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Links 4/25/12

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Birds Cultivate Decorative Plants to Attract Mates ScienceNews (F. Beard)

Six Ways to Save One Trillion Dollars MedPage Today (Aquifer)

Get Rich U.: There are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be? New Yorker

Mad-Cow Case Confirmed in Central California Bloomberg

Two Hurt by WWII Phosphorus on German Shoreline Der Spiegel (Aquifer)

Arrest of BP Scapegoat: Real Killers Walk Greg Palast

Robert Fisk: The Children of Fallujah – Sayef’s story Independent (May S)

Israeli Military Chief: Iran Won’t Develop Nuclear Weapons AntiWar

‘Berlin Is Running Out of Allies in Euro Crisis’ Der Spiegel (Aquifer)

Millions in line for debt relief Govt okays state bank payment moratorium Bangkok Post (Lambert)

The Biggest Student Uprising You’ve Never Heard Of The Chronicle of Higher Education (Lambert)

The Vatican’s Latest Target in the War on Women: Nuns Nation (Aquifer)

The Bernanke Conundrum and Level Targeting David Beckworth

U.S. Creates New Spy Service (Because 16 Intelligence Agencies is Not Enough) Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Romney Wins Five States, Marches Toward GOP Nomination Wall Street Journal

Why Wall Street Hates President Obama Mother Jones

Maine named most peaceful state Bangor Daily News (Lambert)

The American Conservative: “Extractive Elites” and “Macro-Corruption” Steve Roth, Angry Bear (Aquifer)

Egan-Jones Ratings Co. and Sean Egan Charged with Making Material Misrepresentations to SEC Securities and Exchange Commission. This looks pretty open and shut.

$20B Package of Bank of America MSRs Still Hasn’t Traded National Mortgage News

LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES (LPS) INTERNAL EMAIL ACCIDENTALLY LEAKED 4ClosureFraud

Debt Collector Is Faulted for Tough Tactics in Hospitals New York Times. Disgusting.

Wal-Mart aided effort to change anti-bribery law Washington Post

S.E.C. Asks if Hollywood Paid Bribes in China New York Times

Wells Fargo Turns Away Its Own Shareholders From Its Shareholder Meeting Mother Jones (Lambert). I’m pretty skeptical of this effort, if nothing else because a flack contacted me about it. I’m all for protesting, but I’m suspicious of anything organized by groups loyal to the Democratic party in an election year. If you are going to target a corporation, have some specific asks and enlist more shareholders, or use the protest at the annual meeting as a way to publicize other ways to pressure them as a business. Neither appears to have happened here.

Occupy the Farm: A New Encampment In Albany OccupyOakland (Lambert). Locals v. Whole Foods.

Noam Chomsky on America’s Declining Empire, Occupy and the Arab Spring Alternet (Aquifer)

Jon Corzine Is the Original George Zimmerman Matt Taibbi

MF Global: The Untold Story of the Biggest Wall Street Collapse Since Lehman Pam Martens, Alternet (Jeremy B via Jesse)

Attorneys general seek role in BofA’s Countrywide bond case Los Angeles Times.

TARP: Billions in Loans in Doubt Wall Street Journal

IT’S OFFICIAL: Keynes Was Right Daily Ticker. Lambert points out that this is a zeitgeist indicator.

The Chief Complaint: Dr. Otis Brawley Atlanta Magazine (Lambert). Although this is from February, it is still a must read.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Herman S):

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132 comments

  1. aet

    Maine is the most peaceful State…perhaps partly due to the clam-like taciturnity of its citizens, which serves in turn to reduce the number of “misunderstandings” which can lead to violent conflict?

    Unbridaled loquacity in the unreserved exercise of the freedom of expression HAS bred violent conflicts in the past, has it not?

    Peace likes to walk hand-in-hand with quiet: so imho it ought to be no surprise for those who have experienced Maine’s quiet places and citizens to find that Maine is also the “most peaceful”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maine’s voter registration as of 2008

      Dem
      347,023

      Rep
      283,872

      Others
      34,375

      Independent
      403,191

      More independents than either major party.

      Wonder if that has anything to do with it…

      1. Antifa

        There’s no time up there for argument.

        Ever since Maine became a going concern, the only concern going through every resident’s mind is gathering food and fuel to keep body and soul intact through another winter. That’s why they all have that glinty thousand-yard stare, and they talk about cold weather in the middle of July.

        For each one, their private struggle with the weather continues season after season until they either perish outright or move south to Vermont, where snow falls down and not sideways.

  2. ambrit

    Friends;
    What’s a rational being to think? That a top Israeli military leader pooh poohs sabre rattling by the countries civilian leaders is all to the good. The pros know that real wars never turn out as planned. But if you have fanatics and ideologes running the show, rationality goes poof, along with much of your country. We here in the good old USA have a similar problem. Most informed people know the leadership is unbalanced, but keep ‘electing’ them anyway. Time to think outside the ballot box?

      1. Aquifer

        Couple of questions

        1) why does one have to heave a URL to register at Corrente?

        2) why don’t you have an address that folks can send checks to (made out to your hamsters, of course) for those of us who hate putting cc numbers on line?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Aquifer, this is probably OT for Yves’s site… So and but if you don’t have my mail, it is lambert_strether DOT corrente AT yahoo DOT com.

          Don’t understand, though, “heave a link”?

          1. Aquifer

            oops, sorry, guess this wasn’t the place for those questions …. – blog “etiquette” is obviously not my forte …

  3. YankeeFrank

    Re “Keynes was right”, the problem is that Keynes was only half correct: the government must spend lots of money during a recession/depression to get the economy going, but the government doesn’t need to issue debt to fund said spending. Ever. And on top of that, without a major restructuring of our industrial policy (ya know — making actual things we can buy here at home and export) throwing money into our economy will be inefficient because much of that money will simply wind up in corporate hoards via the third world slave labor manufacturing behemoths.

    Its a sad testament to our times that even when people begin to get it right, they can’t quite make the jump to what would really take us out of our mess. Our real problem is a monumental lack of imagination and daring thought, and an arrogant trust in what we believe to be true that just ain’t so.

    1. eeyores enigma

      Its a sad testament to our times that even …seemingly intelligent people think that the sooner we get back to extracting resources at breakneck speed and start turning it into something to burn and/or trash, the sooner everything will start to get better.

      “Our real problem is a monumental lack of imagination and daring thought, and an arrogant trust in what we believe to be true that just ain’t so.”

      How right you are.

      1. F. Beard

        and start turning it into something to burn and/or trash, the sooner everything will start to get better. eeyores enigma

        Actually, it is a prosperous society that can afford quality products and concern for the environment.

        Poverty is expensive because people are forced to think short term. They buy junk (again and again) because that is all they can afford.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Which one would describe our world today:

          1. one of ‘extracting resources at breakneck speed and start turning it into something to burn and/or trash’

          or

          2. one ‘that can afford quality products and concern for the environment?’

          1. F. Beard

            “Can” expresses a possibility, not an actuality.

            An opposing possibility and actuality can co-exist at the same time.

        2. Eeyores enigma

          OK F.Beard, let me rephrase it;

          “‘extracting resources at breakneck speed and start turning it into QUALITY PRODUCTS to burn and/or trash WHILE PRETENDING CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT’”

        3. Eeyores enigma

          OK F.Beard, let me rephrase it;

          “‘extracting resources at breakneck speed and start turning it into QUALITY PRODUCTS to burn and/or trash WHILE GIVING LIP SERVICE PRETENDING CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT’”

          1. F. Beard

            “‘extracting resources at breakneck speed and start turning it into QUALITY PRODUCTS to burn and/or trash Eeyores enigma

            Quality products are typically kept, resold or otherwise kept in service. They are not typically trashed and if they are trashed they are often salvaged by the poor or thrifty or recycled.

            As for breakneck speed, that speed is REQUIRED by our usury-based money system to pay the compound interest. Let’s replace that, eh, and not think poverty is a virtue?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We say we want growth and jobs, some or all of the below are jobs some of us, including yours truly, don’t want:

        1. Frackers
        2. bankers
        3. hedgies
        4. drug dealers
        5. genetic modifiers of food
        6. some tree cutters
        7. some oil pipeline installers
        8. some deep sea water drillers
        9. lobbyists
        10. propagandists
        11. growth hormone makers
        12. food additive makers
        13. some economists
        14. derivatives traders
        15. rating agency workers
        etc (anyone is welcome to add to the list)

        So, we don’t always want growth and jobs unless they conform to our values. There will be pain, for some people, but adults know there is no such a thing as a pain-free world.

        1. F. Beard

          There will be pain, MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Any dummy can cause pain and they often do.

          The problem is avoiding unnecessary pain.

  4. wunsacon

    Hi Lambert,

    >> IT’S OFFICIAL: Keynes Was Right Daily Ticker. Lambert points out that this is a zeitgeist indicator.

    How so? Do you think the EU is about to stop its austerity measures and perhaps do the opposite? The US, too?

    1. Dan B

      I think of it as an antithesis gaining credence. But the fundamental reality is that we’re in an energy crisis (not to short shrift concomitant ecological crises) that is masked by profound misunderstandings and propaganda about tar sand, shale oil, etc. These are sign of peak oil’s impact, not its solution or irrelevance.

      1. F. Beard

        But the fundamental reality is that we’re in an energy crisis Dan B

        No, the fundamental reality is we have an unjust and unstable money system.

        Or was there an energy shortage during the Great Depression too?

        1. wunsacon

          >> >> But the fundamental reality is that we’re in an energy crisis Dan B

          >> No, the fundamental reality is we have an unjust and unstable money system.

          Beard, why can’t it be both? (Okay, I’m biased, because that’s what I believe…)

          1. F. Beard

            why can’t it be both? wunsacon

            Occam’s Razor.

            But even if energy was a problem we should still kill banking or it will kill us sooner or later.

            Heck, even war will seem like a solution if this Depression continues much longer and I assure you that war will destroy a LOT of resources.

  5. Goin' South

    If anyone doubts the dehumanizing effects of Capitalism, they need to read the article about Dr. Brawley. No, I’m not talking about the poor patients, like the one who brings her self-detached, cancer ridden breast into the emergency room in hopes that it might be re-attached. I’m talking about those who practice medicine in this country. Dr. Brawley’s courageous battle is one in which all doctors–who are supposedly about healing–should be engaged. In fact, any doctor with an ounce of compassion would be joining with her/his fellows in a strike that refused treatment to the rich until all in this country had real access to medical care.

    Instead, most doctors, as Dr. Brawley writes, are perfectly fine with this famine/gluttony, two-tiered, for-profit system. It’s tragic how the pursuit of profit has completely cut off these highly trained, skilled people from their profession’s ancient body of ethics.

    1. Yearning to Learn

      “Instead, most doctors, as Dr. Brawley writes, are perfectly fine with this famine/gluttony, two-tiered, for-profit system.”

      as a doc in “the system” I couldn’t disagree with you more. “most” doctors IMO are not “perfectly fine” with the system. Most doctors are ardently opposed to this system.

      Recent polls of doctors show that only 9% of doctors support our system. 42% want single payer. 49% want a modified system.

      But then you need to break down the types of docs. The primary care docs (Fam Practice, Pediatrics, Int. Med) and the “feeling” specialties (Psychiatry, Ob/Gyn, Oncology) overwhelmingly want single payer. (65-83%)
      It’s the high cost high priced specialists who don’t so much (Interventional Cardiology, Radiology, GI, ENT, Derm, etc).

      The schism between Primary Care and Specialists is why the AMA opposes Single Payer. The AMA is about money. Who has money? Specialists. But don’t get me started on the AMA (of which I, like 85% of my doctor colleagues, am NOT a member). They oppose Single Payer but they also opposed Medicare. The AMA represents doctors about as much as the Pope represents American Catholics.

      Who really benefits with our current system? Largely insurance companies, STOCK HOLDERS and the executive class (CEO, CFO etc) of major Medical Systems, Big Pharm companies. These are the people who are against Single Payer, and they are the ones with the money.

      But they’ve been successful at convincing patients and the public that they are aligned with the doctors. In truth, it is the docs and the patients against the Insurers and the executives and Big Pharma. Unfortunately, even some docs also confuse who is on which side.

      A larger problem isn’t that docs are fine with the system, it’s that we’ve given up. It’s been a losing battle over the last 40 years, and we continue to lose.

      Heck, we can barely get a seat at the table. Instead it’s Big Pharma and BigHealth (hospital systems) and Politicians all screaming about how they should make us do our jobs, with token input from the AMA (who barely represents us) that is ignored anyway.

      =====
      on a side note, the article was amazing, and spot on. I worked for a month in the NICU at Grady Memorial Hospital in the 90′s and I felt like I could have personally written this article.

      my only quibble was the way the writer set it up to make it seem like Dr. Brawley is a maverick hated by his peers. Are you kidding, he is our HERO! We love him. You don’t get to his station in life without support from fellow docs. HE is bringing the message to the public that we want voiced. the people who hate it are the BigHealth executives.

      We have such misallocation in American Medicine that it is unbelievable. Over 30% of every dollar goes to just ADMINISTRATION. Worse, compensation structure encourages people to go into high paid specialties and not into primary care, driving up the cost of care substantially.

      What we need are more primary care docs, less specialists, less tests, less interventions, and Single Payer.

      The problem in part is that many to most Americans won’t have it. Mention any of this and you get immediate howls of “rationing!”. We have trained our patients to demand excessive care. Patients demand antibiotics for sinus infections, xrays for sprained ankles, and echew most health advice even if a doc takes the time to try to dispense it. (I still have to argue with people that yes, indeed, if you lower your calorie intake and increase your exercise you will indeed improve your health. You will likely lose weight or at least improve your cholesterol and diabetes scores. I still have to argue that gastric bypass and cholesterol/diabetes drugs are not the way to go).

      we need to radically change the way that we do health care in America, but unfortunately most people aren’t ready for it, even those who recognize that there is a problem. Those that are ready are beaten into submission by “the system” and then we’re attacked as “being fine” with the thing we hate most.

      At a certain point, you break, which is why my plan is to retire from American Medicine at age 45. pushed out, just like all the others who are fighting unsuccessfully to change things.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        YtoL, how about “Docs + People Occupy Health Care?” What would happen if M.D.’s started talking directly to the People anent the issue of Health of the People v. Health of the Profiteers. Isn’t it time to “eliminate the middleman?” How about Humanizing Health Care v. Financializing Health Care?

      2. Lambert Strether

        The single payer movement was and is driven by doctors and nurses whose mission is to save lives.

        When the career “progressives” and D shills — sorry for the redundancy — imposed a news blackout on single payer during the HCR battle, and silenced or banned its activists, all so Obama could claim a legislative win, no matter how hollow, they showed themselves not only to be pathetically delusional about their supposed “savvy,” but immoral. Obviously, nobody should give them any credence about anything, especially in an election year, when they’ll just say anything.

      3. Aquifer

        So, here’s a question – why doesn’t every doc who supports single payer:

        1) have information in his office about it, why it is good, and how to achieve getting it?

        2) openly support and work for the folks who would get it for us?

        I am a retired doc, and agree with your assessment of the situation – which is why i shamelessly promote, here, there and everywhere Dr. Jill Stein’s Pres. campaign. She got into politics because of what she saw in her own years in medicine – read her explanation.

        So here we are – in a time when we are told so many medical folk want single payer – and a campaign that is working to be able to get matching Fed funds – $20,000 in $250 or less donations in each of 20 states – that’s all it takes. So you want to tell me there aren’t enough medical folk who can at least do that?

        Frankly i am a bit frustrated at hearing about how all my fellow Meds want SP and yet somehow aren’t doing the really simple things that could get us there. Blaming the AMA? – Hell, go around them ….

        Docs have a “captive audiences” – as you say they should use their time with them to teach folks about diet and exercise – but also about the system that is keeping them poor and how to fix it. They have quite a bully pulpit if they choose to use it. What is the problem? Don’t want to alienate “conservative” patients? What about all those conservative patients who are lost in the system and can’t even get their foot in the door? Afraid that the insurance companies will screw those who speak out? They are screwing them and their patients already. Can’t figure out a way to talk about it? Shucks, if one can figure out a way to tell a person (s)he is dying – one can do this …

        If medical folks in this country would get together and put their money and their support behind those who support SP, we could get there, make no mistake about it – if we don’t, we won’t – it is as simple as that

        Will that “cure” all that is wrong with medicine? Hell no, but it is a sine qua non, IMO

        http://www.jillstein.org/

        1. Lambert Strether

          They can join PNHP. I dunno if I want doctors campaigning out of their offices on single payer. Because what campaign is next?

          Adding… Then again, what did the Canadians do? Anybody know?

          1. JEHR

            You ask what the Canadians did to get single-payer system of health care. We have a third party in Canada called the NDP (New Democratic Party). Tommy Douglas became leader of that party and he first brought universal health care to all the residents of the province of Saskatchewan (at that time one of the poorer provinces). He is called the Father of Medicare for Canada and we love what he did for us. We have had universal health care since 1964.

            Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Douglas

            For the first time ever, the NDP is now the official opposition in the federal government. We are hoping for more good things from the NDP as Harper brings neo-conservatism to Canada with a vengeance.

          2. Aquifer

            Hmmm – don’t want docs “campaigning” out of their offices? What do you suppose “educational” posters with drug company names are?

            What’s next? oh how about some info in how good organic food is better for you than all that processed crap that is sold?

            Docs, IMO, should be campaigning for all that stuff – and assuming it is for the patient’s benefit, shouldn’t the patients be brought in on it? And if not, why not?

            Do healthcare folk want single payer and decent food and environmental conditions for their patients especially when they know the lack of same is what is making, or keeping, them sick, or not?

            Sure, one can join PNHP – but getting the changes we need will take more than another organization – we have those up to our ears. What it will take is concerted political action and that, in turn, requires numbers, and that requires education and motivation which docs are in a unique position to provide. It has come to the point where docs need to step up to the plate – as Jim Hanson did for climate change ….

            It isn’t enough to just bemoan the situation. It is unfortunate that it should have to come to this – docs should be able to just practice medicine – and that is their excuse for not getting involved, but if they haven’t figured out by now that practicing medicine involves more than handing out pills and cutting and sewing – we have a big problem – and we do. They are complaining that they are not allowed to practice the medicine they wish – well stop bitching about it and work for a system in which they can …

            The system is not conducive to health – if docs are really in it for health, they have to confront the system head on and explain to their patients what that means …

            Stein is right – she realized that all the stuff she could do in the office would be easily outdone by the environment patients went back into. She is taking the bull by the horns, and IMO deserves all the support she can get from fellow Meds who feel the same way.

            Maybe it’s my “surgical personality” but there comes a time when you stop “screening” and “diagnosing” and start treating. The system itself is sick – we have no qualms with recommending extreme chemo and surgery for patients, why are we so squeamish about doing the same for the system? Just as the health of the patient requires a partnership between doc and patient, so to the health of the system in which they both “function” requires input from both …

            If i am emoting strongly, it is from years of frustration, knowing it could be so much better, and i am challenging my erstwhile colleagues to do something more than just send in “dues” to another org. PNHP is GREAT, make no mistake – but we have to do a hell of a lot more than that ….

            And if you don’t like the literature in the office – just pick up a magazine – talk about advertising ……

        2. skorn

          @aquifer

          Re: direct action single payer education efforts

          Most MDs these days work for BigHealth in a very corporatized system. The BigHealth bigwigs prohibit actions targeted at “healthcare consumers” that might negatively affect profit margins.

          1. Aquifer

            Well it’s that same system they are bitching about. I realize it is difficult to bite the hand that feeds you, but when that same hand is strangling you and the folks you are supposed to be advocates for, it’s time to loosen its grip. The cognitive dissonance is real and is itself taking a toll. Methinks more docs are choosing to just leave rather than fight and that is no good …

    2. Klassy!

      Dr. Brawley is courageous. As head of the American Cancer Society, he has called out the dubious benefits of certain preventative cancer screenings and has managed to piss a good deal of people off.
      The description of our health care system as gluttony or famine is perfect.

  6. DP

    Great read on Dr. Brawley. We need a President who will make him or somebody like him Healthcare Czar and give him a bully pulpit from which he can talk about and ultimately blow up our healthcare system.

    1. Aquifer

      Hmmm, what better bully pulpit than the Pres.? Jill Stein would “go to town” on this …

      http://www.jillstein.org/

      Wonder if Dr. Brawley has woken up to the fact that the dear ole Dems won’t get him any closer to the system he wants than the Reps will …..

  7. Diogenes

    Yves, did you see the PBS Frontline broadcast of “Money, Power and Wall Street?”

    Incredibly well done analysis of the financial crisis.

    Began with interviews of the people at Chase that created credit default swaps and an explanation of how they proliferated. Four, two-hour episodes, with the first airing last night.

    I loved “Inside Job,” but this goes much further in analyzing the crisis in a clear way.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Also saw Frontline. Unusually solid reporting of substance. This seems to be done on the scale needed to convey the event which besides being a disaster of epic proportions, was played out over a period of time transcending news cycles and even Sunday supplement extra long perspectives. Sheila Bair, Brooksley Born and so many other key participants and voices directly interviewed with extended on line interviews to drill down into the whole mess. This looks to be comprehensive. Frontline has done a lot of reporting on this, including a 2009 in depth report, “THE WARING”, featuring the attempts by Ms Born to draw attention to the disaster waiting to happen while she headed the CFTC.

      http://articles.businessinsider.com/2009-10-21/wall_street/30087500_1_brooksley-derivatives-market-stock-market

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        PT, it’s expertly done, but so much is ignored that it’s still a whitewash. But how could it be otherwise at this stage? It’s an excellent start, if it wakes up the the People who “in stupor lie.” (Auden).

    2. psychohistorian

      I don’t usually watch this sort of propaganda but a friend talked me into watching it.

      Talk about pretting up history. Those poor JPM kids that “thought up” the new way to shuffle off risk to the ignorant. Whooocccooouuuulddddaaaanode

      When we start prosecuting the folks that own the bankers, let me know.

      1. DP

        The portrayal of the JPM bankers as the good guys was straight out of Gillian Tett’s book. She was one of the financial journalists interviewed on the show.

        As somebody who has followed the financial meltdown closely and read several books on it, I didn’t learn one new piece of information from the Frontline episode last night. I thought the documentary Inside Job was far better.

    3. Neo-Realist

      I wonder how Frontline gets away with such exposes? Don’t they know that PBS could lose the big donors over this journalism? sarcasm!

      1. YankeeFrank

        Indeedly doodly there Neo! I watched some of tonight’s episode and its basically a narrative with little commentary, and the commentary that exists is pretty thin. There is criticism of the Fed and regulators generally in that they not only had no idea how fragile and unstable the system they supposedly regulate was (is), but once its fragility revealed itself they did nothing to clean up the cross-bets and counterparty risk. This is solid as far as it goes. But then some stooge from Bush’s Treasury informs us that they had no authority to do anything so they didn’t do anything. Frontline lets that “information” stand without a single counterpoint. And of course the word fraud is never used at all.

        Now, I haven’t watched the whole thing, so someone with a stronger stomach than me can let me know if it gets any better than this, but I ain’t holding my breath. Its a whitewash, which is as expected from PBS. I mean, they even have commentary from Andrew Ross Sorkin, dictation machine to the bankster class himself.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Japan pledged $60 billion to help Europe when they could use that to help bringing their jobless rate from 4.6% now back to the 2.6% number they averaged from 1953 to 2010???

  8. Hal

    “Maine named most peaceful state Bangor Daily News
    (Lambert)”

    Maine also has the highest number of concealed weapons permits, something like 50,000 or so. Correlation?

    1. Lambert Strether

      I doubt that’s a driving factor. Maine’s a big state and very rural. I think people are more likely to be polite to each other because they’ll need each other’s help when the furnace fails or they run out of wood, than because of guns. It’s tough up here at the margin.

      It’s significant to me that the “Open Carry” wankers are strutting about down in Portland, which is so far south it’s verging on Boston. So far, up here, where guns might actually be needed for other than pathetically symbolic purposes, nada.

        1. Antifa

          Cost of living is not bad if you built your own cabin and own a hundred acres of forest to feed the fireplace and provide meat and hides to put food on the family.

          As for the girls, why, there are thousands of lovely Maine lasses who are willing to relocate to wherever you are.

    2. JEHR

      Maybe Maine is so peaceful because it lies close to Canada where guns are not so plentiful. Maine is a lot like the province of New Brunswick–small and community minded and peaceful because of both these attributes.

  9. LeonovaBalletRusse

    re “Get RichU” – and The New Yorker’s article on the self-enrichment feedback loops, clearly Republican, machine that should be called “Stanford Silicone V U,” is there any reason why Stanford should still have “non-profit” status that was originally bestowed on colleges/universities when they actually did not make a profit? Stanford Silicone V U doesn’t still need a “hand up,” does it?

    Clearly, Stanford is a closed complex feedback system for infinite enrichment of its participants, exploiting “tax-exempt” status to ensure tax write-offs by donors to the Mother Ship. Stanford’s “non-profit” status is obscene.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Any corporation can be non-profit (i.e. zero profit) if it just gives the money it makes to its management all the time.

      On the other hand, with respect to the sort of non-profit organizations we typically think of, if everyone there is voluntary, then the money from government grants, charitable donations and investment incomes/interests they earn, i.e. revenue, becomes profit, after subtracting rent, office supplies, utilities, etc.

      So, non-profits can be profitable and many for-profits are not profitable.

  10. jsmith

    Re: Stanford

    If there is as more insular institution on the planet, one which freely engages in the “Illusion of Education” as Mr. Hedges has so aptly described in his book “Empire of Illusion”, you’d be hard pressed to find one more so than Stanford especially post Internet boom.

    Besides having been “cleansed” of any of the more “alternative” student structures over the last 20 years, the school is a breeding ground for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young scientists ready to work for Palantir – the Google-esque surveillance company (Being a fascist is hip!) – or Lockheed Martin on a new generation of weapons for the MIC.

    Awesome!!

    Stanford is a shining example of the neo-liberal – aka neo-fascist – “public-private” partnership, a beacon of where the elite would like to take the rest of the country. Schools are no longer for becoming better, more well-rounded human beings. Rather, they are indoctrination camps meant to produce the next generation of economic hit-men, obedient cube rats and war criminal weapons designers.

    And that’s all said with nary a mention of the Hoover Institution which includes such luminaries as Michael Boskin, Niall Ferguson, Condi Rice and George Schultz.

    Re: Occupy

    It’s time to come up with a demand, kiddies.

    How about an end to the corporation by whatever means.

    If that means state ownership, fine.

    If it means cooperatives replacing corporations, fine.

    Corporations as an entity must end to save the planet.

    This campaign if done correctly could harness 1) nationalists against transnational corporations 2) anti-globalists 3) small-business owners 4) socialists 5) anarchists 6) environmentalists and a host of other groups.

    Occupy: End the Corporation

    1. jsmith

      Here’s a nice expose on Palantir from Businessweek last year.

      http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/palantir-the-vanguard-of-cyberterror-security-11222011.html

      Becoming part of the MIC was never so much fun!!!

      BTW, just to clarify, I do understand Stanford is a private institution, thus my use of “” in describing the quasi-PPP which Stanford and Silicon Valley et al have with one another.

      However, this relationship – PPP without the quotes – is increasingly apparent in most public universities across the country with Stanford still standing as the ideal manifestation of what a former institution of education can aspire to be.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        PPP – kind of like the SPP — “Security and Prosperity Partnership” that George W. Bush had cooked up to jump-start the NAU: with Condi Rice, Michael Chertoff, Mr. Justice Gonzales doing the honors, forging the profit links for Financialized Mega Transportation from Mexico through Kansas City Hub through Detroit up to Montreal. Remember that? It was covered by a really shocked reporter on TV, because this “off-sides” Unitary Executive “Decider” Agency was acting without input (or even knowledge) of the U.S. Congress, even though Law was being made in extra-Constitutional fashion. Yet “None Dare Call It Treason.”

        The same Condi Rice figures into Greg Palast’s contribution to LINKS today–she (former Chevron bigwig) has been involved with the anti-prosecution of BigOil, in favor of indicting chumps (wonder what the Payola is to take the fall).

        The same Condi Rice is a Stanford chess queen for the 1% “Republican” Cause of the Financialized Security State. Do Stanford-Friendly Ggl & Fbk funnel “Friendly” stats into Monopoly Finance traps for 1% profits in loops?

        Stanford’s “steady state profit system.” What are “Friends” for?

        1. Jim

          When Condi spoke at commencement exercises within the last decade (don’t recall the exact year), many students actually turned their back to her. When President Bush was en route to the Hoover Institution, his motorcade was impeded entry by a group of students.

          Stanford isn’t perfect, but the students, faculty and grads are FAR more Democratic than those of any other university (perhaps Harvard is a bit more pro-Dem than Stanford).

          And if you want to strip Stanford of its non-profit status, let’s do so once we catch up to Harvard’s endowment. It had a 250+ year head start. Once we surpass the Stanford of the East’s endowment, then we can strip both schools of that status. But not until then.

    2. F. Beard

      If it means cooperatives replacing corporations, fine. jsmith

      Without the counterfeiting cartel, the banking system, I reckon that corporations would be MOSTLY owned by their workers.

      Yet your comment does not even MENTION banks.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Corporations that are mostly owned by workers do not necessarily act any different from those that are not owned mostly by workers.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            One of the keys here is fractional reserve banking, something both the far left and the far right seem to agree on.

    3. LD

      Regarding Stanford, thanks for that illuminating succinct comment. Those of us who were born here, who could tell tails about the rotten fascist culture dripping from the place since the Reagan 80s, you couldn’t have said it better.

  11. barrisj

    Re: Fallujah – many of us blogging back in 2004 predicted that shortly after the November elections, Boosh would order the retaking/levelling of the city after the earlier attempt by US Marines to dislodge insurgents failed. The “Second Battle of Fallujah” was a bloody, no-holds-barred onslaught by the US military…all manner of heavy weaponry, bombs, rockets, artillery, the lot. And, of course, the obligatory Marine snipers, who “lit up” ambulances and other rescue vehicles trying to get to non-combatants, the latter bearing the bulk of casualties. The mentality here was to “avenge” the deaths of four US contractors, who themselves were in fact armed combatants, and the Boosh WH made no secret of getting its own back, whatever the cost to its own military, and to the civilian population of Fallujah. “War crimes”? No doubt, but the entire invasion of Iraq was a massive war crime, for which there are no guilty parties…”winners’ justice”, and all that.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “And everybody praised the Duke
      Who this great fight did win.”
      “But what good came of it at last?”
      Quoth little Peterkin.
      “Why, that I cannot tell,” said he,
      “But ’twas a famous victory.”

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hollywood paid bribes in China.

    —-

    It does create jobs here.

    And the bribes will recycle back when the bribe-takers seek shelter here. Heck, if they buy a house over a certain amount, I understand they will be given permanent residence.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I guess that’s kind of a vegetable antidote.

    But I don’t think you can claim ‘no vegetables were harmed’ in making the antidote.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The more I look at the antidote, the more negative vibes I get.

      A couple of torn limbs there…

      1. Literary Critic

        Yes. I’m afraid we won’t fix this ugly food chain problem until we get whey protein from recyclable cows, learn to synthesize carbohydrates from coal, and waiting for vegetables to die a natural death before consuming them for roughage.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Waiting until vegetables die of a natural death is the humane way to go.

          When a human says to a vegetable, ‘I want you to grow up to be big and strong,’ there is a reason that should sent shivers down its spine (or its equivalent).

          1. F. Beard

            Waiting until vegetables die of a natural death is the humane way to go. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What if the cause of death is disease?

            When any person eats an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or an alien, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he will become clean. Leviticus 17:15 [emphasis added]

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We have to rely on our scientists here to see if they thoroughly kill the cause of the disease to render the dead vegetable/animal harmless for human consumption.

            Life is not a piece of cake.

          3. patricia

            Or those dead bacteria/virus/fungi may function as vaccines. We need more of them to strengthen our immune systems!

      2. craazyman

        be careful what you say about antidotes around here because sometimes people actually read what we write. I always find that shocking because I thought it was just a few of us boneheads yacking by ourselves and nobody payed any attention.

        Jesse has posted a Janet Tavikoli interview and boy oh boy is she fed up. She throws around the “F” word like it was confetti at a ticker tape parade. And her photo looks pretty hot too.

        We heard nothing like this from the folks at the recent Institute for Noologically Evasive Tinkering Conference — unless you count Professor Michael “Savanarola” Hudson’s verbal blitzkreig, which most folks there seemed to politely deflect.

        Hard to figure all this stuff out in one simple theory like the one about the Aztec Pyramid. but if you understand the depths of reality, what good does it do you anyway without a ten-bagger to accompany it. I’m not a saint and I don’t want to work. So that leaves getting lucky as the only way out.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Yes, I am also concerned that the sensitive vegetable-rights activists might faint at an antidote like today’s.

          1. Literary Critic

            Or the Mouse Anti-Defamation League aghast that we have focused on a single lactose intolerant mouse!

        2. patricia

          Thanks. I like this: “When your benchmark is money and you continue to be richly rewarded by the wrong behavior, you’re not going to get the message.”

          Translation: Humans who are as dumb as weeds need to be pulled out, not fertilized, whether they squeal like real vegetables, or not.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Interesting.

        I know of fractal broccoli (or Roman cauliflower), but have not heard of electric broccoli.

    2. scraping_by

      It might be the artwork of someone who believes that ‘vegetables are food for food.’ Though I don’t think even the most stolid meat-and-potatoes devotee would stoop to a couple of bites like that. Fur gets in your teeth.

      1. craazyman

        you could throw the animal and vegetable into an industrial strength grinder, fry it up, and get your protein and good carbs in one simple meal! wow. just like the astronauts. that could be a godsend for us lazy folks who hate any kind of effort, like cooking, grocery shopping or even going to a restaurant (unless I’m there to pound beers).

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Occupy The Farm in Albany.

    I believe we should not murder

    1. other humans
    2. animals
    3. vegetables

    But our human morality is one of Compromised Morality, as we must eat something to survive; therefore, we, at least, insist that there be no buying and selling of

    1. humans
    2. animals
    3. vegetables

    That is, we insist on the Neanderthal ethics – we grow, gather and hunt animals and vegetables (not humans though) on our own, instead of buying/selling them.

    The Occupy The Farm movement in Albany to create a community farm is to be appreciated in this spirit.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is nothing loftier and one can’t occupy a higher moral plane than to say one grows one’s own vegetables.

        Diocletian knew that.

        Bai-Zhang knewe that.

        Candide knew that.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You mean baby flowers?

            Here I consult with the Godfather of Compromised Morality and here is his quote:

            And I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen (he meant the business of choosing to reincarnate as a human being, and not as a vegetable); I didn’t ask who gave the order (editor’s note: the order to deliberate whether it’s right or wrong to eat that baby flower), because it had nothing to do with business (business of staying alive, avoiding starvation).

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Produce selling – that’s another job category we might consider not welcoming…perhaps after an appropriate transitional/adjustment period.

  15. kevinearick

    So, the Bataan Death March through stupidity continues…the Fed battles volatility behind the margin, while pumping the margin, racing to avoid transparency…

    Apple is the empire bet, assuming the path through which it must travel…like betting on the Dallas Cowboys… America’s Team right? How’s that $2B stadium working out? Great if you’re San Francisco.

  16. Aquifer

    Just a couple of observations on the credit agencies in hospitals piece …

    Did folks notice that on each page of the article there was a little button you could push to “add” this (execrable) company to your “portfolio”?

    One of the newer clients for this company is “Catholic Health East” – Quelle surprise! Hope the nuns speak out on that one, too …

    Want to get rid of these scumbags? Single payer to the rescue …

  17. Westcoastliberal

    Re: MF Global. If you or I took money entrusted to us but not ours (as in escrow) and gambled it then lost it, we would be indicted and prosecuted; probably convicted and incarcerated. That in a nutshell is what Corzine did with MF Global. He can point the finger at underlings all he wants, but the buck stops with the CEO.
    Until and unless “connections” do not obfuscate the rule of law, this country is screwed.
    Re: Jill Stein. Thanks to the poster for the link to her website. She sure has the right idea on many points and if she can get on the ballot in all 50 states I think she might have a shot as there are so many people this election cycle who, like me, feel disenfranchised. Obama turned out to be working for the other side; the Dems and GOP are just flip sides of the same coin…now it’s US vs THEM.

    1. Aquifer

      Spread the word – she is working to get on at least 47, enough to cover enough electoral college votes. If you live in a state where she isn’t on yet, you could help get her there :)

      We really do have to get serious about this … It can be done …

  18. Klassy!

    re: The American Conservative piece. Not sure why such incredulity that the article was in TAC. It’s not The American Spectator (or any neocon rag for that matter). They frequently crosspost from TomDispatch for pete’s sake. Heck, there was a nice piece on Wallace Berry today.

    1. Aquifer

      As someone might say “holey moley!”

      Shows how “far” we have come when a Dem would be more comfortable with a particular Rep Pres than many Reps would be, but i suspect he is not the only one …..

      So, remind me again, what is the difference, I keep forgetting ….

  19. scraping_by

    The newest intelligence agency is being played as spreading bureaucracy or government duplication. In truth, it’s a well-rehearsed play when the permanent government opposes the elected government’s recklessness.

    Barry wants to escalate his current unprovoked aggression against Iran to full scale military murder. The cause being bellowed is an hysteria over Iran’s nuclear program. Only problem is, it’s an hysteria based on a big lie, and a lot of little lies.

    The CIA, the DIA, many senior military, and a lot of other people, whether for institutional self-defense, patriotism, or simple human decency, have gone public with the news that Barry is lying, as Bush lied before him. But the search for a lie to underpin a war, look no further than its neighbor. A good summation of the vile mess can be found in Andrew Bacevich’s The Limits of Power: The end of American exceptionalism.

    In 2002, stoking the hysteria for war on Iraq, Bush’s handlers worried that reality might intrude. So then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld established his own intelligence agency, the Office of Special Plans (OSP). It was charged with evaluated the intelligence on Iraqi WMDs. Unsurprisingly, their evaluation tallied with the neoconservative mantra of any threat in a storm, and off we went to war. Tens of thousands dead, hundreds of billions spent, another generation of enemies thrown out of the rubble of an Islamic state.

    Now, in 2012, we have a Secretary of Defense Panetta establishing a personal intelligence agency, and no second or third guesses on what they’re going to evaluate. Now that nice, antiseptic drones are out of the games, it’s going to be risking American lives to destroy Iranian lives. Barry and his fellow lackeys need a loud cheering section to cover the rage this one will ignite.

    This 18th intelligence agency isn’t Washington Insider follies or sandbox politics among civil servants. It’s Barry’s response to the broad and deep debunking of his continuing the Bush lies about Iranian nukes. The Saudi government feels the need for some defensive aggression, and their mercenaries, the US Military, will do it for them as soon as this pesky reality is hidden behind a nice, thick curtain of illusion.

      1. Ms G

        Holy Cow!

        This certainly throws a monkey wrench into the whole “transparency of equity markets” theory, not to mention whatever due diligence investors or fiduciaries might be conducting before investing in companies with secret NS-related business.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      High on our trade representative’s priority list when negotiating with other nations should be to make sure they increase the number of cage-free workers.

      We should argue for higher quotas.

  20. Up the Ante

    Wal-Mart, performing the ‘Goodness’ of Looting

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/wal-mart-took-part-in-lobbying-campaign-to-amend-anti-bribery-law/2012/04/24/gIQAyZcdfT_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNE

    “Wal-Mart, the giant retailer now under fire over allegations of foreign bribery in Mexico, has participated in an aggressive and high-priced lobbying campaign to amend the long-standing U.S. anti-bribery law that the company might have violated.

    .. It also has involved high-powered lobbyists, including former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey. ”

    http://jonathanturley.org/2008/03/01/mukasey-blocks-any-prosecution-of-bush-officials-for-contempt-of-congress/

    Something tells me a list of projects Mukasey has lobbied on would show a revealing trail of slime.

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