. Though Noah’s stock of cattle was small, and that saved at great care and pains, yet he did not grudge to serve God out of it. Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; we must never think that is wasted with which God is honoured. The first thing done in the new world was an act of worship. We are now to express our thankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by praise, and pious devotions and conversation. God was well pleased with what was done. But the burning flesh could no more please God, than the blood of bulls and goats, except as typical of the sacrifice of Christ, and expressing Noah’s humble faith and devotedness to God. The flood washed away the race of wicked men, but it did not remove sin from man’s nature, who being conceived and born in sin, thinks, devises, and loves wickedness, even from his youth, and that as much since the flood as before. But God graciously declared he never would drown the world again. While the earth remains, and man upon it, there shall be summer and winter. It is plain that this earth is not to remain always. It, and all the works in it, must shortly be burned up; and we look for new heavens and a new earth, when all these things shall be dissolved. But as long as it does remain, God’s providence will cause the course of times and seasons to go on, and makes each to know its place.

                      ***And on this word we depend, that thus it shall be. We see God’s promises to the creatures made good, and may infer that his promises to all believers shall be so.***

                      skip here… “And on this word we depend” do you grock that?

                    4. F. Beard

                      – if not – the – others ***you judge*** so casually. skippy

                      Come now. Do you deny that Beefy is deliberately a pain in the ass*? Stake your creditability on that, will you?

                      Like I said, I admit I have problems (Who doesn’t?). But I am consulting my Manufacturer or at least the User’s Manual.

                      And if I’m wrong I’ll be no worse than several hundred million (a Billion?) who have believed likewise.

                      Btw, you remind me of my own early fascination with Christians in college. I both despised and was envious of them at the same time. However, I did witness a sociology teacher ask if there were any Christians in his class and then proceed to brow-beat a brave Christian girl who stood up, nearly if not entirely alone. Lucky for him, I did not know then what I know now or he would have gotten the brow-beating. She was cute too so I might have walked away with a fine wife-to-be.

                      I kinda like Mathew Henry but of course his words are not Scripture so they are irrelevant in any discussion with me.

                      *But he’s a useful foil at times.

                    5. skippy

                      Obtuse and deflective argumentation w/ playing pin the complaint on the other, in the form of a plea, is not only poor form, it is, an inability in cognitive function. Again your complaint was not addressed by meds, only modified chemically during the period it persisted in you. The self conditioning you subjected your self too, in a non review environment, is indicative of a overly developed self construct. You could have embraced just about any preformed construct ie dabbling in Austrian theory, neo/libertarianism, et al which are a direct offspring of the same metaphysical ancestor, hence the original interest. Although there were some incongruity’s which you could not reconcile in your personal world view wrt these institutions and were asked to leave. Non conformist – deviants are not allowed thingy, if they speak up or insist to loudly. Didn’t you get banned from ZH and other blogs for such, mostly the obsession with gold (propertarianism) issue.

                      The key issue – is the obsessive need to rationalize your self via some pro forma construct that validates the self in the face of so much fear and uncertainty aka anxiety. The sad thing is the more able an individual is – intelligence plus visualizing – possible out comes, the more inclined they are to suffer hyper anxiety. For example look at the suicide rates of PTSD suffers coming out of the ME and correlate it to IQ cognitive metrics. It tests on the high end. [someone should really do a base line on entering service]. This hyper anxiety is historically and anthropologically prevalent in large number society’s, seemingly necessitating, some sort of pro forma construct as a means rationalize it… hold it together. This is where the primitives shine a bit of light on the topic, as they rationalized their construct on what they could observe (vision based) vs. what they could not (thunkit). This is possibly correlated to the great shift, that occurred around many PIE civilizations, completely reordering the key fixtures in their foundation myths. Sun and Moon – Male and Female etc.

                      You and beef are juxtaposed in how you order your selves cognitively in this regard, hence the scraps. One loses the self – where the other worships it, yet still both are pro forma incorporeal constructs used as a coping mechanism against fear – uncertainty.

                      Look the hole reason I bring up all this stuff, as an exercise – in the – self being – constructs – prevalent in the ideology – isms that plague us today. Just look at the hole market thingy and risk, the hole thing is a fear machine grinding up humanity and the orb, but like a temple with heads rolling down it, people keep lining up for more… its Crazzyman. The priests running this show are just as committed to – their personal construct – as you beardo, maybe even more.

                      So beardy… you might consider not taking the cognitive position of those you criticize… ex nihilo ideological rigidity… it actually validates their construct imo.

                      skippy… defective switch… ON… normal is setting on your washing machine… I know I live in a small world… but, everyone knows me… so its OK.

                    6. skippy

                      Obtuse and deflective argumentation w/ playing pin the complaint on the other, in the form of a plea, is not only poor form, it is, an inability in cognitive function. Again your complaint was not addressed by meds, only modified chemically during the period it persisted in you. The self conditioning you subjected your self too, in a non review environment, is indicative of a overly developed self construct. You could have embraced just about any preformed construct ie dabbling in Austrian theory, neo/libertarianism, et al which are a direct offspring of the same metaphysical ancestor, hence the original interest. Although there were some incongruity’s which you could not reconcile in your personal world view wrt these institutions and were asked to leave. Non conformist – deviants are not allowed thingy, if they speak up or insist to loudly. Didn’t you get b#*%ed from ZH and other blogs for such, mostly the obsession with gold (propertarianism) issue.

                      The key issue – is the obsessive need to rationalize your self via some pro forma construct that validates the self in the face of so much fear and uncertainty aka anxiety. The sad thing is the more able an individual is – intelligence plus visualizing – possible out comes, the more inclined they are to suffer hyper anxiety. For example look at the suicide rates of PTSD suffers coming out of the ME and correlate it to IQ cognitive metrics. It tests on the high end. [someone should really do a base line on entering service]. This hyper anxiety is historically and anthropologically prevalent in large number society’s, seemingly necessitating, some sort of pro forma construct as a means rationalize it… hold it together. This is where the primitives shine a bit of light on the topic, as they rationalized their construct on what they could observe (vision based) vs. what they could not (thunkit). This is possibly correlated to the great shift, that occurred around many PIE civilizations, completely reordering the key fixtures in their foundation myths. Sun and Moon – Male and Female etc.

                      You and beef are juxtaposed in how you order your selves cognitively in this regard, hence the scraps. One loses the self – where the other worships it, yet still both are pro forma incorporeal constructs used as a coping mechanism against fear – uncertainty.

                      Look the hole reason I bring up all this stuff, as an exercise – in the – self being – constructs – prevalent in the ideology – isms that plague us today. Just look at the hole market thingy and risk, the hole thing is a fear machine grinding up humanity and the orb, but like a temple with heads rolling down it, people keep lining up for more… its Crazzyman. The priests running this show are just as committed to – their personal construct – as you beardo, maybe even more.

                      So beardy… you might consider not taking the cognitive position of those you criticize… ex nihilo ideological rigidity… it actually validates their construct imo.

                      skippy… defective switch… ON… normal is setting on your washing machine… I know I live in a small world… but, everyone knows me… so its OK.

                    7. F. Beard

                      Look the hole reason I bring up all this stuff, as an exercise – in the – self being – constructs – prevalent in the ideology – isms that plague us today. Just look at the hole market thingy and risk, the hole thing is a fear machine skippy

                      It’s spelled whole. I’ll desist from any detailed analysis of what that Freudian slip might entail [unintentional pun].

                      But back to me. Splendid psychological take down you have done! It seems you can communicate after all. Or do you have a shrink buddy?

                      But it’s vain since I’m three hours short of a psychology degree and have been to at least three shrinks myself (to get the pills).

                      Yes, my comment was deflective but, I think, instructive. Does that sociology teacher (assuming he still lives) bother to harass Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc ? My bet is no, since only Christianity is credible enough to bug you guys. That’s why you ignored Monsoor to concentrate on me?

                      I do hope for your sake that you live long because unless you have a road to Damascus experience, you have a lot of unlearning to do. OTOH, the Great Tribulation, which may be coming shortly, is a 3 1/2 year period of supernatural disasters that should convince anyone remotely worth convincing that God exists (Hopefully, I’ll escape via the Rapture which should occur about 3 1/2 years before the start of the Great Tribulation).

                    8. F. Beard

                      Btw, that sociology class was one of those auditorium-sized classes with at least a 100 students. No telling how many of those remember that brave girl but I’d bet not just a few.

                    9. skippy

                      Your assertions of blind faith, that you project upon a hole world is the issue. You want everything your way or you throw out the toys in your playpen of thunkit. Everything is about you and your exceptional belief.

                      Its hard to find common ground with actors like yourself, especially when they fight facts at every turn, just because they threaten statements made by your blind belief.

                      Numbers of believers don’t equal or are superior to fact, humanity has all ready been there and done that. What has been the out come of all of this…

                      Now magnify this observation by a very big number in America.

                      Its like a slow motion James Town.

                      I have lived long and by the looks of things have more life experience and knowledge. Which in my book is the hole point of being alive, expanding the self, not shrinking it.

                      Myself is not better than you… this is the difference between us… its a ocean that may never be crossed as your wind blows so hard against that journey.

                      skippy… spelling, grammar, O’boy… sigh.

                    10. skippy

                      BTW I detest those that try and limit knowledge, knowledge that might just help us out. When some just worry a about Dominion for Dominion’s sake.

                      skippy… and I did challenge Monsoor and others. Your accounting of the tale is not accurate.

                    11. F. Beard

                      BTW I detest those that try and limit knowledge, knowledge that might just help us out. skippy

                      How very Jewish/Christian of you!

                      “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 8:12

                      I suggest the whole chapter too.

                    12. F. Beard

                      Which in my book is the hole point of being alive, expanding the self, not shrinking it. skippy

                      You think I have not explored other options? I’ve spent my whole life doing so since the RCC convinced me I had no chance of Heaven when I reached puberty (and thus impure thoughts and actions) about 50 years ago till relatively recently.

                      But just how many Creators can there be? I’d say probability theory indicates just One. So Who is it?

                      “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Luke 13:24 NASB

                      The door is narrow but I’d bet it opens into a very wide space.

                      The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

                    13. skippy

                      You really are oblivious to how you come across to others. Dictating the future, oracle of truth, standard bearer of morals and ethics (foreigners in your own county thingy) – heathens et al, all with out a modicum of fact checking or other opinions. Bearado… do you think you are Gawd?

                      skippy… there is a valid reason some apply the nomenclature breathers. BTW I have great personal relationships with humans of – all walks – of life – and belief. They just don’t look at the world through such narrow eyes as some do, more inclusive, that’s why we call it a mob, we are a mob that has to live together thingy.

                    14. F. Beard

                      all with out a modicum of fact checking or other opinions. skippy

                      I’ve done that previously; unlike you I think one should reach some sound conclusions about life; conclusions that make sense; not the hopeless conclusion that this life is all there is.

                      If I have confidence in my beliefs it’s because I’ve worked hard to achieve it. My best friend till the end of college thought like you and it literally took me 20 years afterwards to silence his internalized objections to my attempts to believe. But I did it. No facile faith is mine.

                      You think you have intellectual honesty? Well so do I but there comes a time when one must decide. I’ve decided a non-Christian worldview sucks and I’d rather risk being wrong with hundreds of millions of fellow Christians than spend the rest of my life in doubt like you.

                      Me think I’m God? No, been there and done that on the off chance (and an LSD trip at a Buddy Miles concert in college) that it might be true. This was the song playing at time.

                      No, it is much more likely that you desire to be God. But that was Lucifer’s mistake only he desired to be like the Most High, not replace Him altogether.

                    15. skippy

                      “Well so do I but there comes a time when one must decide.” – beardo

                      skip here… NO as that would infer coercion in the form of a time limit, also its authoritative.

                      “” all with out a modicum of fact checking or other opinions. skippy – “I’ve done that previously”” – beardo

                      skip here… I can easily present 10 accounts where you were factually wrong and dismissed the evidence as a personal choice. The fact that most of your links come from poison well sights is indicative of your inability to counter. You have to cheat in order to get your position tabled, pathological cheating – lying is another sign post of social dysfunction.

                      Skippy… the last 40 years has been full of it… were soaking in it… a world that functions on lies… leads to only one place… oblivion… the rest stop for breathers imo.

                    16. F. Beard

                      NO as that would infer coercion in the form of a time limit, also its authoritative. skippy

                      It’s not coercion; it’s a window of opportunity for you to escape the consequences of your sin. Or I suppose you’re one of those people who have never sinned? Only made “mistakes?”

                      Well, I know I’ve sinned. There ain’t no doubt there. One would think an ex-mercenary would have even less doubt.

                      Btw, this was never about me. It is about the ideas I advocate. But you get some satisfaction in proving I’m a sinner. Well, whoop-te-do, that’s the starting point for a Christian, to admit he sins.

                      Your blood is on your own head, as far as I am concerned. The Great Tribulation is designed for people such as yourself assuming you’re lucky to experience that tough love and yes the wrath of God and maybe learn from it.

    2. LucyLulu

      But we only notice when there are mass killings in the US. A homicide here, a homicide there, they go unnoticed.

      And now, we are becoming acclimated to even the mass murders. The day after the shootings I heard a female (alleged liberal) news anchor say, “we haven’t had a mass shooting in a very long time, about nine months”.

      WTF? Nine months, a very long time? Only a mass shooting in the Capitol building would be noticed.

      And we’ve now seen (again) how helpful it is to have a “good guy with a gun”, quite a few of them I’d say.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps it’s too utopian, but I say get rid of all guns and weapons. Take them away from cops, citizens and soldiers. Make every nation gun- and bomb- free.

        If you want to hunt a lion, go ahead and see you are better than Hercules. Don’t be a coward and deny the animal a fair fight (remember, you are the one who wants to pick a fight).

        1. F. Beard

          So a weak woman would have no defense against a stronger male assailant?

          Personally, I’d like every bully to fear a woman might be packing – at the least some very nasty pepper spray.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            The bigger problems is inhibtion.

            You need to be willing to hurt them first, as in inflict sufficient injury so as to render them incapable of action. That’s at least as important as the relative sizes. But pretty much everyone when assaulted goes merely defensive. That will get you hurt or maybe killed. So when attacked, you need to hit the most vulnerable part you can reach as hard as you can. Gouge eyes out. Crush gonads. Break arches. Crush the voice box. But most people are inhibited about breaking the skin of the other person.

            Women often are too slow to deploy pepper spray even when they have it. Plus it might have gotten to the bottom of the purse. And guns are generally useless even for cops if the assailant is within 20 feet. They can get to you before you can draw and aim.

            1. F. Beard

              On walks where I have felt threatened (I was mugged once, fought back and got beat up by two guys who knew karate but at least from then on I knew I wasn’t a coward though possibly a fool!), I would reach in my pocket and wrap my fingers around some bear pepper spray with my thumb on the trigger. That stuff is so nasty that I once sprayed it AWAY from me and suffered for about a week.

              BTW, why we should never consider fighting the Russians: Shooting while pepper sprayed

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Russian mafia buying up Manhattan real estate.

    That’s creating jobs in America. That’s faith in the American economy. Who are we to judge other foreign slave labor profiteers investing in America?

  19. duffolonious

    “Trust me, when you seem more consumers ditching cable, you’ll see the pipeline providers start charging based on how much you download a month.”

    They don’t do this for DSL (internet only) or Fiber-to-the-home (although rarely available) – so only in the monopoly markets maybe. I’m guessing prices will simply go up.

  20. rich

    You serve your masters well and this is what happens?…

    Two guard dogs that protected Prince William on RAF duty are destroyed days after he quits because they couldn’t be redeployed or re-homed
    Prince left his role as a search and rescue pilot in North Wales last week
    Within days of his last shift, his two guard dogs were destroyed on Friday
    MoD said Belgian shepherd Brus had ‘come to the end of his work life’ while German shepherd Blade couldn’t be reassigned to other duties

    please, no excuses,……………

    1. LucyLulu

      What excuses could be given? These dogs could have easily been rehomed. I could’ve found them homes myself within a couple days, as I know people who raise and train either these dogs, or similar ones (Malinois – one type of Belgian Shepherd, commonly used for this type of work).

    2. optimader

      Beyond the Belgian being one of my favorite dogs, its just wrong! That ass-wipe should have, as a minimum, personally found a home for the dogs, I would have been nothing more than turning him loose on one of many castle grounds that inbred family of parasites own.

      A stark glimpse of their pathology. They are for all intents and purposes a multigenerational, socially accepted organized crime family.

      1. Emma

        What a “tyrant-turd”….unless the Prince knew nothing about this whatsoever….but j’ai des doutes so I say “liberté, égalité, fraternité” and let’s have another French revolution in London. I only say a second French one, as they have already invaded London in the last few years so voilà!

  21. LucyLulu

    The second article is correct in that asking about sexual history, drug use, mental health, etc is appropriate and even good practice in doing a complete physical and assessment. They help identify risk factors and possible diagnoses, particularly if somebody presents with symptoms. For example, a 10 year old drug history can result in Hepatitis C after a long asymptomatic period, or period of symptoms that have been dismissed.

    In addition, medical records have always been shared with other providers immediately involved in one’s care. For example, if hospitalized, all doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. have access to one’s complete records. During registration, one typically signs a consent allowing access to any prior records from that same hospital, and if it’s a planned admission, usually a consent has been signed for records to be sent from your physician. All of these records are stored on the floor with your chart and are accessible to anybody who provides care to you. Consents for records from different facilities would be obtained separately. I don’t believe this would change under Obamacare as it is governed under HIPAA.

    The major change, as I see it, with EHR, is that access to the information will be less cumbersome. With paper records, charts can be inches thick and finding information is time-consuming. Important information can and often is overlooked, buried within the records. Expensive tests and procedures are repeated, often also placing patients at undue risk. Prescribed medications can get mixed up. There is a nurse or pharmacist tasked to obtain this list upon admission and follow through to discharge, but it gets cumbersome when multiple physicians and pharmacies are involved (and the patient says he takes a little white pill for his pressure).

    When I worked on an adolescent behavioral health unit, it wasn’t unusual for a complete assessment, which included a physical, behavioral, family, and social assessment to take two hours. And yes, I asked about sexual activity (outside presence of parents). In girls, we ruled out pregnancy, sometimes diagnosed and treated STD’s as sexually active girls were given pelvics by female peds fellows. Later we also did routine teaching about contraception and prevention of STD’s with the kids, as there was a high rate of unprotected sex.

    One always has the right to refuse to answer questions. Otherwise, I don’t know how optimal care can be given without the ability to share information between providers. All providers are ethically bound to keeping your information confidential, a responsibility I always took VERY seriously, as did others I worked with. One of our former teens is now a well-known celebrity. AFAIK, despite numerous people involved in treatment, his/her illness and hospitalization remains his/her secret. (And another family was on Maury Springer, quelle surprise!)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’re right that any effective diagnosis/treatment would need the information you mention.

      The concern is the NSA accessing it…or some moralist “you deserve it because you are a drug user!”

  22. Doug Terpstra

    Scant links on Syria today, but WOW do they nail Israeli-American intrigue, in concert. Moon of Alabama highlights Israel’s acknowledged support of al-Qaeda; FDL reveals that Obama is expressly “waiving” [violating] US law to directly fund the very same al-Qaeda-allied terrorists (who’da’thunk it; oh wait…); and Iran-Contra sleuth Robert Parry asks too damn many damning questions that expose Machiavellian efforts to assertively fix “ facts” around predetermined policy (a la Downing Street). This is jaw-dropping — naked evil, in which our own MSM trivia-channels are once again directly complicit in epic crime, thru deafening silence, diversion, and disinformation.

    It’s Iraq redux. The first time, some MSM complicity in regime lies was debatably-pardonable ignorance (not all, Judith Miller). But this time, the US media has indisputably crossed the malpractice threshold right into active malfeasance — unforgivable collusion in explicit crimes. This time, by their intentional cover-up and perversion of facts, the US MSM, especially the Neocon Times (NYT), is actively conspiring with the regime — a rogue regime aiding and abetting terrorists.

    This, IMO, constitutes an unprovoked act of war against a sovereign state, a war crime under international law. And under that law, Syria today would be fully justified (albeit suicidally-foolhardy) in attacking the US in an act of self-defense. Never thought I’d live to see this: my own government (one nation under Israel) as the avowed enemy of mankind, aided and abetted by “professional” journalists.

    Meanwhile, the American people slumber in blissful ignorance of the manifest evil that is committed in their name and at their expense. They are still dreaming of hope and change and pondering various ways of reforming the Dixiecratic Party.

    To today’s troika of links, I would add a rather ironic source of reason, Russia Times:

    Russia will provide the UN Security Council with data proving that the chemical weapons near Damascus were used by the opposition, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said. The materials were handed to Russia by the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.

    “We have plenty of reports on chemical weapons use, which indicate that the opposition regularly resorts to provocations in order to trigger strikes and intervention against Syria,” Lavrov said. “There’s a lot of data. It’s widely available on the Internet. This data is presented in the report, which our experts put together in association with the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in March this year. There’s also plenty of data on the incidents that occurred in August in Ghouta, near Damascus.”

    “All of this will be considered in the Security Council, together with a report, which was submitted by UN experts, confirming that chemical weapons were used,” he added.
    The minister stressed that “it’s yet to be established,” which side in the Syrian conflict – opposition or government – is responsible for the use of chemical weapons.


    Neither Russia, nor the USSR has ever supplied chemical weapons to any other foreign state, Sergey Ivanov, the head of the Kremlin’s administration, stressed.

    “Nobody disputes the fact that the Soviet Union has never shipped warheads armed with sarin to Syria or any other country,” the official is cited as saying by Interfax-Ukraina news agency.

    See also the full 38-page UN Report

    1. psychohistorian

      How is it that none are talking about the Saudi Prince Bandar and whether he might have acquired some sarin rockets and had them set off in Syria by his bought group?

      The dots are not that hard to connect when ongoing global hegemony is at stake.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Right, it is arguably criminal negligence or reckless endangerment, not mere malpractice, that the mainstream media is not questioning authority—dubious authority that is already hugely discredited as belligerent warmongers. This is especially so given obvious discrepancies, not only on the evidence of whodunit, as you mention (MintPress and GlobalResearch have done credible investigations of Saudi fingerprints) but also hard-hitting questions about why we are spending money supporting al-Qaeda at Israel’s behest or command, which we should be investing in jobs, healthcare, education, food stamps, Social Security, etc..

        The MSM is utterly without excuse or defense this time, and they will rue their collaboration in these crimes if there is ever a just accounting. As Eureka Springs writes, this is treason — treason — and I do expect a reckoning, with Obama first on the docket.

    2. Synopticist

      The barrage of pro-rebel propaganda from the UK MSM is nearly overwhelming. The very worst is the BBC, followed by the Guardian. Which is so f*ckin weird when you consider their attitude to the Iraq war, unless you factor in some arab oil money.

      It’s really pretty gross. I’m so glad I don’t pay the license fee, there’s no way i’m paying for jihadi propaganda.

    3. next time use ebola

      Some fun gloating from Ray McGovern.

      We’ll know if peace is really making headway when some Dem hack pops up and tells us how Elizabeth Warren stopped the war cold with a secret masterstroke of cloakroom colloquy. They think you’ll swallow that. They really think you’re stupid enough to believe it.

      Like we don’t remember exactly when the Zionazis castrated the Senate. Back when Daschle and Leahy were a little slow to fall in line and CIA wanted their enabling acts. The disobedient Senators got a note with some pleasantries and weaponized anthrax. Fake FBI agent Spike Bowman destroyed the evidence and CIA puppet ruler Barack Obama declined to investigate, to save his chicken skin. They think we forgot all about that. Illegal biological weapons under secure US government control. Deployed by the US government in an attack on the legislature.

      From then on in the senate it was Yes sir, Yes sir, Three bags full. Illegal surveillance in breach of Article 17. Aggression in Afghanistan. Crimes against humanity in breach of the Convention Against Torture. Aggression in Iraq. Aggression in Pakistan. Armed attacks on civilian populations in Yemen. Aggression in Libya. Armed bands sent to Syria in manifest breach of the UN Charter. Stamp, Stamp, Stamp, Stamp! Ink that stamp, bitch, Stamp, Stamp, Stamp, Stamp!

      Why would I vote for or against any of these worms? What kind of moron would give them money? The most servile senate since Tiberius reigned, cringing in fear of their lives. To curb this state, I’m going to go to people who matter: to citizens of the states party of the Rome Statute. They are criminalizing the conduct of this rogue state, so the ICC can join ICJ and the UNSC as a check on US government crime. Putin read the UN Charter to this government and enforced it with missiles and warships. That’s what we need.

    4. Jackrabbit

      Thanks for the summary (I didn’t have time to read these links).


      And I liked your term “Naked Evil”.

    5. Whistling in the Dark

      What do you suppose it’s all about? They seem pretty eager to get in there (they appeared ready to risk an unpopular strike already, though bungled by Kerry). Is the “pipeline” notion a sufficient explanation? … It seems like there are a lots of elements to the big picture: Saudi oil fields uncertain (well, to me, which means nothing) status, lots of oil still in the ground nearby in Iraq (who’s it going to now?), and a potential revolt by Iran and co. to break, I dunno, the near monopoly on denominating oil sales? I only vaguely know about these things, so I don’t know if there is much sense here. Also, there is the other large piece of the oil-pie remaining, the Arctic, and who is it exactly that is best positioned to take advantage of that (as the ice retreats)? Russia, I would presume. So, pursuing one’s interests at minimal risk is always best; erecting favorable tyrannies in the Middle East is the usual course! But perhaps a new strategy is being pursued: iron domes around important oil-extracting infrastructure amid various near-failed state, chaotic settings; accepting the threat of piddly terrorist attacks as the cost of doing business. Who knows.

      Oh, and finally, there seem to be some prospects for upsetting the international order. The UN may yet endorse some strikes against Syria, but then again it may not. The US seems poised to do something which may provoke outright condemnation by the UN. Perhaps rather than being a risk or an acceptable cost, it is also a goal of the shot-callers. This may lend itself to an occasion for a restructuring of things, of the UN.

      I dunno, I keep thinking about these nutters in power who said something along the lines of no longer reacting to history but making it and of shaping a new reality–i.e.: the one or ones who denigrate the “reality-based” community as hapless spectators (which, they probably have a point.)

      The only bottom line I can see is that the big dogs in America need to insure that the masses are believers in the whole and that they have a sufficiently generous standard of living, to help toward that, so that they voluntarily commit themselves for enlisting in what is likely the ultimate guarantor of power, the military and all that. And, hey, “human rights” is — sincerely! — something to believe in, right? Maybe we get that thrown in with the bargain. The rest of the world should get ready for its liberation!

  23. Bruno Marr

    Yes, there is a thing called talent. But playing music (percussion, harmony, melody) is about practice, practice, practice!

    1. F. Beard

      There must be anti-talent too since no amount of practice would enable me to play the piano unless maybe I was strapped into an exo-skeleton which forced my fingers to move correctly.

      That said, I enjoy music intensively.

  24. vachon

    The post from Arthur Silber is quite devastating. I’ve known in my bones that something was really wrong with this superstructure called the NSA was somehow getting it’s governmental rocks off from collecting all this stuff. But God forbid somebody should come right out and saying.

    Thank goodness somebody just did. It’s sick, it’s depraved and it’s time somebody took the joy stick away from the people in the “Captain’s Chair” and got them some human being help.

  25. allcoppedout

    Learned to type on Dad’s old Olivetti and still smash the keys with about I’m more concerned we still force the 3 rs on kids instead of helping them use keyboards and software solutions. We should be thinking with machines by now. I suspect instead most kids get keyboard skills via Facebook practice.

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