Amit's Planet

November 02, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

har ek nazar idhar udhar... ik nayaa taraanaa

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

har ek nazar idhar udhar hai beqaraar mere li_e
mahafil kaa dil dha.Dak rahaa hai baar-baar mere li_e

huu.N mai.n 
ik nayaa taraanaa ik nayaa fasaanaa ik na_ii kahaanii huu.N mai.n
ek ra.ng ra.Ngiilii ek chhail chhabiilii ek mast jawaanii huu.N mai.n

ruup kii raanii naam hai meraa dil ta.Dapaanaa kaam hai meraa
ko_ii kahe matavaalii koi kahe bholii bhaalii ko_ii kahe diiwaanii huu.N mai.n 
ek ra.ng ra.Ngiilii ek chhail chhabiilii ...

merii adaa_e.N mere bahaane ko_ii na samajhe ko_ii na jaane
ik pavan jhakolaa ek u.Dan khaTolaa ek yaad khaanii huu.N mai.n
ek ra.ng ra.Ngiilii ek chhail chhabiilii ...

Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2016 01:35 PM

jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo a.Nkhiyaa.N do chaar kar lo
suno ye raat nahii.n hai ek tiin chaar kii
suno ye raat hai bas do dilo.n ke pyaar kii

dil hai diiwaanaa samaa suhaanaa 
uff ye jawaanii uff ye zamaanaa
jab tak hai.n jhuum sako jhuumate jaanaa haay re jhuumate jaanaa
jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo 

ra.ngii.n fizaaye.n mast hawaaye.n
kal kaun jaane aaye na aaye
jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo 

ulfat ke pyaale pii le pilaa le
kar de ye duniyaa dil ke hawaale
jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo 







Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2016 01:18 PM

ek raat kii ye priit

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

ek raat kii ye priit ek raat kaa hai giit
kahii.n to.D ke ye sapane ye raat na jaa_e biit

ai chaa.Nd na jaanaa so ai taaro na jaanaa kho
jo bhii ho so ho jag me.n ek bhor kabhii na ho

ye uu.Nchaa aasamaa.N ik baar jo kah de ho
to ye raat maa.Ng luu.N de ke dono.n jahaa.N



Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2016 01:06 PM

dil churaa luu.N

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

dil churaa luu.N churaa luu.N dil me.n chhupii baat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii rah jaa_e.N malate haath

subah kii a.Nga.Daa_ii huu.N mai.n raat kaa huu.N mai.n Kvaab
duniyaa kii mahafil me.n huu.N mai.n apanaa aap jawaab
mukh dekhe to, dekhe to chandaa khaa_e maat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii ...

muskuraake jidhar dekhuu.N khilane lage phuul
aane jaane waale raahii rastaa jaa_e.N bhuul
mai.n chaahuu.N to, chaahuu.N to din ko karuu.N raat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii ...

bhole-bhaale suurat waale matavaale diladaar
bachake rahanaa phir na kahanaa kiyaa na Khabaradaar
ba.Dii hai zaalim, hai zaalim in naino.n kii ghaat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii ...

Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2016 12:57 PM

October 29, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

raadhe tere aa.Nsuu pii ko rok na paae.Nge

Album: Sanskar

raadhe tere aa.Nsuu pii ko rok na paa_e.Nge
lagan ba.Dhaa le aur shyaam tere dau.De aa_e.Nge

itane hii dukh se man ko kar lenaa chuur nahii.n
tere gokul se mohan kii mathuraa duur nahii.n
suune aa.Ngan tere vRRindaavan ban jaa_e.Nge
lagan ba.Dhaa le aur ...

kabhii kabhii aa jaatii hai naino.n me.n tere namii
abhii pyaar me.n kamii hai tere tyaag me.n abhii kamii
kamii na ho to jaane vaale kaise jaa_e.Nge 
lagan ba.Dhaa le aur ...

Contributed by Anonymous

October 29, 2016 02:54 PM

October 23, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

koii samajhaave ye priit sakhii kyaa hai

Album: Lagan

koii samajhaave ye priit sakhii kyaa hai
koii samajhaave
dil muii kyaa hai, ye riit muii kyaa hai
koii samajhaave

naar navelii nahii.n ye pahelii
buujh na paave ki priit sakhii kyaa hai
koii samajhaave

bha.Nvaraa gaave kalii musakaave
koii batalaave ye riit sakhii kyaa hai
koii samajhaave

sab koii jaane mai.n nahii.n jaanuu.N 
ye man_har se le.n siikh sakhii kyaa hai
koii samajhaave

Contributed by Vijay Kumar K

October 23, 2016 03:32 PM

October 20, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

ek dil ka do jahaa.N se

Album: (Non-film)

ek dil kaa do jahaa.N se haath (?) uThaa sakataa huu.N mai.n
jiite jii lekin tumhe.n kyuu.N kar bhuulaa sakataa huu.N mai.n

chaa.Ndanii raato.n kii nii.nde.n zi.ndagaanii kaa sakuun
in Kazaano.n ko bhii tum bar (?) se luTaa sakataa huu.N mai.n

pyaar kii nazaro.n se mujhako tum agar dekhaa karo
chaa.Nd suuraj se bhii zyaadaa jagamagaa sakataa huu.N mai.n

Contributed by Prithviraj Dasgupta

October 20, 2016 11:14 PM

October 16, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

ek din aur gayaa

Album: Door Ka Raahi

ek din aur gayaa haay roke na rukaa
chhaayaa a.Ndhiyaaraa
aaj bhii naav na aayii, aayaa na khevan_haaraa
ek din aur gayaa ...

kaalii naagin-sii ghirii rainaa kajaraarii
sahamii-sahamii-sii hai ye nagarii hamaarii
de ke aavaaz thakaa, o~ de ke aavaaz thakaa
man dukhiyaaraa, aaj bhii naav na aayii ...

phir vahii raat kaThin, chhup gay taare
abhii se bujhane lage diip hamaare
duur ba.Dii duur saveraa, duur ba.Dii duur ujaalaa
duur hai aashaao.n kaa phuul kinaaraa
aaj bhii naav na aayii, aayaa na khevan_haaraa ...

Contributed by Vijay Kumar K

October 16, 2016 06:17 AM

October 06, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii

Album: Navrang

naa raajaa rahegaa naa raanii rahegii
ye duniyaa hai faanii aur faanii rahegii

na jab ek bhii zi.ndagaanii rahegii
to maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

dikhaayegii raaNaa ke raN kii nishaanii
kahegii shivaajii ke praN kii kahaanii
bataaegii muGhalo.n kii baate.n ajaanii
us Gaddaar jayacha.nd kii zi.ndagaanii
ye aapas kii sab badGumaanii kahegii
ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

jo the desh dushman Ghulaamii ke raahii
lage pherane is vatan par siyaahii
videsho.n kii karane lage vaah-vaahii
gayaa desh haatho.n se aayii tabaahii
ye bhar-bhar ke aa.Nkho.n me.n paanii kahegii
ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

fir swaata.ntra kaa aisaa sa.ngraam aayaa
ki har aadamii desh ke kaam aayaa
la.Dii viir jhaa.Nsii kii raanii bhavaanii
hazaaro.n ne laakho.n ne Jauhar jalaayaa
ye kurbaaniyaa.N Khud zubaanii kahegii
ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

swaata.ntra kaa sa.ngraam nahii.n vo baGaavat thii,  yahii itihaas kahataa hai

(jalaa do)-2 ye itihaas jhooThe tumhaare
yahaa.n zarre-zarre pe sach hai likhaa re
zulam vo tumhaare sitam vo tumhaare
karo yaad uf kaaranaame vo kaare
ki patthar se aa.Nsuu kii dhaaraa bahegii

ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2
ye maaTii hai tab se ki jab tum naa aaye
ye maaTii rahegii na jab tum rahoge
is maaTii ke niiche dabii hai.n kathaaye.n
jo Khud hii kahegii re tum kyaa kahoge
zamii.n aasamaa.N tharatharaa ke rahegii

ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2
 

Contributed by Saket Jain

October 06, 2016 12:37 PM

August 17, 2016

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain

Album: Parichay

mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
mitawaa mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
saaware kajaraare nain mitawaa bole miiThe bain 

aaj soye tuu saa.Njh bulaaye 
jaage tuu bhor kare saa.Nse.n lete nain
mitawaa tere nain mitawaa bole miiThe bain 

pyaasaa hai aaj bhii tarase pyaasaa hai aaj bhii tarase 
o baraso saawan barase chhalake tere nain 
mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
mitawaa mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
saaware kajaraare nain saaware kajaraare nain
mitawaa bole miiThe bain


Contributed by Rajeeva Karandikar

August 17, 2016 06:51 PM

February 08, 2016

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

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by J. Bradford DeLong at February 08, 2016 03:38 AM

February 07, 2016

Planet Android

[UPDATE: Game Released] FDG Entertainment's upcoming gritty sniper game Lone Wolf will be landing on Android soon

Last week FDG Entertainment released their gritty neo-noir sniper game called Lone Wolf onto iOS. This game is also slated for release onto Android and that is going to be happening in the very near future. This isn't your typical sniper game and there will actually be a 17+ rating that comes with it. So it won't be for young kids to play.

UPDATE: Sunday, February 7th - 3:17 AM, PST: FDG Entertainment just informed us that their latest game, Lone Wolf is now available to download in the Google Play Store. We have heard great things about this game, as it was released first on iOS, not too long. If you are interested in checking out this gritty story with excellent art direction, the game can be downloaded for free. The game does include in-app purchases, but they are minimal. The link to download the game can be found at the end of this article.

Lone Wolf is a dark sniper game that features not only combat in the traditional sense, but also in a moral sense as well. This is a story-driven sniper game where it isn't just about killing, but dealing with the killing and the folks behind the criminal organization known as "The Assembly", which you just managed to get into with your first kill. You'll be working for The Assembly, being handed various weapons that you'll use to carry out the missions they give to you.

Lone Wolf Features:

- 5+ Hours Story Mode
- 30 Missions
- Hand Drawn Cutscenes
- More than 20 Weapons
- Realistic Weapon Sound and Recoil
- A Dozen Mini-games
- Several shooting Ranges
- Trophy Room with more than 40 trophies

This is a pretty deep game in a multitude of ways, from the story itself to the amount of content this game comes with. It won't be a game you sit and just blaze through in 30 minutes. If Lone Wolf for Android follows the pricing of its iOS brethren, it will be free to download with optional IAPs available, which is mainly to get the premium version for $1.99.

You can check out additional screenshots and the game's trailer below. We will post an update once Lone Wolf arrives onto Google Play, which should be pretty quick.

 

February 07, 2016 04:22 PM

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

Liveblogging the Cold War: February 7, 1946: George F. Kennan

George Frost Kennan: Telegram: February 7, 1946:

Highlights of Molotov's election campaign speech delivered in Moscow February 6 are summarized as follows:

We stand on eve of new elections. They will be test of relation of Soviet people to leadership of Communist Party and policy of Soviet Government. Maybe there are some people abroad who still think it would be well if some other party came to leadership of our country. But our people has its own opinion on that score. If some people abroad are displeased at similarity of Soviet people with Communist Party, we can console such people with thought that it happens not infrequently in other countries as well that Communists enjoy confidence of masses.

War was serious test of party policy and strength of Soviet system. USSR has emerged from war in role of one of most authoritative powers in world. It is now impossible to solve serious questions of international relations without participation of USSR. Comrade Stalin's participation is considered best guarantee of successful solution of complex international problems.

We were able to overcome wartime difficulties because both during and before war we followed correct path. We swept from our path saboteurs and wreckers who in final analysis became spy diversionists at service of foreign masters. It is known also that Soviet people long ago repelled inclination to direct foreign intervention in our internal affairs. Time has now come to take up tasks which were interrupted by war. Some time will be required to raise Socialist industry to prewar level but we will achieve this in couple of years. Improvement of supply of consumers goods and overcoming of housing shortage are tasks to be faced. Before war, party and Government formulated fundamental economic way of USSR as that of catching up with and overtaking most highly developed capitalist countries of Europe and USA. This work was interrupted by Germany's attack but we are now resuming it with still deeper awareness of its importance. In our country there will be no crises and unemployment such as are inherent in other countries. Through increased productivity of labor and broader and more effective application of modern techniques in all branches of economy we will solve task of overtaking most highly developed capitalist countries with degree of success required by interests of our country and interests of communism.

To solve this great task we need long period of peace and security. USSR's peace-loving policy is no transitory phenomenon but springs from basic interests and needs of our people from its desire for speediest improvement of its own material well-being. This is why Soviet people is so vigilant toward possible centers of violation of peace and international security. Thus we cannot ignore such situations as maintenance of hundreds of thousands of troops of zone of our ally, maintenance of tens of thousands of troops of Polish Fascist General Anders at allied expense in Italy and continued existence on Austrian territory of Russian White Guard Infantry Corps of Colonel Rogozhin. USSR has done no little to create new more effective security organization. UNO has already begun its work and we wish it success. Our participation is aimed at making this organization play key role in averting new wars and bridling any and all imperialist aggressors.

There are no militarist adventuristic groups in USSR as among dominating classes in certain other countries where dangerous talk of 'third world war' is being encouraged by foul imperialists. True supporters of peace will find real and faithful ally in USSR. This does not mean that our concern for the maintenance of our Armed Forces will diminish. Our Government and Red Army leaders are doing everything to assure that our Army is second to no other Army as regards newest types of armament.   Sent Department 370; repeated Frankfurt.

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 07, 2016 01:32 PM

Liveblogging the American Revolution: February 6, 1778: The French Alliance

Treaty of Alliance Between The United States and France; February 6, 1778<:

The most Christian King and the United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhodes island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, having this Day concluded a Treaty of amity and Commerce, for the reciprocal advantage of their Subjects and Citizens have thought it necessary to take into consideration the means of strengthening those engagements and of rondring them useful to the safety and tranquility of the two parties, particularly in case Great Britain in Resentment of that connection and of the good correspondence which is the object of the said Treaty, should break the Peace with france, either by direct hostilities, or by hindring her commerce and navigation, in a manner contrary to the Rights of Nations, and the Peace subsisting between the two Crowns; and his Majesty and the said united States having resolved in that Case to join their Councils and efforts against the Enterprises of their common Enemy, the respective Plenipotentiaries, impower'd to concert the Clauses & conditions proper to fulfil the said Intentions, have, after the most mature Deliberation, concluded and determined on the following Articles.

ART. 1: If War should break out betwan france and Great Britain, during the continuance of the present War betwan the United States and England, his Majesty and the said united States, shall make it a common cause, and aid each other mutually with their good Offices, their Counsels, and their forces, according to the exigence of Conjunctures as becomes good & faithful Allies.

ART. 2: The essential and direct End of the present defensive alliance is to maintain effectually the liberty, Sovereignty, and independance absolute and unlimited of the said united States, as well in Matters of Gouvernement as of commerce.

ART. 3: The two contracting Parties shall each on its own Part, and in the manner it may judge most proper, make all the efforts in its Power, against their common Ennemy, in order to attain the end proposed.

ART. 4: The contracting Parties agree that in case either of them should form any particular Enterprise in which the concurrence of the other may be desired, the Party whose concurrence is desired shall readily, and with good faith, join to act in concert for that Purpose, as far as circumstances and its own particular Situation will permit; and in that case, they shall regulate by a particular Convention the quantity and kind of Succour to be furnished, and the Time and manner of its being brought into action, as well as the advantages which are to be its Compensation.

ART. 5: If the united States should think fit to attempt the Reduction of the British Power remaining in the Northern Parts of America, or the Islands of Bermudas, those Countries or Islands in case of Success, shall be confederated with or dependent upon the said united States.

ART. 6: The Most Christian King renounces for ever the possession of the Islands of Bermudas as well as of any part of the continent of North america which before the treaty of Paris in 1763. or in virtue of that Treaty, were acknowledged to belong to the Crown of Great Britain, or to the united States heretofore called British Colonies, or which are at this Time or have lately been under the Power of The King and Crown of Great Britain.

ART. 7: If his Most Christian Majesty shall think proper to attack any of the Islands situated in the Gulph of Mexico, or near that Gulph, which are at present under the Power of Great Britain, all the said Isles, in case of success, shall appertain to the Crown of france.

ART. 8: Neither of the two Parties shall conclude either Truce or Peace with Great Britain, without the formal consent of the other first obtain'd; and they mutually engage not to lay down their arms, until the Independence of the united states shall have been formally or tacitly assured by the Treaty or Treaties that shall terminate the War.

ART. 9: The contracting Parties declare, that being resolved to fulfil each on its own Part the clauses and conditions of the present Treaty of alliance, according to its own power and circumstances, there shall be no after claim of compensation on one side or the other whatever may be the event of the War.

ART. 10: The Most Christian King and the United states, agree to invite or admit other Powers who may have received injuries from England to make common cause with them, and to accede to the present alliance, under such conditions as shall be freely agreed to and settled between all the Parties.

ART. 11: The two Parties guarantee mutually from the present time and forever, against all other powers, to wit, the united states to his most Christian Majesty the present Possessions of the Crown of france in America as well as those which it may acquire by the future Treaty of peace: and his most Christian Majesty guarantees on his part to the united states, their liberty, Sovereignty, and Independence absolute, and unlimited, as well in Matters of Government as commerce and also their Possessions, and the additions or conquests that their Confederation may obtain during the war, from any of the Dominions now or heretofore possessed by Great Britain in North America, conformable to the 5th & 6th articles above written, the whole as their Possessions shall be fixed and assured to the said States at the moment of the cessation of their present War with England.

ART. 12: In order to fix more precisely the sense and application of the preceding article, the Contracting Parties declare, that in case of rupture between france and England, the reciprocal Guarantee declared in the said article shall have its full force and effect the moment such War shall break out and if such rupture shall not take place, the mutual obligations of the said guarantee shall not commence, until the moment of the cessation of the present War between the united states and England shall have ascertained the Possessions.

ART. 13: The present Treaty shall be ratified on both sides and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months, sooner if possible.

In faith where of the respective Plenipotentiaries, to wit on the part of the most Christian King Conrad Alexander Gerard royal syndic of the City of Strasbourgh & Secretary of his majestys Council of State and on the part of the United States Benjamin Franklin Deputy to the General Congress from the State of Pensylvania and President of the Convention of the same state, Silas Deane heretofore Deputy from the State of Connecticut & Arthur Lee Councellor at Law have signed the above Articles both in the French and English Languages declaring Nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally composed and concluded in the French Language, and they have hereunto affixed their Seals

Done at Paris, this sixth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight.

C. A. GERARD
B FRANKLIN
SILAS DEANE
ARTHUR LEE

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 07, 2016 01:29 PM

Liveblogging the Cold War: February 5, 1946: Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt: My Day by , February 5, 1946:

LONDON—It is extremely difficult for us in the United States to conceive of the conditions confronting the people in the countries of Europe today, and even here in Great Britain.

For instance, it has just been announced that the British Government will not be able to buy any more powdered eggs from us, and that means, of course, that the people will no longer be able to buy them. We in the United States are not very fond of powdered eggs, but this announcement caused consternation among the British.

In my mail is a letter which tells me in no uncertain terms what this will mean to the average British home. I quote from it here:

'I wonder if your 'folks at home' know what it means to us to be deprived of the dried eggs they have been sending us. This deprivation is almost certainly one of the worst we have been called upon to face.

'We can now have no scrambled eggs for breakfast (already reserved for men and children only in most households). We can never give the children Yorkshire pudding and gravy on the many non-meat days. We can never serve pancakes for pudding, and there is only enough milk for one milk pudding a week. We can never make any sort of cake. What confectioners will do seems impossible to surmise. 'We loved your boys especially for their wonderful kindness to our children. What they will think of this, I don't know. They know of our struggle to get fed.'

I think this letter illustrates as well as anything else the little things which affect some nations greatly and leave us completely untouched at home. Though the war is over, the people here and in Europe are hardly as well able as we are to settle down to a normal life.


When an individual here has to make repairs on his house, he is allowed to spend only ten pounds a month, which is equivalent to about forty dollars. If he is in a very bad way, he may be allowed two or three pounds more, but you can well imagine that that does not go far. I think, of course, that big buildings and organizations have a slightly bigger allowance, but it is not enough to achieve major repairs.

Permits for materials are given by the government only under the stress of real necessity. Then, after you have the money and your permit, you have to find labor, and very often your permit, which is good for only three months, runs out before the labor is available. Then you begin the whole weary round again—permit, money, labor,—and it almost seems easier to live among the ruins.


I had a letter the other day from five American Army boys, inviting Senator Connally and myself to have dinner with them, saying that they were on their last leave before returning home. I had a dinner engagement, so could not accept, but asked them to drop in for a talk with me before I went out. This they did, and I found I had two boys from Texas, one from North Carolina, one from Ohio, and one from New York.

All of them, apparently, are planning to go on with their education when they reach home, but one of them said: 'We haven't thought about it very much, for when you are over here, getting home seems so far away that you don't really make any definite plans.'

I can understand that, but I asked them whether they had had any chance, while here, to study the problems which as citizens they need to understand when they reach home. They said that was difficult to do, since you could never get more than ten or twelve men together at any one time. I regret this.

That number seems to me ideal for a discussion group, but I gathered that discussions were not going on very actively in the ranks of our soldiers. Nearly all the Assembly delegates are beginning to talk about the end of the session, and I think our work is being speeded up. I imagine that the United States delegation is not the only one with statesmen who feel they have obligations at home pressing heavily upon them. Belgium, for instance, will have a general election soon and, naturally, any man in public life wants to get home at such a time.

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 07, 2016 01:29 PM

Liveblogging World War I: February 2, 1778: Crashed Zeppelin

History.com: Zeppelin Crashes in North Sea*:

Two days after nine German zeppelins dropped close to 400 bombs throughout the English Midlands, the crew of the British fishing trawler King Stephen comes across the crashed remains of one of the giant airships floating in the North Sea....

Just before daybreak on February 2, King Stephen skipper William Martin spotted a downed airship partially submerged in the North Sea. The skipper and his crew waited at a safe distance until daylight when they confirmed the wreckage was that of a German zeppelin with the identification mark L-19. With three of its four engines failing, the L-19 had reportedly come under Dutch fire, which punctured its gas cells and brought it down, killing some of the crew.

The nine unarmed men aboard the King Stephen saw that about 20 German soldiers had survived the crash. Fearful that the German airmen could easily overpower them and take control of the ship, Martin and his crew refused the soldiers’ pleas for help and did not take the men aboard, choosing instead to return to Britain to report their discovery to the authorities. The remaining crew of the L-19 disappeared with their craft. Word of the incident soon got out in both Germany and Britain–some saw Martin’s decision as a necessary one to protect his crew, while others, including some Britons, vilified Martin for what they saw as an unpardonable act of cruelty, even for wartime.

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 07, 2016 01:27 PM

Liveblogging the American Revolution: February 1, 1778: At Velley Forge

U.S. History.org: Physicians, Surgeons and Mates with Washington at Valley Forge:

On April 11, 1777 Dr. William Shippen Jr., of Philadelphia was chosen Director General of all the military hospitals for the army.... The wage scale was as follows: Director General's pay $6.00 a day and 9 rations; District Deputy Director $5.00 a day and 6 rations; Senior Surgeon $4.00 a day and 6 rations; Junior Surgeon $2.00 and 4 rations; Surgeon mate $1.00 and 2 rations....

The camp at Valley Forge was established in December 1777. Perhaps the earliest reliable record of the sick is found in the report under the date December 23, when 2,898 men were reported sick or unfit for duty largely due to the lack of clothing. A return made February 1, 1778 shows the number of incapacitated increased to 3,989, again traced to the need of clothing....

Weedon's Valley Forge Orderly Book is the primary source of health conditions within the camp. The first entry is under date December 26, 1777. 'Complaints having been made by the Surgeons of Hospitals that the sick are often sent to him without a list required by Genl. Orders issued the 12th November, to them orders all officers are ref'd for directions in this point and of the directions in this point and of the disposition of the arms of the sick. It appears also that many men who go into the Hospitals well clad are in a manner naked when they get well and cannot return to their regiment till new cloathed, to prevent a continuance of this evil that those guilty may be known and punished. Hence forward every article of their cloathing, their lists signed by the captain or officer commanding compys.' [Weedon's Valley Forge Orderly Book, p. 169]

It seems there was carelessness in making necessary health reports, consequently Washington ordered on January 2, 1778: 'Every Monday morning regimental surgeons are to make returns to the Surgeon Gen'l. or in his absence to one of the senior surgeions, present in camp or otherwise under the immediate care of the regimental surgeons specifying the mens names Comps. Regts. and diseases.' [Weedon's Valley Forge Orderly Book, p. 175]

Small pox and the itch caused much trouble in the army so that orders were issued under the following dates: January 6, 1778, 'The regimental surgeons are immediately to make returns to Doctor Cochran Surgeon Gen'l. of all the men in their regiments who have not had the small pox, they will also call on Doctor Cochran for what sulphur they need for the use of their regiments.'3 January 8, 1778. 'Being informed many men are rendered unfit for duty by the itch, the Commander -in-Chief orders and directs the regimental surgeons to look attentively into this matter and as soon as the men who are affected with this disorder are properly dispersed in huts to have them anointed for it.' [Weedon's Valley Forge Orderly Book, pp. 183-186]

Since sickness was so prevalent in the early days of the camp plans were made to take care of the ill directly on the camp grounds. Washington issued the following orders: January 9, 1778. 'The Majr. Genl. and Brigaiders or officers commanding the brigades of each division are to fix on some suitable place near their respective brigades where hosptials may be erected one for the sick in each brigade as soon as the men can possibly be spared from hutting they are to erect those hospitals, the officers who shall be app'd. to superintend the work will receive directions therefore at the Adjudt. Genls. office.' [Weedon's Valley Forge Orderly Book, p. 188]....

Stressing the need of accuracy concerning the sick Washington required, January 20, 1778: 'The regimental surgeions every Wednesday and Saturday are to make returns to the brigadier of all the sick in their respective regts. They or their mates are duly to attend the huts of their men and see that the sick are provided for as well as possible. The surgeons are also to keep a book in which they will enter a copy of every return they give in.' January 21, 1778. 'The Director Genl. of the Hospitals is as soon as possible to furnish the R'mental surgeons with medicine chests supplied with such medicine as are necessary for the sick in camp.' January 29, 1778. 'The commanding officer of each brigade is to appoint a Capt'n daily to visit the sick of his brigade in or near camp to examine whether they have proper attention paid to them and are furnished with everything their situation requires as far as circumstances will allow.'....

The following excerpts from the diary kept at Valley Forge by Albigence Waldo, Surgeon, from Connecticut is enlightening:

'December 25th — Christmas. We are still in tents, when ought to be in huts — the poor sick, suffer much in tents this cold weather. But we now treat them differently from what they used to be at home, under the inspection of old women and Doct. Bolus Linctus. We give them mutton and grogg — and a captial medicine once in a while — to start the disease from its foundation at once. We avoid piddling pills, powders, Babus's Linctus's cordials — and all such insignificant matters whose powers are only rendered important by causing the patient to vomit up his money instead of his disease. But very few of the sick men die.'...

Dec. 21, 1777. 'A general cry goes through the camp this evening among the soldiers, 'No meat, no meat.' 'What have we for dinner, boy?' 'Nothing but cake and water, sir.'

Dec. 24, 1777. 'Huts go up slowly. Cold and smoke make us fret.' [Thomas-American Revolutionary Diaries, Vol. III, pp. 133-170]...

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 07, 2016 01:26 PM

Abnormal Returns

Sunday links: your best ideas

by abnormalreturns at February 07, 2016 01:26 PM

Zero Hedge

Is Deutsche Bank Signaling A New Banking Crisis?

Deutsche Bank Image

The earnings season has started, and several major banks in the Eurozone have already reported on how they performed in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the entire financial year. Most results were quite boring, but unfortunately Deutsche Bank once again had some bad news.

Just one week before it wanted to release its financial results, it already issued a profit warning to the markets, and the company’s market capitalization has lost in excess of 5B EUR since the profit warning, on top of seeing an additional 18B EUR evaporate since last summer. Deutsche Bank is now trading at less than 50% of the share price it was trading at in July last year.

Deutsche Bank chart

Source: stockcharts.com

And no, the market isn’t wrong about this one. The shit is now really hitting the fan at Deutsche Bank after having to confess another multi-billion euro loss in 2015 on the back of some hefty litigation charges (which are expected to persist in the future). And to add to all the gloom and doom, even Deutsche Bank’s CEO said he didn’t really want to be there . Talk about being pessimistic!

Right after Germany’s largest bank (and one of the banks that are deemed too big to fail in the Eurozone system) surprised the market with these huge write-downs and high losses, the CDS spread  (‘Credit Default Swap’) started to increase quite sharply. Back in July of last year, when Deutsche Bank’s share price reached quite a high level, the cost to insure yourself reached a level of approximately 100, but as you can see in the next image, the CDS spread started to increase sharply since the beginning of this year. It reached a level of approximately 200  in just the past three weeks, indicating the market is becoming increasingly nervous about Deutsche’s chances to weather the current storm.

CDS Deutsche Bank

Source: Boursorama.com

Let’s now take a step back and explain why the problems at Deutsche Bank could have a huge negative impact on the world economy. Deutsche has a huge exposure to the derivatives market, and it’s impossible, and then we mean LITERALLY impossible for any government to bail out Deutsche Bank should things go terribly wrong. Keep in mind the exposure of Deutsche Bank to its derivatives portfolio is a stunning 55B EUR, which is almost 20 times (yes, twenty times) the GDP of Germany and roughly 5 times the GDP of the entire Eurozone! And to put things in perspective, the TOTAL government debt of the US government is less than 1/3rd of Deutsche Bank’s exposure.

Oops.

Indeed, oops. And the worst part of all of this, is the fact the problems at Deutsche Bank are slowly penetrating the other major financial institutions. Have a look at the CDS spread of Banco Santander (from 109 in December to 170 now).

CDS Banco Santander Deutsche Bank

Source: ibidem

And Intesa Sanpaolo? From 82 in November to 147 right now.

CDS Intesa Deutsche Bank

Source: Ibidem

Something is rumbling in Europe’s intestines, and Deutsche Bank is leading the pack towards another huge financial crisis. The CDS spreads of literally ALL major European banks have posted huge changes in the past 3-4 weeks, and if you throw in the most recent messages from Citibank, stating the world economy is trapped in a death spiral, you might want to think about protecting yourself against yet another financial meltdown.

>>> Protect Your Wealth: Download our Exclusive Gold Report

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by Secular Investor at February 07, 2016 01:02 PM

Abnormal Returns

The Big Picture

10 Sunday Reads

My easy like Sunday morning reads:

• Five Things Smart Beta Can’t Do For You (Reformed Broker)
• Conflicting Economic Indicators Challenge Fed’s Policy Makers (NYT)
• Citi: ‘We Should All Fear Oilmageddon’ A feedback loop of the U.S. dollar, crude, capital flows, and emerging markets. (Bloomberg)
• Why European Banks Keep Getting Clobbered (WSJ)
• Are You Impressing or Intimidating Clients? (Financial Planning)
• Fining Bankers, Not Shareholders, for Banks’ Misconduct (NYT)
• Everyone Hates Martin Shkreli. Everyone Is Missing the Point (New Yorker)
• The Vampire Squid Tells Us How to Vote: Lloyd Blankfein charges for investment advice — but his political wisdom is free (RollingStone) see also Falling Towards Hillary: Even among her supporters, there was no great enthusiasm in Iowa for Mrs Clinton (The Economist)
• Why Mike Bloomberg Can Win: Record numbers of voters are independents— who won’t be satisfied with Clinton, Trump or Cruz. (WSJ)
• Flicker Off, Flicker On 263 73 70 LED bulbs were once pricey and easy to ignore. They’re about to become the standard. And it will happen very, very quickly (Slate) see also It’s the Beginning of the End for CFL Bulbs (Slate)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with BAML economist Ethan Harris.

 

Saudi Arabia Feeling the Pinch

Source: NYT

 

The post 10 Sunday Reads appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Barry Ritholtz at February 07, 2016 12:30 PM

Wired Top Stories

Even Obama’s Cray Cray Gas Tax Can’t Fix Our Roads

Even Obama’s Cray Cray Gas Tax Can’t Fix Our Roads

The president has proposed a new fee on oil to help fund infrastructure repairs, but even that's not enough.

The post Even Obama’s Cray Cray Gas Tax Can’t Fix Our Roads appeared first on WIRED.











by Alex Davies at February 07, 2016 12:00 PM

While You Were Offline: Give Jeb a Hand, Folks. Please? A Hand? Folks?

While You Were Offline: Give Jeb a Hand, Folks. Please? A Hand? Folks?

This week the Internet freaked out over a fake Kanye West magazine cover, a Black Lives Matter activist running for mayor, and who could speak for England.

The post While You Were Offline: Give Jeb a Hand, Folks. Please? A Hand? Folks? appeared first on WIRED.











by Graeme McMillan at February 07, 2016 12:00 PM

The Feds Have to Act to Get America Faster Wi-Fi

The Feds Have to Act to Get America Faster Wi-Fi

Opening up more unlicensed wireless spectrum could turn Wi-Fi from a service road into a speedway.

The post The Feds Have to Act to Get America Faster Wi-Fi appeared first on WIRED.











by US Rep. Anna Eshoo and Ajit Pai at February 07, 2016 12:00 PM

The Hunt for the Algorithms That Drive Life on Earth

The Hunt for the Algorithms That Drive Life on Earth

The biological world is computational at its core, argues computer scientist Leslie Valiant. His “ecorithm” approach uses computational concepts to explore fundamental mysteries of evolution and the mind.

The post The Hunt for the Algorithms That Drive Life on Earth appeared first on WIRED.











by John Pavlus at February 07, 2016 12:00 PM

The Simple Dollar

When Thrifty Met Spendy: Love, Money, and Financial Compatibility

If you’re fighting with your sweetie, there’s a good chance it’s about money. A study by SunTrust found that more than a third of couples experiencing tension in their relationships said money was the reason. That eclipsed the No. 2 response, annoying habits, by 10%. And even worse, arguments about money early in a relationship raise a couple’s risk of divorce more than fights over any other subject.

Interestingly, while couples with large gaps in their credit scores are more likely to part ways later on, it also turns out that savers and spenders are more attracted to each other than they are to those with similar financial leanings.

As Valentine’s Day and the inevitable engagement announcements approach, you may be wondering whether you should give every prospective mate a financial compatibility test to see whether you’re a good money match. Can a frugal saver ever really be happy with a splurger? Will someone who’s content to scrape by annoy a go-getter who’s always searching for a money-making side hustle?

I’ll answer from a personal perspective, as a saver who married a spender: I like to think so, but it does take some work. Below are five time-tested strategies to help nip money arguments in the bud, maintaining marital harmony in the process.

Tip #1: Maintain Perspective

There are a lot of factors contributing to our financial identities, many of them stemming from circumstances beyond our control. Depending on a person’s background and upbringing, money can symbolize different things to different people.

I come from a fairly frugal line of Midwesterners. Hand-me-downs and home-cooked meals were the norm; there wasn’t a lot of “keeping up the Joneses” mentality where I was raised. We just made do and that was that. My parents divorced midway through my childhood, making things even tighter, but I managed to scrape through college and grad school without much debt thanks to scholarships, grants, and work-study jobs.

My husband’s parents immigrated to the U.S. in the late ’60s, and while they toiled at blue-collar jobs, projecting an image of wealth was important to them — they wanted friends and family back home to know they’d “made it” and were doing OK. Whatever they had went toward the best for their children. My husband was funneled into the Ivy League, and though he did well, he has the student loan debt to match.

To me, if you’re fortunate enough to have extra money, you put it away for a rainy day. It’s safety and security. To my husband, it represents a payoff for his hard work, and because of that, he sees no reason not to enjoy it.

That’s not to say we can’t change our habits now, but in moments of mutual financial exasperation, it helps to remember that we’re not deliberately trying to annoy each other — we’re simply reverting back to what’s familiar.

Tip #2: Talk About Your Game Plan

It’s hard to talk about money, but it’s crucial to get on the same page before misunderstandings arise.

A financial game plan means more than sitting down and hashing out a budget (though this is definitely an important part of the process). Experts say it should also be about prioritizing your main goals and planning how to best achieve them. It’s also figuring out what the biggest sticking points in your plan might be, and tackling them specifically.

For my husband and I, our major goals are threefold: saving enough for a comfortable retirement, funding college savings accounts for our sons, and staying out of credit-card debt.

So far, we’ve done pretty well with them, but one of our sticking points is whether to send our kids to public or private school. My husband has fallen in love with one private school in particular, but I don’t think we have room in the budget without radically reshuffling our priorities.

Our compromise? Go public, and put money that might otherwise go toward private school into our kids’ college savings accounts so that it can grow and benefit them down the road. If the need arises — if public school somehow fails to meet our kids’ needs — then private school could become our Plan B and we’ll be better prepared financially for it.

Tip #3: Exploit Your Partner’s Strengths

Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that someone with a very different viewpoint may, every once in awhile, be onto something. But coming from different perspectives can actually make a spender-saver relationship well-balanced and strong, experts say.

My husband, for instance, is a stickler for quality goods. But if we had my way, we’d skimp on a lot of things in order to save some extra cash. Of course, that doesn’t always pay off in the long run. So I’ve come to accept and even welcome his mantra (“You get what you pay for”) when it comes to at least some important purchases that we hope to have for the long haul, like furniture.

It’s also worth noting that few people fit neatly into stereotypical boxes. My husband loves to splurge, but he’s also a major hustler who’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known. I’m a saver, but I also don’t obsess over every dollar and probably am not as proactive about money as I should be. So while our dominant financial personalities are at odds, we still manage to find and appreciate the similarities, too.

frugal and spendthrift

Can a saver and a spender still live frugally ever after?

Tip #4: Consider Keeping Separate Accounts

Many couples automatically merge bank accounts when they get married. But some experts say keeping at least some of your finances separate can help nip arguments in the bud.

My husband and I have maintained separate checking accounts, but merged our savings. It might not work for everyone, but it’s a happy medium for us — we each manage our own day-to-day spending without micromanaging the other, but deposit a significant chunk of our respective incomes into the joint account for major bills, long-term goals, and our safety net.

Most importantly, we don’t “keep score” regarding who pays what. To successfully maintain separate accounts, you’ll need to decide who’s responsible for what: My husband, who makes more than me, gets most of the biggies, like our mortgage and utility bills, and he’s responsible for paying down our credit cards whenever we charge something. I pay a few little things, like preschool tuition, my student loans, Netflix, and a couple of miscellaneous other accounts, but my biggest job is padding our savings.

Tip #5: Learn to Compromise

Most happy couples know that finding common ground is the key to a strong marriage — and it’s really no different when it comes to money. Compromise is key.

Indeed, we’ve learned to give each other a bit of a pass in certain areas. My husband is a passionate “Star Wars” fan, and he’s determined to pass that love along to our sons. They have more shirts and light sabers than I care to count, but as long as things don’t get too crazy, I look the other way. He also has a penchant for crazily patterned golf pants, and even though they’re threatening to take over his closet, I let it go.

And my husband knows that even though I’m typically a tightwad, I’ll happily spend on travel and, to a lesser extent, home decor. As long as my purchases don’t significantly impact our long-term goals, he obliges, knowing I’ve paid him the same courtesy.

Are You a Spender? A Saver? Take Our Quiz

Are you a banker type? A hustler? Prone to splurging? If you aren’t sure what your dominant financial personality is, take The Simple Dollar’s Money Personality Quiz below. Make sure your significant other takes it, too — it could be a good jumping-off point for some candid conversations about how you view money, maybe preventing some arguments along the way.

The post When Thrifty Met Spendy: Love, Money, and Financial Compatibility appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

by Saundra Latham at February 07, 2016 12:00 PM

naked capitalism

Allisstatus

Self-correcting world economy

The world’s economic system is self-correcting.  This doesn’t mean that it has any idea of what it wants to achieve nor that it has foreknowledge of how to achieve it. Both of these are chosen by man. But in reality the desired objective may be misconceived and the methods chosen to achieve it my be […]

by Keith Hudson at February 07, 2016 11:50 AM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

Expert Wordpress Developer (San Diego)

I need to hire a Wordpress Wizard who is and expert in all things Wordpress, Wordpress as a CMS, WooCommerce, PHP, HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, Javascript and more. Project Description I have a consolidated task list of 14 small items I need completed. If [...]

February 07, 2016 11:20 AM

The Big Picture

"Subramanian Swamy" - Google News

National Herald Case: Congress produces documents refuting Subramanian Swamy's allegations - Daily News & Analysis


Daily News & Analysis

National Herald Case: Congress produces documents refuting Subramanian Swamy's allegations
Daily News & Analysis
"BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had sought derecognition of Congress on this ground but his complaint was dismissed by a full bench order of the Election Commission" at that time, AICC said. On whether Sonia or Rahul Gandhi benefited financially from ...
Herald issue: Congress defends Gandhis, posts FAQs on websiteThe Indian Express

all 12 news articles »

February 07, 2016 10:54 AM

Planet Python

Investing using Python: All symbols Metatrader 4 history data (hst files) export to MySQL using Python

I want to use history and live Metatrader data without this outdated platform itself. Previously I've tried to use MT4 capabilities, but when platform is not responding for days when exporting entire history it's not very good. It can be made more efficient, but still too slow. So, I've decided to tryt to export history […]

February 07, 2016 10:27 AM

naked capitalism

Jim Hightower: What Really Poisoned the Water in Flint, Michigan

Flint reveals that there is a much deeper contamination poisoning our country's political morals.

by Lambert Strether at February 07, 2016 09:55 AM

Seth's Blog

"I", "We" and "You"

One of the most profound ways to change your posture and the way you and your organization interact with customers and partners is to change your pronouns.

Instead of saying "I" when you're ready to take credit, try "we."

Instead of saying "we" when you're avoiding responsibility, try "I."

And, every time you're tempted to depersonalize the impact of your actions, try "you," while looking the impacted person in the eye.

Words matter.

       

by Seth Godin at February 07, 2016 09:50 AM

Allisstatus

Economics ought to be a science

Economics needs to be a science.  It shouldn’t continue any longer in it present stand-alone state in which it is both confused and confusing.  The reason why it hasn’t become scientific so far is that, historically, it had become too associated with moral philosophy and politics.  Although it broke away as a separate subject from […]

by Keith Hudson at February 07, 2016 09:12 AM

zooLert Habitat Tracker

Planet Android

Download Galaxy Tab Plus Android 6 Mashmallow ROM

The post Download Galaxy Tab Plus Android 6 Mashmallow ROM appeared first on galaxytabreview.

Samsung may not release Android 6 marshmallow ROM for the Galaxy Tab Plus but XDA has released one for the users and it quite bug free. Flashing instructions: 1. Latest TWRP (2.8.6.x or above) is required. 2. Download ROM (+Gapps (+SuperSU)) and copy to the Sdcard (external or internal.) (links given below). 3. Backup data […]

by Galaxy Tab Review at February 07, 2016 07:52 AM

RubyFlow

New Rails apps monitoring tool

Hi, I started building a Rails apps monitoring tool a year ago. It started as a side project for my own needs. I wanted to track performances and errors for both requests and background jobs. Later with the help of a designer friend it gets a pretty nice UI. Then I decided to launch it to see how it goes. So I take this opportunity to share it and I am still looking for feedbacks. Here is the link https://www.rorvswild.com

February 07, 2016 07:49 AM

Arun Shourie - Google News

The why of myths on Subhas Chandra Bose: Poor scholarship, bias and politicisation of history - Firstpost


Firstpost

The why of myths on Subhas Chandra Bose: Poor scholarship, bias and politicisation of history
Firstpost
So, by the same deductive logic. Rajiv Shukla is completely BJP, or Ravi Shankar Prasad is a sworn Congressman. Similarly, celebrated RW ideologue Arun Shourie, becomes a Congress man because of the persuasions of his brother in law, Suman Dubey.

and more »

February 07, 2016 07:39 AM

datameet Google Group

Re: Diving into Bangalore's transit data

HI, Nice work. Will delve in to the depths later. Just saw the infographics. they are nice. Also learnt about the route 600. We used route 500 a lot whenever we visited Bangalore. Which apparently is a subset of 600. On Friday, February 5, 2016 at 11:55:01 PM UTC+5:30, Sajjad Anwar wrote: > >

by Dilip Damle at February 07, 2016 06:52 AM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

$600 dollars for beer, pizza, and teaching Language C Crash Course (Downtown San Diego 10th & Market)

Help me learn the Language C fundamentals, preferred if you have a security IT background. Reply back with background, if I do not email you back I apologize.

February 07, 2016 06:47 AM

Milliblog!

Idhu Namma Aalu (Music review), Tamil – T.R.Kuralarasan

Kaathaga‘s dual identity is interesting; intersperses melody and heavy kuthu competently, sung by a severely digitized Silambarasan. That digitization goes haywire in King Kong, a Zoo song, invoking all kinds of animals, in a reasonably likeable techno sound. Kanne un kadhal is so very Yuvan’ish, in tune too, besides his vocals. Maaman waiting is catchy ‘erangi kuthu’ variety, headlined by T.Rajjjhhhhenderrrrr and Suchitra. Simbu mopes around hopelessly in Oru thalai raagam, making it apparent he bunked Tamil classes as a child, and Sriram Parthasarathy sounds like Simbu’s Tamil teacher in the other version. Interesting tunes, but amateur packaging by debutant Kuralarasan.

Keywords: Idhu Namma Aalu, T.R.Kuralarasan

Listen to the songs:

by Karthik at February 07, 2016 06:06 AM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

I bought used computers but they are password protected :( (San Diego)

Can someone help me get my computers open? I also need help setting up a 2nd server system in my office. If things go right we can possibly talk about a regular IT person for our mortgage office. We are at 3944 Murphy Canyon near Frys Electronics and [...]

February 07, 2016 04:37 AM

Arun Shourie - Google News

BJP Makes an Easy Read - The New Indian Express


The New Indian Express

BJP Makes an Easy Read
The New Indian Express
Works of Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Sardar Patel, Veer Savarkar, former RSS chief M S Gowalkar, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, Atal Bihari Vajpaaye, Narendra Modi, Arun Shourie are in the catalogue. It is not limited to political works, but also cultural ...

February 07, 2016 04:24 AM

jwz

Zero Hedge

“The People Who Cast The Votes Don’t Decide An Election, The People Who COUNT The Votes Do.”

Stealing Elections Is Easier Than You Can Imagine

Princeton University scientists showed how easy it is to steal elections by tampering with voting machines:

Here's a summary:

So did University of California at Santa Barbara computer scientists:

So did a documentary filmmaker, to the shock of an election official and poll worker:

Indeed, a computer programmer admitted under oath to creating such a vote-switching program:

Argonne National Laboratories showed that voting machines can be hacked without any programming knowledge whatsoever ... using around $20 worth of hardware:

Many videos have also been shot showing votes being switched in real-time:

Note how this machine switches votes even after being "recalibrated":

Vote fraud doesn't occur just through electronic shenanigans ... Last week local Iowa poll officials were caught on video changing vote tallies:

A quick explanation of what you're watching (voter fraud):

The important problem is that the Bernie counters recounted everyone, while the Hillary counter was literally recorded telling someone else that she only added newcomers to the count she had before, and then when asked if she recounted everyone, she lied to the organizer and said "Yes". This means that if anyone left the caucus site who was supporting Bernie, then they were removed by Bernie's recounters, but any Hillary supporter who left the caucus site was treated as though they were still there for the purposes of the recount. Thus, artificial inflation of her numbers occurred unless everyone who left was a Bernie delegate, on top of the Hillary campaign surrogate lying to an election official to cover up her (negligent at best, malicious at worst) mistake.

And they left the recount up to a Yea Nay vote, which is just ridiculous.

 

The Des Moines Register noted "something smells" in the primaries.

Something similar happened in 2012:

The Wall Street Journal wrote in a 2008 article entitled "Will This Election Be Stolen?":

Since early voting started recently, worried voters have reported seeing their votes flipped from Barack Obama to Mr. McCain in West Virginia and Texas.

We reported in 2006:

The non-partisan and highly-respected government agency, the Government Accountability Office, verified that the electronic voting machines used in 2004 were wide open to fraud, and that fraud likely occured in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and other states.

The security flaws in electronic voting machines are so complete that anyone can instantaneously install software which will change the vote counts. See this New York Times' Magazine analysis, and also E-Voting Machine an Easy Hack from Wired Magazine.

Exit polling data shows that there was vote fraud.

And Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and leading reporter Greg Palast have shown that the emperor's cronies intentionally spoiled, rejected, purged and otherwise refused to count enough ballots to take the election away from Kerry (not that I like Kerry). See also this article.

And spend 10 minutes at this website and you'll realize that electronic vote fraud is not some raving conspiracy theory, but is real.

Indeed, the following headlines from the last two weeks hint at the magnitude of the fraud:

An President Carter said that the 2000 election was stolen.

It's not just skulduggery by one particular party ... Sonoma State University professor and Project Censored Director Peter Phillips noted in 2005:

There is little doubt key Democrats know that votes in 2004 and earlier elections were stolen. The fact that few in Congress are complaining about fraud is an indication of the totality to which both parties accept the status quo of a money based elections system. Neither party wants to further undermine public confidence in the American “democratic” process (over 80 millions eligible voters refused to vote in 2004)…. Future elections in the US will continue as an equal opportunity for both parties to maintain a national democratic charade in which money counts more than truth.

Some voting machine companies are partisan Republicans, and other partisan Democrats.

But some aren't even American. For example, a global internet voting company headquartered in Spain purchased America's dominant election results reporting company in 2012.

“It's All Over But the Counting. And We'll Take Care of the Counting”

Stalin said:

The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

Before the 2004 election, U.S. Congressman Peter King said, “The election is over. We won.” When a reporter asked, “How do you know that?”, King replied:

It’s all over, but the counting. And we’ll take care of the counting.

Indeed, both the Democrats and Republicans rig votes at their own conventions. As Mark Twain said:

If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.










by George Washington at February 07, 2016 03:43 AM

SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green

DDOS is down, but still a concern for ISPs, (Sun, Feb 7th)

For many reasons,most ISPs are finding that service affecting DDOSes, which were a common occurrence as little as a year ago are rare in the later half of 2015 and so far in 2016. Hopefully the arrest of some alleged members of DD4BCwill also put a damper on the DDOS for ransom fad. That said DDOS is not dead. It appears booters services, DDOS for hire services with intent to be anuisance" />

The large spikes show DDOS attacks, typically aimed at a single IP. As you can seen the traffic is typically a mix of DNS, port 0, with some chargen thrown in. For some reason SSDP, which was a large part of attacks in the recent past, has become a small part of the traffic mix in todays attacks.

-- Rick Wanner MSISE - rwanner at isc dot sans dot edu - http://namedeplume.blogspot.com/ - Twitter:namedeplume (Protected)

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

February 07, 2016 03:30 AM

More updates to kippo-log2db, (Sat, Feb 6th)

It has been a while, but I finally got around to fixing a bugin my script for putting kippo text logs into a kippo-formatted MySQL database. In this case, it was a bug that caused the sensor column in the sessions table to be NULL instead of the correct value. I just used the updated script to analyze 2.8M login attempts from 2015in one of my kippohoneypots. I first wrote about the script here. Ive also moved some of my tools including this script to github. You can find the latest version here. I think I may have another bug that was reported by a user a while back to fix, Ill try to get to that in the next month. In the meantime, I welcome thoughts and comments by e-mail or in the comments.

---------------
Jim Clausing, GIAC GSE #26
jclausing --at-- isc [dot] sans (dot) edu

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

February 07, 2016 03:30 AM

ISC Stormcast For Friday, February 5th 2016 http://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=4855, (Fri, Feb 5th)

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

February 07, 2016 03:30 AM

A trip through the spam filters: more malspam with zip attachments containing .js files, (Fri, Feb 5th)

Introduction

I was discussing malicious spam (malspam) with a fellow security professional earlier this week. He was examining malspam with zip attachments containing .js files. This is something Ive covered previously in ISC diaries [1, 2]. However, the traffic patterns he saw was somewhat different than Ive seen, so I figured its time to revisit this type of malspam.

Details

This particular wave of .js malspam started on Wednesday 2016-02-03, and these emails were reported by My Online Security the same day [3]. " />

I found 13 messages with the following subject lines during the past two days:

  • Problem with the Order, Reference: #117931
  • Problem with the Order, Reference: #469155
  • Problem with Your Order, Reference: #543361
  • Problem with Your Purchase, Reference: #629146
  • Problem with Your Purchase, Reference: #913251
  • Problems with the Purchase, Reference Number #568643
  • Problems with Your Purchase, Reference Number #199837
  • Problems with Your Purchase, Reference Number #797440
  • Problems with Your Purchase, Reference: #113736
  • Troubles with the Order, Reference: #719684
  • Troubles with the Purchase, Reference Number #459991
  • Troubles with the Purchase, Reference Number #529057
  • Troubles with Your Order, Reference: #987848

Attachments names were different for each of the 13 messages:

  • Ali Washington.zip
  • Cary Harris.zip
  • Dino Hayden.zip
  • Garth Porter.zip
  • Hans Fitzgerald.zip
  • Harold Walter.zip
  • Leonel Mcneil.zip
  • Marc Harding.zip
  • Nickolas Baldwin.zip
  • Romeo Wright.zip
  • Stanley Floyd.zip
  • Ted Fields.zip
  • Ward Shea.zip

Each of the attachments were zip files that contained a .js file. " />

The script in these .js files is highly-obfuscated. however, I prefer to execute the .js files and see where the traffic takes us.

Traffic and malware

Each of the scripts tried to download and execute three malware items. " />

script.php_wndz1.jpg - 255.5 KB (261,632 bytes) - File type: Windows EXE

script.php_wndz2.jpg - 159.5 KB (163,328 bytes) - File type: Windows EXE

script.php_wndz3.jpg - 84.5 KB (86,528 bytes) - File type: Windows EXE

Based on the callback traffic reported on the first sample, that file appears to be CryptoWall. I havent had the time to dig into the other two items.

Final words

After posting this diary, someone deobfuscated the script from the .js files and emailed me the results (Thanks Ali!)." />
Shown above:" />
Shown above: Deobfuscated script from the .js file.

The malspam and malware samples can be found here. My thanks to Chris, who emailed me about this most recent wave of malspam.

---
Brad Duncan
Security Researcher at Rackspace
Blog: www.malware-traffic-analysis.net - Twitter: @malware_traffic

References:

[1] https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Malicious+spam+continues+to+serve+zip+archives+of+javascript+files/19973/
[2] https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Malicious+spam+with+zip+attachments+containing+js+files/20153/
[3] http://myonlinesecurity.co.uk/congratulations-your-order-has-been-shipped-out-parcel-441467-js-malware/
[4] https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/JavaScript+Deobfuscation+Tool/20619/

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

February 07, 2016 03:30 AM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

HANDWRITER and/or CALLIGRAPHER NEEDED (SD)

I'm looking for someone who has good handwriting / calligraphy skills to do the following: 1- write a short paragraph on a large 18x24 piece of paper (I provide the text and the paper). You would need to provide your own pen. I need 30 of them. The [...]

February 07, 2016 03:28 AM

Volunteer Intern Office Manager (College Area)

Small non-profit educational organization needs intern to organize office. This position has different tasks every day, and is only for someone who is highly organized, takes direction well, and likes people. Work hours will be T, Th & F afternoons [...]

February 07, 2016 03:16 AM

Zero Hedge

Personal Freedom Versus Political Paternalism

Submitted by Richard Ebeling via EpicTimes.com,

What is the role of government in society? This has been and remains the most fundamental question in all political discussions and debates. Its answer determines the nature of the social order and how people are expected and allowed to interact with one another – on the basis of either force or freedom.

The alternatives are really rather simple. Government may be narrowly limited to perform the essential task of protecting each individual’s right to his life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. Or it may be used to try to modify, influence, or dictate the conduct of the citizenry.

In the first case, the government is assigned the duty of impartial umpire, enforcing the societal rules against assault, murder, robbery, and fraud. All human relationships are to be based on mutual consent and voluntary association and exchange.

In the second case, government is an active player in people’s affairs, using its legitimized power of coercion to determine how the members of the society may live, work, and associate with each other. The government tries to assure certain outcomes or forms of behavior considered desirable by those who wield political authority.

More Government Means Increased Government Force

We need to remember what government ultimately is all about. The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises concisely explained this:

“Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, of gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.”

Under a political regime of liberty, each individual gives purpose and moral compass to his own life. He is treated as independent and self-governing; as long as he does not violate the rights of others he is sovereign over his own affairs. He may choose and act wisely or absurdly, but it is his life to live as he pleases.

If any of us – family members, friends, or just concerned fellow human beings – believe someone has chosen a path to perdition, we may try to persuade him to mend his ways. But we are expected to respect his freedom; we may not threaten or use force to make him change course.

Nor are we allowed to use political power to manipulate his options so that he does what we want him to do. Using taxation and regulation to induce conduct more to our liking is no less a political imposition than the sterner and more explicit police power.

The totalitarian systems of the twentieth century used the direct means of command and prohibition to get people to do what a Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, or Mao wanted done. In the interventionist-welfare state such brute means are normally shunned for the more indirect and subtle method of influencing people’s behavior through manipulation of incentives.

Government Control Through Choice Manipulation

Suppose an individual stands at a crossroads and is told he may choose which way to go. But in front of one of the roads is a government tollbooth that charges him a fee if he chooses that route; while in front of the other is a machine that dispenses a cash subsidy from the state, if the individual decides to follow that road. The choice is his, but the tradeoffs he faces have been manipulated to influence his decision.

In the 1950s the French coined a term for this type of political control: indicative planning. Through the use of fiscal and regulatory powers the government could get people to do what the politicians, bureaucrats, and various special-interest groups wanted, all the while maintaining the illusion that people were freely deciding where to invest or work or carry on their business.

We see this at work in America with government tax credits up to 30 percent of the purchase and installation costs to induce people to invest in solar panels on the roofs of their homes or office buildings; or the use of a similar tax credit of up to $7,500 if an individual purchases the Tesla electric automobile.

On the other hand, there is the use of taxes to induce less consumption or use of a product. A leading example of this is taxes on cigarettes. To the manufacturers’ retail prices are added “sin taxes” for indulging in a “vice” that others in society consider disgusting and/or an unnecessary health risk.

While in Missouri it is as low as merely 17 cents per pack, in New York City, the state and municipal taxes add an additional $5.85 per pack to the manufacturers’ retail price. Chicago has the highest of these sin taxes in the United States, with $6.16 in taxes added to the price of a pack of cigarettes.

The new code name for this type of political paternalism is “nudging.” Those in power and those among the behavioral “experts” who claim to know how individuals should better live their lives than when left on their own, do not assert the right to directly command people to live “right” and “rational” for themselves or society.

No, instead, they merely wish to influence and modify the incentives in society to get people to live and act in that better way, when if they were as enlightened as the government-advising experts those people would realize was the way they should and would live and act without the manipulation of the trade-offs people face in the marketplace.

The Danger from “Soft” Tyranny

We might call this a “soft” tyranny under which the commanding hand remains hidden behind an outward veneer seeming to respect the right of people to live and choose as they like and desire, but all the time manipulating the taxing and regulatory surroundings to see that the citizenry really ends up doing what the regulators and planners want them to do, or at least more it.

This form of “democratic despotism” over the conduct of the citizenry was, of course, explained, feared and warned about 180 years ago in Alexis de Tocqueville’s deservedly famous Democracy in America, written in the 1830s after an extended visit by the Frenchman to the United States:

“After having thus taken each individual one by one into its powerful hands, and having molded him as it pleases, the sovereign power extends its arms over the entire society; it covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated, minute, and uniform rules, which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot break through to go beyond the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces action, but it constantly opposes your acting; it does not destroy, it prevents birth; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, it represses, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally it reduces each nation to being nothing more than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

 

“I have always believed that this sort of servitude, regulated, mild and peaceful, of which I have just done the portrait, could be combined better than we imagine with some of the external forms of liberty, and that it would not be impossible for it to be established in the very shadow of the sovereignty of the people.”

There is a duel hubris in the thinking and attitude of such paternalistic “experts.” First, they presume to possess superior knowledge and insights greater than and superior to that of the ordinary citizen about how best people should live their lives. Second, they unreflectively presume that they, even though mere mortals as like the rest of us, do not suffer from similar behavior, psychological and social shortcomings, and therefore are intellectual demi-gods sitting atop a self-positioned political Mount Olympus far above the common man.

The Hubris of the Paternalist

Some psychological and behavioral scientists frequently claim that they are able to demonstrate the failings and conceptual and logical errors that the ordinary man commits, and on the basis of which they can assert a judgment concerning the “rationality” or “irrationality” of human beings and their choices and decision-making.

For instance, the person who consumes large quantities of “junk food” when they get anxious or depressed; or the cigarette smoker who can’t quit because he needs the “nicotine fix” during or after a rough day at the office; or the individual who doesn’t weigh on the basis of objective, rational statistical calculation whether it is really worth spending money on a lottery ticket; or a person who fails to logically plan for his own future retirement needs when they are in the 20s or 30s. And on-and-on.

The fact is that these and similar human “failings” have plagued mankind for all of its time on this earth. Read the accounts of the ancient Greeks written 2,500 years ago by those living among the people of that time, or the words of advice on good and ethical living given by the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, to his disciples and the political leaders of his time, also around 2,500 years ago.

It soon becomes clear that human nature, when compared and judged against some notion of a machine-like rational calculating device, appears to be stumbling, bumbling, and unfit for successful existence on this planet.

Human Improvement Without the Political Paternalists

Yet, here we are, the human race having survived in spite of its frailties, imperfections and less than perfect rationally logical thinking processes. Of course, we have become more intelligent, informed, and rational. We no longer pray to rain gods for precipitation or (well, at least, rarely!) throw human beings into volcanoes to appease the angered gods; we stopped burning people as witches or heretics (at least in the Western world for the most part); and we’ve learned to harness the forces of nature to serve man’s purposes (and often without too much of a screw up).

With only a limited degree of nagging and bullying, the number of people smoking in the U.S. has decreased from over 42 percent of the population in 1965 to barely more than 14 percent fifty years later in 2015. “Sin taxes” have certainly raised the cost of smoking, but it is also likely the case that a large majority of those who have given up the habit, did so because they decided to live a healthier life, through information and non-coercive peer-pressure by family members and friends – a method far more consistent with liberty than armies of busy-buddies playing political paternalists.

Obesity has increased from around 45 percent of the U.S. population in the 1960s to nearly 65 percent in the early part of the twenty-first century. But in one sense this is an indication of how wealthy we are and how inexpensive in general foods of all kinds have become compared to the past. In 1900 Americans spent around 43 percent of their family budget on food; in the first decade of the twenty-first century that had fallen to around 13 percent, or a 70 percent decline in the cost of putting food on the family dining table.

But at the same time, over the decades a significant number of people have gotten off the couch and gotten to the gym or on the park trails to run or bike regularly. More people try to eat and drink right. Since 1980, per capita alcohol consumption in the U.S. has decreased by about 15 percent.

Life expectance has dramatically improved over the last 75 years in the United States. In 1940 the average expected life span of all Americans was about 63 years; by 2010, this had increased to almost 79 years, for around a 25 percent increase in how long you can, on average, look forward to living. (For whites, in general, there has been a 23.5 percent increase in life expectancy between 1940 and the present. For blacks, in general, the increase in life expectancy during this period has been a dramatic 41.5 percent!)

Now, certainly, a good part of this improvement in the human condition has been due to advances in medicine, and improved education and information accessibility. But, nonetheless, the changes for the better are also due to people making their own choices and decisions about how to live their own lives based on what they consider to be a good and happy existence in a general economic and social environment of improved opportunities and choices.

In other words, Americans have not needed paternalist “experts” to control and manipulate their lives and twist the choice sets that such political elites think is necessary and “good” for the masses of the population.

Whose Life: Yours or the Government’s?

And this gets, I would suggest, to the heart of the matter. Whose life is it anyway? Even if individuals make decisions and act in ways that others may consider misguided and harmful to themselves, the first principle of any free society should and must be that the individual is sovereign over his own life.

Otherwise, he is a pawn to the paternalistic presumptions of those who arrogantly claim a right to control his existence in both small and great ways. Which gets to the second assumption behind the thinking and desires of the political “nudgers,” that they have the knowledge, wisdom and ability to know better the right choices that people should make for a rational, productive, and meaningful life.

Are not some of these “experts” the same people who were shown in the release of confidential emails a few years ago that they were determined to suppress and professionally bury any scientific evidence that ran counter to their absolute certainty that global warming was man-made and a threat to all living things on Earth?

Are not some of them the same people who have been found occasionally to falsify statistical and related data in their professional articles upon which they attempt to build their academic careers for purposes of position and financial reward?

Are not some of them the same people who before their appointment to positions as an economic advisor or bureaucratic overseer in government may have said that economic theory and historical evidence demonstrates that minimum wage laws tend to cause unemployment by pricing the unskilled or the low skilled out the labor market, but once in those positions of political authority suddenly say that such government regulations have little or none of such negative effects on such workers in general, if that fits in with the ideological and political agenda of those whom they serve in government?

In other words, are they not people just like some of the ones they criticize and “scientifically” sneer at for their claimed “irrationalities” and presumed emotional short-sightedness, for which they say there is only one answer: their guiding hand to dictate or “nudge” the “common man” into the elite’s conception of the “good,” the “right” and the “rational”?

Paternalism on the “Left” and the “Right”

At the same time, too many people believe that the only problem with all this is that the “wrong” individuals have been given such power and authority. Too often both American “progressives” on the political left and political conservatives on the right want government to intervention, regulate and “nudge” people into directions different than the ones they might have peacefully followed if left alone; their only difference being into which direction they want people to be nudged and who they would like to see elected or appointed to do the regulatory restricting, manipulating and controlling.

For too long, too many conservatives have forgotten or chosen to ignore in their quest for political control that once the state is given the responsibility to see that we do the “right thing,” they have no certainty that those empowered to implement the necessary policies will share their values and beliefs. They may be setting up or reinforcing or extending the political institutional mechanisms for the government to undermine the very ideals, values and beliefs you hold most dear when others they don’t like get into power.

It is only in the arena of freedom that individuals can find their own way, guided by their own beliefs, values and purposes without the fear of some others attempting to bend them to a vision, ideal or a meaning for life different to their own.

But to secure the opportunity to live your life and practice the values you consider important, there must be a “first principle.” That first principle must be the right of the individual to his own life, liberty and honestly acquired property without violence or political manipulative interference by the government powers-that-be.

This requires, at the same time, a rejection of the prevailing alternative first principle of modern society: the collectivist premise that the individual is subordinate and subject to the national, ethnic, religious, or social groups or tribes into which accident of birth or circumstances have placed him.

This should be the burning issue and alternatives debated and discussed in an election year: individualism versus collectivism. Instead, the campaign trail is filled with those who are more focused on trying to persuade the electorate on how they, respectively, have the “plan” to set everything right and assure every one of a better life and a happy future.

All of them are implicitly paternalistic “nudgers” and manipulators, merely arguing over how they each would better design society and control various aspects of people’s lives.










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 03:00 AM

Planet Python

Podcast.__init__: Episode 43 - WSGI 2

Visit our site to listen to past episodes, support the show, join our community, and sign up for our mailing list.

Summary

The Web Server Gateway Interface, or WSGI for short, is a long-standing pillar of the Python ecosystem. It has enabled a vast number of web frameworks to proliferate by not having to worry about how exactly to interact with the HTTP protocol and focus instead on building a library that is robust, extensible, and easy to use. With recent evolutions to how we interact with the web, it appears that WSGI may be in need of an update and that is what our guests on this episode came to discuss. Cory Benfield is leading an effort to determine what if any modifications should be made to the WSGI standard or if it is time to retire it in favor of something new. Andrew Godwin has been hard at work building the Channels framework for Django to allow for interoperability with websockets. They bring their unique perspectives to bear on how and why we may want to consider bringing WSGI into the current state of the web.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or RSS
  • Follow us on Twitter or Google+
  • Give us feedback! Leave a review on iTunes, Tweet to us, send us an email or leave us a message on Google+
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • I would also like to thank Hired, a job marketplace for developers, for sponsoring this episode of Podcast.__init__. Use the link hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we are interviewing Cory Benfield and Andrew Godwin about a proposed update to the WSGI specification.
Linode Sponsor Banner

Use the promo code podcastinit20 to get a $20 credit when you sign up!

Hired Logo

On Hired software engineers & designers can get 5+ interview requests in a week and each offer has salary and equity upfront. With full time and contract opportunities available, users can view the offers and accept or reject them before talking to any company. Work with over 2,500 companies from startups to large public companies hailing from 12 major tech hubs in North America and Europe. Hired is totally free for users and If you get a job you’ll get a $2,000 “thank you” bonus. If you use our special link to signup, then that bonus will double to $4,000 when you accept a job. If you’re not looking for a job but know someone who is, you can refer them to Hired and get a $1,337 bonus when they accept a job.

Interview with Cory Benfield and Andrew Godwin

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? - Chris
  • First off, what is WSGI? - Tobias
  • What are some of the ways the current WSGI spec has fallen out of step with the needs of the modern developer? - Chris
  • How did you come to be involved with the new WSGI specification? What brought you into this process? - Chris
  • Do you think the WSGI name itself brings a lot of expectation, or is it good to keep it as a well-recognised Python landmark? - Tobias
  • Would it be better to make a clean break and implement an entirely new set of APIs and style of interaction? - Tobias
  • What kind of compatibility guarantees should be made between the current spec and the proposed upgrade? What would the impact be if the new specification was incompatible? - Tobias
  • How has the response been to your call for comments? What are some of the most frequently raised concerns or suggestions? - Tobias
  • What are some of the proposed changes to the specification? - Tobias
  • Are there any future directions you think WSGI should take that perhaps haven’t been considered yet? - Chris
  • Has your opinion or vision of the proposed update changed as you reviewed responses to the conversation on the mailing list? - Tobias
  • Do you have any ideas of how to design the new specification in order to avoid a similar situation of needing to deprecate the current standards in order to accomodate new web protocols? - Tobias
  • What are some of the points of contention or rigorous debate that have kept previous WSGI 2 attempts from succeeding? - Chris

Keep In Touch

Picks

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Visit our site to listen to past episodes, support the show, join our community, and sign up for our mailing list. Summary The Web Server Gateway Interface, or WSGI for short, is a long-standing pillar of the Python ecosystem. It has enabled a vast number of web frameworks to proliferate by not having to worry about how exactly to interact with the HTTP protocol and focus instead on building a library that is robust, extensible, and easy to use. With recent evolutions to how we interact with the web, it appears that WSGI may be in need of an update and that is what our guests on this episode came to discuss. Cory Benfield is leading an effort to determine what if any modifications should be made to the WSGI standard or if it is time to retire it in favor of something new. Andrew Godwin has been hard at work building the Channels framework for Django to allow for interoperability with websockets. They bring their unique perspectives to bear on how and why we may want to consider bringing WSGI into the current state of the web. Brief Introduction Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or RSS Follow us on Twitter or Google+ Give us feedback! Leave a review on iTunes, Tweet to us, send us an email or leave us a message on Google+ Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas. I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project I would also like to thank Hired, a job marketplace for developers, for sponsoring this episode of Podcast.__init__. Use the link hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus. Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti Today we are interviewing Cory Benfield and Andrew Godwin about a proposed update to the WSGI specification. Use the promo code podcastinit20 to get a $20 credit when you sign up! On Hired software engineers designers can get 5+ interview requests in a week and each offer has salary and equity upfront. With full time and contract opportunities available, users can view the offers and accept or reject them before talking to any company. Work with over 2,500 companies from startups to large public companies hailing from 12 major tech hubs in North America and Europe. Hired is totally free for users and If you get a job you’ll get a $2,000 “thank you” bonus. If you use our special link to signup, then that bonus will double to $4,000 when you accept a job. If you’re not looking for a job but know someone who is, you can refer them to Hired and get a $1,337 bonus when they accept a job. Interview with Cory Benfield and Andrew Godwin Introductions How did you get introduced to Python? - Chris First off, what is WSGI? - Tobias What are some of the ways the current WSGI spec has fallen out of step with the needs of the modern developer? - Chris How did you come to be involved with the new WSGI specification? What brought you into this process? - Chris Do you think the WSGI name itself brings a lot of expectation, or is it good to keep it as a well-recognised Python landmark? - Tobias Would it be better to make a clean break and implement an entirely new set of APIs and style of interaction? - Tobias What kind of compatibility guarantees should be made between the current spec and the proposed upgrade? What would the impact be if the new specification was incompatible? - Tobias How has the response been to your call for comments? What are some of the most frequently raised concerns or suggestions? - Tobias What are some of the proposed changes to the

February 07, 2016 02:57 AM

Zero Hedge

The "Minimum Wage" Surged In 6 Cities Last Year; Then This Happened

Authored by Jed Graham, originally posted at Investors.com,

Hiring at restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality sector venues slowed markedly last year in metro areas that saw big minimum-wage hikes, new Labor Department data show.

Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years.

 

Liberals fighting for a dramatic increase in the minimum wage have insisted that there would be a negligible impact on job creation. Though the data are preliminary and overly broad, Washington D.C., Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago seem to be finding out that the reality isn’t so benign.

A slowdown in job growth can fly below the radar, at least for those who aren’t seeking low-wage work. But the risk of raising the minimum wage too high became fairly obvious last month, when Wal-Mart (WMT) bolted from Oakland and Los Angeles and scrapped plans for two stores in low-income areas of D.C.

The big shortcoming in the available data for 5 of the 6 cities is that they cover broad metro areas, far beyond the city limits where wage hikes took effect. Still, the uniform result of much slower job growth in the low-wage leisure and hospitality sector, even as the pace of job gains held steady in surrounding areas, sends a pretty powerful signal.

From D.C.’s Great Stagnation to Chicago Hiring Halved - ther economically rational minimum wage effect of considerably slower job growth is eveident in all of the regions- full details here.

*  *  *

So the real minimum wage is $0 after all...










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 02:30 AM

P2P Cracks Start To Show As LendingClub Write-Offs Double Forecasts

Peer-to-peer lending is probably a bad idea.

Securitizing peer-to-peer loans is definitely a bad idea.

Despite these virtually irrefutable truths, the P2P industry is thriving and Wall Street’s securitization machine couldn’t be happier about it. As we reported last May, P2P loan volume was set to surpass $76 billion in 2015 and one driver of the boom is demand from the likes of BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman, who have all underwritten securitizations of loans originated on P2P platforms like LendingClub, the number one player in the space.

As we noted last summer, P2P loans create the conditions whereby borrowers can refi high-interest debt via personal loans, transferring credit risk from large financial institutions to private lenders in the process.

It’s not entirely clear what the implications of that shift might ultimately be, especially if the market continues to grow rapidly. “One thing,” we said, “is clear”: Using a relatively low-interest P2P loan to pay off a high-interest credit card is no different in principle than using a new credit card that comes with a teaser rate to pay off an old credit card.

In the end, the borrower will very often max out the old card again and thus end up with twice the original amount of debt.

The same dynamic applies to P2P lending. “So what’s to stop consumers from levering their credit cards back up?” Bloomberg asked last year. “Such behavior could spell bad news for investors in P2P loans if an interest rate hike or an unforeseen shock pressures borrowers," Michael Tarkan, an equities analyst at Compass Point Research said.

“We’ve created a mechanism to refinance a credit card into an unsecured personal loan,” he added. “This may prove to be a superior model, but we just don’t know because it hasn’t been tested yet through a full credit cycle.”

No, we "just don't know", but we may be about to find out because a new presentation from LendingClub indicates that the cracks are starting to show. “LC Advisors, an investment adviser owned by LendingClub that helps people buy loans arranged by the company, said last week in a presentation that some of the debt is ‘underperforming vs. expectations,’” Bloomberg wrote on Friday. “A chart on one of the slides shows that write-off rates for a portion of five-year LendingClub loans were roughly 7 percent to 8 percent, compared with a forecast range of around 4 percent to 6 percent.” Here’s the slide in question:

In other words, the algorithms LendingClub uses to assess credit risk aren't working. Plain and simple. 

“Their business is to take data and use that to underwrite risk,” the aforementioned Michael Tarkan told Bloomberg by phone. “If you’re an investor in the loans on the platform, this creates a concern around that underwriting model.”

It sure does, as does common sense. Matching up individual borrowers and lenders may sound like a good idea in principle, but effectively, you've got a brand new set of companies (the P2Ps) attempting to assess individual borrowers' credit risk on the fly in cyberspace, an absurdly difficult proposition and one that obviously comes with myriad risks especially when those credits are sliced up and sold to investors. 

Securitizations of these loans are just consumer ABS deals. That is, they're no different than securitized credit card receivables or the nightmarish deals that emanate from Springleaf and OneMain

What the slide above shows is that LendingClub is terrible at assessing credit risk. A write-off rate of 7-8% may not sound that bad (well, actually it does, but because P2P is relatively new, we don't really have a benchmark), it's double the low-end internal estimate. That's bad. 

Throw in the fact that LendingClub is raising rates "to prepare for a potential slowdown in the US economy" and the fact that 70% of the jobs created by America's supposedly "robust" labor market are in the food and bev/ retail sector, and you can bet that charge-offs will skyrocket should the US careen into a recession.

Then again, it could be worse for LendingClub investors. The company could be run by Ding Ning.










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 02:20 AM

Chinese Factory Worker Explains What "The Government Is Most Fearful Of"

No it is not, a slowing economy crippled by 346% in debt/GDP; it's not the artificially high exchange rate (which was pegged to a dollar when it was plunging during QE1-3 and is now soaring) yet which China can't aggressively lower either as that would mean a disorderly flight of capital from the mainland; it's not the feedback loop of plunging commodity prices and highly levered domestic corporation which can not pay their annual interest expense payments; it's not the recently burst housing bubble; nor is it the burst stock market bubble which recently popped, or the bond bubble which is about to blow; nor is it the country's non-performing loans, which may be as high $4 trillion.

According to ordinary Chinese workers, i.e., those who know best, what the local government is most fearful of is precisely what we said three months ago is the "biggest and most under reported risk facing China." From Reuters:

At a printing factory in the western city of Chongqing, a Reuters reporter was present when a local official visited last week to make sure the boss paid his workers before the Year of the Monkey begins.

 

The official declined to speak with Reuters, although the boss later said it was an attempt to prevent unrest.

 

"That's what the government is most fearful of," said the factory owner, who did not want to be named.

Indeed it is, and all those economic and financial factors, while ultimately leading to social unrest, are secondary: what Beijing is most terrified about is an accelerating to the recent surge in worker anger and increasing incidents of violence.

According to Reuters laborer Fan Fu and 20 or so colleagues working on the Zixia Garden apartment complex in Hebei province have not joined China's legion of migrant workers returning home to celebrate new year with their families.

Instead, they have camped in the offices of the property developer's subcontractor, demanding almost a year's unpaid wages and too angry and proud to go back to native towns and villages empty-handed.

 

As we warned in November, "with China's economy growing at its slowest in 25 years, more workers face Fan's predicament and labor unrest is on the rise, a concern for Beijing as it seeks to avoid social unrest even as financial pressures build.

 

"The developer has kept using the fact that they have no money as an excuse. As of now they haven't paid us a single penny," said Fan, who brought others from his home town in the western province of Sichuan to work on the apartments.

 

"We really don't have any other options," he told Reuters in the subcontractor's offices, crowded with bedding and personal possessions.

 

The group had earlier petitioned local authorities for redress and staged protests outside government offices in Qian'an, a city in Hebei in China's north.

However, while the government will do almost anything to cool tempers, it won't do what is critical: provide the underpaid workers with what they are owed for the simple reason that China, unlike western nations, simply does not have an established welfare state with features comparable to unemployment insurance. Fan and about 530 other workers on the apartment project are owed paychecks of between 20,000 and 50,000 yuan ($3,000-$7,500). They said the government had offered each non-local laborer 2,000 yuan in cash if they left for the holidays. It was unclear if they would get some extra cash if they never came back.

One thing is certain: worker anger is building at a torrid pace, and it is only a matter of time before the fury of of millions of angry recently unemployed or unpaid workers spills over on the streets.

As travel ramped up ahead of the holiday, beginning on Sunday, it was not only construction workers who prepared to celebrate with less money in their pockets.

 

An online survey by the job recruitment company Zhilian Zhaopin said two-thirds of more than 10,000 white-collar workers it surveyed were not expecting Lunar New Year bonuses.

 

In Dongguan, a city in the southern province of Guangdong known as a manufacturing hub, some factories sit idle behind locked, rusty gates, with advertisements pasted on their walls seeking new tenants.

 

Some of those still in business were withholding bonuses until after the Lunar New Year, workers, factory owners and recruiters interviewed by Reuters said.

 

Brothers Zhang Guantian, 23, and Zhang Guanzhou, 21, quit temporary, hourly paid jobs at two plants, one making earphones, the other computer cables, to go home for the holiday.

 

"It's hard to find a permanent job now," said the elder Zhang, while waiting for a bus with two large suitcases.

 

Still, he is hopeful of finding another job when he comes back to Dongguan in mid-February. "My aim is to find a permanent job after Chinese New Year, something I like. But it will be difficult."

It will be almost impossible, and soon even those with temporary jobs will be considered lucky.

Finally, Reuters uses a data set first presented on this website, one showing the record surge in labor strikes. Its data show that in December and January, there were 774 labor strikes across China, from 529 in the previous two months, most of them over wage arrears.

Finally, here is why what as recently as three months ago was the "most underreproted risk facing China" is suddenly the most popular topic of coverage among the mainstream press:










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 01:46 AM

"Back Then I Was A True Believer" - How A Military Officer's Life Changed Forever 13 Years Ago

Submitted by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Thirteen years ago my life changed forever.

Colin Powell, then US Secretary of State and the most credible person in George W. Bush’s cabinet, made the case for war in Iraq on February 5, 2003.

As a young military intelligence officer at the time, watching from a makeshift army base in Kuwait not far from the Iraq border.

Back then I was a true believer, trusting that the government was a force for good “making the world safe for democracy. . .”

But that night it all changed.

Powell told the world unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, an assertion that history has proven categorically wrong.

But within the intelligence community, many people knew the appalling truth immediately.

That night it became clear to me that the government was lying and that the whole case for war was being fabricated.

It was crushing, like finding out everything I’d been told throughout my life was total bullshit.

So for the first time, I broke out of the spell and began questioning. Everything.

I started learning about the extraordinary political power of the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about.

That led me to the fraud of many previous wars going as far as the Mexican War in 1845, one deeply criticized by Abraham Lincoln himself.

That led me to the Constitution, to which all military officers swear an oath to support and defend…

… and it surely didn’t seem like supporting or defending the Constitution in waging an ill-conceived, illegal war.

Needless to say I couldn’t talk to my professional colleagues. Everyone was so gung-ho, I felt like an outcast.

When I returned home, things didn’t improve.

While I was away the country had noticeably turned into a police state.

Yet people seemed oblivious to the change, drinking in the propaganda like a spiked punch bowl.

All the loud, bombastic nonsense and pledges of allegiance were merely illusions masking modern day serfdom.

It was the summer of 2004, I remember hearing on TV that the Libertarian Party’s national convention was starting in Atlanta.

I immediately hopped in the car hoping to find some sympathetic minds.

And at the convention I did meet some wonderful, freedom-minded people.

But the event was an unproductive circus, something like a cross between a high school pep rally and a Star Trek convention.

People in costume ran up and down the aisles chanting for their favorite candidate and getting into impromptu debates about the Constitution and Ayn Rand.

As nice and intelligent as everyone was, it felt like a giant freedom pity party.

I didn’t just want to complain. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to do something about it. And solutions were sorely lacking.

So I started educating myself more.

I dove into the federal balance sheet. I learned about the petrodollar and the debt.

That led me to the complete scam of central banking, fiat currency, and the fractional reserve system.

I realized that the political and banking elite have given us more war, instability, and epic financial crises.

They’ve turned Western civilization into a giant police state. And they’ve managed to brainwash the great masses so effectively that the people are crying out for more.

And after this emotional, gut-wrenching awakening, I spent years traveling to more than 100 countries looking for freedom and opportunity.

Eventually I learned that education, prudent planning, and global thinking can rebuild much of our stolen liberty.

Yes, things are crazy.

Freedom is in decline. Governments are bankrupt. Central banks are borderline insolvent.

The financial system is in precarious condition barely held together by a patchwork of negative interest rates, currency manipulation, and misguided confidence.

We award our most esteemed prizes for intellectual achievement to phony scientists who tell us to spend our way into prosperity and borrow our way out of debt.

We give absolute power to control the money supply (and hence manipulate the price of nearly everything) to unelected bureaucrats who have a track record of failure.

Yet we call ourselves ‘free’.

It’s complete madness. And it gets crazier with each passing month.

But history shows that in any episode of great turmoil, there are always winners and losers.

I learned that by taking some basic, sensible steps, it’s possible to drastically eliminate my exposure to the risks and avoid being a loser.

So no matter what happens or how crazy things get, I know I’ll be OK.

For years I’ve called this my “Plan B”.

I know I won’t be worse off for being able to grow my own organic food, holding some savings in a well-capitalized bank outside of my home government’s jurisdiction, or keeping some physical gold and cash.

Having another passport gives me more freedom to live, work, and travel.

Legally reducing my tax burden helps me vote my conscience with my dollars and put my money where my mouth is.

I’ve learned that all of these steps make sense no matter what happens. Or doesn’t happen.

But should the negative trend in freedom and global finance get worse, I know I’ll be OK.

This confidence has allowed me to focus on all the incredible opportunities I’ve seen.

Institutions that have existed for centuries are now being disrupted by digital technology.

Banking as we know it, for example, is finished thanks to digital technology.

The digital age is even changing the way we organize ourselves as a society.

Geography no longer matters, and nearly everything is global.

A billion people are rising into the middle class in Asia and Africa. Countries are emerging from war and isolation. Wealth and power are shifting.

These extraordinary changes bring extraordinary opportunity.

So as crazy as things are, I think this is an incredibly exciting time to be alive.

I’m grateful to be active in a time that future scholars will likely regard as one of the most tumultuous and revolutionary in history.

And I’m grateful for having started the philosophical journey that began thirteen years ago today.










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 01:42 AM

A Wounded Deutsche Bank Lashes Out At Central Bankers: Stop Easing, You Are Crushing Us

Ten days ago, when Deutsche Bank stock was about 10% higher, the biggest German commercial bank declared war on Mario Draghi, as we put it, warning him that any further easing by the ECB would only push stocks (with an emphasis on DB stock which has gotten pummeled over the past few months) lower. What it got, instead, was a slap in the face in the form of a major new easing program when the Bank of Japan announced it is unveiling negative rates just three days later.

Which is why overnight a badly wounded Deutsche Bank has expanded its war against the ECB to include the BOJ as well, and in a note titled "The Risks From Further ECB and BOJ Easing" it wants that with the Zero Lower Bound already breached in nearly a third of global markets, the benefits to risk assets from further easing no longer exist, and in fact it says that while central banks have hoped that such measures would "push investors out the risk spectrum" the "impact has been exactly the opposite."

In other words, we have reached that fork in the road within the monetary twilight zone, where Europe's largest bank is openly defying central bank policy and demanding an end to easy money. Alas, since tighter monetary policy assures just as much if not more pain, one can't help but wonder just how the central banks get themselves out of this particular trap they set up for themselves.

Here is DB's Parag Thatte explaining the "The risks from further ECB and BOJ easing"

The BOJ surprised with a move to negative rates last week, while ECB rhetoric suggests additional easing measures forthcoming in March. While a fundamental tenet of these measures, in particular negative rates, has been to push investors out the risk spectrum, we remind that arguably the impact has been exactly the opposite:

  • Declining bond yields have been robustly associated with larger inflows into bonds at the expense of equities. Though a large over allocation to fixed income at the expense of equities already exists as a result of past Fed QEs and a lack of normalization of rates, further easing by the ECB and BOJ that lower bond yields globally will only exacerbate the over allocation to bonds;
  • Asynchronous easing by the ECB and BOJ while the Fed is on hold risks speeding up the dollar’s up cycle, pushing oil prices lower and exacerbating credit concerns in the Energy, Metals and Mining sectors. It is notable that the ECB’s adoption of negative rates in mid-2014 which prompted the large move in the dollar and collapse in oil prices, marked the beginning of the now huge outflows from High Yield. These flows out of High Yield rotated into High Grade, ironically moving up not down the risk spectrum. The downside risk to oil prices is tempered somewhat by the fact that they look cheap and look to be already pricing in the next leg of dollar strength;
  • Asynchronous easing by the ECB and BOJ that is reflected in the US dollar commensurately raises the trade-weighted RMB and increase the risk of a disorderly devaluation by China. The risk of further declines in the JPY is tempered by the fact that it is already very (-29%) cheap, but there is plenty of valuation room for the euro to fall.

Broad-based move across asset classes towards neutral amidst uncertainties

  • US equity fund positioning inched closer to neutral; as anticipated the returning buyback bid is being offset by large persistent outflows (-$42bn ytd);
  • European equity positioning is also close to neutral amidst slowing inflows; Japanese funds trimmed exposure from very overweight levels while flows turned negative for the first time in 2 months;
  • The large short in US bond futures has started to be cut; 2y bond shorts were cut by half this week while short-dated rates futures are already long. Robust inflows into government bond funds which began this year have continued while the pace of outflows from HY and EM funds has slowed;
  • A move toward neutral was also evident in FX positions. The surprise BoJ cut to negative rates caught yen longs by surprise, with the large initial subsequent depreciation in the yen partly reflecting a paring of positions. Meanwhile, the euro rose to a 3 month high as crowded leveraged fund shorts were being covered despite the ECB’s dovish rhetoric;
  • As the dollar fell, net speculative long positions in oil rose, reflecting mainly an increase in gross longs while shorts remain at record highs; copper shorts continue to edge back from extremes; gold longs are rising.

Declining bond yields mean larger inflows into bonds at the expense of equities

  • A fundamental tenet of central bank easing has been to push investors out the risk spectrum. The impact has arguably been exactly the opposite
  • Beyond any negative signal further monetary easing sends on underlying growth prospects, historically falling bond yields with the attendant capital gains on bonds have seen inflows rotate into bonds at the expense of equities. The correlation between equities and bond yields remains strongly positive. Notably, the best period of inflows for equities was after the taper announcement in 2013 when bond yields rose sharply

Large over-allocation to fixed income already

  • Past Fed QEs, a lack of normalization of Fed rates and easing by other central banks means that a large over-allocation already exists in fixed income while the underallocation in equities remains massive
  • Additional easing by the ECB and BoJ by encouraging inflows into bonds will only exacerbate the over allocation to fixed income

Asynchronous easing behind decline in oil and flight from HY

  • Asynchronous monetary easing by the ECB or BoJ while the Fed is on hold puts upward pressure on the dollar, downward pressure on oil prices and heightens credit concerns in the Energy, Metals and Mining sectors
  • It is notable that the huge outflows from HY began to the day with the ECB’s adoption of negative rates in Jun 2014. Those outflows from HY moved into HG, ironically moving up not down the risk spectrum
  • The risk to oil prices is somewhat tempered by the fact that oil prices are cheap to fair value and look to be pricing in the next leg of dollar strength

Asynchronous easing that is reflected in a higher dollar is reflected commensurately in the trade-weighted RMB

  • By virtue of the near-peg to the US dollar, by early 2015 the trade-weighted RMB had risen along with the US dollar by 32% in trade-weighted terms and has been in a relatively narrow range since
  • A variety of Chinese economic indicators have been strongly negatively correlated with the US dollar: Chinese data surprises (-42%); IP (-65%); and retail sales (-59%)

Further dollar strength raises the risk of a disorderly Chinese devaluation

  • Asynchronous easing by the ECB and BOJ reflected in the US dollar and in turn the trade-weighted RMB increases the risk of a disorderly devaluation by China
  • The risk of further declines in the JPY is tempered by the fact that it is already very cheap (-29%), but there is plenty of valuation room for the euro to fall
  • The surprise BoJ easing in January prompted a paring of longs, while investors are unwinding short positions in the euro despite dovish rhetoric by the ECB

* * *

A few last words. Since DB, whose CDS has soared to very dangerous levels in recent days suggesting the market is suddenly concerned about its counterparty status, is effectively the Bundesbank, one can make the argument that any incremental easing by the jawboning Mario Draghi during the ECB's next meeting suddenly looks very precarious.

On the other hand if Draghi once again isolates Weidmann and does cut rates to -0.40% as the market has largely priced in, because the ECB head fulfills the desires of his former employer Goldman Sachs first and foremost, one would wonder if as we speculated last summer Deutsche Bank is not indeed the next Lehman, if for no other reason than Goldman has decided the German financial behemoth should be the next bank to fail, and unleash the next global taxpayer-funded bailout episode.










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 01:33 AM

The Federal Reserve - The Deep State's Central Bank

Submitted by Bill Bonner of Bonner & Partners (annotated by Acting-Man.com's Pater Tenebrarum),

Fighting to Lose

An election has been described as two wolves and one lamb voting on what to have for dinner.

 

Sheep-On-Voting-For-a-Lion-Or-a-Wolf-On-Election-Day

We’re going to make a difference on election day! Or maybe not…

 

Actually, there was never any doubt about what was on the menu. An election is really when the wolves scrap over who gets the choicest pieces. To bring new readers fully into the picture… It doesn’t matter who won in Iowa. Major policies are not determined by the voters but by the more or less permanent elite who run the government, aka the “Deep State.”

The Fed is an instrument of the Deep State, not of the people. This sounds conspiratorial. But it doesn’t require any hidden agenda or secret handshakes. Most people want power, money, and status. If you can get control over the government – the only institution that can steal and kill, legally – you’ve got it made. That’s why so much money is spent trying to get elected or to influence public policy.

The U.S. presidential campaign has seen surprisingly strong showings from two “outsiders”: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Why? As former Congressional staffer turned Deep State whistleblower Mike Lofgren recently told Bonner & Partners Investor Network editor Chris Lowe, it’s because each in his own way warns voters about the wolves. The insiders, according to Trump and Sanders, are predatory and incompetent.

 

2016-Presidential-Election11

Bernie and the Donald – voters like them because they are seen as the anti-establishment choices. The press decries them as “populists” and “nutcases”, which means they must be doing something right. As an aside, the European press is completely apoplectic over Trump, to our unending amusement.

 

But the Deep State is more predatory and less incompetent than it appears. It fights wars, for example, not to win them… but to lose them. The War on Poverty has been going on for more than 50 years. Still no sign of victory. But it has financed countless careers and retirements of government operatives.

 

BG-war-on-poverty-50-years-chart-1-825

The resounding “success” of the so-called “war on poverty” – click to enlarge.

 

The War on Drugs has raised profit margins for the drug dealers… and for the drug fighters too. But the public has suffered higher levels of violence and billions of dollars in prisons and crime-fighting costs.

Likewise, there are more terrorists now than when the War on Terror was announced – after trillions of dollars were spent and millions of people were killed. The more the U.S. bombs, drones, and bullies… the more people join the fight against it.

 

orwell

George Orwell recognized the principle in 1949 already – these wars were never meant to be won. This is also why we already know that the “war on terror” will never end – and it is one of the greatest threats to individual liberty yet.

 

The Long Emergency

Why fight wars you intend to lose? Because it suits the Deep State. The wars are just a way of marshaling support for a transfer of wealth and power from fly-over states to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and New York. That is to say from the public… to the elite. Which brings us back to our beat: money.

When the 2008 financial meltdown came along, the Fed announced what was effectively another war: the War on the Credit Cycle. In a fiat money world, consenting adults are no longer able to set the price of credit. So, the Fed does it for them.

And after 2008, the Fed decided to take the “emergency” measure of dropping short-term interest rates to zero to try to stimulate the economy. But like so many other government programs, it was an intentional failure.

 

Labor Force Participation vs. FF rate

Labor force participation rate vs. federal funds rate – yet another boondoggle in a long list of intentional failures – click to enlarge.

 

With the labor participation rate now at its lowest level ever, the typical American man is more likely to be unemployed today than at any time in history. The rich have gotten richer; the poor have gotten poorer. (No wonder Trump and Sanders are doing so well!)

And after eight years of the most extravagant stimulus efforts in history, in the last quarter, the U.S. economy grew by just 0.7% – “stall speed” in other words. That too looks like incompetence. But it was really another predatory measure.

By evaporating interest rates, the Fed transferred trillions of dollars from savers on Main Street to the speculators on Wall Street. The bankers got their bonuses. Mission accomplished!

 

26.11.09-Martin-Rowson-on-005

Not another bonus… then again …

 

A Miracle-Gro Economy

But now, the Fed has put its “credibility on the line,” reported the Financial Times.

That was a shocker; we didn’t think the Fed had any credibility left. But there it was, sitting on the line between higher rates and lower ones.

The PhDs running the Fed are no fools. They know they have not entirely defeated the credit cycle. They only hope to manage it. They know, too, that there are contractions as well as expansions… bear markets as well as bull markets… winter as well as summer.

The idea of raising rates was to get in position before the weather turned cold again. They would need to cut rates again to fight the next downturn. So, last December, the Fed put its credibility on the line. It announced a program of gradual increases that was supposed to bring the short-term interest rates back into their normal range by 2019.

 

rate_hike_cartoon_11.05.2015_large

What could possibly happen?

 

Last year, we argued that this was not going to come to pass as planned. The weird and wonderful plants of the Bubble Epoch had been raised in a hothouse with Miracle-Gro sprinklers on 24/7. Now, the Fed was proposing to shut off the spigots!

Surely this would trigger the very crisis the Fed hoped to avoid. That was always the problem with the “data dependent” path Ms. Yellen announced. If your course depends on numbers rather than principles, you are bound to see some numbers you don’t like. Then you have to react.

And the only possible reaction for the Fed is to reverse course. Besides, its main mission is to protect the Deep State’s finances – the flow of real wealth from you to it. And now we find the world’s elite – the Deep State financiers and economists – planning, explaining, and preparing the world for a U-turn.

 

No_rate_hike_cartoon_09.17.205

An uncanny sense of timing…

 

Last week, for instance, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Fed was “having second thoughts about hiking rates three or four times this year.”

And yesterday, the Financial Times called Ms. Yellen’s plan to return to normal a “rate rush.”

“Few believe [the Fed] will stick to its plan for more increases this year,” it continued.

Count us among the non-believers.










by Tyler Durden at February 07, 2016 01:00 AM

client k

Building Assets

I published my first story
8 years ago.
Every month, I sell copies of this eBook.
Every month, I receive income from it.
It is an asset.
It should provide my writing business
with sales
for the rest of my life.

This should be your goal.

Seth Godin
shares

“They [investors] want you
to put the money to use
building an asset,
something that works
better and better
over time,
something that makes your project
more profitable
and more efficient.

And they want you
to use that asset
to create value
that will pay them back
many times over.”

Are you building assets?

by k at February 07, 2016 12:57 AM

Smarterware

Four Tips For Protecting And Promoting Your Website

There is more to building a website than just picking design and layout. You need to make sure that you are protecting and promoting your site as well. Don’t expect people to just be able to find you, even with a search engine, unless you are going to put the work into making it so that they can find you. You also want to make sure they are protected when they do visit your site.

Security breaches and stolen identities are commonplace in this day and age, but that doesn’t mean that companies should make it easier for thieves. Instead, make sure you are putting your best foot forward in order to protect your business and your customers.

Use Only White Hat Tactics

When it comes to SEO and getting your website noticed, make sure you are doing it the right way. If you are stuffing keywords, and writing web copy and blog posts that make no sense at all, you are going to end up with a penalty from Google which will bump your ranks down, and you could even lose your web address if you don’t stop the bad tactics.

The rules change every so often, so take some time to do a little research on what’s OK to do, and what’s not OK to do when it comes to SEO.

Research Keywords First

Before you start picking your keywords and keyword phrases, whether you are working on your website content, like the about page, or you are working on a blog post (or ten), make sure you take the time to research the best keywords to use.

Google Adwords has a keyword tool in which you can punch in your chosen words and find out how highly searched they are and how much competition those phrases have with other blogs and websites. You don’t want something that no one searches for, but you also don’t want to be competing with 100 websites for one keyword either.

Get Good Protection

Whether you opt for a general virus protection or firewall, or you want something made for businesses that want to protect their customers, you need protection for your own systems and for the people that visit and shop on your site. There are far too many cyber breaches going on, and it seems to be easier and easier for thieves to steal not just credit card numbers, but complete identities as well.

Make sure that you are offering a secure server for your clients and customers, so they can feel comfortable using your services, no matter what they are.

Use Social Media And Blog Often

You need to have more than just a website if you want to promote your business. You need to have a blog, which shows people you are a credible source for information and an expert in your particular field. You should also use social media as much as you can.

Nearly everyone with a computer and internet access is using some form of social media these days, which makes it a great place to connect with current and future customers. Make sure to post often so they don’t lose interest!

The post Four Tips For Protecting And Promoting Your Website appeared first on Smarterware.

by Christine at February 07, 2016 12:38 AM

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

A Few Scattered Notes, Observations, and Examples of Graphs and Diagrams in Teaching and Doing Economics/The Honest Broker

Perhaps starting a broader conversation...

Paul Krugman: In Defense of Funny Diagrams: "Brad DeLong asks a question about which of the various funny diagrams economists love...

...should be taught in Econ 101. I say production possibilities yes, Edgeworth box no--which, strange to say, is how we deal with this issue in Krugman/Wells. But students who go on to major in economics should be exposed to the box--and those who go on to grad school really, really need to have seen it, and in general need more simple general-equilibrium analysis than, as far as I can tell, many of them get these days. There was, clearly, a time when economics had too many pictures. But now, I suspect, it doesn’t have enough....

This is partly a personal bias. My own mathematical intuition, and a lot of my economic intuition in general, is visual: I tend to start with a picture, then work out both the math and the verbal argument to make sense of that picture. (Sometimes I have to learn the math, as I did on target zones; the picture points me to the math I need.) I know that’s not true for everyone, but it’s true for a fair number of students, who should be given the chance to learn things that way.

Beyond that, pictures are often the best way to convey global insights... in the sense of thinking about all possibilities as opposed to small changes.... The production possibility frontier is that it gives students a way to think about what efficiency means--if you want to explain inefficiency in production, you put a point inside the PPF, if you want to explain inefficiency in allocation, you talk about choosing the wrong point on the PPF. The Edgeworth box is good for explaining what it takes to be efficient in production and also efficient in distribution--I learned all of this from the classic Francis Bator paper on welfare maximization--but is just too hard for freshpeople.

I also retain, even after all these years, a soft spot for at least some of the profusion of diagrams that characterized trade theory when I was a student....

I have the sense that too many majors and/or grad students were shortchanged.... They can do game theory, they can solve sets of equations, but their sense of how the pieces fit together is lacking... don’t have the technique to cut through what should be easily avoidable confusion. (I sometimes find myself wanting to shout ‘Use an offer curve, dammit!’)... [While] the real economy isn’t characterized by competitive general equilibrium. But it’s still a useful baseline — not so much an idealization as a description of how things should be, which helps to cast how they really are into much sharper relief.

Draw, baby, draw.

For graduate students, Paul Krugman is (of course) completely right: if you aren't very and roughly equally comfortable speaking verbal-narrative, drawing graphical-analytic-geometric, and writing down equation-based mathematical analyses and descriptions of an economic problem, you are doing it wrong and should fix it by learning your tools.

Of course, it may well be that attaining and maintaining a kind of balance that avoids, say, hopelessly confusing yourself with Neo-Fisherman idiocy is unattainable for you. In that case, you should remember the principle of comparative advantage, and go thou and do something else.

And, although each piece--verbal-narrative, graphical-analytic-geometric, and equation-based mathematical-descriptive--of the analysis is easy, somehow combining them is hard. And that was what led John Maynard Keynes to write in his obituary for Alfred Marshall:

The study of economics does not seem to require any specialised gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, or even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An easy subject, at which very few excel!

The paradox finds its explanation, perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher-in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future.

No part of man's nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician. Much, but not all, of this ideal many-sidedness Marshall possessed. But chiefly his mixed training and divided nature furnished him with the most essential and fundamental of the economist's necessary gifts-he was conspicuously historian and mathematician, a dealer in the particular and the general, the temporal and the eternal, at the same time...

And as Keynes wrote to Roy Harrod:

It seems to me that economics is a branch of logic, a way of thinking; and that you do not repel sufficiently firmly attempts à la Schultz to turn it into a pseudo-natural-science. One... cannot get very far except by devising new and improved models. This requires... 'a vigilant observation of the actual working of our system'. Progress in economics consists almost entirely in a progressive improvement in the choice of models.... The later classical school, exemplified by Pigou... overwork[s] a too-simple or out-of-date model... not seeing that progress lay in improving the model.... Marshall often confused his models, for the devising of which he had great genius, by wanting to be realistic and by being unnecessarily ashamed of lean and abstract outlines....

Economics is a science of thinking in terms of models joined to the art of choosing models which are relevant to the contemporary world. It is compelled to be this, because, unlike the typical natural science, the material to which it is applied is, in too many respects, not homogeneous through time. The object of a model is to segregate the semi-permanent or relatively constant factors from those which are transitory or fluctuating so as to develop a logical way of thinking about the latter, and of understanding the time sequences to which they give rise in particular cases. Good economists are scarce because the gift for using 'vigilant observation' to choose good models, although it does not require a highly specialised intellectual technique, appears to be a very rare one...

Nevertheless, when we move down from the graduate students to the freshpeople, I do want to disagree with Paul, I now definitely want to throw overboard the ludicrously-overcomplicated diagrams:

In Defense of Funny Diagrams Wonkish The New York Times

and also throw overboard many of the not-so-ludicrous ones, including the Edgeworth Boxes and the Production-Possibility Frontiers. I now want to get as quickly as possible to supply-and-demand and to producer and consumer surplus.

Some of this is peculiar to Berkeley.

Our introduction to economics is a one-semester course, which makes it extra-complicated to teach. The students can handle it: this is the best public university in the world, and these are the most capable public university students in the world. But it is a great rush.

This year I tried to make space for the PPF.

But, as evidenced by Problem Set 1, it did not go terribly well.

From the Problem Set 1 answer key:


Problem Set 1

1) In the economy of the university town of Avicenna (if you wish, cf.: Peter Beagle (1986): The Folk of the Air http://amzn.to/1RxRFQJ (New York: Del Rey: 0345337824)) there are produced two and only two commodities: yoga lessons, and lattes. There are ten workers in the economy. They are able to produce the following amounts of lattes or teach the following amounts of yoga lessons each day:

NewImage

1a) On a graph, draw the Production Possibility Frontier of Avicenna

Answer: Begin with everybody teaching yoga lessons and nobody making lattes—at the point (2750, 0) on the graph (if you have chosen yoga for your x- and lattes for your y-axis). Now suppose the economy wants to produce lattes. Any of the ten people could produce 500 lattes. But in order to produce those lattes, you have to move them to the café and off of the mat and so sacrifice having some yoga lessons taught. What is the best thing to do? Well, looking at the table you see that Alfred (an Old English name meaning “wisdom of the elves”. The most prominent historical figure was King of the English realm of Wessex—shortened “Westseaxna Rice”, “Realm of the West-Saxons” or “western realm of the knife-guys” —from 871-899; he is the reason that we today think of England as more Germanic than Norse) has a comparative advantage at making lattes of 10:1: he can make 10 lattes for the time and resources he needs to teach one yoga lesson.

Pull Alfred off the mat and put him to work at the milk frothing machine and you only sacrifice 50 yoga lessons—fewer than anybody else. So we pull Alfred off of the yoga mat and put him to work at the milk frother, have him produce 500 lattes, and draw the next point (2700, 500) on the PPF.

What if we don’t want 500 but only 250 lattes? Well, if Alfred spends half his time at the café and half his time on the mat, he can make 250 lattes and teach 25 yoga lessons—and similarly for some other combination of shifts. Therefore draw a straight line between (2750, 0) and (2700, 500) for that part of the PPF.

Now suppose we are at (2700, 500) and want to produce more lattes—1000, say? who is the next person we should pull off of the yoga mat and put to work at the milk frother in order to have the most efficient economy? Who has the second greatest comparative advantage in making lattes? Well, from the table it’s Beatrice (Latin: “she who blesses” or “she who brings joy”. The most prominent figure in literature is the Beatrice is Dante’s patron and guide through the Afterlife in his Divine Comedy), with a 5:1 comparative advantage. She should shift next. So put Alfred and Beatrice to work in the café, and draw in the (2600, 1000) point on the PPF.

By a similar argument as with Alfred, Beatrice could produce 250 lattes and teach 50 yoga lessons if she split her shifts. So connect (2600, 1000) to (2700, 500) for the next segment of the PPF.

Note that along the straight-line segments of the PPF, the slope of the PPF is equal to the comparative advantage of the person who is, as you move along that straight line, switching from teaching on the mat to working the milk frothing machine.

Continuing to work down the table, note that I have already arranged the potential workers not just in alphabetical order but from most to least in their comparative advantage at making lattes. So, in order, move successively Cixi (Mandarin “Empress of the Western Palace”. The historical figure known as Cixi was born Yehenara, “Little Orchid”, and was Regent of Qing China from 1861-1908. At the end of her reign, China was one of the only ten or so Asian and African realms that had not been colonized by European powers) is next.

She is then followed, in order, by Dante, Earendil, Faramir, Gaius, Hrothgar, Indira, and Jenghiz off of the yoga mat and into the café. So draw in the points (2450, 1500), (2250, 2000), (2000, 2500), (1700, 3000), (1350, 3500), (950, 4000), (500, 4500), and (0, 5000)—the last corresponding to the situation in which all ten are working at the café and nobody is teaching yoga.

Connect those points with straight lines to complete the PPF.

And you are done.

NewImage

Note that if we had simply moved away from producing 2750 lessons and zero lattes by having everybody work half-time at the café and half-time at the gym, we would be producing 1375 lessons and 2500 lattes—well inside the PPF. We could produce 1800 lessons and 3000 lattes if we just had Gaius, Hrothgar, Indira, and Jenghiz teaching yoga. Specializing in your comparative advantage in production is a very good thing to do!

1b) On a graph, draw the supply curve for lattes if the price of yoga lessons is $10/lesson.

Answer: You can start either from the table, or from the PPF…

From the PPF: We know that the price of yoga is $10/lesson. Suppose that the price of lattes were $0/latte. What would the value of production be? Well, the value of production would then be simply ten times the number of lessons taught. So start at the (2750, 0) point, calculate that (2750 yoga lessons) x ($10/lesson) = $27,500 worth of yoga taught, and draw a straight line upward from (2750, 0). That straight line tells you the combinations of yoga lessons and lattes that are worth $27,500 at a yoga price of $10/lesson and a latte price of $0/latte. Points to the right and above this line are worth more; points below and to the left of this line are worth less.

Is there any point on the PPF to the right of this line? No. That tells us that combinations of yoga lessons and lattes that produce more than $27500 of value at these prices are unattainable: they are outside the economy’s PPF.

Is there any point on this line other than (2750, 0)? No. That tells us that (2750, 0)—with all ten potential workers on the mat in the gym teaching yoga, and nobody working at the café—is the only attainable combination at which $27,500 of value is created, and is the most profitable way for workers to arrange their shifts. And that tells us that the supply of lattes is 0 when the price of lattes is 0.

From the table: At a price of $10/lesson for yoga and $0/latte for lattes, would any of the ten potential workers make more money working at the café than teaching yoga in the gym? No. All ten will therefore choose to work in the gym, none will choose to work in the café, and so the supply of lattes is zero when the price of lattes is $0/latte.

Draw the (0, $0) point on the supply curve, with the quantity of lattes produced on the x-axis and the price of lattes on the y-axis.

Now let’s gradually raise the price of lattes from $0/latte to just a hair under $1/latte. What happens?

*On the PPF: As the price of lattes rises from $0/latte toward $1/latte, the line that tells us combinations of yoga lessons and lattes that are worth $27,500 rotates counterclockwise around the point (2750,0). At a price of $0/latte that line passed through (2750, 0) and (2750, 500). At a price of $0.50/latte that rotating line passed through (2750, 0) and (2700, 1000). At a price of $0.99/latte that rotating line passes through (2700, 505.0505…). *

Is there any point on the PPF to the right of and above the rotating line? No. That tells us that combinations of yoga lessons and lattes that produce more than $27500 of value at these prices are unattainable: they are outside the economy’s PPF.

Is there any point on this line other than (2750, 0)? No. That tells us that (2750, 0)—with all ten potential workers on the mat in the gym teaching yoga, and nobody working at the café—is the only attainable combination at which $27,500 of value is created, and is the most profitable way for workers to arrange their shifts. And that tells us that the supply of lattes is 0 when the price of lattes is anything from $0/latte but less than $1/latte.

From the table: At a price of $10/lesson for yoga and more than $0/latte but less than $1/latte for lattes, would any of the ten potential workers make more money working at the café than teaching yoga in the gym? No. All ten will therefore choose to work in the gym, none will choose to work in the café, and so the supply of lattes is zero when the price of lattes is anything from $0 to just less than $1/latte.

Draw the line from (0, $0) up to a hair less than (0, $1) on the supply curve, with the quantity of lattes produced on the x-axis and the price of lattes on the y-axis.

Now let’s raise the price of lattes from a hair under to exactly $1/latte. What happens?

On the PPF, when the price of yoga is $10/lesson and the price of lattes is $1/latte, the rotating line corresponding to $27,500 of value produced now intersects the PPF along its whole length from (2750, 0) to (2700, 500): producing at any of those combinations—and they are all attainable—generates $27500 of value.

From the table: all of the potential producers except Alfred still make more money teaching yoga than pulling lattes. They remain at work in the gym rather than at the café. Alfred, however, can make $500 teaching yoga at a price of $10/lesson, can make $500 pulling lattes at a price of $1/latte, or split his shifts and produce any linear combination of 50 yoga lessons and 500 lattes and make $500. Alfred is indifferent. He will produce up to 500 lattes at a price of $1/latte depending on what demand at $1/latte is, and spend the rest of his time happily teaching yoga.

Draw a straight line on the supply curve from (0, $1) to (500, $1), to show that at a price of $1/latte the quantity of lattes supplied can and will be anything between 0 and 500, depending on what the demand for lattes is.

Now let’s gradually raise the price of lattes from $1/latte to just a hair under $2/latte. What happens?

From the PPF: As the price of lattes rises from $1/latte toward $2/latte, the line that tells us combinations of yoga lessons and lattes that are worth as much as is produced at the (2700 lessons, 500 lattes) combination rotates counterclockwise around the point (2700, 500). At a price of $1/latte, that line passed through (2700, 500) and (2650, 1000). At a price of $1.50/latte, that line passed through (2700, 500) and (2625, 1000). At a price of $1.99/latte, that line passes through (2700, 500) and (2600.5 , 1000).

Is there any point on the PPF to the right of and above the rotating line? No. That tells us that combinations of yoga lessons and lattes that produce more value than (2700 lessons, 500 lattes) at these prices are unattainable: they are outside the economy’s PPF.

Is there any point on this line other than (2700 lessons, 500 lattes)? No. That tells us that (2700 lessons, 500 lattes)—with Alfred working at the café, and all other nine potential workers on the mat in the gym teaching yoga—is the only attainable combination at which the most of value is created, and is the most profitable way for workers to arrange their shifts. And that tells us that the supply of lattes is 500 when the price of lattes is anything from $1/latte up to less than $2/latte.

From the table: At a price of $10/lesson for yoga and more than $1/latte but less than $2/latte for lattes, would any of the ten potential workers besides Alfred make more money working at the café than teaching yoga in the gym? No. All workers except Alfred will therefore choose to work in the gym, only Alfred will choose to work in the café, and so the supply of lattes is 500 when the price of lattes is anything from $1 to just less than $2/latte.

Draw a straight line from (500, $1) up but not quite to (500, $2) to show that the quantity supplied of lattes is 500 when the price is less than $2/latte but is $1/latte or greater.

Now let’s raise the price of lattes from a hair under to exactly $2/latte. What happens?

On the PPF, when the price of yoga is $10/lesson and the price of lattes is $2/latte, the rotating line corresponding to maximum value produced now intersects the PPF along its whole length from (2700, 500) to (2600, 1000): producing at any of those combinations—and they are all attainable—generates the maximum value.

From the table: all of the potential producers except Alfred and Beatrice still make more money teaching yoga than pulling lattes. They remain at work in the gym rather than at the café. Alfred, however, makes more at the café. And Beatrice can make $1000 pulling lattes at a price of $2/latte, or split her shifts and produce any linear combination of 100 yoga lessons and 500 lattes and make $1000. Beatrice is indifferent. She will produce up to 500 lattes at a price of $2/latte depending on what demand at $2/latte is, and spend the rest of her time happily teaching yoga. And Alfred will produce 500 lattes.

Draw a straight line on the supply curve from (500, $2) to (100, $2), to show that at a price of $2/latte the quantity of lattes supplied can and will be anything between 500 and 1000, depending on what the demand for lattes is.

Continue walking down the table and rotating the maximum-value line on the PPF. Find out that at $3/latte Cixi, $4 Dante, $5 Earendil, $6 Faramir, $7 Gaius, $8 Hrothgar, $9 Indira, and $10 Jenghiz are willing to move over to the café. Jump up the quantity of lattes supplied by 500, therefore, when the price hits $3, $4, $5, $6, $7, $8, $9, and $10. And you are done:

NewImage

[...parts c-g omitted...]

2) In the economy of the university town of Avicenna (if you wish, cf.: Peter Beagle (1986): The Folk of the Air http://amzn.to/1RxRFQJ (New York: Del Rey: 0345337824)) there are produced two and only two commodities: yoga lessons, and lattes. When the price of yoga lessons is $10/lesson, the supply curve for lattes is:

SUPPLY: P = 0 + Qs/500 up to a maximum quantity produced of 5000 lattes

2a) On a graph, draw the supply curve for lattes if the price of yoga is $20/lesson. Also draw the supply curve for lattes if the price of yoga is $40/lesson.

Answer: Remember: behind your supply curve there is, lurking somewhere, a Production-Possibility Frontier and a table telling you what the resources and capabilities of the potential workers in the economy are. Workers are trying to choose what is best for themselves—and it is their behavior in response to the different incentives provided them by market prices that determines and is summarized in the supply curve.

At a value of yoga lessons of $20/lesson, the opportunity cost, measured in dollars, of producing lattes is twice as great as in the baseline case, where the price of yoga was $10/lesson and the supply curve was P = 0 + Qs/500. Workers will therefore demand twice as much in order to induce them to make lattes. The supply is thus:

P = 0 + Qs/250 when the price of yoga is $20/lesson.

Similarly, at a value of yoga lessons of $40/lesson, the opportunity cost, measured in dollars, of producing lattes is twice as great as in the baseline case, where the price of yoga was $10/lesson and the supply curve was P = 0 + Qs/500. Workers will therefore demand twice as much in order to induce them to make lattes. The supply is thus:

P = 0 + Qs/125 when the price of yoga is $40/lesson.

So we have:

NewImage

2b) What do you think the Production Possibility Frontier of Avicenna is? Draw what you think is the PPF. Explain why you think this is the PPF.

Answer: This question was a disaster—and the reason why we are curving the grades on this problem set up.

What I had hoped that you would do was think: “In 1 we built a PPF and a supply curve out of a table. Now we have a supply curve. Surely we can reverse-engineer the table and the PPF lurking behind the supply curve.”

The next step would be to have noticed that the supply curve for a $10/lesson yoga price of:

P = 0 + Qs/500

starts at (0, $0) and ends at (5000, $10) and looks a lot like the supply curve built in 1b)—except that it is smooth and upward-sloping rather than stair-stepped. And the step after that would have been to say: if the supply curve is very similar, the underlying table should be very similar, and the PPF should be very similar—only in some sense “smoother” than the PPF in problem 1). And that would have been enough for full credit.

I expected the bulk of students to stop there.

I expected some to go on, and draw the supply curve for a $10/lesson price of yoga:

NewImage

and to then start walking down the supply curve and using that walking-down process to draw the exact PPF.

We know that the maximum production point of the economy—when all resources are devoted to making lattes—is (5000 lattes, 0 yoga lessons). So we have a starting point: with a $10/lesson yoga price, and a $10/latte latte price, we are at the (5000 lattes, 0 lessons) point on the PPF and the (5000 lattes, $10/latte) point on the supply curve.

Now let us walk down the supply curve to (0 lattes, $0/latte). What has happened? Well, as the price of lattes fell, people decided that they could do better teaching yoga in the gym than pulling lattes in the café, and so they exited the latte-producing business and went and taught yoga lessons instead. How many yoga lessons can they teach? We see from the supply curve that as the price of lattes falls it induces people to switch from making lattes to teaching yoga falls smoothly and linearly. Thus the average person shifts from making lattes to teaching yoga when the price of lattes falls below $5.

The average person, therefore, then makes as much money teaching $10 yoga lessons as they make making $5 lattes.

Therefore the average person can teach half as many yoga lessons as they can make lattes.

Thus when everyone has switched from making lattes to teaching yoga, the economy has moved from making 5000 lattes (and teaching 0 lessons) to teaching 2500 yoga lessons (and making 0 lattes).

Now we have both ends of the PPF.

What about the middle? How many yoga lessons are taught when 2500 lattes are produced?

To walk down the supply curve from 5000 to 2500 lattes, the price has to fall from $10 to $5/latte to induce enough people to switch to yoga to reduce the quantity supplied to 2500. That means the average person who switches in this walk-down switches when the price is $7.50/latte. That means that the average person who switches in this walk-down can make as much money teaching yoga at $10/lesson as pulling lattes when the price of lattes is $7.50/latte. The average person who switches in this walk-down can thus teach ¾ as many yoga lessons as they can make lattes. So in this walk-down the economy gives up 2500 lattes to make 1875 yoga lessons.

The middle point on the PPF, with latte production cut in half, is thus: (2500 lattes, 1875 yoga).

Can you now see the pattern and calculate the PPF?

Yes, you can see the pattern: When the price of lattes moves from $10/latte to $P/latte, the average person who switches can teach (10+P)/20 as many yoga lessons as lattes. As the price drops from $10/latte to $P/latte, the economy gives up 500(10-P) lattes from its maximum latte production and thus makes:

L = 500 - 5000(10 - P) = 500P lattes—that’s the supply curve.

As the price drops from $10/latte to $P/latte, the economy makes (10+P)/20 yoga lessons for each latte it gives up, and thus makes:

Y = 500(10-P) x (10+P)/20 yoga lessons—that’s the number of yoga lessons.

Algebra 1 then tells us:

Y = 500(10-P)(10+P)/20 = 25(100 - P2) = 2500 - 25P2 yoga lessons. And if you let P: $0—>$10 the point (L, Y) traces out the PPF.

Or simply note that $P = L/500, and use Algebra 1 to substitute in for the equation for yoga lessons:

Y = 2500 - 25P2 = 2500 - 25(L2/250000) = 2500 - L2/10000

and we are done with the exact PPF—indeed, very similar to what we did in 1a), only “smoother” and having maximum yoga production of 2500 rather than 2750 yoga lessons:

NewImage

And I expected a few people to draw the supply curve, and then to say: People switch from making lattes to teaching yoga when the value of the yoga lessons they can produce with those resources rises above the value of those resources making lattes. The height of the supply curve—the price—tells you the value of the latte that the economy is about to stop producing. The value of yoga lessons produced is thus simply the integral under the supply curve as the amount of lattes produced falls from 5000 toward zero:

NewImage

With the value of a yoga lesson set at $10, the number of yoga lessons is then:

Y = 2500 - 25P2

And Algebra 1, plus L = 500P, gets you to:

Y = 2500 - L2/10000

And my question for those of us who did this third is: Why are you here in Econ 1? Why aren’t you in Econ 2?


It seems to me that if you are going to teach the PPF, it is only worth doing if people then understand how it relates to the capabilities, resources, and incentives of producers on the one hand, and to the supply curve which summarizes how produces in aggregate respond to market incentives given their capabilities and resources on the other. I spent more time than I had to spare on the PPF, and yet... I was not pleased with how much they learned. It seems to me that I have to chalk this down as one of my mistakes...

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 07, 2016 12:09 AM

February 06, 2016

FFFFOUND! / EVERYONE

Planet Android

Through the Viewfinder: Honor 5X Launch, Munich

5x

Last Thursday (4th February 2016) the Honor 5X was finally launched in Europe and presented in Munich, Germany. The afternoon comprised of the launch presentation, interviews with Thorsten Doehlert and Zhao Gang, experiencing the phone and a talent show. Before the launch, Honor approached me to ask my thoughts on the device. I found it pleasant to use, light and sturdy; the metal frame and back quite attractive especially in the gold and silver editions. The fingerprint sensor is very quick and efficient. The one downside I personally found was that an app draw does not come included with EMUI, but then I’ll always install Nova launcher fairly quickly regardless. Considering the Honor 5X is a $200 phone, it works very well and I’m happy using it as a daily driver, it gets a thumbs up from me. In the photographs below some will have been taken using the 5X.

Contents

The Venue
The Launch
Honor 5X
Photos taken with the Honor 5X

The Venue

Welcome to the Honor 5X launch Honor 5X persentation this way The venue The venue The venue People experiencing the Honor 5X People experiences the Honor 5X People experiences the Honor 5X

The Launch

Zhao Gang Zhao Gang Thorsten Doehlert showing off the Honor 5X Thorsten Doehlert showing the 3 5X colours Thorsten Doehlert taking the mandatory selfie Thorsten Doehlert showing off the Honor Hybrid Earphone AM175 Honor hybrid Earphone AM175 3 sim card slots Representation of the sim card trays Possibilities of the fingerprint sensor Statistics for the fingerprint scanner Some statistics of the Honor 5X More statistics of the Honor 5X Honor 5X battey performance Metal hardware What Honor is for What Honor does Honor round the world Partents with Honor CES success Growth of Honor

Honor 5X

Back of the Honor 5X Front of the Honor 5X Side of the Honor 5X Back of the Honor 5X Camera and fingerprint scanner of the Honor 5X Bottom of the Honor 5X The Honor 5X with the Honor Hybrid Earphone AM175 The Honor 5X on dsplay

Photos taken using the Honor 5X

Honor hashtags Honor heart cookie The Hypebox changing showing the Honor 5X Honor Hybrid Earphone AM175 Honor brand loyalty

 

You can also view our other content on the Honor 5X at:
Honor 5X First Impressions: $199 Feels Pretty Good Here,
Honor 5X XDA Review: The Current Vanguard of the Mid-Range Segment,
Or visit the Honor 5X forums here!

by Theodora at February 06, 2016 11:31 PM

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The Big Picture

Ken Stabler, CTE

“Ken Stabler, Football Great, Had C.T.E.”: nyti.ms/1R1Bbzk

Why are we so concerned about kids in Flint, but give NFL players a pass, why are we up in arms about Michigan’s governor, but cry hosannas when a billionaire moves his football team to Los Angeles and Roger Goodell escapes unscathed?

It’s time for Coldplay to pull out of the Super Bowl.

Forget black actors at the Oscars, this is a much bigger deal. When are artists going to say they’re not going to participate in this barbaric enterprise where people are maimed for life?

Flint was about the money.

The NFL is about the money.

And playing the Super Bowl is about the money too. It not only raises your visibility/profile, it helps you sell tickets.

Is that the country we’ve evolved to be, one wherein money is everything? Isn’t that why Bernie Sanders has made so much headway, because he’s saying NO MAS to a land where the dollar trumps everything?

Football will be marginalized in your lifetime. They may still play it, but it won’t grab ratings and will be the equivalent of boxing. How many boys and men will be harmed in the interim? How can we all just sit by as these behemoths brutalize each other?

Life used to be different. Sure, they played with fewer pads, the game was pretty violent, but artists stood outside the sporting world. They questioned authority, they stood up for what was right. Artists were the antidote. They had power beyond elected officials and billionaires. They stood up for what they believed in as opposed to what was expedient.

But that was when there was a middle class, and a successful artist was as rich as anybody in America. Before those who were educated left for business instead of going into the arts, before the artists woke up and wondered who’d moved their cheese and started bitching that they just could not get rich enough. Not anymore anyway. Not like the tech stars.

But the tech stars got so rich by pushing boundaries, by doing it their way, not worrying about what the establishment had to say.

And now artists keep playing to the establishment.

It makes your head spin.

The artists want corporate endorsements, not knowing they come with a price. You take the money and you’re a tool of the man. Is everybody a tool of the man today?

What we know is change happens fast. iPhones replace BlackBerrys. Flip phones are in the rearview mirror. Your handheld device is for texting, not talking. The Kochs and their money are the story of political campaigning and then Bernie Sanders raises millions from individuals. Because individuals have power. And their minds can be changed very quickly.

Do you feel guilty when you watch football?

I do.

And that’s an unpopular thing to say. Because the throng is always married to the past, to the status quo. Those on the bleeding edge are excoriated. Whether it be Shawn Fanning or Daniel Ek.

But the bleeding edge is where all the money is, and the public is the early adopter, not those inured to the old ways.

Vinyl might be an interesting curio but it will never be the primary listening medium. Physical is dead. On demand is everything. And if you don’t think being paid forever via on demand streaming is a good thing, you don’t know any broke, aged musicians.

Artistry used to be about humanity.

Who’s the reporter who’s gonna put the mic in front of Chris Martin and ask him his opinion about football. His ex-wife has no problem being herself, can’t he?

Nope.

Because it’s all about the money until it isn’t.

The networks like the ratings, you like something to root for, advertisers like the exposure, is that reason enough to continue to support the game?

Nope.

The post Ken Stabler, CTE appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Bob Lefsetz at February 06, 2016 11:00 PM

First Things First. Still.

♫ This is my jam: “Slow Down” https://youtu.be/YI4u-OzSbaw /by @TaricaJune

♫ This is my jam: “Slow Down” https://youtu.be/YI4u-OzSbaw /by @TaricaJune

February 06, 2016 10:50 PM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

internet specialist

internet and computer goorue

February 06, 2016 10:11 PM

bookkeeper (city heights)

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February 06, 2016 10:06 PM

Wbrussee's Weblog

Artificial Intelligence Post Number 29

A 2/4/2016 article by Cade Metz of Cade Metz Business describes how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming Google Search. Here are some relevant quotes from this article that supports how AI is proceeding on its ability to discover “deep neural networks, networks of hardware and software that approximate the web of neurons in the human brain. By analyzing vast amounts of digital data, these neural nets can learn all sorts of useful tasks, like identifying photos, recognizing commands spoken into a smartphone, and, as it turns out, responding to Internet search queries. In some cases, they can learn a task so well that they outperform humans. They can do it better. They can do it faster. And they can do it at a much larger scale.”

“The truth is that even the experts don’t completely understand how neural nets work. But they do work. If you feed enough photos of a platypus into a neural net, it can learn to identify a platypus. If you show it enough computer malware code, it can learn to recognize a virus. If you give it enough raw language—words or phrases that people might type into a search engine—it can learn to understand search queries and help respond to them. In some cases, it can handle queries better than algorithmic rules hand-coded by human engineers.”

“At one point, Google ran a test that pitted its search engineers against Rank Brain,” a deep learning system. “Both were asked to look at various web pages and predict which would rank highest on a Google search results page. RankBrain was right 80 percent of the time. The engineers were right 70 percent of the time.”

“Increasingly, we’re discovering that if we can learn things rather than writing code, we can scale these things much better.”

Those of you who have read my book Artificial Intelligence Newborn – It is 2025 , and I am Here! will see that AI seems to be progressing even faster than in my fiction novel. Perhaps the title should have been “It is 2020, and I am Here!

Update on Elliot Wave’s prediction that the S&P 500 will drop 41.6% this year from 1880 to 1100. I said that don’t believe it! The current S&P is 1880, flat since EW’s prediction early this year.


by wbrussee at February 06, 2016 09:53 PM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

Need 3 people to post craigs-list adds-$$ (encinitas)

Part time gig, roughly 2-3 hours a week. Nice little income. 760-840-711THREE

February 06, 2016 09:17 PM

inessential.com

Stop Watch

Some time last week my iPhone started prompting me frequently to re-enter my iCloud password. And then my Watch started doing the same, about once a minute — with a little tap on the wrist each time.

Obviously I did re-enter my password — and have done so a dozen or so times now — but it doesn’t seem to matter.

So I stopped wearing my Watch and have switched to a mid-sixties Hamilton that my Dad gave me. (He had gotten it as a high school graduation present.)

I’m no watch aficionado — but I do appreciate a good and attractive watch (which this is), and I appreciate even more an old watch that’s a family thing.

Here’s the thing, though: the Apple Watch contains a hundred miracles of engineering and design, surely, but serious problems with software and services can turn even the most incredible hardware into something you just sit on your desk and ignore.

February 06, 2016 09:05 PM

First Things First. Still.

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

Top Gig - Simple way To Earn Extra Income

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February 06, 2016 08:41 PM

RubyFlow

Free Jekyll Book - Docu Reformatted as a Single Page in Black 'n' White

Hello, The idea is simple: Let’s use the (official) great and fantastic Jekyll documentation and reformat it into a single-page black ‘n’ white book. Still early and a work-in-progess. See the auto-built book page using - of course - “plain” Jekyll w/ GitHub Pages.

February 06, 2016 08:15 PM

Boy Genius Report

List of most popular iPhone models might surprise you

Most Popular iPhone Models

For years, Apple remained steadfast in its position that smartphones with bigger screens were unwieldy and not user friendly. In fact, Apple in 2012 released an iPhone 5 commercial boasting that the device, on account of its 4-inch form factor, could be operated comfortably with one's thumb.

Continue reading...

by Yoni Heisler at February 06, 2016 08:13 PM

The Django community aggregator

Fresh Book for Developers Working with Django 1.8

This week the post office delivered a package that made me very satisfied. It was a box with three paper versions of my "Web Development with Django Cookbook - Second Edition". The book was published at the end of January after months of hard, but fulfilling work in the late evenings and on weekends.

The first Django Cookbook was dealing with Django 1.6. Unfortunately, the support for that version is over. So it made sense to write an update for a newer Django version. The second edition was adapted for Django 1.8 which has a long-term support until April 2018 or later. This edition introduces new features added to Django 1.7 and Django 1.8, such as database migrations, QuerySet expressions, or System Check Framework. Most concepts in this new book should also be working with Django 1.9.

My top 5 favourite new recipes are these:

  • Configuring settings for development, testing, staging, and production environments
  • Using database query expressions
  • Implementing a multilingual search with Haystack
  • Testing pages with Selenium
  • Releasing a reusable Django app

The book is worth reading for any Django developer, but will be best understood by those who already know the basics of web development with Django. You can learn more about the book and buy it at the Packt website or Amazon.

I thank the Packt Publishing very much for long cooperation in the development of this book. I am especially thankful to acquisition editor Nadeem N. Bagban, content development editors Arwa Manasawala and Sumeet Sawant, and technical editor Bharat Patil. Also I am grateful for insightful feedback from the reviewer Jake Kronika.

What 5 recipes do you find the most useful?

by DjangoTricks at February 06, 2016 08:04 PM

craigslist | computer gigs in san diego

Need someone to advertis for me (Vista)

I am looking for somebody who is computer savvy and knows how to advertise a business.

February 06, 2016 08:00 PM

Econbrowser

This Wisconsin Resident Feels Much Safer Now

From FoxNews6:

“Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign a bill that would allow people to carry concealed switchblades and knives.”

by Menzie Chinn at February 06, 2016 07:52 PM

First Things First. Still.

@dnsimple Do you have any #letsencrypt features planned?

@dnsimple Do you have any #letsencrypt features planned?

February 06, 2016 07:46 PM

Boy Genius Report

The reason why Uber’s new app icon is excruciatingly mediocre

Uber App Icon Design

Even though Uber is only about 6 years old at this point, the company last week rolled out a redesign for its entire brand. In doing so, Uber completely changed its highly recognizable icon into something that looks like it belongs on the front face of a credit card.

Continue reading...

by Yoni Heisler at February 06, 2016 07:30 PM

Planet Python

Filipe Saraiva: Cantor migrating to Phabricator: which tools our contributors must to use

Projects and software developed by KDE community are going to migrate for a new tool to manage our code, commits, reviews, tasks, and more. This tool is Phabricator and you can visit the instance for KDE projects in this address.

Since November 2015 we are migrating Cantor to Phabricator. After our first successful review code some days ago, I decided to write a post about which tools our contributors must to use while the migration process is not finished.

Project

Phabricator has an app to project management where we can to put some useful information and make coordination of tasks. The page for Cantor project is online and configured.

Other interesting feature is the possibility to join in a project or watch the activities of a project. If you have a KDE Identity, login in KDE Phabricator and follow us!

Workboard

KDE provides an application to manage tasks using a kanban board, the KDE TODO. Despite it is a nice tool, we never used that.

Projects app in Phabricator has an application to this same objective, Workboard. We are using it currently to track tasks of SoK student Fernando Telles. I intent to use it to manage the development of Cantor for each new release.

Tasks, bugs, wishes

The Phabricator app named Maniphest is the tool to create and track bugs, tasks and wishes (feature requests).

But in KDE we have a heavily customized Bugzilla, so for the moment there is not a decision about how to migrate our bugs reports tool.

Therefore, KDE Bugzilla is our bugs reports tool yet. However, I invite the contributors to use Maniphest to submit wishes of new features. We never used Bugzilla for this last objective, so there is no problem if we begin to use the new tool for it.

Repository

Like the most of KDE Projects, Cantor has their source code managed by git. Phabricator has an application named Diffusion to navigate and see a lot of data about a source code repository.

This application is configured for Cantor and it is available in this link.

Code review

The Phabricator app to code review is called Differential and it is available to Cantor as well.

However, there is not a decision about the migration and the shutdown of the current code review tool used by KDE, Reviewboard. Therefore our contributors can to use one or other tool (please, not both together!), but I strongly recommend to use Differential.

Wiki

Yes, Phabricator has an own application to wiki pages, named Phriction. Currently Cantor has a wiki page just in Userbase. We are not using wiki pages at the moment, so we will decide if Phriction will be our tool for wikis just at some point in the future.

Communication

Ok, Phabricator also has a tool for communication, Conpherence. However, Cantor contributors can continue to use our current communication tools provide by KDE Edu, the #kde-edu IRC channel at Freenode network and the KDE Edu mail list.

Despite I have some criticism about Phabricator (for instance, I don’t like the Application -> Project architecture; I prefer Project -> Application), it is a very nice tool for projects management and it has a lot of applications for specific tasks. In this text I listed several of them, but there are many others to be explored and evaluated.

I hope this post can help Cantor contributors about which tool must to be utilized for some task of the project. Maybe the text can to present some news to future Phabricator users and help KDE developers in the path of the migration.

The impact of Phabricator in KDE community is something to be analyzed in the future. This tool has a lot of applications and it can change the way how the KDE subprojects are organized. Let’s see what the future will say for us.

February 06, 2016 07:28 PM

Econbrowser

Mass Shooting Casualties Trending Up (Again)

massshoot1

Figure 1: 12 month moving average of mass shooting casualties; deaths (dark red), wounded (pink). Source: Mother Jones, GunViolenceArchive.org. for January 2016, and author’s calculations.

Update, 2/5 1:45PM Pacific: Title amended to address m4570d0n‘s pedantic comment.

Update, 2/6, 10:30AM Pacific: Reader joe argues per capita figures would be more intuitively accessible. Here is the relevant graph.

massshoot_pc

Figure 2: 12 month moving average of mass shooting casualties per million; deaths (dark red), wounded (pink). Source: Mother Jones, GunViolenceArchive.org. for January 2016, and author’s calculations.

Note: Mother Jones used a 4 death threshold for definition of mass shooting; I have used that criterion for tabulating January 2016 numbers.

by Menzie Chinn at February 06, 2016 07:27 PM

Andrew Tobias

Can You Spot The Flaw In Cruz’s Logic?

TRUMP

‘Nuff said.  But two tidbits anyway.

A Book Review . . . Gary Belis panned The Art of the Deal way back in 1988:

. . . everything you always suspected about the makeup of Donald Trump: the pomposity, the shallowness and above all, the need for more money, more toys and more attention.

Which prompted the Donald to write Fortune suggesting Gary be fired for writing “the single worst review of a book in publishing history.”

A Cartoon . . . Tom Tomorrow’s “Earther.”

(See also, if you have time, from the current Vanity Fair: Buying an election is not as easy as it sounds.  It seems Trump horrifies the Koch brothers, too.)

RUBIO

Did you see his Iowa victory speech?  Marco thanked his lord and savior Jesus Christ for his third place finish and orated, with polished gravitas:

Each generation before us sacrificed . . . and for over two centuries, each generation has left the next better off than themselves.  Now the time has come for us to do the same.  Now the moment has arrived for this generation of Americans to rise up to the calling of our heritage.   Now the time has come for us to take our place and do what we must. And when I’m elected president of these great united states, we will do our part.  We will accept further tax cuts.

That last sentence I just threw in myself, because really, what sacrifice do Rubio and his fellow Republicans have in mind to make for future generations?  Not addressing climate change?  Not levying the taxes needed to revitalize our crumbling infrastructure?

Rubio’s call to sacrifice sounded Kennedyesque — “ask not,” and all that — but I knew Jack Kennedy, Senator.  Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine.  And although that’s not actually true — I didn’t and he wasn’t (I was 16 in 1963) — Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.

CRUZ

And neither is Ted Cruz.  Here he is channeling Jack Kennedy — literally trying to do his voice — and, with it, the Kennedy family’s reaction.  (They are appalled.)

And here he is Tuesday at a New Hampshire town hall.

I found myself wondering how many in his audience would see the up-is-down flaws in his argument.

At the 2012 Republican Convention, he said, he spoke of how our National Debt had reached $16 trillion — up from just $10 trillion when one of his daughters was born.

And afterwards I went back to my hotel room and began looking at Twitter (that was before Donald was tweeting about me everyday) and Paula Poundstone, the comedian, had apparently been watching that night.  I guess she didn’t have anything better to do.  She tweeted, “He said when his daughter was born the National Debt was $10 trillion. Now it’s $16 trillion. What the heck did she do?”

The town hall laughed, and Ted went on to say that “just last week the National Debt crossed $19 trillion.  In her short life — she’s seven — from ten to nineteen trillion.  It is wrong. It is immoral.  No generation in American history has ever done this to the next generation.  And if we don’t stop it, young people are gonna spend their entire lives simply working to pay off the debts of their deadbeat parents and grandparents.”

Powerful, no?

(Leave aside that the Debt was ramped up from 30% of GDP to 122% — quite sensibly — to confront the Depression and win World War II.  So, yes, it sort of does have precedent, and by the generation widely known and revered, actually, as “the greatest generation.”)

And then he evoked “a movement of people furious with government of both parties … who got in bed with lobbyists and special interests and grow and grow and grow government.”

“So what was the last time we broke the Washington cartel?” he asked the crowd.

No one was quite sure, so after a pause, he told them: 1980.  Ronald Reagan.  “And I’ll tell you, the Granite State played a critical role in making that happen.”  Giving Reagan their votes.

So if New Hampshire votes for Cruz, maybe, finally, he implied, we’ll get another Reagan who can keep from burdening future generations with immoral debt.

Except of course it is Reagan, specifically, who sent our National Debt into orbit.

Under $1 trillion when he took office — two centuries of accumulated borrowing — the Debt then represented just 30% of GDP.  In 12 years of Reagan/Bush, he quadrupled it, to $4 trillion . . . then Clinton handed Bush 43 a surplus . . . but Bush 43 got the Debt growing again and handed Obama economic collapse and a $1.5 trillion deficit.

So basically, Reagan — by massively cutting taxes for the wealthy, which Bush 43 compounded — set our Debt to growing faster than the economy, putting it on a trajectory to grow from 30% of GDP to 100% or so, where it is today.

Only the Democrats — first Clinton and now Obama — turned that around.

(Yes, we still have a deficit, so the Debt is still growing.  But so did it grow in virtually every year from 1946 to 1980 also.  But because the economy was growing faster, the debt in proportion to the economy as a whole shrunk back down from 122% to 30%.  Until Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.   That’s when we started borrowing from future generations and began a decades long shift of wealth to the top tenth of one percent.)

It’s okay for the Debt to grow, so long as it’s generally growing slower than the economy as a whole.

Which under Reagan and Bush it did not.  But which under Clinton and now Obama, once they had time for their policies to take hold, it did and now again is.

If the National Debt grew half a trillion a year for the next 100 years — while the economy grew at 4% a year (half real growth, half inflation) — it would reach $69 trillion a century from now!  Ted Cruz could have a field day alarming people with that.

Yet $69 trillion would represent only 7% or so of what would by then be a $960 trillion GDP.

Like a $28,000 mortgage on a $400,000 house — not alarming or immoral at all, actually.

What’s immoral is to borrow from future generations to slash taxes on the super wealthy.*

What’s immoral is to borrow trillions from future generations to invade and occupy Iraq.**

What’s immoral is to not borrow to put people to work revitalizing our kids’ crumbling infrastructure.

But up is down these days in the Republican Party.

You’re sick to death of my quoting Mitch McConnell — “by any standard Barack Obama has been a disaster for our country.”  But here is a more recent example — Jennifer Horn, chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, on TV Thursday night: “Americans are justifiably angry and frustrated after seven years living under, in my opinion, the most failed administration of my lifetime.

Really?  More failed than, say, George W. Bush’s?

Can she really believe this with gas at $2 and unemployment at 4.9%?  Has she noticed how much more dead Bin Laden is under Obama than he was under Bush?  How many fewer trillions — and lives — it cost us to get rid of Iran’s weapons-grade uranium than to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction a single-source code-named “Curveball” told us Iraq had?  Has she noticed how well Detroit is doing?  How much more affordable heating oil is?  How much better millions of LGBT lives are — at zero cost to their straight brothers and sisters?  Does she not think the hard-negotiated TPP is a major accomplishment (even if she doesn’t appreciate the importance of the climate change accords)?

Really, Jennifer?  Really, Mitch?  Really, Ted?  Really, Marco?  Really, Donald?  Really Fox?  Really Rush?

Rubio and Cruz speak really well and the Donald does good stand-up — “hey, folks; how ya doin’ tonight?!” — but Politifact notes that most of Trump’s statements are untrue.  As are Rubio‘s and Cruz‘s.

Does that matter at all?




Great weekend watching:  Thursday’s Clinton-Sanders debate.  And set your TiVo for the next one, February 11 on PBS and CNN.

*The 90% and 70% top rates of Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, and Carter were counter-productively high but Reagan / Bush 43 overshot in the other direction.
**Wars are traditionally paid for by raising taxes, not cutting them.

 

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by A.T. at February 06, 2016 07:24 PM

Paul Krugman

Electability

I'm not a political scientist, man, but I do read them.

by By Paul Krugman at February 06, 2016 06:58 PM

Econbrowser

Manufacturing Sector Resilience…So Far

The employment release (see also [Duy/Economists View]) provided some interesting insights into how manufacturing has fared, in the wake of the appreciation of the dollar (and the slowdown in the world economy).

In particular, manufacturing employment growth registered at the high end of the range experienced over the past year, as noted by Furman/CEA.

mfgsector

Figure 1: Log industrial production in manufacturing (blue), employment (red) and aggregate hours (green), all normalized to 2014M07=0. Source: FRB and BLS via FRED, and author’s calculations.

Note that while employment is above the most recent peak, aggregate hours is not. Furthermore, the dollar has appreciated on a broad basis by 17.7% (log terms) since 2014M07, and the lagged effects are yet to fully appear.

dollar13_16

Figure 2: Log trade weighted value of USD, broad basket of currencies, 1973M03=0. Source. FRB, author’s calculations.

Hence, the question in my mind is how long this seeming resilience (keeping in mind all recent data entries will be revised) will persist; the ISM PMI continues to signal manufacturing contraction [1]. Maybe a Plaza Accord II, if effective, wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Absent that, further deferral of monetary tightening makes (a lot of) sense.

by Menzie Chinn at February 06, 2016 06:54 PM

Rajan Parrikar's Photo Blog

Azulejos de Alfama

Note: To see full-size images in this post, please view the original post by clicking here.

Old town Lisboa.

Janelas (windows) and Azulejos seen on an afternoon stroll through Alfama, the oldest quarter in Lisboa, Portugal.

In Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

Pensive
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
In Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

Azulejos de Alfama
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
In Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

Janelas e Azulejos
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
In Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

Three of a kind
5D Mark III, 24-105L

 
 

by Rajan Parrikar at February 06, 2016 06:53 PM

ongoing

Low-light Phone cam

Regular readers will know that I have a thing about low-light photography. My new photo-toy is the Nexus 5X and I’ve the urge to push it further into the dark than it really wants to go.

Southbound approach to the Cambie Bridge

Yes, the wide-angle is bending the building a bit; but it’s getting help from the architect. #Bike2WorkPix. 1/35sec at ISO 725.

I remember, all those years ago, when the original Nikon D3 came out, the first digital camera that could see just as well as you in the dark. They more or less all can, these days.

East False Creek

That’s a little corner of the mighty Pacific.
#Bike2WorkPix, 1/19 sec at ISO 1318.

So, while I still like the shades and textures of dusk and winter, there’s less challenge to it, with a real camera.

West Georgia Street

Vancouver downtown, no HDR! 1/25sec, ISO 452.

Ah, but the Nexus; it can’t go even as far as ISO1600 and it’s not among the select few handsets with optical image stabilization. The lens is said to be F2, which isn’t terrible. So it’s about striving for a steady hand or, better, finding something to brace against or, best, good luck

Community Heating

It’s both a community thermal project and an art piece. #Bike2WorkPix 1/25sec at ISO 970.

But at the end of the day — which is when low-light pix happen — it’s really mostly about finding things that deserve pointing the phone at.

Night train flip phone

The long slow night train from Seattle to Vancouver; this dude had an old-school flip-phone but it supported an active social life, via SMS I imagine. I love this picture. 1/25sec, ISO 1058.

February 06, 2016 06:33 PM

Columnists: tavleensingh

No longer sure Modi’s idea of governance is different to those who ruined India with 5-year plans

If Modi continues to adopt policies reminiscent of Indira Gandhi’s ‘ghareebi hatao’ days, he will end up betraying the mandate he was given.

February 06, 2016 06:31 PM

AllFinancialMatters

An Apples-to-Apples Comparison of Obama and Bush

So, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9% for January. Obama supporters are in full gloat mode. Who can blame them? We haven’t seen an unemployment rate this low since February 2008.

There’s just one problem…

What often goes unreported is the labor participation rate. It’s been declining (actually, it’s been slightly increasing the last few months but is still well below what it was when Bush was in office). As of yesterday, the labor participation rate, which according the BLS is, “the percentage of the population that is either employed or unemployed (that is, either working or actively seeking work).” What does that mean exactly?

Well, let’s say we have a town of 1,000 people. Let’s say that 350 people in the town aren’t working because they are either retired or are stay-at-home parents. That means the town’s labor force is 650 people. The math looks like this:

1,000 population – 350 people who aren’t in the labor force = 650 people in the labor force

Now let’s say of the 650 people in the labor force, 600 have jobs. That means 50 of them are unemployed. Our unemployment rate would be 7.7%:

50 unemployed ÷ 650 labor force = 7.7% unemployment rate

Now let’s say six months pass and the only change is that 20 of the previously unemployed people either decided to officially retire or simply decided they no longer needed a job. The labor force would drop to 630 people. If the number of employed people stayed the same at 600, the number of unemployed would drop to 30. The new unemployment rate would be 4.8%:

30 unemployed ÷ 630 labor force = 4.8% unemployment rate

Nothing really changed except how the people were counted. Now keep that in mind as we look at the following table I put together using numbers from the BLS. I dug up the employment numbers for January 2009 (Bush’s last month in office) and plugged them into a spreadsheet along with yesterday’s employment numbers. Then I adjusted the numbers to reflect the difference in the labor participation rate. What I found was interesting.

Comparing Obama with Bush

Basically, what we can take from the above graphic is this:

The only difference between President Obama’s numbers and President Bush’s numbers is the change in the labor participation rate.

by JLP at February 06, 2016 06:30 PM

Sr Bachchan

DAY 2867

O&O, IO middle               Feb  6,  2016             Sat 11:00 pm




The hat ..

The hat that measured the head, the brain, the universe .. the brahmaand ..

That protects that covers that shadows the forces of weather ; breezy or cold or wet or with sun .. is the metaphorical dignity of man .. loose it and you have lost your mind and dignity and your universe .. wearing one, signifies an identity, a reference, a culture, a region .. and its protection .. keeping it in measure, guides us away from egotistic hemorrhage and its subsequent effects ..

In rural regions it is the mark of greatest respect and dignity to have the ‘pagdi’ on .. its the ultimate symbol of pride and possession .. it is leadership, it is respect, it is everything that signifies self esteem and honour .. removing it is the ultimate symbol of eating one’s own pride and allowing it to be devoured by the rest ..

In the most poignant and lamentable occurrences, in some rural areas when the Father of the bride is unable to provide the required ‘dowry’ for the groom - a detestable, horrid and reprehensible practice - he removes his ‘pagdi’ and places it at the feet of the grooms Father .. a most demeaning and mortifying moment for the Father .. but the only factor that can bring his daughter in marriage to the family of the groom .. !!

 I do detest … abhor, hate, loathe, despise, abominate, execrate, regard with disgust, feel disgust, feel repugnance, feel distaste, shrink and recoil from such .. feel animosity, find it intolerable, with utter dislike and disdain and have an aversion to this archaic and unacceptable practice !!  

Yet despite it now being a law against, there is an existence of it .. clandestinely, surreptitiously, illegally ..

It was never accepted or even thought of, when I asked for Jaya’s hand .. it was never asked for, or even thought of when my brother married .. I never succumbed to it and neither did my in-laws, when Shweta married, or when Aishwarya came into our family .. and I do know that it shall never occur when Navya Naveli and Aaradhya shall leave our homes to build another ..

A daughter is Laxmi, Durga, Saraswati, … and many avatars of the Almighty .. they need to be protected and praised and educated and given pride of place with equality .. and those that defile and defame them are ‘rakshas’ of society and humanity .. they need to be eliminated !!!

Amitabh Bachchan

February 06, 2016 06:17 PM

NYT > Your Money

Strategies: Vanguard, a Champion of Low Fees, Faces a Peculiar Tax Challenge

A whistle-blower claims that the mutual fund group, which is ultimately owned by investors in its funds, should have to account for profits it could have earned if it had charged higher fees.









by JEFF SOMMER at February 06, 2016 05:55 PM

RubyFlow

Display the weather information

Just finished the gem display the weather information. You guys can try at https://github.com/vinhnglx/weer.

February 06, 2016 05:52 PM

Planet Android

The Misfortunate Pixel C: A Gigantically Insufficient Leap for Android Tablets

Apollo11

There is one particular device that disappointed me greatly last year, an Android product that promised to fulfill a void in the ecosystem, but that mightily failed to do so — and in great part it failed because it was an Android product.

The Pixel C was set to be the tablet that would bring productivity into the Android tablet landscape, a segment where Google’s hold is in dire need of saving. Ultimately, the dated and forsaken nature of Android tablets became its demise, with many condemning reviews calling out Google’s inability to live up to its own vision, once more. The Pixel C could have been a triumphant return for the Android tablet, but instead, it brought a sub-par experience that in turn brought out the worst flaws in Android tablets and put them on the spotlight.

The Pixel C is a giant leap for Android tablets, but a comparatively small step for tabletkind

As a student and editor-on-the-go, I was truly looking forward to the Pixel C. The promise of a compact tablet with a good keyboard and just the right amount of services for what I wanted was enticing. At the same time, many of us were expecting Google to do something more with the software:

Rumors of a Chrome OS merge were roaming about, some people were anxiously awaiting a multi-window implementation at long last, but I personally wanted a re-designed user interface and the foundations for better tablet software the most. Alas, all we got were minor changes to few things such as the navigation bar.

I haven’t bought a Pixel C, and I haven’t even seen one either — saying this was set to become a popular device would be silly, anyway. What I do see is plenty of its competitors, in every place and from every facet of life. Students, teachers, coffee shop goers, businessmen in suits… I’ve been seeing plenty of iPads and Surface tablets, but no Pixel C’s. The price alone is, in my opinion, one of the biggest deferments. With the current $499 pricetag, the Pixel C simply cannot justify the impairments it imbues upon the user’s experience and productivity. Why is the Pixel C such a bad deal?

Behind the Times

The Pixel C is a giant leap for Android tablets, but a comparatively small step for tabletkind. Whereas Google had a very rapid evolution with Android on phones and outpaced its competitors, in the span of a few years both Microsoft and Apple have managed to double down on their tablet efforts and cement themselves supreme in said space. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have considered a tablet; I was part of the camp that said they were an useless inbetweener, a bigger screen for the same use-cases my phone provides, minus the power of a laptop. But the tablet and the portable computer are, in many ways, merging. We saw the onset of this trend in 2015 with Microsoft perfecting the detachable tablet in the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 4, Apple entering the market with the iPad Pro, and the Pixel C awkwardly trying to compete.

Screenshot 2016-02-06 11.36.21

There is certainly one thing the Pixel C does best.

This isn’t to say the Pixel is not better than these other devices for some people, particularly Android lovers who simply want an ultra-powerful tablet with a nice keyboard to boot. But the sad reality is that, when measuring most individual aspects and the overarching sum, the Pixel C is not a device you can recommend to the target demographic it was allegedly aiming for. For an Android tablet, the specs are top notch, best in class. But even the affordable Surface 3, coming in at around $400 with Windows 10 at the moment of this writing, outpace it in virtually every metric but screen resolution. That and the sheer versatility Surface tablets offer put the Pixel C behind in terms of options, flexibility, and value.

Funnily enough, the Surface can be a better Android tablet than Google’s own flagship, thanks to Remix OS.

I say this because Surface can run not just a couple of Windows versions, but also Linux,  and Hackintosh software. It can even run Remix OS, the kind of tablet software that Android should offer by now. And it does this by providing an hardly-debatable superior bang-per-buck, with specification bumps to please many demographics as well.

Android Couldn’t Have Saved it

If you have followed our XDA podcast, or read some of my opinion pieces on Google’s late 2015 repertoire, you might have caught glimpses of my huge hype for the Pixel C. I instantly (and perhaps naively) fell in love with the idea and design, and funnily enough, I now realise that the thing that made me want it so much is actually much of what holds it back — Android. I wanted a small device to fit in my college bag, one that I could use to write and edit articles on the go, and perhaps use it for classes as well. I didn’t really ask for much out of such a device, and the specifications of the Pixel C looked good enough for the job. It was not until I saw the price and the stagnation of its software that I decided there was no way I’d get one.

But surprisingly enough, I now realise that even if it had a better Android, or chrome OS (as it should have had), or a brilliant mix between two for that matter, it still wouldn’t be nearly enough to out-value some of its competition. For all the bad things I have to say about Apple and Microsoft, their tablet offerings are of very high quality, and Google’s tablet could beat the iPad Pro in particular if it had the things mentioned above… but not Microsoft’s Surface offerings, at least not for the productivity-oriented consumer. After spending quite some time with a Surface Pro 3 I realise that the value it offers a STEM student is immense. I can carry it like a notebook, use a plethora of amazing applications side by side, as well as easily do my homework on it (online math assignment platforms are particularly clunky on Android), take notes, and everything I could ever need to do or compute outside of home.

There is better value out there than what the Pixel C could have offered

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Google recognizes the failure that the Pixel C was. The Pixel C as it stands today is a far shot from what Android needed in order to stand up against both Apple and Microsoft in the pursue of a highly-relevant segment of the tablet market, perhaps the only relevant aspect of said market that remains. Do consider that despite tablet sales volumes going down year after year, Microsoft and Apple are putting out highly-advanced tablets, with the Surface in particular amassing Microsoft a very healthy revenue. With both companies trying to expand their hold on education and enterprise through computers and multi-use devices., Google’s chromebook and Android efforts arguably fall behind in scope and ambition.

tablet

There are things the Pixel C just can’t do.

And this is something I feel is key. If you go to an Apple or Microsoft store, or look at their advertisements, you’ll see that they know precisely who their products are aimed at. Artists and designers, students of both soft and hard sciences, businessmen… all represented in the promotional images and videos, each styled to the specific groups of people that would buy either brand. The Pixel C received much less than that, and the little exposure it got was completely unfocused. As hyped as I was for this tablet, and as foolishly excited I was for a chance for Google to rekindle their OS on tablets, I now realise that there is much better value out there than what Google could have offered.

Remix OS, and now Phoenix OS, have actually realised that this void exists, and set out to tackle it themselves, just like Andromium did before Microsoft Continuum became a thing. Google, on the other hand, has been too slow to act on not just the intuitively natural evolution of the OS (i.e. things such as multi-window) but actively delayed the insanely vocal cries of its most loyal enthusiasts. It’s hard to argue in favor of Android on tablets today, but it was just as hard a year ago, and nearly as hard two years ago as well. The Nexus 9 faced plenty of the same criticism the Pixel C deserves today, and the Nexus 10 received similar criticism that Android tablets today face, over 3 years ago, and for a good reason, Android has not improved its tablet experience one significant bit.

Time to Move Forward

I think the Android N release will be crucial for the future of Android computing, and tangentially, the future of Android in schools and businesses.This importance isn’t just due to Android M providing a lackluster tablet and laptop experience but because 2016, a year to be marked by the downfall of the single use tablet, is a year that is also slated to see growth in the detachable tablet space. This is the only segment of the tablet market set to grow in 2016, and Google has found itself caught with its pants around its ankles.

Screenshot 2016-02-06 11.39.40

The Pixel C is, in my opinion, unreasonably expensive at its current price — especially considering Microsoft’s offerings, which are superior in hardware and in functionality (if you are willing to use Windows). It is a powerful Android tablet, but not the most powerful tablet, and it can’t even execute the use-cases it set out to achieve properly — certainly not with an ecosystem of phone-focused apps that sometimes don’t even support landscape mode. Even if the Pixel C resembled the Chromebook Pixel in its OS, it still wouldn’t offer the value and functionality needed to battle it out with the giants. Don’t get me wrong, Chromebooks are lovely, but Chrome is not enough.

There is hope, though: as we reported earlier this week, there are good reasons to speculate that Android N will include expanded stylus support, and multi-windows is essentially guaranteed to come as well. Considering the Pixel C’s failure and the catching up Google needs to do, this is a no-brainer addition Google must add if it plans on setting foot on the productive-tablet sub-segment, and a suggestion that we might finally see a proper tablet OS from Mountain View. Until then, though, the Pixel C remains a great Android tablet, but only as a monument to how much the tablet OS has stagnated. And unless Google gets it just right and finds the proper niche, it’s hard to see them out-valuing Microsoft and many of the similar offerings coming from OEMs in 2016 and beyond.

Hopefully Remix or Phoenix will bring their efforts to the Pixel C and, at the very least, breathe some life into it, life that it should have had from the get-go. Please don’t fail us again, Google; I’d love to carry an Android tablet with me every day, but at the moment that’d be too unproductive.

Credit to ArsTechnica for Pixel Fridge image.

by Mario Tomás Serrafero at February 06, 2016 05:52 PM

Boy Genius Report

iPhone 5se rumored to launch with pink color option, along with Silver and Space Grey

iPhone 5se Rumors

A pair of reliable sources have pegged March 15 as the date when Apple will introduce a trio of new products, including an iPhone 5se, an iPad Air 3, and a subtly enhanced version of the Apple Watch.

As the date steadily approaches, more details surrounding the iPhone 5se have continued to roll in. The most recent report, sourced from the Japanese site Mac Otakara, relays that the iPhone 5se will come in a trio of colors, including Silver, Space Gray, and interestingly enough, some form of pink hue.

Continue reading...

by Yoni Heisler at February 06, 2016 05:45 PM

My Site My Way Support | Recent Topics

princessslattie on "RSS FEED ACTIVATION FOR AWAKE THEME ON WORDPRESS"

Please help....How do I activate or purchase and install the rss feed for subscriptions for my blog using my awake theme (wordpress)? I would like for people to be able to subscribe to our blog.

Thank you CB
ps i don't see the answer in the support forum section
PSS I would also like to track blog traffic

by princessslattie at February 06, 2016 05:39 PM

The Big Picture

All MiB now on iTunes !

Yay!

We managed to fix the glitch! As you can see below, all 76 of the past Masters in Business podcasts have been returned to their rightful place on iTunes.

I cannot promise you this won’t happen again. Do both of us a favor and go DOWNLOAD ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW. They are 50-100mb each, don’t take up much room, and they are free.

We have some awesome guests tee’d up for the next few months, too.
click for Apple iTunes
MiB iTunes

 

 

The post All MiB now on iTunes ! appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Barry Ritholtz at February 06, 2016 05:37 PM