Links 10/14/14

Meerkats streamed to YouTube using TV white space BBC

Mum wants to hear and ruin your Christmas plans Daily Mash

Base Jumpers Leap From Kuala Lumpur Tower In Malaysia, Land In Rooftop Swimming Pool Huffington Post. I was going to say, “Don’t try this at home” but on further thought, imitation could lead to Darwin awards among the wealthy.

MIT Students Claim Astronauts Will Starve On ‘Mars One’ Mission Popular Science (furzy mouse)

Plants ‘absorb more CO2 than thought’ BBC (David L)

Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change New York Times. Huh? This has been part of US military planing for years. Wonder why the Grey Lady deems it to be news now (or maybe more accurately, why the Administration is pushing this as news now).

Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard Prototype For Android Wear, Solves Small Display Dilemma HotHardware (furzy mouse). Back to the Palm?

Thiel on why Asperger’s workers likely to be more effective than workers with MBAs Businessweek via Pando. For those of you who read A Deepness in the Sky, this comes too close to comfort to an endorsement of Focus.

Passenger Heard Popping Noises From Outside Plane Associated Press. Lambert: “Aeroflot? American.”

Venture Capitalists Return to Backing Science Start-Ups New York Times


Ebola epidemic is a ‘Black Swan’ event, say U of M infectious disease experts MinnPost (Chuck L)

U.S. CDC head criticized for blaming ‘protocol breach’ as nurse gets Ebola Reuters

Ebola patient in Germany dies, says hospital DW

Doctors Nationwide Slam CDC Handling of Ebola George Washington

Calculating the Grim Economic Costs of Ebola Outbreak New York Times

Who’s in Charge of Ebola at Hospitals? ‘Screaming That We’re Not Prepared’ Bloomberg. So much for the pretty crisis response picture painted in the movie Contagion.

State attorney general wants to stop ashes of Ebola victim’s belongings from being brought to Louisiana Nola

How in a single year did life expectancy in the US drop by 12 years? BBC

Hong Kong

China’s Response to Hong Kong Protests May Chill Business WSJ China Real Time

Hundreds of HK police use sledgehammers and chainsaws to dismantle protest barriers Reuters

Democracy in Hong Kong Under Attack Volexity

Fake Invoice Doubts Revived as China Trade Skyrockets Bloomberg. EM: “Shouldn’t the headline be “Fake Trade Doubts Revived as China Invoices Skyrocket”?”

China heads for Q3 GDP slump despite export surge Financial Times

China body-searched 10,000 pigeons Associated Press

France Is Living Fat and Giving the Finger to Germany Foreign Policy

A Symbolic Vote in Britain Recognizes a Palestinian State New York Times

Mexican state’s HQ torched in demo for missing students Yahoo


Ukraine Grannies Outprice Banks on Hryvnia Black Market Bloomberg

Ukraine Refuses to Pre-Pay for Russian Gas: Energy Minister RIA Novosti

Russian hackers use ‘zero-day’ to hack NATO, Ukraine in cyber-spy campaign Washington Post

San Francisco Due for Big Quake, Study Finds Wall Street Journal

More than 50 arrested at Ferguson police station on ‘Moral Monday,’ other events elsewhere St. Louis Today

U.S. Oil Producers Could Drill Their Way Into Oblivion BusinessWeek

End of U.S. Dollar Hegemony – Not Michael Shedlock

Regulators act to tame shadow bank risk Financial Times

The Fed on hold for a year according to the futures market Walter Kurtz

Class Warfare

Here’s Where The World’s Richest 0.0017994134% Live Business Insider

The Potemkin Moment in France, 1789 Lambert. Good, except we are in the midst of a finance-led counterrevolution, with no peasant uprising in sight.

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers Public Integrity

Americans Face Post-foreclosure Hell As Wages Garnished, Assets Seized Reuters. Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Lambert Strether

      Thanks, fixed. I think the apps are deliberately messing up URLs as they appear to the user; here, the “http://” was missing. Soon, there will be whining that URLs are frightening, and then you won’t be able to see or copy them at all, except through some button hidden three levels deep. Because (thinks the programmer) why would you ever want to read anything but my app?

  1. vlade

    I hate those “XYZ is black swan”. No, Ebola is not Black Swan. At the best, it’s a grey swan – a large one-off that no-one was specifically expecting, but we knew it could happen.

    Black swan you dont’ just “don’t expect”. You don’t believe it could ever happen. Taleb: “because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility” – and a virus, not necessarily Ebola – epidemics/pandemics was on the cards at least since Spanish flu.

    There’s a few of really true black swans (and if you come up with one before the event and show it can possibly heppan, you just made it into grey swan).

    1. craazyboy

      So true. If we were really serious about Ebola, Wall Street would make an index for it composed of Ebola stocks, once the stock experts decide whether to just include Ebola Bio-tech stocks, or whether airline, hospital, zoo, food service, personal care and food chain stocks should be included. And probably state & municipal bonds as well.

      Long and short ETFs could be based on this index. Leveraged ETFs too, for less risk averse investors.

      Then we would have a white swan on our hands.

      I’d say the real Black Swan is no Ebola Index, yet. There’s your proof it just snuck up on us!

      1. vlade

        My point is that calling Ebola a Black Swan makes for a great excuse, since black swans are “unimaginable”. So fact that the response was screwed up can be presented as “we couldn’t have done anything anyways”. In reality, reasonable action could have been taken right at the start when the response would do most good (the sooner you push down R0 as per Bob’s article, the less damage done), and it would likely cost a fraction of what it’s going to cost now. But for that the 1st world countries/UN would have to have an agreement in place where an outbreak (however you’d define outbreak, and of whatever, be it Ebola, Marburg, Lassa or other hemorhagic fevers or similar) would trigger automatic stabilization (boots on the ground via medical staff from UN states). Not that I’d really expect anything like that to happen in our world…

        You know, the world bank has cash reserves for financial crisis, UN sends UN troops off now and then, but there’s no unified/thought of way of dealing with epidemics of Ebola-like (or SARS/similar for the matter) in common, international way. Despite the fact that like the economic crises, it’s a question of when and how often rather than if.

          1. vlade

            I like his “The virus was operating on virus time, the rest of us were operating on political/bureaucrat time”. That’s exactly why you have standing procedures that you activate, and even the activation is not a political/bureaucratic decision. Same as sending a fire-engine to a fire (except on a global scale).

  2. D

    RE: Post-foreclosure Hell – I thought most mortgages were fully secured by the value of the physical property itself? If it wasn’t for loose lending, property prices could have never gotten as crazy as they did. They created the froth that people had to buy into, they made money the entire way up,and they were responsible for their own due diligence on property appraisals and evaluations. Now they’re going to try to squeeze even more from people. Just does not sit well, I hope the judges will have a similar distaste for it

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      Our courts are full of judges who work for the banks.

      Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. First, Bank of America tried to get a “judgment notwithstanding the verdict” in its favor. When a judge tossed that out, the bank “went shopping for justice,” Winston said. The company would eventually find an appellate court in California to conduct a 29-minute hearing with no transcript made of the proceedings, a highly unusual practice. It didn’t bother to hear from Winston – he was 3,000 miles away at the time of the hearing. The court heard no new information in the case, only the 2-year-old trial record, filled with “perjurious content” from Countrywide executives, in Winston’s view.

      Though legal precedent requires appellate courts to not reevaluate evidence heard by a jury, in this case they did, creating new evidence requirements that they said Winston did not meet. According to the Government Accountability Project, which presented an amicus brief to Winston in the case, “respect for the jury’s determinations is the rule in California and the federal system.” Nonetheless, the appellate court reversed the jury verdict, rescinding the $3.8 million award. The court claimed that Bank of America could not be held liable for Winston’s travails, despite clear legal precedent that it assumed those liabilities when it bought Countrywide. “They reversed my verdict and they broke the law to do it,” Winston said.

      1. Fíréan

        Countrywide wanted Winston to fabricate a story about these practices and deliver it to Moody’s. Winston refused to lie. Three weeks later, the CEO, Angelo Mozilo, demanded Winston’s termination because he wouldn’t break the law.

        from the salon link you posted in your comment.
        Who is this Angelo Mozilo really, behind the facade, some kind of mobster ?

        If you object to the corrupt practices at financial giants like Countrywide and Bank of America, you will be marginalized and financially ruined. And even if you think you’ve won, over time you will lose. “No one who receives a jury verdict can feel safe,” Winston said. His actions – filing a health and safety complaint and refusing to misrepresent material facts for the company – are supposed to be protected by law. None of that mattered. Says Winston, “If I can’t get this case heard, why would any whistle-blower speak up?”

        A link at your blog led me to the the story of Mark Udall’s run for the Senate.

        Thank You for posting the both.

        1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

          Thank you!

          If you don’t think the CIA and other arms of the National Intelligence State are looking for ways to replace Udall with a compliant, low-grade little twerp like Gardner, you haven’t been paying any attention. The CIA will stop at nothing to further its own ends… nothing at all.


        2. Propertius

          Of course, if Udall hadn’t decided to vote for telecom immunity back in 2008 we might not have had quite as bad a surveillance problem as we do now.

          1. lambert strether

            Obama voted for it, breaking his promise to filibuster the bill, so no doubt Udall figured everything was jake.

    2. TedWa

      It’s outrageous. It’s our GSE’s doing it. That same GSE’s that try to force banks to buy back bad loans at about 10 cents on the dollar or less. Yet they want blood from a stone from defrauded borrowers. The GSE’s are a criminal organization.

      1. TedWa

        Another way the victims are further victimized that was not mentioned is that the banks tell the IRS about the canceled/forgiven debt on their books through foreclosure or short sale and the IRS goes after the defrauded borrowers for taxes on this forgiven debt.

    3. amateur socialist

      Also, isn’t this only possible in recourse states? And do most states only allow non-recourse mortgages where this kind of thing can’t be pursued by lenders?

    1. bmeisen

      Would be interesting to hear how the experts define the policy variables in their epidemiology, assuming that’s what you mean by “technical”. To what degree is health care policy a disease vector? The “Hey I’ve got a fever, better go to emergency” behavior pattern hasn’t gotten too much airtime in the commentaries I’ve been listening to. What are the mathematical models for what happens to a population of 300+ million when 15% – 20% of it chronically substitutes emergency for primary care and it is exposed to a virus like ebola? In its preparations has the CDC used a model that sufficiently accounts for the behavioral consequences of the private health care system? Without accounting for these behavioral consequences their preparations would in my opinion be flawed to some degree.

      1. HotFlash

        The result? There will be some unavoidable collateral damage. I shouldn’t wonder if Mr Gates and friends aren’t funding some high-priority vaccine research right now. I mean, if I had the money and connections, I would.

        1. susan the other

          Supposedly, acc’d to report on RT a while back, the Israelis have developed a vaccine for all viruses. Something to do with the way they attach. But does that harm benign viruses? What if viruses are the very mechanism of evolution and not just hapless chance. Ha. Also about epidemiology – there was a blurb also quite a while ago (maybe enenews?) about how the massive amounts of radiation released by Fukushima are “changing the morphology of epidemics.” It was in reference to the marine animal die-offs along the US west coast, but subsequent articles are getting real about how Fukushima is poisoning the whole world and all the oceans. And so, then what? What’s worse than a black swan?

  3. James

    Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change New York Times. Huh? This has been part of US military planing for years. Wonder why the Grey Lady deems it to be news now (or maybe more accurately, why the Administration is pushing this as news now).

    Justification for continued astronomical budgets (as if they really need any), what else? Gives fresh relevance to the old saying, “any port in a storm will do.” Go long on defense, short everything else.

    1. susan the other

      Well New York Times notwithstanding, I liked the info in that article. I think this turn of events, bringing the urgency of climate change forward into the present discussion, is my dream come true. And using the military is the most logical way to deal with much of it. I’m not being sarcastic here; I’m serious. Put our extraordinary military machine to some really good humanitarian and environmental uses. Who cares if we spend money in this effort? And if we are willing to fund the military to do this kind of work globally, then how can Congress refuse to fund other necessary environmental measures domestically? I like this change in dialog.

      1. James

        I agree in principle, although the military is not really geared for large scale long term humanitarian and/or environmental remediation efforts, at least not while they’re simultaneously waging war on seemingly everything. With reduced “boots on the ground” overall these days, the military does short term crisis management pretty well, but not much else. Iraqistan and all the rest would seem to bear that out. What the Pentagon does do exceedingly well however, is engage in large and lasting scope and budget creep in the name of… fill in the blank. If only the Navy’s blatantly propagandistic commercial showing the aircraft carrier sailing through the frame followed by “A Global Force for Good” were actually true. The Pentagon’s primary concern with climate change is that it’s going to present some more opportunities to kill people is support of “the mission” and peak oil is going to make that mission all that much harder, although I’m sure they’ll adapt and overcome, as they identified and attacked that problem some years ago, well before it was fashionable.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Agree we need to wait and see.

      ‘More money for the environment in addition to drones’ is not as good as ‘let’s take money for drones and spend it on the environment.’

    3. hunkerdown

      I would suppose that’s because it’s an election year and it pushes all the right buttons to drive turnout among the people they want to turn out — New Democrats, “Christian” (nominal) Democrats and undecided “moderates”. Think of the cognitive dissonance opportunities for those who accept that narrative at face value: get the kids thinking kindly of the national security state, get the mods thinking kindly of a lower standard of living, get the vapid Dem teamists thinking of 2016…

  4. diptherio

    Antidote: I wonder if there’s someone standing just off camera, holding a sling-shot ;-)
    Mighty brave little honkers, to give flight a shot when their wings are still nothing more than fuzzy stubs.

      1. Marnage

        They jump from tall trees and usually there are enough leaves to soften their landing. The video referenced shows them bouncing! Then they find Mom and go into the water, where they will spend most of their time.

        1. mark

          daring little birds!

          according to the photo they are goldeneye ducks.

          best photo I’ve seen at this site, and maybe at any site.

  5. Yonatan

    Shorter Ukraine gas strategy wrt Russia: We wont pay for gas we’ve already used and we want all the discounts we had before even though we want to join the EU and NATO. If you don’t comply we will stop the gas to Europe and blame you.

    Just another day in the new state of ‘Israel in Europe’.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Presumably lower oil revenue will pressure Russia not to interrupt natgas sales to Europe this winter, because it needs the hard currency. It’s another reason to suspect US behind-the-scenes involvement in encouraging Saudi, UAE and Kuwait to flood the oil market: payback for the Crimea.

      Whether the Ukies can pay hard currency for any natgas depends on the next tranche from the iMFers in December. Expect them to waive their conditionality targets (again). This is de facto national security lending, again with the US in the drivers seat with the most votes on the IMF board.

  6. n

    re: Americans Face Post-foreclosure Hell As Wages Garnished, Assets Seized

    Speaking of debts, what if banks had to immediately honor all demand deposits WITHOUT borrowing from the Fed, if, say, a Postal Savings Service was set up and deposit insurance was canceled and people finally had enough of dealing with the thieves?

    Would debt be so sacrosanct then? Or would the banks beg for more time and demand massive deficit spending to provide new reserves so they could sell all their assets at par without depressing the market for those assets?

    The banks have dealt nastily with us but all we need do is deal justly with them and their power to harm is destroyed. What are we waiting for?

    1. ambrit

      Well, the banks can play the “move the goalposts” game.
      Remember when, in a PGE rate dispute the citizen consumers fomented a “Slow Down” by paying their utility bills with small change? That was then. Now, when I go into the local Gas Company office to pay my bill, there is a sign on the armour plate glass window between the tellers and the public that says; “Bills cannot be paid with loose change.” This clearly ignores the concept of ‘Legal Tender.’
      One avenue of attack for the banks would be a move to allow the banks to act as “financial advisors” to the Postal Savings Banks. Subvert from within! Or, you could limit the size of individual accounts and the number of accounts an individual can possess. Governance is key here, and, sadly, governance has become almost totally corrupt.

  7. efschumacher

    “Doctors blame CDC …..”

    What the country needs is a kind of Federal ‘Medical Officer of Health’ who would plan for such events, coordinate the Administration response, and command sufficient budget to execute the strategy on whatever scale is necessary. A kind of ‘Surgeon General’, if you will.

    Has anybody in congress ever thought of such a concept?

    1. not_me

      “There’s no such thing as society” former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

      “We shall all hang together or we shall all hang separately” Ben Franklin

      Ben 1, Maggie 0

    2. craazyboy

      Sounds like a good idea, and could even be expanded to include something like “Attorney General” for legal stuff, Securities General for investment stuff, and so on…..

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We have the Medical Commander in Chief and under him/her, the Field Marshal Surgeon General.

      We are organized.

      What we need now is to declare war on Ebola, because Ebola has declared war on us*.

      We need rapid response, full spectrum mobilization.

      * It has landed in Europe and N. America, where animals (ants, birds, rodents, etc) are different from African ones. That means possibly new routes of transmission, besides Ebola mutation.

      1. craazyboy

        “We are organized.”

        True. The USG keeps things in “cabinets”.

        I’m mulling over shorting zoo stocks today. I think African animals are gonna scare the crap, outta people. Bats too. Flying rodents. How gross. But I’ll wait a while ’till I talk it over w/ craazyman and see what he thinks of the play. He lives in New Yawk and works on Wall Street, or closeby anyway, so he’s got a handle on the pulse over there. Closer you can get to the smart money, the better, I figure.

        1. ambrit

          Sorry, but, by definition, “smart money” is invisible. You can only know you have been in close proximity to “smart money” by the resulting radiation burns that show up much later.

    4. James

      I think the Archdruid has it right: Ebola is making us confront the limits of a globally interconnected hyper-complex society in which the complex systems themselves in isolation are poorly understood, nevermind their interactions with each other when connected.

      Imagining Congress, a loosely organized collection of random rich people, whose primary “skill” is marketing themselves to get elected, to actually deal with something like this is laughable. Imagining an even more laughably uninformed electorate who would believe that they could in the first place is a farce.

      Hierarchy may not get us out of this one.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Ebola/CDC (No particular link)

    What a JOKE!!!!!

    While her camera man, not to mention a beautiful, 26-year-old Dallas nurse with her whole life ahead of her, are fighting for their lives after exposure to ebola, the mechanics of which the CDC just can’t figure out, “DR.” Nancy Snyderman decides to blow off her 21-day, CDC “recommended” quarantine and GO OUT TO DINNER.

    Why all this ridiculous hysteria? Ebola will claim its “collateral damage.” But restricting the “right” of an “expert” to dine out is going a little too far.

    Haven’t been around for awhile, so for those of you unfamiliar with my comments, this is SARCASM.

    1. craazyboy

      Thx for the heads up on the sarc.

      I am surprised they let her go out without an electronic ankle bracelet. How are we to take quarantines seriously if the government doesn’t even know where the quarantinees are?

    2. Brindle

      Dr Nancy is being unfairly attacked here. Watching Dr Nancy on NBC Nighty News w/ Brian Williams has had a calming effect on me and millions of Americans……

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s the ‘buy, instead of make your own’ culture we live in.

      I assume ‘lack of time’ is not the issue here regarding home cooking.

  9. nobody

    “For those of you who read A Deepness in the Sky, this comes too close to comfort to an endorsement of Focus.”

    How so?

  10. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT article on Britain’s resolution favoring Palestinian statehood:

    ‘Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said that moves like the British resolution and Sweden’s recent statement “make conflict resolution much more difficult” by sending Palestinians the message that “they can achieve things” outside negotiations.’

    Those cheeky Palestinians! Why don’t they follow Israel’s democratic example of patiently negotiating before it builds security walls and new settlements in the West Bank? Oh wait, Israel forgot! Just an accidental oversight, no doubt.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Microsoft does it again:

    Russian hackers used a bug in Microsoft Windows to spy on several Western governments, NATO and the Ukrainian government, according to a report released Tuesday by iSight Partners, a computer security firm in Dallas.

    Russian hackers started using what experts refer to as a zero-day attack on Windows only in the late summer. The technique refers to a previously unknown vulnerability.

    The bug affected versions from Windows Vista to the company’s latest software, Windows 8.1, though Microsoft is expected to release an update on Tuesday to resolve the potential vulnerability.

  12. Stephen Haust

    Antidote du jour:
    Do you know what they are?
    I think they are baby woodies. Check out the feet and the shape of the “forehead”.
    This makes them likely infant wood ducks on their first foray out of the nest. They will
    fall to ground from here but be unhurt, then swim around for a few minutes if there is
    water. There probably is because that’s where woodies nest. Within a few minutes,
    Mom will round them all up (maybe 10 or so) and march them off into the woods
    where they will not be seen again until next spring.

    1. Eureka Springs


      The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times over a mile away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of over 50 feet without injury.

      1. OregonChris

        Great antidote! Cute, inspirational and interesting/informative all at once! What an amazing thing for the photographer to witness!

    2. Iolair

      The file name of the picture is ‘baby-common-goldeneye-ducks-leaving-nest-flying-for-the-first-time’

      Saved it. It’s my wallpaper for today.

  13. flora

    Pentagon Signals Security…
    well this is interesting. The NYT did a multi-page story with color pics a few years ago on climate change effects, Pentagon security assessments, and rising sea levels. The take away at that time was, yes a security risk from mass migrations but also an opportunity! from opening sea lanes in the arctic.
    Now the assessment is that plus terrorists! ISIS! germs!
    Cause ‘fighting terrorism’ is where the money is these days. Just ask former NSA director Alexander. He of the investments in companies working in that field.
    James Risen has a new book out, Pay Any Price, about how the war on terror has become an endless war that has turned into the hunt for cash with everyone, everyone, trying to make a quick buck, including the Pentagon who has setup their own CIA-like spy outfit to get in on the govt funding.
    Risen calls it the Homeland Security-Industrial Complex.

    1. craazyboy

      I think they should make an ETF of all our Homeland Industrial Complexes. A leveraged long fund would be a HICUP. That way we could all be long HICUPs, and not just the smart money.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    No end to the dollar hegemony.

    Whether Shedlock’s reasoning is right or wrong (apart from his conclusion which is likely to be right and the validity to persist for a while), this is certain – Only imperialists and economic hit men would want to exploit being associated with a monetary hegemon.

    The dollar being so pervasive, we should be especially mindful of the international consequences of our monetary actions, directly and, via military spending, indirectly. Mindful, meaning, we feel the responsibility to moderate or refrain from what we can do.

    Cooperation, not hegemony.

  15. Brindle

    re: Ebola

    For dog lovers like myself I am nearly as concerned with the outcome for the dog a s for the Nurse. There is no evidence so far that humans can be infected with Ebola from a dog.

    “The dog is still inside the apartment, Smith said, adding that he’d seek assistance from the Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and consult with the CDC about pet waste in the yard.”

    ““There is much we don’t know about how a dog might acquire Ebola virus infection,” said Ian Mackay, an associate professor of clinical virology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. “When and whether dogs transmit Ebola virus to humans in general, and if canines’ infections are always asymptomatic, remains poorly understood.”

    1. craazyboy

      So far, extensive research in Africa indicates eating monkey meat is a no-no. They didn’t say if monkey meat is usually served cooked or raw, but based on this I would say don’t serve raw monkey meat to your pets – just to be on the safe side. Then maybe later we’ll find out if monkey meat has a safe cooking temperature. Not too high I hope.

        1. ambrit

          So, you’ve discovered the secret reason behind the “Cat Food Commission!”
          It’s time to short restaurant chains in general. Collapsing upper working class and Ebola fears!

          1. craazyboy

            Actually, I’m working on my safe food list once again, and believe it or not, I’ve decided properly canned Atlantic tuna, aged for a minimum of 3 months on the shelf, is starting to look pretty good again!

            Provided we have “truth in labeling”, of course.

            1. ambrit

              Tuna inna can? Yeah, maybe.
              I tried earlier to find the infamous cat food commercial from Way Back that had the Hobo feeding his cat some real fancy feast of some sort. Then, at the end, the obviously downwardly mobile fellow winsomely gazes at the cat enjoying itself feeding. Even back then, people picked up on the very subtle pitch from this commercial that, hey, cat food might not be too bad for people to eat too. (I’m pretty sure this is the beginning of the “Cat Food Commission” meme.)
              By the way, jack tuna fresh caught from offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is great! We also used to prize Amberjack when I fished the waters around Miami as a kid. They were hard to find, but worth the trouble. (If offshore isn’t in your agenda, try inshore fishing for Speckled Trout. Trout Meringue. Yum!)
              If you do river or estuary fishing, do check with Wildlife and Fisheries for pollution alerts. There are a lot of Brownwaters Areas to avoid. The Mouth of the Pearl has numerous mercury ‘hot spots’ to watch out for.
              Don’t spurn the Hudson. Sturgeon are reappearing there.
              Happy angling!

              1. craazyboy

                Hadn’t thought about AZ angling much yet, but a ways down south of me they just finished dredging a real lake and got all the mining overflow out of it.

                I had struck all seafood off my list due to the BP Gulf Spill, Fuki Pacific, SE Asia toilet bowl, “Farmed” fish testing out more polluted than anything, and the suspicion that GE never did clean all the PCBs out of the Hudson. Also suspicions that the Japanese Mafia and Triads are getting Asian fish into the Atlantic fish supply chain somehow. There has got to be something wrong with Atlantic fish.

                So now I must weigh my food chain corruption suspicions against the very real benefits of the canning process where food is sterilized by high temperature and pressure, then is protected from human handling during shipment.

                Otherwise there is my meat dilemma. Pork is out for 6 months at least. Well done for the rest. Salads? Gone!

                One thing to be thankful for is food prices are “volatile”, so none of this is inflation. Whew! Like we need any more bad news!

                1. ambrit

                  I wonder if Sams Club and Costco are offering “Futures Contracts” on foodstuffs? It would be nice to lock in, say, 200 pounds of prime chuck or atlantic salmon at an agreed on price now. Gives a new meaning to the phrase “food bank,” doesn’t it. If you’re in Arizona, maybe the depleted Lake Meade would do.
                  Then, there’s always Sand Trout!

                  1. craazyboy

                    Ya….I think maybe pork futures as a hedged position. If our pig farms catch a human compatible virus like Ebola they die off and supply goes down. But demand will remain from the pork&beans market, assuming some simple labeling changes, ie Boston Baked Beans, or whatever. Pork could find other venues as well – the school lunch venue sounds like a slam dunk based on past re-purposing of recipe items.

                    This gets complicated when you have to work out counterparty risk and non-delivery of your Sam’s club or Costco mini-contract.

                    PS – Lake Mead is more of a Vegas destination. I’m also trying to avoid air travel. Don’t want to get quarantined with a bunch of sick people. But I have my near secret freshly re-done lake I can drive to now.

                    Well, assuming gas doesn’t drop to $1, except gas stations don’t have any.

    2. Diego M

      That means natural selection will favour viruses which affect overproportionately dogs… since that way, they will have reservoirs no one will dare to kill in the US (under punishment of losing dog-obsessed voters) but which, on the other hand, no one will pay excessive taxes to care for as if they were humans. Thus, isolation measures will be much more lenient than for humans.

      I am glad the dog was killed in Spain, despite maybe a majority of the Spanish population against it. The idea that someone may be more concerned about a dog than about the risk it poses to the human population (let’s not even speak about the lack of political will to help African humans) is something I haven’t gotten over yet.

      1. craazyboy

        I like dogs and cats, and even hamsters and bunnies. Tho hamsters and bunnies are too boring for me to consider having one as a long term pet. But I like playing with other peoples’ hamsters and bunnies for a short while, anyway. Sometimes they can be almost as cute as cats.

        So personally I think pets are entitled to quarantine, same as humans. For at least 3 weeks – to see if they:

        1) Develop symptoms, and how long does that take.
        2) Don’t develop symptoms, and blood tests are taken to see if a detectable amount of virus does exist, in spite of no symptoms.

        Cage cleaning is necessary, and if we check that too, we may or may not find the virus there too!

        Sounds like more work than just killing them off, but you never know – we as a species may learn something.

        1. Diego M

          I see. *Pets* are entitled to quarantine. Not *animals*, but *pets*. So, in fact, you are saying humans are entitled to having their pets quarantined. In that case, shouldn’t pet owners pay for it? I mean, a kind of insurance, or something, so that pets are contained in level-4 refuges?

          On the other hand, were it really to be an outbreak, with dozens of people affected, is it feasible to have e.g. 50 pets quarantined in level-4 centers? Do you have any idea if the dog currently quarantined is in a level-4 institution, as it should be? Were it to be a huge outbreak, is it feasible to have hundreds or even thousands of pets quarantined? I am just asking. Where would you put the limit on?

          Moreover, am I the only one here that sees the tragedy of having Ebola dogs on headlines while there is not nearly such amount of interest for African humans? Are American pets entitled to a safe quarantine while African humans are not? Don’t you see something wrong here?

          1. craazyboy

            I was hoping they’d at least check the first two dogs to find out a little bit more about if this is a transmission path, and also if dog pets might be a long term carrier – meaning surviving with no symptoms.

            But they killed my lab animals.

            So if they have to quarantine every pet and animal in the world – SO BE IT!

            I want my answers!

          2. Ben Johannson

            Don’t you see something wrong here?.

            No. The life of a dog is at least as important as the life of a human.

            1. ewmayer

              If you take that line of argument to its logical conclusion, you end up with the proposition that the life of an Ebola virion is at least as important as the life of a human, as well. To the virus, that is indbitably true. Whether human societies should write laws that make your next immune response to a pathogenic infection a punishable act of microbial genocide seems quite debatable.

              @Ben: If you want to argue that dog = human (in terms of humans’ valuations, since that what is being disussed here) but Ebola < human, then please tell us: where do you draw the line, and why? Is it based on (perceived) sentience? Usefulness to humanity? Cuddly-wuddly cuteness?

            2. not_me

              The life of a dog is at least as important as the life of a human Ben Johannson

              Actually, no. One day some event will threaten ALL life on Earth except maybe bacteria living deep underground and it will be humans who either prevent the disaster or do a modern day’s Noah’s Ark.


                  1. skippy

                    Bias should not be confused with logic nor applied to dynamic systems.

                    skippy… the universe is not the result of programing logic.

                    PS. btw been chatting with someone with systems – computer engineering in their blood, same result curiously….

  16. fresno dan
    Someone hacked my Citibank MasterCard starting a few months ago. He started charging things on my card while I was in North Idaho. He charged over $30,000 worth at local stores in Southern California while — at the same hours — I was charging groceries and gasoline in Sandpoint, Idaho. Somehow, this never triggered any suspicion by Citi. It took me weeks and days on the phone with Citibank to get this cleared up. I am not at all certain it’s cleared up yet.

    Last summer, my wife got an AT&T “smart phone.” The services she signed up for were supposed to cost about $100 a month. Instead, her bills were $1,500 a month. When we inquired about this, we were told it was because of all of my wife’s business downloads, videogames, sports apps, and international calls.
    Just another example of what I call “crapdonics” – instead of the FED’s world of Candide where every product improves and costs less. I had some checks forged 3 or 4 years ago, and tremendous time, expense, and stress. But that is never included in the cost of living….or the hours to contact a business to cancel some service or find out what you are charged triple…..

  17. jgordon

    That’s an incredible antidote image. Usually I don’t care about them, but I wish I had a way to get some info on who took it so I can compliment that person and see more of his/her work.

  18. McMike

    re plane panels unfastening.

    No surprise, they probably pull all the seating out and reinstall smaller rows about every six months. Sooner or later, those screw holes are just gonna strip out.

    1. hunkerdown

      Then you should be evaluating the pilot’s record for hard landings, like a good consumer.

      Or hope the airline had the spare change last week to buy a few packs of nuts and washers at Grainger…

  19. McMike

    re oil drilling.

    They won’t slow down drilling until they are broke. Fact is, the money is made in the initial drilling.

    It is exactly like mortgage origination. Doesn’t matter if the downstream revenues invert, the money for the banks and operators is found in the initial activity – hot money meets dumb money.

    After that, IBGYBG. The shell companies will be bankrupted and the wells left to deteriorate and eventually leak and get remediated by the taxpayers. Hell that’s the plan anyway, just accelerated.

  20. McMike

    The CDC isn’t infallible? It lies and shines people about risks and realities? It puts its image above its capabilities? It holds double standards and contradicts itself?

    Knock me over with a feather.

    1. Jim Haygood

      WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that more bond buying could be needed if the economy faltered, according to a report.

      “If we really get a sustained, disinflationary forecast … then I think moving back to additional asset purchases in a situation like that should be something we should seriously consider,” Williams told Reuters.


      During the first dose of QE in late 2008 and 2009, the Fed piously spoke of reversing it. $3.5 trillion and several QEs later, Fedsters are already talking about chugging down the next round of bubble fuel before they’ve even checked out of Taper Town rehab clinic.

      It was clear from the start that massive expansions of central bank balance sheets were irreversible.

      1. MikeNY

        Model… is… right… things… under… control…

        Model… must… be… right… … under … control…

        Model … right …. under… control…

        Control… control… control…

  21. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

    Ebola isn’t a black swan event – yet. If it mutates so it can survive and spread as easily as a cold virus, it’s still limited by the fact that it kills quickly. The *really* scary scenario is an extended incubation period. If a person could harbor the virus, and be infectious for three, or six months before becoming ill and dying, then yes, it’s not just a black swan event, it’s essentially unstoppable.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It kills quickly.

      Transmissibility and mortality – their relationship is disrupted by technology. See jet travel…dense urban living…football games…mass transportation…high human mobility…

      Africa is home, but Europe, N. American are virgin territories with vulnerable prey.

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