Tuesday, February 09, 2016

WTF is wrong with the Bern? - Mr. Miracle would've harpooned that big ass....,



kunstler |  Bernie blew his biggest chance yet to harpoon the white whale known as Hillary when he cast some glancing aspersions on Mz It’s-My-Turn’s special side-job as errand girl of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks. Together, Bill and Hillary racked up $7.7 million on 39 speaking gigs to that gang, with Hillary clocking $1.8 million of the total for eight blabs. When Bernie alluded to this raft of grift, MzIMT retorted, “If you’ve got something to say, say it directly.”

There was a lot Bernie could have said, but didn’t. Such as: what did you tell them that was worth over $200,000 a pop? Whatever it was, it must have made them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Did it occur to you that this might look bad sometime in the near future? Is there any way that this might 
not be construed as bribery? And how is some formerly middle-class out-of-work average voter supposed to feel about you getting paid more for 45 minutes of flapping your gums than he or she has earned in the past five years?

Bernie could have found a gentlemanly way to say that directly, but perhaps he experienced a sickening precognitive vision of his jibes being used against the party establishment’s candidate in the fall general election. Of course, if it looked like Hillary was going to get elected, the remaining sound-of-mind in this country might be falling over each other to apply for citizenship in Uruguay.

Beyond all the political histrionics, is there not some broad recognition that whoever occupies the White House in 2017 will preside over a financial debacle like unto nothing in scale that the world has ever seen before? With all the reverberating side effects imaginable among the traumatized nations? Something wicked has been creeping through the stock markets since the year began. The velocity and damage are amping up. Credit default swap spreads are yawning like fault lines in a ‘quake. Bankers are watching their share prices collapse. It’s a wonder that panic has not already broken out.

fuuudge-yew.., Granny ain't releasing a dayyum thing...,


slate |  Pressed during Thursday’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton said that she would “certainly look into” releasing the transcripts of the paid speeches she gave in private to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street institutions. By Sunday, her promised careful consideration was apparently complete. “Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them—we’ll all release them at the same time,” Clinton said on ABC’s This Week, noting that her opponents from both parties have also “given speeches to groups.” Her conclusion: “These rules need to apply to everyone.”
The answer was both tone-deaf and disingenuous. Clinton’s six-figure speeches are a point of contention in the Democratic race not because she was paid to give them but because of whopaid her to give them. Bernie Sanders is running on the idea that Washington and Wall Street are too cozy and that the former will never be able to effectively regulate the latter as long as the status quo continues. He’s not challenging Clinton because he thinks she rigged the game; he simply contends that she is playing it like everyone else in politics.
Clinton’s decision to ignore the transcript controversy in hopes it will go away is hardly a surprise. She deployed a similar strategy early last year in the face of questions about the overlap between her family’s financial interests and those of the Clinton Foundation’s global donors, and to defend her use of a private email server to conduct official government business while secretary of state. Hillary responded to those controversies like she is responding to this one: by suggesting they are not controversies at all. Most politicians, she says, do the same thing, but she alone is treated differently. Many of her supporters agree, though many Democratic voters do not.

Monday, February 08, 2016

pluripotent matter: building complex nanostructures with DNA



sciencemag |  Researchers have engineered tiny gold particles that can assemble into a variety of crystalline structures simply by adding a bit of DNA to the solution that surrounds them. Down the road, such reprogrammable particles could be used to make materials that reshape themselves in response to light, or to create novel catalysts that reshape themselves as reactions proceed.

“This paper is very exciting,” says Sharon Glotzer, a chemical engineer at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who calls it “a step towards pluripotent matter.” David Ginger, a chemist at the University of Washington, Seattle, agrees: “This is a proof of concept of something that has been a nanoparticle dream.” Neither Glotzer nor Ginger has ties to the current research.

The dream started decades ago when chemists first discovered ways to synthesize nanoparticles, clumps of atoms below 100 nanometers in size. Researchers quickly began looking for ways to control how these particles assembled in order to build new materials from the bottom up.

Today, few materials are built from scratch. One exception is laser materials, which are used in everything from telecommunications gear to barcode scanners. But the materials, formed by adding atoms on a surface layer by layer, are very expensive to make, and severely limited in size. Assembling nanoparticles could offer a new way to grow larger—and more varied—materials cheaply. But in most cases, mastering the level of control needed to do this has turned out to be elusive.

One approach that has worked well was pioneered by chemist Chad Mirkin and colleagues at Northwestern University, Evanston, in Illinois. Mirkin’s team decorated the outer surface of gold nanoparticles with snippets of single-stranded DNA, and then used those strands like Velcro to link together neighboring particles. As the separate particles approached one another, the strands knitted themselves into the more common form of double-stranded DNA, holding the particles together. Over the years, Mirkin’s team showed that it could use this setup as a means to coax particles coated with different sequences to assemble into different types of crystals, creating powerful sensors for detecting specific DNA strands and proteins in the process. But despite the success of this approach, each time the team wanted to build a material with a new crystal orientation, it had to re-engineer its DNA linkers.

fires rage, words fail...,


dailyimpact |  The Daily Impact has been a quiet place lately, and I will tell you why: words fail me. The scale of the global crash now enveloping us, and the fecklessness of the leaders pretending to protect and defend us, exceed the vocabulary of this wretched scribe. If one manages, however briefly, to comprehend the enormity of the multiple disasters bearing down on us, then one accidentally sees part of a presidential-candidate debate and has to pick up  pieces of one’s skull all over the room again.

One verse that has been sung for years now by the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Chorus is that we are converting to a service economy, in which half of us will serve meals, keep house and otherwise cater to the other half, and that will work fine. But now — just now — the malaise that has been eating at all the other economic enterprises of the country has attacked the restaurant industry. “If services stumble too,” observes a writer on David Stockman’s website, “there truly is nothing left.”

Another verse from the aforementioned Chorus: We may not make much anymore, but we sure move stuff around, and that employs a lot of people and keeps the economy chugging along. Not so much anymore. “The Transportation Recession Spreads,” says Wolf Richter of WolfStreet, with the subhead “Hope came unglued all over again.” Orders for new 18-wheeler trucks have been falling since September of 2015, because of declining freight volumes, and after a slight recovery in December (hence the hope), plummeted nearly 50% (year-to-year) in January. Rail freight is experiencing a similar, vertigo-inducing slump.

American jobs of all kinds are being vaporized at a rate not seen since the Great Recession got traction in 2009. 
Just in January, layoffs quadrupled.  See this partial list of job cuts so far this year, and an assessment of the mass layoffs just ahead. Every month the government issues, and the “Happy” Chorus extols, monthly reports lauding robust job-creation and the continued low (seasonally adjusted, statistically weighted, seasoned-to-taste) unemployment rate, while ignoring the gut-wrenching disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people from the job market. These people, six million or so of them now, are not unemployed. They are vanished.

The U.S. oil industry, which was promoting itself just a few months ago as the progenitor of a new American Revolution, of a return to American energy independence, and on, and on — is a smoking ruin. Shale drillers are in the process of reporting
losses of about $15 billion for 2015 reductions of 25 per cent and more in their balance sheets because of devalued oil; and levels of debt that forced 42 oil companies into bankruptcy last year and will drive under many more than that this year. Nor is the carnage limited to the shale patch; from Exxon down, Big Oil is experiencing shrinking profits, tumbling stock prices and credit ratings

Sunday, February 07, 2016

lest you think I'd forgotten about that other psychopathocratic trash - jes cuz Jeb is so lame...,


ian56 |  Booz Allen Hamilton is owned by the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group are a private equity fund that invests in lots of companies that make money out of the business of war - arms companies, private spy contractors etc. 

Significant board members, associates and "consultants" of the Carlyle Group include the Bush's and a who's who of ex US government war hawks for the last 40 years. 

Significant investors in the Carlyle group include the House of Saud and the Bin Laden Family. 

Saudi Arabia wants a very high oil price - it sells lots of oil.

Saudi Arabia's foreign policy is directed at increasing the price of oil. Mostly this is done by destabilizing and starting conflicts and wars in, other countries that have oil (or are major distribution routes).

This is done in two main ways:-

By funding, arming and recruiting Islamic Extremist terrorists to attack other countries

By bribing the American government to conduct policy that is in the interests of Saudi Arabia and not in the interests of America.

Having a high oil price is directly against the interests of America and it's main export market - Europe. Every $1 rise in the price of a barrel of oil makes everyone in America, Europe and over 99% of the rest of the world poorer (except for the major owners & CEO's of oil companies and oil assets).

Some of the wealth of evidence for the involvement of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States in funding, arming, recruiting and supporting Islamic terrorism:- 

If the NSA is actually fighting terrorism why haven't they stopped Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Kuwait funding Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Nusra?
http://ian56.blogspot.com/2014/06/if-nsa-is-actually-fighting-terrorism.html

Saudi Royal Family and Saudi government involvement in 9/11
http://ian56.blogspot.com/2014/06/saudi-royal-family-and-saudi-government.html

It is also in the interests of the Carlyle Group, in order to boost their profits, that there is more war, conflict and Islamic terrorism.

Some of the details of the major players in Booz Allen and the Carlyle Group

Granny's trap-game stacking bandos out here grinding in these streets...,



WaPo |  Bill Clinton used his charisma and intellect to captivate new supporters. And Hillary applied her characteristic attentiveness — sending handwritten notes to celebrate engagements and new babies, and poetry books to comfort those in mourning — to win over lifelong allies.

“She remembers everything we ever talked about,” saidSusie Tompkins Buell, a close friend and co-founder of Esprit, who, with her husband, Mark, has given $420,000 to the Clintons’ campaigns and $11.25 million to their foundation.

“Hillary does not like to ask for money,” Buell added. “It’s not natural for her. But she’s got really good people who work for her who speak for her, and she’s very, very appreciative when she knows someone has done something for her. And you know it’s sincere.”

As she makes her second White House bid, Hillary Clinton is raising money in a dramatically different environment than her past campaigns. Since then, the Supreme Court has made it easier for wealthy individuals, corporations and unions to spend huge, unregulated sums on political activity.

the clinton donor machine...,



NYBooks |  The record of the Clinton System raises deep questions about whether a Hillary Clinton presidency would take on the growing political influence of large corporate interests and Wall Street banks. The next president will need to address critical economic and social issues, including the stagnating incomes of the middle class, the tax loopholes that allow hedge-funders and other members of the super-rich to be taxed at lower rates than many average Americans, and the runaway costs of higher education. Above all is the question of further reform of Wall Street and the banking system to prevent a recurrence of the behavior that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-2008.

So far, Hillary Clinton has refused to commit herself to a reintroduction of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which Bill Clinton allowed to be repealed in 1999 on the advice of Democrats with close ties to Wall Street, including Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. The reintroduction of Glass-Steagall, favored by Bernie Sanders, would prevent banks from speculating in financial derivatives, a leading cause of the 2007-2008 crash. With leading Wall Street banks so prominent in the Clintons’ fundraising streams, can Hillary Clinton be relied upon to reform the banks beyond the modest achievements of the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

NSA says it "must act now" against the threat of quantum computing...,



technologyreview |  The National Security Agency did a surprising thing last August – it suddenly declared that the algorithms it had spent a decade telling the world were the best way to lock up secret data weren’t safe anymore. The reason? The danger of quantum computers.

The NSA has now released more detail on those fears. “There is growing research in the area of quantum computing, and enough progress is being made that NSA must act now,” says a new Q&A-style document on the problem. It’s aimed at companies and government departments working with sensitive data.

The catch is that no one knows how to make quantum-computer-proof encryption. The NSA can only tell companies building new systems to use certain algorithms “believed to be safe from attack by a large quantum computer.” It says it’s working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on coming up with some new standard algorithms that could survive in a post-quantum era.

Work in that area is still in an embryonic state, however. Quantum-resistant encryption algorithms that have been proposed by researchers at Microsoft and other places have not been formally proved to be safe against the power of quantum computers.

just use kik like the 13 year olds do...,


govtech |  The recent round of global terrorist attacks have reignited the homeland security versus personal privacy debate. Law enforcement officials point to the apparent use of encryption by ISIS terrorists as proof that encrypted communications need “back doors” to protect the public. But many security experts disagree. So what is the future for encrypted communication as we head into 2016?

Where next for encryption?
That is just one of the many security and privacy questions asked this week by a long list of business and technology professionals and media outlets. And the diverse viewpoints and differences of opinion run very deep.
For example, Bloomberg highlighted renewed calls for government access to certain encrypted communications:
The bloodshed in Paris led U.S. officials Monday to renew calls for limits on technology that prevents governments from spying on phone conversations, text messages and e-mails.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said she asked Silicon Valley companies to help law enforcement and intelligence agencies access communications that have been encrypted — or scrambled to evade surveillance — if terrorists are using the tools to plan attacks.
“I have asked for help. And I haven’t gotten any help,” Feinstein said Monday in an interview with MSNBC.
As the French parliament gave broad new emergency authority, including online surveillance permissions, to police to track down and capture terrorists, Fortunemagazine pointed to the immense cybersecurity implications of recent events:
Paris thrusts this issue onto the front pages because one of the big questions that quickly emerged was how a group could execute such a complex attack while evading detection from intelligence services. Encryption is one potential answer. Indeed, experts hypothesize three different possibilities: (1) the attackers used powerful over-the-counter encryption; (2) they collaborated on the dark web; (3) they stopped using technology for coordination once they reached a certain level of operational readiness.
And Wired magazine presented the response from intelligence community leaders like CIA director John Brennan, who hoped that Paris would serve as a global “wake-up call” to people who oppose government surveillance in the name of personal privacy. Brennan said, “There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult both technically as well as legally for intelligence security services to have insight that they need to uncover it.

ain't a damn thing funny about a $6 Billion warsocialist epic fail....,


theregister |  The US government's firewall, named Einstein, is not as smart as its name would suggest.
A report [PDF] by the General Accounting Office (GAO) into the National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS) has concluded that it is only "partially meeting its stated system objectives." Which is a polite way of saying it sucks.

Among the extraordinary pieces of information to emerge are the fact that the system – which has cost $5.7bn to develop – does not monitor web traffic for malicious content, just email. It can't uncover malware on a system and it doesn't monitor cloud services either.

The system also carries out only signature-based threat assessment and intrusion detection i.e. it's a dumb terminal waiting to be told what to find rather than looking for unusual activity. And that means it is wide open to zero-day attacks.

If that wasn't enough, the department behind the system – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – hasn't included anything to measure the system's own performance so it doesn't even know if it's doing a good job or not. And it is failing to ask for or share information with other agencies, effectively making it blind.

It is hardly surprising then that the uptake of Einstein has not exactly been stellar. The report notes that federal agencies have adopted the NCPS "to varying degrees."

There are 23 agencies that are actually required to implement the system but the GAO found that while those agencies were routing "some" traffic to the system, only five of them were using the system to deal with possible intrusions.

"This occurred in part because DHS has not provided network routing guidance to agencies," the report notes. "As a result, DHS has limited assurance regarding the effectiveness of the system."

Which is a roundabout way of saying that sysadmins want nothing to do with it.

Friday, February 05, 2016

poised and polished: when your viscera no longer transmit through the vestibular complex...,


cain't buh-lieve you pissants kwestining Granny's fat gwap ....,




realclearpolitics |  TODD: Thank you both. Let me move on to our next question here, and in fact it comes to us through New England Cable News.

Secretary Clinton, it's addressed to you, and it's about this issue of the speeches, particularly to Goldman Sachs. This is what the questioner wrote verbatim.

"I am concerned with the abuses of Wall Street has taken with the American taxpayers money," and then she asks whether you would release the transcripts of your Goldman Sachs speeches, and then added, "Don't you think the voting public has a right to know what was said?"

But, let's make that bigger. Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches? We do know through reporting that there were transcription services for all of those paid speeches. In full disclosure, would you release all of them?

CLINTON: I will look into it. I don't know the status, but I will certainly look into it. But, I can only repeat what is the fact that I spoke to a lot of different groups with a lot of different constituents, a lot of different kinds of members about issues that had to do with world affairs. I probably described more times than I can remember how stressful it was advising the President about going after Bin Laden.

realclearpolitics |  NBC's Andrea Mitchell says Hill Clinton should release transcripts she gave to investment banks to reassure the public she was not talking about something that involves a conflict of interest. At Thursday's Democratic primary debate moderated by MSNBC, former Secretary of State Clinton said she would look into releasing the transcripts.

"It's very hard for the average working person to believe that someone could make that much money from a speech and that there is nothing given in return if it's someone who just left government," Mitchell said.

"She's been claiming all along that I'm invited to speak to these investment banks because they want to know my world view -- what do I think of Russia, what do I think of China, I'm a former Secretary of State and all former Secretaries of State have done this in recent decades. And if the transcripts shows that they were talking about something that involves a conflict of interest, I mean, I have no idea. But just to settle it, reassure the public that they are being brought inside these secret board rooms and they know what's going on," Mitchell said.

long ago, Granny had overies, thereby permanently establishing her progressive bonfides...,


msnbc |  In a Democratic primary that has been largely fought on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ terms and issues, Hillary Clinton hasn’t gotten to be the transformative candidate. But at Thursday’s MSNBC debate, she made the risky choice to argue that as a woman, she could be.

“Honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment,” Clinton said.

As for Clinton’s implicit point that gender has disqualified her from being part of the establishment, Sanders’ press secretary, Symone Sanders, responded in an interview with MSNBC, “Yes, women can be part of the establishment… To me, that’s just like asking can a black person be part of the establishment, can a white person be part of the establishment. One’s gender or race is not the thing that determines ‘the establishment.’” 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Granny's such an outrageous liar, you expect her pantsuit to catch on fire...,



thefederalist |  During the Democratic town hall that aired on CNN Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton completely fell apart onstage when Anderson Cooper asked her about $675,000 she received for delivering three speeches at Goldman Sachs.

Throughout the campaign, her opponent Bernie Sanders has criticized Clinton’s ability to deliver on her promises to crack down on Wall Street after taking more than $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in a year.

“Was that a mistake? Was that a bad error in judgement?” Anderson asked.

“Well, I dunno,” Clinton said. “That’s what they offered. Every secretary of State that I know has done that.”

Clinton’s remarks during the televised town hall may have given off the impression that she wasn’t very involved when negotiating speaking deals, but the truth is, she is actually a heavy-handed negotiator.

The Washington Post reported that when Clinton agreed to deliver a speech at the University of California Los Angeles in 2014, she charged the publicly-funded school $300,000. When school administrators asked for a discounted rate, Clinton’s handlers informed UCLA that $300,000 was the special, discounted rate for public universities.

we are going to share the future....,


NYTimes | On Sunday, at the Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines, former President Bill Clinton, looking frail and sounding faint, stumped for his wife, working through her qualifications with a husband’s devotion and a Svengali’s facility.

But one thing he said stood out to me for its clear rhetorical framing.

He attributed much of the anger that’s present in the electorate to anxiety over a changing demographic profile of the country, but then said: We are going to share the future. The only question is: What will be the terms of the sharing?

This idea of negotiating the terms of sharing the future is an expansive one, on both ends of the ideological spectrum, but it also seems to me to be an internal debate white America is having with itself.

Much of the energy on both the left and the right this cycle is coming from white Americans who are rejecting the direction of America and its institutions. There is a profound disappointment. On one hand, it’s about fear of dislocation of supremacy, and the surrendering of power and the security it provides. On the other hand, it’s about disillusionment that the game is rigged and the turf is tilted. It is about defining who created this country’s bounty and who has most benefited from it.

White America is wrestling with itself, torn between two increasingly distant visions and philosophies, trying to figure out if the country should retreat from its present course or be remade.

The results from the Iowa caucuses revealed that Republican caucusgoers gave roughly even support to the top three finishers — Ted Cruz, a much-loathed anti-institutional who has shown a pyromaniac’s predilection for wanting to torch Washington rather than make it work; the real estate developer spouting nativist and even fascist policies with the fervor of a prosperity preacher; and Marco Rubio, a too-slick-to-be-trusted stripling who oozes ambition with every obviously rehearsed response.

On the left, the white vote was nearly evenly split in Iowa between Hillary Clinton, a pragmatist who believes that the system can be fixed, and Bernie Sanders, a revolutionary who believes that system must be dismantled. At least on the Democratic side, age, income and liberalism seemed to be the fault lines — older, wealthier, more moderate people preferred Clinton and younger, less wealthy and “very liberal” people preferred Sanders.

Clinton won the support of nonwhites in Iowa 58 percent to Sanders’s 34 percent. This gap also exists — and has remained stubbornly persistent — in national polls, and in some polls is even wider. For instance, according to a January Monmouth University Poll, nationwide black and Latino support for Clinton was 71 percent as opposed to 21 percent for Sanders. At this point, this is a settled issue for nonwhite voters, and those voters are likely to be Democratic primary king- or queen-makers.

"unity" biotechnology: the problematic pursuit of immortality in the midst of profound inequality...,



npr |  Mice were much healthier and lived about 25 percent longer when scientists killed off a certain kind of cell that accumulates in the body with age.

What's more, the mice didn't seem to suffer any ill effects from losing their so-called senescent cells.

These are cells that have stopped dividing, though not necessarily because the cells themselves are old. "It's a normal cell that experienced an unusual amount of stress, and it decided to stop dividing," says Jan van Deursen, who studies senescent cells at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn.

Older creatures have a lot more of these cells than young 'uns. And even though the cells aren't dividing, they do keep busy — they secrete a mixture of chemicals that can trigger inflammation, which seems to be involved in just about every major age-related disease.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

ambient, macroscopic quantum entanglement slips from above top-secret and into the public domain...,


sciencemag |  Entanglement is a key resource for quantum computers, quantum-communication networks, and high-precision sensors. Macroscopic spin ensembles have been historically important in the development of quantum algorithms for these prospective technologies and remain strong candidates for implementing them today. This strength derives from their long-lived quantum coherence, strong signal, and ability to couple collectively to external degrees of freedom. Nonetheless, preparing ensembles of genuinely entangled spin states has required high magnetic fields and cryogenic temperatures or photochemical reactions. We demonstrate that entanglement can be realized in solid-state spin ensembles at ambient conditions. We use hybrid registers comprising of electron-nuclear spin pairs that are localized at color-center defects in a commercial SiC wafer. We optically initialize 103 identical registers in a 40-mm3 volume (with 0:95þ0:05 −0:07 fidelity) and deterministically prepare them into the maximally entangled Bell states (with 0.88 ± 0.07 fidelity). To verify entanglement, we develop a register-specific quantum-state tomography protocol. The entanglement of a macroscopic solid-state spin ensemble at ambient conditions represents an important step toward practical quantum technology

if Trump gets cheated like bernie was, the next wage-class leader will favor arm-bands and roadside bombs...,



WaPo |  The Iowa Democratic Party has an unusual system in the event that a caucus vote ends in a tie: They flip a coin.

Given how close the Democratic race in Iowa was this time around, and given how well Hillary Clinton did at those moments that a tie needed to be broken, you probably already know this. But in case you don't, there were at least six caucus locations on Monday in which unallocated delegates were assigned by a coin toss.

Clinton won all six.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

only Mr. Miracle has a proven track record of employing tens of thousands of stakeholders


dailykos |  One of the best questions you can ask people in organizations that are struggling is:
If you could get rid of one thing, what would it be? 
It’s a great question (and also one that should be asked in confidentiality) because: 
  1. It’s hard to think about changing everything. 
  2. It’s easier to think about one thing to eliminate.
  3. People often have a really good idea about what that one thing is in an organization. Often it’s the elephant in the room that people can’t talk about publicly for fear of retribution. Sometimes, it’s a person. 
One thing clearly stands head and shoulders above the rest when you talk to many people in corporate America. It’s an idea that completely removes responsibility from many corporations in our society. It’s an idea that threatens not only our constitutional democracy, but also every value Christians hold dear and every value we hold dear from modernity and post-modernity.   

It’s an idea so bad that Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, called it “the dumbest idea in the world.”  Fist tap Arnach.

economic trauma and political drama in the left behind hump of the IQ-75 majority...,


NYTimes |  The intelligentsia on the left rarely lets a moment pass without reminding us of the demographic eclipse of white middle-class voters. Sometimes, those voters are described as racists, or derided as dull suburbanites who lack the élan of the new urban “creative class.” The message: White middle-class Americans aren’t just irrelevant to America’s future, they’re in the way.

Conservatives are no less harsh. Pundits ominously predict that the “innovators” are about to be overwhelmed by a locust blight of “takers.” The message: If it weren’t for successful people like us, middle-class people like you would be doomed. And if you’re not an entrepreneurial “producer,” you’re in the way.

Is it any surprise that white middle-class voters are in rebellion?

Democratic and Republican Party establishments appeal to the interests of these voters, promising to protect them (Democrats) or spur growth that will renew economic opportunity (Republicans). But these appeals miss the point.

Our political history since the end of World War II has turned on the willingness of white middle-class voters to rally behind great causes in league with the wealthy and political elite: Resist Communism! Send a man to the moon! Overcome racism! Protect the environment! Today, white middle-class voters want to be reassured that they can play an active role in politics. They want someone to appeal to their sense of political self-worth, not just their interests.

This is precisely what Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders offer. Mr. Trump speaks about restoring American greatness, rhetorical gestures akin to Barack Obama’s vague 2008 slogan, “Yes, we can.” We can mock both as empty. But voters who feel disempowered and marginalized latch on to this promise. They want to be partners with the rich and powerful in defining our future as a country, not recipients of their benevolent ministrations, which explains why they’re untroubled by Mr. Trump’s great wealth.

Mr. Sanders also appeals to the strong desire that the white middle class has to recover its central role in the national project. While he attracts support from a wealthier stratum of the middle class than Mr. Trump, the appeal is the same. He asks them to join him in fundamentally remaking our political economy. We can dismiss his socialism as an unworkable throwback, but he’s doing something our political establishment can’t or won’t: asking middle-class voters to undertake a nation-defining transformation.

If these candidates have traction, it’s because over the last two decades our political elites, themselves almost entirely white, have decided, for different reasons, that the white middle class has no role to play in the multicultural, globalized future they envision, a future that they believe they will run. This primary season will show us whether or not they’re right.

Granny done tore her britches now....,



observer |  Sidney Blumenthal has been an intimate family friend to Hillary Clinton for two decades, and the emails between them show late night calls, social visits to one another’s home, and all the informality expected of two close and trusted friends. We know Mr. Blumenthal was a senior adviser to Ms. Clinton during her 2008 campaign for the presidency and would have continued during her time as secretary of state had his appointment not been stopped by President Obama’s staff due to Mr. Blumenthal’s penchant for nasty campaign tactics.

Nonetheless, Ms. Clinton valued Mr. Blumenthal’s advice to such a degree that she secretly hired him as a private advisor, paying him $120,000 a year for his services.

A number of columns have been written exposing how Mr. Blumenthal sent articles to Ms. Clinton from his son Max, one of America’s most notorious Israel haters. Ms. Clinton responded very favorably to them. Some of these writings would later be the basis for Max’s anti-Semitic Goliath, whose book launch was thrown by Sid at his own home. The disgraceful writings compare Israel to the Nazis, call for the expulsion of the Jews from Israel and whitewash Palestinian terrorism. For good measure Max also compares the Israel Defense Forces to the SS.

The emails thus released show that Mr. Blumenthal sent 19 articles written by Max, most of which contained deep anti-Israel sentiment.

What is truly unsettling is Ms. Clinton’s glowing praise for Max’s work. On numerous occasions she forwarded the articles to her staff with the words “Pls print,” and a number of times she asked for multiple copies so that she could hand them out to her staff and discuss them.

Monday, February 01, 2016

at ~9 minutes and about 8 seconds he expounds the pending solution...,



RT | The former finance minister of Greece says people must work to save democracy from capitalism, otherwise the voracious economic system will completely devour the fragile political philosophy, he warned in a recent talk.

I was in attendance at a conference in Beirut last year when it was reported that Syriza, the left-wing Greek party, originally founded in 2004, had just done the impossible—or at least what we all thought was impossible. There was talk about ending austerity measures and Greece leaving the Eurozone: Grexit. Surely, a people’s victory in the US was just around the bend?

At that moment, I felt hope that Athens would lead Europe and finally the United States in a people-focused policy that rejected neoliberalism and the nostrums of banksters. Indeed, after Syriza surged in Greece, Podemos made its appearance in Spain; Jeremy Corbyn won the nod for leader of the UK Labour Party; a leftist governing coalition was voted into power in Portugal. Suddenly, it seemed that the people finally had austerity on the run. The events in Europe gave me hope for a resurgence of progressive politicians in the US.

And then the unthinkable occurred: Syriza dashed my hopes when they sat down at the negotiating table with Germany and the banksters to ease terms on the repayment of Greece’s debts to the EU. Yes, after the Greek people had voted Syriza into power, and then voted a resounding “No” to austerity policies in a referendum, Syriza was now at the bargaining table, agreeing to their demands. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing: A real-time betrayal of its own values as well as the people by a political party created to be anti-austerity.

the clock is now ticking for more than a million on food stamps...,


npr |  One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

But after the recession began, that three-month cap was waived in many areas, as state and federal governments acknowledged that jobs were hard to come by.

Now, as the economy is improving, the time limits are being reimposed — by federal policy in some areas, by state legislators in others.

For 22 states, the time limit returned in some or all of the state at the beginning of this year. It's the largest reinstatement of the three-month cap since the recession, The Associated Press reports

A million SNAP Recipients Affected
The three-month time limit applies to people ages 18 to 50 who aren't caring for a child or other dependent, aren't pregnant and aren't disabled or otherwise prevented from working. After their three months are up, such recipients must be working or in a training program at least half-time (80 hours a month) to receive SNAP benefits.

them what's go, shall get, them what's not shall lose, so the bible says - and it still is news....,

Guardian |  The richest stand to gain more from the introduction of new technology than those in poorer sections of society, according to a report which warns that policymakers may be required to intervene to tackle the widening inequality.
The so-called fourth industrial revolution, following on from the introduction of steam power, electricity and electronics, will have less of an impact on developed economies, such as Switzerland, Singapore and the UK. Emerging markets – notably in parts of Latin America and India – will suffer when artificial intelligence and robots become widely used, reducing the competitive advantage of their cheap labour.
The report by Swiss bank UBS, published on Tuesday to coincide with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, warns that some skilled work is also at risk as robots become more sophisticated.
Axel Weber, the chairman of UBS, said: “Inequality increases not just between developed and developing and emerging countries. It’s also within our society. It will have an impact not only between the rich and the poor but also the young and the old.”
The report outlines a polarisation in the labour force and “greater income inequality imply[ing] larger gains for those at the top of the income, skills and wealth spectrums”.
“These individuals are likely to be best placed from a skills perspective to harness extreme automation and connectivity; they typically already have high savings rates and will benefit from holding more of the assets whose value will be boosted by the fourth industrial revolution,” the report says.

po, po, Granny....,


dailycaller |  California Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday that the FBI “would like to indict both Huma [Abedin] and Hillary Clinton” for conducting classified government business on a private email server.

The Washington Examiner reports that Issa, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said FBI Director James Comey is “in a position where he’s being forced to triple-time make a case of what would otherwise be, what they call, a slam dunk.”

Abedin has been a long time Clinton confidant and top aid both during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, as well as on the 2016 Campaign.

“You can’t have 1,300 highly sensitive emails that contain highly sensitive material that’s taken all, or in part from classified documents, and have it be an accident,” Issa explained.

“There’s no question, she knew she had a responsibility and she circumvented it. And she circumvented it a second time when she knowingly let highly-classified material get onto emails in an unclassified format,” Issa said.