Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 8th, 2014

Obama Administration continues clampdown on dissidents, blocking free speech

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So much for the most transparent administration ever. Now those who have worked for the Federal government (even in the past) and have security clearances are not allowed to quote newspaper stories based on leaked documents—e.g., the various articles in The Intercept, the NY Times, Washington Post, and the Guardian that tell us what our government is doing based on documents leaked by Snowden. Everyone else can discuss those, but former Federal employees cannot talk about them.

This is getting to be very bad indeed. A secretive administration becomes more secretive and promises to punish severely those who will not follow the party line. Very Soviet like.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 9:02 pm

Hubless bike

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Take a look.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Technology

Could Soylent replace food?

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Very interesting article. But I think I like food.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Technology

Rice provinces and wheat provinces produce different mindsets

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Extremely interesting article. And FWIW, when I read the triad “train, bus, tracks,” I paired train and tracks, not train and bus. Train and tracks have an essential connection, but train and bus do not: they’re both modes of transportation, but there’s not necessary tie to “bus”: it could have been “ferry” or “subway” or “streetcar” or “taxicab” or whatever.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 6:56 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

Megs as Laser Kitty

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Little laser kitty

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 3:21 pm

Posted in Cats, Megs

Climate change cost/benefit chart

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From an interesting article in Pacific Standard by John Upton.

transportation-climate

Read the whole thing.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Global warming

A World Digital Library Is Coming True!

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Robert Darnton has a very interesting article in the NY Review of Books:

In the scramble to gain market share in cyberspace, something is getting lost: the public interest. Libraries and laboratories—crucial nodes of the World Wide Web—are buckling under economic pressure, and the information they diffuse is being diverted away from the public sphere, where it can do most good.

Not that information comes free or “wants to be free,” as Internet enthusiasts proclaimed twenty years ago.1 It comes filtered through expensive technologies and financed by powerful corporations. No one can ignore the economic realities that underlie the new information age, but who would argue that we have reached the right balance between commercialization and democratization?

Consider the cost of scientific periodicals, most of which are published exclusively online. It has increased at four times the rate of inflation since 1986. The average price of a year’s subscription to a chemistry journal is now $4,044. In 1970 it was $33. A subscription to the Journal of Comparative Neurology cost $30,860 in 2012—the equivalent of six hundred monographs. Three giant publishers—Reed Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, and Springer—publish 42 percent of all academic articles, and they make giant profits from them. In 2013 Elsevier turned a 39 percent profit on an income of £2.1 billion from its science, technical, and medical journals.

All over the country research libraries are canceling subscriptions to academic journals, because they are caught between decreasing budgets and increasing costs. The logic of the bottom line is inescapable, but there is a higher logic that deserves consideration—namely, that the public should have access to knowledge produced with public funds.

Congress acted on that principle in 2008, when it required that articles based on grants from the National Institutes of Health be made available, free of charge, from an open-access repository, PubMed Central. But lobbyists blunted that requirement by getting the NIH to accept a twelve-month embargo, which would prevent public accessibility long enough for the publishers to profit from the immediate demand.

Not content with that victory, the lobbyists tried to abolish the NIH mandate in the so-called Research Works Act, a bill introduced in Congress in November 2011 and championed by Elsevier. The bill was withdrawn two months later following a wave of public protest, but the lobbyists are still at work, trying to block the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), which would give the public free access to all research, the data as well as the results, funded by federal agencies with research budgets of $100 million or more.

FASTR is a successor to the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which remained bottled up in Congress after being introduced in three earlier sessions. But the basic provisions of both bills were adopted by a White House directive issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy on February 22, 2013, and due to take effect at the end of this year. In principle, therefore, the results of research funded by taxpayers will be available to taxpayers, at least in the short term. What is the prospect over the long term? No one knows, but there are signs of hope. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 3:08 pm

The Devastation of 1918: Finding Pockets of Hope in the Great Flu Pandemic

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I will once again highly recommend John Barry’s book The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History [So Far – LG]. It is fascinating. The flu pandemic of 1918 killed so many people that afterwards it simply wasn’t talked about much. When that many people die—young adults, for the most part—one result is that the population of orphans increases dramatically. I learned in the book, for example, that Mary McCarthy, a writer and memoirist (married at one time to Edmund Wilson), lost both her parents in the flu pandemic—and there were so many in the same situation that it was not notable.

The link takes you to secondhand hardbound editions selling for as little as $1. Highly recommended.

It was brought to mind by this article in Pacific Standard by Anna Maria Gillis:

On September 12, 1918, Dr. Royal S. Copeland put the entire Port of New York City under quarantine. As health commissioner, he needed a way to keep what looked to be a nasty influenza from infiltrating the city. During the previous five weeks, a few dozen sick passengers and sailors aboard the incoming Bergensfjord, Nieuw Amsterdam, and Rochambeau had been met by staff from the city’s health department and whisked into isolation. Although New York had a solid history on health surveillance and inspection, Copeland was not taking any chances.

But there were so many ways into America’s most populous city that perfect containment was impossible. Within weeks of the quarantine order, New York was clearly moving toward an epidemic. “On October 4, physicians reported 999 new influenza cases for the previous 24-hour period, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the epidemic to approximately 4,000,” says The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia, a project from the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine. “Still, Copeland was sanguine about the situation. Putting these figures in perspective, he told the public that Massachusetts—a state with half the population of New York City—had 100,000 cases of influenza.”

Massachusetts was reeling. Although there had been cases of flu around the country the previous spring, the first serious cases were reported in Boston in August 1918. The city’s health commissioner, Dr. William C. Woodward, had closed the public schools, theaters, and dance halls; so many people were sick, makeshift hospitals had to be built to accommodate them. There was an acute shortage of civilian medical personnel because many doctors and nurses had been called up to serve in the war. Naval installations were crippled by sickness and death. To prevent the disease from spreading to the South, naval recruits from Massachusetts who would have gone to South Carolina’s Charleston Navy Yard for training were kept in place.

At Camp Devens, about 35 miles from Boston, the Army was preparing men for the fields of France, but in the fall of 1918, the young and the strong were dying without leaving America. To figure out what was felling its soldiers, the military called in its finest doctors—among them William Henry Welch, the great pathologist from Johns Hopkins, then in his late sixties, who donned an Army uniform to aid the Army surgeon general.

According to historian Alfred W. Crosby, what Welch and his fellow doctors saw in the Devens morgue was “bodies the color of slate.” They were so plentiful, “the eminent physicians had to step around and over them to get to the autopsy room.”

During his inspection, Welch looked into a cadaver’s chest and “saw the blue, swollen lungs of a victim of Spanish influenza for the first time. Cause of death? That at least was clear: what in a healthy man are the lightest parts of his body, the lungs, were in this cadaver two sacks filled with a thin, bloody, frothy fluid,” wrote Crosby in the 2003 edition of America’s Forgotten Pandemic. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Books, Medical, Science

Psychiatry moves toward a more scientific approach

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Clare Wilson has a very intriguing article in New Scientist:

Imagine you are a doctor before the advent of modern medical tests and your patient is gasping for breath. Is it asthma, a chest injury, or are they having a heart-attack? You don’t know and have no idea how best to help them.

Some would argue that’s what it’s like for doctors trying to diagnose mental health problems today. There are no blood tests or brain scans for mental illnesses so diagnoses are subjective and unreliable.

The issue came to a head one year ago this month, with the latest edition of psychiatry’s “bible”, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The US National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) said the DSM-5 had so many problems we effectively need to tear it up and start again. The way forward, it said, is a new research programme to discover the brain problems that underlie mental illnesses.

That research is now taking off. The first milestone came earlier this year, when the NIMH published a list of 23 core brain functions and their associated neural circuitry, neurotransmitters and genes – and the behaviours and emotions that go with them (see “The mind’s 23 building blocks“). Within weeks, the first drug trials conceived and funded through this new programme will begin.

While just a first draft, the list arguably represents the future of neuroscience-based mental healthcare. “This is the Rosetta stone for characterising human mental function,” says Andrew Krystal at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Criticism of psychiatry has been growing for years – existing treatments are often inadequate, and myriad advances in neuroscience and genetics have not translated into anything better. Vocal opponents are not confined to the US. Last week, the new UK Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry launched a campaign claiming that drugs such as antidepressants and antipsychotics often do more harm than good.

What’s more, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 2:33 pm

Sorry to see the Fulbright program fall

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It was an excellent initiative, but the US seems nowadays unable to do such things—a military response or drone attack is how we now try to solve international problems, using force and the threat of force to persuade others. Ann Jones has an article on the Fulbright program at TomDispatch.com:

Often it’s the little things coming out of Washington, obscured by the big, scary headlines, that matter most in the long run. Items that scarcely make the news, or fail to attract your attention, or once noticed seem trivial, may carry consequences that endure long after the latest front-page crisis has passed. They may, in fact, signal fundamental changes in Washington’s priorities and policies that could even face opposition, if only we paid attention.

Take the current case of an unprecedented, unkind, under-the-radar cut in the State Department’s budget for the Fulbright Program, the venerable 68-year-old operation that annually arranges for thousands of educators, students, and researchers to be exchanged between the United States and at least 155 other countries. As Washington increasingly comes to rely on the “forward projection” of military force to maintain its global position, the Fulbright Program may be the last vestige of an earlier, more democratic, equitable, and generous America that enjoyed a certain moral and intellectual standing in the world. Yet, long advertised by the U.S. government as “the flagship international educational exchange program” of American cultural diplomacy, it is now in the path of the State Department’s torpedoes.

Right now, all over the world, former Fulbright scholars like me (Norway, 2012) are raising the alarm, trying to persuade Congress to stand by one of its best creations, passed by unanimous bipartisan consent of the Senate and signed into law by President Truman in 1946. Alumni of the Fulbright Program number more than 325,000, including more than 123,000 Americans. Among Fulbright alums are 53 from 13 different countries who have won a Nobel Prize, 28 MacArthur Foundation fellows, 80 winners of the Pulitzer Prize, 29 who have served as the head of state or government, and at least one, lunar geologist Harrison Schmitt (Norway, 1957), who walked on the moon — not to mention the hundreds of thousands who returned to their countries with greater understanding and respect for others and a desire to get along. Check the roster of any institution working for peace around the world and you’re almost certain to find Fulbright alums whose career choices were shaped by international exchange. What’s not to admire about such a program?

Yet the Fulbright budget, which falls under the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), seems to be on the chopping block. The proposed cut amounts to chump change in Washington, only $30.5 million. But the unexpected reduction from a $234.7 million budget this year to $204.2 million in 2015 represents 13% of what Fulbright gets. For such a relatively small-budget program, that’s a big chunk. No one in the know will say just where the cuts are going to fall, but the most likely target could be “old Europe,” and the worldwide result is likely to be a dramatic drop from 8,000 to fewer than 6,000 in the number of applicants who receive the already exceedingly modest grants.

For the U.S., that’s not a saving, it’s a foolish blunder. Only about 1% of American college students ever study abroad. Fewer than 20% speak more than one language — a figure that includes immigrants for whom English comes second or third — but all students benefit from the presence of international “Fulbrighters” on their campuses and the return of their own professors and grad students from study and teaching in other countries. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 2:02 pm

An interesting essay on George Eliot and motherhood

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Well worth the click.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life, Writing

Believing your own spin: GOP division

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Kevin Drum finds Jonathan Bernstein making an interesting point. The Congressional GOP apparently swallowed their own BS, hook, line, and sinker. This means that they really don’t read things outside of the WSJ nor watch anything other than Fox News. The errors they overlooked and that led to their embarrassment were widely discussed in the mainstream press.

This reminds me strongly of how gobsmacked the GOP was when Romney lost, although it was evident from reports in the mainstream press that Obama would win—and had been evident for quite a while.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Congress, GOP, Healthcare

Keith Alexander on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents and other matters

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Glenn Greenwald has an interesting article based on an interview with Gen. Alexander, now retired from the NSA. And before you read it, note this excellent point Kevin Drum makes in a post this morning:

It’s pretty hard to find non-depressing news out of Washington DC these days, but this genuinely qualifies:

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 32-0 to approve an amended version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would require the National Security Agency to get case-by-case approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before collecting the telephone or business records of a U.S. resident.

….The USA Freedom Act, introduced last October, would prohibit bulk collection under the business-records provision of the Patriot Act, the law cited by NSA and Department of Justice officials as giving them authority for the telephone records collection program exposed by leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The bill would also prohibit bulk collection targeting U.S. residents in parts of another statute, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which the NSA has used largely to target overseas communications. The bill would take the phone records database out of NSA control and leave the records with carriers.

Remarkably, support for this bill has stayed bipartisan despite the fact that President Obama supports it. And although it’s true that several provisions have been watered down a bit recently, the heart of the bill has stayed intact: a ban on bulk collection of phone records by the NSA. This is a pretty big deal, and it’s supported by Democrats, Republicans, and the president.

This represents the first time in decades that the national security establishment has been restrained in any significant way. And no matter what else you think of Edward Snowden, this never would have happened without him.

I don’t imagine that Gen. Alexander thinks much of Edward Snowden, and he surely must be livid at Congress for spoiling his empire of data. Greenwald’s article begins:

The just-retired long-time NSA chief, Gen. Keith Alexander, recently traveled to Australia to give a remarkably long and wide-ranging interview with an extremely sycophantic “interviewer” with The Australian Financial Review. The resulting 17,000-word transcript and accompanying article form a model of uncritical stenography journalism, but Alexander clearly chose to do this because he is angry, resentful, and feeling unfairly treated, and the result is a pile of quotes that are worth examining, only a few of which are noted below:

AFR: What were the key differences for you as director of NSA serving under presidents Bush and Obama? Did you have a preferred commander in chief?

Gen. Alexander: Obviously they come from different parties, they view things differently, but when it comes to the security of the nation and making those decisions about how to protect our nation, what we need to do to defend it, they are, ironically, very close to the same point. You would get almost the same decision from both of them on key questions about how to defend our nation from terrorists and other threats.

The almost-complete continuity between George W. Bush and Barack Obama on such matters has been explained by far too many senior officials in both parties, and has been amply documented in far too many venues, to make it newsworthy when it happens again. Still, the fact that one of the nation’s most powerful generals in history, who has no incentive to say it unless it were true, just comes right out and states that Bush and The Candidate of Change are “very close to the same point” and “you would get almost the same decision from both of them on key questions” is a fine commentary on a number of things, including how adept the 2008 Obama team was at the art of branding.

The fact that Obama, in 2008, specifically vowed to his followers angered over his campaign-season NSA reversal that he possessed “the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as president — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future” only makes that point a bit more vivid. . .

Continue reading. It illuminates the decline of American democracy.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 11:57 am

3-D printing facilitates basing auto’s body design on a sea turtle’s shell

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Check out this article at WebUrbanist. Here’s the video:

 

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 11:42 am

Posted in Technology

Some will deny climate change even as water rises above their heads

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Excellent article by Coral Davenport in the NY Times on the beginnings of the immersion of Miami beneath the rising waters of the Atlantic Ocean. (She refers to the melting of the Arctic ice as raising the oceans, so she must be talking about the melting of Greenland’s ice cap: melting that occurs in ice in the ocean does not affect the water level of the ocean. Most of Greenland is north of the Arctic Circle and thus that ice cap is Arctic ice.) Her article begins:

MIAMI BEACH — The sunny-day flooding was happening again. During high tide one recent afternoon, Eliseo Toussaint looked out the window of his Alton Road laundromat and watched bottle-green saltwater seep from the gutters, fill the street and block the entrance to his front door.

“This never used to happen,” Mr. Toussaint said. “I’ve owned this place eight years, and now it’s all the time.”

Down the block at an electronics store it is even worse. Jankel Aleman, a salesman, keeps plastic bags and rubber bands handy to wrap around his feet when he trudges from his car to the store through ever-rising waters.

A new scientific report on global warming released this week, the National Climate Assessment, named Miami as one of the cities most vulnerable to severe damage as a result of rising sea levels. Alton Road, a commercial thoroughfare in the heart of stylish South Beach, is getting early ripples of sea level rise caused by global warming — even as Florida’s politicians, including two possible contenders for the presidency in 2016, are starkly at odds over what to do about it and whether the problem is even real.

“The theme of the report is that climate change is not a future thing, it’s a ‘happening-now’ thing,” said Leonard Berry, a contributing author of the new report and director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University. “Alton Road is one of the now things.”

Sea levels have risen eight inches since 1870, according to the new report, which projects a further rise of one to four feet by the end of the century. Waters around southeast Florida could surge up to two feet by 2060, according to a report by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact. A study by the Florida Department of Transportation concluded that over the next 35 years, rising sea levels will increasingly flood and damage smaller local roads in the Miami area.

The national climate report found that although rapidly melting Arctic ice is threatening the entire American coastline, Miami is exceptionally vulnerable because of its unique geology. The city is built on top of porous limestone, which is already allowing the rising seas to soak into the city’s foundation, bubble up through pipes and drains, encroach on fresh water supplies and saturate infrastructure. County governments estimate that the damages could rise to billions or even trillions of dollars.

In and around Miami, local officials are . . .

Continue reading.

The article includes some profiles in cowardice:

Three prominent Florida Republicans — Senator Marco Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush and the current governor, Rick Scott — declined repeated requests to be interviewed on the subject.

The biggest threat ever to the global economy and these stalwarts cannot be arsed to talk about it. These men are contemptible. Even if you disagree with that, they show quite clearly that they don’t have it in them to lead.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 11:39 am

Sex abuse in the Protestant church

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Sex abuse and pedophilia are obviously not restricted to the Catholic church: as has been pointed out, we have seen too many instances of pedophilia in our public schools—but in public schools, notifying the police is generally done immediately. This approach is rare  when such things happen in the Catholic church or in private schools. The first instinct for the church and private schools is to protect the (undeserved) reputation of the institution by denying the event, covering up the event, and in general blaming the victim. Public schools tend to worry more about their students and less about their reputations.

Now, it seems, Protestant churches seem to have fallen into the pit of protecting the institution’s reputation. Democracy Now! has a good interview (with transcript) of the issue. Their blurb:

Is the Protestant world is teetering on the edge of a sex-abuse scandal similar to the one that rocked the Catholic Church? We are joined by reporter Kathryn Joyce, whose cover story in The American Prospect profiles Boz Tchividjian, a law professor at Liberty University — a school founded by Reverend Jerry Falwell — and former prosecutor who worked on many sexual abuse cases. Tchividjian used his experience to found GRACE — Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. GRACE made headlines in February when the famous evangelical school, Bob Jones University, hired it to interview faculty and students about their experiences with sexual assault, then fired it before the it had a chance to report the results — only to hire it back after a public outcry. Tchividjian is the grandson of the famous evangelist, Rev. Billy Graham.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 11:25 am

Posted in Daily life, Law, Religion

“Justice” Wall-Street style

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Pam Martens writes in Wall Street on Parade:

On October 10, 2013, bank examiner Carmen Segarra and her attorney, Linda Stengle of Boyertown, Pennsylvania, took on one of the mightiest and interconnected institutions on Wall Street: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They relied on the Federal court system, funded by the taxpayer, and a fair and impartial judge to level the playing field. Things got off to a promising start.

Segarra was a bank examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a key regulator of Wall Street banks. She charged in her lawsuit that when she turned in a negative assessment of Goldman Sachs, she was bullied and intimidated by colleagues at the New York Fed to change her findings. When she refused, she was terminated from her job in retaliation and escorted from the Fed premises, according to her lawsuit.

The case was assigned to Judge Ronnie Abrams, an Obama appointee, the daughter of constitutional law expert, Floyd Abrams, and sister to Dan Abrams, the well known legal affairs commentator on television.

Segarra also had a powerful whistleblower protection law on her side, designed specifically to include a bank examiner such as herself working for a Federal agency overseeing banks. The law is known as the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and codified as 12 U.S.C. 1831j. It was enacted to prevent the intimidation, discrimination or firing of employees involved in examining the safety and soundness of the U.S. financial system because they had found wrongdoing and reported it. A key section reads:

2) Employees of banking agencies

No Federal banking agency, Federal home loan bank, Federal reserve bank, or any person who is performing, directly or indirectly, any function or service on behalf of the Corporation may discharge or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to the request of the employee) provided information to any such agency or bank or to the Attorney General regarding any possible violation of any law or regulation, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety…

Segarra and Stengle scored an early, big win. The Judge ruled against the New York Fed’s efforts to seal parts of Segarra’s complaint and supporting documents. Then came two bizarre claims from the New York Fed.

On February 4, 2014, three lawyers representing the New York Fed filed a reply memorandum in the Segarra matter: Thomas C. Baxter, Jr., General Counsel and Executive Vice President of the New York Fed along with David Gross and Thomas Noone. The memorandum asserted the following:

“Goldman Sachs is Not a Depository Institution — Defendants also moved to dismiss the Section 1831j claim because that statute protects the provision of information about a ‘depository institution,’ not a holding company like Goldman Sachs. (Mov. Br. 11.) Plaintiff characterizes this as a ‘Phantom Distinction’ and a ‘red herring’ (Opp. Br. 5), but offers no analysis to dispute the plain meaning of the defined terms used in the statute. Instead, she observes that SR 08-8 applied to Goldman Sachs, and so it does not matter what ‘kind[] of banking entity’ Goldman Sachs is. (Id.) Plaintiff misses the point: Congress defined ‘depository institution’ and ‘depository institution holding company’ separately, and made Section 1831j applicable to the former but not the latter. (See Mov. Br. 11 n.10.) Because Plaintiff did not report a violation by a ‘depository institution,’ the Court must dismiss her ‘whistleblower’ allegations for failure to state a claim.”

Under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, “the term ‘depository institution’ means any bank or savings association.” Goldman Sachs not only owns a commercial bank, but according to the FDIC, it owns an “insured depository institution,” which is defined as “any bank or savings association the deposits of which are insured by the Corporation pursuant to this Act.”

At this direct link from the FDIC, we see that Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a direct unit of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., the bank holding company. We also see that the commercial bank has been insured by the FDIC since November 28, 2008 and its regulator is the Federal Reserve Board. If you click on the “Financials” tab, we learn that it holds $64,289,000 in deposits and has locations in five states. Under the “History” tab, it changed its status to “commercial bank” on November 28, 2008.

The lawyers for the New York Fed continued to press this “not a depository institution” theme before the court, triggering a letter response from Segarra’s attorney, Linda Stengle, who wrote to the court as follows: . . .

Continue reading.

Our judiciary system is being badly corrupted, beginning with SCOTUS. Later in the article:

How big a retainer the Judge’s husband has received from Goldman Sachs and when he received it is a side issue. The larger issue is that Goldman Sachs is a huge, long term client at Davis Polk and the Judge’s husband is a partner at the firm. Per the sampling below, deals totaling over $9 billion have been handled by Davis Polk on behalf of Goldman Sachs in just the past two years.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 11:19 am

Posted in Business, Government, Law

Fine lather, fine shave

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SOTD 8 May 2014

Very good shave today. The Plisson Chinese Grey is a pure badger, by the common reckoning, but is quite comfortable and not all prickly, though it does feel coarser on the face than a silvertip. But it’s a pleasant coarseness and it’s an excellent brush that had no trouble at all in getting a great lather from D.R. Harris’s Arlington shaving soap.

The Standard razor did its usual excellent job. I thought I had paid around $90 for the razor, but I see now that it’s listed at $70 (and out of stock for now).

A good splash of Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit, and I’m ready for the day—and also the nuit, I presume.

Written by Leisureguy

8 May 2014 at 8:54 am

Posted in Shaving

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