Links 5/28/15

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Dear patient readers,

Most of you seem to like the fixes to site plumbing to make NC render better on mobile devices. Some of you still found the font size to be too small. We bumped it up a little. Tell us if that did the trick.

iThe female mathematician who changed the course of physics—but couldn’t get a job ars technica

Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness PhysOrg. EM: “I dislike misleading anthropomorphizations like the ‘at which point does the object decide [whether to act as particle or wave]?’ used here – more accurate is that the observer decides for the object, via the nature of the mesaurement made, whose effect is to entangle the quantum object with the observers’s – i.e. the macroscopic – frame of reference.”

Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. A must read.

The Marshall Islands and the NPT Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Chuck L).

California scientists test Ecstasy as anxiety-reducer for gravely ill Reuters

Best. #ClimateChange. Tweet. Ever. ‏@LorumIpsum

Shanghai Stocks Plunge 6.5% Wall Street Journal. This right after the NASDAQ reaches a new high. But the Journal attributes it to local jitters.

China sets yuan at one-month low after IMF says yuan not undervalued dpa international (Bob H)

While Governments Bicker, Militaries Try to Cooperate in South China Sea Bloomberg

China eyes airspace over disputed waters Financial Times

Grexit, Brexit and the new “sharing” failed evolution

Chart: The Qatar World Cup Death Toll Is Stunning Screamer (Chuck L)

Italian Elections

Italian Separatists Switch to Solidarity Message in Bid for Votes Wall Street Journal. Lambert: “Local elections Sunday.”

Berlusconi’s New Instagram Feed Is the Most Berlusconi Thing Ever Foreign Policy. Shades of The Donald….

Duda rises over Brussels Politico


Athens, creditors offer conflicting views on negotiations ekathimerini. A default headline, no pun intended.

EU Officials Play Down Greek Talk of Deal Soon Wall Street Journal

Austerity, Economics and Religion Ilargi


The War Nerd: Doing the math on Alawite casualty numbers PandoDaily

Chart: The Qatar World Cup Death Toll Is Stunning Screamer

Israeli soldier imprisoned for criticising army treatment of Palestinians Telegraph (David L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Fleet of Government Aircraft Flying Secret Missions over U.S. Cities Medium (Chuck L)

NSA Can’t Purge Call Records, Regardless of Congress’ Next Move US News & World Report

Trade Traitors

TTIP faces critical EU test Politico

Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill Guardian (furzy mouse)

Fast Track for Whom? Real News Network. An interview with Michael Hudson.

20 Big Ideas From Bernie Sanders to Reverse Inequality, Expand Safety Nets and Stop America’s Plutocrats Alternet

DoJ asked to probe Jeb Bush fundraising Financial Times

Here’s where Rick Santorum gets his campaign money Yahoo (furzy mouse)

Ahead Of Israel Expulsion Vote U.S. Orders Raid On FIFA Moon of Alabama. Correlation is not causation. Nevertheless…

Data thieves gain access to 100,000 U.S. taxpayers’ information: IRS Reuters (EM)

IRS data theft: 5 things you need to know MarketWatch

FCC Proposes Giving Consumers Right To Block Telemarketing Calls & Texts Consumerist

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Cops Continued “Coon Huntin’” in Cleveland Despite 2004 Federal Consent Decree Glen Ford

Officers in Freddie Gray case file for change of venue Baltimore Sun (furzy mouse)

Nebraska Passes Bill Abolishing State’s Death Penalty Wall Street Journal


Holy Crop: How Federal Dollars Are Financing the Water Crisis in the West Medium (furzy mouse). Important.

Environmentalists suggest drought diet to save precious water KABC

The Tanker Market Is Sending a Big Warning to Oil Bulls Bloomberg

Dimon hits out at ‘lazy’ shareholders Financial Times. Screechy as usual.

When is a Felony Not a Felony? When You’re a Bank! Medium

Data thieves gain access to 100,000 U.S. taxpayers’ information: IRS Reuters

The residual seasonality puzzle: What is the impact of seasonal adjustment on GDP numbers? Bruegel

What Chicago’s fiscal emergency says about the quality of credit analysis in the municipal bond market Kris Culpepper (furzy mouse)

Class Warfare

Robo-Journalism Will Produce 1 Billion Web Stories in 2015 (This Isn’t One of Them); McJournalism Coming Up Michael Shedlock (EM)

Top 0.01% of U.S. Households Gain as Income Clusters at Peak Bloomberg

Lessons From the Thinnest of Seymour Hersh’s Thinly Sourced Claims Nation (Gabriel)

Top 0.01% of U.S. Households Gain as Income Clusters at Peak Bloomberg

‘There Are Always More of Them Before They Are Counted’ Ta-Neishi Coates, Atlantic

Antidote du jour. Greg D: “Cold fantails in Dunedin, NZ.”

fantails links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. cwaltz

      I have to wonder what the definition of political radical was for a WOMAN in the somewhat early 1900s. It’s not like women even had the right to vote until 1918 in Germany. My guess was any woman who didn’t see herself as an extension of a man would have been labeled “radical.”

    2. alex morfesis

      radical ?? that explains it…it had nothing to do with mysogeny…nah…but the article you linked to starts by saying the largest political party in germany at the start of ww 1 was a marxist leaning party…so the other 2 million well qualified women who were denied a proper job and access to economic opportunity at that time…that was because they didn’t put out ??? seriously…what a sad world we live in where the impotent, incompetent and incontinent complain that “a girl” might be smarter than them…besides…last I checked…germany at that time was run by the psycopath Kaiser wilhelm 2…the guy so disturbed and disgusting his own mother Vicky could not stand to be in his presence and his absolute inbred stupidity led to his being dumped into the hands of a mad scientist, Dr. Hinzpeter, at the age of seven…

      so you see my good chap, it was “radical” to call for anything that sounded like removing royalty and not bowing to the alter of Kyffhauser…

      radical…bah humbug…some men can’t handle the idea that woman are smart…period end of story…

  1. Nikki

    The female mathematician who… this has to be the great algebraist Noether, who spent her last years as a professor at Bryn Mawr, a woman’s college It is conveniently located a drive away from the Institute for Advanced Studies, which is where she ought to have been.

    1. craazyman

      she was probably a lesbian. no womanly and natural woman would ever waste her time with that kind of mental mastrubation. That’s what a guy does — sit around and mentally you know what with math. Women have more sense. What difference does it make if the earth goes round the sun or the sun round the earth, or how fast light moves or where energy goes and how? No woman in her right mind would waste time on this stuff. Only a man wastes time mentally masterbating about shlt like that. Who cares? Very few people, that’s who, and they’re mostly guys who sit around and wank in their heads. The best math teacher I ever had was a woman — and yes, she was a lesbian. Lesbians must have minds like guys, which is why they like women. Men don’t always make good math teachers though, because they think they know more than they do, and they confuse themselves and the classes they teach. If they said, “I think this is how it works” and then wrote it out, step by step, understanding each step and why, then they would perhaps be interesting. Some are! I won’t deny that, but I’m a guy, so I understand the urge to wonder about these things, but I don’t think it’s “worth it” in the long run. I would certainly take a math class from a lesbian any time. Who cares what they do in private? faak. what a travesty, to care about that. People are crazy. Really.

      1. craazyboy

        Yes. I’ve never even had a female math teacher, but your reasoning looks well thought out and believable. Math is over rated anyway – plus it’s really easy to get Asians to do it.

              1. Sy Krass

                Come to think of it, some of my best math teachers were women who looked like men HAHAHA!!!!!!!

        1. neo-realist

          I’ve known crack mathematicians who parlayed such left brained logic into becoming software programmers/engineers. Potentially very profitable to learn.

          1. craazyboy

            Yes, the new “division of labor” is left brains in Asia, right brains in America.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          One of my mother’s friends (as in a fellow 87 year old) had a PhD in math and the only job she could get was teaching math at a Catholic high school. She’s STILL embittered about it.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Math can change the course of physics.

      One day, with better math, perhaps physics will be less unwieldy.

      “If it is really that complicated, maybe there is another way.”

      1. craazyman

        When the math gets really really good, physicists will realize God made the universe too complicated.

    3. JerseyJeffersonian

      Right you are, Nikki. She had to leave Germany after the Nazis deprived Jews of positions in universities. Bryn Mawr provided her with a refuge, and although her life was tragically cut short after her relocation, one hopes that her brilliance still left a mark on her students there.

      I was a student at nearby Haverford College back at a time when both colleges were still single sex (early 70s). I took courses there (and at Penn), taking advantage of an arrangement for cross-registration. Lived at Bryn Mawr for one year. Loved me some smart women, I did, and still do. (Waves to Yves…)

  2. lylo

    Regarding the robo-journalism:
    Will there be robo-editors?
    Because if there are, I say praise be our new overlords.
    (FYI: get some editors. Improper use of quotation marks in a headline is the latest I’ve noticed, but I’m not here often.)

    1. Carolinian

      Google News is already a kind of robo editor with its algorithm selected stories. The results aren’t that great.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Mr. Shedlock is being complacent.

        Robots can be programmed to be the “very best at provoking irritation, devastation, laughter, controversy, and asking annoying questions.”

        More likely though, billionaires have thousands of robot around their castles. at each place, as decorative pieces when hosting soirees, but ready as armies of private soldiers in times of peasant unrest.

        “I will reinforce you with another thousand military-gear equipped robots (much cheaper than human cops) from my downtown office. Don’t worry. You will be safe.”

        1. Carolinian

          Mish does get carried away with his robot enthusiasm but it’s hard to deny that what one might call “machine augmentation” of human activity has been a plus. For example air travel has become safer with computers and autopilots reducing the amount of “human error.” Yesterday people on the robot thread were talking about how surgeons are now using surgery machines to more precisely guide their efforts. Many commenters thought it was just a gimmick but here’s betting it’s the future.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There are pluses and minuses, like a lot of things in life.

            I dread to think what robot surgeons can do when deployed in torture.

            “Precision pain…nothing else will be damaged.”

            1. Antifa

              Unbearable pain . . . without physical damage?

              Are we talking about a robot that plays the bagpipes?

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I was thinking, instead of death by a thousand cuts, we can have death by a million tiny, but precise, cuts.

    2. ambrit

      That’s just using “editor” in its’ style and compositional sense. In the sense of determiner of actual content and order of presentation, robotic management is already here. Remember that, “content is managed to reflect viewers’ tastes and interests” part?
      One gigantic unexpected consequence of this “individualization” of content is a steady erosion of cultural uniformity. At what point does a society become a grab bag of vaguely associated individuals and become a common culture?

      1. hunkerdown

        At what point does a society more or less adherent to a common culture become a grab bag of vaguely associated individuals (i.e. bourgeois liberalism)? But cultural uniformity only works for the elites, so why keep it?

        1. ambrit

          I beg to differ. The process of community must start with generally agreed upon norms. This helps in framing the Grail of community activism, a “commonality of interests.” Any functioning society sets boundaries to behaviours. The placement of those boundaries is the socio-political task. Whosoever sets the agenda for the definition of the boundaries runs the system. Our task is to wrest control of the society from out of the hands of the ‘elites’ and their lackeys. Haven’t I just described every power struggle from the hunter gatherer clans wandering the primal Earth down to todays hotly contested school board seat?

          1. hunkerdown

            On second thought, I can’t disagree with any part of that, and indeed “impedance mismatch” between members of distinct cultures, such as left-driving or right-driving, limits the common ground for conviviality and imposes friction costs on those members when they must interact.

            My fear is of too much continuity after wresting control of society from the ancien regime 2.0, that the result will share far too many of the common dysfunctional elements with this one. I don’t trust USians to run others’ affairs, nor do I trust their ability to abstain from doing so. Having two ostensibly competitive, quite alive, inverted totalitarian systems at the same time… hoo boy that’s going to be one ugly Constitutional convention.

            1. ambrit

              The original Constitutional Convention was bad enough. I waded through the “Federalist Papers” and then the “Anti-Federalist Papers” many years ago and still hold a great respect for men, (it was two hundred years ago,) who could apply such intellect to trying to form an ‘Enlightened’ rule of law.
              Most authoritarian regimes I’ve read about rely on a “Higher Authority” for legitimization. The longest lasting and most stable seem to be Theocracies. The Pharaonic Period in Egypt comes most readily to mind.
              The generalized detestation in which ‘real’ democratic movements are held by elites is echoed by the savage measures formalized religions resort to in the suppression of dissent. Perhaps it’s as simple as the ‘breaking of ricebowls.’
              I view it as a function of education. Little children, up to a threshold age when they begin to differentiate, are little savages, in a literal sense. Their education will mainly determine what sort of ‘civilized’ being they turn out to be.
              I’m with C,S,N&Y:

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        At some social media sites, content is managed for your optimal psychological health…or something like that.

        “You will only hear news that will make you happy.”

        1. ambrit

          The sites I lamentably end up at generally only show “news that will inveigle you to spend money.”

    3. subgenius

      I’ll see your robot journalist and raise you a robo-prole

      Yep, unsatisfied with subjecting us all to a system of poverty wages, now our overlords are working even to deny us those…

      Still waiting on that enormous and well-targetted CME…It’s the only thing that might save us…

  3. fresno dan

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness PhysOrg.
    ow, Ooguri and his collaborators have found that quantum entanglement is the key to solving this question. Using a quantum theory (that does not include gravity), they showed how to compute energy density, which is a source of gravitational interactions in three dimensions, using quantum entanglement data on the surface. This is analogous to diagnosing conditions inside of your body by looking at X-ray images on two-dimensional sheets. This allowed them to interpret universal properties of quantum entanglement as conditions on the energy density that should be satisfied by any consistent quantum theory of gravity, without actually explicitly including gravity in the theory.
    really glad they got that all cleared up – it was really confusing for a while…

    1. abynormal

      i need a molly to untangle this entanglement

      “And a new philosophy emerged called quantum physics, which suggest that the individual’s function is to inform and be informed. You really exist only when you’re in a field sharing and exchanging information. You create the realities you inhabit.”
      Leary, Chaos & Cyber Culture

      1. abynormal

        actually i could just stare at today’s antidote and skip the crash :-/


      2. ambrit

        Oh my. You didn’t cut out the centre and boot it up, did you?
        I didn’t realize that Leary was such an admirer of Buber.

      1. ambrit

        Explanations come in all shapes and sizes, organized on a sliding scale. The quality of “better best” degrades as one descends down the socio-economic scale.

    2. Jagger

      “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott

      Define measurement? Does measurement require a conscious choice? If so, without consciousness, then no reality?

      Is there a measurement if there is no conscious choice? And without consciousness, what is the mechanism of measurement?

      Also define reality? If there is no wave or particle, is there nothing or is there something? How can a wave or particle come into existence from nothing? Clearly there is something there but apparently not in a wave or particle as we expect in our larger world. What does this suggest about energy in its primal state?

      If the larger world emerged from the quantum world, where is the source of measurement prior to the creation of the larger world which allowed for the creation of the large world in the first place? In other words, if consciousness is restricted to the larger world, how was the larger world ever created in the first place. It seems consciousness must exist in the quantum world as well and prior to the larger world.

      …results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which governs the world of the very small,…

      The world of the small is the origin of the world of the large. So the measurement definition becomes very important.

      one has to accept that a future measurement is affecting the atom’s past,

      Which strongly suggests time does not exist in the quantum world. There is no past or future. It also correlates with Einsteins relatively theory in which time disappears at the speed of light. And if time does not exist in the quantum world, then clearly time is not foundational to our universe or necessary for existence.

      and has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips

      Sure, there are practical applications to the rules of the quantum world but these discussions would be far more interesting if they also discussed the existential questions raised by the quantum world.

      1. subgenius

        “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

        How about THAT for some radical anthropomorphization…even egotistically raising ourselves to the level of a creator!

        Maybe reality exists, and WE are the shadow…plenty of hints of this in faroutfyzix…

        1. craazyboy

          That one gets used in sci-fi books because you can have so much fun with it.

          How ’bout Destructo The Ostrich – sticks his head in the ground and the universe disappears?

      2. Larry Headlund

        Your quote is truncated. here is a fuller one emphasis added:

        If one chooses to believe that the atom really did take a particular path or paths then one has to accept that a future measurement is affecting the atom’s past

        Which is an argument against believing the atom really did take a particular path, whatever really means here. More generally is shows that ordinary human scale language is a poor vehicle for the quantum level.

        It also correlates with Einsteins relatively theory in which time disappears at the speed of light.

        It is also not so great for relativity either.

  4. abynormal

    Our hypothesis is that something is happening with MDMA that makes psychotherapy easier,” Burge said. …only took a few centuries for a hypothesis? are they trying to replace the Deadly Fentanyl recreation market or trip us out so as not to feel fallout(s)?

    “Just Say Know”

    1. Garrett Pace

      “Each subject will be randomly given either a full dose – 125 milligrams of MDMA followed up later by a supplemental dose – or a placebo with none of the drug, Burge said.”

      How do you trick a patient into thinking they MIGHT be tripping but actually might not?

      1. abynormal

        throw’em in a room w/the trippers: contact high.
        very strong sensation (the movie the doors was my strongest todate)

        1. ambrit

          Aby, you haven’t been hanging out with the Spook Research Chemists again, have you? I’ve heard rumours about aerosol distributed psychedelics for years. As for “The Doors,” I still prefer the book.

        2. subgenius

          …If you think that you feel like you have taken a 125mg dose of mdma simply by hanging out with people that have, you have never taken mdma…

          1. ron

            MDMA is an interesting drug and back in the 70’s it became popular around here and was touted at that time for being used on psycho wards! Myself and friends took it several times with generally positive reactions but not a drug to take over an extended period of time. I had a couple friends that stayed on it for 3 weeks, and when they finally came down they found normal life depressing. today it gets mix it with coke or other drugs but its not clear how pure the street drug mdma is but back in the early 70’s it was very clean or at least we thought so.

            1. homeroid

              I would give my left nut for an ounce of mescaline sulfate. There was a time i thought MDMA was a useful substance. Perhaps i am just lazy in my aging but i cant see putting up with the–OH MY GOD YOUR SOOOO BEAUTIFUL–shit anymore.

              1. subgenius

                my vote is for the real deal…peyote…all those alkaloids do a lot to modify the high…or one of the millions of dmt sources, if you must meet your god.

                synthetics? 2cb…

                (speaking from a former existence…)

                1. abynormal

                  (speaking from a former existence…)
                  mda (our speak) was clean…never done x an dont plan to b/c my horrific experience(s) w/bathtub blotter. i got ga tech in my backyard…they tended to get creative, then sloppy.
                  as for clean…i’ll just say im glad i wasn’t in mexico when i ate my first mezcal worm!
                  as for contact hi’s, lsd25 gave me bladder problems b/c i couldn’t go to the bathroom…someone was in there with me and wouldn’t leave. by the time i figured out it was Me…i grew a beard in the mirror. soooo when the doors movie came out i went by myself and found myself floating over them during the desert scene.
                  the 70’s were the last hurrrah…they even tend to revisit me.

                  1. ambrit

                    Good Heavens! Owsley LSD 25. With that stuff, all existence becomes past, present and future! That’s why I’ve always viewed Frank Herberts famous Dune aphorism, “The spice must flow.” as a very subtle joke.
                    Even as a wasted youth I comprehended the distinction between a purely hedonic indulgence in pharmacologicals and genuine searches for meaning through mind altering substances.
                    That said, the life of a shaman is not for the faint of heart.

                    1. homeroid

                      I do remember when i realized that being blissfully ignorant was no longer an option,as unsettling as it was. Now it’s scarey to know human extinction is not really a big deal.

              2. Chris

                No need to sacrafice a testicle for mescaline. San Pedro or Peruvian torch are both fast growing, and legal to grow. Get a few planted in 5 gallon pots, grow them up fat, then an easy internet search for extracting mescaline hcl or sulfate. It’s not too difficult and is an enjoyable challenge. Of course peyote seeds are easily found as well. Trouble is you get attached after caring for them.

                1. subgenius

                  graft peyote to a san pedro…

                  peyote is disgusting to ingest, but it’s worth paying the price.

      2. hunkerdown

        MDMA isn’t actually much of a Trip, in the usual sense of hallucination — its cousin MDA is far more famous for that, and the “ecstasy” crap you get on the rave scene is usually a cocktail that may or may not contain either of those and/or pretty much anything else out of the street formulary. Proper MDMA’s actions are far more subtle than that; in fact, one of MDMA’s beneficial effects in psychiatry is to help reduce the charge on repressed memories and thoughts so they can be addressed without triggering attacks of something.

        1. abynormal

          i never saw mdma around…that’s why i responded earlier “throw’em in a room w/the trippers”
          from the responses…i dropped drawers before necessary bahahahahaaaaa

  5. JM Hatch

    My, my, my… Hillary is doing a good job of laying low. One would have hoped that PFC Manning’s 5th year in detention would have seen a lot more of those Sec. Clinton shaking down Haiti on behalf of US Pharma, Mining, etc; would have surfaced and made the News. I guess anything doing with corruption and US presidential candidates isn’t news, it’s just olds.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As Hillary remarked to Huma Abedin, ‘FIFA donated $75,000 to our charitable foundation. But all I got was this lousy soccer ball.’

      Okay, I made that up. But it’s 90% likely to be true anyway.

    1. Jeff Epstein

      Agreed. Just tiny bit bigger would be nice.

      The landscape size is still gigantosaurous. Like reading a children’s book. And the “go up” circle-arrow (in landscape) is much larger than it should be.

  6. fresno dan

    Cops Continued “Coon Huntin’” in Cleveland Despite 2004 Federal Consent Decree Glen Ford

    “Enter – for the second time in a little over a decade – the U.S. Justice Department, which claims it can cure what ails the Cleveland police force through application of what the corporate media obligingly describe as “some of the most exacting standards in the nation over how and when its officers can use force.” The settlement prohibits pistol-whipping and the firing of warning shots, and would bar cops from using force against people for talking back or as punishment for running away. All of these practices are, in fact, illegal, so it appears the Justice Department’s role is to restate the law and then call it “reform” and a “model” for urban America. Or, rather, it is the role of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department to restate the law and promulgate police “reforms,” while the larger department uses every opportunity to argue before the U.S. Supreme in favor of officers accused of using excessive force, as reported back in April by the New York Times.”
    It was only a little over a decade ago that the Cleveland Police Department submitted to a previous U.S. Justice Department consent decree. In 2004, the department agreed to ban shooting at moving vehicles ”unless there is imminent danger of death or serious injury.” Mayor Jackson won office two years later – and the cops are still shooting at Blacks in moving vehicles, claiming to be in fear for their lives. But we know that they are no more afraid than hunters are of “coons” – animal or human.

    If you buy the argument that a police office is in fear for his life when he jumps on a car hood, and fires 15 shots (at that particular interval) at UNARMED people…..well, that ravishing of logic is your problem right there.
    There is simply an unwillingness to do what would really constraint the police – fire most of the officers involved for a lack of discipline and professionalism. And what is MOST disturbing is not the police officers who refused to testify:
    Its the police/prosecutor/judicial legal wall of omerta that behaves as if there were no actions that could be taken to compel testimony and take disciplinary action.
    I ask: when does it make sense for law enforcement officers, when IN THE CONDUCT OF THEIR DUTIES, are accused of misconduct regarding those duties (the power to arrest, and the power to use deadly force), to have the right to keep their jobs when they refuse to testify???

    “Conservatives” – making excuses for the police is tantamount to making excuses for the police state. When the jack booted thugs of the ATF (Dingell’s phrase, not mine) come after you, and the constitution is shredded, and you ask, where are my rights…..well, there was this guy, Niemoller, who explained it…

  7. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    Questions re Tanker Market article:

    Does the demand for floating storage mean that tankers that are high risk (from a spill perspective) being called into service more than they otherwise would be? Where is the floating storage occurring? Is it happening in places that are more vulnerable to spill consequences or less? In general, is the growing oil glut at sea materially changing environmental risk?


    1. Carolinian

      A lot of them sit in the shipping channel below Houston. If you take the ferry to Galveston you can see them.

  8. Jim Haygood

    From ‘Holy Crop’:

    The federal government has long offered [Arizona cotton farmers] so many financial incentives to do it that [they] can’t afford not to.

    “Some years all of what you made came from the government,” Greg Wuertz said. “Your bank would finance your farming operation … because they knew the support was guaranteed. They wouldn’t finance wheat, or alfalfa. Cotton was always dependable, it would always work.”

    Our Soviet agricultural policy, introduced by Frank Roosevelt, soldiers on like the National Helium Reserve (which continues to this day, despite military dirigibles having been abandoned in the 1920s).

    As a non-market entity, the fedgov doesn’t feel pain, or drought, or waste. It doesn’t respond to incentives, except those provided by self-serving lobbies. It’s an anencephalic giant, ‘managed’ by 535 rubber stamp wielders, that leaves a trail of destruction in its wake.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps that money could have been better spent on mule brain research.

      Just imagine this: self-driving mules equipped with GPS to compete with self-driving electric cars.

      “I had plenty of time to work on my Clovis point arrowheads on my way to work this morning, thanks to my self-driving mule.”

    2. Carolinian

      Uhhh…introduced by FDR, currently maintained by a swath of welfare for the rich loving Western Republican Congress critters. There was a Dust Bowl going on in the 1930s.

      A friend of mine in AZ lives a stone’s throw from the CAP. Much more detail on this crazy project can be found in Reizner’s Cadillac Desert. Worth noting that irrigation in the Phoenix area started with pre-Columbian native Americans and many of those canals (connected to the local Salt river) continued to be used in modern times. My friend says that during the 60s she and her neighbors would water their lawns once a week by opening sluice gates to the canal behind their house.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        As Atrios noted a couple of years ago, Joseph Heller covered this issue in Catch 22:

        Major Major’s father was a sober God-fearing man whose idea of a good joke was to lie about his age. He was a longlimbed farmer, a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism. He advocated thrift and hard work and disapproved of loose women who turned him down. His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn’t earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. Major Major’s father worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done. He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county. Neighbors sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” he counseled one and all, and everyone said, “Amen.”

        Major Major’s father was an outspoken champion of economy in government, provided it did not interfere with the sacred duty of government to pay farmers as much as they could get for all the alfalfa they produced that no one else wanted or for not producing any alfalfa at all. He was a proud and independent man who was opposed to unemployment insurance and never hesitated to whine, whimper, wheedle and extort for as much as he could get from whomever he could.

        1. fresno dan

          So funny….except for the fact so true.
          Nowadays it could be amended by all those “conservative” agricultural free marketeers in CA who couldn’t exist without massive government investment in dams and canals and water pricing and regulation….

          1. JTMcPhee

            And let us not forget all the other bleedings and thieveries, like Cliven Bundy’s, where other freedom-loving bilkers answered the call to arms to protect one of their own…

            and how about how successfully “the Government” is collecting royalties and lease payments and such fripperies from BIg Hats all over. , and some fun stuff in the Wiki entry,, including a chance to make a killing with a whistleblower or qui tam suit, if you have the courage to brave Big OIl. And not even the pretext of governance when it comes to “unauditable Pentagram spending…” And that’s likely to happen, right?

            Anyone else sick up to here of the gulf between what is “supposed to be,” and “what is”?

    3. craazyboy

      Sure we grow cotton in AZ. We’re competitive with Egyptian cotton too!

      I’m just hoping Arizona Ice Tea is really made somewhere else.

      1. OIFVet

        Don’t know about Arizona ice tea, but Snapple is bottled in Victorville, CA, the Mojave desert. Read Yasha Levine’s series in NSFW Corp. A healthy serving of arsenic in every bottle!

        1. Carolinian

          And don’t forget Nestle, which draws water out of the CA aquifer and resells as their Arrowhead brand bottled water. I believe they have a similar operation up in Lambert’s Maine. Out West Walmart also gets their bottled water from CA.

          Once, while I was at a Forest Service campground deep in the NC mtns, I saw a water company truck back up to the lake, insert a hose and start sucking out water. This is your “natural spring water.” Most people would be a lot better off drinking from the tap. Needless to say not using bottles is also better for the environment.

          1. fresno dan

            When I worked at the FDA, I must have emailed colleagues THOUSANDS of articles about bottled water coming from the tap, or places much, much, much worse.
            People who worked for government believed in private sector water (bottled) more than public (government) water, even when it was demonstrably the same thing, and when it wasn’t the same thing was demonstrably less pure. Or maybe it was a status thing….or do people actually believe advertising????

            Maybe ex-PFC Chuck May 28, 2015 at 10:57 am post partially explains the hypocrisy.

            1. OIFVet

              Don’t know about the US spring water. Some of my best memories involve drinking naturally ice cold artesian water from the countless mountain road-side 18th-19th-early 20th century water fountains in Bulgaria. Pure, ice cold, and tasty. People of means considered it part of their legacy to commission the building of beautiful stone drinking fountains to provide a refreshing sip to the parched travelers, with the benefactor’s name carved in the stone for posterity and for the gratitude of the travelers. Now, their global successors just steal the water.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Immortal global successors will be there in person to accept gratitude, for many, many centuries.

                Why carve you name in stone, in that case?

          2. OIFVet

            Dr. Pepper’s Wet Dream:

            A bottling plant in the middle of the desert? It sounds too absurd to be real. But in the warped “pro-growth, pro-business” logic of a city on the frontier of Southern California’s urban sprawl, the plan made perfect economic sense.

            The Victorville plant was a steal for the beverage manufacturer, receiving tens of millions of dollars in subsidies from the city. Local officials have painted it as a win-win situation, talking up the jobs and tax revenue it will bring to a community hard-hit by the recession and housing market collapse.

            Yet, no one has seriously addressed the big wet elephant in the room: water. Where will it come from, and at what cost to the local population?

            California is on the verge of a water-related calamity. For the past three years, the state has been in the grips of a devastating drought. Up and down the Golden State, water deliveries have been cut by more than half of the normal allotment.

            1. craazyboy

              I guess we should be thankful the Federal Government hasn’t stepped in yet to save CA rice paddies.

            2. Carolinian

              It’s always about the jobz. Unless it isn’t and then it’s about “shareholder value.” Our elites have a pre-written excuse for every misdeed.

    4. TedWa

      The solution is too obvious, grow hemp and use that instead of cotton. It takes far less water and no where near the amount of pesticides cotton needs. Cotton farms in the south have huge amounts of run-off of pesticides. It’s like we’re stuck in and being dragged back to the early 19th century.

      1. Jim Haygood

        From a fedgov point of view, it would be completely logical to:

        1. Subsidize hemp farming and provide USDA crop insurance for it;
        2. Conduct DEA raids to seize and burn hemp crops;
        3. Lodge money laundering charges against farmers and banks who deposit proceeds of hemp farming.

        Government, comrades: monster raving loony.

        1. OIFVet

          A friend loves to show his grandfather’s hemp growing permit from WW2. For the war effort, you know.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Looking ahead, we see GM hemp.

          In that brave new world, you should also expect a chemical company, or more, in here looking for involuntary seed contamination, check that, unauthorized seed use.

      2. craazyboy

        Plus hemp is good food. Really. Lately hemp powder has been discovered by bodybuilders as a probably superior protein powder supplement compared to whey protein. Whey protein is difficult to digest. But hemp protein is easy to digest plant protein. The amino acids are “balanced” enough for efficient human use, unlike most plant protein. It also is high enough protein density so you can eat useful amounts of protein – also difficult from most plant and grain sources.

        Problem being is that there are some old anti pot laws on the books which prohibit growing hemp in the United Sobers of America, so at the moment we import all our hemp powder from sunny Canada.

        So obviously, we must grow cotton.

        1. jrs

          things made with hemp sometimes smell good too. Not that they smell like marijuana, but they have a nice smell.

            1. John Zelnicker

              No. Hemp contains almost none of the turpenes and other volatile compounds that are responsible for the distinctive aroma of pot.

              1. optimader

                I wasn’t speaking of the characteristic aroma associated with the volatile compounds or semioxidative pyrolytic compounds that crack out of hemp leaves, the vernacular “Pot” as we know it.
                Just say’in Hemp =Marijuana, consequently any aroma exhibited by hemp is by definition an aroma associated with marijuana

    5. Synapsid

      Jim Haygood,

      Helium is extraordinarily important in many hi-tech forms of manufacturing, but for more everyday-type things too. For starters just talk to a welder, or an MRI technician. Then google “uses of helium”; you might get some surprises.

      The US is supposed to sell off the country’s strategic helium reserve and I can’t think of anything shorter-sighted.

  9. YY

    On the FIFA bizzo, indeed correlation is not causation. Having technical jurisdiction is not a good enough reason to go after foreign corruption which do not have a hell of a lot of effect on national interests of the USA. All these international (and local) sporting structures are built on corruption, they are after all private business entities. Going after FIFA probably sounded like a win win situation. Everybody including soccer fans hate the governing organization and FIFA has no means to retaliate. However, the whole thing is going to cost more than what may be recoverable and will probably have more a negative PR effect for USA in the eyes of the world as it is somewhat disconcerting to see the FBI come in to police on matters of little US interest on foreign soil. In the meantime the local (to the USA) corruption and thievery on greater scale go unaddressed precisely because these criminals have means of retaliation. Basically this is just a stunt.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A little anti-corruption is a dangerous thing.

      Go deep, or taste not the hegemonic, check that, global cop spring.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Not to mention that; in the usa, cash for favorable decisions is “legal” as pointed out in the Guardian link on TPP corporate cash donations.”

      ““How can we expect politicians who routinely receive campaign money, lucrative job offers, and lavish gifts from special interests to make impartial decisions that directly affect those same special interests?” Gidfar said. “As long as this kind of transparently corrupt behavior remains legal, we won’t have a government that truly represents the people.”

      Hopefully the FIFA defense team bookmarks this article,

      1. fresno dan

        Amazing the resources the US has for investigating soccer….if only we had a few FBI agents to look into mortgage fraud…(sarc)

    3. Jim Haygood

      A majority of those arrested and charged are from the Latin American and Caribbean region. Extraterritorial application of US law (which is hard to distinguish from kidnapping) will not go down well with the OAS.

      Every time US relations with LatAm brighten, the ineradicable yanqui ‘exceptionalist’ mentality surfaces again.

      “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.’ — B. H. Obama

      1. OIFVet

        American exceptionalism is a sort of reverse divining rod: rather than it finding the riches, the riches find it. That’s why it’s in the arsenal of every self-respecting politico, think tanker, scribe, and assorted critters that circle the seat of the empire.

      2. KFritz

        All the indictments derive from Chuck Blazer, and his most important contacts were in this hemisphere, and most of those from north of the Isthmus. It’s doubtful there was any intent to target Latin and Caribbean America.

        1. Gentlemutt

          The 400-pound FIFA bon vivant! He literally gorged on the money going to Caribbean his cronies!

    4. ron

      international business is all about corruption small or large nothing new. I wondered why the FBI and Justice Dept has not gone after the banking industry with the same zeal.

    5. KFritz

      Given that FIFA’s quadrennial election is on Friday or Saturday, I initially thought that the arrests were timed to weaken Bladder’s election prospects, and that may still be part of the calculus. It’s also very possible that an attempt to influence the vote on Israel’s suspension might backfire. Most of the rest of the world has none of the US sentimental attachment to Israel, and might be more likely to vote for suspension if the US attempts coercion.

  10. Jef

    “The world would be richer – and more dynamic – if the burning of fossils was priced properly.”

    This is the most ignorant statement I have read in a very long time. He completely dismisses the last 1 or 2 hundred years and what got us to where we are today. FFs are the life blood of the Global Economy and that blood is thickening up (appropriate metaphor actually) and it is now only by throwing trillions at it that we can thin it out enough to keep it flowing.

    “Renewables” are a derivative of FFs and therefore we would have to continue the subsidizing of FFs PLUS subsidizing the massive build-out of “renewables” and the required infrastructure to achieve AEP’s goals. This would pump massive emissions into the atmosphere if it is even possible with all of the constraints we are coming up against.

    1. hardWorkingBee

      Problem: the oil supply is quickly decreasing and fossil fuel corporations want to keep their revenue stream flowing in.
      Solution in 5 easy steps:
      1. Create a “fossil fuels’ byproducts are destroying the world” panic.
      2. Pass legislation via global trade treaties granting corporations the right to sue nations for lost profits due to said nations’ governmental actions.
      3. Have governments “force” the fossil fuel corporations to “keep the [dwindling to non-existing] grease on the ground”.
      4. Sue the governments for trillions due to “lost” [fictional] projected oil revenues.
      5. Profit.

    2. vidimi

      if you read to the end you would notice that he doesn’t completely dismiss that at all.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      Renewables are a derivative of FFs

      When FF inputs are the status quo, this is a given. When FF’s share of the market declines this becomes increasingly less true and so on iteratively. Oil is too useful to burn as fuel in any case.

      In an unrigged market, we’d already be near 100% converted over to renewables as they are actually cheaper right now, minus the distortion of a massive fossil subsidy.

      We’re paying *extra* to destroy our planet!

      1. subgenius

        No, sadly renewables are a product that REQUIRES fossil fuels.

        The infrastructure to produce materials (mining/refining/transportation), assemble materials and maintain systems ALL require their use. Handwaving statements with ZERO basis in reality have ZERO credibility.

        As an experiment – look into what the energy requirements to manufacture a solar panel are. Then work out how you will manage that with renewables…

        PS – intermittency of renewable sources means batteries – you might want to study battery technology, at which point you will discover that (despite the bollocks from musk) they will not scale to provide what is claimed by the modern masters of bullshit.

        THE ONLY SOLUTION is to RADICALLY downscale energy and thus tech – but that is going to be forced on the species, obviously, as nobody seems willing to accept reality.

        1. hunkerdown

          Not necessarily. Intermittency of renewable sources means dealing with it, possibly by deferring energy consumption until it is available.

          1. subgenius

            Not convinced what currently classifies as “infrastructure” is amenable to intermittent power, tbh. And absolutely convinced on the impossibility of running a current standard of resource extraction, transport and production on renewables.

            1. hunkerdown

              Until, in the sense of a Promise that might or might not ever be resolved or rejected. Insert “such time as” or .then() to taste.

              I too am absolutely convinced on the impossibility of BAU forevar. We’re going to end up doing unusual sorts of business in order to “deal with it”, one way or another. It’s probable that clothes dryers might not play a part in it for very long, however lightly they might be programmed to tread.

              Man, I feel a powerful urge to attend neighborhood association meetings and sabotage their pwecious bourgeois property values in favor of sustainability.

          2. neo-realist

            That’s the thing, the species won’t defer consumption willingly. It doesn’t roll on delayed gratification for the most part. It would have to be a situation where Jane or Jack public turns on his device and finds it’s not powering up. Either we will have to run low on our present energy sources to the point that not everybody will have adequate access, or it would have to be an authoritarian stoppage from TPTB.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          No, sadly renewables are a product that REQUIRES fossil fuels.

          No, that isn’t necessarily the case, even if it essentially is today. Wind turbines in metal or solar concentrators and heat engines in non-polymer materials could be made virtually absent any FF energy inputs at all. It’d be extremely difficult to do at first, then would become progressively easier and easier. And once you’d switched over to majority renewable energy infrastructure inputs, it’d be nearly equally “impossible” to go back to FF, as the energy infrastructure would, again, be completely different and unsuitable for it. Manufacturing using non-FF energy inputs only looks impossible because the infrastructure to do so so hasn’t been built out yet. An electrical motor cannot distinguish between renewable energy and non-renewable. Either will power it. You can mine, make steel or aluminum, create hydrogen fuel, build and run mills, factories, railroads, cars, trucks, almost anything you can do with FFs with renewably sourced energy. Given enough GW of power, there are no limitations. Fossil oils should be used as feedstocks for making recyclable engineering polymers or industrial chemicals and for lubricants, those are applications for oil that make good sense. Fuel? No, reliance on burning fossil hydrocarbons for energy is stupid on many different levels.

          You do have to actually make an effort to though. It won’t just fall into our laps.

          1. subgenius

            Do you have ANY IDEA of the energy requirement to produce steel, (or far worse), aluminum? If you have an engineering/physics background…look into it…if not…educate yourself. Beyond that, all the existing infrastructure (that we can’t afford to upkeep) is predicated on FF systems. YOU CANNOT SUBSTITUTE into the existing infrastructure in all but a minority of situations.

            It’d be extremely difficult to do at first, then would become progressively easier and easier

            That is called “wishful thinking”, unless you care to give a concrete example. Good luck with that.

            energy infrastructure would, again, be completely different and unsuitable for it

            Explain exactly how, absent FF, you intend to create said infrastructure. Again, I refer you to my first comment, above.

            You can mine, make steel or aluminum, create hydrogen fuel, build and run mills, factories, railroads, cars, trucks, almost anything you can do with FFs with renewably sourced energy

            Again, show me the money (example)..also, you do realize that hydrogen (a) sucks as a fuel – in terms of energy density (b) takes a lot more energy to make than it stores, and (c) presents some serious difficulties in handling. (Airtight =/= Hydrogentight. It is the smallest molecule, and HIGHLY reactive.)

            Here is some reading to help you get started:





            1. craazyboy

              After briefly cheerleading for the Hydrogen Economy in the early 2000s, the DOE finally admitted hydrogen is a crappy fuel. You can make it with a coal gasification plant, or by electrolysis powered by a power plant, or by cracking water in a nuclear power plant. Yuk. And Mr Entropy winning big at each conversion step.

              Then it easily leaks out of whatever you transport and store it in.

            2. Kurt Sperry

              Yes I live near an aluminum smelter. Powered by renewables! Steel, by comparison is easy. And I am supposed to lay out a detailed plan for transitioning from FF energy to renewables here? Not quickly transitioning to renewables isn’t even a viable plan. It leads nowhere we’d want to go, the deadest of dead ends. Fund renewable energy with that 5+ TT USD that is subsidizing FF extraction this year. Without those eyewatering annual subsidies–and I’d reckon the better part of the US DOD budget could plausibly be thrown in as well–FF just looks frankly economically uncompetitive. If the FF model was a viable one, it wouldn’t require the endless mammoth support of public assets to operate would it? Plus being unsustainable. Plus driving us towards climatic catastrophe. This time there really *is* no alternative!

              What’s your plan?

              1. subgenius

                I have no plan that allows the system to continue…BECAUSE IT CAN’T.

                Sorry to pop your bubble, but cash doesn’t alter physics.

                You are entitled to your own opinions, but NOT your own facts.

                1. subgenius

                  Oh, and hydro power isn’t really a solution – environmentally a catastrophe, and most the viable sites are already developed.

                2. Kurt Sperry

                  OK, just wanted to be clear that you have no plan at all.

                  I’m not sure what part of “There’s nothing we can do! It’s hopeless to even try!” serves any use, but thank you for your opinion.

                  Physics says there is plenty of energy in renewable form to be had. I’d at the very least like to see a solid citation to any definitive contrary evidence. Mathematics says renewable energy is probably already cheaper than FFs if you do anything approaching an honest accounting. And the cost of renewables will inevitably drop.

                  Doomers are like millenarians, always convinced their personal temporal frame of reference is special and unique and the great reckoning/cleansing is conveniently nigh. The appeal of impending doom is similar to that of a good dystopian SF book or zombie apocalypse movie, drama. It’s an interesting story line, one that’s easy to get drawn into. The world ends in 100,000 years? *yawn*. The world ends in 1000 years, “Um, OK, too bad n’ stuff.” 100 years? “Might affect my grandkids, what’s for dinner?” 10 years? “That could affect *me*! Now I’m interested.” So that’s how the exciting doom narrative must be framed to sell. Now granted, there’s presently a lot of material handy to weave into a doomer narrative, but the batting average for global doomers going back conservatively a couple of thousands of years appears to be stubbornly fixed right on the magic .000. Skepticism is probably advised.

                  1. subgenius

                    The solution is to abandon all the failed paradigms.

                    If you knew enough about math, physics and engineering you would understand why your claims of endless energy availability are wrong.

                    I outlined WHY you are talking shit. And gave you some reading material to peruse. You continue to practice magical thinking.

                    You obviously have ZERO knowledge on the subject

                    Get a fucking clue.

  11. JohnnyGL

    Putin doesn’t like FIFA ‘regime change’. I have a gut feeling that Blatter crushes re-election in a backlash against US/European meddling. Look what happened to the heavy-handed tactics in Venezuela! Also, note that all suspects arrested are from S. America. They’ll probably pull the lever for Blatter.

    On the plus side, at least the western powers are pulling this trick in a theater where no one is physically harmed and the targets are all wealthy, powerful, rotten people. Few tears will be shed for the rotten bunch who got arrested.

  12. JCC

    When Main Stream Media stops saying “the City of Cleveland has paid $8 million in settlements to victims of police” and instead says, “the tax-paying Citizens of Cleveland have paid $8 million in settlements to victims of police”, or better yet, “the City of Cleveland’s Police Pension Fund has paid $8 million in settlements to victims of police”, then, maybe, we’ll start to see some changes.

  13. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill

    Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 “yea” votes.
    The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters.
    The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.

    No surprizes there. Dems are the cheap whores as usual. Well, no more need to dicker over price. We now know the base sticker price of a senatewhore.

    1. craazyboy

      Yesterday it was reported here that McCain got $51,000, so I guess John-Not is looking kinda upscale after all.

      1. OIFVet

        A veritable king of the house of ill repute. Still a rather cheap lay though, considering the bottom line

    2. TedWa

      Much cheaper than the professional ho’s servicing the executives on Wall St. Disgusting isn’t it.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Austerity, economics and religion.

    If one thinks about it, religious thinking is pervasive, in many areas where one doesn’t normally think of as having anything to do with religion.

  15. Rex

    49 shots by Officer Brelo, he really was afraid! That many rounds would require 4 clips be used, given the hi-cap pistols used by most police. So 3 times to consider “is the threat gone.” I agree with Mr. Ford’s solution.

    1. subgenius

      Maybe he was forewarned of the massive threat to his (and all those innocents) life and limb…and thus forearmed…

      …or he’s another case of a murderous white thug asshole in the biggest gang in town.

      Is that the uncertainty principle – or just deja vu all over again?

    2. optimader

      The think that is a fundamental disconnect IMO, if a LEO is “afraid life and limb” stuff why continue a high speed pursuit? Call it in.

      1. subgenius

        Well, analysis of the figures shows that it is slightly safer to be a LEO than live as a civilian in the safest metropolitan area in the US…which suggests that any LEO operating from a position of fear is so unsuited to the job that they should be fired immediately…

      2. Rex

        With ubiquitous license plate scanners, video, stingray, circling FBI aircraft and other unknown secret surveillance in most of our cities, why is a chase even necessary? Certainly police have sonic devices to distinguish between back-fire from car and a gunshot. Yes, and police that fearful have no business on any force. Police response was not reasonable by any view.

      3. optimader

        Behavior driven by actuarial facts are not in play. Brainstem stuff here.

        My point is emptying a gun several times while standing on a car hood in an engagement actively pursued, one that could easily have been avoided, is not consistent with fearing for one’s own life. Therefore, IMO this seems a rather vacuous logic out of the box IMO.

        Perception as an excuse is poor justification to kill someone when the killer, in this case a LEO, sought out a confrontation that had alternatives.

        This is not a case where a perp is a clear and present danger to the public, other than engaging in reckless driving as precipitated by …being chased. Disengaging from a high speed chase and calling it in would have been a perfectly legitimate response, particularly if someone is “in fear of one’s life”.

      4. Oregoncharles

        Apparently the police get to kill people because they, the police, are utter cowards.

        Is that really what we pay them for?

    3. bob

      What dept lets cops go out with that many mags? When all you have is a lot of hammers….

  16. subgenius

    Re. Anthropomorphizations…

    Well…given that when WE think we have made a decision (or ANY conscious thought) has been proven to be a post-hoc rationalization of brain state (more correctly the dynamic flow of brain state…) the whole anthropomorphization concept might be a mistaken take – maybe the quantum universe DOES decide, and we just rationalize…

    As he seems to be in vogue today…. Paging Dr. Leary!

    (though I was always more of a fan of Mckenna…)

          1. subgenius

            …more of a chinese lugsail afficionado, tbh…Blondie Hasler and Allen Farrell are my Gods (well, were…sadly they belong to a {recently} bygone age…)

              1. subgenius

                True, how could I forget Liberdade! Epic (hi)story…but he was WAY before my time.

        1. vidimi

          i think i’m with noam chomsky on this. all this shows is that we make most of our decisions subconsciously, but that should be no surprise. to say that this proves anything is to be guilty of the same sins Jake Mudrosti decries below.

  17. Jake Mudrosti

    Regarding “Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness”:

    In previous NC comments, months ago, I listed specific examples of current physicists failing to read primary sources in their own field, and — much like the worst journalists of our current time — spewing misleading or incorrect garbage about their own area of “expertise.” I highlighted the problems with science “enthusiasm” versus real science “literacy” — and quoted from J.J. Sakurai to show that this relates to a decades-old problem in physics education, which Sakurai hoped to mitigate.

    Quoting from the current article:
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

    To quote John Bell’s 1989 bitingly sarcastic response to this misinformed claim, “Wow!”

    To quote Dilbert: “GAAAAAAH!”

    Briefly: links to science-themed articles are *never* more likely to offer genuine insights than, say, random articles about Iraq. Quote a random Iraq “expert”, and… well, I needn’t say more.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What J.J Sakurai needs to mitigate that is a perpetual employment creation machine…there is enough work for people, now and for many, many years to come, to correct incorrect pronouncements from our physics professors/priests.

  18. hunkerdown

    The newest protection that could be available to consumers is the ability to tell their phone company — wireless or landline — that they revoke their consent to receive these calls.

    The rule would also give telecom providers the green light to introduce ‘Do Not Disturb’ technology that consumers could use to stop unwanted robocalls.

    When tech industrialists — and Wheeler is still very much a part of that community — talk about “giving consumers the right”, it usually works out in practice to taking another right from consumers the public and gifting it to special interests to withhold, pending the payment of rents.

    This is functionality that belongs at the edge, not the center. I have a custom firmware on my phone that lets me set up a reject list and add an incoming caller to it with just a touch. There’s no technical reason such a feature couldn’t be a standard component of the mainline stock OS (though whiny businesses who think they’re entitled to bother the public would put up a fight). There’s also little reason that a network couldn’t change its caller ID encoding to indicate exactly which sort of caller is calling so that the mainline stock OS could use it in deciding whether to bother its user for that general class of caller.

    Many ISPs already offer businesses a separate class of service and a separate dial number for customer service. Imagine if you had different doorbells exclusively for particular classes of visitor to ring, and you could put each on its own timer or unhook it completely.

    1. vidimi

      this read was an equal part interesting and equal part irritating, what with sentences like this:

      And yet the American left tends to speak of Europe as if it were some great homogenous Whiteopia, as if to be a Romanian Gagauz farmer were the same thing as to be a Stockholm yuppie dressed up in the finest tennis whites.

      just like the blogger tends to speak of the american left as if it were some great homogenous whiteopia….

  19. EmilianoZ

    Re: Emmy Noether

    The theorem shows that conservation of energy is equivalent to time invariance in classical physics… It shows that momentum conservation is equivalent to spatial invariance.

    These are “conjugate variables”. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle applies to such pair of variables. The more you know about one, the less you know about the other.

    1. Jake Mudrosti

      “The Heisenberg uncertainty principle applies to such pair of variables.”

      … which doesn’t even begin to hint at Noether’s work. As the article says, “the theorem uncovers a hidden relationship between symmetry and conservation.” The meaning could’ve been clearer if the article had said “relationship between symmetries and conservation laws” — as in, the core physical laws themselves. The article did try to say that, later. A sentence on page 2 did say “Noether’s Theorem proves that for every invariant, there is a corresponding conservation law.”

      Final thought: It’s physically painful to live in a world where many people would recognize the brand name “Bill Nye the Science Guy” but would shrug at a mention of Noether. The NC link to the article serves a useful purpose.

      1. cwaltz

        The young me loved Bill Nye and as a result the older me could actually understand a little of what Noether is saying. The beauty of Bill Nye is he breaks down science to a level the average person can understand. It’s awesome that Noether was a brilliant female pioneer. They rock. It doesn’t take anything away from her that someone recognizes Bill Nye though.

  20. Marianne Jones

    Site update report:

    Device: iPhone5 IOS 8.3
    Application: Dolpin browser
    Application: DIGG reader

    Font size on both Dolphin & DIGG: About as small as I care to go

    Previously reported issue in DIGG with inverted white/black night mode rendering: Appears fixed with hiccups. At first site renders black on black, then after ~5 seconds, flickers and renders black font on white background. Definitely tolerable, but just not smooth.

  21. Oregoncharles

    “An interview with Michael Hudson.” –

    Terrible interview. He actually gets a bunch of stuff wrong – eg, Ecuador is not a party to NAFTA; that must have been some other agreement.

    But it raises a good question: how unconstitutional and against international law ARE these agreements? Can we take them to court?

  22. ewmayer

    Here is the comment I added when I fwded the Mish Robo-journo link to Yves:

    Ignores that in virtually every field of human endeavor ‘the very best’ did not arise fully formed but rather came from the larger ranks of the entry-level hires and worked their way up via lengthy apprenticeships during which they mastered their craft. Robots replacing the entry-level jobs destroys this dynamic. Mish’s ‘meritocratic’ technotopia really consists of [1] automatons doing all the ‘boring’ stuff, and [2] independently wealthy ‘full-time hobbyists’ who don’t need to work for a paycheck. Not saying the latter are incapable of ‘asking the tough questions,’ but if this is future of journalism, Pulitzer’s warning that ‘Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together’ will be realized. The signs of this being so are already pervasive.

    This point is also made by this article featured in a recent installment of Links: The second job you don’t know you have | Politico

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And this, among others, from yesterday’s 8 robot jobs:

      Bartender: The company Somabar is creating a robot bartender that can make you any drink you choose. You would even be able to give it orders via wi-fi from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

      What about quality? Is this more crapification, via either quality degradation or removing human-to-human interaction (unless they install chit-chat AI software in the robot as well)?

  23. Howard Beale IV

    Nighttime mystery flight circles low over Twin Cities for hours Star Tribune
    The small aircraft circled Minneapolis, the Mall of America and Southdale for hours.

  24. paul ogren

    Constitutionally, Congress only has the the power to create tribunals inferior to the supreme court. This is necessary to preserve the separation of power in the three branches of government.

    Even when the Corporations dominate all three branches like they do now, the fact that the Constitution mentions this power specifically would seen to constrain the legality of the ISDS mechansim, or the WTO/ Nafta, ect “Free” trade tribunals. To adopt a trade treaty really would require a Constitutional Amendment. And that would kill it.

  25. juliania

    Thank you for the dear little, cold fantails! I grew up with them, and they are lovely little creatures – I never have seen more than one or two at a time, but then I lived in the north. Turns out they are as smart as penguins when it comes to maintaining body heat during a blast of antarctic chill. And that storm was the largest on the planet that day.

    Hang in there, wee birdies (Dunedin is Scotland south). The ‘must read’ brings hope that climate swings are finally being taken seriously, though the last sentence is a bit hard to swallow:

    “The [fossil fuel] industry deserves a ‘prosperity medal’, and an honourable valediction.”

    Um, maybe not.

  26. Demeter

    What a dilemma for the NSA / fascists: do they purge their 5 years’ worth of domestic spying, to foil the EEF lawsuit, and claim they were just following Congressional orders?

    Or do they make a copy and hide it, so that when all is said and done, they still have their blackmail?

  27. Jack

    The notion of the War Nerd lamenting focus of the destruction of ruins and ignoring the deaths of human beings is pretty impressive, given some of the things he’s written in the past. The guy claims to enjoy war as a spectator sport, for fucks sake.

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