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Links 4/10/13

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One of Us Lapham’s Quarterly

Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime New York Times (Howard Beale IV)

Shodan: The scariest search engine on the Internet CNN

Goldman advises to short gold FT Alphaville

Fukushima springs new cistern leak Japan Times (LucyLuLu)

Japan’s unfinished policy revolution Martin Wolf, Financial Times. Important. Wolf thinks the DoJ’s gamble won’t work (as in structural reforms needed too, and I see no plans for them in the offing).

What’s Annoying the North Koreans? Counterpunch (Jim S)

China: Pivot partner or pinata? Asia Times

Misreading Xi On North Korea Moon of Alabama (Jim S)

China halts some North Korea tours Guardian

Finland, Children And Illegal Insider Trading GuruFocus

Slovenia Rules Out Bailout; Translation: “Slovenia Bailout Coming Right Up” Michael Shedlock

FCA chair Griffith-Jones faces calls to resign over HBOS audit Money Marketing (Richard Smith)

Carr ‘astonished’ by Thatcher’s ‘racist’ comments ABC (skippy)

A Day in the Life: A working journalist reports on the Exxon Pegasus Pipeline spill in Mayflower, AK Corrente

School ‘Discipline Gap’ Explodes As 1 In 4 Black Students Suspended, Report Finds Huffington Post (Carol B)

Seriously, what the hell is Obama thinking? Kos at Daily Kos. You gotta read the comments. Kos gets flamed.

The U.S. Collects Less In Taxes Than All But Two Industrialized Countries ThinkProgress (Carol B)

Analysis: Dow 30 companies show what a joke calling corporate tax burden Daily Kos (Carol B)

Beware of Economists Peddling Elegant Models Bloomberg

KPMG quits as Skechers and Herbalife auditor amid insider trading allegations Guardian

FDIC’s Hoenig: Basel III Is Well-Intended Illusion WSJ Economics Blog. Richard Smith figured that out in 2010.

Russell Brand on Margaret Thatcher: ‘I always felt sorry for her children’ Guardian. Today’s must read. Trust me on this one.

Antidote du jour:

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92 comments

  1. Inverness (@Inverness)

    Poignant moment from the Brand article, “The blunt, pathetic reality today is that a little old lady has died, who in the winter of her life had to water roses alone under police supervision. If you behave like there’s no such thing as society, in the end there isn’t.”

    1. Richard Kline

      ” . . . I do recall that even to a child her demeanour and every discernible action seemed to be to the detriment of our national spirit and identity. Her refusal to stand against apartheid, her civil war against the unions, her aggression towards our neighbours in Ireland and a taxation system that was devised in the dark ages, the bombing of a retreating ship – it’s just not British . . . [T]he clemency and respect that are being mawkishly displayed now by some and haughtily demanded of the rest of us at the impending, solemn ceremonial funeral, are values that her government and policies sought to annihilate.”

      Yeah: _that’s the Maggie Thatcher I remember: the epitome of everything you’d be ashamed for your own child to grow up to become, busily telling all that only losers wouldn’t want to be just like her. Selfishness naming itself as virtue because for the moment it’s on top . . . .

      Really a great articulate commentary by Russell Brand. I didn’t know he had it in him, but I won’t forget that now.

      1. YankeeFrank

        He actually penned another wonderful reflection — just after the English youth riots, I believe also for the Guardian. Definitely worth a read.

    2. Leviathan

      I agree that it’s a fine, even eloquent piece. What’s interesting about it however is that it demonstrates how important age is in assessing political movements. Brand sees Thatcher from a child’s perspective, and is not interested in how people older than himself perceived her. He takes at face value the bucolic “community” propaganda of postwar Britain, even as he expertly dissects the propaganda of the fin de siècle. This makes Thatcher a Siva figure (maybe Durga is better), a destroyer of worlds. This is partly true. But she was also a much needed corrective to several decades of rot. Britain in the mid-80s was a deeply dysfunctional, often scary place. London was like “Escape from New York” and other cities were even worse. We can’t honestly assess Thatcher’s place in history if we view the world before her with rose colored glasses.

      1. lolcar

        She was elected in 1979. Re-elected in 1983. Well into her second term by the mid-80s. The record unemployment she presided over by that stage was certainly deeply dysfunctional. Which era then do you really need to wear rose-colored glasses to look back on favourably ?

        1. Leviathan

          Further. I’d start by renting “I’m Alright Jack.”

          The country was essentially bankrupt by the late 70s, and when there was nothing left to nationalize, tax or redistribute the only thing to do was reverse the process.

          You can blame Thatcher if you like (I personally think her major contribution was to serve as a lightning rod for her country’s hate because she was oddly immune to caring) but what she did was inevitable. Hate her for her militancy on Northern Ireland, which was appallingly counterproductive and inhumane. She had huge gaping blindspots. But she was responding to a crisis nearly as awful as that facing the EU debtor nations today.

          1. Lord Haw-Haw

            No, right-o, nothing whatever to redistribute, because the half of Britain’s land that’s even now owned by 0.6 percent of the population, what good would it do, redistributing that or dedicating it to public purposes?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I am not sure which era, this is what I see: If you replay the whole thing slowly, you will see that Thatcher was not the lone shooter.

          It took more than one shot.

          It took a whole village to get to where we are today.

        3. J Sterling

          It’s the other way round: the Thatcher/Reagan hagiographers have to paint the seventies as the Apocalypse to give their heroes something to have saved the world from.

          And I believe a small privileged minority class are sincere in remembering that time as a grim one, with high employment costs and lack of the respect they felt they were due. That’s because they were losing their class privilege, but loss of privilege isn’t the end of the world, it only feels like it.

        4. wunsacon

          Thatcher was elected just in time to sail with the tail winds of North Sea oil.

          No, “resources” *never* explain *everything* about a society’s gains or losses. But, it can explain a lot.

      2. Mark P.

        I’m of an age with Thatcher’s defenders, who I notice seem — not coincidentally — to be mostly Americans. During the Thatcher era, I was in both the UK — I have a British passport — and in the US under Reagan. I will concede to the Thatcherites that, to get fancy, she was what Hegel called a World Historical Figure — I’ll give her that, and even agree that the power of the old British trade union leaders needed breaking.

        But those who defend Thatcher should also be clear that, among her other achievements, she destroyed the UK’s manufacturing base, sold off its public assets to private interests, and deregulated the City. And it’s that latter fact that in no small part has led to three successive financial meltdowns across the Western world, because it made the City of London the haven to which American bankers said they would run when they couldn’t buy the loose-touch non-regulation that they wanted from the Washington pols.

        It’s no accident — for a few recent instances — that the 2008 collapse was triggered by AIG’s shenanigans at its London office; that Dimon and JP Morgan’s most risky trades where done by the “London Whale”; that Jon Corzine’s and MF Global’s wholesale thefts from its own customers were funneled through its London office.

        I could go on, but the point is that it’s in large part because of how Thatcher deregulated the City of London that in the end the banksters in the U.S. did get the repeal of Glass-Steagall and all the stateside deregulation they wanted. And, in turn, that’s how the U.S.A. has now come to have a regime that’s officially declared that there’s a select class of rich folks that are just Too Big To Jail no matter how much money-laundering, financial crime, theft, fraud, etc. they commit –

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57574423/banks-too-big-to-jail-fail-or-nail-face-new-scrutiny/

        Thatcher didn’t mean to enable all that. Nevertheless, she enabled the predatory form of financialized capitalism and the utterly corrupt plutocracy that we’ve become far too familiar with in the last few years to take root in London first, then spread.

        I also think that Michael Hudson’s long piece the other day is not only fair to the woman, but also correct in its arguments that the City of London and the financial classes looked down on Thatcher and her fellow monetarists as, essentially, useful idiots — as dupes.

        http://michael-hudson.com/2013/04/failed-privatizations-the-thatcher-legacy/

        By the way, Hudson’s piece is titled “Let us glory in our inequality” — something Thatcher really did once say. And I could probably find you ten other Thatcher quotes that are just as much in your face as that. What a piece of work the woman was.

        We will not see her like again, I’m pretty sure. Thank god.

  2. John L

    From Brand on Thatcher:
    “All of us that grew up under Thatcher were taught that it is good to be selfish, that other people’s pain is not your problem, that pain is in fact a weakness and suffering is deserved and shameful. ”
    Or under Reagan. It’s become the default setting.

      1. John L

        Local lending programs, local small business loyalty cards, farmer’s markets, food coops, CSAs, small water systems, credit unions, public utility districts, pocket neighborhoods, neighborhood associations, local theater and music, micro and nano breweries, free buses…
        All right here today and all in their way part of the push back.

      2. diptherio

        True. Try explaining to economics students that maybe people aren’t completely selfish beings and that, to the extent that we are selfish, it might be due largely to the fact that we have been told by economists and politicians that people are essentially greedy and that that’s ok, essentially from day one…blank stares will be your only reward.

        Even non-economists end up with this mentality. It’s sad. This is how we end up with Christians who are more likely to give a homeless person chastisement than charity, and Buddhists who live in ostentatious mansions. Even people who claim to be concerned mainly with the non-material will be shocked, simply shocked, if you suggest they forgo any material comfort for the sake of anyone or anything not themselves. And if they do, they think they’re some kind of saint…hell, even if their charity doesn’t reduce their standard of living one bit, they still want to be told what a wonderful person they are (Billy Gates is the prototypical example).

      3. Massinissa

        Ill be a foolish marxist over a heartless neoliberal any day. This Ayn Randian nonsense that has pervaded all sectors of society is certain to destroy it if this continues.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Quite agree. Brand’s article, though hilariously written, finally paints Thatcher as a pathetic, loveless Ayn Rand, devoid of spirit and irrelevant in the end. Tragic. From this we should ponder the true meaning and nature of heaven and hell.

  3. rjs

    kos wants to know why chained CPI instead of raising the cap on the payroll tax…

    quite simple; raising the cap hits all the major political contributors with an additional 6.2% tax; those making over $113,700 and those cutting the checks for those high payed individuals…

    Obama & the rest may talk a good game, but they wont bite the hands that feed them…

    1. Brindle

      kos, it’s not called being “cynical”, it is simply seeing reality.
      kos is a good example of someone suspending their critical thought process because of allegiance to a personality.

      kos:

      “…I can’t imagine President Barack Obama actually wants to cut Social Security. I’m not that cynical.”

      “…So I actually take him at his word, that he is simply trying to give Republicans what they want in order to appear compromising and reasonable.”

      1. CB

        I have nothing but my opinion to go on, but I’m not at all convinced that Kos is suspending his critcal thought process: I wonder what’s in it for him? That seat at the table is sooooo seductive. In with the in crowd. Gets the wannabe players every time. Inside the tent pissing out.

        1. Brindle

          I was giving kos the benefit of the doubt that he (kos) isn’t in mostly for the $$$.
          Kos has become a multi-millionaire by creating a site whose main function appears to be to keep the left wing of the Dem party from rocking the neo-liberal boat.

          1. jrs

            and if ordinary people (most of whose jobs are not spewing propagada for viscious murderous rulers) are increasingly to be ground down into the dirt, and have little to look forward to but grinding poverty, that “in with the in crowd” stuff looks even more appealing doesn’t it. Just your soul, that’s all, of course you have to be a bit lucky, I could start an Obama is great blog and well .. it will still probably suceed better than telling the truth ….

          2. Antifa

            Kos is in political blogging and sports blogging as well entirely for the money. He sees both as horse races that people love to talk about, argue about, fight about, and do all the work and research and writing about that keeps his blogs going.

            You can’t blame him. There is only the Money Party in charge, and some are dressed up in blue and some in red and they fight and argue and stage great theater but our politicians are just like professional athletes, vying for the title.

            The real work in Washington for our 535 elected officials is raising an average of $3,000 a week of private money throughout their term in office. Fail at that and your Party will drop you for someone who can bring in the unmarked cash.

            You can’t blame Kos for making money off just another horse race.

    2. Eureka Springs

      The other question I would really like to explore, but don’t know how to do so..

      What would happen to SS revenue if the minimum wage were raised to say 18.00 with single payer health care? Or MW alone raised to 21.00?

      1. Eureka Springs

        Adding, since retired persons SS return is based on the amount contributed, clearly we need to raise low income. What good is solvency alone if no one has a claim to it?

      2. abprosper

        Labor demand is exceeded vastly by supply in the industrialized world even for low skilled labor.

        My guess is likely revenue would probably stay flat or decline. The jump between say $9 and $18 plus health care is so large that a lot of people would get laid off or when possible replaced by under the table workers or undocumented persons willing to work cheaper.

        Almost certainly hiring above the trigger number if there is one will cease as the example of France and many other places shows. If the law kicks in at 50, you’ll never exceed that,

        Some businesses who could not meet the labor price increases would close as well.

        On the plus side it would also spur a revolution in robotics, Right now cheap labor is cheaper than machines to say flip burgers but $25 USD (with health care and employee matching) is enough to make that machine look better,

        1. Antifa

          In the not-too-distant future over-population and food shortages will see humans invent to Food Stuff for the masses. It will be like kibble for our dogs and cats is now, processed and flavored vegetable proteins, or algae-based, containing the proper ratio of amino acids, trace minerals, fiber, and just the right mix of salt, sugar and fat to hit anyone’s “bliss point” — simply squeezed out into edible cups at coin-operated fast food kiosks. Put in some coins and eat up. Try the Prozac n’ Ambien special for those blue days.

          Free lottery tickets with every cup!

  4. Watt4Bob

    If only there was someone to explain Ronald Reagan’s true legacy to the American people, as clearly as Russell Brand has explained Margaret Thatcher’s.

      1. Ned Ludd

        It works to spell out his first name, with a pause in the middle.

        B.A.R. – A.C.K.
        How many kids did you kill today?

        1. J Sterling

          Who’s the leader of the club that’s bombing night and day?
          B-A-R… A-C-K… O-B-A-M-A!

          t.t.t.o. the mickey mouse club song, of course.

      1. Ned Ludd

        “They want to put street criminals in jail to make life safer for the business criminals. They’re against street crime provided that street isn’t Wall Street.”

        1. Cynthia

          America has always been corrupt. That’s not the problem. The problem is punishment for the white collar criminal has never been more absent. Loopholes get them acquitted, fancy lawyers get them off, and judges are political pawns used to stage the court room drama much like Hollywood TV. The legal system has become a circus act. Without punishment, corruption simply is more visible.

        2. down2long

          Apropos of this thread, my personal nemesis Slimin’Dimon preps the market for more legal bad news the day before he s**ts out his latest quareterly “profit” report tomorrow. “Jamie Dimon Preps Market for More Regulation.”

          The headline is misleading, it means “More Investigations/Probes/Criminal Inquiries,” etc. to be dispatched forthwith by BFFs Obomba and Holder.

          Still, This is odd timing: http://soa.li/I0iVxJO

      2. Watt4Bob

        True enough, but Brand’s writing hits home precisely because he drops the comedic hyperbole and profanity in order to clearly state an important premise; that Thatcher spear-headed an agenda that destroyed a significant part of Britain’s cultural heritage, the long-held belief that “we are all in this together”.

        This is essentially the same damage inflicted on America by Reagan, a destruction of the commons and the substitution of the destructive myth wherein hard-working, rugged individuals thrive in perfect liberty, and owe their fellow man nothing.

        I think it’s more important at this point, that Reagan be understood as a lonely, mis-guided and ultimately deluded mouth-piece for kleptocrats than as a motherf*cker.

        It may be possible to explain to T-Baggers that Reagan was wrong, but I don’t think they’ll ever accept that he was evil, and certainly not because Carlin says so.

        Carlin’s rant, as much as I love it, was preaching to the choir.

        1. AbyNormal

          Nice Watt!
          way too much at stake to be ragging endless non-battles

          “Up till now I always thought bickering was just something children did and they outgrew it. Of course, there’s sometimes a reason to have a ‘real’ quarrel, but the verbal exchanges that take place here are just plain bickering. I should be used to the fact that these squabbles are daily occurrences, but I’m not and never will be as long as I’m the subject of nearly every discussion. (They refer to these as ‘discussions instead of ‘quarrels’, but Germans don’t know the difference!)” dear Anne Frank

  5. diptherio

    Three Hours with Amy Goodman on Book TV She is one of my heroes. Hearing her tell how she and another journalist tried, unsuccessfully, to stop the Indonesian military from massacring a group of Timorese protesters send chills down my spine. A truly fearless woman.

    Foreclosure Fiasco? Lost Promissory Notes and MERS S.J Quinney College of Law, University of Utah. Counts for one continuing ed. credit! Not a lot that we don’t already know here, but a good overview of the legal theories involved.

    The Rule of Law and the Ruling Class ~The Scholar’s Stage

      1. CB

        I have to tell you, I’ve seen Gypsy Vanners in the show ring and they are at once elegant moving animals and a wretched tribute to human disregard: there are no wild equines that I know of with that feathering and mane and tail lengths. It’s absurd and obscene that we do that to animals.

    1. Valissa

      Ha! And where is the bodacious bodice busting babe that should be in this potential trashy romance book cover photo?

      1. CB

        Funny. But I (tried) to read Cuccinelli’s appeal and that’s isn’t the impression I got: it is not an argument against oral sex per se. A more accurate report would have been boring, I guess.

          1. CB

            Did you read Cuccineli’s appeal? I wouldn’t trust the NYT to report a death I witnessed–and news does lean to blood and sex sensationalism.

            I’m not even slightly qualified to assess the legal merits but I take a run at the actual appeal.

          2. Bill Smith

            she was a dog!
            —————————–
            The possibility of prosecuting teenagers is not fanciful. In 2007, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a teenager for having oral sex with his girlfriend under a general sodomy law barring what it called “the crime against nature, with mankind or beast.”

  6. school2prisonpipeline

    Regarding the school discipline gap: spending time in New York public schools is like spending time in a low-security prison. Even in schools without metal detectors (a dehumanizing experience), halls are patrolled by NYPD. I have also taught in Montreal: huge difference. Montreal also has kids that are poor and struggling, but the schools (the public ones I’ve been in, anyway) don’t feel like prisons, and, generally speaking, kids aren’t treated like potential criminals, and not every movement needs to be monitored. You know, “bell to bell instruction!” “No bathroom breaks during the first, nor last 10 mintues of class!” “No sitting in the halls, ever!” There is just more humanity, and less policing, and understanding that the more you police, the less control you have.

  7. CB

    From my reading, Margaret Thatcher was born into what could be described as a comfortable middle class family, her father owned two grocery stores, and she married a wealthy man. How is that pulling herself up by the bootstraps? Further, everyone who saw advantage in her economic prescriptions supported her. Given the money and power at stake, that’s a lot of support.

  8. Hugh

    Thatcher was a seminal figure in the establishment of British kleptocracy. The social break down Brand describes, the breaking of social bonds, the isolation of the individual, Thatcher’s survival of the fittest, is really nothing more than class war, splitting up the 99% and setting it against itself.

    As I said, this is about class, and although class is every bit as deeply entrenched in the US, it always seems more glaringly obvious among the British. It is important to realize that Thatcher was not a leader. She was a figurehead of a class movement, to use classical terminology an alliance of the rich and the bourgeoisie. She did not lead this movement. She, much like Ronald Reagan, was an expression of it.

    There is a great emptiness at the heart of both Reaganism and Thatcherism that results from this. Leadership is more than power married to strong beliefs. The fundamental question, never asked, is if Thatcher and Reagan were such great leaders, whom were they leading, for whom were they exercising their leadership? Neither made their countries better places to live for the 99% of the people living in them. They not only fostered the interests of and further concentrated their societies’ wealth among the rich and elites but they actively sought to do so by disempowering the 99% and demolishing those programs and institutions which safeguarded and benefited them.

    Leadership, real leadership, only comes about from improving the lot and lives of ordinary people. This is something that Thatcher and Reagan never did and never intended to do. There were PR, bluster, stiff admonitions, and blame to cover up this lacuna, but it persists in that feeling of emptiness we have when we consider figures like Thatcher and Reagan. They were never our leaders.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      PR, bluster, etc…

      They are preparing to take over China with the same strategy they used to sedate thinking people here (at least the first two stages):

      1. Go in first with music, movies and recreational drugs.

      2. then debt slavery

      3. promote tolerances of unfamiliar looking foreign faces with long noses, ghost-color skin and scary looking celadon eyes.

      4. unveil the new rulers publicly.

    2. craazyman

      I finally finished Professor Hudson’s chapter on Thatcherism late last night and haven’t changed my mind about the wackos. I’ll sum up the entire text in two words: “nobody’s perfect”.

      Seems like the unions and the banksters are yin and yang.

      I remember my old doorman Phil who failed to get rich playing the lottery. The doorman union went out on strike and the dudes all hung out in front of the building in street clothes with signs.

      All us tentants brought them coffee and bagels. Nobody’s head got broken. it was all very polite.

      But the union bosses spent the strike in a Carribean island, I think, in gambling casinos. Something like that. It’s always like that, eventually. Why should anybody be surprised.

  9. Hugh

    kos: “I can’t imagine President Barack Obama actually wants to cut Social Security. I’m not that cynical. Yet.”

    I think Moulitsas is being plenty cynical just in making a statement like that. Still you have to appreciate the difficulties of a Democratic apparatchik, like kos, confronted by a President and a party that are to the right of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. How to acknowledge discontent among the rubes while at the same time leading them back into the veal pen.

    1. dolleymadison

      “How to acknowledge discontent among the rubes while at the same time leading them back into the veal pen.”

      Eloquently said as always, Hugh!

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Slovenia, bailed out or baling out?

    Please don’t confuse Slovenia with Insolvencia.

    The former might exit the Euro while the latter is likely to be most popular once it joins the Euro.

    Insolvencia, you are welcome in all Euro countries.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    US collects less taxes.

    2 issues here.

    1. It’s not how much is collected. It’s about who is avoiding taxes and who is not paying his/her share. Are the 0.01% here paying less than their international counterparts? Are the 0.01% everywhere paying less than they should be paying?

    2. It’s not how much taxes you pay. It’s how much you get back for every tax dollar you pay. So, it is more useful to compare how much an average American gets back per each tax dollar versus, say, a typical Swiss. But then a government is not like a business; you don’t look at waste, inefficiency or even illegal spending there. Besides, it’s about modulating inflation/deflation. So, maybe we are deflating here while other countries are inflating (thus the need to tax more). But if you believe not in empire building, then you might look at how much benefits you get back with the taxes you’re paying. Maybe we are paying too much here??? Maybe?

    1. John L

      Also: social security, medicare, health insurance, state taxes, property taxes. All but the last are part of income tax in most countries.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I look at it like how I would pick a gym.

        Right now, I pay not that much for my membership at 25 Hours Fitness Club where I work out 8 days a week, 366 days a non-leap-year, always giving my 110%.

        But, to be honest, for what I am getting back, I am paying too much. I don’t mind looking at another gym where I pay 10% more and get 50% more back.

  12. Andrea

    On “The US collects less taxes than all but two industrialized nations” at: http://tinyurl.com/d78yedv

    One should not pay any attention to the rankings of OECD countries tax rates. 1) They are based on self report,

    2) it is just all cobbled together, the mainstream charts are meaningless.

    How and what countries tax varies enormously. The rankings published don’t even detail, say, the proportion of Federal Tax / State tax. I have even seen the US ranked as a low-tax place as only Fed. tax was taken into account.

    The important point – what is paid for in taxes and returned in the form of services – is left out. For ex. Switz. tends to have a medium or even sometimes lowish tax rate rankings, because health-care (paid for by private insurance) is not part of the tax accounting, in contrast, to, say, Sweden, or France. (Though all that would require some stiff discussion: in fact for health care funding France is somewhat similar to the US, but that is not part of ambient discourse.)

    US citizens pay ‘high’ tax overall, and get little return.

    They bitch about taxes because they don’t see, aren’t informed, where the money goes. And they pay a lot: fed, state, local, sales tax, property taxes, tariffs, estate and gift taxes, extra pay to local services (fire protection, pest control, recycling, education, etc. etc.) While some corps pay little or minuscule taxes…

    (where the money goes > Read, Defense.)

    Such rankings ate utterly meaningless, the whole system(s) are too opaque, arcane and complicated, only thorough studies of say one country vs. another have any interest. And even then, so what, unless the whole system is laid out (which is not done), leading to some interesting, say, new sociology, finance studies, anthropology, behavioral psychology, or, in the Academic J landscape, a radical J in Economics? No hope of that.

    These rankings are meant to distract and polarize with score points that even lowly workers and teens understand are BS.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China halts North Korea tours.

    That could be a good thing…possibly.

    When they go Tibet, for example, they bid up, for their own good fengsui, the prices of dzi beads, so much so, locals fear to wear the real things, that have been passed down for generations, in public lest they be robbed.

    Now, historically, Chinese emperors demanded Korea to pay tribute to the Middle Kingdom. One item the sons of Heaven favored fondly was Korean virgins. I don’t know if this particular traditional value has been preserved and popularized for the proletariat these days.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    As a member of S.O.U.L, my reaction is that Shodan is just another science-gone-wild fad/thing that hopefully will go away soon (or maybe not).

    By the way, people sometimes confuse a S.A.P. with a S.O.U.L.

    A S.A.P. is a Stone-Age Philosopher.

    A S.O.U.L. is a member of the Society Of United Luddites.

    A SAP asks simple questions, believes all humans are good, liberal or conservative and is curious about Neo-Neanderthalism.

  15. diptherio

    Apropos of Lean In and feminism in the workplace:

    Study Shows Women In Political Science Sometimes Play Down Family While Job Hunting

    Although only 14.9 percent of respondents said they attended job interviews while pregnant, the report notes that “Several women on the market hid their pregnancy during their interviews for fear that it would be used against them.” One respondent canceled all upcoming interviews after attending one “‘because the interview process was so exhausting. I wasn’t sure I could make it through another 2-day gruel.’ ” Another respondent was upfront about her pregnancy only to have it become a central focus of her interview, with three different faculty members asking questions about it.

    “The best way to interview is nonpregnant and ringless,” that respondent said, adding she was only able to land a job after she kept her family secret during the interview process.

  16. AbyNormal

    http://www.nationofchange.org/interest-rates-student-loans-set-double-even-students-fall-deeper-debt-1365602608

    The brief, citing a February report from the Congressional Budget Office, said the federal government makes 36 cents in profit on every student-loan dollar it puts out, and estimates that over all, student loans will bring in $34 billion next year.

    According to the C.B.O. report, the government will get 12.5 cents in revenue next year for every dollar lent through subsidized Staffords, 33.3 cents per dollar in unsubsidized Staffords, 54.8 cents on each dollar of graduate school loans, and 49 cents per dollar of parent loans, for a total of $34 billion a year.

    …O can buy mo drone$

    1. AbyNormal

      i feel a deep sadness between our post
      (mine above yours)

      Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
      malcomeX

  17. curlydan

    And we’re off! Vermont becomes the first state to issue its ACA premium costs.

    Are you a Vermont family of 4 earning $89K+ and need insurance? Step right up. The silver package costs only $1,242 per month. That’s only $15K a year folks!

    What? You want a subsidy? Ohhh, sssorrry…you’re just above 400% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), so you don’t qualify.

    The rates:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/04/01/vermont-becomes-first-to-propose.html?s=image_gallery

    The article:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/04/01/vermont-becomes-first-to-propose.html

  18. wunsacon

    Seems to me that Fukushima-cleanup and a massive national program to develop/deploy clean energy technology could justify massive Japanese government money printing. But, I haven’t seen any headlines to suggest as much. To ?

  19. 1231239

    for any rice fans (another resounding success for the FDA!):
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22099990

    Analysis of commercially available rice imported into the US has revealed it contains levels of lead far higher than regulations suggest are safe.

    Some samples exceeded the “provisional total tolerable intake” (PTTI) set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by a factor of 120.

  20. rps

    And the hits keep on coming:
    Daily Mail Online for Thursday, April 11, 2013:
    Millions of students will see the interest rate double on their student loans this Summer costing them an extra $1,000 a year and pushing graduation debt over $30,000

    “After being reduced from 2008 to 2011 to a record low level of 3.4% interest, the rate on government subsidized Stafford loans is due to double back up to 6.8% on July 1…”

    Nail the poor college kids three times: exorbitant high education costs, no jobs after graduation, and no discharge into bankruptcy.

    Seems like our federally elected politicians have a plan; to plainly prove a deliberate,systematic plan of reducing a people to slavery.

    It’s as if DC is begging for a fight with the 99%.

    “Last year we said, “Things can’t go on like this,” and they didnt. They got worse.” Will Rogers

  21. AbyNormal

    the other Keystone(s) at work

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/10/us/georgia-firefighters-hostage/index.html

    A gunman in apparent financial distress took several firefighters hostage Wednesday in suburban Atlanta, then was killed in an exchange of gunfire hours later after law enforcement authorities determined he might lash out at his captives.

    “It got to the point where we believed that (the firefighters’) lives were in immediate danger,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Ed Ritter said Wednesday night. “And our SWAT team made the decision to go in there and neutralize the situation.”

    All four Gwinnett County firefighters who were being held hostage suffered “superficial” injuries after authorities used explosives “to distract the suspect to get in the house and take care of business,” Ritter explained. Their injuries were the result of the explosions, not gunfire, and all four were expected to go home by night’s end.

    One law enforcement officer was shot in the incident, but his injury is not considered life-threatening, according to Ritter.

    The house was foreclosed upon in November and was being prepared for sale, said Brad German, a spokesman for Freddie Mac. It was not clear what, if anything, that fact had to do with what unfolded Wednesday.

    Jake Major, an 18-year-old neighbor who used to mow the alleged hostage taker’s lawn, said he seemed “really nice, … like a normal guy.” His yard, though, “was a mess (and) inside it was just as bad,” Major said.

    Ritter, the police spokesman, said that the unidentified gunman started making demands related to the house after taking the firefighters hostage.

    “The power was turned off along with the cable and cell phone and so on, and he wanted all those things turned back on,” said Ritter, adding that “apparently he was going through some financial issues.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWdLt3Afjrg

  22. tiebie66

    Any views on the Japanese experiment? Interested in hearing some (falsifiable) MMT prognoses.

  23. Veri

    A quick comment on Obama, chained CPI, and Liberal Democratic response to Obama’s Social Security cut.

    Many are saying this is going to help Republicans in 2014.

    Maybe that is the point.

    Think of it this way. The current impasse in Congress does benefit someone. Namely, plutocrats and Big Business, Wall Street, Big Finance, Global Finance; whatever you want to call them.

    What better way to continue the impasse than to hand the opposing party a gift… of strengthening their re-election hand.

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