Links 2/19/14

Dear patient readers: This week is really bad for me since I am spending a depressing amount of time in a dentist’s chair (pre-flouride era teeth and a lot of previous work means even if you are diligent about maintenance, you still have stuff eventually come apart, and successive work is generally more intrusive).

Surly Honey Badger Don’t Care What You Think, Stupid Bloomberg. My kind of critter!

What is an elephant handshake? Christian Science Monitor

Great Backyard Bird Count: Some waterfowl abandon icy Great Lakes; snowy owls in 25 states Associated Press (bob)

I am A passenger on yesterday’s Hijacked plane from Ethiopian Airlines to Geneva. Contrary to news coverage, it was hell. Reddit (Chuck L)

How Qantas upgraded itself to bailout class MacroBusiness. I used to be able to cash in American Airlines miles for premium travel at Qantas easily before they were privatized (admittedly, you had to observant and tenacious to figure out how the system worked. American paid hard $ to Qantas, so this was actually a good use of the empty seats). Impossible for the last few years. Now I know why.

Will China shake the world again? Robert Peston. Richard Smith: “Credit boom, shadow banking, overbuilding, crisis coming but when, usual doomy bloggy stuff now mainstream.”

More on China’s ore for cash scams MacroBusiness

China’s soldiers too big for tanks Financial Times

The Thai Malaise Foreign Policy

Ukraine protest camp ablaze as police move in Aljazeera

Death Toll From Kiev Violence Rises to 25 Wall Street Journal

The Geopolitics of Ukraine’s Schism Commentaries, Binghampton University (Paul Tioxon)

Kazakhstan: lacy underwear ban sees dozens of women arrested in street protest Independent (1 SK)

Murdoch hacking trial Phase 2 starts today Guardian (Richard Smith)

Mexico and Nafta at 20. Why it went wrong Financial Times

Canada’s Harper sure to try twisting Obama’s arm on Keystone XL in Mexico meeting this week Daily Kos (Carol B)

Sen. Schumer won’t join review of Time Warner Cable sale because of brother’s role in deal (bob)

Chevron gets classy: Sorry about the fracking explosion, here’s a coupon for free pizza Daily Kos (Carol B)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden ‘humbled’ by his election as Glasgow University rector Guardian

Striking Back: Germany Considers Counterespionage Against US Der Spiegel (cob)

Police State Gears Up WhoWhatWhy (Lambert)

Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face Paul Craig Roberts (Chuck L)

Waiting for Miranda Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (Richard Smith)

Feds Settle Suit Over Parody of Security Agencies National Law Journal (1 SK)

Obama Plays Water-Guzzling Desert Golf Courses Amid California Drought Zeke Miller, Time (Dale, Carol B)

The Tao of Political Ambassadors Peter Van Buren, Firedoglake (Carol B)

CBO Projects Employment Loss from Minimum Wage Hike Would be Comparable to Impact of Iraq War Size Increase in Military Spending Dean Baker

CBO report: Minimum wage hikes would kill 500,000 jobs but lift 900,000 out of poverty Reuters

North Dakota Has Highest Rents in the Country from Bakken Boom OilPrice

The intolerance of uneconomic economics Pieria

Low-Wage Workers Have Experienced Wage Erosion in Nearly Every State Economic Policy Institute (Carol B)

JP Morgan Banker Jumps to his Death From Hong Kong Skyscraper International Business Times. Third JPM suicide in a week.

How Big Banks Are Cashing In On Food Stamps American Prospect (Carol B)

Loan Complaints by Homeowners Rise Once More New York Times. Wish I had posted on this. You will love this sentence: “The specialty servicers, the regulators say, do not offer the same attention to customer service that banks did.” Oh, and it was the regulators who pushed for the banks to transfer servicing to supposedly more capable special servicers.

Inequality — the bubonic plague of modern society Lars P. Syll

Omnipotent #WaveOfAction YouTube. Not sure this is effective, but then again, I am not in the target audience.

Was the American Revolution a Civil War? Early Americanists

Antidote du jour (Brian C):


And a bonus: goat performance art!

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  1. kimyo

    After fracking blast, Chevron offers pizza

    A Chevron well in the preparation stages for hydraulic fracturing exploded last Tuesday 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, Penn., causing a fire that lasted for four days and left one Chevron contractor unaccounted for and another one injured.

    An image of a coupon from Chevron offering free pizza to residents near last week’s disaster was posted online Monday, prompting outrage, mockery and disbelief among activists and the Internet commentariat.

    “The Chevron Guarantee: Our well won’t explode…or your pizza is free,” read one of many sarcastic tweets directed at Chevron on Tuesday.

    The coupon was handed out along with a letter apologizing for the blowout to about 100 residents near the gas well, local media reported.

    California drought: Why some farmers are ‘exporting water’ to China

    “A hundred billion gallons of water per year is being exported in the form of alfalfa from California,” argues Professor Robert Glennon from Arizona College of Law.

    “It’s a huge amount. It’s enough for a year’s supply for a million families – it’s a lot of water, particularly when you’re looking at the dreadful drought throughout the south-west.”

    Cheap water rights and America’s trade imbalance with China make this not just viable, but profitable.

    “We have more imports than exports so a lot of the steamship lines are looking to take something back,” Glennon says. “And hay is one of the products which they take back.”

    It’s now cheaper to send alfalfa from LA to Beijing than it is to send it from the Imperial Valley to the Central Valley.

    “We need to treat the resource as finite, which it is,” he says. “Instead, most of us in the states, we think of water like the air, it’s infinite and inexhaustible, when for all practical purposes it’s finite and it’s exhaustible.”

    1. Skeptic

      Maudit tabernac! If only Marie Antoinette had said “Let them eat pizza.”, all would have been ok. Such geniuses we have now in modern Public Relations probably because of those tax dollars spent on University social research.

      1. kimyo

        a friend needed some help with her social research software, after messing with it for a few hours i got things working. having seen its methodology, my conclusion is that the odds are exceedingly small that any of its results have anything to do with reality. (i forget what it was called, but it’s apparently in widespread use, at least at columbia university. complete bollocks. (wish i could say that in quebecois))

        as far as chevron is concerned, if the people of pennsylvania didn’t have twitter/facebook, they’d be handled/ignored just like the inconvenient nigerians who happen to live on top of shell’s oil fields.

  2. taunger

    The propoganda around the min. wage increase is particularly ingenious. Yes we can raise 900,000 out of poverty, and they’ll sure be fine living on 18,000/yr without the social welfare programs available to those in poverty.

  3. 12312399

    less inequality, greater cultural appreciation for learning across all social strata =>>>

    “Children of factory workers and cleaners in Far East achieve better exam results than offspring of British [and American] lawyers and doctors, says OECD ”

    “The report said: “In the United States and the United Kingdom, where professionals are among the highest-paid in the world, students whose parents work as professionals do not perform as well in mathematics as children of professionals in other countries — nor do they perform as we as the children in Shanghai-China and Singapore whose parents work in manual occupations.” “

    1. Larry Headlund

      That article is misrepresenting the study group. Shanghai-China is one of the richer areas of the PRC and the students in Shanghai schools don’t include the poorest children even in Shanghai.

      The PRC still has an internal passport system and the poorest workers in Shanghai tend to be internal immigrants, immigrants from the provinces. These immigrants can’t get the better paying jobs, even jobs in hotels or desirable factory jobs. These are reserved for Shanghai residents. The children of these internal immigrants cannot go to Shanghai public schools easily.

      Internal immigrants make up perhaps 20% of the population of Shanghai. Imagine how much better our scores would look if we discarded the children of the poorest fifth?

      Read the essential Daily Howler for more on international and domestic testing.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Can foreign immigrants, from Africa to America, get better paying jobs in Shanghai?

        Are they treated worse, better or about the same as intra-province migrants?

        “If you can’t help us get a job in the US, at least help us get a job elsewhere in the world!”

        1. Larry Headlund

          You have more of an expat scene in Shanghai as opposed to what we would call immigration. The bulk of the expats are from Hong Kong but there is now a sizable number of westerners. For that matter, the internal immigrants to Shanghai still have ties to their home provinces (the greatest internal migrations are the important holidays where people return to their home provinces in China.

          If you have a needed technical specialty you can get employment in Shanghai. That was my situation. Getting the job usually comes before the move. Be aware Shanghai doesn’t have third world prices anymore. For example, a furnished apartment will cost around US $1500/month.

          If you have a ‘western’ face, there is the ever popular Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Some people get by this way. I note that because of the expense of living in Shanghai you would do better with a teaching gig in another area of China or elsewhere, particularly SE Asia. It is a real advantage to get a TEFL certificate before you move. This will qualify you for better paying corporate jobs.

          In my experience Chinese people are very hospitable to western foreigners. As to how this compares to internal immigrants, remember that foreign visitors are going to be middle class or above with respect to the locals while the internal immigrants take lower paying jobs,

          I have heard disparaging remarks directed towards sub Saharan Africans in Shanghai. This dates to Mao era African workers in Shanghai and culture clashes.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are some people, regardless of race or nationality, that is to say, there are some people within any group, who are better at exam-taking than others…any exam you can devise.

      How much does that correlate to understanding or developing an inquiring mind?

      You can make your kid focus on a particular exam or the accepted and ‘assigned’ schoolwork (via family influence, family emphasis, cram schools, private tutors), and show to the system that your kid is ‘system compliant’ or, is good at what the system desires, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for anything, the kid him/herself, much less, the world/nature.

      By the way, it’s not unusual, but no means always, that lawyers and doctors are better than something other than math…though, to repeat and emphasis again, it’s not always so.

  4. Synopticist

    The Ukraine article is interesting, showing that Obama didn’t get rid of the old-school neo-cons like we all thought he would. The wife of Robert kagan saying “fuck the Europeans” as they attempt to force another country into the western neo-liberal orbit is quite an eye-opener. This sort of foreign policy adventurism was supposed to be out of favour.

    The Ukraine is basically 2 countries, a European east and a Russian west, but no-one in Europe wants them in the EU, they’d immediately become the poorest and most corrupt country in it. All they have to offer is cheap agriculture, which the fat agro-lobby in the EU would immediately ban, and lots and lots of cheap, mobile labor, which is the last thing Europe needs at the moment.

    Much of the animus from the US State department is basically butt-hurt at Russian for not rolling over and letting the US bomb the loathsome Syrian jihadis into power. So another “colour revolution” was cooked up, in order that the world could be made safe for Wall Street oligarchs and their friends.

    1. RanDomino

      Your saying “The Ukraine” greatly strains your credibility. Particularly since you’re advancing Russian talking points and “The Ukraine” is the Russian nomenclature. Shill, or just watching too much RT?

      1. Synopticist

        Neither shill or too much RT, thanks.

        Perhaps you didn’t see the reporting on the remark by the US State Department’s most senior European official to the US ambassador? Look it up.

        They had an election there a few years ago. No-one complained about it. They had a revolution in 2004, by similar, (but without the Neo-Nazis), political forces. Then they lost the subsequent election. The guy who’s in power now was turfed out in 2004 but came back. It’s not some tinpot dictatorship.

        If any protestors had behaved as the Kievans have in the US, the cops would have opened fire with live ammo weeks ago. 10 policemen were killed last night by “pro European activists”, 4 of them by sniper headshots, apparently.

        I’ve seen this movie rather too often lately to put aside my cynicism. The west is openly allying with jihadi and al qeada type groups in Syria, yet the “liberal” MSM talks as if they’re fighting for freedom, democracy and an open society. Now a bunch of hardcore Neo-Nazis are attempting to provoke a civil war in the Ukraine, and we’re supposed to be cheering them on and considering them the good guys?

        Screw that. In 2004 there were crowds of half a million in Kiev, and no-one got killed. That was a peaceful revolution. I could support that, and I did. Now there’s a crowd of maybe 25 thousand, and dozens are dead. That isn’t, and I can’t.

    2. Murky

      I don’t pretend to have great expertise about Ukraine. But I must correct something Synopticist has written:

      “The Ukraine is basically 2 countries, a European east and a Russian west”.

      Well, it’s actually the reverse. West Ukraine is historically linked to Europe, and it’s the east that’s Russian. The statement that no-one wants Ukraine in the EU also deserves correction. Agricultural, mineral, and industrial resources in Ukraine are extensive, and would probably add to European productivity in the long term. There is a problem, though, with this whole idea of Ukraine moving into the European orbit. Russia is simply not going to let Ukraine out of its sphere of influnce. That’s realpolitik. But the Euro-Maidan movement has a lot of things right. They demand an end to the authoritarian regime of Yanukovich, and to corruption and kleptocracy in state governance. They see a real hope to establish democratic institutions. And these goals are attainable. But there are also larger geopolitical forces in play. The Wallerstein article linked above is pretty good in that respect. Realize that in the longer term, Russia is slowly bonding with Europe anyway. The policy of the US State Department, however, is to pry loose the Ukraine as soon as possible and in any way possible. This is not constructive foreign policy. It’s rather short-term provocation in a cold-war mindset that serves to destablize regional politics. Read the following Zbigniew Brzezinski interview for sound strategic thinking about the liberation of Ukraine.

      About Yanukovych, I don’t think he will survive this debacle. Just my best guess.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I had it right originally, must have deleted part of it when rearranging Links. Fixing….

  5. sleepy

    Yes, dental care is endless (and expensive).

    Root canals and crowns of 35 years ago have a way of going bad–the “dead” tooth can easily fracture years down the road. And surgery for gum disease is astronomically high.

  6. Jim Haygood

    In an appeal that Buenos Aires newspaper Clarín called ‘harsh’ and ‘virulent,’ Argentina takes its last shot at overturning an adverse U.S. Court of Appeals ruling:

    (Reuters) – Argentina filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking to reverse lower court decisions ordering the country to pay $1.33 billion to hedge fund creditors in a case Argentine officials warn could force it to default on its sovereign debt.

    The appeal followed a November 18 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denying Argentina’s petition for a rehearing in a decade-long legal battle with bondholders who refused to accept the country’s two debt-restructuring offers after the country defaulted on $100 billion in 2002.

    In their rulings, the lower courts said Argentina must pay the bondholders who refused to participate in the debt restructuring along with those who did. Argentina’s continued refusal to pay could result in U.S. courts enforcing injunctions blocking payment overseas to bondholders who participated in prior restructurings, possibly causing a new default.


    According to Clarín, the appeal by Argentina’s U.S. lawyer Paul Clement claims the lower court ruling ‘is deeply offensive to the sovereignty of Argentina, and mocks the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act.’ Huh, that ought to go over well with Da Supremes.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Huh? Argentina itself doesn’t agree with your position. Its bond indenture explicitly provides for adjudication of disputes in U.S. courts, according to New York law. If Argentina believed that U.S. courts didn’t have jurisdiction, it wouldn’t submit pleadings in the first place.

        Usually demands from holdout creditors are settled out of court. Argentina took a hard line; the holdouts sued; so far the courts backed the plaintiffs. Multiply the probability of the Supreme Court granting certiorari by the probability of it reversing the appeals court, and the result is a percentage somewhere between zero and 25%.

        1. Robert Dudek

          Then the Argentine government is stupid. Simple enough to say the agreement was made by a previous government. Nothing to do with the current govt. Since there is no Supra national govt, National sovereignty trumps all.

  7. allcoppedout

    You just have to love the BBC’s Peston. He gets to China about 3 years after Zerohedge and finds out nothing a bit of finger walking on the internet would have got to. The question on China is probably whether finance has replaced the British, Dutch and Japanese ‘white goods’ of yore. It looks like Ireland was used as a pilot experiment (ghost cities), but who owns Chinese finance? If the money is hot, they are likely doomed to some reorganisation. Peston doesn’t know. Is the infrastructure they’ve been building any good? Could we do something like this in the West? Peston doesn’t ask.

    The BBC used to have Peter West commentating on ballroom dancing and rugby union. He would have done Peston’s job as well.

      1. allcoppedout

        West has been dead about ten years. He’d still come second in a race between himself, Peston and with the bladder on a stick romping in by a country mile.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Perhaps the BBC’s Fiona Bruce should pay a visit:

      The answers to the problems relating to China’s mammoth misallocation of capital are undoubtedly lying fallow in the minds of those with analytical skill sets honed from their demanding study of Art History: …

      “[Art History] challenges students to think, read and write critically.” —Ann Collins Johns, Art professor, University of Texas, Austin

      … after all, what is “Money” really?

    2. Synopticist

      Still, Peston beside, it is an interesting debate.
      In my view, a over-investment boom is still an over-investment boom, regardless of China’s unusual position. The wheels have to come off at some point.

  8. Emma

    Antidote du jour:
    “Through practice I came to understand that love is the source of all – love that is unconditional and selfless: love which is totally free. Qi came into being, flowing out of unconditional love. From timelessness, from wuji, qi created the universe. From a non-definable reality, yin and yang, the world of duality, came into being. Wuji became taiji. Yin qi and yang qi blended together and gave birth to the universe. It is qi that created the universe and it is unconditional love that gave birth to qi.”
    ~ Li Junfeng: Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong

  9. Andrew Watts

    RE: Striking Back: Germany Considers Counterespionage Against US

    The Washington power elite probably think this is entirely the fault of Edward Snowden. They conveniently forget the disastrous years of American diplomacy during the Bush Administration.

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    Welcome to the real world. The empire doesn’t look so omnipotent or invincible now does it?

    RE: Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face

    Yeah, this hysterical rant is helpful. In a police state, Paul Craig Roberts and every other political dissenter would never be seen or heard from ever again. We’ve not there yet and we have an opportunity to avoid that predicament.

    The Pentagon may have a perfectly reasonable excuse for practicing military operations in an urban environment. Their inadequate preparation and woeful experience in Iraq was a military blunder of historical proportions. Who am I kidding? They’re preparing for the possibility of a domestic insurgency in the near future.

    Not awesome.

    1. Jim S

      I’m surprised Roberts takes Alex Jones seriously. I saw both of his links earlier and didn’t feel the need to open them. Having done so just now, they’re not the smoking gun Roberts presents them as.

      The US military has been preparing for urban warfare in Western Europe since the Berlin Airlift, so the fact that this new training facility is Western in appearance probably has something to do with that. In fact the USMC has had an extensive mock Iraqi city out at 29 Palms for some time, but Jones doesn’t mention that. A perusal of the “leaked” manuals (which are FOUO) reveals that they lay out general procedures for how “re-education” should take place, but not what it consists of. Explaining that prisoners should have access to sports, religious activity, and counseling is hardly a prescription for political indoctrination.

      What I do read is an increased emphasis on preparedness to conduct operations on US soil. The military police manual stresses it. A few other things from personal experience indicate that something changed in the last few years and the possibility of domestic action is now “on the radar” for the US military, where previously it wasn’t considered.

      1. Andrew Watts

        “I’m surprised Roberts takes Alex Jones seriously. I saw both of his links earlier and didn’t feel the need to open them. Having done so just now, they’re not the smoking gun Roberts presents them as…”

        Roberts usually maintains a level-headed attitude even if he occasionally overdoes the rhetoric. I had a good laugh though when his leaked documents were labeled For Official Use Only. Hardly a super secret plan for a future police state.

        Those plans would surely have a higher degree of classification.

        “What I do read is an increased emphasis on preparedness to conduct operations on US soil. The military police manual stresses it. A few other things from personal experience indicate that something changed in the last few years and the possibility of domestic action is now “on the radar” for the US military, where previously it wasn’t considered.”

        There already has been a degree of public disclosure about these contingency plans. When Treasury Secretary Paulson was asked about other plans in the event that TARP didn’t pass his reply was something along the lines of martial law in response to the food riots. So it’s not a huge surprise that the US military is planning for a possible domestic deployment in the event of widespread civil insurrection but these plans are hardly the preemptive institution of a fascist police state.

    2. reslez

      Right, so the sole distinguishing characteristic between our country and a police state, by this definition, is that those who speak out are not (yet?) immediately “disappeared”. But in the very next sentence you refer to the “hysterical rants” of those who do speak out. How exactly do we avoid the “predicament” of a real live genuine police state if we do not speak? And how do we refute people like you who characterize us as hysterical?

      1. Andrew Watts

        Nothing is inevitable until it actually happens. The problem with Alex Jones and his followers is they think that every plan undertaken by the government is the result of some evil genius plan for world domination. There is no planning for that unrealistic contingency. It’s paranoia run amok.

        Remember the internet hysteria over ‘secret FEMA camps’? They were neither secret, nor under the jurisdiction of FEMA. As it turns out most of them were potential sites for future county, state, or federal prisons.

        I really don’t have anything nice to say about Jones and his ilk so it’s probably better for everybody if I say nothing.

  10. Andrew Watts

    RE: Was the American Revolution a Civil War?

    It was more than a civil war between loyalists and patriots, it was a class war between the poor farmers on the frontier against the merchants/financiers of the urban cities. As a whole it was a English civil war between multiple factions whose systems of social organization and political governance broadly differed. Following the secession of the Thirteen Colonies from the British empire these political issues were repeatedly fought throughout the history of both countries.

    The American revolution radicalized many British Whigs. Charles Fox was nominally a political conservative, but during the revolution he wore Continental Army uniforms to show his support for the colonial rebels. Other prominent individuals like the Howe brothers were avowed Whigs, yet you have to wonder if their political sentiments affected their military performance. General Howe had numerous opportunities to eradicate the Continental Army at the Battle of New York. The French and other continental enemies of Great Britain were not so lucky when they faced the Howes.

    At the time British newspapers joked, “Only a general as incompetent as Howe couldn’t defeat a general as bad as Washington” and vice versa. It’s been years since I’ve read the unabridged six volume epic of Sir George Trevelyan’s history of the American revolution. One of the important points Trevelyan repeatedly makes is that the Patriot side had a deep well of social-political support that was not strictly limited to the Whig Party.

    It’s nice to see American historians play catch-up to first-rate British historians.

    1. allcoppedout

      Who won and how long did the springtime last? We’re still waiting here for you to come over and remove the Queen.

      1. Andrew Watts

        That’s not an easy subject to briefly cover. It was a definite win for the British Catholics as a result of the emancipation laws that were passed. Even though discrimination persisted in some cases. A historical loss filled with sporadic military victories if you were a native tribe facing the newly christened United States.

        The rural population of the United States came together politically and achieved dominance during the period we know as Jacksonian democracy. The alliance of slaveholders and Free-Soilers didn’t last and this combined with other factors led to the American Civil War.

        Despite it’s political and moral shortcomings it was still a magnificent movement that furthered the cause of American democracy and egalitarianism.

        “We’re still waiting here for you to come over and remove the Queen.”

        The majority of American women probably love the British monarchy more than the average subject of the Commonwealth. They’d never make American men their sandwiches if they attempted such an endeavor.

        While not every British republican is an idiot it appears that every idiot is a republican!

    2. Antifa

      America’s Revolution would have been stamped out right quick, and our Founding Fathers would have “hanged together” as Ben Franklin put it, if only Britain hadn’t been sinking so much money, ships, biscuits, bullets and soldiers into India at the time. There was so just much more profit to be grabbed by conquering a huge country full of wealthy fiefdoms ruled by petty princes sitting in palaces full of gold coins.

      Trade that opportunity to go fight the French and the colonists in America? Not as profitable. Bombay and Delhi and Madurai come first. If Britain hadn’t gone all in on conquering India, the Portuguese or Dutch or French would have, so they felt they had to make it their first effort.

      We got lucky. The most powerful empire in the world failed to give us the attention we deserved, and we managed to eke out a surprise win with French help, a victory which many in England considered to be merely temporary. When the English came back in 1812, they could have reclaimed as much of the Colonies as they wanted — if they had wanted. But they were still doing such profitable work in India, and Napoleon was giving them fits on the Continent, so they settled for burning down our half-built White House, and got back to work making sure the sun never set on their Empire.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for that. Maybe one day I have time for that six-volume history, from the British perspective.

      At the end, we can think of it as both a revolution and a civil war, just like it was both a civil war and a war between two nations four scores and seven years later .

  11. Goyo Marquez

    The water used to water the golf courses comes from Colorado not from the drought stricken parts of NorCal.

    If you want to get upset about something though, the people in the Coachella/Palm Springs area have their electricity subsidized, by the citizens of Imperial County one of the poorest counties in America, unemployment close to 30%.

  12. rich

    Queens president: Trustees must nix money-flush library head’s $2M exit deal

    Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante, shown, is in Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s crosshairs after his $2 million golden parachute, $392,000 salary, $200,000 secret job and bill for $140,000 in renovations to his executive offices came to light.

    And now comes to light another astonishing perk — Galante’s employment contract guarantees him a payout of nearly $2 million if he is dismissed.

    That’s right, $2 million in severance — for a head librarian.
    The Daily News reported earlier this month that Galante received a whopping $392,000 salary in 2013, plus a sports car, to run the borough’s taxpayer-funded library system. And The News was first to report that he spent nearly $140,000 on renovations to his executive offices — including a $26,000 private smoking deck.

    This, while veteran employees who got laid off two years ago at the underfunded Queens library system were lucky to collect 10 weeks of unused sick pay.

    How in the world did the trustees of a publicly funded library approve such a deal? Gabriel Taussig, the chairman of the board, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

    Read more:

    1. Lambert Strether

      There can’t be two Gabriel Taussiga:

      Gabriel Taussig is the Division Chief of the Administrative Law Division of the New York City Law Department. He joined the Law Department as a staff attorney in 1974. In 1984 he was named as the Division Chief of the Administrative Law Division and has held that position since then.

      Mr. Taussig is intimately involved in the many aspects of the work of his division which is responsible for litigating a wide variety of cases arising from the City’s regulatory activities, including public health matters, land use, public safety, housing and licensing. In his time at the Law Department, Mr. Taussig has worked on many important cases including the defense of challenges to the City’s calorie posting requirements, the City’s enforcement of its lead paint laws, and the current challenge to legislation authorizing livery vehicles to accept street hails in areas outside of Manhattan. In addition, Mr. Taussig has played a crucial role in establishing the City’s procedures for several important public health initiatives, including the detention of individuals who, because of their exposure to various diseases, may pose public health risks. He also participated in the establishment of various administrative procedures adopted by the City. For example, he worked with the Police Department, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and the office of the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Coordinator in establishing administrative hearing procedures required by the court in Krimstock v. Kelly when the Police Department seeks the forfeiture of vehicles used in connection with criminal activities.

      In addition to his work at the New York City Law Department, Mr. Taussig has been an active member of the law community. He has given speeches and made presentations at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York County Lawyers’ Association, and the Practicing Law Institute. He is a recent recipient of the Sloan Public Service Award presented by the Fund for the City of New York as well as the Mary C. Lawton Outstanding Government Service Award given by the American Bar Association. Mr. Taussig graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York and received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School where he was an Editor of the Law Review.

      I mean, if Taussig is corrupt, everyone’s corrupt. Oh, wait….

  13. JTFaraday

    re: “Surly Honey Badger Don’t Care What You Think, Stupid,” Bloomberg. “My kind of critter!”

    “But Stoffel’s escapes seem thwarted as the program ends. Jones has finally encased his pen with an electric fence. As he bends over the wall to greet his pet, Stoffel stands on his hind legs, growling with such anger you would not be surprised if smoke came out of his ears and his head swiveled 360 degrees.”

    Whoa! I take it that honey badger don’t like his day job…

  14. JTFaraday

    re: “Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face,” Paul Craig Roberts (Chuck L)

    “With the Pentagon building fake cities for soldiers to demolish while practicing the unconstitutional occupation practices that are in store for us in the homeland, Alex Jones’ predictions move out of the realm of conspiracy theory.”

    Along similar lines, Naomi Klein’s 2007 The The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Our so-called “anti-government” neoliberals hard at work:

    1. Susan the other

      So if they consider constitutionalists to be radical elements I guess Scalia is in trouble. Of course his constitutionalism is so stripped of any kind of an evolved social context he might come full circle and meet their barbaric view. PCR has been on this trend for some time now. I think I know how the Germans felt in the 1930s. Threatened and helpless. When the forces of capitalism decide that nothing matters but profits, no matter how synthetic they are, and when they are unwilling to visualize a functioning alternative, we get the Stasi. It is a serious failure of imagination. And in another of PCR’s posts recently he talked about his role in “supply side” economics. To remedy the damage caused by the inflation after Vietnam, he pushed for supply side measures as under Sec of Treas for Regan because Keynesian deficit spending didn’t work for stagflatlion. The system had not been able to absorb all that Vietnam hubris. But his economic logic was immediately undermined by the deregulators who saw it as money for the top, trickle down for the rest of us and proceeded to unbalance the economy (off shoring, etc.) for their own profits. Supply side was completely corrupted from the inception. Profits uber alles. I’d like to hear more on that one.

  15. Bob Swern

    On those JP Morgan banker deaths…

    I’ve been told–by an EXTREMELY reliable source who wished to remain anonymous–that the death of Stamford, CT resident and JPMorgan Chase banker Ryan Henry Crane was accidental and due to personal “issues” that are immaterial to the overall story; and the Connecticut state medical examiner’s toxicology report, that’s expected to be published in a few weeks, should/may conclude same, and support my statement, accordingly.

    The younger banker who fell to his death in Hong Kong this week was a lower-level employee of the company.

    However, I find the circumstances surrounding the death, in London, of Gabriel Magee to be problematic, based upon information that’s been reported, to date. And, I’m quite interested to hear the conclusions–if any–of the investigation(s) of law enforcement authorities there regarding same.

  16. fresno dan

    Quote of the day:
    In February of 1967, Oakland police officers stopped a car carrying Newton, Seale, and several other Panthers with rifles and handguns. When one officer asked to see one of the guns, Newton refused. “I don’t have to give you anything but my identification, name, and address,” he insisted. This, too, he had learned in law school.

    “Who in the hell do you think you are?” an officer responded.

    “Who in the hell do you think you are?,” Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends had a legal right to have their firearms.

    Newton got out of the car, still holding his rifle.

    “What are you going to do with that gun?” asked one of the stunned policemen.

    “What are you going to do with your gun?,” Newton replied

    I was at a political/philosophy discussion group, and the topic being religion, of course gun control came up. Of course, I acknowledge that attending such events, as well as commenting on blogs is only tolerable because I understand that beliefs precede facts.

    “Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

  17. chris

    Good luck with your teeth, Yves. I just returned from Costa Rica where dentists are affordable. The guy I go to has a degree from NYU and is certified by the ADA to work in the USA, not that such certification means anything. Dentists in the USA are, IMHO, not to be trusted. I decided on Costa Rica after a dentist here told me I needed $35,000 worth of work. He wanted to yank my upper teeth and do an elaborate combination of implants and cantilevered bridgework that made no sense to me. I’d worked hard to keep my problematic teeth from further degradation and his assessment seemed wrong wrong wrong. I sent x-rays to Costa Rica and they came back with a plan to replace 5 crowns and do two corrective apical surgeries to repair bad root canals performed by US dentists. The bill came in at $3000. Travel to and from was $500 and 6 days in a hotel cost another $500. One can do the math easy enough to see the economic advantage. The clinic there did all the work, including making the new crowns,so a process which would have taken endless visits and months to complete in the USA was finished in a week.

    I am extremely satisfied with the results as well as the professional judgement of my Costa Rican dentists as to the degree of work I actually needed. I will be going back.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’m getting my teeth worked on in Thailand; if I had serious crown or root canal work the ticket would more than pay for itself. The difference from the US is astounding (although to be fair, Maine has a shortage of dentists). The exam I went to in the US was so painful and stressful I couldn’t keep still, so they recommended general anesthesia when it came time to do the work — I’m not kidding. I confirmed! It was insane. No way I was letting those clowns put me under or do anything to me.

      To be fair, this was a clinic for poor people with a sliding scale, so by the First Law of Neo-Liberalism (“Those without money should go die”) suffering and indignity were baked in. Not that it’s always that way, but concierge medicine in the lower depths is pretty rare.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Don’t look now, but commodity prices (as measured by the Continuous Commodity Index of 17 items) has popped 10% from its November 2013 low. Chart huggers will note that it’s also busted a downtrend line in place since May 2011:

    With $2.44 trillion of excess reserves in the banking system, the Federal Reserve is powerless to apply the brakes … other than by raising interest rates, which they’ve promised not to do till the sun turns into a red dwarf.

    So sit back and enjoy the ride. We’re on inflation autopilot now.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Excluding food and energy, meaning while we may starve or freeze to death, we should be fine on the core inflation front…as long as we continue to suppress wage inflation, that is.

      Life is good inside the ‘rich-defined GDP and the rich-defined inflation’ bubble.

  19. kimyo

    NTSB wants cameras in Metro-North trains

    Two months after the deadly train derailment on Metro-North’s Hudson Line, the National Transportation Safety Board has come up with some changes it says will improve safety on the railroad.

    NTSB officials say Metro-North needs to install inward and outward facing audio and video recorders on all trains. Management then needs to review those tapes regularly.

    it’s hard to picture a better example of a government agency fixing the wrong problem.

    I-Team: Engineer in Metro-North Train Derailment Clocked Loads of Overtime

    Payroll records reviewed by the I-Team show the engineer of the Metro-North train that derailed last month, killing four people and injuring dozens more, worked a consistently demanding overtime schedule in years leading up to last month’s fatal derailment.

    According to the data, provided by the MTA in response to public records requests by the I-Team, William Rockefeller worked an average of 762 overtime hours per year in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Assuming a 40-hour work week with eight-hour shifts, that’s the equivalent of working a sixth day every week for three years straight.

  20. kareninca

    For Lambert. More from Nancy Metcalf (of Consumer Reports), and my reply to her. She asserts that literally everyone eligible should sign onto Medicaid, asap:

    “I don’t care whether you think of Medicaid as a lien (which it isn’t in the states that aren’t doing expanded estate recovery) or insurance or simply a direct-pay government benefit, everyone who’s eligible should take it. Lack of immediate and easy access to medical care is simply bad for one’s health. It’s true that you could wait until you were seriously ill, but again using the example of colon cancer, without coverage it’s unlikely someone poor enough to be on Medicaid would get a colonoscopy, a screening test that is highly effective in preventing the development of invasive colon cancer.
    I also don’t buy the argument that you shouldn’t take Medicaid because the government will stop paying for it at some point. I’ve heard from consumers who want to turn down premium subsidies for the same reason. Take it now, and if it goes away later, well, then you’re still better off than if you never had it at all.

    Dear Ms. Metcalf,
    Your assert a truism: “lack of immediate and easy access to medical care is simply bad for one’s health” – and then infer from that, that everyone eligible should sign on to Medicaid. That is very poor reasoning, and leads you to give poor advice.

    I am sure that you are familiar with the Oregon Medicaid study. Two years in, the only benefits for Medicaid lottery “winners” were financial and economic. None of their tangible, physical measurements of health improved. The people who “lost” the lottery were getting enough access to medical care, to give them equal physical health outcomes as the winners. So, to the extent that “immediate and easy access to medical care” is required, Medicaid and non-Medicaid recipients both got it in Oregon. It was not necessary to sign on to Medicaid to be in the same physical condition!

    Where the Oregon Medicaid “winners” benefitted was financially (for now!) and psychologically. Whether their financial benefit will be long-term, is unclear; it will depend on clawback laws, and the situation of the individual. The same is true of their psychological benefits. They were real, but we do not know if they will outweigh the despondency that many people feel, when they realize that anything they own and accumulate, is not truly theirs, but will be clawed back. Also, the people in the Oregon study all wanted to be on Medicaid. We now have people who are being enrolled in it against their wishes – I cannot believe that that is psychologically beneficial for them.

    You bring up colonoscopies, as an instance of costly medical tests that the person in your example might not decide to pay for. Are you not familiar with the Kaiser Foundation study, re mail in tests? ( They are extremely cheap, and they work just as well. Instead of engaging in scare tactics (“If you don’t sign onto Medicaid ASAP you will get colon cancer and die!!!! is a scare tactic), why don’t you give Consumer Reports readers useful information? I have health insurance that covers colonoscopies. But I plan to use annual mail-in tests instead, for my own convenience and to avoid wasting health care dollars. Also, even a colonoscopy is much, much, cheaper, if you self-pay, rather than letting the insurance company pay a grossly inflated price. Why not help the readers of Consumer Reports, with that sort of information? If the person in your example is rational, using a mail-in kit or having a frugal self-pay colonoscopy could work very well, and allow them to avoid being on Medicaid if they so desire, without detriment to their health.

    You don’t seem to want people to make educated choices. You want to scare them into signing onto a big program, without having carefully analyzed the benefits and costs to themselves as individuals. This is very much a case where each individual needs to make an individual choice, based on his or her needs and assets and preferences and abilities, after getting useful information, but you don’t want that. Does Consumer Reports think that people are too stupid to make financial decisions? If your recommendations are those of the periodical, then apparently that is the case. Or maybe you just find it too difficult and tedious to help people determine whether their situation makes Medicaid a good or poor choice. Good lord, I have seen mind-bogglingly long and complex articles in CR, that help one determine which cable TV provider is best for whom. But for Medicaid, it’s “just sign on!”

    You have made a public claim about what you think people should do (“just sign on!”). If you wish to demonstrate moral courage, and give good financial and medical advice, you should at least qualify your claim. If Consumer Reports is to be a credible publication, it needs to be one that is seen as providing useful, unbiased information that people can work with.

    Karen XXXXX (last name removed for NC post)

    p.s. I did not claim that the fact that the federal government may stop its generous funding of state Medicaid, was a reason for an individual to not sign on; it doesn’t cut one way or another. It is the case, however, that if/when the funding goes away, and the services go away, the liens will remain, encumbering the assets of those people who have signed on to Medicaid.
    p.p.s. Of course Medicaid is not a lien in states that have not extended the program: that is why I wrote “Medicaid in this context”. If people can’t sign onto the program, there is no lien, and there are no clawbacks. That is really irrelevant; we are discussing the problem of estate stripping, and so only Medicaid-expansion states are relevant; bringing up non-extension states is a red herring.

      1. kareninca

        Thank YOU. Actually I am sort of relieved that it passed your quality control specs:).
        They are both running on brand fumes, but they are still very influential, for good and ill.

    1. optimader

      make that yin..

      you have my ortho-sympathies…I cracked a rear molar down to the root recently, white-light level ten pain, that has resulted in my first amputation. Would do anything reasonable to save the tooth, ironically I couldn’t even take the damn thing home to pot in acrylic….

      In the back of our minds these are parts we’ve grown up with and know cant be replaced. Can be very depressing if you dwell on it so don’t.
      Incidentally, tooth density is dynamic, a calcium fluorine equilibrium thing going on in your mouth. Influence w/ diet?

        1. optimader

          here’s a good place to start on the subject Lambert…

          your mouth is a chemistry set and your teeth are porous, remember titration experiments in HS? Your teeth have a equilibrium of calcium phosphate fluoride ions dissolving and remineralizing as a continuous reaction influenced by oral chemistry like pH. This process can be influenced.

          Common dentistry trays filled with fluoride foam
          Despite fluoridation’s detractors, most dental professionals and organizations agree that the inclusion of fluoride in public water has been one of the most effective methods of decreasing the prevalence of tooth decay.[28] Fluoride can be found in many locations naturally, such as the ocean and other water sources. The recommended dosage of fluoride in drinking water depends on air temperature. Fluoride catalyzes the diffusion of calcium and phosphate into the tooth surface, which in turn remineralizes the crystalline structures in a dental cavity. The remineralized tooth surfaces contain fluoridated hydroxyapatite and fluorapatite, which resist acid attack much better than the original tooth did .[29] Fluoride therapy is used to help prevent dental decay.

          Fluoride ion, as an antimicrobial, may activate bacteria fluoride-induced genes associated with fluoride riboswitches.[30] The combination of fluoride ion and QAS was found stronger antimicrobial effect on many oral bacteria associated with dental decay, including S. mutans.

          Many groups of people have spoken out against fluoridated drinking water, for reasons such as the neurotoxicity of fluoride or the damage fluoride can do as fluorosis. Fluorosis is a condition resulting from the overexposure to fluoride, especially between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, and appears as mottled enamel.[2] Consequently the teeth look unsightly, although the incidence of dental decay in those teeth is very small. Where fluoride is found naturally in high concentrations, filters are often used to decrease the amount of fluoride in water. For this reason, codes have been developed by dental professionals to limit the amount of fluoride a person should take.[31] These codes are supported by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry;

          Furthermore, whereas topical fluoride, found in toothpaste and mouthwashes, does not cause fluorosis, its effects are now considered more important than those of systemic fluoride, such as when drinking fluorinated water.[32] However, systemic fluoride works topically as well with fluoride levels in saliva increase also when drinking fluoridated water. Lately, dental professionals are looking for other ways to present fluoride (such as in varnish) or other mineralizing products such as Amorphous calcium phosphate to the community in the form of topical procedures,either done by professionals or self-administered. Mineralization of the incipient lesion instead of restoration later is a prime goal of most dental professionals.


          UK scientists at Bristol University and the University of Leeds Dental Institute have developed gels which can regenerate decayed or damaged tooth enamel. A peptide hydrogel is applied to the tooth. This forms into a protein scaffold onto which new enamel-forming calcium is deposited from the saliva. The scientists claim to have seen “highly significant” levels of repair in which signs of decay have been reversed months after a single application of the compound.[33][34]

          Journal of Nanomaterials
          Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 746383, 9 pages

          Research Article

          Surface Enamel Remineralization: Biomimetic Apatite Nanocrystals and Fluoride Ions Different Effects

          4. Discussion

          Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized tissue of human body. It is structured in order to resist to mechanical injuries, abrasion, and chemical attack. Differently from all the other mineralized tissues, it lacks proteins even if they are essential to its formation. Actually, matrix proteins are cleaved by proteinases secreted by the ameloblasts during tooth formation; hence, the matrix proteins of enamel are not incorporated into enamel prisms [38]. Degradation and resumption of enamel matrix proteins is the reason why enamel prisms, once formed, cannot be remodelled. After enamel prism formation, only the amount of hydroxyapatite within the prisms may decrease in consequence of chemical changes into the oral environment.
          Acid attack is one of the major causes of enamel hydroxyapatite loss. It may occur even in young age as a consequence of plaque metabolism or simply due to food and beverage intakes [2–4].
          In the present paper, synthetic carbonate-hydroxyapatite biomimetic nanocrystals have been chemical-physical characterized and investigated regarding the possibility to obtain an in vitro remineralization of the altered enamel surfaces.
          The experimental model used in the present investigation was the demineralization by means of ortophosphoric acid of sound enamel of the interproximal surfaces and its subsequent remineralization.
          This model was chosen because the demineralizing effect of ortophosphoric acid is well known in terms of chemical and microhistological features because it is an essential part of the procedures of adhesive restoration applications.
          The SEM observations showed that the enamel is characterized by both amorphous and prismatic hydroxyapatite and by an irregular surface even. The use of ortophosphoric acid causes an exposure of prism and a loss of both interprismatic and prismatic substances.
          The treatment of demineralized enamel only for ten minutes, by synthetic CHA nanocrystals, induces a consistent enamel remineralization through the formation of a surface carbonate-hydroxyapatite coating. This coating is due to the chemical bond of the synthetic CHA nanocrystals biomimetic for composition, structure, size, and morphology on the surface prismatic hydroxyapatite enamel. It can be supposed that the application of CHA nanocrystals 20 nm sized allows a better mineralization in the lower surface fissure, because the interprismatic and prismatic enamel structures appear totally hidden. Using an equal time of treatment, the application of CHA nanocrystals 100 nm sized produces the formation of a homogeneous coating which hides interprismatic and prismatic enamel structures when examined with SEM.

          Controlled remineralization of enamel in the presence of amelogenin and fluoride

          Reconstructing enamel-like structures on teeth have been an important topic of study in the material sciences and dentistry. The important role of amelogenin in modulating the mineralization of organized calcium phosphate crystals has been previously reported. We used amelogenin and utilized a modified biomimetic deposition method to remineralize the surface of etched enamel to form mineral layers containing organized needle-like fluoridated hydroxyapatite crystals. The effect of a recombinant amelogenins (rP172) on the microstructure of the mineral in the coating was analyzed by SEM, XRD and FT-IR. At rP172 concentrations below 33 μg/mL, no significant effect was observed. In the presence of 1 mg/L F and at a concentration of 33 μg/mL rP172, formation of fused crystals growing from the enamel surface was initiated. Amelogenin promoted the oriented bundle formation of needle-like fluoridated hydroxyapatite in a dose dependent manner. Biomimetic synthesis of the amelogenin fluoridated hydroxyapatite nano-composite is one of the primary steps towards the development and design of novel biomaterial for future application in reparative and restorative dentistry.

          An affiliated engineered material (apatite) rabbithole you can go down.

          Did some work on producing the experimental pixeydust derivative of fishbones to sequester heavy metals!

        2. kimyo

          Reversing Tooth Decay

          Teeth are able to heal themselves. That’s one reason why traditional cultures such as the Inuit can wear their teeth down to the pulp due to chewing leather and sand-covered dried fish, yet still have an exceptionally low rate of tooth decay. It’s also how the African Wakamba tribe could traditionally file their front teeth into sharp points without causing decay. Both cultures lost their resistance to tooth decay after adopting nutrient-poor Western foods such as white flour and sugar.

          …..Drs. Mellanby set out to see if they could use their dietary principles to cure tooth decay that was already established. They divided 62 children with cavities into three different diet groups for 6 months. Group 1 ate their normal diet plus oatmeal (rich in phytic acid). Group 2 ate their normal diet plus vitamin D. Group 3 ate a grain-free diet and took vitamin D.

          In group 1, oatmeal prevented healing and encouraged new cavities, presumably due to its ability to prevent mineral absorption. In group 2, simply adding vitamin D to the diet caused most cavities to heal and fewer to form. The most striking effect was in group 3, the group eating a grain-free diet plus vitamin D, in which nearly all cavities healed and very few new cavities developed. Grains are the main source of phytic acid in the modern diet, although we can’t rule out the possibility that grains were promoting tooth decay through another mechanism as well.

          Modern diet helping bacteria to wreck our teeth

          OUR mouths are now in ”a permanent state of disease” because the refined modern diet has dramatically decreased the diversity of oral bacteria

          Published in Nature Genetics, the research shows declining oral health can be pegged to major changes in the way humans lived and ate, with the start of farming in the Neolithic age and the industrial revolution being key turning points.

          The arrival of farming in Europe about 8000 years ago and the industrial revolution in the 1800s each increased the amount of refined carbohydrates and sugars humans consumed, which led to our mouths being dominated by cavity-causing bacteria.

          ”That’s when you see a really big drop in diversity and a really significant rise in bacteria associated with dental caries, which cause holes in the teeth,” said Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Sorry I am walking evidence that theory is bunk.

            I’ve been grain free and have only 2 desserts a week, max. This for over 10 years AND I take high doses of Vitamin D (4000-5000 IU a day). Might work for children but that does not generalize to the population as a whole.

            1. optimader

              no metaphor implied, but maybe you have an acid tounge …er mouth?

              It’s all about oral chemistry, wet mouth/dry mouth / pH..
              At a microscopic level, the surface of teeth are porous and are in a constant state of demineralization and re-mineralization.

              Incidentally I do have two friends using a prophylactic paste florine – phosphate-calcium compound applied to the surface of their teeth to improve density.
              Talk to your dentist.

              Incidentally, we all use (as do I)

              Kicked to death, but hope this helps..

            2. kimyo

              perhaps the last piece of the puzzle is vitamin k2? my teeth have improved significantly after i eliminated grains and started pumping the vitamin d.

              Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient

              While K1 is preferentially used by the liver to activate blood clotting proteins, K2 is preferentially used by other tissues to deposit calcium in appropriate locations, such as in the bones and teeth, and prevent it from depositing in locations where it does not belong, such as the soft tissues.(Spronk et al., 2003, pp. 531-537)

              It is important to note that commercial butter is not a significantly high source of vitamin K2. Dr. Weston A. Price, who was the first to elucidate the role of vitamin K2 in human health (though he called it “Activator X” at the time) analyzed over 20,000 samples of butter sent to him from various parts of the world. As mentioned previously in this paper, he found that the Activator X concentration varied 50-fold

  21. savedbyirony

    Because NC posted a link to an article dealing with the U.N.’s criticism of the Vatican in regards to the protection of children (and the ongoing sexual abuse cases/cover-ups) to which the much of the church’s hierarchy replied “we’re dealing with it and you don’t understand how our institutions work”, these two articles caught my eye dealing with the ongoing developments: (that one’s about power)

    (this one’s about the money)'t-consult-us-filing-bankruptcy-plan

  22. financial matters

    This is an interesting confrontation between Wray and Krugman over what Minsky thought about banking but seems relevant now in that the Fed is also not just backing commercial banks but took on investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley by making them bank holding companies.

    So banks now can not only loan out of thin air (with implicit Fed backing) but they can similarly invest out of thin air.

    “”For example, Minsky (1960) explains the bank creation of money “out of thin air” in the handout he wrote for his Berkeley students in 1960:
    A commercial bank lends by crediting the borrower with a demand deposit and it invests either by crediting the seller of the security with a demand deposit or by writing a check on itself in favor of the seller of the security. “”


    “Segarra worked for the New York Fed for seven months before being fired in May of last year. She was assigned to examine Goldman Sachs and its conflict-of-interest policies, she said. Segarra said she determined that Goldman’s policies did not meet Fed requirements. Her lawsuit alleges that her bosses tried to convince her otherwise and that she was fired after refusing to change her findings.

    Goldman says it has robust methods for managing conflicts of interest and has declined comment on Segarra.”

  23. bulfinch

    I predict that one day, the purely mechanical remediation of our chompers (on the order of plumbing and fender repair) will be looked back upon in quiet horror.

    Every five years or so, I read something about “tooth buds.” It seems we’re getting closer to building entirely new teeth from scratch, (or in this case, urine).

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