Saturday, November 30, 2013


Friday, November 29, 2013

GREAT MOMENTS IN MILITARY SECURITY: “Today I found out that during the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.”

Yeah, it was 00000000. To make things worse: “Oh, and in case you actually did forget the code, it was handily written down on a checklist handed out to the soldiers”

BUT NO, YOU CAN BE SURE that your private data will be safe with the government and never used against you: “A Toronto woman was denied entry to the United States when a U.S. border agent somehow knew about her confidential medical details.”

I BLAME THE JOOOOOOOOOS: Seven killed as earthquake shakes Iran nuclear reactor.

OH, FOR CHRISSAKES: Media feasting on Bush ‘fake’ turkey claim; false story still repeated 10 years on.

DO YOU USUALLY WEAR a Che Guevara t-shirt or know someone who does? How about completing it with one of his lovely quotes?

1) “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates. Instead, they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service.”

2) “Youth should learn to think and act as a mass. It is criminal to think as individuals!”

3) “The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!”

4) “We must do away with all newspapers. A revolution cannot be accomplished with freedom of the press.”

5) “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”

6) “Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him a violent and cold-blooded killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus.”

7) “The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have conserved their racial purity by a lack of affinity with washing, have seen their patch invaded by a different kind of slave: The Portugese.”

8) “The black is indolent and fanciful, he spends his money on frivolity and drink; the European comes from a tradition of working and saving which follows him to this corner of America and drives him to get ahead.”

9) “I fired a .32 caliber bullet into the right hemisphere of his brain which came out through his left temple. He moaned for a few moments, then died.”

10) “I’d like to confess, Papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing.”



'CAUSE IT'S ICKY? “The 1 Reason You Should Re-Think Eating Your Placenta

CAN YOU GET one of those on Black Friday? The 5 Baddest Biz Jets.

WHAT INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL was like in the 1930s.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

OPEN LETTERS Open New Debate in Social Media Age. They link to a McSweeney's collection of “Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond” which is downright hilarious.

20 THINGS we should say more often.

THIS IS What A Trillion Dollars Looks Like: “The U.S. national debt is now over 17 trillion dollars. The animation above puts into perspective how truly inconceivable 1 trillion dollars is.”

SHOCKER: Iran says to continue building at Arak nuclear site despite deal.

6 MYTHS about drone warfare you probably believe.

FRANKLIN FOER at The New Republic: Obamacare's Threat to Liberalism.

You bet it is.


(if the image reminds you of something, you're right)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

JFK WAS AN ICON, but was he a good president?

SCARY: Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future.

MR, J, EDGAR HOOVER, IS THAT YOU? Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit 'Radicalizers'

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

OUR GRANDKIDS WILL FLIP OUT at us getting organs from cadavers for transplants, instead of creating them: “A team of cardiovascular scientists has announced it will be able to 3D print a whole heart from the recipients' own cells within a decade.”

BUT — YOU REALLY NEEDED A STUDY TO KNOW THAT? Study: Men With Attractive Wives More Satisfied In Marriage.

Who would've thought, eh?


A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates a dramatic turnaround in the battle for control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.

Democrats a month ago held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

That result came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

But the Democratic lead has disappeared. A new CNN/ORC poll indicates the GOP now holds a 49%-47% edge.

The new survey was conducted last week and released Tuesday.

The 10-point swing follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of and controversy over insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

The turnaround in the CNN/ORC poll follows similar shifts in recent national surveys from Quinnipiac University and Fox News.

IS IT JUST ME, or this is profoundly stupid under the impression of being clever:

Anne Sweeney might be one of the most powerful people in television -- overseeing ABC TV, ABC Studios, and Disney Channels Worldwide. But when it comes to predicting trends, her two children have always been ahead of the pack.

"I've always said, if you want to know what the future is, ask a nine-year-old because they're just so adept," said the 56-year-old, who Forbes named the 24th most powerful woman in the world.

"What they taught me was to be less parochial, less conventional, to be more daring. They were so free to experiment with technology. I remember my son putting a piece of liquorice into the VCR and not understanding why he couldn't see it on the television set."

And that's how she reached the conclusion that they have to be less conventional, more daring? Sheesh. Kids sometimes try putting their fingers on the wall electric socket, does that mean Pacific Gas & Electric needs to me more daring, more creative? Don't kids do things because they're, well, kids?

What the hell. If I were the Disney CEO, I'd fire her on a snap. She's dangerous: she can take the company into new directions that have nothing to do with reality.


Monday, November 25, 2013


DIDN'T SEE THAT COMIN': Haaretz in 1932: Hitler makes better impression than expected

Sunday, November 24, 2013

THE 26 COOLEST CARS At The Los Angeles Auto Show [PHOTOS]

WALL STREETERS Are Starting To Pass Around This Chart Showing The Market On The Cusp Of A Big Crash.

Have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I regularly get asked, often by soi disant journalists online, if I have “evidence” that Edward Snowden is under Kremlin control. To me – or to anyone familiar with counterintelligence or Russia, or both – that question is a sign of something resembling stupidity. Let’s be honest: if you don’t think that Ed’s under the control of Russian security services after he’s spent five months in Putin’s republic, you’re pretty clueless about how that place works, perhaps willfully. That’s five months during which media have never – not once – been allowed near Ed without a significant junket of bulky-looking guys around him. I’ve been saying from the moment Snowden landed at Moscow that Russian intelligence is part of the picture [1], and that clearly bothers some people a great deal.

There’s a good piece by Al Jazeera [2] out now that looks this issue squarely in the eye. It kicks off by stating what all intelligence agencies know, as I’ve previously reported [3], that Snowden “remains under Russian security services’ protection.” The piece has lots of good insights, and I want to applaud AJ for looking into this issue in a way that most Western media outlets seem reluctant to do. It quotes Yuri Felshtinsky, a Russian journalist who’s been a thorn in the FSB’s side for years: “The irony is that Snowden, who was fighting for freedom of information, actually became a major tool in hiding this information. He is going to keep quiet now about what he knows and about what he told to the FSB.”

Of course, Westerners – some of them Useful Idiots – will pretend that Putin’s security services have nothing to do with Snowden, because that’s what Planet Greenwald and Wikileaks have told them. With straight faces. The truth is another matter. If you wish to persist in believing that Snowden has nothing to do with Russian intelligence, you will need to accept an extraordinary number of, shall we say, coincidences.

Counterintelligence officers are famous for saying there are no coincidences. That’s not true, they sometimes happen. But the Official Narrative of Edward Snowden – that he is a pure-hearted whistleblower who just wanted to help the cause of freedom yet somehow wound up in Moscow through no agency of his own, where he now lives freely without any Kremlin interference – requires you to swallow a whole list of coincidences that, to anyone remotely familiar with intelligence (or even the world as it actually exists), is daunting. I’ll mention a few, I won’t pretend this is a comprehensive list; add more in the comments if you have them.

Keep reading. (the al-Jazeera piece he refers to is this)

Friday, November 22, 2013


The world is full of people who do not understand economics. That’s not a sin or a crime. The world is full also of lots of people who do not understand ancient Greek texts, matrix algebra, the consequences of the Peace of Westphalia, and how to make authentic cajun gumbo. But as one of my brilliant colleagues, Bryan Caplan, points out with special clarity, most people who do not understand these latter things do not fancy that they understand these latter things. The typical person ignorant of any mathematics beyond basic arithmetic doesn’t go about in public pretending to be expert in matrix algebra.

Economics is different. People who have no exposure to the economic way of thinking typically think that they understand sufficiently the logic of markets to comment critically upon real-world market processes. As frustrating as this reality is – with its incessant outpouring of wrongheaded diagnoses and demands for this or that government intervention – it’s a reality that ain’t gonna go away.

Even more annoying than economically uninformed people making unfounded economic assertions are people who have a smidgen of exposure to economic jargon or economic models but inadequate knowledge and wisdom to apply that jargon and those models helpfully to reality. Steve Landsburg has found such a person.

There's another are where nobody admits being lousy: driving. Have you even heard anyone saying 'I can't drive'? But yeah, I digress.

TAKE NOTE, HONEY: “Women With Bad Tempers Are More Likely to End Up Divorced”. Just sayin'. (Alternative comment: “Duh”)

I'M ALL FOR allowing people to make voice calls on their cellphones during flights — as long as the designated place to yak away is sitting on any of the plane's wings. I don't care if it's the left or the right one, or both, as long as it's outside.

Otherwise it'll be something else to endure beyong the usual nightmare of flying nowadays…

SO NOW INTENT IS PUNISHABLE? Driver Arrested in Ohio for Secret Car Compartment Full of Nothing.

CLEVER IDEA AND PROMOTION: Google Maps, well, maps Tolkien's Middle-earth. “Google and Warner Bros. Pictures have collaborated on a 'Chrome Experiment' that maps out author J.R.R. Tolkien‘s fantasy world in advance of the Dec. 13 release of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.'”

ADAM NAJBERG: How I Made My First Million in Grand Theft Auto V.

GOOGLE'S ERIC SCHMIDT: 'The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything'

Unless you guys hand the keys to the NSA, no?

FT'S MARTIN WOLF on the depth of an independent Scotland’s fiscal hole.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

WELCOME TO THE 21st CENTURY: The space station is now fully armed and operational with a cannon.

AN INTERESTING EXPLANATION by Clay Shirky of why failed. I think there's much more than that, but it's a good read anyway.

THAT'S WHERE OUR TAXES GO: EU directs 20% of budget to climate change. That's almost $250 bilion dollars over the next seven years, three times the current amount — which wasn't peanuts in the first place.

And that's precisely when leading IPCC authors alert about spreading climate alarmism, or are outright saying they now realize that it's a smaller problem than they thought.

About time. After all they made us do. Can we sue?

YOU GOT TO GIVE THE DUTCH CREDIT for being creative, and I say this without a hint of irony: the city of Amsterdam hires alcoholics to clean the streets and pays them... with beer:

For a day's work, the men receive 10 euros (around $13), a half-packet of rolling tobacco and, most importantly, five cans of beer: two to start the day, two at lunch and one for after work.

"This group of chronic alcoholics was causing a nuisance in Amsterdam's Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women," said Gerrie Holterman, who heads the Rainbow Foundation project, financed by the Dutch state and donations.

"The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park," she told AFP.

I don't know about you, but it makes perfect sense to me.

I HOPE OBAMA doesn't use this argument: Obama Down But Congress Is Down Further — Poll.

FLYING CARS Like Smartphones? Terrafugia Explains.

I'm still not sold on the flying car concept: it's cool in theory, yeah, but if people are lousy drivers on 2D, they'll be worse in 3D, not only having to pay attention to what happens on left, right, front, and back, but what happens above and below too... And wait until a small fender bender sends debris falling down onto pedestrians' heads. Lotsa fun.

There's a reason why flying, even by heavily trained people, is extremelly controlled by, well, air traffic controllers...

IT WAS AS CERTAIN TO HAPPEN AS DAY FOLLOWS NIGHT: Jean-Claude Van Damme Volvo Ad Spawns Parodies.

WHY SELF-BRANDING Isn’t For Everyone.

MELROJI PLACE: that is, Melrose Place with emoji captions. The page is in Spanish, but not the videos so go watch it; it's pretty brilliant.

JPMORGAN CHASE'S $13b agreement with the Justice Department — less than meets the eye?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AL-QAEDA IN KENTUCKY? US May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees.

Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky -- who later admitted in court that they'd attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists' fingerprints.

"We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that," FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline".

"I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more than that," said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. "And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me."

You don't say…

ON FAST COMPANY: The Art Of Doing Everything: Our complete guide to maximizing your productivity in an increasingly distracting world.

EVEN A NON-DEVELOPER LIKE ME can appreciate this as brilliant: 27 Things Only Developers Will Find Funny.

IT HAD TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER: How to Learn Spanish Using Cat Photos.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DOES THAT REALLY SURPRISE YOU? Cheating students more likely to want government jobs, study finds.


Michael Mandel, an economist at the Progressive Policy Institute, compares many regulations to “pebbles in a stream.” Individually, they may not have a big impact. But if there are too many pebbles, a river’s flow can be thwarted. Similarly, too many regulations can limit business activity. When the number of rules mounts, it can become hard for a business to know whether it is operating within the law’s confines. The issue is all the more problematic when federal, state and local constraints all apply.

TRUE, though some of them seem a bit overrated: 13 Skills Your Grandparents Had That You Don't.

NOT JUST THE PENTAGON: Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

10 SURPRISING SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS That Will Make You Rethink Your Social Strategy.

BRILLIANT Sesame Street spoof of The Hunger Games:



It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

SORRY FOR THE INTRUSION, but I have to write a personal note: David Román, in case you're reading this, please check your spam folder because my reply might have landed there. Thanks!

Monday, November 18, 2013

IS THIS THE U.S., or the USSR? The Pentagon's doctored ledgers conceal epic waste

UPDATE. For some reason, Reuters changed the URL. Here's the new one

THIS VIDEO IS COOL: Newborn twins mistake bath for womb.

TO ME IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS WHY: German town abolishes traffic lights and codes. Accidents are now almost non-existent!

PLEASE DO EMIT AS MUCN CO2 AS POSSIBLE, ASAP: 100 DAYS OF HEAVY SNOW: Britain now facing worst winter in SIXTY YEARS warn forecasters.

WHY the best conspiracy theories about JFK’s assassination don’t stand up to scrutiny.

OBAMA, the great uniter?

VIDEO: How Starbucks Trains Customers to Behave.

I'M SORRY GUYS, but if you choose to major in Sociology don't expect it to be easy getting a job in your own town, especially in a tough market. Try choosing a more marketable major, or get yourself together and either change career or go find that dream job elsewhere. Or learn a profession: there's nothing wrong with being a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician (A few years ago I hired a German guy and his son to make some reforms in one of the bathrooms in my apartment in Barcelona. To tell you the truth, having some Germans doing manual work for a Spaniard had a whiff of the Planet of the Apes, where normal roles are reversed. But did they complain about it? You bet they didn't; they worked hard, did a superb job with good attitude, and left the place impolute. Since then I've recommended them to several friends, and will hire them again when I need something. But I digress)

And if you do leave the country in pursuit of opportunities you haven't found at home don't be a drama queen and don't say you're “in economic exile” (I've heard this even from a unpaid researcher in the university of Mucia after she was hired by Harvard, as if it was a tragedy!). People go and find a job where opportunity is, and sometimes the transition is hard and yes, you may even have to work as a waiter of shop clerk for a while. Deal with it.

I have never heard people from Oklahoma or Nebraska going to New York of LA and complain that they've been 'expelled' from their places. And if they do, if they are in complaint mode, they don't get much opportunity in NY or LA either… Nobody likes whiners. So stop whining and start realizing that life is not like a movie. Shut up and find work, instead of demanding it.

SORRY, KEYNESIANS: Data Shows The Austerians Are Right.

UPSWING? Rajoy Rewarded as Spanish Shed Discount to Italians.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

VENEZUELA'S economic house of cards is crumbling down.

THE REAL MOWGLI: Incredible images of the little girl who spent the first ten years of her life growing up in the African bush. Just amazing.

REMARKABLE: The President of Mongolia preaches freedom to North Korea – in North Korea. It's not just where; it's a good speech too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

THANKS, SNOWDEN! Now All The Major Tech Companies Reveal How Often They Give Data To Government

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GORE VIDAL FINAL WILL becoming an ugly mess.

KARL ROVE: In a Quinnipiac poll, just 30% of independents approve of ObamaCare.

CONFESSIONS OF A QUANTITATIVE EASER: We went on a bond-buying spree that was supposed to help Main Street. Instead, it was a feast for Wall Street.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

“I'VE GOT WHOOPING COUGH. Thanks a Lot, Jenny McCarthy.”

Monday, November 11, 2013

WHY STRESS makes you fatter.

EVEN in the midst of a tremendous economic crisis, there's no takers for euroscepticism in Spain, or hate of foreigners, or far-right. How's that?

GOOD THING IT'S NOT UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Third person reports being anally violated by police in search for drugs they didn't find.

(yeah, I know it's the state and not the FBI, but still it would be said that it's a part of the political culture brought by the cowboy and his fight against drugs)

TWITTER OWES ME 4.401 DOLLARS. How about you?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

US SECRETARY OF STATE --NO LESS--, A TRUTHER? “John Kerry doesn't believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot President Kennedy as he says the government investigation didn't 'get to the bottom' of the assassination.”

DID YOU KNOW that what really motivates Sylvester Stallone is painting and sculpting, and that he'd give up the movies if they interfered with the former?

WHY OUR COMPANY has eliminated meetings.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Today’s austerity, many argue, is stupid. This column argues that today’s EZ austerity may arise from stupidity before the crisis – specifically lacklustre structural reform. Excess debt arose in nations maintaining unsustainable living standards and welfare systems in the face of poor growth. The Crisis forced radical adjustments such as austerity in a recession. It’s not austerity which caused low growth, but low pre-Crisis growth which ultimately caused austerity. The way out of austerity is fundamental pro-growth reforms that create room for more gradual fiscal adjustment.

AT LAST Obama is about to make good of his promise to close Guantanamo. Downside: it'll be by opening a prison in Yemen and shipping the inmates over there. Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

SPOT ON: Translation table explaining the truth behind British politeness.

E-COMMERCE as a concept is passé. It's all commerce, now:

So what’s online and what’s offline? And does it matter anymore in retail? These are the big questions behind this month’s MIT Technology Review Business Report. “Getting into data, analytics, or mobile isn’t even a decision anymore, so we should stop calling it e-commerce and call it just commerce, or maybe pervasive commerce,” says Chris Fletcher, a research director at Gartner who works with retailers. “It’s happening and you have to deal with it. But companies are just getting used to the idea that it’s all one experience.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, which tracks economic data, only 5.2 percent of U.S. retail purchases were made online in 2012 (13.1 percent if you don’t include gasoline, groceries, or automobiles). So in-person sales still dominate. But these figures underestimate the effect of the Internet. When stores like Best Buy survey their customers, they find that 80 percent of them have already searched for price information online. A third of them do so on a phone while inside a store.

DRONES AND THE LAWS OF WAR: “Computerized weapons capable of killing people sound like something from a dystopian film. So it's understandable why some, scared of the moral challenges such weapons present, would support a ban as the safest policy. In fact, a ban is unnecessary and dangerous.”

Keep reading.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

YES, THERE IS ACTUALLY A BIG DIFFERENCE between government and corporate surveillance.

SLIPPING DOWN THE SLOPE: Six months into term, Venezuela's President Maduro seeks decree powers.

Monday, November 04, 2013

SOME NOBEL PEACE PRICE WINNER: “Last Year President Obama Reportedly Told His Aides That He's 'Really Good At Killing People'”

ONE OF THESE THINGS about the US that puzzle me: why the heck is the Librarian of Congress dealing with cellphone regulation?

I mean, I'm sure there's a reason, and am not suggesting it's not legal  — it's just that it seems weird.

IT'S NOT JUST NETFLIX ANYMORE: Amazon is also entering in the original content production business. Its first series, 'Alpha House' is about to premiere; it will be delivered to it's Prime customers for free.

It's all a part of a tectonic shift that must keep traditional TV executives awake all night. It's potentially even more powerful than Netflix's move, where good content is a way to sell subscriptions only. Which is great, of course. But in Amazon's case it will lure you to a place where you can buy a gazillion things of all kinds, and get them delivered to your door with no shipping cost whatsoever, ll with just one click. Just think about that.

UK RECOVERY: Sustainable — Or Another Housing Bubble?

THE NEW YORK TIMES IS RUNNING HARD, but staying in the same place — and ads are a big part of the problem. It's like the proverbial hamster wheel…


Saturday, November 02, 2013

NEW TONE: The New York Times: Optimism, and Caution, as Spain Attracts Investment

Like other Spanish builders, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, or F.C.C., had struggled to convince investors that it could extract itself from Spain’s housing market quagmire.

In the last six months, the management of F.C.C. was on an almost continual investor road show in the world’s financial capitals. The campaign finally yielded fruit Oct. 21, when the company announced the sale of 6 percent of its equity to Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, for 113.5 million euros, or $154 million.

Two days after Mr. Gates’s purchase, as it happens, the Bank of Spain said the country had pulled out of recession and returned to growth of 0.1 percent in the third quarter after nine consecutive quarters of contraction.

Both announcements appeared to confirm what many Spanish executives and the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had been asserting for months: that Spain deserved its place back in the sunshine.

There are, of course, plenty of clouds still hanging over Madrid — so many that on Wednesday the Spanish economy minister, Luis de Guindos, warned against triumphalism, telling members of the Spanish Senate that, at a time of near-record joblessness of 26.6 percent, nobody should claim that “all is well.” Overall growth is expected to remain anemic for several years.

Still, the speed of the turnaround in investor sentiment has been striking.

Keep reading.

AND THE HYPOCRISY FESTIVAL GOES ON: At the same time that European governments are bitterly complaining about NSA spying, it turns out that "GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance. Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies"

HOW TO manage biased people.

Friday, November 01, 2013

OBAMA KNEW: White House OKd spying on allies, U.S. intelligence officials say. NSA and other U.S. intelligence agency staff members are said to be angry at President Obama for denying knowledge of the spying.


Just six people successfully enrolled in health insurance plans through the new federal marketplace,, on the first day it went live, according to internal Obama administration “notes” released tonight by the House Oversight Committee.

By the end of the second day, 248 people had enrolled, the documents show.

THAT'S HORRIBLE: Sahara migrant survivor: I buried my family.

The bodies of 92 people, thought to be migrants, were discovered in the Sahara desert in the north of Niger on Thursday. They died of thirst when their vehicles broke down en route to Algeria. Shafa, a 14-year-old girl, survived and told the BBC's Newsday programme her story.