Links 2/7/14

Massachusetts woman attacked in bed by raccoon she mistook for her cat Raw Story (YY)

The Weather in the UK Is So Awful the Animals Are On Antidepressants Gawker

Does bad weather make us work harder? Researcher claims storms can boost our productivity Daily Mail

New Study Shows White Roofs are Three Times More Effective than Green Roofs at Fighting Climate Change Inhabit (furzy mouse)

Russell Brand: Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws Guardian

Noted deaf composer admits his music was ghostwritten Japan Times (YY)

Why bitcoin won’t disrupt digital transactions Felix Salmon

Apple-Bitcoin Rift Has Currency’s Fans Ditching IPhones Bloomberg

Bitcoin Plunges As Major Exchange Mt. Gox Halts All Withdrawals Business Insider

Slashdot revolt! This is actually funny. In case you’ve missed it, major tech site Slashdot has put up a world class terrible redesign as a beta and readers are up in arms. Per bob: “Every single post is being top posted by people that hate the new site”: see this as an example. You can read about the proposed week-long boycott of Slashdot at (amusing) and the site meisters’ response (not). And I don’t buy this “only 25% of non-signed in users are redirected” blather. I’ve gotten the horrorshow 100% of the time.

Hong Kong evacuates residents after WWII bomb found Agence France-Presse

Thai political crisis threatens budget, rice scheme, public works Reuters

German court refers ECB bond buying to ECJ Financial Times

Leaked Ukraine call embarrasses US BBC

Emerging Markets Meltdown Meets Taper Tantrum

How Fragile are Emerging Markets? Project Syndicate

Investors Arm for Tremors Wall Street Journal

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

First Look Media to launch with Snowden-themed online magazine Guardian

emptywheel and First Look Media: Beginnings and Continuity Marcy Wheeler. Congrats!

Obamacare Launch

AOL cuts benefits, blames Obamacare CNN

Jails Enroll Inmates in Obamacare to Pass Hospital Costs to U.S. Bloomberg. Jim Haygood: “Obamacare as punishment.”

Taming of Tea Party bodes ill for Obama Financial Times

Boehner Doubts Immigration Bill Will Pass in 2014 New York Times

The GOP’s confused message on inequality Politico

Turning the ‘Tied’? 2014 Farm Bill and the Future of U.S. Food Aid Triple Crisis

Profiting from Probation Human Rights Watch (savedbyirony)

Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won’t Be Fired Atlantic (fresno dan). No mention of race, but given the hunt for Dorner, I assume they were guilty of driving while black.

Police officer caught on camera handcuffing a FIREFIGHTER as he was rescuing victims of a rollover crash on the side of a busy highway Daily Mail. More policing, California-style

Matt Stoller is tearing up Tumblr Cathy O’Neil. FYI.

An About-Face Regarding ZH Conspiracy Theories Cassandra

LinkedIn’s Outlook Misses Wall Street Estimates Reuters

Apple spends $14bn on buybacks Financial Times

GRANTHAM: The Great American Shale Boom Is A Dangerous Waste Of Time And Money Business Insider

Why Walmart is getting too expensive for the middle class Yahoo. Notice not just that the middle class is shrinking, but that it is also being redefined downward.

Let Them Eat Symbols: Obama’s Plan for the Long-Term Unemployed Black Agenda Report

Private construction payrolls continue to show resilience Walter Kurtz. Just to remind you that some people are still getting work.

Elizabeth Warren slams JPMorgan Chase for giving a raise to CEO Jamie Dimon Salon

An Open Letter to Sam Zell: Why Your Statements are Delusional and Dangerous A Lightning War for Liberty (rich)

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 6.32.26 AM

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  1. Robert Callaghan

    You did something sometime in the last month or so that really, really slowed down how long it takes to load your page by some factor like ten or one hundred. You should seriously look into it. I compensate by opening other tabs and browsing while yours loads. Your homepage never used to do this and it is quite aggravating.

    1. Ex-PFC Chuck

      As someone for whom NC is the first site I click on in the morning, and to which I return several times during the day, I haven’t noticed any significant performance degradation.

  2. Jim Haygood

    New York’s old grey lady can hardly make a living turning tricks anymore:

    The NYT announced Thursday that earnings per share dropped by roughly two-thirds, from $0.76 to $0.24. Total revenues were down 5.2% and advertising revenues were down 6.3%, with print advertising revenues falling by 7.0% and digital by 4.3% over 2013.

    The company added digital subscribers, up 19% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to same period in 2012, but its circulation revenues were down, too.

    The Times’ results will surprise analysts who had predicted healthy results for the last three months of 2013. The question is whether readers still want the content the Times is providing. That remains to be seen, since online competition for center-left news is tight.


    ‘Center-left news ‘ … LOL! Prolly the dullest of the 31 flavors.

    Hard to see how the old grey lady even survives till the Hillary inauguration.

    1. armchair

      It was a big turn-off when NYT gave only ten free views a month. I used to check on the NYT website to scan headlines and maybe check something out. As soon as they put the ten-a-month policy in, I figured I better save my ten for the end of the month, and by the end of the month I had already broken the habit of checking their website. I don’t know if my experience matches anyone elses’ or if losing “hits” affects digital ad revenue, but I think the decision to put up barriers was interesting.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Opening an incognito window in the Chrome browser (Tools icon –> New incognito window) lets you get around the 10 articles per month limit, since the incognito window doesn’t store the cookies used to enforce the limit.

      2. mk

        I avoid Judith Miller’s platform NYT to help Bush/Cheney get us into the still ongoing wars in the middle east as if it were a disease. The link above says it’s a Reuters link, “LinkedIn’s Outlook Misses Wall Street Estimates Reuters” – but its really a NYT link that I almost clicked on, I felt relief as my mouse passed over and I could see the url just before clicking – thank goodness I saw it first. I remarked here once before, my partner has a print subscription, so I can’t keep it out of the house, but I can keep it out of my web history and from lining my birds’ cages. Me and my birds deserve better!

      3. YankeeFrank

        just delete the NYtimes cookie from your browser’s cookie cache and the 10 article limit disappears along with it.

      4. hunkerdown

        Yeah, about the same here. It’s easy enough to just google the headline though. Private browsing mode also helps.

    2. Strangely Enough

      “Center-left news”

      Considering the source, it makes sense, but that’s the only way it does…

  3. bob

    “private construction” Jobs? Maybe. In this construction persons mind, no. The boom has been in privately held government financed projects. Hotels, convention centers and retail.

    All the “private” market is good for is driving down wages. What used to be “prevailing wage” work is gone. Left in it’s place are public private “partnerships:” that seek only to loot the public while making the very well connected “private” sector very wealthy, both in land and money.

    His final chart tells the story. Job? Sure, $8 an hour, bring your own shovel…

    1. mark

      Jazz musician Dave Goldberg wrote a pointed and darkly humorous open letter to LA club owners that I thought was worth sharing.

      “Just the other day I was told by someone who owned a wine bar that they really liked our music and would love for us to play at their place. She then told me the gig paid $75 for a trio. Now $75 used to be bad money per person, let alone $75 for the whole band. It had to be a joke, right? No she was serious.But it didn’t end there. She then informed us we had to bring 25 people minimum. Didn’t even offer us extra money if we brought 25 people. I would have laughed other than it’s not the first time I’ve gotten this proposal from club owners. But are there musicians really doing this? Yes. They are so desperate to play, they will do anything. ”


        1. mark

          Thanks very much for that link.

          I will post it at the jazzguitarforum.

          The financial situation for musicians is very bleak, but for some reason doesn’t get much attention.

          Nice to hear that Europe/Britain treats musicians a little better.

      1. Emma

        It’s the epitome of the Hunger Games of Musical Chairs isn’t it?
        From what I hear, it’s apparently a little more humane making it as a musician in either the UK or Oz.

  4. Tyler


    Krugman now opposes fiscal stimulus because he thinks it would “tilt the balance toward cuts in the safety net the next time the deficit becomes a big issue.” This is a prime example of loser liberalism.

      1. Jackrabbit

        He also supports TPP and gushes about his friend Summers.

        People are taken in by his noble-prize, and professorial appearance, which perfectly complement Obama’s noble-prize and Constitutional law background. Trust the experts!?! – NOT!

        If one were the cynical type, it would be difficult to NOT to see neo-lib politics as an elaborate confidence game.

        A confidence trick is also known as a con game, a con, a scam, a grift, a hustle, a bunko (or bunco), a swindle, a flimflam, a gaffle or a bamboozle. The intended victims are known as “marks” or “suckers”, and when accomplices are employed, they are known as shills.

        The cronyism is very reminiscent of Tammany Hall except that today the ‘bosses’ are businesspeople instead of politicians:

        It’s hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed’s system … The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s part of our brainwashing treatment to ensure we regard anything ‘new’ as better…thus, neoliberaisml HAS to be better than liberalism.

        And from yesterday’s links, it’s possible, thanks to a new discovery in cryptography, to be unhackable, implying a perfect brainwashing technique is coming that we the recipients won’t be able to hack our way through.

        1. Emma

          Neoliberalism care of Krugman is humdrum naked fascism without prissy uniforms and goose stepping theatrics….

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Matt Stoller on Tumblr

    Great stuff!! Did a quick scroll and found that many of the posts provide tremendously interesting historical perspective. One of my initial favorites:

    “The war on crime should keep negroes in their place and save a lot of money at the same time.”*

    In the March 25, 1972 issue of the New Yorker, Richard Harris wrote a long discussion of Nixon’s new war on crime, and its intent to manipulate white fears of young black men. It’s full of beautiful writing, such as “As every domestic authoritarian knows, no authoritarian control can exist alongside a bill of rights that is enforced.” Emphasis mine. It continues:

    This is the weirdest passage – check out the strange futurist prediction at the bottom about the Space Shuttle and children being born on the moon. And yes, Von Braun was an ex-Nazi who helped launch the U.S. space program.

    What follows is a .jpeg of a snip from the article which I didn’t know how to copy/paste so I’ll just copy. I hope that’s “legal.”

    Recently, the President vetoed an act of Congress providing two billion dollars’ worth of day-care centers for children whose mothers, mainly welfare recipients, need such facilities in order to hold jobs. As hateful as welfare is to conservatives, it apparently is preferable to a sizable outlay of tax money that might create some measure of self-sufficiency for those who are now totally dependent on public charity.

    Not long after this veto, President Nixon announced plans to construct a space shuttle; the cost is estimated at between ten and fourteen billion dollars. Later, Wernher Von Braun said that the project will bring closer the day when a child will be born on the moon. Presumably, it will not be a black child.

    * This quote is Harris’s summary of Nixon’s war on crime.

    As I said, a lot of really great stuff and worth checking out.

    1. Klassy

      I glanced at it too and saw that he discussed the Palmer raids. I have wondered why this shameful bit of our past has not come up more in discussing the NSA revelations.

    2. Walter Map

      Low-value individuals in the herd are to be culled as a cost-saving measure for the Master Class, as it is financially unreasonable to maintain assets which do not adequately contribute to profit maximization.

      Actual citizens have long since been recategorized to the status of livestock.

      You know how it is.

  6. Walter Map

    Re: Police officer caught on camera handcuffing a FIREFIGHTER as he was rescuing victims of a rollover crash on the side of a busy highway

    All very discouraging. The people we hire To Protect and To Serve have become enamoured with their Authority and their Power over their actual employers, and have taken to requiring abject Obedience from the herds.

    Abuse of Power is not merely normal but has become the New Normal.

    1. dearieme

      “Abuse of Power is not merely normal but has become the New Normal.” After Waco you should have hanged a few of the buggers pour encourager.

      1. diptherio

        The first successful uplift movement in Montana was conceived and accomplished by the Vigilantes. Crude in plan and rude in perfomance, there was an uprising which destroyed the last doubt in lawless minds with respect to the efficiency of government “of the people, by the people, for the people”. It demonstrated that absence of law afforded no excuse for crime and gave security to life and property without increase of taxation. In some of the valleys where the Vigilantes rode, less than half a century ago, land now has a market value of as much as one thousand dollars per acre for orchard home uses, but the most profitable crop which ever hung from Montana trees was in the gruesome forms of dead outlaws. Then and there was implanted a respect for the penalties of wrong-doing and a regard for the rights of others which has endured against the insidious influence of wholesale corruption and the most subtle encroachments upon the powers of government, to the present time. It is today more dangerous in the state of Montana to steal a horse than to loot a bank or to bribe a legislative majority, chiefly because the Vigilantes failed to furnish a precedent in justice for bank-looting and legislative corruption as they did for horse thieving; while later administrators of justice, in the approved manner of courts, have regarded precedent and form and ceremony above the purpose of the law and the effect of justice.

        ~Jere C. Murphy; The Comical History of Montana: A Serious Story for Free People (1912)

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Elizabeth Warren Slams JP Morgan Chase

    “Jamie Dimon got a raise after he negotiated $17 billion to pay for activities that were illegal that he presided over,” Warren said on Thursday. “So I’m not quite sure how this is a deterrent for other CEOs.”

    So maybe it’s because I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and not the elite, rarefied “SA”lons of Washington, D. C., but I usually expect my “slams” to be delivered with a baseball bat and not a plate of milk and cookies.

    No offense to Senator Warren, since she is the best we’ve got apparently, but I was inclined to pay very little attention to my grandmother’s scolds unless they were accompanied by a solid slap upside my head or a good swift kick in the arse. Just sayin’.

    These days it’s most succinctly put as, “Go HARD or go home.”

    And has anyone considered the possibility that Mr. Dimon got that raise since it “only” cost the bank $17 billion and not the many more billions that it actually SHOULD have cost?

  8. Walter Map

    How very telling that you would sympathize with a murderous and suicidal psychopath like Koresh. What other destructive pathologies do you have that we should be aware of?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “a murderous and suicidal psychopath like Koresh”

      Please step away from the koolaid, Senor Map. (C’mon, you HAD to see that one coming.)

    2. Manetho

      If there was a “a murderous and suicidal psychopath” involved in the Waco debacle, it was Janet Reno.

    3. diptherio

      Murderous? You must be referring to the ATF agents that set the place on fire. I can only assume you haven’t seen the video footage…don’t believe what the MSM tells you, especially when it involves federal agents and the deaths of multiple civilians.

        1. skippy

          The point being Walter – is they could have arrested him – at the donut shop he frequented regularly and faced court.

          skippy…. it was like sending in a wing of B52 filled with drunken frat boys, to enforce a parking fine.

          1. Walter Map

            Clearly, they could have arrested him. ATF wanted a show to justify the existence of an out-of-control agency, and went so far as to sucker Reno. No sympathy there. And Koresh wasn’t going to surrender and preferred mass martyrdom to criminal conviction. No sympathy for megalomaniac gun nut doomsday cultists either, sorry. Who started the fires? Maybe they both did.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Trouble in the bolivarian Workers Paradise:

    Venezuela’s car manufacturing plummeted 84.78% in January, according to data released by the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (Cavenez).

    In its monthly report, Cavenez, which comprises the seven privately owned car assemblers of the country, stated that a total of 296 vehicles were assembled in January 2014, 1,649 less than one year earlier.

    A halt in the allocation of foreign currency in late 2013 is accountable for the downturn in manufacturing.


    296 carros … for a nation of 30 million.

    Oh well, at least Venezuela’s production blew North Korea’s doors off. Probably.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Yep, and lets all pretend that Bolivia and Venezuela aren’t under serious financial attack by the western neoliberal finance cartel, including its internal card-carrying, School of the Americas supporting elites, as well as the various emerging markets ongoing crashes.

      1. McMike

        Indeed. I remember when the death toll in Nicaragua skyrocketed for nuns and journalists. Clearly that place needed intervention as a failed state.

        1. Strangely Enough

          And all those U.S. mines in the Nicaraguan harbors.

          But those Soviet tanks never did make it to Texas…

      2. Jim Haygood

        Venezuela’s ‘financial attack’ is a case of shooting its own feet off by emptying the entire magazine, reloading, and doing it again. Check out this scheme for arbitraging Venezuela’s comically overvalued official exchange rate:

        Venezuela’s socialist government strictly limits the purchase of American dollars at the official rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar. However, Venezuelans with valid airline tickets are allowed to buy 3,000 dollars per year at this cheap, official rate.

        Once back in Venezuela, these travelers can sell each of their dollars for about 60 bolivars. The huge profit easily pays for their travel with enough left over to buy food and other goods in a country with one of the world’s highest inflation rates.


        Venezuela could stop this insanity overnight, and put its factories back to work, by letting the bolivar float. Running an overvalued currency, when the rest of the world is playing ‘competitive devaluation,’ is an own goal.

        1. LucyLulu

          Yes, but used cars in Venezuela are in high demand and bring high prices, often much higher than new cars. Residents of Venezuela are indirectly investing in US dollars as a protection against current hyperinflation by purchasing automobiles, along with electronics and other physical assets.

          Did Washington ever officially recognize Maduro as the country’s new president?

      1. LucyLulu

        According to a retired physician from Caracas I know well, their inpatient hospital care is better than here in the U.S. However, outpatient support services are poor. Family is relied on to provide the mainstay of this care.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Let Them Eat Symbols

    It is clear that without uncompromisingly radical organizations and a language of opposition that pierces the ideological fog that obscures the class bias of the state and state policies, working people and the poor will continue to be marginalized, ignored and eventually disappeared as they fall through the gaping holes in the social safety net.

    Memo to Salon: this is how a SLAM is done.

  11. JohnB

    I used to be a daily Slashdot reader, but ever since they’ve been taken over by ‘dice’, the posting of articles seems to have tripled (reducing the signal-to-noise ratio considerably), and I just can’t be bothered trying to keep up anymore.

    Pretty good example of a company, calamitously screwing up something that was rather good – the community is what made Slashdot, more than the news really; I used to enjoy even the crap/filler posts, for the mocking/jokes users would post in comments.

    I actually think their comment system (circa 1 year ago – I don’t know if it changed since), was the best on the Internet, by a very long way – it muffled/censored some small important voices, and had a tendency to amplify groupthink, but in many cases (particularly humour wise) it was pure concentrated goodness.

      1. bob

        I kind of watched it build to a head yesterday. Slashdot comments are the content. It really is worth reading back through the rest of the days comments to get a good lead in. Most were snarkily trying to stay on the post topic, but dropping in “F beta” at regular intervals.

        The moderation of comments is one of the things that most people don’t understand. You get “mod points” to give to comments as you see fit. Generally, the lower the UID, the older the account is and the more “mod clout” they get.

        It was a two pronged attack. The comments and the mods working in unison, against the site owners. It must have made the PR shops drool with envy.

        The comment system has been said to be their best, most valuable asset. I agree. I almost never agree with the post, or the comments, but it’s interesting what rises to the top. They’ve reportedly been offered serious money for the commenting system, but wouldn’t sell it.

        TFA (RTFA, FTFA) must have come from slashdot, and it’s an ongoing joke. No one reads the article. It’s assumed off the bat that it’s bait, and everyone takes it.

  12. Mike

    Speaking as an LA resident, the idea that two black women were delivering newspapers is truly hilarious!
    No – they were Hispanic. It was also dark so the race of the people was almost guaranteed to not be a factor. What was a factor was the incredibly low quality LAPD personnel. These days, btw, the LAPD is almost entirely black or Hispanic. The only “white” officers are people from the old Soviet republics – Armenians, Russians etc.
    Driving while black (which is real) also has very real reasons for existing. A friend of mine was held at gunpoint recently in LA minutes after a DIFFERENT black guy murdered someone a few hundred yards away. He was understandably very mad. He is also a career criminal who makes over 99% of his money through crime.
    Change the culture, change DWB.
    (and yes I know: racism, slavery, 1% blah blah. I’m an immigrant, came here with no money, don’t have the time for sorry excuses.)

  13. lambert strether

    Impressive “new populism” from Warren. Of course, holding the hearings that get Dimon indicted would be even more impressive. Still, possible signs of baby future step intent because optimism.

  14. afisher

    GOP lies about Immigration: The bogus “trust” issue. Anyone here know how the GOP is going to measure that metric – well one that would make sense? Nah, me neither.

    But even more endearing was Raul Labrador – who appeared on Jorge Ramos new gig on Fusion TV. Ramos played Labrador’s statement made on Conversations with Conservatives – in which Labrador stated that GOP won’t bring Immigration Reform up until they are the majority in House and Senate – so 2014 is out, PERIOD. In that same interveiw – he let slip that the current 11M immigrants are not a concern – it is all about ‘border security” – cuz GOP really need to continue to feed the Private Prison Complex.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People are like salt and jobs are like water.

      In this Melting Pot, as you add more salt, while siphoning out water, at some point, you will have too much sodium.

      Then, it dawns on you that maybe, some alien (space aliens here) creatures can only live on that particular diet.

      1. diptherio

        Space aliens? What have you been smoking? Everybody knows that it’s the Elder Gods that feast on the suffering of humans, not aliens. The whole point of the Illuminati conspiracy is to create misery and suffering on this planet, which feeds the Elder Gods and in return for which, the Elder Gods grant them the power to hypnotize the masses into following their commands (which allows them to create yet more suffering, ad infinitum). This is basic stuff MLPTB, I’m surprised you don’t already know it. Pretty sure Yves or Lambert covered all this in a post somewhere…

        [remove tongue from cheek]

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sometimes, I just forgot to break through their unhackable hologram of reality.

          In this particular case, I blame it on hypnosis, compounded by high sodium in my breakfast soup.

        2. Richard Elder

          Who are these Elder Gods of whom you speak? And why don’t the masses (or at least my boss) follow my commands?

      2. LucyLulu

        It isn’t just the jobs, or lack thereof. Conservative corporation persons welcome the additional competition to suppress wages further anyways. The higher birth rate among Hispanics is seen as the future salvation to the Social Security worker:pensioner ratio crisis, but those benefits are future ones that can be reaped later.

        The other issue with large levels of immigration is the increased demands on energy, which today translates into higher fossil fuel needs. Immigrants who have little economic resources in their third world native countries place few demands on global energy resources. Once they become acclimated to the American way of life, their use of energy increases by multiples to match the consumption of the average US consumer. Multiply by tens of millions of immigrants, not only here but in other developed countries, and energy requirements are exceeding faster than population growth would predict (not to mention the development of third world countries).

        I’m not suggesting the solution is halting immigration or emerging market development in order to freeze our national first, second, and third world system. Only that immigration reform that increases immigration from less affluent countries will continue to adversely affect global energy consumption unless counter-balancing measures to reduce consumption are likewise put into place. Like other problems related to our high non-renewable energy demands, few in power in the US will talk about the problem, much less be willing do anything about it. An culture has developed in predominantly Anglo-Saxon countries, esp. the US and Australia, that proclaims science as bogus when it results in “inconvenient truths”.

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Walmart Getting Too Expensive for the Middle Class

    Oh, brother.

    Weren’t we just discussing this a couple of days ago?

    I said that I was surprised Walmart didn’t SUPPORT maintaining SNAP levels, but in a link the head of Walmart “America” claimed less SNAP would be good for business.


    1. fresno dan

      “Here’s a mystery of the modern economy: Growth is picking up, the job market is improving and most government data show the economy on the mend”

      Economists and their aggregates – can’t seem to grasp if the 0.1 % suck up all the income as well as most of the viscera from the poor that the economy doesn’t do so well….so mysterious…
      However, the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by
      31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012.
      Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years
      of the recovery

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        A “mystery.” Indeed. Who could have known that 0.4% wouldn’t be enough?

        Mysterious seems as good an explanation as any.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Storms boost productivity.

    So can stress…up to a certain level, for a while.

    The question, you understand, is not about you, your need to engage in meaningful activities and be happy, but how to extract maximum efficiency out of you, without killing you of course.

    Thus, it’s important we fund scientific research projects in the human brain, human psychology, human body, etc.

    But luckily, we have a free market capitalism, and so, human labor must compete with robots (and so, one day, that particular expense item may go away) to ensure billionaires can work out the shortest route to their billions and trillions, while allocating their 24 hour day between yoga, tennis and charitable foundation fund raising dinner most optimally.

    1. Emma

      It IS ultimately a healthy and balanced form of economics MyLessThanPrimeBeef backed up by science.
      Profits, gains and wealth accumulation….along with exploitation and misery. Some get to work in their own rational self-interest, whilst others get to work in their own rationing self-survival until they drop dead and the robots take over as you say.
      Its Darwinism, but with fun and innovative destruction.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    White roofs vs. green roofs.

    I imagine grey hair is also more eco-friendly than say brunette hair or green hair.

    The order is probably like this (from the best to the worst):

    bald (hairless)
    grey hair
    blonde hair
    brunette hair
    green hair
    jet black hair.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s not as good as white roofs and grey hair, but as Sam Zell said, that’s a hard working idea, and as such, should be in the top 1% of ideas.

  18. fresno dan

    Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won’t Be Fired Atlantic (fresno dan). No mention of race, but given the hunt for Dorner, I assume they were guilty of driving while black.

    I have mentioned that it was the wrong make and color of truck, as well as the victimS were the wrong sex and race and size. But it escaped me that they were shooting at TWO people….was Dormer a Siamese (or more correctly a co-joined person???) twin???? Again, I suspect if it HAD been Dormer, and the police had shot the hostage dead…the authorities would have found nothing wrong… (perfectly understandable…move along, nothing to see here except typical incompetent police work…)

    1. fresno dan

      Oh, by the way, the two women were Latina.
      One could get into it was dark so they couldn’t correctly identify the race or sex…But way, way back, in my youth when the police rode dinosaurs, you weren’t suppose to shoot unless you KNEW who you were shooting at (you know, the actual criminal….)

      1. down2long

        Latina, and one was a woman in her ’70’s. With rare exceptions, our L.A.P.D. is scary, and this is from someone who sat on an advisory board in the Rampart Station. Very pro-bank, racist (even the Latino and African-American cops), uninformed. I needed them to help me get rid of gangs in an area – finally, the Neighborhood Prosecutor and I teamed up and got the ball rollingn through legal means. And one of the rare good cops – Sargeant Joel Miller – helped us make headway, Meanwhile, a six year old girl was shot in her kitchen by a stray bullet from a gang-banger, and when we had a candleliight vigil for the little girl, our local (then) City Councilman Ed Reyes blamed us housing providers for killing the little girl. (Not mentioned was the impossibility of evicting a gang-banging tenant.)

        Oh L.A. Such a magical cess-pit. Still, love it here despite the City and it’s myriad corrupt ways it has of destroying a person. I suppose it’s like living in Rome or Athens.

      2. Strangely Enough

        Out here in the real world, you get charged with attempted murder for shooting at people. Must be one of those, “you don’t understand,” things the cops are always going on about…

      3. bob

        It must have been like a firing range. One of the officers pretty obviously had a shotgun with buck shot, firing from the hip.

        Has anyone asked, or answered, what 8 cops were doing in that exact spot at that time? The way it’s described is that it was a chance encounter, and one cop got it wrong, and identified a 70 year old woman as the jacked up Dorner. Fine, ok…2 cops on patrol in a car see him and then start shooting…(still not ok)

        Where the hell did the other 6 cops come from?

        8 cops sitting around a neighborhood, overnight, seems much more targeted. Was it an ambush? Were they protecting someone in the area? Did the swat van break down? Or, does LA have so many cops that they can afford to have 8 sitting around every single residential neighborhood, all night long.

        Repeat- those 103 shots(their numbers) were all fired in a very close time window, probably not more than 30 seconds between the first and last shots. They did not call in back up.

      4. bob

        That and….has anyone even brought up, in any venue, the question of burning down houses that suspects run into? I mean, is this in the manual now? California criminal court cost savings ballot initiative 19?

        That whole episode stank, top to bottom. No heros, no villians, just pissed off heavily armed idiots with an appetite for destruction.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The 1 percent are being pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so. The problem is that the world and this country should not talk about envy of the 1 percent. It should talk about emulating the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder. The 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society – Sam Zell.

    The Imperial One Percent strike back!

    Working hard, indeed very hard, at building (notice I do not use the word ‘erecting’ this time) wealth inequality.

    Here is one free market capitalism question – if we have one billion dollars to be spent, which is the better way:

    1. One guy/gal decides how to spend it
    2. as many people as possible, say one million people, compete freely on how to spend it.

    Personal disclosure: I know of a few ways.

    So, what happens is this – that wealth concentration becomes a bottleneck in the free-flowing of efficient capital allocation, and like the blockage of ‘chi’ causes pain, per the theory of acupuncture, that’s why we have suffering and pain in this economy that no amount of legal marijuana can relieve.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Basically, I am advocating we unlock the happiness methane locked inside those wealth permafrost.

  20. fresno dan

    An About-Face Regarding ZH Conspiracy Theories Cassandra

    “I am sorry. Evidently, I was wrong about conspiracy, more specifically, the US Government’s pursuit of what must be one of, if not THE world’s biggest: the hoovering-up (no pun intended) storage and analysis of the entire world’s digital and voice information. In the past, I derided your cherished belief in a US Government Puppeteer-like Plunge-Protection Team on the Ockham-inspired grounds that it would be virtually impossible to undertake what was alleged without at least some whistle-blowers, co-conspirators and/or enablers coming forward with evidence to expose such actions. I was quick to point out the glaring inconsistency to your argument that mocked what you saw as the US Government’s apparent ineptitude in Agriculture, Healthcare, Securities Market regulation, Welfare, Military Purchasing, Industrial Policy, FEMA, as well as Fiscal and Monetary policies, yet somehow managed to confer an ability to implement and perpetuate Machiavellian manipulations and direct interventions in financial markets to great success (and to the chagrin of perma-bears and pessimists alike) without ever getting get caught.”

    Cassandra, your forgiven, but let me explain something to you. The surveillance/financial/defense manipulation is run by Goldman Sachs and the 0.1% and is designed to be competent.
    The rest of the government is also run by Goldman and the 0.1% and is DESIGNED to be incompetent to discredit any other aspect of the government.
    Common mistake, assuming the conspiracy has only one uniform goal and uniform methods.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thanks for your insightful observation, fresno dan. I too have frequently made the same error. I will add that as an occasional reader of ZH posts, I also appreciated Cassandra’s letter. Disappointed to see, though, that she is no longer posting from Tierra del Fuego. I was hoping to find out more about the quality of life there.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t see what is wrong with mocking what someone saw ‘as the US Government’s apparent ineptitude in Agriculture, Healthcare, Securities Market regulation, Welfare, Military Purchasing, Industrial Policy, FEMA, as well as Fiscal and Monetary policies…’

      Designed incompetency is not incompetency, but competency when you can produce the desired ineptitude..

    3. Crazy Horse

      Still think the National Security State is incompetent? Just consider for a minute what it had to do to sell the country the official conspiracy theory fabricated to explain the attacks on 9/11.

      –Change the melting point of steel.
      –Suspend the laws of gravity.
      –Double the open air flame temperature of burning kerosene.
      –Turn student pilots who couldn’t fly a Cessna properly into crack fighter pilots.
      –Brainwash Dick Cheney into taking over the entire North American air defense system and personally cancel attempts at interception.
      –Make Mr. Silverman’s (the leasing agent for Building 7) recorded statement that the building was brought down by controlled demolition and he participated in the decision into non-news.
      –Exorcise George Bush’s statement that he watched the impact of the first plane on public television when no such programming existed at the time.
      –Make the evacuation of all the Bin Laden family members in the US during the commercial no-fly period into non-news.

      In retrospect selling an impossible theory to a shocked and ignorant public was easy. People believe what they want to believe, and belief is like religion– no logic or verification is permitted.

  21. OIFVet

    City of Chicago is being sued over failing to enforce its own regulations in regard to Uber and Lyft: Notice the attempt to define these companies as “ride shares” rather than taxis in order to avoid existing regulations, and Emanuel’s promise of a ” healthy public discussion.” In Chicago that means that Emanuel will use the yes men aldercreatures to push an Uber-friendly legislation that will kill the taxi industry as it exists and divert money from drivers to the corporations.

  22. kevinearick

    San Jose Sharks, Not

    The empire ponzi, natural resource control, has been with us for a very long time. Employing the “oligarch’s” measuring instrument, ignorance parading as certified knowledge, is the surest path to failure. Price inflation is price inflation, loss of system purchasing power and declining standards of living, whether it first appears in real estate or anywhere else.

    Price inflation is a transfer of purchasing power to the top of the ponzi at a cost to the entire system. The only possible outcome is income inequality, fewer economic slaves controlling more economic slaves, to the past. Funny, how the majority now going over the demographic cliff, screaming bloody murder, does not examine the majority.

    Over 45% of those working in San Jose for the oligarchs, rolling out the spy network wrapped in eye candy, driving global income inequality accordingly, are making six figures and driving RE price inflation, but they cannot seem to provide for the other half. The only way San Jose, Seattle, DC or any of the other proffered economic prototypes can serve as a path to the future is if global population is on a curve to double, faster than the last double, and the majority finds itself in a demographic bust.

    America doesn’t have the poorest results at the highest cost by accident, that $50T didn’t disappear down the extortion rat hole by accident, and they don’t call them MOBsters by accident. If you look, you will see that $100k salary on a $750k mortgage for a hole in the wall represents a substantial decline in standard of living, and the oligarchs so supported globally are experiencing a decline relative to their predecessors as well.

    America has been hollowed out by the majority as empire operators have transferred operations elsewhere. That’s what all those wars were about, paving the way. That $100k/yr can’t buy you what you could get for free before the demographic boom. Giving natural resources to Kissinger & Kids in Asia in exchange for worthless paper is not an economy.

    As a pair of single people pretending to be married, it makes sense to sell natural resources for paper, to the end of driving a disposable Porsche. They have no future. From the perspective of labor, that’s pretty damn stupid because there will be nothing left for the children and NPV depends upon their future.

    Breeding ignorance is the path to death, which the majority takes every time, recreating the oligarchs they so richly deserve in the process. Switches create and destroy time. The oligarchs are nothing more than echoes, transported by one wave of ignorance followed by the next. What is the path of electricity in DNA?

    Funny, I spent quite a bit of time in Palo Alto / Stanford, back when you could get a decent omelette, a decent bloody mary, smoke a Cuban cigar in the bar and play chess with the mighty morons. Now you get a cup of over-priced coffee in a café full of sardines, with others who believe that being last to lose is winning. Yes, from the perspective of the majority, I am part of the problem.

    The morons are well on their way to $75T and will probably hit $100T by the time Germany is done repeating its history, with nothing to show for all that paper but RE price inflation, declining standards of living and a demographic bust. Not everyone wants to be the biggest sardine in a can, and if you know anything about San Jose, you know who I am talking about. If not, just replace with your local tyrant.

    Toys, TV and manufactured food – of, by and for the majority, is not wealth. We are all renting our time on this planet. Attention spans vary inversely with public education. Look it up. False Assumption #1 examination, denial, anger, FA#2 examination, anger, denial, ….

    Feed your children healthy food, change their diapers when they need to be changed, check their temperature, give them a bath before bed, and reward them when they think for themselves with the opportunity for more of the same. The majority is always the counterweight, because the consensus captured by History cannot hope to regulate the thinking individual. Life is about diversity, not scale stupidity.

    The majority systematically loses its ability to rear children, chasing derivative control, so expect them to come after yours. That’s what public school is all about. Don’t send your kids to school without an education.

    1. will nadauld

      I always love your posts. I spend a lot of time deprogramming my son. He is in first grade now and thinks for himself less now than he did before kindergarten. School is where they whitewash history and turn you into an eager little consumer. School is the place where big ideas and topics of discussion are quelled. It is the all important bubble sheet that matters most. We discuss real issues at home every night. A critical mind and a healthy respect for people who do real things to earn real food are the best gifts I can give him.

  23. craazyman

    I guess the lesson from Massachusetts is:
    If you have a wild raccoon in your bedroom, think twice before you pet your cat.

    It should be common sense, you’d think.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have never had a raccoon in my house, but I still think twice every time I am tempted to pet my cat, especially when I am low on my Neosporin..

      1. craazyman

        there’s a black cat who lives in the deli down the block. every time I reached down to pet it, it ran away or it scratched and bit my hand. now I pretend not to notice it and it pretends not to notice me.

        one of the guys who works there said its name is Midnight. We both looked at it one day while it was staring off into space. I said “Midnight!” to it and it sat there for a few seconds then it turned and walked to the back of the store. “Does it even know its name is Midnight?” I asked. He laughed and said “No.”

        I might take the raccoon if I had to choose.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And if you try to say ‘I pay part of your salary,’ you could become a very unhappy boss.

  24. savedbyirony

    One can’t thank/support news outlets like NC, The Nation, Bill Moyers (who was seriously thinking about retiring last fall) and others for their work talking about the TTP/TTIP enough! I guessed ms media was very quiet about these “trade” deals, but since i never watch any of them i didn’t realize they have been deafening so.
    (Very disappointed in FOX news. I though the business model was all about making money and inflaming/informing viewers. What a field day they could have with “ObamaTrade”.)

    1. hunkerdown

      They’ll be having a field day with ObamaTrade when they use the ISDS provisions to knock down media ownership limits.

  25. Randy

    I have enjoyed Cassandra blog in the past she writes well. But she seems not very credible more often than not.

  26. Foy

    I see Yves was mentioned in a post at Jesse’s Crossroads Cafe on the topic: “Investment and Insurance: Prospective Risk and Return in Various Precious Metal Investments”.

    What was interesting for me was how Jesse described his portfolio balancing process in the second half of the post (and how a broker he used couldn’t understand what he wanted to achieve so dumped him). Jesse clearly has built up great knowledge and expertise in investment strategies but I think this sums up exactly what little hope the average guy in the street has in trying to create/manage his own 401k or superannuation or investment, which he is expected to do now because he needs “freedom to choose”.

    It takes a lot of time to even build up the basic knowledge and expertise for Joe Public to perform the basics of what Jesse is talking about and there are wolves waiting to take advantage of at every turn as Jesse found out with his broker. And even if they can understand the fat tails analysis Jesse discusses, the chances of them implementing a strategy correctly to cater for this is rather slim imho. And as we find out every crash there are a whole lot of ‘about to retire’ people who haven’t prepared and suddenly find out they can’t.

    Another example of where life (along with mobile phone contracts, any type of insurance esp medical, credit cards/loans, retail electricity providers etc etc) has got so complex in the name of ‘free choice’, Joe Public (or me!) really doesn’t have much hope of keeping up…

  27. Propertius

    No mention of race, but given the hunt for Dorner, I assume they were guilty of driving while black.

    Given their surnames (Carranza and Hernandez), I suspect they were driving while Hispanic. The driver of the other vehicle mistakenly shot up by police officers during this fiasco, David Perdue, is a white male. These details could have been obtained with two mouseclicks from the cited article.

    Do not attribute to racism that which can be explained by poor training and egregious incompetence.

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