Links 10/8/13

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9 Instagrams Of The Storm That Make New York Look Like The Set Of An Apocalyptic Movie Clusterstock

Quantum black hole study opens bridge to another universe Gizmag (furzy mouse)

FBI struggles to seize 600,000 Bitcoins from alleged Silk Road founder Guardian

When scientists attack Columbia Journalism Review

New Terminator-style ‘bots can self-assemble, leap, climb and SWARM The Register (furzy mouse)

Mystery drone collides with Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Morning Herald (Chuck L). The Sydney Harbor bridge???

TPP pact requires regulated financing Bangkok Post (furzy mouse). Thailand also does not like the idea of deregulating finance further.

Tepco’s Claim Radiation Leaks Confined to Coast Called ‘Silly’ Bloomberg (Lambert)

World Bank cuts China, East Asia growth forecasts Reuters (furzy mouse)

A taxing issue for Norway’s sex workers Independent (Chuck L)

Can demography explain Portugal’s growth slump before the crash? Edward Hugh

Syria: False NYT Claim May Serve U.S. Policy Change Moon of Alabama

Obama’s Rendition Operation in Libya: It’s Like President George W. Bush Got a Fourth Term Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

Selective Disclosure About Targeted Killing Just Security

Israel won’t let Iran get nuclear weapons, even if it stands alone: Netanyahu Associated Press

Shutdown Showdown:

The Deficit Scolds Include the President Dan Kervick

Pentagon Outmaneuvering Shutdown For Now DSWright, Firedoglake

Crooks, Liars, Idiots, and Plutocrats Triple Crisis

The “Debt Ceiling” Smokescreen Counterpunch (Carol B)

What John Boehner Is Saying In Private May Be More Ominous Than The Public Comments Clusterstock. This is consistent with one of my threads yesterday, that Boehner may well think he can get Obama to blink, that Obama would simply not default and will have to capitulate. And Obama insisted again he won’t use the 14th Amendment, which is the cleanest way for him to blow off the default if the Republicans won’t deal.

Capitol Hill: ‘Looking for an exit’ BBC (Lambert)

Debt Limit Taking Center Stage in Impasse Wall Street Journal

Biggest U.S. Foreign Creditors Show Concern on Default Risk Bloomberg

The House GOP has nothing to show for its government shutdown Washington Post

Supreme Owner Made a Billionaire Feeding U.S. War Machine Bloomberg (Lambert)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

How Can NSA Protect Our Power Grid from Cyberattack When It Can’t Keep Its Own Power On? Marcy Wheeler

America’s police are looking more and more like the military Guardian

Obamacare Launch:

Health Exchange Delays Tied to Software Crash in Early Rush New York Times. The finger-pointing has begun.

Obamacare: I Have the Dish Ted Rall (Lambert). OMG, if there is only one link you read today, it needs to be this one. Get a load of some of the key bits:

All the plans offered by New York State do not allow you to go “out of network” for healthcare…Then there’s the rates: not low. Not affordable. Not, as Obama said, comparable to your cellphone bill.

Now New York may prove to be an outlier because it has a state insurance regulator with some balls and allows for external appeal, which is a huge cudgel over one of the big ways insurers deny care, to say that a treatment isn’t appropriate or necessary, or hit the patient with surcharges because the doctor’s bill is deemed to be in excess of “ordinary and customary” charges.

Darrell Issa’s Health-Care Plan Is Basically a Plush Obamacare Atlantic

40 Percent Of Doctor Practices Unsure About Obamacare Exchanges Forbes

For feds, there is more at stake in Tsarnaev case than just losing Boston Globe (Chuck L)

U.S. Consumers Falling Behind on Bills after Years of Improvement WSJ Real Time Economics. Richard Koo detected shrinkage in financial assets held by households a quarter or so ago and thus did not see consumer relevering as a sign of strength. And a lot of this “improvement” has been involuntary, as in foreclosures.

Modified seriously delinquent loans hold strong during mortgage crisis Housing Wire

Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands Balloon Juice. On Scalia

IMF warns Fed on effects of tapering Telegraph

‘Why Isn’t Poverty Falling? Weakening of Unemployment Insurance Is a Pivotal Factor’ Mark Thoma

All Of The Confusion Over Tapering QE May Have Been Because The Fed Was Looking At Inaccurate Jobs Data Clusterstock. The Fed needs to read econoblogs. NC was hardly alone in discussing that the “economy is recovering” look to the data in the first quarter for the last three years was based on seasonal adjustments that looked out of line in the new normal

Spain Is Expected to Extradite Ex-Trader in JP Morgan Case New York Times. Ooh, this is gonna be FUN! Remember, this is a criminal case and Martin-Artajo was senior (senior enough to make a run at taking over Ina Drew’s job when she was absent for protracted periods due to health problems). He could spill the good on Dimon. The question be whether the DoJ has the sophistication and guts to use them. As we said, we doubt they’d indict Dimon even if Martin-Artajo had damming info, but they could force a resignation or accelerated succession.

Fashion’s True Leading Economic Indicator Lee Sheppard, Forbes

Money is not true wealth (Part IV: The United States) Glenn Stehle, New Economic Perspectives

The Many Straw Men Surrounding Marx Pieria

Antidote du jour. Reader Ann’s cat Emmett (yes, that is a mouse toy, not the real thing):


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  1. no more banksters

    “If one take a look at the data, can see that the share of the US government debt held by the “Federal” Reserve reached record levels in 2011, reaching 11.2% of GDP, the highest since 1940 onwards, and possibly the historically higher. In 2012, this rate was also high at 10.6% of GDP. Only once this figure reached such levels, in 1946, i.e. shortly after the end of WWII, when it reached 10.7% of GDP.”

    1. rich

      …and here in the States.

      Carter: Middle class today resembles past’s poor

      OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that the income gap in the United States has increased to the point where members of the middle class resemble the Americans who lived in poverty when he occupied the White House.

      The recent economic downturn revealed that families living in even comparatively well-off, but expensive regions like the San Francisco Bay Area are economically insecure, he said.

      “Even in one of the wealthiest parts of the world there is a great deal of foreclosures and now a great deal of people who are fortunate to own their own houses owe more on them than the houses are worth in the present market, and that’s all changed in the last eight years,” Carter said during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

      “The disparity between rich people and poor people in America has increased dramatically since when we started,” he said. “The middle class has become more like poor people than they were 30 years ago. So I don’t think it’s getting any better.”

      Years of tax breaks for the wealthy, a minimum wage untethered from the inflation rate and electoral districts drawn to maximize political polarization have reduced the quality of life for all but a small fraction of Americans and imperiled the nation’s standing as “a real superpower,” he said.

    2. sue

      ..states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, in 2005 study, show family of 4 middle-class wage necessary=”$45,000, average. Western Washington substantially higher than Eastern Washington, for example.

      Later in study-actual number of jobs available paying that $45,000. per year?

      20% of total jobs in these 3 states actually pay “normal” middle-class family of 4 wage.

      That 2005 wage rose over 2006-2007, but today is back to 2005 level.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The 0.01% prefer the mother, the father and the first born to work, each pulling in $15,000 or so.

        It’s kind enough of them to make sure the youngest can stay to take care of him/herself.

  2. Victoria

    Ted Rall’s understanding of the NY state exchange is what I thought when I first saw it. But that’s because I didn’t understand the difference between a deductible and a copay. Once I really dived in, I ended up with a plan that (for less than I used to pay) has a cheaper co-pay, even when I go out of network (and yes, you can), free preventive care (and many other basic visits), and a reasonable deductible compared to what I had before. So though I’d prefer single payer and/or a more reasonable monthly cost, it’s still about $60 less than what I used to pay, with better service and protections (e.g., my old plan had no maximum out of pocket). So hang in there.

    1. YankeeFrank

      I do hope you are correct, though its hard to imagine Rall didn’t understand the diff between a copay and deductible when he discussed a deductible of $3,000 for a “bronze” plan that costs over $800 per month and only covers 50% of costs after that deductible. I am going to make my first foray onto the site in the next week or so and I’ll see for myself. Here’s to hoping…

      1. Victoria Else

        It’s a very complicated difference and you have to get into the weeds of each plan to find out where a “co-pay” is all that’s required (e.g., for an in-network visit) vs. a deductible (for hospital procedures, etc.). The bronze plans are pretty bogus, and the deductible is quite high. I definitely agree that the plans are not affordable, but they aren’t quite as bad as Rall describes.

          1. cwaltz

            From what I’ve heard thus far the numbers for the young set are fairly low(as you’d expect since these are the “targets” for those they want signed up) however, I have heard the numbers for the middle age/older folk not quite old enough for Medicare are awful. It’s problematic because while the focus has been on the youngsters, the older folks are the ones who actually NEED insurance and NEED to visit the doctors. The 19-30 set usually has a better immune system and their bodies can bounce back much better than those in the 40-60 age bracket. Those in that second bracket are usually the ones who get hit with expensive problems. If they don’t have access to care because the admin has made access unaffordable(due to actuarial input) then costs aren’t going to go down. We’ll have the same problem before. The hospitals will have to write off debt because people won’t be able to afford to pay on top of paying their premiums.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I have to beg to differ. In insurance generally, not just in health insurance, “deductible” is the liability the policy-holder faces before the policy pays out one red cent. It would be highly unusual for it to operate otherwise. And all the discussions I’ve seen of deductibles and co-pays on the “Explain Obamacare” news stories are consistent with the traditional usage.

    2. diptherio

      So you had a crappy insurance policy before and now the ACA is offering you a less crappy policy…why am I not impressed?

      A $3000 deductible is plenty big to wipe out my savings (and that of most people I associate with). While the premiums may be affordable, the deductible means that I’ll be paying for my care out-of-pocket anyway. This is why I’ve never taken advantage of insurance policies offered through employers: they don’t provide protection from catastrophic financial loss (and for some of us, even a few thousand is catastrophic).

      Obamacare may provide benefits to some people (though so far, it seems, mostly to people who already have insurance), but it is going to be just another burden for many of us (i.e. us really po’ folk). Not to mention that close to 30 million will still be uncovered even after full implementation.

      But go ahead, keep trying to put lipstick on this pig…

      1. jrs

        That seems to be it, it provides cheaper insurance for those without employer provided that already have insurance especially if they are well into both middle age and the middle class, and it provides Medicaid for the poor which that may or may not be of much use depending on your state. That’s pretty much it. EVERYONE ELSE is out of luck.

      2. Victoria

        I am generally in agreement with you. It’s just that my options before were so dismal that I am mildly relieved to have coverage that might actually be of some use if I get sick. But the situation is definitely more pig than lipstick.

    3. Ned Ludd

      The last time I had several thousand dollars worth of medical bills, Blue Cross Blue Shield started rejecting all of my claims as soon as I hit my deductible – even treatment that they had pre-approved and that I was in the middle of. I had to appeal each claim, individually. Customer service said that I was not allowed to talk to the claims department to find out why the claims had been denied; so I had to submit written appeals, explaining why the denials should be overturned, not knowing the reason for the denials in the first place.

      High deductible plans will take your money but then refuse to pay out if you actually have high medical bills.

      1. Ned Ludd

        As an addendum, I was finally able to get Blue Cross Blue Shield to pay. I lost count of how many times I called them and how many forms I had to fill out. I started to get past due notices from my medical providers; one provider threatened to contact a collection agency. Also, rejected claims got re-billed, to me, for the amount charged to people who are uninsured, which I recall being many multiples of the price for someone who is insured. I canceled medical care since I had no idea if BCBS would ever pay up.

        1. Victoria

          I had to sue BCBS once; actually, the lawyer I hired got the hospital whose claims were denied to sue (we signed over our rights). In the end, I guess BCBS paid, but we still got past due notices for a year and a half, with the instruction to ignore them. Bizarre, scary, and ultimately pretty stupid.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I have what has turned out over time to be a good plan and really inexpensive too (as in no network at all, same co-pay no matter who I see). But 5 years or so ago, Cigna tried a new trick, which is simply not processing claims. They’d pretend they never got them about 25% of the time.

        All my other mail gets to its recipient. I could either waste my time going to the post office to send every claim in certified mail (Cigna has only a PO Box) OR as I do now, record the date when I mailed claims in and what was in the envelope so see if I indeed got reimbursed.

        1. Ned Ludd

          A former claims adjuster told me that after one of her coworkers left the company, they found the drawers of her desk were stuffed with paperwork from claims. She never reviewed or paid any of them. When she got a claim, she would just stuff it in her drawer and ignore it.

          The health insurance company apparently either didn’t notice or didn’t care; in fact, I would not be surprised if they considered her a model employee.

      3. Salmo

        Yeah, I had that same experience. My insurance company simply refused to pay. I could have sued, I suppose, but considering the cost and time involved, it was just not worth it. I have no doubt the insurance company thought that was likely. It is hard to be cynical enough about our health insurance industry.

  3. Patricia

    from NYT’s ‘Health Exchange Delays’:

    “Mr Chopra said….”The reality is that if you have a product that people want, people will tolerate glitches because they expect them.””

    Imagine having a brain that sees this as reality.

      1. curlydan

        It’s ironic that Obama’s 2012 campaign was praised repeatedly for its IT and data mining genius while Obama-care is mired in IT incompetence. If only the young impressionable O-bots could have been recruited to program the exchanges and send out pop-ups advertising dinner and exchange sign ups with Michelle, then everything would be hunky-dory.

        1. Lambert Strether

          The IT involved in the Obama campaign is a toy when put beside the IT for the Federal Exchanges. The ObamaCare campaign’s backend didn’t have to integrate (bad) data across DHS, HHS, IRS, credit reporting agencies, the Peace Corps, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and gawd knows what else, and then integrate all that with a squillion insurance plans. In real time.

          We can’t know, since the ObamaCare development and rollout process has been extraordinarily secretive, but speculating freely:

          1. The goateed hipsters who built the Obama campaign software indeed knew how to campaign, using software. But they didn’t know how to govern, using software.

          2. Obama bought into the goateed hipsters when they told him everything was good on the front end, and bought into what the HHS people passed on to him from the contractors on the backend. Both were wrong, the first from over-confidence and ignorance, the second from fear of retaliation and loss of career. (Still waiting for whistleblowers on this!) In his 4/30 presser, Obama gave the prime directive: “We will implement it.” And so something, anything, went out the door.

          3. Obama has nobody around him with solid technical judgment who he trusts. Otherwise, this would not be happening. The same syndrome is evident in NSA’s exploding servers out in Utah.

          1. jrs

            Yes well, you think people who have to use the exchanges have it bad, what about the I.T. people who have to put they spent the last couple years building the Obama site exchanges on their resumes? Can we offer them extended unemployment, spare some extra money for job retraining?

            1. Lambert Strether

              The IT people are only as good as the project they’re aimed at, and only as good as management allows them to be. The goateed hipsters from the campaign have been promoted above their level of competence….

  4. JohnL

    “America’s police are looking more and more like the military”. And not just the police. Local fire departments are receiving bullet proof vests and other goodies.

    1. charger01

      Really. Please provide a link.
      Last time FDs received surplus equipment (think chemical/biological detection equipment) was after 9.11. Kevlar vests? C’mon.

      1. mark

        “A man with a criminal history shot and killed two West Webster, N.Y. firefighters and seriously injured two others as they responded to a fire at his home, police say.

        William H. Spengler, Jr., 62, apparently started a 5:35 a.m. fire at his home on Lake Road and then waited with an armament of weapons for first responders to arrive, Webster N.Y. Police Chief Gerald Pickering said at an afternoon news conference.

      2. reslez

        Paramedics are sometimes issued flak jackets because they’re frequently called to the scene of shootings, sometimes still in progress. Many firefighters do dual duty as paramedics.

    2. curlydan

      Sheriff Andy Taylor, where are you? Really, there’s no reason why police can’t still look like this. Things aren’t that different, but when the police continually show up looking like they’re ready for battle, then they often get that result.

      Contrast the “Swatted-up” forces of today to this:,r:39,s:100,i:121&tx=94&ty=47

    3. Bunk McNulty

      While the Guardian is focusing on corruption, can we also consider the intimidating effect of all this weaponry on citizens? Especially in light of what appears to be the new “shoot first ask questions later” policy in law enforcement? (See also: ) This.

  5. Brindle

    Re: “…Tsarnaev Case”

    Attorney basically calls the FBI corrupt:

    —“The danger of having more federal criminal jury trials is not that the government might lose verdicts, but, rather, that casting daylight on increasingly corrupt and unlawful federal tactics risks a loss of public confidence in the federal criminal justice system.”—

    1. Skeptic

      “…a loss of public confidence in the federal criminal justice system.”

      Thanks be that there is a Firewall between the federal civil justice system and the federal criminal justice system. Litigants in the civil justice system can be absolutely assured they will receive Justice, particularly if their names are IBM, CocaCola, Mondiablo, Mal-Mart, Buffet, Dimon, Paulson, etc. Bet on it!

  6. markf

    link “Biggest U.S. Foreign Creditors Show Concern on Default Risk Bloomberg”

    article says

    “Pacific Investment Management Co. Co-Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross and BlackRock Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink, who oversee $5.76 trillion, dismiss the possibility of a default.”

    Is that number right?

    can’t be can it?

    1. BondsOfSteel

      Maybe. They are the biggest bond mutual fund and bond investment managers. I went a looked and PIMCO’s Total Return fund alone has over 180 billion.

      OTOH, China only has like 1.6 trillion in treasuries….

  7. PeonInChief

    One of the effects of Obamacare may be that older people will only work part-time, or will otherwise limit their incomes. That’s because once you get above the 400% of poverty, you get to pay the full cost of your plan, and that can be more than a quarter of your income, particularly if you’re just above the subsidy cut-off. Worse than that, the plan costs nearly $5000 a year more than the total cost (employer and us) of our employer-based plan.

  8. Tyler

    Mike Whitney: “The two-party duopoly is using the faux ‘government shutdown’ crisis to set the stage for a ‘compromise’ on slashing vital safety net programs during upcoming debt ceiling negotiations. Obama will use GOP ‘hostage taking’ as the proximate cause for caving in, saying that he had to give ground to prevent a catastrophic default that would have pushed the economy back into recession.”

    Wow – the poor are going to get f-cked again.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Surprise, surprise, surprise, Sergeant!

      Yes, because Lucy Obama can’t possibly cave this time, there is much speculation on possible rifts among the “elite”, between oil and finance, between sane Republicans and TP anarchists, or that maybe this really is about ObamneyCare after all, that Republicans don’t secretly like the Romney-Heritage Foundation-inspired insurance-racket bailout. But Mike Whitney keeps it simple:

      The media is ratcheting up “debt ceiling” hysteria to launch a surprise attack on Social Security and Medicare.
      Obama has had his sites on Social Security and Medicare since he took office in 2008. It’s clear now, that he plans to use the cover of the stage-managed debt ceiling crisis to achieve his objective.

      About the only other reason I can imagine for Wall Street promoting the bogus crisis and actually go over the default cliff is to cover for an imminent derivative debt collapse.

  9. Patricia

    Mr. Chopra is USian unless we are now also employing foreigners to positions in the fed gov.

    And setting aside the huge insult that is outsourcing, these particular foreigners are Canadians, which doesn’t jibe with accepting mile-long lines as standard operating procedure.

    Mr. Chopra is operating with fried circuits. I suspect that has become prerequisite for upper-level gov’t employment. All those lie detector tests actually check whether candidates are properly unworking.

  10. optimader

    Re: Tepco’s Claim Radiation Leaks Confined to Coast Called ‘Silly’

    A Tepco spokesman was on NHK News last night apologizing for an employee accidentally pressing the off button for the reactor cooling water, and making assurances that the Tepco is working on “improving safety and “the employee working environment”
    Queue The Simpson’s theme song

      1. optimader

        indeed..they are irretrievably pooping in the Commons.
        I would ask the same question about the Japanese Government.
        I just don’t get it.

  11. ohmyheck

    Hmm. Not sure I am buying this. But here it is:

    The NSA’s Hugely Expensive Utah Data Center Has Major Electrical Problems And Basically Isn’t Working

    “the data center’s electrical problems include “arc failures,” a.k.a. “a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box,” which results in fiery explosions, melted metal and circuit failure….“The problem, and we all know it, is that they put the appliances too close together,” a person familar with the database construction told FORBES, describing the arcs as creating “kill zones.” “They used wiring that’s not adequate to the task. We all talked about the fact that it wasn’t going to work.”

    If this is true, then…..Bwahahahahaha!

    It just might be. About a month ago, there was a rather large power outage, that hit my valley up in the mountains, all the way down to large parts of the greater Salt Lake Valley, including the ski areas in between, which is a very large swath. That musta been some kinda “arc failure”, baybee!

    1. optimader

      Haven’t read the Forbes article, but arc flash are very dangerous deadly events. If they are distributing 480v 3phase power incorrectly; without code observance of temperature derating ect, bad ju ju.

      I can believe the scenario that the dysfunctional, bureaucratic meanderings resulting from committee consensus “may as wells” combined with double dog dare/super secret spy stuff execution paralysis create a moving performance requirement out-pacing engineering/facility accommodation.. presumably all w/a (arbitrary) startup date frozen in time.

      Rendering it down, the facility was approved w/a design physical footprint, power consumption and heat shedding capability.. w/ a safety factor for expansion.

      I can conceive of the scenario of the unquenched desires of the Data Vampires escalating when they are informed of evolving hypothetical capabilities from the 20something techies w/ a ponytail and a instrument screwdriver behind his ear, holding a Red Bull in his hand, and they say in unison: “FK YEAH, Make that happen! When is lunch?”

      And so goes how you pack 100lbs of power hungry widgets into a 50 lbs bag while perhaps overlooking ambient temperature dielectric derating of high voltage equipment/wiring.

      This stuff (high voltage power) will ionize gas and set up a conduction path to a ground some considerable distance away.
      Don’t be near it. Hope no contractor slugs were hurt.

  12. mcarson

    “We are all Palenstinians Now”

    I read the Guardian article, and was struck by the idea of our cops becoming an occupying force in our cities, arbitrarily deciding what we can do on any given day, depending on our attitude and how they feel about things that particular day.

    The wars on Afghanistan will never end, it just moves back here, complete with much of the original equipment.

  13. craazyman

    the quantum black hole article was quite a mind spin.

    if there was a pop quiz on all that, say on Friday, I’d suggest getting 30% of the questions right should be an “A”.

    but the weirdest thought occurred to me walking up a hill looking at a lawn with leaves strewn across it. That had no relation to my thought that I can tell, which was this: what if the particle-antiparticle pair at the edge of the black hole was a metaphor for male-female soul energy — and like one particle falls into the black hole and hte other escape, when your born the other half of your soul falls into a different dimesion and gets born and exists as the opposite sex of yourself in this dimension and when you die these two halves reunite to live in some new incarnation outside of what we see as space-time. that kind of freaked me out thinking about that for a while.

    It’s probably not true, but how would we know?

    1. susan the other

      Trying to envision gravity. Space doesn’t like to be pushed so it pushes back. It pushes us all back down on our planet. Space is so hostile and aggressive. Clearly, space surrounding a black hole is absolutely vicious. A true bloodless Nazi.

    2. craazyboy

      We may never know

      But what I got out of the article is that this universe is like a great big out house with a toilet seat that compacts our garbage solar systems into nice small easily disposable pellets and flushes them into the other universe.

      Wonder what they do with them?

      1. craazyboy

        Wouldn’t be something if a bunch of solar systems in the center of our universe (not to be confused with the center of our galaxy, of course) all collapsed and flushed a bunch of ultra high gravity pellets into the other universe – then the pellets accelerated towards each other like in a particle accelerator and – Big Bang!

        God Jr. then strokes his meta-physical beard and says to himself, “I wonder what I was meant to do?”

    3. optimader

      This goes directly at these sort of speculations –matter anti-matter collisions consequences of gravity and so on.. Excellent commuter audio book because he “speaks” at a slow cadence (and there is a reverse button).

      As well,

      These are a pleasure to attend, and they have an incomplete archive at this link which you can video stream. These are good just for the audio background if you are doing something mundane at the computer.
      I believe you’ll find the latest “Extreme Weather Seminar” by Tom Skilling and guests. Also a lot of fun to attend, and becoming more relevant each year.

      1. craazyman

        I am absolutely convinced that future advances in physics will discover additional methods by which matter and energy manifest in realtiy beyond the matter/energy duality codified in classical physics and in early Einstein’s physics. Things materialize out of thin air, although most people don’t believe this, and the energy required must be prohibitively enormous by standard physics — and yet it happens. So there must be a larger matter/energy/mind/multi-dimension/whatever continuum of which matter/energy is a subset. And e=mmc2 must be only a special case of a far more general and wide-ranging form of manifestation of physical matter/energy reality that encompasses a wider range of phenomenon than science recognizes at the present time. This is my belief anyway, based on what I’ve observed and contemplated.

  14. optimader

    “It’s probably not true, but how would we know?”

    We won’t, so it doesn’t matter.
    File Under: God stuff

  15. financial matters

    Some useful information out of the IMF…

    IMF warns Fed on effects of tapering: Telegraph

    “”The worry is that years of slump may have destroyed more of the productive base than assumed, implying that there is no “output gap” after all. “If this fact remains unrecognised, monetary policy accommodation could well turn inflationary,” it said.””

    Now if they just understood that austerity measures don’t build a productive base.

    1. susan the other

      Just listened to Fekete on Max. Interesting. He talked about hyper-deflation being the policy, the real agenda. Because everything the Fed is doing destroys value. And only asset value can back money and so money is devastated. Etc.

  16. AbyNormal

    Cluck Alert: A salmonella outbreak involving chicken has sickened about 300 people in 18 states, most of them in California, reports the AP. Authorities issued an alert for chicken packaged at one of three Foster Farms operations in California with a USDA mark of P6137, P6137A, or P7632. Here’s the fun part: The CDC has a skeletal staff because of the government shutdown. “That means that the lab work and molecular detection that can link far-apart cases and define the size and seriousness of outbreaks are not happening,” writes Maryn McKenna at Wired.

      1. AbyNormal

        nasty huh, i posted that around the 8/5 in links…can’t find it now but this is the part where a few of us heaved:

        “According to the audit, at first, China will only be able to process chicken that has been slaughtered in the U.S. or other certified countries.”

        kinda gives one a deeper ponder to ‘slow boat to china’…and i guess they need jobs worse than us.
        corporate America knows best, im sure

      2. AbyNormal

        [HeLLo] Check your Spice Cupboard for Salmonella 10/4/13

        The USDA recently noted that many imported spices from both Mexico and India contain very high levels of salmonella. What is more, over 8% of all infected spices contain a strain of salmonella that is resistant to bacteria. Coriander, oregano and basil top the list for having the highest infection rate; however, other spices that are of concern include curry powder, sesame seeds, cumin and pepper.

        Interestingly enough, it is pepper that is of the greatest concern to the USDA and the medical community. Salmonella cannot survive high temperatures and is therefore destroyed when contaminated spices are added to foods cooking on the stove. Pepper, on the other hand, is often added to food after cooking.
        What Can Consumers Do?

        There are several things you can do to protect yourself from Salmonella food poisoning:

        Avoid buying spices imported from either Mexico or India; pepper in particular.

        Consider buying whole spices; these are slightly less likely to be contaminated than cracked or dried ones.

        Pay attention to food recalls. This year, Earth’s Pride and Nina International have both issued recalls for spices contaminated with harmful pathogens. Other companies have recalled Salmonella-infected spices in years past.

        Add spices to the food while it is still cooking so that the heat will kill any Salmonella that may be present in the spices.

        If you have symptoms of food poisoning, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. When providing a list of the foods you ate prior to falling ill, be sure to note which spices were used while preparing the food.

        Will Things Change?

        Thankfully, it appears that both Mexico and India are working hard to ensure that the spices grown, dried and exported to other countries are safe from harmful pathogens. Indian farmers are adopting safer, more hygienic methods of harvesting and drying spices. Mexico’s chief of food safety inspections noted that all spice exports are checked on a daily basis to ensure that they are safe for consumption.

        Many consumers take measures to ensure the food they purchase is safe and free from bacteria. These same individuals also ensure that the food is prepared in a safe, hygienic manner. At the same time, most people do not pay nearly as much attention to their spices as they should. All spices have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and/or other harmful substances, particularly those that have been imported rather than grown locally. To avoid falling ill, it is important to choose spices carefully and allow enough time for them to cook so that harmful bacteria will be destroyed.

        1. BobW

          Incredible. Never would have considered pepper as a Salmonella vector, or any spice for that matter. Raw spinach, undercooked chicken… what else? Hope cat food is still safe, waiting for SS retirement to kick in mid-January.

  17. Hugh

    We have been talking about the militarization of the police for years. We have also been talking about the militarization of intelligence both in its missions (drones, the kidnapping in Tripoli) and its leadership. Almost all of the big intelligence agencies are either run by military or have been recently (Clapper, Alexander, Petraeus, for example).

    I don’t think the Fed has ever given a rat’s ass about unemployment. It has waged a 35 year war on workers’ wages suppressing any growth in them and keeping them flat. Now with ZIRP, permanently high unemployment serves much the same purpose of wage suppression. As I have documented for some time now, the official figures understate unemployment by 4.5%-5%. This does not begin to take into account those in part time positions and low paying crap jobs. Nor does the Fed seem aware of Saez’ work showing that the rich received all the gains from the so-called recovery but continued to extract wealth from the rest of us, leaving most of us worse off, i.e. in a recession that has been going on for nearly 6 years.

    Thoma’s quoting of the work by Arloc Sherman highlights the point that the weakening and failure of the safety net has had an effect on poverty rates. But two other points need to be made. As I just noted, for most of us the recession never ended, most of the jobs created since the “official” end of the recession have been crap, and the rich continue to extract wealth from us at our expense. These also contribute to poverty. The other thing is that the “official” poverty line is actually even more bogus than the “official” unemployment rate.

  18. Hugh

    I do not understand the article on black holes. It says “In this description of physics, there is simply no concept of lengths smaller than the Planck length.”

    However, elementary particles, like protons and electrons, are usually considered as dimensionless points, and even if you gave them dimension, those dimensions would still be below the Planck length.

    Planck units like the Schwarzschild radius of a black hole are best seen as limits where the laws of the known universe cease to apply. You can calculate Planck units for basic aspects of the universe like mass, time, length, temperature, and charge. The math isn’t difficult. It is simple substitutions beginning with Newton’s equation for gravitational potential containing his Universal Gravitational Constant, Einstein’s m = mc^2, the equation for kinetic energy, and Planck’s equation relating energy to wavelength and containing his namesake constant. The idea is that these are the fundamental equations and constants that define our universe. So the limits they describe are the limits of where they operate. We don’t know and can not know on the basis of these equations the universe that lies beyond them. All that we can say is that the fundamental physics we have does not go there.

    Another thing is that black holes are thought to “evaporate” over very long periods of time. So the information in them is not lost. Yet the article seems to maintain that it is.

    As one commenter noted, nothing the article says explains why any of this would result in a gateway to “another” universe.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I look up some article on the 14th amendment.

    This one from CNNMoney:

    “… Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which dictates that the “validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”

    If you are a government debt ratings agency, you are violating the amendment if you somehow imply a debt issuance’s validity?

    What is validity? “It’s from Sam, but I don’t he will pay. But it’s from him alright. That issuer’s ID has been validated?’ That validity?

    Or this one: “Yeah, the debt is fro $100 trillion and not $5 billion. That first amount is valid.”

    Perhaps it’s this: “Cut Social Security! Cut Medicare! Cut welfare! We must pay our Chinese debt holders any interest or principal due now! We must not make the debt invalid!”

    So, if you don’t cut Social Security in order to feed the 0.01%, you are invalidating (meaning endangering the creditworthy-ness here) US public debt?

  20. Hugh

    Scalia has always been a goof. Go read a Scalia opinion if you don’t believe me.

    Original intent has always been intellectual charlatanism. It is Constitutional analysis by ouija board. How can we know what the original intent was? What did the Founders and Framers really think, especially to questions that did not even arise at the time? And which 18th century people are we talking about, and more importantly what sense is there in rigidly following the supposed opinions of these people, except in the most general way? Is that any way to run a 21st century world? Some truths withstand the test of time. Others do not. Are we really supposed to act like there is no difference between the two?

    And how is it exactly that “original intent” always happens to coincide with whatever Scalia’s preconceived opinion happens to be?

    1. anon y'mouse

      to your last comment: religious interpretation of sacred texts has always been this way.

      perhaps the catholics were right about letting the bible loose for the laypeople and nonprofessionals to make hay with. at least in a monastery, a buncha monks could put the thorny-shirted hurt on any mad father who had been out in the garden smokin’ the Jimson weed and tying the pictures produced in his smoke signals into new interpretations of Leviticus or something. that kinda thing didn’t have to get out and shock the children.

    2. diptherio

      “And how is it exactly that “original intent” always happens to coincide with whatever Scalia’s preconceived opinion happens to be?”

      Because he’s a dinosaur?…

      While I still think he’s a pox on American jurisprudence, I actually like him a little after reading this interview. At least he has a sense of humor.

    3. davidgmills

      Not only what did the founders and framers think, I would like to know what the people who voted for it thought it meant. Of course those in the north east could have thought it meant something entirely different from those in the south east.

  21. JTFaraday

    re: antidote du jour… “(yes, that is a mouse toy, not the real thing)”

    No wonder he looks so sad! :(

  22. Francois T

    “And Obama insisted again he won’t use the 14th Amendment”

    The 16th of October, he will.
    Unless he uses consols…what choices would he have?

    Oh wait! There is always the cave-in, his specialty Numero Uno.

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