Links Leap Year Day

I wonder at what age people born on February 29 decide that having a real birthday only one year in four is no biggie.

New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America Independent (hat tip Lambert)

Google offers 1 million dollars to Chrome hackers Nation (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects New York Times. I recall, not that long ago, doctors declaring statins to be so safe that they wanted to add them to the water supply!

Bill Gates’ support of GM crops is wrong approach for Africa Seattle Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Gloom, doom — and Lester Brown’s ‘Plan B’ Japan Times

A brief history of the time Stephen Hawking went to a sex club: University says physicist visited California swingers’ club with friends Daily Mail. This from a hedgie reader who will go unnamed.

Corseted Minds: Does Fear of Irrelevance Send Conservative Men Fleeing to the Victorian Age? Lynn Parramore, Alternet

Wikileaks Reveals Privately Run CIA’s Dirty Secrets (Update 2) Gizmodo (hat tip reader May S)

Rachel Marsden: New WikiLeaks stash: a frightening view of government intelligence Chicago Tribune

Wikileaks emails indicate Stratfor discovered Israel already destroyed Iran’s nuclear facilities Raw Story (hat tip reader Amit). As we indicated, Haaretz reported on this yesterday.

Exploding the myth of the Iranian Bomb Spiked (hat tip reader May S)

U.S. Cuts Iran Cash Pipeline Wall Street Journal. With as much offshore banking as there is and people like Marc Rich very much around, I suspect the headlines exaggerate the achievement.

We won’t give US advance warning of Iran strike, says Israel Independent (hat tip Lambert)

Hi, I’m from the IMF. I’m here to help. MacroBusiness

ECB’s Second Three-Year Loan May Be Last Bloomberg

Europe banks hungry for second helpings Financial Times

Phone-hacking will be the single largest corporate corruption case for 250 years because ‘cover up’ went up ‘to the very highest levels, says MP Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S).

Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham becoming ‘no-go areas’ because of drugs gangs… just like Mexico and Brazil says the UNITED NATIONS Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S)

Virginia Says No to Lawless Imprisonment David Swanson

Ayn Rand Worshippers Should Face Facts: Blue States Are the Providers, Red State Are the Parasites Alternet (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Democracy Alliance Pulls Support for Organizations that Don’t Play Ball Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (hat tip reader Carol B). More veal pen in action.

Why I do not like small cap stocks much at the moment John Hempton

Lawmakers To The Rescue? Legislation Filed To Fix “Ibanez” Foreclosure Title Defects Massachusetts Law Blog. Reader Deontos does not like the look of this.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the MBS sleeper defense Alison Frankel (hat tip reader Deontos). Bye bye FHFA putback suits?

So, how can bankers live with themselves? Guardian (hat tip reader John L)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. CB

    I can say from personal experience and conversations with other statin users that statin induced myopathy and neuropathy are NOT rare. At all. In fact, my primary doc, after waving off my complaints for years, went off his statin for a month: “I haven’t felt that good in 10 years.” But went back on when he had his cholesterol tested at the end of the month and it was way too high. Now his cholesterol is in check and he feels like shit again.

    1. rjs

      if there wasnt an evolutionary good reason for high cholesterol &/or high blood pressure, we wouldnt have evolved to have those conditions..

      1. ambrit

        Dear rjs;
        Like perhaps our “Use By Date?”
        I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear one day that ‘early’ deaths were genetically coded to ‘clear the decks’ for the next generation. Does anyone know the average lifespan of Paleolithic hunter gatherers?

      2. wunsacon

        Evolution has not made us indestructable, only a little less destructable than the prior millenium’s generations.

      3. TJ

        Are you serious? Evolution hasn’t accounted for the extreme intake of wheat and sugar. High blood pressure/cholesterol are a direct result of the human body not being able to handle the high glycemic index carbohydrate load and the corresponding constant spiking insulin and inflammation caused by neolithic foods.

        Go eat strictly meat and vegetables for a month and I gaurantee your cholesterol and blood pressure will drop significantly. That, is evolution.

      4. Yearning to Learn

        there is much wrong with your comment rjs, but I’ll start with a few points

        1) evolution is primarily driven by traits that are positive or negative to an organism’s ability to procreate. in other words, traits that increase the likelihood of procreation are favored over those that decrease the likelihood of procreation. The effects of high cholesterol take decades to manifest, far after a person would have procreated. Thus, high cholesterol is evolutionarily neutral.

        2) high cholesterol, although genetic, has far more to do with the diet and exercise habits of modern man, something that was not possible until 50-100 years ago. The human body was simply never intended to eat what we eat, or to be as sedentary as we are. Obviously, 100 years is a blip on the evolutionary scales, and thus even if high cholesterol was an issue from an evolutionary standpoint it would not yet affect our bodies today.

        3) there is no question that high cholesterol levels are correlated with increased mortality rates. what IS under question is what exactly is the “optimal” level, and how much benefit is brought to a human by lowering the levels using a pharmacologic agent. Some of the agents show improvement in morbidity and mortality, and some do not.

        4) it is obvious that the best way to treat high cholesterol by far is to change the eating and activity habits of people. Unfortunately, it is equally obvious to those of us in the medical field that the vast majority of people won’t or can’t make those changes. We can’t even convince people to stop smoking or drinking themselves to death, or to walk up stairs instead of taking the escalator… much less have them go on a South Beach type of diet.

        I say these things as a medical doctor with genetically high cholesterol. Both my parents and all 4 grandparents were dead before the age of 58. when I lived a typical American lifestyle my cholesterol was around 290 and the “good” cholesterol was 32. I changed my diet to a “flexitarian” diet (basically South Beach diet with eating white lean meat 1-2 times per week), and I started riding my bike 13 miles each way to work, and I started doing yoga and strength training. Doing this my cholesterol is 210-220, but my “good” cholesterol is 90 (which is amazing). Thus, I take no meds.

        However, how many Americans are willing to do what I did? And what if my cholesterol raises despite what I did? My father in law is a retired Internal Med doc, is 67, swims or jogs 1.5 hours a day, is a vegetarian, and has cholesterol in the 300 range off of meds, and has had a few cases of angina (chest pain that is heart related). so he’s on meds.

        of course I’ll take the meds, side effects and all, because it’s better than a heart attack.

        there is no question that American MDs over prescribe meds. Partly due to their decision error, partly due to Big Pharma.

        But a big reason is the American patient, who demans “something for nothing”, and the American Government who insists on subsidizing corn and soy and beef and chicken and Monsanto but not fresh fruits and veggies and whole grians. thus, Americans get cheap junk food and expensive healthy food. Doesn’t help that the USG is pro-big business and pro-capital but anti-labor and anti-social programs. This leaves people without money and without time, making healthy living even harder.

        The statins, when used properly, can help. When used as a cure all, they can harm.

    2. Bill C

      I had the same experience: When I went off the statins that I had taken for almost 10 years, I felt 10 years younger, and that is no exaggeration, and I had no more of the back problems that I had “suddenly” developed in my 50s (coincident when I began taking statins.)

      And BTW, I was “put on statins” because my cholesterol was minimally higher than “normal”. Since I stopped them, my cholesterol has been OK, usually only a little above 200 for total cholesterol.

      I would urge others to take responsibility for their health. Physicians should be viewed as consultants only, you actually make the final decision as to what you will take. With advent of the Internet, you can do some meaningful research of each med you’re “put on”. And only you can allow yourself to be “put on XXX meds.”

      1. Yearning to Learn

        With advent of the Internet, you can do some meaningful research of each med you’re “put on”. And only you can allow yourself to be “put on XXX meds.”

        respectfully, although one can do some meaningful research on the internet, in general the time it would take you to do ADEQUATE research would overwhelm almost everybody. People think they can just google search something for an answer. As I think we all know here, “the answer” is typically far more complex than what a few hours, a few days or even a few MONTHS of internet research can provide.

        Look at the financial mess we’re in. How many people still don’t know what went on, after all these years, with all the internet information available. If you were lucky enough to find NakedCaptialism then yeah, you probably learned a lot. But if not? Think of all the quack internet sites out there. Which ones to trust? which ones are right?

        take me, a finance novice in 2005 when I started my journey. I now know a whole hell of a lot of what went down and practical ideas to fix it. But would I be able to get in a room with Larry Summers and outline the the actual practical way to wind down all synthetic derivative products??? no. or a practical way to unwind the Euro? again, no. I have a general idea, but even after 7 years of doing this hours per day on internet I can’t do that.

        use this financial example and expand it to Health.

        It took me 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of residency, 2 years of research, and 3 years of fellowship to be able to understand what I do… and I STILL am learning after 10 years of practice after that.

        The idea that a typical person could really inform themselves using internet research is somewhat naive.

        Of course I DO think one should do their research and come armed with good intelligent questions, and be as informed as one can be. But people do themselves a disservice when they really think that they know more than their doctors. Most of the time they do not.

        Does this mean the doc is infallible? of course not. Medicine is extremely complex, and doctors make mistakes ALL OF THE TIME. which is further reason why internet research doesn’t work. there are also some terrible doctors out there. but the same holds true for internet research. catch 22.

        the human body is infintisimly more complex than the financial sphere. at times you have to use the resources you have.

        thus please, do lots of internet research. arm yourself with questions. And then sit down and talk with your doctor about these things. If you don’t trust your doc, then find another one. But remember there really is a massive assymetry of information between the two of you on most health related issues, and the lay press and lay websites do a horrific job of really elucidating the complexities of medical practice.

        1. Yearning to Learn

          one last point to make here.

          it should be noted that the safety alert that was placed by the FDA was NOT done based on any evidence-based data.

          According to the linked article, “Dozens of well-controlled trials of statins have offered few hints that the drugs cause any kind of cognitive impairment, Dr. Egan said. Still, the F.D.A. has received many reports over the years that some patients felt unfocused or “fuzzy” in their thinking after taking the medicines.”

          thus the FDA added the safety warning.

          what does this mean then? nobody knows. Perhaps the many reports are accurate, and perhaps they are not. it would be interesting to have a randomized controlled prospective study to look at the rate of these complications between the drugs and placebo.

          although “many reports” sounds convincing, every year I get many reports that the flu shot caused someone to get the flu. a practical impossibility. (the flu shot does not have a live virus in it). it would be like saying that somebody was given a pork chop and it grew into a pig.

          as I said, it’s complicated and these arguments don’t fit well into a tiny NYT article.

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Learning and vigilance are our prime duties as sovereign citizens participating in our republican-democratic Constitutional Government of/by/for the People.

    3. Neo-Realist

      My mother used a cholesterol drug or drugs and suffered from neuropathy. Hmmmm. Maybe if not for the cholesterol drugs, she would have died sooner and not suffered longer.

  2. dearieme

    I suggest that you advise your doc to read some of the writings of the cholesterol sceptics. Or even to read the papers on those trials that suggest that statins don’t do any good except for middle-aged men who have already had cardiovascular problems (or, perhaps, who have a frightening family history in that regard). I gather that it’s vital that he read the actual papers; he mustn’t read just Abstracts or Conclusions, because these often genuflect to the orthodoxy – it’s inside the papers that he’ll find contrary evidence.

    He may then come across evidence that the scale of side-effects has been routinely lied about – strong language, but apparently true.

    1. ambrit

      Dear dearieme;
      I’m one of those ‘middle aged males’ with coronary problems who has been ‘put on’ statins. Kicking and screaming all the way, I’ll add. I do indeed ‘feel like s—‘ a lot of the time when on the pernicious drugs. Other men I’ve talked to have similar experiences. Right now I’m beginning a ‘personal experiment’ to switch to an almost vegetarian diet. Individuals bodies do indeed process cholesterol differently, according to my limited anecdotal evidence.
      By the way, Crestor, one of the top ‘grossing’ statins will go off patent this summer. Will we see a drop off in prescriptions for this form of statin? (Is this whole business primarily price driven? Considering the battles I had to go through to get my General Practicioner to switch me from a proprietary, [and very expensive,] statin to a generic, [much, much cheaper,] one, I suspect so. Just another reason to go for single payer medicine.

  3. SR6719

    Re: Gloom, Doom and Lester Brown’s Plan B

    by Stephen Hesse (law professor)

    The article started off like this: “The man whose advice Bill Clinton said we should all heed”.

    I should have stopped reading there, but instead had to read the *whole* thing. (How does that Alka-Seltzer commercial go: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”

    Shorter Stephen Hesse: “Yes, the planet’s in peril, but Lester Brown has an optimistic blueprint for success… ..Buy the book!… the book!..should be required reading in schools worldwide..all students!…all ages!

    But look at Lester Brown’s photograph for a moment. What’s up with the bow-tie? And if the world is facing Armageddon, then why is he eating breakfast at some fancy Japanese place called Junko Edahiro?

    I don’t trust him.

    Wait, maybe I’m being too harsh, the Japanese breakfast is because he’s living in Tokyo.

    So all right, let me make sure I’ve got this: I’m supposed to buy a book on the environmental crisis, one that admits things are gloomy but if only we buy the book we can find out the blueprint for success and the happy end, reviewed by some law professor who thinks quoting Bill Clinton is a selling point?

    No thanks, Stephen. No thanks, Lester.

    Like Bartleby, I’d prefer not to.

    1. Jess

      Don’t forget Al Gore who is anxious to have a smart meter installed on your gas meter and your electric meter so that his shares of Silver Springs Network that makes ’em in China will go up. Sorry about your child’s leukemia. Why did you put her bedroom of the other side of the wall from the meters? That’s your fault!

      1. tom allen

        I want the transcript: “Oh…Oh…Oh…more….more….more….” :-P

        See also the biographies of Richard Feynman, Alan Turing, Galileo, or any number of other physicists who were also human beings. :-)

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        BofS, women have been his caretakers. Maybe he cannot comprehend their motives. Given his profession, maybe he lacks *empathy*?

        1. craazyman

          Mr. Hawking needs to reverse his analytical framework in order to understand the genre in question:

          “Begin with an individual, and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find that you have created—nothing.”

          -F Scott Fitzgerald, “The Rich Boy”, first sentence

    1. Fíréan

      I agree, this NV blog links section is becoming like the tabloid press.

      Ref. nolachief says:
      February 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Re. Stephen Hawking: So what?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      FA – the Revolving Door in lockstep from term to term. Such are the rewards of the .01% Global Reich and their .99% Agents in academia, banking, government.

    1. Tim Mason

      Two stories today – no-go areas in UK cities and Blue states as providers – can be clarified by reading Stephen Graham’s ‘Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism’

  4. Cal

    Genetically modified food? No thank you.
    You can’t chose it, you can’t refuse it if you don’t know it’s in what you are buying. Unless you buy certified organic.

    That’s why the people of California have an opportunity
    to sign ballot initiatives to force the labeling of all genetically modified food sold in the state.Online petitions while nice, don’t cut it.

    Look for the signature gatherers and sign up if you are a registered voter.

  5. Cynthia

    Any US politician that argues to attack Iran because of what Israel says should be impeached immediately and charged with treason. Politicians in the US swear an oath to uphold the US Constitution, treaties and its laws, and those laws include the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and a plethora of domestic laws. It’s worth noting that the US has a defense treaty with Australia and New Zealand (ANZUS) and many other pro-Western nations. Yet the US doesn’t have one with Israel. The closest thing that can be described as a US defense treaty with Israel is the Camp David Accords where both Israel and Egypt receive military aid from the US if they don’t fight each other!

    FYI, Israel has received over 150 billion from Uncle Sam over the last 10 years. The reason you don’t hear about it is because it is not in the official federal budgets. Israel also receives close to 20 billion a year from very wealthy Americans and American corporations for various purposes, all of which have a pro-Zionist agenda at their core, including the building of illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. Starbucks, for instance, sends various “tour groups” to Israel where their tourist dollars are being used to finance the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Every latte you buy is in effect responsible for a small bit of ethnic cleansing.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Cynthia, ditto.

      Connect James Murdoch in NY with Syrian *Haredi* in NY. Rupert Murdoch undoubtedly a .01% anti-Jewish Zionist Agent, and his son follows suit.

  6. ohmyheck

    Re: Murdoch scandal- James Murdoch has resigned-

    Well, not really. He “has moved to New York, James will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations”.

    Yes, go across The Pond, where the US is unlikely to investigate or prosecute anyone involved. Smart move.

  7. Lambert Strether

    I don’t understand Dayen’s piece at all. He concludes:

    I would argue that de-funding outside groups has been uniquely unhelpful to the progressive movement over the past few years. So here they go again.

    But isn’t being “uniquely unhelpful” to the progressive movement what Democrats are for?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        EU, the Democratic Party was hi-jacked by *Blue dog* Dems participating in the *Southern Strategy* as .99% Agents of the .01% Global Reich.

        I call myself a Progressive because I believe in Progression rather than Reaction, and because the meaning of *Liberal* has been perverted.

        I think We the People the 99% must RECLAIM the Democratic Party at once.

        OCCUPY Charlotte 2012: “Regime Change Begins At Home” (Charles Derber)


        American Rebels Unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.

        1. 3CPO

          So many myths.. the Progressives and the Dems are as talented as concocting false histories as teapartiers.
          The Democratic Party is the party of Honest Graft

          Plunkett of Tammany Hall

          Chapter 1. Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft

          EVERYBODY is talkin’ these days about Tammany men growin’ rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There’s all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. I’ve made a big fortune out of the game, and I’m gettin’ richer every day, but I’ve not gone in for dishonest graft – blackmailin’ gamblers, saloonkeepers, disorderly people, etc. – and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in politics.

          There’s an honest graft, and I’m an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin’: “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.”

          Just let me explain by examples. My party’s in power in the city, and it’s goin’ to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I’m tipped off, say, that they’re going to lay out a new park at a certain place.

          I see my opportunity and I take it. I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before.

          The authors of Jim Crow, the signed the Southern Manifesto in 1956 response to Brown v. Board of Education, the party of the anti-miscegenation laws, of institutional racism of Unions, the party of war, the party of international bankers who finance it.
          Adopting the the big lie, the lie so big no one will believe otherwise.
          Love me, I’m a Liberal.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Lambert Strether, “The Last Hurrah” got it right. Before TV politics/advertising, there was patronage for the 99% (barrooms & trucks were the venues for the Ward Bosses. After TV, all the corporate money went to advertising and politicians for corporate nterests, *patronage for corporations*, and the interests of the *little guy* no longer mattered. The tie between the Pol and the People was severed. Big Corp won in the new game: *Winner Take All*

            The People became tangential to the *democratic process* become a Fascist Dictatorship of the supranational, extra-legal Global .01% and their .99% Agency owners of the Gravy Train. Democratic process died. The reality, the very idea, of *one person one vote* was obliterated. Here we are.

  8. Eureka Springs

    Big Banks and the Arkansas legislature are up to no good this week.

    Bailing out the big banks

    Posted by Max Brantley on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 6:41 AM
    I continue to receive mail from lawyers in disbelief that a fiscal session of the Arkansas legislature will be used to bail out big banks (HB 1147) that failed to register to do business in Arkansas and now, on account of a bankruptcy judge’s ruling, can’t get title insurance on non-judicially foreclosed property.

  9. Mel

    “Democracy Alliance Pulls Support for Organizations that Don’t Play Ball”

    And I’d called the Republican Party an authoritarian hierarchy! Certainly they have the knack of taking names, twisting arms, and winning floor votes. Maybe the Democratic Party isn’t used to authoritarianism, and do it in a kack-handed way when they try, and get called out. Or maybe the Republicans fund their fringe because it’s Doing the Right Thing, and Democrats defund theirs because Doing the Left Thing is not the Right Thing. (rim shot.)

    (sigh.) Building infrastructure.

    1. Valissa

      Maybe the Democratic Party isn’t used to authoritarianism

      Bwahahahahahaha… that is too funny! Just because they practice a more subtle form of it (or a different form of it) doesn’t mean they are not doing it. I remember back in 2008 the incredibly authoritarian push for Obama (dissent heavuly discouraged)… and numerous articles have been written about how both parties operate in a very top-down hierarchical way in Congress (dissent very discouraged).

      I think many liberals and Dems are so invested in the Democratic party being less evil (identity loyalty, historic loyalty, seeing what they want to see) they make all kinds of excuses why the Dem leadership is not more “progressive”.

      Another example of the outlived usefulness of standard lib/con, Dem/Repub/L-R paradigm.

      1. Valissa

        Alternet is a reliable source for lib/prog/left propaganda … taking small points of truth and spinning-warping-expanding on that to make a point that reliably gives the message that Repubs/Conservatives are evil, bad, etc, you know…”the devil”. I stil subscribe to Alternet for the occasional more detached and rational commentary, but they are so invested in the standard political language and paradigm that NO CHANGE will ever come out of them.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Valissa, feasible change may come out of them.

          Still, we live in the House of Mirrors depicted by Orson Welles in his film on fundamental corruption and seduction, “The Lady From Shanghai.”

          1. Valissa

            I thought so at one time… now I question whether any politically oriented “news” source (liberal/prog, conservative, libertarian, socialist, globalist, etc) actually changes anything. They are almost always whining and complaining about each other as villains in very selective narratives of good and evil. Political Agenda News = kvetching + propaganda. Sometimes that is entertaining, but mostly it is tiresome and mind-numbing.

    2. The roach trap

      Yeah, that’s standard (D) propaganda. Of the two parties, the GOP is really the big tent, because all they ask is that you hate Dems, then you can be as nuts as you want. The Democrats have the task of absorbing and then dissipating or destroying any actual reformist impulse, so they come down much harder on any deviation from the party line. That’s particularly evident now that Dems have been doing mopup operations to set the Constitution aside and repudiate jus cogens. What they’re doing is completely untenable so they just have to shut you up. Try bringing NC-type issues up in forums they control. They go insane.

    1. Cynthia

      I think the Syrians should insist on Israel vacating the Syrian Golan Heights — as per UN resolutions — immediately before having any discussion with the ‘opposition’, and certainly with the Americans.

      1. Valissa

        I’m sure Syria already has done so… and I see no sign that the US wants to have any serious discussions with Syria that involve Syria having the right to determine their own affairs. The US leadership of the mighty Pax Americana, via Hillary most recently, has been very clear that they want Assad out… period, end of story. And as always the MSM falls into line with the imperial war machine. There are lots of layers to the Syrian situation, but the 2 biggest are the endless Sunni-Shia sectarian power striggle and battle of dominance within the Islamic world and the fact that Israel and the US are mostly sided with the Sunnis due to Saudi Arabian oil (and SA is Sunni lead).

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Valissa, it’s a tangled web:

          “A MOSQUE IN MUNICH: Nazis, The CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West” by Ian Johnson (Boston New York, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)

          1. Valissa

            I went to Amazon to see what the book was about… very interesting stuff.

            So maybe it’s more appropriate to respond to your Spy vs. Spy comment below here… I’ve been thinking about that strip recently too :) One of my faves at Mad Magazine!

            The iconic image

            Spy vs Spy, example 1

            Spy vs Spy, example 2

      2. Walter Wit Man

        I’ve noticed reports that claim the rebels have a “mob” type group that runs PR for it in Syria and arranges for travel in Syria (like helping journalist Conway get out of the country, supposedly).

        For some reason the rebels are alleged to being supplied via Lebanon and I suspect this is disinformation to hide the fact the rebels may be supplied via Israel. Or maybe this disinformation is being propagated instead to drive a wedge between Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Here are some sources that question the Western fable re Syria: (showing how the “activists” make up casualty lists) Describing the attempt to “rescue” the French journalist and describing the military battle for Homs. The “rebels” have a ton of weapons hiding in the houses and spidey holes, they are shooting civilians that try to leave, and they are firing anti-tank missiles from the civilian areas. The author speculates the rebels are holding the journalists as human shields (but I suspect they aren’t even there but the incident has been faked).

      This report claims 12 French soldiers have been captured in Syria:

      And here is evidence that the *rebels* (really probably Western intelligence) have been faking videos:

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I found them via Moon of Alabama. The second link above is the most interesting, imo, because it has original reporting about Homs.

          The last one is interesting to me b/c the U.S. modus operandi of using fake videos and psy op campaigns. The recent events have all the hallmarks of a made in the U.S.A. propaganda campaign (but this time aimed mostly at the French people–so maybe the French are involved as well).

          1. Walter Wit Man

            This quote from that blog struck me:

            “I’ve sometimes posited the theory that Internet notwithstanding, television is the most powerful influence weapon.”

          2. Valissa

            Of course! And in both positive and negative ways. Here’s a question to ponder… what has caused the country overall to be less racist and more inclusive than it used to be… the Democratic Party or TV shows that positively portrayed black characters and black families (like Sesame Street, the Cosby show)? One can ask the same question about increasing tolerance of gay people and lifestyles. I remember being surprised what a hit “Queer eye for the straight guy” was when that came out.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            I have thought the same thing Valissa.

            Ever since Gavin Newsom came out of nowhere in ~2003 saying the city would marry same sex couples I thought this was actually a clever move politically–even though the conventional wisdom was it was political suicide.

            Like the number of politicians that established their liberal bona fides during the civil rights era, the gay rights era will similarly make a hero out of some politicians. And for most it will simply be a cover. Like Gavin Newsom.

            Which reminds me . . . remember how Obama gave Joe Lieberman the “honor” of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Ha.

            It does show how opinion can be moved when large parts of the establishment agree to change though.

  10. LeonovaBalletRusse

    RE: ECB link from Bloomberg: YVES, connect dots and do your thing: — (transcript by LBR of the Money Quote):

    “The Eurozone Crisis and the USA” – interview: Costas Lapavitsas, Professor at London School of Economics who “teaches Political Economy of Finance”:

    “European Capitalism [was] seen as welfarist and solidaristic and Keynesian in outlook. We now know that this is not the case….In fact, at the core of the European policy making establishment there is HARD CORE neoliberalism. It’s actually harder core in many ways than what you find in the United States….

    “The Euro is NOT a normal, regular common currency among some collection of countries….The Euro is more than that. The Euro is an international currency that wants to compete against the dollar and wants to give advantages, large concentrated capital in key European countries. For this reason, it has very particular requirements.

    “It needs an independent central bank, and a very CONSERVATIVE central bank. It demands fiscal CONSERVATIVE, very TIGHT fiscal conservatism. It protects the financial interests before it protects any other interests. And the people who have set up the Euro have understood from the very beginning, that this kind of new currency would only work—given the interests that EXIST–if they ‘muted’ [?] with a thoroughly neoliberal outlook in POLICY making. And that’s what we see in Europe. We see that the tie up of this, even if it makes negative effects.”

    (to be continued, with regard to the frame)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      continued – YVES, the frame for the above may be seen below, in DealBook snippets aggregated from Bloomberg News (online 29 Feb 2012):

      1) “In Europe, Banks Compete for Derivatives Fees” – The annual fees that investment banks stand to earn from arranging custom-made equity derivatives in Europe have reached a total of about $2 billion, Bloomberg News reports.”

      2) “Goldman Sachs Details European Exposure: – “The firm said in a filing that it had SOLD $142.4 billion of credit default swaps, which pay investors in the event of a default on Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain as of the end of last year, Bloomberg News reports. It had also PURCHASED such contracts on those nations’ debt with a gross notional value of $147.3 billion, the filing said.” [caps mine].

      3) “In Europe, Banks COMPETE for Derivates FEES” – “The annual FEES that investment banks stand to earn from arranging custom-made equity derivatives in EUROPE have reached a total of about $2 billion, Bloomberg News reports.” [caps mine]


      Isn’t GS *churning* derivatives for fees? Aren’t all members of the *Club* to which George Carlin referred in fact *churning* derivates/*insurance* to profit exponentially from fees?

      Did *investment banks* have to eliminate Glass-Steagall so that they could declare *CDS* to be *insurance* and themselves to be effective *insurers* while co-mingling *business* with AIG and other *insurance* giants of record? Do such *one stop shopping* investment banks need to be LICENSED to sell *insurance* in the form of derivatives to its clientele, while shorting the same *insurance* for profit to the House?

      Does Michael Bloomberg of Bloomberg News profit from *insider trading* of the SPREAD between the time-date stamp of the receipt of *news* and the time-date stamp of the publication of that *news*?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        YVES, history rhymes:

        “The contrivance thought out by the British delegates in Versailles not to fix the terms of the German tribute sought to flush a torrent of ‘bargaining, counter-chaffering and indefinite further adjustments,’ in the swirl of which ‘Germany must not be crippled in such a degree as would leave the IMPERIAL ESTABLISHMENT materially weakened in its campaign against Bolshevism abroad and radicalism at home.’ So the Treaty was in essence an articulate trap by which the German upper class–the custodians of the Reaction–were to be left UNTOUCHED, and thus UNCURED of the FEUDAL DISEASE, while the grief and resentment of the underclass–the proximate victims of the reparations’ bloodletting–was counted on to provide as much fodder for ‘radicalism’ as the SHELTERED JUNKERS required to RE-ESTABLISH a REACTIONARY, ANTI-BOLSHEVIK REGIME.” (caps mine, pp. 85-86) from:

        Chapter 7: “The Veblenian Prophecy. From the Councils of Versailles by Way of Russian Fratricide, 1919-20” — “CONJURING HITLER: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich” by Guido Giacomo Preparata (London/Ann Arbor MI, Pluto Press, 2005);


        “THE BUBBLE THAT BROKE THE WORLD” by Garet Garrett (Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1932; 1931) –

        “Luxembourg Exposed [part 2]” (LuxembourgExposed on Nov 23, 2010):

        “BCCI Scandal Pakistan’s Nuclear Program Funded 8 6 1991 NBC” (CoreOfCorruption on Aug 22, 2009):

        “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949” by Charles Higham (New York, Barnes & Noble, 1995; Charles Higham, 1983);

        “Prevent the Reemergence of a New Rival: The Making of the Cheney Regional Defense Strategy, 1991-1992” – contact: William Burr 202/994-7032 – from George Washington University
        http:/ (search);

        “British Corruption (MI6 london)” (sergino19 on May 31, 2010):

        “Do You Believe in Magick? (4 of 6)” (pq92k2 on Sep 7, 2011):

        “Tavistock Institute for Global Manipulation” (4GodNUs3 on Apr 25, 2009):

        “The Secret of Oz – Winner, Best Docu of 2010 v.1.09.11” (bstill on Feb2, 1011):

        YVES, it’s *old wine in new bottles* from generation to generation of .01% Occult Elite DNA, from era to era. SHINE YOUR LIGHT and reveal truth, as only you can.


        Rebels Unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.

    2. Jim

      Lenova, why are you surprised that the ECB would adhere to a hard-line? That was the deal with the German voter. Want the ECB to embrace a lax monetary policy? Let’s have the German people vote on it in a referendum.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Jim, I doubt the German people have any say in the matter. See quotations above from the chapter concerning Thortstein Veblen’s analysis in “CONJURING HITLER…” by Preparata.

        YVES, see also: — (search):

        “La CIA est a l’origine de la creation de l’Europe” (stef2892 on Jun 20, 2010);

        “Luxembourg (and the United States of Europe) Exposed [part 3]” (LuxenbourgExposed on June 20, 2011):

        (:30/9:50) “the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community and the United States of Europe” — JOHN MONNET (1955) and JOHN FOSTER DULLES;

        (1:15) “Institutions are more important than human beings.”

        (1:28-2:12) “Before WW2, the “International Steel Cartel (ISC) had its seat in Luxembourg. It was set up in 1926 by arbed (today ARCELOR/Mittal) and Thyssen. When the big three US Steel producers finally joined, it controlled around 90% of the world market till 1938. And it was where the investigations concerning business implications were launched by the U.S. Economic Warfare Section towards the end of WW2. Working with M. Meyer, and serving as the chairman of the board of directors of Felten & Guillecaume was Baron Kurt von Schroeder, Hitler’s banker. What the Luxembourgers chose to do with Aloyse Meyer did not change what was on the papers in the file of the steel cartel. …

        “Analogous to the ISC, the High Authority of the ECSC, the first ‘European institution,’ was established in Luxembourg in the same building where the U.S. Army installed its headquarters in 1944/45. (film footage 2:12: signing of the Treaty of Rome, establishing the ‘European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957 [including Walter Hallstein]. (2:45) “Walter Hallstein: Prominent member of the Nazi ‘Rechstwahrerbundes,’ expert on I.G. Farben cartel and first President of the European Commission.”

        (8:30-8:32) “Institutions in the Kirschberg: The European Investment Bank, The European Court of Arbiters, The European Court of Justice. When the new building for the EU Council of Ministers is completed [N.B. *Twin Towers*!] the office space of the EU administration will excess [sic.] Luxembourg’s national territory.”

        (9:13-9:47/9:50) “Today, among Brussels’ institutions, mostly German banks and American financial services groups are to be found in the Kirschberg. The new headquarters of Clearstream consist [sic.] the ‘mother of all this…

        YVES, CONNECT above with Comments farther above and:

        Dulles Dynasty, Walker Bush Dynasty, Nazi banking, Thyssen, I.G. Farben, American I.G. Chemical Corp., Standard Oil, U.S. War Department, General Motors and Opel Works, G.E., ITT, Sullivan & Cromwell, Kurt von Schroeder, OSS (CIA), U.S. Steel, in: “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949” by Charles Higham.


        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          continued from above — YVES, CONNECT, from Treaty of Rome to Club of Rome:

          “So the Club of Rome was instituted and organized to start an attack on the world’s population, using the United States as a whipping boy. And they came up with a paper called “The Zero-Growth Post-Industrial Plan for Industry and Agriculture for the United States of America.’

          “Three days after that plan was accepted as official U.S. Policy by James Earl Carter [Yves, NB Carter’s association with BCCI also], I was able too–through my Intelligence people–get a copy of this insidious document. Basically, what it said was that the Middle Class in the United States of America had to be destroyed, because in the coming push to a World Order, the Middle Class would be the stumbling block. Because history had shown that the peasant class, in ancient days, when they had revolted, were just easily crushed, there was no resistance.

          “But now had grown a new, super class of people in the United States called the Middle Class, who had long-term employment, who had job security, who were well paid, who could afford to buy the products that were made by the U.S., and didn’t need to buy products from China, or anywhere else. And the Club of Rome Zero-Growth paper said: This has got to stop. We have to bring down the Middle Class of the United States. (35:48) And the way we will do this is by crushing their industries. (36:03)

          ” In 1980, based on this, I wrote a booklet called “The Death of the U.S. Steel Industry.” And in that booklet I told of a French aristocrat called Etienne Davignon….They put their aristocrat onto the job of destroying at first the steel industry;

          “In my book in 1980 I said that by 1985 we would have silent blast furnaces, the rolling mills would be stopped, there’d be no more shipbuilding, we’d have thousands of skilled workers–who’d passed their skills of their trade down for generations–who were forever dispossessed of their jobs.

          “If you go to the Northeast United States today, … you will see that what I said in 1980 has unhappily come to pass. In 1970 the United States had 5000 ships built by good United States know-how, using good United States steel; 5000 ships sailing the high seas. Last year, there were exactly 270 such ships, and at least 50,000 steel workers out of a job–jobs that will never come back. What happened?

          “What happened was that the dastardly Club of Rome had sent their emissaries to the United States to deliberately destroy our steel plants. And they did it by opening the doors to so-called FREE TRADE; and everybody who signed the NAFTA Treaty, everybody who signs the GATT Treaty when it passes, is a TRAITOR, and a SEDITIONER.” (38:19)

          “The Committee of 300 by Dr. John Coleman” (1776isBACK on Jan 8, 2011).
          NOTE: Dr. Coleman declares that FREE TRADE is PIRACY. It is the piracy instituted by the British East Indies Company/*British Empire* during the OPIUM WARS on China; and the Piracy instituted by the .01% Global Reich against the interests of the People of the U.S. since the *Southern Strategy*, the *Drug Wars* and *Bush Wars for Private Profit at Public Expense*–to profit the .01% Global Reich and their .99% Agents since Nixon-Kissinger-Bush through George Bush and Barack Obama.

          YVES, did you CONNECT the power and profit dots?

          OCCUPY Charlotte 2012: “Regime Change Begins at Home” (Charles Derber)


          America Rebels Unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            YVES, history rhymes:

            “THE PITY OF IT ALL: A History of the Jews in Germany, 1943-1933” by Amos Elon;

            “THE HEIDELBERG MYTH: The Nazification and Denazification of a German University” by Steven P. Remy;

            “NAZIS ON THE RUN: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice” by Gerald Steinacher;

            “AMERICAN DYNASTY…” by Kevin Phillips: note that Bush Dynasty Power and Profit are at the heart of darkness from Holy Roman Reich III through IV.

            “THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons;

            Compare: “HITLER’S BENEFICIARIES” by Goetz Aly with “THE SHOCK DOCTRINE” by Naomi Klein. It’s still *Extraction Capitalism* for the Global .01% and their .99% Agents, and the Global .99% be damned.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            CORRECTION: “and the Global 99% be damned”

            BUT, according to: *And then they came for me*, the .99% also will be damned. Their time will come. And that’s the way to bet.

  11. mk

    re: Fukushima, US Nuclear Regulatory Agency doesn’t want US labs helping the people in Japan collect/analyse radiation data/problems occurring there – this attitude is disgusting, we need to put people’s live and well being first:

    “MR. SHARON: This is Brian Sharon. Quick question, well, not question, but I’ve gotten a couple of emails here today, from some of the National Labs, and they’re all — there are a couple of them chomping a the bit, you know, saying, “Ghee, can we help? Ghee, can we go calculate this,” with the codes and all that stuff.

    I keep telling them, “No, you don’t know the scenario,” but you know, somebody might want to call DOE and tell them to tell their labs to cool it, because the last thing we want is the labs going off, talking to the press, talking about consequences and all sorts of other stuff, because you know, they’re chomping at the bit, to do something, and I’m not sure, Eliot, maybe you’ve got a point of contact up there at DOE?”
    NRC worried about US National Labs “chomping at the bit” to help with Fukushima Radiation analysis – Call lab directors and say “Knock it off” is a new source of info for me. website is not available for some unknown reason.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stone Age Europeans discovered America.

    Maybe one day we will find a group of ancient male Siberians who refused to ask for directions and ended up in Northern Europe instead of Clovis or Friedkin.

    It’s possible that same group ‘discovered’ Asia after mindlessly wandered throught Europe.

  13. Susan the other

    About the Solutreans. If Poznansky (sp) had known about the Solutrean migrations he might have considered them connected to Tiajuanacu (sp). Maybe in the reverse since he dated Tiajuanacu’s calendar to 26,000 BCE due to its understanding of the long precession cycle of of the sky. Have any such early calendar calculations been found in Spain and France that predate Tiajuanacu’s knowledge? Then can’t we assume there’s a possibility that the Solutreans originated in the Americas, having evolved from some previous African immigrants dating much farther back? The place to look for connections is southern Africa. And at 50,000 years ago the migration could have come from almost anywhere to the Americas. Anyway, very interesting. It just bugs me that they assume migrations came to the Americas so late and so easily discount that the Americans could have themselves emmigrated way, way back.

  14. Lambert Strether

    The canonical leap year plot twist:

    PIRATE KING: For some ridiculous reason, to which, however, I’ve no desire to be disloyal,

    Some person in authority, I don’t know who, very likely the Astronomer Royal,

    Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February, twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty,

    One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and twenty.

    Through some singular coincidence – I shouldn’t be surprised if it were owing to the agency of an ill-natured fairy –

    You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born in leap-year, on the twenty-ninth of February;

    And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you’ll easily discover,

    That though you’ve lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by birthdays, you’re only five and a little bit over!

    FREDERIC: Dear me…

  15. Tam

    Years ago, an archeologist I once knew showed me the vertebrae of a long extinct species of bison that was dredged up by a clammer out of Narragansett Bay. The bone had an arrowhead deeply embedded in it.

  16. F. Beard

    “Banks lent to people who couldn’t repay. But nobody forced these people to take out loans …” from

    Let’s see. Suppose a counterfeiter comes to town and lends out PERFECT copies of Federal Reserve Notes for very low interest rates (What does he care? He creates money for free!) Soon a housing boom ensues and prices skyrocket. Pretty soon EVERYONE has to borrow from the counterfeiter or be forever priced out of the market by those who do borrow.

    How is the above any different from banking? Yet banking is legal!

    1. F. Beard

      Oh, I left out that when the boom collapses, the counterfeiter gets to foreclose on all those real houses built with his counterfeit money.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” 3rd president of US (1743 – 1826) Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)

  17. Hugh

    “We won’t give US advance warning of Iran strike, says Israel”

    Good thing the US has no surveillance satellites, can’t monitor communications traffic in and out of Israel, has no human assets on the ground, has no radars in the area, and no means of pressuring Israel or exacting a cost for any unilateral action it might undertake, so it looks like Israel can get away with this. Oh, wait…

    The article is actually better than the title suggests. But it misses that Netanyahu may be doing this to shore up his own shaky political standing in Israel by focusing attention on a foreign enemy, or that this could be part of a shakedown of the US for more aid, especially military aid, or that fascism has come to dominate the Israeli political spectrum.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      And notice what clever propaganda this is.

      The parameters of acceptable debate within the U.S. are being set.

      Those that are sick of war in the U.S. are being encouraged to channel their frustration and anger at Israel. Already the U.S. is concealing its role in the Arab Spring by using proxies and clandestine means of support.

      So the U.S. is getting away with fomenting war yet again. The mass media is the best weapon ever designed by man.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        WWM, skippy gave us the link for comprehension of USA!USA! last evening. I don’t have the link, but here is the title on

        “Morris Berman – Why America Failed” — Morris Berman, and American author who has lived in Mexico for the last 5 years, speaks at Eliot Bay Books, Seattle QA on 11/04/2011, on topic: “The Way We Live Today” —

        He says that our *programming* began in the 16th century, The unconscious programming that directs Americans without their knowing it.” In essence, those who immigrated to America came with “Manichean Opposition” built into their DNA, seeing themselves as *Light* v. the *Dark Other* – as *Civilization* v. the *Savage* Other, replete with “self-righteous hatred” of the opposing *Other* in heart and mind. This *justified* the murder of the Native American occupants of the New World already in place.

        Berman calles this *Negative Identity* in Hegel’s sense of *emptiness* that becomes Positive Identity only in opposition and defiance of the *Adversary*.

        Berman expands on his argument of “The MYTH of American Innocence” that covers American crimes of aggression, fueled by Capitalist fantasies of personal gain; and insists that America’s LUST FOR WAR is INCURABLE.

        He expects American psychosis to continue to drive our nation over the cliff, which is why he moved to Mexico, “a traditional culture” still, five years ago, although he wishes he had moved twenty years ago. He illustrates the astounding ignorance, stupidity, and self-righteous justification for unmitigated violence agains the *Other*, the alleged “Enemy,” and insists that is the *national character* that causes our nation to be despised around the globe.

        That is the gist. Go to the site and listen for yourselves.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Valissa, the article on *DYI Banking* is nested within CIA and Dept. of State classified ads. The Move Your Money campaign is touted.

      What do the connections above imply?

      1. Valissa

        As you remarked above… it’s a tangled web. We live in a complex, entangled and morally ambiguous world. Dramas of good and evil simplify and obscure this, but make it easier for the mind to feel “secure”. All you can do is try and weigh pros & cons (advantages vs. dangers) or any policy put forth.

        Naturally the people who best know how to set up banks, state run or otherwise, are bankers. It’s not possible to have a “pure” state run bank that will nobly attempt to “save” the little people from the evils of Wall Street. But there are many different factions amongst the financial elite and it’s possible that those who are more community adn service oriented may be able to help state governments that want to create banks that are more like state ultilities. Naturally there will be a certain amount of corruption that is inevitable… just like a certain amount of theft is built into retail business budgets.

        “All experience teaches that, whenever there is a great national establishment, employing large numbers of officials, the public must be reconciled to support many incompetent men; for such is the favoritism and nepotism always prevailing in the purlieus of these establishments, that some incompetent persons are always admitted, to the exclusion of many of the worthy.”
        — Herman Melville

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Valissa, Melville: He da Mensch. How well he knew us.

          “The Paradise of Bachelors” and “The Tartarus of Maids” is part of the same reality.

        2. F. Beard

          Poor Ellen Brown. She set out to understand banking but then became a fan of it!

          The problem is BANKING, not bankers.

          The Commies made the same mistake thinking that if only the right (Left) people were in charge of credit creation then all would be well.

          What part of “Thou shalt not steal” is unclear to liberals, Progressives and Ellen Brown?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      V, part of the Invasion of Britain. See:

      “The Tavistock Agenda”

      “The Tavistock Institute for Global Manipulation”

      “The Beatles Created by the Tavistock”

      Xref: Theodore Adorno (music), Stanford Research Institute, The Wharton School at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, The Sloan School of MIT, The RAND Corporation, The Heritage Foundation, Esalen, Brookings Institution, NASA, U.S Navy/Army, Treasury, Department of Stat, National Council of Churches, National Academy of Sciences, SYLVANIA

      We are sitting ducks in a deadly House of Mirrors, pawns in the Great Game.

      1. Valissa

        So true… after all… how do I know that you aren’t an operative of Tavistock providing colorful disinformation ;)

  18. Repetitive Strain Injuries

    I do not even understand how I finished up here, however I assumed this post was great. I don’t realize who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in case you are not already. Cheers!

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