Recent Items

Links 9/19/12

Posted on by

[Readers, sorry for the delay. A technical kerfuffle prevented Links from being posted in a timely fashion. --lambert]

Reindeer at risk from snow sport BBC

A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife New York Times

Flesh-Eating Bacteria: Researchers Challenge Doctors To Diagnosis Necrotizing Fasciitis Early Huffington Post (Carol B). Eeew!

Microsoft pushes home users toward Office subscriptions—whether they like it or not ars technica

Money still leaving China MacroBusiness

Asia’s millionaires outgrow those in N America Financial Times

Jawboning Spain MacroBusiness

Faust and the German aversion to debt FTAlphaville

Afghan ‘insider’ attacks alter exit strategy Los Angeles Times

Romney’s Breakfast of Billionaires Greg Palast

Romney under fire from all sides Financial Times

Where Do Romney’s ‘Moochers’ Live? Bill Browning (furzy mouse)

Women’s Group Plans “WTF Awards” to “Honor” Akin, Brewer, Limbaugh for Worst Misogyny Alternet (furzy mouse)

Map Shows What Happens To New York Airspace When Air Force One Comes To Town Clusterstock. I’d love a map of what it does to street traffic. I’ve seen a (presumably divorced) father unable to get his under 10 year old daughter back home to her mother due to an Obama fundraiser. No one was being allowed to leave their buildings or enter the block for a two plus hour period, meaning that not only could the father (or even the daughter alone) get home, the mother could not come to the police barricade to escort her daughter either. Similarly, during an earlier fundraiser, it was pretty much impossible to get out of midtown any other way than on foot (avenues were hopelessly backed up, so busses and taxis were out, and the subways were jam packed and pretty much unworkable. As a result, I walked 30+ blocks home. Thank God I was on the correct side of the avenue when I started my hike. Police weren’t letting people cross Park Avenue over a huge cordoned area. Even showing an ID with an address cut no ice with the cops (I saw people pleading and getting nowhere).

American Real Estate Investors Seek Opportunities in European Debt Crisis New York Times

Mitt Romney Tax Clarifications Lee Shepard, Forbes. From last week but still important.

Chicago Teachers Union Votes to Suspend Strike David Dayen, Firedoglake

Treasury International Capital Hit the Record High Since January BondSquawk

Arbitration Agreements Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

CHART OF THE DAY: Morgan Stanley Expects A Horrible Finish For The Market This Year Clusterstock

Rising Tower Emerges as a Billionaires’ Haven New York Times

A Rare Look at Why The Government Won’t Fight Wall Street Matt Taibbi

Police and Occupy: An Abusive Relationship Kit OConnell, Firedoglake

The importance of Occupy Felix Salmon

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 12 and counting*

What’s it going to be then, eh? –Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Chicago teachers strike. Back to work: “The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates decided this afternoon to end the city’s first teacher strike in 25 years and return more than 350,000 students to the classroom Wednesday. After the vote, Delegates poured out of the union hall singing ‘Solidarity Forever.’” … Still no contract: “[CTU President Karen] Lewis said the entire membership of the union will cast a formal vote in the next two weeks to ratify a new contract agreement.” … FTW, Diane Ravitch: “[T]he union pitted itself against Rahm Emanuel, Arne Duncan, Chicago’s business and civic leadership, and the Race to the Top. It took on the most powerful forces in the city, and yes, even President Obama, who remained neutral. And by taking a stand, by uniting to resist the power elite, these teachers discovered they were strong. They put on their red T-shirts and commanded the attention of the nation and the admiration of millions of teachers. Powerless no more, they showed that unity made them strong. 98% voted to authorize the strike, and 98% voted to end it.”

#S17. Police state: “Councilmember Jumaane Williams took a baton to the chest late last night while observing the NYPD make arrests in Zuccotti Park.” … Police state: “love you all. God jail is boring. #s17 #ows The women’s section was totally threatened with a night in the tombs for singing Solidarity Forever. On line to get my things on the way out, I was in between a reporter for the Boston Phoenix and an elderly couple, one of whom was a priest.” … Zeitgeist watch: Two mentions of Solidarity Forever in two different contexts. Hmm.

FL. Voting: Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign records show he paid $5,000 in 2010 to an alleged boletera, who was accused in Hialeah–during the 2011 mayor’s race–of going door-to-door collecting absentee ballots from the elderly.” … Money: [Todd Long R] attacked [Alan Grayson D] for having referred to a female Federal Reserve adviser and former Enron lobbyist as a ‘K Street whore.’ Long called the 2009 comment sexist and demeaning. Grayson apologized at the time, but he defended the remark Monday. Lobbyists are commonly referred to that way, he said, ‘because they congregate on K Street, and they’re whores.’” … Nuclear: “Mark W. Hicks, 53, of Port St. Lucie, alleges in the [whistleblower] complaint that he was terminated from his job as operations manager for refusing to start up the plant’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor after recognizing it had a leaky valve.”

IA. Youth vote: “‘Everyone was like, ‘Obama’s coming to town, Obama’s coming to town!’” said Logan Williams, 21, of Iowa City, a student at the University of Iowa. “But this year, I mean I literally had tickets to one of his events in my hands, and I said, ‘No thanks.’”

MD. Debt: “After Regina Friend’s son committed suicide last year, she was at least relieved to know that the loans he took out to pay for his Temple University degree were forgiven. But now, the Cockeysville woman has learned she faces a hefty tax bill on those canceled loans. ‘I thought I was done,’ she said. Then in June she spoke to her tax preparer, who told her that she will owe an estimated $14,000. According to IRS rules, loans that are forgiven in the case of death or permanent disability are treated as income.” … Unions: “With time running out before the contract expires, the union representing 14,500 longshoremen on the East and Gulf coasts and the port employers’ organization will meet Wednesday morning with a federal mediator to try to avert the first strike in 35 years.”

ME. Penobscots: “Matthew Manahan of [politically wired out-of-state trash advocates] Pierce Atwood LLP contacted 10 municipalities and six companies he said have an interest in the lawsuit, in which the [Penobscot] nation is seeking an injunction to keep ME game wardens from policing the river and preventing tribal members from engaging in sustenance fishing. ‘This lawsuit could have significant consequences for non-Indian waste discharge licensees discharging into the river or its tributaries,’ he wrote.”

MO. Akin: “In what looks like another gender-related gaffe from R Senate candidate Todd Akin’s campaign, a website purporting to show his female supporters pictures a D Party operative who was only there to monitor his activities.”

NC. Police state: “The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday that the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), under the leadership of Sheriff Terry S. Johnson, has engaged in a pattern of misconduct that violates the Constitution and federal law.”

OH. Fracking: “Some landowners in Mercer County were hoping for answers Tuesday night as to why they are being passed over for their mineral leases. A statement from Halcon [Energy Resources] said they did due diligence on the leases and found some landowners did not qualify. That fragmented the land making it impossible to have the necessary acreage for horizontal drilling.” … Voting: “Voter registration rolls have shrunk by 490,000 statewide from the last presidential election, in part because of efforts to eliminate duplicated and outdated entries, as well as voters who had been inactive for more than four years. Cuyahoga County accounts for 44 percent of the reduction statewide” [Cf. NC 2012-09-15].

PA. Voting: “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 4 to 2 decision this afternoon, has vacated a Commonwealth Court’s earlier ruling, which had denied a temporary injunction on the state GOP’s polling place Photo ID restriction law. Rather than issuing their own injunction, they have has sent the matter back to the lower court for review.” … Fracking: “A group of environmental and community planning organizations, as well as government entities, filed a series of amicus briefs with the PA Supreme Court in support of a Commonwealth Court decision that found Act 13 unconstitutional. This PA law would have permitted fracking virtually everywhere in the Commonwealth without any regard to community character or the existing local economy.” …. Small towns: “The median population of a NJ municipality is about 22,000; in PA, it is 1,900.”

TX. Privatization: “Six of the seven Laredo residents who pleaded guilty to illegal [straw purchases of] guns Monday worked at the Rio Grande Detention Center in Laredo, [which is] privately managed by The Geo Group.” … Pipelines: “Twenty-six people were killed and at least 51 injured by a Tuesday morning explosion at the Petróleos Mexicanos gas pipeline distribution center on the outskirts of Reynosa.”

VA. Tea party: “This is not to denigrate the Tea Party. I may not agree with most of the views of Tea Party leader Jamie Ratdke, who lost a primary fight for U.S. senator to George Allen, but I respect her and realize she’s not exactly a nut case.” Not exactly.

WI. Money: “The Wisconsin Realtors Association funneled more than $1 million to [the Club for Growth], against the wishes of some members whose dues funded this contribution.” … Fracking: “[U]sing job-site estimates developed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation*, found that when existing mines and those being built are fully operating, the [fracking sand] industry will employ about 2,780 people.” [* I'm wary. WEDC is not *.gov, but *.org.] … Unions: “State AG Van Hollen on Tuesday asked a Dane County judge to hold off enforcement of his ruling that overturned much of a controversial collective bargaining law until the state has appealed the decision.”

WV. Extractive economy: “Alpha Natural Resources has identified the eight mines it’s closing in Central Appalachia. Some 400 workers are being laid off Tuesday. Another 800 layoffs are looming as Alpha shifts its business away from U.S. power plants and toward overseas steel mills.”

Outside baseball. Privatization: “Privatisation was not a Thatcher patent. The Spanish economist Germà Bel traces the origins of the word to the German word Reprivatisierung, first used in English in 1936 by the Berlin correspondent of the Economist, writing about Nazi economic policy.” … Teaching: “In 1988, the modal number of years of teacher experience was 15 (meaning there were more teachers with 15 years experience than any other cohort). By 2008, the modal years of teacher experience was ONE. There were more first-year teachers than any other group.” … Election reform: “Reforming our elections must be integral to our agenda, even once we’ve figured out that the Messiah hasn’t been nominated.” … The blob: “Most damningly, Jeff Connaughton in The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins,] writes about something he calls ‘The Blob,’ a kind of catchall term describing an oozy pile of Hill insiders who are all incestuously interconnected, sometimes by financial or political ties, sometimes by marriage, sometimes by all three. [T]aking on Wall Street even with the aim of imposing simple, logical fixes often inspired immediate hostile responses from The Blob; you’d never know where it was coming from.”

Legacy parties. Jerseys: “‘Remember,’ he said. ‘We all wear blue jerseys and play for the Blue Team.’” I’ve been using the jersey as a metaphor for tribalism for years. But I didn’t know insiders used it, too.

The trail. Senate: “Ds are now favored to retain control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January.” … Gallup: “Obama’s small bounce in the polls following the DNCon has all but vanished in Tuesday’s Gallup daily tracking poll.” …. The Gaffes: “Many a news cycle was built on a ‘gaffe’ with a remarkably short shelf life.” Handy charts! … The polls, Lynn Sweet: “The Romney and Obama campaigns have this in common: They don’t pay much attention to national polls, except to discern certain trends or themes or show them to wavering mega-donors.* The polls that matter are the battleground state surveys.” [* Pretty amazing. They'd actually engineer a poll result to win a contribution? I guess so.] … All good things must come to an end: “With just 49 days left until the election, the room for error — for both candidates — continues to narrow.”

Green party. Press releases: Nothing on the secret Romney video. Missed opportunity.

The Romney. Strategery: “Mitt Romney, sensing an opening in the Middle East mess and catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans, is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on “status quo versus change,” chief strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO” (before the secret tape eruption). … “Bitter” then, “entitled” now, Carter’s revenge: “[S]elf-described “oppo researcher”James Carter IV told NBC News in an interview that, starting late last month, he tracked down the source who took the secret Romney video via Twitter — and then in a series of messages encouraged him to release the full tape to Mother Jones magazine.” It was recorded May 17. Masterful timing by Axelrove! Here are the full, unedited tapes. … “Bitter” then, “entitled” now, Department of Unfounded Rumors: “Somebody shipped this tape to Corn for the express purpose of confirming every single stereotype of Romney in which people already had come to despise.” … “Bitter” then, “entitled” now, Department of Unfounded Rumors: “Susan suspects that the video was made by one of the serving staff at the event. Maybe a union member? Wouldn’t that be sweet.” … “Bitter” then, “entitled” now worth jail? ” In FL, it is either a felony or a high grade misdemeanor under 934.03 for the individual who made the secret recordings of Romney to have done so.” …. “Bitter” then, “entitled” now: “My reaction to listening to excerpts from Obama’s “bitter clingers” speech: That guy doesn’t understand or like people like me and mine. My reaction to listening to excerpts from Romney’s “47 percent” speech: That guy doesn’t understand or like people like me and mine. One of these guys will be president for the next four years. Dammit.” … “Bitter” then, “entitled” now, a note of sanity: “The underlying problem is the assumption that politicians have a true self that must somehow be revealed. It’s useful to know what Romney says in private to donors, but we will never know whether those statements actually reflect his true beliefs.”

With friends like these: “Romney should then leave without taking questions, perhaps issuing a detailed statement of these points later.” … Drudge: “[In a Fox News interview Tuesday,] Romney several times referenced a 1998 clip that surfaced just before his interview [how convenient], which shows Obama, then a state senator, advocating for helping the poor through ‘redistribution.’” … Lesser evil: “[The Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas:] ‘And so those of us who have said yes (to Romney), we’re going to support him as the lesser of two evils, but at the same time, we’re making very clear that we’re doing so realizing Mormonism is not Christianity.’” … Gaffes: Top 20 from The Romney.

From the Barcalounger: Ya know, I’m happy to pass the popcorn — not least because damaging either legacy party wins merit — if and while The Romney explodes, but anybody who thinks blowing the Mittster into a million little pieces will prevent a collective diet of Grand Bargain™-brand Cat Food is delusional. Official Washington is committed to that policy, and The Obama is personally committed to it. Very happy to be wrong, but have you heard “Not one penny of cuts” from The Obama? No?

The Obama. “One thing I’ve learned” riff: “[OBAMA:] One thing I’ve learned as president is that you represent the entire country.” Oh, you didn’t know that when you were running? Why did you run, then? … “Folks”: “[OBAMA:] When folks are breaking the rules, we go after them.” Well, unless they’re banksters. … Gaffes: Top 12 from The Obama.

* Slogan of the day: For the Motherland, for The Romney, for World Peace, for Private Equity!

* * *

Antidote du jour:

Print Friendly
Twitter11DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook2LinkedIn0Google+0bufferEmail

99 comments

  1. Peasant Pinguin Society

    “A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows an angel
    looking as though he is about to move away from something
    he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his
    mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward
    the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one
    single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.

    The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such a violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”

    - Walter Benjamin

  2. MacCruiskeen

    Re: Office subscriptions. Adobe is also doing this for its Creative Suite, which annoys me. I switched to OpenOffice for my basic wp needs about five years ago, so no more money for MS.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘[Microsoft] says that subscribers will be given unspecified “updates” to add new features and capabilities over the life of their subscription.’

      This is a ‘feature’ that I would pay not to receive. Microsoft has a long-established habit of messing up what already works, to make the user interface and features even more unintuitive and opaque than they already are.

      The last thing you want, after taking the time to master these bloated-horror applications, is to wake up one morning and find that they’ve jerked the rug out from under you with a ‘new, improved’ user interface in an update.

      All that means is hours of googling to find out where the simple functions that you normally use have now been concealed, complicated and degraded.

    2. JohnL

      Intuit too with Quicken and Quickbooks which have annual “upgrades”, limited backward tech support, and subscription add-ons.

    3. Jessica

      Another aspect of the attempt to turn earned profits into unearned rental streams, in this case with intellectual property rights.
      We would be better off having things like such foundational software done by some type of temporary organization that can mostly be wound down when the largest part of the work is one. No one should be allowed to generate a rental stream (or even higher one-time sales) price due to a monopoly that arises due to the nature of the market. Adobe, Word, etc. are not monopolies because they are or were so overwhelmingly superior to the competition, but because our need to use compatible programs means that in the end, someone will get a monopoly or near-monopoly.

        1. MacCruiskeen

          That means what? Open source is extremely tiny and unpredictable, whereas proprietary has dial settings?

  3. ambrit

    Friends;
    G– I hate my job, matey, aargh! Should make a good saying for the day me buckoes.
    Avast! But ye hadn’t said just what kind of Pyrates we must spoke alike! So, with the shadow of the noose hanging over me like a NYPD checkpoint tween office and lunch wagon, I’ll try an talk like those other famous Pyrates, Merchant Bankers! (Cue Monty Pythons, “The Crimson Permanent Assurance.”)
    As for “Map of..” Well me hearties, ain’t that how every paranoid and frightened Caudillo and Tinpot Tyrant spends his, (or her,) days? What’s the use of being head of a big heartless police state if no one wants to kill you? Eh? (Let’s not get sidetracked by Squeaky Fromme now. Or the idiot who tried to get Reagan, [the Antichrists John the Baptist,] and didn’t practice shooting first!) The best part is, why weren’t the fundraising entities told to pay for the “protection” of the guest of (dis)honour? Isn’t that state support for a political faction? The waters get murky about here. (“Here be monsters.” the map says.)

    1. Valissa

      I be havin’ a joke t’ tell ya horn swogglin’ scurvy cur!**

      A bartender looks up from the bar and sees a pirate with a peg leg, a hook hand, and patch over one eye.

      Startled, the bartender asks “What happened?!”
      “Just a month ago your body was relatively whole, now…”

      The pirate responded:
      “Aye, 3 weks agor a conn’n ball took me leg. Now juss this peg to use.”

      “Thin 2 weks ago I gave up my h’nd in a sword duel.”

      “Thin 13 days agre a cursed bird shat in me eye.”

      The bartender, perplexed, said, “But you have a patch over it; certainly a little guano would not cost you an eye.”

      With a chagrin grin the pirate told him, “Well, it were my first day wit der hook…”

      **Arrr, so ye be wantin’ t’ go to sea an’ ye don’t be wantin’ t’ end up in Davy Jones’ Locker. Then ye best be learnin’ t’ be talkin’ like a buccaneer. (a pirate translator – translates your sentence/phrase into pirate speak) http://www.syddware.com/cgi-bin/pirate.pl

      1. ambrit

        Avast there Dear Valissa;
        I be totally fergittin Spains’ “Captain P—gums and his Pervert Pirates!” A prescient swab that. Predictin Wall Streets degenerate state so long ago!

      2. Fiesty

        I nerelearned seadog. This pirate translator helps a lot.

        arrrrrrrrrrrr.

        I think I be gettin’ th’ hang o’ ‘t. Yikes, did I say hang?

        1. Marcus

          Pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel stuck down the front of his pants. Bartender says “Hey matey, you’ve got a steering wheel down the front of your pants”. Pirate says “Arrgh, and it’s drivin’ me nuts”.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      I appreciate this as well, and I’m not a fan of either the challenger or the incumbent. Many citizens are already aware of both the profound lack of true policy choices represented by both major party candidates, and the particular constituencies both truly support.

  4. Valissa

    Yo ho ho and avast me hearties… ‘tis Talk Like A Pirate Day at long last…

    All ye wenches and sea dogs, ye need’nt be loaded to the gunwales to be larnin’… How to Talk like a Pirate (includes excellent instructional video) http://www.wikihow.com/Talk-Like-a-Pirate

    Shiver me timbers… Grog! The drink for Pirates and Sea-goers! http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/grog.html

    Avoidin’ the dreaded scurvy… Pirate Drink Recipes http://www.talklikeapirate.com/drinks.html (from the original TLAP website)

    Arrrr! Pirate History, Famous Pirates, and more @ Rob Ossian’s Pirate Cove http://www.thepirateking.com/index.htm

    “What will we do with a drunkin’ sailor,
    What will we do with a drunkin’ sailor,
    What will we do with a drunkin’ sailor
    early in the mornin’”… Drunken Sailer – the Irish Rovers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGyPuey-1Jw&feature=related

    1. Peasant Pinguin Society

      Thanks Valissa,

      This gave me the idea that all politician speeches should be converted into Pirate speech so people will stop taking them seriously.

      To test this, I tried running an excerpt from Obama’s State of the Union 2012 into Pirate speak and came up with the following:

      Think ’bout th’ America within our reach: a country that leads th’ seven seas in educatin’ its swabbies..

      We can do ‘this. I be knowin’ we can, on accoun’ o’ we done it before.

      Me grandfather, got th’ chance to be a pirate apprentice… me grandmother.. They understood they be part o’ somethin’ larger, that they be contributin’ t’ a story o’ success that ev’r American had a chance ta share: th’ basic American promise that if ye worked harrd, ye could do well that be all I can take t’ raise a family, own a homeport, send yer lads t’ pirate apprentice, an’ put a wee bit away fer retirement.

      Th’ definin’ issue o’ the hour be how t’ keep that promise alive. Nay challenge be more urgent. Nay debate be more important. We can either settle fer a country ‘ere a shrinkin’ number o’ swabbies do really well, while a growin’ number o’ ‘Muricans barely get by, or we can restore an economy ‘ere sea dogs an` land lubbers gets a fair shot, an’ sea dogs an’ land lubbers does th’r fair share, an’ sea dogs an’ land lubbers plays by th’ same set o’ rules.

        1. Accrued Disinterest

          Send this pestilent, traitorous, cow-hearted, yeasty codpiece to the brig.

          What the pirates at the justice department didn’t say to the pirate banksters .

  5. Walter Wit Man

    Re the Chicago teachers strike:

    Yet another hollow “VICTORY” for progressive Democrat liberals . . . which is to say they got punked.

    Seems like another fake fight just like last year in Wisconsin. Democrat/liberals rile up their base pretending to stand up for worker rights and they cut and run when the going gets tough.

    But don’t tell that to progressives. Hell, they think they won! I guess simply making a fake showing of “solidarity” without actually winning anything is enough for Democrats/progressives.

    I’m convinced these labor fights are fake and are simply meant to demoralize the left and teach them that no matter what THEY WILL ALWAYS LOSE.

    The upper Midwest used to be pro union or pro worker but now they are getting prepared for the Southern strategy.

    Give up slaves and just vote Democrat.

    1. Synopticist

      I wish America was like you seem to think is is, Walter.
      To the right there’s the democrats, and then there’s everyone else to the left of them. Unfortunatelly, thats not the case.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        To the right are Democrats, Republicans, Corporations, and our media.

        The American people would actually be quite leftist if policy ideas were fairly presented and debated and we had a real democracy.

        This subject is a perfect example. In about 75 years we ruined one of the biggest achievements of the left–the public education system. The pedagogy over these 75 years hasn’t been great (teaching American exceptional ism for e.g.) but we used to have a much more democratic system.

        Even Democrats are now right-wingers when it comes to public education so I think your defense of them rings hollow.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      I was confused by the description of there being no contract . . . I thought they went back before they agreed to a contract.

      Still uncertain if it’s a “win” or a draw.

      In any case, the pro union people need to draw blood on the Democrats.

    3. SR6719

      Good comment, WWM, thanks.

      I tried responding to you the other day on the subject of conspiracy theories, but for some reason WordPress kept eating my comments.

      Unfortunately I didn’t have a back-up copy, but briefly I just wanted to say that for anyone interested in the truth, it’s probably better to set up a thought experiment and approach things from the point of view of a conspiracy theorist: never believe a single word we’re told, assume the media is always lying, that the official version is the least likely of all, then take it from there and see where this leads.

      However we shouldn’t necessarily “believe” the conspiracy theory either, just use this as an open-ended way of approaching information and interpreting the world.

      With this approach we might get it wrong sometimes, but not nearly as often as those people who still listen to the corporate media, or who still believe whatever politicians tell them.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Awesome advice. I agree.

        Over at Penny’s place http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/ I saw someone describe anti-conspiracy theorists as “coincidence theorists.” In other words, whenever there is an interesting connection that leads to a possible connection authoritarian or conventional thinkers immediately discount it as a “coincidence.”

        That’s why we see conspiracy theories being ridiculed–to train people to be coincidence theorists that blindly trust the “official” story.

        But you’re right that “conspiracy theorists” are generally using the scientific method more than their opponents. It’s those hostile to CT that are close-minded and anti science and anti logic. I sometimes state my conspiracy theories in more absolute terms than is warranted, but this isn’t because I think the theory is the absolute truth. I do it more to be provocative and to test these theories out. I will admit that I don’t have the absolute truth more than those that are conventional thinkers.

        For me the best test of this is the ‘JFK-staged-assassination-theory’ and showing people the (lack of) blood evidence. I find it interesting to see people I consider intelligent immediately discount it.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        Your description also explains why perpetrators use the Big Lie; people experience extreme cognitive dissonance when they have a fundamental belief challenged.

        This is why things are done in plain sight . . . like staging JFK’s death.

        Here’s one comment that shows some of the blood evidence that calls into question the official story of the JFK assassination: http://letsrollforums.com/showpost.php?p=234953&postcount=454

        Many people I show this too show extreme cognitive dissonance. But how do you explain this evidence? If Jackie rode for 10 minutes or so in the limo sitting in that pool of blood why doesn’t she have more blood on her dress on her backside? How do you explain the cop spraying something?

        I know you are open to this evidence but most people have been trained to discount it . . .

        1. Walter Wit Man

          As a side note that may be of interest to someone here, Lisa Pease, the JFK assassination researcher gently taken to task by Culto in the above thread at Let’s Roll (around the comment I link to above), posts at Booman Tribune and Daily Kos, it looks like, and reads this blog I think.

          Culto is definitely onto something in naming names like he does with Jim DiEugeni and John Simkin and identifying the gatekeeper community in general. This gatekeeper tactic is very common imho, and relates to the Watergate/WaPo Psy Op mentioned by SR below.

          It’s also interesting to see how the 9/11 research at Let’s Roll and similar places is treated in similar progressive circles (like at Willyloman’s place or Jim Fetzer, etc.).

      3. SR6719

        WWM,

        I always enjoy your comments, and thanks for reminding me of those photographs.

        Or we could go back to the Watergate scandal for a moment, as understanding this might give us another way of looking at current events.

        In the Watergate “scandal” there was no difference between the facts and their denunciation, identical methods were used by both the Washington Post journalists and the CIA.

        Constructing a thought experiment around Watergate, looking at it as a conspiracy theorist, we might say the Watergate scandal was Psy/Ops designed to fool the public into believing that Watergate was a scandal; in other words, Watergate was designed to trick the rubes into believing politics is essentially a moral enterprise and this was an aberration.

        Something that almost never happened, most politicians being so moral and righteous…

        But fortunately, all this wickedness was exposed by the honest, do-right, investigative journalists of the Washington Post. With investigative journalists having ridden in on their white horses and saved the day, politicians went back to being good again.

        The public was reassured after Watergate because they believed that if some politician ever got out of line in the future, honest investigative journalists like Woodward and Bernstein would be all over it, and it would be exposed on the front page of WaPo and the NY Times. And the rogue politician would have some explaining to do. (At least that’s the fairy tale that Watergate helped to impose in the public’s mind.)

        Yeah right, honest investigative journalists like Bob Woodward, the same Bob Woodward whose skepticism and penetrating “intellect” helped him write a fawning, third-rate book about Alan Greenspan called “The Maestro”.

        And so forth, similar thought experiments to the one above could be applied to a lot of current events (in place of the official versions) to help us examine them more critically.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yep SR6719. I too think your theory is a viable theory. In fact, I think it is the most probable explanation for Watergate: it was a Psy-Op.

          It’s fun to dig into all the facts that prove this conspiracy theory (like the incredible bungling by professional spooks), but looking at from 10,000 feet like you are doing is very helpful. You’re exactly right that it lionized the press. It built up their watchdog bone fides and got us to trust them.

          And let’s not forget the Church Committee hearings and the subsequent “reforms” and the House hearing on the JFK assassination, which found the official story not viable). Both of these events in the 70s, along with Watergate and the publication of the Pentagon Papers, encouraged Americans to think that heroes in Congress or a watchdog press are looking out for the little guys. This couldn’t be more false. (the one hero may have been the only U.S. Rep. to die during service of his duties–at Jonestown)

          And the operations continue, I’m almost certain. And some of the names haven’t changed, I suspect! Daniel Ellsberg is suing the Obama administration (along with Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky, etc.) over the NDAA. I now suspect all of these people of carrying out a modern version of the Watergate Psy-Op. In fact, I suspect the use of the courts to do these types of operations is very prevalent now. Who knows what level of complicity the judges have–of course the plaintiffs in the Chris Hedges et al. case got to choose the venue. Plus, it’s likely a side show anyway.

          These Psy-Ops are all related in the sense that they use a complicit media and fake democratic process to carry out their propaganda. This is the main form of control TPTB exert over us; the myth of democracy and a free press. The media was taken over in this country about 100 years ago. See this site for a good description of this early history and the connection to Anti-Hun Hysteria and the World Wars (I’ve just discovered this information recently so there may be better sources as well): http://www.exulanten.com/hysteria.html

          Also, re the grand conspiracy theories of the 70s, I think these media Psy-Ops of Watergate and the Pentagon Papers were meant to cover up real geopolitical maneuvering. We had Nixon go off the gold standard, and then U.S. domestic policy changed to offshore jobs to China and elsewhere which eroded America’s industrial base. I now wonder if the Cultural Revolution was inspired/fomented by the U.S. or if there are another ‘conspiracy theories’ that explain this policy shift from within China.

          We also saw Middle Eastern policy change at this time. The Yom Kippur war may have been fomented by the U.S. (via Kissinger): http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/22/what-really-happened-in-the-yom-kippur-war/ (via a link here at NC). This is around when the U.S. may have made a more formal deal with Saudia Arabia. Also, this coincided with the project to control Africa by certain Middle Eastern “states”: http://www.ascertainthetruth.com/att/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=84&Itemid=120 (the 2nd story by Jonathan Azaziah–didn’t link directly to his blog b/c of filters). Of course by the late 70s we saw the beginning stages of the “terrorist” threat being created.

          Anyway, I agree with you Watergate has been really effective at controlling people. But that is fading imho. There is widespread distrust of the media, but now the control has changed so that we are barraged with different media from different angles that we are still collectively confused. More confused that ever, but at the same time the truth may be more accessible.

        2. SR6719

          Walter Wit Man,

          Your comment left a lot for me to consider, I need to re-read it tomorrow morning, and check out the links.

          Due to another commitment, I won’t have time to continue this discussion today, but wanted to mention a couple of quick things.

          First, the other day regular NC commenter Fiver wrote: “..I have to insist that any honest, objective observer looking at current US government spending across all programs would conclude that at least 90% of military/security spending is a total waste….and quite deliberately so given how much of the money is directed into pockets that don’t actually need it….”

          The full comment can be found here:

          http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/09/eugene-linden-in-a-world-of-underpriced-risk-what-could-possibly-go-wrong.html#comment-819251

          And you wrote above: “…This is the main form of control TPTB exert over us; the myth of democracy and a free press… I think these media Psy-Ops of Watergate and the Pentagon Papers were meant to cover up real geopolitical maneuvering…”

          So trying to put these two statements together (without tearing my hair out) what it boils down to is this:

          Fiver: almost all government spending is deliberately WASTED (i.e., directed into pockets that are already rich)

          and

          WWM: almost everything that we’re told is a LIE.

          But wait, that’s not all.

          The only part where I disagree with you is that I don’t see any signs the public is catching on to any of this looting or deception.

          Not sure what to make of this (I need a drink, better make that a whiskey on the rocks!) so for now I’ll leave you with a quote from Guy Debord:

          “In a world that has REALLY been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood. ”

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Thanks for the response! I basically uploaded what has been rattling through my brain recently and I realize it’s a lot of material.

            Well worth the time to wade through it but it is time consuming.

            Fiver’s comment is indeed a great comment. Putting it all together, yes, we’re screwed and most of what we know is a lie.

            I definitely can relate to the Debord quote and had to look him up. Seems like an interesting cat!

    4. Jim

      Are you kidding?

      The teachers get to keept their defined benefit plan, as do new teachers. They get a raise.

      How many new private sector workers get a defined benefit plan?

      Who gets shafted? Just wait for Rahm to “reluctantly” have to raise sales and use taxes throughout the city.

      It’s what Dem mayors do. Raise regressive taxes and use fees.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Well, they are being asked to work more (longer school year) and throughout the entire country schools have been closed and teachers fired while money is steered to Charter schools and the private sector.

        I misread the description before I clicked through and frankly don’t know if this is a win, lose, or draw from the labor pov.

        I still think this labor dispute could be a coordinated strategy to have the effect you describe with the goal of making Americans oppose labor concessions.

        But you know what policy should have been promoted by the Democrats? Instead of the Fed giving $40 billion a month to bankers the Fed (or better yet Congress) should have ‘printed’ greenbacks and given it to public schools across the country. We should be hiring teachers rather than laying them off.

        You’re right about the regressive taxes though.

      2. Ms G

        Jim — as a free American you could have chosen to enter the workforce in a public sector job with a defined benefit plan. Apparently you didn’t, preferring to work in the private sector without a defined benefit plan. Why, then, do you vent your ire at public employees who freely made choices different than yours? Misplaced anger does not make a persuasive argument.

        1. Jim

          Ms G, I have no problem with defined contribution plans.

          I have a problem with having working-class residents of a city, many who have seen wages stagnate for over a decade, have to pay for defined contribution plans.

          The Teachers Pension plan is underfunded by 70%. Why not have teachers 3x the amount they contribute to it on a monthly basis?

          I’ll tell you why. It’s politically easier to have the struggling plumber pay 40% more in sales and use taxes than to have teachers pay their fair share.

          1. Ms G

            But there’s another option, Jim. Why don’t all the struggling private sector wage earners get together and demand higher wages and pensions — if you had chosen to become a public sector plumber you would have a defined benefit plan. The point is not that public employees have it “too good” — it’s that private employees have been subject to stagnating wages since 1970 (and rising health insurance costs, and inflation of just about everything) but somehow opted into the “borrow to keep up” option rather than organize to unionize or to demand higher wages and pensions as mandates from elected officials.

            There is a reason why non-union wages were as high as they were once upon a time — union wages set a benchmark for the whole wage market.

            Something to think about.

  6. Externality

    “TSA naked body scanners could prove extra harmful to women with BRCA gene”
    http://www.naturalnews.com/037234_TSA_body_scanners_BRCA_genes_womens_health.html

    “Manchester airport axes controversial ‘naked’ scanners after EU fails to approve them”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2204387/Manchester-airport-axes-controversial-naked-scanners-EU-fails-approve-them.html

    “Controversial ‘naked’ scanners scrapped at Manchester Airport over cancer scare”
    https://rt.com/news/airport-scanner-safety-cancer-351/

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Money still leaving China.

    That will happen on a wider scale when they discover another livable planet.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Special in th sense that we have the amount of carbon we have now, and not much less or, say, 3 or 10 times more?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Special in th sense that we have the amount of carbon we have now, and not much less nor, say, 3 or 10 times more?

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Yes, I think we agree that we should not tamper with the amount of carbon in the atmosphere now.

            More, beyond those from nature, would not be ‘natural.’

    1. Valissa

      Let’s deconstruct this a bit… all 3 are members of the 1% and the Roosevelts (FDR is shown sporting a cigarette holder – a total rich man cliché) and Kennedys in their heyday were much more elite/prominent than the Romneys are today. Two of the sketches show Dem presidents who were making well honed partisan public speeches geared toward the little people liking and approving of them, and one of them is a Repub presidential candidate who was caught unawares. Does anyone really believe that Roosevelt and Kennedy didn’t make derogatory wisecracks about the little people when speaking in private with their friends, colleagues, family?

      The cartoon is still chuckle worthy, and thanks for posting it (I love cartoons!)… but only Dem partisans would take that message seriously.

      1. F. Beard

        Does anyone really believe that Roosevelt and Kennedy didn’t make derogatory wisecracks about the little people when speaking in private with their friends, colleagues, family? Valissa

        I do. One thing about a pampered life is that it can make one soft. When it comes to being little:

        “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” Mathew 19:30

        And let’s not forget “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime” Honore de Balzac

        Seriously, who would like to be related to J. P. Morgan?

  8. Accrued Disinterest

    “A technical kerfuffle.”

    LAN cable kinked? That data backs up on one side until the internet tubes blow…ruining carpets, hard wood & drywall. One hell of a mess.

  9. ScottS

    Re: Microsoft pushes home users toward Office subscriptions—whether they like it or not ars technica

    I’ve been paying for Office updates for years without seeing any benefits!

    Re: Asia’s millionaires outgrow those in N America Financial Times

    Finally, no more “fat American” jokes!

  10. RanDomino

    Wisconsin: WEDC is a “public-private partnership” set up by the Walker regime to hand out ‘tax credits’ to corporations that ‘promise to create jobs’. Trust nothing they say.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Steakhouses not doing well, from the Clusterstock link:

    the wealthy aren’t doing their part to stabilize business at some of America’s favorite restaurants

    What I don’t get is why would a member of the wealth stick something into his/her mouth that had been in someone else’s mouth.

    I am talking about spoons, forks, etc.

    When you go to a high end restaurant as you would expect from the wealthy, they don’t give you previously-unused plastic spoons or forks.

    So, you could be a billionaire, but you still use ‘second hand’ products.

    Now, if the wealthy can do it, there should be no shame in buying used anything.

  12. Hugh

    “A Rare Look at Why The Government Won’t Fight Wall Street”

    I think we get a look at why the government won’t fight Wall Street every damn day. Hint: It’s the money.

    1. skippy

      Know one really wants to understand the funny walk or the Arrgghhh Pirate thingo.

      I mean whats up with all the phallic wood ie Pining, Log cabins, Wooden legs jutting out of ones trousers, that guy that commented ages back… that all wars were man on man phallic exorcises (lol), folks that like boats getting – Nailed – to a wooden cross with ambiguous sexuality inferred (one day celibate, the next hetro, then homo and back to hetro?).

      Skippy… one could observe, that the hole limping around the decks uttering arrgghh… arrgghhh…. precedes the jail house signaling of wearing ones undergarments too high and trousers too low. That went viral in a weird way…. eh.

  13. Herman Sniffles

    Do you want to know what Mitt Silverspoon Romney is doing that must be terrifying the oligarchs? He’s putting a face on our faceless dictatorship. He just took a big spotlight and shined it right under that that big slimy rock. And the evil ones lurking behind the filthy, shredded curtains under that rock are starting to come into view. And they look like Snidely Whiplash and Freddy Kruger even in their three piece suits, and they are holding strawberry parfaits. And the American people are finally – thanks to brother Mitt – getting a glimpse at them, even on corporate tv; and they must be terrified. Becasue these aren’t people who want to be seen. As Mitt fills the dark halls of power with his vile fog, their ghostly faces are starting to come into view. And Americans aren’t liking what they see, lots of Americans, lots and lots of Americans, as they squint through the putrid haze. Thanks Mitt! Good job buddy! But my guess is that your days of free strawberry parfaits are numbered.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Poor Mitt. After working so feverishly for the Obama campaign, first in 2008 and again this year, he could still win this thing. Dang! Time to hire a harem of male prostitutes

      But we shouldn’t be so hard on Mitt. For his inelegant remarks, The Onion carried his far more elegant apology:

      “’First and foremost, I would like to offer a heartfelt apology to all the whores, junkies, bums, and grime-covered derelicts out there who make up nearly half our nation,’ a visibly contrite and solemn Romney said . . . ‘Let me assure you that I in no way meant to offend any of the putrid-smelling, barefoot masses out there. My campaign is not about dividing this nation, but about bringing all sides together — the rich, elegant members of the upper class, as well as the 47 percent who are covered in flies and eat directly from back-alley dumpsters.’”

      “In an effort to right his campaign and rebuild his image, Romney promised to bring his message of compassion and economic opportunity to the ‘ramshackle, mud-floored huts’ in which half of all U.S. residents live.

      “’Let me make this absolutely clear: I have the utmost respect for all of the filth-encrusted, lesion-covered degenerates of this nation,’ Romney said. ‘In the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting real Americans in their squalid, roach-infested hellholes in every corner of this country. I promise to stand up for every one of you, even the 47 percent of you huddled together for warmth, fighting your own family members for moldy crusts of bread as you wallow in your own excrement.,”

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/romney-apologizes-to-nations-150-million-starving,29603/?ref=auto

      Of course it will help immensely going forward to now have Paul Ryan, champion of the poor huddled masses, to carry this heartfelt message of empathy and compassion throughout the nation.

    2. Goin' South

      This is what I’m enjoying about the current campaign. Yes, the rich are pricks.

      And they’re whiners. What most are missing about that Romney performance in front of the 1% is that he’s making excuses, in advance, for while he will lose. The 47% freeloaders will never vote for such a fine, successful man. And the few “independents” vote on “emotion” and “who they like.”

      Romney and Jamie Dimon. Two fuckers who complain and whine that we don’t like their technique when they do it to us.

  14. dearieme

    “Map Shows What Happens To New York Airspace When Air Force One Comes To Town”: you should just be grateful to be on the same island as His Majesty the Emperor. Or, indeed, the same continent. In fact, the same planet.

    Anyway, be quiet or a drone’ll get you.

    1. dearieme

      This is the way to do it (WKPD):

      “On 29 May 1842, [Queen] Victoria was riding in a carriage along The Mall, London, when John Francis aimed a pistol at her but the gun did not fire; he escaped. The following day, Victoria drove the same route, though faster and with a greater escort, in a deliberate attempt to provoke Francis to take a second aim and catch him in the act. As expected, Francis shot at her, but he was seized by plain clothes policemen, and convicted of high treason. … Francis’s death sentence was commuted to transportation for life …”

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sometimes, the cure is just getting some sleep and drinking lots of water.

    Is today’s antidote simple and elegant like that or is there a story there?

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      There’s a story here IMO. Just ask the citizens of Portland, Oregon today… or perhaps the those who lived in the former USSR.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks, I didn’t know about that.

        I guess the 0.01% with their distilled water, it’s not something they need to look into.

  16. Benedict@Large

    Re: “Susan suspects that the video was made by one of the serving staff at the event. Maybe a union member?”

    No, and no. First, there’s simply no unionization in food service in Palm Beach County. Second, even if there was, the servers at this event would not be part of it.

    The servers at these sorts of events consist of a very small group of elite waiters who work under separate contract for each event. They are very well paid, and the payments are off the books. They are quite used to working with the ultra-rich, and are necessarily discrete. The work is very easy, as the ultra-rich like to impress each other by over-staffing their events. At an event like this with perhaps 25 guests, for example, there were probably 7 or 8 servers, each earning perhaps $200 for 3-4 hours of light work. As for “bugging” an event like this, if caught, the server would probably have a tough time getting a job at Cracker Barrel afterwards if they ever got caught. It’s too sweet a job, and simply not worth it. (If it’s not obvious already, I used to be one of these servers. In peak season, it’s not unusual to work a half dozen of these a week.)

    There is a touch or irony however. Since this work is all under the table, none of the servers pay federal income taxes, and are thus all part of Mitt’s 47%. :-)

  17. Bert_S

    ‘Eres a timely link. We were just talk’n whether US mfg was coming home from china, or not.
    This is from CNBC, but I guess we can’t assume it’s BS. Yes, that is the link.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/next-global-manufacturing-superpower-165726563.html;_ylt=AjgUGk4Rz17Gl7aUOcGhtLGCuodG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ4YXE1MnZrBG1pdANjbmJjIHRvcCBzdG9yaWVzBHBrZwMwZTgxOTUwMy1kNWEyLTMyZGUtOTM3Yy0xMjUxYzJmMzlmZGQEcG9zAzQEc2VjA01lZGlhQkxpc3RNaXhlZExQQ0FUZW1wBHZlcgMxODFiOGRkMS0wMjdlLTExZTItYmQ3OS03ODMyMzRiNTQ3NWQ-;_ylg=X3oDMTJuaTBhbHZjBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDMGU4MTk1MDMtZDVhMi0zMmRlLTkzN2MtMTI1MWMyZjM5ZmRkBHBzdGNhdANuZXdzBHB0A3N0b3J5cGFnZQ–;_ylv=3

    Says chinese wages are now about the same as Mexico. They say there is a big increase in US auto and aerospace(!) new factories planned for Mexico. (Who says QE doesn’t work?). I had read that Mexico had a minimum wage law of $4.50, so I don’t know what happened to that. Also read the CPI there is 60% of the US, which doesn’t bode well for the “War on Poverty”. Be sure to keep your cat indoors.

    “Indeed, the average salary for Mexican workers was $2.10 per hour in 2011, up 19 percent from $1.72 in 2001, according to HSBC.
    By comparison, the average wage in China swelled nearly four-fold during those years to $1.63 per hour in 2011 from 35 cents per hour in 2001. Thus, the difference between labor costs in Mexico and China is now just pennies per hour.

      1. Valissa

        Good question! I wonder if that post was why the NC website was down for a bit… when I got home a while ago I could not get on the website and when I finally did I noticed the fascism post but didn’t have time to read it. Now it’s missing from the list.

    1. Bert_S

      I went and looked up the mexico min wage law in wiki, and they confirm it was, as of 2010 and converted to dollars, about $4.50.

      So if the actual average pay, per HSBC, is 2.10 and the cost of living in Mexico is 60% of the US*, that would be like making $3.50/hr in the US.

      That’s enough for some food for you and the bambinos, bus far to work, and a straw mattress in a community barn somewhere.

      * The border towns are higher (based on my Taco and a Beer Index), I think the 60% is much farther south. Plus they are sure to calc it different than the US.

  18. kevinearick

    Notice we are increasingly being asked to interview for jobs with little girls in human resources, those with the least background in the work?

    1. kevinearick

      The democrats are desperate to believe that money grows on trees, making humans disposable to government, and the republicans are desperate to believe that humans can be replaced by robots, making them expendable. wrong and wrong.

Comments are closed.