Links 5/14/14

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Grey wolf appears in Iowa for first time in 89 years – and is shot dead Guardian (Dr. Kevin) :-(

Deep-sea ‘graveyard’ discovered BBC

Clock ticking on Google’s driverless cars Financial Times and When Driverless Cars Break the Law New York Times. I hate the idea (how could anyone who has enemies ever be interested in this?) but I can see one natural market: people over 80 who want to live independently but are worried about driving, particularly on freeways.

EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten’: Google must amend results on request Guardian

Doubts Raised About Off-Label Use of Subsys, a Strong Painkiller New York Times

Doctors’ Survey Calls Out Overtreatment, but Is It Credible? Patient Safety Blog

Glaxo’s Ex-China Chief Accused of Ordering Staff to Commit Bribery Wall Street Journal. Yowza.

China reverts to credit as property slump threatens to drag down economy Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

This time Chinese property will bust MacroBusiness

China’s Alternate Reality of Slipping Growth Wall Street Journal

How accepting is Japan of international investors buying into public infrastructure? Nikkei. Translation: private equity black ships go home.

What is the likelihood of a military coup in Thailand? Asian Correspondent

UPDATE 1-German investor morale plunges to lowest since Jan 2013 Reuters (Ilargi)

Grief, Sadness and Shock as Hundreds Perish in Turkish Coal Mine Tragedy ABC


Diplomacy continues amid EU aid for Ukraine DW

France’s unpalatable warship deal with Russia France 24 (Bob V)

Russia plans to leave International Space Station by 2020, official says CNN

Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings Burisma (Richard Smith). Backstory: Alleged fraudulent hedge fund associated with the Vice President’s family harasses blogger John Hempton

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Snowden Document Implies NSA May Be Putting Israel’s Security Ahead of America’s George Washington

Global Survey Shows Citizens Around World Fear Their Own Governments Would Torture Them
Kevin Gosztola Firedoglake

Your Must-Do Assignment for 2014: Read This Chart and Pass It On Truthout (RR)

SCHOOLED: Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Mark Zuckerberg had a plan to reform Newark’s schools. They got an education New Yorker

Cops To Kids: You’re Never Too Young To Be Handcuffed TechDirt

Fannie, Freddie’s regulator won’t cut loan limits MarketWatch. This is bizarre, since it comes the day after New York Times and Financial Times editorials calling for Fannie and Freddie to be wound down. Those editorials had the smell of Administration string-pulling to get Johnson-Crapo, a really terrible bill that would put the mortgage guarantee pretty much in Wall Street hands, out of the Senate Finance committee, where it is now stalled. So has Watt gone off script?

Don’t Restore Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Says Their Former Regulator Wall Street Journal.

These Are The 10 Most Stressed Out Cities In America Movoto (Bob V)

Bulls trample on quality of mortgage deals Financial Times

Foreclosures May Raise Neighbors’ Blood Pressure (Lisa E)

The High Frequency Trading Lawsuit That Has Wall Street Running Scared Pam Martens

Geithner Pants on Fire

Timothy Geithner: Department of “WTF?!?!”: Friday Focus: May 9, 2014 Brad DeLong Equitablog

Charges of Lies Swirl Around Tim Geithner’s New Book, “Stress Test” Pam Martens

Glenn Hubbard: Geithner Blocked Mortgage Refinancing Brad DeLong Equitablog. When DeLong backs Hubbard, you know it’s bad.

Class Warfare

The Origins of Inequity CounterPunch (theadr)

Postcard from the End of America: Manhattan Dissident Voice (RR)

Antidote du jour (Amolife):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. fresno dan

      thanks. I couldn’t get the link to work, so I went to
      Techdirt on my own….I couldn’t decide if the handcuffing occurred in conjunction with the dangerous use of poptarts chewed to resemble firearms or another incident (NOTE – it wasn’t a POPTART – The school district pointed out the outrageous error that it was really a breakfast pastry….why o why can’t we have a better news media)

      The question is: will you need a concealed carry permit to pack a “breakfast pastry” chewed into a firearm shape or as long as its visible its permissible to pack????
      AND….if you chew off the barrel of a pop tart shotgun, and make it less than 18 inches, do you run afoul of federal laws about sawed off (breakfast pastry) shotguns?????

    1. rusti

      Thought it was a bit annoying that the author chose to conjure a sensationalist bogus example as clickbait when there are a lot of practical legal and ethical issues already surfacing. Maybe that’s what’s needed to get people’s attention, but it is sort of a straw-man.

      Here’s a more realistic topic that isn’t as exciting: NHTSA recently ruled that all new passenger cars in the US will need to implement a new wireless system that mandates that you locally broadcast your speed, bearing and position 10 times per second. When this rolls out, there will be a bunch of question about whether you “own” your own data, whether it can be used against you in insurance claims, how police departments will be able to use it, etc.

      1. craazyboy

        I’ve already concluded it will make global warming worse, and the human race will go extinct even faster.

        Around here they already have put up traffic speed cams all over they place. It may improve traffic safety – provided you don’t have to keep your eyes glued to the speedo to avoid drifting over the limit. But I’ve noticed a number of people – including myself – tend to drive 5 mph under the limit because we aren’t sure if we will get the unwritten plus 5mph grace band before getting a $200 automated ticket in the mail. This now makes it impossible to “time” the streetlights right, resulting in much more stop and go driving and reduced mpg.

        So maybe that’s an arguement to hand over the driving task to a car computer completely? Sorry, but I’m still scared of the fly-by-wire gas pedals and brake pedals we have been hearing about. And I don’t want to have to worry if my anti-virus/firewall software is up to date on my Wi-Fi connected virtual chauffeur either. But maybe Detroit will give us a discount if you take the car with the “ads enabled” package? Money can be an issue too :)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If my Robot Car is as reliable as my laptop, I think I am in trouble.

          As for traffic tickets, is $70 too much for a parking ticket*? Until I do some comparative commiserating, I am not sure whether I should scream or jump for joy…

          There are places in LA that only residents of the neighborhood can park there. It’s in fine print so I can’t say I was not warned.

          1. craazyboy

            One of the best things about AZ vs. LA is here we have parking spaces.

            Also too, if you want to park, you don’t have to get on a freeway!

        2. rusti

          One better solution than those automated speed things is a Green-light optimal speed advisory system. This has potential for big fuel savings, but one possible downside is people might be even more aggressive about speeding up earlier on to hit a light.

          The devil’s in the details, but I suspect it could be worked out for a more elegant solution than the lousy one you describe.

          1. craazyboy

            One place I do like the speed cams is they have been putting them on some busy intersections – like ones with a bad traffic crash history. I’m certain that most of these crashes are due to the a*holes that gun it thru the red light. So now they get the run a red light ticket – and those are $1000.

            Then again there still are the ones just around the bend, just after the speed limit drops from 45 to 40 – if you caught the sign….

              1. craazyboy

                Haven’t heard yet, but there is a law on the books that it’s illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalks. $100 fine there.

                But I still refuse to ride mine in the bicycle lane – where they start and then mysteriously stop, that is.

                So our nice 50 mile loop of bike trail does just fine for me.

  1. diptherio

    Here’s an, antidote of sorts. I had never heard of this canine until yesterday, when news of his death made the front page of our local rag. Still, it warmed my cockles to know that there once was, in fact, a dog who could do math:

    Beau, the Lab who could do math passes on ~Missoulian

    Ask him what the square root of 64 minus the square root of 16, plus two, was. “Arf arf arf arf arf arf,” Beau would reply, before most humans could arrive at the answer, six, in their own heads.

    • Ask him algebra problems. “If 3X equals 9, what does X equal?” one of his owners, Dave Madsen, would ask Beau. “Arf arf arf,” Beau would answer.

    • Give him written questions to solve. Write “4 – 1” on a piece of paper and show it to Beau, and he’d bark three times. Turn the minus into a plus sign, and he’d bark five times.

    • Ask him math questions in Spanish. Ask him if you were golfing, playing a par-5, and made a double bogey, what your score was. Ask him to count the number of people in a room. Ask him how many were women. Ask him how many were men.

    And with that, finally, you might think you’d caught him, because if there were seven men in the room, Beau would bark eight times.

    “He always counts himself with the men,” Dave Madsen would explain.
    There were, of course, skeptics, people who believed Madsen was signaling the answers to his dog.

    Trouble was, Madsen could be in another state and Beau could still solve math problems for anyone willing to part with a treat. He was a favorite of the Madsens’ neighbors on Skidoo Bay.

    (Although, searching Youtube for a clip, I see that this is actually pretty common, nowadays. Labs, terriers, they can all do the maths better than I…)

  2. arby

    One observes the use of terms like ‘bubble’ and ‘bust’ and ‘crisis’ in headlines of Western media when it concerns current Chinese economic facts but the absence of such terms to describe Japanese, U.S. or European data. China’s economy is growing in the 7% range and the nation has trillions of dollars in foreign reserves while the West, not so much. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam in thy own eye and then remove the mote in thy brother’s eye.

    1. ambrit

      Well pardner, doesn’t that 7% figure look a little, well, unreal to you? As the article in MacroBusiness says, it’s not the absolute figures that matter, it’s the rate of change that matters. China is coming down off of an unsustainable rate of growth. Since the economy is now de facto “World” and not regional, whatever happens in China also happens here. To steal an aphorism; “When China coughs, the World catches cold.”

      1. arby

        One would hope that the rate of change matters more since the US just posted a first quarter growth of 0.1% versus the Chinese 7 plus %. The number will probably be negative after revisions and likely, too, a negative second quarter. One fears that the overall number is more consequential. Yet, the point being the same: a high growth rate is a disaster for China while a negative growth rate is joyous for the US. Less said about growth in Japan and Europe, the better.

  3. rusti

    Disheartening to hear Yves take a stance against automated cars, speaking as an engineer working on developing the technology, but it’s a valid criticism. Security is a complicated area and the people responsible for governmental oversight are completely unequipped to deal with even trivial technology issues, as Supreme Court Justice Breyer recently showed us:

    On the other hand, 75-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer, who is given to self-deprecation on the bench, gamely tried to engage the Justice Department’s Dreeben in a discussion about encryption technology. “I don’t know what kind of phone you have, Justice Breyer,” Dreeben said.

    Breyer replied: “I don’t either because I can never get into it because of the password.”

    It’s a terrible shame because aside from the use case you list of the elderly or people driving while impaired, there are a zillion other potential benefits that can come from automisation or semi-automisation like massively reducing engine idle times and clearing traffic congestion to slow carbon emissions, and of course drastically reducing the number of accidents.

    In theory it could free up a whole bunch of people (Truck/bus/taxi drivers for example) to work on more productive things, but more likely they’ll wind up in the unemployment line and their incomes will be shuffled up the food chain.

    1. Eeyores enigma

      Yes Rusti because the important thing here is to keep people flitting about in their own personal pollution producing pro productive pod (PPPPPP) which is the main issue we need tech to focus on to address things such as poverty, pollution, unemployment, AGW, etc. We need to keep the coal fires burning. But it is probably how you make your “living” so never mind.

      “Underwater horrors: shells of marine life melting off the coast of the U.S.”

      1. rusti

        Haha, what the heck is this? If I’m a heartless baron of industry, my paycheck sure doesn’t reflect it. I don’t own a car, live in a tiny apartment, rarely eat meat, buy ecological and locally produced goods. But uh, sorry about destroying the oceans.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You sound like an incipient Luddite.

          When you get into organic, homemade, same day fresh, small farm, etc, you will ostracized by Big Technology zealots.

    2. Banger

      I’m with you. Driving has, for the most part, become a source of stress for many of us. The one major impediment to public transportation in the U.S. is the desire for Americans to not be around other people and have a sense of controlling their own destiny and live by their own timetable even if it is exactly the same as all their neighbors. Automatic cars, because they could easily be networked, would as you say reduce emissions, lower commute times, lower blood pressure and the problems, in comparison are minor. The technology is here and is growing at astonishing rates. As for professional drivers why are they special? We’ve had no problem with destroying jobs around the country for all kinds of people. Perhaps destroying jobs of drivers will finally spur us to starting a new economy one base on human needs not the profits of the bosses.

      1. allcoppedout

        Social change by removing the taxi driver scourge? The triumph of the Ubermensch, perhaps! Not one of your best mate, though one catches the drift. How I would love to flick the switch that made the banking industry redundant, save for a crew of janitors to mind the machine.

        1. Banger

          My goal for professional drivers is to give them mote time to party. Buckminster Fuller said that if you can find a way for everyone to freeload out of a hundred people one will create or invent something that will more than make up for the lost productivity of those who like to stare off into inner or outer space. The reality is that most people when fear and anxiety is not the main determinant of action become more creative.

      2. rusti

        I appreciate the reasonable reply, seeing how the other ones accused me of 1) Destroying the Oceans and 2) Facilitating the Downfall of Society.

        It’s a real ethical dilemma doing technology development knowing that it will likely lead to destroying existing industries. I think scientists and engineers rarely consider the human effect of what they’re working on and just find it fun to work on challenging technical problems. I refuse to work in the “defense” industry, but even something like this where the intention is to curb emissions there is a real negative human impact if we don’t evolve in the manner you suggest and replace obsolete jobs with new ones that work towards our common benefit rather than further indulging the endless appetites of the already-rich with the profits.

        1. MyLessPrimeBeef

          Jevon’s robot cars may let people ‘drive’ even more and/or make longer trips that were previously not humanly possible…because robots never sleep.

          ‘I think I will program my car to cruise around Arizona for the weekend, while I study for my finals, in my only and lonely solitude (except the robot who is doing the drive), before heading back to USC. Imagine, before that, I would have had to stay in the dorm!!!!!!!!!!’

          1. rusti

            This is definitely true, it opens up driving to more people in more situations. I think one possible way to fight this problem is to raise the ludicrously low gas prices in the US to at least the levels we have here in Scandinavia. Even if it winds up hitting the lower classes harder it can be combined with other measures to counteract that like building out biking infrastructure.

            Self-driving vehicle technology itself is agnostic, it’s how it’s used. We can either collectively decide to use it as a tool to curb total emissions, or further indulge ourselves for short-term comfort.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              ‘I just invent. It’s up to people how to use it.’

              1. Technology, especially Big Technology, and for that matter, Big Science, sleeps with Big Business. Where it goes is directed mainly by Greed.

              2. The Min Ethical Standard for a developer of Small Technology is this: If it can be abused for $$$/power/world domination, it will.

              2 1/2. Basically #2 above implies no conscientious person would ever go into BIG Science like particle physics nor Big Technology like searching ET/space exploration.


              Don’t stop at its being agnostic.

              1. rusti

                I guess I see what you’re saying, but it seems like you’re pushing it to absurd levels when you cite ‘If we can not see disasters ahead, it’s because we lack imagination’

                Should we stop all development in all areas immediately? Should we create taboos against science and engineering? I can come up with a potential abuse for virtually everything. My job description is basically, “Try to improve fuel economy” and a few of the other commenters around here seem to think I’m on par with the Koch brothers.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It’s less about stopping all developments and more about ‘technology solving problems created by technology’ is a closed loop, using insane thinking that got you where you are in the first place.

                  1. rusti

                    I can definitely agree with this, I recently finished reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” and he makes a point of saying this as a rebuttal to people who blindly point out that technology will cover our butts tomorrow if we strip the planet dry of resources today. Only the most head-in-the-clouds researchers tend to believe that sort of nonsense.

                  2. tim s

                    Quit the browbeating. rusti is no more a supporter/enabler of this vast system that you are railing against that any one of us who uses its products. The fact that you are using a computer to rail against technological advancement is something else. Would you say the same to the legions of scientists and engineers who worked to get the computer to the stage that it is today? Is a computer good or bad? Do the rentiers and oligarcic psychopaths use computer technology against us? YES – THEN IT MUST BE BAD BAD BAD. Well, no. Are computers used to spread information about how the rentiers work, and are we getting information from blogs, etc, that we would not get were it not for computer technology? YES….hmmm, then it is not bad in and of itself, hence AGNOSTIC.

                    To think that we can, as a species, can quit advancing technologically is to ignore the reality that humans have been technologically advancing since they we discovered using stones to dig in the dirt. One can even say that we, being a product of evolution, are a technological advancement embodying whatever life force there is in/on this planet. It seems that we MAY be here for no other reason than to advance, even though it appears as though we’re heading for a brick wall at breakneck speed – so goes evolution. I don’t see the earth crying for us….but I digress.

                    To think that we as a species will just put the brakes on the impulse to technologically advance is about as wrongheaded as thinking we should just stop fucking because there are so many people already.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I ask 3 things here.

                      1. Think about possible misuses. Stop being too rosy with any new technology, if your response is, I develop and it’s beyond me how it will be used. That’s the 1:47PM comment

                      2. Then, I repeated the point again – don’t just stop at it being agnostic. I didn’t say it was not agnostic. Again, it’s from the 1:47PM comment.

                      3. I mentioned the closed loop thing of technology solving the problems of technology was using the same insane thinking that got us where we were today. That’s from 2:22PM comment. An example of using non-technology (the commonly accepted meaning of that word, not quibble over thousand year old farming technique being technology as well) to address problems caused by technology would be organic, small scale farming for local consumption.

                      So, sure BIG TECHNOLOGY IS BAD, but technology can be good.

                      But it comes against the backdrop of ‘technology is all good, all the time,’ being pushed by the mainstream media. Against such supposition, one’s duty to find examples of technology being bad, bad, bad as often as possible, BAD, BAD, BAD (to balance things out) and must be understood in that context…even if one has to use a computer and the internet to get it out. It’s an example of Epimenides Paradox. ‘I have only one rule and that is I don’t have rules.’ ‘The Dao can be said is not the Eternal Dao.’ ‘He who knows does not say. He who says does not know – but who said that?’ Life is mysterious like, full of paradoxes. And a Luddite uses a computer to get his messages out. He is a Neo-Luddite, a modern version of Luddite.

        2. susan the other

          I wonder if it wouldn’t just be cheaper and more efficient to do a network of chairlifts.

        3. Banger

          The fact the current system penalizes the vulnerable doesn’t mean we should stop technological change that has the more positive effect of beginning to address climate change which is an issue that dwarfs all other considerations. It turns out that applying technology for things other than toys and movie special effects can have a positive effect on not only our natural environment but could force human culture to emphasize conviviality over production. In the book Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK (available for free online) Federico Pistono argues that robotics/automation will free us and not enslave us. This idea was talked about quite a lot in the fifties and sixties but as one political and cultural crisis after another forced us to adopt a more negative view of human culture the oligarchs were able to replace the possibility of human cooperation and creativity with a toll boo the political economy. Though we think technological progress has been quite robust we have actually applied it only in relatively narrow areas. For example, the possibilities inherent of systems theory and connected disciplines like game theory, complexity, chaos have barely been touched in a general way other than is very limited areas of science. Another irksome example for me is the lack of integration into the educational system of what we know about learning, neuroscience and social science in general. Very little, in fact, of what we know about almost anything is actually being used in major social/political institutions other than the PR and advertising industry.

          Most of global problems can be solved if we actually felt connected to each other and realized the amazing treasures our civilization has created that are hoarded by the .01 percent who are bent on destroying civilization.

    3. GuyFawkesLives

      And hey, the government will absolutely KNOW where you and your car are at every single moment of every day. If you succeed in completing this task, you will be the downfall of our society……not that it needs another downfall, it is imploding all on its own.

      But kudos to you for fucking up everything.

      1. rusti

        How adorable that you’re all riled up but haven’t made any attempt to understand the underlying technology. If you’re worried about the government tracking you, stop carrying a cell phone that actually does exactly what you describe, or driving a car that has an embedded telematics system that uses the same hardware as your phone. This technology has lots of potential to be abused, but not for the reasons you say.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          ‘If we can not see disasters ahead, it’s because we lack imagination,’ when confronted with a jubilant, scientific technologer around 1890 who proclaimed that internal combustion engine driven cars would be the future, a kid (who later became a Luddite) walking 20 miles to his school in snow responded this way.

          The future of mechanized armor divisions, global warming, urban sprawl…

            1. MyLessPrimeBeef

              Horse buggy making will be back in vogue one day…once GM (not that GM, the GM corn GM) self driving horses are here.

        2. GuyFawkesLives

          I carry a blackberry, when I don’t want to be tracked, I can take the battery out and no tracking capabilities. Duh. You must be one of the people who believe there isn’t still technology that has not been altered by NSA.

          My car is 2004. Don’t think that shit was in there then.

    4. Goyo Marquez

      The future of cars will be kind of like public transportation available on an individual basis. The government knows where your bus and subway are at any time, they also know when you get on and off.

      The advantanges of self driving cars will be tremendous. Less accidents, lighter cars, less fuel, perhaps batteries will be enough to power them, faster trips, no need for families to own multiple vehicles, everybody will have a chauefer, less pollution, less energy consumption, more freedom to move around.

      I can’t waith for,
      “Car please take daughter to school, come back and take son to his school, then come back for me take me to work, and then return home to wait for husband, don’t forget to pick son up early from school and take him to dentist, on the way home from dentist drop by the grocery store for our pre-ordered groceries then go home and make sure son unloads the groceries. Any problems call me.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Whom does the robot car listen to – the ‘authorized driver’ or just about anyone in the case?

        What if the wife disagrees with the boyfriend and has an argument t in the car or the husband with his mistress?

        How does the kidnapped victim get home in the robot car after incapacitate the kidnapper?

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        As I said, if you are an activist of any sort, this technology makes you vastly more vulnerable. Thinks a car can’t be messed with to auto off itself? Merely being tracked all the time is bad enough, but you can limit that by using old technology and other means to hide at least some of your tracks.

        Since 9/11, safety has been the excuse for increased surveillance, and too many people accept that without question.

        1. GlenO

          The problem is not the technology but the abuse of power. They didn’t have much technology in earlier times, but that didn’t stop people from abusing power then. Technology such as self-driving cars just increases peoples’ options and amplifies their capabilities, for good and bad.

          1. jrs

            Yes well funded public transportation in an open society would be paradise, public transportation in a baby police state is camera’s watching everything and constant “see something, say something” announcements. And that’s the police state not even really employed to do full harm of course. And autos are no different.

            1. different clue

              Except a self-driving remotely-tracked/driven car could be programmed or real-time directed to drive off a bridge or into an abuttment or off a cliff or etc.; if that car contained an effective dissident or opponent whom the government really wanted to delete.
              And it would be easier to disguise than a car bombing. You can’t make a car bombing look like an accident.

    5. hunkerdown

      SCOTUS are not there for dealing with technology issues. Their business is to deal with power issues.

      And while all that stuff *could* happen with self-driving cars, why do you think it would happen without some Ferengi wiring a coinbox on it? The commons has been written out of US culture. The public is a resource pool, not an agent in government. Maximizing shopping is the goal, not minimizing it. There are already plans to get people paying for premium speed limits on toll roads. Centralizing control in the hands of those whose plugs we the people can’t immediately pull is a self-defeating move, and we should stop that.

  4. rich

    How to get stinking rich using secret offshore accounts
    Opinion: It took the SEC 10 years to bring the Wyly brothers to justice
    Want to bag a half billion? Here’s a step-by-step plan that almost worked:

    1. Buy your way onto the boards of publicly traded companies.

    2. Set up a labyrinth of offshore accounts and sham companies in the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands.

    3. Pay a lawyer a lot of dough to consistently lie about who really controls your offshore edifices.
    It took the SEC so long to pursue this single case against a couple of billionaire cowboys from Texas that you have to wonder …how many other corporate board directors have been doing the exact same thing with their own secret offshore accounts.

    Clearly, there’s a huge payoff if you don’t get caught. You could even short your own stock as you drive your company into the ground, as so many board directors do.


    1. susan the other

      It was a great post. Linh Dinh. Where is all the other hard-hitting language? Cuban and Japanese women maybe.

  5. armchair

    When Driverless Cars Break the Law, has a little chuckle with this quote, “I often joke that the big losers are going to be the trial lawyers,” he said, but then goes on to talk about how insurance companies will benefit from the data. Honestly, I don’t understand how trial lawyers dissapear, but the car insurance industry continues without skipping a beat. HIf the technology works then it means the end of the GEICO gekko, and good hands and good neighbors and all of the rest. I don’t know where the NCAA will get its ad revenue. Of course, state laws chance so slowly that people may be forced to continue to insure themselves because of lazy, corrupt legislators. Nevertheless, the article is smug about waving goodbye to trial lawyers, but if they go, then so does the car insurance industry. After all, there are two sides in every trial. The article says it will be all about products liability, so nobody is going to need car insurance.

    1. Brian

      You automated car enthusiasts will love the robot that takes over the planning and function of your life. Mr. Asimov’s 3 laws be damned.

    2. armchair

      To whoever reviews these comments, please feel free to delete my original comment. I tried to make some decent points, but with zero proof-reading. Life moves so fast sometimes and one hates to miss the chance to make a point, but I need to do better anyway.

    3. hunkerdown

      False. You’re being patently ridiculous if you think the driverless car can avoid all catastrophic failures. Physics and chance don’t work like that.

      Also, money doesn’t work like that. Auto policies often coordinate personal-injury claims with the primary health insurer (where one is available). Since at least some narrow-network New HMOs probably won’t function very well far from home, I could see auto PIP cover springboarding itself into a form of domestic travel insurance, in the best case. Auto insurance will also be in demand, mandate or not, because sometimes Nature Happens, and *lienholders* won’t accept that. Remember, if the Money wants it, 2/3 chance the Money gets it.

      Why are you ignoring the numerous parties and potential parties to the situation that don’t fit your thesis?

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Doubts Raised About Off-Label Use of Subsys, a Strong Painkiller New York Times

    “At least part of Insys’s business strategy appears to rely on the assumption that patients will eventually need more of the drug, along with higher doses. Higher doses are more expensive than lower doses.”

    Why that is an absolutely BRILLIANT business strategy! How is it that no one’s ever thought of that before?

    Oh, wait, somebody has. They’re called drug “pushers,” and they’ve been getting arrested on street corners all over America for a number of years now.

    DUH! Just plain DUH.

    1. ambrit

      Remember when drugs dealers were compared favourably with entrepreneurs? Wait, they are entrepreneurs! (Rolls eyes and mutters something about gwailo and opium.)

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Yes. they ARE entrepreneurs, albeit crude and uneducated ones.

        If they’d gone to Harvard and gotten MBAs, they’d have known enough to clean up their businesses by changing the name of their customers from “addicts” to “EXPERIENCED PATIENTS.”

        Now THAT is truly inspired entrepreneurial flourish.

        1. allcoppedout

          The Harvard MBA would hire a PR firm to come up with that advertising slogan for her ‘virtually integrated experience provisioning company’.

          1. skippy

            Its all about – “owning [LLC]” the space – you project your thoughts about… in an act of selling your crafted persona….

  7. rich

    Corporate rental biz long term as homeownership slips, says Boca gathering of Wall Street landlords

    Speakers at the conference were optimistic the single-family rental business would be a long-term money maker as recent college graduates can’t find jobs with high enough salaries to buy, household formation slows, and the stigma of renting fades.

    “It used to be you get married, have kids, buy a house,” said Walter Charnoff, founder of RentRange, which provides market information on the rental market. “But there was job security then. Now people are concerned they can’t keep their job and can’t sell their home if they have to move to find another one.”

    During the second quarter of this year, the percent of Americans who owned their home was 64.8 percent _ a 19-year low.

    “After the great recession, we’ve had the not so great recovery,” said Fannie Mae Vice President Mark Palim. “The single-family rental has been a real pressure valve for the economic distress as distressed homes are absorbed and people who can no longer own, but want a home, rent.”
    – See more at:

    Everything is working according to plans.

    1. craazyboy

      Be really sumthing’ if we find out the problem with the “housing market” is that houses cost too much – again.

      1. MyLessPrimeBeef

        If owning is too expensive, substitute renting.

        If renting is too expensive, substitute living under the bridge.

        Substitute. Substitute. Substitute.

        That’s the key to survival.

        If you can master that, son, you will be very successful in life.

    2. Mel

      What did Wolf Richter say about tech stocks today?
      “Sure, the fundamentals, as expressed in estimated adjusted future earnings per share and the kinds of newfangled metrics the SEC had warned about, may not have changed, but reality hasn’t changed either,”

      The efficient cost for a home is capital + cost of capital + taxes + upkeep. That’s what wannabe purchasers can’t afford, so rent has to be less than that. Could be the kind of shortfall that only a securities investor can tolerate.

  8. craazyboy

    Ok. The cute kitty pic worked. Just spent the last half hour fighting the urge to go out and buy one. Even though my frontal lobs tell me I need to get a math dog and have him run for congress.

        1. susan the other

          I once had a cat that got that very expression in his eyes, and loved to climb up the furniture instead of getting stuck under it. But some of the time Elvis would just climb up my leg. Really.

    1. Brian

      Buy a cat? Have you no shelters in your community? You can even try them out to see if they accept you so there is no buyers remorse. yuck

      1. craazyboy

        True. Actually I was almost adopted by one a few years ago. A striking looking tabby came meowing at my patio screen door one day. I opened the screen door and he just walked in and began surveying my space to see if it fit his needs and would periodically issue a crisp meow as he stalked the perimeter of my living room and kitchen. We weren’t acquainted well enough for me to understand if these were meows of approval or disapproval, but then I did notice he was wearing a collar and I did recall seeing a cat appearing much like him at the neighbor’s. So I gave him some water and after some persistent coaxing convinced him to walk back out the door and hopefully re-acquire his previous residence.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Don’t bother getting one. I have an interloper I’ll give to you. Shipping included (and, yes — I will put holes in the box).

      He’s very smart, friendly and sweet, a little sickly from living on the streets, and loves to play and to lie in the ever-moving sunbeam.

      He’ a long-haired ginger, but he can’t help it.

      Just say the word, and all of his lovin’ is yours.

  9. Eeyores enigma

    Driverless cars is just another technocopian religious fulfillment. Its not even a question for most people, they simply believe that it is the natural order of things (still waiting on the jet packs and flying cars).

    I remember about 30 years or more back when watching Star Trek when they would command the replicator to make them Filet mignon with Pommes Dauphine I was thinking I can sort of buy that but what was the replicator using for feed stock to make it from? People have actually stated that these new 3D printers will eventually do what the replicators did and they have no clue what the inputs would be.

      1. allcoppedout

        The French have had a driverless Metro in Lille since 1980. Replicators work on energy matter conversion from Scotty’s drunken breath. Soon the only work left will be drinking Scotch and breathing out heavily over 3-d printers.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Inflation, comrades. It was supposed to be abolished:

    Today’s 0.6 percent increase in the producer price index was the biggest since September 2012. Over the past 12 months, costs climbed 2.1 percent.

    Wholesale food expenses increased 2.7 percent in April, the biggest jump since February 2011, led by an 8.4 percent surge in the costs of meats that was the biggest since 2003. A confluence of events ranging from drought in the West to porcine epidemic diarrhea is pushing up prices for beef, pork and other foods.


    If only that porcine epidemic diarrhea could be pumped straight to the Marriner S. Eccles Building, to drive out the counterfeiters that steal our purchasing power.

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      “If only that porcine epidemic diarrhea could be pumped straight to the Marriner S. Eccles Building . . .”

      Why pump it out just to pump it back in?

    2. susan the other

      Well, look on the bright side. This just means that corporations can no longer fudge their books to look profitable because they have cut labor to the bone and borrowed from the pension fund. And now? If their prices go up any more nobody will buy and the beef and all the other crap food we eat will rot on the shelf. Let the rotting begin.

    3. Benedict@Large

      The world’s food supply (and more importantly, its distribution) is being manipulated by BigFarm conglomerates, and you’re blaming the money printers? It’s a lot closer to home, Jim. Food prices, just like the prices of any of the other commodities that control our lives, are being rigged by lock-out contracts over both production and distribution, as well as by a banking industry well willing to leverage these efforts up with 100- and 200-to-1 derivative products that would be insane if only they didn’t know how the bets would turn out beforehand.

  11. Banger

    I read a story yesterday The Great Deceiver:
    The Federal Reserve and an Unsustainable Empire
    the article says:

    From November 2013 through January 2014 Belgium with a GDP of $480 billion purchased $141.2 billion of US Treasury bonds. Somehow Belgium came up with enough money to allocate during a 3-month period 29 percent of its annual GDP to the purchase of US Treasury bonds.

    Of course Belgium did not make those purchases–some entity used Belgium to launder money and the article claims that that entity was the Fed. A search on the web shows that this strange series of events have barely been covered in the mainstream what meager posts I’ve seen indicate that China is the launderer. What gives here? Has this been covered at NC? Does anyone know?

    1. James Levy

      I heard about this, and like the German gold story it seems to be true but is wrapped in secrecy and disinformation. The level of deception in central bank operations globally seems to be out of control (but don’t worry, they’re doing it all for you!).

    2. Andrew Watts

      There was an Economist piece warning the US against using and abusing it’s privilege as reserve currency awhile back. It seemed kinda weird at the time. It’s not on the level of laundering newly created dollars through foreign markets though.

      That’s a whole new level of strange. Best guess is that Russia and/or China may be dumping some of their dollar reserves. A preemptive warning shot perhaps.

    3. susan the other

      I know, Banger, I read that one too. I think it was PCR. Before I read it I thought it was just us, up to our old trade tricks since China is prolly the one who dumped our treasuries. And now we’ll show them (even tho’ we’ve spent 30 years trying to addict them to our import market) and we’ll just import from the EU.

    4. Benedict@Large

      Considering there is absolutely no need for a fiat-issuing government to go to the bond market for money, it really doesn’t make any difference what Russia or China or anyone else is doing with their holdings of our debt. The worse that would happen (if we’ve got anyone with brains in the Treasury or the Fed … even a disgruntled clerk who understood this would do) is that Walmart’s business model would go belly up, and we’d all get jobs making the stuff we use. Works for me.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    I used to be with Yves in hating the idea of “driverless” cars. In fact, I used to think it was just plain insane. But now I’m not so sure.

    Consider the homeless–specifically those forced to “live” in their cars. A growing demographic resulting from the twin economic miracles of technology and globalization.

    One of their “challenges” is finding a place to park while they are sleeping to avoid being hassled by “well-meaning” but duty-bound law enforcement officers. They not only clutter the landscape while trying to get some shut-eye, but they attract an unsavory criminal element. Hell, in many locales, they are, themselves, considered “unsavory.”

    Enter the driverless car. A full tank of gas and a good night’s sleep, never needing to land anywhere. Traffic is lightest during the night so they won’t be mucking up anyone’s commute.

    This sounds to me like the kind of massive social benefit technology was always meant to provide. It could even be considered “disruptive” of the homelessness industry. The more I think about it, the more I like it.

    I wonder if I could get Bill and Melinda interested. I hear they’re PASSIONATE about improving human’s lives with technology and all the money they’ve made from it.

    I’m gonna text them right now.

    1. GuyFawkesLives

      You think “driverless cars” is the solution to people living in their cars????? OMFG. Now, I’ve heard it all. Dude, seriously?

      Let’s talk about getting those homeless people living in HOMES THAT ARE FUCKING EMPTY! Not putting them continuously driving on the open road. I cannot believe how fucking CLUELESS our population has become. And seriously devoid of empathy.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        OK, I read your post below. So let me just say I’m sorry. I was being sarcastic and I guess I should have made that clear. I can see you’re in a tough spot right now.

        But listen. “Thoughts are things.” They can take your house and there’s nothing you can do about that, even though there should be. But they can only take your “head” if you let them.

        Don’t let them.

        1. allcoppedout

          It was good snark Kat. Amsterdam trams used to run all night, and so kept tramps warm. Then, after complaints about the tramps, they stopped running them after midnight. Thus I couldn’t get home and tramps got cold. We aren’t thinking straight on social problems at all.

          Best of luck, obviously Guy. Caused similar problems by vile, criminal and anti-social neighbours over 7 years. We’ve lost it as a society.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            ” Thus I couldn’t get home and tramps got cold.”

            I’m wondering if I’ve ever read a more profound sentence.

            1. fresno dan

              and I’m pretty sure they used to let you drink booze, so really:
              tramps stayed warm, you could get home, and boozers didn’t cause accidents….

        2. GuyFawkesLives

          “there’s nothing you can do about that”
          That’s where you are so wrong. There is a lot you can do about it. It is wrong to say so. You guys who aren’t fighting this fight literally have no clue what we who are are actually fighting. Yves does. She writes about it quite a bit. We are the ones in the background filing lawsuits and slowly but surely we are winning against the big Wall Street machine. IF others, including those that are not in default, would assist, things would go a little faster.

          How can those in default assist? Why not write a Qualified Written Request to your lender? Why not expose the little games going on even in the houses not in default? Those that are selling: DEMAND THE ORIGINAL NOTE AND THE ORIGINAL DEED OF TRUST/MORTGAGE paperwork before you sell the house/refi the house! IF WE ALL MADE WALL STREET OBEY THE CONTRACTS THAT WE ALL SIGNED WE WOULD ALL MAKE THINGS CRUMBLE A WHOLE LOT FASTER. But, instead, those that are not in default continue to think “The crimes of Wall Street don’t affect me.” Yes, they do. The damn criminals are not extinguishing the debt when they reconvey your property at closing. They are extinguishing the lien, but they are using a Lost Note Affidavit and an indemnity agreement to close the house deal and reconvey to the new seller. Send in your own escrow instructions and tell them that they CANNOT use an indemnity agreement nor a fucking Lost Note Affidavit to close your home!

          Fight with us. And please don’t tell people doing what I’m doing that there is “nothing you can do.” That just shoots my blood pressure up even more.

          1. GuyFawkesLives

            I meant reconvey to the new *buyer*.

            Obviously, I’m talking about when the seller sells to the new buyer. THAT is where those that are not in default can really stick it to the Wall Street criminals.

            I sure wish Yves would write about this little criminal escapade: The Wall Street banks provide the only escrow instructions. Ask the sellers “who should we pay to pay off your home loan?” The seller obviously has no clue, tells the Wall Street bank “Pay the bank who I’ve been sending my payments to, duh.” So, at closing, the payment goes to the SERVICER, not the entity who OWNS the note. The NOTE never gets marked “PAID IN FULL” and returned to the homeowner. The homeowner signs papers that extinguishes the LIEN against the property. The Wall Street SERVICER gets the money at closing. Do they pay off the underlying debt? Well, since they MANDATE that the title/escrow agent closing the loan sign an indemnity agreement, I hardly think they are. So, therefore the seller never knows if the actual underlying DEBT is extinguished.

            A nice little fact I’ll bet you didn’t realize. Yves, can you write about this? IF WE ALL SENT IN AMENDED ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS TO DEMAND THE ORIGINAL DOCS GET SENT BACK TO THE SELLER (in time of course to conduct a forensic examination of the originals), THINGS WOULD CRASH.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Jeezus!!!! Back the eff off. I’m on YOUR side.

            Get some perspective. And, until you can, stop making me wonder whether you’re worth my time and effort.

            What was posted yesterday about effective apologies???? I guess I’d better read it again.

            1. MrRightNow

              If you can’t see that Guy wasn’t “attacking” you, as a third party, I’m wondering who needs some perspective?

              I read Guy’s response and he brings up valuable points that maybe we all should be clued in to. I would love to hear more. If you don’t, don’t read it. I, for one, thought the information he posted was interesting and items I would love to hear more about.

                1. GuyFawkesLives

                  Apparently, you didn’t go back and read that post about effective apologies then?

          3. susan the other

            Actually I think it is a full reconveyance of full ownership to the seller, extinguishing the debt (mortgage) on payment, and then two seconds later the documents convey the property to the new buyer and/or new mortgage… right?

            1. GuyFawkesLives

              Nope. Not if the bank does not extinguish the underlying DEBT. The underlying DEBT is extinguished only when the NOTE is returned to the one who signed it, the Seller. They reconvey the property, the Collateral, extinguishing the LIEN on the property. This is the email I received from an insider in the title industry: “Apparently none of them know that “Release of Lien” is different than extinguishing the debt. I can see that becoming a real can of worms.” That email was sent to me when I sent that insider video of a Title Lobbyist testifying before my Senate Financial Institution Committee at the state level. His testimony was in response to my testimony demanding that the title industry reconvey properties correctly, by using the ORIGINAL PROMISSORY NOTE. He said, “If you require the original note to convey property, none of you will be able to sell your homes.” Shocking. But, I would see a real estate attorney and before I sold ANY property, have them write amended escrow instructions demanding that the ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS along with a chain of delivery be required (and a forensic examination of those documents) before any property lien is released on the home.

              Thanks for asking!

              1. just_kate

                i’ve never had a mortgage so i’m not familiar with the process but i always imagined with such big amount of money involved that you would naturally as the seller get something tangible that clearly said PAID IN FULL for the loan. thanks for sharing all this info… how do so many people still trust this system that can arbitrarily and maliciously screw you over :(

                1. GuyFawkesLives

                  The criminal bankers only survive by the ignorance of the masses……ignorance is NOT to be confused with stupidity.

                  Glad to impart a bit of wisdom today. Spread the word.

          4. lightningclap

            GuyFalkes: Your comments are correct, in this case you could be speaking for me! I’m somewhat surprised that chain-of-title issues are not better-known by readers here. Much of what I know about it comes from reading this blog for 6+ years.

            EVERYONE should be concerned-the problems go back to the early 90s, even before MERS. The banks have not followed proper procedures every step of the way. This goes back to an ongoing theme for me: if the law was actually applied, you and I wouldn’t be in this situation. Of course, the USAG and top Justice officials all came from, and return to, a law firm that defends banks. I understand a lot about what’s going on, but like you, it doesn’t make the reality any easier for me.

            Sent from friend’s computer; phone/internet has been shut off!

            btw a Google driverless car would actually be preferable to my ’90 Honda Accord I will soon be sleeping in.

        3. Eureka Springs

          Driverless cars would also make great mobile offices… Never rent a space in high rise again… never pay for parking. Mobile brothels, mobile motels, mobile meetings. Just keep the motor running. Porta potties and showers will be the new IPO too. Now I can imagine 30 to 50 billion humans on this planet.

          Fascinating the ‘engineer’ above can imagine and work towards driverless cars but can’t imagine a government, corporate run world where phones are not all knowing tracking devices laying down a permanent record. He/she says don’t use a phone… i say not using cars is much more likely for most of us, much sooner… unless we learn to replicate sweet crude real soon.

    2. bob

      It brings new meaning to the word float. It could be a game changer. If they keep the homeless moving fast enough, they never land anywhere and are never counted as such.

      You know there’s a wonk in DC somewhere thinking just this. Probably more than one.

  13. GuyFawkesLives

    If you think a foreclosure affects the neighbor’s blood pressure, why not try studying the health effects of what a foreclosure does to a homeowner being foreclosed????

    I can tell you, blood pressure, weight, stress…..ALL UP.
    Other health “benefits”: depression, anxiety, isolation, sleepless nights.

    My health effects of fighting this unlawful foreclosure: skin rash, weight gain (30 lbs.), depression, insomnia, anxiety, isolation, stress, blood pressure increase……did I mention stress? Five years ago, I was an attractive, but middle-aged person. Today, my hair is almost all gray, I am fat, blood pressure is up, tension headaches (previously never a headache ever!), stress, stress and more stress.

    Fighting this unlawful foreclosure has changed my life forever. I will never be able to view the world the same way again. Ever. I will always see my government as corrupt and collusive. I will always view politicians as bought and corrupt. I will always view big business as totally and utterly out for whatever they can steal, beg or steal again. Life will never be the same.

    1. Banger

      On the plus side, your experience opened your eyes to reality while the vast majority of us struggle every day to avoid the reality you learned about first-hand. Now, our job is to take you seriously and your job is to take us to account when we don’t.

      We live in a society whose tyrannical and illegitimate leaders want us to be more and more stressed–to put it in even simpler terms–they want to cause us as much pain as possible so we experience despair and thus more easily give up our power. The general population, for a number of complicated reasons, refuses to see this obvious fact.

      1. GuyFawkesLives

        It’s really funny when I talk about Obama to friends who continue to think there is a difference between the Dems and Repubs. I continue to call out Obama’s administration for being just as bad as Bush’s. And my friends are horrified that I can say that.

        But, when you look at Obama’s administration using TARP funds that were approved by Congress to force American homeowners from their properties, it is appalling. Timothy Geithner’s HAMP program was the reason many people were encouraged, by their banks, to stop paying on their mortgage. “STOP PAYING ON MY MORTGAGE, REALLY?” You will if you want the government’s help. That was the premise. How far from reality that bullshit seems now.

        Anyway, just look at “Katniss Everdeen’s” response to me above to see how even those within the population that claim awareness are scared beyond belief to the criminal banking lies I continue to uncover. Katniss’s response to the information I wrote was “BACK THE EFF OFF.” Did any of what I wrote look like a personal attack on Ms. Everdeen? Nope. She was simply informed of how the population at large can assist those of us fighting the big banking corruption. She not only didn’t want to hear it, she believed my information was a personal attack. I was astounded by her response. But, that’s the kind of response I get when people are scared beyond belief that the criminal lies that are taking the homes from those of us facing foreclosure could, in fact, affect those that have not defaulted. So, evidence of even those that believe they are “aware” are just scared and feeling like they don’t want to go down the rabbit hole I have. Welcome to Wonderland, Alice.

        1. fresno dan

          when the republs rape you, they call you a dirty, lazy, lying crack whore who deserves to be punished, severely, multiple times….
          when the dems rape you, they tell you they love you, they want you to be happy, that your intelligent, and beautiful, and that this is a painful but necessary step towards making you a stronger and better person….and than, due to other people and circumstances beyond their control, they will have to continue, to keep on raping you….until tomorrow, or the next election, whichever comes later….

          1. Banger

            Thank you, thank you–a good laugh in the midst of a busy day. When I hung around political types in DC I, generally, enjoyed the company of Republican operatives to their Dem counterparts–I mean socially of course. I never really understood it–somehow despite my prejudice, they seemed more honest as individuals and more fun. This was, of course, before the Tea Party era.

          2. GuyFawkesLives

            Banger is right. That provided valuable needed relief and a good belly laugh midday.

            Point being: you’re being raped by BOTH.

    2. susan the other

      About BP: exercising immediately brings it down. Go up and down one flight of stairs maybe 2 times and do it 4 or 5 times a day. And call me in the morning. Another thing that works for me is stretching. Stretch like a cat (who usually never gets any exercise unless it’s crazy); don’t bother with yoga, just stretch to your own limits – legs, ankles, back, stomach and sides. Forget all those pills unless your system is seriously out of control.

        1. craazyboy

          For an over the counter solution along with exercise, you can try “citrulline”. It’s watermelon extract and is a powerful vasodilator. Works on the same principal as Viagra – so some side benefits too.

          Then one small study showed taurine, an amino acid, was effective at repairing arteriosclerosis. Just one study like this was done, and not duplicated by anyone else, so there is always some chance it was a bs study. But taurine is cheap.

          Lycopene, which is in tomato paste in high concentration, also is effective. Cooking tomatoes raises the development of lycopene, which is why you want tomato paste. A couple studies were done showing only 1 teaspoon a day is needed. I now make my own tomato juice from a can of tomato paste.

          Eating 2-3 gloves of fresh, crushed garlic a day also helps BP among other things. Must be fresh, and let it sit 15 minutes after crushing. This allows the enzymes to create allicin, the main bio-active. Note that pills and dry garlic powder don’t work – they are the source of all the “failed” garlic studies. But when prepared correctly, it does work.

          Other vitamin deficiencies can add to BP woes. Notably C, E and magnesium. If you are deficient in magnesium, you will have a whole shitload of trouble.

  14. jfleni

    RE: Hundreds Perish in Turkish Coal Mine Tragedy
    Headlines like this have been common for more than a century, all the more reason to leave coal in the ground where it belongs!

    Not only is this stuff snuffing the climate and the planet, but since every ton is often covered with the blood of many workers, it is snuffing miners too.

      1. James Levy

        Coal miners are always my Exhibit A, if you need one, of how there is no relationship between the difficulty of a job and how much it pays. If anyone says, “they get paid all that money because running General Dynamics is a really hard job” I say, “if it’s so tough, maybe the Execs over there should try mining coal; if it’s so stressful, why don’t they switch jobs with the janitors”. Exhibit B are broccoli cutters. These are hot, dirty, nasty, and for coal miners, extraordinarily dangerous jobs.

  15. cwnm

    Anybody else notice the change in rhetoric? It used to be that on web discussions, left and right, it was considered bad form to hate the rich. We have been schooled that anybody can make it here. Not anymore.

    Web addresses from Newsmax to Huffpost, Nation to Prison Planet – the rich are reviled, and the working man is no longer responsible for his own place in the chain. Left and right agree that the game has been rigged. The playing field polluted.

    This is a huge change in the American mindset. The Republicans are squirming – and Dems are trying to tame vitriole that – 10 years ago – would have labeled them Communists.

    Not anymore. Redistributionist rhetoric is no longer outside the mainstream – even for us self employed independents. I want the working stiffs to stick it to the Waltons. It’s only a matter of time before the V generation starts sabotaging their properties – and family.

    Most of these web discussions remain gentile – with references and links to the hyperbole – but why? Say it the way it’s coming down.

    Americans, left and right – no longer respect, but resent the rich. It doesn’t do any good to explain the origins of much entrepreneurial wealth is legit… None of it is legit.

    Behind great riches are great crimes. And to hell with the exceptions. These are the words of a fairly comfortable self employed, professional. What are the wage slaves saying? Thinking?

    It won’t be long before stories of crimes against the oligarchy – AND their families – becomes entertainment for the rest of us. I know if I read that one of the Waltons, the Geithners, the Simons, or any of the other prominent families suffered a loss – of ANY KIND. The Tweets around the world would be HURRAH!!!

    Remember these uncomfortable words when it begins. I would love to read that the Waltons lost something BIG, money, cars, homes, their museum… or even — anybody of any age — that means something to them.

    Just sayin it like it is…. this is no time to get all PC on the subject. We all know what’s just around the corner…

    that last line on the End of America says it all — “Don’t blow me or …. just burn down Goldman Sachs. That is becoming MAINSTREAM thinking. People read it and say YES!!

      1. allcoppedout

        In spades. Lots more contempt than I can remember and I’m sure it’s not just mine.

    1. The Motherload

      When the Western District of our (uncorrupted, yeah right) US Attorneys office released Kerry Killinger from all criminal charges, I stood outside his gated community in Seattle with a simple sign that read “KERRY KILLINGER IS A CRIMINAL.”

      I got honks and waves from 99% of the cars that drove by. I stood there for three weeks. Every day from 5-7 pm. Then one day something dangerous happened. Three cars driving into the gated community used their vehicles to nearly run me over. Seriously.

      The next day I had a sign saying “GATES WILL NOT PROTECT THE CRIMINALS SOON.” And that produced honks and waves from almost 100% of the cars going by. And it sent a message to those inside those gates that they better start thinking of a private island somewhere where the only thing that can protect them is water surrounding their entire estate………

    2. Hugh

      The standard argument has been that we can not challenge the rich and elites because they have all the money and power. I have never accepted this. The point has always been not to play their rigged game on their terms. It is rather to confront them where they can not go. They can spend tens of billions of dollars on their propaganda machine and their entertainment distractions, but they can not get people to disbelieve their lying eyes or completely forget what those eyes have seen. People know something is wrong, real and truly critically wrong. Where we can and have been combatting the powers that be is in the realm of ideas. We can put into plain and simple words what is happening to them, to us. The truth begins to percolate through despite the noise machines. We begin to re-educate that the people, not the rich and elites, are the source of all wealth and all power. We combat their tired lies and distractions with better ideas and clarity. People want meaning in their lives, a sentiment that not even the latest consumer toy can eradicate. Ideas are powerful. People will fight and die for them. First, we build consciousness. Then we organize. I know many would like to organize immediately. It’s a natural impulse. I know I have it, but it won’t work. First, we build consciousness of what and whom we are fighting against and what and whom we are fighting for. We need a road map, a consensus, a program to unify us and keep us focussed. Only then will organizing make sense, and more importantly, be successful. This is going to be a long conflict, and we need to be in it for the long haul. But as said, there is movement. What was unheard of and out of bounds a few years ago is now mainstream. Our ideas are getting out there, but they will do us very little good and will even be co-opted and hijacked if we do not wield them into a consciousness, if we do not embed them into a program for change.

      1. allcoppedout

        It is possible our consciousness of these “ruling lizards” is sharpening, simply because they have made themselves obvious in over-playing their hand. People in Bahrain used to talk to me about ‘being eaten from the inside’ by the ruling clan there. I go with the consciousness-raising and think this should include a better vision of ‘what comes after springtime’ than we have managed so far.

        There may be things happening that will start to bite the professional class. Higher education is now a very expensive disaster and many so-called “smart” working practices are clearly no such thing, relying on fraud and pretence. We have criminal cases collapsing here because adequate lawyers won’t work for the legal aid fees, and universities close to collapse. I’m not sure many people are doing necessary jobs in the professional zone. Some discontent there could be useful.

      2. Ulysses

        “The truth begins to percolate through despite the noise machines. We begin to re-educate that the people, not the rich and elites, are the source of all wealth and all power. We combat their tired lies and distractions with better ideas and clarity.”

        Yes!! The truth by itself doesn’t set you free, but recognizing truth is a necessary first step on the long journey to freedom. We don’t have to offer grand unified solutions to start a virtuous chain reaction of positive change.

        I have seen first-hand how small struggles for justice awakens communities to larger issues. Anti-war veterans meet people struggling against fraudulent foreclosures and they support each other. In the course of their work, they learn of the huge crisis of U.S. over-incarceration. And on it goes. We cannot wait for an omniscient Messiah to arrive with all the answers. As soon as we turn off our T.V.s, re-enter the real world, and start looking out for each other, we can find all the answers we need.

    3. Banger

      Good point–it almost looks as if the rich are snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Just as they have created a foolproof system to guarantee their power in perpetuity there are cracks showing–not in the system yet but in the minds of people who went along with their lies, misdirections and dark magic. But will this be enough? I don’t know. There is still relatively little support for any deep change and the population is still too split by culture to cooperate on any common issue–at least in the U.S.

      1. hunkerdown

        When divine right replaces big numbers as the determinant of one’s relationship to the means of production and its surplus, who needs all the complexity or all the labor to manage it? That is the end for which “trade” agreements seem to be aiming.

  16. jfleni

    RE: New Snowden Document Implies NSA May Be Putting Israel’s Security Ahead of America’s

    To Quote Washington’s warning on foreign entanglements:

    …”nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.
    It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest”.

      1. F. Beard

        Worse than ugly, it is dangerous. Something about “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”, I read somewhere. And let’s face it, Israeli culture is a LOT more appealing to the US than a culture that oppresses women and in some places mutilates girls. The latter is so damned diseased that the extermination of a culture that practices it becomes thinkable but I suppose that should be left to you-know-Who.

      2. jfleni

        Even uglier is the opinion that historical quotes taken out of context and carefully mislabeled as something else, can justify blatant propaganda posing as reasonable commentary.

      3. Jess

        Ah, yes, the tired trope that anyone who criticizes the actions of Israel and its government are antisemitic. Hell, if a Jewish person does it they’re even called a “self-hating” Jew. There can be no criticism of Israel ever! While we may freely criticize America for its long history of racism, persecution of native peoples, gunboat diplomacy, and CIA-instigated overthrows of legitimately elected (usually leftist/democratic) governments. Israel has never and will never do anything wrong to anyone at any time. (Try substituting Warsaw and ghetto for Palestinian and territory and see how well that analogy fits.)

        And of course, no true American patriot would ever put the concerns and well-being of this country and its people over that of Israel and its citizens. Never! Blasphemy!

        1. ohmyheck

          Wow. I thought that was snark on SS’s part. I guess I just hoped so. Hasbara at NC? Oy….

  17. Paul Niemi

    And so Big Yellow, the robot mid-level manager, imported 50 driverless cars for testing. Suddenly, as a cluster they all stopped in the middle of the George Washington Bridge. Cussing was heard as the driverless cars eluded the tow truck drivers by milling together and honking, and Big Yellow was called to explain before the Senate Special Committee on Investigation of Impudence and Perturbations. Sen. Belfry: “Isn’t it true, Big Yellow, that in a previous incarnation you were in fact an automatic milking machine?” “Yes, Senator,” (Audience gasps). “And isn’t it true you were so zealous as to milk your cows three, sometimes four times a day?” “Yes, Senator, I did.” “What happened that changed your career, sir?” Big Yellow said, “My operating system was updated with a mobile app.” Sen. Belfry pounced: “So you got a mobile app, and off you went, just like that, and now you have 50 driverless cars blocking the George Washington Bridge! What mobile app did you give them? Are the cars parked on the bridge confounded to think it’s time for them to get milked?” An associate whispers to Big Yellow, and he says: “Senator, I’m advised the driverless cars have left the bridge.” “Where did they go, Mr. Yellow?” Big Yellow responded in an ashamed tone: “Apparently they are headed North. They are being pursued at a high rate of speed by a red and white 1958 Plymouth.”

    1. susan the other

      Fun-nee until you grok in full the implications of half bio/half robot soldiers.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think Big Yellow should just import organic human milk and organic human milk cheese.

      1. Paul Niemi

        The robot mid-level manager is using his superior algorithms to analyze the supply chain issues even now, as we speak!

  18. rich

    Hunter Biden & The Carlyle Group: Ukrainian Gasbags

    Business Insider reported:

    Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, has been appointed to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest private-gas producer. The company, Burisma Holdings, announced Biden’s appointment on its website Tuesday.

    Ex-lobbyist Hunter Biden has had many jobs, including a PEU position with Rosemont Capital’s Real Estate arm.

    Western energy companies want to turn Ukraine’s energy business their way and Hunter Biden is in a unique position to facilitate such.

    The Carlyle Group had the chops to get ethanol mandates dropped. This came from another Pennsylvania Biden connection, Philadelphia Energy Systems.

    Carlyle’s European energy chief is extremely bullish and I can see why. The EU could be one gigantic money funnel for Carlyle

    1. p78

      Q: Does conflict of interest actually mean anything to US politicians these days?
      A: They actually create conflicts for their interests.

      1. optimader

        has it ever?
        The Bush dynasty has enjoyed gold-plated parasite status as wholesaler of technology to China.

        May 21, 2004
        The Bush family: Middle Kingdom rainmakers
        By Zach Coleman

        Prescott Bush Resources, his consulting company, has put together more than 30 joint ventures in China since 1978, according to the website of Global Access, a US consulting company active in China, which retains Prescott as chairman of its advisory board. “Mr [Prescott] Bush has also facilitated meetings and approvals at the highest levels of the Chinese government,” the site adds in its biography.

        “I don’t get a lot of business because my nephew is president or my brother was president,” Prescott insisted in an interview with USA Today in 2002, though he admitted, “You can meet a lot of people because of it.”

        …Prescott capitalized explicitly on the family tie-in by forming the US-China Chamber of Commerce in 1993 after serving on its predecessor, the Hong Kong-US Business Council, during his brother’s presidency….

        …By contrast, as president, Bush Sr granted a “national interest” waiver to allow a deal to proceed for shipping $300 million of Hughes Aircraft satellite equipment to China in December 1989, overriding sanctions imposed by Congress a month before in response to the Tiananmen Square incident – regarded as a massacre of peaceful demonstrators by most observers. Prescott had visited China just before his brother that February and returned weeks after the Tiananmen violence for talks with officials on several deals, including one for a US company pitching a satellite communications network that would utilize the Hughes equipment.

        “We aren’t a bunch of carrion birds coming to pick the carcass,” Prescott told the Wall Street Journal at the time. “But there are big opportunities in China, and America can’t afford to be shut out.”

  19. susan the other

    Just a brief word for Truthout and the MIC spending chart. Our military spans the Globe – at our foolish expense – and if it did not, if there were a tiny chink in the armor, there would be no fail safe. So of course we are spending like terminal paranoiacs. Which we are. Even Chucky Hegel, once seen to be a reasonable man, is now a salesman for a war economy. So if it is that important, let us demand that the military-industrial-complex be transformed into the peace-and-environment complex and continue to give it the same budget.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chinese Property Will Bust!

    China Reverts to Credit as Property Slump Threatens…

    OK, this sounds a bit like Chinese Water Boarding…pour water, let him have some air, more water again…

  21. Hugh

    Devices like smart phones, robot cars, remotely controlled homes, etc. require high levels of interconnectivity in exchange for convenience. This interconnectivity means putting out a lot of personal information about ourselves into quasi-public spaces. So the question becomes how much we trust government, business, and each other with it. We live in corrupt, kleptocratic wannabe police states and are bred to isolated, atomized lives of disempowered alienation. The trust is not there. So the question poses itself: Is our modern technological age really about freeing us or controlling us and opening us to abuse?

    1. optimader

      It’s for our safety, think of the children. Why do you hate our children Hugh?

  22. subgenius

    Driverless cars? The problem word in this term is CARS. They are a failed paradigm and until people get that into their idiot minds we are fkd….

    1. owenfinn16

      Thank you!

      I recently read Booth Tarkington’s “The Magnificent Ambersons”. Published in 1918 I was surprised to see some great anti-car rants/warnings in the book. This one (long -sorry!) is classic.

      “At the dinner-table she continued to observe him, sidelong; and toward the conclusion of the meal she was not startled by an episode which brought discomfort to the others. After the arrival of coffee the Major was rallying Eugene upon some rival automobile shops lately built in a suburb, and already promising to flourish.
      “I suppose they’ll either drive you out of the business,” said the old gentleman, “or else the two of you’ll drive all the rest of us off the streets.”
      “If we do, we’ll even things up by making the streets five or ten times as long as they are now,” Eugene returned.
      “How do you propose to do that?”
      “It isn’t the distance from the centre of a town that counts,” said Eugene; “it’s the time it takes to get there. This town’s already spreading; bicycles and trolleys have been doing their share, but the automobile is going to carry city streets clear out to the county line.”
      The Major was skeptical. “Dream on, fair son!” he said. “It’s lucky for us that you’re only dreaming; because if people go to moving that far, real estate values in the old residence part of town are going to be stretched pretty thin.”
      “I’m afraid so,” Eugene assented. “Unless you keep things so bright and clean that the old section will stay more attractive than the new ones.”
      “Not very likely! How are things going to be kept ‘bright and clean’ with soft coal and our kind of city government?”
      “They aren’t,” Eugene replied quickly. “There’s no hope of it, and already the boarding-house is marching up National Avenue. There are two in the next block below here, and there are a dozen in the half-mile below that. My relatives, the Sharons, have sold their house and are building in the country—at least, they call it ‘the country.’ It will be city in two or three years.”
      “Good gracious!” the Major exclaimed, affecting dismay. “So your little shops are going to ruin all your old friends, Eugene!”
      “Unless my old friends take warning in time, or abolish smoke and get a new kind of city government. I should say the best chance is to take warning.”
      “Well, well!” the Major laughed. “You have enough faith in miracles, Eugene—granting that trolleys and bicycles and automobiles are miracles. So you think they’re to change the face of the land, do you?”
      “They’re already doing it, Major; and it can’t be stopped. Automobiles——”
      At this point he was interrupted. George was the interrupter. He had said nothing since entering the dining room, but now he spoke in a loud and peremptory voice, using the tone of one in authority who checks idle prattle and settles a matter forever.
      “Automobiles are a useless nuisance,” he said.
      There fell a moment’s silence.
      Isabel gazed incredulously at George, colour slowly heightening upon her cheeks and temples, while Fanny watched him with a quick eagerness, her eyes alert and bright. But Eugene seemed merely quizzical, as if not taking this brusquerie to himself. The Major was seriously disturbed.
      “What did you say, George?” he asked, though George had spoken but too distinctly.
      “I said all automobiles were a nuisance,” George answered, repeating not only the words but the tone in which he had uttered them. And he added, “They’ll never amount to anything but a nuisance. They had no business to be invented.”
      The Major frowned. “Of course you forget that Mr. Morgan makes them, and also did his share in inventing them. If you weren’t so thoughtless he might think you rather offensive.”
      “That would be too bad,” said George coolly. “I don’t think I could survive it.”
      Again there was a silence, while the Major stared at his grandson, aghast. But Eugene began to laugh cheerfully.
      “I’m not sure he’s wrong about automobiles,” he said. “With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization—that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men’s souls. I am not sure. But automobiles have come, and they bring a greater change in our life than most of us expect. They are here, and almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They are going to alter war, and they are going to alter peace. I think men’s minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles; Just how, though, I could hardly guess. But you can’t have the immense outward changes that they will cause without some inward ones, and it may be that George is right, and that the spiritual alteration will be bad for us. Perhaps, ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn’t be able to defend the gasoline engine, but would have to agree with him that automobiles ‘had no business to be invented.’”

  23. jason

    In what might be the most spectacular example of the corporatization of the university I’ve ever seen, the University of Saskatchewan just fired (and banned from the campus for life) a tenured professor because he publicly challenged the actions of the university president and its upper administration:

    Key quote from the letter regarding his dismissal:
    “In publicly challenging the directions given to you by both the president of the university and the provost, you have demonstrated egregious conduct and insubordination and have destroyed your relationship with the senior leadership team of the university,” the letter reads.

    “You have damaged the reputation of the university, the president and the school and have damaged the university’s relationship with key stakeholders and partners, including the public, the government and your university colleagues.”

    No mention of students anywhere to be seen.

  24. optimader

    “…Tuesday’s problem at the federal Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, facility in Elgin, which directs all commercial flights approaching and departing the Chicago area, was traced to a faulty motor that controls fans in the bathrooms of the building, fire officials said….It caused an acrid smoke that required a full-scale evacuation…. Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

    File Under: Bureaucracy at work/Bureaucracy Speak
    Was “traced”… It was a bloody bathroom fan motor that shut down Ohare/midway air traffic control!?!
    This physical location bristles w/ security like a supermax prison, but it was taken down w/ a bathroom ventilation fan motor!
    So what, they vent the bathroom into the ATC operations room?

    Would it make sense to design the operations room w/ double doors and pressurize it to keep out “acrid smoke” from a bathroom fan motor winding shorting (let alone normal ambient bathroom organic funk odor)?

  25. Gian75

    Driverless cars? One more layer of dependency, that’s how I see it.

    To go to point A to point B, all I need is be able to walk.

    In order to reach B in a shorter amount of time, I need some kind of wheels or animal, so I depend on my ability, for instance, to build/fix a cycle or feed/take care of an horse. Not easy, but manageable.

    To travel in the amounts of time we are accustomed to, I need a car so I depend on 1. car sector sector 3.infrastructure sector, none of which I can take care of on my own.

    With the addition of automated driving, I will no longer be able to drive or never learn to drive at all (future generations) , so I will become dependant on 4. driving sector (Google or whatever).

    Of course, absolute indipendance is an asymptotic dream, but I’d rather go toward that than absolute dependance, considering we still can’t 3D print cars or make our own hydrocarbons.

  26. Howard Beale IV

    Mayo Clinic; Massive dose of measles vaccine cures cancer:

    “Stacy Erholtz was out of conventional treatment options for blood cancer last June when she underwent an experimental trial at the Mayo Clinic that injected her with enough measles vaccine to inoculate 10 million people.

    The 50-year-old Pequot Lakes mother is now part of medical history.

    The cancer, which had spread widely through her body, went into complete remission and was undetectable in Erholtz’s body after just one dose of the measles vaccine, which has an uncanny affinity for certain kinds of tumors.”

  27. gordon

    From the DW piece “Diplomacy continues…”:

    “Ukraine’s government, in dire economic straits, on Tuesday signed two financing agreements with the European Commission. Some 350 million euros ($479.5 million) have been earmarked to establish an effective administration, while 600 million euros will be paid in the next few days, the first installment of a 1.6-billion-euro loan intended to bridge acute budget gaps…”

    I presume there is an agreement that none of this money will find its way to Russia to pay for gas. Ordinarily, such assistance would come with strings requiring the money to be spent in the donor countries. Links to any further reporting on aid to the Kiev regime and how the money will be spent would be very welcome.

  28. Ray Phenicie

    The author of the news article “Diplomacy continues amid EU aid for Ukraine” ignores the fact that Arseniy Yatsenyuk was placed in the Urkaine’s Prime Minister office only because of putsch backed by the Western Allies (U. S., Great Britain, Germany to name a few) and has no legitimacy. Indeed all but a few of the press outlets in this country, including information on Wikipedia and Google news, treat Yatsenyuk as a legitimate representative of the Ukraine people when in fact he only represents U. S. interests.

    1. Ray Phenicie

      Here’s a response to the Ukrainian affair: “The criminal responsibility of the Ukrainian Putsch”
      ‘In February, a Putsch saw Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Oleksandr Turchynov and others rise to power on a wave of anti-Russian hatred, amid cries to murder Russians and Jews as thousands of Fascists took to the streets of Kiev. They must be held responsible for the chain of events they have unleashed. They have blood on their hands.

      Remember when Yatsenyuk and Turchynov were claiming that President Viktor Yanukovich should be brought to court and tried for the murder of protesters in Kiev? Remember when they said they would launch an investigation into those murders? Where are the results of that investigation?

      What happened, after it became clear that the shots were fired not from the police lines but from the eighth and ninth floors of Hotel Ukraina, at the police, from opposition forces, to goad them into a reaction, but also fired at the protesters below, to create a cause? I will answer the question. The investigation was shelved.’

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