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Links 1/23/12

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Part III of our Bank of America foreclosure review whistleblower series should be out on Friday (decided to go deeper into a couple of issues, which requires more fact checking). Stay tuned!

Your humble blogger is also looking for you to cut me a bit of slack. Big push to get the BofA series completed, and had to have a wisdom tooth extracted, which eats into my time when I have no time (not to worry, it was more painful to my wallet than me. Novocaine is a wonder drug)

Why chimps form ‘friendships’ BBC

Job Ad Seeks Beautiful Women To Seduce Insider Information

Lolcats of the Middle Ages Medieval and Early Manuscripts (Anthony)

Is Genetically Engineered Salmon Safe? Alternet (furzy mouse)

Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implant New York Times. Medical devices have a much less demanding FDA approval process than drugs. Looks like that proved to be an invitation to abuse. J&J is so dominant in hip and knee replacements that it has been difficult for manufacturers with demonstrably better products to get meaningful market share.

IBM Watson Caught using Swear Words like ‘Bullshit’ Parity News (furzy mouse)

Global mercury treaty will take decades to work New Scientist (May S)

Beijing to Scrap Old Cars, Swap Heaters in Clean Air Bid Bloomberg

Wind power delivers too much to ignore New Scientist (May S)

New Technology Could Drastically Reduce Cost of Offshore Wind Power OilPrice

iPad Hack Statement Of Responsibility TechCrunch (Lambert). Another Aaron Swartz? This is amazing in a bad way.

Is the German ZEW signaling recovery? MacroBusiness

Europe in 2013 MacroBusiness

Most Asian Stocks Fall as Japan Shares Extend Drop on Yen Bloomberg

Beggar Thy Currency Or Thy Self? Mohamed El-Erian, Project Syndicate. True but omits that we sat by as China drove the yen to the moon…there is a lack of agency here….

Central bankers should be brought to heel by elected parliaments Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Setback for Netanyahu as centrists gain ground Guardian

India Warns Kashmiris to Prepare for Nuclear War New York Times

On Obama’s Second Inauguration Counterpunch (patricia)

I Guess the “One Leader” Part Is Taken as a Given Streetwise Professor. Tune out the dissing of “collectivists” (the way to sound less nutty than saying “socialist” or blowing the Koch “statist” dog whistle) and focus on the authoritarianism, which Obama has in spades.

RICHARD BLANCO: WHY IS IT THAT POETRY ONLY REARS ITS ZOMBIE HEAD WHEN WE ELECT A DEMOCRAT? NSFW (bob)

Fiscal cliff giveaway to big biotech firm exposes deficit hypocrisy Daily Kos (Carol B)

America’s fiscal policy is not in crisis Martin Wolf, Financial Times

The Macroeconomic Task Ahead Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

When Tax Cuts Were a Tough Sell Bruce Bartlett, New York Times

Pastor’s son who ‘killed his parents and three siblings’ loved playing violent video games like Modern Warfare and Grand Theft Auto Daily Mail. Sure to be spun that the problem is media, not overly easy access to guns.

Woman Handcuffed, Detained & Strip-Searched on Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Files Lawsuit Against Racial Profiling Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

City Pays $75K To Couple Arrested For Dancing On Subway Platform Gothamist

Movie Premier: Inequality for All John Lounsbury

The Media Is Misreporting The Housing Turnaround Story Clusterstock

Positioning for credit losses, the JPMorgan way Lisa Pollack, Financial Times. Wow, no wonder JPM discussed the technical details of what happened in as much trader-speak as possible. I think this a not-bad layperson summary of the story thus far: JPM made a lot of money on some sort of high yield short. Probably single name. But whoops! They couldn’t take profits at the level they thought they could. So they used a really really lousy “hedge” to take profits. But because the hedge was so lousy, when New Shit Happened and they lost money on the long side and so added to the short. I gotta tell you, the normal reflex should have been “WTF are you doing???? This isn’t working, lighten up these trades as best you can.” Oh, and more pieces of this puzzle (the curve flattener part) look to have been implemented incorrectly.

Libertarian Propaganda With Your Organic Arugula? Mother Jones. If you haven’t seen it, you must watch the four part Adam Curtis BBC series Century of the Self (you can find it on Google Video or in our archives). One of the things it mentions is that the 1960s human potential movement freaked out businesses and politicians because they couldn’t reach people in it from a marketing/communications standpoint (in MBA terms, it was a psychographic rather than a demographic segmentation, and in the dinosaur days of mass media, those types were impossible to target). The Reagan/Thatcherite messaging was designed specifically to reach them and render then tractable to pro-business views.

Antidote du jour (martha r):

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146 comments

  1. Jefemt

    Went to click on the Lance Armstrong feature, and notice it went away? Seems like he is a 21st century poster child for the ends justify the means power/prestige/influence/money grubber who is blinded by the greed/need thang. Reminds me of the ‘leaders’ of some big banks and multi-nationals…and governments– sociopaths blind to the destruction they are foisting on the world in their ‘quests’.

      1. ohmyheck

        Awesome link!

        Geithner replied at the time about his discussions with banks:

        “The only thing I’ve done is to try to help them understand — and I’m sure that’s been true across the system — what the scope of that is because these people generally don’t use the window and they don’t really understand in some sense what it’s about.”

        I guess just about anyone can become a Director of the Federal Reserve. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Understanding “what it’s about” is not a job requirement. Sign me up!

      2. diptherio

        Here’s something I didn’t know about the Fed, specifically about the B and C directors:

        As it stands, six of the nine directors on the boards of the regional banks are appointed by member banks, with the other three sometimes appointed from non-profits which can and often do solicit funds from banks.

        So-called class A directors are chosen by and represent member banks. They are almost invariably working bankers. Class B directors are chosen by member banks to represent the public, a state of affairs which would never be tolerated in other areas of public life. Class C directors are appointed by Fed Governors to represent a range of other interests.

        Thanks for the link

    1. Richard Kline

      Lance Armstrong, money grubbing, narcissistic, greedhead? You’re too kind, Jefemt. Armstrong grotesquely exploited his cancer history for a fake personal narrative of competitiveness which brough him huge wealth in sponsorships, ruthlessly destroyed the careers, livelihoods, and bank accounts via litigation of a series of people who got in his way or told the truth about him, and systematically defrauded a series of sponsors and prize-awarding authorities of tens of millions of dollars through cheating and attendant lies. The guy’s a thorough criminal, who should be doing time, and hasn’t even begun to cop to the real harm he did real _people_, not to speak of the ‘sport’ he pretended to perform.

      . . . And I’ve been thinking exactly that about him for over a dozen years of folks chanting “Lance, Lance, Lance,” since watching him power up a Pyreneean slope solo in front of the best riders in the world many of whom were certain to be on juice. The mas was so obviously a user, so patently associated himself with dope doctors, had a trail of evidence around him longer than his finishes in the money, and STILL most people didn’t want ot hear that. Lance Armstrong was the dead canary in the miner’s cage of our time; the indicator that society was sick, and willing to buy into any lie if money came back at the end. The guy was patently doped, so what does that say about the dopes clapping for him?

      What seems too good to be true nearly always is, and to buy the lie destroys any space for any truth. What does it say about a society which won’t pick up the truth lying on the ground at its feet? I don’t think we’ll learn from this—but we should.

      1. patricia

        “a society which won’t pick up the truth lying on the ground at its feet” (Richard Smith, above)

        Also the poetry lying everywhere underfoot, waiting to be grown, such as:
        “And now here we are again, as fresh as a bunch of amnesiac daisies, at Obama’s second-term inauguration” (Dolan in Blanco–baaaaa poetry)

      2. Maximilien

        When historians come to name our times, perhaps they’ll call it “The Age of Hypocrisy”. Okay, Armstrong is a cancer survivor but his cancer was testicular. Nearly everyone survives that. From Wiki: “Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers: in excess of 90 percent overall; almost 100 percent if it has not spread (metastasized).”

        So big deal. Armstrong survived it too. He could as well have developed basal cell carcinoma (easily treated skin cancer), “survived” that, and gone on to milk his “recovery” for millions of dollars. He clearly has the chutzpah (here read as hypocrisy); most people don’t because they have some decency.

        Nowadays it seems hypocrisy is easily tolerated, if not openly accepted. No one cried out when the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman stories turned out to be lies. No one questions Magic Johnson’s alleged HIV-positive status, which he used as a springboard for his AIDS activism. And no one examines Ann Romney (who appears to be in rude good health) about her claims that she was diagnosed with MS twelve years ago.

        Extraordinary claims call for strong evidence in support of them. Claims that are made in the interest of a career or fundraising demand incontrovertible evidence, with no twisting or omission of facts in order to dupe the public.

        But, in our “Age of Hypocrisy” evidence seems not to be expected. Facts be damned; just give the rubes a feel-good story. They’ll buy it. Lance Armstrong is living proof of that.

  2. Paul Tioxon

    Answer to why Zombie poetry appears?

    Because the acknowledged literary critics, of the unacknowledged legislators of the world, who help to destroy the best minds of a generation with madness need to eat their young.

    1. tom allen

      A Coffin — is a small Domain,
      Unable to contain
      A Citizen of Paradise
      In it diminished Plane.

      A Grave — is a restricted Breadth —
      Yet ampler than the Sun —
      And all the Seas He populates
      And Lands He looks upon

      To Him who on its small Repose
      Bestows a single Friend —
      Circumference without Relief —
      Or Estimate — or End —

      – Zombie Dickinson

    2. JTFaraday

      “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by theory, well-fed complacent leather-coated, dragging themselves through the Caucasian campuses at dawn looking for an angry signifier.”

  3. frosty zoom

    of course GMO salmon is perfrectlyy sAF34•¶ÓEE∞¢£∞§EEsae™¡£¢∞§EEFFFEIEIEEI

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I love science. The cool thing about science is that when done correctly, it’s blind to all political ideologies.

      Usually, the conservative are on the wrong about science. Evolution. Climate Change. Tobacco usage. Pollution. Usually, they are wrong about anything to do with social issues or corporate freedom to make a quick buck. Conservatives tend to ignore science.

      We liberals are usally much better. We have biases too, usually when things involve corporations or health issues. Vaccines and autism. Peanut allergys. GMOs. Liberals tend to make up science.

      Yes, releasing genetically engineered fish (or any non-native species) into an ecosystem could have a large impact. Yes, aquaculture has pollution issues. OTOH, there is no evidence that eating genetically modified protein is any different than non-genetically modified protein.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/09/are_gmo_foods_safe_opponents_are_skewing_the_science_to_scare_people_.html

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The worry has always been when Science is not done correctly.

        It has happened far too often.

        SO, the question is, how can we do to make sure it’s always done correctly?

        Why always? Why that standard?

        I believe that’s porportional to the damage Science can do, which, at this stage of its developement, is infinte.

        ‘Don’t worry about the upside. Worry about the downside.’ That is to say, do no harm.

      2. different clue

        Here is an early case of widespread deaths and maimings-for-life inflicted upon users of a genetically-engineered-bacteria-derived product.
        http://psrast.org/demsd.htm

        http://www.nemsn.org/cause.htm

        It happened once. Can it happen again? Is it stealth-happening now even as we speak?

        Why do the one percenter Corporate GMO chiseler-hustler-hucksters fight so desperately to prevent tracing of their products through the underhanded means of GMO-labeling prevention? What are they ashamed of? What are they afraid of? What privately-held-suspicions of their own liability are they trying to untraceably hide?

        1. BondsOfSteel

          An interesting case… but it’s not clear that the cause was genetic engineering or the shoddy processes used to create the L-Tryptophan.

          Even the links you posted state that the specific contaminant has never been identified.

          1. different clue

            Was the specific contaminant ever even looked for?

            There was no problem with bacteria-derived L-Tryptophan until Showa Denko rolled out its GMOd bacteria for greater L-Tryptophan production. Completely unrelated coincidence then?

        1. GeorgeK

          The negative Organic/Non-GMO articles are part of a coordinated PR effort, starting with the Dr OZ article in TIME. Fact is the US and Canada are the only countries still accepting new GMO products, even Argentina and Brazil are having second thoughts on GMO’s since they have failed to deliver on the promise of higher yields and less pesticides; leading to higher production cost and lower profits.

          Plus, China doesn’t want to buy GMO grains.

          1. different clue

            Oh really? Is this known? Have Chinese purchasing authorities overtly said they are seeking nonGMO product?
            Are there links to articles about that? To official pronouncements?

  4. frosty zoom

    “Setback for Netanyahu as centrists gain ground”

    •• uh, it seemed that netanyahu was gaining ground for years…

    1. Cynthia

      As if the fact that Amgen has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government and still has this much influence in Washington wasn’t bad enough, the New York Times article points out that Amgen has already secured a two year delay before government controls kick in, meaning it now has a cushy four years to bilk Medicare and the American taxpayer. They got this through their “deep financial and political ties” to influential senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and members of the Finance Committee, Democrat Max Baucus, the chair, and Orrin Hatch.

      So here’s your daily reminder: These people don’t care about the deficit. The shared sacrifice they talk about means old people pay by having to wait longer to get Medicare so that big drug companies keep their profits.

  5. Jim Haygood

    ‘Japan is the latest country to say enough is enough. In just over two months, the yen has weakened by more than 10% against the dollar and close to 20% against the euro. Of course, Japan is not the first country to go down this path.’ — Mohamed El-Erian

    Actually, it’s one of the last. Japan is the caboose on the devaluation train, much as the U.S. was in 1933-1934 when ol’ Frank grabbed folks’ gold and then devalued like hell.

    But the song remains the same in the U.S.: we imperiously demand that Asia remain a hard-currency bastion, while the decrepit West continues its mad-science experiments with QEternity.

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of full free-floating — forced on the world when the U.S. defaulted on its Bretton Woods obligations. Not only has Nixon’s peremptory decree (so much for parliamentary democracy, eh) produced four decades of serial bubbles and debt crises, but also it enables the vast zero-sum game of currency trading, which enriches banks but adds bloody nothing to global living standards.

    When QEternity finally blows up in our fool faces, maybe it’ll put paid to the laughable folly of every government issuing its own colorful scrip with haughty-looking portraits of assorted cultural riffraff plastered on them.

    Big-haired Andy Jackson, who shut down the Second Bank of the United States, would be apoplectic at having his mug emblazoned on today’s sloppily-printed twenties, with his head blown up and his shoulders narrowed to caricature him (the banksters’ revenge against their nemesis, as it were). These dubious ‘IOU nothings’ are worth exactly as much as the fine rag paper they’re printed on.

    1. different clue

      Well, actually, they are currently worth as much as goods-and-services sellers are willing to exchange for them. Which is still something. And that gives them value as an agreed-upon-medium-of-exchange. And that is what gives them value to me.

      I can still buy 20 cans of 50 cent per can tuna when it comes on special sale with a twenty dollar bill. And that tuna has food value.

      1. different clue

        40 cans actually. I am so relieved I caught my own crude arithmetic mistake before someone else pointed it out.

      1. rjs

        The Media Is Misreporting The Housing Turnaround Story

        nothing wrong with what he points out, but he omits other problems with census housing data that are never reported; especially the large margin of error;
        as reported, private housing starts in December were estimated to be at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000, which was 12.1 percent (±13.4%)* over November’s level; that means the bureau is 90% confident that the number of new housing starts in December had fallen somewhere between an annual rate of 826,164 and 1,081.836; likely up from the number in November but by no means certain…furthermore, this past December was one of the ten warmest on record, which likely allowed for more home building activity than the baseline December seasonal adjustment would have generated..

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      Thanks for posting this, I was gonna do it too.

      It shows that DOJ, in the form of Lanny Breuer, is bought and paid for, shuffling its feet till the statute of limitaitons can be invoked.

      1. AbyNormal

        he did worse than shuffle his feet
        his position demanded he prosecute NOT defend banks against counter parties and industry careers

        When honor and the Law no longer stand on the same side of the line, how do we choose[?]
        a. bishop

      2. Klassy!

        The show needed more than an hour. I think it also needed to show the on the ground suffering– something like that Reuters piece on foreclosures in limbo that was highlighted here.
        Lanny Breuer is a piece of work. His claim that the witnesses just weren’t good enough was ridiculous. Shall we compare these witnesses to those that the FBI manages to create scare up for “terror plots” for credibitility?
        I think Pam Marten’s piece was right on target.

        1. Ms G

          We should all put our heads together to pull together a lot of the on-the-ground suffering (several stories available in the testimony of Yves’s reviewer witnesses, among a lot of others out there) and maybe write a treatment for a documentary. I think PBS/Moyers might go for it!

          1. Aquifer

            Hmmm – maybe it’s time Bill had her on again – we can send these pieces to him and suggest he cover ‘em ….

      3. Doug Terpstra

        The Untouchables was a jaw-dropping episode that will leave future historians astonished at the brazen corruption of our time and the in-your-face impunity of these sociopathic predators. For Breuer to essentially say that the stability of our economic system depends on granting blanket amnesty to these soulless felons is simply stunning . . . and despicably false.

        Frontline’s last line highlights this huge lie: “…to date, not one single senior Wall Street executive has been held criminally liable by the department of justice for activities related to the financial crisis.”

        Here is irrefutable, incontrovertible proof that Wall Street owns the president, Congress, and the courts — the former branches of our democracy. The orderly resolution of failed banks to ensure economic stability in no way required the immunization or exoneration of the criminals that run them and trashed the US economy. The protection of banksters, their continued leadership, their loot, and their bailout bonuses was an explicit choice made by the Obama administration, under the manifestly false pretense that protecting their campaign contributors from prison was essential to preserving middle class savings and jobs. In fact, Obama handed them a license to loot.

        1. Bill the Psychologist

          Really good summation of this whole appalling situation, thanks.

          I voted for Obama….:-(

    2. Garrett Pace

      Walk down memory lane – did you know that Andy Fastow was in jail until 2011? A quaint relic from a simpler era where the bigger the crime, the more vigorous the prosecution.

      Jeff Skilling is still incarcerated.

  6. fresno dan

    IBM Watson Caught using Swear Words like ‘Bullshit’ Parity News
    What with its urban dictionary training, I hope Watson doesn’t go on Jeopardy and get asked what a rusty trombone is…

    1. Garrett Pace

      Vulgarity is such a peculiar phenomenon – it’s the words not the concepts that are offensive, for most vulgar words have an inoffensive analogue with an identical meaning.

      Watson must wonder what the big deal is.

    2. Tom

      I think the researchers are throwing out the bath water with the baby. Cursing is not peculiar to the human language – it’s been around since the dawn of mankind and reflects important thought processes and cultural norms. I prefer the use of curse words when used in context to convey feelings and pain and immediacy. Don’t get me fucking wrong here, I do give a shit about trampling on someones god damned fucking sensibilities and highbrow horse shit PC but, some fuck-ups deserve a good call out. Like hitting my god damned fucking finger with a hard ass fucking hammer.

      1. Garrett Pace

        Like anything, the effect is lessened with repetition. The English language has an unusually rich vocabulary, full of words with marvelous emotional affect. A pity people so commonly limit themselves to the harshest handful.

  7. fresno dan

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-20/bob-rubin-s-washington-reign-reaches-20-years.html

    “He (bobby Rubin) has said that while he did encourage more risk-taking, he also called for an increase in the internal monitoring of that risk. “I don’t feel responsible, in light of the facts as I knew them in my role,” he said in 2008. “Clearly, there were things wrong. But I don’t know of anyone who foresaw a perfect storm, and that’s what we’ve had here.” Two decades at the levers of power, and he wants us to see him as a victim of circumstance.”

    Yup, NO ONE saw it coming….it was like a hurricaine or…sunrise….entirely unforseeable….

    1. Brindle

      Rubin’s vetting of Bill Clinton in 91′. He found his boy.

      —”In 1990, after Rubin became a co-senior partner of Goldman Sachs with Steve Friedman, Strauss threw a dinner party for him in Washington to celebrate. In mid-1991, Rubin and his friend David Sawyer had a series of dinners in New York for potential Democratic candidates for the 1992 election. They had one for Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and Rubin was blown away. In no time, Rubin was in Clinton’s camp.”—

      1. Ms G

        Great find, Brindle. More and more dots connecting — it’s all about the details and the chronology!

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        According to Modern Political Theory (MPT), which is descriptive, that’s how our two-stage election system works – first the 0.01% vote and select their man, and then the 99.99% rubber-stamp the decision.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Notice how when the 0.01% vote, they always have tasty morsels to fortify their decision; whereas the 99.99% have to brave rain, sleet and snow, and without food at the polling booths.

            In any case, I am just describing. Don’t shoot the messenger.

          2. Valissa

            The mainstream .01% are playing the duopoly game and strategically allow some 3rd party candidates, that have no chance of winning*, for riff-raff like us to vote for so we can feel better about not voting for whatever tool does get elected. I know some find this reality depressing, but I find it very liberating.

            *(because they do not have enough malcontents from the .01%ers supporting them)

          3. Aquifer

            Val –

            “*(because they do not have enough malcontents from the .01%ers supporting them)”

            Well, I gotta take issue with that – what that says is we accept that money buys our votes – i don’t accept that …

            And it says that we accept the MSM’s definition of who can win – and I don’t accept that …

            And if TPTB have succeeded in getting us all to accept those 2 things – well they have won – and i don’t accept that either …..

        1. JTFaraday

          No no no! MPT is descriptive and prescriptive.

          Miraculously, everyone’s description will be exactly the same. Only our prescriptions will vary by our politics.

          LOL. Too funny.

        2. Ms G

          Funny you should say that. I was thinking along the lines of an oak paneled living room with the Capo sitting behind a huge desk discussing who’s going to be the next [fill in political office] and getting debriefed by his consiglieri on a few options.

          This detail is actually pretty unique and powerful in terms of filling in the outline of the .01% ownership of our government.

    2. Ms G

      Great little clip of Rubin at one of the Senate hearings in The Untouchables. Only about 60 seconds worth (his “responses” to 2 questions) but, boy, does body (and face) language speak a 1,000 words!

      (Same with Breuer. No amount of PR and prep could apparently neutralize the only spontaneous part of his communications (body, face, quality of voice).)

  8. Kate-max

    “Sure to be spun that the problem is media, not overly easy access to guns. ”

    I see that the media rush to focus on guns here and not any mental health issues is under-way (again).

    The issue in my opinion is how can we help seriously disturbed people get help? Obviously there are several Americans out there at any given time on the verge of “losing it.” I suggest we figure out how to help them before they hurt anyone.

    Complex issues are tough I know – its easier to say the problem is “guns” rather than saying the problem is “disturbed people with access to guns” but I think looking at the second problem is more accurate and more productive.

    1. wunsacon

      >> its easier to say the problem is “guns” rather than saying the problem is “disturbed people with access to guns” but I think looking at the second problem is more accurate and more productive.

      Let’s see how productive you are: How do you propose to keep a legally obtainable, mass-marketed item out of the hands of that home-schooled kid in NM?

      >> Complex issues are tough I know

      Yes. So, while you work out the details in your forthcoming proposals, let’s grab the low-hanging fruit such as banning large magazines and requiring military-grade weapons to be stored at gun ranges. It won’t eliminate unnecessary deaths but will reduce them.

    2. Bill the Psychologist

      Yes, the media conveniently forgets the tens of millions of kids and adults worldwide who love “violent” games but don’t shoot anyone “because of” them.

    3. Cynthia

      These ongoing massacres across the country are not merely about mentally disturbed loners or lax gun control laws, Kate-max. They are the logical outcome of an increasingly militarized culture that glorifies violence — whose leaders publicly tout their “kill lists” and readiness to use armed force to further the “national interest.” We are a gangster nation — we should expect the occasional drive-by massacre.

      When I saw the picture of Barack Obama, the mass murderer of Muslim children, weeping a bitter tear over the deaths of these children I could not believe the cognitive dissonance.

      We as a country practice moral disengagement, like concentration camp commanders who could kill thousands in the day and come home to a loving family in the evening.

      1. Expat

        I agree. I hate to invoke Stephen Pinker, the right-wing linguist, but he makes the point that cultures send a message to their constituents that consists of verbal and nonverbal, conscious and unconscious components, which, depending on their ability and upbringing, different people will interpret in different ways. For the savvy, there is nothing mysterious about this and most people can negotiate their cultures pretty well. So if we don’t approve of someone’s behaviour….

        Not to mention that the habits of the richest tend to mirror the habits of the poorest (or is it vice versa?); it’s the middle that is moderate.

      2. citalopram

        MMMMm maybe. I personally think it’s easy access to guns, a healthcare system that leaves everyone else behind, and massive amounts of stress. Also, a culture of ‘MEEEEEEE’ doesn’t help either.

    4. JohnL

      Please compare the US (10 gun homicides per 100,000 per year) with, say, the UK (0.25 per 100,000 per year) in this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate.

      Then look at this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

      US 88 guns per 100 people, UK 6.2.

      So which factors do you think contribute to the 40 times higher rate of gun homicides? A higher percentage of seriously disturbed individuals? Maybe double? A higher level of societal brainwashing that violence is the answer? Maybe a little? Or a 15 times higher availability of guns? Maybe most of it?

      And with 88 guns per 100 people, what are going to do about it? Not much.

        1. Synopticist

          The difference is farmers shooting themselves with shotguns/rifles. They’re one of the very few groups in the UK who tend to own weapons, and have a high suicide rate.

      1. abprosper

        Its a bit more complex than that. Most homicides in the US are Blacks And Hispanic killing others of the same race often in areas with strict gun laws (Chicago and D.C and NYC for example)

        Th rate of homicide among Whites and Asians (Hmong and ethnic gang members excepted) is much lower on par with much of that of Europe

        The South is a bit of an exception in that regard but even its White homicide rate isn’t that high.

        What makes it seem higher is that we lump Whites and Hispanics, two completely different cultures together for political reasons. To see the differences you actually have to use older figures back from when they were separated. Its not perfect but its seems to show a pretty strong trend.

        To fix the gun issue, we have to be honest on race, cultural and economic issues, something thats utterly impossible and to concentrate our efforts where the problem is not on broad “collective punishment” style solutions like gun controls.

          1. abprosper

            Links? Sure do.

            Here is a PDF from the Department of Justice

            http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf

            Summation

             Blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide
            victims and offenders. The victimization rate for blacks (27.8
            per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per
            100,000). The offending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost
            8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000)

            The Hispanic Homicide Rate is trickier and with apologies I’ll give you this link.

            http://hailtoyou.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/white-murder-rates-by-u-s-state-1960-vs-2010/

            be warned the link is to a racist blog however the data is from the Federal government. Its shows a measurable difference between States with heavy Hispanic population and those without.

            Correlation however is not causation and I could be wrong.

            The most interesting fact in the entire article that seems to back up my point (made ably by Ann Coulter) is this one

            – What do the Japan of 1960 and the White-America of 1960 have in common? Among other things, perhaps, their murder-rates, which were almost exactly the same in 1960. (White-Americans: 2.7, Japan: 2.8). Japan’s has since declined to ~1.0, where it has been for the past twenty years.

            Yes the US has a LOWER homicide rate among Whites than Japan did among Japanese in 1960 and in that period we had very few gun laws and worse medicine.

            And note, yes this is somewhat flawed data. Get the DOJ to separate the data instead of playing politics and we can get a clearer view.

        1. Aquifer

          Tell you what – why don’t you tease out the socioeconomic issues before you come trotting in with your “race’ theory, or, if must persist, don’t forget the white on indigenous violence – centuries long … Your “cultural” slip is showing …

          1. different clue

            A lot of the black-on-black violence in the black slum-ghetto zones has been engineered by government policies the same way that Aaron Swartz’s suicide was engineered by government prosecutors. A “self-taught” criminologist named David Kennedy is purported to have found, developed, and applied a way to de-engineer these black-on-black murder rates back downward, a way which is claimed to have worked in the rare cases it has been applied. If it is true . . . if it happened, if it worked, if it can work again, if it can be applied elsewhere . . . then black-on-black kill-rates will come down quite independently of gun availability or not. Since this story (if true) has been insufficiently publicised beyond the beautiful walled radio garden of NPR, I here offer the link.
            http://www.npr.org/2011/11/01/141803766/interrupting-violence-with-the-message-dont-shoot

          2. abprosper

            If you can figure out a way to insure that almost all Black families are intact with a string father figure at home, you should be able to get Black on Black crime somewhat in check . Right now its like 85% broken homes in that community and that is a part of the cause of both violence and poverty

            These numbers are also rising among Hispanics and Whites which will in time create some of the same conditions.

            However current policy looks like the old saw about the bum, the searchlight and the lost penny. Bum keeps looking for the penny under the light cause that all he can see even though he knows he will never find it there,

            The real issue isn’t a bunch of White boys or even the occasional crazy, its broken families and as a society that is increasingly finding the most basic tasks difficult.

            So rather than collectively punishing basically honest backbone of society people with laws to assuage your own fear, it would make sense to work to stronger healthier families and good jobs for regular folks.

            If you feel really daring, end the drug war too.

            Do those things and the crime rate will drop.

            However that does not contradict my point, little violent crime is being caused by the people you are punishing

          3. Aquifer

            ab – so broken families are the cause – and what causes broken families – poverty, methinks, has a lot to do with that, especially structural poverty, enforced and handed down …

        2. LucyLulu

          No problem then, that’s an easy fix. Only let whites and Asians own guns.

          Whites with dark tans must provide DNA samples. And anybody named Alex Jones.

      2. Roland

        Interesting to compare countries, esp. Canada/USA.

        They’re neighbouring developed countries, both heavily urbanized, both ethnically mixed, both with a flourishing black market in narcotics, both with large and widening gaps between rich and poor, and both governed by right-wing warmongering neoliberals.

        Canada has plenty of guns, 30.8 per 100 people, but a gun homicide rate of 0.5 per 100,000. So that’s about one-third the number of guns per capita of the USA, but with less than one-seventh the rate of gun homicide.

        Note that Canada has very tight regulation of handguns, while being pretty lax about other firearms.

        But of course the Obama regime wants to go after rifles…

      3. cwaltz

        If the rate of gun ownership is the problem then why do places like Colombia who have guns in the hands of a relatively small amount of people have higher gun related homicides while places like Switzerland who have a higher rate of ownership have significantly lower gun related homicides.

        http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2007/en/Small-Arms-Survey-2007-Chapter-02-annexe-4-EN.pdf

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

  9. Garrett Pace

    Lolcats in the middle ages

    They also took verse form:

    I and Pangur Ban my cat, Tis a like task we are at:
    Hunting mice is his delight, Hunting words I sit all night.

    Better far than praise of men Tis to sit with book and pen;
    Pangur bears me no ill will, He too plies his simple skill.

    Tis a merry thing to see At our tasks how glad are we,
    When at home we sit and find Entertainment to our mind.

    Oftentimes a mouse will stray In the hero Pangur’s way;
    Oftentimes my keen thought set Takes a meaning in its net.

    ‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
    ‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I All my little wisdom try.

    When a mouse darts from its den O how glad is Pangur then!
    O what gladness do I prove When I solve the doubts I love!

    So in peace our tasks we ply, Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
    In our arts we find our bliss, I have mine and he has his.

    Practice every day has made Pangur perfect in his trade;
    I get wisdom day and night Turning darkness into light.

    http://www.fisheaters.com/pangurban.html

    1. Hugh

      Thanks for bringing back Pangur Ban. It is years and years since I first read that poem, and had completely forgotten it. That is the Robin Flowers translation.

  10. William

    Re: Ad for seductive women: I suspect the agency’s actual clients are men who set themselves up to be “seduced.”

    1. wunsacon

      Maybe it’ll be a life-imitates-art recreation of Bill Murray’s “The Man Who Knew Too Little”, with some sex scenes written into the script?

  11. JohnL

    The pro-GM lobby’s seven sins against science
    http://www.soilassociation.org/motherearth/viewarticle/articleid/4752/the-pro-gm-lobbys-seven-sins-against-science
    The role that genetically modified (GM) food should play in our food chain is a highly contested political issues. One interesting facet of the debate in the past year has been the pro-GM lobby’s interest in staking the ‘scientific high-ground’; simultaneously positioning itself as the voice of reason and progress, while painting its opponents as unsophisticated ‘anti-science’ luddites, whose arguments are full of dogma and emotion, but lack scientific rigour. In this essay Peter Melchett explores how such crude characterisations are themselves based on logic that is itself profoundly damaging to the concept and representation of ‘science’ in our national culture.

    1. Expat

      Great link. The Tobacco Industry became the model for corporate irresponsibility by developing a formula for sowing uncertainty. Ignorant politicians (and a crrupt judiciary) did the rest. It strikes me that we seeing a repeat.

  12. JohnL

    “Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implant”

    An orthopedic surgeon friend has refused for years to use metal-on-metal and advises anyone who will listen to do the same.

    The people who designed and those who approved these things cleary didn’t have a corrosion engineer or tribologist on staff. Good job they’re not designing airplanes. Puts the failure rate of the 787 with 2,000,000 parts in perspective.

    J&J has grown by acquisition and has a corporate culture that encourages internal empire building and competition with little central oversight of the divisions. This enables corporate management to blame problems on a “rogue division” and avoid responsibilty. Any similarity to the financial industry is entirely intentional.

  13. Garrett Pace

    Inaguration Poem

    What an interesting article.

    Poetry is not meant to be read in a hurry. Indeed, it is impossible to do so and actually be reading it. I think that’s part of the reason the discipline has fallen as far as it has, for Americans do everything in a hurry now.

    1. AbyNormal

      of all the Beauty this world offers…none has touched me so deeply as witnessing a young person weaving poetry, in their spare time

      1. The Black Swan

        Then let us have some beauty:

        ever onwards the sea,
        rolling over the bent back
        of the earth.
        gripped with an insatiable hunger,
        forever gnawing at the land.
        tongue lapping up coastal cliffs,
        probing the depths of fjords.
        breathe sucked in through coral teeth.
        and this great heaving mass.
        pressed down by the curvature
        of space,
        lashed to that winsome moon,
        that slyly winking
        matron of the heavens.
        pushed up the beach,
        chewing at sand and rocks,
        pulled back
        along tidal flats.
        and the Great briny sea,
        exhaling life into the heavens,
        restless and wandering,
        ever onwards.

        1. diptherio

          Weird…I looked up Richard Brautigan’s poem, Sonnet this morning, on a whim, trying to remember the exact wording. Here it is:

          The sea is like
          an old nature poet
          who died of a
          heart attack in a
          public latrine.
          His ghost still
          haunts the urinals.
          At night he can
          be heard walking
          around barefooted
          in the dark.
          Somebody stole
          his shoes.

      2. diptherio

        Can’t really claim youth anymore, but here’s the poem I wrote this morning:

        State of the World

        Justice stands on solid ground
        surrounded by waters while
        lawyers and judges, in a skiff,
        disappear over the horizon.

          1. Maximilien

            Okay, you asked for it. Here’s a poem I wrote to my beloved when I was young and foolish and barely literate:

            You came to me like spring,
            And warmed my wintry ways;
            Frozen feelings flowed as brooks,
            Bright on April days.

            Drawn shades but slipping through,
            Like morning sun you came;
            And I awoke at last to find
            No frost upon the window pane.

            She loved it. She was young and foolish too. (But boy, the sex was great that night!)

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        ‘of all the Beauty this world offers…none has touched me so deeply as witnessing a young person weaving poetry, in their spare time.’

        I like the above comment the best.

        When the true savior appears, you can know by this sign: that all the young people are weaving poetry, reading aloud, slowly too, to each other, and not just reciting a selected few poets.

    1. Aquifer

      Just watched it, submitted question but it didn’t appear – made a copy of the chat as it appeared, if you are interested ….

  14. fresno dan

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-wall-street-execs-werent-prosecuted-2013-1

    “As former Wall Street analyst Yves Smith wrote in her book ECONned: “What went on at Lehman and AIG, as well as the chicanery in the CDO [collateralized debt obligation] business, by any sensible standard is criminal.” Even lifelong Wall Street defender Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chair, said in Congressional testimony that “a lot of that stuff was just plain fraud.”

    Fraud on top, fraud on the bottom, fraud in the front, and fraud at the back, fraud on the right, and fraud on the left. And if you believe in string theory, fraud in the other 12 dimensions.
    But somehow, DoJ just can’t find it
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/02/holder-obama%e2%80%99s-propaganda-is-%e2%80%9cbelied-by-a-troublesome-little-thing-called-facts%e2%80%9d/
    http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2012/08/perversity-of-economics-culture-of-fraud.html

    1. Ms G

      “But somehow DOJ can’t find it.”

      And it’s not a Keystone Cops issue, either.

      I wonder if Breuer was born with the moral compass of a lackey or if he grew into it once he became a lawyer. Still, it must take a lot of humiliating internal compromises to reach the point where you’re willing to be seen in mainstream media as an unreconstructed (and well trained) prevaricator.

  15. Brindle

    Former CIA analyst and terrorist specialist, Nada Bakos, weighs in on “Zero Dark Thirty”:

    —”But I was surprised at what I saw. We’ve got the go-it-alone gunslinger, Maya, whose past is murky and future is vague. She’s Clint Eastwood’s “Man With No Name,” re-imagined as a twenty-something woman. She gathers up a posse, heads out, and kills the bad guy. Then she leaves. Because she’s not actually Clint Eastwood, she cries a little. You expect to see someone chasing the C-130 shouting, “Shane, come back!”—

    http://www.psmag.com/legal-affairs/how-true-is-zero-dark-thirty-a-former-operative-weighs-in-51659/

    1. dale pues

      That’s a great description of a movie I haven’t seen. The CIA guys have learned to condense everything it seems.

  16. sadness

    “….a wisdom tooth extracted, which eats into my time ….it was more painful to my wallet than me…..”
    ….well it’s good to hear that you can now eat something other than time comfortably….and is it not indeed wonderful that such a good living can be made from wielding a pair of pliers for a just moment within such a small space

  17. Herman Conn

    India Warns Kashmiris to Prepare for Nuclear War

    Hey, this could be bad. Commander Peace Prize and his crew better drop some drones on both countries and get this settled, pronto.

  18. diptherio

    “Your humble blogger is also looking for you to cut me a bit of slack.”~Yves

    Ok, lets take a poll. Hands up, everybody who is continually astounded by the sheer quantity of top-notch commentary and journalism Yves puts out day after day…

    See? Look at all those hands.

    Don’t sweat it Yves. Take care of yourself, first and foremost.

    1. AbyNormal

      the only self-sooth i could muster during the Frontline show(down)…the imagery of Yves appearing in her red suit

      yes, take good care of yourself Yves

      and Diptherio…You swirl Youth! i felt a zen comfort in your morning poem. Thank You.

  19. different clue

    About GMOs and labeling . . . The International GMO Conspiracy will be able to prevent forcible food labelling for years to come.

    Perhaps the “label-it” movement should flip the script on the International GMO Conspirators. Perhaps the “label-it” movement should decide whether it is offended by the rent-seeking toll-gating practices of the International GMO Conspirators . . . or if it is afraid of “GMO cooties” from eating one GMO soybean in a million conventional soybean, or one GMO cornchip among a million bags of Fritos. If they are afraid of “GMO cooties” from random unavoidable GMO trace contamination, then they have adopted a purity-purist puritan ritual suicide posture which will result in the death of their movement.

    Whereas if they are willing to face up to the reality of ubiquitous GMO trace ontamination of every GMO Conspiracy Targeted species of crop plant, then they will be able to “take the necessary casualities” needed to inflict greater casualties upon The Enemy.

    If “label-it” customers can accept that fact, then they can encourage the food-bussinesses they would like to buy food from to test their food products for unwanted GMO contamination, and then label their product according to the amount of unwanted tresspassing GMO Conspiracy traces are found it that food. If the food is 1% GMO contaminated, they can label the food as 99% GMO free. If the food is 0.1% GMO contaminated, they can label the food as 99.99% GMO free. That way, the “label-it” customer base can at least reward and support the growers and makers who are refusing to use GMOs on purpose.

    Or they can keep demanding food of the targeted crops with “not one GMO helix” in a million. That is the zero-tolerance road to extinction of Organic Agriculture and Legacy Conventional Agriculture both. If that Purity Purist road is the road the “No! No! GMO!” community wishes to take, then they will meet the Darwinian Disappearance fate that people who choose to flunk their Darwin Exams rightly deserve to suffer.

      1. different clue

        That is certainly true in negotiations. But this is not a negotiation. This is a war of extermination to the absolute extinction of one side or the other. So we have to think in terms of battlefields and objectives and weapons systems and “killboxes” and all the other things that civilians like myself are wretchedly unqualified to think in terms of.

        The GMO conspirators plant their filthy frankengene crops everywhere so as to trace-contaminate every single plant of every single targetted species. Once the xeno-frankengene has been injected into the target plant’s genome, it is in there, never to be removed ever ever again.
        SO . . . once every single “organic” soybean on earth has GMO gene-traces in it, do the Organic Buyers reject every organic shipment because one gene in a million is traceably GMO? Or one gene in a billion? If the Organic Buyers take that position, they will drive every Organic Farmer out of bussiness. Then every Organic Buyer will follow every Organic Farmer out of bussiness once every last Organic Farmer has been put out of bussiness because every Organic shipment has been rejected because every Organic soybean on earth has some Monsanto GMO genes in it now. That’s the Monsanto (and GMO-industry-in-general) game plan.

        That’s where we are now. “Negotiation” is an obsolete concept in the face of the Ubiquitous Global GMO Contamination Plan. Total War or Total Surrender are the only choices now. I didn’t ask for that. I didn’t make the choices here.

  20. diptherio

    Re: Why Chimps form Friendships

    Comparing such social bonds to those found in humans, Dr Crockford explained: “Even though people are not related to each other and they’re not in a sexual relationship where they could produce offspring, they still co-operate.

    “And nobody really has a good explanation for how this can happen.”

    What?!? I think what Dr. Crockford is trying to say is that he is too dense to understand anything apart from blood and sex. What a crock…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Well, I haven’t given too much thought to the evolutionary origins of friendship, but I imagine, even in the primordial soup, where the original Free-Love reigned among organic and inorganic molecules, there existed catalysts to help speed along chemical reactions.

        That, I believe, was the orginal of altruism.

        1. Aquifer

          Methinks there is a need to share – if for no other reason than a pain shared can be lessened and a joy shared can be increased -

          1. diptherio

            I wonder if an exchange market could be built around this concept…

            When you’re feeling down you go to the exchange and buy some “pain shares.” On good days, you sell your “joy shares” to others. From time to time, unscrupulous speculators spread rumors of impending Armageddon and/or Universal Enlightenment, allowing them to manipulate the emotional exchange rates and thereby game the market.

            Shoot, I might be on to something here…

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s interesting that love shared is not diminished.

            You don’t get half love…I think.

            It’s quite possible inorganic/organic molecules do a bit of pain and joy sharing. We are not molecules, so how can we say it’s not possible.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Pastor’s son, love of violent vidoe games.

    The problem is both the media and the EZ access to guns.

    It’s similar to the problem of financial violence committed by banksters.

    Do you just blame the EZ access to derivatives?

    Or do you include, as well, the culture of greed and Mammon worshipping propagandized by the media?

    I would say, it’s both the EZ access and the media, in both cases.

    1. Aquifer

      I suspect the latter gives rise to the former, as in “what can i invent that gives me the biggest bang for the buck?”

      If we can’t eliminate greed, STM we can at least whack the instruments it uses to achieve its ends – whack the derivatives – rather like GMOs, not needed, quite dangerous, and used to achieve control – WMDs the lot …

      Of course one can say, well they’ll always come up with something new, but then whack that too – the mistake, ISTM, is in trying to regulate them – just say NO!

  22. diptherio

    A Lecture in Psychology: Religion, Morality and Evolution Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University.

    I don’t doubt religious beliefs have an effect some of the time, but there are a few reasons to be skeptical of the claim that they are a major force for moral goodness or moral badness.

    The first is the data I just mentioned. It really is hard to find evidence that pulling away from communities, separate from community, separate from other factors that religious belief correlates robustly with any interesting behavior.

    Second, we know from a lot of work in social psychology that people will often create post-hoc justifications for their actions. So the fact that people cite religious authority when helping the poor, or when ostracizing sexual minorities, doesn’t mean that this is what’s actually motivating their behavior. In fact, in extensive historical analysis, Robert Wright argues that while people frequently explain their actions by appeals to the Bible or the Koran or other religious texts, the actual causal force is more likely to be situational.

    So if individuals find themselves in a society that’s dog-eat-dog, with zero-sum relationships, they tend to find scriptural motivation for hatred and war. When they find themselves in a society where their fates are intertwined with other people in a positive way, they look into the scripture and find a message of tolerance and love.

    So a tentative conclusion here is that moral actions in the real world such as suicide-bombings, racial prejudice, kindness to strangers and generosity, are all related to religion, but not to religious belief. And so while it is often claimed that specific moral ideas encoded in the world’s religions have an important effect on our lives, there is surprisingly little evidence for this view.

      1. diptherio

        Bloom’s point is just that people’s actual behaviors are determined more by their social situations and their involvement in communities than by their religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

        I think Bloom would say that Dr. King’s actions were determined more by his social setting and his community ties than by his beliefs about God, although King himself probably would have claimed otherwise. Likewise, the Marines will use Dr. King’s statement that, “a man who won’t die for something is not fit to live,” (is that really a King quote?) to justify their actions in war, but these actions are the result of other circumstances, not their adherence to anything that Dr. King had to say. They will use his authority as a post-hoc justification for their actions, but it is not causally correlated.

        FWIW, if Dr. King really did say that, I would say that it’s obviously a rhetorical flourish, not a call to exterminate those who won’t die for something or a justification for those who kill and die for whatever interests the US military serves. But then again, I’m already a peace-nic, so of course I’m gonna say that.

  23. Mark P.

    Re: ‘Wind power delivers too much to ignore’

    This opinion piece blithely and absolutely avoids discussing the costs in EROEI of wind farms. Shameless but sort of admirable in a messed-up way.

  24. rumble rumgle

    Good catch, Streetwise Professor! “together, as one nation, and one people.” Interesting, coming from Obama, the Topo Gigio of the Clandestine Service. Reminds me of a doomed dictatorship too, only not the Nazis.

    Back in the early days of the Helsinki Accords, Soviet repression came to be everybody’s business, a matter of international accord, and Warsaw Pact dissidents took up CSCE Principle VII as a common rallying cry. The Soviets freaked out. It seemed odd at first: their repressive capacity was more than adequate to squash a few eggheads.

    Then Gates’ shop at CIA pointed out that the real threat of Helsinki was not dissent. The “hidden bombshell” was national autonomy: distinct cultures and peoples resist central control, and Principle VII promotes that with cultural rights.

    So put yourself in the place of Obama’s ventriloquists. They know that they live in the post-Western world. They understand the power of cultural plurality – they groomed and annointed Obama to give the regime a fake multiculti veneer. They’re holding the lid down on a majority-minority ethnic conglomerate, and the dominant white minority itself is culturally divergent, with provincial fundamentalists splitting from cosmopolitan humanists.

    And self-determination’s back. Separatist initiatives are getting good press. The media wurlitzer demonized Slovakia and kept Slovenia in the cone of silence, but Palestine’s fight is too gory to hide. And Scotland is an inspiration to us all. It’s not about haggis and bagpipes and kilts – it’s for a right to a home and free education, and no nuclear weapons, and we, the people, will decide to fight or not. Imagine that.

    Our rulers don’t see secession as a joke. They’re shitting bricks. Like the Soviets, you can smell their panic when they crush activists exercising Article 19, like Aaron Swartz, or Article 21, like OWS. They know their regime won’t end in protest marches. But they’re afraid it might end in disintegration led by cultural elites: by migrants and indigenes who know their rights, or by eastern seaboard internationalists, or Southern populists, or border warlords like Arpaio, or sectarian power brokers. They’re hoping people don’t remember that self-determination is the supreme law of the land.

    1. AbyNormal

      In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong. Dickens.

      line’em up…Next

    2. different clue

      The WaPoo makes it read like this Bruer waged actual justice against these leading financial perpetrators instead of sanctifying their crimes with a “cost of bussiness” fine/settlement and a “you’re free to go”.
      Which is what he did. I assumed its what he was tasked with doing by Holder and Obama.

    3. Ms G

      Pravda — Writing Winning Bio’s for Stellar Members of the Revolving Door Club.

      This piece is an unbelievable example of cant.

  25. mookie

    Let elderly people ‘hurry up and die’, says Japanese finance minister Guardian

    Taro Aso, the finance minister, said on Monday that the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” to relieve pressure on the state to pay for their medical care.

    “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”
    ….
    It is not the first time Aso, one of Japan’s wealthiest politicians, has questioned the state’s duty towards its large elderly population. In 2008, while serving as prime minister, he described “doddering” pensioners as tax burdens who should take better care of their health.

    “I see people aged 67 or 68 at class reunions who dodder around and are constantly going to the doctor,” he said at a meeting of economists. “Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort? I walk every day and do other things, but I’m paying more in taxes.”

    1. different clue

      If I were an elderly Japanese I would say: You go first, Taro. Perform Seppuku on camera. Show us how its done.”

  26. different clue

    Aquifer,

    I left a comment after your comment on the black-on-black murder rate subthread pretty far up above.

  27. Matt

    Am I missing something on the BI housing recovery article? The HAPI graph makes no sense to me, as it shows a large persistent gap between completions and sales, which would result in an ever-increasing inventory. Maybe units for rental are in the completions but not in sales? Also, 30,900 x 12 = 370,800 which is right in line with the SA number of 377,000…

  28. Sanctuary

    Is there a way to send links to interesting stories to you guys? I haven’t found a way on this site to alert you to possible links of interest.

Comments are closed.