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Links 6/4/12

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Darth Vader throws out the ceremonial first pitch McClatchy. Detroit vs. The Hated Yankees.

Egypt protesters hold Tahrir, mull strategy and demands Al Ahram

Egypt’s media: Gamal Mubarak for president? Al Jazeera. Kidding!

Football “ultras” in Alexandria Al Jazeera

Europe mulls major step towards “fiscal union” Reuters

Can a banking union save the euro? FT Gavyn Davies

Germany Gives Ground on Crisis Plan WSJ

Spain seeks centralised control of budgets FT

Going into final stretch, SYRIZA builds poll lead Ekathimerini. Polls cannot be published within two weeks of the election.

Prosecutor looks into pharmacists’ drug refusal Ekathimerini

Why People Are Going Nuts Over The New George Soros Speech On Europe Joe Weisenthal

The Economic Costs of Fear Brad DeLong

Will the Tactical Guys Blow Up the Market on Monday? The Reformed Broker

Rattner: Economy Not in Danger of Another Recession National Journal

A false sense of security FT Tett. Security theatre.

Sell London FT Alphaville. Security theatre.

Bilderberg 2012: protesters hail their hero, Alex Jones Guardian

Bilderberg 2012: detailed member bios, UK Guardian’s video report Washington’s Blog

The U.S. Housing Crisis: Where are home loans underwater? Zillow. Nifty interactive map (Carol)

Sluggish Growth and Payroll Employment: An Update Calculated Risk. “World’s most frightening chart.”

The Not So Golden Years, Revisited Big Picture

The 10 Things Economics Can Tell Us About Happiness Atlantic

NYT: “MEN invented the internet” Boing Boing

Going Her Own Way Times

Miina Metropolis. Otaku.

Economist Paul Krugman Is a Hard-Core Science Fiction Fan Wired

2012 Philip K. Dick Festival SF Sept 22-23, 2012

For an Ailing Planet, the Cure Already Exists Common Dreams (Aquifer)

John Rawls’s Critique of Capitalism Economist’s View

The Rumbling of Distant Thunder The Archdruid Report

* * *

D – 96 and counting.

“One side is lying, and the other is not telling the truth.” – Empire Burlesque

No BobbleSpeak translations this week; links lighter than usual.

Montreal. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois at CLASSE planning meeting: There is a challenge to maintaining momentum during the summer break … [M]ost of the students will have left the large cities to go back to their home communities. [D]emonstrations may be smaller in size, but larger in number across Quebec. “Get togethers” for Montreal TBA, including F1. “This is exactly what we’re doing — we’re taking over where the students have left off,” said Marie-Helène Pelland, 49, adding she was proud to do so. “You can see here in the crowd. There is more gray hair, more people from all walks of life. Concordia administrator: “Not only have the protest actions have been the longest and largest in Quebec’s history, they have also been the most inclusive, involving post-secondary students from both French-speaking and English-speaking institutions. I know it was a big thing to mobilize for the strike because traditionally, English schools aren’t really involved.” Saturday march (in rain), peaceful, putatively illegal under Bill 78 (photo). Taking to Twitter, Montreal police called the protest “illegal,” saying it had not received the route. However, it added: “People can march if no crime is committed.” Except, under Bill 78, there was! Gabriel Nadeau Dubois (CLASSE): ‘One of the first things that the detective told me was that they were meeting me because of a request made by the Public Security Minister, Mr. Dutil, who she (the detective) said had wondered why the SQ had not been more involved in the student conflict.’”

“News of the cancellation of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve ["free admission"] open house at the Formula One event came the same day as one student group attempted to alleviate concerns about the ongoing protests, saying demonstrators aim to be visible, not disruptive.” Of course, it’s the visibility, in itself, that’s “disruptive.” Our elites react to “visibility” like an elephant reacts to the “threat” of a mouse. And somehow, I don’t think the F1 organizers mind canceling a money-losing free event and blaming somebody else for it all that much.

“Ten Points Everyone Should Know About the Quebec Student Movement.”

CA. San Jose D mayor Chuck Reed: “The best metaphor [for retiree benefits] is cancer.”

CO. “[I]t’s ironic that [Obama's] chances of winning the key state of CO could hinge on marijuana legalization. “Hundreds gather to protest Encana Corp.’s fracking operation in Erie. ‘We don’t want to move; we want to fight.’

CT. Federal Investigation Included Straw Donations to R PACs; [AFL-CIO official and] Correction Officer In The Middle

FL. DHS denied access to its SAVE database when Florida asked in October 2011, as part of effort to purge the voter rolls. “Without SAVE, Florida relied on a motor-vehicle database that’s not updated when someone becomes a citizen. So those immigrants who become citizens and then register to vote can look like noncitizens via a simple database query.” What a fiasco.

LA. “The school willing to accept the most voucher students — 314 — is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library.” “[T]he R Party in Louisiana remains divided, and both [Paul and regular] conventions have selected delegates for the national convention.” Floor fight! (Lots more on this, but not yet sorted.)

MA. “The UN’s special rapporteur on torture has made a formal approach to the US government over a special-needs school near Boston that inflicts electric shocks on autistic children as a form of behavioural control.” Lowell: “What is the ‘experience’ required to serve as an alternate on the [Zoning Board Authority"? Perhaps it requires getting the blessing of 'some observers.' By the way, who are these observers?" Warren: "Scott Brown is a Wall Street R. A big oil R. A Mitt Romney R." Brown vs. Warren: "[I]t’s clear that the deepest takeaway is that this race is gonna be real close.”

ME. East-West highway: “Well, [highway proponent Vigue] knows how to go around a question, let’s put it that way.” “Supporters of same-sex marriage outraise opponents 36-to-1.” Out-of-state cash always plays well in ME.

NC. “There is a growing connection between open source geeks, programmers, and local government activists.” (This is in Research Triangle: I’d like more examples.)

TX. Tinpot Tyrant Watch: Contempt charges against Dianne Tran for truancy dismissed. “[Judge] Moriarty resisted popular pressure to reverse his decision for fear of appearing “weak,” [but] reversed himself and dismissed the contempt charges.” Yay! More criminal charges in Sunland Park election fraud and public corruption.

WA. “Because Washington state does not permit party labels to exceed fifteen characters, her ballot label is ‘Socialist Altern.’

WI. Pro: “In his reporting on FBI involvement in the current probe of WI Gov Scott Walker, [veteran political reporter David] Shuster said he consulted with Justice Department attorneys in the public integrity section and ‘I got independent confirmation that [Walker]‘s a target.’ Shuster said that he had learned Scott Walker’s attorneys had been seeking to have their client publicly cleared of wrongdoing for the last five or six weeks, in the run-up to the recall election. Prosecutors could not clear him, Shuster said, because Walker is a target.” Shill: “… failed the first test of verification by a professional reporter. …” Provenance counts. Iron Law of Institutions Watch: “‘The recall was going to happen no matter what because of the very organic nature of it,’ D Rep Kind said, before adding he’d supported it from the start.” Unity Pony: “The problem is not simply that Walker is divisive – though that is a problem – but that he’s on the wrong side of the divide. Calls for unity are meaningless without first spelling out on what basis people should unite and working out where the disunity came from in the first place.” Ground game: “[T]ea party organizers have been in WI for at least 10 months, attracting money and volunteers from a host of well-funded conservative groups around the country.” DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Recall a “dry run” for Ds in November. Good to have that perspective. Shenanigains Watch: “AG Van Hollen to send out plenty of election observers on 6/5. Just not to Waukesha County.”

Libertarians. “If whoring in politics is inevitable, libertarians are at least admirably transparent about it.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Inside Baseball. “Pelosi is upbeat about the prospects for a female president in her lifetime, namely her friend Hillary Rodham Clinton. ‘She’s our shot.’Well. Of the nine states Obama won in 2008 that Bush won in 2004: “That’s right, [Obama] can give eight of the nine back, as long as the one he wins is Florida, and he hits 275 EV’s.” Voice-over artist: “[I do] a version that I think would sound more reasonable. And then they pick the over-the-top one.”

Robama vs. Obomney Watch. PA D township supervisor: “This country’s not run by the politicians. It’s run by the money.”

Jawbs. “[O]bama’s aides argue that the trend line is more important than the actual number.” Hope!

Romney. “Of course the developments around the world always influence our jobs. But we should be well into a very robust recovery by now, if the president’s policies had worked,” Romney told CNBC, sitting in front of a sign with his campaign slogan: “Putting Jobs First.” Clear message; compare. Teebee ad: “A Better Day”: “It’s the feeling we’ll have that our country’s back–back on the right track.” IA viewer: “feel-good vibe.”

Obama. Axelrod: “I’m not Karl Rove”. Making yourself the story. Axelrod: “I know there were weekly meetings dealing with terrorist threats and planning around it, but I did not attend those meetings.” Making yourself the story and distancing yourself. “By Nov. 6, when a president is picked, the employment picture may look rosier — or glum.” (Elizabeth Drew is still alive?) I wonder what the October surprise will be? I love surprises!

* 96 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on corvids on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 96 tears

A la prochaine fois!

* * *

Antidote du jour (by Vikarus):

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67 comments

  1. rjs

    re: Sluggish Growth and Payroll Employment: An Update

    this is the key line: And this doesn’t include population growth and new entrants into the workforce (the workforce has continued to grow).

    add the increase in population, & the charts go to 2020 and 2022…

  2. Jim Haygood

    Stunning revelations of bankster immunity from prosecution in the Times-Titanic this morning, as putative watchdogs Barky ‘n Eric suck they thumbs. Dig:

    On Dec. 3, two days before the vote [on B of A's acquisition of Merrill Lynch], [former B of A treasurer Jeffrey J.] Brown urged Joe L. Price, Bank of America’s chief financial officer at the time, to disclose Merrill’s losses, given their size, the filing said. When Mr. Brown received resistance, he warned Mr. Price that the failure to disclose “could be a criminal offense, stating that he did not want to be ‘talking through a glass wall over a telephone’ if no disclosure was made,” the filing noted.

    Two business days after Bank of America shareholders approved the deal, the bank’s board met and received details of the $14 billion pretax fourth-quarter loss. The board also learned that the deal would be far more damaging to the bank’s earnings than had been publicly disclosed.

    One bank executive attending that meeting was Timothy Mayopoulos, then Bank of America’s general counsel. In testimony noted in the court filing, Mr. Mayopoulos expressed surprise at the size of the loss, which he said he had not been told about. He testified that he tried to speak with Mr. Price about possibly disclosing the losses but that Mr. Price was not available.

    The next day, the filing noted, Mr. Mayopoulos was “fired without explanation and immediately escorted from the premises, without being given the opportunity to collect his personal belongings.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/business/bank-of-america-withheld-loss-figures-ahead-of-merrill-vote.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

    From a bankster perspective, Mr. M. was treated quite courteously, in that he wasn’t found hanging from the Blackfriars Bridge or anything. Everybody happy!

  3. skippy

    Stiglitz just on squawk box book club.

    Words used, rentiers, cream skimming, government runs safety net programs at better costings than private sector, America has the most inequality with in the developed world, Americans are worse off then they were 15 years ago, Northern European country’s are better off than America – for everyone, etc…

    Skippy… talking heads meet stunned mullet look, with quivering lips thingy.

    1. F. Beard

      America has the most inequality with in the developed world, skippy

      Honest usury alone would cause that. Add the advantage the so-called “credit-worthy” have to obtain what is essentially counterfeit money and it’s even more inevitable.

      1. skippy

        When you can show me how to change the world, I’ll listen.

        But if you think, that, playing games with tokens will change the power relationship problem, when personal wealth is the brass ring… your daft.

        Skippy… the cliff of individualism is >>>>>>>>>>>>> way. Please have a care and not take too many with you, ta.

        1. F. Beard

          When you can show me how to change the world, I’ll listen. skippy

          Listen or no, changes are coming anyway. I’m hoping they’ll be peaceful with a minimum or no suffering.

  4. anon48

    I agree with the author about the Soros piece providing a good explanation of the European crisis, but take issue with the amount of credit Soros’ bestows on the politicians who had a hand in pushing for the activation of the common currency.

    Soros- “The process of integration was spearheaded by a small group of far sighted statesmen who practiced what Karl Popper called piecemeal social engineering. They recognized that perfection is unattainable; so they set limited objectives and firm timelines and then mobilized the political will for a small step forward, knowing full well that when they achieved it, its inadequacy would become apparent and require a further step. ”

    If the statesmen where “far sighted” they would have known that the common currency should not have been activated until all of the important aspects of integration were fully negotiated, including the fiscal, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms necessary for the continued well-being of the union. The obvious implication of doing that would be the need for a more tightly bound political union.

    If the statesmen where far sighted they would have known that the “inadequacies” of the initial small step forward would not actually become apparent/ visible until exposed by a crisis, which is not exactly the best time to try to fix those inadequacies.

    If the statesmen were truly “far sighted” they would have known that they were making a conscious choice to bet the ranch on the success of the union by activating the EURO currency without having first established compelling regulatory and enforcement oversight capabilities. Because, as is obvious now, the course they chose to pursue provides no clear formula for dealing with failure/withdrawal of even a single member state, much less multiple states.

    If the statesmen where “far sighted” they would have known that because of the fragility of its structure, and in order to maintain necessary level of trust among members, the next level of negotiations required all union members to negotiate from a pan- European perspective and not from a nationalistic point of view . Sorry but that just naive and goes against human nature. The problem with that assumption can be seen by Angela Merkel’s comments which betray a subtle “what’s in it for me” German point of view.

    1. craazyman

      people aren’t filosofers.

      Mr. Soros, who is certainly a very smart guy, nevertheless looks at the world through a philosophers mind.

      And he dissects human action in terms of careful analysis and response and finds that reality is a non-Newtonian project, a not-even-very probabilisitc phenomenon embodying the analysis/response dialectic.

      I’d propose a third force — the bimbo/blockhead force. There is analysis, usually not so thorough. Which leads to a certain conclusion, which is ignored in favor of an eruption of action that is nearly totally unconscious and instinctive at a primal level, based usually on some combination of instinct/intuition and, mostly, unrestrained desire. This is what shapes most of reality, not the evolving dialectic of analysis and action.

      I know it has shaped my life, and I’ve seen it shape most lives. Ecce Homo. Of course, this is in all the poems, the plays, the novels, the movies, it’s everywhere. So it’s no great achievment of mind to see it or name it. It’s ancient and almost cliche.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Yes, the limbic system reacting primally to fear/greed: the primitive beast within “Man/Child as “Ego/Me”–in “Fight/Flight” mode facing danger/loss/death, or in the grip of phallic lust for extension of “Ego/Me” via sexual coupling, despotic power over rivals, feeding the illusion of escape from death via possession of material wealth, signifiers of eternal life.

    2. Jim

      Ironic that, “far sighted statesmen who practiced what Karl Popper called piecemeal social engineering” may end up costing President Obama, Soros’s candidate, the presidency.

      Personally, I consider the Euro architects to be as “far sighted” as the proponents of Ryan’s budget in the US. In both cases, these pols believe that they themselves are wiser than the people they represent, and that public opinion can’t be trusted.

  5. Goin' South

    The Archdruid’s post opens an important topic: the links among the spiritual, the practical and the political.

    The Kunstler citation is not surprising. Kunstler explores this in his apocalyptic novels as one option for reorganization post-collapse.

    I’d suggest another author: Octavia Butler and her Parable series. Her Earthseed religion, born of chaos and despair, is an interesting example of a post-collapse spirituality that struggles against both a fundamentalist Christianity with fascist overtones and nihilism.

    1. skippy

      Consider: Whether you’re a human being, an insect, a microbe, or a stone, this verse is true.

      All that you touch
      You Change.

      All that you Change
      Changes you.

      The only lasting truth
      Is Change.

      God
      Is Change.

      Why is the universe?
      To shape God.

      Why is God?
      To shape the universe

      Skippy… she could have been a beatnik methinks.

      1. F. Beard

        Let me fix that for you:

        Why is the universe?
        Because God created it.

        Why is God?
        Why not? If one believes in evolution, are we likely to be the first intelligence to have evolved? And if progress continues, will we not have God-like powers ourselves eventually?

        UR welcome.

        1. Tertium Squid

          If one can do it, can many? Shall we view the universe as a factory for creating more gods? Puts quite an interesting cast on this:

          “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
          -Romans 8:17

          1. F. Beard

            If one can do it, can many? TS

            The chance formation of God is so unlikely (but inevitable given infinite time and chaos) that the First One formed would almost certainly have an insurmountable advantage over all others that might form (much) later. Darwin said something similar wrt to the origin of life on Earth – that it could only occur once.

            Also, the Bible rules out many Gods:

            “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. Isaiah 43:10

          2. Tertium Squid

            I find the Darwinian casting to be rather alarming. As if your “First One” would use its advantage to maintain its position and rule out competition? Such a being would certainly deserve awe and respect but never love. How much better a God that would lift people up as high as they are capable of going (however high that is), and not keep them groveling at an appropriately modest level.

            And, if “it could only occur once” – well, if you get down to it, apple trees only occurred once, and yet through a marvelous process the world is now full of them. Is a god defective in a way that makes reproduction incapable?

            I don’t find your interpretation of Isaiah particularly convincing, in light of the two verses after it. God’s claim to being the only God for us relates to what He’s done for us, not for any particular attainment He’s achieved. I take it to mean that there is none other we should worship as our creator. He created us, and nobody else did. If we were to imagine there was any other god out there that was just like “God the Father” but hadn’t done anything for us, should we venerate it? It would be a mere act of recognizing and appreciating perfection. Love and gratitude wouldn’t be a part of the picture.

            Like for my boys. I can tell them that I am their Daddy. The world is full of daddies, but I am the only one that is THEIRS.

            Understand, none of this convincingly demonstrates that there must be tons of gods out there. But in general, the idea that there’s an uncrossable gulf between what God is and what we are has always been galling to me.

          3. F. Beard

            As if your “First One” would use its advantage to maintain its position and rule out competition? TS

            No competition would be possible! No matter how fast the competition evolved it could never overcome (on its own) the gap. It’s like compound interest; the more principal one starts with the faster it grows in absolute terms.

            The issue isn’t whether we can become Gods but our relationship to the One who already is and always will be God.

          4. Tertium Squid

            “The issue isn’t whether we can become Gods but our relationship to the One who already is and always will be God.”

            This is why I like talking to you. God can reveal to us whatever He chooses to about our ultimate potential. But for where we are right now and what we are doing, you are right.

          5. Tertium Squid

            Incidentally, the idea of the uncertain path to godhood has been around for a long time. If you haven’t already, check out Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha meets Gautama Buddha and says this to him:

            I have not doubted for a single moment that you are Buddha, that you have reached the goal, the highest goal towards which so many thousands of Brahmans and sons of Brahmans are on their way. You have found salvation from death. It has come to you in the course of your own search, on your own path, through thoughts, through meditation, through realizations, through enlightenment. It has not come to you by means of teachings! And—thus is my thought, oh exalted one,—nobody will obtain salvation by means of teachings! You will not be able to convey and say to anybody, oh venerable one, in words and through teachings what has happened to you in the hour of enlightenment! The teachings of the enlightened Buddha contain much, it teaches many to live righteously, to avoid evil. But there is one thing which these so clear, these so venerable teachings do not contain: they do not contain the mystery of what the exalted one has experienced for himself, he alone among hundreds of thousands. This is what I have thought and realized, when I have heard the teachings. This is why I am continuing my travels—not to seek other, better teachings, for I know there are none, but to depart from all teachings and all teachers and to reach my goal by myself or to die. But often, I’ll think of this day, oh exalted one, and of this hour, when my eyes beheld a holy man.”

          6. F. Beard

            and to reach my goal by myself or to die. Tertium Squid

            That’s not Biblical; one CANNOT be saved apart from God YET God is pleased to save as many as are willing.

            Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6

          7. Tertium Squid

            Right, it’s not Biblical. Neither is Darwin. It’s in Siddhartha. I found it an interesting articulation about another major belief system that has been around for a very long time.

            I also thought it was an interesting complement to what we were talking about – our relationship to God is what matters, and not how high that relationship might exalt us. Siddhartha’s error was his presumption and ambition.

        2. skippy

          Your assertion, considering the time and space having already passed, is only the opinion of one individual, with in a cosmos. An opinion you read and accepted as true, without any evidence save the way it makes you FEEL about your SELF as a – product – of gawd.

          Funny thing is…. both of you… would be heretics in antiquity. Stoned, crucified, brutality visited upon you and possibly yours… Snort!

          Skippy…Pythons black knight syndrome methinks, on the side of fallacy so many times, yet, tis a scratch, mere flesh wound, too gibbering stump. Completely… in denial… of ones own physical state.

          PS. way to highjack a comment to goin south, you two.

          1. Tertium Squid

            You think it is not reasonable for God to demonstrate Himself to one man and not another? A handy way, I grant you, for ruling out all theophanies until you yourself have had one.

            But don’t take my word for anything. Ask God if he exists and see if there’s an answer. You may feel silly doing it but that’s far from the worst sensation, isn’t it?

          2. skippy

            The power of suggestion in the human mind.

            Skippy… if you don’t understand this observable and measurable quality, your flying blind, in a world of lies.

          3. skippy

            A I don’t do the kneel thingy and I find an honest internal chit chat much more honest.

            Skippy… “Who is hypnotizing you then?” TS. Your self… LoL………

          4. Warren Celli

            I asked God if she exists and she said “God is a deception.”
            And I said to God then “How can you exist if you are a deception?”
            And she said to me…

            Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  6. Danny

    “The school willing to accept the most voucher students — 314 — is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library.”

    No books but plenty of monkeyball?

    Why not just give up any pretense of education and go
    for an all sports curriculum. You could throw in a little
    hip hop and perhaps some cooking lessons and that would
    take care of the intellectual needs of half of the
    population.

    1. Accrued Disinterest

      This is a shock doctrine, walking dead despicable failure that will be impossible to walk-back.

    2. Really now...

      Reading the comment section, it’s really disheartening (but not surprising) to see most of the commenters go on about “liberals”, “teacher’s unions”, and “lazy teachers”. Creepy how people are ready to jump at certain keywords like a trained dog. There is a great comment that I think gives away the plan:

      “Prediction: in as few as 3 or 4 years, the tuition at your new private elementary schools will go up 25% and your voucher will go down 25% leaving all of you with a decision to either pay the difference or switch to the cheapest school you can afford if there is one. Welcome to your new school tax. There will not be a public school option and your child will end up uneducated or you’ll end having to buy student loans for your 6 year old. Banks will be making a killing off of the new elementary and high school student loan market and you’ll be enslaved to the ‘company store’ the rest of your lives.”

      Nice to see someone figuring out the game.

  7. babaganush

    What I am missing with the “Going Her Own Way” (Times) link?

    “I added a turquoise belt and simple Balenciaga sandals that crisscrossed on top. I never like wearing one designer head-to-toe.” That’s a good tip – but for this blog?

    Good stuff other that.

    1. SR6719

      (Note: this was posted *before* the antidote du jour appeared. When it looked like there wasn’t going to be one for today.)

  8. Jill

    I just forced myself to listen to “B. Obama, compassionate killer, Part II” on NPR, courtesy Terry Gross, functionary!

    Today’s reporter, also from the NYTimes admits his “research” mostly came from and then was thoroughly vetted by the govt. Whew! I wouldn’t have wanted investigative reporting to occur at the Times or on NPR!!! Thank god, no worries there!

    My question? Why are we being treated to reports of Obama the manly but compassionate, thoughtful killer? There’s a reason these stories all come out at once. Color me nervous.

  9. John Merryman

    The Obama Administration has a website(https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/#!/) that allows us to file petitions, to which I put up the following:

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/hire-economics-team-understands-finance-efficient-allocation-capital-not-turning-banks-casinos/hpYs79Dx

    “Hire an economics team that understands finance is the efficient allocation of capital, not turning banks into casinos.
    This is not going to happen prior to the coming financial implosion, but it needs to be at the top of the agenda in the weeks following.

    The budget process is designed to create excess debt in order to support excess wealth, as it puts together enormous spending bills, that the president can only pass, or veto. Budgeting is to list priorities and spend according to ability. If the government wants to budget, these bills could be broken into their line items and have every legislator assign a percentage value to each one. Then reassemble the bill by preference and have the president draw the line at what is to be funded. As Truman might have put it, “The buck stops here.”

    Only after doing so, did they inform me that it needs 150 signatures to even make the public list! Obviously trolling for addresses, but I still think it worth the effort. If anyone wants to sign it, I’d be thankful. If they get 25,000, the president has to address it, but I’m not that hopeful.

    Regards, John Merryman

  10. Hugh

    Re rjs’ first comment, I addressed this issue back at the beginning of May here:

    http://www.correntewire.com/the_recession_and_the_obama_record_on_jobs_and_employment_or_the_first_few_centuries_are_the_hardest#more

    There are two ways of looking at this problem: in terms of people (the employed) and jobs. If population growth is taken into account, the net growth in employed has been averaging 17,000/month and it would take 42 1/4 years to work through the 8.627 million who lost employment during the recession.

    If you look at jobs, it’s even worse. After population change is factored in, the economy has added just 8,900/month, and it would take 81.5 years to work through the 8.704 million jobs lost due to the recession.

    As I noted in my post, the extended timelines, calculated in decades, mean that the employment/job losses of the recession are permanently gone. I see nothing that Obama has done or Romney might do that will bring them back.

  11. Hugh

    Re the other links, I was critical of Soros’ Euro speech because as always happens when our elites discuss themselvesk the issue of kleptocracy is omitted. The result is that Soros is proposing solutions safe in the knowledge that they will never be enacted or even seriously entertained by the political classes and so Soros’ billions in loot will not be placed at risk by them.

    My vague memories of Rawls is that he is reworked Rousseau. The weaknesses of capitalism are essentially those of the model of the Contrat social. Neither society nor the economy is made up of disinterested, rational actors. It was the genius of the Framers that while accepting the intellectual framework of the Rousseauian model, in practise, they went to such lengths to protect against the excesses they saw in themselves and those around them. Unfortunately, for us, this included an excess of democracy of the common citizen. In any case, the post is wrong in asserting that taxation is the sole method for government to redistribute wealth. It has at least three: taxation, spending, and regulation.

    Re Bilderberg, it used to be that such gatherings were the thing for conspiracy enthusiasts to speculate about. But if you look at the global paradigm of kleptocracy, Davos, Bilderburg, Jackson Hole, etc. look realer and less tinfoil hatty all the time.

    1. ctcnt

      diabolical reading… yes, i’m open for business… we should start a ‘circus’… i have many insights into the world of magick/finance… is soros the fool or magician in your deck, mon ami?

  12. LeonovaBalletRusse

    In his Trento address, George Soros shows himself to be merciful, and a consummate diplomat in the best sense. His sagacious interpretation of what has happened, and what is bound to happen, and why, is the most charitable imaginable. His finesse is a Hungarian Jewish art, for which the “European Community” can be grateful.

    Machiavelli would recognize the subtlety of corruption of the “noble vision” of the European Dreamers/Schemers, embodied in Germany’s change in motive for bring the European Union to pass. Germany recognized that the forging of the EU would facilitate “German [Prussian Imperial] Unification.” Germany’s motive were not pure. Germany was willing to “cooperate,” even “sacrifice” for the EU Dream/Scheme, in order to produce a self-serving “two-fer” outcome at the expense of European partners/neighbors. Germany’s bet on the EU was HEDGED: The EU formation would profit “Germany” during and after unification, even if the EU eventually failed. The bet was well placed, history shows. “Germany” in 2012 emerges the victor in/of Europe, come what may; “Deutschland” has been re-positioned “uber alles,” unified for good or ill.

    Lucy with the football ready for Charlie Brown does come to mind.

    The pragmatic “Frate Timoteo” of Machiavelli’s comedy, “LA MANDRAGOLA,” is the wise Florentine’s choice as shrewd justifier of such self-righteous, pragmatic, MORAL HEDGES, designed always to facilitate gain on the sly. A review of “LA MANDRAGOLA” now is in order, with special attention to Frate Timoteo’s words. Stealthily, “sic transit gloria” on the Continent, then as now.

    Mr. Soros is almost too kind, but then he is wise. This is certain.

    Congratulations to Mr. Soros, his theory vindicated at last. As Mose Allison sings: “If you live, your time will come.” Machiavelli’s “man of virtu” lives on.

  13. Lidia

    “a top-ranked basketball team but no library.”

    You dont need much of a library, when you only have one book.0

    1. F. Beard

      I was just reading this a minute ago:

      The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

      The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:11-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB) [emphasis added]

      Coincidence?

          1. skippy

            It was written by a now dead guy whom believed all kinds of, now known, untruths and factual absurdity’s.

            Skippy… Even in the cannons, gawd uses information asymmetry against the believers. How can you make an informed choice, unless you have all the facts? Freewill hahahahaha!

          2. F. Beard

            How can you make an informed choice, unless you have all the facts? skippy

            People make decisions all the time based on less than perfect knowledge. I dare say you’ve done worse things than believe in the God of Bible without having all the facts.

          3. skippy

            The difference being, your creator supposedly has it all, but, will not disgorge it. Purposely keeping you in the dark.

            Yet ask you to make the biggest decision of your life.

            Skippy…. Oh!!!!!!!!! too argue interracial marriage again, only decades ago, time is swift.

          4. F. Beard

            Purposely keeping you in the dark. skippy

            Why should He give you more info if you ignore what He has already given?

            Both you and Lidia have said things against the Lord when neither of you has demonstrated that you have even read the entire Bible.

            I can sympathize though. It used to be very difficult for me to even open the Bible. I forced myself to do so from pure logical necessity. I had no other hope. Now it’s a pleasure.

          5. skippy

            @Beardo, I have shown a large amount of knowledge, backed up with links, etc.

            Skippy… You, one verse at a time and with your unassailable and unique interpretation.

            PS. “I forced myself to do so from pure logical necessity. I had no other hope. Now it’s a pleasure.” … beardo.

            Skip here…. Logical necessity and hope are not words I would use together. As I have said, your needs are great… good luck with that.

          6. F. Beard

            As I have said, your needs are great… skippy

            My needs are being tended to. Just 3 years of daily Bible reading have done more to restore my mental health than the rest of my life combined.

            Why? At least one reason is that I have faced my fear.

  14. K Ackermann

    That Mina thing caught me by complete surprise, and I don’t even know what to say.

    Instead, I’d like to offer a counterbalance – a yin to the yang. It’s something that’s not new, but if you haven’t seen it, you might enjoy. I’m talking about SteamPunk, and it too is absurd, but I find it an agreeable absurd.

    There’s something appealing about a brass and mahogony computer, or a coffee maker with 100,000 moving, metal parts, and form purely for the sake of form.

    Here’s a brief photo survey…

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=steampunk&qpvt=steampunk&FORM=IGRE#x0y11696

  15. psychohistorian

    I read with interest the interview with Krugman about his Sci-Fi background.

    I laughed at his statement about wanting to be a psychohistorian but saw being an economist as close as it gets in our world. I had/have the same desire but could not segment my mind to deny our class system of social structure like he does to help build fig leafs of credibility for that narrative.

    It really says something about Krugman that he can so isolate his economic mind to exclude the class structure, global inherited rich, fiat private money, American imperialism and such as he calls for a Depression era response to our current problems. While he says he values thinking outside the box, this man maintains some serious blinders in order to keep his vaunted place as fig leaf supporter of whatever corner of the social grouping the left/progressive/rational/DFH/??? the 99% represent.

    Maybe deep down he knows he is writing Sci-Fi descriptions of our real world.

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