Links 2/14/14

Don’t mess with my little sisters! Adorable bulldog protects his adopted kitten siblings Daily Mail

Please note I am featuring some obligatory Valentine’s Day links even though I regard this “holiday” as a scheme by jewelers, confectioners, and florists to extort men.

Condom technology: Sheathing Cupid’s arrow Economist (Chuck L)

Storm’s timing is a florist’s nightmare Washington Post

Will you still medal in the morning? ESPN (Chuck L). Lordie, these athletes make insane sacrifices to perform at that level. Why shouldn’t they of all people be entitled to some debauchery to celebrate?

It’s Not the Moon, It’s Nevada Smithsonian

Thai police close down protest sites Financial Times

France and Germany Beat Growth Estimates as Euro-Area Recovers Bloomberg

A Tale of Two Countries: The Sectoral Balances of Scotland Gradulis

Venezuela rocked by violent clashes Guardian

Bonds Set to Rally as Argentina ‘Comes Clean’ on Inflation Bloomberg

Belgium approves child euthanasia BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

GPS pioneer warns on network’s security Financial Times

N.S.A. Forces Out Civilian Employee With Snowden Tie New York Times. Accountability theater. Have we seen anyone senior at Booz Allen or the NSA exit as a result of the security loopholes they’ve contended he exploited?

Here’s how Europe thinks the internet should be run GigaOm

How Obama Officials Cried ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error Wired (Lambert)

Obamacare Launch

States Struggle to Add Latinos to Health Rolls New York Times

Why Democrats aren’t bragging about Obamacare’s good news CNN

Obamacare? I wasn’t aware..Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review

The Illuminati, “Obama’s ‘Secret Mistress,'” And Cancer “Cures”: CNN’s Gingrich Has A Bizarre Email List MediaMatters (furzy mouse)

Eight Police Officers Fire 103 Times At Two Unarmed Women Delivering Newspapers . . . Commission Rejects Calls For Any Officer To Be Fired Or Even Suspended Jonathan Turley (Francois T)

Two churches, different financial trajectories (Paul Tioxon)

The Union Label cocktailhag, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Show me the (subsidy) spreadsheets! Angry Bear

Something Has To Give Here Business Insider

Bold turn for subprime car loan deals Financial Times (Scott)

Comcast-TWC merger worries, outrages consumers Associated Press

Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable ‘will throttle choice on the web’ Guardian

Companies Squeeze 401K Plans From Facebook to JPMorgan Bloomberg

In the Darkness of Dick Cheney Mark Danner, New York Review of Books (Chuck L)

Work It Jacobin (Lambert)

Antidote du jour:


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    1. psychohistorian

      This is just going public with the fact that they already own all of the politicians and so they want to make their control more transparent… would then cost them less for ongoing propaganda to hide the facts of their global control of Western “democracies”.

      Tom Perkins can kiss my ass, as I have indicated before. He is the poster CHILD of the deluded global plutocrats and needs to be neutered like the rest by taking away his/their ill gotten wealth.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The next logical conclusion (because we must be logical, even as toddlers) is that tax paying corporation must have representation!

      No Taxation Without Representation!!!

      Luckily for me, I went with Zen intuition a long time ago.

      1. jrs

        I’d be happy if tax paying people in the 99% had representation at this point. How is that we still have to pay taxes while only the 1% get represented? Taxation without representation.

      1. Vatch

        LOL! Good one! Unfortunately, though, while Buffet’s secretary pays a higher RATE of taxes in relation to her income than he pays, the total amount of taxes that she pays is very likely far less than what Warren pays.

    3. jrs

      I think it would be an improvement. At least it would remove the pretense of democracy, and you can’t solve a problem (plutocratic rule) until you fully acknowledge it exists. Because that already is the system that exists and wouldn’t it be better to just acknowledge it. Only then is progress possible.

  1. psychohistorian

    Welcome back to the living NC web site.

    It disturbs me that our growing police state is not responsible to protect and serve anymore but shoot first and no wrist slapping will even occur if you screw up…even if it is so glaring as to be laughable, if it weren’t so scary.

    It makes me think that this is becoming a feature of the police state and not a bug.

    Got FEAR?

  2. brazza

    “Please note I am featuring some obligatory Valentine’s Day links even though I regard this “holiday” as a scheme by jewelers, confectioners, and florists to extort men.” And the same goes for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary Day, Christmas, Easter … etc. etc. :-)

    1. craazyman

      They never extorted me!

      But then, I’m dining alone tonight.

      Guys, don’t even think about it. Scheme, scam or extortion — so what. Get with the program already. There’s 6 hours left for shopping and believe me, you’ll get your money’s worth. :)

      1. huxley

        You make it sound like a transaction. Or asset maintenance.

        The darker side of romance. Or is it finance? I forget.

        Ah, to be young and poor and in love. Only the poverty lasts.

    2. Ruben

      Let us men be extorted by evil jewelers, scheming confectioners, and mischievous florists. The lady deserves more than that simple gesture once per year.

  3. fresno dan

    Eight Police Officers Fire 103 Times At Two Unarmed Women Delivering Newspapers . . . Commission Rejects Calls For Any Officer To Be Fired Or Even Suspended Jonathan Turley (Francois T)

    We are getting very close to where one can find a daily example of people murdered by the police. The contortions the legal system is going through to exonerate the police is outrageous.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I remember being “horrified” that a Los Angeles jury would acquit O. J. Simpson of murder in order to send a message to the LAPD.

      I get it now.

      1. Gerard Pierce

        A couple of related points:

        1) OJ’s lawyers claimed that the LAPD was raciest and falsified evidence to convict the innocent. Shortly after the not guilty verdict, one of the police defendants in the Rampart scandal testified that LAPD was raciest and falsified evidence to convict the innocent. Blacks in LA already knew this. Most of white America ignored the testimony and continued to believe OJ was guilty.

        The book “OJ was innocent and I can prove it” made a strong case that OJs son by his first marriage was probably the guilty party. The fact that his son was on probation for stabbing his employer with a chef’s knife when the murders occurred was part of about 900 pages reviewing the case.

        The book was incredibly well researched, and was ignored by both white and black America. Once they decided that OJ was guilty – no one was willing to be confused by facts.

  4. Garrett Pace

    Two Churches, different financial trajectories

    Many in Utah, including some faithful LDS, are troubled to some degree by the LDS church’s investment adventures. It’s interesting to see what organizations do when they have more cash than they know what to do with. Some of the activities (building temples and churches, particularly in areas where local LDS could not afford them) are pretty relevant to the church’s mission. For other endeavors (like the billion $$$ mall in downtown SLC) the relevance to the religious movement is much more tenuous. It’s been explained as a precautionary move to stave off urban blight in downtown SLC and protect the tourist value of the LDS Temple square across the street (which does seem to generate many conversions every year). But why it had to be a mall I don’t know.

    They are also dedicating a lot of resources to making genealogical and devotional resources available online to anyone that wants them. I know there are plenty of negative opinions about what the LDS do with those records, but be aware that many thousands or even millions of non-LDS people have been gratified to learn about their ancestors through those resources. The church has an enormous footprint on the genealogical field for the last century.

    As for the shopping mall, if an earthquake destroyed it tomorrow I would shed no tears (if it were after hours and empty!). It’s not “the church”. I hate shopping malls anyway.

    Oh, and go ahead and tax the church. Really, whatever I don’t care. My relationship with the Savior will stay the same and the church will go where it goes. They shot at us in Illinois and Missouri, a little taxes (for roads and police, right? no bombs or bailouts please) won’t be the end of the world.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Dire shortages of medicines in the bolivarian Workers Paradise:

    The Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Association, which represents about 5,700 outlets, says that about 40 percent of medicines used in the country are out of stock. The government owes medicine importers about $3 billion for goods that have already been imported.

    In the absence of fully-stocked pharmacies, Twitter has become an important tool for finding medicine. Patients exchange messages to locate pharmacies carrying whatever they need: blood-pressure drug Carvedilol, Glucophage for diabetes, Digoxin for congestive heart failure, and thyroid hormone Euthyrox.

    Suppliers to Suradi C.A., one of the four radioactive iodine importers in Venezuela, haven’t received dollars to import the product since September, said Paula Allala, the company’s marketing manager.

    The medicine, used after the removal of the thyroid to prevent cancer cells from spreading, isn’t available in the country and the companies are meeting with the Health Minister to ask for dollars, she said. Suppliers from Venezuelan allies Cuba and Argentina have both stopped shipments.


    I, too, support the strong bolivar!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Venezuela is rocked by violence. So NED and the CIA are back in Caracas and Maracaibo. I’m rather surprised it took Obama so long to try again after Bush failed so ingloriously in ’02.

  6. fresno dan
    as I had linked to the Rolling Stones article by Taibbi, and I happen to think one learns by looking at contrary views, I read the FT article with interest. Now some of the stuff, such as “contango” trades is a little difficult for me.
    But when Kaminska says:
    “That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily doing the cornering or restricting themselves. Taibbi, for example, makes the mistake of taking the New York Times article about Goldman Sachs warehouse queues at face value when it’s been fairly well established that it was never the case that the bank was systematically delaying delivery of metals in order to jack up rents, but rather that the queues resulted from market dynamics, which currently favour the shuffling of inventory in and out of warehouses. GS would gain from warehouse fees either way, but the key motivation for the bank has always been the spread it can earn on the respective deals it facilitates for its clients, not the rents per se.”

    So, how was it “fairly well established” that Goldman was not systematically delaying deliveries???? Inquiring minds want to know….why, this link
    Uh….that is a FR reporter giving Goldman’s version of what Goldman was doing. Um, it kinda goes without saying that Goldman will justify their own conduct. I think the term “fairly well established” would mean to most people a 3rd party, neutral, with knowledge of the rules and circumstances, gives their opinion that most objective people would agree about something (most people agree Goldman wasn’t trying to manipulate prices – really??? most people????).
    So, is there any VALID criticism of the Taibbi article as regards Goldman’s conduct?
    This reminds me of those who thought Enron’s manipulation of the CA energy market was good old capitalism….I would say there is a difference between arguing for less regulation or that regulation is ineffective because the regulators are inevitably captured by the industry, and saying what appears to me to be an apologia of Goldman price fixing and anti competitive practices, and saying that that is what the free market is.

    1. craazyman

      When you have enough money, it all makes sense. That’s what I realized one summer evening sitting in the deck salon of my 48 foot sailing yacht, handmade in a Maine boatyard for blue water cruising.

      I used to think markets should be regulated. Then I got rich with a 100 bagger and met a whole new set of friends. Now I realize it’s all so much more complicated than I thought. Common sense can only take you so far. After that, you need theory. Now I get it.

      In fact, now I’m working the contango in a commodities trading scheme. If I go broke, it’ll be regulators who messed me up. Everything I do is for the public good. Believe me.

      1. optimader

        48 foot sailing yacht, handmade in a Maine boatyard for blue water cruising.

        Who built it Craazy? Tough to beat an Amel in that service.

          1. skippy

            Ha… Ha… nothing like the main stowed and putting around, yet dribbling on about sailing at the yacht club or with friends later at the bar…. sicker. Now reef that main – prop the jib and take it out in 4′ – 6′ swells w/ 36/45knot winds…. now you’re sailing…. snicker~

            Skippy… is that the equivalent to a electric golf cart for sailors?

    2. Hugh

      “Market dynamics” forced Goldman to shuffle inventory from one warehouse to another in Detroit? I agree this shows how in the pocket of Goldman the author is. The “market” does not explain why inventory was not getting to the actual end-users of it nor why Goldman needed to physically shuffle it from warehouse to warehouse. Goldman was moving the aluminum around to dodge regulatory demands, jack up fees on storage, and I would assume jack up aluminum prices by creating an artificial bottleneck in the supply line.

    3. Ben Johannson

      I don’t and never have trusted Kaminska. At best she often seems confused, at worst trying to confuse others. Everyone has an agenda; the trustworthy ones openly admit it.

  7. rjs

    in “Something Has To Give Here” he’s got a chart showing “core retail sales” going down several months running…i have no clue where he got that…retail sales were certainly down in January and just revised down 0.1% for December, but when we take out vehicles and gasoline (what most mean when they say “core” sales), even December sales were up a bit, so we had at least three months running of increasing sales ex-automotive before january…

    1. rjs

      moreover, those who work at auto dealers, part stores, and gas stations are included in retail enployment by BLS, so he’s comparing apples to oranges…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, there was absolutely no excuse for what happened. I will not bore you with the story but I have gotten no sleep and am firing my webhost.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I don’t. I’ve had repeated problems prior to this point. My site seems to be in a dead zone for them. Sites bigger than mine can afford to have their own employees run it. I have enough traffic to push against all the WordPress problems with scalability which means it is breakage prone. Self managing isn’t an option, I’ve used repeated guys who wound up managing the site at 24/7 big iron hosts but the guys doing the managing aren’t 24/7, so we have disasters like this, and the hosts for sites like mine that profess to have the chops to provide fully managed service 1. cost too much and 2. have all ruled themselves out due to bad conduct during the sales process. See this post on WP Engine:

      1. psychohistorian

        Thanks for your efforts! Sorry for the associated stress.

        Oh, and Happy VD day….grin, my treatment of the day….

      2. Bill the Psychologist

        Very sorry to hear you’re having problems like this. I know you work very hard and are very conscientious about this site. I hope you can find a more reliable service so you don’t have to worry and work so hard.

  8. down2long

    Re: This Comcast/TWC kerfuffle. As I (and many other people wiser than me) have said, “Do not get between Americans and their Televisions.”

    The courtier press actually is talking about Competition, prices, consumer choice, and the dreaded “Monopoly.” This has apparently not been a problem in America for over a century with the exception of the American/US Airways merger (solved with a few surplus gate sales at exorbitant prices.) Or perhaps the ATT/T-Mobile thing, which was stopped – but there again, you have Americans tied to their phones like umbilical cords. And of course, they are an entertainment device.

    Really, if only Americians could muster such umbrage about really meaningful things that are wrong with this country which are REALLY hurting them, i.e. health care reform, insurance reform, banking reform, political reform, GMO’s, unemployument, corporate taxes and privelige. etc. Now that would be remarkable. Americans can get be a powerful force to be reckoned with when they get motiviated. But alas, TV is the opiate of the masses. And you would think by now all the corporatists would realize that as long as Americans have 500 channels, they will be, if not content, quiescent. The Kochs would be wisest to just pay everyone’s cable bill. Then they can continue the raping and pillaging with abandon. Or maybe the XL pipeline company could pay everyone’s cable bill for one month. The resulting wave of positive PR would assure the XL gets built right on top of the Ogalla aquifer. “Mabel, change the channel They’re beating up again on those nice people from XL.”

    1. psychohistorian

      I think it is about 30 years now since I watched TV, thankfully. It is the brainwashing/propaganda tool of the masses that watch it.

      I noticed yesterday that the Comcast CEO had the audacity/was paid to say that the merger “ good for competition and good for the consumers.” I can only extrapolate the last part to mean that there will be less disparity of messaging/propaganda because of the merger….wouldn’t want to confuse viewers with multiple points of view.

      1. Skeptic

        I am going on 32 years no TV. I view the Internet and its Netflix and other video manifestations as just extensions of the Idiot Box. Except now it is more interactive and thus more dangerous and powerful. Humanity is quickly losing its consciousness.

        Those who have read the literature on TV know that it was subsidized by the Government to solve the problems arising from the Great Depression and act as a stimulus for a Consumption Economy. We haven’t looked back.

        1. psychohistorian

          TV is not just stimulus for consumption but the definer of “social consciousness”.

          TV tells watchers what are acceptable subject and boundaries of public discourse, as well as the mid point and “acceptable standard deviations” from that fictional mid point of each subject.

          TV is also a self reinforcing “opiate” of consumption itself. Try talking to TV consumers about this and be prepared to experience serious rejection.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I have many years more to catch up with both of you guys.

          Thanks, Skeptics, for that info on TV subsidy. One assumes other distractions like the Olympic Games, pro sports, rock music, weed, etc. all work on the same principle of sheepification (in parallel with crapification).

      2. optimader

        I enjoy grazing digital broadcast TV in the Chicago area. Some great programming, particularly MHZ. I do feel badly that I clicked on the link above that went to describe Newt and his vampire wife Calistta’s whoring on CNN.
        I guess they are both (gingrich’s and CNN) still relevant to some audience? How could that be??

    2. hunkerdown

      If there isn’t someone walking away crying, there’s nothing in it for the loyal Exceptionalist. With apologies to Maslow, when all you have is Augustine’s rapey crusade narrative, everything looks like a heretic.

  9. JTFaraday

    “Please note I am featuring some obligatory Valentine’s Day links even though I regard this “holiday” as a scheme by jewelers, confectioners, and florists to extort men.”

    Exactly! It should be a holiday devoted to women extorting men. :p

      1. Ruben

        Forgive me, in Russian “Vlad” is not short for Vladimir, it is “Boba”. “Vlad” is the short for Vladislav.

  10. Bill the Psychologist

    I normally open this site as part of my Homepage around 9:30am, but today there was a server error until after noon. I tried many times during that period. It’s certainly the longest period the site has been offline since I began reading when you started the blog.

    But I’m puzzled not to see any remark about it. Were you aware of it Yves ?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      What kind of “remark” am I supposed to make when I was up till 8 AM tearing my hair and had to turn in?

      Every webhost in this space is a fuckup.

  11. Jess

    Yves —

    While giving due respect to your concern about the crass commercial motivation for Valentine’s Day, I am still compelled to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Beauty, brains, and personality are a hard combination to find, and deserve to be acknowledged at least once a year!

    Thanks for providing the content that makes me a dedicated daily reader of NC.

  12. allcoppedout

    I switched on for my daily fix. The NC downtime at least made me realise how important the site is to me.
    US police shootings at least remind us in the UK how tame our own boys and girls in blue are. I doubt our lot have loosed off 102 rounds on our streets in the last three years. They do make mistakes and we don’t investigate these well, allowing cops to submit written statements after collusion and legal advice. From cops to banks we need investigators to be able to treat suspects and witnesses as anyone else is in a criminal enquiry and insist on forms of evidence (like CCTV) that can’t be tampered with.

  13. Jim Haygood

    From The Economist’s cover story this week, ‘The Parable of Argentina’:

    [Argentina’s crisis] can be blamed on the incompetence of the president, Cristina Kirchner, but she is merely the latest in a succession of economically illiterate populists, stretching back to Juan and Eva (Evita) Perón, and before. Forget about competing with the Germans. The Chileans and Uruguayans, the locals Argentines used to look down on, are now richer.

    The Peróns built a closed economy that protected its inefficient industries; Chile’s generals opened up in the 1970s and pulled ahead. Argentina’s protectionism has undermined Mercosur, the local trade pact. Ms Kirchner’s government does not just impose tariffs on imports; it taxes farm exports.


    A conventional diagnosis, to be sure. But the dog that didn’t bark in this article is its failure to even mention the disastrous role of central banking in Argentina’s ruin.

    During the 20th century, Argentina lopped off thirteen (13) zeros from its currency. So far in the 21st century, its peso has depreciated another order of magnitude against the dollar. Meanwhile, Argentina occupies the unique status of being the world’s only ‘formerly developed economy.’

    Coincidence? Bien sûr que non! Decades of high inflation destroy investment in the economy. Projects can’t be financed, and their rate of return is impossible to estimate.

    Inflation is a satanically effective means for predatory governments to scourge the poor, who lack inflatable capital assets. Thus the Kirchner regime’s obligatory faux-populist pose.

  14. psychohistorian

    I just received an email from my Congressman, Earl “fight back against the drug war” Blumenauer asking for feedback about how unemployment insurance impacts you , your family and community.

    I am providing the link here because I suspect many of you will not get such an email from your congresscritter.

    I just tried twice to submit my comment and it didn’t seem to work so YMMV. I did follow up with both Levin’s office (Head of Ways and Means) and Blumenaeur’s and they said they would try to get it fixed. I use Opera as my browser and at least got the comment form with it while using Safari I got the web page page but w/o the comment form.

  15. just_kate

    Last night I learned that my favorite Seattle based yogurt maker closed down and that was depressing. Then no NC this morning – mild panic ensued – I truly rely on this space. Will be visiting the tip jar on payday… Also too, Valentines Day is stupid.

    1. squasha

      you are the impresario of links! These are SO lovely…the black droplet is definitely a time-space koan portal. Only, what do you make of the woolly one-armed jumper?

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Perhaps going out on a limb here, but I will make a loose connection between Love and Valentine’s Day (preemptive response to those making a distinction).

    With that, I make this observation: When one is in love with Love itself, one loves for the sake of love.

    What that means, I don’t know. Like a lot of writers have said, sometimes something just takes over and the whole thing writes itself (and I got published, say these authors).

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Sweet, Beef, and happy Valentine’s Day.

      But Elizabeth Barrett Browning called and suggests you don’t quit your day job, and Hallmark called and they’re suing you for copyright infringement.

  17. Hugh

    The Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is all about the establishment of a monopoly. It is important for several reasons. First, this isn’t just about TV but internet access and pricing. Second, it is part of a process. If this merger goes through, then we can expect a push for the creation of other monopolies. Third, it goes without saying that this is bad for us, you know the serf-consumer.

    If this were good for us, Comcast would be trying to expand by competing in markets. As it is, Comcast is buying not just access but control of these markets from the regional monopolist TWC.

    There is also the whole way this merger is being financed through a stock swap that stinks to high heaven to me. If I held Comcast stock, I would not want to see my holdings diluted and if I owned TWC stock, I would not opt for a buyout that didn’t have a substantial amount of cash behind it. About the only people I can see this benefiting are the C-level executives at Comcast and those with golden parachutes at TWC.

    1. The Black Swan

      Yes, don’t worry, after the merger Comcast will still be the only ISP/Cable provider in your community. The merger can’t create a monopoly when there is no regional competition. They’re just making it easier by putting all the regional monopolies into a national one.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Bankers play funding tricks with subprime car loan deals

    So, subprime MBS have been covered pretty extensively here on NC and I’m wondering if this is the same sort of thing. Tranches, REMICs, administrators, servicers, slicers and dicers, those rules for transferring the loans into the security that I can’t remember the name of etc.

    And ratings agencies. Are they back at it? Are AAA ratings for sale again? Is someone taking ratings seriously again? And how do you rate a deal that is sold without all the “assets” even in place yet?

    It would seem to me that cars and houses are very different. Cars are less permanent. More movable. More wreckable. More disappearable. Don’t generally appreciate–ever. (Expensive vintage Corvettes can even fall into sinkholes.) Lose 20% of their value the second they’re driven off the lot.

    What’s going on here? I’m confused.

  19. Jess

    “About the only people I can see this benefiting are the C-level executives at Comcast and those with golden parachutes at TWC.”

    Hugh — Love you posts from all the way back in your FDL days. Thus I’m a little surprised at your comment above. Haven’t you learned by now that benefiting C-level execs is all ANYTHING is supposed to be about these days>

  20. Jill

    Critical Valentine Link!

    “Save my is a new service for men to send flowers to their girlfriends, fiances, and wives on a “regular but semi-random basis.” A guy sets the price level and schedules 10 deliveries for birthdays, anniversaries, and random just because occasions over a 12 month period. There’s even a “panic” button where he can select flowers based on the severity of the situation: from “Not too bad,” to “I need help” to “I’m afraid for my life.”

    Read more:


  21. bo

    Circling the wagons among the elite-

    “Stephen Segaller, WNET’s vice president for programming, in the statement, said, “We made a mistake, pure and simple.”

    On Thursday, before the statement came out, he said in a telephone interview that WNET believed the funding did not violate PBS’s “perception” rule, because the foundation’s goals of encouraging public discussion were separate from Mr. and Mrs. Arnold’s desire for reform.”

    Reform? That has to be the most tortured paragraph I have seen in a while. It wasn’t written by PBS, or Mr. Arnold. No quotes in there beyond “perception”.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “Mistakes were made.” No, they most definitely were not. Or, rather, the mistake was in PBS’s failure to conceal the sources of their funding successfully. I mean, it’s not just that their pimps; they’re not even good pimps.

  22. huxley

    Love and greed are the themes of the day. Okay, let’s talk about this.

    Love and greed are both forms of insanity.

    Love doesn’t make the world go around. It keeps the world populated, or if you please, overpopulated. It’s a ruse perpetrated by nature to perpetuate the species. And considered dispassionately, sex and childbearing are actually pretty gross. Voyeurism absolutely requires horniness in the voyeur, for example. Think about it.

    The insanity of love has a treatment, called marriage, which usually either cures it or allows for long-term management and control. It doesn’t prevent reinfection. When the insanity of love turns into an obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, it acquires a tendency to turn into jail time. We have laws against stalkers.

    Greed is likewise a form of insanity, rooted in the natural need to avoid starvation and stay out of the rain. Normally greed can be satiated by having more than enough to satisfy the need for security and the desire for luxuries, with only a couple of hundred million dollars at most. Like the insanity of love, the insanity of greed becomes dangerous when it turns into an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s well-established that greed, particularly when supported by its alter ego, the lust for power, all too frequently evolves into behavior which results in warmongering conquest, starvation, and genocide of the victims of the greedy. Unfortunately for the rest of us, virtually every member of TPTB can be expected to be diseased with advanced cases of the greed OCD.

    It should be obvious that to allow the greed OCD to fester untreated is socially suicidal. Which is to say, the disease is rarely terminal or even particularly uncomfortable for those who are personally afflicted by it, but it is very commonly quite destructive and fatal to those who are even distantly affected by those who have the disease. NC is replete with examples of the results of untreated greed OCD: that’s practically all that NC is.

    Those afflicted with the greed OCD naturally resist admitting that they are diseased and resist seeking treatment, and in that respect they are no different from any of the stars of those perverse hoarder reality shows. But unlike common hoarders, who are relatively benign, those afflicted with the greed OCD are a grave danger and imminent threat to billions of people. It’s one thing to bury yourself under a mountain of unneeded shoes, but it’s quite another to bury whole countries in debt and force millions of people into destitution and destruction. Both originate in the same mental disease, differing only in how they are manifested.

    That danger increases as the disease progresses. The failure to recognize and control the greed OCD type of hoarder is virtually certain to prove the undoing of whole peoples and nations time and time again, and must be addressed as the truly dire public health and safety threat it so clearly poses. To date, many of the rest of us have managed to avoid utter catastrophe, but in view of the poverty prevalent even in the developed nations most of us have not been so lucky. Millions have already been wiped out by the disease world wide.

    Thus concludes my Valentine’s Day message on NC. Here’s hoping you take it to heart.

    1. abynormal

      “Be compassionate,” Morrie whispered. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place.”

      He took a breath, then added his mantra: “Love each other or die.”
      Tuesdays With Morrie

    2. abynormal

      “We’ve got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it–and have it repeated to us–over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.

      Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’

      You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.

      Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”

      1. bulfinch

        We are definitely a newness-crazed bunch, we westerners. (I’m not.) The problem with newness is that once something ceases to be, it loses all utility.

    3. bulfinch

      Then there’s this: “Love is the hysterical delusion that we are no longer alone in the world.”

      …or, should you prefer:

      “Love is giving something you haven’t got to somebody who doesn’t exist.”

      1. abynormal

        “Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.”
        Shampoo Planet ‘)

        1. psychohistorian

          What I have just figured out at the tender age of 65 is that if you really love yourself you will never be lonely.

    4. Doug Terpstra

      Love as insanity? I think you confuse eros and agape, lust and genuine empathy. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. In due time it will prevail over this present dark madness of fear, hatred and violence.

  23. armchair

    When someone says, “[P]lease note I am featuring some obligatory Valentine’s Day links even though I regard this “holiday” as a scheme by jewelers, confectioners, and florists to extort men,” it warms my heart.

  24. kareninca

    Has anyone else noticed this study? It turns out that regular disinfectants do not kill HPV: (“Other research has suggested that HPV could be transmitted non-sexually. The current study shows that medical instruments considered sterile could pose a risk for transmission.” “Chemical disinfectants used in the hospitals and other healthcare settings have absolutely no effect on killing human papillomavirus,” Meyers said. “So unless bleach or autoclaving is used in the hospital setting, human papillomavirus is not being killed and there is a potential spread of HPV through hospital acquired or instrument or tool infection.”)

    So if you go to the obgyn for your female exam, or to the dentist, you could be catching HPV from one of the hundreds of people they have used their instruments on before you! Ask how they sterilize (e.g the speculum) ; if it is not bleach or an autoclave, run in the other direction. I find this very disheartening; the whole point of the pap smear is to detect the results of a HPV infection!!!! One of the points of a dental exam is to find signs of oral cancer, which is often caused by HPV!!!!

  25. Master of All

    Go to Work
    Buy more stuffs and bigger storage spaces for stuffs (house, houses, houseses)
    Set aside fake money for ‘future’, always the future
    Don’t live today, don’t enjoy today, only look towards future, always the future
    Work, Buy, Work, Buy, Save for ‘Retirement’, be a good slave
    Retire, play golf, play bridge, drink coffee, talk of ‘good old days’, complain about dems or reps or the youth of today, whoopie, what a life!!

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