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Links 5/9/12

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Verizon spent three hours fixing my service in my building, which meant I had not Internet during that time. But things do seem to be back to normal.

Doggie DNA Tests: Waste of Money or Legitimate Tool? Credit Slips

Humpback whales intervene in killer whale hunt BBC

Did a Copying Mistake Make Humans So Smart? Discovery (furzy mouse). A bit more modesty might be in order.

Freezing liquids help to predict properties of prime numbers R&D (furzy mouse)

Greater Purpose in Life May Protect Against Harmful Changes in the Brain Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease Science Daily (F. Beard)

‘One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection’ BBC

Senate Inquiry Into Painkiller Makers’ Ties New York Times

Where does all of that iron ore go? MacroBusiness

Al Jazeera English forced out of China Aljazeera

Doubts spread to Spain’s big banks Financial Times. Swedish Lex points out that he flagged this as a flash point two years ago.

Greek left attacks ‘barbarous’ austerity Financial Times

Greek Elections Force Germany to Weigh Austerity Endgame Bloomberg

Crisis-hit Portugal axes holidays BBC

What Hollande must tell Germany Martin Wolf, Financial Times

A web of privilege supports this so-called meritocracy Guardian (May S)

US attack kills 5 Afghan kids Glenn Greenwald

Firefox Creators Mozilla Attack Congress; Denounce CISPA Truthout (May S)

Kelly Thomas Beating Video: Fullerton Homeless Man’s Beating Revealed At Pre-Trial Hearing Huffington Post

Special Rights for ALEC: Three States Exempt Stealth Corporate Lobbying Group From Lobbying Rules Truthout (May S)

The New Wall Street Racket Looting Your City, One Block at a Time Alternet

A stock called Comedy: the joke is on someone or other John Hempton

The banking brontosaurus is nibbling at its own tail Financial Times

Bank of America Begins “Pay Settlement With Other People’s Money” Scheme Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

A Nation of Spoiled Brats Foreign Policy (May S)

* * *

D – 122 and counting*
My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. — Kodos gives a speech, “Treehouse of Horror VII”

Obama achieves budget surplus, bitch slaps aggregate demand. The medieval surgeon bleeds the patient white, then congratulates himself because the patient is not dead.

“Forward” slogan. Like “Change,” political scientist Drew Westen said, voters can project onto “Forward” whatever they’d like. (“I serve as a blank screen….”) “It’s an inkblot message. You don’t know when you hear that which way is forward. That is a question Americans have been asking for four years.” Also, too, twirling.

Enthusiasm, or not. James Carville (D): “Wake up Democrats; you could lose”. WSJ/NBC News poll, Robama preferred over Obomney among all voters 49% to 43%. Among very high interest voters (much stronger than likely voters) Obomney leads by three points, 49% to 46%. Meanwhile, Robama campaign reprises 2008 for Latinos with teebee ads of Obama for America operatives gazing soulfully into the camera and telling their “stories”. Conversion narratives to follow, no doubt. To be fair, Robama’s got to do what they call in Versailles a “delicate dance”. Robama can’t run on his record, which he implicitly recognizes by blaming everyone but himself for bad outcomes. (President as Victim and President as First Person Shooter is a neat trick.) And he can’t ask “Are you better off than you were four year ago?” because too many people aren’t going to answer No; they’re going to answer Hell, no! So Robama’s got to reframe the narrative to the future: “Will you be better off four years from now than you are today?” That’s not such an easy sell. So but and would you want to have a beer with Obomney?! No, the ectoplasm, but that goes for Robama, too.

“Do nothing Congress” flap. Video. (For those who came in late, “Do nothing Congress” is a Harry Truman reference, and Harry Truman Robama’s not.) At rallies, Robama’s projecting a do list (his “Post It note”) on big screens. He wants Congress to check off: (1) no tax breaks for companies that off-shore job, (2) faster home refinancing, (3) tax credit for new hires by small businesses, (4) money for clean energy infrastructure [fracking?], and (5) help for military veterans seeking jobs. Yeah, that’s a quite a list of “job-creating measures.” I’m only surprised that school uniforms aren’t in there. Seriously, 8.1% (nominal) disemployment and this is it? The smallest of small ball? FDR created 15 million jobs, and the WPA by executive order. Of course, for both legacy parties, programs that would actually work are off the table.

Treason flap. Fading. Dana Milbank calls for an Obomney “Sister Souljah” moment. Let’s you and him fight!

“Julia,” Robama’s cartoon composite woman. Robomney: “The weak economy, high unemployment, falling wages, rising gas prices, the national debt “ZOMG!!! Teh Debt!] , the insolvency of entitlements [Grand Bargain™-brand catfood] – all these are fictionally assumed away in a cartoon produced by a president who wants us to forget about them.” Leave out those last two, and Obomney’s perfectly right. Then again, Obomney calls Robama a liberal, which is about as reality-based as calling him a socialist, or a revolutionary in the Bill Ayers mode.

Obomney inches closer to magic number of delegates with 916, 228 delegates shy. Paul has 99.

MI and OH (swing states) auto bailouts flap. Headline: “Romney Takes Credit for Auto Industry Turnaround, Reignites Bailout Debate”. USA Today has a good guide to the talking points that actually isn’t he said/she said. So: In an Op-ed (Izvestia) Robomney advocated for a managed bankruptcy with guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing. Robomney also wanted to fire Big Auto’s management and give the investors and bondholders a haircut. And thought, or at least wrote, that (1) Big Auto would emerge from bankrupcy stronger then ever, and that (2) a bailout would mean its “demise.” On “demise,” the former Bainster got it wrong, leading to much pearl clutching by Ds. However, neither Roboma nor Obomney mention that Bush got the ball rolling with a $17.4 billion loan. But both Robama and Obomney were for screwing the workers; new employees now make $14 an hour in a two-tier wage scale. And both Robama and Obomney are bickering over a trivial loan in the billions, while neither mentions the trillions given away to the banksters. Anyhow, I don’t know what the fuss is about. ObamaCare is RomneyCare, so if Obomney wants to take some credit for giving Robama some ideas on the auto bailout, what’s the big deal?

WI (swing state). Tom Barrett wins Democratic primary to challenge Walker in the recall. Barrett’s not the union candidate, and lost to Walker by 6 points in 2010. I suspect, with Paul Street, that voters will end up regretting D advice to Put down your [state Capitol occupation] posters and pick up a [Democratic Party election/recall] clipboard.” And isn’t it great to see the national Ds doing everything they can to throw out an R governor in a swing state? Oh, wait….

NC (swing state) Gay marriage flap
. North Carolina voters approve amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and woman. So I guess Robama won’t be “evolving” all that fast, then? [Too cynical! Or, perhaps, not cynical enough. I guess we'll see! --lambert]

Ron Paul. WA: State convention battle expected. IA: Santorum won the non-binding vote but Paul won 10 of 13 delegates. NV: Two Paul backers were elected to the RNC, beating out two Obomney supporters. WV: Paul loses the R popular vote 66% to 11% to Obomney.

And poor Richard Lugar
. Not just tea partiers but a big swath of the IN R establishment tossed him, it seems. Even though Nooners tried to save him.

– Horse race-related tips, links, hate mail to lambert

* 122 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with a pajama-clad sleep-over in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Cross-posted to Corrente. Section 122 of the Doctrines and Covenants.

Antidote du jour:

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152 comments

  1. Roger Bigod

    The Science Daily story is gibberish. Given a choice between “greater purpose in life” and a drug that would clear the toxic protein of Alzheimer’s, I know which one I’d choose. But presently there isn’t such a drug, which is a opening for pushers of snake oil, including the religious.

    1. rjs

      “a purpose in life” isnt religion; religion is pablum…purpose is active engagement, such as what yves is doing…

    2. Praedor

      Not so fast (on the “no drug to clear the naughty protein”). There IS a means to prevent the neuron death that accompanies plaque buildup in Alzheimer’s, though it doesn’t clear the plaques/protein. Science News reported yesterday a story about researchers being able to prevent neuron death in mouse models for Alzheimer’s by shutting down the pathway that leads to cell death. It appears that in response to the aberrant protein buildup, cells respond in self-defense by shutting down protein production almost completely. THIS is what kills the cells because they MUST continuously produce proteins to survive. As the plaque proteins do not clear, the shutdown is permanent so neurons die. Researchers restarted protein production by blocking the shutdown pathway. Result: no more neural death.

      http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/257444/scitech/science/scientists-switch-off-brain-cell-death-in-mice

      Much better than “purpose in life” crap.

      1. Roger Bigod

        It wasn’t a mouse model for Alzheimer’s. It was a model for CJD (“mad cow disease”), and they speculated that a similar mechanism of cell death occurs in Alzheimer’s. The link implied that the drug was delivered locally to a part of the brain. Modifying fundamental biochemistry like protein turnover could have severe systemic side effects, so even in CJD it may not be practical.

    3. Susan the other

      Chlorine forms an acid (?) in drinking water. All health departments believe it is a necessary evil – the best sanitizer we have. But it also cooks proteins. I’d say coagulates them or maybe dissolves them so they clog up our smallest corpuscles. Sounds like it creates plaques. And hardened arteries, etc. What are the stats on “Alzheimers” before chlorinated drinking water? Chlorine also reacts with calcium in deleterious ways further clogging us up. I’ve been drinking non-chlorinated water for 30 years @ 6.95 for each 5 gallon bottle – delivered. For me it was worth it because I seriously react to chlorine – rashes, red eyes, sore throat and parched lungs, etc. And so far I don’t have Alzheimers, knock on wood. Or parasites.

      Then throw in all the toxins from our food and air. Blah blah blah.

      1. Test it?

        Have you tested the water you have delivered for chlorine?

        Most bottlers use muni water, and filtering won’t necessarily remove chlorine.

    4. Aquifer

      Roger,

      So perhaps it would be good if someone’s “purpose in life” is to find a way to melt those plaques, or better yet, figure out how to keep them from forming. Much of the science you seem to extol came from folks who felt it was their “purpose in life” to produce it …

  2. tiqqun

    The conquerors had won easily; they’d taken a city that had rid itself of its gods.

    Nobody among the insurgents of the time can remember anymore today what exactly it was that happened at the beginning. As a response, some people talk of some kind of legend, but most just say “everybody is a beginning.”

    It began in the heart of the metropolises of yesteryear. There, there reigned a sort of frozen agitation, with breaking points where everyone rushed around, preferably on board little metal boxes called “automobiles.”

    And so it started like that, with a few gatherings without object, silent gatherings of masks on the margins of the general rushing madness.

    There was a great idleness among these little groups of masked men all together, playing chess [playing at defeat] and other, more enigmatic games, who carried obscure messages on immobile banners, who distributed petrifying texts without a word; but it was an idleness that was full, inhabited, disturbing, but discreet.

    The first of these gatherings had to come about one day. But they proliferated so quickly that their memory was drowned in their numbers. It is claimed that it took place first in Lutèce [formerly known as Paris], one carnival day. And since then the carnival has never ended.

    First they sent out the police. But they had to give up pretty quickly; as soon as one of these strange aggregations would disperse, another would form elsewhere. It seemed that they even multiplied with every arrest. It was as if these men had been imperceptibly won over, contaminated, by silence and by the game, by anonymity and idleness.

    It was Spring, and there were so many of these gatherings that they started circulating, wandering from place to place, from street to street, from corner to corner. There was a great joy, relaxedness and a curious determination in these wandering processions. A secret convergence seemed to guide them, even. When evening would come, they would amass in silence before the places of power: newspaper headquarters, government buildings, mutinationals, media empires, banks, ministries, police stations, prisons – soon nothing was left out of this quiet encirclement.

    A great threat at the same time as a great derision was felt from these mute masked crowds with their gazes fixed on the entrenched conquerors.

    And they were not wrong to feel it, because soon it came out that it was the conspiracy of a certain Invisible Committee. There was even talk of a major danger to civilization, democracy, order, and the economy. But in their castles, the conquerors were scared. They felt more and more alone with all their victory. A world that even yesterday had appeared to them as entirely their own, was incomprehensibly escaping their grip, piece by piece.

    And so they ended up opening the doors of their castles, thinking that they might appease the unexplainable jacquerie* by showing that they had nothing to hide.

    But no one entered, except inadvertently, because the masks emanated a power that was more desirable than the old one.
    The conquerors themselves, for their part, must have all suddenly gotten rather world-weary… because no one knows what’s become of them.

    (*jacquerie = a revolt of peasants against the social classes above them)

    1. juneau

      No question fats and smoking raise cancer rates, smoking in particular across the board. But the article neglects to emphasize that 3 out of the 4 infectious diseases that cause cancer are sexually transmitted to a large extent (HPV, Hep C, Hep B).

      Condom use as cancer prevention. Easy public health intervention if it weren’t for the culturally sanctioned sexist and religious proscriptions against it. Bummer.

        1. reslez

          What a strange remark. Isn’t there an entire classification of boots called “waders”? I thought they were pretty popular among people who like to… wade.

  3. dearieme

    ‘One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection’: there are those who point out that the rise and fall of heart attacks in the 20th century very much resembles the pattern of an infectious disease. They also point out that it cannot be explained by the consumption of fats nor by the rise and fall of smoking.

      1. chitown2020

        I have read that it is a high acid environment in the body that allows cancer to grow. Cancer cannot form or grow in a high alkaline environment. I wonder if that applies to other things because I have a family member who at the age of 45 who was told he may eventually need a heart transplant because he caught a virus that ruined his heart. It probably wouldn’t hurt to build our immunities by changing our diets..

          1. chitown2020

            If you scroll down the page you will find the link entitled Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About. You can click on to that.

        1. chitown2020

          I see evidence that is rarely the case. I believe most illnesses are manufactured. That is my honest opinion.

          1. chitown2020

            Doctors are reporting more incidences of cases of skin cancer showing up in places where the sun never shines. There are also more cases of lung cancer being reported in people who have never smoked. I have read if we really knew what was in our environment we would never go outside. So that begs the question what is the EPA hiding or covering up? I suggest that maybe the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure may be true. It cant hurt to build up our immune systems.

  4. dearieme

    “Al Jazeera English forced out of China”: what a pity – one of the best reports I’ve seen on the Chinese economy was on Al J – in fact, much about that channel puts the likes of the Beeb to shame.

  5. dearieme

    “A web of privilege supports this so-called meritocracy”: pricelss from the Guardian. The biggest influence against “privilege” in Britain in my childhood was the reform of state schooling brought about by the Conservatives in the wartime government, followed by the Conservative government’s funding of university places in the fifties. In the greatest act of philistinism in British history, the Guardian-reading classes detroyed that system. Hypocrites!

    1. Synopticist

      Huh?
      In the fifties, and up to the late eighties, fewer than 10% of Brits went to university. Now it’s more like 40%.
      And the “guardian reading classes” were the most upset about the extension of university tution fees.

      The really interesting thing in that article is the link to the NYT story about Tagg Romney and his equity firm.
      No dount Taggs a supremelly talented guy, and would have succeeded no matter who his parents were. It was a complete coincidence his mothers blind trust decided to invest 10 million in his firm, along with lots of his father’s supporters.

      1. dearieme

        10% was fine: standards were high and a University education meant something. Moreover unless your parents were well off you got the whole thing funded by the taxpayer. Now you mostly get a rubbishy excuse for a schooling, a ditto at university and you end up deep in debt. The philistines won.

        1. Synopticist

          Right, so a system where barelly 2% of working class kids went to uni, while roundabout 100% of public school males did, for free, was a good thing?

          What we have now aint perfect, but it’s better than it used to be.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Your [extraterritorial] tax laws at work:

    (Bloomberg) “I don’t open U.S. accounts, period,” said Su Shan Tan, head of private banking at Singapore-based DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest lender.

    UBS, the world’s biggest non-U.S. private bank according to London-based industry tracker Scorpio Partnership Ltd., said in 2008 it would discontinue offshore accounts for U.S. citizens.

    Bank of Singapore, the private-banking arm of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC), ranked strongest in the world for the last two years by Bloomberg Markets magazine, has turned away millions of dollars from Americans.

    HSBC decided last July that it would no longer offer wealth-management services to Americans from locations outside their home country.

    Deutsche Bank said it terminated securities accounts held abroad by people with U.S. residency as of mid-2011.

    “Bank accounts, investment accounts, mortgages and insurance policies are being refused to American clients, and those with accounts are seeing them closed or have been threatened with closure,” Marylouise Serrato, executive director of American Citizens Abroad, a Geneva-based organization, wrote in an e-mail.

    U.S. citizens who live in countries that aren’t served by U.S. banks may find themselves unable to bank at all, and implementation of the law in its current form could cause collateral damage to American businesses abroad, she said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-08/u-s-millionaires-told-go-away-as-tax-evasion-rule-looms.html

    No banking services for U.S. expats — yet another shining achievement of Obama and the Depublicrat Kongress.

    Ever get the feeling that the walls are closing in, comrades?

    1. Tim

      I’ve never seen such effective indirect capital controls. Your best bet is to marry a non-us national/citizen and transfer your money to that spouse and get it the heck out of here!

    2. Synopticist

      Wow, those poor millionaire US non-doms, my heart really bleeds. They could always buy some MORE overvalued London property and rent it out at a fat profit, tax free.

  7. Max424

    “Humpback males sing a complex song that can last for days, in order to attract a mate.”

    Singing long melancholy canticles of unrequited love. I know all about it.

  8. fresno dan

    “My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. — Kodos gives a speech, “Treehouse of Horror VII”

    As Homer said, “don’t blame me, I voted for Kang” (or was it Kodos???)
    Is there really a stupidier statement made than by voting for some “outlier” candidate you are “wasting” your vote??? Its not like going to an ice cream parlor and they have only vanilla and chocolate, and if you don’t choose one or the other you don’t get any ice cream.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/iowa-the-meaningless-sideshow-begins-20120103

    Face it, the election is over, and we got what we wanted.

    1. briansays

      it takes 60 votes in the senate to end debate and vote
      the dems have a majority but not 60

      1. ohmyheck

        And the Dems could have changed that bogus rule when they had the majority, but chose not to. Trotting out that old canard of “60 votes” excuse doesn’t cut it anymore. But Apologist Obamabot Pragmatist Dems still use it anyway.

        Meh.

        1. propertius

          Or, one could simply do what LBJ did when he was Majority Leader and the Dixiecrats threatened to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

          He called their bluff.

          He locked the doors, gave them the floor, and let them talk until they couldn’t talk anymore.

          Then he held the vote and passed the bill. It took 24 hours and 18 minutes.

          But then, Johnson actually wanted to pass the bill.

          1. Neo-Realist

            Today’s Congress is a totally different animal. If Johnson pulled that today, if he wasn’t de-elected by a teabagger, they would filibuster then vote the Civil Rights act down as an affirmative action quota bill that would hurt the “job creators”.

          2. chitown2020

            The word animal is key. Their aim is to institute the dictatorship then cover up everything the dictators are trying to do and enforce the scams by amending the rule of law and by lying. The underlying schemes are what they are really covering up. The modus operandi of the imperialists.

          3. chitown2020

            I should say they are hiding the modus operandi of the self appointed Imperialists.

          4. ambrit

            Friends;
            L.B.J. was one of the greats, make no mistake about it. Even his mistakes were in the great class. The man did indeed mean to accomplish things, things good for the country as a whole. Compare the putatative Presidents presently paraded for our consideration with L.B.J. Now tell me, are we living in a debased age or what?

          5. chitown2020

            He despised J.F.K and his brother Bobby. He was power hungry and there were people behind the scenes who wanted a war in Vietnam. He was willing to fulfill their agenda where J.FK. gave them strong opposition.

      2. propertius

        So, how come the Dems didn’t use this Awesome Power of the Invincible Senate Minority ™ to block the various Bush Administration abuses? Why didn’t they at least refrain from expanding them once they were in control?

    2. Anonymous Comment

      Bogus analogy. For one thing, ice cream does not rule the world. Whatever choice of ice cream you make has no effect on anything the second the ice cream is consumed.

      It would be more accurate to say that, if you must be given the world-ruling ice cream analogy concession… Either chocolate or vanilla will rule the world, choose one. And you choose banana-nut. You get your banana-nut selection, and still either vanilla or chocolate will win. So you effectively removed your choice from the actual outcome.

      Remember Nader? Those voters got the satisfaction of tasting the thrill of banana-nut, and we got Bush, because banana-nut was not an official option.

      The question is not ‘can you give your vote to a candidate that has no chance of winning’, but ‘do you really want to’? It’s a (nominally) free country, so you can choose your favorite flavor. But not all choices are equal, don’t kid yourself into thinking they are.

      1. Eureka Springs

        We got Bush because republicans voted for him.. and said nothing or cheered as he stole the rest.

        We got Bush because Democrats are, well, Democrats.

        Nader votes had the least to do with it of all.

        I for one wish Nader votes actually had been a deciding factor because that would mean a few more Americans were standing up and saying no to the two major players in charge… but it just wasn’t so… not yet. Unless of course we want to account for those who don’t vote at all… which would be a refreshing change as well. And you two party lockbox types should spend far more time pummeling them (or actually representing them) than a very few self-respecting third party voters.

        1. Anonymous Comment

          I didn’t say I like the system as it is. I’m just not fooling myself to think that it’s different than it is.

          Like I said, don’t kid yourself. Unless of course you want to. That is your choice as well. In which case carry-on.

        2. Neo-Realist

          I think we got Bush in 2000 primarily because Al Gore was a piss poor campaigner-I guess just being more the typical dem. The Florida electoral fraud and the partisan Bush v. Gore vote was icing on the cake.

          I think we got Bush in 2004 because too many intellectually lazy Americans who didn’t really agree with Bush’s policies got guilt tripped on war on terror manipulation and also just thought he was the kind of guy they wanted to have a drink with. Kerry’s wooden persona and Ohio electoral fraud just pushed Bush over the one yard line into the end zone.

        3. Anonymous Comment

          Just to clarify. I said bogus analogy, not bogus to vote however you want.

          If selecting your flavor is the vote, and getting served your icecream is the outcome… It is bogus to say that asking for banana-nut gives you banana-nut. You still get icecream, only it will be vanilla or chocolate, not banana nut. By saying they voted for Nader and we got Bush, I am really saying they asked for banana-nut and we got served vanilla. I did not say ‘becuz’, I said ‘and’.

          Truly I had no idea how quick some would be to take offense at two true facts stated together. Sorry that sounds like stupid canard blame to some sensitive souls. I’m just a realist about what ice scream will be served. Apparently that view is not appreciated here by the in-crowd. No worries.

          Take care.

      2. Synopticist

        Nk is the home of people who like to kid themselves there’s no difference between dems and repubs.
        From my UK left perspective, i can see how delusionasl that is, but most of these guys won’t be told.

        1. Eureka Springs

          In terms of
          Rule of law
          Civil liberties
          War/defense
          Health
          Economy
          Environment
          and so on…

          For kidders such as myself it is more than clear both criminal parties are an increasing danger. When you both make no allowances (by implying TINA) for people who civilly reject the status failing quo any of the few ways they can, in this case a mere none of the above third party vote…. you are part of the problem. I’m open to just about any peaceful means of changing the above… except by signifying in any way approval of those who got and keep us on the wrong track by using an electron microscope to measure their differences..

          1. Anonymous Comment

            Agreed.

            In fact, I returned to this page to add the comment to our thread that if you vote simply to claim your right to vote, not as an expectation that those who vote with you will not amount to something capable of gaining power, then I totally understand where you are coming from and why you are doing it.

            If it’s done with the recognition that voting third party unknown is more of an expressive art than a hope to get some little-known third party person in a position of actual power, then I applaud your honesty. Banana-nut is a great flavor for self-expression.

            Belive it or not, I’m not voting vanilla or chocolate either. But I do so knowing full well that none of those two flavors make a bit of difference I in the long term plan of the ice cream scoopers. It’s depressing, but I promised myself never to again be deluding into thinking outsiders stay outsiders once they get in.

          2. Aquifer

            AC,

            To tweak the ice cream analogy a bit – the chocolate is laced with arsenic and the vanilla with strychnine, but the “scoopers” make a lot of money off both, so that it is in their best interest to sell them and to hide the fact that banana nut even exists. Yes, that is the way “it is”, but if we keep choosing C or V, what does that make us? If enough folks chose BN, we would be considerably healthier. Could we do so? Sure. Why don’t we? Oh maybe it has something to do with those folks who persist in insisting that BN isn’t a real alternative and have succeeded in convincing too many others. Hmmm, now who could those folks be and why would they keep repeating that meme ….

      3. Lambert Strether

        Blaming Nader for Gore’s defeat is like blaming the last pebble down the hill for an avalanche. Gore [genuflects], one of whose major accomplishments in political life was giving his own Cheney, the odious Joe Lieberman, his first national platform, ran a rotten campaign, starting with running away from Clinton and the (for that time, excellent) economy.

        The constant cries of “Nader!” do, however, serve an important function: They allow the Ds to continue to blame anyone but themselves for their failures. IT’S ALWAYS SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT; the Ds can never fail, they can only be failed. Mean Republicans. The press. People who are stupider than they are. And so on. This tendency is fully on display with the Robama campaign.

        1. Anonymous Comment

          I never said blame. Check your assumptions, lambert.

          Too many other things would have to be different in order for a different outcome to have resulted. Of course those can’t be posted by me so why bother?

        2. Neo-Realist

          Even if Nader were not on the ballot, Jeb and Katherine in FL would have stolen more votes and stopped the count sooner to elect W.

          1. Synopticist

            You can all reassure yourselves that Nadar didn’t give you Bush, but no way were 70 thousand floridians going to split their votes equally between him and the US’s most enviromentally minded mainsteam politician.

            Gore ran one of the worst campaigns in modern history, but he still would have won Florida if nadar wasn’t on the ballot.

          2. Aquifer

            Syn,

            Of course there is the fact that more Fla Dems voted for Bush than there were Nader votes and there were several other parties who got more votes than the difference between Gore and Bush, so why no condemnation of them? Why focus on Nader?
            Why, indeed ….

            You also assume that a vast proportion of Nader votes would have gone to Gore – tch,tch,tch – totally unwarranted assumption …

            But here is the biggest problem – your whole line of “thought” is based on the premise that the gov’t and its voting process belongs to the D/R machine and other parties are interlopers in the process – have no business being there because they might “spoil” it for a D or an R and that to “spoil” it for a D or R is outrageous, unacceptable.

            Amazing when folks are still so out front about defense of duopoly ….

    3. b.

      “Is there really a stupidier statement made than by voting for some “outlier” candidate you are “wasting” your vote?”

      I suspect it is a deeply American sentiment. If you see your vote as a coupon that will get you something cheap and cheaper – very little effort, time or money expended – then of course voting for anybody but the winner – or at least the close second – is a loss of sorts. What did you get?

      Americans do not like loosers, and they do not like to support loosers. That means that close elections – close between two alternatives, no more, no less – are perfect. Hence elections are preferrably too close to call, but with the most clear and simple choice. If nothing else, on Election Day you want to be seen to have voted for the winner, or a contender who just might have made it.

      The closer the election gets, the less uncertainty, however, and more and more citizens are content to “waste” their vote – after all, the probable winner is becoming more and more certain, and nobody wants to cast a vote that does not matter – especially not for the looser.

      It is not by accident that US domestic elections are covered by sports reporters.

      1. propertius

        Yep – shame on all those who voted for the “outlier” Republicans in 1860, instead of those mainstream Whigs.

        They obviously wasted their vote.

      2. Aquifer

        Ah, yes, so one has the satisfaction of voting for a “winner”, but what, precisely did one “win”?

        Wouldn’t you think that folks would have gotten tired of those Pyrrhic “victories” by now?

        1. Not a robamaeneybot

          Now they are able to brag that their corrupt politician is the one screwing everyone over. They are so proud of this fact.

      3. Not a robamaeneybot

        Lambert Strether is not a sports reporter. He reports on horse races. So far practically all his coverage is going to the two horses who will cause practically everyone to lose big time. Yet he works hard every day to bring us the latest horseshit straight from the horses themselves.

        Thank you Lambert!

    4. Hugh

      Lots of canards in evidence today. Your vote is yours. You do not owe it to anyone or any party. If a party or candidate can’t give you a substantive positive, and I underline positive, reason to vote for them, to hell with them. You should vote for someone who can.

      The question is not why people voted for Nader. It is why didn’t Gore give them good reasons to vote for him. Despite this, Gore actually did win in Florida. I state-wide recount would have shown this. If the Democratic party had brought suit before the election for African-American voters being illegally thrown off the rolls, Florida would never have been in doubt.

      But the truth is Gore ran an awful campaign. He chose the truly loathesome Joe Lieberman as his running mate. He didn’t challenge Republican vote rigging before the election and he didn’t really fight to defend his Florida victory. How the hell do Gore’s multiple failures have anything to do with Nader voters legitimately exercising their franchise?

      The whole things would have been better if Gore had been President has been pretty thoroughly shredded by events. Most of the seeds (repeal of Glass-Steagall, deregulation of derivatives and CDS, serial bubble blowing) that blew up the US economy were planted while Gore was VP. And did I mention he chose that a loathesome corporatist neocon as his running mate?

      Gore did good work on global warming just as Jimmy Carter has with Habitat for Humanity but both were high level players even as the structure of our current kleptocracy was being put in place. Things would have been different under a Gore Administration. There would have been a different cast of players. But better? I doubt it.

      1. Neo-Realist

        Yep, if Gore hadn’t been such a wooden campaigner, his election wouldn’t have been decided by the electoral chicanery in FL.

    5. Not a robamaeneybot

      The election was over years ago.

      First there was the gerrymandering that gave all incumbents life in office. Then there was the two party system that prevents third parties from gaining traction. Then there were the voter suppression efforts, the endless propaganda, the bipartisanship, the Dibold voting machine frauds, the lack of paper trails, the corporate control of campaigns (Citizens United), ad nauseam.

      Now there is no difference in policy between the two parties. It’s a one party system with a two party feature: one party blames its other half for everything that is wrong.

      What is left of democracy?

  9. tom allen

    Is it really all that wise to run against a “Do Nothing Congress” when one of the houses of that Congress is in your own party’s control? Just sayin’.

    But hey, Bob Shrum’s running the campaign, and who am I to question his infinite wisdom?

    1. chitown2020

      They only come out for the occassional fake sparring match with Bernanke or to make a stupid statement and complain about what they are telling Obama to do is not right. They are scammers.

      1. chitown2020

        If not, they would have impeached him by now and thrown all of the traitors like Holder out. But they wont because they are all traitors. The problem with impeaching him is the whole food chain is corrupt.

  10. jsmith

    Aprops of the debte between those who feel as if they have a right to be anger about the financial crisis and those of more technocratic and bloodless mindset, here’s a great article about France and the EU which goes on to explain how the post WWII anti-fascist/anti-populist neoliberal attempts at rebuilding society actually – surprise, surprise – led directly back to fascism.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/07/the-french-chose-a-new-president-will-the-eurocrats-let-him-do-anything/

    Yes, by creating a political mindset which would deny any discussion of how policies really affected the common person, the neoliberals have – against their own wishes, sha-right – actually been implementing a neo-fascist regime.

    Take heart, Chris Rodgers (Pacific), your appeal to reason and reason alone has only helped usher in the technocratic neofascist regime we are all suffering under today.

    Thanks guys!!!

    1. jsmith

      Adding:

      With this in mind, one of the only remaining questions as to the culpability of the elite is: do we even countenance their defense of trying to defend us against fascism in light of their successful implementation of another technocratic version of fascism?

      See, they – meaning the elite – after WWII decided for us that we common scum were just too unruly and stupid to govern ourselves and that they would have to take the reins – unwillingly, I’m sure.

      So, with their wisdom and forethought – encapsulated nicely in the negative freedom theories of Isaiah Berlin – they set about building the fine technocratic spectacle that we see today, one in which the passions/concerns of the common man are subjugated to the enlightened guidance of the elite.

      What, you common scum don’t want austerity?

      What, you common scum don’t like being ripped off and stolen from?

      What, you common scum don’t like being lied into needless wars that have killed thousands and thousands of innocent people and which have cost us trillions of dollars?

      Tut tut.

      This is the only way we can avoid those dark days of yester-fascism. Y’know, those days of:

      Austerity.

      Being stolen from.

      Fighting wars that cost the lives of millions of innocent people.

      But you see, this time it’s different!

      Now, we – the elite – aren’t obliged to listen to anything you say as we’ve so fortuitously determined that listening to the common person will only lead to calamity.

      So excuse us all as we so solemnly place our kid-gloved fingers into our auricles – don’t get jealous, Alan G. – and sing the new Internationale:

      LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA Uber Alles!!!

      1. jsmith

        Finally:

        Although I call this neo-fascism and since everyone likes to throw terms around, my technical take on the whole spiel is that we are living under an:

        kleptocratic neo-fascist inverted-totalitarian regime

        And that’s moving from the more general descriptors to the more specific.

        Yes, I realize it doesn’t really flow off the tongue but you needn’t K.N.I.T your brow upon critiquing.

        Enjoy your days.

        1. SR6719

          So we got ourselves a K.N.I.T. problem?

          A kleptocratic neo-fascist inverted-totalitarian regime keeps bringing us down.

          The important thing is not to get angry or use profanity.

          Stay calm and reasonable at all times.

          Neither Elizabeth Warren nor Eric Schneiderman were up to the task of defeating the K.N.I.T, but not to worry.

          This sounds like a job for Winston Wolf:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANPsHKpti48

    2. Chris Rogers

      I’m pleased you see fit to blame myself, and no doubt other European’s of a similar mindset for the supposed neo-facsism allegedly rampant in Western Europe currently.

      However, if you invoke my name, could you utilise Chris Rogers (Wales) – I’d hate to give the impression to anyone that I’m either Asian, or English!!!!

      1. ChrisPacific

        That would be me. Welcome to the European elite neo-Fascist club. I think it’s probably my fault that you were inducted (see comments on yesterday’s Frontline story). As a consolation, let me offer you a glass of Chateau Lafite Rothschild and a complimentary pair of jackboots.

        I did read the Counterpunch article, which I thought reinforced Yves’ point about the impossibility of having democracy, national sovereignty and deep economic integration all at once. It seems obvious to me (and I think it should be obvious to anyone) that rule by the ECB as proxy for the banks is not sustainable. Unfortunately they are economists, which means they are very skilled at denying the obvious.

  11. RanDomino

    So not only does Obama not support Wisconsinites, but now he steals the state motto. What an asshole.

    At this point, I don’t know if Wisconsin can be saved. So many stupid fuckers just went “YEAH RECALL!!!” without any deeper analysis, because the Democrats are somehow on our side or something. They think of the energy and spirit of the Capitol occupation in mystical, quasi-religious terms- they don’t understand that they were experiencing a new world, in which people are directly in power; the world we Anarchists “carry … in our hearts. That world is growing this very minute.”

    The amount of organizing work that needs to be done to preserve the unique Social Democracy system in Wisconsin is colossal; yet people are still unable to believe the seriousness of the Shock Doctrine-style blitzkrieg. They have been living too fat for too long, maybe- the prosperity and liberty built here in the era of 100 years ago has turned into privilege.

    There may always be a strata of Wisconsin that stays true to the core principles of self-reliance but with solidarity, but the economic pressure and dismantling of the public institutions are only going to get worse and worse.

    And there’s very little opportunity for people like me to intervene, because the union bureaucrats practically have the workers under lock and key. In fact even the idea of “workers” with “jobs” is in contravention to the foundational principles of Wisconsin, which come from a society of independent farmers!

    1. Eureka Springs

      Good grief, Valisa. Appreciate reading so many of your comments and links… But Joe Klein, seriously? If you were my neighbor I would be heading over to conduct an intervention… giving you some prize baby zinnia starts to plant…) When you surf so far/long as to resort to JoeK, look away, V, look away.

      1. Valissa

        Believe me, I know what you mean about Joe Klein. But this is an issue I’ve been following a bit… the need for more vocational education as an alternative and pointing out current education biases about the std 4 yr liberal ed with college prep paradigm (that’s not very successful for many types of learners).

        Personally I am unimpressed with those who attack the source of an article without preceding that with rational critiques of the article’s points.

        1. Valissa

          Have been trying to post an excerpt from the article, but it keeps going into a black hole. So here’s a shorter excerpt…

          McBride’s dream was a state-of-the-art agricultural-sciences building with two veterinary operating theaters–one for small animals and one for large ones–to train Navajo kids to be veterinary aides and technicians and perhaps even to start a few of them down the road to becoming veterinarians. “I thought it was a waste of money and time,” Martin told me. “I’m an old English teacher. I was very skeptical about vocational education. We needed to be drilling them on basic skills. But McBride said he’d make a believer out of me. And he did.”

          Two years later, with the $2.4 million agricultural- and technical-sciences building up and running, Martin says, “It’s without doubt the best program we have. It’s an alternative way to teach them math, science and reading. They love it. They’re attentive, working hard, hands on.” McBride imports veterinarians from around the country to visit the reservation and work with the 226 students, who assist in both operating theaters, prepping animals for surgery and learning how to suture, draw blood and give injections. The veterinary clinic has become a valued resource on the reservation, but more than that, the academic results have been spectacular. “Nearly every one of these kids passed the state comprehensive test we give to 17-year-olds in Arizona,” Martin told me. “Less than about 40% of my non-vocational-education students passed.”

      2. Valissa

        @Eureka Springs…to clarify a point… I did not find this article surfing the net. I happened to come across it when I was killing some time yesterda and glancing through the most recent issue of Time magazine. Read the article before I even realized Joe wrote it.

        1. Eureka Springs

          It’s been a while since the blogos eviscerated Joe… back in ’06 Hamsher, Greenwald and so many others did it so often, so well. Some day you should consider reading a few of their gems. He’s really not to be trusted.. even, perhaps especially, on those rare occasions when one might agree with him. He will turn on a dime… and always tell you neoliberals are the only path… etc.

          1. Valissa

            Did you even read the article? Comments like yours are why I am an ex-progressive, ex-liberal. I can’t stand the conformist thinking or the truth police attitude. Honestly you sound just like any religious zealot. WTF are you to tell me what’s worth reading or not?

  12. Schofield

    Nature automatically builds purpose into life. It constantly seeks to find the best balance for survival purposes between ego-centric behavior and moral-centric behavior. Morality can be seen as the list of rules human beings create to promote cooperation and religious based rules can be seen in that light and the activities of religions at their most beneficial to be encouraging human beings to seek the balance of nature mentioned above.

  13. Schofield

    Max424 says:-

    “Humpback males sing a complex song that can last for days, in order to attract a mate.”

    “Singing long melancholy canticles of unrequited love. I know all about it.”

    Maybe you should lay off the krill oil supplement for a while!

    1. Max424

      Giggle on the krill.

      I know I gotta do something. Presently, my songs are falling on deaf blowholes.

      Maybe I should hire a lyricist.

  14. jbmoore61

    There may be a cure for most forms of Alzheimer’s in about 5 years or less. Bexarotene elevates levels of epolipoprotein 4 which clears out plagues in mice. Human trials should begin soon and it will likely work in humans since a mutation in epo4 can result in early onset Alzheimers. If this drug pans out as a successful treatment the pharms will develop better drugs which turn on epo4 expression and reverse the common form of Alzheimers.

    Gene duplication is actually a common mechanism in the creation of new species. It’s been proven in bacteria and plants so why should humans be an exception?

  15. glug that poisoned chalice

    In cheery news, 2 down, 28 to go, 2nd adoption of the crime of aggression. Better get crackin on all those little wars you got planned, Petraeus, you baby-blasting coward, ticktickticktick! Congress is already afraid to declare your wars. Wait till Russia and China can bust you desk jockeys for it in the UNSC, poke some holes in your fake honor, make you a fugitive. Your vacation spots will shoo you with a little summons and make you skedaddle home, just like they do to Bush.

    1. F. Beard

      Your vacation spots will shoo you with a little summons and make you skedaddle home, just like they do to Bush. glug that poisoned chalice

      Thanks for that good news! You made my day!

    2. K Ackermann

      And we should chase them here at home.

      What kind of general fields an occupying army to run drug interdictions?

      A spineless twit with no sense of duty or judgement – that’s who.

  16. Dave of Maryland

    Is it just me? I’m having an impossibly hard time with this OOObomney and Rooobama nonsense. Who is what and why would I care? Election coverage so far is encouraging me to stay home. I ought to stay home. I’ve got work to do.

    1. cwaltz

      They(the plutocracy who runs the country) WANT you to stay home. Why in the world would you do what they want and choose apathy? Vote third or write someone in if you don’t like the corporate owned choices. You may not win but you’ll get the satisfaction of telling the 2 corporate parties to kiss your backside and registering a vote that is for other than them. Eventually one of two things happens, a) the corporate parties wise up andrealize votes aren’t a given and start working to earn the votes or the corporate parties get replaced(and let me make this clear any action should we get a third party in would need to be quick because corporate America will look to own them quickly as well.)

    2. craazyman

      I’ve been watching the debates carefully, trying to figure out how to tell who won.

      Here was a good question from last night’s debate.

      “Mr. Robomney, how many vacations should a president take and where should he or she take them?”

      “Thank you for that excellent question. With gasoline prices as high as they are, too few Americans can afford to take a vacation. What we need is to reduce gasoline prices so that all Americans, in whatever state or whatever region of the country, can get in their car and take a vacation and visit the beach or the mountains or just spend some time with grandma and grandpa. Now I know that not all Americans can just jump in a car and drive. We’re a hard working nation and sometimes work and family obligations are hard to plan around. Sometimes you just have to buckle down and make the hard choices. That’s why we’ll do whatever we can to jump start our economy so that good jobs, decent jobs, higher paying jobs are more plentiful than they are today. Nobody will be left behind. Nobody who wants to get ahead and play by the rules should be left behind. We will not leave you behind. Mark my words, make no mistake, no stone will be unturned. The way forward is forward, not backward. The road ahead is a road into the future. together, we will take that journey as one nation, and God willing (did I say God?) we will prevail and we always have prevailed, through grit and character and toughness and that enduring optimism that has blessed our nation from the day of its founding.

      (Your time is up sir).

    3. David Clay

      I also wish that Lambert would drop the Roboma and Oromney or whatever it is he uses. I think I can remember from day to day the point that there is only a mils worth of difference between them without having to pause and consciously figure out which one Lambert is referring to. Ease of reading is important Lambert.

  17. JohnL

    A Nation of Spoiled Brats Foreign Policy. Thanks for this one. One takeaway – our problems didn’t start in Washington, nor will they be solved there, if at all. Reading Luce’s book now. Book report to follow in due course.

  18. Schofield

    Dave of Maryland says:

    “Is it just me? I’m having an impossibly hard time with this OOObomney and Rooobama nonsense. Who is what and why would I care? Election coverage so far is encouraging me to stay home. I ought to stay home. I’ve got work to do.”

    Both parties are full of shallow thinkers ideologically constipated with Neo-Liberal dogma with the exception of one or two individuals. Who would want to vote for a party that a) couldn’t recognize and still doesn’t fully recognize that allowing unrestrained asset bubble debt is a factor of production affecting the real economy; and b) fails to understand that outsourcing jobs is also a factor of production affecting the real economy namely driving down real wages and therefore demand?

    In the end it would seem with the current main progmatic choice of Democrat and Republican parties it’s a matter of choosing as a temporizing expedient who is the least shallow thinking whilst we wait for either a new party or a makeover of an existing party that facilitates a macro-economic thinking capacity.

    1. Lambert Strether

      One documents the atrocities in real time, hopefully with some humor, and hopefully in such a way that others will find the framing dulce et utile and propagate it. It is, in fact, very hard work, changing the discourse. And at least readers can scan a few paragraphs, instead of spending time on the media…

      NOTE Adding… I also find the emergence of the Rom Paul crowd, as well as the greens, fascinating. The old is dying and the new is struggling to be born. In the interim, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Hello Lambert, I liked your blog a year or two ago, but now we’ve got muddle. Who or what is an Obamatron? Who or where can I find the Romneyoid? Journalism 101 (BSJ, University of Kansas, 1977) GET THE NAMES STRAIGHT. Second lesson, don’t make inside jokes at the expense of the general reader who won’t know what you’re talking about. What I want is sharp analysis. Save cute for satire. Don’t make it your main feature.

    2. Aquifer

      Hmm – see that’s part of the problem – everyone is “waiting” for a 3rd party, as if one would magically spring up, fully formed, funded and publicized with no effort on “our” part – a meal fully prepared, dished up and set in front of us so we can just dip in. We are so used to off the shelf, processed, powdered, artificial, out of the box, just add (polluted) water politics that is what we expect any party to be. The problem is if you really do want a decent political meal you have to assist in the preparation ….

  19. K Ackermann

    About the brain mutation…

    One of my relatives was a Neanderthal, and he said what he thinks happened was that their brains acquired a critical number of feed-forward connections between memory and the pattern-matching centers of the brain responsible for abstraction.
    This allowed them to dwell on things late at night, and replay experiences, occasionally altering a term or two, and resimulating – looking for a more gainful outcome.

    It was this quest for gain that really changed things, he said. Everyone was doing it, you had to do it just to keep up.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It seems fitting that we are in this miserable state that we find ourselves in due to a series of defects, for example, our coming down from trees was possibly due to inability to stay in the treetop nests.

      Here is a burning moral question – do bigger brains make bigger mental mistakes?

      When you are fooling around with sticks and stones, bigger brains are better but when you toy with the very fabric of space time continuum, bigger but not perfect brains can be dangerous.

      I think we should aim for smaller brains.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Two juvenile delinquents locked up in high security cat prison?

    A dog conspiracy to take over the neighborhood?

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Doggie DNA tests – will that lead to a doggie police state, asks my cat.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Freezing liquids and prime numbers

    I am not in that field but I would look into thawing liquids and properties of non-prime numbers.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Portugal axes holidays.

    Religious holidays? They should be voluntary by those in that religion. If you are an atheist, you have to work.

    Question: which country has the highest number of public holidays? Just curious.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I should add that one greater purpose could be to make sure no one is discriminated against before the law by working to ensure holidays of all religions, including atheism, are recognized by one’s government.

  24. Max424

    re: China and iron ore

    China, so muscular. Bending half the world’s steel, pouring half the planet’s concrete. They’re like the superhero of nations.

    Interesting sectoral breakdown. 38% of ChinaSteel is going to real estate. I guess that’s what happens when you erect several dozen -empty?- skyscrapers every year.

    Only 2% of ChinaSteel is going towards ChinaShipping. That’s a surprise, and I think that stat will change.

    I believe by 2020 China’s shipbuilding industry will be so large it make US shipbuilding efforts in WWII (anyone remember once a month Liberty Ships?) look like a Lego operation in comparison.

    Note: China, so smart. They can do pretty much anything they want, because -alone amongst nations- they own their fiat currency.

  25. chitown2020

    In regards to the gay marriage issue. People are paranoid about everything nowadays. People think if gay marriage is accepted as the norm it is a means of population control. People see a hidden agenda in everything. Secrets, lies, fraud and deception are the real issues. I don’t believe being gay is a choice. The real problem could be that the American people suffer more from a lack of trust in the politicians who are liars than an acceptance of gay marriage. The truth is being hidden about a lot of things and there are a ton of conspiracy cover ups by some really evil people. When science can create test tube babies what else are they creating in those laboratories..? They are manipulating our DNA.

  26. Hugh

    It is important to understand that from an evolutionary standpoint there is no purpose, no progress, there is no design, there are no defects. It is all about rolling the dice an unimaginable number of times each day over billions of years. Complexity was not inevitable. It could have all stayed yeast. Nor does complexity guarantee survivability. There have been periodic mass extinctions. Few of the lines from the Cambrian explosion are still around. Complexity did not keep the dinosaurs from extinction. We are a new wrinkle in evolution, and the story of complexity, because we can reflect upon the process. But it is unclear that this confers any survival advantage. Indeed our numbers and activities (overpopulation, resource depletion, environmental degradation, climate change) are having effects that put that survival in doubt, but none of these conditions, and our ability to reflect on them, is causing us to address them so as to increase the odds for survival of the species. So even if we are complex and self-aware, we could still go the way of the dinosaurs. And from an evolutionary point of view, this would be neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but just a chance thing.

    1. SR6719

      “The ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last that he is alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.”
      ― Jacques Monod

      1. Hugh

        Thanks for that, a great quote. It motivated me to look up the original:

        « L’ancienne alliance est rompue ; l’homme sait enfin qu’il est seul dans l’immensité indifférente de l’Univers d’où il a émergé par hasard. Non plus que son destin, son devoir n’est écrit nulle part. À lui de choisir entre le Royaume et les ténèbres. »

        from Le Hasard et la Nécessité (1970)

        1. SR6719

          As you are probably aware, Jacques Monod is widely regarded as one of the founders of molecular biology. It’s worth noting that as he died of leukemia in 1976, his last words were, “I am trying to understand.” (“J’essaie de comprendre.” …)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Whenever I read that, I tend to agree that there is no purpose in life…though I would like to believe we can find some purposes.

      Maybe we can come up with a Gand Theory that says at very large, cosmological scales and at very minuscule, quantum levels, there is no purpose, over the long term as economic dogmatists like to put it, but at everyday scale, there are purposes to be found and the Grand Theory can reconcile the apparent contradictions.

      1. chitown2020

        I see the purpose of life is the good that we can contribute to make the world a better place. Much of mankind has become selfish in their quest for the material things in life and that has caused mass suffering for mankind. A good place to start the recovery is by people who know the truth about the hidden agenda coming forward, and exposing the lies and coverups. CONgress and the Senate and the States need to be stopped from passing laws that are destroying the U.S. CONSTITUTION. The U.S. CONSTITUTION needs to be amended and restored back to its original form.

  27. Anonymous Comment

    Maybe it’s me. Why are my replies to those replies by people who misinterpreting my comments not posting. A little misinterpretation, false attribution, and over-sensitivity? Or just a glitch? Let’ s experiment a little…

  28. emptyfull

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-09/u-s-stock-futures-drop-amid-political-turmoil-in-europe.html

    So folks, place your wagers.

    Will the stock market contine to dive until everyone knows we are in full crisis mode again?

    Which comes first: the breakup of the Euro? or tanks in the streets of Athens and Madrid?

    How many weeks before the Obama Administration orchestrates some new form of massive bailout for JPM, GS, BOA, etc.? Will this happen before, after, or during [!] the Democratic Convention?

    When Romney beats a thoroughly discredited Obama, what will be the next obvious goal for the aristocracy? “Tax reform” that allows them to go entirely tax free, while letting old people die in streets? Legal codification of the fact that the Masters are completely above the law of any nation?Direct control of the entire national security state? Direct blackmailing of those who protest based on internet use, or private problems detected in well-monitered emails? How far will they try to take this? And how fast?

    How long before enough decent people from all walks of life (including the .1%) realize that the core values of our nation (and the post-Enlightenment democratic world) are under real threat?

    What can’t continue forever, won’t. When won’t it?

  29. kevinearick

    Bad Banks

    You already have a bad bank, hiding US & Japanese municipal bankruptcies, among other sordid sins, and it’s imploding. It’s called China, which has neither the demographic or the natural resource bases to become the next empire, and it has already learned its lesson in empire economics anyway, which is why the Chinese scoff at the hypocrite nations when they plead for civil rights or currency revaluation. Americans may temporarily choose not to see Apple/Google for what it is, empire TV on a tablet, but the Chinese do not have that luxury.

    Empires are built from the bottom up. Their operation is a derivative of derivatives. All fingers pointing at the other side of the balloon is make-work. Bank prints the money/credit/debt and determines who gets to spend it on issue. After that, it relies upon population anxiety driven by the empire’s divide and conquer regime to get something for nothing from the income feedback, as participants sell each other out. Future children are the easiest to sell out and the system implodes when the demographic ponzi collapses.

    Those commodity contracts are not worth the space they occupy in the digital currency black box, because the participating governments, along with all other fraudulent claims, are illegitimate, like the offspring they propagate. If you look at the fundamental economic drivers, you will see that they are parents, many of which allow themselves to be controlled by the digital misdirection feedback, and some that do not.

    Provide proper feedback to your effective parents and they will provide you with the necessary education. Your energy problems will solve themselves, first in spirit, then in mind, and then in body politic. The empire is a system, and all mature systems have very few individual errors. Life is all about trial and error, and the intelligent employ its result effectively.

    Let’s see, we can leave intelligent people alone to work and raise their families, which benefits us all, or we can regulate them into poverty and put them in jail for failing to pay their taxes. When the idiots that think they are in charge choke, to set the price, the Navy will be rolled out. In the meantime, principal sunk cost grows exponentially upon reversion.

    Quantum results only appear to be something for nothing, because the investments are not recognized at the time they are made. Time is an empire perception of recognition. Dumb and full of cum has no probability of recovering its pension promise. Take 2 Viagra and call again.

    With a second kid under 21 in the car, the probability of a fatal wreck increases by over 40%, and over 300% with 3. Is the solution:

    A) increasing the premium; B) implementing smart cars; C) raising the age to drive;
    D) raising the age to vote; or E) none of the above?

    Those little thingies sleeping, and processing, in a crib at night are observing people lie all day long, first in spirit, then in mind, and then in body. Parents retire their debt to God, the unknown, when they die.

    How does your job improve the character of your nation? What is the product, how does it serve nature, and what is your profit? Who is the ultimate taxpayer that provides others with the means to pay taxes and collect tax subsidies?

  30. chitown2020

    William Cohan on the Alyona show on RT NEWS saying that the corporate power structure has been in place for hundreds of years. The only way to bring it down is by the institutional invesors not participating in their scam. I believe we can all help that cause by boycotting their monopoly board.

    1. chitown2020

      Oops…I left out an important word the LARGE institutional investors are who need to stop investing in the scams to be exact.

  31. Anonymous Comment

    Yves, there’s a problem with your posting system. Either accidental or by design. It’s causing a bit of frustration and alienation. I’m going take a break from reading or participating in the comments section. Not that anyone cares that I read every comment here on a daily basis. I’m ust marking the day words were attributed to me, and I was not allowed to respond according to my preference.

    Not that it’s the first time it’s happened. Just that it’s the time in which I realized I don’t need that kind of petty abuse. Sorry if my posts were soooo offensive that tender sensibilities could not stand for clarification.

    Good luck with all your great efforts, Yves.You’re the reason I come here. Not the peanut gallery. Skipping reading the comments will save me hours out of my day. It’s a blessing really.

    1. Hugh

      It’s WordPress and can be very frustrating. For me, when this begins to happen in a thread, it’s pretty much done. There is no way to post normal comments in it. You just have to move on from it.

    2. Aquifer

      That has happened to me as well – tied 3 times to post a “reply”, first 2 times it wouldn’t post, 3rd time it said, “you already said that” as if it had posted. Later on in the same thread, was able to post a reply to a different comment. When i asked about this i was told that if the failure was content related there would have been a “your comment is awaiting moderation”, but if it just disappeared in cyberspace it was a program glitch …

      1. Anonymous Comment

        Thanks for that feedback.

        Just for curiosity’s sake… Did that occur when you were trying to reply to lambert?

    1. dSquib

      This is suck depressing nonsense though, no?. A perfectly timed product roll-out for gullible consumers. I don’t doubt that he supports same-sex marriage (though, still, who knows?) but this whole “evolving position” trick is perfectly calculated, not just not to offend anyone, but to persuade people that though the Prezzie does not always share your concerns or look out for your interests he can always be persuaded so… FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

      I’d add that the notion of holding an “evolving” position is impossible. If it is evolving that implies that you know there’s a better position you could hold than the one you do, but currently do not hold it. Why would one deliberately hold a position when you know there’s a better one and it’s one you’ll eventually hold?

      1. Ms G

        Getting on the “gay marriage bandwagon” is such a cheap trick. But it’s popular these days. Bloomberg (mayor of New York) pulled the same rabbit out of his lame-duck hat in with great fanfare to help out his mini-me Christine Quinn in her forthcoming bid to become the next mayor in NYC.

        As someone commented on this blog some months ago, you know it’s election time when (paraphrase) body parts and sexual orientation surface into the “public debate.” Argh.

    2. dSquib

      that should be “such” not suck. Also rant of course not at you, just in general.

    3. scraping_by

      This will keep it a “small” election. As you’ve pointed out, it’s no difference, so no choice, in the “big” election.

  32. chitown2020

    Maria Bartoromo commenting on CNBC about the large protests today at BOFA headquarters. She said what do they want Brian Moynihan to do cut them all a check…? She said the real problem is in Washington D.C and the banking laws are what need to be changed. She said she is as frustrated as everyone else with the high unemployment rates.

    1. chaernea

      Saw that too, and I would be lying if I didn’t immediately get angry. I wish that guy they were interviewing had asked anyone about a quick 30 second criticism of BofA. For example their GAAP accounting in Q4 before that nicely timed settlement…. Etc. I don’t know who he was really, so I don’t mean to insult, but way to be a punching bag.

    2. Jim

      Every time I see a certain CNBC anchor I think of that trip on a private jet that cost the longtime head of a major bank’s wealth management unit his job.

      1. chitown2020

        It is a massive cover up the likes of which we have never seen. Way to go blaming the banking laws…! Who in the hell created them? Damned traitors. What are those laws? Do they say there are no laws for the banksters? If not for the some really honest Americans and the net, we would all be screwed. I read somewhere that if the Internet existed during the last great depression it would not have lasted half as long. I think it was David Rockefeller who said the Internet would destroy all of their evil plans.

  33. Joe Rebholz

    Re glass and properties of prime numbers, another blow to G. H. Hardy’s pride in “A mathematician’s Apology” that that his area of study — Number Theory — is useless, has no practical applications.

    1. chitown2020

      One of the Bloomberg hosts said the banksters use Black Shoals mathematics. That must be some sort of a magik trick because $1.2 quadrillion dollars in derivatives fraud debt just does not compute..

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