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Links 8/26/12

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By lambert strether

Neil Armstrong: ‘One of the greatest American heroes of all time’ Independent

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet. I felt very, very small.”

Neil Armstrong, 82, has died Cincinatti Enquirer. Home-town paper (pic: Neil Armstrong plays the ukulele).

E.B. White: The Moon Landing , New Yorker, July 26, 1969

GOP Delays Start of Convention WSJ. It’s an ill wind…

Death metal, the sound of Tampa, won’t be heard at Republican convention Reuters. Where’s Hunter Thompson when we need him?

For RNC week: No more eviction notices Tamba Bay Times (KL). Sherrifs overloaded.

Dems on track to break records with LGBT convention delegates Washington Blade (CB)

AP interview transcript with President Obama HuffPo. “I’m prepared to make a whole range of compromises, some of which I get criticized from the Democratic Party on, in order to make progress.” (Yep.)

So, Mitt, what do you really believe? Economist. Ouch.

Lid Blowing Off Romney Tax Secrecy Angry Bear

Box Office Shocker: Anti-Obama Doc Bests Other New Films on Friday Hollywood Reporter

Full Recovery by 2018, says the CBO Conversable Economist. I can hardly wait!

CBO: Ending High-Income Tax Cuts Would Save Almost $1 Trillion Off the Charts

Will Stock Markets Survive? Macrobusiness

Chris Hedges on ‘Empire of Illusion’ and a Vignette of The Fall of Berlin 1945 Jesse’s Café Américain

Israel breaks silence over army abuses Independent

Hollande Says Greece Must Stay in Euro Zone WSJ

Hollande Tells Samaras to Show Greek Commitment to Get Support Bloomberg

France refuses to back Greece’s call for more time to enact reforms Guardian

Greece not lost, say Merkel and Hollande FT

No Virus to Blame for New AIDS-Like Disease—It’s an Autoimmune Response Discover (NEJM)

Widespread vaccine exemptions are messing with herd immunity Gizmodo (American Journal of Public Health)

Men, Who Needs Them? Op-Ed, Times

New state laws make undercover probes of farm operations risky McClatchy

Analysis: U.S. government mandate or no, fuel ethanol is here to stay Reuters

Water Trumping Carbon Spreads $17 Billion Market Bloomberg

Russia Plays Game of Arctic Roulette in Oil Exploration Der Spiegel

Spirited legal fight expected over failed Fresno County vodka investment McClatchy

Detroit Votes to Raise Taxes to Save Cash-Strapped Museum ABC

The Citizen Kane Era Returns David Sirota, Harpers

* * *

Antidote du jour: The cat in the wat (from my visit to Thailand)

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109 comments

  1. DANNYBOY

    Re: Men, Who Needs Them? Op-Ed, Times

    Don’t worry boys. I went out early and bought out all the papers. Whew!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Men or women, who needs them?

      There is nothing sexier
      than a robot
      who can cook organically,
      non-toxic house clean,
      and converse intelligently.

      Even bettter still,
      if the robot can hold
      a steady, high-paying job.

      I would marry one like that
      as soon as it’s legal.

      1. Susan the other

        I liked the article because it talked intelligently about the biology of life. I was totally surprised it came from Boise. Boise? When did they join any kinda modern enlightenment? I do wish instead of elaborating on how eggs seem to be eternal, passing through the generations by some ancient template, I wish someone would make the observation that since this is the case biologically then it could be argued that our children are older than we are. We should treat them with more veneration. And once a decision has been made to bring an ancient one into this world, all effort should be made to see to his or her well being.

        1. DANNYBOY

          I can think of a lot of words for how I’d like to treat them, but ‘veneration’ isn’t one.

          Have kids?

          1. Susan the other

            Yes. I’m now thinking about the different attitudes across cultures. We’re a little lax with our kids. Because we ourselves are overworked and under appreciated.

        2. Tiresias

          Yet I recall another item featured on NC only a few days ago to the effect that most of the ‘evolution’ of the human species was as a result of the DNA mutations contained in sperm.

          My purely personal belief, in defiance of Darwinian geneticists, is that a Lamarkian mechanism that ‘directs’ mutation in response to the parent’s life experiences must exist. I have some ideas as to how that might work but this not the place to expound them. However, given the stability of the ovum across generations it does seem to me that the contribution of the male is very much needed to provide that ‘real-time’ evolutionary response to a changing environment.

          Had our ancestral Eve discovered a way to get by without the boys we would still be three-feet tall and trying not to be spotted by lions on the African Savannah.

          1. Fifi

            ” My purely personal belief, in defiance of Darwinian geneticists, is that a Lamarkian mechanism that ‘directs’ mutation in response to the parent’s life experiences must exist. ”

            Yes, there is such a mechanism. It’s called culture.

          2. Susan the other

            It is called epigenetics when it happens in the X or Y chromosome. And there is proven feedback between what happens to you physically, say your diet, and your DNA. Apparently the Y chromosome is very important. Pretty interesting.

  2. Goin' South

    Re: Jesse’s post about the fall of Berlin in ’45–

    “One cannot allow the illusion to falter, even a little, to the bitter end. And as the fraud fades, the force intensifies, becoming almost rabid. Because that illusion has become the center of a hollowed person’s being, their raison d’être, and mythological justification. ”

    This is what I see from CNBC to Fox to the NYT. There is a desperate need to defend and justify Capitalism, from the absurd rhetoric like “job creators” to the attacks on even mild critics or whistleblowers like Barofsky.

    This is the behavior of religionists confronted with hard evidence that the basis of their faith is flawed or shaky.

    1. skippy

      @“job creators”

      job. (1) A low mean lucrative busy affair. (2) Petty, piddling work; a piece of chance work. [Johnson's Dictionary]

      Job [( johb )]

      In the Old Testament, a man whose faith was severely tested by Satan, with God’s permission. Job was the most prosperous and happy of men, who faithfully praised God for God’s goodness. In order to get him to curse God, Satan destroyed all that Job owned, killed his children, and struck Job himself with vile sores from head to foot. False friends of Job’s suggested that he should abandon his beliefs ( see Job’s comforters). But even in absolute misery, Job would not curse God, saying instead, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” As a reward for his steadfast faith, God healed Job and “gave him twice as much as he had before.”

      Skippy… I know, I know… Etymological argument about the later… Still… It just fits soooo bloooody well[!!!!!!] What a powerful mythos…. suffering equals success!

      PS… HAY… get the losers out of the shot… their spoiling the messaging appeal…

        1. just me

          As distinguished from “careers” — Chris Rock:

          http://youtu.be/ypar-aVN_lo

          Now the people in the audience with careers need to learn to shut the f* up when you’re around people with jobs… Don’t let your happiness make somebody sad… If you got a job, I hope you get a career one day. Because when you got a career, there ain’t enough time in the day. There ain’t enough time… When you got a job, there’s too much time.

      1. Mansoor H. Khan

        skippy said,

        “Skippy… I know, I know… Etymological argument about the later… Still… It just fits soooo bloooody well[!!!!!!] What a powerful mythos…. suffering equals success!
        Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/links-82612.html#IvqQ1JDhVheGxQVs.99

        But one should never ask the lord for suffering. Let the lord decide what test is appropriate for you and always ask him to give you what is good for you. of course you can make suggestions (ask for money, peace, love, fame etc.).

        mansoor h. khan

        1. skippy

          I did not say any thing about – ASKING – when its a game between two unreal antagonists, which then devolves…

          Anselm’s Apologetic

          in reply to Gaunilon’s answer In Behalf of the Fool

          Another of your objections is that any unreal beings, or beings whose existence is uncertain, can be understood and be in the understanding in the same way with that being which I discussed. I am surprised that you should have conceived this objection, for I was attempting to prove what was still uncertain, and contented myself at first with showing that this being is understood in any way, and is in the understanding. It was my intention to consider, on these grounds, whether this being is in the understanding alone, like an unreal object, or whether it also exists in fact, as a real being. For if unreal objects, or objects whose existence is uncertain, in this way are understood and are in the understanding, because, when they are spoken of, the hearer understands what the speaker means, there is no reason why that being of which I spoke should not be understood and be in the understanding.

          How, moreover, can these two statements of yours be reconciled: (1) the assertion that if a man should speak of any unreal objects, whatever they might be, you would understand, and (2) the assertion that on hearing of that being which does exist, and not in that way in which even unreal objects are held in concept, you would not say that you conceive of it or have it in concept; since, as you say, you cannot conceive of it in any other way than by understanding it, that is, by comprehending in your knowledge its real existence?

          How, I ask, can these two things be reconciled: that unreal objects are understood, and that understanding an object is comprehending in knowledge its real existence? The contradiction does not concern me: do you see to it. But if unreal objects are also in some sort understood, and your definition is applicable, not to every understanding, but to a certain sort of understanding, I ought not to be blamed for saying that a being than which a greater cannot be conceived is understood and is in the understanding, even before I reached the certain conclusion that this being exists in reality.

          Skippy… TOO… Funny… The gang rides in… in a cloud of dust thingy…. BTW asked beardo to pass this on, but, did not know if he had… Unreal… Dancing…

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXO-jKksQkM&feature=related

      2. F. Beard

        What a powerful mythos…. suffering equals success! skippy

        Actually, it is the patient endurance of suffering that is a virtue:

        We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11

        What if life is a form of boot camp in addition to being a test?

          1. F. Beard

            Life can be a challenge at times but that’s better than endless boredom.

            I was once plagued by a couple of bullies till I stood up to the worse of them. Then no more problems with bullies for a long time. I was once mugged by two thugs. I fought back and got beat up but I knew I was no coward from then on.

            God is not a sadist but He will correct His children it seems.

          2. different clue

            Global warming is God’s correction for the error of burning coal, gas, and oil while failing to take all the excess CO2 thereby generated right back down out of the atmosphere.

          3. F. Beard

            Well, with thorium reactors we could:

            1) Avoid burning fossil fuels for electricity.

            2) Create carbon-neutral liquid (portable) fuels by pulling the carbon from the air.

  3. Tim Mason

    On Hollande, Alain Badiou : http://videos.tf1.fr/infos/demain-a-la-une/alain-badiou-hollande-nous-fera-cadeau-d-un-capitalisme-fleuri-7343700.html (in French)

    Badiou, who emerged from his philosopher’s den with a blast against Sarkozy five years ago, here opines that Hollande will be little different. The Left, he says, is just that section of the Right that is called into action whenever the more classic right can’t get its shoes on the right way round. Certainly, so far Hollande has done little to challenge that stance: his attitude towards Greece, austerity, and expulsion of Roms remain close to those of his predecessor. He has some window-dressing, such as Taubira at the Justice ministry, but she’s there more to draw fire from the hard right than to actually do anything.

  4. craazyman

    No deathbed confession from Mr. Armstrong about the Stanley Kubrick affair. :)

    I wonder what that means?

    I bet he actually came to believe he walked on the moon. I know I do. I guess the movies will do that to you sometimes. They work into your mind and change the way you see things. Sometimes, they become your reality, and that makes reality only formless raw material made real when transformed by art. Whoa! It’s only 8:20 and a Sunday. Too early for deepie thawts.

    1. David Lentini

      The “Kubrick Affiar” refers to the accusations that the moon landings were a hoax, and that Stanley Kubrick was hired by NASA to direct the faked walks on the moon. (You can find more details on Wikipedia.)

      I, for one, believe the landings were real.

      1. craazymam

        Maybe it started out as a hoax but got so complicated they decided just to go, because it was easier.

        This would explain Mr. Kubrik’s depression, which the hoax advocates cite as evidence.

        Although I am suspicious of Mr. Armstrong’s description of the earth as “a pea” that he covered with his thumb while standing on the moon. I think it would be bigger than that, since the moon is half your thumb (check it out! it is!) if you’re on the earth. And the distance from the earth to the moon is the same as the distance from the moon to the earth. I think that’s a law of physics or something. I’m pretty sure it’s true.

        Of course, maybe he held his thumb close to his head. That’s another theory. I guess we’ll never know the truth at this point.

        1. weirdnoise

          Given that he had a quite heavy glove on, it seems likely that he could have covered the Earth, which would be a bit less than four times the diameter of the moon, with his engloved thumb.

    2. Bill the Psychologist

      craazyman, from reading your posts here it appears you are sorely tormented by “deepie thoughts” all the time.

      Take my advice, go get a Happy Meal, supersize it, then watch a Friends marathon (there’s always one on somewhere).

      If that doesn’t work, do it over and over, and pretty soon……you’ll be like the rest of us 99%.

      1. Accrued Disinterest

        One small Happy Meal for craazyman, one giant super-sized case of indigestion for mankind.

  5. YankeeFrank

    The public health community can wring its hands over people avoiding immunizations, but they only have themselves to blame. By ridiculing and denying all of the anecdotal evidence, and relying on industry-funded studies to “prove” vaccines are safe, they leave people on their own to make decisions for their children’s safety. And, on top of that, by drastically and constantly increasing the number of vaccines scheduled for children, they open themselves up to other accusations of corruption. You can fool and ignore the people for only so long before unintended consequences arise.

    1. AllanW

      Are you for real? The loss of herd immunity for deadly diseases is the public health community’s fault? Not the fault of ignorant, gullible people who fail to understand the difference between data and infotainment anecdotes? Who decide such an important facet of their lives and their childrens such as the ability to resist deadly diseases on an emotional whim in the face of overwhelming evidence contrary to their decision?

      Do some reading on the trends in measles outbreaks in LA and Florida. Do some reading on the deaths from childhood diseases that ranks the US now alongside Third World countries. Please do this rather than make Jenny McCarthy richer. Please.

      1. patricia

        Yes, we have ignorant gullible people, but why? Yankee has a partial point–call it the unintended consequences of the failure by leaders of broad society to honor transparency, respect fact, and insist on honest research.

        Medical science has been co-opted, not everywhere but many places, by big business. Medical practice (many places, not everywhere) has imbibed the idea that the anecdotal (even when in stacks) has no relevance for reality. This is an echo of the PTB’s contempt for everyman.

        The result is that the general public has little way to accurately evaluate the declarations of either the fanatics or the establishment. Throw in a big dollop of fear and this is what happens. Ack!

        1. PQS

          Oh, come on. How hard is it to google “CDC” to get some unbiased information. I just did. Front page: immunizations and vaccines, plus a link to another page with exhaustive information.

          I have no sympathy for well educated people who go to Huffington Post for their scientific knowledge. Although I am concerned about herd immunity and I am very sorry their children will suffer. And it is typically the well educated who “think they know better”. Yet they perpetuate dangerous ignorance. (I know, there is a woman I work with who hasn’t vaccinated her kids. I just hope they dont’ spend any time at the airport or go anywhere more exotic than another state.)

          Yes, the Medical Industrial Complex has lied over and over. But there is little money involved in vaccines – most of them cost pennies to administer. I find it the depths of silliness to think that somehow vaccines are a major problem, or some kind of vehicle of enrichment for the MIC and/or the “gubmint.”

          As for “anecdotal evidence”, this has been debunked time and time again, all over the world by many different organizations. To think otherwise is just willful igorance, not far from the flouride deniers or the Climate Change Hoax believers.

          1. patricia

            I do not defend people who are not vaccinating their kids against highly communicable diseases. I was defending Yankee Frank’s contention that we are dealing with unintended consequences and adding that it’s caused by a zeitgeist of corruption in leadership.

            A person has to believe the CDC has, for the most part, complete and unbiased information.

            My daughter contracted Lyme disease but although she went to doctor immediately afterwards, it wasn’t until 4 doctors later (all of whom said she couldn’t have lyme but must have an auto-immune disease) that she was properly diagnosed and went on heavy antibiotics for a year before her immune system started to recover. In between, she found a vaccination for Lyme that had been taken off the market because it hadn’t been tested long enough to discover some bad consequences (via a few stacks of anecdotes which are sometimes pertinent data.) But the nation’s lyme expert (and buddies) said it was taken off the market because there weren’t enough people who wanted it. Yet Lyme disease is increasing.

            Because of her experiences, my daughter refused HPV vaccinations. So you see how it goes. This scenario is multiplied across society, for various reasons, in nearly every field. There’s a deep climate of distrust. Most people aren’t equipped to sort through it and no one can sort through all of it. The unintended consequences are that everything becomes questionable and then people make weird decisions based on who they decide to trust. Because they must trust someone.

            I wouldn’t assume that because vaccinations are cheap, there is no money in them. The gov’t buys millions of vaccines from profit-seeking private companies–which may or may not be fine, I have no idea, but with gov’t functioning as it does these days, it’s not a given.

            Finally, are there only two choices here: CDC or HuffPo’s pseudo-CAM positive-psychology schlock?

          2. LucyLulu

            Patricia,
            I’m sorry about your daughter. You hear stories about difficulties getting a correct diagnosis like hers a lot with Lyme’s disease, and being sick for a long time. It’s a disease that hasn’t been widely accepted by the medical community, like chronic fatigue syndrome, probably in large part because it isn’t well understood or recognized. Good for you, you didn’t quit until you got answers. Sometimes doctors are wrong. They’re not God (shhh…. don’t tell them, they have sensitive egos).

            The CDC collects anecdote reports for all medications and treatments believe it or not, and look for trends, as well as forms reporting side effects. It sounds like it paid off with the Lyme vaccine. Nah, you’re right, I wouldn’t put it past the CDC to be involved in a large cover-up for the sake of “national security”. However IME they’ve been a reliable source of info (so far). Most people don’t realize the valuable work they do. Will they be cut, too, or privatized like the drug companies? I absolutely do not trust them. They won’t miss a beat as they screw American consumers in search of that extra dollar.

            Pre-market testing is done under the control of the drug companies, and under tightly controlled conditions, e.g. there may be no co-morbid conditions or other medications being taken. That’s a reason not to jump at new releases. It can be compared to the latest release of Windows. They can be buggy. Post-marketing the evidence is gathered by independent practitioners under real world conditions and turns up any previously undisclosed problems, usually within the first couple years.

        2. LucyLulu

          I understand the reasons for the skepticism. But it isn’t that hard to google and look at the evidence and where its coming from and come to the sensible conclusion. What concerns me is less the children who choose not to get vaccinated. Should they contract most of these diseases, most are healthy and will recover without incident. What concerns me is the risk they pose to those children who are immunocompromised who CAN’T receive the vaccinations. The consequences of contracting one of these illnesses is far more dire for them.

          Choosing not to vaccinate your child may be unnecessarily risking a death sentence for somebody else’s child. It is further evidence of how insular our thinking and behavior has become.

          1. Goin' South

            Not really.

            The vaccines are not designed to do the least harm in the first place. The attitude is, “Sure, some will become quite ill, and some will die, but the society will benefit as a whole.”

            If this level of harm were an absolute necessity, that might be one thing, but people suspect that it’s the profit motive and pure incompetence and laziness that allow vaccines to do so much harm.

            There is a fundamental conflict between the social good and the profit motive.

          2. F. Beard

            There’s no excuse for mercury in vaccines, especially in the West where refrigeration is widely available.

          3. AllanW

            ‘LL; Choosing not to vaccinate your child may be unnecessarily risking a death sentence for somebody else’s child. It is further evidence of how insular our thinking and behavior has become.’

            There you go LucyLulu, it’s not evidence of sociopathy by the ignorant and uncaring, our friends below are quite sure that the avoidable deaths happening now and those still to come are entirely justified because someone somewhere suspects that laziness, incompetence, the profit motive and mercury are involved somewhere within the medical community.

            So that’s all right then …

          4. LucyLulu

            Goin’ South,
            I don’t know which vaccines you’re referring to. There are a couple that are relatively new. Members of the healthcare community understand having concerns about them and choosing to pass on them at least temporarily. Sometimes problems first appear after market (or are swept under the rug during r&d). OTOH, vaccines like DPT and polio have been used for generations and the risks and benefits are well-known and widely documented. We have parents who are refusing all vaccinations, as high as 40% refusal rates in some communities in Chicago, which has resulted in the re-emergence of outbreaks in measles and whooping cough we’ve been seeing. 90% immunization rates are required to prevent an “outbreak”. The risks of severe illness or death from measles or pertussis far exceeds the risk from either from vaccinations. And these are usually intelligent and well-educated parents. The bad science isn’t always from the drug companies.

            I’ll probably now be accused of being an apologist for bigPharma. Hardly. But in this case, the case for vaccination is sound. You won’t find a specialty in medicine that cares more about their patients than pediatricians, works harder for their money (imagine having to take their calls), and less likely to give a shit about the business end (and yeah, I’m generalizing). Trust me, they’d never recommend vaccines if they thought they were harmful. I’ve yet to meet or hear of a pediatrician who advised against vaccination.

            I always advocate people not place blind trust in their medical care and be well-informed patients. Ask questions. Do research. Sometimes the treatment being prescribed won’t be in your interest. I’ve refused treatments. I’ve refused surgery twice, once was allegedly “emergency surgery” with better outcomes than had I consented. (I’m the first to say that surgeons make money by doing surgery, not on office visits, and it may not be conscious, but you bet it influences quite a few, though not all, otherwise good surgeons.) But if you decide on a course of action that flies directly in the face of long-standing mainstream practice, I’d recommend a high confidence level in the basis of the decision, higher than if pursuing a more standard approach.

          5. LucyLulu

            Beard,
            I don’t profess to know all the technicalities about mercury vs. refrigeration and associated reasons.

            I do know that mercury has been removed from all vaccines for children under 6 with the exception of hem. influenza. That would be diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. I might have forgotten something. IIRC, after 6, children aren’t required to get more vaccines until 5th grade, then junior high, for hepatitis B and tetanus booster, neither of which are so highly communicable (but have high fatality rates). So, it sounds as if mercury can be avoided the first six years except for possibly the HiB. Isn’t mercury allegedly the culprit in the autism link? But even some flu vaccines (seasonals) are available mercury-free in limited quantities to certain high-risk populations, e.g. young children, pregnant women, etc. Perhaps they can be requested and ordered? Even if mercury isn’t causing the autism and the quantities are small, being concerned about introducing toxic metals is understandable.

    2. They didn't leave me a choice

      We should totally forbid all medical professionals from treating diseases that have an existing vaccination while simultaneously intentionally spreading those diseases to the public. That would dramatically cut down on the people who refuse to take those vaccinations, thus increasing herd immunity, while at the same time increasing average intelligence and awareness rates of the public AND removing excess population. Three birds with one stone, that’s efficiency for you!

  6. Ned Ludd

    According to the Guardian, Britain has withdrawn its threat to enter Ecuador’s embassy to arrest Julian Assange. Britain also denies the letter was a threat. Apparently, they were just making idle observations about how they could enter Ecuador’s embassy. “That’s a nice embassy you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to its diplomatic status.”

  7. Ep3

    Re: Obama interview
    “mr. President, what did you think of the new batman movie?”
    “well, It really made me realize that governor Romney wants to return to policies that we tried and got us in this mess, like tax cuts for the wealthy, vouchers for Medicare, removing regulations that, even tho they haven’t been implemented, will somehow prevent another crash.”

  8. Channeling Hunter Just For You

    The biggest question looming in my mind before I hit Tampa was: what drugs do I need to take to get through this thing?

    I hit the accelerator on the minivan, seeking clarity of thought through the simple provision of the outright fucking fear of other drivers on the road, near collisions getting me in the mood for what has been, what is happening, and what is yet to come.

    Can’t do a convertible this time, I’m not fat enough, bald enough, and lets face it, white enough to carry off passing as your average out-of-town delegate to this farce of a convention. If they could have moved it forward on the calendar, they would have, but it would mean losing too many deposits. The rich ARE different, they don’t want to lose a dime. Yet the pressure is on, to lock Romney, the distilled version of a 1950s America that never existed, in as the candidate before some revelation could make the Party jump ship. It’s not a real threat, but it keeps Mitt in line. The truth is they can’t find Howdy Doody, and the Kocktopus hasn’t practiced up sufficiently to operate the Ryan doll, even with all those sucker-studded arms.

    Minivans are perfect cover for me to blow into town. I’ve fit forty soccer moms in this one before, laying them six ways from Sunday before cutting them loose to pick up Tommy or Bobby or some other example of why America isn’t just going to Hell in a hand basket, it’s already snapping shots on its smartphone and posting updates to Fakebook with the rest of the sheeple.

    Blending in may mean a smarter “controlled substance” strategy than I have to use for the Dems. That Convention is a piece of cake, drug-wise. Pure, uncut cocaine. Maybe if I’m cranked up enough and paranoid enough, I’ll be contagious to the delegates and they’ll get a fucking clue. Don’t get your hopes up, and besides, I have to deal with this catastrophuck first.

    Anything down is just out. As much as alcohol and grass could take the edge off this motherfucker, it would put me to sleep, and then how would I keep YOU up to date? It’s a shame, since they’ve arrested every AA member and deported them to NOLA, let them make their own way home, the quitters. Nothing will get in the way of an open bar, at least until after the voting is done. Sure, they’ll put up a polite fiction, in mock deference to their leader by default. Cough syrup, bottles in paper bags, it will be like a high school party until you get behind a closed door, searched to make sure you don’t have a camera or smart phone. Try as I might, I couldn’t fit one into the only place I figured they may not search. May not.

    Cocaine is going to get a mixed reception at this Convention. Sure, it’s voting your own interests and all that. Cartels launder through hedge funds, banks, and real estate, so they have a lot riding on this election. Keep it illegal, ramp up the drug war, but oh, the money must flow. Who’s left to file a Suspicious Activity Report when the banker that should be writing it up it got his ass bailed out by the black economy? And mind you, not THAT ‘black.’ But cocaine would just make these egotistical pricks even more insufferable, so the mutual agreement was that nobody was going to supply the place. It’s the vote again, and drop a load of coke in before that goes down and you’ll see too much gunplay on the floor.

    Staying awake is a good idea, painful as it might be. Throw a rock and you hit a Walmart, and I’ve got four “one pot meth” recipes memorized that could keep me and the Fox News submissive MILFs on the ceiling for the duration. Except every other delegate will be stocking up at Walmart too, so it’s going to be a crunch. Hospitality suites packed with bulk chips, vegetable oil, and stacks of remainder-binned DVDs of ATLAS SHRUGGED are what will constitute excitement here. Once you got enough of sweaty fly-over-State residents going, though, nobody would notice the fumes of my cooking the meth.

    Tweaking may not be smart, though.

    Wait!

    This is Tampa we’re talking. Toad. I’m a fucking genius. There has to be bufo somewhere around there, maybe as an invasive species from some “screw the planet, what did it ever do for me?” special interest. Tripping balls is going to be the only way to make it through. Nobody will be able to tell the difference between me and these “vote against your own interests” psych cases if we’re ALL circling pluto. Acid isn’t the right answer, that’s just me going to talk to God, but these fuckers think they’re doing that on a regular basis.

    Speeding toward Tampa with the rest of the lemmings while anyone with a lick of sanity is trying to head the other way. There’s no rush, they’ve pushed back the start of the Convention a day. Claiming it’s the storm, but I know the truth, it’s me they’re expecting…

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Tripping balls is going to be the only way to make it through.’

      You can say that again. Lucy in da sky with diamonds morphs the scene into something more like this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

      By the way, now we know who is the sinister Maximum Leader yammering on about his ‘perfect garden of ideology’ on the giant screen — it’s Tim Crook!

      They’s maggots in dat apple …

  9. Working Class Nero

    Nice article about men. It’s basically a reworking of Valerie Solanas’ wet dream. It reveals a lot about the Bourgeois Leftist tendency to split the world into victims and oppressors and to then apply two very different sets of rules in discussing these groups. Because if someone wrote the same article about say the uselessness of women, blacks, homosexuals, Muslims, poor people, etc., there would be an outcry. But it’s all cool as long as your article attacks “oppressor” groups like men, whites, Christians, heterosexuals, etc. And to make it that much more kosher, they even found a man to write this article so, kind of like how blacks–but no one else–get to call themselves niggaz; men get to dance around concept of the mass extermination of their own gender.

    But let’s look at the contents of the article since I believe it is very important to critique any group; victim or oppressor or anything in between. The basic criteria for determmining a person’s usefulness is based on their contribution to conceiving children. In that sense the article is correct, with artificial insemination men are technically no longer necessary. But if we take this argument even further it seems most homosexual men are of even less value than straight men since they typically have even less interest in conceaving a child. OK, so I guess we should discuss sending the pillow munchers to the gas chamber first! But as I understand Bourgeois Leftist doctrine, homosexuals are currently declared victims and heterosexuals are the oppressors, so there may be some dissension within the Bourgeois Leftist camp over using the criteria of reproductive potential to decide usefulness.

    And just look how quickly he skips over the single parenting problem! It is clear that children from single parent households, controlling for social class of course, underperform children from two parent households. Children from single parents account for 72% of teenage murderers, 60% percent of people who commit rape crimes and are eleven times more likely to exhibit violent behavior. But Bourgeois Leftist doctrine insists, against all evidence to the contrary, that the single parent lifestyle choice produces the same results as the traditional two parent approach.

    But where is technology headed? If technically men are now reproductively unnecessary, how much longer until men create the technology to turn the tables and make women redundant as well. There is already much speculation about robots replacing sex with real women, especially considering how many women are obese and therefore sexually worthless to most men. Cloning cannot be that much further away. But the ultimate tool that could allow a potential final solution to the female problem would indeed be the artificial uterus. Once that threshold is crossed some men might start asking the question he of whether “mankind” really needs women?

    But would Bourgeois Leftists approve of such a discussion?

    1. DANNYBOY

      hat page is that on? I’ve been searching since 6 this morning, and this is a fat paper.

      Wonder if they could just remove the news part, would make it easier to find the men who needs them part?

      Or get rid of that ridiculous editorial No Crime, No Punishment. Don’t get me started on that!

      1. DANNYBOY

        Doubly glad that I bought and subsequently destroyed all copies in existence (See Comment #1 above). It’s like being Yves’ PR person.

        Yves?

        1. Susan the other

          Toss an interesting bone to organize some opinion. Notice that nobody said, yea, men are totally useless. And the “men are entertaining” comment comes from true appreciation. Women love clever, funny, even obsessive men. Story from the early middle ages (history of the HR empire) about a town being besieged and it finally gave up. The victors told the women they had to get out and they could only take their prize possessions with them. They all put their men on their backs and trotted out the gate. I’m going to find this old book so you can all enjoy it.

      2. patricia

        Yes, Jesse, but that’s the point. It hurt your feelings even though tongue-in-cheek. Women have to swallow similar declarations of invalidation throughout their lives, and more frequently recently. We are told not to be so sensitive as to get hurt by it. That we are “so” sensitive is considered a sign of feminine weakness or conversely, our strident feminism.

        Of course that post’s not correct. How could it be? (That’s the clue it is essentially a joke.) But it nicely clarifies females’ central role in humanity, and not just because they have rentable wombs. Which is a very good point to make at this time in our culture.

        It is likely not written on your behalf so much as Dannyboy’s, if his comments on the Abercrombie&Fitch post are any indication of his genuine opinions.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Did you check the byline? And I didn’t get the memo on not publishing “hurtful” posts. Maybe I should have put “trigger alert for guys” after the link?

        1. Jesse

          Whenever my favorite bloggers go on vacation, they typically have guests come in to write for them. Of course, any subsequent criticism toward those articles (in the comments section, twitter, etc) are always directed at the original blogger, and I always think to myself, “man, can’t those people even read??”

          Oops.

      4. LucyLulu

        Whether women NEED men or not, we want them around, Jesse. We may complain about socks left on the floor or not listening but we really do love you all and would miss your company. I don’t know any women who’d want to live in a world without men. Well, there may be a few men we could live without…..

          1. DANNYBOY

            I’m hearing a lot of great rock music with lyrics about Lucy right now.

            Is that just me?

            Lucy, let your hair down…

    2. JTFaraday

      Well, but I thought you liked reductive biologistic explanations, as your comment on August 12 indicates.

      And, as far as the value of men is concerned, I must note that below you refer to some portion of them as “bare sticks” yourself. Personally, I find this bizarre expression of yours far more offensive than anything in the Times comment piece.

      “Working Class Nero says:
      August 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

      In idealizing Hickman, Rand was just articulating what most women in their hindbrains feel: an intense and irrational attraction to psychopathic men. Often socialization trains their more logical forebrains to resist this inborn desire for dangerous, selfish, violent men — but not always. Popular media is often used as an outlet for this desire for psychopathic alpha males. Rand was just rebelling from her socialization and exposing her true female self.

      There are innumerable examples of serial killers who are flooded with female attention once they are in prison. Ted Bundy even managed to impregnate one of his female admirers. One startling example was when Rosalie Martinez left her prominent lawyer husband and married her client, mass murderer Jesse Bolin, a death row inmate. She left behind her four daughters with her former husband.

      Only people unfamiliar with human nature and female preference for psychopaths are surprised by the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey” or the Twilight series. Hervey Cleckley who wrote the classic study on psychopaths, “The Mask of Sanity” said that one recurring characteristic of the psychopaths he studied was that women found them absolutely irresistible. He was concerned for the future since he saw that psychopaths had a huge potential demographic advantage in their ability to easily obtain female reproductive opportunities at a higher rate than non-psychopathic men were able to get.

      There are various theories as to why women have this desire for violent, non-conformist men. Human societies have been historically much more violent than our current situation. Back in the day when slave raiders could arrive at any moment to sweep a family away it probably made good evolutionary sense to have a very violent father and his resulting violent sons to fight off these raids. The key from the woman’s point of view was to direct her psychopath’s violence outwardly towards others.

      So there is nothing the least bit surprising that Ayn Rand would be profoundly impacted by a psychopathic murderer. The only surprising thing would be if any women found a steady Freddy, good family provider but socially inept beta male to be ideal. In fact the whole unspoken aim of feminism is to free women from the oppression of beta males.

      Typical non-Western societies have an inherently unstable “big-man” social structure. A few alpha big men dominate access to both resources and females. In such a society a women is better off with 1/10th of a big man (in other words to share him with nine other women) that to have all of a desperately poor “little man”. Historically, only 40% of men reproduced compared to 80% of women. This creates a “Bare Sticks” problem where disposed men with no chance of ever raising a family and therefore contributing to society, decide to rebel and become bandits and parasites on society.

      Western society developed a much more egalitarian social structure through such ideas as democracy, though the ideas (but often not the deeds) of Christianity, but also by systemically limiting female economic opportunities. With Christianity limiting the big man effect; women were forced to go lower and lower down the male status structure to find mates. This sucked for women but society gained as more and more men were drawn into becoming productive, child-rearing, members of society. A women stuck with a low status beta male would have to fall back on fantasy and later romance literature to fill her craving for alpha males.

      With the rise of feminism and the ability of women to achieve their own economic success; combined with the very un-Randian phenomenon of government taking over the role of provider male to single poor mothers; women have pretty much freed themselves from beta males and they are now all free to pursue those elusive few psychopathic alpha males. Certainly in the bottom quintile women fight for the thugiest thugs to father their children in the brief time these thugs are out of prison. Since the government pays all the resulting bills, there is absolutely no reason for poor women to settle for a hard working beta male. In the working classes, there is a systemic culling of beta males though the process of globalization off-shoring jobs and in-shoring cheap third world immigrants to undercut working class wages. This is combined with a boom over the past twenty years in female health care and public sector work mean there is very little a women needs from a working class man anymore. These same processes are also starting to impact the middle class as well. Beta males still have a place in upper middle class society for the time being. The rich have been transforming themselves from beta male “bon père de famille” (examples of which would be Rockefeller Republican types who built California’s public university system) to psychopathic Wall Street vampires.

      So while it makes sense for the rich to push Rand, we are also seeing with the rising popularity of Rand among the lower social classes (middle and working class). To me this is part of the “Bare Sticks” process where disgruntled working and middle class men are baling on being socially productive members of society and are instead turning selfish. There has been a thirty year war on the good solid beta male provider and they are now seeing there is no future in that role. The way they see it is that society rejected them and now they will stop trying to build and concentrate instead on destroying, as Bare Sticks have always done.

      Women need a stable, safe and relatively egalitarian society to thrive economically. But does the deep-seeded female fascination of psychopathic alpha males combined with their overt loathing of beta males represent the seeds of a stable society’s destruction? Feminism needs to develop some sort of Bare Stick /Beta Male theory and find ways a feminist society can engage beta males into being productive and useful citizens and to avoid them becoming Bare Sticks.”

      More choice comments about both sexes to follow:

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/mark-ames-paul-ryans-guru-ayn-rand-worshipped-a-serial-killer-who-kidnapped-and-dismembered-little-girls.html#comment-785653

      1. Working Class Nero

        Read my comment carefully, I do like reductive biologistic [sic] explanations. I was only saying what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

        On “my” Bare Sticks term, really Google is your friend here. The term is actually pretty well known; I’m surprised you never heard it before. It comes from Chinese term guang gun which could also be translated as “bare branches” and it obviously refers to unmarried men. Just last year, on 11/11/11 (get it, six “bare sticks” in a row) Chinese university students organized one of the largest guanggun jie “Bare Sticks Day” celebrations ever to highlight the plight of unmarried men in China.

        It is a concept used to study civilizations. I used it in my previous comment to contrast a stable Western-type society where reproductive opportunities used to be well distributed to most men with a less stable Eastern society where reproductive opportunities are concentrated in fewer hands, creating bands of bare sticks roaming the countryside. It is not at all a hateful term about men, it is cold hard reality.

        Below is a quote from an Amazon review of a book about Bare Sticks: ( I don’t want to provide the link since I will end up in moderation, just copy the text and pop it into Google if you are interested in the source):

        By 2020, these authors predict there will be 40 million “bare sticks” for China alone! These are not your Western type bachelors. Indeed, “single men in the West are not surplus males; they can and often do form …..attachments to women and produce children in that context.” These “bare sticks” don’t have that chance; often they come from the lowest socio-economic class, are un- or under-employed, live a nomadic lifestyle with few ties to the communities in which they are working, generally living and socializing with other “bare sticks”‘. Thus, their behavior “follows a broadly predictable pattern”, prone to seek satisfaction through “vice and violence”.

        In China, these “bare sticks” cause “the overwhelming percentage of violent crime”. One scholar has shown that “an unmarried man between 24 and 35 is about 3 times as likely to murder another male as is a married man of the same age.” Also to rob, rape and, yes, join others in proving to his kind his manliness! The worst among them is to them the best! These men have “nothing to lose but their reputations for violence”. They are juicy pluckings for Osama Bin Ladin types. Marriage tames testosterone which the authors feel may explain low levels of criminality among married men.

        1. JTFaraday

          Well, but according to you women– in their evolutionary “hindbrains” if not their forebrains– really do want psychopathic males:

          “Rand was just articulating what most women in their hindbrains feel: an intense and irrational attraction to psychopathic men. Often socialization trains their more logical forebrains to resist this inborn desire for dangerous, selfish, violent men — but not always. Popular media is often used as an outlet for this desire for psychopathic alpha males. Rand was just rebelling from her socialization and exposing her true female self.”

          In your formulation, your “bare sticks” are just there giving your evolved female hindbrain the raping and pillaging it secretly wants.

          The only question you haven’t addressed is whether the raping this hindbrain secretly wants is a “legitimate” rape or not.

          1. Working Class Nero

            You’re getting things all confused. Look at what I write two paragraphs down:

            “There are various theories as to why women have this desire for violent, non-conformist men. Human societies have been historically much more violent than our current situation. Back in the day when slave raiders could arrive at any moment to sweep a family away it probably made good evolutionary sense to have a very violent father and his resulting violent sons to fight off these raids. The key from the woman’s point of view was to direct her psychopath’s violence outwardly towards others.”

            Women wanted big-man alpha male psychopaths to PROTECT them from small time beta losers who were out to rape and kill them if they got the chance. That is why many women would enter concubine-type relationship with a wealthy high status big man. They way the West solved this problem was to limit the power of Alpha males in order to all allow most males the chance to mate.

            You’re trying way too hard to hammer your square ideological partisan pegs into the round holes of my comment.

      2. DANNYBOY

        Thank you all for your insightful comments on Men Can’t Live With Em, Can’t Live Without Em.

        As is always the case, I expect that your insightful comments exceed the pleasure I’d receive from actually reading the damned thing, so, also thanks for saving me so much time.

      3. cheale

        I think saying typical non-western societies have big-man social structure is not borne out by any kind of anthropological research. There are all kinds of social structures out there, and Christianity appears to be one of the factors behind big-man social structures – contradicting your assertions. I also disagree strongly with your assertion that alpha males control access to females. This only appears to be the case in extreme dictatorships and extreme feudal civilizations. In fact it could be argued it is far better to be a beta-male, since the alpha males were the obvious target of any invading force (as were their families and children), whereas the beta males, posing less of a threat to the invader could probably switch sides. I have to say I think your whole comment is completely unsound and illogical.

  10. Ep3

    Re: Detroit museum tax raise

    Yves, I don’t live in Detroit. But I know from my area of Michigan that property tax assessments are the only options local communities have for raising revenues. But that doesn’t mean the fight is easy. A similar tax increase was proposed for the city of Lansing ($15 increase across all homeowners) and it was shot down due to scare campaigns by unknown groups (I can’t remember what it was for, but I do know it was for more than a museum).
    To give some background. In 1994, republican governor John engler passed education funding changes (it was called property tax cuts). Before, local districts made decisions on funding, where rates could swing wildly. And budgets were based on those revenues. And property taxes were the primary funding mechanism for schools (don’t forget the lottery, which could fund about 8 days of school a year). So property taxes were cut significantly (for some areas more than others. Think wealthy communities) and the sales tax was raised 2 cents to shift the funding. Then, to “equalize” schools, funding would be based upon enrollment, with every school getting $9500ish (I can’t remember the figure) per year per student. So all funds went to the state and then redistributed to each school. And then, they instated schools of choice, where families could take their funds to whatever school they wanted to goto, regardless of where they lived. So guess what, some schools started suffering significant funding issues and overcrowding. All the while, property tax owners complain that their taxes go to Detroit (hint, rascism, hint) instead of funding the local school.
    So what happens when school funding becomes based upon something not as stable as property taxes? Yeah, a little 10 year recession (actually Michigan has been suffering for 40 years, with a few spillover boom years in the 90s) causes sales taxes to collapse and schools (and cities) have financial crisis. We could also mention the extreme building that schools have done (because once property taxes were cut, that gave wiggle room with the schools to tack on a bond for a new building). But come on yves, that’s not the fault of the property tax cut. It’s those evil teacher unions. So our Clinton/Obama suck up democrat governor jennifer granholm passes an emergency manager law to go fire all those overpaid teachers and administrators. Of course, none of these managers has gone into the west side of the state and taken over because they are free from union oppression and other lazy freeloaders.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Somehow a link on how people are willing to raise taxes to pay for a public good gets converted into a long screed against taxes and unions.

      Have you considered getting that knee seen to?

    2. patricia

      Ep3: Detroit Museum tax raise was voted by three counties, of which Detroit City itself is only part of one. Property taxes in the city are already high–I pay 3500 for a home bought for 40.

      Extra school millages are voted by the various communities in each county, for their own school systems. Most every community has them. Any complaints about the base rate are simply illegitimate.

      That enough city people voted for the DIA tax is a rare sensibility, considering the level of poverty and empty fields. We worry that the taxes not get simply schlepped into the vast abyss. We also are annoyed that the director still receives 500,000 although we recognize that it’s less than many other museum directors receive.

      1. Jim

        So, you’re paying 8.8% property tax rate!!!

        That’s wrong on so many levels, and, if it’s as high in other cities/towns in MI, helps explain the closeness of the presidential race in Michigan.

        1. patricia

          No, it wasn’t nearly as high when I lived in another of the counties that voted yes for the Art Museum millage. I pay this much because it’s Detroit City and there are few people with enough money to buy a home. By far the majority of the area’s poor are ensconced inside these boundaries and the other parts of the metropolitan area ignore them altogether except to heap scorn. It’s rather disgusting.

          My advantage is that I can own a gorgeous home in a National Historic Area with others who feel the same way I do about the situation. And therefore feel a little useful even though I’m disabled.

          Per presidential thingie, beside the wealthier suburbs in the metro area, there’s a large noisy contingent of conservatives on the west side of the state. And Obama has done less than nothing. And our governor with his emergency managers? Yah, well. Many people just don’t bother with it anymore.

  11. Yellowrose

    Men, Who Needs Em? neatly misses the elephant in the room: the ongoing patriarchy and genocide against women – worldwide. Thousands of women die each year due to the violence of patriarchy and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has calculated that 100 MILLION women are currently missing from the world’s population. That’s oppression and violence against women at an unheard of level.

    Patriarchy infects every area of our lives and causes economic terrorism against women (68cents on the dollar of earnings all things being equal) not to mention emotional, psychological and spiritual violence. This is the real problem – and too many men and women collude in maintaining patriarchy.

    Further not much has changed over the years. 50 years ago only a handful of women were in power in government, education or corporations. Today you can still count on one hand the number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The power and control unfairly remains with men.

    Like slavery – it takes a lot of ongoing violence to oppress more than half the population. Why not write about that?

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Greece must stay in the Ero-zone…

    Extra, extra. This just in. The Oracle of Delphi has spoken. If Greece stays in the Ero-Zone, a great nation will be destroyed.

    1. Jim

      The “small group of far sighted statesmen” in Brussels couldn’t care less about nation-states or democracy. Their sole motivation is a US of Europe, regardless of the collateral damage.

      Ironically, the “small group of far sighted statesmen” has ensured that the UK become the premier nation in the continent of Europe.

      Who could have guessed that having control over your currency would matter??!!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s hard to say which country the preistess had in mind when she said ‘a great nation.’

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Antidote.

    Cats are nice and I like cats.

    With ‘Mono no aware,’ it works with all things, even a little pebble.

    1. Susan the other

      Cat made me nervous. I know he is going to get his tail caught in the garage door chain.

    1. LucyLulu

      Legally, I confess to agreeing with the Court’s decision. By the same logic, you can’t scream profanities at your boss and then claim ‘freedom of speech’ when you are fired.

      On the basis of human decency and compassion though, where do you start? Why should that kid even been playing that season?

      “The subsequent legal challenge against Mr Bain’s decision perhaps highlights the seriousness with which Texans take cheerleading and high school sports, which can attract crowds in the tens of thousands.”

      Or the lack of seriousness the school and community apply to charges of ‘sexual assault’, the Texan author’s preferred term for what the victim has called ‘rape’ by the player and two of his friends. The lack of consequences and minimization bordering on condoning his behavior, its easy to picture a future Kobe Bryant in the making.

      The athlete claimed the sex was consensual. The cheerleader later claimed rape, ashamed of having sex with a black kid. His lawyer said Hillaire was “asking for it”. He plead down to simple assault. So first she is raped by Rakheem. Then raped by the courts when ordered to pay $75,000 for the school’s court costs to defend against charges. Akin isn’t a fluke…. only stupid enough to admit to his prejudices.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/15/cheerleader-rape-saga-still-roils-silsbee-texas-three-years-later.html

  14. JTFaraday

    re: GOP Delays Start of Convention WSJ. It’s an ill wind…

    So, given that this is the second R-Party convention in a row to be thrown off by hurricane and shortened by one day (keeping Hurricane Katrina ever in our minds) how long will it be before the R-base starts to figure out that God is Angry with them?

  15. Klassy!

    Tom Friedman today:
    This is the company of the future. Forget about “outsourcing.” In today’s hyperconnected world, there is no “in” and no “out.” There’s only “good, better and best,” and if you don’t assemble the best team you can from everywhere, your competitor will.
    Oh Lord, why can’t he be fired for plagiarizing himself? I swear this line in in every one of his (non Angry Arab) columns.
    Had to vent.

  16. Susan the other

    The Economist. So Mitt, What Do You Really Believe? The convention is the Mittster’s last chance to tell us. Mittster Bean.
    Angry Bear. Lid Blowing Off Romney’s Tax Secrecy. Good timing.
    Der Spiegel. Russia’s Arctic Roulette. The Russian tundra is so polluted the locals can’t drink the water. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me at all.
    McClatchy. Undercover Probes of Abuses. State law is making it a crime to go on the premises of slaughterhouses and grocery stores to document any desecration. So we need to change our industry. Because we have no control over it. We need to all become permaculture farmers. Asap.
    And Bloomberg. on desalination. One bright spot in a sea of misery and conflict. Reverse osmosis is now “trumping” investment in clean energy. Strange. You might think the two should go together. Maybe it’s a thorium reactor play. Don’t they use salt? And just curious – will this change the balance in the oceans? At least it sounded saner than the average plan.

  17. bmeisen

    How about a link to the other Armstrong. Lance appears to very much resemble our financial alchemists: He’s gotten mind-blowingly rich by lying and cheating, been caught at it, and looks likely to walk away with barely a scratch – to devote his life to his 5 super kids, his lovely lady and his noble non-profit (of course the remaining 15 waking hours a day he’ll use as he see fits). Sounds very familiar.

  18. Hugh

    The Reuters story on ethanol is an interesting study in one kind of propaganda technique. It looks at only one segment of an issue, current ethanol usage in gasoline and concludes that ethanol is here to stay. I suppose people wrote the same kinds of articles about lead and MTBE. Something is deemed indispensable to a market, until it’s not.

    Missing from this “analysis” are things like ethanol’s energy return on investment, the wasteful wearing out of our nation’s soils to produce it, and increased food prices due to its corn’s misallocation into ethanol production.

  19. Hugh

    Hollande and Merkel saying that Greece must stay in the eurozone sounds a lot like an abusive spouse demanding that the abused partner must stay in the marriage. The abuse won’t stop. In fact, it will get worse, but how minded of the abusers to defend the institution.

  20. Patriot

    I really like parts of the Hedges interview , because he accurately describes the mentality of the elite that is driving societal failure.

    What I don’t like ,his his emphasis on the deficit and “selling debt to China.” I really wish someone from the MMT camp would sit with Chris and break it down for him.

  21. dale pues

    In 1972 a friend in Miami wrote me a letter asking me to come down for an anti-war protest at the Republican Nat’l Conv. We camped in the park even though my friend lived in a comfortable house in the Grove. It was the scene, you see. Jane Fonda, Daniel Elsburg, Allen Ginsberg were all there stirring the pot. We circulated beneath the palms and flashed the peace sign at each other. The big day came to flank and follow the paper mache B-52 right down to the convention center. My friend and I were lazy to leave our tent so we brought up the rear. But, as we were rolling up our stuff into a ball, a CBS news van and four city buses pulled into the park. From the buses poured columns of grown men, mostly cubanos by their accents, dressed in hippy costumes and donning hilarious wigs. They also carried sticks and many wore lumpy nap sacks. No more than an hour into the protest and the police began shooting tear gas and the busloads of disguised protesters began to throw rocks and to beat on cars with their sticks. The real protesters ran away but the fake ones stayed to battle the police into the night while CBS filmed it all.

  22. fresno dan

    New state laws make undercover probes of farm operations risky McClatchy

    I can’t help but notice the constant and ever increasing surveillance of the average citizen (if you didn’t do anything you have nothing to hide) with the converse right of privacy for companies and the police (not videotaping police on public streets doing a public job).
    Funny how that works…

  23. Max424

    Oh my God! This just in: The Fed is neo-feudalist institution that steals money from debt serfs (aka US citizens), then redistributes this stolen cash to international financial crime syndicates!

    The nerve of those behemothic parasites! Giggle. Charles Hugh Smith is pretty useful:

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogaug12/Fed-wealth-transfer-machine8-12.html

    There is a joining of fine minds going on out there in the ethos-sphere, and I credit this blog, for it alone sits at the center of the ethos wheel (everybody who’s worth anything is reading it!).

    Now, if only we could add some more peak oil people into the mix. Remember, any article about the Russkies moving in to exploit the melting Arctic is a peak oil article!

    Sames goes for ethanol. Fracking. Water depletion. 2,000 US military bases. The coming Sino-Vietnam War.

    The explosive, exponential growth of coal as the planet’s, soon-to-be, primary energy source! Check it: the Second Great Coal Epoch is already underway. Can you say Global Frying?

    The End of Growth is rapidly giving way to the Age of Contraction. Et al. It all falls under the rubric of peak oil.

    Hubbert’s bell curve. So simple (and so profound!), yet few can bare to look at it.

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