Links 1/18/14

Workers of the World, Faint! New York Times. So if we were all good Shintoists/animists, we wouldn’t need unions? We need craazyman to parse this one.

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science, Religion and the Universe Bill Moyers

What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement? Edge. Nassim Nicholas Taleb nominates standard deviation.

Cyber criminals hack a REFRIGERATOR: Will the ‘Internet of Things’ create a new bot army for the spammers? Daily Mail (Lee). I have never understood why anyone would want devices that talk to each other..and now hackers too.

A Sneaky Path Into Customers’ Wallets New York Times

Energy is gradually decoupling from economic growth FT Alphaville. Contrary to our guest post yesterday.

Hiroo Onoda Dead: Last Japanese WWII Soldier To Come Out Of Hiding Dies At 91 Huffington Post (Carol B)

Suthep says govt behind blast Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

Copyright And Protest: How Copyright Is Getting In The Way Of Thai Protests Techdirt (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Obama NSA Reforms Are “A Bouquet of Roses” to the Intelligence Agencies Real News Network

Obama Speech On NSA Spying: “A Nothing Burger Served Hot And With A Sympathetic Smile” George Washington

Today I (Bruce Schneier) Briefed Congress on the NSA Sic Semper Tyrannis

What in the world: Does the US want Snowden dead? BBC

Bill Maher and Glenn Greenwald clash over ‘totally batsh*t’ Edward Snowden Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Obamacare Launch

A conservative case for universal coverage Washington Examiner (Lambert)

Why Small Business Owners Are Staying Away From Obamacare Exchanges Bloomberg

Subpoenas hit Christie aides, office Politico

Dianne Feinstein spots drone inches from face Politico (Chuck L)

California Seeks To Outlaw ‘Affluenza’ Defense AOL

Man gives change to homeless person, is handcuffed and held by police for an hour Yahoo

Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism Slate

Company Responsible for Major Chemical Spill Is a Great Candidate for the Corporate Death Penalty Alternet

West Virginia water relief trucks filled with contaminated water Daily Kos (Carol B)

Serial house flipper sentenced to live on former property WKYC (Susan M)

Low cost LGBT Housing opens in Philly’s Historic Gayborhood Philly (Paul Tioxon). For seniors, and a possible model for affordable housing.

Chicago Alderwoman Proposes City Stop Doing Business With JPMorgan Chase After it Admits to Illegal Action Truthout

BofA Won’t Face Damages Claim Over Merrill in N.Y. Suit Bloomberg

Citi and HSBC drawn deeper into forex probe Financial Times

Consumer Confidence Takes an Unexpected Tumble Business Insider

McDonald’s Can Afford to Pay More Bloomberg

David Brooks Is Wrong About Inequality Business Insider. As if this case should be different than the rest of the time? Actually, take that back: David Brooks’s Worst Column Ever Bob Kuttner, American Prospect

WEF: income gap ‘is biggest threat’ Guardian

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2014-01-18 at 2.06.53 AM

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          How do you sleep when it’s that bright?

          I think they drugged the poor rat…more inhumanity or maybe just typical humanity…words have lost their meanings with the things we humans do.

          Probably better off going back to family farming days of the Natufians…way, way before Gilgamesh and his epic flood.

          Family farming and family fishing – I got my lake and you got your river…my property and your property…you don’t steal but we don’t share. Sharing? Are you kidding, making theft obsolete? Like in some ‘primitive’ societies where they don’t even have a word for theft…because they have always shared? Only civilizations have words for stealing…they are more advanced…people there ‘own’ properties, making theft possible.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              They sleep during the day in dark holes.

              I rarely see them sleep in my front porch during the day.

          1. F. Beard

            I think they drugged the poor rat…more inhumanity or maybe just typical humanity… beef

            What a cynic! Anyone kind enough to have a pet rat and give him a teddy bear is going to drug him/her?!

            You do realize you reveal your own inner spiritual poverty when you speak such? Your god is falling down on the job.

            And for your info, that rat looks pretty happy to me. You should wish to be that happy.

            A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I wrote ‘I think.’

              Who knows except the guy who took the photo?

              As for what the rat thinks, it’s the same problem with figuring what the fish thinks.

    1. evodevo

      So do I – had pet rats for years – they’re smart, affectionate (ESPECIALLY compared to hamsters or gerbils) and low maintenance.

  1. Klassy

    Did former NSA director Michael Hayden just say that on national television?
    Wanted to share what I saw last night. This was supposed to be in defense, of the NSA surveillance program. Hayden says “Lets dispense with this terrorism pretense.”
    “We are not out there hoovering up information for some prurient interest. We are out there gathering data to make America more profitable for commercial enterprises.” (at 1:56).
    husband said “It’s like he was thinking something and accidentally blurted it out.”

    1. EconCCX

      @Klassy No, Hayden clearly said “We aren’t out there gathering data to make America more profitable (or) for commercial enterprises.”

      1. Klassy

        Oh, thank god. I watched it like four times, and that is what I kept hearing, but my mind must have been playing tricks! Thanks for clearing that up cause I thought we really crossed a line if someone can say that. I am not someone who cheers on total collapse.

          1. Klassy

            Yeah, of course that is true but I really thought we’ve crossed the Rubicon if this could be said out loud and it is unremarkable. Turns out there was a reason for that!
            I’m sure what he says in his capacity for the Chertoff group is another matter.

      2. Jazzbuff

        Snowden worked for Booz Allen. Booz Allen is owned by the Carlyle Group (Bush). Why is no asking to see the correspondence between Booz and its parent.

  2. John Merryman

    While this may not get much traction at the moment, what needs retiring is the ‘fabric of spacetime’ interpretation of General Relativity. It is akin to giant cosmic gearwheels explaining epicycles. Like epicycles, it assigns agency to the pattern. We haven’t figured out alot about the cosmos and ideas like inflation, dark energy and dark matter are just enormous patches between that theorists say and observers see. There is no metaphysical dimension of time. For one thing, it’s not so much the present moving from past to future, but the changing configuration turning future into past. For example, the earth doesn’t travel/exist along some fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow, rather tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. Time is an effect of action, much like temperature, the relation is similar to frequency and amplitude.

    1. craazyman

      Dude, pass the bong.

      Regarding Fainting Workers of the World, this is the sort of thing Scooby-Doo and his gang would investigate, then you’d see them running for their lives with their hands stretched out in front of their pumping legs as cartoon trees fly by. That’s what I’d do if some spirit started talking to me. Faaak that sh*t. I’d run!

      1. MikeNY

        LMAO, craazy.

        But I think Merryman is right about the ‘patches’, dood. It’s like a lot of the macro physics model is held together by gaffers tape and baling wire. And remember its foundational assumptions like locality and strict determinism aren’t compatible with the quantum. Freaky sh*t.

        Pass me the ganj…

          1. MikeNY

            To channel Walt Whitman:

            “Does the universe contradict itself? Very well, then: it contradicts itself.”

      2. jonboinAR

        Hey whatever works for factory floor people to act collectively to their benefit. Whodathunk local tree-spirits were labor-activist? Good for them!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘…tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates.’

      What happens to time when there is inaction (by the Justice Dept, for example)?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My candidate is the economic science idea of a human being worth $X per hour.

      I find it completely unscientific, or rather, completely un-mathematical.

      1. ambrit

        Dear MLTPB;
        You are aware, I’m sure, that “economic science” ranks up there with the best malaproprisms of the late great Yogi Berra. As for a human being being worth $X, that would be an example of a fallacy of composition, hmmm?

    4. afisher

      That was discussed somewhere on the intertubes yesterday and it was actually very interesting. Please apply link!

    5. participant-observer-observed

      There is no need to assign any agency to anything in general relativity. An electro-magnetic wave is its own transmission medium.

      Physics does not posit a metaphysical dimension of time. (1st century CE Indian philosopher Nagarjuna logically refuted the idea of inherently existing time way back when; it is the positivist material realists who are attached to it, not the physicists) However, the transcendental functions do allow a lot of powerful math that does work on the material plane, because it is not metaphysical. Your atomic bomb explosion is tipping an oscillation frequency (iw) into unstable equilibrium.

      there is an entropy to the bong experience to be found, no doubt!

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘Hiroo Onoda came out of hiding on Lubang island in the Philippines in March 1974. Onoda and another World War II holdout, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, who emerged from the jungle in 1972, received massive heroes’ welcomes upon returning home.’ — HuffPo

    Onoda and Yokoi finally gave up, three decades after the war was over. But 25,000 U.S. troops remain on peaceful Okinawa, seven decades after the war ended.

    Who are the real fanatics here?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Huh? The US got and still gets tremendous commercial advantage from our hegemony (the only problem is that the costs are exceeding the returns as far as ordinary citizens are concerned). Japan was the most extreme case, since it’s a de facto military protectorate, but what do you think NATO is? Why do you think the pushback in Europe has been so tame in the light of the Snowden revelations (not that a decent % of sovereigns didn’t know that already). Truly independent powers wouldn’t tolerate this crap.

      Look at the 1987 crash. I was in Japan, on a business trip for Sumitomo Bank. The crash had infected the Treasury market, which was starting to gap down due to illiquidity. The Fed called the BoJ and told them to buy Treasuries. The Fed called the big Japanese banks and told the them Fed told them to buy Treasuries, so please buy Treasuries. “Please” was not a request from a Japanese regulator then (and I imagine not even now) The Japanese banks bought Treasuries in size. Problem solved.

      Can you imagine that happening if Japan were truly independent? Remember, this was way before the days of coordinated crisis response and integration of markets (as in lots of investors acting like global macro traders and moving rapidly between currencies and markets).

      1. Jim Haygood

        History provides no example of an empire that endured. Japan’s attempt at a Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere was briefer than the various European empires, but none of them survived. ‘Projection of power’ (the favored U.S. buzzphrase) is a large-scale exercise in value subtraction.

        Empire is also inconsistent with a free society, as officers trained in subduing foreign populations come home and apply the same techniques domestically.

        If the U.S. gets ‘tremendous commercial advantage from hegemony,’ why is its middle class so conspicuously withering? Or to posit a different example, why didn’t Soviet hegemony over eastern Europe make the former USSR rich and stable?

        1. optimader

          “why didn’t Soviet hegemony over eastern Europe make the former USSR rich and stable”
          In large part because the military infrastructure bled dry the cream of the crop talent and potential for real productive capacity in the SU.

          We may reflect the SU as just running it’s course in a briefer time frame because the initial state of their “economic experiment” started w/ far shabbier infrastructure/resources, The SU was perpetually in far worse condition, consequently it was much less efficient at maintaining “defense” parity.
          Quality of Life parity? not even on the chart.

          Now consider 1945 the initial state of our “economic experiment”. Similar high level State objectives, but with an initial economic juggernaut to squander over the course of future decades Not the same, but a similar dynamic, just a lower slope ablative process.

          Post WWII, in the US an explicit strategy to transition to a military and weapons centric industrial/economic base was engaged. Today the Mil/indst complex sucks talent and resources rapaciously. By design it does not operate in the context of a “competitive market”.
          The US does not spend resources on it’s “defense industry” like it’s a necessary Sovereign insurance policy, but more and more like it’s a protected, unproductive and self-serving bureaucratic industry providing Congressional District patronage.

          As a consequence, we unilaterally (compared to other sovereigns) are paying for Fillet and receiving reconstituted ground meat. The spread is banked.

          1. F. Beard

            The US spends a lot on defense because it has a guilty conscience. I learned this first hand when I was selling the last of my gold coins (yes, I used to be a primitive but heck a central bank can drive anyone crazy). One of the buyers I tried just ASSUMED that all businesses were crooked and he OWNED one!

            My attitude on A LOT has changed since I learned about banking AND started reading the Old Testament.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s called evolving and a good thing.

              Who knows, one might change one’s attitude again tomorrow? And that’s also a good thing.

              1. F. Beard

                I wondered in the wilderness for decades UNTIL I finally decided in desperation to read the ENTIRE Bible.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I think that’s great for you.

                  When given room and time, people will find what they are looking for. It works in your case.

    2. Sammy Maudlin

      Gee, I don’t know Haygood. Why don’t you enlighten all of us as to who the “real fanatics are.”

    3. Paul Tioxon

      Americans stationed in military bases around globe for decades are obviously not the same individuals who first populated those bases in the 1940s in the case of Germany and Japan or the 1950s in the case of S Korea. The fanatical follower, the true believer living in the jungle like a hermit, going without any of his humanity, but sustained by devotion to the god like emperor is a far cry from the American military who has to endure a wait time on the base golf course and even may have to delay paid vacation time for a stay at the amusement park owned and operated for the US personnel in Germany. But what really gets my goat, is the US school system for American children operated and staffed with English speaking teachers so the children who live with the serviceman or woman, gay or straight, may maintain a family life during the occupation of Ramstein AFB or even the nightmare of a Hawian tour of duty. Don’t get me started on the jarheads stuck with embassy duty in Paris and London, talk about fanatics.

      Yes, you must click on this, I’m sure the NSA won’t mind, you have to the Air Force Officer’s idea of what a naval air craft carrier should look like.

      Top 10 US Military Golf Courses (As rated by Travel and Leisure Magazine) See related Blog

      1. The Eisenhower Golf Club, Blue Course, Colorado Springs, CO

      2. South Course, Andrews Air Force Base, MD

      3. Eglin Golf Course, Eagle Course, Niceville, FL

      4. Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, Kaneohe, HI

      5. Salado Del Rio Golf Course, Fort Sam Houston,

      6. Fort Lewis Golf Course, Fort Lewis, WA

      7. Sewell’s Point Golf Course, Norfolk, VA

      8. Miramar Memorial Golf Club, San Diego, CA

      9. The Legends at Parris Island, Parris Island, SC

      10. Moose Run Golf Course, Creek Course, Anchorage, AK

      (As a side note, the Eagle Glen Golf Course at Elmendorf, AFB AK made the list of the 50 toughest courses in the United States)

      1. F. Beard

        Don’t get me started on the jarheads stuck with embassy duty in Paris and London, talk about fanatics.

        Well, one has to be a bit of a fanatic to stand still on guard duty, I’d say, even in Paris or London.

        Anyway, you could not pay me enough to be “US Property”, at least not voluntarily. Owned by a cartel of bankers? I’d rather be dead.

      2. Cal

        “so the children who live with the serviceman or woman, gay or straight,”

        Are you saying that golf is a plot to prevent the 2% of homosexual youth from revealing their true selves?

  4. financial matters

    A conservative case for universal coverage Washington Examiner (Lambert)

    It’s hard to find someone who likes Obamacare. Interestingly it seems that a common theme that I run into is that the Obamacare debacle was a plan to get us to single payer. I hardly think that was the case but see it aa a desirable outcome.

    In the above link we see this comment.. “”To credibly advance this approach, conservatives must make one change to their stance: They have to agree that universal coverage is a morally worthy goal.” I think that’s a good start. And I think people across the political spectrum are getting fed up with the complicated, expensive and opaque system we have. Unfortunately it seems that the proposal in the above article is still too complicated ie

    “Second, we’d raise Medicare’s retirement age by three to four months per year forever. Since people below the Medicare retirement age would be in the means-tested exchanges, this would gradually replace the fully subsidized Medicare program. For example, over 15 years the retirement age would be roughly 70, meaning that individuals aged 65 to 69 would get their health insurance through the exchanges.

    Third, we’d transform the Medicaid program by folding its acute-care population into the deregulated exchanges, while returning its long-term care and disabled populations fully back to the states, free of federal interference.”‘

    I think government programs work best when they are relatively simple such as social security. Single payer for all could also get rid of a lot of opaqueness and start focusing on the real issues..

    I think the universal job guarantee proposal has some good ideas in this regard..

    From a 1967 US commission on dealing with rural poverty..

    “”The onus of “poor man’s jobs” must be avoided. Otherwise the effectiveness of the program will be greatly reduced. Many of the poor may be ashamed to participate, and those who do participate may be deprived of the self-esteem that is so essential to human dignity and well-being. It is the intent of the Commission’s recommendation that public service employment be expanded sufficiently so that plenty of opportunities are available to the poor, even without making poverty eligibility a requirement. Public service employment programs must be expanded to blanket the entire labor force, guaranteeing everyone a job who wants one, without regard for age, sex, race, color, creed, or residence””

    1. F. Beard

      guaranteeing everyone a job who wants one, Old Economic Myths

      Thus perpetuating the myth that most people should work for someone else instead of on or in the family farms and businesses the banks stole from them.

      Progressive liberators? LOL! (But perhaps in all honesty they never claimed to be liberators. Just like “I never said I loved you!”)

  5. spooz

    Funny thing about Bill Maher’s comment about Snowden (“I agree with what he says, I nod along,” Maher said. “And then he says something totally batsh*t.”-Raw Story), I could say the same thing about Maher. Real Time is one of the few shows I watch, and Maher is one of the few who manages to stir me up enough to yell at my TV. He’s been better since the election, but his Obot blinders sometimes compel me to fast forward through his monologues.

    1. Invient

      That scene of him and micheal Moore on their knees begging Nader not to run turned me off maher, ill likely never watch his show again.

      1. jonboinAR

        I once was one who thought Nader running as a 3rd party candidate on the Left was destructive to progressive goals. I’m sure over that!

        1. Carla

          Welcome to the club. As you look around, you’ll notice that It’s still a very small club, but the membership is growing.

    2. brian

      Our late night talk/pap show hosts have been turned. Go back and see when each became a propagandist like the newsreaders they diss. They now realize they work for a government using them to keep order. Mediocre soundbytes, pointless interviews meant to distract, laugh tracks and planted audiences high on oxygen concentration. All the independent thinking rolled into a nice chewy toy, demonstrated to be a turd, and then shunned by thought alone. As if reality would go away so easily.

  6. Tyler

    I’m going to be angry if Obama does not propose a payroll tax holiday in the State of the Union address. It’s something that actually has a chance of passing the House.

    A federal income tax holiday for incomes under $100k would also have to be supported by the GOP in this election year.

  7. ohmyheck

    The Ultimate Act of Freedom by Cognitive Dissonance:

    “We wish to believe that we live in a cooperative society; that we participate of our own ‘free will’. And yet when we see those flashing lights in the rear view mirror or open that demand letter from the IRS or ‘Justice’ system we do not actually participate of our own ‘free will’, but simply because a threat of (ultimate) violence is implied if we do not.

    Still, this is consent simply because there is/are alternative(s) available. We consistently take the softer easier way and comply, then rationalize and justify it as reasonable, rational and sane. It is important that we recognize the difference between ‘free will’ and ‘consent’ because in so many ways they are very different concepts. ”

    I enjoyed his take on insanity and codependency. Anywho, dog with a bone…chewing…

    1. JTFaraday

      “So let me try again with a different question. Which came first, the sociopathic leadership or the seriously dysfunctional populace?”

      I think it’s probably true that the American populace has a tendency to take the path of least resistance, geared to the satisfaction of daily needs and felt needs, and as a result tend to take bad deals not only in their daily lives as individuals, but more importantly from their political leadership as a collectivity, which bad deals are also constructed so as to be depoliticizing and disempowering.

      Which is the whole point. And you’re a bad person (and probably some sort of communist) if you fail “to consent” to this.

      Down the road the most sociopathic of the sociopaths put the screws in again, and most “working people” find themselves in the exact same place.

      I don’t know how you break out of that, but we should at least know we’re doing it, and that the whole liberal policy legacy is biased in this direction.

    2. afisher

      People are free to go Gault. Instead, they decide to stay here and throw grenades at the system that they disagree with, albeit in very general terms, so that there can be no discussion- why is that. This faux argument is fun, but unproductive.

  8. Ep3

    Yves, that workers of the world article was such propaganda. Nothing about the workers or their working conditions until way after they were made to look like crazies. Sickening.

  9. diptherio

    Re: Workers of the World, Faint!

    The obvious explanation is the one that the NYT doesn’t seem to seriously consider: the neak ta are quite real and they are pissed off about not being respected. This isn’t a round-about way of labor organizing and these aren’t thinly disguised wildcat strikes; these are psychic entities (i.e. gods) who are fighting back against their displacement by new gods (i.e. profit/greed) in the only way they can. This is why the demands of the neak ta seem to only touch tangentially on workers rights and to be mainly focused on the creation of shrines and the offering of sacrifices, which is exactly what gods always demand (since it is worship that creates and sustains them). To the extent that the workers are realizing gains because of these spirit possessions, it is only because they are smart enough to piggy-back on the fear created in the bosses by the neak ta, and because the bosses themselves often misunderstand the nature of what is happening and assume that this really is something being done by the workers.

    (fwiw, I give this theory at least a 50% probability of being at least partially true…)

    I have witnessed first-hand a spirit possession similar to the ones described in the article. Santosi Mata took control of a female devotee at the ashram I was staying at in Nepal, and she made the same demands as the neak ta are doing: offer me sacrifices and perform rituals at certain times and make a feast in my honor, etc. Deities…they all think alike.

    1. diptherio

      I would add that the relatively new god of Profit/Greed is many times more powerful than the old neak ta and their like. Greed receives more worship and sacrifice in a single hour on Wall Street than the neak ta get in a millennium in their Cambodian villages. Because of this, the new god Greed is incredibly powerful. The neak ta can only possess one person at a time and cause a few others to pass out, the god Greed can possess people for years, decades, at a time and is strong enough to possess millions of people at once, not only causing them to lose their normal human consciousness, but then re-animating them like zombies and controlling their every action. And while the neak ta can possess only believers, the god Greed has grown so powerful that it can possess even atheists, controlling them without their knowledge.

      What we worship, we reify (deify) in the collective unconscious, where it has a reality just as genuine as any material object, and we all worship something. In the seats of power, it is no longer Zeus or Apollo that is worshiped, nor even Father, Son and Holy Spirit…it is the god Greed (formerly known as Lucifer, Mahisha, Iblis, Mammon, etc.).

      1. F. Beard

        Well greed is rather impotent by itself.

        So, I know! Let’s empower a bunch of cheap embezzlers, otherwise known as bankers, by giving them a default monopoly on the risk-free storage of and transactions with fiat and by giving them a fiat lender of last resort.

        There! Institutionalized Greed!

      2. TimR

        Great point.. Not sure it’s “Greed” per se, but yes, “we” worship deities of our own: capitalism, science, rationalism, civilization (and all of these could be in quotes, since they are freighted with positive connotations for their true believers.)

    2. F. Beard

      You should know that Christians are immune to demonic possession being already indwelt by God. However, they can be oppressed by demons.

      1. diptherio

        That being as it may, I definitely know of some people who have claimed to be Christians and yet still managed to get themselves possessed by the god Greed. Of course, those Christians might, in fact, be secret Luciferians…hard to tell.

        To continue this line of thought/metaphor: the god Greed is now the most powerful deity going. See his gigantic temples on Wall Street and Silicon Valley (bigger than the biggest megachurch), witness the suffering and misery justified in his name. Armies are mobilized in the name of Greed and sacrificial lives are offered up by the bushel basket. The high-priests of Greed are now immune to the common law just, as the high priests of Christianity once were, when their god was ascendant.

        But now the god Greed has overtaken both your god and mine, Beard, which should be obvious from the current state of the world.

        As it is written in your holy book, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (which is something I think we can all agree on).

        [on a side note: ever read Neal Gaiman? If not, you should pick up a copy of American Gods, you’d love it.]

        1. F. Beard

          God is not mocked. A hard* rain is gonna fall if we don’t repent.

          And like I’ve said, Progressives rail against greed but they generally support the banking cartel that has institutionalized theft – so long as it is “prudent” and not “too excessive.”

          *Eventually, literally. As in 100lb hailstones and perhaps asteroids impacting Earth.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Here, it’s ‘let all religions go forth and multiply,’ unless you are thinking about some Constitution amendment.

        1. F. Beard

          unless you are thinking about some Constitution amendment. Beef

          Not at all. The truth can win even on a tilted playing field. It’s your tribe, Progressives, who generally are in favor of forced government education and/or any religion BUT that of the Bible.

          I’ve politely assumed that the better of you were just suffering from ignorance or a lack of imagination but I can’t rule out that I’ve been less than patient too. However, in your case, I doubt anything will work short of some God-administered chastisement, should He deem you worth it. However, mischaracterizing people, as you continually do with me, is not the way to get on His good side, I’d bet.

          1. LucyLulu

            “Progressives, who generally are in favor of forced government education and/or any religion BUT that of the Bible.”

            Did I miss something along the way of life? Which religions are taught in public schools? I thought progressives supported the separation of church and state. Why should religion have anything to do with politics? Religious beliefs (unsurprisingly) don’t seem to affect the politics of those on the Christian right. And why is it that self-professed “devout Christians” are, as a group, more immoral and dishonest than atheists?

            1. F. Beard

              Religious beliefs (unsurprisingly) don’t seem to affect the politics of those on the Christian right. LucyLulu

              I doubt the Christian Right has read the Old Testament, with it’s emphasis on social justice not sodomy, seriously. It’s too bad Progressives don’t call them on that but ignorance can’t correct ignorance, can it?

              And why is it that self-professed “devout Christians” are, as a group, more immoral and dishonest than atheists? LucyLulu

              Probably Calvinism and/or they’re only in the church for business reasons.

              But let’s be fair. Atheists can make their own code of conduct and if it seems “honest” to take advantage of a “willing” female (even if she is immature, demoralized, etc) because they state up front they just want sex or patronize prostitutes that’s way more than a Christian should do. Sometimes, I do envy the heathen their blissful ignorance but the truth is I was raised Roman Catholic with an impossibly strict code of behavior so the truth is somewhere betwixt us.

      2. diptherio

        definitions vary…I am a Discordian and a SubGenius, not to mention a Diptherian, a Hindu and occasionally even a Christian (but only on Christmas, to please my mother). Our metaphysical reality tunnels are different, Beard, that’s all. I’m fine with you having yours, just don’t try to force it on every body. This universe is big enough to contain more than one truth…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perception and Reality.

          Let’s assume there is a, for those who are skeptical, (for those who believe, let’s look at the) only deity.

          If each perceives what the only deity wills, and keep it solely between him/her and that only deity, though each perceives differently from all others, no one will ever know otherwise.

          If each perceives what the only deity wills, and each perceives that differently, and tries to alter, change, impose on others, do we then have, in effect, multiple perceived deities?

          Focusing on the perception level, there seems to be multiply deities.

          As for gazing on that single reality itself, well, we might have to look to the mystics of all traditions.

          1. F. Beard

            Impose? So my witness to the Bible is imposition but your witness to Buddhism isn’t? Double standard much?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              You have your interpretation and others read the book differently. That makes it multiple-perceived-deities.

              1. F. Beard

                Scripture claims to be “active” and “living” so of course it will affect people in a personal fashion as is appropriate to them. Nonetheless Christians, while remaining individuals, will resonate with other Christians.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It’s true and also true of people of other faiths…the resonance among each other within each group part.

                  And so, perhaps, there is something common in us all, instead of seeing just the differences.

                  1. F. Beard

                    We can’t both be right:

                    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

                    Does that offend you? Are you offended that a doctor or dentist can do things for you that you can’t do for yourself?

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                      Neither do what other good books would say nor what good decent people do for others.

                  2. F. Beard

                    But I quit.

                    Any moment now and Lambert will start editing my comments and then I’ll feel like a fool for having cast pearls before swine.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I believe each of us has it inside to be a thinker, writer, philosopher, painter, and theologian.

                      It’s good you have your pearls of wisdom. It’s also great that others have them too. We witness them here everyday from a lot of posters.

                      We mustn’t think only one person has all the pearls. Only the 0.01% think like that.

                      No one should say, I read the book and only I know how to interpret it.

            2. participant-observer-observed

              Buddhists don’t claim deities are anything other than conventional projections and constructions, even if/when finding them efficacious vectors of meaning making (psycho-spiritual lexicons of expression.) so this line of argument (bringing in the Buddhists) is a non-starter.


          2. F. Beard

            Focusing on the perception level, there seems to be multiply deities.

            Mankind is flawed; only a fool would deny that. Hence his perception of the truth is flawed too. Hence the need for Revelation and the Spirit of Truth.

            Moreover, probability theory rules out multiple deities since the probability of even one forming is extremely remote (but inevitable given infinite time) and once One has formed the game is over.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If people are flawed, then what they think they are perceiving when they read is flawed as well.

              1. F. Beard

                That depends on the degree of flaw and in any case is cured with continual reading and rereading of Scripture which claims, btw, to be the Word of God.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It seems that there are more variety of interpretations today than say, 1,000 years ago.

                  It can’t be for less reading.

                  It seems we have more people reading, for longer periods of time too, with everyone saying his/her understanding less flawed than others.

                  1. F. Beard

                    It IS because of less reading of Scripture. Instead, people are led astray by various doctrines and leaders such as Calvin wrt usury.

                    There is absolutely NO substitute to one reading or hearing Scripture oneself and continuing to do so.

                    And Christ knows who are His regardless of what denomination they belong to.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      You would think that the Roman Catholics, after reading for 2,000 years, the combined cumulative reading, would impress you a lot. But I feel your few years of reading seems to say otherwise. Perhaps it’s not the how much or how little you read.

                    2. F. Beard

                      OTOH, I’ve never molested a child or burned anyone at the stake or caused thousands of children to be enslaved via a Children’s Crusade, etc, etc.

                      Besides, the RCC thinks it wrote the Bible and is thus free to interpret it at its will.

                      And now I quit.

    3. craazyman

      Wall Street should find a way to do business with the neak ta,

      You can chop down their trees, pave over their soil, build a sweatshop factory and loot their land down to the rocks — and they’re happy as long as you throw them a chicken? hah ahaha ahaa hahaha.

      Talk about muppets! Bring on Scooby Doo!

      I don’t think this is the real deal. I think it’s of purely human origin, an eruption of repressed rage using formal structures of consciousness inherited from tradition. It’s pretty much just what it looks like. I don’t sense any paranormal vibe.

  10. jfleni

    RE:”Workers of the World, Faint!”

    If the repulsive and inhumane demons of predatory capitalism can’t be vanquished in any other way, why not try “neak ta”, and various other fairies, leprechauns and elves? At least the workers get some rest, respect, and maybe a good healping of roast piggy! Unions pay attention!

  11. Ep3

    Yves, I would like to run my mouth a little bit about health insurance here in michigan. We have one insurance company, blue cross blue shield of Michigan. When I go on the exchange to shop insurance plans, I see lots of plans, ALL offered by blue cross. Of course they have different levels of coverage and different prices. But they are all offered by the same company. How am I supposed to shop both personally & for my employer with so few options? My employer has reached out to insurance agents for advice & help. Every one throws up their hands & says ‘unfortunately in Michigan blue cross has an agreement to be the only provider’. Either A) we are not being told the whole story by agents, or B) this fallacy of competition is a marketing campaign by the agents to get their kickbacks from blue cross.
    I bring this to your attention as an ‘on the ground’ story. The more stories you hear, the more ammo you have when asked the big questions. Also, we don’t know what to do.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Also, we don’t know what to do.”

      The first thing you should do is understand that THERE IS NO COMPETITION IN THE MEDICAL INSURANCE INDUSTRY. IT DOES NOT EXIST IN THE US.

      The insurance industry is EXEMPT from the various national anti-trust laws, such as they are, that exist in this country today–Sherman Act, Clayton Act etc. A few (three, I think) enormous insurance companies have divided the country into territories and agreed NOT to compete with each other.

      Any promise of or reference to “competition” as a mechanism for cost or quality control is pure, unadulterated, political bullshit. It will not occur, so do not expect it.

      Participation in or acceptance of the current insurance mediated “healthcare” scheme only strengthens the hold of this cartel on the citizens. Single-payer, national healthcare is the only way out of this mess. Fifty or sixty insurance plan “choices,” all from the same company, are a smokescreen intended to dupe an all too docile public into thinking that the system is the “best” healthcare system on the planet. More BS.

      You might also want to preemptively consider this trend in other important aspects of life in America today. Say banking and airlines, for instance.

    2. LucyLulu

      FYI: It’s the same in 2/3 of the counties in NC (state, not this blog). BCBS is the only provider on the exchange. The remaining counties have one competitor. I assume Michigan, like NC, did not set up their own exchange or accept the Medicaid expansion. So, between lack of effort to recruit insurers and a more adverse risk pool, our states were unattractive markets. That would be my assumption as the primary cause of the lack of competition. Interestingly, in NC 90% of purchasers have received subsidies vs. the 80% national average.

    1. F. Beard

      Does it?

      Not anymore since the need for domestic labor has been/is being reduced by automation and outsourcing.

      I gave up on Mish when he would not give up on gold. How can one so smart be so stupid?

  12. jfleni

    RE: “Obama to the American People: F@ck Off”

    Barry, the speech-ifying Pentagon Butt-kisser does it again. Normal and natural for him; nobody expected anything different.

  13. judabomber

    Meanwhile, in the American colony of Afghanistan, an attack by the Taliban kills over 20 foreign civilians. And how does the (appointed governor) of the colony respond? With content for the empire:

    “The war on terror will bear fruit when victims and terrorists are distinguished from each other and the elements of terror are fought against,” said Mr. Karzai, who appointed a committee to investigate the civilian casualties from the airstrike. “If NATO, led by the United States, wants to be the Afghan people’s ally, they should target terrorism.”

  14. flora

    re: “Sneaky Path Into Customers Wallets”
    The FBI is very, very good at cracking these thefts….. after the fact. In the case of T.J.Maxx it was clear text transmission of point-of-sales data over in-store wifi. In the current case of Target and others, it is clear text processing of cc info at point-of-sale registers. For heaven’s sake, stores, use full encryption at point-of-sales and de-encrypt on the servers. Servers are a smaller target more easily monitored and fortified. Assume the bad guys are always looking at point-of-sale collected and transmitted data. More expensive to encrypt the entire process? Yes. But how expensive in terms of customer harm and store reputation are these data breaches?

    “One of the pieces of malware they used was something known as a RAM scraper, or memory-parsing software, which enables cyber criminals to grab encrypted data by capturing it when it travels through the live memory of a computer, where it appears in plain text, the sources said.”

  15. fresno dan

    Cyber criminals hack a REFRIGERATOR: Will the ‘Internet of Things’ create a new bot army for the spammers? Daily Mail (Lee). I have never understood why anyone would want devices that talk to each other..and now hackers too

    I leave it to the dangers of a hacked toilet to the reader’s imagination….although the air blow function
    “Functions of the Satis—including the raising and lowering of its lid and operation of its bidet and flushing nozzles—can be remotely controlled from an Android application called “My Satis” over a Bluetooth connection. But the Bluetooth PIN to pair with the toilet—”0000″—is hard-coded into the app. “As such, any person using the ‘My Satis’ application can control any Satis toilet,” the security advisory noted. “An attacker could simply download the ‘My Satis’ application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner. Attackers could cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, [or] activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to user.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Serial house flippers.

    I would settle for notification of people of that community when they move into and settle in a new neighborhood…for everyone’s protection, of course.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    McDonald’s can afford to pay more.

    When banksters make less (and they can afford to make less), the pressure for the McDonald’ses and Walmarts of the world to not pay more will be less. Of course, the latter themselvves can also afford to make less, thus further affording them to pay more.

    So, the action has to be focused on the top. When those at the top become more spiritually rich, but materially poor, those at the bottom will see their material lives improve.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Company…candidate for the corporate death penalty.

    In the Corporate Karmic world, it will come back in its next incarnation as something more viscous :<

  19. Jill

    On BBC recently I heard there was a real push to increase wages beyond the inadequate $100.00, let alone the $80.00. I heard the workers were not getting anywhere so I looked up more info. Shared below:

    “Tens of thousands of garment workers have returned to work, ending a two-week pay dispute after the authorities used deadly force to quell a strike and thwart a protest seeking a redo of a July election. A union and the garment factory association estimated that 65 percent to 70 percent of workers had returned to factories by Tuesday. About 350,000 had gone on strike, joining an opposition party in protesting the election, which they contend was stolen by the party of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Over the weekend, the government broke up the protest and banned all public gatherings.”

    “In a report released last year, scholars from Stanford University found that the actual wage of workers had decreased over the past decade due to inflation.”

    IndustriALL Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) calls for the Cambodian government to act immediately to investigate the killing of four garment workers during strikes on 3 January, release all 23 detained unionists, and set a minimum wage on which workers and their families can at least meet their basic needs.

  20. Jill

    Workers Faint:

    We need Arthur C. Clarke. First there was present (as well as long standing) violence against workers, recently to include death and imprisonment of union leaders. $100.00 is not a living wage. I put this info in to a post which has links and is awaiting moderation. I hope it will come in. Further research also pointed to a new floor being laid with a different kind of spirits, resulting in hospitalizations.

    Possession by spirits happens all over the world. To me, the way possession plays out appears bound by culture. In the US, many people will be possessed by angels, demons or the holy spirit. Possession will have a Christian (or at least, one of the religions of the book) or new age feel, I believe, because these are familiar spiritualities of US people. The fact that different cultures express possession differently, does not negate the possible reality of some underlying phenomena. I suspect there is an underlying reality, although I do not understand what that reality is.

    Sometimes the only way a person with little or no power is able to speak up on their own behalf is through divine witness of one kind of another. That may certainly be part of what is happening here. The just demands of these young women may get a hearing they otherwise would not, by being spoken by spirits. However, the spirits are not so helpful because they seek offerings and other things which don’t impact the workers all that much. However, being able to bring up an injustice and have it heard at all is important. If spirit possession brings a much needed discussion out in the open, then some good is accomplished.

  21. Carla

    Re: World Economic Forum discovers wealth inequality: “The Davos meeting has often been targeted by anti-globalisation campaigners for being an exclusive club for a small, powerful elite but Adrian Monck, the WEF’s head of communications, said inequality and the wealth gap was on the agenda. “We need to mobilise people around these issues and make people aware of them”, he said.”

    Earth to Adrian Monck: The people know all about “inequality and the wealth gap.” It’s the World Economic Forum you gotta educate.

Comments are closed.