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Links 9/15/12

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Pregnant males and pseudopenises: complex sex in the animal kingdom ars technica

Crows Hold Grudges in Humanlike Fashion LiveScience

The Salton Sea: Death and Politics in the Great American Water Wars Wired (Lambert). A must read.

The Next Industrial Revolution Starts in this 20-foot Shipping Container Gizmodo

My Life as a TaskRabbit BusinessWeek

Japan aims to abandon nuclear power by 2030s Reuters

Greeks work the longest hours in the EU; and other facts about the Greek labor markets Sober Look. This can’t be said often enough.

Protests target U.S. symbols across Muslim world AFP

A Map of Muslim Protests Around the World Atlantic (Lambert)

THE WAR NERD: OBAMA’S WARS >> Good Fighter, Can’t Cheerlead Worth A Damn // Gary Brecher, NSFW

Mitt Romney says ‘middle income’ is $250,000 Telegraph

Battle of the sexes Economist

Why are the Chicago public school teachers on strike? mathbabe

County Judge Strikes Down Some Restrictions on Public Unions in Wisconsin Law New York Times

Fed risks political fallout from QE3 Financial Times

How Much Does the Fed’s Plan Really Help Main Street? New York Times. Important. And notice the failure of the Fed to jawbone the banks on their margins. Looks like yet another stealth bailout.

QE Won’t Work Because There’s No Demand For Credit Clusterstock

Investor euphoria as Federal Reserve launches QE3 risks turning sour Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate

CFPB Issues Second Semi-Annual Report; Nearly Mum on Enforcement Consumer Law and Policy Blog (Deontos)

Over 1 Million Homeowners Bounced From HAMP Since Program Began David Dayen, Firedoglake

State court ruling deals blow to U.S. bank mortgage system Reuters

Treasury Lowballs Settlement Against Standard Chartered, Despite Large Award to New York Regulator Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Professor Adam Levitin Appointed to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s New Consumer Advisory Board Georgetown Law. Yah!

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 8 and counting*

“Mean people suck.” –Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

Chicago Teachers Strike. Deal? Friday morning: “Chicago Teachers Union delegates are expected to vote Sunday on whether to end Chicago’s first teacher strike in 25 years, but first, they want to see any deal in writing.” … Deal? Friday evening: “‘I’m pleased to report that the talks today were very productive,’ Chicago Teachers Union attorney Robert Bloch told reporters. ‘We are still continuing to work out the details of the contract, but we are hopeful that we will have a complete agreement to present to the union’s House of Delegates by Sunday.’” So, it’s not yet in writing? … Deal? “Both of the sides were careful not to describe the deal as a final agreement and declined to release the terms.” … Teacher evaluation: “It turns out that when you chart the achievement growth of students (plants in our analogy) and try to take into account the socioeconomic factors (soil conditions) that affect educational attainment, there still are too many variables to yield a reliable, consistent measurement of the quality of teachers (the fertilizers).” … From the ground: “An observation that I find difficult to report as a communist is the role of the police: I have to say that the police were some of our biggest supporters. The police approached us to make sure that they didn’t give any of us tickets for being parked in restricted areas around the school. The beat cops wanted to talk about how they were next and that public servants are taking the brunt of the economic crisis. It really makes me think about how sophisticated we need to be in recognizing how at different times the rulers lose the allegiance of those they rely on to enforce their rule.”

Montreal. Neologism watch: “Wangst.”A la prochaine fois Anarchopanda: “The panda outings were above all an intervention tactic against police brutality, and the context of these interventions, despite the welcome return of cooler weather, are becoming very limited following the end of the strike. It is time for Anarchopanda to tell you, without much hope, ‘Until next time.’”

CA. Monsanto: “Nine anti-GMO protesters were arrested for blocking the gates [by chaining] themselves to vehicles they parked at the entrances to Oxnard’s Seminis Vegetable Seeds. The blockade prevented trucks from entering or leaving the facility for nearly six hours.” …

CO. Fracking: “During a radio interview, [Gov. Hickenlooper] said he would like to come to Longmont and listen to people’s concerns; “Our Longmont” offered its invitation Aug. 31. Gov. Hickenlooper on Thursday turned down an offer to appear at an ‘Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont’ rally to ban fracking in Longmont.”

FL. Charters: “Brevard Public Schools will be verifying with parents that teachers of online classes run by for-profit company K12 are the same instructors the company claims are teaching.” … Voting: “[O]f [the] 247,300 new voters registered between December 2011 and July 2012 52% — or 129,456 — are NPA [No Party Affiliation]. Another 16% are D and 35% are R.”

GA. Transparency: “SoS Kemp announced the archives starting Nov. 1 will accept only limited public appointments to see GA’s important and historical records. The move, in response to Gov. Deal’s request to again trim spending, could make GA the only state in the nation without full-time, centrally located public access to historical government and state records.”

MA. FTW: “I think both sides should bask in the warm glow of closure.”

ME. East-West Corridor: “Earlier this month, the Piscataquis County town of Monson became the first Maine municipality to impose a six-month moratorium on privately owned highways and utility corridors. The vote to that end was unanimous — 47 to 0.”

NJ. Tinpot tyrants: “The parents of a 5-year-old autistic boy say his New Jersey elementary school refused to serve him a $2.30 lunch because they were a few days late paying the [$8.00] bill for his meal plan.”

TN. Loaded: “[State Rep. Curry Todd R] was arrested after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console. Todd was a main sponsor of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.” Hubris, nemesis.

TX. Corruption: “State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, the Kerrville R who heads the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, blanketed the state Capitol this week with flyers advertising his real estate business.” A D would have used a straw. … Mass incarceration: “The most significant causes of reduced jail populations in Harris County stem from changes in policies at the DA’s office: The cessation of charging people caught with drug paraphernalia with felonies based on trace amounts, and the creation of the DIVERT program for DWI defendants.”

VA. Uranium: “Hagerman, a supervisor in Pittsylvania County which is at the center of a battle over proposed uranium mining, says that State Sen. Stanley told him that Gov. McDonnell asked Stanley to lobby the county Board of Supervisors to shelve a resolution regarding uranium at its Sept. 4 meeting. Hagerman says he has a taped telephone call from Stanley to prove it.” … The Handmaid’s Tale: “The state Board of Health this afternoon voted 13-2 to adopt regulations requiring existing abortion clinics in VA to comply with building regulations for new hospital construction.”

WA. Police state: “A judge this afternoon ruled that King County deliberately withheld information on a sheriff’s deputy’s troubling past behavior from the attorneys of a man who was left permanently brain-damaged when he was tackled by the deputy in 2009.”

WI. Act 10: “The decision could still be overturned on appeal – the Supreme Court has already restored the law once in June 2011 after it was blocked by a different Dane County judge in a different case earlier that year.”

WY. Safety: “The safe environment that people tout brims with all kinds of dangers–more dangers, I submit, than we ever encounter in the wild. Routinely, we pile our children into cars and drive around at lethal speeds. We litter our homes with toxic substances, spray our yards with pesticides, keep firearms, eat food full of chemicals, breathe polluted air, let our kids drive and put them in social contexts where bad things happen all the time.”

Outside baseball. Psychopaths: “And if the narrative being flogged here is the frightening prospect of having a bunch of psychos inflicting noxious social and economic policies on the rest of us, isn’t the collusion of countless “sane” accomplices far more chilling?” … Strikes: “A good moral person will take whatever he or she can get even if it means working two or three crappy, low-paying jobs with no benefits. That’s what we’re supposed to do. Our reward is our pride and our dignity. I’ll tell what would give me pride and dignity. Participating in a general strike that shut down a city.” OK, and then?

Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch. Second term: “The working assumption is that Obama will face a divided government and want badly to get something done, even if it means cutting far-from-ideal deals with an R House.”

The economy. Best excuse yet: “Bill Clinton argued strenuously that the economic mess Mr Obama inherited was so severe that no president could fix it in just four years. Apparently, this is a message that resonates with many voters.”

The trail. Registration: “[Teams of young canvassers] spent eight weeks knocking on 120,882 doors across 208 of Milwaukee’s 317 wards. The voter file said they were all home to a registered voter flagged as likely to be African-American. Canvassers were able to find and interact with only 31 percent of their targets. Twice that number were confirmed to no longer live at the address on file — either because a structure was abandoned or condemned, or if a current resident reported that the targeted voter no longer lived there” (Stoller). … Undecideds: “These folks look like DISAFFECTED voters [no sh*t, Sherlock], they seem disengaged from the campaign, and they don’t call themselves enthusiastic about the election. They are probably NOT voters.” Or voters for emergent parties. … Registration: “[M]any registration drives necessarily rely on one-to-one, in-person contacts, the process of converting potential registrants into actual registrants is highly labor-intensive. And voter registration organizations get nowhere close to the funding they require to fundamentally alter the size of the unregistered population.” Use a Jobs Guarantee to rebuild the franchise! … Polls, Nate Silver: “But we’ve suddenly gone from having perhaps two state polls released every day to more like a dozen. (There has also been an increase in the number of national surveys.) When this happens, there can be the tendency for the news media to focus on those polls that confirm its current narrative about the race, while ignoring those that might tell a different story.” … Unemployment: “”Using county-level data on unemployment and election returns for 175 midterm gubernatorial elections and 4 presidential elections from 1994 to 2010, the analysis finds [o]ther things being equal, higher unemployment increases the vote shares of Democratic candidates.” Now, if I were really cynical…

The Romney. Interview: “[ROMNEY: [W]hat Bernanke’s doing is saying that what the president’s saying is wrong. The president’s saying the economy’s making progress, coming back. Bernanke’s saying, “No, it’s not. I’ve got to print more money.” … Class warfare: “[A]s distanced from the real economy as campaign reporters may be, Mitt and his team are even further divorced from the real world. So they don’t even realize that two different sets of people are turning away from their campaign: the reporters, based on campaign fuck-ups, and real people, based on a solid sense of what could turn around their lived economic struggles.” … Money: “Romney campaign aides said Thursday they were unsure whether former president Bush would appear at the lunchtime event at his home.” His own home?! … Too much information: “[ANN ROMNEY:] And Anita and I were like we wonder what’s behind this door? It was George [and not Neil] Bush having a massage.” … Toast: “Personally, I suspect that Romney knows that he can’t win the election and is, at this point, trying to protect himself from personal blame for losing an easy election.” Ouch.

The Obama. Poll: “Who would win in a fistfight? Obama: 58%; Romney: 22%.” … Have a beer with: “‘It’s the likability factor,’ said [Stuart] Spencer, a Romney supporter. ]Many people think that Obama hasn’t delivered, but they still like him. I’d rather have a beer with him than Romney. Wouldn’t you?’” “Have a beer with” — They actually say it! Would have to be an O’Dools with Romney, of course. … Pulling ahead? “But what we may ultimately remember of this period is that it was the time the Romney campaign’s tight focus on the economy and jobs was loosened. Chasing headlines makes it hard to catch up, particularly if the campaign’s original assumptions were correct.” … New Obama comic impersonator: “Comic Jay Pharoah will play the commander in chief when the new [Saturday Night Live] season begins this weekend. ‘I just thought it might be time to shake it up,’ [Lorne] Michaels said” (cf. essential Stoller post). … Multilevel marketing: “Voters trust the traditional media less than ever. They do not believe politicians and their surrogates either. So the aim is to get friends to persuade their friends, using material supplied by the campaign.” What a bunch of users.

* slogan of the day: Warmly celebrate the 4th anniversary of the election of The Obama!

* * *

Antidote du jour:

Also, the documentary “We’re Not Broke” on corporate tax evasion and the Uncut movement, is playing in select locations. See the website for details.

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58 comments

  1. Christian

    RE: The Next Industrial Revolution Starts in this 20-foot Shipping Container – Gizmodo

    Since when is capitalism a revolution?

    Really, that article pisses me off. Neo-liberal clap trap. “helping a community evolve as it makes its own products”? Maybe they need to devolve instead of turning into another factory town.

    1. tomk

      I disagree. Capitalism is a revolution when the means of production are controlled by the workers and this sort of thing could be a step in the right direction. Human scale workshops are empowering.

      Thanks for the link to the War Nerd. He’s always entertaining, seems knowledgeable and his impoliteness is refreshing. It seems he is really John Dolan, the eXiled book reviewer whose brilliant early take down of James Frey is worth searching out.

      1. different clue

        Really? I thought the War Nerd really is Gary Brecher and that Gary Brecher and John Dolan are two highly different people.

  2. Tiresias

    I’m surprised this didn’t make the cut above:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/sep/14/ubs-trader-adoboli-7bn-court

    “A City trader recklessly gambled with illicit trades to boost his bonus, and ran up potential losses of more than £7bn at one point, a sum big enough to sink his employer, the global bank UBS, a court has heard.”

    Having read the story I’m still not sure exactly where the criminality lies – sure the guy lied and didn’t follow the bank’s rules re disclosure and hedging but that’s surely a matter for internal discipline rather than criminal fraud charges.

    And I’m damn sure that if his ‘gambles’ had come off and earned the bank $2.3 billion his ‘transgressions’ would have been overlooked as they drank his health in champagne in the boardroom.

    1. Bill

      ” I’m still not sure exactly where the criminality lies…”

      I believe he’s charged with TWB — Trading While Black !

      I don’t believe for a minute there aren’t scores of white traders doing the same things, and getting bonuses for it.

      He’s the fall guy.

      BTW, I’m caucasion.

  3. JTFaraday

    “From the ground: “An observation that I find difficult to report as a communist is the role of the police: I have to say that the police were some of our biggest supporters… The beat cops wanted to talk about how they were next and that public servants are taking the brunt of the economic crisis. It really makes me think about how sophisticated we need to be in recognizing how at different times the rulers lose the allegiance of those they rely on to enforce their rule.”

    “Labor aristocrats” unite here!

    1. Bert_S

      In a March 28 letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, and the heads of the Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Housing Finance Agency, NAR said REALTORS® “understand the importance of reducing blight by keeping homes from becoming vacant.”

      ————————————————
      This is very real, and something needs to be done about it.

      I have an area [secret] where I’ve been looking at bank owned properties with the intent of buying as a personal residence. There was a lot of building during the boom in this area, so a lot of the houses are newer, which I like.

      The last one I toured had two broken windows [actually every one I've toured had broken windows - seems to be a local pastime] and even more disturbing is the BUGS are taking over. No termites in the latest one that I could see but the floor was covered with big huge dead cockroaches. Then I saw a dead scorpion.

      The way the bug kingdom works is scorpions like to eat crickets and cockroaches and they follow them into the house and eventually nest. Then other nasty things we have around here like Brown Recluse spiders move in to feed off of little bugs. Black Widows too. Rattlesnakes will find a home in any refuse on the property. Then if you don’t do pest control in the yard, lesser nusance critters like chiggers take over.

      Then there is looting. Whatever the pissed off foreclosee didn’t strip, seems someone else comes along later and gets.

      1. direction

        “This is the kitchen, isn’t it cozy? Here’s the view out the back to the concrete wall that separates you from your neighbors’.

        That leak in the retaining wall, you could make your own little duck pond on the patio! And all these belongings left by the squatters, well, you could collect a tidy sum selling them on ebay, that’s a bonus.

        It’s the perfect starter home for a first time homebuyer like yourself Mr. Bernanke.”

        (don’t worry about the scorpions, they make great pets)

          1. direction

            “Sure are! Take a look!
            oh dear….where did the plumbing go?”

            (did you happen to get a good look at that toothless man with the shopping cart full of metal who was grinning his head off when we were driving up?)

    2. Lambert Strether

      Shorter: “They want it all.”

      That seems to apply to a lot of things these days.

      * * *

      This is a really dumb and finance-illiterate question, but if QE3 is buying MBSs — that is what Atrios called The Big Sh*tpile, right? — could that have anything to do with this concept of turning us all into renters?

      * * *

      And the idea of the banksters as absentee landlords… What could go wrong?

      1. Eureka Springs

        If you think you have a gas leak, press 3.
        If your hot water heater is out, press 9.
        If you have a leak in the roof and it’s raining, please stay on the line, someone in India will be with you for further delay shortly.
        If you think you have a roach infestation…. call back in six months in order for us to be sure it’s really a problem.

        All of the above will effect your credit /permanent record…. in a manner which assures you may never qualify for a mortgage of your own.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Actually, it would be worse than that. There would be a different call center (with different PINs, etc) for each service. All the bank would do is maintain the list of numbers to call.

          “Check your Valued Client’s Handbook for the exact list of approved service providers in your area. See page 108.” … “There’s nothing on page 108?” … “You must not have this year’s handbook.” … “Is your Valued Client Rating 800 or above?” … “Then no, no, it’s not online.” … “We’ll mail you a new handbook. That will be $29.95.” …. “The transaction has been approved.” …. “In three weeks.” … “Yes, I understand about the gas leak, and we can expedite. Let me transfer you to our shipping department.” [click. buzz. dial tone... As the realization dawns that they've charged my account without confirming my addresss.... And I'm currently crashing at a location without a gas leak...]

      2. Carla

        Lambert, I tried to send the link to the “Fed okays banks as landlords” article to you directly, but it bounced back.

        I emailed it to Yves, and attempted to email it to you, as a suggestion for an “official” NC link, but as I say, yours bounced back, and Yves has never picked up one of my links. That’s fine, but I just wonder if I’m doing something wrong.

      3. Doug Terpstra

        You are pooh-poohing a savvy, sustainable business strategy based on a very sophisticated business plan — that is to extract high rent on an long term basis from tenants with ruined credit who could not make their mortgage payments. This is why bankers get the obscene tax-subsidized bonuses they get . . . and you don’t.

  4. Jim Haygood

    “The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob.” — Hillary Pantsuit

    Quite so. They traded those dictators for the tyranny of drone executions, carried out by their U.S. overlords by video link from Nevada and Virginia.

    President Obama approves the designated targets on Terror Tuesdays, so it’s ‘all legal.’

    ATTENTION: you have been liberated!

  5. chris

    What I find most revealing about the definitions of “poor” vs. “rich” is that both political parties have no problem defining a family of 4 making $25,000 as “not poor” while at the same time a guy making 1 million is “not rich.” Just ask Nancy Pelosi…

    1. Lambert Strether

      It’s really $250,000 on down, and the slope of the power curve is so steep it’s hard to know where to make the cut…. Especially from a position as exalted as The Romney’s. Endearingly, he was speaking from the bullet points in his presentation, not to human experience.

      1. kevinearick

        What’s obama $10M, and what is that, in worthless currency, when the middle class containment of labor illusion is dispelled, as it always is?

    2. BondsOfSteel

      IMHO, the $250,000 number is just because Congress would like to see themselves as part of the middle class. The highest paid member, the Speaker of the House, makes $223,500.

      But then, I’ve become so cynical :(

  6. kevinearick

    Capital and middle class like to think labor is stupid and helpless, right up until the system bomb goes off…

    yes, capital attempts to crush labor, employing middle class for the purpose, but it does’t know anything else. middle class knows better, but is sucked in by peer pressure.

    you can get angry, and waste your life fighting capital. you can join middle class and become a robot, contained by the false assumptions of an arbitrary job, or you can get on with life, which is the only path to the future, expecting the statis quo to throw every possible hurdle in your path, when it recognizes you.

    what the veterans learn is that armies of cowards move forward on peer pressure and are prevented from going back by generals with tanks…

    don’t fool yourself. capital thinks drones operated by cowards, posing as heroes fro 6000 miles away is the answer…

    you can laugh or cry, but transform your anger into energy of catalysis. become the butterfly and the cocoon will return to the dust from whence it came.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    First virgin snake births.

    Now pregnant males – are we talking about seahorses here? (By they way, were they on Noah’s Ark, as every ‘living creature’ was about to be wiped out from 40 days and 40 nights of rain? Did any sea animals get onboard, like whales0? Did any vegetables or plants get on board?)

    Nature is wonderful.

    1. F. Beard

      The Flood was a local event since mankind refused to spread out. They were thus nicely concentrated so a world wide Flood was not necessary.

      And the reason for the Flood?

      Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Genesis 6:5-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    2. F. Beard

      Actually, nature has been cursed for the sake of mankind:

      Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17

    3. Bert_S

      Noah told the whales that they are on their own, and hence, whales have been discriminated against ever since.

  8. kevinearick

    Yes, there is a labor aristocracy, but it is based upon work ethic, in an empire full of robots that assume real work is stupid, and the weed out process is brutal, especially at the end of an empire iteration. when “pop” recognizes you, he gives you a nominal leasehold, equivalent to rent without interest at the legacy asset price, that is the price he paid for it decades ago. the property, along with all the necessary equipment is at your disposal so long as you employ it effectively, until and unless you leave.

    So, pop has 75 sq kliks, and leases me 40 acres of tobacco, with seed, including 2 greenhouses with connections to grow pot for the government, including the house, the out-buildings and all the equipment…

    my 2nd is a nurse at a big university hospital, collecting 40/hr fulltime for a year, staying home to be pregnant, conspiring with her family on how they are going to take advantage…and their big idea to open what they think is a negotiation, on the basis of family law, is a f-ing hockey rink in the middle of pop’s tobacco field…

    when they get turned down flat, wifey starts an affair… with a cop that frequents the hospital. when they finally get to springing the trap, after much drama and storytelling, i am on the plane to hawaii within 2 hours, and once again they lose everything, and end up back in the prison they came from..

    1. kevinearick

      Of course, from their perspective, i am hitler, because i will not allow emotion to trump logic when it comes to utilizing the land. given a choice between being on the right side of society or nature, labor always chooses the latter. empires come and go, on a regular basis.

      the gold miners in sa are supposed to eat garbage at the company store so some useless idiots in the us can rejoice over their self-absorption. on what planet does that make sense?

  9. kevinearick

    Tell the empire to go f-itself by working your a- off, and move as necessary. if you make the cut, you will get everything back, with interest and penalties. nature, demographics, ensures the outcome.

  10. Valissa

    The latest pirate news…

    Happy Birthday Pirate Bay!
    Pirate Bay Celebrates 9th Anniversary, a Brief History http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-celebrates-9th-anniversary-a-brief-history-120915/

    DVD Piracy Rampant on Amazon; Warner Bros Wants Blood http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Warner-Bros-Piracy-Amazon-True-Blood-HBO,news-16080.html

    Hawks arrest anti-pirate security ace http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/hawks-arrest-anti-pirate-security-ace-1.1383685
    fyi, the Hawks are… South Africa’s new priority crimes unit http://www.southafrica.info/news/hawks-090709.htm

    It’s only 4 days ‘til Talk Like A Pirate Day – Wednesday, September 19th http://talklikeapirate.com/ !

  11. old-time pigs

    It’s nice that cops finally realize that they are next in line for proletarian headchopping, but as that King County incident and thousands more show, this country needs a massive RIF to purge all the uniformed animals out there. Then steal their pensions and save a lot of money. The public would be safer with no cops at all.

    1. Synopticist

      When Thatcher crushed the unions and the left in the UK in the eighties, she made damn sure she had the filth on her side from the get-go. The cops were well looked after by Thatcher.

      Who knows, maybe this time the super-rich dont even want to share with the only people who can keep the streets safe for them. Perhaps they’re miscalculating.

  12. kevinearick

    Welcome to ace hardware; if you don’t buy a chinese toaster, i won’t be able to pay my f-ing rent.

    capital wants to see a palace, run by slaves pecking each other (give it what it wants until you don’t, keeping in mind that it exists for failure of individual responsibility aggregated). The algorithm it preaches from birth, embedded as hidden assumptions, is that you must feel good emotionally to be successful, and then it throws emotional hurdles in your path, all day everyday.

    if you made the mistake of entering the palace/casino/prison, the easiest path out is to be homeless with 10% of your time, with no crutches. as you do so, examine the imprinted pavlov messages trying to protect you from embarassment. if you can be human as a homeless person, everything else in life is piece of cake.

    capital is self-loathing by nature, so it seeks to create even lower life forms than itself, hence a crappy $300/night hotel room in mendocino, operated by druggies hell bent on destroying themselves, replaced every year with a new batch

  13. Susan the other

    About the Salton Sea mess. Everybody in California seems to be thinking like the Army Corps of Engineers. It’s Cadillac Desert all over again. “We can create habitat” they say, but the question is how. The Salton Sea is an artificial lake polluted by ag runoff and evaporating into a stinking dusty mess. The native habitat was destroyed a hundred years ago. And an artificial one will be very expensive but it won’t survive. The only way to rehabilitate the Salton Sea would be to create a permaculture. That is very unlikely in LaLa Land. So maybe it would be best to follow Jerry Brown’s lead and just sit back and enjoy the shadenfreude knowing that Palm Springs really stinks these days.

  14. Susan the other

    About the Reuters rundown on the Bain v MERS ruling in Washington State whereby YES MERS CAN BE SUED. This seems to be centered on fraudclosures and those harmed by it. But the really big problem that always remains unaddressed is that 80% of all mortgages have been put into the MERS system. And all those titles cannot be cleared. The chain of ownership has been so destroyed it cannot be put back together at all. That is the real tragedy and if all homeowners thus wronged could sue MERS and the banks it rode in on for damages it would amount to several trillion dollars. If the Fed is so happy to buy up foreclosures and MBSs, they should be doing something about this besides pretending that ‘Oh it’s not really a problem’.

  15. Susan the other

    The Guardian. QE3 Risks. Nouriel Roubini. I wish Roubini would stop reacting to debt as if he were advocating austerity. By doing so he is a reactionary to what he terms “Ineffective governments with weak leadership.” I wish instead he would start advocating the money commons; a sovereign financial commonwealth solution. That is the best solution to the bond vigilantes he fears.

  16. Valissa

    Interesting post by Charles Hugh Smith… We Need a New Stock Market http://www.oftwominds.com/blogsept12/need-new-market9-12.html

    Here are a few of the rules he proffers:
    1. Every offer and bid will be left up for 15 minutes and cannot be withdrawn until 15 minutes has passed.
    2. Every security–stock or option–must be held for a minimum of one hour.
    3. Every trade must be placed by a human being.

    Somehow I don’t these ideas will be popular with the current financial players.

    1. F. Beard

      I’m not impressed by Luddite solutions; technology is not the problem; a fundamentally unethical money system is and has been for centuries.

      1. Valissa

        Consider this line from his first paragraph… the “tell” for his so-called solution is there…

        Today’s market has as much in common with the market of the 1960s as a horse-drawn carriage has with a Formula 1 race car.

        There are still plenty of bloggers like CHS hankerin’ for how things were in the ‘good ol’ days’ and thinkin’ that’s the solution for the problems of today and tomorrow. It is an interesting fantasy, nonetheless.

        1. F. Beard

          Conservatives should ask themselves “If the ‘good ole days’ were so good, why did we ever change?”

          With banking, we grabbed a tiger by the tail and don’t know how to let go. We’d best start thinking about it seriously.

          1. Valissa

            It’s not only conservatives that long for the good ol’ days, many liberals do too. I think it’s a side effect of aging for some people.

            While we may dislike the way today’s elites are handling this financial crisis, I’m sure they think they are taking it seriously. Besides… when have the little people ever liked or approved of or agreed with the elites-of-the-time during a financial crisis?

          2. F. Beard

            I think it’s a side effect of aging for some people. Valissa

            Yep and it leads to great ironies.

            While we may dislike the way today’s elites are handling this financial crisis, I’m sure they think they are taking it seriously. Valissa

            Does a fish know it’s all wet?

  17. Putin at Chartwell

    If Romney does lose, this will be twice in a row now that this country has taken a puppet of kleptocrats and enemy of all mankind* and returned him to office. And this time the pretense of factional curbs that put Obama in office just goes away, and it’s USA USA USA for all the same shit. We live under a criminal regime with no internal corrective capacity.

    *simple matter of fact under the law on programmatic wilful killing, aggression, and torture with impunity. This is what Putin was alluding to when he said, Who can feel safe? No one. Stopping a murderous predator state that’s out of control is a job for the outside world.

  18. Abonilox

    “Strikes: “A good moral person will take whatever he or she can get even if it means working two or three crappy, low-paying jobs with no benefits. That’s what we’re supposed to do. Our reward is our pride and our dignity. I’ll tell what would give me pride and dignity. Participating in a general strike that shut down a city.” OK, and then?”

    Thanks for the link. A general strike, if that were possible to accomplish in this country, would be an appropriate response to the ineffectiveness of the duopolistic, plutocratic government. It is a correct antidote to the influence of concentrated wealth. Without labor, everything shuts down. The best way to demonstrate that is with a general strike. The definition of labor needs to be expanded to include both wage slaves and small business people. Get rid of the petit bourgeois classification. What we call middle class is the new proletariat.

  19. kevinearick

    Contrary to the crap espoused by the fedex ceo, and others who are now eating their words, there is no big business without small business. the fed is assigned to prove a false premise true, and is destroying itself in the process. likewise, congress destroyed itself trying to prove that it, rather than talent, is the best determinate of extending credit.

    you’ll have that, on the explicit currency side.

    1. kevinearick

      You should not be surprised that everyone, top to bottom, gets pissed off when you bypass corporate mythology to increase real productivity, though that is precisely what is required, on a global scale now, without the usual benefit of war to hide the unravelling of capital misdirection.

    1. psychohistorian

      When the going gets tough the fools start a war to obfuscate.

      Look, over there, bright shiny things. More killing fields as pure capitalism……..very sick society…..maybe terminal.

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