Links 12/4/13

My cat Gabriel is asking to become a fur coat. He managed to delete nearly all of my links. No joke, he destroyed over a hour of work.

Snowy Owls Spotted in Tri-State Area NBCPhiladelphia (Carol B)

Which schools make graduates most likely to cheat? Colleges with the most alumni on AshleyMadison Daily Mail

Brinicle’ ice finger of death filmed in Antarctic BBC (Carol B)

Cotton Ball Diet Gaining Popularity, Worrying Health Officials Inquisitr (furzy mouse)

Chemotherapy needs gut bacteria to work ScienceNews

Scout [NLP, Move up from Twitter Feeds to Court Opinions] Patrick Durusau (Lambert)

Growth zombie feasts on Australian brains MacroBusiness

Korea and world fear Fukushima’s radiation Korea JoonAng Daily

OECD educational report: Pisa fever is causing east Asia’s demographic collapse Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Biden arrives in China amid tensions over air zone BBC

Exclusive: Chinese authorities conduct unannounced ‘inspections’ of Bloomberg News bureaus CNN (furzy mouse)

China must not copy the Kaiser’s errors Martin Wolf, Financial Times. The one part I’m not sure about is Wolf’s assumption that China would suffer more in a full-blown conflict. The US has stupidly allowed China to assume a monopoly in at least two critical goods: rare earths and ascorbic acid, which among other things is an important food preservative. China is also an important source of computer chips. I am sure reader can add to this list.

Will the Generals Intervene Again in Thailand? BusinessWeek

Unilever CEO Says Emerging Market Slowdown to Last for Years Bloomberg

Mass Die-Off of West Coast Sealife: Fukushima Radiation … Or Something Else? George Washington

Can Greece’s SYRIZA Change Europe’s Economy? Yanis Varoufakis, Boston Review

Unions fire warning shots over privatisations Cyprus Mail

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Peter Van Buren, “Welcome to the Memory Hole, Disappearing Edward Snowden Tom Engelhardt

GAO Report Highlights Compelling Reasons for New Federal Privacy Law Verdict (Deontos)

Editor Describes Pressure After Leaks by Snowden New York Times

Iron Cagebook Counterpunch (George E). Enough to make you never never want to go near Facebook or for that matter, even a smartphone

Obamacare Launch

GOP Governors’ Decision Not to Build Exchanges Was One of the Smartest Political Moves in Years Jon Walker, Firedoglake (Carol B) Says It Got 1 Million Visitors Monday Huffington Post

New Obamacare weapon for GOP: Doctors Politico

Paul Tioxon: “SAIC is a major Beltway Bandit Defense Contractor and ACA contractor,” see Truthout and Sunlight Foundation

GOP cure for Obama: Impeachment Dana Milbank, Washington Post

Alec in crisis after donor exodus Guardian

The Googlization of the Far Right: Why Is Google Funding Grover Norquist, Heritage Action and ALEC? Truthout (Paul Tioxon)

Detroit Eligible for Bankruptcy Protection, Judge Rules Wall Street Journal

Detroit: Eligibility and Pensions Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

US Consumers Are Getting “Fracked” as Fossil Fuel Industry Benefits Enormously From Natural Gas Wholesale Price Drops Truthout

Wal-Mart pays lawyer fees for dozens of executives in bribery probe Reuters

Walmart Is Selling Banksy’s “Destroy Capitalism” Print Slate (bob)

Upchuck Schumer is a bankster-lovin’ weasel who hates even the milquetoast left Lambert

Federal Regulators Expected to Approve Toughened Volcker Rule Next Week Wall Street Journal. Mirabile dictu.

The $5 trillion dilemma facing banking regulators Felix Salmon. I hope to address this. I think the framing is all wrong. Liquidity that depends on government backstopping is a subsidy to financial markets at the expense of the real economy. Being an investor is about bearing risk at a price. Investors need to factor in liquidity risk. And investors invested in the stone ages of lower liquidity (as in the 1980s) and didn’t bitch about bonds being not that liquid.

Europe to unleash heavy rate-fixing fines Financial Times

Is gold headed for bear capitulation? MacroBusiness

Grace and the Cycle of Abuse Ian Welsh

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


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  1. AbyNormal

    jeeeze, Gabriel must’ve ripped thru 4 life’s with that move…yet here we are with another wealth of links
    Thanks Yves (get some rest & get well)

    I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. :-/

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If only Gabriel could enjoy the sun like the pig in the picture, the world would be with one less fur coat..

        I say to my cat, let that be a lesson to you.

    1. anon y'mouse

      someone once said “cats can’t read, and they don’t want you to do so either.”

      which is why they tend to sit in the middle of newspapers and bother you when you’re tucked into a book, and walk on keyboards.

      my cat steals all the pens in the house. who knows where he puts them? is there a Cat Underground fighting against the tyranny of the written word or something?

      1. AbyNormal

        hehehee mine steals my Dum Dums
        then brings ‘m out to play
        right when i start to fall asleep
        never knew Dum Dums to be so dang loud

      2. LucyLulu

        Cats ARE tyrannical….

        I am not owned by a cat today due to myself and children being allergic but I had one growing up who suckered me in even as she was betraying me. For example, when I would try to sneak in late at night, I had to walk past about 20 ft of sliding glass doors with curtains closed, well within earshot of my light-sleeper mother. The cat would be hiding behind the curtains somewhere along the route waiting to pounce on me. Knowing she was waiting somewhere, but not knowing where, only added to my fear. She was supposed to be the childrens’ cat but I’m quite convinced she secretly worked as a double agent for my mother.

        Today I have a dog, a mostly pit bull mix, so she’s no wimp. She is tyrannized, even terrorized, by the white cat next door.

        It started out by the cat taking to sleeping on the ground just on his side of the fence, within inches yet out of reach. The cat would stretch and yawn in a bored fashion as my dog made excited and fruitless attempts to make physical contact.

        Subsequently I had problems with my dog escaping the fence (fence since replaced). Now that the two encountered each other without benefit of a fence, the cat would have my dog running away, yelping in pain? with a swipe of his paw that never made contact. The cat remained unruffled, promptly returning to cleaning himself or whatever he was doing. One night after dark, I witnessed WC chasing my dog back home into her yard, tail between her legs. This is a dog that left me an eviscerated squirrel on my bedroom rug (to step on barefoot on a bathroom trip in the middle night) and has a Terminix employee who refuses to return after entering my yard without letting me know when she was out. My neighbors report that their dogs also slink away in trembling balls of fear when they encounter WC. I’ve always said that in a dog vs. cat fight, my money is on the cat.

        Cats are evil. They are the 1% with claws. The purring and snuggling is how they get their owners to fall for their deception that they are sweet and innocent creatures. Getting on your keyboard and deleting all your links? How much more proof do you need? You’ve been played.

        I hear fur is all the rage on the runway this winter.

      3. Paul Niemi

        I have to keep a pair of oven mitts at my desk, for the purpose of removing my cat from my chair. Like a troll, she takes my place, and will use claws to defend her position.

      4. Denise

        Cats have the ability to know the one thing they could do that will most annoy you at any given moment.

    2. down2long

      I tried to post this other appropriate quote from Winston Churchill this morning, but my internet was down and my Android posts have a low pass through success rate. Having said that, in view of the cute pig’s recline:

      In response to a question of how Mr. Churchill maintained his energy levels, even at his advanced age [and no doubt state of inebriation] Mr. Churchill said, “Never stand when you can sit. And never sit when you can lay down.”

      I love that during the war he would stay in bed until 10 conducting meetings, dictating correspondence, etc. Yes, he was an Tory, when he wasn’t Labour, or whatever he was at the moment.

      Which brings up another quote of his that I love: “I have eaten my words many times. And always found them quite delicious.”

      His male secretary said Mr. Churchill would dictate from the bathtub “while bobbing about like a giant pink porpoise.” FDR once encountered Churchill emerging buck naked from his bath, and the gleaming pink Churchill said to FDR “You see sir, I have nothing to hide from you.”

      Dear me, our politicians are all so corrupt and mendacious. It makes one long for the old days.

  2. Ned Ludd

    A Press as Deadly as the State – Arthur Silber responds to Rusbridger’s testimony to the home affairs committee of Parliament. Rusbridger remarked that the newspaper published only “about 1 percent” of the documents. “I would not expect us to be publishing a huge amount more.”

    With whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Merrell Williams, and Jeffrey Wigand; the public gained access to the full set of documents, which from my understanding were eventually published with no redactions. However, with the NSA documents, the media is setting a new example for responsible whistleblowing – release little, drag it out, redact heavily, and meet with government agencies “more than 100 times”. This will spur a “a vital debate“, which will inure the public before making everything legal.

    “Our story set in motion the process of making all this stuff legal,” Mr. Lichtblau said. “Now it’s all encoded in law. Bush got everything he wanted on his way out of office.”

    As Silber writes, the media are gatekeepers who will give us 1% more than the state.

    “The ruling class loves dissent like this. It’s not ‘dangerous’ in the smallest detail. If ‘dissenters’ like [Chris] Hayes didn’t exist, the ruling class would have to invent them.” Ditto for the Guardian, and, yes, ditto for the Greenwald/Omidyar venture.

    1. John Jones

      “The US has stupidly allowed China to assume a monopoly in at least two critical goods: rare earths and ascorbic acid, which among other things is an important food preservative.”

      How did the US allow this? I though China just had more rare earths.

      1. George Hier

        Other countries do have significant deposits of rare earths. For example, California has the Mountain Pass mine, which was mothballed for some time, but not due to lack of ore.

        The reason the Chinese hold a monopoly is because their unique blend of state-sponsored capitalism has the financial backing and the political insight to turn global market greed against itself.

        Step 1 is to flood the market with below-market-rate supplies. Other mine producers can’t afford to go as low and maintain a profit, so they’re forced to shutter their mines.

        Once shut down, the Chinese can then raise prices to whatever they like, and recoup their losses. If anyone brings any significant capacity on-line, just repeat the dump-and-pump. Eventually your competitors will run out of venture capital. If you really want to stick it to them, buy up their equipment at fire sale prices.

        Step 2 is to encourage production of rare earth-containing electronics in your own country. Kickstart the process by selling to your own companies at below-market-rate prices. Then entice foreign investors to set up shop in China, since profit margins are so much nicer (ipads, TVs, laptops).

        Once the majority of production is in China, the various types of electronics engineers and drafters and lithography machinists, and so on and so on that are necessary to maintain an electronics industry will be laid off in most other countries. After a few years of unemployment, their expertise will all be for processes that are obsolete (Moore’s Law). You can then raise your prices as desired.

        And that’s how you beat the West without firing a shot.

        1. coboarts

          Great explanation! I’ve tried to explain that the activities of our market capitalists have been treasonous for years.

      2. Larry Headlund

        Rare earths are not all that rare. Until 1995 a mine in California produced most of the world’s supply. Mining and refining rare earths is a hazardous, as in hazardous waste, process. China develped its current near monopoly by first being willing to take the environmental hit. As the US (and others) got out of the game China bought up the no longer being used equipment. After a couple of decades of inactivity the know-how, the practical experience, the infrastructure disappears.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        China also had a monopoly on silk production until a princess smuggled out a few silk worms or, was it two monks from Rome…there are a couple of versions.

        In any case, that is the tradition…whether ruled under the communists or Confucians.

        The secret of paper making – it was lost to the West after a few Tang soldiers were captured at the battle of Talas.

  3. George Hier

    The Volcker Rule bill is currently at about 950 pages, which should tell you all you need to know about its effectiveness. Namely, that all the usual suspects have already riddled it with the necessary loopholes and legalese to make sure it has no effect whatsoever.

  4. direction

    Rich links today. Perhaps Gabriel’s intervention resulted in you culling your memory for the best of the best.

    West Coast Sealife: The mass die off could be related to other chemicals swept out to sea by the tsunami or conditions unrelated, but the article was a great compilation of stories.

    and from Iron Cagebook: “The way you type, the rate, common mistakes, intervals between certain characters, is all unique, like your fingerprint, and there are already cyber robots that can identify you as you peck away at keys…to identify a user based on the unique pixelation and other characteristics of their smartphone’s camera.”

    but the winner was notification that WalMart was selling Banksy knockoffs: priceless!

  5. Furzy Mouse

    Re Iron Cagebook…why fear robots? They have no soul, they will never penetrate our inner core of liveliness and creativity…even if they beat us in chess, it is a hollow victory – the only ones who rejoice are the programmers …I abjure FB because I don’t want my life on display…but for many it is a decent sociological and political forum…so we get pin-pointed ads, especially from our search engines, revealing how very much they have figured out…but do I really care if some search engine has figured out what size shoe I wear??

    1. Massinissa

      Yeah, who cares if a robot knows your political opinions, how much money you have, what you think about government power, what you think about corporate power, what you think about society, what you think about the environment, what you watch, what you play, what you buy, what you eat, what you drink, what brands you like or dislike, how many debts you owe, what your employment history is, who your friends are….

      /sarc off

      Seriously does this shit not scare you at all?

    2. direction

      Targetted advertising is one thing, but what do you do when the bots make assumptions about your health habits and automatically raise your insurance rates? Do you want advertisers to know or surmise about your vulnerabilities? Play upon your personal longings and fears? play upon assumptions made about you based on the social media “friends” you are associated with? What if you enjoy gaming with a set of people who turn out to be cyberterrorists? You did see the article about the police raiding the house of that couple because they did a google search for a pressure cooker the same day as they shopped for a backpack, right?

      What if you are an activist in an arab spring type scenario, and they can identify you by your typing habits? Is anonymity no longer possible?

      Some people will be happily shopping for shoes online when we reach the technological singularity, but after that all bets are off.

  6. Massinissa

    About that PISA education fever article…

    Is it possible that the reason these nations are having demographic probems is not because theyre overeducated but because THEYRE REALLY DAMN TINY?!!

    It just doesnt make any sense for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea or, to a lesser extent, Japan, to have more children. Its just impossible to have populations grow indefinitely ignoring physical realities.

    And if it really begins to be too much of a problem to support their elderly populations or whatever, cant they just get cheap immigrants from India or something? Or Robots for that matter: Its not as if these countries are ultra poor.

    1. Massinissa

      “Very young children are sent to “cram schools” in Taiwan after normal school is finished. It is no surprise that one of the consequences observed by psychologists is delayed or incomplete emotional development.”

      Again about PISA, its not that I think this whole educational drive is healthy: Ive never thought this kind of educational pressure to be truly healthy. Its just too much pressure on the youth. But I think the focus should be on whats best for the few children these countries have, not on HOW MANY they have. That, I think, is besides the point.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        In the 3 years i lived in Taiwan, I saw kids going to bushiban (cram schools) and music lessons after school in place of the baseball and soccer that US kids do, and their parents pick them up after work, so it functions like a paid educational day care.

        These kids did high school algebra in middle school, and go on to work at semiconductor fab units and Lenovo, etc., and can also play a Mozart on the piano or cello. Not exactly developmentally disabled, by a long shot.

  7. taunger

    The AEP article is like shredding for beginners. I’m completely surprised that he waits until the end of the article to state conclusively that intense education is a cause of decreased birth rates; not women’s education, not transition from agrarian to other economy, but hard-core tutors. Of course, the article begs the question that the education is worth the time and effort in individual economic opportunity, and that any student can adopt the hard-core tutoring methods effectively. And that we’re at an optimal population level. Oh, I could go on, but that was the low-hanging fruit in an article laden with rotting fruits across its boughs.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I suppose it’s too far-fetched to conclude that “over-educated” humans actually LEARNED something.

      Say, for example, that in a contained environment with finite resources, continued exponential population growth is impossible and, one way or another, the earth’s population will be reduced at some point in the future. Regardless of consequences to a nation’s “economy.”

      Nah, I’m sure it’s all about Confucius and the money. At least in those countries with low PISA scores.

      1. anon y'mouse

        my assumption was along similar lines. along with this: if it really takes so much effort to ensure that your kid is successful, that implies that it is very expensive to live for the middle class (or higher).

        after spending so much time and effort and money getting that vaunted education, you have to build up your career and all of that. who has the time, money or energy for children after living in the ‘civilized’ Hobbesian culture created by such striving?

        here, we’re doing the semi-opposite: no jobs, no homes, no money. who can afford kids? especially since ‘afford’ also means college or trade school (which, in many areas, is probably equivalent to college in cost if not in time) to allow them to support themselves afterwards. it used to be that the cost of braces on their teeth was punishing enough.

  8. grayslady

    I saw a snowy owl last week here in northern Illinois. They showed up about two winters ago when there was a bumper crop of owlets up north. Too many owls in the same area means that the younger ones have to head south looking for food. They’re quite spectacular.

  9. armchair

    ALEC is evil and their losing donors? Hooray! Evil has amazing survival techniques, so I may not be so optimistic for the long term, but for the short term, or at least for today, there is reason to celebrate. I am so glad that there is a genuine consequence for the killing of Trayvon Martin, which was all made legal thanks to ALEC.

    1. mk

      see the link above: The Googlization of the Far Right: Why Is Google Funding Grover Norquist, Heritage Action and ALEC? Truthout
      the article says google just joined ALEC

    2. Mel

      I would imagine that the cool kids are leaving ALEC to join a new club that the dorks haven’t found out about yet.

      1. AbyNormal

        the horror, Mel

        “There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger’s Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offenses, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere.”
        Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Was it an offense if, instead of talking, they passed notes in areas other than the Strangers Room?

        2. anon y'mouse

          ha! I thought NC here was our Diogenes Club.

          except we don’t scowl at people who talk to each other. well, unless we’re arguing about who is ‘right’.

      2. Expat

        You may be on to something, Mel. Has anyone else noticed the similarity between ALEC’s economic agenda and the outed TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)?

    3. savedbyirony

      One doesn’t have to be a card carrying member to be on the Political ALEC team. Politicians are actually instructed by the organization to keep their affiliation quiet and trained on how to do it. And politicians haven’t slowed down at all (at least in Ohio)in either spewing ALEC’s talking points or pushing its cookie-cutter legislations. We have had voter supression bills, union busting bills, public education defunding bills and anti-women’s healthcare bills all coming from the ALEC front being passed within the last 9 months or under consideration right now in this state.

  10. Jim Haygood

    From ‘GOP Cure for Obama’ — finally the WaPo gets it right:

    The Republicans in the House know there is no chance of throwing this president from office. Yet at least 13 of the 22 Republicans on the panel have threatened or hinted at impeachment of Obama, his appointees or his allies in Congress.

    Yikes! Why bother with impeachment? They need a revolution.

    In 1974, Nixon was headed for bipartisan impeachment and conviction before he resigned.

    By 1998, impeachment had degenerated into a partisan contest rather than an objective inquiry into whether the president had committed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ So it remains — and that’s exactly how the Depublicrat duopoly likes it.

    Astonishingly, a president who’s taken out four of his own citizens by executive murder, and an attorney general who’s been found in contempt of Congress, are effectively immune from sanction. The other party eagerly anticipates its own impunity when it (probably) takes the helm in 2017.

    As Dana Milbank correctly concludes, the entrenched U.S. duopoly has placed itself beyond the law. Only extralegal measures will ever rid us of this scourge.

  11. Bill the Psychologist

    “My cat Gabriel is asking to become a fur coat. He managed to delete nearly all of my links. No joke, he destroyed over a hour of work.”

    My professional advice: Get a dog, they only ever eat homework.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cutting edge humans are adopting radiation sequestering bacteria as pets…way better (and useful) than dogs and cats.

  12. ambrit

    Did anyone else catch the last sentence of the Korea Times piece?
    “The contamination on land will last approximately three hundred years.”
    There it is in a nutshell.

    1. F. Beard

      Don’t be so sure. It turns out that some bacteria (or was it some fungi?) sequester radioactive particles to use for energy. Nature’s serendipity should cease to amaze us.

      Or do you punish your children for mistakes even if they are not always honest ones or for stubborn, willful wickness? If we are made in God’s image, might He also have the same attitude toward us?

      Jeremiah 18:1-12

    2. LucyLulu

      There are also other ways to mitigate radiation. For example, sunflowers and hemp have been shown to concentrate radioactive particles such as cesium and strontium to concentrations that are thousands that of their surrounding soil/water. The plants can then be removed and disposed of at a waste storage site. Phytoremediation is a field currently receiving a lot of attention and has been used at Chernobyl. IIRC, Japan has planted fields of sunflowers in some regions in efforts to leach radioactive isotopes from the soil.

      1. skippy

        Firstly, mitigation is an after the fact exercise, should be remembered as not returning to previous baseline conditions i.e. – . Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.

        skippy… fuzzy stuff~

        1. F. Beard

          Well, without unethical money creation, we’d have had no Communism or a Cold War or MAD or the need for plutonium and inherently unsafe pressured boiling water nuclear reactors.

          But live and learn. Or don’t and burn?

          1. skippy

            I don’t visit oracles of truthieness to reveal reality. You should look into the term mitigation across – all – the economic sectors and see the past – present and likely future results. Food is a biggie imo, see JBswift, sound financial reasoning has nothing to do with sound physical reasoning. It actually is making food – more expensive – and the externalities oh la la.

            skippy… re-reading the same book over and over again has consequences… see wealth of nations… the economic bible… barf~

            1. F. Beard

              Actually, it’s ignorance of the Bible that is the problem. The Word Of God is living, active and sharp (Hebrews 4:12) as opposed to any mere human book. I’ve learned this from personal experience since verses I was totally certain I knew perfectly from memory would have, when I looked them up to get the verse numbers, changed!

              Spare me the usual rationalizations such as a faulty memory, online Bibles are easy to edit, etc.

              1. skippy

                The subject is mitigation and not unquantified opinion from antiquity, but, nice try at pulling the point off into the fog. Like I said, look into the best practice of mobs like JBswift et al and extend externalities out. Its actually relevant to humans and life on this orb.

                skippy… everyday my dislike grows for Austrian – Neo/classical’s – The bemused German Smithian, Christian J. Kraus, once referred to the Wealth of Nations as the ‘Bible’ of political economy. In a sense, Professor Kraus spoke wiser than he knew. For, in one way, the Wealth of Nations is like the Bible; it is possible to derive varying and contradictory interpretations from various – or even the same – parts of the book.

                1. F. Beard

                  I loath the Austrians though I used to call myself one. It was the Bible that rescued me from them and from Ayn Rand too. Actually, I always had a problem with Rand since VOLUNTARY altruism should be perfectly acceptable.

                  But of course, I’m going to defend the Bible if you compare it to a mere human book. Like I said, a purpose of the Bible is teach humility. There is only one correct interpretation of the Bible but it is no shorter than the Bible itself. How do I know this? Because the Bible itself says: When words are many, sin is not lacking; so he who controls his speech is wise. Proverbs 10:19 [Complete Hebrew Bible (Since you hate the NASB?)]

                  Like I said, look into the best practice of mobs like JBswift et al and extend externalities out. Its actually relevant to humans and life on this orb. skippy

                  Swift and all other large corporations were likely built with the stolen purchasing power of the population via loans from the government-backed credit cartel and/or via other government privileges. So let’s nationalize them and distribute the common stock equally among the citizens. That would still leave externalities that have been foisted on the rest of the world so there’s work to be done there too. A good start would be to force the IMF to forgive all loans or at least loans to struggling countries.

                    1. F. Beard

                      Not really since my new beliefs include the necessity of humility since even God is humble.

                      Who is like the Lord our God,
                      Who is enthroned on high,
                      Who humbles Himself to behold
                      The things that are in heaven and in the earth?

                      He raises the poor from the dust
                      And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
                      To make them sit with princes,
                      With the princes of His people.
                      He makes the barren woman abide in the house
                      As a joyful mother of children.
                      Praise the Lord!
                      Psalm 113:5-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

                      And humility is likely how God got to be God:

                      For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 14:11 KJV (See why I often prefer modern translations?)

  13. Brooklin Bridge

    Here is an ominous taste of what the man who purchased Glen Greenwald, Pierre Omidyar, thinks of digital protesters. In brief, it’s the sanitization of protest argument (should never cause financial damage to corporations – such as HIS) wrapped in the (I’m so reasonable) cloak of necessary evolution of free speech. As usual, he has no solution to offer for the problem of what good it does to protest politely (off in a closet I suppose).

    It would be awfully nice to hear Glen Greenwald’s side of why he is getting involved in this mess, but until then it definitely raises serious questions about his motives, never mind what he hopes to accomplish under Omidyar’s influential umbrella

    1. Larry Barber

      A denial of service (DOS) attack, which is the focal point of the article, can in no way be considered free speech, it is simply electronic vandalism.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Uh huh, so when big business (pay pal) colludes with government on an illegal and probably unconstitutional request to deny payment to a party via the internet, that is regrettable and “troubling”, but when a small group (anonymous) does a DOS in response, that is criminal.

        Speaking of vandalism, would that include throwing tea not belonging to you into a harbor simply because you wanted to protest what you considered an unfair tax?

        If I need a haircut in civil rights, I’ll know of yet another place to get it.

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Iron Cagebook

    I wonder what price Facebook-created super-peddlers are willing to pay for the social networking data of Detroit public pensioners this morning? (And who’s buying it? Used boxcar resellers and cardboard box recyclers?) Probably ought to get on it before the electricity gets turned off.

    And I’d imagine FB is selling Chicago public pensioner social networking data hard before the bottom falls out of that market too.

    Come to think of it, destruction of purchasing power could represent a significant headwind for FB’s “all advertising all the time” bottom line. Sixteen cents on the dollar doesn’t buy a lot of electronics–or food, for that matter.

  15. F. Beard

    Liquidity that depends on government backstopping is a subsidy to financial markets at the expense of the real economy Yves Smith

    Well said! I’m glad to see that at least someone sees that banks, if we need them at all, should be 100% private. :)

    I’ll also point out that common stock as private money has no liquidity concerns because it is normally not redeemable nor should it pay dividends because the profits are to accumulate in the price and number of shares.

    1. F. Beard

      Rather, it is not normally redeemable in the assets of the issuing company but instead in the goods and services the company issues.

      The concept is simple: We pool our resources for economies of scale in exchange for shares that we can later use to buy those goods and services or sell to other people or keep as an investment with stock-splits to dilute share price appreciation.

  16. Klassy!

    Detroit: Here’s the truly scary statement from the creditslips article concerning the ruling:
    “It also gives municipalities a lot more bargaining leverage outside of bankruptcy.”

  17. Ernesto Lion

    “Any book indirectly responsible formassive raids involving helicoptersand anti-terrorist police, a spleneticFox News broadcast and an impromptubook-reading at a Barnes & Noble bookshopin New York (also attended by thepolice) must have something going for it.And so it is with The Coming Insurrection,the kind of political pamphlet last fashionablein the 17th century (and perhapsfor a period in the 1960s and ’70s).” Nina Power Frieze Magazine

    1. coboarts

      For those who would prefer order, this book should be a wake-up call. The eloquence behind it is the most unnerving aspect. It gives one the sense that 1968 is back, but it states flat out that the powers that be won’t be able to put the genie back in the bottle – there is nothing left for them to try. If the leaders of western civilization are determined to create what Toynbee called an internal proletariat, then he forecast the results.

    2. Ernesto Lion

      What got me was the idea that the collapse had already occured. The system only exists to manage and exploit the collapse.

      On the bright side the book argues that the global metropolis is a human burden and that it’s dissolution will be a benefit.

  18. susan the other

    It seems pretty obvious to me that Fukushima is causing the die-off of sea life along the West Coast. Prolly waste water pollution from China isn’t helping either. Conflicting data today: Yes the US has banned the import of Japanese fish but no the US is not monitoring that fish nor the fish from our own waters. And neither is Canada because they are going to rely on the Japanese readings. Really? Crashing populations of herring and salmon. The starfish are literally “dissolving.” Starfish scour the ocean floor, right? Seals in Alaska suffering radiation poisoning. Whales with angst literally trying to communicate with us. The list of creatures is very long. Independent readings have proven that the radiation has reached the US both in air and sea currents. And we are waiting for Japan to test this stuff? Japan won’t even test the Tokyo aquifer. Gosh, people might not come to their Olympics.

    1. susan the other

      Trust me, I was as moderate as I know how to be. I’m sure the censor is averse to any mention of radiation and the Olympics. But all sorts of reports are now saying (one here cited) that Tokyo has way high levels of radiation. It was just impossible to be any more moderate than this when what I really wanted to say was scathing.

  19. George Phillies

    There is a functioning rare earth mining and processing facility in the US, capacity ca. 20,000 tons a year. There are other places outside China that could mine. The Chinese must recognize that there is a use-once weapon here, namely after they use it once they will suffer radical downward changes in their trade accessibility.

  20. docg

    Is that pig pic what you’d call “Sitting Ugly”?

    (Pardon my insensitivity, folks — but as Rivera once said: “I paint what I see.”)

  21. jfleni

    RE: 1984 Was an Instruction Manual

    The KGB tried for years and years, they could never overcome “samizdat” (underground information sharing or “whistle-blowing” by various means).

    It’s even easier now. “Disappearance” of information about persons, places and things, both inside and outside networks is all but impossible.

  22. Jack Parsons

    “GAO Report Highlights Compelling Reasons for New Federal Privacy Law”

    They’re keeping “Patient Health Information”. US medical record information is not to be trifled with (regulated under HIPAA law). If you store PHI you must work very very hard to avoid disclosure, else you can be up for very very severe penalties. We always store it encrypted. Always. If I make a note on a post-it, my boss grabs & shreds it.

    If someone hacks them (it’s happened before) and leaks PHI in volume, Experian could be bankrupted by the feds.

  23. Ignim Brites

    “Liquidity that depends on government backstopping is a subsidy to financial markets at the expense of the real economy.” Yves Smith

    One way to increase liquidity, I.e. people willing to buy, is to cut prices. That is hardly ever mentioned in the financial press or blots.

  24. participant-observer-observed

    News on Iceland’s idea of mortage debt relief published:

    and an easy info graphic on wealth distribution in the USA:

    and corporate tax dodgers and worldwide top earners chart:

    maybe its the christmas season highlighting dickensonioan days

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