Links 2/6/16

Sickly sea lion pup found sleeping in booth inside La Jolla restaurant Los Angeles Times (Nikki)

Many white-tailed deer have malaria: Researchers discover first-ever native malaria in the Americas PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Livestock diversity crucial to ending global hunger Bangkok Post (furzy)

If you thought solar was going to hurt utilities, get a load of solar+storage Vox (Steve Keen). Long but extremely good.

There was a massive population crash in Europe over 14,500 years ago ars technica (Chuck L)

Error 53′: Your Repaired iPhone Is Dead WSJ Digits

Driving Robocallers Crazy With the Jolly Roger Bot On the Wire. OMG you must watch the video.

Roger Goodell says NFL has ‘no higher priority’ than player safety Guardian. Resilc: “He should run for vice president for Hillary, great liar.”

Bayer rejects EPA request to pull insecticide from U.S. market Reuters. EM: “Under ISDS Bayer would not merely be ‘fighting in court’, they’d be countersuing.”

Only 1% of crimes are punished in Mexico Quartz (resilc)

Australia guts government climate research ars technica (Chuck L)

Lending to emerging markets comes to halt Financial Times. We featured a post on this yesterday.

Argentina in $6.5bn offer to debt holdouts Financial Times

New Zealand politician hit in the face with a DILDO for negotiating Trans-Pacific Partnership WTFLY (MT)


When $3 Trillion Just Isn’t Enough Bloomberg

Four Things that Keep Spain’s Senior Bankers Awake at Night Don Quijones


20,000 Syrian refugees stuck on Turkish border after fleeing Aleppo euronews (furzy)

Why the ‘Sultan of Chaos’ is freaking out Pepe Essobar

Israel-Backed Group Sues Food Co-op for Boycotting Israeli Products TruthOut (Josh D)

Nearly 200 images released by US military depict Bush-era detainee abuse Guardian

Obama’s Pentagon Covers Up Bush-Era Detainee Abuse Daily Beast (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

There’s a secret “black site” in New York where terrorism suspects are tortured for years at a time Boing Boing (resilc)

Twitter suspends over 125,000 accounts for “promoting terrorist acts” euronews

New Jersey man arrested after drone crashes into Empire State Building Reuters

Judge Denies Access to Source Code for DNA Software Used in Criminal Cases WSJ Law Blog (guurst). This comes off like a strained pro-prosecutioin ruling. Which does not mean it would not survive an appeal.

Clinton Body Slam. It feels like a lot of journalists have taken umbrage at how the Clintons have managed the media (they apparently complain vociferously over anything perceived to be negative, no matter how trivial). So it may be that not only are Hillary’s efforts to defend her Wall Street ties glaring proof of how entitled and disconnected (and corrupt) she is, but the media finally senses that the Clintons are weak enough (at least for now) that they can say the things they been dying to say about them.

Speeches That Earned Clinton Millions Remain a Mystery ABC. This is a big deal. As I tweeted (please retweet and otherwise circulate): “Hillary lied: Goldman didn’t”offer”. Her $675K for 3 speeches = 3x her standard fee of $225K. GS simply met her rate.” She can’t bring herself to be truthful about her commercial dealings, going back to the Tyson bribe masked as an impossibly successful commodities trading record.

The FT comments section reports that Hillary’s standard contract depicts her speeches as her intellectual property and required that a stenographer make a transcript for her use only. The ABC article above reports:

Clinton’s contract prohibited her comments from being broadcast, transcribed or “otherwise reproduced,” according a copy of one such agreement with the University of Buffalo.

However, that contract is ONLY with the party that hired her. Anyone who was in the audience is under no contractual obligation to keep the information secret unless they also agreed in writing to not record the presentation (indeed, given the large-group nature, one could argue she has no expectation of privacy). So if we are so fortunate to have a reader who actually recorded any of these speeches, we’d love to get a copy (and that does not conflict with sending it to your favorite MSM outlet; they’d probably write it up in detail while we would upload the audio file as well as provide a transcript).

Bernie Sanders won the debate’s Google fight — in more ways than one Washington Post (Carolinian)

Time for Chelsea Clinton’s Easy Ride to End Politico (resilc)

Bernie Sanders brandishes his Wall Street weapon Financial Times. As of this hour, comments more positive than you’d expect from this venue.

Exclusive: Presidential hopefuls Sanders, Clinton in dead heat – Reuters/Ipsos poll Reuters. This is after Iowa. Notice that this is despite Sanders having much lower name recognition than Clinton.

Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton’s Tutor in War and Peace Nation (rich)

Why on Earth Is ‘Progressive’ Hillary Clinton Touting This Endorsement? Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

The Vampire Squid Tells Us How to Vote Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

The Clintons ruined the name ‘Hillary’ for new parents Washington Post

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Brawl Over His “Insinuation” That She’s Corrupt Intercept

‘Something smells’: Top Iowa paper calls for ‘complete audit’ of Clinton’s win over Sanders Raw Story. This is starting to get traction.

Elizabeth Warren Recalls a Time When Big Donors May Have Changed Hillary’s Vote Bill Moyers


First cracks to the establishment by the American people failed evolution

Bernie Sanders can beat Hillary Clinton, and Conservatives should take note Telegraph

Bernie’s Vermont Politico (resilc). This is a really good photo essay that includes people who’ve known Sanders a long time. That does mean they are old and white. Key quote: “If there was anything on the side of the people who were getting walked on, Bernie was always there, I don’t care if there were 10 people or thousands.” Also, ZOMG, people in Vermont care about policy.

Bernie Sanders New Hampshire Primary Chances – Ben & Jerry’s Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

How much influence does the media really have over elections? Nieman Lab

How Ted Cruz outfoxed Donald Trump in Iowa Washington Post

Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Nomination New York Magazine (resilc). NYMAg veers from having insight to being utterly mad.

Michigan emails show officials knew of Flint water disease risk Reuters (EM)

New York crane collapse kills at least one person BBC. This never used to happen. Now it happens too often. Who is getting paid off?

Angry White Men

Bundy militants could be forced to repay $3.4 million to taxpayers over illegal stunt Raw Story. (furzy). And that’s before court costs. Oh, I could enjoy this.

Oil market spiral threatens to prick global debt bubble, warns BIS (David L)

Bond yields send recession signal Financial Times

Tech Sector Leads Stock Selloff Wall Street Journal

Oil market spiral threatens to prick global debt bubble, warns BIS Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Guillotine Watch

Smirking Shkreli refuses lawmakers’ questions, calls them ‘imbeciles’ Reuters

Class Warfare

The Rise of the Rich-Poor Gap Martin Khor

Note to Hillary: Clintonomics was a Disaster for Most Americans Robert Pollin

Antidote du jour (IsabelPS):

drinking bird links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Paper Mac

    Re: Judge Denies Access to Source Code for DNA Software Used in Criminal Cases

    ‘“Judge Rangos concurs with other courts,” Mr. Mark Perlin said in a statement on his company’s website. “Scientists test executable software programs on real data; they do not read source code text.” ‘

    Every bioinformatician, and, frankly, most practicing molecular biologists, would find this completely risible. I have no formal background in computer science and I’m expected to wade through python and perl scripts and to be able to understand what they’re doing to my data. How else am I supposed to interpret results? Bin this guy and his firm, get the bioinformatics whizzes at NIH to write some open source software for the court system, done.

    1. Durans

      I don’t know much about biology or DNA, but I do understand programming, though I’m no expert.

      Testing something like this by throwing random samples at it without knowing how it works is complete madness. I realized from the start that you would need to look at if the system is capable of false positives. After reading more on it I now realize that you would also need to do an accounting of what ever likelihood it generates, and exactly where they got their numbers from used to come up with that from.

      Reading up more on TrueAllele I’m very skeptical of it, Google just generates long illegible links, but I found a to get to what I found. Google TrueAllele UCI and the first link should be a PDF of an article by three college professors on Forensic DNA statistics. Further down in the article it discusses TrueAllele and some of the problems with it. Now this article is apparently from a defense attorney publication, but if what they mention doesn’t raise your suspicions then I don’t know what will.

      There is also a youtube video describing the process from the company that makes this software itself. They do not go into detail at all, but it gives you some idea of what it is doing.

      From viewing all of it, in my opinion the old saying about lies and statics is more than appropriate here.

  2. abynormal

    Who is getting paid off regarding Cranes? Plenty blame to spread…Inspectors and all of 5 employees of Osha/sarc. i’ve seen cranes welded by shade-tree mechanics…happens during hard-times. Sickening is the operator attempting the lift under-weighted. his certifications, if there were ever any, were probably not up to date. the jib/extension made for a dangerous reach in that tight of space…of course it upset.

    “Everything passes, only truth remains.”
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

    1. jsn

      As this is pretty much my beat at the moment, I think the significance is different: this is a market froth indicator. The condo boom in NYC soaking up flight capital from around the world has more cranes in use than possibly ever before. I don’t have stats for that, but my peers and myself in this business in this city for 30 (me) to 50 (my mentors) years have never seen anything like it.

      In 2007 when the cranes started toppling it was graft. City response under Bloomberg was very strong and DeBlasio, whatever other problems I have with him has sustained it. There is just so much condo work that crap equipment sitting in yards for decades is being drawn into use. Every one is desperate to sell to Chinese before the bubble deflates.

      1. abynormal

        The The Brothers Karamazov threads the breakdown of heavy machinery.
        excellent read for the times..l

  3. Robert Callaghan

    These are the 2 most important things you will ever read.

    1) The reason solar & wind power will change nothing is because electrical grid generation is only 18% of our total power use. It takes 10X the amount of solar & wind power to shut down one fossil fuel power plant simply because they don’t work all the time. Also, 100% efficient carbon capture and storage would only resolve 18% of emissions. 100% efficient CCS is very unlikely. Renewable energy is unsustainable without massive energy demand destruction. We cannot sustain economic growth with renewable energy.

    2) Humans and livestock occupy 97% of the weight of all the vertebrate animals on land and in the sky. Humans and livestock use 50% of all the land. Humans and livestock caused 80% of species extinctions. Humans and livestock consume 40% of net primary production of the weight of all annual green growth. Eating meat is destroying all the fish in the sea. Eating meat will cause the mass extinction of life on earth.

    If you like reading about the truth and would like to know more about reality, go here:

    1. rusti

      While I’m sympathetic to the scope of the problem, your link clearly preys on people’s scientific illiteracy in a way that I usually see among nuclear power acolytes and climate change deniers. Though looking at the bio of the author he doesn’t seem to fall into either of these camps and is actually not too far from my personal views.

      As an example:

      We require 10X the fossil electrical grid energy we use now just to solve 18% of the emissions problem with solar & wind power alone.

      This is an impossibly round number for an impossibly complicated system calculation, but to insinuate that this rule-of-ten would apply to a US-level renewable energy deployment is almost certainly wrong.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Memo to Robert Callaghan: Thanks for using your real name, it’s the only thing real about your post.

      1.) Shockingly, you avoided the simple truth about unsustainable energy sources, fossil fuel burning. Because it is a strictly limited, not just theoretically finite source of energy, it will run out sooner rather than later and economic growth will stop. All processes have beginnings, midpoints and ends. Eventually we all die, all species die and all planets and all stars likewise. However, that is irrelevant to good public policy which we have available to us right now if we can muster the political and economic will to implement. You are simply tautological correctness without substance or communication. Sustainable energy will not run out as long as the planet and sun function well together in the solar system. My bet is on the heliocentric energy economy and not the geocentric option. Digging and burning is so last industrial revolution.

      Since you like the gee wow look at the math stuff, here’s a small counter to your most important thing EVER!

      Ray Kurzweil projects Solar will power the world!

      “Solar panels are coming down dramatically in cost per watt. And as a result of that, the total amount of solar energy is growing, not linearly, but exponentially. It’s doubling every 2 years and has been for 20 years. And again, it’s a very smooth curve. There’s all these arguments, subsidies and political battles and companies going bankrupt, they’re raising billions of dollars, but behind all that chaos is this very smooth progression.”

      2.) People adapt. When the time comes to stop agri-biz production due to limited petro-chemical inputs, we will stop. Will lots of people die before then due to famine, war, pestilence? That is, as it turns out, the human condition. The utopia reconstruction of the social order on a worldwide basis guided by wisdom and valid knowledge, the kind that science informed by well reasoned and enlightened dialogue can produce is the ideal. Well worth fighting for and arguing over. But the hopelessness and despair and naked fear mongering is the anxiety response to a mortal threat, the kind that triggers fight or flight. As humans, we are self conscious of the consequences of our collective actions as the science developed by the International Geo-physical Year have demonstrated.

      “In April 1957, just three months before the IGY began, scientists representing the various disciplines of the IGY established the World Data Center system. The United States hosted World Data Center “A” and the Soviet Union hosted World Data Center “B.” World Data Center “C” was subdivided among countries in Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Today, NOAA hosts seven of the fifteen World Data Centers in the United States.

      The British-American survey of the Atlantic, carried out between September 1954 and July 1959, was a major contribution to the IGY. Each dot represents a point where data were collected on ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen content, and dissolved chemicals. Click image for larger view.

      Each World Data Center would eventually archive a complete set of IGY data to deter losses prevalent during the International Polar Year of 1932. Each World Data Center was equipped to handle many different data formats, including computer punch cards and tape—the original computer media. In addition, each host country agreed to abide by the organizing committee’s resolution that there should be a free and open exchange of data among nations.”

      Uruguay and Costa Rica are examples of the complete displacement of fossil fuels in the years to come. Uruguay gets 95
      % of its electricity from hydro and wind powered turbines combined. The growing wind power sector protects the drought sensitive hydro sector. Costa Rica can go months without firing up their fossil fuel power generators. Germany’s industrial economy gets 35% of its electricity from sustainable wind and solar PV panels working in conjunction. The evidence is overwhelming, humanity is adapting, like we always do. Will it be enough in time for everybody everywhere to live life to its fullest in peace and prosperity? Sorry, I am not running for president promising the sun and stars. Just the sun.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How many square inches or square feet of solar panels does it take to support an average American’s life style, at, say, the annual total sunlight exposure of Des Moines, Iowa?

        i don’t know and am curious to find out.

        The total surface area of the planet will set an upper limit to the human population, assuming we don’t change our lifestyle, and we don’t need any surface area to do anything else (for wind turbines, for example).

        1. rusti

          Search for MIT Future of Solar and browse Chapter 7 of the study:

          As an example, we consider supplying all of U.S. electricity demand in the year 2050, projected to total roughly 4,400 TWh (or 0.5 TW averaged over the course of a year), with PV. The land area that must be dedicated to PV in this case is indeed large — roughly 33,000 square kilometers (km2), or 0.4% of the land area of the United States.

            1. JCC

              But it’s tough to project into the future. How much will we really need, how much will we really use? And how much will solar cells provide?

              Transportation will remain high usage if we continue our present lifestyles, even with primarily EVs, HEVs, and PHEVs, but home and business use is declining rapidly and will continue to do so. Consider things like LED light bulbs, single board cigarette-pack sized computers being produced today that are far more powerful than laptops and desktops of just a couple of years ago (not to mention the toy RaspberryPi, and even cheaper to produce) as well as using less power, TV’s that use very little power and use less as time goes on, etc.

              The EROEI of both solar cells and batteries is declining rapidly, both are estimated at better than 10 to 1 already and projected to double that within 10 to 20 years with already known technology.

              I’m no “tech will solve everything” person. We’ll still need oil products, and unfortunately probably coal, but as we slide down the backside of Hubbert’s Peak and the costs go up, thankfully it looks like we may not need as much of it.

              Now if we could just figure out how to effectively build clean liquid thorium salt reactors and how to reduce the global human population to realistic levels…

              1. David Mills

                Thank you for mentioning thorium, I always dread the imminent smack down when I mention nuclear…

            2. Propertius

              That’s quite large indeed

              No, it isn’t really that large. It’s less than the available rooftop area in the US. That .5TW of generation capacity (and then some) can be achieved with currently available rooftop space in the US, according to DOE’s 2012 SunShot study (which I’ve linked to in a comment that’s in limbo apparently because it contains a link to the study). I’ll repeat the money quote (just in case the comment stays in spammer purgatory forever):

              More than enough potential distributed
              sites are available to achieve the SunShot scenario deployment. Even after
              accounting for limiting factors such as shading, and orientation, U.S. rooftops alone could accommodate more than 600 GW of PV capacity, and additional opportunities exist on sites such as parking structures, awnings, and airports (Denholm and Margolis 2008). Most of the siting challenges distributed PV faces relate to its installation on structures, including complex and variable codes and permits, zoning ordinances, and restrictive covenants.

              Note that this requires the use of absolutely no currently undeveloped land, even with currently available commercial PV technology.

              1. mark

                ” Agricultural land (% of land area) in the United States
                Agricultural land (% of land area) in the United States was last measured at 44.68 in 2012, according to the World Bank. Agricultural land refers to the share of land area that is arable, under permanent crops, and under permanent pastures.”

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                It sounds good for the whole.

                The next consideration is distribution of generation. Single level buildings should have advantage over, say, a 20 story residential apartment building, as far as rooftop area per resident goes. And local variations. A rainy city like Seattle would get less than the always sunny California. Should we encourage people to migrate to sunnier locales?

                1. craazyboy

                  Keep in mind what rooftops look like in south central LA. It’s not a solar garden out there. We might get ’em to start out slow – with door mats or something.

                2. Propertius

                  But the study takes into account differences in insolation and shading effects on current rooftops in the US. No moving required. No use of arable land required. No use of even non-agricultural, undeveloped land.

                  The problems are social and political, not technical.

            3. John Parks

              Quite large? I suppose everything is relative but that is only a square roughly 113 miles per side.
              I think the larger problem is our for profit system of energy production and distribution.

          1. nothing but the truth

            by 2050
            – panels may be feasible over the sea
            – above the clouds
            – in space (this is the eventual way out to guarantee non-interruption).
            – we might get fusion working

            or we may have collapsed into the stone age..

        2. Paul Tioxon

          “According to a graduate thesis by Technical University of Braunschweig student Nadine May, the number of solar panels needed to supply the entire world’s energy needs would fill just 25,000 square miles – or an area only slightly larger than the state of West Virginia.”


          One of the achievements of the Obama stimulus was money invested in the solar energy engineering piece. A solar survey was done for America. Additional research has emerged from a number of global scientific research sources having the answer to all of the questions you quite rightly pose. The enormous transformation which in fact has only really begun under the aegis of the Obama administration in America, under other government agency around the world, is moving beyond the shift in policy and into the implementation. I could be writing here everyday, cumulatively an ebook about the progress going on in practically every nation in the world. Just this morning, watching MSNBC from Manchester NH, the reporter had in the background over here shoulder a building which was clearly covered in some sort of solar panel array.

          Right now, the solar panels and wind turbines are contributing to the grid and creating micro grids but are not replacing in toto the entire power generation capacity of coal fired plants, nukes etc. The fact that they are growing more in the last 5 years than in all the time since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, some 43 years, is a testimony to the change in policy. Obama will be long gone by the time we reach even 10% electricity generation from solar alone. The fact that he has supported and not ripped the panels off the White House roof top, like the republicans did when Reagan gained power, the fact that unlike the destruction of the National Passive Solar Information Center being killed off, when the republicans and Reagan came to power, Obama is pouring more money into energy efficient construction and retrofit or reuse of the existing built environment research and commercialization. There are many good questions to be asked about the practical implementation of the build out of solar energy. The good news is that there are already answers and there needs to be more money invested into industrial manufacturing capacity to get to 100% sustainable energy powering our economy.

          The vast system for power grid management and projected future energy demand is using the new input of research studies from US Government agencies that have finally produced a lot of the basic engineering data for solar wattage hitting specific geographical areas. Des Moines may not have within its boudaries enough day light hours of sunshine annually, but more than enough to produce significant amounts of power supplemented by the small areas of the desert SW and Mexico that will build out the Concentrated Solar Power Plants, the CSPs, which will be come the industrial scale replacements for coal plants and produce the continuous base load of current 24/7.

        3. heresy101

          Contrary to the Koch bros nonsense from the initial comment, pv energy is real and you can calculate it very accurately. Go to: and enter your zip code. Use all the default assumptions except your cost for electricity and size of the system. If you use 1 kW as the size of the system, the annual pv generation will be given. Then divide your annual usage by the output for your area (about 1,374 kWh/1kW in Des Moines). If you download the data, you can get hourly generation to help plan for your storage system. Additionally, if there are time of use rates, the data will help planning for storage. With storage, there isn’t even a need for net energy metering.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            How do we dispose of old PV panels? Are they toxic?

            I am interested to know more. I am thinking about it – a Solar City guy came by and dropped off his business card the other day.

            1. Propertius

              They’re recyclable. I’m not providing a link because this comment will disappear if I do. Just do a search on “solar panel recycling”.

            2. heresy101

              If you have the cash or can get a 2nd on your house, ownership is about half the cost of leasing. Solar City is offering a $0.125/kWh rate with an inflation escalator for the 25 year life of the panels in parts of the Bay Area. This will end up being 50-100% higher than if you own the panels.

              The Feds have extended the investment tax credit (ITC) of 30% for another three years. Residential costs were $9-10/watt for all-in installation costs at the beginning of CA SB1 solar rebate law in 2008. Today, our customers are having the installation in the $3-3.50/watt range. If you use an average of 750 kWh per month in Des Moines, to meet your annual usage would require a 6 kilowatt system. This would provide the annual amount of electricity but 2/3 would be generated in the summer and 1/3 in the winter. A slightly larger system and batteries could probably provide 100% of your usage. The 6 kW system would cost about $18K upfront with an $6K tax credit the next year. Simple payback depends on what you are paying for electricity, but should be in the seven year range. You could get the system cheaper if you source the parts yourself (some pv panels are $0.70/watt and are 1/2+ of the system costs. Doing the roof at the same time makes sense, and that is a selling point for a roofing and solar company in CA.

              We always recommend our customers get three estimates. Also, if you are older there won’t likely be a financial payback, but one of our 80 year old customers just wanted to do something good for the earth even though we were 68% renewable.

      2. Gio Bruno

        Thanks, PT, for the more enlightened view of the portents of alternate energy sources.

        My comment on the solar+storage article is that it ignores the element of energy conservation. (Long time NC readers will think I’m going to link to my Energy Conservation Optimized (ECO)-Home; I won’t do that.)

        But I will point out that if our living environment (lighting, heat/cooling, transportation, etc) become more efficient with LED lighting, light electric vehicles, passive solar heating/cooling design, etc. then alternative energy (solar+battery) becomes even MORE attractive. The “flip-point” to solar+battery is closer than the article emphasizes.

        When I designed the ECO-Home (25 yr. BCE) folks in the state agency I worked for laughed. Today the state agency that promotes Nevada for large scale solar installations uses it in their promotional offering. Twenty five years from now distributed solar PV + battery will dominate the landscape.

      3. JTMcPhee

        Yes, people adapt. Lots of ways to take advantage of the sun’s energy, like these “native” and innovative and simple solar cookers that may not be as convenient and sexy as your pleasure-of-ownership, CO2- spewing La Cornue Grande Palais custom $47,000 range,, but do the job. Lookie here, ma, no combustion, no deforestation, all that stuff! Positively UnAmerican! And yes, they rely on shiny reflective surfaces that imply aluminum, the smelting and metalsmithing of which generates GGs, but there’s a lot of it already lying around and there are other means as well of producing reflective surfaces and concentrating solar heat. Just a black-painted tank at the roof peak works for a lot of places. No 2-hour showers under one’s yuppie-perfect “rain forest” shower head (sic) in the “en suite” spa, maybe, but enough to keep stuff clean (assuming somehow one continues to have a source of potable water). Guess what, folks? Some of us have enough “money” to maintain the perfect consumer lifestyle for the rest of our lives, but that ain’t how it’s going to be for the vast majority that survives whatever vulnerabilities start to kill us off in large numbers whenever the bandwagon has rolled over that unanticipatable tipping point… Conservation, reduction in demand for combusto-nuke energy, lifestyle (actually, simple survival) changes coming up. LEDs and PV and sexy batteries and other magical storage of electrons are not “the answer,” nor will it likely be possible to ‘maintain the same level of energy usage of the average American’s lifestyle (sic),’ but better is possible. And necessary. And pretty clearly inevitable. Some possibilities for the thoughtful: There’s a whole literature of passive living (not, hopefully, in the political-economic realm) out there.

        Yes, retrofitting and new construction are “expensive” and, given no relief from the debt burden and the predations of those who will seek to monetize any change, will be a challenge. So is dying of exposure and stuff…

        And there were a couple of surprised comments yesterday about solar water heating coming into yuppie-scale use. “How can this be? Does this work? OMG!”

        I read that something like 10 million homes in Japan are using solar water heating, but of course people there are maybe used to “less” instead of “more,’ the USian credo —

    3. Vatch

      The reason solar & wind power will change nothing

      This is an oversimplification of complex reality. Solar and wind power are already changing things, and will continue to do so. However, the use of fossil fuels continues, and is perhaps growing in some places. The problem isn’t that solar and wind power will change nothing, the problem is that they can’t change things fast enough. There are 7.3 billion people on Earth, and this population is growing by about 75 million people per year. These people need energy, as will the future people who haven’t been born yet. There are also special problems using renewable fuels for transportation. And unless we are willing to force the majority of the world’s people to remain impoverished, the need for energy will grow much faster than the growth of the world’s population.

      So your statement is very misleading, but it contains a kernel of truth.

      1. Gio Bruno

        There are also special problems using renewable fuels for transportation.

        Care to identify them? If the battery power in the solar + battery paradigm is also useable in an around-town vehicle (and vice-versa) then two problems are solved at once. Neat how electricity works.

        1. Vatch

          I’m not a physicist or an automotive engineer, so I’m just parroting what others have told me, and I might be wrong about some of this. My understanding is that liquid fuels such as diesel and gasoline are denser sources of energy than batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Batteries need to be recharged frequently, and we don’t yet have the infrastructure for widespread vehicle battery recharging. Here’s an article that might shed a little light on this:

          The article begins:

          Electric cars are quick and quiet, with a range more than long enough for most commutes. If you want a car with extremely fast acceleration, the Tesla Model S is hard to beat. And, of course, electric vehicles avoid the pollution associated with conventional cars, including emissions of carbon dioxide from burning gasoline. Yet they account for a tiny fraction of automotive sales, mainly because the batteries that propel them are expensive and need to be recharged frequently.

          A better battery could change everything. But while countless breakthroughs have been announced over the last decade, time and again these advances have failed to translate into commercial batteries with anything like the promised improvements in cost and energy storage. Some well-funded startups, most notably A123 Systems, began with bold claims but failed to deliver.

          So we need some breakthroughs, which are probably possible, but we can’t proceed very quickly until those breakthroughs occur. And even then, it will take time for the new technology to be widely distributed.

          This article is 3 and a half years old, so it might be obsolete:

          Here are a few paragraphs:

          Batteries are expensive, resulting in electric cars typically being much more expensive than similar-sized cars powered by gasoline. There is a sensible cost limit when the cost of an electric car and electricity consumed over the life of the car considerably exceeds the cost of a car with an internal combustion engine including gasoline over the life of the car.

          Safety is an issue much discussed in the press. Although there are more than 200,000 fires per year in gasoline-fueled cars in America, there is widespread fear of electricity. Batteries in cars powered by electricity will surely burn in some accident scenarios; the fire risk will probably be similar to gasoline-powered cars.

          Stored energy in fuel is considerable: gasoline is the champion at 47.5 MJ/kg and 34.6 MJ/liter; the gasoline in a fully fueled car has the same energy content as a thousand sticks of dynamite. A lithium-ion battery pack has about 0.3 MJ/kg and about 0.4 MJ/liter (Chevy VOLT). Gasoline thus has about 100 times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery. This difference in energy density is partially mitigated by the very high efficiency of an electric motor in converting energy stored in the battery to making the car move: it is typically 60-80 percent efficient. The efficiency of an internal combustion engine in converting the energy stored in gasoline to making the car move is typically 15 percent (EPA 2012). With the ratio about 5, a battery with an energy storage density 1/5 of that of gasoline would have the same range as a gasoline-powered car. We are not even close to this at present.

          I hope this helps, and if I’m wrong, please correct me. I’m not an expert in this realm.

          1. Gio Bruno

            Without a doubt fossil fuels pack more energy density than current batteries. But we need to move away from those fuels for reasons that should be obvious (CO2 and Climate Change). And while electric (battery) powered cars have a limited range they are sufficient for most folks, most of the time. (And battery powered, mass transit buses are a regular occurrence in my town.)

            Electricity is actually a cleaner more sophisticated energy source than fossil fuel. (Try running your laptop on gasoline.) The discussion began with the alternate energy applications (Solar PV + Battery) becoming more widespread and the declining fortunes of single source electrical producers, and that will become the reality. Despite the energy density of diesel. Distributed PV power (electricity) will power your home, recharge your car, and have a real impact on climate change.

            The sun will be providing energy for a very long time.

            1. Vatch

              I wholeheartedly agree that we need to move away from petroleum, coal, and natural gas based fuels. But the investment in both resources and time required for this to occur is huge, and I think a lot of solar advocates are (probably unintentionally) glossing over many of the practical difficulties. It’s not going to happen quickly.

              Let’s not forget the frighteningly polluted skies of the major cities in China and India. A lot of fossil fuel is still being used.

              I bought a hybrid car last year, so I’m trying to do my part. I also adjust the thermostat when I leave home for the day.

              1. Gio Bruno

                Well, you probably don’t live in California (8th largest economy in the world) where the Governor has raised the goal for alternative energy portion of the power grid from 33% to 50% by 2020. Solar PV on rooftops is a wildfire here. Glossing over the practicalities are thousands of homeowners.

                Real conservationists, here, drive fully electric cars. A Prius (hybrid) is for folks mostly concerned with getting access to the “fast lane”.

                1. Vatch

                  Real conservationists, here, drive fully electric cars.

                  Fully electric cars are expensive and very inconvenient to recharge. Millions of Americans can’t even afford hybrids, let alone electric cars! And in some parts of the country, electric cars are fueled with electricity supplied by burning coal, which is worse than gasoline. This isn’t a contest to see who is the “real” conservationist.

                  the Governor has raised the goal for alternative energy portion of the power grid from 33% to 50% by 2020.

                  A goal isn’t the same as reality. Whatever happened to the goals in the wars on cancer and against drugs? Also, many parts of the country get a lot less sunlight than central and southern California.

                  You know, I’m on your side. But I’m not letting wishful thinking blind me to the practical difficulties of providing renewable electricity, heat, and transportation to 7.3 billion people. Fortunately, several billion of those don’t need heat, but they all need electricity and transportation, and despite that, a few billion do need heat in winter.

                  1. Gio Bruno

                    …sometimes it’s best to simply humor them.

                    Well, I wrote my prior response from a solar PV powered recharge station on a college campus (open to public) that had two Chevy Volts, a Fiat e500, and Tesla S charging away. Only the Tesla is beyond the price range of most folks. Change is coming quicker than you may notice.

                    The goal for alternative energy sourced power was upgraded to 50% because it’s clear 33% will be attained soon. It was noted because the momentum for distributed PV (rooftop solar) is exploding; indicating not hopes and wishes but reality.

                    I accept your concern for the needs of the world population, just don’t expect developing countries to share your skepticism of alternative energy (see; Uruguay).

          2. craazyboy

            Everything you printed from the article is correct. Actually electric cars would be cheaper than gas powered, if it weren’t for the $12000 or thereabouts battery pack. The motor and drive electronics can easily exceed 80% efficiency. But the low energy density of batteries is what mucks everything up, price and size wise.

            But one scenario for shorter range electrics is if employers put in charging stations at work. They do make lower power/slower chargers you can install in your garage, and they will charge you car up over night. But having another charge at work doubles your daily range. Then the other option is if companies put in solar to run the air conditioning and car chargers. That would eliminate the need for separate battery storage – you got one in your car already.

            1. mark

              “The world’s fastest charging electric buses, that takes just 10 seconds to be fully charged, were put into operation for the first time in Ningbo on Tuesday”

              electric vehicle news august 2 2015

              1. Vatch

                That’s very promising, but every silver lining has a dark cloud. From the article (I added the highlighting):

                The bus recharges while stationary or while passengers get on or off, and each charge enables the bus to run for 5 kms, according to Zhou Qinghe, president of Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, a subsidiary of high-speed train maker CRRC.

                3 miles per charge. They clearly have some work to do before this will work for most transportation.

                1. Gio Bruno

                  For someone who is not an expert (self-evaluation) your comment is just simply annoying. Think about this: the trolleys in San Francisco (hometown of my youth) operated on overhead electric lines (poles and suspension cables everywhere). Imagine that those poles could be placed 3 miles apart (instead of 100′); a much more livable/maintainable city would ensue. This is what a battery powered bus with 10 second charge time implies. (It takes longer than 10 seconds for passengers embark/debark.)

                  1. Vatch

                    Did you even read my first clause? Here, I’ll refresh your memory:

                    That’s very promising

                    And I stand by my statement that they still have a lot of work to do before this works for most forms of transportation. You can be as annoyed as you like, but I’m not standing in your way. How many cities are in the world? What kind of investment in both time and money would be required to build this type of system? A lot.

      2. Tom Allen

        I wonder also how the current economic problems in China — whose investments have driven the solar industry for a while now — will affect research, development and production of solar cells worldwide.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The Chinese are, as far as solar is concerned, are still in the ‘keep it simple, keep it cheap’ phase – they are not leaders in R&D. They have a major overcapacity problem which is probably good news for solar in poorer countries as it keeps a flow of cheap panels – but arguably more of a problem in wealthier countries where the alleged dumping of cheap panels is causing problems for domestic manufacturers. But in general, the pressure on China’s environment is so extreme that even in the event of a major long term downturn, there will still be a substantial market as so much dirty older generating capacity has to be shut down.

  4. James Levy

    Short-termism isn’t even close to describing what’s going on in Australia. When their wheat crop fails three years in a row, and it’s failing all over the planet, do they think that gutting the institutions that could have warned them to be ready for such a calamity was a good idea? Do they think hungry mobs are going to forgive them? That courtrooms packed with the destitute are going to exonerate them (if they ever get to a courtroom)?

    The phrase that returns to me again and again depraved indifference to human life.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With no wheat, the rich can’t say ‘Let them eat fish,’ for we are likely to run out of seafood before that, unless we get lucky.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        By 2050 the volume of plastic in the oceans will exceed the volume of fishes.
        Qu’ils mangent de la plastique!
        And on solar (above) I didn’t hear anyone include the cost externalities of breathing carbon soot, like, say, the 400,000 Chinese citizens who die early every year? I guess the cost to society of that is zero, kind of like radioactive Fukushima suburbs, or the 1,000,000 early deaths the National Science Foundation says were caused by Chernobyl.

  5. James Levy

    The article on the black site in NYC was terrifying. As an historian of WWII, you see how things we all scoff at, about people who claimed they knew nothing of what was going on in Europe, can be, in a weird way, true. This is happening in the media capital of the world. There are 7.5 million people in NYC. Yet this is the first I have ever heard of this. If enough people don’t want to know, things aren’t known. They may be surmised, they may be guessed at, but they are not known. So we all both know and don’t know, and live in the evil space between those two states.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If we can’t take good care of this planet, we don’t deserve another planet to ruin.

      If we can’t hold our government to spend wisely, and not waste money on black sites, among other things, we don’t deserve to say it should spend as much as it desires.

    2. timbers

      I suppose the headline “America’s Torture Chamber in NYC” or “President Obama’s Torture Chamber in NYC” would not be allowed by our corporate media.

    3. RWood

      And the ad:
      Experience the city’s newest lifestyle hotel
      that juxtaposition opens the gamut of human operations and experience permitted now.
      Yes, “we all both know and don’t know…”
      What is the basis of entertainment?

    4. Andrew Watts

      @James Levy

      As an historian of WWII

      Have you ever been published by the US Naval War College? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I’ve read your article on the Battle of Midway and something else that I don’t recall at the moment.

  6. rusti

    I can’t help but take issue with several points from the Vox article on solar plus storage. It is definitely true that utilities in many jurisdictions have fought tooth-and-nail to resist various net metering policies, partially out of a desire to pad comfortable profit margins but also making the legitimate argument that paying people market price to produce electricity when the sun is something of a subsidy for wealthier customers who have the means to buy or lease solar systems and have their own rooftop to put it on.

    What is the end-game if his optimistic scenario comes true, with grid defection becoming economical even in Northern states? Wealthy neighborhoods that have more and more independent infrastructure and poor neighborhoods connected to an increasingly unreliable electrical grid?

    It’s also an absolutely absurd technical solution from a resource use perspective. Even if PV, power electronics and Lithium Ion prices drop according to the most optimistic scenarios outlined, the raw materials required to build a system sized to provide power to a standalone suburban home in New York during the winter are absolutely gigantic and in no way is it carbon-free to produce those things. Not to mention the wastefulness of losing several percent in AC/DC conversion losses plus round-trip battery losses every time you use an appliance.

    Economies of scale are extremely important for renewable energy, perhaps these endless battles over net metering can drive development forward in the short-term but I doubt it’s going to trickle down to the wage-earning class before most major coastal cities are underwater. The Left should think bigger if they’re serious about climate change.

    1. Salamander

      So the “sun as a subsidy for the rich” argument seems legitimate to you?

      I mean… the scenario is no doubt true. Utilities will lose some control of the grid. And? Did we create the utilities to serve us, or are we captive consumers to serve them? And… is preserving their profit model more important than supporting a transition to more clean energy as a matter of sound public policy?

  7. mk

    Love this regarding Google searches after Thursday night’s debate:

    These are the top five questions for each:

    1. How old is Hillary Clinton?
    2. Who can beat Hillary?
    3. Where is Hillary Clinton today?
    4. Will Hillary win?
    5. How much is Hillary Clinton worth?

    1. Where will Bernie Sanders be speaking?
    2. Why Bernie Sanders?
    3. Who would be Bernie Sanders’ VP?
    4. How to donate to Bernie Sanders
    5. Where can I see Bernie Sanders in NH?

  8. craazyboy

    “If you thought solar was going to hurt utilities, get a load of solar+storage Vox (Steve Keen). Long but extremely good.”

    I think the part about battery storage sounds a bit too optimistic. Better, cheaper batteries have been a holy grail for over a 100 years now, and progress goes at a snails pace.

    The article shows a graph were they just assume a 15 or 20% “experience factor” resulting in falling prices for lithium-ion batteries. I think this needs to be backed up with much more industry research on what real companies are proposing. For one thing, different battery chemistries exist because there is a number of different performance characteristics that are important depending on the application. Li-Ion has the best power capacity, but the ones I can buy only have a recharge life of 100-150 cycles. They are coming out with “nano” and “graphene” versions which they claim may double that. But 300 recharge cycles sounds a tad short for what they claim to be a 15 year home solar installation. Also, I believe lithium is a rather scarce element – so where will it all come from?

    1. BillC

      I’ve been messing around with two very small backyard stand-alone solar installations (under 100W each) for a couple years, and while looking around for better energy density than the now commonly used VRLA batteries (what I’m using now) and better service life than lithium-ion, I’ve stumbled across something just now being commercialized, sodium nickel chloride, aka “SoNick.” The Italian battery specialist FIAMM claims intrinsicly safe chemistry (looking at you, lithium), >4,000 cycles at 80% depth-of-discharge (!?), and >19 year service life. Probably not dense and light enough for automotive and aircraft use, but it still sounds too good to be true. I hope it’s not.

      I understand Duke Energy is piloting it in a utility-scale energy storage project near Charlotte NC, but haven’t found any info about how it’s doing.

    2. rusti

      I’m also highly skeptical about the “Tesla Packs in every home!” mentality. There are some more imaginative ideas out there for industrial-size flywheels (though I might not want one in my metaphorical backyard) or underground thermal. Spread the chips out a bit and toss some cash towards Universities to develop this stuff. Even if there are a lot of loser ideas at least you’ll have more nerds thinking about the problem.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The planet will be covered in solar panels and flywheels, for the ubiquitous idea that if ‘you have one good idea in one place, you must spread it to everywhere” has been around since the dawn of humanity, and it also forms the basis for our current pursuit of free-trade.

          We need good architects to design these for they will be what we see 24/7, anywhere.

      1. craazyboy

        I almost bought Altairnano stock in the early 2000s. They were being hyped as promising nanotech company. I think the stock was around $4 then. Just checked it on their website – 3 cents. Glad I let that one get away.

        1. optimader

          Ohhh These engineered material companies are as a rule incredible equity Deadlystars as investment choices. A123 is a poster child.
          I did very well much by luck with Zoltek CF, but that was an exception. I have done business w/ at least a four battery startups and would NEVER invest in them.

      2. Gio Bruno

        Not certain where you get your information, but there is no current, or impending, shortage of lithium available for mining. While China produces most of the refined lithium used in batteries, I don’t see them being short on capacity anytime soon.

        1. Skippy

          Just a short purview…

          That noted you have two major problems wrt lithium extraction, not enough water or too much w/ toxicity dramas.

          Elemental lithium is flammable and very reactive. In nature, lithium occurs in compounded forms such as lithium carbonate requiring chemical processing to be made usable.
          Lithium is typically found in salt flats in areas where water is scarce. The mining process of lithium uses large amounts of water. Therefore, on top of water contamination as a result of its use, depletion or transportation costs are issues to be dealt with. Depletion results in less available water for local populations, flora and fauna.
          Toxic chemicals are used for leaching purposes, chemicals requiring waste treatment. There are widespread concerns of improper handling and spills, like in other mining operations around the world.
          The recovery rate of lithium ion batteries, even in first world countries, is in the single digit percent range. Most batteries end up in landfill.
          In a 2013 report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out that nickel and cobalt, both also used in the production of lithium ion batteries, represent significant additional environmental risks.

          A 2012 study titled “Science for Environment Policy” published by the European Union compares lithium ion batteries to other types of batteries available (lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and sodium sulphur). It concludes that lithium ion batteries have the largest impact on metal depletion, suggesting that recycling is complicated. Lithium ion batteries are also, together with nickel-metal-hydride batteries, the most energy consuming technologies using the equivalent of 1.6kg of oil per kg of battery produced. They also ranked the worst in greenhouse gas emissions with up to 12.5kg of CO2 equivalent emitted per kg of battery. The authors do point out that “…for a full understanding of life cycle impacts, further aspects of battery use need to be considered, such as length of usage, performance at different temperatures, and ability to discharge quickly.”

          Skippy…. no magic bullets out there imo…

      3. optimader

        No current shortage. yes and no
        There is actually a speculative increase in price attributed to China hoarding battery grade, so yeah it can be argued there is a current “shortage”, albeit speculatively driven.

        OTOH current reserves are comfortable compared to the modest current takeup

        By the same token, through the same time horizon lens, petroleum is inexpensive and plentiful.

        no impending, shortage of lithium available for mining

        it depends on what “impending” means.

        If it means, say, the next 20 years? I can be comfortable with a no/low risk of demand outstripping a current “reserve” mining scenario.

        If “no impending shortage” means no/ low risk of a peak lithium scenario AFTER going all in on Li based –transportation, utility and off grid energy storage, working fluid for solar concentrator solar production (as well as the organic growth of conventional Li applications)?
        I feel that is a much riskier speculation.

        Current Li carbonate mining is modest at best when considering the scaleup envisioned if it is to be exploited as the common cornerstone Element in a future storage scheme for a new electrical global energy infrastructure,

        If Li’s exploitation indeed spools up exponentially, the low hanging Li fruit (current known “reserve”) will be picked and like any legacy extractive commodity, production cost will chase availability. To think otherwise IIMO, is unjustifiably optimistic.

        The U.S. Geological Survey produced a reserves estimate of lithium in early 2015, concluding that the world has enough known reserves for about 365 years of current global production of about 37,000 tons per year (Figure 1). Current production goes to a little over one-third for ceramics, almost one-third for batteries, and miscellaneous uses for the last one-third. The same report finds about 39.5 million metric tons of “resources,” which is a less firm category than “reserves.” “Resources” include supplies that could feasibly be extracted economically at some point in the future, whereas reserves estimates refer to current economic viability.

        Even though 365 years of reserve supply sounds very comforting, the point of the EV and stationary storage revolutions is that current demand will shoot up, way up, if these revolutions do happen. The 100 Gigafactories scenario could come true. And if that happens, the 365-year supply would be less than a 17-year supply (13.5 million tons of reserves divided by 800,000 = 16.9 years).

        1. craazyboy

          I’ve got a dim recollection of reading that the Tesla battery, both car and home version, is a different chemistry that doesn’t use lithium. Can’t remember what it is, but that takes care of the lithium supply problem, if there is one. It’s possible they have trouble getting enough recharge cycles out of lithium-ion.

          I haven’t been digging into this much in recent years, so I’m not real sure where things are at. Just read the occasional news article, without researching it thoroughly….or an economist telling me that battery tech has been advancing so quickly that prices are falling 20% a year….

          1. optimader

            I don’t follow the battery scene closely anymore either, our primary work is focused elsewhere.. I do know GENERALLY the chemistry used in transportation and grid storage are designed for different charge and discharge profiles, hence the chemistry differs.
            In the case of tesla , both the transportation and storage applications happen to use lithium.

    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      Lithium is not a scarce element. Most current production comes from brines pumped from shallow wells fields in salt flats in high desert regions. There is production in Nevada and the high Andes (salars). China has similar resources on the Tibetan plateau.

      There are a couple of other deposit types, pegmatites mainly, and Li rich clay beds. Lithium is not and will not be a limiting input for battery manufacture for a long time. If ever. And LiCO3 is not an expensive material.

      1. optimader

        Titanium isn’t “scarce” either, it’s something like the 9th most common element in the earths crust. The cost of Electro-refining is how Mother Nature makes it a biatch to get to.

        Think of all that sweet, sweet fresh water in the Earths Oceans that has that pesky salt (including Lithium) mixed in ;o)

    4. heresy101

      Lithium isn’t that scarce. There is quite a bit of lithium that comes out of the ground at the Geysers geothermal field that must be disposed of along with the sulfur. When I suggested selling it, staff said that there was no market for it. But with Tesla locating in Reno that may be changing.

      While my studies in engineering school showed that flywheels are only good for voltage support and frequency regulation, there is a company that has a contract with Pacific Greed & Extortion to provide 20 Megawatts of storage in the next couple of years:

      Solar City and a couple of other pv companies are going to be selling their systems with Telsa batteries in the near future.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t think its correct to say its been a ‘holy grail for a 100 years now’ – in reality, its always been a peripheral market with little real R&D. The lead acid battery in a typical car hasn’t really changed in half a century. It was only the boom in smart phones which put real money investing in Lithium batteries and that boom is barely a decade old.

      You are right that lithium supply is a bottleneck, but Lithium batteries actually make very little sense for home storage – the only reason Tesla etc., are pushing them is that this is what they’ve invested in for their cars. Lithium wins for cars/phones because its light, which is obviously irrelevant for a home battery. In reality, in the longer term, something like Nickel-iron batteries would prove much better for home use – they last for decades, they are very robust, and their weight wouldn’t be problem in most domestic uses. It is only lack of a market which means there has been very little investment in them for a couple of decades. This will hopefully change.

      Most likely, there will be a lot of different types and designs used in the early stage, before one or two winners become dominant. But since real scale production has not been applied to anything except lead acid batteries and small lithium batteries, its entirely reasonable to assume that the costs will reduce very significantly. Its also worth noting that there has been minimal investment over the past few decades in mechanical systems, especially flywheels – even at current technology, if these were to be mass produced in real quantities the price could be driven much lower.

  9. Brooklin Bridge

    If you thought solar was going to hurt utilities, get a load of solar+storage -Vox

    I have some non technical experience with solar systems with batteries for residential use in off the grid places in Massachusetts and can report that the costs, using conventional but nevertheless somewhat specialized batteries, can already be affordable for many.

    It largely depends on what one’s expectations are. To run a household entirely on solar electric with storage for all purposes (heat, hot water, appliances including stove, washing machine, refrigerator) at traditional (decadent) levels is indeed still out of reach for most people, but to run small appliances, frige, dishwasher and lights is feasible for around 15 thousand dollars if one is modest and careful about usage (again, I’m not an expert). The people at the sites I’m referring to don’t give it a second thought, they are convinced they have all the electricity they need (that is partly because their expectations are less than the often extreme usage by houses on the grid). About every ten years, they have up to a few thousand dollars in battery replacement costs.

    Passive solar for hot water can be added. Also, Ductless heat/cool pumps can be installed that are efficient down to almost 0 degrees Fahrenheit, though to install all of these items and drive them by solar remains costly and Ductless systems still require having the grid or another heat source as backup, but break-even can be in as little as 5 years, .

    Anyway, people should look into this before assuming it’s out of reach and particularly before handing their roof over to a company that will own the system and “rent” the electricity back to them. This is all without even considering the “profit” of selling electricity surplus to the grid and the reason I think making that separation is important is because it is likely going to become problematic in our world of corruption and corporate terrorists in the future (if and) as more and more people do it.

    1. Gio Bruno

      Yes, your observations on “renting” one’s roof for a solar PV installation are important. Solar City isn’t simply an environmentally conscious corporation, it’s a profitable venture. Installing “rented” solar panels on the roof of one’s home without owning the system requires third party involvement (Solar City) in the subsequent sale of the house. It complicates escrow. If the future buyer doesn’t like the rental terms YOU agreed to then sticky issues can arise. Becoming solar savvy is necessary, before agreeing to “rent” your rooftop.

  10. Antifa

    Two Corinthians walk into a bar, in 55 CE, and order a jug of wine. After a few cups, they’re talking about the apostle Paul and those long letters he keeps sending to the budding Christian community in Corinth, epistles scolding everyone for not living up the ideals of Jesus, always bickering and gossiping, suing other true believers over debts, doubting Paul’s authority, and never ever sending enough gold to the Christians in Jerusalem.

    “That Paul’s pretty strict, isn’t he?”
    “Sure is. It’s the straight n’ narrow for everyone, or the lake of fire. Some choice.”
    “Hell of a change from the old ways.”
    “Yep. Those pagan festivals are a lot of fun. Between the Greeks and Romans, there’s some wild party goin’ on every week.”
    “Well, those days are over for us. We’re righteous men now. Our wives cover their heads!”
    “That’s right! An’ they keep quiet! An’ they obey their husbands! An’ thass us!”
    “Hey, listen, listen, I’ll tell you a little secret — I slept with my wife before we were married.”
    “For real?!”
    “I sure did. How ’bout you?”
    “Where’d you say your wife’s from?”
    “She’s from Galatia.”
    “Oh. Well in that case, yes. Yes, I did.”

    1. Steve H.

      I really need the labeling for first and Second Corinthians.

  11. Dino Reno

    Oy gevalt, Clinton kvetched that Bernie smeared her for taking a Goldman schmear. Meanwhile, Lloyd Blankfein, alleged that Clinton rival Bernie Sanders’ campaign might be leading America toward a “dangerous moment.”
    That is not a warning, it’s a threat.

      1. Jim Haygood

        As the wounded Hildabeest stumbles to its knees, bellowing and farting, the D party anthill is turmoiling:

        NEW YORK (Reuters) – A prominent Democratic donor worried about the party’s chances of winning the presidency emailed dozens of fans of Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, urging them to remain prepared to donate if Biden jumps into the race.

        The donor, Bill Bartmann, cited new polling showing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont nearly tied with the Hillary Clinton, eroding the 30-point lead the former secretary of state held at the end of last year. Bartmann and other party insiders are concerned that Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, is too far to the left to win against a Republican in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

        “We cannot afford to lose the White House,” Bartmann wrote in the email, seen by Reuters. The email drew a string of affirmative responses, also seen by Reuters.

        On display here is the desperate attachment of the ruling class to the corrupt, warmongering status quo represented by ‘Windsock Joe’ and his boodling son, ‘Burisma Hunter.’

        There is only one War Party. Let it bleed.

        1. sid_finster

          A Bernie presidency threatens the status of the Team D Establishment as gatekeepers and kingmakers.

          This is why Bernie has more to fear from Team D than Team R.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So dangerous that Team D and Team R might want a merger in order to stop Sanders and Trump.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Can’t wait til someone comes forward with a cell phone recording of a Hillary Wall Street Dinner Speech. But it prolly won’t happen until after the Dem National Convention when the DNC utilizes Super Delegates to Put Down the Bernie Uprising.

      But yeah, Hillary says she’ll “Give Some Thought” to releasing a transcript. Alas I fear the transcripts were among the deleting 30,000 deleted emails.
      Hahahaa ( but not really kiddin’).

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s likely the speech was mundane. She might have acknowledged a handful of odious wall street types, but Hillary wasn’t being paid for her speeches. She was being paid to help control the Democratic Party even if she wasn’t a celebrity.

        I suspect Hillary isn’t releasing get the transcripts because she thinks answering to plebes is beneath her.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Oh I’ll bet my ant farm that she had some incriminating chuckles with the bankster sociopaths. You know she loves to laugh — and what’s funnier than how they are screwing the plebes.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I’m sure there is stuff that would upset low info voters because of the shady nature of hiding the transcripts, but I have no doubt there is anything in there that is more outrageous than Clinton Inc.’s public statements which are ignored in favor of nostalgia by low info voters.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The cackle here as she blithely discusses the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people send a chill up my spine:

            My voting preference will be based on one line item: which candidate do I believe would represent the least chance of WW III. Hilary, who never saw a war or military program she didn’t like, is dead last. The “gender card” also comes into play, as she would be under intense pressure to be even more bellicose than any male counterpart. No Lysistrata for this gal, quite the opposite.

        2. optimader

          I agree with you on the mundane point.
          Beyond the fact that all her speeches I’ve heard are a string of mundane platitudes, your essential point is the speeches are a money laundering “commodity” — “I’ll give you this (mundane speech) while you eat your canned fruit salad , and you’ll give my bagman dis crumpled paper-bag full of non-sequential $100 bills, an i’ll do dat thing we talked about.

          The real deal is, if she actually made the transcript of her sht speechs public, it would be all too apparent her scintillating thoughts were not what was purchased. She knows that. And that explains her BS Contract Confidentiality Clause Cone of Silence boilerplate. She doesn’t even have the horsepower to craft a BS speech she is confident to release to the public. Her “intellectual property” is BS.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I actually think politicians say terrible things, but we (society not me) watch the presentation not the content. Even though, there might it be anything scandalous in the speeches from your and my point of views, I now wonder if low info voters who just watch the presentations would find missing speeches as mundane as I suspect they are.

            Thanking Wall Street might not sit well if they actually read it.

      2. Jim Haygood

        A heartwarming real-life scene from the D party tar pits, where Hildabeests go to fossilize:

        Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was mercilessly heckled while she spoke at a Democratic Party dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire Friday night.

        C-SPAN cameras were trained on a man holding a flashing Bernie Sanders sign who sat stone-faced while the audience cheered Wasserman Schultz.

        The shot cut away from the man just as he put his hand to his mouth to shout “You suck!” which was audible in the video.

        Don’t miss the 17-second video. The D party’s indentured servants are wandering off the Clinton plantation.

  12. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re Only 1% of crimes are punished in Mexico

    Which proves what an honest and peaceful citizenry overall Mexico has. I’d sure as hell take my chances with a U.S. criminal justice system scaled back to 1% of its current size. Wasn’t it Dostoyevsky who said that wherever there are laws you find crime?

  13. Andrew S

    That gem from 2014 includes some juicy details on HRC’s UCLA speech:
    “When officials at the University of California at Los Angeles began negotiating a $300,000 speech appearance by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the school had one request: Could we get a reduced rate for public universities?

    The answer from Clinton’s representatives: $300,000 is the “special university rate.””

    And from the end:

    “Days after the lecture, administrators discussed an e-mail that had arrived from graduate Charles McKenna, a lawyer who said he was concerned that the university was charging more than $250 for a ticket to hear a public official speak.

    “In effect, this is a campaign appearance, as Ms. Clinton is undeniably looking into a presidential run in 2016,” McKenna wrote. “Why is a public university charging the public for the pleasure of providing Ms. Clinton the benefit of a high profile platform?”

    One UCLA official advised against responding to McKenna’s e-mail “unless he pushes.” Another UCLA official then looked up the man’s giving record and responded that while he was a donor, he had not given large amounts.”

    Apparently donations do affect UCLA’s actions, but the Clinton’s are just superhuman I guess.

  14. optimader

    Sickly sea lion pup found sleeping in booth inside La Jolla restaurant

    Maybe she just didn’t want to be late for an early morning kickoff meeting w/a LaJolla based screenplay editor??

  15. Dino Reno

    I must say I’m totally Gobsmacked today with the revelation that Chelsea is running the show. The shy, coy, innocent master mind is the not so gray eminence behind the Clinton machine. She calls all the shots on the campaign and at the Foundation while avoiding any probing questions due to her child/daughter status. Her parents, in their dotage, depend upon her for everything since she is the deciding vote in their three-way relationship. Once she is back in the White House, it will be Chelsea in charge as Hillary pretends to govern between cranky outbursts. Anyone who has older parents can appreciate the moment when the tables are turned as the kids become the parents. Who knew it would come to this?

    Chelsea is so plugged into Wall Street for life support no wonder she went off on a rant against Bernie that not just bordered on the insane, it was insane.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Guess we’d better read her book for clues on how young Chelsea will govern us:

      Some of the reviews are mildly disturbing:

      If you could distill the essence of white privilege into a single tome, this would be it.

      Ms. Clinton has never experienced poverty; she’s never understood what it is like to struggle or not know where her next meal would come from; she’s never worried about her education, her healthcare, her children’s future. All of this was handed to her on a silver plate with her family name ensuring that she will always be set for life no matter what.

      Throughout the book, she tries to relate to others’ struggles by furrowing her brow and concern-trolling the challenges that she will never face.

      ‘Challenges she will never face’? Let’s see how her hubby Marc’s hedge fund holds up as markets crumble.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s not entirely surprising. If Chelsea has ambitions of her own, she probably has noticed she doesn’t have a star quality which both her parents have.

      1. optimader

        Chelsea Clinton = unprincipled, uncharismatic version of a young Eleanor Roosevelt from the Parallel Universe raised w/ Clinton Family Values

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Eleanor had star quality. If Bill and Hillary had set up their foundation and retired, Chelsea couldn’t keep it relevant because she lacks star quality to draw the donors. Eleanor could take over the Clinton brand and make it her own even if she was corrupt.

          William Shatner and Chris Pine have both been Captain Kirk, but only one will be selling trips in 50 years. One is a star who made himself a household name despite being out of work and homeless after his brief moment In the sun on a kid’s show, and one is the guy who played the Shat. Not to suggest, Chelsea isn’t smart, and around 2002-4, I saw her on TV speaking about Bill’s record on HIV. She’s bright, but she didn’t bring get the house down despite standing up to Bill and saying we need to demand better because she’s Chris Pine, not Shatner.

          1. optimader

            Eleanor had star quality –my point
            Chris Pine –who’s that?

            If Chelsea didn’t have her particular grifter parents, and paid for her gold-plated BA History degree from Stanford and NYU public health degree OR had the horsepower to get scholarships, to be fair she’d probably be flying a Formica desk in a pastel cubical in an Institutional Open Floorplan office w/ laser art on the walls.

    3. Steve H.

      What do you mean, she endorsed him:

      or not.

      Slick Willie she ain’t.

  16. JEHR

    Re: New Zealand politician hit in the face with a DILDO for negotiating Trans-Pacific Partnership–we need access to that dildo for our trade minister (who happens to be a woman)!

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Form ‘When $3 trillion Just Isn’t Enough’ (for China):

    The IMF has developed a suggested framework based upon research into previous currency crises. According to this formula, countries should maintain reserves equivalent to the sum of 30 percent of their short-term foreign-denominated debt, 15 percent of other portfolio liabilities, 10 percent of the M2 or broad money supply and 10 percent of yearly exports.

    In China’s case, that would add up to approximately $3 trillion. The biggest share comes from M2, which in China totals approximately $21 trillion. Currently, even China’s seemingly huge reserves amount only to 15 percent of M2 money supply, the lowest proportion since 2008; even if that share were lowered to 10 percent, China would still need $2.1 trillion to cover it.

    Is it saying, for non-exceptional countries – that’s a lot of countries in this world – a monetary sovereign, a prudent monetary sovereign, according to the IMF, its broad money supply, M2, should be constrained by its foreign-exchange reserves?

    1. Jim Haygood

      In a word, yes. The U.S. is unique, in that its monetary base contains almost no foreign assets — a lingering privilege of the dollar’s fading reserve currency status.

      By contrast, almost 80% of assets held by the Peoples Bank of China consist of foreign exchange (e.g., U.S. Treasury securities). This stat comes from Dr. Yardeni’s chart, page 10/12:

      Not all (hell, not even most) of China’s forex reserves are liquid. At the current runoff rate — burning up liquid forex reserves to defend the yuan peg — China’s plight get scary later this year.

      Year of the Monkey starts Monday. Yes, we have no bananas.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if it makes any difference if it’s an Earth Monkey, Fire Monkey, Water Monkey or Metal Monkey?

      2. nothing but the truth

        the chinese are dumping dollars and buying assets in a hurry.

        something is coming this way.

        eventually, the “exhorbitant privilege” is going to end. and countries will settle in gold, or bilateral credit. the dollar has had a free ride for too long. now its main support is political money laundering.

  18. optimader

    New York crane collapse kills at least one person
    Payoff or a systemic incompetency issue?

    I see the latter ALOT as BBoomer intellectual stock in industry is being Hoovered away to the trash heap and replaced with younger PowerPoint management installing shallow practical skilled Chinese-Indian engineer resumes who as kids were never confronted w/ a disassembled carburetor on a bench or a radio that needs repair.

    For Management without a clue about the “nuts and bolts under the hood” in technology based companies that have long intellectual legacies of what works, and perhaps more importantly what doesn’t and why, (Read: Honeywell gutting UOP, BP gutting Amoco just for obvious examples) it’s easy to downsize away/commoditize job functions you have no clue about. Wow lookie at all that money we’re were spending on Hastealloy! We’ll just make that all w/ 316 SS!

    In the case of a Crane “Look at all those fing expensive Grade 8 bolts we use once and throw away when we disassemble that Crane! what a waste!!

    Is this also true in the NYC trades? A case of fraudulent practices or a toxic combination progressively institutionalizing ignorance by stupid people driven by greed?
    Even money it’s at least in part the latter.

    1. jsn

      While I agree that the systematic divestiture of education, in the case of NY construction, hands on skills development in trades and technical schools and apprenticeships, may prove a contributing factor, there is simply more work going on in the city now than there are competent people to do it.

      The up side of this is lots of smart and capable young people are actually getting real experience, a condition largely absent elsewhere in our erstwhile Republic, but along with that plenty of moron opportunists are getting more real responsibility than they can handle also.

      1. optimader

        You make a corollary to my point, which I incidentally think is likely a valid point.

        also true in certain manufacturing/industrial environments I directly observe. In general need outstripping competency in jobs that require a real spool uptime.

    2. Skippy

      Must have lost or misplaced the one torque wrench for the whole company….

      Skippy…. been watching this down hill slide for almost 2 decades, it starts in the C-suite and trickles down through politics, academia, critical infrastructure, health and medical, you name it….

    3. nowhere

      Yeah, Honeywell has done a number on UOP. Soon it will be all contractors and foreign workers doing field work. It’s the American (corporate) dream.

  19. Jim Haygood

    In the past 5 years, U.S. nominal GDP has grown at a 3.55% annual rate. Roughly, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes is expected to correspond with nominal GDP growth, equalizing the economy’s secure borrowing rate with its gross rate of return.

    So today’s 10-year T-note yield of 1.85% implies a further 1.7% slowing of nominal GDP growth in years to come. That’s Depression music, for those who haven’t heard the tune.

    In the paleozoic days of the 20th century, short and long Treasury rates usually were correlated. That is, when the Fed hiked rates to counter inflation or “overheating,” T-notes usually sold off too (in price, making their yield higher), for the same reasons.

    But this time round, from the start of the FOMC’s fateful meeting on Dec. 16th through yesterday, the T-note yield sank from 2.30% to 1.85%. The FOMC’s pied pipers are no longer calling the tune.

    How’s that policy error workin’ out for us?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we can handle that sub-par GDP growth or even negative GDP growth (though not necessarily negative interest rates), if the Little People are backstopped by the Fed.

    2. craazyboy

      In case you’ve forgotten, the Fed bought $4.5 trillion in treasuries and MBS. We are also getting safe haven buying from Europe and Japan due to their ZIRP/NIRP. Also from just about everywhere else in the world too. It’s the end game for neolib/monetarist economics. It didn’t begin with the non-event of the Fed’s December quarter point hike. And at the risk of repeating myself a lot – I still have seen it in my accounts.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘The Fed bought $4.5 trillion in treasuries and MBS.’

        Ancient history, in Ms Market’s dog years. The Fed’s balance sheet expansion tapered to zero at the end of 2014. See page 6/12 in this document:

        A flattening yield curve (short rates up, long rates down) shouts “slowdown ahead” in bright red neon. If this were Japan, with its anthropomorphic highway safety robots, we’d have a little motorized PhD Econ waving a warning lantern in our dark gloom of FOMC ignorance.

  20. Ron

    Henry Wallace was sacked as VP and replaced by Truman which started the policy known as the Cold War and spanned the development of our current Military Industrial Complex. Hillary continues this cycle as every presidential winner since Truman has advocated this policy so she is walking a well traveled path. If Bernie did win the nomination and won the general election it would place the U.S. back to 1944 time frame looking at the world in a similar vein as Wallace. It maybe that the death of the World War two generation which is now almost complete brings a new and different look to the current election cycle dominated by boomers and there children which has been told that great threat is ISIL or similar not the Soviet Union which could after all be the undoing of our out sized military budget and the so called Military Industrial complex.

  21. Daryl

    > It feels like a lot of journalists have taken umbrage at how the Clintons have managed the media (they apparently complain vociferously over anything perceived to be negative, no matter how trivial).

    I remember this being an issue an ’08. Not even necessarily their complaints, but simply how they treated journalists at campaign events vs. Obama.

  22. RDeschain

    Per the Intercept article, Hillary took $675k for 3 speeches, not 1. So just her normal grift.

    She is corrupt, but important for our side to keep the facts straight.

    1. RDeschain

      Editor/deleter not working for me – ignore comment above, realize I misread Yves’ point. Apologies.

  23. Katiebird

    Just Got “Push Polled” by Hillary Clinton’s Nevada Campaign

    The author shares the whole interview but here’s a sample:

    INTERVIEWER: “Hmmm, okay. So, what if I were to tell you The Washington Post said that Bernie Sanders’ campaign promises would cost more than $20 trillion and would raise everyone’s taxes — would you now be “more likely’ or ‘less likely” to vote for Sanders, or has your opinion remained unchanged?”

    ME: “That’s not accurate at all. I read that editorial last week. I could tear that completely to shreds. How much time DO YOU HAVE? Let me to set the record straight and explain to you how The Post post misrepresented several of Sanders policy positions.”

    INTERVIEWER: “Ummmmm. Uhhhhhhh. So, would you now be “more likely’ or ‘less likely” to vote for Sanders, or has your opinion remained unchanged?”

    ME: “My position remains unchanged because the premise of the question isn’t just misleading. It’s wrong. Do you understand that?”

    INTERVIEWER: “Uhhh, what if I were to tell you The New York Times expressed serious reservations about Bernie Sanders being able to work with Congress and described him as ‘divisive’ — would you now be “more likely’ or ‘less likely” to vote for Sanders, or has your opinion remained unchanged?”

    ME: “You mean Sanders would be more divisive than Hillary Clinton? Huh? Seriously? Has the esteemed New York Times been paying attention to politics in this country for the past 25 years since the Clintons dynasty emerged as national political figures? Besides, I’ve been quoted in the New York Times six times, at least that I know of — and twice they misspelled my name. Now, you think I give them my credibility?”

    So, this minor bickering goes on back and forth for about five more questions. I sense this is the interviewer’s call from hell. She’s going to be busting my balls in the break room in about 45 minutes, complaining about the asshole she got stuck with who know every fiber of the shit sandwich she’s trying to peddle like a tasty Reuben. The last bastion of hope I had this call might still be fair-handed and would address some of Clinton’s hangar of political baggage as big as the United Airlines counter at O’Hare Airport evaporated when her “questions” turned to how I planned to caucus in two weeks after hearing these biased narratives about the two candidates.

        1. Steven D.

          I don’t want the president to work with this Congress. I want the president to go to war with this Congress.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In Judo, you use that to propel yourself higher or maybe it’s ‘to trip up your opponent.’

      That is, this ‘working with Congress’ simply means we need to work harder for a Sanders’ coattails and send more reformers, or more progressives, that is, like minded people to DC.

      It’s not a jousting match between two knights.

    2. Gio Bruno

      …when I get these type of calls I let the caller know that (s)he should remind the Boss to get a real job.

  24. allan

    The link to “Australia guts government climate research”: on a perhaps not unrelated note, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Monthly Weather Review has been very slow to post recently. The one for December (almost certainly the hottest on record) is still not up.
    If you stick your head in the sand when the temperature is 45º C, you will get burned.

  25. Katiebird

    My brain is reeling: $21.7 million In 18 months.

    Speeches That Earned Clinton Millions Remain a Mystery

    In the 18 months before launching her second presidential bid, Clinton gave nearly 100 paid speeches at banks, trade associations, charitable groups and private corporations. The appearances netted her $21.7 million — and voters very little information about what she was telling top corporations as she prepared for her 2016 campaign.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      She must be stopped.

      If Bernie can’t, does Trump become the default champion to defend the realm?

      One worry at time or to plan ahead?

  26. kevinearick

    no time to edit, as usual…

    What I Learned from Dr. Seuss, an author and a neighbor, a parent in disguise…


    Children are like Martians, who come into this world with a powerful little pattern matcher, operating on a frequency all their own, and learn to think linearly, like the environment engulfing them, a duality that most adults have long forgotten, having shorted out their own frequency, for the sake of fitting into an arbitrary illusion, full of nothing but noise. ‘Why’ is a function of that, why have these earthlings, living in arbitrary time, given up their own identity, and why must I give up mine?

    The stock answer of course is because everyone else did, and you will too, which is only the truth if you choose it to be so. It’s not a parents job, and it certainly isn’t THE government’s job, to assign identities to children, those most make every effort to do so, which is why the law kidnaps children, for the sake of a like-minded community, in fear not for the child, but for itself. If whoever ‘they’ are, are masters of the universe, why do they demand the right to brainwash children, and why is it a disease not to act like everyone else?

    There is always going to be some ‘1%’ building a node on the path to the future, the eye of the needle, and barbarians fighting at the gate, to tax the line in consensus, queued for the purpose, coming from and going to where they do not know, around and around, and down the needle back to ground they go, chasing money to money, which is rumored to know, don’t you know. But if you think about it, there are a relatively infinite number of points on a line, which is really a wave. And it does take a bit a bit of work, more than most, but you can always build a bridge, which is how the eye became to exist.

    The majority is nothing if not persistent, always asking the same question, in many guises – why don’t you comply, like everyone else, in a school built to ply the trade. Having been so persistently surrounded, by this growing gravity, I simply dived right in, nudging the biggest, with persistence each day, who where nudging the rest. The answer is really quite simple, to simple for most, because they were focused on me.

    My job is really to move obstacles from my wife’s path, who is really the future. Like Mr. Magoo, she walks through a scene, and everything, and I do mean everything, collapses behind her, as the know-it-alls fight each other to place obstacles in front of her, which for the life of her, she cannot see. And how they marvel at her accomplishment, while they pick it back up.

    You see, my wife is one of those truly rare individuals, who brings joy into the lives of all she meets, for what reason I cannot begin to fathom, but it amuses me, far more than watching tyrants pull the wings off butterflies, or burn each other with a hair iron. The future, my wife is far more adult than the adults in the room, much more like the kids in the room, in fact, her disarming nature fascinates, all to no end.

    So when the Martian asks you why, say I don’t know, which is the truth, which is all the Martian wants, trust, and it is trust, and only trust, that is the path to the future. Now, many missed class the other day, playing it clever, assuming they would just get the Cliff Notes, from the guy with the business cards, to repeat like parrots, and that’s OK, because someone, maybe you or maybe someone else, is always building the future, while others are always fighting over the past, always an illusion.

    My wife will never begin to fathom my work, but that really doesn’t matter, now does it, so long as she can do hers, and no matter how many sticks and how many stones they throw, all they accomplish is breaking their own mirrors in their own prisons, made specifically to hide themselves from the truth – they just don’t know. Yes, it is all about the children, and not you, boo who little who, chasing little girls, grown taller only in boots, with an expensive car, just for a glimpse of attention, for failing to pay attention.

    If you don’t like Mrs. Claus, don’t be surprised to find a lump of coal in your stocking, instead of joy. That’s life; you get out of it what you put into it, which for many is a reflection in a mirror, in a mirror of mirrors designed to collect them all. So, the next time Bobby and Sue ask you if you would like jump off a bridge, tell them no, but thank you very much, ever so matter of factly; you’ll build your own.

    You see, your brain is quite special, because it’s yours, and quite worthy of attention, but in the grand scheme of a very big universe, most of which we have not yet begun to see, it is but a grain of sand. Now, going to Des Moines, to see what people there do, is far more grand. And travelling the galaxies, wouldn’t that be something, all in all, not quite home though, where is wherever you choose it to be.

    Yes, a parent must play many roles at many times, which is why life comes in phases. The only way you are going to know if that corner leads to a blind alley or your future is if you turn it, on itself. And you just never know who you might meet, because even in the darkest corner, you will find a light, where the darkness isn’t.

    When the path forward does grow dark, you light it with joy, in your spirit, because one cannot exist without the other. And sometimes, just sometimes, you have to be honest, and say that They is you. It happens, all the time.

    Birth is painful, because life is not always pleasant, but that’s no excuse to make it miserable. The mistake scientists make to begin, before they even begin to selectively breed, manifest destiny in an illusion, is assuming that what they want is more important than what nature needs, making science itself a mythology, a religion of nonsensical nonsense, a religion without the religion, a vacuum for fascism.

    Have faith in talent. Have faith in yourself, because nature needs you or you wouldn’t be here. And everything else will take care of itself.

    “[t]hat old horns come off so that the new ones can grow!”

    The idea that we are human because we have an emotional response to a machine we create each and every day, which we cannot change, is absurd. In fact, it’s a false assumption, of self-obsession at every level. Turn 180 degrees and walk the other way, and you will faster than the fastest jet.

    Bo Voyage. Don’t forget to write, and visit your mother when you can. And always, always, bet on the future, children.

    (“…crying need for drugs…,” European marriage of science and industry. I don’t think so.)

  27. DJG

    Antidote of the day: Marvelous bird, IsabelPS. Photo made in Portugal? Do you have its biological name handy? Portugese name?

    I saw the first episode of Miguel Gomes’s “Arabian Nights” last evening. A wonderful use of cinema. Wonderful stories–the black shaman with the spray, the talking rooster of Resende, the Magnificents. What was the reception like in Portugal?

    Looking forward to episode 2.

  28. Alice Molloy

    Roger Goodell says NFL has ‘no higher priority’ than player safety Guardian. Resilc: “He should run for vice president for Hillary, great liar.”

    gratuitous nastiness

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I thought the top priority was getting Brady and Brees, the two named players who forced the active players to join the concussion lawsuit.

  29. alex morfesis

    Billary acting like scient oh low just…reading thru the snore stream media(abc story) tea leaves…the msm already have multiple copies and videos of her talks but the magical posted contract says it all…they are not asking about her “giving” anyone a copy of her talks…they are asking her to “release” …having sat thru a couple of times in my 30 + adult yrs of media lawyers worried about liabilities before “running” with an article(me from source side)
    It sounds like billary and her legal team are already threatening people behind closed doors with her claim to copyright…(i made the same copyright argument during a 2600 event in a previous life)..the story breaking on a weekend sounds like she is winning…hopefully for billary there will be some stock market issues on monday and tuesday to try to bury the story before it can get traction…her biggest fear would be some soon to retire msm type choosing to scarf up a copy of a few of her talks and bouncing it into torland…we can only hope

  30. rich

    Madam Notright squeaks….

    Madeleine Albright Slams Sanders on Foreign Policy While Supporting Clinton
    Sanders has campaigned in part on the idea that he has better judgment on foreign policy than Clinton does — which Albright called a “strange statement,” considering Clinton’s own extensive experience as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

    Well Albright and Kissinger, what could be better for the establishment than that, eh?????????

    How does this taste voters…..?oh, judgment.

    Elliott Cuts Ties With Albright Firm In Argentina Fight

    Oct 16 2014 | Elliott Management apparently didn’t expect former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to throw fuel on its blazing dispute with Argentina, and has now fired her consulting firm.
    The hedge fund charged Albright Stonebridge Group with lobbying the Argentines into negotiating an end to a battle that saw the country fall into its second default in 13 years this summer. But the tactics chosen by Albright and her partner, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, didn’t sit well with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, who publicly blasted their firm for interfering in the country’s affairs.

    In the Twilight of Empire
    On Feb. 19, 1998, on the Today show, speaking of the alleged threat posed by Iraq, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright put it this way: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further than other countries into the future.”

    University Of Denver Draws Heat For Plan To Present George W. Bush With ‘Improving Human Condition’ Award
    The Korbel School was founded by Josef Korbel, father of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Among various other widely recognized graduates of Korbel is former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and U.S. Army General George Casey.

  31. Elliot

    And now Madeline is saying there’s a special place in hell for women who won’t vote for Hillary. Um, yeah, no thanks.

    1. rich

      Clinton PANIC – Madeleine Albright Says “There’s a Special Place in Hell for Women Who Don’t Help Each Other” Michael Krieger

      This might be it. The moment that finally drives home the point regarding how incredibly low the Clintons, and the establishment that supports them, are willing to go to win the Presidency.

      We’ve all seen Hillary’s shadiness on display time and time again throughout the campaign, but one thing that hasn’t been said enough is that with the Clintons, you don’t just get the Clintons. You end up electing a cadre of some of the most villainous and corrupt corporate criminals, manipulators and unethical political mercenaries America has to offer.

      With Hillary in the White House, the American people are also signing up for an all-star roster of associated cronies who have spent much of the last few decades raping and pillaging both Americans at home, and innocents abroad.

      As a prime example of how low some of these characters are willing to go, this is what former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, had to say today on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

      According to NBC News:

      “Just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” Albright — who was the first-ever female secretary of state — told the audience.

      I don’t have to explain to you how desperate and pathetic this statement is. The key point to understand is that this is all they’ve got. They can’t win on the issues, so they have to appeal to emotion and superficiality, i.e., hoping people vote for someone based on gender.

      Sounds about right…..feels like real life version of the Minion’s movie. Despicable.

      1. Pavel

        Not an expert on hell (not yet, at least) but I suspect that special place in hell isn’t too far from the other special place in hell reserved for those who killed 500,000 kids in Iraq through sanctions — and who then go on to say “we think it was worth it”.

        1. Rhondda

          Yes. Methinks Mme. Albright’s special place in Hell has long had her name engraved on the bronze plaque.

  32. ewmayer

    Re. Empire State building drone crash: ‘An unnamed official noted that authorities are still looking for an accomplice who was apparently wearing a gorilla suit and intended to hang from the spire at top of the building and pretend to try to swat the drone out of the sky.’

    Re. Smirking Shkreli: Who knows? Shkreli’s audacious insolence may render him a useful idiot in the end, in terms of getting the Congressclowns to actually act in the public’s interest for once. [I know … ‘dream on, buddy.’]

    1. Vatch

      I had a similar thought about Shkreli. He’s so over the top, he is unintentionally a great propagandist against large corporations and the ultra rich.

  33. Plenue

    >Lloyd added that the current popular discontent with Wall Street was just something that happens randomly, like the weather. “There’s a pendulum that happens in markets and it happens in political economy as well,” he said.

    Jesus, Blankfein doesn’t even know what the words ‘political economy’ actually mean (or used to mean).

  34. JTMcPhee

    What, only one little comment on the TPP in this segment?

    For what it’s worth, and for anyone that wants to weigh in on how the TPP will affect families and stuff, there is apparently one other open channel for the General Public to speak into (no guesses whether the other end is a dump into the sewer or the President’s in-basket) for one bit of this package that haz dozens of moving parts, all of which attached to a grinder head that is powdering our little national edifices and adding them to the batch processing recipe of Soylent Green:


    Dear citizen,

    Despite all the predictions many politicians and the media are making about how good the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be for our communities, more and more people are looking at the facts and realizing those predictions aren’t so rosy.

    The office of the International Trade Commission is now accepting comments from the public, until Feb. 15, 2016, about how TPP will affect individuals. Part of the agency’s function is to determine and advise our lawmakers on the impact of trade on U.S. industries and to stop unfair trade practices. Thousands of working people already have spoken up by sending in comments to the U.S. Trade Representative.

    Now we’ve got another chance to speak up for ourselves in opposition to a deal that will take away more U.S. jobs and eat away at our economic stability.

    Sign the petition asking the International Trade Commission to fairly and honestly evaluate the economic impact scenarios of the TPP on our communities and jobs.

    The TPP was written in secret—largely by corporate lobbyists—to try to expand their profit margins. To top it off, right-wing think tanks are now making false predictions about a job boom from TPP, just like they did with the North American Free Trade Agreement (and we know how that went).

    We’ve seen the text of the agreement, and it’s clear that ordinary working people’s interests were not included in the process. Corporate gains made under this deal will not translate to gains for us. The TPP is written in a way that empowers employers to drive down wages in order to make bigger profits and give huge payouts to CEOs. Jobs in the auto, aerospace, aluminum and steel, apparel and textile, call center, and electronic and electrical machinery industries will be particularly impacted. And it won’t stop there. The TPP is likely to hold down wages for most of us.

    Working families shouldn’t suffer so that corporations can get special giveaways. Sign the petition,, asking the ITC to fairly and honestly evaluate the economic impact scenarios of the TPP on our jobs and communities.

    In Solidarity,


    Celeste Drake
    Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO

    Here’s the link for the ITC announcement of opening of hearings (dates already passed) and written comments (closes February 15, 2016): UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
    Washington, DC

    Investigation No. TPA-105-001

    Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors

    AGENCY: United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION: Institution of investigation and scheduling of public hearing.

    SUMMARY: Following receipt on November 5, 2015 of a request from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Commission has instituted investigation No. TPA-105-001, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors, under section 105(c) of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (19 U.S.C. 4204(c)), for the purpose of assessing the likely impact of the Agreement on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers. In addition to the United States, the Agreement includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

    Here’s the directions from the ITC on how to comment:

    WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS: In lieu of or in addition to participating in the hearing, interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this investigation. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary. Except in the case of requests to appear at the hearing and pre-hearing and post-hearing briefs and statements, all written submissions should be received not later than 5:15 p.m., February 15, 2016. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 C.F.R. 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission’s Handbook on Filing Procedures requires that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Secretary ((202-205-20000).

    So interested parties can both add their tiny names to the inputs of others via signing on to petitions, or write their own comments and file them electronically (followed by delivery of 8 original hard copies to the ITC offices by snail mail.)

    Another chance to participate in democracy, Imperial style…

  35. Abigail Caplovitz Field


    re Bayer’s refusal to take its insecticide off the market

    I’m shocked (well, sort of) at the EPA’s impotence. This is another example of our sovereignty crisis, wherein the sovereign has to ask for what it should be able to order. I mean, I understand due process etc., and at first, wasn’t too disturbed, because it seemed that EPA could simply go through a longer process and then kick the insecticide out. But then, at the bottom of the article, I saw this:

    “The EPA’s move follows the agency’s unsuccessful attempt to withdraw its registration for Dow Chemical Co’s Enlist Duo weed killer.”

    Has EPA always been this structurally weak? Has there been a rule/law change? Is there something EPA could do in both cases to force the change (i.e. did it choose the wrong tactic rather than lack the power?)

    1. Steve H.

      Ongoing, but W in particular put in termites in positions of power. One example got a phone call and disappeared for days without explanation. The thinking of subordinates was she was told to disappear to not have to answer questions from Congress. But that’s just conjecture from people working there.

  36. Vatch

    There was a massive population crash in Europe over 14,500 years ago

    I like the maps in the article which show Britain connected to the European mainland, and Anatolia missing the Bosporus and Dardanelles. During the Ice Age, the oceans covered a smaller portion of the Earth than they do today. It’s not in the article, but maps of Beringia can be surprising. We sometimes read about the Bering Land Bridge, which seems to imply that a narrow isthmus connected Siberia and Alaska. It was only narrow at the end; during much of the Ice Age, Beringia was thicker than the current north / south extent of the Alaskan mainland.

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