Links 3/13/14

If you have some spare cash, please go immediately and make a donation to Lambert’s fundraiser. In addition to DJing the site from time to time, writing his own posts, and helping participate in and mind the comments section, he also does a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work here. And on top of that, he also runs the group blog Corrente (including doing the hosting). We pay him out of our fundraiser for his considerable help here, but winters are long and cold in Maine and fuel bills are high. Please consider chipping in for him at Corrente, since the work he does there enables him to be more productive and better informed at Naked Capitalism. Every little bit helps and will be very much appreciated!

Rampaging elephant smashes up house but then ‘saves crying baby trapped under debris’ Independent (YY)

Cats of war: Animals suspected by British of spying on WW1 trenches Telegraph

Woman Claims She Found Lizard Head & Arm In Salad From Guy & Gallard Gothamist. A Richard Smith anti-antidote.

Powerlines disturb animal habitats by appearing as disturbing flashes of UV light invisible to the human eye Independent (YY)

How much meat is too much? London Review of Books. An indirect proof of something I’ve been saying for years: we will all be eating further down the food chain in the future.

Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare: “Malpractice Claims Analysis Confirms Risks in EHRs” Health Care Renewal

The Top 25 Best Countries To Be A Woman Huffington Post. The list featured was 25 because the US is only number 23.

Medical Procedure Patents in the TPP: A Comparative Perspective on the Highly Unpopular U.S. Proposal Infojustice (furzy mouse)

US claims EU abandoning tariff pledge Financial Times. Hahaha! A possible spanner in the works for the TPP’s ugly sister, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

International pressure forces businesses to clean up supply chains Nikkei

Yuan Dive? Barry Eichengreen, Project Syndicate

China data add to economic concerns Financial Times

Signals on Radar Puzzle Officials in Hunt for Malaysian Jet New York Times

What happened to MH370?

Elections without checks and balances aren’t democracy The Nation (Thailand)

EU ‘may not survive’ stagnation – Soros Guardian

Ukraine. As of this hour, on the BBC, Washington Post, Telegraph, Financial Times, New York Times, Politico, Ukraine-related news has been greatly de-emphasized versus the page placements of 24 hours ago. At the Guardian (and for that matter everywhere I looked), MH370 has pride of place (at the Guardian, you at least have a Ukraine piece, see below, just under that). I have my own pet theories as to why the demonization of Russia is no longer the first order of business.

Propaganda, lies and the New York Times: Everything you really need to know about Ukraine Salon. A great piece.

The Looting Of Ukraine Has Begun Paul Craig Roberts (jerseyjeffersonian)

German Exporters Fire Warning Shot About Russia “Sanction-Spiral,” Banks At Risk Wolf Richter

Ukraine SITREP March 12, 12:09 EST (and some debunking) Vineyard of the Saker (jo6pak)

Congress wrestles with Ukraine aid Guardian

U.S. Pushes Last-Ditch Effort to Ease Ukraine Crisis Wall Street Journal

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Feinstein Syndrome: “The Fourth Amendment for Me, But Not for Thee” Norman Solomon, Firedoglake

Constitutional Conflict & Congressional Oversight Just Security

Obamacare Launch

International Experts Tell Senators That Single-Payer Improves National Health at Less Cost TruthOut

Watch an expert teach a smug U.S. senator about Canadian healthcare Chicago Tribune (Robert M)

Why casino workers hate Obamacare CNN (Lambert)

The PPACA Penalty Fee in 2014 Misinformation Angry Bear

Fla. loss exposes Dems’ disarray on Obamacare Politico

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Obama on “Between Two Ferns”: He peddles the lie that ObamaCare is as cheap as a cellphone, and nobody checks the facts Lambert. He’s STILL selling that Big Lie?!?

Bill Clinton Is the Best Friend Democrats Have for 2014 National Journal. With friends like that…..

At Least 3 Killed as Gas Explosion Hits East Harlem New York Times. Associated Press now says dead at at least 6.

Not Just New York: Gas Leaks Are A Problem All Over The U.S. Popular Science (Robert M)

Two local papers have accepted money from City Hall in 2014. Is this a thing now? (UPDATED) Columbia Journalism Review

Sponsor independent media or trust the sponsorship of others Dan Fejes

Slow Realization of Low Wages & the Japanification of the US Angry Bear

Reduce Record Wall Street Bonuses and Double the Pay of Minimum Wage Workers Instead TruthOut

The power of the 1% Pieria. “It’s quite possible that we would be better off if the top 1% were less well-paid.”

Still No Jobs for More Than 60 Percent of Job Seekers Economic Policy Institute (Carol B)

Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem New York Times (Lambert)

CHART: The Monthly Mortgage Payment Vs The Monthly Rental Payment Since 1981 Business Insider

Ted Butler: Why Not Just Close the COMEX Jesse

Ex-Goldman banker fined $650,000 Financial Times. Only the little guys get whacked. And he has to repay a $175,000 bonus. Wonder if Tourre regrets keeping mum to protect Goldman, which cut him loose anyhow.

Why Nothing Is Truly Alive New York Times (Robert M)

Antidote du jour (mark w). Believe it or not, this is flatworm sex!


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  1. Hilary Barnes

    Most women would probably prefer to be a woman in the USA than Burundi, one imagines, even if the relative position of women in Burundi society is quite good. Curious list!

      1. 12312399

        that’s the problem with these “top X” lists, you can manipulate your criterion to alter the rankings as you wish—turning unbiased raw data into biased rankings.

    1. Massinissa

      Im scratching my head as to how the Phillipines made it to 5th place. Absolutely scratching my head.

      1. Massinissa

        JESUS, LATVIA IS 12?! Oh sure, theres no income gap… BECAUSE MEN HAVE FALLEN FAR DOWN WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. Progress! Latvia is a neoliberal sh*thole now, theres a reason 10% of their population had to leave in the last decade or so.

        I think this list only measures income gap. It would still be pretty damn sh*tty to be a Latvian woman, it just happens that its just as sh*tty if not worse to be a Latvian man. If everyone is poor, but the men are as equally poor, then theyre able to rank high on this stupid list.

      2. Working Class Nero

        I’m pretty sure they had to have at least one token Asian, African, and Latin American country on the list in order to avoid being called Euro-centric.

      3. Mark Pawelek

        Thailand is not in the top 25.
        —————– a —– b —– c —— d —– e —– d
        Philippines : — 69 — 426 — 4400 — 0.888 — 7.3% — illegal
        Thailand : —– 74 — 1790 — 9430 — 0.888 — 0.56% — legal
        a. Life expectancy (years):
        b. Energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita)
        c. GNI per capita
        d. Education Index
        e. Unemployment rate
        f. abortion access

      1. Working Class Nero

        I’m not sure but if we reverse the logic of this study and claim that the countries with the most gender disparity are the best for men then we get the following Top 25 that are best countries for men to live in :

        Yemen, Pakistan, Chad. Syria, Mauritania, Cote d’Ivoire, Iran, Morocco, Mali, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Oman, Nepal, Turkey, Jordan, Ethiopia, Fiji, Kuwait, Qatar, Guatemala, Zambia, Bahrain.

  2. Robert Benmosche

    ” we will all be eating further down the food chain in the future. ”

    Speak for yourself, commoner. I’ve gone up. Do you know what a child costs in Croatia? They go beautifully with my Zinfandel.

  3. Kevin Smith

    Done! $250 for Lambert’s hamsters & $250 for you.
    Thanks for being a part of our morning for many years.
    Best wishes,


      1. Murky

        A smaller spark of inspiration got through to me. A meager $20 bucks for Lambert’s ‘Hamster Fund’.

  4. Furzy Mouse

    As a former futures broker, (with valid hedgers in the metals) I usually follow stories regarding monkey biz on the exchanges…and during my time, including the Hunt bros silver debacle, I’ve only witnessed relatively brief manipulations in these markets…Jesse does not accept questions or comments, so, does anyone have solid proof of “no input from the real world producers” at the COMEX, and how the exchange “replaced the free market law of supply and demand with a phony price-setting mechanism”?

  5. financial matters

    CHART: The Monthly Mortgage Payment Vs The Monthly Rental Payment Since 1981 Business Insider

    1. financial matters

      This is an interesting chart in that it shows mortgage prices and rental prices correlating around $800/mo with a high of $1200/mo for mortgages in 2007.

      financial matters says:
      June 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Home Loan Rates Near 4% Send Buyers Scurrying: Mortgages Bloomberg

      “”The average buyer, getting a 3.81 percent mortgage rate, can afford a $279,000 house, 45 percent higher than the U.S. median home price, according to a June 4 note to clients written by Shan and other Goldman Sachs analysts””

      I always thought that to find the correct pricing for housing, the average house had to be affordable for the average person. Median household monthly pretax income in the US is about $4166.

      Banks will apparently lend up to 35% of this amount although since this is pretax, 25% is probably a more sustainable number and also these figures are only for principal and interest and not taxes and insurance.

      $279000 3.81 30yr 1300
      $279000 3.81 15 yr 2000

      This would make the average cost of a home is $153450.

      153450 3.81 30yr 715
      153450 3.81 15yr 1120

      .35 x 4166 = 1458
      .25 x 4166 =1041

      It would seem that the average person could reasonably afford about $1000/mo in principal and interest which would be pretty close to accurate for an average house price around $150,000.

      It seems that things are finally starting to shake out to be a decent time to think about buying a house. We are past the crazy lending period and are now starting to get past the period of investors buying up homes for rental properties….

      financial matters
      February 15, 2014 at 11:59 am
      The next few years could finally prove to be a good time to buy a house..

      “Out of 110 economists, real estate experts, and investment strategists surveyed in Zillow’s latest Home Value Index, 57 percent said they think institutional investors will work to sell the majority of homes in their portfolios “in the next three to five years.” These investors are largely credited with propping up housing during its recession, helping to keep sales volumes from plummeting too far.”

      “So, there you have it; the banks haven’t been foreclosing because it hasn’t been in their interest to foreclose. Foreclosure sales push down prices which batters balance sheets and scares shareholders. Who wants that? So the game goes on. Only now, the dynamic is changing. Skittish investors are eyeing the exits, QE is winding down, and housing prices have peaked. The recovery has reached its zenith, which is why the bankers want get off on the top floor before the elevator begins its bumpy descent.”


      Would be nice timing to switch to a bottom up strategy rather than our current trickle down..

      What Now?

      February 12, 2014
      By Joe Firestone

      “They can have both job creation by the Government and no national debt. They can also have true universal health care and no national debt. They can also have first class free education, and new infrastructure, and new climate-change and environment friendly new energy foundations, and much else with no debt subject to the limit. When they know these things and when they believe that Democrats, if elected, will provide them with these things, all without needing to raise taxes, then, and perhaps only then, will the Democrats be able to snatch victory from impending defeat.

      Think about it. The three traditional excuses for inaction: the debt, the need for tax increases to fund the new programs, and their not having control of Congress will be gone. So, the Democrats will either have to deliver on their promises about jobs or their mask as the party of the people will be well and truly ripped off for good and all.

      Either way, the rest of us are better off. If they deliver, we’ll have full employment, and if they don’t, then everyone will know that the 99% need a real people’s party. And the Greens will be waiting in the wings, with the best cast of characters this side of the New Deal.”


      And I would throw in forgiveness of predatory student debt as a useful economic stimulus

    1. rjs

      it’s virtually implausible that anything other than the fracking operation caused those quakes in Mahoning County, an area which hadnt seen seismologic activity before fracking related activities started there…furthermore, the quakes were at a depth of 2 km to 2.5 km (USGS source) exactly the same depth as the utica shale in eastern ohio (source);

      1. rjs

         that depth is not normal for earthquakes – if you check current earthquakes at USGS at any time, you’ll see the record shows most (except oklahoma) are at a depth of 10 to 100 km, with some deeper ( )
        these facts were known to the ODNR when they halted fracking operations within 12 hours after the 2nd of 5 quakes…

        the ODNR was recently implicated in a scheme to run psych-ops against environmental groups…it’ll be interesting to see how they untangle themselves and the industry they represent from this dilemma…

  6. F. Beard

    re Why Nothing Is Truly Alive New York Times (Robert M):

    In the author’s case I agree: He is not alive. I suggest he do something about that while he still can.

    1. diptherio

      Alive and not-alive are arbitrary distinctions. Saying “nothing is alive” is the same thing as saying “everything is alive”: i.e. the distinction between living and non-living is not what we generally take it to be.

      I read an account by a Lakota man who explained his childhood upbringing and said that to anyone raised to observe the world around him/her, as Lakota children are, it is apparent that rocks and rivers are alive, as well as people, plants and animals.

      1. F. Beard

        I read an account by a Lakota man who explained his childhood upbringing and said that to anyone raised to observe the world around him/her, as Lakota children are, it is apparent that rocks and rivers are alive, as well as people, plants and animals.

        But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” Luke 19:40 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    2. Furzy Mouse

      I am in total agreement…this is semantic silliness. Radical materialism at its worst. I propose that sentience, awareness, is completely separate from what we call the material world. Awareness cannot be measured, but try to prove it does not exist!

      1. F. Beard

        I LOVE your antidotes! YOU have a heart!

        (However I’m engaged, I think, and no doubt you’re already taken. : ) )

      2. F. Beard

        I propose that sentience, awareness, is completely separate from what we call the material world. Furzy

        I think consciousness might easily be inherent to matter and so had no problem with and greatly enjoyed the movie “AI”.

      3. scraping_by

        “Awareness cannot be measured, but try to prove it does not exist!”

        Much the argument by Rupert Sheldrake, which he puts forth in The Science Delusion and other works. Nonmystical nonmaterialism. Less editing of the observable world.

  7. Tyler

    “While fast food workers are fighting for survival wages, IPS points out that they could have a livable income if the Wall Street bonuses were not so excessive…”


    1. craazyman

      I went into RSX Today, Feeling Lucky for the World

      There’s this Russian dude in the office on the other side of the elevators. A small office with 3 or 4 Russians, something to do with finance. Them and us on the floor. It keeps the restroom relatively free, but sometimes he’s in there taking a piss when I walk in or he walks in when I’m peeing. He’s got a round Russian-looking face, short dark hair and a slightly mishaped body that makes his legs look thin and his chest a little like a box. With his navy blazer and jeans he looks like something out of the 1980s. I see him down on the street smoking staring into space. He doesn’t say much but I make small talk sometimes. Today he was getting into the elevator when I was on my way to pee and I asked him about Ukraine. Will it blow up or what? The elevator door hit his arm 4 times while he spoke. I felt bad I even asked. Did he think I was some U.S. warmonger trapping him in a confession of evil? I told him I had no idea what’s going on over there. He looked a little worried and said he hoped it would all be resolved, but if not, he said it would open Pandora’s Box. I think he meant it.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Good Luck on your RSX contrarian trade, craazy. More importantly, your creative writing is remarkable. I know the publishing biz is beyond difficult, but would really like to see some short stories from you. You’re located in publishers’ central. Just a thought from a fan of your stuff here at NC.

  8. fresno dan

    Cats of war: Animals suspected by British of spying on WW1 trenches Telegraph
    “Alas, the documents do not go on to disclose what became of the animals, or whether they were eventually detained”
    They were renditioned and detained in an undisclosed location. There is debate about whether the enhanced interrogation methods resulted in any intelligence….in the military, or the governments….to this day.

    “On it was written, in German, a series of abusive messages, among them: “You can fill your trenches with devils – we Germans fear nothing in the world… Englishmen, how badly you shoot!… You Englishmen – we have wine, sausage, and meat – your Englishmen are hungry and thirsty… You stupid soldiers!” ”
    Man, that is mean. I know that would have made me cry and run for home… That must be against the rules of war….and is much, much wurst than poison gas.

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Feinstein Syndrome: “The Fourth Amendment For Me, But Not For Thee”

    As I was composing my comment, I was reading the Comments section for the article. I can’t say it any better than “onitgoes,” so I will just copy his/hers:

    onitgoes March 13th, 2014 at 12:48 am 16

    My contempt for this harridan crook & her thieving gun-running husband knows no bounds. Nothing will change despite Feinstein’s way too little far too late protest over the sleazy monsters she has bourn & suckled at her shriveled tits. A pox on her many expensive mansions & may karma bitch slap her good & hard.
    The alphabet goons’ll convince this TRAITOR to STFU soon enough. After all, they have the goods on her. My cold comfort comes from not having ever voted for this greedy POS.


    I don’t know what “PTOU” means, but it sounds pretty bad. At least I hope it is.

    1. cripes

      “PTOUI” or “PTUI” denotes the act or sound of spitting. See: 20th century comic books.

  10. fresno dan

    The Feinstein Syndrome: “The Fourth Amendment for Me, But Not for Thee” Norman Solomon, Firedoglake

    Feinstein = Robespierre
    She has loosed the security state, and now it devours her.

    “Brennan said in a statement last week that he was “deeply dismayed” that some members of the Senate have made “spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts.” (THE CIA DETERMINES THE FACTS. IF YOU DON’T COMPORT TO THE CIA FACTS, YOUR A TRAITOR)

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama has “great confidence” in Brennan and the intelligence community.”

    The state (Homeland) has enemies….so many, many enemies.

  11. Daize

    Re: “Why Nothing is Truly Alive”
    The author good have just as easily concluded that everything is alive by exactly the same logic.

  12. MikeNY

    Re Krugman’s fatuous comment that a living wage is “more about morality than economics”.

    First: yes, it is about morality. So was desegregation, which businesses in the South opposed (in part) because it would be a costly inconvenience. Morality trumps business inconvenience. An economy possessing the means has a moral obligation to provide a living wage for ALL workers. MLK said this 50 years ago. And the attempt to separate economics from morality, as Hugh and others have said, is staggeringly wrong-headed. It is a betrayal of the discipline, and it is a betrayal of human society. In a word, it is immoral.

    Second: the notion that the market will by itself increase wages for the bottom half of workers has been disproved by the last 30 years’ experience, even with super-easy monetary policy. To contend that now it will work is either i) disingenuous, or ii) fantastic and insane.

    Three: the Fed is a functionally reactionary institution that will hike rates at the first signs of wage inflation. Believing in the Fed as economic Messiah has only saved the plutocrats.

    1. Massinissa

      I dont like Krugman, but I think what he means is that it wont actually help anyone all that much.

      Though I think I would disagree…

      Anyway, it would be one thing if he was to to support something else instead, like a guaranteed minimum income, but he doesnt.

    2. Jackrabbit

      To most economists don’t care much for anything that they can not model or factor into their models. Almost by definition, this makes them immoral, and their prescriptions toxic to the society that they claim to benefit.

      This is really a labeling problem. Economist writings and tv appearances should come with a disclaimer. (something like: “Views expressed are driven by analytical models that do not consider morality or quality of life outcomes. As a result, capital concerns far outweigh social values.”)

      Once again, I have to wonder: why is Paul Krugman given the status and respect of a position on the blogroll?

      1. MikeNY

        I completely agree about the implicit materialism and “physics envy” in modern macro. This has reduced the modern discipline to absurdity and moral bankruptcy.

        (And I meant “Third” above, but I’m the world’s worst proofreader. Sigh.)

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Living wage…

      First of all, all of us 99.99% are serfs.

      I am no exception.

      OK, now,

      1. Living wage proposal is serf mentality.
      2. Job Guarantee proposal is serf mentality.
      3. GDP Sharing is Universal Brotherhood Mentality.

      1. F. Beard

        But you ain’t necessarily my brother! (Nor are you that heavy (in a beatnik sense, “Wow! Heavy man!”) either.)

        Still you have been robbed like most of the rest of us and deserve restitution but after that you and everyone else should be on their own except for a Guaranteed Living Income since no one should starve or be homeless in the US.

      2. MikeNY

        Beef, how do you get around the “free rider” problem? I mean, if we do simple GDP sharing, why shouldn’t I let my neighbor work FOR me?

        It’s a lovely concept, but isn’t it utopian?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think it will allow us to reach something closer to a no-frills more than just essential to-survive (everyone free to engage in what he/she is passionate about) and yet harmonious-with-Nature GDP level, without all the frivolous components (in a sultry voice, ‘you need this man-made smell to conquer your mate’, e.g.) we see today.

          It will also put to test the on-the-record confessions of all our brightest who stuff their college/graduate school admission essays with ‘I am doing it to help others’ declarations.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I would add, and thanks for asking the question, this is approaching the problem of inequality from the other end.

          We can have a system based on self-interest upfront and try to mix in a little sharing.

          The other way is to base it on sharing and try to mix in a little self-interest to spice things up.

          In practice, as your question makes clear, 100% pure GDP sharing, like a lot of things in life, won’t work. We need to modify it to fit with reality.

          1. F. Beard

            We need to modify it to fit with reality. Beef

            No, you need to modify it to fit justice since justice will ultimately prevail anyway and you should endeavor to be on its side ahead of time. Understand?

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      You do get away with a lot, calling people here ninny, shrew, wishing them hemorrhoids, etc.

          2. MikeNY

            I admire your idealism, Beef. I’m (sadly) a bit less optimistic about human nature in the short term.

    4. fresno dan

      I agree.
      Its kinda of astounding really – 40 years of stagnation of wages, and arguably a decline in the standard of living for most (2 incomes to do what 1 income used to do), there has never been a year in the last 40 where there has been actual deflation (yet this is the BIG fear which can only be solved by giving money to BANKS), Banks used to be 6% and are now 16% of all profits, banking as an institution is NOTHING but lying and illegality, from interest (LIBOR….just call it LIE MORE) manipulation ot wholesale forgery, the total corruption of how policies in the US are made, …the list goes on and on.
      And yet Krugman/economists continues to believe that money, given to the most corrupt, from people who didn’t see the crisis coming, is the best way to solve it. Six years….when does it get solved?
      These low interest rates…, who gets them? Credit card holders?….Credit card rates are same as they ever were. Fees Visa and Master Card charge merchants…same as they ever were. Interest paid to savers…not any more.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Who get those low rates?

        Homeowners get a little bit of that.

        Apartment owners too, I suppose, but not really renters, except for the kindness of stranger-landlords.

        And that is only one of two ways homeowners come out ahead – the other (possibly) is debt-jubilee, but never any talk of rent/lease-jubilee.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You talked about lease jubilee?

            How about library fines jubilee?

            Traffic tickets jubilee?

            Child support jubilee?

            Alimony jubilee?

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    I can only hope for some sort of intervention against this sort of Goebbelsian level of repetition.

                    1. different clue

                      As long as one bites the hook with every chum of the water, the hooksetter will chum the water again.

                      Perhaps the most rigidly repetitive repitition will wear the waterchummer out. The experiment could be run, I suppose.

  13. Sam

    The author of “Why Nothing is Truly Alive” seems to have made some awkward moves in his argument. Trees are concepts, he tells us: what really exist are just plants. It is unclear, however, why plants are somehow more “real” than trees. What makes plants real but trees conceptual?

    He tells us life is similarly just a concept: what really exist are just atoms and particles. Again, I don’t see why the same logic wouldn’t lead us to conclude, as many philosophers do, that atoms and particles are likewise “mere” human concepts.

    As we’ve known since the 18th century, our experience of the world is formed by the concepts we use to process it intelligibly, and in this sense, all reality is filtered through the rigid structures of our mind. Trees, like plants, atoms, human life, water and H20, are mental concepts, and we simply have to take it on good faith that they have some form of existence outside of our minds.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And mental concepts are limited by the hardware of the brain.

      There are concepts an Australopithecus brain could not fathom that an Erectus brain could.

      Similarly, there are concepts the human brain (as it is today) can not and will never understand, even in a billion years.

      And we don’t even know that they are.

      That’s one reason ‘the best current explanation’ or ‘the best current understanding’ is only for mental speculation, and does not give license to altering Nature to the extend we have.

    2. psychohistorian

      I carry an outdated business card around in my wallet with the evolving percentages of what scientists think the Cosmos is made of.

      The latest numbers are:

      Matter – 4.6% (This is the stuff we think we know something about)
      Dark Matter – 24% (Science has theories but little or no knowledge)
      Dark Energy – 71.4% (Science has theories but little or no knowledge)

      So with some information about less than 5% of the Cosmos we consider ourselves smart enough to develop religions instead of being comfortable with not knowing and operating from that position of humility.

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Watch an expert teach a smug U.S. senator about Canadian healthcare

    I have just finished reading CATASTROPHIC CARE How American Health Care Killed My Father–and How We Can Fix It by David Goldhill. This book, along with the excellent Money-Driven Medicine by Maggie Mahar, should be required reading for anyone seriously attempting to solve, or even UNDERSTAND, the tremendous problem of “healthcare” in America.

    “Medicare For All” is a bumper sticker, not a solution. If Medicare were ever to become the effective, sustainable, affordable, universal basic “healthcare” delivery system in the US, it would need to be so completely reformed it would be unrecognizable.

    Hearings like Sanders’ “ours is better than yours” dog and pony show are simply embarrassing grandstanding and certainly cannot be counted on to solve anything.

    Actually, the fact that they are even taken seriously is a problem.

  15. F. Beard

    If you have some spare cash, please go immediately and make a donation to Lambert’s fundraiser.

    Luckily I have none so I don’t have to consider giving to someone who called me liar just yesterday. :) I can forgive but it takes time.

  16. Garrett Pace

    Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem

    Interesting article, though the author is swimming in the kool aid too when he quotes the following unironically:

    “Never before has the idea itself been powerful enough that one can get away with a lacking implementation,”

    I guess if you were 5 in 1999 and world history began in 2008, that might seem like the case.

  17. JohnB

    Possible game-changer for monetary reformists – which should rewrite the macroeconomic textbooks: The Bank of England has recognized endogenous money, that banks create money when they make loans:

    I’ve been following monetary reform as a topic for a while, and this is – in my impression – a Very Big Deal, which should give the ammunition needed for permanently changing economic discourse.

    Well done to the Positive Money crowd – I think they can be credited with (indirectly) playing a big part in this, as they’ve been campaigning on this for a long time.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Banks don’t make money when they make loans. Only the US government (and the Fed, if you consider them different, I don’t) makes money.

      OK, let’s get technical. You deposit money into your account. The bank borrows the money from your account, placing it in their reserve account. They replace the money in your account with THEIR money, which if their promise to pay when you want your money back. That is the only money they create. It is NOT U.S. currency. THEY DON’T CREATE U.S. CURRENCY.

      As far as that “positive money” garbage, I’ve yet to see anyone define what they hell it is they think they are talking about when they use that term.

      1. F. Beard

        OK, let’s get technical.

        Let’s do.

        You deposit money into your account. The bank borrows the money from your account, placing it in their reserve account. [bold added]

        Wrong unless currency is deposited in which case the bank might buy reserves from the Fed with the cash to deposit in its account or it could add your cash to its vault cash instead. If a Federal check is deposited then the Fed will transfer reserves from the Treasury account to the bank’s account when the check clears. If the check is drawn on another bank, reserves will likewise be transferred from the check issuing bank to the check “cashing” bank when the check clears. In all cases, the receiving banks credits the depositor’s account and adds an equal amount to its Liabilities

        They replace the money in your account with THEIR money, which if their promise to pay when you want your money back.

        Dumb way to put it.

        That is the only money they create. It is NOT U.S. currency. THEY DON’T CREATE U.S. CURRENCY.

        Duh! (But the Fed DOES create US currency and lends it to the banking system as needed and buys their assets with it too). But that bank money spends just as well as fiat because the banks have a morally bogus default monopoly on the risk-free storage of and transactions with claims to fiat via government deposit insurance and the shamefully negligent lack of a Federal Government risk-free fiat storage and transaction service AND because the Fed lends new fiat into existence to the banks as needed to keep their checks from bouncing.

        I detect panic in your comment. It must be doubly depressing to lose an evil cause, ’cause, ’cause: loss now and loss later too.

      2. JohnB

        Benedict@Large: Read the links. You’re in disagreement with the Bank of England, i.e. the central bank in England – here is what they have to say:
        Whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money.

        They are the primary authority on the monetary system in the UK, and one of the oldest monetary institutions in the world – so you’re going to have a tough time showing that they are wrong.

        Fact is, this is a game-changer in narrative – you can’t just dismiss what the Bank of England have to say.

  18. jo6pac

    I think this should be corrected, because he is on a fact finding mission.

    but winters are long and cold in Maine and fuel bills are high.


  19. brian

    those power lines; As humans, we also are able to perceive the energy of sound and light around us. The visible or audible spectrum does not magically pass us by. Our sensitivity may be slightly less, or our need to ignore it might be greater. Animals is inclusive.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are probably matters we can not perceive biologically and do not even know to make instruments to detect.

      Perhaps these matters do not interact with known matters, or only interact with known matters slowly at low levels in ways we don’t perceive (and so don’t have the mental concepts for them nor the idea to make instruments to detect them).

      Of course, there is a school of thought that if these matters do not interact with known matters, then it is of no consequence to us.

      Those are probably also from the school that says, what we know (never mind it’s only the best current explanation), we must use it to alter Nature.

      And if we can not use it to alter Nature, then, voila, we don’t need to know it.

  20. jfleni

    RE: Florida loss exposes Democrats’ disarray

    Candidate Sink, formerly Bank of Americas’s main executive in Florida, consulted her Democrat plutocrat ideology: Medicare and Social Security must be cut! Retirees from moderately prosperous to just plain poor, knew this was totally nuts, and voted against her!

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Flatworm sex looks intense.

    One can feel the single-mindedness, the tension, in that photo.

    1. F. Beard

      Yeah, sex is intense and should be. I PITY those who have made it mundane for themselves by, say, separating it from love.

    2. scraping_by

      Having done my adolescence in the Disco Era, my first mental flash was of a couple striking a pose in the center of the dance floor. Saturday Night Fever sort of thing.

      Foreplay is sex, too.

  22. TRR

    RE:Why the demonization of Russia is no longer the first order of business.

    I had assumed it was postponed until our alliance can get the 4,000,000 troops and 500,000
    horses secretly amassed along the border for Barbarossa ll.

  23. scraping_by

    RE: Obamacare Launch & Sink

    It seems daily more apparent that Obamacare’s not a substitute for single payer, but a sabotage of single payer.

    The business interests will continue tying different color ribbons on this pile of trash until we’re all too disgusted to continue. Then they’ll ditch the whole thing and claim it wouldn’t work in the first place, or we’ll organize for Medicare for All and remember this as a bizarre side trip.

  24. someofparts

    So the flatworm who becomes female “loses”? Project cultural biases onto flatworms much?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This should go here (my apologies):

      A shrimp experience life both as a male and a female (not at the same time, but in difference phases of its life), I think.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A shrimp experience life both as a male and a female (not at the same time, but in difference phases of its life), I think.

  26. Abe, NYC

    I think Germany should start issuing passports to any willing resident of Kaliningrad. Trust me, pretty much everyone will sign up including the army and the navy. Then Germans can move in to protect their citizens and sponsor a perfectly democratic referendum for rejoining the fatherland. Once again, pretty much everyone will vote yes except the administration and senior military (a.k.a. the 1%, who can steal far more in Russia than they can earn in Germany). Let’s count how many birds they will kill with one stone: correct the historic wrong; rejoin ancestral German lands; solve the demographic problem by importing a skilled labor force. If you wish to apply the principle of self-determination, let’s apply it consistently like the Russians: Abkhazia, Ossetia, Crimea, Chechnya

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Yo, Abe,

      How might this apply to Palestine? Let me show you my hand; I think of the great, thumping promises supposedly made to the Hebrews by The Big Guy about their right to Palestine in perpetuity, and without regard to any others, no matter the twists and turns of historical events, to possess all of the validity of the chain of title conferred through MERS; i.e., not a very compelling argumentation. Sure you want to take this tack? At minimum, it is a vexed question. Me, I think you’re being too clever by half. Consistency and all that…

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