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Links 8/28/12

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By Charles Davis

Striking South African miners ‘were shot in the back’ The Telegraph

US troops escape criminal charges for incidents that outraged Afghanistan Guardian. You’re more likely to go to prison for stealing a Snickers bar than for killing some foreigners and urinating on their corpses.

EU and NATO Look on at Greece’s Pampered Armed Forces Carnegie Europe.

“After the United States, Greece is the second biggest defense spender among the 27 NATO countries in relation to its GDP. That is astonishing for a country in a deep economic crisis.”

Microlenders a lifeline to online business. Seattle Times. “On Deck’s rates run 18 to 36 percent,” according to the article. Microlenders or loan sharks?

After the Pussy Riot: What This Unjust Sentence Can Teach Americans ACLU. Two years behind bars is an outrage for an act of harmless civil disobedience, but when it comes to harsh sentences, Russia has nothing on America’s prison state.

Anarchist scaremongering at the Republican Convention libcom.org

Occupy Hong Kong Holdouts Defy Order to Leave Despite Effort by HSBC New York Times.

“[T]he Hong Kong government has been largely silent on Occupy Hong Kong and has given little public support to HSBC to act against the protesters.”

Alleged LAPD Beating Victim: The Gruesome Photo TMZ. This happens every day and is usually met with a collective yawn — because they deserved it, right? We only know of this case because it happened to a rich white banker.

These Are the Samsung Products Apple Wants Banned in the U.S. Mashable

Parents deported, what happens to US-born kids? AP. Fun game: Try and get a Democrat who is outraged by the GOP’s callous indifference to the plight of the under-privileged to unequivocally condemn, or even just acknowledge, Barack Obama’s cruel war on immigrant families.

Drought to cost insurers billions in losses Financial Times. If enough rich people lose money, maybe that means politicians will finally do something about climate change? Or maybe we should quit waiting for them to act.

New state laws make undercover probes of farm operations risky McClatchy. The state acts to protect the interests of corporations at the expense of the rest of us. That’s what states do.

Pro-marijuana group endorses Obama The Hill. This purported group, which claims 10,000 members, appears to be just one guy with a PO Box and a press list. But don’t count on your average reporter digging deeper than the news release.

Wells Fargo fires Des Moines worker for laundromat incident 49 years ago Des Moines Register. Standards ostensibly designed to “weed out executives and mid-level bank employees” guilty of financial crimes are — and this is weird! — being used to justify firing those on the bottom.

Beware of Strange Men on Airplanes BroadSnark. “Gender essentialism is our enemy.”

A decade on, some justice for Rachel Corrie’s family? Al Jazeera.

“[E]vidence in the case . . . suggest[s] that the Israeli army has killed civilians — Palestinians and internationals — as a result of official policy.”

Adolescent Pot Use Leaves Lasting Mental Deficits ScienceDaily. Despite what the headline suggests, the study only found a long-term negative impact among those who engaged in “persistent, dependent use of marijuana before age 18,” a group of about 50 people. And the impact was measured only by the highly imperfect metric of an IQ test. Is this an example of correlation being inappropriately equated with causation? Or am I just an English major?

Do drones increase the likelihood of war by lowering its cost? Homeland Security News Wire

Venezuela refinery could restart Friday Reuters. Fires are still raging, and the bodies of 48 people aren’t yet cold, but let’s not let tragedy damper our optimism.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 13 and counting*

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” –Emma Goldman

RNCon. Isaac: “We brought in several truckloads of low-income residents and welfare recipients from the Tampa area, and we have dozens of volunteers laying them down flat and packing them real close together to create a watertight barrier.” … Isaac: “Senior officials involved in planning the RNCon said on Monday that they were considering a number of worst-case scenarios, including a quick nominating vote and a truncated Romney address in a smaller, more formal venue than the Tampa Bay Times Forum.” (Although not now, apparently, a single day.) A management problem for Romney, eh? … Isaac: Picture (here) of how many anchors and producers are packing their bags: to cover Tampa and Isaac…. Media critique: “This year, the storm threatens to distract TV coverage from an already abbreviated schedule of convention coverage. Some TV anchors, including Anderson Cooper of CNN and Shepard Smith of Fox News, were dispatched to the storm site.” … Ron Paul: “Delegates across the city have returned to their rooms or arisen in the morning to find missives from Ron Paul 2012 [slipped under the door]. “We want to tell you that you are NOT bound!” the letter exhorts. Which has produced a predictable round of “oh, yes they are too bound” from Romney folks. More evidence that the Paul forces far prefer operating as insurgents here than as part of a process they feel is fundamentally flawed as a stage-managed ‘coronation’ for Romney.” … Floor fight? A proposed change to party rules would allow the R candidate to veto and replace state delegates. “Opposition to the rules began with Ron Paul supporters, it has spread to the entire TX delegation and SC, CO, VA and LA.”… No floor fight! “Under a compromise reached late Monday, Romney supporters and R leaders agreed to back down from a proposed rule change that effectively would have allowed presidential nominees to choose what delegates represent them at national conventions.” … Mystery speaker: “‘To Be Announced’ has a prime speaking slot late in the Thursday program.” … Oligarchs: “The billionaire investor Paul Singer, who has given at least $1 million to the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, has booked Karl Rove and Condoleezza Rice for invitation-only briefings, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin for a private dinner, and himself for a breakfast seminar titled ‘A Pro-Growth Agenda for a Romney Administration.’ ” … Police state: Photos; other photos, quite a contrast. Police state: “One protester with a bandanna over his face was arrested after he refused to remove it.” What next? False moustaches? Face-painting? … Platform: “‘Have you ever met anybody who’s read the party platform?‘ Boehner asked. ‘I haven’t meet anybody.’” … Snark watch: “Republican National Convention Sand Castle Display.” Make up your own jokes!

RNCon protests. Crowd size: “Police outnumbered demonstrators Monday as hundreds took to Tampa’s streets to protest the Republican convention. After the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a joint bulletin warning Tampa’s convention could be targeted by anarchists, police in tan uniforms were positioned all along the protest route. ” … Crowd size, March on the RNC: “[O]nly around 200 gathered for the event. Ignoring the poor turnout, and the fact that the start of the convention had been postponed until Tuesday, the march set off at 12 noon, accompanied by almost as many police officers.” … March on the RNC: I saw the climax of the march on TimCast, where the march got as far as the fences round the conventon. A few thoughts: Yes, the crowd was in the hundreds. The police presence was farcically intense. The marchers were a great deal more diverse than mainstream photography shows — the mainstream tend to focus on cut young tattooed men with their shirts off in the rain or the black clad and fleet of foot. The march itself was a good deal more diverse in age, gender, and fashion statements. The TimCast voice-overs were excellent, though the description of police compliance technology verged on weapons pr0n; indeed, it seemed to me that there was a good deal of intelligence gathering going on with both sides (and that this might be a reason to hold the march). Finally, it generally goes unremarked that it takes a lot of courage to approach Darth Vader-like police lines wearing T-shirts and light shoes. So I’ll remark on it. As far as raison d’etre, see below at in the Convention section, since most the reasons for having or not having a convention apply to the protesters and occupiers as well as the party apparat.

DNCon. Charlie Crist: “The former [FL] R governor confirmed Monday that he will be speaking at the DNCon next week in Charlotte, NC.”

Conventions. Political scientist: “With tens of thousands of politically interested and politically active individuals concentrated in a small space, political careers are inevitably fostered (or not) and policy proposals inevitably furthered (or not) in a manner largely independent of what central convention strategists are doing.” Good wrap-up, complement to Stoller. … Political scientist: “The convention is a chance to witness factionalism within a party. Although party leaders will go through great efforts to downplay dissent, sometimes rival factions will use convention events to make their viewpoints heard or champion certain candidates. Supporters of Hillary Clinton did this in Denver in 2008.” …. Pundit: “Keep the two big TV speeches. But do we really need four days?” But see above! …. Reporter: “What a convention offers, more than anything, is a cross-section of a political party. Not just the delegates and alternates, but also the fund-raisers, the political operatives, the ambitious local officials, and the volunteers. The 2020 GOP presidential nominee might well be wandering around Tampa without an entourage. My point is to encourage anyone covering their first convention to be creative when it comes to defining what is news and what is worth their time to pursue.” … Reporter: “Spoiler: Mitt Romney wins the nomination. Oh no, I’ve given away the ending. Sue me.”

Montreal. Voting: “”There was a time when students were talking about swallowing their pride and voting strategically,” said Jess Corneau, an executive member of CEGEP de St. Laurent’s student union. “But that conversation is over now. We’re hearing more and more people say they’ll vote Québec solidaire or Option Nationale because they don’t feel represented by the PQ.” … Voting: “What’s astonishing about this election campaign is that, while a few weeks ago Quebec was vibrating with colorful demands from students, artists and intellectuals from all over, education and culture seem to have been left by the wayside. We have moved from a state of effervescence and constant creation that everyone wanted to be part of, if only by playing their casserole, to total radio silence.” That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

FL. Alan Grayson: “Todd Long may have to hit the political equivalent of the lottery to beat Democrat Alan Grayson. Long won the GOP primary in part because Grayson spent more than $110,000 on [advertising] targeting Long’s biggest rival, Osceola County Commission Chairman John Quiñones.” Same play as McCaskill and Akin.

GA. Militias: “Four Army soldiers based in southeast GA killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday.” Anybody who pays attention knows that “anarchist militia” is a contradiction of terms; the Atlantic, which should know better, repeats this. Gawker (!) is better, writing that their tattoos are “the extent of the reporting thus far on their political motives.”** Which is a tell that the ZOMG!!! Teh anarchists!!! talking point is, gosh, whocouldaknowed, being propagated from somewhere. If you know any anarchists who joined the military to get the tools to overthrow the Zionist Occupation Government, leave a comment. And the timing does seem more than a little odd, doesn’t it? Too bad it’s too late to put that “diversity of tactics” toothpaste back in the tube, though. [** On the other hand, putting on my tinfoil hat for a moment, Gawker also has evidence that one of the soldiers was a page at the 2008 Minneapolis RNCon. And we know what went down there. An anarchist double agent? A DHS triple agent?]

IA. “Burdensome regulation: “If the DNR considers a new rule regarding runoff from agricultural facilities, I would define water utilities and citizens who rely on public drinking water as stakeholders, along with the potentially regulated farm owners. It is ‘burdensome’ for hundreds of thousands of Des Moines Water Works customers to cover the cost of the world’s largest nitrate removal system.”

LA. Isaac: “‘We got some lessons. One lesson is, people should have learned how to swim, to get out of your attic, out of your window.’ ‘I’ve got the food. I’ve got the experience. I’ve secured all the stuff. I have a few weapons this time.’”

ME. Pipeline: “Allowing these tar sands oils to course through aging lines that run through our state is a mistake. Perhaps the legislature should send a small delegation of legislators and citizens out to the area of the rupture along the Kalamazoo River [here] to learn firsthand the dangers ”

MI. Referendum: “The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected this afternoon a challenge to a ballot proposal aimed at enshrining collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.” Certain to be appealed. …. GM: “GM desperately wants to avoid becoming the centerpiece of campaign rhetoric. So it has banned candidates from its plants at least until after Election Day, Nov. 6, despite the fact that the U.S. Treasury remains its largest shareholder.”

NY. Fracking: “About 1,000 anti-fracking protestors — including, it seems, a good-sized contingent from the Southern Tier – marched up State Street toward the Capitol on Monday afternoon.” The Southern Tier is Cuomo’s proposed sacrifice zone. …. More guns, please: “The state Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended the censure of Tioga County Judge Vincent Sgueglia for approving his own pistol permit and accidentally firing one of his guns within the county courthouse.’

OH. Water: “Horse-rescue operations in OH say they have been inundated with requests from people who can no longer care for their animals and need to give them up.” … The empire: “This, too, is true: America’s worldwide military overreach is what’s bankrupting us – not Social Security and Medicare.” (Thomas Suddes of the Plain Dealer, not a hippie.)

PA. Tinpot tyrants: “An Occupy Easton protester faces an attempted bank robbery charge following an arrest [here] at an organized event at a bank — during[he held up] a sign that reportedly read ‘You’re being robbed.’ [According to Occupy Eaton, he] faces two felony charges including Attempted Bank Robbery and Terroristic Threatening” Was the sign the felony? Or the truth? … Fracking: “Under a new PA law, natural gas companies must tell physicians the substances patients might have come into contact with. But doctors must sign confidentiality agreements promising they will use the information only for those patients’ treatment. The conflict has led to a legal challenge by Pennsylvania nephrologist Alfonso Rodriguez, MD, against the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection. He claims that the law’s doctor-contract provision is vague and violates physicians’ First Amendment rights.” Good survey of several states. … Voting: “On August 23, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expedited Applewhite v Pennsylvania, the case over new government photo-ID law. All briefs will be in by September 7.”

TN. Disemployment: “Beginning on Sept. 1, anyone claiming unemployment benefits will have to show that they are actively looking for work, including keeping a work search log.”

TX. Swing states: “[If TX were a swing state,] some of the money getting slurped up here for export to television stations and political consultants in other states might actually be spent in TX.”

VA. Enthusiasm: “Though hundreds lined up on Sunday before campaign officials began issuing passes for President Barack Obama’s Charlottesville appearance, tickets remain, according to campaign officials.”

WI. Police state: “Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief David Erwin said Monday he will soon begin clamping down on protesters, strictly enforcing the Capitol’s rules in an effort to restore normalcy and safety to a building that has become home to regular demonstrations.”

Outside baseball. Business ethics: “[Paul Leiman of Johns Hopkins] often starts his [business ethics] course asking students if they would be willing to go to prison for three years in exchange for $3 billion. More than half usually say the would, noting that’s more than they could ever earn — and that a job is sort of like being in prison anyway.” And only small fish go to prison anyhow. … Go topless protest at the White House: NSFW!

The trail. Identity politics, Ron Brownstein: “For Obama, the winning formula can be reduced to 80/40. In 2008, Obama won a combined 80 percent of the votes of all minority voters, including not only African-Americans but also Hispanics, Asians, and others. If Obama matches that performance this year, he can squeak out a national majority with support from about 40 percent of whites–so long as minorities at least match the 26 percent of the vote they cast last time.” … Hispanic vote: “Most likely, the Romney team believes the nationwide Hispanic vote is irrelevant, since most Latinos live in states such as New York and California that will vote Democrat anyway. … Swing states: “If you’re a voter in TX — or CA — it doesn’t really matter what you think.” So vote for an emergent party!

Romney. Mr. Warmth: “His language, his approach, his mannerisms convey: I am not asking you to trust me to see into your soul, or to feel your pain, or bring you hope and fuzzy change. I will bring you concrete, measurable, profitable change — the kind you can authentically take stock of, and even measure in your family’s bank account.” Meta-hagiography!

Obama. Secretariat***: “Mr. Obama is a scheduler’s dream, a walking, talking, handshaking, baby-hugging prototype of campaign efficiency. He takes less than a second to shake a hand and in 10 seconds can polish off seven greetings.” [***Joke]

* 13 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with an airdrop of bottled water and C-rations for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. The flag of the United States has 13 stripes in honor of the 13 original colonies.

* * *

Antidote du jour: OMG, pandas!

Photo Credit: Chi King

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82 comments

  1. Clark Thornton

    Re: LAPD Beating Victim

    Well, clearly SOMEBODY’s lying. I am not a fan of cops, but neither the banker’s story nor the LAPD’s makes any sense. Surely there’s an objective witness somewhere in this bizarre tale who can shed some light.

    1. b.tom.darga

      Let’s give him the “Occupy” experience.

      It starts with getting your ass beat by cops and ends with no justice at all.

  2. Brindle

    ….”routine urban-environment training”?

    “Authorities are reassuring worried residents that those mysterious helicopters flying low over parts of the Twin Cities metro area Monday night aren’t anything menacing.
    The U.S. Special Operations Command has been conducting routine urban-environment training in Minneapolis and Saint Paul since Aug. 19, supported by police in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.”

    http://www.startribune.com/local/167637205.html

    1. Eureka Springs

      Happens all the time, all around the country. We are mere pawns, until we are mere patterns/targets.
      http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2011/11/20/secretary-military-maneuvers-okd-by-lr-mayor

      WHich goes for the never ending military drug wars. Just last week our annual onslaught… four military helicopters scoured every inch of our county several times over a week. The first couple of years I worked a new 30′ x 50′ garden spot in my lawn I was treated like a terrorist. To this day I don’t know how those low low flying copters didn’t shatter every window in my home… or how I managed to keep myself from running out in the yard and mooning the *uckers.

    2. ambrit

      Friends;
      Back in the ’80s there were some Cesnas that would do sweeps over rural areas for Cannabis plantations. We never found out exactly who was sponsering these overflights. One weekend, our rural area was swamped with police types. It seems that someone in our ‘zone’ had shot at the airplane, and hit it several times.
      One thing you can ‘take to the bank’ about the Police State theory of governance. Someone will resist. Just blame it all on the Dialectic.

  3. juneau

    David
    Your links are terrific and thank you.

    I am compelled to comment on cannabis use by children: is anyone really convinced smoking pot is helpful to little kids?

    Detrimental effects of cannabis on school performance and cognitive function are not news, why is it being treated as such in the press? Seems politically motivated as usual.
    Here is a 3 year old synopsis of data on the effects from the California Society of Addiciton Medicine published in 2009:
    http://www.csam-asam.org/sites/default/files/impact_of_marijuana_on_children_and_adolescents.pdf

    Their modest conclusion is to “deter, delay, detect” cannabis use in kids. Makes sense.

    1. chris

      I realize I am merely an anecdote but…

      I started smoking pot when I was 12 and was a regular user during most of the the 44 years since. I graduated cum laude from my undergraduate school and went on to earn, in 1 1/2 years (at the age of 22) a Master of Music degree. After that I won several of the most prestigious music competitions in the business and am still enjoying an accomplished career, at age 56, as a singer. Yes, an opera singer. I’ve sung at the MET and at major venues around the world. I’ve sung under the baton of Levine, Ozawa, Fruhbeck de Burgos and many of last century’s leading maestros. I’ve sung world premieres by some of the world’s most noted composers, including Bolcom, Del Tredici, Menotti, Adams, etc. And all the while I’ve stayed true to (by today’s standard) the radically progressive politics I honed as a teenager in the late 60′s.

      Not bad for a cognitively impaired pot head, huh?

      Today there are hundreds of thousands of kids addicted to the ADHD drugs that are doled out like candy to steal childhood itself away from children…

      I won’t even mention alcoholism

      and you’re concerned about (non-addictive) pot?..

      meh…

      hmmm…

      It’s one of the ways I’ve stayed sane (if not adjusted) to our sick society…. which leads me to ask: why is being well adjusted to a sick society considered

      1. patricia

        Well, that’s easy cuz we all know art don’t take no brains.

        And also, hippy! (picturing 60′s protester singing at Met)

      2. dearieme

        “all the while I’ve stayed true to (by today’s standard) the radically progressive politics I honed as a teenager”: well it’s time you grew up.

        1. chris

          excuse me? What have you accomplished in your “grown up” life? Singing is one of the most demanding physical and intellectual processes anyone can ever undertake and I’ll pit my “grown up” staus against your puerile and paternalistic response any day. Again – what have you accomplished in your “dreary” life?

      3. Susan the other

        Thanks Chris. Sing on. I love your story. I’m sure this “research” is BS. Those 50 kids, who really hadn’t woken up to their own brains yet, enjoyed pot. Period. And it probably made them a few points brighter and several points happier. The only thing left to do is legalize and standardize drugs. It will end the devastation in Mexico and Central America; it will end all the disgusting profit for contraband; and it will provide us with safe pot and cocaine at a reasonable price – and we will get a huge, huge tax windfall. What could be better?

    2. Cletus

      Re: Cannabis story:

      I’m in Chris’b boat. maybe my early pot use is the only thing that has kept me from becoming a vampire banker or the POTUS.

      juneau:

      No one is advocating pot use for kids.

      I believe studies such as that conducted by the California Society of Addiciton Medicine (and the one cited in the link, if it is different), are flawed on a number of levels (sample size, controls, predictive value, intellectual capabilities of the subjects prior to the study, and, quite frankly, political/social taint by the “researchers”). The last make me sound like a climate science denier, but addiction treatment is a huge, profitable, and not very effective. Good work, if you can fan some flames.

      I noticed this study was covered by my local drive time radio station during my commute last night. It got around 20 seconds of “coverage.” Ahhh, sensationalism.

      1. chris

        Indeed, let me make myself clear – I am not advocating for adolescents to use pot.

        Thanks for the support, Cletus.

        1. Susan the other

          Nor am I but I am very sick of the old terror-agitprop about kids and drugs. Why don’t they hammer us with like stories about guns and kids. Or processed foods and kids. Or bad education and kids. Fuck them and their “research.”

    3. Neo-Realist

      Re: Impact of smoking pot on the Kids IQ.

      This smells like psych-ops to discredit the legalization movements in various states. Very convenient for the study to come out now.

  4. Goin' South

    One thing becomes clearer and clearer reading the Links and Lambert’s rundown each day:

    We have the first two elements of our ‘Murcan Niemoeller sequence down:

    First they came for the Muslims,
    Then they came for the Anarchists…

    The Anarchist sequence will go on until every black t-shirt in the country has been confiscated! I expect to hear that “Sons of Anarchy” has been abruptly cancelled this season.

    As for who’s next in the sequence, what do the oddsmakers say about:

    1) trade unionists;
    2) feminists;
    3) LGBTs;
    4) local food advocates?

      1. Raintonite

        If the “extremes” can agree to put aside their differences in order to grow their own food, talk to each other, and generally act like adults, they may be viewed as subversives one of these days.

        Are they obeying all local, state and federal health and safety regulations?
        Have they paid experts and officially recognised people to determine the safety of their foods?
        Is their food safe to eat if they give it away or trade it?
        Are they engaging in illegal economic activity (black markets)?
        Are they affecting property prices?

        I don’t know. These folks seem to be engaged in some dubious activities when you start asking the right questions.

  5. taunger

    re: anarachist uprising – I hope next time around we all skip the convention. It would be really funny to see all those stormtroopers hanging out with nothing to do but beat up whoever the feds shipped in for them.

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Strether;
        Stormtroopers conjures images of our brave ‘Boys in White’ keeping the Galaxy safe for the Empire. I much prefer the Japanese term “Kempetai.”

      2. alex

        Storm trooper is also too complimentary. Often misunderstood, the term has nothing to do with Nazis, and refers to elite WWI troops, similar to US Army Rangers. They were front line troops, not cowardly thugs.

        What are domestic security forces really need is to be ridiculed for their silly posturing and bizarre cowardice. A police tank and troops (which is what the National Guard is of course), for what? I once knew a guy who got pelted with an egg on Halloween, yet I’ve been known to recklessly venture out on Oct. 31 without an automatic weapon or full combat armor. If it wasn’t for the way they’re destroying the First Amendment, these people would be downright comical.

        Of course “they believe explosives, Molotov cocktails, and acid-filled eggs will be used against the police”. Yeah, right. And where’s the ridicule when that turns out to be utterly absurd? I’m all for public safety and the safety of police officers, yet am so reckless that I’d consider it reasonable to roam around downtown Tampa without a tank.

        And “anarchists”? How charmingly retro. Before terrorists and even before commies we had anarchists. My grandparents’ immigration papers from 1912 required them to state they weren’t anarchists.

        1. LucyLulu

          The other thing that is incredulous is that TPTB would think such extremes in “compliance officers” would be warranted by a political convention. Dangerous terrorists and extreme activists want to have their causes noticed. They know that the public couldn’t be any less interested in the convention in Tampa. They already know the rich guy who went slumming at Cosco got the nomination. J. Q. Public is making sandwiches in the kitchen until tv coverage switches back to Isaac and the blonde.

          One of the media pundits mentioned that the convention organizers were told the schedule had to run at least three days. That was the minimum revenues needed by the area to recoup the cost of security. Apparently those who hold power believe there is reason to be afraid of the people.

  6. TimR

    People misinterpreted my question yesterday RE: Chris Heges’ comment about the threat posed to US when China stops buying 2 billion of debt daily. I’m not trying to impugn MMT, I’m sincere in wondering how MMT views the issue. And also how the neoliberal establishment views it, and whether they might break their own rules if it suits them, as they do with military spending for example (since as I understand that’s a form of Keynsianism/MMT in that “there’s always enough” fiat currency available somehow for that, while other things must be cut.)

    1. YankeeFrank

      I ain’t got much book lernin’ when it comes ta MMT, but my understanding is that MMT views the selling of bonds as totally unnecessary with regard to funding government expenditure. Governments can print the money they need and never need to sell debt to do so. In MMT, governments sell bonds only to target interest rates.

      As regards the neoliberals, they don’t really believe in anything except the primacy of banking, debt and corporate power. They don’t really have any economic principles other than the above, and certainly wouldn’t worry about a measly $2 billion/day — they would simply quantitatively ease some cash into the hands of some friendly banksters who would gladly trade that for some government cheese. First of course they’d bluster about a debt crisis and get the plutocrats to bid up interest rates in order to goose their returns in their effort to “save” us from the dreaded default.

      Feel free to correct me anybody and everybody if I’ve erred.

      1. TimR

        Thanks YF. If you’re right, I guess that means somebody should tell Chris Hedges he can stop worrying about that particular catastrophe at least…

  7. Brent Musburger Jr. (news anchor)

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    In a stunning development that has rumors swirling around Wall Street, CNBC’s Steve Liesman managed to go for an entire day without giving head to a single Wall Street banker.

    Yes, overcoming the odds against him in a Herculean display of courage, perseverance, and the indomitable human spirit, Liesman went for 24 hours without s*cking even one bankster c*ck.

    Hit from every side with formidable obstacles such as the as the mind-numbing servility, vulgarity and conformity of his CNBC coworkers, Liesman decided to rise above all that, and trudged along for 24 hours in a row — permitting nothing, no matter how soul-deadening, to break his will.

    At one point when Lloyd Blankfein’s son Jonathan dropped his pants and ordered Liesman to kneel down, our hero for the day said “I thought I was going to lose it”.

    (For those of you who might have missed this segment, Jonathan Blankfein was appearing as a guest host on Squawkbox for three hours to talk with Joe, Becky and Andrew Ross about working for his Dad at Goldman Sachs.)

    According to CNBC eyewitness Andrew Ross Sorkin (with whom Liesman shares an apartment despite his advanced age) the encounter with Jonathan Blankfein was not Liesman’s first exposure to adversity. Sorkin says there have been other battles such as the time he was stranded in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport during the 2004 Christmas season.

    Will Steve Liesman’s inspiring battle against the dehumanizing forces of servility inspire other CNBC reporters to follow his example and go for a “day without deference” or a “24 hour servility strike”?

    Story developing….

  8. Lidia

    “Anarchist scaremongering”: Have you heard about the Fort Stewart (GA) military types plotting to assassinate the president?

    The AP article everyone’s citing says something about “distinctive tattoos that resemble an anarchy symbol.” Of course, none of the articles I’ve checked actually SHOW this tattoo, despite the usefulness of said information in potentially identifying other plotters in this group.

    Until I see an image of the tattoos I will assume this detail has been deliberately planted to try and create a false equivalence between racist right-wing armed militias, and non-violent OWS-type anarchists.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Lidia: See NC today, NC 08-24, NC 08-22. I was a little disappointed with the “scaremongering” article because it didn’t do a detailed media critique….

      UPDATE Adding, it’s also disappointing that the article gives no actual link to the stupid “bricks” story. See the link above at 08-22.

      UPDATE Adding NC 08-21.

      UPDATE And adding NC 08-21 (second example in Louisiana).

  9. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, is “Willard” a common name? This from Dealbook today:

    “Willard C. Butcher, Former Chief of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 85 Mr. Butcher oversaw the bank’s international expansion and its merger with Chemical Banking after succeeding David Rockefeller Sr. as chairman.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      N.B. Connections below – “HOW IT WORKS” (religion as politics as religion)

      Willard Mitt ROMNEY: Like father like son?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Romney_(politician)

      “[George] Romney’s grandparents were polygamous Mormons who fled the United States with their children owing to the federal government’s prosecution of polygamy.[1][2] His maternal grandfather was HELAMAN PRATT (1846–1909), who presided over the Mormon mission in MEXICO CITY before moving to the Mexican state of Chihuahua and who was the son of original Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt (1807–1857).[2][3][4] In the 1920s, Romney’s uncle REY L. PRATT (1878–1931) played a major role in the preservation and expansion of the Mormon presence in MEXICO and in its introduction to SOUTH AMERICA.[5] A more distant kinsman was George Romney (1734–1802), a noted portrait painter in BRITAIN during the last quarter of the 18th century.

      “Romney’s parents, Gaskell ROMNEY (1871–1955) and Anna Amelia PRATT (1876–1926), were American citizens and natives of the Territory of Utah.[7][8][9] They married in 1895 in MEXICO and lived in Colonia Dublán in Galeana in the state of Chihuahua (one of the Mormon colonies in Mexico), where GEORGE was born on July 8, 1907.[1][4][10] …
      —————
      “RELIGION was a paramount force in Romney’s life.[48][51][96] In a 1959 essay for the Detroit Free Press he said, “MY RELIGION IS MY MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSION. … Except for my religion, I easily could have become excessively occupied with industry, social and recreational activities. Sharing personal responsibility for church work with my fellow members has been a vital counterbalance in my life.” [caps mine] …

      “ROMNEY WAS A HIGH PRIEST IN THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD OF the LDS,[51] and beginning in 1944 he headed the Detroit church branch[48] (which initially was small enough to meet in a member’s house).[99] By the time he was AMC chief, he presided over the DETROIT STAKE,[48] which included not only all of Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, and the Toledo area of Ohio but also the western edge of Ontario along the Michigan border.[100] In this role, Romney oversaw the religious work of some 2,700 church members, occasionally preached sermons, and SUPERVISED THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST STAKE TABERNACLE EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IN 100 YEARS.[88][100] Because the stake covered part of CANADA, he often interacted with Canadian Mission President Thomas S. Monson.[101] Romney’s rise to a leadership role in the church reflected the church’s journey from a fringe pioneer religion to one that was closely associated with mainstream American business and values.[34] Due in part to his prominence, the larger Romney family tree would become viewed as “LDS ROYALTY”.[99]

      “Romney and his family lived in affluent Bloomfield Hills,[44] having moved there from Detroit in the early 1950s.[34] He became deeply active in MICHIGAN CIVIC affairs.[102] He was on the board of directors of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the United Foundation of Detroit, and was chairman of the executive committee of the DETROIT ROUND TABLE OF CATHOLICS, JEWS, AND PROTESTANTS.[88] In 1959, he received the ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE OF B’NAI B’RITH’S AMERICANISM AWARD.[71][103]
      ——————–
      “AFTER BECOMING AN ELDER, ROMNEY earned enough money working to fund himself as a Mormon missionary.[38] In October 1926, he sailed to GREAT BRITAIN AND was first assigned to preach in a GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, slum.[38] The abject poverty and hopelessness he saw there affected him greatly,[10] but he was ineffective in gaining converts and temporarily suffered a crisis of faith.[39]

      “In February 1927, he was SHIFTED TO EDINBURGH AND IN FEBRUARY 1928 TO LONDON,[40] where he kept track of MISSION FINANCES.[41] He worked under renowned QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES INTELLECTUALS JAMES E. TALMAGE AND John A. Widtsoe; the latter’s admonitions to “Live mightily today, the greatest day of all time is today” made a lasting impression on him.[10][41] Romney experienced British sights and culture and was introduced to members of the peerage and the OXFORD GROUP.[42]
      ———————————————————
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Group

      “The OXFORD GROUP WAS A CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION FOUNDED BY AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY DR. FRANK BUCHMAN. Buchman was an American Lutheran minister of Swiss descent who in 1908 had a conversion experience in a chapel in Keswick, England and as a result of that experience HE WOULD LATER FOUND A MOVEMENT CALLED A FIRST CENTURY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP IN 1921, THAT EVENTUALLY BECAME KNOWN AS THE OXFORD GROUP BY 1931.[1] The Oxford Group enjoyed wide popularity and success, particularly in the 1930s. IN 1932 THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, COSMO LANG, IN SUMMING UP A DISCUSSION OF THE OXFORD GROUPS WITH HIS DIOCESAN BISHOPS, SAID ‘THERE IS A GIFT HERE OF WHICH THE CHURCH IS MANIFESTLY IN NEED’.[2] Two years later WILLIAM TEMPLE, ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, PAID TRIBUTE TO THE OXFORD GROUPS which ‘are being used to demonstrate the power of God to change lives and give to personal witness its place in true discipleship.’

      IN 1938, BUCHMAN PROCLAIMED A NEED FOR “MORAL RE-ARMAMENT” AND THAT PHRASE BECAME THE MOVEMENT’S NEW NAME.

      “God Control

      In various speeches given by Frank Buchman the GROUP’S PURPOSE were detailed :[3]

      “THE OXFORD GROUP SEEKS TO BE LIVING CHRISTIANITY. IT builds on the accomplished work of Jesus Christ as set forth in the New Testament. Its aim is to bring to life and make real for each person the articles of faith with which his own Church provides him.

      “The international problems are, at bottom, personal problems of selfishness and fear. Lives must be changed if problems are to be solved. Peace in the world can only spring from peace in the hearts of men. A dynamic experience of God’s free spirit is the answer to regional antagonism, economic depression, racial conflict and international strife.

      THE SECRET IS GOD CONTROL. THE ONLY SANE PEOPLE IN AN INSANE WORLD ARE THOSE CONTROLLED BY GOD. GOD-CONTROLLED PERSONALITIES MAKE GOD-CONTROLLED NATIONALITIES. THIS IS THE AIM OF THE OXFORD GROUP. THE TRUE PATRIOT GIVES HIS LIFE TO BRING HIS NATION UNDER GOD’S CONTROL. …. WORLD PEACE WILL ONLY COME THROUGH NATIONS WHICH HAVE ACHIEVED GOD-CONTROL. AND everybody can listen to God. You can. I can. Everybody can have a part.

      There are those who feel that internationalism is not enough. Nationalism can unite a nation. SUPERNATIONALISM CAN UNITE A WORLD. GOD-CONTROLLED SUPERNATIONALISM SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY SURE FOUNDATION FOR WORLD PEACE!”[4]

      OXFORD GROUP literature [xref AA: Alcoholics Anonymous]

      “Some of the Oxford Group literature is available online. See references. For Sinners Only by Arthur James RUSSELL was characterized as the Oxford Group “bible.” {[62] Soul Surgery By H. A. WALTER,[63] What is the Oxford Group by Layman with a Notebook,[64] and Eight Points of the Oxford Group by C. Irving BENSON.[65]

      “For alcoholics there were THREE AUTOBIOGRAPHIES BY OXFORD MEMBERS WHO WERE ACTIVE ALCOHOLICS which were published in the 1930s. These books provided accounts of the alcoholics’ failed attempts to make their lives meaningful until, as a result of their Oxford membership, they found a transformation in their lives and sobriety through surrendering to God. The stories contained in ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS BIG BOOK, are very similar in style to these much earlier works.[66] The books were The Big Bender, Life Began Yesterday and I Was Pagan by V.C. KITCHEN.[67] …
      —————–
      “THEOLOGIAN REINHOLD NIEBUHR CRITICIZED BUCHMAN’S PHILOSOPHY AND PURSUIT OF THE WEALTHY AND POWERFUL. “The idea is that if the man of power can be converted, god will be able to control a larger area of human life through his power than if a little man were converted. this is the logic which has filled the buchmanites with touching solicitude for the souls of such men as Henry Ford or Harvey Firestone. [69] …
      ——————
      “The name

      “THE NAME “OXFORD GROUP” ORIGINATED IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 1929, as a result of a railway porter writing the name on the windows of those compartments reserved by a travelling team of Frank Buchman followers. They were from Oxford and in South Africa to promote the movement. The South African press picked up on the name and it stuck.[6] It stuck because MANY OF THE CAMPAIGNS OF THE OXFORD GROUP WERE UNDERGIRDED BY OXFORD UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND STAFF. And every year between 1930 and 1937 house-parties were held at the University. In the summer of 1933,for instance, 5,000 guests turned up for some part of an event which filled six colleges and lasted seventeen days. ALMOST 1,000 WERE CLERGY, INCLUDING TWELVE BISHOPS.[7] In June 1939 the Oxford Group was legally incorporated.

      “The OXFORD GROUP LITERATURE DEFINES THE GROUP AS NOT BEING A RELIGION, for it had “no hierarchy, no temples, no endowments, its workers no salaries, no plans but God’s plan.” THEIR CHIEF AIM WAS “A NEW WORLD ORDER FOR CHRIST, THE KING.”[12] In fact one could not belong to the Oxford group for it had no membership list, badges, or definite location. It was simply a group of people from all walks of life who have surrendered their life to God. Their endeavor was to lead a spiritual life under God’s Guidance and their purpose was to carry their message so others could do the same. …

      “IN THE OXFORD GROUP, SHARING WAS CONSIDERED A NECESSITY, IT ALLOWED ONE TO BE HEALED, THEREFORE IT WAS ALSO A BLESSING TO SHARE.[23] Sharing not only brought relief but honest sharing of sin and of victory over sin helped others to openness about themselves. Sharing built trust. The message one brings to others by speaking of one’s own sins, one’s own experiences, the power of God in guiding one’s life would bring hope to others that a spiritually changed life gives strength to overcome life’s difficulties. It must be done with total conviction for “Half measures will be as fruitless as no measures.”[24] …
      —————
      “Five C’s and Five Procedures

      “THE FIVE C’S: CONFIDENCE, CONFESSION, CONVICTION, CONVERSION, AND CONTINUANCE WAS THE PROCESS OF LIFE CHANGING UNDERTAKEN BY THE LIFE CHANGER. Confidence, the new person had to have confidence in you and know you would keep his secrets. Confession, honesty about the real state of a persons life. Conviction, the seriousness of his sin and the need to free of it. CONVERSION, THE PROCESS HAD TO BE THE PERSONS OWN FREE WILL IN THE DECISION TO SURRENDER TO GOD.

      “Continuance, you were responsible as a life changer to help the new person become all that God wanted him to be. ONLY GOD COULD CHANGE A PERSON AND THE WORK OF THE LIFE CHANGER HAD TO BE DONE UNDER GOD’S DIRECTION.[27] …
      ——————
      “MORAL RE-ARMAMENT [MRA]

      “In 1938 BUCHMAN MADE a speech in EAST HAM TOWN HALL, LONDON, in which he stated: “The crisis is fundamentally a moral one. The nations must re-arm morally. MORALLY RECOVERY IS ESSENTIALLY THE FORERUNNER OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY.”[41] The same year the British tennis star H. W. Austin edited the book Moral Rearmament (The Battle for Peace), which sold half a million copies.[42] GRADUALLY THE FORMER OXFORD GROUP DEVELOPED INTO MORAL RE-ARMAMENT.

      IN BRITAIN THE OXFORD GROUP/MORAL RE-ARMAMENT WAS ACTIVE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. The novelist Daphne du Maurier published ‘Come Wind, Come Weather’, stories of ordinary Britons who had found hope and new life through the Group. She dedicated it to ‘Frank Buchman, whose initial vision made possible the world of the living characters in these stories,’ and added, ‘What they are doing up and down the country in helping men and women solve their problems, and prepare them for whatever lies ahead, will prove to be of national importance in the days to come.’ The book sold 650,000 copies in Britain alone.[7]

      “When war broke out, MRA workers JOINED THE ALLIED FORCES IN LARGE NUMBERS, and were decorated for valour in many theatres of war. Others worked to heighten morale and overcome bottlenecks, particularly in war-related industries. ABOUT 30 OXFORD GROUP WORKERS WERE EXEMPTED FROM MILITARY SERVICE TO CONTINUE THIS WORK. HOWEVER, WHEN ERNEST BEVIN BECAME MINISTER OF LABOUR IN 1940, HE DECIDED TO CONSCRIPT THEM. OVER 2,500 clergy and ministers signed a petition opposing this, and 174 Members of Parliament put down a motion stating the same. Bevin made clear that he would resign from the Government if he was defeated, and the Government put a three-line whip upon its supporters. As a result the Oxford Group workers were excluded from the Exemption from Military Service bill.

      “IN THE UNITED STATES, where Moral Re-Armament was doing similar work, Senator (later President) HARRY TRUMAN, CHAIR OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING WAR CONTRACTS, TOLD A WASHINGTON PRESS CONFERENCE IN 1943: ‘SUSPICIONS, RIVALRIES, APATHY, GREED LIE BEHIND MOST OF THE BOTTLENECKS. THIS IS WHERE THE MORAL RE-ARMAMENT GROUP COMES IN. WHERE others have stood back and criticised, they have rolled up their sleeves and gone to work. They have already achieved remarkable results in bringing teamwork into industry, on the principles not of “who’s right” but of “what’s right”.’[43]”
      ———————————————-
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melchizedek_priesthood_(Latter_Day_Saints)

      THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD IS the greater of the two orders of priesthood recognized in Mormonism. The other is the AARONIC PRIESTHOOD. The Patriarchal priesthood which is sometimes confused as a separate priesthood is explained by Boyd K. Packer, Apostle of the LDS Church as: “The patriarchal order is not a third, separate priesthood. Whatever relates to the patriarchal order is embraced in the Melchizedek Priesthood. ‘All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to [the Melchizedek] priesthood.’ (D&C 107:5.) The patriarchal order is a part of the Melchizedek Priesthood which enables endowed and worthy men to preside over their posterity in time and eternity.”.[1] The Melchizedek priesthood is also referred to as the high priesthood of the holy order of God[2] and the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God,[3] or simply as the high priesthood.

      “In Mormonism, unlike most other Christian denominations, the Melchizedek priesthood is thought to be held by unextraordinary mortals and not solely by either pre-Aaronic priests such as Melchizedek, or Jesus alone, as most Christians interpret the Epistle to the Hebrews. According to Joseph Smith, Jr., the name of this priesthood became Melchizedek “because Melchizedek was such a great high priest” and “to avoid the too frequent repetition” of the “name of the Supreme Being”.[4] Smith taught that this priesthood was on the earth since Adam received it and conferred it upon his sons Abel and Seth, and it was conferred successively upon the early biblical patriarchs. Through it Enoch led his people to become so righteous and obedient that they qualified to be translated as the City of Enoch. Noah held this priesthood, as did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it remained on earth until the time of Moses, who received it “under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro”[5] and IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE ISRAELITES IF THEY HAD BEEN WORTHY OF IT AND HAD NOT “HARDENED THEIR HEARTS”.[6]

      JOSEPH SMITH, JR. AND OLIVER COWDERY SAID THEY WERE VISITED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST, WHO LAID HIS HANDS ON THEIR HEAD AND GAVE THEM THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD.”
      ————————-

      CONNECT with “THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT: from Rhodes to Cliveden” by Carroll Quigley.

  10. b.tom.darga

    “Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Media for Deutsche Bank”

    Acquit these cops!

    Wall Street Bankers should be protected by the law only when they are subject to it as well.

    Occupy the Jury Box!

  11. JTFaraday

    re: “Ron Paul: “Delegates across the city have returned to their rooms or arisen in the morning to find missives from Ron Paul 2012 [slipped under the door]. “We want to tell you that you are NOT bound!”… Floor fight?”

    I don’t know if I think it’s likely, but I still hope so.

    Didn’t the Hillary-ites have a ceremonial passing of the nearly 50% Hillary delegates to Obama in 08?

    But nothing so domesticated. Be a little objectionable if you’re going to object.

  12. spooz

    What bothers me about the adolescent cannabis use/IQ “study” is that it ignores the fact that ALL psychopharmaceuticals may have a negative impact on developing brains. Fortunately for Big Pharma, they never have to produce studies on long term effects, so they get a pass.

  13. F. Beard

    re Adolescent Pot Use Leaves Lasting Mental Deficits:

    Dang! I started when I was 17 (but quit by my late 20s)!

    But who cares? Who is arguing that non-adults should have access to psychotropic drugs anyway? Not me.

    1. craazyman

      Once the pizza industry lobbyists get wind of this “study”, we’ll see how much longer it’s in the news.

  14. Idi Amin 2012

    Whattaya know, another story of police torture and impunity for violent crime! As luck would have it, the Obama regime can incoporate that into its periodic Article 19 report to the Committee Against Torture, which was due last November except that the dog ate Obama’s homework, ( http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/5038ebdcb712174dc1256a2a002796da/f3f0359a8ee4bf26c12571c3004cc36b?OpenDocument ) , because the CAT is binding on all levels of government, you know, so local torture that happens on Obama’s watch is Obama’s dereliction. I wonder if any of our hard-hitting journalistic asskissers will ask about Obama where his report is.

    Chickenshit coward Barack Obama is a rough tough torturer and stone killer but he’s scared to take his medicine when he decides he has to break the law for god and country. Sniveling sissy Barack Obama is even scared to take the weakest, most homeopathic dose of international public disgrace from independent legal experts. I’ll take G. Gordon Liddy any day, at least the GOP’s criminal patriots have some courage.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Excellency, that’s a great link.

      However, I reject the trope that Obama is weak, so often used as an explantation on the left for why his policies are as they are. (“Let’s give the Democrats backbone by supporting them!”) He’s doing what he wants to do and what he believes in!

    2. Amin/Pinochet 4 more years

      N.B. Obama’s also doing it because he pisses his pants in abject fear of the CIA, http://warisacrime.org/content/insider-tells-why-obama-chose-not-prosecute-torture . That’s the deal, Obama gets to pound his chest and do manly Tarzan yells as long as he sucks off the spooks. If Obama had some semblance of balls, his brains would go plop on Michelle’s lap in no time. But there was never any chance of unauthorized integrity, because the kleptocracy’s star diversity hire was carefully recruited and vetted as a pushover.

      1. Neo-Realist

        I believe the abject fear also explains why the JFK assassination records are continuing to remain classified.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Moreover, this is the definition of a Military Dictatorship, since the CIA now is unequivocally, publicly, an Armed Force of the U.S. Military/”Defense” War Department.

          Anybody out there want to bring the International Tribunals on the model created by the U.S.A. in 1945?

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            And this multiplex “War Department” by any name clearly is above the Law. The Central “Intelligence” Agency is an Armed Force for waging War, with a Military General (Petraeus) in charge, with its own “killing machines” under its command.

            So, we are all Honduras/Guatemala/etc. now? Coup d’etat 1963: “perfected.” The U.S. is but the Military Arm of the Global Fourth Reich, Q.E.D. It’s past time for the Nuremberg Laws to be called into effect, while the Election Spectacle plays in Dreamland.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Valissa, thanks. Note:

      “City authorities have not responded to his queries about what will happen to the cameras once the convention ends.”

      What surveillance has ever been reversed in London? What real estate improvements have ever been reversed after “Olympics” and “World’s Fair” SPECTACLES to profit .01% LandLords in quest of better Lebensraum?

      It’s Surveillance Stealth until it’s obviously IN PLACE: Omnipresent: Omnipotent: the advance knowledge of Orwell and Huxley realized in toto.

  15. Californicado

    “Barack Obama’s cruel war on immigrant families”

    What a load of hand wringing BS!
    How stupid do you think your readers are? #2

    Bob Segall, of WTHR reports finding a massive tax loophole that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to undocumented workers and, in many cases, people who have never stepped foot in the United States. And you are paying for it.

    Inside his central Indiana office, a longtime tax consultant sits at his desk, shaking his head in disbelief.

    “There is not a doubt in my mind there’s huge fraud taking place here,” he said, slowly flipping through the pages of a tax return.

    The tax preparer does not want you to know his name for fear of reprisal, but he does want you to know about a nationwide problem with a huge price tag.

    He came to 13 Investigates to blow the whistle.

    “We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme here that’s taking place and no one is talking about it,” he said.

    The scheme involves illegal immigrants — illegal immigrants who are filing tax returns.

    How it works

    The Internal Revenue Service says everyone who is employed in the United States – even those who are working here illegally – must report income and pay taxes. Of course, undocumented workers are not supposed to have a social security number. So for them to pay taxes, the IRS created what’s called an ITIN, an individual taxpayer identification number. A 9-digit ITIN number issued by the IRS provides both resident and nonresident aliens with a unique identification number that allows them to file tax returns.

    While that may have seemed like a good idea, it’s now backfiring in a big way.

    Each spring, at tax preparation offices all across the nation, many illegal immigrants are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of a tax loophole, using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS.

    The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It’s a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it’s meant to help working families who have children living at home.

    But many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credit for kids who live in Mexico – lots of kids in Mexico.

    “We’ve seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces and nephews, on these tax forms,” the whistleblower said. “The more you put on there, the more you get back.”

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/05/latest-scam-illegal-aliens-getting-bigger-tax-refund-checks/

    1. Susan the other

      There is a solution for this. We need to, and should do asap, open our southern border. This is an example of how we could copy the good thinking of the EZ – after all, we are the North American Free Trade Association. Free except for labor? Huh? So, I ask you, what good is this agreement if we have to go through this endless immigration nonsense? And we should open the borders to all those dangerous and subversive (Michael Moore) Canadians too. And then we can ask that they let us come and go like human beings. It would be very cool.

  16. Californicado

    “Barack Obama’s cruel war on immigrant families”

    You mean like pushing the Dream Act on Americans that don’t want it?

    Or giving amnesty to another 800,000 illegals who can now compete with America’s unemployed? Further depress wages and destroy any ability of Americans to demand a liveable wage if they are lucky enough to have a job?
    That kind of cruelty?
    My former post shows how getting them on the tax rolls is a negative.

    It’s not “immigration”, it’s “reconquista”.

    1. alex

      Reconquista?

      As someone who is opposed to our long-term toleration of illegal aliens, I have to thank idiots like you for making it harder to convince people that you don’t have to be a xenophobic conspiracy theorist to call them “illegal aliens” instead of “undocumented immigrants”.

    2. redneck gulag USA

      When the Zetas take over and sew Cal’s pasty white face to a soccer ball, it’s gonna be a hoot seein it zoomin overhead from a midfield kick with a displeased expression.

      1. Susan the other

        You guys are kinda nasty. It’s not like Mexicans and Canadians are the Asian hoards landing in Vancouver. (My bad, sorry) China has its own problems and China will figure it out. I’m convinced they are smarter than we are. We have a long history with both Mexico and Canada. It’s time we came together.

    3. redneck gulag USA

      Yeah, they’re not all bad. While ago I had dinner with a Mexican, quadrilingual, freakishly numerate, St. Grottlesex/Ivy League, upper-echelon in I forget which oil major, ready to take off for a well-paid leave of absence to do pro bono work for poor sad third-world countries (like the Southern USA!) Cal ain’t competing with her for jobs! Maybe she would let Cal be her pool boy.

  17. TJMC

    Good selection of links.
    WRT – “You’re more likely to go to prison for stealing a Snickers bar than for killing some foreigners and urinating on their corpses.” – Pls keep in mind that we spent a lot of time and effort (with your tax dollars) recruiting those Marines, training them, and then ordering them (with force of law) to Afghanistan to kill foreigners. That their urinating on corpses is addressed with administrative punishment seems appropriate to me.

  18. Susan the other

    I didn’t get through the links cause the top article on “Greece’s Pampered Armed Forces” from Carnegie Peace Europe was so good. I wondered where those naughty Greeks were getting the money to buy tanks. The article didn’t say but, with the latest byzantine maneuvers by Geithner, I think we can figure it out. The photo of the Greek National Guard Fashion of the Day was funny: tassles on your hat, cute pleated mini skirt and foxy tights; and pompoms on your slippers? Well who can deny the need for that! And don’t forget, Turkey is becoming problematic. Really, trust me, it’s not about oil. “Greece continues to buy submarines, fighter jets and tanks.” How very resourceful for a totally bankrupt country… And how about this factoid: Greece’s NATO soldiers appear to be positioned to handle contraband at the Kabul Airport – not actually a quote, just a surmise…

    Is NATO the new Crete? Yes. Of course. The article said that the military equipment was bought from Germany and France (naturally) but it did not comment on previous info that the US is the mega-purveyor of global lmilitary equipment to the tune of at least 65% of all of it. Well, nevermind.

  19. Externality

    During his speech in Tampa, Congressman Paul took the opportunity to reiterate his support for Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.

    Since the legacy media has largely ignored this section of Dr. Paul’s speech, I offer the following article from The American Conservative:

    “Let me tell you, Bradley Manning didn’t kill anybody,” the Texas congressman declared at around minute 45, speaking of a “soft spot” in his heart for whistleblowers. “Bradley Manning hasn’t caused the death of anybody. And what he has exposed—he is the equivalent of Daniel Ellsberg, who told us the truth about Vietnam!” The crowd exulted. Paul then pivoted to a spirited defense of Julian Assange, chastising the government of Sweden for truckling to alleged American demands that the Aussie be extradited to the U.S. for prosecution.

    Paul’s campaign has long touted the fact that he received an outsized percentage of donations from active-duty military. [...]

    “It’s outstanding leadership,” another veteran, Marcelo Munoz, said of Paul’s comments on Manning and Assange. “You serve in the military, but you don’t serve the military. Ron Paul stands for principle, and it’s outstanding. That’s why he doesn’t sound like any other candidate.” Munoz served as Paul’s 2012 Alabama state chairman. “The principle here is, the soldier saw some stuff that the U.S. shouldn’t have been doing, and he exposed it. Like Ron Paul said, he’s a whistleblower. And whistleblowers are the ones that keep the government in check.”

    Among military and civilian supporters alike, Munoz’s sentiment appeared to be the prevailing one. “I think Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are heroes to the world,” said Stephen Cossett, a Libertarian Party activist from Venice, California, who claimed he had overseen the most prolific pro-Ron Paul phonebanking operation in the nation. “Bradley Manning to the United States, and Julian Assange to the world, since as Ron Paul said, he’s not an American.” Cossett was an invited “guest” of the California delegation, and that allows him entry to the convention floor—an attempt at co-optation, he suspected. …

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/ron-paul-stands-for-manning-and-assange/

  20. Howard Beale IV

    “If you don’t come in Sunday, don’t come in Monday”:

    When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the coal industry, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down. The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.
    A group of employees who feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore.
    Moore told Blomquist that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows. Because the company’s mine had to be shut down for “safety and security” reasons during Romney’s visit, Moore confirmed workers were not paid that day. He said miners also lose pay when weather or power outages shut down the mine, and noted that federal election law doesn’t let companies pay workers to attend political events. Moore said he didn’t see anything negative in attending Romney’s campaign appearance with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
    “We are talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry in this area or the entire country,” Moore said in the radio interview…

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/08/28/if-you-dont-come-in-sunday-dont-come-in-monday-coal-country-edition/

    Yes, we are truly a fsck’ed country.

    1. Ms G

      Great story link. Chilling.

      Moore’s statement that “attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend.” I would hate to hear Moore’s explanation of the difference between “mandatory” and “forced to attend.”

    2. RobW

      Mr. Burns: If you’re not at work on Friday don’t bother coming in on Monday.
      Homer: Woo hoo! Four day weekend!

  21. B. Traven

    Eurydice in a Used Car Lot. Margaret Travis paused in the empty foyer of the cinema, looking at the photographs in the display frames. In the dim light beyond the curtains she saw the dark-suited figure of Captain Webster, the muffled velvet veiling his handsome eyes. The last few weeks had been a nightmare – Webster with his long-range camera and obscene questions. He seemed to take a certain sardonic pleasure in compiling this one-man Kinsey Report on her . . positions, planes, where and when Travis placed his hands on her body – why didn’t he ask Catherine Austin? As for wanting to magnify the photographs and paste them up on enormous billboards, ostensibly to save her from Travis . . She glanced at the stills in the display frames, of this elegant and poetic film in which Cocteau had brought together all the myths of his own journey of return. On an impulse, to annoy Webster, she stepped through the side exit and walked past a small yard of cars with numbered windshields. Perhaps she would make her descent here. Eurydice in a used car lot?

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