Links 2/5/14

‘Animal Pompeii’ wiped out China’s ancient creatures BBC

Greenland’s fastest glacier sets new speed record University of Washington

New strain of ‘deadly’ bird flu BBC

Philippine Leader Sounds Alarm on China New York Times

ECB’s next steps could involve suspending SMP sterilization – instant QE Walter Kurtz

UN accuses Vatican of adopting policies that allowed priests to rape children Telegraph

Strings Attached: Berlin Weighs New Aid Package for Greece Der Spiegel. “Strings”? How about a ball and chain?

The UK Knows Its Place Steve Keen

UK service sector slows as firms struggle to find right workers Telegraph. Translation: “as firms aren’t willing to pay enough to get the sort of worker they want.”

U.S. is said to curb Pakistan drone strikes Washington Post

Israel’s Oil Platforms in Jeopardy and the Samson Syndrome OilPrice

Panama canal $5.2bn expansion in disarray Financial Times. We featured a report on this last year; readers in comments described why this project was a clear disaster in the making.

Emerging Markets Meltdown Meets Taper Tantrum

Asia shares falter, unable to shake jitters Reuters

The Fed’s bad manners risk offending foreigners FT

EM crisis as GFC phase III MacroBusiness

Giant Sucking Sound? Emerging-Markets Fiasco To Topple European Banks Wolf Richter

Markets Tumble. How Will the Fed React? Tim Duy

Capital Controls or Cooperation? Frances Coppola. A good read and also points out that the claim that the IMF has changed its position on capital controls is sorely mistaken.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares. Mark Ames, Pando

Mike Rogers Aims to Criminalize One of the Main Things that Affords Journalists Protections: Getting Paid Marcy Wheeler

The Needles in the Monumental N.S.A. Haystack New York Times

Why rigour is such a poor substitute for relevance Lars P. Syll

Obamacare Launch

Here’s Why the CBO Thinks Obamacare Will Reduce Employment Among the Poor Kevin Drum

The Buried Lede In The CBO Report: Obamacare Will Raise Wages Business Insider

Up to 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash spilled into N.C. river Salon

Welcome Relief for Homeowners, Then the Tax Bill New York Times

Judge puts approval of BofA’s $8.5 billion mortgage settlement on hold Reuters. New judge on the case. This could become interesting.

Only About One-Third of Labor Force Dropouts Will Return WSJ Economics Blog

Demography and Employment (Wonkish) Paul Krugman. The paper Krugman attacked was absurd, but it needed a Serious Economist takedown. He’s not alone: NY Fed Says Job Market Is Great, Really Bloomberg.

Why the US economy will keep slowing MacroBusiness

Who Was JFK? New York Review of Books

All the Sad Sages London Review of Books (Lambert)

Antidote du jour:


And a sort of bonus antidote (steviefinn)

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    1. AbyNormal

      uh listening to ‘healthy strings’ got me to ponderin…Where’s FromMexico??
      Miss you MyFriend.

      “As you see yourself, I once saw myself; as you see me now, you will be seen.”
      Mexican Proverb

  1. dearieme

    “the murder of the century” was in Sarajevo, not Dallas. PBS must suppose that its viewers are mugs.

  2. Andrew Watts

    RE: The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares. (Watts: Pike died almost two weeks ago and various news outlets have already covered his passing.)

    This article is already off to a bad start and an even more tragic ending. Ames’ re-telling of the Pike Committee and the era it took place in was brilliant though. Despite it’s woefully inadequate source material. (Seriously, Bamford again?) The socio-political shift that took place at that time isn’t usually discussed much. Nixon somehow managed to shatter the lies Americans tell themselves on a regular basis. His being forced to resign and live a life in political obscurity was not enough to quench the loathing most Americans still feel.

    Unfortunately it all ends on a major flat note, concluding in error that nothing has been done, will be done, and that we’re all dooooomed. This kind of cynicism is just a mask of fear that reveals how powerless and impotent the author feels. It’s also completely unwarranted. Several NSA directors have maintained a healthy fear of Congress in the post-Warren Commission era. This is ex-NSA/DNI director and current Vice Chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton Mike McConnell:

    “Well there are people in this building, in this complex… they get very nervous about even talking to Congress. And you have to be careful about talking to Congress. You go down there and just give it away, and some member in the Congress at a TS level could stand up on the floor and is not subject to prosecution. He can say anything he wants to say … classified or unclassified. So you have to be careful.” – NSA ORAL HISTORY

    Other things that appear to elude Ames’ attention is the fact the NSA’s internet wide deep packet inspection program is dead… for now. With this program they would be able to see everything that everybody does on the internet in real time. Legislation (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) that was shelved in the wake of the Snowden revelations would’ve enabled the government and private sector to share even more private information about Americans, their online habits, and their personal computers.

    That’s called “winning”… I know, it’s weird.

    1. ran

      Why should we believe anything the proven liars at the NSA and the political hacks that carry water for it say?

    2. psychohistorian

      Andrew Watts said: Other things that appear to elude Ames’ attention is the fact the NSA’s internet wide deep packet inspection program is dead… for now. With this program they would be able to see everything that everybody does on the internet in real time.

      Total information Awareness (TIA) is alive and growing. Do you really think that the internet wide packet capture and inspection program is dead? As a techie of 45+ years I believe your position that TIA is not yet a evolving fact to be horribly wrong. TPTB are only trying to memorialize the “legal” support for such….so just like the financial fleecing that Obama can say, well its legal after all, would also be able to be said for TIA….to keep us safe from whoever the hated and feared of the day are.

    3. Andrew Watts

      I will concede the point that I don’t know how this is going to end. I only know how it began. Since I knew I’d get a deluge of negative response I’m going to take my verbal lashing in good spirits.

      @Bill Frank

      I choose to blame Edward Snowden for that bit of optimism. SIGINT is only really effective unless the methodology and capabilities remain a secret. Unless the people it’s being wielded against are complete morons.


      The US intelligence community’s darkest secrets are being spilled across the front pages and this has incited public opinion against the national security state. It’s crucial alliance with Silicon Valley and tech workers is a source of ongoing contention. More on this in my response to psychohistorian.

      I’m genuinely pleased that Clapper has already disclosed so much. I’m even happier that the FISA court has been instructed to write their rulings with their eventual public disclosure in mind.

      What do you want exactly? The US intelligence community to stop spying?


      No, I don’t believe Total Information Awareness is dead. But I do expect Senator Wyden to read it into the Congressional record when that crucial line is finally crossed. On occasion, a threat looms larger over the actual fear of the threat being followed through with. Speaking of Wyden, you know his father wrote the definitive account on the Bay of Pigs invasion, right? It was such a masterfully researched book that ‘ol Castro himself learned some previously unknown details. The committee of power-brokers who originally vetted Wyden for his House seat had individuals like his father and Pike in mind when they approved and supported his candidacy.

      I am not trying to insult you or your work experience, but you should know that the NSA has crippled any genuine efforts at encryption and internet security. Most people in your line of work believed that the NSA was on their side and they even went so far as to invite NSA reps onto their privacy/encryption governing bodies. They believed they only had to worry about China, or other cyber-war capable nations. The Snowden revelations has dramatically changed this perception.

      Even though I don’t believe that there is an individual technical solution to what is a collective political problem, the overall cumulative effect this will have on every intelligence agency will be to slow their efforts down. That’s why I’m willing to bet this will allow enough room for our system of governance to legally handle the new age of technology and electronic warfare.

      But I’m starting to think that people are not capable of handling it. If there’s a good reason for the Snowden disclosures to stop that’s probably it.

      1. psychohistorian

        Yes, I am radical enough to believe it would be positive for the US to stop spying.

        America is empire and I have been watching and reading about its abuse of our world for decades, and I am sick of it being done in my name. I want a world that is less competitive and more sharing and compassion focused….think of me as a repressed gene of humanity trying to change the species…..hopefully for the better.

        I believe we are headed into extinction and need to evolve to survive….you know, that evolution thing. Humanity has cancers of patriarchy, class system/plutocracy and competition for what is left of the earths resources, without regard to the environmental impacts/prudence. These cancers are going to kill our species if we can’t evolve beyond them. It is way past time for humans to wake up and stop being Zombies to the world around them.

  3. Andrew Watts

    RE: The Needles in the Monumental N.S.A. Haystack

    I don’t have much use for Harding’s book. I am very shocked to learn that a secret British counter-intelligence operation was what really caused Miranda’s unwarranted detention.


    1. Jim

      Andrew states:
      “This kind of cynicism is just a mask of fear that reveals how powerless and impotent the author feels. It is also completely unwarranted.”

      Andrew, who do you think is more powerful in the National Security apparatus–the Congress (specifically intelligence, defense and oversight committees) or the National Security Council?

      Andrew, who do you believe frames most national security issues, Congress? the President? the Courts? or the National security apparatus?

      Andrew, How do you explain the continuity in national security issues of the past 50-60 years? In specifically which groups are the key decisions being made–Congress? the Presidency?, the Supreme Court? or a largely invisible public-private network of career and revolving door bureaucrats in approximately 46 federal departments and agencies engaged in classified national security work?

      1. Andrew Watts


        What are you talking about? There hasn’t been a long history of continuity and that’s one of the huge problems we’re collectively facing. After the Soviet Union fell the NSA lost it’s original purpose for even existing. Congress was completely aware of it’s institutional incapability at the time the NSA was transitioning from targeting the Eastern bloc to it’s present electronic warfare state.

        We’re beyond the point of physical embassy break-ins and the bugging of telegraph wires. It’s an unfortunate fact that some adolescent minded empire-builder like Alexander was chosen to lead the agency at a time when it’s capabilities were rapidly evolving.

        Hell, even Alexander’s predecessor knew he was going to be a disaster.

  4. Swedish Lex

    On the systematic child rape and expolitation of thousands of children by the Vatican over at least several decades.

    The Vatican is systematically trying to roll back most major societal achievements of modernity while continuing to pretend to be morally superior. Examples:

    – Free speech. The Vatican has since long teamed up with the baddest states in the world in order to change the UN rules on free speech in order to illegalise blasphemy through the back door.
    – The Catholic church is pushing the Spanish Government to re-introduce a ban on abortion despite the fact that 80% of the Spanish support free abortion
    – Catholics support continued homophobia everywhere and launched campaigns to prevent the European Parliament to adopt a resolution condemning homophobia earlier this week.

    The old men dressed in drag with funny hats and golden shoes are busy using the money of their flock to perpetuate their institutioanlised weirdness on the rest of humanity.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      A “code of silence” imposed on clergy members, under penalty of excommunication, meant that child sex abuse cases “have hardly ever been reported to the law enforcement authorities in the countries where the crimes occurred.”

      I guess I’m naive in thinking that being “excommunicated” would be the ultimate expression of the “godliness” that these people proudly and relentlessly claim. It’s not like they’re going to be forced to drag a heavy cross through the streets and get nailed to it later or anything.

      It never ceases to amaze me how this twisted cabal of perverts and misogynists continues to exert the global influence that it does.

      Religion. What a concept.

      1. Swedish Lex

        As I understand it, the Vatican has an internal police which technically is the Inquisition, which thus never has ended although the Vatican has stopped torturing (but not child rape) and burning people alive due to lack of popular support. The Inquisition was run by the guy who later became Pope, Ratzinger for a couple of decades. Under the rules of the Inquisition, the clergy would be punished if the cooperated with the civil authorities.
        If there only existed a hell where they could burn.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          If there only existed a hell where they could burn.

          This is where agnosticism comes in pretty handy. I embrace this particular concept (hell) as a hedge on my punishment bets.

        2. F. Beard

          Not to worry since the RCC (perhaps in alliance with some mainline Protestant denominations) is the most likely candidate for the Whore Of Babylon which one day will be destroyed. (Sadly, the US is the most likely candidate for Babylon the Great which will also be destroyed).

          I was raised RCC and even a single deliberate impure thought could send one to Hell forever if not confessed. Imagine my outrage, then, that priests were getting away with raping children.

          1. Swedish Lex

            Had to look up “RCC” and still not quite sure.
            Heaven and hell are right here, now. NC is an oasis where we go to drink and to rest.

              1. Swedish Lex

                I was brought up by recovering Lutherans. My parents – still alive and very old – are agnostics. They are not hostile to their parents since they were poor and not really educated. My father was brought up to believe that homosexuality was a bad mental disease. When he was 80, he realised that his views were “out of date” and that he understood the suffering of gays when exposed to homophobia. I admire him for that.
                Our daughter is 12 and a comitted feminist. She wants to be a lawyer to proctect abused women.
                The Pope has been warned.

    2. XO

      This underscores the reality that religions/churches/cults are political entities that have absolutely nothing to do with spirituality, morals, ethics, or, if there is one (and I’m sure there isn’t), god.

      Allowing the unpunished rape of children by even supposedly “secular” societies supports my contention.

      1. Swedish Lex

        The Vatican is simply the world’s first and most efficient multinational. Makes Big Tobacco look like virgins in comparison.

      2. sd

        Seared into my memory is the image of a small stooped old man dozing quietly in a pew at Saint Patricks. It was warm and bright inside while just outside was a brutally cold winter day, with an icy wind of knives cutting down NYCs avenues. I can still remember my eyes stinging from the wind.

        A nun asked him to leave. Clearly the poor and homeless were not welcome. I never set foot in that cathedral again.

        1. tawal

          Interesting how a half dozen memories make up the marrow of our lives…long after the original brain cells have long flown the coop.

      3. psychohistorian

        The Christians and emerging plutocrats from the 15th century made a devils pact during the Enlightenment period. That pact was that they would support each others continued existence. The church would not question ongoing accumulation of private property and capital and the early plutocrats would not question the church’s “moral leadership”.

        They both push the same meme… just have to have faith in your betters and all will be good…..and we continue to hear the same drum beat…….there just needs to be more faith……in the failed rules and rulers of the past/present.

        As I side note, as someone with 12 years of formal Catholic education, with 4 years by the Jesuits, I took much pleasure in watching the science/creationist “debate” last night online. I doubt it changed many minds but was a hoot to hear the vacuous arguments by the Creationist dude…..ignorance based on FAITH knows no bounds of twisted hypocrisy.

        1. F. Beard

          Yep. The RCC is one of the most effective inoculations against Christianity ever. I shook it off myself but with enormous difficulty and it took a couple of decades or so.

          Hint: Just read the Old Testament carefully over and over till you get it then read the New Testament too.

          1. Paul

            Read about the mysterious deaths of Ananias and Sapphira during the time of Peter’s little commune. See Acts 5.

          2. Swedish Lex

            Give me your money and your blind obedience and I spromise you eternal life, once you are dead

          3. psychohistorian

            You just keep riding that faith based Rocking Horse Winner like Ken Ham and all with be made clear to you.

            I have forgotten more of the Old and New testament that you will ever know. It is GREAT myth and should have been resigned to and studied as such centuries ago. Please go away and ride your anti reason, logic and ignorance horse elsewhere. I tire of scrolling over your never-answer-the-questions-asked-of-you tripe as skippy and I have proven over and over at this site…..please and thank you.

            1. F. Beard

              I have forgotten more of the Old and New testament that you will ever know.

              That’s rather a stupid statement since I’ve already read all of both the Old and New Testaments.

              But thanks for illustrating the dangers of trying to help swine. Oink! Oink!

              As for the Ham and Rye debate, I predicted that Ham would be defeated since he is a very flammable straw man.

              But here’s one ESPECIALLY for you, little greedy, envious piggy:

              A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22

              PS: It’s probable that Jews and Christians are disproportionately represented among the top 1% so I might do well under neo-feudalism. You?

                1. F. Beard

                  No, no, you stay; I’ll leave – at least until I’m in a far better mood.

                  Besides, I AM repetitive. I’ve said it every which way it can be said to little avail and surely I should be able to quit now and let someone with gravitas “discover” what I’ve been saying and carry the ball.

                  If not, then too bad.

                  1. Walter Map

                    I’ve said it every which way it can be said to little avail

                    That’s because you’re wrong about just about everything except your skepticism towards capitalism.

                    Religious proselytizing sinks like a stone here because NC commenters are hugely skeptical, and not only about the parlous state of political economy. Proper skeptics quite rightly view religious practice as malignant, the product of religious brainwashing, blind rationalizations, willful self-deception, wishful thinking, and a very deep human corruption. It’s always been a great way for TPTB to have you over a barrel, and keep you there.

                    I like you Beardo. Other than your devotion to the irrationalities of superstition you seem like a nice guy. I just hope you come to your senses someday and see your religiosity for the sham it really is.

                    You know, I wish there was a God myself, some supernatural answer to the miseries of the world. But there’s no reason at all to believe it. None. The gods really aren’t going to help us. Because there are no gods. That is not an opinion. Like it or not, that is a fact.

                    1. Swedish Lex

                      Since quoting really old and redundant texts appear to be fashionable on NC, here is my contribution:
                      Never walk
                      away from home
                      ahead of your axe and sword.
                      You can’t feel a battle
                      in your bones
                      or foresee a fight.
                      The Havamal (Vikingish)
                      From what I understand, Eden appears to be a truly girly place compared to Valhalla. Endless food, drink and manly fighting. Do not understand why my ancestors chose Christianity over the real thing.

          4. ChrisCairns

            I am also tired of reading the same crap about the banking cartel etc, Beard, tirelessly backing your message with crap from the bible. Plenty of other fiction out there, why don’t you spend the next five years on something else. Really

            1. F. Beard

              I’m getting tired myself of preaching sharing and equity to Progressives who despite their rhetoric believe in anything but sharing and equity.

              It’s too bad for you that Scripture is the “poison pill” I’ve included with the reforms I’ve advocated but it is unavoidable since that’s where the ideas come from and I won’t plagiarize God.

              So repentance (changing one’s mind toward God) and genuine reform are now linked since you can’t take the latter without acknowledging its source.

              1. ChrisCairns

                So we agree, I am as tired of your preaching as are you. So quit.

                I get the impression (do others who come here daily?) that NC readers actually do believe in sharing and equity. So don’t know what you mean.

                And, although I and, I suspect others, share some of the aspects of being a Progressive, it is a label I am not sure I am comfortable with. I feel you use it as a derogatory term, which seems very strange to me.

                I have my own beliefs, but don’t see any reason, indeed permission from other NC readers, to put them in my posts. I am much more humble than that.

                I don’t think you realize how repetitive you are.

    3. Gabriel


      I understand that a UN committee, I forget which one is preparing a resolution which would prohibit the Vatican from prohibiting it from issuing rules, etc that would prohibit behavior. In other words, the Vatican wouldn’t be allowed to say you can’t do this or that.

      The rumor, as I understand it, is that parties within the Vatican strongly objected on the grounds that there’d be nothing left for them to do – except dress up and parade now and then. :D

    4. savedbyirony

      I figured it was better to wait until the catholic bashing had passed to comment on the U.N./Vatican article. With all the public accolades Francis has received over the last few months, it will be telling how much lasting substantive and systemic governance reform he really has in mind and can pull off for the catholic church, its members and its institutional hierarchy, so i anxiously await the Vatican’s official reply to the report. (Early responses don’t look all that promising, but then nobody should expect the U.S. Bishops’ Council to do anything but play politics, make cries of religious freedom and get bent-out-of-shape that anyone would dare question their devotion to the preservation of the family -as they exclusively define it) It didn’t look good for positive change that the Vatican reps. went in there and tried to convince people yet again that priests are not Vatican employees and therefore the fault for sexual abuse crimes cover-ups does not lie at heart with the Vatican. Thankfully the U.N. does not buy this. Bishops are appointed and controlled by the Vatican, period, with no meaningful local laity input. Do most catholics like this? Probably not. Would most catholics prefer to see this change? Probably so. (Vatican II did try to make provisions for more local input over Bishops and their behaviors, but JPII dismantled those changes) This is a major test for Francis, and it will say much about his honest intentions, integrity and leadership ability if he and other Vatican officials can take to heart much of the fair criticism contained in the U.N.’s work and reply to it with thoughtful, ingenuous words and corrective actions in governance and disclosure were needed and appropriate.

      (As to the above. “catholics support continued homophobia everywhere”: pure outright lie! Catholics in the U.S. actually support civil marriages for homosexuals at a rate slightly higher than the general population, and tell the students and community of Eastside Catholic who are fighting for the job and just treatment of a recently fired teacher who married his same-sex spouse based on their views of catholic teachings as regards social justice that they promote homophobia. The catholic hierarchy, and their politics, are not the catholic church nor do they exclusively stand and/or represent the beliefs and behaviors of the vast number of catholics)

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Buried Lede: Obamacare Will Raise Wages

    I guess this argument would make sense if unemployment wasn’t so high. (And, by all accounts, going higher thanks to all those job-killer robots.)

    But with so many people looking for work, it makes more sense to conclude that all the hours current employees refuse in order to keep their Obamacare subsidies, will be offered to those currently looking for a job.

    So, it would seem more likely that Obmacare will INCREASE the number of low-wage jobs and force more people into them as the only alternative.

    Non-living wage WalMart and fast food workers are, in considerable numbers, recipients of “means-tested” government benefits–SNAP, Medicaid etc.–and it sure hasn’t helped them get raises. (Kevin Drum discusses means testing in the other Obamacare link.) And I don’t hear too many of them rejecting increased hours in favor of “leisure” time so that they can keep their “benefits.” They pretty much get the “take it or leave it” treatment. If they don’t want the job, there are plenty who do.

    So, I call bullshit on this one. As long as “labor” is in gross over-supply and the only “jobs” being “created” are low-paying and low-skilled, nothing’s going to result in higher pay. Creating a “competitive” labor market in the US was the reason for engineering all this unemployment in the first place.

    1. Jim Haygood

      The author of the Business Insider article, Josh Barro, tries to spin a loss of over 2 million jobs as somehow beneficial to workers. What’s beneficial to workers, putting them in the driver’s seat, is a labor-short economy. Killing 2 million jobs helps preserve a labor-surplus economy, regardless of the second-order effects that Barro desperately trots out.

      Know-nothing journos masquerading as economics experts … if it’s that damned easy, I’m gonna take a correspondence school class in brain surgery, become a physician, and buy myself a Mercedes Benz.

      1. jrs

        No, it’s not spin, it’s what the CBO report says.

        “CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net,
        by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and
        other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.”

        2 million jobs are not killed if it’s because people choose not to work, it doesn’t increase the labor suplus because people out of the labor force are not part of the labor supply period.

        Now I think many of the CBO assumptions are questionable, so perhaps the CBO report is itself spin, however the BI article is not doing spin on the CBO report, it’s actually REPORTING it correctly.

        “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’
        demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to
        work more hours per week).”

        1. davidgmills

          But note. The reduction is from those who no longer have to work to keep insurance. I say that is a good thing.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Fed offending foreigners.
    Going by what worked for China in the 19th century, these foreign guys can easily be appeased if we just lease, say, Manhattan or San Jose, for 99 years to them.

    1. Massinissa

      Cant we just give China Mississippi as a colonial concession?

      The state could probably use foreign investment.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We might have to check with the Germans first.

        And there is a reservation on Hawaii from another power.

        It’s ‘early bird gets food.’

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Panama Canal $5.2 billion expansion.

    Their greatest problem is probably the thawing of the ice cap and the recent discovery of the Northwest Passage.

  8. XO

    In the small town I grew up in (VERY blue collar), the town busy-body’s daughter and son-in-law (who happened to live in a very nice house right next door to mom, and whose back yard was separated from ours by a huge church parking lot), owned a lion cub. The backyard of this particular house had an 8′ tall security fence installed, just to keep the lion cub in. The lion had also been de-clawed.

    The town, county, and state all sought to have this “pet” removed from our residential area.

    When the cub was still small, these folks had a baby.

    Fast forward about a year and a half (while the legal battle raged on), the kid and the lion (now bugger than a Great Dane), were in the backyard. We kids were riding bikes in the church parking lot.

    When we heard the screams, we all swung around in time to see the lion maul the toddler. (a friend witnessed the beginning of the attack — he said that the lion had grabbed the kid by the head with both paws, and slammed it to the ground. That’s when mom screamed).

    The mom got her child away from the lion, and went into the house. The police and fire department showed up.

    The next day, the “harmless and docile” lion was gone — never to be seen in the neighborhood, again.

    I don’t know if there any news reports, on line, but the Washington Post would have it. Happened in the late 1960s, early 1970s. The woman’s family was named McQueeny (sp?), but I’m not sure of the daughter’s married name.

    Lions are dangerous. Kids apparently look like snausages, to them.

    1. evodevo

      The antidote also brought up memories for me – I live in rural Ky and in 1992 the next door neighbor (drug dealer) bought a cub from a breeder elsewhere in the state (all perfectly legal, as I found out) to use as a “watchdog”, along with the 2 Rottweilers and the pit bull. At the time he had a 2 year old who was the spitting image of the child in the antidote. the first time I saw the cub it was running down our country lane – I picked it up, put it in the back of my station wagon and called the local humane society/dog pound. THAT’S when I found out it belonged to the neighbor. If I had only known what the next 4 years would be like, I would have “disappeared” it. It escaped regularly and ran loose over the countryside till it was a 4year old mature male, attacked the owner one AM and he finally shot it. My husband and son had to carry guns when they walked the dogs or checked the fence each day on OUR farm, because you never knew when it was loose. The whole neighborhood lived in fear for 4 years because of this idiot, and cheered when he finally killed it. There were NO state or federal laws at the time to deal with the situation, either (there are now). Just a little tale from the Heartland, where dumbass is a way of life.

  9. XO


    Posted a comment about the lion, but it didn’t show up.

    Tried 3 times, and got a ‘duplicate comment’ error message.

    I cleared my browser cache to try to get the comment to post, but that also cleared my clipboard. Now, I don’t have even a copy of it, and I don’t want to re-write it.

    Do you have it, or is it gone, forever?

    If you have it, could you please post it for me? Thanks, in advance.

    1. Lambert Strether

      No, I’m not going to delete the duplicates, as an object lesson in how to make the blog look bad by whinging in comments. Your comment was found and was approved in the regular course of business. If you want 24/7 real time coverage for comment management, then you need to write NC a big fat check to cover the costs. So if you don’t want to write that check, have a little patience and don’t clutter the threads.

      NOTE No response to this comment is needed. Thank you!

  10. Lambert Strether

    “All the Sad Sages” has a fine comment by Walter Bagehot on being a banker:

    Happily, Bagehot tells us in his brilliant essay Lombard Street, ‘banking is a watchful, but not a laborious trade.’ Prochaska’s version has ‘arduous’, which fractionally diminishes Bagehot’s point, that sensible bankers do not need to put in excessive hours, still less to boast of them. They should have plenty of leisure for the library and the hunting field, because ‘the modes in which money can be safely lent are not many, and a clear-headed, quiet, industrious person may soon learn all that is necessary about them’ – advice which might have forestalled half a dozen bank crashes.

    And on investing:

    Bagehot goes on elsewhere to give three warnings to investors, which pretty much exhaust the subject: ‘Have nothing to do with anything unless you understand it, divide your investments, and be wary of taking advice from others.’ In a single sentence, he waves away the delusions of derivatives, the folly of putting all your eggs in one basket and the insidious temptations of the financial adviser.

    1. F. Beard

      advice which might have forestalled half a dozen bank crashes.

      Except that “one must dance to the music while the band is playing.” Banking is condemned by centuries of experience but, of course, 100% purely private banks with 100% purely voluntary depositors are ethical and should be allowed for those who wish to gamble and to serve as object lessons in the folly of lending what one does not possess.

  11. aronblue

    What an interesting article about the old Victorian banker and founder of the Economist Walter Bagehot! One tiny quibble: The overwhelming tendency to introduce at least one glaring anachronism into any discussion of something or someone long gone: “The English Constitution is the first selfie.” My god there’s never any reason to do that. It put a real false note in what was otherwise a really great overview of a somewhat forgotten, important man.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Philippine leader…alarm on China.

    He mentioned Czechoslovakia in the late 1930’s.

    Interestingly, there are sizable ethnic Chinese in the Philippines as there were Germans in Czechoslovakia before WWII.

    Of course, there are also substantial ethnic Japanese Filipinos around Manila – they have been there since been driven out of Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate for being Christians. Then, we could be looking at Japan/The Philippines vs. China.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    UK service sector…struggles to find right workers.

    I guess the latest prices on Just-In-Time-Slaves at the Just-In-Time-Slavery Auctions have been too expensive for the employers’ taste.

  14. MLS

    The CBO report on the impact of Obamacare is interesting, but one must be careful about drawing too many conclusions. The article that suggests that wages will rise (to meet a supply/demand imbalance created by Obamacare) is only correct if no other factors in the supply and demand of labor change. For businesses that end up paying significantly higher insurance premiums for employees but don’t dump them onto exchanges, wages may actually be driven down in order to compensate. Net-net, it’s difficult to conclude at this point that wages will necessarily be driven higher.

    Incidentally, I am of the belief that a large part of the reason for the decline in real wages has been due to the rising cost of health care. Growth in total compensation (which includes benefits such as health insurance) tracks much more closely with the change in CPI going back to the 1940s. In fact, in most years it runs at a rate just slightly above. The problem is that when a business has to pay more in health insurance premiums for their employees, the worker sees little or no growth in take home pay.

    1. XO

      The US is too poor a country to help anyone but the .01% and the corporations they hide behind, who have played by the rules they paid for.

      Even though they promised jobs in return for tax cuts, a promise is a silly thing when not backed by the force of statute law.

      “For businesses that end up paying significantly higher insurance premiums for employees but don’t dump them onto exchanges, wages may actually be driven down in order to compensate.”

      I’ll bet wages for management will continue, unabated, regardless of any recent policy passed by Congress.

  15. ex-PFC Chuck

    There is a glaring omission in Frank Rich’s NYRB piece on JFK when he describes the latter of what are to him the two major unknowns of the Kennedy administration. Has he not yet heard of National Security Action Memorandum 263? Or is the omission of any mention of it yet another instance MSM misdirection whenever a fact emerges that casts doubt on the Warren Commission verdict on the assassination? NSA M 263, issued in early October of 1963, directed the Defense Department to begin the withdrawal of all Military personnel from Vietnam by the end of that year. On Tuesday, November 26, the day after his predecessor’s funeral, Pres. Johnson countermanded it with the issue of NSAM 273. Both memoranda remained classified until the mid-1990s.

    1. David Petraitis

      If I read the NSAM right ( there was a plan to take out 1000 troops by the end of 1963. according to the buildup between 1962 and 1963 was over 4000. A negative Surge? Johnson surged it up 7000 soldiers 1963-64.
      Kennedy was assasinated for 1000 soldier reduction in force?
      History will tell but was Kennedy blindsided by the military-industrial complex that Ike was moaning about? The CIA? Johnson?
      Conspiracy theories mulitply to fill the available blogoverse.

  16. F. Beard

    That antidote is what keeps me from quitting; there are still some lovely things worth defending/fighting for.

    But eventually our society will be too rotten and then Judgement.

  17. kimyo

    Fracking is depleting water supplies in America’s driest areas, report shows
    From Texas to California, drilling for oil and gas is using billions of gallons of water in the country’s most drought-prone areas

    Twenty-nine communities across Texas could run out of water in 90 days, according to the Texas commission on environmental quality. Many reservoirs in west Texas are at only 25% capacity.

    Nearly all of the wells in Colorado (97%) were located in areas where most of the ground and surface water is already stretched between farming and cities, the report said. It said water demand for fracking in the state was expected to double to 6bn gallons by 2015 – or about twice as much as the entire city of Boulder uses in a year.

    In California, where a drought emergency was declared last month, 96% of new oil and gas wells were located in areas where there was already fierce competition for water.

    food vs fuel 1.0: devote massive acreage for corn used to make below-zero eroei ethanol. deplete the soil, poison it with glyphosphate.
    food vs fuel 2.0: seize water from the most fertile farmland in the u.s., discard the used fracking fluid directly underneath.

    the eia informs us that the monterey shale play contains 15 billion barrels of ‘technically recoverable’ oil. they keep using that word….

    that guy who was describing it as an ‘energy civil war’ was right on the money.

  18. jfleni

    RE: Greenland’s fastest glacier sets new speed record
    Much speedier yet will be the denials and twisted propaganda from the 1)Poison-dwarf-bros,
    2)Canuck PM, 3)the Kangaroo-in-chief and his butt-kissing “News” “scientist”/preachers,

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