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Links 3/6/12

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Wine tasting: Is ‘terroir’ a joke and/or are wine experts incompetent? VoxEU

The Deep Sea is in Deep Trouble Edward Barbier, Triple Crisis

EU Fines Microsoft $732.2 Million in Browser Wrangle Wall Street Journal

The risky task of relaunching Japan Martin Wolf, Financial Times

From Contagion to Incoherence: Toward a model of the unfolding Eurozone Crisis Yanis Varoufakis

Grillo: Our Money is a Joke YouTube

Postmodern Perón In These Times (idiot)

Venezuelans pour into Plaza Bolivar to honor Chávez’s socialist revolution Christian Science Monitor

Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chàvez, mi Amigo Greg Palast

Recent Oil Discovery off Lebanese Coast Draws Naval Powers to East Med OilPrice

U.S. efforts on Iran not working, Syria planning underway: Mattis Reuters (May S)

Glenn Greenwald on Bradley Manning: Prosecutor Overreach Could Turn All Whistleblowing into Treason Democracy Now (idiot)

Attorney General Holder: Prez Can Assassinate Americans On U.S. Soil George Washington

Catfood watch:

How Sequester Will Affect Our Meat Huffington Post

The Worst Possible Way to Cut Spending Bruce Bartlett, New York Times

January USPS Financials: $437 Million Loss or $261 Million Profit? Take Your Pick Save the Post Office (diane)

Helicopters Hired, Oregon School Prepares for Active Shooter Drill Free Range Kids (Lambert)

Forget machines taking over the world—corporations have beaten them to it Daily Kos (Carol B)

Income Inequality Goes Viral Bill Moyers

Dow twirls into freedom MacroBusiness

Towards a more procyclical financial system VoxEU

The Great Senior Sell-Off Could Cause the Next Housing Crisis Atlantic

Securitization Lobby in Disarray After Most Directors Quit Bloomberg. Forgot to link to this when I saw it. Too funny. The looters do NOT like having someone play their game on them!

Was Wittgenstein Right? Paul Horwich, New York Times

Antidote du jour:

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118 comments

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Once one has acheived satori after years of silent zazen, it’s easy to pass over everything in silence.

    1. Thorstein

      Among philosophers, Wittgenstein will long be remembered as the one who tried the hardest to have the last word.

      1. chris

        My favorite Wittgensein:

        “The basis of well-founded belief is belief that is not well-founded.”

          1. Bev

            Thanks for the opportunity:

            http://www.monetary.org/

            http://www.monetary.org/mmtevaluation

            AMI’s Evaluation of “Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT)

            by AMI Research, with Steven Walsh; and assistance by Stephen Zarlenga

            snip

            MMT mis-defines money as debt

            Poor methodology and misuse of terms leads MMT to mis-define money as debt; e.g., Wray says: “Fiat money will be defined as … nothing more than a debt.”7

            But money and debt are two different things, that’s why we have different words for them. We pay our debts with money.

            If money is defined as a debt, it artificially places an unnecessary burden of debt on the whole of society. It turns the positive real net worth of all we produce into a financial negative instead of positive. In effect, it artificially places financial claims on all of our achievements and progress, thus denying us full benefit and enjoyment of all we create.

            While most money in the U.S. mis-designed system is really debt, put into circulation by banks when they make loans, it is a huge error to then define the “nature” of money as debt. That mistake would render it impossible to redesign the system in a just and sustainable way.

            The AMI considers the concept and definition of money as the most critical factor in determining whether a society’s money system functions in a just and sustainable way.

            How money is defined determines who controls the money system, and whoever controls the money system will dominate the whole society. For instance:

            • If money is defined as wealth (e.g., commodities like gold and silver by weight), as Adam Smith did, then the wealthy will control not only their own wealth, but the money system and thus the whole society as well.

            • If money is defined as credit or debt, as MMT and most economists now do, those who dominate credit (the banks) will control society’s monetary mechanism – and we know from experience they will misuse it to create bubbles, until the whole system crashes.

            • If money is defined as an abstract legal power of society, as the Constitution does, then the money system is placed under our constitutional system of checks and balances to work justly and sustainably for the whole society, not for only a privileged part of it.

            The AMI uses the following concept of money:

            Money’s essence (apart from whatever is used to signify it) is an abstract social power, embodied in law, as an unconditional means of payment.

            ………..

            It seems to me that Debt Money which we currently have creates the condition described above as Wealth Money where wealthy corporations, wealthy individuals have control of the systems along with the banks.

            We need to protect and support brave politicians who support us. We have won this same struggle 6 times in our nation’s past with Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy among others to do the great public good of public debt-free, interest-free money to solve many critical problems.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Bev,

            AMI is incoherent and not reliable. The section you extracted as serves to prove that.

            Banks issue loans which create corresponding deposits. They are seriously trying to say those deposits are not money (or are an inferior type of money that should be exterminated). If the banks collectively can’t get enough reserves to accommodate this process, the central bank creates them.

            Their idea of having a system that would be based only on pre-existing TRANSFERRABLE savings is so oligarchy-favoring and contractionary that it is not worth contemplating. How do you think most businesses operate? Their suppliers extend them credit by allowing them to pay after receiving goods or services. You can’t run a system of commerce and not have credit extension to fund activity.

            The fact that they advance this as a serious proposal should discredit them immediately. If you don’t like the current system, trust me, the AMI fix is vastly worse.

          3. Bev

            Let the banks be banks. They have their benefits to society in just this way as you describe.

            But, to allow banks to create our only money as debt to the point of debt saturation and a credit freeze, prevents solving serious problems that require money and putting this money into the jobs to solve our problems.

            We have done this many times before in our country’s past, and government could and should again create money debt-free whether backed by silver like Kennedy’s silver certificate, or gold like Lincoln’s Greenback, or by an infrastructure rebuilt.

            This could turn the economy around fast. And, when we have serious problems like Fukushima, climate change, dwindling resources, it is important to think beyond debt money in order to have the money to begin these jobs to do this work.

            According to Bill Still, we have done this 6 times in our past. This is nothing new. This is tried and true.

          4. joe bongiovanni

            This is to Yves,
            Thanks for joining in with YHO here.

            I infer therefrom that which you claim to be either incoherent or unreliable would be AMI’s proven position that there is a difference between money and debt.
            I hope all readers take another pass at AMI’s position.

            You make a claim for the ‘unworkability’ of the different definitions. Without offering any proof whatever, a systemic failure is implied.
            But the modeling work of both Japanese professor Kaoru Yamaguchi and the IMF’s Benes and Kumhof show that a change to a non-debt based system of money(AMI’s proposal) would have the opposite impacts from what you claim. They both also show that it is the debt-based system that continues the advance of systemic failure.

            Sophisticated modeling proves it can be done. (Steve Keen called Yamaguchi’s work the best he had ever seen.)
            And Minsky favored money-credit separation very late in his research.
            What do you have as proof?

            Money and debt are legally different constructs, despite MMT’s adoption of Mitchell-Innes error.
            I offer the proof in F.A. Mann’s “The Legal Aspect of Money”, which I will be glad to quote.
            A debt is something denominated in money and payable in money – but it is not itself money.
            Issuing debt(bank credit) as a means of issuing money is the matter at issue. No NEED for it.
            A quick read of Atlanta Fed economist / credit officer Robert Hemphill shows the systemic impropriety of such a system.

            You offer a false claim that after ‘money’ is created without debt – SPENT into existence a la MMT’s Lerner money-printing proposal – that lending is in any way limited to saving THAT money, and no other money can be brought into being. The provisions of the Kucinich Bill (H.R. 2990)are a model to how this can readily happen.

            The real oligarchy supporting methodology is private debt-based money creation.
            The real deflationary pressures are inherent within the pro-cyclicality of debt-based money. That was Fisher’s debt-deflation point.

            These late comments do not do service to a broad discussion of debt-based money as THE cause for many of the problems that NC’s cadre of MMT proponents believe can be cured without meaningful reform.

            It is soon time to take off the blinders and consider the possibilities.
            Thanks.

          5. Bev

            Thanks so much Joe Bongiovanni.

            I would like to edit my above comment to read:

            Let the banks be banks. They have their benefits to society.

            ………

            Yves, ask those economists that you often quote and interview, such as Steve Keen, Michael Hudson and Jamie Galbraith:

            See:

            James K. Galbraith to the Subcommittee on Crime, Senate Judiciary Committee, May 4, 2010.

            On June 13, 2011, in The State’s Crisis, by AMI

            http://www.monetary.org/how-the-economists-facilitated-the-crisis-and-how-hr-6550-solves-it/2011/06

            How the Economists Facilitated the Crisis and How HR 6550* Solves it (last year HR 2990, which needs to be re introduced this year)

            This fundamental error has allowed the most egregious banking and money system to dominate our society for a century. It has caused immense damage:

            For example: The privatization of our monetary system, with control over public policy being in unelected hands, for whoever controls the money system, over time will control the nation.

            And look what they have done with that power:

            * They’ve given special privilege to create money to some, and disadvantage to others; which has led to an obscene concentration of wealth and a corresponding poverty! This has encouraged lawlessness and corruption among the privileged; pushing them to diseased excess for acquisition, and ignoring those among us in great need.

            * They’ve turned economics into a primitive religion, and worshipped the “market” as a god, despite all evidence to the contrary. A primary tool they use is to denigrate and ignore evidence. “Anecdotal” was the description Greenspan used for real evidence that challenges their theories. A fundamental sin of poor methodology.

            * They have placed an unnecessary ball and chain on the leg of every producer by having the money supply itself bear an unnecessary interest cost to society.

            * They’ve foisted a “fractional reserve” system on us prone to periodic collapse. Credit will collapse during a crisis. Money does not collapse. Credit will collapse during a crisis. Money does not collapse. Money does not collapse.

            In our present system most of what we use for money – more accurately purchasing media – comes into existence as an interest bearing debt, when banks make loans. In that sense, most money in our fractional reserve system – is debt. But economists can’t seem to grasp that those rules can and must be changed. Afraid to confront their paymasters, who are benefitting from the injustice, they can’t conceive of practical ways we can use real government issued money for money instead of substituting private debt for it. They ignore previous attempts such as the Chicago Plan of the 1930s; and smear prior periods when such real money was used successfully.

            Errors of methodology regarding money include refusal to examine the facts and a tendency to ignore history where the monetary facts are found. This leads to the silliest errors of fact regarding monetary history including:

            * Being unaware of the colonial periods’ excellent experience with government money.

            * The Continental Currency – they are generally unaware they were destroyed by Brit counterfeiting.

            * The Greenbacks – which is mistakenly characterized as worthless paper money, ignoring that they ultimately exchanged one for one with gold.

            * The French Assignats – where they have again ignored Brit counterfeiting and enshrined the propaganda book written by a banking heir as unbiased fact (White’s Fiat Money in France)!

            * The German Hyperinflation is not recognized as occurring under a privately owned and privately controlled Reichsbank!

            * Regarding the FED as part of the government!

            * The Free banking Schools misidentify the Free banking period because New York’s “Free Banking Law” gave better results. But despite its title it imposed much stronger requirements and regulations and was the opposite of free banking!

            Jamie Galbraith ended his testimony to the Senate’s Crime Subcommittee with this warning: “But you have to act. The true alternative is a failure extending over time from the economic to the political system. Just as too few predicted the financial crisis, it may be that too few are today speaking frankly about where a failure to deal with the aftermath may lead.

            In this situation, let me suggest, the country faces an existential threat. Either the legal system must do its work, or the market system cannot be restored. There must be a thorough, transparent, effective, radical cleaning of the financial sector and also of those public officials who failed the public trust. The financiers must be made to feel, in their bones, the power of the law. And the public, which lives by the law, must see very clearly and unambiguously that this is the case. Thank you.”

            ………..

            Everyone, in case it is not just a fluke on my end of the internet, grab this information as google seems to be reducing the number of hits to monetary.org and so the accessibility of this information. Just in case.

            ……….

            And, also you need to take into account who you are keeping company with when you prefer debt money.

            So says Kevin Phillips
            

from:


            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Phillips_%28political_commentator%29



            Formerly a Republican Party strategist, Phillips has become disaffected with his former party over the last two decades, and is now one of its most scathing critics. 



            American Theocracy (2006)

            

Allen Dwight Callahan[1] states the book’s theme is that the Republican Party (GOP), religious fundamentalism, petroleum, and borrowed money are an “Unholy Alliance.”[2] The last chapter, in a nod to his first major work, is titled “The Erring Republican Majority.” American Theocracy “presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness.”


            ….

          6. Bev

            After quoting Allen Dwight Callahan’s review of Kevin Phillips and his important book, “American Theocracy,” it is also important to note that while his statement could look partisan, I think it is realism. It is the base line coalition that everyone needs to take into account in order to realign to make the changes (for Debt-free money) that could help everyone–everyone no matter what political, cultural, or economic background, and no matter whether they realign or not.

            The people at http://www.monetary.org/ state many times that they are a non-partisan organization whose work would help everyone across the spectrum. I think that is a big plus.

            By helping everyone, you reduce the stress, uncertainty, and economic hardship, even suffering that can lead to resentment, polarization and even aggression. That sounds very good to me–to help everyone with a fast economic turnaround which skips any further recession, depression or hyperinflation. So, then we can reunite to solve our serious problems and help ensure each others survivability.

          7. Bev

            When money is debt:

            http://moneyaswealth.blogspot.com/2009/04/bankruptcies-no-end-in-sight.html

            Bankruptcies – No End In Sight.

            Don’t you wonder what happens to the money that was borrowed and then spent into the economy, when a person goes bankrupt?

            The money is now “out” in the economy, right? It did not get paid back to the bank, right?

            That is the money, that the rest of the “customers” of this scam the banking system is running on the world, use to pay their interest. As you know, there is no mechanism in the system, to create money to pay interest, the way it is set up now.

            We should change that so that we have a system that works without requiring bankruptcies, fraud and money laundering – just to function.

            …..

            I wonder if MMT Debt Money is being pushed to introduce the new (though printed up since 2007) but, not yet distributed $100 bill which has many gold symbols (gold backed, but still a DEBT currency?) and revolutionary language (a DEBT currency is not revolutionary).

            Then it makes sense as to the why. But, it is a bad idea as it is Debt.

            Maybe at the new $100 bill’s introduction, IF…(WHEN)…if/when we can get what we want and need which is a Debt Free Money to turn this economy around fast and gently with an accounting change (NOT WAR), instead of a new printing of a newer currency, we could save the money and all take out our pens/quills/sharpies and cross through the word “NOTE” and clearly print “MONEY,” “CURRENCY” or “CERTIFICATE.” I prefer “MONEY.” But, only if we have a Debt Free Money.

            ………….

            http://moneyaswealth.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-100-federal-reserve-note-same-old.html

            New $100 Federal Reserve Note – Same Old Debt

            hint: If it says “Note” on it, it is a debt instrument.
            Each one of these in circulation represents more debt than there is money to pay it off.

            ….

            If the new money remains debt money, even though backed by gold, it will be lent out by banks making our situation no better or even worse as Bryan Dale suggests:

            http://moneyaswealth.blogspot.com/2010/07/gold.html

            Gold?

            So, You Think You Have A Chance In This Market?

            When a “mystery bank” can move 380 tonnes of gold in one transaction, why would you be so foolish as to think that this is a ‘free market” or that you could base a currency on gold?

            Besides, if you allow the banks to lend the gold, as they did here, you’ll be in worse shape than you are now.

            You and your country can be wealthy in minerals and resources, but it will not help if your currency is DEBT. Debt beats out even gold.

            http://moneyaswealth.blogspot.com/2009/01/hyperinflation-zimbabwe-myth-and.html

            Hyperinflation and Zimbabwe – Myth, Misinformation and the “Expert”

            Austrians say the problem is too much paper. Keynesians say the government should spend more. Neither camp has a solid grasp on the effects of interest and both groups are in denial, when it comes to fully understanding debt.

            In fact, in macroeconomic terms, you can hardly find a model that illustrates this: the money needed to pay interest is never created inside the system and that principal is extinguished from circulation when a payment of principal is made.

            snip

            NEWS FLASH: Hyperinflation is not caused by paper money. It is not caused by too much money. It is caused by unpayable interest rates.

            snip

            This did not happen to Zimbabwe because they did not have enough gold.

            This did not happen to Zimbabwe because they did not have enough natural resources.

            This did not happen to Zimbabwe because the government spent too little.

            This did not happen to Zimbabwe because they had too much paper money.

            This happened because they had too much debt and the unpayable interest is destroying them.

            Say, aren’t the people dependent on bank loans for a medium of exchange and don’t the banks set the interest rates on their loaned money?

            When the banks hike the interest rates to manipulate the money supply to the point that only 15% of the people can work, the medium of exchange is destroyed and the banks end up with the gold, is that financial terrorism?

            ………….

            Greenbacks.

          8. F. Beard

            and government could and should again create money debt-free whether backed by silver like Kennedy’s silver certificate, or gold like Lincoln’s Greenback, … Bev

            Et tu, Bev? Fiat is backed by the taxation authority and power of government; there is no greater backing! A gold or silver standard is instead the government backing gold or silver. That is clearly unjust privilege for special interests. It also arbitrary limits government money creation to the mining rate of a metal!

    2. Valissa

      Monty Python and the Philosopher’s Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_WRFJwGsbY

      LYRICS
      Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable.
      Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could
      think you under the table.
      David Hume could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel.
      And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.
      There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ‘ya ’bout the raising of the wrist.
      Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.
      John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, after half a pint of shandy was
      particularly ill.
      Plato, they say, could stick it away, ‘alf a crate of whiskey every day!
      Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
      And Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
      And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
      I drink, therefore I am.
      Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
      A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he’s pissed.

      Bonus video… Monty Python Philosophy Football Germany vs Greece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta1KfRX06kA

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Going back to Arsitophane, it’s always more fun to be in show bizness than to be in the clouds philosophizing.

      2. neorealist

        Kant was a barely understandable piss-ant. Does one have to be so damned convoluted about being, ideas and how one processes experiences?

        1. Valissa

          William James sympathizes with you in his essay “The Types of Philosophic Thinking”

          In a subject like philosophy it is really fatal to lose connexion with the open air of human nature, and to think in terms of shop-tradition only. In Germany, the forms are so professionalized that anybody who has gained a teaching chair and written a book, however distorted and eccentric, has the legal right to figure forever in the history of the subject like a fly in amber. All later comers have the duty of quoting him and measuring their opinions with his opinion. Such are the rules of the professional game – they think and write from each other and for each other and at each other exclusively. … Professor Paulsen has recently written some feeling lines about this over-professionalism… There is a genuine fear of popularity. Simplicity of statement is deemed synonymous with hollowness and shallowness. He recalls an old professor saying to him once: ‘Yes, we philosophers, whenever we wish, can go so far in a couple of sentences we can put ourselves where nobody can follow us.’

          1. Valissa

            Personally I think that purposeful complexification is the norm in philosophy, and it’s not just the Germans who are guilty of this. Obfuscation and complexification are typical of all elite intellectual enterprises.

            I remember trying to minor in philosophy in college. I was an engineering major and my nature is very empirical. The attempt to study philosophy convinced me not to waste my time on intellectual bullshit and I quickly dropped the minor. IMO, academic philosophy is at least 98% bullshit. Naturally one of my favorite philosophy books is “On Bullshit” by Harry G. Frankfurt. William James would have approved, I’m sure :)

        2. diptherio

          Kant reads John Grisham compared to Heidegger. “The being-ness of a thing lies in that thing’s essential being,” or something like that.

  1. skippy

    ENVIRONMENTALISTS have called for an immediate ban on a chemical found in kids’ sunscreens five years after concerns were first raised.

    Research conducted in 2008 into anatase titanium dioxide found that the chemical’s nanoparticles in sunscreen could react with sunlight to break down the coating of Colorbond roofs, Friends of the Earth said.

    The study found that the nanoparticles increased the rate of sun damage to the roofs by 100 times, prompting worries about what it could do to human skin. New research commissioned by the conservationist group has revealed six out of eight tested sunscreens still contain anatase titanium dioxide.

    Friends of the Earth spokeswoman Louise Sales called for an immediate ban of the chemical in sunscreen. “There are a lot of unknowns and there are no current studies looking at the impact of anatase titanium dioxide on the skin,” Ms Sales told AAP.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health-fitness/sunscreen-found-to-have-toxic-ingredients/story-fneuzlbd-1226591389836#ixzz2MlSnbiud

    Skippy… why is everyone trying to kill us… LOL!

  2. The Importance of Being Iceland

    Re: Wittgenstein

    In her interviews with Gilles Deleuze, covering topics from A to Z, Claire Parnet says, let’s move on to W.

    Deleuze says, there’s nothing in W.

    And Parnet says, yes, there’s Wittgenstein. She knows he’s nothing for Deleuze, it’s only a word. Deleuze says, he doesn’t like to talk about that… It’s a philosophical catastrophe.

    It’s the very type of a “school”, a regression of all philosophy, a massive regression. Deleuze considers the Wittgenstein matter to be quite sad. They imposed (ils ont foutu) a system of terror in which, under the pretext of doing something new, it’s poverty introduced as grandeur.

    Deleuze says there isn’t a word to express this kind of danger, but that this danger is one that recurs, that it’s not the first time that it has arrived. It’s serious especially since he considers the Wittgensteinians to be nasty (méchants) and destructive (ils cassent tout). So in this, there could be an assassination of philosophy, Deleuze says, they are assassins of philosophy, and because of that, one must remain very vigilant.

    Deleuze laughs….

    1. Tim Mason

      Wittgenstein was first seen by French philosophers as a stalking horse for Anglo-analytical philosophy. Deleuze seems to have been playing that riff. Things have changed in recent times. Badiou and Rancière, for example, do not see Wittgenstein as ‘nothing’.

    2. kristiina

      Well, Wittgenstein designed a house but nobody wanted to move into it. He taught children so that they bled (yes, as in beating them up). I find it mysterious that he still seems to be taken seriously. Maybe it is just that it is so difficult to fathom that someone would design a chair that cannot be sat in. So there’s people who are still trying to figure out how to sit in it. A multi-genereational fly-trap?

  3. Brindle

    Re: ” Attorney General Holder….”

    In his letter to Sen.Paul:

    —”For example, the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland …..”

    I have always despised the use of the word Homeland in reference to the U.S. I ran across this article written just two months after 9/11 by a James A Bartlett, who I know nothing of.

    —”Before September 20, the word “homeland” doesn’t appear to have been much a part of the American lexicon. Not in political rhetoric, anyway.

    The word does not appear in inaugurals, State of the Union messages, or declaration-of-war speeches by either Woodrow Wilson or Franklin D. Roosevelt, both of whom could easily have claimed to be defending the homeland. (FDR mentioned “homeland” only in passing in three Fireside Chats, and always in reference to other countries–the Dutch, the Russians, and the Japanese.)

    The word isn’t found in the major addresses of Cold Warriors Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. “Homeland” does not appear in Ronald Reagan’s major speeches either–not even the one in which he called the Soviet Union the “evil empire.”

    But are we mixing the message when we also talk about “homeland defense” and “homeland security”? Are we defending our ideals for people everywhere–or are we defending a physical space within fixed borders that belongs only to those of us who are already here?

    If I have to, I would rather die defending an ideal than to die simply holding a patch of real estate. If our real estate were lost, there would still be hope for the planet if our ideals endured. If our ideals were lost, all the real estate in the world wouldn’t make up for it.—”

    http://www.spectacle.org/1201/bartlett.html

  4. Jim Haygood

    Cumo’s egregious gun grab is on da ropes:

    Last week, in two separate orders, state Supreme Court justices ordered the embattled Cuomo administration to explain itself and its unconstitutional infringements on the unalienable right to keep and bear arms enshrined in both the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the New York Constitution.

    The first order, issued by State Supreme Justice Deborah Chimes on February 27, demands that the state government prove that its unprecedented infringements on gun rights are indeed constitutional by April 29. The lawsuit was initiated by gun dealer Edward Holtz, who argues that the unconstitutional statute, among other problems, put him out of business, left him with merchandise he cannot sell, and violates his rights. According to the order issued by Justice Chimes, if the state is unable to prove that its statute is constitutional by the deadline, she will temporarily enjoin it.

    The other major lawsuit making its way through the courts resulted in an order issued on March 1 by State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly. The justice granted a hearing to the more than 1,250 plaintiffs, who are arguing, among other points, that the state’s decision to waive the constitutionally mandated three-day review before voting on bills represents a blatant violation of the state constitution.

    Activists and even lawmakers have already announced what has been dubbed the “largest act of civil disobedience” in state history, with potentially tens of thousands of gun owners or more refusing to register their weapons or comply with other provisions in the controversial statute.

    “They’re saying, ‘F— the governor! F— Cuomo! We’re not going to register our guns,’ and I think they’re serious. People are not going to do it. People are going to resist,” explained State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King, who also serves on the National Rifle Association board of directors.

    http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/14685-new-york-courts-may-kill-cuomo-assault-on-gun-rights

    My county is one of nearly two dozen in New York which have condemned Cumo’s gun grab.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Nice to see all these guys out in the streets over NDAA, drones, bank fraud…. Oh, wait….

        This has all the moral weight of “fight… for your right… to party.”

        They will pry my consumer fetish object from my cold, dead, hands….

    1. Nathanael

      Cuomo’s gun law is practically irrelevant to the reality of gun policy in NY State. Which is, by the way, completely insane: a huge pile of paperwork is required to own or carry a gun, and it’s nearly impossible to get a permit in NY City,….

      ….but there are no actual tests of competency, safety, or sanity, so any angry crazy person who doesn’t know what they’re doing can in fact get a gun. They just have to do a lot of paperwork.

      This is about the worst imaginable way to regulate guns.

  5. AbyNormal

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/03/ferrari-v12-hybrid
    new hybrid v12 ferrari

    The hybrid system in the LaFerrari was developed so that, in future applications, a car could be driven short distances under electric power only.

    LaFerrari from a dead stop to 62 miles per hour in under three seconds;Top speed is 205 miles an hour

    The ultimate concept car will move so fast, even at rest, as to be invisible. ballard (except for a short an a zap…then poof, an she was)

  6. Valissa

    Sex May Relieve Migraines http://www.livescience.com/27642-sex-relieves-migraine-pain.html

    Cellphone Case Holds Shocking Surprise http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/cellphone-case-doubles-stun-gun-18628592 Louisiana State University graduates create an iPhone case that doubles as a stun gun.

    Camel fossils discovered in Canada’s Arctic shed light on animal’s evolution http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/03/05/camel_fossils_discovered_in_canadas_arctic_shed_light_on_animals_evolution.html

    1. AbyNormal

      sex relieves migraines…makes sense, as migraines relieve sex
      speaking of which, i have a camel fetish ever since i read caravans, michener (probably 2much411 bahahahaa)

      1. Valissa

        Searching on camel fetish pretty much turns up porn… but I remember reading about camel beauty contests at this National Geographic article http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/08/camel-contest/teague-text/1

        and here is some more fun camel info…

        How do you judge a camel beauty contest? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8506946.stm

        Go Fatima! Region’s first female camel race competitor born to the job http://myoasisliving.com/oasis_living_magazine/show_detail/encid/44a/opt/local_news_catch/offset/160

        CamelPhotos, the camel hub of the web http://www.camelphotos.com/index.html

  7. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the marvelous antidote du jour… Lion and dandelion. Wonder what the lion is thinking?

    1. AnonAnon

      That he’s going to eat whatever kind of antelope is just out of the picture behind the dandelion.

  8. jsmith

    Here’s another Oilprice op-ed about how Russia plays into all of this Middle Eastern gas and oil. Translation: they’re looking good.

    More on the stock market and the shameful display yesterday:

    From the article:

    On Tuesday, as the New York Stock Exchange was hitting new heights, New York’s Coalition for the Homeless was reporting a different record. In January, an average of more than 50,000 people slept each night at a homeless shelter in the city, including over 21,000 children–more than 1 percent of the city’s youth.

    Now the US government, with the sequester cuts as the down payment, is preparing to dismantle the core social programs remaining from the reforms of the 1930s and 1960s—Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    This social counterrevolution was inaugurated by the Wall Street crash of September 2008—the result of financial fraud and criminality on a colossal scale. Yet, amidst the still steaming rubble of the social tsunami they unleashed, the lords of finance are today able to celebrate their biggest heist ever.

    How is this to be explained?

    The media offers no explanation. The network commentators, in line with their six- and seven-figure salaries and their bulging portfolios, hail the new record on the stock market as though it were a national achievement. Rejoice, one and all!

    Re: the shooter drill in OR.

    Seriously, nothing will change in this country until people realize that they are being accultured and bred to be obedient – albeit violent – cowards.

    That is the real reason behind the expenditure of this type of money on such nonsense.

    It makes sure that everyone is aware of the power of the state – it’s super-kewel automatic weapons and sexy anonymously uniformed men and women springing from helipcopters that can be called out when need be to eliminate any threats.

    Oh, yeah, except when the state needs some “event” to take place. Oops.

    Hey, ever wonder why zombies movies and shows are so popular all of a sudden?

    Why, what could possibly be more like smashing another human being’s face in than taking a hatchet and burying it into an “undead” zombie, huh?

    You cannot get any closer to showing human beings actually and violently dismembering and ripping each other apart than zombie shows and they go a long way to inculcating a desensitized populace.

    Forget the racial etc. undertones of Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, this is full-on propaganda meant to inure people with graphic depictions of human on human violence.

    But they’re only zombies, dude!!

    Just like our banks. Badoomtiss.

    Go America, go Dow!!!!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      On the passing of Hugo Chavez. What super-delicious irony for Wall Street — a triple celebration: a DOW record high, the death of their nemesis, and record homelessness in NYC. How sweet it is.

      It’s sad day for others of us. Only the good die young. I couldn’t pull up Palast’s farewell tribute, but Truthout re-published a hopeful article about Chavez’s legacy. Real democracy is growing in Latin America, and despite the best efforts of the MSM oligarchy, it is now also taking root in the US. Wall Street’s delirious schadenfreude may be short-lived.

        1. Ms G

          @DT — It’s like wading through an infinite chain of bog swamps trying to find honest coverage of Chavez. Thanks for the shortcut to a good link.

  9. Peter Pinguid Society

    Topic: The Final Solution of the Homeless Problem

    As we pump the stock market up towards Dow 36,000, the 0.01 percent also have a plan for dealing with the homeless problem. It’s called the final solution of the homeless problem…..Gas vans…

    We just need to work out a number of technical details first…three of them to be precise….

    One.

    Our van’s normal load is usually nine per square yard. In these vehicles, which are very spacious, maximum use of space is impossible, not because of any possible overload, but because loading to full capacity would affect the vehicle’s stability. So reduction of the load space seems necessary.

    The goal from now must be to reduce the load space by a yard, instead of trying to solve the problem, as hitherto, by reducing the number of pieces loaded.

    Besides, this extends the operating time, as the empty void must be filled with carbon monoxide.

    On the other hand, if the load space is reduced, and the vehicle is packed solid, the operating time can be considerably shortened. The manufacturers told us during a discussion that reducing the size of the van’s rear would throw it badly off balance. The front axle, they claim, would be overloaded. In fact, the balance is automatically restored, because during the operation, the merchandise aboard displays a natural tendency to rush to the rear doors, and is mainly found lying there dead at the end of the operation. So the front axle should not be not overloaded.

    Two.

    The lighting must be better protected than now. The lamps must be enclosed in a steel grid to prevent their being damaged. Lights could be eliminated, since they apparently are never used. However, it has been observed that when the doors are shut, the load always presses hard against them [the doors] as soon as the doors are shut.

    This is because the load naturally rushes toward the light when darkness sets in, which makes closing the doors difficult. Also, because of the alarming nature of darkness, screaming always occurs when the doors are closed. It would therefore be useful to light the lamp before and during the first moments of darkness.

    Three.

    For easy cleaning of Gas Vans after the operation there must be a sealed drain in the middle of the floor. The drainage hole’s cover, eight to twelve inches in diameter, would be equipped with a slanting trap, so that fluid liquids can drain off during the operation. During cleaning, the drain can be used to evacuate large pieces of blood and dirt.

    The aforementioned technical changes are to be made to vehicles in service only when they come in for repairs. As for the ten thousand vehicles already ordered, they must be equipped with all innovations and changes shown by use and experience to be necessary.

    Submitted for decision to the Pinguid Society

    Please note: the final solution of the homeless problem is only a trial run for the next, more important, step: the final solution of the 99 percent problem, which should be timed to coincide with Dow 36,000.

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent

    1. Peter Pinguid Society

      April Fool’s! ….don’t worry hapless 99 percenter, we’re really on your side!

      Just Keystone Kops who keep drinking the Kool-Aid and somehow (with the best of intentions) we keep killing and impoverishing millions of people by accident… Bumblers, that’s us…oops there goes another 50 thousand lives down the drain…. Dagnabbit! ….wish we could stop doing that!

      We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01

    2. Massinissa

      Heres an idea: You should go read A Modest Proposal by Johnathan Swift. A bit old but still entirely relevant to the current problem.

      Just eat the babies of the poor as delicacies. The poor get money for the children that were formerly drains on their economic growth, you get to reduce population and have a succulent dinner: everyone benefits! The perfect solution.

      1. Peter Pinguid Society

        Thanks Massinissa, we like how your mind works.

        The 0.01 percent could celebrate Dow 36,000 by feasting on babies of the poor and drinking lots of champagne!

        We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    3. jsmith

      Come now, PPS, didn’t you read the above post?

      The “final solution” is to merely categorize the homeless and other undesirables as zombies!

      Voila!!

      Then they can outsource the elimination process to roving packs of corporate cube-dwellers and other “weekend patriots” out for some bonding exercises.

      This is WAAAYY better than paint-ball!!!

      Gee, maybe homelessness is a disease?

      Maybe the disease is contagious!!!

      Stop me before I go too far.

      1. Peter Pinguid Society

        jsmith,

        While we like the idea of classifying homeless and other undesirables as zombies, then outsourcing the elimination work to roving bands of corporate wolf packs…. make no mistake, this elimination work is not limited to the homeless or undesirables, it’s much bigger than that.

        Some of it will to be outsourced to Chase, as part of their Visa / Mastercard Complimentary Decapitation Service.

        At first we will target only 99 percenters who’ve had it with the rat race and have decided to bid sayonara to the splendors and miseries of this mortal coil.

        All they have to do is answer a few simple, easy questions, and at the date and time of their choice, a Chase representative will come to their home and professionally detach their cranial compartment with minimal pain and a brand new Black and Decker circular saw – all at no extra charge.

        I said AT FIRST it will be limited to this group, but why stop there?

        We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

        1. Ms G

          Now I understand why the US State has been so virulently opposed to assisted suicide. (1) State can’t control who gets the rents off that income stream and (2) State doesn’t get to torture any citizen who simply wishes to leave with dignity.

          1. neorealist

            Along the lines of economic terms, the health care industry wants to make profit from maintaining if not treating your decline to your last breath.

            From the diaper to the diaper.

        2. Peter Pinguid Society

          Ms G,

          You got it.

          It all comes down to utility, needs, use value….the 99 percent individual must be conceived in strictly economic terms….The 99 percent individual is nothing but the subject thought in economic terms, rethought, simplified, and abstracted by the economy.

          1. Ms G

            Or more aphoristically, to the Peter Pinguid Society we are all just Units. With fluctuating utility.

            They are the lowest of the low.

            And vulgard philistines, too. They wouldn’t know a Grand Cru Rothschild if it was poured over their head — and if a sommelier gave them a rioja with a Cheval Blanc label on it they’d show off the bottle to their friends and drink it, thinking it was … a Cheval Blanc ’66.

            The night is near. Hopefully they will continue not to notice until it is too late for them.

          2. Peter Pinguid Society

            Hey, watch it now, Ms G…

            remember, we have a Kill List….

            I may not be a wine expert, and pairing wine with fish or seafood can be a daunting task.

            To play it safe I usually just order raw oysters and caviar, then wash it down with a 30-litre double Nebuchadnezzar-size bottle of Armand de Brignac Midas Champagne, priced at $127,600 per bottle.

          3. Ms G

            ha-ha! nearly choked there, swilling Nebuchadnezzar-sized and eleventy-priced whatever …

            I did wake up alive (and gratefully so) this morning.

        3. ChrisPacific

          I am reminded of “We Can Get It For You Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman (I think it’s readable online, if you wonder why – it’s pretty short).

  10. Bam_Man

    Re: “Is Terroir a joke?”

    I only wish that I was one of those unable to distinguish between a Mouton-Rothschild (albeit an “off” year – 2004) from some New Jersey plonk. Unfortunately, I can, and as a result it costs me a lot of money to drink wine that I enjoy.

    1. Laughing_Fascist

      Dear Sir Bam-Man:

      Though not a wine drinker, I can sympathize with your position. I am a beer drinker. And a fine gentleman like yourself.

      Should someone declare the beer from GB and Europe that I pay a premium for is the same as the horrid mass brews made by the Anheusher Busch mega corp, I would certainly speak out as you have.

      A good day and drink to you sir.

    2. Bunk McNulty

      Even if one bought their experiments, they don’t prove what they say they do. The story claims that judges can’t taste the difference between higher priced and lower priced wines in blind tastings (big surprise). Since numbers of higher priced wines don’t come from prized terroirs, as indeed the remarks about Oregon show, they have only shown that blind tasters don’t always prefer the most expensive wine put in front of them.

  11. Don't wait till they're too old n' frail

    Re assassinations, the government’s playing a shell game. Shyster General Holder wants to make this a matter of policy. The policy at issue began with the only systematic bioterrorism attack in history, using illegal US government bioweapons under state control, directed from within the executive at the US population and coordinate branches of government, with the highest level of government – President Obama – blocking independent public scrutiny.

    So Holder is characteristically deceptive when he mewls about “incapacitating” threats. The terminology used for a policy of systematic attack on a population is the law on crimes of concern to the international community: the ICC Statute and corresponding universal-jurisdiction law.

    What we’re really talking about could be any of a number of specific crimes:

    - Wilful killing of protected persons;
    - Wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial;
    - Summary execution;
    - Giving no quarter;
    - Murder.

    You could examine this with a House Select Committee on Crimes Against Humanity, since that is the catch-all term encompassing wars or phony wars or violent repression. Except the House of Representatives is hopelessly gelded and corrupted.

    So people are going to have to do it themselves, with a domestic analog of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, maybe, or taking William Pepper’s approach and preparing a bill of indictment to shop around to the international community. This is not protest politics, it’s organization politics: doing what domestic courts lack capacity to do and hooking into the existing institutional framework for failing states.

    Our political leaders are enemies of all mankind, and all mankind is going to have to gang up on them. This is how it’s done.

    1. Ms G

      “This is how it’s done.” You are right.

      And if we needed anymore proof of that (which we don’t), let’s just remember how Obama handled demands for a bi-partisan inquiry into the anthrax attacks and the FBI’s misbegotten hatchet job against Dr. Ivins.

      Quoting from the link you provided, in case anybody is interested:

      “As a result, President Obama — in what I think is one his most indefensible acts — actually threatened to veto the entire intelligence authorization bill if it included a proposed bipartisan amendment (passed by the House) that would have mandated an independent inquiry into the FBI’s anthrax investigation. Democratic Rep. Rush Holt, whose New Jersey district was the site where the letters were allegedly mailed and one of the bill’s sponsors, said at the time he was appalled that “an Administration that has pledged to be transparent and accountable would seek to block any review of the investigation in this matter.”

      Indeed, the veto threat issued by the Obama White House was refreshingly (albeit unintentionally) candid about why it was so eager to block any independent inquiry: ”The commencement of a fresh investigation would undermine public confidence in the criminal investigation and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions.”

      (Note that at this juncture in the Obama timeline, “progressive” mouthpieces (the Peter Pinguid Lackey Class) were still hyperventilating about “Bad Bad Bush.”)

      1. Ms G

        Quoted passage is from Glenn Greenwald’s piece in Salon — linked in the upthread post.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      So “Shyster General Holder” [!] justifies the (patently criminal) murder of US citizens (without trial) even within the Fatherland. While in related news, Shyster Holder takes pains to reaffirm Asst. Shyster General Lanny Breuer’s declaration that banksters are untouchable, quite above the law. Snuff a peasant on a whim, but protect robber barons at all costs. Sheesh. Calling George Orwell.

      “Holder: Big banks’ size complicates prosecution efforts”

      “‘I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,’ [Holder] said.”

      Notice the weaselese here. He presents a false choice — prosecuting (and jailing?) institutions, NOT individuals — a deliberate and clever diversion.

      http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/286583-holder-big-banks-size-complicates-prosecution-efforts

      1. Ms G

        Holy Cow! Att. Gen. Shyster H. said those things *today*? He’s echoing what Ass. Att. Shyster Lanny said on the Untouchables. Is this part of the “damage control” where Holder “gets ahead” of “the issue” to give the “collateral effects doctrine” legitimacy?!?

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Holy cow, indeed. It is extremely brazen lawlessness — the shredding of the US Constitution, murdering citizens, immunizing and giving aid and comfort to financial terrorists. This IMO, makes any of these perps fair game for vigilantes or referral to The Hague (by ‘Don’t wait’).

          The level of crimes is far and away beyond the threshold for impeachment, yet because it doesn’t involve consensual sex no one dares broach the idea, apart from “fringe” sites. I wonder if the prosecutorial overreach on Slick Willie’s sexcapades, wasn’t a setup (doing away with the special prosecutor) to facilitate the Shock Doctrine coup we are now witnessing with our own lying eyes.

          1. Ms G

            “Holder: Big banks’ size complicates prosecution efforts”

            Doug, it’s not even “weaselese.” He couldn’t have made the DOJ’s policy clearer if he’d drawn a cartoon with him handing out the Monopoly “get out of jail” card to Slimin’ Dimon, God’s Works are Us Lloyd Skunkfein, Jack the Sleaze Lew, Tim Foamy Geithner, Julie the OCC Bank Lackey, et al.

            This is where I’m going to keep my ears open for a unanimous outcry from legal academia and the various bar associations across the country. Because they’ve been so vociferous about Obama’s Kill List, Drone Warfare, NDAA provisions, etc.

            Ha-ha.

      2. Laughing_Fascist

        So Holder officially admits to dereliction of his duties as AG and assumption of a new role: Protector of the Economy From Federal Prosecutors.

        And we now have it confirmed that Breuer was merely repeating talking points handed to him before his interviews. They must have been handed down from the WH and Holder is now repeating them as well. Holder himself is not so stupid that he would develop these “to big to prosecute” talkers for his DOJ. The WH probably has a working group in place in the situation room working 18 hours a day on how to spin the Administration’s epic failure to prosecute.

        1. Ms G

          It is hard to know what to think. Following the logic of your train of thought (which is plenty logical), then Lanny’s revelation on The Untouchables was part of a plan, rather than a “slip” that resulted in him becoming damaged goods in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, his defensiveness (and the nasty reaction of the DOJ/WH vis a vis PBS — we’ll never talk to you again) suggests otherwise. Yet again, the unplanned bit may solely have been the revelation that PBS had spoken to AUSA’s who said point blank that the “Fin Frauds Taskforce” was effectively a Department of Non Prosecution.

          But you know what? No matter how much (or little) 11th dimensional chess is at work here, we’ve got O’Liar and his DOJ Toadies (Shysters Holder and Breuer) clearly on the record revealing and justifying the doctrined of “Bankers are Immune from Criminal Prosecution Even if they Commit the Financial Equivalent of Capital Crimes.”

          I have little faith that any of the tools in Congress will rise to this with appropriate indignation and swift action.

          Little by little, it is as though the Peter Pinguid Society, through its Presidential Padrino and his crew of thugs at DOJ, HHS, and [fill in the blank -- federal agency working overtime to destroy us], are laying down gauntlets — domestic false flags as it were.

        2. Ms G

          ” … dereliction of his duties as AG.”

          Really and truly the case. Yet he is a free man running the DOJ, whereas Bradley Manning, accused of far lesser derelictions, is facing life in prison for serving his country with honor.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Income inequality goes viral…

    If we all (as in 100%) get that income inequality virus, does it mean we will all be equal then?

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Forget machines taking over the world – corporations beaten….

    Actually corporations are like the Red Army/KGB. They conquer and capture.

    Robots are like gulag guards. They make sure no one escapes.

    And perhaps one day, corporations and robots become one – you get corporabots and roborations. It’s quite possible, you know, because, eh, robots, you see, they can be very powerful and smart (though not necessarily wise, unless we are talking about Dermezel). They (the robots) can be corporations unto themselves or run corportions – it’s hard to say now. They (the flying robots) can also be drones too – showing here, not only are they powerful and smart, but versatile as well.

    1. J Sterling

      It used to be you needed labor to get a return on capital. Robots are capital that gets a return on itself.

    1. Ms G

      We’re just so fabulous in this country …

      As Klassy! pointed out recently, one thing we seem to do well is P.R. The other is seriously pathetic media entertainment. And we export it, just as we do with our garbage!

    2. JTFaraday

      That was banal in the extreme. Really. The “Hot Tub Time Machine” of music videos.

      But, the question remains– how do you come by this knowledge? ;)

  14. Keynesian

    Bertrand Russell believed that epistemological problems would not disappear even if each word were carefully defined as Wittgenstein claimed. Russell told the following story to illustrate:

    Bertand was cycling to Winchester and stopped to ask a shopkeeper the shortest way. The shopkeeper called to a man in the back of the shop.

    “Gentleman wants to know the shortest way to Winchester.”
    “Winchester?” an unseen voice replied from the back.
    “Aye.”
    “Shortest way?”
    “Aye.”
    “Dunno.”

  15. KFritz

    Re: Chavez

    Did anyone follow the reaction of non-Bolivarian Latin America to the transparently hypocritical US govt reaction to the coup against Chavez (just 10 years after his own failed coup)? I didn’t, but assume that even his worst enemies had to notice Uncle Sam treating Venezuela like a banana republic. Think how much credibility US diplomatic hypocrisy gave Chavez in future elections.

    Just because he (and Venezuela) were done a huge injustice, and just because he stood up the the interlocking directorate of the Cheney admin and Big Oil doesn’t make him a posthumously good ruler. Ignore the NYT label on this article. The author works for the Guardian and has no axe to grind against Chavez.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/opinion/in-the-end-chavez-was-an-awful-manager.html?ref=opinion

  16. Laughing_Fascist

    So I wonder what event the Head of CentCom was thinking could happen that caused him to issue a a fairly belligerent warning to “the enemy.” From the Iran/Syria link:

    >> Mattis spent much of the hearing discussing budget cuts in the United States that prompted a decision to reduce the U.S. aircraft carrier presence in and around the Gulf from two to one carriers. Mattis said the cuts, known in Washington jargon as “sequester,” would hurt the military but warned potential adversaries that he could respond if needed to any scenario.

    “I would just caution any enemy that might like as an opportunity to take advantage of this situation, that that would be very ill advised,” Mattis said.

    “If the president orders into action, I have what it takes to make it the enemy’s longest day and their worst day. And we’ll get the other carrier out there quickly to reinforce.”

    1. Ms G

      “I would just caution any enemy that might like as an opportunity to take advantage of this situation, that that would be very ill advised,” Mattis said.

      “If the president orders into action, I have what it takes to make it the enemy’s longest day and their worst day. And we’ll get the other carrier out there quickly to reinforce.”

      Spoken like a regular John Wayne or Tom Cruise (in one of those idiot “National Security” Hollywood plonks). Our government (including the military) are such a bloody embarassment.

  17. jsmith

    Gee, why this sure ups the ante, don’t it?

    20 UN peacekeepers taken hostage by Syrian rebels in Golan Heights

    http://rt.com/news/syria-un-rebels-peacekeepers-hostage-910/

    From the article:

    Shortly after Israel warned the UN Security Council it could not be expected to “stand idle” as the Syrian civil war expands beyond its borders, while Churkin said that armed groups operating out of the Golan were undermining regional security.

    “It’s of course something very dangerous they are doing by staging armed activity from that area. It’s something which can undermine security between Syria and Israel. So whoever is supporting that kind of activity or approving it tacitly is playing a very dangerous game,” Churkin warned back on Monday.

    1. jsmith

      Sorry, the word “rebel” appears in the original RT.

      What I think the author meant the headline to be was:

      20 UN Observers detained by Western-backed non-Syrian mercenary war-criminal terrorists in a part of Syria that has been illegally occupied by the genocidal and apartheid state of Israel for nearly 50 years.

  18. diane

    Weelllllll, I guess there are those millions of citizens who will be severely affected by sequestration, and the upper echelon of Multinational Corporations who, most certainly, will not; such as what seems to be the major branch of the Privatized Military:

    03/06/13 Pentagon Spending $1.4 Billion on New Warships

    Over the past two in-sequester days, the Pentagon has awarded a total of 42 separate contracts to various contractors, worth well over $4 billion in aggregate

    Yup, Lockheed:

    The Pentagon gave the Littoral Combat Ship’s other major builder, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) , the biggest award of all. Lockheed’s $696.6 million contract (to build two other Littoral Combat Ships) eclipses the contracts won by its two allied rivals, combined. Lockheed also gets an extra month to complete the work. Its due date is July 2018

    And who in the world needs jobs, or health care, when we can opt for New Warships instead:

    03/04/13 Sequester’s effects threaten to turn healthcare reform into a crisis

    [Moody's analyst Russell] Solomon said that larger contractors, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, would not be as hard hit because their main contracts are in weapons …

    No small surprise that Lockheed makes sure to throw chump change, and largely insinuate its brand, at the nonprofits in its multiple neighborhoods, which are overwhelmed with people falling through the cracks because inhumane monsters, such as Lockheed, exist. Further, it never fails to ‘tickle’ me that Lockheed appears to be thoroughly immersed into the administration of (or is that Privatization of?) the Social Security Department, and barely anyone appears to be aware of that fact. For just one small example:

    04/17/09 Lockheed Martin Creating Maryland 160 Jobs

    Lockheed Martin Information Technology is growing its Woodlawn, Maryland facility, as part of a contract for the US Social Security Administration.

    The company has moved 150 employees into it’s [sic] new Woodlawn office, and will hire 160 more.

    The company is a unit of Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin, and does IT work for the Social Security Administration.

    Another (11/08/12) example:

    The selected candidate will provide support to the Social Security Administration in the areas of analysis and technical documentation of various applications under the direction of Lockheed Martin management.

  19. Kris Kaul

    just curious – why did you write “idiot” in parentheses next to the Glenn Greenwald Democracy Now segment?

  20. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    The White House responds….

    1. Concerning the petition seeking the posthumous pardon of Aaron Schwatz, the petition is hereby DENIED.

    2. Concerning the petition seeking the posthumous pardon of Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Hermann Goring, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Saukel, and Julius Streicher (sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg on 1 October 1946), the petition is hereby GRANTED.

    Story developing…

    1. Laughing_Fascist

      “The posthumous pardons of the gentlemen from Germany were necessary to protect the integrity of the EURO, a matter that I am required to take into account in making decisions on whether to prosecute and pardon financially important persons and organizations.” – Eric Holder

      “I will not rest, I will not play golf in Hawaii, and I will not watch another NBA game, so that I may focus the remainder of my Presidency on not prosecuting large banks; I will spend every waking moment and use every authority of the Presidency (pause for effect) to protect our economy from prosecutors who may not understand the need for (pause) and the peace and stability provided by (pause) a colossal financial system unhindered by investigations and petty regulations.” Barack Obama

    2. Ms G

      PPS and Laughing Fascist:

      You guys are a great team. And today you’re on fire.

      Thanks!!

      Ms G

      1. Ms G

        I meant Brent Musberger and Laughing Fascist, sorry.

        (PPS has been running some fine stories himself today.)

    1. Ms G

      This could be the other story of the day (besides the Lackey Holder one).

      We had an NC poster very intelligently surmising that General Petraeus’s sudden demise was unlikely the result of his philandering with the Wives-of-New Jersey (Maryland version) twins.

      If these reports are accurate, he was Hermann Goering. Goering pleaded “not guilty in the sense of the indictment” at Nuremberg. Funny, it was USA who was running the Nuremberg trial of Goering and others. It should not be too difficult to re-establish the Nuremberg infrastructure to deal with Petraeus and Colonels Steele and Coffman.

      Let us all take careful note: but for the immense courage and integrity of Bradley Manning, and the existence of WikiLeaks, the Guardian’s report would not have occurred.

      Bradley Manning deserves the highest medal of honor for service to this country. I want him out of prison and fully exhonerated. Now.

  21. diane

    Weelllllll, I guess there are those millions of citizens who will be severely affected by sequestration, and the upper echelon of Multinational Corporations who, most certainly, will not; such as what seems to be the major branch of the Privatized Military:

    03/06/13 Pentagon Spending $1.4 Billion on New Warships

    Over the past two in-sequester days, the Pentagon has awarded a total of 42 separate contracts to various contractors, worth well over $4 billion in aggregate

    Yup, Lockheed:

    The Pentagon gave the Littoral Combat Ship’s other major builder, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) , the biggest award of all. Lockheed’s $696.6 million contract (to build two other Littoral Combat Ships) eclipses the contracts won by its two allied rivals, combined. Lockheed also gets an extra month to complete the work. Its due date is July 2018

    1. diane

      And who in the world needs jobs, or health care, when we can opt for New Warships instead:

      03/04/13 Sequester’s effects threaten to turn healthcare reform into a crisis

      [Moody's analyst Russell] Solomon said that larger contractors, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, would not be as hard hit because their main contracts are in weapons …

      No small surprise that Lockheed makes sure to throw chump change, and largely insinuate its brand, at the nonprofits in its multiple neighborhoods, which are overwhelmed with people falling through the cracks because inhumane monsters, such as Lockheed, exist. Further, it never fails to ‘tickle’ me that Lockheed appears to be thoroughly immersed into the administration of (or is that Privatization of?) the Social Security Department, and barely anyone appears to be aware of that fact. For just one small example:

      04/17/09 Lockheed Martin Creating Maryland 160 Jobs

      Lockheed Martin Information Technology is growing its Woodlawn, Maryland facility, as part of a contract for the US Social Security Administration.

      The company has moved 150 employees into it’s [sic] new Woodlawn office, and will hire 160 more.

      The company is a unit of Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin, and does IT work for the Social Security Administration.

      Another (11/08/12) example:

      The selected candidate will provide support to the Social Security Administration in the areas of analysis and technical documentation of various applications under the direction of Lockheed Martin management.

      1. diane

        (Sorry, my above two posts are a duplication of one further above. That one didn’t initially post, so I broke it out into two comments, thinking it was eaten by the spam filter. This group of comments, or the one above, could be deleted.)

  22. diane

    Something rarely discussed in pieces on saving the Postal Service from privatization, is the inherent racism that’s been involved in the last three decades of attempting to privatize it. An excerpt of Bruce Dixon’s current piece in which, thankfully, he does discuss it:

    03/05/13 Black Political Class Could Pick A Fight Over Postal Service Privatization — But Won’t. Why?

    As an activist and organizer in Chicago of the 70s and 80s, I learned countless lessons from postal workers who took the lead in struggles against police brutality, for fair housing and opposition to Chicago’s long running municipal dictators, the Daley regime. When I moved to Atlanta at the end of 2000, I learned about another postal worker, John Wesley Dobbs who used to be called the mayor of Auburn Avenue, and was so well known that you could mail a letter from overseas addressed to “John Wesley Dobbs, USA” and he would receive it.

    It was predictable that when, in the 1980s, public policy took a turn against steady jobs at good wages, to force more and more Americans, particularly African Americans into less and less secure jobs at lower and lower wages, at the same time it vastly expanded the prison state and made welfare as scarce and punitive as possible, that the Postal Service, a monopoly enshrined in the Constitution itself, became a target for privatizers.

    In the eighties, nineties and the new century, Democrats and Republicans in Congress and successive White Houses passed special legislation and rules that restricted the postal service while enabling UPS and Federal Express to take some of its most lucrative traffic. Massachusetts liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy took the lead in passing regulation specifically crafted to make unionization impossible at FedEx. The death blow to the postal service may have been struck during the Bush administration, when Congress saddled the postal service with the absurd requirement to fully fund all pensions seventy years in advance, for workers yet unborn. It’s the end game now, with greedy privatizers like the husband of Senator Diane Feinstein and others snatching inner-city properties the postal service is forced to sell far below their value to fulfill its legal directive to self-destruct.

    Still, I keep wondering when I’ll hear members of our current black political class speak up for the postal service and those good jobs postal workers had that made them the bedrock of black communities and civic activism everywhere. I wonder why they haven’t organized forums and conferences and petitions and mass meetings to preserve the last of what used to be the good jobs that made them a potent leading force in African American communities across the country, and even made some of their own careers possible.

    Barack Obama doesn’t have a majority in Congress. But his favorite President Ronald Reagan never had one either, but it rarely stopped the old bastard from picking the fights he wanted to win, and often winning them. The American people as a whole DO reject privatization any time they’re polled on it. That’s why the Obama regime and its collaborators dare not call what they’re doing to public education or the broadcast spectrum “privatization.”

    (Bolding mine.)

  23. the idiot

    Speaking of the DOJ: There were more Marijuana Arrests in 2011 than Violent Crime Arrests.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/marijuana-possession-arrests_n_2490340.html?

    I don’t post this so people could start calling Yves a pothead again. However it seems like if I am reading this correctly the DOJ’s order of focus is:

    1.)Brown people (clearly they are guilty, I mean look at them)

    2.)Potheads (which seem like the easiest to catch).

    3.)Whistleblowers (which basically catch themselves)

    4.)Hackers (not usually the violent types, despite what Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would want us to believe, also some of this group may overlap with group 2)

    5.)Violent criminals (only if there are no Hookah wielding Muslims around)

    6.)Puppy dogs

    7.) Rainbows

    8.) Banker….whistleblowers.

    Yeah, I’m sorry. Bankers aren’t on this list. SWAT and tactical teams are defenseless against Jamie Dimon’s sneer.

  24. SH

    I’m trolling. I’ve just realized that Sadjiat’s book’s name is a play on Warren Zevon”s better name. I’ve read 4000 posts consecutively so don’t talk shit to me. I may be slow but I I can’t escape the Zevon.

    SH

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