Links 2/9/14

Kyodo: ‘Massive’ amount of Fukushima data wrong? “Figures can’t be trusted” — NHK: Strontium-90 by ocean at 160,000 times limit — Tepco: Actual levels “exceeded the upper limit of measurement… We are very sorry” ENE Energy News

Fake-food scandal revealed as tests show third of products mislabelled Guardian

NZ lamb goes to pot in China, giving fast-food chains plenty to chew over Reuters

The Prosecution That Isn’t Happening Baseline Scenario. “Ideally, [the laws] should be applied fairly.” Because markets!

Welcome to Bakersfield, California FT. “Banks that cheat people pay fines, but people who cheat banks do time.” Because markets!

Crisis Chronicles: The Commercial Credit Crisis of 1763 and Today’s Tri-Party Repo Market Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Another Drag on the Post-Recession Economy EPI

Jobs, productivity The Center of the Universe

Chart of the Day #2: The Madness of Austerity Mother Jones. Shrinking government, increasing unemployment, and creaming off all the gains from the post-2009 “recovery” is elite policy, “madness” or not, successfully achieved by Obama. There is no indication whatever that the neo-populists will deliver anything more than palliatives and “jobs for the boys” (and girls).

Does generational membership matter for workplace behavior? Marginal Revolution

Where Are All the Self-Employed Workers? HBR

This Guy Stopped Charging Clients And He Has Zero Regrets HuffPo

Which middle class, which squeeze? Gillian Tett, FT

Brazil’s government has set the favelas and middle classes against each other Guardian

The fight tearing the country in two Bangkok Post. The Northeast has 34% of the population, gets 6% of government spending. Karma only takes one so far.

Apple has some money burning a hole in its pocket Angry Bear

Apple’s iPhone, the New International Currency Businessweek

Bitcoin Price Plunges as Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Activity Bloomberg. Looks like the guys who programmed MERS moved on to Mt. Gox….

Economics of Bitcoin Econbrowser


Capital Beat: Democrats complicated relationship with Obamacare continues Concord Monitor

Jon Stewart will save us! The future of healthcare may rest with “The Daily Show” Salon. What a confession of impotence from “progressives.”

At Obamacare Small Business Exchanges, Sign-Ups Are Off to Slow Start Businessweek

ObamaCare Part Of ‘Unprecedented’ Bounty For Insurers, So Far Forbes

How arts and organizing helped defeat Alabama’s anti-immigration law Waging Nonviolence

Bulk of $15 billion plan not directly tied to stopping Asian carp Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Commissioners pipeline meeting: strategy and why it’s worth the bother Corrente

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Snowden Used Low-Cost Tool to Best N.S.A. Times

More than 4,000 groups sign up to protest the NSA PC World

1971 Social Engineering Attack Bruce Schneier

The Biggest Threat To Markets That Is Most Likely To Happen Has All But Fallen Off The Radar Business Insider

Greece in danger of repeating familiar mistakes with Golden Dawn Macropolis

Kosovo’s head of university quits after violent protests Reuters

U.S. EU United To Overthrow Democracy In Ukraine Moon of Alabama

Park City resident Sage Kotsenburg wins Sochi’s first gold medal in snowboard slopestyle Desert News. Also, this is cool.

The gamification of the economy: creating rivalry where there is none Isabella Kaminska, FT

To Study Aggression, a Fight Club for Flies Times. “‘That’s what’s really changing in neuroscience,’ [Bargmann] said. It is shifting ‘toward manipulating the activity of the nervous system.’ What this might mean for humans is unclear.” Oh?

The lawless ‘end of the land’ CNN

Ray Kurzweil – How the World Will Change RapGenius. Maybe the squillionaires will rocket triumphantly off to privatize Mars and leave us alone.

When Ideas Trump Interests: Preferences, Worldviews, and Policy Innovations Journal of Economic Perspectives. “I will challenge the notion that there is a well-defined mapping from ‘interests’ to outcomes.”

Occupy Wall Street leader now works for Google, wants to crowdfund a private militia Pando. I believe the German word that covers this situation — not available in English — is Fremdschämen?

Antidote du jour:


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. psychohistorian

    It is encouraging to see the growing support of the The Day We Fight Back.

    I have added the banner code to my web site, have you?

    Thanks for the link, I have been procrastinating.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Please explain why you are encouraged? My reading of the details suggests it is yet again a lineup of “progressive types” leading people to nowhere (status quo remains) even if they won. Classic Veal Pen.

      The linked article states the following as their goal:

      “Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action,” organizers wrote on “Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.”

      Since one can visit the day we fight back web page and find no clear goals anywhere within folks have to dig around the internet to get an idea. This article quotes a person involved with specifics.

      “The ultimate goal is to provide more esteem for the USA Freedom Act and other measures and to ensure that [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein’s so-called FISA Improvements Act never sees the light of day,” said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, a leftist group forged in the crucible of an earlier wave of Internet activism that famously killed the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act in 2012.

      And that will accomplish more than banging ones head against a brick wall? Classic daily Kos a prominent sponsor which should always serve as a dire warning. For what we have now, prior to the Feinstein bill is uber totalitarian… so why draw a line there? Do you not recall the FISA debacle, much less the 12 years of patriot act? US citizens have been spied upon without cause or warrant for far longer than the internet has been around – reading mail, tapping phones, treating dissidents as terrorists, etc.

      Don’t let your hunger for action (which I share) lead you down a road to nowhere.

      1. Shutter

        Beating your head against a wall believing that you are actually accomplishing something is the plan. Just like these blogs.. keep people circling around doing nothing other than blowing off steam instead of getting out in the streets.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Not to worry. Jon Stewart will SAVE us!

          Apparently there is a scenario in which his “1.6 million nightly viewers hit the streets with a rallying cry.”

          No ETA was specified.

          1. Shutter

            Katniss… never happen. They’d be too busy texting their friends and taking selfies about their ‘activism’.

      2. psychohistorian

        If you have read other of my comments you will see me as a fairly evolutionary sort of person. That said I don’t think it is our best interests to destroy the infrastructure of our world on the way to bringing about change, if possible…..we “ONLY” need to end the class system, ongoing accumulation of private property and unfettered inheritance…..GRIN!

        I see this event as representing a bit of an awakening of the public and am encouraged by developments of coalitions that did not talk to each other before.

        Any progress that brings us together and does not divide us further I view as positive.

        Have we won? HAH! I am not that deluded to believe that this is a major battle as some say but a good step in the right direction.

        1. Walter Map

          I take the good with the bad, and try to be sympathetic towards people I really do not agree with.

          Unfortunately the hardness of the last few years, and the poisoning of society, and the dishonesty and depravity of our leaders have all created an enormous cynicism generally, and seems to have caused the kindness to have mostly gone out of people. Even on NC. Yes, even on NC.

          I would like to hope for better days ahead, but that seems like wishful thinking. There really does not appear to be anything that can slow down the present ugly trends, much less turn them around. I have a bad case of locomotive breath and fear it may be terminal. I feel the piston scraping, steam breaking on my brow – old Charlie stole the handle and the train it won’t stop going, no way to slow down.

          Best of luck to you all. Save yourselves. Goodbye.

          1. EconCCX

            >Best of luck to you all. Save yourselves. Goodbye.

            Map, I enjoyed your comments over the years on TNR. Was very glad you landed here. Reconsider, and just do your thing. It takes time and repetition to get traction in any group. A moment’s discouragement is understandable in this endlessly grim season, but we know that life is reawakening just below ground.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Not so sure about that “veal pen.” Though the site is a bit light on issues like funding and organization, I’m seeing a lot of EFF-type organizations there, and not Democratic front organizations like CAF and so on.

        1. psychohistorian

          The absence of Democratic front organizations and inclusion of groups that I know to have engineers and other structurally thinking folk are why I signed on.

          IMO, once you have the engineers of our world against you, your time is limited as well as your options. Engineers and like educated folk are waking up now and change will come or we will all be dead. That said, I might not like the results as explained below in another comment.

    2. thesystemoftheworld

      Isn’t there a bit of irony that the Day We Fight Back web site, last I visited, had 5 trackers, two of them beacons? From the Fight Back Web site:

      Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action.

      From the wikipedia entry on beacons (also known as web bugs)

      A web bug is any of a number of techniques used to track who is reading a web page or email, when, and from which computer. They can also be used to see if an email was read or forwarded to someone else, or if a web page was copied to another website.

      1. psychohistorian

        Of course the site is bugged. What do you expect?

        The question you need to ask is why is the site still up? The answer is numbers. Enough numbers of us folk that TPTB know that it will only make things worse to shut it down.

        Is repression of truth over? NO and it is not going to end soon but 99% is a big number of people and more and more are waking up. Will enough wake up to turn the tide of our current trajectory? I don’t know but I am 65 and have been watching this BS go on for 40+ years and the energy I am seeing and sensing in our world currently is palpable and gives me more hope that I have ever had before.

        Do folks really believe that TPTB can hire half of us to kill the other half? I don’t!

        Can TPTB continue to brainwash enough to keep the bankrupt social organization of the past centuries functional? Look around. I don’t think so. That is not to say that more repression won’t be tried but I am now convinced that it will fail….and I haven’t always thought that.

        The biggest worries to me are:

        1. TPTB will convince enough folks that half measures will be sufficient to make a difference and we will not be able to end class rule, ongoing accumulation of “private property” and inheritance forever.

        2. TPTB will decide that nuclear winter is necessary to prop up the bankrupt social organization that is our class/private property/inheritance based insanity.


  2. Swedish Lex

    On how the world will change.
    The article assumes that you belong to the top 5-10% on the planet, which I do.
    If that is our future, death will come as a liberation to me and I pity our child who will have to find meaning in her life in such a truly weird and bizarre society.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      About those self-driving cars, once they are programmed to ogle at other self-driving cars, partly out of a sense of superiority and partly because they want to pro-create more self-driving cars, that’s when we will start to see accidents involving self-driving cars.

      That’s what I see in my crystal ball while I scare myself to death…which happens more often than I care for.

    2. different clue

      About switching off the fat storage genes . . . people who have that done to themselves will miss those fat storage genes when the Age of Famine returns.

  3. Kevin Smith

    Fremdscham is the new Schadenfreude
    Posted by John Carter Wood
    One of the most interesting things about emigrating to a country where you are not a native speaker is that you will spend probably the rest of your life discovering new and wonderful words that those who grew up with the lingo don’t appreciate in quite the same way.

    A few, you will find, are words that don’t exist in your own language, but, really, should.

    My favourite this week is the verb fremdschämen, which I ran across in an article in Der Spiegel about German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle.

    The word was, in fact, applied directly to Mr. Westerwelle, so some background is in order, as I don’t presume that anyone living outside of Germany has the slightest notion of our domestic politics.

    After leading his party, the FDP (or ‘Free Democrats’ or ‘liberals’ [in the European ‘free market, small government’ sense]), to a historic victory in last year’s federal elections, Westerwelle has seen his popularity and that of his party slump dramatically, due to 1) giving an impression that they’re not very good at running things, seeming to spend most of their time picking fights with their larger (and long-desired) governing partner, the CDU and 2) seeming to be misusing (German) their arrival in government mainly to benefit the well-off and their main business donors (in this case, then, essentially the same group of people).

    Matters have reached a bit of a head this week, as Westerwelle has been accused (English) of using his office to benefit party donors, friends and family, who have been accompanying him on his international trips. Politics as usual you might think; however, the foreign minister seems to have a special place in Germany: as a representative of the nation, standards are higher.

    Even sneaker-wearing, policeman-beating Joschka Fischer managed to maintain stratospheric levels of popularity during his stewardship of that office as part of a government that was by no means universally loved.

    In any case, Roland Nelles, in a commentary (G), referred to Westerwelle and used the word that you find in this title: fremdschämen.

    I had never run across it before, though I recognised the components: fremd — which has a variety of meanings from ‘foreign’ or ‘other’ to ‘stranger’ — and schämen which I have usually encountered in its reflexive form referring to feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

    A quick Google search brought me to a site that explained it (in German, of course), via a quote from Nadia Zaboura’s book, Das empathische Gehirn: Spiegelneurone als Grundlage menschlicher Kommunikation (i.e., ‘The Empathic Brain: Mirror Neurons as the Basis of Human Communication’).

    The crucial bit being (my translation):

    The phenomenon of ‘fremdschämen’ refers to an empathic process in which person A feels ashamed in place of person B. Person B is not aware that they are in a situation about which they need to feel shame; person A, however, absolutely is. From this embarrassing feeling of being touched by the situation in which person B finds himself unknowingly, person A feels vicariously ashamed for him.* [Emphasis added]

    Nelles, thus, in his Spiegel article, suggests that our Guido should be ashamed, doesn’t realise he should, and is running the risk of making other people feel ashamed for him in his place.

    Much like the more well-known Schadenfreude, it seems that Germans have invented a word that doesn’t exist in English, but, somehow, needs to.

    This is a bit difficult, though, as the verb fremdschämen not only has one of those tricky Umlaute (vowels with the two dots over it that change the pronunciation in ways that Anglophone speakers find confusing) but also is a ‘separable prefix’ verb that (sometimes) separates into different parts when used: i.e., the first part (fremd) moves to the end of the sentence.

    (This is a German specialty about which Mark Twain long ago bitched.)

    However, it occurs to me that the noun form, Fremdscham (so, something like ‘vicarious shame’), seems ready for export.

    So, for which public personage do you immediately feel a strong sense of Fremdscham?

    I have the feeling that if we work at it, we could introduce a new and entirely useful noun to the English language.

    I’m counting on you.

    *’Hinter dem Phänomen »fremdschämen« steht ein Einfühlungsprozess, in dem eine Person A sich an Stelle einer anderen Person B schämt. Person B ist sich der schämenswerten Situation nicht bewusst, Person A aber durchaus. Aus dieser peinlichen Berührtheit für die Situation, in der Person B sich unwissend befindet, schämt sich Person A also stellvertretend für diese.’

  4. tongorad

    That Forbes Obamacare article is a doozy: ““The revenue growth opportunities in front of us may be unprecedented in the history of managed care and we believe our diversified portfolio positions us to capture our fair share and grow operating revenues at double-digit rates,” Mark Bertolini, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aetna said earlier this week as the company reported fourth-quarter profits nearly double the year earlier period.”

    Of course Obamacare is a reach-around for the insurance industry. If so, how do we explain Republican/Tea Party resistance to it then? Seems to me the only plausible explanation is that it is faux resistance, designed to distance themselves from their own unpopular policy, while at the same time advancing their small government brand.
    Hard if not impossible that the Democrats didn’t see this coming, and that Sheldon Wolin’s notion of inverted totalitarian/Mangaged Democracy is an undisputed fact.

    1. different clue

      The Republican goal is to keep the parts they like ( like the Forced Mandate) and remove what is less than pure Heritage. The Obamacare law was written on purpose to lend itself to exactly that transition. The Forced Mandate was the crucial keystone. That’s why Roberts worked so hard to make sure the Forced Mandate was upheld. Never let a good Obamalaw go to waste.

  5. Praedor

    Bitcoin is doomed to fail – as soon as quantum computing and computers exist outside a lab the encryption intended to hide bitcoin tax cheats (it main reason for existing is to cheat on taxes OWED), illicit druggies, illegal arms buyers dies. So too does bitcoin “mining”. The encryption fails instantly in a quantum vomputer and the “hard” calculations that are required to mine a single coin becomes instantly solved too. If I had access to a quantputer I’d immediatly mine into existence billions and trillions of bitcoins and distribute the far and wide.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          With any technology, the rich (and the powerful) usually get more of it, get it earlier or get it exclusively.

          1. scraping_by

            I’ve always thought it was romantic to expect something that depends on agreed protocol, universal interconnection, and large scale organization to act as an anarchic institution. The two seem to be going different directions.

  6. Andrew Watts

    RE: Snowden Used Low-Cost Tool to Best N.S.A.

    Electronic warfare is asymmetrical. The difference between a war involving cyber operations and the second Gulf War is that the American military was a moving target most of the time during the Iraqi insurgency. As Snowden’s actions have proven it’s a space that can be shaped but not necessarily controlled. When the US government finally absorbs these lessons they won’t be as interested in mass surveillance or offensive cyber operations. They’ll have much bigger problems to contend with.

    On a related note, almost 23 years ago an unnamed NSA analyst predicted that a sysadmin like Snowden could do what he accomplished. From another issue of the NSA Cryptology Quarterly. (Warning: Direct link to the NSA’s website just in case you’re paranoid about these things)

    “In their quest to benefit from the great advantages of networked computer systems, the U.S, military and intelligence communities have put almost all of their classified information “eggs” into one very precarious basket: computer system administrators. A relatively small number of system administrators are able to read, copy, move, alter, and destroy almost every piece of classified information handled by a given agency or organization. An insider-gone-bad with enough hacking skills to gain root privileges might acquire similar capabilities. It seems amazing that so few are allowed to control so much – apparently with little or no supervision or security audits. The system administrators might audit users, but who audits them?”

    No matter how you view Snowden’s actions the article is appropriately titled “Out of Control”. This was pivotal to my overall understanding of the Snowden revelations back in July. It also covers the high value that a potential defector in Snowden’s position would have to foreign intelligence agencies among other topics. I was reluctant to post this back in the original Snowden article for very obvious reasons even though it’s declassified and hosted publicly on the NSA’s website. (One last time: AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE… AHAHA!)

    Those journalists might want to re-think the suggestion by DNI Clapper to destroy their stash of Snowden documents for their own sake. Every foreign intelligence agency in the world now knows that he absconded with. As for the US intelligence community, if they learned an important lesson or two this experience should be worth it.

        1. Andrew Watts


          …and if you’re really paranoid burn your computer’s network card afterward.

          A bit of an overreaction. Like I’ve said this is declassified though it might be subject to reclassification. I think I’ve given them more than enough time to cover their tracks though.

          1. subgenius

            With the right live CD you can spoof your details all the way down (well…excluding hardware bugs..but if you have one everything probably does…)

      1. Andrew Watts

        It gets so much better beyond the first paragraph. I really can’t blame anybody for their paranoia. There are other online sources for this particular article, but using the NSA’s website just rubs in the American intelligence meme I’ve been enjoying. Maybe a little too much. This should also reinforce the notion about electronic warfare being completely asymmetrical.

        I think I’ve missed my life’s calling. It reportedly took the British something like five weeks to realize that this wasn’t just an American problem. It only took me a weekend and a half to figure that out, including how Snowden technically did it. Assuming they’re telling the truth about the bot.

        …I may have earned myself a national security letter. That’s winning!

      1. Antifa

        No. Yes.

        No. “the internet” is a series of interconnected networks with data bits flowing between them. As long as data bits flow, there will be ways to stick your finger in the stream and pull out data. And ways to tell if this has happened. And ways to hide that this has happened. And ways to tell that this has happened and been hidden. And ways to hide the hiding of what happened . . . and ways of finding that out . . .

        Yes. Eliminate the NSA and the government’s other alphabet agencies who want to know what we’re all up to with our phones and tablets and PC’s. Eliminate corporate cookies and beacons, rootkits and Trojans and malware and spyware and punish severely anyone who manages to stick their finger in the data stream. Make unbreakable cyber privacy the first and fundamental human right worldwide. Let all governments agree to it, and save billions on cyber-warfare, cyber-spycraft, industrial spying, everything.

        Now that that’s done, you’ll need some really skilled people to search oh so carefully, endlessly, and thoroughly for people sticking their finger in the data stream anyway because human nature tells us there will still be those who do. As long as there are locks, there will be people to pick them. And to catch such people you have to hire people who know HOW finger sticking is done under the latest cutting edge software and hardware and infrastructure, and suddenly we are back at No again. No, there is no secure stream of data. The question is, who is sticking their finger in the stream? And doing what with the data?

        Quantum computing, with its “spooky action at a distance” might bring us true encryption of the data stream, but we’d only need a keylogger at one or both ends of the stream to capture the message. Or we’d download your entire hard drive whenever your cell phone tells us you’re out at Starbucks or the cleaners, or while your Whole House Software tells us your thermostat was left at 80 degrees again so we turned it down to 58, the refrigerator is low on milk and cold cuts, the cat box needs cleaning, your teen daughter is posting shirtless selfies again, and the lint buildup in your dryer vent is approach fire hazard levels. You signed up for all these cyber notices to make your life safer and easier, remember? We’re just being helpful here, not invasive.

        By “we” I mean some generic member of some alphabet agency. I’m not with any alphabet agency. I don’t even know the alphabet, or that song about it either.

      2. Andrew Watts

        Probably not. At least not until they realize how they’re wasting time and resources. I don’t know how I’m going to convince them of that. Probably off to a good start though.

        Regardless, it’s nice to see some political organizing condensing around this issue. If we can beatdown the NATSec state on their turf nobody will be able to stand in our way.

        …can Wall Street come out to play?

  7. Jim Haygood

    From the Forbes article on Obamacare:

    ‘New business from the Affordable Care Act … means robust growth ahead, insurers are telling Wall Street as they report their fourth-quarter and full year 2013 earnings.’

    No surprise, since the managed health care industry wrote the damned thing.

    And as Forbes says, they be rakin’ in the dough. XLV, the Health Care Sector SPDR which holds 54 of the S&P 500 stocks, delivered an eye-popping 41.4% total return in 2013. That compares to a 32.3% total return on SPY, which holds all 500 stocks in the index.

    Like Willie Sutton, investors buy the health care sector cuz ‘that’s where the money is.’

  8. john

    Because markets! So freedom. Excellent cheat. Wow! Oligarch. So usa. Very money. Make wall street. Too lie. Of steal. Free prison. Money justice. Dollar vote. Sad doge.

    1. diptherio

      Excellent, now overlay on a photo collage of Jaime “Diamonds” Dimon, Lloyd “the Fiend” Blankfein, Tim “Foamy” Geithner, Barack “the Bomba’ ” Obama, et. al

      I smell a meme…

  9. ohmyheck

    Suspicious Death of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, Under Investigation in London
    by Pam Martens
    “No solid evidence exists currently to suggest that the death was a suicide. In fact, there is a strong piece of evidence pointing in the opposite direction. Magee had emailed his girlfriend, Veronica, on the evening of January 27 to say that he was about to leave the office and would see her shortly. She received no further emails from him, suggesting that whatever happened to Magee happened shortly thereafter, not the next morning. According to multiple sources, Magee’s girlfriend reported his disappearance on the evening of January 27. The Metropolitan Police would provide me with no details on that investigation.”

  10. Jill

    That cat has found Jesus as its lord and savior! Now its out preaching the WORD!!

    Google: Yes, it gives you everything for free. It takes everything for free also-everything about you and sells it-hey that’s free isn’t it? As to the OWS twitter account. This account was supposedly set up for the benefit of the movement. To take that account and turn it into the private property of one person certainly is a betrayal of the movement and the claimed original intent.

    In some ways, I am glad that people are showing who they really are. It’s easier to work with people who are open about their real goals and easier to walk away from them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In a flat-earth reality, take for example, political spectrum, the extreme left and the extreme right are on 2 ends of a straight line.

        In a non-Euclidean reality, as you bend that straight line into a circle, the 2 ends become closer and closer until they meet, that’s when you have ardent communists one day and ruthless capitalist billionaires the next.

        And so, you have a leader of the 99% one day and the next, a member of the 1%, or Hippie yesterday, and Yuppie today.

        1. Jill

          And tomorrow, a really hip yuppie fascist! (Or is that today, right now?)


          That was fabulous!!!

  11. F. Beard

    re The Singularity by 2045:

    Nope, it’s not in the links but it occurs to me that the Towel Of Babel was another Singularity type event and God put a stop to that. So:

    1) Massive EMP before 2045?
    2) Other major disaster before 2045?

      1. F. Beard

        The singularity was not the Tower Of Babel but that Mankind was united in an effort to build it:

        The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:1-10 [bold added]

        And so it is; man is achieving godlike powers but still hasn’t mastered “Thou shall not steal.”

    1. Jackrabbit

      The singularity is not any more an affront or challenge to God than genetics, gunpowder, the printing press, airlines and the internet (which have brought humans together like never before), nuclear fusion, and space travel (newsflash: humans have traveled to the moon – far higher than the tower of babel every got).

      The real affront (to everyone here) is that you pretend that YOU know the mind of God. You attempt to use what influence or authority you gain from from such duplicity to argue for your own agenda. For example, in your comments on the recent NC post on climate change you urge everyone to accept the unfolding disaster.

      1. F. Beard

        My point is that if there is no Creator then Mankind is doomed anyway by, for example, a wandering black hole*, or maybe just the Yellowstone mega-volcano.

        So then [and this is just logic, Lambert] we really should seek to placate the most likely candidate for Creator who after all just requires that we do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). Too much to require?

        Both Progressives have no faith in justice otherwise they’d be advocating for Steve Keen’s “A Modern Debt Jubilee” and for the abolition of the Fed and government deposit insurance.

        Progressives = wear a hair shirt till one dies and then no pie in the sky either? Your God sounds more like a cruel devil to me.

        *Or a gamma ray burster or a nearby supernova or a rogue planet or an asteroid impact or the destruction of the entire universe by a phase change or some other danger yet unknown.

          1. Skippy

            We have already done antiquity, it was a massive fail. The problem today is – all the upgrades since then – on the same rhetoric, that and new and improved destructive capacity.

            1. F. Beard

              Massive fail? Not really. The Jews are still here against all expectation. And Judeo-Christian culture put a man on the Moon – about a dozen times.

              No, it is Calvinism that is failing, not the Bible.

            2. F. Beard

              A wandering black hole could care less. Logically you should acknowledge your helplessness and seek help.

              But you don’t so you’re illogical. So why should I or anyone listen to you?

        1. Jackrabbit

          “…placate the most likely candidate for Creator…”

          This is what I mean. You quote scripture and speak as though you are devout but then you say something silly like this. No devout person would propose such falseness.

          You are a fraud. You are just one in a long line of people through the centuries that have claimed to know God, usually in the service of TPTB who they have deemed ordained by God to rule.

          Your sanctimonious bluster is antithetical to the NC community of realists and critical thinkers.

          1. F. Beard

            I don’t claim to know God; I claim to have read the Bible a bit and to be logical.

            But I do probably know God better than most Progressives – having read His Book carefully.

            1. Jackrabbit

              “I do probably know God better than most Progressives”

              No one who is devout is so arrogant.

              1. F. Beard

                Not arrogance; just a statement of probable fact. The way to know God is to read and apply His Book. At least I do the former and attempt the latter sometimes.

                And which of you have come up with the idea of common stock as private money? Yet it is a logical consequence of the Bible’s view on profits (good) and profit-taking (bad).

            2. Walter Map

              No, Beardo, you do not. You assume too much, and your lack of humility is appalling. You have my sympathies, but really, you are neither godly nor worldly, and unfortunately seem to be unable to take constructive criticism in the spirit intended.

              You need to work on that. Sorry. Best of luck to you.

              1. F. Beard

                You need to work on that. WM

                Indeed. That’s why I continue to read Scripture and always should continue to do so:

                So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32
                New American Standard Bible (NASB)

                Sorry. Best of luck to you. WM

                Luck? LOL! Is that YOUR God? Luck?

          2. F. Beard

            If I’m a fraud then a fraud for what? Ethical money creation? Restitution for injustice? Land reform?

            1. Jackrabbit

              You are a fraud for essentially claiming that God supports your agenda. Plenty of people seek reform on moral grounds without invoking God.

              You are also incorrigible. This ‘what, me?’ innocent routine is yet another device to deflect criticism. We have seen many such devices from you and it has, frankly, gotten old.

              1. F. Beard

                You are also incorrigible.

                Not quite. I do accept correction from the Bible (at least in principle) and my friends and family say that I HAVE improved.

                As for incorrigible, what can be said about people who claim to be for sharing and equity but reject common stock as private money in favor of a government-backed/enabled usury for stolen purchasing power cartel? So long as that cartel is “prudent?”

      2. subgenius

        The “Singularity” isn’t proof of anything but a mind operating overtime on a fantasy. Google only want in because this techno utopian twaddle is impinging on the population’s conception of their future in a way that makes a nice preparation to sell their plans to the masses. The concept is the information age’s atlas shrugged…

  12. susan the other

    It was only last week that the astroturf discrediting Arnie Gunderson and other radiation informants was sweeping across my screen. And now this latest confession from Tepco. I don’t see how anything could take precedence over this in the news world. But there is no followup; no government action. We are probably in the middle of a meltdown at 4 reactors, all at various stages, and Tepco doesn’t know what to do. Hawaii is awash in radiation, so is the California coast, yet nothing has been recommended. This is “government.” We are on our own. Here’s a tip for everyone when we sober up and want a big drink of water: Fill a 10 gallon container with tap water and let it sit for 24 hours to allow the heavy particles to settle to the bottom. Then only drink water that you carefully ladle from the top. And throw the bottom half out. Take your calcium. And when you can’t endure it any longer, wrap yourself up in a sheet and crawl to the cemetery.

    1. Antifa

      L-arginine is also said to be highly protective of your immune system in the presence of radioactive isotopes. As to cleaning your tap water, a simple centrifuge will do a far better job on the heavy isotopes, concentrating them — you can then pour them down the drain so they become someone else’s problem. It’s the American Way.

      1. F. Beard

        Antifa = anti-fascist? That’s what I label myself.

        But how many know that the Fed and government deposit insurance are fascist?

  13. squasha

    Stimmt. Fremdschämen passt genau perfekt zu diesem Fall.

    “It never ceases to amaze me how far people have to stretch in order to denounce the one corporation that gives away everything for free,”

    not only are we underclasses mad envious, we are also too stupid to be grateful to our dons.

      1. squasha

        “Fremdschäden” existiert eigentlich nicht. Gäbe es, dann würde es etwa wie “strange, alien, or extraneous damage” bedeuten. Sort of uncoils the mental box-spring, that one.

  14. Jim Haygood

    After Argentina devalued the peso from 7 to 8 per dollar (still way above the black market rate of 12 pesos per dollar), retail prices went up. So of course, they have to be forced back down:

    Today the government promised that meat, which after the peso devaluation went up 20%, will fall in price this week. This was confirmed by the Secretary of Domestic Commerce Augusto Costa, who admitted that there have been price increases ‘in reaction to the devaluation’ and defended the program ‘Precios Cuidados.’

    The Kirchner government official questioned ranchers who are keeping their calves in feedlots in hopes of exporting them. ‘Some ranchers still have in mind an exchange rate of 11 or 12 pesos, because they’re looking at the ‘blue’ [black market rate] and not at the real [official] exchange rate,’ he complained.


    When a government is inflating like crazy and burning up its reserves defending an unrealistic exchange rate, it’s a no-brainer, one-way bet that they will eventually fold like cheap suit.

    That’s how Soros broke the Bank of England in 1992. Argentina’s ranchers would be nuts to expect a different result from the widow Kirchner’s desperate, flailing regime.

  15. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to Matt Boesler’s post at Business Insider regarding Rabobank’s analysis of “key market threats”. Interesting and unsurprising that they are now focused on intensifying deflationary policy pressures and developments.

    However, if your lead link is accurate, deteriorating developments at Fukushima should have humanity’s undivided attention. I appreciate that you made it today’s first link.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘…humanity’s undivided attention.’

      For some humans, it could be too late already.

      Let’s hope for many others, it’s not. We’ll see.

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    Link to the post from the FRBNY’s “Crisis Chronicles” by two fairly senior officials at the New York Fed was of interest. Perhaps this is why the NY Fed began providing the sanctuary of a Reverse Repo account at the Fed to selected entities. Balance last Friday was over $100 billion for those who might argue that the system is suffering from illiquidity and the Fed needs to curtail its QE-ZIRP taper:

    1. financial matters

      I think the players in the tri-party repo market are at large risk of liquidity problems and unfortunately many of them are money market funds. The Fed is trying to take steps to provide liquidity in the case of the inevitable unwinding/deleveraging but what is needed is fundamental structural change. The moral hazard of the previous bailouts have left destructive investment bank investment strategies in place. These favor money market funds being applied to speculative financial products rather than productive employment generating activities.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    To study aggression…That’s what’s really changing in neuroscience,’ [Bargmann] said. It is shifting ‘toward manipulating the activity of the nervous system.’ What this might mean for humans is unclear.” Oh?

    More research to go along with ‘how to brainwash people into craving for more brainwashing.’

    A perpetual brainwashing maschine…don’t live (in a) home without it.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Apple iPhone, international currency….and a proposed dissertation for my English literature degree, a new interpretation of William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence.

    World in a Grain of Sand (that’s silica & silicon…smartphone, storage capacity and 24/7 news connectvitiy)

    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower (probably pining for his Neanderthal days or defeating big brothers with low cost tools)

    , Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand (you know what that is)

    And Eternity in an hour (download speed in Blake’s time. Today, probably in a millisecond)

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sochi…gold medal…slopestyle snowboard.

    First of all, there is something oppressing about a medal that is…er, gold.

    Secondly, and more concerning to me, is the ever-widening gap between elite athletes and the 99% athletes. As the former jump higher, run faster, perform ever more gracefully, the latter are increasingly more couch-ridden and remote-control-stuck.

  20. Huxley

    pity this busy monster, manunkind,

    not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
    your victim (death and life safely beyond)

    plays with the bigness of his littleness
    — electrons deify one razorblade
    into a mountainrange; lenses extend
    unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
    returns on its unself.
    A world of made
    is not a world of born — pity poor flesh

    and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
    fine specimen of hypermagical

    ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

    a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
    of a good universe next door; let’s go

  21. Jill

    Brazil: “Rage against the government is turning the population against each other…” (Notice also the willingness of govt. minions to support that.)

    That is what USGinc. wants as well. This government has successfully engineered hatred between people who share much more in common than they will ever admit. The govt. has largely, successfully engineered ways to shut down any criticism of itself as well.

    This is why I agree strongly with Banger when he says we have to address spirituality (and I say that as an atheist) if we want to get somewhere. Without a deep, loving, compassionate, strong sense of justice we aren’t going to stop turning on each other. This spiritual or ethical ethos has to underlie what we do. Further that ethos must be clearly articulated.

    I saw this with the obots. People I knew, who I thought actually opposed torture, inequality, wars of empire, etc. turned on a dime once “their” candidate started committing acts they had formerly opposed. This was a real shock to me. Without an underlying ethos, people can and will turn on a dime. We ignore this at our peril.

    1. Antifa

      Wonderful antidote today. Feline versions of “Platoon” have been circulating quietly on the web for some time now. Nice to see an experienced “tunnel cat” like Sergeant Elias here breaking out of cardboard box performances in the basement, and performing in the main kitchen at last. A hardwood floor makes all the difference to a thespian.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When my cat does something like that, I usually just say ‘Hey, Jessica Lange doesn’t live here any more. Try next door.’

  22. Yonatan

    “Apple’s iPhone, the New International Currency”

    “An iPhone’s value lasts only until the next product launch. For now, the 5s is holding steady, even against that other new currency—Bitcoin.”

    “Bitcoin Price Plunges as Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Activity”

    Such transient value!

  23. H. Alexander Ivey

    Re: “Welcome to Bakersfield”

    Oh boy, you got to love this one. Pure propaganda, from beginning to end. Straight from the mouth piece of a East Coast banker. Where to start?

    Well, the opening lyrics, for one. “Streets of Bakersfield” is about an illegal immigrant looking for work, not a con man seeking to get rich quick and recklessly. Then the opening paragraph with all it’s references to God and (Christian) religion. Okay, let’s be liberal and give the benefit of the doubt to the use of “Christian”.

    But then we hit the third paragraph, and all we see is riches, assets, and manna. Where is that in Christianity? Oh yeah, looking for signs from up above – the ultimate regulator? Guess the ones on earth were not watching…

    Then the fall from grace (but whose grace? God’s? Are you kidding? Is the author channeling Reverend Ike?). Oh, wait, I see. He cheats, but he cheats the out-of-towners. Yeah, not the local yokels – the other yokels. Well, that okay, right? Just don’t cheat on Christians? Huh?

    Then we get the “it’s complicated” angle. He’s a convicted felony, a convicted thief, an liar and a hypocrite – but it’s complicated, like a novel. The writer tries to give a plus / minus, pro / con portrait of Cole, but it falls flat – clear evident of being right wing but no convincing evidence of being liberal – “a dedicated environmentalist” but not explanation or examples to back up that assertion.

    More half baked writing follows. Cole states he’s from Eagle Springs, NC, but the author doesn’t seem to verify any thing Cole says – this lack of checking when dealing with a know liar and con man is … interesting….

    Further bits of writing that don’t add up: initial talk about the economy of Bakersfield, its apparent riches and diversity of wealth – oil and agriculture, then how its people are tough – not like those la-la people further south in California but then it trips over how the population (the tough people) are poorer and less well-educated – huh? How does that fit together?

    More questions arise, but are not answered: Cole shared his story with a fellow parishioner – ok, what exactly did Cole tell? That he had sex with a same sex minor? Or a more polished and incomplete version?

    More of the same for the rest of the story – the writer can’t condemn Cole or his partner, Crisp, for their fraud and stealing, hell, he won’t even condemn them for their obvious over-the-top lifestyle. So what gives? What’s the theme here?

    Oh, here it is, in the lower quarter of the story –

    “Crisp & Cole had become connected to a higher power – Wall Street. The firm sat at the local end of a global supply chain. Its scores of employees were creating hundreds of mortgages a year for banks, which were then packaging the home loans into securities sold to investors around the world – the ultimate source of most of the money used to fund US house purchases, then and now.”

    Nice touch there Silverman, linking Wall Street to God, and making it seem like the US housing market has always been financed in such a manner (no, Virginia, only for the last 20 years were home mortgages given to anyone with a pulse). And that is the theme here, boys and girls. It’s really nobody’s fault. Just a little too much money, floating around a little too loose. Nothing to see here, keep on moving.

    The joke is this paragraph gives the game away. Cole and Crisp were one end point, Wall Street is the other, of a chain of fraud and stealing. Each point needed the other. The gov’t allowed the chain to exist and so is now, rather capriciously, picking on Cole, and only Cole.

    Well, no sympathy from me for any of the characters in this story – nobody looks good. Especially the writer, Silverman, who doesn’t do any basic verification or analysis of what anyone said or did. In particular, and a major reason for my long winded writing, is Silverman’s and Cole’s fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity – the religion or the belief. It is NOT about monetary riches, NOT about power, NOT about breaking the top ten rules of a stable and just society, it is about helping others who are not as fortunate, as powerful, as rich, as you. As a (not good at it) practising Christian I will not let Cole and Silverman abuse my belief and religion without challenge. And for those who wish to throw stones, I am not saying Cole is not a Christian, I am saying he is not a sincere Christian – and Silverman is lazy to let Cole suggest otherwise.

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