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Links 6/16/12

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‘Scary’ toilet paper coming soon to a stall near you Asahi Shimbun. I think I prefer the Yes Project’s politically incorrect toilet paper….

Brazilian farmers win $2 billion judgment against Monsanto Times of India (Aquifer). Natch, the leading listings on Google are non-MSM.

Girl banned from taking photos of school meals for hit blog Guardian. Martha r says the ban was overtuned. Never mess with someone who got 100,000 unique visitors in a week.

Scientists theorize neutrons may be escaping into mirror universe Raw Story

Study finds fracking can cause earthquakes Raw Story

CHART OF THE DAY: This Chart Destroys The Idea Of Peak Oil Clusterstock (furzy mouse)

IMF Pressures Spain to Lower Salaries, Raise the VAT, Eliminate Housing Deduction Michael Shedlock. So much for “Spain will be spared further demands.”

Spanish coal miners clash with police Aljazeera

Troubled Greek Economy Is Being Left to Fend for Itself New York Times

Greek Election Live Blog ekathimerini (Lambert)

ECB decides now is not the time for complexity A Fistful of Euros

Banks’ Fire Drill for Greece Election New York Times. Major efforts devoted to being more convincing in telling customers to stand pat.

Egypt Moves Towards Outright Dictatorship Real News Network (Aquifer). You need to watch this. The reporters were detained by the police and were threatened with being disappeared which is legal as a result of the latest Supreme Court decision.

Egypt Live Blog Aljazeera. Not quite as live as during Tarhir Square, but still useful.

Iraq and Iran form alliance within Opec Financial Times

The Lessons of Watergate Do Not Belong to Us Charles Pierce, Esquire (Chuck L)

What restaurants should you eat in if you care about workers? Daily Kos (Carol B)

California Hospitals, with Help From UHW-SEIU Local, Launch New Attack on Life-Saving Ratio Law PRNewswire

Trans-Pacific Partnership Documents Show Trade Treaty Could Grow Much Larger Than NAFTA Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (Carol B)

American consumers turn pessimistic Financial Times. Jobs (lack thereof) trumps stock market.

There is only so much central banks can do Mohamed El-Erian, Financial Times

America’s slowdown is not about Europe, it’s about the debt Ed Harrison

Obama’s Fannie Mae failure Andrew Leonard, Salon

Insider Case Lands Big Catch Wall Street Journal. Wow. A verdict in 10 hours, and that with a sort-of holdout.

SEC taps Thomas J. Butler, Wall Street veteran, to oversee ratings agencies McClatchy. Wealth management? This should be a joke, except it isn’t.

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 84 and counting*

“If we’re going to be cynics, we’d like to do it spontaneously and without malice aforethought.” — Paul-Emile Borduas

Montreal. Huge: “A discussion over the future course of the social struggle in Quebec took place at a session of a day-long political conference hosted by the Quebec media ngo Alternatives on June 9. It was attended by several hundred activists. There, co-leader of CLASSE, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, made a forceful argument in favor of the group’s proposal for a “social strike” against the government by the entire working class movement, including its trade union component. “A common front should not be centered on the issues in the student strike alone. It should be focused on a broad range of social issues-education, health care, privatization of government enterprises. This would appeal to the majority of the population and it would also counter the false impression that the student and the trade union organizations are only interested in their narrow, respective interests.” Summer planning: “FECQ will hold rallies across Quebec in smaller centers leading up to June 22 and will host a rally in Quebec City on the same day. This decision continues the solid unity that student associations have been able to maintain.” Apps: “[Veniard] decided to create an app that allows users to anonymously upload the location of certain casseroles marches. The idea is, if at 8 p.m., you find yourself outside with a pot and a wooden spoon and are looking for an appropriate place to bang them together, you simply bring the app up on your phone and go to the nearest demonstration to you.” Red square: “Getting a tattoo with other people is a real rush. Usually, most people don’t want others to have tattoos similar to theirs. But in a group effort for a project or issue like this, there’s some sort of very tribal feeling of solidarity. I’ve never done it before but for a cause this good, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” Legacy parties: “The PQ is broadly supported by leadership circles in the trade union movement. During the 18 years of the last 35 that it governed the province, it applied variants of the same pro-capitalist policies as the Liberals. In the current struggle, it has refused to commit to a freeze in post-secondary tuition fees, the issue that lies at the origin of the conflict between the student movement and the government.”

CA. “[O]fficials estimated that repairing the the lawn and irrigation system [after OccupyLA] could cost up to $400,000. They have since revised that estimate: $76,000.”

CO. Fracking: “Anti-fracking group Erie Rising announced Thursday that it is teaming up with nonprofit group Global Community Monitor to provide residents in town with their own air monitoring equipment, in a program known as the Bucket Brigades.” Alert reader MR comments: “This is great because now they’ll be able to prove the presence of off gassing from the condensate tanks and the wells.” “[HICKENLOOPER:] You can eat this–the CEO of Halliburton took a big swig of [fracking fluids]. And not to be outdone, I took a swig of it myself.” Alrighty then.

FL. Corruption: “The frustrated [Ethics] panel, which penalizes public officials who break ethics laws, is unable to collect about $100,000 in unpaid fines due to a law that prevents it from enforcing fines after four years.”

ME. King to funders, paraphrased by D: “If you’re a solid partisan and you need to know what caucus I’m going to be with, don’t give to me now because I may not be with you.

NC . Fracking: “The North Carolina House has approved a form of natural-gas well completion [!! i.e., fracking, and see here] that critics say could contaminate groundwater. One of the amendments dealt with the concept of forced pooling, which would mandate that a dissenting landowner resisting oil and gas drilling join with surrounding landowners in allowing the drilling.” Wow.

NY. Unions: “New York City-based teachers of English as a second language at the Washington Post Co.’s [NYSE: WPO] educational subsidiary, Kaplan Inc., voted today for workplace representation by the Newspaper Guild of NY, becoming the company’s first employees to unionize.” Fracking, Cuomo: “[I]f this proposal goes forward under regulations that look much like the previous round, then talk of “sacrifice zones” based on, as Sandra Steingraber put it, “partitioning our state into frack and no-frack zones based on economic desperation“, is painfully appropriate.” Permitting: “The state and developers are asking the court to dismiss a suit against them regarding the Adirondack Club and Resort proposed for the Big Tupper Ski Area.” Free press: “Warren Buffett’s Buffalo News to erect paywall.” A one-day subscription to the online paper will cost $.99 [a la Press+]. I don’t see how local news gets nationally aggregated under this model. Feature not bug?

OR. “The future of jobs in Portland, OR.” Keen pie chart.

PA. Sandusky trial: “As the testimony has made clear, lots of people in positions of authority knew or clearly were in a position to know, including the coach’s wife and colleagues, along with prosecutors and police. But nothing happened to Sandusky until a 52-count indictment came down in November. ‘There’s a simple answer: He was a winning coach.’” Corruption: “Only weeks after the indictment of State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin on campaign-finance law violations, a legislative bid to end the partisan election of appellate judges has come to an abrupt halt because of opposition by trial lawyers, anti-abortion activists, and others.” Fracking: “[A]bout two hours into the raid … another of the heroes of this story, Deb Eck, Riverdale resident and balls-of-steel leader came out to plead with the activists to stand down, in other words, to end our resistance to the police efforts to evacuate us from the premises.”

TX. Corruption: “While Energy Future Holdings, formerly TXU, of Dallas continues its downward spiral toward bankruptcy, it’s handing out millions in bonuses to its executives.” Shocker!

WI. Capitol Occupation: “Joe Heim, a UW-La Crosse political science professor agrees there was a political disconnect between people who lived in Madison, who saw the protests first-hand, and residents in the rest of the state, who merely heard stories and anecdotes. He says people in La Crosse heard talk of unruly mobs and thugs.”

Inside Baseball. Data, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball (!) Prospectus: “There aren’t any good databases. You would need like the last 50, 100 Senate campaigns. … You would need the full books. Like this was the money. This is what they spent it on. You have to create categories: mail, personal appearances, television ads. And then you need to break up the television ads: positive ads, negative ads. How valuable was it? How valuable is going to the local diner? How valuable is the ad that says my opponent is a nimrod? … I don’t know anyone who is doing that.” Obama campaign claims to be. Can they be? “[I]t’s worth keeping in mind, as we look slack-jawed at the sums being tossed around, just how inefficient the ad onslaught typically is.” ” … a chance for the Kochs to show off their increasingly robust political machine, including a growing voter database project called Themis that played a major role in conservatives’ recent efforts in WI and in which POLITICO has learned Koch operatives have discussed investing $20 million…” But if they think it’s the software, they should think again. It’s the data. Media: “The conservative evangelical ‘party’ that Fischer and Bachmann belong to is not a transient phenomenon. The ‘parallel media universe’ that party has created is not a transient phenomenon. [They are] institutional. They will withstand the ebb and flow of particular elections and administrations in the same way that the D and R parties do.”

Policy. Immigration/deportation: “Obama makes election-year change in deportation policy.” Changing the subject. “[I]llegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the US before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.” Discretion: “[NAPOLITANO] It is not immunity, it is not amnesty. It is an exercise of discretion.” “[SCALIA:] “To ameliorate a harsh and unjust outcome, the INS may decline to institute proceedings, terminate proceedings or decline to execute a final order of deportation.” Pierce: “The president is simply acting as the head of the Executive Branch — the same principle under which John Yoo once assured us would allow C-Plus Augustus to crush a child’s testicles if he saw the need to do so.” So, Bush was right about Yoo, then? Dayen: “The fact that President Obama will speak before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials next week surely played a role.” Greenwald: “[D]emands, pressure, criticism, threats to withhold support, and confrontational tactics breed a healthy respect and even self-interested fear among political leaders, along with responsiveness.” “He’s essentially implemented the much-debated DREAM Act, only without the hassle of all that voting in Congress. He should have done this with health care!” Jonathon Bernstein: “I’ve been dead wrong about the public option: I thought Ds, particularly those in contested primaries, would universally support it in this election cycle.” That’s because you’re an insider mistaking a bait and switch operation that career “progressives” ran to kill off single payer and support Obama for something with real popular support, like Medicare for All. Spitzer: “[There] should be the modern-day WPA: We will give you a job—it can be enlisting in the military if you choose. But we will pay you, give you skills, keep you off the streets and, by the way, cover your student debts for the time you are in the program.”

The economy. Romney vs. Obama economy speeches: “What the coverage here generally didn’t note as clearly as it could is that neither man can implement that vision himself. ” Yglesias: “The very depth of the divide between the parties that Obama highlighted at one point in the speech makes it extremely unlikely that the other stuff he was talking about will happen.” First Read: “…selective amnesia. Romney’s remarks never acknowledged the Bush years… Obama pretty much skipped over the relatively slow growth and the political stalemate that occurred over the past three years.” Unemployment: “College students who graduated during the early 1980s economic downturn suffered wage losses of more than $100,000 during the next 15 years compared to those who came into the job market later in the decade.” They should have chosen to get born at different time! Polling: “[I]f the election does turn out to be a referendum on which president’s policies put the country in our current economic straits, these poll numbers may mean that the Obama campaign’s message — that the economy is on the right track and President Obama just needs more time to turn things around — could ‘fall on receptive ears, particularly those of independents’.” “Forty-nine percent rate economic conditions in their local area as excellent or good, but that drops to 25% when rating the U.S. economy, and to 13% when assessing the world as a whole.”

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. AARP throws membership under the bus. It ain’t broke. Don’t fix it. Fix broken stuff. Milbank, Romney vs. Obama economy speeches: “[Obama's] right about the stalemate. But he’s absolutely wrong that November offers an opportunity to break it. No scenario shows either party with a chance of amassing a solid governing majority of the sort Obama had when he took office. The way to break the stalemate is through compromise, not conquest. [wait for it] Undoubtedly, Obama would take heat from his base if he put forth a serious plan along the lines of Bowles-Simpson… But taking a stand on concrete fixes for the nation’s fiscal problems would get Obama credit for strong leadership.” All roads lead to Cat Food!

Green Party. TX. Kat Smith: “People who I know who are progressive Democrats have been trying for 30 years to reform the party and they have failed time and time again. If you look at who they elect in their primaries, they’re not the progressives, they’re the other ones.”

Robama vs. Obomey watch. Wacky campaign hijinks: “[T]he aircraft trailed a banner behind it, [reading] “Romney’s ‘Every Millionaire Counts’ Bus Tour”. [Also, a truck] with a dog strapped to its roof.” “[PAWLENTY:] “Barack Obama’s campaign slogan is, ‘It could be worse.’ Mitt Romney’s slogan is, ‘It will be better.’” Both could be wrong! Bobo: “Is Obama oblivious to this historical moment or are Republicans overly radical, risky and impractical?” Both could be wrong!

Romney. Adelman: “Senator and Romney presidential campaign surrogate John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is indirectly injecting millions of dollar in Chinese ‘foreign money’ into Mitt Romney’s presidential election effort.” Bus tour: “Romney kicks off a six-state bus tour today. The tour begins in NH and will hit the battlegrounds states of PA, OH, WI, IA and MI. … They were all won by Obama in 2008.” ” … Romney’s new bus, which earlier today [before Obama's deportation announcement] was going to make political news. …” Ouch!

Obama. Obama to interrupter, on deportation: “‘I didn’t ask for an argument’ — ” No, and when have you ever? (Snicker) Obama economy speech: “[S]hould be enough to silence antsy supporters and donors, as well as the Chattering Class. Its effectiveness should be measured on whether it brings an end to what’s been a rough couple of weeks.” Obama at Sarah Jessica Parker fund-raiser: “[OBAMA] Ultimately you guys and the American people, you’re the tie-breaker.” We don’t need a tie-breaker. We need a game-changer. And exactly what distinction is Obama drawing when he says “you guys” and “the American people”?

* 84 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on New York System hot dogs on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 84 is the international direct dial code for Vietnam.

* * *

Antidote du jour (Scott). Headline: Pair tempts fate by keeping a 400-lb. Bengal tiger as a pet

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119 comments

  1. psychohistorian

    Short stories on toilet paper…I can see it now where there are special holders so people can read the stories and re-roll the paper onto a take-up roll….

    Think of it as the proper venue for shitty stories.

    Moving on….the jobs story in Portland, OR was interesting for how it was couched. Predicting employment patterns 23 years out is a joke. Studies like this are done to produce justification for some development or marketing strategy, not to produce strategic information within larger planning processes to guide public policy making.

    1. ambrit

      Dear psych;
      Urrrgh! Post consumer toilet paper?
      Give me the good old Dr. Bronners soap container any day!

  2. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    Physicists have discovered that the quantum jump (recreating the entire universe at the highest level) which is an integral part of TGD (or Topological Geometrodynamics) can be seen as a form of Russell’s paradox.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_paradox

    Topological Geometrodynamics is an attempt to construct a theory of everything, not forgetting consciousness.

    More concretely, physicists have discovered that the world as it is was created yesterday and that, with the exception of Jamie Dimon (who is running the show) everything in it should be interpreted as retrospective simulation.

    Story developing…

  3. eurypteris

    “The world is not structurally short of hydrocarbon resources – as our data on proved reserves confi rms year after year – but long lead times and various forms of access constraints in some regions continue to create challenges for the ability of supply to meet demand growth at reasonable prices.” -BP

    This is in fact the “idea of peak oil;” that there is plenty of oil left in the ground, but due to geological constraints the rate of production can’t keep up with demand.

    1. James

      Well, and a chart generated by BP no less! I guess that subject is settled once and for all. And to think, we wasted all this time worrying for nothing. Hell, let’s go pop the top on the Gulf Macondo again and celebrate in style.

    2. walt

      Propaganda. On the chart the ratio of “proven” reserves for 2011/1991 is about 1.6, but the ratio of the pies’s diameters squarred (proportional to area) is 2.7. BP has no shame.

    3. joecostello

      And if you look at the page above the chart, 62% of the entire increase in “reserves,” always the most imaginative of oil numbers, in the past decade comes from adding the tar sands in Venezuela, which everyone has known were there for a long time. Meanwhile, the Sauds’ numbers stay constant after three decades.

      Best number to look at is Mexico, whose production has declined almost 25% in the last seven years. So, I guess that means they had to finally drop the reserve numbers, by a whopping 80%! — just like that. But that’s alright, Mexico has only been the US second biggest foreign supplier for years.

      Oil industry numbers have always been worse than the banks, it’s far far more opaque, and powerful really in many ways. But just like the bank industry, don’t worry there’s no problem here.

      1. Ed

        The increase in oil reserves is due to classifying things that had not been classified as oil, as oil. Its more of the same measures governments have successfully taken to hold down unemployment and inflation.

  4. Richard Kline

    Neutrons escaping into a parallel univers??!!! . . . Can I go too? Seriously, the chirality of this one’s been warped the wrong way, so a mirror universe bends [yes, exactly].

    1. craazyman

      I was missing some neutrinos again this morning and had no idea where they went. At least I know where to look now.

      1. Aquifer

        I was thinking that things must be pretty bad if even the neutrons are leaving – and not just going to Mars, but leaving the universe altogether!

        Are neutrons the physical equivalent of moderates? Hmmm, that leaves protons and electrons, uh …. oh, never mind …

        Strange, quarky times we are living in ….

        1. different clue

          Maybe that other universe is just a quarkth of an inch to the left or right of our own. So maybe the runaway neutrinos don’t run very far.

    2. Jessica

      So this means I must have one sock made out of neutrinos and the other made out of normal matter.

  5. Goin' South

    History’s echos:

    The current miners’ strike in Asturias (Spain) recalls the Asturias revolt of 1934. A miners’ strike in the depths of the Great Depression grew into a full-fledged revolt as the Republic called in a general by the name of Franco to put it down.

    Two years later, Franco would cut the throat of the reformist, liberal Republicans who hired him with a Fascist coup, and the Anarchists and Socialists would undertake a revolution that succeeded for a while in preventing the Fascist takeover in Catalonia and around Madrid. Finally, with Hitler and Mussolini helping Franco and Stalin stabbing the Anarchists in the back by disarming them, the Fascists gained control of everything.

  6. Don Pelton

    RE peak oil link above: the article makes the common mistake of equating “peak” with “exhaustion.” Peak merely means that the age of easy and cheap oil is coming to an end.

    We are at or approaching the summit of Hubbert’s curve (the peak)globally, not at or approaching the far terminus of the curve, the point denoting exhaustion.

    From the article: “Below is a graph that we believe cast serious doubt on peak oil theory — the idea that we are imminently in danger of EXHAUSTING the world’s hydrocarbon supply.”

    1. with the doves

      The authors may have made a mistake. Or they may not care. Or they may be intentionally deceptive. Gotta love the media.

    2. Dan B

      Amen. Why would this chart even be posted here? It’s juvenile. It’s another example of 1) the reality of peak oil-by virtue of it being misrepresented; and 2) the inability of folks who think the market and finance are corporeal and finite geological resources are mental constructs.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The important thing is to get the meme embedded into the Mass Mind. Then the Neoconlib Prop flows like “living water” through every channel to inundate the “Collective Unconscious” with tweaks of the Eternal Big Lie.

  7. russell1200

    Lambert on NC

    Forced pooling can help to reduce the number of wellheads. There are good arguments against it, but not as far as I can tell, good environmental ones.

    In any case that issue was kicked down the road.

    The bill put in a number of protections and controls suggested by the Democratic AGs office. It is hardly an extreme measure.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        With diabolical “horizontal drilling” below the surface, what does anyone outside the system know?

  8. with the doves

    Peak oil link is silly. Peak oil, a concept some otherwise intelligent people refuse to grasp, is the idea world oil production will reach a secular maximum and then decline. It’s about production rates.

    The chart in the linked article does not address production, but reserves. Reserves aren’t really part of the peak oil story. If reserves grow, but production falls, that’s peak oil. If reserves fall, but production grows, that’s not peak oil.

    Some say we’re at world peak oil right now. Some others say no. Production data over the next few years will tell.

    Articles that rely solely on reserves data to “debunk” peak oil should be ignored.

    1. Unsympathetic

      Also conveniently, the linked article does not mention EROEI – energy returned over energy invested. EROEI was nearly infinite when you could get oil by sticking a straw a foot into texas soil.. but when you’ve got to drill 3 miles below seabed off the coast of Brazil, the effort to extract each barrel of oil is significantly more. That’s peak oil.

      Don’t forget “proven reserve” is defined to be an estimate – not a proven quantity. Since it’s an estimate, companies can lie. And we wouldn’t have fraud in this economy, would we?

    2. stripes

      Peak oil is not the point. We need clean energy now. Big Oil is destroying the planet and they don’t care. Corporations are just greedy and greed kills.

  9. Scott Frew

    Yves, since we’re on the subject of toilet paper this morning, perhaps someone can confirm what I dimly remember from my freshman year in college–a loooong time ago–that Jean Genet wrote his masterpiece, Notre Dame des Fleurs, on toilet paper, while in prison.

    Cheers.

    1. Nedell

      A neighbor brought back a roll of toilet paper she bought in in Israel with “Allah” written in Arabic on each piece.
      I was not amused.

      I proposed a counter offensive: Torah Paper.
      She was not amused.

      What assinine behaviour.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        So stupid, when “Allah” is but another take on “El”–fundamentalists are cut off the same bolt the world over.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There is a Zen koan called ‘Buddha is a shitstick.’

          That was before the invention of the toilet paper by, you guessed it, the Chinese. The visiting Arabs, being conservative (at least at the time. No liberals to be found), much preferred the shitstick, thinking it un-kosher.

          Because we are modern people, we are forced to update the koan to ‘Buddha is toilet paper.’ God forbid we sound the same as people centuries ago.

    2. SR6719

      I have trouble believing the rumor that Genet wrote a novel on toilet paper while in prison, but sticking with the toilet paper theme, here’s a fun fact to be filed under the category of useless knowledge:

      Genet once wrote an essay entitled “Ce qui est resté d’un Rembrandt déchiré en petits carrés bien réguliers, et foutu aux chiottes”.

      ["What Remains of a Rembrandt Torn Into Four Equal Pieces and Flushed Down the Toilet"]

      This influenced Jacques Derrida to write perhaps his most unreadable, inscrutable book (and that’s saying a lot!) entitled “Glas”, written in two columns in different type sizes, with Hegel on one side and Genet on the other side, and filled with long inscrutable quotations and “side notes”.

      As far as I’m concerned, this is one more reason for distrusting “culture”…

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Derrida was one of those “Destroyers of Worlds” according to Plan. The Agents of the .01% Nobility Rentiers are insane.

        1. Ms G

          That whole “ecole” always puzzled me and gave me a queasy empty feeling. But it was “all the rage” in the 80s-90s lib arts college “I’m so interesting” upper middled class white crowd. Derrida and his toady followers seem to share a deep, sterile indifference to human beings and human circumstances while cultivating a pseudo-masonic pseudo-complex gibberish.

          Actually, now that I think about it, it’s very An Raynd. (Light Bulb Moment)

          1. SR6719

            Derrida and deconstructionism encouraged people to become apathetic and disengaged from any form of class politics, while obsessed with identity politics.

            And this at a time when the working class and the poor were being devastated by neo-liberalism.

            Picture some snobbish, tenured Professor with a fussy beard, a gold watch, gold cufflinks, and big gold ring giving a talk on THE HERMENEUTICS OF GENDERED SPACE AND DISCOURSE (or some such bullshit) and you get the picture of how useless this is.

          2. JTFaraday

            Actually, I would say French theory gave white men (especially in newly politicized English Departments) the opportunity to ignore class and identity politics, while still managing to come out on top for “doing theory,” ostensibly based in criticism of the Western Philosophical Tradition Itself.

            This enabled them to simultaneously burnish their radical political credentials while also positing their intellectual superiority to all those identity based affirmative action cases.

            There are few people who tried to do something else with it–Gayatri Spivak, Drucilla Cornell, Homi Bhabha, not many more. Or maybe I just don’t know because I don’t have too much patience with it.

            Oh, yeah. Judith Butler. Although, I can’t figure out why she thinks she even needs French theory, aside from maybe Foucault from whom she no doubt drew real insight, unless it’s to make herself inscrutable to the right wing hoi polloi, (which she might want to do at that).

            I recall a highly entertaining rant in the late 90s by an (ethnically Indian-American male) adjunct instructor in a gender studies program complaining in a conference presentation about how the students didn’t want to do his Derridean poststructuralist postcolonial theory because they didn’t think it was relevant to their lives–”if now is not the time, when is the time?” yada yada. Well, apparently not “now” because shortly thereafter the school in question saw fit to shut the whole thing down.

            I really wish I could remember that guy’s name. The last time I stumbled across him he was active in adjunct union organizing.

            Oh, he’s probably doing better today. Still makes me giggle though.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            “THE IDEOLOGY OF TYRANNY” by Guido Giacomo Preparata (Macmillan) shows how Leo Strauss was part of the “anti-dissent” racket also.

  10. Eureka Springs

    A bit surprising to see Greenwald fall for the deportation hopium.

    I’m sure 800,000 migrant people have been running around trying to survive while keeping what would have been a large ongoing incriminating documentation of criminality on themselves.

    Furthermore, the entire loophole Obama creates for them is at best is both a study in class warfare (only “successful” shall be granted allowances) and legitimizes only those who have operated as criminals best of all. But it does that poorly as several college kids have already determined this decree wouldn’t help them at all.

    Even the often seemingly veal pen organization presente.org sent out a rather cautious letter yesterday. I was impressed with their caution.

    1. Lambert Strether

      No doubt “less than meets the eye,” exactly as with gay marriage, which left it up to the states, which is precisely the conservative policy position.

      This is “visionary minimalism” in action.

  11. J Sterling

    The peak oil graph link says:

    “Below is a graph that we believe cast serious doubt on peak oil theory — the idea that we are imminently in danger of exhausting the world’s hydrocarbon supply.”

    Well yes, it’s easy to cast serious doubt on something if you first misrepresent it. The straw man is one of the oldest and cheapest rhetorical tricks around.

    And even though “proven reserves” is irrelevant (there’s a reason they’re in reserve and not in production, despite the demand for hydrocarbons), the graph is still dishonest. It uses a donut chart, which is an area chart type, but depicts the reserves as the radius of the donut, making the increase look larger than it is.

    The commenters in that blog are all over the original blogger for his nonsense, and I’m disappointed in Yves for reproducing the inaccurate headline without critical scrutiny.

    1. The March of Dimes

      Hey there, you peak oil crazies forget that there’s always more oil. You just need to make more two-headed Cajun babies and flipper-limbed Nigerians for each barrel. And technology has advanced to the point where BP can get 6000 BTUs out of each new retarded Pennsyltucky spastic! Chromosome Breaks, Birth Defects, Let’s Go!

  12. ella

    Iraq and Iran form alliance within Opec.

    Let’s all send a big thank you card to the NeoCons, G. Bush and Presidick Cheney. After all they have driven up the price of oil and created a nice Shia alliance between Iraq and Iran.

    What could be better? Oh wait I know, follow the current advice of Wm Crystal of AEI and bomb Iran. We were so successful in Iraq, Afaganistan and Pakistan why not try our war policies in Iran?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “How could that be?” — “Just following orders” of the .01% top-out-of-sight.

  13. Aquifer

    So the US “wins” in Egypt after all? What with supplying the military and keeping mum about the obvious high jacking of the process ….

    Didn’t know Scalia had relatives in Egypt …

  14. Nedell

    Drinking fracking fluid?

    Reminds me of California first go round Governor Jerry Brown’s press secretary who tried to mollify
    apprehension over the mass aerial spraying of Meditteranian Fruit Fly pesticides.

    He walked over to a helicopter that had a tank of the spray and before the reporters, filled a cup with the spray and drank it down.

    Died of liver cancer a decade or so later.

    Speaking of aerial spraying, it’s still proposed for California:

    http://www.cassonline.org/

  15. scraping_by

    RE: AARP

    No surprise here. AARP first stabbed its members in the back pimping for Bush’s Medicare prescription plan.

    Rather than point out the plan meant paying more for less, rather than disproving Shrub’s “It can save you money!” slogan, rather than fighting for the alternate savings of negotiated prices, they jumped in with their own branded insurance scam and joined the rest of the insiders making money off the elderly.

    I think you’ll soon see AARP branded 401(k) accounts, or some other way of making money off this Big Lie campaign.

  16. Walter Wit Man

    Re Watergate.

    It’s looking like a conspiracy folks. I proffered this theory the other day and my suspicions are only getting stronger after looking at the Post’s commemorative coverage. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/part1.html (what I can see of it anyway)

    What interests me now is the timeline (not having lived through it). I’m surprised to see it was a slow moving scandal, and the Post congratulates itself for sticking with the story when other papers wouldn’t go there. But the U.S. has long had a controlled media so the fact the MSM wasn’t covering this issue is not very surprising.

    And I don’t accept the conventional wisdom that the WaPo “took on” the White House. I get the sense that both the White House and the WaPo were pretending that the WaPo was tenaciously pursuing the story. John Mitchell is quoted as saying Catherine Graham is going to regret publishing Watergate stories. Didn’t Nixon rant against WaPo and the reporters as well? Why was the WH so focused on WaPo? Wouldn’t they have expected indignation in the press if they were caught committing crimes? Why get mad at the journalists? They were just doing their jobs. I would think Nixon et al. would be mostly upset with the burglars for botching the job.

    Also, the report on what Mitchell said came from a September 1972 article (the WaPo will only let me click through to a few articles now it wants me to sign up to read more articles so I haven’t read them all). I think this was one of the first articles, right? Like the 4th story?

    However, as I have linked to before, this Realist story connected all the dots well before WaPo did–in August of 1972: http://www.maebrussell.com/Mae%20Brussell%20Articles/Why%20Was%20Martha%20Mitchell%20Kidnapped%20-%201.html. Plus, this Realist story reported that Mitchell’s wife was kidnapped while staying at the same hotel as the FBI Director. The September Woodward and Bernstein stories report Mitchell retired from the committee to reelect the president because his wife gave him an ultimatum to leave (but didn’t report the kidnapping). I imagine the Realist was the alternative press of its day.

    It’s like WaPo intentionally dragged out the story for maximum effectiveness. I guess they would say they needed to confirm the information Mae Brussell speculated about (albeit it very useful and accurate speculation) before WaPo reported it. But the way WaPo is being set up as the entity that is bringing down the president doesn’t seem very credible to me.

    Then there is the issue that it looks like they wanted to be caught. First, why did the president discuss committing crimes on tape when he knew he was being recorded? It sounds like they were laying a cover story down intentionally. Then Gordon Liddy cashes a check from the reelection funds–how stupid is this for a guy that goes on to teach classes on how to be a super spy? Then the burglary itself seemed bungled. Why not abort the mission after the tape was discovered on the door by the security guard? Why put another piece of tape on?

    Anyway, seems like yet another conspiracy and it actually fit into the larger picture quite nicely . . . the perps wanted to hide the fact the media is controlled by the government so they created this fake story where the media brings down a president.

    1. SR6719

      Walter Wit Man: And I don’t accept the conventional wisdom that the WaPo “took on” the White House…the way WaPo is being set up as the entity that is bringing down the president doesn’t seem very credible to me.”

      I think you may be on to something here. By encouraging the public to believe that the Washington Post actually stood up to the White House, that WaPo was somehow an independent and separate part of The Powers That Be (instead of being controlled by the government and corporate sponsors), this has encouraged the illusion of a free and independent Press, an illusion that persists until this day.

      And it’s enabled the government/media complex to put out even more of their pitiful falsified information (designed to mislead the public) than they might have been able to do without Watergate.

      So yeah, I’m not saying you’re right about this being a conspiracy, (I don’t know enough to say that), but if you *were* right and it was a conspiracy, that would fit almost perfectly into the overall picture.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Well, I don’t have any smoking gun ‘beyond-a-reasonable-doubt’ evidence–but this is an impossible standard to meet.

        I also trust my sniffer to sniff this stuff out. If I’m mistaken and I am unduly cynical/conspiratorial then I will gladly admit it.

        But . . . just the circumstantial case I briefly make above is compelling to me.

        Plus, it fits with the other conspiracies I’ve been pursuing recently. For instance, all three presidents for that 10 year period had their terms cut short (JFK, LBJ, Nixon)–I would bet because they were all forced to do this or agreed to this before they became presidents.

        I imagine the motivation all 3 presidents ended their terms early is similar: to create the myth of the presidency and the myth of an independent press. It was done to control the American people and to get them to accept their fake democracy.

        It all started with the fake assassination of JFK.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Johnson’s conspiracy is less sexy, but it’s simple.

          LBJ not running in 68 supported the two party system and the myth that the parties are responsive to their voters in a primary, etc. The Democratic voters were seen as bringing down a sitting president over the Vietnam war.

          I also wonder if he was somehow involved with the RFK “assassination* and throwing the election to Nixon.

          *I now have a small doubt about whether the RFK assassination really occurred or was faked like JFK–the motive is certainly there–to make Democrats feel like their anti-war feelings were heard but to dash their hopes and create a situation where the pro war candidate would win and teach liberals a lesson that they will never get to win.

      2. SR6719

        I haven’t really looked into the official version of Watergate but one thing that would concern me is Bob Woodward.

        Isn’t this the same idiot who went on to write “The Maestro” where he made the Ayn Rand-worshipping Greenspan into some kind of god?

        In the New York Review of Books, Joan Didion accused Woodward of being, effectively, a stenographer – a writer of “scrupulous passivity” from whose work “measurable cerebral activity is virtually absent”.

        Woodward’s proclaimed “fairness” was a cover, she argued, for “autopilot reporting and lazy thinking”, resulting in “political pornography”.

        So why should we believe he did any better job in his coverage of Watergate?

        It would also be interesting to see what the Washington Post was reporting about the war in Vietnam at the time they were reporting on Watergate.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Watergate does seem incongruous with the rest of Woodward’s career.

          The same can be said of Ben Bradlee, who has a very *interesting* history: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKbradleeB.htm

          Another interesting area of inquiry is whether Deep Throat was a made up person and not Mark Felt. I’m having trouble finding the source I read recently that pointed out many of the supposed leaks from Deep Throat were confirmed to be linked by other people and not Mark Felt . . .

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Here’s a quote from the link above:

            “While editor of the Washington Post Bradlee promoted the career of Bob Woodward. Like Bradlee, Woodward had been a communications officer for naval intelligence. In July, 1972, Bradlee arranged for Woodward to work with Carl Bernstein on a story about a growing political scandal concerning the Nixon administration.”

    2. proximity1

      and to maintain the “realistic” aspect of it all, Nixon “played along” by resigning from office?

      really, that’s a question.

      You write,

      “What interests me now is the timeline (not having lived through it). I’m surprised to see it was a slow moving scandal, “….

      So, you didn’t ‘live through it’. Has it occurred to you that, since you “missed the events” as they happened, you could still read about them from authoritative sources?

      Before they went on to bigger, other, things, reporters Woodward and Bernstein wrote a book about their story of breaking and covering the Watergate story — All the President’s Men — you could read it. It would answer your many–if not all– of your questions which, to this reader, who did live through it and who remembers it, look rather ridiculous.

      Why are you, or should you be, “surprised” that the scandal “moved slowly”?

      When it broke, the first reports concerned the arrest of people involved in what was first viewed as a burglary at the offices of Daniel Elsberg’s psychoanalyst in the Watergate Hotel complex. It took several days for the personalities in the events to become clear and to reveal ties to the Nixon White House. At every step of the way, the White House used its skills at “stone-walling” –a term which then entered the popular language.

      What I don’t get is you and you odd doubts, wonderings, your peculiar penchant to see conspiracies all over the place besides there where they were, in the Nixon White House.

      In the 1970s, though you missed it, there actually was a kind of adversary situation between some then-still-respectable-press and what was then called and still today called “the powers that be”.

      1. proximity1

        correction:

        Well, I’m mistaken in thinking that Daniel Elsberg’s psychoanalyst’s offices were there; when it was the Democratic National Committee offices that were burglarized.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        Yes. Under this theory Nixon played along.

        It’s possible Nixon wasn’t aware and that he was a victim of dirty tricks whereby the *CIA* set him up with Watergate so he could be taken down. But reading the transcripts, etc., it seems more likely that Nixon was in on it.

        He’s actually a much better actor than Clinton or Obama. Well, Clinton is pretty good too, but Nixon is loads better than Obama and the Bushes.

      3. Walter Wit Man

        Consider the presidential scandal I did live through in real time–the Clinton Blow Job scandal. That happened immediately it seemed like.

        So maybe our different perspectives on how a presidential scandal *should* be reported is different.

        I am aware of the back story about the reporting on Watergate of course . . . because it was mythologized in my generation. A person growing up after Watergate was told this story as if it were a bible story. The press probably had its hay day after Watergate and the Pentagon Papers and the Church Committee, etc. I remember thinking the WaPo was the very definition of journalistic integrity.

        Ha.

        Which is what makes me suspicious now. WaPo and the MSM in general certainly benefited from Watergate beyond belief. They were heroes. The MSM is able to fool Americans now because Americans trust it. And I’m convinced WaPo should not be trusted! So they have benefited immensely and unjustly from Wetergate.

        And Ben Bradlee is a perp! WaPo was the very definition of a controlled press and it just doesn’t make sense that Ben Bradlee would bring down the president (yes, yes, I know Bradlee was friends with JFK and was a “liberal”, but he was in the Washington Set and his allegiance was to the empire, not leftist politics).

    3. scraping_by

      Don’t know about that conspiracy thing, but it is a matter of history that just about the time the Watergate burglary stopped going away — and it did go away for a while — Nixon and Kissinger were finishing up betraying the American servicemen held captive in Vietnam.

      As part of the negotiations in Paris, the North Vietnamese made an absolute connection between release of the 1206 prisoners and $4 billion in reparations. Kissinger and Nixon solved this dilemma by agreeing to pay it in a secret letter, on the strength of which, half the prisoners were freed. Once those 591 were home, Nixon asked Congress for the money without explaining what it was for, the terms of the secret deal. Of course, Congress rejected it. They then began saying ‘all the live prisoners are home.’

      The secret deal and Nixon’s breaking it wasn’t public knowledge, of course, but it was common knowledge in the Pentagon and among the intelligence services.

      If you’re looking for someone with motive, means and opportunity, especially the motive, to rekindle a dead investigation, look for some square head who believed that bit about the obligation of a government to the men it sends to fight.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        I know people who were active in POW/MIA issues in Vietnam and was even involved with Ross Perot in going into Vietnam to locate loved ones.

        You’re right–they are very motivated. But they weren’t able to achieve their goals in getting the truth.

        Thanks for the description of the secret deal . . . I’ve heard similar stories but not the specifics you claim.

  17. the newhouse wurlitzer

    Nice rhetorical flourish there, Chaz, using Watergate as a triumph of self-government, but c’mon. That’s like using the apprehension of James Earl Ray as a milestone in racial reconciliation. The lessons are, the deep state made an example of Nixon like they made an example of King. Ask Russ Baker. Ask William Pepper.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Yeah, I love this heroic description of the reporters: “The stubborn, preposterous diligence of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, keeping the story alive when almost nobody else wanted a piece of it, in the middle of a presidential campaign on which the story would have absolutely no impact.”

      As if was preposterous to cover this story. Give me a break. It’s preposterous NOT to cover it.

      And shouldn’t the fact this was uncovered before an election make it even more important to get the facts out there?

      1. Susan the other

        You are right. It was preposterous NOT to cover it. The Dog That Didn’t Bark. That’s the most important insight into the genesis of the scandal. It took some diligence and time to create a situation that the rest of the country could not ignore. So then: most of the MSM and congress weren’t disturbed by the crassness of Richard Nixon. After all, all Presidents had done similar things, but usually more prudently and with more cover. It was Nixon’s misfortune that J. Edgar Hoover up and died on him. James Jesus Angleton (CIA) collected Hoover’s files and nobody stopped him. He was reputed to be an anglophile. But who knows who Nixon was out to get. Anyway, that cut off the compromising dirt that Nixon could have been handed by Hoover and Nixon had to go steal it himself. Ah. Fate.

      2. proximity1

        RE

        “As if was preposterous to cover this story. Give me a break. It’s preposterous NOT to cover it.”

        There was no question about whether the story was going to be covered. The question was, first, “Is this story for the “local” news pages or is it, rather, a “National” news story. Remember, The WP was then also a main carrier of local Washington D.C. news. Woodward & Bernstein were reporters on the local desk, and that is why they were involved in the earliest reporting on it.

        When it began to appear that the story concerned national affairs, the editors at the Post were inclined to take the story away from the local news desk and place it under the control of the national desk. But, being ambitious and not wanting to lose their part in the story’s coverage, W & B. vigorously protested that move by the editors, and the paper’s editor, Ben Bradlee, eventually saw fit to leave W. & B. on the story.

        “And shouldn’t the fact this was uncovered before an election make it even more important to get the facts out there?”

        Yep. Just as it was true that, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, as the Bush White House hyped it and did everything it could to make the invasion a foregone conclusion, it was also “even more important to get the facts out” —i.e. “There aren’t any fucking WMD, stupid!”—-but, then, just as in late 2002, early 2003, what was “even more important” didn’t necessarily mean that it was given the prominence it deserved. W. & B. did want to “get the facts out” and, in general, the editors and managers wanted to help them do that. The Nixon White House, like the Bush White House, had other ideas.

        Surprised? Why?

      3. different clue

        Walter Wit Man,

        Someone whose name I vaguely remember as Harry Lobel (?)
        presented a plausible-seeming theory of Watergate. Nixon wanted the USSR government to lean on North Vietnam and hold back its conquest of South Vietnam long enough for Nixon to plausibly claim that he had Vietnamized the war and preserved South Vietnamese independence for a while. To get Brezhnev’s support, he somehow ( I forget how) forcefully arranged for setting aside the Achnacarry ‘As Is’
        Agreement of 1924 by which the major oil companies of the day had arranged to divide the world oil market among themselves by percentages. He achieved that partial set-aside to create market space for the USSR to sell its exportable oil into. The oil companies and associated super-rich families wanted revenge for that so they arranged the Watergate web for Nixon to get himself trapped in. McCord was a CIA agent at the time he accidentally-on-purpose got his burglary mission detected by that guard so he could accidentally-on-purpose get himself and his people arrested. Harry Lobel was the head of something called Lobel Research Associates based in Nebraska at the time he wrote some articles about this in a paper called Acres USA, but I haven’t been able to find any traces of it on the “web”. You would have to find a dead tree copy of the issues of the paper involved to read the articles. The offices of Acres USA would certainly be able to tell you what issues these articles ran in, but whether they would be able to make and sell xerox copies . . . I just don’t know.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Don’t know who you’re referring to but sounds interesting.

          Just became aware of the oil connection in Vietnam and didn’t realize it played a part in starting the war.

          I am much more open to the possibility that Watergate is a conspiracy now that I’ve looked into these facts a bit more. I’m aware of McCord and if you read the piece I site above from the Realist it goes into the CIA connections with the burglars (this is August of 1972 before W&B ever mention anything like that–and they didn’t that I’m aware of).

          1. different clue

            I read these articles by Harry Lobel (if I am remembering the name exactly right) in issues from almost 30 years ago of a paper called Acres USA. At that time it was still published/ edited by founding publisher/editor Charles Walters Jr. Its primary focus was biological and ecological
            methods of agriculture, but Walters also printed other things he thought of interest or value. I ran across things there I had never heard of anywhere else. He died a few years ago and his son Chris Walters publishes/edits it now. It merged a few years ago with a couple of tiny organic agriculture newsletters so its focus is a little more “mainstream organic” now. But it still has some articles about biological/ecological agriculture and some of the parallel concepts and knowledge that Charles Walters felt it so important to de-obscure and re-mainstream if possible. Perhaps the present staff at Acrea USA could find the old Harry Lobel articles? They might have to be offered enough money, because it is a small and tight-budget newspaper-letter-magazine. Here is its website:
            http://www.acresusa.com/magazines/magazine.htm

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “Example” – like the horse’s head in the bed, the “dead fish” of Rahm.

  18. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yves, re Pierce on “Lessons of Watergate” – please connect dots. The Lessons were learned by the Fourth Reich in formation since 1945: Dissent against 1% Crimes Against One’s People/Against Humanity–a_feature_of “Participatory Democracy” must never again be allowed to build to critical mass:

    “Never again another “Watergate” — whence “election process” subverted unto complete opacity and corruption, proven absolutely in Jeb Bush’s Florida with voter/election fraud, and the Supreme Coronation of GW Bush as Puppet President, with full cooperation from Gore, cooked by Baker, Botts.

    “Never again another “Viet Nam” — whence draft abolished, direct mercenaries and outsourced mercenaries mandatory, all “press” embedded, CNN “reality” shows of The Triumphant Beast of “WarUSA!USA!” hits prime time like NFL extravaganza to spectacular effect, unto “Mission Accomplished” Big LIe “money shot” show w/ Navy backdrop puts Bush’s Wars backstage.

    PNAC “advisors” to the Unitary Executive War Machine seal the deal for funding Perpetual Fraud and Perpetual War Profits to 1% DNA in perpetuity. This is the melding of Economics + Politics for BushBloc Holy Roman Reich IV.

  19. JGordon

    As has been stated numerous times already (I’ll do it again because it’s so annoying)Rob Wile, the author of that peak oil article, put up a strawman argument and then used fallacious reasoning to support his takedown of the strawman.

    What’s even funnier is the actual BP data he cites supports the actual peak oil theory (much like gravity and relativity are theories). Ah well, BI was always a good site to get bogus information, and this time was no different.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “Dudley” – Law in the City, BP, NYFed – lucre for DNA in perpetuity. How can BP go down when “British” pensions rely upon it? That Royal Shell connection. Might up-end the Crowned .01% DNA profit in perpetuity. No more Cromwells, by fiat. The serfs are placid, loving their bondage to spectacle, locked in a Stockholm Syndrome embrace with dreams of Blake’s “Jerusalem” in their drunken eyes.

      Is it time for revolt? if the tepid Angles and Jutes can’t cut a path to autonomy in C21, perhaps the Highland Scots, Arthur’s breed of Cornwall and Wales, and the Irish Culdees should secede as a New Economic Confederation. Might these “dismissed” populations have something in common with New Madagascar on the Mediterranean? What about the “vacant” Hebrides?

      It’s Saturday.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Restaurants link.

    Does anyone have historical charts on the toxicity-gap between home cooking and dining out? Which one is safer?

    1. Susan the other

      Pick your restaurants carefully. I think, by law, they are required to show you the kitchen. Most Chinese restaurants have godawful kitchens, but such good cheap food. Trade off. And I have read it is cheaper to never use your own kitchen, all expenses considered. Just go out. Unless your are like me and like to cook. Control freak.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Gotta love that “mystery meat” too! (nutria in Louisiana=”bayou chicken”)

  21. kevinearick

    Spirit of America

    “On the surface, which seems more believable? The belief in God or the belief that at one point, all matter in the entire universe – every atom and molecule – was condensed into a tiny ball?” N Sparks

    The answer is actually both, but that is something you must learn for yourself, through experience, to make your autonomous system work for you, instead of against you. From God’s perspective, the earth is still primordial ooze, and humanity is a primitive creature, attempting to emerge.

    That DNA churn pool is an extremely powerful black hole, from which little escapes. Both the body and the intellect are its prisoner. On the one hand, earth reality requires you to engage it in a symbiotic relationship, but, on the other, there is no support system like earth to suckle you in space. The empire, which is merely a virtual dc bridge, acts accordingly.

    Only through the spirit do you stand a chance to scratch the surface of space exploration. You must prepare to be successful assuming that you will be, where others have failed. You can’t do that by accepting the false assumptions of the virtual bridge you see before you, gained by body and intellect. The empire is a gravitational extension of earth. It’s just a task master. You learn by doing, not by reading or talking about what you read. What not to do does not tell you what to do.

    You cannot blame your parents, those around you, or any particular government iteration, and be successful. The spirit is always a work in progress, constantly being pulled back into the churn pool when it fails to escape gravity, extending gravity in a symbiotic relationship. That is the universe, in which your body and mind reside.

    What you require is a platform, from the as-is to the to-be. Work from both ends, with intelligent trial and error, your spirit as the feedback measurement, and the empire as the resistance measurement device. Blaming the robots around you for being robots is like yelling at a rock for being a rock, instead of employing it as a propellant.

    Make gravity your friend, not your enemy. The enemy of your enemy is your friend. Peer pressure is only your enemy when you choose it for yourself and expect others to behave differently. We build empires for a reason, and it is never the one assumed by any particular robot or group of robots. You can turn an aircraft carrier on a dime and project it into space, but it’s a counter-intuitive process relative to your body and mind.

    God is not responsible for tyranny. We do that to ourselves, by expecting others to do something we can only do for ourselves. The system guarantees that you are unique and have choice. Employ yourself accordingly and everything else will take care of itself. Gravity guarantees the outcome.

    Don’t spend 90% of your disinterested time pleasing the empire and expect a happy outcome, when 10% of your interested time will do. Don’t busy yourself with busy work is a good way to begin. Look at income and its relationship to reality, return on labor, History. They make windshield wipers and fluid for a reason.

    Do you really think it is possible to pay yourself too much AND the police too little? What is the relationship between Oprah’s bank account and police pensions?

    Let Germany hang itself, and take Chicago with it.

  22. scraping_by

    “And exactly what distinction is Obama drawing when he says “you guys” and “the American people”?”

    I suppose he’s inviting them into the Citizen of the World circle. Barry’s committed treason and violated the constitution almost without pause since his inauguration. It’s a consistent prejudice against our national interests and for those of wealthy extranationals, both individual, governmental, and corporate. The trade agreement that’s making America’s status as a colony official is just one more step that way.

    The Greater Good in all globalization is the world elite. Makes a person want to cling to guns and religion.

    1. Jim

      You want a national leader who has committed treason? Try former Chancellor Kohl of German. Based on what he’s said regarding Germany and the Eurozone, I’m convinced that he’s ready to sacrifice German wellbeing in exchange for the viability of a United States of Europe. What’s driving him. Does he really care so little about Germany? Do the people in Brussels have something on him?

  23. Hugh

    I can’t help thinking that the really big story that isn’t getting much play in this election year is how both parties are setting up to enact major part of Bowles-Simpson after the election in the lame duck session, gutting Medicare and Social Security while cutting tax rates on the rich and corporations.

    Egypt falling back into dictatorship illustrates an important point. There can be no compromise with kleptocrats and the elites who serve them. If they are not completely removed from the system, they will do everything they can to reassert their control over it.

    Not sure how to react to Ed Harrison. The stock market is reacting to events in Europe by some belated drops but most of the time it is gambling as usual there. I think that if on a Monday Armageddon was announced to occur in two weeks, the markets would fall for a couple of days and recover by the end of the first week. But I digress. The US economy is slowing because of debt, as Ed notes, but also high unemployment, lack of stimulus, and massive looting. He then quotes Roubini who tries to include public debt into the discussion: that countries are too in debt to undertake stimulus programs. Here I think Ed is showing his inner gold bug because this is very much gold standard thinking. But Ed’s emphasis on even private debt is misplaced. It is as always the kleptocracy. US growth is slowing because of the factors I noted and they are all products of kleptocracy.

  24. Valissa

    re: SEC taps Wall Street veteran, to oversee ratings agencies

    There are reasons clichés exist!

    The case of the artless question http://www.courant.com/media/photo/2011-01/106303840-27163027.jpg

    Artsy illustration of Butler’s position, Part 1 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HyyDHyAwI6k/ShdAZ3TKu3I/AAAAAAAAFSM/vYqNYZ0UwWc/s400/fox+hen+house.aspx

    Artsy illustration of Butler’s position, Part 2 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CIcrV3eDFWo/TD6EaEyDrEI/AAAAAAAAApw/yVHhL4Si2J8/s1600/fox+guarding+the+hen+house.jpg

    Game, set, match http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2007/12/13/cartoon_marek_fox_henhouse.jpg

    Say hi to Bert! http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/bve/lowres/bven696l.jpg

    1. Jim

      Unmanned flight is so much more economically viable than manned. How much more would it have cost the US taxpayer to have 2 astronauts orbiting the Earth for 15 months?

  25. F. Beard

    re IMF Pressures Spain to Lower Salaries, Raise the VAT, Eliminate Housing Deduction Michael Shedlock:

    Mish is a gold-bug. It’s amazing that he doesn’t extrapolate from the Euro, a virtual gold standard, to what a gold-standard would be like.

    The Austrian conditioning goes deep but Mish is a smart guy. Perhaps he’ll wise up.

  26. Jim

    RE: The Grand Bargain. Nothing would ensure the President’s defeat more than “compromising” on a “Grand Austerity Bargain”.

    1. different clue

      The plan is to spring the Grand Bargain trap AFter the November elections and beFORE the next Reps and Senators and President take office. What would a bunch of lame ducks
      have to lose from passing and signing the Simpson Obama Catfood Plan? An election they already either lost or won?
      Well hardy har har.

  27. Jim

    RE: TXU and its dive into bankruptcy, I’d argue it’s the fault of the subordinated debtholders. Why not insist on a covenant indicating if operating profit declines more than, say 20%, Y/Y, no extraordinary bonuses are permitted.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      TXU? Dig deep for member links to “The Club” for insider profits by stealth.

  28. different clue

    That chart of the day destroys the idea of peak oil? Only if one deliberately dis-states what the idea of peak oil is. Peak oil refers to the peaking and then slow falling off of easy-to-reach-and-extract oil first, and then the harder-and-harder categories of oil after that.

    The growing reserves that BP’s chart referrences are the
    almost out-of-reach deep oil under the ocean floor, sticky gummy TAR in the TAR sands which doesn’t even deserve to be called “oil” at all, etc.

    Of course, as Global Warming melts the Arctic Sea Ice, a whole lot of Arctic Ocean sea floor will be drillable, so lots of semi-easy oil should be found there. Then Global
    Heating will melt all the ice off of Greenland and the Canadian Islands and all kinds of oil will be found there. And coal too. Then Global Scorching will melt all the ice off of Antarctica and huge amounts of oil and coal will be found there. After which, Global Autoclaving will turn much of the Earth’s land surface into sterile Venusian Hellscapes.

    Those who don’t “believe in” Global Warming should feel free to invest all the money they have into seaside beachfront coastal property in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, etc. If they are right, they will be laughing all the way to the bank. Let them put their money where their mouth is.

  29. different clue

    There used to be a TV show called Monsters which had half-hour little separate episodes. One was about some scientists who forced the pace of rat evolution by designing harder and harder solve-it-or-die mazes and tests and so forth. The rats ended up developing a tribal culture and enough technology to kill all the scientists . . . and then escape the laboratory.

  30. different clue

    About that “no such thing as peak oil” link . . . maybe Yves Smith offered it just to watch us all pinyatafy it.

  31. russell1200

    Is the chart of the day intending humor?

    The idea of peak oil is not that you run out of reserves, but that production becomes more difficult and costly, and at some point supply flow does begin to dwindle. How many hydrocarbons are actually in existence is somewhat beside the point.

    His bullet point quote-

    “long lead times and various forms of access constraints in some regions continue to create challenges for the ability of supply to meet demand growth at reasonable prices.”

    -seems to be a pretty reasonable definition for peak oil.

  32. Paul Tioxon

    I guess the melting of the polar ice caps, revealing more reserves can not be used to correlate corroborating evidence of global warming. The fall of the Berlin Wall, giving access to what is now the #1 oil producer in the world, Russia, I guess that change from 1991 til today does not correlate with the triumph of global capitalism? Of course, now that there is not only one massive middleclass consumer society, but dozens emerging would have to be graphed to provide context for how quickly all of the expanding oil reserves will be consumed by the expanding middle classes. Or is this a co-expansion c0-evolution? The results will be the same: a non renewable, finite resource, facing an exponentially growing population that feeds off of it will lead to collapse at some point in time. Sooner, rather than later.

    THE MOST IMPORTANT VIDEO YOU WILL EVER SEE (AGAIN AND AGAIN)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY

  33. F. Beard

    The need for exponential growth is caused by our money system which requires it in order to pay compound interest.

    Fix the money system and all sorts of evil should go away.

  34. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yes, the “exponential function” so beloved of the Club of Rome, the Club for Growth, the Georgia Guidestones, to justify genocide of the UN-1%DNA.

    The “Citizens” of France decided to up-end that vision of bliss: they went after the extinction of the .01% DNA. Of course, it got out of hand, moving on to the .99% Agency DNA for the full complement of 1% DNA, and beyond. Then Hitler and the Rentiers went for the Scapegoat DNA for a little “House cleaning.”

    The choice is before us, citizens.

  35. Susan the other

    Just thinkin about all that misdirected energy. Malthus warned us about a population explosion; Minsky warned us about about economic instability; and Mandelbrot saw something that looked like 3 dimensions plotted 2 dimensionally. Because it would have to curl in on itself to be contained in a 3 dimensional space. Gnarly. We need another dimension, quick. Maybe a human one. I think that leaves international corporations out until they get a clue.

  36. Paul Tioxon

    Mr Beard,
    You could not be more correct, sir! The driving force of social control through money and the expansion of money through interest bearing debt, causing an endless need for the system to find money-profits, even though all the work that needs to be done to live a prosperous and happy life is done, is perpetual treadmill on the bridge to nowhere. At 7% compounded annual increase, the economy and the profits need to double every 10 years. Population and productivity don’t grow that fast, so a fiction of capital markets is fabricated to produce the necessary results. Again, even though plenty of houses are built, but empty. Plenty of finished goods are handed down from previous generations that work perfectly fine. And so much food is produced that we are obese and still throwing good food away by the trainload.

  37. F. Beard

    Usury alone is bad enough but “credit-creation” forces all of us to borrow or be left behind by those who do borrow.

    It’s a “rat-race” and like good little rats we defeated every other system but what now when the rest of the world has adopted the same system?

  38. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Oh, the YIELD to the House of compound interest, compound derivates, compound fees, compound mortgage liens, compound pie-in-the-sky. What would Einstein say about these treasure troves?

  39. Lambert Strether

    Reminds me of a joke: A scientist wants to measure intelligence in rats, so he builds a maze, and starts running the rats through it, and timing them. So one day one of the rats builds a ladder and climbs up it to get an overview of the whole maze. Says the scientist “Hmm… A defective rat!” and euthanizes the animal.

  40. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yes, that’s what they’re fixing to do to the “awakened” right now.

  41. J Sterling

    No he didn’t. This is a common misunderstanding of Malthus. He didn’t predict a population explosion, nor an overshoot and dieback, nor environmental collapse, nor many other things I hear attributed to Malthus. Most of these attributed concepts come from confusing him with 1970s writers, who did predict some of these things.

    Malthus’ model assumed the environment would never collapse, whatever we draw from it, that our ingenuity would continuously find ways to draw more, but that the rate at which we did this could not be always exponential.

    To those three assumptions, Malthus added that humans would never keep their population from growing exponentially by natural means, should never keep it from growing by unnatural ones (he called contraception “vice”), and that there would therefore always be a starving majority employed under conditions of maximum immiseration by a wealthy minority. He wasn’t predicting overpopulation, he was predicting income inequality.

    His famous economic essay “On Population” is available on the Internet. He’s no angel: he advocates against welfare, claiming that without welfare the workers would spontaneously limit their own numbers (yes, he is contradicting his very thesis) but he should be condemned for what he did write, not for what he didn’t.

    Neo-Malthusians embraced contraception as a solution to poverty, in which I think they have been vindicated by the record of the First World over the last century or so. And boy do the rich not like that. At present we are in a struggle between pro-contraception and anti-contraception forces, the latter having an agenda to keep workers poor and numerous everywhere, whatever the environmental cost.

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