Links 12/22/14

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A 3D Printed Moon Base: Science Fiction or Science Fact? Singularity HUB (furzy mouse)

BlackBerry works with Boeing on phone that self-destructs Reuters. So what happens if a mere mortal get this phone and it self destructs when the police are trying to get data from it? Will the owner be charged with destroying evidence?

Ancient Egyptian technology may be our first line of defense from hospital infections Daily Kos (furzy mouse). Remember the Three Magis’ gifts of frankensense, gold and myrrh? Myrrh, a natural antibiotic, was the most expense of the three at the time.

The real victims in the ‘war of terror’ Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

Creative accounting is nothing new for the Eurozone Fistful of Euros

Spanish princess to face fraud trial BBC

Greece’s radical left could kill off austerity in the EU Guardian. I’d hardly call Syzria radical, and this idea strikes me as too optimistic. But one can always hope.

OPEC Calls For Widespread production Cuts Oil Price and Non-Opec producers blamed for oil slide Financial Times. So cute! The Saudis claim they have no power, they have no rational choice other than to keep pumping to preserve market share. Translation: “Yes, this is a game of chicken, and we are not blinking first.”

On Cuba, no side has got it right Financial Times

Sony Gaslighting. While some things like our drone and torture practices make me ashamed to be an American, this incident makes me embarrassed to be an American. Obama’s conduct here is unhinged, and worse, the MSM is reporting on it uncritically. How long before Incitatus gets a Senate seat?

About That Interview Ilargi. Wish I had written this, although I would have spent more time on the information that makes the charges against North Korea look implausible.

The Sony Hackers Pranked The FBI Business Insider. Some realism in this account, but notice how it is walked back a fair bit so the publication can have it both ways.

What is FBI evidence for North Korea hack attack? BBC

US struggles to respond to hack of Sony Financial Times. So Obama spoke loudly and is revealed to be carrying no stick.


China Offers Russia Help With Currency Swap Suggestion Bloomberg. Your humble blogger pointed out that China has lots of dollars it could lend against Russia’s illiquid foreign currency reserves, particularly its gold.

Krugman Joins the Anti-Putin Pack Robert Parry, Consortium News (Chuck L)

Russia blocks Facebook protest page Financial Times

WaPo Reports on Vladimir Putin’s Economic Miracle in Russia CEPR

Tuft’s Professor Promotes Flawed “Double Government’ Meme Alternet. Debunks the “Deep State: hypothesis.

The ‘Cuban Five’ — On Their Case & Release from US Prison as Part of a Prisoner Swap Kevin Gozutola, Firedoglake (furzy mouse)

Whither Markets?

Iron ore price estimate cut 33% Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Oil Rebounds Above $62, Tracking Broader Markets Business Insider

Ready for $20 Oil? A. Gary Shilling, Bloomberg

Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives NationofChange

Oil Crash Wipes $11.7 Billion From Buyout Firms’ Holdings Bloomberg

US regulator probes ETF pricing structures Financial Times. This is really embarrassing. Are we supposed to believe the Fed heard about this issue only now? Tracking risk is a well known risk in ETFs, particularly the levered ones, since the price is set by intra-day trading, which can deviate markedly from NAVs.

Class Warfare

Debt Collectors Hound Millions of Retired Americans NBC (Alan T)

Inequality and growth and well-being – revolutions have occurred for less Bill Mitchell

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse). I get a kick out of animal odd couples: “This pair has been seen together for over a year in Lake Van, Turkey. They were first spotted by local fisherman who witnessed them sharing a fish and playing together.”


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ilargi

    Fair enough Yves, re: “Wish I had written this, although I would have spent more time on the information that makes the charges against North Korea look implausible.”

    But I thought that was a different story. One that’s probably a whole lot funnier than the movie itself.

    1. optimader

      Is it safe to say you’re not on the backorder list for a DVD copy of Team America: World Police?

      “I’m trying to find the logic in all this, and I fail. I also don’t understand why the board at Sony pictures agree… to produce a movie that evolves around the assassination of a head of state. …still, we’re talking about heads of state. … and whose deaths Rogen and Franco would have found sufficiently amusing to make that movie. “

  2. nobody

    The Alternet piece does not debunk the deep state hypothesis; it’s premised upon it and quite explicitly embraces it:

    “How do heavily entrenched elites, with little or no constitutionally vested authority, purchase influence in matters of government? Former congressional staff member Mike Lofgren explains that the corporate elite go through what’s known as a Deep State.

    The American Deep State is an extension of the visible state, an institutional layer of intermediaries composed of lobbyists (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business), media outlets (e.g. Comcast, Time Warner, News Corp), dark money groups (e.g. Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity), private sector contractors (e.g. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SAIC), and non-governmental organizations (e.g. National Endowment for Democracy, Ford Foundation). These intermediaries interface with official government organs (e.g. Department of Defense, Intelligence Community) in a manner that enables the creation of informal backchannels and revolving doors through which profound sources of wealth and power outside of government can impose their agenda.”


    “The President and his subordinates dutifully adhere to a framework that’s transmitted from those who can punish and reward them: oligarchic corporate factions that coalesce in the environs of the American Deep State.”

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Bill Blunden needs to read a little more. American government surveillance has been going on without the knowledge of elected officials for a long time, going back to Hoover before WWII. Blunden claiming the historic record shows the exact opposite shows he hasn’t bothered to read the historic record of The US Senate Church Commission. In the opening words on testimony specifically about secret government surveillance instigated by President Nixon was the discovery that the Huston Plan, signed into law by Nixon to spy on Americans using the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the IRS, the US Postal Service as well as military intelligence, the DIA, inter alia, the US Senate Committee investigating found the all of these government agencies were already doing what Nixon wanted to do coordinated out of the White, independently and without his knowledge for decades.

      Furthermore, the modern concept of the Dual State was clearly demonstrated by the German political scientist, Ernst Fraenkel. There are 2 states operating simultaneously, one the normative state that most of us see and observe the laws of on an everyday basis. We stop at red lights, we file our taxes, we avoid lives of criminal abandon and work as a productive citizen taking care of our families and other social duties. We vote, volunteer for charities, etc. The 2nd state is the prerogative state that operates outside of the bounds of any law in an arbitrary and mostly out of sight manner. But then again this whole concept of the secret power of the state is nothing new. Arcana Imperii, the secrecy of the state, was written about by Tacitus in his discussion of state power used outside the view of the many as a technique to preserve the state. The Secretary of Defense and of State and so on, gives a hint of the power of the state, something that is to be conducted in secret. Secret/ary is not a girl from the steno pool, but a person who is made powerful by possession an office of the state. And this business at one time, like the Roman Catholic Mass, was shrouded in secrecy. The government may be seen as having 2 functions that may be in contradiction. The primary role of the government it to preserve the state in perpetuity. While the government may change, the state is not supposed to. The second role of the state is to respond to the claims made on it by the populace at any given time. Of course, one generation’s noble cause may prove a disaster for every other generation that follows, including harming the state. The government has to respond to the everyday needs of the populace for the sake of social order to be preserved and transmitted. Social change will happen, but the tension between the management of the state over time and the demands of the populace can cause the secret state to react against the demands.

      In today’s world, the social order is provided by the capitalism, which is the state and the power of the market based economy working as one. At times, the market is placed under the sever direction of the state, to the service of the state alone, as in WWII. And now, it would seem that the state and the entire global interstate system is placed into service for the transnational flows of capital, the capital markets. And as much as the plutocrats are enjoying historic levels of wealth and influence over government policies, a dominant position to without doubt right now, the state is not about to whither away to reduce the transaction costs of deal making so profits can be that much better. The NSA is bending Silicon Valley to its specifications and not interfering with profit making. The profits of plutocrats serve the preservation of the state and the security apparatus that sees to its perpetuation. While it is tempting to say that the nation state has fallen prey to the commodification process, and is just another item to be bought and sold on the market, that may be true for weaker, peripheral nations, but it is far from true for the USA and its NATO allies. The wealth of the plutocrats mirrors the military power and political strength of the nations that would protect their wealth. It is a mutual and co-evolutionary process.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        Good post! There’s always “adults” and “the children” who can’t comprehend what the “adults” are doing.

    1. Carla

      I just sent the following email to NC support:

      “Thanks very much for the quick response with the egregious ad problem. I can now successfully open the page on my Ios 8.1.2 phone and navigate NC. There still may be a residual problem: there is a delay with refreshing. However, overall, things are much better.
      — Carla”

  3. Doug Terpstra

    Re: Sony hack. What a clever way to hype a lame murder comedy, and what an absurd basis — embarrassing celebrity emails (just spell my name right)— for a new ‘just war’ cassus belli for John McCain to bang his tinny snare drum for. Now we can launch a new Global War on/of Cyberwar, no evidence possible or needed. So now Barack Obama ever-so-eloquently declares a prank hack on a Japanese-Hollywood company to be a national security issue; theater trumped by theater of the absurd. Just wow.

    1. fresno dan

      It really is kind of amazing the influence “Hollywood” exerts on the country as far as the economic interests of Hollywood goes. Every time I view a DVD I get the FBI and Homeland Security warning about the draconian penalties for violating copyright, as if copyright of Hollywood movies is the most important law in this land.
      And how much does Hollywood contribute to the economy?
      That’s scarcely 1% (uh, maybe even less than 0.5%). Hmmm, if only a fraction of the interest and effort was expended on the economic interests of the bottom 20%.
      Anyway, the idea that a Hollywood getting hacked is worth war – and than think about the millions, upon millions, upon millions of Americans who have had their financial records hacked (at Home Depot, Target, etcetera – the list is practically endless) – not a peep from the government.
      I suspect if Jenifer Lawrence demanded a nuclear attack upon…England, we’d do it.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        The dire FBI warning threatening imprisonment on every DVD tempts me to attempt piracy every time I’m forced to read it, while my player says “action prohibited” when I press skip. Isn’t there something better the FBI could spend tax dollars on? Apparently not. Now we have to rely on the Pentagon too, to save us from such vicious high-seas piracy. Sheesh. What an asylum!

        At risk of revealing my celebrity ignorance, I admit having to look up Jennifer Lawrence. Now, if you’d written Katniss Everdeen, I’d have thought you were referring to a brilliant, celebrated NC commenter.

        1. Jess

          It’s easy to view entertainment from the prism of the conglomerate whose logo appears at the start or end of every film or DVD or TV show. Unfortunately, while the big corps make huge amounts of money, when you pirate things you’re really also stealing from the thousands of workers who actually make and distribute the product. Not just the high-paid writers, directors, producers, actors, and musicians but the camera operators, focus pullers, grips, sound men, craft service companies, film lab techs, warehouse clerks, janitors, control room personnel, etc.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            Good points. For the record, I’m not a pirate, but I do find the ominous FBI warning to be a kind of reverse-psychology dare, knowing how they conspicuously ignore the most egregious piracy and fraud on Wall Street and in Washington. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. I wonder how many of the 2 million US prisoners are doing time for burning DVDs.

          2. Pat

            Please. Do NOT drink the koolaid. Very little if anything goes to the below line folk, and where did you get the janitors? Only certain of the union locals have any participation in the sales of DVD/video tapes and that goes to their pension funds. The majority of the workers actually have no participation in after sales. And no matter what those particular IATSE and Teamster locals would like to believe, I’m pretty sure that is only going to keep diminishing regardless of piracy. Those sales have been dropping like a stone for awhile. Sadly, if IIRC, they are not included in the participation in the sad and mediocre residuals from online rentals and sales which screws the actors/writers/directors even compared to the DVD profit sharing that should have been raised, but is the future. The only way this harms most below the line workers is if it kills the industry. And the biggest threat to that is top management’s production choices and overall business model – not piracy. For one the estimates of the loss due to piracy that is, well beyond exaggerated. They make the assumption that anything that is downloaded is a sale lost. Wrong. This is right up there with the companies that assume if they didn’t have to follow laws and regulations they would make millions more.

            Something to always remember – music sales dropped when the RIAA managed to get Napster shut down. The ability to sample, try, check things out for free, helps people find what they want to buy. Otherwise they might never realize they want that copy of X. I’m not saying that would happen for sure, but it is a distinct possibility that shutting down the torrents would actually drop their sales.

            Look, I’m not saying that piracy is right. I am saying that the propaganda about it is, just that propaganda.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Just wow.”

      In what passes for “meaningful discourse,” the talking heads on MSNBC (Mika and Joe) are exploring whether the Sony hack should be considered AN ACT OF WAR, blatantly connecting it to the possibility of future “hacks” against power grids or other critical infrastructure on which the very existence of the homeland depends.

      Seth Rogen. James Franco. AN ACT OF WAR!!!!

      In his unfailingly certifiable way, Bill Kristol is eschewing a “proportionate response” in favor of the use of, wait for it, MILITARY FORCE.

      In other words, he is suggesting BLOODSHED, human blood I presume, on Rogen and Franco’s behalf. He makes Kissinger’s characterization of “military men” as “just dumb, stupid animals” look positively enlightened.

      There are not enough straightjackets or electrodes on the planet to rid this poor, beleaguered country of the insane asylum that Washington DC and its satellite media have become.

      1. Carolinian

        Plus Seth Rogen is Canadian so we will be going to war on behalf of Japan and Canada. Responsibility to protect!

        1. optimader

          HAHA!, indeed
          Let me toss a bone out for the CT buffs that reside here at NC..
          Sony knows the movie is a bomb (it’s been done before w/ puppets by more clever people) and the whole hacking thing is a classic Hollywood ginning up of a dog for direct to Disc sales but it just got away from them when Rahm’s brother Ari got too fked up that night in vegas no one’s supposed to know about and forgot to pass the memo on to Rahm to pass along to O
          Ironically, O thought he finally had an international incident he could tackle w/o fking up and now he has to windmill on it.
          This whole dust up is all too stupid for comprehension, no less the Sony schmuck’s were dissing BHO in the emails!!!.

      2. Brindle

        When then war criminal Kissinger comes off as grounded and rational compared to Obama we know things are not going particularly well.

      3. Propertius

        You know society has lost its mind when we’re not only raising the possibility that a hack on a private company is an “act of war”, but a hack on a Japanese company at that.

        The lunatics really are running the asylum these days.

        What’s next? Will we go nuclear in response to a shoplifting incident in Winnipeg?

  4. Marty

    So, in Links, we get, “Tuft’s Professor Promotes Flawed “Double Government’ Meme” as a link pointing to an Alternet article Titled: “Blaiming Government Surveillance on The Government Ignores the Plutocrats Behind the Curtain” and are Told this Tufts Professor if promoting a flawed theme. But the article says quite clearly:

    The American Deep State is an extension of the visible state, an institutional layer of intermediaries composed of lobbyists (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business), media outlets (e.g. Comcast, Time Warner, News Corp), dark money groups (e.g. Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity), private sector contractors (e.g. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SAIC), and non-governmental organizations (e.g. National Endowment for Democracy, Ford Foundation). These intermediaries interface with official government organs (e.g. Department of Defense, Intelligence Community) in a manner that enables the creation of informal backchannels and revolving doors through which profound sources of wealth and power outside of government can impose their agenda.

    And the money line (the last sentence) is “The President and his subordinates dutifully adhere to a framework that’s transmitted from those who can punish and reward them: oligarchic corporate factions that coalesce in the environs of the American Deep State.”

    So I’m wondering how the article says the Double Government (Deep State) is flawed. To my reading, it seems to corroborate it (as does the work of Peter Dale Scott in several densely footnoted volumes).

    1. Lambert Strether

      The article tries to do what cannot be done: Attempt to take Scott’s virulently memetic phrase-making and treat it rigorously, as for example in the headline: “Blaming Government Surveillance on the Government Ignores the Plutocrats Behind the Curtain,” an approach that Scott rules out very specifically in his glossary definition. Unfortunately, as your well-intentioned comment demonstrates, and as they say in the Navy, you can’t buff a turd, even a densely footnoted one.

  5. Doug Terpstra

    Ellen Brown confirms in “Russian Roulette” (NationofChange link) that the (totally unforseen) oil price plunge and taxpayer derivatives liability are Great Game geopolitics to cripple Russia. It seemed rather obvious two weeks ago that US-vassal Saudi Arabia had not simply been allowed to go rogue to harm US frackers. Then came emergency derivatives reform that put taxpayers on the hook for insuring the Motherland-frackers, and, lo and behold, another conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy fact.

  6. steviefinn

    The labeling of Syriza as radical left, perhaps shows the benchmark the Guardian judges itself by – In reality they are both sort of pink in a don’t rock the boat too much kind of a way. The Guardian especially, when it comes to geopolitics.

  7. Howard Beale IV

    In an All-Digital Future, It’s the New Movies That Will Be in Trouble: Vulture.

    It’s not just movies that’s in peril-ALL digital archives are in peril due to the short timeframe generational changes in both hardware and the media being used:

    The physical deterioration of drives and discs and chips isn’t the only thing digital filmmakers need to worry about. Digital files are also prone to become outdated, with software upgrades and new programs that render previous ones obsolete or unusable. “We are still in the developmental stages of this digital technology, and formats are changing every 18 months to two years,” says Horak. “And many of these digital formats are not compatible with each other.”

    1. Carolinian

      As this is in my area of expertise I’ll just say that the article compares “well stored” film archives versus carelessly stored digital files and proclaims advantage old style. The truth is that conventional movie film (also made from plastic btw–polyester these days) uses color organic dyes that are highly unstable and prone to deterioration unless stored in meat locker conditions. Only black and white prints are truly archival. You can convert color prints into black and white separation negatives but then you can also convert digital files into film separation negatives. It’s all a question of cost which those low budget filmmakers talked about in the article aren’t going to be able to afford regardless of the medium.

      Digital photography is a great step forward and Nolan, in my humble opinion, is just being an egomaniac.

  8. fresno dan

    “Five weeks later, a reply from a health-insurance specialist at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the government can’t dictate co-pays to the insurance companies. The official urged her husband to shop around for a better plan.”

    What you think the word “insurance” means, and what it actually means, is something your gonna be disabused of right shortly…

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      A robber walks up to a dying man and says, “Give me $500 or I’ll kill you.” The man says, “But I don’t have $500.” The robber shoots the man dead, is found guilty of murder at trial and executed. (Unless he’s a cop, which is a parable for another day.)

      A drug company rep walks up to a dying man and says, “Give me $500 or I won’t give you this life-saving drug and you’ll die.” The man says, “But I don’t have $500.” The drug rep walks away and the man dies. The drug rep gets a big bonus, stock options and congratulations for being part of the BEST “healthcare” system in the world.

      Nothing’s gonna change until things change.

      Merry Christmas.

    2. GusFarmer

      What jumped out at me was the line that Pfizer donated $7.1 million to non-profits (all tax-deductible for them, of course, and probably controlled by them) for drug aid. What it doesn’t say is they spent THREE times that much corrupting Congress — $2.1M “contributions” and $17.7M in lobbying in 2013-14, according to Get rid of the latter “donations” and most of this corporate rape of sick people will stop (and we’ll be able to implement single payer).

  9. fresno dan

    I guess this annoys me so much because the hypocrisy and inconsistency of FOX and their entertainers (aka commenters) is so incredible. You wonder if there had been a “range war” and the Bundy’s and their supporters had managed to kill several Federal police authorities – it would be OK when your killing for….not paying your bills?
    What your seeing here is tribal propaganda, aided and abetted by people who should know better, and an absolute disgusting lack of intellectual honesty.

    1. Banger

      Of course, the right is prospering because they are both the recipients of a general trend in our society towards a new tribalism and indeed a “new primitivism” whether it is the flight from reason or piercings and tattoos. I believe we all need to find our tribe or create new tribes and associations and go with the flow. Fox isn’t going anywhere.

      1. fresno dan

        I really would like to ask these people if they think the US (or world) would be a better place if the Confederacy had won, or the war had been fought to a draw and the country split in two.
        Because states rights….(Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas supporting the military industrial complex – interesting to ponder)
        And it would be fascinating if only Mittens would tell us the states where the 47% are predominately located in….(New York? California?) I sure hope they’re not evenly distributed because they would make secession fruitless….

        1. dearieme

          In the years leading up to the Civil War, states’ rights was a policy of the slave states; it was opposed by the abolitionists. The point was that the slave states could use federal power for their own ends.

  10. PQS

    Re: Annoying ad
    I don’t see it this morning on my Android. It was a little irritating but it had just become my habit to close it up before getting into the site.
    Didn’t want to complain as I want NC to make as much money as possible to keep going!!

  11. Jackrabbit

    China’s currency swap is a game-changer. Sanctions plus the oil drop lose their effectiveness when Russia can get help like this AND the economic attack on Russia can be used to prompt other BRICS to accelerate plans to unite.

    H O P

    1. susan the other

      I really liked the antidote and its caption too. Those characters look like they know how to live under a bridge together. That’s love.

  12. fresno dan

    Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives NationofChange

    “could be” – surely you jest…

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the FT article on ETFs:

    Shares in the iShares iBoxx high-yield bond ETF recently traded at a discount of almost 1 per cent to net asset value before surging to a premium of 1.3 per cent last week.

    Fitch Ratings found that about 54 per cent of the biggest bond holdings in a sample of fixed-income ETFs traded on every trading day between August and November, but only 5 per cent of smaller bond holdings did.

    ETFs were developed in response to persistently large premiums and discounts on closed-end funds. For instance, the closed-end Central Fund of Canada currently trades at a yawning -8.57% discount, but it averaged a 4.32% premium over the past 10 years, and its premium was in double digits in earlier decades.

    ETFs addressed this divergence (which represents unwanted risk for most investors) by allowing Authorized Participants to exchange ETF shares for the underlying assets, or vice versa, so as to arbitrage away discounts and premiums. But if markets seize up in the underlying assets, arbitrageurs can’t close out the market leg of their trades.

    Bond ETFs got driven to discounts in the worst weeks of 2008, and it’s happening again now in high yield. One lesson is that an ETF can’t magically confer liquidity on illiquid assets — something has to give, and it’s the discount. Second lesson is that where there’s a choice, it may be better to use mutual funds for illiquid stuff, since mutual funds are priced at NAV at 4 pm every day.

    Now you’re gonna ask me, ‘But Jim, how can mutual funds set the NAV if many of their assets didn’t even trade today?’ And I’ll respond with a zen koan: ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’ ;-)

  14. Andrew Watts

    RE: The Sony Hackers Pranked The FBI

    I didn’t want to say anything about this but the hackers have made it clear this was all a prank. Back in the day hacker groups would form real or ersatz groups that would mock certain people, groups, and phrases. Like New World Order for example. Guardians Of Peace? Funny, but obvious.

    The FBI knew this already once the lack of security at Sony became clear but they were probably pressured to pin the blame on North Korea. It was the propagandists in the corporate media and not the FBI who began this nonsense. There’s likely to be a political angle to all this but that’s the hacker(s) prerogative to embellish.

    If the horrible episode of CIA torture proved anything it’s that they get all their bad ideas from the fake CIA on television… and they aren’t nearly as omnipotent as the fake Hollywood CIA.

    1. psychohistorian

      Its a head fake like this that has everyone NOT talking about the torture report anymore.

      Mission Accomplished

      1. jrs

        Especially as it’s 600 pages, this of course the extremely redacted version that was released, and reading 600 pages takes more than a few days. A few days where relationships with Cuba change, and NK is alleged to be stopping a film and threatening movie theaters (yes alleged), and police are killed and in revolt etc. and derivatives get the green light for bail out, and pensions get further threats etc.. (although I almost think the torture report was a distraction from the crominubus, as the cromnibus is in the here and the now – a real looting of the people today)

        But anyway keep your eye on the bouncing ball. Let us destroy whatever bit of attention span the internet hasn’t already destroyed. You should be at the end uncertain of everything and barely able to think at all, if it works right (and that form of mental destruction doesn’t even take torture). Don’t ever get the attention span to read 600 pages or anything and don’t expect the media to do it for you (that is do their job).

    1. jrs

      weirdly not for the reasons one would expect, I though he might suggest journalists who don’t understand the business model, can’t really understand the biases and moral compromises inherent in it. But Chomsky he’s not, not that at all, he wants them to become marketing majors. Hilarious.

  15. Jay M

    It is uncertain when the 3D printer on the moon began aiming at human civilization.
    Apparently they hit oil up there and the economy took off.
    It is thought that Manhattan might be invaded by a lego like project as early as next Sunday.

  16. Anonymous123

    Posting a comment from iPhone/Safari now and so far so good, no banner ad problem from Crobos. It wasn’t something that used to happen 100% of the time though, so I will keep trying from iphone and post if the issue resurrects itself. Thanks for taking care of it so quickly!

  17. KFritz

    Re: Antidote

    Great pic, but…the location seems dubious. That’s a black bear, not ursus arctos.. The Asian Black Bear’s range doesn’t include Anatolia–

    Is there a written source that contradicts the Wikipedia map?

  18. participant-observer-observed

    Nien hao and glad to see the shakti spring in Yves voice these days!

    I didn’t see this one listed in the links, but sure some must have seen it already:
    (Reincarnation of the East India Tea Company cannot be far away now!?!)

    “UK government successfully issues a sovereign bond in China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB).”

    “Renminbi notes

    The UK government has today successfully issued a sovereign bond in China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), becoming the first western country to do so and issuing the largest ever non-Chinese RMB bond.

    The RMB 3 billion bond, which is equivalent to approximately £300 million, has a maturity of 3 years and delivers on the Chancellor’s announcement at the recent annual UK-China economic summit in London that the government intended to issue an RMB bond.

    It is the world’s first non-Chinese issuance of sovereign RMB debt and will be used to finance Britain’s reserves. Currently, Britain only holds reserves in US dollars, euros, yen and Canadian dollars, so today’s issuance signals the RMB’s potential as a future reserve currency. . . . ”

  19. participant-observer-observed

    Here‘s a zinger c/o
    “On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Missouri, lies the small city’s only hospital, a landmark of brick and glass. Music from a player piano greets visitors at the main entrance, and inside, the bright hallways seem endless. Long known as Heartland Regional Medical Center, the nonprofit hospital and its system of clinics recently rebranded. Now they’re called Mosaic Life Care, because, their promotional materials say: “We offer much more than health care. We offer life care.”

    Two miles away, at the rear of a low-slung building is a key piece of Mosaic—Heartland’s very own for-profit debt collection agency.

    When patients receive care at Heartland and don’t or can’t pay, their bills often end up here at Northwest Financial Services. And if those patients don’t meet Northwest’s demands, their debts can make another, final stop: the Buchanan County Courthouse.

    From 2009 through 2013, Northwest filed more than 11,000 lawsuits. When it secured a judgment, as it typically did, Northwest was entitled to seize a hefty portion of a debtor’s paycheck. During those years, the company garnished the pay of about 6,000 people and seized at least $12 million—an average of about $2,000 each, according to a ProPublica analysis of state court data.”

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