Links 12/28/13

Kleptomaniac cats in Christmas stocking stash hunt BBC

RSPCA has become ‘sinister and nasty’, warns countryside chief Telegraph. Culture wars, UK edition.

The survival time of chocolates on hospital wards: covert observational study BMJ

The 39 Worst Words, Phrases, and Parts of Speech of 2013 Mother Jones. Um, most of these are established usage, but point taken.

How do opinions and convictions propagate? Cathy O’Neil

Gratuitous Pictures of Your Grief Pitchfork (Lambert). From early 2013 but still worthy…

Hospital Chain Accused of Manipulating Data to Boost Rating Patient Safety Blog

Bye Bye, Bile? Websites Try to Nix Nasty Comments ABC

Pentagon Says Rare Earth Elements Less at Risk OilPrice

Markets on Edge as China Moves to Curb Risky Lending New York Times

China Cash Crunch Eases, For How Long? Three Things China Needs to Avoid; When can Beijing Truly move to Market-Determined Interest Rates? Michael Shedlock

French unemployment rises to 3.29m Guardian

Turkey becomes the first victim of the Fed Taper
Ambrose Evans-Prtichard, Telegraph

All in play in the New Great Game Asia Times

Russia says Syrian toxin removal deadline will be missed Reuters

S Sudan government ‘agrees to truce’ BBC

The Hellfires of Christmas emptywheel

Big Brother is Watching You Watch


Phone Surveillance Is Legal, Judge Says Surveillance Is Legal, Judge Says Wall Street Journal

Very Summary Account of Judge Pauley’s Opinion on the 215 Telephony Metadata Program Just Security

Obamacare Launch

That health care law, by the numbers Associated Press

Conservative group slams Obamacare with new ads CNN

Residents form ‘vigilante groups’ after cuts to sheriff department’s budget mean police only respond to life-threatening incidents Daily Mail

After NSA Whitewash Story 60 Minutes’ John Miller to Join NYPD DSWright, Firedoglake

Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward New York Times

Who cares if we wreck that million dollar painting? JP Morgan’s $19m-a-year boss under fire for ‘opulent’ Christmas card of him hitting tennis balls around palatial home Daily Mail

U.S. bank watchdogs to consider Volcker rule tweak Reuters. I thought this was settled. Now it’s being retraded?

Zero rate zone powers US stocks rally Financial Times

Santa leaves, smart phone steps in: Mobile sales soar on Christmas Day Christian Science Monitor. But how much is people spending their Christmas gift coupons?

Key Jobless Benefit Lapses Wall Street Journal

Public Policy’s Senior Moment Project Syndicate. A very useful piece.

The food co-op where shoppers are happy to work BBC

What I learned about freedom from hitchhiking around America Guardian

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2013-12-28 at 2.17.54 AM

And a bonus antidote (a video, so e-mail readers will need to visit the site):

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    1. Shutter

      Longer Judge Pauley: I received in the US mail sheets of paper showing all my own phone calls, emails, tweets, bank deposits/withdrawls, stock market trades, off-shore bank account statements, daughters abortion bill, sons drug possession bail receipt and print-outs of my three-times a week visits to the Gay Mens Steamroom and Video Parlor (complimentary kneepads available to regulars). Who cares about your lousy privacy — I’ve gotta cover my own ass here.

  1. AbyNormal

    heavy/painful links today Yves…i needed those surfer swans, Thanks!

    “Youngest Brother, swan’s wing,
    where one arm should be, yours the shirt
    of nettles short a sleeve
    and me with no time left to finish —
    I didn’t mend you all the way back into man
    though I managed for your brothers;
    they flit again from court to playing-courts
    to courting, while you station yourself,
    wing folded from sight, avian eye
    to the outside, no rebuke meant but love’s.
    Was it better then, the living on the water,
    the taking to air…?

    (“Ever After,” from the book ‘The Poets’ Grimm’)”
    Debora Greger

    1. diptherio

      I imagine the swans have watched people surfing for years and one of them finally got a wild hair up his @ss and said, “Come on guys! I bet we could do that just as well as the domesticated primates, and it looks like a blast!

      Hopefully, this trend will catch on with the adolescent swan community and we’ll get to see more of it in the future.

  2. LucyLulu

    One more link?
    Can Vermont’s Single-Payer System Fix What Ails American Healthcare? The Atlantic
    “If Vermont can work through the legal, technical, and administrative complications, it will be easier for others to follow. Lunge told me legislators in other states have called to ask about the system. There are a number of states that have expressed interest. They have said to me that if ‘you figure this out, that will give us an opportunity,’”she says.”
    An estimate of 8% savings to come from tort reform seems a tad overambitious, as savings weren’t realized in Texas after implementing strong reform measures, nor was the practice of “defensive medicine” reduced, but a projection of overall savings of 25% from single-payer seems conservative enough. At least half could be realized by recapturing the profit margin of the 3rd party administrator. And unless payments take months to receive, docs would be tickled pink to take 105% Medicare rates in exchange for not having to deal with multiple payors and non-collectible accounts.

  3. AbyNormal

    May 12, 2013…“I don’t want to go from wild turkey to cold turkey,” Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said in an interview Friday. “I think we ought to dial it back.” Mr. Fisher is part of a contingent of Fed hawks who are wary of the central bank’s easy-money policies

    from today’s Link: The global bond giant Pimco says Fed tapering is already priced into markets, while countries have ample foreign reserves to counter shocks, unlike earlier Fed tightening episodes in the 1980s and 1990s.
    “More reporters are in prison in Turkey than in any other country in the world, according to Committee to Protect Journalists.”

    “I don’t want a future, I want a present. To me this appears of greater value. You have a future only when you have no present, and when you have a present, you forget to even think about the future.”
    Robert Walser, The Tanners

    1. AbyNormal

      RT crew caught up in tear gas in Istanbul as police crack down on anti-govt protest (videos)
      Middle East expert Jeremy Salt told RT that Turkey’s prime minister is reacting in the same way to the corruption inquiry as he did to the Gezi Park protests earlier this year. “He is blaming outside and inside gangs, he is blaming all kinds of people for causing trouble; for undermining the integrity of the state. He is taking the same aggressive-defensive stance he took before.”

      “He has a very confrontational style. When he is faced with a problem, he goes straight forward. Instead of trying to contain the crisis, he has gone straight to the jugulars of people he describes as the enemy.”

      Salt added that the opposition in Turkey is not consolidated. “The opposition is not strong in parliament. It does not have a strong voice in the public sphere either, and this of course makes the government’s position only that much stronger. This is a big part of the problem, this weakness of the opposition.”

  4. Yonatan

    When can Beijing Truly move to Market-Determined Interest Rates?

    Which market would that be? The manipulated market that favors the banskter financial terrorists or the Free Market(TM) last seen under a pile a discarded unwanted Christmas presents at Santa’s grotto at the North Pole?

  5. J Sterling

    The Countryside Alliance continues to be England’s equivalent of the Tea Party: falsely presenting themselves as a popular movement, while actually being just a few rich men paying a lobby group to talk up their fetishes.

    General Sir Barney White-Spunner! Monty Python couldn’t have made up a name like that!

    1. Yonatan

      They claim foxes should be hunted because they are vermin. The hilarious thing is that previous (extremely wealthy) aristocratic landlords deliberately created safe areas for foxes so the aristocrats could reliably have a jolly fine day’s huntin’ and shootin’. This was an early implementation of the self-licking ice cream cone.

      1. J Sterling

        Even today, foxhunting advocates claim it’s a form of wildlife preservation: if it weren’t for the foxhunters, farmers would wipe the foxes out as vermin.

        Why yes, yes this is in complete contradiction to that other justification. It’s how you can tell shills who have no good argument, they are happy to spread multiple bad arguments in the hope that some stick (see Iraq)

    1. heresy101

      For those that don’t click on movie reviews, the title of the article is:
      “An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the Wolf Himself” by the Wolf’s daughter.

    2. diptherio

      Thanks for the link. This one is a must read, imo. I wasn’t planning on paying money to see the film anyway, but now I will definitely be sure to avoid it.

      File Under: Bit Torrent with a Clear Conscience.

    3. Waking Up

      Oliver Stone of “Wall Street” fame, has said that he liked the character Gordon Gecko (as it probably reminded him of his father the stockbroker). “Wall Street” glamourized the “greed is good” motto and resulted in many people asking Mr. Stone how they could become the next Gordon Gecko.

      Now we have another “Wall Street” film and as Christina McDowell has stated, “So here’s the deal. You people are dangerous. Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers’ fun sexcapades and coke binges?” and “…yet you’re glorifying it — you who call yourselves liberals. ( ) Did you think about the cultural message you’d be sending when you decided to make this film? You have successfully aligned yourself with an accomplished criminal, a guy who still hasn’t made full restitution to his victims, exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior. And don’t even get me started on the incomprehensible way in which your film degrades women, the misogynistic, ass-backwards message you endorse to younger generations of men.”

      Lastly, Christina said, “I urge each and every human being in America NOT to support this film, because if you do, you’re simply continuing to feed the Wolves of Wall Street.”

      1. AbyNormal

        Amen Waking Up….and love the idea of the book & movie, paid for buy us, will be used to pay off his scheme(s). frack the mother!!

        “Association with other people can corrupt our character; especially when we have none.”

  6. Yonatan

    “JP Morgan’s $19m-a-year boss under fire for ‘opulent’ Christmas card of him hitting tennis balls around palatial home”

    So chavism reaches into the upper layers of society.

    1. bob

      How about a kickstarter campaing to get John McEnroe to go over to Jamie’s house and yell at him while serving him up at 90mph?

      1. Wayne Reynolds

        Would it be distasteful to suggest he use Dimon’s head in lieu of a tennis ball? Symbolically speaking only, of course. Any reference to the Place de Concorde, 1793, or the TPTB are purely coincidental. “You say we’re on a revolution, oh oh, you know we’re all doing what we can.” John Lennon

  7. DakotabornKansan

    If Amien Essif [What I learned about freedom from hitchhiking around America] could paint the USA in one broad stroke, “It’s a place where the concept of freedom … is at risk of becoming meaningless … choices are often limited to two: to exploit or be exploited.”

    “The death of the global labor force is being internalized by millions of workers who experience their own individual deaths, daily, at the hands of profit-driven employers and a disinterested government….With each new indignity, their confidence and self-esteem suffer another blow. They become expendable, then irrelevant, and finally invisible in the new high-tech world of global commerce and trade.” – Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work

    Tim Harford, Financial Times, “The robots are coming and will terminate your jobs,” writes:

    “The question is whether we are equipped to deal with the possibility that in future, there will be people who – despite being willing and fit to work – have no economic value as employees. By the time today’s 10-year-olds have their degrees, computers could be a hundred times cheaper and smarter than they are today. A future full of robot servants could be a bright future indeed, but only if we can adapt our institutions quickly enough.”

    The versatile humanoid robot Nao can interact with other Naos. The Nao robot can converse in 19 different languages. Watch these Naos perform a synchronized dance routine. While the dancing is cute, it really showed off the possibilities of having the robots work in tandem to complete complex tasks such as geographic positioning or pooling analytical capacity.

    A Nao robot is the newest teacher at Kansas high school. The robot teacher can be programmed to do anything.

    “The very notion that millions of workers displaced by the re-engineering and automation of the agricultural, manufacturing, and service sectors can be retrained to be scientists, engineers, technicians, executives, consultants, teachers, lawyers and the like, and then somehow find the appropriate number of job openings in the very narrow high-tech sector, seems at best a pipe dream, and at worst a delusion.” – Jeremy Rifkin, The End of Work

    1. Antifa

      A Future Without Work is the logical scenario for a society organized around the high-tech pursuit of personal wealth as the Prime Directive, and as everyone’s primary definition of self worth. Human input into production is the inefficient and costly part. Unlike robots, humans won’t just tighten the bolts that come before them along the assembly line. They also want to be part of a team, to interact meaningfully with one another, to have coffee and lunch breaks, vacations and bowling leagues and living wages and even to participate in owning and running the company — or pretty soon they won’t tighten your bolts for you.

      Oh, you can hire only humans so desperate for food and shelter that they’ll tighten your bolts without complaint, but this is only a temporary fix. And as tasks progress in difficulty from tightening bolts to arranging corporate mergers or managing delicate diplomatic relations between sovereign nations or producing brilliant marketing campaigns all the human desires for the rewards of personal meaning and influence in their work become paramount. Robots can do none of these tasks.

      The current response of the most sophisticated rulers of our most high-tech systems is clearly one of rapacious looting, leaving the rest of humanity to live on scraps and to find meaning in garbage dumps, tightening bolts, making iPhones, or clothes for WalMart and The Gap. A tiny tax on every human activity is collected by these vultures atop the system, as they slowly collect All The Wealth, because they can:

      But soft — could it be that we humans do too much work already? Should we consider arranging the production of things people need and use on this planet to a certain limit that does not chew the tops off our mountains, does not poison the air and oceans, and does not spread plutonium isotopes to every corner of the globe because Progress?

      Maybe Progress is to live in human terms, not defining our individual selves as our assets, our ability to hoard things of value away from one another, saving for our old age. What if you didn’t need money on any given day of your life? Not even once? What would you do all day with your thoughts and plans? What would you do with a lifetime of freedom?

      After all, what stuff, and how much of it, makes you more human than you were when you came naked and squalling into this world? What stuff, and how much of it, will you take with you when you leave? You are here to become you, not to grasp and hoard so that you don’t suffer and die too soon? What kind of life is that to call human? That’s how rats live.

      Primates share. It is our primary tool, our defining trait.

      As technology eliminates work, it must necessarily eliminate money. It must necessarily eliminate unmet needs. It will necessarily reveal the infinite human desire for more things, and for more marvelous things, for what it truly is — the infinite creativity of our species. We want more because we want to be more.

      That’s the leap we will take when we stop living like rats.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It takes the whole village, with teamwork, to pull the national GDP off.

        And because it takes the whole village, it’s natural we all share that GDP, even if it’s a smaller pie – that sharing is also healing as well. The psychological damage of wealth inequality can not be brain-washed away….maybe surgically removed, I guess, but that’s why they need scientists…brain scientists with their brainwashing research.

        All the pop culture stuff, sports and entertainment, drugs and alcohol will prove to be ineffective for healing.

        Only true sharing will.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Retrained to be scientists, etc.

      Why do you have to retrain?

      I thought the propaganda was everyone should do what he/she was passionate about.

      Why should you give up organic farming, if that is your passion, to become a GMO food scientist just because they have fracked your 5 acres of land?

      Forget retraining.

      Insist that you be allowed to do what you’re passionate about.

  8. Bridget

    You do know that dead armadillos with Lone Star long necks stuck between their legs are often spotted on Texas highways, right?

  9. Skeptic

    Alcohol, Lone * (why give free advertising?) beer and NC.

    At this site there is a photo very similar to that used here today:

    Has NC been punked? They must be having a good laugh at Lone * marketing. Particularly since this site is generally against corporate malfeasance.

    Beyond that issue, I personally don’t find photos of animals drinking alcohol or posed as such to be very cute or amusing. These photos seem to justify what some humans want to do: get drunk and comatose.

    1. AbyNormal


      “Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.”
      Martin Luther

        1. Emma

          Agreed – nor how wise AbyNormal is.
          Let’s start an AbyNormal Appreciation Society to spite the devil, and indeed, any other being who deems himself way too supreme for a wee tipple now and again!

          1. AbyNormal

            HAPPY NEW YEAR EMMA!!


            “There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.
            The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who’s been pinching my beer?
            And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman’s eye. ”

        2. F. Beard

          Yawn. Any Scripture reader would know:

          Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. Ecclesiastes 7:16-18
          New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    2. JTFaraday

      I think it just references that old warning, “there’s nothing in the middle of the road but drunk armadillos.”

      1. Emma

        So let’s all be abstainers: “a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure” as Ambrose Bierce put it.
        Perhaps though according to Benjamin Franklin:
        “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

    3. diptherio

      The drunken armadillo brings back memories for me. The first time I saw one was at my Great-Uncle’s house in Houston, on the mantle piece. Prototypical low-brow Texan humor.
      But you’re right, it is a little distasteful to make light of the very real problem of armadillo alcoholism. Many a herd of armadilli have been torn apart by the ravages of cheap beer.

    4. KFritz

      I’ve never been to Texas. Wasn’t sure that was Lone Star beer so I visited Google Images to verify. I know Lone Star exists thanks to a Red Steagall song. To have half of a very obscure label (outside of Texas) in a picture is lousy product placement. NC hasn’t been punked.

      I’ve heard or read someplace that armadillos smell horrible. Unless it’s photoshopped, that armadillo appears to be a pet. Do people in Texas keep armadillos as pets? Info, please.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I had a video of an armadillo taking a bath (he seemed to enjoy it) so I would hazard the answer is yes.

      1. Wayne Reynolds

        ” The difference between a taxman and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.” Mark Twain

      1. AbyNormal

        sorry, disagree with this one….seriously? seeps into mind more often these days.
        example: the other day i was conversing with a neighbor about food stamps in Kansas being cutting off to anyone without children. now, this ‘neighbor’ was just complaining about no jobs and (their) cuts to SNAP here in the south…but went on to agree that food stamps for childless people make them less likely to look for a job. (btw they are childless)

        of course these days i have the ‘SERIOUSLY?’ down to pupil size…don’t even have to bight my tongue anymore’)

  10. fresno dan

    Mihdhar was placed on a CIA watchlist on August 21, 2001, and a note was sent on August 23 to the Department of State and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) suggesting that Mihdhar and Hazmi be added to their watchlists.


    On August 23, the CIA informed the FBI that Mihdhar had obtained a U.S. visa in Jeddah. The FBI headquarters received a copy of the Visa Express application from the Jeddah embassy on August 24, showing the New York Marriott as Mihdhar’s destination.

    On August 28, the FBI New York field office requested that a criminal case be opened to determine whether Mihdhar was still in the United States, but the request was refused. The FBI ended up treating Mihdhar as an intelligence case, which meant that the FBI’s criminal investigators could not work on the case, due to the barrier separating intelligence and criminal case operations. An agent in the New York office sent an e-mail to FBI headquarters saying, “Whatever has happened to this, someday someone will die, and the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain ‘problems.’” The reply from headquarters was, “we [at headquarters] are all frustrated with this issue … [t]hese are the rules. NSLU does not make them up.”
    As leading NSA expert James Bamford – the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings for almost a decade, winner of a number of journalism awards for coverage national security issues, whose articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and the only author to write any books (he wrote 3) on the NSA – reports, the NSA was also tapping the hijackers’ phone calls inside the U.S.

    Specifically, hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi lived in San Diego, California, for 2 years before 9/11. Numerous phone calls between al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in San Diego and a high-level Al Qaeda operations base in Yemen were made in those 2 years.

    The NSA had been tapping and eavesdropping on all calls made from that Yemen phone for years. So NSA recorded all of these phone calls.

    Indeed, the CIA knew as far back as 1999 that al-Mihdhar was coming to the U.S. Specifically, in 1999, CIA operatives tailing al-Mihdhar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, obtained a copy of his passport. It contained visas for both Malaysia and the U.S., so they knew it was likely he would go from Kuala Lumpur to America.
    As someone who actually worked at the NSA when I was in the Air Force, it follows the imperative of all bureaucracies – always blame something or someone else for one’s own incompetence, and those most adept at that talent rise.
    Look at the facts and the problem wasn’t that there wasn’t enough information – it was that people who were making the decisions didn’t know what they were doing. One could ask if there is some kind of inherent problem with government management – e.g., the health care rollout. Why is no one ever fired? It seems to me that modern life is enabling more and more the obscuring and obfuscation of who is in charge and their responsibility. I get the impression that it is designed that way…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Much of the problem stems from secrecy, and Washington is far too clubby. The country would function much better if the DoJ was relocated. We can’t underestimate the importance of not desiring to investigate neighbors or friends when it comes to the rule of law. As long as the thieves live together, you get a situation where Washington is just a modern day Port Royal.

      The Magna Carta ultimately worked for the little people because it put a kings man in every shire, so in theory the barons held more power than previously, the actual guy pulling the strings belonged to London (wherever the king was, not nearby locals). The King’s man had to make sure things were going well enough that it didn’t require the king to become involved which sets the king’s man against the local barons. Weak kings in history are almost always under the sway of the baron class (Obama) not through fear but seductive force of flattery.. The Ottoman Empire did the same. The Governors came from Istanbul and were rotated often enough that a problematic governor would be found out by replacement governors who didn’t want to have to bother the Sultan for fear of being at the whim of God’s representative on Earth.

      Holder isn’t alone in this nonsense, but he receives complicity from every prosecutor who continues in their work. Those same prosecutors rarely have to deal with the effects. They aren’t going to be tarred and feathered which is one of causes of the American Revolution. The local representatives of the king (governors, commissioners and such) had been paid by the local parliaments and when they were out of line they were tarred and feathered (this is a practice which should never have gone out of style), but the Parliament in London was dominated by merchants who wanted in on the growing wealth of the colonies and so moved to fund the officers themselves and provide material support to enforce their rule. In 1763, you couldn’t cross a dirt path without some future rebel singing the praises of George III.

      1. fresno dan

        I’ve often thought that the power prosecutors have, which is so unregulated, and so unexamined, is startling. The abuse of innocent people by prosecutorial misconduct is immense and well documented….and yet nothing is done. The question of the corruption of NOT prosecuting scarcely comes up, and is than dropped.

        1. Waking Up

          Anyone who wants to see the results of prosecutorial overreach by DOJ should look at the case of Aaron Swartz (who ultimately commit suicide).

  11. AbyNormal

    India’s top bitcoin platform halts trade after state regulator ‘security risks’ warning
    “We are suspending buy and sell operations until we can outline a clearer framework with which to work,” said on its website, explaining it was “to protect the interest of our customers.”

    “The very best financial presentation is one that’s well thought out and anticipates any questions…ANSWERING THEM IN ADVANCE.”
    Arthur Helps

  12. don

    As it regards “Residents form ‘vigilante groups’ after cuts to sheriff department’s budget mean police only respond to life-threatening incidents”, and as one who lives in the county which the story addresses, I’d like to thank the Daily Mail for reporting this, for had it not, I would likely never have heard of Mr. Selig.

  13. fresno dan

    Public Policy’s Senior Moment Project Syndicate. A very useful piece.

    As Dean Baker logically points out, the chicken little’s often hold contradictory ideas about the aging population. On the one hand, there won’t be enough workers (essentially, wealth) to support the aged. On the other hand, the increasing productivity (due to robots, etc.) means there won’t be any jobs. Well, logically there can be one or the other, but not both.
    And in fact, it is probably neither if we accept the fact that the problem isn’t “growth” (gdp has gone up, but distribution – a rising tide is NOT lifting all boats….which is pretty bizarre, unless you have managed to set up some rubegoldberg device that manages to hoover up the tide all for yourself.
    So we need to be saying “a rising tide lifts all boats – WHOA, its not! What the hell happened????”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Before ‘the first of all,’ is the fact a lot of people of ‘boatless,’ and tired from swimming or perhaps non-swimmers at all, will drown in a rising tide, whereas before the tide, the water was only knee-deep, not that dangerous.

          Thus the saying among the boatless, beware of the coming rising tide.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        At this moment, we have to just say no to GDP growth, which is synonymous with ‘unequal GDP growth,’ but is actually worse, if 120% of the GDP growth goes to the 0.01%.

        Just say no, to GDP growth.

        And yes to more equal sharing of a contracted GDP…or, a temporary truce of the permanent War on Nature.

  14. fresno dan

    “its OK if you bought an item, or two, or ten for yourself…”
    I don’t think its that bad, IF there had only been some variation….
    its OK if you bought an item, or two, or five for yourself
    its OK if you bought an item, or two, or seven for yourself
    its OK if you bought an item, or two, or eight for yourself
    And if your really an original, you could say
    its OK if you bought an item, or THREE, or ten for yourself
    break free from the script newscasters, and say the number you feel….

  15. Veri

    The Turkey taper is a turkey. Seems more like propaganda to support more QE.

    Erdogan and his cabinet, along with various party members, are under investigation, have resigned, or have been arrested regarding public corruption, crony business deals, etc.

    That is why the lira is done.

  16. diptherio

    Re: U.S. bank watchdogs to consider Volcker rule tweak–Reuters

    Better headline: Regulators continue to add loop-holes to Volcker rule

    “The Volcker rule prohibits banks from owning…a type of security that a group of community banks regard as harmless.”

    Well if the banks regard them as harmless then what could possibly go wrong? It’s not like bankers have a history of failing to identify and limit exposure to risk, or anything…I mean, if they did, why would we be paying them so much, right? I bet them TruPS CDOs are safe as houses…

  17. Klassy

    Worst words/phrases/parts of speech
    How do you leave out “disrupt” or disruptive technology”? — A new phrase to describe a process that is old as the hills. It is most often uttered by those who simply cannot believe that they are not living in the most remarkable age ever (they’re here!). Or maybe they take it as consolation for living in the age of American decline. The modern spin is that you are to embrace “disruption” and look at it as an opportunity to reinvent yourself.
    As for impact as a verb, the writer is about 15 years late. I’ve never been fond of it, but language is what we make. It seems to have lost some of its “corporate communications” connotations.
    Also, “leverage” for “use”. Just stop it right now.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I agree.

      Another modern spin is that we should obsess ourselves with annual end-of-year words/phrases/parts of speech pre-occupation, and not deeds.

  18. diptherio

    Wow, just got around to reading this week’s post on the Archdruid Report. It’s great:

    A Christmas Speculation

    JMG speculates about something I’ve been saying for years, and that should be fairly obvious to anyone who thinks about it for more than a few seconds: the neo-classical, “every man for himself”, “he who dies with the most toys wins,” mentality is, strictly speaking, Luciferian and totally opposed not only to Christianity, but to every other religion as well.

    I’ve often shocked people by stating that I find it likely Pat Robertson and his ilk are actually unscrupulous atheists, if not actual devil-worshipers. They’re way too smart to believe the crap they’re selling, which is mostly what they do: sell salvation and hock holiness. They’ve got CONMAN printed in fourty point font across their foreheads, if their flocks but had the eyes to see.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      Penn Jillete has a more descriptive term for them:

      ‘Sky Grifters’.

      Ah yes, the 1980s, the Golden Age of that whole lot. Robin Williams did a whole routine on them, saying that when Jesus comes back he won’t look like Ted Nugent-he’ll come back looking like Charles Bronson and be pissed as hell.

  19. MikeNY

    You are correct, Diptherio. Rational egotism is fundamentally incompatible with an ethic of self-sacrifice and detachment. Which is why Pope Francis is persona non-grata on Wall Street and beyond. And why the lives of people like Dorothy Day, Simone Weil, and Francis of Assisi are so awe-inspiring. And why the parable of the rich young ruler should terrify almost anyone who claims to be a Christian.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      “And why the parable of the rich young ruler should terrify almost anyone who claims to be a Christian. Neo-Phairsee.”


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