Food fraud tackled by forensic scientists BBC. We had a bit of this sort of thing in NYC. I believe it was the Times that did a study on whether the supposed Alaskan (as in wild) salmon was the real deal. It turns out of all the fancy stores selling the product, only one (Eli’s) had the genuine article. I’d assume in most cases the wholesalers lied to the retailers. Of course, in NYC the media cares most when it’s the chattering classes that are get ripped off…
Crazy Gross Internet Troll Caves Will Make You Feel Better About Your Dirty Keyboard Huffington Post. Per Ed Harrison: Look, they’ve finally found out where some of the worst commenters at Naked Capitalism live. It’s not pretty.
AXILLISM Twitter. Richard Smith is working hard to improve your vocabulary.
China’s Yuan Internationalization: Made In Africa, Not Hong Kong Forbes (Timothy F)
EuroFascist Watch. Sadly, this might become a regular feature. Nikki and Nick, both members of the OWS Alternative Banking Group, participated in a successful effort in Astoria, Queens, to keep the Greek fascist party Golden Dawn from establishing a presence there as a US beachhead. Apparently a high moment in the well attended community meeting was when someone announced he was from Anonymous, and had taken down Golden Dawn’s website and messed with their bank account. One of the messages on a related listserv:
I heard from a comrade from Athens, he is Council Member in Athens and organizer for ΚΕΕΡΦΑ (United Against Racism and the Fascist Threat). He mentioned that our activities here against GD have had quite the impact over there. GD is frankly pissed that we ruined their plans here.
Nikki says they had to meet at the Episcopalian church, and she was disturbed that the Greek Orthodox church wouldn’t host it. She speculated that Golden Dawn has ties to the Greek Orthodox church and later found that to be correct.
Mark Ames notes that Golden Dawn is using the same approach that the neoNazis and fascists (often backed by bankers) used in Russia under Yeltsin. GD is providing social services (only to Greeks who can prove they are Greeks) and much of the time has the support of the police. If someone has a problem, the police will say, “Go talk to this guy [at Golden Dawn]”. And the GD guys expect something back for their services. Oh, and the Russian Orthodox church had ties to the fascists, ‘natch.
Finally, the EU is increasing the pressure on Greece by not letting immigrants leave. This is apparently a huge deal in the northeast, where a lot of immigrants from Turkey and Central Asia come to Greece. They don’t intend to stay, they are en route to, say, Britain or Germany. But the border police are not letting them transit onward or return to their home countries. That of course strengthens the hand of Golden Dawn. For more background, see this piece from the Independent.
French president pushing homework ban as part of ed reforms Washington Post (Gaius)
Will Privacy Go to the Dogs? New York Times (furzy mouse)
Mitt Romney: The Great Deformer David Stockman, Daily Beast (fresno dan)
Public Briefing: Erskine Bowles Determined to Reduce Private Sector Income, Stifle US Economy – Pt. 1 Michael Hoexter, New Economic Perspectives
Where Are Consumers Getting Income to Spend? WSJ Economics Blog
Puncturing the Housing Optimism Bubble David Dayen, Firedoglake
Presidential pointers from local high school debaters Palm Beach Post (Lambert)
10 greatest market crashes MarketWatch. I slept through the 1987 crash. I had an excuse, I was in Japan. I was told the last copy of the New York Times that had the crash as its headline on sale in One World Trade Center (where I normally worked), whose sales price was $0.25, was auctioned to the highest bidder and fetched $5.00.
Mission elapsed time: T + 39 and counting*
You taught me language, and my profit on ‘t Is I know how to curse. —William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Montreal. Police state: “Criminal charges have been suspended against three people arrested by notorious Montreal police officer [# 528] in an incident caught on video. [The] officer became famous during the spring for pepper-spraying a number of student demonstrators who appeared to pose no threat to her.”=
CA. Police state: “A court-appointed monitor overseeing Oakland police reforms said in a report released Monday that he was ‘dismayed’ by the department’s lack of progress, citing a ‘stubborn resistance to compliance.’ Robert Warshaw found that the Oakland PD actually took a step back, falling out of compliance with one of its tasks, which involves the creation of a monitoring system to track officers engaging in potentially problematic behavior.”
ME. Ladies of negotiable affection: “Police have issued a third release of the list of 21 alleged clients of Alexis Wright, this time including ages and addresses after a judge’s order. Though police issued a second release Tuesday morning, including middle initials, confusion still remained surrounding the individuals on the list.”
MT. Landfills: “Five city workers have been suspended for five days without pay for scavenging goods from the landfill last summer.” Aww! In Maine, “dump picking” is a community tradition!
NC. Coal: “Site inspections by state agency dam safety engineers at every coal fired power plants across state revealed 29 high hazard coal ash ponds whose failure could cause a loss of human life. [T]here have been structural failures and/or breaches of coal ash pond dams at the Weatherspoon, Cliffside, Roxboro and Sutton coal fired power plants in the last 10 years. [N]one of the states 37 CCW ponds have composite liners to prevent leachate from contaminating groundwater.”
NY. Fascism: “[Queens] City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio denounced the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party native to Greece, for its plans to move into New York and distributing hate literature in Astoria. De Blasio was joined in his protest Friday at Athens Square Park, at 30th Street and 30th Avenue, by local elected officials.” … Police state: “U.S. District Court Judge Richard Sullivan found that the NYPD acted unlawfully when it carried out mass arrests of demonstrators at two protests during the convention. He also ruled that the NYPD’s decision to fingerprint arrested protesters was unlawful.” … Jill Stein: “We feel that it’s not just independent political voices that are being excluded. It’s really the American people who are being excluded” (Aquifer). … Fracking: “Many of the participants wore T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Jobs’ on the front.”
OH. Voting: “Without noted dissent, the Supreme Court at midday Tuesday turned aside a plea by state officials in OH to allow them to close down voting opportunities on the final three days before election day on November 6. The ruling was a significant victory for President Obama and for Ds.” … Fracking: “Many people also don’t want to see drilling in Mill Creek Park. Robert Parry added, ‘But, I don’t think that our hunger for energy should cause earthquakes, poison our water, poison our homes. This nonsense really has to stop and I think we should draw the line.'”
PA. Fracking: “The state DEP has a new review policy for water contamination cases related to Marcellus Shale gas well operations that lets department administrators in Harrisburg instead of field offices decide whether residential water users should receive letters notifying them about problems. DEP sources, unwilling to speak on the record because of concerns about job security, say some DEP district office staffers are concerned about the policy, which would allow headquarters’ officials to second guess their test-based contamination determinations.
TX. Pipelines: [At the ongoing Tar Sands Blockade tree village in east Texas,] one 70-year-old Cherokee woman was tackled by local security hired by TransCanada.” …. Water: “TDCJ’s Clements and Neal units are together the second largest water customer in Amarillo, soaking up 44% more water than the city of Amarillo itself. Prisons’ vast water use in mainly rural areas is a largely unexplored aspect of mass incarceration, but one wonders if, in the coming years, Texas’ water wars might ever contribute to de-incarceration pressures?”
VT. The tribes: “Abenaki Helping Abenaki Inc., a nonprofit organization of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, is hoping to buy the parcel. it would be the first communal land of the Nulhegan Abenaki in 200 years.”
WA. Charters: “Right now [Initiative 1240 allowing charter schools is] polling in WA [at] 49% for, 30% against, and 21% undecided. Unfortunately our state union is focusing on the governor’s race rather than 1240.”
WI. Empathy: “‘In classrooms with a lot of low-income and non-white kids, we’ve witnessed a lot of unselfishness,’ [CUNA Mutual Foundation’s executive director Steve Goldberg] said. “Not ‘we need a new piano’ or ‘we need new furniture in the cafeteria,’ (but) ‘give it to kids who are needier than we are.'” … Corruption: “Attorneys hired by R lawmakers withheld nearly three dozen emails from groups suing the lawmakers despite multiple court orders to release the documents, a forensic investigator’s report filed late Monday found.”
Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Poverty: “Without Social Security, 21.4 million more Americans would be poor, according to the latest available Census data (for 2011). Although most of those whom Social Security keeps out of poverty are elderly, nearly a third are under age 65, including 1.1 million children. Depending on their design, reductions in Social Security benefits could significantly increase poverty, particularly among the elderly.”
Outside baseball. Anarchy: In Praise of Anarchy I, II, III. … Extractive economy: “That word, ‘local,’ is the problem. Yes, each instance affects the environment and people in a particular place, but until we realize that they’re all of a piece we won’t be able to fight them effectively. Our aggregate fight is your pipeline fight is their plutonium fight- are the voter suppression and women’s rights fights.” Excellent piece. The tribes got it right on landfills and the East-West highway here, and much else.
Green Party. The debates: “Nassau County, N.Y. police say Jill Stein, the Green presidential nominee, and Cheri Honkala, the vice-presidential nominee, were charged with disorderly conduct as they tried to enter the debate site at Hofstra University. The Green Party says in a statement that Stein and Honkala were walking with supporters toward the Hofstra campus Tuesday afternoon when they were met by uniformed police officers. Stein and Honkala then held an impromptu press conference in which Stein called the debate a “mockery of democracy.” … The platform: “I propose a Green New Deal for the 2010s, which — unlike the doomed-to-fail proposals of Obama and Romney — is proven to work.”
The Obama vs. The Romney Round II. Or rather, Millard Fillmore vs. James Buchanan; two mediocrities wholly unequal to the challenges of their time. I can’t imagine Jeremy, the first questioner, came away feeling his job prospects would be greatly improved by the election of either candidate. I confess I only listen to the debates (and occasionally post); network TV is simply too toxic to approach in safety, even on a laptop. That said:
Ethos: “It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.” Make up your own jokes!
Pathos: To demonstrate sincerity, Romney will pause, and pitch his voice lower. Obama drops his Gs, uses the word “folks,” and pitches his voice higher, using a husky, half-strangulated tone.
Logos: An interesting exchange here: ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the [Libyan embassy] attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying? OBAMA: Please proceed governor. ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror. OBAMA: Get the transcript. CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror… OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.” The twitterverse is aflame with “Get the transcript,” but to me “Please proceed governor” is far more interesting. It’s almost as if Obama knew the point Romney was going to make and deked him into making it, because he had the rebuttal at the ready. So Obama wins that exchange on tactics, but also because the narrative now becomes “What did Obama say in the Rose Garden?” instead of “What did Obama do for two weeks?” Well played! Who can deny Obama a little gloating and knife-twisting with “Can you say that a little louder”? … Taegan Goddard: “Obama acted like a president in the exchange while Romney was much less. It was Romney’s Gerald Ford moment.” Ouch! That said, were Crowley and Obama right? And what did Obama do for two weeks?
Memes: “Binders full of women” shows that D propagation capabilities have achieved parity with the Rs. Hurrah! … Political class: “The debate isn’t even over and a parade of Obama surrogates is parading into the debate site ‘spin room.’ It’s a big contrast to the first debate, when Obama surrogates didn’t show up for several minutes after the debate ended — well after the Romney surrogates.” …. Polls: “Moments following the debate, 37% of voters polled said the president won, 30% awarded the victory to Romney, and 33% called it a tie.” Not exactly a vote of confidence. … Links: Excellent near-real time annotation by Izvestia; Pravda’s competitor not so rich in sourcing or analysis. Andrew Sullivan back in Full Monty man crush mode. And a near miss.
Biggest Big Lie: A tough call, but my choice this evening: “[ROMNEY: ] Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs… [OBAMA:] I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over the last four years, has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer.” Of course, FDR created 15 million jobs.
The Romney. Rhetoric: The Gish Gallop (hat tip jawbone).
The Obama. Endorsement: “The 7-year-old star of the hit TLC reality show, ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’ endorsed [Obama] Monday night during an appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live.'” That’s actually great news for Obama. IIRC, Ms. Boo Boo’s family management is quite media savvy; I’m sure they don’t want to endorse an electoral loser.
* Slogan of the day: Fully Criticize The Romney From a Political, Ideological, and Theoretical Perspective!
Antidote du jour: