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Links 6/22/12

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Please don’t have any kids mathbabe

Dearborn Heights workers rescue baby raccoon from sewer grate Detroit Free Press

Chinese GM Cows Make Human Breast Milk Sky News. Lambert: What could go wrong?

T-SHIRT PRINTED WITH THE 4TH AMENDMENT IN METALLIC INK Cargo Collective. I make them pat me down, but to each his own.

PETITION: Asylum for WikiLeaks Founder

Why Apple Should “Think Different” on Iran Sanctions Counterpunch (1 SK)

Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN rapporteur Guardian (Jim Haygood, Lee S) and Some Drone Strikes Likely War Crimes & Obama Administration Continues to Defend Secrecy Firedoglake (Carol B)

Reporting from the battlefield, uninsured Columbia Journalism Review

EasyJet Refuses To Allow Professor To Board With Vital Organ Container Because It Was Not In A 100 Milliliter Bottle Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Fastest Growing US Export To China: Education Slashdot (bob)

$1.1 million-plus Gates grants: ‘Galvanic’ bracelets that measure student engagement Washington Post. Per Mrs. G:

This is a repurposing of the items, originally designed to measure consumer reactions to products but no longer terribly useful with recession and nobody really interested in buying stuff. Nice way for a nonprofit to take private sector failed products and funnel it into a potentially profitable market with taxpayers paying at the other end.

Follow up to the China kleptocracy post John Hempton

Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany in the shadow of a disintegrating euro: Interviewed by Doug Henwood Yanis Varoufakis

ECB to relax loan rules for Spanish banks Financial Times

Race to save euro will follow ‘Grexit’ Willem Buiter, Financial Times

Is Barack Obama Morphing Into Dick Cheney? Michael Klare, TomDispatch

Four more years DistantOcean

Prisons, Privatization, Patronage Paul Krugman, New York Times

Low Rate of Household Formation Hurting Housing Market Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (Carol B)

The US triple dip panic arrives MacroBusiness

Ratings Cut for Giant Banks Wall Street Journal

Dimon in the Rough: How Wall Street Aims to Keep U.S. Regulators Out of Its Global Betting Parlor Robert Reich

Some Additional Questions For Jamie Dimon, Empereur de la République Jesse

Anna Schwartz, Economist Who Collaborated With Friedman, Dies at 96 New York Times

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 78 and counting*

“[A] great Empire, like a great Cake, is most easily diminished at the Edges.” –Benjamin Franklin

Montreal. Zen at the Charbonneau Commission on corruption: “[DUCHESNEAU:] I pointed my finger at collusion and you are looking at my finger instead of the collusion.” Corruption: “Investigators raided four south shore municipalities Thursday morning arresting 11 … alleging they participated in an extensive bid-rigging scheme involving $20 million in contracts.” Fine, but on the island? Red squares everywhere: “With Premier Jean Charest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, CLASSE managed to team up with a Brazilian student organization to hold a demonstration there. Around 200 people showed up to protest yesterday outside the Copacabana hotel where Charest is staying.” “Quebec students seek alliances with B.C. students: “If you’re seeing what’s going on in the province of Quebec, and you think it’s not going to get to you, be prepared.” Legacy parties, student: “The only reason [PQ's Marois] was opposing the tuition fee increase was because the Liberals were doing it. For me, there’s not a lot of difference between the Parti Quebecois and the Liberal party.” Summer schedule: A big march has been scheduled in Place du Canada, June 22 (today).

CA. Top two primary: “Under the new CA system, the general election will now be just a runoff between the top two candidates, regardless of party. That is, at most, two parties will be represented on the general-election ballot, but it is possible for both candidates to be from the same party, or no party (if both of the top two in the first round were non-partisan).” “It’s hard to draw any other conclusion than that CA’s elections have not only been rigged, but rigged so spectacularly thoughtlessly that they’re highly unlikely to bring about the artificial state of affairs that the ‘riggers’ envisioned. ”

CO. Fracking supply chain: “[Erie] last week doubled its commercial water rate — from $5.73 per 1,000 gallons to $11.46 per 1,000 gallons — for oil and gas developers only.”

FL. “The FL Board of Governors finally settled on tuition increases for the state’s 11 universities after more two hours brokering. The process wasn’t pretty, seeming arbitrary and auction-like.”

LA. Gulf: “One group of NOAA-supported scientists suggests the Gulf dead zone will be 1,197 square miles — the second-smallest Gulf dead zone on record. But another group, also supported by NOAA, predicts the 2012 dead zone will be 6,213 square miles.”

MI. “In 2008, [Lesia Liss] ran as a pro-choice Democrat. But Liss, 45, says became a “pro-life” convert … since she took women’s studies courses in college at the University of Michigan Dearborn.”

MT. Fracking: “[Fracked] Bakken oil is a major reason MT’s unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the national average. The flood of migrants moving to Montana to fill those jobs may alter the state’s political balance, perhaps arresting or even reversing the loss of population on Montana’s eastern plains.”

NM. Transparency: “After a week of taking heat following the disclosure that Gov. Susana Martinez and top officials in her administration used personal emails to conduct state business, on Monday she ordered all state employees in agencies under her authority to use official state email for state business.”

NV. Voting: “[T]wo Republican nominees for presidential elector from Nevada filed a federal lawsuit, asking that ‘None of the Above’ be removed” from the ballot. The lawsuit argues that because a vote for ‘None of the above’ has no legal effect, the voters who vote for ‘None of the above’ are being harmed.” Enshrine “lesser of two evils” in state law?

NY. Fracking: “[A] recent study [here] by Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Safe Energy shows that even drilling in deep shale (such as the areas that the Cuomo Administration is reportedly considering) can contaminate the water supply.”

OH. Victory! “Chillicothe Municipal Judge John Street ruled on Monday that the 32-year-old woman’s [1-finger salute] was constitutionally protected free speech.” And to the police chief who cut her off, driving an unmarked car!

PA. Sandusky: “Sandusky’s late parents were well-known and well-liked in the community. It’s where he met his future wife, Dottie. Many of his childhood friends still live in the area. But even to them, those connections don’t mean he’s innocent.”

TX. “Consideration of a $5-per-head fee on customers of strip clubs to pay for reducing the city’s backlog of untested rape kits has been delayed for a week.” HCR: “A new study found no evidence that health care costs in Texas dipped after a 2003 constitutional amendment limited payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits, despite claims made to voters by some backers of tort reform.” Transportation: “Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, has managed to insert language into a $51.6 billion spending package that could block federal funding to expand the light rail system along Richmond and Post Oak.”

VA. UVA putsch: “The board announced today it will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Rotunda, ‘to discuss possible changes in the terms of employment of the president’” (i.e., Sullivan). Faculty Senate chair: “I think we’re very excited by the presumption that President Sullivan would be reinstated.” Head counting: “The Board [of Visitors] will need a minimum of eight votes to reinstate Sullivan, or a majority of its 15 voting members. A Board coalition seeking to re-instate Sullivan held eight votes at one point during its Monday evening meeting, WaPo reported, but the Board eventually voted 12-1 to appoint McIntire School of Commerce Dean Carl Zeithaml as the future interim president.” “A source who has been conferring with a member of the BoV says that the resignation of Kington proved instrumental, that the board had been firmly deadlocked on reinstatement until Kington dismissed himself. The source says that the Board member can’t guarantee a majority on Tuesday, that some members have gone ‘hiding,’ but that whatever vote is taken will need to be in open session forcing the attendees to abstain or reveal their stance to the public for the first time.” The Deans throw putschster Rector Dragas under the bus: “We, the deans of the Colleges of the University of Virginia, respectfully request that the Board of Visitors (BOV) reconsider their decision of June 8, 2012 and restore Teresa A. Sullivan to the position of President of the University of Virginia.” Because: “As reported by WaPo, Sullivan has indicated that she would be willing to remain in the presidency if Rector Helen Dragas were to resign.” New Dragas statement: “However, as much as our action to effect a change in leadership has created a wave of controversy, it was motivated by an understanding of the very stiff headwinds we face as a University, and our resolve to push through them to forge a future that is even brighter than imaginable today.” (“Headwinds,” like “pivot,” and “racing to ______”, is one tell of a bullshit narrative.) Governance: “The UVA BoV includes a real estate developer, a coal company magnate, a Wall Street professional, a top lawyer for General Electric, a nursing home executive, a beer distribution entrepreneur and other business elites. Only four have professional experience in higher education.” Governance: “Vice Rector Kington, who resigned several days ago, served a previous term on the board after donating tens of thousands of dollars to Governor Mark Warner. Then he backed the opponent of Warner’s successor, Tim Kaine, and was kicked off. Then he donated over $100,000 to current Governor Bob McDonnell, and was reinstated.” Governance: “The AAUP has authorized an investigation into the situation at the University of Virginia, where the board of visitors abruptly sought the resignation of president Teresa Sullivan earlier this month.” Should help with recruiting! Siva Vaidhyanathan: “Virginia is for Incrementalists. #UVA” Heh. Snark watch, of Cavalier’s FOIA-ed email trove:” On the bright side, let me complement [sic] you on your font choice and the formatting of your emails. Further, they feature some unusual words, and a spirit of verve throughout.”

And lest we canonize anyone… See at “minimum wage.” Or demonize… See at “homelesss.” And lest we reduce principles to personalities, the policy issues remain whether Sullivan is reinstated or not. MOOCs, Larry Sabato: “Wise person said to me: “Online college education is what its advocates want for other people’s children.” Neo-liberalism in a nutshell! And neoliberalism itself: “Enduring acts of civility are not bought and sold.” Or not only bought and sold?

WI. Austerity: “A teenage boy has died after crews pulled him from the water at Quarry Lake Park in Racine County. Lifeguards were eliminated this year due to budget cuts.” Water, DNR water use section chief: “[O]ne problem with Milwaukee’s push for limiting water distribution to Waukesha is the likelihood that property owners outside of that city will encounter well contamination problems and need to hook up to Waukesha’s municipal supply.”

Grand Bargain™-brand catfood watch. Senators reminisce before bailing: “At its best moments, the Senate is a place where people can come together. I have been part of Bowles-Simpson, been part of the Group of Six, spent in the last two years hundreds of hours in small rooms with Rs and Ds, and in both of those cases we were able to come together.”

Outside Baseball. Executive powers: “President Barack Obama is starting to channel his inner Cheney.” Zeitgeist alert: This is sober, non-Beltway McClatchy speaking. New media: “With the new platforms, we don’t have to repeat the backstory every time because the Web and mobile devices provide us easier and more creative ways to bring people up to date.” Not sure about that. Composition and invention cannot be separated. Walter Shapiro on campaign hagiography: “Maybe I have read too many breathless sentences like, ‘James Carville was nervous.’ As Carville would be the first to admit, it’s the candidate, stupid.” Life’s little ironies, and off topic, but I love it that lots of Imagine: How Creativity Works is, er, recycled.

Policy. HCR: The Supreme Court did not rule on President Obama’s healthcare law Thursday. The next possible day for a decision is Monday, but justices will add more days to the schedule later next week. Ad budgets on ObamaCare: Attacking: $235 million. Defending: $69 million. The Obama campaign: $700,000. “None of its ads mentioning the law are currently being broadcast.” They’re backing ObamaCare just like they backed Barrett. Just enough to lose and blame the other guy? Fracking: “The U.S. should declare a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in populated areas until the health effects are better understood, doctors said at a conference on the drilling process.” “Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation’s geology as an invisible dumping ground. Records from disparate corners of the United States show that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation’s drinking water.” From Scientific American, so yikes!

Immigration. “[ROMNEY:] For two years, this president had huge majorities in the House and Senate – he was free to pursue any policy he pleased. But he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for our broken immigration system. Instead, he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote.” True, but that won’t help Romney. State rep D: “You’ve got to look at the last year. Would [Romney] be saying these same things in IA to a bunch of white faces? No, he wouldn’t. You can’t go from a year’s worth of anti-immigration bashing to an about face here and expect everybody to believe you.” But apparently you can go from three years worth of record deportations to a temporary fix by executive fiat and everything’s jake.

Jawbs!. “What a waste of gas. It was a part-time job in a telemarketing boiler room.” WalMart supply chain blues: “They charge us $45 a week to live in crowded trailers next to the plant. They’re very old, the air conditioning doesn’t work, and there’s rats in the trailers. They’ll come and wake us up early in the morning and say, ‘Well you guys have to work tomorrow, so don’t go out.’ Even on Saturdays.” “We feel like we are slaves.”

The trail. GOTV: “The Service Employees International Union announced plans today to put 750 full-time political workers in PA and seven other battleground states this year.” Court ruling: “Under current law, public sector workers who do not join unions still pay some union dues, because of the benefits they receive from collective bargaining. … But under a ruling by the high court on Thursday, non-unionised workers would have to actively agree to allow the union to use a portion of the dues for political activity.” “[Obama] and his campaign have cleverly recognised that Mr Romney’s slow-footedness and lack of imagination presents an opportunity for them to shine in contrast. They have reversed the usual dynamic of reelection campaigns, highlighting the challenger’s stodginess while making Mr Obama’s into a nimble incumbent. These stratagems show every sign of paying off. Mr Obama’s positions convey a Reaganesque sense of optimism about social change, while associating Mr Romney’s views with fear and the past.”

Republicans, bless their hearts. Froomkin: “Fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in 2003.” “[ROVE:] You know, she sounds a little bit like Inspector Clouseau and a little bit [like] the Mad Red Queen, but Speaker Pelosi was dead wrong in her assertion today and I’m sure she had a good laugh and it’s nice to know that she dreams of slapping me in her own personal jail. But she didn’t have any authority to do it.” Back at ya, Leader Nance.

The Democrats, bless their hearts. Executive privilege claim in Fast & Furious: “[White House spokeshole CARNEY:] This is entirely about principle.” Oh, come on.

Libertarians. Jesse Ventura: “Don’t vote for a D or R, I have never voted for one in my life and I never will.” Ventura is the author of DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs in Government. “Heather Fazio, membership coordinator of the Libertarian Party of Texas, warns delegates and others who gave contributions or personal information to officials at the convention that their donations have been stolen and their personal information, including credit card numbers, compromised following a break-in of her car.”

Robama vs Obomney watch. BAR: “One thing that seems never to change, as long as our choices are restricted to the two corporate parties, is that while you can squint hard enough to make distinctions between Republicans and Democrats, there are few important differences.” Tuneout: “[Pew] is out with a meaty new survey that confirms that voter engagement with the 2012 election is down compared to the campaign of 2008. One in six registered voters have tuned DOWN their interest in the presidential battle compared to four years ago. The percentage saying they’re following the election very closely has also dropped, from 46% in June 1008 to just 37% now. These numbers [are] a clear indication that the steady rise in voter engagement that began in 2000 has not just leveled off, it’s dipping.” Tuneout: “SeekingArrangement.com, which dubs itself ‘the elite sugar daddy dating site for those seeking mutually beneficial relationships,’ surveyed more than 30,000 of its female members on which White House contender … they would pick.” Obama: 34%. Romney: 12%. Neither: 43%. That’s gotta sting.

Romney. Polling: “Mitt Romney functions as a generic Republican. Certainly on the economy, voters are accepting that his credentials seem to be sufficient.” National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials: “[ROMNEY:] Tomorrow, President Obama will speak here, for the first time since his last campaign.” Ouch! Toxicology report: “In my 38 years of practice, I have never come across a drug screen such as this where the horse has been administered so many different medications at the same time.” Horse’s name? Superhit (!). Horse’s owner? Ann Romney.

Obama. Obama campaign rolls out keen new “dashboard.” “Enter your address below to connect with the campaign in your neighborhood.” But you’ve got to give them your email address, not just your physical address, even though geolocation should be enough for the site’s putative function. Sorry, I want to know who’s in my neighborhood first. I already get enough spam. Burn rate: “President Barack Obama’s campaign spent more than it took in over the month of May despite his frenetic fundraising schedule, leaving the massive operation with just shy of $110 million dollars cash on hand against $115 million one month earlier.” Money: “But still largely missing are the liberal philanthropists and executives who showered $396 million in unrestricted contributions on 527s in the 2004 elections, according to the CRP data. Most importantly, big liberal donors have strategically shifted their focus away from high-dollar PACs, which line the pockets of political consultants, in favor of investing in grass-roots groups organized around issues, many Democrats say.” Politics isn’t the same as electoral politics? Who knew?

* 78 days ’til the Democratic National Convention on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 78 rpms? Not quite there yet.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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127 comments

    1. alex

      “Breast contains complex sugars …”

      Perhaps you meant “breast milk”. Cannibalism is so ugly.

  1. craazyman

    Modern Therianthropics

    Some people may have to look that second word up in the dictionary. I know I did at one point. But after I did there was no confusion. They drew these things on the inside of the caves — 30,000 or 40,000 years ago. And so there must have been a civilization that mixed the genes even then and made weird things from them, like centaurs and men with the chests of humans and the legs of goats. Why would they lie about something like that? Why crawl deep into caves and draw these things? Yes, It may have been all imagination, or it may be that things circulate in the imagination realm before localizing in our realm. So now the Chinese are making cows who produce human milk. I wonder how long it will take before the cows have human tits and human faces, and legs with hooves and hides of cow hair. What would happen then, if you knew your office shoes or hamburger could talk, at one point in its life. Ewww. That’s even too gross for the imagination. Holy Cow. No pun intended/.haha

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are countries very good at reverse engineering.

      They will make humans that can produce cow milk instead.

  2. Birch

    Thanks, mathbabe.

    The pressure to have kids is constant, and comes from every direction. There needs to be moral support for happy young couples who don’t want to wreck a good thing.

    Promoting the right to not have kids is the easiest first step toward stabilizing the global population boom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit with the current role of proletariat as pro-creators of cheap labour and soldiers.

    Barren is Beautiful

    Copulate, don’t Procreate

    1. Larry Barber

      Good advice, if you want the future to belong to the Mormons and conservative Roman Catholics (think Rick Santorum). Children of conservatives tend to be conservative, sure there is some conversion, but not much. And there will be even fewer conversions if the conservatives win their war on education.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Indeed, their DNA appears less “evolved” in that they are committed to acting out their primitive/primal “animal nature”–Beasts are on earth to breed: progeny is the ONLY thing. Gotta keep YOUR DNA going *uber alles* and let the “devil” take the hindmost. “Endless War” keeps the beast in humans paramount. “My DNA v. your DNA–which necessitates killing the “Other” in an endless scramble for resource monopoly in that Great Game of the 99%: “All Against All.” Of course the .01% DNA enlists the 99% Agency DNA to do their dirty work.

        “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII.”

      2. albrt

        Well, I won’t be here, so I guess the conservatives and the mormons can have the future. Especially if it consists of mainly of escalating drone strikes ordered by liberal intellectuals.

    2. Neo-Realist

      The only problem is that too many ignorant and stupid people in our world, much less our country (potential parents) won’t take such advice.

  3. gregg

    4th amendment…

    Pat-downs, while somewhat demeaning is probably the best form of protest against unwarranted search.

    On a recent trip with 2 others, we all opted for pat downs. It basically shuts the line down until they scrape together 3 gropers to do the pat down.

    Next trip opt for the pat down. If 10% of travellers would do this, scanners would be used selectively.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      To add: In my experience, the groping meme is complete hype, and I suspect done to discourage patdowns. I’ve gotten a ton of patdowns (I wear a knee support when traveling, sometimes an old knee injury kicks up if I have to drag my heavy wheelie bag on carpet, I wind up torquing the knee and it does NOT like that. It has itty bitty metal stays, and they’ll set off the metal detectors, so I get hauled aside) and have never had them be intrusive.

    1. craazyman

      That’s why I’ll be holding an icy Budweiser Tall Boy and watching NFL sunday highlight videos on voting day.

      This is sort of how I think about Obama. It’s like a horror movie. Let’s say you (the universal you in this case) are a woman who’s been stalked and haunted by a hideous monster. Finally you meet a nice guy — a gentleman, polite, attentive, clean and loving — and you think “Finally, finally, a rescue from hell!” Somehow the monster disappears after you meet your new man, and you think you’re doubly lucky.

      And then you decide to go away on a romantic weekend vacation. And you’re driving down a long solitary highway, the only car on the road, and your man says he has something to tell you. “This is so romantic” you think to yourself.

      And he says “There’s something about me you need to know . . .” and your heart freezes briefly, but you trust him and wonder, anxiously in silence. And he turns toward you with his right hand on the steering wheel and his left hand on the top of his forehead, and then he pulls his foreheard into a clump, a fistful of folding skin, and he pulls backwards over his head, and his entire face comes off and underneath the mask is the face of the hideous hellish beast you thought you had escaped from, and it’s just you and him, together in the car on the highway, alone.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘It’s just you and him, together in the car on the highway, alone.’

        Then he whips out his iPhone and asks, ‘Have you seen my Remote Kill app?’

        Tapping the screen, he zooms in on a Google Earth view of Waziristan, to focus on a single house. Then he hits an icon that looks like a missile. After a delay of a few seconds, the dwelling explodes. When the smoke clears, the rubble is strewn with blood and body parts.

        ‘HA HA HA HA!’ he exults, gleefully slapping his knee. Leaning close, he informs you, “I’m a natural born killer, babe,’ spewing slobber into your face as he struggles to enunciate the consonants.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Then Kos pops his head up from the back seat and you realize that you aren’t alone with the creepy guy. There are three of you in this car heading down a lonely highway at night.

          Kos tries to lighten the mood by telling you that the creepy guy has nothing but the best intentions and is only doing what he’s doing because he has no other options. He’s really a kind, peaceful guy. He has to made hard choices sometimes in order to save.

          It’s all very complicated but please don’t worry your pretty little head because this gentleman is doing the best he can. Plus, the other guys are worse. Now just relax and let this creepy killer, I mean ‘gentleman’, drive you to freedom.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            And then you arrive in an empty field at the end of a dirt road in the middle of the night.

            In front of the headlights you can see a pudgy, pasty Booman standing in front of the headlights repeatedly hitting a club into his palm.

            Booman says: “Unless you join us you will get gang raped by Republican suitors. I just saw them drinking beer in another field and they are saying some freaky shit.

            I’m on your side and totally get why you’re scared. You deserve a good man. But this man right here is the best you can do. And he’s not bad either! He’s the best suitor since FDR! I swear. Plus, every suitable gentleman does this stuff now. If you think this is bad you should see what the other guys have planned!

            Join the winning team. It’s easy. We just want one thing from you. C’mon. By giving this one thing to this gentleman here you are investing in him and making him do it! He will be more likely to listen to you in the future if you give yourself to him right now. You too can be part of history.

            C’mon you cunt! Where are you going? Don’t you know what’s good for you?”

        2. SR6719

          WWM: “Then Kos pops his head up from the back seat and you realize that you aren’t alone with the creepy guy.”

          For Kos, I picture the two hipster’s holding their noses, in Flugennock’s cartoon above.

      2. F. Beard

        and his entire face comes off and underneath the mask is the face of the hideous hellish beast you thought you had escaped from, and it’s just you and him, together in the car on the highway, alone. craazyman

        I’m reminded of a quote from a Dean R Koontz (?) novel: In reply to a villain saying “I’m your worse nightmare” the heroine says “You’re not even close.”

        Also this: I’m not locked in here with you …

    2. SR6719

      Good one, craazyman! It’s still early, but this will probably be the best comment of the day.

      PS- the other day I found a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald that might interest you, as follows:

      “I only wanted absolute quiet to think about why I had developed a sad attitude toward tragedy — why I had become identified with the objects of my horror or compassion… Identification such as this spells the death of accomplishment. It is something like this that keeps insane people from working. Lenin did not willingly endure the sufferings of his proletariat, nor Washington of his troops, nor Dickens of his London poor. And when Tolstoy tried some such merging of himself with the objects of his attention, it was a fake and a failure…”

      F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Crack Up”

      1. SR6719

        “We do not write with our neuroses. Neuroses or psychoses are not passages of life, but states into which we fall when the process is interrupted, blocked, or plugged up. Illness is not a process but a stopping of the process, as in “the Nietzsche case.” Moreover, the writer as such is not a patient but rather a physician, the physician of himself and of the world. The world is a set of symptoms whose illness merges with man. Literature then appears as an enterprise of health.”

        - Gilles Deleuze (commenting on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Crack Up”)

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      You can die “holding your nose” – there were slaves who died of self-asphyxiation (said to be “holding your breath”) crossing the Atlantic, thus freeing themselves from hell-on-earth in the New World and its “shining city on a hill.”

  4. Iowan 786

    Re: Matt Taibbi’s article. Jesse also linked to it, and I would highly recommend going to his site and reading his introduction to it.

    1. PQS

      I got my hard copy of RS in the mail and haven’t read Taibbi’s article yet, but the juxtaposition of his article and the one on homeless formerly middle class people in the same issue is profound and the article itself is very well written.

  5. Whatever

    I wholeheartedly support the decision of anti-natalists to remove themselves from the gene pool. The world needs fewer people who evaluate their reproductive decisions in terms framed by defunct economists. Now if only we could convince the congenitally stupid and the criminally insane to be so fastidious about their breeding habits.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      A proto eugenicist. How charming. You seem to be one of those people who thinks women have an obligation to breed.

      Re your eugenicism, I suggest you read up on regression to the mean. And I’m met a lot of very bright people from those lower orders who don’t get those fancy credentials of the people you think ought to be breeding due to class and racial discrimination.

      1. Whatever

        Wow. What a magnificent non sequitur. You inferred an entire biography from three brief sentences and attached to it a dismissive label so you wouldn’t have to think about it further. Bravo.

        Not that it matters (since you’ve already foreclosed the conversation with your snide retort), but I support antinatalists in their decision to remain childless, not because I think it will genetically improve the species (a dubious prospect, given that most antinatalists are of above-average intelligence), but because I find a utilitarian reproductive ethic repugnant and appreciate that antinatalists will, by their own design, not be imposing it on future generations. (With that said, my choice of language was unfortunate. I should have known that someone would latch onto terms like “gene pool” and lazily extrapolate a slew of unsupported details to fit their biases.) Likewise, my wish that those who are intellectually and emotionally unequipped to raise children refrain from bearing them stems not from the desire to expunge their genetic legacies (which is futile), but from the desire to mitigate their ability to damage young minds. I work with the unfortunate offspring of such people every day in a psychiatric setting, so I know that they are not merely a fiction created to disparage certain races and classes.

  6. Ned Ludd

    Imagine a classroom where teacher performance is judged by the output of their students’ “engagement” bracelets. No time for contemplation. No time for reflection. Keep the students alert at all times with rapid-fire stimuli.

    Also, if the galvanic bracelets end up working, then they can monitor the student as much as the teacher. Daydreaming in class? Your galvanic bracelet will let the teacher know.

      1. Ned Ludd

        In Texas, instead of arming teachers with tasers, they fill the public schools with police.

        As the hand of law and order grew heavier across Texas, its grip also tightened on schools. The number of school districts in the state with police departments has risen more than 20-fold over the past two decades.

        […]

        According to the [Austin police] department’s records, officers used force in schools more than 400 times in the five years to 2008, including incidents in which pepper spray was fired to break up a food fight in a canteen and guns were drawn on lippy students.

        In recent months the questionable use of force has included the tasering of a 16-year-old boy at a high school in Seguin, Texas, after “he refused to cooperate” when asked why he wasn’t wearing his school identification tag.

        Throwing kids in jail for misbehaving is happening all over the U.S. “Two months ago I wrote about a 6-year-old girl in Florida who was handcuffed by the police and taken off to the county jail after she threw a tantrum in her kindergarten class.“

  7. Ned Ludd

    This spin from the PQ is so idiotic, it sounds like something a liberal Democrat would say: “Meanwhile, the PQ explained over the spring that its decision to wear the red square didn’t mean it opposed fee hikes, or supported rowdy protests, but rather was meant as an expression of support for the student cause.”

    We support the students, but not their demands!

  8. gilyc

    Always great to be lectured to not have kids by some one with three. Don’t have any so my kids will be better off. Unless they actually said having kid is terrible and I dislike mine and wish they were never born. Now that is love.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      In many a place on earth, “Not to be born is the best for girls.”

      Of course, W.H. Auden said it more broadly: “Not to be born is the best for man.” (“DEATH’S ECHO”)

        1. Rex

          “Nirvana is when you get out of the birth-death cycle.”

          Or when you get Courtney Love as your girlfriend. That’d be a strong indicator against procreation too, I’d think.

          1. skippy

            Your own agency…. shezzzz.

            Skippy… alas… its just an extension of thought and completely unverifiable.

          2. skippy

            The validity of either is only expressed by belief.

            Skippy… hardly a point from which to argue, as the other[s is/are just as valid. I hear that in antiquity this was understood better, until some made claims in toto.

  9. F. Beard

    If you don’t want kids then don’t have sex.

    Too much to ask, I know.

    But think of it this way: If your mind isn’t strong enough to control your sex drive then why are you trying to out-think nature anyway? Hmm?

      1. F. Beard

        Only personally. I don’t presume to make such decisions for other people though I do feel free to express my opinion.

      2. F. Beard

        Also, I note that my attempts to cheat nature often fail anyway, e.g. weight-loss pills.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Attempts to cheat nature:

          Coffee
          Food in cold storage
          Viagra
          Economic Viagra
          Etc

          1. Neo-Realist

            Hair Dye
            Moisturizer
            Skinny Jeans
            Chuck Taylors
            Cardio to continue to wear skinny jeans

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Monoxodil
            Marijuana
            Camomile tea
            Air conditioner
            farm irrigation
            reading glasses
            high heel shoes
            cosmetic surgery
            deodorant
            cutting your or Samson’s hair

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Instead of preaching, maybe we can discuss whether theocracy is desirable.

            In particular, we can talk about theo-nomics.

      1. F. Beard

        Should people so weak be having kids by the “quiverfull?” LeonovaBalletRusse

        They might not be weak at all; just weaker than their sex drive.

  10. F. Beard

    Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
    The fruit of the womb is a reward.

    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
    So are the children of one’s youth.

    How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
    They will not be ashamed
    When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
    Psalm 127:3-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    1. Neo-Realist

      “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
      The fruit of the womb is a reward.”

      Produced with help from those that wear fruit of the loom.

      “How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
      They will not be ashamed
      When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

      How blessed is the man who quivers while picking up the phone to speak with his juvie son behind the glass?

      1. F. Beard

        How blessed is the man who quivers while picking up the phone to speak with his juvie son behind the glass?
        Neo-Realist

        “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?”

      1. F. Beard

        I note that prosperity is the best form of birth control and that’s what we should focus on anyway, isn’t it?

          1. F. Beard

            What?

            You figure that since I read the Old Testament that I must have a little breeder under my thumb? Haven’t you got me confused with Tertilium Squid and the Book of Mormon? :)

  11. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT obituary on Anna Schwartz:

    The Friedman-Schwartz collaboration “A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960,” a book of nearly 900 pages published in 1963, is considered a classic. Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, called it “the leading and most persuasive explanation of the worst economic disaster in American history.”

    Monetary History definitely makes my list of “Desert Island Economics Books.”

    Hearing my elders talking about the Depression as a kid, I decided to pop over to the public library and get the story about why it happened. Optimistically, I collected a couple of tomes from the Dewey Decimal 332 shelf (Financial Economics), thinking I’d get the skinny on the 1930s in a couple of hours, then move on to other interests.

    I was shocked to learn that not only did eminent economists not agree on the cause of the Depression, but also some of them sounded downright out to lunch. This was my first inkling that experts could be wrong … and that economics was a pseudo-science compared to the natural sciences.

    Not until a decade later did I finally come across Monetary History. It’s not the final word on the Depression, but it’s the first analysis that marshals the data — rich mountains of data, lovingly exhumed by Friedman and Schwartz — in a coherent fashion, so that you can form your own conclusions if you don’t agree with theirs. By comparison, most other analyses at the time just offered narrative explanations, based on skimpy, cherry-picked data.

    Godspeed, Anna Schwartz!

  12. LeonovaBalletRusse

    LS re evidence of UVA “education” – not only “complement” but a “spirit of verve.”

    A “spirit of verve!” Disciples of Bernays can’t do better that this?

  13. LDS Prophecy 21E/4.7

    THE SECURITY COUNCIL,

    Expressing grave concern at the secret plans and policies of the civilian-military command structure of the United States of America, and condemning the violence and use of force against civilians and prisoners rendered hors de combat by detention or any other cause,

    Deploring the systematic violation of human rights and expressing deep concern at the deaths of civilians,

    Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,

    Underlining the need to respect the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of expression, including freedom of the media,

    Stressing the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks by forces under their control, on civilians,

    Recalling article 16 of the Rome Statute under which no investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with by the International Criminal Court for a period of 12 months after a Security Council request to that effect,

    Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the United States of America,

    Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,

    Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under its Article 41,

    1. Decides to refer US extrajudicial killings since 21 February 2009 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;

    2. Decides that the US authorities shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor pursuant to this resolution and, while recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation under the Statute, urges all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor;

    3. Invites the Prosecutor to address the Security Council within two months of the adoption of this resolution and every six months thereafter on actions taken pursuant to this resolution;

    4. Recognizes that none of the expenses incurred in connection with the referral, including expenses related to investigations or prosecutions in connection with that referral, shall be borne by the United Nations and that such costs shall be borne by the parties to the Rome Statute and those States that wish to contribute voluntarily.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      If this were a just country the biggest political debate would be Obama’s war crimes.

      Instead they’ve fooled us into squabbling amongst ourselves and filling us with war rage . . . unjustified war rage. For we are the monsters committing terrorism all over the world. We are not the victims.

      Obama is guilty of war crimes. Murder.

      If you vote for Obama you support a cold-blooded killer. He will not stop unless we stop him. How do you liberals expect to stop war criminal Romney from further murder if you’ve already absolved Obama of the same crimes?

      Supporting war criminals simply makes us complicit in their crimes.

      Obama cluster bombed children!!!! His excuse was that they didn’t have enough Predator drones to humanely kill these villagers so they had to use what they had laying around–cluster bombs.

      Obama cluster bombed dozens of children in one cold-blooded execution along, and yet you fucking sickos in the Democrat give a fuck!

      The Democrat party is synonymous with child murder. They kill children and then refuse to even acknowledge it.

      How many Democrats will even acknowledge these crimes? You won’t even hear the words cross their lips. It’s simply a political decision for genocide supporters like Kos or politicians like Pelosi. It would hurt The Party to admit Obama murdered children.

      The Democrat party is a party of child murderers. If you pull the lever for Obama you are saying child murder by cluster bomb is okay with you.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Executive War Crimes started in earnest with Nixon-Kissinger: U-Chicago Shock Doctrine in Chile in evolution to “shock and awe” in Laos unto Kuwait, Iraq, unto Universal Shock Doctrine for Global Nobility Lebensraum with “Mercenary” and CIA ARMED FORCES RE-DEFINED for cause, and via Koch Brothers appartchiks in ENRON’s Homeland, from Governor-to-Governor Agency.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Unfortunately, it may go back to Wilson, or even Roosevelt.

          But under the modern secret fascist American state, I’d say the crimes go back to right after WWII. Guatemala. Iran. We committed some real crimes in Guatemala. And experimented on people. Plus we had the secret wars going on in Europe with the stay behind forces and the concentration camps/slave labor camps run long after the war ended.

          The U.S. went right into assassination/coups/etc. after WWII. Well, I guess the Korean War may have tied up resources as well . . .

          But it doesn’t make any of this right. Basically, seems like we ma have been operating under a criminal and unconstitutional government since after WWII. Impeach them all. Impeach them posthumously, if possible. Try them all for war crimes.

          Stop the fucking wars. Stop the killing. Stop the secret government.

          These are not unreasonable requests.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Now that the Shock Doctrine has been brought “Homeland to Roost” we get it.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Eisenhower-CIA doing dirty work for United Fruit. “Security is Private Profit.” Even so, Eisenhower warned us of where this was headed when he was leaving office, as did George Washington–both military “insiders” who knew whereof they spoke, who recognized the M-I lust for Absolute Dictatorship.

          3. Accrued Disinterest

            Here’s a little stroll down memory lane since 1980:
            El Salvador (1980), Libya (1981), Sinai (1982), Lebanon (1982 1983), Egypt (1983), Grenada (1983), Honduras (1983), Chad (1983), Persian Gulf (1984), Libya (1986) , Bolivia (1986), Iran (1987), Persian Gulf (1987), Kuwait (1987), Iran (1988), Honduras (1988), Panama (1988), Libya (1989), Panama (1989), Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru (1989), Philippines (1989), Panama (1989-1990), Liberia (1990), Saudi Arabia (1990), Iraq (1991), Zaire (1991), Sierra Leone (1992), Somalia (1992), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993 to present), Macedonia (1993), Haiti (1994), Macedonia (1994), Bosnia (1995), Liberia (1996), Central African Republic (1996), Albania (1997), Congo/Gabon (1997), Sierra Leon (1997), Cambodia (1997), Iraq (1998), Guinea/Bissau (1998), Kenya/Tanzania (1998 to 1999), Afghanistan/Sudan (1998), Liberia (1998), East Timor (1999), Serbia (1999), Sierra Leon (2000), Yemen (2000), East Timor (2000), Afghanistan (2001 to present), Yemen (2002), Philippines (2002) , Cote d’Ivoire (2002), Iraq (2003 to present), Liberia (2003), Georgia/Djibouti (2003), Haiti (2004), Georgia/Djibouti/Kenya/Ethiopia/Yemen/Eritrea War on Terror (2004), Pakistan drone attacks (2004 to present), Somalia (2007), South Ossetia/Georgia (2008), Syria (2008), Yemen (2009), Haiti (2010), Lybia (2010).

        2. Walter Wit Man

          And really, the U.S. may have had a much greater role in fomenting the world wars of last century than we were taught. So there may be a nice rising arc of fascism starting with Teddy Roosevelt and culminating in Obama. So maybe dating the rise of American fascism to after WWII is wrong: that’s simply when they announced their secret government publicly. In the late 1940s. They needed the excuse of WWII to do that. But in reality the groundwork was being laid before WWI.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            With recognition of power of oil: Germany v. British Naval supremacy, British Empire to American Empire Proxy: Shared Imperial language/DNA seeks Global Lebensraum via Might Makes Right.

          2. different clue

            Most average people respond to a crassly vulgar analysis of their material interests and situation if they are realistically convinced that that analysis is fact-based and true.

            So . . . does the American Empire cost the average American public-at-large? Or does the American Empire pay the American public-at-large? If it costs the public, then ending the Empire and de-funding all its support and enforcement mechanisms would save the public by just the amount of those foregone costs. So . . . figure out how much savings the public would harvest by closing the Empire and sell the public on getting the savings.

            Now . . . if the American Empire pays the average American public more than it costs the average American public, then there is no material case to make to the public and one has to retire to the smaller or squishier ground of appeals to morality. And if one is going to do that, one has to put one’s very own personal lifestyle integrity on display first by “walking the talk” as The Archdruid has said here and there. So if ending the empire means shrinking everyone’s standard of living, the committed Empire-Endist will have to shrink his/her standard of living by just that much FIRST and put that shrunken standard of living on public display. Then he/she will have the personal credibility to command a respectful hearing for his/her appeals-to-morality to end the empire.

  14. Eleanor

    Re Jesse Ventura — I don’t know where Ventura lives now, but he has spent a lot of his life in Minnesota; and there is no way you can vote for D here. Your ballot options for the two major parties are Republican (R) and Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL). I suspect Ventura meant that he had never voted R, D or DFL. But I don’t know this for certain.

    I just checked the 2012 sample ballot. The choices for president will be R or DFL, which means Obama will be running here as Democratic-Farmer-Labor, which is kind of offensive, given his attitude toward ordinary working people. (I include small farmers here.) He really needs to run as Democratic-Banker-Financier.

  15. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Jesse’s “Matieres” gives us a timely Krugman and Wells review. Can’t we face the harsh reality that Summers is a BULLY whose D-head trumps his “brilliant brain?”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        By the “laws of Nature” we are “born to breed,” it’s our “animal nature.” All else is up to our Agency above and beyond our “inner crocodile” lurking in the “primitive” sectors of our brain-nervous system, craving dominance over the “higher” brain functions. The “need to breed” must be resisted, for it is a biological force to be reckoned with, as Freud pointed out.

        1. different clue

          Many of the people who came to this country were descended from high breeders. Many of their descendants (same genetics) have become low breeders in just 2-4 generations. How did that happen? How might it happen everywhere?

          On the other hand, we might ask why the lower class majority should limit its numbers before the upper class minority is forced to reduce its wealth. Perhaps breeding the world into ecological extinction so total and profound that even the rich are starvexterminated in the general Olduvai Crash of all ecosystems is the only ultimate revenge we have against the Predasitic OverClass. Perhaps the threat of OverClass starvextermination by UnderClass overpopulation is the only credible crowbar we have to pry some wealth distribution equity out of the Predasite OverClass.

          (Of course I would be a hypocrite to advocate for it in my current childless state.)

  16. Walter Wit Man

    How much is Kos getting paid to whore for the Democrats?

    There is no better example of how “progressive” blogs are set up simply to sucker left-leaning people than how Kos and his blog behaved during the health care debates.

    Like Obama, these “fighters” (ha–I’m sorry for the mocking tone, I can barely type this stuff with a straight face because the hubris of these hucksters is so overwhelming) wanted single payer health care, eventually, but were going to insist upon a public option in the short term.

    Of course this was a huge fucking trap to sucker leftists into thinking they were going to get something like single payer but then to deliver them into the mouths of their enemies. And actually, it was a trap for most people of all political stripes, as Medicare, the single payer reality that has worked for decades, is very popular.

    Anyway, after months of intentionally drug out fighting and mindfucking, after “progressives” like Kos and Digby suckered people into investing in this rigged process, they pulled the rug out from under them. Then they pointed the gun at their trapped victims and said “support this right-wing bill or else . . . .”

    Now, of course, Kos is nothing but a shill for the Obama administration on this issue (and thus whoring for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries).

    Here’s the latest installment on why Romney’s right-wing Heritage Foundation policy must be defended by all “progressive” suckers around:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/21/1102030/-Um-SCOTUS-The-people-want-to-keep-nbsp-Obamacare

    Notice the finessing of the polling data. And let’s not take into account the power of the president and his party and his hacks (hey Kos and Digby!) to move opinions–especially among party members. If the party leaders had fought for Medicare for All form the beginning where would the numbers be?

    Scumbag Democrats: pretending to be liberals but actually right-wing corporate whores.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Indeed, the .99% Agency Shill Network for the interests of the .01% is LARGE.

    2. freakshow

      To be fair, we should be grateful to Digby for introducing us to David Atkins, the carnival sideshow rubber man of deontological ethics. Without actually seeing him tie himself in cognitive knots, we might never have realized that loyal Democrats have all the same screws loose as Republicans. Dems can embrace any crime, ignore any fact, pervert any principle, applaud any death, piss on any norm or standard. There is nothing they won’t hold still for. A Dem president could make his Dems stand up for kiddie snuff porn.

    3. SR6719

      And let’s not forget how NPR behaved during the Health Care Debate, when it refused to run any stories focusing on single payer.

      According to the latest available report (2005), NPR’s corporate sponsors include:

      $1 million+: Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, Prudential Financial

      $500,000 – $999,999: Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Allstate Insurance Company, Northwestern Mutual Foundation,

      $250,000 – $499,999: AARP, The Hartford Financial Services Group, UnumProvident

      $100,000 – $249,999: Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/06/12/why-npr-refuses-to-report-on-the-single-payer-movement-and-what-should-be-done-about-it/

      In addition to those sponsors, it’s probably safe to assume that insurance companies that sell health insurance contributed a lot of money in 2009 to stop NPR from running stories on Single Payer.

      And on a personal note, I’ve spoken to any number of NPR listeners who had no idea what Single Payer means, and who’ve never even heard of NDAA.

      Without a single exception they said they were planning to vote for Obama again, and as good NPR listeners, they saw no reason even to hold their noses when they vote.

      1. Ms G

        This is the kind of transparency I can get behind. Thanks for your list of “health” insurance corporate sponsors to NPR juxtaposed to the “dog that did not bark” uncoverage of single payer.

        Excellent example of how non-coverage results in perfect ignorance of what is not covered. Banal? Oh yes, but so accurate.

        I’d like to see a poll of NPR’s listeners on what they know about Hayek. If their “knowledge base” on this topic comes from NPR, the odds are . . . they know little and it is all wrong. See Adam Davidson’s latest howler in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/magazine/are-the-jobs-number-killing-jobs.html?pagewanted=2&ref=business

        Excerpt:

        “I sometimes imagine a world in which major economic decisions were run like a Keynes-Hayek lunch. Nonpartisan technocrats would look at the economic data over long periods and refine theories rooted in data and impervious to breathlessly reported new estimates.”

        Davidson “Factoid #1″: Hayek as a nonpartisan technocrat immune from “breathless” media cycle.

        Davidson “Fireside Folksy Image #1″: Keynes-Hayek hashing out their differences (and the fate of the Republic) over a friendly “lunch”.

        Davidson’s Homework: Google “Hayek” — check out references to Medicare . . .

        1. different clue

          How was this penetration and subversion of NPR accomplished? Did it start with unpublic defunding of NPR to the point where NPR would have no where to turn but upperclass favor-buyers?

          There are public radio alternatives. But are they a little too “real” for the limousine liberals of today? There is , for example, a tiny little network called Free Speech Radio News, which a very few public radio stations run. How many NPR listeners are even aware that FSRN exists? How many readers of this comment, for example, are just now hearing of Free Speech Radio News for the very first time in their lives?
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Speech_Radio_News

          How many public radio listeners would like to have that on their very own public radio station? If enough “pledge drive contributors” in some key radio station areas were to set up escrow accounts and divert their money into those accounts not-to-be-released to their favority public radio station till it dropped NPR news and put in FSRN instead . . . could a few more public radio stations be converted?

  17. Hugh

    Both Obama and Cheney are true believers in kleptocracy and rule by and for the elites. Both are consumate liars. I would argue though that Obama is the greater liar because Cheney was only able to lie himself into the Vice Presidency while Obama lied himself into the Presidency. Yes, I know some will say Cheney considered himself to be the “real” President, but even he was sometimes contravened by the chimp nominally in charge.

    Again if you look at this from the kleptocratic perspective, that Obama = Cheney = Romney is not surprising. In a kleptocracy, the only choices the 99% have are illusory. As Emma Goldman wrote, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” Voters are only allowed to select the face of kleptocracy which they will be looted by.

    1. Accrued Disinterest

      Actually, don’t you think Cheney more clever; realizing he’d never be elected to the higher office, but still able to maneuver himself into it, ipso facto?

    2. different clue

      The fact that Republicans work so hard to stop certain sectors of people from voting shows the Republicans are afraid that voting CAN change things, and they want to make sure that certain people aren’t allowed to change those things by voting.

      So . . . how might change-seekers engineer change by voting in what ways, and at what levels? If the National Democrats are a sticky-ball velcro-decoy roach-motel hamster-wheel trap designed to ground-out voter energy harmlessly; how else might those targeted voters direct their energy into shocking the electoral system instead? And how about state or local jurisdictions with still-legitimate political parties or other vote-aggregation vehicles?

      Meanwhile, every dollar is still a bullet on the field of economic combat. “Move Your Money” is still advocating its concepts; people like Woody Tasch, Catherine Austin Fitts, Dmitri Orlov, John Michael Greer, Ran Prieur, Sharon Astyk, The Contrary Goddess, John Robb, etc. etc. etc. are still doing all kinds of work in various forms of Survivalist Economic Warfare and posting their thoughts and results where just ANYbody can read them.

      1. Aquifer

        “If the National Democrats are a sticky-ball velcro-decoy roach-motel hamster-wheel trap designed to ground-out voter energy harmlessly; how else might those targeted voters direct their energy into shocking the electoral system instead?”

        Oh shucks – that’s an easy one – vote Green – start with Jill Stein for Pres.

  18. Hugh

    Gates’ braceleting of children sounds like something out of 1984, Big Brother monitoring you all the time. It really portrays Gates for the authoritarian kook he is. Like all such vanity foundations, the Gates Foundation is not about charity. The billions that sit in these foundations should have been taxed back into the general treasury where decisions on how they were to be spent would be made by representatives of we the people. Note I said “should”. But we live in a kleptocracy, and people like Gates, I mean really who better?, know we live in a kleptocracy. They know any money they send to the federal government will just be stolen by other looters. So they create foundations to protect not just the bulk of their wealth from going to other predators but also any taxes on that wealth. Gates doesn’t pay taxes on his wealth but keeps effective control of it. He gets to pursue his own twisted agenda of turning us all into serfs and he gets hailed as a great humanitarian and philanthropist for doing it. In kleptocracy, such manipulations pass for genius.

    1. Ms G

      Gates as “authoritarian kook.” You said it Hugh. The truth doesn’t seem to get in the way of his “street cred” as a magnanimous geek who had such a knack for (crappy) software.

      1. Rex

        Microsoft got a lot of credit for innovation. Gates’ main talent was a ruthless business style. Most of Microsoft’s innovations were bought, stolen or provided by syphoning from “partnerships”.

        Unfortunately, the greatest rewards usually go to those who have the need to win the most, not to those who do the best work or have the best intentions.

    2. different clue

      Wasn’t Woodrow Wilson the President who signed into law the legislation permitting the foundation and existence of tax-sheltered foundations such as this? There are people who would suggest that while Wilson may not have been America’s “worst” President, he may well have been America’s most “evil” President.

  19. p78

    “Lehman audit investigator takes no action against Ernst & Young – Accountant will not be penalised for role in auditing European banking arm of Lehman Brothers, after 18-month investigation

    Repo 105 allowed Lehman to sell packages of mortgages and bonds on a temporary basis and buy them back a few weeks afterwards. The deals were worth $50bn (£32bn).

    E&Y welcomed the decision to close the investigation which it said was “confirming our belief in the quality of our audit work”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/22/lehman-brothers-audit-investigation-no-penalty

  20. p78

    Eurozone Banking Union – an opposing view:

    “Experts say [a banking union of EuroZone] will allow the unwinding of “too big to fail” banks by allowing them to spread risk among their units and remove the need of taxpayer-funded bailouts.
    But for the Czechs, it could undermine efforts to ensure defences against crisis under which the country’s banking sector has built up an average capital adequacy of above 15 percent, almost double the minimum required under EU rules.

    The EU’s 10 newest members (which are not in the EuroZone) sold most of their state banks to the private sector in the years following the fall of Communism

    [T]he law would allow a regulator in country A to ask a parent bank there to take funds from a unit in country B to help itself or another unit in country C.
    … the Czechs and the Slovaks could quickly see their banks’ capital targeted by foreign owners to help shore up troubled units elsewhere… uncontrolled outflows of liquidity and assets.

    “Czech” banks are more than fully funded by domestic deposits, compared to their regional peers where loans far out outstrip the cash in savings accounts.
    Deposits amounted to 134 percent of outstanding loans at the end of 2011, and most Czech banks are net creditors to their parent units.

    “They could force, say, (a bank subsidiary) in the Czech Republic to shift back some of its capital to the home country where it has capital problems… It’s 100 percent owned. There’s nothing you can do to stop this”.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/22/eu-banks-centraleurope-idUSL5E8HKG9Z20120622

  21. Ms G

    Thanks for the timely report MLTPB.
    Any word on whether the Greeks threw the game in exchange for some loosening of the austerity strings from ECB?

    Just kidding.

  22. kevinearick

    Marvin the Martian: A Robot Story

    so, So, SO…it’s a selector amplifier Mr. JPM

    Try, try, try as they might, they just cannot catch dopamine.

    “Tax delinquency rates are soaring in Mendocino County’s largest subdivision, and scores of owners are abandoning their lots, saying they are not worth the cost of taxes and services.”

    …and servicing debt with road funds, to get road funds.

    The money is there, amd then it’s not, surprise. Govt looks at itself in the rear view mirror and sees…

    Wakey, wakey. Anytime now would be a good one to get off the bridge, or do what all good robots do, look into the camera lens…to prop up Facebook, Apple, & Google. Keep the global economy afloat for one more day, delivering alpha, you, and proferring robot replication for the omegaultiplier.

    It’s a bug, just a bug, but if you step on it, the locusts come next. Don’t feed Marvin and he blows up. Nature is the problem and the solution.

    The more they control, the more out of control their system becomes. They must domimate, making physical aggression unlawful, with an exception for the out of control police state. Good luck.

  23. kevinearick

    Paper Bridge 2 Germany

    So, here I am in the bottomless pit. The girl will not leave with me to accept a six figure job and will do everything i her power to stop me from leaving. She tells dad nothing. Dad is a 1st gen Mex, from the field to career public school employee, retired. Dad says any labor not working are idiots and leeches, and his tax dollars (;) would be better spent. Mom is a retired teacher, ministering to homeless men, accepting donations from druggy firefighters paid to prevent the men from wprking in the forest, and should any refuse dependence, it’s off to San Quenten they go. One just told me he had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, with 2 others at the same time, all miraculously cured with the expense of healthcare tax dollars. Retired Aunty social worker facing foreclosure came up to pitch me a realitu show for homeless charity, featuring the homeles, leaving this smatphone tracking device. The brother is six figure cop/narc, threatening to investigate me. Self-appointed prophets all, listening to their subcon mirrors, telling me what God wants me to do.

    That is the paper bridge being constructed by the feds, with 800,000 more participants, to prop up Germany.

    Trust you can believe in, by Obamny.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Thoroughly enjoyed it; very enlightening!
      It’s a relief to finally, after lo these five years (at least) hear the parallels between bank and Mafia conduct being aired and discussed.

      I was also delighted that Moyers asked Yves to elaborate on what banks ‘as utilities’ would look like — great to hear Yves’ explanation. (FWIW, I recently listened to Mike Mayo’s “Exile on Wall Street”, and he also makes a terrific case that these banks really should operate as utilities. Maybe he reads Yves ;^)
      Give it another year, I’m willing to bet this idea of banks operating as utilities will be much more widely accepted and understood.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Wonderful, just wonderful, all three of you! Much to praise, but I will just say how much I appreciated Yves taking on “complexity” early on in the manner she did. That type of framing speaks to this hillbilly and I think it would resonate with many Americans.

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