The Onion

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Fact Or Fiction: Environmental Study Finds Air In Chicago Now 75% Bullets





Highlighting increasingly dangerous conditions within the city, a new study published Monday by Northwestern University’s Department of Environmental Studies revealed that approximately 75 percent of the air in Chicago is now composed of bullets.

 
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Are You Targeted By The NSA?





Meet XKeyscore - "a computer network exploitation system", as described in an NSA presentation, devoted to gathering "nearly everything a user does on the internet." The German site Das Erste has exposed the shocking truth about the rules used by the NSA to decide who is a "target" for surveillance. While the NSA claims to only "target" a small fraction of internet users, the perhaps unsurprising truth is very different. As Boing Boing concludes, one expert suggested that the NSA's intention here was to separate the sheep from the goats -- to split the entire population of the Internet into "people who have the technical know-how to be private" and "people who don't" and then capture all the communications from the first group.

 
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Caught Rigging Gold And Dark Pools, Barclays Begs To At Least Keep FX Manipulation





2014 has not been kind to Barclays: first, the UK bank proved countless goldbugs right when it was first caught rigging the gold market (the first documented case, not the last) and a few short weeks later, the New York Attorney General crucified the bank for misleading its Dark Pool clients, and letting their order flow be, quite lucratively, front run by "aggressive" predatory algos - something it explicitly had stated it won't allow. So with one after another revenue stream crashing before its eyes, what is the Chairman of the scrambling bank to do? Why beg to at least keep the FX manipulation going. What follows is not from The Onion.

 
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Fact Or Fiction: Humanity Still Surprised That 'Megalomaniacal Pricks' Decide Everything





Noting that it has had thousands of years to develop a more agreeable option, humankind expressed bewilderment this week that it has yet to devise a better alternative to governing itself than always letting power-hungry assholes run everything, sources worldwide reported.

 
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Humpday Humor: The 'Other' Situation In Iraq





Violence has escalated in Iraq in recent weeks as the Sunni Islamist militant group ISIS has seized control of numerous cities and continued its advance toward the capital, Baghdad. Here is [Onion's] primer to help understand the ongoing developments in the troubled nation

 
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Fact Or Fiction: Should We Raise Taxes On The Rich To Redistribute Wealth?





Fact...or Fiction... "No, that goes against the oligarchic principles on which this country stands"

 
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High Frequency Talking: Santelli Vs Pisani





As the day began with every Joe, Jim, and Harry claiming to be an expert in HFT and having prophesied all of this long ago, we thought it would be intriguing to track just how well the retail investor was edumacated on the 'rigging of markets'. It didn't take long before Bob "I'm not trying to be an apologist for HFT, but..." Pisani explained that investors should not be concerned and another talking-head popped up on CNBC to proclaim, "being a little bit front-run is not a problem... remember, it's legal." Henry Blodgett made his 'takes one to know one' bubble perspective adding confidently that "the concept that the market is rigged is crazy." Crazy indeed - until the FBI gets involved. But we leave it to Rick Santelli who summed it all delightfully in a death-match with Pisani, "I'm sorry but if a large group of people can take that one cent all day long, day-in and day-out, then there's a problem."

 
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Guest Post: Is College A Waste Of Time And Money?





Are you thinking of going to college?  If so, please consider that decision very carefully.  You probably have lots of people telling you that an "education" is the key to your future and that you will never be able to get a "good job" unless you go to college.  And it is true that those that go to college do earn more on average than those that do not.  However, there is also a downside. 

 
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Fact Or Fiction: G-7 Unable To Get Deposit Back On "G-8 Summer Getaway" T-Shirts





Shortly after suspending Russia’s membership in the exclusive coalition of industrialized nations, the United States and the six other wealthy nations that compose the newly renamed Group of Seven reportedly found themselves unable to get their deposit back on a set of “2014 G8 Summer Getaway” T-shirts they had ordered for the body’s scheduled summit in June...

 
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Question Everything, Believe Nothing - Chapter Two - Group Think and the Hive Mind





The pain we feel when balanced at the cliff’s edge is entirely of our own making and completely within our control to extinguish. All we need do is to abandon the certainty of belief that is presently stuck in our craw.

 
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Illinois Taps The Onion To Sell Obamacare





While we realize that newsflow over the past few years has taken a decided turn for the surreal, we are sad (or, alternatively, delighted) to announce that we are dead serious when we report that Illinois governor Pat Quinn has now tapped The Onion - that would be the famous satiric website - to sell Obamacare. Perhaps we should not be surprised: after we previously revealed that The Onion served as the mystery source of economic insight by such intellectual economist titans as Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, the time may have come come to surrender to the great wave of absurdity that has washed over this nation, and admit that when it comes to pitching idiotic policies, self-referential satire may be the only option left in the arsenal of the central planners.

 
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Guest Post: Janet Yellen's Impossible Task





There is no point in trying to avert or prevent bubbles caused by monetary pumping by regulatory means. If one avenue for bubble formation is cut off, the newly created money will simply flow into another area. In fact, new bubbles almost always become concentrated in new sectors. If there were a genuine desire to keep the formation of bubbles in check, adopting sound money would be a sine qua non precondition. However, no-one who has any say in today's system has a desire to adopt sound money and give up on the failed centrally planned monetary system in favor of a genuine free market system. Our guess is that the booms and busts the current system inevitably produces will simply continue to grow larger and larger until there comes a denouement that can no longer be 'fixed'.

 
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For Too Many Americans, College Today Isn't Worth It





The economist Herbert Stein once said that if something can't go on forever, it will stop. The pattern of the last few decades, in which higher education costs grew much faster than incomes, with the difference made up by borrowing, can't go on forever... There is no point in trying to preserve the old regime as "working your way through college" is now impossible. For an 18-year-old, investing such a six-figure sum in an education without a payoff makes no more sense than buying a Ferrari on credit.

 
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Chinese State-Run Media Embarrasses Itself By Proclaiming "Unexpected Benefits Of Smog"





In case you weren’t aware, several of China’s major cities have experienced record-breaking, extremely dangerous levels of smog in recent days. Only today, Chinese authorities raised the "safe" level of pollution to reduce the frequency of alerts. So how did China’s state-run media decide to respond to this environmental and public health disaster? With ridiculous propaganda about the “unexpected benefits” of smog of course. You have to see this to believe it.

 
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