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Links 12/14/12

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Your humble blogger is on Bill Moyers this week, which in many viewing areas is tonight. Be there or be square!

Also sorry for thin posts. I have one in progress that will launch during the day.

GMO giant hires retired cops to hunt down farmers Occupy Monsanto (Valissa)

Are they being a bit premature? Nasa releases Mayan apocalypse video 10 days early Independent (Chuck L)

A “low ambition” outcome in Doha Triple Crisis

The World Cannot Afford Exxon’s Outlook for the Future Oil Price

What Made Sandy So Destructive? Global Economic Intersection

Hotmail & Yahoo Mail Using Secret Domain Blacklist Slashdot (Chuck L)

Europe gets a banking union MacroBusiness. I’m not as optimistic. The divisive details, particularly how a deposit guarantee is handled, have yet to be resolved.

The Great Migration of the 21st Century Richard Bookstaber

Carney under pressure as battle for Basel III rages

How We Became Israel Andrew Bacevich, American Conservative (Chuck L)

Chuck Hagel Secretary Of Defense Nomination Looks Likely Huffington Post (Carol B)

Americans Support Tax Increase But Not Spending Cuts Jon Walker, Firedoglake

GOP: We’ll Accept Higher Taxes If President Obama Gives Us His Dog Onion

Let’s Play With Some Numbers, Social Security Edition dakine01, Firedoglake

Arizona funnels business to CCA through its school-to-prison pipeline Guardian (Chuck L)

Goggle’s Bermuda hideaway/HSBC’s too-big status: time to rein in the corporations! Linda Beale

McDonald’s Server Would Have To Work 550 Years To Earn CEO’s Pay AOL Jobs (Carol b)

Reading the New FDIC/Bank of England Resolution Paper Steve Lubben, Credit Slips

Slack in resi construction industry holds back jobs growth Sober Look

Digital threat to Fed’s jobless target Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

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122 comments

  1. rjs

    i put together a quick post last night on oil well flaring in N Dakota and Texas; those of you who are getting fracked for gas in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York will be dismayed to see that they are burning off such gas in the West as a waste byproduct of oil production, at the rate of more than 100 million cubic feet per day in N Dakota alone; “got gas? oil well flaring as seen from space“ includes satellite photos, a video with the sound effects, along with a short linked explanation…

    1. Just Me Again

      Great post! That video’s the process of 21st century capitalists sealing the fate of all future generations of life on earth for the sake of a few bucks. Every time I see something like that I realize that’s it’s no shame whatsoever that by this time next century we’ll all be extinct. Just another natural process at work, that’s all.

      1. AbyNormal

        people living off the land/water surrounding these deadly sites will need extreme health care. migration and monetary solutions won’t reverse the generational effects. the ‘process’ will be expedient.
        btw rjs’ sunday links are a master of historical data!

      2. Bev

        I cannot yet find the source/link that stated fracking takes more energy than the energy gained by fracking–a net loss of energy.

        Why would that work economically, unless it is worth it to someone to take the loss now by paying for a dispersed energy in order to have a consolidated monopoly later when prices may be higher…by design.

        Anyone have that link?

        1. AbyNormal

          i’d like to read that link…hope someone locates it
          in the meantime i usually follow the money

          Operating profit margin on an adjusted basis in North America dropped 5.6 percentage points to 15.1 percent compared to the second quarter due to pricing pressure and supply costs, according to calculations by Bloomberg. Halliburton said Sept. 4 it expected its margin to drop 5.1 percentage points.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-17/halliburton-profit-falls-as-u-s-fracking-business-deteriorates.html

          http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-big-fracking-bubble-the-scam-behind-the-gas-boom-20120301

          and Chesapeake the next Enron
          http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/the-fracking-bubble-will-chesapeake-energy-be-the-next-enron/

        2. rjs

          that may be true for fracked gas, but its not for oil yet…although the marginal cost of a barrel is near $100, the fracking in the Bakken can survive $60…in a post highlighting bakken production at angry bear, i explain why the cost of oil cant go much lower…

          there have been several posts at the oil drum pointing out that for fracking the marcellus to be profitable, the price of gas would need to double or triple; here’s one with some explanations: Gas Boom Goes Bust…but the gas fracking continues anyway because they’re pulling in a lot of investment capital from those on wall street who dont know any better (think how the dot com bubble worked)

          1. different clue

            Would that be “other peoples’ capital” which those Wall Streeters are investing into the Fracking Bubble? As in . . . peoples and groups’ retirement fund money? Should expert money-ologists begin writing articles here about which Wall Streeters are investing money on behalf of what funds into Fracking? So that individuals with money in those funds can get their money out before it is all poured down a frackhole?

          1. AbyNormal

            3:1 is an eye opener, thanks rj

            Fracked oil exemplifies risk of Net Energy and depletion. Net Energy is estimated at about 3:1; off the Energy Cliff. A typical well looks OK as it produces about 86,000 barrels the first year. But then it depletes by about 46% the second year. Reference Running with the Red Queen.

    2. Aquifer

      Thanx for that –

      They will frack under our aquifers in NY to get gas that is being freely burnt off in Texas – words fail me ….

        1. Just Me Again

          Beautiful. Maybe some enviro-opportunist might get something like this out there on cable or something (the 24 hour your future going up in smoke channel or something). You know, the final generations (most of whom are alive already) are REALLY gonna hate their elders for doing this to them (and rest assured, in the end it ain’t gonna make one damn bit of difference whether you were an active participant or whether you just stood on the sidelines while it all took place) on the way down. I can’t imagine it’s going to be at all pretty in the least as it unfolds. Food for thought.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s imperative that we don’ modify our ways one bit but look for another planet to escape to so we can repeat the same. (sarcasm)

            Why not use the money for space exploration and use it here to clean things up and at the same time change the way we consume (consuming less, presumably that takes little money)?

          2. different clue

            “Their elders” generically aren’t doing this to them, or me, or you. It is a very particular and very well protected class of people who are doing this to us all.

    3. Valissa

      Wow! I wonder how expensive it would be to capture that gas. Seems like a business opportunity in the making for another company to come in and take advantage of.

        1. psychohistorian

          This is what makes the MYTH of economics so useful.

          All you have to do is call those pesky factors exogenous and POOF, they don’t exist in the pretty models…..just in reality but propaganda will take care of that…..look at that new shiny thing over there.

          If you are an economist you never have to be responsible for not considering the whole world in your thinking. Economists make perfect mouthpieces for the global inherited rich and our class system…..shills for the world that isn’t.

        2. Stetts Stettler

          Sir,
          Dang, betcha them oil guys just never thought of that.
          Have you ever actually considered the term “gas” might include a wide variety of qualities?
          Flare gas is, to put it technically, crap. It has so many impurities that nobody has yet figured out how to economically extract the little bit that is good. So, that very visible, but economically insignificant waste product is flared. Anyone with a better idea will become rich. Now, there’s an opportunity!
          Take care. Stetts

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If they can’t extract value, and have to burn it, can they burn it in a way so as to be able to power something?

          2. Valissa

            Thanks rjs… only the subscription article came up in a Google search, and from that one interesting tidbit is shown (the teaser to get you to subscribe):
            the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) in North Dakota is set to launch a bi-fuel (natural gas/diesel) drilling rig power source in a demonstration project starting early next year

            Here are a couple of other related articles I found using a subset of the keywords:

            Transporting Bakken Oil and Gas http://www.kmot.com/News_Stories.asp?news=60523
            One of the biggest hurdles the Departme nt of Mineral Resources is having is trying to reduce natural gas flaring. The state currently allows flaring up to one year, with continued decreases in the amount of gas flared throughout that year.

            “As soon as that option is available they`re getting connected because there`s a lot of value in the natural gas and the natural gas liquids,” said Justin Kringstad with the ND Pipeline Authority. …

            In addition to trying to find solutions to flaring, companies are also testing ways to recycle frac water and reuse it. Helms says two companies have already created a new frac gel formula that allows them to use fresh water and processed water to frac a well.

            “This is a huge leap forward. Up to this point we have only recycled 20 percent of the frac flow back water. This is going to move us next year to where we should typically be recycling 50 percent of the frac flow back water.”

            These tests were successful and Helms says the goal is to recycle 75-80 percent of water.

          3. Valissa

            From the Oil & Gas Journal… Watching Government: Norway’s Arctic approach http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/vol-110/issue-12/general-interest/watching-government-norway-s-arctic.html
            … Norway’s decision in the 1970s to ban natural gas flaring led to its having Europe’s largest offshore gathering system, supplying 20% of Europe’s gas. “Norway is not North Dakota, but I felt a very strong feeling there that flaring gas is a waste of resources that would be enough to heat their state each year,” Moe said.

          4. rjs

            you should have been able to click thru, valissa…at any rate, quoting the cited article:

            The Bakken is said to yield 6-12 gal of NGLs per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. This makes it one of the richer gas plays in the US. The cost of flaring thus is greater in North Dakota’s Bakken than in other plays (Table 2).

            The value of these NGLs varies according to the market but can easily add $6-12/bbl of oil if captured and processed. This is a strong incentive to the oil producer faced with transportation discounts that lower wellhead values of North Dakota crude oil because of distance to major refining centers.

          5. Valissa

            rjs, the first time I copied and pasted the headline in your comment into Google and nothing came up, so I tried other searches. Then after I commented I decided to click directly on your headline/link and then lots of articles came up. Go figure… thanks for all the info!

    4. Just Me Again

      QUITE amazing that seemingly “intelligent” people are having such discussions. Umm… something about “as Rome burns,” maybe?

  2. financial matters

    Digital threat to Fed’s jobless target Gillian Tett, Financial Times

    “”But don’t expect Bernanke to hit his new jobless target too soon. Not unless Congress starts talking about a ban on barcodes with the same enthusiasm with which it keeps sabre-rattling against those Shanghai sweatshops.”"

    I would suggest that this is the wrong approach to take. I’ve been hearing that there are plenty of vacancies for computer types. People that really understand information systems. We tend to think that people are very computer literate these days but that often just seems to apply to video games and social media rather than artificial intelligence, nuts and bolts of management information systems etc..

    1. Can't Help It

      Well, Artificial Intelligence is a notoriously difficult and broad topic. Studying it usually requires a higher level math like Bayesian, not something a typical computer programmer would know or be able to do. I am heading back to the US next year to take a Master’s Degree in the topic precisely because I currently lack the basics to understand the current advances in the field although I’d like to believe myself to be a quite competent programmer.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They don’t want us to distinguish between quantity (not impressive in any case) and quality.

  3. Chris Engel

    Any idea how those of us in Europe can get access to a recording or live stream? Moyers’ website doesn’t seem to have anything from what I can see.

        1. psychohistorian

          I am looking forward to what is talked about as to what we should be doing.

          I suspect it won’t be the nationalization of the Fed that I want and structural change to inheritance and ongoing accumulation of ownership of property but a guy can dream…….and push……grin.

          Still sending Yves healthful and healing energy….go get em Yves!

          1. Just Me Again

            Excellent thought, since an actual physical environmental cliff is what we’re in the process of going over. Unfortunately for ours and future generations there’s not much in the way of actual spending or not spending we can actually do to avoid it. But it might be nice to at least address it occasionally it all the same. Kind of an auld lang syne thing for the sentimentalists, if nothing else.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From the Andrew Bacevich article:

    The process of aligning U.S. national security practice with Israeli precedents is now essentially complete. Their habits are ours. Reversing that process would require stores of courage and imagination that may no longer exist in Washington.

    Given the reigning domestic political climate, those holding or seeking positions of power find it easier—and less risky—to stay the course, vainly nursing the hope that by killing enough “terrorists” peace on terms of our choosing will result. Here too the United States has succumbed to Israeli illusions.

    ‘Courage and imagination’ in Washington? Andrew, you poor naif. These people are PAID to sell out their country. Who supplies 60 percent of the Democratic Party’s funding? No, it ain’t the Irish.

    Susan Rice, Israel’s ambassador to the UN from its American colony, is leaving. But another Depublicrat who knows the drill will step into her place. As Led Zeppelin used to sing, ‘The song remains the same.’

      1. psychohistorian

        WOW!!!!

        And we wonder why the world hates us.

        If there was a Gawd s/he would have put us out of the universe’s misery long ago.

        America, my country, is a very sick killing machine that needs to be stopped being used by the global inherited rich to control the world…..YESTERDAY!!!!!!

      2. Just Me Again

        Weapons of death and who provides them. Any time any American pol gets on the stump and proclaims anything that should be question number one. One: Where do you stand on US direct support for weapons of death (weapons)? Two: Where do you stand on US indirect support for weapons of death (the continued use of carbon-based fuels)?

        By their words and deeds you shall know them.

        In fairness, they only give us what we ask for (pols are people too!) WE ask, they hear, they deliver, they get reelected. It’s probably too much to ask that they deliver what they’re constituents could not even conceive – or, YES Virginia! – there simply IS NO Santa Clause!

  5. AbyNormal

    regarding GMO’s: Monsanto’s profit soared 77 percent in the 2011 to $680 million, up from $384 million a year earlier. In 2011 when food prices peaked at record highs, ADM (NYSE: ADM) reported a net profit of $2.04 billion, a 5 percent increase, on revenue that rose more than 30 percent to over $80 billion. Privately-held Cargill’s revenue rose to $119.5 billion (+18 percent) for the year, while profit jumped 35 percent to $2.7 billion. Bunge (NYSE: BG) experienced falling profit that year amid competition with the other companies, but still had net income of $942 million on revenue of 58 billion. Dreyfus does not disclose its profits

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I guess the optimist celebrates the fact we don’t yet have to face the hard choice between GMO and Soylent :(

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Proconsulship – considered a demotion, as you’re away from the center of power, though a good opportunity to acquire some loot, sorry, wealth.

      That’s how an ancient Roman would look at a Goldman guy (or gal) taking a government job, I think.

  6. michael hudson

    NO BILL MOYERS IN QUEENS
    Dear Yves
    My New York Times has NO Bill Moyers for tonight. And when I went to his site, it said there was no show tonight for my cable service in Queens.
    So perhaps a note on your site telling people how to access on-line would help.

      1. Aquifer

        PS – here in CNY it is on TV on Sun morning, but i always watch it on-line as I can see it Fri. evening ….

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Not to worry, I’ll also be posting it on my site. Just not quite sure when they post the video.

      It was a really fun conversation. Bartlett the conservative took some of my lines, like calling Obama a right winger!

      1. psychohistorian

        I watched the Bill Moyers interview and can only hope it goes viral. It is way past time to call BS on the kabuki we get in support of the global inherited rich instead of real efforts to be a government by and for the public.

        Thanks for your efforts on society’s behalf Yves. You are a treasure. Be well.

  7. From Mexico

    @ “How We Became Israel Andrew Bacevich, American Conservative (Chuck L)

    It’s always good to hear from principled conservatives like Andrew Bacevich.

    I would suggest that America’s escalation of the use of overt violence, and its direct involvement in violence as opposed to the use of proxies to carry out its violence, is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. Hannah Arendt in On Violence asserted that “Rule by sheer violence comes into play where power is being lost… Politically speaking, the point is that loss of power becomes a temptation to substitute violence for power.”

    “And as for actual warfare,” Arendt continued, “we have seen in Vietnam how an enormous superiority in the means of violence can become helpless if confronted with an ill-equipped but well-organized opponent who is much more powerful. This lesson, to be sure, was there to be learned from the history of guerilla warfare, which is at least as old as the defeat in Spain of Napoleon’s still-unvanquished army.”

    The United States has joined military and economic force to an obsessive belief in their own moral justification. Against the third world, the nation has overextended its power, postponed solving internal problems, and sacrificed generations. And even when the enemy has ceased to be menacing, the desire to use power persists, inebriating, addictive.

    1. From Mexico

      And speaking of Bill Moyers, he did an outstanding interview of Bacevich:

      Andrew Bacevich.., Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.

      http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08152008/profile.html

    2. Hugh

      My formulation of foreign policy revolves around answering these three questions:

      What do we want?
      What can we do?
      What can we live with?

      Just attempting to enunciate what we want often helps us understand what it is, in fact, we want. What we can do is just the enumeration of the capabilities we have and how they can be used. What we can live with marries the first two ideas: how high a priority do we give to what we want in a particular instance, what resources are we willing to commit to achieving, how much are we willing to pare back expectations so that they match the resources we are willing to commit.

      In imperial thinking the first and last of these questions are conflated and the second is vastly exaggerated. It becomes a matter of will, a demonstration of imperial prestige, power and credibility, that the only thing we can live with is what we want. But as the resources don’t exist or are not applied to effect this equation, the result is failure, not necessarily complete failure, but always failure. The demonstration of power becomes a demonstration rather of imperial impotence. For bystanders and victims alike, this looks like what it is, senseless violence, precisely because it was never directed toward any realizable goal.

      1. Just Me Again

        What do we want? What can we do? What can we live with?

        Hugh,

        Did you ever think that perhaps the VERY first thing that a waning imperial power might want to do when “formulating foreign policy” just might be to drop the “royal we” up front?

        Just sayin’. Waning imperial powers are just that. Waning! I’ve got news for you before “the news” delivers it to you officially: “WE” ain’t all that!

  8. rich

    Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

    The institutional bias in the crack sentencing guidelines was a racist outrage, but this HSBC settlement blows even that away. By eschewing criminal prosecutions of major drug launderers on the grounds (the patently absurd grounds, incidentally) that their prosecution might imperil the world financial system, the government has now formalized the double standard.

    They’re now saying that if you’re not an important cog in the global financial system, you can’t get away with anything, not even simple possession. You will be jailed and whatever cash they find on you they’ll seize on the spot, and convert into new cruisers or toys for your local SWAT team, which will be deployed to kick in the doors of houses where more such inessential economic cogs as you live. If you don’t have a systemically important job, in other words, the government’s position is that your assets may be used to finance your own political disenfranchisement.

    On the other hand, if you are an important person, and you work for a big international bank, you won’t be prosecuted even if you launder nine billion dollars. Even if you actively collude with the people at the very top of the international narcotics trade, your punishment will be far smaller than that of the person at the very bottom of the world drug pyramid. You will be treated with more deference and sympathy than a junkie passing out on a subway car in Manhattan (using two seats of a subway car is a common prosecutable offense in this city). An international drug trafficker is a criminal and usually a murderer; the drug addict walking the street is one of his victims. But thanks to Breuer, we’re now in the business, officially, of jailing the victims and enabling the criminals.

    This is the disgrace to end all disgraces.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213#ixzz2F2ASOgzk

    Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone contributing editor, and “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer react to news that the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal and state authorities have opted not to indict HSBC on criminal charges of money laundering. The British bank has reached a deal to pay a settlement of $1.92 billion.

    http://youtu.be/qEPuGGcaiUI

    1. From Mexico

      rich,

      Thanks for the heads up. Living in Mexico, where there have been 120,000 drug-related murders since 2006 in President Calderon’s “War on Drugs,” I’m always interested in this subject.

      The war on drugs is driven by racism, imperialism and stupidity. People in Mexico are left scratching their heads as to what Calderon’s motivation was, with most of my friends agreeing it was stupidity.

      The accusation that the US government is or has been involved in the facilitation of the drug trade has been around for quite some time. If you haven’t seen it, this theme is explored in this film beginning at minute 44:00 and lasts for about 30 minutes:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CyuBuT_7I4&feature=related

      The shortest and most concise statement of the causes of the drug war that I have come across can be found in this short interview of Charles Bowden:

      http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/14/charles_bowden_murder_city_ciudad_jurez

      1. Just Me Again

        So much has been written, said, and dramatized about the infamous American War on Drugs that it’s pretty much impossible to conclude that it could be about anything other than money and power at this point. The back stories are all documented ad nauseum, question is, where do we go from here? My guess is we just move on. The US global imperium’s got much bigger fish to fry now, what with it’s impending melt-down front and center. In my honest opinion, I think we’ve got less than ten years before the subject of physical (at least) US national borders becomes a moot point.

  9. monday1929

    Yves, hopefully HSBC will come up with Moyers. Good luck tonight.
    One item that seems to have vanished: the Approx. 6-7 trillion in secret bank welfare given out in approx. Oct-Dec 2008, including approx. 1 trillion (ie. more than TARP)on one day alone (Dec. 8th?). I believe this was not revealed until it was dragged out of the FED in 2011. I have not seen One reference to this since then.
    Sorry for all the vagueness.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Yeah, It’s going to be Chuck Hagel. Did you really think it was even possible anyone other than a monstrous war criminal would not be nominated? One would have to be criminally insane to even consider the job.

      1. Neo-Realist

        This make come off as shiling for the dems, but does Obama hold his base in such low regard that he won’t seek another democratic nominee for the defense secretary position. And if he does select Hagel, what will the republicans do in return? confirm his federal judge nominees??? Give him his Grand Betrayal with minimal tax increases on the rich and medicare cuts/age raises with all its potential bad outcomes for the aged?

        Even though we have two corporate parties for all intents and purposes, I do get the since that in dealing with Republicans, the President has a bit of Stockholm Syndrome going on with his unwillingness to demand anything of substance from the republicans when he does them a solid.

        1. Lambert Strether

          “Does Obama hold his base in such low regard that he won’t seek another democratic nominee for the defense secretary position?”

          Simple answers to simple questions: Yes.

          1. Synopticist

            Exactly.
            WTF does he think he’s doing. It’s not like he’s going to get any credit from the republicans. He’s such an idiot.

          2. different clue

            I wonder how many people got “fooled” as against “feared”. Those who “feared” Romney a lot voted for Obama to save themselves from Romney. Those who feared Romney just a little voted third party instead of voting for Romney . . . I suspect maybe. I found Obama too eeevil and Romney too awwwful . . . so I voted for Anderson. After Romney lied the way he did about Chrysler, I found Romney too disgusting to vote for even to raise the chances of defeating Obama.

            I have an idea. Those who voted for Romney and Obama should lose all their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaide. Those who voted Third Party should get to keep
            their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaide.

  10. Valissa

    Alien Nile: River of Liquid Methane Seen on Saturn’s Moon Titan http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2012/12/13/river_seen_on_saturn_s_moon_titan_400_kilometer_long_mini_nile_photo.html

    The Great Schism in the Environmental Movement – Can modern greens loosen nature’s grip on environmentalism? http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/12/modern_green_movement_eco_pragmatists_are_challenging_traditional_environmentalists.single.html

        1. Just Me Again

          Learning to honor the wild—learning to remember and acknowledge the autonomy of the other—means striving for critical self-consciousness in all of our actions. It means the deep reflection and respect must accompany each act of use, and means too that we must always consider the possibility of non-use. It means looking at the part of nature we intend to turn toward our own ends and asking whether we can use it again and again and again—sustainably—without its being diminished in the process. It means never imagining that we can flee into a mythical wilderness to escape history and the obligation to take responsibility for our own actions that history inescapably entails. Most of all, it means practicing remembrance and gratitude, for thanksgiving is the simplest and most basic of ways for us to recollect the nature, the culture, and the history that have come together to make the world as we know it. If wildness can stop being (just) out there and start being (also) in here, if it can start being as humane as it is natural, then perhaps we can get on with the unending task of struggling to live rightly in the world—not just in the garden, not just in the wilderness, but in the home that encompasses them both.

          I like that – a lot actually.

    1. psychohistorian

      I am not supporting any of the FREE email services, just saying that it looks like folks are getting what they are not paying for.

      All of the business incentives are fucked up so this is a problem in the middle of a big screwed up social system that is…………crashing.

    1. Klassy!

      And here is an especially nice quote form the grocer:
      “My employees are largely responsible for any success I’ve had, and they deserve to get some of the benefits of that,” Lueken told the Star Tribune. “You can’t always take. You also have to give back.”

    2. diptherio

      I love this man, without ever having met him. I would like to think that his leading by example will catch on and we will start seeing more of this kind of thing. Sadly, I don’t think we will. It will, unfortunately, probably be remembered as an act of incredible generosity from an incredibly generous man; that way everyone can get a warm fuzzy feeling inside and go about their day.

      But what the man says shows that it is not in generosity that he exceeds his fellows, but in logic and essential humanity. Unlike most business owners he obviously has an understanding of the Labor Theory of Value, and his action is not one of generosity per se, but is simply the natural result of his application of this understanding to his life.

      This is not an act of generosity, but of knowledge, of understanding, of humanity; in a word, of wisdom. If we actually believed all of the things we tell our children about kindness and sharing and respect for others, this act would not strike us as exceedingly generous, and it would not be so rare.

  11. Kris

    Re GMO Giant:

    Almost half 48.5% of the California electorate voted to label GMO food in spite of Monsanto and a couple of other food giants outspending the citizens by ten to one.
    At the end of this post is a complete list of the donors to the No on 37 side. Please boycott these companies:

    But first, take a look at the most loathsome of all; the corporations that sell fake organics and don’t support labeling. Here’s a chart showing the bad guys and the good guys.

    http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/08/prop37/

    Don’t forget, Whole Foods did not donate one cent to the Yes on 37 campaign in spite of loudly trumpeting their support for it in certain stores in California. Much of what they sell contains GMOs and their house brands are certified by fraudulent low level certifiers working overseas in places like China where some of their “organics” are grown.

    Abbott Nutrition
    BASF Plant Science
    Bayer CropScience
    Bimbo Bakeries USA
    Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
    Bunge North America, Inc.
    C. H. Guenther & Son, Inc.
    Campbell Soup Company
    Cargill, Inc.
    Clement Pappas & Company, Inc.
    Clorox Company
    Coca-Cola North America
    ConAgra Foods
    Council for Biotechnology Information
    CropLife America
    Dole Packaged Foods Company
    Dow AgroSciences LLC
    E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.
    General Mills, Inc.
    Grocery Manufacturers Association
    H.J. Heinz Company
    Hero North America
    Hershey Company
    Hirzel Canning Company
    Hormel Foods Corporation
    House-Autry Mills, Inc.
    Idahoan Foods, LLC
    Inventure Foods, Inc.
    Kellogg Company
    Knouse Foods Cooperative, Inc.
    Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
    Land O’Lakes, Inc.
    McCain Foods USA, Inc.
    McCormick & Company, Inc.
    Monsanto Company
    Nestle USA, Inc.
    Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
    PepsiCo, Inc.
    Pinnacle Foods Group LLC
    Reily Foods Company
    Rich Products Corporation
    Richelieu Foods, Inc.
    Sara Lee Corporation
    Smithfield Foods, Inc.
    Solae, LLC
    Sunny Delight Beverages Company
    Syngenta Corporation
    The J.M. Smucker Company
    Tri-Cal Inc.
    Vroom
    Ware

    1. Kris

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, a rather conservative organization, has now clearly stated a link between pesticides and childhood cancer. Genetically modified food has more pesticide residues on it than conventional food since it has been specifically genetically engineered to resist pesticide dousing–for example, Roundup Ready Corn, Soy, Sugar Beets, Canola etc.
      So in addition to the carcinogenic effects of the EPA registered pesticide that the corn itself produces, you get the chemicals as well.

      http://www.panna.org/blog/pediatricians-agree-pesticides-are-harming-kids

      “AAP points to the growing body of scientific evidence linking pesticide exposure to children’s health harms, focusing in on harms to the developing nervous system and increased risk of some childhood cancers. The pediatrician group’s findings and recommendations are similar to those highlighted by PAN’s ‘A Generation in Jeopardy’ report released last month.”

      http://www.panna.org/publication/generation-in-jeopardy

      Full report: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/11/21/peds.2012-2757/reply#pediatrics_el_54893

      This puts the so called “Modern Environmentalist” movement, that supports nuclear power and GMOs in laughable perspective. They are a bunch of co-opted and sell out corporate whores.

      1. AbyNormal

        thank you very much for these links.
        been posting Hunger research on mw666blog and ive located more GMO health research & results from China than the good ole us

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It is scary.

          The only defense seems to growing your own, with clean water hopefully.

          It might cost jobs, unfortunately.

          As for fighting hunger. since you mentioned hunger research, hopefully we evolve beyond quantity, as we did in the 50′s and 60′s, to quality. No good to feed people with harmful stuff loaded with trans-fat, HFCS, pesticide, etc. That was what happened when the goal was how tonns of this or that were harvested this year.

          It should be the same with any job guarantee program. We should focus on quality rather quantity. It should not be either cash from the government or a stigmatized or meaningless job.

          1. AbyNormal

            i dabbed into american & eu food waste with a video but not quality, yet.
            appreciate your quality idea.

            Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Schumacher, and his the buddhist economics.

            Small is indeed beautiful.

            Nothing is better than something…a Zen saying.

            ‘You don’t have to buy that to be happy,’ whispers the loving one.

          3. Lidia

            It won’t cost jobs but create them. Right now “farmers” set combines going over thousands of acres guided by GPS. That’s how 80-90% of the people who used to be involved in agriculture went down to 2% of the population.

            If you grow your own food, shouldn’t we call that a “job”?

          4. different clue

            Acres USA has been writing about food quality versus quantity for decades now. Their website shows how to get one free issue of their newsletter/magazine to see if one likes it. They would welcome new subscribers.

            50 million suburbanites and semiburbanites are in a position to grow some of their own food. Once they really learn how to do it, they can use some of the money they save by growing what they used to buy . . . to buy high price high value organic food of the sorts they can’t grow themselves, thereby targetting that money towards ethical organic producers and keeping that money away from the biznazi food monopolists.

    2. Zuzu's roots

      GMO labeling!

      I don’t want to be part of their experiments in modern food science, nor do I want to financially support evil corporations.

  12. jsmith

    Re: how we became Israel:

    Some points:

    Israel is a full-blown genocidal apartheid state so while the U.S. fully marches in fascist lockstep with its “ally” these differences should always be mentioned.

    Secondly, Bacevich – who I generally like – does a disservice in not mentioning the anomalous and significant phenomenon of the American political structure completely and wholeheartedly kow-towing to the demands of Israel and sweeping every betrayal under the rug.

    I mean, besides the fact that the U.S. is a nation of brainwashed idiot cowards, why not include a few paragraphs on how no one – and I mean not one single person – who inhabits our political sphere ever criticizes Israel even when its actions are to our detriment as a nation?

    Why the standing ovations for Israeli leaders in front of Congress, the continuous genuflection-junkets to Israel for POTUS candidates and elected officials?

    Why the white-washing and censoring of commentary on such topics as Israeli foreknowledge/involvement in 9/11 – see FBI report below on scribd – and Arnon Milchan – acclaimed Hollywood producer and Israeli nuclear spy?

    The buying and threatening of our politicians by AIPAC?

    While some entertain the notion that it’s all a charade and that Israel is really our little monkey in the ME, I ask them: why the charade then? why the groveling by men who are so entirely arrogant and ego-maniacal that they would sell their own children into slavery for the wielding of power?

    Isn’t the UK our monkey, too?

    France?

    Japan?

    We have a long list of countries and allies that are our bootlickers, why don’t our politicians grovel before all of them too?

    Because they’re really afraid of the voting power of American Jews?

    Does that make sense?

    So, until we grow-up as a society and start to have mature conversations about the conspicuous and inordinate influence the country of Israel has on this nation and how harmful it is to following the lead/orders of an genocidal apartheid state such as Israel then we’re just wasting time.

    It’s not anti-Semitic to point out the obvious and embarrassing fact that our leaders are constantly paying homage to an genocidal apartheid state that is overwhelming recognized as one of the worst – USA! Number 1! – violators of human rights in the world.

    Links:

    Dancing Israelis FBI Report

    Note: the above report clearly states on page 87 that photographs recovered by the police clearly show that the Mossad agents were celebrating/cheering immediately after the 1st WTC hit – a time when no one had yet reported that it was a terrorist attack. Thus, it can be seen that these Mossad agents and their partners through NYC that day had – at the very least – foreknowledge of the attack yet they were released with nary in a word in the press and with the information – and photos! – sealed from public scrutiny.

    Here’s a link about Arnon Milchan and the fabulous life he’s lead in the US after helping steal nuclear secrets for Israel.

    Here’s a link to his IMDB page to show that not only was he seemingly forgiven for betraying his adopted country but has been handsomely rewarded with a dream life of celebrities and stardom. It’s amazing how many big movies he’s been in on.

    1. hunkerdown

      I get a lot of interesting analysis from the Archdruid lately. In discussing the US’s problematic Israel policy (which some people will no doubt try as hard as possible to read as the “Jewish problem”) he presented the useful concept of veto blocs, those whose issues are given disproportionately large influence by public officials due to their ability to reliably influence elections. While Jews may make up on the order of 2% of the population, their numbers lock on foreign policy is bolstered by xenophobic evangelical Christians who heard the name Israel in church once or twice and/or remember the oil embargo of 1973.

    2. Jackrabbit

      …photographs recovered by the police clearly show that the Mossad agents were celebrating/cheering immediately after the 1st WTC hit – a time when no one had yet reported that it was a terrorist attack. Thus, it can be seen that these Mossad agents and their partners through NYC that day had – at the very least – foreknowledge of the attack…

      ==

      I surmised that it was a terrorist attack after the first strike also. Why? Because Al Queda had attacked the World Trade Center before and were known for going back to targets. Because Osama had declared ‘Jihad’ on the US.

      I don’t usually watch TV in the morning, but as it so happened that I turned it on that morning about the time that they started reporting that a plane had struck the towers. It was a bright, clear day – no weather problems could’ve been responsible.

      Also, I had leared a bit about Osama and Al Queda prior to 9-11 because I lived in NYC and had a family member who was evacuated after the first attack in ’93 (they got out fine).

      I generally find what you write to be interesting, but in this case, you are making a connection that is tenuous at best. While most US citizens may not have been aware of Al Queda, there was info available – for those who were interested – that would’ve led one to think that the first plane was not an accident.

      That they would’ve celebrated an attack is another matter entirely. But any celebration can easily be explained by a divergence interest rather than dark intent. I imagine the British ‘celebrated’ the entry of the US into WWII after Pearl Harbor. Yet that doesn’t mean they were involved or silent regarding an impeding attack before December 2, 1941.

      1. different clue

        I attended a Helen Caldicott ( Physicians for Social Responsibility) talk many years ago. She said, I don’t remember in what context, that when she was a girl living in Australia, that when they heard that Hitler had invaded Russia, her family cheered because it meant that Russia would now come into the war on the British side.

      2. ambrit

        Dear Jackrabbit;
        According to John Toland in “Infamy” the Dutch knew of the attack beforehand because they had broken the Japanese codes and had informed the Americans. Since the Japan Navy services had been trained by the Royal Navy in the beginning, it is reasonable to assume that the UK also had the Naval codes. The huge losses at Pearl Harbour and the Indian Ocean can be placed squarely at the foot of Western Hubris. Who would have guessed that a bunch of “little brown people” could solve the problem of shallow water aerial torpedo launching? No one else had done so before. But they did, and thousands of American servicemen died as a result. Aerial dive bombers can sink a battleship? Never. Until the ‘Prince of Wales’ went to the bottom. So, considering how desperate Churchill and the English Staff were to drag America into the war, yes, you could have seen people in Whitehall secretly doing a jig on December Seventh.

  13. Brindle

    Zero Dark Thirty—Good piece by Peter Maass in The Atlantic:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/12/dont-trust-zero-dark-thirty/266253/#.UMtBBm1FkMR.twitter

    —”Yet I wonder about the ire the film arouses in its critics. I agree that the movie’s depiction of the CIA is regrettably uncritical; let’s remember, the CIA provided false evidence for going to war against Iraq, it tortured prisoners in secret jails and sent others to third countries where they would be tortured (and covered up as much of this as possible), and it is now engaged in a covert program using aerial drones to kill people who have not been convicted of any crime—and in these attacks women and children are often killed.

    The film fails to consider the notion that the CIA and the intelligence industry as a whole, rather than being solutions to what threatens us, might be part of the problem.
    These are big omissions, but let’s be honest—similar omissions are committed every day by journalists, pundits, politicians and filmmakers, and we don’t get terribly upset. At most, we change the channel.

    Zero Dark Thirty will likely find a bigger, more captivated audience than any cable-news blatherer would. It’s a dazzling film. But what’s more dazzling—and frustrating—is the government’s skill, time and time again, in getting its story told so uncritically.”—

    1. Aquifer

      Short form – The film fails to consider all this awful crap, but what the heck, so does everybody else … Next!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That dazzling skill in getting its story told uncritically might have something to do with its ability to print as much money as it wants…

        1. AbyNormal

          i needed the belly laff from your post
          i’d also like to thank a dear ole friend for the ‘Economics as if People Mattered’…it regenerated hope where i thought it had abandoned me.

          “If greed were not the master of modern man–ably assisted by envy–how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher “standards of living” are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness? How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies–where organized along private enterprise or collective enterprise lines–to work towards the humanisation of work? It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the “standard of living” and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of of “bread and circuses” can compensate for the damage done–these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence–because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.” small is beautiful

  14. V-finger gesture to the eyes

    That Bacevich article shows very clearly the selective mutism of national-security Juche in our own loony fucked-up hermit kingdom. Bacevich adopts the think-piece style, scratching his chin over “a nation’s reigning definition of peace,” because every nation has to figure it out for themselves, right? Because nobody ever thought about this before him. Except, well, maybe the UN General Assembly, a.k.a THE GODDAM FUCKING WORLD, in inter alia resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 on friendly relations and cooperation among States; resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974 on the definition of aggression; resolution 3348 (XXIX) of 17 December 1974, in which the Assembly endorsed the “Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition”; resolution 3384 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, entitled “Declaration on the use of scientific and technological progress in the interests of peace and for the benefit of mankind”; Resolution 33/73 of 15 December 1978, entitled “Declaration on the preparation of societies for life in peace”; resolution 39/11 of 12 November 1984 entitled “Declaration of the right of peoples to peace”; resolution 53/243 A of 13 September 1999 entitled “Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace”; resolution 55/2 of 5 September 2000 entitled “United Nations Millennium Declaration”, reaffirmed by resolution 60/1 of 15 September 2005, entitled “2005 World Summit Outcome”; and resolution 55/282 of 7 September 2001

    And because there’s no legal guidance or anything, except maybe, if you really stretch it, UN Charter Article 2.4 “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations,” but that’s really unclear and vague – and that supremacy clause in the US Constitution, What does that really mean anyway?

    Really, What is peace, anyway? Isn’t it just a warm feeling of love and peace and joy deep in your heart? http://www.aedidh.org/sites/default/files/Santiago-Declaration-en.pdf

    1. Just Me Again

      Really, What is peace, anyway? Isn’t it just a warm feeling of love and peace and joy deep in your heart?

      I admire your hutzpah. Keep it up! Rest assured, this world needs MUCH MORE hutzpah!

  15. sobbity sob sob

    Shit. Here we go again, we’re all gonna have to make the Sad Face, and act all shocked like, However could anyone in a brutalized, sadistic culture possibly whack a bunch of kids – who didn’t even deserve it, unlike the little Paki flower-girl terrorists at the weddings our devastated President double-taps every Tuesday in a rain of pink pulp and kiddie limbs whirling through the air? Oh boo hoo hoo hoo, the children.

    1. Just Me Again

      LOL! No we’re not. Instead, we’re gonna make fun of a sobbity sob sob bitch who comes on this board to make fun of who knows what, but mostly just everything.

      And THEN just for fun, we’re gonna wish that the sobitty sob sob bitch and his and hers (or hers and his) get their just desserts at the hands of the system that they allegedly support. THAT’s what WE’RE gonna wish for sobbity sob sob.

      For YOU and YOURS, ESPECIALLY!

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Americans support tax increase(on people other than themselves).

    That’s not bad, though by focusing on income, one misses the larger picture. It should be on wealth, not income.

    Also, with a low threshold ($250K/yr), it means you don’t have to hit those on the very, very top (we are talking about people who can afford homes in several countries) harder.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Ray, thanks for the courtesy.

      Yves, Bruce, and Bill make a great team, talking Reality. Yves, thanks for your eloquent defense of the Fiscal Slope Event. It’s a rare treat to hear LIVE discussion nowadays. You came across as a stellar personality who knows her stuff, and you looked wonderful in action. In fact, you looked like who’s for President. Heaven knows you would win the roses in a race against Billary. But, actually, you seem too spontaneously intelligent and confident for the Puppet post, and you likely wouldn’t want to perform the asinine and dirty tricks that are expected for the PuppetPres. Do you think you could change that? Oh well, how about Secretary of the Treasury?

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