Links 1/13/14

Scientist claims that your cat thinks you’re an overgrown, clumsy idiot of a cat Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Rhino hunt permit auctioned in US BBC

CN Rail says beavers, rain to blame for Burnaby derailment CBC. Stephen L: “Beavers take direct action against global warming, derail coal train.”

Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD Psychology Today (martha r)

Organic mega flow battery promises breakthrough for renewable energy Science Daily (Chuck L)

The Case for Low Methane-Emitting Cattle Science Daily (furzy mouse)

BP appeal to stop ‘fictitious’ U.S. oil spill claims fails Reuters

Hackers gain ‘full control’ of critical SCADA systems ITNews

Goodnight. Sleep Clean. New York Times (Chuck L)

The Behavioral Economics of Bitcoin Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Rising rates will help cure China’s credit addiction Financial Times. Insider perspective.

Thai protesters block roads in bid to shut capital Associated Press

Protesters launch Bangkok ‘shutdown’ BBC

The American Legacy in Iraq CounterPunch (Carol B)

Top Ten Ways Ariel Sharon Ruined Israel and the Middle East Juan Cole (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

You Can’t Opt Out: 10 NSA Myths Debunked Peter Van Buren, TomDispatch

Ford “Know[s] Everyone Who Breaks the Law” Using Cars They Made — Why Aren’t They Doing Something About It? Volokh Conspiracy (Chuck L)

McCain: investigate ‘broken’ NSA Guardian

Gates Conceals Real Story of ‘Gaming’ Obama on Afghan War Gareth Porter. Anyone with an operating brain cell should know that a surge meant increased commitment, making it harder to withdraw. We are to believe Mr. 11 Dimensional Chess wouldn’t recognize the hawks’ ploy?

Robert Gates Double-Crosses Obama Consortium News

Cicero’s guide to US electoral politics John Dizard, Financial Times

Private equity and Washington: A love story Politico

GWB bridge scandal: Christie and staff could face subpoenas, N.J. lawmaker says (furzy mouse)

Republicans rally round Christie Guardian

W.Va. residents enter fifth day without water Washington Post

Complaints Mount Against Fracking Pollution OilPrice

The shame of Cooper Union Felix Salmon

JANET YELLEN’S FOMC PUTS U.S. ON PATH TO DEFLATION Chris Whalen, Briebart. You have to read past the aside about regulations, for much of this is on target.

A watchdog grows up: The inside story of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Washington Post

Donald Trump Says He’ll Run For NY Governor If Republicans Unify Behind Him Daily News

Basel Regulators Ease Leverage-Ratio Rule for Banks Bloomberg

European monetary policy and the yield curve Jim Hamilton, Econbrowser

Need Cash? Own a Bentley? Take a Pawn Ticket New York Times

High Definition: The ‘Gamification’ of the Office Approaches Wall Street Journal

Economic Prosperity and Economic Democracy: The Worker Co-Op Solution TruthOut

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


And a bonus (a video, email subscribers need to visit the site):

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  1. Skeptic

    CN Rail says beavers, rain to blame for Burnaby derailment CBC. Stephen L: “Beavers take direct action against global warming, derail coal train.”

    Stay tuned for RCMP report on subversives, Rocky and Bullwinkle. These animals are out of control.

    1. Antifa

      The case or a new Constitution as a new paradigm is easily made. But we are not a nation anymore. We are a corporatist global empire, a plutocracy that feeds on weaker nations. What goes on here in our nation is the same looting as is done to weaker nations.

      No, the next paradigm will not be limited to our nation or even our continent or hemisphere.

      Transnational corporatism has moved the world into the realm of world governance by their rapacious activities. World governance is required to catch up with these pirates and restore civilization. That will be the next revolution, and it may be a good part of this century coming.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It may be paradoxical, but you have a point – so, it will be global constitution, local decision making.

        Furthermore, perhaps it’s hard to pass a Constitution Amendment, as we may ask when it was that we last passed one, but it’s often that what we want to do is not easy nor immediately doable.

      2. different clue

        World Governance will be World Corporate/Overclass governance. The so-called “free trade” agreements are among the tools of World Corporate Governance. The only way to slow it down and maybe someday reverse it is refusal of new agreements and then the cancellation of or withdrawal from such agreements as already exist. And rebuilding national and subnational governments with enough power to frustrate and tear down World Corporate Government.

    2. HotFlash

      Well, who do you think would draft such a thing? Hint: who is drafting the TPP? — not James Madison, for sure. I would suggest enforcing the “old” one, I think there is a copy around somewhere for reference.

      1. gepay

        The constitution is not the problem as we already see it being disregarded. Can you say NSA? Can you say drones in foreign countries we are not at war with;? Can you say US Air Force going to Libya without congressional approval? etc…
        Under the present system the US Federal government has been captured by the people who won the transnational Corporations, the banksters, and the rest of the 1%. Congress, bought and paid for . The President and executive in and out the revolving door as well as the regulators. The Supreme Court thinks corporations are people.
        To change this we would need to have the US government create the money. This will not be enought as the Congress and President would still be bought. So there is t;he catch 22 of radical campaign finance reform by bought and sold Congressmen. Never happen, It’s broken. keep in mind anything that works that you want to keep in the present system and install after the chaos ensuing when everyone becomes aware of (or too desperate) how broken it is. That is if a human inhabitable ecology survives the system of cancer like growth.
        A more dire alternative is that androids or robots are perfected. They just kill the rest of us – Who ya gonna get to do the dirty work when all the slaves are free will no longer be operative. Or even the doctors and teachers and… Africa as a giant game preserve. China with 10 million people. India the same. And so on.

  2. David Lentini

    The WSJ article on the “gamification” of work is a bit late, but still a good warning. The picture, however, is misleading, since the sorts of games that “gamification” have little to do with strategy and lots to do with pattern identification and then rote (as in robotic) reaction to the patterns. Perhaps they should have used a first-person shooter, which would also have the added benefit of illustrating the sorts of “postal” workplace environments that are likely to result if this insanity is allowed to come to fruition.

    1. ScottS

      Well, the current system where the extent to which you are white, straight, male, christian, and a decent golfer determining your career path is a rip-roaring success. God forbid we actually measure who is doing what and find out who is the most productive. Don’t worry, as soon as the metrics promote the “wrong” people, the goalposts will be quickly and quietly moved.

  3. gonzomarx

    a sensationalist headline that i normally wouldn’t take too seriously but is based on a police report.
    Revealed: How gangs used the Freemasons to corrupt police

    for background check out:
    Operation Tiberius and Project Riverside, a 2008 report on the rogue private investigations industry by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

    1. evodevo

      Noooo kidding!! They are rodents, and while I have had a lot of smart rodent pets, I don’t think a porky makes a good companion. They are pretty solitary by nature. Looked like he was getting overexcited. They are wild animals that need a LOT of exercise, and I can’t imagine keeping a hyper porky in the house. Those quills are loosely attached modified hairs, designed to be shed easily (they aren’t “thrown”) and they are barbed at the end. Getting them out of your skin would be a very painful process.

  4. David Lentini

    WSDEs look a bit like the ideas that Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler put forth in their book The Capitalist Manifesto, in which they argued for the replacement of an economic system that encouraged domination of capital ownership by a few with heavy redistributive taxes to maintain consumption with widespread ownership of capital and the goal of having many live off profits from capital instead of wages. I’ve found the book, published in 1958, interesting, albeit a bit dated, and have wondered if any of our NC sages are familiar with this work?

    Kelso, by the way, was one of the early thinkers behind employee stock grants.

    1. diptherio

      “…the goal of having many live off profits from capital instead of wages.”

      In an economy composed of worker-owned and managed co-ops, the distinction between living off of profits and living off of wages does not exist. It is the fact that you work at an enterprise, for wages or a salary, that entitles you to a share in the profits.

      To the extent that profits are the result of labor exploitation, i.e. paying labor less than its marginal product, to use the lingo, it would seem that the goal of increasing the percentage of those living off of profits would require even more exploitation of those working for wages. WSDEs (to use Wolff’s unwieldy term) avoid this paradox. In that model, the only people who can properly be said to be living off of “profit” are those retired former workers who are drawing some sort of pension from the business, realizing returns from their prior investments in the business (largely sweat equity).

      A WSDE cannot rightly be said to be a capitalist enterprise, any more than a credit union can. The distinction between returns to labor and returns to capital does not make sense in a setting where everyone is an owner, manager, and employee simultaneously.

      A new economy requires a new mentality.

      Until we have replaced

      1. Paul Boisvert

        Well said. As you may know, David Schweickart has all these ideas fairly thoroughly worked out in his book After Capitalism, and in various related articles. Workers co-ops, democratically controlled community banking, and democratic government provision of remaining non-market goods and services will eliminate two of the three markets that capitalism (oppressively) utilizes–those for labor and for capital. When every worker has an equal vote in running their enterprise (including temp workers, of course), workers aren’t commodities any more–rather, they can engage in democratic politics to resolve their workplace problems and issues. And when community controlled banks, rather than private capital, decide how to allocate funds for creating new means of production, democracy is again in control.

        Given the elimination of private control of those two markets, leaving intact the third market for finished goods intact won’t result in oppression–my shopping for groceries at one store vs. another, while my neighbor chooses to do the opposite, doesn’t oppress people, if there is democracy in the enterprises that produce and sell the food, and in the financing of those enterprises in the first place. NC readers should Google Schweickart and After Capitalism, and enjoy…

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Gates is being characterized as some sort of long term Washington public servant who rose from humble rank and file origins to walk the halls of power and have a prime seat at the table of the highest levels of US foreign policy decision making. That is just the overt description. The trial by fire that he endured to achieve such status can not be underestimated. The 2 articles here show how wary Obama was of Gates and the entire military adventure into the IrAfPak arena. As other reporters, notably Seymour Hersh have pointed out, Obama was not just being gamed, but being bludgeoned by Pentagon generals who have for decades be allowed a free reign. Gates is confirming the distinction between Obama / Biden and the military, the right wing conservatives and the hawkish democrats who coalesced around this gargantuan failure of military force.

      How hard is it to get out of Afghanistan? No harder than getting out of the Korean DMZ or leaving Ramstein AFB in Germany, or Okinawa in Japan. A military hegemon never leaves. Will the Afghan government give full, formal permission? Not yet, but maybe. The slaughter is just diminished to civil levels. What would pressure Obama into surging, but just enough to signal a lower level of commitment than demanded by the hawks? Gates himself. He is still arguing for the wars that are done and all but gone. His allies in promoting not only the surge but the entire war effort including, apparently, Hillary Clinton, believe the earnest intent by a show of military might, shock awe, is the prescription for ongoing geopolitical dominance. How does a president who has organized opposition to his basic policy of ending the wars and withdrawing by the end of the year respond? Like all politicians who do have to compromise, with compromise. Is is now harder to get out of Afghanistan? The French have left over a year ago. There are few allies left who believe and support the mission. The longest war in our history is completely discredited. Staying is not a problem, keeping any small force behind in any capacity is more of a political problem than that. Obama needed to face the fact that his SecDef was not any kind of team player. The 2 articles about Gates need to emphasized his role in conducting Iranian Arms for Hostages investigation and trial. He was never prosecuted, due to lack of evidence. This was the guy Obama put in charge of getting us out of 2 wars, what else did he expect other than to be gamed by the CIA career bureaucrat. At this point in time or any other point in time.

      A secret CIA conduit of arms sold to Iran by the Director of the CIA and WH staffer, Col Oliver North, gave the cash proceeds to fund a CIA secret war in Nicaragua waged by Contra forces against the Sandinista government during the Reagan Administration. Gates at that point in time was senior level, a Deputy Director at the CIA.

      14 Kerr, FBI 302, 7/31/91, p. 5. Kerr admitted that he and Gates had reviewed the incident several times since. (Ibid.)

      Gates’s defense was that he did not recall the Kerr meeting.15 To say the least, this was disquieting. He had been told by a very senior officer that two of President Reagan’s personal priorities were in danger — not something an ambitious deputy director of central intelligence would likely forget. Allen was acting as a whistle-blower in a difficult situation. His concern was for the safety of the hostages and the success of the efforts of the President. His information suggested serious malfeasance by Government officials involved in a clandestine and highly sensitive operation. Even though Gates may have believed Allen to be excessively concerned, could such an expression of concern be forgotten, particularly after it had been corroborated within a few weeks? Logically, Gates could ignore or forget the Allen report only if he already knew of the diversion and he knew that Casey and Poindexter knew of the diversion. Gates also was on the distribution list for highly reliable intelligence that should have informed him of the pricing dispute among Kangarlu, Ghorbanifar, and the U.S. Government, although it did not refer specifically to any diversion of funds. Gates claimed that he rarely reviewed the intelligence.16 North testified that he did not discuss the diversion with Gates or in Gates’s presence. Gates also never met with Richard Secord, whom Gates was aware of only as a “private benefactor” (the CIA’s term for non-Government donors to the contras) by July 1986.17

      15 In testimony he gave before the Select Committees’ report was issued, Gates made no reference to a meeting with Kerr. In two later Grand Jury appearances, however, Gates acknowledged the conflict between his recollection of events and Kerr’s, but he insisted that he did not recall the meeting. (Gates, Grand Jury, 2/19/88, pp. 22-23; Gates, Grand Jury, 5/1/91, p. 140.)

      16 Gates, Grand Jury, 2/19/88, pp. 13-14 (found intelligence “confusing,” so he stopped reading it); Gates, Grand Jury, 5/1/91, p. 138 (intelligence showed “a couple of Iranian arms dealers . . . lying to each other,” so he stopped reading it).

      17 North, North Trial Testimony, 4/12/89, pp. 7552-55; Gates, Grand Jury, 5/1/91, pp. 71-72, 87-88. Gates admitted that he and others were concerned about Secord’s involvement in the Iran initiative because of Secord’s prior contacts with unsavory individuals, but he did not link these concerns with the diversion. (Gates, SSCI Testimony, 12/4/86, pp. 80-85; Gates, Select Committees Deposition, 7/31/87, p. 13.)

      Notwithstanding Independent Counsel’s disbelief of Gates, Independent Counsel was not confident that Kerr’s testimony, without the support of another witness to his conversation with Gates, would be enough to charge Gates with perjury or false statements for his testimony concerning the timing of his knowledge of the diversion.

      Gates and North’s Contra Activities

      Gates maintained consistently that he was unaware that North had an operational role in supporting the contras. He testified that he believed that North’s activities were limited to putting contra leaders in contact with wealthy American donors, and to giving the contras political advice.18 While sufficient circumstantial evidence exists to question the accuracy of these statements, it did not adequately establish that Gates knowingly was untruthful about his knowledge of North’s activities.”

  5. AbyNormal

    appreciate the Bitcoin Behavioral piece…”Bitcoin seems to have taken a page out of the credit card playbook for how to get consumers to use a payment system–disguise the costs. Instead, it underscores a key problem of any payment system–the network externality–and how disguising costs (deliberately or just by function of system design) is key to encouraging adoptions to overcome and then leverage the network externally.

    All hail, Delusion! Were it not for thee
    The world turned Topsy-turvy we should see;
    For Vice, respectable with cleanly fancies,
    Would fly abandoned Virtue’s gross advances.
    ~Mumfrey Mappel

  6. Jim Haygood

    As America’s brilliant political scientist Nancy Pelosi said, we had to pass Obamacare to find out what’s in it:

    The Reinsurance Program caps big individual claim costs for insurers––in 2014, 80% of individual costs between $45,000 and $250,000 are paid by the government, for example.

    Then comes the Risk Corridor program [under which] a plan is on the hook for all claim costs up to 102% (2% more) than the target cost. But, if the health plan has costs at 110% of the medical cost target, it will be responsible for only 102.4% of the target (a 2.4% shortfall)––only about a quarter of its losses.

    If the health plan’s medical costs come in at 120% of the expected claim cost target level, the health plan will only be responsible for 104.4% of the target (a 4.4% shortfall)––again only about a quarter of its losses.


    HA HA HA! Who could have imagined that health insurer lobbyists would slip tens of billions in free subsidies into their 2,000-page magnum opus? Who, who, who?

    1. LucyLulu

      Thanks for the article, Jim. I hadn’t seen the terms of the reinsurance agreement before.
      While the terms are certainly extremely favorable to the insurers, given the nature of the structure being implemented, its unclear that the terms could have been significantly reduced without losing buy-in from the insurers. Those guys aren’t the casino players the financial guys are.

      Unless they’ve changed, they play the numbers (plus a healthy profit, they got bonuses to pay too), which they normally have down pretty tight. I can’t imagine they have the models they need to have much certainty in their current numbers. And insurers expect losses to be abysmal the next couple of years, for exactly the reasons stated on this blog, the sick signing up preferentially (initially anyways) and using a disproportionate amount of care “catching up” (at minimum, and to some extent on a long-term basis). Without the backing, premiums would have been (more) unaffordable.

      It will be five years before we know how this pans out. Assuming the ACA lasts that long.

    2. Randy

      Was really hoping to see Lambert put forth something on this. Maybe he did a while back though, I vaguely recall.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Two standard operating procedures.

      1. remove symptoms but not the cause.
      2. give a cure that is worse than the disease.

      ‘Hope to see you again soon!’

  7. Schofield

    I liked the article on ADHD and the notion of French parents rescuing their children from “the tyranny of their own desires”. Isn’t this the core of many of the problems we have in the world where the failure to teach our kids that we are a eusocial species that not only does better when we reciprocate with each other ( including empathize with each other) but if we don’t we grow up with a parasitic individualist attitude to others where we get shunned by those others which in turn helps induce neuroses of anxiety, paranoia, narcissism and sociopathy? In other words we are a “fragile” species where our innate instincts are difficult to balance between Parasitic Individualism and Eusocial Individualism. Indeed where Adam Smith failed to make clear we might now well say not only do we rely upon the self-interest of the banker, the baker and the remote controlled drone maker for our supper we also rely upon them also recognizing the dangers of giving in to a “full-blooded tyranny” of their own desires.

    1. jrs

      Teaching kids empathy shouldn’t be difficult, teaching them the “tyranny of their own desires” too soon probably just backfires. Ayn Rand was raised that way right?

      1. Schofield

        Yes absolutely. Terrible Two’s and all that. Treading the tightrope between coercion and cooperation for child and parents to find the right balance. Indeed when you think about money it presents the same issue. If money can be regarded as “permission” for how we spend our time to a large degree it’s also based on coercion (pay your taxes, do work for a wage) and cooperation (it better facilitates exchange).

    2. bob goodwin

      The problem is that studies have pretty clearly shown that kids diagnosed as ADHD have substantially diminished outcomes in adulthood, and that treating ADHD in childhood with stimulants has measurably reduced brain damage.

      There is also a very high correlation between the MTHFR genes and ADHD, where there is evidence of a significantly lower production of neurotransmitters that is resolved with medication. I think spanking is way over-rated.

  8. rich

    Dollar stores are now getting too expensive for many Americans

    There’s a catch. While about 50% of Americans own some kind of stocks—either individual shares or mutual funds—the richest Americans own most of the market. That means most of the exceptional stock market gains accrued to what Federal Reserve research describe as “a small number of wealthy families.”

    No, the poor rely not on asset prices, but on wages, Social Security, and government transfer payments for their income. That hasn’t been a good place in recent years. Wages have been stagnant. Government transfer payments have been under fire. (Extended unemployment benefits expired late last month for roughly 1.4 million Americans after a federal program lapsed. And it seems like the US Congress is set to cut transfer payments such as the US food stamps program.)
    Economists argue that things like food stamps and unemployment act as crucial bits of stimulus when the economy is weak. Cutting them can act as a headwind to growth. That’s certainly the case for low-end retailers such as Family Dollar. The store chain’s shares fell sharply this week after it reported disappointing earnings. Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine had this to say on the subject:

    The fact that so many Americans are being forced to curtail spending at the cheapest discount retailers should give anybody cheering the US recovery something to think about.

    1. AbyNormal

      10yr chart

      Dollar Tree 10yr chart:

      “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
      Dwight D. Eisenhower

      According to a 2012 briefing by Lieutenant Colonel David Knellinger, the Special Operations Compound will eventually include at least 18 new facilities, including a two-story joint operations center, a two-story tactical operationscenter, two five-story barracks, a large motor pool facility, a supply warehouse, and an aircraft hangar with an adjacent air operations center.

      A document produced earlier this year by Lieutenant Troy Gilbert, an infrastructure planner with AFRICOM’s engineer division, lists almost $400 million in “emergency” military construction at Camp Lemonnier, including work on the special operations compound and more than $150 million for a new combat aircraft loading area. Navy documents, for their part, estimate that construction at Camp Lemonnier will continue at $70 million to $100 million annually, with future projects to include a $20 million wastewater treatment plant, a $40 million medical and dental center, and more than $150 million in troop housing.”

      1. F. Beard

        it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” Dwight Eisenhower

        “You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord your God MAY bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess. Deuteronomy 23:19-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

        Do we feel blessed in a country where nearly everyone is driven into debt for usury by a government-backed/enabled credit cartel? And note the implication that the Lord would like to bless us if He may but not if we’re living like a bunch of blood-suckers from our own fellow countrymen and even our own children if they are dumb enough to let the National Debt be foisted on them.

        Btw, I think Dwight is hinting at the money system with his cross metaphor.

        1. AbyNormal

          “On religious trolling: I’ve warned all parties, baiters and baitees, that I’ll rip those threads out, and I have spent substantial time doing just that this evening, for comments over the last few days.

          Note that WordPress imposes a technical limitation on comment deletion such that healthy twigs have to go with the rotten branches, so some good faith comments were cut. Moral: Don’t feed the trolls, even innocently.

          Finally, proselytizing (as opposed to witness, ideally silent witness) is at all times off topic at NC. Readers in any doubt whatever concerning NC’s policies on trolling and moderation generally should consult this post.” –lambert

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s not delayed enforcement is no enforcement, but a lot can happen in a few days.

          2. F. Beard

            Oh you poor little thing! If I could I’d delete it myself.

            Lambert, please delete my “offensive” comment above while I mark Aby down as a bitter little shrew. Truly, in her case, I don’t care what her eventual destination is since I insist on people I can turn my back to.

            Same to you Beefy. My contempt for you only grows.

            1. psychohistorian

              Well this is pretty offensive for anyone, let alone a Christian, IMO.

              So what are the rules? Please and thank you

                1. F. Beard

                  What Austrian:

                  1) Hates deflation?
                  2) Hates gold as money?
                  3) Supports Steve Keen’s “A Modern Debt Jubilee”?
                  4) Advocates common stock as money?
                  5) Has said that inexpensive fiat is the ONLY ethical money form for government debts?
                  6) Mocks the idea of “malinvestments”?
                  7) Loves deficit spending by the monetary sovereign?
                  8) Supports a Postal Saving Service?
                  9) Supports land reform?
                  10) Calls for the equal distribution of the common stock of all large US corporations?
                  11) Supports a generous living income guarantee?
                  12) Hates Ayn Rand?
                  13) Dislikes both Rand and Ron Paul?
                  14) Hates usury?

              1. F. Beard

                Yes, you’re correct but I can only tolerate so many extend-a hand-pull-back-a-stump encounters before I prove my tolerance by an exception to it.

                The problem is that when I forgive I mostly forget only to be reminded that Aby is out for revenge for something I said to her once which she’ll, apparently, never forget.

                1. AbyNormal

                  i have NO revenge in my heart for you Beard.

                  NC has worked hard at upgrading and expanding its readership…your post are hurtful and embarrassing. not a week goes by that i don’t suggest to someone looking for understanding during these hard times…to please read NC. what are new readers to think when they read your christian tirades? and now your including children.

                  your in pain Beard…i wish i could remove it for you…im being sincere. of all the pain & loss ive read on these pages…yours breaks my heart because there is plenty you can do about it. too many here cannot.

                  “None of you believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
                  Anonymous, The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari – Arabic-English

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s understandable that CEOs are concerned about government transfer payments, because, otherwise, I believe, people might start aiming higher and start thinking about wealth inequality and taxing the super-rich.

    3. curlydan

      As a shopper at “dollar” stores, let me say that most dollar stores (Family Dollar and Dollar General in particular) have almost nothing that costs a dollar! Everything is $3 to $5 or even $10. It’s ridiculous. They’re basically scaled-down crappy grocery, toy, and clothing stores for the inner city (and increasingly suburbs). I prefer Dollar Tree where everything is, by God, $1. It makes shopping a lot easier.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, as in it’s overdiagnosed in the US by parents who are intolerant of and anxious about high energy kids.

      1. PNW_WarriorWoman

        #1 Data that it’s “over diagnosed” Here is one study, a meta study of many studies that suggests it is NOT over diagnosed. Evaluating the Evidence For and Against the Overdiagnosis of ADHD “Results and Conclusion: Based on the review of prevalence studies and research on the diagnostic process, there does not appear to be sufficient justification for the conclusion that ADHD is systematically overdiagnosed. Yet, this conclusion is generally not reflected in public perceptions or media coverage of ADHD. Potential explanations for the persistence of the belief in the overdiagnosis of ADHD are offered. (J. of Att. Dis. 2007; 11(2) 106-113)”


        #2 Data that it’s coming from parents intolerant of and anxious about high energy kids, please.

        1. scraping_by

          From the abstract:

          ” Method: Recent prevalence studies and research on factors affecting diagnostic accuracy were reviewed. For ADHD to be overdiagnosed, the rate of false positives (i.e., children inappropriately diagnosed with ADHD) must substantially exceed the number of false negatives (children with ADHD who are not identified or diagnosed)”

          Nice circular reasoning. However, if ADHD is just a bundle of behaviors that are common, in some degree, to all children, then the idea of non-diagnosed ADHD becomes arbitrary and the number can be as needed.

      2. Bridget

        Parents, especially single mothers, are often pressured by educators to drug perfectly normal, but defiant, high energy, and strong willed children (mainly boys) into submission. Now that they are no longer taught self discipline at home and educators get sued for disciplining kids but not for administering restricted drugs to them.

        I’d much rather my little Huck Finn take an occasional paddling than Ritalin.

    2. scraping_by

      Dr. Iannelli shows the bland circular reasoning that’s supposed to be impervious to contradiction.

      “From the experts in France that I have spoken to, that is certainly true. It seems like ADHD symptoms, for the most part, are ignored. ADHD is underdiagnosed and they have a reluctance to prescribe stimulants…

      You seem to be assuming that since they aren’t being diagnosed with ADHD, then they are being diagnosed and treated with something else and doing better. I don’t see any evidence of that though.”

      Any time you call a behavior a ‘symptom’ you’re assuming pathology. At that point anything you do is treatment or nontreatment. In reality, the French official approach of looking for non-biomedical causes for the behavior (lack of sleep, emotional upset, etc.) is declaring the behavior not a symptom, and therefore it’s outside the symptom/diagnosis structure.

      Since most kids labelled ADHD are selected by their school teachers, I’d treat the ‘diagnosis’ with great skepticism. Since the ‘treatment’ is an economic boon to pharma and doctors, we should all threat the ‘disease’ with great skepticism, too.

    3. Randy

      I’d also like to say that the mental health industry serves as a stand in for a plain old social safety net. A kind of safety net which is politically impossible in the red states. I mean who can argue with a doctor?

    1. optimader

      “Donald Trump is going to run for…”

      ..a bottle of orangutan orange hair dye on sale at Walgreens

  9. Andrea

    On: Why French kids don’t have ADHD.

    As the article points out, children who are jittery, bored, sloppy, rude, distracted, late with homework, badly dressed, dreamers, or have odd phobias / habits (or whatever) are not considered to have ‘bad brains’ amenable to medication, strict rules and authoritarian moves, in France, but to be maybe…

    – under the average for conformism, application, subservience, good marks, hyper-polite smarmy behavior, excellent speech, fantastic spelling, all of which by definition includes 50% of primary school age children.

    So the community deals with that. Often, the family environment is deemed to be a cause. Plus, the F psycho-social-psychiatric community does not see any biological or other support for ADHD, and on the whole, concentrates on, a) what are the problems, the symptoms, the stress on others, the future of the child? b) how can the situation (situation, not the chlld) be turned around?

    The hoped for change can take as many as 100 different measures, the first of which is usually, explain, then tolerance, wait and see.

    It is not true that F children are better behaved / less criminal / etc. than US ones. Absolutely NOT. In fact, they are probably worse. They are not arrested, imprisoned, sent to strict board schools, given various punishments, and their ‘crimes’ such as even grand theft, or worse such as DUI without a license, running a drug ring, are most usually treated lightly, for the first time round. So the stats don’t show it. (Though France is extremly punitive > young as compared to Switzerland or Denmark…maybe that is why the US likes it..)

    Note how the article lauds strict parenting (less responding to crying babies, no allowed snacking, more structure in the time table, etc.) which is a caricature, and in any case ‘social habits’. (Meals in Mongolia are not the same as in Los Angeles.)

    The article stresses the value of ‘structure‘ and ‘parent control‘ in a sort of family scheme, which sets aside the consequent State apparatus, etc. The F example is held up to legitimize authority, and refers to child ‘self-control’, as if that needs to be learnt with a stick, as if greed and aggression, violence, were inherent qualities, and children as tiny people need be forcibly stripped of such anti-social tendencies. Which does not correspond to F child-rearing philosophy.

    1. jrs

      The whole first part of the article was social criticism though she doesn’t label it as such. The U.S. DSMV is made for pharma. Well big surprise but we also live in the only country in the world that doesn’t limit pharma prices. Coincidence? Nutritional therapy is not prescribed we also live in a country that allows all kind of garbage in food. Family therapy is not prescribed widely in the U.S. because who could afford it (oh yes a few upper middle class people). When children often can’t get adequate food or healthcare noone is going to start with family therapy as their first priority and that’s no dis of family therapy at all.

      People’s desires are only tyrannic in dysfunctional social systems. I mean ok they’ll always be some people whose desires are tyranical in any system, that’s the few people jail should truly be for. But the fact our very being in this culture destroys the world is very deliberately the result of social systems, social systems that offer people no alternative, that hide the pain inflicted (it’s all outsourced afterall, even our neighborhoods are stratified – the pain is always vieled to some extent), that some say reward the sociopathic etc..

      But the way did any of us grow up in a family structure where a clear hierarchy wasn’t in place? Isn’t that the nature of the beast anyway? Were we supposed to say as kids “ok I’ve had enough of this family, I’m leaving, I’ll have better luck elsewhere in the free marketplace of families, take this family and shove it”. The complaint is sometimes kids get their way with tempers and the like I guess, which may not be desirable, but doesn’t really change who is ultimately boss (why kids use guerilla tactics).

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cure China’s credit addiction.

    There is an older problem – millennia old, before the creation of credit probably – the worldwide addiction (of a few, a global few) to wealth inequality.

    We are not only a third world nation, but from a wider perspective, humanity is laughed at as a third planet world by the rest of the solar system.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Chistopher Whalen writes in his ‘FOMC puts U.S. on path to deflation’ article:

    “Hot” policy like what the FOMC thinks it is pursuing is actually encouraging deflation in the US economy by robbing savers of badly needed income – this to the tune of about $100 billion per quarter just in terms of the return on US bank deposits.

    Whalen is quite right that ZIRP is starving savers of income. But blaming ZIRP for deflation is way off base.

    Raising interest rates attracts foreign capital, driving up the foreign exchange value of the dollar. Several leading indexes of inflation use the trade-weighted dollar in the denominator, meaning that a stronger dollar gives a disinflationary impulse. Raise interest rates, strengthen the dollar, and inflation goes down, not up. More details here:

    One of the simplest leading inflation indexes, which divides capacity utilization by the trade-weighted dollar, troughed in June 2013 and has risen about 3 percent since then. Contrary to Whalen’s silly claims, no imminent deflation is being signaled by reputable indicators.

  12. diptherio

    Re: Rising rates will help cure China’s credit addiction ~FT

    MMT doubters, take note. A couple choice quotes [all emphasis added]:

    “Some even called it China’s “Minsky moment” – a term coined during the Russian debt crisis of 1998 to describe the turmoil that arises when overstretched investors must finally repay their debts.

    Wait a minute! According to the economics I was taught in college, investors are, by definition, savers and creditors, not debtors. It’s only because they’ve spent less than they earned (i.e. saved) that they have money to invest in the first place…or so I was led to believe. Investors who are also debtors?!? Inconceivable!

    “Official data show that the banking sector’s loan-to-deposit ratios had been well above 100 per cent for a few decades until the mid-1990s.”

    Above 100% for the sector as a whole? But, but…how can that be??? According to the mainstream theory, this would imply a negative amount of loanable funds in the loanable-funds pool. Obviously not a stable situation…and yet it went on for decades? Inconceivable!

    “This enabled lenders to extend new loans, which, once placed in borrowers’ bank accounts, lifted deposits and made way for yet more lending.”

    Loans creating their own deposits…deposits being based on loans, instead of the other way around. Aaaahhh, my head is exploding! Everything I was taught about the banking system by my economics professors was a lie! Thank Goddess I only paid state-school prices!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My impression is that there are several different schools of MMT.

      Two come immediately to mind – the secular MMT and the fundamentalist MMT.

  13. Garrett Pace

    Cats thinking humans are dumb cats.

    Adding to it, notice that when you pet a cat you are mimicking their grooming behavior, when they lick themselves clean. So, in cat’s paradigm, do we not have giant tongues attached to our arms?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cats think humans are dumb cats.

      Humans think cats are adorable humans.

      It’s like total mind-meld…complete understanding – key to a long lasting relationship.

  14. Jill

    Watch dog group–This is part of the public’s grooming for brand of the year 2016, Elizabeth Warren. Democrats will be told it’s time to elect a woman president and that woman will be Clinton with Warren as VP (the dream team), or if Clinton’s negatives can’t be overcome, Warren.

    Warren did not point out the malfeasance and fake reforms of the bureau. An honest person would have resigned and spoken out directly to the people. She was and is a team player for the oligarchy.

    If Democrats really think we need a woman president, then The Green party would have given them a good presidential slate to vote for in 2012. Nope, the Democrats want their kind of woman for president. Someone who talks well and acts badly. No Sale!

    1. Massinissa

      Actually, Warren has already stated she has no intention of running.

      Furthermore, its the progressive left blogosphere that WILL NOT SHUT THE H*LL UP about wanting her to run in the first place. The actual DNC organs like MSNBC dont actually talk about Warren all that much: They only actually are grooming Hillary. Hillary has the entire f*cking Democratic establishment behind her this time, lock stock and barrel.

      Though no matter what happens im voting Green again.

      1. Shutter

        I vote Green and have been for years. I sleep better now, my appetite has improved, sex has never been better, I have more energy and my hair is growing back.

      2. neo-realist

        How about the anti-Hillary, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer? Anti-war, pro clemency for Snowden. If he’s about as much of the real thing as one can be in this system, he’ll probably be shut out of the debate like a Green party candidate.

        I think the dems are kinda of out to lunch on the Hillary pre-nomination coronation, but not just because of her neocon politics: Hillary isn’t all that young. The dems should be at work at creating a bench of sorts to step in just in case health problems derail her ability to run.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is Hilary not that young?

          For male presidential candidates, and after Reagan, we don’t think 66 as not-young. Besides, women live longer. I am not enthusiastic about her, and I deem her still young enough to do a lot for neoliberalism.

          1. Synopticist

            66 is old for a politician who’s got another 8 years of high intensity decision making infront of her, and has already had one major health scare.

        2. Strangely Enough

          “Anti-war, pro clemency for Snowden”

          For the current Democratic establishment, that would seem to be a non-starter.

          1. neo-realist

            Schweitzer also favors single payer health care—Yep, a likely non-starter for the establishment.

      3. Jill

        Hillary also claimed she has no intention of running! Most certainly, it will be wild acclaim for Warren that will convince her that it is her civic duty to run, either as VP or President.

        The progressive left blogosphere is pumping Warren big time. There are articles about her everywhere. But I don’t think you and I mean the same thing by either progressive or left. I think you mean the people who gave us Obama, 2008 brand of the year. You know, the propagandists who convinced people to vote for a war mongering, torture executing, surveillance loving, middle/working/lower class poor hating lovable kind of guy that wasn’t openly Republican.

  15. McMike

    Lemme get this straight GOP…

    Obama is responsible for Benghazi. Obama is responsible for the ACA web site.

    But Christie is not responsible for his traffic jam?

    1. rich

      I think the traffic jam is the least of it…

      The Trouble With Chris Christie by Chris Hedges

      Wall Street was unable to mask Mitt Romney’s cloying sense of entitlement and elitism, along with his Mr. Rogers blandness. But Wall Street sees in the profane, union-busting New Jersey governor the perfect Trojan horse for unfettered corporate power. Christie, eyeing a bid for the presidency in the 2016 election, has been promised massive financial backing by the Koch brothers; hedge fund titans such as Stanley Druckenmiller, Kenneth C. Griffin, Daniel S. Loeb, Paul E. Singer, Paul Tudor Jones II and David Tepper; financiers such as Charles Schwab and Stephen A. Schwarzman; real estate magnate Mort Zuckerman; former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso; former AIG head Maurice “Hank” Greenberg; former Morgan Stanley CEO John J. Mack; former GE Chairman Jack Welch; and Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone. David Koch has called Christie “a true political hero” and said he is “inspired by this man.” Rupert Murdoch, whose ethics seem to align with Christie’s, is similarly besotted with the governor.

      Even worse, Henry Kissinger is a huge Chris Christie fan.

      Christie is pitched to the public, as was George W. Bush, as a regular guy, someone who speaks bluntly and candidly, someone you would want to have a beer with. But this is public relations crap. He is and has long been a hatchet man for corporate firms and big banks. He began his career as a corporate lobbyist in Trenton, N.J., working for clients such as the Securities Industry Association. He has done their bidding ever since. His wife, Mary Pat Christie, is a bond trader who has worked at JPMorgan Chase, Fleet Securities and Cantor Fitzgerald and is currently a managing director at Angelo Gordon, an investment firm in New York.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Low Methane Emitting Cattle.

    Reality is so inter-connected that if you focus on aspect, you are bound to disturb myriad other ones that we don’t foresee.

    It could be, or likely to be, another example of ‘the cure is worse’ when we have an alternative, a sure fire way of dealing with this – consume less, reproduce less.

    1. optimader

      Why not just teach cows to eat grass? Then the methane loop is closed and their poop will progressively fix carbon in the pasture while fertilizing it!
      OHH… WAIT A MINUTE I think cows already know how to eat grass, we just need to wean them off of GMO corn and antibiotics :o)

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Thai protestors launch shutdown.

    Like reverse psychology, reverse-reverse psychology and triple reverse psychology, etc, and like competing reformers, progressives, liberals and democrats that we see here in this county, we have in Thailand, Thaksin, his rural rooted party (or so it says) and their populist policies (per the link), his sister who’s taking care of business for him while he’s in exile on one side, and, on the other side, protestors and their revolution.

    We tell people abroad we know which is which here, so I suppose some Thais will explain to us they know which is which over there.

    Everyone is for reforming something.


    Legacy – does that word have anything to do with legs, as in, what we leave behind is more than just to talk the talk but we have to walk the walk?

  18. susan the other

    This is the research I have been waiting for all my life! Organic batteries and renewable energy. Science Daily. A metal free battery that relies on electrochemistry of organic molecules similar to quinones which are similar to energy storage cells in both plants and animals. Whoa… a new liposuction industry. How Karmic. I’ll donate. I’m sure I possess the most indestructible fat, er quinone, cells on the planet. But think of the future of this technology… we can all just attach jumper cables to our buttocks and our segway and roll on. Drinking beer and segwaying will not be a vice. Or even better – we can all get fitted so we can just plug our butts in wherever.

  19. Hugh

    Ariel Sharon was a primary architect of Israeli apartheid. He was the “visionary” who came up with Israel’s Fence of Separation. How much more in your face could Sharon have been? “Apartheid” means separation in Afrikaans. Nevertheless, it says something abolut attitudes have evolved that talking about Israel as an apartheid state no longer brings the instant hasbara response it did when Jimmy Carter first used the term.

    Gates has, no surprise, written a book in which he defends his role in two unpopular, disastrous wars and blames everyone else, especially those who disagreed with him, for them. In doing so, he can be so obviously contradictory that rather than being the “greatest Secretary of Defense” since whenever you have to wonder how anyone would entrust him with anything more demanding than getting the coffee. Obama, in fact, did listen to his generals.

    Obama didn’t bail on Iraq. He followed Bush’s extended timetable for withdrawal. On top of this, he tried to keep some US troops in Iraq indefinitely but his efforts got torpodoed, as time was running out, by the release of the excessively light verdicts on those involved in the Haditha massacre. The Iraqis, not Obama, broke off the negotiations.

    Same thing in Afghanistan. He picked one of the options for the surge there his generals gave him. And much as he did in Iraq, Obama had been trying to work out a deal to keep American troops in Afghanistan until at least 2024. Karzai, whom Gates seems to like a lot, knows this and in a potentially suicidal move has decided to play hardball in the negotiations.

    As for not liking his generals, it was Gates, not Obama, who fired the top general in Afghanistan, McKiernan because McKiernan was sceptical, i.e. realistic, about US involvement in Afghanistan. As for McChrystal, he self-destructed all on his own. And finally, Obama showed what little confidence he had in his general level officers that he had one, none other than David Petraeus, as head of the CIA, as well as Clapper as DNI and Alexander at NSA.

    Gates is pissed because Obama didn’t obediently follow Gates’ choices. This is the reason why he has it in for the usually hapless Biden because Biden actually considered alternatives. I mean these alternatives still all fell safely within the neocon mold, but Gates could not tolerate apparently his authority being questioned in anything, which when I think about it might not have qualified him even to get the coffee.

    1. Hugh

      I should add about McChrystal that it was not Obama’s contempt for him but his contempt for Obama, made public in the media, that got him the boot.

      1. Synopticist

        It’s a remarkable thing with senior military guys. They can be super-smart, wise and superb judges of character who can see right through their political masters. They’re decisive, sharp, quick and capable of brilliant analysis.

        But when things f*ck up, it’s NEVER their fault. Even though their given as much autonomy as they might possible ask for, and their advice is invariably accepted. If things go wrong, it’s still not their fault. Ever.

  20. Hugh

    The NSA article in TomDispatch is a good recap of the arguments against the NSA’s overreach, but Van Buren gets the following wrong.

    “The Fourth Amendment guarantees a right to privacy. The Constitution does not ask if you want or need that right; it grants it to everyone, and demands that the government interfere with it only under specific circumstances.”

    The Fourth Amendment does not guarantee a right to privacy. Nor does the Constitution “grant” us any rights. It recognizes and enumerates some of the rights we already possess. This enumeration as the largely forgotten Ninth Amendment makes clear is not exhaustive.

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    It is important to understand that just because the Constitution nowhere mentions privacy, we still have a right to privacy.


    Heartwarming homo sapiens antidote.

    * Article 15: Prosecutor
    1.The Prosecutor may initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
    2.The Prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received. For this purpose, he or she may seek additional information from States, organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental or
    non-governmental organizations, or other reliable sources that he or she deems appropriate, and may receive written or oral testimony at the seat of the Court.
    3.If the Prosecutor concludes that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, he or she shall submit to the Pre-Trial Chamber a request for authorization of an investigation, together with any supporting material collected. Victims may make representations to the Pre-Trial Chamber, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
    4 If the Pre-Trial Chamber, upon examination of the request and the supporting material, considers that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, and that the case appears to fall
    within the jurisdiction of the Court, it shall authorize the commencement of the investigation, without prejudice to subsequent determinations by the Court with regard to the jurisdiction and admissibility of a case.
    5.The refusal of the Pre-Trial Chamber to authorize the investigation shall not preclude the presentation of a subsequent request by the Prosecutor based on new facts or evidence regarding the same situation.
    6.If, after the preliminary examination referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the Prosecutor concludes that the information provided does not constitute a reasonable basis for an investigation, he or she shall inform those who provided the information. This shall not preclude the Prosecutor from considering further information submitted to him or her regarding the same situation in the light of new facts or evidence.

    1. psychohistorian

      It will be interesting to see how this progresses…..or not.

      I would be encouraged for our species to see similar prosecution of US leaders starting with George W Bush

  22. JTFaraday

    re: Scientist claims that your cat thinks you’re an overgrown, clumsy idiot of a cat, Raw Story

    That explains a lot.

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