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Links 6/21/12

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Our Animal Natures New York Times (Aquifer). From earlier this month, still germane.

US inventor claims design for BP well cap stolen PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Your Tweets Are Why The Next Walter Cronkite Will Be a Robot Fast Company (Robert M)

Time Warner Cable patents method for disabling fast-forward function on DVRs FierceCable (Chuck L)

I See Right Through You: Glasses to Read People’s Skin MIT Technology Review (Chuck L)

Researchers Grow Functioning Human Liver Tissue from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells PopSci (Robert M)

After the goldrush – learning from US shale gas experience Energy Bulletin

NYC Risks ‘Bikelash’ As 10,000 Rental Cycles Hit Streets Bloomberg

Fresh signs of weakness in Chinese economy Financial Times

A technical failure foretold? My interrupted BBC TV interview on the… BBC’s bias Yanis Varoufakis

Same Parties in Charge: New Government, But No New Beginning in Athens Der Spiegel

Greece and the Rest of Us: A Discussion: Paul Krugman, Edmund S. Phelps, Jeffrey D. Sachs, George Soros New York Review of Books

Many lawmakers not mentioning word ‘Congress’ in campaign ads Washington Post. Wow, a new art form: campaigning for a job while avoiding naming it.

Distaste for Health Care Law Reflects Ad Spending New York Times

How a Book Burning Party Saved the Library Talk to Action

Bosses Rein In Banker Who Golfs With Obama New York Times

US Fed opts to extend Operation Twist Financial Times. The Fed is running out of bullets.

Oracle CEO Ellison To Buy Most Of Hawaiian Island Lanai Bloomberg

The Ponzi Arithmetic of Profit Global Economic Intersection

Empty Senate Hearing a National Disgrace Wall Street on Parade versus Lawmakers Push for Overhaul of IPO Process WAll Street Journal. Letter writing is easier than showing up.

Low rates not reaching many US homeowners Financial Times

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 79 and counting*

“No one rises so high as he who knows not whither he is going.” –Oliver Cromwell

Occupy. Interesting retrospective, Sofía Gallisá Muriente: “In the long run OWS is an umbrella — a network of people and resources. Because this two-month occupation existed and all these people got to collaborate in trying to create a sustainable community in a square in downtown Manhattan, it made a lot of things that used to seem impossible, seem more possible. … We have much more to learn than to teach.”

Montreal. Baltigaya: “Sunday, June 10, around 8:20 PM, we were two retired couples, two young couples, and seven children who were playing together in the park…. It was a peaceful and festive demonstration against Bill 78, as usual, for a half hour. We were suddenly accosted by four drunk young men in their twenties, in two cars. They were obviously seeking a provocation, with a dozen eggs on the dashboard. … In brief, one of them launched a violent verbal barrage, another one of them video recorded it, and they threw eggs at us, while the young father answered back politely. As seniors, we were more vulnerable, and we watched anxiously, trying to protect the children. All this to say: there is an urgent need in Quebec to resolve this gangrenous social crisis for which Mr. Charest is principally to blame.” Summer schedule, CLASSE: “The plan is organised around a tour of lectures across Quebec, and large scale demonstrations” planned for June 22 and July 22. Letter to Charest: “Your language is similar to that of a manipulator who tirelessly repeats the same words, the same formulas, in your case these are numbers, to baffle its prey. It is similar to that of a narcissist who doesn’t recognize the existence of other ways of life than its own.” Seems familiar. PQ’s Marais: “The Quebec population is thirsty for justice and for democracy. They want leaders with integrity who have a real vision to propose.” Marois is to Barrett as Charest is to Walker? Am I the only one here? Corruption: “Duchesneau offered a vivid example of one municipal party – while not identifying which one – which had so much money, the door of its safe could not be closed, literally.” “[A] ‘database’ of 200 companies [Duchesneau's commission] drafted was handed over to anti-corruption unit (UPAC).”

CO. Life’s little ironies: “Two wars are playing out across the Front Range of Colorado. One is about the location of medical marijuana dispensaries, the other is about the location of oil and gas drilling and fracking operations. One claims to help heal people suffering from cancer, the other raises claims of causing cancer. A rational person would think that mainstream Coloradans—who make up the vast majority of our purple state—would prefer to keep cancer-healing activities nearby while keeping cancer-causing activities as far away as possible. In fact, the exact opposite is true.”

FL. Voter purge: “The state, Perez wrote, ‘admitted to DHS nearly eight months ago that the Division of Elections does not collect any of the immigration-related numeric identifiers or documentation that DHS has advised would be necessary to participate in SAVE.’” So, there aren’t any primary keys to check the state database against the Fed database. If government should be run like a business, then Scott’s the pointy-haired boss who won’t listen to the techies when they tell him something can’t be done. Looks like I was too cynical on this! Unemployment: “[T]he fact that the unemployment rate dropped from 9.9 percent in December 2011 to 8.7 percent in April 2012 may be a change of 1.2 percent but the state’s economists say there is something important to add: ‘If the participation rate had held steady since 12/11, the unemployment rate would have been 9.6 percent.’ That’s more like a .3 percent decline.”

IA. Development: “[N]o electric cars will roll off assembly lines in Webster City. On the contrary, the city will be lucky to get back money it loaned to a company that never delivered on its owner’s promises.”

LA. Gutting the Times-Picayune: “Again, the primary problem here is not the reduction in print, but the decimation of the Times-Picayune’s newsroom.” “Clifford Burchfield sleeps in an abandoned building in the Algiers section of New Orleans, with no plumbing, electricity or running water. He can’t afford television, much less the Internet. But Burchfeld still devours the news every day from The Times-Picayune. Or at least he will until this fall, when New Orleans becomes the largest metro area in the nation without a daily paper.”

MA. “[T]he City launched its participation in a mobile app/Facebook app/website interface that allows citizens who see something, like dumped furniture or a pothole, or a dangerous sidewalk, and use their mobile smartphone to report it.”

MT. The Ochenski mess makes it to counterpunch!

NC. Fracking: Lee County NC say NO to Fracking [FaceBorg]. Many of these sites.

NV. “Those who respond, ‘But Gee We Have To Balance The State Budget,’ are missing one critical factor. Capital expenditures aren’t subject to the balancing act.”

NY. Yoo hoo, AG Schneiderman: “A state Senate source said a program bill dealing with mortgage fraud, introduced earlier this month by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is ‘up in the air.’ It’s opposed by the New York Bankers Association… [M]ortgage fraud is a big issue on Long Island, so the Senate is in something of an awkward position.” Fracking, editorial: “Recently, politicians and publications have conditionally endorsed so-called ‘safe fracking’ as a part of the nation’s energy mix. But safe fracking is an impossibility, and the industry’s claims for it are knowingly based on false premises.”

OH. “The appeals panel sided with a lower court that the plantiffs did not have standing because they could not show direct harm. If our leaders can pass laws that violate the Constitution but nobody has standing to stop them, what good is the Constitution anyway?’ Standing is always huge.

PA. Sandusky defense rests. “I kept saying ‘what did you see?’ Each time [McCleary] would come back to the sounds,’ Dranov said. ‘It just seemed to make him more upset, so I backed off that.’” Ick. Fracking, Harrisburg’s Patriot-News throws softballs: “Romney was never confronted with the bigger issue for Pennsylvanians: how to balance the downsides of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (wastewater disposal, road damage, and methane water quality challenges, for example) with the benefits of more available energy.”

TX. Snark watch: “The state water plan is to planning as chicken-fried steak is to steak.”

VA. Putsch at UVA: “[Ousted President Teresa] Sullivan’s supporters on the board think they are close to the eight votes needed to reinstate her. They note that only eight votes are needed since Mark J. Kington, the vice rector who teamed with Dragas to orchestrate Sullivan’s ouster, resigned Tuesday, leaving just 15 members on the board.” That would be a turn-up for the books! But principles not personalities. The Virginian-Pilot editorializes: “[Rector] Dragas and her collaborators should resign, as the Faculty Senate’s executive council demanded Monday.” Roanake Times: “The best thing for the university would be for [Dragas] to bow out gracefully.” Cavalier: “Board members, you embarrass yourselves. … We agree with former Board member Austin Ligon: If you want to set an example of leadership, step down from your positions.” Snark watch: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Universities are endowed by their Donors with certain unalienable Goals, that among these are Strategy, Dynamism, and the pursuit of some sort of Online Degree delivered via the Interwebs,—That to secure these goals, Presidents are appointed, deriving their just powers from the half-baked ideas of idle Billionaires…”

Privatization: “While the Hook’s sources downplay any planned privatization by Goldman Sachs, there’s no question that [Greenwich, CT-based big donors] Jones and Kiernan favor the idea of applying business principles to education. A year ago, the two helped launch the New York arm of StudentsFirst, the advocacy organization that openly embraces such reforms as eliminating teacher tenure, pushing merit pay, and supporting charter schools. Some of its officials have advocated outright privatization.” MOOC: “It’s true, online learning is all the rage now. David Brooks likes it, and he’s a reliable indicator of what the chattering class is exposed to these days. None of the top schools are replacing their existing curriculum, though. …. Lectures and multiple choice work great online. Socratic Method, not so much. Online learning also magnifies cheating problems.”

Interim President Carl Zeithaml holds a press conference: But does he agree with the decision to replace her? “I don’t support the Board’s decision to remove her.” Then why not make the Rector’s resignation a condition of serving as interim president? [Zeithamal dodges the question by talking about moving the University "forward in a positive way."] Provost John Simon: “A surprise that emerged from the press conference was that Simon, who won a pair of standing ovations six days earlier by hinting at an emotionally charged public Faculty Senate meeting that he’d quit his job if the Board doesn’t ‘do the right thing’ has decided, instead, to stick around.” Faculty Senate in action: “A list of task forces will be available at Open Grounds. Please come prepared to sign up for a task force. We will also receive any suggestions you may have for our meeting with Dean Zeithaml tomorrow. Please stay on alert and be ready to respond quickly. Things are moving. With your help, we will prevail.”

Elsewhere in VA: “After watching her parents, friends and neighbors struggle these past four years, she knows it won’t be easy to become the first person in her family to finish college. But she still believes what Obama told her as a ninth-grader: She is going to do great things.” Read it all for the contrast with UVA. Extraction: “Virginia Uranium Inc. would like to mine and mill a 119-million-pound uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County. Many of the attendees Monday night continued to question the transparency of the work group process and pointed to how the group’s website didn’t keep the public up to date on how the state chose the consultant.” Extraction: “U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell [R] is winning praise for his bid to make VA’s offshore waters available to gas and oil exploration. Virginia waters were to be open to energy exploration until the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.”

WI. Development: “Just one year after it opened, the Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls has been hit with a foreclosure suit – filed by the community that financed its construction. As a result, the Village of Menomonee Falls could be facing a multimillion dollar loss, paid for by village residents.” MOOC: “Gov Scott Walker and UW officials announced a new online education model that backers said would be the first of its kind undertaken by a public university. The proposal — titled the UW Flexible Degree — aims to allow students to either apply already acquired knowledge to state testing or take flexible, affordable online coursework through either UW campuses or other accredited universities. ”

“The economy”. “The Fed’s latest forecast for economic growth this year is just 2.2%, a dire number of the Obama administration in an election year.”

Grand Bargain™-brand catfood watch. The farm bill passes, so “optimists believe the small steps taken this spring could help pave the way for real cooperation [Simpson-Bowles] later.” Now to tee up slashing Social Security! It never ends….

Inside Baseball. They’re lying: “The Annenberg Public Policy Center calculated that those top four [secret money] groups spent $29.3 million on advertising related to the presidential race from December 1, 2011 to June 1, 2012. Just under $25 million was spent on ads that fact-checkers said included at least one deception.” The groups studied were all right wing. Unity: “45% of those surveyed in a Bloomberg National Poll say they are better off than at the beginning of 2009 compared with 36% who say they are worse off.”

Policy. ObamaCare: “In another CJR Town Hall, a worker at a Pennsylvania Walmart told me, ‘If you can’t afford healthcare, how are you going to afford the penalties? Why punish them?’” Study: “More than 26,000 working-age adults die prematurely in the United States each year because they lack health insurance.” Which is, of course, why ObamaCare only covers half the uninsured and doesn’t kick in ’til 2014. Do the math. Priorities!

The trail. Fast & Furious, Kevin Drum: “This whole thing is completely ridiculous, just a pointless piece of political theater.” As opposed to? “Rs are dismissive of Mr Obama’s supposedly superior grassroots networks. ‘You don’t shoot to maim, you shoot to kill,’ Rick Wiley, the RNC’s political director, says of the D’s performance in WI. ‘We just smacked ‘em. We had that thing humming.’

Ron Paul. “Supporters of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul have filed a lawsuit against the Republican National Committee and nearly every state party claiming they improperly helped Mitt Romney during the primaries while using intimidation and threats of violence to thwart them. Paul’s campaign says the Texas congressman doesn’t support the lawsuit. An RNC official called it frivolous.”

Robama vs Obomney watch. Heh.

Democrats, bless their hearts:. “[PELOSI:] I could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day. I’m not kidding. [T]here were some specific ones for his being in contempt of Congress. But we didn’t.” Would have prevented “obstructionism,” no?

Romney. Adelson: “For Mr Romney, the relationship with Mr Adelson is fraught with risk, as it invites scrutiny of the tycoon’s business record, especially his reliance on Beijing to sustain his profitable casinos in Macau, bordering China.” Veepstakes: “Pawlenty has shrugged off questions about the No. 2 slot. But over time, his denials have shifted from suggesting that Mr. Romney take his name off the list to noting that anybody would be honored to serve, if asked.” “Rubio charged more than $100,000 to state GOP credit cards, had racked up nearly $1 million in personal debt, and nearly had his home foreclosed on.” Snark watch: “Goodbye Rubio Tuesday!” Very detailed play-by-play of Romney’s WaWa-gate. Oh gawd, make it stop!

Obama. Strategery: “It’s typical of the Democratic approach. Rather than creating a tidal wave that carries everyone, as Republicans generally do when they win, throw a thousand rocks and create a million ripples. Pick ‘em off one by one. And, who knows, between Team Obama’s supernova data mining and demographic slicing and dicing and the president’s targeted-constituency executive orders, maybe that will be enough to claw their way to 50.1 percent of the vote.” This seems to be the conventional wisdom, now. “‘We have the race we anticipated,’ said one of the campaign’s top strategists, adding that the battle for the White House would remain ‘razor close’ until polling day.” Again, the CW.

* 79 days ’til the Democratic National Convention purveys a Barmacide feast on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. And Austrians… You know this one, right?

Antidote du jour. It seems mean when he makes the duck run to keep up with him but the duck seems quite fine every time it catches up.

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96 comments

  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Billionaire’s private islands.

    I think if you are smart and rich, you should be able to brag about your private planets or stars, if you are able to imagine beyond merely having planets and stars named after you.

    One day, some rich guy might own his own private galaxies.

    1. Glen

      It’s always nice to have your own island if the rest of the world goes to hell in a hand basket.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The plan is to leverage public money for the initial phases of space exploration and colonization.

        After that, the elite will take over with their secret, second ‘papal bull’ of 1493, or its modern day equivalent, to divide the universe amongst themselves.

    1. TimR

      I read the book a few months back, but this should be good to help me review and improve retention, thanks! (I’m no Chomsky – that recent Salon article – “When Chomsky Wept” – claimed he could absorb 500 page books overnight and quote obscure footnotes the next day…)

  2. Hugh

    Buying Lanai is just another example of kleptocratic excess. Yes, Virginia, people can have too much money.

    Think I will pass on the neoliberal-lite panel on Greece at the NY Review of Books. Until they start focusing on the criminality of what is going on with Greece and with Europe generally, it’s all just crocodile tears.

  3. Hugh

    I tried to point out that if you used the participation rate for an economic expansion, the real unemployment rate in Florida is probably over thirteen percent now.

    I had a somewhat longer explanation of this but WordPress ate the comment.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The unfortunate thing, I suspect, is that with the current way unemployment is calculated, many states are losing their federal long term unemployment benefits, as it requires a state to have higher unemployment than at least one out of the previous three years.

  4. fresno dan

    The link to the baby duck only takes one to the regular links. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BABY DUCK!

      1. JTFaraday

        Yeah, it’s alarming to see Naked Capitalism losing sight of its priorities in this way.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          F. Beard. This made me reflect: Did the film, “Alfie,” set the tone for the time-to-come? Featureing a great and greatlly “sexie” star. Nefarious set-up of “the new morality”–better that “Sex, Drugs, and Rock&Roll.” Tavistock advancing Freud’s dread of democracy, especially of human agency from the 99%.

      1. B. Traven

        The 3 Rs: 1) Rocks, 2) Red (the little rubber ducky’s blood) 3) Rats (albeit invisible)

        And who said the guy with the 2 rocks was Pete?

    1. Aquifer

      Oh dear! The duck may well have imprinted on the person – who is now its “Mom” and needs to teach it how to be a duck …

      As the fox would say – one is responsible for what one has “tamed” …

      1. Accrued Disinterest

        The duckling, it’s reported, has sold out; it’s taken an apprenticeship with Aflak.

  5. ex-PFC Chuck

    It was amusingly appropriate when the audio of the Yanis Varoufakis clip on BBC switched to chipmunk mode 20 seconds or so after the guest was cut off just before making his main point.

    1. Susan the other

      I thought it was a case of the medium is the message, as we all know that MSM is a hoard of chipmunks. Still it is nice to know that Varoufakis got his message out loud and clear about the impossibility of Greek austerity and the imperative for a rational change. His message holds true for every EU country. They will all be forced to leave the EZ if austerity is not tempered by rational and humane expectations.

  6. craazyman

    We’re going to get to the bottom of this.

    Vigorous research is now underway at the Institute for Contemporary Analysis on the question of what “competitiveness” means in reference to national economies. I just emailed Ed Harrison to see if he’ll make some remarks on it on Credit Writedowns. If he does, I’ll report on what he says.

    I can’t understand it myself. If it’s like the Olympics, only one nation can win, and then there’s a second and third prize. But most of the competitors you never hear about. There could be dozens of them and what are they supposed to do? You can only have one winner and two runners up, but if you have 100 countries that’s 97 losers.

    How can Portugal compete with Norway? Norway has oil and lots of fjords. Portugal has a seacost and a few villas and no fjords at all. And then what about Denmark? What do they have? People even get it confused with the Netherlands. I know I do. But somehow they compete, apparently. Both of them. But not with each other. i don’t know who they compete with.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Great insight. Maybe the model for survival in the age of diminishing resources is not competition but co-operation?

    2. craazyman

      Well I got a nice note earlier from Ed on this one.

      He agrees competitiveness is a “troubling word” as he put it — sort of a code word for wage suppression that guts the middle class in the global labor arbitrage.

      I think that’s true. And it coalesced something I’ve suspected. It’s only the poor people who have to get competitive. If you’re a rich big shot, you can be as fat and lazy as you want and nothing bad will happen. If you’re a big bank exec or a political crony and you run your business into the ground, no problem, the govermint bails you out. If yer a Saudi dude with your house on an oil well, you don’t even have to exercise, much less get competitive. You just sit there and get rich, like a lottery.

      But if you’re fat enough and lazy enough and you screw up, the govmint pay for it by asking all the little people to get more competitive. So that’s what it means. It’s what the little people have to do — they have to get competitive — so the 1% can be fat and lazy.

      This makes sense to me. And what about this, as long as we’re getting to the bottom of this: If Greece was the only country in the world — and the world was the size of the moon but with earth’s gravity so you wouldn’t bounce like the astronauts when you walked — and there were no other planets with people on them to export to, would Greece have to get competitive? How would that work? Who would they compete with since there’s nobody in the universe by Greeks?

      This is a conundrum that should leave one scratching their head. I guess They’d have to compete amongst themselves until they had a gold, silver and bronze medalist. I don’t know how long they’d last though. Maybe 1 week before the food ran out and all hell broke loose because you can’t have 3 people doing everything.

  7. Foppe

    (Sorry, no time to write anything more substantial.) Is it me, or is the Soros/Krugman/Sachs ‘discussion’ impossibly bland?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Foppe, did you “listen” in Stravinsky’s sense of the word to the ENTIRE presentation, through 1hr57min before they said goodbye? The presentation format might be considered “bland”–quite “academic” in procedure–but the content was very far from bland. A great deal of “harsh reality” was explored here, together with solid potential remedies. This panel of potential Agents for strong leadership into a just, working system proved quite serious–very far from the familiar panel of barking dogs. As it turned out, the comments of Jeffrey D. Sachs had the deepest bite.

      Highly recommended, in entirety, and only in entirety.

  8. craazyman

    those glasses that read your skin seem like a bad idea to me.

    reminds me of the x-ray glasses that let you see through clothes they used to advertise in the back pages of pulp magazines. there was always a little line drawing of a woman with a shapely figure next to them, just to give you ideas.

    I was tempted to buy a pair, but I thought it too vulgar and I’d be embarrased if anybody knew that I’d taken the bait. I was sure they wouldn’t work and I was probably right.

    So if you’re a woman and your walking down the street and you see a few Geeks on the corner staring at you through weird goggles. Well, you’ll know what’s going on. hahahahah I guess some women would like that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It can be useful in the privacy of your own home for watching witnesses testifying before the Senante.

      1. craazyman

        Did you ever buy a pair of those X-ray glasses? I bet not.

        Some of those ads were totally unrestrained: “See Through Clothes” they said.

        Even at 8 years old, I said to myself “No way. They’ve got to be lying. There’s gotta be a catch to this” But the funny thing is, if you had $9.99 lying around and just wanted to see how they worked the scam, I suppose it could be amusing. My theory was they drew a little picture of a naked woman on the inside of the glasses, and you probably had to line up the drawing with whoever you were looking at. I bet that’s how it worked. Actually, that could be pretty funny.

  9. MIWill

    re link: ‘ Snark watch: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Universities are endowed …” ‘

    Good one.

    1. Susan the other

      I had to read it to the end to realize what Hermanutz had done. He incorporated time, the missing element of deficit accounting, into the equation by embracing it. Like that German who demonstrated the exponential aspects of interest, only Hermanutz’s point was “get over it” – if you want profit you have to accept a certain amount of inflation which can be best controlled by sovereign banking. I understand the Austerity Cyclops better now. It just doesn’t want anybody else to ever profit. Makes me wonder if our basic hang-up isn’t with time itself.

      1. Susan the other

        just one more thought: if we did step back and define money again with the old adage “time is money” we could go with the flow. Because time only goes in one direction.

      2. F. Beard

        – if you want profit you have to accept a certain amount of inflation which can be best controlled by sovereign banking Susan the other

        Common stock as a private money form does allow inflation to purchase new assets but in an ethical manner because 1) the decision to inflate is under the control (in theory anyway) of the existing money holders and 2) the resulting inflation ONLY affects the issuing body since ALL money recipients become part owners of the issuing body since the money is shares.

      3. F. Beard

        if we did step back and define money again with the old adage “time is money” we could go with the flow. Susan the other

        Careful. The Austrians use that argument to defend usury. But usury has all sorts of problems and is not really needed since common stock allows the necessary consolidation of capital for economies of scale.

      4. Lidia

        Susan, this is exactly the problem. Time only goes in one direction (forward). And even if it didn’t, RESOURCES only go in one OPPOSITE direction (‘backward’). So you have the abstract insistence on (exponentially) *increasing* competing claims on resources, while in parallel those resources are always going to be diminishing.

  10. Jim S

    Random comments:

    1. Interesting how “treat pain caused by cancer” -> “treat cancer” -> “heal cancer”.

    2. I’m completely ignorant of the French language, so why is it “casseroles” instead of “casserolists”?

    3. Lambert, your countdown reminds me of the fellows at Car Talk. I’ll miss them when they’re off the air!

  11. ex-PFC Chuck

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything as hilarious as the snarky send-up of the Declaration of Independence about the putsch at the University of Virginia. Thanks, Lambert.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not all will be bailed out for small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

  12. Pat

    There’s a great analysis of what the JPM loss was about here:
    http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/why-the-senate-wont-touch-jamie-dimon-jpm-derivatives-prop-up-u-s-debt/

    I was wondering why the Senate would have a special hearing for a measly $3 billion loss by a third-party. Well, this explains why:
    “Propping Up a Pyramid Scheme: Is there no alternative but to succumb to the Mafia-like Wall Street protection racket of a covert derivatives trade in interest rate swaps? As Willie and Kirby observe, that scheme itself must ultimately fail, and may have failed already. They point to evidence that the JPM losses are not just $3 billion but $30 billion or more, and that JPM is actually bankrupt.”

    1. Fíréan

      “a measly $3 billion ” is about the size of the debt bankrupt Jeffersen County Alabama ; main creditors being insurer Syncora Guarantee, Bank of New York Mellon and JPMorgan Chase. The County had file suit against JPMorgan Chase, amongst others, for of selling it corrupt financial products (interest rateswaps).
      Thank You for posting the link.

  13. Larry Headlund

    “For Mr Romney, the relationship with Mr Adelson is fraught with risk, as it invites scrutiny of the tycoon’s business record, especially his reliance on Beijing to sustain his profitable casinos in Macau, bordering China.”

    Macau has been fully part of China since 1999. A Special Administrative Region like Hong Kong but fully part of the PRC. Terrific food, too.

  14. Walter Wit Man

    “And, who knows, between Team Obama’s supernova data mining and demographic slicing and dicing and the president’s targeted-constituency executive orders, maybe that will be enough to claw their way to 50.1 percent of the vote.” This seems to be the conventional wisdom, now. “‘We have the race we anticipated,’ said one of the campaign’s top strategists, adding that the battle for the White House would remain ‘razor close’ until polling day.” Again, the CW.”

    It seems all presidential races have been really close the last few decades. Like intentionally constructed this way . . . as in the whole thing is rigged.

    Maybe the strategy is very simple. Basic computer hacking in a few states to throw the election to the predetermined winner. The politicians role is to try to convince people they have two differing choices but to subtly channel them into very narrow policies.

    Then they throw in a nice dramatic flair to rile people up . . . like Dan Savage calling gay Republican supporters “House Faggots.” Not going to change anyone’s mind but it’s going to make us feel like it’s election time again. Oh boy.

    1. Aquifer

      Walter,

      Also guaranteed to gut 3rd party support “Gosh, with a race this close, I don’t dare take a chance, my vote might actually help decide!”

      Very convenient way to distract from the fact that your “deciding” duopoly vote will get you – more crap, and that it will “spoil” any chance of fixing anything ….

      You can be sure that whether or not the outcome will, in fact be close, it will be presented that way, for a number of reasons ….

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Great points.

        And there is nothing like getting peoples’ hopes up and then dashing them against the rocks to train them.

  15. MontanaMaven

    I found this discussion of the use of the word “So” by Jamie Dimon interesting. It’s a site I didn’t know about.
    http://wallstreetonparade.com/prince-jamie-his-court-jesters-and-his-royal-palaces-2/

    The Prince has added to his vocabulary since he went to oversee the Royals’ treasury on Wall Street from his 25 room mansion in Chicago. He begins his sentences condescendingly with the word “So.” This has the Royal effect of letting his court jesters understand that they could not possibly comprehend the complexities of what he is about to tell them so they might as well nod off as he shows off his brilliance. Here is an example of his many strategic uses of the word, “So…”

    “So, the synthetic credit portfolio – originally been designed” (court jester interrupts to ask the all-knowing Prince what is a synthetic credit portfolio) “index, swaps, derivatives, credit related; they’re traded, some are very actively traded in the market…we took a position in them…”

    The pictures of his mansion and self portrait are priceless.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      MM, listen more strategically. “So” uttered at the top of the covert instruction to insiders is dog whistle code for a strategic purpose today, as “Look” was used among an older generation.

      Stravingky made a keen distinction between hearing and listening, concluding that “even a duck” can hear the music. But how many can listen to it and learn from it or be expanded by the experience of listening to original music?

      Dog whistle code is omnipresent. Listen keenly, learn all you can.

  16. Ned Ludd

    5,000 to 15,000 high school students took to the streets in Santiago to mark the one year anniversary of the student protests in Chile.

    “After a year of mobilization where we took over more than 500 schools at a national level, we still don’t have concrete answers from the government” Sarabia said before the march.

    The march began peacefully at 11 a.m. at Plaza Italia in downtown Santiago where students, many in school uniforms and carrying backpacks, held colourful signs and chanted, “A un año de lucha, aun no se escucha” (After a year of struggle, they still do not listen).

    A larger national strike is planned for June 28.

  17. Ms G

    Obama golfs with UBS Banker.

    UBS Banker was reigned in by HIS handlers. Who’s reigning in Obama?

    No one — Obomney & Co. don’t even care about “optics” anymore. Data point on the level of arrogance Kleptocracy has reached.

  18. Ms G

    Empty Senate Hearing on IPOs.

    Among the missing in action and unreachable for comment explaining absence — Sen. BankAgent Schumer.

    Why would he want to know or hear anything about information assymetries exploited by his clients to loot his retail investor clients? Too confusing, too . . . ach, forget it.

    Another agent-of-banksters masquerading as a government representative.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Don’t forget Schumer’s thrust behind Mukasey’s advancement for the cause.

    1. MontanaMaven

      Chris Burch (retail fashion guy) bought an island. nymag.com/fashion/12/spring/christopher-tory-burch-2012-2/

      Real estate is also a perennial interest. “I also bought an island,” he says, although he doesn’t want to get into specifics other than to say it’s off the coast of Indonesia. (“I think it has like, indigenous people on it,” Lumley says later at J. Christopher Capital’s sprawling new offices on 25th Street. “He’s like, ‘I’ll give all those people jobs!’ ”)

      He sounds like a fun feudal lord.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I read somewhere Greece might go from being a developed nation to a developing nation.

    If I understand nature correctly, once you are developed, there is nothing left but decay and demise.

    Maybe it’s better to be always in some developing phase.

  20. LeonovaBalletRusse

    LS, “a ‘database’ of 200 companies” — N.B. “G. Giuliani” — if you read French, notice allusion to criminal organizations. Lots of “Italians” in Montreal for awhile now.

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, re “putsch at UVA” — Did you miss something? Today’s news on Dealbook? “Paul Tudor Jones Weights In on Upheaval at UVA–The billionaire hedge fund manager applauded the resignation … Mr. Jones is a graduate of the university and a major supporter.”

    Dig deeper, connect dots & Board DNA.

  22. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, re Sandusky and the “sounds” — no mistaking those sounds under the shower: wet, rhythmic, maybe vocal. Merchant marines warn not to bend over for the soap if you drop it in the shower. Old as time. Time to face this “harsh reality” squarely, and invite Gabor Mate, M.D. to open our eyes more.

  23. MontanaMaven

    Just talked to somebody in Montreal who is there on business. He says it’s hard not to want to join in the festival/protests. He said you can be walking down the street and all of a sudden out of nowhere hundreds of people show up. And it is joyous he says. Pots get banged around 6:30PM. I want to go there.

  24. Pelle Schultz

    Re: the iPS cells forming liver-like tissues…

    1) It’s not published, and therefore unreviewed (talk at a meeting).

    2) The process of producing iPS cells by current means is inherently mutagenic, and is therefore of limited utility. Not much point in treating one condition just to get cancer from the new tissue.

    Beware of science-by-press-release.

  25. Susan the other

    Our Animal Natures. What a great essay. I instinctively accept all of it. Especially the part about addiction. Being an old addict myself. Albeit a self-correcting one. As most people are. Loved that funny dog licking all those frogs. I also like the implication that we are no more human than animals except in our arrogance.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      We are just one among beasts if we don’t transcend our “animal nature.” We see how well “Endless War” works to keep us at the level of the beast we are “by nature.” This serves the 1%/99% paradigm endlessly.

      What’s a human brain for? “Human evolution” is about being “better” than the beasts we are “by nature.”We must indeed pay heed to neuroscience APART from “marketing” and propaganda purposes, APART from the drive of the “inner crocodile” to replicate the beast in robots designed to be the Master Race.

  26. Paul Groberts

    Hello,

    First of all, cograts for your blog! Lots of nice and useful articles around here!

    And sorry to post this here, but I really couldn’t find your email address. Can you please let me know if you do accept guest posts? If yes, how can we reach you?

    Thank You,
    Paul

  27. kevinearick

    We all did the occupy thing when we were young. The feds just gave the police and firefighters control of the drug trade for indirect control of the land and expanded the prototype up and across bobtail layers creating a shooting gallery. You must occupy land productivity as an example to children which is a funtion of occupying your own mind first. Challenge assumptions and look forward. Govt has never and will never make pie. If your community is not self sustaining and you cannot trump stupid technology you are toast

  28. kevinearick

    The robots must know that tomorrow will look like today or they self destruct at threshold anxiety. Accelerate change time once you agree on direction to ignite the black hole and steady speed back into equilibrium orbit

  29. john

    “In the video below, sociologist Shamus Khan discusses what he learned by studying one of the most elite boarding schools in the country, St. Paul’s School. The school molds some of the most privileged members of our society, sending them off into some of its most powerful positions. So, how do these high school students think of themselves?

    Khan argues that new social mandates to diversify elite education may have some pernicious negative effects.”

    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/06/21/the-new-elite-attributing-privilege-to-class-vs-merit/

  30. barrisj

    The “democracy agenda” at work, this from Wired’s Danger Room:

    ‘We Don’t Know Who The Good Guys’ In Syria Are, But That Won’t Stop CIA

    The Obama administration swears it’s not arming the Syrian uprising. But the CIA reportedly is doing the next best thing: helping other nations figure out which rebel factions ought to get weapons shipments. And the revelation that the U.S. is involved more deeply in Syria than the Obama team has let on is starting to stir some misgivings amongst powerful legislators.

    The New York Times reports that CIA operatives are in southern Turkey to aid anti-Assad nations as they funnel “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons” to the fractious Syrian opposition. As with 2011′s Libya uprising, there are many questions about the future intentions of Syrian rebels; the presence of extremists among them; and the ability of the rebels to control any weapons they receive.

    And so, much like last year’s revolt in Libya, the CIA is on hand — while the rest of the government denies any such involvement. Only here, the agency isn’t, reportedly, helping scout targets and train the opposition. It’s gathering intelligence for a taxonomy on the different rebel factions, and in a roundabout way, enabling the shipments. The U.S. isn’t evidently giving the Syrians weapons.
    [...]
    At the Pentagon, spokesman George Little downplayed the prospect of US military involvement in Syria. “We are not providing lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition,” Little said. But he didn’t deny that other US government agencies might be.
    [...]
    As Ryan Evans, a research fellow at the Center for National Policy, tweeted, “CIA reportedly giving weapons to opposition fighters in Syria because blowback never happens and the Middle East needs more weapons.”

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/06/cia-syria/#more-84568

    Some years ago, the neocon crowd in the Cheney/Bush WH had talked about “creative chaos” as a methodology for “democratizing” the Middle East, whereby the US would actively assist in blowing up governments it didn’t favour, and then “oversee” a resultant magical reformation into “democracy”. Well, it’s obvious that the Nobel Laureate is continuing with the “chaos” part, and not particularly caring how “creative” or indeed how conducive to formation of new governing instutions would result from continued meddling and destabilising of governments throughout the region – save for Israel of course. Can anyone seriously argue that the greatest obstacle to any sort of regional stability and even peace is the US and its problem-child Israel????

  31. Jim Haygood

    FINALLY — a U.N. rapporteur begins laying the foundation for war crimes charges against global menace, Hussein O’Bomber:

    The US policy of using aerial drones to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a United Nations investigator has said.

    Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, told a conference in Geneva that President Obama’s attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, carried out by the CIA, would encourage other states to flout long-established human rights standards.

    In his strongest critique so far of drone strikes, Heyns suggested some may even constitute “war crimes”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/21/drone-strikes-international-law-un

    The wheels of justice grind slowly. But O’Bomber could easily end up like Kissinger, unable to travel to many jurisdictions for fear of being arraigned for his crimes against humanity.

    1. Ms G

      “Finally” indeed. Thanks for the link.
      I hope the Rapporteur has really excellent personal security.

    2. Ms G

      Hang on. Wasn’t Obomney the guy who got a Nobel PEACE Prize about 3 minutes after being sworn in (though everyone and their cousins were at a loss as to what for.)

      Just about nothing makes sense when you try to piece together a coherent narrative on this man — it’s his very definition: now you see me now you don’t. Or as Yves has said “The Great Deceiver.” Unless you use the Kleptocracy lens and then it all falls into place — distracting rubes with changeable optics while committing plunder against his subjects.

      Will Nobel committee be askin Mr. O’Tool Obama to return of the award?

  32. kevinearick

    The implicit bridge was completed some time ago. You are participating in its explicit construction as the income event horizons exceed threshold. Upon completion the community chess boards will be completely reset, the intermediary boards will have new officers, and the empire will effectively be decapitated and re-capitated.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “The king is dead. Long live the king.” Fraser, Weston: drama still plays out.

  33. Alex SL

    The Ponzi Arithmetic of Profit:

    For some reason the captcha image does not load so I cannot comment there. Perhaps an MMTer reading this can help me out here.

    The author of that piece makes the obvious point that accounting identity is fact, ie every loan is an asset to the bank to the same degree as it is a debt to the debtor, ie (neglecting interest) over long timeframes that whole thing is a zero sum thingie from the perspective of the whole economy.

    And then comes this:

    by this time, truly colossal sums of debt-money that are required to keep the monetary expansions happening (i.e. when you get to the vertical part of the exponential curve of debt-money creation where billions become trillions become quadrillions…), you have reached the terminal phase of the debt supercycle. Both the private sector and the public sector are financially exhausted so their game of credit expansion “handoff” has come to its end and there is nobody left solvent to reflate again.

    Is that not a clear contradiction to the previous idea? It is a zero sum game, but suddenly everybody is in debt? No way, the money must be somewhere. In the case of a housing bubble, some of it has gone to builders, some to CEO bonuses, some to bank dividends, etc. So one could argue that this money simply needs to be taxed away and put where it is needed to break up the gridlock of the system. (Whether that is fair or not is not the point here, I am simply arguing against the “at the end, everybody is swamped with debt” conclusion.)

    Or what am I missing?

    1. F. Beard

      It is a zero sum game, but suddenly everybody is in debt? Alex SL

      It’s a negative sum game when interest is included and thus some defaults are guaranteed UNLESS additional borrowing by the private sector occurs or the Federal government deficit spends new money into existence.

  34. kevinearick

    Once again the robot chorus grows for a scapegoat, a sacrificial Lamb. It’s going to turn out a little differently though, because preignition was employed. There’s always aTWIST isn’t there?
    Gotta make the sh-show worth watching…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      k, as in suicide “knickers in a twist?” Pre-planned you say?

      “Another one bites the dust.” So, don’t try that again, folks.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Nice link. I like the criticism and suggestions. A different framework is needed.

Comments are closed.