Links 3/9/15

Dog Owners Alarmed at Beneful Lawsuit as Purina Denies Claims NBC :-(

Utah baby found alive in river 14 hours after car crash BBC

The Origin of Life And The Hidden Role of Quantum Criticality Physics arXiv (furzy mouse)

Why It’s Almost Impossible To Teach a Robot To Do Your Laundry Medium (furzy mouse)

Can We Trust Robot Cars to Make Hard Choices? Singularity Hub (furzy mouse)

The Super Successful Tech Giant That Dares Not Speak Its Name Forbes (Bob H)

Solar Impulse Pilots Get Ready for Sun-Powered Flight Around World NBC (Glenn F)

DDoS attack targets Femsplain on International Women’s Day The Verge. Peter G: “Gendered cyber-violence?”

Drinking doesn’t make you fat: A startling new book claims that nightly glass of wine won’t go straight to the hips Daily Mail

Steven Druker Exposes US Government Fraud Over GMOs George Washington (AL). Note that I have no idea whether the book is any good. But the thesis is not implausible given how much medical research is dubious. See this classic: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False PLOS (Nikki)

Indian media: Is banning Delhi rape film right? BBC

Turkish Men Wear Skirts in Protest to Sexual Violence Nation of Change (furzy mouse)

The Plot to Free North Korea With Smuggled Episodes of ‘Friends’ Wired (furzy mouse). One wonders how many of these groups are organic.

China Inc flocks to euro debt for funding Financial Times

Swiss banks drawn into Petrobras scandal Financial Times

Austria is fast becoming Europe’s latest debt nightmare Telegraph

Not SIFIs but PIFIs – a bank bailout lesson from Austria Bruegel


Greece threatens new elections if eurozone rejects planned reforms Guardian

Reply of Greek MinFin on ‘distortion’ of Varoufakis’s words Greek Analyst

Syriza will have to ‘sacrifice their own’ to reform Greece France 24 (martha r)


Outcry and fear as Pakistan builds new nuclear reactors in dangerous Karachi Washington Post (Chuck L)

Iraqis living under IS rule fear liberation means reprisals Associated Press (furzy mouse)

FBI Investigates Purported ISIS Hacks of Several Western Sites NBC (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Choking the Security State with Its Own Bottleneck Marcy Wheeler

Japan eyes MI6-style spy agency Japan Today (furzy mouse)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Operation Rent Seeking Washington Monthly (Bob H)

The world is facing a growing threat of nuclear war Business Insider (furzy mouse)

Hillary Clinton’s gathering storm Ed Luce, Financial Times

Gowdy: Months of Clinton emails missing The Hill (furzy mouse)

Obama Grants Fewest Pardons Since Garfield in the 1800’s (Who Only Served 200 Days Before He Was Assassinated) George Washington

Anaheim police fatally shoot woman armed with knives Los Angeles Times

Meet Jesús “Chuy” García, the Chicago Activist Aiming to Unseat “Mayor 1%” Rahm Emanuel Democracy Now! (furzy mouse)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Owning a home while black Field Negro (Judy B)

Holder and Obama mark Selma events with call for voting rights protections Guardian

Obama’s Ferguson Commission a Joke: Why Liberal Proposals and “Solutions” Don’t Cut It Bruce Dixon

The house at Ground Zero Chicago Reporter. Doug Smith: “I came across this cover story in The Chicago Reporter. It is a year old. Yet, it does a brilliant job of portraying not only the human side — but also the neoliberal systemic project of predation — of deregulated finance, securitization, crony capitalism, cognitive capture, Rahm Emanuel, and more.”

Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar Washington Post. Joe Costello: “30 year old scoop.”

Support the Department of Labor Efforts to Require Financial Advisers Who Provide Retirement Investment Advice to Put Their Clients’ Interests First Public Citizen. Please sign in support of a proposed Department of Labor rule change to impose a fiduciary duty on all financial advisors for retirement investments.

Martin O’Malley Doesn’t Want Democrats To Hide On Financial Regulation Huffington Post (Li)

A trade deal must work for America’s middle class Larry Summers, Financial Times

Credit-Reporting Giants Agree to Overhaul Wall Street Journal. While it’s good that this is finally happening, it’s two decades overdue.

Bonds: How firm a foundation? Financial Times. Scott: “$4.65 Trillion AUM, 1% Cash.”


OPEC Chief Says Cartel Is Hurting U.S. Shale Producers Wall Street Journal

U.S. oil production still surging Jim Hamilton, Econbrowser

Global commodities under pressure Walter Kurtz

How short-term thinking hampers long-term economic growth Gillian Tett. More in here than you’d think from the title. Summarizes research from Andrew Haldane and points out the importance of trust and social capital in growth.

Class Warfare

One Simple Way to Save American Democracy: Get Serious About Taxing the Mega-Rich Alternet (furzy mouse)

Why Your Workplace Might Be Killing You Stanford Business (redleg)

Let the NLRB do its job Elizabeth Warren (Glenn F)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

dog tired links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. participant-observer-observed

      Report of father of victim requesting people to view the documentary (which is clear from seeing it and the NDTV round table also up on Youtube)

      NEW DELHI: The father of a woman who died after a savage gang-rape in Delhi said today he thought everyone should watch a documentary about the attack broadcast by the BBC but banned in India.

      The British broadcaster brought forward its screening of India’s Daughter to Wednesday evening, citing a strong public interest after an Indian court issued an order barring broadcasters from showing it.

      The film has sparked a fierce debate in India because it includes an interview in which one of the convicted rapists, Mukesh Singh, blamed the 23-year-old victim, saying she should not have been out at night and should not have fought back. But the father of the victim,

      who cannot be named, said the comments should be exposed publicly.

      “Everyone should watch the film,” news channel NDTV quoted him as saying on its website. “If a man can speak like that in jail, imagine what he would say if he was walking free,” he said, describing the documentary as “the bitter truth”. The victim’s mother told NDTV, which was due to broadcast the film along with the BBC on Sunday to mark International Women’s Day, she did not object to the ban but believed Singh’s views were widespread in India.

      “I don’t care what the government does, bans the film, doesn’t ban the film, the only thing I know is that nobody is afraid,” she said.

      “It is not only Mukesh who thinks like this.”

      Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament on Wednesday the government sought the ban because Singh’s comments were “highly derogatory and an affront to the dignity of women”.

      The documentary is the work of award-winning British film-maker Leslee Udwin, and has sparked fierce debate in India.

      One government minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, called it a “conspiracy to defame India”, but several lawmakers criticised the government for appearing more worried about the country’s reputation than about the dangers women face.

      The December 2012 gang-rape of a young physiotherapy student highlighted the frightening level of violence against women in the world’s second most populous country and triggered mass protests.

      It led to a major reform of India’s rape laws, speeding up trials and increasing penalties, although many campaigners say little has changed for women on the ground.”

    1. participant-observer-observed

      This “letter” was a cheap red herring and reflects nothing substantive about the film process or content.

      Steubenville proved that rape epidemic is worse in the world of the “white feminists” than in India, and not even protested by the public.

      In psychology this is transference, to channel anger away from the stimulus to irrelevant targets. In this case, it also magnetizes media attention. It is divide and conquer ploy and sad to see it pandering around.

    1. Dana

      I wonder if the proponents of “Move to Amend” understand that if their proposal passes, corporations may lose constitutional protections, but would be exempt from all general statutory obligations until each jurisdiction individually completely overhauls its codes. Congress, each state, each municipality, each county or other subdivision that’s empowered to enact ordinances.

      1. Vatch

        Interesting point, but it might already be covered by the proposed constitutional amendment at

        Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

        The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

        Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

        The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

        Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

        Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

        Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

        The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

        So artificial entities such as corporations “are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law”. Doesn’t this imply that existing laws controlling corporations would remain valid?

        1. Carla

          Wow. It is really great to have somebody beside me post the full text of the We the People Amendment. Thank you, Vatch!

  1. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why It’s Almost Impossible To Teach a Robot To Do Your Laundry Medium (furzy mouse)

    Cute article, but I don’t see any of it as much of a “problem” when the preordained supremacy of “robotics” is the preferred “solution.”

    Whatever a “robot” cannot do, can simply be “standardized” away. In the event that the public balks, there is always “legislation.”

    The size, shape and construction of the laundry “receptacle” can be standardized by law to accommodate any difficulties the robot has in managing it. Not depositing dirty clothes directly into the receptacle IMMEDIATELY can become a misdemeanor for the first offense, punishable with a fine, court costs and home monitoring. Three strikes and your off to mandatory incarceration, a special favor for the private prison political contributors.

    Washer and dryer construction completely standardized. Only top loaders or front loaders allowed, whatever robotic “solution” is the easiest. All machines would have exactly the same number and character of cycles and the location within the home would be codified in building codes. Retrofitting older abodes could be a significant source of construction “jobs,” helping to sustain the robust US economic “recovery.” New appliance purchasers would continue to be given the “choice” of COLOR, completely irrelevant to function, but, hey, this is still a FREE country, no?

    All clothes will be made of the same color and type of material, reducing to nil the “thinking” the robot needs to do.

    On the bright side, robot laundresses may finally force a solution to sock-eating dryers. Since the robot can’t do any better than a human where socks are concerned, socks could be made illegal, a “soution” that’s long overdue.

    1. Dana

      A robot can probably be easily programmed to understand what to do if a washer gets unbalanced during the spin cycle. A male human – I haven’t been able to teach that yet.

      1. diptherio

        Ooh, ooh! I know the answer to this one! Is it “stare blankly at the machine and wonder if there’s something wrong with it”?

        That’s my go-to for most situations, actually….

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think the lesson here is, avoid male robots at all cost.

        Female robots only.

      3. low integer

        The old Upton Sinclair quote seems apt here:

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

        In this case the salary consists of not doing laundry.

  2. Llewelyn Moss

    re: A trade deal must work for America’s middle class
    Am I supposed to take anything Larry Summers says seriously? Or is that link presented so I can keep track of what the enemy is up to? As I recall, Summers and Gietner were the Wall St lap dawgs on Obama’s “Loot the Taxpayers” squad.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      While we are at it, we need a global reserve currency that will work for the American middle class.

  3. low integer

    Off topic.
    Just saw a report on Australian news about flight MH370. The official (properly part of the investigation) who was talking mentioned that it was not possible to ascertain whether the flight had rapidly ascended from the data they had (military satellite data was referenced), as has been speculated happened earlier in the flight to avoid radar, however then went on to mention that the final signal the plane sent indicated that it was descending, and it was assumed the plane was out of fuel at this time. Inconsistent at best.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      It’s fine to be still analyzing radar data, but when to the ocean search parties end? — never apparently. haha

      It amazes me that MH370 is still an active investigation. At some point (like 6 months ago), you need to just admit that Poseidon swallowed it into the icy depths and it will never be found. Clearly CNN is still beating the drum because… ratings. But you have governments with multiple ships still combing the ocean, each ship costing millions per day to operate. Those same governments wouldn’t give a homeless man a $5 blanket if he we lying freezing in the snow.

      1. low integer

        (Places tinfoil hat at precise orientation to deflect all mind-reading wavelengths)
        My pet theory is this was a beta test in hacking the firmware of Boeing aircraft. Of course I may be wrong. With the recent developments from Kaspersky detailing the extent to which computers have been hacked, with the hard-drive firmware being reprogrammed by malware to partition a sector that is unreadable, with the malware sending data to unknown locations and surviving even refreshments of operating systems, I’m thinking that it is becoming a bit of a game for TPTB to see what they can do. Like I said, I’m certainly not sure about this, or whether it is even possible, but knowing a bit about these sort of integrated systems, and the level of computation that sophisticated aircraft use to maximise stability, I do not rule it out. I’m not sure what planes airforce 1 (or whatever the US presidential aircraft fleet is called) is comprised of, however I believe the government is entitled to obtain copies of the proprietary firmware upon commisioning technology from a company, and I can’t imagine this would be an exception. This was the same tactic that (it is speculated) was used to gain the firmware from the hard-drive manufacturers. Beware the see-eye-ay and en-ess-ay.

        1. hunkerdown

          1. Actually, host protected area is a standard (though little-used) feature in the ATA spec. Hiding data doesn’t require a firmware hack, just a simple configuration command.

          2. I thought MH370’s transponder was disabled shortly before going off course, with only engine telemetry reports and AMSAT voodoo to go by.

      2. low integer

        Btw the inconsistency I was pointing out was that military radar was referenced initially, however these aircraft send frequent signals that are independent of radar. In the interview I mentioned initially, radar data was cited, however then the transponder signal, sent straight from the aircraft to Boeing, was referenced. If the transponder was working it shoud have provided accurate details throughout the flight. Seemed odd to me. Maybe I’m missing something…

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Yes, I think ODD is the operative word for everything about MH370. And if it is eventually proven that some whacky govt interference caused its demise followed by a cover-up, I will not be surprised.

      3. hunkerdown

        Ugh. Just send James Cameron and Michael Bay out there already? Oh, wait, Cameron already had his shot with the Macondo oil skimmer thing.

      4. Jason Ipswitch

        The search will continue, not just because of popular imagination, but because international air travel is a giant, vital business of great import to the world’s elite, and air travel as an entity really doesn’t like the giant lack of a data point that is MH370.

  4. Yonatan

    “The Plot to Free North Korea With Smuggled Episodes of ‘Friends’ ”

    More propaganda aimed at gullible western citizens. Teh evil North Korean government won’t let it’s citizens watch Friends. I bet they don’t let them watch cat videos on the Internet either. On the plus side, the regime leader hasn’t stated it is legal from him to kill anyone anwhere, based on secret evidence shown in secret courts. Think how bad that would be for us westerners.

    1. Michael

      Doesn’t the NK regime regularly just kidnap random people from neighboring countries? Let’s not lionize the vile in our efforts to appropriate castigate our own failures.

      1. hunkerdown

        How’s that solve the root cause, which is a bunch of church-ladies inflated with The Truth nosing into others’ business?

    2. low integer

      Not sure about the reality in NK, haven’t been there myself and don’t know anyone who has, but whatever else, I would think not letting the population watch ‘Friends’ is a noble public service. A bit ashamed that I even know the name of this asinine show.

      1. Mirjonray

        Hear, hear. I’ve never been able to watch more than the first three minutes of the show. If I did I probably would have defected to North Korea by now.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Watch your friends closer than your enemies.”

          Going by that, I would certainly recommend watching Friends to the North Koreans and skipping the show, Enemies. But I don’t watch TV, so I don’t really know which show is actually better.

    3. Jack

      I’m much more willing to believe negative reports about North Korea than about most US enemies. After Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ nonsense the US went very silent on the anti-NK rhetoric. It’s clear to me that after that speech informed people sat him down in an office and carefully explained to him that any attack on NK would result in the entire peninsula becoming a sea of blood. After that NK was never much mentioned and in fact the White House spread-headed the Six-Party Talks, which were as much genuine forward progress as has been made in relation to NK in decades.

      NK has certainly provided no end of proactive actions in recent years and the American response has been consistently restrained. I’m of the view that the reality of the situation is just too grim and there isn’t much of a coherent Washington strategy for dealing with it, and it isn’t very high on the list of priorities anyway. Thus the occasional human rights condemnations and negative media reports about NK are much more likely to be genuine and not very influenced by Pentagon directives.

      Everything I’ve seen and read leads me to believe that NK really is just that terrible a place.

  5. rjs

    on the post “U.S. oil production still surging” by Jim Hamilton at Econbrowser, i asked the question: if oil inventories are at a record high 444.4 million barrels, up 22.2% from the same period a year ago, as your EIA graph shows, then why did we continue to import 7.4 million barrels a day during the last week of February, 89,000 barrels a day more than we imported during the previous week?

    then i answered it here:
    in a word, contango…

    1. Synapsid


      US refineries refine a lot of crude from countries that lack their own refinery capabilities, and then sell the products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel) on the world market for world, not US, prices. This isn’t a new thing. It’s a good money-maker for the refineries. The crude in storage that’s getting all the attention is in large part LTO from the shales, and the Midwest and Gulf Coast refineries aren’t set up to handle that as efficiently as the heavier imported stuff.

  6. TedWa

    Re: Steven Druker Exposes US Government Fraud Over GMOs
    Well, well well. I finally found out why, after taking L-tryptophan to help me sleep in the late 80’s. I felt like my blood had been poisoned and felt very ill for many months. It was first use of genetically modification by the Showa Denko K.K company and it killed 37 people and permanently disabled over 1,500. I guess I’m lucky not to have had those dire effects. The book sounds good and I’m very glad someone out there is facing down the FDA and their stance on GMO’s and EU countries that want to drop the ban on GMO’s due to the TTIP.

    “Furthermore, FDA regulations did not require that the new tryptophan be labeled as genetically engineered.
    This product was placed on the market, and within three months, 37 people died and 1500 were permanently disabled from using this product. It took months to discover that the poisoning was due to the presence of traces of a toxic contaminant in the new genetically engineered tryptophan. One factor that contributed to the time delay was the fact that the product was not labeled as genetically engineered.

  7. Jim Haygood

    From The Hill’s article:

    Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House select committee investigating Benghazi, said that there is a period of missing Hillary Clinton emails from her time as secretary of State spanning several months.

    “There are gaps of months, and months and months,” Gowdy said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    “If you think to that iconic picture of her on a C-17 flying to Libya – she has sunglasses on and she has her handheld device in her hand – we have no emails from that day. In fact, we have no emails from that trip,” Gowdy said.

    Well, maybe there were no wireless hotspots in Libya. Or maybe a solar storm blanked out all communications that day. Or maybe they were observing radio silence to avoid alerting rebel anti-aircraft batteries. Or maybe Chappaqua’s aggressive squirrels chewed up the hard drive in her server …

    The horrid irony is that Hillary’s first experience in Washington — serving on the Nixon impeachment committee staff in 1974 — has come full circle. Now Hillary stars in the role of the beleaguered Nixon, stonewalling her tormentors as they complain of gaps in subpoenaed records.

    It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup. Still one place to go: proclaim that ‘I am not a crook.’

    1. Carolinian

      My congressman (Gowdy) shows he’s good for something at least.

      I think Hillary doesn’t even want to be President and this accounts for the heedlessness when it comes to the rules. This theory stolen from Pat Lang who wrote, I believe, that the Hillary for Pres drive sparkplugged by Bill still longing for that third term

  8. James Levy

    As a shaky and marginal member of the American Middle Class, I’d like to tell Herr Summers to leave me out of this. There are millions and millions of Americans who are NOT by any realistic measure middle class. They are poor, they are working class, some are indigent and homeless. They need help. Much more help than the people Summers imagines as middle class (his accountant? his car dealer? his dentist?). These “trade” deals have been killing people at the bottom for decades. Shore them up, and the effect, I believe, will trickle up–less fear of downward mobility, more purchasing power in the economy, less money needed for social welfare programs. Everyone benefits who isn’t plugged in at the top of globalized finance and corporate capitalism–you know, the Middle Class.

    1. Pepsi

      The question always hovers, do they really mean the middle class? Or do they mean the working class which in America is called the middle class, because of red scare reasons?

  9. financial matters

    Bonds: How firm a foundation? Financial Times. Scott: “$4.65 Trillion AUM, 1% Cash.”

    Increased demand fueling increased issuance of bonds regardless of quality.

    Bonds being insured by credit derivatives.

    Oh boy.

  10. winstonsmith

    Re: One Simple Way to Save American Democracy: Get Serious About Taxing the Mega-Rich.

    I’m all for seriously taxing the mega-rich, but I’m puzzled by Hartman’s numbers. Hartman says:

    To combat today’s powerful oligarchy, we need a 100% tax on income over $1 billion.

    Is he a) confusing wealth and income, b) confusing billion and million, c) being strategic, and/or d) writing an article about getting serious about taxing the mega-rich while not wanting to offend the mega-rich?

    If a vonservative [sic] is a conservative, maybe a billion is a million — I’ve been vleverly dog-whistled.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope we can move beyond ‘taxation destroys money’ this time when the subject of taxing the rich or the mega-rich comes up.

      1. winstonsmith

        Doing my part to see that we don’t go down that road, I put forth that the maximum level of wealth one person in an efficient financialised economy is allowed to accumulate should not exceed the amount necessary to construct and maintain an electrical brain stimulation (EBS) pod. By a straight forward social utility argument, aggregate happiness is increased if a pod is constructed for the individual providing constant greed-orgasms through EBS rather than through further wealth extraction.

      2. Vatch

        But if taxes are raised, how will self important billionaires be able to afford to buy professional sports teams? What about that fourth vacation home, or that 200 foot long yacht? How will they be able to buy U.S. Senators?

    2. todde

      There are people out there that round to the millions and make billions a year.

      Just a handful, but they exist.

  11. Mirjonray

    Re: “Why Your Workplace Might Be Killing You”. I’ve found that an 8-hour work day with one hour off for lunch (so I can take a long walk) does wonders for my health. Let’s see – the last time I had a job with consistent hours like that was in 1992.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Japan…M16 like Spy Agency.

    They had some great spies…Kawashima Naniwa, Akashi Motojiro…

  13. optimader

    The Obama library has emerged as an issue in the mayoral campaign in recent weeks. Both candidates are competing fiercely for black voters, who polls show strongly support bringing Obama’s library to his hometown of Chicago.

    Emanuel has advocated aggressively on behalf of Chicago, where two universities are competing to host the project. After Obama’s foundation divulged concerns that the University of Chicago couldn’t assure access to the park land where it wants to build, Emanuel orchestrated a plan to have the Chicago Parks District board transfer 20 acres to the city for the library’s use.

    His challenger, Garcia, initially opposed diverting park property for the library, prompting Emanuel’s campaign to accuse Garcia of jeopardizing Chicago’s bid for the library and the jobs and dollars that would come with it. Garcia later softened his position and said he would do anything in his power to bring the project to Chicago.

    Chicago’s Black voters want to showcase the POTUS that did nothing for them other than take away Souhside parkland?
    Hometown of Chicago? that’s rich..

    1. ambrit

      Chicago??? The Presidential Library should be placed, if the the documents are to be there, and not in the Library of Congress, where they rightly belong, on the top of Diamondhead, on Oahu Island. Then Presidential scholars can show true dedication to their job by trekking up the steep trail into the crater. A giant statue of the POTUS with a lighthouse in the summit can be built on the rim of the crater facing the Pacific as part of the adulatory exercise. “The Blessed One” can then shine his enlightening rays upon all mankind for a thousand years. Mao was immortalized as “The Great Helmsman.” Obama can be revered eternally as “The Great Bridge Crosser.” All Hail!

      1. optimader

        Something understated but elegant.. along the lines of :

        But kick in a nice integral Tesla coil inside (for when the weather isn’t cooperating):
        (this was a fun event BTW..)

        A Chicago compromise could be putting all this crap w/ the BHO Lyeberry on Navy Pier w/ the other tourist crap.
        Otherwise I’m good w/ on the rim of an active volcano.

        1. ambrit

          Oooooh!!! That must have been fun! I hope the guys trying to turn the old Wardenclyffe Tower Tesla lab into a museum are doing fine. See:

          What’s up with the Colorado site anyway? I knew Conspiracy Theorists who swore up and down that the old Tesla Colorado Springs experiment site was the ‘original’ Area 51.
          I’ve got an old Van DeGraf Generator somewhere up in the attic. I found it during the tear out phase of a High School renovation in Louisiana. The General Contractors said that everything found in the closets after the Schoolboards people had done their thing was fair game. Everyone marveled at it, two feet tall with a lexan or acrylic transparent hollow shaft so you could see the belt turning as it worked. The kids thought it was neat.

        1. ambrit

          Don’t forget Djakarta! (If only what had happened in Djakarta had stayed there.)
          [With apologies to my “Uncle” Gerrys’ wife who really is from there.]

  14. bob

    “Let the NLRB do its job Elizabeth Warren” Sorry Liz, disagree completely.

    How about getting rid of the NLRB? Is there some sort of comparable bureaucracy that seeks to limit and control the Koch Lobby? Banks?

    But don’t worry, those workers are bound by NLRB law. Their employers?

    “Join me right now to tell Congress to let the NLRB do its job.”

    Or, you could let unions work on their own, as “business” does everyday. Why does the NLRB need to be told to do its job anyway? Sounds broken, and looking closely at the NLRB all you can see is an employer friendly fed gov agency that decides weather and how unions can negotiate. “illegal stirke”? Illegal by the rules of the NLRB.

    I can’t think of a better analogue to the OCC. Useless, bureaucratic and with no real power or intent to use it.

    This congress is going to change that? Not for the better.

  15. Iolair

    re: not fit for canine consumption dog food — end stage crapification

    propylene glycol/ethylene glycol — What difference does it make?
    parts per million/parts per billion — What difference does it make?
    protein nitrogen/non-protein nitrogen — What difference does it make?

    Does anyone think that the grunts on the factory floor have math, chemistry or nutrition degrees? How about the flacks in marketing? Board of directors or executives at Purina? Probably not — so what difference does it make? The mouth-piece veterinarian, do you think he has any real authority or input?

    When I was a young whippersnapper in the seventies, I had an after school job at a veterinary practice. Once a month the man from Tyrell’s dropped of a stack of cases of cans of dog and cat food. For free. This, the vet explained, was so that Tyrell’s could say “You can find our pet food in every veterinary clinic in the Pacific Northwest”. The cereal content was obvious (it looked like oatmeal) but they fed it anyway. Yes, my cynicism has been incubating and festering for 40 years!

    I would like to think that this episode will result in some sort oversight resulting in a change from using the gullets of the pet population as a mass dispose-all for crap-quality ingredients you couldn’t get a penny for otherwise, but I’ve learned not to hold my breath. What’s going to happen is dry kibbled dog food of any quality at all just got permission to have a huge price increase, as if it were not expensive enough. And Purina will send out fistfulls of coupons to complaining dog owners for their other lines and those owners will use them.

    1. ambrit

      Do not despair. I throw in a half handful of dried raisins and cranberries, with occasional outliers from the World of Desiccated Fruits. That will make up for not putting in processed sugars.

  16. p78

    “Puissante et incontrôlée, la troïka” (Documentary filmed in Greece, Portugal; in French.)
    Arte 2015 02 24 (French-German channel)
    FMI employees admit DSK, Merkel, Hollande changed the rules (2010) to save French and German banks’ exposure to Greece (20 bn and 17 bn, respectively). Troika illegal wrt the EU treaties.

  17. Demeter

    You can’t teach a robot to do laundry for the same reason you can’t teach a teenager: they have no reason to do it. A robot doesn’t wear clothes and has no “vested” interest. (pun intended) A teen doesn’t care if the clothes are dirty, ripped or appropriate, just as long as it doesn’t impinge upon his life.

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