Links 1/19/14

Is our Sun falling silent? BBC (furzy mouse)

You’re getting warmer! study finds chimps can point their friends (and humans) towards hidden food Daily Mail

‘Bio-Bot’ That Swims Like Sperm Is An ‘Exciting Advance’ In Self-Propelled Biological Robots [VIDEO] International Business Times. “Sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

Inside the Offshore Fraud: The Villains and Victims of Australia’s Biggest Pension Scam Global Mail (RS)

Insight: Battle over police pensions in U.S. cities takes ugly turn Reuters. If the police were fighting for everybody’s pensions, it would be more ugly — or less.

Cuomo, Schneiderman duke it out over $600 million fund NY Post

New York’s Schneiderman Expands Financial Crimes Unit Bloomberg. Hopefully his office will have a phone.

RE-UPDATED: Hoboken Mayor Alleges Gov. Christie Withheld Hurricane Relief Money to Get Redevelopment Project Approval FDL

Bridge scandal subpoenas hit Chris Christie’s inner circle Newark Star-Ledger

Boy, 16, suffers ruptured testicle after rough ‘pat down’ by police woman and now faces infertility Daily Mail

A nearly 17-year-old is reportedly author of malware that led to Target’s data breach WSJ

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted’ global sweep Guardian

Obama’s Speech, Annotated Version emptywheel

I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA’s Bigwigs. Here’s What Has Them Mad Wired

European commentators see little to praise in Obama’s NSA changes McClatchy

Why the Washington Post’s New Ties to the CIA Are So Ominous Truthout. Aren’t squillionaires like Bezos conflicted by definition?

Madison’s Privacy Blind Spot Jeffrey Rosen, Times

What Happens When the President Sits Down Next to You at a Cafe The Atlantic (post-game analysis).

In the Name of Love Salon. “DWYL is a secret handshake of the privileged.” “… and the money will follow” used to be part of DWYL. No longer, apparently.

@Work Advice: Homeless, not hopeless WaPo. The new normal.


Obamacare rules on equal coverage delayed: NY Times Reuters. Times headline: Equal Coverage Rules Are Elusive Under Health Law. Well, taking away benefits from CEOs does tend to be “elusive.”

Under Construction:’s Payment System Online WSJ. #facepalm.

Health Insurance Companies See ObamaCare Medicaid Boon Forbes. Yes, but Krugman supports the Medicaid model! Oh, wait…

Emergency Rooms Are Front Line For Enrolling New Obamacare Customers KHN. “If they’re waiting, they might as well be filling out some application form.”

Many remain wary of W.Va. water as smell lingers AP

Flood insurance crisis has makings of a Hollywood disaster movie Tampa Bay Times

Drowned by EU millions: Thought ‘extreme weather’ was to blame for the floods? Wrong. The real culprit is the European subsidies that pay UK farmers to destroy the very trees that soak up the storm Daily Mail

The Mafia’s Deadly Garbage: Italy’s Growing Toxic Waste Scandal Der Spiegel

Tepco May Spend 2.67 Trillion Yen to Expand Beyond Fukushima Reuters

Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor died an ‘unnatural death’ following revelations of husband’s ‘affair’ on Twitter Daily Telegraph

Thailand reels from bombings as political violence escalates Guardian

The din of misogyny at Bangkok protests Reuters

Pro-election movement begins to make voice heard in Thailand South China Morning Post

South Korea pulled strings as Cambodia’s military cracked down on protesters Global Post

Hershey’s to make 3-D chocolate printer CNN Money

Science delivers Sophie’s dragon Canberra Times. 3-D printed titanium dragon.

A Low-Cost Open-Source Metal 3-D Printer

Coming next in military tech Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

“Time series econometrics no giod p” Noahpinion

Is This Thing On? Digg. Why audio doesn’t go viral.

When Martin Luther King gave up his guns Waging Nonviolence

Antidote du jour:


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Cynthia

    Coming soon, massive insurance company bailouts. People ranting about socialism have it all wrong. Obamacare is a corporate welfare scheme for insurance companies, pure and simple. They are the “takers,” and they can’t lose:

    Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses — at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.

    For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation…

    1. Benedict@Large

      I covered this in yesterday’s comments. (It’s called reinsurance, and it’s been a part of insurance since insurance began.) The hysteria on this is pure right wing bloviating. They are taking advantage of the fact that most people have no idea what reinsurance is and why it is used. The fact is that the right is asserting a particular set of enrollment figures for which they have almost no basis. Could this thing they are talking about happen? Yes. But then again, the sun could blow up tomorrow morning too. We just don’t know.

      1. Cynthia

        Even though it’s true that the “reinsurance program” is funded by the insurance companies through their customers, roughly 70% of these costumers are getting health insurance that is partially funded by the taxpayer. I don’t have the exact figures, but the taxpayer funding of this particular program is quite enormous. What’s even worse, which you failed to mention, is how the so-called “risk corridor program” is funded. This program is mostly, if not, completely funded by the taxpayer.

      2. scraping_by

        And, as someone pointed out, if there’s a shortfall in the pool it will be made up by the federal government. Making this a subsidy, not reinsurance. Instead of intercorporate socialism, it’s government interference in the marketplace. Also known as socializing losses.

        In engineering, there’s an entire field dedicated to identifying unnecessary moving parts. Since a single payer system would get rid of the risk pool and put in simple budgeting, this is more nonfunctional elaboration. Antifunctional.

      3. Jim Haygood

        ‘Reinsurance [has] been a part of insurance since insurance began.’

        Of course it has — paid for by the insurers themselves. Whereas Obamacare features government-underwritten reinsurance: 80% of individual costs between $45,000 and $250,000 are paid by the government. That’s a massive giveaway.

        And reinsurance is only one of three subsidies. The other two are the Risk Adjustment System and the Risk Corridor program, in which the feds reimburse 80% of claim costs exceeding 108% of target: SWEET! (for health insurers)

        Sorry, just slapping on the pejorative label ‘right wing’ and expecting all of us Pavlovian dogs to bark and slobber at your faux-red-meat bait just ain’t gonna cut it no more. Gotta up your intellectual shell game, comrade. Some folks read the fine print, you know.

  2. Jill

    Bezos: Yes, this is a problem. It’s the same problem I see with Omidyar and Greenwald/Scahill/Poitrous new venture. The CIA and NSA are in control of the physical equipment used by reporters. How does one do investigative reporting when agencies which are known to track reporters (along with everyone else) purchase and monitor your equipment? Jacob Applebaum went over the ability to intercept communications. The intercepts won’t be aftermarket any more! Reporters are being have been prosecuted by the government for giving the public information we have every right to know.

    Both CIA and NSA use multiple front companies, have intricate contracts with large corporations in the war business. Are these companies going to be exposed? I doubt that. Yet war contractors are making amazingly important decisions for this govt. The CIA and OGA has its own drone program. That’s the one that rarely even gets a mention.

    As citizens we need honest information. We aren’t going to get it.

    1. ScottW

      If I were a billionaire intent on starting a media company aimed at supporting my ventures, the three people I would not hire would be Greenwald, Poitras and Scahill. Each have shown themselves to be fiercely independent (Greenwald/Poitras are basically forced to live outside the U.S.), while Scahill is very independent in his own right. I seriously doubt any of them will stay around if Omidyar meddles in their journalism the way many fear.

      1. Jill

        If I were an independent journalist, the very last person I would throw my lot in with is a man who is intimately connected to the NSA. That affiliation is absolutely antithetical to investigative reporting. You don’t need to start working with Omidyar to find that out. It should be clear before you start, that this isn’t a good idea.

        No, this doesn’t seem any more of a good idea than the CIA running the WaPo. The same conflicts of interest arise in both cases.

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          I remember a key factor in the collapse of the Soviet state was the simple withdrawal of the citizenry’s belief in state propaganda and media.
          Our masters here in the west had a much more clever system, ably described by N. Chomsky wherein a great deal of hyperbolic bloviation takes place within a hermetically sealed ideological framework outside of which exist only “conspiracy theorists” who are denounced in the most vitriolic terms.

          I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on with Greenwald. Does he work for a faction of the elite that’s afraid of the ramifications of Total Awareness?

          1. Jill

            I think Greenwald needs to write about the connection of PayPal to the NSA. That would be a good start.

            Each person, Glenn, Jeremy and Laura, have written/filmed about things that we need to know about. Their work in this regard has been invaluable. Everytime they write about Snowden, the dirty wars, etc. I am grateful and I will praise that work. But for the same reasons stated in the CIA article, working with a newspaper owner who is intimately connected with the NSA is a real problem. It needs to be openly addressed. A good way to show independence would be to write about PayPal and its relationship with NSA. I haven’t seen that article yet.

            1. hunkerdown

              How about those who picked this fight with Snowden by way of Greenwald and Omidyar stop working their obvious FUD provocateur angles and put up or shut up, rather than whining like infantile American consumers that someone else isn’t taking their order?

              Ames/Levine/Edmonds are, in effect, merely continuing the MSM’s campaign to get the documents out of the story. It’s worth asking why they would prefer to shut the story and the documents down based on their well-developed abilities to broadcast speculation, innuendo and arrogance and perform a pitch-perfect fundamental attribution error.

              Cui bono?

          2. TimR

            “what’s going on w/ Greenwald” — If you check out Dave Emory’s articles (, he seems to think that Greenwald works for a faction of the elite ***that wants in on the action*** (if I understand Emory correctly.) Specifically, German BND wants to be part of the 5 Eyes deal, and Snowden/Greenwald are leverage.
            IOW, it’s a big psy-op, it’s not a noble-minded altruistic mission, it’s warring factions of the elites. I’m not sure where “the public” should come down, other than it would be nice if the elites keep fighting and don’t manage to consolidate their power.

            1. hunkerdown

              Ah, now there’s an interesting and potentially credible angle. I have seen it written (in FAZ or the Guardian?) that Merkel expressed a desire to have The Club be more appreciative of the favors BND’s been doing for them. As a bid for more standing in the Five Eyes clique, running Snowden all the way from Langley to parliamentary tell-alls just for that seems to entail quite a bit of collateral (?) damage to the legitimacy of “representative” “democracy” and their own IT sector. (Who’s left to sell a credible, honest firewall?)

              The public should of course come down on the side of the public, and indeed palace intrigue can be a fine way for the spoiled brat class to burn off their Wheaties. But what public interest are Ames et al. possibly seeking to satisfy by indignantly discrediting Greenwald et al.? I have yet to see the three big champions from the Ames camp articulate one, but that all three are/were news bloggers with paywalls and strong American identities prevents ruling out paid placement, self-promotion, jingoism and/or professional jealousy.

              1. Jill

                My friend sent these excerpts from an interview w/NYTimes: “Omidyar: “Technologists come at a problem from the point of view that the system is working a certain way and if I engage in that system and actually change the rules of the system, I can make it work a different way. If you think about what did Google do, what did Facebook do, what did Twitter do, what did eBay do, they all created systems that changed the way the world works at a very large scale. And I would hypothesize that perhaps some of the interest in media simply reflects a desire to be engaged in the world.”
                NYT: By doing what?
                Omidyar: “We want to do a better job bringing important investigative stories or deep human stories that tend to be overlooked to a broader audience and we can use technology to figure out how to do that. It isn’t as simple as just throwing something in their faces about an important issue. That’s just like a public service ad and will likely be ignored.
                “Technologists understand our users and break down how user engagement increases from somebody that maybe just tries your product once and then goes away, to a different kind of person that progressively gets more and more engaged and then becomes just totally locked into your product. That’s something people in Silicon Valley spend a ton of time analyzing, working on and thinking about. [My (friend’s) emphasis added.]”

                There are many people of good will who have serious questions about this venture. We are not out to discredit Snowden or disgrace Glenn. We are thinking, paying attention to what’s going on and warning bells are going off.

  3. JTFaraday

    re: In the Name of Love Salon. “DWYL is a secret handshake of the privileged.”

    “In ignoring most work and reclassifying the rest as love, DWYL may be the most elegant anti-worker ideology around. Why should workers assemble and assert their class interests if there’s no such thing as work?”

    It may be more elegant, but is it actually worse than its more ham fisted cousin? ie., that “people want to work” even when we’re assigning them, as a society, to work that we know no one would “want” to do, even for money, if they actually had a viable choice?

    Not to mention that “do what you love” tends to be how people rationalize the need, or felt need, to generate an income themselves. It at least acknowledges that there are things that may (or may not) need doing that are not particularly desirable things to do, that people aren’t going to do if they have a choice.

    The more ham fisted version is the one that we force on others, who don’t have a lot of choice, all while pretending we’re just being nice people who are only here to help.

    1. JTFaraday

      If anything, “do what you love (and it won’t be work)” disempowers the creative classes, and we see this in the proliferation of not-for-pay internships in virtually all the sexy creative class occupations that are eagerly snapped up by young people who all too often are also paying tuition in some overpriced urban university for the privilege.

      What a racket.

      1. diptherio

        Yup. And it’s quite insidious. Even otherwise clear-thinking people have said it to me: “Oh, you should just do what you love.” My ex- used to say that to me…then she got into grad school w/ her dream job working in a fuel cell lab…and it made her miserable. Why? Because MSU works their science grad students to the bone and pays them poverty wages…turns out, doing what she loved wasn’t enough to make her happy, since the conditions under which she was required to do what she loved were, well…unlovable.

    2. TimR

      I think the DWYL article makes some valid criticisms, I just find it’s the flip side of the same coin, a bit too b&w. There’s some validity to “DWYL” as well, the point is that reality, and everyone’s personal situation, is going to be more nuanced than any simple exhortation can encompass. The author worries that more people are going to be doing **** jobs, so it’s mean to dehumanize them as non-DWYL people. But in fact those kinds of jobs are brutalizing, as Adam Smith said.

      At least they are brutalizing under a capitalist regime. It might be different if society were like the village at the end of Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai,” where the bandits had been defeated and the villagers were no longer exploited. They still had to work in the fields, but now they knew they were working to provide sustenance for themselves and their families, not for a large overclass of parasites who left them only enough rice to barely subsist on; so they could sing and be happy as they worked.

      1. JTFaraday

        About a week and a half ago, I changed my niece’s diarrhea diaper 5 times in a couple hours, then went home and puked my guts out all day the following day.

        But this cheezebag society couldn’t pay me enough to do that for a living, (never mind what it would pay me to do it). I will take that Samurai sword and commit hari-kari myself.

        That’s just how it is. Unlike the “people want to work” and “work brings dignity to people” ideologues, I don’t necessarily assume it’s different for other people.

          1. ambrit

            Herr Fieldmarschall;
            Speer maintained rising production of war materiel up until almost the end of the war. His methods earned him a stint as the “Guest of the State” but not the ultimate penalty. Indeed, sometimes “Arbeit Macht Frei,” but then again, for far too many, as if one were not enough, “Arbeit Mact Tot!” (Poor phrasing, I know, but, you get the drift.)

    3. jrs

      I’ve always believed “do what you hate and the money will follow”, because there’s no money in doing what you love,duh. But really we should work to minimize the amount of time people spend at work. Work for a 30 hour week and your children will never work a 40 hour week in their life.

  4. diptherio

    Here’s some food for reflection on this Winter Sunday:

    Movements Moving Together, Part 4 ~Michael Johnson, GEO

    Are there any indications that activists in the 21st century are more able now than in the 20th century to bring autonomous movements together and unite them around some kind of shared body of themes and agendas? If not, what do we need to do to develop that capacity?

    One of my GEO colleagues, Marty Heyman, zeroed in on this one in a response to my [previous] blog:

    “…my question is “what’s different this time that someone could actually bring together all the disparate autonomous movements for change and unite them under a single banner?” About the only rallying cry that has a chance to do that is “We’re mad and we won’t stop until we throw the bastards out!” (the usual mob call for revenge.)

    “These grand schemes are altogether too easy to co-opt and bend to the objectives of the elite. There are too many players “leading” the sub movements that are living from philanthropic grant to philanthropic grant (or other donation) and are too easily convinced that, for the sake of paying the rent and putting food on the table, softening the message or sticking to their well-divided special interest is a better strategy.”

    Let’s see if I can address his challenge without slipping around it.

    In his reflections on the life and work of Lawrence Goodwyn, an ardent activist in the 50s onward and “the great American historian of democratic social movements,”* Benj DeMott recalls something Goodwyn said that is totally relevant to our question here:

    “There wasn’t anything in my culture that taught me that to build a movement one has to create social relations among people that would cause them to be in a room where politics is the center of discussion. I’d been taught that what mattered is what people said in the room. But the key question is how to get people into the room to hear—and respond—to whatever is being said there.”

    That is, the social relations that are the very heart of a democratic movement grow out of people hearing and responding to each other. Now that might sound like a banal truism, but it is anything but. In fact, after 33 years experience in ongoing experiment in face-to-face communication I am convinced it is one of the most challenging practices for us to learn. (But then, maybe I am a really dense learner.)

    Check-out your experience, and I mean these as genuine questions, not rhetorical ones.

    How many meetings have you gone to where there was enough genuine listening and responding to make the meeting substantive and dynamic? How many have you gone to where people were very guarded in what they were willing to say? How many have you gone to where someone was not only very willing to expound on what they knew needed to be done, but to do so at great length? How many have you gone to where conflicts surfaced and turned into fights? Or where the fight didn’t happen because people shut up rather than get into one, leaving the conflict to fester, energy to be withdrawn, and collective power to drain out of the group?

    On the other hand,

    how many have you gone to where strong democratic relations emerge from the dialog between the participants? How many have you gone to where conflicts were allowed to surface and everyone raised their energy and pulled together to hear each other out until they reached agreement, even if that was an agreement to disagree?

    Our capacity to bring autonomous movements together and unite them around some kind of shared body of themes and agendas hangs on our willingness to learn how to come into the room to hear and respond to what is being said there.
    We gotta relate before we can cooperate.

  5. Z

    Next up for our corporate media is to pull one of their most useful tricks for our rulers: induce collective amnesia. Now that obama has performed another one of his all-talk, no-change acts in which he misleads the American public/subjects into believing that he is working to resolve their concerns … in this case, spying … the corporate media dutifully drops coverage of the topic therefore giving the American public/subjects the impression that it has been effectively dealt with while nothing really substantial has changed.

    Hopefully though Greenwald has some blockbuster stories left in his arsenal to keep this issue in the public’s consciousness. We haven’t heard much from him lately. I suspect he’s been waiting for obama’s speech before he goes on the attack again.


  6. Ep3

    Yves, I have a hypothesis about the credit card data being stole from target. What I want to know is what the banks are doing. Say my data was stole & I start seeing weird charges. So I file a chargeback with my credit card issuer. That leaves it up to the bank to investigate & generally they refund the charge quickly without much trouble for me. But I am starting to think about how insurance companies are starting to deny claims, delay paying the claims, etc. Why don’t the banks do the same? What if the banks said “it’s up to you the customer to prove that you didn’t run up these charges.”? Now I know that when a person files a chargeback they have to fill out some paperwork. But why should the banks feel its their financial obligation to investigate & process the chargeback? Now maybe there’s a law that makes them do this. But obviously that doesn’t mean anything.

    1. diptherio

      Well, I’m pretty sure it’s the CC company (i.e. Visa, Mastercard) who takes care of charge-backs. One of the benefits of using CCs over debit cards is that CC purchases are insured (in some sense), whereas debit card purchases are not. I had my debit card info pilfered last year and had to personally call every business where my card had been used and request a refund. One place stonewalled and I had to fill out a couple pages of complaint form, but finally got refunded. Moral: buy local with cash, but if you must go online, don’t use a debit card.

      I wonder if there’s any data available on how much CC companies are losing in chargebacks for fraud every year…I have a feeling CC theft is much more common than is being reported (and that people would scream bloody murder if the CC companies started making people handle CC fraud themselves).

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually not Yves, lambert, for today.

      Not that I’m foily, but I’ve always wondered if the CEOs fund the hackers for a cut of the profits. Who, after all, is better equipped and funded to find out where the back doors are?

  7. Jagger

    Watched 30 minutes of Face The Nation this morning. Got the complete whitewashed NSA cover story from several congressmen and admin officials while the moderator, some white haired dignified old fart, couldn’t think of a single significant hardball question-not one. The moderator just smiled and was so pleased to be in the presence of these congressmen and admin officials. It is like they are living in a different universe. I was barely able to stomach 30 minutes and then turned it off.

    1. Cynthia

      State officials always invoke “National Security” as a magic spell to end further scrutiny into government wrong-doing. The nature of that National Security is never explained in the context of which it is invoked, but in all its vagueness one thing is certain: it is the opposite of the public’s interest. If whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden are “aiding the enemy,” then the real enemy of the powers-that-be must be democracy.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Battle over police pensions gets ugly

    I can’t say that I’m sorry that some of our local “law and order” politicians are having up-close and personal experiences with the Frankenstein thugs known as police that they have created.

    It might be time to re-think the grateful acceptance of surplus war supplies which turn these out-of-control, shaved-headed cretins into local paramilitary forces whose only mission in life is to collect their pensions.

    You’d think these cops would figure out that if they keep trampling the rights and cracking the heads of the citizens who are supposed to fund cop retirement, pretty soon those citizens are going to tell them to go pound sand.

    But for that to happen, you’d have to assume that these “protect and serve” professionals have two synapses to rub together, and that’s becoming an impossible case to make.

    1. scraping_by

      While there’s much in what you say, this remains a Tea Bagger/ALEC exercise in stealing deferred compensation from public employees. I mean, in my city it’s the Firefighters union getting the shaft and they’ve never been known for arbitrary assaults on innocent or harmless people or their civil rights.

      Watching oppression porn like COPS or JAIL, it is obvious to an observer the police are playing a nasty game on citizens. Usually it’s some little move to cause pain, then taking symptoms of pain as pretext to ratchet up the violence. They can keep that going as long as they want. If you’re thinking of the slack-jawed lump on the playground, the one who ate his own boogers and laughed at strange things, you’re in the right area.

      Still, a good illustration of the universal principle of divide and conquer. Efficient, since the cops are causing the division. They came for the Parks Department, but I said nothing, because I didn’t work at Parks; then they came for Water and Lights…

    2. Cynthia

      Unfortunately, the police these days aren’t like the police we remember when we were kids. Between the militarization that took place after the misnamed “Patriot Act,” and the combined wars on drugs, and terrorism, the police have created a nation where the majority of terror is being created by “law enforcement.” The Department of Homeland Security, has been turning the police forces in this country into a series of small armies, that sadly, have developed an attitude that the people are the enemy, and that they have to protect themselves to the point that they completely fail to protect the people that pay their wages.

      In this current age of this nation, the police serve the corporations and banks, and nobody else, while they will kill anyone that they even think might eventually become a threat. Their sole focus is to come home safe at the end of the day, and they are willing to kill the innocent, and abuse anyone that questions their right to give commands that violate the law, in order to do so.

      They are technically police officers, but they don’t even rate as a pimple on the ass of the cops that were around when I was a kid.

      1. Chris Kassopulo

        “The Department of Homeland Security, has been turning the police forces in this country into a series of small armies, that sadly, have developed an attitude that the people are the enemy”

        As long as I can remember (early 60’s) ny cops have always had that attitude. They are a separate society. The ass kickers. New – no. More abusive and violent – yes.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Battle over police pensions….

    It’s time to think about one pension plan for all…everyone in the nation under one single pension plan and one single medical insurance payer for all.

  10. Axel Ztangi

    re: “In the Name of Love” Salon originally appeared in the new issue of Jacobin.
    Comment on that article @
    Jacobin Lays an Egg
    Posted on January 17, 2014 by ZTANGI

    The latest issue of Jacobin, the thirteenth issue of the journal produced by the youth of Democratic Socialist of America, continues, and significantly expands, its lively coverage of politics. What interests me most about the magazine is its critical coverage of work. Peter Frase’s essays on the topic are always worth a read. Frase doesn’t quite channel Paul Lafargue, but he comes closer than any other writer I know of this side of the Atlantic. You might say that is faint praise, but still it is enough praise that when I read in the current issue an article that seems to revive the old lefty handwringing about the demise of the American Dream when it comes to jobs, I was surprised.

    The article in question – In the Name of Love – by Miya Tokumitsu, riffs on what the author says is the “unofficial work mantra of our time” – “Do what you love. Love what you do.” Ms Battistoni pulls these words from the mouth of Steve Jobs as he delivered them in his (now) famous 2005 Stanford University Graduation Speech and slaps them up against the precarious reality of work in America, and beyond. What follows, in part, is a criticism of the presumptions of the privileged that blinds them to the reality of daily life of the masses, who hardly have the energy to imagine what they love nor the money and time for it if they wished to pursue it.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bridge scandal.

    More widespread, perhaps less visible to our media, though not less often, to put it mildly, are traffic ticket scandals, I believe.

    There’s a potential Pulitzer there.

    1. jrs

      Well does it involve the powerful and can it be used to play one set of the powerful against another?

      Because if it just involves ordinary people getting screwed noone cares. And really not even those same ordinary people (and yes ordinary people often get screwed with traffic tickets). But even their actual fate means nothing to them compared to getting off on bashing politicos (and they say people are selfish, no then they’d actually care about what is being done to them). One person died in the Christie bridge scandal, that’s genuinely tragic and I mean that, how many people will die from Freedom Industries? Which gets air time? I have a bridge to sell you.

  12. fresno dan
    “In the end, central banks are powerless when it comes to fighting deflation. Certainly when they have become so politicized and bought up by industry, as the Fed has, that they refuse to restructure debt. When that’s accepted policy, it’s merely a matter of time before the debt drags everything down that’s not bolted fast. The only sensible thing to do when there’s too much debt is to restructure it. But yes, I know, that would sink a too big bank or two, and a bunch of properties in Connecticut and St. Barth’s. And if you got the power to sink an entire nation instead and save your friends, hey …”

    1. Synopticist

      ” He accused Assad of “purposefully ceding some territory to them in order to make them more of a problem so he can make the argument that he is somehow the protector.”

      I follow the Syrian war quite closely, and I’ve never heard even the most hyped-up, super-partisan supporter of the rebels make that claim. None of them. Kerry really is a total jerk.
      The man is breaking the first rule of the internet, and going full retard.

    1. afisher

      There is a real answer to this nonsense – from a scientist, no less. They explain the nonsense in plain english! And he is the individual who was interviewed on the BBC ( correct me if I am wrong, but it was BBC or Reuters who cancelled science journalist)
      From Mike Lockwood:
      The “Little Ice Age” wasn’t really an ice age

      Let us start with the term “Little Ice Age”. I personally dislike it and avoid using it, as I don’t think it was an ice age at all.
      1. There is some evidence for a prolonged period of somewhat lower global mean temperatures beginning in around 1400 to 1500 (estimates vary) and ending sometime between 1700 and 1800.

      2. This has been termed the ” Little Ice Age” and is often wrongly linked with the Maunder minimum in solar activity, a period between about 1650 and 1700 when almost no sunspots were seen.

      IMO (me) those attempting to make this claim seem to be putting the Cart before the Horse.

    2. BondsOfSteel

      Save us? Since the effects of CO2 can take decades to effect change and centuries to dissipate, any solar cooling would simply be more rope.

  13. ex-PFC Chuck

    The “Drowned by EU Millions” piece at the Mail is fascinating. I have a question, however, for someone more familiar with the British government. Do I assume correctly that Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, the bad guy in the piece, is an elected MP and most likely a member of the Tory party? Or is he a permanent civil servant?

    1. afisher

      Paterson is known as a sceptic – his talking point is BS. Believe him and soon you could hear him blame the citizens for not standing up to local gov’t / oil companies when a pipeline burst and there is an oil spill.

      Should we blame the citizen’s of WV for having the temerity of living in an area that stores toxic chemicals?

      Should we blames the citizen’s of WV or KY for having the temerity to live in an area below mountaintop removal and getting in the way of mudslides?


    1. afisher

      Isn’t that the exact same power play that the GOP started in 2008. They assumed that 4 years was a sufficient amount of time to destroy DEMS. The question is what will the US look like in 3 more years. Unemployed will continue to rise, food subsidies will be cut further.

  14. rich

    JP Morgan’s Frauds are Epic,Unprecedented in World History-William Black

    Professor Black says, “CEO Jamie Dimon has presided over the largest financial crime spree in world history. . . . It depends on how you count it, but it is more than a dozen, and more in the range of 15 major felonies that either the United States investigators have found, state investigators have found or foreign governments have found.” The Professor goes on to say, “JP Morgan’s frauds are epic in scale, unprecedented in world history. . . in these $23 billion we’re talking about, these are frauds that made Jamie Dimon and other senior officers incredibly wealthy by creating fictional income that led to very real bonuses.

    But, it’s not just JP Morgan. According to Professor Black, the entire financial system is headed for an even bigger collapse. As a major warning sign, Professor Black points to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s complaint about no money for regulation in the recent budget deal. Professor Black says, “Jack Lew is the anti-canary in the coal mine because Lew has been gutting regulation for virtually all of his professional life. . . . Lew is saying, my God we’ve gone so far we’re going to cause the collapse of the system. . . . You know when Jack Lew keels over, you know that carbon monoxide has already killed everybody reasonable.” Professor Black goes on to say, “The system is ungovernable . . . It has already largely imploded.”

  15. skippy

    Wins the nets for me today!!!

    Kevin Arrh Oh? I do! I remember Dr. John Hotson from my early learnings warning about self promotion in the field being prime today

    Eleven ways to think like a post-crash economist

    1. Don’t try to pass yourself off as a kissing cousin of natural scientists.

    2. Don’t speak, except to very small children, of invisible hands and magic.

    3. When possible avoid the use of emotive words.

    4. Remind yourself every morning that your duty as a teacher is to educate your students, not indoctrinate them.

    5. Try to look at economic phenomena from different points of view and teach your students to do the same.

    6. Encourage diversity of conceptual frameworks in economic research.

    7. Don’t be condescending to your students.

    8. Keep your eye on real-world economies rather than imaginary ones.

    9. Don’t try to hide the troubled but fascinating history and contemporary diversity of economics from your students and the general public.

    10. Avoid cranks and try to avoid becoming one yourself.

    11. Never try to pass off ideology as objective truth.

    Skippy…. bloody ripper~~~

  16. Howard Beale IV

    Dad gets OfficeMax mail addressed ‘Daughter Killed In Car Crash’,0,4072560.story

    “The nation has recently been riveted by the debate over how Americans’ personal data is gathered by government agencies, and corporate data-mining has drawn concern as well.

    Retail giant Target reportedly knows how to use its data to identify pregnant customers, and it recently lost tens of millions of customers’ credit and debit card information to hackers, among other data.

    Gatherers of consumer data also are reportedly selling off lists of rape victims and AIDS and HIV patients, a privacy group told Congress in December.

    OfficeMax has not identified the company whose mailing list it used to send the letter to Seay.”

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