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Links 11/24/12

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Electricity from the marshes PhysOrg (Robert M)

Seeing the light: Ed Boyden’s tools for brain hackers Wired (Robert M)

B.C. First Nation members evict pipeline surveyors, set up road block Globe and Mail (martha r)

Shale Gas Bubble About to Burst: Art Berman, Bill Powers Steve Horn

China’s ‘Go West’ boom offers bonanza for British banks Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Elliot vs Argentina is a domestic Argentine issue Felix Salmon

Idle weekend speculation A Fistful of Euros

EU Leaders End Summit With No Deal on a Budget Wall Street Journal

London House Prices Rise as Property ‘Hot Spots’ Surge: Economy Bloomberg

Lies, damned lies, and written Parliamentary answers! How the Civil Service bamboozles the public with bullshit! Rowan Bosworth-Davies. On big bank money laundering and denial of regulatory oversight responsibility re same (Nicholas Shaxson via Richard Smith)

Holocaust Survivors Criticize Israeli Policy Towards Palestinians

Report: White House considering corporate donors for inauguration The Hill. So if you didn’t buy his good will during the campaign, it’s not too late.

Will President Obama Restore the Rule of Law During His Second Term? Truthout (Richard R)

Attention Americans: the Revolution has begun. You must choose a side. Fabius Maximum (Chuck L). Zeitgeist watch. I’m told the people behind the Fabius Maximus group blog come out of the national security establishment.

U.S. Headed For Fiscal Cliff Onion. Lambert reminds of this classic: 20,000 Sacrificed In Annual Blood Offering To Corporate America

Marginal Rates and Economic Growth: They Go Up Together Steve Roth, Angry Bear

Surprise! Report says income inequality still getting worse in most states Daily Kos

Millions will qualify for new options under the health care law. Most have no idea. Sarah Kliff, Washington Post

Federal Judge Announces Wageless Job Opening, Calls Working for Free a ‘Moral Commitment’ Alternet (Richard R)

Why Black Friday Is a Behavioral Economist’s Nightmare New York Magazine. I can’t begin to relate to this problem…

Shoppers scrutinise Black Friday deals Financial Times. The NYT was more positive on shopper activity.

Local police disperse, arrest Black Friday protesters on behalf of Walmart Dispatches from the Underclass

Failure of the American Conscience: Walmart Reports Record Black Friday Sales Despite 100-City Worker Strike Firedoglake. I have to tell you, they did not tell friendly non-Walmart shoppers what to do to help, except send money. A picket line outside the stores was never gonna get very far. There were a lot of disrupt-the-stores-within-permitted-customer-behavior strategies that were bruited about, and no one sanctioned any of them. My relatives already refuse to patronize Walmart. Its customers presumably don’t give care much about the pay issue, and trying to raise their consciousness was always going to be an uphill battle.

The National Mortgage Settlement….REPORT YOUR CONCERNS NOW! Matt Weidner

Economists, Obama administration at odds over role of mortgage debt in recovery Washington Post. Of course the Administration denies it screwed up.

US cash piles built on more than anxiety Financial Times. Good until it pumps for the monster corporate gimmie of tax repatriation holiday.

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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55 comments

  1. psychohistorian

    What an amazing world we live in, not to mention the times….

    The electricity from biomass seems potentially important and worth watching as well as anything done by the Ed Boyden and his attempt to “solve the brain”. As someone with superior intelligence and a TBI, understanding the brain is a constant subroutine in my body.

    About that Attention America link. I read it and was a bit unnerved by it. Seems like a perfect “honey pot” to ensnare any emerging leadership. It seems to me we have to stop the heinous shit we are doing currently before we get too far down some other road. I do hope that Anonymous is smarter than these folks and have already evolved some global self sustaining cells to serve the public from during the coming Shock Doctrine events in the US and EU in the next year.

    1. citalopram

      One of the Anons who was ratted out by Sabu faces life in prison. That’s what the judge told him.

      He’ll be made an example of.

    2. Susan the other

      There’s no way to trust these blogs. if Fabius Maximus really is a creation of the National Security office it’s curious. They admire Glenn Greenwald’s writing. They seem to think a revolution is already fomenting. And they describe both sides (Left and Right) as basically delusional. So why isn’t the middle just as delusional? it always appropriates the most effective delusions of both right and left. Well, the name Fabius Maximus implies it is a prudent blog. But it is asking for all the barn burners to step up. Huh? They insinuate that Anonymous will continue to be crushed. But, strangely they admire Anon. Who wouldn’t? Anonymous just took credit for vanquishing the evil Karl Rove. Whether or not that is true, it is a pleasure to contemplate: Anonymous secretly put up a fire wall preventing the last minute laundering of Ohio votes in Romney’s favor, etc. Technically, if it is true, Karl Rove should be tried for treason. But hey, we’ve had our elections stolen since at least JFK v Nixon. And not even the Rs wanted that dork Romney.

      1. Fabius Maximus

        Susan the Other raises some interesting points. Most of these result from the nature of the FM website, an extended discussion over time, in many chapters, about complex matters. Her comment and this response were cross-posted at the FM website.

        (1) “There’s no way to trust these blogs.”

        We don’t ask for your trust. We give facts, logic, and speculation. Readers draw their own conclusions and act accordingly.

        (2) “if Fabius Maximus really is a creation of the National Security office”

        Unfortunately not, judging from the tip jar. Perhaps because they’ve read some of the 2,300 posts since 2003, mostly opposing America’s wars since 2001.

        (3) “they describe both sides (Left and Right) as basically delusional. So why isn’t the middle just as delusional?”

        Quite right. Left, Right, and Center all come from the same population. We share the same cognitive errors, described as a broken Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action Loop (see Wikipedia). This makes us easy to govern.

        (4) “the name Fabius Maximus implies it is a prudent blog. But it is asking for all the barn burners to step up.”

        A defensive strategy for America (in terms of both foreign affairs and domestic reform) means cautious operations while building our strength. But it requires just as much work as an aggressive strategy. Successful reform of America requires many of us “to step up”!

        (5) “Huh? They insinuate that Anonymous will continue to be crushed. But, strangely they admire Anon.”

        That conflates two philosophical perspectives. Admiring Anon is normative. Predicting that it will get crushed is positivist — a cold look at the odds.

        Also, Susan the Other ignores the conclusion:

        My guess: The government will crush these rebels. More rebels will appear. With them lies our only remaining hope for reform. The Republic’s fate is their fate. What we do now, and during the next few years, will decide its future. That’s the meaning of Democracy: its survival lies in our hands.

        But there is an alternative to “stepping up”. Sing our new national anthem, one better suited for our New America!

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      p, for the body’s quick “brain reset” to pleasure and equanimity: GLINKA: “Waltz Fantasy” – Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra; Rouslan Raichev, Conductor (15635 LASERLIGHT Digital 55 min. – 1990 Delta Music, Inc., Los Angeles CA (0 1811-15635-2 9). Trust your body, if you are not addicted to anything.

    1. Susan the other

      Good link. So the private banks buy sovereign national bonds at 6% which they use for collateral with the ECB and take loans for ZIRP from the ECB (in the meantime the ECB is a middleman for China who buys these bonds and then sells them back to the ECB?) which the same banks then invest in more 6% national bonds. The ECB is playing a shell game, the private banks are making a windfall and the “sovereign” governments are piling on huge debt at record speed just to fund their own national business. Greece did something like this when it took on a bunch of foreign loans and GS currency swaps. But it hid the debt. I guess if it is kept all in the family it’s OK. Because after three years (by 2015) the EZ will just come to a grand agreement, embrace every bad balance sheet, and devalue the Euro. What else?

  2. lamarchanegra

    The title for this page should be “Links 11/24/12″ not “23/12.”

    I was happily surprised yesterday to go to a local museum and see it packed with other families, I had assumed everyone in town would be out shopping!

  3. Jim Haygood

    From Felix Salmon’s blog post:

    Everybody is convinced that given the choice between paying all of its creditors and paying none of them — the choice which Griesa is giving Argentina — Cristina will choose the latter.

    Essentially, there are two choices here. Argentina can somehow win its appeals; or it will end up defaulting on its exchange bonds. The outcome Griesa is trying to order — where Argentina pays its exchange bondholders and its holdouts, in full — is simply politically impossible in Argentina.

    Of course, another Argentine default wouldn’t be the end of the story. It’s hard to pay bond coupons in dollars, even if the bonds are issued under Argentine law, without going through some US-based intermediaries.

    And there’s a decent case to be made that Argentina’s debt is undervalued right now even if it does end up defaulting. So long as exchange bondholders are happy getting paid out of Argentina rather than New York, they will probably end up with every penny they’re owed — in dollars.

    Paid out of Argentina, in dollars? Good luck with that!

    If Judge Griesa enjoins Bank of New York (the existing bond trustee) from distributing payments that would violate the pari passu clause of the indenture, no other U.S. bank will touch this hot potato.

    Argentina’s next best option would be to route eurodollars through London. But Argentina and Britain had a little tiff over the Malvinas/Falklands in 1984 … a wound which Kristina thoughtfully stoked again this year. Her provocative TV spot, aired repeatedly on government cable networks a few weeks before the London Olympics, showed an Argentine athlete exercising in front of a British war memorial in the Falklands, on ‘Argentine territory.’

    Given a choice of helping Argentina or complying with a U.S. demand not to, there isn’t the slightest doubt what London will do. And after having expropriated YPF earlier this year, Argentina will get no help from Spain or the rest of Latin America.

    Externally Kristina may appear to be a 59-year-old lawyer-politician. But her behavior is that of an angry 14-year-old who hates her parents, hates her school, and has alienated all her former friends. Having burned all her bridges, she has no allies left.

    Along with Iran, Argentina is likely to become a poster child of what happens when politicized payments systems blacklist a country. Maybe Kristina should ring up Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang. I hear his graphics guys print beautiful hundred-dollar bills …

    1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      “Maybe Kristina should ring up Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang. I hear his graphics guys print beautiful hundred-dollar bills”

      Other countries have tried already but Kim Jong-Il always laughs off the request then says he’s got missiles for trade. I know the Greeks told him they’ve got these German submarines. Kim said he’d think on it a while and get back.

      I’ve been looking over the Argentina Peso here, and it does look kinda stodgy. Don’t think I’d want any…I prefer something a little more fashionable. Last thing I need is more stuff to hang on the walls next to my Worldcom stock certificates.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=argentina+peso+pics&hl=en&tbo=u&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS386US387&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=WiqxUL7qDOK5igLx4IDgDg&sqi=2&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1281&bih=745

      I noticed they make those two piece coins. I was thinking maybe their manufacturing cost was high on those and that’s why the government always goes out of business.

      I don’t know if we’ll ever figure out what the problem is. Maybe they need an economist or something to noodle it out.

      1. craazyman

        Argentina makes a nice cheap white wine with a $5 handle, but the hedge fund vultures probly won’t touch anything less than $100 a bottle, even for lunch.

        So the nutty Argentina lady with the black mascara can add a zero to the $5 to make it $50, with the promise of volume shipment, and ask the vulture to meet her halfway.

        It’s probable nobody will know the difference anyway once the drinking starts, especally if the partying is lively.

        the problem is all the high priced lawyers involved would likely screw up any deal based on imagination instead of on the ponderously dull counting of pennies.

        Moneylust kills imagination every time, but they think if they have enough money they can buy it from somebody else, but it’s never the same as if it’s your own. That only costs $5. It’s an amazing value!

        What is this vulture going to buy for $5 million that he can’t get for $5 and a walk down the street or in the woods? Or walk first, so he can drink the wine sitting down and then fall asleep.

        1. craazyman

          I’m not even just making this up either. that does happen,

          but this is real:

          Astica 2011
          Torrontes
          Cuyo, Argentina

          It has a gold medal on the label but that might be a decoration and not a wine critic award. but I think it tastes pretty damn good.

          It cost me $5.99 plus tax at the local wine shop. Not even a place like Trader Joes!

          I’m having a glass right now, wasting time like usual. Toasted up a frozen hamburger bun then dipped in olive oil with parmesan and pepper for an appetizer. It’s almost like a restaurant here, sitting by the electric fire place.

          Who needs $5 million or even $10 million? I can’t even imagine what you’d do with that, other than worry about it.

          1. Valissa

            Oenological whine http://alliswellblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/space_wine_600.jpg

            The art of wine selection http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_MTwOfdR5eyU/SUqR7gqjcCI/AAAAAAAABaE/-bkxjBW2iw4/s400/1FunnyChristmasWineCartoon.jpeg

            Classy wine, part 1 http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/gri/lowres/grin962l.jpg

            Classy wine, part 2 http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/hsc/lowres/hscn416l.jpg

            The science of wine http://blog.entaste.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/red-wine-lives-longer.jpg

          2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            International Wine Finance confuses me, so generally I stick with home made beer because then I know what’s in it and that it wasn’t made with any cheap ingredients like pesos or something.

            The current batch of Dunkleweizen turned out great, and there is a batch of Milk Stout coming right behind it.

            From the looks of it, Argentina wine would be a rose, which I have no taste for. When I go for wine instead of beer, I’ve found Chile reds can be good at a value price. Trader Joe’s is a good place to pick some up, tho they sound like they might be a hedge fund too.

            But I figure you, if anyone, would know what you are talking about – so I’ll jot down your pick and keep an eye out for that at TJs or our specialty wine store (in the Argentina White aisle).

            Right about the money tho. I worry I won’t know the difference between $5 and $5 million one of these years.

          3. skippy

            FYI some winery’s down under are moving to Tasmania, consultants advice, going to be to hot in less than 25 years.

  4. LeeAnne

    Elliot vs Argentina is a domestic Argentine issue. Felix Salmon.

    Pot calling the kettle black …? No mention in the article of Paul Singer -its Elliot all the way.

    For some background on this vulture:

    Paul Singer’s Argentina coup. Goldman Sachs doesn’t like it -disapproves -tch tch. Competition that can bring too much attention to Goldman Sachs’ scams?

    Google: “Paul Singer has given more in donations to the GOP and its candidates—$2.3 million this election season—than anyone else on Wall Street, …”

    Palast is a very entertaining reporter on the subject.

    Greg Palast on Vultures’ Picnic

  5. fresno dan

    Will President Obama Restore the Rule of Law During His Second Term? Truthout (Richard R)

    um, nope

    “Was it all cynical electioneering when President-Elect Obama told the Boston Globe in 2007, with reference to specific executive powers the Bush administration had claimed or exercised, that he rejected “the view that the President may do whatever he deems necessary to protect national security, and that he may torture people in defiance of congressional enactments;” that the “detention of American citizens, without access to counsel, fair procedure, or pursuant to judicial authorization, as enemy combatants is unconstitutional,” that “[w]arrantless surveillance of American citizens, in defiance of FISA, is unlawful and unconstitutional”?”

    um, yup.

    1. SomnambulanceForAll

      Any such “Return to the Rule of Law” would have to begin with Obama turning himself in for trial as an international war criminal, so of course that will never happen. And since most if not all of the military top brass would be implicated as well, in lieu of expanding Guantanamo, which is itself both a war crime and a scene of individual war crimes, and in light of the need for fiscal prudence in the face of “staggering” federal deficits, I suggest ring-fencing the Pentagon in entirety and sequestering all of its occupants in place until such time as we can get around to sorting it all out. Given the depth and breadth of the likely charges, I’m guessing that might take until sometime late in the 22nd century or so, just to ensure everyone’s rights are protected of course.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Every PuppetPres licks his chops to increase the power of the “Unitary Executive” through its status as Absolute PuppetDespot, and beyond, for the Power behind the throne.

  6. Steve

    Your comment on Walmart strikers is poorly informed. First of all, the goal of the action was not to destroy Walmart’s business on Black Friday. It was to increase visibility for the OUR Walmart campaign, increase the confidence among workers that people will fight back if they are retaliated against for participating, and letting the company know that it can no longer get away with retaliating against organizing workers. In fact, OUR Walmart circulated a statement (reposted on facebook by Occupy Wall Street) that protesters should not disrupt business. This simply would have distracted from the goals of the day.

    It is also not accurate that non-shoppers were only encouraged to give money. In fact, the corporate action network had a well-publicized link to let people know where an action they could participate in was located, based on their zip code. For better or worse, the one I went to, in Seacaucus NJ, was overwhelmingly people who neither work nor shop at Walmart. The protests took place at about a thousand Walmart stores. They got excellent coverage in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others. Given the challenges it faces, this was a historic day for American labor. It matters little what Walmart’s pr department had to say.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m on two listservs that are “progressive” and one includes labor activists. No one pointed to your link or seemed to have any idea of your tactics, so your claim that it was well publicized is open to question (and there was a lot of discussion about the strike on them). If many of your natural allies didn’t know about the link, pray tell who did?

      Second, you did not communicate your objectives well to the MSM, and the MSM is therefore deeming it to be a failure. Ergo, it was a failure. You pointed to the NYT and Washington Post coverage as a sign of success, yet even their coverage was not terribly supportive:

      Wal-Mart Dismisses Labor Protests at Its Stores NYT

      Wal-Mart Takes Legal Action to Stop Protests at Stores NYT

      WaPo did pick up a Associated Press story and put a fairly positive headline on it, but undercut it in the second paragraph:

      Wal-Mart supporters march at stores nationwide, protest wages and treatment of employees

      “The efforts seemed to do little to keep shoppers away though — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it was its best Black Friday ever.”

      The Guardian, which is liberal, wasn’t terribly positive:

      Walmart strikes result in arrests as store claims Black Friday sales success

      Or put it another way, how does your list of “accomplishments” translate into getting better wages for Walmart workers? I don’t see how you made any meaningful progress given your limited goals.

      The history of labor is that anything short of hurting the corporate bottom line will not produce concessions. If you didn’t dent sales by getting people to shop elsewhere, I don’t see how this strategy will accomplish your aims. Getting allies to disrupt, or threaten to disrupt, Walmart’s supply chain looks like the readiest option, but if you aren’t willing to disturb Walmart’s operations, I don’t see how you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting anywhere.

      1. john c. halasz

        Chica:

        It ain’t about hurting sales. It’s about raising wages. The rise in cost-prices and thus the deflation of a rent-sucking stock price follows thereafter.

  7. LeeAnne

    Will President Obama Restore the Rule of Law During His Second Term? Truthout (Richard R)

    Obama and rule-of-law? oxymoron!

  8. DC Resident

    Let’s be honest; most of the folks who shop at Wal-Mart don’t earn too much more [and they may even earn less] than the average Wal-Mart worker. And many – and perhaps even most – have embraced the right-wing mindset that strikers are just a bunch of bums who want more pay and benefits than they deserve.

    Just like those “bums” at Hostess who chose to shut down the company rather than take another 33% cut in pay and benefits. “Bums, all of them. Don’t they know that this is a tough economy and they should take whatever management is willing to throw their way and be happy about it?!?”

    [Oh, and Hostess management *earned* those multi-million dollar raises they received at Hostess. Of course. They are management. They wear nice suits and don't talk to the little guys.]

    The elephant in the room is that the “little guys”, to a significant extent, have internalized and accepted the notion that they *aren’t* as good as those at the top. Not as wealthy (obviously), but also not as intelligent. “Trickle down economics” and the notion of “job creators” makes a whole lot of sense if you are paid $9 per hour to work on some factory line while the owner is walking away with $20 million per year and owns three enormous homes.

    My impression is that a lot of these Occupy folks are suburban rather than poor. Which certainly isn’t a scarlet letter, but the average Wal-Mart worker shares just about nothing in common with some college student bongo player in a drum circle. In fact, the average Wal-Mart worker is likely to ridicule said bongo player.

    ~~~

    I just have serious doubts as to whether the Occupy folks hold a clear understanding of the average Wal-Mart worker, or average Hostess line worker. Their understanding appears to be more academic than experience-based, and I think they take for granted the ability of poor folks to spot a phony or an outsider from a mile away. Their hearts appear to be in the right place, but I’m just not sure they are going about this all in the right way.

    [Oh, and can they please STOP that silly mic check garbage? Nothing is more creepy and off-putting than hearing a large group of people chat in unison, sentence after sentence. Weird.]

    1. dcblogger

      And many – and perhaps even most – have embraced the right-wing mindset that strikers are just a bunch of bums who want more pay and benefits than they deserve.

      And the evidence for that would be? Considering that poor neighborhoods vote Democratic, there really is no evidence that I know of to support the theory that they embrace the right wing mind set.

      1. DC Resident

        The evidence is this: talking to poor whites in the service industry. Poor blacks and Hispanics tend to vote (overwhelmingly) Democrat, but poor whites – so far as I can tell based on exit polling and such – are still solidly Republican. Head south of Arlington and Alexandria and you will find these folks. Look anywhere between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Look anywhere in the deep south that is predominately white. Look in any one of those Western states with more hunting camps than Starbucks.

        Obama got crushed with the white male vote, even though he did relatively well with the college-educated white male vote. It’s the poor whites who appear to be most reluctant to vote Democrat.

        1. Klassy!

          You’re accusing those that took part in the demonstrations as being out of touch? Please reread your comment.

        2. Klassy!

          Also, what exactly does the Democratic party have to offer to poor voters beyond the fact that it is not the Republican party?

          1. jo6pac

            We have a winner; you’re right about that demodogs offer nothing to the working poor just like repugs offer nothing to poor whites. The best govt. money can buy.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            My union member votes Republican because he is disgusted with the Dems promising to help labor but doing nothing. However, over time, he has come to defend R positions like the flat tax. Creepy and sad.

      2. diptherio

        My experience in Montana generally supports what DCR is saying. We don’t have much in the way of a black population, and relatively small hispanic and native american populations. I’ve worked a number of blue-collar, bottom-of-the-totem-pole jobs and my sense is that at least 60% of my co-workers vote repub (at least on the national ticket), but for “social,” not economic, reasons (MT went firmly for Rmoney).

        If you are into NASCAR and shooting sports, enjoy cheap beer, football, and working on your truck (which you refer to as a ‘rig’), then you will likely feel more culturally comfortable amongst republicans, as opposed to those heady, verbose liberals. At least where I’m from, there is a very clear cultural divide between the suburban, college educated liberals and the working class, “red-neck” population (which term I use with endearment).

        Well, it’s clear to those of us who have ended up straddling the line, anyway. And DCR is pretty much right as concerns Occupy: here in MT it has been largely the domain of the suburban intellectuals. In Missoula there was (and is) a fair smattering of working-poor radicals in the group, but the majority were middle-class professionals.

        On a side note: I sometimes attend a Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship here. While the group claims to be open and welcoming to all, it is composed of people whose background and beliefs are largely the same (professional, white, middle class, “progressive”). The one libertarian who came a few times was definitely not made to feel welcome. Not a single member voted for Rmoney and none of them have ever watched NASCAR or considered putting glass-packs on their vehicles. Just sayin’…

    2. nobody

      My impression is that a lot of these Occupy folks are suburban rather than poor.

      Where is your impression coming from? In my city, the majority of the Occupy people are poor, and a substantial minority are homeless.

      From what I have heard from people who have spent time with Occupy folks in other places, the demographics are similar elsewhere.

  9. jsmith

    Ceasefire, eh?

    Now back to Syria.

    US/Israeli backed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood continue charade with Egyptian coup.

    Nice run-down on how both Mursi and ElBaradei are Western stooges.

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/11/morsi-muslim-brotherhood-challenged-in.html?utm_source=BP_recent

    Already, despite a long campaign of feigned anti-American, anti-Israeli propaganda during the Egyptian presidential run-up, the Muslim Brotherhood has joined US, European, and Israeli calls for “international” intervention in Syria. Egypt has continued to collude with the West, even as it feigned support for Gaza during its recent conflict with Israel. Alongside the CIA, Mossad, and the Persian Gulf State despots of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian affiliates have been funneling weapons, cash, and foreign fighters into Syria to fight Wall Street, London, Riyadh, Doha, and Tel Aviv’s proxy war.

    In a May 6, 2012 Reuters article it stated:

    “Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channeling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say.”

    It should be remembered that like the Muslim Brotherhood, ElBaradei directly represents Western interests, ElBaradei himself a board member of the Wall Street-London funded International Crisis Group, which features US financiers like George Soros and Larry Summers, Neo-Conservative warmongers like Richard Armitage and Kenneth Adelman, and perhaps more inexplicable considering ElBaradei’s feigned “anti-Israeli” rhetoric, the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, former Foreign Minister of Israel Shlomo Ben-Ami, and Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel.

    Like the Brotherhood, ElBaradei’s rise to political power was made possible by a movement trained, funded, and directed by the US government and organizations such as the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy, years before the “Arab Spring” would actually unfold.

    1. jsmith

      http://rt.com/news/syria-patriot-kurds-border-474/

      “Syria has lashed out at Turkey’s “provocative” request to deploy NATO surface-to-air missiles on the countries’ shared border. The batteries may be installed in a matter of weeks, in a buildup that could further flare tensions in the turbulent zone.

      ­Ankara has asked its NATO partners to station Patriot missile batteries along its southern border, claiming they are needed to protect Turkey’s national security. The system can shoot down aircraft and some missiles at a range of up to 600 kilometers.”

      http://rt.com/news/syria-intervention-turkey-patriot-missiles-465/

      “Well again, it is very interesting to hear Turkey saying that they need NATO support for intervention in Syria for the sake of an increasing number of refugees. Syria itself received over a million Iraqi refugees, which were the result of the NATO intervention in Iraq.”

      Some more on the 1.2 million Iraqi refuges living in Syria:

      http://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/FMRpdfs/Iraq/08.pdf

  10. Elliot

    re: electricity from marshes— science daily had that same puff-piece, really disappointing to see a consequences-free writeup of wetland destruction masquerading as science. The person doing the thesis has a company already, to make money off the idea, (*absolutely no preconceptions of the outcome, nossirree*) and just how these grids would be laid throughout wetlands–and the power carried away to suburbianirvana— was not mentioned. What’s a little rapacious, unrepairable commerce amongst money-grubbing researchers and reporters, eh?

  11. J Sterling

    The rising price of the more expensive houses in London, thanks partly to overseas purchasers, shows that rich British people are not as badly off as poor British people, but rich overseas people are even better off.

    The twin lessons for austerity are that austerity hurts the country’s poor more than the rich, but it doesn’t do much good even for the country’s rich, compared to the rich from non-austerity countries.

    1. Synopticist

      The central London property market is a universe all on it’s own, with no connection to the rest of the UK economy at all.
      I would say it represents the flow of hot money in the global economy as much as anything, the more untaxed plutocrat cash there is floating around, the higher central London property prices are.

      I’m sure a big chunk of the purchasers are Spanish and Greek super-rich types, looking for a safe haven of sorts.

      Theres a really simple tax loophole the rich use to avoid paying any stamp duty (1-2% for little people) on their UK property portfolios, as i’m sure NC readers will be SHOCKED to hear.

  12. Bev

    Just wanted to add this update:

    Via:
    http://markcrispinmiller.com/2012/11/what-really-happened-in-ohio-on-election-night/

    What REALLY happened in Ohio on Election Night

    Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis are the two Ohio attorneys who deposed Mike Connell, and who have otherwise been working to expose Karl Rove’s election thievery since 2004.

    From Cliff:

    Some hackers/spooks hacked Romney’s computers, which crippled his election day get out the vote activity. However I fail to see how this relates to Rove’s meltdown on Fox News that night.

    A successful hack of the Romney campaign computers would have affected all of the operation, would have been illegal, and would have been known to Rove early on election day. So, it does not explain Rove’s dramatic disconnect over Fox’s calling Ohio for Obama at the 11 PM (EST) news hour.

    The hack we discovered was limited to Ohio. Its use was coming from Bob Urosevich the same guy who personally delivered a malicious patch in Georgia 2002 which flipped the votes and outcome in their governor and US Senate races. Our exposure of the problem in court through one of the top cyber security experts in the world (so certified by NSA) occurred at about 3:15 PM on election day.

    Urosevich would have been informed that the fix had been exposed and that an Ohio judge with jurisdiction had expressed willingness to adopt the corrective action recommended by our expert. He and the one operative who would have been positioned pull the trigger, instead nixed the operation. Neither of them would have been so foolish as to contact Rove to inform him that the Ohio fix was off. Rove’s communications were surely being monitored by law enforcement authorities.

    Thus, Rove’s mistaken rant over Ohio being prematurely called for Obama.

    Cliff Arnebeck

    1. Synopticist

      That’s such a facinating story, I’m trying to follow it, but there’s hardly any coverage. I guess i want it to be true.

      The question is, are Anonymous being honest? Hopefully they’ll release the computer code or whatever.

  13. gonzomarx

    RE:Lies, damned lies, and written Parliamentary answers! How the Civil Service bamboozles the public with bullshit! Rowan Bosworth-Davies

    the post below is about these guys, who I saw last night. great gig and yes they played…
    Arrogance Ignorance And Greed (AIG) by Show of Hands
    http://tinyurl.com/yctyjob

    and a shorter version that William Hague was forced to watch!
    http://tinyurl.com/cfnuthv

  14. kevinearick

    Moms, Dads, & The Matching Game

    So, we have pulled the proton out of the nucleus, just beyond sight, just long enough for the nucleus to replace it, and we drop the proton back in. What do you suppose is going to happen?

    Moms live in the present, leaning toward the past, which is why they focus on making each of your days the best they can be, given present realities. Dads live in the future, making the present increasingly irrelevant. If you assume the old man is stupid, you may as well get out a hammer and hit yourself over the head, repeatedly, because that is exactly what the empire is going to do, for the rest of your life. Very few kids today have productive skills. That’s not the problem; it’s the solution.

    If I shut down all the elevators, and you can turn yours back on locally, what are you worth to capital? If you tell capital how you did it, what are you worth? If you tell the middle class how you did it, to belong to a group, what are you worth? If capital puts you on the rack, will you tell? If you have empire choke tools in many different dimensions, does the empire dare to put you on the rack? In what order do you collect the tools? Before you start building empires in space, you might want to ponder on that for a while.

    Wherever I go, I am quickly surrounded by the horde, because I am not of the horde. In my physical life, Middle Class Females know me as a heartless bastard; Middle Class Males know me as a man of few words. None can keep up with me, because they cannot delay me. When you approach the elevator, and release a torrent of bullsh- about being interested in elevators, don’t be surprised to confirm to others how cantankerous I am. Carry your weight, and only your weight, and I will see you, regardless of the horde surrounding me.

    ‘member the matching game? Place the cards in rows of equal length. Begin left and move right, row after row. You will quickly be making matches 50% of the time and winning 90% of the time. There are many ways of increasing your percentage, including how you lay out the cards, all of which employ gravity in increasing dimensions. Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Let the needle find you.

    Dad picked Mom for reasons that will always be beyond your comprehension. Love your mother. Don’t get angry because Dad works 100 hrs/wk. If you want to spend time with Dad, be in the truck at 5am, everyday, regardless, and do what you are told, until you don’t have to be told.

    The algorithm is one simple line, but its application is infinitely complex, because there are billions of humans and a relatively infinite number of critters, in many time zones. Learn to carry your weight, as quickly as posssible. I started pulling wire when I was 5, after being in that truck since 3, when I had taught myself to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Don’t come at me with an entitlement/equal rights attitude and expect not to be heading down the elevator shaft, head first.

    The value of money is what you choose it to be, how you spend it, regardless of its creation.

  15. Doug Terpstra

    The voices of Holocaust survivors from Washington’s Blog are powerful testimony to the self-evident crimes of the fascist state of Israel … and its gun-bearer accomplice, the USA.

    The first two and Amy Goodman’s interview are compelling and persuasive, as are the IDF dissenters, but Norman Finkelstein’s brave and passionate rejection of Israel’s “crocodile tears” of persecution is a must watch. He makes clear how the transmogrification of Israel into a Gestapo regime is so utterly perverse and shameful.

    Clearly AIPAC censors cannot allow such “free speech” voices of conscience to air on on PBS, 60-Minutes, or any other MSM channels where they should be broadcast, widely — if we had an ethical free press.

    1. Georgann

      There is no CHOICE in whether major networks and magazines report on Israel.

      If you do NOT TOE THE LINE – and report all events from a Jewish perspective – you are out of a job.

      There is NO CHOICE. When Jews get all huffy about whether they control media and government – I really become a Jew hater.

      THEY CONTROL THE ENTIRE SUBJECT… and Jews on the board, don’t whine that you are all individuals, yada yada yada… you know and I know – we ALL KNOW Jews control this conversation. Those who don’t agree with Israel are tacit accomplices because they ignore or defend Jewish control of media and government

      1. DANNYBOY

        Georgann,

        Do you really hate me? I am a Jew, but we haven’t even met. There are diagnoses for people who hate people they don’t know.

  16. SRL

    A digression in my usual style of aphorisms (at least when nobody is paying me):

    1. I believe the assertion that revolutions require an ideology to be successful is false, but revolutions do need an intellectual basis as a vanguard. Since the only intellectuals on the scene are basically talking heads, and therefore dependent on the status quo for their bread and butter, there is a void to be filled. In addition, there just isn’t much in the educational system that would foster the critical thinking skills among an intellectual elite that hails from the working class. The best and brightest become computer technicians. Unfortunately, Anonymous is an organization of technicians, not intellectuals, so I don’t believe this hacker group will do ever do anything other than “poke” the beast. It can only react, not serve as a vanguard. (See J Ellul for more concerning technicians and politics.)

    2. As a physics graduate student twenty years ago, I maintained that physics was not an intellectual endeavor, but rather a technical one. Technicians do not think about the greater world. The dumbing down of liberal arts does not allow the development of an intellectual framework necessary for revolution. There will be nothing forthcoming from academia.

    3. Wikileaks is another organization of technicians; Occupy is street theater but at least it does raise the issue of income disparity through its entertainment. The technical best approach I’ve seen is John Robb’s Resilient Community concept: Help create a community that does not depend on the nation-state and let the state take care of its self.

    -From a reader of both FM and Naked Capitalism

    1. citalopram

      The only problem with the “community creation” concept whilst ignoring government is that the fascists can still knock down what you’ve built. It’s playing defensively.

      1. SRL

        One of the basic underlying theories that drive both FM and Robb is that of Fourth Generation Warfare. Basically, the state is undermined by non-state actors. The modern nations state is vulnerable as loyalties shift toward non-state forces. The fascists have bigger problems on their hands than worrying over mutual aide.

        See http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/05/4gw_fourth_gene.html

        The FM authors may hail from the National Security Establishment, but they are the minority that has been shut out as nobody can get rich acting upon their theories and suggested methods (which largely centers around de-escalation of conflict rather than the total war model favored by those whom control that establishment.

  17. john c. halasz

    I have to say, the Walmart commentary here is surprisingly snobbish and stupid, (though that’s a redundancy). Of course, those low, low prices are a powerful attractor, especially for low wage workers who need to make ends meet, whether they work at Walmart or not. And the goal is not to prevent people from shopping at Walmart, but to redress wages and working conditions there. But also more generally to raise awareness of the general effects of the Walmartization of the U.S. economy lo these past 30+ years. And the largest problem there is not Walmart shoppers, but those who look down on Walmart shoppers without even giving a second thought to Walmart workers, (while attending to their fictitious stock market portfolios, inflated by the likes of Walmart’s rent extractions).

  18. Kokuanani

    Re the article from the Great Orange Satan: wake me when they mention that this disparity was on OBAMA’s watch, and with his support.

  19. Herman Sniffles

    “Federal Judge Announces Wageless Job Opening, Calls Working for Free a ‘Moral Commitment’ Alternet (Richard R)”

    Are you sure this wasn’t from the Onion?

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