Draft official statement in response to NSA leak allegations:
"Everyone in the US Government reacted with alarm to the allegations reported by a British newspaper over the last several days — alarm at both the disregard for American security implicit in such a release, and alarm at the notion that anyone could believe such aspersions against the character of the brave men and women who have successfully secured the homeland against foreign terrorism since the events of 11 September 2001.
If even a small portion of what this single Hong Kong resident claims in fact have a relationship to truth, then there may be small technical flaws in the implementations of some of our under-development security systems. However, the proper place to report such flaws is through the NSA’s bug tracker — not in the international press, where they may do grave harm to our country and its allies around the world.
Let us be perfectly clear: we have strong procedures in place to ensure information is not accessed beyond that which we intend to access, and similar procedures to gather information on technical issues in all our systems. To ignore these rules and exploit coding errors — which they may or may not have inserted into the system in the first place — in order to craft sensational newspaper headlines across the Atlantic is an extreme act of cowardice, and we will not tolerate such dissent from standard practices.”
But @keyholez: the US abandons all vestiges of the gold standard right about at the inflection point as well. You sure that obesity isn’t just an evolutionary response to the fear of inflation — i.e. better net present calorie value per dollar now than in a a future with rampant risk of currency debasement?
Wishing a public Happy Birthday to @keyholez, who, with the passing of Kim Jong Il now has a shot at becoming the leading misanthropist born on 2/16 !
On January 16, the Seattle Times published a letter critical of the the proposed Seattle plastic bag ban submitted by one “Ken Holmes” of Seattle, which makes charges of “false claims” and “misleading information”
The local newspaper of record neglected to mention, however, that “Ken Holmes” is not just a concerned Seattle citizen. He is in fact the Marketing Director for American Plastic Manufacturing in South Seattle and therefore has a bit of interest at stake in this debate.
I know of Ken Holmes’s identity because the Seattle Times itself quoted him in a story about the plastic bag ban little more than a month ago in December:
Ken Holmes’s intense conflict of interest seems a worthwhile fact to disclose to your readers.
Would be much funnier if these were dogs not witches.
A morning cartoon. For more cartoons from this week’s issue: http://nyr.kr/yMIvZE
re: aforelinked Keyholez on banks:
What banks got in bailout $ when they desperately need it is quite analagous to a payday loan.
Which do not come at almost 0% interest.
They come at high rates, with some moral condemnation and disrespect along for the ride.
If the banks had been punished, some CEOs fired — anything! — then the payback of $ could legitimately be a victory.
Also — as Keyholez certainly knows — the $ to payback the TARP and Fed bailouts also came through a form of backdoor bailout via interest rate, accounting, and regulatory policies.
And in the end, the ratio of bankers arrested to protestors arrested says a lot. You think bad banking isn’t a crime? Well I’m not convinced that camping is a crime either.
Keyholez is right about the facts. However, lending unlimited pots of money to entities that desperately need it at close to 0% interest and getting no changes in behavior, structure, or management as a result is legitimately something to be mad about I think. Desperation loans deserve a hell of a lot more than we got.
It occurred to me yesterday that a lot of the complaints about bank bailouts stem from a misunderstanding. I believe (but cannot fully prove) that others think that the banks were given money by the government, and that was that. Money: gone. In fact, this is not what happened at all. Go here if…