Links 1/4/14

Cold U.S. Temperatures Expected To Break Records As ‘Polar Vortex’ Blasts Midwest Associated Press

Antarctic rescue ship stuck in ice BBC

Smartphones set to become even smarter Financial Times. “Devices will play a greater role in people’s lives.” Not mine!

In India, a Spectre is Haunting Us All CounterPunch (Carol B)

Indian Police Hijack Hearse Of Gang Rape Victim To Take Body For Forced Cremation Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Number of first-time buyers grows as UK housing market gains pace Financial Times

Al-Qaeda force captures Iraqi city of Fallujah Washington Post

Vodafone Egypt questioned over alleged puppet ‘coded bomb plot’ in advert Independent

NY legislator urges US to help flood-hit Caribbean islands Jamaica Observer

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

PDF of NSA surveillance symposium Cryptome. Lambert: “Section V under Newell (at the end) was interesting.”

The NSA Is Building a Quantum Computer? We Already Knew That Wired

Administration moves on 2 fronts to preserve NSA surveillance Fox

Running tally of Snowden pages Cryptome (Lambert)

Obamacare Launch

ObamaCare’s use expected to spike beginning next week The Hill.

Skimpy health law plans leave some “underinsured” AP. Quelle surprise!

US asks court to preserve Obamacare contraception mandate CNN

White House offers new regs on gun control, background checks The Hill (furzy mouse)

Solar Ascendancy: Minnesota Court Ruling for Solar over Gas a Harbinger of Things to Come Juan Cole (Chuck L)

De Blasio Plan to Tax NYC Wealthy Faces Albany Roadblocks Bloomberg

I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot DeadSpin. Chuck L: “This could put the issue of homophobia in top-level pro sports front and center.”

Most Underreported Stories of 2013 Bill Moyers

JPMorgan Settles Pittsburgh Bank Suit Probing U.S. Deal Bloomberg

The top 10 destination cities for Chinese buyers CNN

North Dakota’s explosive Bakken oil: The story behind a troubling crude Globe and Mail

Worrisome Spike in Student Loan Write-Offs American Banker

Pimco’s Gross suffers tough 2013 Financial Times

The perils of weak productivity growth MSNBC. Lambert: “This piece on Bernanke makes me want to throw up.”

Philly Fed’s Plosser warns of rapid rate rise MarketWatch

Star-spangled spenders Economist

Billionaire threatens charity donations if Pope continues support for the poor Las Vegas Democrat Examiner.

Antidote du jour. Murky: “My own photo of harbor seals at Moss Landing, Dec. 27th.”


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  1. from Mexico

    @ “Billionaire threatens charity donations if Pope continues support for the poor”

    “Dolan calls the Marxist label ‘hyperbole,’ telling CNBC that the pope thinks ‘money in itself is morally neutral. Money, our wealth, is a gift from God. And the morality comes in the way we use it.’ “

    So now the Catholic Church is joining the fray: the ontological debate over money, along with MMT and a plethora of other schools of money reformers.

    Good for them.

    1. MikeNY

      Langone wants to tell us that all billionaires are not alike. Well, OK. But here’s the thing: you can only amass a great fortune by ignoring the misery, sickness and destitution of a great many others; you do not love them as you love yourself, or your money. This is the reason (as best I can understand) why it’s easier for the camel to pass through the needle’s eye, etc. Dorothy Day remarked that the moment you think you’ve done enough for the poor and unfortunate, you’re lost. Your conscience should not give you so easy a pass.

      While charitable giving is good, justice is a greater good. Niebuhr said that, and it sounds right to me.

      1. J Sterling

        I remember when Langone reminded us welfare recipients weren’t all alike, when Reagan was telling stories of the “Cadillac welfare queen” and using those stories to reduce welfare for everybody. Wait, no, he didn’t.

        1. arby

          Mr. Langone may have been less generous if not for tax deductibility. In any case, a religion sets forth moral parameters for action. Mr. Langone belongs to the religion of crony capitalism. The Catholic pope does not share the same set of morals as Mr. Lagone. Mr. Langone does not realize this.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s more about sharing and less about charitable giving.

        We have enough money.

        We just need to share it fairly.

        1. F. Beard

          There is NOT enough money!

          Until every bank deposit is 100% backed by reserves then a theft by inflation goes unremedied and a theft by deflation is eminent.

          Learn about banking before you mouth off wrt to the amount of money.

    2. BondsOfSteel

      I thought the article was from The Onion.

      What’s he going to do next, try and get Jesus to change too? Matthew 19: 16-30 is pretty clear. He said it twice.

    3. reader2010

      “Present-day society is wholly based on the exploitation of the vast masses of the working class by a tiny minority of the population, the class of the landowners and that of the capitalists. It is a slave society, since the “free” workers, who all their life work for the capitalists, are “entitled” only to such means of subsistence as are essential for the maintenance of slaves who produce profit, for the safeguarding and perpetuation of capitalist slavery.”

      — Lenin

    1. afisher

      The ND oil spill article overlooks a couple of the details – that are critical. 1. The volume of oil shipped via Rail 2009 = 10k tanker cars versus 2012 = 400K.
      Then the false flag is thrown. Kenneth Medlock, senior director at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University in Houston, noted that the volatility of crude varies from one oil field to the next and is driven largely by how heavy it is.

      Given that oil is typically shipped in the same type of tank car no matter its volatility, Larry Bierlein, an attorney for the Association of Hazmat Shippers, questioned the importance of Thursday’s announcement. Flaws that render the most commonly used tank cars prone to rupture have been known for more than two decades.

      Bierlein said the public would be better served by the government adopting a long-delayed proposal to improve those cars, known as DOT-111s.

      So let’s have all the facts, please!

  2. Butch In Waukegan

    The brave, new, technological breakthroughs designed to solve hunger.

    Genetically Altered ‘Arctic’ Apples May Be Headed to Market McClatchy

    WASHINGTON — An apple genetically engineered not to turn brown is putting the Agriculture Department and the apple industry on the spot.

    The developers are pushing this as a way to combat hunger:

    “I feel strongly this is a technology that needs to be embraced if we are going to feed our planet,” Carter [company president] said in a videotaped presentation.

    My favorite schlocky justification for non-browning apples:

    Registered nurse Sarah Schultz, who blogs under the title Nurse Loves Farmer, said in a recent post that she thinks the more “visually appealing” apple slices that don’t turn brown will encourage children to eat more healthy snacks.

    Why not piggy-back with big pharma and offer non-browning apples with vitamin encapsulated candy sprinkles? For the children.

    1. optimader

      I am a self professed apple freak.
      If someone has a problem with browning apples, their not really hungry. Have an esthetic problem w/ browning? Then cut em up and simmer for 20min add some more slices at 10 min.. (I also add citrus peel and a smaaaall amount of cinnamon ). Its really no big deal, barely more than boiling water..

      Unfortunately most store bought apples suck, bred to just be gagging sweet, symmetric and thick skinned, Now you have to pay a premium for heirloom varieties that are tasty, ugly and occasionally bruised. Fortunately I have access to little abandoned apple and pear orchard planted~100years ago on a frmr Franciscan Monk property now acquired by the Forest Preserve District. It’s ignored, the fruit is ugly and the best tasting apples and pears I’ve ever had.
      Out collecting them in October (to cook and put in ziplock bags to freeze), some couple walking by asked if they were edible? I said “no, their poisonous” ( that’s why I’m filling a rucksack). People, I observe, at least in my geography are absolutely clueless about stuff like this.

    2. kareninca

      Haha, there is a Kool-aid flavor called “Arctic Apple.” I have tasted it and declared that it tasted JUST LIKE an arctic apple. The joke being that there are no arctic apples. Well, now I can find out for real, if the agri-food product tastes like the other agri-food product. Or not.

  3. Ben Johannson

    It’s no wonder thingsare going to hell when the people at the top are total morons.

    Philly Fed’s Plosser warns of rapid rate rise:

    Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser warned Friday that the central bank may have to be “aggressive” in lifting interest rates and may have to chase market rates higher, if banks were to quickly release reserves.

    In the same sentence we’re told the Fed determines rates and that markets determine rates. Chicken or the egg, Plosser? Oh, and monetary policy is now determined by whether banks “release” reserves. The same reserves which act solely as an entry on a balance sheet and are issued by the Fed exist in limbo because Mr. Bank says so. If Mr. Bank decides to release Mr. Reserves, presumably after holding him hostage for five years, the Fed better watch out!

    This stuff isn’t simply wrong, it’s fucking primitive. And yes, I’m aware I probably curse too much in public comments but the level of exasperation I feel at the total incompetence which rules our lives leaves me speechless. What else can one do?

    1. kareninca

      I thought that those reserves were just as safe sitting inert for generations on the banks’ balance sheets, as our nuclear waste is in its storage. I guess I was right.

    2. hunkerdown

      They’re plenty competent at what power demands of them: serving the flex nets and doublespeak for the little people. Everything else, including economic competence or consistency, is irrelevant.

  4. Ben Johannson

    It’s no wonder thingsare going to hell when the people at the top are total morons.

    Philly Fed’s Plosser warns of rapid rate rise:

    Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser warned Friday that the central bank may have to be “aggressive” in lifting interest rates and may have to chase market rates higher, if banks were to quickly release reserves.

    In the same sentence we’re told the Fed determines rates and that markets determine rates. Chicken or the egg, Plosser? Oh, and monetary policy is now determined by whether banks “release” reserves. The same reserves which act solely as an entry on a balance sheet and are issued by the Fed exist in limbo because Mr. Bank says so. If Mr. Bank decides to release Mr. Reserves, presumably after holding him hostage for five years, the Fed better watch out!

    This stuff isn’t simply wrong, it’s primitive. Plosser might as well be dancing around and a bonfire invoking the spirits of forward guidance.

    1. down2long

      Yes, and the headlines in the financial news yesterday was – horrors!! – if the banks actually start loaning money to small biz and main street [which is what the Fed said this low interest rate/QE charade was all about] the Fed would have no choice but to start sopping up liquidity and tighten up on the banks’ reserves lest the economy start rolling and inflationary pressures set in.

      Thanks to Plosser, the Fed FINALLY admitted what Yves, Lambert, et al have been saying: this whose FED charade was just for the TBTF banks. If the recovery actually reaches the little people, we’ve got a crisis. It really is time for the pitchforks or something perhaps a little/lot more meaningful.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: US asks Supreme Court to preserve Obamacare contraception mandate

    What part of separation of church and state do the Little Sisters of the Poor and the religious jihadists at Hobby Lobby, for that matter, not understand?

    As religious believers, these people are free to proselytize, attempt to persuade and convert, condemn to eternal damnation and pray for the destruction of the non-believers who commit the sin of taking charge of their own reproduction. The religious are given considerable latitude in accomplishing these goals, but they must do it on their own time.

    They are EMPLOYERS only with the permission of the people of the United States and, as such, accept the responsibility of complying with the LAW. Whether they like it or not. They are not permitted to use their position as employers to force compliance with their bogus, prehistoric bullshit.

    If they are so offended by the laws that employers are required to follow IN THIS COUNTRY, they are free to run their organizations using volunteers. Another solution would be to move their operations off-shore to, say, Afghanistan, where female repression is a time-honored, institutionalized tradition.

    The constitutional-scholar-in-chief should have made this clear to them from the get go.

  6. Jim Haygood

    From the WaPo article about Iraq:

    A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings.

    Roughly a third of the 4,486 U.S. troops killed in Iraq died in Anbar trying to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, nearly 100 of them in the November 2004 battle for control of Fallujah, the site of America’s bloodiest confrontation since the Vietnam War.

    Events Friday suggested the fight may have been in vain.


    In the final days of South Vietnam, the U.S.-propped government controlled no territory other than the capital (and it only in the daytime).

    This pattern is already playing out in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soon we may see deja vu footage of choppers evacuating the palatial US embassy in Baghdad, followed by the smaller Fort Apache in Kabul.

    My name is Bushobama, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I took a different view.

      Since the local tribes are fighting ISIS… my first question was who was supporting them? Insurrection requires organization, people, and money. A quick internet search answers the question… Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

      Your petrodollars at work.

      1. Synopticist

        We came SOOOO close to invading the right country in 2003. If only we’d gone south when we were in Kuwait, not north.

        1. hunkerdown

          The Saudis are rumored to have dirty bombs placed in their oil wells in case of that very eventuality. Aramco’s American customers would not have stood for that.

    2. dearieme

      “Al-Qaeda-linked force captures Fallujah amid rise in violence in Iraq”: not only is it unwise for the USA to start wars it needn’t fight, it is particularly unwise to lose them.

    3. RanDomino

      I wonder what’s actually happening. The WAPO story is obvious propaganda- there’s no mention of the military attack on the protest camps last month, the paragraph mentioning the “Military Council of the Anbar Rebels” seems like incredibly important information which is buried way, way down, “Al-Qaeda Linked” usually means “The one guy’s cousin once said something about Al-Qaeda” etc. This BBC article seems much better:

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    And yet the only lesson learned from the Viet Nam clusterfuck was that more surveillance and “security” by militarized police was necessary to prevent a recurrence of protest and disruption of the precious political conventions.

    Instead of a reevaluation of military policy, we got “free speech zone” cages.

    God. Bless. The. USA.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From today’s NYT:

      Severe malnutrition among [Afghan] children [has] increased by 50 percent or more compared with 2012, according to United Nations figures.

      Despite years of Western involvement and billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, children’s health is not only still a problem, but also worsening.


      Don’t you just love the euphemism ‘Western involvement’ to signify ‘NATO occupation’? Maybe we should take a hint from imperial Japan (circa late 1930s) and rebadge the region as the ‘Greater Southwest Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.’

      Even now, grateful inhabitants of Tehran are probably storing up rose petals and chocolates to shower on our liberation troops when they arrive.

  8. Susan the other

    The Perils of Weak Productivity Growth. MSNBC. Gosh, how convenient. These edicts from the Fed no longer contain words like ‘overcapacity’ and ‘demand’ because this old model of capitalism no longer applies. We splattered against the wall of diminishing returns big time. Of course no Fed Chairman will ever explain the new speak – even the hasbeen Greenspan is still twisting in the wind trying to sell his self-justifying, logic-defying new book of bullshit. What else can Bernanke do? The new metric is ‘Productivity’ which is killer convenient because it is a double edged word. On the one hand it means that if productivity remains slow unemployment will remain high and wages will remain low. But on the other hand it means if productivity shoots up per worker it will not reach the level required to re-employ 20 million people and thus the unmentionable word (demand) will not rise and so wages will not rise. Lovely. Fed speak also does not mention corporate profiteering at the expense of sovereign wealth. Tell me again, why do we indulge this institution?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I’ll put this article in the “Baffle ‘Em With Bullshit” column.

      “Productivity growth” is defined in the article as “growth in output per worker per hour.”

      In an economy that features DECLINING median incomes and massive unemployment, how can “productivity growth” possibly be a good thing? How, exactly, does increasing the output of the same number of workers DECREASE unemployment? It would seem that just the opposite would be true. Unless, of course, you are a 1%er and take ALL the “productivity” gains for yourself.

      It would also seem that the concept of “productivity” is more suited to a manufacturing economy, which we have given away and, by all accounts will NEVER get back, than to a “service” economy with which we are now stuck.

      How, for example, does a waitress increase her productivity? Put on roller skates? Put a timer on the table so she can turn the table over faster?

      Or how about a maid. Clean the same toilet twice in the same amount of time thereby DOUBLING productivity? OK, Ben, if that’s what makes you happy.

      There’s only so much “servicing” that can be done. It’s the nature of “service.”

      “Productivity” is a concept left over from the good old days and is only trotted out when quacks like Bernanke can’t think of anything else to say. Productivity “growth” is only useful to the economy at large when there is full employment, and productivity gains keep prices stable in the face of increasing demand.

      Otherwise it’s just more supply-side, illogical economic hooey.

      1. diptherio

        In an economy that features DECLINING median incomes and massive unemployment, how can “productivity growth” possibly be a good thing?

        Because profit, my dear. And without increasing profits, the benevolent boss-man might curtail his charitable contributions to the local soup-kitchen. And if the boss-man curtails his contribution, then the soup-kitchen won’t be able to continue feeding the poor workers whose incomes, as you point out, are already declining…

        How, exactly, does increasing the output of the same number of workers DECREASE unemployment?
        It doesn’t, of course. That would be terrible. If unemployment decreases then wages will go up, which is bad for profits which is bad for the poor and their charitable institutions, as explained above.

        Unless, of course, you are a 1%er and take ALL the “productivity” gains for yourself.
        You see, now that’s just unfair. Some of those productivity gains accrue to local soup-kitchens, whose very existence depends on the benevolence of the bosses. Why do you hate poor people?

        [end snark]

    2. Klassy

      “Rising productivity growth unaccompanied by a comparable rise in incomes for the typical American family is a problem. But slackening productivity growth creates a different problem: it limits the extent to which, even theoretically, wages can rise.”
      Well, we could worry about the first part of that paragraph. That’s not theoretical. That’s the problem.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Wages will NEVER rise as long as there is a gross excess of available labor.

        Increasing your productivity is simply a means of keeping your crappy job at your crappy wage. If you don’t work harder and/or faster, someone else will.

        Reread The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

  9. tongorad

    Bloody clothes: south-Asian workers revolt

    “Cambodia and Bangladesh subsist on textile-related employment. It provides more than four in every ten jobs, more than three quarters of their total exports. Ninety percent of the workers are women. The rest include children, in spite of laws against child labour. The average adult monthly wage is the equivalent of around 50 euros; in China today, the average is above 100 euros.

    Work days can be as long as 15 hours; some may work seven days a week.

    Many of the clothing and shoe factories run on Chinese capital, from businesses that have gradually had to increase what they pay for labour at home and then farmed the work out to neighbouring countries, to do it more cheaply.

    Profits float to the top, and companies around the world – notably in Europe and the US – have their merchandise made under these conditions.

    A typical item a shopper buys for 29 euros, say, will put just 18 cents in the pocket of the Cambodian or Bangladeshi who put it together.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s productivity and fighting inflation.

      It’s catastrophic if they have to be paid more than 18 cents; tapped out consumers would then have to pay more than 29 euros.

      So goes the logic of the current paradigm.

      You get the cheapest and/or the best products in the world.

      The best…

      What is the best? How do we know? How do we define ‘fair?’

      How is your painting not ‘the best?’ How is that famous painter’s painting ‘the best?’

      Well, art is not something you hang on the wall. Art is about living a life creatively.

      There is no ‘your painting gets a B grade’ or ‘your painting did not win the competition.’ There is just your painting expressing something about yourself or your soul, a process to unlock your unconscious. It’s meaningful to you that way and also in the your very act of creation.

      Similarly, it’s not about an item being the ‘best made’ or the cheapest in the world. Local food and local products, they are meaningful for their local connections to you. They came from the local ‘unconsciousness.’ The process of local creation gives life to that area, that community.

      In this paradigm, there is no ranking of first, second or last. It’s about living a genuine life, being a whole person…genuine meaning participating in reality, instead of watching reality TV, i.e. making yourselves (us Little People) Big, not watching Big Government, Big Business or Big Others in action, as you would make others big and famous watching reality TV, and whole person, meaning you’re a thinker, an artist, a philosopher, a writer, a cook, a janitor, etc. all in one person.

      That way, you take back what they have robbed from you, your wholeness. They brainwash you into saying to yourself that ‘I am not a thinker. I will leave thinking to thinkers,’ ‘I am not a writer. I will leave writing to writers.’ ‘I am not a farmer. I will leave farming to farmers.’ And sure enough, you’ve lost all of what you were, what you were capable of.

      So, the first step is to realize that art is not something you hang on the wall.

      It all starts there.

      1. Ulysses

        Truly inspirational comment! To create joy in the world is the highest achievement. We will take back the joy that has been robbed from us and share it with the whole world. Today three kids joined me in making a little music and the happiness we all shared lifted us all far more than anything we could have bought with money.

        I was devastated when my trumpet was robbed a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t afford to replace it. But you know what? The loss of that object pushed me to ask a street musician if I could play a bit on his horn, and the resultant friendship has brought me many priceless adventures! Plus, one of his friends gave me an old trumpet a few months ago out of gratitude for me teaching him a few things on the blues harp.

        Our corporate overlords want us anxious and hungry, looking for scraps from their table. Defy them! Share our gifts with one another and be glad, while never ceasing to fight injustice.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “Devices will play a greater role in people’s lives.”

    When everyone is ‘inoculated’ against Ludditism with a (smart) device implant.

    1. Skeptic

      “When everyone is ‘inoculated’ against Ludditism ….”

      My first sighting of Ludditism here at NC, a very necessary discussion should take place regarding our relationship with and control of Technology. Good for you, Cheaper Cut!

    2. Klassy

      I did see something about an implantable RFID chip that will keep track of your vitals. Progress!
      Honestly, most of this stuff is a solution looking for a problem.
      Now, you can say that we haven’t had a reduction in time spent cleaning with our labor saving devices, because our standards are higher, but you have to say that the vacuum cleaner is an improvement over a broom and it is something that people wanted. After all, the wealthier had servants. But the wonders discussed in that article… are these things people are screaming for? I don’t carry a smart phone, and I usually leave my cell on the shelf so maybe I’m not the best person to ask.

  11. fresno dan

    “Such a shift in discourse, he feels, would limit the influence of those advocating narrow technological solutions to what are essentially non-technological problems—like spreading democracy—and would rob a word like “disruption” of the positive connotation it has acquired as a force for progress, allowing it to be seen instead as a painful example of neoliberal economics. When discussed in purely digital terms, for instance, letting a company like Uber transform a city’s taxi service is a no-brainer. When the digital is integrated into the political, however, this becomes a more complicated debate about regulation and infrastructure and the rights of cab drivers. “

  12. optimader

    Re: Antarctic rescue: Chinese ship Xue Long ‘stuck in ice’
    In a way, the fact that the Xue Long is stuck is less newsworthy than the fact that it’s there to get stuck, on it first foray into the Antarctic.

    That the Chinese are practicing w/ a refit Ukrainian Arctic icebreaker cargoship is the interesting backstory (IMO), this aspect of course is not explored.

    In the modern Chinese tradition of combining pride w/ a pervasive self consciousness about technical deficiency, the Captain is refusing (being told to refuse?) any assistance. Perhaps reveals them to be a bit Rube-ish in the etiquette dept re: the International traditions of maritime mutual assistance –particularly when it comes to Polar operations.

    With regard to the superficial story of getting frozen into the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, it is a circumstance as old as the original explorers traveling to the Polar regions for the past 100+ years. Purpose built wooden sailing ships were designed with hull forms to float up like a cork when the water froze rather than crush. Not a perfect science, but perhaps not as dire as one might think.
    Ships of the Polar Explorers Fram – page 1

    There was of course a learning curve to any imperfect science:

  13. kevinearick

    Property & Monetary Velocity

    You are looking at a walk-out / lock-out, which begins and ends with marriage, because privacy and trust begin in the home, and no economy can generate profit without them. The public trust is a distant derivative. And the Fed just blew up the prevailing money mythology, leaving the property mythology exposed to direct global examination.

    The latest and greatest divide-and-conquer empire ran its course a few generations ago, blowing up the gold standard and ushering in fiat liquidation, holding labor rates constant with free trade agreements and inflating property with synchronized global monetary policy. Gorbachev didn’t cause the collapse of Soviet communism, but the Chinese communists need to blame someone, for the only possible outcome of enforced urbanization.

    Within an empire economy, women compete with men on the characteristic of stupidity, proliferating ignorance, measured as economic activity, in a competition to exploit all natural resources, including their own subgroups, down to the last child, creating tiles, called property, with peer pressure enforced urbanization to consolidate control. Those artificial borders cut off natural resources to ensure artificial scarcity, and may only be maintained by war.

    Government may print with impunity only so long as it can get its participating population top chase money with time, to collect property. The problem solution is that momentum of majority behavior cannot be altered in real time. The Fed saw the participation rate, and inflated inventory, because it is a creature of peer pressure, like everything else in the empire.

    Under globalization, children became the only net immigrants available for exploitation, and it took them a while to employ the conspiracy of stupidity against itself, instead of rebelling against it like their peers and wasting their time. The States can arbitrarily assign all the debt they want, and China can buy all the debt it likes, by issuing debt money for the purpose, and Obama can talk about equal rights to other people’s work all he likes, but none of them can make the pie they so greedily want to govern, to cut up for redistribution, keeping the biggest slice for themselves. Hillarycare is just another Roman Census.

    The empire has now subjected itself to the greatest population deceleration since the Great Depression. San Jose, the Silicon Valley global exit strategy, is in trouble. Neither its stadium nor San Francisco’s subsidy of Twit will help, Bay Area Metro will be cutting hours and pensions like all the other municipalities, and rents relative to labor are going to fall.

    The data, adjusted for civil marriage / Family Law, tells you that rents are relative to hours worked. The more hours empire participants work, the more rent goes up. When the bank talks about priming the pump, it is monetizing inventory to that end, which is why it loses financial control when participation declines. QEInfinity is a Hail Mary.

    If you are working 60 hrs/wk at $10/hr, you don’t have time to find a part-time job at $25/hr, and you will soon be working 70 hrs/wk, chasing and falling further behind the real estate inflation welfare program. Cut out the middlemen between you and the land, and employ money to discount money from your life. If you employ your talent to build goodwill with others doing the same, monetary velocity collapses relative to you, and ultimately across the empire.

    Real estate is a welfare program, paying people to live in a bubble, in fear of their neighbor, replacing real wealth with the illusion of wealth, the wealth effect, leaving no option but exploitation for the participants. Government is the least responsible landlord, because it is furthest behind in time. Change the Charter, issue money directly with as public bank, do whatever you want; adding another layer on the same foundation of sand will only accelerate the write-downs.

    Housing is an equal right entitlement, which simply means that it is dependent upon peer pressure in a bankruptcy line. You have to earn a home. Don’t waste your time working for the empire. 24 hrs/wk is more than sufficient to pay for the recycled material.

    For labor, economics is simple, the best use of resources for the labor community, which is small relative to the general population. Labor doesn’t need money; it makes the pie and the pie is money. The middle class is largely chasing peas in a shell game, different colored cars, and labor can ignore the property market, because the proprietors cannot effectively place land into production; they are too busy making land exclusive, artificially scarce.

    Labor is the producer, keeping property in recursive leaseholds to filter out empire fiscal and monetary policy, which the empire can’t see until it has run its course. Labor teaches its own children, and sends them to school only to learn the M-P limits, to set their distance relative to their own interests. The People’s Republic of Communist California is welcome to issue as much debt as it wants, and to hold as many children hostage to the stupidity as it wants.

    American exceptional-ism, like all the other isms, is failing. Whether you view the incidence as a threat or an opportunity depends upon your perspective, the location of your spirit. Find your spirit in the eyes of another and you will find your self. That is the light of liberty.

  14. JGordon

    On billionaires disliking the pope: well, the Bible does make some mention of a rich man having less chance of passing through the gates of heaven than a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

    One would be inclined to wonder why a rich man would choose to subscribe to a religion with that right there in its holiest scriptures in the first place. It seems billionaires are quite irrational and delusional. Although there are already multiple other lines of evidence that support that premise. So that’s just one more on the pile.

    The current pope is a decent human being, which makes him a black sheep among the current crop of miscreants ruling/ruining the world. I wonder how long he’ll last.

  15. optimader

    re:bakken crude
    high vapor pressure and corrosive, no secret in the trade.
    It will be interesting when it is revealed the whether code restrictions on flammable liquid storage/transportation have been skirted or ignored. Tankers have a design vent rate, when exceeded they progressively pressurize, kinda like putting the tank of butane out in the sun on a hot day.
    I do know a notable control mfgr is woking on a corrosion monitor for this specific application –rail tanker transportation of Bakken Crude. This is already a recognized serious issue.

    1.Nothing is free. 2.The less you know about something, the easier it seems.
    Both apply to the commercial development of Bakken crude.

    1. VietnamVet

      The only way to describe our 21st century world is reckless risk taking with no fear of retribution by the Elite.

      The greed for profits is so intense that an explosive Bakken crude oil train was operated with a one man crew, parked on a poorly maintained main track, left unattended with the engine running. This is a disaster waiting to happen; it did, Quebecers and all of society be damned.

      1. optimader

        “The only way to describe our 21st century world is reckless risk taking with no fear of retribution by the Elite”

        Pretty well describes the 19th and 20th centuries too. The snakebite now is the inexorable and absurdly unsustainable Scale reqd to maintain parity for the conditioned lifestyle expectations of the masses.
        My point being, it is more than just “the elite”. For better or worse, everyone that doubles down on the supersize me consumption paradigm, at whatever level they can tread water, buys into the program.
        You have to do nothing more for an object lesson than observe a Costco (or eqv.)parkinglot/gaspump island at 11:00am on a Saturday. Everyone mooring their 275hp Sears Sheds commuter vehicles endorses the notion of Bakken crude implicitly.

  16. financial matters

    Good article on how the Fed could actually do something to improve stability rather than playing guessing games with us and using the confidence fairy..

    “”First, they can simply announce that they are buyers of 10 year treasury notes at, say, a yield of 2%, in unlimited quantities.

    This would immediately bring the 10 year yield down from 2.92% to no more than 2%, and most likely the Fed would buy few if any at that price. That’s because when people know the Fed will buy at a price, they know they can then buy at a slightly lower interest rate, knowing that ‘worst case’ they can always sell to the Fed at a very small loss.””

    “”Second, the Fed (or Treasury or the Federal Financing Bank) could lend directly to the housing agencies at a fixed rate of say, 3% for the further purpose of funding their mortgage portfolio of newly originated agency mortgages. The agencies would then pass along this fixed rate, with some permitted ‘markup’ and fees to the borrowers. The Fed would then be repaid by the pass through of the monthly payments including prepayments made by the new mortgages. This would target mortgage rates directly and, as these mortgages would be held by the agencies and not sold in the market place, dramatically reduce what I call parasitic secondary market activity.””

  17. WorldisMorphing

    Somethin’ shady ’bout this guy….but a good and somewhat informative interview nonetheless…
    Leif Pagrotsky, a Swedish Social Democratic politician who worked at the Central Bank of Sweden (the Riksbank) and in the Ministry of Finance. –INET interview.

  18. Jack Parsons

    “Whatever reforms may come, Bobby R. Inman, who weathered his own turbulent period as N.S.A. director from 1977 to 1981, offers his hyper-secret former agency a radical suggestion for right now. “My advice would be to take everything you think Snowden has and get it out yourself,” he said. “It would certainly be a shock to the agency. But bad news doesn’t get better with age. The sooner they get it out and put it behind them, the faster they can begin to rebuild.”

    Courtesy the Cryptome PDF. If Inman has inside knowledge of the modern NSA’s activities, this is an amazing recomendation.

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