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Links 12/13/11

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Dear patient readers,

I feel as if I am apologizing when I had resolved to do that less often. Grr. My life is being eaten this week by needing to deal with year end tax stuff, getting a proposal done (for something related to NC areas of interest), and a teeny bit of holiday shopping and socializing.

Toronto’s Gay Penguins Were Just in a Bromance Atlantic Wire (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Are Privatized Water Utilities in Cahoots With Shale Gas Companies? Food & Water Watch (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Police test for riot laser that can temporarily blind BBC (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The Facebook Resisters New York Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The 40 Best Protest Signs Of 2011 BuzzFeed (hat tip Ricard Kline)

‘Haircut’ dispute risks delaying Greek rescue Financial Times. Quelle surprise!

Forget David Cameron’s veto, another eurozone crisis is only weeks away Telegraph (hat tip reader Scott)

EU treaty hopes come under strain Financial Times

How the West Went Bust (Episode 1 – BBC) and How The West Went Bust (Episode 2 – BBC) (hat tip reader Aquifer). OMG, the scaremongering puts the US to shame!

James Murdoch: I didn’t read crucial phone-hacking email Guardian (hat tip Buzz Potamkin).

How Fox News is helping Barack Obama’s re-election bid Guardian. Cynics wonder whether this is due to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prosecution risk.

Gingrich ahead in US poll, but slipping in Iowa AFP (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Tens of thousands march for defense of voter rights Real News Network (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Conflicted robosigner’ equals no foreclosure: NY state judge Reuters (hat tip Buzz Potamkin). Judge Schack strikes again!

Introducing Credit Writedowns Pro Ed Harrison

G.O.P. Bill Would Benefit Doctor-Owned Hospitals New York Times (hat tip reader Aquifer)

New Questions about Banks’ Force-Placed Insurance Deals American Banker

Foreclosure Statistics for New Mexico: These Just Out Credit Slips. Oh, lotsa foreclosures in Santa Fe. It might be remotely affordable these days. I sometime think it might be fun to live there, but (ex New York and Sydney) a university town probably makes more sense.

CME chief alleges Corzine aware of transfers Financial Times

Antidote du jour (hat tip furzy mouse, via MSNBC). This pig is enough of an attraction it might escape becoming bacon.

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70 comments

  1. David

    Wasn’t there a certain pig named Napoleon who said
    “Four legs good, two legs better.” Wonder if this is what he had in mind.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Thanks. This makes good reading in the context of fracking and privatization of water. Some of these folks had $300 per month sewer and water bills and resorted to portajohns and bottled water.

      1. mistah charley, ph.d.

        The longer version – for those that may not be familiar with it – here’s PJ O’Rourke’s account of the way Reagan told it:

        There’s a joke President Reagan told about the way collectivist politicians treat rich people: A traveling salesman stays overnight with a farm family. When the family gathers to eat there’s a pig seated at the table. And the pig has three medals hanging around his neck and a peg leg. The salesman says, “Um, I see you have a pig having dinner with you.”

        “Yes,” says the farmer. “That’s because he’s a very special pig. You see those medals around his neck? Well, the first medal is from when our youngest son fell in the pond, and he was drowning, and that pig swam out and saved his life. The second medal, that’s from when the barn caught fire and our little daughter was trapped in there and the pig ran inside, carried her out and saved her life. And the third medal, that’s from when our oldest boy was cornered in the stock yard by a mean bull, and that pig ran under the fence and bit the bull on the tail and saved the boy’s life.”

        “Yes,” says the salesman, “I can see why you let that pig sit right at the table and have dinner with you. And I can see why you awarded him the medals. But how did he get the peg leg?”

        “Well,” says, the farmer, “a pig like that–you don’t eat him all at once.”

        1. scraping_by

          Originated long ago in the Ozarks explaining why mortgages on farm land were sometimes carried over. Or was it Labor explaining health & welfare?

          Either way, makes a lot more sense to pin it on the owner class rather than government employees.

  2. LucyLulu

    A version of the blinding laser most likely has already been tested in the US and is in stock at our local police departments.

    That aside, when they do testing on these devices, how many test subjects would one expect them to sign up? How many would volunteer, undoubtedly having to sign waivers informing them of possibility of permanent vision damage and/or blindness? Results of animal testing can’t be counted on to correlate closely to human results. This is the kind of testing the military used to carry out in third world countries, but it seems that would be harder to keep secret in today’s world, no? What if they test it on a hundred people and it leaves one in every two hundred permanently blind?

    Why do they even need all this crap anyways? You’d think they were preparing for invasion by a hostile extraterrestrial army, not mob control. And if they’re really worried about people being angry enough to become soooo unruly and out-of-control to need such extraordinary measures, you’d think they’d be thinking more about possible preventive strategies versus damage control.

    I know, I’m preaching to the choir.

    1. Richard Kline

      Why ‘tech up’ crowd interdiction by US police? Intifada.

      I mean that answer at all levels of reference, and use it quite deliberately. We have been watching for some time the Israelification of Amercan urban policing. I was of that assessment even before the recent discussions of PERFatrators coaching urban police departments to more offensive postures. For the Israelis judging by all recent evidence, having a consistent 2-3% of those lasered being permanently blinded is a feature, not a bug. While I wouldn’t say that most American police think that way (yet), there is very clearly an envy, a “those guys over there sure know how to to this stuff” kind of yahooing at work here. Part of the goal of using this stuff is not simply to discourage crowds of the moment but to suppress future actions via collective punishment. Of course, things don’t work that way in reality . . . .

      At a different level of ‘Why doesn’t authority make conciliatory gestures instead of bolstering operational police capability,’ that is because in my view, decision makers are aware that conciliatory gestures will be insufficient through the mid-term time-frame (seven to fifteen years). This was so even before the financial crash of three and four years ago: it was obvious that public militancy was going to spike giving the agenda of the powers that be through the last twenty years in the service of the 1%. Just look at the push we’ve seen in the last calendar year to effectively revoke all union organizing rights in the US. This has been on the agenda of the 1% for decades. Look at the phony election cycle we beginning for 2012, where nothing of any substance is being discussed, and where no matter who is elected nothing will significantly change except to get worse though not different.

      The powers that be are not wholly irrational, they can follow all this just as well. Load the public with unshakeable debt. Invalidate the ballot box by buying both political parties. Eliminate any labor bargaining legal options _and_ cram down wages _AND_ strip out all benefits. Pass mandates inside the beltway pushing new financial obligations on the masses while giving away money to the rich. Pile deteriorating on employment options even in the absence of the present depression-equivalent job shortfalls. Given that matrix, and gauging by historical potential and any parallels to current comparable instances around the world, and comes on the other side of the = sign in that equation are riots. That’s not even handicapping for the entirely unexpected citizen militancy of something like the Arab Spring, or the Occupation movement, or actions elsewhere. It’s simply a certainty that there will be mass disturbances in urban areas. The powers that be have, in my view, assessed that these would be true riots, circumstantial, inchoate, smash-ups more than movement activism (since until the last three months it has been many decades since we’ve seen any movement activism in the US). Think the LA or Miami riots only without racial injustice being a primary driver necessarily.

      So the police are ‘going Israeli’ to suppress eruptions from an occupied population. Which is what we have become in the US, to be blunt, an imperial conquest occupied by an extraneous elite, who use police and media to control us while extracting all things of value for themselves. The empire has landed folks—on all of our backs.

    2. Oceania

      The US and UK both ratified Protocol IV to the Convention on Conventional Weapons Protocol IV which bans blinding laser weapons, but they’re driving a truck through the “specifically designed” loophole, undermining global norms. Brits and Americans will be blinded. You’ll never hear their governments acknowledge that’s a universal-jurisdiction war crime. Increasingly, everything depends on stripping this police state of official impunity. US law and courts are just another weapon against the population. The Rome Statute is the only thing that could stop totalitarianism here. But it’s probably too late. This is how they’re going to handle the collapse of financial integrity:

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29968.htm

      Camps. I don’t think we’ve accepted what we’re up against. The free world is overseas now.

    3. tom allen

      I would think that “glitter bombs” (basically tin foil confetti) would be such a simple and cheap way to counteract this expensive laser that I don’t know why the government is wasting its time and money and harassing its citizens.

      Oh, right, it’s our government. :-(

      1. Rex

        Your evaluation of how to negate the lasers seems about as practical as using a helium balloon to get to the moon. Your glitter might stop some random paths but wouldn’t be an effective barrier. Even if it worked how do you apply it in quantity at the appropriate time. If the laser hit before you “cloak”, it’s too late. How do you stock and disperse it? How long can you keep littering? Just shoot the laser after the glitter clears. What if it is a windy day?

        Were you serious at all?

        My thought of a more practical solution would be wearing goggles based on automatic welder’s filters. (They sense light bursts and darken in a tiny fraction of a second.) But a large group of protestors can’t dress for every occasion: pepper spray, riot gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons, microwave pain fields, lasers and whatever else they might bring out.

        Determination, resolve and numbers are the only long-term winning strategy.

  3. gronk

    That riot laser is not going to work — they will rediscover that the amount of light you need for temporary and permanent blindness does not differ that much. You will also get protesters wearing special sunglasses so the cops will have to put out higher intensity beams, making it more risky for permanent damage. Also, reflections will blind police officers.

    1. ambrit

      Dear gronk;
      The primary flaw in your arguement is that you assume the ‘higher ups’ care at all about their underlings and grunts. The historical record, sadly, says exactly the opposite. (Look up the history of the Veterans Administration for starters.) I suspect the high water mark for respect towards the veterans, (of all kinds, domestic and foreign,) was just after the Second World War. It’s been all downhill from there I think. (I’m including ‘social’ programs, like G.I. Benefits, mortgage assistance, etc. in my list. Not just strictly Armed Forces Veteran programs.)
      Actually, from an opressors point of view, a few blinded in the line of duty ‘crowd control operatives’ would be great propaganda assets. They are indeed that heartless and calculating way up there in the gated communities. (Which, by the way, are perfect analogues for Dark Ages manor houses.)

    1. ambrit

      Dear dearieme;
      Oxford? My uncle Brian lives there and got a ticket from a TV copper for riding his bicycle home from the local whilst intoxicated.
      Also, isn’t there that social divide known as “Town and Gown” to work around?
      Plus, Edinburgh. I work with a man from near Culloden whos’ main comment about Edinburgh is that ; “It gets bloody cold there.”
      Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice;
      Your American Cousins

    2. bhikshuni

      Welcome to southern California, Yves!

      Our college town of Claremont is full of left-progressives, 1%-ers, and hybrids, along with lots of graduate students; amidst some of the most severe income inequality in the nation in the whole of LA, San Bernadino, Orange counties, etc.

      It is a facsinating economics abode and local markets reflect the nearby ports, with Mexico, Chinese, India dynamics!

  4. rjs

    re: EU treaty hopes come under strain:

    “Right now, there is not much more than a blank sheet of paper and even the name of the future treaty might still change,” said Petr Necas, the prime minister of the Czech Republic

  5. Jim Haygood

    From a Bloomberg article about MF Global:

    Corzine named Christine Serwinski, the company’s chief financial officer for North America, as someone in charge of that department although he said she had been on vacation during the final days of MF Global.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-14/mf-global-probe-said-to-weigh-illegal-use-of-funds-to-make-margin-payments.html

    You’re jokin’ me, Jonny. You’ve absolutely got to be jokin’ me.

    You’re telling me that as MF Global fought unsuccessfully to survive in the last days of October, the firm’s CFO went on VACATION? No wonder you dumb clucks bit the dust!

    Really, it sounds almost like the inverse of the embezzling bookkeeper who never takes a holiday. But in this case, perhaps the CEO needed the CFO out of his hair to facilitate some ‘special ops’ with the customer segregated accounts.

    Whatever the explanation, the CFO’s absence during MF Global’s meltdown is a screaming red flag — it is absolutely flaky that the CFO would be absent as the company cracked up. Why would lenders advance more funds, if the CFO couldn’t even be troubled to join the pitch? Bizarre!

    1. ron

      “CME chief alleges Corzine aware of transfers”

      The financial media role now is to isolate Corzine as the bad apple and keep attention away from the inner workings of the brokers. Already the fallout has begun with the realization that customer margin accounts are routinely pledged up to 1.39999999 and beyond in England were many U.S. brokers move customer accounts. Someday we shall understand how this process is used by the FED to increase money velocity that generates these out sized bonuses and salaries associated with investment/broker/banks.

      1. EH

        His role at the company was probably to be the corrupt DC insider who acts as a firewall against cops and regulators. I’m still not seeing any SarbOx mentions in the establishment press.

        1. Fraudster

          Corzine Grilled Over MF Global Collapse After Witness Suggests Knowledge of Misused Funds

          We speak with Nomi Prins, a former investment banker turned journalist. “We’re listening to someone try to dodge his way out of responsibility and accountability, which is very much what all the CEOs have done through the subprime crisis and through past crises,” Prins says. “When you see 5,500 arrests across this country for the Occupy movement and you see zero on the part of CEOs and senior executives from Wall Street who took trillions of dollars out of our economy, out of the European economy, [and] are going around the world doing the same thing to Asia now, it is absolutely heinous.”

          http://www.democracynow.org/2011/12/14/corzine_grilled_over_mf_global_collapse

  6. craazyman

    good news about santa fe.

    If I live long enough to make retirement, thinking of building a home there that looks just like a UFO and channel all day long. Maybe a little photography on the side. all the hippies should be dead by then and god knows who’ll be there. Maybe the aliens will have landed & we can party.

    @ Corzine — he probably didn’t mean to cheat anybody. I get the feeling he’s having an Icarus moment. They all think they can fly to the sun.

    @EU Treaty strains — only lens that sees this is contemporary analysis, have to watch how the universal mind moves, where the boundaries flow and form. I’m keeping my eye on the actual words that are used, not their conscious meanings but the unconcious tells. on the sidelines but could go big long or short, hahah.

    @ intro credit writedowns — sign me up man. Ed I want a ten bagger from you dude. No patience for the meticulous macro, but your a smart guy and I think you can make money so I’m in.

    @Facebook resisters — what’s facebook? :) How much time for nonsense is there in one day. Probably 35 hours and it seems to be growing. Never been on facebook or twitter. Mostly it’s just the riding the bus and staring out the window, or having drinks while contemplating the universe. What can facebook add to that? ha ha

    1. tom allen

      The Russians just used Facebook to stand up to Putin and company. It has its good points. Just sayin’. :-)

      1. Valissa

        It’s one of those good news-bad news things… the good news is that Facebook can be used to organize protests… the bad news is that the authorities can now more easily find and monitor the protesters.

        That doesn’t mean I think that protestors shouldn’t use facebook or other types of social networking to organize, just to be aware of the downside.

        See… The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov

        I should note that the author is one of those pessimistic Eastern Europeans (grew up in Belarus) so internet political idealists will probably not find the book to their taste.

    2. Anon

      The Internet is another machine for spying, a governmental, commercial and journalistic tool for asymmetrical intrusion by the “free market.”
      - statement c. 12/08/11 currently on the front page of http://cryptome.org/

      Never mind FB, its ‘loyalty’ marketing that freaks me out:
      https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Executive_Order_9835

      As for Friendface ™ itself, IT Crowd officecom progenitor Graham Linehan had Zuckerberg’s number way back in 2008:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=6rNgCnY1lPg

  7. Jim Haygood

    Read the NYT article ‘The Facebook Resisters’ and then ask yourself, what’s missing from this article?

    Answer: any actual, hard details about how Facebook’s default settings compromise privacy; how it gets access to your email contacts without permission; how it plants cookies that continue to monitor your activities even when you’re not on Facebook.

    Nothing’s here but impressionistic chatter about privacy, devoid of any anchors in fact. It’s almost as if an article about torture omitted any mention of the Geneva convention, and simply debated it as a lifestyle choice.

    Like its consistently off-base reviews of dramatic productions, this puff-piece NYT article strikes one as likely having been ‘sponsored’ by its purported subject.

    After all, the initially light-hearted tone turns rather menacing toward the end:

    But the peer pressure is only going to increase. Susan Etlinger, an analyst at the Altimeter Group, said society was adopting new behaviors and expectations in response to the near-ubiquity of Facebook and other social networks.

    “People may start to ask the question that, if you aren’t on social channels, why not? Are you hiding something?” she said. “The norms are shifting.”

    In other words, sign up, freak — or expect a couple of FBI agents on your doorstep to investigate why you’re such a recluse and social deviant.

    Hang in there, Times-Titanic — where else are we gonna get gripping advertorials like this one?

    1. JTFaraday

      I was shocked out of my relative complacency a year or so ago when I heard that HALF of the US had signed onto Facebook. But, I kind of think it’s already on the downdraft.

      Nevertheless, that half the US signed onto Facebook makes me more optimistic that perhaps its possible to organize a mass protest vote for the 2012 election, which I would like to see.

      1. Anon

        They are speaking Chinese, I think, and the subtitles look Chinese not Japanese.

        May not be mainland, tho’. Taiwan?

  8. lambert strether

    On fracking and privatized water… I suppose what’s next is the coal companies getting together with the bottled oxygen suppliers.

    Which isn’t all that different from Big Health getting together with Big Ag over High Fructose Corn Syrup, I suppose.

    1. Susan the other

      Which can we live without? Water or shale oil? I think the problem is that we have no policy. We have never had any policy, just endless argument which poses as compromise. The question is, what are we compromising? We have never in our history had anything that looked like rational policy – except the hands off thinking of manifest destiny. A dog eat dog mad rush to claim land and gold. I mean really. So now we are having to face reality. Which do we want? A polluted police state world, or something much better? The problem is that something much better actually takes work, good will and policy.

  9. ambrit

    Friends;
    To throw my two pence in about the Facebook fracas. I’m like the abovers, never had a Blackberry, (do they still grow those?) don’t know how to Tweet, (although been told I’m quite good at Twit,) and abhore Facebook. It reminds me way too much of cliques and ‘in groups’ in high school. Short on real information, long on ‘exposure.’ Some form of infomercial for a ‘Private Brand Personality.’ (Marca Reg.)I feel we’re too much wrestling with other peoples ‘versions of personal reality’ and not paying enough attention to the planks in our own eyes.
    As for the 35 hours a day the ‘craazyman cocktail’ gives the Desert Dude to mess about in; oh my, too true. Just ask anyone working in one of our ‘modern’ retail establishments, (and most other forms of employment I’ll wager,) about time constraints and ‘productivity offensives’ imposed from on high, (all in persuit of better ‘numbers’ to show the Street.) Most retail behemoths are purposely understaffed, and that staff tasked with more tasks then even company time and motion boffins admit is feasable. If I wasn’t such a ‘Company Man,’ (photos of the company logo tatooed on me bum available on request,) I’d suspect we were being ‘sweated.’
    Ah, Homo Economicus!

    1. PQS

      LOVE IT.

      I heard (haven’t seen it) about a sign carried by a woman at an American protest, which I think is a perfect summation of the political situation right now:

      “Hey GOP, the jobs aren’t in my uterus!”

  10. Martskers

    Yves: You know I love you (I’ve even proposed),
    but I’ve never understood why you feel the need
    to occasionally sound like the White Rabbit from
    Alice in Wonderland. You know, “I’m late, I’m
    late…” etc.

    You don’t need to excuse yourself to us. We’re
    your fans, and that means we understand you
    have a life outside NC, and appreciate the time
    you devote to it. No excuses necessary. We take
    you as you come.

  11. Cal

    I’ll really be impressed when the pig can walk on his front legs and smoke a cigarette. Think of the value of those smoked pig legs! What a culture.

    On the police test laser front, a piece of rolled up reflective mylar, or a good old fashioned mirror could do wonders reflecting the beam back toward the police.

    Remember Lt. John Pike, the University of California, Davis cop that cockroach sprayed the people sitting on the ground? He was not wearing a mask. Anyone in the crowd or on the ground could have given him a dose of his own medicine with mace or dog repellent spray.

    Face shields are rendered useless by latex paint thinned to the point where it will spray out of a slightly enlarged nozzle on a squirt gun.

    1. EH

      Face shields are rendered useless by latex paint thinned to the point where it will spray out of a slightly enlarged nozzle on a squirt gun

      That there is what is reported to my mom in the newspaper and TV as “protestors sprayed police officers with an unknown chemical agent.”

    1. jim3981

      Ginrich ahead in US poll, but slipping in america?

      correction.

      Ginrich ahead in US poll, but slipping in Iowa?

  12. Aquifer

    Doctors. IMO, should not own hospitals nor any other “means of production”, the temptation to use them inappropriately is too great. Stand alone surgical centers, though arguably more “cost effective” and “convenient”, have been a disaster for hospitals.

    The “market based model of medicine” is, at its core, fundamentally at odds, IMO, with the ostensible, at least, “mission statement” of healthcare and the only “Competition” in medicine should be between the doctor(nurse, etc.) on one side and disease and disability on the other.

    But, shucks, what do i know, I’m not even on Facebook …

    Until MDs stop viewing their profession as a money maker and their status as entitling them to make a lot more money than a person needs to take care of their family with a bit left over, healthcare in this country will continue to implode … The Reps are catering, IMO, to this less than attractive side of the profession,and the Dems will not challenge them. How sad – for all of us …

  13. Mike Sax

    It’s like what happened in the US in the late 60s when there was a concerted effort to bring down wages. Doing this is a double edged sword as it kills effective demand.

    Germany 10 years ago was the sick man of Europe now it’s the healthy man, but it got there by coming down on German wages-that is to say it’s beggar thy neighbor policies responsbile for the German surplus.

    Yet it demands all “structural adjustment” come from the other countries who are its victim

    Incidentally, to all MMTers or others with an intersst I seek to engage Warren Mosler and others about optimum tax policy here I talk taxes with Warren Mosler and the MMTers

    http://diaryofarepublicanhater.blogspot.com/2011/12/open-letter-to-warren-mosler-and-mmters.html

    Welcome infomred persepctives!

    1. PQS

      It’s like that old Kate Bush lyric:

      “What they told us
      That they wanted
      Was a sound
      That could kill someone
      From a distance
      So we go ahead
      and the meters
      are over in the red.”

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Thirty years ago, at least, physicists knew that extremely low-level *Sound* (vibrations) were/are LETHAL to humans.

      They do know very well how to KILL us with SOUND.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Fellow Traveller;
        The ultra low sound ‘death beam’ was acidentally discovered in France in the 60′s. Somewhere down around four or five cycles per second. It also does a dandy job of wholesale physical destruction too. The main problem, I believe, was a cheap and simple method of propagation. They’ve had almost fifty years to play with it. Who knows?

  14. Flying Kiwi

    Re David Cameron’s veto – I guess we’ve reached the point that the best we can hope for is for politicians to do the right thing by for all the wrong reasons, or perhaps simply by accident.

  15. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, please take seriously the message below, sent by one of your admiring NC Subscribers.

    Auto-0pen videos submitted as “Antidotes” are tyrannical, and truly antithetical to the democratic practices typically found at the site of Naked Capitalism. I believe that they are “NOT good for NC and Yves Smith.

    The DEFAULT position for such videos on “Links” is OPEN, meaning that whoever clicks on NC’s “LINKS du jour” MUST listen to the audio immediately, whether the NC Subscriber wants to listen to it or not. Thus, the NC Subscriber is COMPELLED to turn immediate attention to the video, the moment the “Links” feature is opened: The ACT of clicking on “Links” FORCES the NC SUBSCRIBER to listen to SOUND, will-he nill-he, until such time as the audio can be turned off. This is an automatic intrusion of sound, a tyrannical presence, into the usually silent enviroment for NC Subscribers, who are avid READERS of text (preponderant information at NC), Q.E.D.

    The last such AutoOpen video at NC imposed such a “cognitively dissonant” experience of SOUND–a shameless advertisement of some vain guy’s peak adrenaline “flying” prowess (although he did chicken when he opened his life-saving parachute at the last minute, such a jock hero–when the NC subscriber heard sound after clicking the “Links” of the day, while expecting the USUAL silence. Moreover, this Audio Intrusion occurred each and every time the Subscriber returned to “Links” after visiting other features that day.

    But there’s more. The NC Subscriber discovered that even several days later, the Auto Intrusion continued to occur every time the “Links” of EVERY DATE since the video appeared on the prior “Links”. This required SEARCHING for the video, turning it OFF yet again, then returning to the later date of “Links” topics. Forced DELAY this time, for the NC Subscriber. Can this be desirable?

    Now, TODAY we have another AutoOpen video as an “Antidote” du jour. I ask YVES:

    How does any AutoOpen link SERVE YOUR PURPOSE, when it forces your NC Subscribers to listen to it the moment we click on the “Links” feature, even if the AutoAuto is coming from an earlier date, so that we must search for it in a long list of “Links” in order to turn it off? Do you think that the suggestion made by a Commenter before that “You can turn the volume down on your computer” is a satisfactory response to this troubling situation?

    Please consider how these kinds of Auto-Open links might affect YOUR BUSINESS, Yves. It is even possible that they might be used to sabotage the literate quality of NC and the number of your LITERATE NC Subscribers, who enter the highly literate domain you have built here. Why would you allow the AutoOpen *image-with-sound* to conquer the WORD at Naked Capitalism, where *intelligent writing* is the hallmark of YOUR domain? you are above all a writer.

    Please think about possible *unforeseen consequences* of such AutoOpen video “Antidotes” to YOUR respected site, which is a *prepared environment* for THINKERS and writers. Please don’t let the “Antidote” offerings–often meant to *entertainment*–diminish the peerless quality of your RARE site for the LITERATE. Thank you. (a Subscriber)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Oh, and Yves, the sound is of people speaking Chinese! Now turn off the video and see what happens. What would ordinarily be a still photo of the video held in reserve is an IMAGE in motion–what looks like a kind of video game in Chinese. The cursor runs across Chinese script, then to a number.

      Is this a lesson from our next Occupier? Are We the People, at YOUR site, Yves, to learn Chinese *subliminally* as it were? Who is your Leader, Yves?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The language is Japanese, not Chinese?

        It’s so hilarious, isn’t it, to see a deformed creature struggling? Will the dancing bears be next?

        So long.

      2. PL_2

        You could do like everybody else, and get a flash blocker for free.

        Mine will let you load the flash by clicking on it, if you want to.

    1. ambrit

      Dear SR;
      Jacques Tati! What a treat. Even the mediocre Janus dubbing job added some sort of frisson to the film. Thanks for reminding me of this gem.

  16. Rex

    Just saw this on The Daily Show and had to search to verify that it really happened.

    Fox Graphic Of GOP Candidates Shows Picture Of Obama For Romney

    Yesterday the Daily Show had a graph from Fox showing unemployment. The right end of the graph, where the data showed lower unemployment had the correct numbers labeling the data point values, but the line of the “graph” continued horizontal rather than dipping down.

    Fairly (and consistently) Unbalanced.

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