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lambert's blog

Annals of Looting

Business Insider:

O'Shaughnessy: "Fidelity had done a study as to which accounts had done the best at Fidelity. And what they found was..."

Ritholtz: "They were dead."

O'Shaughnessy: "...No, that's close though! They were the accounts of people who forgot they had an account at Fidelity."

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!! Read below the fold...

Vivid article on water problems in California's Central Valley

NBC. Lots of good quotes:

“To shower, I use a cup, just like when I was in ‘Nam,” he said, stepping away from a stream of glistening neighbors, most of them just back from the fields. Some had dust on their ear lobes and deep in their wrinkles. None had a simple way to shower in town that night.

“We’re living in a third world country now,” he continued.

Or: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the Day (2): "Flexible labor markets"

Tweet of the day: Scottish Independence

Times visits Michigan, just can't understand why people aren't feeling the rebound!

I ploughed through the story, and there's only one key sentence:

56 percent said their family’s incomes were falling behind living costs — about where that sentiment was in 2008 — and 45 percent said they had experienced financial hardships like layoffs, inability to pay health care bills, or run-ins with debt-collection agents over the past year.

No money. That's for Detroit. This is for the country: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

Foley family threatened with terror charges if they tried to ransom their own son

This is nutso:

The family of murdered American journalist James Foley says it was threatened by a US official with terrorism charges if they paid a ransom to his captors in Syria.

Foley's mother Diane told ABC News on Friday that a military officer working for Barack Obama's National Security Council had told them several times that they could face criminal charges if they paid a ransom.

"We took it as a threat and it was appalling," she said. "Three times he intimidated us with that message. We were horrified he would say that. He just told us we would be prosecuted. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try."

Almost makes you think there's more to the story than meets the eye, eh? Read below the fold...

In the garden: Sweet light

Sorry to be turning this into a photo blog, but I'm having fun... Evening squash:

This little squash won't make it, though of course I'm projecting terribly; in fact, what I like about squash is that they keep pushing new growth toward the light no matter what, no matter the season. After all, you never know, and if the earth suddenly spirals into a new orbit and there turns out to be no winter, the squash will be totally ready! Read below the fold...

How the cable weasels would run a protection racket without net neutrality

Hard to say this often enough. Radar:

’d like to make a few very brief points about net neutrality. For most readers of Radar, there’s probably nothing new here, but they address confusions that I’ve seen.

  • Network neutrality isn’t about the bandwidth that Internet service providers deliver to your home. ISPs can charge more for more bandwidth, same as always.
  • Nor is network neutrality about the bandwidth that Internet service providers deliver to information providers. Again, ISPs can charge more for more bandwidth, same as always. You’d better believe that Google pays a lot more for Internet service than your local online store.
  • Nor is network neutrality about ISPs dealing with congestion. Network providers have always dealt with congestion — in the worst case, by dropping traffic. Remember the “fast busy” signal on the phone? That’s the network dealing with congestion.
  • Network neutrality is entirely about treating all kinds of traffic equally. Video is the same as voice, the same as Facebook, the same as Amazon. Your ISP cannot penalize video traffic (or some other kind of traffic) because they’d like to get into that business or because they’re already in that business. In other words: when you buy Internet connectivity, you can use it for whatever you want. Your provider can’t tell you what kind of business to be in.

Frackers used people for guinea pigs, and the results are in: Fracking makes you sick

OK, I exaggerate a little for effect. But only a very little. Ecowatch: Read below the fold...

In the garden: Twining


I'm always amazed at how two tendrils can support each other as they twine out into space. Here's another one: Read below the fold...

Thanks, Yahoo, for resisting the Stasi


U.S. threatened massive fine to force Yahoo to release data
The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user data that the company believed was unconstitutional, according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the NSA’s controversial PRISM program.

The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the National Security Agency extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms.

Gee, I feel honored. I've had a Yahoo address for years. I'm very pleased to have been one tiny reason for an out-of-control security apparatus and a lawless executive to gut the Fourth Amendment. Read below the fold...

The destructiveness of identity politcs (building on the Gilens and Page study)

Dani Rodrik (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton) on "How the Rich Rule":

The implication is clear: when the elites’ interests differ from those of the rest of society, it is their views that count – almost exclusively. (As Gilens and Page explain, we should think of the preferences of the top 10% as a proxy for the views of the truly wealthy, say, the top 1% – the genuine elite.)

Gilens and Page report similar results for organized interest groups, which wield a powerful influence on policy formation. As they point out, “it makes very little difference what the general public thinks” once interest-group alignments and the preferences of affluent Americans are taken into account.

These disheartening results raise an important question: How do politicians who are unresponsive to the interests of the vast majority of their constituents get elected and, more important, re-elected, while doing the bidding mostly of the wealthiest individuals?

Yes, that's a good question! Read below the fold...

"Urban Farming - 6,000 lbs of food on 1/10th acre"

I'd love to believe this. Read below the fold...


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