Links 2/2/15

45-year-old man files complaint with police against python Thai Visa (furzy mouse)

New Report Destroys Biofuel Claims OilPrice. I heard this back in 2008, so wonder why the information is so slow to get out.

Team finds hydrogen production in extreme bacterium PhysOrg (Chuck L)

In Sweden, Remote-Control Airport Is A Reality NPR (David L)

The Danish Don’t Have the Secret to Happiness Atlantic (furzy mouse). This article looks more than a tad desperate to take the Danes down a peg. Remember, this is a country with terrible winter sunshine. And as I’ve discussed, the American penchant for its unsustainable version of happiness, which looks a lot like giddiness, is dubious. In general, the ancients and a lot of philosophers prize contentment as the best human mental outlook.

​A Woman Won $1.5 Million in Damages After a Brain Injury Supposedly Made Her Become a Dominatrix Vice

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to go on trial for ‘pimping’ Agence France-Presse


France offers support for Greece amid bailout tensions Associated Press. The “support” is not tangible, just to act as an intermediary. So this is in the “positive gesture” category.

Greece Finance Minister Varoufakis: ‘Europe comes first’ BBC

Eurozone alarm grows over Greek bailout brinkmanship Financial Times

Germany has a convenient but flawed collective memory Bill Mitchell. Scroll down to see how bad the IMF forecasts are.

Greece, the US and the Neo-Liberal Coup Counterpunch (margarita)

Obama says Greece needs growth, not more austerity ekathimerini (Swedish Lex)

Leo Panitch on Syriza New Left Project (Nikki)

Plutocrats and their puppets expose themselves in every level failed evolution

Why the Irish political elite is terrified of Syriza openDemocracy (martha r)

Israel’s ambassador jokes on Twitter about undermining Obama Vox


Our dangerous new McCarthyism: Russia, Noam Chomsky and what the media’s not telling you about the new Cold War Salon (margarita)

U.S. Takes New Look at Arming Ukraine Forces, Officials Say New York Times

Obama Admits US Role in 2014 Ukraine Coup Strategic Culture Foundation

Russia’s Priorities in Europe and the World cirsd (margarita)

Canada Mauled by Oil Bust, Job Losses Pile Up – Housing Bubble, Banks at Risk Wolf Richter

Imperial Collapse Watch

War Is the New Normal, Seven Deadly Reasons Why America’s Wars Persist TomDispatch

Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine says that he planted CIA stories Digital Journal (Nikki)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Internet of Things growing with help from declining sensor costs ImpactLab (David L). Not what I want to hear.

Clinton Consults to Define Economic Pitch Wall Street Journal. Notice the accurate headline focus on managing perceptions as opposed to fixing things. As reader Li noted:

“‘One major focus of the meeting was the miserable recent performance of wages in general and middle-class wages in particular, and what if anything the government can do about that,’ said Mr. Blinder.”

Ooh, maybe stop and reverse 30 years of deliberate policies that have hammered wages?

Obama 2016 Budget Proposal: Foreign Earnings Tax Would Pay Half Of $478B Public Works Program International Business Times (furzy mouse)

U.S. to Overhaul Medicare Payments to Doctors, Hospitals Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Senator Bernie Sander’s presents Tcherneva’s research to Show How Reagan Helped Destroy the Middle Class New Economic Perspectives

Jeb Bush Smoked Marijuana And Was A Bully In High School, Say Former Classmates Huffington Post (Li)

U.S. judge quits commission to protest Justice Department forensic science policy – Washington Post. Martha r: “Jed Rakoff in action again. Is he all we’ve got?”

San Francisco public defender arrested outside courtroom for defending her client (VIDEO) Daily Kos (RR)

Even 40 Inches of Snow Would Be No Problem for These Trains WNYC (martha r)

If Corporations Are People, They Should Act Like It Atlantic (furzy mouse)

The Global Fight Against Corporate Rule Nation

Justice Department Investigating Moody’s Investors Service Wall Street Journal

For markets there is such a thing as too much information Financial Times (David L)

As of Yet, Fed Not Changing Tune Tim Duy

Fiscal policy explains the weak recovery VoxEU. So only now is someone willing to say that?

Class Warfare

Capitalism has broken free of the shackles of democracy Financial Times (David L)

Bill Maher Says Socialism Created America’s Successful Middle Class Huffington Post (Li)

A Tale of Two Snowballs Corey Robin (martha r)

Antidote du jour:

cat eyeshades links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Carla

      First paragraph under the heading “The Facts” in this so-called “Fact Checker” column:

      “Notice that Vilsack referred to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which is a well-regarded centrist think tank that focuses on international economic policy. The Peterson Institute advocates for free-trade agreements but also for programs that aid people who may be hurt by globalization.”

      Really? You coulda fooled me.

  1. Chris in Paris

    In no way condoning what DSK allegedly did but isn’t “pimping” a bit inflammatory? The crime in French is proxénetisme, which would normally be translated as “promoting and/or aiding prostitution”.

    1. diptherio

      That’s a distinction without a difference. The French call it proxénetisme, we call it pimping. What’s inflammatory is the fact that he was engaged in it at all, regardless of what the behavior is called.

    2. EmilianoZ

      He sounds more like a costumer than a pimp. It doesnt look like he took a cut from what the stress relief providers got paid.

      And the guy is 65! He’s like the fat white dog on today’s antidote. After he’s done with his political/business career he should pursue a TV career as the French Dr. Phil or something.

    1. Vatch

      Human extinction in our lifetimes? It won’t happen. Our species survived the catastrophic Toba eruption approximately 75,000 years ago, so we won’t become extinct in the near future.

      But the end of civilization and/or a giant collapse that costs billions of lives is possible in the next two or three generations. People need to stop breeding like rabbits, and they need easy access to effective contraception, as well as reliable information about it.

        1. Vatch

          The eruption of the Siberian Traps, which is widely, though not universally, considered the triggering event of the Permian-Triassic extinction event, lasted for about a million years:

          The massive eruptive event which formed the traps, one of the largest known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth’s geological history, continued for a million years and spanned the Permian–Triassic boundary, about 251 to 250 million years ago.

          Of course, the eruptions may have lasted for hundreds of thousands of years after the extinctions, so we really don’t know how long the eruptions had to occur to cause the extinctions. But I doubt that we have had anything remotely close to the duration of what caused the Permian-Triassic extinctions.

          I agree that we are in the middle of the 6th great mass extinction, and this is terrible. There are so many things that must be done:

          Reduce the human population. (By reducing the birth rate, not by increasing the death rate)
          Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
          Stop and reverse deforestation.
          Stop and reverse the loss of topsoil.
          Stop habitat destruction in general.
          And many other actions that I have not mentioned.

          I think a collapse of civilization is far more likely than a near term extinction of Homo sapiens. The Toba event proves that our species is vulnerable, yet very versatile.

        2. Massinissa

          All we need to survive extinction is for .000001 percent or so of the worlds population to survive.

          1. bruno marr

            … and what if that .000001% gets infected with Ebola virus? Who among them will find their way to the grocery store?

          2. JustAnObserver

            Current population is about 7 billion so

            7000000000 * .00000001 = 70

            Difficult to see how so small a population scattered over 7 continents could survive esp. since, most likely, accesses to would get 404’ed.

            1. Vatch

              I think Massinissa got a little too enthusiastic with the zeroes, but essentially, he is correct. From the Toba Wikipedia page that I referenced earlier:

              According to the genetic bottleneck theory, between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago, human populations sharply decreased to 3,000–10,000 surviving individuals.[32][33] It is supported by genetic evidence suggesting that today’s humans are descended from a very small population of between 1,000 and 10,000 breeding pairs that existed about 70,000 years ago.

    2. Ed

      I discovered McPherson’s site, “Nature Bats Last”, the month my daughter was born, and its seriously depressing. Obviously some other Naked Capitalism readers have discovered the site. Go to at your own risk.

      McPherson apparently is a biologist. I don’t think his perspective is completely understood even by his own commentators. His take on climate change seems to be that the human body will break down if the average global temperature rises more than 5 degrees C. (something like 12 degrees F). And following generally mainstream reports of climate scientists, he thinks the rise will happen because the existing temperature rise of something less than 1 degrees C. over pre-industrial periods is already triggering the release of methane trapped in Artic coastal areas (mainly Siberia), which will mean a huge sudden spike in global temperatures, a positive feedback loop.

      The possibility of humans not being able to biologically survive a 5 degree Celsius average rise may well be something that most climate scientists, not being biologists, may not have taken into account. The other question is whether we will see this rise. Denialists still argue average global temperature is dropping, or that increased carbon dioxide is not affecting temperature at all. The “establishment viewpoint” is still that we can prevent a 2 degree Celsius rise with some adjustments. Maybe we could survive a 5 degree Celsius rise by living underground, growing food with artificial lighting, and emerging only during the night, though I think only a portion of the current global population could do this. Maybe there will be some negative feedback loop no one knows about that will cancel the effect of the Methane Bomb exploding.

      Unfortunately, I think that commentator Vatch’s prediction is more certain. The Earth’s biosphere will simply not be able to support a 7 billion plus global human population for more than another century, at the most. This is because before the industrial revolution, the global human population never exceeded 1 billion. Use of coal and than oil to transport food from the best agricultural areas to more urbanized areas has been needed to get above 1 billion, with the population actually not exceeding 2 billion until 1937, in the early years of the petroleum era. The subsequent population explosion that took the global population to 3.5 billion around the time I was born, and then 7 billion plus today, was an unprecedented and really reckless experiment. It depended on finding a cheap replacement energy source for fossil fuels before they began to run short, or before they polluted the atmosphere to the point where no humans could survive. It turns out this is really not likely to happen.

      If everyone had only one child on average (some couples having more, but alot of people not reproducing at all), for three or four generations, we could get the global population outside of the danger zone. In the most advanced countries this has happened as people have found other means to self-actualize other than having children. But this is also unlikely to happen on the scale needed.

    1. Antifa

      Using our topsoil and water and growing seasons to make fuel out of food crops is indeed a (well subsidized) folly. It would appear that we need those resources to feed ourselves in coming years.

      But producing fuel from algae grown in tanks on marginal land works just fine.

    2. craazyboy

      Burn Food = BAD

      Predictable action from Congress? Extend the “temporary” Bush tax cuts for ethanol production.

    3. heresy101

      1. JCC is right and ethanol never made sense and the requirements for 10% ethanol in gasoline should end immediately. If you want to have less emissions from driving, buy an EV.

      2. Biofuels have similar problems to ethanol in that that forests are being cut down to generate electricity. A few of these projects are beneficial such as the old coal plant in the Sierra foothills that takes wood from demolished structures, broken pallets, dead forest matter, etc to generate electricity. There won’t be very many of these plants but they fit a niche.

      3. Biogas is separate from ethanol and biofuels and makes at lot of sense. Green waste from cities, wasted food from restaurants, poop from dairies, municipal sewage, and other organic matter is run through anaerobic digesters (either wet (dairies) or dry processes (San Jose)) to generate methane. This methane can be used to generate electricity and the end product is a compost material that can be returned to fields or gardens. Some studies have suggested that up to 12% of California’s electricity could come from biogas.

      All bio processes are not the same.

  2. James Levy

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how modern America compares to the Confederacy. That was a society dominated by a wealthy elite, riven by particularist interests, desperately in need of vision, planning, and coordination. I think about how they needed to reorganize their economy to meet the needs of the day but were stymied by a lack of practical men with experience of actually getting things done (they were great at talking and fighting, but not much else) like financing a war or running an economy. Jefferson Davis was in many ways a much more impressive person than Barak Obama, but like Obama he was touchy and overly full of himself.

    I fear that like the Confederates, we will be consistently behind the curve, making necessary choices but only when it is too late. The Confederates made a surprisingly strong effort over time to convert from cotton production to foodstuffs, but by the time they did the infrastructure for moving it to the front was shot and the expertise and equipment necessary to maintain (let alone improve) the railroad net wasn’t there, and money-printing had devastated the economy. In the next decade we’ll find out how close the analogy is.

    1. Ed

      I think the analogy is overstated. Davis was a pretty impressive technocrat, and managed to jerry-rig a nineteenth century industrial war effort out of a part of the world that was essentially rebelling against the nineteenth century version of modernity.

      I think the state of the US today bears more comparison to the last centuries of imperial Chinese dynasties, and the other great Asian land empires. No real external threats to its security, allowing massive corruption to flourish until the whole thing unravels internally.

      1. Trent

        I agree with ed. Europe looks more like the north and the south then modern america does. Perhaps we’ll see civil war in europe.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Mongols did a lot of damage to the Chinese Way of Life. One can see the differences bwteen Han/Tang/Song China and Ming/Qing China.

        One of the things the Mongols did was to forbid the Han Chinese (southern Han Chinese belonged to the lowest of their 4 castes), northerners and southerners, from owning even kitchen knives. I was told that one kitchen knife was to be shared among 10 neighbors. (Their idea of gun control, I guess)

        Perhaps it contributed to their efficient chopping and dicing techniques, even to this day.

  3. Carolinian

    Re Patrick Smith and Salon

    Some of the commenters around here propound the MSM party line that those who criticize US policy have been brainwashed by large doses of RT (never watch it) or are naive about Putin’s evil nature. This of course evades the real question which is: what possible business is it to Americans what takes place thousands of miles away on the fringe of Russia? Those of us trying to see Putin’s side are simply wondering what conceivable US interest could be at stake here. The answer seems obvious–none.

    While I suspect that a future President Hillary would be more than happy to say about Putin as she did about Gadhafi, “we came, we saw, he died,” I also suspect that this dangerous game isn’t even that important to US elites. Messing with Russia is just away of asserting US power. As Smith says, the danger is that the Russia takes this game–seemingly costless to those in Washington–a lot more seriously than we do. Smith:

    In my read, the war we have entered upon brings into sharp focus the 21st century’s single most vital zone of conflict. This is the non-West’s historically unprecedented insistence that it is the equal of the West, that its values are as valid as the West’s, that the world is multiple now and that “to become modern” no longer means “to become Western.”

    It is this the American elite thinks is worth a war. It is Putin’s sin that he fights this war. Bitter truth No. 2: In this context we must hope he wins it, for the world will be far better off when America’s compulsion to dominate it is defeated.

    On this day after the Super Bowl it could be a good time to hope America stops being quite so full of itself. If not Smith’s Cassandra-like warnings could come true.

    1. Brindle

      The corporate national security state media: NYT, WaPo, BBC are far worse than RT when it comes to Ukraine coverage. Your basic NYT article on the conflict is often 70-80% outright lies and fabrication. Obtaining accurate information can be done, but with the knowledge that propaganda is coming from both sides.

    2. Deltron

      “This of course evades the real question which is: what possible business is it to Americans what takes place thousands of miles away on the fringe of Russia? Those of us trying to see Putin’s side are simply wondering what conceivable US interest could be at stake here. The answer seems obvious–none.”

      The obvious answer for conflict & war is access, control & distribution of natural resources. In this case, it’s natural gas.

      1. Carolinian

        I don’t think it’s particularly obvious that the United States, as opposed to Joe Biden’s son or George Soros, has an interest in Ukraine’s natural resources. This isn’t just some banana republic we can take over with few negative consequences. If it really is about trying to grab resources in the middle of Europe that would be insane rather than simply thoughtless. Personally I don’t think there is a plan. Certainly that’s what KIssinger, the great advocate of ruthless and “realist” pursuit of national interest, has said.

        1. Deltron

          There’s a plan. Israel’s discovery of the Leviathan & Tamar basins was a game changer in 2009 & 2010 (first domino to drop). Qatar (largest LNG exporter) has been very eager to get a natural gas pipeline in place from the South Pars/North Dome gas field through Syria to Turkey and the Europe market. Now it has a partner/ally in Israel to fulfill the vision, along with the U.S. & Saudi Arabia. The Assad regime isn’t playing ball due to its relationship with and support from Russia, which is extensive & goes back to the post-WWII era when Syria gained independence from France. Russia was clever to build relations with two important spaces on the chess board (Syria & Iran). Russia (Gazprom) is the key supplier of natural gas to Europe, and with this market share & revenue comes power. Russia needs the Assad regime to stay at the helm so it can maintain its revenue stream & power in Europe. The unrest in Syria started in 2011, and then five months later the U.S./West called for Assad to step down. Meanwhile, the U.S. & Saudi Arabia were supporting “freedom fighters” in Syria to lead the rebellion. This mess led to the chemical weapons fiasco in late 2013, when Putin stepped in & de-escalated the situation by guiding Assad/Syria to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. Not longer after this incident, Ukraine/Yanukovych pivot away from Europe toward co-operation with Russia, which sparks unrest and an eventual overthrow of the Ukraine government (February 2014), which was also supported by the U.S. The conflicts in Iraq/Syria and Ukraine are proxy wars (U.S. v Russia). Wars/conflicts are a story of money, power & resources. The U.S. has both interests & plans.

  4. jjmacjohnson

    “In Sweden, Remote-Control Airport Is A Reality”

    So a little town has even less jobs. This does not bode well for American Workers and small towns.

    1. Carolinian

      Most US small town airports are no control. Private pilots are supposed to take care of the job of avoiding each other. At the small airport in my ville (so old Lindbergh once visited with Spirit of St Louis) corporate jets are also self control.

  5. armchair

    The traumatic brain injury case makes me pretty sad. A case like this can be used to argue for tort reform and to go after greedy trial lawyers. Nevertheless, brain injury is one of the saddest things that can happen to a person. It often transforms people. Spouses, significant others, friends and family members often find the person they once knew is gone forever. It sounds like that happened in this case too. However, since it involved a ‘dominatrix’ this case can be added to the ancient hot coffee case. Thankfully, the case happened in Canada, so maybe that will slow down the fulminating just a bit.

    1. Elliott

      A friend of mine’s teen son was sitting on the family sedan, hanging out with his friends. He slid off, cracking his head on the pavement. It changed his personality significantly (but he wasn’t “disabled”). I can’t imagine how a family (and friends, too) come to terms with the introduction of essentially a new person into the family, as well as the loss of the child they knew.

  6. Petey

    “Obama Admits US Role in 2014 Ukraine Coup – Strategic Culture Foundation”

    Well, that’s the single most deceptive headline (and article) I’ve yet to see in the Yves-compiled links. I was sure this was a Lambert-compiled links, (and was going to ignore it in silence), until I scrolled up.

    Of course, the US/EU brokered agreement Kerry signed that the headline refers to as ‘admitting US role in coup’ was extensively reported in real-time. And, of course, more importantly, it was also signed by Yanukovych, who actively sought an agreement due to his dramatic loss of support in the parliament.

    Never said anything like this before, but shame on Yves. (And yes, I know compiling the links requires lots of under-appreciated grunt-work, and thus not everything gets extensively vetted, but c’mon. This was a very short and obviously deceptive piece on multiple levels.)

      1. Carolinian

        Indeed. Although it’s true that Obama didn’t use the word “coup.” “Regime change” is the term of art these days. Gotta pay attention to those optics.

    1. lambert stether

      If you say you’re going to ignore something in silence, why don’t you do that, instead of playing passive aggressive games? And not for the first time, I might add.

    2. Illort

      Oh, I’m not alone then. Sometimes I feel like Sergey Lavrov himself compiles some of the links. But hey, he might actually do that indirectly, so often RT is the source.

      I wrote more analytical comment too to argue about the choice of links considering Russia/Ukraine crisis, but then deleted it and decided it’s better to use same kinds of arguments some of these links provide.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Wow, straw man much? Or even read this site often?

        1. We very rarely link to RT on Russia or Ukraine.

        2. Most of our Ukraine/Russia links come from readers.

        3. Your comment is pure ad hominem, which is against our clearly stated site policies. And that reveals that you are unable to mount a rebuttal to the content of any of the articles.

        As Mark Ames said via e-mail: “No matter what I’ve published, I’ve been attacked as both a Putin stooge and a brainwashed anti-Russian imperialist. Fuck ’em all. Both sides practice heavy social media psyops trolling.”

  7. diptherio

    Re: Obama 2016 Budget Proposal: Foreign Earnings Tax Would Pay Half Of $478B Public Works Program

    Well, well, well. As soon as the Republicans take control of Congress, the man becomes a veritable font of good ideas. Curious how none of them get forwarded until they have zero chance of making it through the legislative process…

    Of course, even with the R’s in control of both houses (a plague on them both, House and Senate), some of the O-man’s proposals will still make it through…just not the good ones.

    That figure includes increases of about $38 billion in defense spending and about $37 billion in nondefense spending.

    More increase for “defense” (technically defined as killing civilians in various countries on the theory that a dead foreigner is less likely to become an Anti-American terrorist than a living one) than for EVERYTHING ELSE COMBINED…oy vey….

    1. craazyboy

      Yes, of course. The D’s need a image remake before 2016!

      But, as long as we are safe…that’s all I care about.

      1. craazyman

        I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly an expert on foreign affairs, but don’t you think Professor Varoufakis looks a little scary? I do. He may be the nicest guy in the world, he may be a saint. But his photos — whoa! he looks like a head-buster you’d run into parking your car at Costco on an errand for the wife, if you owed somebody alot of money and were a little behind. He looks like he works out hard. His jaw looks big. His skull looks heavy. His hands are probably huge. I bet he could kick some monster ass. Matt Taibbi looks the same way, on TV anyway.

        I bet the Germans are afraid of Professor V. Maybe this is a game theory thing I don’t get, but I think maybe he should wear a suit and tie instead of a black leather jacket and open collar shirt, and maybe smile a lot and gently kiss some babies. The Germans probably look at him and wonder if he should be in the same room with Professor Weidmann or Mr. Schaeuble. I’m sure he could restrain himself, but you sort of wonder whether, in their minds, after a few pints and a few sausages, the Germans think professor V. thinks like Tyrone Greene, the black revolutionary poet, in his well-known work “Images”.

        It might go like this — after a few pitchers in the ale house, in the Germans’ minds that is —

        Images by Tyrone Greene
        (adjusted for contemporary circumstances)

        Dark and lonely in an Athens night.
        Kill the Troika, kill the Troika
        Wiedmann’s barking – Do he bite?
        Kill the Troika, kill the Troika.
        Slip in its window,
        Break its neck!
        Then its house
        We’ll start to wreck!
        You wanna reason? —
        Währungskrisen Knecht
        Kill the Troika, kill the Troika.
        K-I-L-L …The – Troi – KKKa

        You can let your imagination run away with you, I’ll be the first to admit that! But even so, it makes you wonder.

        Tyrone Greene performs the poem “Images”

        1. craazyboy

          hahaha – never saw that EM routine before. I heard he started standup at age 16 – must of been the early stuff.

          You’re right, now that I think about it, Yanis does sorta remind me of the bouncer at the strip club.

          This Kill The Troika thing could really catch on among the rapper crowd too! You should copywrite your version quick and sell it to Eminem or whoever. That’s even better than a 10 bagger because you put absolutely nothing in to it!

          BTW: How bout that Super Bowl ending? The seattle coach could use a bodyguard, methinks. Unless he decided to fly straight to Boston where it would be safe.

          1. craazyman

            Well, Pete Carroll brought ’em there twice in two years. yeah it was “outside the box” thinking. Reminds me of the Robert Frost poem The Road Less Traveled. There’s a reason why it’s less traveled and why most thinking is inside the box.

            Mostly the poem is plagiarism but I gotta say, I knew I had to change the line “What the heck” in the original because that’s just too flippant and unconcerned. I also knew if I could make it German somehow, that would be perfect. But I knew it had to work inside the poem. Now I don’t know any German, none. I don’t know how I came up with “Währungskrisen Knecht”. I started randomly Googling “echt” seeing what would happen, and it just assembled itself. It was amazing. It was like watching a sun rise in your mind turning darkness into a fiery illumination. In English it means “monetary crisis servant”. It felt like I was being guided by a massive intelligence outside of my mind. I could not have done this on my own. hahahahhaahah

              1. craazyman

                Not me. I’m just goofiing on the stereotypes that fly around in this thing. i”m sure Professor Varoufakis will do quite welll in his new role & I hope they’ll all find an agreement that moves everybody forward to a positive place. I suspect they will. I hope they do. I think they can, with a little mutual good will. They all have much more in common than any stereotype would reveal and Europe has a lot of positive stuff going for it. That’s where they can build. Otherwise, Eddie Murphy is one of my favorite comics, a real genius!

        2. JustAnObserver

          A bit of me too here but the first time I saw Yanis V. on some video posted on these pages my instant thought was of Vinnie Jones the hard man in Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels (a Brit movie but worth checking the ref) , or perhaps Clive Owen before he went all gooey. Its not so much the shaved head but more about the look in the eyes.

          That impression has just grown more intense in the last week or so.

          (*) Sorry about the Brit refs here but I can’t think of any current Amercan actor who really does hard-to-the-core ‘cos at bottom they really all want to be loved don’t they; hoping that their sensitive side will shine through.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I refer to a link above where a brain injury can turn you into a Democrat or was it dominatrix?

        Apparently, an injury to the other side of the brain, the left side, I guess, turns you into a Republican.

        The health brain, presumably, stays independent.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is this correct – a corporation can leave its profits abroad and not pay US taxes till it brings that money back, but an individual earning money overseas has to pay taxes the year it is earned – no parking abroad for individuals?

      “Maybe we should all have been born as corporations?”

      1. craazyboy

        Even better – every double or triple leap year or so (not sure of the timing) Congress declares a “tax holiday” where they can repatriate the money at reduced tax rates.

  8. craazyboy

    So far the Internet of Things looks rather boring. Unless you get exited about uploading your room temperature data to your website. Personally, I don’t.

    What we really want is DRONES!!!!!

    After extensive researching the build it yourself market, I’ve decided on the parts used by this guy here. Ebay packages from china should be here in another week or two.
    Some good FPV footage at the end of the video.

    This quad platform can be set up as a FPV drone (First Person View) and/or an aerial photography platform with a gimbal stabilized GoPro.

    You can get full featured autopilots now, w/ ground control software, for about $200 including GPS and telemetry transmitter. It’s got a few thousand man-hours of dev and testing – so my make or buy decision for software/hardware here swung heavily towards the “buy” decision.

  9. Paper Mac

    “In general, the ancients and a lot of philosophers prize contentment as the best human mental outlook. ”

    Ameen. It’s funny how “content” now seems to mean something like “happy, but not as happy as I COULD be” to many.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      “Be thankful for what you’ve got.” By William De Vaughn. It is a perfect song of serene acceptance and dignity in the face of material goods on display by an aggressively acquisitive consumer culture. The coolness of the vibraphones refreshes, the smooth guitar licks peeks out from behind a driving Latin rhythm. Contentment is grace under the pressure, to keep up with the latest new thing on the shelves.

  10. morgan

    Obama wants Greece to have more growth not more austerity? How about trying that here at home Mr. President. On the flip side – really? Who’d have thunk the Obama admin had any involvement in the Ukranian coup in 2014? Does he know what he’s doing regarding Stratego?

  11. Ernesto Lyon

    California Disneyland has 15 million visitors a year. About a million of them passed through the park during the measles outbreak, of which about 90 came down with measles (and many of them were vaccinated.) So far no one has died from it.

    That 0.009% who actually developed measles.

    How scared of this should I be?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hours of excruciatingly boring wait for 3 thrilling seconds (but a Zen master never lets that opportunity go to waste. He/She meditates in situ).

      Why isn’t Disney paying its customers, instead of the way it is now?

      Talk about the ability to manage your subjects.

    2. LucyLulu

      “How scared should I be?”

      That depends……… Have you been vaccinated? Do you live in one of the regions where there currently is an outbreak? Are you a healthcare provider?

      The mortality rate in the US is about 2 people/1000 cases for measles, but can reach 25% in other parts of the world (per, travelers from which are the original source of all current outbreaks. Young children and adults are at highest risk for serious complications. At particularly high risk are the immunocompromised patients who are unable to get vaccinated. Two doses of vaccine reduce the chances of contracting measles, which is highly contagious and can be spread for several days before symptoms appear, by more than 99%.

      90 cases may seem like a trivial number, but this is one outbreak in one month of one year. There were over 600 cases of measles in 2014, in a disease that had been eradicated in the U.S. due to mandatory vaccination programs. Pertussis has also made a comeback, and polio remains a problem in other parts of the world. The outbreaks are cropping up, not coincidentally, in regions where there are high levels of objections to vaccinations, while as the link provided states, MS and WV, who have maintained strict vaccination requirements, have seen 0 cases. The risks from measles are greater than the risks posed by the vaccine and increasingly, relying on the herd for disease protection is a failed strategy.

  12. LucyLulu

    WRT sensors and Medicare payments from links:

    As background, handwashing has long been known to be the single most effective strategy for preventing hospital acquired infections. Most lay people even know this now. This means healthcare providers washing their hands between every patient encounter. A no-brainer, right? You;’d think so anyways, The problem has been that there was no way to verify if staff was washing their hands outside of posting observers watching sinks. So they did, and sure enough, staff would religiously wash their hands. But then the observers would leave, and staff got busy, and winter came and hands got chapped, blah, blah, blah…….
    I was asked if I was OCD if that says anything. But any nurse could have told management no way handwashing was ever 90%. 40% sounds a lot closer. Docs, some never washed their hands. Not so good if you’ve got a central line or can’t void and they just changed Mr. T’s colostomy bag. Sensors solve the problem and capture real handwashing practices among providers, making hospital administrators feel happy because Medicare will cut their payments if their hospital-acquired infection rate exceeds the threshold. 721 hospitals, will see 1% cuts in reimbursements this year due to three types of hospital acquired conditions, two of which handwashing strongly influence.

    Hospitals. Stay as far away from them as possible. They’re not a good place to hang out when you’re sick.

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