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Links 1/5/13

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Links are thin because I had some administrative duties plus played hooky and saw Django Unchained, which I enjoyed the most of the holiday season movies I’ve seen thus far (I like action movies so the over-the-top violence didn’t bother me, and vigilante justice looks awfully appealing these days). My comparison group, in order of how much I liked them, are Les Miserables, Life of Pi, and Lincoln. I refuse to see Zero Dark Thirty.

Microsoft says Google trying to undermine Windows Phone The Register

The Shame of College Sports Atlantic

Tasmania fires strand thousands BBC :-(

North Korea’s New Master Plan Wolf Richter (Chuck L)

Triple-dip recession threat grows as UK service sector shrinks Telegraph

The ‘war on terror’ – by design – can never end Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

Veterans For Peace Demand: Keep U.S. Troops Out of Africa

How to Improve Your Golf Score – and Do a Little Random Killing Casey Research (Chris M)

The most influential President of our time is. . . David Kasier (Chuck L)

Let’s Repeal the Second Amendment Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair

NY newspaper hires armed guards after publishing gun permit names Reuters

After Fiscal Deal, Tax Code May Be the Most Progressive Since 1979 New York Times. OMG, the propaganda never ends. This is just not true. The top marginal tax rate in 1981 was 70%. See here, for instance.

JPMorgan to BofA Get Delay on Rule Isolating Derivatives Bloomberg

Lawsuit can go forward over Syracuse man’s flood insurance, judge rules Syracuse (bob)

Fed Holds Up $10 Billion Mortgage Pact With Banks, OCC Wall Street Journal

The End of Economists’ Imperialism Harvard Business Review blog. We can only hope.

Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be New York Times (Larry R)

The Power of Negative Thinking Wall Street Journal. How did I miss this? :-)

To know what to do is not enough Ian Welsh (Lambert). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour Dr. Kevin):

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156 comments

    1. Richard Kline

      There could be no better spectacle of destiny come than Microsoft, Google, and Amazon in a tag team of tooth and claw on each other for discriminatory monopolist practices, leaving folks who make things we really need and value having some breathing space to produce on the periphery while the grotesque gargantuae co-mutilate in court. May happen yet . . . .

  1. ex-PFC Chuck

    I’m with you on refusing to see Zero Dark Thirty. From everything I’ve read about it it’s the apotheosis of putting lipstick on pigs. bin Laden’s 9/11 operation was the most cost-effective strategic victory in the history of warfare. So we eventually, supposedly, killed him. (There are those who assert he died in Pakistan not long after he exited Afghanistan at Bora Bora in December, 2001.) But 9/11 had already induced our “leadership” to nose over a society that was losing altitude and accelerate it toward the dirt at warp speed. David Kaiser, at the link above, is in hopes we’ll somehow pull out of the dive in fulfillment of the prophecies of Strauss and Howe. I’m not nearly as optimistic.

    1. petridish

      Agreed–not gonna see it either. But here’s the question I’ve yet to hear answered. Supposedly the film celebrates torture as a means to gain actionable intelligence in the “war on terror.” Yet when we get our hands on the Encyclopedia Britannica of “intelligence” we decline to use this despicable but necessary tactic.

      I guess I don’t really understand the meaning of that “ticking time bomb” thing.

      1. Aquifer

        Good point – from that perspective, would have made a lot more “sense” to torture OBL than just kill him, doncha think?

    2. LucyLulu

      Another one who has no desire to see the film. I can’t wrap my head around either using torture or assassination or understand how somebody who is an expert on constitutional law can justify the use of either. In another day, and if he were Republican, we’d be calling for his impeachment, if not criminal prosecution. Between this and our lack of support for legislation that protects victims of domestic violence, the U.S. is hypocritical to make any claims of backing human rights in foreign countries.

      1. Laughingsong

        Gotta say that I would put anything by Tarantino off my list, I can’t get past that over-the-top violence, it ruins it for me. Makes it no different from Zero Dark for me. I like action but I guess I am old school; show the action that conveys the story but don’t go for realism or glorification of it. It’s that glorification, that meme that the violence properly applied will fix all evil orall that oppose you, that feeds into US violence. I see it as part of what makes a Sandy Hook. Sorry to be such a wet blanket, but I think it’s true. Plus it pisses me off, Quentin ruins his good stories with it.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Tarantino traumatizes the public most effectively. I’m sure he’s well paid to infiltrate human brains/nervous systems with violent shitfests their owners will never forget, giving them PTSD for life, whether they know it or not.

        2. Elliot

          Completely agree re: glorification of violence, Tarantino, others. It’s ghastly and desensitizing and I have way better things to do with my time and money than pay Tarantino (or other filmer) to get his violence-porn freak on.

    3. Montanamaven

      Oliver Stone was on “Up” this morning talking about his series on Showtime “Untold History of the United States”. It is an exploration of Hollywood and Washington. He uses “Zero Dark Thirty” as yet another example of the “vigilante” movie that is a mainstay of Hollywood. It is in the tradition of the John Wayne movies, Stallone’s Rambo… Stone’s “Platoon” was meant to be the opposite of the prevailing pro-war Hollywood. I have always found it ironic that the right wing paints Hollywood as “left”. Stone said that might have been true in the 1930s with filmmakers like Frank Capra, but for most of its history Hollywood does its part to laud American exceptionalism. I have not seen the series, but it is on Monday nights.

        1. Aquifer

          Yo – thank you very much for that – that was very interesting. Hope I catch the rest of them ….

    4. ex-PFC Chuck

      The violence and torture the movie is said to include bothers me somewhat but in some movie plots they might be appropriate. (e.g. in the case of torture if it is shown as counterproductive) What I really have a problem with is the triumphalism, the notion that assassinating bin Laden was some sort of great victory that therefore allows us to ignore what the USA has done to itself in response to the 9/11 attacks. 9/11 is an arch-typical example of geo-political jijuitsu; bin Laden used our own strengths against us. If he had sought to insert a ManchurianBaluchistanian candidate into the White House he couldn’t have hoped to have done better than either George W. Bush or Barrack Obama. The US response turned what could have been a national learning experience into a colossal selfr-inflicted strategic defeat the unintended, mostly negative consequences of which have only begun to play out.

      1. jrs

        I refuse to see it because of the CIA involvement. OF COURSE it’s propaganda, it was made with cooperation with the military and the CIA. DUH, it’s propaganda, why does anyone even doubt it. Pay one’s hard earned dollars to be propagandized to by the government. No thanks! I also hate even fictional violence.

  2. ex-PFC Chuck

    The HBR piece on the End of Economists’ Iimperialism was a disappointment, considering there was no mention of the likes of Minsky and his intellectual descendants such as L. Randall Wray and his UMKC compatriots and Steve Keen.

  3. craazyman

    that yellow fish freaks me out. it looks like some force beyond human comprehension or understanding shrunk the face and trunk of an elephant, turned it bright yellow then fused it onto the body of an aquarium fish. the eye itself, with deep set protruding brow and two overlapping folds that form the eyelid is strangely human. why would some chaotic assemblage of parts like that be formed to contain one distinct sentience in the first place? was it a mistake of some kind? who would be capable of doing something like this? Is this evidence of a cosmic joke or pun? who would think it funny? these questions disturb one’s contemplation of nature.

    1. Fat_Fascist

      Harcore evolutionists (i.e. people who believe all can be explained by evolution) would immediately yell: “evolution in action!”

      The most interesting story I have seen lately is about a spider building a replica of another spider using plant materials, dead insect parts, etc. Have a look at this – the spider has more talent then cave painters from 40,000 years ago:

      http://www.geekosystem.com/decoy-spiders/

      My first hypothesis would be that the photos (of the fish and the spider decoy) are fake. But I am a skeptical bastard and therefore not much fun.

      1. craazyman

        whoa! that could be modern art! Animals aren’t as dumb as they seem. It’s just our intelligence tests are too dumb to measure how smart they are.

    2. mezcal

      it looks like some force beyond human comprehension or understanding shrunk the face and trunk of an elephant, turned it bright yellow then fused it onto the body of an aquarium fish.

      It looks like that because that’s exactly what it is.
      The ‘force’ in question being Photoshop.
      Worth 1000 (see the watermark on the image) is a site where Adobe experts go to play.
      Lots of fascinating and sometimes disturbing stuff over there.

      1. craazyman

        Ha! I thought it might be photoshop! But there are some very weird looking tropical fish so I went with it. LOL. Maybe they really out there, too, and when they’re discovered by some underwater research submarine whoever made it up in Photoshop will be stunned. hahahaha

        1. Aquifer

          Really neat!

          Wonder if Pisces give off electric charges too – hmmm might be interesting to wear those piezoelectric ear phones around …

        2. patricia

          Yeah, if I were a sea animal, I’d have written, “Fortunately actual elephant fish are much more beautiful and therefore not as disturbing…” The problem is, as craazyman felt, that they don’t make sense to where they live as well as to their own physical integrity. They’re strange looking to me, as a land-creature, but strange doesn’t equal ugly.

          Thanks for fascinating link.

    3. AbyNormal

      too funnee craazy, i was ponderin the same.
      all thats missing is eyes on the end of antenna’s!

      Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun. ~alan watts

  4. Fat_Fascist

    The Eichenwald article at Vanity Fair: “Lets repeal the 2nd Amendment.”

    Every comment that followed the article (count was 71 when I looked) were pro 2nd amendment. There were no exceptions: all comments criticized the article and/or Eichenwald. Seems like an impossibility.

    Whats going on at VF?

    1. patricia

      I don’t know about the VF crowd in particular, but it appears that people have seen/heard enough recent gov’t/military /financial lawlessness to be unwilling to give up what they view as their ‘last defense’.

      In that context, massacres such as Newtown merely convince them that society is also falling into chaos. No safety anywhere! Heck, even the weather is undependable and inclined to violent action.

      Lots of fear. The tendency is to hunker down, unsheathe the claws, and growl loudly.

    2. squasha

      would it be fanciful to assume arms dealers have paid infintessimal fractions of their astronomical profits to have comment threads infested with pro-weaponry invective, conceivably by the same trogolodytes that come out whenever climate change is mentioned? Any doubt I personally had vanished upon scanning through through a comment skein in German with results similar to those of the VF site.

      Or maybe screaming yellow fish with elephant trunks really do exist?

    3. Ernesto Lion

      Repealing the second ammendment would start a civil war all by itself.

      Owning a few personal defense firearms isn’t going to protect you from a professional military or a SWAT, but there are still places in the USA where owning a shotgun and having a tough attitude will keep the local authorities out of your business, as they don’t normally have the resources to take on someone like that and prefer to let sleeping dogs lie.

      Human beings have been asserting their boundaries with violence, and the threat of violence, since human beings. To think that will change anytime soon is fanciful thinking. Yes, it would be nice…

      1. jrs

        If the local authorities don’t have that power, they’ll get it soon enough. Homeland Security: buying tanks and riot gear for small towns all over the U.S..

    4. Roland

      Some people might just be exasperated that every bad thing that happens invariably leads to a proposal that we end up with fewer rights.

      If you want to reduce the murder rate, why add more reams of weapons regulation? Why not just legalize certain narcotics instead? The drug turf wars kill more people in one year than all your psychos, postals and serial killers put together slay in fifty.

      That way, you could keep your weapons, actually be allowed to do MORE things, and enjoy a lower murder rate.

  5. Andrew Watts

    RE: Triple-dip recession threat grows as UK service sector shrinks

    I must not be up to date on the English language. I thought that a double-dip recession was just a euphemism for a depression. So a triple-dip recession is a…?

      1. Synopticist

        An economic cluster f*ck caused by rich tory f*ckwits who hate people that live in houses that cost less than £2 million.

        You guys are happy slapping Obama and Timothy Geithner around, but those guys are economic geniuses in comparison to the shower of c*nts running the British economy.

  6. Richard Kline

    A passage from Ian Welsh’s commentary: “The part that matters isn’t about the technical requirements of prosperity, it’s about why and when people do what is required to achieve prosperity, and when they don’t. And when, having obtained it, they throw it away.

    Our society is ours. A tautology, but one we forget too often. As individuals we often feel powerless, as a mass, we have created our own society. There are real constraints, physical constraints on what society we can have, based on the resources we have, the technology we have mastered and what we understand about ourselves and our world, but those constraints are not, right now, so tight as to preclude widespread affluence, to preclude prosperity.

    They are, however, tight enough to preclude continuing to do the same thing, led by the same sorts of people, and expect anything but decline, repeated disasters and eventual catastrophe.”

    As a civilizationist who has done anything between some and a great deal of background study on every major mass societal paradigm in known history, I have to say that in my view societies as such simply _do not_ ‘make themselves new’ in crises. They do not learn; they hold to the old. They take the hit, and either decline or recover. Socities DON’T learn, so there is no reason to expect that our present society will learn and successfully change.

    That view I’ve justa stated is perhaps too grim, and as written misleading in one significant respect. Many new kinds of actions, ideologies, practices, to a minor extent technologies bubble up from experience and experiment within a society. These are the materials of the new, of change of adaptation. But the society in which they arise often cannot use them because, in the way Welsh opines in his piece, existing societies are adapted to their present order, and simply reconstitute their existing parameters and relational order even if large chunks are, briefly, cut away. That is most true of societal elites, whose function is in significant part to maintin those parameters and relational orders, but is also true of functionaries and the commons. But the materials of change are often to hand.

    To use those new, or differently ordered, potentials, the bottom has to fall out. The whole thing get ripped open. A main limb or better yet the wormy old caput lopped off entire. Bloody great mess—literally—and a lot of folks get dead in the process, whether by war, famine, flight, or ruins sown with salt; most of the time it would seem. As in Welsh’s analogy of addiction, if not necessarily cognitively in the same way, a society really seems to have to face the abyss at least before ‘things are shaken to the core’ sufficiently for some joe or jane to say “Me and mine say we do it differently like so.”

    The only other alternative for achieving mass societal revision which seems salient is a sudden eruption of completely new wealth which the prior elite doesn’t and can’t control. That can _really_ shake things up, but prior to the modern era seems ot have been rather rare. In some respects, the spread of subsistence agriculture may have been comparable in effect upon the prior hunting/gleaning/scatterculture societies affected, we don’t have the historical or achaeological to know. But that was hardly an unalloyed blessing, which seems a larger point as well. Subsistence agriculture greatly heightened inequality, made slavery a paying proposition, left the newly large peonage more vulnerable to exploitation since utterly dependent upon a calorie source which could be readily stolen from them by force, and in consequence of the last evidently plunged the status of women and dependents in extended families to lows never before seen and only in recent centuries repaired. New wealth _divides_ is one lesson fromt the past; not a certainty but something seen at times.

    Societal change just is not a reasoned process, so it doesn’t happen when there is good reason, nor proceed in a reasonable way. Societal change occurs only as a forced choice, or more typically as collective acts of desperation. Not exactly welcome words. We likely won’t be better people until _after_ the Greenland Ice Sheet goes sideways into the drink, because it’s not in our nature to change our minds when we are wrong. We don’t change our minds until we have to start swimming. . . . Stubborn bunch o’ two-legs . . . .

    1. Yes, but...

      Very well put and I concur completely. Ironic, the faddish biz concept of “thinking outside the box.” Usually means anything but, or something along the lines of “as long as you define the box sufficiently small and narrow, then go right ahead and think outside of it.”

    2. JohnL

      I’m afraid you are likely correct. The Buddha pretty much nailed it when he pointed out that the suffering in the world was caused by greed, hatred, and delusion. Well we’ve institutionalized greed as the driving force of our economy, hatred as the war on _______ (fill in the blank), and delusion as climate change and related denials, so suffering should not come as a shock.

    3. heuro

      Ian Welsh’s problem sems a lot harder when you define “society” as the root problem. State overreach has perverted this society and worked hard to ossify it in its current grotesque form. Losing this state would let the society begin to spring back into sustainable shape. Accordingly, a worthwhile baby step would be to knock over the USA, a kleptocratic hegemon with state policy of torture, disappearance, aggression, and genocide. States are relatively easy to replace. With the state replaced, the society can regenerate itself, and the international community knows very well how to guide that process. Seen it done twice. The therapeutic collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in a weaker state with a stake in rule of law, and even induced much of the population to do the only thing that can possibly ward off the 5C world: to procreate less. Great-power confrontation caused unecessary suffering, but the result commends itself to the USA. Smaller-scale analogs in Africa have turned out very well, although lately we have the complicating factor of America horning in to fuck things up.

      So first things first: undermine and discredit this criminal state, put up scaffolding, and gut it. Then you don’t have to plan the future, bending spoons with the mighty exertions of your mind, you just let people enact it for themselves.

      1. wunsacon

        >> Accordingly, a worthwhile baby step would be to knock over the USA, a kleptocratic hegemon with state policy of torture, disappearance, aggression, and genocide.

        …like some other country/group would be better?

        Reform has to be global. Otherwise, a group of jerks from some other country takes over.

      2. heuro

        Multilateral intervention IS global. The whole world cannot be a cabal. They all agree on one thing only, rule of law. Find me a country that wouldn’t jump with joy at the prospect of simply getting the US government to comply with the law. Intervention works. R2P Pillars 1 and 2 are key.

        1. Synopticist

          Sounds like the League of Nations with extra lawyers.
          There’s not too many ideas that are worse than the present situation, but thats one of them.

      3. heurophant

        It’s happening, ever so gradually, and nothing you can do will stop it, so my condolences if you don’t like it. But I bet you won’t mind – no more demeaning “special relationship! No more aping US economic fuckups!

      4. jrs

        Maybe the rest of the world could start an economic boycott on the U.S. We’re not *all* bad people, but our government is C-R-A-Z-Y, and many are complicit.

    4. Ron

      “Such a passive people cannot understand that choosing choices without creating choices is not choice, it is the illusion of choice.”

      American individual idealism is a constant thread running through our conversations and accepted as if someone cannot have an independent idea or action except out side the existing social circle. There is a religious element in his idea that human life would be more enjoyable,better etc without the illusion of choice. Religion offers similar ideas in that behavior today impacts afterlife.
      The reality is that humans are part of the animal kingdom and like the flock of sheep gain protection and survival through social interactive behavior rather then lone survivalist seeking a life without illusion.

    5. Ian Welsh

      You might be surprised, or not, to know that I largely (but not entirely) agree with you. I believe that our society will most likely take the hit. It is incumbent, however, to try and either stop the hit or weaken it, to change the helplessness of societies before their own momentum. And if we fail (which I believe is likely) then it is also important to have the necessary ideas and ideology lying around so that when we rebuild and restructure, we do so in a better way.

      The book is not just for us, it is for the future. And perhaps, just perhaps we can alter some of our helplessness. If not, understanding the cycles and building some understanding of the cycles into our next restructuring, perhaps we can lengthen, beneficially, the next cycle, so we can accomplish more of import before it too cycles into disaster, then catastrophe.

      1. will nadauld

        Uneducated common person here longing for a society that offers a choice for meaningful life more noble than conspicuous consumption and all the associated feelings of either superiority or inferiority that go with success defined by visible wealth.Currently laboring with my hands (happily) to provide for the actual needs of my family while wife completes masters that will allow us to move somewhere we can consume less and help heal souls more.
        I have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to change the system or my perception of the system into something that doesnt crush my soul or compromise my consience. All the while I commute 50 miles a day and serve those whose only purpose is to consume more, more conspicuously.It is hard to unprogram thirty five years of american culture and I fall prey to misery that isnt my own based on my lack of ability to purchase things that my core values reject. I know acquiring these things will not make me happy, and often enslave those producing them.
        I have worn out my acquaintances with my thoughts and antics. I cant forsake my sanity or my family further with my hare brained schemes to influence others. I survive for now and instill in my children an anti consumer way of thinking.
        I think we need to start training each other how to cooperate once the bottom falls out. we need to plant in as many minds as possible an anti doomsday message.current popular movies regarding life after the rule of law will create a bleak future indeed.

        1. Procopius

          In AA we often discuss the fact we are powerless over people, places, and things. The only thing we can really change is ourselves. Back in the 60s and 70s some people chose “voluntary poverty” and a rural lifestyle, but not everybody can do that. Unchosen poverty is not noble. Good luck on your pilgrimage.

    6. Montanamaven

      I posted a link to a Doug Henwood interview over at Ian’s website. Doug interviews Sasha Lilley who edited a series of essays called “Catastrophism” which explores “why basing politics on disaster scenarios isn’t such a good idea”. I highly recommend the podcast which also features an interview with Mark Ames about mass shootings which he ties to inequality. http://lbo-news.com/
      Positive change seems to happen most often in good economic times like the 1960s which is why fascists don’t like good economic times for the masses. Makes them get all socialist and communal. The exception, she says, was the 1930s. However at the same time, lynchings were down in the 1920s and up in the 1930s.

      1. Aquifer

        Lilley – interesting – says we need to “shift from a politics of fear …” hmmm, now where have I heard that before ….

        But methinks her case against “catastrophism” might be contraposed against the “power of negative thinking”?

        I subscribe to preparing for the worst, which means one needs to be aware of what could happen – so that one might avoid it.

        However sometimes it is not a good idea to think of ALL the things that could go wrong before you even start – or you would not even start – as often, having started, you are motivated or inspired to actually get through “stuff” that if you had thought of it before would have prevented you from starting at all …. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but i have lived a good deal of my life that way :)…

  7. Fat_Fascist

    The newspaper opposed to gun ownership for self defense hires gunmen for protection. Wow.

    Its easy to get on the wrong side of an issue. I support the owners for caring enough to protect their staff even at the expense of public embarassment.

    1. ohmyheck

      Fabulous find! Everyone should try it. My phrase–”holistically transition cloud-ready mindshare”, sounds more metaphysical than corporate. Or something craazyman might write…(cheers, dude, just kiddin’)

    2. Aquifer

      That phosfluorescently fabricates my exceptional bandwith which dramatically productivates my ability to enthusiastically actualize backend e-services – or, in plain English – makes it a lot easier to stick a large hot poker up your rear end, with vigor, which is, I formulate, the goal oriented platform of corporate, corporate – oh rats, “crap” isn’t in there ….

        1. Aquifer

          It’s ALL crap – but the word itself wasn’t in there – and there was, IMO, really no properly exquisite substitute, not one quite phosflourescent enough to convey the same, oh, je ne sais quoi ….

    3. Aquifer

      I wish i could think of something positive to say about the article – The Power of Negative Thinking ….

      Hmmm, OK – how about “there was a great deal wrong with it” …

    4. PunchNRun

      Oo. Oo. Oo. [waves hand atop raised arm] Mine is “dramatically plagiarize distributed technologies.” I translate to “steal shamelessly.” Something I try to do daily.

    5. GrandMistressFlash

      Oh Oh Oh [raising hand even higher above head than PunchNRun]:

      “enthusiastically leverage existing market positioning models”

      Get that, folks? Now go leverage your awesomeness! [Addressing stellar-credentialed team of innovation drivers.]

  8. wunsacon

    Re: The most influential President of our time is. . . David Kasier (Chuck L)

    >> Yet he did not do what Lincoln and FDR did and mobilize large, unprecedented resources to meet that threat.

    Yes, he did, in proportion to the threat presented.

    To elaborate:

    - First, he increased military spending dramatically. Forget tax *collection*! Debt spending allocates resources. The fact is that he made up for tax shortfalls by printing money — the inflation tax that depreciates the purchasing power of the outstanding stock of currency (e.g., my savings) — to pay for his government expenditures. (The financial bubble also yielded nominal tax revenue gains. By driving up asset prices quickly above their real worth and collecting taxes whenever they’re flipped, this is a less-obvious-but-just-as-real form of tax collection.)

    - Second, the today’s terrorist (criminal) threat is far less significant than (a) the world wars waged by belligerents at least comparable in their strength and (b) a civil war (one half of the country against the other half). Proportionally, Dubya’s/Rummy’s/Cheney’s/PNAC’s mobilization — increasing and deploying a large part of our global military garrison for an endless “war on terror” — is “on par” with the FDR and Lincoln responses.

    (The foregoing actually helps David Kasier’s case, though I’m still in the process of digesting the full article.)

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I think the author of that article underestimates the demographic, global, and technological changes taking place. Yes… the policies that Bush put into place will affect us for a generation. Then the next generation will govern, and it will not look the the last one.

      Most of the Bush policies are reactionary. Reactionary movements never win in the long term.

      1. Synopticist

        He’s been incredibly succesful economically, in re-distributing wealth from the middle and bottom to the extreme top. That’s what he was about, the partially failed social-reactionary stuff was just camouflage, wedge-issue stuff.
        It’s ended up working against in 2012, but their true victory has already been acheived.
        Bush’s plutocrat backers have won.

        Gay marriage don’t pay no bills. You can’t eat gender equality.

    2. TomOfTheNorth

      It struck me the essay would be more appropriately titled “Which President Has Fucked Us The Most?” The short answer offered is….wait for it….Bush. I can’t believe the author gave Cheney such a pass!

      I must confess to not giving much credence to the specifics presented as being particularly persuasive seeing as I’m eagerly awaiting my very own trillion dollar platinum coin….

  9. wunsacon

    >> NY newspaper hires armed guards after publishing gun permit names Reuters

    A ZeroHedge article says this is hypocrisy. But, whom does the NY newspaper fear? They fear backlash from nuts among those supposedly law-abiding gun owners — people who wouldn’t own guns if they were banned or held in gun clubs. They’re hiring armed guards because guns are in the hands of a zillion idiots. Banning guns, buy-backs, would reduce their number.

    I do agree with the NRA that we have a violent culture. They should look in the mirror to find one of the biggest boosters of our culture of violence, also known as the gun culture.

  10. They didn't leave me a choice

    >”The power of economics lies in its rigor,” (From the economic imperialism article.)

    Did Lazear mean rigor mortis?

  11. frosty zoom

    ms. yves:

    firstly, i’d like to thank you for the wonderful insight to be found on these electron-powered pages.

    nonetheless today i found myself a little distressed to see your endorsement of the latest hollywood bloodfest, django unchained.

    while i doubt you personally will resort to acts of wonton violence so unfortunately common in these days of nihilistic terrorism, it is still to my dismay that a person as insightful as yourself would contribute both morally and financially to the glorification of death and gore for “entertainment” purposes.

    i find it ironic that nobody wants to see dismemberments and beheadings on the street in front of his house, yet we pay money to be “entertained” in this fashion. a seeming disconnect, ¿no?

    years ago i watched “silence of the lambs” and i thought i had enjoyed it. yet that night i had a horrible nightmare involving scenes from the movie and so upon waking i made a commitment to avoid these images a much as possible. after all, the ol’ hard drive in the head has only so much capacity, so ¿why fill it up will depictions of the things we abhor?

    and you know, since that day i feel i’ve gotten happier and happier and become a much nicer person.

    just sayin’…

    and once again, thanks for this excellent forum,

    fz

  12. BondsOfSteel

    RE: JPMorgan to BofA Get Delay on Rule Isolating Derivatives

    Does anyone know what the exact concerns are about implementing the pushout provision? The article says that Bernanke, Bair, and Frank all has issues with the rule without talking about what the issues are.

    If the problem is driving derivaties to less regulated entities, then the solution is clear… regulate those non-FDIC insured entities. This is also true of the uninsured foreign banks.

  13. Max424

    re: The Shame of College Sports

    A brilliant article. A must read, even if you hate football.

    It is the ultimately complex can of worms, college sports, much more complex in my opinion than say, the monumentally humongous housing bubble –which really, at its core, was just simple control fraud (times trillions, sure), carried out by tens of thousands of similarly motivated criminal participants.

    Note: I remember I read Gary Shaw’s Meat on the Hoof back in 73 or 74, an expose of Darrel Royal’s powerhouse University of Texas program, where basically they beat you to death all week, so you would welcome the unleashed violence you would encounter on Saturdays. It had a memorable blurb or review (can’t remember which) on it’s jacket cover, They raise cattle and football players in Texas. The cattle are treated better.

    At the time, I thought, This can’t go on. You can’t treat human beings worse than animals and get away with it. Not in this country.

    Hey, I was only 14.

    Anecdote warning:

    The article points out: “Even the second-string punter believes a miracle might lift him into the NFL …”

    How true. This guy I considered a friend was a back up punter at a D III school. I knew how to catch punts, so I would shag for him –after practice, on weekends, at 10pm under the lights on a Tuesday. Whenever.

    Normally this would have been a sacrifice, but I didn’t mind. Catching punts can be torture, if the guy is spraying them, hitting garbage, line drives, knucklers. You’re worn out within minutes –chasing randomly bouncing footballs over all that acreage.

    But my friend hit consistent parabolic boomers –majestic spirals that rose so high you could eat a sandwich under them, and had a tight spinning ball that descended so predictably, you could catch them, almost, behind your back blindfolded.

    On a good day, when the ball was carrying, I was back at 55 yards, precisely where punt returners position themselves at the highest levels. And his kicks set me backpeddling, I’d say one out of three, about the same ratio as the pros.

    In other words, my friend had the physical talent to think he had a big time shot. For sure, at the very least, I believed he had the tools to be kicking elite D I, and after putting in the requisite four, positioned somewhere in that brutal mix for one of those coveted 32 NFL jobs. But here he was, a back up D III punter, going nowhere.

    It came down to this, when two teams occupied the field simultaneously, whether in practice or in a game, he panicked. Again and again, despite having excellent hands, he would drop perfect snaps, again and again, despite an impeccable ball drop, he would hit nothing but shanks. It was tragic.

    He transferred out after our sophomore year, and I lost touch with him, so I don’t know if he pursued the dream. I would’ve, if I were him. Perhaps he only needed a sports psychologist, to get righted, but I don’t think we had them back then.

    Hit another hawk, I would yell. Which meant, when I was camping out under the kick, I expected to look up and see a hawk, and not another flailing duck, like our first stringer used to hit.

    1. frosty zoom

      perhaps what should be done is that EVERY student at the school gets cut a cheque at the end of the year dividing up the money the school has profited from sports.

      let’s do an example:

      u of m has 42,000 or so students. the school makes say 60,000,000 dollaritos from sports.

      60,000,000/42,000 = $1 476.19 each.

      sweet!

      after all, the students suffer because of these spectacles, at least they could make a couple of bucks to buy some more kegs of pabst blue ribbon,

      1. Aquifer

        Frankly what always frosted me was the “athletik skolarship” routine where folks whose only talent was kicking, hitting or tossing some sort of ball around were given full entree to degree programs when kids 10 times smarter couldn’t get access ’cause they couldn’t afford it …

        My solution was to pay the players to play, who would then pay their own tuition if they were smart enough to qualify for admission …

        Separate the academics from the sports – “athletic scholarships” are oxymorons, IMO – not that athletes can’t be smart, but that “scholarships” should be for “scholars” …

      2. bmeisen

        Nice anecdote.

        I also really appreciated the Atlantic piece. 2 more notes:

        UMass football has gone Div 1??? They play in Foxboro now???

        Watching college hoops for the first time in years on TV over the holidays I was most impressed by the numbers of over-dressed assistants to the head coaches – there were about 5 on each bench! What do they make? 40k/yr = 200k + the head coach’s 200k?

        1. Max424

          Yeah, everybody wants a nice slice of that D I money pie. I think U Mass watched U Conn qualify for a BCS bowl –and some considerable extra cheese– only 3 or 4 years after going D I, and said, Hey, if they can do it, we can do it too.

          Recently, the USA Today had a 3 or 4 part series on coach’s salaries at the D I level. It was pretty stunning. In football, if you want to be taken seriously, a perennial threat for the mythical tittle, you need to shell out 3 to 5 million base –plus 1 to 2 mill for incentives– to obtain a “quality” head coach, and roughly 2 to 4 million for his 12 or so assistants.

          In basketball, I believe the average D I salary for a head coach is now over 1 million. Top guys are making 5 million. I have no idea what B-ball assistants make, but my guess is, the best and brightest, who will soon be head coaches elsewhere, are making over 500 grand.

          Note: U Mass has always been a sneaky, sports power. Back in the day, they won a couple of Division 1 double A football titles, and their basketball program produced the likes of Marcus Canby, John Calipari, and Dr. J.

  14. Valissa

    re: Greenwald’s piece on the neverending war on terror

    A good piece and many good points, but historically speaking, all empires have endless war of some kind of another. It is the nature of the beast. The war industry of an empire has it’s own momentum and is part of a complex financial ecosystem that is impossible to dismantle(i.e. kill).

    There are many great sci-fi books on this theme, and here are two of my favorites…

    The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
    http://www.amazon.com/Forever-War-Joe-Haldeman/dp/0312536631/

    Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
    http://www.amazon.com/Old-Mans-War-John-Scalzi/dp/0765348276/

      1. neo-realist

        But Leonova, at least with Viagra, the intended end result for both parties is catharsis and pleasure, not death and conquest of resources as is the case with the former.

  15. Valissa

    Some random cartoons that I collected last year, and that didn’t fit into prior cartoon themes:

    Introducing Corporatnu http://www.politicalcartoons.com/cartoon/22f4fd55-bd00-4f35-8419-0115f662846a.html

    Educating the intellect? http://fredkoch.wikispaces.com/file/view/thinkers_cartoon.jpg/183418287/thinkers_cartoon.jpg

    The evolution of intellectual freedom http://cdnimg.visualizeus.com/thumbs/f5/88/funny,cartoons,scholar,science-f58855ecb9e371bea2541f4b5d0d647a_h.jpg

    On societal collapse http://www.savagechickens.com/images/chickencollapse.jpg

    Why, indeed… http://jeffreyhill.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341d417153ef01127939ff3928a4-pi

  16. Howard Beale IV

    Mark Lynas, one of the original anti-GMO advocates, turns 180 degress and is now firmly in the GM camp:

    “I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough. So my conclusion here today is very clear: the GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe – over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food. More to the point, people have died from choosing organic, but no-one has died from eating GM.”

    http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/

      1. Howard Beale IV

        More like if the GMO foodstuffs were really carcinogens and/or poisons we’d have at least one order of magnitude of children suffering from various forms of cancer. Do we?

        1. Lidia

          I don’t remember ANY kids when I was growing up who had these severe food allergies, or autism, for example.

          BTW, supermarket chickens are killed at about six week of age, if I’m not mistaken, so it’s not like they’re going to be diagnosed with advanced forms of systemic disease.

          Rats fed GM potatoes had smaller, partially atrophied livers.[22]

          The livers of rats fed GM canola were 12-16% heavier.[23]

          GM soy altered mouse liver cells in ways that suggest a toxic insult.[24] The changes reversed after their diet switched to non-GM soy.[25]

          GM soy, reproductive problems, and infant mortality

          More than half the offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks.[26] Male rats[27] and mice[28] fed GM soy showed changes in their testicles; the mice had altered young sperm cells.

          The DNA of mouse embryos whose parents ate GM soy functioned differently than those whose parents ate non-GM soy.[29]

          Many offspring of female rats fed GM soy were considerably smaller,and more than half died within three weeks (compared to 10% of the non-GM soy controls). [30]

          Bt crops linked to sterility, disease, and death

          When sheep grazed on Bt cotton plants after harvest, within a week 1 in 4 died. Shepherds estimate 10,000 sheep deaths in one region of India.[31] Farmers in Europe and Asia say that cows, water buffaloes, chickens, and horses died from eating Bt corn varieties.[32]

          About two dozen US farmers report that Bt corn varieties caused widespread sterility in pigs or cows.[33]

          Filipinos in at least five villages fell sick when a nearby Bt corn variety was pollinating.[34]

          The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may be a precursor to cancer. Rats also had damaged organs and immune systems.[35]

          Random googling:
          http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm

          1. Lidia

            Ha! Sorry, I thought Howard wrote “chickens” not “children”!

            My mind has been on organic farming and grains fed to animals lately.

    1. Aquifer

      Would that the BS in this article was organic, which would make it at least good fertilizer, but alas it is GMO – though we are assured, thanx to the “wonderful Bill and Melinda Gates foundation” and our own FDA, that it is “substantially equivalent” …..

      “… the genome of the crop in question has been altered so the plant can protect itself from pests. Why is that not organic?”

      Oh, absolutely, and i suppose you would eat any crop that produces a toxin or insecticide and figure that of course you are immune from any potentially harmful effect because “it is organic” … Yoo, hoo, “organic” doesn’t necessarily imply edibility or harmlessness – but that’s the “level” of logic that makes this article quite laughable, IMO. Nor does GMO necessarily imply harm – the point is it that animal studies show harm, there is enough anecdotal evidence to indicate that real, rigorous long term studies are indicated to rule out any harm BEFORE this stuff is loosed on the public – Not to mention the superbugs that are being selected out that make these plant produced toxins toxic only to – humans?

      He gives himself away – “never been a single substantiated case of harm.” That’s what ALL the drugpushers say …And i notice he isn’t pushing for more rigorous, public funded, scientifically controlled studies – his idea of a “study” apparently is to throw the stuff out there and then say “Look, humans have been eating this stuff and they are still alive!”

      “The government in India is increasingly in thrall to backward-looking ideologues like Vandana Shiva,”

      Hmmm, Vandana Shiva v Bill Gates for credibility re “harmlessness” and “superiority” of hi-tech ag – Gee, that’s a toughy ….

      “But most important of all, farmers should be free to choose what kind of technologies they want to adopt.” –

      How about what kind of crops they DON’T want to grow but are forced to when that GMO crap pollutes their crop?

      But given his, and i assume your, no?, dedication to choice I am sure Mr. Lynas and yourself are vigorously supporting and donating to the efforts to label GMO foods – shouldn’t people be free to choose what they eat?

      Look, Howard, if you are goind to shill for GMOs, methinks you will have to do better than this struck by lightening convert …

      1. bobw

        Bubonic plague is organic…that said, I still don’t like the idea of GM crops. It would just take one bad mistake to propogate through the biosphere.

        1. Howard Beale IV

          Here’s the cold hard reality: unless you have lived in certain countries which have explicitly banned any forms of GMO’s, you have been consuming them for quite a while. Now correlate the GMO’s consumed in the population with any rise of cancers/endocrine diseases. Do you see them?

          1. bmeisen

            The question, in addition to long-term safety for all participants in the food chain, is do we need them. And the answer is no. Beyond factors that also destroy GMO crops, hunger is not a fuction of nature’s imperfections. There is enough food production potential without GMO. GMO producers are lying. Their products serve first and foremost their own profit-seeking interests.

          2. different clue

            Only certain agricultural bulk-commodity food-substrate crops have been GMOd. Since GMO corn and soy are fed to livestock in this country, you have eaten arms-length GMO material if you eat that cornsoy-fed livestock. But if you eat grassfed livestock only, you have dodged GMO right there. If you only eat organic soyproducts or Japanese soyproducts, you have avoided GMO soy right there.

            It takes many years for cancer to develop in humans. Too soon to know if/how GMO food affects that.

            Separately, Roundup Ready trait is permission to use Roundup or any other brand of glyphosate on the crop. That leads to glyphosate problems which are literally different than GMO problems but are door-opened into existence by mass glyphosate-soakdown-permitting RoundupReady crops. Here is an interview with a senior scientist-professor describing the problem.
            http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/May2011_Huber.pdf

        2. Howard Beale IV

          Its one thing to not like GMO based on one preferences-it’s quite another to have hard science studies to back that assertion that GMO’s are truly bad.

      2. Howard Beale IV

        There’s nothing more upsetting when a friend becomes an enemy-hence your obvious reaction.

        Hardly that I’m shilling, but it seems to me that when one of the decade’s great proponents against GMOs does a 180 one needs to take a serious look at their reasoning-much like we saw happen with the l’affaire Andrew Wakefield, the demigod of the anti-vaxer crowd whose now debunked papers resulted in all sorts of world-wide epidemics and destroyed countless lives in the process.

        After all, how many Monsanto Terminator seeds really got planted when Monsanto not only spiked the sale of such seeds in 1999, but later on did the same thing when they bought Delta Pine Land with similar tech in 2007?

        Now if you want to say that Lynas et al. is on the take, then cough up some proof. And Shiva’s arguments get filleted by Johns Hopkins’s School of Public Health (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_rice#Opposition)

  17. celo

    “The most influential President of our time is. . . David Kasier (Chuck L)”

    I’d disagree and say it’s Clinton all the way. Clinton continued Reagan’s policies far further than GWH Bush ever did—especially with the Clinton-Rubin-Greenspan horsemen of deregulation. Clinton’s terms were really Reagan 3 and 4.

    And while counterfactuals are impossible to prove, I bet that had Bubba kept his zipper up, Gore would’ve had a much better chance winning Florida outright.

  18. frosty zoom

    i bet the muslims of africa love that the AFRICOM! commander is general carter ham.

    bacon for the pagans!

  19. jfleni

    “Microsoft accuses Google”? What nonsense! microswift just wants everybody to be obligated to use their software, their file formats, and everything else; they have been pushing it for years and most people won’t buy it, because they don’t want microswift (Billy Boy & Baldy mainly) to be the guardians at the gate for all computer use.

    Google has always insisted that it operates with software and files that are OPEN to everybody, and useful and sometimes profitable to everybody. This enrages the billionaire plutocrats, especially right now when they see their limp **** stuff being depreciated and discarded, and so they start crying with all the ideology of “free enterprise”, etc. etc.

    It’s all part of the same old microswift scam!

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      They all want MONOPOLY, and one day they will have their plan to divvy up the spoils like the Masters of the .01%DNA Global Reich trickling to their .99%Agents.

  20. YY

    Good on ya for refusing to see 0 dark 30, I thought likewise for Hurt Locker as well. The films appear to be embedded propaganda of the worst sort. We get enough policy justification on basis of “good intentions”, regardless effect/reason, in the news media without history being glossed over in fiction. The ensuing false torture debate just masks the lack of criminal prosecution as if crime only occurs with bad intent. The director in interviews refused to use the T-word, instead saying enhanced interrogations (with ironic unsaid quotes), sort of gives away the compromises made for money.

  21. jfleni

    After fiscal deal NYT lie:
    This kind of barefaced lie, as the link carefully pointed out, is what passses for ignorant editorial comment from the New Yuck Times! Why don’t they stop pretending to be impartial? It spoils their “paywall” I suppose.

  22. Adam Eran

    For movies, if you liked “As Good As It Gets” try “Silver Linings Playbook”… Fun, romance, madness, etc…

  23. Valissa

    Way cool, and loopy too!
    Atoms Reach Record Temperature, Colder than Absolute Zero http://www.livescience.com/25959-atoms-colder-than-absolute-zero.html
    Absolute zero is often thought to be the coldest temperature possible. But now researchers show they can achieve even lower temperatures for a strange realm of “negative temperatures.” Oddly, another way to look at these negative temperatures is to consider them hotter than infinity, researchers added. …

    To comprehend the negative temperatures scientists have now devised, one might think of temperature as existing on a scale that is actually a loop, not linear. Positive temperatures make up one part of the loop, while negative temperatures make up the other part. When temperatures go either below zero or above infinity on the positive region of this scale, they end up in negative territory.

    Some stunning photos here… Pictures: Capturing the Beauty of Life Through a Microscope http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/12/pictures/121224-best-microscopic-images-life-science/

    The latest on capitalism and recreational drugs… Pot Vending Machines May Come to Colorado, Washington http://www.livescience.com/25990-pot-vending-machines.html

    1. Aquifer

      And each machine will take your picture as you purchase after which you will be “visited” by the Feds ….

      1. Valissa

        More vending machine fun with Gold To Go http://www.gold-to-go.com/en/ wonder if they secretly take customer photos.

        The most innovative vending machine I ever saw was in rural western NC near the Tennessee border. At a gas station someone had creatively repurposed one of the ice-cream sandwich type vending machines into a vending machine that sold live bait.

    2. JohnL

      On to the next hurdle – colder than a witch’s tit. And then, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

  24. diane

    testing.

    (trying to figure out whether it’s html coding blocking a comment I tried to post twice, regarding ‘communication.’)

    1. diane

      well, the post was innocuous, but for whatever reason not accepted on the third try, despite much limited html coding (one set of ‘block quotes’ and one html address, “High Arka’s” latest post). Ironically, it addressed technological communications issues …sigh ….

      1. diane

        (fourth try, without the html address)

        A gem for those who mourn the loss of human to human, direct and primal, intimate, un-technologically-highlygated communications, true friendship even:

        Communication

        Humans develop words, then telegraphs, as a limited form of communication, then continue the process of trying to develop tools not as tools, but as substitutes; as utter replacements for connections, so as to find even more profound ways to break every aspect of interaction down to bits and bytes. The telegraph and the telephone operator can’t convey full meaning, which is no problem if you understand that and use them only as tools. Something, though, is missing in the way humans have employed technology to increasingly segregate their selves from other selves. Coming up with the idea of a “self,” just like a telegraph, is fine as a game or a tool, but it came to dominate the species so thoroughly that large groups of selves often need to be reminded, expensively, that the mass starvation of other selves is (1) occurring, and (2) might not be good. Following these trends, once video conferencing comes in holographic projection, with LifeSmell (TM) odor dispensers and TruTouch (TM) handshake sensation–or just full, cyberbrain-integrated VR–human history suggests that the capability for completely replacing people will be used.

        Among other ‘posts’ (some being rare gems, to my mind) she’s made, she also has a wonderful series of easy to read and understand posts on how the predator class have managed to twist what should have (and could have) been a fair tax system to their (and theirs only) never ending advantage/sociopathic weapon, unfortunately I’ve misplaced those links, but a trip through some of her posts might recall them, for those interested.

        1. diane

          (To read the full post she made, delete all spaces in the following and you’ll end up with the url: http : / / higharka . blogspot . com \ 2013 \ 01 \ selves . html
          I’ve cringed every once in awhile at criticisms she’s made, though likely more have cringed at criticisms, and not well thought out comments I’ve made; ….. but for the life of me, I’m not at all feeling comfortable that her url appears to be blocked (not by this site necessarily, at all, but by certain algoritms?), from what I’ve read of her postings, and I’ve read, and taken solace in, quite a few of them.)

  25. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Nightcap:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2BYVUwMvyk
    “The Invisible Man 1933″ [1:10:38]
    (Uploaded on Jan 17, 2012 – Benjamin Franklin)
    ———-
    Directed by James Whale, starring Claude Rains
    BOOK BY H.G. WELLS — you will see it is the allegory of a psychopath: an ambitious “scientist” become murderer who craves fame and fortune, in lust with absolute power to dominate the world and get rich as Croesus selling his secret to some Empire’s military forces.

    See the pattern? “Science fiction” in novels and films by insiders is a warning about psychopaths among us, especially the all-powerful “invisible”.

  26. LeonovaBalletRusse

    http://econintersect.com/b2evolution/blog2.php/2013/01/05/the-next-productivity-revolution-the-industrial-internet
    //The Next Productivity Revolution: The ‘Industrial Internet’/
    /January 5th, 2013/
    /in Op Ed, syndication/
    /by Marco Annunziata, Voxeu.org/
    /Today’s technological innovation is regarded by many as all about social media and entertainment, with no impact on economic growth. This column argues that such scepticism is premature. A closer look at selected industries suggests that the ‘industrial internet’ – a network that binds together intelligent machines, software analytics and people – through accelerated adoption of sensors and software analytics, will have a powerful impact on productivity and growth.//
    ———-
    “Industrial internet” – He means like HFT?

  27. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “FLOW” – what it means to major global “banks” –
    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.ch/2012/12/why-major-global-banks-have-become.html
    EXCERPTS:
    //The financial crisis which has caused such damage to the economies of a wide group of Western economies, arose directly from the criminal activities of banks who had long since stopped seeking to provide conventional banking services to their customers, and who, through the use of Naylor’s peekaboo financing, were looking instead for ways in which to continue to manipulate the world’s sources of capital flows, with the view of enhancing their own profitability./
    . . .
    /Their real role is to facilitate the safe handling and onward transmission of Naylor’s vast ball of hot, criminal money which rolls around the financial world, seeking temporary accommodation./
    . . .
    /Their real role is to facilitate the safe handling and onward transmission of Naylor’s vast ball of hot, criminal money which rolls around the financial world, seeking temporary accommodation./
    . . .
    /They are an integral part of the criminal money flow function, and they rely on their relationships with the major banks to be allowed to ‘wet their beak’ in the pool of money which the major banks are handling./
    ——————————
    They want Social Security the way they have Student Loans.

      1. skippy

        In the spring of 1905, Anderson House was completed and took its place as one of the capital city’s most fashionable mansions—a “Florentine villa in the midst of American independence.” The firm of Arthur Little and Herbert Browne of Boston designed the mansion as the winter residence of Larz Anderson, an American diplomat, and his wife, Isabel, an author and benefactress. For more than thirty years, the couple enjoyed their Washington home as a showcase for their art collection, a backdrop for high society galas, and a home from which they explored what they considered “the most beautiful of American cities.”

        At a cost of nearly $750,000, Anderson House included a walled garden, tennis court, and three-story carriage house and stable. The fifty-room mansion is Little & Browne’s finest architectural achievement. Its eclectic interiors, dominated by English and Italian influences, feature the painstaking work of craftsmen who adorned the house with carved wood walls, gilded papier-mâché ceilings, ornate iron staircases, and intricate marble floors. Anderson House was also outfitted with all the latest conveniences, including electricity, central heat, telephones, and two elevators.

        Larz and Isabel Anderson intended their Washington home to be a grand setting where the rising diplomat could entertain American and foreign dignitaries. The Andersons would distinguish themselves among the capital’s most sought-after hosts. During the Washington social season—generally between New Year’s Day and Easter—the Andersons held diplomatic and inaugural receptions, formal dinners and luncheons, concerts, and dramatic performances. Their guest lists included Presidents William H. Taft and Calvin Coolidge, Gen. John J. Pershing, Henry A. du Pont, and members of the Vanderbilt family.

        To the Andersons, their Washington home represented the culmination of what America’s founders, including George Washington, hoped their capital city would become—a grand, modern city to rival European capitals, but with a patriotic identity and a sense of history that would make it distinctly American. When Larz Anderson died in 1937 with no children, his widow oversaw the gift of Anderson House and its contents to the Society of the Cincinnati, of which Larz had been a devoted member. Since 1939, this National Historic Landmark has been open to the public as a historic house museum where the Society has continued the traditions of collecting, entertaining, and patriotic service that the Andersons began one hundred years ago.

        http://societyofthecincinnati.org/anderson_house/history

        Skippy… so many society’s of primogeniture membership… so little time… sigh… the fittest must live… oh la la… so the unfit can survive… that is what seigniorage really means.

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