Links 10/21/15

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Yves here. I am behind schedule today. Please heck back at 7:30 AM for your full ration of links.

Benghazi Hearings Cancelled After Clinton Drops Out of Race New Yorker (furzy mouse)

Sex on a Plane: Tips for Joining the Mile High Club Jezebel (Chuck L)

American Cancer Society, in a Shift, Recommends Fewer Mammograms New York Times. Confirming my long-standing criticism of mammograms….Manual exams and thermal imaging are better at catching the deadly growths early, but radiologists have installed bases of equipment.

New ‘geospeedometer’ confirms super-eruptions have short fuses PhysOrg (Chuck L)

How a Liberal ‘Red Wave’ Swept Canada Last Night Foreign Policy

Initial probe into Varoufakis hack claims dropped ekathimerini (Chuck L)

Barclays Plots Bombshell Ring-Fencing Plan Sky News


MH-17 Case: ‘Old’ Journalism vs. ‘New’ Consortium News (Chuck L)

Russia builds massive Arctic military base Telegraph

Russia challenge for Nato in Mediterranean Financial Times

IMF warns on Gulf states growth Financial Times


Assad Moscow visit: Syria leader in surprise visit BBC

Musings on Turkey (by CP) Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Trudeau to end Canada Iraq combat mission Financial Times

US Bombing Of Kunduz Hospital Looks More Like a War Crime Each Day Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Russian Airstrikes Are Killing 1 Syrian Civilian for Every 2 Combatants Defense One (furzy mouse)

U.S. Agrees With Russia on Rules in Syrian Sky New York Times

‘Clock Kid’ Ahmed Mohamed Moving to Qatar New York Magazine

Low-Cost Authoritarianism: The Egyptian Regime and Labor Movement Since 2013 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Privatizing censorship in fight against extremism is risk to press freedom Committee to Protect Journalists (Chuck L)

House Votes to Give Privacy Rights to Foreigners Foreign Policy

Imperial Collapse Watch

Dr. Strangelove is naked Pepe Escobar (resilc)

“Russian Jamming System Blocks All NATO Electronics Inside Bubble 600 Km in Diameter over Syria” – TTG Sic Semper Tyrannis. Chuck L: “Holy shit! The Pentagon must be apoplectic.”


Fact checking the 2016 Presidential Hopefuls Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Bernie Sanders’s Highly Sensible Plan to Turn Post Offices Into Banks Atlantic (resilc)

The inside story of Trump campaign’s connections to a big-money super PAC Washington Post (furzy mouse)

21 Million Were Supposed to Be Enrolled in Obamacare in 2016. What the Actual Number Is Likely to Be. Daily Signal. Important.

The TPP and Nonsense on Trade Dean Baker

Paul Ryan tells House Republicans he’s willing to run, if conditions are met Washington Post

Lawmakers Wrangle Over Plans to Avert, Manage or Embrace Default New York Times

Americans want to end the country’s longest war. Why won’t Congress listen? Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Guardian (resilc)

Sprint loses bid to dismiss $300 million N.Y. tax fraud lawsuit Reuters

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Racists in Ferguson Burn Down 5 Black Churches in 9 Days US Uncut (furzy mouse)

Ole Miss Students Vote To Remove Confederate Symbol From Campus Huffington Post (fursy mouse)

Citigroup Adds New Unit With Mobile Focus Wall Street Journal

At Stanford, Relationship Reveals Accusations of Discrimination New York Times

Blackstone makes $5.3bn bet on NY rentals Financial Times. I am late to write this up….

Hedge Funds are Bringing Back Everyone’s Least Favorite Toxic Investment Bloomberg

Bridgewater’s $70 bln ‘All Weather Fund’ down 6 pct in 2015 -sources Reuters

Where’s the Courage to Act on Banks? Bloomberg

Guillotine Watch

LA prosecutors won’t charge Saudi sheik with multiple sexual assaults because “insufficient evidence” Boing Boing

Class Warfare

Obama Administration Hits Back at Student Debtors Seeking Relief Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Police Leaders Join Call to Cut Prison Rosters New York Times

Right-Wing Think Tank Shills for Payday Lenders on New York Fed Website David Dayen, Intercept

Antidote du jour:

ibex. links jpg

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Steven D.

    On payday lending at the New York Fed: Why, you’d almost think Tim Geithner was still in charge there.

    1. Just Ice

      The natural question is why a significant amount of the US population is so desperate as to need payday lenders in the first place?

      1. Chris Williams

        Oh I don’t know, perhaps insufficient income, no access to bank credit, incapacity to save for new durable goods or to pay a bond, car repair…

        Oh yes, and businesses wanting to factor their receivables….

        Happening in Australia too – no regulated limit on the interest they can charge either

  2. allan

    From the student loan article:

    No student debtor should get a break on student loans unless they can show a “certainty of hopelessness,” said the government’s lawyers.

    How are folks supposed to step up and retool for the new gig economy
    if they suffer from a Certainty of Hopelessness?

      1. participant-observer-observed

        Certain no ” hope and change ” issued, bail outs trump sell outs….will obamacare stats include suicide numbers for debtors from humanities? Compared to support in other countries n,s,e,w, usa issues genocide on humanities scholars. Perhaps enough 1% students and faculty will comprise british style public schooling.

    1. Sammy Maudlin

      How are folks supposed to step up and retool for the new gig economy if they suffer from a Certainty of Hopelessness?

      Despite the fact that the federal government asserts that student loans should be practically impossible to get rid of in bankruptcy, it concedes that they are more necessary and prevalent than ever. According to the report “Strengthening the Student Loan System to Better Protect All Borrowers,” dated October 1, 2015, and authored by the Department of Education:

      “Never before has higher education been so critical to ensuring a good future and a promising career…”


      “Given falling state investment in public higher education and rising costs at many institutions of higher education,* student loans have become an integral part of how students and families afford college.”

      Oh, and compared with the year 2000,

      The average size of students’ loan burden has increased, too, by nearly 40 percent, even after adjusting for inflation.”

      So the federal government encourages people to “get ahead” by obtaining a higher education. To get that higher education most (especially low-income students) must borrow at an increasing rate from the federal government. But, even if you are an “honest but unfortunate debtor” who doesn’t get ahead, you cannot get “a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt” (Local Loan Co. v. Hunt, 292 U.S. 234, 244 (1934)) because the system has been gamed to protect a certain type of creditor: the federal government and those chosen few lenders it has allowed to be enveloped in the warm cocoon of federal bankruptcy protection.

      *Not that the amount of student loans being issued had anything to do with the inflation in college costs, mind you.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        Honestly tho… IF you could discharge a student loan wouldn’t every smart-n-savvy person in the country max-out their student loans and then default. This behavior would end-up being a requirement for getting hired by any wall-street law/financial firm (minimum proof of smart-n-savvy behavior).

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Here is an opportunity for German or Chinese teachers to offer cheaper online degrees.

          “Education without borders.”

          It maybe even cheaper to attend one in China, for those not living at home, since room and board should be less expensive over there.

        2. Sammy Maudlin

          I know you’re joking. But the sad part is that’s the false meme used by the federal government to practically deny any relief whatsoever for student loan debt. There’s an assumption out there that, unless these protections are in place, every student will be able to simply walk over to his or her local Bankruptcy Court the day after graduation and get a free college education. It’s not true.

          A bankruptcy judge doesn’t have to grant a discharge if some wall-street wannabe comes in and tries to wipe out his Harvard tuition debt. Prior to the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act, judges had the discretion to deny relief if in the court’s eye the debtor is simply trying to abuse the system. Such discretion is more limited now (i.e., if the debtor passes the “means test,” discharge is appropriate). But there is still discretion to deny in cases of “dishonesty or “serious debtor misconduct.”

          See United States Supreme Court’s definition of someone who should be entitled to bankruptcy relief: “honest but unfortunate debtor.” Every other type of debt is also subject to bankruptcy abuse (i.e. running up giant credit card bills and/or getting that long-awaited physical “enhancement” 6 months before date of intended Chapter 7 filing). Does every person that applies for bankruptcy do this? Not by a long shot. Yet, credit card debt can be discharged, medical bills can be discharged. Student loan debt should be no different.

          There’s no need to broadly deny relief to the (certainly) many thousands of deserving bankruptcy candidates out there based upon an unfounded fear that there will be a stampede every spring from the diploma ceremony to the courthouse steps.

          1. NOTaREALmerican

            I’ve always assumed that the reason for the law is to prevent a class-action style of lawsuit against the education industry for selling a defective product.

            Assuming that all laws exists to protect the smart-n-savvy, there must be some entity being protect by this (and I can’t be the government itself as they are the ultimate “mark” for the smart-n-savvy class).

      2. different clue

        If Sanders were to make a Campaign Issue out of seeking total clean-slate repeal of the Biden-Delaware “Bankruptcy Reform Act” , he might attract more attention and support. He could also use it as a tire-iron to smash out the teeth of the other Democratic nomination-seekers who will refuse to say they seek the same repeal.

    2. Chris Williams

      rhetorical I am sure.

      But really, why don’t people set up an offshore corporation to borrow necessary fees?

      I mean it’s okay for corporations to get debt relief through bankruptcy…

      Hopefully, commonsense will prevail and all student’s debts will be forgiven and education made free again.

      How many years have I got left to see the difference in my free college education when I left school in the late 70s?

      1. different clue

        I don’t believe education was ever “free”. State University education was low-priced to the in-State student who passed the tests to get into the State University back when the States’ populations were all paying taxes to support the existence of the State Universities. Perhaps Federal Student Aid could be denied to students going to Universities with a higher Administration-to-everything-else ration than what Universities had in the “good old days”.

  3. craazyboy

    “Benghazi Hearings Cancelled After Clinton Drops Out of Race”

    This is an Onion article, isn’t it???

    1. jgordon

      I am disappointed that corruption and incompetence only get investigated in DC when politics are in the mix. Republicans, no all representatives, should be investigating wrong doing because putting criminals who abuse the public trust in prison is the right thing to do, not because said criminals are running for president. Oh well.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Democratic Congress did get to a partial truth when it came to steroid usage by baseball players. The Commissioner and Owners were ignored. The GOP witch hunt against a relevant person is amazingly enough a stark improvement.

      2. RabidGandhi

        I literally get so angry whenever I see an article on Benghazi that I cannot read any further (Onion or otherwise), just because of the utter hypocrisy. Ms Clinton should not be testifying before a senate committee on Benghazi, she should rather be in the Hague tried as a war criminal for leading a war of aggression against Libya.

    2. craazyman

      everything in the mainstream media is an Onion article. Onion is the only place that admits it.

      It’s time for a 10-bagger. That’s what I keep thinking about. Now that I’m not 25 anymore I don’t think about getting laid all the time, now I think about a 10-bagger all the time.

      I’m not sure if that’s progress or not. I guess you can think about them both, hahahah

      But this is a financial blog so 10-bagger is a natural topic. The problem is, I have no interest in doing any financial analysis or thinking about how to get one. That seems awfully dull and boring. I’d rather just let it float into my imagination. I’m thinking maybe something with options.

        1. craazyman

          so you’re back on speaking terms with me? :-)

          at 125 lbs. you sound like you might be pretty hot. I just need a 10 bagger but I don’t want to work for it. Is that so wrong?

          oil has to be a good one from here if somebody’s patient. but the junior gold miners, there’s where a man finds opportunity.

          1. abynormal

            i don’t do juniors and i like my miners drunk n dirty…i’m out bahahaaa

            you sound pretty hot yourself…unless your a 125yro!

            For she had eyes and chose me. Othello :-)

            1. craazyman

              I feel like the Washington Redskins last week vs. Atlanta. I’m in the red zone but I can’t score. The endzone is 700 miles away. If it was closer, I’d ram it home with the power running game. hahahahaa, krakin myself up again

              You guys kicked our butts, last week, that’s for sure. But you probably don’t care about these things since they crystallize the metaphor in a rather coarse manner. But so did Picasso! at times.

              back to money and politics! . . . . I just sent in my $361 dollars to the fundraiser. That hopefully will repay itself with another year free of pyschiatric counseling fees. Enormous profits have been made by me already here in the PG. which has freed up tens of thousands of dollars to use speculating in stocks and optiions.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘I don’t think about getting laid all the time, now I think about a 10-bagger all the time.’

        Traditionally, the way of combining these pursuits is to troll for rich widows — the Teresa Heinz-Kerry sort of thing. I don’t need to tell you that you should show up for le premier rendez-vous in stylish, costly shoes.

        Meanwhile, after reading an article yesterday about how vice stocks (liquor, tobacco) are the only ones holding up this year, I came across a ten-bagger, STZ:

        It’s the old Canandaigua Wines, rebadged as Constellation Brands — from rotgut to riches, as it were. Serve some to a well-heeled widow. If she starts effusing about Hillary’s policy initiatives instead of one’s manly physique and “amazing eyes,” send her packing and drink it alone.

      2. craazyboy

        As you get older, fear of sodomy begins to override lustful thoughts. That’s why you start thinking of 10 baggers. So you can quit work and reduce your fear of being sodomized. But I think it’s still good to think about getting laid. Maybe not as often as a 25 year old. Say, once every 15 minutes instead of once every 5 minutes should be enough.

  4. Carolinian

    Re Defense One–meet the Syria Observatory for Human Rights

    His name is Rami Abdul Rahman and he is the number 1 source for Western corporate media’s material on human rights and casualties in Syria. The impressive-sounding ‘Observatory’ is actually little more than an internet connection and a phone line inside his dilapidated, two-storey home in Coventry, UK, but that’s neither here nor there.

    A Syrian-born Sunni Muslim, Mr. Abdul Rahman has not stepped foot in his native land in 15 years. However, thanks to his extensive group of ‘contacts’, he has somehow managed to make himself the leading source for information on all the tragic happenings in Syria for the mainstream media.

    It is said that when Mr. Abdul Rahman is not at the ‘Observatory’ providing the world with the latest news on Syria, he is just down the road busying himself at his clothing shop that he runs with his wife.

    Meanwhile Moon of Alabama has this disturbing report that suggests the US may be trying to help along the laser guided propaganda (however the single source is Russian so should also be treated with caution).

  5. Paper Mac

    “Russian Jamming System Blocks All NATO Electronics Inside Bubble 600 Km in Diameter over Syria” – TTG Sic Semper Tyrannis. Chuck L: “Holy shit! The Pentagon must be apoplectic.”

    Probably not, given that the source is notorious bullshitter Thierry Meyssan and the story is an obvious exaggeration. They’re talking about a DRFM system mounted on an Mi-8. Emitters will have trouble locking up those Mi-8s, but they sure as hell don’t “block all NATO electronics”, and the idea that they’d affect satellite operation is just patently absurd.

      1. abynormal

        well well!..”Just like any other big powers, Russia also started their own cold fusion study and research following the announcement of electrochemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons in 1989. However, the Russian scientific community has been fairly silent about its involvement in the cold fusion research. Even when Fleischmann and Pons presented their cold fusion experiment, the Russian scientists have actively joined in its research. Russian scientists have been making their personal analysis regarding the phenomenon through their publications in different Cold Fusion Conferences Proceedings.
        The different conferences include: 11 International Conferences on Cold Fusion (3-13 ICCF, 1992-2007); Soviet Union Conference on Cold Nuclear Fusion (JINR-MSU, 1991); Soviet Union Seminar on Chemistry & Technology of Hydrogen (Zarechnyi, 1991); 2-d International Symposium on Cold Fusion (Minsk, 1994); all 14 Russian Conferences on Cold Nuclear Transmutation (Abrau-Dyurso, Sochi, Dagomys, 1993-2006). It has also been reported that the number of Russian scientists publications in International Conferences on Cold Fusion compared to publications from other countries.

        Hence, Russia is one of the countries that gives cold fusion a serious attention.

        wanna bet wall st ate our homework

        1. optimader

          Aby, Nothing I would love more than peeling electrons out of there shells w/ CF. Other than maybe a PB&J on toast w/ a cold Oktoberfest?.. ah but that is such fleeting love..

          1. abynormal

            i didn’t know the Russians were on this in the 50’s

            according to today’s links, Russia has built a lg military base inside the arctic circle but building before filing is rather risky, right? “this year filing a United Nations claim for a vast swathe of the region including the North Pole, and holding war games in the area.”

            as the peanut butter touches the jelly… “Russia has demonstrated its willingness to lease or buy necessary technologies from any source it can, reuse old Soviet technology, or simply prevent Western companies from taking their equipment so it can operate them itself. In terms of financing, Russia has a ready and established partner in China, a country not above using Russia’s isolation to its advantage.”
            “China declares itself to be a “near Arctic state” and an “Arctic stakeholder,” even though its northernmost territory lies more than 1,000 miles south of the Arctic Circle. As the most populous country in the world, China claims that it should have a say in Arctic policy and disagrees with Arctic issues being decided by Arctic states alone. More broadly, given the region’s resource reserves, shipping lanes, and implications for global warming, China argues that Arctic state interests and claims must be balanced against international interests in the seas and resources of the region.”

            that’s okay…we’ll just stay n protect the Afghan Poppies

            clink, ahaaaaaa

            1. optimader

              Russia has built a lg military base inside the arctic circle but building before filing is rather risky, right?
              It’s always most expensive for early adopters. Hopefully they have plenty of pontoons for when it melts and septic tanks so they don’t pollute to too badly.

              The Chinese claim remains a bit of a chuckle w/a brief look at the map. Maybe they can build an island there and park some crab fishing boats?

              Ice Station Zebra

              In the era before VCRs, Howard Hughes would call the Las Vegas TV station he owned and order them to run a particular movie. Hughes so loved this that it aired on his Las Vegas station over 100 times.

              In all seriousness, I hope they don’t mess the place up too much. A light footprint is probably not on the priority list.

    1. j.c.

      How vulnerable is the satellite uplink of a drone to jamming ? It’s not so absurd unless you’re conceptualizing the jammer as directly affecting the operation of the satellite in orbit. Admittedly the article probably reads as if it could be interpreted that way but if nothing in the target area can pick up a GPS signal I can see how a careless writer could say that it “affects satellite operation”.

      1. Bill Smith

        GPS antenna is on top of the drone. The body of the drone tends to block any jamming signals from below. So while possible to overwhelm the GPS signal the drone would otherwise hear it is difficult.

    1. sd

      I like to watch Iceland. Small country so the bad behavior stands out easily. Their real estate market has surpassed its high mark for idiocy last set in 2007. For a country of only 300,000 people, starting price for an apartment in Reykjavik is 1/2 million. Does. Not. Pencil. 1% in Iceland does not magically change into 50% no matter how exceptional they may see themselves.

      I don’t know who the bag holder will be this time around…last time, the folks in charge tried to drop it on the heads of the ordinary Icelander. That did not go over too well….

    1. Carolinian

      Where to turn for what’s really going on? All we want are the facts!

      Before the internet was a thing I got a shortwave radio just so as to provide an alternative to groupthink American news. Now Radio Canada and the BBC just ape American attitudes and you get them via podcasts.

        1. Carolinian

          BTW just reading the excellent Robert Parry/Consortium article linked by Yves. This has much more about how American media use internet sources to “catapult the propaganda.” It’s gotten where almost every MSM thing you read or watch about Russia and the Middle East has to be treated with deep skepticism.

  6. Just Ice

    “They’re [Postal Savings Services] much less crazy than payday-lending services, and the rest of the world agrees” Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    Actually, what is truly insane is forcing* the public to lend** their fiat to private banks***.

    *Physical cash and the mattress are no real alternative to government insured accounts.

    **A bank deposit is, by law, a loan to a bank.

    ***Credit unions are no real improvement except depositors are share holders and, based on their number of shares, able to share in the looting of non-members and smaller member share holders.

    1. Just Ice

      Actually, what is truly insane is forcing* the public to lend** their fiat to private banks***.

      Oh wait, that sounds familiar! Ah yes, the “Affordable Care Act.”

      Ironic? That Progressives established the model for the ACA with the Federal Reserve Act and the establishment of the FDIC?

      1. ambrit

        Not so improbable when you realize that the core of the ACA is based on a Heritage Foundation scheme thought up for the conservatives way back in 1989. The Heritage Foundation plan was, by and large, the basis for Romneycare in Massachusetts.
        If, by your analogy, you suggest that the Federal Reserve Act established the control of one facet of the economy by a State Regulator, then, yes, the ACA established the control over another facet of the economy by a State regulator.
        This shows the inherent contradiction at the heart of the Neo-Conservative movement.

        1. Just Ice

          Not State control, State enablement of private interests to loot.

          Conservatives are nothing except status quo defenders but that’s ridiculous since a just status quo hardly needs defending and an unjust status quo shouldn’t be defended.

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        Re: That Progressives established the model for the ACA with the Federal Reserve Act and the establishment of the FDIC?

        If liberals (no neo) and Progressives end-up doing the same thing over and over – for decades and decades and decades – the real question is what attribute does the: ACA, Federal Reserve Act, and FDIC have in common that Progressives like?

        And, does this attribute they “like” inevitable lead to the “neo-liberals” winning.

        I’d say it does. The liberals (no neo) and Progressives love centralized government. So do the “neo-liberals”, “neo-conservative”, socialists, and fascists.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The public can lend to the Treasury by buying treasury bonds, notes and bills.

      Many choose to lend to private banks.

      1. Just Ice

        So Treasury Direct offers a checking service?

        But even if it did there still remains the FDIC and the Fed (lender of last resort) which enable the private banks to:

        1) Inflate away the value of my savings (eg. to buy a house)
        2) Subject my country to the recurrent and dangerous boom-bust cycle.

        And why the heck do we even need government privileges for banks if we have an adequate Postal Savings Service or equivalent?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You want a checking service, you have to pay for it to the Treasury or to a private bank.

          And if the Treasury don’t offer it, then the public is not ‘forced’ to lend to private banks.

          1. Just Ice

            One can argue that anything short of forcing a person’s limbs or other body parts to do something is not force, including the infliction of pain (torture) or threats to make them obey “voluntarily”. Perhaps so but how is that relevant? Shall our definition of “forced” be so limited?

            The question is should people suffer great inconvenience and risk (ie physical cash and the mattress) as the only alternative to private banks for the risk-free storage of and transactions with the publics’ FIAT? I say that is absurd and only historical precedent gives it any credence at all.

            1. Just Ice

              People are also “forced” to use private banks or otherwise chase yield because of the price inflation the government subsidized banks cause. End those subsidies and the population won’t need to become usurers themselves in a pathetic attempt to protect their savings.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Maybe people want that checking service, not storage.

              Hard to send money to family members in another state.

              1. Just Ice

                The monetary sovereign should provide a risk-free fiat transaction service too. It’s absurd we need to rely on private banks for that. Indeed, the banks hold US hostage via that privilege.

                  1. Just Ice

                    It knows now.

                    But if people want some financial privacy then let them use cash or purely private monies. That should not concern the monetary sovereign since it can always create unavoidable taxes, such as taxes on land, other property, energy, road use, air use, Internet use, etc. that REQUIRE fiat ONLY.

                    Or require a court order to view a person’s account (ie. probable cause)

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I think people like to write checks to anywhere in the country, instead of paying some private company to ship that cash, and have privacy as well.

                      No government fiat transaction service, risk or not risk free, fee-free or not.

                    2. Just Ice

                      Besides, entirely private banks would still exist. Use them for such privacy as they may now allow.

                      Any other objections to a Postal Savings Service or equivalent? And otherwise removing government privileges for private banks?

                    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      It’s the ‘actually it’s insane to force people to lend to private banks’ that is under discussion.

                      I think library savings service is a better idea, as I go there more often.

                    4. Just Ice

                      It’s the Postal Savings idea that is treated as crazy. I merely point out that the reverse is true.

      2. Just Ice

        Also, the US Treasury has no need to borrow at interest and thus any positive interest it pays is welfare and not welfare proportional to need but welfare proportional to the amount of cash one has to lend.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You can limit the amount one can lend to the Treasury.

          It works the same way as the ‘government insured accounts’ – that is also a welfare program and one that is based on the amount of cash, not on need. Those who have more cash, their insured amounts are bigger. They benefit ‘more.’

          For those in need, there are plenty other remedy options available to the government.

          1. Just Ice

            “You can limit the amount one can lend to the Treasury.”

            What if some people have nothing to lend?

            Thus the amount one can lend to the monetary sovereign for positive interest should be limited to 0. Unless you want welfare proportional to wealth instead of need?

    1. Liz

      Something from the emails quoted in the Bloomberg piece about the Stanford scandal blew my mind. One of the couple at the center of the business wrote in an email that the universe owed them. I think this was related to the husband getting fired or something.

      To have so much- to be an American in the middle of Silicon Valley, with so much wealth and so many resources, so much sunshine, luxury, & hype, the status of being a professor at Stanford, falling in love again.

      And the universe owes them more?

      Oh my, the universe can be generous with blessings but it also wields some spectacular smitings. Such pure, unadulterated hubris is mighty blush-inducing. Best to clear the area to avoid the crossfire.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I fear it’s the triumph of intellect over wisdom

        In fact, so much intellect here, we may need another planet; otherwise, all those smart people may just leave no room for survival for those not smart enough.

  7. bob

    “Russian Jamming System Blocks All NATO Electronics Inside Bubble 600 Km in Diameter over Syria” – TTG

    But the f-35 isn’t affected at all. It still can’t fly.

      1. optimader

        the final assault on FM radio?
        On the bright side fewer people driving like drunks and the train into the city would be part of a cellphone free zone. The power rqd will allow you to make a grilled cheese sandwich by just holding it in the air!
        Rand McNally will be pleased.
        The dark side is this sort of propaganda is what bumps MIC appropriations. :o(

  8. Bill Smith

    “Russian Jamming System Blocks All NATO Electronics Inside Bubble 600 Km in Diameter over Syria” – TTG Sic Semper Tyrannis. Chuck L: “Holy shit! The Pentagon must be apoplectic.”


    Seems FlightAware is immune.

    This is good too: “interfere with satellite imagery” Does it cover the IR and the optical range also?

      1. Just Ice

        There once was a banker Bernanke
        well versed in all Fed hankey-panky.
        He tried many things rotten
        sans linen and cotton
        but ended with nary a “Thank ye!”

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        Actually, the top 20% did pretty well by Ben. Stocks and housing was saved “forever”.

        When have the bottom 80% ever mattered (unless they were revolting)?

        1. Nigelk

          As Bill the Butcher said in Gangs of New York, “you can always hire one half of the poor to kill the other half.”

    1. TedWa

      RE: House Votes to Give Privacy Rights to Foreigners.
      Disgusted. They gave foreigners more rights to privacy than they are allowing American citizens, including redress and inspection of what the US government collects on them. More gutting of our rights. Foreigners must be laughing that they now have more rights to privacy than those stupid Americans.

  9. ProNewerDeal

    Any advice on Windows10?

    I purchased a Windows7 laptop in Feb 2014. I specifically chose a Win7 laptop then, instead of Win8, due to negative computerworld-type industry media noting problems with Win8. I was hoping to use this laptop until the Jan 2020 “Extended Support Ends” date of Win7, e.g. the date after which M$oft stops sending OS security updates.

    I am happy with Win7. However, now M$ has placed a “Get Win10” icon on my desktop tray. I have ignored this until now. I was speaking to a friend & Informal laptop/IT support person on an unrelated cpr issue. This friend noted that “Free Upgrade to Win10” ends in Jul 2016, & adviced to upgrade before that date.

    I recall reading NC headlines here that imply Win10 has been Crapified, with keylogging or some such personal privacy invasions.

    What would your advice be, keep Win7 vs “upgrade” to WinI0?

    Apart from the keep Win7 vs “upgrade” to WinI0 decision, I am curious about the possibility of installing a Linux OS like Ubuntu on the laptop, in a dual OS booting type setup. This would theoretically allow the laptop to continue working indefinitely, without worrying about M$’s Win7 Extended Support End Date.

    1. Just Ice

      I’d install Linux with a dual-boot option to access Win7 and when the security upgrades cease, turn off networking in Win7 and use Linux for Internet access. Or install Win7 in a virtual machine (eg. VirtualBox) running under Linux.

      I hardly use Windows but sadly many applications require it. Hopefully, “Wine”, a Windows emulator, will become sufficiently advanced that we can turn our backs forever on Microsoft.

      1. weevish

        I’ll second the “run win7 in VirtualBox” idea (though you’ll need a win7 COA ID that will activate on your VM). On reasonably modern hardware, this works amazingly well and is very convenient for situations where windows is unavoidable. I’m no big fan of Larry Ellison but give props to Oracle for continuing to support the open source version of this excellent software.

    2. ProNewerDeal

      Random brainstorming-type comment: Yves, speaking of Crapification, perhaps that could be a title of another nonfiction book, on the crapification of many essential products & services sold by noncompetitive oligopolies, that the US consumer is coerced into purchasing. Perhaps such a book would have potential to be a Best Seller.

      1. flora

        On its behalf Microsoft confirmed Ars Technica’s findings, but claims it was an accident:…

        accident. right.

    3. Daryl

      > Apart from the keep Win7 vs “upgrade” to WinI0 decision, I am curious about the possibility of installing a Linux OS like Ubuntu on the laptop, in a dual OS booting type setup. This would theoretically allow the laptop to continue working indefinitely, without worrying about M$’s Win7 Extended Support End Date.

      I did this a decade ago and have no regrets whatsoever. You can dual boot into Windows, or run Windows in virtualbox or some other emulator (probably more convenient). Nowadays whenever I use a Windows computer I feel like I should be wearing gloves when I touch it, always so slow and usually loaded with malware.

    4. Gio Bruno


      Don’t upgrade to Win10. Win7 works just fine. You can remove the “Get Win10” icon (that appears in the task bar). You need to remove this update file “KB3035583” (and don’t allow it to download in any future update).

      You can Google “remove KB3035583” and likely find the specific instructions on finding and removing the file on your computer. I have Win7. I have removed the described file. You must uncheck the described file to keep it from downloading on every Win7 update (Micrsoft does not understand “NO”). It’s not a big deal to do it.

      1. prostratedragon

        Thanks for the info; nice not to have to fear cursor creep so much.

        I just got a Win7 laptop and installed linux along side in a dual boot. Turned out to be much easier than I’d thought –took maybe only an hour, deep breaths and all– and linux works smoothly on even a pretty basic machine.

    5. Gaianne

      Windows 10 does keystroke logging and sends it off to Microsoft. So all of your personal info, including passwords, credit card numbers, and the like is in the sober and trustworthy hands of Microsofts out-sourced private-contractor data management jockies.

      Best of luck!


  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Americans want to end the country’s longest war.

    That would be the War on Wage Inflation.

    The second longest, short by not much to the first, is the War on the Assetless.

  11. TedWa

    RE: “House Votes to Give Privacy Rights to Foreigners.”
    Disgusted. They gave foreigners more rights to privacy than they are allowing American citizens, including redress and inspection of what the US government collects on them. More gutting of our rights. Foreigners must be laughing that they now have more rights to privacy than those stupid Americans.

  12. Jim Haygood

    FT article:

    Gulf Co-operation Council members’ average fiscal deficits are expected to reach 13 per cent of GDP this year, with the region’s largest economy, Saudi Arabia, facing a deficit of 21.6 per cent in 2015 and 19.4 per cent in 2016.

    All regional exporters — apart from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — are on course to run out of financial reserves within five years.

    Saudi’s 21.6% of GDP fiscal deficit is monstrous — about double what the US ran in the 2008 crisis when it gave a blank check to Goldman Sachs et al.

    To be blunt about it, the acute risk staring the brutal Saudi dictatorship in the face is revolution, when they can no longer cut welfare checks to a largely idle population.

    Couldn’t happen to nicer bunch of head choppers — who, of course, are our “allies.”

    1. Nigelk

      Any nation that is still a monarchy in the 21st century is an insult to human dignity. Forgive me, I’m French; we know what to do with monarchs…

      They shall reap the whirlwind. No tears will be shed from my corner of North America.

      I still feel pretty “glass-house” looking down my nose at anyone else for human rights abuses, but I’ve found my ‘karass’ here @ NC, so I feel somewhat better…

  13. rich

    Carlyle Group Behind RushCard Problems
    Forbes reported:

    It’s been a terrible week for users of RushCard, a prepaid debit card created by hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, ever since a “technology transition” went awry last Sunday and locked users out of their accounts.

    Some users have reportedly been prevented from accessing their money for over a week.

    The story went on to describe the financial pain felt by many low income card users.

    Simmons founded UniRush, a financial services company that offers the Rush Card, in 2003.

    Forbes did not mention Carlyle’s acquiring UniRush in 2010. The Carlyle Group commonly charges affiliates millions in management fees.

    WSJ recently ran a piece on Carlyle’s tech savvy, which leads one to ask: How did Carlyle botch this? Was it the same way they gunked up Boeing 787 Dreamliner production at Vought?

    There is more to life than just technology, said David Rubenstein, co-founder and CEO of The Carlyle Group, and it’s important to enjoy areas beyond technology whether you are a student or not.

    Like food, when you have access to your money.

    wonder if things ever get jammed up when they’re sucking companies dry???

    1. Oregoncharles

      Oh, the lawsuits!

      And incidentally, this joins a parade of financial IT snafus. Have we reached a breaking point?

  14. Oregoncharles

    A footnote on “Sex on a Plane:” the author is “the longtime senior reader of fiction at Harvard Review, and the consulting fiction editor of DigBoston. “

  15. Oregoncharles

    “American Cancer Society, in a Shift, Recommends Fewer Mammograms”-ray

    X-rays cause cancer. Has anyone made sure there’s a net benefit? Strangely enough, the article doesn’t say.

    I can remember X-raying my feet as a child – at the shoe store. Seems like we’re still figuring that one out.

    1. Daryl

      People who work with x-rays have limits on exposure. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there are the same sort of guidelines to make sure medical patients exposure is limited between doctors. As a kid with a lot of dental issues, I got zapped often, and oftentimes the x-rays were redundant with another practitioners or “for records.” No cancer, but I do glow in the dark.

    2. JEHR

      I, too, had my feet x-rayed while trying on new shoes as a kid. I told my dentist that I didn’t want so many x-rays of my teeth and he had me sign a paper making sure he would not be made responsible for not being able to x-ray. I often think that those annual x-rays are just money providers for the dentist.

  16. aletheia33

    i just donated $50 (really more than i can well afford, but i think of it as an investment!). i assume the $$ can’t be specifically directed to lambert’s covering of obamacare but want lambert and yves to know that it is the NC “department” i most appreciate and consider especially important, as this coverage is not to be found anywhere else. (this is NOT meant to indicate any lack of recognition of the tremendous importance of EVERYTHING that NC does or to complain that the obamacare work does not have a special donation category or anything like that.)

    given that “we are winning” as DCInsider wrote yesterday, i hope all lambert’s work on this issue will find a dramatically widening audience if DCInsider is right that certain parties with, one hopes, some decisionmaking power, are beginning to actually show some concern about how ACA is actually serving and hurting the people who are hardest hit by its looting provisions.

    the travesty of obamacare needs the same level of exposure and outrage that bush’s iraq fiasco poisoning the middle east situation for decades to come has got, and lambert is leading the charge!

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thanks! However, we need to remember to “follow the money,” and if we do, we’ll find that finance entities like private equity are at the heart of all the depredation. ObamaCare (at least the private insurance part) is part of the FIRE sector. That’s why the CalPERS work, and taking the occasional scalp, are so very important, and even if they do not seem to impact people as immediately, they do.

      1. aletheia33

        yes of course.
        and i do also appreciate the way your obamacare reporting depicts exactly what the impact looks like when it immediately hits the people.

  17. Matthew Saroff

    I would be very dubious of that 600 km jamming claim.

    It would either require an enormous a amount of power, or a system that reacted blisteringly fast to signals, because most secure communications (as well as the humble cell phone) use frequency hopping technology developed by Hollywood bombshell Heddy Lamarr.

    I am dubious of a 60km jamming range, because you would still need a large amount of power, and hence a large installation and a large antenna which is sending out a signal that says “here I am”.

    BTW as to blisteringly fast, it takes light about two thousands of a second to travel 600 km, so if you are responding to frequency hopping at that distance, you would have 4 thousands of a second before you could jam.

    At 56kbps, this translates into 224 bits. More realistically, you are probably looking at at least 10x that.

    If the communication device changes frequencies 10x a second, you are looking at a throughput of over 20kbps, which is enough to carry reasonable voice and enough data to function, though you would not get the real-time video that the generals love.

  18. Hedley Lamar

    Matthew, why would they bother to hop in synch? All they have to do is make enough patterned noise to disrupt the signal processing.

  19. Matthew Saroff

    Because brute noise making requires way too much power.

    Unless they have discovered some heretofore unknown secrets in the signal processing domain (pun intended) you need a f%$# load of power to do this.

    1. Matthew Saroff

      I just got to the bottom of this, with help from an Aviation Week article from over a month ago by the indispensable Bill Sweetman.

      The system is far more limited, and does not hit things like satellites and sonar. It Jams AWACS, which is eminently doable, and tactically significant.

      Russian defense electronics conglomerate Kret (Concern Radio-Electronic Technology) introduced a range of new electronic warfare (EW) systems at the 2015 MAKS air show at Zhukovsky, near Moscow, including a new helicopter-borne jamming system and a high-power ground-based system designed to blind the widely used Boeing E-3 Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) and other systems using the S-band (2-3 GHz).

      According to Kret, the Krasukha-2 AWACS jammer can act as a high-power microwave weapon, with enough power to damage target hardware. It is developed by Kret’s Gradient subsidiary and is mounted on a BAZ 6909 8 X 8 truck.

      The 9-ft.-dia. parabolic reflector focuses energy from a battery of feed horns and at least two secondary side feeds, and sits, with the radio-frequency signal generators, on a 360-deg.-rotatable platform, with up to 5 deg. elevation. It is claimed to be effective over a 45-deg. angle to the main radar beam, jamming through the radar’s sidelobes, and able to mask a target from an AWACS that is 150-300 km (93-186-mi.) from the jammer. The 100-kW-plus generator and power-conditioning system is built into the truck chassis and is driven by a spur from the transmission.

      It is an impressive piece of kit, but it does not violate the laws of physics as claimed in the other article.

      If they manage to integrate this with an electronically scanned antenna, it would be even more formidable.

  20. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the link to the call by Anat Admati at Stanford for very significant increases in equity capital at the banks as a necessary measure to reduce the risk that future losses from massive speculations and fraud will continue to be born by the American people assuming no material changes are made to the nation’s existing monetary and financial system (such as restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, public banking options, much more stringent regulation of banks’ business activities and underwriting, criminal prosecutions of individuals who engage in control and securities fraud, etc.)

    Because it is likely that banks would increase both their charges and their risk-taking in an effort to offset the related reduction of their returns on equity from such a measure, I believe that price caps on bank charges for basic banking services including consumer loans; and restrictions on their derivatives positions, trading exposures, off-balance sheet activities, implicit guarantees, and much more intensive regulation of their asset quality should concurrently be required.

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