Links 3/23/14

Giant squid seen as an ‘omen’ by Japanese fisherman Independent

Now you see it: Nasa spots Martian gully that formed in just three years Daily Mail

Technology: The $1,000 genome Nature

Q&A: Internationalising the Internet’s IANA function Crooked Timber. A bit stale, but important

MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoin down the back of the couch Pando Daily

Hidden flipside Economist

What happened to MH370? A pilot and a flight attendant give their views Guardian. Deceptive headline, excellent backgrounder.

Hell and healing: Rwanda twenty years on – By Kris Berwouts African Arguments

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: India’s Strategic Outpost The Diplomat

Analysis: Déjà vu in Thailand as court annuls elections Asian Correspondent

Thailand’s fight over who should rule Al Jazeera

Spain austerity: Huge Madrid protest turns violent BBC

Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs Telegraph (Swedish Lex)


Russian troops storm Ukrainian bases in Crimea BBC

Wall Street’s Ties to Putin Threatened as Sanctions Bite Bloomberg

Three Things That Will Happen If This Financial Market Warfare Keeps Heating Up Business Insider

Embargoes: An Effective Political Weapon? The National Interest

Putin’s Counter-Revolution LRB

How the Russian ‘motherland’ is ascending Globe and Mail

Obama’s Europe Trip Shifts to Mobilizing Ukraine Response Bloomberg. Haha, he’s had to de-prioritize “trade” talks.

Thanks For Being So Cool About Everything Vladimir Putin, The Onion

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Is Revealing Secrets Akin to Drunk Driving? Intelligence Official Says So First Look

N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat New York Times


A glitch in Obamacare marketplace no one noticed Philadelphia Inquirer

Half of callers to Covered California give up as deadline looms LA Times

Names of Health Plans Sow Customer Confusion New York Times

Biden: After healthcare rollout pains, Obama fit ‘for sainthood’ The Hill. Epic.

Insurance with your beer? MNsure courts young uninsured on their turf MPR News. “Insurance with your binge drinking?”

Ex-Christie Aides Seek Immunity in Deal for Bridge Scandal Documents Times

More than 100 USM students, faculty protest proposed budget cuts, layoffs Bangor Daily News

Black Pathology And The Closing Of The Progressive Mind Ta Nehisi-Coates, Atlantic

Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post, and his plan to take over the media world (speculative) Marginal Revolution

Behavioural economics and public policy FT (furzy mouse)

SEC Probes Electronic Bond Trading Platforms for Possible Manipulation International Business Times

S&P Judge Tentatively Rules It Must Face Deception Claims Bloomberg. This is potentially huge. Heretofore, no one has been able to sue the ratings agencies (astonishingly, they’ve been able to claim First Amendment protection, that their work is mere journalistic opinion). This angle might work.

The Stone Unturned: Credit Ratings Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Free Money for Everyone Washington Monthly

Skew Baseline Scenario. “Capital doesn’t exist as an object in the world. It’s inherently probabilistic.” Um, Steve Waldman said that over two years ago.

Here’s Some Better Life Advice Than Richard Branson’s Mother Jones. “Most of us are better off saving our passions for our hobbies.” Alrighty, then.

Pixel & Dimed Fast Company. The gig economy sucks. Quelle surprise.

Out of Work, Out of Luck FiveThirtyEight. Mission accomplished!

Saving Labor From Itself Jacobin

Antidote du jour: Furzy mouse sent a series of before and after pet photos. The second was taken ten years after the first:


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    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I, for one, would pray for Global-Hearting-Warming.

      Specifically, I hope for Global Anthropo-Heart Warming.

      And it can only be caused by humans.

      ‘Have a heart.’

      ‘Don’t be so cold-hearted!’

  1. dearieme

    “Giant squid seen as an ‘omen’ by Japanese fisherman”: I am reliably informed that they named him “Goldie”.

  2. craazyman

    Skew You, Earthlings

    When the aliens load up the mothership with western govermint debt and hit the vooom button sending the whole big pile of it 17 light years away in 7 seconds the banks and the Fed will have to recalculate all the capital ratios all over again. The aliens are loaded and ready to do business. They really are loaded. They told the govermints give them the debt or they’d unload a blast of photon torpedos (sorry for the plagiarizing Star Trek hahaha) at the oith, blowing it up like the planet that used to be right after Mars. Now it’s the asteroid belt. That’s what happens iif you don’t sell when they want to buy.

    What are they going to do with all the debt? Throw it away someplace probably. Or examine it as an anthropological object at their centers of higher learning. They can take a magnifying glass to it and look carefully at it’s bumpy surface, then put it under a microscope and do a spectrum analysis to try to see what it’s made out of. They don’t care if it never gets paid back. Why would they care? They have their own money.

    In a world with no debt, all the capital ratios would change. But it’s funny that nothing else would change. The trees wouldn’t change. The rocks wouldn’t change. The mountains wouldn’t change. The people would still all be the same. The animals in the woods wouldn’t change. The birds wouldn’t change. The clouds would still fly by. The sky would still be a vast expanse of subtle variations in blues and yellows and whatever other colors the sunrise and sunset presents. The moon wouldn’t change. The desert wouldn’t change.

    What would change? Nothing but the ideas, which are always changing anyway. They would just change in a different way. So really nothing changes.

    1. susan the other

      Skew is a euphemism. Like Graeber in the Guardian – this post is nuclear. No? Like the neat mechanism of the reserves of our money just “floating out there” (Bernanke). When in fact money was dispensed to the banksters by dumptrucks so they could write up all sorts of debt obligations. They got to choose whether they wanted to just middleman the deal for fat fees or keep the “debt” and take the interest payments and the principal, and keep it! The banksters can’t prove they didn’t keep the whole thing… they only pretend there is an accounting mechanism that “extinguishes” the debt once it is repaid. Bullshit; the “economy expands” – it just expands in the FIRE and buddy sector. So this post on skew is understated by a factor of many trillions.

      If there is such a thing as “capital requirements to safeguard the system” it needs to be straight, unadulterated debt to equity requirements which the US Treasury must absorb if debt wins… no fudging. But as Skew states, capital doesn’t exist, it is only probabalistic. Is this because, like light it is both particle and wave? Capital is both debt and asset. And time is the only variable – so at any given instant in time it must be defined as either/or. So who is the timekeeper? That is the question.

      I’m confused. Doesn’t it follow than that the banksters should be paying all of us for indebting ourselves for everything we want to buy, from soup to nuts? Or say, our mortgages? We are giving the banks an enormous amount of “assets” which the Fed recently had to save because of all the fraudulent securities written up by the banks but nevermind. And which “assets” eventually will find their way to the banks’ bottom line as “profit” which of course is a huge skew. Or lie. Man, it is so scary when you realize they don’t know what in hell they are doing.

      1. craazyman

        This is a bit rough but right now I can’t work it into shape:

        Yes you sort of have it, in my view. Economics is a mental disorder because it cannot separate the unique identities of quantity and form, which is the essence of a clear-minded holistic perception. Money, like time, is formless, infinite, eternal and ever flowing but banks create assets, not money. Assets are forms bounded and mortal, unlike money. Assets fail and succeed in relation to society’s preference to cooperate around the assets or not. Failed assets fail because they fail to be the focal points of cooperation (i.e. people don’t use them or buy what they have to sell). Bailing out the banks bailed out the assets they had created that had already failed as coopoerational structures. Of course, people are attached to those assets through no fault of their own, so bailing out the assets is seen as bailing out the individuals forced to use them as a focal points of social relations. This is understandable and difficult to address. The problem is there is really no way to measure whether assets are sustainable except for the ornate quantifications provided by money and accounting. The only other point of view is subjective opinion premised on qualitative assessment, or state decree. Historically both have shown severe limitations. The challenge is integrating an objective social ethics in the creation and substance of assets and to use money in its infinitepotential in a way that promotes socially sustainable asset structures, without undermining the very objectivity necessary to measure those assets’ sustainableness.

        If anyone read this far, economics is kind of where visual art was at the outset of the Renaissance, where the system of perspective was being explored and cultivated. As it was completed, it liberated imagination and unlocked an artistic explosion of creativity. The same thing happened with the sonnet about the same time. I recall reading in Burkhardt’s Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy a comment that generations of would-be poets languished for lack of an organic artistic form that could act as a vessel for their emerging artistic energies, and then the sonnet was developed and there was an explosion in literature.

        If ecomics wants to be a science it has to realize it’s raw material is the methods of cooperation and not the trajectories of abstract imaginative quantities or their graphs on a Cartesiian coordinate system. This, as we all know, is a delusional equivalence with the methods used to study the movements of inanimate objects in Newtonian gravitational fields. It is a dead end and a dead beginning,

        In economics the need seems to be the formation of a set of principles that successfully contemplate the essential energetic structures of money and assets and the formal relations between them and between them and a sustainable and ethical social order. Today’s economic debates are embarrassingly defunct of even the slightest degree of true perception. However, from reading Dr. Graeber’s book DEBT it became clear to me that the these questions have been asked and answered dozens of times in history, using the languages available at those times. I suppose, like art, each society has to create these answers on its own terms, guided by principals that are so universal and so eternal that they form the bases of religions. Well that’s not surprising is it, since religion also deals with formless, eternal, timeless ideas.

  3. diptherio

    No antidote?!? The cruelty of getting to the bottom of yet another day’s worth of horror and hubris, criminality and propaganda and finding…nothing…to ease the sting of existence’ cruel lash–no cutesy cat or inter-species friendship, no silly or beautiful or profound snapshot of the natural world to salve the wounds of my battered psyche after immersing myself in another 24 hours worth of links–is almost too much to bear.

    You never know how much you rely on something until it is taken from you. {weeps bitterly}

    1. craazyman

      things are getting better. everybody needs to wean themselves off Doom & Goom and start living again. t’hanks Yves. You’re doing your part by antidote tapering! That multi-colored nose buggar from a few days ago was a good “forward guidance” move.

      1. abynormal

        here’s where i disagree…i’m living the doom/goom and antidote-less has snapped me. not sure for the better or worse. i just spent 14.5 days caring for my father. he’s 83 with 7 stints on his left side. he’s experiencing stomach pains since Jan.31 and NO hospital test are showing anything…finally located another primary doc in a box and get a referral to a PI…he removes a polyp and its cancer. we take him in for radiation Tues. and ‘they’ deny him treatment…too dangerous for his condition. my dad’s is still sharp but losing bite…he asked me not to let him die in a hospital.
        i return to my mothers yesterday and what happens but she stops breathing…5hrs of hell.
        my cousin Tina committed suicide last friday after being diagnosed with pancreatitis…she was 56. Tina (like me) took care of everyone in her family…mostly out of necessity…but she knew! our caring system had no room/profit for her. (hat tip Tina for teaching how to be a real teenager…see you again)

        Dip has it right…hard to realize until its gone. these last months i have shared the antidotes with my sister. she and i are losing it. we found ourselves laughing at an animal one difficult morning last week… less than 3hrs sleep between the two of us and frayed to the bone. id say im not cut out for this…i don’t have the skills and im not taking care of myself but i always liked my laugh and smile…and thats what the antidotes do for me.

        i apologize for my whining…there are too many worse off and i don’t mean to hang my bs on a picture…but its all hit me a bit harder w/o those animals.

        an might i thank Nathan Deal for opting out on our already deteriorating shame of a healthcare system.

        1. HotFlash

          Oh, aby, this so awful. Thank you for telling this here, I am so sorry. We need to do more than sympathize, but we have yet to figure out what. I cannot believe how cruel the US system is, and how inexorable, and how it is seen as inevitable. What happened to you could not happen here in Canada, at least not yet. It is not an accident there. The US ‘health’ system is a slow pogrom. We need a new word for killing based on class. And a new way to look after one another.

          1. abynormal

            thanks HF…im so embarrassed (my spelling/writing is unreadable…shows how tired i am). i don’t want to live off anger…im scared and feel defenseless. last night a nurse looked me in the eye with a message im still trying to decipher…they have been a big help while admins & surgeons hide. ive done 3 major hospitals in Atlanta this last couple months…you can’t miss the limbo of the ENTIRE system. everyone is waiting around for WHAT…is there another bottom line in hell??

            my mind & heart are in deep battle…i gotta pull it together

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Aby, it’s sad to hear what you’re going through, and for those of us, who have families and care about them, for those of us who are not in the 0.01%, I am also sad for us, for, surely, this will probably be the same fate or something similar, that the health system has waiting for us all.

              And despite of neoliberal propaganda, one can’t put a price on family, and however bleak, one treasures the time one has with them.

            2. Banger

              Been there so my sympathies to you. The problem with U.S. hospitals is they are not healing environments–some nurses are really good though–doctors are another story.

            3. optimader

              Aby, big positive karma vibes in your direction. ..
              Free advice is usually worth what you pay for it, but I’ll toss some over your bow anyway. Consider the possibility of getting a referral from the treating physician for the Mayo Clinic, make an appointment and drive him up there. My family has had only good treatment outcome experiences / at that institution, most recently my mom w/ cancer. It takes a few days out of your life but they do get to the bottom of the issue and treat it w/ the best efficacy possible. They are the gold standard and not predatory on treatment billing.

          2. ambrit

            Dear Hot Flash;
            I too am feeling the frustration of having to “see” aby suffer an unnecessary pain. I’d disagree a bit and say that we have too many words to describe “K—–g based on class.” Most, if not all of them being descriptors for particular methods of control and oppression. What we may soon see is a resurgence in use of another set of words describing “k—–g based on class” aimed at the .01%.
            “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”
            Kris Kristopherson “Me and Bobby Mcgee.”

            1. geirge

              ‘freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.!” that was the kristofferson song-cant remember the co-writer’s name right now

              “when you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” b. dylan.. ‘like a rolling stone’

              peace to all you people… peaceful, not too painful deaths, i suppose

        2. susan the other

          Aby, this country of ours has no mandate to govern. It provides no well being, no nutritious safe food, no protected drinking water, no essential transportation, no health care except token health care which is almost as bad as none, no family support, no education, and no jobs and no welfare. Etc. Please do not become too sad. We are all with you.

        3. cwaltz


          Just have to give you a virtual hug.

          You have A LOT on your plate. You should not even feel the need to apologize for venting. I hope things start to look better for you and your sis.

        4. john

          I’m sorry to hear how hard things are for you, but I’m touched that you shared.

          You’re doing much more than most to help your family, and it’s humbling. I still wonder if I could have done more for my grandmother when she was getting ill and looking for someone to move in to take care of her.

          I did what I had to do and kept going to school (even though American education is a pathetic farce.) because I felt I had to.

          I’m a bit of an odd duck, and thrive on the awesomely contradictory troubles of the world (mostly). However, I’m not a believer in antidotes, but in a balance. I’m not in the mood to wax that philosophical, but I think the Hindu’s and Buddists have a much better perspective than Christianity, in general.

          I hope that when your pain passes, that you will be able to make your peace with your losses, and remember everything beautiful you shared.

          Good luck!

        5. Yves Smith Post author

          OMG this is so awful. I’m so sad to learn about what you are going through. I wish I could help and am really sorry about the missing antidote.

        6. Murky

          Went thru much of the same, caring for dying parents. Ran myself ragged for months. Forgot to take care of myself. Result? Flu and then pneumonia eventually nailed me. Due directly to lack of sleep and constant stress. Moral of this story? Take care of yourself! Sleep, eat, and take many breaks whenever/wherever you can. Offload tasks to other family, friends, and care-providers as you can. Remember that counseling services are available and can be quite helpful. With any luck you’ll avoid a general collapse from exhaustion. Stay healthy!

        7. participant-observer-observed

          Thanks for sharing your experience here, Aby normal!

          Hope you please take rest and nutrition, while doing your best to manage affairs. I’ve been spending the past months doing my hospital spiritual care clinical internship on the oncology unit, and indeed, patients have mentioned to me the same as the other reader about Mayo clinic (alas, unpaid-i would never be allowed to be a patient as a doctoral student living well below the poverty level).

          In any case, death is certain and the time is uncertain. More peace will come from using the time together with family most meaningfully; hope you won’t be shy to let others step in and help out wherever possible.

          Hang in there!

          So sorry for the brutal, vicious, barbarian culture of “care” our society purports to offer!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry! Lambert and I had a coordination problem. He started Links and I finished them, and it didn’t occur to me that he hadn’t uploaded an antidote (I was frantically doing lots of admin and CalPERS stuff last night and so was not focused on posting).

      There’s one there now. Apologies.

      1. diptherio

        Ooooh, and it’s a good one! I think the camera-person got a bit bigger as well, judging from the angle of the shack in the background.

        I have to say, it was surprising to me what a psychological jolt not seeing an antidote gave me. The brain works in mysterious ways…

  4. JTFaraday

    re: Biden: After healthcare rollout pains, Obama fit ‘for sainthood’ The Hill. “Epic.”

    “But the vice president pressed navigators helping individuals through the enrollment process to reassure those purchasing insurance that “there’s no reason to be embarrassed that it’s complicated.”

    “You look these people in the eye. And the first thing you do is, you calm them down,” Biden advised.””

    Fraud training! I think we call that “prepping the mark.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      “You look these people in the eye. And the first thing you do is, you calm them down,” Biden advised.

      And then you calmly, sociopathically, lie your ass off.

      Open enrollment for 2015 health coverage begins on Nov. 15, 2014 … eleven days after the mid-term election. The little people don’t need to know how much their premiums are going up.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Oh, bummer!

      First, the Messiah, then demoted to Noble Peace Prize winner and now, a mere saint?

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Black saints are a rarity (no fault of the Vatican Country Club), so Biden’s sponsorship is a noble and, frankly, courageous gesture. Of course it helps that Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy .”

      Yeah, not only clean, but clean-cut too, with Teflon polish … really, the perfect dark horse Trojan Horse for neoliberal military kleptocracy. He’s the perfect stealth Neocon agent for perpetual war, hot and cold.

  5. kimyo

    Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong

    The crucial phrase “avoid processed food” appears nowhere in government nutritional guidelines, yet this is the most concise way to sum up in practical terms what is wholesome and healthy to eat. Until this awareness shapes dietetic advice, all government dietary guidance should come with a tobacco-style caution: Following this advice could seriously damage your health.

    Eggs – We were once told to eat no more than two a week. Now eggs look like the most all-round nutritious food you can eat, so there’s no need to limit them.

    Butter – The first generation margarine-type spreads turned out to be heart-stoppers, which makes it hard to trust anything the marge industry says. You’re safer with good old butter.

    Red meat – Processed red meat that’s stiff with additives is to be avoided, but meat from free-range, grass-fed cattle is a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid, which reduces our risk of cancer, obesity, and diabetes.

    Salt – Processed foods are loaded with the stuff to make them palatable but there’s no evidence that salt added in judicious amounts in home cooking is a health problem.

    Sugar – Sugar and sweeteners in all forms are best reduced/avoided. Accustom your palate to a less sweet taste.

    the author doesn’t mention restricting/eliminating wheat, one compelling reason to do so is that 4 days prior to harvest, the plants are literally killed by the application of glyphosphate:

    Meet the Controversial MIT Scientist Who Claims She Discovered a Cause of Gluten Intolerance

    Glyphosate is being sprayed on wheat right before the harvest. This has become a more and more popular practice among farmers. We found specific data in the UK showing a dramatic increase in the practice of spraying the wheat with glyphosate right before the harvest. This is three or four days before they harvest the seed. You can’t imagine that that glyphosate has disappeared in those three or four days. The intent is to kill the plant.

    This is a very convenient practice. It reduces the effort involved in the combine when you’re harvesting the wheat.

    1. susan the other

      Wheat. We love it in all its forms. So it has been poisonously industrialized. We should demand organic wheat and eat less of it. And we really should have not just truth in advertising, but truth in science. Just goes to show how virtually useless our nutrition scientists are. Too bad. We need to become like our best friends, dogs that is. They can often just tell by the whiff of their food if it’s OK to eat. Before I knew salmon was lethal to dogs, I gave them salmon scraps (because my vet always told me dogs are healthier if they get a balanced serving of scraps) and they always shunned it. Maybe that’s why bears only eat salmon skin and fat? We could do a gluten watch experiment since Ukraine is the bread basket of eastern Europe. And we just took over Ukraine. Wonder how long it will take for the Chinese and Europeans to develop “gluten allergies?”

      1. Propertius

        “Salmon” itself isn’t lethal to dogs. Raw fish (particularly salmon) can carry parasites which in turn carry microorganisms that can cause a lethal infection in dogs. Both the parasites and the infectious organisms can be killed through a recent discovery known as “cooking”.

        Cooked salmon is *fine* for dogs.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s interesting how often we often we go back to the ways of those pre-modern-science days.

    3. HotFlash

      A naturopath once explained to me that he was not worried at all about butter. We have, he pointed out, been eating butter for hundreds of thousands of years and we are well-adapted to it. He did recommend moderation with it and other animal proteins, although he was big into organic and non-processed. I asked what he did worry about. He told me, “Detergent residue on our dishes. We know nothing about the long-term effects of that.”

    4. SubjectivObject

      We regard salt and sugar as condiments. Just enough to take the blandness or dryness out of foods, but not so much that salty or sweet intrudes on the flavor of the base food or its seasoning. Hot peppers are another thing altogether though.

    5. kareninca

      thank you so much for the link re glyphosate, kimyo. I figured out a couple of years ago that the only wheat that I could digest was organic. I assumed that it was that the organic farmers were using seeds that weren’t so totally hybridized and that I was capable of digesting “old time” wheat, not the modern stuff; I had no other explanation. This could solve that mystery.

    1. HotFlash

      I don’t believe that it’s a coincidence that Greece is the ‘cradle of democracy’. A clear message from our overlords.

      1. susan the other

        I thought that too when Rumsfeld changed the name of our new “war on terror” from “Crusade” to “Odyssey Dawn.” Rewriting history. Odysseus is rolling over in his grave. He cherished his homeland and his family. We (just us idiotic neocons and neolibs) are intent on destroying both.

        1. optimader

          von Rumsfeld..
          My uncle knows that sociopathic prick professionally since the late1950’s at Glenview Naval Air Station and his family before that. The one’s I’ve met cant even stand the guy. He’s weird as hell.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What they are doing in Ero-Land seems to me to be a case of sado-masochistic orgy for banksters.

      Beware of those with leather austerity-whips.

      ‘It hurts so good. Luv it!’

  6. optimader

    I give the Guardian some Kudos for a nonhysterical, albeit simplistic article but it is common belief content needs to be dumbed down for public consumption.
    Of course “ would be wrong of me to speculate about what has happened, but I think it’s important to try to separate what we know and what we don’t know”” but its not the writer that puts the tagline on the article.

    “Could a pilot force decompression to occur and prepare for it?
    No – impossible.”

    “The door and the locking mechanism are incredibly strong, bulletproof, and once locked nobody will be able to break the door down.”
    BS, a bulletproof composite insert does not make it unbreechable.

    Speculation about altitude changes are merely speculation..

    A more detailed factual assessment:

    1. kimyo

      that’s a great link, thanks.

      In the event of the reported climb to 45,000 feet (determined based on primary radar – hence, to be confirmed), masks would deploy providing passengers Oxygen for 12 to 20 minutes (usually, just the time required to descend to below 10,000 feet). After that, passengers would lose consciousness and, at some point, they would die. Pilots O2 lasts more.

      The same effect would be achieved at much lower altitudes: the main difference would be that death would arrive earlier at higher altitude (45K above the aircraft max altitude).

      assuming the aircraft was being controlled remotely and that the reported climb to 45k is correct, it seems to me that the goal was to incapacitate or kill the pilot and co-pilot, to prevent them from interfering with the hijacking.

      the idea that we don’t have satellites capable of surveilling every single jet aircraft, with or without transponders/acars seems highly improbable. someone knows exactly where that plane is.

  7. diptherio

    Re: Out of Work, Out of Luck

    As Bill Black says, it’s impossible to compete with unintentional self-parody (or something like that):

    Economists aren’t sure why being out of work for more than six months makes finding a new job so much harder.

    Really? How about this: ’cause having a big gap in your employment history looks sh*tty on your resume. Who are these “economists” and what planet do they come from? And when is the last time they actually had to participate in our earthly labor market?

    Once they cross the six-month threshold, their odds of finding a job drop off dramatically.

    Know why? The “economists” probably can’t figure it out but the obvious reason is that employers (like everyone else) uses rules of thumb. Unemployed for a couple of months is one thing, but once the magic half-year mark is crossed that gap suddenly raises red flags. I would guess that employers, like economists, have an unconscious cut-off for acceptable absence from employment at six months. Just a guess.

    In the present, it means the long-term unemployed are, for all practical purposes, no longer part of the job market; most of them aren’t going to find jobs even if the economy improves. That means there’s less “slack” in the job market — a concept my colleague Andrew Flowers explained in more detail on Wednesday — than we might otherwise think.4 It looks like the Federal Reserve has reached the same conclusion: The Fed has been pulling back on its efforts to stimulate the economy, despite continued high unemployment and low inflation, suggesting it thinks the long-term unemployed are gone for good.5
    “The lesson I take away,” Krueger said in an interview this week, “is try to prevent the short-term unemployed from becoming long-term unemployed.”

    How about this for a lesson: we need to come up with something effective to help the long-term unemployed, especially since there are likely to be ever more of them/us in the future…maybe a bailout or access to the discount window. Re-defining the structural unemployment rate upwards is obviously not a solution.

    And apparently we define slack in the labor market not as the number of people who want a job, but the number of people we can reasonably expect to get hired. Hmmm…dubious. I think slack is everyone who wants employment but can’t find it. A Job Guarantee program would address this, but the Fed only creates unlimited funds for banks, not the unemployed.

  8. Stephen

    We are putting out the sacred call people.

    Our mission is to restore the people to sovereignty through knowledge, and only then will they be armed with the virtue to take political and judicial power. The people have it in their power to disarm and defeat the enemy of Liberty both foreign and domestic if they only understood the principles of freedom and stand upon them.

    To take political power is to control our elected representatives, by bringing them into obedience through fear of the people, this is accomplished by understanding the office of & becoming an elected committeemen, and then execute the powers of the Common Law Grand Jury.

    To take judicial power is to control our courts by understanding jurisdiction and bringing into subjection all government officers and officials using common law courts by opening courts of record and executing “people” authority, it’s that simple!

    But, to successfully apply political and judicial power you must have a sense of justice and mercy which is synonymous with virtue. And to get virtue you need to have a relationship with your creator. If everyone exercised these principles America could shake off the chains of tyranny, reinstate our republic, and bring down the NWO “literally overnight”. This is the only way to save the nation, without power you are powerless!

    Join our endeavor and save our Republic, one people at a time! (NOT PERSON, SEE BELOW)

    We are Non Partisan – A partisan person is “one who is blindly or unreasonably devoted to party positions.” Therefore a partisan cannot possibly serve the constitution. George Washington warned us against political parties he said “they only succeed in pitting one group against another”.

    The cause of the grassroots movement is the awakening to our constitutional crisis, for it to be engaged in partisan politics would further serve the demise of our constitutional republic. The genius of the progressive movement is their exploitation of partisan politics, which they created, to subvert our constitution. Grassroots groups are natural and spontaneous whose primary objective is to reinstate the constitution, to be partisan would be counter productive.

    Traditional power structures are orchestrated and designed to harness grassroots movements “they must always be suspect” and will be proven corrupt if they are partisan – divisive – take control of choosing candidates.

    Grassroots are founded local, control is local and most events are local. To collaborate with distant groups are necessary for unity but if events become dictated by them you are no longer grassroots.


    TOTAL US Counties



    New York 2-27-14 (62 counties)
    Florida 3-15-14 (67 counties)
    Connecticut 3-15-14 (8 counties)
    Rhode Island 3-15-14 (5 counties)

    More information and learning material is on our website.

    This is John, the founder on an interview, and he lays it all out for you.

    Please take some time to at least watch and know what we are trying to accomplish for our country and let others KNOW.

    Sample learning:

    If unsure still, attend our National Monday Night Call. – Ask away.

    Or dip your toe in the water at our meet-up group.

    Keep up with our progress State by State here:

    Thank you for listening, we need all of you.

    In Faith,


  9. susan the other

    Well, I’ll say this Scout, grassroots is good, but astroturf is bad. What we really need is a mechanism to differentiate the two. (Not that you are astroturf.) We definitely need to change the direction of our country; clean up our government; clean up our environment; provide for our citizens. I’m not a libertarian but I do believe that government, from the people upward, will be the only useful government. I believe in good government, accountable, flexible and complex. The only way to achieve that is to get smarter and demand the things that will work.

  10. ambrit

    I know it might be considered a breach of etiquette, but a story in BBC about Ebola Virus being identified in Conkray, a port of two million people in Guinea scares the Wall Street out of me. As one of the people responding to it stated, acting quickly and robustly is the best way to limit the damage. Ebola being what it is, what if it spreads to other ports? That’s how Bubonic Plague traditionally travels. Mother Nature ain’t done with us by a long shot!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      From what I’ve read, Ebola, though horrific, is not well suited to generating a pandemic because it kills people pretty quickly and visibly. In other words, easier to isolate, and I believe no transmission vector like rats for the plague.

      1. ambrit

        I would think that Homo Sap could be this diseases transmission vector. Travel was an often long and time consuming process before our “Jet Age.” Today, infected individuals can be literally on the other side of the world in a day. Horrible to say, but the very virulence of the disease looks to be its’ saving grace. Here’s me crossing my fingers and my toes.

  11. Danny
    Obama Alumni Join Unlobbyist Ranks Selling Washington Wisdom (Bloomberg)
    “Howard Marlowe, a 35-year veteran lobbyist, said many of the legal distinctions the Obama alumni are making to avoid registering as lobbyists aren’t significant in the real world of Washington’s influence industry.

    “All around me there are people that are doing strategic consulting, government affairs consulting, you call it whatever you want,” said Marlowe, a former president of the American League of Lobbyists — a trade group that, in a sign of the times, has since changed its name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals.

    “It’s a distinction without a difference with one exception,” he added. “We in the lobbyist profession register, and the public and media can at least find out who we work for, what the issues are that we’re hired to work on, and what we’re getting paid.””

  12. abynormal

    WOW. ive often thought of this place as a comfortable den…a nice fire going (at times with blue flames). Now i know why…your sentiments brought me to much needed tears of relief.

    im not freaking out about the care of my elders…its the lack of everything we need to do it ourselves. it hit me today…im at peace with my dad and mother passing on…its me living on the other side of this. im drained and thinking outside the box isn’t coming easy to me. im not sure i want to do anymore geriatric care…but these things aren’t always in our control.

    my sister just returned from the hospital visiting my dad…Yall GOT to hear this and NO its not a monty python skit.
    my sister ran into dad’s PI doc…she asked why he wasn’t returning her calls and what is the game plan w/o radiation. this ‘doc’ says he hadn’t been up to see my father and since his admittance. he went on to explain the top dog surgeon would be consulting (whatever). so my sis carry’s on to the nurses desk (he’s in icu) and they report my dad woke up w/o a problem. (suspect here) sis ask what they were talking about (dad has only slept 2hrs at a time for the last month). the head nurse informs my sis that the PI doc went in and removed another polyp the length of a tongue… at 5am THIS MORNING. im a softie compared to my lil sis….she flew down the hall and found the PI ‘doc’ and asked him about the SURGERY and the MF’r denied it AGAIN. folks, id have fainted…sis went off and admins came running like roaches on parade after a nuclear fallout. (neither of us have time to bring him before ethics boards…mom hasn’t kept food down for 3days so i guess im off to another ‘doc’ visit tomorrow.)
    dad’s cardiologist has returned to the states and is transferring him back down to Emory…where he’ll consult with another PI doc and get down to business.

    now here i was feeling wimpy for dumping on yall…but noooo im not losing my mind…this sh!t is actually happening

    but i can do another day….THANKS TO ALL OF YOU

    1. skippy

      Where here and always will be here…. always…

      Whimps internalize all the poison till that’s all they are, one little monochrome being.

      skippy… your not the only one out there reconsidering the landscaping, the professional class and skilled trades are starting to get restless, asking questions, seeking information, considering long term consequences, are they on the menu[?].

      1. abynormal

        i didn’t mean to come as a ‘special’ case…guess my emotions pushing limits lately.
        i still can’t wrap my head around a doctor making that kind of money…lying strait out.

        1. abynormal

          i have been storing Dep’s Co-op links…id like the idea of getting better food & nutrition closer to those in need. not a new landscape but a whole lot different than the living i been doing’)

        2. skippy

          Sry did not mean to infer special, just the opposite. Wife says specialist have a bad issue with communicating and expect some on else like GP to pick up to cowardinate everything.

          1. abynormal

            cowardinate…i’ll be using that one.

            its been a hellofa couple months…3wks ago i found out my great grandfather was the grand dragon of the kkk. talk about a game changer…ive had to do all sorts of ‘judgment’ adjusting.
            glad my mother (only child) came off that tid bit…making for a softer ride. i don’t feel 52…i feel 12 & 72 AT THE SAME TIME.

            1. Paul Niemi

              I’m also 52. On Wednesday I lost my brother, two years ago my dad, and in between two clients I provided end-of-life care for, and two other friends also passed away. At times it seemed overwhelming, but I kept telling myself: “I do what I can do, and I don’t do what I can’t do.” Take good care.

            2. skippy

              LOL… running out door… cow ward in-ate… snicker.

              Better said, specialists can be divas, grunt work is for lower tier health practitioners. The machine that goes PING thingy.

              Skippy…. Meet the ancestors moment.. eh… lovely stuff… wife’s ancestors of which one was Marie Antoinette lawyer, Tronson Doucoudray and the other lord of Edinburgh. Seems the world was populated by crims and their wealth seeking anglophone managers… snorty…

              1. abynormal

                OMG Skips…im not feeling ‘alone out there’ at all anymore LMAO!

                here’s one for my dad, Tom:

                couple nites ago he was telling me about a time in high school…he was dragged up on stage in front of EVERYONE and whipped :-/

                ….he would stand hand over heart for the pledge allegiance but in no way would he turn to ‘the other flag’ with hand over heart while singing DIXIE

                family shipped him off to CA to live w/older sister…i died laffin (my kinda rascal)…still can’t understand WHY he returned and married my mother princes of a grand dragon

                an then there’s Aby, what a hoot

                1. participant-observer-observed

                  ICU nurses know a lot, and can also read the charts chock full of the various doctors (and resident) chart notes.

                  Always identify yourself to staff as the family member, and especially if you have power of attorney for the patient. Staff can’t always remember who is who among patient friends vs relatives. If you hold the PA you can also ask to see or get a copy of the paper chart notes yourself, but it is easier to look over the notes with a nurse: just ask what doctors have seen your relatives on rounds, what procedures have been ordered, and labs. This is why talking to a nurse is helpful, to keep up with the “big picture.” The chaplains too, while not able to give “medical” information, can often help you figure out the overall situation.

                  There is also a new book out, “how to be a take-charge patient” designed with oncology patients in mind.

                2. participant-observer-observed

                  “Life review” of story-telling is one of the most healing activities for people at end of life and friends and relatives. So glad to hear you are having good quality communications!

            3. Jess

              Aby — Sorry to be posting late. Had work to do today and just getting to my NC links fix.

              So sorry to hear what you are going through. Don’t know where you are and probably not near enough for me to travel. But I will make the trip if you need some help burning down a hospital. Take care and know that we all here in the NC commentariat value you so much.

              1. abynormal

                im so humbled and Thanks Jess…im in ‘the city too busy to hate’ Atlanta….may take you up on that offer

                and Thank You Yves…this is a link page for boots on the ground.

                Your not alone out there…none of You.
                A gracious night to you all.

            4. ohmyheck

              Grand Dragon? Oy.
              This is my son’s greaty-great grandfather.
              William Gibbs MacAdoo
              He was Secretary of the Treasury (US) for the Wilson Administration from 1913 to 1918.
              Yup. At the inception of the Federal Reserve…
              Ran for President a couple of times, and was endorsed by the KKK. “He did not declined the endorsement.”
              Was in on a small role in the Teapot Dome Scandal.
              Married a 26-year-old at the age of 71.
              Most of the family pretends he never existed.
              Funny, that.

    2. psychohistorian

      Best of my energy out to you Aby. Don’t let it get you down….with every exhale there is a chance for a letting go….breather well.

      Know you are doing your best in a bad situation.

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